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Drakonnen

Where the Endgame REALLY went wrong

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I've really been pondering how the whole end part of the game went wrong, recently. Not just the fact that there really was no ending (hell, even if there was a real ending there was still no epic feel at the end).

 

For me, KOTOR2, just didn't have the Epic feel that KOTOR1 had, and I think I figured out why it left me with that impression...

 

I think where Obsidian went wrong was the order of the bosses and final worlds: putting Nihilus and Telos first, then Sion and Traya on Malachor second.

 

The whole game it seemed like Nihilus was built up as the baddest dude on the block. A planet consumer who wiped out scores of Jedi. Yet he was the third to last boss (Not to mention ridiculously easy to beat). After the fight with him at Telos and the whole space battle raging on, thats when you go to boring and dreary Malachor and face down the other two. It was all down hill from there.

 

Obsidian should have made it so you went to Malachor FIRST. After learning nothing of real value from the Jedi Masters and Atris on Telos, we should have them left Telos and went straight to Malachor to take down Traya, there you would defeart Sion, and meet Traya like you're supposed to.

 

You fight her of course, and mortally wound her, but before she goes Traya has real information for you, one final lesson from master to apprentice, and not just endless rambling: How wield the Exile's true power which is how to defeat Nihilus. Nihilus feeds off the Force after all, and the Exile is the one person who was able to shut himself off from it, and she teaches him how to turn it off and on like a lightswitch, and how to use that against Nihilus. She also has your old lightsaber for you which she took from Atris, and gives it to you before she dies.

 

THEN you leave Malachor and head back to Telos once traya has informed you Nihilus is going to strike, and where the Telosians, the Onderonians, the Republic and the Sith all are at, waging their huge space battle, the TRUE climax of the game. Then you proceed from there as you would have earlier, boarding the Ravager to face down the true baddest of the bad in the game, saving him for the very last like you should.

 

To make the final battle better, the more Force you use on Nihilus, the more he feeds off it and the stronger her gets, so to defeat him the Exile must shut himself off from the Force entirely once again (although he can turn it back on afterwards). It makes far more sense to me.

 

After that, you leave the Ravager and that is when talk to Admiral Carth, who further seals the deal about convincing you of the need to follow Revan and determine his fate, or join him in the battle. You settle things with your party members (if there were a real ending that is), then head off alone to hopefully find Revan and fight against the "true Sith."

 

Overall, I think this would have done a much better job of building things to a climax so that the climax happens at the end, with all the various factions present in the heat of a big battle in true Star Wars fashion, rather than climaxing early, then dragging along all down hill from there for another couple of hours through the dreary and downright boring Malachor.

 

With the Climax at the end as it should be, it would leave gamers far more satisfied, and the lasting impression would be of the Epic struggle at the very end, not the tedious romp through a boring world and an extremely long dialogue tree.

 

Anyone else agree?

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I disagree. Personally, I support the decision to set the confrontation with Darth Nihilus around Telos before the confrontation with "Darth Traya" on Malachor V. I think it fit the progression of the storyline, particularly with the whole revelation of the "true" Sith Empire and the truth of Revan's departure from all known space, and how it led so directly into the cliffhanger ending. I also thought the mysterious, omnious environment and atmosphere of Malachor V -- and the final confrontation with Kreia -- set the mood perfectly for leading into that cliffhanger ending, which seemed quite omnious in itself as well.

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I disagree. Personally, I support the decision to set the confrontation with Darth Nihilus around Telos before the confrontation with "Darth Traya" on Malachor V. I think it fit the progression of the storyline, particularly with the whole revelation of the "true" Sith Empire and the truth of Revan's departure from all known space, and how it led so directly into the cliffhanger ending. I also thought the mysterious, omnious environment and atmosphere of Malachor V -- and the final confrontation with Kreia -- set the mood perfectly for leading into that cliffhanger ending, which seemed quite omnious in itself as well.

 

I didn't see it as a cliffhanger. I saw it as a lack of an ending.

 

Look at all the Star Wars movies. Sure, there were issues to be resolved and cliffhangers at the end of the movie, such as Han Solo being captured, and the start of the Clone Wars, but the climaxes were still at very the end, with a brief period afterwards which at least gave that chapter a sense of closure, while retaining the Epic feel (the scene amongst the Rebel Fleet at the end of the Empire Strikes Back, for example).

