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TSL Story From a Writers Perspective


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I know there are a lot of threads about this topic, but this topic is going to be a little different because I am a semi-professional [fiction] writer and I am going to analyze three main factors where I think Obsidian really did drop the ball... Regardless of the content that was cut.

 

You can view this thread and the things as I say as arrogant, conceded, and whatever you like and that is fine.

 

But I would hope that you at least read what I have to say before you pronounce judgement on my opinion because I feel what I say here is accurate in a lot of respects and I don't do it to just "bash" OE. I do it because there are general flaws in this story's logic that shouldn't be there, but the player is forced to just "overlook" in order to play the game and that should never be the case in any form of narrative entertainment in my opinion.

 

With that said...

 

1) Your Character Does Not Have Amnesia

 

This is one of the major problems with TSL from the start because while the Exile doesn't have amnesia... You, as the player, are forced to play the game as if you did and that, right there, is why this game feels disjointed because I don't think Obsidian properly balanced discovering your past with living in your present.

 

The best example of this is the fact that the Exile, in no uncertain terms, has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that is amplified 10 fold because of his/her Force Bonds to living beings and what he did on Malachor V... Yet it is as if he has completely forogtten everything when we meet him when in reality that is the one few things he would still be aware of and desparately tryhing to forget more than anything else.

 

The fact that the gamer has to suspend their disbelief that he/she has already forgotten such life altering events is such an illogical and weak assumption on the storytellers part and is not one that the foundation, the player's suspension of disbelief, the game should soley rely on in my book.

 

This flaw is compounded in that the Exile has no "visions" or nightmares (flashbacks) of what he did during the war like Revan did in the original KOTOR. This only makes this assumption even harder to swallow as the main player character.

 

Also, where this is really evident is when you finally reach Malachor V late in the game.

 

You have no recollection of the Shadow Generator... Which is highly illogical as that probably is the source of your PTSD and guilt for all the lives that were lost becuase you gave the order to fire it... Yet this is the first time in the game it is brought up AND you still didn't remember this through out your whole journey?!

 

This is what I meant when I mentioned earlier that having such illogical assumptions and sloppy executions makes revelations like the SG look amateurish and "Deus Ex Machina" and it detracts from the immersiveness and overall quality of the story being told.

 

2) Most of The Party Members Have No Motivation to Join You and Vice Versa

 

I realize that this is an RPG and you have to make some sacrifices in order to have a game...

 

But I found that almost everyone aside from Kriea, Goto and Visis... Had no real incentive or motives to want to tag along with you. Let alone, the fact the Exile is trying to forget and realistically, a lot of war veterans who would be as severly troubled as the Exile do not go seeking out others because they need the isolation (the stories of Vietnam and Middle-East vets living in the middle of deserts like Wyoming and the forests of the Pacific Northwest aren't made up; they feel at home in these places as long as none one is around because they are ultra-paranoid).

 

Again, my suspension of disbelief as a gamer was stretched very thin in this respect because it just does not make a lot of sense to the point you can't just consciously overlook it to some degree.

 

Atton: Who is similar to the Exile in trying to forget his past... Would not just automatically ally himself with two Jedi considering he was a Sith Assassin.

 

You can argue it was because he had no choice and wanted to get off Peragus... But realistically, he probably would ditch you and Kriea the first chance he got... Let alone probably try and sell you to the Exchange because that is who he is. His "redemption" (if you play LS) comes out of nowhere and feels incredibly forced and cliched. Even his explanation as to who he was (Sith Assassin) gives no real motivation as to why he wants to all of a sudden become a "good guy" and become a Jedi if you have enough influence in him.

 

It is really ashame because I think OE could have avoided the cliched "troubled soul who only needs to see the light" storyline and actually had Atton be the betrayer, or just stay covertly "evil". I think that would have actually been a more fresh and unexpected approach in my opinion. It would be great if he was actually a Sith Lord and his whole "brooding boy who wants to make amends" act was just that: An act, so that he could get closer to the Exile and Kriea and either turn them on each other and or kill both of them...

 

And what would be even better and add more depth to gameplay is if Kriea *knew* Atton was a Sith Lord in hiding and she tried to counter his manipulations with her own. You'd basically have a struggle for the Exile's "soul" going on between these two characters and I think that could have been a much more interesting take the light and dark sides of the force as well as the gray area in between that this game seems to want to address, but just doesn't really get into for some reason.

 

I think if OE had gone with a more unorthodox storyline like this that it would have made the Influence system even more important since there would be more at stake when the revelation is made that Atton is in fact a Sith Lord because then the way you influenced your party members would determine who stands with or against Atton, Kriea and yourself.

 

As far as the other party members... Mira has almost no point (or even backstory) and is just there to give the Exile another soldier (LS); Harrar if you go DS... The Handmaiden (m) and Disciple (fm) are the same way. Their only real purpose is to give you more "followers" and to try and get the point across that you are a natural born leader.

 

As I said, only Kreia, Goto and Visas have any real motivations (and backstory) as to why they would consciously want to seek you out and tag along as each has their own agenda... And are even up front about those agendas in a lot of ways... And are just using the Exile to further those goals.

 

3) Darker Do Not Mean No Emotionally Satisfying Endings

 

It is an unfortunate staple in the entertainment industry that whenever a story is reported to be darker, it usually means the producers are going to use this as an excuse to cocentrate more on addressing issues and themes that are mostly overlooked by other stories... But it also means the emphasis is more on mood and atmosphere and little details (dialogue; setting; actions) and not the overall story as a whole. TSL continues this trend, unfortunately.

 

Yes. The game is more ambiguous than the first. The tone is much more gray in terms of the LS and DS of the force than KOTOR.

 

However, being ambiguous is not an excuse for not delivering a solid and emotionally satisfying ending.

 

This is the trap that TSL has fallen into because while the Exile acts more like a normal person in terms of his responses to some of the NPC dialogues... The actual ending of the game is where it all falls apart and the player is left with a sense of emptiness and disappointment as if the journey they just went on (storywise) was for nothing.

 

This is bad if a movie, or novel has this kind of ending, but inexplicably bad for an RPG where the emotional satisfaction at the end for the player having done everything is the overall goal of the game from the very start.

 

TSL fails miserably in this regard and it is the worst possible failure it can have among the others I've already listed. This is the main reason why a lot of people don't "get" or flat out don't like the ending. There is no emotional closure, nor any emotional satisfaction for completing the game.

 

In addition, I realize that the original ending(s) were cut.

 

However, at the same time, after reading the cut material... I still think TSL suffers from not having any real focus (for the player) and that even if the cut content was put back in... The *main narrative of the game is still lacking in terms of having any real emotional core and forces the player to make illogical leaps to enjoy the game and give any real meaning why you are doing any of the things you have been doing up until the end.

