Like many Baldur’s Gate 3 players, I was instantly obsessed with Karlach’s whole tiefling muscle mommy deal from the moment I saw her. She’s bisexual bait, and the whole world knows it. I was immediately convinced that she would be my romantic partner in my first playthrough too, not because I was going to make it happen, but because I always roleplay as myself at first and I knew our personalities were a match.
Put it this way: she’s an aggressive, hot (literally), golden retriever type who seems to have unflappable optimism despite having seen and experienced unimaginable horrors. I’m an aggressive black cat type with a heart of gold despite my constant eye-rolling and snark. We’re a match made in heaven! People write fanfiction about our personality types. She’ll love me if I be myself, I thought, so off I went on my merry way to save my own life and get the red-skinned, devil-horned girl of my dreams while I’m at it.
Wait, Why Isn’t She In Love With Me?
Here’s a tangent that I swear has relevance to what I’m telling you about. When I was on vacation recently, I devoured all of Annie Ernaux’s Getting Lost, in which the author has a furious, passionate affair with a married Russian man (who is possibly a spy).
I wrote down 26 separate quotes from the book because I found it so emotionally resonant. I started to believe God was speaking to me through Ernaux’s words.
Ernaux is down bad for a man who does not care a lick about her, and it is both incredibly difficult to read and highly relatable. In my head, I am screaming, Annie, stand up girl, have some damn self-respect! And on the other hand, god, do I get it. Like Ernaux, I am a yearner. I believe in happiness, I wait and suffer, as she puts it. And when it comes to Karlach, I have been waiting and suffering. Even worse, after discussing it with my colleagues, it appears I have been waiting and suffering in vain.
You see, when my colleagues talk about romancing Karlach, it seems like nobody has had any trouble. “She came onto me with the force of a thousand suns,” Deputy Lead Guide Editor Ryan Bamsey told me as I lamented the firm platonicness of our relationship. “She loves me to bits, sorry Tessa,” Lead Features Editor Jade King said, somewhat smugly. I don’t know what I did wrong. I’m fairly sure I’ve never made a decision that Karlach disapproved of, simply by virtue of having similar morals to her.
What I think went wrong is… I just found her too late. Where most people were confessing their attraction to her and finding it reciprocated at the party after saving the grove, I hadn’t had her around long enough to curry favour with her. When I told her I liked her, she hit me with something along the lines of, “haha cool bro, keep it to yourself though”. Ever since, I’ve been chasing down every lead that would progress her story, flirting with her as much as possible, turning other companions down, just so I’ll have the slightest hint of a shot with her. I’m at the end of Act Two, and still no dice. I’ve turned into some kind of desperate simp, doing absolutely anything and everything for her on the off chance it makes her see me in a romantic light, and nothing is working.
I promise, in real life, I have self-respect and standards. I’m known to go the extra mile for the people I care about, romantic or otherwise, but I do not act like the love of one person, no matter how hot and dumb they are, will make me complete and whole. But in Baldur’s Gate 3, I am absolutely shattered that Karlach won’t look my way, despite everything I’m doing to make her proud of me. I hate to use this word, loaded with meaning as it is, but she has quite literally friendzoned me. I’m learning to deal with it, because I’m an adult who can take rejection, but I’m still sad about it. Everybody else’s come-ons feel like a sad second prize, in comparison. I just wish my crush liked me back.
Waiting For Larian’s Next Big Game To Leave Early Access Is Going To Kill Me
I waited three years for Baldur’s Gate 3 to emerge from early access. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold off that long next time.