Wikia

RISEN Wiki

Risen FAQ

Talk8
534pages on
this wiki
At present the FAQ is *not* done, it contains much Witcher content that has yet to be updated to reflect the content in Risen!
The FAQ is to be considered *private*, you can not edit into it directly. For suggestions and feedback use the Talk:The Risen FAQ page.
Sorry never got around to finishing the FAQ. — AEon (talk) 13:17, October 6, 2013 (UTC)


Æon's Risen FAQ


v0.70XX Q&As — 11/8/2010 5:24:58 PM
for the PC version of Risen.
Edited by Æon (C) 2010


Introduction

This FAQ is intended for the fans who have enjoyed, played and finished Risen, at least once, and are now wondering what quests, and other goodies they may have missed. In short, the FAQ is written for those that want to get more out of the game!
Note: I am assuming you more or less know how the game works, i.e. you learned the basics from playing Risen. If you want to be informed of things that go beyond "just winning the game", keep reading.
The FAQ makes use of The Risen Wiki, mainly highlighting things of note. Should you miss specific details, feel free to check with the wiki, alas it is not really content complete.



Overview — Gameplay Mechanics

Should you have played several other RPGs, here you will find a compact summary of how Risen works, the more knowledgeable reader will notice many similarities to Gothic III by the same developer:
  • Basically you talk to NPCs (quest givers), solve quests, gain experience (XP), level up (character build), loot, trade, explore the world, and progress in the storyline like in any other RPG. But there are quite a few differences...

Hit points, Dexterity, Strength

  • The most important player stat are the player's Hit points (zero health means death, up your HP value with food, plants, potions).
  • Strength and Dexterity are also important, since stronger swords require more strength, and powerful bows or crossbows higher dexterity values.

Wisdom, Mana

  • Wisdom, is only required to unlock the more powerful Seal skills, needed to directly use magic Runes — in addition to scrolls — that both use Mana as magic energy. Wisdom does not seem to influence the power of your magic, though.
  • Alas, differing from Gothic III, there is no Hit points or Mana regeneration in the game. But at least sleep, in any free bed, replenishes HP and Mana. HP is also restored by drinking from Waterbarrels.

Learning points

  • Differing from most RPGs, the player does not learn new skills automatically by simply reaching the next Level. You do gain 10 Learning points (LP) per Level though.
  • It is entirely up to the player how he/she uses those, e.g. almost all skills can be learned at any time and in any order, provided you have enough LP. Exceptions are the Seal skill that requires up to 200 points Wisdom, and the fact that some skills only become available with certain Trainers, later in the game.
  • Risen does not force a player class on you. How you develop the character is up to you. Though there are two alignments the player will need to follow, either that of the Bandits pro-Don, or that of the Order as Mage or Warrior of the Order. The latter two will be able to learn Seals i.e. advanced magic, something a bandit will not be able to learn.

Attacking innocents

  • Note that killing guards or other NPCs has limited repercussions. The other NPCs only react if they see you committing the crime. E.g. this usually limits the number of NPCs that will get involved.
  • Some NPCs will not react kindly to being stuck down (Note: You have to attack them again, when they have been struck down, to actually kill them). Use the Tell joke scroll or rune to erase the last 'unpleasant' memory to make them talk to you again.

Looting

  • Risen has a crime system, i.e. stealing has repercussions. But this system is quite predictable. If NPCs see you steal, you will be "beaten up" (you do not die, but will often loose gold). The music cues warns you emmediately should your actions be noticed.
  • It is possible to steal everything in the game, though, it may only be possible later in the game. E.g. as long as the tavern owner is behind the counter stealing of a nearby purse is not possible. Later, when Patty is on a quest, this becomes possible.
  • Sneaking is a mandatory skill to trick NPCs and loot their homes. Looting chests 'in the open', i.e. outside Harbour Town, or the Monastery has no consequences. Be sure to invest in the thievery skill Open Locks, or many chests with valuable loot will stay locked. The Open locks scroll are too rare to allow consistent looting, and the appropriate Rune is not available to bandits.
  • Pickpocketing, alas, is less profitable than one might hope for, but about ten quests can be solved much more easily, by pickpocketing the appropriate NPC, saving additional foot work (sub-quests) or much gold. Level 3 of this skill only becomes available late in the game (for a pro-Don player, pro-Order players will never be able to learn this skill level). 'Luckily' the Level 3 Pickpocketing, is not really needed or useful.
  • As mentioned the player can collect plants right from the start, the Gut animals skill needs to be learned though to 'harvest' the more valuable ingredients and items from animals and beasts.

Trade

  • Differing from other games some NPCs only become Traders after you have talked to them for a while or helped them with some personal quest.
  • The trade system in Risen was very much simplified: All traders have the 'same buy/sell prices for any loot! They have enough gold to buy all your wares, and every merchant will buy anything you have to offer. There is no bonus in selling skins to hunters or weapons to a weapon merchant.
  • The traders do differ in what they initially have to offer for a price though:
    • Hunters — Bows, crossbows, arrows, bolts, skins, tools to gut animals / beasts, etc.
    • Weapon merchants — Sword blanks, assorted swords, axes, and staves, etc.
    • Foot merchants — Fish, and many other edibles, including spices.
    • Smiths - Sword blanks, weapons, smithing tools, etc.
    • Mages - Potions, potion recipes, runes, scrolls, etc.
  • Apparently the goods are the same in every game run, so there is no randomisation. New items will become into stock after each Chapter of the game, so be sure to check back on them. E.g. hunters will sell more powerful bows.
  • Merchants will keep everything you sell them in their inventory, letting you buy back items, if need be.
  • The game makes it very difficult to earn additional money by trading goods, since your sell price is only 1/5th of what you need to pay to buy it. This is the case for everything!

Plants and Learning

  • From the get-go the player recognises all the plants in the game and can harvest them (these yield temporary boosts or valuable permanent ones) — differing from e.g. The Witcher. You need not buy books to learn about new skills and abilities, for that there are NPC Trainers that teach them. But you can read at Bookstands and Stone plates to increase Wisdom or learn about how spells work.

Forging

  • An interesting, quite recommended set of skills, pertain to the Prospect ore (iron, gold, obsidian). The ore can then be traded for sword blanks, that the player can forge into powerful one-handed, two-handed and bastard swords, with the appropriate Smithing skill, that is. Additionally, with the appropriate tools, the smithing will also allow goldsmithing, the creation of rare rings and amulets (they feature special ability and skill boosts, along with various defence boni).

Dropped Items

  • Interestingly it is not possible for the player to drop items on the floor. Any killed foes (creatures, animals, Lizardmen), that often drop their weapons, will stay in the world along with their dropped weapons, so that these can be picked up later in the game. The game does not loose anything.

Respawn, Inventory, Storage

  • Collected plants in Risen do not grow back, not even on a Chapter change! This limits the amount of plants, especially those with permanent effects.
  • Overall the world is very consistent, apparently only new foes will suddenly appear in cleaned-up areas after Chapter changes, e.g. the appearance of more wild animals in Chapter 2 or the Lizardmen near the ruins in later Chapters.
  • In theory the player could stash items in any chest if he/she so pleases, and the game remember them. This is not really useful, since the player's inventory is categorized and unlimited, so there should never be the need to do so.
  • Looted chests stay looted and will not magically refill in the course of the game. Only merchants stock up a few items on Chapter changes.

Levelling up, Learning points

  • Solving quests, or slaying animals, creatures and other foes will gain the player Experience points (XP). With enough XP you will automatically reach the next level and earn 10 additional Learning points, that can be invested in new skills and abilities.
  • Note: New skills and abilities need to be learned from NPC Trainers, you cannot directly distribute LP to skills on the Character stats page.

Time

  • Risen has a 24 hour time cycle (accelerated compared to real time), so you will experience sunrise, noon, sunset, and midnight.
    Note: Only at night some of the 'looting' becomes possible without getting caught. Some Bookstands can only be read at night, since by day a mage may be blocking that book.
  • 24 hours in-game (one virtual day) are equivalent to X hour XX minutes in the real world. For an hour to pass in-game you need to wait X minutes. The time scale factor is XX. *** Any idea what the factor is?
  • None of the dialogues are time dependant. You can talk to the NPCs at any time of day, and the dialogue stays at the point were you left off.
  • There are no time-dependant quests either, so take your time.
  • The NPCs, e.g. in Harbour Town follow a distinct day and night cycle, so you may need to look around a bit to find them at night. E.g. by day a hut may not be lootable, since an NPC is working in that room, at night they may have gone to bed, so Sneaking and looting become possible.
  • You can sleep in most empty beds to time skip to the time of day you require or prefer. Available times: the next morning, until noon, the next evening, and until midnight.

Combat, Magic & Runes

  • There are five weapon types to choose from, swords, axes, staves, bows and crossbows. Improve their effectiveness by investing in the appropriate combat style.
  • Especially at the start of the game sword and shield will be the only way to survive against the many creatures in the world.
  • Armour is quite limited in the game, only as you progress as Bandit, Mage or Warrior of the Order will better armour (protective clothing; three levels of armour) become available. When working for the Don: hunter, fighter and captain armour.
  • Right from the start the player will be able to wield magic by using Magic scrolls that use up Mana. The more advanced Rune magic Seals and Crystal magic is only available on a pro-Order path.
  • If everything else fails you can usually outrun your foes, that will give up the chase after a while.

