There are moments in games that simply make you stop and just appreciate what you have just seen. It might be something you affect yourself and in other cases, you might have no control whatsoever. It is this latter case that might just be my favourite moment in gaming so far and I literally just sat there watching a four and a half minute cut-scene and loving every second.
The scene in question comes some way into The Witcher 3:Wild Hunt. Our hero Geralt and his long-time friend, the gruff dwarf Zoltan, have been invited to hear “Callonetta” their friend Dandelion’s current paramour,
As Geralt and Zoltan sit down to listen, a wonderful edited introduction of Callonetta begins. We never see her face, just a glimpse of her long blonde hair, and minstrel attire. She tunes her lute, sits on the edge of a table with her foot tucked behind her other leg and then she starts to pluck her lute.
A simple haunting tune fills the room, the camera pans up so we see her face for the first time and then she starts to sing. It really is a beautiful song and as we cut from her to her audience, we can see the affect it has on them. The editing is fantastic, the camera cuts from Callonetta to her audience, grown men with tears in their eyes, Geralt leaning forward, with his stony face, listening intently but obvious emotion, Zoltan caught up in the song. Somebody walks past the window, pauses to listen, women put their heads on the shoulders of their men and apart from the song, you can almost hear a pin drop. It’s a wonderfully constructed scene but not so much as the effect it has on Geralt as he quickly realises the song is about him and his true love, Yennefer of Vengerburg. “…your scent, berries tart, lilac sweet.” sings Callonetta. “to dream of raven locks entwisted, stormy. Of violet eyes, glistening as you weep”
As the song ends. Geralt, with a nudge from Zoltan stands to applaud and the rest of the clientele join in.
For those four and a half minutes you almost forget you are playing a game. It’s a scene that could belong in a movie or on TV, it’s that good.
Its obvious that CD Projekt Red are very proud of this scene too, as the song which is entitled “The Wolven Storm” but more commonly known as “Priscilla’s Song” has been recorded in seven languages for the various versions, the English version being sung by Emma Hiddleston who also voices Callonetta or Priscilla as she is known away from the stage. If that surname sounds familiar then you would be right as it is indeed the sister of Tom Hiddleston, of Loki and The Night Manager, fame.
The song itself has a life of its own now, there are many cover versions to found on Youtube and these range from simple arrangements to orchestral. It’s obvious I’m not alone in loving this scene and song
For me this is an amazing scene, one of my very favourites, so please, Id like to hear from your favourite moments in games, whether it is something you do yourself, a cut-scene or just something memorable.