Baldur’s Gate 3 is crammed full of memorable, moving stories. At least one of those stories extends far beyond the Forgotten Realms into the real world too, as a fan has revealed the heartfelt tribute that developers Larian included to their father – a long-time CRPG player – diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Back in 2020, Baldur’s Gate 3 player Solfalia took to Larian’s forums to share their touching experience of playing the RPG in early access with their dad. The two had previously played hours of Baldur’s Gate 2 together, before going on to complete Divinity: Original Sin and its sequel multiple times.

“Unfortunately, he was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the midst of lockdown, and his state is such I’m not sure that he’ll be able to play the full game with me when it gets out,” Solfalia wrote in October 2020. “It’s been a worry of mine, as he has really been looking forward to it.”

Fortunately, Baldur’s Gate 3 launched into early access in time for Solfalia and their father to enjoy the game’s first act together that Christmas, with Solfalia saying: “This Early Access means that this Xmas I’ll be able to go on an adventure with him one last time, and I know he’ll enjoy it. The fact that the big baddies are Mind Flayers is just the icing on the cake.”

A Bard character in Baldur's Gate 3.

Image credit: Larian Studios / Rock Paper Shotgun

Three years on, as Baldur’s Gate 3 prepared for its full release last summer, an anonymous writer from Larian – whom Solfalia refers to as “superwriter” – sent Solfalia an email as a follow-up to their touching story.

“It turns out my message had resonated with quite a few of you, as many of us have experienced the struggle of a family member with Alzheimers or Dementia, and superwriter was e-mailing me to ask if I would be open to having something included in the game to honour my father,” the player recalled in a forum post last September, shared recently on social media by fellow Larian writer Rachel Quirke, who said “there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when we read that letter”.

While Solfalia expected little more than “a mention in a random book, or a plaque”, it turned out that “superwriter” and Larian had gone far beyond that. On Baldur’s Gate 3’s release, the writer pointed Solfalia towards a hidden cellar in the lower city of Baldur’s Gate itself.

Inside the cellar was an NPC, Golbraith Stredivas, described as being a retired Mind Flayer hunter – in tribute to their father’s love of the classic D&D monster – who spends his days writing to pass down his knowledge to future generations.

“Not only did Golbraith look like my father, but he had multiple lines of dialogue. Some really touching ones too (for me, at least),” Solfalia said, adding that they searched through the entire house and Golbraith’s inventory to boot. “The different papers in the house were amazing, the stack of letters between Golbraith and his son put a lump in my throat. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t misty eyed. The secret mindflayer-hunter cellar was awesome.”

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While Solfalia’s father is now in a care home and unable to play Baldur’s Gate 3 himself, Solfalia described the tribute to him.

“He listened to my description with a child-like glee I haven’t seen in a while,” they said. “He loved every moment of it. He loved the idea that his character has a monocle, and was proud his character has a secret cellar with weapons. He still talks about it from time to time during our weekly chats.”

The heartfelt story and tribute have understandably touched many who shared their experiences in response to the tale, with Larian head Swen Vincke saying “superwriter is an amazing human being” and Quirke expressing delight that “we got to honour the mighty mindflayer hunter”.

“Thank you Larian. Truly,” Solfalia wrote. “It was so much more than I was expecting, and was extremely touching. Both my Dad and me loved it.”

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