The Witcher

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
What would you get if you took the corpse of JRR Tolkien, ground it up into a fine powder and snorted it off the doughy breasts of a prostitute suffering from Tourette Syndrome? Well for starters, you'd get a throatful of dead writer, then the police would probably want to talk to you, and no doubt you'd make an enemy of Mrs. Tolkien. What you probably won't get is The Witcher, because it's a Video Game and more easily acquired from your local electronics retailer, you idiot.
Ben "Yatzhee" Croshaw, Zero Punctuation.

The Witcher is an RPG PC game based on an upgraded version of the Neverwinter Nights Aurora engine, developed by CDProjekt and released in late 2007. It describes the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, detailing his quest to regain his memories whilst pursuing revenge against a mysterious organized group, the Salamandra.

The title is set in The Verse described in the novels of The Witcher saga by Andrzej Sapkowski. Unexpectedly, it has sold rather impressively both in the US and worldwide, given that it's a niche PC game from an unknown foreign developer based on an unknown foreign IP. The sequel, titled The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings was released on May 17, 2011, which was followed by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on May 19, 2015.

Tropes used in The Witcher include:
  • Action Commands: Sword attacks are chained with correctly timed mouse-clicks.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Possibly Abigail. There's evidence to suggest that the accusations levied against her may have some merit, and she's implied to be a member of the Cult of the Lionheaded Spider. However, Abigail always proves to be helpful to Geralt and appears to be harmless when left alone.
  • And That's Terrible: Every character (even the addicts, worried about their supply) give significant condemnation at Salamandra taking control of the drug trade. Very out of place in a World Half Empty where rapists are Karma Houdinis.
    • However, it is due to the fact that Salamandra is taking over the market with the drug trade as opposed to any moral reasons.
  • Anti-Hero: Geralt.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Boy howdy. There's nary a single blueblood who's not a Complete Monster or an all-around jerk. Then again, same goes for common-folk.
  • Arrow Catch: Played with. The Professor comments on rumours that witchers are trained to catch arrows in flight, just before he shoots Leo. Geralt can learn to catch arrows, and demonstrates this in a cutscene by parrying a crossbow bolt, causing the Professor to realize that the rumors were true.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: The initial release's stiff animations and dull faces caused NPC interactions to range from disenchanting to freaky. Fixed in the Enhanced Edition, which significantly expanded and improved the animation and expression.
  • Badass Bookworm: A villainous example with the Professor, though we never see much of his Professor-ness.
  • Badass Normal: Despite not being a mutant or using magic, Siegfried and other flaming rose members are still competent at fighting monsters.
  • Batman Gambit: Geralt orchestrates a hilarious one in the first game. He uses Triss's jealousy and anger to ensure his escape when confronted by Princess Adda: he asks for a kiss as a last wish and the sorceress teleports him on the double.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The finale. Unusual in that it occurs in the Big Bad's mind.
  • Betting Minigame: Dice Poker and fist-fighting.
  • Betty and Veronica: Shani (a pretty, sweet healer) and Triss (a sexy, scheming sorceress). In the sequel, Triss is the canonical choice.
  • Bonus Boss: Regularly throughout the game, in the form of trophy hunts. Also immediately after beating the Big Bad, you have the option to fight what amounts to be the personification of Death itself to deliver the coup-de-grace.
  • Broken Bridge: Typically for a story-driven RPG, there are lots of straightforward examples. An aversion stands out, however - there is a literal broken bridge in Murky Waters. An NPC is busy repairing it, there is a quest to help him, but he won't finish it nor make any measurable progress before you leave the village in the other direction.
  • Capital City: Vizima, especially the temple district.
  • Casanova: Geralt can sleep with about twenty different women throughout the game.
  • Chaste Hero: Siegfried of Denesle, your main Order contact.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Jacques de Aldersberg.
    • Quite a few chess 'enthusiasts' appear during the backroom politicking of Chapter 3; among them, Declan and Triss could be considered masters.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Geralt again.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Done by Geralt to the Striga/Princess Adda in the opening cutscene.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: For a game set in an 11th century medieval world, people sure have colorful vocabularies.