Continuous World

  • Risen is a continues world, e.g. like Gothic III or Two Worlds. Anything you see in the world, you can usually also reach. Excepting some of the mountain tops, that is. The only limiting factor may be the lack of levitation scrolls, to overcome 'gaps', an abundance of too powerful foes in some areas, or magic barriers, or unpickable locked doors.
  • Note: The ocean around the island is an unpassable barrier as well.
  • After each Chapter a few things in the world will be 'updated', e.g. traders get new wares, new foes may spawn.
  • Other than that you will be able to access all of the world at any time.

Interaction, NPCs

  • Every object and NPC in the world the player can interact with will have a cream-coloured text floating above it.
  • Though for some secret switches (rings in the wall), this is not the case.
  • NPCs are not marked as traders, trainers or quest-givers in any special way, you need to talk to them to find out about such details.
  • So talk to everyone you meet, even when they have a generic name. And talk to them more than once.
  • After solving a quest for a quest giver, be sure to talk to them again, they may have additional information or another quest.
  • Furthering the main story, can have repercussions on some of the other NPCs, thus it can be quite rewarding to talk to them again.
  • To make it easier for the player to detect new dialogue options, when talking to NPCs, all old dialogue options are removed and are no longer available. Only the new pertinent dialogues can be selected.

Alchemy, Cooking

  • The Alchemy system turns out to be quite simple, compared to the complex system e.g. in Two Worlds. Per se you can not create something new, you can only create 'potions' from existing recipes that you actually own. Such recipes need to be found, usually looted, or bought
  • The most interesting recipes are those that let you create permanent potions (those that permanently increase your main stats, i.e. Strength, Dexterity, and Maximum Mana / Hit points). You require Alchemy Level 3 for this, plus Wine, a Vile and certain rare permanent plants that can not be bought, but must be collected.
  • The central, very rare Hero's crown ingredient for permanent potions, only exists 20 times in the game, so that only 20 permanent potions can be brewed. Carefully think what stats you *really* need to boost (usually Strength and Dexterity, for Mages Mana as well).
  • Ingredients sources are collected plants, or harvest via Gut animals skill from various creatures. A few ingredients can only be bought from traders (e.g. a Bag of Spices).
  • Not actually alchemy, but there are also certain types of stew you can 'cook' that will permanently boost your stats. Again there is a very rare ingredient required for these recipes: Bag of spices (about 15 become available from Konrad during the game).
  • Provided you have a Frying pan (at a fire), or a scoop (at a cauldron) you will be able to cook various other ingredients, e.g. raw meat, that becomes more 'valuable'.


General Gameplay & Tips

Risen gameplay Goals?

There are quite a few things you can/will want to achieve when playing the game:
  • Unravel the story of the unnamed hero, shipwrecked on the island of Faranga.
  • Character Building: Create a powerful character.
  • Choose the path of a bandit (pro-Don), or that of a Mage or Warrior of the Order (pro-Order).
  • Level up your char as far as possible, i.e. maximise XP gain (grinding is not possible).
  • Use Alchemy to your advantage to boost stats (there is no experimentation though).
  • Read books and scrolls to learn new abilities, i.e. recognize plants / monsters or brew potions from recipes.
  • Learn the crafting skills (Alchemy, Smithing, Prospecting, Gut animals).
  • Improve your thievery skills (Open locks, Pickpocket, Acrobatics, Sneak).
  • Learn advanced rune magic (Seals and Create scrolls).
  • Invest in your preferred combat style (sword, axe, staff, bow, crossbow).
  • Collect all the plants in the world, especially the permanent ones.
  • Read all the Bookstands and Stone plates to maximise Wisdom.
  • Locate the buried treasure chests.
  • Find an eat all Eggs (+5 XP) and Wanderlust (+10 XP) plants to increase XP.
  • Collect all sorts of gems, that can be turned into rings and amulets via goldsmithing.
  • Hunt down all animals, creatures and foes.
  • Explore the whole island, with its many ruins and caves.
  • Solve all the Quests.
  • Have fun!


How to Maximise your XP?

If you want to maximise your experience point counts, to thus push your PC Level, heed to the following tips.
Note: This game is XP limited. This means creatures do not endlessly respawn, and the number of quests you can solve is also limited.
Comment: I reached Level 29 on my "pretty complete" first run, though I doubt that it is possible to reach Level 30, unless the bandit path, for some reason yields more XP than the Mage path I took on my first run. (AEon)
Tips:
  • An obvious tip to start off: Play and complete as many quests as possible. This can be less than trivial since sometimes you get XP for quests (killing certain foes or collecting items) that are *not* connected to a quest giver. You stumble into them.
  • Be sure to talk to every NPC in the game several times, especially after something significant in the world changed. Informing an NPC of a change often yields additional XP.
  • Go out of your way to "clean up" all enemies. Note that a very few animals (wolves, boars, moths) will respawn in Chapter 2, the more powerful enemies do not. So walk the complete island a second time after Chapter 1.
  • Note that Eggs and Wanderlust plants yield XP (+5 and +10 XP respectively) when eaten, the latter can be turned into a potion late in the game (five plants up XP by 100).


How to Run faster?

The normal running speed of the Geralt is quick enough for systematic island exploration, though still relatively slow.
There is no sprint key in Risen, but there is a Speed scroll and rune in the game that can be used to approximately double the players running speed. Alas this only becomes practical after learning the level 3 Seal, something a pro-Don player will not have access to.
Another way to quickly get around the island are Teleport stones, but these only crop up in the course of Chapter 2. They allow instant travel between certain points on the islands, practical, but they can also make you miss new foes.


How to See in the dark?

The player does quite a bit of cave spelunking and ruin exploration, were daylight will be scarce. Or wandering about at night may slightly impede sight. What to do?
Note: The game does not really make a light source necessary, neither in caves / ruins nor at night. You can always see enough.
But to light out those extra dark areas in the game simply use a Torch (abundantly available in the game) from your Miscellaneous inventory tab. These have a limited life.
If you are more magic inclined the Light spell scroll or rune will help.
Comment: I found the Light spell globe floating above the player's head irritating. And never used those, and very rarely used Torches, and sold them off. (AEon)


Harvest / Loot more Quickly?

Alas there is no way to speed up the harvesting of plants or chests. The game will always play the 'harvest' animation. For plants, thankfully, this is quick enough.
Digging up treasure chests will challenge the player's patience, though.


Interacting with Objects?

Aside from NPCs, you can interact (open, use) with quite a few objects on the island:
  • Bed — Sleep, 'time skip' to the time of day you prefer, replenishes your Hit points and Mana. The avatar does not require sleep, mind you.
  • Forge, Water trough, Anvil, Whetstone — With the Smithing skill, the appropriate tools and a sword blank, swords can be forged.
  • Goldsmith (table) — With the Smithing skill and the proper gems you will be able to forge powerful rings and amulets.
  • Cauldron — With a Scoop, the appropriate recipe and ingredients, a hotpot or stews may be cooked.
  • Bookstand, Stone plate — Reading the books about magic on the bookstands ups the Wisdom by 3 points. Some of these books tell something of the islands past or about certain magic crystals. Stone plates, when read, yield +4 WIS.
  • Alchemy table — With the Alchemy skill, vials, wine, and other rare plant ingredients potions can be brewed, even valuable permanent potions. Again provided you own the appropriate recipe.
  • Waterbarrels — A free source of Hip points. Remember were they are located, especially in the beginning of the game you will need to replenish your health a lot.
  • Doors — Can either be unlocked via Open lock skill, scroll or rune, or require a specific key. In any case these may block the player's path, though all doors in the game can be unlocked, eventually.
  • Chest — There are several varieties of them, requiring different levels of the Open lock skill (or use scrolls and runes). Complicated locks yield better loot. Note that some locks, e.g. the Treasure chests related to Patty's quests can only be unlocked with a key.
  • Cupboards — Usually contain simple, pretty worthless items.
  • Water pipe — A quick smoke, recreation, serves no purpose.
  • Chair, Bench, Cable spool, Throne — Lets you sit down and enjoy the view, serves no purpose.
  • Sawbuck — Provided you own a saw, you can saw some wood to your hearts content, yields nothing.
  • Lizard on a spit — Rotate the lizard over the fire, yields nothing.
  • Bathtub — The hero can take a bath, clothes and all, serves no purpose, though is part of a quest at the Monastery.
Obviously you can interact — pick up — many things on the island, like beast remains, loot corpses, collect plants and all sorts of items lying around.
Be sure you are aware of all the above, to get the most out of the game.


First-time Dialogue Options?

Differing from e.g. The Witcher any previous dialogues will be removed from the dialogue tree, so you will only be able to listen to them once per game.
Tip: Before you talk to a new NPC, it is a good idea to save the game, either via Quicksave (F8-key) or a named full Save. That way you will be able to experiment with your responses, should things turn out badly.
Tip: Insulted NPCs (rare) can be made to forget about your unfavourable response using the Tell joke scroll or rune. This can be important to gain access to Trader or Trainer options again.


