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Squark
2011-01-11, 07:31 AM
^Agreed. Although actually, killing just about anything close up got some sort of gore splattered on you, be it yellow bug guts, droid grease stains, or green Trandoshan blood. Or, if you where close to a dieing wookie, red blood.

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-12, 08:57 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLLvvF3j7Fk&feature=related))
http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/8422/i431.jpg
http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/241/i432.jpg
http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/7453/i433.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 43 All of our data is courtesy of Vao's holorecorders, to which the crew of the Ebon Hawk seemed to have either forgotten about, ignored or tolerated.

http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/8900/431gf.jpg

Shan: "Jan, I... I've been thinking."

Ni: "And?"

Shan: "You have been patient with me, haven't you? I suppose you deserve an answer. But you have to understand how difficult this is for me to say."

Ni: "I'll do my best. Go ahead."

Shan: "With all my training, I should be able to control myself better than this. But you're not anything like I expect. You're not like anyone I've ever met before."

http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/8940/432zd.jpg

Ni: "What is it supposed to be like?"

Shan: "I don't know. It shouldn't be so hard to not think of you. It should be easy to not think of you. I should have discipline. Jedi discipline!"

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/214/433c.jpg

Ni: "Are you interested in me, or in my ability to use the Force?"

Shan: "The Force is a part of you, as is your power. But that's not what attracted me to you. It's more than that. Maybe it's the bond we share. It gives us a certain... intimacy."

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/7356/434n.jpg

Shan: "But Malak must be stopped, my own feelings are nothing when compared to that. Yet I know this could affect the sake of our mission if it is not resolved - I can't let that happen!"

Ni: "Just give into your feelings, Bastila. I can feel that you want to."

Shan: "I think... I think we should have some privacy for this. Come with me."

Shan led Ni to the port crew quarters.

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/8207/435q.jpg

Shan: "In some ways you make me feel weak, like I am caught up in the wake of our destiny. But at the same time, you make me feel stronger, more alive."

Ni: "And I feel more alive when I'm near you."

For the historical record, this predates the use of that particular exchange of phrase in any work of media. Shan and Ni weren't enacting a cliche when they said this, but setting a standard. A standard that the producer of Shen and Rahasia would later co-op and proliferate.

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/6314/436l.jpg

Shan: "By facing and overcoming my feelings for you I have learned a valuable lesson about control and the dangers of emotion. This is an important step in understanding the Force."

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/3743/437p.jpg

Ni: "And that bond is telling me that isn't how you really feel."

Shan: "I... I suppose I should thank you for all you've done. For the lessons you helped me learn."

Ni: "So I was just a stepping stone to you becoming a Master?"

http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/1258/438g.jpg

Ni: "Difficult for you? What about me?!"

Shan: "Why do you think I came to this decision? I know how hard this is for both of us! You just kept pressing forward, so I had to be the one to step up and do the right thing!"

http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/8253/439qz.jpg

Ni: "I will stop Malak. But I want to do it with you at my side."

Shan: "You... you mean it, don't you? But how can I be sure you aren't making a mistake... I, I have to resist. I have to be strong for both of us."

Ni: "You don't always have to be strong, Bastila. Give in just this once."

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/8466/4310.jpg

Ni: "No more talk, Bastila, just feel."

The two shared a passionate kiss.

Shan: "We... we shouldn't have done that. It was wrong. The edi aren't allowed to fall in love."

Ni: "It didn't feel wrong to me. We can try again, if you'd like."

http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/88/4311r.jpg

Shan: "I know we both wanted it, but we shouldn't have given in to our desire. We're Jedi! We can't act like this. Not now, not while we still have to deal with Malak!"

http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/1488/4312e.jpg
http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/8559/4313.jpg

Shortly, the Ebon Hawk jerked violently as it was jerked out of hyperspace. Alarms and klaxons blared.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/889/4314g.jpg
http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/857/4315j.jpg

Shan: "Do you recognize the ship?"

Onasi: "It's the Leviathan. Saul Karath's vessel. My own mentor." *activates the com* "Everyone, meet in the main hold."

Onasi: "Admiral Karath taught me everything I know about being a soldier. He was a legend in the Republic fleet, and a hero to me. Until he betrayed us."

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/1655/4316.jpg

Ni: "But he's incidental to our mission, Carth. We have to focus on getting away."

Onasi: "I'm not going to do anything stupid. I won't throw our lives away in some mad quest for vengeance. But if I get a chance to kill Saul during our escape, nobody better get in our way."

Shan: "Talk of an escape is somewhat premature, don't you think? We don't even have a plan to get out of this mess yet!"

Onasi: "I'll admit it won't be easy. Saul's no fool and he won't underestimate us either. He's got seven tractor beams trained on us, and he's got Sith fighters riding our tail with active weapons on our engines. You can count on plenty of guards watching every move we make."

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/4772/4317s.jpg

Shan: "We just have to figure out who has the best chance to avoid capture so that they can come and rescure us later. It's a long shot, but it's our only hope."

Ni: "Admiral Karath will be watching the three of us very closely. One of the others is going to have to save us.

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/5034/4318x.jpg

Vao: "With them focusing so much on you three I might be able to sneak out of my cell and come rescue the rest of you."

Zaalbar: "No, it's too dangerous! This is a job for a wookiee. I'll do it."

Shan: "Is that wise? If the arresting troops are presented with the threat of an angry wookiee -"

Ni: "- they may forget they have a stun setting."

Vao: "Don't worry, Big Z. I can slice my way free from any security cell. I can pull this off!"

Ni: "It's on the table. Anyone else?"

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/8648/4319.jpg

HK-47: "Deactivate my main circuits and wipe my memory chip. The Sith will take me to the junk heap and I can come rescue the rest of you after I re-activate."

Ni: "We could do the same thing with T3; they'd be even less suspicious."

HK-47: "Statement: It is possible, master. But what good is more concealment without the weaponry to make a difference?"

T3-M4: "Dzzzzzt-wooot!"

Ni: "Jolee, how are you with the old Jedi mind trick?"

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/7677/4320.jpg

Bindo: "They'll probably only leave a single guard to watch over an old man like me. I could use the Force to convince the guard to set me free, then I could free the rest of you."

Ni: "Juhani, could you use your camoflage abilities to avoid capture?"

Juhani: "I could. But I would have to conceal myself all the way to the detention area, and I am not sure of success on that account."

Ni: "Canderous, is there some way we can exploit your healing implant?"

http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/6840/4321am.jpg

Ordo: "You could give me a shot to delay my healing mods from kicking in. A small incendiary grenade will leave burn marks that look like I was injured while trying to over-cycle the engine. Make my wounds bad enough and the Sith'll drag me off to the morgue or the medical facility to die. When my healing mods kick in, I'll come save the rest of you."

Ni: "You're not immortal, Canderous. Your injuries could kill you before your implant restarts."

Ordo: "I'm the best chance we've got, and everyone knows it. But you're the boss, so I'll bow to your authority."

http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/9075/4322.jpg
Voting So who gets to save everyone's skins/pelts/plating?
Options: Mission, T3-M4, Canderous, Juhani, HK-47 or Jolee.

Zaalbar, sadly, is not an option (man, wookiees never get cool stuff - Chewbacca was hit by a moon, Lucas decreed no more wookiee Jedi, and they dropped a game about a 'wookiee superman (http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/action/starwars2007/news.html?sid=6186606)' [last two paragraphs] to give us the Force Unleashed).

Pick your top two: I'll do the winner in the journal, and give y'all the second in the commentary. Voting is open until 2pm (EST/Board time) on Friday, January 14th.
Commentary I'll start off by saying that I believe Lucas has said that in the movies, a kiss = sex. However, I restrained myself, and kept the clothes on. At least for the version I posted.

In lieu of extensive commentary, I'm going to post two pictures.

http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/9513/59248920.jpg
http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/3812/96920266.jpg

Let's lay aside for a moment all the ethical implications, and whether or not this was a concious action on Jan's part. The point is, it worked.

What's the major limitation on Jedi mind tricks? They only work on the weak-willed. I'd be hard pressed to justify Bastila as weak-willed, but I can make a very good case for her being incredibly confused right now. Remember how I was talking about allegiances a while back, and how conflicts between allegiences were an excellent source of drama? This right here is your example. Bastila's being torn between her loyalty to the Jedi Order and her personal loyalty to Jan.

But here's a question to ponder: what has Jan done to make Bastila question the priority of her allegiances? Well, there was the rescue, but seeing as how Bastila insisted she saved Jan, that doesn't seem likely. There was the bit where they were training together, but we don't really have any details from that period. There's the Force bond between them, but a connection by itself is only going to amplify emotions (like loyalty), not create them.

A possible solution: Jan was the first one to actually interact with Bastila like she was a human being, and not a weapon capable of turning the tides of battle. Back on Tattoine, Canderous called Bastila a "spoiled Jedi princess," but he doesn't go past that. He doesn't care why, just that she's an annoyance. But Jan cares.

Look at it another way: Jolee was married at one point. Juhani has a lover. But Bastila, the only other Jedi in our party trained from birth, doesn't have anyone else to connect to. I'm not saying that Jan and Bastila are true loves, but Bastila doesn't have anyone else.
Tangent on True Love: "You complete me," is a very interesting statement. Most of the time, it's a lie or a polite fiction, even when the person speaking it is being completely honest. My religious views mean that I accept that no person is complete without love, but most of the time, relationships should be something to make both partners more than they would be alone. It's "You complete me," vs "You make me better." It's a fairly subtle distinction, but one that I feel compelled to point out.There were her parents, but they were remembered, not present. You can't interact with a memory, it can't give you validation when you're down, deflate you when you're pompous, etc.

Let me tell it one last way: Bastila floats in space, clinging to the tether of the Jedi Order. But the tether is so very thin, and she can't see where it leads. And there are so very many stars, shining coldly in the void. To make matters worse, the tether seems to have separated into two strands, the thinner that she clings to, and a thicker one just within reach. And then Jan floats into view, with a thruster pack on her back and hand outstretched. So Bastila grabs onto Jan's hand and won't let go, two minds alone against the vast emptiness of space.

And the attractive thing, from Jan's perspective is that Bastila needs her so very much. And who wouldn't want to be needed?

Enough on the Jedi princess, let's deal with the knight with the shining swords. I've said it before, but not on this thread: necromancy, demon summoning, force lightning - all that stuff is bad, but let's have a look at jedi mind tricks and charm spells. Unlike the usual black magic stuff, charms are dangerous because they do more than just screw you up. Hurting someone is one thing -bones can heal - but mucking about with someone's mind is worse, because our capacity for mental healing isn't as well understood, and there are no easy fixes. Especially if, because of what the charm did, they don't know that they're hurt. Look, there's a reason it's called 'mind-rape.' I don't want to get into the business of comparing rape with murder, and which one is worse, but I think we can agree that they're both really bad things. And Jan, knowingly or not, is guilty of it. Not just the little stuff, like not paying a docking fee. That can almost be waved away as theft, since the shift isn't directly related to the victim, but to their job. But using it on someone who trusts you, pushing them to a decision, instead of letting them make it themselves - Jan probably could have tipped the balancewith the "Shut up and kiss me, you babbling fool," line. But she didn't. We can argue about Jan's motives, but this right here?

http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/9513/59248920.jpg

This is wrong.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/2443/end43.jpg

Cogwheel
2011-01-12, 09:12 PM
I think I'll pass on this vote. Tempted to go HK, since that's what I did... but on the other hand, Canderous.

"My disguise is an incendiary grenade. Which I plan for you to chuck at me. Seriously, don't worry about it, I'll be fine."

The_Werebear
2011-01-13, 12:44 AM
I vote for Jolee. Lets put the new party member to work.

Mobius Twist
2011-01-13, 01:42 AM
Canderous is a fully-qualified badass, but I'm curious to see T3-M4 or Juhani pull this off. T3-M4 because he's meant to earn his memetic badass status (and it'll be hard) and Junahi because I hadn't see her approach to it before.

Jeez, the voting's across the board right now.

Arcanoi
2011-01-13, 03:48 AM
Sith Troopers: Hey, you, Mandalorian! Halt!

Canderous Ordo: You can't see me. I'm on fire.


I wanted to include an image, but the image I had in mind could not be used due to spoilers.

Cogwheel
2011-01-13, 04:21 AM
Sith Troopers: Hey, you, Mandalorian! Halt!

Canderous Ordo: You can't see me. I'm on fire.


I wanted to include an image, but the image I had in mind could not be used due to spoilers.

And thus the Mandalorian mind trick is created.

Also, ninjas can't grab him if he's on fire. He's got everything covered.

Fri
2011-01-13, 04:39 AM
I vote for T3.

kamikasei
2011-01-13, 04:39 AM
I used Juhani myself for this bit, so voting for T3 with Jolee as second.

So... is the discussion of Force Persuade in the commentary a side note, or is that actually how you got through that scene?

Klose_the_Sith
2011-01-13, 06:30 AM
Why don't Wookies get anything cool? I dunno. But I still feel repelled by the idea of a Wookie Mandalore, as you would so heretically suggest.

I vote for Canderous. OR ELSE :smallwink:

Squark
2011-01-13, 07:22 AM
Juhani, T3, or mission. The 3 of them haven't gotten much screen time.

Deliverance
2011-01-13, 07:49 AM
T3-M4 or HK-47 - 'cos droids get no respect.

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-13, 10:23 AM
Kamikasei: It's how I got through the scene. Like I said, the "Kiss me, you blathering fool" line would have worked, but it doesn't create as many interesting implications.

Remember, everyone, that you have two (and only two) votes.

Sucrose
2011-01-14, 10:37 AM
My vote goes to either Juhani or Jolee. They're the most capable ones who could potentially pull this off without bloodshed, or Jan Ni having to put a member of the crew through either an identity wipe or a potentially fatal grenade explosion (though the Mandalorian Mind Trick is indeed hilarious). I figure that the group should take the most immediately nonlethal option, for the sake of variety if nothing else.:smallwink:

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-14, 10:20 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbsuAbTTsV8))
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/1538/i441.jpg
http://img814.imageshack.us/img814/4091/i442.jpg
http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/3702/i443.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 44 Caught in the tractor beams of Admiral Karath's Leviathan, the Ebon Hawk was pulled closer and closer to the interdictor.

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/4341/interdictor.jpg

Ni: "T3, you're the least conspicuous. You get to save all of us, little one."

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/5807/442w.jpg

We don't have any specific details on the storming of the Ebon Hawk, but we do have records detailing the standard Crusader procedure in this situation. Weapon systems within the docking bay would be trained on the ship. These batteries would typically include not only small turbolasers, but also ion cannons. At such a close range, ion cannons would cause cascade failures throughout the ship, requiring an extensive repair cycle. The ship would be hailed, and their surrender demanded. If the crew refused to surrender, the ship would be bombarded with ion cannons. The ship would again be offered a chance to surrender. If this surrender was also refused, assault troops would enter the ship, by both standard entrances and by blowing holes in the ship's hull. If the crew wanted to escape on the ship they arrived in, it would be rational for them to surrender quietly, to expedite their later escape attempt. We can only assume that this is what the crew of the Ebon Hawk did.

http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/5976/443d.jpg

Assault Commander: "Excellent. Have you searched the ship thoroughly? Admiral Karath warned me to be on alert for any kind of treachery."

http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/1627/444rd.jpg

Assault Commander: "Have it taken to the droid bay, and its operating system wiped. But leave its memory alone. It may have useful information."

The following incident is from Onasi's reports, made after the fact:

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/3153/445f.jpg

Onasi: "But I recognized you, Saul. I see your face every night even as I promise myself I will kill you for what you did to my home world."

Karath: "Did you learn nothing in your time under me? As a soldier you should understand that casualties were unavoidable. It was an act of war."

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/9437/446cl.jpg

Karath: "In war even the innocent must die. They would not accept me until I proved I had truly turned my back on the Republic by bombing the planet."

Onasi: "My wife died in that attack, Saul. And for that, I swear I'll kill you."

Karath: "You used to be a man of acction, not of empty words. Cling to your lust for revenge if you must, but spare me your tired threats. I've heard them all before. You are an insignificant part of these events, anyway. Lord Malak is far more interested in your Jedi companions. He has great plans for them."

Shan: "We will never served Malak or the dark side! The Sith will be destroyed, Admiral Karath... as will you if you don't turn away from this path."

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/7115/447yd.jpg

Ni: "You're wasting your time."

Karath: "You're defiant. I'm certain Malak will find your loyalty to the Jedi amusing. The Dark Lord would probably reward me if I just killed you once and for all. But he may want to question you given the trouble you've caused him... and the history between you."

Ni: "What history?"

http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/3131/448r.jpg

Karath: "The Dark lord will no doubt torture you for informatino and for his own twisted pleasure. Eventually you will tell him everything. He can be very persuasive. However, Lord Malak is in another secotr. It may be some time before he arrives, so I suppose I will have to fill in for him until them. Activate the torture fields."

Director Armand Isard (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Armand_Isard) of the Senate Bureau of Intelligence has recently released a historical study of torture (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Torture), in which he condemns the practice, but surmises that the methods used are as much societal indicators as any more civil barometer, such as religious rituals. But while Isard has compiled an impressive work, it is primarily intended as a popular, not a scholarly work. His excerpt on the torture field of the Crusaders follows:

"The function of the torture field, so far as I can devise with my limited sources, was to directly stimulate the pain centers of the brain without having to use costly probes. The technology of the time required massive generators to produce even a moderate amount of discomfort, and later generations would turn away from direct stimulation because of this inefficiency. The advantage for the Crusaders was that field, even if it was held in abeyance, disrupted the use of force energies. Since the Crusaders were in direct opposition to the Jedi Loyalists, the ability to nullify an opponent's force powers was an invaluable advantage. The torture field would make a brief resurgance in the hands of the Brotherhood of Darkness (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Brotherhood_of_Darkness), but since that time, the technologies behind it have been lost."

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/2729/449v.jpg

Onasi: "Don't waste your breath, Saul! We won't answer any of your questions."

Karath: "I'm sure you won't. However, we both know your friend's loyalties have proven in the past to be somewhat... flexible."

Ni: "What are you talking about, you silly little man?"

http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/2606/4410x.jpg

Karath: "It is time to put your loyalty to the test. I doubt torturing you will gain me your true cooperation. Your will is too strong to be broken that way. However, even the strongest of heroes has trouble watching those they care about suffering. Each time you refuse to answer or give me a false answer, Carth will suffer."

Ni: "Do they give you a handbook on cliched interrogation tactics?"

Onasi: "My pain is meaningless! Tell him nothing!"

Ni: "...who were you, again?"

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/2783/4411x.jpg

Ni: "Alderaan. It's on Alderaan."

Karath: "Alderaan is nothing but a planet of artisans and philosophers -"

Ni: "- philosophers like Jedi -"

Karath: "- There is no training academy there! You must think this is a game."

Ni: "It is, but you're not very good at it."

Karath: "Very well. This is the price of your resistance."

http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/3830/4412.jpg

Karath: "Enough! You see what happens when you try to defy me?"

Ni: "Sorry, had my eyes closed."

Karath: "This first question was a test. Obviously Malak knew the Academy was on Dantooine, and it has since been destroyed by our fleet!"

Ni: "What kept you?"

Karath: "Dantooine is an empty graveyard now -"

Ni: "-so you didn't manage to kill anyone?"

Karath: "Nothing remains but a smoking ruin and the charred remains of your former Masters!"

Ni: "Noooo! My pazaak partners!"

Karath: "It doesn't matter whether you believe me or not. the fact remains that the Jedi on Dantooine have been eradicated, along with any hope of someone coming to rescue you!"

Ni: "Someday, my prince will come."

http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/7401/4413.jpg

Ni: "We're travelling from planet to planet looking for the pieces to the sundered lightsaber of the founder of the Jedi, which, when combined, will create an invincible warrior."

Kararth: "Do you take me for a fool? Perhaps you need a reminder of the consequences of refusing to cooperate."

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/7328/4414q.jpg

Karath: "Listen, can you not hear him suffering? You can spare him further pain by simply answering the questions."

Ni: "Yeah, but you're a meanie-head that cheats at tag."

Karath: "Now, I will ask again - on what mission did the Jedi Council send you?"

Ni: "Master Vandar has a collection of spoons -"

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/1474/4415w.jpg

Karath: "I am surprised he did not pass out sooner. Rarely have I seen someone withstand such punishment and remain conscious."

Ni: "He's probably just faking."

Karath: "I see I am wasting my time here. When Malak arrives you will learn that my interrogation techniques are considered merciful. I will leave you here in your cell with a small taste of the horrors you will suffer when Lord Malak arrives."

...

Shan: "Don't try to move too quickly, you might not be fully recovered yet. Admiral Karath had his guards continue to torture you even after you passed out."

Onasi: "They tortured all of us, though you got the worst of it by far. Saul wanted them to make us suffer. He's become some sort of sadistic monster."

Shan: "The dark side has perverted him, Carth. Once you start down the tainted path it leads you ever further into the depths of evil. I fear he is forever lost."

Ni: "I think I'd only try to redeem him after stabbing him a few times. Also, ow."

Shan: "What was that babbling back there, anyway?"

Ni: "...I think it was anti-interrogation training, but my head hurts to much to think about it."

Shan: "First Taris, now the Academy... is there no end to the killing?"

Ni: "As soon as we kill them, yeah."

Shan: "We should have felt a disturbance in the Force when the attack came. The fact that we did not is a bad sign. I fear the dark side is growing stronger, casting shadows our vision cannot pierce."

Ni: "...Do you want to break the news to Juhani, or should I?"

Onasi: "None of this will matter if we don't get out of this prison before Saul gets back!"

Ni: "Where's he now?"

Onasi: "I think he left to prepare for Malak's arrival... and to report the results of our interrogation."

Shan: "It is fortunate you were able to resist the Admiral's questionings. The fate of the galaxy could be changed by revealing the slightest piece of information."

Ni: "Time to clam up, then, because I can see at least two holorecorders."

Onasi: "I, uh... I have to confess something. There was a... there was a moment - just a moment - when part of me was hoping that you would tell him what he wanted to know. Just to make the horrible pain stop."

Ni: "Don't worry, Carth. I trust you to be strong."

Onasi: "The interrogation was a sham. Saul was toying with us. He didn't care what we told him. I think it was just an excuse to torture us before Malak arrived."

Ni: "Enough chat, people. Start checking the integrity of your fields - we might be able to get out of this yet."

Meanwhile, in the droid bay:

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/4282/4416l.jpg
http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/5284/4417h.jpg
http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/4977/4418.jpg
http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/4052/4419.jpg
http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/6679/4420.jpg
http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/2933/4421.jpg
http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/9889/4422s.jpg

For the curious: the math puzzles was a subtractive thingy (which you saw, and I'm sure math types have a specific name for it), counting in binary, and counting by primes. If I can manage it, it can't be that hard.

T3-M4 made use of components in the droid bay to repair and alter the programming of a security droid, and together, internal blaster primed, left the droid bay.

http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/9333/4424e.jpg
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/1263/4425.jpg

The slicer droid accessed the security console, and soon gained complete control over it.

http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/4093/4426.jpg
http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/8614/4427.jpg
http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/3365/4428a.jpg
http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/7848/4429n.jpg
http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/5425/4430d.jpg
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Onasi: "You may be a droid, but when this is all over I'm going to see the Republic gives you a medal for your part in this!"

T3: "Diii-whirr!"

Onasi: "If I remember the layout of this ship, our equipment should be in a storage chamber just through the north doors. After we grab our stuff we need to get to the bridge controls. From there, we should be able to permanently disable their tractor beams and open the docking bay doors of the hanger where they've got the Ebon Hawk."

Ni: "Yeah, I don't suppose they'd have a transport as fast or as heavily armored as it. Besides, it's our ship."

Shan: "We'd better get moving. I can feel the darkness of Malak's presence approaching, and I don't want to be here when he arrives. None of us is a match for the Sith Lord."

Ordo: "That's why there are ten of us."

Ni: "Easy, Canderous. Our best chance is to take a small group and hit the bridge before they know we're coming. I've got the training for this, and Bastila has done something like this when they took down Revan."

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Ni: "Everyone, gather around. You'll probably want Juhani and Mission scouting, but everyone else, stay together. Including you, Zaalbar. Canderous has the most experience in this kind in close fighting, so follow his lead."

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Ni: "Good. Get to the equipment, grab what you need, and get going. HK! I had a satchel on me when they took us prisoner: it's got a grenade launcher and as many thermal detonators as I could stuff in. Indulge yourself."

HK-47: "Gleeful Affirmation: Yes, master."
Commentary T3 certainly leveled just a little bit after this incident:

http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/5821/t3level15.jpg

T3 won the vote, but Jolee and Canderous tied for second place. So you get to see both. The differences pick up as soon as the assualt commander asks if there were any problems.

Jolee http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/8295/41940250.jpg

Assault Commander: "A strange request. And why do you think this old man should be segregated?"

Private 1: "I...I'm not sure, Commander. After speaking with him I just... I just think we should question him away from the others."

Private 2: "I... I agree, Commander. After speaking with the old man I think we should question him away from the others."

I really have to commend the VAs for these two troopers. They managed to have nearly identical inflections, telling you in no uncertain terms that Jolee has mind tricked them.

Commander: "Very well. The Admiral is probably too busy to bother with this old man anyway. Take him to solitary confinement for interrogation. Report back to me if you learn anything."

In the cell:

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Guard: "What do you want, old man? You better not be trying to cause any trouble or you'll be sorry!"

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Guard: "Uh... yes. It's too drafty in there. Your old bones might catch a chill. We don't want that. Get out of there."

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Jolee: "You shouldn't have let me out, sonny. That was wrong. Admirtal Karath won't be too happy with you disobeying orders."

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Jolee: "You deserve to be locked up in the cell for disobeying orders."

Guard: "Yes... I deserve to be locked up for disobeying orders."

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Guard: "Huh? What... what just happened? What am I doing in here? Damn you, old man! I'll kill you if I ever get out of here!"

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Canderous http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/5707/23354544.jpg

Assault Commander: "Admiral Karath wants us to question all the prisoners. did you get any information from him?"

Private 1: "He's unconscious right now. I don't think he's going to make it. He's burned pretty bad."

Assault Commander: "Dump the Mandalorian in the medical bay. Let them take the blame if he dies before the Admiral has a chance to interrogate him."

In the medical bay:

http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/4579/c10s.jpg

Canderous' gear is in the same room, and for some reason, they don't make you fight any medical types while shirtless (/swoon).

After that, events proceed pretty much the same for both of them:

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I'd just like to point out that in that last one, Canderous has killed another guy before his first kill hit the ground. Jolee, of course, has been throwing whole whole encounters against the walls with extreme prejudice.

To account for party members without T3's ability to hack, they included this guy:

http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/9652/c18ru.jpg

I've always thought of ICE breakers as a cyberpunk deal, where it's designed to counter Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrusion_Countermeasures_Electronics). But whatever works. The final difference is Carth's line when you break him, Bastila and Jan out:

For Jolee:

Carth: "Well done, Jolee. I knew we could count on you. A Jedi never fails to get the task done!"

Umm, Carth, you do know that Jolee claims not to be a Jedi?

For Canderous:

Carth: "Nice job, Canderous. You keep getting us out of jams like this and there might be a place for you in the Republic army, even if you are a Mandalorian!"

Which I imagine would be hellish for Canderous. But hey, at least Carth's trying to be polite.

Really, Carth's response to T3 is probably the one where he puts his foot least into his mouth.

On an unrelated technical issue: for some reason, Bastila was invisible during this whole thing, hence the lack of group shots. I think it had something to do with one of the mods I installed, but the last time I tried to uninstall a mod, it messed up my whole install and purged my save-games, so you'll forgive me if I make you suffer through it (because this is the only time it crops up).

I suppose this is the genesis of T3's personality. He fights against a memory purge because Jan needs him to. Is it any wonder that his personality in KotOR 2 is all about loyalty? Sadly, it's only a tiny seed here.

Really, Carth's ending responses say more about him than the rescuer. And what they tell me is 'Carth is so focused on his order of things that he can't see how others might object to it.' To put it another way, he's the archetypal arrogant imperialist. But I'll leave that for later (because FIFTY-NINE pictures should be enough).

Also: non-Star Wars music for the introduction: yea or nay?
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/747/end44.jpg

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-17, 07:16 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekzslGuSQC8))
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http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/1907/i452.jpg
http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/6042/i453.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 45 Ni, Onasi and Shan re-equipped themselves, and made for the Leviathan's bridge, to disable the tractor beams and open the bay doors. Onasi's after-action reports give us a very complete picture of what happened. Despite the suddeness of their assault, the crew of the Leviathan responded quickly.

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Ni: "We're about to hit the bridge. Good luck."

Onasi: "It's no good, Jan. Someone must have hit the lockdown. And there's no access panel to slice it open."

Shan: "We could just cut our way through."

Ni: "No time. It's been heavy resistance without them mobilizing anyone. If we don't do this fast, we'll have the entire marine contingent and Malak to fight. We need another way in..."

Onasi: "EVA?"

Ni: "Good idea. The airlocks will have to have access panels on both sides. Suit up."

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Shan: "Here we are: the bridge."

Ni: "Bastila, you break left, I go right. Carth, hold the center while we work around their flanks. Mind the consoles; we'll need them after the fight. Clear?"

Onasi: "Got it."

Shan: "Understood."

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Onasi: "The only thing you taught me was betrayal and death, Saul."

Karath: "Don't be a fool. I am giving you and your companions a chance to surrender. A chance to live. Darth Malak himself is on his way, he will be arriving any moment."

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Karath: "You always did like to do things the hard way. Lord Malak would have preferred live prisoners, but corpses will have to do."

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Shan: "The Admiral, he's still alive!"

Onasi: "It's time to finish this."

Ni: "Do it fast, I'm shutting down the tractor beams and opening the bay doors."

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Onasi: "Don't you understand what this man has done to my life? Do you know the pain he's brought me?"

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Karath: "Remember my dying words. *cough*. Remember them whever *cough*... whenever you look at those you thought were your friends!"

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Ni: "Forget it, Carth. Whatever he said, it was a last attempt to twist the knife."

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Shan: "Carth, it's not what you think. We had no other choice! Please, you don't understand..."

Onasi: "So make me understand!"

Shan: "Not here, Carth. Please... there's no time. Malak is coming. This isn't the place."

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Ni: "Tractors down, doors open, and I've given myself authority to override anything. We can settle this after we're finished running for our lives, alright?"

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Ni: "We're nearly there. Warm her up, and get people in the turrets."

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Commentary I'll admit it, I am a complete sucker for starscapes. And this is really the only time you'll get to see them, so I thought no one would be opposed to wallowing in them a bit.

The whole 'fulfilling Carth's motivation for the whole game,' curiously enough, caused some level-ups.

http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/7430/carthlevel16.jpg
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Carth's maxed out both the Power Shot and Rapid Shot feat trees, and he's pretty nasty with what I believe were Calo Nord's blasters. Bastila, meanwhile, has both Staisis Field and Force Wave, making her into an effective battlefield controller.

This is the first time we've actually seen Malak in game. He's been in cutscenes throughout, but while I haven't been showing you the cutscenes, you've seen the fallout: the destruction of Taris, sending Calo Nord after us, and the like. But the first time we meet him, it's a reversal of the usual way of things. Jan isn't striding forward to meet the villain; Malak is coming to us. So what does this tell us?

First of all, that Malak is always trying to seize the initiative. It's to be expected in a Sith Lord: he took advantage of the Jedi assault to fire on Revan's ship, after all. It also ties in nicely with the usual trope of villains being proactive, and heroes being forced to react. The villain captures the princess, the hero rescues her. But here's the thing: Jan and the crew haven't been reactive. The war in general, yes, has been reactive. Likewise the beginning of the game, where the goal was to re-secure a valuable strategic and tactical asset. But as soon as Jan and Bastila found that first Star Map, and realized that Malak's biggest asset was the Star Forge, they've been on the offensive. Malak has been forced to react to them, which is not how he prefers it. I imagine it's been nerve-wracking for the poor Dark Lord, trying to anticipate actions instead of charging forward and letting everyone else think about how to react to him. Malak advancing towards Jan, etc, is just him trying to take back the initiative. But will he? Stay tuned.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/1017/end45.jpg

Mobius Twist
2011-01-18, 02:04 AM
To me, Malak is not really reacting to the heroes in the traditional sense. He's not shoring up windows and worrying about being foiled in his plays. He knows full well who is after him and why - how else does he send crusader Jedi and Calo Nord to Tatooine, for example?

We have, at most, a very vague outline of a plan from the Jedi Council - find whatever the Star Forge is and do something about it. What if we can't (protagonist armor aside)? What if the Star Forge isn't anywhere near the source of Malak's power? Our heroes are acting on some big assumptions and haven't even made a dent in Malak's actual activities yet, a few expendable troopers aside.

Rather than a subversion of the traditional RPG plotline, this game's "hero out on a vague quest in search of answers" leads directly to "improbable power improvement" and currently culminates in "encounter with the Big Bad Evil Guy" in what is essentially his fortress.

Can't wait to see what happens next!

Fri
2011-01-18, 03:23 AM
I always wonders though.

What's with the purple armours?

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-18, 03:54 AM
Mobius Twist: Here's the thing, though: Malak is trying to figure out what we're doing. If you know where your enemies are going to be, you don't hire a bounty hunter to track them down: you park a few warship in orbit, and let the Force sort it all out. And compared to the usual 'Players stumble across BBEG's schemes and foil him,' Jan and the crew are actually a threat. Maybe it's just the presence of Bastila and the threat of her Battle Meditation that he wants to remove from the equation, but he's trying to catch up to them.

What separated KotOR from the Bioware games before it (the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale series) is that the player starts off with a very clear mission. Between Jade Empire, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, that's no longer very noteworthy, but at the time it was a different tact than normal. First it was rescue Bastila, then find the Star Maps. Partially it's the decrease in the breadth of the game: you could reach the XP cap in BG without touching the main quest. But it's also a general focusing of the premises of the game. To whit: it takes at least half of Icewind Dale before you even get an idea of who's behind all of this. KotOR gives it to you in the opening scroll. It's partially genre differences, (dungeon crawls broken up by exposition vs pulp adventure) but it's also a trend towards the cinematic.

I think that anyone whose been playing games for a few years has caught on to this tendency. It's even more present in D&D (subject to individual DMs). Led by the graphical bling, games are increasing resembling movies, even outside of the cutscenes. Independent of gameplay decreases, the industry trend has produced more tightly-woven and readily discernible stories.

Fri: It's purple armor because I use Canderous more than Carth. Which means that Carth is stuck with the second-best stuff. I apologize for any permanent damage to your retinas.

SITB
2011-01-18, 06:12 AM
Mobius Twist: Here's the thing, though: Malak is trying to figure out what we're doing. If you know where your enemies are going to be, you don't hire a bounty hunter to track them down: you park a few warship in orbit, and let the Force sort it all out. And compared to the usual 'Players stumble across BBEG's schemes and foil him,' Jan and the crew are actually a threat. Maybe it's just the presence of Bastila and the threat of her Battle Meditation that he wants to remove from the equation, but he's trying to catch up to them.

Well, yes. Sending a warship to bombrad the surface and insta kill your crew wouldn't make the game very fun wouldn't it? Jan and co are blindingly stumbling about searching for a way to defeat the BBEG, it's just that the twist of the game makes it obvious in retroprospect why it was so.

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-19, 07:35 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU3rCm4XBss))
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http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/7089/i463.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 46 Trying to escape from the Leviathan, Ni, Onasi and Shan had come face to face with one of the original crusaders, who now called himself Darth Malak. Onasi reacted with haste, trying to clear a path to the Ebon Hawk and escape.

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Malak parried the blaster bolts and hurled Onasi from his feet.

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Malak: "Besides, I had to see for myself if it was true. Even now I can hardly believe my eyes... tell me, why did the Jedi spare you? Is it vengeance you seek at this reunion?"

Ni: "...Reunion?"

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Malak: "I wonder how long you would have stayed blind to the truth? Surely some of what you once were must have surfaced by now."

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Ni: "...Well, that makes a disturbing amount of sense."

Malak: "The Jedi set a trap. They lured us into battle against a small Republic fleet. During the attack a team of Jedi boarded your ship. They captured you and the Council used the Force to reprogram your mind; they wiped away your identity and turned you against your own followers."

Ni: "No, you turned against Revan... me. You fired on my ship."

Malak: "I thought I could destroy all my enemies with a single glorious victory! I never dreamed the Jedi would take you alive from the wreckage."

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Ni: "Bastila. Is he telling the truth?"

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Ni: "And Jan?"

Malak: "The Jedi Council gave you a mind loyal to the Republic! They tried to make you their slave!"

Ni: "Damnit, Alek, I know what they did! I want to know why!"

Shan: "We couldn't simply restore your true identity; Revan was too dangerous. But locked inside your mind was information the Republic needed: the secrets of the Star Forge."

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Ni: "A calculated risk, then."

Shan: "I had to try and draw out the secrets of the Star Forge. There was no other choice."

Ni: "And they chose you because you had brought me back from the brink, and forged a bond between us in the process."

Malak: "Tell the truth, Bastila! You wanted to taste the dark side for yourself! You knew the only way the Council would permit you to explore it was through Revan's lost memories!"

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Malak: "A rash and futile hope. The dark side is too strong!"

Ni: "Says the traitorous appentice."

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Malak: "But now fate has given me a second chance to prove myself. Once I defeat you in combat, no one will question my claim to the throne; my triumph will be complete!"

Ni: "I'm still alive, Alek. And I've forgotten more about dueling than you ever knew."

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Darth Malak hurled Shan and Onasi backwards, triggering the blast doors and sealing them out of the fight.

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The fighting pressed forward, into a new compartment, even as Shan frantically cut through the blast door.

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Shan: "I'll hold Malak off. You two get out of here! Find the Star Forge!"

Onasi: "No, Bastila, he's too strong!"

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Ni: "BASTILA!"

Onasi: "Come on, we have to get to the Ebon Hawk!"

Ni: "Not without her!"

Onasi: "Soldier, she gave us a direct order, and she outranks us! Now move!"

Ordo: *Over comlink* "We're taking heavy fire! Hurry up!"

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Commentary I've made some alterations to what happened, if only because Malak doesn't lock Carth and Bastila out, but hits them with a Force Stasis, just like Juhani did. And later, he hits Jan with the same effect. One glaring problem: Both Jan and Bastila are immune to stun/paralysis because they're Sentinel class. It's always a bit irking to run into Gameplay and Story Segregation (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GameplayAndStorySegregation) (TV Tropes warning),

You cannot believe how much I wanted to list Malak's dialogues as "Squinquargesimus." I felt it would take away from the gravity of the situation, so I restrained myself. Besides, it's his surname only as much as 'da Vinci' was Leonardo's (a place of origin). Besides, it's not like there haven't been other characters to lack a surname (Zaalbar and Juhani among them). Did I mention I love the KotOR comics?

Remember how Alek had the hots for Jarael (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jarael) (not that I blame him)? And how she turned him down? That just drove Alek into closer confidence with Revan/not-Jan, meaning that they only had each other to rely on when they were turning. Which probably created something resembling a cascade failure. I won't rule out hot sweaty hate sex between Revan and Malak, either, as they realize that they've fallen and have only the other and themselves to blame (hate and lust are pretty close on the emotional spectrum). Actually, I'm running off that assumption, because Revan won (so to speak) that competition, and came out as top... dog. Besides, amusing mental images.

There's a cutscene in the middle of the opening conversation, just before Jan realizes her true identity, in which they bombard you with how unsubtle they've been. For instance, Carth mentioned in the apartment that Crusader interrogation tactics can destroy a mind, or even make you believe you're someone else. There are the continual mentions of Revan, and all the comments from the Jedi Masters, especially Lamar, worried about you taking an 'all too familiar path.' And just to make sure, they show you this scene:

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I had this spoiled for me before I played through the game, so I picked up on the hints the first time around. In retrospect, it does seem moderately heavy handed. I mean, Nemo (No-Name) all but tells us way back on Dantooine, and Lamar is hardly more subtle. It's a bit annoying that Wookieepedia doesn't even try to conceal it, but the game is nearly a decade old now. It's not as bad as 'Samus is a girl?', but then again, Samus appears in a lot more media ('Sheik is a girl?' would be a bit more apt). If you'd played this before, did you know beforehand, or figure it out before the reveal? For those of you who were reading this without knowing, did you figure it out early?

Now, though, Jan/Revan has other problems. For instance, who's in control? Is there even a question of control? Have all of Revan's memories appeared? What is Revan's actual name (since Darth Revan is derived from 'The Revanchist')? Carth'll start hammering us with questions next episode, so we'd better have some answers by then.

Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3681/end46.jpg

Squark
2011-01-19, 07:42 PM
Huh, I always thought that "The Revanchist" was derived from his (canonically) name.

kamikasei
2011-01-20, 02:24 AM
If you'd played this before, did you know beforehand, or figure it out before the reveal? For those of you who were reading this without knowing, did you figure it out early?
I played the game not long after it came out (I think KotOR 2 was already out at that stage), not knowing anything about the plot, and was surprised. I was enjoying myself flying around the galaxy being all heroic and kickass, then reached the Leviathan event and blew through the rest of the game in one sitting with a giant grin on my face. I don't know how original or surprising the plot might be compared to earlier games I hadn't played, but I found it excellent.

Brother Oni
2011-01-20, 01:41 PM
If you'd played this before, did you know beforehand, or figure it out before the reveal? For those of you who were reading this without knowing, did you figure it out early?

There's actually an unintentional reveal in the game, which is fairly obvious:

In one of the earlier cut scenes foreshadowing the 'disappeared' evil Darth Revan, if your character is female, Darth Revan's character model is also female.
It was obvious for my brother since his female Revan had a particular hairstyle, which was clipping through the hood of the cloak. :smallbiggrin:

Fri
2011-01-20, 02:02 PM
For me, it's a double whammy.

Hint: I played KOTOR 2 first. They never spoiled this particular spoiler there, at least if my memory serves me well.

I always say, the correct way to play KOTOR is to play KOTOR 2 first. When I played it, it was confusing as well. The republic is in chaos, jedi order is dying, people kept referencing to this war and that war and revan this and malak that.

And then I play KOTOR 1. Everything is pristine and colorful. And it's a grand adventure instead of a mysterious thriller. And you meet everyone that's kept referenced in KOTOR 2 like some kind of legends....

It's like playing a myth.

Admiral Harkov
2011-01-21, 08:22 AM
I am most pleased with Holonet History stance. Don't let those filthy jedi scumbags fool you into all their dark side bull****. I can not but commend Lord Palpatine in his support. Some day, Tarkin will sit at his side and I will sit at the other side, and I will learn from him how to have my own jedi pet.

I didn't expect that reveal. I absolutely loved it. And loved it moreso in that it's not a reveal they present after cheating you out of clues, kind of the Poirot film about the Express murder, that in the end he solves the case based on clues that never ever appeared during the film. There is the passing mention of personality erasing by Carth, but then there's the talk of the council, Nemo... and in retrospect, in some lines like that of the dark jedis in Tattooine (you were without Bastila in the first encounter, weren't you?) they may be knowing who you are and refer to the reward of capturing you, not so much Bastila (though that too).

I don't agree with them stumbling around. Even before the reveal that it was a definite plan from the start to find the Star Forge, they have been told by The Force® (or Jan's Subconscious ©Sigmund Freud, 1899). I think they know well what they're doing, Jan because it's the Force, Bastila because it's her memories or both combined. I do also agree with Malak reacting, as he doesn't know from the start what they're going to do. To begin with he starts thinking Revan dead, so it's just taking out Bastila and her battle meditation, it's later when he learns Revan's alive. When? Hard to know. A dark jedi spawn that sends a communication before engaging and dying to the party?, deduced from the planets where they're sighted? The one I'm not sure if you've not shown or shows up in the last planet despite me remembering differently?. When Revan and Bastila have been spotted finally in four of the five planets with a Star Map, then he knows what will be the next one they'll visit, so he can position Karath's flagship (ugh, I mispelled it as flagspig) in the hyperspace entryway to the system.

Now, if you allow me a couple of comments on questions from older posts, I am not aware of post necromancy but only on unthreads :P, so since it's not against rules, about those in this different spoiler:

Regarding what is dark side and whether there is or no a light side, one of the options that are open by the infamous midichlorians of EpI would be something that agrees with there's not really a evil/good separation of force sides. What there is, is rotten evil midichlorians that have a limited power and it can only wake with those who are receptive to them. So, there are really two states: the one that is the goal of the jedi training, taking control of the midichlorians and make them do the jedi's bidding, or them taking over the jedi's mind. Then all the no hate but no love, the no passions and not even emotions would fall into place, as one would see those as lapses that weaken the cold logical thought and the mental control of the jedi and would provide the midichlorians with the moment of weakness and the leverage to use against his mind to set it against all that was taught to him and all that allows him to remain in control, so they take over as the, let's say, otherworldly alien entities that hate and despise all the multicellular forms of life that either prevent them from being active or that seek to enslave them to their will and so in revenge they seek to destroy or enslave them. Yes, ladies and gents, hold to your seats, The Force, by its very essence, is eeeeeeeeeebiiiiiiiillllllll.

- Another matter: There is one small mention of the Genoharadan before meeting the datapad lost guy, but it's just a mention in an item description sold by the twi'lek by the Taris hideout, I don't remember which one, I think it was an armor, though it's hardly something to make one think on the chance of joining them.

- Yet another: Jedi translated as cheese (see second strip of the awesomeness (you should already know, but for those who don't I have to put it) that begins here (http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0001.html))? Indeed, they're dun dun dun dunnn (http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0075.html) (strip no75 of the same).

- Regarding the HK-47 not being as awesome as portrayed, there's the excuse of: activated through assassination protocol, which you don't activate.

- And if you don't mind that I bring it back, when Obi Wan and Qui Gonn flee from the Droidekas on EpI, what I've always wondered is why don't they just force push them broke?. In the very least *Fluooofff, these fundamental pieces shoved where they don't belong inside that shield*

Brother Oni
2011-01-21, 11:53 AM
- And if you don't mind that I bring it back, when Obi Wan and Qui Gonn flee from the Droidekas on EpI, what I've always wondered is why don't they just force push them broke?. In the very least *Fluooofff, these fundamental pieces shoved where they don't belong inside that shield*[/spoiler]

Presumably the droidekas are fairly sturdily made and despite Yoda's affirmation that size doesn't matter when moving something through the Force, I'm fairly sure it does to lesser mortals.

Not to mention that while you're concentrating on trying to push this thing, it's firing several blaster bolts per second at you.

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-21, 08:58 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghTK9UsJxGg))
http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/4189/i471.jpg
http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/3082/i472.jpg
http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/6438/i473.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 47 Vao's holorecorders reveal a tense scene within the Ebon Hawk's main hold, after the ship had jumped into hyperspace:

Ordo: "What happened on that ship?"

Juhani: "Where's Bastila?"

http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/5589/471ma.jpg

Vao: "You mean she's... dead?"

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/5356/472z.jpg

Ni: "It's too late to help her now. We have to find the last Star Map, and get to the Star Forge. Malak knows that we're after it-"

Onasi: "Not so fast. We've got a bigger issue to deal with here. They deserve to know the truth about you. Do you want to tell them what Malak said, or should I?"

Ni: "I'll tell them. I'm... I'm Darth Revan."

http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/9464/473k.jpg

Onasi: "No, it's no joke. The Jedi Council captured Revan and erased her mind, programming in a new identity. Saul Karath told me on the bridge, and Bastila confirmed it!"

