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The Witcher FAQ

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Æon's FAQ

for The Witcher


v2.9191 Q&As – 7/16/2011
for The Witcher – Enhanced Edition – Director's Cut
Edited by Æon (C) 2010–2011


Introduction

Difficulty medium
This FAQ is intended for the fans who have enjoyed, played and finished The Witcher, at least once, and are now wondering what quests, and other goodies they may have missed. In short, the FAQ is written for those that want to get more out of the game!
Note: I am assuming you more or less know how the game works, i.e. you learned the basics from playing The Witcher. If you want to be informed of things that go beyond "just winning the game", keep reading.
The FAQ makes extensive use of The Witcher Wiki, mainly highlighting things of note. Should you miss specific details, feel free to check with the wiki, it is quite content complete.



Overview – Gameplay Mechanics

Should you have played several other RPGs, here you will find a compact summary of how The Witcher works:
  • Basically you talk to NPCs (quest givers), solve quests, gain experience (XP), level up (character build), loot, trade, read books to learn about monsters / plants, explore the world, and progress in the storyline like in any other RPG. But there are quite a few differences...


Vitality, Endurance, and Toxicity

  • The most important player stat is Vitality (zero health means death), together with Endurance, and both luckily automatically regenerate over time. So, in theory you would not have to consume anything to replenish either, like the normally typical health and mana potions.
  • Geralt can meditate at fire places or other safe locations (inns). Several hours of meditation replenish Vitality, Endurance, and also cure Toxicity (poisoning after drinking contests, or the intake of several potions), plus perform Alchemy.
  • To slightly replenish health, Geralt can eat food.
  • Drinking bottled water restores Endurance.
  • During combat these regeneration methods are usually too slow, the witcher needs to drink potions.


Looting, Trade

  • The Witcher does not have a crime system (i.e. stealing), so you can loot without any repercussions.
  • Note that killing guards (e.g. guarding the Outskirts inn, or the city guards in Vizima) can have severe repercussions. A headhunter will hunt you down!
  • Most of the loot is not worth very much, especially food can be sold off for a few orens (the gold currency in the game).
  • By default Geralt cannot collect plants, he requires the Herbalism skill to identify and harvest plants, plus has to read books on herbs.
  • Differing from other games the Merchants' buy/sell prices for loot are always the same! So you can sell "junk" to anyone who will pay for it.
    Note: There are a very few exceptions, e.g. Kalkstein.
  • Merchants will keep everything you sell them in their inventory, letting you buy back items, if need be. This seems to be true only for the current Chapter though. Rare items in their inventory may return into stock after some time, after a day or so.
  • The game makes it very difficult to earn additional money by trading goods, since your sell price is only 1/5th of what you need to pay to buy it (e.g. ingredients, weapons). Only valuables like jewellery (e.g. diamonds) have a better buy/sell ratio of 2:1.
  • You should be aware that anything that falls to the floor (e.g. Remains) will disappear once you leave the area (load screen) to then return. Especially fighting many foes, you can only pick up a maximum two weapons (three towards the end)! Exception see the Safe Item Storage Location? Q&A.


Item Respawn, Inventory, Storage

Game icon inventory big
  • Again differing from other RPGs, the collected plants will grow back after a relatively short time. This means unlimited plant resources.
  • Items in chests (loot) stay there until you empty the chest. These items do not respawn.
    Exception: Between the Chapters II and III loot in e.g. chests reappears again.
  • Alas, it is not possible to stow away excess items from the Inventory in normal chests. But you can store them with e.g. an Innkeeper. Magically, any person with such a storage option will let you access your goods, even beyond the chapter limits. See the Storage opportunities Q&A.


Game icon hero big


Leveling Up, Talents

  • Solving quests, or slaying monsters will gain the player experience points (XP). With enough XP you will automatically reach the next level and earn Talents.
  • Your abilities on level up can be upgraded, by investing gold, silver, or bronze Talents into skills. Thus making the witcher more competent / powerful.


Time

  • The Witcher has a 24 hour time cycle (accelerated compared to real time), so you will experience sunrise, noon, sunset, and midnight.
    Note: At night you will stumble into dangerous opponents, even in Vizima. Also note some NPCs will only appear at certain times in the day, e.g. at noon.
  • 24 hours in-game (one virtual day) are equivalent to 1 hour 36 minutes in the real world. For an hour to pass in-game you need to wait 4 minutes. The time scale factor is 15.
  • Some quests require the witcher to be present at a certain location at a specific time, this does not pertain to the day though. So you can visit the location several in-game days or even weeks later.
  • Use Meditation to time skip to the time of day you require or prefer.


Combat, Magic & Signs

  • Only two weapons are actually important for the witcher, his Steel sword (against humans) and his Silver sword (against monsters).
  • The witcher cannot equip shields and there are none he could trade, only some guards carry them.
  • Armor is basically limited to very few Leather Jackets.
  • During the game the witcher will learn five different forms of magic, called Signs.
  • These spells use up Endurance, thus the importance of regeneration.
  • The Signs are an important addition to sword fighting, providing: Flame attacks, stun, magical shields, traps, and mental manipulation.
  • If everything else fails you can usually outrun your foes, who will give up the chase after a while.


Non-Continuous World

Game icon map big
  • The Witcher is not a continues world, e.g. like Two Worlds, but a sectioned / partitioned world.
  • Each chapter of the game "uncovers" a set of location the player can freely explore (excluding locked areas).
  • Entering caves or buildings or sectioned areas requires a level load.
  • Several times during the game, finishing a chapter will permanently close off that part of the world, so be sure you finish all quests first.
    Note: Some quests span more than one chapter.
  • Stored items (with innkeepers) usually transcend the chapters. There might be the issue of finding a NPC providing storage access late in the game though.


Interaction, NPCs

  • The main NPCs usually have unique green names floating above their heads, marking them as potential quest givers. Other NPCs with generic blue names, like Townswoman, normally only spout one phrase, but otherwise are used as decoration.
  • To make things more complicated some of the latter NPCs actually do have quests or untracked tasks for you. E.g. a peasant women in the Outskirts wanting a certain flower type (Romance card).
  • So talk to everyone you meet, even when they have a generic name. And talk to them more than once.
  • After solving a quest for a quest giver, be sure to talk to them again, they may have additional information or another quest.
  • Solving a main quest, can have repercussions on some of the other NPCs, thus it can be quite rewarding to talk to them again.
  • To make it easier for the player to detect new dialogue options, when talking to NPCs, all new dialogues are highlighted in blue, old dialogues are greyed out.


Alchemy

Game icon alchemy big
  • The Alchemy system at first glance daunting, turns out to be quite simple, compared to the complex system e.g. in Two Worlds. Per se you cannot create something new, you can only guess at recipes that could also have been learned from scrolls.
  • Not the ingredients but the basic substances they contain are relevant for alchemy.
  • To create potions use alcohol as a base, for oils use grease, and for bombs use black powder.
  • Ingredients sources are plants, monsters, and minerals.
  • It helps to learn the Monster Lore skill, to recall information about common monsters.
    Note: You have to know about monsters to extract ingredients.
  • The skills alone are not enough, Geralt needs to read (books) or hear about plant and monster descriptions.


General Gameplay & Tips

The Witcher gameplay Goals?

There are quite a few things you can/will want to achieve when playing the game:
  • Unravel the story around witcher Geralt.
  • Character Building: Create a powerful witcher.
  • Level up your char as far as possible, i.e. maximise XP gain (grinding is possible), also see Maximizing Experience Points.
  • Use alchemy to your advantage (there is not really any experimentation though).
  • Read books and scrolls to learn new abilities, i.e. recognize plants / monsters or brew potions from recipes.
  • Collect and earn heaps of orens (gold).
  • Collect meteorite ore pieces and runes to upgrade your swords.
  • Collect all the Romance cards.
  • Play the mini-games.
  • Solve all the quests and side-quests.
  • Have fun!


How to Maximise your XP?

If you want to maximise your experience point counts, to thus push your PC Level. Look into Rank Progression to find out how many Talents you get per XP level.
Note: This game is not XP limited. Even though the amount of XP you gain via quests is limited, most monsters respawn again and again. Making any record in XP, less of a skill and more like a gruelling game of "monster grinding".
Comment: I reached Level 39 on my "pretty complete" first run, but with some grinding it should be quite possible to reach a mid-forties level. (AEon)
Tips:
  • An obvious tip to start off: Play and complete as many quests and side-quests as possible.
  • Go out of your way to "clean up" all enemies. In some areas the monsters will respawn again and again. E.g. in Chapter I the drowners near the river (at night), the ghouls in crypts, and the barghest on the Outskirt paths at night.