Is there a Crime System?

In Risen, the looting of objects is considered a crime, and when you are caught, the NPCs will react violently. Often, e.g. guards, will just strike you down, but not kill you, though you may loose some gold when floored.
Comment: In tests you may loose up to 50% of your gold. I am not sure if other items are 'stolen' when you are out cold. I always reloaded the last saved game to circumvent the issue altogether. (AEon)
It can accidentally happen that you strike an 'innocent' while e.g. fighting boars or wolves. Be very careful here, since the 'innocent' will start to attack you. Again quicksaving before any fight is a good idea.
Note: Again, angered 'innocents' can be pacified using the Tell joke scroll or rune. This will immediately end their attack.


Fleeing from Foes in Combat?

Usually you should be able to outrun your foes when combat is initiated, thus letting you leave the area of combat, should the fight not go well. Or if you can not leave the area, at least you can keep out of reach by running in circles. Drinking Health and Mana potions to improve your chances of winning the encounter.
Note: The foes only follow you for a certain distance and then give up. Though wolves, boars and several other foes are quite persistent in Risen
Special cases:
  • You loose in 1-on-1 arena fights (e.g. at the Monastery or at the Don's camp) if you leave the arena.
  • In other situations there may not be anywhere to run to, e.g. when cornered on a bridge or in cramped corridors.
Also note that you can actually save the game while in combat, in a longer more tedious fight it can be helpful to take on the foe in 'steps', e.g. the player's end-boss fight comes to mind.
Warning: Saving in combat can be quite dangerous. When you reload your save state, the enemy will have a few seconds to attack you, this could mean your death. Such a save state would then be worthless, i.e. you have to fall back to an earlier save, that you hopefully have.


Combat Tips?

After playing the game for a while it becomes quite clear how useful the sword and the shield are against the relatively powerful and dangerous animals on the island. Here a few tips:
  • The player is very weak at the beginning of the game and through most of Chapter 1. Since the available weapons are weak as well, one-strike-kills are out of the question. So the use of the normal sword together with a shield is a mandatory tactic for survival: Defend by holding up the shield, let the wolf or boar attack 1-3 times, then counter attack with the sword, and repeat. Against one opponent this is the way to go.
  • When attacking several wolves etc. it can very much help to run for help, with the foes following. E.g. Jan is a lot more powerful than the player, so his sword strikes will really help. The downside, depending on who scores the last decisive strike, will earn the XP. This will often not be the player.
  • Your best friend in the game is a skeleton you can summon via Conjure skeleton scroll and later rune. Your helper in combat named Fred is not only more powerful than you are at the beginning of the game, the also packs a punch. The biggest advantage of Fred is the fact that he will draw the focus of foe attacks away from the player, who can then use the bow or crossbow to finish off the enemies. Additionally, like any good friend, Fred will *not* steal your XP, since you will always earn the XP.
  • Swords, as mentioned, are quite useful in combination with a shield. The two-handed swords and the also two-handed bastard swords leave the player relatively defenceless, so that their higher damage values simply will not compensate for the extra damage the player will take without shield. Later in the game against the Lizardmen, sword weapons are pretty useless and ineffective since the Lizardmen are very proficient at defending against frontal soword attacks.
  • Later in the game it is thus recommended to use bows or crossbows. E.g. the Titan crossbow deals out 120 damage, this will kill a Lizard Scout with one headshot, and down Elites with 2-3 shots.
  • Staves are also pretty much disappointing, not enough damage and too slow.
  • If you went the pro-Order the use of Crystal magic — Magic bullet, Fireball and Frost — are very good alternatives to crossbows against the Lizardmen, provided enough Learning points were invested in these skills.
  • Movement tips:
    • Higher levels of Sword fighting will allow for additional lateral blows, these require the player to stripe at the side of foes, provided you are not facing them head on.
    • To quickly move to the side of an opponent dodge. Either double-tap the left/right movement keys (Ax2 or Dx2) or press the jump and left/right movement keys at the same time.
    • To dodge backwards, like the Ashbeast does double-tap the S-key or press the jump-key and S-key at the same time.
    • Comment: All this is quite tricky and requires good timing together with well placed sword heaps. But why bother if you can take out opponents with ranged weapons like the crossbow or crystal magic much more easily. (AEon)
    • Note that wolves, boars, moths, gnomes etc. will try to attack you from the side. To reduce this danger, try to corner them in narrow spaces, e.g. on bridges or narrow canyons, where they can not stafe / dodge to left and right. Then use your shield to counter attack after their now only frontal attacks.
  • Another way to take out opponents is the use of traps. The player can not lay them out, they usually already exist in tombs and ruins. Use a ranges weapon to anger a foe, then have them run right into a track, like floor spikes or 'floor flames'.
  • The AI of the beasts is pretty good at following the player up rocks, even those the player has to climb up, e.g. Ashbeasts are scary good climbers, but the AI avoids jumps from high places. Thus equip a Acrobatics ring or learn the skill, then let the beast follow you, then jump down some steep (but not too high cliff or rock with the beast following you. It will stay up on the rock, then pull a ranged weapon like a bow or crossbow and take out the beast at you leisure. This way you can take out totally overpowering foes like the Ashbeast or Ogres in Chapter 1.
  • Another thing the 'weak player' should be aware of is the limited sight range some beasts have, e.g. Ghouls have bad eye sight. Stand outside their visibility perimeter, then use a ranged weapon like a bow to take them out with several arrows.
  • Once you have an abundance of Levitation scrolls (late in Chapter 1 and beyond) or better can use the Levitation rune, it becomes practical to fly up onto e.g. rocks or small tombs, to rain death with a bow down on many much more powerful foes. You can take them out without any danger. E.g. inside the Volcano in Chapter 2, fighting the many Lizardmen.
Risen has quite well balances opponents, right up to the end of the game even a skilled player will be challenged. It takes some clever tactics to take out these foes, so keep the above tips in mind.
Comment: In Two Worlds I dominated everything in the game after reaching about Level 20 (of Level 96, I ended up with). So keep looking for ways to take out foes as effectively as possible in Risen.


Backtracking for Health/Mana?

A well prepared fighter, is a fighter that survives the next battle!
If possible always try to keep you health (Hit points) at a maximum level, you never know when that extra bit of health will let you survive the next fight. This is also true for your Mana reserves, if you are more of a magic-wielding player.
Especially at the beginning of the game, when health potions are rare, make extensive use of Waterbarrels (up health by drinking water) and also sleep (Beds up Health and Mana) to replenish these important stats for *free*!
This often makes it mandatory to backtrack to the last 'health station', and there is no way around this. Unless you like to die a lot due to low health.
Reserve the rare health potions for in-combat situations, when running away or avoiding foes, lets you consume them.
Later in the game, e.g. in Harbout Town you will be able to stock up on health potions from Traders like Leonardo, or you may brew your own potions if you invested in the Alchemy skill (provided you collected enough healing plants, and other ingredients).


Revisited areas yield new Items?

During the game you will revisit areas, the second time under slightly different circumstances, this can yield a few new foes and other goodies.
Examples:
  • Should you have taken out most of the beasts in Chapter 1, in particular all boars, wolves, moths and vultures, some of them will respawn in Chapter 2. So if you are looking for the XP, re-explore the whole island. No further beast respawns happen from then on.
  • Some of the Traders in the game will add more valuable, usually more powerful weapons, to their inventory. These updates happened at the beginning of Chapter 2, and then again in Chapter 3. They will still keep everything you sold them in the previous chapters.
  • Note: None of the the chests in the game will "miraculously" be refilled with new items! Though in Chapter 4, when tracking down the Titan armour, a few new heavy chests will appear on the island, usually near groups of Lizardmen defending the tombs of their long dead Priests.


Safe Item Storage Location?

Interestingly anything dropped on the ground, e.g. slain foes and their dropped weapons, will *not* be removed by the game. You will be able to pick up these items in later chapters even.
Furthermore, any chest or cupboard can be used to store items the player has in his inventory. Simply drag'n'drop the items into the container.
Comment: Even though this is possible, there is no advantage to do the latter, since the player has an unlimited inventory. But it is possible.
Note: The player can not drop inventory items on the ground. And important (quest) items can not be accidentally sold either.


Heal / reduce Toxicity?

Differing from some other RPGs, there is no poisoning effect, e.g. the quite dangerous Scorpions only cause damage (Hit points reduction) but do not poison.
Comment: This is an interesting simplification of the Risen game mechanics, since in Gothic III the creation of poison arrows should have been possible (the community patch may have fixed this by now).


How to get Sober again?

Even though there is an abundance of alcoholic beverages in the game, the player can not get drunk. The only character that seems to be drunk all the time is the hunter Luis at the Don's camp, yielding information for beer.
Interestingly there even is a special wine, Fireflush, you could get from Dalman, if you help him find a replacement for his gruesome dung-heap-shovelling job. This wine is supposed to cause megalomania, but apparently was never used in a quest. ***Or did I miss something?


Looking for Tips?

