I am, shall we say, a tad squeamish when it comes to body horror. Star Trek 2's disgusting brain grubs gave me nightmares for years as a child. I've generally avoided David Cronenberg's work like the plague. The less said about facehuggers the better.
I figured I was safe from such horrors in Baldur's Gate 3—an RPG set in the medieval fantasy genre, which is generally free of brain-eating parasites. But no, Baldur's Gate 3's main antagonists are Mind Flayers; and as I learned rather recently, their means of reproduction are not for the faint of heart. Naturally, the sadists at Larian decided to render it in loving detail in this brand new cinematic trailer.
In the opening cutscene, we see a Mind Flayer aboard a Nautiloid—an airship first introduced in Dungeons & Dragons' Spelljammer series (Larian CEO Swen Vincke says he's a huge fan of Spelljammer and is secretly trying to bring it back). The Mind Flayer intends to infect a captive Githyanki—one of several companions in Baldur's Gate 3—with a gross little worm called a tadpole. Given enough time, the tadpole with eat the Githyanki's brain and turn her into a new Mind Flayer. Gross.
I'm not gonna describe the rest of the sequence, because frankly I can't even watch it. Suffice it to say, it elicited some pretty loud groans of disgust from the assembled journalists at last week's Baldur's Gate 3 reveal event. Not sure why, but Larian seems really into embracing the body horror aspect of D&D; just look at the teaser trailer.
Thankfully, Baldur's Gate 3's opening cinematic gets into more comfortable territory after the extremely awful case of eye horror. Several dragons beam into attack the Nautiloid, and we get a thrilling chase through first a city, then snow-capped mountains as the Mind Flayer tries to escape. It's a gorgeous cinematic that brings to mind the best of Blizzard and Square Enix.
That bit with the tadpole, though? Yeah, no.
Anyway, pretty much the whole cast of Baldur's Gate 3 is infected with tadpoles, so I'm sure that there are more horrific visuals where that came from when it hits Steam Early Access later this year. The full game will be out on PC and Stadia in 2020.