I can proudly announce that thanks to eLeR Creative Studio, the 1.2 version of Witcher – Masquerade has been released, including the Hungarian version of the module, which was written and translated by me! (Download links below!)
It was an honour to work with such an amazing team on such an exciting project !
I would like to say a few words about the history of the module:
The project was started by Ifrit Creative Group sometime around 2008. Although, the creation of the module was pushed into the background and almost faded into the shadows. However, now that the fifth anniversary of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and the thirteenth anniversary of The Witcher have arrived, eLeR Creative Studio has decided to not let this treasure fade away and finish what they started back in 2008.
Ifrit is also well known for the stories of “The Wedding” and “Merry Witchmas,” which CD Projekt officially released as part of The Witcher Enhanced Edition as free adventure modules. This later gave some of them the opportunity to work with the makers of The Withcer. However, after a few grim events, the group first paused its work and then later disbanded. After a couple of silent years, Łukasz “eLeR” Rębisz founded the eLeR Creative Studio with the remaining members and some new recruits, with the goal of completing unfinished projects, also upgrading and providing voice acting to existing old ones.
Thanks to eLeR Creative and the support of CD Projekt Red, this almost-official module could finally be completed and released.
Some words about the story:
This adventure module is created for the The Witcher Enhanced Edition. It takes place after the events of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and Blood and Wine.
The story begins in 1277, when our beloved monster hunter, the witcher, Geralt of Rivia arrives in the Outskirts of Vizima. Here he takes on a very mundane job regarding a basement of a house that is being haunted by a ghost. This is the beginning of our hero’s strange journey, deep into the rabbit hole. Very strange events are taking place within the Outskirts. A large merchant caravan has just arrived in the village and one of its member was murdered. The case is very complicated and everyone is blaming a certain Doppler. There are plenty of threads and the city guard is not able to round up the case on their own, they need a professional. That’s when Geralt comes into the picture. However, the Outskirts has other mysteries in store for us, as well as a few unexpected twists.
The module of course is free and is available on the websites linked below.
Players can once again jump into the role of Geralt of Rivia for an adventure or two, whose head is buzzing from this nasty affair. The gameplay of Masquerade focuses mostly on investigation and puzzles that also form the core of the story. Fighting is mostly optional, but present to provide a challenge for those who seek it.
Naturally, the adventure has several endings and they are all of excellent quality, because the creators put their hearts and souls into it. The module contains well-written texts and quests. In addition, a quality Polish dubbing was also created for the adventure. Furthermore, Mantrio has written some unique pieces of music exclusively for Masquerade, which gives a unique atmosphere to the Outskirts and rhymes with the story.
In addition, a strong emphasis was placed on the decisions that the players have to make during the adventure. Therefore, the module has two very different paths, almost opposite to each other. And besides this, a total of eight endings can be reached through several interesting ways.
The story has been constructed very carefully in order to stay faithful to the world of the Witcher in every way. Regarding the Outskirts, the creators paid particular attention to ensure that it still reflects, but gives a different experience than the same area of the original game. Similarly, the monsters appearing in the module also received special treatment as the creators sought to ensure a coherent experience.
Dialogues and other texts within the adventure are of excellent quality, not flat, sometimes very humorous. The creators put their hearts and souls into it. Additionally, a short story from the pen of Fantasta is included inside the module, which tells an unknown chapter from Geralt’s story. The dear audience can read this novella in one of the merchants’ private library. Not to mention, it is worth visiting the houses around the market, where other secrets may be hidden. In addition, there are a number of side quests in the Outskirts and its surrounding areas that fit into the world and most of them are in some way connected to the main narrative.
If I had to summarize this adventure module in one sentence: The team managed to bring the Outskirts of Vizima back to life.
A few words about the group and the process of the translation:
When I submitted my application to eLeR, that I would like to translate the module into Hungarian, I would not have thought that they will accept me. Since then, I have been a full member of the team and we have worked, and are working together on several other projects.
I had the honour of working with excellent programmers, writers and actors. In a very supportive and kind community. The actors were all dedicated. Writers and programmers have written and built the world with devotion, based on the works of Andrzej Sapkowski. Everyone put their heart and soul into this project. They were supportive throughout and helped me to improve my Polish a bit as well. Thanks to them, I can now mostly read and write fluently, although I must admit I still have a lot to improve.
All in all, translating the module was not an easy job, as there are plenty of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of lines of text. Geralt alone has more than fifteen thousand lines. I spent about four months and kept making sure I could convey the true value that this work of art represents.
I translated the module directly from Polish to avoid any possibility of losing values because of translation. However, when I applied I did so with English in mind. At the time, my Polish was nearly non-existent. Therefore, I started to work with the English translation. However, both Fantasta and eLeR suggested that it would be even better if I take a look at the original Polish text. And they were right! I realised that I need to quickly get myself to learn Polish and work harder to achieve a better understanding of the source-material. Not to mention, I realised that certain little things that otherwise could add to the experience will be lost in translation if I use the English version. Although, it would have been simpler, but I still wanted to publish quality work, because I think this story deserves to be as complete as possible in front of the Hungarian audience.
While working on individual characters, I paid attention to the character’s vocabulary, mettles and flaws, and also mood. Since the Hungarian dubbing will probably not be made, I tried to use the text to show the style, the pitch and the tone, or even the features of each character. I also gave several of them different dialects.
Additionally, when I had to work with one character at a time, I always tried to capture and feel their state of mind or even their inner thoughts. I completely tried to give myself to the characters, like I placed myself in their situation, tried to figure out how they would act, and how that would result. For example, how one character would speak, what language one would use. If they had a “mask” on, then would they drop it? Or are they strong willed enough to maintain this masquerade? All this can be conveyed through using simple, yet correct words. And if a person pays attention, one can recognise these little things that betray the true intention of a character. Moreover, this way I was able to keep the life and soul inside the characters that their creators had given them.
In addition, I tried to make sure that the text was as authentic as possible. A simple example of this is the Hungarian word “magyaráz” (which means explain in English, however, it’s base is the word “magyar” that means Hungarian), which seems meaningless in the world of the Witcher, as there is no such people and this word could not have evolved – so I always replaced it with a nice synonym that suits the given situation due to the beauty of the Hungarian language. In the case of swearing (of which I have to note that there are several), I used the same technique, because many of our swearing words are of religious origin or have a meaning that is not present within the given world.
However, for a project of this size, a few errors may sometimes slip through the fingers. No matter how hard I tried, there were a few sentences or spellings that had to be corrected or completely rewritten afterwards, because within the context of the game, the given text gained a completely different meaning. Once again, I would like to thank my colleague Fantasta for his patience, who carefully implemented my minor corrections and text changes.
Our thanks to everyone involved in this, one of the longest projects for The Witcher. After almost twelve years our adventure has come to an end.
Thank you for reading through this little post of mine! I hope you got interested in the story! Though, I would not like to say anything more, because I do not want to spoil anything!