Friday, 19 December 2014

Witcher II: The Conclusion

After a bit more than a year-long pause I returned to Witcher II in order to finish it after I saw the latest trailer. I have already talked about my experiences of the First, and Second Act, and I was really excited to get back to it, but at the same time I stalled and made excuses to myself because I was afraid the game would end too fast, and I was really enjoying it. It turned out I was right. The third act, as I left with the Roche for the Loc Muinne turned out to be the shortest of them all.

I met my old friends from the first game, the Order of the Flaming Rose and they were not really thrilled to see me. Probably something to do with me siding with Scoia'tael and fighting against them. But then again, these holier-than-thou bunch of hypocrites was stealing my business, killing monsters. And to top it off, they were doing it for free. It was only logical to join the rebellious elves and dwarves. While their interests might have not aligned with my own, they at least did not steal my profits. As I see it, God intended for witchers to do the witcher's job, and noble knights and crusaders should focus on the heretics and the wicked instead.

In any case these remnants of once mighty Order were rather civil. They barked, but did not bite. And they did not kill any monsters either when i met them in Loc Muinne. I guess they learnt their lesson. Leave a witcher's job to the witchers. As we proceeded, Roche and I split. While I wanted to save Triss, he wanted to save Anais, the bastard daughter of the king Foltest. It did not take me long to fall right back into all the schemes of the lords, nobles, kings, and the emperor of Nilfgaard. To be honest I did not see it coming, and while I was busy with all that, the chance to deal with Dethmold, a sorcerer that really annoyed me to no end in part two, slipped through my fingers. I can only hope that Roche killed him when he saved Anais.

A couple of ambushes later, both set and sprang I managed to figure out where Triss is. I also figured out that the North is doomed. All because the sorceresses decided they wanted to rule. If I have to compare how Dragon Age, and Witcher deal with their mages, I must admit that Witcher does it far better. While in Dragon Age mages constantly play the role of the victim, in Witcher you can see how they scheme, vie for power and try to stay in power. It might be me, but I did not need a second thought in order to concluded that these sorcerers need to be broken and then harnessed. Too much power makes them rather obnoxious and too dangerous. I expect nobles to be corrupt, rotten to the core, and always out for more, but then again, nobles are simply people with influence, while sorcerers are dangerous. They are nuclear level of danger.

As I discovered the plot a group of sorceresses (do I hate that word by now) began in order to overthrow all rulers in the North I came to realise they were only puppets and they did not even know it. Still they met their tragic end, and rightly so. One of them called a dragon on the city, and after long exhausting climb on the bugged staircase I was able to defeat the dragon. I was given the option to either kill it or leave it be. As nobody really hired me to kill the dragon, I let it be. I do have to think about my future business, and as it turns out, this might have been one of the last dragon alive, at least in these parts.

This is pretty much how everything ended. After saving Roach and Anise from the clutches of a group of soldiers that presumed too much, I faced good old Letho. And I do not know why, but I recall I used to have very good reasons to kill him. But as I talked to him, I realised we are cut of the same cloth. I started doubting my own reasons, especially because I could not really recall any. Yes, he did kill Foltest, and Demavend as well. Yes, he committed regicide. But he also saved my life, told me about my past, told me of Nilfgard and about Yennefer. At the end I decided to kill him. We were too much alike him and me. I also gave word to Roche, and I was not to become an oathbreaker just because I liked the guy. I also recalled I ended in the dungeons, and almost at the gallows because of him. This was enough, and Letho died by my sword in the end.

Aside from rather short final chapter in Witcher II, and some nasty bugs with the tower that led to the dragon I have a couple of complaints. Not enough of Dandelion and Zoltan in the last chapter. I like the pair and all the troubles they usually just happen to be in, so it was a bit of a letdown. Another thing is the obvious lack of romancing options. In Witcher I you could find love behind every corner, in the second game though the options are rather rare occasions.

Also, the Wild Hunt seems to be a thing, but I do not really have any feeling I have learnt anything new about it in comparison with Witcher I. At least there, the Wild Hunt seemed to be very real thing, especially toward the end of the game. In Witcher II it resembles much more to chasing a fairy tale.

To all of you who have yet to play this game, I recommend two mods. The first one is Full Combat Rebalance 2 (an unofficial mod made by one of the Witcher II developers), and the second one is Fix Dice Poker and Arm Wrestling. This one takes care of really annoying mechanics that serve no purpose but to annoy you to no end. It fixes it, so that you always win. You will understand why you need this second one only once you lose three times in a row just because.


  1. Funny timing, I was going to post a review of the Witcher 2 today but got delayed... If I can suggest something, especially since you seem like you didn't want it to end yet - go back and side with Iorveth (as irritating as it is) at the Crossroads event (end of chapter 1).

    You can even turn the fight difficulty right down just to get the story, but I think you will get more out of the game for it. Just an idea if you are still in the Witcher mood. There's not as much overlap in the story as you might be expecting. :)

    1. I was thinking of doing that, and was sure I would do that a year ago. But as I look back I get the feeling it would be like alternate history. Fun to indulge in, but of no real value. I also like the idea that what I did the first time is canon, truth, and only truth, thus a different playthrough would only invalidate my efforts. I helped myself with reading spoilers on the part that differed from my own. It is fascinating story, but I would hate for it to influence my own experience of the story. I'm satisfied. A bit annoyed that no matter how much I keep telling the game about Triss, the game is telling me about Yennefer, but otherwise I'm fine.


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