CDProjectRed’s latest critically acclaimed masterpiece, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, has a lot in store for those who adore RPGs, great stories, or lots of action. The main story is full of political intrigue, emotional drama, exciting plot twists, and terrible choices that highlight the theme of ‘lesser and greater evil’. Yet you can still leave the main questline(s) and experience a monster-filled, awe-inspiring adventure, through one of the many, many side-quests available throughout the game and its DLC. Here are just 10 of the best side-quests in The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. Spoilers ahead.
Wild at Heart
If you frequently take from the notice boards, you’ll come across this side-quest quite early in the game. The notice was posted by a distraught village man whose wife seemingly went missing in the woods. After a minute or two of investigation in the village, it’ll seem as though it’s a simple case of someone losing their lives to a hungry pack of wolves. But the mystery grows when, in your investigation in the forest, the missing woman’s sister seems to urge Geralt to abandon his task and be content in telling the widower of his wife’s demise. You could leave it there, or use Geralt’s superior tracking skills to uncover the cold truth— that the widower is a werewolf and his sister-in-law, jealous of her sister, led her into her husband’s bestial jaws. It’s a tragic tale and one you’ll have to end. Whatever choice you make, just remember, there are no happy endings in this Witcher III side-quest.
Towerful of Mice
That notion could not be truer anywhere than in Towerful of Mice, the side-quest you’ll receive from the lovely (but misguided) Keira. Having ventured on to the haunted Fyke Isle, you’ll uncover the abhorrent tale of rebellion, unjust slaughter, and the tragic romance between a peasant and a princess. This story will unfold differently depending on your choices. You’ll discover that peasants came to the island in search of food. They ransacked the tower and murdered everyone, except for the princess who survived (sort of) thanks to a potion given to her by a mage. The potion left in her a deathlike state in which she could wait out the invasion. Unfortunately, when she awoke, she found herself paralysed and being feasted on by the rats kept for the mage’s experimentation’s. Trapped on the isle by the contempt she feels for her beloved who she felt had abandoned her, she instructs Geralt to take her bones to her beloved so he may bury them and thus prove his love to her so she may forgive him and be free. You can choose to do this, or refuse. One way or another, you’ll find out that she’s actually a Pesta, a phantom of disease. This one actually has a relatively happy ending (it’s a mix of both “aww” and “good god, eww!” moments), if you make the right choice. The lesson you should walk away with is…if you think someone is dead, make damn sure! Also…never provide aid in a misguided rebellion.
This Witcher III: Wild Hunt side-quest one takes the cake for being the one you’re most likely to be emotionally invested in. It starts with the seemingly jovial opening of Dandelion’s new cabaret. Everything, thanks to Geralt, is ready, everything, except for Priscilla, Dandelion’s partner. A messenger bursts in and we find out that Priscilla has been attacked. Thus begins an investigation into Novigrad’s darker realms. You chase a macabre serial killer and try to follow the correct clues. Miss one, or make the wrong choice, and you’ll end up with the wrong man (though one equally as depraved). This is one you definitely want to see to the end.
Return to Crookback Bog
The entire ordeal with the Bloody Baron is equal parts haunting and thrilling, which is why, you’ll want to see it through to the bitter end. You find out that Anna, wife of the Bloody Baron, was locked in servitude to the three crones this entire time. You can either leave the Baron to try and rescue her himself, or return to the house of the crones with him and free her from her bonds. You don’t know what you’ll find but you probably hope that it’s a happy ending. As was said before and as many of you will probably know by now, happy endings are rare in The Witcher III. Depending on the choices you made in the quests preceding this one, Anna will either die, which will lead to the Baron’s suicide, or be left without her sanity. Though the atmosphere is chilling, you will emerge victorious if not just a little more cynical.
On the Skellige isles, you’ll come across some eccentric folk. Some of those folk are bitter, haunted people, like Udalryk, jarl of clan Brokvar. When you encounter him on Spikeroog, you’ll quickly come to realise that his mind is being torn apart by the voice of guilt. A voice the jarl seems to think comes from the gods. In reality, he’s being tormented by a Hym, a creature that feeds off of guilt and torment. In this case, the guilt Udalryk feels for the death of his brother, Aki. There are two ways to get rid of the monster. One of which is to spend a night at Udalryk’s old home with Udalryk, and the other is to trick the Hym. Both provide an eerie experience though the latter will really shock and unsettle you, if only for a moment.