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Chosen One of the Day: Roach, Geralt's briefly talking horse in Witcher 3
There’s a side quest in Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt called Equine Phantoms. You’re called to help a hermit who is being haunted by some kind of spectral horse — by haunted we mean terrorized and fed on while she’s sleeping (big yikes). Anyway, Geralt can’t see the damn thing and so he doesn’t know how he’ll be able to fight it.
What to do, what to do, what to do?
Oh, I know. He’ll drink ‘shroom tea from the hermit and go into a possibly hallucinatory drugged state. He drinks the tea and immediately passes out. The world goes real weird. When he comes to, everything is wibbly-wobbly, hazy, and blurred and Geralt hears a voice.
“Wow, this clover’s amazing.”
But that’s weird because he was alone. Or was he?
Off to the side, you see Roach, Geralt’s ever-present, loyal mare who always comes to Geralt’s aid when he whistles.
That magic tea means Geralt can now understand Roach! This whole quest is Geralt plus a talking horse who is his BEST FRIEND. (And who inexplicably sounds like someone sort of doing a very lite '90s beach bum impression?)
And Roach is so excited. The whole thing is a delight. Geralt gets to ask Roach how she always knows where to show up when he whistles and Roach is like:
I’m dying of cuteness.
Of course, it’s not all sweet animal-mutant-monster-hunter bonding, they’ve got a wraith to catch after all! First, Roach has got to look for clues and Geralt better not get in her way.
Then they have to chase a ghost/wraith horse thing? Umbra? Who cares! The horse you’re riding can talk! Geralt tells Roach to run, like he usually does and Roach is not having it.
Honestly, it’s cathartic finally getting to hear Roach’s side of the conversation. My only complaint is that the quest is too short and that I can’t just decide to brew that mushroom tea whenever I want so Geralt doesn’t have to spend so much time talking to himself.
More Talking Roach! Roach agrees!
Netflix, you hear me? This is what we want in Season 2. Henry Cavill talking to his horse and the horse talks back.