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Baldur’s Gate 3 players are speedrunning the ‘friends to lovers’ trope

Players are achieving impressive records in their quest for romantic glory.
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Baldur’s Gate 3 is a game ripe for speedrunning. While it boasts sweeping chapters littered with choices, it’s also a sandbox for action, with plenty of opportunity to jump off the beaten path and take shortcuts along the way. One player has reportedly managed to eclipse the entire 40+ hour game in just 10 minutes using a glitchy jump ability, and exploiting the secrets of origin character, Gale. Now, players are going for a range of other speedrunning records – including the record for fastest romances.

Amongst the Baldur’s Gate 3 speedrunning community, there is now an ongoing competition to see who can bed their favourite companion fastest. ‘Sex speedruns‘ are trending on Twitch and YouTube, with the current record apparently being just 7:54 minutes, as reported by Kotaku. This allowed time for player Mae to create their custom character – apologies for the name, but it’s ‘Gigachad Thundercock’ – and romance Lae’zel.

From game start to meeting time, you can see Mae defeat an array of enemies using high-powered attacks, and then take Lae-zel down to the Druid Grove, where they defeat an array of goblins. Lae’zel is treated to some respect by a Tiefling warrior, which she approves, and then the moment camp is set up, she’s keen to get down with Gigachad.

Read: Baldur’s Gate 3 Review – Glory, guts, and brain worms

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This record is now officially posted on SpeedRun.Com, counted under the Romance% label. Mae dominates the category, with just one other official entry vying for the Romance% crown MagsIsAwkward managed the same feat with Lae’zel in 17 minutes, 42 seconds.

Of the companions, she appears to be the most willing to initiate a relationship – which is unsurprising, given she’s incredibly forward with her dialogue, and will almost always proposition players either directly after a first meeting, or a few camping sessions in.

So far, no other companion romances appear to touch these records, with many of these characters being slightly more prudish, or requiring precise dialogue and in-game actions to take place before a romance is possible. In the GamesHub run with Baldur’s Gate 3, we managed to nab Astarion during the post-Druid Grove party – but our record certainly comes nowhere close to official speedruns.

As more players jump into Baldur’s Gate 3 and play around with what’s possible while adventuring, we expect new exploits for romances with Lae’zel and other characters to arise. With an official speedrun category now established, the race for the fastest romance is officially on.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is now available for PC via Steam. It launches for PlayStation 5 on 6 September 2023.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.