A new image from Larian studios appears to unveil a new kind of Mind Flayer (or at least one that dresses extremely cool) in Baldur’s Gate III.
Check your mind for stray thoughts and half-heard whispers that urge you towards a place that seems at once alien and yet somehow familiar. Ignore those voices that command your obedience and encourage you to lure your weak-willed friends to unseen areas where their delicious brains can be feasted on, or the more useful of them turned into thralls to help advance the cause of the colony. After all, you’re human and have free will and needn’t worry about mind flayers.
Especially not the new one that Larian is teasing in an image released to IGN that shows a mind flayer floating psionically down the alien corridor of a nautiloid ship.
Now there are a few possibilities here, so let’s break down the image and see if we can figure out what’s going on. Let’s compare it to the Mind Flayer unveiled in the trailer:
Now it’s tentacles look long, but the new one seems to be extra glow-y. And it’s either wearing a very fancy collar, or it has some kind of fluted crest. If it’s a fancy outfit, it could be indicating that it’s a leader of sorts–but it also reminds me of the Ulitharid.
Ulitharids are tadpoles floating in the Elder Brain’s brine pool that grow up to become the most trusted servant of the mind flayer’s overmind. It’s usually entrusted with carrying out the Elder Brain’s wishes and, most importantly, establishing a new Mind Flayer colony. But, two things, while they’re wearing outfits that could easily be interpreted as less skeletal and more fluted crests and wings–Ulitharids have six tentacles.
It’s possible our shadowed friend up there has them hidden in those shadows. It’s also possible that this is some kind of mind flayer mutant. Those are known to happen, mind flayers are known for psionic experiments and twisting other creatures. Perhaps this is some creature that performed its own experiments, or mutated to become a mind flayer leader–or outcast–though it does seem like the Illithids are invading Baldur’s Gate in the game.
The other possibility, is that Larian is pulling something directly out of Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Specifically there are two magic items that could give our mind flayer friend his stylin’ silhouette. The first is a special suit of carapace armor:
This protects them from mind affecting spells and fear. Or, and this one feels a little more likely given the fact that our friend there appears to be on a mind flayer spaceship, it could be a survival mantle:
Whatever it ends up being–mind flayer mutant, new kind of special mind flayer, a look at one of the main villains in the game, or just a cool piece of D&D lore taken straight from the 5th Edition books and implemented in the game–we’re excited to see what Baldur’s Gate III has to offer.
What do you think this silhouette means? Let us know in the comments!