Today’s Panel From Hell: Release Showcase marks the final chaotic live update show from Larian Studios before the launch of Baldur’s Gate 3 on August 3. Streamed live from a medieval abbey with all the camp of a community theater production, the final Panel From Hell dives deep into everything from a customizable serial killer protagonist, to the importance of character identity, to the ability to wildshape into a dinosaur.
The Dark Urge
Over the past three weeks, Larian has left a breadcrumb trail of clues leading to the reveal of their final playable Origin character in the community-driven murder mystery Blood in Baldur’s Gate. While the community was ultimately murdered themselves, their last waking moments revealed their brutal killer and his mysterious companion: their murderer is the final playable Origin hero Dark Urge, by default an imposing dragonborn with alabaster skin and eyes that glare with the piercing gaze of a predator.
Unlike Baldur’s Gate 3’s other playable protagonists (Origins), the Dark Urge is a fully customizable character. Their class, appearance, species and gender are completely up to you – after all, evil can reside within anyone, irrespective of how they appear.
Stepping into the role of the Dark Urge, you’ll begin Baldur’s Gate 3 with your memory lost after an unfortunate encounter between a parasitic tadpole and your brain. Now all that’s left is an insatiable urge – an urge that makes itself known in your subconscious, through your deepest thoughts and in your dialogue options.
Followers of Blood in Baldur’s Gate will already be familiar with the Dark Urge’s simple but effective modus operandi: to murder brutally and indiscriminately. Driven to commit some of the most lurid acts of violence that you’ll encounter in the game, to play as the Dark Urge means to either indulge your most depraved impulses or attempt to resist them.
The Dark Urge is guided by Sceleritas Fel, voiced by Brian Bowles (narrator in Divinity: Original Sin 2). Fel is a vile and loyal servant who lives only to see the Dark Urge return to its rightful, bloodstained path. His words of encouragement are like a poison in your mind, fueling your impulses – but it’s a poison that tastes like honey, if you’re so inclined.
Despite your impulses as the Dark Urge, you are still a member of an adventuring party facing an arduous journey to Baldur’s Gate. Your party, in spite of your urges, will do its best to be there for you. For those party members you grow closest to, you can still form relationships and romances – but how they manifest compared to the others, however, is a tale only you can tell.
Orin the Red
Following earlier reveals of Lord Enver Gortash (Jason Isaacs) and General Ketheric Thorm (J.K. Simmons) as two of Baldur’s Gate 3’s central antagonists, today’s stream sees the reveal of the third and final antagonist: Orin the Red (Maggie Robertson), a shapeshifting murderess with the goal of painting the city of Baldur’s Gate in blood.
You’ll meet Orin soon enough, but how and when will be up to her.
Character identity is at the center of Baldur’s Gate 3, and its character creator allows customization of everything from your protagonist’s appearance to their stats and background – whether your protagonist be hero, villain, or Ed Sharran, a simple bard traveling the roads of Faerûn with his trusty lute and a barely-concealed inner darkness that gnaws and festers, demanding release – the character creator provides a lot of room for expression.
At launch, players will get to experiment with even more ways to create diverse, personalized characters:
- New skin options like freckles, vitiligo, scars
- New tattoo designs
- Lip makeup customization
- Accessories like earrings and piercings
- Horn color customization for Tieflings
Adventurers need not be slim or youthful – the addition of an age slider will allow you to create an older protagonist, and strong body types allow for larger body sizes across all genders.
“Have you ever considered the joys and pleasures of sexual congress with a wildshaped Druid?” asked Adam Smith, lead writer. “Because at Larian, we have, and ultimately landed on the side of giving the people what they want: tender, consensual romance with a man temporarily transformed into a grizzly bear.”
Baldur’s Gate 3 offers ample opportunities for romance with the characters you’ll grow closest with, and no two relationships follow the same formula. Emotional intimacy with one party member may slowly bud into mutual physical desire with one party member, while a relationship that begins with a night of post-Goblin-slaughtering passion could also blossom into something vulnerable and sweet, given proper care.
Today’s Panel From Hell introduces players to a few romantic potentialities, but there’s no shortage of relationships to explore and allies to smooch when Baldur’s Gate 3 releases August 3 on PC and September 6 on PlayStation 5.