The Witcher 3 brings us face to face with a member of the Wild Hunt in Wandering in the Dark.
The Witcher 3: Wandering in the Dark
Wandering in the Dark presents some real challenges if you’re under-levelled, and you can’t exit once you’ve moved a little way in. Make a back up save file outside the cave before you commit to continuing, so you don’t lose much progress if you need to back up and some side questing.
When you’re sure you’re ready, follow Keira into the ruin until you trigger a cutscene. You’ll then be asked to enter a portal, and end up alone. Take down the three Drowners in front of you before entering the water.
Dive and pass into the next area. As you move on, look for a fork with an obvious path to the left and a breakable wall to the right. Take the path on the left and walk back into the main room, then make an immediate u-turn to your left and look behind the wall for a chest.
Go back to the fork in the path I mentioned before and and knock down the crumbling wall with Aard or your sword. A little further on you’ll meet a Foglet; cast Quen for best results, as you’re likely to be hit a few times thanks to its sneak attacks.
Continue onwards and break another wall. Your goal is the raised platform ahead of you, but there are a couple of hazards. First, you may be attacked by some Drowners, depending on where their wandering has led them. Second, the yellow gas is toxic. Either skirt the wall to the right to bypass it, or cast Igni from a save distance and then trot through before it comes back.
Once you’re up on the central platform, there are three paths. The first doorway on your right leads to treasure, as does the one directly ahead on you. Ignore Keira’s screams and explore these dead ends thoroughly before taking the second of the two paths to find your friend in some distress.
You need to take out two rat nests here; just cast Igni while standing by and facing the Waypoints; depending on your level you may need to do it a few times. Igni works well to clear out the rats, too.
Chat with Keira and then pass into the next room to view a short cutscene. Move on a little further to face some Wraiths. Keira is a big help here, but they’re not too hard; cast Yrden on them for a nice boost to your damage, and use Igni on the gas to damage the Wraiths from a distance.
When they’re down, pick a path through the gas to the large statue; loot it for a silver sword. The path you want is to the right, as you face into this area from the direction of approach. Keira will mention a swallow if you’re going the right way; you should see it glowing red on the wall if you have Witcher Senses engaged.
Climb up a couple of ledges and check out the glowing messenger on the other side of the room ahead. If you use Witcher Senses you can see signs around the room, but don’t investigate them! One blows up, doing a whack of damage, and another spawns very dangerous wraith versions of Geralt and Keira. Instead, leap down into the water in the middle of the room, and use Witcher Senses to find a horse sign on the wall. Dive to follow a tunnel underneath this sign. Climb and around the find another horse, which you should activate to open the next path.
Return to the room with the circular pool by way of the rocky tunnel, then pass into the next chamber. Use Witcher Senses to find a swallow sign by the portal at the end of the tunnel; activate it and pass through.
Wandering in the Dark boss fight: Golem
In the next room you’ll have to fight a Golem. Thankfully, Keia is a great help here; let the beast aggro on her, then get behind it for critical strikes, using your best melee attack if you’ve upgraded one or the other. When it turns, roll away. Rinse and repeat.
When the Golem’s health is halved it becomes more dangerous, with a charging, flailing attack. Just keep away until Keira’s magic draw its attention again. If you are careful, you’ll only take hits when it does a jumping attack with area of effect damage.
Loot the nearby container once you’ve beaten the Golem – and its corpse, too, of course. Climb up onto the wooden platform flanked by two braziers, and then take the corridor.
When you come to a T-junction and the GPS suggests going left, optionally continue on to the dead end to fight a Gargoyle; you can loot its corpse and a nearby container, but there’s no other reward.
Back on the main path, use Witcher Senses at the waypoint to find the swallow sign, and then take the portal. Pass around the frozen Gargoyles, climbing the broken stairs, and move into the room with the waypoint for a cutscene.
Here, you need to stay inside Keira’s shield and kill any hounds that try to attack her. Do not go beyond the borders of the shield; the cold is deadly, and will sap your vitality really quickly.
Your best bet if you’re struggling is to stand right by Keira and parry, then counter – once! – after each attack, returning back to starting position. Use Igni if two or more Hounds approach at once. It’s boring and annoying but Keira is more survivable than you if you haven’t been levelling up. There are three waves of half a dozen hounds each; you need to kill them all. Loot the corpses when the battle is over.
In the next corridor, check out the breakable wall to your right. Use Aard to knock it down, stand a few paces back, and cast Igni to clear the poisonous gas beyond. Move forward quickly, clearing the gas as you do and moving on before it comes back. There’s a lootable container tucked behind a low wall, but you can also climb a ledge to find another room. There’s a chest here with some great stuff, but as soon as you open it you’ll be attacked by a Foglet – be prepared.
Wandering in the Dark boss fight: how to kill Nithral
Return to the main path and save your game before you proceed, as we’re about to have a boss fight with a Huntaman named Nithral. If you die and have to reload, try Hanged Man’s Venom and Thunderbolt to up your damage.
The game doesn’t give you many clues about this fight, so here’s one from me: Ygren. Slowing this guy’s movements makes it much easier to dodge his attacks. Try to circle him, darting in to smack him in the back when Keira stuns him.
If he kneels, immediately back right off to avoid the area of effect attack that follows. He’ll teleport to the centre of the room and open portals, bringing in Hounds. You need to kill these quickly, so he can’t regenerate all his health. Run towards the rift and cast Igni on groups to take them down as quickly as possible. If you find this impossible, you need to go and level up or buy new equipment – have you upgraded your silver sword?
After a few rounds of this you should take him down. The battle is much harder if you don’t stay on the offensive, as Keira’s attacks and Nithral’s circling can lead him to have his back against the wall, where it’s very hard for you to hit him.
When Nithral dies, be sure to loot him and all the goodies around the room before climbing up to the mage’s laboratory.
When you’ve finished chatting with Keira (hope you weren’t counting on that little flirtation going anywhere), loot all the things and look at whatever you please before examining the back wall. Keira will give you a device for bypassing illusions. Before you use it on the exit, climb back down into the room where you fought Nithral and visit the passage at the far end, on the other side to the entrance. You can use the Eye here to reveal a hidden bonus.
Back at the laboratory, use the Eye on that dodgy wall to open a passage out. Pass through the doorway and walk a little to end Wandering in the Dark and optionally begin the secondary quest Magic Lamp. Whether you complete this quest or not (you may as well; it’s right here, pretty easy, and sets up further side quests and rewards) our next stop is Ladies of the Wood.
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