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    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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    Knights of the Old Republic is a series of Star Wars videogames set approximately 4,000 years before the Star Wars movies. Despite this, all technology appears to be identical, implying the galaxy is in a state of total stagnation.

    KOTOR 1 v. KOTOR 2 the Good, the Bad and the Kreia

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    ChampInMaking

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    Edited By ChampInMaking

    That awkward moment...

    Alrighty so, It's time we address the issue that either many folks already mentioned or have thought of. This of course would be that KOTOR 2 was by no exaggeration an unfinished game. I cannot think of a game that was more gutted than this game to reach its release date. You can easily find lists of all the cut content ranging from different planets, new plot points, VASTLY altering character arches (specifically when dealing with your romance option on who you did or did not pick) and so much more. Seriously though, if you are remotely interested it is worth checking out some of it.

    However, many people can point at games that also had lofty ambitions that they did not reach but KOTOR 2 is different in this case. The majority of the cut content are actually still in the files of the game. There have been several "Restoration mods" that have worked to restore these into the game with varying success(I do encourage you to download them if you have it on PC) Here is the dilemma: how should we deal with this? The answer is simple: whatever was on the disk AND PLAYABLE is counted. I am not going to use any cut content as evidence to back up my claim during the following proceedings. Of course it should be known that if Obsidian was allowed to actually finish the game they wanted to, we would not be having this conversation at all as KOTOR 2 would be definitively better as opposed to the underdog that it is. Anyway though, let's kick it off! Also keep it mind there will be spoilers!

    No Caption Provided
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    Characters

    The Good: KOTOR 1

    Clockwise from top left: Bastila, Canderous, Carth, Juhani, Zaalbar, T4-M4, Mission, HK-47, Jolee
    Clockwise from top left: Bastila, Canderous, Carth, Juhani, Zaalbar, T4-M4, Mission, HK-47, Jolee

    Now let's be fair both games have their share of great characters. I would argue for KOTOR 2 there are only 2 really interesting characters. Yes HK-47 is very funny but he's just a killer droid not much else. Canderous is a personal favorite but I just love listening to his stories and besides, he get a whole lot better in KOTOR 2. No I would say the two best in KOTOR 1 are Juhani and Jolee. Both of them represent something very important to the evolution of not only Star Wars but games in general. Carth and Bastila aren't really worth discussing as they just aren't very interesting. Carth is always go on on about trust and how he doesn't trust you and then Bastila is constantly scolding and lecturing you about the Dark side; it's exhausting. Coupled to that, the two of them supplant you really as the main character as their needs and goals become the driving force of the game, not yours. Also worth noting that Bastila's fall to the Dark side makes NO SENSE.

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    No Caption Provided

    Jolee though, is an extremely important character in my opinion as he is one of the first times in any Star Wars games that you come across a character who is disillusioned with the Jedi Order and the strict adherence to the "Light Side." It raises interesting questions as his choices then imply the fact that there is so much more to the Force than those two points of view and further accentuating that the Darkside is necessarily "evil but a different point of view that gets twisted. The way of the Gray was a pretty novel idea, even now where most games with moral choices make you either a goody-two-shoes or a complete jerk. You're not evil like Darth Vader, you're a punk robbing people of lunch money. The idea of shades of gray are introduced by Jolee and then expanded upon the second game.

    Fun fact: Jade Empire actually did a fairly good job of contextualizing their Dark side or "Way of the Closed Fist" much more as a "standing on your own " ideology that gets twisted.

    Juhani is much more interesting as you talk to her more and more and go beyond her whole "falling to the darkside" backstory. How she was born in poverty and how the Jedi brought her in and she describes falling in love with the, as they became her saviors and were seen as almost god like to her because of that. Juhani get even more important if you choose to be a woman. Juhani is a lesbian and over the course of your adventure will fall in love with you. She then feels torn because she to fight not only her guilt for falling in love as the Order says you can't love and that makes her confront her previous fall the darkside over and over again. The only part that ruins this is that her love for you can never be reciprocated. Female Revan can only be with Carth.

