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Should You Consume Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Baldur’s Gate 3 forces players to make plenty of important choices throughout its seventy-five-hour campaign, ranging from influential narrative decisions to deciding what to do with the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens (Tadpoles) you find throughout the game from certain enemies. This article is here to help you determine if you should consume the Parasite Specimens in Baldur’s Gate 3.

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Should You Consume Parasite Specimens in Baldur’s Gate 3?

If you want to experience as many of the abilities in Baldur’s Gate 3 available, I recommend consuming/taking the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens. However, doing this has a few drawbacks, so be wary if you’d prefer to keep things safe for your first story playthrough.

Without venturing into spoiler territory, it is thought that you are safer to use the Tadpoles in the earlier stages of the game. While I’d recommend consuming Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens as early in the game as possible, using them has a negative consequence. With the notable exceptions of Asterion and Minthara, every companion on Baldur’s Gate 3 does not approve of you consuming Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens, so don’t expect to be able to romance the likes of Shadowheart or Gale if you do.

Related: How to Dual Wield in Baldur’s Gate 3

While most Mind-Flayer Parasite Specimens have the same effects, two have… unique properties worth considering. The first is the Astrial-touched Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen, which you receive near the beginning of Act Two. This special Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen will transform you into a pseudo-Mind-Flayer, giving you much greater bonuses than the basic variant. Still, it will also irrevocably alter your appearance by causing blackened veins to blossom across your face.

Once you near the end of Act III, you will receive an even more powerful version of the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen known as The Supreme Tadpole. Consuming this Tadpole has a massive impact on the ending of Baldur’s Gate III, and you probably won’t like the outcome if you haven’t liked your companions’ reaction to your gradual transformation into a Mind-Flayer.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3 – 9 Essential Beginner Tips

What Happens if You Consume the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens?

If you decide to consume the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens, you will get access to a new, unique skill tree known as the Illithid Powers. After using a Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen, you can upgrade these abilities by resting at your camp. This will cause you to dream of a mysterious being known as the Guardian, allowing you to upgrade your Illithid Powers.

These abilities can be highly beneficial and powerful, so players are rightly cautious of overusing them for fear of story implications. If you want more powers from the Illithid tree, you must first seek out more Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens. I recommend not overusing the Illithid Powers in your playthrough, especially since some companions won’t approve of those actions. However, you can rest assured that whichever decision you make regarding consuming the essential specimens in Baldur’s Gate 3 is safe.


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Gordon Bicker
Gordon is a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy, a Games Design (BA) Honours student, and a Video Game Ambassador. He has been writing at AOTF for over a year and a half, with four years of games writing experience for outlets like Green Man Gaming. When he's not busy, he'll no doubt be experiencing games, writing poetry, playing guitar, adventuring, or happily starting a new Skyrim playthrough! As an avid Final Fantasy XIV player, he also hopes that you'll gain a warm feeling from his community stories. Gordon has reported on Fallout 4 and Destiny 2, whose favorite genres include action RPGs, MMORPG's and First Person Shooters but is always experimenting with many other types of games.
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Drew Kopp
Drew Kopp has been a writer at Attack of the Fanboy for three months and has covered Baldur's Gate 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Ahsoka. He has a Bachelor's in Creative Writing and loves writing about indie games and celebrity gossip. When he isn't writing, he can be found reading fantasy books or rocking out as Bard in Dungeons & Dragons.
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