Jump to content

In Defense of Darth Nihilus


Recommended Posts

Much has been made of Nihilus, mostly people moaning about how the character's ostensible futility and how the name doesn't make a lot of sense. This is understandable considering most people aren't very smart and/or educated, and I believe the Devs focused their efforts with the story for those with a little analytical and rational ability (much to their chagrin I fear).

 

Before I even played the game, I knew exactly why the Devs had named this Sith Lord "Nihilus." Some people on these forums have correctly pointed out that Nihilus is a play on the latin "nihil" which means "nothingness." This in itself would explain a lot about the character, but there is more to the name than that, and "nothing" is not an adequate definition. Anyone who has ever studied philosophy would immediately recognize it -- Darth Nihilus was supposed to be the ultimate SW nihilist. From the Internet Encylopedia of Philosophy:

 

A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. While few philosophers would claim to be nihilists, nihilism is most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche who argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history.

 

http://www.iep.utm.edu/n/nihilism.htm

 

In line with the above description, Nihilus sought to destroy the Jedi order (a religion) and their collective control over the force, just as the "philosophy" of Nihilism implies. Nihilism, especially as associated with Nietzsche, is often misunderstood (and isn't as pernicious as many make it), but that is another issue.

 

If you take all of the above into account, Darth Nihilus is the perfect name for that character, and is quite a clever invention by the Devs. The people who complain about this name are the same people who say that Darth Vader was a cool name. These same people, undoubtedly, don't know that "Vader" wasn't just randomly generated as a name but actually has a meaning relevant to the movie trilogy. "Vader" has etymological relevance in that it literally means "father" in Dutch (and other early Germanic languages). Father, hmmmm. Now why would Lucas name Anakin "father?" Anyone know? :)

 

I thought the storyline of KOTOR:2 was quite inspired and a good one, it's just the Devs didn't put it all together at the ending as they maybe should have if they would have had more time/inclination to do so. The story is very in depth and complex, and it took me a couple of playthroughs to grasp all of the essence and intracacies of it. Sure, Nihilus wasn't involved as much in the story as he should have been, and yes he was definitely too easy to defeat, but the character himself was a great one that wasn't taken far enough.

 

My biggest complaint isn't the characters, the story, the environments or graphics (all of which were improved over KOTOR:1), but simply the lack of closure and the inability for the PC to be able to return to his ship and converse with his party and travel after the battle at Malachor V. I simply wanted a little closure and a little time to bask in my victory. Oh well, hopefully Obsidian will have a much longer time frame to develop KOTOR:3.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My problem isn't the name. I understand the idea of Nihilism quite well.

 

My problem is he has the personality of Darth Maul without all the dialogue.

I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you

But I get the feeling that you don't like it

What's with all the screaming?

You like monkeys, you like ponies

Maybe you don't like monsters so much

Maybe I used too many monkeys

Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vader can also be seen as INvader. Which would also work. But the clever twist is, it also works as dutch for father.

 

I still don't understand the meaning of Darth Sion's

or Darth Traya's

name too well.

 

But I get this about Nihilus; he is nothing, except this hunger for destruciton, and that's why he's called the Lord of Hunger. I get it now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why defend him? His name makes sense, he is cool, but what the heck is he?

 

What's with the alien-talk? Why didn't we find out who this person is? What is Nihilus, really? Who is Nihilus, some sort of veteran? Same goes for Sion. Why did he get hurt so bad and who the heck was he - another exile or what?

 

I don't get it, really. Their personalites were thrown in the basket of thrash.

 

And I thought Nihilus was the master, but no, Nihilus is the first Sith Lord you meet, and he proves to be no match at all. I expected Sion to be the "underling" or apprentice, but it seems everyone was all upside down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Malak had motive, he had character, he had SUBSTANCE.  The "three" you face in the game equal his middle finger in terms of quality character developement.  Traya being 99.9% of the developement of those three.

