I had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with Amelia Tyler, the voice of Baldur's Gate 3's narrator, earlier this week. While we talked at length about the Dark Urge, I also couldn't pass up the opportunity to ask her about her favourite lines. Which, in retrospect, is a big ask.
"There are a lot of words in this game," she reminds me, like I'd just asked her to pick out her favourite grains of sand in a desert. "Some of them have four apostrophes, and that's fine … as far as favourite lines are concerned, everybody's favourite thing is 'Authority'," she says, which plays whenever your Tav wields their mindflayer parasite to make others bend the knee. "I very much enjoy that I have a 'word' now."
As far as her personal picks go, though: "There are some very sassy gravestones in Baldur's Gate 3 which I really enjoy. It takes us a specific amount of bitterness to carve an insult into stone, knowing that's how that person is going to be remembered for the rest of history … 'May the crows use this grave as a privy' is just mwah.'"
When it comes to the game's more mournful moments, though, Tyler points to Act 2. "There are shadow vestiges, like—memories of people, in Act 2… I really enjoyed those, because I got to go full-on into that melancholy tone," she says, referring to the shadow-cursed victims you slay, which sometimes leave vestiges behind which give a glimpse into the lives they once led.
"You get it all the time in games where you kill a whole bunch of people and then you progress to the next level. You never think about 'well that was Colin, the baker that you just murdered', he had a life and a family and his cat's not going to get fed tonight. I love giving that little bit of extra depth that brought those NPCs into reality a bit more… It's kind of fascinating as an acting exercise as well, like, can you encapsulate an entire person's life in one paragraph?"
We also got talking about Terry Pratchett, a prolific fantasy author who was famous for the Discworld series especially. "I particularly enjoyed the [lines] where it goes full-on Terry Pratchett. Like: 'Tongs! A wide variety of tongs' [or] 'The sheep stares at you with unsettling malice' … I love those little twinges of comedy, 'cause I grew up on Terry Pratchett."
We talk a little about contrast in storytelling, the kind Pratchett wielded: sincerity in one hand, joy in the other. It's not just present in Baldur's Gate 3, though—it emerges naturally during most Dungeons & Dragons games as well. Ask anyone that's been in the hobby long enough, and they'll have stories about moments of emotion that surprised them, as well as times where they bust a gut laughing with their mates.
"If the whole game was one tone, it would get very, very boring and it wouldn't be reflective of what a D&D game is. There are those sessions that are just combat start to finish, [but then] you have your comedic shopping episodes. It feels very accurate as an experience as to what a D&D game is."
Ultimately, I just think it's heartwarming to hear that Tyler—despite having voiced an absurd amount of Baldur's Gate 3's massive script—still found joy in really specific moments. I think she's right, too. The typical goofy Larianisms give a nice contrast to the game's more serious moments and themes—themes which it's not afraid to shy away from, as I discussed with Astarion's voice actor back in August. And considering the breadth of work Tyler's had to narrate, she's seen it all.