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The Witcher Walkthrough

Welcome to my The Witcher walk-through. (-: If you're new to my series of low-spoiler computer game walkthroughs, the idea is to point players towards things they might not have thought of in each game rather than giving away puzzle solutions or offering step-by-step instructions. There's not much point to playing a game with a cool bifurcating plot if you've had the plot spoiled in advance, after all.

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So these pages are as close to spoiler-free as possible. If you are looking for a more explicit walkthrough including spoilers, you can try this one. My website here focuses on exactly the things traditional walkthroughs don't: the non-critical parts of the game, little detours you can take, extra details you might miss if you only did what was strictly necessary to win the game. If you want even fewer spoilers--you're considering whether or not to buy the game, for example, and just want to know whether there's anything you're going to hate in it--please try my The Witcher Review page to find all the pertinent information in one convenient spoiler-free package.

I. Prologue: Kaer Morhan
II. Chapter 1: The Outskirts
III. Chapters 2 and 3: Vizima and the Swamp
V. Chapter 4: Lakeside
VI. Chapter 5: Old Vizima
VII. Epilogue
XI. Spoilers and Open Questions

Prologue: Kaer Morhan

The prologue is primarily designed as a tutorial, stepping you through all the basics of the interface, combat, spellcasting, and alchemy. Now is also a good time to experiment with the different character views and get comfortable with the (sometimes irritating) navigational system. It is possible for Geralt to die in the prologue, so be alert, but except for that, there is no way to screw anything up-- no matter what the NPC's claim, there is no time limit, and the plot will progress the same way no matter what you do (the one choice you make in the prologue changes only the opponents you face in combat and the related loot you find.) So if this is your first time playing The Witcher, definitely do take advantage of the prologue to get as used to the game as you can. From here on in the game gets harder, the plot starts branching, and your mistakes start mattering more.

Things to do in Kaer Morhan:

1) Although the game declares some separate quests and quest stages during the prologue, that's really only for the purpose of getting you used to using your journal. Getting through the prologue and tutorial is a single, primarily linear quest that you must complete before you can move on. There is one fork in the path-- near the end you can choose to fight either the sorcerer in the lab, or the monster in the courtyard. This choice does not affect the prologue plot at all (the events of the prologue are unavoidable); you'll just get a different combat, and a few other minor combat-related changes later in the game.

2) You can loot everything in sight. Looting isn't actually as useful in this game as it is in most CRPG's, but it's still a good habit to get into.

3) Talking to all the NPCs can be fun, but definitely make sure to talk to Vesemir about witchers, since you need his information to start off the Berengar quest.

4) You already figured out that Triss was your ex-girlfriend before you lost your memory and everything, right? Well, once you unpoison her, she asks you to stay a while with her for old time's sake. It's completely up to you whether you take her up on it or not; it won't affect anything else in the game. You'll be able to decide whether to get back into a serious relationship with her later, and that decision will have some ramifications; but sleeping with her in the prologue, or not, won't lock you into or out of a relationship with her or anyone else, so don't worry about it either way.

5) After reviving Triss, you can go back and talk to Eskel for a fistfighting tutorial (though it isn't necessary, you'll be able to pick it up just fine on your own.)

Chapter One: The Outskirts

Suddenly, with no warning at all, you will be thrust into a confusing cutscene of Geralt and a bunch of villagers watching ghost dogs attack people. What? Where is he now, and how did he get there? Did he have a second wave of amnesia or something? Apparently not, so maybe this cutscene just wasn't translated properly.

In any event, Geralt has arrived in a troubled small town on the outskirts of Vizima, and by "troubled" I mean "half the people died in a plague and the rest now belong to some nasty misogynistic cult and roam around town gang-raping women." (Don't worry, you won't have to put up with any of that crap in the game-- Geralt can slaughter the creeps both times they try it in front of him.) They're also menaced by undead dogs, which is the only part the cult leader wants you to do anything about. You will have more than one option of how to deal with this village and its inhabitants.

There are also many side quests, subplots, and other things to do in town, and you won't be able to come back here after the chapter ends, so you should do everything in the Outskirts you wanted to before telling the Reverend about Alvin's vision about the Beast (many characters will disappear after that in preparation for the endgame, and you won't be able to access a lot of things in the town after that point.) The village is laid out roughly along a circular trail with a few spurs coming off it. Annoyingly enough, it is impossible to cut across the middle due to a long low fence (the kind of thing I myself could hop over, nevermind the acrobatic Geralt), so if you're on the opposite side of the circle from where you're trying to get to you will need to jog all the way around. It does not matter what order you do any of these things in, so I'm just going to list points of interest in no particular order so that you can make sure you haven't missed anything you wanted to see before ending the chapter.

Things to do in the Outskirts:

1) Of course, the main thing to do here is the central quest to defeat the ghost dogs, called Of Monsters And Men in your journal. You're in no danger of missing any part of that, since you will not be able to leave Chapter One until it is fully completed. You will get to choose between three different endings to this plot, each of which will have some future ramifications. Two other plots listed in your journal as separate quests, called "Salamander's Tail" and "Witchers' Secrets," are not actually separate in Chapter One... they advance in linear fashion as you progress through Of Monsters And Men, and there's no way to miss anything in them either.

