Everything ties back to Malachor V. (No but actually… almost literally everything in this game.) This was one of the planets where the addition of the restored material was most evident and most appreciated. The planet’s always felt so… abrupt. You’re dumped on its surface by yourself and while the restored content still does that, it does ease you in a little with the Exile hearing the thoughts of her companions that lead them all to Malachor.
In a way, it makes you feel a little more like the Exile. The game’s told us how she forms bonds with others and grows strong from those bonds. Being painfully separated from other party members feels like a deliberate choice by the game creators. Or maybe I’m just a sucker who loves my crew. You can’t get back on the Ebon Hawk and none of your crew is anywhere to be seen so you have no choice but to fight your way into the depths of Malachor V where Sion and Kreia are waiting. Continue reading →
YEP ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BAD HAPPENS AT ALL ON DANTOOINE.
First things first though. HK-47 is sadistic as heck and tortures one of the HK-50 droids to learn the location of the droid factory on Telos. He’ll be dealing with it sooner or later. (Apparently not sooner because the game makes you wait for it a little.)
It’s back to Dantooine and the Jedi Enclave which looks considerably nicer than it did the last time you visited and Masters Vrook, Kavar, and Zez-Kai Ell are all waiting for you. The more you talk to them, the more messed up everything gets especially as it intercuts with Kreia’s own commentary from a courtyard slightly further away. Turns out that the Jedi Council didn’t cut you off from the Force and that you did that yourself as a sort of survival/coping mechanism after everything that happened at Malachor because the screams of everyone dying were just too much to handle. While you always did form bonds with others and inspire them to follow you rather easily, the Masters are convinced that you’re actually just some sort of black hole in the Force now and feed off of other Force Sensitives and grow stronger the more people you kill and the more you convince to follow you. It’s really messed up. Continue reading →
When Kavar calls, the Exile comes running apparently and so we’re on our way back to Dxun so we can then go off to Onderon again. First though, we must *gasp* split the party. Unsurprisingly, the Sith are partially behind General Vaklu’s attempted coup although his own ambitions are certainly helping there. The Exile is left with a decision to make: choose a squad mate to lead some of the crew to deal with the Sith base on Dxun while she leads the attack on Vaklu’s forces on Onderon.
For some reason, I always choose Visas to lead them. I don’t know why but it just feels right. With her this time, I send Mandalore (Kreia approves) and Mira (Kreia seems unimpressed.) Oddly enough, Mira might be the best choice given her ability to walk through mines so she can sneak through there and disable the sensors. The more I think about it, the more Mira seems like one of the only choices to deal with those stupid mines. (So shut it, Kreia.) Once we’re past the sensors, it’s a matter of just cutting through the waves of Sith troops to battle our way into the heart of the base which oh so conveniently happens to be the tomb of Freedon Nadd. Visas gets to continue her light side journey by not falling prey to any of the three dark side temptations within the tomb and also kick some ass along the way. Chalk one up in the success column for Team Dxun. Continue reading →
Welcome to Korriban where a mental screwball is the only option on the menu. Much like Dantooine, there’s not much to this particular planet because (unlike Dantooine) everyone’s dead. Sure you have to kill a lot of creepy creatures and Sith Assassins but it’s not like you’ve got people to talk to. Hell, even the Jedi Master you came to find is already dead thanks to Darth Sleeps-With-Vibroblades. Oh yeah: you have to fight him to and then run away because Kreia says so. It’s uhhh… something. Honestly, this is a planet that’s way more fun if you’re playing dark side because at least you get to see Bastila. Sort of.
It’s also now occurring to me that you probably have to go to Korriban and Dantooine in this game since the basic maps for those planets already existed and they had to rush production. (Or at least that’s my assumption. I’m making things up.) It’s smart but also there’s a reason why these are the two fastest/most boring planets to deal with.