    The only thing I don't like about this clip is the person modded Juhani to look more stereotypically "beautiful." I don't like it one bit as the mod seems to imply that there is something wrong with how Juhani looks but I'm probably just reading into it too much.

    This is how she should look. Also,
    This is how she should look. Also, "I will be your doom!"

    The Good: KOTOR 2

    From top left: Atton, Bao dur, Mandalore, Handmaiden,Kreia,Visas,T3-M4, Mira,HK-47, G0-T0. Disciple and Hanharr not shown
    From top left: Atton, Bao dur, Mandalore, Handmaiden,Kreia,Visas,T3-M4, Mira,HK-47, G0-T0. Disciple and Hanharr not shown

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    KOTOR 2 on the other hand I would say at the very least three strong characters and at most six. Granted, they are not as "important" in terms of the franchise as Jolee and Juhani but they bring a lot more in terms of character development which ultimately makes them more interesting to listen to and have in the party. These characters would be Atton, Mandalore, Bao Dur, Visas, Handmaiden(Brianna) and of course, Kreia ( who's going to have her own section, she's THAT good). The others are a mixed bag, Hanharr is pretty interesting, especially his relationship with Mira but neither are all that much individually; G0-T0 is lame, interesting premise space gangster attempting to control things through economics but he's boring; Disciple is boring and HK-47 is still HK-47.

    Pazaak, Republic Senate rules anyone?
    Pazaak, Republic Senate rules anyone?

    I'm not going to go through each of their stories as that would take too long. We can however look at their stories as a group. Each of these characters carry backstories, goals, desires, and weakness that range from more than, "Hey, do my sidequest." Atton's backstory of being a soldier for Revan and Malak and then turning into a torturer of prisoners, especially Jedi. His moment of the Force awakening in him as he killed the Jedi who did opened him to it and how he at first wanted to kill her out of hatred but in the end did it because he loved her. Powerful stuff and I'm really just skimming ONE conversation with Atton. Visas and her relationship with Darth Nihilus; being the last of kind, indoctrinated into the Dark side and trying to kill you and her relationship that develops with you. I mean, it makes a powerful statements on abusive relationships, the Force, the power of redemption, whatever you want.

    Okay , okay one more, Bao dur. The strong silent type of the team and the only one to not call you "Exile." He's also the only one who shares with you the sin of Malachor V. It's clear that his respect for you is absolute and how his life has never been the same after that battle and how attempts to atone for his sins by helping the Telos Restoration project, essentially trying to do the opposite of what he did at Malachor V. "Your command echoes still General, and I obey as I did at Malachor." With Bao dur it as much if not more of what he doesn't say that speaks to the true complexities of his character but every now and then he opens up and man... I tell ya.

    We can do this with everything single of those characters that I just named for KOTOR 2 (and I easily could). As I said, while Jolee and Juhani are very interesting and important characters, they're kinda it in terms of interesting in KOTOR 1. Everyone else get sort of wrapped up after their sidequest with the exception of those two. Carth and Bastila aren't really that interesting as they don't bring much to the table and actively get in the way of your story. KOTOR 2 is different in that while its characters aren't "game changers" in terms of Jolee and Juhani but the characters have so many layers to their personalities that makes you want to learn more about them and as mentioned before the actually rewards you for it! Between bonuses to skills, bonuses to defense, resistances and perhaps the most important, training them to become Jedi to strengthen your team!

    Whew that was the good done and over with. This will probably be the longest section as now we just need the bad and Kreia. Hopefully I can tie up those two in one post but Kreia might need her own. Oh well. Sorry I had to cram a lot into a tiny amount of space, there are just so many characters between the two games. At least in next part we really have only four to really talk about. Alrighty see you folks in...

    The Bad

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    deactivated-60dda8699e35a

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    I honestly think the second game - with the restoration mods installed - is a far superior game. Get it on steam, download all the mods, and be amazed at how different it is from the release state of the game. It's such a damn shame that Obsidian was rushed so badly, if they had been given more time it could have been amazing.