How to Run faster?

The normal running speed of the Geralt is — compared to the walking speed — already quite brisk for a RPG. But should you want to run even faster, draw the silver sword (e-key by default), and switch to either group (c-key) or fast (x-key) style to then run slightly more quickly.
Note: In peaceful areas — Location Safe (top-right in HUD) — it is not possible to draw your swords.


How to See in the dark?

Geralt does some spelunking in caves, crypts, and sewers were the visibility in the dark can almost drop to zero. So he needs a means to see in the dark:
  • The traditional way to light caves is the use of a Torch. This has some disadvantages though, when trying to use a sword (i.e. attack) or pick up something the torch is sheathed.
  • A much better method to see in the dark is to use the Cat potion. It works really well, and is the way to go in almost all cases. This does raise Geralt's Toxicity level though.
  • It turns out that the Quen Sign (yellow) actually is a good light source, if Geralt is missing a potion or a torch, and conveniently the shield does not turn off when looting. (Pigrum)
  • Finally for infrared vision Geralt can consume the De Vries' Extract. Alas, it does not really help much in the game, since there are no invisible monsters. It can be fun — for a short time — to run around looking at the world in false colours. The potion has almost no tactical advantage though. And you will not discover anything "invisible" or "hidden" either.


Harvest / Loot more Quickly?

By default when harvesting plants, searching remains, or looting chests the Inventory will be opened. Especially if the potential loot is known, e.g. for plants, this method is very tiring and slow.
Solution: Simply hold the Ctrl-key while left-clicking on something you want to search. Icons of the items added to your Inventory will float up from the object.
This novelty, introduced in the Enhanced Edition, is not only convenient for plants but also for monsters. When looking into chests, the old method should be preferred though, letting you look over what you are about to pick up.


Interacting with Objects?

Aside from NPCs, you can interact (open, use) with Barrels, Chests, Wardrobes, Dressers, Plants, and the Remains of slain enemies. Be sure to check all of these, when they have a blue interaction text hovering above them, since most of them yield loot:
  • All sorts of valuables, weapons, food, potions, plants, and junk that can either be used or sold.
  • Orens coins.
  • Meteorite ore and runes.
  • Scrolls, books increasing Geralt's knowledge.
  • Ingredients for alchemy.


First-time Dialogue Options?

Usually dialogues with NPCs will let you re-ask questions, letting you listing to stories or valuable information a second time.
Note: In such dialogue trees, the dialogues you have already followed are greyed out, helping you remember old information and notice new dialogue options!
But in several cases your first interaction with a new NPC, can yield unique one-time-only dialogues. You can also insult NPCs in dialogues, thus barring your game from future useful dialogue trees! At times leaving the area (e.g. via door, leading to a level load) can reset this block, letting you talk to the NPC again, but not always.
Tip: Always quicksave before you talk to a new NPC. Should the dialogue not go well, simply quickload again. This lets you experiment with the dialogue options.


Is there a Crime System?

Differing from other RPGs, in The Witcher, the looting of objects (see the Interacting with Objects? Q&A) is not considered a crime. The NPCs completely ignore this.
Violent repercussions usually occur through either dialogues or by some "automatic" area trigger, spawning foes. But you can accidentally attack "innocents", while fighting monsters (very rare, e.g. Village Militia fighting barghest in the Outskirts).
Warning: Killing mercenaries guarding the Inn in the Outskirts or city guards in the Temple Quarter will put the Headhunter on your trail, he is very difficult to defeat.


Fleeing from Foes in Combat?

Usually you should be able to outrun your foes when combat is initiated, thus letting you leave the area of combat, should the fight not go well. Or if you cannot leave the area, at least you can keep out of reach by running in circles.
Note: The foes only follow you for a certain distance and then give up.
In a few cases, this running away tactic will not work:
  • You loose in a fistfight if you try to run away, i.e. leave the arena.
  • In other situations there may not be anywhere to run to. When cornered on a bridge or in castle halls, you can jump over foes by double-tapping the appropriate direction key when your sword is drawn.
Tip: When e.g. Swallow cannot regenerate your health quickly enough, running away will give you an extra moments breather. Does not work well against foes that shoot projectiles, though. The Sign Quen (shield) is also a good choice when you are low on health trying to run away and/or trying to regenerate.
Also note that you cannot enter buildings or leave areas (load screen) when in combat mode.


Combat Tips?

After playing the game for a while it becomes quite clear how useful the Signs are, here a few tips:
  • When exploring Crypts with many dangerous monsters, avoid moving around after killing the current flock of foes. This avoids triggering the next batch of monsters, giving you time to recover and quicksave. (Game widow)
  • During combat the game cannot be saved, so be sure to use a combat pause to save the game, just in case.
  • If everything fails, remember you can usually outrun your foes. Also do not underestimate the use of geometry (a column, or sarcophagus), letting you keep the monster on the other side.
  • Start investing Talents in the first two Signs you learn in the game, since they are very powerful against foes:
Bullet Aard
Bullet Igni
Bullet Quen
Bullet Yrden
  • Aard (blue) lets you stun monsters and humans, letting you strike them down with one single blow with the sword — the Coup de grace. Especially useful against tenacious Fleders or Alghouls.
  • Igni (red) lets you torch everything around you. This is pretty much the only remote combat "weapon" available to the witcher (if you ignore traps and bombs). Keep flaming your oppnent, run in circles until the Endurance has regenerated (drink Tawny Owl), then torch again, repeat. This lets you beat the toughest opponents.
  • Quen (yellow) lets you create a temporary shield around Geralt. As soon as you use another Sign or attack the shield will fail. Use the Sign when fighting in cramped surroundings, where it is difficult to avoid opponents by simply running in circles. Once the shield is up you can drink potions or wait for Vitality and Endurance to regenerate. Very useful!
  • Switch to Group style when fighting more than one foe using the silver sword for monsters and the steel sword for humans. Especially against several Drowners this is very effective.
  • With a strong sign-centred character build, creating traps via Yrden (purple) can be quite effective. To avoid taking damage while you power-up the trap (press and hold right-click), cast the Quen (yellow) shield beforehand. This works because the shield does not deactivate until after the enemies take damage, giving ample time to cast it. (Pigrum)
  • If you have invested many talents in Yrden, place a trap (normal right-click) at a corner a foe needs to navigate. E.g. when fighting the huge spider, Koshchey, place it near the central colum, the spider needs to move around to get at you. The beast will run into the spikes, but be pushed back, this repeats. You can then stand safely on the other side of the trap. This even works really well with Azar Javed: Place a trap near the small "bridge" that leads out of the pit towards the stairs, then walk up the stars and wait for Azar to walk into the trap. He will get spiked again and again.
  • Most boss fights cannot be won by directly attacking with Signs or the swords. There is usually a clever game mechanic that lets you kill them in another manner. So pay close attention to your surroundings, and make use of them.


Backtracking & Meditation?

A well prepared fighter, is a fighter that survives the next battle!
It is always a good idea to completely regenerate before you enter a new area, e.g. a cave or tavern etc. Thus backtracking to the next campfire will improve your chances of surviving the next fight.
Since Geralt automatically heals (Vitality), regenerates Endurance, and also reduces Toxicity over time, you simply need to stand around and wait. It is more efficient to visit a campfire and meditate for an hour or so, though. This completely revitalises the PC.
Note: You can also sleep at an inn or some hut with a "bed".
Especially during combat, you may want to consume various goods to up your Vitality or Endurance values. Potions are most potent in this respect, so ensure you always have some at hand, especially Swallow and Tawny Owl.
Whenever you encounter / find a Place of Power perform the Ritual of Magic to boost sign power by 100%. Also take advantage of the sign boosts provided by the Circle of Elements.


Revisited areas yield new Items?

During the game you will revisit areas, the second time under slightly different circumstances.
Examples:
  • The Crypt in the outskirts opens up after you killed the monsters in the first chambers (and have talked to Mikul). The soldiers wanting to loot the crypt open up the previously blocked passages to the rest of the crypt.
Tip: Be sure to very carefully re-investigate the revisited areas. Quite often you will find valuable "hidden" items or monsters carrying them.