    • Most characters do not swear or use only mild profanities. And then there is Thaler.
  • Collection Sidequest: Several NPCs will reward you if you bring them certain amounts of monster body parts. A few reviews have noted that, because killing monsters is a Witcher's primary purpose, it is more bearable than most examples.
  • Comforting The Witcher: Triss in the games, after Yennefer's disappearance. She wants Geralt to regain his memories, but she skips mentioning his love in the first game and tricks him with the Roses of Remembrance in the sequel. However, it seems it's more of savoring the while, since she seems to realize she will lose Geralt's love when he remembers everything and is prepared for it. She even promises to find Yennefer, no matter the cost, because she owes it to the witcher AND the sorceress.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Dice Poker, in the initial version, was a cakewalk, with the AI often rerolling excellent scores or not rerolling absolute stinkers. Patched, however, it's a nightmare. Specifically, the computer has a built-in advantage by always playing last, which means that it always knows exactly what it needs to get to beat you (and can thus decide how many and which dice to reroll to best accomplish that).
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The 'group' fighting-style is more effective when used against a group of enemies than a lone opponent, and by more effective, "It's easier to get multiple enemies into a range it can be used than it is to fight them one on one without it". Played straight somewhat by design, as the Group style carries an inherent critical chance that will be applied on every single opponent within range. Because of that, you can usually find yourself in a situation where one second you are surrounded by a large pack of mobs, the next all of them drop dead instantly from the critical strike that the style dealt out.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Averted. Most bosses can be stunned/knocked down and instakilled.
  • Crazy Prepared: Given the large number of potions, oils, and bombs that are available through alchemy, it's possible and efficient to play as such a type of character.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Church of the Silver Eternal Flame, another goddess draws from the The Hecate Sisters. A prophet by the name Lebioda replaces Jesus in the Holy Grail legend.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: While you can learn it early in the game, Geralt will parry the Professor's crossbow bolt in Chapter 3 even if you don't.
  • Cutting the Knot: One quest is to complete a potion that requires a virgin's tears. The quest giver recommends a brick maker (who is as far away from the quest giver as possible) who is rumored to be a virgin. You could go all the way over to the brick maker and verify the rumor... or you could just ask a nun in the temple less than a block away (or your Order contact if you sided with them).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Geralt would certainly qualify, as would several others. Sharp wit seems to be a coping mechanism for the world they live in.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose In Life: Witchers, which were formerly a necessity in the world, are now classed as obsolete. Geralt can ask questions of this effect at a few points.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Dagon's close enough, although you don't beat him directly. There's also the optional last battle against the King of the Wild Hunt (possibly death incarnate) and the Beast (that is a powerful manifestation of people's guilt and possibly a punishment of the gods).
  • Difficulty Spike: The Beast, boss monster of chapter 1 (of 5), can be a nightmare even on Medium difficulty. All the rest of the game, particularly from chapter 2 onward, is a piece of cake compared to it. Once you learn the new system, though, a fight that was a nightmare on Medium can easily be a Curb Stomp Battle on Hard: the problem is a steep learning curve, not true difficulty.
  • The Dragon: The Professor looks like he is this, but Azar Javed himself is actually just The Dragon to the REAL Big Bad.
  • Dying Like Animals: Just about everyone.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Adda, apart from what's under "the world" part, isn't exactly the innocent Damsel in Distress now.
  • Expy: Azar Javed from the game is a thinly veiled Expy of Rience, henchman of Vilgefortz from the books. Their backstory is pretty much identical—both went to the same school of magic and were kicked out for their shady dealings. Same goes for Professor (Magister in the Polish version) -- his behaviour and speech patterns make him a shout out to a minor villain from the saga, and in the English version he ended up with an identical nickname.
  • Fantastic Racism
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Foreshadowing: Early in the game, Vincent makes a cryptic comment about the moon. Later in the game, it turns out he is a werewolf.