    Interesting write-up, but I beg to differ on your opinion of Go-To, figuring out who he is and what his real objective is in the game is really damn cool. HK-47 also has more of a personality in the second game other than "Kill all Meatbags!", and like every other character (perhaps with the exception of Mira and T3), he has his own subplot, and with the restoration mod it has a fantastic finale.

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    deactivated-5e49e9175da37

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    I read that. I also like KOTOR 2. High fives!

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    rollingzeppelin

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    #3  Edited By rollingzeppelin

    I will just say this; Kreia is the reason why I can't trust the Theresa from Fable.

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    ChampInMaking

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    @random45 I don't know, G0-T0 was just not interesting to talk to for me. I can certainly acknowledge the interest behind his story but it just didn't click with me. That and I never had him in my party as I liked the other characters more. Also, I wanted to just count what as playable out of the box without the mod and without the mod HK's story doesn't end up going anywhere. I agree with you though, the restoration mods are fantastic and offer a glimpse into what KOTOR2 could have been.

    @brodehouse stay strong brotha

    @rollingzeppelin haha, same here

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    Vessel28

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    #5  Edited By Vessel28

    I agreed with most of your points but I too disagree that G0-T0 isn't very interesting, I really liked finding out that it was a republic droid that turned to crime because it had to abandon one of its prime directives two directives, to help rebuild the republic or to follow all its laws. I also like how he is behind the HK-50 assassin droids you encounter throughout the game.

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    Gnorbooth

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    With all the removed content put back in, HK-47 is a hell of a character in 2. I remember walking away from his philosophical dissertations he just laid on me and was shocked at this killer robot laying the smack down on ideals and concepts. He's less overtly funny in 2, but makes up for it in a ton of other ways. Too bad the base game didn't get it all in (not to mention the whole solo mission to take care of the HK line). I wub you KOTOR 2, even if you are a massive mess without all these mods and patches.

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    GTCknight

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    #7  Edited By GTCknight

    I have never played KOTOR2 (owned it on Xbox first) with all the removed content put back in (never had time to), but I have always loved it more than the first KOTOR. It simply had better characters and lore, which helped to flesh out the story.

    I always must chose Visas Marr as my lover though.

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    ChampInMaking

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    #8  Edited By ChampInMaking

    I gotta admit, I'm surprised by the G0-T0 love coming out here. I gotta admit I always wrote him off as he just never really interested me at first. That and he just didn't seem like much of a fighter compared to the others. Now I almost want to fire up a new game just to see what I've been missing.

    I guess that adds yet ANOTHER great character to KOTOR 2's roster.

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    extintor

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    Kreia is hands down my favorite character in a video game...

    *pauses a moment to consider that statement*

    perhaps I'll add the qualification that I've played KOTOR 2 several times and the last two times were with the full restoration mod. Kreia really is the most absorbing character.

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    veektarius

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    I haven't tried going back to Kotor 2 really since playing it originally, but I have tried Kotor 1, and that game does not hold up for me. For one, the good/evil options are so much less nuanced than in more recent RPGs. Both Kotor and Jade Empire played lip-service to a morality that was more than nice vs. jerk, but in both cases the easiest way to be evil was to extort money from people. The second thing is the sound design: it's just so sparse. Hardly any music at all, and what's there is mostly just ambient and unmemorable. The graphics and combat system aren't exactly winners either, but they're easier for me to overlook given the context that it is an older game.

    Judging them by my reactions at the time, though, I thought Kotor 2 was the better game most of the way, but the ending was complete nonsense, like the original ending of ME3 times ten. My expectations for storytelling in games back then was much lower, however.

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    StevetheRadroach

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    #11  Edited By StevetheRadroach

    good write-up, i dont see how anyone could like Kreia though, she's an annoying old hag. Seriously, fuck Kreia

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    deactivated-6050ef4074a17

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    @veektarius said:

    I haven't tried going back to Kotor 2 really since playing it originally, but I have tried Kotor 1, and that game does not hold up for me. For one, the good/evil options are so much less nuanced than in more recent RPGs.

