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The Witcher 1 Thread

Ravielsk

Magister
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Feb 20, 2021
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Who else sided with the Order? :smug:

I can't find many defending the Order

Because the game does a poor job of demonstrating that the squirrels are absolute peak levels of hypocrites. They insist that they are freedom fighters but that freedom fighting is mostly just robbing traders and killing unarmed peasants. In the book cannon they rarely engaged in combat against knights or really anyone that could fight back.
Besides their entire justification is straight up retarded as they are fighting to reclaim an ancestral homeland from humans but obviously have no intention of integrating or living along side humanity so their entire pitch to humanity is "slavery or genocide, pick one". Somehow this does not make them the most popular kid on the playground.
 

Storyfag

Perfidious Pole
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So whoever you side with at the bank is the side that will help you assault the Salamander base at the end of Act 3, but you're still free to stay neutral with the hostage situation in Act 4 (and presumably make enemies of both sides)?

Exactly.

Because the game does a poor job of demonstrating that the squirrels are absolute peak levels of hypocrites. They insist that they are freedom fighters but that freedom fighting is mostly just robbing traders and killing unarmed peasants. In the book cannon they rarely engaged in combat against knights or really anyone that could fight back.
Besides their entire justification is straight up retarded as they are fighting to reclaim an ancestral homeland from humans but obviously have no intention of integrating or living along side humanity so their entire pitch to humanity is "slavery or genocide, pick one". Somehow this does not make them the most popular kid on the playground.

Add to that book Zoltan's (or was it Yarpen?) comments how the elves on their arrival on the Continent had exactly ZERO problems attacking any dwarves and gnomes they encountered.
 

antimeridian

Learned
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Codex Year of the Donut
Who else sided with the Order? :smug:

I can't find many defending the Order

Because the game does a poor job of demonstrating that the squirrels are absolute peak levels of hypocrites. They insist that they are freedom fighters but that freedom fighting is mostly just robbing traders and killing unarmed peasants. In the book cannon they rarely engaged in combat against knights or really anyone that could fight back.
I think the game does make an effort to present the the Order positively and the Squirrels negatively, at least early on. I think the writers knew a lot of people would instinctively side with the "freedom fighters" instead of the "racist zealots", so they tried to combat that (e.g. they're constantly stealing supplies and taking hostages, sure it's standard guerilla warfare stuff but you're free to position Geralt in opposition to that kind of shit. Hell, the Lady of the Lake knights Geralt). I really like all the varied opinions you come across from NPCs and drawing your own conclusions about the conflict. I appreciate any game that lets you decide for yourself who's in the right/wrong. I felt plenty judged by some of the characters, but I never felt like the game was judging me (Hello Spec Ops: The Line and The Last of Us).

In Act 5 the Squirrels attack the field hospital to slaughter the wounded, didn't feel bad about my choice then. Although now I'm wondering if the Order does the same if you side against them? It's not like I ever noticed the Order slaughtering random civilians, though.
 

Mitleser2020

Scholar
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Aug 6, 2020
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do you have to entirely avoid getting involved at the bank to stay on the centrist chad path?

No. The bank locks you out from siding with one of the factions (the one you go against at the bank won't trust you). In Act V you always have the choice of going neutral.
Interesting. I didn't help either side in the swamp in Act 2. So whoever you side with at the bank is the side that will help you assault the Salamander base at the end of Act 3, but you're still free to stay neutral with the hostage situation in Act 4 (and presumably make enemies of both sides)?

On another note I really enjoyed the reactions from various NPCs of my siding with the Order. At first I was getting annoyed at comments from Zoltan, Triss etc. with all the outright condemnation and refusal to acknowledge any nuance in the game's central factional conflict. Then I realized it's pretty damn realistic writing :lol: bunch of fence sitters acting like their hands are any cleaner. I have to assume Geralt gets nonstop criticism from everyone regardless of his actions, looking forward to seeing different flavors of this on a second playthrough.

If you want to do a neutral playthrough, side with the Elves in Act 3. At this point, they only demand you to kill a bunch of monsters for them.
After siding with the Order in Act 3 and killing a bunch of elves, it does not make much sense not to stick with them and kill even more elves.
On the other hand, not siding with the Elves after helping them in the city makes sense after what they did in Act 4 and is consistent with the goal of being a neutral slayer of monsters.
 
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Ravielsk

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I think the game does make an effort to present the the Order positively and the Squirrels negatively, at least early on. I think the writers knew a lot of people would instinctively side with the "freedom fighters" instead of the "racist zealots", so they tried to combat that (e.g. they're constantly stealing supplies and taking hostages, sure it's standard guerilla warfare stuff but you're free to position Geralt in opposition to that kind of shit. Hell, the Lady of the Lake knights Geralt). I really like all the varied opinions you come across from NPCs and drawing your own conclusions about the conflict. I appreciate any game that lets you decide for yourself who's in the right/wrong. I felt plenty judged by some of the characters, but I never felt like the game was judging me (Hello Spec Ops: The Line and The Last of Us).

Yes, but due to W1 engine limitations its come of as more goofy than genuinely horrific. The visual presentation is a huge part of the whole process and shamefully W1 just makes a lot of things look rather silly. So many people simply did not really catch on that the Squirrels are not supposed to be the good guys.
Witcher 2 just had them as a B plot and did not really deal with the nature of their movement. I believe the only moment in that game that actually capture how the Squirrels behave in the books is that one elf woman that tricks you into going to a cave full of nekkers. And Witcher 3 does not bother with them whatsoever or that the elves pursuing Ciri are not exactly different elves from those living in and around Novigrad.
 

