Fans of Geralt of Rivia, famed Witcher from the critically acclaimed RPG series from CD Projekt Red, are in for a 1990s treat because this footage that previously emerged about the cancelled game that could have been.
With the recent news of Henry Cavill accepting the role for the notorious protagonist for the upcoming Netflix series, we figured now was the perfect time to reflect back on the history of this character.
For those that may not know, the highly acclaimed video game series is actually an adaptation of a book series by Polish author Anjrzej Sapkowski, which has eight books total to the franchise. That fictional series inspired an entirely new world created by CD Projekt Red with expansive adventures and characters that are unforgettable. But what about other projects? The ones that came before? Red wasn't the only company interested, they were just the only ones that made it happen. Now, we get a glimpse into the past at what "could have been."
Originally there was a Polish studio set up to make Geralt's transition from book to the gaming world possible. Makes sense, given that the author himself is Polish, but the 1997 game never saw fruition past those initial development stages. The team that took charge was a studio called Metropolish Software, led by Adama Chmielarz - the man also credited with the English translation of the original Witcher books.
In the video above, Witcher fans can see that the 3D action game still retained its RPG basic elements with the in-place morality system and general mechanics of the character's progression; but it infinitely different from the series we know today. A huge part of that, obviously, is the technology available. Remember, this canned game is from '97.
Chmielarz himself told Eurogamer that he tried numerous times to recollect missing footage, but found it incredibly difficult due to the data file type. However, two other members of the Metropolish team came to the rescue. Kacper Reutt and Jarek Sobierski were able to uncover the footage above and for that - we thank him.
"I know it sounds a little cliché or funny in 2014, but in 1997 it wasn't really obvious. These things like moral choices or hard choices or slightly darker storytelling - it wasn't common. But that was the goal and it was all because of the quality of the source material - it inspired us to do something very special."
Though the specific RPG elements, and the more "adult nature", were new for that time period - it wasn't enough for this vision of the story to make a full break onto the market. But everything happens for a reason, and another Polish company showed their interest in Geralt's story and CD Projekt Red proved that The Witcher was in good hands.