Video Games That Tackle Social Issues

Ellie and Riley

Video Games – we all enjoy it. Whether you’re young or old, a student or an employee looking to pass the time with a little fun; we all enjoy video games. It is a means for us, an outlet, to do the things we can not do in real life; to experience the things that is not readily accessible to the most of us. Video games also help us understand different types of people by having diverse and – for some games – very realistic characters. But, not a lot of us see the underlying meanings behind the video games we play and enjoy. The implications hidden behind the realistic graphics, the heart-warming soundtrack, and the innovative gameplay. Here is a list of some of the video games that tackle different social issues. Sit back and let us dwell deeper into the meaning of these well-known video games.

War“This War of Mine” 

Video Games: This War of Mine is a video game about civilians surviving in a war-torn city.
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Let’s start with a very well-known topic – war. We’ve all heard of different stories about war. And war has been a choice of topic or genre by a lot of video games. But, the creators of This War Of Mine, 11 Bit Studios, approached this genre in an innovative and immersive way. In this game, you don’t play as a well-trained-muscle-torn super soldier equipped with a planetary cannon. Here, you play as a civilian caught very deep in the war-devastated fictional city of Pogoren, Graznavia. You will struggle, because ‘gather’ is putting it lightly, for food. Scavenge for medicines or supplies and try your very best not to bump into soldiers or other hungry survivors.

The day and night cycle plays a significant role in the game mechanics. During the day, you’ll be managing your hideout in a very detailed manner; while keeping an eye on that sniper whose not letting you out. When darkness falls, you’ll be sneaking into buildings and areas for supplies; while avoiding being killed by other people seeking means for survival. You will also be making a lot of moral decisions; whether you’ll kill that one annoying person to save the whole group or watch as everyone slowly suffer. Add to that, the beautifully-made charcoal-style aesthetics; and you have a game that will leave you thinking and reflecting about war and its effect on the human soul.

 

Privacy“Watch Dogs 1 and  2″ 

Video Games: Marcus Holloway and the gang
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Have you ever felt like being watched? Like Big Brother is always around you, lurking in the dark, studying and recording your every move? We are living in the age and time of information and the improvement in technology is far from slowing down. Also, the number of people uploading all of their information in the internet is increasing. Which is why black hats are more eager to steal any sensitive information they can get their hands on.

Watch Dogs, is a video game about hackers waging war on the government for manipulating information and invading the privacy of their people. This video game does not really tackle or explain ‘hacking’ in detail; but it shows what hackers can do with the information that the people, themselves, gave out there in the internet. This game is a sweet reminder that internet privacy is sometimes just an illusion to make us feel safe. It also reminds us that the internet is a very dangerous place to be placing all of our information.

 

Social Difference – Multiple Video Games (Witcher SeriesLife is Strange, The Last of Us, other video games)

Video Games: The Witcher
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So what if you have white hair, feline eyes, sterile, and has high resistance, if not immune, to diseases? So what if you have pointy ears and lives longer than humans? We are all living things and we can co-exist if given the chance and consideration.

The Witcher series, which is set in the world of Temeria, is flooded with racism and discrimination. Elves and Dwarves are discriminated for not being human, despite the humans being the invaders of the land. Basically, humans are the foreigners and, yet, they are pushing away and abusing the original inhabitants of the land. Luckily, Geralt, despite being discriminated himself, acts as the median between the two worlds. That of humans and of ‘non-humans’. Geralt does not make any rush decisions when doing a job. He investigates first and looks for a way for both parties to work together. With an exception, there is no consideration to be given for evil-tainted individuals, human or non-human.

Video Games: Life is Strange
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Life is Strange is a video game that takes place in a small town called Arcadia Bay. A place where a lot of things happen. Including alcoholism, bullying, and child abuse. Child abuse being a social issue that’s very rampant nowadays; this video game shows the whole issue in a different perspective. You play the game and see the world through the eyes of a teenager with the ability to control time, Max Caulfield. The game also includes other issues like teenage pregnancy, social anxiety, and brats who think like they are on top of everyone. Max’s story is also a depiction of how it feels like to be bullied for being “not among the famous”. This is a game definitely worth checking out if you want a relaxing soundtrack and a story that is full of twists.

Video Games: Riley and Ellie
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The Last of Us: Left Behind, sparked a controversy when Ellie and Riley hinted quite a number of times about their feelings with each other. We all remember that photobooth scene, right? How about that scene where they dance to a tune and then unknowingly attracted a horde of infected? All of these hints led to one conclusion and a lot of people were shocked. Some related and found themselves in the position of the protagonists in terms of personal identity; some accepted the fact and were happy for the pair; but, for some…they just do not approve of the whole charade. The relationship they have and the characters themselves doesn’t actually raise an issue; but the different ways people responded to the writing of the game, present an issue on sexual discrimination.

