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- A virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message or feature in an object such as a movie, book, CD, DVD, computer program, or video game. The term draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunt observed in many western nations.
- This practice is analogous to hidden signature motifs such as Diego Rivera including himself in his murals or Alfred Hitchcock's legendary cameo appearances. (Wikipedia)
Visual Easter Eggs
- Some players feel that the runes on a sword tempered with temporary runes spell silentrun with what seems to be the futhark-based runic alphabet from Ultima.
- In some of the houses and locations there is a picture hanging about of Leonardo da Vinci (at least it looks very much like him).
- In Kaer Morhen on the ground floor, there is a picture on the wall on which Geralt will comment with "Witcher George slaying the dragon..." which shows striking similarities to Paolo Uccello's Saint George and the Dragon. A "monster slayer" on a horse killing a scaly beast. St. George is often depicted in Eastern Orthodox Church iconography.
- On the other side of the doorway from 'Witcher George' is another painting with serpents. Geralt says "Witchers are better with a sword than a paintbrush" when he approaches it. This painting features a man in a pose identical to the sculpture of Laocoön and His Sons, battling with snakes.
- The third fresco in the dining hall of Kaer Morhen is very reminiscent of a Gustave Moreau painting.
- The visual concept of the Swamp cemetery (the ruined church with the bald spectral trees) resembles a famous 19th century gothic painting The Abbey in the Oakwood by the German painter Caspar David Friedrich.
- It seems that the disposal of the ten Monoliths on the map of the Swamp corresponds to the diagram of the Tree of Life, a common symbol in the Jewish Kabbalàh.
- Detective Raymond has the face of a head artist on The Witcher Team — Adam Badowski. You can see him in a video called "Making of Combat 2" on the official site.
- Siegfried of Denesle has the face of Konrad Tomaszkiewicz a designer at CD Projekt RED.
- Roderick de Wett has the face of Tomasz Gop, a Senior Producer at CD Projekt RED.
- King Foltest has the face of Michael Wincott (interpreting Top Dollar in The Crow and Rochefort in The Three Muskeeters)
- The sword called Illegal Sword looks like the bone sword from the movie Brotherhood of the Wolf.
- An advertisement in the Trade Quarter for a two hand axe: "The Terminator".
- PFI reference from one of the guards near the gates of Old Vizima in Chapter II, and "Poor Fucking Infantry" graffiti on recruiting poster in Temple quarter. British acronym from WW1 and WW2. (There is also a reference to the Poor Fucking Infantry in the Witcher saga books, at least in Polish and Czech version. In-game PFI might rather be a reference to the Witcher saga.)
- In-game bestiaries, "The Tome of Fear and Loathing, volume I" and volume II, are possibly allusions to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson.
- In several houses player can see a portrait of a man clad in red clothes and holding a golden mace. The portrayed man has a face of Maciej Miąsik, Chief Production Manager of The Witcher. The painting itself is a copy of Brodero Matthisen's portrait of Stefan Czarniecki.
- The Outskirts' church has a barrel of a Mauser peeking out from one of the tower's highest windows. This is a reference to a scene in Saving Private Ryan.
Auditory Easter Eggs
Note: Most of these are random events — when walk by a townsperson, he/she may utter something that will make you laugh. Their randomness makes it quite possible to miss them, though.
- If you listen closely to the music during the cut scene in Chapter II where the boat is moving away from the docks (from Vizima to the Swamp) and the camera focus moves to the surface of the water, you can hear a musical cue similar to the Jaws theme.
- Some random roaming NPCs will sometimes whistle The Imperial March from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
- The kids playing in the streets will sometimes sing a song based upon one from A Nightmare on Elm Street.
- Peasants or citizens sometimes whistle a few tones from The Smurfs theme.
- Some Squirrels in the sewers yell "Freeeeeeeeeedom!" like William Wallace in Braveheart.
- One of the battle shouts of the guards in Chapter III when fighting kikimores in the streets is semper fi (which is a Latin motto used by many people, organizations and governments, including the United States Marine Corps).
- Some elves at the Swamp camp say "First we take on Vizima, then we take on the world". That is a reference to Leonard Cohen (or it could also be a reference to Pinky and the Brain).
- Sometimes you hear people muttering the phrase "Plans within plans within other plans."; which is a quote from the Dune novel by Frank Herbert.
- In the Druids' grove, one of the druids asks "Are you a fool seeking a magical strength-giving beverage?", which is an allusion to the Asterix comic books.
- (Only in Polish language version) During the party in the Shani's house during Old Friend of Mine after you are told to go downstairs, Dandelion sings: "Wypijmy za Błędy" (English: "Let's drink to our mistakes") and later: "Za błędy na górze", which are parts of the Ryszard Rynkowski's song titled "Wypijmy za błędy".
