I have just finished the Witcher 3 - Hearts of Stone expansion.
I heard that Blood and Wine is the better one. About to start it today. But, I do not know how they're going to top that.
The Hearts of Stone quests were unique and interesting, each in their own way. During the main game I didn't have a lot of interest to see each and every possible outcome of each LINE. The dialogues are hilarious and witty, while at the same time drowned in an extremely sad and depressing back story.
First of all, I have to say this: Olgierd is the hottest character in this game. Hey hey, you guys have the entire lodge of hotties. Geralt might have a nice body, but he's not really my type. and Dandelion looks like... well, just no.
OLGIERD. He is handsome, smart, his voice actor - Paul Thornley - has the best voice in the world. I can listen to him day and night.
Olgierd's personality is complex - he is trying his best to have a set of rules for himself and his group of bandits, which points on a good personality trait. For example, during the cutscene where he orders one of his men to be executed, if you let him die, you can immediately watch the daughter of the mansion's owner trying to kill Olgierd. He then proceeds to explain to her, calmly, that he never had this intention, and that the man who killed her father is the one he ordered executed for breaking the rule of chivalry. The first time I saw it, I was sure he will kill the girl, yet he was calm, understood her anger and accepted it, without hurting her. If THAT'S not a awesome, I don't know what is. I took a liking to Olgierd from the moment he was introduced to us, but that officially made him my favorite character in the entire game franchise. He ranks right up there between my favorite game's characters, with Vaas from Far Cry 3, might even surpassed him because of his good nature.
After reading quite a few opinions about Olgierd, to save him or not, and many people calling him evil, I have to admit I cannot see the evil in him.
The way Olgierd tells it, although there are a few different versions, he claims that he was drunk and angry after losing the love of his life to some wealthy foreign. While being drunk, he stumbled upon O'Dimm, who tricked him and made him lose everything. Olgierd is so human it hurts. I can't imagine to myself a single person who wouldn't be in the same situation. While being completely intoxicated, refusing some stranger's offer to let you have the love of your life. His rage is so human, I can't call him evil. If he knew from the start what would happen, of course he wouldn't have taken it. Considering the fact that Olgierd is pretty damn smart, I believe he would have understood he's dealing the the Devil if he wasn't intoxicated, and would've refused.
Evil's Soft First Touches:
Great introduction. We were dumped in without realizing what is going on. I'm not mad at Olgierd for making us kill the Toad Prince - I believe he actually did the right thing. That poor man was suffering. Olgierd couldn't know Geralt wil be the one to answer the notice, and honestly ending that man's suffering is great. After realizing how much destruction his curse caused, Olgierd actually took responsibility for his actions and wished to take care of the Ofieri prince. Not only did he end the prince's suffering, but he also prevented the continuation of killings in the sewers. For a man with no emotions, he is quite responsible. I mean, yeah, he fucked up, but he realized his mistake and wished to correct it, and of course he's apathetic towards the whole situations - HE DOESN'T HAVE FEELINGS, "HEARTS OF STONE", GEE.
Thought: O'Dimm likes souls. By making the pact with O'Dimm, asking him to free us from the Ofieri ship, he claimed Phelippe Calagrande's (the nice guy that was locked in the cell next to ours) soul. Without knowing, we sacrificed an innocent man to the Devil.
I wrote about it in my previous post, and so wouldn't write here again. But, I do want to mention that Vlodimir was also a great, and HILARIOUS character. This was definitely the funniest quest in the entire franchise, and my personal favorite.
I chose Quinto because I wanted to be stealthy. At the end of the quest, when needing to choose between the brothers, I felt like the options given were out of character for Geralt. At first I chose to side with Horst, because Ewald pissed me off when he killed people. I realized soon after that Olgierd would have donated the auction house to charity. I read online and saw that many people, most of the opinions I read, decided to kill both brothers in order to have the "best ending". But this option is completely out of character for Geralt - Geralt is not a butcher. Right after insisting so much on not killing anyone, to go ahead and butcher EVERYBODY? But, I decided eventually that this is just the expansion pack and not the main storyline, and also that I love Olgierd and want to do what's best for him. So eventually, went back and butchered everybody. I felt like shit doing so, because it felt so unreal and un-Geralt-like.
