I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Dad of the Year

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt may have won Game of the Year, but Geralt deserves Dad of the Year. At least mine does. I completed the main quest a couple nights ago and got the ideal ending. This post is going to be packed with spoilers, FYI.

First, I had a moment of rage at the end of the ultimate battle when Ciri went into the other world/dimension (? I admit I didn’t keep up with the details of the story haha), leaving me/Geralt begins with heart pounding, holding my breath, getting closer to tears wondering if she will make it, believing she will make it because I tried so hard to be an awesome dad to the point where I actually did feel responsible for this young woman. Sometimes having a good imagination messes up my reality haha! I have to say I was really feeling the worry/hope/pride emanating from Geralt—damn these game devs are brilliant.

And then the scene cut to the emperor’s palace where you have to tell him Ciri is dead. I nearly flipped my desk over, wondering what I missed. I was so pissed that I tried my best to make the emperor feel like shit. He’s over there pretending to be sad—look buddy, Ciri is my daughter and I busted my ass for probably an unholy amount of hours, going all over god and country to find her, dealing with ungrateful jerks who shaft me after I kill their monsters and shout insults at me, spilling blood and guts, and you think you have the right to be sad? I don’t think so! So I told him Ciri didn’t mention him in her last words and felt joy when he looked crushed.

I was so confused, so I took to the internet to learn where I had gone wrong, and learned there are certain important dialogue choices you have to make. This is absolutely intriguing because everyone will have a different take on the game the first time they play. Whenever I had to choose how to cheer her up I always put myself in her shoes, thinking ok, my little girl is distraught! How can I make this better?

This meant choosing a snowball fight—you bet I’d snowball fight with my baby girl! Who wouldn’t? (Apparently there are some who don’t, whaaaaaaat?). It also meant choosing to go to that island with her to bury the kid whose part in the story I had completely forgotten about. Hadn’t played since March or something. Of course I will help you bury your little friend! And damn straight sucker punch that loser who tried to stop you! Then, in the elf’s laboratory we met this jealous chick who made Ciri feel like everyone hated her. I don’t flippin’ think so! So when Ciri said she wished she could deatroy the building I was totally on board. I said go for it and together we smashed the hell out of his stuff. And then I stole everything I was allowed to loot because the elves deserved it. These, I learned, were three of the dialogue choices.

Another was letting her go with the sorceresses. I actually don’t remember this, but I’m pretty sure, according to my mindset when I play, I wouldn’t have sent Geralt along because that just seems like a dull experience haha!! I chose correctly, apparently. That’s good news.

And another is when you have to give her advice whether to visit her father or go to Velen. I honestly don’t remember what I chose but I do remember spending an awful long time thinking about my answer. On the one hand I was feeling possessive since I basically raised her and saw her as my daughter, and on the other hand I wondered if maybe that was too selfish because it was what I wanted and not necessarily the right thing to do. I may have told her to visit her dad, I really can’t remember. But that’s not the right choice to make for the good ending.

After learning all these things, knowing for a fact I had accomplished at least 4, I was engraged even more because I didn’t understand how I still lost. But the game wasn’t actually over just yet. I read what happens in the bad ending. And I was dreading witnessing something so awful. But happily that’s not the ending I got. I had to meet someone at a ruined castle and he gave me a stunning Witcher sword. And then I got jumped by a ton of Nilfgardian soldiers for some reason. And then I had to meet someone at an inn. It was Ciri! I gave her the sword and she became a Witcher and I was delighted. It was a tense ten minutes, but I learned that yes indeed I am the best dad ever.

It made me think about the portrayal of women in this game. Yes they wear high heeled boots in combat. Yes there are a bunch of prostitutes everywhere. Yes our leading ladies get naked—but so does our leading man haha! But the sorceresses are all strong women and the whole point of the game  is to support Ciri and help her have confidence in herself and make her own choices. It’s not a game about Geralt. I’m not saying it’s a game about feminism, but it’s a game that puts everyone, man and woman, on equal ground in terms of respect and importance: sometimes the damsel needs saving, sometimes Geralt needs saving. It’s well-balanced without even trying hard. Why can’t this happen more?

I have the two expansions yet to play, and I also want to hang out with more rock trolls. I love rock trolls! Never killed a single one. I’d definitely partner up with one and we can hunt monsters together. Maybe if Wham-A-Wham is free I can ask him to hang out.

I know I began my play through with a large amount of hesitation, and those bath scenes still make me uncomfortable haha! But I ended up enjoying this game very much, so much so that I actually bought and read the first Witcher book (the novels on which the games are based). Now I’m looking forward to that Netflix adaptation!


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