Lae'zel all bloodied up and about to look over her shoulder in Baldur's Gate 3.

All I’m Saying Is This Act 3 ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’ Puzzle Should’ve Been an Achievement

Call it the sea air, but I'm still salty.

Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a variety of fun achievements for people who value the story and those who value exploring. However, Larian Studios missed the mark by not rewarding players who completed Act 3’s difficult mission with flying colors, with everyone alive at the end.

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**Spoilers for Act 3 of BG3, specifically missions in involving the Iron Throne**

For a game with a lot of freedom and adventuring, there are also a lot of prisons you and your allies can find yourself in. If you end up in one of the game’s four prisons and break out, you’ll earn the achievement Escapologist. Additionally, unless you’ve managed to kill enough people to never get this mission, Act 2 offers a side quest to free some allies at Moonrise Towers. Getting them all to safety in a single playthrough earns you the achievement Under Lock and Key. So color me surprised when, upon completing one of the hardest prison breaks and side quests in the game, I don’t get that little achievement sound and notification!

The convergence of the side quests Save the Gondians, Retrieve Omeluum, Rescue the Grand Duke, and Avenge the Drowned (sort of) will lead you to the Iron Throne. In the basement of Flymm Cargo in the lower city is a Gold Dwarf called Redhammer. After a threateningly persuasive conversation, he will take you to an underwater prison owned by one of the main three baddies, Gortash, via submersible. During the descent to the Iron Throne, Gortash will warn you there’s no turning back if you keep going. There’s no way to go forward into the mission without pissing him off, so hit F5 for a quick save and pick your favorite aggressive response.

Under the sea we’re off the hook

Redhammer steering a submarine into an underwater prison.
(Larian Studios)

In the Iron Throne, I found the Duke of Ravenguard and over a dozen Gondians held captive. Suddenly, Omeluum revealed to me via telepathy of his containment in this prison, too. However, he urged me to focus on rescuing the Duke before saving anyone else, including him. Because my Tav valued her Dark Urge redemption arc, she ignored Omeluum’s demands. (Also, Blurg needs Omeluum’s tentacled face!) Even spread out across the prison, getting everyone out amid the endless wave of Sahuagin spawns wasn’t the issue. It was that, in Classic, Gortash set the Iron Throne to self-destruct in six turns!

Still, I played this section over and over again until I got every single person out of that prison. If you’re here for a guide on how to do this, sorry, you’re out of luck. It was a combination of trial and error, strategy, and a bit of luck that allowed me to save everyone.

You don’t need a particular combination of companions, but I brought my main three: Astarion, Halsin, and Bae’zel. The first two went south together, and Lae’zel sprinted west. Heading east, my Tav rescued the Duke and dealt with the she-devil, Miroza, who popped up to make things worse. Many people shared online that Potion(s) of Speed helped them with this quest, which sounds brilliant! It just never crossed my mind. However, I did summon two sets of Mage hands to pull the levers. Plus Fork, my Quasit, joined the fight with me. While not easy, there are countless ways to solve this puzzle and rescue everyone.

Everyone in Redhammer's submarine heading to the surface.
(Larian Studios)

By the end, everyone had their butt in a seat or at least was standing in the submersible. After we rose to the surface, I handed over the navigator, Redhammer, to the Umberlee, as previously promised during Avenge the Drowned. The water-worshippers gifted me a sexy scale gown TikTok had me ogling for weeks. Then, I followed up with Omeluum in the Society of Brilliance to see him and a “friend,” Blurg, reunited. You can collect a reward, but it’s just cute to see them together.

It was disappointing to get to the end and not have that little 64×64 pixel achievement pop up on Steam. Is that too much to ask? It’s not like I think I’m going to 100% this game. Still, after this mission, it felt like a prison break achievement was missing, especially when players could earn one for an easier mission previously. All in all, I’m not super upset, because this was still one of the most fun missions in Act 3. Hell, it was probably among the most thrilling challenges in the entire game. And, because I quick saved, I can now revisit the puzzle anytime I want!

(featured image: Larian Studios/screencap by Alyssa Shotwell)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.