Posted by : Wendy B Wednesday, 13 June 2012



KOTOR spoilers.
I finished KOTOR bright and early this morning after discovering the easy way to beat Malak. No one saw the battle so the legend of the mighty redeemed Jedi will not need the addendum “And then she ran around the room screaming and throwing her lightsaber at her former friend.” We’ll just keep that to ourselves.

I did this entirely Light side, save for some bitch decisions at the very end that I will blame on the influence of the Star Forge. I have a save somewhere back on Korriban, so I suppose I could go back and try out a Dark side ending. I can only assume I won’t get the neat medal ceremony at the end if I do that, though. Not that I felt Light side Merra Averos deserved the ceremony in the first place, no matter how much redemption was involved, but the Republic are so cute with their forgiveness of the man who orchestrated the murder of billions both to save the Republic and to defeat them.

As for the romance options, it wasn’t so much that it was unfulfilling, but that it was typical Bioware awkward due to a lack of proper segue way. I’d gotten used to Carth Onasi and the conversations and yes, there was some flirting, but then, after the big reveal, that’s when he decides to tell her how she reminds him of his wife and even though he knows the truth now and there’s a chance Merra could turn back to the Dark side, he thinks they could have a future and he’ll watch out for her and make sure she doesn’t go bad again.
Well, Mr. Quest for Revenge, I’m not so sure you’re qualified for the babysitting duty, but whatever. I appreciate that the response options allowed for a non-committal sort of agreement that kept Carth happy. Headcanon says Merra likes him, but likes the idea of him monitoring her more, because she doesn’t trust herself, though Jolee is far better at that job.
In fact, as far as romance goes, all of Jolee’s dialogue regarding the Jedi and their restrictive views on love and emotion were far more fulfilling than the actual Carth romance.

Especially later when Merra survived the first Bastila encounter and Carth is excitedly waving his blasters around professing his love and telling her how proud he was of her and how they are totally going to have awesome babies if they survive this! I definitely chose the “I should go” option there, and Merra backed away slowly...

I did like these companions a lot. They all came with interesting background stories that you could get out of them at decent intervals and the game allowed for more input and return that helped shape Revan. Particularly with Jolee, it wasn’t merely about listening to his story, but about understanding what his anecdotes meant for Revan. I realized that what I liked most about these companions was that they needed nothing from Revan. Yes, they have companion quests, but none of the quests were imposed on you through their whining or demands. I liked the way their companion quests were worked in based on your location, such that it was not an inconvenience to help them. There was no side tracking from an important mission to help people tie up their loose ends. And the scene where Carth reveals the truth about Revan and everyone states how they feel about it? Precious. Because none of them were with you to stay safe from anyone or out of obligation (Z’s life debt doesn’t count!) or out of aching love or need or because of orders (save for Carth and Bastila). They were there because they wanted to be. Because they liked you and/or your cause for whatever reason.
I know a lot of people – not just Star Wars fans – consider this game to be the epicest game ever, but I’m not quite feeling that. I suspect it’s due to me coming so late to the party, having already played the other Bioware games where your decisions matter, so there’s no surprise there (but also no disappointment, as future “your choices matter!” games have provided). I assume this was a whole new thing when KOTOR first came out, so I can see how it would be mind blowing to play a video game that played like a choose-your-own adventure book.

Also, WTF game! WHY DO YOU MAKE ME DO MATH?

I was surprised with the Revan reveal and I thank all my friends and my own resistance of Wiki temptations for not spoiling me at all. I had no clue, but that was also due to the fact that I’d happily become a Revanite in SWTOR and then went on to kill HIM at the Foundry, so I didn’t quite grasp that Revan could be female, much less the very character I was playing. It would be nice if future Bioware stories involving multiple character creation options will finally involve a canon female.

What I did like about this game and subsequent games is that it removed the black and white of the Jedi and Sith and added a new dimension that isn’t mere neutrality. Most of it came through dialogue from Jolee and I plan to further explore his character. I understand KOTOR2 delves a little deeper into this. SWTOR definitely did – not just through the Revenite quest on Dromund Kaas, and I assume the book on Revan offers even more insight. I wish more of the dialogue options for Revan alluded to this, instead of the standard “1. LIGHT IS AWESOME!” “2. Mumble mumble Jedi.” Or “3. I AM THE DARK LORD! SHUT UP AND DIE, BITCHES!” It’s not something the initial EU books I read would get into, opting to simply deal with the two sides being wholly different and you can be only one or the other, with Jedi often falling to the Dark side because hey! lightning fingers! And galaxy conquering! Someone needs to create a new order for people who embrace their power and accept both their light and darkness, including all the emotions that go with. Oh wait, I guess that’s what Revan tries to do. Too bad that George Lucas them close-minded Jedi neeeever listen. May the cycle ever continue.

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This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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