Malak was two dimentional. No side of his persona was explored, other than the archetypal rhetoric spewing sith. Take for example, his relationship with Revan. A wonderful opportunity, a friendship warped by the DS, yet it was left unexplored. And never in my life have I witnessed such gratuitous and wanton use of the words, pathetic and worthless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why defend him? His name makes sense, he is cool, but what the heck is he?

 

What's with the alien-talk? Why didn't we find out who this person is? What is Nihilus, really? Who is Nihilus, some sort of veteran? Same goes for Sion. Why did he get hurt so bad and who the heck was he - another exile or what?

 

I don't get it, really. Their personalites were thrown in the basket of thrash.

 

And I thought Nihilus was the master, but no, Nihilus is the first Sith Lord you meet, and he proves to be no match at all. I expected Sion to be the "underling" or apprentice, but it seems everyone was all upside down.

 

You ask why we didn't find out who he was before, etc. etc. These are good questions. I'm going to have to argue though, that the things we don't find out are meant to be that way. What I mean is, we don't find out because its not important for the story. As much as fans love cool bad guys and like to know every little detail about them, the artist has the perogative to include or not include details based on how important they are in THEIR story. So we have characters like Darth Maul, who George Lucas chose to tell us NOTHING about in the movies. And why? Because for his purposes, Maul's background is inconsequential. Someone trying to figure out or appreciate the movies is missing the point if they ask the question, "What is Maul's/Nihilils' background?" They should be asking "What about them IS given, and what does that illuminate about the story?"

 

In this case, Nihilis is several things. He serves as sort of a foil for the PC, at least if the PC is lightside, in that they are both affected in immense ways by Malachor V, but handle it in seemingly opposite ways. Nihilis represents the utter devastation of a human soul that can result from the terrible destruction that happens in war. The Force in this case is a literary device that is used partly to magnify the effects of interconnectedness of all life.

 

Why does he not speak intelligibly? This seems to me to be a device used to dehumanize him further. Why can Visas understand him? Clearly its related to the bond they share. This bond is clearly parallel to the bond between Kreia and the PC.

 

This stuff isn't spelled out, but I think its purposeful. In other words, these things help to color the story a certain way, but aren't explicity answered because you're meant to think about it for awhile and come up with what makes sense to you. This isn't generally what makes fans happy, because fans rejoice in understanding everything. But it makes really good storytelling sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Sion" is probably a reference to "scion," which means "descendant or heir." In this case, he is defined by his desire to be the heir to his master's teachings and power.

 

As for Nihlius, I know I had a very good reason in my game as to why he went down easily...He didn't know as much about Force Bonds as I do, most likely...

 

In regards to Malak...the guy bored me. Just another power tripping bad guy. All of the other Sith Lords presented so far in the KotOR series have had more character and thought put into them...especially Revan after KotOR 2. Very good work there, Obsidian...

Dracomicron

Hoary Veteran

Formerly Draconis, Master of Deception

Head ST for Demon and Orpheus on Blood Chronicles online chat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Sion" is probably a reference to "scion," which means "descendant or heir."  In this case, he is defined by his desire to be the heir to his master's teachings and power.

A random note about Sion: The spelling S-i-o-n (to the nearest I can tell) orginates in Old English. You can then trace it back through Late Latin into Greek, and, finally, to Hebrew. It can be used as an alternate spelling of Zion. The only definition I found that did not refer to a Biblical place was: Noise, tumult. Which is interesting since tumult has the following definitions(among others): A disorderly commotion or disturbance, Agitation of the mind or emotions.

 

Is this what the Devs meant? Perhaps. I don't claim to know their mind, but this is my $0.02 on what they might have been trying to convey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My problem isn't the name. I understand the idea of Nihilism quite well.

 

My problem is he has the personality of Darth Maul without all the dialogue.

 

Umm... Darth Maul didn't have any dialogue...

 

Then you understand my point completely. :lol:

I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you

But I get the feeling that you don't like it

What's with all the screaming?