Safe Item Storage Location?

Game Interaction icon storage
Normally anything you drop on the floor, will be removed by the game after you leave the area (load screen). And the chests and other loot containers cannot be used to store your items either!
There seems to exist one safe heaven for items in the game, in Chapter III visit the Elven ruins in the Sewers. One could call these elegant premises Geralt's home away from home, a teleporter for fast transport is available, so is a fireplace for meditation. You even live in the exquisite company of an ever-respawning Alp.
Floor Storage: What makes the Elven ruins so special is the fact that anything you drop on the floor in the two main rooms (teleport, campfire), will not be removed by the game. So you can drop excess items here.
Note: Once you enter Chapter IV anything you dropped here will obviously be gone, because you will never be able to return to these ruins after Chapter III.
Looting Tip: When playing the Order path, after the bank robbery, quite a few Scoia'tael will be lying dead on the floor in the connecting corridors to the Elven ruins. You can pick up their weapons, and bring them into the safe main rooms in the ruins, to then bit by bit sell them off using the teleporter. (Not tested but should work.)
See the Storage opportunities Q&A.


Cannot collect / identify plants?

CharDev Intelligence 2 1
By default Geralt cannot collect plants, he requires the Herbalism skill to identify and harvest plants, plus has to read books on herbs. Whenever a plant is unidentifiable (Unknown herb), this is a hint that you should invest into more books related to plants, e.g. from some Antiquaries.


Heal / reduce Toxicity?

Potion White Honey
To reduce Geralt's Toxicity, drink the White Honey potion, rest for several hours meditating, or perform the Purification Ritual in a Place of Power.


Drunk? How to get Sober again?

Potion Wives Tears
After a drinking contest Geralt will barely be able to stand on his two feet, plus his vision is massively blurred. To get sober again either drink the Wives' Tears potion, or rest for several hours meditating.
see Intoxication


Looking for Spoilers?

If you are looking for various tips and help on how to get the most out of the game then look into the Spoilers page. For an overview of all spoiler-related pages see the Spoilers category.
see Spoilers at a Glance
see also Spoiler Checklist
see also² Gameplay Quick Guide


View-mode Tips?

For players used to First Person Shooters the Over the Shoulder (OTS; F3-key) view should be the most natural mode. And works very well when exploring the game for Object Names (especially if you turn them on/off via a key). Or when trying to locate from where a monster is attacking.
But there are a few cases were the isometric view modes are very useful as well (F1-key and F2-key):
  • When walking in the Swamp cemetery with high vegetation, orientation can be quite difficult — claustrophobic too — in OTS, use isometric view instead.
  • To a lesser degree this is also the case in the Fields.
  • When e.g. travelling the Outskirts, Geralt will have to do quite a bit of running about. Switch to isometric view and simply click on the ground where you need to go, then lean back and watch Geralt automatically navigate around obstacles with a few clicks. Very relaxing.


Aard, Physics & Loot?

Bullet Aard
When spelunking in e.g. crypts, but basically anywhere you engage in combat with potential loot in the vicinity (mostly in barrels), be very careful when using the Aard (blue) Sign. The physics in the game do not effect much, but when attacking foes you can actually also destroy barrels containing loot, this destroys the loot as well!


Character Building

Character Interaction

Be sure to look into the Character interaction related to gameplay icons. These are quite significant during dialogues.
see also Character development


On how to spend Talents?

It is advisable to carefully read the skill tooltips before spending your limited number of Talent points on them. After some reflection you may find that certain skills conductive to your playing style. Even though you can spend quite a few Talents — playing through the complete game — there are not enough to spend on all skills, so concentrate on those that are most useful to your style of playing. (E-ahmet)
  • Generally if you prefer a Mage or Battle Mage character build, it is very advisable to invest in Intelligence, and also in Stamina to increase your Endurance (used by Signs!).
  • Since Igni (red) so dominates the game towards the end, investing talents here really helps fend off all those foe masses.
  • Since Aard (blue) is also very useful to stun powerful foes, to finish them off with a Coup de grace, invest in it as well.


Storage opportunities

Alas, Geralt cannot cleanup his inventory by storing items he presently does not need by either simply dropping them on the floor somewhere in the game or by placing them in some random chest or other container.
Note: There is one exception see Safe Item Storage Location? Q&A, but this only temporarily works in Chapter III.
Game Interaction icon storage
The proper gameplay mechanism to store items is to make use of special NPCs in the game — usually Innkeepers found at inns and taverns. Anything you give them for safekeeping can be retrieved for free from any other NPC in the game that also provides storage. And that across the whole game!
Storage opportunities:
Tip: As you can see, accessing the items you stored away can become quite tricky towards the end of the game. So be sure you have the items you need in your inventory beforehand. A look into the chapter-based Shopping List will help make better decisions.


Advanced Looting?

Items Orens many
Tips on how to get more orens (Items Oren) out of the game:
  • Obviously search every barrel, chest, wardrobe, dresser, tomb, etc. for loot, to then sell it to the appropriate merchant.
  • Also play as many quests as possible. You will not only earn orens, but at times also quite valuable items.
  • When looting, your Inventory will often be full, meaning you cannot pick up e.g. a weapon. Open the map (m-key), then (right-click, marking the location as a reminder for later looting. Up to three such custom markers can be placed per map.
  • Differing from other games the Merchants' buy/sell prices for loot are always the same! So you can sell "junk" to anyone who will pay for it.
  • You will run into the Gardener near the hospital in Chapter II. He will also give Geralt red, yellow or white roses in exchange for food, just talk about his war-time past. This has potential for some money making: Give the Gardener "junk" food that you would normally sell for 1 Items Oren, then sell the roses for 6 Items Oren.
  • When fighting against Salamandra or other human foes, be very picky about what weapons you actually take with you. You only have one short and one heavy (large) weapon slot in your Inventory (upto the end of Chapter V). So pick up the most valuable short/heavy weapons. The reason for this is game-engine related: Anything dropped on the floor (Remains) is removed from the game if you leave the area/building (load screen), so you cannot go back and forth collecting / selling loot, alas.
    Tip: Either keep notes on what the merchants pay for weapons or take a closer look at the weapon price list — the sell prices. In the beginning you should favour the Torch selling for a significant 40 Items Oren, compared to the quite common but almost worthless 10 Items Oren Temerian steel dagger.
  • When playing the Order path, after the bank robbery, quite a few Scoia'tael will be lying dead on the floor in the connecting corridors. You can pick up their weapons, and bring them into the safe main rooms in the Elven ruins (anything you drop here stays in the game), to then bit by bit sell them off using the teleporter.
For more tips on how to stash away orens, read the extensive Cheapskate's Guide.


What items should I keep?

Most of the items in the game can be sold away for that extra bit of coin, but there are quite a few items you will need to get for NPCs, as part of a quest, so it can be quite time saving to know about these items, and to collect them early on in the game, to set them aside for later.
See the extensive chapter-based Shopping List for details.


Boost the Sword stats?

The best way to enhance the stats of your swords is to reforge them with the help of a Blacksmith, yielding permanent boosts:
  • For steel swords use a combination of three Meteorites: Meteorites Blue ore Meteorites Red ore Meteorites Yellow ore
  • For silver swords use a combination of three Runes: Runes Earth Runes Moon Runes Sun
Note:
  • You cannot mix meteorites and runes.
  • Meteorites only work for the steel sword and runes only work for the silver sword.
  • The effects of a previous forging are reset when you reforge it, so it is not possible to stack meteorite or rune effects, alas.
Additionally you can boost the stats of your swords temporarily by the following means:
  • Add a temporary "poisonous" blade coating using Oils. Oil Argentia Oil Brown Oil Oil Crinfrid Oil Oil Hanged Mans Venom Oil Insectoid Oil Oil Necrophage Oil Oil Ornithosaur Oil Oil Specter Oil Oil Vampire Oil
  • Or sharpen the blades temporarily using Diamond dust, Grindstone, or Whetstone. Blade Upgrades Diamond dust Blade Upgrades Sharpening stone Blade Upgrades Sharpening stone
Note: Per sword you will only be able to apply one such temporary boost, they do not stack! Such temporary boosts do stack on top of the permanent "forged" stats of the swords, though.
Tip: The Swordsmith in the Trade Quarter will only forge swords if you give him a precious stone first. As it turns out that does make the resulting swords any better or cheaper. You actually get ripped off. You should prefer the Blacksmiths in the Temple Quarter instead.
For more details see Blade enhancement.