    • Also the Salamander itself. It is also a mythical creature commonly associated with fire. Can you think of any other organization with a name consisting of a reference to fire?. Possibly doubles as Fridge Brilliance.
    • Likewise, in the first chapter, the priest agrees to help you to some degree because there is apparently a passage in his scriptures that describes you and the current situation almost exactly, and suggests a course of action. After finishing the game, think about who's in charge of the church at the time, and how and why that passage would exist.
  • Feelies: Various editions in various countries came with a lot.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Thaler's real name is Bernard Ducat. Ducat is the name of valuable medieval gold coin while thaler is a common silver coin. Very fitting, given that Thaler is a high-ranking official (Foltest's spymaster) posing as a lowly commoner.
  • Gainax Ending: It is implied that the big bad is Geralt's ward, Alvin. Also, in a post game sequence, Geralt kills an assassin; when he unmasks his corpse, it turns out to be a Witcher.
    • The time travel is mentioned by Triss at one point. Also, it is described in detail in a book about 'sources' that you can find in chapter V. Finally, it is a very important point in the novels (the game was originally aimed at the readers. Nobody expected it to become so popular.)
    • Time travel is also alluded to by the King of the Wild Hunt in the chapel crypt in the first chapter. The Sources are also said to be able to travel through space and, in very rare cases, time, which seems to be what happened when Alvin's fear accidentally triggered his power.
    • Although not explicitly stated, the evidence does definitely seem to imply that Jacques is indeed an older version of a time-traveling Alvin. Jacques' final speech changes according to the "lessons" you gave Alvin earlier in the game; they are wearing the same amulet; they even look alike; and Alvin's disappearance without his eventual return would be, narratively, rather weak.
  • Genius Bruiser: Azar Javed. The villain who spends the whole game using magic fights his final battle by Dual-Wielding giant flaming hammers.
  • Genre Savvy: Geralt is well aware of "traditional" endings to common fantasy stories, and sarcastically brings them up constantly. He also sees through the excuses and lectures of the bad guys and tries to cut straight to the chase several times.
    • Geralt's knowledge of fantasy tropes is not always used to make fun of them, however. They sometimes are very true. For example, in the sidequest "Beauty and the Beast," the cure for werewolves is sought by Carmen for her lover Vincent de Meis. Several remedies are found, from the folk (wolf's aloe sewn in a shirt), to the scientific (a potion containing a virgin's tear) to the really corny, fairy-tale remedies (true love). Shockingly, it's the corny one that actually works.
    • It gets better. Geralt openly admits that he's been specifically trained to see through the schemes of intelligent monsters that are often Genre Savvy enough to utilize misconceptions of the common folk concerning their nature.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The Koshchey.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: A few NPCs will give you a reward for giving them potions that only you can make.
    • Or, in one case, bread.
  • Go Wait Outside: Played dead straight. Any time you are asked to "come back tomorrow", all you need to do to speed things up is just leave and re-enter the area.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Not from space, but a green-skinned non-human, with an alien culture that gives opportunity for an adult variation of What Is This Thing You Call Love?.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Both the Order of the Flaming Rose and the Scoia'tael have legitimate goals, ideals, and grievances, which they go over painstakingly. But the Order is composed of fanatical nutjobs whose ideal of protecting people is killing every non-human in sight, and the Squirrels are terrorists who end up killing many more civilians, which just makes life harder for the very people they profess to save.
  • Hannibal Lecture: The Professor, at least three times. Hilariously subverted by Geralt during the showdown in the caverns under Vizima.
  • Heroic Albino: Geralt has white hair and pale skin.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: The two 'optional encounters' that could be considered serious love interests are both redheads. The only major female character that is not redhead is Toruviel (and to, some extent, also Carmen).
  • Hobbits: The Witcher plays them straight...With a dash of Beware the Nice Ones.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Carmen. She wants to cure her lover of lycanthropy. With Geralt's help, she can succeed.
  • Hotter and Sexier: While the books made it clear that Geralt Really Gets Around, the games are somewhat infamous for their level of sexual content. The first video game adaptation has an almost absurd number of Optional Sexual Encounters. The sequel significantly cuts down on the number of encounters, but counteracts that with some very explicit cutscenes.