    I do enjoy how much both games differ on this single design issue. 1's moral choices are either saintly or cartoonishly evil, and 2's moral choices often just end with Kreia berating you no matter what choice you make. I remember first playing 2 and just re-loading over and over to see Kreia's reactions to stuff, because her entire MO is to just be a bitchy old crone about whatever you do, usually only praising you for total inaction.

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    Gnorbooth

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    @stevetheradroach: I'll let others do all the more in-depth of why Kreia is this beloved kind of character, but at least for me it's the pure philosophical difference that she brings to the Star Wars universe. In all of the films and expanded universe, there just isn't a character that brings the observations of both sides to the table quite like Kreia, and than disputes them. Jolee Bindo would be my close second.

    I do remember one cool moment with Kreia where on Dantooine (I think it's when you come out of some cave from a quest) and you're confronted with some bad guys. It's a pretty usual circumstance where if you go light side, she bitches you out. Go dark side, she tells you to go get fucked. But pick the option that circumvents the usual and you end manipulating both factions to your bidding and she applauds you and praises you. That Kreia, she likes to talk and berate and everything, but she is a teacher at heart. Go with options that are more in the middle, or manipulative, or don't conform and she sees you as a student that gets it. Any means necessary without conforming to one moral philosophy or the other. I really like Kreia. Even if she tells me to fuck off a lot.

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    AngryKluge

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    @marokai: While she may have been a bitchy old crone, she always had some sort of lesson in mind. One of my favorite Kreia moments by far is when she berates you for being friendly to Visas, telling you to think of your companions as tools and nothing more, to which you can then reply "Then I will think of you as a tool as well." She then says something along the lines of "And now you are truly learning."

    I don't think I've ever seen another companion in a game that was so well defined and focused on their own agenda. She truly is one of the best written characters I have ever seen in a video game, and maybe even fiction in general. I'm having a hard time thinking of another character that holds up so well after 5+ playthroughs. I make it a point to play through this game every couple of years, and every time I do I notice some new foreshadowing of her motivations or nuance to her philosophy. And the restoration mod adds even more! Brb, got to reinstall this...

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    Oldirtybearon

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    #15  Edited By Oldirtybearon

    Fuck's sake. All it took was seeing Atton's smug face and now I've got "PURE PAAZAAAAK" stuck in my head again.

    Thanks a lot.

    EDIT: and how does Bastila's fall to the Dark Side not make sense? It was heavily foreshadowed from the beginning. She's a prideful, jealous young woman who is carrying a whole hell of a lot of weight and stress. She's also arrogant, most likely due to the special treatment she's received as a result of her unique gifts in the Force. She's also got bottled up resentment and anger over her past. Not to mention she was tortured by Malak for God knows how long.

    No really, I want to see someone try and tell me that Bastila's fall didn't make sense.

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    ChampInMaking

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    Awesome comments folks. Good to see some people engaging in dialogue about games that are now over ten years old.

    @james_hayward I agree, the restoration mods bring a lot of new life to the game. Granted the people can only do so much with what they have available. Man, everytime I think about it, I just wish Obsidian could have finished!

    @veektarius I definitely agree with your feelings on moral choice. To be honest this problem still plagues games to this day but it seems even more apparent in the KOTOR series. Instead of feeling like a powerful Sith, I just felt like a jerk. I mean can anyone really imagine Darth Vader shaking down people for the change? According to these games he'd be all over that.

    @stevetheradroach Thanks man, I'm trying to improve these each time so they are a littler easier to digest but sometimes my excitement gets away from me and I write a little too much. Also, she's not that bad...

    @marokai I do hope moral choices can become more nuanced as we progress. Star Wars does and at the same time doesn't seem like the series to do it though. It does because of the nature of it implies choice but at the same time it really only implies 2 choices when you get down to it. As for Kreia, she's just chock-full of good lines. In my more recent playthroughs though I never hear the majority of them as I always feel too guilty using her as she is a monster in the stats department.