Meteorite Ore for Steel swords?

Meteorites Blue ore
Meteorites Red ore
Meteorites Yellow ore
Even though at the beginning of the game the meteorite ore seems to have much potential (valuable and rare), the forged swords are a bit of a letdown (and expensive), since you will find or receive better swords if you play the game systematically.
Note: Use three meteorite ore of the same kind to gain additional boni for your sword.
For a complete list of meteorite locations and weapon stats for the resulting Meteorite swords (10 combinations possible) visit the wiki.


Runes for Silver swords?

Runes Earth
Runes Moon
Runes Sun
Again, the runes are a quite interesting and valuable items to collect, but they are so rare that only towards the end of the game will you have enough of the same kind to create an interesting sword. And then you may actually receive one for free with even better stats.
Note: Use three runes of the same kind to gain additional boni for your sword.
Tip: Although most custom silver swords are indeed sub-par, there is one instance worth mentioning: You can collect three runes (two Earth rune and one Sun rune), from Memory of a Blade, the fistfight with Andrew Gablodda and one purchased from Thaler. They will be available for forging (for 1000 Items Oren; damage +30%) at the beginning of Chapter III and can last you until the end of chapter IV, when you may receive Aerondight. (Pigrum)
For a complete list of rune locations and weapon stats for the resulting Rune swords (10 combinations possible) visit the wiki.


Items to definitely pick up?

Sword Harvall
Apart from powerful and rare swords, usually received by solving quests, there are a few items you definitely will want to get:
Armor Excellent Leather Jacket
  • In the very north of the Swamp, be sure to visit the Wyvern Island, there you will find a Messenger's corpse with the very powerful steel sword, Harvall.


Quests

What Quests are there?

The Witcher is a complex game. This list will help you track down those few quests you may have missed or not completed for some reason. For an overview look into the List of Quests by Chapter (130 real quests total) on the wiki, where you can distinguish by
Primary quests Primary quests, Secondary quests Secondary quests, Trophy hook 2 Trophy quests, and Scrolls generic icon letter Contracts.
Alignment-related Quests: There are a total of six quests that can only be played if Geralt follows the appropriate path (Order, Scoia'tael, or Witcher/Neutral). Thus only two of the six quests can be played in one game run, see the Alignment dependant Quests? Q&A. Note that the quest Hot Potato may fail in Chapter II if you help the Scoia'tael in Chapter I (Coleman dies in The Hairy Bear inn).
Multi-chapter Quests: There are several quests that cannot be solved at the end of the Chapter they were started:
Also read the How to Look up Missed Quests? Q&A.


How to Look up Missed Quests?

The simplest way to find out what quests you missed playing through The Witcher is to load up the final saved game in the save game editor, to then look into the Quests tab under Not Started.
For this to work, download and install the editor, see the The Witcher Save Editor? Q&A for details.


Quests easily missed?

After a while you get a feeling for the game and how to talk to all the quest givers. Alas there are a few cases where these rules have been "broken", thus you may tend to miss the quest:
  • The Rat from Coleman (at the Hairy Bear inn). If you supported the Scoia'tael in Chaper I, and talked to detective Raymond Maarloeve before you encounter Coleman at the inn in Chapter II, then he will be dead, and so will the quest.
    Difficulty: No way to guess at this correlation of events. Additionally the parcel delivery quest Hot Potato will actually fail!
  • White Fang from Royal huntsman. The beast (Voref) is mentioned, but there is no quest that would let you remember or look up the quest. You have to go out and find the beast in the swamp first.
    Tip: Look around the Collapsed tower by night (though I have seen the wolf in the early morning too).
    Difficulty: The wolf roams around making it difficult at times to find.
  • A Ghost Story from Thug (door opposite the Warehouse in the Slums, Trade Quarter).
    Difficulty: It seems the tricky thug only shows up after mid-night but before dawn (6:00). Interestingly the quest can be played in either Chapter II or III. Note this quest can yield a Romance card.
  • Echoes of Yesterday from elf Yaevinn (on Druids' grove in the Swamp) at the beginning of Chapter III.
    Difficulty: You start off playing the Trade Quarter in Chapter III, and a visit to the Druids' grove will normally be the last place you revisit. And when you do, some other quests will probably already have removed Yeavinn from the grove.
  • A Pilgrimage from Gramps (when first visiting the Swamp).
    Difficulty: If you take the quest, Geralt will still have a quite weak character build, so you may want to stop the quest (load an older save game), and start to explore the swamp first. Trouble then brews when you discover Gramp's hut and his darker side. This voids the quest.
Comment: The more observant reader will note that some of these are the quests I missed on my first run. I also mention those quests I only accidentally stumbled into. (AEon)
Note: There are six quests that depend on the path Geralt takes, see the Alignment dependant Quests? Q&A.


Alignment dependant Quests?

There are six quests that can only be played if Geralt has followed the appropriate path:
Logo Order of the Flaming Rose
Items Squirrel tail
Witcher medallion


Rewards for Trophy Quests?

Inventory Trophy hook
Trophy quests are a bit different than most of the other quests:
  • For one they you are not required to complete the game, except for The Beast of the Sewers in Chapter II.
  • Then even though they are tracked as quests in the Journal, they only register after you killed the special monster, and have collected the trophy on the witcher's trophy hook.
  • These quests are "hinted" at by the the appropriate quest giver, usually the Royal huntsman, but also Vincent Meis or Tobias Hoffman, by word of mouth. So you have to pay very close attention to what they are looking for and where you will find it.
  • In the Chapters I to V, there are two trophy quests per Chapter, yielding a total of ten such quests.
For an overview of all quests and their rewards look into the Trophy quests list.
Why bother?
Not only will you encounter interesting monsters that yield a lot of XP, but you will also earn quite significant amounts of orens. The persistent player will also get special rewards, like the very powerful Moon Blade, a silver sword, or the G'valchir, a steel sword. So, happy hunting.
Note: As part of The Flame that Cleanses — if you chose the Order path — White Rayla will challenge you to collect as many Scoia'tael (squirrel) tails as possibly. This could be considered a trophy quest. Even though you can "win" (get the XP), Rayla never really agrees that you beat her.


What different Endings are there?

There are three endings to the game, and these are determined by Geralt's choices at critical points in the game. Thanks to flashbacks (series of still images, reminding the player of his past choices) the player is retroactively made aware of the forks in the story.
Basically Geralt has the choice to help the Scoia'tael, support the Order or try to walk the Witcher's (Neutral) path. For more details read the storyline. Depending on Geralt's choices the story pans out slightly differently, some NPCs may not reappear later in the game because they died, some choices will make later decisions impossible.
For a detailed overview of Geralt's choices and their consequences read the Decision Checklist.


Following the Order path?

Logo Order of the Flaming Rose
In each chapter you should always explore all areas. Thus informed you should be able to make out what quests are pro Order / Siegfried and which are not. Obviously anything that helps the Scoia'tael / Yaevinn should be avoided (even transporting a letter).
Insight: It seems the game is a lot less strict when if comes to supporting either side. You may well play minor pro-Scoia'tael quests, you should only avoid supporting them in Force Recon and Gold Rush, to stay on the Order path.
Tip: At the end of Chapter IV, trying to save Alvin in the village of Murky Waters, you can still choose the "neutral" path if you tell Dandelion so.
See the Decision Checklist for hints.


Following the Scoia'tael path?

Items Squirrel tail
Again, explore all areas in the chapters, to then only play the quests that are pro-Scoia'tael and Yaevinn, avoiding helping the Order and Siegfried.
Insight: It seems the game is a lot less strict when if comes to supporting either side. You may well play minor pro-Order quests, you should only avoid supporting them in Force Recon and Gold Rush, to stay on the Scoia'tael path.
Tip: At the end of Chapter IV, trying to save Alvin in the village of Murky Waters, you can still choose the "neutral" path if you tell Dandelion so.
See the Decision Checklist for hints.


Following the Witcher path?