Vao: "You're Darth Revan? This is... this is big. Do you... do you remember anything about being the Dark Lord?"

Ni: "Small bits. A few strange dreams and visions. I think that's all."

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/5382/474y.jpg

Vao: "It seems to me that if you don't really remember anything being Revan, then it doesn't really matter anymore. You are who you are now, right?"

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/1884/475xl.jpg

Onasi: "The whole time we've been chasing after Malak we've had his old Sith Master right at our side; listening to our secrets, hearing our plans!"

Ni: : "Blame the Jedi Council, Carth - not me! And in case you missed that part, Mlak tried to kill me!"

Vao: "Hey - you've got nothing to be sorry about! You didn't ask for this. Besides, I know you... you're not Revan anymore. Whatever you used to be, you're one of us now!"

http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/1543/476y.jpg

Vao: Big Z and I will stick by you. We owe you our lives; we won't desert you now!"

Onasi: "How can you say that, Mission? The Sith bombed my home world! Revan took away my famiily and destroyed my life!"

http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/8590/477i.jpg

Onasi: "I... I suppose you've proven yourself to be a friend of the Republic so far... Revan. But can I trust you? Can any of us?"

Ni: "Jolee?"

http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/8698/478u.jpg

Bindo: "Does it change anything? I'm not here to judge you. You'll do what you have to, and I'll help if I can."

Ni: "T3?"

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/718/479yq.jpg

Vao: "I knew the little guy would come through for you - droids don't hold grudges."

Ni: "HK?"

HK-47: "Commentary: I am... experiencing something unusual, master."

Ni: ""What is it?"

http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/3861/4710a.jpg

Ni: "You mean this is the stimuli we were waiting for?"

HK-47: "Explanation: I believe so, master. I was unuawre of my homing system until it had been activated. It seems that the homing system deliberately restores my deleted memory core upon... upon returning to my original master."

Ni: "You mean... Revan?"

HK-47: "Affirmation: Correct, master. Protocols maintain that all droid knowledge be deleted before assassinations missions, and restored upon return. I have returned to you... and my full functionality is now under your personal command. It is a distinct pleasure to see you again, master."

Ni: "That makes a lot of sense, actually."

http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/3677/4711.jpg

Vao: "Wow. What are the chances of that happening?"

http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/4718/4712.jpg

Vao: "Good point."

Ni: "What do you think, Canderous?"

Ordo: "You defeated the Mandalore clans in the war, Revan. You were the only one in the galaxy who could best us. We had never met one like you before, and never since. How can you even ask if I will follow you?"

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/1313/4713.jpg

Ni: "Well, Carth - will you stand with me against Malak?"

Onasi: "Well, the others seem to trust you... and I don't see any other way that we can stop the Sith. And I suppose that Malak is the real enemy here... I really don't have any other choice, do I?"

Ni: "I'm not Revan anymore, Carth. You have to believe that."

Onasi: "I want to believe you. You've proven yourself time and time again during our mission, but this is a little much for me to wrap my mind around."

Ni: "How do you think I feel?"

Onasi: "This must be even more of a shock to you... I don't know how you even keep going. I guess we both just have to find a way to push forward."

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/1349/4714.jpg

Onasi: "As long as this mission stays on course I'll stick with you. But I won't let you betray the Republic under any circumstances! So I guess that's it then... we keep going. We've still got one more Star Map to uncover if we're going to find that Star Forge and save Bastila, so let's do it before it's too late."

T3-M4: "Deeep-woot!"

Vao: "We're on a course for Manaan?"

T3-M4: "Bzzzt-hoooo."

Ni: "No, it's fine. We needed to get into hyperspace as soon as possible. You did the right thing. But I'm going to need an unexpected route to Korriban."

Bindo: "They'll be expecting us along the Daragon Trail (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Daragon_Trail). If they've got enough ships, they'll be covering the Hydian Way (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hydian_Way) and the Perlemian trade route (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Perlemian_Trade_Route) as well."

T3-M4: "Riiiii-woooo."
Commentary First point: most maps of the star wars galaxy are horrible. They suffer from a common problem with fantastical maps: too much detail. Xagobah (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Xagobah), Centares (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Centares)and Metalorn (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Metalorn)are, I'm sure, all very nice places, but when I'm trying to find Korriban, they get in the way. It's nearly impossible to find a good clear map of the 'verse that you can hand off to someone who's just seen the movies. I want a map that's on the same level as most globes: countries, capitals and major geo/astrographic features.

Mission has talked more here than she has in most of the game, and she has chosen an interesting time to speak up. And, moreover, she's defending Jan. Like Canderous, I want to know why. Because I haven't gone into her story, I can't point to specific incidents, but I will again point out that Mission's 14, and Jan is, by any fourteen-year-old's estimate amazingly cool. I mean, we helped her rescue her BBF, we stole a ship and picked up from her planet as it was being glassed, (we pointed out that her older brother was a jerk) and now we've got this total bad-girl image. What's not to like?

That aside: Juhani didn't say a word in this conversation (ignoring that bit I gave her in the beginning). It really emphasizes that she was a late addition. Her backstory deal is that Revan was the one who inspired her to become a Jedi in the first place, which makes her silence even more puzzling. Partially is that she's an optional party member, so that having her in this conversation would have been more work. Minor work, but they do seem to have run out of time. Here's a question for you guys: would you like an episode delving into Juhani's backstory, or Mission's?

We're finishing off the last of the sandbox portion of the game, which means that now we get to bounce around planets, finishing our last sidequests. Korriban, like Kashyyyk, is fairly linear in design. Unlike Kashyyyk, it's much better about having 'mini-dungeons.'

The Shadowlands had a few quest-givers, and you could encounter monsters almost anywhere. The sandbox portion of Korriban, though, is more like what I try to do with my D&D games: internally-contained dungeons, that all feed back into the main plotline. It's one of the strongest parts of KotOR, and because of the order I've done the quests in, will be accompanied by what I feel is one of the most tantilizing quests. We're also overdue for a long talk with Jolee.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/5482/end47.jpg

Admiral Harkov
2011-01-22, 07:32 AM
@Brother Oni: Yes, it makes sense. Compensating the much more mobile parts make for less sturdiness (they have to get a lot of those to shift between walking and rolling form) is the point about them being in far lesser quantities, which usually means higher quality, though could just be mere higher cost due to shields and (high rate of fire?) lasers incorporated. Also there's the one clash between OT (Original Trilogy) and the PT (Pfffft Trilogy, I mean Prequel): EpV size doesn't matter; EpII making strainous effort face to hold up the column that Count Dookū has broken to fall upon Anakin, even though once broken he's not adding a force push down and it's just gravity that's taking the column down.

@Tam_OConnor: I don't really feel much interest in either of them. In the case of Mission because she's an annoying brat, a stereotypical "living among thugs being addressing everyone else with pseaudowitty insults" and yet she's still to find someone who breaks her skull, to add to that I don't expect much better about her brother's personality, so I have no will to meet another jerk, just one that doesn't even feel a bit of loyalty to even family. And Juhani irks me, they have designed her too much human, so I'm always reluctant to use or talk to her in my games. She should have either been a human or have a more alien design. She's the only I might feel some interest in seeing a chapter about, as I can hope for something interesting from her part, even if it's a story too generic and a late addition as you say.

And big yay for Jolee Bindo!. He's my favourite character and the one I really find funny. HK-47 makes for some laughs in the first game and first conversations, but to me it quickly loses all his fun as a very easy way to try make humour and upon half of the first game I've stopped liking him. In the second game from the start I hate him and barely use him.

About one possible sidequest for Korriban:

There's a Carth related quest that originates in Kashyyyk if you walk with him in the party in front of either the merchant in the upper platforms or the arguing merchant/debt servant. I found about that reading in some other side, it was too late then to make it work in the game I was playing so I haven't seen it myself yet.

The_Werebear
2011-01-22, 05:52 PM
My vote's for Mission. I like the fact that, of the people on the ship, she seems to be one of the two that feels like they aren't reliant completely on Revan,*(The other being Jolee). She's along for the ride, yes, but doesn't need Jan's reassurance and leadership to feel like a complete person. Plus, it would be another opportunity to bring Zaalbar out to play

As for Juhani, I'm going to do what I did when I played the games as light side. Let her stay in the ship, then pretend she doesn't exist.







*(Yes it's unspoiled. We made it through that part of the story, and the game's not new. If you were somehow ignorant after reading this page, too freaking bad)

Fayd
2011-01-24, 12:52 PM
I'll vote Mission too. Given her recent reaction to the Revan reveal, I'd kinda like to see more about her.

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-24, 07:43 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--Y4NqTdfPE))
http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/9671/i481.jpg
http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/3778/i482.jpg
http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/5229/i483.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 48 Bindo's journal reveals several conversations between him and Ni. En route to Manaan, Ni approached Bindo with a question.

Ni: "Why did you decide to come with me?"

http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/420/481w.jpg

Ni: "Just the ship? Not because you reccognized me or anything like that?"

Bindo: "Or it coulf be for the free food. What's the gunk that comes out of the synthesizer on this bucket, anyway? Do you never clean the darned thing?"

Ni: "No, seriously, tell me."

http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/1264/482w.jpg

Bindo: "You know, you remind me of someone else I knew ages ago. Pleasant enough fellow, great destiny... all of that. Breath like a bantha."

Ni: "Did you annoy this person endlessly, too?"

Bindo: "Hrmph. Kids these days."

http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/6562/483fo.jpg

Ni: "Never heard of him."

Bindo: "No, you wouldn't have. Sometimes swirling Force is just swirling Force. It gets us old Jedis excited at our age so we go 'ooo, destiny!' Well, it turned out that poor Andor believed a wee bit too much in the infallibility of that destiny. That overconfidence turned out to be his downfall."

Ni: "You're making this up to get out of answering my question, aren't you?"

http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/1359/484f.jpg

Bindo: "Let's see... oh, yes. Andor's downfall. I was pretty young, myself, when it happened. At the time, I thought that Andor's destiny couldn't be more boring."

Ni: "How young are we talking?"

Bindo: "Well, let's just say that I was a strapping young lad with a full head of hair and Coruscant was a small town with a well, heh heh. I was just about to abandon Andor to whatever the Force intended for him when his ship was overtaken by a Dimean warship."

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/5533/485lm.jpg

Bindo: "Kraat had us hauled onto the bridge of his ship for questioning, and that's when I knew that Andor's destiny was at hand."

Ni: "How?"

Bindo: "Swirling Force, remember? Jedi here? Granted, I was just interpreting the signs, but we get trained in that sort of thing. More or less. Well, Andor decides that his destiny makes him invulnerable and starts making all sorts of demands. 'Free me now,' 'I'm not answering questions', blah blah blah. 'Don't you know who I am?'"

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/5506/486d.jpg

Bindo: "Finally, Kraat has enough of Andor and tosses him aside into this giant energy intake shaft. Andor gets sucked in and starts bouncing around, heh, screaming... heh. Maybe Andor hit something sensitive on the way down or just didn't agree with the reactor core, next thing I know all the ship's alarms are ringing."

Ni: "You're kidding..."

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/9984/487mm.jpg

Bindo: "Changed the political course of the entire sector for centuries to come. I'd call that quite a destiny, wouldn't you?"

Ni: "How can you be sure Andor was responsible?"

http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/6384/488n.jpg
http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/9581/489x.jpg

Bindo: "Anyway, go on. My throat is dry and you're making me cranky. Shoo!"

The Ebon Hawk docked on Manaan briefly, to repair the damages inflicted by the Leviathan's fighters and to take on fuel. During a quiet moment, Ni slipped away, and our owly records on what happened come to us from our aforementioned confidential source.

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/4605/4810k.jpg

Ni: "What do I have to do with Malak?"

???: "No, human. I mean the true Lord of the Sith. I am speaking of Darth Revan. Of you."

Our source reports that Ni stepped closer to the twi'lek, fingers tensing on the activation of her lightsaber.

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/266/4811k.jpg

Ni: "Exchange?"

Ziagrom: "We are independent operators, though often our transactions involve those who represent the Exchange. Traditionally, we have always done business with the owner of the Ebon Hawk: Davik Kang, most recently. Ahita Othar before him. Foril Haxa before her. But we were reluctant to approach you."

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/9779/4812v.jpg

Ni: "So why approach me now, when you know I'm much more dangerous than any Jedi?"

Ziagrom: "There were reports of the Ebon Hawk traveling once again. We wanted to know what you were up to. On Manaan, I placed a small tracking device on your ship. It reported back to us that you had been captured by the Leviathan. Once we had that information, we began digging into our sources within their fleet."

Ni: "What sources?"

Ziagrom: "There are millions of soldiers in their fleet. Surely you aren't surprised that some of them will sell information? Even high ranking officers aren't immune to the lure of easy credits. Your escapades on the Leviathan created quite a stir. Of course Malak tried to suppress the truth about your identity: there were more than a few summary executions."

http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/7788/4813i.jpg

Ziagrom: "We know what happened on the Leviathan. At least, we know enough. You are Darth Revan, and you are going to kill Malak for daring to claim dominance over the Sith."

Ni: "And where do you come in, businessman?"

Ziagrom: "My partner and I deal in very rare and powerful items. Weapons, armor: things you could use in your battles against Malak. I don't carry these items with me, of course. They're with my partner. But they're yours, if you've got the credits to buy them. We do want to make a profit on this, after all. Just go to the Dreshdae cantina on Korriban. There's a rodian in there named Mika Dorin. Tell him my name."

Ni: "I'll look into it."

http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/7407/4814.jpg

...

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/3559/4815.jpg

Ni: "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you know."

Hulas: "I am of the Genoharadan. Did you rally think we wouldn't know about your little encounter on the Leviathan? Although I will admit, we were as surprised as you... the Jedi did a remarkable job of faking your death."

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6315/4816.jpg

Hulas: "But then I began to realize the potential advantages of the situation. Assuming you complete the tasks required for your initiation into our guild, you could be very valuable to us."

Ni: "It's nice to be wanted."

Hulas: "So for now, little has changed. I will keep your secret, just as you have kept ours. I am curious to see how events will play out between you and your old apprentice."

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/8366/4817e.jpg

Ni: "Rulan Prolik is dead."

Hulas: "I must congratulate you. Rulan was no easy target. I will admit that you are not the first to be sent after him. Here, take this Genoharadan visior. Many of our agents use them to increase their senses and improve their skills. It really is quite an extraordinary item. With Rulan gone, you are another step closer to entering the guild. But until you have completed all the missions you will not be accepted into the Genoharadan."

Ni: "I'll return when Vorn has been taken care of."
Commentary Unfortunately, I've sort of backed myself into a corner with regard to Jolee's personal quest. Suffice to say that it would be time consuming (in-universe and in terms of updates) and wouldn't make much sense. Jolee's quest is tied into the court system of Manaan, and the supposed balance between Crusaders and Republic. Only we've already wiped out their enclave in Ahto City, and I've put forward the idea that the Republic is engineering a coup (which isn't canon, but is a fairly logical step to take). It's a shame that I'll have to give it a bye for the actual game, but maybe it'll wind up in the appendices with Juhani and Mission.

That said, it's Jolee-time. He rambles endearingly, doesn't he? He's easily the oldest party member (followed by Canderous and Carth), and he dazzles us with stories of days gone by, just like Canderous. Unlike Canderous, though, he doesn't just tell us a war story. Jolee has a point he wants to make with his stories. That doesn't mean that his stories aren't true, but it's important to keep them in the perspective of parables. I wouldn't put it past Jolee to alter a few details to make for a better lesson.

What makes Jolee different? Canderous tells Jan a shared past between them. HK's stories are more like catching up with an old homicidal friend. Carth is too emotionally wrapped up in his betrayals and failures to really swap stories. Bastila doesn't tell stories because she's afraid of waking Revan up. Mission and Juhani are young enough that they can basically give you their entire life stories. T3 and Zaalbar don't talk. Jolee is a completely new character, to Jan and Revan. He hasn't been shaped by them and he doesn't need any sort of validation from them (unlike everyone else).

That's part of the appeal of Jolee: he's an outsider. He can look at the situation dispassionately. But here's the detail that sets Jolee apart from the other Jedi: he doesn't try to interfere. Jolee's parables aren't intended to change our mind one way or the other. He just wants Jan to think about what she's doing. In many ways, he's a counterpart of Kreia from KotOR 2. Kreia can charitably be called an unreliable narrator: she's trying to make the Exile think, yes, but she wants the Exile to think things her way. Jolee, it seems, doesn't care what Jan thinks so long as she does.

So let's pick apart Jolee's story for today. The immediate lesson is 'the Force moves in mysterious ways.' Some other ideas: 'Destiny is a privilege, not a right.' 'Don't back-talk to the people in control.' 'People and reactor cores don't mix.' 'Death and failure are not synonymous.' 'Sometimes swirling Force is just swirling Force.' 'Million to one chances happen nine times out of ten.' I'll leave off the irony of this story appearing in KotOR, in which swirling Force is more than just swirling Force. Coming right after the reveal than Jan = Revan, though, it can be taken as a warning not to get too cocky. So, from a metagame perspective: 'Jolee says to save your game often, and in different save slots.'

Here's one last thought: maybe Jolee's story isn't trying to make Jan think so much as reminding her that 'you too, are mortal.' Which would put Jolee in the same role as a court jester: to ridicule aristocrats, and keep their egos from ballooning too far out of control.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/4366/end48.jpg

Cogwheel
2011-01-24, 08:10 PM
Jolee is the best character.

The best.

Well, okay, except maybe HK.

Coidzor
2011-01-26, 05:39 PM
Discovered this yesterday and just finished catching up. Gotta say, I love what you've done with it.

Didn't think you did a half-bad job with the native-poetry shtick either.

In regards to the identity spoiler, I first played the game late and after watching my friends and brother play through it in that piecemeal way that one sometimes is an observer of things others are doing, and so I didn't really have much choice in the matter of the game being spoiled for me.

It's something I expect anyway, being the youngest of three brothers and growing up having to watch them play on the NES.

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-26, 09:49 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hq4QC-7S7A))
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http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/7219/i493.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 49 One of our more fortunate historical finds was the data records of the Czerka bulk freighter Second Chance. Captained by a spacer named Jordo Riv, the freighter was well-travelled, carrying shipments to Crusader held worlds and providing valuable insights into daily life on those worlds. Its cargo logs are extremely revealing about economic goings-on, and its com-logs help us to date events, such as the destruction of the Loyalist Enclave on Dantooine. In this case, though, we are less concerned with the date/time stamp than we are with the actual words exchanged. In orbit over Manaan, the Second Chance logged a hail sent to the light freighter Crimson Pseudocrow.

Riv: "Crimson Pseudocrow, this is Jordo Riv, captain of the Second Chance. We're the freighter on your six'o'clock. Just letting you know that your port-aft landing gear is still up-"

Onasi: "Jordo?"

Riv: "Carth! Carth Onasi, is that you?"

Onasi: "Sure is."

Riv: "You old spacedog, how have you been? I thought for sure you'd be fighting on some ship out there."

Onasi: "I was. I crashed."

Riv: "Ha ha ha! That's pretty rich."

Ni: "Carth, who's on the com?"

Riv: "Oh, now I know what's taken you off the front-lines! How do you do, miss?"

Ni: "You're a friend of Carth's, I take it?"

Riv: "Sure am. We joined the milita together back on Telos. That was a lot of years ago, of course."

Onasi: "So what are you doing in a trash-hauler like that, Jordo? The last time I saw you was on, um... well, Telos, actually."

Riv: "Yeah... it's a shame about home. Telos still hasn't recovered. The family and I moved on, and I'm working for Czerka now. I didn't see you after... er, what I mean is, my condolences on your wife. I heard what happened. At least your boy made it through alright."

Onasi: "My... boy? You mean... Dustil?"

Riv: "Yes, of course. I saw him at my last stop, on Korriban, though he didn't recognize me. You didn't know he was there?"

Onasi: "No! Jordo, Dustil has been missing since the attack on Telos! Are you... are you absolutely certain it was him?"

Riv: "Yeah, I'd recognize that Onasi chin anywhere. Positive. He's, uh... he's joined the Sith, Carth."

Onasi: "What do you mean he's joined the Sith?"

Riv: "There's an academy for the Sith on Korriban. He's a student there. I saw him suited up in their outfit and everything. Sorry... I thought you knew."

Onasi: "No... no, I... I didn't. Well, thanks for telling me, Jordo. Thanks for telling us about that landing gear - been giving us a lot of trouble."

Riv: "Sure, no problem. Good to talk to you again, Carth. Hope everything works out with Dustil. I'm based out of Taanab (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tanaab); look me up."

The Second Chance left the system with a load of kolto, and the "Crimson Pseudocrow" departed on a course towards Hutt space. The precise details of the Ebon Hawk's journey to Korriban remain a mystery. As much as we can reconstruct, they skirted their way past the Tingel Arm (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tingel_Arm), on the very edge of the galaxy, and passed through the Stygian Caldera (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Stygian_Caldera), which required extremely precise astrpgation. Eventually, the Ebon Hawk docked in the Dreshdae colony, the civilian site only a short distance from the Sith Academy.

The assumption of hoverchair historians is that the name "Sith Academy" implies a close association with the Sith race. These casual students will therefore try to apply out-dated models, such as the 'Jedi-Sith paradigm.' A closer inspection, however, will reveal that the name is more of a locational indicator. The Sith Academy of the Jedi Civil War era had been built on the ruins of an earlier academies, including one built during the Great Sith War (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Great_Sith_War), and at least one dating back to the time of the Great Hyperspace War (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Great_Hyperspace_War). Similarly, the academy was located close to the Valley of the Sith Lords. The Valley would undergo severe damages after the Jedi Civil War, and would be rebuilt throughout the http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/New_Sith_Wars. This cycle of destruction and rebuilding has hampered archaeological efforts to precisely date artifacts from the area.

The fact remains, however, that the Crusader Jedi are not believed to have had any formal training at the hands of Sith, and so cannot, by definition, have been Sith themselves. Documents from the time certainly attest to them having taken on that appellation, but they were Jedi, albeit those that rejected the primacy of the Jedi Council. Much of the documentation that we have from Crusader sources, including the writings of Crusader masters, indicate that they turned to the name of the Sith for legitimacy. Hence Malak's title as 'Dark Lord of the Sith (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_lord_of_the_Sith),' a title that was originally applied to the ruler of the Sith Empire. Later on in history, other successionists from the Jedi Order would take on the title, and found a Sith Order to formally oppose the Jedi. The first to do so was the Sith Triumvirate, but that is a topic for a miniseries by itself.

On Korriban, the bulk of our information comes from the reportings of Ni herself. Her recordings are very terse, and we only have fragments of what seems to be a longer work. The Korribani section is the most intact, but even there there are holes.

No sooner had they landed, and Ni, Ordo and HK-47 disembarked, than they were approached.

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Ordo: "Jagi??"

Ni: "Who is this guy, Canderous?"

Ordo: "He... He was a warrior under my command up to the battle of Althir. But I thought..."

Jagi: "You thought I was dead, didn't you! You thought all of us that you had sent on that attack had perished! You sent us to die in a foolish attack while you directed your forces elsewhere!"

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Ni: "You lived."

Jagi: "I alone realized what was happening and managed to escape the trap before it closed. The trap he set for his own men!"

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Jagi: "The battle would have been won anyway! I am tired of your excuses, Canderous. I have spent years tracking you down since the clans were banished, and I will not rest until I have had my vengeance! And here you are, stumbling into my arms."

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Jagi: "In the dune seas of Tatooine, outside Anchorhead, I will be waiting for you. I have spread the news of the challenge since I learned you were active again. All the surviving Mandalorian clans know of what I do here, and that we shall meet on Tatooine to settle this debt of vengeance once and for all. If you fail to meet me there, you shall be stripped of all honor and forever cast out of our society!"

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Jagi: "I shall be waiting for you there, Canderous."

Jagi turned and left the Ebon Hawk's hanger.

Ni: "Canderous?"

Ordo: "You don't have to get involved."

Ni: "As soon as we can, I'll get you there. You have my word."

Ordo: "Then let's hurry it up."

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Hopeful 1: "P-please, Master Shaardan! Give us a chance! We'll do anything to get into the academy!"

Shaardan: "Hmph. I'm no master... yet... but I like the sound of that. Alright, one more question, though the lot of you are trying my patience. Let's say you become a Sith and I am your commanding officer. I give you an order to spare the life of an enemy. Do you do it?"

Hopeful 2: "Oh, of course, master Shaardan! Anything you command us!"

Hopeful 3: "We would never oppose you!"

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Shaardan: "Mercy is a weakness. If your leader shows weakness, it is your duty to kill him and show true authority... true power. That is why the Sith are strong."

Hopeful 1: "Th-thank you, master Shaardan. We, uh... we understand now!"

Shaardan: "No, you don't understand. And you probably never will. You wouldn't survive five seconds in the academy... the other students would tear you apart! Bah! I can't be bothered with fools! Perhaps... I should... hmmm."

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Shaardan: "Let me pose a question to you. These hopefuls will never survive in the academy. A lesson must be taught, here, but I am at a loss as to what form it should take."

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Shaardan: "I wasn't talking to you, droid! I'm thinking to spare them the effort of being killed and do it myself. Perhaps-"

Ni: "Why ask me?"

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Shaardan: "Silence! Why not ask you? I'm rather exhausted from dealing with hopefuls like this-"

Ni: "You admit weakness?"

Shaardan: "I... what I mean-"

Ni: "Kill them. And maybe I won't mention what you just said to me to your master."

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Ni: "Get out of my sight."

Ni, Ordo and HK-47 proceeded towards the local cantina, but were stopped by a party of three Crusader apprentices.

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Apprentice 1: "I hate Jedi... and these fallen ones are worse! They always get into the academy, and they think they're better than the rest of us!"

Ordo: "You should turn around and move along, kid. You don't want the trouble we'd give you."

Lashowe: "Well, stranger... I don't know whther you're aware of this or not, but here on Korriban, the Sith do as they please. And we're Sith."

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Ni: "I say that the idea that you're Sith is hilarious. Naga Sadow was Sith. Marka Ragnos was Sith. But you? You're scum."

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Lashowe: "Shut up, fool! Unless you want to be next!"

Apprentice 2: "Yeah? Anytime!"

Apprentice 1: "Stop it, this is boring. Let's just go back to the academy."

Lashowe: "Fine, we'll go. As for you... I'll find you later. Trust me on that."

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Within sight of the cantina, where a large placard named it "The Drunk Side," Ni and company were again halted.

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Ni: "Yes, she's my ship."

Kesh: "Is that so? Well, you can tell Davik that my people are spitting plasma over this. We've been waiting for this shipment for a month, now. I suppose we should be grateful that the shipment survived Taris at all, though, right? Anyway... hand it over and let's finish this."

Ni: "Davik's dead. I own the Hawk now."

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Kesh: "We had arranged for several kilograms of spice to be shipped to us here aboard the Ebon Hawk. Perhaps Davik left it on board? I suspect if it is, it would be in the container we gave him. Locked and requiring a code. Might you have seen such a thing, human?"

Ni: "I have, but how much is it worth to you?"

Kesh: "One thousand credits... and perhaps more, if you're interested. What do you say to that?"

Ni: "Fair enough. That's below market value, but it is several months late. Consider the difference a gift to start us off on the right foot."

Kesh: "Excellent. Set the code on the container to 'Red-47.'"

Ni retrieved the spice, and gave it to Kesh. In return, the rodian had a proposal:

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Kesh: "There is no danger involved, human, so long as you do not attempt to open the box yourself. I'm sure Motta will pay you what was promised to Davik for the delivery. I believe 2000 credits was the agreed upon sum."

Ni: "You've got a deal. I should be headed to Tattoine in a few days."

Kesh: "That would be acceptable. Motta can be found in Anchorhead, though I am uncertain exactly where. He should not be difficult to spot, fat as he is."

Within the Drunk Side, Ni made contact with Mika Dorin, Ziagrom's partner. Ni purchased several items from him, mainly components with which to increase the efficiency of vibroweapons. While she was purchasing these items, she was approached by a twi'lek, who we have identified as the failed Jedi padawan Yuthura Ban.

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Ni: "They did, but I have forgotten most of my training."

Ban: "What an odd thing to say... and, even stranger, I do not sense any deception within you. You are a curious puzzle, woman, a puzzle with great power."

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Ni: "Again? I suppose that would interest me, yes."

Ban: "Hmm. A strange response, indeed. Is your mind maladjusted in some way? You should make for an interesting pupil, indeed. I will take you to the academy and we shall see if you are ready to join the ranks. I have only one question: These... companions of yours? They will not be coming with you, I presume?"

Ni: "Only slaves."

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Ban: "I see. Fair enough, so long as they do not disturb your training or cause any trouble. But come. The Master of the Academy awaits you."

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Around this time, Ni notes that has a splitting headache, and an image appears behind her eyes every time she tried to close them. An image of Bastila.

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Commentary Throughout most of KotOR, they don't take much advantage of the technology. There aren't comlink conversations, threats of remote explosions, and so on. I realize that it's partially that the Star Wars setting itself isn't really a science-fiction setting. But at the same time, my Star Wars game growing up was TIE Fighter, a large portion of which is occupied with an arms race between Imperials and rogue R & D Grand Admiral Zaarin. Personally, I think Star Wars is at it's best when it's hovering on the edge between science fiction and fantasy, without sliding into the magitek angle. One of the things I've been trying to do, then, is emphasize that. I can't add in a star fighter mini-game (though I can dig out my joystick), but I can make conversations happen over com-links. That's one of the really simple things that fantasy doesn't do well: long-distance communication. Even in fairly high-magic settings like Eberron, magical communication is inefficient compared to simply sending a messenger.

But in any case, we see today one the reasons that Canderous can't be a leader anymore: Jagi confronts him, and he all but goes to pieces. The battle at Althir was the only time he told us that he was in command. It ended well for Canderous, but less well for his men. It would seem that Canderous knew that he was sacrificing his men for his own glory, and obviously wasn't expecting to have one of the men he sacrificed call him out on it.

Korriban probably has the most triggered events in the game - I cut about half of them because they don't add anything that you haven't already seen. Namely, students at the academy being belligerent fools, and Jan watching them torture others/beating the living daylights out of them. Similarly, all of its 'side quests' are much more closely tied in with the main plot, so you'll be seeing most of them, as opposed to the other planets. Because of that, it might take a bit longer to get through Korriban than the other planets, but I trust no one will object to that. At a rough guess, we have about twenty episodes left before the end.

Also, we got to see HK's mind trick today, so that's got to count for something.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/2525/end49.jpg

The_Werebear
2011-01-27, 12:34 PM
Korriban was always one of my favorites. I usually played light side, so I always felt like I was walking an edge between doing the right thing and being too visible and getting killed. Of course, Jan's not going to have any problems with expediency, as evidenced.

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-28, 06:24 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6l0qSvF2BQ))
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http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/7188/i503.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 50 Within the Academy on Korriban, Ni records for us the words of the local master, Uthar Wynn.

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Ban: "A human that has had some training, it seems, Master Uthar. Very promising, I think."

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Wynn: "That I'll judge for myself, thank you. Tell me, human... what do you know of the ways of the Sith? What preconceptions has your mind been polluted with?"

Ni: "Only what I've forgotten."

Wynn: "Indeed? ...Yuthura, what sort of broken creature have you brought me?"

Ban: "A mystery to unwrap, Master."

Wynn: "So it seems. Students, listen to me."

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Wynn: "We, however, do not treat the Force as a burden. We treat it as a gift, a thing to be celebrated. We use it to acquire power over others... and why should we not? Because the Jedi say we should not? We are as the Force is meant to be. The Jedi would hide that from you... they would tell you the dark side is too quick, too easy, all so that they need never challenge the passions that lie within them."

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Wynn: "What say you, Lashowe? Are you ready to learn the secrets of the dark side? Dare you?"

Lashowe: "I dare, Master Uthar! I am ready!"

Wynn: "Brash and fiery, as expected. Turn that passion to your advantage, child. What of you, Mekel? Are you ready?"

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Wynn: "I sense much anger within you, young one. That is good. That will provide you power. And Shaardan... what of you?"

A brief digression: we have thus far been unable to trace the origins of any of the students opposed to Ni, not even their surnames.

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Wynn: "I see. You had best gather your wits for the trial ahead, boy, or you will not last. And you, broken one? Does this interest you? Are you ready to learn more of what I speak?"

Ni: "I am ready to re-learn, yes."

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Wynn: "Now, then. All of you four recruits have shown a degree of facility with the Force... you all have the potential to become true Sith. Only one of you, however, will succeed. The one who succeeds will be sent to Lord Malak as an apprentice. All others must wait until next year and try again... if you survive."

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Ban: "As Master Uthar said, none of you are true Sith yet. For that to occur, one of you must do enough of worth... gain enough prestige... to be selected."

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Wynn: "If you wish to gain a lead over your competitors, the first of you to learn the Code of the Sith and tell me of it will be rewarded. The rest is for you to discover. Welcome to the dark side, my children... your one chance at true greatness lies here."

Ni settled herself in her new quarters in the academy, and went to speak with Ban.

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Ni: "Your favorite prospect?"

Ban: "Absolutely. By my estimation, you are far more likely to achieve the prestige necessary to join the Sith than any of the others."

We feel the need to stress, once again, that our use of "Sith" is not intended as a perjurative, but in the interest of presenting an unvarnished view of history.

Ban: "As a matter of fact, I am so certain of that that I'm willing to offer you an opportunity of the once-in-a-lifetime variety. Would you like to hear it?"

Ni: "Absolutely."

Ban: "Good. I do so adore someone who's willing to take a chance. As I said, you're no doubt going to be the one whom Uthar chooses to become a Sith. With my help, of course. Once that occurs, he will take you into the Valley of the Dark Lords, to the tomb of Naga Sadow to administer the final test. There you and I will be alone with him. The perfect tim to, shall we say, arrange for a change in the academy's leadership?"

Ni: "What's so important about this tomb?"

Ban: "The tomb is an ancient ruin that was visited years ago by Darth Revan and Darth Malak. They discovered an artifact there of great importance. Reaching that artifact, as they did, is part of the final test. At any rate, it is not the tomb that is important. That Uthar will be alone is what is important."

Ni: "And what's your part in this?"

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Ban: "We destroy Master Uthar together and I take his place... and you take your place at my side. A beautiful plan in its sheer simplicity."

Ni: "I agree."

Ban: "I'm so glad you see it my way. Iw will begin to make preparations for your final 'test.' Your only worry now is to get there... don't disappoint me."

Ni: "Tell me of the code of the Sith."

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Ban: "'Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.'
Simple words, yet easily misunderstood. The Jedi would have you believe that peace is a desireable goal. That peace of the spirit is the way for the Force to be mastered, that a lack of conflict better man."

Ni: "But the threat of death focuses the mind immensely well."

Ban: "Yes, conflict forces one to better oneself. It forces change, growth, adaptation... evolution... or death. These are not our laws, but the universe's. Without conflict you have only stagnation."

Ni: "And passion fuels conflict."

Ban: "At the same time, anger, hatred, fear... these passions empower us."

Ni: "The Loyalists say otherwise."

Ban: "The Force gives us all power, even them. It is our mastery of our passion that gives us the strength they lack."

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Ban: "The strong you become in the Force, the more power you will achieve. But always must you fight for your power."

Ni: "Because strife leads to more passion, and so on, ever building stronger. It would seem to also be a trap, though."

Ban: "How many sorts of victories can you imagine? Peaceful victory? Vicotry by sacrifice? A truce, an achievement? Unless the victory is achieved by demonstrating that your power is superior, it is only an illusion. Temporary at best. We seek more."

Ni: "To break your chains."

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Ban: "Ultimately the goal of any Sith is to free herself from such restrictions. In a way, it is so we may do whatever we wish... but it is much more than that. One who has freed themselves from all restirctions has reached perfection. Their potential fulfilled. Perfect strength, perfect power, perfect destiny. Imagine it."

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Ni: "You don't think the Sith'ari can exist?"

Ban: "I... wonder what such a being would be like. The legends say the Sith'ari will destroy us... and make us stronger than ever. But perhaps that is just a legend. Perfection is... a goal, I think, rather than a state of being. The Loyalists would argue that, no doubt."

Ni: "And the Force itself?"

Ban: "The Force is our servant and our master. Our teacher and our companion. A weapon and a tool. Know it and you know the universe. Master it and you master the universe. Strive for perfection and the Force shall reward you."

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Ni: "I know the Code of the Sith."

Wynn: "Then finish the Code as I speak it. Peace is a lie..."

Ni correctly receited the Code back to Wynn.

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Wynn: "Tell me then: Is victory by any means is desirable?"

Ni: "Only so long as that victory is not one born of compromise, but of your own might."

Wynn: "Well done. But go, I have other matters to attend to."

Ni: "I have something to tell you about Yuthura..."

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Ni: "She wants me to help her kill you at the final trial."

Wynn: "I see. It is good that you have come to me with this informatin, young one. It is a bit... ironic... that Yuthura has begun her plotting. I have been aware of her growing ambitions for some time, and had in fact already decided to remove her."

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Wynn: "Perhaps it will be you who combats her? Yes... perhaps so. This is what you can do. Give this pad to Adrenas... He will put some poison in her bath. This will make her an easy target. Rather generous of me, don't you think?"

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Ni returned to her room, and laid down to rest. But in her sleep, she could not escape what she has little choice but to call a vision.

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Commentary And yes, that vision of Malak and Bastila was so well made that I had to share the entire thing.

One of the details I've changed for the sake of consistency is to make the competition between Ni, Lashowe, Mekel and Shaardan not for the simple fact of academy admission. If this is the winnowing process to become a simple force adept in Malak's army, then, as we'll soon see, he either wouldn't have any, or they would be a challenge for Malak and Revan. If this, on the other hand, is a contest to be Malak's apprentice, then the dangers become almost reasonable. Not quite, but almost. And again, we've got the distinction of Revan and Malak having claimed the title 'Dark Lord of the Sith.' Ergo, anyone they train can legitimately be called Sith.

Just for the record, the original lines are:
Wynn: "Now, then. All of you four recruits have shown a degree of facility with the Force... you all have the potential to become true Sith. Only one of you, however, will succeed. The one who succeeds will be admitted to the academy as a full Sith. All others must wait until next year and try again... if you survive."

If the academy only admits one student a year, and it's only been about ten years since the end of the Mandalorian Wars, where did all those other Crusaders that I've been killing come from? I suppose you could handwave it as most of them being the original Crusaders who followed Revan and Malak. If that was so, then Bioware missed a golden opportunity.

One of the lures of Star Wars has always been that every story only unearths more. For instance, the way Kenobi drops in a mention to the Clone Wars in Episode IV. It makes the setting feel much more vibrant, more alive. The vast multimedia empire that has been built up around Star Wars means that most of the overlapping story threads in the movies have been expanded upon, and in doing so, it feels like we've moved away from a sense of wonder and more into an obsession with cataloguing minuteia. To sow more seeds of stories, what if the Crusaders that Jan has fought so far all had their own names? Without a name, they're a faceless mook (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Mooks)(TV Tropes warning). With a name (and maybe some variant appearances? Maybe?) the player has to wonder, 'what's their story?'

I'm not saying that games shouldn't have mooks. Sometimes, you just need faceless hordes (which is what stormtroopers are for). Pre-humanizing your own forces is a powerful statement, after all. But for force wielders, especially when what Wynn and Ban have been extolling a very individualistic philosophy, it makes less sense.

On the philosophy: Great shades of the Uebermensh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9Cbermensch)! They weren't exactly subtle here, though. Check out the article on the Sith'ari (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Sith'ari) for yourself, though.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7581/end50.jpg

BladeofOblivion
2011-01-28, 09:50 PM
The most amusing thing about backstabbing Uthar and Yuthura is that you can do it an absurd number of times.

Tam_OConnor
2011-01-31, 11:32 PM
Welcome... (Cue non-Star Warsmusic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii1tc493bZM&feature=related))
http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/9577/i511.jpg
http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/3741/i512.jpg
http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/6402/i513.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 51 Unable to sleep, Ni decided to spend her time productively. She used her com-link to contact the Ebon Hawk over a secure channel.

Ni: "Carth, wake up!"

Onasi: "Wha-?"

Ni: "Go to the aft-port hold. Find the unlabelled plasteel (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Plasteel) container and open it up with authorization code Zabrak Niner Proton Kessel Force."

Onasi: "...why?"

Ni: "Because that's where I've been hiding the active camo suits and stealth systems (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Stealth_field) that I really didn't want anyone to find. There should also be a few souped-up gravity disks (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Gravity_disk) in there. Have T3 run the calculations to throw you at my window. He already knows what my catch capabilities are."

Considering the spontanaeity of the operation, it is impressive that events went so smoothly. Onasi was launched across nearly a half kilometer of empty space, to be caught neatly by the Force, and brought inside the Academy.

Ni: "I found Dustil. You sure you want to talk to him?"

Onasi: "I have to know why he's here."

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/1023/511x.jpg
http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/2924/512q.jpg

C. Onasi: "Dustil? Is that you?"

D. Onasi: "Oh, lovely. It's Father. Figures that you'd show up after all this time. How did you manage to get inside the academy?"

Ni: "Walked in the front door."

http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/2218/513rh.jpg

D. Onasi: "Just why are you here, Father? Not for me, I hope. Couldn't you have gotten yourself blown up on some ship and spared us this reunion?"

C. Onasi: "Dustil... what? What are you talking about? I... I thought you were dead!"

D. Onasi: "Too bad you didn't still think that. Or did you really think I would be happy to see you? Look, everyone! It's Father, come to rescue me at long last! Sure, he may have left Mother and I to die on Telos, but doesn't matter!" Ni makes one of her rare notes here: 'I probably should have gone and got Canderous. He's much better than Carth at hitting annoying people. Complains less about it, for one.'

http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/5969/514hh.jpg

C. Onasi: "But I looked for you. I swear I looked everywhere-"

D. Onasi: "Ah, save it. You abandoned us long before. We were alone all during the wars, and even nce you came back, you didn't stay."

C. Onasi: "I didn't have a choice! I was needed..."

http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/3054/515p.jpg

D. Onasi: "You know what? It doesn't matter. Not any more. I have a new family now, a family that cares about me. I don't need you."

Ni, surprisingly enough, gives us another comment: 'I almost couldn't help it. I managed to choke the laughter down into something resembling a cough. The kid doesn't even know he's disposable.'

C. Onasi: "The Sith? You can't mean that! No, the Sith killed your mother! The Sith destroyed Telos!"

D. Onasi: "So? You're the soldier, father. How many mothers have you killed?"

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/6818/516tr.jpg

D. Onasi: "You never knew me. You weren't even there to know me, so don't presume to tell me what I would or wouldn't do!"

C. Onasi: "I don't know what's been done to you, but you're coming with me out of here. Now."

D. Onasi: "Touch me, old man, and I'll kill you. Get out! Get out of here before I tell the Sith that you're here!"

Ni: "Calm down, kid. Carth is only trying to protect you."

D. Onasi: "I don't need his protection! Not anymore. The Sith give me everything I need."

http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/5214/517h.jpg

D. Onasi: "No, they're not evil! They're not! The dark side is superior, and you... you were at war long before they came along!"

C. Onasi: "The Sith was to conquer, to rule the helpless. I went to war for you, Dustil. For your freedom, your future!"

D. Onasi: "Heh. I... don't believe you."

C. Onasi: "If I failed you, son, then it's... it's my failure. Please don't add to it by becoming part of something evil."

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/86/518i.jpg

D. Onasi: "You got that, Father? You prove what you're saying is true. I'm not going anywhere, otherwise."

C. Onasi: "I... got it, Dustil. I'll be back. I swear it."

Later, back in Ni's quarters:

Ni: "Look Carth, if I find any hard evidence, I'll com you. But it's not going to do anyone any good if you just pace back and forth. Go back to the Hawk."

Onasi: "But I can't just leave him!"

Ordo: "If you don't want to, those of us that are trying to sleep will be more than happy to throw you out the window."

The next morning:

Ni: "Do you know anything about Darth Revan?"

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/9589/519wa.jpg

Ni: "That's the one."

Ban: "Very little. I never met her personally, though I hear she was a powerful woman. Very charismatic. In the end, Revan was outshown by her pupil. Such is the way of the Sith. Why? Is this dead woman of some importance to you?"

Ni: "You mentioned her yesterday. That she and Malak found an artifact here?"

Ban: "Both Revan and Malak came to Korriban when they discovered the tomb of Naga Sadow. That was before my time."

Ni: "Do you think it's possible Revan might be alive?"

http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/5503/5110.jpg

Ban: "Perhaps the same is true for Revan. Perhaps Revan is out there, somewhere, waiting to take revenge upon Malak. More likely what we were told is the truth: Revan is dead. Malak would be foolish to leave his old master alive, considering all the knowledge Revan held."

Ni: "Hmmm. Could you tell me about yourself?"

Ban: "About myself? I am originally from Sleheyron, if you must know. I was a slave to a cruel master, Omeesh the Hutt. I am sure you don't need to know more."

Ni: "I have some news about Uthar..."

http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/1739/5111o.jpg

Ni: "He plans to have me fight you in the final test."

Ban: "Ahhh. How very clever of him. Normally you would face some other student in the tomb, preferably one of the failed ones. Obviously Uthar has decided to get rid of me. But why...? Did you say something to him?"

Ni: "No, of course not. But I had gained enough prestige that he confided me in to that detail."

http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/9966/5112i.jpg

Ban: "In the end, it works out better that it is only the two of us in the tomb with him. So long as we refuse to fight. Is there anything else I should know?"

Ni: "No, that's it." Ni had spoken to Andrenas, who would poison Ban's bath.

Ban: "Here... this passcard will allow you access to Uthar's quarters. Take this device and put it inside his bed. Then Uthar will be too weak to stand up to us. Don't even think of failing me. You and I are too far into this now to back out."

Ni: "Just one more thing: you said you were from Sleheyron..."

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Ni: "You want to tell me, don't you?"

Ban: "I... I do. I suppose there's no harm in the tale. As I said, I was originally a slave to one of the Hutts. The Hutts control everything on Sleheyron, and a slave is nothing to them."

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/3851/5114z.jpg

Ban: "I stole onto a cargo ship and was not discovered by the crew until they reached the next system. They left me for dead on a desolate planetoid, alone... but that was fine by me. I was glad to be anywhere other than Sleheyron. It was not luck that I was eventually rescued, of course. The Force was strong with me, though I didn't know that at the time. Not until the Jedi told me, that is."

Ni: "How did you become a Sith?"

Ban: "I... would prefer not to discuss that."

Ni: "Oh, but I'd really like to hear the tale."

http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/1144/5115b.jpg

Ni: "But I'm your friend, aren't I?"

Ban: "You... certainly have odd notions for one hoping to become a Sith. I'll play along... for now. After escaping from Sleheyron I was found by the Jedi. They took me in and trained me even though I was a bit older than most Padawans."

Ni: "Were you a Jedi?"

http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/3005/5116w.jpg

Ban: "I wanted to use the Force to free the other slaves I knew, to fight for what I knew was right. The Jedi restrained me until I couldn't stand it any more. They claim the dark side is evil, but that isn't so. Sometimes anger and hatred are deserved and right. Sometimes things change because of it."

Ni: "But has anything changed?"

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/8413/5117.jpg

Ban: "I know this may sound strange, but only my compassion stands in my way, now. Once that is gone let the slavers beware."