You like monkeys, you like ponies

Maybe you don't like monsters so much

Maybe I used too many monkeys

Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My problem isn't the name. I understand the idea of Nihilism quite well.

 

My problem is he has the personality of Darth Maul without all the dialogue.

 

Umm... Darth Maul didn't have any dialogue...

 

Actually he does

 

"At last we will make ourselves known, at last we will have our revenge." Or something to that effect, he says the line when he's talking to Palpatine atop the taris on Coruscant.

KOTOR 2 must be completed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My problem isn't the name. I understand the idea of Nihilism quite well.

 

My problem is he has the personality of Darth Maul without all the dialogue.

 

Umm... Darth Maul didn't have any dialogue...

 

Actually he does

 

"At last we will make ourselves known, at last we will have our revenge." Or something to that effect, he says the line when he's talking to Palpatine atop the taris on Coruscant.

 

*Ulicus takes the role of annoying one*

 

More specifically:

 

"Tatooine is sparsely populated, if the trace was correct I will find them quickly master."

 

"At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi, at least we will have revenge."

 

and later on in the film,

 

"Yes, my master."

 

He probably makes a few grunts in the Duel of the Fates but I can't quote them from memory.

 

Then again, he got a whole poem (kinda) in his teaser trailer... why we didn't get to see a Darth Maul recital in the film I don't know :)"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

in the Trayus Academy Sion learned pain which kept him together after Malachor and Nihilus learned hunger which I believe kept him alive. He must have been some sort of sentient alien to have went to Trayus Academy to train the first place. I like that this game doesn't tell everything but I belive it's obvios Sion is some sort of alien due to the fact that everyone can understand his language. He is the Shang Tsung of the story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why defend him? His name makes sense, he is cool, but what the heck is he?

 

What's with the alien-talk? Why didn't we find out who this person is? What is Nihilus, really? Who is Nihilus, some sort of veteran? Same goes for Sion. Why did he get hurt so bad and who the heck was he - another exile or what?

 

I don't get it, really. Their personalites were thrown in the basket of thrash.

 

And I thought Nihilus was the master, but no, Nihilus is the first Sith Lord you meet, and he proves to be no match at all. I expected Sion to be the "underling" or apprentice, but it seems everyone was all upside down.

 

My (uncomfirmed) reasoning is the the developers intended for Darth Nihilus to crumble upon the nothingness of the Exile. Nihilus is a big badarse when he has an entire planet of force wielders in Katarr to feed off of... but when he encounters nothingness, when he has nothing to feed on... he is merely a three pump chump with a lightsaber.

 

This theory to me makes sense, it's how I think the developers intended it and how I've justified it. But I wish they would've actually put some sort of plot device or dialogue piece to make this clear.

 

My question is: If this is the case.. why make us fight him at all? It would've been a hella more dramatic for it to fade into a cutscene where he tries to Force Choke me only to find himself unable to do anything. The scene could've continued with him falling to his knees and acknowledging his end as he encounters the great power of nothingness that the Exile is.

 

An option for an evil Jedi to absorb the power of Nihilus which would've been cool in the form of experience or force points. Or a light-side option for a single, deadly coup-de-grace to the kneeling Nihilus to end his menace altogether. However, the current act of a 3 strike fight is confusing and does the character of Nihilus no service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My problem isn't the name. I understand the idea of Nihilism quite well.

 

My problem is he has the personality of Darth Maul without all the dialogue.

 

Umm... Darth Maul didn't have any dialogue...

 

Actually he does

 

"At last we will make ourselves known, at last we will have our revenge." Or something to that effect, he says the line when he's talking to Palpatine atop the taris on Coruscant.

 

Ok, I know that he had a few lines, but the point is that if you're going to mention anything about Maul and dialogue it should be the conspicuous ABSENCE of dialogue. Especially in relation to Nihilis, who had probably about the same amount of lines that Maul did. They are the same in this respect, not different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...