Wunderbar

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Siegfried is a bro who helps you fight a giant chicken in Vyzima sewers and never judges you for being a mutant. Meanwhile Yaevinn is a pompous asshole who sends you on fedex quests and constantly tries to manpulate you into fighting against humans.

"Order/Scoiataels" was an easy choice for me.

Funny how TW2 repeats the same thing with Vernon being a bro and Isengrim/Yorvet being another pompous asshole.
 
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So many people simply did not really catch on that the Squirrels are not supposed to be the good guys.

My position is somewhere in the middle of both of you in regard to how well The Witcher 1 handled the war between the Scoia'tael and the Flaming Rose. On the one hand, the game beats you over the head with the number of non-human NPCs complaining about "muh oppression" at the hands of the Order, but at the same time you, the player, never witness any of it. It's all hearsay and rumors. What you do actually see is the Order of the Flaming Rose putting down an unlawful uprising against the Crown that had previously been on the payroll of an invading foreign power. Non-humans =/= Scoia'tael. That's an important distinction that flies right over the head of most vapid modern gamers who are incapable of seeing nuance in the conflict beyond "racism bad!", much less to know how they got to that point of enmity in the first place.

On the other hand, the Order itself is pretty appealing overall, too appealing even. Here you have an organization of humans that anyone regardless of peerage can join that go out of their way to purge monsters for free. This is something that benefits all citizens, regardless of race. Some of their captains likewise are good men. Sigfried for instance believed that rescuing the human hostages that were about to be fed to the ghouls by the Squirrels outweighed killing the fleeing Squirrels themselves. Good fellow. The same certainly cannot be said for Yaevinn who is perhaps the most despicable character in the game. So despicable that he decided to burn the city to spite humanity, in spite of the fact that fire doesn't discriminate and many of his own people would die in the chaos. This is something that he planned to do well before the Order came at him in the swamps in Act II.

In the end, the Squirrels have no moral high ground to stand on, which is something else the game fails to convey to the player. The Elves were no more native to the Northern Kingdoms than the Humans were. Another race lived there before them. A race of lizard-men that are mysteriously no longer around... What is around though are caves filled with their skulls near the elven city of Loc Muinne.
 

antimeridian

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Codex Year of the Donut
So many people simply did not really catch on that the Squirrels are not supposed to be the good guys.

In the end, the Squirrels have no moral high ground to stand on, which is something else the game fails to convey to the player.

I do think it's conveyed pretty well, well enough you'll figure it out if you're paying any attention (I'm sure many players didn't, but that doesn't mean its the writers' fault). I think despite the writers' best efforts, overcoming *certain* player's inclinations to side with the "oppressed freedom fighters" (probably due to surface-level - and no deeper than that - resemblances to *certain* real-world groups) was just too much to ask. There's some posts about it out there that are a real riot.

Example: https://forums.cdprojektred.com/ind...ulcers-am-i-missing-interesting-things.63704/ :smug:
 

Semiurge

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It's a disappointment that Siegfried doesn't appear in TW2 at all unless you import an order save. He should appear regardless of Geralt's path if he's alive at the end of TW1.
 
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Wunderbar

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Nov 15, 2015
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What's worse is that apparently he was killed off-screen somewhere between TW2 and TW3, and all of his Flaming Rose buddies have turned bandits.
 

oldmanpaco

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Who else sided with the Order? :smug:

I went into the bank in Act 3 to try and negotiate with the Squirrels terrorists and ended up with the choice of either fighting them or helping them escape. At this point I figured my neutrality was a thing of the past - as far as the game was concerned - so naturally teamed up with my boy Siegfried. Siding with the Order definitely made me feel dirty at times but I'm pretty sure you're going to feel a little dirty no matter what, seems to be the entire point of the franchise.
Poking around elsewhere on the internet I can't find many defending the Order (lots of sympathy for the Squirrels). I've heard in passing that the neutral path is the "best" (and most in line with book Geralt's personality); do you have to entirely avoid getting involved at the bank to stay on the centrist chad path?

Wait people actually side with the tree rats? I've run through W1 2-3 times and I've never even thought of siding with them.
 

Lambach

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Wait people actually side with the tree rats? I've run through W1 2-3 times and I've never even thought of siding with them.

Putting morality aside and considering it only from a practical POV, it's pretty dumb to declare yourself for a side that's pretty much guaranteed to lose in the end, even if they eek out a meager victory here or there, with one Witcher's help or without. Canon Geralt is generally a good dude, but neither a Saint nor an idiot.
 

Joggerino

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I sided with them but only because of a feeling that it would be a shame for an old race to be wiped out and have no home of their own. They are giant assholes though.
 

Maxie

Guest
I sided with them but only because of a feeling that it would be a shame for an old race to be wiped out and have no home of their own. They are giant assholes though.
they have their kingdom of dol blathanna but nilfgard sponsors the guerrillas to stir shit up north
 

laclongquan

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A witcher hunt monster for pay from villages/lords/kings. The squirrels fit nowhere in that bracket. it would be very strange if Geralt side with the Squirrels. EVEN IF he like them best (which I dont see evidence), the best he could do is neutrality.

Meanwhile Geralt has too many bed partners as human. A super majority of them. So it's not so very strange if he stand on the government/nobles.
 

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