Video Game / The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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The Sword of Destiny has two edges. You are one of them.

"Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling... makes no difference. The degree is arbitrary. The definitions blurred. If I'm to choose between one evil and another, I’d rather not choose at all."
— Geralt of Rivia

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the third game in the video game trilogy of The Witcher, it was released May 19th, 2015. Unlike the previous two games, Wild Hunt is open-world with all areas accessible, rather than only one area per chapter.

In the wake of Assassins of Kings, Geralt continues his work as a Witcher, hunting monsters that would prey on the innocent in a world filled with chaos and war. After six months on the Witcher's Path, however, that all changes when an old friend of Geralt's, Emperor Emhyr var Emreis of Nilfgaard, summons the Witcher for a most poignant quest: Find Ciri, a child of destiny precious to them both; the one soul in the world Geralt considers kin. Geralt must now travel the lands in search of Ciri, all the while battling the otherworldly legions of The Wild Hunt, who seek the girl for their own nefarious ends...

The game was released on May 19th, 2015 on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

Additional content comes in the form of both a Free DLC Program and two Expansion Packs. The Free DLC Program consists of 16 pieces of content, ranging from new quests to alternate appearances. Hearts of Stone, the first expansion, was released on October 13, 2015. Geralt gets a contract from the mysterious Gaunter O'Dimm, the Man of Glass, which takes him on an adventure into the wilds of the Velen marshlands and the nooks and alleys of Oxenfurt. Caught in a thick tangle of deceit, Geralt will need all his cunning and strength to solve the mystery and emerge unscathed. Blood and Wine, the second expansion, will be released on May 31, 2016. In a contrast to the war-torn Northern Kingdoms, Blood and Wine takes Geralt back to the wine-making Nilfgaardian duchy of Toussaint, untouched by the war and steeped in an atmosphere of carefree indulgence and knightly rituals, although underneath lies a dark, bloody secret.

Preview: Debut Trailer, Killing Monsters, The Sword of Destiny, Go Your Way.

This game contains examples of the following:

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  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Despite CD Projekt Red community lead Marcin Momot saying that there isn't a level cap, the Prima guide reveals that the max level is 70. Given the fact that most players will beat the game at about level 34 or 35, the high cap due to a combination of the expansion packs and New Game+ mode.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Played with. The Bloody Baron is a horrible human being but prides himself on never touching his daughter with an angry hand. His daughter, by contrast, points out that his years of black-out drunkenness and threats to her mother were a form of abuse by itself.
    • Lambert reveals that his father would beat both him and his mother.
  • Accent Adaptation: The game follows voice-acting conventions typical to most modern RPG series, and displays a variety of different real-world accents, which are used to denote the social status or region of the characters. For example:
    • British Accents are frequently encountered; Refined RP is assigned to the higher status, sophisticated characters such as Yennefer and Emhyr var Emreis, SE London/Cockney accents for thuggish, disruptive characters, West Country accents for rustic locals, an amusingly bluff Brummie accent for the crude, boorish Bloody Baron, and the now prerequisite Scottish accent for the dwarven characters, such as the blacksmith Willis. The Crones of Crookback Bog ( and their "mother", the Lady of the Wood), are voiced with (at times unintelligible) Welsh accents, and as Welsh is the oldest British tongue, this enhances their ancient venerability.
    • Ciri has an Estuary accent that veers towards RP at times, despite the fact she grew up amongst Witchers, Dryads, and a group of low-class thieves. However, she also lived in a royal castle until she was twelve, and spent a good time after that in a temple school for young ladies, as well as under Yennefer's personal tutelage, whose accent she presumably picked up. As Estuary is essentially the middle-ground between Cockney and RP, given Ciri's divergent upbringing, this accent is actually a cleverly suitable choice.
    • The Nilfgaardians mostly speak with an approximate Russian/Germanic accent, which provides good contrast with the mostly British-accented Temerians, and marks them out as an invading foreign power. Their language, Elder Speech, however is somewhat reminiscent of Welsh.note 
    • Skellige is inhabited by the game's resident Vikings analogue, but they have some Celtic influences in their naming conventions and thus speak with Irish accents.
    • Geralt himself and other witchers, along with Triss and Dandelion, adopted a "Rivian" accent in-universe, which is approximate to an American accent. Given the lack of American General accent being used in traditional fantasy milieu, the accent choice makes the Witchers come across as 'otherly' even moreso than other creatures which helps further emphasize the line the Witchers straddle between men and monsters.
    • The Blood and Wine expansion is primarily set in the distant land of Toussaint, the game's (southern) France/Italy analogue, and the locals sport an interesting kind of Franco/Germanic accent.
  • Accidental Truth: When chatting with Zoltan and another dwarf about fishing, Geralt can joke that the Witcher's method of doing so is using bombs. Turns out that Lambert was actually doing that.
  • Action Girl:
    • Yennefer starts the opening cinematic as a One-Man Army sorceress.
    • Triss shows remarkable combat prowess as well against Novigrad's witch hunters.
    • Ciri proves to be one, slashing through wolves, griffins, werewolves, and more with impunity. All with a steel sword at that.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The Druid Mousesack is renamed Ermion for reasons unknown.
  • Adapted Out: The witcher Coën, who was a Big Brother Mentor for Ciri in the books and whose blade you got from a little side-quest in the first game, isn't present in Geralt's dream at the beginning and doesn't get a single mention in the entire game period.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The game begins this way, with the King of the Wild Hunt cutting down Geralt's young adopted daughter. While it's just a dream, he knows full well that it's an omen signifying that Ciri is grave danger.
    • Throwing the baby Aki in the oven is this for obvious reasons.
  • A God Am I: One sidequest has Geralt encounter a Sylvan (basically a Satyr) who has convinced the local villagers he's a god. They give excessive sacrifices of food to placate him. Geralt can kill him, convince him to tone down the demands (since the villagers are starving due to the war), or show them the man behind the curtain. In the Sylvan's defense, he says that he gives valuable advice in exchange for worship and the villagers are deeply stupid.
  • Affably Evil: A very well done example with the Bloody Baron. He's a horrible person who has done many terrible things but you understand why he did them and probably sympathize, even if just a little. The fact he's not hostile to Geralt and can even become an ally, to some extent, helps.
  • A.I. Breaker: Gwent has a number of exploits, though the AI doesn't always fall for them. One of the most common is if you go first and start with a spy card (which goes on your opponent's side). Sometimes the AI will pass, thinking it has an easy victory, which pretty much hands you the round.
  • The Alcoholic: The Bloody Baron is a barely functioning one and only during wartime.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Discussed by Geralt in the 'Killing Monsters' trailer.
  • All for Nothing: The events of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has revealed to have been this or lead to this. Nilfgaard has reached the Pontar River, taking over Temeria and Aedirn in the process. The Temerian Army is a shell of it's former self, having turned to going underground and trying to fight the Nilfgaardian army with guerrilla tactics. Upper Aedirn folded quickly, regardless of whether Saskia is alive or dead. Redania is the only Northern Kingdom still intact, having absorbed Kaedwen during the winter. The reinstatement of the Council and Chapter is a moot point, as Radovid's hatred of magic, sorceresses, and Philipa Eilhart has led to him catering to the whims of the Church of the Eternal Fire, allowing pogroms and witch hunts to run rampant.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: One opinion about the Nilfgaardians from the peasant class. The other popular opinion is that they prefer Radovid because he is from the North.
  • All Myths Are True: Apparently, Cinderella is based on a Princess Cendrilla's unfortunate end at the hands of a zeugl that swallowed her whole, leaving behind only a slipper.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Geralt, due to his Genre Savvy and Witcher Senses, can uncover the lies that certain quest-givers tell him. Like how the spirit in the quest "Towerful of Mice" is lying about certain things and calling her out on it leads Geralt to discover her true nature as a Plague Wraith, or how using the Witcher senses in the quest "Missing Patrol" would let Geralt discover that the patrol isn't a patrol at all, but a Death Squad, sent to kill unarmed prisoners.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Countless. In just one example early in the game, a Nilfgaardian officer is collecting supplies from the peasantry and goes out of his way to treat the man giving him wheat with leniency - up until he finds some of the wheat is rotten. Did the alderman deliberately bring the Nilfgaardians bad goods or was it just an oversight? Did the peasantry underneath him give up rotten food to the Nilfgaardians without telling him?
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: At key points in the story you switch from playing Geralt to playing Ciri who differentiates herself by being a Teleport Spamming Lightning Bruiser.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: After spending the entirety of the second game trying to stop a Witcher who was working under the employ of Emhyr, Geralt very quickly becomes a Witcher working under the employ of Emhyr himself in this game. And he may even willfully take part in killing a king and ushering Nilfgaard into the North.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted - players will hate the enemy archers, especially if they're on the far side of a large group. Few enemies adhere to Mook Chivalry. One ability allows Geralt to parry bolts and arrows if he's blocking, which eases things somewhat. You can upgrade this to let you send projectiles back at the attacker. Killing an archer with their own arrow is incredibly satisfying.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Potions, Decoctions, Bombs, and Blade Oils work very differently compared to the previous games. Once they are made, they permanently stay in your inventory. Blade oils have infinite uses, the only limit being how many attacks you can land before the oil rubs off. Even then, if you max the Fixative skill then blade oils last indefinitely while you have the skill active. Potions, decoctions, and bombs all have limited uses, but the level 2 and level 3 recipes for potions and bombs increase the number of uses you have. One of the decoctions that can be brewed, the Cockatrice Decoction, increases the uses of all your bombs and potions by 1 for the duration. Having a max rank Efficiency skill increases the number of bombs you carry by 5 while active. When you meditate while having strong alcohol such as alcohest in your inventory, then all of your spent potions, decoctions, and bombs are restocked.
  • Anyone Can Die: In full force. This game has plenty certain and possible casualties. Philip Strenger, Anna Strenger, Whoreson Junior, Keira Metz, Vernon Roche, Ves, Thaler, Dijkstra, Vesemir, Radovid, Emhyr, Crach an Craite, Ciri, and even Geralt himself in one ending may bite the dust, depending on what you do.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: The Bloody Baron's military forces. Given they're all Les Collaborateurs and Dangerous Deserter types, this is to be expected.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: In Skellige...
    Geralt: Are you the silent druid? (beat) Oh yeah. Dumb question.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: At the conclusion of the Skellige succession questline Crach will reward Geralt by giving him Fate, his family's Ancestral Weapon that has been passed down for generations. Of course, by that point in the game the player most likely has an even better sword, leaving them with nothing to do with Fate except sell it or dismantle it into crafting gear.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: At least, Philip Strenger hoped it would.
    Bloody Baron: That child had been my dream. I told Anna, "A little one, our little one, to make things right." Yet she died before she could be born.
  • Badass Adorable / Little Miss Badass: Little Ciri.
  • Badass Beard: Geralt now sports a beard, emphasizing his more rugged, dangerous side. Unfortunately, he is made to be shaved before seeing Emhyr var Emreis. Bloody Nilfgaardian pillocks... One of the game's major announcement points was dynamic beard growth.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The game contains nude character models of Yennefer, Triss, and Keira used for their respective sex scenes. These models can be viewed using hacks. While they have realistic-looking breasts, they have no visible genitalia.
  • Batman Gambit: If you spare Letho in the second game, he returns in 'Wild Hunt' and Geralt can help him fake his death - provided Geralt doesn't overreact by killing all the bad guys who are witnesses to said faked death. Later, the death faker points out that he wasn't actually sure whether the gambit would succeed, but that's part of the fun.
  • Battle Couple: Dijkstra thinks Geralt and Triss would make an excellent example. The players can make it true or go with Geralt and Yennefer, which is a Battle Couple tried and proven by the books. It's also possible for Keira Metz and Geralt to briefly be one of these in some elven ruins, though this is retroactive. And should you play your cards right, Keira Metz and Lambert become one.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Bears are a fairly common enemy in the game, though their Mighty Glacier status makes them pretty easy to kill. Nevertheless, whenever one is involved in a quest, Geralt always has a notable This Is Gonna Suck reaction.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Yennefer, potentially, in "The Last Wish." She's determined to break the magical bond between her and Geralt to find out if their feelings for each other are true or not. After she breaks it, she feels no differently about him. Geralt can inform her, however, that he no longer loves her.
  • Beef Gate: While you can go anywhere, the monsters don't level up with the player, so go somewhere you're not leveled up for yet and you'll be slaughtered. See Gameplay and Story Segregation.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Played straight with Jutta, a swordmaiden on Faroe.
  • Betty and Veronica: Yennefer is devious, duplicitous, amoral, and glamorous. Triss is all of these things too...to a lesser degree. It seems Geralt has a type.
  • Big Bad:
    • Eredin, the King of the Wild Hunt.
    • Subverted by Emperor Emhyr. He is responsible for an unprovoked war of aggression which is responsible for the vast majority of the northern kingdoms' problems. However, Geralt can't kill him. Because he needs his help.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Bloody Baron and his family. Where do we even begin? The Baron himself is a horribly abusive and violent drunk with a short temper due to his career on the front lines, his wife has fallen out of love with him and struck a very ill-advised bargain that contributed to her deteriorating mental state - complete with suicidal fits and verbal outbursts, and his daughter, while probably the least dysfunctional of the three, despises her father completely. You can help patch things up a bit depending on your choices.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Many of the secondary quests end only as well as might be expected.
    • One of the three endings - Ciri accepts Emhyr's proposal for her to succeed him, having to leave Geralt and the life of freedom she loves behind. But, as Dandelion's ending narration points out...
      Dandelion: The woman had the necessary qualities. From her father she'd inherited an empress' political instincts. From Geralt she had gained a sense of simple, human decency. Few monarchs boast both traits - which is quite a shame...
    • And it can be made more sweet than bitter, or vice versa depending on whether Geralt says that she'd be able to find and visit him easily, or that it needs to be goodbye.
    • The good ending of the Bloody Baron's questline. The good news? Anna survives the Crones' wrath, the Baron and Tamara take the first faltering steps to possibly understanding each other, the Baron resolves to travel to the Blue Mountains in order to find a way to heal Anna's shattered mind while also swearing to be a better man for her, Downwell is saved from the Whispering Hillock, and Geralt manages to give a decisive middle finger to the Crones. The bad news? A bunch of blameless orphans are dead, Anna has become prematurely-aged and deeply traumatised from her ordeal (potentially beyond recovery) and with the Baron away, there's now nothing his army holding back from engaging in all the murder, looting and raping they want.
  • Black Comedy Rape: In-universe, a group of drunken soldiers will share a story about how one of them chanced upon a farmer who's son was exceptionally pretty. The other soldiers speculate the farmer was trying to pass his daughter off as a son. The "punchline" is the soldier didn't care and raped them anyway. You can practically hear the disgust in Geralt's head.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The first two games had their fair share, but this game takes it Up to Eleven with enemies frequently being decapitated, bloodily impaled, losing limbs, or even being cut in half in combat.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: If Ciri dies, then the game ends with Geralt sitting forlornly in the hut of Crookback Bog, clutching his daughter's medallion as a horde of monsters close in on him. He is given no epilogue.
  • Break the Haughty: Keira Metz's character arc in Velen - she went from being an adviser to King Foltest to having to hide as a common village witch to avoid Radovid and the Eternal Fire.
  • Breakable Weapons: Subverted. Weapons degrade over time, decreasing their damage by a set percentage according to its durability, but remain functional and perfectly usable even at 0% durability.
  • Brick Joke: In one of the endings, Emhyr's chamberlain can be seen doing his exaggerated bow as Ciri approaches the Nilfgaardian escort.
  • Burn the Witch!: King Radovid is supporting witch hunters and religious fanatics to find and kill his treacherous adviser, Philippa Eilhart. In result, anti-magic pogroms are going at full force in the city of Novigrad and its surrounding area. Officially, this is the actions of the Eternal Fire rather than Redania itself. It requires Radovid conquering the whole of the North to begin his full-scale purge of magic across the North.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The Witcher 3 sees the return of many characters from both the books and the first game, including Ciri, Yennefer, Lambert, Eskel, Vesemir, Kiera, Emhyr, Dijkstra, and Thaler.
    • The Hearts of Stone expansion brings Shani back into the limelight.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The countryside around White Orchard is living in mortal terror of a griffin which has been killing and destroying the locals with impunity. Even the local army commander is terrified Geralt will turn down the contract so he does a little extortion to make sure the deal goes through. Geralt's reaction? "Eh, it's not the first time I've had to kill a griffin, nor will it be the last."
  • Call Back: The sheer number of call backs and continuity nods to not only the previous games, but the books, would take pages to list every single one of them.
    • The King of the Wild Hunt uses almost the same words in "The Sword of Destiny"-trailer as he did in the finale of the first game to taunt Geralt.
    • The titular short story The Last Wish appears as an in-game book, appropriately penned by Dandelion. Also appropriate, a secondary quest involving Yennefer is also named The Last Wish.
    • The "Sword of Destiny" trailer is named after the short story collection of the same name.
    • The epilogue mission is named Something Ends, Something Begins after both the non-canon short story and the collection it appears in.
    • In the play written by Pricilla, Geralt is not only playing himself, he's also reenacting one of his adventures from The Last Wish. It's the story of Ciri's parents, with the cursed suitor being replaced by a doppler.
  • Carry a Big Stick: General Imlerith of the Wild Hunt yields an impressively huge mace.
  • Characterization Marches On: The Yennefer in the game is a cold, ruthless, pragmatic and remorseless Hollywood Atheist Mama Bear who is Necessarily Evil several times to get closer to recovering her daughter. In the books, Yennefer is a Lovable Alpha Bitch with a soft spot for mothers, children, nonhumans, and the less fortunate. One of her defining moments is refusing to slay a dragon for her own interests. She's also extremely polite with a great respect for the Sisters of Melitele. This has not sit well with a lot of book Yennefer fans, but she could be regarded as in the same camp as Geralt: completely and utterly tired of all the political games and wanting everyone to leave Ciri alone. Geralt copes with it by being snarkier than usual, while Yen went the Ice Queen route.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Zoltan bought an owl at an estate auction and is trying to teach it how to talk. Turns out it's Philippa Eilhart trapped in owl form.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Gaunter O'Dimm plays a bigger role in the first expansion Hearts of Stone.
    • Uma, if you completed the Velen story arc before the Skellige arc.
  • The Chessmaster: King Radovid V, aka "The Stern" - aside from being obsessed with the game (despite loathing it for its lack of grounding in reality), is behind all of the major plots Geralt uncovers in Novigrad, softening up the city for Redania to take over.
  • City of Adventure: The city of Novigrad and surrounding countryside north of the Pontar River is nearly half of the Velen-Novigrad region. Oxenfurt is a lesser city and a lesser example.
  • City Mouse:
    • Keira Metz positively hates having to masquerade as a village witch. She eventually gets so desperate to get back to civilization that she risks throwing herself at King Radovid's mercy unless you talk her out of it, even knowing that it's likely to get her burned at a stake.
    • Vesemir likes tweaking Geralt's nose on the topic. See Not So Stoic below.
  • Cleans Up Nicely:
    • After the initial meeting with Emhyr, Yen will say that Geralt looks good in black velvet.
    • Triss' assessment of Geralt after he's Pressed Into Formal Wear for a masquerade ball.
  • Collectible Card Game: Gwent.
  • Cool Old Guy:
    • Vesemir. He's a Witcher with a couple of centuries on Geralt and deeply loyal to the idea of the North, even if Geralt is not particularly interested in fighting the Nilfgaard this time around.
    • Ermion, the Hierophant of the druids of Skellige, is also a pretty cool elderly fellow. He's willing to stand up against Yennefer, but still more than eager to help Ciri in every way. He even travels to Kaer Morhen to help Geralt and companions face the Wild Hunt in person.
  • Continuity Nod: Some to Season of Storms, mentioning that Cat school witchers tend to be psychopaths and that Lytta Neyd was very vindictive.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Warriors of the Wild Hunt die awfully easily in a fight, considering what immense threat they represent in the context of the story and how much experience every single one of them must have. But it would be a pretty short game, otherwise. On the other hand, they are facing either a mutated war machine intimately familiar with their fighting style, tactics, and limitations or a super hero. Or both at once.
  • Corrupt Church: The Church of Eternal Fire is pretty much rotten to the core, freely hiring former torturers and other assorted scum to their clergy and having gangs on their payroll to terrorize the unbelievers, or just people suspected of being heretical in some way, while spending the church's money on whoring and other vices. And that's not even getting to the witch-burning spree they are patronizing.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The White Frost wouldn't be out of place in one of Lovecraft's stories. It's unknown if it's sentient, self-aware, or even alive. All we do know is that it's an indescribably powerful force that has ended life on countless worlds all across the Multiverse, and it will eventually do the same to The Witcher's. It has been the driving force of nearly every major conflict in the franchise. Becomes Lovecraft Lite should Ciri actually be able to destroy it.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: A Downplayed Trope example. The Nilfgaardian commander extorts Geralt's need to know about Yennefer's whereabouts in order to get him to slay the griffin terrorizing the land. She's less than a day's ride away in Vizima. After Geralt slays the monster, he's justifiably angry at the deception. His reaction appears to be because slaying monsters is his job and he resents the implication he wouldn't have killed the creature had he not been compelled.