 

*Only the subplots would have been nicely wrapped up. For example, the Goto-Remote stand off would have been resolved when HK-47 bursts in and kicks Goto ass... But this is reliant on the Droid Factory and M3_47(?) planet being put back into the game since this severs Gotos link over all of his HK droids.

 

So, there is my take on things.

 

Like I said, you can completely disregard what I have to say, call me a "whinner" or whatever you want.

 

But I think these are the main reasons you are seeing a lot of posts that are confused about the ending, other plot shortcomings and storytelling flaws that crop up through out the game regardless of what content was cut to meet the ship deadline.

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Good post, though I've got a couple of quibbles.

 

I disagree about Atton. I thought his joining up made a lot of sense, if you buy him as someone trying to make a break with his past as a Sith Assassin. Guess I have a different read on the character than you do.

 

The same for the Exile ... but the whole thing is problematic, since pre-designing the personality of the player's character is a Really Bad Idea for an RPG.

 

Note that it's not as simple as the PC being a "natural born leader." He's an unnatural leader, with a supernatural influence upon others. It's a plot point that the companions have no motivations of their own, not a plot hole (did you perhaps miss Kreia's dialog on the subject?).

 

I disagreed with this design decision, mostly because it's an obvious retread of what happened in Planescape: Torment

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1) Your Character Does Not Have Amnesia

 

 

I was also confused by some of these early dialogues where it seemed my character knew about his past, but I didn't. When the Exile was asked about the past, I had two kinds of dialogue options: the very specific 'Ah, yes, I was at Malachor 5' response that your character seems very confident about, even though I've never heard of Malachor 5; or, 'I don't remember much about it', true for me, but seems to be a lie for my character. I hope that made sense.

 

Looking back on it, I think the writers were doing something pretty interesting and innovative. I've never known a game that gave you so much control over the back story, both in terms of the Revan m/f/ds/ls options and your freedom to establish the Exile's motivation in following Revan. At the beginning, and later with Atris, and in the holo-recreation of your trial, you are in control. It beats the alternative, of having to sit through a long, fixed backstory.

 

First time through, I probably worried too much. Every time I've replayed, I've really appreciated the freedom to role play the Exile as I wish.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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1) Your Character Does Not Have Amnesia

 

 

I was also confused by some of these early dialogues where it seemed my character knew about his past, but I didn't. When the Exile was asked about the past, I had two kinds of dialogue options: the very specific 'Ah, yes, I was at Malachor 5' response that your character seems very confident about, even though I've never heard of Malachor 5; or, 'I don't remember much about it', true for me, but seems to be a lie for my character. I hope that made sense.

 

Looking back on it, I think the writers were doing something pretty interesting and innovative. I've never known a game that gave you so much control over the back story, both in terms of the Revan m/f/ds/ls options and your freedom to establish the Exile's motivation in following Revan. At the beginning, and later with Atris, and in the holo-recreation of your trial, you are in control. It beats the alternative, of having to sit through a long, fixed backstory.

 

First time through, I probably worried too much. Every time I've replayed, I've really appreciated the freedom to role play the Exile as I wish.

 

the handmaiden does have a motive to join your party, she was instructed to by atris

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the whole story and dialog seems very unprofessional. i doubt the person who wrote it is actually a professional writer. i was really disappointed with all of the jedi's (dark and light) dialog, they just spewed a bunch of crap while everyone in the game pretended it made sense.

 

and if they're going to make a character as annoying as kreia they should at least give you an option to kick her off the ship or kill her. wtf kind of reject fortune cookie did she get her wise "dont give 5 credits to a bum or he will be killed" lesson? ffs why the hell would the mugger care if he actually earned the 5 creds or if he was just given it. either way he would have killed and taken it, how the hell is it my fault for giving him 5 credits. why the hell does my character pretend that made sense and why dont i get a "get the hell off my ship, moron" option?

 

another thing i really hate to see is when they assume certain characters to be stronger than the pc. my character is a general from malachor 5 and my opponents are a bunch of sith rejects that just finally came out of hiding. both die very easily but the game pretends as if they were actually hard to beat. (visa "helps" me out against nihilus) the other guy sucks so much he's got the scars to prove it. imagine you punch a guy in the face and when he finally gets up with blood all over the bottom half of his face he laughs and says something like "that didnt hurt!". i dont see why my character didnt think of just slicing him to pieces and locking the parts in containers. even malak would kill these two lame excuse for sith if he saw them pretending to be sith lords. kreia is just as weak but the game is scripted to help her have at least 15 seconds of dialog before she goes down as well.

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All good responses, guys/gals.

 

Good post, though I've got a couple of quibbles.

 

I disagree about Atton. I thought his joining up made a lot of sense, if you buy him as someone trying to make a break with his past as a Sith Assassin. Guess I have a different read on the character than you do.

 

The same for the Exile ... but the whole thing is problematic, since pre-designing the personality of the player's character is a Really Bad Idea for an RPG.

 

Note that it's not as simple as the PC being a "natural born leader." He's an unnatural leader, with a supernatural influence upon others. It's a plot point that the companions have no motivations of their own, not a plot hole (did you perhaps miss Kreia's dialog on the subject?).

 

I disagreed with this design decision, mostly because it's an obvious retread of what happened in Planescape: Torment

 

True. But I think you said it more succinctly than I ever could and that is trying to design the PC's personality is (was) a bad design choice because it goes against what an RPG is to a big degree.

 

I know you are taking on the "role" of whatever main character you play and that's fine. However, I thought a lot of the Exile's movitations/explantions/dialogue choices were very forced and didn't really give the player any real freedom in terms of playing the role if that makes sense?

 

The Exile is a war veteran. Okay. He is trying to forget the terrible things he's done. Okay. But the general tone of how he actually speaks during the game is almost Sith/DS like and I really don't think that it fits his/her given situation as a lot of war veterans just don't speak that much at all if we are going to go for total realism, but I digress.

 

This is what I meant about whenever darker stories emerge, the author(s) always concentrate on the little details and forget the bigger picture. They wanted to make the Exile a bad ass, no-holds-barred anti-hero... But then forget to put as much emphasis into the story that anti-hero is put in in my humble opinion and that is one of my bigger peeves with the story.

 

and if they're going to make a character as annoying as kreia they should at least give you an option to kick her off the ship or kill her. wtf kind of reject fortune cookie did she get her wise "dont give 5 credits to a bum or he will be killed" lesson? ffs why the hell would the mugger care if he actually earned the 5 creds or if he was just given it. either way he would have killed and taken it, how the hell is it my fault for giving him 5 credits. why the hell does my character pretend that made sense and why dont i get a "get the hell off my ship, moron" option?

 

I brought this up on another thread and a lot of the justifcation was because it would make the PC character just as "darksided" as Kriea was? Okay...