Witcher medallion
This is probably the most difficult path for any completist RPG player. You have to explore each chapter to then painstakingly avoid helping either the Order or Scoia'tael. Only taking on the quests you can morally support. Or so it would seem...
Insight: As it turns out you can fully play e.g. the Order path (see the Following the Order path? Q&A), taking on some minor pro-Scoia'tael quests, but otherwise supporting Siegfried in the swamps (Force Recon) and at the bank in Gold Rush. But this path can still be turned "neutral", at the end of Chapter IV, if you decide to just grab Alvin and get out of Murky Waters (i.e. not helping the Order against the Scoia'tael). In Chapter V you will then be on the neutral path, e.g. get a different Romance card.
Note: Alas, this does not work if you want to switch to the Scoia'tael path, your support of the Order voids that dialogue option with Dandelion.
So you can play the quests any way you want as a "neutral" witcher, right up to the decision at the end of Chapter IV.
Avoiding the quest Force Recon completely (you take no side), and possibly also ignoring to get involved in the bank robbery in Gold Rush (may not be possible), could keep the witcher "so" neutral, that he can decide what side to take at the end of Chapter IV (saving Alvin) — Order, Scoia'tael, or Neutral path.
See the Decision Checklist for hints.


Gameplay Alternatives?

The many gameplay alternatives in The Witcher are among the more fascinating and interesting features of this RPG. Meaning, quite often there are several ways to complete a quest. Read: Replay Value! Below a list of situations with alternatives you might like to try out:
  • Read the Decision Checklist detailing Geralt's important decisions and their consequences.
  • Three Endings
See the What different Endings are there? Q&A for details.
  • Most quests (too numerous to mention) have slight variations you can try out.


The Mini-games?

There are several mini-games in The Witcher. These are activated as part of the dialog tree when talking to NPCs. Activate the mini-game by clicking the available gameplay icon to the left of the numbered dialogue options:
Game Interaction icon fistfight
  • Fistfight
    For an overview read up on Fistfighting. For details on the relevant fistfighters in the game see the Fistfighters list.
Game Interaction icon gamble
  • Dice Poker
    You will need a set of dice, to be found in Chapter I, and Geralt's old dwarven friend Zoltan Chivay to learn the game, to then face off against the players listed in A Game of Dice.
Game Interaction icon drink
  • Drink
    Geralt can take quite a lot of alcohol, so as long as he starts off sober, and has enough alcohol in his Inventory, he should dink any opponent under the table. To get sober again drink the Wives' Tears portion or meditate for a few hours. These contests let you win favour with the drunk NPC. You may also gain — often rare — items or additional valuable information.
  • Romance cards
    Geralt's escapades are technically not mini-games or quests, but they are a challenge and collectible in form of cards, read the List of Romance cards for details.
Tip: Remember to quicksave before you start playing the mini-games. This lets you "undo" painful defeats.


Breaks in the Game?

The obvious "breaks" in the game happen between Chapters. Usually you will not be able to return to previous parts of the game. Alas it is not always clear when the Chapter change will happen, though there are hints:
  • Prologue – Chapter I
    Finish off everything you want to do at Kaer Morhen before you visit Leo's burial.
  • Chapter I – II
    Finish most of the quests — except quests like the dice player and fistfighter that span chapters — before you visit the Salamandra's hideout in the Outskirts. Because after that almost everyone in the Outskirts will either gone or dead.
  • Chapter III – IV
    When Triss tells you about teleporting you into the Salamandra base, she warns you that this may change many things. So ensure you have finished all the other Chapter III quests first.
  • Chapter IV – V
    After killing Dagon things on land will have changed, the villagers have been taken hostage. Again, ensure that you have finished most quests before killing this beast.


The Autopsy outcome?

You should be aware that depending on how curious and well informed Geralt is, three different suspects may result from the Anatomy of a Crime investigation:
  • Ramsmeat will attack you when you implicate him.
  • Kalkstein if implicated seems to laugh it off, calling Geralt a "fool". Does not seem to have other negative side effects, though.
  • Azar Javed is the real criminal, job well done.


Inviting Party Guests?

When you talk to Shani later in Chapter I, she tells you of a party she is planning to organise (Old Friend of Mine), inviting Geralt, telling him to bring a friend. You may have guessed that one of the guests to invite is Geralt's old dwarven friend Zoltan. If you are a bit daring you may also have guessed that Carmen can be invited. Interestingly even Siegfried can be invited. Even though one of the nuns at the hospital would love to party, you cannot invite her, alas.
Tip: The "heavy" drinking at the party will make Wives' Tears convenient to have.


Signs & Wayfarer's stones?

Items Wayfarers stone
During the game you will encounter several Wayfarer's stones. These are magic portals that require a combination of Igni and Aard Signs to be activated.
These Wayfarer's stones can be found in Chapter V spread out in the cemetery swamps: One in the old Mine, one in the southernmost refugee camp cave (Agnes of Glanville's lair), and one in the cemetery crypt (Saint Gregory's tomb).
Alas the trial and error method of "unlocking" them can be quite tedious, here a few tips:
  • First off note that the combination you need to find requires three and only three Signs.
  • Before you cast any Sign on the stone, quicksave the game. Then cast three Signs — there are a total of 8 combinations to try out — should nothing happen, quickload, and try the next combination.
    Note: The game always remembers the first, and second Signs you cast. So leaving the cave will not reset any previous "junk" you cast. Technically you would always need to count to three, to avoid the effects of previously un-reset Signs in the combination. Thus the tip to use quicksave / quickload.
  • You do not need to power-up the Signs, a simple right-click will do. And you do not need to touch the stone while Sign casting either.
  • Once you have the working combination, write it down, or you may have trouble exiting the place you were teleported to.
Comment: I was able to figure out the combinations by trial and error and a lot of luck. Alas it is not really clear that the stones require three Signs to activate, so the player is basically forced to blindly experiment. IMO, a mildly annoying gameplay mechanic. (AEon)


Finding Alina's Mirror Shards?

Quest Items Mirror shard
When you get to the point of trying to save Alina's afterlife, you will need to look for the shards of her mirror. Since Geralt can almost never climb up external stairs on buildings, you may have missed the steps leading up to the top lookout of the Ruined Mill in the Fields. Here you will find one of the mirror shards.


Wreath of Immortelles use?

Quest Items Wreath of Immortelles
If you helped the Hermit in the Fields in Chapter IV, you can choose the Wreath of Immortelles as a reward. After the dead Alina is at peace with her afterlife, you can also save Celina (now a nightwraith) by giving her the Wreath of Immortelles. (Though this did not trigger a quest phase.)


Use of a specific Quest Item?

You may have collected quite a few quest items while playing the game, but forgot what they are for? If so, simply look them up in this complete list, sorted by Chapter: see Quest Items


Characters

Characters easily missed?

Some characters will only appear at certain times in the day/night, so chances are good to completely overlook them:
Traveller (at night, near inn, Outskirts)
  • Remembers having hired Geralt, pays 100 Items Oren.
Beggar (old woman, Farming village, Outskirts)
Bestiary Wraith full
Wraith (near Cemetery entrance, Trade Quarter, Chapter II).
  • Wandering the streets at night you may walk into a mumbling peaceful wraith. It is part of the a quest Hildegard Zollstock triggers. You will find here around noon, also near the cemetery gates.
Distressed nurse (outside of St. Lebioda's Hospital, Trade Quarter, Chapter III)
  • Gives you the Medic in Distress quest. She can only be found near the hospital — where the Gardener usually can be found — by day from 12:00 to about 13:30.
Townsman (near John Natalis Square, Trade Quarter).
  • He hands Geralt the book on monsters, Physiologus. You should find him by day, and look into the streets leading to the square when it is raining.
Noblewoman these two noblewomen are mutually exclusive!
Con artist (exit of Sewers in Trade Quarter).
  • You will only stumble into this shady guy at daybreak, provides quest Finders Keepers.


Dialogues easily missed?