Whenever the game needs to load content, in-game tips will be shown. These are quite valuable because they help the player better understand the game's mechanics. So be sure to read them.
see In-game Tips


Character Building

Character Interaction

Differing from other RPGs, the NPCs in Risen do not have specially marked names or status icons above their heads. Some of them will only become Traders or Trainers *after* you helped them with a 'personal' quest. In a few cases solving one quest for them can yield another follow-up quest.
It is thus very important to follow all the dialogue options.


How to spend Learning points?

It is advisable to carefully read the skill tooltips before spending your limited number of Learning points — should you reach Level 29, that would be 290 LP total. After some reflection you may find that certain skills are conductive to your playing style. Even though you can spend quite a few LP — playing through the complete game — there are not enough to spend on all skills, so concentrate on those that are most useful to your style of playing.
If you want to collect and loot as much as possible in the game there is no way around leaning the Thievery skills, though.
  • Open locks — lets you open doors and the locks of treasure chests. You could rely on Open locks scrolls and rune, but those only become abundant much later in the game, and the rune will only work for pro-Order players. Level 3 of this skill only becomes available late in the game, e.g. when you help Patty find her pirate father's treasure.
  • Pickpocket — lets you steal from NPCs while talking to them. Can speed up quests, if you simply steal the object of interest, also saves gold. Level 3 is only required for a handful of NPCs, and none of them yields anything worthwhile. Only pro-Don players will be able to learn Pickpocket 3.
  • Sneak, Acrobatics — Interestingly both of these can be learned by wearing the appropriate ring. Though it does preclude the use of other rings. Many a accidental deadly drop can be avoided with Acrobatics, and without Sneaking no advanced looting is possible.
  • Alchemy — If you do not care to brew your own potions, and can live without upping your stats via permanent potions, you could skip investing in this skill. Though it would be a waste, because the permanent potions do up your stats significantly. Recommended.
  • Smithing — Again, if you do not care to forge swords or goldsmith powerful rings an amulets, you could skip this crafting skill. Though this is not really recommendable. Forged swords (sword, bastard, two-handed) are the most powerful (damage-wise) sword for a very long time in the game, and forging gives you access to them early in the game when you most need them. Furthermore you make some extra fold by selling forged swords. Even more interesting for a stats starved 'weak' player are the special rings and amulets the player will be able to goldsmith. Dependant on the gem you use, different special abilities become available, i.e. defence boni, combat style boni, even boni for crystal magic. Recommended.
  • Prospect ore — There is much ore to be prospected in the game, the ore can either be sold off directly or traded for sword blanks (iron, obsidian) that can be forged into powerful swords, that are worth even more. The prospected gold ore can be used to goldsmith rare rings and amulets. This skill can only be learned from Olf (a 'tomb raider') held captive at the Don's old house in Harbour Town by the Order. Highly recommended skill.
  • Gut animals — Some of the permanent potions quire ingredients the player will 'only' have access to if he/she has learned this skill. You may be able to buy the ingredients from Traders or loot them, but they will be quite rare. The skill also provides the player with additional income, selling off skins and other valuable ingredients. Recommended.
  • Strength, Dexterity, Maximum Mana, Maximum Hit points — Trainers will teach you how to up these stats. Even though the temptation may be high to boost the players strength and dexterity early in the game, the other skills, mentioned above are more valuable. So upping Str +10 and Dex +10 should be OK, it might be better to hold back on upping Mana and Hit points, for the latter two the brewing of permanent potions is more effective.
  • Combat (styles) — If you have LP left over you could invest them here, but this is generally not really recommended. Higher strenght and a more powerful weapon later in the game is more useful than investing much LP in Sword fighting. Investing in Archery and Crossbow may improve damage on headshots, but again investing (wasting) too much LP on them is not recommended, unless you really want to play a fighter/hunter build.
  • Crystal magic — Only available on a pro-Order path, maxing out Fireball can be a very powerful ranged attack, recommended for mages. Magic bullet seems to be less effective. Frost will freeze opponents, even the powerful Lizarmen, you only need to be quick to strike them quickly with a sword, axe or staff since a bow or crossbow is usually too slow. If you have LP let over investing into these can be recommended, especially if you did not waste those points on Combat styles.
Note: Contrary to some other RPGs, Wisdom (or Intelligence as it is called there), does *not* increase the power of your spells. Wisdom is not learned from Trainers and can not be boosted by rings or amulets. You need to read Bookstands and Stone plates. The maximum Wisdom value is 200, but you can collect up to 225 WIS in the game. Wisdom is only required to learn the higher Levels of the Seal skill, needed to allow the use of the more powerful Runes. A pro-Don player, a 'bandit', will never be able to use these runes, so he/she can skip investing LP here and could in theory sell off all the Stone plates (40 gold) found in the game.


Advanced Looting?

Tips on how to get more gold out of the game:
  • Obviously search every chest, especially those you need to dig up, sarcophagus, ruin, tomb, building, mine, cave, etc. for loot, to then sell it to the appropriate merchant.
  • Also play as many quests as possible. You will not only earn gold, but at times also quite valuable items.
  • Differing from other games the Traders' buy/sell prices for loot are always the same! So you can sell "junk" to any Trader you meet.
  • '***Think of some more tips.


What items should I keep?

The number of items you might need to solve certain quests is relatively limited, maybe about 30 items. That mean, at least in theory, that everything else could be sold off. But alas things are not quite as simple:
  • In general all weapons you collect or buy or forge only need to be present once in your inventory. There are no quests that would require you to horde them. Usually it is enough to keep one weapon, the one that does the most damage for that type, and sell off the others. E.g. keep your most powerful (damage-wise) sword, bow, crossbow, shield, bastard sword, and two-handed sword. You might like to keep the special named swords, for nostalgia reasons.
  • This is also true for all the tools you collect, a saw, various smithing hammers etc. One of each is enough. And if you do not need torches you can even sell those off completely. Again there is no quest that tells you to collect various carpenter tools in quantity.
  • When it comes to plants, it is recommended to collect everything at first and to sell off nothing. Only when you have figured out what plants are needed for what portions, could you think about selling them. Note: Never sell off plants that yield permanent stats boosts. These are either used in permanent potions, or if left over can be directly consumed!
  • Magic scrolls should at first also be collected and not sold off. Because you never know when such a scroll may come in handy, this is especially true for Nautilus transformation, Telekinesis and Levitation. Some areas in the game can only be accessed with these spells. Much later in the game, playing the pro-Order path, you will be able to use Runes directly. Once that is the case, you can sell off all the scrolls for that rune.
  • Food in general if not worth much, but there are several stew recipes, especially those with permanent stats boosts that require such ingredients. So it is best to collect food. Once you have an overview of recipes, you may be able to sell off some of the food stuff. Note that Eggs yield XP, not much, just 5 XP per egg, but you will definitely want to collect, buy and consume those.
Small Shopping List:
A small list of items that will be useful in various quests:
  • 5 x Boar skins and 5 x wolfskins for the butcher in Harbout Town.
  • 3 x and 5x healing plants for Abrax at the Monastery. ***details?
  • *** Todo: There are about 10 more such items!


Boost the Sword stats?

Again differing from Gothic III found swords, or even forged ones can not be boosted in their stats, e.g. using some magic spell, or imbuing them with additional crystals.
You get what you pick up or buy or forge and that is that. Risen is quite limited in this respect.


Meteorite Ore for Steel swords?

Even though at the beginning of the game the meteorite ore seems to have much potential (valuable and rare), the forged swords are a bit of a letdown (and expensive), since you will find or receive better swords if you play the game systematically.
Note: Use three meteorite ore of the same kind to gain additional boni for your sword.
For a complete list of meteorite locations and weapon stats for the resulting Meteorite swords (10 combinations possible) visit the wiki.


Runes for Silver swords?

Again, the runes are a quite interesting and valuable items to collect, but they are so rare that only towards the end of the game will you have enough of the same kind to create an interesting sword. And then you may actually receive one for free with even better stats.
Note: Use three runes of the same kind to gain additional boni for your sword.
Tip: Although most custom silver swords are indeed sub-par, there is one instance worth mentioning: You can collect three runes (two Earth rune and one Sun rune), from Memory of a Blade, the fistfight with Andrew Gablodda and one purchased from Thaler. They will be available for forging (for 1000 Template:Oren; damage +30%) at the beginning of Chapter III and can last you until the end of chapter IV, when you may receive Aerondight. (Pigrum)
For a complete list of rune locations and weapon stats for the resulting Rune swords (10 combinations possible) visit the wiki.


Items to definitely pick up?

Apart from powerful and rare swords, usually received by solving quests, there are a few items you definitely will want to get:
  • In the very north of the Swamp, be sure to visit the Wyvern Island, there you will find a Messenger's corpse with the very powerful steel sword, Harvall.


Quests

What Quests are there?

Risen is a complex game. This list will help you track down those few quests you may have missed or not completed for some reason. For an overview look into the List of Quests by Chapter (130 real quests total) on the wiki, where you can distinguish by
32px Primary quests, 32px Secondary quests, 40px Trophy quests, and 32px Contracts.
Alignment-related Quests: There are a total of six quests that can only be played if Geralt follows the appropriate path (Order, Scoia'tael, or Witcher/Neutral). Thus only two of the six quests can be played in one game run, see the Alignment dependant Quests? Q&A. Note that the quest Hot Potato may fail in Chapter II if you help the Scoia'tael in Chapter I (Coleman dies in The Hairy Bear inn).
Multi-chapter Quests: There are several quests that can not be solved at the end of the Chapter they were started:
Also read the How to Look up Missed Quests? Q&A.