 

From a strictly story point of view... This is what I had the biggest problem with. It insults both the main PC character's intelligence and essentially the gamer's since you pretty much know Kriea is evil the minute you meet her... But due to game mechanics, can't get rid of her because they built the entire story around her.

 

Call me shallow, but she gives off that old-woman, evil Witch vibe from Hansel & Gretel and you know the father away from her you are the better.

 

Also, I am all for unothodox storytelling... But this is just weak "story-cheating" to be blunt and I know I am not the only one who noticed this (I am just not afraid to post it).

 

Don't get me wrong.

 

I actually like this story better than the first KOTOR, believe it or not.

 

But it is obvious, from my perspective, cut content aside... The story itself needs a more solid emotional core to anchor the main PC and give him/her more of a real reason for doing everything because even if it is manipulation by Kreia... There should still be a sense of working toward a bigger goal and I never really got that with this one when I played through it (and am replaying as well). And of course, it all falls apart in the third act once Kriea turns and a lot of the cut content reveals itself and you are left with a truncated ending and (literally) dangling subplots that have no resolution to them.

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and if they're going to make a character as annoying as kreia they should at least give you an option to kick her off the ship or kill her. wtf kind of reject fortune cookie did she get her wise "dont give 5 credits to a bum or he will be killed" lesson? ffs why the hell would the mugger care if he actually earned the 5 creds or if he was just given it. either way he would have killed and taken it, how the hell is it my fault for giving him 5 credits. why the hell does my character pretend that made sense and why dont i get a "get the hell off my ship, moron" option?

 

No offence but I'd stick to more straightforward games If I were you.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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I found strange that the Exile starts with LVL1 despite being a war hero and, although not a jedi anymore, he should have had quite a lot of knowledge both as soldier and as adventurer, having spent the last 10 years travelling across the galaxy.

 

Imho he should have started like a LVL 5+ soldier/scoundrel/scout and only after escaping Peragus begin to advance as a jedi.

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I found strange that the Exile starts with LVL1 despite being a war hero and, although not a jedi anymore, he should have quite a lot of knowhow both as soldier and as adventurer, having spent the last 10 years travelling across the galaxy.

 

Imho he should have started like a LVL 5+ soldier/scoundrel/scout and only after escaping Peragus he should have begun advancing as a jedi.

 

He does get the warhero bonus feat. It's also revealed by Kreia in her conversation with Atton while on Telos.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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I know there are a lot of threads about this topic, but this topic is going to be a little different because I am a semi-professional [fiction] writer and I am going to analyze three main factors where I think Obsidian really did drop the ball... Regardless of the content that was cut.

 

You can view this thread and the things as I say as arrogant, conceded, and whatever you like and that is fine.

 

But I would hope that you at least read what I have to say before you pronounce judgement on my opinion because I feel what I say here is accurate in a lot of respects and I don't do it to just "bash" OE. I do it because there are general flaws in this story's logic that shouldn't be there, but the player is forced to just "overlook" in order to play the game and that should never be the case in any form of narrative entertainment in my opinion.

 

With that said...

 

1) Your Character Does Not Have Amnesia

 

This is one of the major problems with TSL from the start because while the Exile doesn't have amnesia... You, as the player, are forced to play the game as if you did and that, right there, is why this game feels disjointed because I don't think Obsidian properly balanced discovering your past with living in your present.

 

The best example of this is the fact that the Exile, in no uncertain terms, has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that is amplified 10 fold because of his/her Force Bonds to living beings and what he did on Malachor V... Yet it is as if he has completely forogtten everything when we meet him when in reality that is the one few things he would still be aware of and desparately tryhing to forget more than anything else.

 

The fact that the gamer has to suspend their disbelief that he/she has already forgotten such life altering events is such an illogical and weak assumption on the storytellers part and is not one that the foundation, the player's suspension of disbelief, the game should soley rely on in my book.

 

This flaw is compounded in that the Exile has no "visions" or nightmares (flashbacks) of what he did during the war like Revan did in the original KOTOR. This only makes this assumption even harder to swallow  as the main player character.

 

Also, where this is really evident is when you finally reach Malachor V late in the game.

 

You have no recollection of the Shadow Generator... Which is highly illogical as that probably is the source of your PTSD and guilt for all the lives that were lost becuase you gave the order to fire it... Yet this is the first time in the game it is brought up AND you still didn't remember this through out your whole journey?!

 

This is what I meant when I mentioned earlier that having such illogical assumptions and sloppy executions makes revelations like the SG look amateurish and "Deus Ex Machina" and it detracts from the immersiveness and overall quality of the story being told.

 

2) Most of The Party Members Have No Motivation to Join You and Vice Versa

 

I realize that this is an RPG and you have to make some sacrifices in order to have a game...

 

But I found that almost everyone aside from Kriea, Goto and Visis... Had no real incentive or motives to want to tag along with you. Let alone, the fact the Exile is trying to forget and realistically, a lot of war veterans who would be as severly troubled as the Exile do not go seeking out others because they need the isolation (the stories of Vietnam and Middle-East vets living in the middle of deserts like Wyoming and the forests of the Pacific Northwest aren't made up; they feel at home in these places as long as none one is around because they are ultra-paranoid).

 

Again, my suspension of disbelief as a gamer was stretched very thin in this respect because it just does not make a lot of sense to the point you can't just consciously overlook it to some degree.

 

Atton: Who is similar to the Exile in trying to forget his past... Would not just automatically ally himself with two Jedi considering he was a Sith Assassin.

 

You can argue it was because he had no choice and wanted to get off Peragus... But realistically, he probably would ditch you and Kriea the first chance he got... Let alone probably try and sell you to the Exchange because that is who he is. His "redemption" (if you play LS) comes out of nowhere and feels incredibly forced and cliched. Even his explanation as to who he was (Sith Assassin) gives no real motivation as to why he wants to all of a sudden become a "good guy" and become a Jedi if you have enough influence in him.

 

It is really ashame because I think OE could have avoided the cliched "troubled soul who only needs to see the light" storyline and actually had Atton be the betrayer, or just stay covertly "evil". I think that would have actually been a more fresh and unexpected approach in my opinion. It would be great if he was actually a Sith Lord and his whole "brooding boy who wants to make amends" act was just that: An act, so that he could get closer to the Exile and Kriea and either turn them on each other and or kill both of them...

 

And what would be even better and add more depth to gameplay is if Kriea *knew* Atton was a Sith Lord in hiding and she tried to counter his manipulations with her own. You'd basically have a struggle for the Exile's "soul" going on between these two characters and I think that could have been a much more interesting take the light and dark sides of the force as well as the gray area in between that this game seems to want to address, but just doesn't really get into for some reason.

