Writing the Witcher and Andrzej Sapkowski

You’re playing THE WITCHER and you want to know more — about the game, and about the original novels that inspired the game. You’re in luck. You’re about to get both. Here we attempt to answer those burning questions — and encourage you to ask a few more.

The reason we’re all here: Andrzej Sapkowski
Andrzej Sapkowski introduced Geralt, the witcher, in a series of short stories and novels. While these novels are best-sellers in Europe, they have yet to jump the pond (as of October 2007). THE LAST WISH, the original collection of short stories featuring Geralt, has been translated into English since we began work on THE WITCHER. However, I ended up reading the book in French, because it was the only version available at the time that I could understand. To supplement the material we had received from CDProjekt and Atari, I wrote an extended synopsis of the book, which we used as inspiration in writing the English script. The book and writing are fabulous — we highly recommend it.

If you want information about what happened in the first or subsequent books, you have a number of options. First of all, feel free to ask us and we’ll do our best to answer. You can also hear about what happened in the stories and novels by asking certain NPCs in-game. You can also buy the English translation of THE LAST WISH. If you want a preview of Sapkowski’s writing before buying, you can also read an English translation of Sapkowski’s short story based on Arthurian Legend.

Writing THE WITCHER game
Now, it’s no secret that the English version of THE WITCHER has been edited down. As writers, we accept that when we hand over the script, there’s always the possibility it will get changed. (Just to clarify, we were not the translators, but the writers working on the English adaptation.) Although every detail was not able to be retained, ideally the cuts were conducted in a fashion so as to keep the spirit of the original meaning. As far as we know, these cuts happened for production reasons only. The cuts were not done for reasons of censorship. As with most production- related reasons, you would not have the game in hand had these cuts not occurred. Moreover, we think CDProjekt has done a phenomenal job.

We also understand that some of the cuts have caused some confusion. If you have any questions about an in-game dialog, we’ll do our best to find the original line and tell you its meaning. We only ask for patience in return. So ask away!

Question Mark Guess that game dialog becomes What’s your favorite line? Today’s line: “A witcher! Quick, hide your women!” What’s your favorite line?

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Published in: on November 5, 2007 at 5:39 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] You’re playing THE WITCHER and you want to know more — about the game, and about the original novels that inspired the game. You’re in luck. You’re about to get both. Here we attempt to answer those burning questions — and encourage you … read whole article […]

  2. The book, The Last Wish will be available in the US from Orbit in May, 2008.
    A

  3. I had a question regarding the UK version. Does it have the same cuts in the script that the US version has since they are more liberal with content in the UK?

  4. First of all, the cuts in the dialog script had nothing to do with content. They were entirely due to production concerns. Second of all, no, there’s no difference in the dialog script in the UK and US versions. The only content difference between US and UK versions is in certain graphics. Hope that clears it up!

  5. Sande,

    1)
    Something that quite interests me, has been in regards to the final confrontation in the epilogue, on the icy plains. Were there a lot of cuts in the Grandmaster and the King of the Wild Hunt’s dialog?

    2)
    Was there any reference at all to Geralt’s original love from the original books that has been cut?

    3)
    Just curious, given an hypothetical scenario you would be allowed to make one cut in a dialog scene unhappen, which one would that be?

    4)
    How much was taken from the prologue in terms of dialog lines?

    5)
    Just to be sure, I guess the dialog that happens when Geralt tends to bed the ladies, was equally “awkward” in the original script?

    6)
    What was cut from the lady of the lake dialog?

    Thanks for taking time to share some insight 🙂

    Cheers
    S.

  6. Hello Solothores,

    2) Offhand, I don’t recall any direct reference to Yen. There is a story about Ciri, where it states she was raised by a witcher and a sorceress.

    3) We don’t know the extent of all the edits…

    4) Kaer Morhen? Not much probably, but I’d have to check. Maybe some stuff was added in.

    Re: rest — we’d have to look it up in our files

  7. Solothores,
    You’d have to mention individual lines. Then the particular line can be looked up.

  8. Re: Prologue – It looks like there were changes and additions.
    – Sande

  9. I just want to say, that the whole series (7 books that i have 😛 )is the best thing I have ever read! I love it! When you read, you feel like you would actually be there, truly outstanding.
    I am proud to be able to read it in original:)

    And must say that the game is phenomenal, especially when it is called “Wiedźmin” not The Witcher.

  10. You are lucky to have read it in the original! So, how exactly do you pronounce Wiedzmin?

    -Anne

  11. I supose in english it sounds like “Viedjmeen”. Something like that.
    Cheers.

  12. i have readed all the book and its awersome, but how many books there is, i think that 2 serier are in 1 book.

  13. and i almost cried when i finished reading the last book ;(


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