What makes Korriban worth it is the cave. Technically, it’s the tomb of Ludo Kressh but it’s a blatant take on Luke’s Dagobah cave except with 1000% more dialogue. Snark aside, I actually really like the writing in this part of the game and I think doing this planet close to last makes the most sense. The tomb confronts you with both the choices that you’ve made and the choices that have yet to come. It starts with taking you back to when Malak first returned to the Jedi Temple to recruit other Jedi to join him and Revan in fighting the Mandalorians. The next flashback is from a battle on Dxun where lots of soldiers under your command died. I like how the game lets you choose the exposition in regards to why the Exile decided to go fight and to also determine whether or not it was all worth it. It brings up some good questions because the Exile was responsible for (in the course of war) leading people to their deaths and for everything that happened at Malachor V. It’s nice that you don’t have to send the ghost versions of the soldiers to their deaths this time even though they’re totally still dead but all of it still really makes you think about choices and consequences. Continue reading →
In retrospect, I feel like I erred and should have gone to Onderon before I went to Dantooine but that’s what I get for asking Twitter and abiding by the poll results. Onderon and Dxun are some of my favorite parts of the game to play through because we get Mandalorians and royalty! Space politics!
Everything’s going just fine when you arrive in the Onderon system until someone in their military figures out who you are and tries to kill you and you have to crash/hide on the moon of Dxun. Coincidentally, it’s also where the Mandalorian War started and where an outpost of Mandos still remains. Unknown to the Exile, Kreia tells Atton that he’s not allowed to be done with the ship repairs until she says so which means we have to find another way to Onderon. Ugh.
After fighting through the jungle and encountering the warrior race, Canderous—I mean Mandalore offers to take you with him to Onderon but only if you prove yourself useful and worthy first. That means (you guessed it) running around the camp and the jungle finding more beasts to beat up and things to fix. Along the way, Kreia even teaches you a totally useless power that’s supposed to work against beasts. (Spoiler: It doesn’t do crap.)
Well here we are… back on Dantooine. I don’t know why but this planet seems to fly by especially in comparison to Nar Shaddaa even though it’s way less entertaining than the first. I don’t know if there’s genuinely less content or if I just played through at the speed of light but dang this went fast. Not that I’m complaining.
Dantooine is the planetary embodiment of bitter. They got the short end of the stick thanks to the Jedi Civil War after the planet was bombarded from orbit and scavengers and mercenaries flocked to them when the war ended. No one really wants to be there. In a way, I guess it makes sense that there’s not tons to do there. You go examine the ruins of the Jedi Temple, find some neat crystals, and then defend the settlers from the mean mercenaries. (Or betray them if you’re feeling bad. What I really should do one day when I’m playing through as a dark sider is pull a last minute double cross on the administrator and Master Vrook. Apparently there’s an achievement for that. It’d be worth it because Vrook is a jerk.)
Dantooine also means that you pick up a new companion assuming that you’re playing as female. I would have happily left him in the ruined library and taken the Handmaiden from Telos instead but NOPE. That’s tragically not how this game works. Mical (that’s his name even though he never tells you) is bland as hell. He was a younger Jedi student back in the day but had some weird fixation on you and left the Order after you were Exiled and it’s not weird at all that the game wants you to romance him. NOPE NOT AT ALL.
In far happier news, I assembled HK-47 and he’s mostly functional again and every pissed off about the HK-50s running around the galaxy because they are inferior models and besmirching his good name. How dare! What kills me is that I probably won’t be able to raise my influence with him enough to hear his impressions of Carth and Bastila. However, I did get to experience his thoughts on love. If you’re not familiar with them… well… it’s best to just watch them for yourself.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love HK-47. Murder droids are the best droids.
I’m also chugging right along in my quest to turn all of my companions in Jedi. The very first time I played this game, I think I only managed to get Atton because I didn’t consider the possibility for some of the others and just hated Disciple. (I still hate Disciple.) This play through, I’m rather aggressively trying to show them the ways of the Force and quickly got Disciple on board and finally got Bao-Dur to cooperate. Now if only Mira would play nice…
There’s not much else to say here because Dantooine and Disciple are both just that boring. Sorry not sorry because Onderon/Dxun are next and those are waaaaay more fun. (Mandalorians AND royalty!)
If nothing else, I’ve learned that the Restored Content Mod is happy to make you kill a hell of a lot more HK-50 droids and, well, just about everything else when it comes to Nar Shaddaa. Unsurprisingly, that was indeed the planet I chose to do first because Mira is a delight and I needed her on my crew sooner rather than later. (Every time I play this game as dark side and have to kill her and take Hanharr with me instead, a little part of me dies with her.)