 

I think if OE had gone with a more unorthodox storyline like this that it would have made the Influence system even more important since there would be more at stake when the revelation is made that Atton is in fact a Sith Lord because then the way you influenced your party members would determine who stands with or against Atton, Kriea and yourself.

 

As far as the other party members... Mira has almost no point (or even backstory) and is just there to give the Exile another soldier (LS); Harrar if you go DS... The Handmaiden (m) and Disciple (fm) are the same way. Their only real purpose is to give you more "followers" and to try and get the point across that you are a natural born leader.

 

As I said, only Kreia, Goto and Visas have any real motivations (and backstory) as to why they would consciously want to seek you out and tag along as each has their own agenda... And are even up front about those agendas in a lot of ways... And are just using the Exile to further those goals.

 

3) Darker Do Not Mean No Emotionally Satisfying Endings

 

It is an unfortunate staple in the entertainment industry that whenever a story is reported to be darker, it usually means the producers are going to use this as an excuse to cocentrate more on addressing issues and themes that are mostly overlooked by other stories... But it also means the emphasis is more on mood and atmosphere and little details (dialogue; setting; actions) and not the overall story as a whole. TSL continues this trend, unfortunately.

 

Yes. The game is more ambiguous than the first. The tone is much more gray in terms of the LS and DS of the force than KOTOR.

 

However, being ambiguous is not an excuse for not delivering a solid and emotionally satisfying ending.

 

This is the trap that TSL has fallen into because while the Exile acts more like a normal person in terms of his responses to some of the NPC dialogues... The actual ending of the game is where it all falls apart and the player is left with a sense of emptiness and disappointment as if the journey they just went on (storywise) was for nothing.

 

This is bad if a movie, or novel has this kind of ending, but inexplicably bad for an RPG where the emotional satisfaction at the end for the player having done everything is the overall goal of the game from the very start. 

 

TSL fails miserably in this regard and it is the worst possible failure it can have among the others I've already listed. This is the main reason why a lot of people don't "get" or flat out don't like the ending. There is no emotional closure, nor any emotional satisfaction for completing the game.

 

In addition, I realize that the original ending(s) were cut.

 

However, at the same time, after reading the cut material... I still think TSL suffers from not having any real focus (for the player) and that even if the cut content was put back in... The *main narrative of the game is still lacking in terms of having any real emotional core and forces the player to make illogical leaps to enjoy the game and give any real meaning why you are doing any of the things you have been doing up until the end.

 

*Only the subplots would have been nicely wrapped up. For example, the Goto-Remote stand off would have been resolved when HK-47 bursts in and kicks Goto ass... But this is reliant on the Droid Factory and M3_47(?) planet being put back into the game since this severs Gotos link over all of his HK droids.

 

So, there is my take on things.

 

Like I said, you can completely disregard what I have to say, call me a "whinner" or whatever you want.

 

But I think these are the main reasons you are seeing a lot of posts that are confused about the ending, other plot shortcomings and storytelling flaws that crop up through out the game regardless of what content was cut to meet the ship deadline.

 

1) The pain he felt was not the fact he killed or fought in wars, but the fact he felt thousands of deaths at once through the Force. The pain he felt was from being disconected from that power. It never says he felt guilty about the deaths themselves. The game also never says the Exile forgot what happened, was trying to, or that he didn't know what the Shadow Generator is. This is typical story telling... the main character always knows more than the reader. Its your part to piece it together based on what you see and hear. Having everything explained to you is what weak story telling is.

 

I find it odd you complain about other cliches, yet want hte main character to have amnesia? That is the largest cliche ever. I really thought it was innovative and enjoyable to be able to develop and control your characters backstory as well as present one. That's true RPing there (or at least as close as most games have reached so far)

 

2) This game is not about good and evil. Having Atton be 'evil' would have really ruined the focus of the story - that both malevolent and benevolent acts can produce both positive and negative results. That there is no real good or evil, simply what you percieve. Sith soldiers didn't join the Sith because they were evil or because they wanted to see people suffer (though Atton did say he enjoyed this), simply because it was a job and they could do it and believed in what they were doing. I know many vets who did these things, tortured and murdered, enjoyed it, and are perfectly stable members of society. They also LOVE to talk your ear off about all the adventures they had, both good and bad.

 

Sure, they could have made him a Sith Lord too, but that would have been strange considering how you got him into your party. And he wasn't seeking for redemption, really. He did what he had to. Sure, he felt bad about killing her, but he thought it was neccessary and still does.

 

Handmaiden goes with you because her mother was a Jedi, and she sees the same power in you (and Atris made her). She wants to understand it, and feel it. And both her and Mira follow you because you ARE a natural born leader. If you were such a strong individual that attracted people, it would be strange if you never attracted followers throughout the game.

 

3) I partially agree with you here. The ending did satisfy most of the plot, and though some things could have used a better elaboration, they WERE explained. I disagree that hte story was not strong or emotional. It was certainly strong on the basis of what is wrong and right. I also felt emotionally attached to my companions by the end of the game. Not everything has to be love and sacrifice to be satisfying.

 

I do agree the ending was a bit lackluster though... it simply didn't have the depth or emotional strength that the rest of the development held. The main plot itself, ignoring hte underlying moral plot, was decent. However, this is a game, not a book. Its about interaction, combat and role playing, not neccessarily the main story. Its the smaller side stories that tend to make RPGs exceptional, since you control and develop them. Sure, it could also have made the main plot more complex, but that's not the story they were trying to tell. It would have only gotten in the way.

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Warhero bonus is a feat, but the character still advances (and has the stats) of a LVL1 character which is a nonsense

 

And there are quite a few dark spots in the immediate history before the Ebon Hawk reached Peragus mining colony. Who was aboard the Hawk when it made contact with the republic dreadnought ? One of the holovids said it was drifitng abandoned, but from another it seems that it was the ship where Sion and his assault troopers came. Where was Kreia and how she ended on the Ebon Hawk ?

 

And more: I was under the impression that HK50 was working for GoTo. If so, how the Siths aboard the republic dreadnought obtained the asteroid drift chart if it wasn't HK50 that transmitted it along with the information that the Exile was alive and kept on the station ?

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Warhero bonus is a feat, but the character still advances (and has the stats) of a LVL1 character which is a nonsense

 

And there are quite a few dark spots in the immediate history before the Ebon Hawk reached Peragus mining colony. Who was aboard the Hawk when it made contact with the republic dreadnought ? One of the holovids said it was drifitng abandoned, but from another it seems that it was the ship where Sion and his assault troopers came. Where was Kreia and how she ended on the Ebon Hawk ?

 

And more: I was under the impression that HK50 was working for GoTo. If so, how the Siths aboard the republic dreadnought obtained the asteroid drift chart if it wasn't HK50 that transmitted it along with the information that the Exile was alive and kept on the station ?

 

No it makes perfect sense if you listen to what Kreia says on Telos (honest).

