Finished making your character? It's time to jump into the first chapter of Baldur's Gate III with the first main story quest, Escape the Nautiloid. Below, you'll find a complete guide to finishing Escape the Nautiloid, along with tips on items to pick up and advice on how to get to grips with the game controls.
If you're struggling to get through this section of the game, take a look at our classes and subclasses hub for information on how to get the hang of your abilities.
Even if you've played a Barbarian in a Baldur's Gate game before, for example, it's good to brush up on how to use Rage mechanics and the best kinds of weapons to pick up before you get too far into the game. Character abilities and proficiencies are incredibly detailed in this game.
Escape the Nautiloid Walkthrough
After you finish building your character, picking your difficulty, and watching the introductory cutscenes, you'll be given control of your character for the first time.
Remember, you can change difficulty at any time during the game simply by hitting 'escape' and picking the 'difficulty' option from the main menu. Make sure to hit the 'confirm' button after picking your new difficulty level to save your changes.
You'll get a brief introduction to the camera controls to get you going. You can click the ground to move and interact with the world, and use WASD to move the camera around. To rotate the camera, you can use Q, E, and the middle mouse buttons.
To interact with objects, you can click on them or simply hover over them to see what they are. You will be able to attack some objects and loot others, along with a variety of other interactions like lockpicking or activating mechanisms.
Holding down the left alt button will highlight any lootable objects in the vicinity.
Take a Look Around
Before you start looking for a way to beat the Escape the Nautiloid quest, you should take a look around and get a feel for the controls.
Once you've got the hang of moving around and using the mini-map, check out the Nursery Pod in the middle of the room. This will be your first time doing an Investigation check, which will introduce you to the proficiency and dice mechanic.
After you've taken a look, check out the Restoration Chamber towards the north end of the room. This will restore any lost HP- you won't need it right now, but it's good to know what they do.
After that, head through the door marked Sphincter and keep an eye out for lootable chests. The door will open automatically when you approach it.
Keep an eye on the mini-map as you play through Baldur's Gate III. There are handy markers to help you keep tabs on directions and current objectives, and they're great for keeping you on track.
Leave the room and enter the main chamber. You'll start to hear an eerie, disembodied voice that begs you to help it as you walk into the main chamber.
The location of this voice is on the platform to the west of where you've walked in. Use the camera controls to pan over and click the right area to automatically move your character to the correct spot. You'll know you're in the right place when you see a person in a dentist's chair with no scalp.
Approaching the person with no scalp and clicking on them will start a cutscene.
To Help or Hinder
During this cutscene, you'll learn that the voice you're hearing is not the voice of the person in the chair. There's an Intellect Devourer inside their brain, who refers to themselves as Us.
The creature named Us is begging you to help them to save the ship and avoid enemies.
You'll be presented with a few options to choose from in order to deal with Us. You can choose to free the creature, remove them with brute force, or destroy them entirely. Make sure to look at the characteristics each option is associated with (e.g. Strength or Intellect) and pick one that aligns with your character's build for the best chance of rolling successfully.
Then, you'll be able to choose to free the creature entirely or injure them so they're more subservient. Your choice here will impact how Us interacts with you. Having the creature on your team can make the initial combat sequences on the ship much easier.
If you let Us live and don't harm them, they will be under the assumption that you're working together and ask you to get to the Helm to save the ship. The Intellect Devourer will join your team as a companion of sorts while you progress.
Get to the Helm
Your mission now is to get to the Helm with Us. Head down from the platform and outside into the outer area of the ship, using the Helm map marker on the mini-map to navigate west.
If you get lost using the mini-map, you can hit 'M' to open up the full size version of the map with all the markers. The map is very accurate- if you see something that looks like a path going towards your goal, chances are that there'll be a direct path for you to follow.
If you've chosen to let Us come with you, you can track them using the mini-map too. Allies are shown as blue dots. You can click ally portraits to take control of them and move them like your own character. If you click and drag the characters away from each other in the party screen, they'll stop moving as a group, but you can undo this by hitting the 'toggle group mode' or 'G' button.
Keep moving west down along the outer rim of the ship and avoid standing in the fire. There is fire damage in this game, it's not just there for a visual effect. Most of the things that you see in the environment (like ice, oil, or grease for example) can be interacted with.