References to Other Games/Media
- The detective (named Raymond Maarloeve) might seem strangely familiar if you have read any of the "Philip Marlowe" novels by Raymond Chandler.
- The detective also says "Yes, elementary." Sherlock Holmes is often (incorrectly) cited as saying "Elementary, my dear Watson".
- In Chapter II, during the quest The Rat, if you ask the innkeeper if he has seen Coleman, his response is "Am I my brother's keeper?" — a reference to Genesis 4:9.
- In Chapter II, during the quest Finders Keepers, Geralt asks the con artist "Why is the ring so precious?". This seems to be a reference to The One Ring of the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien. The creature Gollum frequently refers to The One Ring as being his "Precioussss".
- The Chapter III quest, The Viziman Connection, is probably a reference to the film The French Connection which is about international drug smuggling. It might also be a reference to the real story of the French Connection that inspired the film itself.
- H. P. Lovecraft references:
- Certain things going on in the swamp are a clear nod to the novels and short-stories of H. P. Lovecraft.
- The first sentence of the description of Dagon is taken from H. P. Lovecraft.
- The statue in Vaska's hut resembles Cthulhu.
- The Vodyanoi resemble the Deep Ones.
- The bookseller in Trade Quarter (To access him, you need to reach ACT III) sells a book about Dagon.
- The gnome who invented explosives is called Alfred Nabel and, according to Eskel, he did not intend his invention to be used in warfare. This is a reference to Swedish innovator Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite and later on deeply regretted his inventing of the explosive due to its use on the battlefield as a means of killing. This led him to use the great fortune dynamite brought him to fund the Nobel Prize.
- Monty Python references:
- There is a discussion between lumberjacks about wild flowers and cross-dressing.
- Poor people in the Temple Quarter slums will sometimes say "Society made me what I am!" as Geralt passes by.
- (?) Three towers in the swamp. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail there is a scene where Micheal Palin's character talks about building four castles in the swamp, three of which sank, burned or both — reminiscent of the mage.
- The Hermit who speaks of a controversial theory (referring to the legend of the Holy Grail) is clearly referring to Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code.
- The fistfight champion in Chapter III, Andrew Gablodda is based on Andrzej Gołota (also known as Andrew Golota in the US).
- Another fistfighter in Chapter II is named Butterbean, which was the nickname of another boxer, Eric Esch.
- It is possible that Zdenek, the fistfighter champion in the Refugees' caves is referred to Zdenĕk Zeman, a famous Czech-Italian football coach.
- When Geralt knocks down someone in the fistfighting mini-game, the victory moves he does might be a reference to:
- There is a character named Patrick De Weyze in Chapter III — reference to Patrick Swayze, as in Polish he is called "Patrick z Wayze".
- Chapter IV, when talking to the healer about Alina's mirror, Geralt quotes, "Who is the fairest of them all?", quote made famous in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, when the evil queen asks her mirror that question, it replies that she is very beautiful, but that there is one more beautiful still, Snow White.
- When the Lady of the Lake gives Geralt the silver sword Aerondight (Chapter IV), she is knighting Geralt — the phrases she uses are clearly taken out of the Kingdom of Heaven movie (the scene where the Baron of Ibelin passes his title to his son Balian, right before he dies).
- Ramsmeat says the same thing to you when you piss him off as Jules does in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction:
- The Witcher
- Ramsmeat: Do I look like a whore?
- Geralt: yes or no
- Ramsmeat: Then why you trying to fuck me like one?
- Pulp Fiction
- Jules: What does Marsellus Wallace look like?
- Brad: He's bald, he's black...
- Jules: Does he look like a bitch?
- Brad: Nnnnnno...
- Jules: Then why you trying to fuck him like one?
- Bootblack who you meet in front of the detective's house is as well informed about the city as the character "Johnny" in the Series Police Squad.
- Kalkstein lives in the "ghetto" and is Jewish both in his name, his accent and his Sephardi resemblance. Possibly a reference to Einstein (who was Ashkenazi) or other Jewish scientists. Kalkstein also means "limestone" in German and Norwegian, which was once used in chemistry to neutralize acid substances.
- The Bestiary entry in your Journal on golems tells the story of the magician's apprentice from the Disney film Fantasia. Which in turn was based on The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
- At the end, before you fight the King of the Wild Hunt, Geralt says something like, "I was afraid you'd suggest playing chess", a reference to The Seventh Seal, in which the main character challenges Death to a chess match in order to buy some time...
- Blue Eyes mentions Giacomo Casano(va) during a conversation with her.
- You can buy the book "The Last Wish" from the book seller in the Trade Quarter in Chapter III and/or from the Hermit in the fields in Chapter IV.
- The quest Strangers in the Night is an obvious hint to Frank Sinatra's famous song.
- Some players feel that there is a resemblance between Lambert and Christopher Lambert, aka Connor MacLeod from Highlander.