2) Geralt begins the chapter standing outside the inn, which has a palisaded wall around it to protect against attack. On the bulletin board outside the inn are all the witcher contracts-- people who want to pay you to kill monsters. These are all optional quests, but you're going to be killing most of these creatures anyway, so you might as well get paid for it, right? Inside the inn are several NPCs you can converse with including Shani, Olaf the inkeeper, Vesna the barmaid, Kalkstein the alchemist, Leuvaarden the merchant, and several unnamed characters. Once you meet Zoltan, he will move into the inn as well. Besides chatting with the NPC's, you can get an additional quest (Dead Hand of the Past) from Leuvaarden; buy and sell goods with the antiquarian, Vesna, and Olaf; and play the boxing, drinking, and gambling minigames (the last of the three only after you've found a dice set.) In the area just outside the inn you can also find a Viziman herbalist to trade with and a dwarven blacksmith who provides a few services.

3) Most of the village lies outside the palisaded walls. Any time you go outside at night, you're sure to be attacked by wandering monsters (barghests, ghouls, and drowners.) Once you learn about any given monster or plant, you will also be able to collect alchemy components from them. Both monsters and herbs respawn frequently, so if you have the temperament for it you can rack up large amounts of cash harvesting these components and selling them to merchants. You can also loot all the houses in town (the abandoned houses seem to have the most interesting stuff, paradoxically.)

4) Given that he's evidently the only man in town who isn't trying to hit them over the head and rape them, I suppose it's not so strange that most of the young ladies in the village are attracted to Geralt. You can romance them or not, it has absolutely no effect on anything. (There is a funny cutscene if you go on a date with Vesna; the other possible sexual encounters, with the Peasant Girl and Abigail, are just generic fadeouts.)

5) There are a number of wandering NPC's named "traveler" or "merchant" on the road near the inn. Most of these cannot be interacted with, but one of the "travelers" will recognize Geralt from his previous life and you can have a fruitful conversation with him about it.

6) If you approach the signpost just outside the walls of the inn around dusk, you will encounter a quest involving the barmaid Vesna (called "She's No Early Bird.")

7) There's a character called the Royal Huntsman hanging around the area who will give you quests to slay two special monsters in the area. Oddly, the quests to kill these monsters do not appear in your journal until you actually kill them, so keep mental note of where the Huntsman tells you each of them is.

8) By the river you can meet the dwarf Zoltan, another old friend Geralt doesn't really remember. After your first meeting, Zoltan will move to the inn, where you can drink and gamble with him.

9) Most of the old peasant women in town will tell you stories about monsters or herbs if you give them an item of food first. One of them, labelled only "beggar," will request a particular potion.

10) The cave near the southmost part of the map is empty and useless until the endgame, when it will become important. I'd recommend giving it a pass until then, since entering and exiting it will just make you have to sit through another very long load for nothing.

11) The locked houses cannot be opened (except for one of them which you will find a key for later.) The chapel will be inaccessible except as part of one of the quests. The mill will only be accessible if you go on a date with Vesna. The crypt is locked at first but will eventually be opened as part of the main quest. While you're down there, don't neglect to learn the Igni sign from the fire stones.

12) There is actually a second half of the crypt which you cannot access the first time you explore it. It is very much worth exploring. After you have finished your business in the crypt and reported to Mikul about it, be sure to return there and explore the newly opened area. There's a unique monster and some good loot.

13) You will be talking to Abigail the witch multiple times during the course of the main quest. While you are at her house, be sure to check out the mysterious doll in the corner. Also, after she gives you Berengar's notes, ask her about the demon he mentions for a little additional information.

14) You will be talking to the Reverend multiple times during the course of the main quest. There's not much optional to do or discuss with him, but after you tell him about Alvin's vision and the Beast's origin, go into the Reverend's house for some extra conversations with him and Alvin.

15) You will be talking to Odo to do a favor for him at the Reverend's request. After you've finished, examine Odo's dog twice. Also check out the suit of armor in Odo's house, ask him about his brother, and read up on the origin of Echinops plants like the ones that mysteriously appeared in Odo's garden.

16) You will be talking to Haren to do a favor for him at the Reverend's request. (Along the way you will encounter a plot choicepoint; whichever choice you make will have ramifications later on.) Anyway, if you talk to Haren again afterwards, he will offer you another quest, called "The Hot Potato," and you can also trade goods with him.

17) Finally, there are two characters on the map who seem like they are supposed to have more interactions with you, but as far as I can tell, they never do. One is the meat-seller near the Vizima gate. Geralt will make some conclusions about her, but nothing will ever come of it. The other is a beggar down by the river. He asks for alcohol, but if you give it to him, all he does is repeat "What a wimp!" over and over again. I'm pretty sure there is nothing else you can do with either of them.

Continue on to Vizima!

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