There you go. Here are just some of the games that tackle some of the issues we are facing up to this day. There are still a lot of games that depicts issues not mentioned here. If you have played a game with an interesting theme, comment them down below and let’s have a talk. Looking forward to hearing from you!

PC Footage Used In Xbox One Trailer For The Witcher 3

Xbox One

Microsoft have been caught out for uploading a trailer for The Witcher 3 on Xbox One which was actually captured on a PC.

Kotaku was quick to notice that the video they were watching couldn’t have been the Xbox One version of the game. CD Projekt RED have already announced the technical details of The Witcher series’ latest installment, including the fact that the game runs at 1080p/60fps on PC, 900p/30fps on the Xbox One, and 1080p/30fps on Playstation 4.

It’s not surprising that the PC version of The Witcher 3 comes out on top in terms of graphics. Microsoft have explained the faux par by saying that the video CD Projekt RED sent them had been captured on PC in order to show off the game at its best. Apparently, it was given an Xbox One logo watermark by “mistake”.

A Microsoft representative apologised for any “confusion” on Gamespot. “This morning we posted a new trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to our YouTube channels featuring footage provided by CD Projekt Red that was captured from the PC version of the game and may not be reflective of final Xbox One gameplay.”

Since being caught out, Microsoft have added a disclaimer to the video’s description. Being of a suspicious nature, I’m not entirely convinced this was really a mistake. If I was going to stamp my console’s logo all over some gameplay footage, I’d want to make damn sure it was footage that was actually from my console.

Of course, let’s not make out like The Witcher 3 won’t look good on the Xbox One anyway. Or the PS4. If there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that it’s going to be a stunning game regardless of the platform.

Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Goes Gold

Witcher 3

Great news for Witcher fans – the series’ third installment, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has finally gone gold! That means the game’s development is completely, one hundred per cent finished and all that’s left now is for it to be shipped off to the stores.

The Witcher 3 was delayed several times throughout its development – not that that’s something gamers aren’t used to. Of course, it’s always preferable to have developers delay their games than have them released broken and buggy. Cough – Watchdogs – Cough – Assassin’s Creed Unity – Cough – Well, the list goes on. Those developers know who they are.

“We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” said CD Projekt Red boss Adam Badowski. “From the corrupt nobles in Novigrad to ancient monsters lurking in deep forests, to the bustling cities, colorful ports and breathtaking vistas; all the people, all the places – we literally spent tens of thousands of hours to turn all that into an adventure that will kick your ass and make you want to come for more.”

CD Projekt Red originally had the game set to launch at the end of 2014. That date was then shifted to February 2015 with a pr0mise of “no more delays.” Then, of course, there was one more delay, this time to its current release date of May 19. Perhaps it’s not so surprising the game was delayed so many times, with the developer calling this game its “most ambitious endeavor to date.”

The Witcher 3 is now set to release for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC on 19 May. That’s only a month away, and this time it might be safe for fans to start getting excited.

Is The Witcher 3 Overhyped?

Witcher

The Witcher is a fantastic series of games, based off of what I can only assume is a fantastic set of books. With Wild Hunt on the horizon, people far and wide are getting massively excited, and tickets for the metaphorical train made of hype have all but sold out. As gamers, we know better than to fall into this trap. People start slapping impossible expectations onto projects, and on release everyone gets burned. But is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt really going to be the second coming? Does it deserve the hype it is getting?

Frankly, I am not so sure. I played The Witcher way back in 2007, and that game was a mess. Words cannot describe the issues that plagued that game, yet its popularity warranted a full overhaul and a sequel. Performance issues and bugs aside, The Witcher was a flawed game. Combat was terrible, the world was rather restricted and it didn’t control particularly well, and it was you standard run of the mill plot and fantasy tropes mixed together with some M rated grit to make it edgy.

Enter The Witcher 2. It too had a number of launch issues, got an overhaul and an eventual console release. What is surprising however is how little really changed in the sequel. Yes the game looks prettier, yes they changed the combat and made everything look fresh, but the exact same flaws that plagued the original continue here. The combat is easy at best, and mind numbing at worst, the plot was as cut and dry as you could get, the world was still restrictive and generic, and the game still felt awfully clunky.

Now we have The Witcher 3, and lets be honest here guys, I am not expecting much in terms of a change. But why should I? Despite everything I have said, I absolutely love The Witcher, but I feel people are forgetting what makes The Witcher actually good, they are focusing too much on the graphics, the combat etc. What makes The Witcher good, is its characters and its lore. Yes the plot is meh, but the STUFF behind it all is great. Yes the world is generic, but the characters are all fantastic, gritty and real. You feel  connected with the world because you have a connection with the people in said world. Geralt of Rivia might be one of the dullest concepts for a character of all time, but his life, and the people he encounters make him, and his games, worth experiencing.