How to Look up Missed Quests?

The simplest way to find out what quests you missed playing through Risen is to load up the final saved game in the save game editor, to then look into the Quests tab under Not Started.
For this to work, download and install the editor, see the The Witcher Save Editor? Q&A for details.


Quests easily missed?

After a while you get a feeling for the game and how to talk to all the quest givers. Alas there are a few cases where these rules have been "broken", thus you may tend to miss the quest:
  • The Rat from Coleman (at the Hairy Bear inn). If you supported the Scoia'tael in Chaper I, and talked to detective Raymond Maarloeve before you encounter Coleman at the inn in Chapter II, then he will be dead, and so will the quest.
    Difficulty: No way to guess at this correlation of events. Additionally the parcel delivery quest Hot Potato will actually fail!
  • White Fang from Royal huntsman. The beast (Voref) is mentioned, but there is no quest that would let you remember or look up the quest. You have to go out and find the beast in the swamp first.
    Tip: Look around the Collapsed tower by night (though I have seen the wolf in the early morning too).
    Difficulty: The wolf roams around making it difficult at times to find.
  • A Ghost Story from Thug (door opposite the Warehouse in the Slums, Trade Quarter).
    Difficulty: It seems the tricky thug only shows up after mid-night but before dawn (6:00). Interestingly the quest can be played in either Chapter II or III. Note this quest can yield a Romance card.
  • Echoes of Yesterday from elf Yaevinn (on Druids' grove in the Swamp) at the beginning of Chapter III.
    Difficulty: You start off playing the Trade Quarter in Chapter III, and a visit to the Druids' grove will normally be the last place you revisit. And when you do, some other quests will probably already have removed Yeavinn from the grove.
  • A Pilgrimage from Gramps (when first visiting the Swamp).
    Difficulty: If you take the quest, Geralt will still have a quite weak character build, so you may stop the quest (load an older save game), and start to explore the swamp first. Trouble then brews when you discover Gramp's hut and his darker side. This voids the quest.
Comment: The more observant reader will note that some of these are the quests I missed on my first run. I also mention those quests I only accidentally stumbled into. (AEon)
Note: There are six quests that depend on the path Geralt takes, see the Alignment dependant Quests? Q&A.


Alignment dependant Quests?

There are six quests that can only be played if Geralt has followed the appropriate path:
Template:Path-order
Template:Path-elves
Template:Path-neutral


Rewards for Trophy Quests?

Trophy quests are a bit different than most of the other quests:
  • For one they you are not required to complete the game, except for The Beast of the Sewers in Chapter II.
  • Then even though they are tracked as quests in the Journal, they only register after you killed the special monster, and have collected the trophy on the witcher's trophy hook.
  • These quests are "hinted" at by the the appropriate quest giver, usually the Royal huntsman, but also Vincent Meis or Tobias Hoffman, by word of mouth. So you have to pay very close attention to what they are looking for and where you will find it.
  • In the Chapters I to V, there are two trophy quests per Chapter, yielding a total of ten such quests.
For an overview of all quests and their rewards look into the Trophy quests list.
Why bother?
Not only will you encounter interesting monsters that yield a lot of XP, but you will also earn quite significant amounts of orens. The persistent player will also get special rewards, like the very powerful Moon Blade, a silver sword, or the G'valchir, a steel sword. So, happy hunting.
Note: As part of The Flame That Cleanses — if you chose the Order path — White Rayla will challenge you to collect as many Scoia'tael (squirrel) tails as possibly. This could be considered a trophy quest. Even though you can "win" (get the XP), Rayla never really agrees that you beat her.


What different Endings are there?

There are three endings to the game, and these are determined by Geralt's choices at critical points in the game. Thanks to flashbacks (series of still images, reminding the player of his past choices) the player is retroactively made aware of the forks in the story.
Basically Geralt has the choice to help the Scoia'tael, support the Order or try to walk the Witcher's (Neutral) path. For more details read the storyline. Depending on Geralt's choices the story pans out slightly differently, some NPCs may not reappear later in the game because they died, some choices will make later decisions impossible.
For a detailed overview of Geralt's choices and their consequences read the Decision Checklist.


Following the Order path?

In each chapter you should always explore all areas. Thus informed you should be able to make out what quests are pro Order / Siegfried and which are not. Obviously anything that helps the Scoia'tael / Yaevinn should be avoided (even transporting a letter).
Insight: It seems the game is a lot less strict when if comes to supporting either side. You may well play minor pro-Scoia'tael quests, you should only avoid supporting them in Force Recon and Gold Rush, to stay on the Order path.
Tip: At the end of Chapter IV, trying to save Alvin in the village of Murky Waters, you can still choose the "neutral" path if you tell Dandelion so.
See the Decision Checklist for hints.


Following the Scoia'tael path?

Again, explore all areas in the chapters, to then only play the quests that are pro-Scoia'tael and Yaevinn, avoiding helping the Order and Siegfried.
Insight: It seems the game is a lot less strict when if comes to supporting either side. You may well play minor pro-Order quests, you should only avoid supporting them in Force Recon and Gold Rush, to stay on the Scoia'tael path.
Tip: At the end of Chapter IV, trying to save Alvin in the village of Murky Waters, you can still choose the "neutral" path if you tell Dandelion so.
See the Decision Checklist for hints.


Following Risen path?

This is probably the most difficult path for any completist RPG player. You have to explore each chapter to then painstakingly avoid helping either the Order or Scoia'tael. Only taking on the quests you can morally support. Or so it would seem...
Insight: As it turns out you can fully play e.g. the Order path (see the Following the Order path? Q&A), taking on some minor pro-Scoia'tael quests, but otherwise supporting Siegfried in the swamps (Force Recon) and at the bank in Gold Rush. But this path can still be turned "neutral", at the end of Chapter IV, if you decide to just grab Alvin and get out of Murky Waters (i.e. not helping the Order against the Scoia'tael). In Chapter V you will then be on the neutral path, e.g. get a different Romance card.
Note: Alas, this does not work if you want to switch to the Scoia'tael path, your support of the Order voids that dialogue option with Dandelion.
So you can play the quests any way you want as a "neutral" witcher, right up to the decision at the end of Chapter IV.
Avoiding the quest Force Recon completely (you take no side), and possibly also ignoring to get involved in the bank robbery in Gold Rush (may not be possible), could keep the witcher "so" neutral, that he can decide what side to take at the end of Chapter IV (saving Alvin) — Order, Scoia'tael, or Neutral path.
See the Decision Checklist for hints.


Gameplay Alternatives?

The many gameplay alternatives in Risen are among the more fascinating and interesting features of this RPG. Meaning, quite often there are several ways to complete a quest. Read: Replay Value! Below a list of situations with alternatives you might like to try out:
  • Read the Decision Checklist detailing Geralt's important decisions and their consequences.
  • Three Endings
See the What different Endings are there? Q&A for details.
  • Most quests (too numerous to mention) have slight variations you can try out.


The Mini-games?

There are several mini-games in Risen. These are activated as part of the dialog tree when talking to NPCs. Activate the mini-game by clicking the available gameplay icon to the left of the numbered dialogue options:
  • Fistfight
    For an overview read up on Fistfighting. For details on the relevant fistfighters in the game see the Fistfighters list.
  • Dice Poker
    You will need a set of dice, to be found in Chapter I, and Geralt's old dwarven friend Zoltan Chivay to learn the game, to then face off against the players listed in A Game of Dice.
  • Drink
    Geralt can take quite a lot of alcohol, so as long as he starts off sober, and has enough alcohol in his Inventory, he should dink any opponent under the table. To get sober again drink the Wives' Tears portion or meditate for a few hours. These contests let you win favour with the drunk NPC. You may also gain — often rare — items or additional valuable information.
  • Romance cards
    Geralt's escapades are technically not mini-games or quests, but they are a challenge and collectible in form of cards, read the List of Romance cards for details.
Tip: Remember to quicksave before you start playing the mini-games. This lets you "undo" painful defeats.


Breaks in the Game?

The obvious "breaks" in the game happen between Chapters. Usually you will not be able to return to these parts of the game. Alas it is not always clear when the Chapter change will happen, though there are hints:
  • Prologue — Chapter I
    Finish off everything you want to do at Kaer Morhen before you visit Leo's burial.
  • Chapter I — II
    Finish most of the quests — except quests like the dice player and fistfighter that span chapters — before you visit the Salamandra's hideout in the Outskirts. Because after that almost everyone in the Outskirts will either gone or dead.
  • Chapter III — IV
    When Triss tells you about teleporting you into the Salamandra base, she warns you that this may change many things. So ensure you have finished all the other Chapter III quests first.
  • Chapter IV — V
    After killing Dagon things on land will have changed, the village have been taken hostage. Again, ensure that you have finished most quests before killing this beast.


The Autopsy outcome?

