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Baldur's Gate 3

Mountain Pass or Underdark? Exploring Your Options in Baldur's Gate 3

Craig Robinson

After you rescue Halsin, and discover more about the plotline of the "Moonrise Towers" iconMoonrise Towers, the main POI in Act 2, you can find out more about pathways to reach that content. You have two options: either take the "Mountain Pass" iconMountain Pass or traverse the "Underdark" iconUnderdark for a way through the shadow-cursed lands. We are here to tell you the differences between the Mountain Pass and Underdark options, so you know which best to choose to navigate through.

Mountain Pass or Underdark: Which choice to go for in BG3?

Whether you choose Underdark or Mountain Pass, you’ll need to be careful of the darkness,

Before we go into detail, there’s some heavy and important content to note about leveling, optional areas, and other important information. As for each option to get into Act 2, we have the reasoning behind each option in their own related sections.

Once you’re at the point you can safely explore the second Act around level 5 or 6 you can make a decision. You can either take the Underpass or the Mountain Pass route to start Act 2. Each route has its own benefit when starting the second Act in relation to your position, and potential side content.

Taking The Mountain Pass Option in Baldur’s Gate 3

(1 of 2) Minthara tells you to play a Harp to summon a creature via the Mountain Pass to help you navigate the journey.

Minthara tells you to play a Harp to summon a creature via the Mountain Pass to help you navigate the journey. (left), Nere offers you a Lyre to play to get help from the Absolute Creature. (right)

If you side with the Absolute, you can take the Mountain Pass Route. Minthara is the Absolute Commander in the "Shattered Sanctum" iconShattered Sanctum, relating to the attack on the Druid Grove. If you defeat the Grove, and then manage to meet the dialogue checks after the long rest, she will tell you about a power to guide you through the Mountain Pass. She hands over an item called the Spider’s Lute for you to play. You can also access this if you side with Nere at the end of the Grymforge in the Underdark too. These options allow you to start at the start of the mountain pass, which you can access via the Goblin Camp route, where the three goblins are sat near the Trader’s caravan. Follow the Moutain Pass road and look for the gateway to the Shadow-Cursed lands. From there, follow the pathway down to a ruined building where you can find some Goblin and Absolute NPCS. Speak to the Half Orc, tell him you have the Spiders Harp, then play the instrument to summon your guide.

If you do this, you and your party are much better guarded against the Shadow Curse, and able to move much more freely around the Shadow-Cursed lands to get to Moonrise Tower. All of this is because of the monstrous power that either Minthara or Nere told you about that serves the Absolute and those who traverse the Mountains. There’s also much easier access to many side quests down here too. I suppose there’s a plus side to committing Faerûn war crimes.

Taking The Underdark Pass Option in Baldur’s Gate 3

Take the elevator in the Grymforge if you want to take the Underdark route to Act 2.

If you did not side with the Absolute, and the Druid Grove stands, then your best bet is to take the Underdark route. When you reach the Grymforge, you will find a stairwell near the dock that takes you to an Elevator. The Elevator will take you to the Shadow Cursed lands, but you will start very high up into the mountains, compared to the Mountain Pass option near the "Goblin Camp" iconGoblin Camp. You will find yourself through most of the brunt of the location, avoiding most of the related hazards. It means you are much closer to the Moonrise Towers, and of course, closer to the Moonrise Inn, where you meet Jaheira, someone that Halsin is also interested in.

However, taking this route means you don’t have an assisted light sources to protect you from the Shadow Curse. Instead, you will need to equip a character with a torch in their hand. This is the only way to ward off the Shadows after a certain point from the Underdark exit into the Mountains. You can also use some other spells like "Light" iconLight, and other such spells and cantrips to navigate more of the hazardous parts of the Shadow Curse.

So, if you take this option, be prepared to move your party slowly through the Shadow Curse lands so none of them fall out of the "Torch" iconTorch’s light range. Otherwise, you will be entering a lot of turn-based movement as you try to get your part back in sync.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Larian Studios
  • Platforms,
    Mac, PC, PS5, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Adventure, RPG
  • Guide Release
    6 April 2023
  • Last Updated
    14 June 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is an immersive roleplaying game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. It features a rich story with multiple outcomes for almost every encounter, and plenty of character customization features including more races, classes, subclasses and party combinations than you are ever likely to explore. The seemingly endless possibilities and numerous choices that you can make throughout your journey make a helping hand always welcome, and that’s where we come in! This guide features the following:

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