Wild Hunt hits store shelves mid May, and I am certainly excited for it, but the level of hype it is generating is not healthy for anyone, especially the game itself. Do yourself a favor, take a step back, and remember why these games are good.

The Witcher Character Profile: Yennefer of Vengerberg

Yennefer

Yennefer of Vengerberg is a sorceress and the main protagonist Geralt of Rivia’s lover, even though their relationship is somewhat complicated. She act’s as a motherly figure towards Ciri and looks at her as if she was her own daughter. Yennefer, like all sorceresses, is sterile, meaning that she cannot have children although she has attempted many times to find a away to become fertile, but all to no avail. She is also a close friend of Triss Merigold, who also loves Geralt and acts as his canon lover in the previous Witcher games, but not in the books.

While at Nenneke’s (a priestess of Melitele) Temple in Ellander, Yennefer taught Ciri about magic, and although she was very strict at first, she softened and became a patient and very good tutor to Ciri, the child of destiny. She clashed many times with Nenneke, who was worried about Ciri’s well being, although they both left on good terms.

Although very beautiful, Yennefer is actually in her nineties and she has her famed looks because of magical help. Geralt realises that she was once a hunchback, but he still loved her nevertheless. During the Battle of Sodden Hill, Yennefer lost her eyesight as she was blinded by Fringilla Viga, a Nilfgaardian sorceress. Her eyesight was later restored by magic, however Yennefer still bears the emotional scars of that event. Once while at Nenneke’s Temple, Ciri asked her why she was staring at a linden tree, when Yennefer replied, “Nothing. I’m simply feasting my eyes upon it. I’m happy that… I can see it.”

One of the more notable things about Yennefer is her lilac eyes, and she always uses lilac and gooseberry perfumes. She is rarely seen without wearing black and white.

She was king Demavend of Aedirn’s royal advisor, but he is now dead as he was killed by Letho, the kingslayer, in the intro to The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings.

At the end of the books, Geralt was killed for protecting non humans in Rivia after riots broke out, and Yennefer perished while trying to heal him. However, Ciri took them to another world and to Malus Island (known as the Isle of Avallach in the game), where they were both saved. They spent sometime together there, but the Wild Hunt  steals Yennefer away from him. Once Geralt finds the Wild Hunt he exchanges his soul for Yennefer’s. It is generally excepted that the Wild Hunt let Geralt go because he is very good at killing. Another reason could be because they believed he would lead them to Ciri.

Yennefer has yet to be in a Witcher game before, but she makes her debut into the series in the upcoming game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The player will be able to choose Yennefer as a romance option for Geralt. Yennefer was however seen in many flashbacks in The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings, and it is revealed at the end of the game that she is most likely still alive and in the city of Nilfgaard.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – What Is The Wild Hunt?

Witcher

The Wild Hunt is a cavalcade of spectral horseman who terrorize humans and it is said that they are an omen of death and misfortune. The sight of the witcher Wild Hunt is also known as an omen of war. They abduct people and force them to join them on their ride, and only a few of those who have been abducted have managed to escape, however they were all considered mad and their stories considered nothing but the ramblings of madmen. It is said that they abduct more people during winter and war time, and during the last great war they abducted over twenty  people in Novigrad once they had passed through. The abducted can also reappear many years later, without having aged at all, this is because they are from another world and their time flows differently from the human world.

The Elder Races, dwarves and elves, have no mention the Wild Hunt in their culture or history, even though they have been round for much longer than the humans.

The Wild Hunt is lead by the King of the Wild Hunt, Eredin Bréacc Glas, who is actually an Aen Elle, which are elves from another world. In their world, Eredin is a leader of an elven cavalry known as the Dearg Ruadhri, which means Red Horsemen. However in the human world he is known as  the feared King of the Wild Hunt and his spectres are actually elves from his cavalry.

The King of the Wild Hunt imprisoned Ciri in his world where he tried to force Ciri to have a child with Auberon Muircetach, the King of the Aen Elle. This is because Ciri’s ancestor Cregennan of Lod fell in love with Lara Dorren, an elf, which was considered a theft of heritage by the Aen Elle and the humans despised it too. The humans killed Cregennan before his daughter was born and Lara died shortly after giving birth. Their half elf daughter Riannon was adopted by the queen of Redania, Cerro. The Aen Elle wanted Ciri, the descendant of Lara, to have a child with Auberon to reclaim their stolen heritage. However, Eredin accidentally killed Auberon by giving him an overdose of an aphrodisiac which was supposed to increase his chances with having a child with Ciri.

