Baldur’s Gate 3 is without a doubt my favorite RPG game ever. I’d go as far as calling it the best game I’ve played to date overall, regardless of genre. Larian Studios managed to deliver the ultimate Dungeons & Dragons experience in the form of a video game with Baldur’s Gate 3, especially when you consider the quirky cast of characters. Many of us devoted fans have been wondering about one companion in particular, though, and about her ending. If you’ve played Baldur’s Gate 3 through to the end, then you may believe that Karlach deserved better.
If you’ve not yet reached the end of the game, don’t read on unless you don’t mind seeing spoilers. There’s no denying how great the DnD game is, which our Baldur’s Gate 3 review further details, but a lot of players are disappointed by some of the characters’ endings. Such fans have been posting on Larian Studios’ forums and other social media, sharing what they thought the game did extremely well and how they wished certain conclusions could’ve played out.
According to these posts, one Baldur’s Gate 3 companion that deserves a better ending, in particular, is Karlach. Yes, the ever-bubbly yet dangerous Karlach. She’s a giant, but a gentle one at that, and we all love her for it. Unfortunately, Karlach comes with a bit of baggage just like the other companions. In her case, though, there’s no ‘good’ resolution at the end of the game.
While Gale gets his magic needs under control and Shadowheart overcomes lies, Karlach has to return to Avernus despite her wish to never do so. Her heart is simply too hot, and you can’t fix it. You cool it down temporarily, only to find out it will explode unless she goes back. The decision you’re given at the end is to go to Avernus with her, to let her go with Wyll, or to have her turn into a mind flayer.
None of those are ideal, right? As forum user ‘G4RIIK’ wrote, Karlach’s endings “seem to neglect many branches and leads that create or offer the possibility of saving and giving a happier ending to Karlach’s story.” The fan even offers alternate possibilities, like a solution from the Gondians or the Steel Foundry. They also go on to mention how “Dammon claims to be hard at work on the next step, but this never pans out.”
While the overall story is very well-composed and thought out, players like the user on the Larian Studios forum offer some solid suggestions for the developer on how the game could possibly expand on Karlach’s story later on. As the mentioned poster wrote, “Larian created a character that many of us love for her bubbly attitude, positivity, prowess, and more.”
For those of you wondering about the ending where Karlach returns with the player to Avernus and how that isn’t the good one, the fan clarifies. To make it a more equal ending of sorts to the other companions’ though, they believe that there should be a plot point following the return to Avernus “that drives that home” instead of players “being left in the dark.”
Many other users responded, agreeing that Karlach deserves a brighter future during the Baldur’s Gate 3 endings. Personally, I can agree that I would’ve liked to see a bit of expansion on the story between the player’s character and her own despite the return to Avernus, but I also appreciate that Larian Studios couldn’t simply make it all happily ever after.
When you have a character as lovely as Karlach, what better way is there to invoke a player’s emotions than to force them to make a difficult decision about her future? I definitely see why the writers did this the way that they did, but it would definitely be cool nonetheless to see more choice given to players hoping for a happy Karlach ending. As the fan wrote themselves, “Larian, please consider this.”
If you also love Baldur’s Gate 3, especially Karlach, and want more content, then you should check out some of these other great Dungeons & Dragons games for similar fun. Alternatively, you can browse through a few of our explanations on each Baldur’s Gate 3 class if you’ve run into some trouble choosing which to choose in-game.