I may have mentioned once or twice that I am a Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) fanatic. I’ve played the game at least half a dozen times, totalling hundreds of hours, with all different classes/alignments/etc.
Naturally after that I was ecstatic to get my hands on KOTOR II: The Sith Lords, which came out for PC 10 years ago this month.
I played it once. When I reached the end of the game, I threw my computer across the room.
Ok, so maybe I just felt like throwing things. Despite a few bugs here and there, I had mostly enjoyed the game up until then. But that ending. Urgh. It was so terrible it basically resulted in a huge giant rage quit from me. I’m pretty sure I immediately called my husband and ranted about it.
But I have heard that some people (I have never actually met any of these people) actually like KOTOR II better than the first game. To be fair, the game was notoriously rushed to get it out on console for the 2004 Christmas season, and since then some enterprising individuals have provided mods that add back in cut content, fix bugs, etc. So having re-acquired the game a while back during a Steam sale, and with the Restored Content mods in place, I’m going to give KOTOR II a second chance.
If you’d like to come along for the ride, I’ll be doing periodic posts on my progress as I play through. There will be a few minor spoilers, but I’ll try to avoid any major ones (for either KOTOR game). This first edition will take us through character creation, the prologue, and starting Peragus.
I chose a female Guardian as my character; although I tend to like playing Force users better, I typically find it easier to play a melee fighter when I am not as familiar with the game.
I took the recommended attributes and skills and went through the random names until I found one I liked: Tyria Drace. (I’m going to mostly take the recommended talents as I level up, especially for the companions, but I might personalize a little bit with the feats and especially the Force powers.)
As I played the prologue on the Ebon Hawk, I was surprised by how good the keyboard controls were and how easy it is to move around and select things–I didn’t even have a mouse and it was not a problem. I did have to break myself of a few habits from playing The Old Republic MMO: I tried to jump by using the space bar, but that key actually pauses the game in KOTOR! Also, I tried to use Tab to shift between targets in combat, as you would in TOR, but in KOTOR that actually shifts between player characters in your party.
I also had to figure out that screenshots in Steam are F12. Not the normal PrintScreen, which just gives you big blocks of black if you try to then paste it in Paint. Hmmm. You guys almost got no screenshots of this first gameplay. Luckily, I know how to Google.
Back to the story! There are a lot of key character introductions in the beginning. You play through the prologue as T3-M4, your little astromech droid, and then on Peragus you almost immediately meet the old woman Kreia. Very soon after you meet the rogue Atton (while not wearing any clothing…), and then you meet an HK (Hunter Killer) droid as you explore Peragus. My character thoroughly enjoyed making snarky comments to all of them. Except for T3, they are all sooo easy to snark at.
As you are talking to Atton (again, not wearing any clothes, which he remarks on if you’re female), you get the option to choose the ending of the first KOTOR game as regards Revan. (The game leaves it vague whether Revan’s male or female under that mask…)
Peragus, an isolated mining facility, isn’t too bad of a setting to start the game, because there are a lot of mysteries going on that you investigate as you explore. Why is Atton in jail when you meet him? Where did your T3 unit disappear to? How did you even end up on Peragus in the first place? And what does Kreia have to do with any of this?
I got so sucked in that I played until 1am—104 minutes so far in my first session. I stopped because I hit a spot in the gameplay where it was not obvious what I had to do next, so I was kinda stuck trying to figure it out. Also, I had to work in the morning, but why would that ever stop me?
Yeah, I was pretty tired at work the next day.
Until next time on Peragus!
Continue on the 2nd part of the series here: Revisiting KOTOR II: (#2) Get me off Telos!