  • Covert Pervert: Avallac'h enjoys human pornography and you see him reading some at one point. You later meet his mistress in his laboratory.
  • Crapsack World: It almost goes without saying in this setting but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is significantly darker than both the original game and its sequel, which is no mean feat. The country is ravaged by war, poverty, famine, disease, social injustice, racism, and worse.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Both averted and played straight. Geralt's actions in previous games have been rendered mostly moot by the fact the Nilfgaard army has steamrolled over almost half of the North. There are several changes to specific events, however, and a few different quests if you did things a certain way.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: On the PC, Alt no longer targets enemies - that's now Z. More frustrating, however, is R's rebinding from throwing bombs, daggers, and using traps to using consumables.
  • Dangerous Deserter:
    • These stalk the No-Man's Land, living on banditry, attacking travellers and remaining settlements with impunity.
    • Averted in the "Missing In Action" sidequest, where a Nilfgaardian deserter rescues the missing Nordling brother you're trying to find. You have to decide if the family should leave him behind, or take him in and risk incurring the wrath of the Nilfgaardian army.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the previous two games. Which is saying a lot, since the first two games were plenty dark already.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Geralt has always had an understated sense of humor but he just drops all pretense at respect around the Nilfgaard. The one exception is the Emperor who, no matter what, he addresses using the proper title. He can still refuse to bow, though.
  • Death Glare: Triss gives a pretty good one to Menge if she kills him.
  • Death Seeker:
    • In the ending where Ciri dies, Geralt returns to Crookback Bog to fight the Weavess, despite the overpowering godlike power she is said to possess. She herself will even say outright that she knows "the smell of a suicide's breath."
    • A common course for Skelligians who, for whatever reason, want to redeem themselves. Also found among elderly who want to die in battle, like a true warrior. King Bran dies shortly before you get to Skellige when he goes off to hunt a bear alone with nothing but a knife.
  • Deconstruction: Many things that occurred or were taken for granted in the first game are made darker, sometimes more realistic, sometimes just worse for the hell of it.
    • In the first game, one of the earliest sidequests involves saving the first town's innkeeper from murderous drunks, and she rewards Geralt with gratitude and sex. Here, part of the first portion of the main quest also involves saving the first town's innkeeper from murderous drunks, but instead of being grateful to Geralt and rewarding him, the innkeeper is horrified that he just murdered several of her friends and neighbors over what turned out to be a misunderstanding, and asks him to leave, and much later attempts to sell him out to Novigrad's Witch Hunters.
    • Remember "Beauty and Beast" from the first game, where you could cure a man of his lycanthropy with the Power of Love? This game has a quest called "Wild at Heart," where it turns out the man who hired you to find his missing wife was a werewolf who unknowingly killed her. And worse, her jealous sister arranged for it to happen so she could have a chance to hook up with him. The quest can end in a couple of ways, and both of them involve the werewolf dying. The Power of Love is not always a good thing.
    • "Heat of the Day" from first game gave the Geralt the opportunity to help both a Noonwraith and a Nightwraith reconcile with their pasts and pass on peacefully. In this game, there are quests to deal with Noonwraiths and Nightwraiths that are causing problems, but while they had similarly tragic and undeserved ends, they're so far gone that they can only be put down violently.
    • The series, both books and games, is infamous for the fact that Geralt Really Gets Around. Try to seduce both Triss and Yennefer, and they propose a threesome, handcuff Geralt to the bed, and mutually dump him.
  • Defector from Decadence: Avallac'h.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Yennefer initially acts aloof to everyone in general, including Geralt despite their history together. She warms up once Ciri enters the picture again, and especially if Geralt chooses to rekindle his relationship with her.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • The Continent is, as usual, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and anti-intellectual. Nilfgaard is slightly better, but they are waging an unprovoked war of aggression, and their soldiers still engage in raping and looting (just not quite as much as the Northern Realms).
    • The Skellige Isles are a lot more egalitarian than the rest of the mainland, being a more friendly place than the other areas of the game, and it's notable as being ruled over by a Reasonable Authority Figure who Geralt is on very good terms with. Even so, it still has its own cultural norms that don't match modern society's.
      • Women are traditionally expected to immolate themselves to death as a standard funerary rite for their husbands, a practice that both Yennefer and Birna find appalling. In fairness, even most of Skellige finds this practice outdated; when Bran's younger wife immolates herself, multiple people try and stop her, and Birna (as the elder wife) gets a lot of scorn for not stopping her or taking her place.
      • Kinsmen of criminals are cast out from society at best, and outright executed at worst, regardless of their personal involvement, judgment or knowledge of the crime in question. This applies even if the kinsmen themselves expose the wrongdoing, as Svanrige Bran can attest to in the Heroic Sacrifice entry below.
  • Dem Bones: You never fight actual skeletons in the game, but the Wild Hunt itself has its armor styled to look like skeletons.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Scoia'tael, which played a big part in the previous two games and whom Geralt had the option to ally with, serve no role in the story here, and are only involved in a couple of side quests. Neither Iorveth nor Yaevinn make any appearances.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Geralt crosses it in the Ciri dies ending.
  • Developers' Foresight: Certain quests will end if finished before taking it, but information gained during that quest can be used to go elsewhere and pick up on a new thread, or simply see its conclusion unfold.
    • There's also a lot of thought put into simple, physical effects. If you try to run into Yennefer's teleport in Vizima, for example, you get transported elsewhere in the palace. The Signs also have a lot more effect than their combat applications. For example, Aard can be used to blow noxious gas out of your vicinity and Igni is useful in getting rid of annoying insect swarms.
    • In Princess in Distress quest, there's a bear to slay to proceed. If the bear is slain before taking the quest, Geralt will comment on it.
    • The journal will update to match how you completed a quest. Even if its out of order. If you pick a contract, never speak to the client and eventually just find the target while exploring, the diary will note something along the lines of "Geralt found the beast during his travels".
    • The first clue in the quest Skellige's Most Wanted that something is amiss is that you can request a maximum additional reward from the quest giver and they accept automatically. Everyone else will have their "annoyance" meter raised and only accept a payment closer to the middle of the range of payment.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: That shifty-looking fellow named Gaunter O'Dimm, who you shared a drink and a few words with at the very beginning of the game? He turns out to be a soul-stealing evil sharing a number of characteristics with the Biblical Satan.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The Battle of Kaer Morhen is built up as the finale. You gather all the allies you've made over the course of the game, you start to feel the ripple effects of choices you made dozens of hours ago, and it's all planned in preparation for the finding of Ciri, which you've spent the whole game doing. Naturally, things don't go entirely as planned and the journey continues.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: King Radovid bribes Whoreson Junior with prostitutes without care for the fact that he's made a habit of brutally murdering them.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the DLC quest "Where the Cat and Wolf Play," a Cat school witcher massacres an entire village because the ealderman cheated him out of his pay for hunting a leshen and tried to kill him.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Ciri is the Deuteragonist of the Witcher series and, in many ways, the actual main character. In the The Witcher 3 is visually, "female Geralt" and has virtually identical gameplay to him minus signs, despite her enormous degree of power.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The more you do Triss' storyline, the more the Witch Hunting craze in Novigrad becomes less like actual witch-hunts and more like the Holocaust. Which, given one of the largest persecution of Jews in Europe was the Spanish Inquisition, actually isn't so far-fetched a parallel as you might think. Incidentally, there's a lot of propaganda about Radovid around Novigrad, including an autobiography about how he struggled to get to the top...
  • Downer Ending:
    • On a personal level if Geralt made choices that caused Ciri to feel worthless as a person outside of her Elder Blood (getting paid for bringing Ciri to Emhyr, say "relax, you don't have to be good at everything" when she's upset over Vesemir's death, telling her to calm down when she wants to trash Avallac'h's lab after learning of his experiments, etc). Ciri will not be confident in her fight against the White Frost, leading to her death. In Geralt's grief, he hunts down the final Crone of Crookback Bog, taking down ten relatively innocent peasants down before killing her with extreme prejudice and retrieving Ciri's old Wolf Medallion. He breaks into sobs over the medallion while monsters flood into the room, presumably killing him. Can be a sort of Bitter Sweet Ending if the world on a political scale ended up being pleasant in spite of Geralt's personally unhappy ending.
    • And on a political side of things, not doing the questline that leads to Radovid's assassination will mean he wins the war against Nilfgaard. Emhyr is assassinated as a sizable portion of his populace were sick of his constant attempts at world domination, Ciri will not return to Nilfgaard to take the throne (possibly leaving Nilfgaard in a precarious position overall) and Radovid rules over Redania and Novigrad where he continues his genocide against magic users and nonhumans.
  • Downloadable Content: Both free and paid.
    • The Free DLC Program consists of:
      • 1) Temerian Armor Set - May 20, 2015; adds a full set of Temerian-themed light armor for Geralt and blinders, saddlebags, and a saddle for Roach
      • 2) Beard and Haircut Set - May 20, 2015; adds three more haircuts, three static beard styles, and Geralt's fourth beard stage to the list of barbers' options
      • 3) Contract: Missing Miners - May 27, 2015; adds a new contract to investigate the disappearance of miners from a small Skellige village
      • 4) Alternate Look: Yennefer - May 27, 2015; adds a new outfit for Yennefer, overwriting her default looks within the game, includes an on-off setting in the main menu options settings
      • 5) Nilfgaardian Armor Set - June 3, 2015; adds a full set of Nilfgaardian-themed medium armor for Geralt and blinders, saddlebags, and a saddle for Roach
      • 6) Elite Crossbow Set - June 3, 2015; adds three more crossbows for sale: a Nilfgaardian Crossbow, a Skellige Crossbow, and an Elven Crossbow
      • 7) Contract: Fool's Gold - June 10, 2015; adds a new contract to investigate an abandoned village in Velen inhabited almost entirely by pigs
      • 8) "Ballad of Heroes" Neutral Gwent Deck - June 10, 2015; adds alternate appearances for a select number of the neutral Gwent cards, includes an on-off setting in the main menu options settings
      • 9) Scavanger Hunt: Wolf School - June 17, 2015; adds a series of quests for finding the diagrams for School of the Wolf witcher equipment similar to the Viper, Cat, Griffin, and Bear scavenger hunts in the base game
      • 10) Alternate Look: Triss - June 17, 2015; adds a new outfit for Triss Merigold, overwriting her default looks within the game, includes an on-off setting in the main menu options settings
      • 11) Contract: Skellige's Most Wanted - June 24, 2015; adds a new contract for hunting down an infamous rock troll in Skellige
      • 12) Skellige Armor Set - June 24, 2015; adds a full set of Skellige-themed heavy armor for Geralt and blinders, saddlebags, and a saddle for Roach
      • 13) Where the Cat and Wolf Play... - July 1, 2015; adds a trio of quests involving a massacred village and the person involved
      • 14) Alternate Look: Ciri - July 18, 2015; adds a new outfit for Ciri, overwriting her default looks within the game, includes an on-off setting in the main menu options settings
      • 15) New Finisher Animations - July 22, 2015; adds a number of new finishers to the game
      • 16) New Game Plus - August 17, 2015; adds New Game+ mode to the game
  • The Dreaded:
    • The Wild Hunt in general, and their King, Eredin Bréacc Glas, in particular. Even the Crones, who are practically goddesses in their own domain, think twice about crossing them.
    • Gaunter O'Dimm. One of his many names is Evil Incarnate.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • If he survived the previous game, then Henselt is unceremoniously killed in a surprising betrayal by Radovid.
    • Crach an Craite gets an unexpected and violent death just before the Final Boss, and no time is given to acknowledge that.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite the fact that Geralt is a well-known monster slayer, random NPCs tend to spit at him and make rude comments due to the high amount of prejudice against non-humans in the North. This mainly happens in Novigrad and the surrounding areas; the people of Skellige and Toussaint seem to be much more pleasant on the whole.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • The Baron gets one if Geralt times events just right. Some of the main characters can also get happy endings depending on choices made during the game:
    • If Geralt romanced Yennefer, the two of them retire from adventuring and politics. They settle down and enjoy a quiet, peaceful life where they eat breakfast in the afternoon (and often in bed) and pass the days with lazy strolls and long conversations.
    • If Geralt romanced Triss, the two of them travel to Kovir where Triss becomes an advisor to the king. Geralt enjoys a life of luxury and comfort - although he does take the occasional Witcher contract to alleviate boredom, shown as Triss administering an After-Action Patch-Up to Geralt.
    • There are two possible happy endings for Ciri. In one of them, she follows in Geralt's footsteps and becomes a Witcher, living a life of excitement and adventure while achieving fame and renown throughout the world. In the other ending the becomes the Empress of Nilfgaard, and proves to be a good ruler because she possesses both her father's political instincts and Geralt's simple human decency.
  • Easily Forgiven: If you spared Aryan in 2, then Baroness La Valette treats Geralt as a good friend despite his rather big role in Temeria crushing her rebellion and massacring her people.
  • Enemy Mine: Over the course of the game, Geralt will have to team up with many former enemies and adversaries, including Emhyr, Dijkstra, Letho, Philippa, and Avallac'h.
  • End of an Age: No matter how the game ends, the political landscape for the Northern Kingdoms is irreversibly changed. Either Nilfgaard conquers them fully, or they're absorbed by Redania, which becomes an empire in its own right.
  • Expy: The Bloody Baron's appearance, mannerisms, and habits greatly resemble Mark Addy's portrayal of Robert Baratheon.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Exploited by the mob boss that Lambert's tracking down - when confronting the pair of witchers, he has his wife and two children present, calmly introducing them before getting down to brass tacks.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Wild Hunt brings winter with it wherever it goes. One town they visited is locked in ice and snow that won't melt, despite the season in game being the approach of summer's end.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Yennefer appears to have joined the Nilfgaardian military. Subverted though; while she has, it's so she can find Ciri. Geralt quickly joins her.
  • Faction Calculus: The four Gwent decks (and by extension the factions they are based after), including:
    • Northern Kingdoms (Balanced)
    • Nilfgaardian Empire (Powerhouse)
    • Scoia'tael (Cannon)
    • Monsters/Wild Hunt (Subversive)
  • Fake Difficulty: The hand-to-hand combat is fair in one on one fights, especially in arenas, but fighting multiple opponents, such as in the quest "A Matter of Life and Death", can be quite tricky and will end in a quick death if you don't block and parry frequently.
  • Fake Longevity: There's nearly a hundred treasure-caches to be found floating in the Skellige Isles, but most players don't go out of their way to collect them. The reason being the majority of caches contain nothing but Vendor Trash, can only be reached by piloting a slow and fragile boat, and at every cache you'll face a tedious encounter with Harpies or Drowners.
  • Fallen Hero: Sigismund Dijkstra has gone from being a patriotic spymaster who used his skills to unite the North against Nilfgaard to being a crime lord.
  • Fan Disservice: Seeing three young nubile women nude sounds like it should be Fanservice. But not when you know that their true forms are hideous-looking old crones whose appearances are rife with Body Horror. And especially not when you see those naked women covered in blood and eating human flesh.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • Skellige is basically an Ireland-Norway analogue with its Highlander Vikings.
    • The college town of Oxenfurt and its student inhabitants are analogous to England's revered Oxford University.
    • The sunnier, Mediterranean culture of Toussaint, with its vineyards, Fleur de Lis heraldry and brightly coloured architecture, is seemingly based on Southern France. The capital city of Beauclair, with its ruling Duchess and wealthy inhabitants, is suggestive of the principality of Monaco
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Original books were all about subverting traditional fairy tales and legends by portraying characters as real people and adding a pragmatic professional to the story. Witcher 3 lives up to the books by adding most of what Slavic fairy tales have to offer (Ekhidnas, Leshyis, Chorts and Crones) as well as traditional European myths.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The opening cinematic of the game has a priest talking about the evils of monsters, sorcerers, and Witchers. This is ironic given the only people who can deal with monsters are sorcerers and Witchers. A similar scene can even be encountered in-game, with Geralt having the option of quickly shutting the priest up.
    • King Radovid hates mages in general and sorceresses in particular with a passionate fury. Oddly, he has nothing against Witchers and considers Geralt his friend (which Geralt, clearly, does not reciprocate). Strangely, the Lodge of Sorceresses members can't seem to wrap their heads around Radovid feeling this way. Of course, Radovid will order Geralt's death after he's supposedly outlived his usefulness.
    • Eredin's people are some of the MOST RACIST ELVES OF ALL TIME. Their sheer disgust for humans puts into sharp perspective that prejudice can belong to anyone and the amount they subject poor Ciri to is terrible. The fact they desperately need her is the worst part of all this for them. Geralt can call Avallac'h out on this only for him to point out, rightly, that humans are every bit as genocidal and racist against other intelligent species on Geralt's world.
  • Feet of Clay: Fergus is presented as the only master armorer in the game, with Yoana as his apprentice. In reality, he can barely forge a nail while she's the actual master smith. She made an arrangement with him to pose as the brains of the operation because no one would believe anyone but a dwarf could possibly be a master armorer, let alone a woman. Unlocking her as a smith requires having to end the charade.
  • Fetus Terrible: The Botchlings are monsters born from stillborn babies that have been buried without proper ceremony. They look like deformed, toddler-sized fetuses with the umbilical cord still attached, wrapped around them like a strangling vine. It is possible to appease one into becoming a benign guardian spirit of a household, but it takes an emotionally devastating and physically dangerous ritual to accomplish.
  • Final Boss Preview: The Big Bad, Eredin, and his Co-Dragons, Imlerith and Caranthir, are shown cutting Ciri down at the end of the prologue.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Despite being former adversaries, Ciri and the Mysterious Elf bond through all their trials and tribulations against the Wild Hunt. Possibly subverted though, because there's evidence to suggest that Avallac'h may only be interested in Ciri for her connection to Lara Dorren, which makes him a Broken Pedestal once Ciri finds out.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Yennefer is an interesting case. Geralt has, in the books at least, been clear he's an atheist. However, he's been known to show a great respect for religion (the non-crazy/evil/fraudulent kind, at least) as well as people of faith. He's also open to new things and experiences. Yennefer, by contrast, denies that a spirit she summons back into a corpse is a person, just rotting meat, echoes of the person who was and about as sapient as a photograph, and even Geralt is put off (having dealt frequently with ghosts and wraiths who seemed pretty well convinced of their own personhood). Yennefer may simply be rationalizing.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Geralt is phlegmatic, Ciri is straight choleric, Yennefer is melancholic, Dandelion is all the way sanguine, Triss is sanguine with some phlegmatic, Sigi is Choleric.
  • Freudian Excuse: Radovid makes allusions to horrific abuse at Phillipa's hands to explain his nightmarish hatred of magic. It's implied her continued freedom and the pressures of the Nilfgaardian war, plus his past, has driven him over the edge.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: If you're able to recruit Letho the Kingslayer to Kaer Morhen, he will be treated with suspicion and hostility by your other allies, including Lambert, Eskel, Roche, and Ves.
  • Filk Song: Miracle of Sound has put out several;
  • Flash Step: Ciri's mainstay power in combat. She can bypass several enemies' guards in a heartbeat, making mincemeat of them with her sword.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "A Towerful of Mice" there are many subtle hints that Annabelle is a vengeful Plague Maiden instead of a lonely ghost.
    • A seer in Velen will foretell Geralt's future if he's given some Dragonroot - said future is the ending sequence of the game in Skellige, prior to the Playable Epilogue.
  • Friends with Benefits: Name-checked as a possible relationship type between Geralt and Keira Metz.
  • From Bad to Worse: As bad as it was in previous games, it's much, much worse now.