The Wild Hunt in The Witcher (Game Spoilers)

During the Witcher, the Wild Hunt appears many times to Geralt of Rivia. The first time is during the prologue when they’re outside Kaer Morhen. During the assault on Kaer Morhen, young witcher Leo was killed by the Professor, and in chapter one Geralt see’s Leo’s ghost along with the Wild Hunt.

Also in chapter one, you can do the optional quest ‘Dead Hand of the Past’, where Declan Leuvaarden requests that Geralt buries his friend in the crypt beneath Reverand’s church. While burying his friend, the King of the Wild Hunt appears before Geralt, where the King reminds Geralt of past times and Geralt’s destiny.

The Wild Hunt also appear in the mission ‘Hunting the Wild Hunt’. Geralt is asked by the Hermit, a druid, to kill nine spectres of the Wild Hunt and he needs to keep the King of the Wild Hunt at bay by using mandrake sprinkled on the lanterns flame.

Towards the end of the game, leader of the Order of the Flaming Rose Jacques de Aldersberg transports Geralt by magic to his vision in the Ice Plains, where Geralt and the King of the Wild Hunt duel for his soul. Geralt defeats the King of the Wild Hunt.

The Wild Hunt in The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings (Game Spoilers)

The Wild Hunt does not appear in the Witcher 2, however they are mentioned in a book where it says that Yennefer of Vengerberg, Geralt’s lover, had been abducted by them, though she did not stay with them unlike Geralt who was with them for a while.

It also describes what the Wild Hunt is, and the many theories about the Wild Hunt, such as the Wild Hunt being spectres of knights who have died in other worlds, and that they were created by an evil force that sends them to different worlds in search of slaves.

The magicians in the game have differing opinions about the Wild Hunt, with Dethmold believing that they are nothing but a myth, Síle de Tansarville wanting nothing to do with the Wild Hunt and remaining silent whenever asked about them (which surprises Geralt because she is an extremely smart sorceress and he thought she must know something about them), and Philippa Eilhart has her own theory about the origin of the Wild Hunt however we do not find out what this is because it’s mentioned as a ‘shallow theory’ and not worthy of being wrote down.

What To Expect in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 

Throughout the Witcher games, the reason the Wild Hunt has been searching for Geralt is because they are desperately seeking Ciri, and Ciri makes her debut in the Witcher games in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This is why they play a major role in the next game, and why they step up their desperate search for Ciri. They believe Geralt knows where she is, hence them seeking Geralt in order to get to Ciri.

The reason The King of the Wild Hunt wants Ciri so much is because she is a descendant of Lara Dorren, and all descendants of hers are considered special because they contain huge magical power, and they carry elder blood. She also possess the power of the Gate of the Worlds, which enables her to travel through space and time. Because of this, this is why The King of the Wild Hunt, Eredin, wants to capture her and wants her to have a child of one of the Aen Elle, so they can reclaim the power of the Gate of the Worlds which he and Avallac’h once possessed.

The Wild Hunt will continue their search for Ciri during the next game, and they will also come face to face with Geralt, as seen in the Elder Blood trailer.

The Witcher Character Profile: Ciri

Ciri

Princess Cirilla, better known as Ciri, is one of the main characters in Andrzej Sapowski’s novels.  She is the daughter of Duny and Pavetta, and grandchild of Queen Calanthe and King Roegner

To understand why Ciri is so special you need to understand her families past. Geralt of Rivia was called upon by Queen Calanthe to ensure that Cintra is allied with Skellige, as her daughter Pavetta turned fifteen years old and therefore many turned up to ask for her hand in marriage. Although Geralt does not believe this to be why he was invited. Some time later, a knight who refuses to remove his helmet until after midnight arrives and announces his name as Urcheon of Erlenwald. He states that Princess Pavetta belongs to him due to The Law of Surprise. The Law of Surprise is a demand that can be made by a man who saves someone else’s life. It’s a request which means that the saviour can demand the person who’s life he has saved for something that he doesn’t know he has. The thing he didn’t know he had, was a child as while he was away his wife became pregnant with his child.

The queen admitted this was true, but refused his request to take her daughter Pavetta. Once the clock struck midnight she demanded that he remove his helm, which he did, and he didn’t have the head of a man but a head of a beast who was covered in spines and had fangs. The Queen invoked the Law of Surprise and said that her daughter must choose whether to go with the beast or to stay, assuming that she wouldn’t want to go near the beast. However much to her surprise he daughter wants to go with Urcheon and a riot then ensues as other attendants want to go after the beast. As Princess Pavetta sees her lover Urcheon being attacked, a force explodes out of her and furniture is flying about everywhere, becoming extremely dangerous to everyone there.