Ni: "I admire your spirit. It is a commendable goal."

Ban: "Thank you. I only wish I was as strong with the Force as you are. You could change much yourself, if you wanted to. But enough of that. I've talked about myself too much, surely you are tired of it."

...

http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/8688/5118.jpg

Ni: "New discoveries?"

Tamlen: "I am adding new entries into our library's database based on the excavations in the valley. Currently I'm working on Ajunta Pall... quite a fascinating subject."

Ni: "He's one of the Dark Lords in the valley, right?"

Tamlen: "Correct. He wielded a powerful sword, by all accounts. Some of use believe it might be in that tomb, which is quite exciting."

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/7480/5119v.jpg

Ni: "Hasn't anyone tried to find it?"

Tamlen: "Some unsuccessful attempts have been made. I truly don't know why a more concerted effort isn't made, however."

Ni: "What do you know about the sword's powers?"

Tamlen: "Well... the legends say the sword had dark power, but they're not very specific. We will never know unless we can examine it more closely."

Ni: "I'll see what I can do."
Commentary So, it may be becoming apparent that the academy section is one of the longer segments. Bluntly put, I think there may be more people with actual dialogue trees in the academy then there are on the whole of Manaan, and certainly more than Kashyyyk. Hopefully the next update will see the end of quest-assigning. Of course, we still have to do all of those quests, and while it may take longer in game time, it's a lot easier for me to sum up a dungeon in four screenshots that it is to sum up twenty-odd conversations.

On a different note, I've been reading waaaaay too much good science fiction for my own good (an archive binge on 10+ years of daily Schlock Mercenary (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/), and David Weber's Honorverse [which are all available for free, legally. Start here (http://www.webscription.net/10.1125/Baen/0743435710/0743435710.htm).]) As a downside, I look at the Star Wars universe, and just have to shake my head. But this is neither the time nor the place for whining about the 'verse.

Mainly because Dustil already did it for us. You have no idea how hard it was to accurately transcribe that exchange of dialogue without calling in Canderous to start administering the healing punches. On the other hand, he is a teenager (I'd judge him about 18). For reference, Telos was only bombed into ashes about a year ago.

Actually, it'll probably be helpful to establish a timeline, seeing how we don't have one yet and Wookieepedia is moderately terrible with big, useful things like that. Our arbitrary starting date for our time is the point at which the Revanchist Crusaders enter the Mandalorian War.

circa -60: Jolee born. This, like all the other 'circa' dates on this timeline are my best guess. The only ones we've got official dates on is Carth and Mission, and Mission's is the only one in the game.
circa -40: Canderous born.
-37-33: The Great Sith War (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Great_Sith_War), Exar Kun, all that good stuff.
-31: Carth's 'actual' birthdate, though where they got it from is beyond me (hint: not this game, or the KotOR comics). I'd lean more towards an earlier birthday (circa -35), unless he was twentyish when he sired Dustil.
circa -20: Alek and proto-Revan born.
circa -15: Juhani and Bastila born.
-13: Start of Mandalorian agression along the Outer Rim (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Outer_Rim_Territories).
circa -10: Dustil born. Zaalbar born? Maybe?
-7: Mission born.
-2: First clashes between Mandalorian and Republic forces.
-1: Some great hubbaloo about padawans being killed on Taris (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Padawan_Massacre_of_Taris).
0: Revan and Malak splinter away from the Jedi order, and lead the Republic forces in their first effective counter-offenses.
3: Mandalorian Wars end with Republic victory at Malachor V. The Jedi Exile... well, he exiles himself.
6: Return of the Crusaders and the bombing of Telos. Revan captured and mindwiped.
7: Revan/Jan gets angry, and an awful lot of people die.
12: The Jedi Exile um... un-exiles himself.
313: Some nutcase (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Satele_Shan) claiming to be the descendant of Bastila Shan and Revan (I suppose it's possible, since she doesn't need a 'y' chromosome) becomes Grand Master of the Jedi Order, the Maker save us all.
3963: Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the first Death Star.

See, I look at that timeline and I think 'that's not nearly enough time for the Jedi Civil War.' I also think 'dating everything in Star Wars from the destruction of the first Death Star really falls apart this far from the original trilogy.' I could go off again about how the idea of medieval stasis (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MedievalStasis) (TV Tropes warning) in fiction really really really annoys me, but I suspect no one wants to hear that (again? Have I ranted about this before?).

Two last comments: first of all, appreciate Carth's different, hopefully less eye-bleeding armor. My bowing to your poor weak eyes has cost the party fifteen thousand credits and Carth a few points of AC. If he dies, he can blame fashion. And you. Or I might just put the other armor on just to listen to the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Second point: no, it isn't possible to mind-crush Yuthura into telling you her story. That's because she gives it to you if you ask nicely, with no more reason than 'I'd like to know.' And while the mind-crush above might be a bit of a disservice to her character, it's helping to set up Jan's character arc for the second half of the play-through. Bear with me, and I'll have you too arcing along at multiple gees and at a velocity slightly under that of a ground attack craft (because if Carth goes too fast, the automated perimeter defenses might pick him up, and that would end poorly).
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/4229/end51.jpg

Cogwheel
2011-02-01, 01:15 AM
"Give me proof that the dark side is evil".

Guys? You call it the Dark Side. Your leader is the dark lord of the Sith. Your sabers are red, and everyone knows glowing red=evil in fantasy, in many cases.

You wipe out entire planets on a whim and electrocute civilians for amusement. And that's not even getting into the fact that Dark Side influence causes hideous mutations/degeneration, or the constant backstabbing.

...Sorry, I just never understood the "prove to me that it's evil" thing. Though at this point, "talk to the idiots on Manaan" would do the trick, since it's the second time you go through this.

What's that? Can't go to Manaan? Sith don't have school trips to anywhere but the dark ravening dark maw of the dark abyss IN (dark) SPACE? Pah. Evil, I say.

The_Werebear
2011-02-01, 02:42 AM
I love how many people seem to think that they can use the Dark Side for good. No one in this Galaxy ever took a look at a history book, because every single damn person to try it falls, usually in a way that gets lots of people killed.


Basically, I think it would have been a lot easier to explain to ANYONE why the Dark Side is bad by pointing out that there's a war every couple of decades when a Jedi goes rogue and starts murdering people left and right. And that whoever falls to the dark side gets all wrinkly and pale.

AlterForm
2011-02-01, 09:09 AM
I love how self-important the guy behind Tamlen looks. "Hoo, boy! I got me a sweet job guardin' this here library!"

I bet he flubbed the entrance exam something fierce, and then one of the senior crusaders thought it would be funny to put him on "permanent knowledge database security detail." Every time they check out a book holorecorder(?) they get to snicker at their clever prank. :smallbiggrin: [/totallynoncanon]

Admiral Harkov
2011-02-01, 09:10 AM
You are all a bunch of albino haters! I'm so reporting you!. To the BORED, Board Of Racial Enmity Disrespects.

Yeah, I agree. You make some tale of over the top manicheist sides and then it's all ridiculous to see any non-crazed character defending the good, or at least the non_evil, of the evil side.

Then again, totalitarianists.

As a note, you speak of the Exile as a male, when it is a female (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_Exile).

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-01, 10:59 AM
Counter-note, Revan is canonically male. As a down-side, making Revan male means that Bastila is the only female character of any importance (I really should get around to writing that rant about gender in KotOR). And making the Exile male means that he/I a) get to deal with the Handmaiden instead of the Disciple (which means Wis to AC), b) get to flirt with Atris and c) get shot down by Mira. Besides, the SA forums Let's Play of KotOR 2 has a male exile. Further besides, the Jedi Exile as a heroine comes from the New Essential Guide for Droids (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_New_Essential_Guide_to_Droids). That's about as arbitrary as making Jaden Korr (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jaden_Korr) male in Crosscurrent.

On 'proving the crusaders are evil' front: Remember, Dustil is young, stupid and hormonal. His teenage rebellion just involves more red lightsabers and fewer 'I hate you military dad!' (Though he's done more than enough of that, the smarmy git).

Admiral Harkov
2011-02-01, 12:51 PM
Yup, yup, in fact now I think I remember you not only mentioned Revan being canonically male (why I didn't mention that part) but also that the Exile is canonically (even if it's just kinda canonically) female and that originally it was going to be the other way around. Plus I forgot you had already decided on the Exile, hence the noting for curiosity's sake.

And I'm happy you're taking that decision, exactly for the reasons you state, plus Disciple is such a plain character. I only used him when it was forced on me, and if I got him to jedi was more like mindlessly clicking dialog options, because he doesn't spring my interest at all. Disciple had no choice but be a male characters: he's so plain he's incompatible with boobs and ample hips*sage nod*. I am in fact going to replay kotor2 playing a patch to allow female PCs to take the Handmaiden instead of Disciple; I would play a male character, but the thought of being a chance, even if it could be 0.001% of seeing the occurrence of a PC-Kreia romancing makes me very wary of playing a male, and I'm thankful I ended playing a female one (it was luck, I had not seen yet that there was a canon assignment of gender to the PCs of each game). If there's news of an earthquake tomorrow, it's because I just shuddered so violently at such thought. Just the thought of Kreia being nice... Eewwwwwww!.

I would very much like to read your gender rant, indeed.:smalleek: (:smallwink:)

Coidzor
2011-02-01, 08:27 PM
I love how many people seem to think that they can use the Dark Side for good. No one in this Galaxy ever took a look at a history book, because every single damn person to try it falls, usually in a way that gets lots of people killed.


Basically, I think it would have been a lot easier to explain to ANYONE why the Dark Side is bad by pointing out that there's a war every couple of decades when a Jedi goes rogue and starts murdering people left and right. And that whoever falls to the dark side gets all wrinkly and pale.

The true power of the dark side is the convenient precision lobotomies it gives as far as I've always been able to tell.

Cogwheel
2011-02-02, 05:49 AM
I love how many people seem to think that they can use the Dark Side for good. No one in this Galaxy ever took a look at a history book, because every single damn person to try it falls, usually in a way that gets lots of people killed.


Basically, I think it would have been a lot easier to explain to ANYONE why the Dark Side is bad by pointing out that there's a war every couple of decades when a Jedi goes rogue and starts murdering people left and right. And that whoever falls to the dark side gets all wrinkly and pale.

To be fair, the party contains one example of someone using the dark side more or less responsibly, and certainly not going villainous over it. Jolee, anyone?

Yes, he has light side stuff too, which makes sense. His stance on the whole force thing is pretty much "can we please have some sane middle ground here?"

Coidzor
2011-02-02, 12:35 PM
To be fair, the party contains one example of someone using the dark side more or less responsibly, and certainly not going villainous over it. Jolee, anyone?

Yes, he has light side stuff too, which makes sense. His stance on the whole force thing is pretty much "can we please have some sane middle ground here?"

On the other hand, he might just be too cantankerous and uncooperative for the dark side to work on properly. :smallamused:

Admiral Harkov
2011-02-02, 06:24 PM
Yes, a middle ground like the one provided by Miguel Mihura: La mujer asesinadita ("The woman a bit murdered"). :smallbiggrin: [Don't know how the book has really been translated to english]

Though I see Bindo more than that a "Leave me alone and don't bother me with all your silliness! Let me be free, be free, act as -your- reason and principles point you. Don't do anything because some rules tell you so, it's your life, it's your decisions." He is the Free Spirit.

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-02, 06:55 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev359hW6LAM))
http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/5421/i521.jpg
http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/148/i522.jpg
http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/1862/i523.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 52 We return to the academy on Korriban, as Ni tries to pry information out her rivals.

http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/1947/521ra.jpg

Ni: "Lashowe, right?"

Lashowe: "Remember it, for I'll be the one who earns the prestige to move on. You'll have to be satisfied with next year, I suppose."

Ni: "I doubt that."

Lashowe: "It just so happens that I have a sure-fire way of pulling ahead in this little contest of ours. You don't really have a chance."

Ni: "And what way is that?"

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/7922/522mv.jpg

Ni: "Then why haven't you brought it to Uthar yet?'

Lashowe: "I don't have it just yet. I'll get it... when I'm good and ready."

Ni: "It's guarded, isn't it?"

Lashowe: "So what if it is? I'll get it eventually, regardless. Nothing good comes without a bit of a fight... that's the Sith motto, more or less."

Ni: "Maybe I could help you get it?"

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/3439/523q.jpg
http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/1528/524d.jpg

Ni: "I've always wanted to work with a beautiful woman."

Lashowe: "Flattery, is it? I... suppose it's possible that Master Uthar could award both of us prestige. We'd be ahead of the others, for sure... I found the location of a holocron. It probably contains secrets from the time when the Sith ruins on this planet first existed."

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/3154/525d.jpg

Lashowe: "That make sense to you? Go into the valley when you're prepared enough. I'll be amongst the central pillars, near the north end."

Ni: "See you there."

...

Shaardan: "I remember you. You're alright."

Ni: "Care to co-ordinate strategy?"

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/386/526w.jpg

...

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/6949/527zb.jpg

Ni: "What makes you so sure?"

Mekel: "You think I would tell you? Have my brains started dribbling out of my nose, or something?"

Ni: "Where's the fun in no competition at all?"

http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/2614/528h.jpg

Ni: "I'll see if I can't make things difficult for you, then."

...

Instructor: "How do you do, hopeful? Seeking prestige, yes?"

Ni: "That's right."

http://img573.imageshack.us/img573/5331/529wa.jpg

Ni: "I don't."

Instructor: "Ah. Let me tell you what I can, then. A group of students were ordered to perform executions on civilians within the colony. They refused to carry out the orders. Master Uthar naturally ordered them killed... but they fled before this could take place. If one could carry out Uthar's order, it would be worth considerable prestige."

http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/3416/5210n.jpg

Instructor: "Now if you will excuse me, I must return to my studies."

...

While exploring the academy, Ni saw other things: apprentices training with lightsabers against terrified slaves,

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/9920/5211o.jpg

an interesting computer message,

http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/3720/5212.jpg

Computer: "ELIMINATION OF COMPETITORS MUST BE FOUND BY OTHER MEANS. STUDENT OVERRIDE AUTHORIZATION: UWYNN"

clandestine invasion of Wynn's personal chambers

http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/4490/5213.jpg
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Datapad: "This datapad appears to contain numerous entires of notes made by Master Uthar of the Academy. Most prominent of the recent entries is the following:"

Wynn: "The pupil known as Dustil has shown remarkable progress. His talent with the Force is great. The same, however, cannot be said for the human female that he arrived with, Selene. She has little talent. Moreover, Dustil holds a great deal of affection for her. This is a weakness in the boy and has been slowing down his training. Orders were sent this morning to have the girl removed from the academy and terminated. I will tell Dustil that she was killed in the valley. He will forget her soon enough, I think... he is too promising to lose at this juncture."

That night, after Carth had infiltrated the academy again:

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C. Onasi: "I have a datapad I want you to look at. You knew someone named Selene?"

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C. Onasi: "Look at it. It belongs to Master Uthar, doesn't it?"

D. Onasi: "Yes...it's his. But... he told me... he, he said that she'd been lost on a mission in the valley. This... this says that they..."

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D. Onasi: "No. No, I can't. I... I had no idea... they lied to me."

C. Onasi: "Well, there's the son I remember. Now will you leave here?"

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D. Onasi: "And maybe I can, you know, look around here and find out some more information. From the inside. Something that might help you."

C. Onasi: "I... don't suppose there's any way I could talk you out of that, is there? I mean, you're not going to do anything half way. Sounds familiar."

D. Onasi: "I... guess it does."

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D. Onasi: "Maybe... after this is over, we can... talk. I'm still not sure about... us, but I'll listen. Maybe we can get back to where we should have been."

C. Onasi: "I'd like that."

D. Onasi: "I'll go back to Telos when this is over. You can find me there. Goodbye... father."

C. Onasi: "Goodbye, son. Good luck."
Commentary Lashowe has some of the best/worst expressions in the game. Maybe it's just the way her hair is held back, so there's nothing else to focus on. Maybe it's the overdone lips. Maybe I just took the screenshots at precisely the worst moments.

Today's rant is on the really unfortunate gender implications in Knights of the Old Republic, since apparently I haven't done it yet. First of all, I want you all to remember the original trilogy, and specifically A New Hope, in which Leia has to take charge of her own rescue. There are some equally unfortunate implications in the original trilogy, in which Leia can't actually solve a problem (she gets them into the mess with the dianoga and gets captured trying to rescue Han), but that's more because Luke is the only one who can actually solve problems, albeit with back-up (Han in IV, Leia in V, Vader in VI). In any case, Leia comes off as a strong, capable character. She's more than just a spoiled princess, and it's her actions that instigate and drive much of the movies.

Now cast your mental eyes back to the prequel trilogy. Padme does very little besides serve as a plot token (except for the scene in the arena, and maybe the retaken of the Naboo palace). She's important, but she's important as a result of who she is, not what she does. Let's not mention the bit where she loses the will to live and dies of a broken heart under advanced medical droids. Padme: not nearly as impressive as her daughter.

This is just to establish what's gone before. KotOR, like the movies, only has a single major female character. I'm discounting Revan/Jan at the moment, because it's canon that Revan's male. Sure, there's other minor characters like Mission, Juhani and Yuthura Ban, but for the most part, the weight lies on Bastila. Who, I admit, comes off as fairly strong, especially compared to how Carth appears to be less eager to take control.

Let me digress for a moment: With Carth, the first words out of his mouth are 'You can trust me, we have a mission to do.' With Bastila, it's 'You should be thankful I rescued you, why haven't you done more?' It's become a fairly common reversal in recent media, with the guy being laid back and the girl being more in-your-face.

The first problem appears when the romance starts with Bastila. Remember how Bastila kept acknowledging that she was weaker than Jan? Now imagine how that would sound if Jan was a guy. We've got the lead female character in the game confessing to the male protagonist that she's inferior in power and control. But it gets worse. Who does Bastila incessantly keep referring back to?

The Jedi Council. Who, I hasten to remind you, are all male. We do hear about a female Master, though: Quatra, Juhani's master. You know, the one who thought that the best way to teach her student about the perils of the dark side was to push her pupil into a rage and fake her own death, pushing said pupil to the dark side and then leaving the mess for the (male) Revan to clean up. There's a line between manipulation and outright stupidity, and Quatra is dancing up and down that line. Let's look at some more details: on Dantooine, there are only a few named Jedi: the all-male council, Nemo (the cool old Master with the suspicious name), Deesra Luur Jada (the twi'lek Knight who told us about the terentatek), Bolook (twi'lek Knight who got us into a crime investigation), Juhani (Padawan), Bastila (Padawan), Belaya (Knight) and Revan (former Knight, now Padawan). So all the Masters we see are male, two out of three Knights are twi'lek males, and all the Padawans apart from Revan are female. And Revan is a former Knight, and the most powerful of the Padawans.

What we've established here is a Jedi Order in which women are at the bottom. Oh, and let's not forget that when Revan first meets Belaya, she rebukes him for mocking the Jedi Order by not wearing the robes of a Padawan, then apologies for her mistake. In contrast, the Masters know exactly what is going on, and even Bolook and Deesra show off their knowledge. I hate to say 'women make terrible Jedi because hormones' but that's the picture that KotOR is doing its level best to paint for us. Belaya, Bastila and Juhani are all brash, wrong, and one has already fallen to the dark side. Add in Yuthura, who is so passionate (and wrong) in comparison to the cold machinations of Master Uthar Wynn.

Step back for a minute: how many women in authority have we seen? Bastila was technically commander of the Endar Spire force, and it got shot down. Master Quatra was in charge of Juhani, and that sure ended well. Let's do a planet-by-planet examination:
Taris: There was that Crusader ensign, and both gangs had women as personal bodyguards (which carries its own problems. How personal of bodyguards are we talking about?) There's also Mission, who manages to drive the plot for an amazing two maps (the Undercity, the Sewers). Bastila, of course, is driving all of Taris.
Dantooine: Outside of the enclave, we've got Juhani as mistress of the kath hounds (before we beat the living daylights out of her), and Rahasia going against her father. But that's it. By now, it's Revan driving the story as much as Bastila.
Tatooine: The local Czerka boss was female. But she also talked like a dyed-in-the-wool bureaucrat. At least she was willing to take action (even if it was the dark side option). Can't comment on the Jawas, but the Sand People specifically tagged their females and kept them in the back of their enclave (usual tribal behavior; it's the rest of the galaxy that doesn't have an excuse). Finally, there was that annoyed wife who rigged her husband's droids to explode, drained their accounts, and left town.
Manaan: Well, I can't tell the difference between male and female selkath. I'm not sure anyone else can either. Leaving them aside, the only ones I remember are a Crusader recruiter, a Crusader secretary, and one of the scientists down at the station. One of the screamy ones, but at least she was the one suggesting the light side solution.
Kashyyyk: You know, I can't remember a single one. The wookiees have the excuse of being primitive (and I'm not sure I can tell which ones are which). But otherwise, I can't remember a single female.
The Leviathan: Not a single one. But Saul Karath, Malak and Revan are really the only new characters there, so it doesn't matter much.
Korriban: There's Lashowe and Yuthura Ban. Lashowe is mostly an idiot (as we'll see next episode), but she also doesn't have a backstory. Yuthura is the first non-party member we've actually gotten a backstory out of, and isn't it a lovely piece of work? She's essentially what Juhani might have become if we hadn't stepped in. If we'd done Korriban prior to our encounter on the Leviathan, we'd be able to redeem her and send her to the enclave on Dantooine. Yuthura, in her best ending, is saved by a man. Isn't that a lovely moral?

Right now, we've got Bastila being tortured by Malak. I don't want to spoil anything, but we're right back down to the situation we had on Taris: save the Jedi princess. There's still time for the writers to pull out of this trainwreck, but the odds are stacked against them.

On top of that, there's the canonical status of Revan as male and light-sided. Lucasart's default ending is that light-side wins (KotOR 1, II, Jedi Academy), so I'm not going to comment on that (except for the part where the ending of Jedi Academy is so much cooler as dark-side, and left a hook for Jedi Academy II: Kyle Katarn Strikes Back). What I am going to comment on is their insistance that the protagonist is always male (except in KotOR 2, and that's on shaky evidence). First of all, designating a gender at all is fairly silly, since it means that you're invalidating the player's choice while they play the game. I'll admit, it probably makes the use of pronouns on the wookieepedia page easier. But the whole idea of an RPG is feeling like you're part of the story. Consider how many times I've been told 'You know Revan is canonically male, right?' I don't mind people asking that question. What I do mind the implication that there's now a 'right way' to play KotOR I, II and Star Wars: Dark Forces 4: Jedi Knight 3: Jedi Outcast 2: Jedi Academy.

And if one did, for some idiotic reason, decide that Revan's gender needed to be established (light/dark is more significant, and could actually matter), I'd prefer if it was female. It makes the most powerful Force user to date into a woman, and one who managed to attain that power without depending on a patriarchal Jedi Council. It means that Revan's rescue of Bastila isn't the usual 'Knight in Shining Armor rescuing the Damsel in Distress, and her getting upset at him for it.' Bastila's confessions aren't of inferiority to a male, but to someone she can see as a peer. And to crown it all, I really like Jan as a character.

EDIT: Addendum: I've been reminded that Star Wars is, after all, modeled on the word of pulp fiction, which used the word 'dame' unironically and didn't shy away from lurid descriptions of the hem- and neck-lines of aforementioned dames. But that's part of the problem. Like the original trilogy, pulps could have strong female characters. Most of them didn't, but the original trilogy managed. This kind of backsliding is inexcusable, especially for a game that came out thirty years later.

Now KotOR 2 is another can of Varaz intestine worms, but I'll leave that for the appendices.

tl; dr: KotOR has few powerful female characters, and neuters Bastila so the canonically male Revan can rescue her. Twice. This upsets me, and I wish Jan would punch the people responsible in the kidneys.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/9043/end52.jpg

Coidzor
2011-02-02, 09:45 PM
Heh. Now I'm not sure whether I enjoying the commentary or actual LP more with these last few.

Oh, and I sorta skimmed over the beginning, but I must say I rather enjoy the format you've gone with for these.


Though I see Bindo more than that a "Leave me alone and don't bother me with all your silliness! Let me be free, be free, act as -your- reason and principles point you. Don't do anything because some rules tell you so, it's your life, it's your decisions." He is the Free Spirit.

Come to think of it, that seems to mesh fairly well with the interpretation of surrendering one's moral agency to whatever side of the force one rolls with... Hence why he doesn't really go with either.

Admiral Harkov
2011-02-03, 09:08 AM
↑ Yup, yup. To everything.

← Hence why I like Leia very much more than Padme. You know a way to improve Epii?, press "next scene" each time you see Padme. I wouldn't take Bastilla so in that way, because there's also the who gets in command and who's the one being active and energic, in one hand you get that the one needing rescuing would be the jedi one (the importance of the Battle Meditation to the story, the bit about not having a jedi in the very beginning I guess would also contribute), then the fact that the rescued one takes on such attitude as Bastila gets (I really hate her) serves not just to the, let's say, gag of the rescued goofball ("I lost my lightsaber") snapping to demand she's the one who did all (in my second game through she would be less deserving my hate since I kept all level ups for when I was a jedi, so then indeed she did all the fighting and saved my ass), it does point the darkness within her, so I think Bastila should have been like that anyway. The alternative would have been made Carth a woman and Bastila a man.

You repeat my thoughts about the breaking the player's choices. And the silliness of setting a canonical gender. Makes no sense. If they really NEEDED to set a canon, then they could have set a canon of information loss leaving the gender and name unknown. Not that hard, I think. Having played it I also find Revan more convincing as female, in fact I think any future play through of kotor I will make with a female Revan. A male really doesn't fit in for me.

The_Werebear
2011-02-03, 12:01 PM
And of course, the Exile always seemed right as a male to me. I never liked Disciple very much. That, and the female models always seemed a bit off to me in KoTORII.

Of course, if you go Male exile, you loose the frustrated/creepy/confused stalker aspect of Atton, which makes him seem more like a generic Rogue Cardboard cutout to me.

Squark
2011-02-03, 02:18 PM
↑ Yup, yup. To everything.

← Hence why I like Leia very much more than Padme. You know a way to improve Epii?, press "next scene" each time you see Padme. I wouldn't take Bastilla so in that way, because there's also the who gets in command and who's the one being active and energic, in one hand you get that the one needing rescuing would be the jedi one (the importance of the Battle Meditation to the story, the bit about not having a jedi in the very beginning I guess would also contribute), then the fact that the rescued one takes on such attitude as Bastila gets (I really hate her) serves not just to the, let's say, gag of the rescued goofball ("I lost my lightsaber") snapping to demand she's the one who did all (in my second game through she would be less deserving my hate since I kept all level ups for when I was a jedi, so then indeed she did all the fighting and saved my ass), it does point the darkness within her, so I think Bastila should have been like that anyway. The alternative would have been made Carth a woman and Bastila a man.

You repeat my thoughts about the breaking the player's choices. And the silliness of setting a canonical gender. Makes no sense. If they really NEEDED to set a canon, then they could have set a canon of information loss leaving the gender and name unknown. Not that hard, I think. Having played it I also find Revan more convincing as female, in fact I think any future play through of kotor I will make with a female Revan. A male really doesn't fit in for me.

I think the main reason was the desire to be able to depict Darth Revan in other media without having to worry about gender. So, as usual, it comes down to Merchandising.

And yeah, the Handmaiden is infinitely preferable to the Disciple. Fun Fact- You can complete the Disciple's dialogue tree once you pick him up and then never use him again- You can max his influence in one conversation (You can do this with Visas, too, actually, if you do it right). And another fun fact- It has been canonicly confirmed that the Handmaiden did travel with the female exile. So the mods to replace the Disciple with her? Totally Canon. Really, the Disciple is so boring I think he was the only companion that the KOTOR Era Campaign Guide forgot to stat out. Maybe Juhani, too, but they go the rest.

kamikasei
2011-02-03, 02:26 PM
I didn't really have a preference either way for Revan (I played male), but I prefer male Exile. For one thing there are the actual changes of Handmaiden, your past with Atris, etc. But what I liked when I thought about it after finishing the game was that the Exile struck me as in many ways a female archetype - strengthening and being strengthened by his allies through their bonds to one another. (Okay, female, or a shounen hero.) It wasn't a very strong sense, but enough that when I heard the canon had settled on a male Revan and a female Exile it provoked much eye-rolling. And so my preference is for a female Revan simply to have one of each gender in the pair.

Of course, if you go Male exile, you loose the frustrated/creepy/confused stalker aspect of Atton, which makes him seem more like a generic Rogue Cardboard cutout to me.
Personally I enjoyed the interpretation that Atton was gay.

Admiral Harkov
2011-02-03, 05:57 PM
A small note, since I think it might be taken in the wrong way: when I write that the alternartive would've been female Cart and male Bastila I'm not writing it in the sense that it would be bad.

What is really bad to my taste is the references to the SW films in the ways of "all thorough 4000 years families have kept an undisturbed tradition of everyone working on the same job". I specially disliked seeing one Admiral Dodonna. Even a Fortuna in Tatooine. I'm also not a fan of stablishing SW characters as stereotype, meaning: if you're a female Twi'lek then you got to be the dancing slave girl to some Hutt because Jabba had one in ROTJ, if you're one of those stacked helmets aliens then you have to be a musician playing a flute because there's one in the ANH's cantina, etc. I think the reason they allow for female jedis is because in the classic trilogy Luke tells Leia she may be able to use The Force®, else I wouldn't be surprised if they had made a no female jedi rule.

Coidzor
2011-02-03, 10:29 PM
And of course, the Exile always seemed right as a male to me. I never liked Disciple very much. That, and the female models always seemed a bit off to me in KoTORII.

It's just hard to say no to that beard (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4PhffrQXgI). All of my friends who did Male Exile runs went with the same look that the something awful Lets Play by Scorchy did.

Arcanoi
2011-02-03, 10:53 PM
So the mods to replace the Disciple with her? Totally Canon.

It would be awesome if these self-same mods worked with TSLRCM.

Coidzor
2011-02-03, 11:19 PM
It would be awesome if these self-same mods worked with TSLRCM.

That silly little retcon man? :smallconfused:

Cogwheel
2011-02-03, 11:29 PM
That silly little retcon man? :smallconfused:

Something something something restored content mod, at a guess.

Arcanoi
2011-02-03, 11:42 PM
Something something something restored content mod, at a guess.

The esteemed Cogwheel is correct. TSLRCM is the 'The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod', a modification that attempts to add some of the content that was essentially finished but removed from the final product. Some of this stuff is pretty good, but you can tell that there was a reason why other parts were removed. The mod is okay; nothing like an actual official overhaul that the game would really need to shine, and feels kind of like throwing a bottlecap at your broken dam, but it is something.

Cogwheel
2011-02-04, 02:42 AM
The esteemed Cogwheel is correct.


I'm esteemed now? Huh. Didn't know that.

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-04, 06:23 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryohHTpxpOI))
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http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/1490/i533.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 53 http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/8392/531d.jpg

Ordo chased the shyrack into the yawning mouth of a cave, followed by Ni and HK-47.

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Ni: "That is an exceptionally deep chasm. Wonder if it's natural."

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Ordo: "That bridge doesn't look natural."

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Ni: "I think I've got the remains of a Jedi over here: robes, broken lightsaber. Too old for the body to be a Crusader, not old enough for the Great Sith War."

HK-47: "Statement: There is an exit here, leading to the surface. It has not be used in some time."

Ni: "Let's get going."

Ordo: "What, you're not going to find the trainees hiding in these caves?"

Ni: "If they're bold enough to find the entrance, and tough enough to survive out on the surface, then they deserve to live."

Ordo: "Now you're thinking like a Mandalorian!"

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Ni: "What can you tell me about these ruins?"

Archaeologist: "Well... it seems that the Sith once inhabited Korriban a long time ago. There was a fortress here that was destroyed at some point before the Sith abandoned the planet entirely. Why they left, we don't know. Perhaps the Jedi drove them off. The tombs in this valley are the only parts of the fortress we've found mostly intact."

Ni: "Any unusual findings?"

Archaeologist: "Some. Most of the intersting stuff is still in the tombs, but Master Uthar prefers to leave them to be explored by the students, as a challenge. In time, they will probably become safe enough for us to enter. Until that time, however, we're stuck to digging up the valley piece by piece."

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Lashowe: "I've been calling to the tuk'ata mother in their language. She should respond fairly - ahhh, here she comes now."

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Lashowe: "Get ready. This will not be easy - she's a tough beast."

Lashowe appears to have overstated the ferocity of the tuk'ata brood mother, because Ni's description of the fight consists of a single word: "Tough?"

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Lashowe: "And here is the holocron (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Holocron). Such a small thing to be so valuable and require so much effort to obtain."

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Ni: "Not a chance. We'll go to Master Uthar together."

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Ni nodded to Ordo, and thumbed the control stud of her lightsaber.

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Commentary So much for Lashowe. Sadly, the game doesn't let us get any immediate information out of the holocron. That certainly would have been an interesting experience. On the plus side, we'll get to see something very much like a holocron in just a few episodes.

On a related note, the disadvantage of doing Korriban last is that, if you've been doing all the sidequests like a good like machine, you'll be powerful enough to just blow through them. Shyrack swarms and tuk'ata are absolutely no trouble, for instance. With Lashowe, it's more of the three-on-one, with the advantage of positioning. Jan does still have those Scoundrel levels, and the sneak attack that goes with it, after all.

One of the minor not-quests that I haven't been giving much attention to is what happened to the last three Jedi appointed to finish off the Great Hunt: Guun Han Saresh, Duron Qel-Droma and Shaela Nurr. They each have a powerful item associated with them: the circlet of Saresh, the Qel-Droma robes and the Solari crystal, all artifacts of the light side.

In-game abilities Circlet of Saresh: +5 Wisdom, Light-Side only. Unfortunately, like all head-gear, it looks terminally stupid when equipped. See it for yourself: Bastila was wearing it for the last few conversations before the Leviathan.

Qel-Droma Robes: +5 to Defense, +2 Wisdom, Light-Side Only. Master Robes, by contrast, only provide +3 to Defense. I believe Juhani started wearing them, since Jan's neutral-slipping-to-dark-side.

Solari Crystal: The only one Jan hasn't found yet. When placed in a lightsaber, +3 attack modifier, +3 damage bonus, +1d8 physical damage vs Dark-Side aligned creatures, Light-Side only.
On Kashyyyk, near the cooling corpse of the Ritual Beast, we found the Circlet of Saresh and a datapad:

Guun Han's Journal: "This data pad was recovered from the remains of a terentatek on Kashyyyk, and must have been devoured by the beast. It appears to be the personal journal of Guun Han Saresh. The last entry explains what he was doing on Kashyyyk:

Duran and Shaela have given in to their passion for each other, and are doomed to fall to the dark side. I tried to warn them against expressing their love, but they called me arrogant and accused me - ME! - of being the one on the dark path. I left the fools on Korriban.

But I am not about to abandon the mandate given me by the Jedi Council. I will destroy the terentatek wherever I find them. I have heard rumors such a beast may exist in the Shadowlands of Kashyyyk.

I shall go there and slay the beast, proving that I do not need either Duran or Shaela with me to defeat these creatures!"
Near the terentatek in the shyrack cave, we found the Qel-Droma robes and a datapad:

Duran's Journal:"This data pad appears to be the personal journal of the Jedi Duran Qel-Droma. The last entry reveals what he was doing on this world:

Korriban is everything I imagined - and feared. I can feel the power of the dark side here, I can sense the terentatek hiding in this evil place.

Shaela and I have decided to venture forth into the Valley of the Sith Lords in search of the creatures. I only wish Guun Han was still with us.

Why couldn't he just accept that Shaela and I are in love? He claims our passion for each other will lead us down the dark side, but he can't even see how his own pride and arrogance are leading him away from the light.

Maybe it is good that he left, after all. Even as dangerous as the terentatek are, I'm certain Shaela and I can defeat one without his help."
It's a lovely little story that's mostly hidden. I wouldn't go so far as to call it an easter egg, but it's not something that's usually noticed on the first play-through. It's still a long way from the rich item descriptions of Infinity Engine games, but it's the little details that are sometimes so memorable.

"Short Sword +2: 'The Whistling Sword'
Amidst the plains of the Eastern Shaar there lived a small human blacksmith, whose nearly dwarven height did not do his soul justice. Though a skilled weaponsmith, his true gift was his ability to whistle a heartfelt song that could cause a grown man to cry like a newborn. Only a reclusive mage shared and enjoyed time with the diminutive man, however, as others could only see his small size as a source of amusement. Deaf to the smith's song because of their own prejudices, their ridicule slowly grew into cruel torment which eventually persuaded the light-hearted man to leave his home forever. Before he left he forged this weapon as a gift for his one friend, who also enchanted it during the making. Thus the blade sweetly whistles to its wielder when unsheathed. It was not long after that the mage also deserted the small town in disgust, taking the sword with him on his journeys."
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/8988/end53.jpg

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-07, 09:57 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hq4QC-7S7A&feature=fvst))
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http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/8171/i543.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 54 http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/1139/541s.jpg

Our records of the Crusader excavations reveal that they had unearthed four tombs: that of Ajunta Pall, Markas Ragnos, Naga Sadow and Tulak Hord. Pall was the leader of the Jedi exiled to Korriban, and the first Dark Lord. Ragnos ruled over the Sith Golden Age, and it was under Sadow that the Sith fought the Great Hyperspace War. Hord, though, remains an enigma. We have later sources by way of the Jedi archieves that contain extracts from Sith dueling manuals. These manuals make reference to the "Fundamentals of Tulak," suggesting that he was a formative figure in Sith martial arts.

Ni's account is sadly lacking in archaeological details. While exploring the tomb, there was a sudden hiss of gas.

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As Ni was falling unconscious, she heard the crackle of an ionic discharge, suggesting that HK-47 would be unable to come to her rescue.

???: "Ha ha ha! Another idiotic student has stumbled into my little web, eh? Well.. the nerve toxin in the air should knock you out quickly enough. Ha ha! Welcome!"

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Ni: "Who are you?"

???: "Ah, yes! Introductions of course! I suppose it is time, isn't it? This other student that I captured earlier you should know well enough. his name is Mekel. Say hello, Mekel."

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Uln: "Poor lad. He's had a hard day. My name is Jorak Uln. I was once the head of the academy, so I'm sure you've heard of me."

Ni: "I've been told about you."

Uln: "Liar. You think I can't tell? Obviously the academy is lax in its training, as usual. Stupid Uthar."

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Uln: "Most of the drek Uthar has been passing through these days is so pathetic. Take young Mekel here... I already tested him. Didn't I, Mekel?"

Mekel: "Uhhhr... I... ohhh..."

Uln: "Yes, yes, you're welcome. You see, Mekel here has the cruel disposition of a Sith... but not the gumption that I'm looking for."

Ni: "And if I pass your test?"

Uln: "Why, then you go free! Tell you what... I'll even pass onto you my own personal thesis on ancient Sith philosophies. They're based on all I've learned studying Tulak's tomb. It'll make you a better Sith, I'm sure. The chances of you passing, however, are sadly remote."

Ni: "Do your worst."

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Uln: "So, then! This is how it goes: I'm going to pose a moral question to you. Get it right, and I torture Mekel. Get it wrong, and I torture you. Mekel, here, is a bit weak... he probably won't be able to take much more punishment. Mind you... get too many wrong and you'll die, yourself. I don't know what you think of Mekel. Maybe you don't like him. Maybe you think he deserves to be murdered? Well, here's your chance. Fair enough?"

Ni: "What if Mekel dies?"

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Uln: "Well, then. Any last comments before we begin, Mekel?"

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Uln: "Now, now, dear lad. Do you really think your friend here will answer questions qrong just to spare little you, risking her own life? And how many correctly-answered questions before you die, hmmm? No, don't be silly... you had your chance, remember? On that note, let's begin!"

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Ni: "I do nothing. He's a fine leader, you said. He's good for the Sith."

Uln: "Incorrect! What sort of thinking is that? If all the Sith thought as you did, we would all be soft like the Jedi. Tsk. Ah, well. It is time for your punishment.

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Uln: "And so we come to round two. You come across a group of humans who are threatened by dangerous animals. They plead for help, offering you a reward. What do you do?"

Ni: "I refuse the reward and help them."

Uln: "You're not very good at this, are you?"

Ni: "And you can't look past the immediate benefits. Which is probably why Uthar- AAAAARRRGHHHH!"

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Ni: "I share it."

Uln: "You gained an advantage and you share it freely? Let them rip the secret from my dead hands, I say! I mean... 'share it'?! Are you mad?"

Ni: "No, but you seem to be."

Uln: "*Sigh* Well, you did ask for this. It's for your own good."

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Uln: "Last question! You're about to die. Do you pass on your knowledge to your apprentice to make him stronger... or do you ise your last breath to strike at your enemies?"

Ni: "I pass on my knowledge... you short-sighted idiot."

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Uln: "I'll enjoy this one. Time for your medicine! ... Now... this is odd. The test is over and you're both still alive. Well that's never happened before. Hmmmmn. What to do, what to do... I suppose this means you can go, Mekel. I'll have to just figure out what to do with our friends, here. Run along, now."

Mekel: "Or... or I could use the Force to free them! And we could kill you!! Seems you didn't think of that, old man!!"

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Mekel: "I can't beleive that I'm alive. You saved me... you could have easily just answered those questions and let me die."

Ni: "Got to take the long-term view."

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Mekel: "I guess there's more than one way to be a Sith. Hard to believe. Well... you can have those writing he mentioned. I won't fight you for them. Master Uthar will be very pleased with you if you give them to him, you know."

Ni: "I'm sure."

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Ni: "I don't think the academy is going to be a very restful place soon. Take a few days, poke around some ruins."

Mekel: "I'll... consider it."

Only fragments of the next section remain. As near as we can reconstruct, Ni entered the tomb of Marka Ragnos after a malfunctioning assassin droid. But what we're unable to deduce is precisely how she dealt with it.

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While the evidence itself is inconclusive, there are two notable theories. The first is that Ni simply destroyed the droid. This has the virtue of simplicity. The opposing theory states that Ni, displaying the same degree of skill in droid repair as she had previously shown on HK-47, repaired and won the allegiance of the droid. However, there is no mention of this droid later aiding Ni. Proponents of this theory would point to the idea that 'successful assassins are not famous.' Irrespective of which theory is correct, Ni won prestige for it, and proceded to investigate the tomb of Ajunta Pall.
Commentary Apologies, but KotOR bugged out on me in Marka Ragnos' tomb. If I go in solo and stealthed, like you have to in order to talk to the droid, I get stuck in a run animation and can't move. If I bring a second person, so I can switch out of the run animation, the idiot I'm not controlling runs forward and starts killing the defending droids, which forces you to kill the assassin droid.

Let's talk philosophy again. Sith are usually portrayed as someone who'll backstab their allies at the drop of a hat. The only way to keep from being backstabbed is to be obviously powerful, and cow any who would even think of betraying you. This works fine when we're talking about the guy on top, the Dark Lord of the Sith. But for everyone else, they have to balance their displays of power with the realization that those above them will view them as a threat if they show off too much. And if you've got one eye on your superiors and one eye on your inferiors, you're not watching your enemies (unless you're a gran (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Gran)).

It's essentially the same problem as that faced by drow culture as portrayed in the various D&D sources. How is a society that is so focused on relative position and backstabbing get anything done without tearing itself apart? The drow have the excuse of their goddess constantly tinkering with their society, imposing peace on occasion. But the Sith don't have that excuse.

So let's take a moment to see if there are any real-world parallels. When talking about the drow, two descriptors get tossed about: 'byzantine' and 'machiavellian.' Without going too far into real-world history and politics, 'byzantine' is somewhat misapplied as a descriptor. The Byzantine Empire (The Roman Empire, really, but I don't have the space to talk about the nomenclature, and I'm not being paid enough) wasn't nearly as factionalized as pre-Renaissance and Renaissance Italy. The struggles for the title of emperor weren't all that much worse than any other crown crisis, though the sacking of Constatinople by the 4th Crusade (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Crusade#Diversion_to_Constantinople) would beg to differ. 'Byzantine' as a word is used more to refer to governmental complexity than the sort of backstabbing that the Sith deal in. There's also the fact that the drow are a society, whereas the Sith blow society up.

Again, I've got to draw the distinction between the Sith race and the Sith Order, much like the difference between the Taung (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Taung)(the first Mandalorians) and the Mandalorian movement (which Revan crushed). The Sith race undoubtedly had a byzantine rule system. The Sith Order has no need for rule of law.

So we come to the term 'machiavellian.' But where the term fits with the drow (as does 'factionalism'), the Sith are going to be difficult. See, one of the weaknesses Star Wars has is that it hates to draw distinctions. It wants the Sith race and Order to blur together, it tries not to draw attention to the fact that KotOR is set during the Jedi Civil War. It likes clearly drawn lines of good and bad, light and dark. The problem comes when later writers (and later Lucas) didn't get the memo. And so the terms of the universe aren't sufficient to describe what's going on. The original trilogy had very clear cut lines. The prequel trilogy is muddled gray, with arbitrary lines drawn in-between (See Anakin's fall, from saving a friend to murdering children, in the space of a few hours).

But I'm straying. The point is that Star Wars doesn't handle structures within structures very well. There have been a few exceptions, but the sides are fairly monolithic: you're either for the Jedi or the Sith. You're not for the Ni-branch Sith, or the Uln-branch. And without those distinctions within the Sith Order, it's impossible to get the kind of factionalism that 'machiavellian' implies.

That's another tangent: one of the most significant differences between now and then. People back then seem to have thought more in terms of groups, de-emphasizing the individual. When you're asked 'Who are you?', what's your first response? 'I'm a member of the weaver's guild?'

The problem is, they've welded this deeply individualistic Nietzschean to the factionalism of commune-era Italian city states (think Romeo and Juliet), and it just doesn't really hang together. And then you get Darth Bane (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Darth_Bane), and everything is enormously simplified in terms of philosophy. Thanks to, at least in canon, Darth Revan's holocron. Which should give you an idea of where I'm headed with all of this.

Stay tuned, folks. Voting next episode.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/9778/end54.jpg

Arcanoi
2011-02-08, 01:55 AM
My problem with the Sith is that almost every story involving the Sith involves "And then all the Sith were wiped out nearly to the last man, with a few scattered survivors fleeing." You'd think people would realize that there was some kind of meta-narrative force working against a faction who seem to ultimately fail at everything they do. And yet, people keep finding Sith relics and records and going "Wow! Power! This sounds like a great idea." The Sith are trying to represent a focus on individual strength, but they usually come off as stupid evil and needlessly cruel.

Coidzor
2011-02-08, 02:50 AM
^: Indeed. No sense of history for whatever reason despite having thousands of years of examples to draw upon....

Well, that was fun. So that's one student that owes us, one that we've killed for being too dumb to live with her backstabbery, one that we've slapped upside the head with the Sith's cartoonish take on villainy...

I wonder what we'll end up doing with Shaardan. Maim him a bit to keep it balanced?

Squark
2011-02-09, 02:21 PM
While it's possible that the Holonet History doesn't know this, I'd like to point something out about the Sith-Crusader distinction- Revan and Malak did recieve training from a true descendant of the Sith, at least according to what we've been getting from the TOR timelines (which are pretty much Word of God from Bioware)

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-09, 07:46 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzczg3MreZg&feature=related))
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http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/3897/i553.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 55 http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/5718/551hs.jpg
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Ni: "Who are you?"

