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Baldur’s Gate 3: What to Do With the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens in BG3

There are Mind Flayer Parasites that you can find in Baldur's Gate 3, and here's how they work, and if you should use them.

There are several key items and resources you can locate as you play through Baldur’s Gate 3. Many of them are relatively straightforward, but not every item is precise in telling you how it works, such as the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens.

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The Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens are the tiny tadpoles you find scattered throughout the campaign while you play, and, depending on your choices, you might find more or less of them. These parasites come from anyone else that has also been infected by them. But what happens if you absorb and use these items on your characters? Here’s what you need to know about what you can do with the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Where to Find Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens in Baldur’s Gate 3

BG3 screenshot of a mind flayer parasite specimen found on a corpse
Screenshot by Gamepur

The Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens are quest items in Baldur’s Gate 3 as a part of the Embrace Your Potential quest given to you by the Dream Visitor and unlocks the ability to absorb parasites.

These Illithid parasite items mostly appear after defeating specific individuals in the game that have been infected with a tadpole. For example, the three goblins leaders in the goblin camp all have Mind Flayer Parasite inside their heads, and if you defeat them, you can acquire their parasite tadpoles and keep them for yourself.

Parasites begin to appear far more often as you reach Acts 2 and 3 in Baldur’s Gate 3. I found that as I reached Act 2, and explored Moonrise Tower, there are far more opportunities to acquire the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens, despite my character never wanting to use them.

Alternatively, if you have a specific playthrough in mind for your Baldur’s Gate 3 campaign, any party member that you eliminate rather than recruit will have one. A good example is Karlach, the tiefling you can recruit if you choose to side with her and convince Wyll that she is not a devil. However, if you decide to kill Karlach for the Paladins or for Wyll, you can acquire a Mind Flayer Parasite from Karlach.

All Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen Locations in BG3

Below you’ll find a list of the locations for all parasites you can absorb in BG3 that we know about:

Act 1

  • (X:-442, Y:-6): on a table in Nettie’s lab in the Druid Grove.
  • (X:141, Y:443): on Edowin near the Druid Grove.
  • (X:139, Y:444): on Gnoll Warlord Flind during the Find the Missing Shipment side quest.
  • (X:-297, Y:-21): on True Soul Gut in the Goblin Camp’s Shattered Sanctum.
  • (X:299, Y:41): on Dror Ragzlin in the Goblin Camp’s Shattered Sanctum.
  • (X:333, Y:46): on Minthara in the Goblin Camp’s Shattered Sanctum should you choose to aid Halsin and kill her instead of recruiting her.
  • (X:1293, Y:-812): there are three parasite specimens around the Zaith’isk device in the Infirmary of Creche Y’llek.
  • (X:-624, Y:320): on True Soul Nere in the Underdark’s Grymforge.

Act 2

  • (X:-66, Y:163): on Flaming Fist Marcus during your battle at the Last Light Inn.
  • (X:-216, Y:137): there are two parasites inside some barrels on a docked ship at the Moonrise Tower dockyard.
  • (X:628, Y:-92): on a corpse in the prisons of Moonrise Towers.
  • (X:-153, Y:-124): on Zealot Malik and Adept Merim at Moonrise Towers.
  • (X:70, Y:187): on Disciple Z’rell and Linsella at Moonrise Towers.
  • (X:679, Y:46): pass a perception check to grab a parasite from the Brine Pool in the Mind Flayer Colony.
  • Astral Prism: your Dream Visitor will give you a special Astral Tadpole parasite during the conclusion to Act 2.