     G-L 
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In the first game, Geralt had amnesia and many of his previous skills had atrophied. This was used to justify his level-grinding to higher levels. The second game had a somewhat organic feel because everything was scaled to your level. The third game dispenses with this and just places high-level monsters all over the place which Geralt must avoid til later levels. Given he is, at this point, the greatest warrior on his world and has all of his memories back, this is just plain weird.
    • This can apply to all three games but, in the story of the books, monsters are becoming less and less common in the Witcher's world, making witchers less and less necessary. Yet the game series portrays a world absolutely brimming with monstrous creatures. Justified, as one of the main reason that monsters are rare is because walled cities and large armies can easily deal with external threats and drive back the monsters. With the war ravaging the countryside, large armies being focused on the battlefield instead of protecting the local populations, the monsters are making a comeback. Notably, throughout the games, one of the most common monsters types are necrophages, which thrive in the war situation that is tearing through the North.
  • Gargle Blaster: White Gull is enough of one, being a mixture of Mandrake Cordial, Cherry Cordial, Redanian Herbal and Arenaria normally used as a base for powerful alchemical concoctions. However, special mention goes to The Gauntlet, a cocktail Lambert mixes up during the Witchers' reunion at Kaer Morhen, which contains equal portions White Gull and Dwarven Spirit (another alchemical base). Witchers have higher alcohol tolerance than normal humans, but after knocking back just a few these monsters all three of them soon become thoroughly sloshed. Needless to say, it's hilarious.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Rosa and Edda var Attre.
    Edda: Rosa, I had the best of intentions, you know that! I felt you needed help taking the first step... You blushed every time [Dandelion] sang a ballad.
    Rosa: He'll next sing at your funeral if you don't stop it right now!
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Keira Metz assumes King Radovid would be willing to overlook her membership in the Lodge of Sorceresses in exchange for her aid in helping cure a virulent plague. Triss Merigold assumes that King Radovid has begun his witch hunts because he is trying to loot the wealth of the mages (i.e. a purely pragmatic motivation). They genuinely can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that, no, King Radovid just hates magic in general and sorceresses in particular.
  • Good Shepherd: The Pellar of Blackbough, a village in western Velen, is a pagan version of this; he provides spiritual guidance to the people of Blackbough as well as herbal remedies (though apparently his cure for indigestion doesn't work at all).
  • Gory Discretion Shot: At the end of the Wild At Heart sidequest, if you choose to let Niellen take his revenge on Margrit for the death of his wife, the screen cuts to black just as he attacks her.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Getting all the Gwent cards is the object of the fittingly named "Collect Them All" quest.
  • Grand Finale: This entry serves as the climax of Geralt's story in the video games.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: The Nilfgaardian invaders are ruthless and oppressive but, as an innkeeper says at the beginning of the game, the Northern Kingdoms weren't particularly good to the common folk beforehand. This is actually a softer portrayal of the Nilfgaardian Empire in the novels, which leaned towards using them as Nazi stand-ins toward the end. Becomes Black and Gray Morality when dealing with the many war criminals the war has produced as well as the Wild Hunt.
  • Greater Scope Villain: The White Frost, which is slowly destroying every world and thus the cause of the Wild Hunt's actions.
  • Green Hill Zone: White Orchard. It's a relatively small map that largely consists of easily-traversed flat plains, a few scattered groups of enemies that aren't too tough to kill, and a generally reasonable population kept in nervous but persisting order, all to "prepare" the player for the No Man's Land.
  • Handsome Lech: Dandelion is the Platonic Ideal of this trope.
  • Hand Wave: Yennifer suffered the same memory loss as Geralt but recovered rather quickly due to magical treatment. When asked why she did not search for him afterwards she responds that she figured he would recover on his own and find her first, despite the fact that Geralt did not receive the same treatment. This seems to be an attempt at justifying why Yennefer was absent in the previous games when she'd had over a year to find him.
  • Harmless Freezing: In the Battle of Kaer Morhen, all the defenders of the keep save for Vesemir and Ciri are covered with ice and become immobile when the King of the Wild Hunt enters the battlefield in person. After the scene, the ice melts away, leaving the characters unharmed, which is rather amazing considering that the freezing caused by the Wild Hunt's portals is anything but harmless in gameplay. It's implied to be a result of the witcher mutations, as something similar happens to Geralt and a number of soldiers at the final battle. In this case, he's the only survivor.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Letho, the Big Bad of the second game, can be recruited to help Geralt for a crucial battle. If Geralt doesn't induce a Heel–Face Door-Slam, anyway.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Svanrige Bran, son of the late king Bran and Birna performs one in the climax of the 'Royal Gambit' quest when he exposes his mother as a mastermind behind the murder of several contenders to the throne as well as their multiple retainers and servants and the attempted murder of Geralt and Cerys. He does this completely aware that according to Skelligian laws, the crimes of the parents are carried over the children or even the whole clan and thus he will lose his wealth and rank (and possibly life) for his trouble.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Geralt, due to being a Witcher. No matter what, his decisions will end up ticking off someone.
  • Hero of Another Story: Ironically, Geralt is this - his entire focus is upon finding and helping his daughter, whose story isn't the focus, but is a much grandiose tale that ends with saving the Multiverse from the White Frost.
  • Hell Hound: The Hounds of the Wild Hunt come from the world of the White Frost and are made out of living ice. The Hunt uses them to pursue their prey, as well as to act as emergency shock troops.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • After Sigi and Geralt help the mages escape Novigrad, if Geralt tries to convince Triss to stay, Sigi then reveals that he'd been smitten with Philippa Eilhart when they both served Redania.
    • Shortly after, Sigi expresses a desire to help every persecuted mage in the North, even if it's out of pure pragmatism.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold:
    • Geralt can be played as gruffly kind-hearted, pragmatic and stoic, or as an unrepentant Jerk Ass.
    • The same can be said of Sigi Reuven, who helps the mages escape Novigrad both out of pragmatism and because Everyone Has Standards.
  • The High Queen: There are potentially two.
    • If Cerys an Crait becomes queen of Skellige, she focuses less on raiding foreign shores and more on tending to the homeland and uniting the clans.
    • Should Ciri become Empress of Nilfgaard, Dandelion will describe her as having "an empress' political instincts" and "a sense of simple, human decency," and further goes on to say few monarchs boast both traits.
  • Horny Devils: The Succubi in this game are an unusual variation of the trope in that they are almost universally Non Malicious Monsters, only killing people in self-defense or by accident. They're ruled by lust, but they don't drain living energy through the act. One even takes the effort to give a proper burial to an old man who came to her repeatedly in spite of his chronic heart condition.
  • Horny Vikings:
    • Skellige is pretty much inhabited by the stereotypical fantasy Vikings — a Rape, Pillage, and Burn Proud Warrior Race with a fondness for axes, pillaging, battle and boats. They've also got some vaguely Celtic influences in their language, with names like Bran and such. note  For added hilarity, one of the isles of Skellige is called "Faroe".
    • Another instance, though far more subtle — the opening cinematic involves a one-eyed, long-bearded, grey-cloaked man talking about "an age of axe, an age of sword".
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • A constant ever-present theme of the series. The Drowners, ghouls, and other monsters are threats to the populace, but it's the war with Nilfgaard which is really devastating the land.
    • At least partially averted as Geralt tells a story of a sorcerer he knew who had a theory saying that ghouls played a valuable ecological role in preventing pestilence by eating corpses. Geralt then points out that the poor bastard didn't know that they also attack the living, and so his theory quickly fell apart.
  • I Call It "Vera": And not affectionately. The Wolf Witchers call the altar that they were all strapped to as young boys to undergo the Trial of Grasses "Sad Albert", and is regarded by Lambert as a torture implement.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: "Just the Story!", "Story and Sword!", "Blood and Broken Bones!", and "Death March!"
  • I'm A Witcher, Not A: Gigolo, when Keira wants Geralt to act as her "prince" for the evening.
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy: Enemies are occasionally buffed to serve as a Beef Gate to high-end quests. This can result in absurdities such as a swarm of ghouls, usually considered bread-and-butter work for a Witcher, being roughly as powerful as a vampire or a stone golem.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Said word-for-word by Ciri when one of her friends in Novigrad openly flirts with Geralt.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Appropriately enough, trolls are prone to...interesting leaps of logic, such as one making a fence out of boats he was asked to protect so that no one could steal them. He would have made a regular fence, but the boats were the only source of wood.
  • Interface Screw: There are certain enemies that have attacks that will obscure the screen and break lock-on. For example: if you get hit with a mud ball thrown by a Water Hag, then the screen will appropriately be splattered with mud.
  • It Will Never Catch On: The Xenovox, which is essentially a magical version of a walkie-talkie. While Geralt brings up the possibility, the reason why it would never catch on is because according to Keira Metz a xenovox is very hard to build, rather than "I don't care for it" being the excuse.
  • Invulnerable Horses: Played with. You'll find plenty of horse corpses scattered around the world, but no living horse can actually be harmed by you or the enemies.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: The vampire lady in the cinematic "A Night to Remember" trailer sings a low key nursery tune that begins fairly normally, but ends with a witcher chopping up and eating the recipient of the song. From the context, it may actually be a scary nursery tune for vampire children.
  • Karmic Death:
    • In the course of the Novigrad storyline Triss burns down the witch hunters' headquarters with many hunters still alive inside, giving them the same fate they meted on many innocent mages. Unfortunately, it only deepens the anti-magic sentiment in the city.
    • Margrit can suffer one at the end of the Wild At Heart sidequest, if you choose to let it happen.
    • Jonna, in one possible ending for "The Nithing" quest, is killed by the very curse she had inflicted on Lothar's son out of petty spite.
  • King of the Homeless: The King of Beggars in Novigrad rules over an alleyway known as Putrid Orchard, that's location is kept a careful secret from outsiders, and extorts "taxes" from the beggars and petty thieves of the city. He is also a man of vision, planning one day to rise to true power and turn the city into a true haven of liberty. Meanwhile he's helping the city's dwindling mage population stay hidden from the witch hunters — amusingly ensuring that the city's beggars now have access to better health care than its rich and powerful.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: No matter how you choose to play him, Geralt is well and truly sick of all the factions, politicking, and gamesmanship of the Northern Kingdoms. Even at his most anti-Nilfgaardian, he mostly wants to just get Ciri and Yennefer out of the warzone.
  • La Résistance:
    • Subverted. It's definitely a case of The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized. With the death of Foltest, the Temerian forces were disorganized and ineffective. They were easy prey for Nilfgaard, which defeated them on the battlefield and scattered their ranks. While some continue the fight, most have turned to banditry, deserted, or joined the Bloody Baron's forces. Indeed, many of the deserters and bandits Geralt encounters yell "For Temeria" as if they were still in the army fighting Nilfgaard. Which is not uncommon with some "resistance" groups throughout history.
    • However, there is an actual Temerian resistance group, made up of actual remnants of the Temerian army...and commanded by none other than Vernon Roche. However, they subvert this trope too, since Roche is actually in league with Nilfgaard against Radovid.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Yennefer, very literally. If that's what it takes, she gladly employs forbidden magics to find and help Ciri, collateral damage and personal cost be damned. Triss, in contrast, is willing to perform quite destructive acts with her sorcery, but explicitly refuses to partake in the darker shades of magic.
  • Lame Excuse: Subverted. Yennefer assumes Geralt losing his memory is this when discussing why he didn't come looking for her sooner. The fact the original Witcher game and, to a degree, the sequel had him neck-deep in other women probably didn't help his protestations.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The true nature of the Wild Hunt is presented as a mystery in the trailers, but the readers of the books and the people who paid close attention in the previous game already know who and what they are.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: Sigi Reuven's bathhouse in Novigrad is the gathering place for the city's Big Four crime bosses and the base of operations for Reuven aka Sigismund Dijkstra himself. It resembles the modern version of the trope more than a Thieves' Guild typical for European fantasy settings.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Bloody Baron's army is made of deserters from the Temerian army who have taken to gathering supplies from the local villages for them and administrating in Nilfgaard's name. They're even worse to the peasantry than the Nilfgaard are.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Including the physical versions of bonus content found with a digital purchase as well as a game map, a Witcher medallion, and a 33x24x26cm hand-painted statuette of Geralt fighting a Griffin. The Xbox One version even included a couple decks of Gwent cards. All for the low price of $149.99. However, unlike other instances of this trope, this actually was a Limited Edition - most retailers sold out within a couple weeks if not days of it being announced. Although the Witcher wolf medallion, unlike the ones included in collector's editions of the previous games, is available as a separate purchase.
  • Living Shadow: The Hym is a spectral entity that takes the place of the shadow of a person wrecked with guilt and feeds from their emotional torment, eventually forcing them to engage in self-harm. They can be banished by tricking them into switching to a fresh host who hasn't actually committed the crime they feel guilt over, but it can only work if the false host sincerely believes in their own guilt.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The sheer number of unique NPCs with their own storylines is staggering, most likely surpassing every single game ever published; certainly every single one with full voice acting. Even many minor characters who never affect the main plot have surprising depth and complexity, and a good number of the ones that do also have their own storylines separate from the main quest.
  • Look Behind You: Used a few times:
    • An early quest-giver tries to do this to Geralt when Geralt discovers that he's responsible for the death of the cart driver he sent Geralt to look for.
      Geralt: There's nothing behind me. I'm a Witcher, I'd have heard it. Just like I can hear your heart. Which is pounding... like a liar's.
    • Geralt can encounter a group of soldiers looting an abandoned quarry. The classic "Look behind you!" "I'm not falling for that old trick!" version, and of course there actually is a pack of ghouls behind the soldiers.
    • Dijkstra says this to Geralt (who doesn't believe him at first) if Triss decides to come back after all.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: Literally happens to two significant characters.
    • The Bloody Baron came into ownership of Uma by winning him from a desperate merchant in Novigrad.
    • Zoltan lost his pet owl in a game of cards without ever realizing that it was Philippa the whole time.

