Baldur's Gate 3 has had its dialogue datamined—by virtue of @roksik-dnd on Tumblr—and the community's been elbow-deep in the muck trying to discover the game's rarest voice clips. While that may seem overkill for a game that's been dissected for weeks already, the recent discovery of an ultra-rare fourth wall break has fans on the scent.
One player by the name of snowolf_16 on the Baldur's Gate 3 subreddit has found perhaps the saddest lines in the game. Spoilers, obviously—though I don't know who in their right mind would let this dark world exist or persist long enough to find them. Even that one horrifying 'everyone suffers' playthrough kept Scratch, the game's goodest boy, alive.
You see, if you throw Scratch's ball around in your party's camp, he'll actually play fetch with you. If Scratch is dead for whatever reason, Swen Vincke and his legion of writers will personally reach through your screen and tear your heart out of your chest. You might be asking yourself: "Well, it's just kicking around in the game's code. There's no guarantee that these lines are in the game."
Yes, yes they are, because I've irreversibly darkened my soul to test them. I loaded up my Paladin's old save, waited until Scratch was in a shaded corner, and ganked the best boy with a rapier so you didn't have to. It immediately, and deservedly, broke my paladin Oath. Don't say I never gave you anything. Also, don't look at the dog in the background. He's just sleeping. Everything's fine.
What's even more staggering is that every single companion has bespoke lines for something most players are never going to do. Here are some of my favourites from snowolf_16's collection. I didn't gather these myself, since I made it two lines into Shadowheart's mourning before I force quit in shame:
- Minthara: "Everyone assumes I killed the dog. I liked the dog."
- Minsc: "Scratch, come and... oh. How could I forget he was gone, Boo?"
- Astarion: "Does it have a sad squeak now? Is that even possible?"
- Gale: "I hope there's balls and bones galore, wherever you are…"
- Karlach: "Why am I doing this to myself?"
Me too, Karlach. Me too.
I don't know what the meeting looked like the day someone at Larian Studios sat down and presumably said: "We should punish players emotionally if they kill the dog with multiple, heart-shattering voice lines for every single character".
It would've been so straightforward to make Scratch immune to damage, or secretly a fey creature who cannot die, or something—it'd have even saved money. But no, these voice lines had to be in the game, and I had to test them. I had to, for the good of science—it was a necessary sacrifice, it was—excuse me, I need to go and donate to a dog shelter or something.