  • Hot Witch: Abigail.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Oh yes. You may think you've seen the scum of the earth when you've finished dealing with the zealots, rapists, murderers, and bandits in the prologue, but you haven't even scratched the surface. That guardsman trying to bust up a local drug ring? He's probably addicted to the same drugs and hoping to turn the situation to his advantage. That doddering harmless old man? He's even worse. That nun who sacrifices her time and energy to help dying plague victims, potentially exposing herself to the deadly disease for no tangible reward whatsoever? She eats babies. (Well, not really, but it wouldn't surprise you.)
    • The phrase Humans are bastards itself appears very often. Usually in a conversation with Zoltan.

"Witchers are known to carry two blades. A silver blade for monsters and steel for humans."
"Both are for monsters."

  • Humans Are White: The one black character (outside of the ambiguous vaguely Arabian Azar Javed) is a mutant who only appears in a cutscreen, and never in actual gameplay. Note that Temeria and Redania are based heavily on medieval central Europe, and it's likely that ethnic diversity was chosen to be scarce In-Universe.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Subverted. During the final duel, Salamander claims he has captured Geralt's love interest (Triss or Shani, depending on the choices made throughout the game), but he is bluffing.
  • Identity Amnesia: Geralt has amnesia, and has to be told who/what he is and what he can do.
    • Unusually, he doesn't get it back, but instead creates a new one.
    • However, it is restored in the sequel, as his memory was lost when meeting the Wild Hunt. A second meeting may have allowed for it to come back.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Berengar
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Geralt's speed and dexterity as a fencer is justified by his mutations. What isn't explained, however, is how the Group Style can hurt enemies that are clearly too far away to be reached by his sword.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The Witcher has a day/night cycle set to approximately 60 real-life minutes to a in-game day.
    • This and Take Your Time are averted in the quest to survive the striga to daybreak (if the player opts to). No matter where the sun/moon are, the period from the moment the striga is encountered until the final candle extinguishes at daybreak will always take the same amount of real time, and game time will adjust accordingly.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Seen in the opening cinematic, Geralt is a rather flexible and agile character capable of parkouring his way over high walls. In the actual game, he can't climb over a cart or a couple of barrels. Extremely painful to see in at least around the encounter with the Werewolf, when there is only one way to get out of the area that is in no way apparent when there are open roads in plain view, and in the swamp where you are cut off from the Mage's Tower, which is magically sealed anyway by overgrown vegetation despite your character carrying around two swords and likely axes or hatchets as well, not even counting in signs Aard and Igni—again leaving you only one route to get to your destination. In a game that generally is very lenient on how you go about things, this is very jarring when it comes ahead.
  • Ironic Echo: At the end of Chapter 3: "Witchers can parry bolts in flight."
  • It Will Never Catch On: Kalkstein mentions he has a theory that is effectively the basic concept of atoms; Geralt tells him to tell him about it later in a manner indicating disinterest, and the general consensus by NPCs is that Kalkstein is crazy.
    • This one is tricky, as atomistic theory in our world dates back as far as V century B.C.
      • And it didn't catch on back then, but was rejected by majority of the contemporaries, and only experienced revival in the 18th century, largely independently of the original hypothesis.
  • Joker Immunity: Dandelion. He is rubber, you are glue...
  • Justified Trope: Witcher Mutations are responsible for more than a few, such as Bottomless Bladder (the sleeping part anyways) and Hyperactive Metabolism.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Goods have the same fixed prices everywhere - and selling an item typically nets you just one fifth of what it would cost to buy.
  • Karmic Death: That sword is for monsters, indeed.
  • Kavorka Man: Geralt, moreso than in the books. There is a darker side to this as well, namely that witchers are so universally reviled, a woman caught in flagrante delicto with a witcher would probably only have to scream "rape!" and get away scot-free. Also, there's the fact that witchers are constantly on the move, and never stay in one place long enough for irate husbands to begin asking uncomfortable questions. They're also sterile.
  • Kick the Dog: Plenty, by everyone.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: True to traditional RPG form, Geralt can wander into a home, rummage through containers, and take what he pleases. This is lampshaded by a few characters who will question him for entering their homes, and sometimes it sounds like one of the occupants is objecting when they're simply spouting an idle comment. There are never any consequences for brazen burglary. Only twice does a character object to Geralt entering their house, and these two are ones that Geralt actually has a reason to be allowed in (one has the occupant's daughter ask him to kill a monster in the basement, the 2nd has someone who explicitly invited Geralt renting the 2nd floor).
    • Very rarely, however, is anything decent found by this; the best to be found is potion bases and common books.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Geralt and Vincent. Siegfried starts to gravitate towards this as the game progresses.
  • Knighting: Geralt gets one from the Lady of the Lake if he solves the quest Ripples by advocating peace between the Vodyanoi and the villagers.
  • Knight Templar: The Order of the Flaming Rose and the Reverend.
  • Karma Houdini: Let's start out here with a guard in chapter one, who gets away with rape and then... It might just be easier to list who does not get away with it.
  • Lighter and Softer: The video games, shockingly enough. Part of this is due to reversing Geralt's death. As bad as the world is, Geralt's continued existence goes a long way to making it a better place. Possibly justified by Ciri's role at the very end of the saga.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The Witcher is particularly infamous for this—though the Enhanced Edition fixes this... except with the quicksaves...
  • Lost in Translation: It's often painfully clear that the original script was not in English, and the voice acting doesn't help. The Enhanced Edition is better about this.
  • Lovecraft Lite: In one quest, Geralt can fight and kill Dagon. Yes, THAT Dagon.
  • Mad Scientist: Azar Javed is a magical version of this.
    • Kalkstein is a more traditional example.
      • For that matter, all the witchers are Mad Alchemists, concocting and imbibing potions that are so toxic that merely one is enough to kill a normal person. Witchers are merely more resistant, so they can take several in a row before dying.
  • Magic Knight: Azar Javed is more than able to fight with a sword when his magic is weakened from fighting in a place of an opposing element. In fact, in a latter fight when he is at full strength, his physical power is his main means of offense, and he prefers to use magic only for stunning Geralt. Witchers use simple spells ("signs") in combat. Also, the first thing you see of the Flaming Rose grandmaster is a person in platemail throwing a fireball.
  • The Magocracy: A borderline case. Mages are ostensibly servants and advisors to crowned heads, yet in reality they hold great sway over kings and orchestrate political events through their secret Conclave.
  • Meaningful Name: Azar Javed. This couples with a Bilingual Bonus and Prophetic Name—it means "Flame Eternal" in Persian. Yes, of course he's explicitly said to be drawing magic mostly from fire, but... What was that bit about Jacques de Aldersberg being The Chessmaster, again? Also, in real life, "Azar" would be an embarrassing name for a Badass like that—it's a real, but female name.
    • The Salamandra counts too. Guess which other organization has fire as its main theme.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: The first sex card for Triss qualifies, as does the censored version of Shani's.
  • Money for Nothing: The game makes a decent attempt to avoid it, but being decent at fist fights or Save Scumming at dice poker means you have little to worry about in terms of money.
  • Money Spider: Type 2: monsters carry alchemical components whilst bandits and monsters that were once humans carry money only.
  • Most Gamers Are Male: Pretty much assumed by the company that made it.
  • Multiple Endings: All depressing; there really isn't a "good" ending here.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If you don't pay attention in the second chapter, you will end up playing straight into the Big Bad's Hands.
    • For the first game, the entirety of the story could be considered this. By rescuing Alvin at the beginning, putting him under the parentage of either Triss or Shani, acting as a father figure, and sharing various bits of wisdom, Geralt shapes the personality of what will eventually become the Big Bad once a Stable Time Loop occurs.
  • Nocturnal Mooks: The vast majority of the Witcher's Bestiary are nocturnal and only appear at night. Places in which monsters appear in the day, the swamp in Chapter 2 and 3, for example, turn into deathtraps at night.
