When Baldur's Gate 3 launched last year, players were intrigued, amused, and occasionally bewildered by an unconventional feature: a bear sex scene that quickly became a talking point among the game's community. However, the game’s dedicated speedrunning community has since looked beyond the surface level novelty, uncovering practical and powerful applications for bears that have nothing to do with their initial romantic role.
At the forefront of these innovative strategies is a speedrunner known as Mae, who astoundingly completed all three acts of Baldur's Gate 3 in just 19 minutes and 20 seconds. This feat was made possible through a series of unconventional tactics that most players would never consider in a standard playthrough. Among the most eyebrow-raising strategies is placing the corpse of Shadowheart, one of the game's central characters, into a box for easier transportation and utilizing characters in bear form to gain a substantial combat advantage.
In the record-breaking speedrun, Mae transforms Shadowheart into a bear and then further empowers her with spells like Feather Fall and Enhance Leap. This combination drastically increases her air time and impact force, enabling Shadowheart to single-handedly take down some of the game’s most formidable adversaries. Ketheric Thorm, a significant boss in the second act of the game, falls prey to this approach which makes use of the bear’s enhanced abilities to devastating effect.
The strategy doesn't stop at brute force. Turning Shadowheart invisible as a bear adds an element of stealth, allowing her to navigate the battlefield undetected and unleash powerful attacks on unsuspecting enemies. This technique showcases a level of creativity and deep understanding of the game’s mechanics, exploiting them to turn cuddly creatures into one of the game’s most lethal assets.
The evolution of bear usage in Baldur's Gate 3 from a viral gimmick to a cornerstone of the fastest runs demonstrates the depth of both the game's combat system and the community's dedication to pushing it to its limits. As the game continues to mature and the community delves even deeper into its mechanics, who knows what other unconventional strategies will emerge. For now, bears hold the throne, offering both a lesson in creativity and a reminder of the unexpected turns video gaming can take.