- Possible X-Files reference: During the Long Way from Home quest, Geralt, (who comes across as an atheist), asks Vaska about gifts to the water lords, but Vaska refuses, since he is not a believer. Geralt states emphatically "I wish to believe!", then Vaska tells him. Possible reference, or miss-translation of X-Files, "I want to believe".
- While having a conversation with Thaler during Posh Reception quest, Thaler mentions that the enemies who seek to destroy Temeria were going to, among other things, "steal our women". Geralt's response might be a reference to Duke Nukem as he says: "Who's this enemy? Who tries to steal our women?"
- Chapter III, the alchemist in the workshop mentions that he is working on "the riddle of steel", a reference to the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian.
- When you question the Gardener by the hospital, he mentions a Witcher "Coën" who before he died "mumbled something about teeth and destiny'. This is a reference to Terry Pratchett's Cohen the Barbarian, who had a unique set of dentures made, and who was of course a reference himself to Conan the Barbarian.
- In the Epilogue the dialogue between the Kings Foltest and Radovid is almost a direct quote from Time of Contempt, which itself is a clear reference to Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 (Soviets claimed they came to provide "fraternal assistance" to the Czechoslovak people.)
- Foltest: Radovid, your armies must subdue the Order in Redania and in the north of my lands.
- Radovid: My armies will embark on a mission of fraternal assistance.
- Foltest: I don't want any fucking fraternal assistance.
References to Polish Culture
- The Hairy Bear refers to Winnie the Pooh (in Polish culture).
- Some NPCs mention "law and justice" which is a reference to the controversial Polish then incumbent ruling party — Law and Justice.
- Kalkstein is President of Poland's "real surname", according to "the list of Jews", and his gnome-roots, mentioned in the journal, are references to the small size of Kaczyński twins and the fact, that they are often called gnomes.
- Ramsmeat — Polish "Baranina" (lit. Mutton) — was a nickname for a Polish Mafia boss.
- Other ads may have some relation to Polish culture.
- The Heat of the Day's plot is based on a romantic drama "Balladyna" by Juliusz Słowacki.
- Adam, the villager from Chapter IV is a reference to another polish Romantic poet, Adam Mickiewicz. Celina's remark that Adam behaves "as if he was suffering for millions" is a quote from Mickiewicz's poem.
- The poem Dandelion and Geralt recite when breaking the spell holding Alina the Noonwraith is the beginning of the poem Upiór (The Wraith, also translated as The Ghost). Dandelion later remarks that he intends to elaborate this poem further and turn it into drama about folk rituals. The Wraith is a part of a drama The Forefathers that deals, among others, with folk rituals.
- When Geralt comes to Alina after he learns about the mirror, Alina begins her greeting with two seemingly unrelated sentences. These are quotations from the song W południe (At Noon) also known as Południca (The Noonwraith) by Kazimierz Grześkowiak.
- After Geralt criticizes Dandelion for Woolseying the events he is supposed to commemorate, Dandelion remarks that "there is a truth of the moment and the truth of the legend". This is a direct reference to the movie Miś by Stanisław Bareja.
- During the epilogue conversation between the kings, Radovid offers "Brotherly Help", a term to which Foltest reacts negatively. It's a reference to the Polish-Soviet friendship, in which the Soviets were the ones offering the "Brotherly help".
- In the Polish version there is an ad for Schuttenbach Jewellery which says something like: "To us, every ring is the one". In English, the slogan is "Where every ring is that special ring..."
- The elven leader Toruviel has a name conspicuously similar to "Tinúviel" who is the elf also called Lúthien in the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- The Lady of the Lake and the sword Aerondight are references to "the Lady in the Lake" and "Excalibur" from the English legend of King Arthur, in which "Arondight" is the sword of Sir Lancelot.
- The dentist in Vizima is called "Zahin Schmartz", which is suspiciously similar to "Zahnschmerz", the German word for toothache.
- Unlikely: Marco Knopf could be a reference to both Marco Polo (Italian explorer, famous for the book about his travels in Asia) and Mark Knopfler (British musician, famous for being the songwriter, lead guitarist and vocalist for Dire Straits).
- The recruiting poster for the Order of a Flaming Rose is based on famous Lord Kitchener Wants You poster from 1914.
- The inscriptions on the signs and some posters use glagolitsa, although most inscriptions comprise of random letters. Some signs have the phrase 'Narakort' [like the one above City Dungeon] or 'na sprzedasz' (garbled for sale in Polish) [the ones at the gates of Vizima cemetery or Lebioda's hospital].
- "Bloedzuiger" is a Dutch word meaning "leech".
- Forum thread "Funny Stuff, little secrets, Easter eggs..." (retrieved on 2007/11/10).
- The Witcher's video game history | The Witcher 1 Documentary
- The Wikipedia article on dynamite (retrieved on 2007/11/10).