Baldur's Gate 3: How To Beat Commander Zhalk In The Prologue

At the end of the Baldur's Gate 3 prologue you encounter a fiend called Commander Zhalk. The game wants you to walk past Zhalk and interact with an object behind him. But if you love a challenge (and loot) you can make it harder for yourself and try and kill Commander Zhalk instead. Here's how.

Baldurs Gate 3 Commander Zhalk
Baldurs Gate 3: Commander Zhalk. | © Larian Studio

In the prologue of Baldur's Gate 3, you will come up against an optional bossfight: Commander Zhalk. The game wants you to run past Commander Zhalk, who is already fighting a Mindflayer, so that you can interact with the console at the back of the room. If you do interact with the console then the whole prologue concludes and the fight is "skipped".

However, you can kill Commander Zhalk if you want, but it's tough and will require you to be using one of the best classes in BG3. Don't even think about trying to do this with a class like the Monk.

If you are interested in taking on this optional bossfight, you can find a guide to defeating Commander Zhalk below. Enjoy!

  • Commander Zhalk is an absurdly hard level-1 boss, although he still can't hold a candle to the iconic Bugbear Klarg from the 5th Edition Starter Set!

How To Defeat Commander Zhalk In Baldur's Gate 3

Defeating Commander Zhalk will take a few quickload's but it can be done if you follow these steps:

  1. Make sure to have Lae'zel AND Shadowheart join the party before the boss fight (here's a guide on how to free Shadowheart).
  2. Before entering the bossfight room collect the green explosives from around the ship (they are littered on the floor, they look like lanterns, they glow green, and they explode - hard to miss).
  3. Enter the helm and begin the bossfight by dealing with the mobs first, but only use basic attacks and cantrips. Save spell slots for later.
  4. Once you've dealt with the mobs you can move your party to be within range of Commander Zhalk. He will not attack you as long as the Mindflayer is alive.
  5. Now drop a save at this point, with all your spell slots and health, and in position to begin attaching Commander Zhalk.
  6. Use each member of the party like this:
    1. Lae'zel: This boss has a high AC and Lae'zel will sadly miss a lot of her attacks, but you can use her to throw the explosives you will have found on the ship.
    2. Shadowheart: As a Cleric, Shadowheart can heal the Mindflayer with cure wounds and keep him fighting against Commander Zhalk for a little longer. This is actually huge, because the Mindflayer will do the best damage to Commander Zhalk. (Depending on your class, you might need a bit more damage, in which case use one of Shadowheart's spell slots to cast Inflict Wounds on Zhalk - if you miss, quickload and try until you land a good Inflict Wounds cast).
    3. Your Character: You will need to do either do a good chunk of damage, or apply a status that prevents Commander Zhalk from fighting (depending on your class). If you are doing damage try and avoid Slashing, Piercing, Bludgeoning, Fire, Lightning, Cold, and Poison, he has resistances to all of these damage types.

If you have that quicksave and you follow these guidelines, you can kill Commander Zhalk. It will definitely take a few goes (if not dozens) but it's absolutely possible.

Loot From Commander Zhalk

You can loot Commander Zhalk for the Everburn Blade once you have defeated him. This is a two-handed martial weapon, basically a greatsword, which is worth 240 GP and does an additional 1D4 fire damage with every hit. It's certainly a strong weapon for Level-1.

Good luck defeating Commander Zhalk!

Well done on defeating Zhalk, perhaps to celebrate...

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