The premise of Nar Shaddaa is that you have to run around and make a lot of noise supposedly because you’re looking for a Jedi Master but actually so you can piss Goto and the Exchange off and get their attention so you can lay down the hurt. It’s both fun and frustrating because towards the end of phase 1, I was basically running in circles talking to anyone and everyone in hopes that I could do that one last thing to get their attention.
This is when the game makes it very clear that you’ve got to walk very delicately when talking with your companions. Some of them are easy to sway while others are far more tied to their own beliefs and you’ll lose Influence with them if you say the wrong thing. (Ebon Hawk chats just aren’t that relaxing anymore.) Kreia in particular can be tricky as she disapproves whenever you perform acts of charity or help others. There’s a lesson that goes poorly either way (if I remember correctly) regarding a refugee who asks you for a few credits. If you give them to him, Kreia tells you that even small acts can have huge ramifications and that now he’ll probably get beat up for getting a handful of credits that he didn’t earn. Way to go you for being nice! (But seriously though: Kreia is messed up and disturbing.) Continue reading →
Dantooine might be mildly more ridiculously fun than Telos when it comes to second planets but there’s something to be said for how much more immersive this “level” feels because there’s a heck of a lot to it. We make it to the Citadel Station orbiting Telos buuuuut there’s a slight problem: the Republic’s not happy and decides to imprison you because the destruction of Peragus sure does look shifty and by the time they’ve worked out it wasn’t your fault, someone’s stolen the Ebon Hawk. Jerks.
Citadel Station puts you in the middle of a battle between the very nice Ithorians and the very not nice Czerka Corporation and it’s not hard to guess which is the light side and which is the dark side option. (Seriously though: Czerka is the WORST.) It is fun that the Ithorians don’t mind condoning breaking and entering to help you along. Along the way, there are the usual ‘help out random people or screw them over’ mini missions and honestly, I think I might be a better person in video games than I am in real life because I’m not about to give a stranger 2000 credits any time soon. Continue reading →
Aaaaand we’re back! I know, I know: it’s been awhile. Blame Celebration even if it was a delightful time but hey! We’re here again and that’s what counts. We’re kicking things off with the final step in this KOTOR journey and playing Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. It’s not just the standard game though. Oh no. I’m playing the modded version for the first time ever! For those who don’t know, KOTOR2 was basically rushed into stores and was never properly finished but much of the unfinished content was still on the discs… or something. (Honestly, I don’t really know what I’m talking about with coding stuff.) What I do know is that people have been working pretty much ever since to build a mod that would restore that unfinished content into the game and that the mod was available when KOTOR2 was finally made available for Mac via Steam a few years ago. (That was such a great day.) I figured this project was a good time to play through the game with the cut content for the first time and, well, here we are!
The game starts with you waking up in a bacta tank on a mining station in the middle of nowhere. Oh wait and no one else is there except for all of the dead people and the homicidal droids. How could this possibly get any worse? (It gets worse.) Between the not-actually-dead creepy old lady and all the droids trying to kill you and the definitely not a protocol droid who is also trying to kill you and the Sith Lord who sleeps with vibroblades… not a great day. And this is on top of you being a former Jedi who was Exiled from the Order after the Mandalorian Wars. Continue reading →
Holy crap, I finally made it! We’ve saved the galaxy from the horrible Sith and especially from Darth Squiggleypants. (Side note: I’m sorry, JJM. I know his ridiculous last name was never supposed to stay canon but it’s funny and it’s Malak. I can’t help it.)
Now that we finally have all the map pieces, we can go to the Star Forge and figure out what the heck it is. Turns out that it’s a crazy efficient factory that’s been making all of the Sith ships and droids. (Hence why they’ve been able to be such a threat to the Republic.) Before we can make it to the Star Forge itself, a disruptor field knocks the Ebon Hawk down to the only planet in the system where there are a lot of other disabled ships and that really weird Rakata race who made the Star Forge ages ago. They are a weird looking species and I am terrible because watching them walk is kind of hilarious.
And now I get to kill a lot of rancors. Why? Because why not! It’s a great way to get some more XP as I have to fight my way through different parts of the beach and grasslands to go rescue a prisoner from the bad tribe so the good tribe will trust me because apparently Revan betrayed them last time and we really need to get into that temple. I also managed to stumble upon another new-to-me mini plot line! The not cool part of this is that the good Rakata tribe is looking into eugenics to try and solve their lack of Force sensitivity. The game lets you call them out but it’s still totally unnerving. Continue reading →