Considering that my last update on my playthrough of The Witcher 3 was in November of 2020, one might think that I would be done with Geralt’s adventures some four months later.
That couldn’t be farther from the case. However, I do think I might be on the verge of completing the game’s main story, which honestly feels like a feat of endurance at this point.
Given that so much time has elapsed, and that my time with The Witcher 3 has been, at best, scattered since the end of last year, this update might not have the most coherent approach. Memorable moments topple upon each other like a waterfall, but of them, the most important would probably be that Geralt (now sitting nicely at level 29) found Ciri, who’s troubles are far from over despite the heartfelt reunion. As well, I hit and moved past the game’s point-of-no-return warning, so as of this moment, whatever happens next will, I think, focus on the endgame.
In any event, let me see if I can roll back the clock a little to summarize Geralt’s adventures so far.
When we last left, Geralt had been reunited with two other cohorts: Triss Merigold and the bard Dandelion. The next stop on the map – the one place I’d yet to visit – was Skellige, as Dandelion had uncovered Ciri’s whereabouts on the archipelago. Before departing, I attended to several side quests, monster contracts, and treasure hunts, which are frankly all a blur. I only know they happened due to my overloaded inventory!
With more than enough gear in tow, Geralt sailed for Skellige, where he met up with Yennefer, who had been probing a mystery of her own — a magical explosion that was somehow connected to Ciri. Of all Geralt’s companions, Yennefer, stalwart and resilient, proved to be a favorite. (As much as I know they have a history, I didn’t expect their banter to be so charming and entertaining.) I was happy to spend the better part of my time on Skellige with Yennefer, but I was just as happy once the option to explore the island more thoroughly became available. As with Velen and Novigrad, I barely scratched its surface, but I did take a few incredibly intriguing side jaunts, such as one in which Geralt aided Skelliege’s ruling family, Clan an Craite, and had to deal with some very rude, party-crashing bears (that weren’t really bears).
Meanwhile, while working with Yennefer, the pair came to the realization that a malformed creature being held at Crow’s Perch (in Velen) might be a key in Ciri’s disappearance. And so, after detouring around Skellige for a few more quests – I do like the horse races! — it was time to head back to Velen to locate and retrieve this creature called Uma.
Upon making my way back to the mainland, it felt as though I had made it to the back half of the game, so I continued to intersperse side quests and hunts with tackling the main quest, just in case I accidentally hit the point-of-no-return sooner rather than later. I certainly didn’t defeat all the monsters, or even fully explore the map, but I went along until I had been bitten plenty by the collecting and questing bugs. (As with other games like it, I cansee myself popping back into The Witcher 3 from time to time to explore and hunt further – there’s just so much to do in such stunning environments.)
It turned out there was definitely more to Uma than his odd appearance – he was cursed. Now the ward of Yennefer and Geralt, they took him back to Kaer Morhen to remove the curse. Or rather, Geralt did lots of fetching in order to get Yennefer everything she needed to break the curse. The big reveal at the end of it all was that Uma was actually an elf with magical abilities named Avallac’h, and he had been protecting Ciri, in a manner, from the Wild Hunt. Now saved, Avallac’h gave Geralt Ciri’s actual location, the foggy-sounding Isle of Mists. Excited at the very prospect of finally meeting Ciri, I wasted no time in getting Geralt back into a boat, the only way to access said isles.
As if *spoilers* needed to be said, questing on the Isle of Mists brought about the point-of-no-return, and I hesitated only a little before barreling forward. Yes, I really want to see Ciri, for real.
I hadn’t thought of Geralt as “emotional” up to his meeting with Ciri, and that reunion proved there was far more to his spirit than gruffness and terseness. This was made all the more palpable as Ciri appeared to be dead or dying when he first found her. But Avallac’h’s magic brought her back to the light. The truly tender moments they shared upon her awakening were a joy to witness. Too bad the joy was short-lived, for newly-alive Ciri made known to Geralt a chilling truth about the Wild Hunt and why it was after her. The home of the hunt’s king, Eredin, was being mangled by something called the White Frost, and he believed that Ciri’s magic could save it and help him overthrow the land.
With this new information in tow, Geralt and Ciri teleported back to Kaer Morhen, and everyone prepared for the Wild Hunt’s imminent attack. Must admit that even with 60-plus hours of gameplay under my belt, I felt wildly unprepared for a major battle, but after making a few key choices with the folks that Geralt had gathered, Geralt was knee-deep in portals (oh how he hates them) and Wild Hunt enemies. The whole row was brought to an end, however, because of Ciri, not Geralt, who, in a fit of despair over losing one of her mentors in the siege, Vesemir, violently, and somewhat accidentally, released the full extent of her power upon Kaer Morhen and the Wild Hunt, which quickly retreated. With the hunt gone, if temporarily, everyone regrouped and took a well-deserved moment to rest.
In the whirlwind of preparing for the attack on Kaer Morhen, I half expected it to mark the end of the game. But no, there’s more to do. It seems clear that Eredin is still alive, and so are his generals, or whatever ranks would be his seconds-in-command. As well, I imagine (as the game’s not stated it outright yet), there’s the matter of helping Ciri deal with her powers, because it would seem that inadvertently creating another mini-implosion/explosion would not be good for her. But all that will be for next time.
Truly, what a game this is!
All images (© CD Projekt S.A.) in this article were taken by author during PS4 gameplay of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.