Love in Limbo: Navigating Gale’s Romance in Baldur’s Gate 3

Rushed romances in Baldur’s Gate 3. Gale vs Astarion.

Short Version (TL;DR): In Baldur’s Gate 3, playing as Faith, I experienced a game with initially rushed romances, especially with Gale. The game’s creator acknowledged the issue, attributing it to a bug and promising fixes. My interactions with Gale were friendly, but his romantic interest was unclear. During a pivotal celebration, I chose to be intimate with Astarion, leading to complications. Gale’s romantic progression felt unrealistic, as he expressed love when it suited him, raising questions about his motives. His character lacked development compared to other companions. Overall, the game highlighted the importance of realistic relationship development, and the development team is working to improve it through patches and updates

Act 1: The Horniness Bug

Baldur’s Gate 3, the highly-anticipated realm of adventure and intrigue, unfolded before me as I stepped into the shoes of Faith. In this ever-shifting world, where the journey leads to 17,000 possible destinies, the unexpected twists of romance played a central role.

From the very start, it was clear that the game’s approach to romance, particularly with Gale, was far from what was intended. Sven Vincke, the mastermind behind this digital realm, openly confessed that a peculiar bug had accelerated the pace of romantic connections. Characters found themselves entangled in amorous affairs far too soon, a departure from the original vision. The development team swiftly set to work rectifying these hasty entanglements.

Gale’s Underdeveloped Romance

Initially, Gale assumed a mentor role with my protagonist, Faith, teaching magic and discussing his past relationship with Mystra. During a lesson, Faith imagined innocuous hand-holding, not kissing. While surprised, Gale cited their mind flayer quest as an obstacle to romance.

In contrast, Astarion expressed clear carnal interest from the start. At the Tiefling party, Faith pursued a steamy encounter with casual fling Astarion, despite Gale’s high approval and unspoken affection.

Afterward, Gale showed no overt romantic interest. Perhaps shared adventures may have shifted this. But most nights he offered little interaction. Withers warned Faith about physical interactions distracting from their main quest. Mentioning Gale, when no intimacy occurred being him and Faith, signalled there might be a problem. This highlighted the game’s unrealistic instant “love” among companions.

These muted interactions made Gale’s later demands feel unfounded. After solidifying her romance with Astarion, Gale abruptly insisted Faith choose between them—an unrealistic expectation given his minimal prior romantic advances.

Astarion’s Natural Progression

Unlike Gale, Astarion’s romance built naturally. His initial fling with Faith arose from vampire self-preservation. As their trust grew, he opened up about past traumas. Milestones like expressing affection after gaining the freedom to make his own choices marked clear progression.

Specific interactions reveal Astarion’s gradual vulnerability—conversations about his sire’s abuse and his rising desire for change. Meanwhile, Gale reveals little beyond surface-level magic facts. This rich evolution makes Astarion’s romance feel earned.

Gale’s Static Character Arc

In Act 2, faced with possible death, Gale finally professes love, wanting one perfect night “like gods in the Weave.” But his love seems selfish – after 50 hours of play, this sudden confession timed with his sacrifice for Mystra rings hollow. His “last night” motive, his borrowed book words, his Waterdeep dream – Gale fixates on his desires over the player’s journey. No interaction shuffling can disguise this fundamental narrative flaw.

As Vincke notes, strong relationships take time. Gale’s rushed “love” broke immersion for many players. With 17,000 potential outcomes and endings for the game, it is understandable for the game to have some flaws. Larian Studios has been releases updates regularly addressing feedback and promise more natural, earned romance for companions like Gale moving forward.

 

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