Baldur’s Gate 3 is a sprawling role-playing game that can take dozens of hours to complete, but some speedrunners have found a way to finish it in less than five minutes. The secret? Killing one of your companions, putting her body in a box, and shaking it until the game breaks.
The Shadowboxing Technique
The speedrunning technique, dubbed “Shadowboxing” by the community, involves exploiting a glitch that allows you to skip most of the game’s second act. The glitch was discovered by speedrunner Mae, who posted a video of their record-breaking run on YouTube.
The trick requires you to choose Gale as your main character and equip him with two spells: Enhance Leap and Feather Fall. These spells allow you to jump over obstacles and enemies and reach the end of the first act quickly. You also need to have Shadowheart in your party, as she is essential for the plot.
Once you reach the second act, you need to kill Shadowheart and loot her body. Then, you need to find a crate or a chest and put her corpse inside. For some reason, this causes the game to malfunction and teleport you to the final boss area of the act.
The Chest Bomb Ending
But how do you defeat the final boss with a level one character and no allies? You don’t. You just use another exploit that triggers a secret ending where Gale detonates his chest bomb and kills everyone.
Gale is a wizard who has a powerful artifact embedded in his chest that can explode at any moment. If you talk to him at the end of the second act, he will ask you to help him find a way to remove it. However, if you ignore him and enter the final boss area, he will get angry and set off the bomb, ending the game prematurely.
This ending is considered valid for speedrunning purposes, as it shows the credits and counts as a completion. However, it is not the intended way to finish the game, as it skips most of the story and content.
A Temporary Record
Mae’s run is currently the fastest recorded time for Baldur’s Gate 3 Any%, which means completing the game with any ending and any rules. However, it is likely that this record will not last long, as Larian Studios, the developers of the game, are constantly patching out glitches and exploits.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is still in early access, which means that it is not fully finished and may contain bugs and errors. The game is expected to receive more updates and content in the future, which may change or improve the speedrunning scene.
For now, though, Mae can enjoy their achievement of beating Baldur’s Gate 3 in less than five minutes with a dead companion and a box.