  • No Indoor Voice: For the Elite Guards in King Foltest's Palace, this is apparently the only way of communicating.
  • Not in This For Your Revolution: One dialog option allows Geralt to claim his motivations for the first game are entirely because Salamandra robbed him and killed a friend.
  • Not So Harmless: The Reverend at first seems like a slightly Jerkass, but ultimately well meaning priest. You quickly learn that he's actually a fanatical nutjob who first had his own daughter thrown out of the village and now scapegoats the local mage as the cause of the recent increase in monsters, and even provokes most of the villagers into a howling lynch mob. Oh, and if you stop the (unjust) lynching? He sics his cronies on you, despite the fact that you just killed the monster that was plaguing the village!
  • Now Where Was I Going Again?: Overcome by a comprehensive journal carried by Geralt on his objectives, though there are sometimes too many things going on at once to easily keep track of.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In the first game, Princess Adda. She's not of Magnificent Bastard quality, but she plays a sweet idiot all the time while scheming a fairly big coup.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Many in the game, to the point of infamy.
  • The Power of Friendship: Depending on Geralt's actions and solutions during the first game, several characters will come and aid Geralt in his time of need. Examples include Vincent, who aids you against Salamandra soldiers if you cure his lycanthropy; Siegfried, who vouches for you to the guards if you teamed up fighting the cockatrice; Zoltan, if you side with the Scoia'tel, becomes your wingman through burning Vizima; and a few characters may appear during the endgame in de Aldersberg's vision, such as your love interest, Adda, and Celina.
  • Power Perversion Potential: In-Universe, the best part of immunity to disease and mutation-induced sterility? Ability to sleep around without consequence.
    • Not to mention that one of the ways to identify a witcher is that they give 'tingling' sensations. Neither book nor game shies away from the implications of that.
  • Precision F-Strike: You know Geralt is pretty pissed when he starts swearing.

Geralt: (To the Professor at the end of chapter 3) You're so full of shit, Professor!

  • Public Domain Artifact: The Holy Grail is brought up at one point, all of the standard (touched by Jesus, ancient conspiracy, and "self perfection") ideas are theories about it in universe.
    • Jesus is replaced by a prophet named Lebioda (as mentioned above) and various legends have slight name changes.
  • Rated "M" for Manly: You play as a man who hunts monsters for coin full-time, and on his spare time he enjoys drinking, gambling, arm-wrestling, fist-fighting, and having sex with lots of different women. He does not curse much (he still has his moments), but some of the people he associates with more than make up for it. He also has a Perma-Stubble and is heavily scarred.
  • Rated "M" for Money: Justified Trope; the original novels were characterized by strong sexual themes.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: The "cards" collected in the first game depict Geralt's partners in this fashion.
  • Retcon: Well, you probably know this already; Geralt was supposedly Killed Off for Real in the original novels, only to be resurrected in the game.
  • Restart At Level One: Geralt's coming back from the dead is used to explain why the famous White Wolf is level 1. One conversation explicitly notes an injury as the reason he leaves an opening in his stance.
    • The injury is much earlier than the amnesia. Geralt suffered it in the saga when he underestimated the Big Bad, taking him for a Squishy Wizard.
    • It is worth noting that even at the very beginning, Geralt is still a very proficient fighter, capable of dealing with professional mercenaries and dangerous monsters.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Scoia'tael.
  • Romance Sidequest: Geralt can start a serious relationship with either Triss or Shani, and, to a lesser extent, with Toruviel or Rayla. Not counting the other dozen or so of women he just sleeps with.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Foltest and Radovid do get around a lot.
  • Sadistic Choice: Many of Geralt's choices, both in the main story and sidequests, are this.
  • Save Scumming: Discouraged by the time it usually takes for the effects of decisions to be seen. Worth noting is that the game doesn't overwrite autosaves—which mostly just leads to humongous save file folders.
    • Entirely valid for dice poker, though.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Actually an in-game decision; Geralt can choose to divorce himself entirely from the conflict between the Squirrels and Order during the first game.