     M-R 
  • Mama Bear: Yennefer to Ciri, contrasting Geralt's Papa Wolf.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The very last leg of the game ends up being a three-way battle between Nilfgaard, Skellige, and the Wild Hunt.
  • Mercy Kill: If Sile de Tansarville was allowed to survive the end of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, she is found in a Novigrad prison in really bad shape. Geralt can offer her one final mercy.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Elihal, one of Dandelion's acquaintances, mostly due to his penchant for cross dressing. In fact, Dandelion once tried to hit on him when he was drunk, and writes about him with an intriguingly wistful fondness.
  • Moment of Silence: When Geralt finally finds Ciri on the Isle of Mists, she appears dead, and Geralt breaks down in grief without a sound. Note that in a digitally generated medium, this isn't a case of removing sound but of deliberately adding none except for music.
  • Monster Clown: Whoreson Junior's henchmen, one of the nastiest gangs in Novigrad, have clown costumes for uniforms.
  • Mood Whiplash: The lighthearted quest of helping Dandelion start up a cabaret turns dark when his friend and first serious love interest Priscilla is brutally assaulted and forced to drink pure formaldehyde. Although she survives at the temporary cost of her voice, it turns out that the attacker is a serial killer who has brutally tortured and murdered a large number of people over the years, and it's up to Geralt to stop the killing spree.
  • Moral Myopia:
    • Defied by Geralt, in keeping with his previous characterization. In the first game, when asked why he's missing his silver blade by Shani, who says that "One (is) for monsters and one (is) for humans", Geralt corrects her. Both are for monsters.
    • In the 'Killing Monsters' trailer, he beheads a supernatural beast for slaying the innocent for food, and then murders his human employers for trying to murder an innocent woman themselves.
    • Uncommonly presented in 'Carnal Sins' quest, that introduces a serial killer who commits elaborate murders to show people the errors of sinful life and make them accept the Eternal Fire. As it turns out, the killer is a vampire, a supernatural creature, whose mere existence is an abomination in the eyes of the Church of Eternal Fire.
    • One of the scavenger sidequests involves the aftermath of a group of knights who chased a witcher around Skellige to make him answer for his crimes. During the course of their pursuit, they burn entire villages to the ground, kill anyone who gets in their way, and overall punish anyone who aided him in the slightest. The witcher's crime? A duchess asked him to assassinate her father, and he politely refused.
  • Multiple Endings: There are three major endings which determine the shape of your final quest, Something Ends, Something Begins. The three major endings are as follows:
    • Ciri dies, causing Geralt to become a Death Seeker and go for one final quest to retrieve Vesemir's wolf medallion, dying himself in the process.
    • Ciri becomes the Empress of Nilfgaard, planning to change things for the better, but potentially never seeing Geralt again.
    • Or Ciri becomes a Witcher, finding happiness in walking the Witcher's Path. Geralt passes on every skill he knows and she becomes famous through the land.
    • Added to that, the ending differs based on your choices during major political questlines of the game. Variables include who rules over the North, whether Emhyr is alive, who reigns in Skellige and whether Geralt settled down with Triss, Yennefer or walked alone.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: White Orchard's smith has one if you visit him after completing his quest in his favor. He realizes the villagers were distrustful of him before, but because of his open support of Nilfgaard and handing over one of them to be hanged they now despise him. Geralt advises him to leave with the Nilfgaardians if they depart.
  • Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: Emhyr var Emreis, the White Flame Dancing on the Graves of his Foes.
  • Neutral No Longer: Averted. The game restores the option for Geralt to remain apolitical in the struggle between Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms. Notably, Vesemir doesn't agree and is thoroughly Northern.
  • Never Live It Down: invoked
    • Yennefer still gives Geralt a bit of grief over the "incantation" he'd recited in "The Last Wish" - "How was I to know it meant 'begone and go plough yourself'?"
    • Lambert is quite eager to make fun of Geralt for various things, including the "Killing Monsters" line from the announcement trailer after Geralt makes fun of the "tough guy act".
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: While berating Geralt about how disappointed he is in the witcher's performance, Emhyr slips a detail about how internal dissent in Nilfgaard is slowing down his offensive push into the North. Later, Geralt has the option to pass this information on to Dijkstra, which gives the former spymaster incentive to call off the arrangement he's made with the emperor and prolong the war against Nilfgaard. This leads to the eventual defeat of the empire and Emhry's assassination.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Skjall heroically tries to rescue Ciri from the Wild Hunt, and leads them away from his village. His reward? For having thought to have fled the battle, he is dishonored, banished from his home and renounced of his name, dubbed "Craven" by everyone who knew him. And, trying to clear his name, he ends up killed and left to rot.
    • If, during King's Gambit, you help Cerys and expose Birna, she'll only be arrested because her son Svanrige realizes the truth and exposes her. But because of the dishonor Birna brought upon the family name, he'll either have to be killed or exiled.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Very few things have made Geralt snap. Seeing what Whoreson Junior had done to the whores that were brought to him, on top of roughing up his friend Dudu the doppler and putting out one of his eyes, and trying to kill Ciri, pushes him over the edge, and he makes the target of his rage feel it before calming down.
  • No, You: This seems to be Eskel's favorite method of insult.
  • Noodle Incident: The zeugl that Geralt fought killed Aedd Gynvael. One such creature appeared in the first game, but this particular one seems to have been unusually gross.
  • The Nose Knows: Geralt's mutations gave him a keen sense of smell, which gives him ample opportunity to follow scent trails.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: See Neutral No Longer. Geralt has numerous dialogue opportunities to express his indifference about whoever wins the war between Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms. This would be Out of Character if not for the thoroughly reprehensible behavior of the Northern monarchs during the second game. Can be Averted if Geralt aids either the Rebels or Nilfgaard. The latter, however, comes with heavy sarcasm.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing:
    • One scenario has Geralt offered a bribe by a arsonist not to turn him in. The arsonist committed the act while drunk out of the belief the dwarf was willingly aiding the Nifgaardians. If you turn down the bribe, the dwarf hands him over the Nilfgaardians to be hanged and then says he'll be supporting them for real now.
    • It happens again when Geralt tries to rescue the White Orchard barkeep from having the crap beaten out of her. It ends up killing several of her neighbors and souring her view of his forever. As both of these events happen in the prologue/tutorial area, it serves to highlight how certain decisions may seem easy, but carry unforeseen consequences.
    • Once again in White Orchard, a minor sidequest has you brewing a Swallow potion as a last ditch attempt to heal a girl injured by the griffin. If you look at the journal afterwards you find out that she recovered physically, but the pain from the potion's toxins caused the girl to lose her mind. You even run into her beau in the Nilfgaard Base Camp in the southeastern most point in Velen, who's unsure whether to thank Geralt for saving her life, or punch him for condemning her to a Fate Worse Than Death.
    • When encountering a ghost, you hear a horrific tale about how she was eaten alive by rats while her lover was helpless to prevent her death. If you reunite them by taking her to him, she kills him and goes to spread disease across the land.
    • Also some what downplayed in most of these cases. While the consequences of many quests can be bad, they arguably aren't really your problem, or even your fault. The bar keep's neighbors were out for your blood, so they dug their own graves. Both the arsonist and the injured girl are cases of you putting the more important choices in the hands of others, in this case the smith and the girl's physician. Many quests are like that with you enabling others to choose, but not making the actual choice yourself.
  • Not So Above It All: Yennefer, for all her prim-and-proper pomp, will doodle a goatee on a portrait of Avallac'h should you choose to ransack his lab.
  • Not So Different: Avallac'h points that out to Geralt about humans and elves on each other's worlds.
  • Not So Stoic:
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Ciri facing down the White Frost and surviving occurs entirely offscreen, left to the player's imagination.
  • Oh Crap!: If you follow the "Reasons of State" storyline Radovid finds himself at the mercy of Roche and his men at the end. He bangs on a random door, demanding to be let in, when it suddenly opens — revealing Philippa Eilhart behind it. Radovid's expression looks like he's just lived his worst nightmare in the waking world, which probably isn't far from truth.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Hubert Rejk, the Novigrad coroner, appears to be in his mid-thirties to early forties, but he's old enough to have taught a fifty-three year old man medicine twenty years ago. He credits the time he spends breathing in the chemicals used to preserve corpses with his youthful appearance. The real reason is that he's a higher vampire.
    • Pretty much all magic users qualify. Geralt and Yennefer both have about a century on them, just for starters.
  • One of the Boys: Ciri gets this treatment from the Baron and his boys.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Wraiths and ghosts come in many varieties. Noonwraiths, for example, normally only appear during midday and are mostly impervious to damage unless under the influence of an Yrden sign or Moon Dust bomb.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Very shaggy and feral-looking, and fond of horsemeat, like in the legends. Curiously, the one seen in the previews has its wings as part of its forelimbs, rather than as separate limbs.
  • Out with a Bang: Why Dudu, Geralt and Dandelion's Doppler friend was able to break into Sigi's vault. He impersonated Margrave Henckel, who'd died in a brothel "clad in leather lingerie", meaning his family kept the funeral hush-hush so word of his death wasn't widely known.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions:
    • The Nilfgaardians have this attitude towards the gods aside from their own. They interpret it as a license to rape, pillage, and plunder temples as well as abbeys. Given the amount of supernatural weirdness going on around the Witcher world, it may qualify them as Hollywood Atheists as well, and they aren't alone. In Novigrad, the practice of any religion other than that of the Eternal Fire is banned on the pain of burning at a stake.
    • The King of Beggars in Novigrad scoffs at religion, viewing it as just another way for the rich to control the poor. Considering that the city is in the middle of a witch-burning craze, he may have a point.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: A minor one which would only be relevant to book readers. Geralt has the opportunity to turn down payment several times for slaying monsters. Being a hero who is 'poor in dollars, rich in sense', Geralt would never do this in the books. He even puts down the idea of it in the first game, saying only rich people can afford to slay monsters for free. However, sometimes refusing to take payment leads to a different reward altogether (something worth more than the monetary reward or a discount).
  • Out of Focus: Given how much emphasis was placed on Geralt's relationship with Triss in the previous game, it can be a tad jarring to see her sidelined romantically even after rekindling things. Due to fan feedback, there will be an update to both expand both Triss' and Yennefer's romance dialogue options.
  • Papa Wolf: Geralt's reaction to anything involving threatening Ciri is to make plans to murder the person involved, no exceptions.
  • Playable Epilogue: Kinda. After completing the Epilogue quest, you get dropped into a Free Roam version of the game world set before the final chapter where all of the storyline characters are despawned.
  • Post Final Boss: If you get the bad ending, you'll end up fighting the Weavess and taking back the amulet she stole from Ciri.
  • Power Echoes: Several supernatural entities. Most noticeably, the King of the Wild Hunt's voice has a creepy reverb effect caused by his headgear. He speaks normally whenever he removes the faceplate on his helm.
  • The Power of Love: Downplayed but present at the game's end. Geralt's love gives Ciri the strength to stop the White Frost and survive - she remembers a number of major interactions with Geralt near the end of the game where he supports her or cheers her up.
  • Previously On: When continuing a saved game, you are given a brief rundown of what happened the last time you played, narrated by an elderly Dandelion.
  • The Prophecy: Ithlinne's Prophecy plays a fairly significant part in the backstory of the game, especially when it comes to Ciri's role in the future of the world:
    The era of the sword and axe is nigh, the era of the wolf's blizzard. The Time of the White Frost and the White Light is nigh, the Time of Madness and the Time of Contempt: Tedd Deireádh, the Time of End. The world will die amidst frost and be reborn with the new sun. It will be reborn of Elder Blood, of Hen Ichaer, of the seed that has been sown. A seed which will not sprout but burst into flame!
  • The Quisling: The Bloody Baron is a former Temerian soldier who takes over the Velen region of the country with his fellow deserters...and promptly hands it over to Nilfgaard. Unusually, this is treated as a valid, if somewhat contemptible, course of action.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: In full effect. There's no way to customize armor appearance, and though armor part of the same set looks cohesive, it's fully possible to wear black plate mail as a top, with denim blue pants and brown shoes - making Geralt look like a renaissance fair reenactor whose only put on half his costume. More colorful and garish combinations are also possible, thanks to many of the light armor tops and trousers who tend to favor bright colors.
  • Ravens and Crows: Carrion birds are often seen representing ancient and sinister powers. They serve the Crones of the Crookback Bog, as well as Leshens, and these creatures can turn into flocks of ravens at will. Yennefer's magical exertions at the game's beginning also involve a black-feathered bird.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • One gameplay footage features a Nilfgaardian commander requisitioning food from the local alderman, who is overawed by the commander and essentially groveling instead of giving a straight answer. The commander stands up, points out the calluses on his hands, and demands they speak "peasant to peasant". The alderman replies there are 40 bushels; there would have been more, but Temerian forces had requisitioned some of it already. The commander only asks for 30 bushels out of the 40. This is intentionally played with, as the same commander, upon receiving the 30 bushels and finding some to be rotten, has the alderman whipped for giving the army defective goods. It is a running theme in the game how the same authority figures can be both magnanimous and tyrannical, depending on their personal standards, or even just their present mood, underlining how unchecked power is inherently arbitrary to those who live under it, whether well-intentioned or not.
    • Seems to be a running theme among Nilfgaardian nobility. One of their Generals who comes to order a special armor for himself quickly admonishes Fergus for allowing his subordinates to interject and argue, but when he gets proof that Yoana is the real master, he orders the forge to be transferred to her and grants her a large military commission without batting an eye.
    • Crach an Craite, the Jarl of Kaer Trolde, is probably the only ruler in the game who is wholly straightforward and honourable, with no hidden agendas or skeletons in his closet. He is also Ciri's stepgrandfather and an old friend of Geralt and Yennefer, making him doubly unique amongst the aristocrats in the story by treating a witcher with sincere warmth and respect.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • While Geralt can kill bandits and monsters in the wilderness to his heart's content, using his Witcher skills in urban areas results in him being labeled a monster. Even if someone is being attacked, they react in horror if someone gets cut down in front of them. This is doubly so when it's potentially someone's neighbor.
    • Think you can play Geralt like a suave ladies man and romance both Yennefer and Triss at once? Go ahead, see what happens...
  • Really Gets Around:
    • Averted for once with Geralt. While he can sleep with either Yennefer, Triss, or both which isn't recommended plus a couple of others, it's a far cry from previous games. Plus, both Yennefer and Triss are women he has long-standing relationships with. Played straight if you decide Geralt should indulge the services of Novigrad's brothels.
    • Dandelion. You are sent on a quest which consists of interviewing his romantic conquests in the city. They include bards, washer woman (who he's slept with before), an elven tailor, housemaids, a school teacher, and a pair of Nilfgaard identical twins neither who slept with him. What's crazier? This is only half the list of his most recent girlfriends, and even then you'll find more.
  • Red Light District: Curiously for a city practically ruled by religious fundamentalists, Novigrad has a number of taverns, whorehouses, and gambling halls. Probably so they know which buildings to avoid.
  • The Remnant: Geralt, Vesemir, Ciri, and a handful of others are the only Witchers left in the world. Most people are unaware of this fact.
  • Revenge:
    • The griffin in White Orchard. While it did have a nest and otherwise acts like a regular griffin, its relations with the town weren't improved by the Nilfgaardian soldiers killing its mate, smashing its eggs, and burning its nest. The griffin is understandably pissed and a much greater threat than before.
    • Geralt can find his witcher comrade Lambert in the middle of a brutal manhunt for the people who assassinated his friend from the Cat School.
    • King Radovid hands Geralt the location for Whoreson Junior for a favor. Said favor? Bring him Phillipa alive so he can torture her to death.
    • Philippa, during Reasons of State. She ambushes Radovid as he tries to escape the conspirators, blinds him, and stabs him in the back.
  • Running Gag: Ronvid of the Small Marsh is persistent in wanting to defend the honor of the Maid Bilberry, even though Geralt has never met either of them before in his life and has no interest to spare for the honor, or lack thereof, of anybody.

