In defense of Baldur's Gate 3's Wyll, my new favorite 'human nice guy' RPG companion

Wyll smirking with blood on his face in Baldur's Gate 3.
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

I would say the most "Wyll" moment I've experienced in Baldur's Gate 3 was when I hit a big milestone in Karlach's personal quest and she basically all but told me there'd be a first big romance scene the next time I rested at camp. Of course I slammed that Long Rest button, but instead of being greeted by everybody's favorite tiefling, who I'd been pursuing to the exclusion of all the other companions, I got a cutscene of my guy walking in on goddamn Wyll practicing his ballroom dance moves alone. "Figured it was time to brush up on my skills," he told me with a grin. "I wouldn't want to fail my new partner." Oh brother!

With the patience of a saint, I humored my "I like you but not in that way" bud through the motions of that dance they do in like, Pride and Prejudice. You know the one, where they touch palms while giving each other the sizzle look, but chastely? It'd have been a really sweet scene if Wyll were the sad sack demon boy for me, but in my playthrough, it took on a hilarious different context.

Once he started getting fresh, I let him down gently and he still had the temerity to act like a kicked puppy. Baldur's Gate 3 and Wyll perfectly simulated the experience of being on a Netflix date with someone and having their roommate wander in and be like, "Oh, I love this episode, mind if I join you guys?" It's classic Wyll, and that's why I love him.

A history of goobers

Wyll is the paragon of "the nice guy human male companion you find early in the game." He is Carth Onasi-core, the grandson of all the Kaiden Alenkos you couldn't blow up on Virmire. I've always had a fondness for this RPG archetype, because, if I'm being honest, I probably am one. There are way more Jacob Taylors out there in the world than Thane Krioses.

This type of guy often gets put down by RPG fans: "Kaiden Alenko is boring, I'd rather hang out with JROTC reject Ashley Williams," they insist. "Carth whines too much, he needs to get over his dead wife and annoying son," they go on. Before ever booting up Dragon Age: Origins for myself, I distinctly remember Game Informer magazine awarding Alistair some kind of "Dork of the Year 2009" award.

(Image credit: BioWare)

Enough. These brave men have a critical mission. They are the sturdy white bread on which the spicy Italian deli meats of the rest of your party must lay. Every comedy duo needs a straight man, and every centuries-old dinosaur bounty hunter needs a guy from Vancouver who gets migraines to contrast with.


Baldur's Gate 3 guide: Everything you need
Baldur's Gate 3 Soul Coins: Find them all
Baldur's Gate 3 infernal iron: Karlach collectibles
Baldur's Gate 3 owlbear cub: Befriend the bird
Baldur's Gate 3 find Halsin: Where's the bear?
Baldur's Gate 3 defiled temple: Solve the moon puzzle

He's so bad at everything

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

What really sets Wyll over the top for me is how much Larian leaned into him being a massive putz, and also kind of a fraud. Wyll's not just a Neutral Good Human Fighter, he's a Neutral Good Human Warlock, one who traded his immortal soul for Eldritch Blasts (jury's still out on that deal).

But isn't that kind of relatable on its own? What would you give up to have super powers? I know Wyll has this tragic backstory and his hand was forced into becoming The Blade of Frontiers, but he's loving this shit. Wyll gets a kick out of brandishing his rapier all "En garde, my liege, you face the Blade of Frontiers," then telling a Tiefling kid that, actually, the real hero was on the inside all along. All of this goofy comic book Dudley Do-Right stuff while he's beholden to an infernal bureaucracy of eternal torment for his powers.

When you first meet Wyll, he's all in a lather to kill Karlach because his Nine Hells Gig Economy boss told him to, no details. If it came down to you or her, buddy, I know who I'm picking. I wasn't even the first party member he made a pass at: in exploration dialogue, he'll shoot his shot with Lae'zel, then Shadowheart (sometimes back-to-back), and only then does he try to pull the whole ballroom dance routine with me.

But isn't all that failure and embarrassment so relatable and memorable? Wyll's like a Venture Bros character transplanted into Baldur's Gate 3. He might not get all the fan cams or inspire a guerilla Tumblr blog following like Karlach or Astarion, but I love my fuckup demon boy bud all the same.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.