Act 3

  • (X:44, Y:-36): on the Newborn Mindflayer in Rivington’s Abandoned Windmill.
  • (X:-223, Y:105): in a barrel on a northwest Rivington Beach.
  • (X:-217, Y:131): there are two parasites in the storage on the Stone Lord’s ship docked at the Rivington beach.
  • (X-8, Y-91): on a table in Sorcerous Sundries.
  • (X:0, Y:-132): on Avery Sonshal at Felogyr’s Fireworks.
  • (X:-100, Y:-11): on Manip Edenosa in Bloomridge Park.
  • (X:-30, Y:-116): two parasites on Lord Gortash’s parents, Sally and Dravo Flymm, in Flymm’s Cobblers.
  • (X-207, Y-87): on the second floor of The Lodge.
  • (X:-92, Y:-91): on a table in the Sanguine Laboratory.
  • (X-715, Y882): in High Security Safe n6 in the Counting House Vaults
  • (X:-2336, Y:-120): in the Blushing Mermaid’s basement.
  • (X:-202 Y:-125): there are six parasite that can be found on the ship in front of the Steel Watch Foundry.
  • (X:-225, Y:-161): on Churg Elvek in front of the Steel Watch Foundry.
  • (X:-1940, Y:447): on a desk in the Steel Watch Foundry’s lower lab.
  • (X:-45, Y:17): on a table near Omeluum in the Iron Throne.

There are certainly more Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens out there to be found. Be sure to check every nook, cranny, table, and corpse you come across in BG3 if you want to absorb all the parasites your party can handle.

How to Use the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimens in Baldur’s Gate 3?

BG3 screenshot of the dream visitor urging the player character to absorb a parasite
Screenshot by Gamepur

Like any quest item you find in Baldur’s Gate 3, you can interact with the Parasite Specimen from your character’s inventory. Holding it on your character won’t activate the item, but a cutscene will play out if you click on it as if it were a health potion or a scroll.

The narrator for Baldur’s Gate 3 will explain that it is a True Soul tadpole, similar to the one inside your head. If you choose, you can absorb the parasite tadpole to augment your powers, becoming stronger, and you’ll be able to tap into even more of your powers, unlocking them further. You have to choose to do this, or you can attempt to close your mind from the tadpole and refuse to use it.

Should You Use the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen in Baldur’s Gate 3?

The choice to absorb the Mind Flayer Parasites is entirely up to you, your Baldur’s Gate 3 party members, and how you want to take the campaign. In my current playthrough, I’m attempting to avoid using any of the powers as much as possible during story scenes, rolling against the tadpole, and not trusting the Guardian, who encourages us to use these powers and make them stronger. I don’t trust the Guardian and how these powers are unlocking.

However, it’s entirely optional. Larian Studios does encourage players to check out these powers and see if they want to explore them, but the choices are entirely up to everyone. The Illithid Powers that the Parasites unlock can, supposedly, be used for good, but there might be too many problems with them further in the campaign.

Mechanically speaking, there is no drawback to absorbing “normal” Illithid parasites. Absorbing parasites in BG3 won’t give you any kind of debuff or negative effects. But that doesn’t mean every character you meet will approve of your choice to snack on the occasional tadpole.

The choice is yours, but for anyone who wants to avoid becoming a Mind Flayer, not using the powers and absorbing the Mind Flayer Parasites in your Baldur’s Gate 3 game seems like a good idea. Eventually, you’re going to have the chance to evolve, offered by the character known as the Emperor, and you can unlock even more power Illithid Powers.

What Do You Get for Using the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen in Baldur’s Gate 3?

BG3 screenshot of the illithid powers brain skill tree
Screenshot by Gamepur

For anyone who chooses to give into the tadpole’s power during your Baldur’s Gate 3 campaign and begin to absorb the parasite specimen, this unlocks the Illithid Powers skill tree. You can only unlock his separate skill tree if you decide to consume parasites and start using them on your main character. If you want to open more of these skill trees and augment your powers, you’ll need to track down more of the parasites.

These powers add a variety of unique talents to your character. For example, one of the skills in the Illithid Powers tree is called Transfuse Health, and you sacrifice half of your remaining hit points to heal a target for the same amount. If your Baldur’s Gate 3 character has a good way of healing themselves, this could be a helpful way to heal weaker party members or other tanks in your party.

All these powers are optional, so don’t feel you might miss out on something in your Baldur’s Gate 3 campaign by not using them. For my playthrough, I’m planning to avoid them at all costs.

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Zack Palm
Zack Palm is the Senior Writer of Gamepur and has spent over five years covering video games, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Oregon State University. He spends his free time biking, running tabletop campaigns, and listening to heavy metal. His primary game beats are Pokémon Go, Destiny 2, Final Fantasy XIV, and any newly released title, and he finds it difficult to pull away from any Star Wars game.