  • Sequel Hook: The ending of the first game sets up for the second game.
  • Shaming the Mob: If Geralt sides with Abigail during the first chapter, he'll deliver an epic one to the villagers who are getting ready to Burn the Witch.
  • Sociopathic Hero: White Rayla becomes this if you side with the Order.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Alvin is a powerful Source who carries the Elder Blood who randomly uttered the Prophecy of Ithlinne, who is a catalyst for Geralt's growth as a person, who has a magical "accident" during his training with Triss involving a destroyed shed, and is sort-of raised by Geralt and (canonically) a sorceress....making him Ciri from the novel series, except somehow all this development is shoved into a few months or so (maybe) instead of close to seven years as it was in the novels. He even ends up time-traveling and is wanted by the Wild Hunt like Ciri is..
  • Shout-Out:
    • Detective Raymond Maarloeve.
    • In the dialogue right before the boss fight in Chapter 1, one of dialogue options is "Go ahead, make my day."
    • The story of an alchemist named "Alfred Nebel" who invented a powder that could blast through granite for mining purposes, only for him to suffer the guilt of seeing it used in warfare.
    • Many more shoutouts that will be completely lost to people who don't know Poland well.
      • Adam who, as Celina puts it, suffers for millions is a direct reference to Adam Mickiewicz, while the conflict between two sisters with raspberries in the background is a reference to the poem Balladyna by Juliusz Słowacki. Both poets are main representatives of Polish Romanticism.
    • A suspiciously-familiar theory about the Holy Grail being a woman is attributed to one Bronze Dan.
      • The delivery of that theory makes it more of a Take That.
    • The Lumberjacks in the swamp will sometimes discuss their love of pressing flowers and going to taverns dressed as women.
    • The boss of Chapter 4 is Dagon, a Physical God straight out of the Cthulhu Mythos. The Bestiary entry for which begins with That is not dead which can eternal lie; and with strange aeons, even death may die.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Geralt's response to villains' Hannibal Lecture generally consists of this, DeadpanSnarking, or Talk to the Fist. In fact, the final level consists of Geralt constantly doing this to the Big Bad's attempts to justify his actions.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Very cynical, near the extreme end of the spectrum. Idealist characters are few and far between, and even they are willing to wade through corpses if it should further their goals. It's not as if good things can't happen at all, but they tend to be on the personal level and few and far between, which makes it all the more sweet when something does go right.
  • Stable Time Loop: A theory about the creation of the Big Bad.
  • Standard Royal Court: Foltest has one. Other kings probably do as well, though you don't get to interact with them that much.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: At the end of Chapter I, if you side with Abigail. Knowing that you are a skilled fighter who just killed the monster which plagued the village for quite some time, and that you are probably high on potions, a group of villagers attack you. Partly justified in that they thought Geralt to be exhausted and wounded after killing The Beast. Even if it was a Curb Stomp Battle.
  • Superhero: Bizarrely enough, a guard officer turned into a werewolf hunts thugs as a Batman-esque (without gadgets) vigilante by night.
    • This is even lampshaded by Geralt, who quips something like "The secret base of Vincent the werewolf - he thinks he is a superhero?!" (Don't ask how he knows what a "superhero" is).
    • Probably from the same source Dandelion learned about cognitive dissonance, Breaking the Fourth Wall for Dummies.
      • Considering that terms like "genetics" and "mutant" get thrown around often, it's pretty clear that the world has plenty of anachronistic aspects to it, probably thanks to magic and alchemy. Why shouldn't there be superhero fiction in a world with real, superpowered Witchers?
  • STD Immunity: Literal usage.
  • Stripperiffic: Triss's little green dress for formal events.
  • Take a Third Option: A number of opportunities throughout, even down to the biggest decision in the main plot.
    • The developers do seem to favor certain quest choices, though. One of the more obvious examples of this is the quest Ripples.[1]
  • Take That: A really mean one to Andrew Golota (curiously absent from the Polish version, though, where he's named "Hugo Berronta").
