The Witcher is an action role playing game, developed by CD Projekt Red Studio and published by CD Projekt RED STUDIO in Poland and Atari for rest of the world. The game is based on a series of books written by Andrzej Sapkowski commonly called, The Witcher Saga. The game was released world wide on October 30, 2007.
The Enhanced Edition
CD Projekt released an Enhanced Edition of The Witcher in September 2008, featuring additional content, bug fixes, and both sound and graphical improvements. Most prominently featuring a complete rewrite and rerecording of the entire dialogue which comprises of more then 5000 lines. This is likely due to the criticism of the Polish to English and German translations of the first, specifically of those who are fans of the novels the game is based off. It contains two official mods titled "The Price of Neutrality" and "Side Effects" adding approximately 5 hours of additional gameplay time and 2 new erotic cards. On top of these additions a mod editor was packed in as well, which allows users to create their own custom content. The enhanced version also decreases the loading times by as much as 80%, provides support for subtitles, and showcases new NPC models as well as more character animations during conversations. The Enhanced Edition was released in retail stores with extras such as the aforementioned improvements as well as additional in-game content, a making-of DVD, a music CD, a short story by Andrzej Sapkowski, a game guide, and a map of the game world. Later retail releases (which were budget priced at $10) removed most of these extras and contained two game discs, a music CD, making-of DVD, and game guide. The Enhanced Edition has also been released as a downloadable patch for anyone who already had a copy of The Witcher, and includes all of the aforementioned in-game extras. The game makes use of Bioware's Aurora Engine.
CD Projekt released the Director's Cut patch to North American players on July 31, 2009. The patch removed censorship in the game (which was largely censored nudity on the erotic cards) and made the game the exact same version that is available internationally. The patch is available on thewitcher.com as patch 1.5 and is to be used after installing the Enhanced Edition. Any version of the game sold through digital distribution services such as Steam, Direct2Drive, or Good Old Games has both the Enhanced Edition and Director's Cut content included in the download.
In April of 2012, a few weeks before the Enhanced Edition release of the Witcher 2, the Witcher was updated on Steam to support Steam Play, which added Mac support. New buyers and previous purchasers alike now own a Mac version of the game.
In the game the player takes the role of Geralt, commonly known as Geralt of Rivia, who is one of the very few remaining " Witchers", professional monster slayers with unique abilities. The game uses a commonly used formula, one in which the main character suffers from amnesia and it is up to the player to trace and discover his past. In the opening scene we see Geralt lying unconscious. He is later discovered by other witchers and is brought to Kaer Morhen, the witcher's fortress. The only thing that Geralt remembers at this point in time is that he was brutally injured few years back trying to defend non-humans. As the story unfolds, Geralt gradually learns about his unmatched witcher skills and also his identity. The story is divided into 5 chapters, and each chapter represents a different area.
The Witcher also uses a choice, or morality, based system of story progression in which the player may choose which path to walk down to fill in Geralt's memories as well as influence the present. However, unlike other games where the choice is between good and evil, the Witcher often gives the player the choice between the lesser of two evils, a theme that comes up a great deal in the novel. Players are also not made aware of the consequences of their actions until much later in the story, giving the game a much more "real-world" feel, rather than something you can simply reload and try again from.
There are essentially three paths/story arcs that the players choices made in-game ultimately lead to:
- The Order path - Geralt sides with the Order of the Flaming Rose. The Order is a military group in which their ideal is to service and protect Temeria and its denizens from evil. They actively promote the religious group Eternal Fire, and are led by Grand Master Jacques de Aldersberg.
- The Scoia'tael path - The witcher allies himself with the Scoia'tael. The Scoia'tael are a group of non-human guerrilla fighters. Their resolve comes from deep-rooted racism and mistreatment from humans. Depending on who you ask, they're thought of as freedom fighters or terrorists.