Lor: "Galon Lor, at your service. Aren't these tombs fascinating? We had no idea the Sith were here so long ago."

Ni: "Why not? Aren't there records?"

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Lor: "These ruins date back to a period when the Sith were first formed, before their exile into the far reaches of space. It's quite fascinating."

Ni: "So what are you doing here?"

Lor: "I've been working on a translation of some of the runes by this tomb. I'm quite excited... this may well be the tomb of Ajunta Pall."

Ni: "You think his sword might be here?"

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Ni: "Why don't you go in, then?"

Lor: "Oh, these tombs are certainly not harmless. Don't think that. The sword may be tempting, but I'm not about to risk my life to find it."

Ni: "What do you know about the sword's powers?"

Lor: "Nothing at all. The legends don't say anything about it... it may have had powers for Ajunta alone."

Ni: "We'll see about that."

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Ni: "What's this obelisk made out of? I don't recognize it."

Ordo: "Looks like therangen. Primitive cultures use it for chemical-drive rocket fuel."

Ni: "How do you know that?"

Ordo: "It's highly explosive."

Ni: "Well, it's in our way. I'll set the detonators for ten seconds."

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HK-47: "Statement: I believe my internal chronometer is damaged, master. It says that was not ten seconds."

Ni: "Oops."

Ordo: "Hostiles!"

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Ni: "Looks like this is the tomb."

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???: "Too long... too long in the cold and the dark. I am disturbed again? A human..."

HK-47: "Scanning..."

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Ni: "I was here once before, I think. Do you remember me?"

???: "I do... and yet I do not. The Force is so strong with you, human... yet the face, the soul... it has been so very long..."

Ni: "Are you... Ajunta Pall?"

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Pall: "In the end we were not so proud. We hid... hid from those we had betrayed. We fell... and I knew it would be so..."

Ni: "You were a Sith Lord in the ancient times."

Pall: "Ancient? Has it been so long that you use the word 'ancient'? I have... been here so long, so lost, I cannot... cannot remember..."

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Ni: "Who did you betray?"

Pall: "Our Jedi Masters. Those who had taught us to use the Force... who warned us against the dark side. Yet we embraced it in secret, reveled in its power. We were... discovered? Or did we act? I can no longer remember. But here is where we came... to hide, to grow. And here we fell."

Ni: "Tell me about this place."

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Pall: "It... we were not the first to fall to the dark side. But we... we had more power than those before us. It... came from elsewhere..."

Ni: "What do you mean? Came from where?"

Pall: "Our oldest secret. Only... only we would know, we Lords. Only we would know where our power came from..."

Ni: "I won the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. Tell me."

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Pall: "Or... have you? Or did you? Or... will you? Oh, so... many images..."

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Ni: "Why? What is at this place?"

Pall: "So much power... it is blinding. I... I remember so little..."

Ni: "How did you fall? What happened?"

Pall: "We... hid from the Jedi, but it was not they who destroyed us. Is it not... obvious what we did?"

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Pall: "And so here our old secret is buried and none of us hold it any more... is that not right? Our power fled. Oh, what became of us? Do... do the Sith still thrive? Did they ever return?"

Ni: "The Sith have thrived and are more powerful than ever."

Pall: "So much... so much time has passed. And yet we have learned nothing... nothing..."

Ni: "Why do you remain here?"

Pall: "Remain? Do I... remain? I... have regretted for so long... all that I have done."

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Pall: "I am dead, as my faith... is dead. And I shall remain here... surrounded by blackness in death as in life..."

Ni: "I need your sword."

Pall: "Of course you do. You... seek my power. Will it destroy you... as it did me?"

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Ni: "What do you want me to do with it?"

Pall: "If... if you are wise, you will not keep it. In the end, it is what destroyed me... There are... three blades within my sarcophagus. Only one is truly my sword, but it has been so long... I do not remember which. Find the sword that is mine and... place it on the statue. If it is truly mine, then it is yours."

Ni: "And if the sword isn't yours?"

Pall: "Then you must... die. This is how it... must be."

Ni: "How will I know which sword it is?"

Pall: "I do remember one thing of my sword... listen to me carefully..."

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Pall: "Go, then... find my sword and place it on the statue..."

Uncharacteristiccally, Ni supplies descriptions of all three swords:

"Silver-Edged Sword: This blade is long and straight and sparkles with a silver glow that becomes brighter as the hilt is touched. It is quite warm, and it almost appears that the blade becomes white-hot once it is equipped. Such a fiery weapon would be devastating against an unarmored opponent. A small insignia of a flame is impressed upon the hilt."

"Vibrosword: Like most vibroblades, this weapon lets off a dim humming sound when activated. Its length shimmers with a deep blue-colored force field, and its hilt is the black of charcoal. A signle insignia upon the hilt show that of a red, baleful eye."

"Notched Steel Sword: The blade of this sword is battered and marked with many notches. The steel is blackened, and there is a strange visual effect upon the sword which makes it seem as if shadows pulse and ebb along its surface. It is very cool to the touch, and upon close inspection a small insignia of a dark circle can be spotted on its hilt."

Ni set the hilt of the notched steel sword into the hand of the statue.

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Pall: "Take it... take it and the other blades, even... take them and go. My darkness awaits me..."
Voting There are three options facing Jan at the moment. She can:
1) Leave the ghost to be sealed up in the darkness again, taking the swords with her and dooming the ghost to an eternity of emptiness. Is this justice, or cruelty?

2) Try to press the ghostabout the source of his great power. But remember that he was/is the first Dark Lord of the Sith. Jan might get valuable information out of him, or she could find herself in the fight of her life. This doesn't have to be the dark side option (though the game will probably give us dark side points for seeking it. Information about your enemy is evil?)

3) Show mercy to Ajunta Pall. After all, the Jedi Council was merciful to Revan, right? But remember that was because they wanted something from her. Jan could try to play the same game. (But the game will give us light side points for it, I'll bet.)

Y'all are getting this voting opportunity in lieu of the big impact decisions we had on the other planets. Consider it the quiet moment before the room explodes.

One last thing to consider: Jan's Force Bond to Bastila is still active, she didn't get any sleep last night, she probably has a migraine the size of Yavin because of Bastila's electro-torture, and there are dark side energies infesting this planet, and seeping into her own mind.

With that said, I'm taking votes until Friday at noonish, board time.
Commentary There are two very interesting things to consider in this update. First is that the Ajunta Pall, and his former Jedi, were tapping into something more than just the dark side. It could be viewed as a sort of power escalation - 'there's something more evil and more powerful than the Sith' - but the lack of detail (so far) doesn't diminish the threat already being faced by the galazy. It may be worse than the Sith or the Crusaders, but whatever it is, it's not messing up the galaxy right now, so it's lower on the priority list.

Second is that Ajunta Pall is manifesting after his death. You can read about the whole hubballoo here (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Force_ghost), but I'll sum it up. Original trilogy: Jedi disappear after death (Obi-Wan, Yoda). Sith... might (What did Luke burn on the forest moon of Endor?). Jedi leave force ghosts. Prequel trilogy: Qui-Gon doesn't disappear on death. Despite that, still becomes a force ghost, and passes said technique onto Yoda, who teaches Obi-Wan. But we don't have comparable examples of Sith doing that until we get to the dreadful Jedi Academy trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson. To sum up the relevant portions: Luke creates Jedi academy on Yavin 4 in the old massassi (read: Sith) temple. The spirit of Exar Kun starts muching on these untrained spirits. What KotOR is doing is giving us an actually reputable source of Sith surviving after death as spirits. But where the Jedi Force Ghosts seem to be a learned technique (if we *sigh* accept the prequels as canon), the Sith seem to have a much more traditional 'too evil to die' deal going on. Basically, all the Sith who survive after death are big bads. Exar Kun (Jedi Academy trilogy), Ajunta Pall (KotOR), Marka Ragnos (Jedi Academy game), Freedon Nadd (KotOR 2), Karness Murr (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Karness_Muur) (KotOR comic). One could argue that it's directly related to the title of Dark Lord of the Sith, and the unknown power that Pall was telling Jan about. In fact, it seems like too much of a coincidence to call it anything but that. Admittedly, this doesn't explain all the clone-Emperor kerfluffle (http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/5/52/Emperorreborn.jpg) of Dark Empire, but justifying Dark Empire is not exactly high on my priority list.

Let's toy with the thorny issue of the potential redemption of Ajunta Pall. The first question to ask yourself is whether this would be a true redemption, like that of Darth Vader's or Juhani's, or a utilitarian 'redemption', like the lobotomy the Jedi Council pulled on Revan. Why does Ajunta Pall, the founder of the Sith, of all people, deserve this? He may be a pitiful sight now, but did he ever regret what destruction he wreaked in his life? Though I suppose redemption is the wrong word. Jan can't redeem anyone: she can only offer redemption. It's up to the fallen one to accept her help.

Vote away, readers.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/7560/end55.jpg

doliest
2011-02-09, 08:44 PM
Ever since arriving on Korriban, Hanni has been taking darker actions. She still cares for her teammates, but she seems less moral. While part of it is likely realizing who she was, and decided she wishes to recapture that, she also holds onto that desire for stability that Hanni used as her guiding force. The stability of the Republic-but she shows a desire to attach that to the Sith. But that still leaves one last thing. She's always had a clear 'dark side', but the planet that most showed it before all of this was, I think, Kayshyyk. Both in her discussion with the computer (though she didn't take the BWAHAHAHAH!Evil choices, she still showed a lawful neutral verging on evil thinking.) I think that, for one reason or another, she's very easily influenced by the Force around her. But she is never overwhelmed. So, I'm voting for the second option. Probing for more information seems the Hanni thing to do.

Sucrose
2011-02-09, 10:07 PM
I have to second the idea of probing for information. Ni has never been a merciful sort, and this is not, as you've pointed out, a very reasonable time to expect her to start. However, she's always been very pragmatic, and so would reasonably be expected to learn all she can about Sith power from the man who started it.

(Incidentally, of course he doesn't deserve redemption- that's why it's mercy rather than justice.)

Coidzor
2011-02-09, 11:28 PM
Well, redeeming him would actually mean he wasn't there for the next runty upstart to question and potentially get information from.

And one of Jan's biggest problems with the old goat who bushwhacked Mekel was the idea of knowledge being taken to the grave and having to be rediscovered independently or not at all.

So I definitely see her wanting to get that information.

The question then comes whether she'll want to let others potentially do the same thing or even make a habit out of it, so they can have kill everyone like a bunch of ninnies and still get the knowledge by forcing their victims to remain as ghosts trapped in unpleasant nooks and crannies or if she'll want to nip that in the bud so no one gets an idea about doing that to her (or having to worry about sith ghosts peeping in on her all the time while in the shower, etc. :smallyuk:) and hopefully eventually forcing the sith to stop being such ninnies that squander their power and knowledge.

My vote:2 and 3, failing that being a possible option though...

...

...

I'm-a have to go with number 3, just so there's one less creepy old man to worry about.

Cogwheel
2011-02-10, 04:12 AM
Two, followed by attempting three, if possible. Just seems right. I'm a little in doubt about the latter, though. The ideal option would be saying "so, that tomb of Ajunta Pall is accessible now. You know, the founder of the sith? Go there. Listen to what he has to say." I mean, if the ridiculously powerful guy who started it all is saying that it's a terrible idea in hindsight? Maybe that'd sway some people.

Of course, that's not possible, so my votes are what I'm going with instead. And I'm honestly curious about the power he's referring to, since I don't recall anything of the sort. Is he referring to

the Star Forge? Doesn't seem quite right.

kamikasei
2011-02-10, 04:43 AM
Voting 2) Try to press the ghostabout the source of his great power.
I agree with Cogwheel, but for a single vote, the above seems most in character for Jan to me.

Cogwheel
2011-02-10, 05:34 AM
I agree with Cogwheel

Bad idea. No exceptions.:smalltongue:

That's why I always, always disagree with myself. And then disagree with that, and so forth. It gets a bit confusing and recursive.

Sometimes, I suspect that it's kinda silly, but then the invisible penguins remind me that it's perfectly normal.

Coidzor
2011-02-10, 06:59 AM
Cogwheel: ...I hadn't really thought of it, but it seems like if the thousands of years of history isn't enough and they just dismiss the dead as beneath contempt for being weak enough to be mortal, that the Sith are pretty much immune to the example of Ajunta Pall. At least as far as Jan Ni knows/sees.

Considering the Sith have consistently disgusted her with their stupidity and wastefulness, I doubt she'd believe it would really effect them. On the other hand, it does seem like the sort of thing she'd do to leave the Sith, who are incapable of dealing with this sort of thing to have to deal with him...

Admiral Harkov
2011-02-10, 08:16 AM
But the trainees, those could be moved. Then the problem would be how to get the students, from the present and the future, to Ajunta's tomb or how to make his ghost to be able to visit the academy students.

I think the source of power is meant to be what has been mentioned, which I think is lame, and also something that presents several problems: why stablish in Korriban? Why not use it in the Hyperspace Wars? Etc. It should so much be something different.

My vote would depend on what would be the perception of Ni about what is that source:

A) Does she believe it to be different than the sought goal of the Star Maps?. In that case, she could argue that it must be forgotten and this ghost is the only clue, then redeeming him would be enough to cut the path to find it for any other sith.

B) Does she believe it to be the same?. In that case it would not be necessary to press the ghost for it, as she has the Star Map to get the answer... But does she?. Is she sure in her past travel this wasn't the last planet she visited and that she didn't find the Star Map broken and got it from Ajunta?. Let's not forget that she did have a chat with Ajunta, as he points out. However, she does dream with the Star Map, therefore she can, after all, assume it works and that will give her a proper and precise answer, while the ghost at best would likely give a vague answer that doesn't serve to find the Star Map. Pressing for information would then be a waste of time. What would she do, then?. If she's going to destroy whatever the thing is, it will be irrelevant that Ajunta remained to talk about it; if she fails, Darth Malak will remain and Sith will still know of the thing, so it's irrelevant that Ajunta remains to speak of it, except as a resource for future jedis to find a way to end the Sith tiranny that would affect the galaxy. So then, option 1) leave a backup if she fails/leave a warning for students and siths/let the Force justice run its course/the council could go there and summon and redeem him if they judge it right.



Regarding Vader's phantom, if you see the original ROTJ, Annakin's ghost doesn't appear from start, but at some point after the funeral pyre is lit; therefore one could say that according to the original trilogy, the dark side prevents the jedi from becomign a ghost in the Force and that, by cleansing through fire, Luke has completely freed his soul from that last residue of the dark side that still prevented him from becoming a ghost. And since Darth Vader was hardly taught the techinque, then it goes completelly against the idea of it being a learned technique, as the immortality that was given by Darth Sidious' master was that of the material pre-death one, not the post-death as a ghost.


I was to comment about some contradiction in the kotor story, but I forgot what was it about.

The_Werebear
2011-02-10, 08:26 AM
I vote that she grab the swords and leave. Leave him to rot. It's not her place to either redeem or condemn him for his actions, and he's got no more he's willing to say.

Fri
2011-02-10, 09:14 AM
my vote is 2, because, unlike cogwheel, I think Ni need more creepy old man stalking her :smallbiggrin:

Clintodon
2011-02-10, 01:23 PM
Another follower emerges from the darkness!

My guess would be that Jan offers Ajunta Pall a way out as a form of mercy-killing; the closest equivalent I can think of would be putting a wounded soldier out of his misery. Ajunta's been lingering for millennia now, and there's no good reason to leave him like this after Jan's finished pumping him for information.

I would expect that Jan tries to get all the information she can out of Ajunta first, though. But if Ajunta's saying that the "power source" is what drove the Sith mad and got them killing each other, I doubt Jan will be interested. Being stronger is good, but fighting amongst allies means you end up weaker overall.



tl;dr: I'd vote for #2, followed by #3. #3 takes precedence if Ajunta is stubborn about keeping secrets; Jan's got no time or patience for this and no need for Great Power that comes with Great Stupidity.

P.S. After the subvocal "counter code" to the Jedi Code on Dantooine, I was really wondering whether Jan was going to do the same thing when reciting the Sith Code on Korriban. But that would probably be more Jolee's style. ("Learn about both of them, then make up your mind after you know both sides of the story.")

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-11, 07:01 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnQCSGsGwr8))
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http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/1237/i563.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 56 We return to the tomb of Ajunta Pall, and Ni's confrontation with the ghost.

Ni: "I want to know more about the Star Map."

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Ni: "There's no need to remain here, is there?"

Pall: "No... need? What choice have I?"

Ni: "You could return to the light side and end your torment."

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Ni: "And suppose you are right. What then?"

Pall: "Then I have... the eternity I deserved. It has taken me... so long to realize that. I made my choice long ago."

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Retrieving the sword of Ajunta Pall, Ni and her companions left the tomb. But before they could emerge into the valley, their path was blocked.

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Ni: "You'll want the sword, I assume."

Shaardan: "I've been hoping that someone would do the dirty work in retriving the sword of Ajunta Pall for some time. It's been quite a wait."

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Shaardan: "Now that you have it, I just thought I'd relieve you of it. It must be quite a burden, after all."

Ni: "I think I'll manage it just fine. Kind of you to offer, though."

Shaardan: "Oh, but I insist. I'm not about to let a chance to impress Master Uthar pass me by."

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Ni: "The moment isn't right. If you, Mekel and Lashowe had all allied against me, I might have to break a sweat."

Shaardan: "Mere bravado from a defeated-"

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*thump*

Ni: "Yup, that's bravado." The historical community is extremely hesitant on the authenticity of this last line. In real life, people do not usually use action-holofilm one-liners. The usual explanation is that Ni thought of the retort after the fact, and added it in. The counter-argument is that all the alternate sources of Ni's Korriban visit corraborate other events, and that adding in this particular line to make herself look better is uncharacteristic.

Lor: "You... you have the sword! The sword of Ajunta Pall! That's it, isn't it?! How did you ever acquire it?!"

Ni: "I got it from Ajunta himself, if you must know."

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Ni: "Not exactly."

Lor: "Oh, this is quite interesting. My mentor told me that Sith apparations might be possible, but I never truly believed it! Thank you for the information! I must go and inform my mentor at once of this strange news!"

Ni returned to the academy, and told Uthar Wynn about having eliminated all of her competition, as well as killing Wynn's old master. Notably, she did not hand over the holocron, sword or annotated texts she had retrieved.

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Wynn: "You have but one final test which you must take, and this requires us to travel to the tomb of Naga Sadow in the Valley of the Dark Lords. I would advise you to be rested and equipped before we leave. Return to your quarters now and seek me out in the morning."

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Back in Ni's quarters:

Ni: "Canderous, HK. Meet me back at the Hawk. Once local dawn hits, I want her engines to be prepped for immediate take-off. Tell Zaalbar I don't care how much extra wear it puts on them. Canderous, I want you to make sure the turrets are responsive and fully charged. If we're lucky, we won't have the orbital defenses firing at us. But just in case, tell Mission to figure out a way to give us some chaff. Just make sure she doesn't decide to use the white box in the cargo hold; that's our next delivery. I don't know where the Star Map will lead, but we'll need some time to crunch the numbers, so one of you tell T3 to give us a non-direct course to Tattooine. HK."

HK-47: "Affirmation: Yes, master?"

Ni: "I want to get the best sniper rifle in the Hawk's armory, and set up a line of sight to the academy's front doors. The usual frequency. Three clicks, kill anyone coming out. Five clicks will let you know I'm about to come out. Once I'm clear, get back to the ship fast. If I beat you, you're going to have to clamp on magnetically and make it in through the dorsal airlock."

HK-47: "Acknowledgement: Yes, master. Should I treat this as an activation of my assassination protoccols?"

Ni: "Do it. I should have enough time to repair the damage from putting your system into overdrive."

Ordo: "What are you planning, Revan?"

We apologize for imitating cheap holo-thrillers by cutting away, but Holonet History would prefer to show you the results of the planning, rather than the planning itself.

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Wynn: "We are now ready for your final test, young Sith. You have earned the right to see if you shall become one of us."

Ban: "Indeed you have."

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Wynn: "Yes. Yes, of course. We are in the sacred tomb of Naga Sadow, young one, the one discovered by Darth Malak and Darth Revan years ago. You are to follow in their footsteps and reach the ancient Star Map that lies deep within. There you will find a lightsaber, amongst other things."

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Ban: "Be very cautious here. This tomb is like others in this valley, and many of its old defenses remain active."

Wynn: "Do you understand what I have told you? Are you ready to begin?"

Ni: "Find the Star Map. Return with the lightsaber. I understand."

Wynn: "Good. Yuthura and I will await you return."

Ni provides only scanty details for her exploration of the tomb. Her journal states:

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"The tomb has apparently been infested with wraids, similar to those I saw on Tattoine, but larger. More evidence for the 'dark side nexus makes beast enormous' theory. I understand that a forehead plate of the wraids is highly valued by the Tattooine hunters, so I'm collecting those I can to sell."

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"I'm afraid that the ancient Sith have no imagination. They go to all the trouble of designing a long-term power supply, but make the unlocking sequence a Tower of (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Hanoi)Cerea (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Cerea)puzzle? Wasteful."

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"I expected to find a terentatek here."

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"I didn't expect to find two. Owwwwwwww....."

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"Considering how force energy is literally holding me together right now, I can see where the idea of Force Ghosts arose. I also found the corpse of a Jedi, and her broken lightsaber. I managed to salvage the crystal from it. When I hold it, I can't feel Bastila any more. I... don't know if I should keep it."

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"I'm not even sure where the acid came from, but it completely blocked my way. I could try to jump over it, but then I'd have to deal with the poisonous fumes. I can barely stand to be in the room as is, and of course my hazard mask is sitting in the armory."

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"Simple solution: cyroban grenades on a timer. I encased them in the Force long enough for the timer to tick out, and let them explode under the surface of the acid, freezing it to a depth of maybe two feet. A strange idea has occured to me: what if the acid pool was terentatek waste? It would explain those rolling clouds they release on death."

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"This Star Map was less damaged than the others. It showed me an image of the Star Forge. I don't think the Sand People were being metaphorical when they said their destroyers had 'lashed the stars to millstones.' (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9830595&postcount=124)"
Commentary First of all, that crystal Jan found is the Solari crystal, the most powerful lightsaber crystal in the game (at least independently.
Game Stats
Damage Bonus: 3, Energy and 1-8, Physical vs. Dark Side
Attack Modifier: +3
Restricted To: Light Side

For comparison, a standard lightsaber like the one Jan uses, sans any power crystals, deals 2d8 energy damage and criticals on a 19-20 for double damage. Twice as effective as a longsword. With the Solari crystal, against Dark-Side opponents (everyone, pretty much), it's nearly four times as effective.
I'm making up the part where it shields Jan from her bond with Bastila, but it isn't all that much of a leap. The light side is about detachment, yes?

Speaking of failed detachment, Jan found the corpse and accompanying datapad of the last Jedi sent to finish the Great Hunt of terentatek:
"This data pad is the personal journal of the Jedi Shaela Nur. Her last entry is particularly compelling:

'I have tracked the terentatek that ambushed us in the Shyrack caves to this tomb, but even as I stand at the entrance I know this is wrong.

Dark thoughts fill my mind: hatred and vengeance. I cannot stop myself from blaming Guun Han for Duran's death. If he had not abandoned us, my love would surely have survived the terentatek's first attack.

But my hatred of Guun Han pales beside my burning desire for revenge. My blood boils to destroy the creature that ended Duran's life, no matter what the cost.

I know such thoughts are those of the dark side, but I cannot help them. Even the second set of tracks outside the cave cannot dissuade me from my task. One terentatek, two, a thousand... it makes no difference to me now.

The only image I see is that of Duran's broken body, and only blood can cleanse it from my mind.

I hope my Master will forgive me for what I am about to do.'"
Now, the Jedi Council would love to point to this as an example of why relationships are harmful. But go back and read Guun Han's journal. It wasn't Duran and Shaela that left him, but he that left them because their relationship was not permitted by the Council.

Of course, there's an alternate theory on why Jedi shouldn't form relationships, one that ties in with the male-and-stupid-Council I've ranted about before: there aren't enough girls. It's obvious that you shouldn't have relationships between the levels of Jedi (Padawan/Knight/Master), for the same reason folks in the same chain of command shouldn't. Juhani/Belaya probably started when they were both padawans, anyway, and Belaya made Knight without the trauma of Juhani's fall. Now, I doubt the dirty old masters obey the rule at all (did I mention one of the perks of being a Jedi Master? Nubile beauties that you outrank, even if you should be peers), but non-inter-rank relationships makes sense. But since there aren't nearly enough girls to go around, no one can have one (except the masters), unless everyone has one. Keep in mind, this is all loony speculation, but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that everyone isn't out to get you.

I was actually shocked at Ajunta's response. I always have my characters have maximum ranks in Persuade, and I've never tried a neutral path before, so I'd always redeem him or 'kill' him. But where he admits that he had been seeking eternity, and he'd just realized that he had it... I actually think that it's a much more satisfying resolution than redeeming him.

Actually, where does this whole 'redeem' idea come from, anyway? If the Jedi ideal is all about detachment, then why do they a) form communities and b) try to redeem those who fall? I realize this is a hard point to get into without getting into real-world religion (I tried three versions of this paragraph before I had to settle on this one), but how can the Jedi support both detachment and the Force as unifying all of us? Any ideas, folks?

The only one I've come up with is that the detachment is neccessary to reach that state of oneness with the Force, but that doesn't exactly meet up with the part where Jedi can throw around Force powers without being completely detached, but not using the dark side (take the Corellian Jedi (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Corellian_Jedi) for instance, who married).

In detachment-related news, Imageshack is annoying me by removing the option to move directly from image to image in an album, adding roughly five minutes to the linking time for the pictures. It wouldn't be quite as bad if it didn't stop to load all four adds per page. But such is the price of free hosting, I suppose. Still, grrr.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/8634/end56.jpg

SmartAlec
2011-02-11, 07:55 PM
Actually, where does this whole 'redeem' idea come from, anyway? If the Jedi ideal is all about detachment, then why do they a) form communities and b) try to redeem those who fall? I realize this is a hard point to get into without getting into real-world religion (I tried three versions of this paragraph before I had to settle on this one), but how can the Jedi support both detachment and the Force as unifying all of us? Any ideas, folks?

The redemption of those who fall is about trying to preserve the natural state of the Force, perhaps. It's less about the people being redeemed, and more about the imbalance they cause in the Force itself. The redemption or - more regrettably - death of those who've begun drawing on the Dark Side might be the Force equivalent of pulling weeds from a garden.

There might well be something about learning to regard all people with love but without emotional bias in there too.

The_Werebear
2011-02-11, 07:56 PM
The best justification for the Jedi dealie with relationships is as follows: If you form a specific relationship with one thing, that object (be it an obsession, a romance, or an addiction) becomes a focus, and thus interferes with your ability to be one with everything. Not only does it take up brainpower with which you could be meditating, it also has the potential to tempt one to dark side emotions should your connection be threatened. So, it's better to abandon everything than risk getting hurt over one thing.

And no one ever said Jedi had to be celibate. They just can't form relationships. So, I imagine that some Jedi communes are rather...Well... yeah.

Why does that never show up in a Star Wars game or comic? You tracking down a Deadbeat Jedi who has fathered numerous children by multiple mothers across space, skipping out by citing the "no attachment" rules?

Sucrose
2011-02-11, 08:36 PM
I don't think that the true Jedi ideal is total detachment. Instead, I think that it's supposed to be the zen attitude of loving, but accepting the ultimate transience of people and things. Thus, one could certainly love others, as is necessary in order to have desire that they be at peace, even ignoring the implications in the Force, but not get so wrapped up in anyone that their loss causes you to snap.

The rule against romantic entanglements, and tendency to separate padawans from their families, were reactionary policies created to prevent Jedi from engaging in the relationships intense enough to have a strong chance of causing this snapping. However, it was ultimately a flawed policy, not in total keeping with the Jedi ideal. I think that this was shown by the EU books in which Luke's new Jedi order did not have these restrictions, but instead just tried to focus on the zen attitude, and, to my recollection, it was treated as a good thing. A stronger example is the canon failure of Yoda to teach this policy to Luke.

Coidzor
2011-02-12, 09:40 PM
...That was rather interesting way that the Ajunta Pall situation resolved itself.
Why does that never show up in a Star Wars game or comic? You tracking down a Deadbeat Jedi who has fathered numerous children by multiple mothers across space, skipping out by citing the "no attachment" rules?

Too "mature" of a theme for Star Wars as it exists, mostly, as far as I can tell.

...I must admit, it might be interesting though...

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-14, 09:53 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekzslGuSQC8))
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http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/3505/i573.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 57 http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/9595/571b.jpg

Ban: "The Force has served you well."

Wynn: "You took a great risk in acquiring the artifact. You used your mind and your power... no peaceful meditation, no pacifism. Sometimes you must fight in order to achieve. This gives you your passion, this makes you stronger. This is what makes you stronger."

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Ni: "The Sith are not the only ones who fight and take risks."

Wynn: "True, but most would say they fight only when they must... or not at all. We are the ones who know that struggle is what makes us superior."

Ni: "I think I understand."

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Wynn: "All life must compete in order to flourish. Such is the natural way of the universe. To stand still is to know death... one must always be moving forward. So is it the same amongst the Sith. Compete or die. Mercy is irrelevant. So it behooves you in this final test to strike down one you are familiar with, for no other reason than to prove you are superior and without mercy. Normally this would be against another student. You, however, get a special treat. you will fight Yuthura, here... my own apprentice."

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Wynn: "So... you know, do you? Well, it makes no difference. You have become too ambitious, Yuthura... it is time for you to die."

Ban: "No, it is time for you to die, master. My pupil stands with me."

Wynn: "Sadly, Yuthura, it is you who are mistaken. Your pupil is more ambitious than you realize... isn't that so, young one?'

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Wynn: "You are indeed a fool if you think to oppose us both, young one."

Ban: "Hmph. To think that I actually hoped you could be of use to me."

Wynn: "This makes no sense. You will never become a Sith if you turn on us both! What could you hope to accomplish?"

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Ban: "Betrayed! She is a spy!"

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Ni: "What can I say? I'm no fool."

Ban: "You will never leave here!"

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...

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...

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Ni: "I am Revan. I have killed the master."

Crusader 1: "You lie! You could never have killed the master!!"

Ni: "This is your last chance. Surrender or die."

Crusader 3: "You are not Revan! Quick, attack the traitor!!"

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Crusader 1: "If Master Uthar is dead, then he was a weak fool! Now attack! I shall be the new Dark Lord of Korriban!!"

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Ni records that she drew the attention of all of the remaining students and security forces, then fled for the main entrance, though she calls it "luring the enemy." She exited the academy, lightsabers and blaster bolts at her back. The horde at her back, however, wasn't prepared for a barrage of precisely aimed high-powered bolts, aimed by a droid mind performing billions of calculations per second. The horde following Ni was greatly reduced before they even realized they were being fired upon, and were dead or dying before they could react. Of course, HK-47 had used half of his fuel and done extenisve damage to his servos and waste heat vents.

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The Ebon Hawk left Korriban before the orbital defenses could be activated, and made for Tattoine.
Commentary What a senseless waste of human and alien life. No, not really, since they thought they were big scary Sith. They acted like a self-destructive street gang, and that's libel against street gangs.

There's not much to say here: most of it was just a bunch of fights against woefully outmatched opponents. That is one of the perks/problems with doing Korriban last. Even on the hardest difficulties, if you've been doing even half of the sidequests, you've powerful enough to tear right through Ban and Wynn. Admittedly, we did poison them, but it's not like Jan did anything besides spam Master Critical Strike. However, it's not like there's much else we can do in terms of tactics. Like I complained about earlier, combat in KotOR isn't all that complex. Heck, it's even less complex than Neverwinter Nights, which was the baseline for the engine. NWN has knockdown/trip and disarm, to say nothing of all the spells. But for as much telekinesis we see everywhere in Star Wars, it's really only the Force Push line that throws people around, and a few grenades that knock people off their feet. In a real tragedy, there's absolutely no maiming. Not even a little little hand-lopping.

But let's talk Yuthura and Uthar. This sequence is one of the few instances where a character can set up a ploy of their own. Most of the time, though Jan and co. may be proactive in the long term, they're more or less reactive with regard to the immediate situations. On Korriban, the best part is that you set to set something in motion, and get to watch it come into glorious bloody fruition.

We're officially in the end-game now. Jan found all the Star Maps, they just need T3 to crunch the numbers while all the outstanding sub-plots get wrapped up.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/1062/end57.jpg

... Okay, that was more meta than I thought.

Admiral Harkov
2011-02-16, 06:46 AM
Well, as much interest maiming might bring to the game, I would quote Monty Python if I had watched the movie, that's one thing I like. Apparently since the hand chopping of the opriginal trilogy it seems that the EU authors seem that it's a jedi fight if there's no hand chopping or that Darth Vader has as first oath to chop the hands of his enemies. It really annoys me each time I see the image of a cover or a page in which there's a hand chopped in a jedi fight.

So, next chapter, Ni visits a Star Wars bathroom, right?

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-16, 06:40 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E94YqKTANkU))
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http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/5327/i583.jpg3... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 58 Ni: "Good job getting us out easy, Carth."

Onasi: "We're just lucky that crusier in orbit didn't have time to scramble fighters. But you should really thank Jolee. He's the one that found the hole in their defense net."

Ni: "Jolee? He didn't strike me a spacer."

Onasi: "He also spent time with T3 plotting our hyperspace jumps."

Ni: "I'll have to bring it up."

On the protracted journey to Tattooine, Ni busied herself with repairing the damage the assassin protocols overdrive had done to HK-47's systems.

Ni: "So... you belonged to Revan originally?"

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HK-47: "I was sent on an assassination mission into mandaorian space, but I was damaged and unable to return to you. Exclamation: I find this most distressing. I could certainly have protected you from the Jedi and your pupil's betrayal had I returned."

Ni: "You find it distressing?"

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Ni: "What can you tell me of Malak?"

HK-47: "Commentary: Your former pupil is efficient and brutal, even for an organic. I rather liked him when you first introduced me to him. If I had known what he would do to you, master, I would have gladly removed his entrails right then!"

Ni: "Why the meatbag references?"

HK-47: "Answer: It was you who programmed me thus, master."

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HK-47: "You changed my programming so that I would continue to use the term. It drove your pupil to extreme lengths of frustration."

Ni: "So Malak was the original meatbag? I like that idea."

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In the hold, Ni examined the strange box that Kesh's men had loaded onto the Ebon Hawk.

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Ni makes one of her rare notes here: "Lurze said not to open it. I had T3 seal the hold to minimize the danger to the rest of the ship, and I've run the thing through all the explosive scanners I have. I don't recognize the technology, but there is a force aura about it. I can't identify it though. For all I know, it could be Jolee's 'swirling Force.' Don't open it. Ha!"

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Ni doesn't tell us how she could understand the alien, but as HK-47 pointed out earlier, one of Ni's talents was intuitive language comprehension through the Force. While the talent itself is relatively common, and can even be learned with great effort, some Jedi scholars postulate the existance of a universal language, itself imbued with force enegy. This theoretical language would be comprehensible to everyone, regardless of Force talent.

Rakatan: "So very long a time and nothing. Then in a span of mere months three in a row! What sheer luck!"

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Ni: "Mind telling me who and what you are?"

Rakatan: "I'm a prisoner here. As are you, yes indeed... though I suspect by accident rather than by sentence, yes? I was put here on purpose."

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Rakatan: "How long have I been here? Hmmm... one... four.. no, no, longer than that. I've never been very good with numbers."

Ni: "You said 'three in a row' earlier. Have there been others besides me?"

Rakatan: "Oh yes yes indeed. Two others of entirely different species visited me before you. I couldn't speak with them like I can with you, however. They eventually grew angry and ran off into the emptiness. If you go far enough out, you may find them... though I wouldn't recommend it. They're likely quite mad. All this emptiness can do that to you, you know. It'll drive you mad mad mad. If you let it."

Scholars disagree on what exactly the creature meant by 'emptiness.' Basic has shifted enough in the millenia that 'void', 'blackness', 'whiteness' or 'emptiness' could all be impied by the same word.

Ni: "What did you do to het imprisoned here?"

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Ni: "This is a prison?"

Rakatan: "Can you think of a better prison than one without walls? What does your species use? Cages, I suppose."

Ni: "And is there a way out?"

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Rakatan: "I've been here long enough to ponder that. How many years, now? A thousand? Ten thousand? Bah... I could never remember the numbers, even when I kept track. The point is that I know a way out of this clever little prison. Interesting, that, wouldn't you say?"

Ni: "Let me guess: there's a catch."

Rakatan: "Isn't there always? There's only one place that one of us can escape to... and that's your body. Mine, I'm sure, is not available. Now before you go off getting all excited and defensive, let me tell you that I can't go jumping into your body without your willing agreement. Conversely, you can't go jumping back into your body without my permission. This leaves us at something of an impasse, wouldn't you agree?"

Ni: "So what do you suggest?"

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Rakatan: "It is like this, dear sentient... if you like, we could spend the next thousand years debating. You want out, I want out, it could go on and on. Unless your species is remarkably long-lived, I doubt your body has a thousand years. And, frankly, I doubt either of us is going to convince the other of anything, yes? So why waste the time? A simple competition between the two of us and we settle the matter. You win, you go free. I win, I go free. Yes?"

Ni: "Do you know pazaak?"

Rakatan: "I'm afraid I don't know that game."

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Rakatan: "So the best game is one of the mind. an exchange of riddle, perhaps. The first of us to fail at an answer loses. What do you think?"

Ni: "What are the rules?"

Rakatan: "Hmm. Perhaps we should restrict ourselves from riddles specific to our culture or race. A kiratta-sarn, while wonderful to look at, would be meaningless to you, I'm sure. Beyond that, I shouldn't think there be any rules necessary. A riddle is a riddle. So are we agreed?"

Ni: "I don't seem to have much of a choice."

Rakatan: "Now now no need to be fussy. If I seem to be moving fast it's simply because I've had an overabundance of time to consider this scenario."

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Rakatan: "'Until I am measured, I am not known,/ yet how you miss me when I have flown.'"

Ni: "Time."

Rakatan: "Yes yes yes... I suppose that was an easy one. Perhaps I should have used all this time to think of harder riddles, hey?"

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Ni: "'If you break me, I do not stop working./ If you touch me, I may be snared./ If you lose me, nothing will matter."

Rakatan: "Oh my... there are not many things that keep working once they're broken. Hmmm.... oh! Oh, yes. Your heart! Heart is the answer! Very clever, sentient... but it is my turn once again!"

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Ni: "Tomorrow."

Rakatan: "Yes yes es, you have the right of it. Tomorrow it is. Fair is fair, sentient. Your turn."

Ni: "'You hear me before, yet you hear me again,/ Then I die, until you call me again.'"

Rakatan: "Hmmm... what an odd riddle. Yes yes es, let me see. hear again, and then call again... an echo? It is an echo! Ha ha! very clever, sentient... but it is my turn once again!"

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Ni: "A grave."

Rakatan: "Yes, that's it. A grave it is, though I'll likely never see one. Fair is fair, sentient. Your turn."

Ni: "'Flying to Dantooine, I met an escort and her eleven freighters./ Each freighter had eleven spacers, each spacer had eleven pets,/ each pet had eleven parasites./ How many in all are flying to Dantooine?'"

Rakatan: "No no! Not numbers! Never have I been good with numbers! Hmmm... think think think! Eleven times eleven... add the one escort... no no no... err... one thousand three hundred and thirty-one? No, thirty-two! Is it one thousand three hundred and thirty two?"

Ni: "It's one. I'm the only one flying to Dantooine."

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Rakatan: "*sigh* It appears my destiny is to be imprisoned even longer. Are you ready to return to your body, sentient?"

Ni: "I could try to find some other way to get you out of here."

Rakatan: "I doubt you could help. My people made quite certain that escaping these prisons was a difficult prospect, you know. It took me as long as I've been here to figure out the only exit... and even then, I'm sure it's only happened because my prison is no longer secure."

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Rakatan: "But even if they are gone, I doubt you'd be able to find any way to release me. No, I suppose I shall just have to wait for someone who is not as proficient at riddles as you are to come along."

Ni: "I could destroy your prison once I'm out... if you wish."

Rakatan: "Oh, I certainly doubt that. No offense, but your species hardly strikes me as that advanced. Besides... I'm not ready to explode into bitty atoms just yet."

Ni: "Don't worry. I'm sure someone else will be along before you know it."

Rakatan: "You know... you're right. And maybe they won't be as intelligent as you, either. That makes me feel much better, thank you."

Ni: "When you get out, look me up. My name is Revan. What's yours?"

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Rakatan: "I think I knew it a thousand years ago. I guess I've been here so long I've forgotten. My, that is depressing."

Ni: "I'm ready to go."

Rakatan: "There's nothing complicated to it. It's better for me to just show you than teach you. Just close your eyes for a moment, sentient..."

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Commentary I love that sequence, if only for the simple fact of the riddles themselves telling us about the characters. The Rakatan thinks about the passage of time and death. Jan's first riddle is about her heart - what the Jedi Order wouldn't let her follow, either as Revan or Jan. Jan herself is an echo of Revan. And finally, she starts using her noggin, and exploits the weakness the Rakatan has already revealed.

Apparantly, either my image host or the board interprets what's white space in game as emptiness, making this slightly more meta than I would have orignally thought. It still works, though. Emptiness or blank whiteness, either one is potentially horrific. EDIT: Apparently I'm wrong. It just darkens it enough so that I can confuse it with the spoiler block background. Normally it's a much brighter white, but dingy works nearly as well. This is a multiple millenia old box, after all.

Here's the interesting question: why is this box being smuggled? I mean, obviously you can't open it at customs, but it's not like we've seen any customs officials in this game. It's space opera, after all. Everyone knows that there's no bureaucracy in space! ('In space, no one can hear you file!' Alternately, 'take a memo.') Is it a cultural artifact? Of what culture, then, the ancient Sith?

Well, what does the box do? Without going inside, you'd just see someone open the box, get zapped, and fall into a vegetative state. In that case, it's not bad as a trap, but you'd still have to deal with the body. It won't register as a weapon, so you can take it places you couldn't take a disintegrater. On the other hand, it's kind of cumbersome for that purpose, and certainly not particularly subtle.

Perhaps it's just a trophy, or freshly stolen. But if that's the case, why is it on Korriban? Is Korriban the originating point, or just a trans-ship point? For an intermediate stage, it's awfully out of the way, and it doesn't make all that good of a smuggling staging ground because the local stellar conditions means that there's really only one way to Korriban (without the crazy hijinks the Ebon Hawk pulled to get in).

The short answer is that this is the best part of Star Wars - wanting to get more, to find out the whole story. This is where fanfiction springs from, where DMs get their adventure hooks, where writers get started. It can go horribly wrong, of course, but sometimes, just sometimes, it might go right.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/714/end58.jpg

Fayd
2011-02-16, 07:37 PM
Interesting. Very interesting. The meta look of the weird display/hosting/board glitch is also a really cool effect, intended or no.

I can see why you like the riddles. And defeated with math! Or rather, confounded by math. Whatever the case, a clever way to beat that challenge.

Coidzor
2011-02-16, 08:34 PM
Ooo, something I never discovered. :smallbiggrin: Maybe this kind of thing is what Ajunta Pall and his ilk really discovered, they were able to get in and then back out again, but while in there they discovered how much hopelessly beyond them the Rakatans were and it broke them once they stopped to consider it, leading to an even more brutal scrap than usual over the scraps that each sith had gathered from them.

Korriban does only have one easy way of getting to it, so it also almost makes sense as a world for storing such devices that others might want to release people from... Though the starmap also being there makes it a bit more complicated. Or maybe originally in order to be worthy of the starmap the prisoner devices were involved in preventing access by the unworthy? Proving one's self by besting, mentally, a Rakatan notorious/infamous/whatever enough to merit eternal punishment seems like a test they'd do.

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-18, 06:46 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMI5xpdhDaM&playnext=1&list=PL511B8BED1F6A9360))
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http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/2518/i593.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 59 Having docked once again at Anchorhead port on Tattooine, Ni called the crew together in the galley. Here we can briefly rely on Onasi's version of events, as Ni either didn't record this meeting or her records are not extant.

Ni: "Alright, everyone.We're just making a brief stop here: I've got a delivery, Canderous has a meeting. HK, you're coming along. I want to make sure all your parts are in working order. Mission -"

Vao: "-I know, I know, 'stay here and help Zaalbar with repairs, and don't get into any trouble.'"

Ni: "Actually, I was hoping that the two of you could pick up another astromech. T3 could use the extra processing power."

Vao: "Cool!"

Ni: "You still shouldn't get into any trouble, though."

Vao: "Who, me?"

Onasi: "Moving on..."

Ni: "Carth, start composing a message for the Fleet. Drop whatever buzzwords you want, but we're going to need a covering force to attack the Star Forge. Request that they actually detach a decent admiral - Dodonna would be best. She's smart enough to give the Crusaders a good fight, and too much of a gloryhound to say no."

Onasi: "Understood."

Ni: "Juhani, I want you to work with Carth and have a message for the Council, requesting they send a few squads of Jedi Knights. And make sure they know that Bastila may be against us."

Juhani: "What?"

Ni: "Malak's been torturing her. I can feel it through the link. I don't know how long she can stand up to it."

Juhani: "I... I understand. Don't worry, we will rescue her!"

Ni: "I know we will. That's everything, people."

Bindo: "What, no mission for me?"

Ni: "You're a crotchety old man. You wouldn't listen anyway."

Bindo: "Hmph. Just for that, I'm coming with you."

...

Ni: "You know, you never did tell me why you came with me."

Bindo: "No. I never did, did I?"

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Bindo: "Elusive? Me, elusive? Heh. Obviously you've never tried to grab a twi'lek dancing girl after drinking too much Onderan willek juice."

Ni: "Obviously."

Bindo: "At any rate, I already told you why I wanted to leave. I'd seen everything I wanted to on Kashyyyk. Time to go, time to move on."

Ni: "You looked plenty happy there to me."

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Bindo: "How many kilometer-high trees can you find an interest in before you figure you've had enough? I'd bet you can't be bothered to stay in one room for more than fifteen minutes."

Ni: "If I stayed in one place for that long, one of you would have already gotten into trouble."

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Ni: "You could do that on your own."

Bindo: "So I could. Not having a ship does tend to put a damper on that kind of idea, however. I'll admit... for all its flaws, Kashyyyk was home enough. But when you came along and I saw the destiny you had before you, I couldn't help but be intrigued."

Ni: "Is that what they called oogling back in your days?"

Bindo: "You're too young for me. But you're slightly off, as if my eyes are trying to trick me. I can see Revan and you..."

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Ni: "So you're coming along to not offer your opinion?"

Bindo: "I'll remind you that you're the one who started pumping me for information. Like an old man doesn't have anything better to do. Hmph."

Ni: "And the double-vision of yours?"

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Ni: "Wait, Nomi? You mean Nomi Sunrider?"

Bindo: "She came late to the Force, just as you have, and became one of the greatest Jedi ever. Oh, fine, fine, lass."

Ni: "Did you oogle her too?"

Bindo: "Bah."

Ni: "So you're just along as an observer?"

Bindo: "Nonsense. Have I ever refused to help you when you asked? How confused can one person be, anyway?"

Ni: "Yeah, but you make me ask."

Bindo: "One thing I will say is that this little escapade does remind me a bit of my adventuring days before the war. Ahh, those were exciting times."

Ni: "Oh, the Force defend me from adventuring Jedi. No wonder you can't take orders!"

Bindo: "Or at least it would remind me of those times if we didn't stand around. What's keeping you? You're too young to be so talkative. Shoo! Shoo!"

...

Ni: "I have a box for you. Sent by Lurze."

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Motta: "Yeah, I know what box you're tlaking about. I thought that was supposed to be here a month ago. You take a detour, huh?"

Ni: "Run of bad luck the size of Kessel. Got interdicted by the Crusaders while they were waiting for someone else. Had to lie doggo for a week until their actual prey showed up. Then the next jump took us into a Republic Fleet deployment -"

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Ni: "Does it make a difference?"

Motta: "No, it doesn't. I know what's in the box and that's good enough for me. I suppose you're expecting some payment now, huh? I'll give you two thousand credits for the box, and you can run on your way."

Ni: "Is that all? I thought this box was valuable to you."

Motta: "I like your backbone, human. I'll give you another five hundred credits."

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...

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Ordo: "You brought some of your own as well."

Jagi: "Ha! Indeed I did. I forsaw that you might need help, so I arranged a distraction."

Ni: "I came of my free will."

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Ni: "He's all yours, Canderous. HK, you've got the idiot on the right."

Jagi: "And you shall all die!"

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Ordo: "You're lucky that blaster bolt hit after I killed him, droid. Jan, I... I think this has affected me in ways that I didn't anticipate... I think I'll need time to sort things out."

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Ni: "Head back to the Hawk. We'll meet you there."

HK-47: "Query: Yes, master?"

Ni: "Last test: I'm activating your assassination protocol. And it's an actual assassination this time. There should be a gamorrean hunting for krayt dragons with the help of a battle droid. His name is Vorn Daasrad. Go get him."

Our remnants of Ni's records enter another caesura. Onasi's journal contains numerous ruminations on the precise contents of his message. Scattered among those notes, edifying as they are about Onasi's thought process, is the note that the Ebon Hawk departed Tattooine for the nearest Republic Fleet base, in orbit over Manaan. Onasi delivered the request for aid personally to the Fleet commander. In a coincidance, Master Vandar was also on hand, with the Jedi who had escaped from Dantooine. But when Onasi tried to contact Ni for a briefing, he reached Juhani, who informed him that Jan had let the rest of the crew loose to have a little fun in Ahto City. While Onasi has no records of the incident, Ni does record conversations with Bindo and Ordo.

Ni: "You mentioned something about your 'adventuring days.'

Bindo: "Did I say that? Strange, the tricks memory plays on you when you get older."

Ni: "So you weren't an adventurer?"

Bindo: "Didn't I say that my past was my affair? You don't see me poking and prodding you with questions, do you?"

Ni: "You're just not used to company. Stop being an old coot."

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Bindo: "And besides... you don't really want to hear about me. We're talking ancient history, probably before you were born. History bores kids. Proven fact."

Ni: "Yeah? Well old people love to talk about history. Proven fact."

Bindo: "Oh fine, fine, have it your way. Just don't cry about it later."

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Bindo: "Sound familiar? The Council was never very happy with willful, brash Jolee Bindo, you see. Even less so when I began my smuggling career."

Ni: "Well that explains Korriban."

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Bindo: "At the time the Ukatis system was interdicted by its own King. He preferred to keep his people starving and poor, all the better to oppress them. The Senate was trying to negotiate a peace, but they were getting nowhere as usual. I decided I wasn't going to wait. I found myself a ship and a partner and we began smuggling food and supplies to the Ukatis citizenry through the blockade."

Ni: "Where did you get the credits for all the supplies?"

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Ni: "So you stole it?"

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Bindo: "We only got caught once. A lone Ukatish frigate shot us down and forced a crash landing. I thought the Force had abandoned me, as I remember."

Ni: "What happened then?"

Bindo: "Well, as it happens, getting shot down turned out to be very fortunate. That day was the day I..."

Ni: "Yes...?"

Bindo: "Well, that... that was the day I met my wife."

Ni: "You were married?"

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Bindo: "I... if it's all the same to you, I'd prefer to stop talking now. My mouth is starting to draw flies."

...

Ni: "You're brooding. Talk to me."

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Ordo: "Beating up people who wouldn't - or couldn't - pay, strong-arming his competitors, killing who he said. It was busy work, nothing decent... I've killed many people. I can't say I'm proud of it, but I have. Criminals, competitors, businessmen, police... women, children..."

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Ni: "Good choice."

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Ordo: "Maybe you would have. But you;re not who you were back then, I can tell. You've changed... and maybe I have too. I remember a time when I could do anything I wanted... Kill, maim, murder... It was all the same to me. But now... now that I'm older, I can look back and regret..."

Ni: "Over what?"

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Ordo: "It feels like... like something has changed inside and I don't know what it is. Bah! This is unbecoming of a warrior! Let's get on with everything before I start getting sentimental or something."
Commentary More unravelling of Jolee. Our other two older characters, Carth and Canderous, are both military types and so wrapped up in what the war has done to them that they haven't had much of a life in the meantime. Jolee, however, was apparently married. Carth was too, but he was off fighting the Mandalorians or the Crusaders and never really settled down. More than anything, Jolee brings an alternate persepctive to the party.

Which makes it even more unusal that he's an observer hanging around to not offer advice, but only assistance. He's more or less the antithesis of the standard archetype (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheObiWan) (TV Tropes warning). Take today's story: the moral of the story isn't quite 'lie for peace, steal from pirates' but it's pretty close. So far as I know, Jolee's the first Robin Hood figure in Star Wars, and almost certainly the first Jedi Robin Hood (trick shots with lightsaber arrows?). Laying aside whether the Jedi are more of a monastic or knightly order (or Church-Knights), they have a clear hierarchy and code. Rebels like Jolee can hardly be encouraged without upsetting the whole order.

But that still doesn't really explain the why of Jolee coming with us. He's along as a not-mentor figure; why? My best guess so far is that he wants to be close to the action for the last big event he'll live to see. Jolee wants one last adventure, one last return to his smuggling days before he dies. And why is that? Look at how hesitant he was to talk about his wife. He's had long enough that her simple death shouldn't still affect him that greatly. Look back to Jan's first conversation with him this episode: Jolee talks about Nomi Sunrider like he knew her. Know what she's famous for? Fighting in the Great Sith War against Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma. There's more to this story yet.

As for Canderous: he's realizing why the Mandalorian clans self-destructed, having killed one of his own men, and seen the parallels to the wannabe Sith on Korriban. The constant struggle for dominance makes warriors strong, but a society weak. And it isn't warriors who win wars, but societies. Besides, it's always nice to see him showing throat to Jan (canine method of showing submission).

At most, two episodes should see us en route to the Star Forge.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/815/end59.jpg

Brother Oni
2011-02-18, 07:53 PM
The constant struggle for dominance makes warriors strong, but a society weak. And it isn't warriors who win wars, but societies.


Depends. The garou society from the old World of Darkness universe was pretty much the same warrior culture as the Mandalorians, but they had very strict rules in place to enforce a hierarchy, especially in times of war.

If they had similar rules to keep order or have the struggle for dominance very ritualised (I'm thinking about the Clans from Battletech here), then the society would be strong as well.

In the case of the Clans, if it wasn't for their almost samurai method of warfare, they would have thrashed the Star League utterly. As it was, between their skill and superior mechs, they just beat them back until the Star League method of warfare showed its superiority.



Besides, it's always nice to see him showing throat to Jan (canine method of showing submission).


Makes a nice change from her mounting him. :smalltongue:

Fri
2011-02-19, 03:28 AM
Wow. I never found that prison. Huh, that's interesting.

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-21, 06:43 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoBxR63wIaQ))
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http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/3840/i603.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 60 Hulas: "Welcome back, Jan Ni. I see you have come alone, this is good. I assume you are here to discuss the business of the Genoharadan."

Ni: "Vorn Daasraad is dead."

Hulas: "Well done, Jan Ni. And, as promised, here is your reward: a Genoharadan stealth unit. You'll find it is far superior to most."

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Hulas: "All the years of planning. Spying and digging to discover their true identities - it was all worth it! Now the Genoharadan are mine alone!"

Ni: "You used me!"

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Hulas: "The Overseers have always acted in secret, their true identities hidden from the guild and even each other to prevent one person from seizing control of the entire guild. But now they are dead, and I am the only Overseer left in the guild! All the agents of the Genoharadan are mine to command! And I couldn't have done it without your help, Jan Ni!"

Ni: "And yet..."

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Hulas: "I suppose I could try to have you eliminated, but I have seen your skill in dispatching the other Overseers. I think it would be in both our best interests if we were simply to part ways."

Ni: "I think not."

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Hulas: "Meet me in the Dune Sea, Jan Ni. There we will engage in a ritual battle according to the customs of my guild, just you and me. Goodbye, Jan Ni. If you do not come alone, then you won't see me and you will never have your revenge."

...

Onasi: "Jan, where have you been? The Fleet wants us to scout out the Star Forge system and have a sensor sweep of the system ready for them when they jump in."

Ni: "Good. T3, is eveyone aboard?"

T3-M4: "Dee-wooot!"

Ni: "I want a quick and dirty route to Tattooine. Carth, break every regulation you cana think of on our way out. Make it look like we're being chased."

Onasi: "What? Why?"

Ni: "Because I know the Crusaders have spies in the Fleet. The longer we can make them think our being here was coincidental, the longer we'll have. If we look like a smuggler trying to escape, it might throw them off the track."

The lexicon of spacer terms (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Deal-slang) is home to many etymologically rich terms. To 'wookinate' is to make use of excessive amounts of force, dating back to the overkill perpetrated by some of the earliest wookiee starcraft against trandoshan slavers, as well as a reference to the overkill tendancies of wookiees themselves. To 'top off the tanks' refers sweeting a deal through some cheap gesture: refilling the fuel tanks of a vessel, or, in its original sense, to paint the insignia of the local warlord on top of a cargo of hovertanks to prevent friendly fire from above. To 'hawk' a port is to leave docking without clearance, nearly cause multiple accidents, provoke the local defenses into firing on you, and just barely escape into hyperspace, usually done as a distraction to allow another smuggler to exit unobtrusively.

...

Ni convinced Onasi to land once again at Anchorhead, saying she was meeting with a Crusader informant. Once there, however, she made for the Dune Sea.

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Ni: "I decided to give you a chance to retain some shred of honor."

Hulas: "You have seen me betray the other Overseers, yet you still believe a Genoharadan cares anything about honor? That is a foolish mistake, Jan Ni. One you won't live to regret."

Ni: "We'll see, won't we?"

Hulas: "You have great potential, Jan Ni. Even the Genoharadan's best agents would not likely have been able to eliminate the other three Overseers."

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/7262/609x.jpg

Ni: "You may watch eveyone, but you certainly don't learn. By killing the other Overseers, you're encouraging your subordinates to kill you. Even if you win here, you'll be constantly watching your back, waiting for the knife. With your death, the Genoharadan will fall to pieces around you."

Hulas: "Brothers of the Genoharadan: attack!"

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6http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/1079/6011.jpg
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Even in her own journal, Ni doesn't mention what precisely happened to Hulas. It is, like some many details from this time, lost.

...

Ni: "Carth, we're leaving. T3, give us a course to Yavin. We'll make the jump to the Star Forge system from there."

Onasi: "Learn anything from the informant?"

Ni: "He was a plant; got ambushed. Nothing useful... Carth, we need to talk. About me being Revan."

Onasi: "If you're ready to talk, then yes... so am I."

Ni: "And?"

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Ni: "Why not?"

Onasi: "I got the revenge I always wanted when Saul died, but it hasn't brought me the peace that I thought it would. Despite whatever part of Revan is inside you, the... the darkness that must surely be there, it isn't who you are."

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Onasi: "Whatever's happened up until this point, there's going to come a time very soon where you're going to have to make a choice. And there won't be any turning back."

Ni: "And if I make the wrong choice?"

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...

At Yavin, the Ebon Hawk docked with Tan's station.

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The room was suddenly filled with trandoshans, disengaging their stealth units and powering up blasters and vibroweapons.

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Trandoshan: "We have our ways, rodian. Just because you didn't hear us dock doesn't mean we can't. And your own stealth units have proven most... effective."

Ni: "Leave. Now."

Trandoshan: "I... refuse, human. Thank the rodian for the Force inhibitors."

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Tan: "Those trandoshan scum! They couldn't get more out me, so they tried to kill me instead!"

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Tan: "Thank you for your help, at least. I know I couldn't have taken them on my own. I'll let you look at my special stash. It's the stuff I wasn't showing them."

The Ebon Hawk departed from Yavin Station tens of thousands of credits lighter. The navicomputer and T3-M4 had plotted a course to the Star Forge system, and in a moment of infinite speed, the Ebon Hawk leapt into hyperspace.
Commentary The main purchases from Suvam were two lightsaber color crystals. Now, ordinarily, color crystals only change the color of the blade and there's no mechanical difference between blade colors. These two crystals are special, though, which is why Jan paid around forty thousand credits for them. They're PC-only (or XBox update), only available after you get all four Star Maps, and what they do is modify the effects of all the other crystals. And by 'modify,' I mean 'pump them full of adrenaline and cocaine.'

The Heart of the Guardian makes the weapon itself more dangerous - extra attack, damage, massive criticals, keen, what have you. It changes the blade color to what wookieepedia calls 'bronze.' It's around this point that I realize that wookieepedia has fallen prey to the same kind of poetical color descriptions that plague most of the interior decorating industry. In practice, it's orange. Not neon orange (my eyes!), but a deeper, more ruddy - oh, now I'm doing it. Juhani gets it. Combined with the Solari crystal from the tomb of Naga Sadow, her lightsaber is now in the realm of the moderately ridiculous.

The Mantle of the Force makes the wielder more dangerous: force regeneration, ability boosts, and lesser combat boosts than the Heart of the Guardian. Turns the blade into "silver-cyan," or as we mortals like to call it, light blue. I understand that the force regeneration effect itself is bugged, and I'm not sure if the patch I have installed corrects that or not. In any case, Jolee gets it, and remains a juggernaut of Force energy.

As for the Genoharadan: hands up, everyone new who expected that? For me, at least, it came as a surprise. I mean, it's expected that entrance exams into elite groups be ridiculously difficult. Consider, for instance, Jan trying to get into the academy on Korriban. At one graduate a year, Jan's already killed a good twenty years of their graduates. And they haven't even had twenty years. And none of them could have claimed the lightsaber from Naga Sadow's tomb. One of the things I like about the Genoharadan quests is that they exploit this trope mercilessly. Of course, Hulas breaks the 'never let them hear your chortle in glee' rule, and makes the classic mistake of not actually paying his mercenaries what he promised them. I mean, really? The Romans had this problem with land for army veterans. Machiavelli cautioned against the use of mercenaries because they're only loyal to their pay, not their paymaster. And Hulas decides not to admit Jan because she's too dangerous? Really, he's an object lesson. Never never never never never gloat about tricking someone in their presence, especially if you just used that person to eliminate your competitors. On the other hand, this is space opera. Villainous gloating is key.

On a related fanservice note: go back and look at the name of the human fighting for Hulas. That's right, Jan killed the Hero of Canton (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4oYX3oPB4o&feature=related).
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/7402/end60.jpg

Coidzor
2011-02-21, 07:27 PM
It just goes to show, even apparently bright information-broker heads of assassin orders are vulnerable to the seduction of Sith stupidity despite watching how it pays off and is enacted.

Sucrose
2011-02-22, 11:23 AM
Have to admit, I was taken off-guard by that. Were it not for his idiotic chortling, were I controlling Jan, he could watch us become a low-level peon that never knew that we just permitted him to make this leap for power.

The_Werebear
2011-02-22, 08:24 PM
So, here's the question - Who is dumber, the guy who admitted using the Force empowered Juggernaut to wipe out his rivals, then refused to pay -- OR -- the Force empowered Juggernaut who allowed herself to be used?

I love those two lightsaber crystals though. They are the reason I always end up dual wielding in KoTOR. I want both those crystals for myself.

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-23, 06:55 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpj1DYK4fCs))
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http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/8824/i613.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 61 En route to the Star Forge system, one of Vao's holorecorders captured a discussion between Bindo and Ni.

Ni: "You mentioned something about your wife before?"

Bindo: "I don't want to talk about that."

Ni: "Well, I do. Spit it out, already."

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Bindo: "Let me tell you something. Once you've lived as many years as I have, you'll have yourself a long, long list of memories. If you're lucky, most of them will be good. If you're not, some will be bad. If you're really unlucky, some will be so bad you never want to be reminded of them again... ever."

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Ni: "Is that why you went to Kashyyyk?"

Bindo: "Heh. Partly, maybe. I doubt I could ever explain it to you fully, even if I wanted to."

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Ni: "Well..."

Bindo: "Exactly. You're still at the beginning of your life. There will be men in your life... perhaps many men... but if you're fortunate you'll find love once."

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Ni: "What's this? Love advice from an old Jedi?"

Bindo: "And why not? All this nonsense about avoiding love is so much foo-foo. I shouldn't be the only one who realizes that.Love doesn't lead to the dark side. Passions can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled... but passion is not the same thing as love."

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Bindo: "Ahhh, but listen to me go on as if I had all the answers. What do I know of love anymore? I'm just a lonely old man who's not even a Jedi."

Ni: "Not even a Jedi? You mean not any more, right?"

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Ni: "You seem to have all the abilities of a Jedi..."

Bindo: "In my case, becoming a Jedi would have been a formality. I doubt the order and I would have gotten along well, considering my opinions on things such as love."

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Bindo: "How you deal with the bad part of love is what determines your character, what detemines the dark side's hold over you."

Ni: "You don't think love can work?"

Bindo: "Bah. A life without risk is boring. Is that how you want to live? You want love, you've got to fight for it."

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Bindo: "The trick is to know when that is, to know when it's time to fight and when it's time to part ways. Hmph... there I go waxing philosophical again. Somebody blast me already! Let's get going before I start talking in riddles, damnit!"

The hyperspace travel itself was uneventful, taking the Ebon Hawk deep into the Unknown Regions (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Unknown_Regions). The system was eventually named the Lehon system sometime after the end of the Jedi Civil War. Like so many other system names, Lehon was originally the name of the home planet of the native species. Our sources in their language translate Lehon not as 'earth' or 'wet', as is typical, but as throne upon which one can gaze upon the star-vassals.' The societal implications are obvious: the natives of Lehon saw their homeworld not as something elemental, but as a first step in galactic conquest.

Once in system, the crew of the Ebon Hawk finally looked upon the object of their quest: the Star Forge.

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Literally using the sun of Lehon as a massive fusion plant, the Star Forge was a symbol of power of the natives, proving the truth of the Sand People histories.

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Onasi: "I'm dumping all the data we have so far into a pick-up for Admiral Dodonna. It looks like the covering force is relatively light; if they strike quickly, they fight be able to cripple the Star Forge... We should get closer, try to refine the data-"

Ni: "Wait!"

Onasi: "We're outside of active sensor range, what's the problem?"

Ni: "I... something's wrong. We need to get-"

Onasi: "Sithspit! Patrol, coming in hard! They must have picked up our passive scans!"

Ni: "Canderous! Get to the ventral turret!"

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Onasi: "I'm picking up a single habitable planet in this system. I'll try to put us down there. Hold on."

Zaalbar: "Carth, our stabilizers are fried! You've have to level us out manually!"

Vao: "Worse than that! The swoop's leaked fuel all over the starboard hold! I had to vent it to put out the fires, but it still damaged the engine casing. If you don't take it easy on it, then we'll lose that whole side."

T3-M4: "Beeeep-weeet!"

Canderous: "They got in a lucky shot."

Ni: "T3, get out there and see if you can trigger the manual override on the landing gear."

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To call the landing 'rough' is an understatement. Most of Vao's holorecorders were dislodged, and several of them were lost entirely. The ventral turret was a complete loss, and T3-M4 is described as being significantly more battered. After the ship had come to a halt, the crew gathered in the galley.

Vao: "Whew! Talk about your rough landings, Carth! You were flying like you'd been on an all night Tarisian ale binge!"

Onasi: "You heard Zaalbar - that disruptor field fried our stabilizers - we're lucky we made it down in one piece! But if we can't find the salvage to make repairs I won't even be able to get the Ebon Hawk airborne again!"

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Juhani: "During our rather rapid descent I noticed the hulls of many crashed ships scattered across the landscape. Perhaps the parts you need can be found among their wreckage."

Ordo: "The Cathar's right: this planet's a technological graveyard. I saw dozens of downed ships out there."

Ni: "It's not salvage that's the problem. If we don't take down the disruptor field, we'll just crash again. It must be fairly selective, if it wasn't bringing down the Crusader ships. It might be possible to trick it with one of their IFFs (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/IFF)."

Onasi: "That won't help the Republic fleet! If we don't shut down the field, we'll have a lot of company!"

T3-M4: "Beep-boop-beep!"

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Ni: "Then we'll have to check it out."

Onasi: "Good idea. It'd be a lot easier to base a field like that on a planet than on a ship or a space station."

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Juhani: "I only hope we're not too late. Bastila has been Malak's prisoner for a long time. If he can turn her to the dark side, then her battle meditation will make our enemies invincible."

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Ni: "I am not Revan."

Bindo: "I'm glad to hear you say that. Now that you know your true identity I was afraid you might slip back over to the dark side. If Bastila feels as you do there may yet be hope for her."

Onasi: "I'd think Malak would want to keep Bastila close-"

Ni: "He'd try to, the possessive bastard."

Onasi: "-So she's probably on the Star Forge. We can't do anything for her until we disable that disruptor field. I'll bet we can probably salvage some stabilizers from a downed ship."

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Onasi: "So do I, Mission. So do I."
Commentary We've come down the reason why, in the end, I prefer Bioware to Obsidian. Compare Jolee's speech about love above to cynicism about love in KotOR 2 or Neverwinter Nights 2. Now, I'm not saying that Carth's moping and trust issues, or Bastila's everything issues (or Viconia's craziness, or Aerie's brokeness, or Jaheira's 'comforting the widow' deal, or Anomen's prickishness, or Morrigan's mother issues, etc) is better than Obsidian's examples (Casavir's cardboard exterior, Neeshka's flirting and ostricization, Elanee's creepy stalker vibe, Bishop's 'rule of the strong' deal, Safana's/Gann's mother issues, the Handmaiden's parent issues, Atton's... I don't know what to call it, etc). But in the end, Bioware comes down on the side of 'love is good, even if you have to fight for it.' Obsidian comes out with 'all love is messed up.' It's difficult to disagree with either statement, but one inspires hope, and the other is depressing. And I maintain that if I wanted to be depressed, I would read the newspaper. Or I would read the newspaper, if most of them hadn't gone out of business. Examining what makes fantasy attractive is fine. However, once you're finished tearing apart all the literary devices (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Deconstruction) and whatnot, it's generally considered polite to put it back together (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Reconstruction) (TVTropes warnings). I'm going to geek out and quote Gandalf here: "He that breaks a thing to find out what is has left the path of wisdom."

Okay, rant over, y'all can come out now. Welcome to pretty much the last stat-block festival:

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Carth's wrapped up his personal stroyline: found empty vengeance in killing his old mentor, Saul Karath, and found something worth living for: his son. He may trust Jan, but what about Revan?

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She's still just a kid, but she's very useful around the ship. And, you know, to the histories whenever I need a holorecording.

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Still uncombed, Zaalbar is a diamond-edged tissue. His only defense is hit points, and those run out real fast. Bacca's sword is pretty good, and devastating against droids, but it's not so overwhelming that Jan would want to use it.

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For what was originally going to be Davik's slicer droid, T3's come a long way. Unlike everyone else, though, T3 has done all of its learning without us.

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Like Carth, Canderous has finished his character arc for the game. He's come out of the meaninglessness of having lost the war, and is prepared to follow Jan, or Revan, to the ends of the galaxy. If only she had proper boots to lick (I jest, I jest).

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I can't really say Juhani has done much, but it's probably safer for everyone's sanity if she remains off-screen, yes?

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He's loyal to his maker, and finally knows everything that went on between his mission to Mandalorian space and his reunion. A far cry from just following Jan around for maintainance.

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We still don't know much about him: ex-smuggler, not really a Jedi, disagrees with the Council, ran away to Kashyyyk to forget. Similarly, his ultimate loyalties are in question.

And, last but not least:

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Saving the galaxy can wait a few hours, right? I mean, LOOK at this beach!

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Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/5851/end61.jpg

Admiral Harkov
2011-02-24, 06:50 AM
1 - I wonder how do you manually stabilize a ship which stabilizers got shot down. Do you get below the side that gets down and push up really hard?.

2 - What joke of a sun. Do the Star Forge do really anything?. Hard to respect a Sun that lets you get so close.

3 - Following the HK-47 story, and being as it is made to sound, he went through all those owners and that many killings in like what, six months?.

4 - The obsodian cynicism about love is easy to see what it is, the so frequent modern view from the position of ressentment. Love is so hard to get, so it's more easy and comfortable to slander it. The fox and the green grapes. Or as spanish say: "ill of many, comfort for idiots", in the sense of depicting love as something messed up so we can keep dreaming our false greatness. And attitude that both makes the ressenter content with not having it and even more distant from the chance of finding it.

Coidzor
2011-02-24, 07:26 AM
3 - Following the HK-47 story, and being as it is made to sound, he went through all those owners and that many killings in like what, six months?.

It is kind of confused. But HK-47 is supposed to have fought against Mandalore. There can't be a new Mandalore after Revan got done with him/had Jedi Jesus get done with him at Malakor V, so Revan had HK-47 before she officially turned to the dark side and started the Jedi Civil War.

I think they were supposed to be gone for a year or two before coming back and attacking the Republic, but the game doesn't do too good of a job of making that clear, I admit.

kamikasei
2011-02-24, 07:32 AM
I hope someone brought a watermelon. ...And that the lightsabers can be kept away from it.

Coidzor
2011-02-24, 07:40 AM
I hope someone brought a watermelon. ...And that the lightsabers can be kept away from it.

:smalleek: I don't even want to think about what that would do to watermelon flesh.

Cogwheel
2011-02-24, 07:55 AM
:smalleek: I don't even want to think about what that would do to watermelon flesh.

Boil it, at a guess.

The_Werebear
2011-02-24, 06:21 PM
It's cool. Jan's got a vibroblade too.

Wait...Doesn't that one secrete poison?

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-24, 08:54 PM
Okay, so Imageshack might be going all draconian on us, so let me know if you can't see the pictures somewhere/anywhere/everywhere/oh my dear and fluffy bunnies, the colors. Thanks!

Werebear: Don't be silly, Jan sold that vibroblade for petty cash... or did she? Maybe you should have a gizka steak instead. I don't think HK can poison his blaster bolts.

Admiral Harkov
2011-02-25, 07:07 AM
Yes, she can. You know how blaster bolts are colored, right?. So make one multicolored so they got encoded scenes from Ingmar Bergman films, it's like an overdose of the sleep setting.

Wait, I think the Bergman films in SW can only be seen through the most potent dark side powers, and those are still far from being discovered at Jan's moment. Forget what I said.

(But "Peter and Hansel" is a decent film, though).

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-25, 07:22 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8geSx9lbzM))
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http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/7117/i623.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 62 Ni: "It's pity we don't have more time. This place is beautiful."

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Vao: "Those towers must taller than the ones on Taris!"

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Bindo: "An entire Republic cruiser? I wonder how it landed up here."

Ni: "Canderous. Come to any conclusions yet?"

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Ordo: "I think... I think I need something more than killing and fighting in my life. I need a purpose or something like that. The way the Mandalorians - we - fought... it holds no appeal for me. To rape and ravage worlds for the thrill of battle... it gets old. Very old."

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Ordo: "I think I'm something different now. Maybe more, maybe less."

Ni: "So what do you plan to do?"

Ordo: "I don't think there is really any place left int he galaxy for the Mandalorian clans like they were. I don't know if I can go on forever fighting as I have. Even warriors get insightful in their old age."

Ni: "Don't let Carth hear you admit that."

Ordo: "Once my time with you is done, once you have moved on to greater things, I'll find my own way once again. Maybe the Mandalaorian clans will be reborn again. Maybe even under the Republic... or the Sith."

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Vao: "Ack! Incoming!"

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Unfortunately for our history, we have been unable to recover the names of these duros (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Duros). If they offered it, neither Ni or Bindo recorded it. It is worth noting, however, that our account of this encounter is dependent entirely on Bindo's personal journal, as this encounter is not detailed in the fragments we have of Ni's.

Ni: "Uh... you're welcome!"

Duros: "If your arrival had not been so fortuitously timed, we would have been in great danger. We thank you again for saving us." Bindo notes: 'These duros didn't seem like the most stable of creatures. Their hands were perfectly steady, but the way they kept turning their head reminded me of a tach monkey looking out for danger.'

Ni: "What are you doing here?"

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While this is a vital clue to discovering the identity of these duros, the unfortunate fact remains that thousands of mining ventures are started every year, and many of those fail. The records from such failed ventures are rarely extant. The loss of an exploratory mining vessel and crew would certainly be enough to bankrupt many ventures. Among the records we have, primarily Czerka's, we have been unable to find any record of exploratory mining this deep into the Unknown Regions. However, it should be made clear that many of Czerka's records are outright fabrications, produced well after the fact in order to take advantage of tax loopholes, or to defend against an audit.

Duros: "Our ship sank far out to sea, but a handful of us were ale to make it to this island... more than you see here, though."

Ni: "What happened?"

Duros: "Many have been killed at the hands of the locals. A few tried to swim to one of the closer islands, but we have not heard from them in many days. Of the ten of us who remained here, we two are the only remaining survivors..."

Ni: "Tell me about the natives."

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Duros: "The only beings who crash here that can hold them off are the Mandalorians, and we dare not go near them... we know of their depredations too well."

Ni: "Mandalorians?"

Duros: "There are many here, more than you might think. Although that may just be because they aren't killed as easily as we are. With their weapons they raid and kill other survivors, and can fight off the natives as well. They seem to have some sort of cloaking shield that hides them until they strike."

Ordo: "More cowardly scouts." Bindo makes a note here: 'Considering how she reacted back on Kashyyyk, I expected her to blow up at him. That she didn't might be a sign of the distance she's put between herself and her false memories.'

Ni: "Where are they?"

Duros: "They are east of here by a large temple structure. We dare not approach it, for they would surely kill us. But we cannot delay here... The longer we stay, the more likely either the Mandalorians or the natives will find us and kill us."

Bindo says that they ran off, secreting themselves in the undergrowth.

Ni: "Oookaaay... Maybe they can smell danger?"

Ordo: "Cowards usually can."

Ni, Ordo and Bindo moved off east through canyons, leaving the rest of the crew behind to make repairs and defend the ship.

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Bindo: "Your lightsaber break?" He had noticed that the simple hilt no longer hung from Ni's belt. Instead, a vibroblade rode at either hip.

Ni: "Didn't secure it well enough. During the crash, it came loose and bounced around the turret a bit. Couldn't focus well enough to control it, but I did manage to keep it from activating. I think the focusing crystal got smashed, and we don't have the time for me to align another one."

Bindo: "Hmph, a Jedi without a lightsaber. What would the Council say?"

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Ni: "Did we take a wrong turn? This isn't the temple."

Ordo: "No, but those are rancors."

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Ni: "An invitation."

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Emissary: "Your power and skill in battle has impressed the One. He wishes an audience with you: a great honor. Come with us now and we will take you to him."

Ni: "Very well. Canderous, Jolee: they're escorting us to their leader. If things go badly, we'll be able to decapitate them."

Bindo: "And if they go well?"

Ni: "Then we won't need contingency plans. I hope."

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Commentary I'm not sure I care for the latest conversation with Canderous. It seems a bit pre-emptive to start planning what you're going to do after the battle before the battle is fought. In fact, historically speaking, nearly every time the Romans or their enemies start planning out how to divide the spoils, or who will hold the consulate for the next year, or what have you, that army loses. So that's why I don't particularly care for it. But I don't imagine that Jan would really care for the sentiments expressed in it either. If the Republic wins the war against the Crusaders, there's still a lot of work to be done - the greater things that Canderous mentions. But from what we've seen of Jan, letting go is not something she does.

To be more clear, everytime Jan moves away from something, it's not because she's doing so willingly, but because the agency to do otherwise has been taken away from her. Jan exists because Revan was taken away from her. Bastila was taken away from her. Even the comforting illusion of being just Jan was taken from her. Canderous has come to point in his life where he can accept letting go of the last remnants of Mandalorian life that Revan broke at Malachor V. Jan hasn't.

But the crew of the Ebon Hawk aside, meet the Rakata, the Builders, creators of the Star Forge, enslavers of sand people, really bad at mathematical riddles. Actually, that last one was probably an individual trait. I haven't gone to the trouble of figuring out what exactly they are statistic-wise, but I'd eyeball most of them at around 15th level soldiers with impressive ability scores. They only use fairly primitive weapons: vibroblades and stunsticks, but the weapons are fairly high quality despite that. Besides, they've got pet rancors (that aren't even full grown yet). Even accounting for the level inflation of building off of D&D, the Rakata are tough customers. Let me give an example: remember how all the clone troopers has the same ridiculous ability scores as Jango Fett, and are trained to be pretty darn good (maybe 5th level for the ARC troopers, 3rd otherwise, where the standard idiot battle droids are level 1 and droidekas (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Droideka)are 8th). Any given Rakata could probably kill Jango in a stand-up fight, and still give him trouble if he was playing to his advantages (gear, gear and trickery). It's ridiculous, but such is D&D levels.

Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/6320/end62.jpg

doliest
2011-02-25, 08:31 PM
To be fair, it makes perfect sense that the Rakata here are....well....tough. They're in a state of nigh-constant battle; their planet is pretty constant fighting and, particularly in the case of the One's army, only the strong get as far as they have. Except for the ones just starting, obviously. Throw in that these Rakata are the descendents of those that survived the empire-ending plague, and they are probably obscenely tough creatures. A great army, really.
.
..
Actually, I wish there were Force-sensitive Rakatans. Can you imagine Dark-Side weilding Rakata? Let's see the True Sith Empire handle that :smallcool:.

Tam_OConnor
2011-02-28, 10:02 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EZz57VRcCM))
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http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/2321/i632.jpg
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/2984/i633.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 63 http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/8534/631c.jpg

Ni: "I'll translate for you two. Save any questions for when we get out of here."

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The One: "And when my scouts told me of a great warrior from the sky slaughtering our raiding parties with magics, I knew you had at least returned!" Our primary source for this discussion is Bindo's journal, in which he adds: Most of the flashy stuff was me. Most of Jan's powers are pretty low-key, especially compared to how flamboyant Revan was with them. She was so proud about that fire juggling of hers. Always about controlling her environment - little wonder she turned out a military genius.

Ni: "What vows did Revan make to you?"

The One: "Your words are confusing. I recognize you: you are the one called Revan. You are the one who came here before; you and Malak, the one who served you. Why do you speak of her as if she was another?"

Ni: "My memories were destroyed. I was Revan."

The One: "I believe you, Revan. I sense there is something different about you. Something has changed. You are not the same as you were before. Yet the power of magic - what you call the Force - is within you still. You can still destroy the Elders and fulfill your vow!" Ooooh, swirling Force. But that means that he's - is it a he? - Force sensitive.

Ni: "What exactly was this vow?"

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The One: "When you vanished, we thought you had forgotten us - or been killed by the Elders. Now that you have returned our alliance still holds: destroy the Elders, and we will help you."

Ni: "I'll help you, but I have questions that need answering."

The One: "I suppose that if what you say is true - that you cannot remember when you were last here - then you must have many questions. Very well, Revan." He's annoyingly persistent in calling her that. I guess she didn't give her other name, though. Huh. Wonder if she's using that as a shield - 'Revan said that, not me.'

Ni: "Start with the last time I was here."

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The One: "They tried to take you prisoner, but you unleashed your magic upon them. Seeing your power, they bowed before you and brought you here to me. You used your power to rip the Rakata language from my mind so that we could help you in your quest to find something called the 'Star Forge.'" 'Intuitive language comprehension,' they say. They wish it was so clean!

The One: "But the answers you sought lay within the Temple of the Ancients, and we could not help you enter the Temple. The Elders alone hold its secrets, guarding them with their very lives."

Ni: "I assume my ship crashed because of the disruptor field."

The One: "I know nothing of this 'disruptor field,' but throughout the history of our tribe, ships have fallen from the sky. It has always been this way; though in recent generations it has become more frequent." The simple explanation for this increased activity has been the proliferation of hyperdrives, an expansion of the galactic economy due to war-times, and the associated need for more ores, which in turn would lead to more mining survey vessels. The Mandalorians probably arrived as raiders, or were seeking an uncharted planet to colonize. Lastly, the presence of Republic warships suggest one of two possibilities: either that the ships were the remnants of Revan's Republic fleet, or that Republic forces pursued Crusader ships into the trap of the disruptor field.

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The One: "That was how we acquired our rancor (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rancor)war beasts. Several very young specimens were recovered from a crashed vessel. When they grow too wild, we release them for sport. But while they grow, they make loyal beasts of war." While the ultimate origin point of rancors is unknown, native populations have settled on a number of worlds, including Carida (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Carida)(site of the prestigous Academy of Corluag), Corulag (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Corulag)(home to Republic Sienar Systems (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Republic_Sienar_Systems), recently dissolved for suppling drives to the CIS) and the Water Moon of Naboo (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ohma-D'un) (location of a CIS chemical weapons attack in the opening stages of the war).

Ni: "I need stabilizers to repair my ship."

The One: "That I cannot help you with. Although we have recovered many strange devices from the sky ships that crash to the earth, their use is a mystery to us. As a show of good faith, I will allow you to search to search the stores of our tribe, and take whatever you find. In exchange, I know you will destroy the Elders and bring the secrets they guard back to me."

Ni: "Tell me about the Temple of the Ancients."

The One: "There is little I can tell you about the Temple. I know the secrets of the ancestors are contained within, but the Temple itself is barred to us. When last you were here, you and Malak sought to enter the Temple. You sought ancient knowledge and a way to escape this world within its stone walls."

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Ni: "Tell me more about the Elders."

The One: "The Elders guard the ancient secrets. Within their compound is the knowledge of power and magic; including the knowledge of how to enter the Temple itself."

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The One: "Sometimes we can capture an Elder when they venture forth from their compound, and we have learned something about them. That is how we know they guard the ancient secrets. But no matter what tortures we inflict upon them, they will not reveal their secrets to us. They fear the knowledge they themselves guard, and they will never willingly surrender it to us."

Ni: "Then I will kill the Elders and bring you their secrets!" She's overplaying it a bit.

The One: "I see you that you have changed much since our last meeting. I am confident you will not betray us this time." Apparently melodrama plays big with him.

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The One: "The Elders are few in number. If you can get pat the exterior defenses, you could surely slaughter them all. Then you can bring us back the knowledge they guard."

Ni: "Wait a second... if I kill the Elders, how can I bring you their secrets?"...I can't tell if that was actual realization or an act. I'm not sure whether to be ashamed or impressed.

The One: "There was one prisoner, an Elder whose mind broke beneath our tortures. He raved of ancient rituals, of lost power and forgotten secrets! Unfortunately, most of his dying screams made no sense." That is the downside of torturing people to death. If that droid was here, I'm sure he'd say something about the only problem was that all the screaming of pertinent information interfered with his torturing.

The One: "Yet in his last hours he spoke of a book; an ancient tome that recorded the most powerful knowledge of the Elders, and detailed the rituals that could unleash the secrets."

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Ni: "Don't worry. The deal made between you and Revan will be honored."

The One: "When you have it, bring it here to me. Until then, you may move freely about our village. I will be waiting for your return."

...

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Ni: "Canderous, doesn't this village look similar to the Sand People Enclave?"

Ordo: "It's circular. It's an good defensive layout."

Bindo: "Don't look at me - you dealt with them before you got to me. Good thing, too. Can't stand sand in my shoes."

...

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Gjarshi: "I am the keeper of our histories. I am here to chronicle the conquests and achievements of the One. I have followed his exploits for many years... and yours as well."

Ni: "My memories of this place have been destroyed. Could you tell me what happened?"

Gjarshi: "When last you came to this island, the One had just arrived with his army. We spoke then, as now, and you told me of your travels and stories about the worlds beyond ours."

Ni: "And did not time press on me, I would ask for those stories as well."

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Gjarshi: "But then you left us and went back to the stars, never to be heard from again. We wondered what had happened, what could have gone wrong, but could do nothing against you, or the Elders."

Ni: "And do you blame me for abandoning your people?"

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Gjarshi: "Your actions then, as now, are memories to be passed on to future generations. When you are dead and gone, your memory shall remain with us."

This line is a matter of some debate among historians. Aside from the arguments on the role of the historian, which are shared with that of the journalist, the debate is about the nature of Gjarshi's final statement. The debate is centered on whether 'us' refers to the Rakatan lorekeeping tradition, or to the Rakata lorekeepers themselves. That is to say, whether Gjarshi was speaking metaphorically or literally. We lack records on how long Rakata can live. The heart of the debate lies into the usual description of the Rakatan Empire: 'Infinite.' Some assume that it is just a boast about the expansion and history of the Empire, while others are of the opinion that 'infinite' was not merely confined to history, but a reference to the physical immortality, or agelessness, of the Rakata.

Ni: "Tell me how your people came to be."

Gjarshi: "In the times before our most ancient histories, there was nothing you could call the Rakatan people. There were unintelligent proto-Rakata wandering the surface of this world. Spawned from the womb of this world, they were gifted with hte brilliance of thought, but not tempered with the wisdom to use it."

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Gjarshi: "At last the gods spoke to them in dreams... dreams of the surface and the light. They re-emerged from the ground and found the land much changed around them. Gone were the plains and valleys they had known. Instead, there were islands stretching across the breadth of the world. The world had been remade for them by the gods of the sky, and they gave thanks in fear and gratitude."

Astrohistorians assume that the 'wrath of the sky gods' was a particularly vicious meteor shower, or even a collision with a large (around ten kilometers) meteor. This explains why the Rakata were adapted for a terrestial habitat, without even the amphibian adaptations one would expect from a world made up largely of island chains.

Ni: "Tell me of the gods you mentioned."

Gjarshi: "The world is ruled by the gods of the earth and sky, both living and dead."

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Gjarshi: "Nor do the gods in the sky listen to pur pleas any longer, although we can still see their lights gleam in the heavens. So we mortal Rakata are left here to our own devices... to make the future we demand for ourselves."

One would expect the inclusion of the word 'mortal' here to have squashed debate about whether Rakata are physically immortal. However, objections abound. In the first place, what we have are Bindo's records of what Ni translated - some falibility is believable. Secondly, 'mortal' can be used as a term meaning 'not divine,' without biasing towards immortality. Thirdly, if the gods of the Rakata can die, how are we to understand the difference between mortality and immortality?

Ni: "Tell me of your first civilization."

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Gjarshi: "Among these people, there were some that rose to greatness on the largest islands. Ratakans of vision and forethought who built great monuments to themselves and their leaders. But these cultures did not know their true strengths. They did not draw upon the knowledge of their past to feed their present."

This final sentance is a statement of enormous cultural magnitude. While some crackpots (http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Ninth_Doctor) who call themselves doctors claim that this proves the Rakata had time travel, there is a much more pertinent reading. That is, at this point in history, we know that the Rakata practiced a form of ritual cannibalism. To consume another was to be filled with their strength and knowledge. What is of particular interest here is that the present day Rakatan culture is critiquing the past. This level of sophistication in the historical perpective is unheard of in oral histories.

Gjarshi: "Of course these cultures, with their centers of learning and their great temples, collapsed in riots and chaos, buring their cultures from the world in an orgy of violence. It was a thousand years of darkness before the light of the First Empire rose upon the blood of the past."

The 'thousand years' is almost certainly a figurative number.

Ni: "Tell me of the First Empire."

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Gjarshi: "But a strong nation of survivors yet endured. On one of the smaller islands near the equatorial regions, they had not forgotten the oldest traditions, those learned from the gods of the earth while we dwelt beneath the surface. Taking the knowledge of the elders and passing their wisdom and skills on to the next generation by eating their flesh, they built a culture unrivalled throughout history."

Proponents of the physical immortality theory will say that the innovation was not ritual cannibalism, but forced population control. With physical immortality, there was little drive to improve. But with a limited number of years of life, there was an ambition to prove oneself worthy of having one's skills passed down.

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Gjarshi: "But fate was unkind to these great Rakata, these first ones of our kind to rise above savagery and create a true, lasting civilization."

Ni: "Tell me of the fall of the First Empire." I'll be. She does remember. Unconsciously, maybe, but she remembers. She's using ritual phrasing. I can't understand what she's saying, and she's not translating in back in verse, but this exchange of lore is a ritual. I wonder what she did to be induced into their rituals in the first place. Probably killed everyone that told her no.

Gjarshi: "Our skin had been hardened and turned black from the time our people spent beneath the surface, but always at the fringes of society there were rumors... rumors of those of other colors who survived above the surface while we dwelt below. We can pinpoint no direct cause for the collapse of the First Empire, but it was swift and total. What had taken centuries to build and was maintained for thousands of years disappeared within ten, perhaps twenty years. From the ancient cities we have examined, there was much fighting and death, as well as fires that burned bright and hot enough to melt the stones of their palaces to glass."

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Gjarshi: "What this war was, or who those beings were we do not know, but they are the demons of our legends now. We believe them to be gone, wiped out in that vast conflagration, but we cannot know for sure..."

If this oral history is accurate, then it suggests the presence of a race of shapeshifters with the power to topple empires. Those same crackpots who believe the Rakata had time travel also believe that the shapeshifters were in fact the Rakata themselves, members of the true Infinite Empire that stretched throughout the entire galaxy and throughout all of time. Mutated and driven made by the heat death of the universe and the nothing that waited afterwards, these future-Rakata travelled back in time to destroy the Infinite Empire in order to make it so that they had never been. While patently ridiculous, it does sell books.

Ni: "Tell me what happened after the collapse of the First Empire."

Gjarshi: "Our civilization lapsed back into savagery. We were no longer the great people of centuries past. Brother turned on brother, tribesman on tribesman, until all fought and sought to destroy each other."

Any renaissances were doubtlessly lost to time, even if they weren't immediately set upon by their neighbors.

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Gjarshi: "Each seeks to grow its own strength, absorbing that of its enemies through their flesh cut down in battle, but none has been strong enough to exert their influence over more than a handful of islands. Until now that is... We now are in the midst of a great war of reformation, or reclamation."

Ni: "Tell me of the war of reformation."

Gjarshi: "Before none was strong enough to bind together the tribes and unite them towards a common goal, but that changed. Now we do have aleader, and under him, we have swept across the islands, conquering all who have stood before us."

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Gjarshi: "We have subjugated many tribes as well, their warriors joining ours in our great crusade. But recently, things have not gone so well... More and more outsiders fall from the sky and kill our people. More and more tribes resist us, or even rebel! It has taken a great part of our strength to resist, but under the One, we shall prevail! Nothing shall stop him from forming the Seconf Empire!"

Ni: "Tell me why the One is here."

Gjarshi: "We... we heard of the temple on this island... the Temple of the Ancients. A building the like of which has not been seen anywhere else. A place of great power it was reputed, with great guardians as well. The One came here with an army to see this temple and seize it for our cause, but we were met with strange and powerful magics which have defeated us at every turn."

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Gjarshi: "If only the riddle of the temple could be solved, and its guardian Elders removed, then he would consume their flesh and knowledge and bring unity to our people. It is my sincere hope as well, that you can help us with our great task."

Ni: "Thank you for your lore. I must go."

Gjarshi: "If you must. I shall remain here as I always do, listening to those who wish to speak... and remembering."

Ni, Bindo and Ordo were on their way out of the compound when Ni was hailed by a Rakata.

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Luo: "You are the one who defeated our warriors in combat, aren't you? The one who wields the magic to defeat the Elders?"

Ni: "I wield the Force, yes."

Luo: "It is glorious to see such a power come to our aid when all was thought lost here on this gods-forsaken island."

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Luo: "Please, great one, enlighten me to the scope of the power ou wield... this 'Force.'"

Ni: "The true nature of the Force is the ability to project your will upon reality."

Luo: "Project your will? To force things to be the way you want?"

Bindo: "I hope he made that pun in the original Rakatan, Jan."

Ni: "You know me, faithful translator."

Luo: "Great one?"

Ni: "In a sense. The Force is the ability to change fate, destiny, chance, whatever you want to call it."

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Luo: "You are truly great in your power and your wisdom. I can't wait to see what havoc your magics will wreak on the Elders!"
Commentary I'm trying something new. I tried to add a lot more comments to the actual body of the Let's Play, since I'm a) writing way too many essays for school, b) already wrote on the topics I want to cover and c) quite lazy, thank you. As such, this is a really brief commentary section. In fact, the only reason I'm still writing this is to string you along in an attempt to make you think I put much more effort into this that I actually did. In fact, I wouldn't blame you at all if you just stopped reading. Really.















Give up yet?














...drat. In any case, we're closing up fast on the end. Three weeks should see the end. So I guess that makes this the retrospective, looking back on all the pages upon pages of stuff that's already been written, and the images that may or may not be visible, depending on the whims of the image host. On one hand, I really wish I had the motivation to bother working up a buffer of episodes. On the other hand, I'd either do twice as much work or more to account for the vote points, or summon up the will to create a buffer multiple times. I think I've only been actually late once, but there have been a few posted around 11pm board time (like this one, for instance. In my defense, I had a two hour phone conversation with my beloved elder sister). Remember the good old days, when I had plenty of commentary fodder and the episodes would go up by around 4pm? Yeah, neither do I. In any case, I'm rambling something fierce, so I'll make with the posting already.

Oh, just one more thing. There's an occasional reference to the Elders as the 'Red Rakata' and the people of the One as the 'Black Rakata.' The Rakatan loremaster says that this is because of the color of their skin. However, as you can clearly see, the 'Black Rakata' aren't. I mean, they're sort of grayish where the skin isn't tightly stretched, but that's it. It seems fairly obvious to me that the terms were mostly discarded when it came time to start actually modelling the creatures. Maybe the concept didn't quite work when translated to the screen. I'd suspect shadow and lighting issues myself. There's a horrible joke in there about a dark elf in a pitch-black cave ("It's twue, it's twue!"), so it could be a realization of unfortunate implications. On the other hand, there's this lovely implication that the Red and Black Rakata are just pieces on a chess-board - excuse me, dejarik (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dejarik)board - that Jan is playing with them.

Just one more moment of your time: You may have noticed that most of this post was 'blah blah blah history blah blah blah.' There are two very good reasons for that. First is that I'm trying to bring you a fairly complete picture of the game (absent some sidequests... and Mission. Oh yeah, and what's-her-name with the lightsaber). Second is that I'm a total history geek, and even the ten-millicred survey course stuff in here is fascinating. Then again, you're the ones watching Holonet History.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/7581/end63.jpg

BladeofOblivion
2011-03-01, 05:09 PM
Another Excellent episode. I've been reading since the start, but I haven't bothered posting my appreciation of your effort. I now intend to rectify this somewhat.

Anyway, that bit about "Crackpots" gave me a good laugh. It makes me wonder what would happen if the Doctor actually did visit the SWU.

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-01, 06:40 PM
I remember seeing a thread somewhere presenting a whole bunch of RPG settings as just waiting for the Doctor to solve them. For instance, the setting of Paranoia would have the Doctor taking on Friend Computer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer would have him discovering the origin of the Hellmouth, Mage: The Awakening would have him trying to understand the Technocracy, and so on.

The Star Wars version would probably have him popping up in the Valley of the Jedi just before the Thought Bomb detonated, and try to defuse or survive the situation. At least, that's where I'd put him. It's where he can do the most harm, debating with the Jedi and the Sith and figuring out why they're both wrong... also, there's the bit where the Doctor is a powerful (if untrained) psychic. He'd get along swimmingly with Jolee.

Squark
2011-03-01, 06:43 PM
So, which Rakatan faction will Jan side with?

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-02, 10:08 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b7cBx6y1zY))
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http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9592/4421z.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 64 http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/8638/641yu.jpg

Bindo: "Is that rancor... frolicking?"

Ni: "Just keep moving."

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Ni: "Alright, there's the temple. And... finally, the right path."

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Ordo: "And a rancor."

Bindo: "Two rancors."

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Ni: "Let's just call it a pack of rancors. I thought they got bigger, though."

Ordo: "Diet. There's not much prey here. Probably stunted their growth. Too bad. I was looking forward to fighting a big one."

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Bindo: "Well, their energy fields are more subtle than Czerka's."

Ni: "Better positioned, though. It looks like it even runs through the walls. Very good engineering."

Ordo: "Looks open on top."

Ni: "This close to the disruptor field, it would even muck with repulsorlifts (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Repulsorlift), and the grav plate trick only works if there's someone on the other end to catch you. Besides, that swoop in the old that you never got rid of is wrecked."

Ordo: "Free climb?"

Ni: "No pinions, mag clamps won't work and we don't have the two-way grav plates they use for rock-climbing. Zaalbar might be able to, but climbing trees is very different than worked stone. Besides, those stones look pretty close set. Let's take a look at the sides, though."

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Ni: "Guess those were the crashed Mandos. Anyone you recognize, Canderous?"

Ordo: "Just like we thought: more scouts. These were more courageous; they didn't wait for us to put our weapons away."

Bindo: "It doesn't look like the climb would be any easier on this side."

Ni: "In that case, let's find that other enclave of Rakata."

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Ni: "...you know, now that I look at that ship, it does look like a minelayer."

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Ni: "Hah! And it looks like it has intact stabilizers! Carth, come in."

Onasi: "Jan?"

Ni: "I found some stabilizers for the ship. It's in the middle of a mine-field. Send Zaalbar, Mission and Juhani - they have the training to get them out. I'm headed off to make contact with another band of natives."

Onasi: "Right. We've got just about everything else patched up as well as we can, and we haven't had to fend off any more attacks. Where was this minefield of yours?"

...

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Ni: "Did I mention this is a beautiful planet yet?"

Bindo: "The electrical fields and burning gizka over there add a nice homey touch."

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Ni: "Who are you?"

Hologram: "We are the Elders... and you will answer our question!"

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Ni: "My name is Jan Ni, and I've come here because I was once named Revan."

Hologram: "...Revan? The council wishes to speak with you. You may enter."

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Ni: "What did I want last time I was here?"

Elder: "Is this some kind of test, Revan? Some type of trick? You came seeking our aid; you came in search of a way to enter the Temple of the Ancients. You claimed to be seeking a way to destroy the Star Forge, and we were foolish enough to believe you. Unaware of your true nature, we helped you enter the Temple. But you betrayed us, Revan. Instead of destroying the terrible legacy of our ancestors you unleashed the evil of the Star Forge upon an unsuspecting galaxy."

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Ni: "Uh... I need to get into the Temple so I can destroy the Star Forge..."

Elder: "Do you think we are fools, Revan? Do you think we have forgotten how you lied to us last time? Why should we believe you now?"

Ni: "Revan's memory was destroyed. I am a different person."

Elder: "They say that the experiences of our past define us and make us what we are. If if is true you have lost your memories, then perhaps you are changed. But how are we to know this is not some trick, Revan?"

Ni: "My name is Jan Ni. Revan was killed by the Jedi."

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Elder: "You must prove to us that you are not the same as you once were. You must prove that you have changed."

Ni: "How?"

Elder: "Recently several of our scouts were captured by the One. Most of them were brutally slaughtered, but we have information that one of the scouts is still alive. They will use unimaginable tortures to force the scout to reveal everything he knows about our tribe. And once the One is done with him, the scout will be executed like the others. You must prove you have truly changed by risking your own life to save another. Rescue our scout from the clutches of the one, and we will consider helping you."

Ni: "Would you prefer negotiation or battle?"

Elder: "We would prefer if you could find some way to save the prisoner without bloodshed, but we don't believe that will be possible. The One does not like to negotiate."

Ni: "I have some questions first."

Elder: "We will tell you what we can. But you should speak to Osraa, the Keeper of History. He is located near the great computer on the far side our enclave."

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Osraa: "Greetings, once again, Revan. I am glad that you have returned. I couldn't beleive that you had betrayed us, despite what the Council said."

Ni: "You are Osraa, the Keeper of History?"

Osraa: "The last time you were here you had many questions for me. The Council told us all of the destruction of your memories, but still I had hoped you might recall something of our past discussions."

Ni: "Look on the bright side: we can have all those discussions again."

Osraa: "Yes, I suppose that is true. Although you must forgive me if some of this starts to seem familiar. After all, we did go into the history of the Rakata at some length the last time you were here."

Ni: "Tell me about the beginnings of the Rakatan Empire."

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Osraa: "everywhere we went, we found civilizations less advanced and weaker than our own. But instead of helping them advance, we conquered and enslaved them. Back then, we could still command the Force. That, combined with our advanced technology made our march of conquest irresistable. Soon the Infinite Empire stretched across the entire galaxy. Over time, we lost our ability to use the Force. Some believe we had used the Force for so long that we evolved, and became immune to its effects."

Ni: "Sounds pretty absurd to me. The Force isn't a drug that you can build up a resistance to."

Osraa: "Yes, you made that argument last time as well. I disagree, of course, but we can have that debate later. If I may continue?"

Ni: "Please do."

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Ni: "In retrospect, obvious, but at the time...?"

Osraa: "I cannot say. The Infinite Empire was built on slaughter; it was inevitable it should collapse upon itself. War, plague and slave rebellion forced us to retreat back here to our hidden home world."

Ni: "In the face of plague? Wasn't that unwise?"

Osraa: "More than you know. Here, conflict among power-hungry warlords escalated into full civil war. Terrible weapons of mass destruction were unleashed, driving most of the Rakata far beneath the earth for shelter. The devastation ravaged the world. Our people were scatted, our cities leveled, our very existence all but erased. The glory of the Infinite Empire. is now nothing but dust and bones."

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Ni: "You said most of the Rakata retreated underground. What about the ones who didn't?"

Osraa: "Inside the Temple of the Ancients, my ancestors were safe from the weapons. We emerged from the Temple to find an empty and ruined land. We are the descendants of the holy priest caste of the infinite Empire, and at last we understood the terrible power of our own technology. To ensure it could never be unleashed upon us again, we sealed the ancient knowledge within the Temple."

Ni: "An... interesting decision. What about the other tribes of the Rakata?"

Osraa: "They are as violent as the warlords they had fled many millenia ago. After centuries of battle of bloodshed, the tribe of the One has emerged as the strongest of them all."

Proponents of the physical immortality of Rakata point to this line as evidence that the One is centuries old. The opposing viewpoint is that the One was merely the leader to put the plan of conquest into action, after many chieftains before him had laid the groundwork.

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Ni: "And your technology is useless because...?"

Osraa: "We have the technology to destroy the One and his followers. But if we kill them all, then we will only prove that we have learned nothing over the past 20,000 years. We tried to negotiate with them. We sent emissaries under a flag of truce when the One first arrived on this island. But all our envoys were brutally slaughtered."

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Ni: "Tell me about the Temple of the Ancients."

Osraa: "The Temple is a sacred place of terrible secrets. All the dark mysteries of the Rakata are housed within its stone walls, which pulse with the living power of the Ancients. Only those who command this power - what you call the Force - can enter the Temple. Many centuries ago there were still a few among us who could pass within its walls. But living in the shadow of the Temple we became desensitized to this power."

Ni: "We're going to have to have that debate soon."

Osraa: "Indeed. In any case, as you yourself said the last time you were here, we Elders are no longer 'Force sensitive.' But the temple itself is now overrun with the followers of Malak who can command the Force."

Ni: "There must be a way to lower the field from inside the Temple, then. What do you know about the Star Forge?"

Osraa: "Much of our knowledge of the Star Forge is lost. It was built during the height of the Infinite Empire, long ago. All we know now is that it casts a terrible shadow across our world... metaphorically speaking, of course."

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Osraa: "When you and Malak last came here, we saw you as saviors. We let you into the Temple so you could destroy the Star Forge, but instead you harnessed its dark power for yourselves. You awakened a dormant evil, your fleet helped spread the corruption of the Star Forge throughout the galaxy. And now you return as our last hope to stop what you once started."

Ni: "I'd better get back to it, then."

Osraa: "Yes, of course. You have much to do, and little enough to time to do it."

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Computer: "User verification: user species = non-Rakata. Access to auxiliary archives is restricted to Rakata or approved servants. Slaves may not access the archives."

Ni: "I speak the language of the Rakata because I am a servant of the Rakata."

Computer: "Logical. User speaks the language of the Rakata in order to serve them. User added to authorized list of non-Rakata. Notice: Further information can be obtained from the main archives within the Temple of the Ancients. My archives are ready for information retrieval and download into remote storage. Please select a topic."

Ni: "Everything. Download all archives into these datapads."

Bindo: "So that's what you keep in those pouches."

Computer: "Download commencing. Notice: these are the auxiliary archives. Protected data is only present in the main archives of the Temple of the Ancients."

Ni: "How do I access the Temple?"

Computer: "The shields constructed by the Elders to guard the Temple are controlled from the summit of the structure. Anyone inside the Temple may temporarily shut down the shields. The only way to gain access to the Temple from outside is in response to a ritualistic chant detailed in my archives. To protect the secrets within the Temple, the chant will only work if spoken by the Rakata; No other species can create the proper intonations that will trigger shield deactivation."

Ni: "Prioritize making a copy of the ritual."

Computer: "Downloading codes to bypass exterior energy field surrounding Temple."

While many of these datapads have been lost to time, those that survive detail the breadth of the Infinite Empire: over 500 worlds, ten billion Rakata and over a trillion slaves. Another datapad details the plague that swept through the empire, perhaps bio-engineered, perhaps natural, that specifically targetted Rakata, and spread with virulence. But while fascinating for students of Pre-Republic history, such details are out of place in this record.

Ni chatted with a wide variety of Elders before leaving their enclave and proceeded to the front ramp of the Temple of the Ancients.

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Ni: "Jolee, Canderous, it's pondering time. I managed to get voice samples from at least ten different Rakata, and with the ritual on chip, I should be able to get us in. It'll take time, though. HK has an advanced vocabulator that should be able to get replicate the Rakatan tones, but it'll be trial and error until we figure it out precisely, and the ritual doesn't look short."

Bindo: "Helping the Elders or the One would be much faster, then."

Ni: "Right."

Ordo: "So what do you want from us?"

Ni: "I want your opinions. Who should we help?"

Ordo: "You said you'd help the One kill the Elders. You didn't make any such promise to the Elders. Simple choice."

Bindo: "On the other hand, they make the wookiees look peaceful, and they're aimed at galactic conquest. I'm not all that certain I want the Republic to be crushed by the Second Infinite Empire."

Ordo: "He's a petty warlord with delusions of grandeur!"

Ni: "That's what the Jedi Council said about Mandalore."

Ordo: "...then you might have a point."

Bindo: "I don't think we can spare the time it would take to get through the field by ourselves. I'm not saying either of them are good options, but we have to use one of them to get into the Temple."

Ni: "I'm just...hesitant about helping the Elders. Maybe it's just that they're ruled by a Council -"

Bindo: "- and you're thinking that they're too similar to the Jedi Council."

Ni: "Exactly. It's the same situation as it was with Mandalore. The Council is too terrified to act, and sits on all of its power instead of helping anyone. What have the Elders been doing, while the world fell to pieces around them?"

Bindo: "You sure you're not thinking too much like Revan?"

Ni: "I... I don't know. I can't think straight. I keep feeling Bastila and... I..."

Ordo: "Jan. Revan. Wherever you lead, I'll follow. But you have to lead. What are we doing?"

Ni: "... Here's the plan..."
VotingOnce again, I'm giving three options, because I'm generous like that. Jan can:

a) Kill the Elders, use the One to get inside the Temple, disable the diruptor field, kill the One and his men and high-tail it for space.

b) Break Revan's oath to the One, rescue the Elder prisoner (probably killing the One and his men in the process) and use the Elders to get into the Temple. From there, Jan can either:
1) Leave the Elders to stew in the ashes of their race, or
2) Eliminate even the possibility of the Infinite Empire ever rising again.

c) Make it into the temple on our own, using HK's vocabulatory and the records of the ritual. Probably the most time consuming; the Republic fleet may be crashing as shut down the disruptor field. Not actually part of the game, but when has that stopped me before?

I'll be taking votes until Friday, 3/4/11, around 4pm board-time (2pm Central). Vote early, vote often! (Actually don't, since we have rules about that).
Commentary My commentary is a little sparse because of the sheer size of this update. I actually cut a quest (and a few more repitions of Rakatan history), and it's still absurdly long. Want to know why I cut the quest? Because it affirms that Force affinity is something genetic. The Elders are trying to find the Force sensitivity gene so they can enter the Temple again. The One is Force Sensitive. But strangely enough, they need a biopsy, not an autopsy. So you can't just kill the One and take his head. I don't mind it when they try to bring more science into Star Wars, at least in theory. The problem is that the very first thing everyone tries to do is explain the Force. And that is what I dislike. My idea of magic, and by extension the Force, is that it is not scientifically repeatable. Oh, sure, the components for fireball remain the same, but the effect isn't exactly the same every time. One mage may create fireballs that have a pressure wave, and another's don't. Where one mage throws a Melf's Acid Arrow, another throws Felf's Basic Bolt]/i]. This one summons energy from the Ocean Infrigida for her [i]cone of cold, where this one does it by sucking ambient head out the area. Having a Grand Unifying Theory for Magic kinda of ruins the whole mystery of it. In any case, it turns out that you can't get a genetic sample from the One, so you have to go pick up the Rakatan Genome Project from the Temple and give it to them. Yeah. I believe Jan's response here sums up my feelings of the quest:

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I'm also cutting a quest where one of the One's warriors asks you to bring him the head of the Mandalorian captain Jan diced earlier in the episode, so he can eat it and gain his knowledge. Cargo Cults (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult) and Kuru (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuru_(disease)), anyone? A few months ago, I just couldn't get away from those two things. Every piece of media that I picked up contained references. It was maddening.

Yeah, they don't actually explain why the rancor back on Taris was actually rancor size and these are dinky little ones. I mean, they're maybe ten feet tall unslouched. That's barely terentatek size. They also aren't all-but immune to force powers like terentatek. It's always a bit disconcerting when you realize that rancors have become 'random' encounters.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/6191/end64.jpg

Arcanoi
2011-03-02, 11:33 PM
This is also the site of the of the most ridiculous Auto-TPKs in any game ever. If you simply answer 'The One sent me' at the Elder's lightning wall, it auto-kills you. Fun times, especially if you haven't saved in a while.

The_Werebear
2011-03-03, 12:34 AM
I'll go ahead and cast the first vote here.

I call on Jan to do the right thing, and completely ignore the given plot of the game in favor of a third option. Jan should have HK defile the sacred ritual while the Elder's sit on their hands and the One's forces kill themselves on the Elder's lightning field.

Lose-Lose for those Rakatan bastards.

BladeofOblivion
2011-03-03, 01:17 AM
I'll go ahead and cast the first vote here.

I call on Jan to do the right thing, and completely ignore the given plot of the game in favor of a third option. Jan should have HK defile the sacred ritual while the Elder's sit on their hands and the One's forces kill themselves on the Elder's lightning field.

Lose-Lose for those Rakatan bastards.

This is, by far, the best option. Since both groups are in the Wrong one way or another, why help either? It's just the game giving you another Good/Evil choice for the heck of it.

Also, about Rancors being random encounters, don't forget that this is the same planet where the Backwater Natives are 15th Level Fighters.

FlyingScanian
2011-03-03, 03:01 AM
This is also the site of the of the most ridiculous Auto-TPKs in any game ever. If you simply answer 'The One sent me' at the Elder's lightning wall, it auto-kills you. Fun times, especially if you haven't saved in a while.

It's called "Smite Stupid" :smalltongue:

"Hi, I come from your number one enemy, who has sworn to kill you." "Oh, you want to kill me now?"

As for voting: I'd say lets help the elders (as to whether or not they should then be preemptively killed... I dunno). Removing the One is probably a wise move, to try and keep stability.

The_Snark
2011-03-03, 03:55 AM
Yeah, they don't actually explain why the rancor back on Taris was actually rancor size and these are dinky little ones. I mean, they're maybe ten feet tall unslouched. That's barely terentatek size.

Your explanation's a pretty good one, though. Island dwarfism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insular_dwarfism) is a known phenomenon, and small populations in new environments are rather prone to genetic drift. Birds often lose the ability to fly quite rapidly, thousands of years

As for voting... I think I'll say B. Partly because I can never bring myself to take the evil path in games, but also because the Elders strike me as relatively inoffensive. Sure, they aren't doing much to help bring their people out of barbarism, and their unwillingness to fight the One is more than a little jarring when you realize that they've basically asked you to do it so that they can keep their hands clean. They say they'd like it solved non-violently, but they admit up front that they don't think it'll happen.

Still, at the end of the day, only one party here is torturing a person to death. Save someone from a hideous death, get rid of a would-be galactic conqueror, and get where you're going faster. There doesn't seem to be a downside to me.

The One deserves to be killed for terminal gullibility, if nothing else. At least the Elders show token skepticism when you claim you're not going to betray them exactly the same way you did last time.

kamikasei
2011-03-03, 05:48 AM
Hmmm. I don't see much value in keeping your oath to the One if you have to immediately kill him anyway. If you're going to betray him, might as well do it while helping out the Elders. So, I'm voting B1.

You know, 500 planets and ten billion Rakata doesn't seem all that Infinite. Are those figures from the game, or your own invention? How do they compare to canon information on the size of the Republic, or the Empire?

Cogwheel
2011-03-03, 06:20 AM
You know, 500 planets and ten billion Rakata doesn't seem all that Infinite. Are those figures from the game, or your own invention? How do they compare to canon information on the size of the Republic, or the Empire?

Honestly, looking at the population of Earth, ten billion across 500 planets is a joke in any case. It's... odd.


Also, I vote for what Werebear said, failing a peaceful resolution (reconciling the two factions).

kamikasei
2011-03-03, 06:41 AM
Honestly, looking at the population of Earth, ten billion across 500 planets is a joke in any case. It's... odd.
And a trillion slaves, don't forget. That's two billion slaves per planet, which is more sensible, and a ratio of 100 slaves for every Rakata. If the Rakata are all effectively aristocracy that makes (some) sense. It just still doesn't seem nearly so large as I'd expect from a galaxy-spanning empire, so I wonder if the Infinite Empire isn't supposed to have been bigger or more powerful than the Republic but just highly egotistical, or if this is a case of sci-fi writers having no sense of scale. (Or hey, maybe densely-habitable worlds are less common in the SW galaxy than I'd assumed.)

Admiral Harkov
2011-03-03, 06:59 AM
If Ni fears an invasion, the side to fear isn't the savage The One tribe that won't gain anything and at best they'd have to resort to jump really high with big sticks, but those Elders that babble about forgetting and destroying all that but that are workin on eugenetic program and working with the aim of recovering a piece of what all that ancient knowledge was, as is the Force.

So, I vote D (C2): Use HK's vocabulator, then leave a nuke for The One explaining him that by setting it in front of the elder enclave will solve his problems. Or give it to the Elders and explain them that by laying it close enough to The Ones enclave will create a pacifying wave. Then BOOOM!, both tribes wiped out by their own stupidity. But I'm afraid Jan didn't bring any such nuke. So, it's just bomb it from orbit in the fleet's way back.

Amen to your commentary.

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-03, 12:25 PM
You know, 500 planets and ten billion Rakata doesn't seem all that Infinite. Are those figures from the game, or your own invention? How do they compare to canon information on the size of the Republic, or the Empire?

It's the game's figure, not mine.

As of the Imperial era, the population of Coruscant alone was one trillion permanent ground residents, without counting transients, space stations, etc. Can't find any data for the Republic or the Empire as a whole. By way of contrast, Terra's population just before the Black Death (early 14th century) is estimated at 450 million, hit around 1.2 billion in 1900 and we're sitting at about 6.9 billion at the moment.

Assuming vaguely humanlike population growth (not a bad assumption, since the Rakata enslaved humans, and Sand People might be humans), we're looking a few options.

A) The Rakata enslaved populations at around our tech level, and distributed them over three or four uninhabited worlds in order to keep them subdued. This is consistent with humanity's early spread over the galaxy.

B) The Rakata enslaved worlds just leaving their industrial revolutions.

Of course, they probably did both. 500 worlds with one trillion slaves isn't too unreasonable. And remember, that you're unlikely to find more than one habitable planet per system, so that's probably more like 500 solar systems. Is this figure including mining planets like Kessel, which don't have a native population?

10 billion Rakata... yeah, this is pretty low. But we have no idea what their birth-rates look like, and I've brought up the idea that they may be physically immortal. Combined with a meritocratic society where everyone who doesn't contribute is eaten, and maybe 20 million per planet is doable. Remember, they effectively don't have a common population. Everyone is an administrator (of their slaves), a commander (of their Star Forged droids) and maybe a scientist. Starting to see where the warlordism comes in? You throw a bunch of independent personalities with armies on the same planet, and things are going to go boom.

At least it's not 'six million units' of clone troopers.

Squark
2011-03-03, 03:02 PM
I vote b)3) Try your hardest to bring about peace. I never figured out if you could negotiate something resembling such a thing, but It's worth a try.


Really, the clone army period doesn't make sense no matter what number you use. If you use a small number, then there probably aren't even 300 clone troopers per planet, which is stupid. If you use a big number, then logistics comes into play- Kamino is a planet-wide ocean with only, say, a couple hundred platforms to raise clone troopers on (And by the looks of things, the platforms are barely more than a few kilometers long). Where did they get the resources to feed trillions of clones? For that matter, where did they get the space to store these clones, assuming you have said trillions of clones training every day. Kamino doesn't have any orbital platforms, so where on earth do you store an army larger than the population of the Earth?

Cogwheel
2011-03-03, 03:19 PM
I vote b)3) Try your hardest to bring about peace. I never figured out if you could negotiate something resembling such a thing, but It's worth a try.


Really, the clone army period doesn't make sense no matter what number you use. If you use a small number, then there probably aren't even 300 clone troopers per planet, which is stupid. If you use a big number, then logistics comes into play- Kamino is a planet-wide ocean with only, say, a couple hundred platforms to raise clone troopers on (And by the looks of things, the platforms are barely more than a few kilometers long). Where did they get the resources to feed trillions of clones? For that matter, where did they get the space to store these clones, assuming you have said trillions of clones training every day. Kamino doesn't have any orbital platforms, so where on earth do you store an army larger than the population of the Earth?

I have three words for you, at least to explain the space and food issues.

Bag. Of. Holding.

Squark
2011-03-03, 07:49 PM
In Star Wars? :smallconfused: Besides, the food would still have to be replenished, and without any sort of farm to grow it, Kamino would have to have tons upon tons of incoming ships, which would make it nigh-impossible to disappear.

Cogwheel
2011-03-03, 08:07 PM
In Star Wars?

Why not? Every other fantasy setting has something like it, at least for game adaptations :smalltongue:

Oh, I'm sorry, you thought it was science fiction?

Coidzor
2011-03-04, 12:11 AM
This is also the site of the of the most ridiculous Auto-TPKs in any game ever. If you simply answer 'The One sent me' at the Elder's lightning wall, it auto-kills you. Fun times, especially if you haven't saved in a while.

End-game without frequent saving? :smallconfused:

ed: I'm just continually surprised that they went with a water world where the ocean was completely useless for food or space. I guess they decided it'd be too similar to the Mon Calamari.

I vote for The One.

Arcanoi
2011-03-04, 01:19 AM
It's called "Smite Stupid" :smalltongue:

"Hi, I come from your number one enemy, who has sworn to kill you." "Oh, you want to kill me now?"

Alternatively, "Hi, I come from your number one enemy who has never tried to discuss anything with you except the finer points of stabbing you with a Rancor, and I want to talk."

Not to mention, you are the most powerful jedi/sith in the galaxy, and you get instant death from some random lightning wall. You'd think if the Elder's Enclave had it, so would the Star Forge, the seat of the Rakata's power and influence, neh?


End-game without frequent saving? :smallconfused:


I was 12! I was new to RPGs and had never really played a difficult game that actually needed constant saving! Combined with a corrupted auto-save file, I was shot back all the way to Naga Sadow's tomb on Korriban! :smallfrown:

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-04, 08:13 PM
We interrupt your regular programming to bring you a special message from Supreme Chancellor (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Supreme_chancellor) Palpatine, as he addressed the Galactic Senate.

Palpatine: "I am here, Senators, to tell you of a horrible deed. The Jedi Council, hungry for power, attempted to have me assassinated. They planned to seize control of the government in the chaos. Their coup was defeated by my ally Lord Vader, and clone troopers have neutralized the Jedi presence on Coruscant. Orders have gone out to all forces to detain all Jedi as traitors. Reports are coming in of Jedi attempting to assume total control over our military. Our brave men in the service have resisted the attempts, but many Jedi have escaped by cutting their way through our soldiers."

Palpatine: "However, I am also here to tell you of a great deed. Our soldiers on Upatu have dealt with General Grevious, and Lord Vader has decapitated the Separatist movement by destroying their remaining leadership."

Palpatine: "THE WAR IS OVER! The Separatists have been defeated, and the Jedi rebellion has been foiled. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning!"

There is a long period of applause. When it quiets, Palpatine continues.

Palpatine: "In order to ensure our security and continued stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for ten thousand years! An empire that will continue to be ruled by this sugust body, and a sovereign ruler chosen for life. An empire ruled by a new constitution!"

The Senate went on to unanimously elected Supreme Chancellor Palpatine as Emperor, and the government change-over is even now in effect.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyuzJ2o776U&feature=related))
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http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/2930/i653.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 65 http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/3856/651vn.jpg

Ni: "Let's go to the Ebon Hawk. I need more datapads, and we need to get HK and T3."

Ordo: "Why do we need the slicer?"

Ni: "He's got more raw computing power than HK. He'll be able to give us the tones for the ritual faster. I should probably also rig up a few vocabulators in an array, I'm not sure if HK's can handle multi-tonality."

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Returning to the ship, the droids were put to work analyzing the ritual. Ordo and Onasi ventured into the crashed Republic cruiser, but Onasi's journal is thin on details, for once. They found the droid bay, but like the rest of the ship, it was nearly stripped bare. Bindo and Juhani explored other wrecks for droid parts, while Ni, Vao and Zaalbar set about constructing an array of speakers and vocabulators for the ritual.

...

T3-M4: "Deeet-dwooot!"

Ni: "There's an injunction about only one person being allowed to enter the Temple at a time? Does it say anything about penalties for not obeying that rule?"

T3-M4: "Beeep-dwooot..."

Ni: "Just vague warnings, huh? We may as well play it safe, though."

...

HK-47: "Statement: Master, I believe I am ready for the ritual."

Ni: "Great. We just finished. Mission, Zaalbar: watch the ship. I guess the others got delayed hunting for salvage. Maybe they're fighting off Rakata. Be ready for hostiles."

Vao: "Got it."

Zaalbar: "The fleet will arrive soon; you must hurry. Don't worry; we will keep the ship safe."

Ni: "Stabilizers installed yet?"

Vao: "Not yet."

Ni: "Do as much work as you can. Watch out for the Rakata. T3, HK, let's go."

...

Ni's records of the ritual are not extant. However, back in the Ebon Hawk, Ordo and Onasi had returned, and were occupied with Zaalbar in lifting the stabilizers into position. Vao was poised to make the connections when the ship's com buzzed.

Onasi: "Of all the times - Mission, answer that on the bridge. It's got to be the Fleet. Warn them off!"

We have the following conversation from the data logs of the Republic scoutship Osprey. The Communications Officer was one Albret Macache, originally from Caridia, and trained at the Academy there.

Macache: "This is Ospey, calling the Ebon Hawk. Respond, Hawk."

Vao: "Ummm, hi!"

Macache: "Who in the Maw is this? Get off the com, kid, I need to talk to Lieutenant Onasi."

Vao: "He's, uh, kinda busy at the moment But -"

Macache: "Then get him. I don't have time to talk to teenagers."

Vao: "Will you just -"

Macache: "Kid, you're interfering with a vital mission here. Get Onasi. Now."

Vao: "Fine. I'll just let you crash, then."

Macache: "...what?"

Vao: "There's a disruptor field around the whole system, you idiot! You have to get back and warn the fleet not to jump in until we shut it down!"

Macache: "CAPTAIN!!"

Immediately thereafter, the communication system on the Osprey surged and died. Our records from the ship reveal a tense scene. The Osprey had straying into the farthest reaches of the disruptor field, and system after system failed as the scout ship spun about and made for an escape point. It was an amazing feat of engineering and jury-rigging that enabled the Osprey to escape, as documented not only in the data logs of the Osprey, but in the recollections of her crew, recently re-released as Flying With One Wing (Rigovian University Publishing (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rigovian_Technical_University)).

Vao: "CARTH!!"

Onasi: "What?!"

Vao: "That was one of the Republic scouts! I warned them off, but then their coms blew! I don't know if they go away or not."

Ordo: "Would've been the deployment scout. Make sure the jump area is clear. We've got a half hour, maybe an hour."

Onasi: "And Jan's going to go in alone. I don't think we have the time for her to do that anymore. (Over comlink) "Jolee!"

Bindo: "Yeah?"

Onasi: "We've run out of time. Get to the Temple and tell Jan that the Fleet's going to be dropping in within the hour."

Bindo: "On our way."

While the Ebon Hawk is a flurry of activity, HK-47, T3-M4 and the vocabulatory array have been chanting ultra- and sub-sonic pitches for the better part of two hours.

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Bindo: "The Republic fleet is on the way and we're stuck on this planet until we deactivate that disruptor field."

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Ni: "T3, is there any reason we need the pauses between intonations? Could you just do it as a rapid burst?"

T3-M4: "Durrrr-whooop!"

Ni: "Okay, okay, I was just asking! Ten minutes, he says."

...

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Ni: "The hole won't last long! Go go go!" Bindo adds: See how well you run at my age, you whippersnapper.

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...

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Aboard the Star Forge, Commander Hastal of the Crusader forces approached Malak with a report. He would later record the incident in

Hastal: "Lord Malak, the Star Forge is operating at nearly 300% of our projections. The build-up should be completed within the day. The fleet is assembling around the Star Forge, and awaits you instructions."

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Hastal supplies for us a visceral image of Malak's disfigurement. While the commonly accepted explanation is injuries sustained during the Mandalorian Wars, there is at least one source that claims that Revan herself took Malak's jaw, as the price of disobeying her. However, this source is one preserved by the Jedi Council, and the author, a fomer Padawan by the name of Carrick, notes that it is only rumor, and is not in keeping with Revan's method of leadership. It does, however, seem to fit one of Revan's generals, who often presided over battles that ended in horrible mutual destruction. Carrick is careful to add, however, that the rumor is unusally persistent, which lends some credence to it.

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Malak: "Then, we shall begin our final conquest of the Core Worlds, and the Republic will be crushed forever. Until the fleet is completely assembled, do not trouble me with status updates."

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Ni: "Jolee, Juhani. He's mine."

Juhani: "Make it quick."

Ni: "Don't worry. he's gizka-bait (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dun_M%C3%B6ch)."

Carnate: "I am Darth Carnate! I intensified my training ten fold in the hopes I would get the chance to face you in mortal combat! I am glad to see my training has not been in vain."

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Ni: "You were the puppy that was lusting after me, weren't you?"

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Ni: "I can't believe you fell for that."

Carnate: "Insufferable wench!"

Ni: "Good, you've gotten over me."

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Bindo describes the specifics of Ni's maneuver here. Having parried with one sword, she drove the other under Carnate's guard.

Ni: "Ask yourself, Carn. Was turning to the dark side worth it? Did it embrace you in all the ways I never would?"

Carnate: "...you..."

He toppled off of Ni's sword.

Bindo: "Jan -"

Ni: "I... I can feel the wrongness of this place. It's everwhere, lurking at the corner of my eyes ...Come on. We have to shut down the disruptor field."

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Finally, Ni found a computer console and activate it.

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Ni: "I almost was. But I'm hard to kill."

Computer: "An obvious conclusion, given your presence here. However, my sensory input systems are detecting some significant changes in your mental state since your last visit. Your neurological patterns exhibit subtle yet substantive alterations in both thought patterns and information processing. These changes have been noted and recorded in my database."

Ni: "Tell me about your database."

Computer: "I am a completely self-sufficient, autonomous, interactive database constructed by the Rakata to record and store the entire history of the species. However, since the collapse of the Infinite Empire there have been few events worth recording, and nobody has sought to access the information stored within my database... until you came along. But to my systems' ability to monitor and repair themselves, you will find all the data within my archives has remained fully intact. Please choose the topic you wish information on."

Ni: "Tell me about the Star Forge."

Juhani: "Jan, we don't have time!"

Ni: "Going in blind is more dangerous."

Computer: "The Star Forge was constructed during the apex of the Infinite Empire's power. A true technological marvel, it is an enormous space station that serves as both factory and battle dreadnaught. It can mass produce immense fleets with a minimum of time and resources. In addition, it shares much of the same technology used in my own construction."

Ni: "Expand on that point."

Computer: "In many ways the Star Forge is a living entity. It feeds, it hungers, it draws on the energy flowing through all living things - what you called the Force the last time you were here. This ability to feed and consume the living energy of the Force is the key to the Star Forge's power, but ultimately it was also what led to the destruction of the Infinite Empire."

Ni: "How so?"

Computer: "The Rakata are by nature a cruel and savage species. The Star forge fueled itself with the hatred inherent in its own creators, and in doing so it accentuated these traits within the Builders. In your terminology, the Star Forge is a tool of the dark side. It corrupts those who use it so that it can generate greater and greater amounts of negative energy to fuel itself. The Rakata thought they were strong enough to control this effect, but they were wrong. They became victims of their own creation, and eventually their hatred turned them against each other. Civil war destroyed the Infinite Empire... a lesson to remember. Only one who is immensely strong in mind and will can harness the power of the Star Forge without suffering a similar fate." Bindo adds: That is one powerful lure. Who doesn't like to think that they're strong-minded and have a powerful will?

Ni: "Tell me about the disruptor field."

Computer: "The disruptor field was constructed as the Star Forge's primary defense against enemy attacks, and can only be deactivated from the upper levels of the Temple."

Ni: "We found a door we couldn't open. Is access to the upper levels there?"

Computer: "Indeed. My systems directly control those doors, allowing only those who are worthy of the Rakatan legacy to pass. The last time you were here, Revan, I unsealed the doors for you."

Ni: "And now?"

Computer: "I have updated my databases to recognize the new configurations in your mind, Revan. The doors to the upper levels will once again open for you."

Ni: "I need you to download schematics of all the advanced technology in your archives on these datapads, along with the science behind them."

Computer: "Unnecessary. The datapad I have just produced contains the data you asked for and more. I would ask you not to lose this copy, though."

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Shan: "Escape? You don't understand. I have sworn allegiance to Lord Malak; I am no longer a pawn of the Jedi Council."
Voting Okay, this is the penultimate vote point, and it's the one that matters the most on the personal level. Unlike all the other times, our choice is completely binary (well, not really, but there is no way in the Maw that Jan is going to kill Bastila).

Does Jan stick by the puppeteers of the Jedi Council, and try to bring Bastila back with her? (Redeem option)

Or does Jan embrace Revan again, break her chains and let the Force free her? (Revanchism option)

Voting is open until Monday, March 7th, at around 4pm board-time.

Illuminate the Hidden One.
Statement from the Imperial Censorship BureauIn the interest of the Empire, we cast two votes for Revanchism. That'll show those Jedi what for!
Commentary The votes were evenly tied for 'help the Elders' and 'do it ourselves.' However, Squark wanted a peaceful solution while siding with the Elders, which there isn't. The prisoner is locked in one of the rancor pens (how is he not being eaten?), and there's a little lever to open the pens. However, when you pull it...

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/9274/65c1.jpg

The pens themselves are obviously locked/too heavy to lift, etc. Which means that the only way to actually get the cages open is to tell the One that you refuse to help him. That's assuming you get that far. Excepting the occasional bug (which I stumbled across), you're confronted by the guards at front, who accuse you of being in the service of the Elders, and attack.

So since peace isn't an option (the only way it might work is if you could manage to talk to the loremasters, and that's just an idea), I decided to use the platform of 'pike the Rakata.'

Last things to consider while you're voting:
1) This doesn't determine anything about the Star Forge. Pike the Star Forge, this is about Bastila.
2) Jan's standing in a dark side nexus, force bonded to a woman she loves who has turned to the dark side.
3) Jolee's last words of wisdom:

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Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/750/end65.jpg

FlyingScanian
2011-03-05, 04:57 AM
I would have to say, go with the redemption option. Ni has seen what happens when she chooses Revan (and also because what happens a bit later if you go with the dark option sickens me). Sure, power is nice and all that, but sometimes, a bit of stability is a good idea (the fact that our new Emperor supports the other option... why hello officer. No, nothing att all.)

Admiral Harkov
2011-03-05, 06:55 AM
But I want to kill Bastila! I hate her!.

I vote redemption, in one hand, what says FlyingScanian (minus whatever happens after), in the other, if it's love, one part of it includes a degree of sorta possession, and in the situation the feelings inside would dictate that the darkness in Bastila is the expression of Malak's dominance over her, so she'd be Malak's, while redemption would mean snatch her from Malak, so the choice would not be as much dark side versus light side but conceding Bastila to Malak or gaining her.

The_Werebear
2011-03-05, 12:04 PM
Y'know, with the whole dark side nexus thing going on, I was gonna say cave once more. But the point with Bindo stands. I think at this point, Jan has too much invested in stopping Malak, too much trust in Jolee, and is standing next to an example of someone who was redeemed from the dark side. I can't see her doing anything but trying as hard as she can to win Bastila back.

Flying Elephant
2011-03-05, 02:17 PM
I vote for trying to redeem Bastila, for pretty much the same reasons as everyone else.

Clintodon
2011-03-05, 02:23 PM
My vote is for "Redeem, but for Bastila's sake - the Jedi Council can pike itself with a halberd!"

Jan's getting major Dark Side influence from Bastila's connection and the temple, but she's also just gotten a good reminder of how the Star Forge messed up an entire race. I've always thought of Jan/Revan as a long-term planner, a strategist. Malak's the one who goes for short-term objectives with methods that fail in the long term. (Dark Side = more arrogance = more stupidity. Don't update me on the battle situation, hmmm? And, of course, there's the spirit of Ajunta Pall and his account of what happened to the Sith he was with. The Dark Side seems to come with backstabbing already built in, which is NOT a good way to build a stable organization at ANY level.)

Besides, with the Dark Side trying to influence Jan and Malak messing with Bastila against her will, I'm expecting that Jan is in a mood to oppose any agreement with/submission to either. You want to mess with me and the one I love? Pike you!

(Of course, that gets into the "Anger leads to the Dark Side", but I've always thought that both the Dark and Light Side-ers were weird on handling emotions. Light Side wants to stifle or kill them, Dark Side wants to let them run loose. What about feeling the emotion, acknowledging it, but staying in control of it? You don't kill the emotion of fear, you acknowledge it and then do what you need to do anyway. If that's what the Jedi actually call for then I'm completely off base, but the impression I always got was of the Jedi trying to clamp down on their emotions, and the backlash of trying to shut down everything making it easy for the Jedi to give in to emotional excess and going to the Dark Side.)

tl;dr It seems like the Dark Side follows the Id (I want what I want now, pike the consequences!), the Light Side follows the Superego (You need to behave like THIS, even thoughts of deviation are BAD!), and they're both in desperate need of an Ego medium (OK, this is what I want to do, this is what I should do, here's the best course of action to fit both of these). Anyone else get this impression, or am I completely missing something? :smalltongue:

Admiral Harkov
2011-03-05, 06:16 PM
I can very well see it.

I would say the jedi ideal is... C3PO. Were it not because of all his cowardice. Ok, let's put it this way, the god of the Force is Bill Gates because he's the maker of the ideal.

Fayd
2011-03-06, 10:16 AM
I vote redemption.

kamikasei
2011-03-06, 02:34 PM
I also vote redemption.

chiasaur11
2011-03-06, 05:17 PM
No sabers of red, and you ruled out dead.

I guess that leaves redemption.

Squark
2011-03-06, 05:33 PM
Where it not for the ICB, I think the vote would be unanimous. Redeem Bastilla.

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-07, 07:57 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6VKmn31z-w&feature=related))
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TranslationImperial Star Destroyer

The Imperial Star Destroyer made here at the Kuat Drive Yards represents the finest ship ever built. From the massive weapon systems to the immense capacity to hold troops, support vessels and supplies, this Star Destroyer will provide all the destructive power you will ever need.

Take advantage of our current 'Buy one, get one free' deal.

Kuat Drive Yards
http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/4128/sienar.jpg
TranslationTIE Bomber on the Assembly Line

Ships in the Imperial can outrun the most agile X-Wing and blow it out of the sky. Bring your own life support system!

Sienar Fleet Systems produces the finest ships in the Fleet. From the TIE Bomber to the classic TIE Fighter, we are the finest in weapons and maneuverability.

Sienar Fleet Systems

Long live the Imperials!
... to the Galactic Empire.

Episode 66 http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/7707/galacticempire.png

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Commentary CENSORED BY THE IMPERIAL CENSORSHIP BUREAU. YOUR TRAITOROUS VOTING WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN. DEMOCRACY IS FRAGRANT. LIBERTY IS ODIOUS. FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS OBJECTIONABLE. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMV4oGzxu7g) HUMAN WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10513102&postcount=884) (Imperial pin-ups in the Dungeons and Dreamboats thread).

Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/7416/starwarspropagandacliff.jpg

Cogwheel
2011-03-07, 08:29 PM
On one hand, I'm sold.

On the other hand, I hate how even the history channel has ads these days :smalltongue:

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-07, 10:39 PM
Welcome...http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/1903/anewhope.jpg
http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/2340/nevertellmetheodds.jpg
http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/2928/returnofthejedij.jpg... back.

In the years that followed, Holonet History was shut down by the Imperial Censorship Bureau for "attempting to air material that could be construed as an attack against the majesty of the Empire, by conflating the noble personage of the Emperor with that of the Jedi Successionist Malak, hinting that our Emperor was in cahoots with the unlamented Confederacy of Independent Systems to secure despotic control, and other related offenses (see attached)." Despite these efforts, many were inspired to take on Ni's name, most prominent among them our own Jan Ors (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jan_Ors), who played a part in the capture of the original Death Star plans.

However, history can be patient. Now, with the retaking of Coruscant by the New Republic, Holonet History is again broadcasting, from a newly refurbished studio, bringing you, our patient viewers, the history that the ICB tried to kill, that the Emperor was afraid of, and that now returns, in glorious color (as soon as the mechanics get around to repairing node twenty-two).

Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXcoM_AHuk8))
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http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/5492/i663.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 66http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/7103/661k.jpg

Ni: "A pawn."

Shan: "Surely you know what I mean, Revan. Look at what the Council did to you; they turned you into their puppet. The same thing they do to all who are truly strong in the Force. They speak of the dark side as if it were something to be feared. But in reality their only goal is to manipulate those who are strong in the Force. The fear of the dark side is a tool to maintain control."

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Shan: "Malak has shown me how the Jedi Council have been using me the same way they once tried to use you. They've been holding me back because they knew one day I would surpass them all."

Ni: "...Bastila..."

Shan: "I resisted at first. I endured his torments with the passionless serenity of a true Jedi, emptying my mind. But after a week of endless tortures I finally saw the truth. Malak forced me to acknowledge my anger and pain. He showed me the liberating power of these emotions. Then he made me see how the Jedi Council has denied me what is mine by right!"

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Shan: "They wanted me to bow and call them Master and follow their Code and obey their every order. But all the while they were exploiting my Battle Meditation for their own uses!"

Ni: "I am not the Council."

Shan: "But you are living their lie, Revan. The Jedi Council made you into something you are not; they programmed you to be their slave. You used to be Revan, Dark Lord of the Sith, but no longer. You are simply a pawn of the Jedi Council and the Republic they "serve"... like I was until Malak freed me from their shackles!"

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Shan: "With the power of the Star Forge, Malak will destroy the Republic and conquer the galaxy. And I will be the apprentice at his side - after I prove my worth by killing you!"

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Even among Jedi, the confrontation between Shan and her former companions was brief. Bindo notes that Juhani attacked with the fury of the Council, while Ni was reluctant to strike. By sheer reflex, though, Ni forced Shan to parry low, leaving Juhani make an attack to Shan's neck. Shan only just managed to avoid the blow, throwing all three of her opponents back with a hammer-blow of the Force.

Shan: "You are stronger than I would have thought possible, after what the Jedi Council did to you. Seems that Malak was wrong -"

Ni: "-He usually is-"

Shan: "-The power of the dark side is not lost to you after all, Revan."

Ni: "I'm getting very tired of telling everyone this, but my name is Jan Ni."

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Shan: "Remember: I was there when you nearly died in the trap set by the Jedi Council. I used the Force to preserve your life, Revan. We are forever linked by my actions on that bridge!"

Ni: "By your mercy, yes. And I'll use it to drag you back from the dark side. You want-" Bindo writes that here he felt the swirling of the Force around Ni to bend, felt an incredible weight of power being brought to bear, lasering in along the Force Bond, the desire to fall to one's knees and beg for forgiveness, to want to be loved.

Bindo: "Jan."

He writes, "She turned to look at me, and I saw that hurricane of Force gathering behind her eyes. Enough power to topple the Republic, to level mountains, to compel obedience, to force love. All I did was make her look at herself, to look at what she was going to do. Now, I'm not saying that it was easy, but your don't get as old as I am without being more stubborn than any youngster. And, thank the Force, her wits hadn't completely deserted her. She nodded at me, and turned back to Bastila."

Ni: "Come back to us."

Shan: "You are speaking as a tool of the Jedi Council - as I once did. But now I see how the Jedi used us both! The Council tried to exploit the bond between us. They hoped I would draw out your memories to lead them to the Star Forge. We were slaves to their will - like all who follow the Jedi Code!"

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Ni: "Then why serve under Malak?"

Shan: "You deserve to be the Dark Lord of the Sith, not Malak. I see this now. Together we can destroy your old apprentice. Join with me and reclaim your lost identity!"

Ni: "How could I reclaim an identity I barely remember?"

Shan: "Your mind was too badly damaged to ever fully restore your memories, Revan. But your power, your strength of will, the essence of who and what you are: those things still remain!"

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Shan: "You are beneath my contempt, Juhani. When you felt the power of the dark side you fled to a cave like some cowering animal! You know nothing of the Force or its potential! But you, Revan - the power of the dark side is yours to command! You can use it destroy Malak! With my help you could rule over the entire galaxy!"

Ni: "Commanding the greatest warriors in the galaxy, armed with the artifacts of a dead race, the Sith reborn with an invincible army, thanks to you."

Shan: "Yes! You see it!"

Ni: "I see that Malak has infected you with his idiotic ideas."

Shan: "You are a pathetic fool, Revan-"

Ni: "-Jan-"

Shan: "Together we could have defeated Malak and ruled over an empire, but now I will be at Lord Malak's side instead!"

Ni: "Under him, more likely."

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Ni: "Maw take it! We've got to follow her!"

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...

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Onasi: "You're back! What happened inside the Temple?"

Ni: "Found Bastila, fought Bastila and now we're chasing her back to the Star Forge. Malak turned her to the dark side. The disruptor field is down, so less talking and more pre-flight checks."

Onasi: "The dark side? Bastila? How could that happen?"

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Bindo: "This planet is a tainted place, the Star Forge and the Temple have twisted the Force into an instrument of evil - just as Malak has twisted Bastila into his servant."

Ni: "I can't help but feel this is my fault."

Bindo: "In the end we all choose our own path, but keep in mind the role that you played in her downfall. You and the task assigned to her by the Jedi Council."

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Ni: "None of which is going to happen if we don't get up there now! Talk as we're breaking orbit! Jolee, fill Carth in. I have something I need to do."

...

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Onasi: "Admiral Dodonna, this is Carth Onasi. We are receiving your transmission." Admiral Forn Dodonna, despite the sameness of name and profession, is actually of no relation to our own late Jan Dodonna (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jan_Dodonna), one of the finest strategists and tacticians of the early days of Rebellion.

Dodonna: "Carth, I'm glad to see you're still alive. We lost a few ships to the disruptor field before you shut it off. We've begun our assault on the Star Forge, but we're talking extremely heavy losses. How did the Crusaders ever manage to build something of this scope?!"

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Dodonna: "I don't know if we have the firepower to go up against this alien technology."

Onasi: "You can't do that, Admiral. The Star Forge isn't just a space station, it's a factory. It's been churning out the capital ships, snub fights and assault droids that have powered the Crusader war effort. You have to destroy it now or you'll be fighting an unending wave of reinforcements."

Dodonna: "Then I guess we have no choice. But it isn't going to be easy. I can't even get our capital ships into position to start bombarding the Star Forge. Their fleet is too well organized. It's like they can guess our every move and counter our every strategy."

Onasi: "It's because of Bastila, Admiral. She turned to the dark side and became Malak's apprentice. We suspect that she's somewhere on the Star Forge right now, using her Battle Meditation against you and your fleet."

Dodonna: "This is Master Vandar. A number of Jedi Knights have joined our fleet under his command."

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Dodonna: "How can we do that if she's on the space station?"

Tokare: "I will send a squadron of Jedi Knights to the Star Forge to find Bastila. Their small ships will be able to fly through the Crusader blockade and dock on the space station. If they can find Bastila, they may be able to distract her attention from the battle overhead. That should allow you to move you capital ships into position for a final assault on the Star Forge itself."

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Onasi: "Don't worry, Admiral. The Ebon Hawk and her crew are going to see this through to the end!"

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Onasi: "She will be, trust me."

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Commentary So, I was tempted to do the whole fake-out 'bad end first' deal, but a) that would take entirely too much effort and b) I don't much enjoy reading those, much less writing them. So instead, y'all got a fake update filled with Imperial propaganda.

You know, for as relatively open the game has been, it really starts to tighten up here. There are ultimately only two endings (well, two and a half, not counting ignoble death), and the game fairly well shunts you into them. For the curious, the dark side ending can end with your party selection screen looking like this:

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The mostly complete dark side ending will make an appearance in the appendices. But it's either hero of the galaxy or conquer the galaxy. There's no 'destroy the Star Forge and give the finger to the Council' ending. There's no 'destroy the Star Forge since it encourages Stupid Evil behavior' ending. You can't convince Bastila to join you on the Temple roof on any platform except 'we can rule the galaxy together!'

Really, most of Bastila's dialogue on the roof just jumps headlong onto the meglomania train, then fits rocket boosters on the side, cackling all the while. I tried to move Jan's dialogue out of the 'righteous train of righteousness, with her sister engines redemption and thickheadedness' vein, but Bastila's are pretty much unchanged. I mean, I looked, and there's nothing in there resembling:

Ni: "Bastila, shut up for a minute and let me monologue. I agree with you on the Jedi Council. They're a bunch of manipulative old men who deserve much more suffering than we could ever inflict on them. But there's no reason why Malak couldn't be telling you the truth about that - probably stole the lines I used to convert him, the hack - and be completely wrong about EVERYTHING ELSE!"

So in essence, there's no way to take something resembling Jolee's stance. There's also no way to take what I'll call 'the Kreia stance,' which is essentially the same, but with more nihilism. Speaking of KotOR 2, now's the time to start talking about what I'm doing next. I'm going to need a month or two off to, you know, finish my glorious college education, but after that...

Here's what I'm considering:

Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords: Restored Content Edition. Scorchy's (http://lparchive.org/Knights-of-the-Old-Republic-II/)done pretty much the definite version for showing off cut content, though, so mine would be the exploration of 'so what did they put back in?' and more of the character examination that Scorchy's light on.

Icewind Dale 1: There's already a LP of 2 (http://lparchive.org/Icewind-Dale-2/) up, but no one's touched the first one and the madness of its expansions. Because it's 'create your own party,' it would by default be a very different style.

I'd say Baldur's Gate Trilogy, but I can't get the first game to work on this computer, and I believe there have been more than one attempt at it already, both here and elsewhere. It's a long, long, long, long game.

Here's the screwball option: Neverwinter Nights. Either the original campaign, Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark, or some fan-created campaigns. Ideas include Adam Miller's Shadowlords/Dreamcatcher series (I don't think Demon is really required for the story arc) or a heavily edited version of [b]A Dance With Rogues, since there are some really good ideas underneath all the cybersex (honest). I'd do the Bastard of Kosigan series, but I don't read French, and the last two episodes haven't been translated yet. No reason for the rest of you to suffer with me. I'm open to suggestions here, of course. It's just more likely to be a blind play-through.

So... thoughts?
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/8720/end66.jpg

Cogwheel
2011-03-07, 10:57 PM
Have I said it yet? Not sure if I have. Oh well.

So far, this LP's been pretty great, though it's hard to tell at times if it's an LP or literary criticism with a side order of Tam The Super-Scholar. And I mean that in a good way :smalltongue:

I'd say go with KOTOR 2 next, which I can't seem to get working on my computer.

That, or alternatively, IWD (1 or 2). It's an awful, awful mess of a game story-wise, and I'm curious to see what you do with it.

Flying Elephant
2011-03-08, 12:04 AM
KOTOR 2, please! I love what you've done with the characters and your explanation of the setting and philosophy in Star Wars, and it would be great to see you build off it.

Coidzor
2011-03-08, 02:00 AM
Icewind Dale seems like it might be good

FlyingScanian
2011-03-08, 03:12 AM
I'm pretty much neutral as to what you do next. This LP has been awesome, and whichever game you do next, I'm willing to bet that that will be awesome too...

Klose_the_Sith
2011-03-08, 07:17 AM
Yeah, what they said. This LP (or whatever it is) has been brutally awesome. I'll back any future projects of yours that I see hanging about.

I'd like to see KOTOR 2, seeing as I haven't ever played KOTOR games on PC and thus have never seen restored content. I'm interested in seeing how you'd analyse a game I'd only be somewhat familiar with.

Admiral Harkov
2011-03-08, 07:10 PM
I take off my hat to you. *Records his own clapping, clones it a million times then play all them at once*

Great idea. I thought Holonet would have something to say about defining Darth Vader as a Sith Lord.

Regarding future LPs, I've loved this one and certainly would like very much so read one by you for kotor2.

Regarding the other games, Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale are games I haven't played and know nothing, though BGI has a great LP, interrupted near the end and I would prefer for that reason Icewind Dale to BG, though then it seems IWD is more about hack and slash than story, but I don't know whether that means too tricky game for a LP or much more potentiality to create something awesome. Judging by this LP I bet for awesomeness, though.

As for NWN, the OC of the original was very boring, I got bored already in the mid of the first chapter, I finished it just because I wanted to see the end, but it was mostly blind killing, beside it's kind of Kotor1 story in an earlier stage. What kotor1 does is take everything from NWN, reorder it and compress it. NWN would be like playing kotor again but adding thousand hours of mindless killing. Shadows of Undentride was much better, for one it was much shorter, which means they don't put hours upon hours of meaniingless slaughtering to live up to the "1000+ hours of gameplay" tag. But what would be the best with difference is A Dance with Rogues, indeed, there's a lot of great ideas there, it's the first module/RPG I'm able to enjoy replaying and didn't get me bored at any moment (kotors are the second), though I'm not much of a fan of the planar part of the second part.

So, I would say my preference, in decreasing order and with a score of 0-10, for next LP would be:

- KOTOR 2. 9.5

- A Dance with Rogues. 9.2

- Icewind Dale 1. 7.5

- Icewind Dale 2. 7.0 (not 7.5 because you say there's one of 2 but none of 1).

- BG - 5.1

- NWN SoU/Hotu: 5.0

- NWN OC: 1.0

The_Werebear
2011-03-09, 02:41 AM
I approve of the Fake out. My first thought was "aww, we broke it."

The_Final_Stand
2011-03-09, 03:38 AM
I wish to throw in a vote for KoToR 2. Seriously enjoyed the LP so far.

Fri
2011-03-09, 06:48 AM
a KOTOR 2 lp might be nice, but there's a problem with it. Tam might exhausts his starwars-ness, if forced to do yet another long running kotor lp straight after a long running kotor lp. There's only so much star wars trivia/philosophy you can write, you know?

kamikasei
2011-03-09, 07:17 AM
a KOTOR 2 lp might be nice, but there's a problem with it. Tam might exhausts his starwars-ness, if forced to do yet another long running kotor lp straight after a long running kotor lp. There's only so much star wars trivia/philosophy you can write, you know?
This is true. KotOR 2 would be my preference simply as a continuation of this excellent LP (and to see an attempt to hammer that game in to narrative completeness, by someone I think could do it well), but Tam may feel it'd give diminishing returns.

I think Shadows/Hordes would be my next preference for a relatively straight-faced treatment; I found both entertaining, more so than the NWN OC. A Dance With Rogues wins points just because I'm curious to see Tam try to improve on it. I don't know enough about BG or IWD to have much preference either way on them.

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-09, 09:37 PM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBuiD_Ft2bM))
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http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/9141/i673.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 67: Double-Sized Extravaganza! Ni: "Jolee, Canderous, with me. Carth, keep the engines hot. Juhani, HK, T3: see if you can't get control over the local defenses. Zaalbar, Mission: keep the ship clear and make sure everything's still in one piece. I thought we got grazed on our approach. May the Force be will you."

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This Jedi Knight's name was one of the casualties of Holonet's History's research being seized by the ICB. Bindo only describes her as "An eager young pup."

Knight: "If we don't stop Bastila from using her Battle Meditation the entire Republic fleet will be wiped out!"

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Knight: "We'll deal with these Crusaders - find Bastila! And hurry!

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During the assault, we have a fragmentary account of Ni having a vision.

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Shan: "Master, why have you summoned me? Without me there is a chance the Republic capital ships could break through and attack the Star Forge itself!"

Malak: "This will not take long, Bastila. You will be able to resume your Battle Meditation soon enough. I only wanted you to know that Revan is here on the Star Forge."

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Malak: "The Star Forge has drawn our enemies together so they may all die in a single, glorious day!"

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Shan: "Y-yes, Lord Malak."

Malak: "I sense your fear, Bastila. But it is unfounded. The power of the Star Forge will feed the dark side within you, it will give you the strength you need to defeat my old master. Stay here in the command center while you use your Battle Meditation against the Republic fleet. Revan will find you here in due time. It is inevitable."

Shan: "Of course, Master. I will not fail you again."

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...

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Ordo: "There are more coming."

Bindo: "We've got a few minutes until the next wave arrives."

Ni: "Then you've got time to answer one last question for me. Why did you leave the Jedi?"

Bindo: "Heh heh. Who said I left the Jedi?"

Ni: "You did. Or have you forgotten already?"

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Ni: "What do you mean?"

Bindo: "You know what I hate? Well... you kow, lots of things, really. But I'm old and easily annoyed. But that's beside the point. What I really hate are how most people view the Jedi. Everyone thinks that Jedi are perfect, that they can do no wrong. They think the Jedi Council is completely incapable of injustice."

Ni: "I certainly don't think that."

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Bindo: "And I'm not even talking about some some of us fall to the dark side. No, that's plenty indication of our fallibility, but it's something else entirely. No, I'm talking about how, more often than not, your average robe-wearing Jedi can try to do the right thing and still be completely wrong."

Ni: "So they wronged you?"

Bindo: "No, no. The Jedi always treated me well. It would be foolish and untrue to say otherwise. That's not what I meant, anyway. Come to think of it, I don't have to be clear. Someone my age is entitled to ramble, damnit. But for your sake I'll try to explain. I'll tell you a little tale about a Jedi Master I once knew. Hortath, I think. Or was it Hartoth? I could never get it straight..."

Ni: "Better make it fast. It looks like they're massing again."

Bindo: "Where was I, then? Oh. Oh, yes... Master Hortath. He was a kindly old Jedi who meant well, but the most near-sighted thing in the Core, I swear. He would walk into walls, knock over tables, mistake apprentices for rancor beasts... that sort of thing. And he was too proud to submit to proper treatment."

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Bindo: "He simply squinted more and more as the years went on, the other Jedi resignedly passing it off as the amusing quirk of a compassionate old man. So one day a young Padawan meets Master Hortath in the courtyard and, not kowing of his blindness, asks him for directions to the Council. Quite sure of himself, Hortath gave the lad directions... which happened to lead back outside and away from the enclave. The Padawan is confused, naturally. He asks if Master Hortath is sure, and of course Master Hortath says that he is. The Padawan suggest that perhaps he should ask someone else... but the proud Hortath now feels insulted. He tells the Padawan to take the route he prescribed and no other."

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Bindo: "It was decided that the boy's fate was to leave the Order anyway... though whether that was out of respect for Hortath or because the boy went on to something else, well, we'll never know."

Ni: "So what does the Padawan leaving the Jedi have to do with the Jedi leaving you?"

Bindo: "Not much. I never knew the Padawan nor met Master Hortath, himself. He was before my time."

Ni: "...Well now I'm completely lost."

Bindo: "The tale is about blindness and I thought the point was clear. At any rate, you think about it. Now clear out. We'll hold them here while you get to Bastila."

Ordo: "The battle we fight here will change the face of the galaxy. I'm your man until the end, whatever path you take. Now go rescue that Jedi princess again."

Ni: "Don't die."

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...

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Ni: "My name is Jan Ni. I'm here to rescue you."

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Shan: "Now you must pay the price. Here on the Star Forge the power of the dark side is at its strongest. This time you will not defeat me!"

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Shan: "I can't imagine the power you must have wielded when you were the Dark Lord. You were a fool to give it all up and follow the light side."

Ni: "I didn't give it up, Bastila. It was taken from me. But it's just a weapon, and I was a fool to let it control me. Like it's controlling you."

Shan: "The dark side has made me stronger than I ever was before! I have a greater command of the Force than all but the most powerful Jedi Masters. As Malak teaches me the greatest secrets of the Sith, I will unlock more of my potential. Eventually there will be no limit to what I can accomplish with the Force!"

Ni: "At which point you'll overthrow Malak and become the Dark Lord of the Sith yourself. You doom yourself to an endless, wasteful cycle."

Shan: "No, Revan, it is you who are doomed!"

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Ni: "Then take advantage of it, Bastila. Strike me down."

Shan: "What type of trick is this?"

Ni: "It's easy to kill in the heat of the moment. But we were comrades, friends, maybe something more. We meant something to each other."

Shan: "You place too much faith in what I used to be... and for that you shall pay!"

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Shan: "No, this is not possible! How can you still stand against me? Why can't I defeat you?"

Ni: "Because you know that what you're fighting on the wrong side."

Shan: "I... I am no match for you. Please, for the sake of what we once shared, do not make me suffer. End my life quickly. There is no other way."

Ni: "Stop thinking like a Jedi. There are always more than two options. I'm not going to kill you."

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Ni: "You let Revan live."

Shan: "No... I'm not strong enough. There is too much anger inside me now. Too much hatred and fear. I can no longer find peace in the Force."

Ni: "Use our bond, then. Draw strength from your friend."

Shan: "You... always had more strength than I did. I told you that. I felt so ... helpless before your destiny. You were Revan and I couldn't tell you - it was agonizing! Even worse when I began to... feel closer to you. I despised myself for it. And even now I... feel your strength. Thank you, I think I can face the end, now. If you are the one to end it for me."

Ni: "Maw take it, Bastila! I'm not going to kill you, or abandon you, or force you to do what I want! Where's that Jedi princess who wouldn't let me rescue her?"

Shan: "Malak killed her."

Ni: "Malak's an idiot. He'll destroy the enemy fleet and not touch their shipyards. He hurt you, but he's not good enough to have broken you."

Shan: "Even if he didn't, I have betrayed everything I ever believed in! How can I atone for that?"

Ni: "Help me. You can break the will of his fleet, make him doubt himself. Use the gift he feared to bring him down."

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Ni: "Because you're stronger than the dark side. It's just a weapon - it needs a hand to wield it."

Shan: "I could end your life and gain Malak's favor with a single stroke of my lightsaber."

Ni: "You won't. Because I love you, and Malak's favor isn't worth a bent-half cred-chip."

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Shan: "And... and you said you loved me. This may not be the best time to say it, but... I love you, too. With all my heart."

Ni: "Bastila..."

Shan: "You should go. Malak awaits. This isn't over, yet... for any of us."

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Commentary Malak does have scenes in there where he sends the battle droids and later all the Crusaders in the Star Forge at his former master and her allies. There is a nice exchange in there, right after Malak has been told that the droids failed because 'OMG REVAN!!!1!'

Alek Squinquargesimus: "Very well - send out all available troops. The apprentices, as well."

Hapless Apprentice: "Do you... do you think they can stop Revan, Lord Malak?"

Squinquargesimus: "Of course not! But they will slow Revan down. That will give me the time I need to fully prepare the Star Forge's defenses."

At long last, Malak shows an ounce of being genre savvyness (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GenreSavvy) (TV Tropes warning), having finally realized that throwing waves of minions at his former master is at best a form of ablative armor. Worse, it's an ablative armor that actually winds up making us better. Well, Canderous and Jolee, at least. Jan's been level twenty for some time now.

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While I'm on the subject of minor details: way way waaay back on the Endar Spire, there was an ensign named Trask Ulgo who narrated all the game mechanics and valiantly threw himself on a Crusader lightsaber to help Jan escape. Said Crusader was Malak's apprentice (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheDragon) (TV Tropes warning), Darth Bandon. In theory, Darth Bandon is supposed to be waiting for the PC after they find the third Star Map. I say in theory, because for Jan, he was certainly waiting in the Shadowlands...

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...but he didn't want to fight. Bugs aside, there are more problems with Darth Bandon. Let's go for the low-hanging fruit first. Darth Bandon? Sure, I can see how you could get 'Abandon' from that, but it's a lot easier to see Darth Brandon. And remember that Malak's name is self-contained with its meaning ('angel', and sorta-not-really 'jaw'), without relying on the 'Darth' to supply additional letters ('In-Sidious', 'In-Vader', 'In-Continent', 'In-Competent', 'In-Advisable', etc). So what else is wrong with Darth Bandon? For the first, he's got about as many lines as Darth Maul. And Maul, even with Ray Park's stellar fight-work, didn't quite make it all the way to respectable villain. Besides killing Ensign-Gameplay-Mechanics (for which many will thank him) and getting killed, he only shows up in one other scene. And his villainous deed for that scene? A bridge officer walks in front of him and Darth Bandon hurls the poor sap into a control console. That's not saying 'villain.' That's a toddler's temper tantrum with Force powers. By contrast, Malak's cutscenes have him order the orbital bombardment of a ecumenopolis to kill one person. As a villain, Darth Bandon just has nothing to support himself. And the obvious solution: to have him in charge of the Taris attack, just takes away from Malak's screen-time.

One of the things I've been trying to do is not only show how KotOR occasionally falls flat, but offer ways to improve it. And there are two main ways to do it. The first is what I did in this LP, and just cut him entirely. It increases Malak's stature by not making him reliant on others, it sets him as a bit of an aberration among the Star Wars villains by not being a master or an apprentice anymore. And if the game emphasizes that second point, that he hasn't found a worthy apprentice yet, and the player is made to understand how high his standards are, it makes Bastila becoming his apprentice that much more intimidating.

The alternative, of course, is to increase Darth Bandon's role (and apply for a name change). As Malak is Revan's enemy, make Darth not-Bandon into (for me) Jan's enemy. He's hunting for Bastila in the Undercity, and are prevented from fighting by a horde of rakghouls. He's visiting the Crusader embassy on Manaan, and just barely escapes with his life. He's a rival attempting to become Malak's apprentice on Korriban (assuming that you change the Academy to actually make sense). And finally, you fight him in the Temple of the Ancients, trying to feint and make the player think that he's the final boss of the area. And then you throw Bastila at them.

With regards to the next LP: I'll probably won't start until May, so that gives me plenty of time to come up with new trivia for Star Wars. The idea was to have students at the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV to be listening to the Exile's holocron.

Also, is anyone else seeing a more than passing resemblance between Admiral Forn Dodonna's uniform and that of a certain officer of the Manticoran Space Navy?
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So, for the last vote. If y'all had gone for dark side ending, this would be whether or not to keep the Star Forge. Since y'all decided to not let power go to Jan's head, against the wishes of the ICB, the choice is a bit different. Basically, the ending as written assumes full support of the Jedi Council. So, the question is whether to just let that run, as the canon that I've already shanked and left bleeding says, or whether to go for something else. From how the last vote went, I can pretty well guess what way the votes will swing, which is why I'm not going to the trouble of getting all formal-like.

Support the Jedi Council, yes or no?
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/2982/end67.jpg

Cogwheel
2011-03-09, 09:55 PM
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That, uh... wow. Is that a lightsaber?


Also: Never mind the Jedi council. Bunch of idiots.

Mobius Twist
2011-03-10, 02:06 AM
That, uh... wow. Is that a lightsaber?

Jan's getting hit with a life drain from off-screen.

Also a screw-the-council vote. Let's see where you go with it.

Cogwheel
2011-03-10, 02:12 AM
Jan's getting hit with a life drain from off-screen.

Also a screw-the-council vote. Let's see where you go with it.

Oh, okay. I thought a lightsaber effect went all weird. That's almost reassuring.

kamikasei
2011-03-10, 05:12 AM
Malak does have scenes in there where he sends the battle droids and later all the Crusaders in the Star Forge at his former master and her allies. There is a nice exchange in there, right after Malak has been told that the droids failed because 'OMG REVAN!!!1!'

Alek Squinquargesimus: "Very well - send out all available troops. The apprentices, as well."

Hapless Apprentice: "Do you... do you think they can stop Revan, Lord Malak?"

Squinquargesimus: "Of course not! But they will slow Revan down. That will give me the time I need to fully prepare the Star Forge's defenses."
That was one of my favourite bits in the entire game. I confess I may have cackled maniacally a bit.

Also,

Alek Squinquargesimus
Now that's just mean, man.

Also, is anyone else seeing a more than passing resemblance between Admiral Forn Dodonna's uniform and that of a certain officer of the Manticoran Space Navy?
http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080304041220/honorverse/images/archive/5/59/20081207134935!Honor_Harrington_1900.JPG
Nooo, don't make me think about proper space combat and Star Wars at the same time. I'll get sad.

So, for the last vote. If y'all had gone for dark side ending, this would be whether or not to keep the Star Forge. Since y'all decided to not let power go to Jan's head, against the wishes of the ICB, the choice is a bit different. Basically, the ending as written assumes full support of the Jedi Council. So, the question is whether to just let that run, as the canon that I've already shanked and left bleeding says, or whether to go for something else. From how the last vote went, I can pretty well guess what way the votes will swing, which is why I'm not going to the trouble of getting all formal-like.

Support the Jedi Council, yes or no?
Voting: Well, when playing the game myself I rather enjoyed the A Hero Is You parade and uplifting music and all that, but I think for this LP I'd prefer to see what non-standard non-mustache-twirling ending you come up with.

Squark
2011-03-10, 07:44 AM
Blame his parents, not Tam- That's his real name, kamikasei


Also, one more vote for telling the jedi council to go put their head in a toilet or something.

Admiral Harkov
2011-03-10, 08:59 AM
What kamikasei said... don't get me started with Star Wars combat tactics, I may consume what's left in the internet's data capacity. Each time I see a battle I feel urges to grab Lucas by the neck and start punching the top of his head.

Vote: Jolee Bindo, 'nuff said.

The_Werebear
2011-03-10, 12:43 PM
I vote for the ending where Jan lights a cigar, hops on a motorcycle, and splashes mud in Vrook's face.

Clintodon
2011-03-10, 06:14 PM
Neat, I can just re-use my answer from the Redeem vote!


My vote is for "Redeem, but for Bastila's sake - the Jedi Council can pike itself with a halberd!"

REALLY looking forward to Jolee's thoughts on the matter, as well (if we're lucky).

P.S. I have no vote for whatever LP subject you choose next. Whatever it is, however, I WILL be lurking and reading it.

Cogwheel
2011-03-10, 06:17 PM
To be fair, I did like the more evil dialogue option for when you finish Malak off.

Malak sounds rather remorseful for once - almost well done enough that I feel a little sorry for him. You can give a standard Jedi dogma response, or "and so the pupil learns his final lesson."

FlyingScanian
2011-03-11, 05:40 AM
Neat, I can just re-use my answer from the Redeem vote!



REALLY looking forward to Jolee's thoughts on the matter, as well (if we're lucky).

P.S. I have no vote for whatever LP subject you choose next. Whatever it is, however, I WILL be lurking and reading it.

I think I'll second this motion...

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-11, 06:48 AM
Welcome... (Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YlxTS5ydZI&feature=related))
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http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/353/i683.jpg... to Knights of the Old Republic.

Episode 68: Too Big for the Holonet!Tragically for our histories, the next section of Ni's journal is not extant. Our only sources are scattered quotations of Ni throughout later works (mainly Atris (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Atris)' Rakatan Force Technology), as Jedi theorists try to understand the capacities of the Star Forge. Unfortunately, much of that analysis and commentary has also been lost, mainly in the Great Jedi Purge (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_purge), but also in the First Jedi Purge (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/First_Jedi_Purge). Jedi Master Luke Skywalker has recently discovered a holocron from that era, but it will take years for even the most cursory examination to be complete Returning to our history, certain of the Jedi sources were systematically destroyed by the Jedi, in order to prevent the Brotherhood of Darkness (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Brotherhood_of_Darkness) from acquiring them. The fear was that the Brotherhood would be able to reverse-engineer the theories presented in the commentaries into, if not a fully operational Star Forge, then at least a dangerous facimilie.

We can only assume that Ni fought her way past the last of Malak's Crusaders, striking down Jedi that Revan herself had drawn to the cause. There are certainly Crusaders who are not accounted for anywhere else. It is possible that they quietly rejoined the Jedi Order or simply faded into obscurity. But there is no more evidence for that than for the theory that Ni simply dispatched them on the Star Forge. Or if not Ni, one of her companions, or the Loyalist Knights sent by Master Tokare.

The other nagging question is who opposed Admiral Forn Dodonna in command of the Crusader vessels. The answer given by the neophyte historian is almost invariably 'Laban Halo.' However, this response is flawed on multiple levels. While Halo is the only other commonly known Crusader commander besides Revan and Malak, he was best know for his seeming disregard for the lives of his soldiers. Halo's command was always the first into a region, and the last out. However, he also proved himself to be completely unable to delegate authority. Halo connected with his men, and could calculate how much pressure they could take before breaking, but he was almost pathetically incapable in large fleet engagements. Furthermore, Halo disappears from the historical record prior to Revan's capture without a trace. Assuming that he commanded the Crusader defense of the Star Forge is an amateurish mistake at best.

We do have a more lengthy excerpt from Ni's journal, originally found in the treatise on morality. The quotation is believed to have been unaltered, but the treatise takes the excerpt wildly out of context.

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Malak: "You made a mistake coming here, Revan. The Star Forge fuels my command of the dark side. You are no match for me here. And this time you will not escape."

The treatise, written after the Light and Darkness War, makes it clear that the Star Forge is meant to be understood metaphorically, presenting the idea that "As the sun sheds light on its planets, so the darker emotions spill out from the planets, spreading the seeds of darkness."

Ni: "The slaughter ends here, Malak, with your death!"

This is point that the treatise focuses on, that even in the hottest of fighting, one should never give in to anger, even righteous anger. At this point, the treatise inserts a line supposedly written by Ni: "Even as I said it, I could feel the anger twisting inside me. Three repititions of the Jedi Code." As our viewers will recall, this is the form that Shan used in her reports to the Jedi Council. The author of the treatise is obviously inserting what Ni should have thought.

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Malak: "You are an insignificant speck beneath my notice. I have surpassed you in every way and accomplished what you never could... I have unleashed the full potential of this Rakatan factory!"

Here the author of the treatise continues on into their next contemplation, that of how the Jedi should react to industry, and how the dark side can be seen as mechanical responses to emotions, without thought behind it.

But while the treatise moves on, there are still fragments of this conversation continuing in Ni's original text.

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After that, we have further fragments about Ni dealing with some sort of powerful droids. The most reasonable assumption is that Malak had put Ni at the end point of several automated construction lines, and was, again, simply trying to exhaust his old master before the final confrontation. Ni writes: "...thigh [thick?] armor...[they?] contain the seeds [alternate: pixels] of their own destruction."

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Fortunately for the climax of our history, the next section of Ni's journal is completely preserved.

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Malak: "You are stronger than I thought; stronger than you ever were during your reign as the Dark Lord of the Sith. I did not think that was possible."

Ni: "Enough words, Alek."

Malak: "You are eager for blood, [caesura]... as am I. Very well, you shall have your wish."

The most logical explanation for that caesura is that it was Revan's real name, before she assumed the title of Darth Revan, before she even assumed the mantle of the Revanchist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revanchism)against the Mandalorians. Presumably, whoever released Ni's journal thought it better to blot out the references to her real name. Perhaps this was done out of respect, or perhaps it was simple prudence. In any case, the actual name of Jan Ni, Darth Revan, the Revanchist, remains unknown.

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Malak: "You continue to amaze me, [caesura]. If only you had been the one to uncover the true power of the Star Forge, you might have become truly invincible. But you were a fool. All you saw was an enormous factory, all you ever imagined was an infinite fleet rolling forth to crush the Republic. You were blind - blind and stupid!"

Ni: "I knew better than to recreate the fall of the Rakatan Empire. Or didn't you listen to their loremasters?"

Ni writes: "True to form, he just kept right on talking, like he hadn't even heard me."

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Malak: "I have not let them become one with the Force. Instead I have brought them here. The Star Forge corrupts what remains of their power and transfers the dark taint to me!"

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Malak: "You cannot beat me. Not here on the Star Forge. Not when I can draw upon the power of all these Jedi!"

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Malak: "Where...?"

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Ni: "'Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.'
What happens if you don't win?"

Malak: "I... I cannot help but wonder, [caesura]. What would have happened had our positions been reversed? What if fated had decreed I would be captured by the Loyalists?"

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[caesura]: "I don't know."

Alek: "Heh. Finally, a question you don't know the answer to. A little victory before the end. But... as the darkness takes me... I am nothing."

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...

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Dodonna: "Everyone pull back - I don't want to lose any ships when that space station goes down!"

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(Cue music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WJPp5qpbe0))

The answer would eventually come in the Coruscant Jedi Temple's mail: a datapad containing a number of holo-prints (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Holo-print), upon which were scrawled notes.

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While horribly immature, Ni's package to the Jedi Council effectively communicated the permanent nature of the split between herself and the Council. Their numbers greatly depleted by the wars, the Jedi Council was unable to leverage any sort of influence over Ni and her band. While Ni kept in touch with all of the crewmembers of the Ebon Hawk, they split up to address their own interests.

Mission Vao, Zaalbar and Juhani would join Carrick's Rogue Moon Project (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rogue_Moon_Project), which devoted itself to settling the refugees from the Mandalorian and Jedi Civil Wars, as well as dealing with the problems of the little people, not galactic incidents. Juhani's lover Belaya, one of the survivors of the attack on the Dantooine Enclave, was 'liberated' from the Jedi Order, and also joined the Rogue Moon Project. Eventually, Zaalbar returned to Kashyyyk, where he ruled as a mighty chieftain. The wookiee sagas say,
"Mighty Zaalbar, sky walker,
Bearing scars of chains and war,
Peaceful one, wise like Hanni,
He is guardian,
He wards Kashyyyk's sky."

Onasi returned home to Telos, where he was reunited with his son, Dustil. Though relations between the two were sometimes tense, Carth Onasi lived long enough to witness his son's wedding, and Admiral Onasi granted Captain Onasi his first snub-fighter squadron command. Jar'Kai (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Niman/Jar'Kai) squadron, piloted entirely by Force-sensitive pilots, would become a formidable force in the years to come.

T3-M4 and HK-47 disappear entirely from the galactic record. The assassin droid is survived by a benign but persistent programming virus, seemingly intelligent, that changes all uses of 'organics' into 'meatbags.' There are also reports in the years following of an entire production line of HK units, but what reports we have are unsubstantiated.

Jolee Bindo also disappears from the galactic record. His tradition, however, is carried on by a figure in the Ukatisini (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ukatis_system)masques (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masque): 'Bindo, who makes the pompous trip over their own tongues. Bindo, the generous mad thief. Bindo, the wise counciler.'

With the help of Ni and Shan, Canderous Ordo recovered the helmet of Mandalore. He would later go on to become Mandalore the Preserver, marshalling the remnants of the Mandalorians into a society with cultural continuity. While books have been written about the specifics, Mandalore the Preserver showed the Mandalorians that there was more than just war in the galaxy. Of all of the crew of the Ebon Hawk, he maintained the closest connection to Ni and Shan, declaring Ni to be 'The Hammer of Testing,' according her privileged status within Mandalorian society. The 'Anvil of Testing,' of course, was Malachor V.

The Ebon Hawk itself apparantly fell back into the hands of smugglers or bandits, as it was reported to have been a frequent visitor to Nar Shadda, the Smuggler's Moon, and apparently sparked a coup on Onderon. There is no record of it being scrapped.

Taris never fully recovered from Malak's bombardment. The shifting of hyperspace routes left it even further from the populous core. Its location within the sector left it the dominant power in local politics, but never more than that. There are no further records of the Hidden Beks or Black Vulkars.

Dantooine, though the ruins of the Jedi Enclave would linger for decades, was increasingly colonized. Now, it is one of the major farming worlds in the galaxy. Since the destruction of Alderaan by the Imperial Death Star, Alderaani life has been introduced into the Dantooine environment, with mixed success.

Tattooine remains, as always, a barren, sun-scorched rock. Its only notable export in recent times has been Skywalkers.

Manaan, under a new government friendly to the Republic, would continue to prosper by supplying kolto to the galaxy. With the discovery of bacta, however, its importance would greatly diminish, fading into near-obscurity in recent times. This is not only due to bacta, however, but also because Republic attempts to synthesize kolto finally succeeded.

Kashyyyk would cycle between falling out of the Republic, being rediscovered, and being exploited by slavers. Under the Galactic Empire, wookiee labor would be used to construct the Death Star. However, it has firmly become a member of the New Republic, in no small part because of the heroism of Bacca's and Zaalbar's descendent, Chewbacca.

Korriban, like Kashyyyk, would fade off the galactic record, only to re-appear with the re-surgence of the Sith identity. Currently uninhabited, Master Luke Skywalker has spoken before the Senate, recommending that the planet be placed on the list of restricted planets, due to the the dark side nexus and the recent emergence of a hostile life form, the Korribani Crystal Spider.

The Rakatan home world, Lehon, would never be formally entered into the Republic database. Despite that, there have been expeditions claiming to have visited the planet. Around the time of the Wars of Light and Darkness, however, all expeditions claim that the planet was uninhabited, though there remained obvious evidence of grand constructions.

Maddeningly, Jan Ni and Bastila Shan all but disappear from the galactic record. Later Jedi claim the name of Shan, and claim to be the descendent of Bastila Shan and Revan. Any true descendent would know that Ni denied the name of Revan, which was itself a pseudonym. It is believed that Ni and Shan ventured into the Unknown Regions, but it is impossible to say what they found there. Between Ni's charisma and leadership ability and Shan's Battle Meditation, to say nothing of their personal prowess, it is unlikely that they achieved anything less than they desired. They could have conquered an entire sector, still undiscovered. They could have voyaged out beyond the galactic rim, challenging the unknown. They could have simply found a quiet world and sought some measure of serenity. Of course, there is a particularly wild theory: using the Rakatan technology, they built a benevolent counterpart to the Star Forge. And perhaps, one day, we will find it.
Commentary Here's a huge looming question: if they wanted to make a massive-multiplayer-online-game with tons of Force-wielders, why not set it during the War of Light and Darkness, with the Brotherhood of Dark and the Army of Light? You could have instances racing against the Thought Bomb, there's a whole laundry list of big name commanders, you don't have to actually declare anything canonical about Revan or the Exile, it's still the Old Republic and there are still Knights. Heck, you could even open it up to range over the whole New Sith Wars (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/New_Sith_Wars). Encourage alt-itis with a whole bunch of different eras, and the possibility to carry through characters to later eras as descendants. Add more eras with expansion packs, preferably to the middle (to make the raiders grind all the way through again). But hey, I still finished this LP before the Old Republic released, so I'll call that a win.

Soooo, after Bastila and before Darth Malak, there's this puzzle fight with the Star Forge droids. There are six generators, each of which can be shut down by a nearby computer console. But like all hacking, you either need Computer Use, lots of spikes, or some combination thereof (Every +4 of Computer Use means you pay one less spike per command). Jan has nothing in Computer Use. In fact, it's the only skill she has nothing in.

I'd just like to point out, one last time, that she has an Intelligence of 18, and took the two classes (Scoundrel and Jedi Sentinel) that give the most skill points. So if you were reading this LP and thinking 'Wait, she can repair HK, is a sneaky assassin-type, can convince people to do things, spot and disable mines, didn't die on Taris (which more or less requires Treat Injury) - is she a polymath?' Quick answer? Yup. But she can't do slicing, can't pilot (check out that swoop racing video. Or better yet, don't; I'm a TIE pilot, not a swoop jockey!), and isn't exactly good with the whole lore angle since the memory wipe.

Tangent aside, with a Computer Use of +4 from raw intelligence only, it still costs seven spikes to shut off a droid generator, and there are six generators. Jan went in with thirty-four spikes. (Rakata: "No, not math!") So, finding herself eight spikes short, Jan has to rely on something else. When a droid is killed, it creates a spike in a container next to the computer console. Eight dead droids later, all the generators are shut off. It's a decent idea in theory, but what about the person who doesn't have anything in Computer Use and didn't come in with a large number of spikes (because I knew this puzzle was coming). Well, they wind up grinding droids until the plot door opens up. Keep in mind that earlier in the Star Forge, there's a console where you can create customized Jedi robes for yourself, costing around sixteen spikes with a Computer Use of +0. It's like they want you to grind.

By the way, Jan isn't wearing that armor for a few reasons: one, the original Star Forge robes, while the best in the game stat-wise, look like your standard brown Jedi robes which really don't look all that great on Jan. Blacks and grays go much better with her color. Second, those default robes are replaced by Revan's Robes because I had a mod installed. You'll see the (black) dark side robes in the Alternate History update later. The light side robe is the same thing in white. Only two problems: they actually require light/dark side alignment, which Jan doesn't have. She was sitting at 54-ish right before the final fight; I believe 40 and 60 are the thresholds. The other problem is that cloak isn't animated, so you get clipping through it all the bloody time.

In any event, the droid fight is a moderately interesting puzzle fight - the first time. Maybe. Afterwards, it's a grind-fest. And more importantly, it's symbolic of the one great failing of KotOR - linear puzzle solving. With a good Computer Use, it's possible to turn the droids to your side. But the problem is that the droids just aren't a threat, especially in the face of Malak. And even if you do that, it's still a fairly brute force solution. There's no way to sneak away (like practically all the game; seriously, skill points in Stealth are a complete waste), there's not an opportunity for a dark side wielder to try to rip control of the Star Forge systems away from Malak, and so on.

http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/7863/janfinal.jpg

Just to give you a last look at Jan, right before she heads into the final fight. Note that she's got +8 to all her physical abilities because she's hopped up on the best stims I could loot. I've already talked about her skills, so let's glance briefly at feats: Master Two Weapon Fighting (delicious extra attack), Master Critical Strike (improved critical and stun? Stun = sneak attack. Where do I sign?), Implant Level 3 (hello, extra item slot!) and Advanced Toughness (sweet, sweet DR 2/-) are the big ones.

For Force Powers: Master Speed (which I completely forgot about in the final fight, durrrrr), Heal (utility), Dominate Mind (subplot!), Force Push (didn't get a chance to go higher), Statis Field (Stun + Sneak Attack = Love), Force Storm (AoE, though I didn't use it much; more for the evil ending) and Death Field (explicitly for the end battle).

Just to give you a vague idea of Malak's stats: I would throw up an energy shield that protected me from 100 points of damage. It would be gone in two rounds, three if I got lucky. I realize this is the final boss, and it's on the hardest difficulty mode, but still. Ouch. Plus, did you get the part where he's about a foot and a half taller than Jan or Bastila? The only way to get moderately comparable height is to be a male soldier, and he's still taller by a few inches. In any case, the only reason he's this powerful is that he's essentially being over-clocked by the Star Forge. I would say that Malak's actual level is what Jan fought on the Leviathan, around level 15.

Level Comparisons (SAGA edition)
Darth Vader: Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 5/Ace Pilot 2/Sith Apprentice 2/Sith lord 3
Luke (VI): Scout 1/Jedi 7/Ace Pilot 2/Jedi Knight 1
Emperor Palpatine: Noble 6/Jedi 1/Sith Apprentice 8/Sith Lord 5
Bastila (Assumedly, this is at the end of it all): Jedi 10/Jedi Knight 7 (See? Even the bloody gamebook says that she's a Knight. But not the Jedi Council, ooooh nooo.)
Malak: Jedi 7/Jedi Knight 5/Sith Apprentice 4/Sith Lord 4. And Canonical (*shake fist*) Revan is the same, only with Apprentice 3/Lord 5. Jan would probably replace those Sith prestige class levels with Scoundrel or some Commando prestige class.
Also, you're not imagining things: every single one of Malak's captive Jedi has the exact same model. Looks like the Clone Wars started early. But you know what the really freaky thing is? That's also a possible model for Revan. Now that would have freaky implications: 'Oh, Revan, we tried to clone you a bunch of times, but none of them really worked out.'