     S-Z 
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Invoked by the King of the Wild Hunt to threaten Geralt:
      King: Every decision you make will bring devastation. Each choice will lead to a greater evil.
    • This also happens to NPCs in Velen, since they're living in a literal war zone - do they send some children off to "gather mushrooms" or "follow the trail of treats", or let the entire family starve because there are too many mouths to feed? As it turns out, unlike the player might have expected, the "trail of treats" does exist and there's food and shelter on the other side. Unfortunately coupled with a very short life span, as the Crones simply fatten the children to be eaten.
    • A malicious spirit of a murdered druidess who has been killing people left and right promises to release a group of children set for sacrifice. Her price? Geralt has to release her. There is no good choice. And even then, one of the in-game books implies that the "murdered druidess" spirit is the spirit of the being that created the Crones.
    • Happens again in Reasons of State when Radovid is assassinated. Roche celebrates with Thaler and Ves by revealing they've made a separate peace with Nilfgaard that cedes Lyria and Aedirn to the Emperor as well as makes Temeria a vassal state. Dijkstra reveals he has no intention of surrendering to the Empire and intends to fight on, based on recent information from Geralt, but this would result in a unified North with Temeria firmly under Redania's control. Geralt can either save Roche and condemn three nations of the North to Nilfgaard's rule—or just leave them to sort it out themselves, which he's fully aware leads to Dijkstra's victory. The third option is not to take the quest at all, which leads to an outcome far worse than the previous two by leaving a totally insane tyrant to rule the North and burn/impale everything non-human or magical.
  • Sanity Slippage: Far from the Magnificent Bastard of the first two games, King Radovid is suffering this. He's begun making bizarre metaphors about chess, betraying everyone around him, and engaging in Disproportionate Retribution wherever possible. It's implied the pressures of fighting Nilfgaard are too much for him.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: The chamberlain that helps prepare Geralt for his audience with Emhyr.
    Geralt: So what now? Powder my nose?
    Chamberlain: (studies Geralt for a few seconds) No need. The gentleman's complexion is light enough.
  • The Scapegoat:
    • Members of the Church of the Eternal Fire take advantage of the chaos of the war to blame it on convenient scapegoats: mages, nonhumans, and, of course, witchers.
      Ambassador var Attre: How do men deal with fear? They seek reassurance... and scapegoats. The Church of the Eternal Fire understands this perfectly. And so it promises to improve the lives of its flock by pointing out the guilty. Who started the war? Who profits from it? Why, it's obvious - mages, elves, dwarves. In a word, any and all deviants.
    • In a sidequest, it's mentioned that a witcher (from the Viper school, same as Letho) in the White Orchard area was blamed for the disappearance of a child, taken and tortured and attempting to clear a wraith from a ruin to prove his innocence. It later turns out that a drowner had killed the kid. Oops.
  • Saved by Canon: In the books, Emperor Emhyr var Emreis dies many years after both the saga and the games, implying he survives the events of The Witcher 3. Subverted thanks to the game having Multiple Endings. If Nilfgaard's invasion fails, Emhyr gets assassinated by his fellow Nilfgaardians. If it succeeds, he lives as Emperor of the North and South.
  • Scavenger Hunt: A number of the sidequests that you can start are this. Most lead to caches of treasure and/or equipment that you may or may not need. A series of four in particular, however, have rewards that are too good to pass up: the rewards are the missing diagrams for equipment from the Viper, Cat, Griffin, and Bear Witcher Schools. One of the bits of free DLC adds Wolf School equipment to the list.
  • Scenery Gorn: There are a lot of gruesome sites to be found, especially in No Man's Land, where dead bodies litter the earth and corpses hang from trees and gallows.
  • Scenery Porn: If you can get away from the battlefields and execution sites, though, then you'll find many gorgeous vistas. Skellige in particular is a very vibrant and beautiful place.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • Geralt can find a man tied up and left to be killed by Drowners. He claims the peasantry did it because he was a deserter. Geralt can point out that even Temerian peasants are unlikely to leave a man to be eaten alive by monsters just for desertion. He admits there was "other stuff." If Geralt frees him, he goes on to be a ruthless bandit. In a rare aversion of Ungrateful Bastard, he offers to share his plunder.
    • In White Orchard you come across a woman that had been attacked by the griffin. She will die a painless death unless you give her a Swallow potion to give her a chance to live. Geralt explicitly says that she might die a slow painful death if he gives it to her and the journal says so as well. While she does live if you give her the potion, her mind was destroyed by it.
  • Serial Killer: Geralt can end up hunting one down in Novigrad after the killer goes after one of his friends.
  • Serious Business: Gwent. People are willing to pay king's ransoms for the best cards of the game and even commit murders over them.
  • Shipper on Deck: Sigi Reuven is quite overt in trying to get Geralt and Triss to rekindle their romance.
  • Shout-Out: See its own subpage
  • Show, Don't Tell: One of the things the game was praised for by Yahtzee, citing the sequence where Geralt is properly trained for his meeting with Emperor Emhyr.
  • Sirens Are Mermaids: Averted. They are reptilian, winged creatures with upper bodies resembling human women. However, they can swim as well as they can fly, and pursue Geralt into the water if he tries to swim to escape them.
  • Soft Water: While a sizable drop onto land can injure or even kill Geralt, a long drop into a deep enough body of water won't even scratch him.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Geralt is actually the idealist in this case, with Lambert having a massive Freudian Excuse for being The Cynic.
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • Par for the course with the series, as sentient monsters aren't typically presented as Always Chaotic Evil, but more as natural forces, non-malicious, and occasionally conflicted.
    • Some of the human characters invoke this, as well. For example, the Bloody Baron, a drunken brute who oppresses the peasants under him and beats his wife, is a human wreck who is too terrified to face the world sober, and tries to make up for his bad deeds with little acts of kindness, like giving a home to an abandoned little girl and being a Doting Parent. He's a bad man, but one gets the impression that he knows it, sincerely wants to be better, and would if he weren't also a very weak person.
  • Take That:
    • During the 'The Tower Outta Nowhere' sidequest, the mage trapped in the tower that is disturbing the daily life of Urialla Harbor tells you that, in order for him to get the tower to move somewhere else, he must recover control of it. In order to do this, you must get him Gottfried's Omni opening Grimoire, which contains among its pages the way to counteract the tower's Defensive Regulatory Magicon. Yeah... subtlety, thy name is absent.
    • When going over some of Dandelion's previous paramours, Zoltan mentions how one lass had strange tastes that involved them roleplaying as people named Anastasia and Christian. Geralt describes this as perverse and says he'd rather not hear any more about their activities, and it's also notable that even Dandelion eventually bailed on her.
  • Taking the Heat: At the end of the Skellige arc, Yennefer takes full blame for the destruction of Freya's Garden, even convincing the outraged priestesses that Geralt actually tried to stop her. Whether or not this is actually true depends on dialogue choices. While it does exhume Geralt of the people's anger, the Freya priestesses and some guards will still chew him out over it.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Emhyr and Geralt can develop this sort of relationship.
    • Hell, any time Geralt works with the Nilfgaardians (and there are plenty of opportunities), every answer variation is nasty to some degree. It is literally impossible to be completely respectful and polite to the Nilfgaardian invaders.
    • In the Battle of Kaer Morhen, Geralt can recruit friends and allies from all over, including some who don't exactly get along, most notably Roche and Letho.
  • Teleport Spam: Employed liberally by the more high ranking Warriors of the Wild Hunt in battle. Ciri's Flash Step eventually develops close to this, as well.
  • Time Abyss: The Ladies of the Woods are said to have been in the swamp longer than its oldest tree, and that they were already there when the elves first came.
  • Tin Tyrant: The King of the Wild Hunt is clad in an elaborate, spiky suit of armour that has a skull-like helmet with a tall crown on top.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: A problem which Geralt runs into a lot of the times as those players who are used to acting righteously will often have trouble figuring out which option is the "Good" one. The legal system in the Witcher universe is Draconian, prejudiced, and classist while unforeseen consequences often follow good-intentioned deeds.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The var Attre sisters are this. Despite being identical twins, one loves swordplay and dresses in a tunic, the other is more gossipy and dresses in a noble's dress.
  • Too Awesome to Use: An in-universe example comes in the form of the Mask Uroboros. It allows one to peer into the past, but unfortunately, it can only be used once. Worse, using it puts the Skellige Isles in danger of being flooded, which is all the more reason why Ermion keeps it under lock and key with the intention of only using it once the Godzilla Threshold has been crossed.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • A truly bizarre example of Genre Blindness happens with King Radovid and Geralt. Radovid showers Geralt with trust, extremely lucrative missions, protection from witch hunters, and offers of help to complete his missions. This carries over the aid he lent Geralt in Assassin of Kings. The thing is, Radovid is fostering a massive witch-hunting craze which is murdering hundreds of innocents as well as stirring the populace up against magic users, alchemists, and sorcerers. Geralt is, notably, an alchemist, magic user, and lover of two sorcereresses (potentially a third in the game too).
    • Though, in a weird way, it makes sense as Radovid seems to think Geralt is a hero and is oblivious to the fact he wouldn't feel the same way about his patron's righteous crusade.
    • Radovid doesn't really like or trust Geralt, though. If you go through with the plan, he orders Geralt killed the second he is not needed any more. Not because he smells treachery, though, just because he happens to find Geralt's attitude annoying. He goes along because his hatred of Eilhart supersedes his reason, and Geralt is the only one to bring anything resembling decisive evidence.
  • Training from Hell: A par of the course for all witchers, but in this game you can actually listen to a ghost of a witcher training young candidates and find the report of the Trial of Grasses. It says that from the group of five boys aged 8-10 three died during the trial (mosly due to stroke or multiple organ failure), one survived but had to be put out of his misery due to severe brain damage and only one survived unscathed enough to continue training.
  • Two Roads Before You: As in previous installments, the game is all about choice and consequences. For instance: Slay a monster and watch its worshipers be purged along with it, or allow them to all live, at the cost of the monster killing others? You make sometimes Take a Third Option, but it will carry its own consequences.
  • Underground Railroad: Triss is managing one for mages trying to avoid being burned at a stake in Novigrad with the aid of King of Beggars and Dijkstra.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Napp, a villager in White Orchard, who burned the village's forge (owned by a dwarf) down just because he served the Nilfgaardian garrison. Many of the villagers thought the dwarf was personally loyal to Nilfgaard and growing rich off their gold (neither is true). If Geralt brings Napp before the blacksmith, the dwarf yells that he served the man's mother for years and never charged her anything. He's actually angry enough that he calls soldiers over to punish him, not realizing that this means Napp will be hanged. note  Upon realizing how everyone else will react, the smith opts to throw his lot in with Nilfgaard in truth.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • There are only two Sylvans in the main game, and only one of them needs to be killed over the course of the main quest.
    • There's a grand total of one Doppler and two Succubi that you can kill in the whole game, all of whom can be spared. Doing so, however, means you don't get the rare mutagens needed to make their affiliated decoctions.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: It's very easy to completely break the main quest by simply accidentally stumbling upon a plot-relevant destination.
  • Viking Funeral: Once Geralt arrives in Skelliga he witnesses King Bran's funeral. For extra points, one of Bran's lovers throws herself onto the burning boat as it is sent off to sea.
  • Villain of Another Story: Radovid pretty much serves as the Big Bad for the political upheaval and rampant genocide of mages and non-humans in the North. This story runs parallel to the main plot of the game, and Geralt only gets involved with it when he absolutely has to. And fittingly, things are much better when Radovid dies, regardless of who wins the war.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Lambert and Geralt, best encapsulated in an exchange made during an hours-long drink-fest near the end of the game.
  • War Is Hell: The first part of the game includes visiting a massive battlefield, a ravaged village, and an occupied town. In White Orchard, Geralt also talks to a scholar who is going to the front lines in order to chronicle the war firsthand. Geralt suggests the book would be more historical if it focused on the rapes, horror, and despair. The scholar, of course, dismisses it as something no one would interested in reading.
  • The Weird Sisters: The Three Crones of Crookback Bog, witches and daughters of a woodland spirit who went insane, protect the wilderness of Velen from their mother and offer other services while demanding reverence and tribute, including human sacrifice (which they use to maintain illusions of eternal youth and beauty).
  • What Year Is It?: The official gameplay trailer features a scene where Geralt and another person open a sarcophagus and find a non-decomposed, apparently living guy inside it — a vampire, who then asks whether it's 1358 yet. Geralt replies it is not (the in-game year is 1272). The vampire then tells the two of them in no uncertain terms to leave him alone.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Letho becomes this to both Geralt and Nilfgaard both if you spared his life. He chose to disappear rather than continue his service to the Nilfgaard Emperor or rebuild the Viper school. When you encounter him in a possible sidequest, he states that the Emperor eventually decided to have him killed as a loose end and he's been hiding ever since.
    • There's an extremely literal example when Keira Metz transforms 3 mice into a pair of white horses for herself and Geralt. When Geralt invokes this trope, she replies that the spell has a literal 2/3 chance of success on each subject, so she always uses one more than necessary. She never actually explains what happened to it.
    • Priscilla is last seen recovering in a hospital, with Dandelion declaring they start a double act with him singing and her playing the lute. She goes unmentioned until the epilogue (where she's recovered with only a slight decrease in her vocal pitch, which Dandelion doesn't mind, and looks set for a Happily Ever After).
    • The third Crone, Weavess, manages to escape Ciri's assault in the endgame, but never makes a comeback if you complete the game with Ciri still alive. Should Ciri die during the second to last quest, Geralt himself will journey back to finish the job. The other endings very subtly hint at her fate as well - Ciri will have Vesemir's medallion back, implying she hunted down and killed the crone at some point after defeating the White Frost.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Geralt can do this constantly to Yennefer, who makes many morally ambiguous decisions such as joining Nilfgaard, robbing a close friend of the family, reanimating a corpse and desecrating a holy shrine in the pursuit of Ciri. Yennefer's response is always some variant of I Did What I Had to Do.
    • Geralt can abandon Roche, Thaler, and Ves to be a killed after finding out they've signed a treaty with Nilfgaard.
    • Yennefer gives Geralt one of these for his relationship with Triss while amnesiac.
    • This is the reason Triss and Geralt broke up between games; when Geralt got his full memory back, he realized she had been hiding things from him (such as Yennefer) so that they could be together. He didn't appreciate it, and broke it off. You can choose to reignite the romance during the game, though.
  • White and Grey Morality: Present in the "King's Gambit" quest. Both Hjalmar and Cerys are good people who become effective rulers if either of them is elected king. If the quest is not completed, though, then Svanrige Tuirseach becomes king, albeit as a puppet for his scheming mother. Except that it turns out he's not quite as spineless as believed, and becomes a strong ruler in his own right, albeit one who forcefully turns Skellige into an absolute monarchy.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The "Carnal Sins" quest is a huge reference to Se7en, as it features a religious zealot ritualistically murdering people he sees as sinners in order to wake society up into being more righteous.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Elihal enjoys dressing up like a woman, among other types of people, to pretend to be something that he isn't. He's also a Nice Guy, a skilled tailor, and a good friend of Dandelion's.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Portals and doublets for Geralt. He hates the feeling of teleporting, often having the portal exit him far from the target destination, and formal wear makes him itch. Of course, he constantly has to travel by portal and both Yennefer and Triss request him to wear a proper tunic several times. One sidequest can add another thing to the list: extremely smelly cheeses.
  • Wicked Witch: The Ladies of the Woods fit the bill, at least in terms of their hideous appearance. Morally they seem to be ambiguous, but decidedly sinister. There is also an enemy type called Hag, which draws from the same imagery, although they seem to be non-sentient monsters.
  • Wide Open Sandbox:
    • You are free to wander throughout the multiple regions that serves as the setting of Wild Hunt, unlike previous games, where you were limited to specific areas depending on your point in the story.
    • There are five distinct regions: the farmlands of White Orchard, the combined Velen-Novigrad countryside, the Nordic-style Skellige Islands, and the mountain pass containing Kaer Morhen. There are also a few smaller areas that are separate from the main regions.
  • Wife-Basher Basher:
    • When Geralt finds out that the Bloody Baron beat his wife, he does not hesitate to give the man a severe beating himself, and makes it clear afterward that he's utterly disgusted with what he's done.
    • Similarly, one of the few times Geralt legitimately snaps in the game is when finding out that Whoreson Junior more than lives up to his moniker. While not a "wife", necessarily, it's clear that harming women is a major Berserk Button for Geralt.
  • Wife Husbandry: The Crones suggest Geralt has unwittingly done this with Ciri and that she and he would make a good couple. Geralt's reaction? He gets a look of visceral disgust and says, in no uncertain terms, 'No.'
  • The Wild Hunt: The spectral cavalry unit known as the Wild Hunt returns once again for this final entry in the Geralt trilogy.
  • Wolf Pack Boss: The Crones are fought together in a fight that's designed to test everything you've learned about Ciri's fighting style.
  • Woman Scorned:
    • There's not one but two sidequests involving a woman who decides to get vengeance on their old flame by trying the man's child with the other woman. Jonna from the "Nithing" Sub-quest was mad Lothar left her for a new family after ten years of being together, so she used a curse to try and kill his newborn son.
    • Another quest involves a woman in love with a Werewolf who secludes himself during the full moon. She tricks her sister (the werewolf's wife) into stumbling upon him during a full moon, which winds up getting her killed because, well, he's a werewolf. She'd hope he'd scare her into leaving and she could take her place at his side. Upon learning this, the Werewolf wants to kill her and then commit suicide by witcher. You can save her if you're so inclined.
    • A minor version of this happens to Geralt himself if you try to chase a romance with both Triss and Yennefer at once - they offer him a threesome, but instead they team up to humiliate him and effectively dump him.
  • World of Snark:
    • A good majority of the major characters of the game are almost as inclined towards deadpan snarking as Geralt, if not more so. This is especially true to Novigrad, where it seems that nearly every character is well educated and vents their frustrations through incessant sarcasm. Even the loading screen gets in on the act.
      Loading Screen: When the time of the White Frost comes, don't eat the yellow snow.
    • Snark-to-Snark Combat: In overdrive when Geralt talks with Sigi Reuven. It goes to the point where both have slight problems figuring out when the other is being sarcastic or not.
      Sigi: Oh, that famous sarcasm. I've missed it.
      Geralt: Really?
      Sigi: Mhm. About as much as I'd miss a knife in my knickers.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: A historical version where Geralt confronts a scholar about a planned book on war. Geralt points out that a book about it should reflect it without tales of glory, adventure, or otherwise prettying it up. The scholar says that such details are insignificant from a researcher's standpoint.
  • Yandere: Jonna in "The Nithling", who decides that cursing Lothar's son to a cruel, agonizing death is a perfectly reasonable response to Lothar marrying another woman.
  • Zerg Rush: The general strategy for the Monster deck in Gwent, since nearly every monster card has the Muster ability that puts a lot of cards straight from the player's deck into the field at once. Scoia'tael cards can do this as well, though to a much lesser degree.

