About a year ago, there was a trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. At that point, I decided it was finally time for me to play through The Witcher 2. Now, almost a year later, I can honestly say I’m impressed with myself. My attempt to play through this game survived several month-long breaks and I managed to complete it without restza
Tag: The Witcher Series
As expected, Chapter V of the Witcher felt far more linear and shorter than the earlier chapters. It was followed by a relatively quick epilogue and that was it.
I started out at the Dike, having to fight my way to the Old Town, where I met king Foltest and was taken to his palace. Once there, I was told I needed to free his daughter from the curse again and find some way of ending the conflict between the Scoia’tael and the Order of the Flaming Rose, which turned Vizima into a war zone.
While I was there, I managed to miss the last gambling quest. The gambler was the king, but when he offered me a match, I declined, hoping I could save my game first. Sadly, after the conversation, he wouldn’t talk to me any more. I guess I deserved it for trying to “cheat”.
I went back to the Old Town, where I cleared the area and met Shani and Kalkstein again. After that, I had to go out to the swamp graveyard. This was the large area of the chapter, with several smaller locations to explore and outlying areas to visit. I spent about an hour there, solving various quests, including the one which involved saving the princess again.
That one was a bit confusing. I got locked in the crypt with her, so I had to either kill her or somehow free her from her curse. I didn’t want to kill her, so I opted for the other choice, but I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do. I though I need to somehow hide from her so I could leave combat and then meditate at one of the two campfires there, but this didn’t work. Eventually, I let her chase me around her sarcophagus for a bit and then the game finally revealed what I needed to do.
After leading her around long enough, one of the candles on her sarcophagus went out. After four more candles, it was finally over. I have to say, I did not like this mechanic. It wasn’t very obvious and it felt very clunky. Still, I did what I needed to do, so the mayor let me and the princess out of the crypt.
The second major quest I did in the swamp revolved around me gathering all the pieces I needed to craft the legendary witcher’s armor I found out about in the previous chapter. I had to bring all the pieces to the blacksmith at the Old Town, which got me what I’m guessing is the best armor in the game. It reduced all damage I received by a fifth and had three potion slots.
Eventually, I cleared everything I could and went to the old manor, where the king sent me. This is where I found out the Salamandra laboratory was, with Azar Javed hiding inside. I met Yaevinn there, so he followed me in. After along trek through the catacombs bellow, I finally reached Javed and was able to fight him. He fell really fast, so it was a bit of a letdown. The monsters he threw at me before I could reach him didn’t fall nearly as fast, though, so there was definitely plenty of challenge.
Once all of that was over, I found out the leader of the Order of the Flaming Rose was behind everything. I got back to the city, which ended Chapter V and started the Epilogue. I fought through the streets, met some old friends along the way and finally got to the Order’s castle, where Jacques de Aldesberg was waiting. Before I could fight him, the teleported both of us to some icy area in the future.
Apparently, some sort of major cataclysm, called the White Frost was coming, so Jacques’ intentions were to create a new breed of human which could survive it. Of course, his intended results weren’t exactly what most people would agree with, so he definitely didn’t turn out to be a good guy, just a misguided crazy guy.
What followed was the game and Jacques prolonging the inevitable. Instead of me just having the final showdown, I had to fight random battles on the long way to Jacques for about half an hour. It wasn’t hard or challenging, it was just tedious, so it kind off took away from the ending and the game. Eventually I got to him, beat him, and the game was won.
Oh, and it’s possible Jacques might be Alvin all grown up. The same amulet I gave Alvin was on Jacques body, except it looked aged, and Triss already said it’s possible Alvin could actually teleport through time. The game didn’t confirm it, but it’s a definite possibility.
In any case, the game is won.
Also, the final movie looks awesome. I wish there was more of that. In fact, I wish there was a full-length movie.
I finally got back to the Witcher, after a two-week break. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t bored with the game or anything, I just didn’t get the chance to play it. Today, I finally decided to wrap up Chapter IV.
The Heat of the Day and the Witcher
I started out with the quest to free the two wraiths from their curse. In case you don’t remember, a jealous girl killed her sister, after which the sister’s boyfriend killed the girl. The event turned both into wraiths. I spoke to Abigail who told me to gather the pieces of a broken magical mirror one of the girls, Alina, owned. Apparently, the mirror is the reason she transformed into a wraith upon her death.
In order to get the pieces, I had to do a pretty dull quest which involved visiting five locations in “The Fields” area, killing the noonwraith there and getting the piece. Once I was done, I asked the blacksmith to fix the mirror, which involved a waiting period.
