If you’ve played Baldur’s Gate 3 in early access, you’ve probably met Halsin, the Druid companion who can transform into a bear that you can recruit as a party member. He’s also a romance option, and that transformation comes into play when you’re getting down and dirty with him. And I was not prepared for the direction the scene would go when Larian Studios showcased it during its final Panel From Hell presentation.
During the showcase, the team specifically highlighted romance, showcasing specific scenes as well as talking about how these relationships will unfold over the course of the very long RPG. There are multiple romance options, and each love story will take you down different paths. Some storylines will feature or allow for polyamory, others may have unhappy endings that can end with you being sacrificed to a demon. But those are broad strokes. The notable parts of the presentation were two scenes Larian showed off during the show.
The first scene shown was an adorable dinner date with Karlach, a Tiefling Barbarian. Unlike what would come after, it was incredibly sweet and had everyone in the audience saying “aww.” However, the stream took a hard left turn when it pivoted to the romance scene with Halsin. The exchange starts normal enough. The player (controlling the vampire Astarion as their main character), approaches Halsin in a discrete area of the woods. As things start to get hot and heavy, he strips and things seem to be taking their natural course. Then, Halsin loses control of himself and transforms into his bear form. He quickly reverts to human forms and apologizes. Sometimes this happens when he’s giving in to his base desires.
Depending on the dialogue choice you make, you can break things off with him here, reassure him things are okay and proceed as planned, or…you can tell him you like it. During the presentation, Larian was letting the live audience make decisions for the dialogue they would pick and demonstrate on stream, and they found the bear form tantalizing and encouraged Halsin to turn back. It took some persuasion, and Halsin said that…size might be a concern. Nevertheless, they persisted, and Baldur’s Gate 3 let Astarion fuck a bear on stream.
Near the end of the presentation during a collector’s edition unboxing, studio founder Swen Vincke informed the room the scene got the studio banned on TikTok.
There’s apparently more to the scene that was deemed not safe for the stream itself, so if someone wants to follow that to its natural conclusion, they’ll be able to when Baldur’s Gate 3 launches on PC on August 3. However, PlayStation 5 players will have to wait until September 6.