The Witcher Script Heavily Edited for English Audiences, Says The Writer

By Nick Breckon, Nov 07, 2007 11:48am PST Players of CD Projekt's hardcore Polish RPG The Witcher may not be hearing the whole story when it comes to the game's characters and quests. According to one of the game's writers, and a chorus of disappointed fans, The Witcher was heavily edited in its transition to the English language.

"Yes, it's true," said writer Sande Chen in response to the issue on the official Witcher forums. "My writing partner and I worked on the English adaptation of the script (based on the translation from the Polish script). It was edited down considerably, not because of censorship, though."

According to translations worked up by fans, the cuts range from minor alterations to drastic changes. One line in the English version reads, "Humans have always hated dwarves and elves," while the same line in the Polish release translates as, "Why do pricks go in cunts? It's the natural order of things. Humans have always disliked dwarves and elves. Not for me to know why."

Though that line may seem to be an obvious candidate for censorship, The Witcher is rated "M" for Mature by the ESRB, and features plenty of equally-vulgar language throughout its existing English translation.

Chen elaborates on the situation via her blog, stressing that CD Projekt did the best they could--while not going so far as to blame publisher Atari for the uneven localization.

"As writers, we accept that when we hand over the script, there's always the possibility it will get changed," Chen writes. "It is sad that not all was able to be retained, but the cuts were ideally done in a fashion so as to keep as much of the original meaning as possible. We think CD Projekt has done a phenomenal job."

The Witcher is based on a series of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. While Sapkowski monitored and advised on the project, the game was adapted independently by CD Projekt.

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