Persistence with NPC dialogues may at times yield quite unexpected rewards. Such opportunities are difficult to spot, since you may not know about a key, or get brushed off with "there is not much more to say", but there actually is more to say.
Old Woman (Farming village, Outskirts, Chapter I)
  • In a random encounter these old women will impart information about nine plants, plus two monsters (tales), so talk to them again and again after an area change (load screen). Saves buying expensive books, plus you learn about plants early on in the game.
Gossip (near detective Raymond's place, Temple Quarter, Chapter II)
  • To get her Romance card talk to her about "... news of a witcher in town", following up with "fancies women", but only if Geralt says "it's hard to live up to a legend" will the Gossip ask for a gift as proof. The other two random dialogue options will not work, so you may have to ask several times.
Bootblack (near detective Raymond's place, Temple Quarter, Chapter II)
Brickmaker (woman, in one of the huts in Brickmakers' village, Swamp, Chapter II)
  • This random dialogue may be difficult to trigger, keep trying to talk to all the brickmaker women in the huts. She will tell you about swamp plants — beggartick, fool's parsley and crow's eye — for either 50 Items Oren or honey.
Lumberjack (Lumberjacks' glade, Swamp, Chapter II)
People Herbalist female
Innkeeper (of The New Narakort inn, Trade Quarter, Chapter III)
  • You may have bribed the innkeeper once with a hefty 233 Items Oren, but it is possible to do so more often:
Waitress (at The New Narakort inn, Chapter III)
  • Differing from other NPCs, each time you talk to the waitress she uses another dialogue reply, so you can just keep on talking to her again and again without having to leave/return the area (load screen).
  • She mentions spilling white sauce, you can help her with either red gloves or 100 Items Oren for two potions of Wives' Tears.
  • Keep talking to her, and she will mention her grandmother, this yields a recipe for the Devil's Puffball bomb.
  • Apparently she will also tell you the recipe for Wives' Tears, should you not know it already.
Old Peasant Woman (village, Murky Waters, Chapter IV)
  • She will tell of three herbs.
Fisher King (Lakeside, Chapter IV)
  • After killing Dagon — the peaceful conflict resolution — talk to the Fisher King again, be persistent, to actually get him to talk!


Foes easily missed?

Some foes in The Witcher will only spawn after certain other prerequisites have been met. Or are dependent on the time of day. E.g. some foes only appear at night. This can make it very easy to miss them, since the foes are often spawned in areas you will quite probably already have explored (by day). For those looking for more XP and orens, some pointers:
Trophy Voref
Swamp, Chapter III:


Annoyed NPCs? Come back later?

Sometimes Geralt may anger a NPC, who will forthwith refuse to talk to him. Or when a NPC tells you to "come back later" requiring time to create something, then the "later" just means you should leave the building or exit the area (load screen). You can then return immediately to end the "wait". And after returning annoyed NPCs should talk to Geralt again.


Activate Merchants/Dice Players?

Most merchants or poker dice players will show gameplay dialogue icons making it clear that you can interact with them. Note you will need to talk to a few NPCs for a while to unlock these icons.


Selling to Blacksmiths?

Normally you will not be able to sell to the blacksmiths that provide a Weapon Enhancement gameplay icon. They will only accept Runes and Meteorites for sword upgrades.
The Order armourer in the Temple Quarter is an early exception (the blacksmith in Murky Waters is the other one). He actually also buys many things. Especially of interest are:
Note: The dwarven Blacksmith on the other hand will not buy any of these wares! So you may want to be on the Order's good side, at least for a short while.


Dealing with Fisstech?

Potion Fisstech
Fighting the Salamandra will often let you collect fisstech. Trouble is that most merchants will — for obvious reasons — not buy the drug. Here the NPCs that will let you sell off fisstech for 20 Items Oren per box:
Tip: It is actually possible to "brew" your own fisstech using Alchemy!


Sell Salamandra badges?

Quest Items Salamander badge
When fighting the Salamandra you will almost always find a Salamandra badge on their bodies, but can these be sold? Yes, to two NPCs actually:
  • During the Wanted quest in Chapter II it is possible to sell them to the Messenger at the Hairy Bear inn for 10 Items Oren each (careful, you sell all badges in your inventory!).
  • And also to Declan Leuvaarden, who requires three of them (for 600 Items Oren total) as proof that Geralt is indeed fighting Salamandra before he will reveal any information in Chapter II.


Convince Workshop Alchemist?

Places Workshop
Visiting the Workshop in the Trade Quarter of Vizima in Chapter III will lead to an interesting scholastic discussion with the Alchemist. He thinks that Kalkstein is a complete quack, so it is up the to Geralt to convince him otherwise.
You will need to have read about and remember Kalkstein's theories to be able to convince the Alchemist of their validity. If all else fails, try these dialogue options:
  • "denies ... co-dependant"
  • "secondary ... of themselves"
  • "attach and detatch"
  • "golem" or the funnier "impress ladies"
The thus educated Alchemist will give you the Samum scroll and the book Secrets of the Southern Masters.


Ice Field encounters?

In the Epilogue Geralt traverses the ice fields, a figment of the Grand Master's imagination. Depending on the path Geralt took, and whom he saved, these NPCs will reappear:
  • Abigail: Should she have been saved by Geralt will give him five Swallow and five Tawny Owl potions. These are special since they do not increase Toxicity!
  • White Rayla: Will either accompany Geralt for a short distance helping fight the skullheads ("dying in battle") or offer a temporary special magic shield ("tumultuous relationship"). Only if Geralt supported the Order.
  • Adda: If saved will fight alongside Geralt in her striga form, for a short while.
See the phases in Frozen Reflections for all the other "appearances" dependant on path and whom you saved/killed.


Places

Maps to all Locations?

Game icon map big
The Witcher extensively provides maps to all the locations (press m-key) in the game, e.g. yielding valuable additional information on where to find merchants, or important quest related NPCs. Especially in the swamps these maps significantly help orientation.
see Maps for a by Chapter list.
see also the Gates of Vizima.


Tutorial elemental circles

Circle of Elements Location?

There are quite a few Circles of Elements that either let Geralt learn a new Sign or yield a temporary Sign power-up. Should you have trouble finding them all, look into this complete list of Circle of Elements.


Get past Scoia'tael Scout?

The Non-human camp in the Swamp is guarded by a Scoia'tael scout (in Chapter II), entering the camp is not really that useful for the most part (there are a few plants), but there are several ways to get past:
  • Draw a sword, walk close to the scout, then double-tap the w-key (forward) to jump right over him.
  • Lure the monsters nearby to the scout and let them distract or kill the scout for you.
  • I think at least once per day the scout will take a break in the camp, thus letting you pass the narrow wooden bridge.
  • Quests from Yaevinn may also get you past the scout.


Relief outside sewers

What are the Reliefs for?

In Chapter II you will notice a Relief near the Sewer entrance and in the cemetery, but what is up with them?
Solution: These have no relevance in Chapter II, Triss will give you a quest in Chapter III making use of them (The Source).


Why all the locked doors?

In some respect they seem to be teasers, trying to make the player find a way past those locks. There are several types of locked doors:
  • Most locked doors e.g. in the Outskirts belong to sheds and only seem to be present as decoration, possibly an oversight by the developers that may have planned to use them in some way, but did not.
  • The locked door to an abandoned house — path leads to the Outskirts southern Cave — can be unlocked when you locate the Salamandra hideout.
  • The Chapel doors can only be unlocked after gaining the Reverend's trust (Eternal Fire), trying to solve Dead Hand of the Past.
  • Other locked doors, e.g. in Vizima usually hint at some quest that will give you a key to enter these premises:
    • Quite foreboding doors you will find locking the Cloister — in Chapter II they are present and locked, in Chapter III the doors no longer "interact", and only in the Epilogue will you be able to enter them.
    • Entering the Trade Quarter Sewers you will notice a grated gate to the immediate left, but it is locked. You need to take on quest by the Con artist to open it.
  • There are many more locked doors to unlock, the above just mentions a few.


Old manor house & Catacombs

Places Old Manor house
Once you visit the Old manor house in Chapter V, be sure to continue the path north, and visit the old ship wreck as well.
After beating Azar Javed revisit the catacombs under the old manor, to pick up a few extra items, especially from the chamber with the force field "door" blocking direct access to the laboratory. You were teleported out of it before you could loot.


Curiosities & Speculations

Favourite character Quotations?

Fresco 3
During the long hours playing The Witcher you may have witnessed many comments from your side-kicks, here is a collection of some favorites:
GeraltKaer Morhen, Prologue
Comments on the murals on the walls near the entrance doors:
"Witcher have always been better with a sword than a paint brush."


Read the Encrypted document?

