We all know by now that Baldur's Gate 3 is a huge game, but weeks after release I'm still surprised not just by how much good stuff I've seen, but how equally much I've missed. It speaks to Larian's confidence in its breadth of stories that it's so easy to choose dialogue or take routes that lock off entire chunks of the game, not least of which the stories of its six core companions.
Note: Act 1 spoilers below.
For me, that was the Githyanki Creche. I took the Underdark and never looked back, and in taking that path I apparently missed the chance to witness this rare "Astarion being Astarion" moment, as shared by user gokkyun on the BG3 subreddit.
"What in the sweet hells were you THINKING activating that lance, I was right there!" Astarion yells with justified indignance.
The exchange, I'm learning, concerns the choice to activate the solar lance at the conclusion of the Githyanki Creche storyline. I don't know the details, but it's apparently possible to just disable the imposing superweapon, or at least get your companions out of harm's way. Since this was redditor gokkyun's second run through the Creche, they decided to see what'd happen if they let our favorite bloodsucker die in the action and then bring him back. He's pretty pissed about it, unsurprisingly.
"Next time? No no no, if there is a 'next time' I'll be the one aiming the all-powerful weapon." he continues. "Although, I do appreciate you trying to fix your mistake, just don't do it again!"
Quotes don't really do the humor of the scene justice—Astarion actor Neil Newbon delivers it with the perfect amount of rageful snark for a best friend who carelessly got you hurt, and Larian's expressive motion capture matches his heat throughout. I'm not sure I would've ever had the heart to get my vampire buddy killed on purpose, so I'm glad someone shared this moment. It's easy to play so much BG3 that its quality roleplaying starts to become ordinary, but dive into another big-budget RPG and you're reminded that plenty of games are well-written, have meaningful choices, and look great, but very few have all of those qualities at once.
I'm starting to wish I'd taken that Mountain Pass that leads to the Creche back in Act 1. No disrespect to the Underdark, but all this Solar Lance business sounds pretty cool. There's apparently nothing stopping you from backtracking to explore both areas on the same playthrough, you just have to make sure not to continue into the Act 2 zone before doing so.