Baldur's Gate 3 has a new Gale-centric speedrun category that lets you 'beat' the game in 10 minutes by blowing yourself up

Gale the wizard grins
(Image credit: Larian)

Heads up—I'm about to get into some major spoilers for Act 2 of Baldur's Gate 3. There's no way to talk about this new bizarre speedrun category without getting arms-deep into Gale's backstory, and the optional ending it gives you.

See, our favourite Wizard has a problem. It's the source of his nasty magic-item chomping habit—he's got a magic nuke lodged in his chest, one he put there while attempting to impress his ex-wife. We've all been there.

At the start of Act 2, Gale gets informed that Mystra's happy to let bygones be bygones as long as he blows himself up to slay the Absolute. Get to the demi-god, let the magic inside him free, and become a hero—straightforward, and supremely messed up.

You get a chance to enact this dark timeline if you are playing Gale—or have him in your party—at the end of Act 2. The game's main three villains—Ketheric Thorm, Enver Gortash, and Orin—are all right there. As is the Absolute, which turns out to be a giant mind flayer brain with a crown stuck in it. 

They're all in the blast radius, making this a golden opportunity—but having Gale complete Mystra's design is a really bad idea. The Absolute's magic is all that's holding the Illithid tadpoles back from completing their transformation, meaning every true soul in the Sword Coast very quickly becomes an Illithid if Gale goes nuclear. 

This does, however, let you beat the game in 10 minutes. Routed by speedrunner Mae on Youtube, the world record—technically an "Any%" speedrun (referring to what percentage of the game has to be completed), can be watched below.

Over the course of 10 minutes, Gale the wizard hurls himself through the Forgotten Realms, skipping the first potential fight with Ketheric Thorm entirely with the use of Misty Step to sequence-break his way to the end of Act 2.

More on Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 guide: Everything you need
Baldur's Gate 3 tips: Be prepared
Baldur's Gate 3 classes: Which to choose
Baldur's Gate 3 multiclass builds: Coolest combos
Baldur's Gate 3 romance: Who to pursue
Baldur's Gate 3 co-op: How multiplayer works

The run otherwise makes use of a few key elements: firstly, Mae has Gale hit the gym in character creation, boosting his Strength to 17. Secondly, they grab the Enhanced Leap spell to cover tons of ground in a single bound. Shadowheart joins Gale's one-man leaping parade before the Mountain Pass for plot reasons, letting Mae make use of her Sanctuary spell to hop Gale past a few deadly encounters. 

Hilariously, Mae also strips Gale naked before entering the final chamber—this isn't a speedrun tactic, you just can't do anything while Gale's on the elevator, so you might as well. 

I can only imagine the horror these headlining villains must feel—they've plotted and schemed for years, gained control of an Elder Brain with a crown of potent magic, and poised themselves to take over the whole Sword Coast. Only for some dude they've never met to show up in his underwear, stab his breakup tattoo, and destroy everything. 

It's completely cartoonish—and not technically a good ending by any means. It is technically an ending, though, and Any% runs thrive on technicalities. Besides, a Wizard is never late, nor is he early—he arrives precisely when he means to. In his boxers, and with a city-wiping bomb in his clavicle.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.