- Witcher (neutral) path - The player does not side with the two aforementioned political factions. It is stated that this is "truest" to the Witcher literature as per their traditionally indifferent nature.
It's worth noting that regardless of the path followed, they eventually converge into a unified story again (the epilogue).
Geralt of Rivia
Main Article: Geralt of Rivia
Geralt is a witcher, a human being who has undergone several rituals to mutate him, giving him supernatural reflexes and poison tolerance at the cost of making him sterile. He uses these abilities to hunt monsters for money, using his "Witcher's Code" to attempt to remain neutral in conflicts.. He had made many friends and legends of his skills spread throughout the land, but he was apparently killed during a riot in the city of Vizima. The game begins with him coming back to life with complete amnesia to account for his loss of skills as well as his ambiguous moral code. He is also a legendary ladies' man using his disease immunity and sterility to take a great number of women to his bedchamber.
Main Article: Triss Merigold
A sorceress who wields magic of extraordinary power, like Geralt at the cost of her childbearing ability. She has taken a shine to Geralt and he to her, but she is also extremely manipulative and the witchers have trouble trusting her. She assists Geralt throughout his quest, but yearns to make an honest man of the aloof and often lecherous monster hunter, a goal which often conflicts with Geralt's pessimism and desire to remain a wanderer. Triss is still heavily connected to the Sorceress Guild, another source of distrust as rumors circulate that the Guild is attempting a power grab for the reins in Vizima.
Main Article: Dandelion
A wandering minstrel who fell in with Geralt during their shared past. Dandelion is almost as legendary a Lothario as his friend is a fighter, and as a result he depends on Geralt to keep him out of trouble from the likes of angry husbands or fathers, the usual types who don't like someone like Dandelion hanging around their women. Perhaps the most shocking thing about him is that he actually is an incredibly skilled and revered bard, his reputation often earning him well-paying work in taverns across the land. Though he often talks in circles and pontificates, he is Geralt's closest and truest friend. The character plays a large role in the books but barely appears in the game..
Main Article: Shani
A skilled nurse that served with Geralt in a particularly vicious battle. She is a mortal woman and doesn't trust Triss, though this could simply be envy as she is extremely fond of Geralt. As a veteran of an especially brutal war, she is often introspective and questions her role in the battle, going to Geralt for guidance. She has become the head nurse of the Temple of Melitele, a fertility goddess, in Vizima, treating victims of the plague as best she can.
Main Article: Alvin
A child orphaned by the dog beasts called Barghests, Alvin is a conduit of an incredible power that sometimes takes control of him and forces him to recite an elven prophecy about the end of the world. He can also teleport and generate tremendous power, though not at will. As he is thrust into Geralt's life time and again, he begins to see the witcher as a father figure and begins to take life lessons from him.
Main Article: Berengar
A witcher that left the fortress headquarters of Kaer Morhen before the game begins, he is considered a "rogue witcher" whom Geralt winds up cleaning up after several times. He is cowardly, but skillful in combat and often takes the easiest way out rather than the best. He is disgusted by the witchers' ways, comparing them to the criminal organization Salamandra in their harsh training regiment that begins in childhood.
Main Article: Abigail
A witch living in the Outskirts. While feared by many of the inhabitants of the small farming town, many of them have asked her for aid at some point or another. During Act I of the game, she gets blamed as the source behind the summoning of the various barghests that plague the town. She despises the people, but swears that she has nothing to do with the barghests, nor anything else she is being blamed for. She helps Geralt in figuring out the true reason for their appearance, as well as taking care of Alvin for a while.
Main Article: Yaevinn
An elf Scoia'tael commando who originally started out as being common elf among the humans. However eventually the racism brought onto his race by the humans led him to revolt against them and join the Scoia'tael. During the second war with Nilfgaard Yaevinn fought in the Battle of Brenna were he was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Deithwen division. Yaevinn is seen as being a elf who tends to elaborate and use metaphors to convey his meaning. He is said to be interested deeply in historical artifacts created by non-humans, and he believes that these artifacts will be representation of the Elder races power. If Geralt in the Witcher chooses to side with Scoia'tael, Yaevinn can be seen as being a main quest giver who often tries to convince Geralt that the Scoia'tael are fighting for equality.
Siegfried of Denesle
Main Article: Siegfried
Siegfried is a dedicated knight of the Order of the Flaming Rose. Geralt meets Siegfried in the sewers of Vizima were Geralt can choose to help him fight the Cockatrice. If Geralt sides with Order of Flaming Rose in the Witcher Siegfried will be a quest giver that often assures Geralt that the fight against Scoia'tael is right. However if Geralt sides with Scoia'tael Siegfried will look upon his philosophies that his was so deeply invested in before and question whether his is fighting the right evil.
The Witcher is appreciated most of all for its innovative game-play. The player has three unique combat styles at his disposal: The quick style, the heavy style, and the group style. The quick style enables the player to perform some fast attacks with high chance of hitting the enemy at the cost of a low rate of damage. The heavy style lets the player inflict heavy damage on the enemies at the cost of speed. This combat style is helpful against larger and/or stronger foes. Lastly, the group style is best when the player is being attacked by enemies in groups. In addition to style, The Witcher utilizes a unique combo system that relies solely on timing. When Geralt gains a level in a certain style, he gains the ability to attack again if the player clicks at just the right time during a previous attack. Another important aspect of The Witcher's game-play is Alchemy. The player can create potions with the various ingredients at his disposal. Alchemy ingredients can be obtained from herbs or purchased from merchants. Some potions will increase health or provide faster regeneration of health, while some potions will slow down the enemies. Others still will enable Geralt to see in the dark and many more. Along with traditional story elements, the Witcher features nonlinear dialogue in which you may choose certain parts of your character's words which may or may not have consequences later on.
The alchemy system in The Witcher is fleshed out, when compared to other modern RPG's. Since Witcher's are known for their wide use of potions, the player should have at least basic knowledge of alchemy to fully utilize Geralt's abilities. Every potion Geralt can create has a formula that Geralt must know beforehand. Each formula requires a base, and then a proportion of certain substances.
Each formula has a base. The base required is different for what Geralt is making. For Potions, Geralt requires an alcohol base. For an Oil (such as a blade coating), Geralt requires a grease base. Finally, for a Bomb, Geralt requires a powder base.
There are six main substances in the game: Vitriol, Rebis, Aether, Quebrith, Hydragenum, and Vermilion. Any ingredient found in the world contains one of these substances.
There are also three secondary substances, they are: Albedo, Nigredo, and Rubedo. These secondary substances add benefits to the formula that is being conjured. If every ingredient in the formula has a consistent secondary substance, then the formula will receive a bonus, known as a dominance.
Albedo Dominance - Reduces toxicity of consumed potions, lasts 1 hour.
Nigredo Dominance - Increases damage inflicted by 20%, lasts 4 hours.
Rubedo Dominance - Accelerate regeneration of vitality, lasts 4 hours.
Example: If the player wanted to make a potion which required 1 vitriol, 2 rebis, and 1 aether ingredient, the potion can be made in a number of ways. If the ingredients chosen do not have secondary substances, or if they don't have matching substances then the potion will be standard, and will have no dominance. However, if the ingredients chosen each have a secondary substance of albedo, then the potion will end up having albedo dominance.
Standard Potion= 1 Vitrio 2 Rebis 1 Aether
Albedo Dominance Potion= 1 Vitrio (albedo) 1 Rebis (albedo) 1 Rebis (albedo) 1 Aether (albedo)
Each ingredient needs to have the second substance for the benefit to be gained. There are three kinds of ingredients in the game: Herbs, Minerals, and Skinnable items. Below are charts of all the ingredients with their respective substance(s).