    @gnorbooth I know exactly the moment you're talking man. I remember be surprised the second time I played that scenario and chose the opposite answer and she still yelled at me for it. It really made me start thinking about Kreia and what she signifies not only during your story but how her ideology fits into Star Wars. Jolee did it a similar way but it was much more with his own choices rather than yours and so in that way Kreia was a lot more impactful.

    @angrykluge Keep the dream alive brotha! If I can get even one person to replay or pick one these (preferably both!) games up, it makes this all the more worthwhile. Thanks for that man. Also fantastic choice of quote there; man, she does have so many good ones...

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    StevetheRadroach

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    @gnorbooth: Maybe i just have a problem with people bitching me out, i really could not stand her criticizing me for doing the right thing, i'm a freaking Jedi it's what i'm supposed to do! It got to the point where i would skip all of her conversations until the dialogue tree part, and i would pick the mean/sass option, because seriously, Fuck Kreia.

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    Gnorbooth

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    @stevetheradroach: Haha, I feel ya. Kreia despises both Jedi and Sith which is why she gives you an earful whichever direction you commit yourself too. Kreia has her motivations and sticks to her guns, which I find super interesting, but obviously, not everybody is going to dig it.

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    Lazyimperial

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    #19  Edited By Lazyimperial

    I can't say that I have your love for Kotor2, but I enjoy your enthusiasm. :-P

    I guess my thing is that Kotor was a complete game. I'm sure someone will smack me for falling back on this old "critic crutch," but Kotor had polish. Lots and lots of polish. The plotline was coherent, the framerate was stable, the level design was nuanced and avoided repetition, etc. One of my favorite "polish" touches was how the Jedi robes were tweaked to have more of an Indian vibe to their aesthetic (such as the cloth that drapes around your hips)... which frankly worked pretty well. It reminded you that you weren't in the same time period as the original trilogy and compensated for how poorly the Xbox could render moving cloth. Design decisions like that made me smile, and all the references to the original trilogy and first prequel film just further emphasized how much Bioware cared about both its product and the source material. Aside from the endlessly respawning enemies on the Starforge that were thrown in to create an openly contrived late-game difficulty curve, I have no complaints.

    Kotor2 had absolutely none of the positive traits detailed above. It added graphical effects that bogged down the framerate repeatedly. Level design was often awful and highly repetitive, reusing assets and entire layouts with alarming frequency. The story was a broken disaster that fell apart in the last third of the game, warping you from location to location with nary a drop of lucid expository dialogue (Bao-Dur died? Okay, when? Oh, off screen in a cutscene you had to remove? Right.). Obsidian also made art changes that were often poorly informed, such as... yes, the robes. You knew I was looping back to it. I mean, come on. Look at the rant in the previous paragraph. *ahem* The robes moved like wet planks of plywood and were inconsistent with the first game's art style. It just... well, it sucked.

    Oh, and I'd like to make special mention of the reputation system in Kotor2, which I found absolutely repugnant from a roleplaying perspective. It was a statistical brown-nosing system in which my character had to say the right things to the right people, no matter how tonally inconsistent such things were with my prior dialogue choices. The alternative was to suffer numerical penalties for actually roleplaying. I mean, I guess you could say that I was roleplaying a manipulative wonder-weasel, but that's not really what I signed up for.

    By comparison, you could speak your mind in Kotor and, over time, potentially sway people into your way of thinking. in Kotor2, dialogue options only open up if you have X amount of points; thus, you can literally roleplay yourself into conversational dead ends.

