Revisiting KOTOR II: (#7) Onderon/Dxun, Part Deux–The Math Lesson

Start with the first post in this series here: Revisiting KOTOR II: (#1) A Fresh Start.

After finishing up on Korriban, we’re returning to Onderon to finish what we started in episode #5.  Our enemy is starting to come out into the light: a group of Sith has encamped on Dxun and is supporting General Vaklu in trying to overthrow the legitimate queen of Onderon.

It’s time to split the party: Atton will take Mandalore and Mira to Dxun to deal with the Sith camp, while I will take Visas and Kreia to Onderon to protect the queen.  Kreia found my choices…acceptable.  From her, that’s practically a glowing compliment.

Mira made short work of the mines in the jungle on Dxun, but I was having some trouble with the mobs of Sith in front on Freedon Nadd’s tomb, so I equipped Atton with a stealth unit and moved him passed ALL OF THEM into the tomb until I reached a load point, where it jumped the others up to him.  Nice.

One of my favorite things about the KOTOR games is the in-game references embedded in the names of items.  On Dxun, I picked up “Bindo’s Band,” which is headgear giving protection against both dark and light side attacks.  “Bindo” references the grey Jedi Jolee Bindo from the first KOTOR game.  I liked him so much I named my cat after him.

I got rid of the widescreen, because it stretches things out weird.
I got rid of the widescreen, because you can see here it stretches things out weird.

Once I got into the tomb, there were several computer terminals that could be access by solving puzzles.  I love these!!  Time to put my math/logic skills to work.

SPOILERS: it’s (6*2)-8+9*1=13, though I suppose the last one could be division also. I guess the parentheses are just to confuse you?

Unfortunately, combat inside the tomb was quite difficult and I kept dying.  I always keep myself underleveled, because leveling provides an insta-heal during combat.  (You can see the arrows over the character portraits in all my screenshots, indicating I’m able to level up.)  But typically I’m only one or two levels below where I should be.

At this point I checked and discovered that I had 7 levels of XP waiting to be used.  7 levels.  Oops.  So I leveled everyone up a bunch and things got easier.  And Atton got some good character development, facing down the Sith and becoming more Light side.  He’s still never going to be a Boy Scout like Carth was, though.  I think that’s why Tyria likes him.

Meanwhile on Onderon, my Force’s Angels team is fighting its way to the queen.  Kreia is unfortunately required for your party here.  I haven’t had her in my party in a really long time (she didn’t even have a lightsaber yet), so I had to level her and give her better equipment.  I actually tried to give her a red double-bladed lightsaber, until the game politely reminded me that I could not, because…she only has one hand.  I was sufficiently ashamed of my insensitivity.  Sorry, Kreia.

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Kreia, Tyria, and Visas on Onderon

Getting to the queen involved, what else, hacking computer terminals with logic puzzles!  In this case, it was to get into the queen’s bedroom, but she’s not actually there, I was just stealing her stuff.  Did I mention I’m Light Side?

Eventually we defeat the Sith and help the queen defeat the usurping general.  But as always, Kreia has her own agenda, secretly sending the general’s subordinate Tobin back to the Sith to tell them about the Jedi Academy on Telos.  That’s not going to end well…

After heading back to Dxun to meet up with the rest of our group, it’s on to our last planet, Dantooine.  We’re at 35 hrs 9 min play time.  See you next time to finish up the main storyline before endgame!

Continue on the next part of the series here: Revisiting KOTOR II: (#8) Dantooine…we’re on Dantooine

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Revisiting KOTOR II: (#5) Mandalorians are from New Zealand…or Dxun

Start with the first post in this series here: Revisiting KOTOR II: (#1) A Fresh Start.

At the end of our last post, our ship (the Ebon Hawk) had been attacked en route to Onderon; we managed to land mostly-successfully on the moon Dxun.  While Atton repairs the ship, I go exploring and discover an Mandalorian enclave.

Here I meet the new Mandalore, who’s trying to reunite all the Mandalorian clans.  These famed warriors don’t actually hate Jedi; they respected Revan (and me as well) as worthy opponents.  Mandalore promises to take me to Onderon in his shuttle if I prove myself first.

So my next hour of gameplay consisted of me running around the jungle killing various beasts.  It reminded greatly of Dromund Kaas in SWTOR.

My party on Dxun; Visas Marr replaces Atton, who is fixing the ship.

Speaking of SWTOR, I discovered another habit from that game I need to break: hitting Esc during a conversation to abort the convo and choose a different dialogue option next time.  Does not work in KOTOR.  Pick your responses well the first time.

The good news is that through a random drop I got a purple lightsaber crystal!  And a lightsaber for Visas Marr as well.

Much better!  Still working on finding prettier head gear though…

I’ve been noticing that KOTOR II is really steeped in the in-game history of Revan and the Mandalorian and Jedi Civil wars, which may be confusing to anyone who has not played KOTOR I.  I remember the first game quite well, but KOTOR II is good at giving refreshers when needed.  And there’s enough mystery surrounding my character’s role in these prior events that it keeps the game interesting and not a boring history lesson.

Interacting with my companions continues to be my favorite part of the game.  Kreia teaches me how to read my team’s surface thoughts(!), and when I hear Atton thinking about random strings of numbers and playing pazaak in his head, he teaches me how to use that technique to block others from reading my thoughts.

While I’m off in the jungle killing stuff with Visas and T3, the rest of my team is hanging out on the Ebon Hawk.  Bao-Dur gives nice upgrades to both his remote and the scary G0-T0 droid.  Of all my companions, Bao-Dur has known me the longest, having served as a tech under me in the war.  So Atton goes to him for a really awkward conversation about my character, along the lines of “You think a princess and a guy like me…?”  Poor Bao-Dur.

Success!  Atton is totally into me…

In the end, I manage to impress Mandalore enough that he takes me to Onderon…but he has to be in my party.  I immediately equipped him as a melee fighter (a trick I also pulled with Canderous in KOTOR I), because I have never understood why the game starts him with a ranged weapon when he has high Strength and Constitution, but low Dexterity.

Mandalore has a contact on Onderon that can help us find the Jedi Master hiding there…except this contact has been arrested for murder.  So we must first solve the murder to clear his name, which involves talking to a lot of people in the cantina.  Some are helpful.  Some are not.

Vix is not.

Solving the murder was fun, but Mandalore’s friend probably deserved to be in jail anyway because he’s a terrible doctor.

Onderon has an ongoing political struggle between its Queen and the General of the military forces (whom we’ve learned is the one that shot down the Ebon Hawk).  Things start to heat up right as the Jedi Master makes contact, and I’m forced to leave the planet when the General’s forces come after me.  So that thread is kind of left hanging for now, and we head on to the next closest planet: Korriban, the Sith homeworld  (Clone Wars fans know it as Moraband).

Korriban: At least it’s a dry heat.

We’re at 26 hrs 35 min total play time.  See you next time for some tomb raiding!

Continue on the 6th part of the series here: Revisiting KOTOR II: (#6) Not your Revan’s Korriban