Herbs in the Game
|Albedo||White Myrtle Petals||Berbercane Fruit||Honeysuckle|
|Wolf's Aloe Leaves|
|Green Mold||Balisse Fruit|
Fool's Parsley Leaves
|No Second Substance|
Minerals in the Game
|Nigredo||Quick Silver Solution||Ducal Water|
|Rubedo||Calcium Equum||Lunar Shards||Powdered Pearl||Optima Mater|
|No Second Substance||White Stone||Sulfer||Fifth Essence||Phosphorus|
Skinnable Items in the Game
|Albedo||Echinops Rootstock||Wing Membrane||Drowner Brain Tissue||Vodyanoi Bladder||Ectoplasm||Bloedzuiger Blood|
Stones of Ys
|Drowned Dead Tongue||Alghoul Marrow|
|Cockatrice Eye||Venom Glands|
|Beast Liver||Alp Fangs||Graveir Bone|
|Pituitary Gland||Devourer Teeth|
|No Second Substance||Beast Fangs|
Below is a list of all the Formulae in the Game
|Bindweed||1 Aether, 1 Quebrith, 1 Vermilion||Increases resistance to acid and acid-based poisons. Acid resistance increased by 70%.||8 hours||Medium|
|Black Blood||3 Vitriol, 1 Rebis, 1 Aether||Turns imbiber's blood into posion; blood becomes lethal to monsters which drink it. Monsters feeding on Geralt die immediately.||8 hours||High|
|Blizzard||2 Vitriol, 2 Rebis||Boosts reflexes and reaction time, improving chance of parrying and evading attacks. Dodge Efficiency increased by 50%; Parry Efficiency increased by 50%.||20 minutes||Medium|
|Cat||1 Rebis, 2 Quebrith||Grants vision in total darkness. Seeing in the dark.||8 hours||Low|
|De Vries' Extra||1 Rebis, 1 Aether, 2 Quebrith, 1 Hydragenum||Makes hidden opponents visible. Advanced night vision; Ability to detect invisible beings; Ability to see through walls.||1 hour||Medium|
|Fisstech||1 Rebis, 3 Hydragenum, 1 Vermilion||A strong drug with a long duration; can be sold for 20 gold. Upon consumption - Pass out instantly.||N/A||N/A|
|Full Moon||1 Quebrith, 2 Hydragenum, 2 Vermilion||Greatly increases maximum Vitality. Maximum Vitality doubled.||8 hours||High|
|Golden Oriole||2 Vitriol, 2 Aether||Increases resistance to poison. Neutralizes the effects of any previously imbibed poisons. Poison resistance increased by 70%.||8 hours||Medium|
|Kiss||2 Vitriol, 1 Vermilion||Increases resistance to bleeding; stanches any current bleeding. Resistance to Bleeding increased by 70%.||8 hours||Medium|
|Maribor Forest||2 Rebis, 1 Aether, 1 Quebrith||Significantly increases maximum Endurance. Maximum Endurance increased by 50%.||8 hours||Medium|
|Perfume||1 Vitriol, 1 Aether, 1 Quebrith||Upon Consumption - Alcohol Intoxication; Attack efficiency reduced by 50%. Should only be used as a gift. Can be sold for 20 gold.||8 hours||Low|
|Petri's Philter||2 Rebis, 1 Quebrith, 1 Hydragenum, 1 Vermilion||Increases the intensity of Signs. Sign intensity increased by 50%.||8 hours||Very High|
|Shrike||1 Rebis, 1 Quebrith, 1 Hydragenum, 2 Vermilion||Inflicts pain on assailants during combat. Critical effect Pain inflicted on foes wounding Geralt.||8 hours||High|
|Swallow||1 Vitriol, 2 Rebis, 1 Aether||Significantly increases Vitality regeneration. Modestly accelerates Vitality Regeneration.||2 hours||Medium|
|Tawny Owl||1 Vitriol, 2 Aether||Significantly increases Endurance regeneration. Significantly accelerates Endurance regeneration.||8 hours||Medium|
|Thunderbolt||1 Vitriol, 1 Rebis, 1 Hydragenum, 2 Vermilion||Increases damage inflicted on opponents but makes dodging and parrying impossible. Damage inflicted increased by 100%; Dodge efficiency reduced to 50%; Parry efficiency reduced to 50%.||8 Hours||High|