You should be aware that depending on how curious and well informed Geralt is, three different suspects may result from the Anatomy of a Crime investigation:
  • Ramsmeat will attack you when you implicate him.
  • Kalkstein if implicated seems to laugh it off, calling Geralt a "fool". Does not seem to have other negative side effects, though.
  • Azar Javed is the real criminal, job well done.


Inviting Party Guests?

When you talk to Shani later in Chapter I, she tells you of a party she is planning to organise (Old Friend of Mine), inviting Geralt, telling him to bring a friend. You may have guessed that one of the guests to invite is Geralt's old dwarven friend Zoltan. If you are a bit daring you may also have guessed that Carmen can be invited. Interestingly even Siegfried can be invited. Even though one of the nuns at the hospital would love to party, you can not invite her, alas.
Tip: The "heavy" drinking at the party will make Wives' Tears convenient to have.


Signs & Wayfarer's stones?

During the game you will encounter several Wayfarer's stones. These are magic portals that require a combination of Igni and Aard Signs to be activated.
These Wayfarer's stones can be found in Chapter V spread out in the cemetery swamps: One in the old Mine, one in the southernmost refugee camp cave (Agnes of Glanville's lair), and one in the cemetery crypt (Saint Gregory's tomb).
Alas the trial and error method of "unlocking" them can be quite tedious, here a few tips:
  • First off note that the combination you need to find requires three and only three Signs.
  • Before you cast any Sign on the stone, quicksave the game. Then cast three Signs — there are a total of 8 combinations to try out — should nothing happen, quickload, and try the next combination.
    Note: The game always remembers the first, and second Signs you cast. So leaving the cave will not reset any previous "junk" you cast. Technically you would always need to count to three, to avoid the effects of previously un-reset Signs in the combination. Thus the tip to use quicksave / quickload.
  • You do not need to power-up the Signs, a simple right-click will do. And you do not need to touch the stone while Sign casting either.
  • Once you have the working combination, write it down, or you may have trouble exiting the place you were teleported to.
Comment: I was able to figure out the combinations by trial and error and a lot of luck. Alas it is not really clear that the stones require three Signs to activate, so the player is basically forced to blindly experiment. IMO, a mildly annoying gameplay mechanic. (AEon)


Finding Alina's Mirror Shards?

When you get to the point of trying to save Alina's afterlife, you will need to look for the shards of her mirror. Since Geralt can almost never climb up external stairs on buildings, you may have missed the steps leading up to the top lookout of the Ruined Mill in the Fields. Here you will find one of the mirror shards.


Wreath of Immortelles use?

If you helped the Hermit in the Fields in Chapter IV, you can choose the Wreath of Immortelles as a reward. After the dead Alina is at peace with her afterlife, you can also save Celina (now a nightwraith) by giving her the Wreath of Immortelles. (Though this did not trigger a quest phase.)


Use of a specific Quest Item?

You may have collected quite a few quest items while playing the game, but forgot what they are for? If so, simply look them up in this complete list, sorted by Chapter: see Quest Items


Characters

Characters easily missed?

Some characters will only appear at certain times in the day/night, so chances are good to completely overlook them:
Traveller (at night, near inn, Outskirts)
Beggar (old woman, Farming village, Outskirts)
Wraith (near Cemetery entrance, Trade Quarter, Chapter II).
  • Wandering the streets at night you may walk into a mumbling peaceful wraith. It is part of the a quest Hildegard Zollstock triggers. You will find here around noon, also near the cemetery gates.
Distressed nurse (outside of St. Lebioda's Hospital, Trade Quarter, Chapter III)
  • Gives you the Medic in Distress quest. She can only be found near the hospital — where the Gardener usually can be found — by day from 12:00 to about 13:30.
Townsman (near John Natalis Square, Trade Quarter).
  • He hands Geralt the book on monsters, Physiologus. You should find him by day, and look into the streets leading to the square when it is raining.
Noblewoman these two noblewomen are mutually exclusive!
Con artist (exit of Sewers in Trade Quarter).
  • You will only stumble into this shady guy at daybreak, provides quest Finders Keepers.


Dialogues easily missed?

Persistence with NPC dialogues may at times yield quite unexpected rewards. Such opportunities are difficult to spot, since you may not know about a key, or get brushed off with "there is not much more to say", but there actually is more to say.
Old Woman (Farming village, Outskirts, Chapter I)
  • In a random encounter these old women will impart information about nine plants, plus two monsters (tales), so talk to them again and again after an area change (load screen). Saves buying expensive books, plus you learn about plants early on in the game.
Gossip (near detective Raymond's place, Temple Quarter, Chapter II)
  • To get her Romance card talk to her about "... news of a witcher in town", following up with "fancies women", but only if Geralt says "it's hard to live up to a legend" will the Gossip ask for a gift as proof. The other two random dialogue options will not work, so you may have to ask several times.
Bootblack (near detective Raymond's place, Temple Quarter, Chapter II)
Brickmaker (woman, in one of the huts in Brickmakers' village, Swamp, Chapter II)
  • This random dialogue may be difficult to trigger, keep trying to talk to all the brickmaker women in the huts. She will tell you about swamp plants — beggartick, fool's parsley and crow's eye — for either 50 Template:Oren or honey.
Lumberjack (Lumberjacks' glade, Swamp, Chapter II)
Innkeeper (of The New Narakort inn, Trade Quarter, Chapter III)
  • You may have bribed the innkeeper once with a hefty 233 Template:Oren, but it is possible to do so more often:
Waitress (at The New Narakort inn, Chapter III)
  • Differing from other NPCs, each time you talk to the waitress she uses another dialogue reply, so you can just keep on talking to her again and again without having to leave/return the area (load screen).
  • She mentions spilling white sauce, you can help her with either red gloves or 100 Template:Oren for two potions of Wives' Tears.
  • Keep talking to her, and she will mention her grandmother, this yields a recipe for the Devil's Puffball bomb.
  • Apparently she will also tell you the recipe for Wives' Tears, should you not know it already.
Old Peasant Woman (village, Murky Waters, Chapter IV)
  • She will tell of three herbs.
Fisher King (Lakeside, Chapter IV)
  • After killing Dagon — the peaceful conflict resolution — talk to the Fisher King again, be persistent, to actually get him to talk!


Foes easily missed?

Some foes in Risen will only spawn after certain other prerequisites have been met. Or are dependent on the time of day. E.g. some foes only appear at night. This can make it very easy to miss them, since the foes are often spawned in areas you will quite probably already have explored (by day). For those looking for more XP and orens, some pointers:
Swamp, Chapter III:


Annoyed NPCs? Come back later?

Sometimes Geralt may anger a NPC, who will forthwith refuse to talk to him. Or when a NPC tells you to "come back later" requiring time to create something, then the "later" just means you should leave the building or exit the area (load screen). You can then return immediately to end the "wait". And after returning annoyed NPCs should talk to Geralt again.


Activate Merchants/Dice Players?

Most merchants or poker dice players will show gameplay dialogue icons making it clear that you can interact with them. Note you will need to talk to a few NPCs for a while to unlock these icons.


Selling to Blacksmiths?

Normally you will not be able to sell to the blacksmiths that provide a Weapon Enhancement gameplay icon. They will only accept Runes and Meteorites for sword upgrades.
The Order armourer in the Temple Quarter is an early exception (the blacksmith in Murky Waters is the other one). He actually also buys many things. Especially of interest are:
Note: The dwarven Blacksmith on the other hand will not buy any of these wares! So you may want to be on the Order's good side, at least for a short while.


Dealing with Fisstech?

Fighting the Salamandra will often let you collect fisstech. Trouble is that most merchants will — for obvious reasons — not buy the drug. Here the NPCs that will let you sell off fisstech for 20 Template:Oren per box:
Tip: It is actually possible to "brew" your own fisstech using Alchemy!


Sell Salamandra badges?

When fighting the Salamandra you will almost always find a Salamandra badge on their bodies, but can these be sold? Yes, to two NPCs actually:
  • During the Wanted quest in Chapter II it is possible to sell them to the Messenger at the Hairy Bear inn for 10 Template:Oren each (careful, you sell all badges in your inventory!).
  • And also to Declan Leuvaarden, who requires three of them (for 600 Template:Oren total) as proof that Geralt is indeed fighting Salamandra before he will reveal any information in Chapter II.


Convince Workshop Alchemist?

Visiting the Workshop in the Trade Quarter of Vizima in Chapter III will lead to an interesting scholastic discussion with the Alchemist. He thinks that Kalkstein's is a complete quack, so it is up the to Geralt to convince him otherwise.
You will need to have read about and remembered Kalkstein's theories to be able to convince the Alchemist of their validity. If all else fails, try these dialogue options:
  • "denies ... co-dependant"
  • "secondary ... of themselves"
  • "attach and detatch"
  • "golem" or the funnier "impress ladies"
The thus educated Alchemist will give you the Samum scroll and the book Secrets of the Southern Masters.


Ice Field encounters?

