Baldur’s Gate 3 is the video game equivalent of one of those school rulers that says “shatter resistant” on it. Because it makes a point of how flexible it is, all the rowdy schoolkids immediately want to see exactly how far it will bend before it breaks. Hiding from teacher at the back of the class, YouTuber Proxy Gate Tactician decided to fold the ruler in half and then sit on it by playing Baldur’s Gate 3 entirely as a party of cats.
This is theoretically possible because of the Druid class’ Wild Shape ability, letting those woodsy folk transform into a variety of animal forms including cats. Having already played 900 hours of BG3, Proxy decides to try running through the entire game in feline form, only leaving it when the game forces him to, such as during cutscenes or if he gets hit during combat. Moreover, any party members he recruits are multi-classed to use the Druid’s Wild Shape ability, meaning he must herd four cats through the entire game.
The result, as you might expect, is shenanigans galore. Cats, Proxy discovers, cannot talk to humans, are rubbish in combat, and can only jump about three feet. Not only does this mean Proxy cannot embark on many of the game’s quests, it also means deploying elaborate workarounds to most puzzles and combat scenarios. Two things BG3 cats can do is move stuff around, and meow to draw NPCs toward them. So to win his first combat encounter, Proxy uses his meow to draw all the enemies to the same location, builds a big stack of boxes to reach a large stone block dangling from a wooden crane, and then swipes at the rope with his claws, dropping the stone onto everyone beneath him.
Other techniques Proxy employs are what he dubs “cat bombs”, barrels he deploys in the game world and ignites using a candle, and enlisting the help of a myconid necromancer in the underdark. Eventually, he gains access to more powerful cat forms like a panther and a sabretooth tiger, making combat easier. But the playthrough was still by no means straightforward. Indeed, some solutions required a lot of brute forcing. In the shadowcursed lands, he has to drag the moonlight sceptre that stops you taking constant damage through the whole area, because cats cannot pick it up. He also spent three hours trying to get through the final door in the Gauntlet of Shar, as cats cannot access the gems required to open it. In the end, he got through by building a huge box ladder to go over the top of the door.
During the playthrough, Proxy noted some interesting observations. “When in cat form you only take 1 damage from falling no matter the height” he writes in a Reddit post discussing the playthrough, also adding that “Alert and Tavern Brawler both function while wildshaped and are very powerful upgrades.” What interests me most about this playthrough, though, is the different perspective it lends to the game. As a cat, proxy cannot talk to any humans, but he can talk to animals, meaning that, outside of moments when the game forces the plot upon you, the game is mostly about solving the personal problems of critters. Or not solving them, in some cases, when a blue jay asks Proxy for help in dealing with a pesky eagle, Proxy responds by murdering the blue jay because “all birds are enemies of cats. He should have learned that one back in bird school.”