|White Gull||2 Vitriol, 1 Rebis||Alchemical base used to make other potions. Intoxication; Attack efficiency reduced by 50%.||N/A||N/A|
|White Honey||1 Vitriol, 1 Rebis, 1 Aether||Reduces Toxicity to zero and cancels the effects of other potions.||Immediate||None|
|White Raffard's Decoction||1 Vitriol, 1 Rebis, 2 Hydragenum||Immediately restores some lost Vitality.||Immediate||High|
|Willow||2 Aether, 1 Quebrith||This potion grants immunity to the stun and knockdown effects. Immunity to Stun and Knockdown effects.||8 hours||High|
|Wives' Tears||1 Rebis, 1 Aether, 1 Quebrith||Neutralizes the effects of alcohol intoxication.||Immediate||Low|
|Wolf||2 Vitriol, 2 Hydragenum, 1 Vermilion||Increases chance of a critical hit. Chance of inflicting critical effect Precise Hit increased by 50%.||8 hours||Medium|
|Wolverine||2 Aether, 1 Quebrith, 1 Hydragenum, 1 Vermilion||Wolverine increases damage inflicted when a witcher's vitality falls below half. Upon consumption - Intoxication: Attack efficiency reduced by 50%.||8 hours||Medium|
|Argentia||2 Quebrith, 2 Hydragenum, 1 Rebis||Witchers coat their silver blades with Argentia, which increases the effectiveness of silver, but weakens steel blades. Damage inflicted increased by 60%; Reduced damage incurred.|
|Brown Oil||1 Rebis, 1 Aether, 1 Quebrith, 2 Vermilion||Brown Oil accelerates bleeding; creatures lacking a circulatory system are immune to its effects. Considerable chance of causing Bleeding in foes with every hit.|
|Crinfrid Oil||1 Vitriol, 1 Aether, 1 Hydragenum, 2 Vermilion||A blade coated with this substance causes crippling pain to a wounded creature; creatures which do not feel pain are immune to its effects. Considerable chance of inflicting Pain on foes with every hit.|
|Hanged Man's Venom||1 Vitriol, 1 Aether, 1 Rebis, 1 Hydragenum, 1 Vermilion||This blade coating poisons wounded opponents, yet it is ineffective against monsters whose physiology differs greatly from that of humans. Considerable chance of Poisoning foes with every hit.|
|Insectoid Oil||1 Rebis, 1 Quebrith, 1 Aether, 1 Vermilion||A blade coated with this substance inflicts increased damage on all insectoid creatures. Damage inflicted on insectoids increased by 100%.|
|Necrophage Oil||2 Vitriol, 1 Aether||A blade coated with this substance inflicts increased damage on necrophages. Damage inflicted on necrophages increased by 100%.|
|Ornithosaur Oil||1 Vitriol, 1 Quebrith, 1 Rebis, 1 Hydragenum||A blade coated with this substance inflicts increased damage on ornithosaur. Damage inflicted on ornithosaur increased by 100%.|
|Specter Oil||1 Vitriol, 1 Rebis, 1 Aether||A blade coated with this substance inflicts increased damage on specters. Damage inflicted on specters increased by 100%.|
|Vampire Oil||1 Vitriol, 1 Vermilion, 1 Hydragenum, 2 Quebrith||A blade coated with this substance causes increased damage to all types of vampires. Damage inflicted on vampires increased by 100%.|
|Devil's Puffball||2 Aether, 1 Hydragenum, 1 Rebis||Sprays a cloud of poison, affecting nearby enemies; those resistant to poison might not be harmed.|
|Dragon's Dream||2 Hydragenum, 1 Quebrith, 1 Rebis, 1 Vermilion||Releases a cloud of flammable gas which causes a destructive explosion when ignited.|
|King and Queen||1 Aether, 2 Rebis||Evokes fear in the hearts of opponents.|
|Samum||1 Aether, 2 Rebis, 1 Vermilion||Stuns any creatures within range, provided they are not immune to this effect.|
|Zerrikanian Sun||1 Aether, 1 Hydragenum, 1 Quebrith, 1 Vermilion||Releases a flash of light, blinding all nearby opponents.|