 

The Ebon Hawk is T3's ship.

 

GOTO was making use of the HK50's but I dont think he was their "master".

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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1) Your Character Does Not Have Amnesia

 

This is one of the major problems with TSL from the start because while the Exile doesn't have amnesia... You, as the player, are forced to play the game as if you did and that, right there, is why this game feels disjointed because I don't think Obsidian properly balanced discovering your past with living in your present.

 

The best example of this is the fact that the Exile, in no uncertain terms, has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that is amplified 10 fold because of his/her Force Bonds to living beings and what he did on Malachor V... Yet it is as if he has completely forogtten everything when we meet him when in reality that is the one few things he would still be aware of and desparately tryhing to forget more than anything else.

 

The fact that the gamer has to suspend their disbelief that he/she has already forgotten such life altering events is such an illogical and weak assumption on the storytellers part and is not one that the foundation, the player's suspension of disbelief, the game should soley rely on in my book.

 

This flaw is compounded in that the Exile has no "visions" or nightmares (flashbacks) of what he did during the war like Revan did in the original KOTOR. This only makes this assumption even harder to swallow as the main player character.

 

Also, where this is really evident is when you finally reach Malachor V late in the game.

 

You have no recollection of the Shadow Generator... Which is highly illogical as that probably is the source of your PTSD and guilt for all the lives that were lost becuase you gave the order to fire it... Yet this is the first time in the game it is brought up AND you still didn't remember this through out your whole journey?!

 

This is what I meant when I mentioned earlier that having such illogical assumptions and sloppy executions makes revelations like the SG look amateurish and "Deus Ex Machina" and it detracts from the immersiveness and overall quality of the story being told.

 

You're oging off of a false assumption here. The exile does remember Malachor V and the Mass Shadow Generator. Neither are meant to be revelations. They're new information to the player, not the players character. You (the player) knew that the exile had destroyed Malachor V and killed everyone and everything on it. The instrument you used to do that is ultimately unimportant.

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very nice post, i disagree on many things but still i consider it a very good post....

 

1) Your Character Does Not Have Amnesia

 

This is one of the major problems with TSL from the start because while the Exile doesn't have amnesia... You, as the player, are forced to play the game as if you did and that, right there, is why this game feels disjointed because I don't think Obsidian properly balanced discovering your past with living in your present.

 

The best example of this is the fact that the Exile, in no uncertain terms, has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that is amplified 10 fold because of his/her Force Bonds to living beings and what he did on Malachor V... Yet it is as if he has completely forogtten everything when we meet him when in reality that is the one few things he would still be aware of and desparately tryhing to forget more than anything else.

 

The fact that the gamer has to suspend their disbelief that he/she has already forgotten such life altering events is such an illogical and weak assumption on the storytellers part and is not one that the foundation, the player's suspension of disbelief, the game should soley rely on in my book.

 

I alredy discussed it on another post, in the end i agree with Obsidian decision, the amnesia was alredy used in KOTOR1, to do it again was a sort or recalc the previous game... To say that the amnesia was needed in the game is like to say that is needed for every adventure game/rpg, in most of the games we have not access to the full background of our chars, but still we can play and impersonate the chracter as we like.

 

Also i don't think that the Exile or that devs made some facts disappear from exile mind, is just that we know what happened during the game.

 

Is also true that this game emphatized the interaction with other characters and the Exile is a complex character with a difficult past, i liked too to have some more info on his past, but with such knowledge then we will have more restrictions in the interpretation of out char..

 

Also there are on the official site some info about what happened before TSL, even if these info are not probably 100% correct and are not too near the char they can give to the player a general idea of what happened, or at least make him form his own ideas.

 

This flaw is compounded in that the Exile has no "visions" or nightmares (flashbacks) of what he did during the war like Revan did in the original KOTOR. This only makes this assumption even harder to swallow  as the main player character.

 

I think too that these kind of vision can be nice to know the Exile past, but also consider that these kind of visions can be different considering the point of view of the char at that time.

Is probable that a DS Exile who hate the council and the mandalorians and that actually liked the war for the feeling of power he had will have different remembrance of his past than a LS Exile that feels guilty for what happened and the lives he "cut".

 

 

Also, where this is really evident is when you finally reach Malachor V late in the game.

 

You have no recollection of the Shadow Generator... Which is highly illogical as that probably is the source of your PTSD and guilt for all the lives that were lost becuase you gave the order to fire it... Yet this is the first time in the game it is brought up AND you still didn't remember this through out your whole journey?!

 

There are some infos about the battle on malachor on the chronicles, anyway is true that we don't know of this item and what really happened until we see the drone float around on Malachor.

 

For this example i really think that probably something is missing and was probably cut away, (in my opinion was likelly that Bao Dur had some dialogue with the exile on the Ebon Hawk, before reaching Malachor V, and they planned to reactivate the DSG).

Is not an excuse for a game fault, but still is a problem of a part cut from the story, not exactly of the story itself and the way it was tought.

 

This is what I meant when I mentioned earlier that having such illogical assumptions and sloppy executions makes revelations like the SG look amateurish and "Deus Ex Machina" and it detracts from the immersiveness and overall quality of the story being told.

 

I must admit that in the beginning i was sceptical too for the lack of background, that for sure had helped me to plan how to play my char and gave more stability to the story.

As said thinking again about it, i considered that such notions had restricted my game experience or the one of another player with different vision than mine.

Also i must say that generally i had not much troubles building my past during the game, my choices, even the ones i haven't chose, and the dialogues gave me a lot of hints about what happened during the war and how the char acted, giving me also the ability to influence his past as i like him.

 

 

 

2) Most of The Party Members Have No Motivation to Join You and Vice Versa

 

I realize that this is an RPG and you have to make some sacrifices in order to have a game...

 

But I found that almost everyone aside from Kriea, Goto and Visis... Had no real incentive or motives to want to tag along with you. Let alone, the fact the Exile is trying to forget and realistically, a lot of war veterans who would be as severly troubled as the Exile do not go seeking out others because they need the isolation (the stories of Vietnam and Middle-East vets living in the middle of deserts like Wyoming and the forests of the Pacific Northwest aren't made up; they feel at home in these places as long as none one is around because they are ultra-paranoid).

 

Again, my suspension of disbelief as a gamer was stretched very thin in this respect because it just does not make a lot of sense to the point you can't just consciously overlook it to some degree.

You must also consider that the Exile was in this state before he met Kreia, is quite clear that in the last years he tried to live in isolation running away from himself or the world.

 

For my Exile is mostly a necessity, at least at the beginning, to stick with Kreia and other comrades to face the dangers i have to face and the sith menace.

(also a DS jedi can see them just as tool to gain his power back for example)

 

Atton: Who is similar to the Exile in trying to forget his past... Would not just automatically ally himself with two Jedi considering he was a Sith Assassin.