    I don't see any merit in Kotor2, and I have never bought the time excuses that aficionados bandy about like shields. Obsidian was hired to make an expansion to an established game. The graphics engine was done. A significant amount of pre-existing art assets existed. The entire gameplay system was complete. They had to make... an expansion pack, really. I'm pretty sure they had two years to do this with access to advice from Bioware staff who built the prior game, and you know what... Obsidian failed at it. They made a game too big for the time frame they were given, cut so much out that they virtually gutted their own product, and then sold it at full price to consumers. That's failure. Sure, it's failure born from ambition and a desire to create something grand in scope, which is almost romantic... but it's still failure. They knew their time frame, and they were almost all experienced developers with years of game design under their belts. They have no excuses. No good ones. Oh, and they followed up this expansion pack fiasco by taking over another Bioware franchise with a pre-existing engine, gameplay system, and art assets, which they then also messed up with the mediocre Neverwinter Nights 2. The excuse that time? Hasbro rushed them, because it's always the publisher's fault for not being more patient, right? :-/

    I'll end on a positive note: I was glad that Kotor2 at least made non-Jedi party members useful. I never used my blaster toting chums after I got to Dantooine in Kotor, if only because I couldn't justify gimping my party to hear Mission Vao marvel at Kashyyyk. That wasn't as much of an issue in Kotor2, so there's that going for it. Oh, and the staff at Obsidian seem to have hit a decent stride nowadays. I mean, Fallout: New Vegas was pretty good and South Park: The Stick of Truth worked quite well. Not going to mention Alpha Protocol. That'd just be rude.

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    Lazyimperial

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    @lazyimperial:

    Ah, that felt good. I forgot how much Kotor2 grated me until just now. I did like the handmaiden though. She was kind of interesting, and didn't exist to contradict and criticize me repeatedly like Kreia did.

    Oh, and I have to give the Obsidian writers credit for helping me truly grasp the full meaning of apathy. There is a scene where Kreia asks you if you should help someone or not. She proceeds to rant at length about how helping this person will lead to them being mugged and killed, while not helping them will leave them to starve and die. I think it's intended to make you realize that "every action has a consequence." However, I quickly realized that what she was really saying was that she would find a way to disapprove of me no matter what I did. I utterly stopped caring about what she said from this point on, to the point of where I remember almost none of it.

    I say almost none because she later warned me not to have sex with the handmaiden since, and I'm utterly serious about this, "a child born from your union would be an abomination." Why? Huh? You do realize that sex can be done for pleasure and not procreation, right? Is there no birth control in the future-past?

    Oh, and later on she told me the future. I actually tuned all that stuff out too, but I found it amusingly out of place in the Star Wars universe and also an incredibly cheap way to end a game. No time for cutscenes or even an end-game cinematic done with the game engine? Ha, no worries! Force one of the voice actors to read five minutes of dialogue and have the player stare at a polygonal face in disbelief. Then, fade to a starship warping off into space. Fin! We've done it lads. Now to end Neverwinter Nights 2 with a few still frames of concept art and some script reading from a man pulled off the street. We'll give 'em closure!

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    donchipotle

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    #21  Edited By donchipotle

    KOTOR 2 is both a superior game to the first and the single greatest piece of Star Wars fiction ever produced. Kreia is a fantastic character and it was refreshing to have a game call out Star Wars on how fucking stupid its morality system is.

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    ArbitraryWater

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    I remember finding KotOR 2's obvious swathes of cut content (on top of being buggy as hell) to be super disappointing to my young self. The ending alone... No excuse. Hey, your ship crashed and I guess your companions managed to get out okay? Not going to bother telling me? That remote sequence? Bleh.

    I can appreciate it from a distance now, restored content and fewer bugs help. I just think the entire thing is misleading being called a sequel to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It's not. I have other misgivings, like the reasoning behind the Player Character's quest to find the Jedi masters and some of the character motivations, but I'll spare everyone a lot of half-remembered distaste.

    What I will say is that KotOR 2 does have some decent companions. I always thought Bao Dur's sleepy voice was a bit of a downer, and Disciple struck me as an exceptionally boring Boy Scout of a fellow, but Hanharr the psychotic Wookiee who clings to the idea of life debt even though he wants to murder you is pretty great. A lot of great HK 47 moments too, especially when you have him make fun of Carth and Bastila by asking about Revan's companions. That is great.