The Price of Neutrality
Geralt comes back to Kaer Morhen for winter. He finds a small camp near the stronghold where he meets a nobleman and a sorceress Sabrina Glevissig. They came here to find Deidre, a young woman, who is staying in the witchers' stronghold. She is Eskel's surprise child, born on the Black Sun (ancient prophecy says that such children would ruin the World). It turns out that the nobleman is her brother, who wants to make sure she will not have the crown. Sorceress Sabrina wants to kill Deidre and examine her body to find out the truth about the Black Sun curse. Geralt has to decide whether to defend the girl or stay neutral.
Dandelion gets into trouble in Vizima. Geralt has to collect a certain amount of money to buy him out and pay for his excesses. He collects the money by completing various tasks. The player can join effects of one task with another. For example: in a fistfight competition he can win cash or a bottle of alcohol. If he chooses to take the booze, he can use it to get one bandit drunk. Then he will give Geralt a key to a chest with loot. The mood of the story is similar to Dandelion's incidents with Vespula and Bibervelt's economics.
The original music for The Witcher was composed by Adam Skorupa and Pawel Blaszczak and was released in 2007.
|Track No.||Title||Running Time|
|01||Dusk of a Northern Kingdom||04.34|
|02||A Wolf's Demise||02.11|
|03||River of Life||05.21|
|08||To Arms (Rebellion)||01.24|
|09||The Princess Striga||06.51|
|10||Returning to the Fortress||01.30|
|11||Evening in the Tavern||00.57|
|13||An Ominous Place||05.12|
|14||Temerian Castle Theme||00.49|
|17||The Grand Master Revealed||01.28|
|19||Prepare for Battle!||01.08|
|20||Do You Remember||01.32|
|21||The Lesser of Two Evils||01.55|
|22||Catch Me if You Can||00.24|
|23||Tavern at the End of the World||01.25|
|26||A Master of Conscience||01.28|
|29||Kingdom & Betrayal||01.48|
PC/Mac System Requirements
- OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2, Vista (Operating System must be up to date with the latest fixes)
- Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz or AMD Athlon 64 2800
- RAM: 1 GB RAM for Microsoft® Windows® XP / 1536 MB for Microsoft® Windows® Vista
- Graphics Card: 128 MB Video RAM or greater with DirectX9 Vertex Shader/ Pixel Shader 2.0 support (NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or ATI Radeon 9800 or better)
- Hard Drive Space: 8.5 GB
- DirectX: 9.0c
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compliant soundcard, plus speakers or headphones
- OS: Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, Vista (Operating System must be up to date with the latest fixes)
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz or AMD X2 5600
- RAM: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX or ATI Radeon X1950 PRO
- Hard Drive Space: 8.5 GB
- DirectX: 9.0c
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compliant soundcard, plus speakers or headphones
Mac minimum requirements:
- OS: OS X version 10.6.8 or later
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Graphics: Graphics card nVidia GeForce 320M (or better), AMD Radeon HD 6750M (or better) or Intel HD Graphics 3000
- Hard Drive: 10.5 GB
Mac recommended requirements:
- OS: OS X version 10.6.8 or later
- Processor: Intel Core i5 or Core i7
- Memory: 4GB RAM
- Graphics: Graphics card with at least 512 MB VRAM
- Hard Drive: 10.5 GB