Baldur’s Gate 3 was in development for a long time, resulting in a ton of ideas getting partially developed before getting cut. Surprisingly, one of the major things left on the cutting room floor was an entirely different ending for fan-favorite companion Karlach.
Fans of Larian’s massive RPG know that Karlach has a pretty tragic backstory. The Tiefling Barbarian ran away from Avernus to avoid a life of war and tragedy. However, this resulted in damaging her infernal engine and she seeks the player’s help to repair it.
Karlach has three different endings in Baldur’s Gate 3 and they’re all pretty depressing. While the player’s actions can make things slightly better, Karlach just doesn’t have a happy ending in the story. At least until fans in the game’s subreddit datamined the RPG and uncovered a much happier ending for the Tiefling.
MAJOR BALDUR’S GATE 3 SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT
Dataminers have uncovered an ending where Karlach gets to have her infernal engine fixed and live a happy life with the player’s party. Apparently, this ending was fully-voiced with most of the animations being complete.
Unfortunately, players could only trigger this if the Upper City portion stayed in the game. Larian completely cut out that part of the RPG, resulting in her happy ending getting scrapped. Now, all players can do is be there for Karlach when she goes through one of her three depressing endings.
Karlach can go back to Avernus, the wartorn land she worked so hard to escape from, so she can live, even though she hates it there. She can also turn into an Illithid to stop Netherbrain but this results in her personality completely changing, so players lose the character they love. Finally, Karlach can accept her fate and die a hero, which is arguably her “best” ending but still really sad.
There was a lot of cut content in Baldur’s Gate 3, including a D&D-accurate “exhaustion” mechanic. But that doesn’t compare to this ending for Karlach, which is much better than what’s currently in the game. It’s sad to see her character go like this, though some would argue her tragedy defines who she is.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is available now on PC, with the PS5 version coming out on September 6.