     Hearts of Stone 

  • Animalistic Abomination: The Black Dog and Cat. They look like their animal namesakes, save for the Glowing Eyes of Doom and the fact that they can talk, but are instead magical beings bound in animal shapes, their thought processes and desires completely alien to humans.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Olgierd von Everec appears to be one - reports and demonstrations of his depravity are frequent, early in the piece. The truth is more complicated. He was never exactly a saint, but it was Gaunter O'Dimm who removed his capacity for empathy, remorse and pleasure.
    • Horst Borsodi, potentially, depending on your choices during the heist. His brother Ewald and your remaining criminal companions may fall victim as well.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The complete version (i.e. "...because you just might get it,") get said and paraphrased several times during the expansion.
    Geralt: "You're clearly not human. What are you? A demon? A djinn?"
    O'Dimm: "Do you truly wish to know?"
    Geralt: "Yes."
    O'Dimm: "No, Geralt, you don't. This one time I will spare you and not grant your wish."
  • Bewitched Amphibians: The monstrous Toad "Prince" that Geralt fights at the beginning of the DLC turns out to actually be a cursed Ofieri prince, and the men that swore to bring the prince back to his homeland are mighty upset that Geralt killed him.
  • Big Bad: Gaunter O'Dimm is the villain of the piece.
  • Bigger Bad: Gaunter O'Dimm is as close to The Devil as exists in the Witcherverse, but there's no way to destroy him.
  • The Blank: The Caretaker. Whatever face it may have had has been scooped out and replaced with a smooth expanse of flesh and a gash in the vague shape of a mouth.
  • Blow You Away: The Ofieri Mage uses many wind spells against you.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Something of a recurring problem for Olgierd and his summoned servants. The Caretaker, for instance, was supposed to protect his house and its grounds. It did, partly by maintaining the gardens and doing housework, but also by killing any visitors and burying them regardless of their intentions. Similarly, the Black Cat and Dog were intended to be companions for Iris specifically because Olgierd was no longer capable of loving her, but they couldn't love her either - it was not within their natures.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Shani, a love interest from the original Witcher game, returns as a new (but brief) romantic option.
    • The Order of the Flaming Rose also makes a return. Albeit disbanded and with its remnants reduced to selling Fisstech and banditry to finance themselves.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • The Borsodi brothers. Horst denied Ewald his fortune out of fear that he'd squander it and left him in poverty, and is hostile to Geralt immediately. Ewald is far more reasonable to Geralt and willing to work with him, but has a reputation as a violent and ruthless thug. Either will kill the other when they have them at their mercy.
    • Played with later in regards to the von Everec brothers. They adored each other, but when it came down to it Olgierd bargained away his brother Vlodimir's life to satisfy O'Dimm.
  • The Caper: Geralt must assemble a team to break into the Borsodi Vault and take the House of Max Borsodi.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The expansion starts out with Geralt reading off a few silly notices on a board, including one about a girl looking for a beau to attend a wedding with her. Geralt eventually has to attend that very same wedding in order to fulfill one of Olgierd's Impossible Tasks, and goes as the beau for Shani.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the "Open Sesame" quest, Geralt has the opportunity to purchase a painting by an artist named van Rogh. You later find out that van Rogh was the alias of Iris von Everec, Olgierd's late wife, and a key figure in both his backstory and the "Scenes From a Marriage" quest.
  • Cool Shades: In a Call Back to the first game, it's possible to acquire, and wear, the Professor's tinted spectacles.
  • Creepy Children Singing: Early in the story, you'll come across a group of children singing an eerie song about a devilish granter of wishes. You'll hear it again in the background music should you meet Gaunter O'Dimm when he comes to collect his due, and should Geralt go to his realm.
  • Deal with the Devil: A very traditional one as the basis for the expansion.
  • Death by Despair: Iris von Everec simply allowed herself to die when her last gift from her husband - a purple rose - withered in front of her eyes.
  • The Devil: Gaunter O'Dimm is either a thematic stand-in for or actually, literally Satan.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Geralt can opt to challenge Gaunter to a Battle of Wits wagering the souls of himself and Olgierd, and win, saving them both and banishing the demon from the world.
  • Driven to Suicide: Geralt finds Casimir about to blow himself up after his wife leaves him.
  • Exact Words:
    • How Gaunter O'Dimm snares his opponents. For example, Olgierd asked to "live every day like there's no tomorrow", so Gaunter removed his capacity for remorse as well as empathy.
    • Geralt is able to exploit this as well. Through giving the House of Max Borsodi but leaving behind its valuable contents. Or by bringing a picture of the violet rose rather than the rose itself.
  • Familiar: The Black Dog and Cat bound to Iris von Everec. Her being a ghost doesn't release them from their duty.
  • Fan Disservice: If Shani has a little too much to drink at the wedding, then Geralt's Optional Sexual Encounter with her will be ruined when a sudden bout of nausea makes her vomit during the act.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Gaunter O'Dimm appears ordinary, reasonable and amiable (if curiously prone to turning up in places he should not logically be able to reach) but the horrifying effects of his wishes prove that he is not your friend. For instance, killing Olgierd's brother and viciously tormenting his spirit, as well as condemning Iris to a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Professor Shakeslock lost both his sight and his sanity from his research into Gaunter, and especially after he met the man.
  • The Heartless: Olgierd is completely devoid of anything resembling human emotion. That's because he lost all of his emotions due to his pact with Gaunter O'Dimm.
  • Hellish Horse: Should you end the game in Gaunter's favor and wish to be as swift as the wind, then you'll acquire a saddle that makes Roach look considerably more ghoulish when equipped.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Caretaker. It looks human, save for the fact that it has no face, but it's implied to be some kind of otherworldly being summoned to serve Iris. This trope also applies to Gaunter O'Dimm, who has nearly godlike abilities despite looking like an ordinary man.
  • I Am Spartacus: Geralt has a bit of trouble speaking with Olgierd at the beginning. Largely because Olgierd's brigands are a bunch of Trolls who decide to prank the witcher by each claiming to be their leader.
  • I Have Many Names: Gaunter O'Dimm is known by many names in many cultures.
  • Impossible Task: As part of his contract with Gaunter, Olgierd must have three wishes fulfilled, all of which he's devised in such a way that no one could possibly complete them.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Caretaker packs a mean punch with its shovel. Geralt can wield it himself after killing the creature, and it has the ability to restore health each time it deals damage.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The expansion includes the two most powerful swords in the game: the Venomous Viper Silver Sword for monsters, and Iris for humans, the latter of which can unleash a more powerful attack Cast from Hit Points.
  • Ironic Hell: What Olgierd von Everac is condemned to. He has great wealth and immortality, things most men crave, but he can't take any pleasure in them because he gave up the sensation of pleasure itself (among other things) to attain them. Furthermore, those things were incidental to what he really wanted, which was to remain with his beloved wife, but the effects of his wish mean he is no longer capable of loving her.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Geralt goes to pick up Max Borsodi's house, it starts a cutscene where he puts out the candles surrounding it before picking it up, saying "Damn candles." Anyone who's played the game will empathize with that sentiment.
  • Life Drain: The main part of the challenge presented by the Caretaker is in it sucking health out of other things to add to its own life bar. It even summons enemies solely to kill them and restore itself.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Gaunter O'Dimm seems to prefer trapping his victims with words and vows over using brute magical force.
  • Multiple Endings: Only two this time.
    • You let O'Dimm collect his due. He proceeds to age Olgierd into dust, taking his skull as a trophy, and can grant Geralt one of five wishes (an enchanted saddle for Roach, a horn of plenty that provides endless food, a bottle of strong alcohol that never runs out, 5000 crowns, or information about Ciri).
    • If you decide to talk to Professor Shakeslock, then you can challenge O'Dimm for Olgierd's soul. After solving O'Dimm's riddle, Olgierd is rendered completely mortal again, vows to turn his life around, and gifts Geralt his personal sabre, Iris.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If you run out of time before finding the answer to O'Dimm's riddle, you get a brief cutscene depicting him grabbing Geralt from behind and reducing him to dust.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: If you side with O'Dimm in the ending and you ask him where Ciri is, he won't give you the answer, but instead gives you advice on how to Earn Your Happy Ending with her. He's uncharacteristically solemn and even sympathetic, which means that you really have to pay attention.
  • Painting the Medium: Every time Geralt speaks while Vlodimir is possessing his body, the subtitles are purple instead of white.
  • The Red Baron: The Man of Glass and Master Mirror are other names for Gaunter O'Dimm.
  • The Remnant: The Order of the Flaming Rose is now a shadow of its former self, having been used as cannon fodder by King Radovid in order to slow down the Nilfgaardians.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Hearts of Stone adds more Viper equipment: diagrams for a full suit of armor and the steel sword, while the silver sword can be found in O'Dimm's nightmare world. Unlike the other Witcher gear hunts, there is no associated quest with finding them, so it's possible to completely miss them.
  • Uriah Gambit: The Order of the Flaming Rose was subject to one. They were used to slow down the Nilfgaardian invasion and when they were all but destroyed, Radovid confiscated all of their lands to finance his war and exiled or executed any protesters. The remainder joined his army as Witch Hunters.
  • Time Stands Still: One of the many tricks that Gaunter O'Dimm has up his sleeve.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The situation between Olgierd and O'Dimm mirrors that of Faust, specifically the Polish version of the legend, Pan Twardowski.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: What Gaunter O'Dimm is motivated by.