In the Epilogue Geralt traverses the ice fields, a figment of the Grand Master's imagination. Depending on the path Geralt took, and whom he saved, these NPCs will reappear:
  • Abigail: Should she have been saved by Geralt will give him five Swallow and five Tawny Owl potions. These are special since they do not increase Toxicity!
  • White Rayla: Will either accompany Geralt for a short distance helping fight the skullheads ("dying in battle") or offer a temporary special magic shield ("tumultuous relationship"). Only if Geralt supported the Order.
  • Adda: If saved will fight alongside Geralt in her striga form, for a short while.
See the phases in Frozen Reflections for all the other "appearances" dependant on path and whom you saved/killed.


Places

Maps to all Locations?

Risen extensively provides maps to all the locations (press m-key) in the game, e.g. yielding valuable additional information on where to find merchants, or important quest related NPCs. Especially in the swamps these maps significantly help orientation.
see Maps for a by Chapter list.
see also the Gates of Vizima.


Circle of Elements Location?

There are quite a few Circles of Elements that either let Geralt learn a new Sign or yield a temporary Sign power-up. Should you have trouble finding them all, look into this complete list of Circle of Elements.


Get past Scoia'tael Scout?

The Non-human camp in the Swamp is guarded by a Scoia'tael scout (in Chapter II), entering the camp is not really that useful for the most part (there are a few plants), but there are several ways to get past:
  • Draw a sword, walk close to the scout, then double-tap the w-key (forward) to jump right over him.
  • Lure the monsters nearby to the scout and let them distract or kill the scout for you.
  • I think at least once per day the scout will take a break in the camp, thus letting you pass the narrow wooden bridge.
  • Quests from Yaevinn may also get you past the scout.


What are the Reliefs for?

In Chapter II you will notice a Relief near the Sewer entrance and in the cemetery, but what is up with them?
Solution: These have no relevance in Chapter II, Triss will give you a quest in Chapter III making use of them (The Source).


Why all the locked doors?

In some respect they seem to be teasers, trying to make the player find a way past those locks. There are several types of locked doors:
  • Most locked doors e.g. in the Outskirts belong to sheds and only seem to be present as decoration, possibly an oversight by the developers that may have planned to use them in some way, but did not.
  • The locked door to an abandoned house — path leads to the Outskirts southern Cave — can be unlocked when you locate the Salamandra hideout.
  • The Chapel doors can only be unlocked after gaining the Reverend's trust (Eternal Fire), trying to solve Dead Hand of the Past.
  • Other locked doors, e.g. in Vizima usually hint at some quest that will give you a key to enter these premises:
    • Quite foreboding doors you will find locking the Cloister — in Chapter II they are present and locked, in Chapter III the doors no longer "interact", and only in the Epilogue will you be able to enter them.
    • Entering the Trade Quarter Sewers you will notice a grated gate to the immediate left, but it is locked. You need to take on quest by the Con artist to open it.
  • There are many more locked doors to unlock, the above just mentions a few.


Old manor house & Catacombs

Once you visit the Old manor house in Chapter V, be sure to continue the path north, and visit the old ship wreck as well.
After beating Azar Javed revisit the catacombs under the old manor, to pick up a few extra items, especially from the chamber with the force field "door" blocking direct access to the laboratory. You were teleported out of it before you could loot.


Curiosities & Speculations

Favourite character Quotations?

During the long hours playing Risen you may have witnessed many comments from your side-kicks, here is a collection of some favorites:
GeraltKaer Morhen, Prologue
Comments on the murals on the walls near the entrance doors:
"Witcher have always been better with a sword than a paint brush."


Read the Encrypted document?

Ever wondered what the Encrypted document you got from Roland Bleinheim actually said? Alas, even with the Key to the Salamandra code, the document stays illegible, and Declan Leuvaarden never tells you.

see the decrypted document


What is up with the Doghouse?

In Chapter I, the doghouse of Odo's dog does leave room for speculation in what way it might be interacted with. Apparently there is actually nothing behind this object, it is just decoration.


Geralt's Darker Moments?

There are a few situations when playing a more darkly inclined Geralt is possible:
Chapter I:
  • Let the thugs rape Vesna near the gates of the Outskirts inn, or save her, but then let her run into her doom trying to return home at night (on a path littered with bloodthirsty barghests).
  • Do not defend the innocent Abigail against the angry mob.
Chapter II:
  • Kill the peaceful (innocent) dogs for their Dog tallow, just to finish The Dogcatcher of Vizima quest, instead of simply buying / collecting enough dog tallow otherwise.
    Tip: The thugs that attack at night in the Temple Quarter also carry dog tallow.
  • Let Gramps in the Swamp — a cannibal — live, just to take advantage of his knowledge.
Chapter III:
  • Force the Blue-eyed lass to marry someone she does not love by helping her brother Patrick de Weyze, slaying the innocent Queen of the Night. Or actually slay both her brother and the vampires.
  • At the beginning of the Chapter you will encounter Carmen standing near the landing in the swamp, about to look for a cure for her beloved. Do not help her, let her walk into her swampy death.
  • Let down Carmen by either directly killing her werewolf lover Vincent, or at least do not try to cure him.
Chapter IV:
  • Turn in Adam for murdering Celina.
  • Or worse force Adam into a suicide.
  • Help neither Celina nor Alina make peace in the afterlife.
Chapter V:
  • When Adda turns into a striga again, choose the easy path and simply slay her.


Speculations and Musings?

Here a few game related speculations:
  • Grand Master and Alvin
At the very end of the game, after killing the Grand Master (Jacques de Aldersberg), Geralt finds an artifact (Dimeritium amulet) on the dead man's body, something Geralt also gave to Alvin. Alvin may have travelled back in time and actually turned into the Grand Master. Also see Speculations about Alvin.
  • Incomplete Quests
There are two missing quests that yield an interesting insight into what was planned at some point, but had to be dropped. One quest Skullhead in the Sewers centres on a headhunt in the sewers, the other Coup d'État foreshadows the central theme of The Witcher 2.


Curiosities?

Mildly strange things to note:
  • Searching the Reverend's house in the Outskirts not only reveals abundant food on the table, but also quite a bit of alcohol stashed away in the cellar. This from a man who supposedly prays without "sustenance". A sly dig from the developers, it seems.
  • When you enter the Swamp for the first time in Chapter II, a Nosy dog will follow you around, after a while the dog almost becomes a family member. There seems to be nothing quest related pertaining to this animal.
  • One of the druids in the Swamp may whistle the first few notes of the Star Wars anthem. Other characters may also whistle that tune in the game. Probably a little Easter Egg.
  • At the end of Chapter I you learn about the Reverend's crime of abandoning his daughter, who becomes a prostitute in Vizima. In the Epilogue you learn from the Novice nun (in the refugee hut) that Carmen was in fact that daughter.
  • In Chapter V when saving Princess Adda in the cemetery crypt: The saved Adda is in her underwear, once you leave the crypt she is in her party dress. After talking to Velerad, should you meditate at the campfire for a while (18h), the princess will still be standing front of the crypt gates, but now in her underwear again. A wardrobe bug apparently.
  • There are several words in the game that are German, or somewhat derived from them:
  • Burgomeister was probably transliterated, the German word is Bürgermeister and means major.
  • Zahin Schmartz the name of the dentist, is derived from Zahnschmerz meaning toothache, quite a fitting name.
  • Hildegard Zollstock the name of a widow. Zollstock means ruler or more literally "inch stick".
see Easter Eggs


Curious Characters?

There are few, explicitly named NPCs, who are not quest related, but do tell a story by their very existence:
Ida Vertz Marcus Vertz
Pious woman (near Chapel, Outskirts)
  • You will find here praying at the village shrine most of the time, and she seems to be the only person who actually survives the "Beast" massacre, that killed almost everyone at the end of Chapter I. She is not part of any quest though.
Macus & Ida Vertz (Temple Quarter, Vizima)
  • You will first encounter this couple living near the Merchant Street in Chapter II. Then in Chapter III they have moved into a house in the Slums. Though they are not related to a quest, they do tell a story of progressing poverty forcing inhabitants of Vizima to move from "better" quarters to worse ones.
  • Another tidbit: In Chapter II, Ida and Marcus Vertz lived in Angus' house, and they have since moved to a house in the slums. So one might speculate that the drug dealer and his shady friends forced the Vertz out of their "nicer" home.


What is up with the Cow?

If you play Ripples by looking for a peaceful resolution in Murky Waters (abiding to the wishes of the Lady of the Lake), you may hear of and see the Prize-winning cow named Strawberry. But nothing more will come of this encounter. The cow only takes main stage if you side with the friendly vodyan priest, who asks you to "kidnap" the cow.


De Wett & the King's Signature?

When you encounter Roderick de Wett in Foltest's throne room in the beginning of Chapter V. He will ask Geralt to influence King Foltest to not sign the letter to disband the Order of the Flaming Rose.
This sounded quite promising, and could have been a pro-Order path quest with interesting repercussions. Alas the quest and any ramifications have been removed from the final game.


Killing in Old Vizima?

When playing the Order path, Zoltan will be quite upset about "Geralt's Order" at the start of Chapter V on the dike, and tell Geralt that he should look into the matter of indiscriminate killing of innocents in burning Old Vizima.
Though Geralt will see a lot of killing this "suggested quest" does not yield anything. Seems be some dialogue underlining the urgency for Geralt to "bring peace" to Old Vizima, or it might have been another quest dropped from the final game.


