Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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morally non-ambiguous, or 1eyedking's Why The Witcher Is An Intelligent Game

Discussion in 'CD Projekt' started by inwoker, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. inwokergender: ⚧ Arcane

    inwoker
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    Was witcher main choises really hard for you? Did you struggle to help fanatic elves? Their leader clearly don't understand what life is. He also don't know how to remove hatred for nonhumans. Maybe by removing humans? He only creates bigger evil. Any day I would choose order.

    Later, right before Alvin dissapeareance, did you want to choose either elves or humans. They both were stupid idealists to me.

    Next. Abigail and villagers. Fuck man. Why in sane mind I would choose to help 'burn witch' which did nothing bad and why she must care that villagers are stupid people.

    That situation with giving weapons to Scoiatel... I defend some weapons. Some guys came, we are freedom fighters, we are oppressed by humans, give us toys to fight for freedom, yes/no?

    All in all. When situation had to be ambiguous it really wasn't.

    Some of the consequences were far-fetched. Like that first that depends on will you fight creature or go directly to professor. Like Berengar one. Like cockatrice and Sigfield. I had feeling they were thrown-in for game to have more c&c.

    And yet I consider Witcher good game. Nothing spectacular, but sum of it's parts is good.
     
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  2. 1eyedkinggender: ⚧ Erudite

    1eyedking
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    You're getting it wrong. He's supposed to tick that way, because there's really no other believable way. Do you actually see Palestinians reacting peacefully to Israel's encroachment? This game isn't about black nor white, it's about the ever confusing grays our world is really about.

    Also don't you find the Order suspicious? Hunting down monsters for free, yet packing heavy armor and fine steel? Who finances these guys, and more importantly, with what gold? Even Geralt states this is odd when he first meets Siegfried in the sewers.

    "Unfair competition" indeed.

    They're not stupid, and they're not idealists. Only the leader's minions believe their façade: there are, ultimately, greedier things at play.

    The 'Abigail and villagers' situation is one of my favorite moments in the game. Both sides have strong arguments against their innocence. The humans have committed crimes, but then again some of them could have been mere coincidences: Odo murdered his brother, the Echinops in his garden are a dead give-away, and he even makes a confession out of it, but Abigail had a doll of his form and shape in her hut. Abigail claims she only sold him the poison, and there's nothing inherently evil in that, so why did the Beast haunt her?

    Haren Brogg made deals with the Salamandra, but only because they threatened to kill him, or worse. But maybe he's lying as well, and thinks of nothing but the profit.

    Mikul's a backstabbing bastard, but he does nothing unlawful. The whole deal with his girlfriend's death is used against him by the witch, but remember the your meeting at the tavern when you went for the key? There's a bunch of thugs threatening Shani there who say Mikul's girlfriend screamed a lot when they raped her. Maybe she killed herself because of that; Mikul actually cries when you inform him of her death. Abigail could just have lied to save her skin!

    Then there's the Reverend, who ultimately sends Alvin to the Salamander hideout, perhaps unknowingly or under threat, and sent his daughter (Carmen) away when he found out she was pregnant. Were you a zealous priest, wouldn't you have done the same? He's a shady character indeed, but there's no strong proof he's the bastard Abigail says he is.

    And doesn't Abigail give herself to you just before you're to pass judgement?

    That's the beauty about this game, it makes you think, it makes you doubt. Like a good movie, or a good book, the second time you go through is even sweeter than the first. It's a believable world because everyone in it is in for him or herself, and they'll do anything to come out at the top, whether it is through mischievous deceit, unscrupulous politics, or plain violence.

    The bastards actually tell you there's food in those crates! Man I love this game. Then again, shouldn't you give the 'supplies' to them? I mean, they say they paid this Haren guy. But they could also be lying, actually lying in waiting for someone to get rid of the Drowners.

    Those are thrown in merely for flavor, to keep you on your toes, to say the least. They're the less spectacular ones, when you unknowingly let fate (or consequence) weave its threads, still a reminder of what can happen when you get to call the shots. Call if butterfly effect, out of a more correct term, but it still applies to many worldly happenstances. Things seemingly out of our control may actually be in it.

    There's another moment in this game that really made me tick: it's when Thaler sends you to fetch a letter inside the Princess's quarters at the Narakort Inn. Thaler is the head of Temerian intelligence, and he may very well have known the exact location and existence of said letter.

    Or he could have planted it. Why did he send a Witcher to fetch the item? He was the only neutral choice. But he also was an excellent tool at hand: getting a famed monster hunter on your side by forging a forgery and making Geralt believe the royal edicts were false would mean weakening the Princess and Count's power, knowing Geralt's past relationship with the King. As coincidence would have it, he later uses this as an excuse outside the inn to pledge for innocence and accuse de Wett of forgery, when he could have perfectly been the forger. He does in fact have vast amounts of knowledge on the subject, being the head of Temerian intelligence as he is. You see? There's that shady gray showing up again.

    My only complaint about The Witcher is that Geralt does most of the thinking for you. He is the one making deductions, finding out why the murder suspects are innocent, while you merely collect the data for him. I would have loved to have had the possibility of drawing my own false conclusions, even with "irrefutable evidence" at hand.
     
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  3. Erebusgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    The investigation felt rather confusing to me. Geralt relies on fairly weak evidence to decide someone is innocent (as evidenced by the fact that he completely misses that Thalar is not what he appears). The whole business with the prisoner in the hospital gave me a headache. Who was he ? Who was he working for ? How did he die ? Who killed him ? Why ? By the time I was doing the autopsy, I was feeling utterly lost.

    I found the choices to be rather well-done. What's right is not always obvious and long-term consequences can be unpredictable.

    I sided with Abigail, but the (completely realistic) lack of strong evidence made me wonder about what had truly happened. It is of course very hard to feel any sympathy for a bigoted mob howling for the blood of a single woman, which certainly played a big role in my decision. And of course, the Reverend did send Alvin to the Salamander.

    I let the Scoiatel have the supplies because I'm a sucker for sob stories. "Our people need the food and the medicine", yeah, right !

    Sometimes, being selfish pays rather nicely, which isn't too common in CRPGs. For instance, there are two monsters you can either cure or kill. If you kill them, you can use their remains to create potions that will increase your skills !

    I sided with the Scoiatel for much of the game but never felt too comfortable about it. I felt their grievances were justified, but their hatred of humans was disturbing and promised nothing good for the future. I hoped joining them would enable me to stop them from going too far but I was, of course, quite wrong. I gave up on them when they took a whole village hostage, even killing a few of the villagers to try and keep the Order away. I think this side of the story was very well-done : I felt the need to intervene instead of remaining neutral and I was torn about whether or not the positive consequences of the Scoiatel's actions would outweigh the negative ones.

    As an aside, I totally figured out what had happened to Alvin after his disappearance way before it is revealed.
     
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  4. Fezgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Fez
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    Mikul was a dodgy rapist as far as I know. Let him rot.

    IIRC someone said they had a dialogue about Carmen's Reverend daddy being something of a pedo or incestuous. That seems rather surprising and I've not heard that one confirmed by others.

    The elves that come for those crates say there are weapons in them. Not only food.

    While depth in a game is a fine thing I think there is a risk of fans reading far too much into it and essentially writing their own fan-fiction in the process.

    You did get to lead Geralt in certain ways though, like the murder investigation where you could choose to believe someone or not or how you wanted to skew the autopsy. Those were nice touches.
     
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  5. 1eyedkinggender: ⚧ Erudite

    1eyedking
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    It's too easy to pass early judgement. But this game is all about points of view.

    I think Carmen says something like that during the Werewolf quest. But then again, she's a whore and could be lying.

    Unless my memory is failing, they indeed don't mention anything about weapons, just food and medicine.

    So now some thoughtful imagination equals fan-fiction? Normally I would agree with you, but The Witcher isn't one of those games: one thing is to provide text where readers can only make stuff up, and the other is to provide literature and have readers make up their own mind about it. There is a difference.

    You actually can't choose whether he believes them or not. You wind up some pretty weak evidence, as Erebus mentioned, and Geralt draws all the conclusions for you, regardless of your past dialogue choices.
     
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  6. Fezgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Fez
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    She's a liar about the Rev because she is a whore(?), but she is a whore because the Rev threw her out. Hmmm.

    I'm pretty sure the elves mention weapons at that point. Food, medicine and weapons is what they claimed. Perhaps that's the "polish" of the EE coming into play.

    I felt more that it was me steering Geralt to make those conclusions, which seems fair in a RPG context.
     
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  7. 1eyedkinggender: ⚧ Erudite

    1eyedking
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    Yes, because whores embody honesty and truth.

    And actually because she was a 'whore' the Reverend threw her out: remember she was pregnant?
     
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  8. 1eyedkinggender: ⚧ Erudite

    1eyedking
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    If you perform the autopsy well you get all those answers as a reward. The trick lies mainly in 'performing the autopsy well', which requires having read two books previous to the act (the journal and characters do hint at this, however). By picking the more flamboyant answer (in line with what the book says) and the less obvious "This is too easy" line you conclude that he was a double agent working for Ramsmeat and Javed, assassinated by the latter by replacing the victim's personal fisstech with zerrikanian fly eggs, who later faked the poison and violence on the body to mislead you into thinking that both Kalkstein and Ramsmeat (respectively) were the ones responsible for his death.

    PS: The letter inside the Princess' quarters was originally supposed to spawn a quest where you set out to prove the edicts' legitimacy, confirming my doubts. Radovid concludes the edicts are forged, yet Triss determines the opposite. Both are drawn into Viziman politics, so who are you to trust? This game has some obvious careful thinking invested on it.
     
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  9. PlanHexgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    PlanHex
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    I'm playing through it again right now, just got past the first chapter. Details are a bit fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure the elf at Harens crates mentions both medicine, food and weapons.
     
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  10. bozia2012gender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    bozia2012
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    If "and weapons" were added in 1.4 you should notice it because this would be spoken in different voice LOL
     
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  11. Texas Redgender: ⚧ Whiner

    Texas Red
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    Have you ever thought that you find the new and old sentences to not fit because you have a memory of some of them?
     
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  12. inwokergender: ⚧ Arcane

    inwoker
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    My point was that I didn't struggle to help elf. Both sides didn't persuade me. But I'll choose order over terrorists any day. Even if order is corrupt and 'not right in some ways' it's already established and works. Any revolution don't reach it's main notions. Usually it comes to even worse order than there were before.


    I didn't mind it. I consumed it as they were some state police force. A least in that moment.


    yes. But this is clearly your conclusion not in-game character's.


    Indeed. There is more depth in situation than I thought.



    I was hired to protect crates. In real world I wouldn't give a shit to what some guys said.

    It's your analyzing of in-game situation. It's not how it's done in-game.
     
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  13. bozia2012gender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    bozia2012
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    I've spoken in jest. I still haven't even touched EE, but lots of people were complaining about this issue. And mind you - I'm from Poland.

    1eyedking: ++
     
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  14. Erebusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Erebus
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    I'd read the books, but I must have chosen the wrong options. Of course, Kalkstein being part of the Salamander never made any sense to me since the Salamander would then have had all the lab equipment it needed.

    Speaking of things I didn't get, after saving Abigail, slaying the Beast and killing the Reverend and his pals, the road we take to the city is littered with the bodies of many villagers (perhaps all of them, except for the children). Who killed them and why ??

    Concerning the C&C, a very interesting and realistic element is that you can seldom be sure of what the truth it. For instance, in the blue-eyed girl side-quest, I sided with the vampires, yet I couldn't know for sure that the girl really wasn't under a charm or that the vamps really abstained from killing anybody.

    In my (french) version of the game, the Scoiatel guy does mention that there are weapons in the crates, but he focuses more on the food and medicine.
     
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  15. Texas Redgender: ⚧ Whiner

    Texas Red
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    You also had to hear the war stories from the Gardener. That way Geralt learns of the tsetse flies which were used to kill the Salamander.
     
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  16. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    This was an alternative to one of the books.
     
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  17. 1eyedkinggender: ⚧ Erudite

    1eyedking
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    Actually the Order isn't established whatsoever since it's a relatively new organization, and definitely doesn't work since it promotes progress without respect for nonhuman life, and belief in the false Eternal Flame. The Order is in fact attempting to overthrow King Foltest, their chivalrous masquerade being nothing but means to impress the people and win their favor: you, in fact, have fallen prey to their propaganda, as much as I admittedly did during my first playthrough.

    The Scoia'tael, on the other hand, are the ones getting all that oppression and discrimination. Terrorism is a term used by humans to describe the squirrel's actions, but in the eyes of the elves and dwarves their murders are no worse than human progroms and their lynching, and are indeed guided by a cause, vain or not.