On a different note, quest is hilarious, dialog with Casimir is great (I went back to talk to him just to see what happens and what he has to say, but did not use that save). -> This is one of the things that I mentioned earlier - I loved the Hearts of Stone expansion so much that I actually went back just to see all of the dialog options, because the writing and text is great (even though there are some plot holes, it is forgivable because the story is excellent).
I immersed in this one. Took my sweet time completing it. I wasn't able to shake off the sadness I felt after finishing the quest for a few hours. I couldn't be mad at Olgierd for everything he's done to Iris. The love of his life. He lost all of his feelings towards her. He knew he WANTS to love her. He tried to summon O'Dimm, he tried to fix it, he knew that he's hurting her but couldn't feel anything. He lost himself. It reminded me of relationships in real life, and so, it was easy to relate to. It's how many relationships end in real life, and it feels familiar seeing it in the game. After many years with the same person, some of us lose our feeling of love towards that individual. Eventually we only live on the thought, knowing that we WANT to love our significant other, but can't feel it. That's Olgierd, only 20 times worse, because he actually lost his feelings. He knows, he remembers, he wants to love Iris so badly, but he can't. His obsession to be able to love her again hurts both him and her, and his inability to retrieve his feelings is consuming him. The thing nobody remembers while writing opinions about Olgierd is that he couldn't feel. He knew that he shouldn't push her father, or talk disgracefully. All he knew is that he officially lost the love of his life, the one he sold his soul to the devil for, and he can't. feel. anything. He even understood, in his cloudy judgement, that he is destroying Iris. He tried to leave, he thought that it will make her good. That she will become free of him. But he couldn't comprehend Iris's feelings. She wasn't able to move on. Our poor, beautiful Iris. So sweet, and gentle, just trying to gently break through her dear husband's shell, unaware of what is going on inside that head of his. She loved him with all her heart, she forgave him, she loved him even though he killed her father, she loved him even though he left her, she loved him because she understood that he doomed himself while trying to have her. I believe she forgave him, because when we finally get to talk to her, she is gentle, and loving, and misses him badly. She waited for him.
NOTE: Silent Hill references! Yay! The caretaker - a giant, creepy monster dude, wielding a gigantic, creepy weapon? Pyramid head, is that you? At first I shunned my wild imagination, but then came Iris's worst nightmare... The way a bunch of Olgierds are creepily, brokenly standing around? Not moving until you touch them? Just like... THE NURSES?! Who don't attack you as long as you don't make a sound?! AHA! IT IS A REFERENCE! Great! The creepier the better.
Thought: if we wouldn't have freed Iris, Olgierd would have come back to free her and lay her to rest after gaining back his emotions.
After freeing Olgierd, he feels sorrow. Pain. He starts feeling everything he was supposed to feel to this day. His heart is broken. He feels regret.
I couldn't stop feeling sorry for Olgierd, because he doomed himself only by being human. Almost each and every one of us would have reacted the same in his shoes.
Note: I would LOVE to sit down and have a drink with Olgierd when he offered Geralt. I wished at that moment I could enter the game and punch Geralt in the face and take Olgierd's offer.
First of all, O'Dimm's appearance. He looks like a simple bloke, yet creepy. The kind that I would avoid in the street, or replace my drink if he was next to me in a bar. His smug, his creepy face, he looks like a pervert - and he probably is, being the devil and such.
He was interesting, but I couldn't stop being creeped out by him. I wished him to get out of my sight every time he appeared. I had an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach every time I saw him. Also, I have a little problem with seeing slow stabbings and some things about injuries creep me out (even though I used to work as a first aid giver in Ambulances). I got the sickest emotion when he took that spoon and inserted it into that poor fella's brain. I just couldn't. I imagined it, going slowly through his eye and squashing a hole in his brains. Something about the fact that it wasn't even a sharp tool just gave me chills and made me sick to my stomach. It was the most horrible, brutal, unnecessary death in the game. It was just scary. The way he picks a life, just like that, without changing expressions, without blinking. It creeped the crap out of me.
The poor scholar - the professor that is - hiding in a circle for an entire year, being tormented by dreams and nightmares. O'Dimm is the pure definition of evil, and the developers were spot on with his personality.
All and all, considering everything, the only thing that would hurt Hearts of Stone's score are the few plot holes, but it is forgiven considering the fact it really isn't about Geralt this time, Geralt is only used as a tool in order to tell us Olgierd's story.