Back in the early access of Baldur’s Gate 3, a player by the name of Solfalia wrote a heartfelt thank-you to Larian Studios. His father had been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and it was unlikely that he would be able to play the full game: “This is more than an Early Access for me, it’s another adventure I can go on with my old man and make some good memories.”
In a follow-up post on the game’s forums, Solfalia confirmed that he “did end up playing with him that Christmas, and it was good fun—we enjoyed remembering the old BG2 days and getting into trouble in the new one.”
What’s more, Solfalia explained that after his initial post, one of the writers from the game reached out: “It turns out my message had resonated with quite a few of you, as many of us have experienced the struggle of a family member with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and superwriter”—a name he chooses to respect the writer’s privacy—”was emailing me to ask if I would be open to having something included in the game to honour my father.”
Once the game launched, Solfalia asked where he could find the tribute, saying that he didn’t want to miss it during his playthrough. “I was expecting a mention in a random book, or a plaque, but I was secretly hoping for a NPC with a one-liner”—but it turns out that the superwriter had gone above and beyond.
They directed Solfalia to the home of one illithid hunter Golbraith, “where the mighty Golbraith Stredivas can be found. A mindflayer hunter of great renown, he has since retired and now spends his days writing—in the hopes of passing his knowledge on to future generations.” Journeying there, he discovered Golbraith not only had multiple lines of dialogue, but that the house was littered with heartfelt details.
“‘The stack of letters between Golbraith and his son put a lump in my throat.” I decided to boot up the game and head on over myself, having a save in the Lower City—the letters themselves simply read: “A bulging binder of correspondence between Golbraith and his son, lovingly preserved.” I also spoke with the NPC himself, whose words are deeply touching.
This was all confirmed recently by Rachel Quirke (a writer at Larian Studios) yesterday on Twitter, who wrote: “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when we read that letter … Really happy we got to honour the mighty mindflayer hunter.” Swen Vincke, the studio’s founder and CEO, also added: “They’re shit diseases. My father and my grandmother had Parkinson’s. Also, superwriter is an amazing human being”
When Solfalia had finished combing the house from top to bottom, he went to visit his father outside the Sword Coast. “He’s in a care home now, so can’t play the game, but he listened to my description with a child-like glee I haven’t seen in a while. He loved every moment of it. He loved the idea that his character has a monocle, and was proud his character has a secret cellar with weapons. He still talks about it from time to time during our weekly chats.”
“Thank you Larian. Truly. It was so much more than I was expecting, and was extremely touching. Both my Dad and me loved it.”