The Witcher’s Ripples
While waiting, I went to deal with the Lady of the Lake and her quest to negotiate peace between the villagers and the fish people. Both sides offered three gifts for the Lady, so I had to pick the right one from each side. Eventually, I figured out it was the alabaster figurine and the gold bracelet. The Lady gave me a Ruby I placed on the Altar of Dagon, which summoned the creature so I could kill it. It was an easy fight, so that quest was now done to.
The mirror was now fixed, so I brought it to Alina, but it didn’t work. I went to ask the hermit for advice, but he just sent me back to Abigail. The witch suggested I tried a poem, so I asked Dandelion to compose one. This finally worked and that quest was also done.
I reported what happened to Julian, who tanked me and sent me to the Fisher King who was apparently asking for me. As I expected, the Fisher King just sent me back to the Lady of the Lake. She finally gave me a reward for everything I did. Geralt was knighted and got an awesome silver sword to play with.
On my way back, I was confronted by Berengar, who admited betraying the witchers and basically doing lots and lots of bad stuff. I figured this was the one choice I had that wasn’t morally ambiguous so I decided to kill him. It turned out I was wrong. I found a letter on his body, which indicated he was actually extremely conflicted about what he was doing. I also found about 800 oren and some alchemical recipes, so I didn’t feel too bad about it.
Once I got back to the shore, I met a military leader of the Order of the Eternal Flame who informed me the order was there to capture the elven refugees. The elves’ backup arrived, though, so they are now cornered in the village, with the villagers, including Alvin as their hostages.
This was finally a situation where I had to pick sides, so I opted for the side that wasn’t overly religious or fanatical – the elves. I get that this is still another ambiguous choice and I get that there’s a downside for picking both sides, but I just really don’t like fanaticism, so the elves felt more suitable. In any case, there was a big battle, during which Alvin teleported to some unknown place. Afterwards, I got back to the Fisher King’s hut and got a ride back to Vizima, with Dandelion as company.
During all of this, I got to level 31. As expected, once I got to 30, the amount of talents I received changed. I’m now getting one bronze, two silver and one gold talent point. I decided to prioritize building up my primary attributes, after which I’ll start building up weapon skills. As usual, signs will be the last think I’ll invest in. Sadly, since I’m now entering the last chapter, I don’t think Geralt will get much stronger than he is right now. On the plus side, he’s really, really strong, so I’m not worried about the difficulty.
I finally went to explore the southern fields today.
It was mostly an empty area, with an abandoned mill I couldn’t get into at the center, an abandoned farm to the east and a hermit’s hut to the south. The hermit was probably the most important person there. He asked me to kill some wraiths at a druidic circle nearby, which were being summoned by the Spirit of the Hunt, which is some entity I already encountered once, at the outskirts of Vizima. There was a lot of wraiths, so I nearly died a couple of times, but thanks to the King and Queen bombs I had, I managed to get away in time and heal. Eventually, I cleared all of them and the hermit awarded me with my very own house. I have no idea what to do with it, but I have it!
The next day (in game), a whole bunch of stuff happened at once. Somehow, Alina, the girl who was getting married, was killed by jealous sister, who was then killed by Alina’s lover. Both sisters got turned into wraiths because of it. I told the groom what happened and was asked to get rid of the wraiths. Alina was dealt with immediately, but now I have to find some magical mirror to get rid of the other sister.He also told me a bunch of stuff about the Holy Grail. I’m not sure if there’s a quest in there, but for now, it just seems to be lore related. Other than that, I’ve spent a bunch of money to buy books from him and also gained some money by playing dice poker with him. Overall, the hermit was worth close to two levels for me.
Other than that, I’ve been killing devourers and the fish people, including two named monsters who were each worth 800 oren. I also got the quest to somehow negotiate peace between the village and the fish people, so I’ve been doing that to. Other than that, not much happened.
Chapter IV is a bit longer than I thought it would be, but it’s looking like I’m getting close to the end of it, so it still might be shorter than the previous chapter.On the character building part, I got to level 29 and learned all the bronze combat talents I was interested in. I’ve also acquired all the bronze talents for Yrden and Aard and will soon max Igni to. As for the primary attributes, those have been mostly maxed a long time ago. I’m also one level away from my next rank.
The village had your typical service providers and side quests. Something the Witcher definitely isn’t lacking are RPG tropes. I don’t really mind, though. There’s a reason I especially love this genre.
I found the blacksmith, and was finally able to upgrade my silver sword, since I managed to somehow acquire my third rune. I’m sure the better option would be to wait until I get the exact runes I want, but I’m not playing on the hardest difficulty, so I’ll probably be fine with the upgrade I got. By the way, the voice actor for the blacksmith has a pretty decent voice. I’m not sure if it’s just the voice, or if it’s also talent, but I don’t usually notice this kind of stuff, so that probably does mean something.