When Geralt steps in to help Urcheon and baron of Tigg, Coodcoodak, starts making animal noises which manages to distract Pavetta enabling Geralt to calm her down. Urcheon, also known as Duny, then explains their situation. He and Pavetta have being seeing eachother since she was fourteen they had fallen in love. Duny had been cursed as a child to look like a beast during the day and to look like a normal man from midnight to dawn. Queen Calanthe then agrees with their love and marriage. Duny wants to thank Geralt for saving his life so offers him anything he wants, so Geralt chooses to ask for something that which you already have but do not know, and informs everyone that Pavetta is pregnant, much to their surprise, and says that he want’s their child to be raised as a witcher. Their child was Princess Cirilla.

When she was an infant both of her parents were lost at sea and presumed dead so she spent most of her childhood with her grandmother queen Calanthe in Cintra.

During the slaughter of Cintra, she was Nilfgaardian knight but luckily escaped and wondered around Sodden until she was adopted by a merchants family whom Geralt had previously helped, ultimately reuniting the two of them. Geralt took her to Kaer Morhen to be trained as a witcher as a boy would, but under the supervision of Triss Merigold they agreed that she would not undergo mutation as normal witchers and she would be treated more like a growing girl. During this time, she was also confirmed as being a source like her mother, which is when someone is born with magical powers which are hard to control and often drives young sources mad if not trained properly. She often had nightmares about the Nilfgaardian knight and was always soothed be Geralt or Triss.

Triss and Geralt then take her to the Temple of Melitele to be tutored by Nenneke, a friend of Geralt’s and then she is trained to use her magical powers by Yennefer. Yennefer then took Ciri to Aretuza, a magical school for young girls, and intended to enrol her as a student. However while there before she could enrol, some people attempted to capture Ciri but failed as she escaped through an unstable portal and appeared in the Korath desert. While there she almost died, but was saved by a unicorn who helped her escape the desert.

She was then captured by a bounty hunter named Leo Bonhart who imprisoned her and forced her to fight in the arena. She then escaped from their clutches when in the village of Unicorn, but was seriously injured as she fled on her horse. Thankfully she was saved by Vysogota of Corvo before death, and he then nursed her back to full health at his hermitage.

She then left for the Tower of the Swallow, also known as Tor Zireael, which contains portals to many different worlds. She is forced to enter one of the portals to escape the bounty hunters pursuing her. Through one of the portals she arrives in the elven world ruled by Auberon Muircetach. When she arrived there she was told that she had to pay a debt to them, and they wanted her to have a child with the king, Auberon Muircetach. They tried multiple times to have a child, all without success. She was also told by him that even if they had a child, she would never be free. She then met with some Unicorns, including the one who saved her in the Korath desert before. They told Ciri how to escape and that the elves once had to power of the Gate of the Worlds, but they no longer do, and they needed Ciri to recover their power.

Ciri went to visit Auberon, but he had drunken a fertility potion in order to be more likely to have a child with Ciri, but this proved too strong and he was dead. She then attempted to escape that night by swimming with the current of the river, however she was caught by Eredin, who previously tried to control her, and they fought until Ciri won. She rode on her horse to escape, until she met the unicorn again, who she had nicknamed Horsey, and he offered her his help to escape. He explained that the world they are in used to be a human world until the elves came and killed them all, and that the same fate would befall Ciri’s world if the elves were to gain the power of the Gate of the Worlds again, and therefore be able to control time and space. He taught Ciri how to manifest her powers and jump into another world to escape. She did this but was unable to control it and had to jump through many worlds before finding her own one, where she then killed the bounty hunter Bonhart at Stygga castle.

Princess Cirilla had not been in any other games before, however she had previously been mentioned in the first Witcher game by an inkeeper when he was telling Geralt the tale of Cirilla, however Geralt did not know of any of this at the time as he did not remember anything of his previous life.

Ciri will be a playable character in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt but only when the story brings her under your control, and this will be for around ten quests. She will differ from Geralt in the game, as she will only have one sword and she will also be faster, and have some different abilities that we do not know about yet. As the games are after all of the books and are canon, it will be the first time that Geralt and Ciri unite for a long time.

The Witcher Character Profile: Dandelion

Witcher

Dandelion is a world famous bard and is the main protagonist Geralt of Rivia‘s best friend and confidant. They first met at a fête in Gulet when he became a companion to Geralt (who welcomed this as he had been alone for a while) when Dandelion had to leave witcher Gulet as fast as possible – because he ‘knocked up’ a girl under the musician’s podium and she had four sturdy brothers who were threatening to geld, and cover him in pitch and sawdust.