    Also, carefully consider for a moment the fact that Geralt is in fact a nonhuman. The choice is much harder than it seems.
    Of course it is, you're meant to be in the blank and draw your own ideas about the game at play.

    I actually doubted a lot when the opportunity presented itself. There was Geralt, guarding some crates for some backwater smuggler in the middle of the night, when all of a sudden these guys pop out asking for crates "rightfully theirs". Knowing it would otherwise end up in bloodshed I decided to let them take their supplies; I'm no mercenary, and this wasn't Witcher business, after all.

    Because the game lends itself to it, and I may have actually just found proof of it being like that. Check it out.

    Supposedly it's the Beast. Why? I do not know. Maybe the peasants committed sinful crimes. Maybe not. Why does it attack Geralt in the first place, for instance?

    ???
     
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  18. PlanHexgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    PlanHex
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    Seems to me the lines were all recorded one at a time. Haven't noticed anything changing mid-sentence.
    The only real difference I've noticed so far is that some of the old lines seem to have a somewhat lower volume. Voices haven't really changed on me yet and I've spoken with nearly everyone in Chapter 1.
    Some of the new voicework isn't all that good though, specifically some of the random insults you get hurled at you. They sound too much like a guy doing his best to articulate every single vowel instead of some lowlife shit trying to insult me by insisting that my mother likes to gargle down the odd dwarfcock now and then.
     
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  19. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    This.

    I also love how this game rewards you (loot wise) for making morally wrong choices (where the choices are less ambiguous) - take that, bio-whores.
     
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  20. inwokergender: ⚧ Arcane

    inwoker
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    Is Side effects worth playing? Beginning seems dull. Price of neutrality was ok.

    edit: It is shit. Don't waste time.

    edit2: Price of neutrality is mustplay.
     
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  21. aron searlegender: ⚧ Arcane

    aron searle
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    I remember later in the game, you walk into the pub and "some guy dies, this is the result of you giving weapons to the scoiatiel".

    WTF! said I, they said it was food and medicine!

    At the time i put this down to a bug, or a clever plot device (they lied), i assumed a bug though, cus it was the Witcher after all.



    I have no desire to play it again, but i would quite like to know was it.

    A = Me not paying attention
    B= A bug
    C= A clever plot device (they lied)
     
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  22. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    Explanation at hand.
     
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  23. aron searlegender: ⚧ Arcane

    aron searle
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    I would post something equally witty but..

    Oh wait, I just did.
     
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  24. Crichtongender: ⚧ Erudite

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    I agree that the 'shades of grey' / "no good, no evil, only C&C" PR was mostly crap, but I didn't think it was necessarily because one choice was clearly morally superior to another, it was because either there was no choice or you were forced to choose between stupid options.

    No Choice:

    The big one, I have to go stop the crazy, deceitful religious zealot and his army of hideously ugly freak of nature mutants that he's using in the name of racial purity. It's enough to make me running crying into bioware's arms.

    Stupid Choices:

    A guy hires me to find his lost sister. I find her working for a vampire and she doesn't want to return to her brother. I can either kill the vampire and drag her back by her hair or let the vampire live. Note: No option to kill the vampire and let her go.

    I can either burn a (largely) innocent witch while letting a mob with a bunch of guilty people go free or slaughter the whole village and ride off into the sunset with the witch. No option to offer to put all the guilty parties on trial or even to just kill them all.

    Non-human terrorists have seized hostages in a village. I can a) walk away letting the army raid the village, b) help the terrorists repel the army or c) help the army raid the village, saving as many hostages as possible. That last one sounds good, oh wait, if I take that, it must be because my Gerry is a non-human-hating bigot and he starts spouting dialog to match.
     
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  25. yes plzgender: ⚧ Arcane

    yes plz
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    I just beat the game today. The choices did seem rather weak -- especially since most don't really effect much and the ending doesn't seem to change at all no matter your choices throughout the game.

    However, I did really like what they did with the Order and Scoiatel. I usually went neutral when it allowed or helped out the Order. The Order, for the most part, was at first portrayed as simply defending and helping people with the Squirrels being the ones to attack first and prompt the slaughterings. In fact, up until the last two chapters, I originally thought the game did a piss poor job at showing both in a gray, balanced light. I think it was mostly Siegfried who really humanized the Order.

    Of course you later find out that they're as bad, if not worse, than the Scoiatel and are actually in league with the Salamandra and end up being the 'final' boss of the game.
     
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