Quest Items Encrypted document
Iit quest 167

Ever wondered what the Encrypted document you got from Roland Bleinheim actually said? Alas, even with the Key to the Salamandra code, the document stays illegible, and Declan Leuvaarden never tells you.

see the decrypted document


What is up with the Doghouse?

In Chapter I, the doghouse of Odo's dog does leave room for speculation in what way it might be interacted with. Apparently there is actually nothing behind this object, it is just decoration.


Geralt's Darker Moments?

Difficulty hard
There are a few situations when playing a more darkly inclined Geralt is possible:
Chapter I:
  • Let the thugs rape Vesna near the gates of the Outskirts inn, or save her, but then let her run into her doom trying to return home at night (on a path littered with bloodthirsty barghests).
  • Do not defend the innocent Abigail against the angry mob.
Chapter II:
  • Kill the peaceful (innocent) dogs for their Dog tallow, just to finish The Dogcatcher of Vizima quest, instead of simply buying / collecting enough dog tallow otherwise.
    Tip: The thugs that attack at night in the Temple Quarter also carry dog tallow.
  • Let Gramps in the Swamp — a cannibal — live, just to take advantage of his knowledge.
Chapter III:
  • Force the Blue-eyed lass to marry someone she does not love by helping her brother Patrick de Weyze, slaying the innocent Queen of the Night. Or actually slay both her brother and the vampires.
  • At the beginning of the Chapter you will encounter Carmen standing near the landing in the swamp, about to look for a cure for her beloved. Do not help her, let her walk into her swampy death.
  • Let down Carmen by either directly killing her werewolf lover Vincent, or at least do not try to cure him.
Chapter IV:
  • Turn in Adam for murdering Celina.
  • Or worse force Adam into a suicide.
  • Help neither Celina nor Alina make peace in the afterlife.
Chapter V:
  • When Adda turns into a striga again, choose the easy path and simply slay her.


Speculations and Musings?

Here a few game related speculations:
  • Grand Master and Alvin
At the very end of the game, after killing the Grand Master (Jacques de Aldersberg), Geralt finds an artifact (Dimeritium amulet) on the dead man's body, something Geralt also gave to Alvin. Alvin may have travelled back in time and actually turned into the Grand Master. Also see Speculations about Alvin.
  • Incomplete Quests
There are two missing quests that yield an interesting insight into what was planned at some point, but had to be dropped. One quest Skullhead in the Sewers centres on a headhunt in the sewers, the other Coup d'État foreshadows the central theme of The Witcher 2.


Curiosities?

Yrden stone
Mildly strange things to note:
  • Searching the Reverend's house in the Outskirts not only reveals abundant food on the table, but also quite a bit of alcohol stashed away in the cellar. This from a man who supposedly prays without "sustenance". A sly dig from the developers, it seems.
  • When you enter the Swamp for the first time in Chapter II, a Nosy dog will follow you around, after a while the dog almost becomes a family member. There seems to be nothing quest related pertaining to this animal.
  • One of the druids in the Swamp may whistle the first few notes of the Star Wars anthem. Other characters may also whistle that tune in the game. Probably a little Easter Egg.
  • At the end of Chapter I you learn about the Reverend's crime of abandoning his daughter, who becomes a prostitute in Vizima. In the Epilogue you learn from the Novice nun (in the refugee hut) that Carmen was in fact that daughter.
  • In Chapter V when saving Princess Adda in the cemetery crypt: The saved Adda is in her underwear, once you leave the crypt she is in her party dress. After talking to Velerad, should you meditate at the campfire for a while (18h), the princess will still be standing front of the crypt gates, but now in her underwear again. A wardrobe bug apparently.
  • There are several words in the game that are German, or somewhat derived from them:
  • Burgomeister was probably transliterated, the German word is Bürgermeister and means mayor.
  • Zahin Schmartz the name of the dentist, is derived from Zahnschmerz meaning toothache, quite a fitting name.
  • Hildegard Zollstock the name of a widow. Zollstock means ruler or more literally "inch stick".
see Easter Eggs


Curious Characters?

There are few, explicitly named NPCs, who are not quest related, but do tell a story by their very existence:
People Herbalist female People Madman
Pious woman (near Chapel, Outskirts)
  • You will find here praying at the village shrine most of the time, and she seems to be the only person who actually survives the "Beast" massacre, that killed almost everyone at the end of Chapter I. She is not part of any quest though.
Macus & Ida Vertz (Temple Quarter, Vizima)
  • You will first encounter this couple living near the Merchant Street in Chapter II. Then in Chapter III they have moved into a house in the Slums. Though they are not related to a quest, they do tell a story of progressing poverty forcing inhabitants of Vizima to move from "better" quarters to worse ones.
  • Another tidbit: In Chapter II, Ida and Marcus Vertz lived in Angus' house, and they have since moved to a house in the slums. So one might speculate that the drug dealer and his shady friends forced the Vertz out of their "nicer" home.


What is up with the Cow?

People Strawberry
If you play Ripples by looking for a peaceful resolution in Murky Waters (abiding to the wishes of the Lady of the Lake), you may hear of and see the Prize-winning cow named Strawberry. But nothing more will come of this encounter. The cow only takes main stage if you side with the friendly vodyan priest, who asks you to "kidnap" the cow.


De Wett & the King's Signature?

When you encounter Roderick de Wett in Foltest's throne room in the beginning of Chapter V. He will ask Geralt to influence King Foltest to not sign the letter to disband the Order of the Flaming Rose.
This sounded quite promising, and could have been a pro-Order path quest with interesting repercussions. Alas the quest and any ramifications have been removed from the final game.


Killing in Old Vizima?

When playing the Order path, Zoltan will be quite upset about "Geralt's Order" at the start of Chapter V on the dike, and tell Geralt that he should look into the matter of indiscriminate killing of innocents in burning Old Vizima.
Though Geralt will see a lot of killing this "suggested quest" does not yield anything. Seems be some dialogue underlining the urgency for Geralt to "bring peace" to Old Vizima, or it might have been another quest dropped from the final game.


Misc

Bugs & Workarounds?

Bestiary Koshchey full
Presently (5/13/2010) with the Enhanced Edition — Director's Cut released for the PC version of The Witcher, the number of bugs are quite few. But heed to the following tips anyway to avoid possible frustration:
Tips:
  • Take full advantage of quicksave / quickload, e.g. save before you enter a new area, or talk to a new NPC, or begin a game of dice, or start a fistfight. If you loose a fight or a game of dice, you can simply reload the state before the mini-game, and try again.
Bugs:
  • The game can sporadically crash, after playing for several hours. In my 120 hour run it crashed about 8 times (running the Steam version of The Witcher Director's Cut under Windows 7 (64bit)). Luckily I only lost a few minutes gameplay thanks to the abundant recently saved games. To continue playing, kill the game's task via Ctrl+Alt+Del, then restart the game, and load the last saved game state.
    • There does not seem to be much consistency behind the crashes, in one case exiting a building would freeze the game when it was trying to autosave at that point.
    • Or when talking to a NPC the game would simply stop.
    • Or some cutscene late in the game (Chapter V, talking to Shani in the Hospital) would not trigger properly, leaving the game running but with a black screen. In this case at least, rebooting Windows and restarting the game would fix the issue.
  • A few barrels in the game cannot be looted, because they are "out of reach" (one near Shani's house, another one in a cellar in Vizima).
  • And in crypts (2-3 cases total) plants will show by name but not by model, again not letting you harvest them.
  • See the Main menu without pointer? Q&A.
  • There are more bugs in the game, but with the save tips above, you should be able to avoid most of them and complete the game.


Main menu without pointer?

Should you have installed and played The Witcher Demo before installing the full game, you may run into some unexpected behaviour:
  • First off, any settings you tweaked for the demo will be used by the full game (convenient for the most part).
  • Alas this also means that the save game folder for both the demo and the full game is the same. Be very careful not to use the saved games from the demo in the full game!
  • If you set up the demo to play in OTS view mode, then this can lead to an ugly bug. Each time you launch the full game, you may not see a mouse pointer in the main menu.
    Solution: Press and hold the Shift-key while you move the mouse pointer to make it visible again. Later, playing the game for a while, this issue is usually fixed, until you restart the game executable the next time.


Load Menu is Slow Listing Saves?

