Baldur's Gate 3's chaotic Dark Urge origin is 'potentially the most heroic playthrough,' says lead writer

Of all the origin character choices in Baldur's Gate 3, the Dark Urge is the weirdest. It isn't a character, really, but a state of mind. As the Dark Urge, you have no memories of your past at all, only a sense that you've done unspeakable things and that an unknown force within you wants you to continue spreading chaos and violence. Baldur's Gate 3's lead writer Adam Smith is currently playing his own Dark Urge character, and tells us that despite first impressions, this may be the most heroic of them all.

"I'm doing Dark Urge because I've done just about every combination of class, race, and background imaginable," Smith tells us during today's PC Gamer Chat Log podcast. He says he spent a lot of time playtesting the Dark Urge origin, too, but "never got to play it from beginning to end as a full, genuine true run without cheating."

Smith says he's all about roleplaying and loves the chaos of his Dark Urge Monk.

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

"I'm playing the Dark Urge who's resisting all the terrible things and is deeply regretful of all the terrible things that have happened," Smith says. I do love a tortured, remorseful hero.

And there are a lot urges he'll need to resist: One of the earliest things the Dark Urge can do is bite off Gale's arm instead of pulling him out of that magic portal you find him in. But Adam Smith doesn't want the Dark Urge to be misunderstood.

"When we first announced it, I was really desperate to try to tell people this isn't just the evil run," Smith tells us. It sure does feel like an evil run initially, from what I've seen, but Smith says that the Dark Urge has real potential for a good ending.

"To me—and I'll be as spoiler light as possible—the Dark Urge is potentially the most heroic playthrough, because resisting what's inside you and actually getting through that and surviving it with your friends alongside you still, most of them intact, is I think the most heroic version of the game."

"Potentially," Smith says, which I take to mean that yes you can absolutely play a chaotic awful Dark Urge all the way through to the end, but that if you're conscious and shrewd, those very urges may be what allows you to seal the deal on a good ending.

Personally, I'm nowhere near close to finishing the story as my non-Dark Urge character. If you are, and you're feeling spoilery and curious, check out our guide to the Baldur's Gate 3 endings. We've also not gotten through an entire Dark Urge run yet, mind, so maybe the best endings, if you believe Smith, are yet to be uncovered.


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Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor and Chief Minecraft Liker in 2021. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, multiplayer cryptids, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.