Dandelion is a graduate, and later on, professor of Oxenfurt Academy. He only taught at there for a year and rarely visits Oxenfurt, although he still does from time to time to give guest lectures, because he is off travelling the Northern Kingdoms as a minstrel and garners a world famous reputation for doing so in the years to come. He also get’s caught up in many of Geralt’s adventures, and he also acquires his favourite lute on these adventures. During the short story, ‘The Edge of the World’, Dandelion and Geralt are captured by a group of elves and one of them, Toruviel, breaks Dandelion’s lute, much to his dismay. Awaiting his death, Dandelion faints. While he is out the Queen of the Fields appears and communicates with the elves telepathically and tells the elves to not kill them. Dandelion receives a few slaps to wake him up but no other harm befouls him that day. As the elves are leaving Toruviel gives Dandelion a new lute, which becomes his favourite one.

He possess an incredible ability to always find himself in trouble. Of course most of the trouble he get’s himself into is self inflicted, and normally involves a woman. His profession goes hand in hand with his favourite pastime, womanising. Being a bard get’s him in a lot of positions to seduce women, and he never misses the opportunity. When in Flotsam in The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings, he was about to be hanged for debauchery (excessive indulgence in sex, alcohol, or drugs) and burning down a building until Geralt saved him.

One of his best traits as a human is that he harbours no ill will towards elves or dwarves, and that’s a very rare trait throughout the Northern Kingdoms, with non humans and humans at each others throats for many years. Some of his best friends are non human, including Zoltan Chivay.

He is known for many ballads, but his most famous by far is The Lion Cub of Cintra. This is about Ciri and the events that transpired during the Slaughter of Cintra. This too got him in to trouble, as he was attacked by someone attempting to get information out of him about Ciri, until Yennefer stepped in and saved him. He uses Geralt, Yennefer, Ciri and other people he knows and the adventures he’s been on as inspiration for the songs he writes.

Dandelion in The Witcher (Spoilers)

Dandelion does not appear into the first game until the second chapter, at a party which Shani throws to celebrate his arrival into town. This is the first time he’s seen Geralt since he ‘died’, and Geralt doesn’t remember him due to his amnesia, but Dandelion recalls some of Geralt’s past for him.

Dandelion asks Geralt to recover his lute which he left in one of his young, female music student’s bedroom. Oh Dandelion. He can’t go and get it himself as the girls father is there too, and he isn’t very happy. Dandelion needs his lute as he is performing a concert later that evening, and won’t be able to without his lute. He also accompanies him on various missions throughout the game.

 Dandelion in The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings (Spoilers)

Dandelion is the narrator and retells the story between chapters. All of the journal entries are written by Dandelion, from his point of view. Dandelion makes his appearance into The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings in the first chapter. He is about to be hanged for debauchery in Flotsam town square. Upon being saved by Geralt, it is revealed that Dandelion has been working for Roach and the Temerian Intelligence Service as a spy.

During the end of the first chapter, Geralt has to make a choice which will impact on Dandelion’s story. If Geralt chooses Roach’s path, Dandelion would end up in King Henselt’s military camp, where he aims to help Geralt as he doesn’t understand politics. Dandelion ultimately get’s in trouble as he creates an anti Henselt pamphlet, which smears the king. Due to these circumstances he leaves King Henselt’s military camp and fails to reach Loc Muinne in time, meaning this is the end of his story. He continues to recount the stories in the journal through the things that he’s heard from others.

If Geralt chooses Iorveth’s path, then Dadelion ends up in dwarven town of Vergen. He also helps Geralt with a problem with a succubus. The succubus is a demon who takes the form of a gorgeous woman, with the intentions of seducing men and feed off of their energy to sustain themselves. Dandelion had to sing a ballad in the burned village for the succubus to open it’s lair for him, where Geralt would then enter instead of Dandelion. When Geralt and Iorveth left for Loc Muinne, Dandelion chose to stay a bit longer in Vergen to write more ballads after gaining a lot more new material. He relays the rest of the story from things that he has heard from other people.

The Witcher Character Profile: Geralt of Rivia

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Geralt of Rivia is the main protagonist in Andrzej Sapowski’s The Witcher books, and CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher games. He goes by multiple names, these include The White Wolf (because he has pure white hair and is from the Wolf School), Gwynbleidd (Elder Speech for White Wolf), and Butcher of Blaviken (he thwarted the secret plans of Renfri and her bandits to kill Stregobor and the innocent but as this was not known to the general public it looked as though he killed them for no reason). Although being known as Geralt of Rivia, he isn’t from Rivia. This is because Master Vesemir encouraged all Witcher apprentices to adopt and create a surname so they sound more approachable and trustworthy.

