Baldur’s Gate 3: Escape the Nautiloid Quest Walkthrough

Escape the mindflayer ship to begin your grand adventure in Baldur's Gate 3.

Unlike most of the games, Baldur’s Gate 3 opening quest, Escape the Nautiloid, not only sets the stage for massive things to come but also teaches basic mechanics of the game in the same go. This quest serves as a prologue to the game.

Nautiloid is the Mind Flayers’ ship abducting residents of Baldur’s Gate without any discrimination and infecting them with mind-controlling parasites.

In this guide, we will take you on a journey that will help you understand the complex mechanics of Baldur’s Gate 3. The first sequence involves almost everything you will use later in the game. So, pay very close attention and begin this amazing journey spanning hundreds of hours with us.

How to start Escape the Nautiloid quest in Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 new game journey begins by introducing you to a cutscene. During this sequence, a Mind Flayer is shown infecting a Githyanki (Lae’zel) and the player with a mind-controlling parasite. This prompts you to create your own character by selecting the proper race and gender. Every race and class has its unique advantages and disadvantages, so we recommend that you just go with your gut feeling on this one.

This is followed by another cutscene when dragons and their Githyanki riders are attacking the Nautiloid. These riders put the whole ship ablaze and made the Nautiloid crash in the process. Once the cutscene is over, the Escape the Nautiloid quest begins automatically.

Help and Recruit an Intellect Devourer

As soon as you regain consciousness and control of your character, proceed North to pass through the door at (X: 25, Y: -423). Use the elevator in the next room to go down and then turn back to find a prisoner with an open skull in the chair. Talk to the brain (intellect devourer) and select the following dialogue options.

  • “Who am I talking to, a brain or a man?”
  • “I think you are past the point of saving. Tell me what to do?” 
  • “Gently Pries the brain from the skull.”

This is your first dice roll of Baldur’s Gate 3, requiring you to roll 10 or above.

  • “Spare the creature. Any injuries might kill it”.
  • “What’s at the helm?”
  • “Alright, let’s go”.

Recruit Lae’zel

The brain will grow legs and start following you as you slowly progress the Escape the Nautiloid quest in BG3. It also introduces itself as “Us”. Players can also use “Us” as a temporary companion.

Go down and loot everything in your sight. Follow the burning path that will lead you outside the Nautiloid. You will come across a gap you can cross using the jump ability from the skills menu.

At this point, you will be ambushed by a Githyanki Fighter, Lae’zel. She will think of you as a Ghaik and try to kill you. Upon your first encounter with Lae’zel, select the following dialogue options.

  • “Transform? What do you mean?”
  • “We are turning into mind flayers. There must be something we can do”.
  • “Who are you?”
  • “Is the helm our way out of here?”
  • “Onward, then”. 

She will join your party. As you move forward, the party will come across three imps. Follow the onscreen prompts to fight the imps and learn to use terrain, dice rolls, and weapons to your advantage.

Once you finish the battle, go to the helm of Nautiloid by going up the stairs to the left.

Save and recruit Shadowheart

Another cutscene triggers as you progress Escape the Nautiloid quest in BG3. Keep going up the stairs until you come across a mucus membrane at (X: -60, Y: -364). Destroy the membrane with any weapon and move forward.

Once you reach the room with a lot of bodies in chairs, interact with the pod to the left and select the following dialogue option when responding to Shadowheart’s call for help.

  • “I will go look around. There must be some way to open it”.

Proceed through the door to the north until you see another victim in the pod. Don’t interact with anything in this room until you obtain a key from the dead body. Now, interact with the console, and this will trigger a new cutscene. Return to the previous room and use the key to obtain some good items, including a rune.

Insert the rune inside the console to free Shadowheart unharmed. Select the following options.

  • “Place your hand on the console”.
  • “Will the pod to open”.

This requires you to roll a dice with 10 DC or above (intelligence check). When talking to Shadowheart, select the following options to successfully recruit her for the time being.

  • “Dangerous company’s what you need in a fight.”
  • “Alright then. Let’s get going”.
  • “Shadowheart? Unusual name”.
  • “Any suggestions for how to proceed?”
  • “Let’s keep going”.

Defeat Commander Zhalk and get the Everburn Blade

Pass through the door at (X: -4, Y: -384) and interact with the healing pod to the left to restore your health and spell slots. Turn right and keep going until you come across a battle sequence.

This is a very difficult combat sequence for beginners. Commander Zhalk is a level 8 cambion with 150HP. While this fight may seem impossible in the beginning, you can kill it by placing explosive canisters around him.

Hit them with a fire spell or ranged attack to deal massive damage to him. If he doesn’t die in that attempt, make sure to reload, as it will be impossible to land a hit on him due to his high Armor Class.

Beware of the Mind Flayer in the area, as it will attack you once Commander Zhalk is dead. Try to kill them both together. Once done, loot the Everburn Blade from Zhalk’s body.

You need to do this in a few turns, as Nautiloid will blow up after 10 turns. Make your way to the helm and connect the cables to stop the ship.

This will trigger another cutscene with you crashing on the Ravaged Beach. This marks the beginning of the grand adventure and end of the prologue known as Escape the Nautiloid in Baldur’s Gate 3.

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Usman is an Associate Editor at Segmentnext who is obsessed with retro gaming. His love for video games begins all the way back in 91 with Final Fight on arcades and is still going strong ...