 

You can argue it was because he had no choice and wanted to get off Peragus... But realistically, he probably would ditch you and Kriea the first chance he got... Let alone probably try and sell you to the Exchange because that is who he is. His "redemption" (if you play LS) comes out of nowhere and feels incredibly forced and cliched. Even his explanation as to who he was (Sith Assassin) gives no real motivation as to why he wants to all of a sudden become a "good guy" and become a Jedi if you have enough influence in him.

 

It is really ashame because I think OE could have avoided the cliched "troubled soul who only needs to see the light" storyline and actually had Atton be the betrayer, or just stay covertly "evil". I think that would have actually been a more fresh and unexpected approach in my opinion. It would be great if he was actually a Sith Lord and his whole "brooding boy who wants to make amends" act was just that: An act, so that he could get closer to the Exile and Kriea and either turn them on each other and or kill both of them...

 

And what would be even better and add more depth to gameplay is if Kriea *knew* Atton was a Sith Lord in hiding and she tried to counter his manipulations with her own. You'd basically have a struggle for the Exile's "soul" going on between these two characters and I think that could have been a much more interesting take the light and dark sides of the force as well as the gray area in between that this game seems to want to address, but just doesn't really get into for some reason.

I think your idea is really a good one and for sure have a lot of potential, also you picture Atton very differenctly on what is in the game.

I think they are just 2 different chars, in the ingame Atton i see mostly a tormented, desperate soul, that feel guilty for what he have done.

If in the beginning he have to join you to flee from Peragus i think that then he become attached to the Exile (expecially if is a female one :)) and consider him as a friend that suffered a fate similar to his own.

Is also quite probable that his feeling make him see the Exile as a chance of repair to what he have done, maybe just to try to feel better with himself.

 

My english is crappy and i can't really tell what i think, anyway i haven't found Atton behavior as unreal or forced, i think that his past and his psychology can give a strong motivation for his actions.

 

I think if OE had gone with a more unorthodox storyline like this that it would have made the Influence system even more important since there would be more at stake when the revelation is made that Atton is in fact a Sith Lord because then the way you influenced your party members would determine who stands with or against Atton, Kriea and yourself.

 

As far as the other party members... Mira has almost no point (or even backstory) and is just there to give the Exile another soldier (LS);

 

Harrar if you go DS...

 

The Handmaiden (m) and Disciple (fm) are the same way. Their only real purpose is to give you more "followers" and to try and get the point across that you are a natural born leader.

If i remember right the jedi on Nar Shadda asked to Mira to protect the Exile, also consider that Mira can become an apprentice almost in the first dialogue, actually the first time you meet.

I agree that her motivation are not so strong, but if she become an apprentice here that things change, Mira is probably the char that have more need to become your apprentice, she feels incomplete and vulnerable and when you show her the force is her that actually ask you to let her join and become your disciple.

 

can't say about Harrar... i like too much mira to have used him s far ;)

 

 

Handmaiden join you because Atris ask her to do that, she is on a mission for her mistress.

 

the Disciple is a spy of the republic, that monitor your actions.

 

3) Darker Do Not Mean No Emotionally Satisfying Endings

 

It is an unfortunate staple in the entertainment industry that whenever a story is reported to be darker, it usually means the producers are going to use this as an excuse to cocentrate more on addressing issues and themes that are mostly overlooked by other stories... But it also means the emphasis is more on mood and atmosphere and little details (dialogue; setting; actions) and not the overall story as a whole. TSL continues this trend, unfortunately.

 

Yes. The game is more ambiguous than the first. The tone is much more gray in terms of the LS and DS of the force than KOTOR.

 

However, being ambiguous is not an excuse for not delivering a solid and emotionally satisfying ending.

 

This is the trap that TSL has fallen into because while the Exile acts more like a normal person in terms of his responses to some of the NPC dialogues... The actual ending of the game is where it all falls apart and the player is left with a sense of emptiness and disappointment as if the journey they just went on (storywise) was for nothing.

 

This is bad if a movie, or novel has this kind of ending, but inexplicably bad for an RPG where the emotional satisfaction at the end for the player having done everything is the overall goal of the game from the very start. 

 

TSL fails miserably in this regard and it is the worst possible failure it can have among the others I've already listed. This is the main reason why a lot of people don't "get" or flat out don't like the ending. There is no emotional closure, nor any emotional satisfaction for completing the game.

 

In addition, I realize that the original ending(s) were cut.

 

However, at the same time, after reading the cut material... I still think TSL suffers from not having any real focus (for the player) and that even if the cut content was put back in... The *main narrative of the game is still lacking in terms of having any real emotional core and forces the player to make illogical leaps to enjoy the game and give any real meaning why you are doing any of the things you have been doing up until the end.

 

Here i disagree completelly

 

when i first ended the game i was fully sathisfated, emotionally and mentally.

The emotions where so strong that where the same i have when i watch a masterpiece movie (probably last time was Magnolia so a quite some years ago) or some awesome book from C.S. Lewis.

Ok i'm exagerating now, but was just to say that i was really amazed by the game, not that i just enjoyed it and it entertained me.

 

The Human centrality is simply genial, expecially considering that we are in a game of "super heroes", in a world that if you have not some connection with the force you are nothing.... (look at Han Solo, he "become" a powerfull force sensitive in EU to give him a sort of nobility)

The story of a man that is great for what he is and not for is power is a great message, and a thing that our society seem to forget most of the time.

 

 

So, there is my take on things.

 

Like I said, you can completely disregard what I have to say, call me a "whinner" or whatever you want.

 

But I think these are the main reasons you are seeing a lot of posts that are confused about the ending, other plot shortcomings and storytelling flaws that crop up through out the game regardless of what content was cut to meet the ship deadline.

 

Then is the story difficult? yes i think mostly because is based on a thing that most people don't consider, and is the anthitesys of a game.

 

I see that most of the confusion is generally caused that the perception that nothing happened, many player try to see all the story in a "normal" power point of vision.

 

They expect that the Exile will become the most powerfull behing in the galaxy, that he have to save or to conquer it with the force and his sabre, fighting some uber villain...

With this vision is quite logical that is difficult to see what is happening, what is moving the characters and the true vaule of the Exile, in a power perspective a choice, a freedom choice, the inner strenght of a Man are nothing, are probably weakness and so very difficult to understand.

 

Now better to stop that my english is very crappy and my digressions are becoming way too confused and probably very boring too:P

 

Just to say again that i really enjoyed the story i was fully satisfied by it to the point that i'm telling to my friends to try the game.

 

sorry again for the confusion and bad english.

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The ship is under the control of T3. The reason you can't access the data logs as to where the ship has been is because the ship *was* Revan's ship in the first KoTOR (your ship I guess).