    • And the grail expert shows some contempt for Dan Brown.
  • Take Your Time: Wander and grind as long as you like; imminent destruction merely awaits Geralt to instigate it. When reaching Chapter-ending quests, characters will drop hints that now would be a good time to 'take care of anything you need to' before proceeding.
    • For no good reason, however, at least one sidequest in the game is actually a Timed Mission unbeknownst to the player. Specifically, if you decide to clear out the monsters for the lumberjacks in Chapter 2, but take too long to deal with the vodyanoi altar, then the quest will fail and all the woodcutters will die. Well, except Yaren Bolt, the lone survivor, who will now be mighty pissed.
    • In one case, you can take more time before setting a plot event in motion simply by putting off visiting a specific location. Assuming you allowed the Scoia'tael to take Haren Brogg's goods in Chapter 1, you may want to steer clear of Raymond Maarloeve in Chapter 2 till you've met Coleman at the Hairy Bear Inn and finished his quests. This is because the game triggers Coleman's death the moment you step foot in the detective's house.
  • Theme Naming
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Subverted in an early cutscene, in which Geralt throws his sword at an enemy only to have it get stuck in the wall. It would have worked, had the target not teleported away.
  • Thunderbolt Iron: New weapons can be crafted from "meteorite ore".
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: NPCs speculate Geralt lost his memory from either a Near-Death Experience or, more strongly implied, because he's Back From the Dead.
    • In the sequel, it's revealed that he gave his life for Yennefer and that encounters with The Wild Hunt can cause madness or amnesia.
  • Twenty Bear Asses: Recurring quests in every chapter. A few reviews have noted that because it is Geralt's job (and the quests are more of "collect as you do real quests"), it is more bearable than most examples. This also serves the gameplay purpose of familiarizing the player with where alchemical ingredients can be found, and giving an opportunity to collect a surplus for their own use.
  • Unwinnable By Mistake: Some sidequests (like Vesna Hood's sex card and getting the parcel to Coleman) become unwinnable if either die.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: A particularly nasty example early in the game can have Geralt sleeping with a young, sexy witch with the promise to protect her, only to hand her to an angry mob who kills her a couple of minutes later.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Reverend and Jacques De Aldersberg.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Reverend if you side with Abigail, Jacques during the final battle, and several others.
  • Visible Silence: A NPC at a party Geralt goes to. Subverted, as you can get him drunk to get him to talk.
  • Walking Armory: Geralt can have up to five weapon slots. Three are for "big" weapons (mainly Silver and Steel swords), and one or two "small" slots for a secondary side weapon. Only one weapon for each slot may be carried at a time, and all of them are stowed visibly somewhere on Geralt's body.
  • Wall Master: The stalk-like plant monsters.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: No matter what you do, you are going to get at least a couple of these.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: A number of situations from the game are retellings of short stories and plot points from the books. The introduction cutscene is basically retelling the first story in Witcher lore, "The Witcher".
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Massively magic-gifted Alvin becomes the mad human supremacist Jacques de Aldersberg through visions of a horrible future, warring humans and Otherlings, and involuntary time travel.
    • That's left deliberately inconclusive, and Jacques stands as example enough without the connection to Alvin. You get a lot of clues though, such as Jacques's Hannibal Lecture using some of the expressions you used when talking with Alvin earlier.
  • You Monster!: Two examples.
    • In a conversation with Zoltan:

"Witchers are known to carry two blades. A silver blade for monsters and steel for humans."
"Both are for monsters."


"That sword is for monsters!"

  1. There are three resolutions to this quest: siding with the vodyanoi, siding with the villagers, or the neutral path of siding with the Lady of the Lake. Siding with the vodyanoi rewards you with a sword that's not particularly great and can easily be found in abundance later. Siding with the villagers gives you a piece of Vendor Trash that can be sold for a pretty decent amount or given as a gift, but at that point you won't really need it. Siding with the Lady gives you a sword that is both unique and quite nice and a skill point. Given Geralt's canon personality, though, giving the neutral path the biggest reward might be justified.