    Blood & Wine 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The DLC raises the level cap to 100.
  • Anachronism Stew: In a sidequest where Geralt eating a mushroom causes Roach to be Suddenly Voiced, one of her "stop working me to the bone during the chase" dialogues has her mention twerking. Another one of said dialogues has her ask Geralt to "do her a solid."
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Higher vampires can kill humans and other monsters without a problem, but killing others of their own kind is a huge taboo - mostly because doing so renders them Deader Than Dead, beyond the reach of their Resurrective Immortality. After Regis breaks the rule to bring an end to the chaos, other vampires start going after him.
  • Back from the Dead: Geralt's old vampire friend Regis shows up alive and well, thanks to another vampire who resurrected him.
  • Beauty to Beast:
    • Lady Vivienne has been cursed for most of her life to turn into a bird-like creature every full moon night. The curse only got worse over the years, so that she needs to use magical ornaments so she looks like a normal human during daytime.
    • Even more horribly, the spoon-collecting wight, who turns out to have been a beautiful but haughty noblewoman who was cursed to become a monster after refusing food from a beggar. If Geralt breaks her curse, she becomes a wizened old woman, since her transformation happened over a century ago, and the curse had been keeping her alive, but not young.
  • The Big Bad Wolf: Fittingly appears in the Land of a Thousand Fables, dressed not-so-convincingly as Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother. Due to magical entropy destabilizing the illusory world, he's grown tired of constantly re-enacting the story, getting cut open, stuffed with rocks, and thrown down a well, so he's killed the girl and taken to drinking instead. Also, in the Three Little Pigs' neighborhood, the White Wolf fittingly takes on the role when he uses the Aard sign to blow down the house of bricks.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of the documents and books found in Toussaint include funny little bits written in French.
  • Bloody Bowels of Hell: The final fight against Dettlaff is fought in an organic realm filled with gigantic beating hearts.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The expansion sees the return of Duchess Anna Henrietta, Sir Palmerin de Launfal, and Sir Milton de Peyrac-Peyran.
    • In the quest, "There Can be Only One," the Lady in the Lake from the first game makes an appearance to once again give Geralt the silver sword Aerondight.
  • Call Back: Not in the expansion itself, but the digital comic released alongside it. The Killing Monsters comic takes place before the events of the trailer of the same name, going so far as to end right as the trailer begins.
  • Code of Honour: The knights of Toussaint have one. It factors into the motives of the killer in the main plot.
  • Continuity Nod: When asking for the specifics about the Manticore Witcher set diagrams, Geralt mentions having worn the set some years ago. Said set was the Excellent Leather Jacket armor from all the way back in the first game (The armor he's depicted using in that game's intro and outro). The New Game Plus version, however, actually has a different look and appears to be a combination of the jacket and the various versions of the Raven's Armor.
  • Curse: True to fairy tale form, the expansion has a few.
    • Vivienne was cursed before she was born by a creature who heard her mother wished her child would be as beautiful as the birds in the wood the creature "owned". For delighting in something that wasn't hers, the creature cursed Vivienne to become more like a bird as she grew. Geralt knows of two ways to break the curse: either by transferring it over to a bird egg, which shortens her un-cursed lifespan to that of the bird (seven years), or a ritual which will transfer the curse to another person.
    • A spotted wight named Marlene was once a beautiful and proud heiress to an estate, but refused (vehemently at that) to give a beggar that came to her gate food and drink, despite it being an ancient right of hospitality. So the beggar broke his spoon and cast a curse upon her. To break it, Geralt had to share a meal with her of his own free will, eat without spoons, and make her look at her own reflection. The beggar in question may have been (from his treatment of spoons, the wording of his curse, that he was apparently a seller of mirrors, and the leitmotif that plays as Geralt describes what he did) Gaunter O'Dimm.
    • Girls born during the time of the Black Sun, such as Syanna, are believed to be cursed with horrible dreams that drive them insane. It's never confirmed if the behaviour of these girls is due to the innate evil brought by the curse, or if it's just a natural reaction of being treated like monsters since childhood.
  • Cute Little Fangs: The teeth that Regis sports are noticeably sharp, but his otherwise gentle and civil disposition makes them weirdly endearing. They become Scary Teeth when he gets his Game Face on, though.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: During his first chase of the Beast, Geralt is able to perform leaps that would be lethal in the gameplay, not to mention parkour more fitting for the Assassin's Creed series.
  • Degraded Boss: The first Bruxa you fight is a pretty tough boss fight. After that, they serve as an uncommon Elite Mook.
  • Developers' Foresight: Early in the expansion, Geralt fights a monster who hunts by following sound. A smart player can use loud bombs like Samum to trick the creature into smashing itself into walls, then carve it up while it's stunned.
  • Easter Egg: In the Land of Thousand Fables, if one goes off the map into the mountains by exploiting a glitch, they can find a picture of the dev team sitting in a clearing.
  • Evolving Weapon: Aerondight, the Cool Sword you get from the Lady in the Lake, becomes stronger as you kill more enemies with it when it's fully charged.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The sunnier Mediterranean culture of Toussaint, with its vineyards and brightly coloured architecture, is seemingly based on Southern France. The capital city of Beauclair, with its ruling Duchess and wealthy inhabitants, is suggestive of the principality of Monaco.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: What happened to the Land of a Thousand Fables once the illusion that maintained it began to decay. Now the Little Match Girl sells drugs; Thumbellina manages to out-drink the Big Bad Wolf, who murdered the Hunter and Little Red Riding Hood because he got tired of being thrown into the river; Goldilocks got eaten and mauled by the three bears; Prince Charming broke his neck in an accident; and Rapunzel hanged herself with her hair and became a wraith.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The Bruxae and Alps cast off whatever clothes they might wear in their human disguise when they go on offensive.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: There are a few bugs that make several quests in the DLC impossible to finish:
    • The Warble of a Smitten Knight: Several users report Geralt no longer responding to input during the start of the practice race, making it impossible to proceed.
    • If a player leaves Toussaint while an upgrade to Corvo Bianco is in-progress, the upgrade will never finish, preventing the completion of the house.
  • Game Face:
    • When the Higher Vampires are overcome by rage or bloodlust, their faces warp into an animalistic shape. It's not really a "true form" because their real bodies are incorporeal, but it makes it clear when they've lost their faculties.
    • Bruxae and Alps also have distinct, if less impressively monstrous forms under their beautiful disguises.
  • The Ghost: A criminal who's only ever called "the Cintrian" is hyped up as a major badass who you have spend two quests trying to track down. He's dead by the time you catch up to him, and because he fell from a great height after being defenestrated by Orianna, you don't even get to see his body.
  • Goshdang It To Heck: Toussaintois don't cuss like Northerners do, instead using euphemisms like "bum-diddler".
  • Gratuitous French: French is present through the DLC and peppers the speech of most of Toussaint's inhabitants.
  • Hellhole Prison: Subverted with Bastoy Prison, which was abandoned after a failed experiment so terrible that the Duchy had to erase all records of its occurrence to avoid a scandal. What terrible horrors were inflicted on the Bastoy inmates? None. The experiment was to treat the prisoners humanely, a radical idea in the Witcher-verse.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Regis. Due to feeling that he owes Dettlaff his life, he repeatedly insists that Dettlaff is not a monster and beseeches Geralt to spare him, even while people die on the streets of Beauclair, victims of what is ultimately a post-breakup temper tantrum. Even before that, Dettlaff has obviously failed to truly adapt to walking among humans. It's implied that Regis is aware of this on some level, but too emotionally invested to admit it until he's forced to kill Dettlaff personally.
  • Humanoid Abomination: This is what the Higher Vampires essentially boil down to: all-but-immortal creatures from another dimension whose true bodies are completely immaterial, and whose physical forms can warp into horrible abominations when their emotions get the better of them. In ages past they considered humans essentially livestock and cultivated them with such finesse that people never even realised that their lives were manipulated by supernatural apex predators from birth to death.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. During Dettlaff's rampage in "The Night of Long Fangs," nearly every child in the orphanage is violently killed by an Alpha Garkain.
  • Knight Errant: They pretty much serve as Toussaint's primary police force, patrolling the lands to right wrongs and defend the people while abiding by a strict code of chivalry.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • One of the earliest clues you can find is a handkerchief embroidered with the initials "d.l.C". See Take That below for more details.
    • Right at the end of the DLC, Geralt is told that he deserves a little rest. Geralt agrees, and then turns, smirking straight at the "camera", before the scene fades to black.
    • Contract: Equine Phantom is basically all about this. Geralt and Roach's talks all are jokes at the expanse of the horse mechanics in the game.
  • Lighter and Softer: Toussaint is a much more pleasant place than the regions visited in the base game. The majority of the sidequests are lighthearted and many of them involve Leaning on the Fourth Wall. While the DLC's main quest has plenty of dark moments, it never reaches the feel of hopelessness that pervades Velen and Novigrad.
  • Looks Like Orlok: The Higher Vampires bear varying degrees of resemblance to this trope when they get their Game Face on. Probably the one closest is Regis, due to his partial baldness and extremely long and sharp incisors.
  • Love Ruins the Realm: Beauclair is burning by the end of the expansion because certain lovers failed to reign themselves in.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Moreau, like his namesake, performed numerous cruel experiments in order to control artificial mutations in people. Ironically, his goal was to "cure" witcher mutations, but he only learned how to make them stronger.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Did Geralt really drink a potion that let him understand Roach, or was he hallucinating?
  • Multiple Endings: Three endings for the main questline, four variants for the epilogue quest, and two dealing with Regis.
    • Main questline:
      • Both Anna Henrietta and Sylvia Anna die. Either get Orianna to help you find the Unseen Elder, or track down Syanna, get her ribbon from the Little Match Girl, and don't perform the investigation before the trial. Syanna kills Anna Henrietta with a hairpin during the trial, then Damien puts a crossbow bolt through Syanna in retaliation.
      • Anna Henrietta lives, but Sylvia Anna dies. Track down Syanna, but don't get her ribbon back. Dettlaff kills her, after which Geralt can either let him leave peacefully or still kill him. Either way, Anna Henrietta has Geralt put in prison for Syanna's death, where he resides for nearly a month until Dandelion is able to talk the court into freeing him based on the Witcher contract.
      • Both Anna Henrietta and Sylvia Anna live. Track down Syanna, listen to all of her stories while wandering the Fablesphere, get her ribbon back, then go through with the investigation before her trial. Talk Syanna into forgiving her sister and argue for mercy during the trial. The sisters begin to reconcile, although Syanna is still sentenced to imprisonment.
    • Vampiric aftermath: Should you either have the Unseen Elder summon Dettlaff or you let Dettlaff go after he kills Syanna, then Regis will stay in Toussaint. If Syanna lives and Regis has to deal the killing blow to Dettlaff, then Regis has to leave Toussaint due to becoming persona non grata among the vampires of the region.
    • Be It Ever So Humble guest: Dandelion appears by default, based on when the DLC is completed compared to the main game, Geralt's relationship with Yennifer or Triss, and whether Ciri is either the Empress of Nilfgaard or a witcher. Either Yennefer or Triss appear, based on which one is romanced, Yennefer permanently moves in, while Triss wants to use the vineyard as a vacation home. Ciri appears either as a Witcheress visiting after a contract or an Empress on tour of the Nilfgaardian Empire's provinces.
  • National Stereotypes: The people of Toussaint share many of the traits often associated with the French: an obsession with wine and cooking, an emphasis on romance and romantic ideals, and intense (one might even say boastful) interest in art and culture.
  • Nice Guy: The Knights of Toussaint are refreshingly chivalrous, honorable errant knights, willing to do good for the sake of it.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Present as ever, choosing to keep Vivienne's curse a secret from Guillaume (as per her wishes) results in the curse getting broken but she now has only seven years left to live and Guillaume doesn't get the girl. Choosing to let Guillaume in on the secret results in a comparatively happier ending where the curse is broken with only minor side-effects and Guillaume now has a chance.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: "Paperchase" has Geralt face the most fearsome enemy of his life: finding the paperwork to prove to the bank that he is not dead so he can withdraw money from a bank account a client set up for him years ago as payment for a job. While the bank is trying to cover up that it spent Geralt's money after he was reported dead, another customer indicates that this kind of obstruction is commonplace at the bank.
  • One-Man Army: Clearing out the few dozen or so enemies inhabiting the bandit hanses makes it clear that Geralt is now one of these.
  • Out with a Bang: A sidequest has Geralt try to recover stolen gems rumored to increase the sexual prowess of any man who touches them. Geralt learns that the thief is an old man who is using the gems to treat his erectile dysfunction. If Geralt lets the old man keep the gems, the old man pays Geralt and promises more coin if Geralt returns in a week. If Geralt returns after a week passes in-game, he finds that the old man died from having too much sex.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Unimaginative rather than inherently poor, it very quickly becomes clear that whenever you run into a lone woman wearing a cloak far in wilderness, she's going to be a hostile vampire in disguise.
  • People Farms: Raising humans for their blood was common among higher vampires back in the day, and Geralt gets to visit some of the old "farms" and read the instruction manuals on the practice (which, just to hammer home the point, discuss Free-Range versus Battery, two categorizations usually applied to raising chickens for their eggs). Orianna turned an orphanage into one, though she claims she never drank them to death and has taken them off the streets and let them live happily. Geralt makes it clear that he's going to come for her later on, but he has more pressing matters at the moment.
  • The Power of Love: What breaks the curse on Vivienne should Guillaume choose to shoulder it in her stead. Geralt lampshades it by saying how he didn't think it would work.
  • Precision F-Strike: From Roach of all, um... people.
    Geralt: Run, Roach!
    Roach: (panting) WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK I'M DOING!
  • Red Right Hand: The Higher Vampires have longer, sharper teeth than normal people in their human form (not just their canines, as is typical for pop-culture vampires; all their upper teeth). It's not to the point where they look monstrous, but it's a clear sign for those who know to look.
  • Scavenger Hunt: The DLC includes new Grandmaster tier Witcher equipment sets for the Wolf, Cat, Griffin, and Bear Schools, while adding armor and weapons for the new Manticore School. Although it should be said that the Cat, Griffin, and Bear School gear requires the Mastercrafted tier equivalent in order to upgrade them. The Manticore set is Grandmaster tier already, while the Wolf set doesn't require the Mastercrafted gear to be made.
  • Serious Business:
    • Wine is sacred in Touissant, and their obsession with it actually provides a vital clue towards the main villain's identity. Most notably, the Sangrael vintage is intended to only to be drunk by members of the Ducal family, and selling it to anyone else is considered high treason.
    • The locals have a saying: "Tradition is sacred in Toussaint." The participants of the scavenger hunt react with shock and horror when Geralt cheats.
    • Gwent, as usual. A significant number of people in Toussaint hate the new Skellige faction and feel it ruins the game entirely, to the point of gate-crashing a tournament held by its creator.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Vampires (especially Bruxae) can speak to birds and use them to gather information. Regis favors crows.
  • Take That:
    • One of the first murder victims you find is an old knight named De la Croix, identified by a handkerchief signed as DlC, and you find out that he was a pretty greedy fellow. Subtlety, thy name is not CD Projekt Red.
    • The angry mob rallying to oppose the new Skellige Gwent faction is a jab at the kind of people who complain any change whatsoever to an established game has ruined it forever.
  • Take That, Us:
    • One of the prostitutes in Beauclair mentions a new trend - men wear leather jackets and two swords, come to brothels and ask the prostitutes to roleplay succubi or sirens. After sex, they ask for a card of some sort. Geralt remarks that he might know who came up with the idea.
    • Combined with Leaning on the Fourth Wall, after imbibing a "potion" that lets him talk to Roach, Geralt can finally ask her why she's always there when he whistles and how she can cross oceans, yet get stuck on the tiniest fences - referencing some of the most often commented gameplay quirks by the fandom of game (leading Honest Trailers to call Roach a "teleporting demon horse"). In particular, the segment in the game when Geralt first sails to Skellige, gets shipwrecked, and finds Roach inexplicably waiting nearby when he wakes up.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: In the Land of a Thousand Fables, you'll encounter the Little Flint Girl. Since no one ever bought her flint, she's taken to selling drugs instead.
  • Vampire Monarch: The higher vampires answer to the Unseen Elder, who guards the gate to the vampire's old world.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: In the 'Fists of Fury' quest for Toussaint, you encounter an opponent (name of Mancomb) who starts to insult you in this manner. Geralt can respond in kind. Do so properly, and you can skip the actual fight.

Alternative Title(s): The Witcher 3

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/TheWitcher3WildHunt