 

 

Since Revan went to a place he/she could not bring his/her friends because it had to remain a secret I'm sure we can figure out that T3 is STILL Revan's droid and T3 is acting on Revan's wishes to not allow information of the place Revan has gone to be leaked out.

 

 

That is why you don't know where the ship came from, that is why you never find out (unless I missed some dialog).

 

 

I'm sure if there is a 3rd KotOR it will revolve around Revan again and it will take place in the galaxy he/she travelled to and lots of things may make sense... or not because you never know when who ever develops the 3rd KotOR will cut the ending short and make a game that doesn't make any sense nor give you a good ending :)

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@Topic starter

 

Your three points are rather a question of individual taste than "general flaws in this story's logic that shouldn't be there, but the player is forced to just "overlook" in order to play the game and that should never be the case in any form of narrative entertainment in my opinion(.....)"

"Jedi poodoo!" - some displeased Dug

 

S.L.J. said he has already filmed his death scene and was visibly happy that he

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Zilod:

 

I think you brought up a point that I was kind of addressing, but not directly and that is I believe there was no real change for the main PC... And ultimately, this, coupled with the "bad" and cut ending(s) is why a lot of people don't like this game (especially, the end).

 

Like you said, you don't have to have an obvious change, "zero to hero", but I will argue that the main PC... The protagonist... Doesn't change that much in terms of his personal goals/demons which is just as important as saving the galaxy (or destroying it) and in some ways, even more vital to having a good RPG experience and why we do play RPGs and watch movies and read books in the first place.

 

Yes. The Exile starts the game with no force connection, or close connection to others and slowly gains those things back... But to me, that is more of an bi-product of his/her journey and it should not be the journey if that makes any sense?

 

I think kbned brought this up as well.

 

It seems, from my perspective, that a lot of the more deep, meaingful philospohies and ideologies that Obsidian wanted to address came off more as filler than real, serious contemplations and interactions, and I do think that it hurts the game in certain ways and makes it come off pretentious in a lot of instances even if that was never the intent.

 

I realize this is a game... a console game to be exact... And games have their limits as they aren't books or movies.

 

However, I just felt that perhaps Obsidian wanted to try and address some of the "larger" ideas like what defines a Jedi/Sith (The Force? How they use it? Their weapons? How they use them?), but really couldn't decide on any clear "path" stance and instead took the "easy" way out and basically said there is no path and it is up to the gamer to draw their own conclusions.

 

Normally, I am all for open-ended, intellectual dissections like this... But I just feel it was more of a case of there was no set ideology/philospohy/message that Obsidian wanted to convey, so they just let everyone else decide for themselves because that is much easier to do than actually figure one out.

 

An example of this is the Beggar on Nar Shadda cut-scene.

 

I know the narrative purpose is for Kriea to teach you even small actions can have a ripple effect (good or bad), but I also think this kind of second-guessing doesn't really serve that much of a point in the game other than to shed doubt on your PC and confuse him/her as to what to do... But ultimately, it becomes moot because in order to play the game, you must choose sides and make decisions that are "absolutes" and what Kriea is trying to teach you is that you're damned if you do, damned if you don't... But so what? I think this is what bothers me and others about some of these so-called "deep" scenes.

 

It bothers me because even as a writer, I believe, you should have certain set of beliefs/ideals/themes/philosophies that you want to address in your work (and all human beings inevitably will) and stick to them because it will be more evident and make the work come off more... Confident?... In itself and won't seem so wishy-washy is the best word to describe it. This is why the Nar Shadda Beggar scene almost comes off as nothing but filler and very pretentious to some... Because in the end it really does NOT have a point to either the bigger picture, or the immediate act of either giving the Beggar money, or not.

 

What I think happened with TSL is that Obsidian tried to "bridge the gap" between the absolute light and dark sides of the Force that are presented in the books and movies and present the Gray side of the Force... And I don't know if that is what this particular universe is really equipped for to be honest.

 

I know the KOTOR games, the EU and the Movies are all separate entities... But the basic premise and base-philosophy that Geoge Lucas created the SW Universe on is what should bind them altogether and I just feel TSL, while bold, possibly may be too "realistic" and too "sophisticated" in a lot of ways and this is why a lot of SW fans don't think this game is a SW game or story.

 

As I said, I do like the story... But the way it is executed does have some things that I view as sloppy and amateurish "from a certain point of view", but on the other hand, I am wondering if the story really is not a SW story itself and perhaps this is why I and others are having a harder time "buying" some of these (flawed) executions more than others.

 

Is it the (nature of) the story... Or is it how the story is executed?

 

I just feel when I look at TSL from a writing and storytelling perspective... It is just not a polished story in my opinion and maybe it goes beyond that and that is why I started this thread to get different takes on things and see if during the course of our diliberation I might be able to see what "really" is bothering I and possibly others don't really like TSL as a story.

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1) The "character knows their past, but player doesn't" thing is okay in theory, but didn't work out so well in the real game. A few parts, like meeting Bao-Dur, were okay - adding characters from the past who know the PC is neat, as it makes it feel like the PC have a history. But this particular character's history didn't work so well for other parts, for meeting people who were very close to you and having to say "yeah, sorry about the mass murder" while they go on about your past.

 

2) Partly disagree. I think cliche was avoided for Atton's character because he never actually says "I want to make up for everything I did wrong and I feel awful about it," although of course it comes through in his other dialogue. He doesn't go around constantly muttering about redemption. He's brave enough to desire redemption when the opportunity expressly comes up, but too frightened to do anything about it otherwise. Maybe that's still vaguely cliche, but it's pretty hard to avoid having no cliches at all, ever. I think he was still a fascinating character.

 

And if he'd been a Sith Lord, it would've been just as easy to say "oh, of course he is! He was totally open about his dark past and never said he regretted it so he technically never lied to you!"

 

Mira definitely needed a stronger motivation to tag along. "Oh, you're my bounty" got silly, as she didn't seem like the kind of person to lie to herself so much. Hanharr's joining up just to watch you didn't feel strong enough, either. I didn't see a real reason why Mandalore needed to travel with you.

 

 

3) Totally agreed about the darkness. This is a huge problem for many beginning/intermediate writers: they think that piling on misery after misery makes their story better. Reviewing clumsily-written drug addiction/rape/abortion/breakup stories is... not one of the best ways to spend one's time.

 

I think it was handled moderately well in some areas of the game: I understood that a big part of it was how the wars had touched everyone, had hurt them. But still, I wanted some kind of character like Mission: someone who wasn't going to be a total **** to me at some point, someone who wasn't completely scarred and (at least!) half-broken inside because of their past. Even *T3,* the sweet innocent little droid, is depressed because he was abandoned and is hiding things from the player.