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    impartialgecko

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    #23  Edited By impartialgecko

    Kotor 2 is fucking rad. The backstories of Atton and Hanharr are incredible. The whole game rams home how weak and incapable the Jedi are without the force and how their altruistic notions of right and wrong are incongruous with the realities of that world. It had a gritty and unforgiving atmosphere that unlike anything else in that franchise. Nothing in Star Wars is as bleak and ambiguous as Kotor 2.

    Kotor 1 is admittedly a finished product and it's sensational, but Kotor 2 is by far the more interesting game. Obsidian were always better writers than BioWare and their interpretation of that universe is the one I'd rather spend my time in, bugs and cut-content included.

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    viking_funeral

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    Both games are amazing and deserve their spot in the pantheon of great games, but KotOR II is a near miss on perfection. It really is too bad that game got screwed over like it did.

    Kreia is one of my favorite non-movie Star Wars characters of all time. Atton is not bad, either. Way better than Carth.

    Of course, Revan and HK-47 are also up there. But like you said, the other characters in the original KotOR... ugh...

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    viking_funeral

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    By the way, you accidentally typed KOTOR 2 instead of one in your first paragraph of The Good: KOTOR 1. Not a big deal, but I thought you were claiming KotOR II only had two good characters for a second...

    One of the most disappointing things about SW:TOR was how they made Revan a male and the Outcast female (and hinted at her being a romantic partner of Revan). I mean, it's all moot now with Disney's recent cannon changes, and Star Wars lore has been more about "fannon" than cannon for a while now, but I really think they missed a chance for Revan to be a powerful female Jedi persona in the Star Wars universe. There's not a lot of those in the popular fiction, and they mostly exist as love interests for other characters.

    Of course, I'd prefer if they didn't choose and left it up to each individual player, but what the fuck are you going to do? Some ass always comes by with a cannon choice. They even did it to Dragon Age.

    Slightly off topic, and man is it hard to type all this on a phone, but I consider KotOR 2 part of the trilogy of great Black Isle / Obsidian mind benders, along with Planescape: Torment and NWN 2: Mask of the Betrayer. It's easily the most approachable of the three.

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    AngryKluge

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    #26  Edited By AngryKluge

    @lazyimperial: Don't want to get into an argument here, but it seems to me that we played very different versions of KOTOR 1. while it was an incredible game that really set the tone for the Bioware games of today, it was also a buggy mess. Remember the the Star Droid glitch? How about all of those corrupted save issues that required you to create new save files constantly so that you could roll back to an earlier area if you did something wrong, such as leaving an area while in combat? While I can understand how one would be dissapointed by how unfinished 2 was, I think its incredibly unfair to completely throw it under the bus like this. Obsidian had 1 year and 5 months from the release of KOTOR 1 to make it, and it stands to reason that their QA time was cut short so it could be released in time for christmas. Maybe you should try out the restored content mod? It really helps explain all of those holes left in the original game, and it also seems to be a much more stable experience than either of the KOTOR games were at launch.

    Either way, at least we can all agree that KOTOR 1 was incredible right? :D If it wasn't for that I would have never tried out Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Neverwinter Nights, Fallout, etc. You've gotta give Microsoft props for promoting it on the XBOX. I'm sure it introduced many people to the wonderful world of CRPGs.

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    ChampInMaking

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    @oldirtybearon It doesn't make sense because those traits are seen in characters other than Bastila. I would definitely use MAster Vrook as an example of this as he is an arrogant jerk to you the entire time. One could say that he is only acting that way because he knows you're Revan but in KOTOR 2 you save and he acts the same way. A character exhibiting some character traits that seem like "less than ideal qualities" such as stubbornness is poor foreshadowing in my opinion. Now if they had Bastila actually consider doing something that could lead her down to the Dark Side that would be one thing but she never does.

    As far as "a lot of stress" I don't see how that doesn't apply to the rest of the crew as all of them are going through the same thing that she is with the exception that she is the only one who knows that you're Revan but other than that she shows no signs of breaking under the pressure of it the entire game. Even when she is tortured on the Leviathan she is steadfast in her beliefs. There is one line though where she admits(if you are male) for a moment that she wanted you to talk so that the pain would stop. I suppose you could use that as evidence but still that's really the only thing aside from the facts that she's a little standoffish at first but she drops that after the first planet.