Misc

Bugs & Workarounds?

Presently (5/13/2010) with the Enhanced Edition — Director's Cut released for the PC version of Risen, the number of bugs are quite few. But heed to the following tips anyway to avoid possible frustration:
Tips:
  • Take full advantage of quicksave / quickload, e.g. save before you enter a new area, or talk to a new NPC, or begin a game of dice, or start a fistfight. If you loose a fight or a game of dice, you can simply reload the state before the mini-game, and try again.
Bugs:
  • The game can sporadically crash, after playing for several hours. In my 120 hour run it crashed about 8 times (running the Steam version of The Witcher Director's Cut under Windows 7 (64bit)). Luckily I only lost a few minutes gameplay thanks to the abundant recently saved games. To continue playing, kill the game's task via Ctrl+Alt+Del, then restart the game, and load the last saved game state.
    • There does not seem to be much consistency behind the crashes, in one case exiting a building would freeze the game when it was trying to autosave at that point.
    • Or when talking to a NPC the game would simply stop.
    • Or some cutscene late in the game (Chapter V, talking to Shani in the Hospital) would not trigger properly, leaving the game running but with a black screen. In this case at least, rebooting Windows and restarting the game would fix the issue.
  • A few barrels in the game can not be looted, because they are "out of reach" (one near Shani's house, another one in a cellar in Vizima).
  • And in crypts (2-3 cases total) plants will show by name but not by model, again not letting you harvest them.
  • See the Main menu without pointer? Q&A.
  • There are more bugs in the game, but with the save tips above, you should be able to avoid most of them and complete the game.


Main menu without pointer?

Should you have installed and played Risen Demo before installing the full game, you may run into some unexpected behaviour:
  • First off, any settings you tweaked for the demo will be used by the full game (convenient for the most part).
  • Alas this also means that the save game folder for both the demo and the full game is the same. Be very careful not to use the saved games from the demo in the full game!
  • If you set up the demo to play in OTS view mode, then this can lead to an ugly bug. Each time you launch the full game, you may not see a mouse pointer in the main menu.
    Solution: Press and hold the Shift-key while you move the mouse pointer to make it visible again. Later, playing the game for a while, this issue is usually fixed, until you restart the game executable the next time.


Load Menu is Slow Listing Saves?

Alas the so-called quicksaves in Risen are actually full saves, meaning every time you quicksave (F5-key) a new file is created, and the file is not over-written! This can bloat your Template:Filecol drive. At the end of the game I had 1659 files in the folder:
Template:Filecol (Windows 7, 64 bit)
With a total file size of 32.6 GB!
What makes things worse: This many files will lead to painfully long load times when selecting Load Game in the game's menu.
Solution: Create a new folder on another drive or partition, e.g.
Template:Filecol,
then use the Explorer (or some other file browser) to move out all the files with lower numbers, keeping the last 10 or so, highest numbered saved game states. Also keep the first four autosave files. This significantly speeds up the Load Game menu. Should you need older save states, simply move back the older files.
Tip: The game autosaves when changing areas (load screen shown), e.g. when leaving buildings. Such an autosave may come in handy should the game crash, and you forgot to save the game recently. These autosave (4 files) are periodically overwritten, actually making them "real" quicksaves.


Cheats? In-game Console?

Alas there is no in-game console, so on-the-fly "cheating" or a change of settings is not possible.
A way to manipulate some of the player stats is to directly edit the saved games file, see the The Witcher Save Editor? Q&A.
Should you want to "cheat" in a more conservative way, i.e. using special knowledge available in the game, then see the Gameplay Quick Guide instead.


The Witcher Save Editor?

Since there are no cheat commands for Risen the only convenient way to "cheat" or manipulate Geralt's stats is to directly change and edit the saved game files located in this folder:
Template:Filecol (Windows 7, 64 bit)
This lets you change:
  • Stats: Level, XP, Gold, Vitality, Endurance, Toxicity, Bronze/Silver/Gold Talents
  • Attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Intelligence
  • Signs: Aard, Igni, Quen, Axxi, Yrden
  • Styles: Strong/Fast/Group Steel/Silver
  • Equipment: Armor, Silver/Steel Sword, Trophy
  • Inventory: Bomb, Book, Drink, Food, Gem, Grease, Ingredient, Jewelry, Magical, Potion, Quest, Upgrade, Other
  • Quests: Started, Completed, Failed, Not Started
Note: A few values can not be upped beyond certain limits, e.g. maximum Endurance seems to be around 75.
Skill Updates: The "cleanest" way to gain all skills would be to up the number of available Talents (e.g. 100 of each kind), save the save game, then load it from Risen, to then mediate and distribute those Talents. Though this would not let you choose mutagen-related skills. You can activate every skill directly in the editor, though.
Missed Quests: On the Quests tab, under Not Started, you can conveniently look up all the quests you missed in the game, if you load a save game state from the very end of the game.
Weapons: If you want to begin a game with the most powerful swords, this is possible from the Equipment tab.
Source:
The Witcher Enhanced Editor (v2.1, TWEditorEnhanced.zip, 108 KB)
Installation:
  • Be sure to carefully read the readme file to properly set up the paths to run the Java code (TWEditor.jar) that runs the editor.
Template:Filecol
Java executable location (Jave Runtime Library):
Template:Filecol
Location of Risen game (Steam install):
Template:Filecol
Location of editor code (install anywhere):
Template:Filecol
Comment: I tested the editor with the Director's Cut, both for the main game and the New Adventures (modules). It always worked and did not destabilise the game. Use at your own risk though, and always backup save game files before you manipulate them! (AEon)


Clean HUD-free Screenshots?

There is no way to completely turn off the HUD (Heads Up Display) to take clean screenshots in the unmodified game. You will always see Geralt's stats on the left side and the mini-map on the right.
Tip: If you move Geralt back towards a wall (or tree), in OTS (Over the Shoulder) view you will notice that the character model will become invisible. This lets you take screenshots with HUD, but at least without Geralt in them.
Solution: Install the GUI Toggle mod by Flash, to toggle the HUD via key:
  • Launch the game normally, and bind the new Options menu, Controls, Turn On/Off GUI function to e.g. the Alt-key.
  • Continue playing your game, hit the Alt-key to turn off the HUD.
  • Rotate camera by holding the Shift-key and move the mouse to left/right edge of the screen.
  • Take your screenshot, e.g. with the Fraps screen-grabber tool.
  • Press Alt-key again, to turn on the HUD again.


How to play in-game .bik Movies?

Since all in-game movies are in the Bink format, look for the free Bink player at RadGameTools. Download and install the RADVideo package.
Tip: The in-game movies can be found in the Template:Filecol and Template:Filecol folders. The latter lets you watch the 24 Romance card movies.


How to take Screenshots?

For optimum quality, Template:Filecol bitmap images are the way to go. Though this comes with a file size price of about 5 MB per image for screens running at a 1680x1050 pixel resolution.
To take screenshots plus get a framerate counter as a bonus use the Template:Filecol screen-grabber tool (Google for it, free version available). It takes screenshots instantly (no noticeable lag) in Template:Filecol format. Note the tool lets you bind any key to grab screens. I use the <-key to the right of the left Shift-key on a German keyboard, very convenient.


How to read up on Dialogues?

Alas it is not possible to look up dialogues, information about recent quest updates, orens or XP earned. The Journal only updates all the pertinent information, marking new entries with an orange "!".


Toggle floating Object Names?

By default the floating Object Names help the player see what can be interacted with in the game world. Absolutely nessary to avoid wasting time. But the more aesthetically-minded player will often not want to see them, e.g. when taking screenshots. Plus they do cause visual spam in Vizima, and cost frame rate. So it would be best to turn them on/off via keyboard shortcut.
Solution:
  • First turn off Options menu, Game Options, Show Object Names in the menu.
  • Next choose and bind a key to the function Options, Controls, Toggle visible object names, e.g. the Alt-key or better a mouse button like M4.
  • Then during the game, whenever you press and hold the key, the Object Names will show up. Let go of the key and you have a nice clean text-free screen..


Abbreviations

Risen uses quite a few new terms, and the FAQ needs to refer to them at times. To make the Q&A easier to read, here are all the commonly used abbreviations explained:
  • PC — Player Character (you! and your avatar Geralt in the game)
  • NPC — Non-Player Character (anyone else you can talk to in the game)
  • XP — Experience Points (controls levelling)
  • LP — Learning points, needed to learn new skills. 10 LP are awared per Level up.
  • HP — Hit points, or Health points, reflect the player state of health.
  • Q&A — Question & Answer (the meat of any FAQ)


Feedback

  • Feedback welcome, post it on the Talk:The Risen FAQ page!
  • If you have additional info on a certain Q&A, please mention it.
  • If you are missing a Q&A or some spiffy quest etc., tell me about it!
  • Any other improvement suggestions welcome.


Credits

The FAQ is based on my (Æon) playing Risen.
Special thanks go to User:Game widow on the
Risen Wiki
for feedback and support.


History

  • v1.0 — Putting together the basic Q&As and tips, linking them to the wiki, FAQ uses British English.
  • v0.1 — Using the Witcher layout, content structure, for this FAQ. (11/7/2010)


Æon

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki