KOTOR 1 v. KOTOR 2 the Good, the Bad and the Kreia: The Spider

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ChampInMaking

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Edited By ChampInMaking

Alrighty folks, we're here at the penultimate stop. We've covered, the Good, the Bad and now it is onto arguably the most important character in both of these stories. A character who for some is the sole reason they like this game, a character who represents a step forward in terms of the evolution of not only Star Wars games but morality systems in general. The character we are of course talking about is Kreia.

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No Caption Provided

The Spider

Very well, what drives you?
Very well, what drives you?

So, how do we sum up a character like Kreia? Throughout the entire game she is shrouded in mystery, she seeming rises from the dead when we meet her and offers us some solace in her explanation of what is going on. At first the player is naturally drawn to her. As said before, she gives you direction and then helps you on your way to reconnect with the Force. You are further drawn into her web after you leave Peragus as she raises her own questions due to her relationship with Sion and at the same time offers answers as she then becomes your de facto master.

Even if you are not aware of it the game slowly but surely keeps pointing to her way to gain your power back. You'll quickly fall into the habit of after every planet going to her to see if there is anything new for her to teach you. The game rewards you for going to her and hearing what she has to say by offering you more boosts than any other character to stats, skills and the like through her lessons. Without even knowing it, the player has actually become the student of Kreia not just the Exile.

So what though? What does Kreia really offer to us that makes her that important, so important that she deserves her own section? It was very difficult to choose just part but I think that this section can provide a basis for our discussion.

and

In case you didn't watch the clips, essentially you are given a choice to either help or scare off a beggar who asks you for money. Now, here is the bit where you assume that Kreia wants you to do something and scolds you if you go a different path. However, this goes wildly different than what I expected on my first playthrough. No matter what you choose, Dark or Light, Kreia will scold you for your decision. At first this might cause some divisiveness from the player as it just seems like she's just yelling at you for the sake of it but she's not. This exchange is a microcosm for morality choices in so many games.

...those three lightsaber killed me so many times
...those three lightsaber killed me so many times

What I mean by this is in many games, you do whatever moral choice you want to, the person reacts accordingly and then thanks you, runs away from you, dies by attacking you, whatever. Here is one of the first cases where we stay with that person and see the results of our actions as something more than a gain/ loss of credits or a movement on you morality meter. You see that the Lightside way lets people not learn from their decisions as they are saved by a helpful Jedi. They have gained no new skills or drive to better themselves because they didn't do anything to get themselves out of their situation. Instead they are elevated out of their problem which inspires ire from those that were not fortunate enough to receive the same help. They did not earn it.

With the Dark side option, the person then learns they must solve their own problems but due to their circumstances that means they have to do it by any means necessary and in this case it means they must turn to crime. While yes, they have solved their current problem, they have started an all new by breaking the law, alienating another person and cycle continues.

That is the genius of Kreia. In most games, it is beaten over your head to just help people if you're going to be the good guy (or gal) but you can't see the long term effects of your actions in many cases. Or in the instance of characters, Kreia is the first character to not be easily labeled as "Dark" or "Light" side. Jolee was similar but really at the end of the day he was a Light side character, same as Carth, Bastila, Bao dur, etc. Her motives and rationale cannot be simply said to be "evil" and that is what makes her interesting. The game knows this and that is why she (and only she does this) has this conversation and others like it regardless if she is in your party or not.

In the end you are left to wonder if there is such a thing as a "right choice" and really what you end up learning is: no, there isn't. There is no such thing as you cannot know what will be the repercussions of your actions. In the end all you can do is ensure that you are acting with your own interest in mind and THAT is Kreia's true message to the player. The importance of that message is that since it is so broad it allows for so much more interpretation than the be a square or a jerk options of Light and Dark respectively.

Learning that lesson is what Kreia wants you to grasp and by doing so you end earning a variety of both Light and Dark side points as the situations change. As you do this you learn more about Kreia and her backstory of being one of Revan's teachers and her role in the Sith Triumvirate. Kreia shatters the notion that the Light side always is "good" and vice versa. The idea that one can seemingly "Dark side" things on paper but are actually for the greater good. In the black and white world of Star Wars this is extremely subversive as now it calls into question things like just how "good" the Jedi are by doing such things as allowing the Mandalorians carve their way through the Republic. How "good" are you when you hide behind ideals to prevent you from acting on something that you know you should and then condemn others for doing so?

To be honest we really could sit here for another several parts just going over every Kreia dialogue and lesson but really we would essentially be going conversation by conversation. To be honest, I feel as though this is my weakest part that I've done so far BECAUSE of how much I have to leave out for the sake of brevity. It also is something that I wrote this part in much less time than the other because of all I wanted to say. That is why I'm putting in some more videos in case some are curious as again, it would take so much more time to dissect them all.

See you folks in the finale! The story and themes.

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Vessel28

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Kreia has always been one of my favourite characters although I've never been quite sure how I feel about the beggar scene. I do agree with you however that it is interesting to think about the repercussions of moral choices.

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ChampInMaking

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#2  Edited By ChampInMaking

Thankfully some games now show you some o those repercussions or offer more shades of gray in your choices. The Witcher series is an excellent example of both of these.

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Dimi3je

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Obsidian should make a proper KOTOR 3.

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ChampInMaking

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#4  Edited By ChampInMaking
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Dimi3je

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#6  Edited By Dimi3je

@champinmakingAt least we know that they want to do it.

Considering their suscess with The Stick of Truth and Pillars of Eternity shaping up nicely (I really hope that this game lives up to its potential), who knows? Obsidian seems to be on a roll, whoever is in charge of SW games in Disney may pick up on this.

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extintor

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#7  Edited By extintor

Thanks for assembling this write up.

KOTOR 2 was a buggy unfinished mess on release but the quality of the Kreia character is so stellar it makes me sad for the wasted potential. Kreia is a brutal, brutal realist of a character. Listening to her tirades used to remind me of listening to Christopher Hitchens in a strange kind of way. Sometimes she'd say things that'd make me irritated because I didn't like my comfortable ideology being messed with (this was 10 years ago after all) but, like Hitchens she'd take a sharp pin to my ideology bubble and force an understanding from me that my ideology could be a source of delusion.

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GTCknight

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I have always adored Kreia. simply put shes one of my favorite characters in gaming.

I always found it both fascinating and rather fitting that Kreia's dream was to annihilate the force from the universe.