You will be stopped by Lae'zel who is one of the Origin characters. She will begin to challenge you to a fight, calling you a Thrall, before the tadpoles in your eyes initiate a telepathic connection and stop her.
She will then realize that you're essentially on the same side and encourage you to keep pressing forwards to reach the Helm.
While speaking to Lae'zel, you'll be able to learn more about the tadpole creatures in your eye and what it means for you. This will highlight the urgency of finding a cure, in order to prevent being turned into a monster.
Squash the Imps
Before heading back inside the ship, you'll see a group of Imps feasting on some dead bodies. Entering the ship again will begin a battle.
This is the combat tutorial and it's pretty cohesive in terms of explaining how turns work, how to move, and the different kinds of abilities that you can use.
The turn order is determined by a random roll (unless you manage to surprise an enemy, which will come in handy later in the game) and characters have a finite amount of things they can do per turn, using an action and a bonus action. Each character also has a movement distance limit, which can be extended with a move like Dash.
Having Lae'zel and Us by your side for this battle does make it a lot easier, but it's still possible to die here. Make sure to think about your class and ability types, and how you can use the environment around you to your advantage.
Ranged attacks are absolutely the move here if you have access to them. Shooting the Imps with a bow and arrow can help to prevent them getting close enough to strike, and you can even dip an arrow into the nearby fire to add some extra power to your attack.
The Imps will favor the high ground in the middle of the room, so if you're struggling to hit them with ranged attacks then try to get one of the characters in your party to sneak up behind them.
Once you've beaten the Imps, save your game and loot the corpses. Then, it's time to get your party back into good condition and press on to the Helm.
Keep Heading Towards the Helm
If you were injured during the battle, look for a Restoration Chamber nearby before continuing. It'll look exactly like the one you encountered at the beginning of the game and will heal up your party.
Then, climb up both of the nearby Arterial Flesh segments to continue. They like a fleshy mesh ladder, which is just as delightful as it sounds.
Keep walking and you'll end up in a chamber with several unresponsive Cultists. They're not hostile, unless you hit the middle button on the nearby control panel.
This will initiate a battle with two Cultist enemies. It's decently simple to win this fight, especially with a ranged character, but it's a good example of how the game can sting you for clicking on random things without being sure of what you're doing.
The right hand button will simply execute the Cultists.
Make sure to keep hitting the left Alt button so you don't miss any lootables.
Unless you are playing as her, there's a pod in this room with a character named Shadowheart who sees you and starts screaming for help. This begins the Rescue the Ilithid's Captive side quest, but it's not a requirement and Lae'zel will encourage you to leave her behind.
If you do not rescue Shadowheart, this may affect your character interactions down the line.
It can be helpful to rescue her, so check out our guide on how to rescue Shadowheart and add her to your initial party on the Nautiloid.
If you choose to save Shadowheart, speak to her and then continue onwards towards the Helm.
Be mindful that the choices you make during conversation with characters can really impact your relationship with them, so if you're intending to start a relationship with one, choose things that you think they'll like.
Connect the Transponder, ASAP
Next, head south with your team and use the nearby Restoration Chamber if needed. Turn to the west and head down the chamber towards the Helm.
Here, you'll be greeted by a ferocious battle featuring a Mind Flayer- the very thing that the tadpole in your eye is trying to turn you into. The Mind Flayer is battling against Imps and an enemy named Commander Zhalk, who you'll need to bypass as he's far too strong.
The goal here is to get to the Helm of the Nautiloid and connect the Transponder nerves (by selecting the Transponder) in less than 15 moves. It's very achievable, but you'll need to be mindful of the Imps and their various attacks. Shadowheart's Guiding Bolt is incredibly powerful and worth using here.
Once you reach the Transponder console, the enemies will no longer be a concern.
This will initiate the end cutscene for the Prologue quest Escape the Nautiloid, sending your character spiraling towards the ground out of the ship, along with the other captives.
Next up, you'll need to look at the Finding a Cure mainline quest, along with various side quests like Explore the Ruins and recruitment missions for characters like Lae'zel and Astarion.
Up Next: How to Rescue Shadowheart
Top Guide Sections
- Beginner's Guide - Essential Tips and Tricks
- Things to Do First
- Things Baldur's Gate 3 Doesn't Tell You
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Baldur's Gate III