The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt quest designer Pawel Sasko speaking at the GDC 2023 conference explained, why CD Projekt RED chose one of the most important twists in the game’s plot. Attention: will spoiler.
Recall that CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher video game series is based on the book cycle by Polish science fiction author Andrzej Sapkowski, but doesn’t hesitate to go his own way.
One of The Witcher 3’s most shocking moments for players was the death of Vesemir – the witchers’ mentor (including Geralt and Ciri) and a prominent character in the books – at the hands of the Wild Hunt during an attack on the fortress of Kaer Morhen .
Vesemir’s fate was dictated by Sasko’s desire to create a moment for Ciri if she chooses “Stop playing the victim, become a hunter and pursue the Wild Hunt”. But this required an event that “Break her from the inside”.
Vesemir was the perfect sacrifice: “Put together and prepared well, you get to know him better… that’s why this moment is so spectacular. I also wanted the players not to think we could do it until the very end. I wanted to surprise her… in a good way, I hope.”.
According to Sasko, not everyone on the team was convinced of the rightness of such a decision – would fans accept the death of such an important character? In the end, the move was considered successful for Ciri’s development, and the moment became one of the most memorable in the game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt debuted on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in May 2015, arrived on Nintendo Switch in October 2019 and on PS5, Xbox Series X and S in December 2022. The free upgrade marked a return to the game for many fans.