I did my regular routine of scouting through the area, getting all the quests I can and picking up everything that wasn’t nailed down. I had to visit the local shops several times, because my bags kept getting full, but I think it was probably worth it in the end.There’s a wedding in the village, so the main quest line sort of revolves around that. Apart from that, there’s a bunch of fetch quests, as usual, and a bunch of recurring characters, such as Alvin, Dandelion and Abigail.
Once all of that was done, I already had some quests completed, but more importantly, I had a goal I could follow. I went back north, to the lakeside and entered a crypt, where I finally met Berenghar (I probably misspelled his name). He wasn’t very friendly, but he did provide some information about what was going on. He also started me on a quest for some legendary witcher armor, so I’ll be looking for that to.
All of this took well over an hour and was worth almost two levels of experience. Along the way, I also got some cash, and managed to brew a nice supply of potions, mostly for healing. Tomorrow, I’ll try to go to the area south of the village. I was already there for a short while, but I haven’t fully explored it yet.Finally, I went all the way back north, to the Fisher King’s hut and to visit the elves again.
Honestly, I thought chapter III was a bit dull. The story didn’t really advance anywhere and most of my time was spent doing fetch quests and wandering through the swamp and sewers, killing Salamandra.
During the chapter, Alvin somehow wound up at the hospital and Triss managed to figure out he was some sort of special child, a descendant of some elven sorceress or something. I’m not sure I figured it out exactly, but basically, he had powers and it would be dangerous to leave him alone. Triss wanted to take him in, but Shani was against it and instead wanted me to bring him to her. In the end, I picked Shani, so now Triss doesn’t like me anymore.
At another point in the chapter, I had to choose sides between Siegfried’s order and the Scoia’tel, so I picked the elves, since the Order of the Flaming Rose seemed quite racist to me. This meant I had to add Siegfried to the list of people who don’t like me as well.
Eventually, the story jumped forward a bit and it was revealed that Adda, the princess, is plotting to overthrow her father and the Salamandra are in on it. Geralt got surrounded and was about to get killed, but then Triss teleported him to safety. This started the fourth chapter.Nearing the end of the chapter, I found out Vincent, the guard captain, was a werewolf. I had the chance to kill him, but he seemed like a good guy so I decided not to. This advanced my “Identity” quest in what I think is a good direction, but it also meant I won’t be able to make the potion that teaches me the “Predator” skill.
I explored the new area for a bit, and I have to say, I think I’ll like it way more than Vizima. Vizima is mostly a huge city, and generally, I really dislike huge city areas in RPG hubs. All I want is a small village that’s easy to navigate and a large area around it, full of secrets to find and monsters to kill. For now, the Lakeside, where Triss teleported me, seems like just such a place.
The place also seems to be heavily inspired by Arthurian legends, with an actual Lady of the Lake and her (now lost) order of knights, who all went to search for the Holy Grail. I didn’t explore the whole area, but I got to the local village, gambled a bit and defeated the local fist fighter. I’m not sure if this is my imagination, but it looks like Geralt is actually getting better at fist fighting as this quest line progresses. I don’t think it’s due to the skills I’ve been learning, since only one of them improves hand to hand combat.
During all of this, I’ve been gaining levels like crazy, so I’m well into the twenties now. I’m not sure what the maximum level is, or how many chapters there are in the game, but I already feel quite powerful. I basically learned all the bronze skills I was interested in and I’m starting to get the last few of the silver skills I want, though most of them aren’t as close the being maxed out. I haven’t gotten any gold skills yet, though. I’m guessing that will start happening when my level of expertise bar fills up again. The last time this happened, I went from 1 silver and 3 bronze talents per level, to 2 of each per level. I’m guessing I’ll go either to 3 silver and 1 bronze, or maybe 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze.
This session wasn’t too long, but a lot has happened anyway.
The first thing I did was to clear my inventory a bit and then go get all of the quests at the local notice board. This made me realize I actually missed a very important location – the local inn. I found Dandelion there and gave him his lute, after which I did some fighting at the local boxing ring.
I got a few quests, got some information and then meditated until the evening, when I the party I was invited to started upstairs. A lot of the quests at the party I already knew from before, or at least Geralt knew from a role playing perspective. There was a lot of talk about politics and it was clear the game was trying to convince me that I won’t be able to stay neutral for a long time.
After all of that was done, I decided to go to the swamp, where I talked to Kalkstein and started doing some of the grindy quests which sometimes make the game feel a bit like an MMORPG. I’m talking about the quests like “kill X ghouls” or “get Y monster parts”. Luckily, most of the quests are far more creative than that, so this is just filler I don’t mind doing along the way.
Soon, I stumbled into the two named monsters I had to kill for the royal huntsman. Both encounters happened right after each other, so I was in a bit of trouble. The game tries to be realistic, so it won’t let me carry large items, like weapons, armor and trophies in my bags. This means I can only carry one of each at a time. Since I killed both named monsters, I had to leave one trophy on the ground, hoping it would still be there when I get back. It was also nighttime, so I couldn’t find the huntsman back in the city.
I decided to leave one trophy stored at the inn and then come back for the other. While I was there, I also managed to enter the local brothel, where I met a girl I was looking for who might be a vampire. After “spending some time” with her, the quest advanced and it was confirmed that she was the girl in question. She was definitely bitten, but it wasn’t clear if she turned already. I also had to beat up a body guard to get to the second floor of the brothel, where the female boss who apparently knew Geralt was. She’ll probably be important for some future quest, but for now, I got nothing from her.
I got back to the swamp and took the second trophy, before I explored the rest of the area. I skipped on the cave and got to the brickmaker village, where I spoke to their elder and got another quest. They want me to get rid of some Salamandra boss who used the villagers for forced labor.
I saved my game here and called it a night.
On a side note, the combat is starting to get a lot more fun. I’ve learned the fourth level of the strong steel style and can now use a power up move which looks great, but also adds a lot to strategy, since it can stun the enemy. Also, that orb indicator in the upper right corner of the character screen is just two orbs from being full. I’m not sure what that means, but it’s possible I’ll stop getting bronze skills at that point.
The Sephirots were the first thing I needed to deal with. I actually had to make a trip to each of the ten obelisks in the swamp area and leave a sephiroth there. Once I was done with that, I was able to enter the tower, while “Raymond” waited outside. I expected a larger area to explore, but it really was just a tower, with a single room.
There was a circle of power there, which taught me what I think is my last sign, as well as a chest with some gold, books and various other items, including the magical book “Raymond” was after.
As expected, when I got out, it turned out Raymond was Azar Javed in disguise. He first summoned an Ifrit to fight me, but that part was easy to deal with. Once the Ifrit was gone, he used a portal to bring in the professor into the fight, so I had to beat both of them. As soon as Javed got to about 25 percent of his health, I got knocked out in a cut scene and both of them used a portal to escape.
I should probably also mention that there’s a teleporter in Triss’ room, meaning I can now travel from there to either Kalkstein’s laboratory, or the swamp tower. Of course, I can also travel from any place of power to any of the three locations.This ended the second chapter and started the third, where I woke up in the bedroom of Triss Merigold. There was another cut scene where the game gave me a reason to be a bit suspicious about Triss to, followed by a lengthy conversation in which I got a quest involving those weird wall reliefs I’ve found at the temple quarter and the graveyard. There are a total of three of them and I need to place beacons in them to help Triss with a detection spell. Finally, I got an invitation to a banquet and that was pretty much it.
Triss’ house was in the trade district, which meant I now have access to this new area. I decided to do things a bit differently compared to the temple district. Instead of visiting the merchants, I went to explore the area first and basically pick up anything that wasn’t nailed down. I did the opposite in the temple area, so I ended up finding a lot of books I’ve read already, because I bought them from the merchants.
While exploring, I made a quick stop to the graveyard to leave the beacon at the relief there. I also found a relief within the trade quarter and finally, when the exploration was over, I went back to the temple district to leave the last beacon at the sewer entrance there. At this point, I saved my game and decided to take a break.The decision to switch it up turned out to be the right one, because I’ve found several books and even traded one for an extra red meteorite I have. I also got a bunch of quests and a couple of items which will probably allow me to instantly solve a few quests I might get in the future. One of these is Dandelion’s lute, which he left at a girls room because he got chased out by her father.
I did some selling, which got me back up to 1738 oren. At this point, though, I don’t think I’ll be buying that armor I want any time soon. It’s currently priced at 5000 oren, so maybe I’ll be able to buy it at some later point in the game. On the other hand, there are fewer and fewer books left for me to buy and read, so at one point, I might be able to stop wasting my money on that and actually get rich.
Kalkstein was now actually speaking to me, so his quests opened up again. It turns out; the quest with the swamp tower might not be a side quest after all, since he gave me advice to take Raymond, who’s probably Azar Javed in disguise there, because the surrounding water might weaken his powers.Now that I knew Raymond was the guilty one, I had to tell all the remaining active suspects they aren’t suspects anymore. Vincent gave me his guard captain’s ring as a token of gratitude, which would’ve allowed me to leave for the dike and get to the swamp before, instead of me having to bribe the guard. A bit late for that, but if the ring turns out to be useless; I can always sell it for 50 oren.
