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Baldur’s Gate 3 Speedrunners Launch Shadowheart Across the Universe for New 4 Minute Record

Baldur’s Gate 3 Speedrunners Launch Shadowheart Across the universe

In the weeks since the release of Larian Studios’ critically acclaimed role-playing game Baldur’s Gate 3, speedrunners have been cutting down the time it takes to beat this grand adventure to a fraction of the expected time.

While a normal playthrough of Baldur’s Gate 3 takes an estimated 40 hours of game time to complete, speedrunners were able to cut that time down to a mere 9 minutes within two weeks of the game’s release.

That time has only been cut shorter as the days have passed, as popular speedrunner and Speedrun.com moderator Mae has decreased that time to less than 5 minutes!

This speedrunner was accomplished by taking advantage of a little-known bug in the game known as “Nodefling” as well as exploiting some of the game’s cutscene triggers.

Nodefling is a glitch that occurs when the player attempts to drag a container that has an opening/closing animation to an invalid position on the map and attempts to open it during the dragging animation.

Doing this causes the game to get confused and fling the container to the invalid position, ignoring any and all checks to see if the item can actually be moved there. To the human eye, it looks as if the container has teleported, but in actuality, it simply moved extremely fast.

There is no limit to where players can fling containers and items with this glitch, they can even move them through walls or across the entire map if they so choose.

In order to take advantage of this trick in the speedrun though, speedrunners need to also use some cutscene trigger manipulation via an oversight in the game’s code: dead party members can activate cutscenes.

During the speedrun, players will put their companion Shadowheart into a crate and then lightly said crate on fire. Then via Nodeflinging, they’ll launch that crate directly into the final area of Act 2. 

Once the crate has reached the room, it will break and leave the dead body of Shadowheart on the floor. Because dead party members can activate cutscenes, the end of Act 2 will begin to play.

However, because Shadowheart is dead, she cannot be the speaker in the cutscene, and instead, the player will be talking to their other companion: Gale. Because Gale has a special ending that ends the game before Act 3, this glitch effectively lets players skip two whole-thirds of the game.

The current world record for Baldur’s Gate 3’s any% category is 4 minutes and 15 seconds, a time that is destined to become even shorter as Speedrunners discover new tricks and glitches.

The Baldur’s Gate 3 speedrunning community is growing larger by the day to the point where multiple new routes are constantly being developed such as a “No Gale” category. As time progresses, gamers can eagerly anticipate more ways to enjoy this thrilling release.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is currently available to purchase on PC via Steam and GOG, PlayStation 5, and an Xbox Series S|X version of the game is slated to release in 2023, but no release date has been given.

Based in Pennsylvania, USA, Skeith has been a gamer for over two decades now and has decided to take pen to paper about it. Capable of playing games at incredible speeds, you can rely on them to write about them in record time.
Skeith Ruch
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