10 Best Side Quests You Should Complete in The Witcher 3
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 Witcher 3 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 of the best Witcher 3 side quests and you’ll definitely want to see it through to the end.
Return to Crookback Bog
The entire Witcher 3 side quest ordeal with the Bloody Baron is equal parts haunting and thrilling. 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 3. 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.
A Greedy God
Geralt stumbles across two peasants praying before a crude altar. In his attempt to communicate with the ‘Allgod’ they’re apparently praying to, a voice booms from below. This is no god, and yet he influences the people of the nearby village. With a bit of exploration, you’ll find that, hidden beneath a simple illusion, is a pink, bloated Sylvan, demanding more than the villagers can provide. In this Witcher 3 side quest you choose how to deal with this ‘god’. It’s not particularly deep in terms of writing, but it’s one of the more enjoyable and light-hearted side-quests you’ll come across.
In Wolf’s Clothing
You’ll come across this doubly-cursed werewolf with Yennefer. The werewolf, Morkvarg, is trapped in a garden once tended to by the priestesses of Melitele in Skellige. The werewolf that inhabits now is a former bandit, cursed to live out his days as a beast, eternally starving and unable to die. With a bit of investigation, you’ll learn that one way to free this despicable creature from his curse is to feed him his own flesh. That will kill him. Another way is to acquire a wolf fang necklace from a priestess. Regardless of how you feel about lifting curses from unrepentant criminals, you’ll have to fight Morkvarg twice. It’s one of the best Witcher 3 side-quests that does its best at providing you with a thought-provoking grey area.
The Lord of Undvik
The second mission you undertake for Crach An Craite sees you sailing to a distant island to search for Crach’s son, Hjalmar. Hjalmar has ventured off to prove himself a worthy warrior and therefore, a worthy successor to the late King Bran. The island is mostly abandoned, due in large part to the giant that casually roams this land. The giant you’ll come across soon enough in front of an unfinished ship. You’ll follow Hjalmar’s trail and discover that many of his men have died, save a few that you’ll encounter as well, one of which you might save from trolls (if you’re meticulous in your investigation). Geralt follows the trail and soon enough, finds Hjalmar just as he ends a battle against sirens, with another companion lost (though he doesn’t immediately realise it). This side-quest is right up there among the most exciting, as it culminates in a battle with a giant, worthy of any Nordic ballad.
A Matter of Life and Death
If you’re in this for the plot, then this particular Witcher 3 side-quest is something you’ll love. Triss Merigold has been trying to rescue the mages from growing persecution in Novigrad and one potential victim is Albert Vegelbud, a not-too-bright aspiring alchemist who’s become a target. Geralt and Triss plan to steal him away to safety during a lavish party thrown by the Vegelbuds. This quest isn’t so much about action, since there really isn’t that much of it, but it helps in developing the characters of Geralt and Triss, as well as the relationship between them. For the most part, it’s a light-hearted mission in which you get to see Triss rescuing people under the influence of alcohol. The only real choice you’ll have to make here is whether or not to take the opportunity for romance when it arises.
The Phantom of Eldberg
This side-quest takes place on the isle off the western coast of Ard Skellig. There you’ll find a long and narrow path leading up to a lighthouse, shrouded in a mysterious, unnatural fog. On the path, you’ll also come across a lonely hut on the isle where a seemingly innocuous man lives, hounded by the many phantoms that wander through the fog outside his door, led by a Penitent. With a bit of investigation you’ll find that this lonely inhabitant is being haunted for a good reason. He’s been ensuring that ships crash upon the shore so he can loot their cargo. Whatever you find, you’ll rid the island of the Penitent and disperse the fog. Then you’re free to deal with Mikklaj however you see fit. It’s quite possibly the best Witcher 3 side quest, with room for failure and success, and yet another great way to demonstrate greater and lesser evils.