    @lazyimperial I will agree with you in some aspects ( I actually did prefer the robes in KOTOR 1as well) but still, to label KOTOR 2 as an expansion pack is ridiculous. That is an unfair assessment of the game and frankly extremely minimalistic to everything KOTOR 2 brought to the table. Bear in mind that your main complaint of it being unfinished was directly addressed by me in the first paragraph. The robe issue is purely an aesthetic choice and really subjective. I had friends who prefered the robes in KOTOR 2 because they looked more like actual Jedi robes. I mean, you can't really say that it would have taken the Jedis thousands of years just to start wearing different robes.

    Furthermore, the influence system is purely optional, if you do not want to take part it in thats fine. Yes some characters require you to be very nice with them but that because they were designed to be played with a Light side character where everything you say is the "nice thing." To cherry pick that detail without mentioning the whole truth is a little unfair. There are several character who love when you do the darkside option and Hanharr actually prefers it when you treat him like garbage. Also, many of the influence choices are more of the character responding to your actions not to you "brown nosing them." Bao dur for example compliments you on helping that mechanic on Dantooine and that gets the influence. Also the "numerical penalties" is a farce. The game in no way penalizes you for not doing any influence options, I don't know where you got that but it is simply untrue. The game only rewards you for it, it never takes anything away.

    As for KOTOR 1's "swaying peoples' way of thinking," that existed in KOTOR 2 as well. It was called "Persuade" and "Force Persuade" just like it was in KOTOR 1. As mentioned in part one, you didn't even have to persuade in KOTOR 2 in some cases you could use your knowledge of Demolitions, Computer use, or your awareness to convince people of something.

    As I said and acknowledged, yes KOTOR 2 is an unfinished game. Does Obsidian share the blame in that? Of course they do but not all of it. KOTOR 1 came out in 2003 and KOTOR 2 came out in 2005 and you know that time had to encompasses a whole lot more than the actual creation of the game between things like QA and the like. Failure? Hardly. A failure would've been not releasing anything or releasing it in an unplayable form and the people here who came to discuss it can wholeheartedly confirm that they played the game and many of them enjoyed it. Does not sound like a failure to me in the slightest.

    Look, I get it, you don't like KOTOR 2. That's fine and it is good that we can have these conversations but at the same time it is necessary for me to point out where you a clearly minimizing KOTOR 2 in your arguments. I'm guessing you were a big fan of the first one and then let down by KOTOR 2. If that's true I understand completely.It's fine to not like it. It's fine for you to hate it but at the same time that does not mean that everyone has to agree with you. My purpose is for people to take second look at the black sheep of this family and show it does deserve praise despite its shortcomings.

    @donchipotle Great point man. Jolee set up the point and then Kreia hit it out of the park

    @arbitrarywater I will agree that some of those Malachor V segments are are a little jarring. Scratch that, they are jarring. We will discuss them in the story section where they do make sense in context but it isn't immediately apparent.

    Bao dur is a little sleepy I will admit, I always just took that as part of his personality and rolled with it

    @adam1808 Excellent point man. KOTOR 2 shatters the idea of Jedi's being these infallible invincible beings. I remember first listening to Atton and being very cynical about him saying that he killed Jedi. Then he started going into detail and I was like, "Oh man, between him and HK, they have a point."

    @viking_funeral I think despite where we stand on this, we all can find common ground in that that Kreia destroys Carth.

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    Nick

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    i loved both those games so much, i played through each of them a good 5 or 6 times. i should go back through them at some point

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    Oldirtybearon

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    @viking_funeral: Lucasfilm/LucasArts decided on the canon of KOTOR. They decided that Revan was male and that the Exile was female, canonically.

    I mean, if you're going to get angry about this sort of thing, I guess that's your right. It seems pretty dumb, though, considering both KOTOR and KOTOR II don't imply a preference of one over the other.

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