A Witcher 3 Diary, Day 1: Beyond The End Of The World
Paul Simon Ghouls
Richard is handling opinions on The Witcher 3 [official site] (including tech issues and similar fun), but as a man without 200-odd hours to spare on questing, quaffing, sexing and beard-growing, I shall instead run a (mostly) in-character diary series covering my adventures in, presumably, just the earlier stages of CDP's saucy roleplayer. But for the record, it runs OK if I turn Fancy Hair off but it has crashed twice so far.
Disclaimer: I didn't finish The Witcher 2 and can't remember much of what I did play, so expect confusion/getting people's names wrong. Also, there will almost certainly be SPOILERS throughout.
My latest adventure begins with approximately 19 different visions and flashbacks, which leave me none the wiser about what I'm doing and who all these to-a-one all-knowing people around me are. But one of them immediately gets her bum out, which at least is a context I can figure out by myself, another one is a precocious child-Witcher whose side I can't help but take over her testy instructor's, and then everyone gets straight-up murdered by a Nazgûl. Whoops?
Before that, I'm challenged to race the kid around the walls of the castle we all live in, and I - a semi-immortal magic dude who's fought more battles than you've shed eyelashes - am so damn desperate to beat a 10-year-old girl that I end up plunging to my death while trying to take a shortcut. Fortunately there are ways around that these days. We try again. I let her win this time, and try to look supportive rather than humiliated.
And then everyone gets killed anyway. But it's only a dream, probably. I wake up on a hillside with the Testy Instructor, aka The Amazing Tutorial-Man, clarify that the slaughter hasn't actually happened yet, and find out I've got a note from the lady who got her bum out telling me to meet her somewhere around here. She also mentions that apparently we once did it on a stuffed unicorn, which sounds super-uncomfortable. Anyway, plans to meet her somewhere around here are thrown into disarray, given that here is the scene of a recent and bloody battle. There are corpses everywhere, and the only bums in sight are covered in dented armour, mud and blood. Also I keep standing on people's faces by mistake
Turns out not everything here is dead. There are some ghouls too, who are only a bit dead. They're not alghouls, importantly: The Amazing Tutorial-Man mentioned those earlier. I'm not entirely sure of the difference, but sincerely hope it means that some ghouls bellow Paul Simon songs as a battlecry. Anyway, it's chopping time, but in the middle of decapitating a ghoul who seems sadly unfamiliar with Graceland I spot some flowers. Flowers! You can't not pick a flower if you see it, even if a scuttling horror is trying to chew your earlobes at the time. I don't quite know what's going on, so I've decided my purpose in life is to become known as The Sexy, Cat-Eyed, Semi-Immortal Dude Who Collects Flowers. The bards shall sing of my exploits, and of my tasteful floral arrangements.
That done, The Amazing Tutorial-Man tells me to follow him yet again. But this time I've got a horse, and the last thing I'm going to do is follow anyone. I turn the other way, and ride. I'll keep on riding until I can't ride no more. I'll reach the ends of this earth, and...
Oh. Well, that was quick. And anti-climactic.
So if this is the end of the world, where does that road go? Who built it? And how? Is it even really a road, or is my mind unable to cope with the infinite cosmic emptiness just beyond the bit of grass I'm standing on and has imagined familiar scenery there to spare me from madness? More importantly, what is that blood stain in the distance? If someone died beyond the end of the world, this feels like something I should know about.
I spend an ungodly amount of time trying to circle closer, approaching from every direction I can , but The Mysterious Force That Really Should Have Built An Impassable Mountain Range If They So Badly Wanted To Stop Me Going Over Here blocks me every time. A brainwave: I try dismounting from my horse, and by taking baby-steps and approaching the road from the woods to the left, I'm able to draw closer to The Blood Stain Beyond The End Of The World. You won't believe what I discovered.
TO BE CONTINU...
No, no, it's fine, I'll tell you now. It was just a blood stain.
Couldn't even see any giblets. Sorry.
Disgruntled but still determined not to follow The Amazing Tutorial-Man's mandates, I explore other directions. Impassable valleys preclude me from going far, but I get to kill some more ghouls (still no renditions of You Can Call Me Al, alas) and pick some more flowers. I also find a magic rock which makes me better at fighting. Thanks, magic rock. Eventually, with nowhere else left to go, I return to the battlefield, a little deflated. It's then that I discover something incredible, something which more than makes up for the peculiar geographical restrictions of this world.
Every single body on this battlefield can be looted. Even the horses.
By God, I've got more rusty axes than I'll ever know what to do with, and sacks positively brimming with festering horse-hide. Now this is my kind of adventure.