The only two quests I had left were the one with haunted widow and the one for Kalkstein, which requires me to get three “servings” of alghoul marrow. I meditated until midnight and went to the graveyard. The wraith of the widow’s dead husband was at the entrance to the graveyard, fighting a couple of ghouls. I killed of the ghouls and then attacked it by accident, which forced me to kill it. It was blue before the fight, so I could’ve probably talked to it and solved the quest differently. There’s nothing I can do about it now, though.
Finally, it was time to face Raymond/Javed. I went and spoke to him, and decided to act as if I don’t know anything. He said Ramsmeat was guilty and sent me to kill him. I waited a few seconds and spoke to him again, claiming Ramsmeat was gone. For an amazingly powerful sorcerer, he sure wasn’t too bright to fall for that.Getting the alghoul marrow was annoying. I had to wander around the graveyard and the crypt at night until enough alghouls appeared. I actually had to get out of the area, rest for 24 hours and get back in, before I got all of it. Turning in these two quests made me realize the trouble wasn’t worth it. I got 150 oren from Kalkstein and another 200 from the widow. Too small a reward for so much trouble, if you ask me.
In any case, I managed to convince him to meet me at the swamp. I immediately followed and took the ferry there. Now, all that’s left for me to do is to put the sephiroths in the proper obelisks in the swamp and kill Javed. I’m not sure which one of those I’ll need to do first, but I’ll find out tomorrow.
By the way, in case you’re interested, I’m level 17 now. I’ve mostly been increasing my combat skills with a couple of points in Quen for protection. I’ve also made all the special potions made from major enemy “pieces” apart from the one made from the golem’s obsidian heart. I ran out of people to buy top quality alcohol from, so that one will have to wait. Other than that, I’m sitting at around 2000 oren and that’s about it. The Witcher is a game with complex gameplay, but the character builds are relatively simple.
I got the liquor Shani requested, so I brought it to her. She invited me to the party and told me to bring a friend, so I asked Zoltan if he would like to come. He really is my only friend in Vizima, as far as I can tell. At the party, I met a guy named Dandelion, who apparently hung out with me and Zoltan before I lost my memory.
Dandelion was extremely surprised to see me alive, claiming he saw me dead years ago. Since Zoltan was there at that point to, it’s a bit weird he didn’t say anything until now, but he did confirm Dandelion’s story, so I guess it must be true. I was also told I had a vampire and a dragon for a friend at one point, but the vampire got killed in some battle a while ago.
Once all the partying was over, I started exploring the town again. I ran into Siegfried, who also came back from the swamp. He offered me membership in his order, but Geralt outright refused it with me having no choice in the matter.While we’re at the topic of people coming back to life, I forgot to mention that Siegfried heard something about Berenghar in the swamp. It seems he didn’t die, but the Salamandra have taken him prisoner. That’s another thing I’ll have to deal with when the time comes.
I realized the party related quest wasn’t over yet, so I bought some red roses for Shani and gave them to her. She was extremely grateful, if you know what I mean. Apart from the “gratitude” she also told me how she found out Thaler is actually a member of a secret police investigating the Salamandra. This was all the proof I needed that he wasn’t the one working with them, so I could now exclude him from the list of suspects.
Once I told him that, he agreed to get me into the town graveyard. I immediately went to see the grave keeper, who gave me the key to the gate. At the entrance, I also met a woman who was being haunted by her late husband’s ghost, so I agreed to help with that to.
The most important part of the graveyard, though, was a crypt. It was full of undead, including one of the alghouls I needed for a quest, as well as plenty of loot. It also contained something extremely important. In one of the rooms, I’ve found the body of Raymond, the private detective. For a moment, I thought I missed something, since I just spoke to Raymond recently, but once I spoke to the grave keeper about it, it was obvious what was going on. Some sort of creature, or maybe a mage, is using magic to pose as Raymond. He was probably deceiving me all along, sending me on wild goose chases.The graveyard was pretty much empty during the day, apart from some drowned dead. One peculiar thing I found was another relief, similar to the one at the sewer entrance in the temple district. When I click on it, I am able to put an item into the available slot, but I don’t have any items I can put in. It’s probably related to some quest I’m not on yet.
I’ll probably talk to “Raymond” soon, but I’ll try to solve some of the minor quests first, because I’m thinking the next chapter might be coming.