Baldur’s Gate III is currently in development for modern systems, but it’s not the first attempt to create a third entry in the Baldur’s Gate series. A game called Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound was in development during the early ’00s, but it never saw the light of day.
Throne of Bhaal offered a definitive conclusion to the Bhaalspawn storyline, with the main character having reached epic levels and possibly attaining godhood. Fans wondered how this game would have continued the story of the Bhaalspawn, and the answer was simple – it wouldn’t have. Interplay lost the license to create Dungeons & Dragons games, but they could still release them under the Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale titles. As such, an unconnected game called The Black Hound was repurposed into the third Baldur’s Gate game, even though it had no connection to the previous titles, outside of sharing the same world.
The story of Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound is set in the Dalelands, which is near the east coast of the Forgotten Realms (as compared to Baldur’s Gate, which is on the west coast). The main character sets up camp one night while traveling and they’re caught up in a strange adventure. The camp is disturbed by a great black hound, which is followed by a female cleric named May Farrow, who kills the hound with an arrow. Riders from the Dales arrive and Farrow flees, leaving the main character to be interrogated. This sets them on the path to find Farrow and learn the truth about what happened, as they’re now being haunted by the spirit of the hound.
Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound was meant to use the (then) new third edition rules for Dungeons & Dragons. It was developed in the ill-fated Jefferson Engine, so it would have been a fully 3D game. The Jefferson Engine was also meant to be used for Fallout: Van Buren, which was another canceled game, but that was later reborn as Fallout: New Vegas. The intention was for Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound to be the start of a brand new trilogy, with Throne of Bhaal acting as the third entry/conclusion to the previous franchise.
The reason why Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound was canceled was due to Interplay losing the rights to the Baldur’s Gate name, which was followed by the closure of Black Isle Studios. Josh Sawyer would try to recreate the game as a module for Neverwinter Nights 2, but he has yet to finish it.
It sounded as if Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound had some interesting ideas, even if it wasn’t connected to the original game in any significant way. If things had turned out differently, it’s possible that the Baldur’s Gate name could have become a title for various Dungeons & Dragons video games and storylines that weren’t connected to the Bhaalspawn trilogy.
As it stands, Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound is one of the great untold stories in video game history.
Next: PC Requirements For Baldur’s Gate 3 Have Arrived
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