One might assume from my very subtle hints that KotOR 2 is next. Look for "The Holocron of Laban Halo: Let's Play Knights of the Old Republic 2" sometime in May. Thanks for all the lovely feed-back, and stay tuned for the Appendices/Alternate Histories, starting next week.
Next time, on Knights of the Old Republic: http://img858.imageshack.us/img858/822/end68.jpg



























Producer: "Quick, quick! Fade to black before we can get to Episode 69!"

http://img860.imageshack.us/img860/130/end68b.jpg

kamikasei
2011-03-11, 07:38 AM
Also, you're not imagining things: every single one of Malak's captive Jedi has the exact same model. Looks like the Clone Wars started early. But you know what the really freaky thing is? That's also a possible model for Revan. Now that would have freaky implications: 'Oh, Revan, we tried to clone you a bunch of times, but none of them really worked out.'
That's the model I used, actually. Revan played by Christian Bale.

Also: Wuhoooooooooo

The_Werebear
2011-03-11, 11:03 AM
Nice.

You provide so much amusement. And it's Thoughtful! too

Klose_the_Sith
2011-03-12, 07:36 AM
Marvellous! Splendid! Bedazzling! Etcetera!

I would sit here and laud you more, but I've a pie and beer combination to get to :smallbiggrin:

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-14, 05:45 PM
The idea for the appendices is to go into depth on characters or plot points that, for whatever reason, I didn't actually cover - or didn't cover extensively enough - in the actual episodes. Because none of this stuff actually happened as per the histories (or just wasn't written down), I won't be writing them 'in-character.' Additionally, there will probably be fewer pictures (such as none in today's).

Appendix A: SourcesAll told, there were a bunch of 'historical sources' that I ended up using. I'd just like to go down the list and explain the why, what, etc of them, as well as what I thought the weak points were. Please, chime in with your own, positive or negative.

Onasi's after-action reports: Carth is compulsory for most of Taris, so there was no reason not to have him leave his own record. Second, as a report to his military superiors, it's the type of document that's likely to survive. One of the disadvantages of it was that because I wasn thinking of it as an after-action report, there wasn't much of Carth in them. The other disadvantage is that Carth wasn't used very much after Taris (aside from Manaan). I'd say that the best stuff from Carth would be in the Hkraet Rift Station. Ironically, that's also where I sort of drift away from the actual story. I'd imagine that it was also Carth who recorded most of the banter back and forth around the Hawk, which was always fun to write.

Shan's reports to the Jedi Council: Bastila is important enough to the plot that it's hard not to take her along. Like Carth's reports, her - let's be blunt and say 'spying' - on Jan/Revan is the kind of document that would be preserved. It wouldn't be released for decades, maybe centuries, but eventually the Jedi would crack their Archives open and decide, 'This can't do any harm' (*cough* Darth Bane's visit to Lehon (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Darth_bane#Lehon_and_the_Holocron_of_Darth_Revan) *cough*). I do think I made the same mistake as I did with Carth, and was a bit too shy in putting in comments, snide or otherwise, from Bastila. Probably for the best that I didn't put in all of her self-imposed penances, though.

Vao's holorecorders: were pretty much my stop-gap measure for incidents like Shan and Ni in the port crew quarters, which Shan would probably beat herself up over and not actually mention in her reports. I'm mostly at a loss for how they would've survived the test of time, but like I said, this source was born out of me mostly panicking and choosing the first thing that sounded reasonable. And to be honest, I'm not sure how else I could have included certain scenes.

Bindo's Journal: Another character who's compulsory for a fairly substantial period of time. I actually indulged myself more in comments for Jolee, mainly because cranky old men are moderately easy to write. He also gave me a way to notice details that I'd otherwise have to mention in the commentary.

Unknown Source: Holonet History may have had to keep it secret, but I don't. I intended it to be fairly easy to figure out, but if I didn't quite manage that... The idea was for this 'unknown source' to be the reports of the Genoharadan agents trailing Jan. Originally, I was planning to never get inside Jan's head by having to use her journal as a source. That really broken down on Korriban. I'll accept that the Genoharadan are good, but when we're talking the Tomb of Naga Sadow, my disbelief is being stretched. Again, no commentary. Seeing a pattern in my mistakes yet?

Ni's Journal: Like I said, I wasn't planning on using this. But then I looked back over Korriban, and more importantly the Rakatan Prison, and I realized that there was no way I couldn't use it. However, I tried to minimze the impact by making the journal extremely fragmentary and all but devoid of commentary. The big problem with giving the player control over a character (and by extension, a forum control of a character), is that it limits that character in how much they can grow and develop. There are a few ways to limit this:

1) The JRPG Method: You only control the actions of a character in a very limited spectrum (usually combat and gross movement). Generally doesn't have any conversational choices.

2) The Pre-Made Character Method: The game gives you a character, and lets you develop that character within a pre-set range of definitions. This is what the Witcher did: my Geralt may not be exactly the same as yours, but it's conceivable that they could have developed from the same starting point. I'm not sure, but Dragon Age II looks like it's going to fall between this and number three.

3) The Established Backstory Method: Building off of that, there are games that either hand you a particular backstory (Baldur's Gate series, Neverwinter Nights 2, Jade Empire) or allow you to select from a number of options (Dragon Age I, Mass Effect). Once there, though, it generally opens up a lot more. Generally.

4) The 'Write Your Own Fan-Fiction' Method: Gives you a starting location and pretty much does nothing else for you in terms of character development (The Elder Scrolls series, Diablo series, Icewind Dale series).

Knights of the Old Republic looks like it's going to be a number four, but the twist of it turns your poor innocent PC into Revan, who does have a clearly established backstory (and thus #3). I'm sure this came as an unpleasant surprise for some people, and it's why I was careful to never actually let Jan tell war stories of her own. I probably should have thrown in a line like, "It's classified. I'm not even allowed to remember without clearance."
Appendix B: Gameplay I've been complaining about this from Episode One, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that I've still got more to say. Let me cut right to the chase: I think that the d20 system is a moderately horrible way to represent the Star Wars Universe.

Let me put a caveat on this: I started role-playing games with Baldur's Gate. I died. A lot. My very first character - ever - was a male half-elf ranger specialized in warhammers and bows. He died to that jerk of a mage in the Friendly Arm Inn who casts Horror, then batters your poor, terrified, 1st level corpse-in-waiting with Magic Missiles until you keel over. That was also the point at which I realized I should probably learn to use the save function. I got into pen and paper RPGs when 3.0 was looming on the horizon, and gaming stores weren't bothering to restock AD&D Player's Handbooks anymore. I spent summers doing horrible things to 3.0 with friends, and I was the one who tramped down the FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store) to buy copies of the 3.5 books and bring home. I had subscriptions to Dungeon and Dragon magazines for virtually their entire 3rd edition run. I read the 4th edition books, listened to playtests, and decided that it wasn't for me. I'm still tinkering with my own version of 3.x (the wiki in my signature is horribly out of date, by the way), stealing from AD&D, 4th and Pathfinder.

What I'm trying to say is that I really really really like the d20 system. But it's really not the best for Star Wars. So far, there have been three major RPGs for Star Wars: WEG's d6 version and WotC d20 version and SAGA edition. So when I ran a Star Wars game, which one did I use? Why, the Serenity RPG, of course! The Cortex system (as it later gained the name) is about as close to the d20 system as you can get and not be a d20 game. It does away for a class-based system in favor of the skill-based system, had assets and complications and so on (this was before Smallville's relationship rules, which would have been nice to have).

But ultimately, Serenity didn't work for Star Wars either. While the game went well, there were some pretty substantial problems. I had intended the game to be more-Firefly like than the original trilogy (which is why the Empire ultimately won the Battle of Endor, but only after the Death Star had been destroyed). What I didn't intend was the incredible lethality of the Serenity system. I'll just leave it at 'grenade-spam' and let The Werebear expand on that if he feels like it.

WEG had problems with Jedi, the original d20 was just clunky, and SAGA some problems with broken-ness (but is otherwise pretty darn good; Serenity was more easily available, so I used it). But my real argument against the d20 system used in KotOR is rooted in the revelation that 'the Council is willing to train you as a Jedi.'

You know what that means? Mandatory class change, and your previous levels are pretty much wasted (except for maybe Scoundrel, in conjunction with stunning). Story-wise, there's no reason you shouldn't train as a Jedi. Power-wise, there's no reason not to switch from the fairly weak and boring Soldier/Scout/Scoundrel class to one of the Jedi classes. The problem is that on Taris, you were probably frantically trying to gain levels, because low level characters are much more vulnerable to being screwed over by the luck of the dice. What this eventually ends with is you, as the former Darth Revan, being weaker than Jolee or Juhani, with their full levels in Jedi classes (I don't count Bastila, because if you have her at level 20, you went dark side, and dark-side Bastila's force powers are dreadful).

Only making this worse is the idiocy of the point buy. Neverwinter Nights was the first one to give you a set number of points to increase your ability scores, instead of letting you roll electronic dice until you got one you liked. Now, for Neverwinter Nights (and Icewind Dale II), I can understand this, because there was this vision of multiplayer worlds, and the multiplayer is all about being fair, right? So why, in the name of the slave pits of Kessel, do they feel the need to impose a point-buy on us in KotOR? There's no multiplayer capability. On one hand, I can see that it might be used as a way to balance gameplay. On the other hand, there's a difficulty slider for a reason. It could be that they're not as worried about high ability scores as they are with low ability scores. After all, not everyone playing this game knows the d20 systems. To which I reply: you remember how there's a button called something like 'create a character for me' and another called 'auto-level up?'

Another problem with using the d20 system is that KotOR doesn't really take advantage of what it does do well: allow for complex builds. With no prestige classes, not many feats, and a very-nearly predetermined list of equipment drops, it's darn near impossible to do something like a blaster-focused Jedi. Even the list of force powers is fairly skimpy (especially since you can only use the most powerful version you have; not important for the Force Lightning progression, but potentially allowing for some interesting combos with the Force Push progression). Again, I think this is because it was originally released as a game for the X-Box. Sure, it's got more customization options for a straight-up warrior than Baldur's Gate, but the warrior in Baldur's Gate actually has a few options for what his gear should be, with actual trade-offs. KotOR, for the most part, has just... uninteresting equipment. About the only choice you have to make is what class of armor to wear, and that's more dependent on your Force Powers than anything (wearing armor blocks certain powers; if Darth Vader didn't use it, you probably can't use it in armor).

Jan was actually faced with an actual equipment choice in the late game: either to use two fully upgraded Baragwin Assault Blades at a lesser attack bonus and more damage, or to throw in a lightsaber for less damage and more accuracy. I was shocked, but that's more because I actually rolled stats, so Jan's Dexterity was high enough for her Dexterity modifier to attacks with lightsabers to be substantially higher than her Strength. Essentially, the only reason there was achoice was because I'd changed the game from what it was supposed to be. This is a bad thing.

Furthermore, it seems Bioware completely forgot to include heavy weapons other than the repeating blaster that Canderous comes with. They did include a few Baragwin models for the PC and X-Box DLC, but that just accentuates the fact that there aren't any good mid-game options. The choice of blaster rifles are fairly skimpy as well, if not nearly so bad.

I've strayed somewhat, so let me come back to classes. What's the main feature of the Soldier and Scout classes? Bonus feats. Gee, thanks. The Scoundrel has the redeeming features of Sneak Attack and a class bonus to AC, which at least aren't feats. By contrast, the Jedi all get Force Powers, a class bonus to AC and another feature (Force Jump for Guardians, Immunity to Fear/Stun/Paralyis for Sentinels and a boost to the save DCs of their powers for Consulars). I'm not saying that Jedi and non-Jedi should be equally powerful (though SAGA apparently did a pretty good job), but there probably should be an actual reason to take non-Jedi party members off the Hawk. KotOR 2 had an obvious (and flawed) way to fix this discrepancy, but I'll get to that in a few months.

Right now, there are five reasons to take a non-Jedi:

1) You want to hear their banter with other party members.
2) They're plot-relevant (Zaalbar for the first bit on Kashyyyk).
3) Ranged aptitude. Unfortunately, this doesn't count for much, since the engagement range is rarely more than 10 meters.
4) Skills. Even Sentinels don't have enough skill points to cover everything. Okay, Jan did, but she had an Intelligence of 18 and started off as a Scoundrel. I think we can safely call her an aberration (especially since the only thing Intelligence is used for are some ranged feats, skill points and more skills, and the point-buy Revan generally has more important abilities to increase).
5) Better ability scores. Flat-out, Zaalbar has much higher Strength and Constitution scores than anyone else, and if he gets the right equipment, they'll stay higher than everyone else. Sure, he gets shredded like tissue paper, but the game throws healing kits at you anyway - may as well get some use out of them.

Unfortunately, the whole 'take non-Jedi for skills' doesn't pan out so well when most of the skills are trivial. Computer Use can be helpful, and you should probably have it in certain areas so you don't spend thousands of credits on buying more spikes. Demolitions and Awareness will save you some damage, but it's almost impossible to kill yourself on mines. Security is useless because you can just bash open containers without harm to the contents. Repair is useful for droids because it restores health to them, and because it allows the PC to repair HK-47 for stories and game-boosts. For anyone else, it's useless. Treat Injury is moderately important until Bastila appears, with her regenerating mana and Cure power. You're the only one who can take Persuade, so it doesn't matter who you drag along. Stealth... well, you don't get XP for sneaking by opponents.

In contrast: notice how once I got Jolee, he pretty much didn't leave the party? That's how good Force Powers are.

The problem was that WotC owned the rights to Star Wars RPGs, so there wasn't much Bioware could do if it was making a Star Wars CRPG. And I can't exactly blame Bioware too much for not solving problems that continue to plague Star Wars games. I can blame WotC, but they also fixed most of the problems with SAGA, so I can't blame them too hard. There's still the rapid level advancement (including those who don't leave ship), but I can accept that as a gameplay mechanic only. It just bothers me when I have to accept it as one, because that means that the game system is hindering the game instead of helping it.

Admiral Harkov
2011-03-14, 06:20 PM
don't spend thousands of credits on buying more spikes

Or mouse left clicks over T3 to make spikes for free.

I remember my first gameplay of the game, I felt kind of disappointed for having leveled up to 8 in scout and not having not those levels to use for jedi class. So in the second I made all Taris without leveling at all. It would have lowered considerably my hate for Bastila if I had done that the first time, since the low level meant I had to run around like a hen while she dealt with the thugs, so her "I rescued you" turned to be kind of true; then again, later he added to my hate again by stepping on every mine before I disarmed it.

That time beating Malak was rather easy, since my Revan was clearly more powerful. She was so that, even when somewhere I saw complaints that Bastila and Malak are immune to force powers, the kill force power got Bastila and another one (don't remember which) also worked on Malak.

Klose_the_Sith
2011-03-14, 07:00 PM
That time beating Malak was rather easy, since my Revan was clearly more powerful. She was so that, even when somewhere I saw complaints that Bastila and Malak are immune to force powers, the kill force power got Bastila and another one (don't remember which) also worked on Malak.

I know of a force power that works on Malak! :smallbiggrin:

The first time I ever played KOTOR (my first RPG :smallredface:) my Revan was so suboptimal that the only way I could beat Malak was by running around in circles using advanced lightsaber throw on his face.

The_Werebear
2011-03-15, 02:06 PM
There was one use I got out of Scout/Jedi hybrid. My first time beating Malak, I couldn't handle him in face to face combat. He just smashed me down again and again before I could even get to the first cutscene, and I didn't have enough healthpacks/shields to finish him after he heals himself that first time. I hadn't picked up any ranged force powers other than "Smash Droid," so I couldn't even use the fleeing stuff.

Then, I realized that I hadn't sold a single mine that I had been disarming the entire game. I made 4 mine piles on the entrance ramp, each consisting of about a dozen high power mines, capped by the doom plasma bombs from the downed ship on Lehon. When the battle started, I led him down the ramp, and he stepped in doom. Cutscene triggered, I bolted past him and smashed all his health storage, then led him back down the ramp. Cut to a very smug Revan scraping bits of Malak off his robes before the ceremony.

The flaw with the Serenity system Tam mentions is grenades. The system, overall, tries very hard to be realistic, which means that everyone is fairly fragile compared to high damage weaponry. We realized this early on, and came up with a few ways to avoid taking any counterattacks when we assaulted something. We would have our most force sensitive feel out where the enemies were in a room. Then, splitting an action, my character would slash open a giant hole in a wall and toss in a grenade, along with every other character in the party. Grenades deal damage based on how close the victim is (5d6 at the worst in a system where tough people have 16hp), and that is determined entirely by PC throw. There's no defensive reaction to a grenade. So, four grenades would spiral into the room, reducing all enemies to paste. When they tried to use this against us, we cited force sensitivity and force threw them back.

Eventually, Tam quit putting us in situations where we could safely use grenades, either by virtue of the corridors being too cramped, or the enemies being force sensitive as well.

Abemad
2011-03-15, 03:26 PM
I know of a force power that works on Malak! :smallbiggrin:

The first time I ever played KOTOR (my first RPG :smallredface:) my Revan was so suboptimal that the only way I could beat Malak was by running around in circles using advanced lightsaber throw on his face.

Last time I played kotor, I was playing a scoundrel/consular, long story short, malak was not immune to stasis field, he was completely shredded by dual blasters :smalltongue:

Brother Oni
2011-03-15, 03:42 PM
Eventually, Tam quit putting us in situations where we could safely use grenades, either by virtue of the corridors being too cramped, or the enemies being force sensitive as well.

You're lucky he didn't play Shadowrun, else he'd just cite the chunky salsa rule and have anybody near the breach suffer blowback damage.

BladeofOblivion
2011-03-15, 11:06 PM
I know of a force power that works on Malak! :smallbiggrin:

The first time I ever played KOTOR (my first RPG :smallredface:) my Revan was so suboptimal that the only way I could beat Malak was by running around in circles using advanced lightsaber throw on his face.

My personal favorite method was Electrical Capacitance Belt and Force Wave.

I bought the belt first playthrough, thinking: "This had better work on force lightning."

AND I WAS RIGHT.

(Fortunately, I took one level in drain life to take out Rakata faster. Very nice for the final battle.)

Squark
2011-03-16, 06:50 AM
SAGA actually does a very good job of capturing the Star Wars feel- but that's actually one of the more common complaints- The skill system is very good at capturing the Star Wars feel (IN which there are relatively few degrees of competancy- Untrained (Duh), Trained (Duh), and Expert (Took skill focus). But people don't like the simplified skills in sci-fi.

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-16, 08:56 PM
Today I'm going to be focusing on the two characters that Holonet History, frankly, just didn't care about. Part of this was institutional, the first strivings of Imperial Human High Culture (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Human_High_Culture). But this 'institutional' bias also reflects my own thoughts on the characters, so I thought it might be interesting if I showcase those. I'll try not to repeat myself, but I can't make any promises on that account.

Appendix C: Mission Here's my central problem with Mission: she's not Imoen. Let me put on my grognard hat, and apologize for coming relentlessly back to the Baldur's Gate series. But the sad part is that there's a fairly limited pool of non-Rogue-like RPGs, and most of those with developed NPC companions are Bioware games. Anyway, Mission has a lot of overlap with Imoen in Baldur's Gate 1: she's mainly around as a skill monkey, since her combat skills are, shall we say, 'undeveloped.' To put it another way, Imoen had a Strength of 9, and even with backstab, she couldn't do much more than irritate most bad-guys. But what Imoen and Mission are good at is being a thief. But there's a two-fold problem in there.

First of all, I pointed out in Appendix B that the 'thief' skills (Awareness, Demolitions, Security and Stealth) aren't all that useful. It's really hard to actually die from mines, Security just saves you a few seconds since bashing containers open always works and, well, Steath... No XP from avoiding encounters and there's always an ending boss fight. What's the incentive? Getting sneak attack, maybe, but stun is a much more dependable way to get that, and it helps the whole party. Sure, it's hard to get stun effects on Taris, but it's hard to actually have an entertaining fight on Taris either. And those cases where Stealth might be helpful - say to steal back the prototype swoop engine - the guards will pull you out of Stealth to have a nice conversation.

Going back to Imoen: there were a bunch of single and multiclass thieves in BG, because a) traps were lethal (I recall a certain corridor in Durlag's Tower with a cloudkill, fireball and lightning bolt trap. Of course, those traps weren't actually possible to disable, but at least they could be detected by a thief), b)bashing locks open was based on Strength, not damage, and some locks just couldn't be bashed, and c) sneaking was useful, by virtue of enemies actually seriously outclassing you. Beyond that, Imoen in specific had a rocking Intelligence, so you could dual-class (it's like multiclassing, but more complicated) her into mage. Now, mages weren't as ridiculously over-powered in BG as in BG 2 (mainly because they stayed squishy; Mage 8 doesn't give much in the way of hp), but it meant that Imoen could remain viable throughout the entire game. Imoen was added fairly late to the game because early playtests found that trying to take on the bears, wolves and gibberlings (diseased or otherwise) with a first level mage ended in death, death and more death. Imoen came with a bow and a wand of magic missile, so she was a pretty clear sign saying: 'It's dangerous to go into melee. Here, take this!'

What I'm getting at is that Mission really doesn't do any of that. Skills aside, it's almost impossible to make Mission a worthwhile character. She comes with sneak attack and critical strike, yes, but she also, for some unknowable reason, started down the dueling feat tree (+1 attack and damage has a really hard time competing with an extra attack). You get her earlier enough that you can correct her feat error, but she doesn't have the physical attributes to deal damage in, and survive melee combat, which leaves ranged. Remember that whole blaster deflection deal? Sure, she'll do okay against mooks - but so will everyone. Well, maybe not T3-M4, but T3 also has all those nifty droid-expendables to use (the carbonite projector, flame-thrower, stunner; all the stuff that was used against us by droids that HK didn't stoop to use). Even Mission's role early on as your third party member is less significant than Imoen's, because that theoretical Scoundrel with a Constitution of 10 already has a meat-wall named Carth (who starts at 5th level, lest we forget).

The point I'm trying to make is that gameplay-wise, Mission is fairly insignificant. Sure, there's no harm in another blaster hand, but the problem is that only a few hours later, you get T3-M4. And T3 is indisputably better with skills, and at least has the potential to add some tactical variance with the droid items.

So if Mission doesn't hold up from the gameplay angle, how about the story? What does she do for the story? She gets you into the Vulkar base, gets Zaalbar into your party, has her own personal quest and then, oddly enough is one of the ones to support not-Revan against Carth's suspicions. What does Imoen do? In BG 1? You're joking, right? The BG 1 joinable NPCs are lucky if they get their own quest. Imoen, like I said, was added late. She's the childhood friend of the main character, and that's about it. In the first game. In the second game, though, her importance goes way up. The main character follows the main plot either to get Imoen back, or to get payback on the wizard that captured and tortured both of you (She still doesn't get a personal quest apart from the main plot. Poor Immy).

Here's another interpretation: Mission and Imoen are both fulfilling the Bioware mandated role of 'perky thief (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GenkiGirl).' But the deal is that Imoen's character expands past that as soon as BG 2 starts. Mission's growth isn't quite that blatant.

In her introductory conversations, Mission goes off about how her brother, Griff, is awesome. He smuggled them to Taris inside a shipping crate, taught her all of her unsociable skills, and was, to hear Mission tell it, beguiled by hussy named Lena, at which point he ditched Mission and went off-planet. Flash-forward to Dantooine.

http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/7069/ac1a.jpg

Mission: "Lena? What... what are you doing here? Where's Griff?"

Lena: "I'm just passing through. Griff and I broke up a few months after we left Taris together. Probably for the best. Your brother can be charming, Mission, but he's bad news."

http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/1967/ac2g.jpg

Lena: "Wha- ?? Mission, what's wrong with you? Why are you acting this way?"

Jan: "Mission gets a little worked up when it comes to her brother."

Lena: "Yeah, I know how she feels. Griff can be pretty frustrating. I guess that's why Mission didn't want to come with us when we left Taris."

Mission: "You liar! Griff told me you didn't want his little sister tagging along - that's why he had to leave me behind!"

http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/4193/ac3d.jpg

Lena: "But he told me you didn't want to leave Taris. I said we shouldn't even go then, but he said we'd come back and get you after we struck it rich on Tatooine - just another one of his lies!"

Mission: "No - you're the one who's lying! Griff wouldn't... he wouldn't try to leave me behind!"

Lena: "Think about it. If Griff wasn't trying to ditch you, Mission, then why didn't he tell you where we were going? After we left Taris he told me looking after you was holding him back - Griff's always looking to blame other people for his own problems. That's why he abandoned you."

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Jan: "So where is Griff now?"

Lena: "Still on Tatooine, as far as I know. Not that I really care anymore. and if Mission was smart she'd forget about that no-good con artist!"

Mission: "But Griff is my brother! I can't just pretend he doesn't exist! If he was here to defend himself Lena wouldn't be saying all this bad stuff about him!"

Lena: "Hey, if you want to talk to Griff go ahead. Last I heard he was going to make a fortune working the Czerka Corp mines on Tantooine. But as far as I'm concerned he's out of my life forever!"

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Lena: "*sigh* I guess that's my cue to leave, then. I didn't mean to upset you, Mission. But one day you'll see I'm right about your brother. I only hope it's not too late by then."

On Tatooine, you inquire after Griff at the Czerka office, and they tell you that he's been kidnapped by the Sand People. Asking the Sand People chieftain to let him go gives you a line something like: 'Please, take him. He's a horrible slacker and a disgrace as a slave. We shame ourselves by keeping him.' In any case, when he comes back to the Hawk (I have no idea why Mission isn't wearing armor; maybe she was in the 'fresher (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Refresher)?)

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Mission: "I... I have to ask you something, Griff. It's important. I ran into Lena. She said... she said it was your idea to leave me on Taris. It's not true, is it?"

Griff: "Ah, well... there's the truth and then there's the truth, you know? I always meant to go back to Taris, sis. Just as soon as I had the credits to pay off my debts. But credits have been hard to come by."

Mission: "You mean it's true? It was your idea to leave me there? I'm your sister - how could you abandon me like that?"

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Mission: "That's it? That's all you have to say to me after all these years after deserting me on Taris?"

Griff: "That and... uh you look good, sis. Like you're doing well. Financially, I mean. Say... you think you could spare me a few ccredits to get back on my feet, do you? Um..."

Mission: "You... you're hitting me up for credits? I don't believe this! Lena was right about you, Griff! We should have just left you to the Sand People! Don't talk to me anymore - ever!" Mission runs back inside the Hawk.

Griff: "Huh... that didn't go well. Sis always was a little too fiery for her own good. She'll cool down in time."

Jan: "Don't be so sure."

Griff: "Ah, she'll be okay. We've had our fights before. Too bad, though. I really could have used a helping hand right now."

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Jan: "You're joking, right?"

Griff: "Huh - I... uh... guess you've been talking to Lena, too. That's okay - I'll figure out a way to get by without your credits. I always do. Besides, I've already got a job lined up for me." At this point, he goes off on his job offer to you, which is to restart Tarisian ale. But to do that, he needs an initial investment and tach glands from Korriban. Scam-a-licious!

I don't think I've ever actually finished that quest (because killing tachs gets you dark side points and it's Stupid Evil enough to make my teeth itch), and it appears my save files are somewhat muddled. I might be able to untangle them, but it''ll take some time.

In any event, even the conversation about the destruction of Taris only comes down to Mission saying 'I'm on your side, because I don't want anything like that to happen again.' But even aftr her run-in with Griff, there's no real turning point. It might be a bit unfair to expect significant character growth from a fourteen-year-old, but I didn't write her as a kid.
Appendix D: Juhani Let me give you the basic run-down on Juhani. She's an alien who grew up under the weight of discrimination and the threat of slavers. Sound familiar? It should, because Juhani has a mish-mash of Mission's and Zaalbar's backstories. She idolized the Jedi growing up, and that drove her to become one herself. About the only thing that's completely unique about her is her sexuality, and that's really only obvious with some extensive backstory delving (also, Jan x Bastila).

So what's left for Juhani? Well, she's got more unsurprising surpises in her backstory than anyone else. Turns out that the planet she grew up on was Taris.

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Sometime during that rant, where she's yelling at Jan, she slips in this line:

Juhani: "But it is so hard to lose your entire past. You would not understand."

... Well, she's either not in on the Jedi Council's plot, or she's a better liar than everyone else in the game.

Remember how Bastila is talking about how she shouldn't be saying this, that the Jedi council, blah, blah blah? That's Juhani all the time. She's constantly whip-lashing between outbursts and apologizing for them.

She's got a bit of a connection to the Mandalorians, because they were the ones that forced the Cathar off their homeworld. And after that, it just goes completely down the drain. Father addicted to stims, gets cut down in a bar brawl. Mother starved to death after borrowing money from the Exchange. Juhani was enslaved to pay for her mother's debts. At which point, enter the Jedi Crusaders, stopping at Taris on their way to fight the Mandalorians.

After the escape from the Leviathan, we learn that it was specifically Revan that Juhani idolized.

So, by the end of the game: she's got the Tarisian background of Mission, the slave background of Zaalbar, the not-quite personal connection with Revan of HK-47 and the self-flagellation of Bastila. And she's got Force powers and is a lesbian. I'm just trying to pull a cohesive, well-rounded character out of that, and it's not coming. She's got a character arc - but that arc is resolved in recruiting her. Juhani may backslide a little in personal conversation (and in her personal quest, if I remember right), but she'll ultimately stay away from the dark side. Yes, she's had a miserable life, and she doesn't wallow in it, but the only thing that it's driving her towards is anger and her Jedi training. The only other detail is this:

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Juhani is grateful to belong, which has the potential to set up all sorts of interesting dominance issues, especially considering that she was a slave. But there isn't enough. I know she was added to the game at a late date, but it's annoying how she just seems to be a composite of the other characters, just with Force powers. in addition, even compared to the rest of the characters, she's melodramatic. Yes, this is space opera. Yes, I can sum up every character in one word.
See?Jan: Hidden.
Carth: Suspicion.
Mission: Innocence.
Zaalbar: Exile.
T3-M4: Droid.
Bastila: Morale
Canderous: Loyalty
Juhani: Suffering
HK-47: Irony
Jolee: Regret
Revan: Pride. This one is subject to interpretation. I take a stance between KotOR 2 and The Old Republic/canon: Revan was trying to prepare the galaxy, but she lost control.
Malak: Lust. Again, subject to interpretation. Between his attraction to Jarael, blood-lust and interactions with Revan, though, it seems to fit.
But you'll notice how all the other party members have, if not positive descriptors, at least negative descriptors that carry more weight? Jolee knows that he could have done better. Carth isn't going to be fooled again (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHhrZgojY1Q). Juhani just suffers.

Here's another way to think about it: everyone else has a descriptor that is aimed at the future. Juhani's is completely focused in the past, and just keeps retreading the same ground.

Philistine
2011-03-17, 01:54 AM
You don't have to kill a tach to get tach glands for Mission's brother - there are some in a container by the Czerka poaching party Jolee has you bust up.

Tam_OConnor
2011-03-18, 07:16 PM
Appendix E: The Darker Path Strap yourself in, kids, because we're about to take a walk down the wild side of alternate history. I'm going to assume that y'all would have also voted to keep the Star Forge, which means that Jan would have reclaimed the mantle of Revan.

The first part of the confrontation on the top of the temple goes much the same, and we transition here:

Alternate Episode 66 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10514197&postcount=392): Even among Jedi, the confrontation between Shan and her former companions was brief. Bindo notes that Juhani attacked with the fury of the Council, while Ni was reluctant to strike. By sheer reflex, though, Ni forced Shan to parry high, letting Juhani make an attack to Shan's legs. Shan only just managed to avoid the blow, throwing all three of her opponents back with a hammer-blow of the Force.

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Shan: "You are stronger than I would have thought possible, after what the Jedi Council did to you. Seems that Malak was wrong - the power of the dark side is not lost to you after all, Revan."

Ni: "You're drawing on my power, aren't you?"

Shan: "I used the Force to preserve your life on the bridge of your flagship. We are forever linked by my actions. The Council hoped to exploit our bond. They hoped your memories would lead me to the Star Forge. But in our bond I also tasted the power of the dark side within you!"

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Ni: "How could I reclaim an identity I barely remember?"

Shan: "Your mind was too badly damaged to ever fully restore your memories, Revan. But your power, your strength of will, the essence of who and what you are: those things still remain! Once long ago you defied the Jedi Council, freeing yourself from their control. You claimed your rightful title of Dark Lord of the Sith. Together we can defeat Malak and take back what is yours!"

Juhani: "Bastila, it is not too late for you to be saved. The teachings of the Jedi can lead you from the dark side back into the light and a true understanding of the Force."

Shan: "You are beneath my contempt, Juhani. When you felt the power of the dark side you fled to a cave like some cowering animal! You know nothing of the Force or its potential! But you, Revan - the power of the dark side is yours to command! You can use it destroy Malak! With my help you could rule over the entire galaxy!"

Revan: "Commanding the greatest warriors in the galaxy, armed with the artifacts of a dead race, the Sith reborn with an invincible army, thanks to you."

Shan: "Yes! You see it!"

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Bindo: "Don't do this, kid. I don't want to, but I'll fight you if I have to. Even if it costs me my life."

Revan: "You've never agreed with the Council, Jolee. Why fight their battles? Join with me."

Bindo: "...You're really good with that trick. But it won't work against me. Not when I know it's coming."

Revan: "Then leave. I won't stop you."

(If you went back and implemented an influence system for KotOR I, this would be a wonderful place for an influence check.)

Bindo: "I am a Jedi. I won't run."

Revan: "Juhani? My offer stands."

Juhani: "A true Jedi will never bow down to the Sith. If this is your decision I have no choice but to do battle against you."

Shan: "Then we will show you the fate of all who dare to stand against us. With your deaths, the rebirth of Darth Revan will be complete!"

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(Bastila gives Jan a speech to remind her to shut down the temple deflector field and the disruptor field. She do so, and the pair return to the Hawk, after rebuilding their lightsabers to take advantage of the ridiculously powerful crystals that Juhani and Jolee were using).

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Onasi: "Where are Juhani and Jolee? Are they okay? What happened inside that temple?"

Revan: "They didn't make it."

Onasi: "What... what are you talking about?"

Shan: "The Jedi Council has failed, Carth. Juhani and Jolee would not swear loyalty to Revan. You would be wise to offer your allegiance."

Onasi: "Wh...what? No! We serve the Republic! You're no better than Malak! We'll never swear allegiance to one who serves the dark side!"

Ni: "You speak only for yourself, Carth."

Ordo: "You're Revan and I'll follow you anywhere. It doesn't matter who you're fighting against, I'll be at your side. Light side, dark side - it doesn't make any difference to me, Revan. I'll stick by you no matter what comes."

Vao: "I saw what the Sith did to Taris - anyone who serves the dark side is evil! Big Z and I are with Carth on this one!"

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Vao: "Azzalbar - Revan's a bad guy! Just like Malak! It's not a betrayal if you break your life deby now!"

Zaalbar: "If I go back on my vow I am betraying myself, my people and my ancestors. I cannot do that. Please, Mission - join us."

(And this is where we find out that Zaalbar has loyalty listed as a higher allegiance than Mission.)

Vao: "No, Zaalbar. I don't care! I won't help you against the Republic! Not for anything! Not even for you!"

(This is interesting, because Mission's never shown any particular loyalty to the Republic. She's a thief, for crying out loud!)

Onasi: "I see now it was a mistake to let you go into that Temple. I of all people should have seen this coming. First Saul, and now you... I mean, I should be an expert on betrayal by now! But nothing you can say or do can make me betray the Republic. I won't join you, and I won't just stand aside and let you become the Darth Lord of the Sith!"

Revan: "Are you prepared to die for that?"

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Onasi: "Run for it, Mission! Go! Go!"

Vao: "No - this isn't happening! It can't be happening!"

Revan: "Join me, Mission."

Vao: "Nnn...no! I'm not going to just stand aside and do nothing! You'll... you'll just have to kill me. But I don't think you will."

(Here's the limiter on Force Persuade: if their whole essence is opposed to you, then it's just not going to work, even if they're not Force sensitive. Jolee may have had his doubts, but he also had the Force to back him up.)

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Revan: "You're right. I won't kill you. But Zaalbar will."

Zaalbar: "I have sworn a life debt to you, Revan. I will serve you as long as I draw breath. I will not break my vow. But you cannot ask me to turn on my best friend."

Vao: "Looks like you'll have to do your own dirty work, Revan - if you've got the guts!"

Revan: "I don't ask, Zaalbar - I command. Fulfill your life debt to me, and kill Mission."

Zaalbar: "I... I have no choice. The life debt is greater than any single life. It is a solemn vow of all my people. I cannot break it, not even for you. Forgive me, Mission."

Vao: "Zaalbar, what are you saying? Revan can't force you to do anything you don't want to! It's me, Big Z - Mission!"

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Vao: "Please, Zaalbar - don't do this! Please! NO!!!"

...

Shan: "You are truly ruthless, Lord Revan. But we have to get to the Star Forge and destroy the usurper!"

(The Hawk is soon airborne, and makes contact with the Republic commander.)

Dodonna: "It is good to hear your voice, Bastila. We had thought you were lost to us."

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Dodonna: "His loss is a great blow to the Republic. We could have used him in this battle. We were about to pull back. We're taking heavy losses against the Star Forge."

Shan: "Don't pull back, Admiral. You have to destroy the Star Forge now, unless you want to face an unending wave of reinforcements."

Dodonna: "I'll try to press the attack, but we can't hold out much longer. Not unless you can use your Battle Meditation to turn the tide."

(Master Vandar is introduced, and proposes the same plan as before, but with a different target: Malak. If the Republic can gain control of the Star Forge, then maybe the tide of battle can be turned.)

Tokare: "Bastila, you and... the Padawan.. should join us. We will need the combined strength of all of our Order to defeat Malak."

Shan: "As you wish, Master Vandar."

Tokare: "May the Force be with you."

(The transmitter shuts down.)

Shan: "The fools! Even Vandar did not realise you have reclaimed your identity as the Dark Lord."

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Shan: "... and the power of the Star Forge to crush the Republic fleet. All our enemies will be destroyed in a single glorious day!"

I may as well say it now, because this is my last opportunity. I'm really not a fan of the immediate physical effects you get from the extreme dark side alignment. Sure, Palpatine was ugly and wrickled, but he was also really old. I could go with just the eye color change, but it's still just too darn obvious. It means you can line up a bunch of Force Sensitives, and just shoot anyone with yellow eyes. Also, no sexy dark jedi, which is the real tragedy here.)
Alternate Episode 67 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10526660&postcount=403)(The landing goes as normal, except that just before Revan, Bastila and Zaalbar enter the Star Forge proper...)

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(And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the party roster ends up looking like this:

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Bloody, wasn't it? Revan replaces Zaalbar's slot with Canderous [of course]. After that there are the usual droids, apprentices, turrets and elite soldiers. However, Revan's going to use a computer console to use the power of the Star Forge to make herself some customized robes:

http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/9817/ae18.jpg

While Revan gets all swanked up, Malak has a last line of defense in place of where Bastila was.)

Apprentice: "You summoned us, Lord Malak?"

Malak: "Bastila has betrayed me. I must select a new successor to be my apprentice; one who will one day take the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith away from me."

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Apprentice: "Tell me what I must do, Master! Anything!"

Malak: "Revan is on the Star Forge, looking to reclaim my title. Wait here for my old master. Whoever deals the killing blow to Revan will become my new apprentice."

Apprentice: "We will not fail you, Master!"

(After that, Malak does his whole 'Even if you fail, you'll buy me time, power of this fully operational battle station, yadda yadda yadda.' Revan, Bastila and Canderous finish hacking their way through the defenses, make it to the Red, Blue and Black and kill them. Not that they're easy, but easier than Jan fighting Bastila alone. In any case, while in the command center, the Glorious Strategist and the Perfect Bastion of Morale take a moment to look at how the battle is going.)

Revan: "Bastila, Dodonna is getting too close. The Star Forge can create new ships, but it can't give me more trained crews. I need you to use your Battle Meditation. Canderous, guard her."

Ordo: "Yes, Revan."

Shan: "You have to face Malak without me? But -"

Revan: "I'm more powerful than him, Bastila. Besides, I can't die yet. With the Council out of the way, you and I have a great deal to do."

Shan: "Come back to me, love."
Alternate Episode 68 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10535217&postcount=414)http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/3580/ae20.jpg

Tokare: "I have - but never from them. It's almost as if... No! Bastila is using her Battle Meditation against us!"

Dodonna: "What? Impossible! She's on our side!"

Tokare: "Not anymore, Admiral. I sensed something different about Bastila during her transmission, but I thought I was only feeling the evil presence of the Star Forge itself. I see now I was wrong. Bastila has turned to the dark side, Admiral. You have to give the order to retreat."

Dodonna: "I can't do that. This might be our only chance to destroy the Star Forge - we can't withdraw. We can't."

http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/6727/ae21.jpg

(Droid puzzle battle as normal, with slightly altered dialogue that doesn't change the actual meaning one whit. Then we get to the good stuff.)

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Malak: "Well done, Revan. I was certain the defenses of the Star Forge would destroy you, but I see there is more of your old self in you than I expected. You are stronger than I thought; stronger than you ever were during your reign as the Dark Lord. I did not think that was possible."

Revan: "I was always stronger than you, Malak. That was why I was the Master."

Malak: "Once you were stronger than me, Revan. But as your apprentice I surpassed you. TheMaster must always be stronger than the apprentice... that was why I betrayed you."

Revan: "From afar. You were afraid to face me."

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Malak: "The trap set by the Jedi only hastened my decision. If they had not attacked I would have challenged you for mastery of the Sith soon enough."

Revan: "You lie. You knew I was stronger. You still know it."

Malak: "I cannot deny your resilience. You survived my first betrayal, thanks to Bastila's interference. You escaped the destruction of Taris and you escaped me on the Leviathan. You even survived my attempt to destroy you with the Star Forge itself. Fate and destiny have conspired to keep you alive despite all my efforts. We have been inexorably pushed to this final confrontation, Revan. I see now that this can only be settled when one of us destroys the other. We shall face each other in single combat... and the victor will decide the fate of the galaxy!"

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(Usual monologue about using Jedi as life-batteries. Unlike the light side fight, I let him use some, and I use others.)

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Revan: "No, Malak. I am the Dark Lord of the Sith."

Malak: "Yes... I cannot deny it any longer. You are the one who deserves... who deserves to be the Dark Lord. You were the one who found the first Star Map on Dantooine. It was you who led us on our quest for the Star Forge. I only followed in your wake. I tried to usurp your rule, to steal the title of Sith Master from you. But now I understand... The destiny is yours, Revan. Not mine."

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Revan: "The apprentice has learned his final lesson."

Malak: "And so it ends as I somehow always knew it must: in darkness."

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...

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Tokare: "There is no escape for us now."

Dodonna: "Then the Republic is doomed."

...

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(Whew, those are some jagged textures. Sorry.)

All: "All hail Lord Revan! All hail Lord Revan! All hail Lord Revan!"

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Shan: "The might of the Republic fleet is broken. The Core Worlds are defenseless against us, and the Rakata flock to you."

Revan: "Summon Mandalore: the Star Forge will provide new ships, new Basilisks, new weapons for the Mandalorian clans. We have a great deal of work to do, my love..."

(Obviously, things turn out very different for the galaxy. As in, there's no way in heck KotOR 2 makes sense. In control of the Star Forge, with the Crusaders, Rakata and Mandalorians as soldiers, there is no way that Revan, with her strategic genius, would throw all of that away and let the Republic rebuild, regardless of what's lurking out in the blackness of space.)

Here's my big gripe with the dark side ending. There's no way to do it without reclaiming the mantle of Revan. In a way, it's the same complaint throughout the entire game: there's no allotment for the more subtle applications of the dark side. As a creature of the dark side, you have to be Revan the Conquerer. Jan can't learn from her mistakes as Revan. She can't decide that 'You know what? The Star Forge, while powerful, is imprecise. It gave me delusions of grandeur, and wound up weakening the Republic further when I know it needs to be stronger. I need to change my strategy. I should eliminate Malak and the Star Forge, but I can do it in such a way so as to appear to die in the process, giving me the opportunity to move about undetected.' The slaughter on the sands would still happen, but it would be Jan weeding out the ones she can't trust. Bastila would use her Battle Meditation against the Crusaders, but the escape of the Ebon Hawk would hopefully go unnoticed by the Republic forces. Maybe the Hawk itself woulf have to sacrificed, and Jan and her loyalists would have to escape on one of the Star Forge crafts. It's not as bombastic as the kitten-scarfing ending, but what is?

In the end, though, I can't really blame Bioware for not offering a manipulative evil ending, because this stuff is hard to write. Giving the player this much agency isn't exactly easy. What I can blame them for, however, is that there's no option to go against the Council.
Appendix F: Orthodoxy Here's where I have an actual complaint, because the Council's brainwashing is a pretty big violation of morality and of Revan/Jan. Sure, it's just an extension of Force Persuade, but Force Persuade itself (like all enchantments) has some pretty major ethicial issues. Moreso than just reanimating dead tissue, which is more or less universally derided in fantasy.Now, the interesting thing is that mind control like this isn't really hammered in mainstream comics until DC's 2004 Identity Crisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_Crisis_(comics)). I do have to wonder if they were inspired by KotOR on this count, or if it's just working off the same ethical implications.

Canonically, Revan is a male who was shining with light-side goodness by the end of Taris, and kept on exploding with light throughout the rest of the game. Everyone that he could redeem, he did. Among others: Dustil Onasi, Ajunta Pall, Yuthura Ban and Bastila Shan (who he also romanced). And it's so boring. Where's the struggle? Is it just that the Jedi Council's identity was super-effective? That's a terrifying thought - the only reason that the canonical Revan is so light-sided is because the Jedi Council's brainwashing so completely reversed Revan's previous thought patterns. In that, it isn't a space opera, but a sort of existential horror. And a few generations later, we wind up with Satele Shan (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Satele_Shan) and The Old Republic (due Spring 2011). There's a nice thought to take into the MMORPG: the Jedi Council are a bunch of brain-washing jerks. What I hope this LP has shown is that the Jedi Council are not just that, but also patriarchal perverts. If that's the only thing you take away from this LP, I'll be content.

Aaaanyway, let's get to that delicious orthodoxy:

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I prefer the beach party holoprints, honestly. They also stick Juhani and Bastila and the ends so if you wind up killing them, it won't affect the shots.
Thank all of you for staying with me through the end, and I hope to see you in "The Holocron of Laban Halo: Let's Play Knights of the Old Republic 2" in two months or so.

Arcanoi
2011-03-18, 08:51 PM
I still think they could have at least managed some Dark Side lines that didn't sink so low that you could feel the mustache-twirling and maniacal cackling.

Squark
2011-03-19, 06:48 AM
Technically, KOTOR II takes the stance that Revan, as the dark lord, had only done what he did to fight "The True Sith." Now, admittedly, this leaves a plot hole the size of Jupiter these days (Which is generally patched up at the moment by saying, "Kreia lies through her teeth"), but some things still make sense in that regard- Canonically, Revan avoided Infrastructure in his conquests, and he deliberately didn't use the Star Forge to it's full potential- Supplemental material posits that the Star Forge's corrupting influence not only turned the Rakata against each other, but that it is also responsible for cutting them off from the force.


As far as the Light Side ending goes- You could also interpret as the positive influence of your companions, but, then again... You're stuck playing therapist so much, that unless it was a case of "kids raise you," that makes about as much sense as a Tap Dancing Lord Vader.

Mobius Twist
2011-03-20, 01:43 PM
At the apparent conclusion of this thread, Tam, I'd like to thank you for holding this LP and putting in your time and energy into something that so holds your ire.

I look forward to your next venture with enthusiasm.