Alas the so-called quicksaves in The Witcher are actually full saves, meaning every time you quicksave (F5-key) a new file is created, and the file is not over-written! This can bloat your C:\ drive. At the end of the game I had 1659 files in the folder:
C:\Users\<Username>\Documents\The Witcher\saves\ (Windows 7, 64 bit)
With a total file size of 32.6 GB!
What makes things worse: This many files will lead to painfully long load times when selecting Load Game in the game's menu.
Solution: Create a new folder on another drive or partition, e.g.
D:\TheWitcherDC_saves_archive\,
then use the Explorer (or some other file browser) to move out all the files with lower numbers, keeping the last 10 or so, highest numbered saved game states. Also keep the first four autosave files. This significantly speeds up the Load Game menu. Should you need older save states, simply move back the older files.
Tip: The game autosaves when changing areas (load screen shown), e.g. when leaving buildings. Such an autosave may come in handy should the game crash, and you forgot to save the game recently. These autosave (4 files) are periodically overwritten, actually making them "real" quicksaves.


Cheats? In-game Console?

Alas there is no in-game console, so on-the-fly "cheating" or settings changes are not possible.
A way to manipulate some of the player stats is to directly edit the saved games file, see the The Witcher Save Editor? Q&A.
Should you want to "cheat" in a more conservative way, i.e. using special knowledge available in the game, then see the Gameplay Quick Guide instead.


The Witcher Save Editor?

Since there are no cheat commands for The Witcher the only convenient way to "cheat" or manipulate Geralt's stats is to directly change and edit the saved game files located in this folder:
C:\Users\<Username>\Documents\The Witcher\saves\ (Windows 7, 64 bit)
This lets you change:
  • Stats: Level, XP, Gold, Vitality, Endurance, Toxicity, Bronze/Silver/Gold Talents
  • Attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Intelligence
  • Signs: Aard, Igni, Quen, Axxi, Yrden
  • Styles: Strong/Fast/Group Steel/Silver
  • Equipment: Armor, Silver/Steel Sword, Trophy
  • Inventory: Bomb, Book, Drink, Food, Gem, Grease, Ingredient, Jewelry, Magical, Potion, Quest, Upgrade, Other
  • Quests: Started, Completed, Failed, Not Started
Note: A few values cannot be upped beyond certain limits, e.g. maximum Endurance seems to be around 75.
Skill Updates: The "cleanest" way to gain all skills would be to up the number of available Talents (e.g. 100 of each kind), save the save game, then load it from The Witcher, to then mediate and distribute those Talents. Though this would not let you choose mutagen-related skills. You can activate every skill directly in the editor, though.
Missed Quests: On the Quests tab, under Not Started, you can conveniently look up all the quests you missed in the game, if you load a save game state from the very end of the game.
Weapons: If you want to begin a game with the most powerful swords, this is possible from the Equipment tab.
Source:
The Witcher Enhanced Editor (v2.1, TWEditorEnhanced.zip, 108 KB)
Installation:
  • Be sure to carefully read the readme file to properly set up the paths to run the Java code (TWEditor.jar) that runs the editor.
  • Example properties for TWEditor.lnk (Windows 7, 64bit):
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\javaw.exe" -DTW.install.path="D:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\the witcher enhanced edition" -DTW.language=3 -Xmx256m -jar "D:\Games\The Witcher Savegame Editor\TWEditor.jar"
Java executable location (Jave Runtime Library):
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\javaw.exe
Location of The Witcher game (Steam install):
D:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\the witcher enhanced edition
Location of editor code (install anywhere):
D:\Games\The Witcher Savegame Editor\TWEditor.jar
Comment: I tested the editor with the Director's Cut, both for the main game and the New Adventures (modules). It always worked and did not destabilise the game. Use at your own risk though, and always backup save game files before you manipulate them! (AEon)


Clean HUD-free Screenshots?

Places Black Tern Island
There is no way to completely turn off the HUD (Heads Up Display) to take clean screenshots in the unmodified game. You will always see Geralt's stats on the left side and the mini-map on the right.
Tip: If you move Geralt back towards a wall (or tree), in OTS (Over the Shoulder) view you will notice that the character model will become invisible. This lets you take screenshots with HUD, but at least without Geralt in them.
Solution: Install the GUI Toggle mod by Flash, to toggle the HUD via key:
  • Unpack the .rar file into your witcher Data\ folder, e.g.:
    D:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\the witcher enhanced edition\Data\ (Steam install)
    Warning: I would recommend making a backup of the Data\ folder before you unpack the above archive into it.
  • This overwrites the Data\dialog_3.tlk file, and creates a new Data\override\ folder with the file actions.2da in it.
  • Launch the game normally, and bind the new Options menu, Controls, Turn On/Off GUI function to e.g. the Alt-key.
  • Continue playing your game, hit the Alt-key to turn off the HUD.
  • Rotate camera by holding the Shift-key and move the mouse to left/right edge of the screen.
  • Take your screenshot, e.g. with the Fraps screen-grabber tool.
  • Press Alt-key again, to turn on the HUD again.


How to play in-game .bik Movies?

Since all in-game movies are in the Bink format, look for the free Bink player at RadGameTools. Download and install the RADVideo package.
Tip: The in-game movies can be found in the <The Witcher>\Data\Movies\ and <The Witcher>\Data folders. The latter lets you watch the 24 Romance card movies.


How to take Screenshots?

For optimum quality, .bmp bitmap images are the way to go. Though this comes with a file size price of about 5 MB per image for screens running at a 1680x1050 pixel resolution.
To take screenshots plus get a framerate counter as a bonus use the Fraps screen-grabber tool (Google for it, free version available). It takes screenshots instantly (no noticeable lag) in .bmp format. Note the tool lets you bind any key to grab screens. I use the <-key to the right of the left Shift-key on a German keyboard, very convenient.


How to read up on Dialogues?

Alas it is not possible to look up dialogues, information about recent quest updates, orens or XP earned. The Journal only updates all the pertinent information, marking new entries with an orange "!".


Toggle floating Object Names?

By default the floating Object Names help the player see what can be interacted with in the game world. Absolutely nessary to avoid wasting time. But the more aesthetically-minded player will often not want to see them, e.g. when taking screenshots. Plus they do cause visual spam in Vizima, and cost frame rate. So it would be best to turn them on/off via keyboard shortcut.
Solution:
  • First turn off Options menu, Game Options, Show Object Names in the menu.
  • Next choose and bind a key to the function Options, Controls, Toggle visible object names, e.g. the Alt-key or better a mouse button like M4.
  • Then during the game, whenever you press and hold the key, the Object Names will show up. Let go of the key and you have a nice clean text-free screen..


Abbreviations

The Witcher uses quite a few new terms, and the FAQ needs to refer to them at times. To make the Q&A easier to read, here are all the commonly used abbreviations explained:
  • 50 Items Oren – 50 orens (the official gold currency)
  • PC – Player Character (you! and your avatar Geralt in the game)
  • NPC – Non-Player Character (anyone else you can talk to in the game)
  • XP – Experience Points (controls levelling)
  • Q&A – Question & Answer (the meat of any FAQ)


Feedback

  • Feedback welcome!
  • If you have additional info on a certain Q&A, please post it.
  • If you are missing a Q&A or some spiffy quest etc., tell me about it!
  • Also take a look at the Todo & Ideas section, if you will.
  • Any other improvement suggestions welcome.


Credits

Igni stone
The FAQ is based on my (Æon) playing The Witcher.
Special thanks go to User:Game widow on the
The Witcher Wiki
for letting me post this FAQ in Wiki format there, for the invaluable extremely detailed work done on the site, plus the patient and very insightful help with all my questions. This FAQ massively references the content on the wiki.
Other users from the wiki I would like to thank for their feedback: E-ahmet, and Pigrum.


History

  • v2.91 – Minor typo fixes and other tweaks. (7/16/2011)
  • v2.90 – 2nd public version, 91 Q&As total, 9 new Q&As, 145 changed blocks. (7/22/2010)
  • v2.64 – 1st public version, 82 Q&As total, FAQ is pretty much done. (6/17/2010)
  • v1.3 – Putting together the basic Q&As and tips, linking them to the wiki, FAQ uses British English for once.
  • v0.1 – Using the Jade Empire layout, content structure, for this FAQ. (5/13/2010)


Æon

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