Geralt is a Witcher, which is a professional monster hunter. He was abandoned by his mother at  Kaer Morhen, which is the Witcher’s stronghold, not long after being born. He belonged to the Wolf School, there are three other school’s and these are the Cat School, Viper School, and Griffin School. Geralt was subjected to mutation from a very young age at Kaer Mohen. The mutations he underwent can be fatal to many, however Geralt survived them all during the Trial of the Grasses. The Trial of the Grasses is a trial which all young Witchers-to-be must undergo, they must take a mixture of ingredients (known as the grasses) and this is an extremely painful test, with less than half of all young Witcher’s surviving it. Geralt survived, and not only survived, but his body resisted the changes better than most and because of this he was subjected to even more dangerous and experimental procedures. As a result of the experimental procedures he lost all pigmentation in his body, which is why he has white hair. In return for taking the ingredients and passing the trial, he was rewarded with superhuman reflexes, enhanced speed, strength and enhanced senses. He also  has the ability to open and close his pupils at will giving him night vision. Unfortunately the changes he undergoes leaves him sterile, like all Witchers. He also became a master swordsman due to his intense training from a young age.

Not only being a master swordsman, Geralt has the abilities to produce signs. They are known as signs because they do not need any sort of magical formular to produce them, all they need is the correct hand gesture and concentration. Hence it being called a sign. Signs are forms of simple magic and Geralt can perform all six known signs. These are the Aard sign (a concentrated form of telekinesis enabling the destruction of walls and the ability to throw back enemies), the Igni sign (which is pyrokinetic and allows Geralt to set opponents on fire, or simply to create fires), the Yrden sign (which allows Geralt to place a magical trap on the ground to immobilize enemies leaving them vulnerable to all of his incoming attacks), the Quen sign (which is a protective shield that allows all incoming physical attacks to be absorbed), the Axii sign (which tricks another enemy to fight along side you, becoming your ally for a short time) and the Heliotrop sign (which has multiple uses, in the book it is a magical shield which deflects all magic, and in the Witcher 2 it is a force field which slows down everything inside it, except for Geralt).

Geralt, like all Witcher’s, carries two swords. One sword is made with silver and the other sword steel. He carries both of these swords because the silver sword is for monsters and monster like races. Meteorite swords, which are swords made from meteorite ore also count as silver swords. Steel swords on the other hand are for humanoid races, such as humans, dwarves and elves. Geralt travels the land in search of monster contracts, as that is the purpose of Witcher’s, to rid the world of as many monsters as possible and earn as much coin as they possibly can while doing it. Geralt says that killing the monsters is a last resort, he would rather reverse the curses and save them where possible, such as Nivellen (a character from a short story), a cursed man who was made to look like a beast and Adda, King Foltest’s daughter who was born a Striga as a result of a curse being put upon her while in her mothers womb because of the incestuous relationship between Foltest and his sister (Adda’s mother), also named Adda. Geralt wears a silver wolf medallion (because he was of the Wolf School) around his neck which he received after he completed his training at Kaer Morhen, it is a symbol of the Witcher profession. This medallion reacts and vibrates whenever there is magic nearby, it also is harmful to monsters because it is made of silver, an example is when Geralt realises that Nivellen  cannot be a monster because he touched his medallion and suffered no side effects during the short story ‘A Grain of Truth’.

Geralt’s best friend Dandelion, whom he  met at the fête in Gulet once said, “Is he a good man? I do not think so. Does he try to maintain his humanity? I believe he does.” This sums up Geralt perfectly. He has his own Witcher code of morals and ethics, and tries to stay out of politics and follows his own code. In a world full of unscrupulous, and evil characters, Geralt tries to remain neutral where possible and rarely deviates from doing so.  It is also said that Witcher’s are supposed to have no feelings or emotions, but this is untrue with Geralt as he has a deep, if somewhat complicated love, for Yennefer of Vengerberg. He also develops a fatherly love for Ciri, the only person he considers to be family to him. During The Blood of Elves book, Triss Merigold, a friend and future lover,  falls ill when travelling with Geralt and Ciri and throughout this time Geralt cares and looks after Triss, helping and caring for her, such as cleaning her, bathing her, and helping her go to the toilet. This is all much to the surprise of the dwarves that they are travelling with, who claim that they wouldn’t do what Geralt is doing for Triss, for their wives. She also becomes his main lover in the first two Witcher games. Geralt is a firm believer in choosing the lesser evil, and always chooses violence as a last resort. He will stand up for the innocent, but he will not, where possible, take sides between two equal forces because he knows how much pain and loss he could cause the opposing side.