 

As for the endings themselves: the scrapped endings fill me with mixed feelings. They're well-written technically, but there really doesn't seem to be much point to killing everyone off (except Atton, to a certain extent) aside from "yup. Everyone's dead. DRAMA." And either way, ending as-is or ending cut-out, the Exile has no ultimate choice about their fate: sorry, you're going to do this and there's nothing you can do about it.

 

The theme of KOTOR1 was redemption. The theme of KOTOR2 leans more towards sacrifice - but, as it is (cut and included material both), it feels like pointless, empty sacrifice.

 

It's the difference between, say, the end of Buffy and the end of Angel. People died on the Buffy season finale, some totally unecessarily, but the remaining characters still saved the world and brought forth new hope, both for the characters and for the world itself. There was a lot of clumsy storytelling, true (not to mention some of the godawful dialogue) but it ultimately felt emotionally satisfying for me.

 

The end of Angel? Well, they realized that redemption was a pointless waste of time and that they were all literally doomed to hell, a bunch of random exposition was tossed out to make some sketchy plotlines make sense, one character died in a totally idiotic pointless way, and the others were all pretty much ready to die just, uh, just for the heck of it. Pretty damn frustrating when you've watched this show for five entire years - or, say, paid $50 for a computer game.

I am following my fish.

 

A temporary home for stranded ML'ers

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Mandalore joins because of Kriea mentioned the orders Revan gave him, he says we better watch her to his cronies. Not to mention the fact you say you served with Revan and he's obessed with Revan. And you are taking *his* ship to Onderan.

What if I wanted to kill the other bounty hunters but still have the Twi'leks chase me?

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1) The "character knows their past, but player doesn't" thing is okay in theory, but didn't work out so well in the real game. A few parts, like meeting Bao-Dur, were okay - adding characters from the past who know the PC is neat, as it makes it feel like the PC have a history. But this particular character's history didn't work so well for other parts, for meeting people who were very close to you and having to say "yeah, sorry about the mass murder" while they go on about your past.

 

2) Partly disagree. I think cliche was avoided for Atton's character because he never actually says "I want to make up for everything I did wrong and I feel awful about it," although of course it comes through in his other dialogue. He doesn't go around constantly muttering about redemption. He's brave enough to desire redemption when the opportunity expressly comes up, but too frightened to do anything about it otherwise. Maybe that's still vaguely cliche, but it's pretty hard to avoid having no cliches at all, ever. I think he was still a fascinating character.

 

And if he'd been a Sith Lord, it would've been just as easy to say "oh, of course he is! He was totally open about his dark past and never said he regretted it so he technically never lied to you!"

 

Mira definitely needed a stronger motivation to tag along. "Oh, you're my bounty" got silly, as she didn't seem like the kind of person to lie to herself so much. Hanharr's joining up just to watch you didn't feel strong enough, either. I didn't see a real reason why Mandalore needed to travel with you.

 

 

3) Totally agreed about the darkness. This is a huge problem for many beginning/intermediate writers: they think that piling on misery after misery makes their story better. Reviewing clumsily-written drug addiction/rape/abortion/breakup stories is... not one of the best ways to spend one's time.

 

I think it was handled moderately well in some areas of the game: I understood that a big part of it was how the wars had touched everyone, had hurt them. But still, I wanted some kind of character like Mission: someone who wasn't going to be a total **** to me at some point, someone who wasn't completely scarred and (at least!) half-broken inside because of their past. Even *T3,* the sweet innocent little droid, is depressed because he was abandoned and is hiding things from the player.

 

As for the endings themselves: the scrapped endings fill me with mixed feelings. They're well-written technically, but there really doesn't seem to be much point to killing everyone off (except Atton, to a certain extent) aside from "yup. Everyone's dead. DRAMA." And either way, ending as-is or ending cut-out, the Exile has no ultimate choice about their fate: sorry, you're going to do this and there's nothing you can do about it.

 

The theme of KOTOR1 was redemption. The theme of KOTOR2 leans more towards sacrifice - but, as it is (cut and included material both), it feels like pointless, empty sacrifice.

 

It's the difference between, say, the end of Buffy and the end of Angel. People died on the Buffy season finale, some totally unecessarily, but the remaining characters still saved the world and brought forth new hope, both for the characters and for the world itself. There was a lot of clumsy storytelling, true (not to mention some of the godawful dialogue) but it ultimately felt emotionally satisfying for me.

 

The end of Angel? Well, they realized that redemption was a pointless waste of time and that they were all literally doomed to hell, a bunch of random exposition was tossed out to make some sketchy plotlines make sense, one character died in a totally idiotic pointless way, and the others were all pretty much ready to die just, uh, just for the heck of it. Pretty damn frustrating when you've watched this show for five entire years - or, say, paid $50 for a computer game.

 

 

You liked the ending of Buffy more than that of Angel? That's shocking... Angel's ending was purely fantastic, and it fit the entire mood of the series and the personality of the characters. I loved every minute of Angel's ending.

 

And KotOR I isn't really about redemption, because you can be pretty evil - I know, last time I played through, I was probably quite a bit more needlessly malevolent than pre-mind-raped Revan.

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I think it was handled moderately well in some areas of the game: I understood that a big part of it was how the wars had touched everyone, had hurt them. But still, I wanted some kind of character like Mission: someone who wasn't going to be a total **** to me at some point, someone who wasn't completely scarred and (at least!) half-broken inside because of their past. Even *T3,* the sweet innocent little droid, is depressed because he was abandoned and is hiding things from the player.

 

Well, GO-TO and HK-47 aren't scarred; they're both perfectly content with themselves. But I don't suppose that's quite what you were looking for. :D

 

I mentioned earlier that the companions were handled very similar to Planescape: Torment. I should explain for folks who didn't play that game. (PS:T slight spoiler, obviously): without getting into the magic of it, you discover that you have a unique ability to draw tormented souls to you, to make their path yours. This seems to have been directly ported over into KotOR 2, but it's kind of an uneasy fit with the SW universe.

 

As for the endings themselves: the scrapped endings fill me with mixed feelings. They're well-written technically, but there really doesn't seem to be much point to killing everyone off (except Atton, to a certain extent) aside from "yup. Everyone's dead. DRAMA." And either way, ending as-is or ending cut-out, the Exile has no ultimate choice about their fate: sorry, you're going to do this and there's nothing you can do about it.

 

I think the value is just to have their existence acknowledged, as opposed to having them simply vanish from the game.

 

The theme of KOTOR1 was redemption. The theme of KOTOR2 leans more towards sacrifice - but, as it is (cut and included material both), it feels like pointless, empty sacrifice.

 

FWIW, several early reviews said sort of the same thing about The Empire Strikes Back. OK, the film's over, and what have they accomplished, besides staying alive?

 

Though KotOR 2 is even more ambivalent. Whatever happens, hasn't Kreia won?

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