First Game – The Witcher (Short Summary/Spoilers)

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At the beginning of the first game, Geralt seeming comes back to life after he was outnumbered and murdered with a pitchfork by a mob of angry humans, attempting to purge Rivia of non humans. Geralt stood up for the non humans and was attacked because of this. His death was witnessed by many, including his friends the sorceress Triss Merigold and dwarf Zoltan Chivay. After seemingly coming back to life in the first Witcher game he is saved by the last remaining Witchers and returns to Kaer Morhen with no memory of his previous life. During the rest of the first game, The Witcher, Geralt intends to hunt down The Salamandra, an evil organisation who ransacked Kaer Morhen at the beginning of the game and stole the Witcher’s mutagenic potions that are used to genetically alter Witchers. He goes after the two people behind the attacks, a mage named Azar  Javed and an assassin named The Professor. Once he killed Azar Javed it is revealed to him that the Grand Master of the Order, Jacques de Aldersberg betrayed the king and that he is the one behind Salamandra’s operation.

During the game you can make several choices as Geralt, you can remain neutral with Triss Merigold, side with the Squirrels with Yaevinn or side with the Order of the Flaming Rose with Siegfried . Whoever you side with, will ultimately come with you on your hunt for Jacques de Aldersberg, however you will end up going for the Grand Master on your own as your other companion will be injured, or Geralt will trick Triss into leaving him to fight Jacques alone so she will be safe. He is transported to an illusion where Geralt finds and kills Jacques de Aldersberg. Geralt also meets the King of The Wild Hunt who has been following him throughout the game. He too wants the Grand Master’s soul, and they end up duelling for the soul of Jacques de Aldersberg, where Geralt prevails and kills him.

During the epilogue of the game, an assassin attempts to kill King Foltest, who fails due to the involvement of Geralt and ultimately perishes at Geralt’s hands.

Second Game – The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Short Summary/Spoilers)

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At the start of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, another assassin, who knew Geralt before he ‘died’, named Letho was successful in his attempt to kill King Demavend of Aedirn and King Foltest of Temeria. Geralt was present when Letho killed King Foltest and was unable to stop Letho from doing so, and was the only person seen with Foltest when he was murdered, therefore he was the one who was believed to have killed King Foltest.

Commander of The Blue Stripes (Temeria’s special forces), Vernon Roach, who Geralt met earlier that day, believed that Geralt was innocent and helped him escape from the dungeon he was being held in and Geralt, Roach and Triss left to go in search of Letho, the real kingslayer and clear Geralt’s name.

Just before arriving in Flotsam, the three of them are attacked by Iorveth the leader of the Scoia’tael (squirrels) who assisted Letho in killing King Foltest. They get out alive thanks to Triss’ magical capabilities, creating a shield bubble that the elven arrows can’t penetrate. Geralt saves two friends, Dandelion and Zoltan from being hung in Flotsam. Later on Geralt tells Iorveth that Letho intends to betray him, and following upon this Geralt has to choose Roach’s path or Ioveth’s.

Following Ioveth’s path leaves Geralt fighting on the side of Saskia the dragonslayer against King Henselt, who ends up being a dragon herself, under the control of Philippa Eilhart. Later on Geralt must choose to save Philippa or Triss (who was previously kidnapped by the kingslayer Letho and is currently being held prisoner in the Nilfgaardian camp) or save Philippa who is the only person who can lift the spell off of Saskia.

Following Roach’s path leaves Geralt fighting on the side of King Henself, against Saskia. King Henself kills Roach’s men and after Geralt defeats Henselt’s personal guard, Geralt can choose to spare Henselt’s life or let Roach kill him. Later on Geralt will have to choose between Princess Anais of Temeria (one of Foltest’s bastard children) or Triss.

If Geralt did not choose to save Triss, then violent riots against all magical users occurs throughout the Northern Kingdoms. If he did save her, then the Conclave is restored. Letho then wants to meet with Geralt, to tell him of the Nilfgaardian plot to damage the Northern Kingdoms. Geralt can then choose to let Letho go, or fight him to the death.

Throughout the game, Geralt slowly remembers parts of his previous life before the events in Rivia.

The games are considered canon and are separate from the stories, all events transpire after the books.

Three More Witcher Books To Be Translated Into English

Witcher

Three more Witcher books are to be translated into English, which was announced today via their official Twitter page @witchergame.

The first book to be released is The Sword Of Destiny. This is a book of short stories surrounding Geralt of Rivia’s adventures, including ‘The Limits of Possibility’, which is about the hunt for the legendary golden dragon, Villentretenmerth. It will be released in May along side the highly anticipated game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the final part of Geralt of Rivia’s story.

The next book, The Swallows Tower, is to be released in 2016 and then followed by Lady of The Lake in 2017. These are the last two books of Geralt of Rivia’s story, these were preceded by (in chronological order) The Last Wish, The Sword of Destiny (the book being released in English in May), Blood of Elves, Times of Contempt, and Baptism of Fire.