 

Doing it my way, you still get the mysterious stuff about the "true Sith" and there is still a cliffhanger left about the Exile going off to find Revan (similar to Lando and Chewie heading off after Han), but it comes right after the real Climax, and does so giving this chapter of the KOTOR series a sense of closure it so desperately needs without detracting from the darkness that awaits in the next game.

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No, it is more fitting to finish on Malachor V. That is where it started after all, where the Exile was "wounded."

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No, it is more fitting to finish on Malachor V.  That is where it started after all, where the Exile was "wounded."

 

Not really. Actually, it makes even more sense for him to go there before fighting the one who should be the ultimate bad guy so that he deals with the past and comes to terms with it, making himself whole, understanding his true power before the final fight and how he must defeat this unmatched, planet consumer who has wiped out scores of Jedi.

 

Its more traditional among hero myths/stories (Hey, they even got it right with Visas, making her come to terms with her past before fighting Nihilus), and it makes more sense than the Exile just showing up on the ship and cleaving him down with a lightsaber, which any of those other damned Jedi should have been able to do. It would display the true need for the Exile in this story, by making it something only the Exile could accomplish, and not just any other random Jedi.

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Did you miss the part where Nihilus tries to eat the exile - which would be the point where any other Jedi went the way of the reformed council at Dantooine? The thing to remember is that Nihilus is not the great danger - not even Traya is. Whatever it is, it is out there, waiting, where Revan went. The true Sith is what the Exile needed to return to Malachor V before facing, and that is how they did in fact tell it.

 

No, Malachor V was a better place to end it, and Traya a stronger climax than Nihilus.

 

 

Anyway, if you're looking for early climactic moments, I rather thought the LS council/Kreia speech was... memorable.

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Vrook to Exile: You're straight.

Kreia in courtyard: You're a f***ing homo.

Kavar to Exile: You're boss pimp.

Kreia in courtyard: You pack Atton's ****.

 

 

Memorable, my arse. The music is the only great thing about the entire scene.

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No, Malachor V was a better place to end it, and Traya a stronger climax than Nihilus. 

 

Thats the real problem. It wasn't a strong climax, or even a climax at all.

 

One old woman who is rather easy to defeat on a mostly barren world, and (big surprise here) she prattles on near endlessly, interspersing a handful of useful information in with a substantial amount of pointless BS before finally croaking.

 

Yeah, quite the "Strong Climax". *Yawn*

 

Its the sort of Climax that makes me wish lightsabers didn't instantly cauterize wounds, just so we might have had the possibility that Kreia would've just bled to death back when Sion gimped her.

 

I mean, I hope KOTOR3 doesn't go that route with its "climaxes". I'm not sure I could take all the excitement of "strong climaxes" such as that... :lol:

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Don't know why people want to defend the game -- it wasn't finished, and even if you can 'draw' your own conclusion with your imagination, its not real; such a conclusion didn't occur within the game, and therefore, its a moot point.

 

It was not climactic -- it was depressing to waste that much time to arrive and find that your time was wasted.

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Despite the fact that on the whole I enjoyed the game I still don't think I can firmly take one side or another in this. All I know is that I felt extremely empty after finishing KOTOR2...

 

I personally wasn't too upset that the storyline was left as a bit open/unfinished (depending on your view), but my main beef was that the character relationships and storylines weren't finished up in an at all satisfying way. This in a way is intertwined with the storyline I know, but I think you will get where I am coming from.

 

I wont go into detail because I have voiced my opinion on this before, but the ending certainly did lack a lot from my perspective. This was compounded by the fact that regarding the characters from KOTOR2, the developers intentions for the 3rd game weren't made clear at all... (which I would have thought would be the least they could do seeing as they replaced the real ending with the lame "look into the crystal ball" one) so I have no idea if im ever going to get the closure I seek :lol:

 

- Dan

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I mean, I hope KOTOR3 doesn't go that route with its "climaxes".

 

Now, that's the biggest joke of all. We're not getting a KOTOR 3.

 

LA dropped the ball, but they'll probably be blaming the developers, and both OE and Bioware are moving on to other projects. There won't be a KOTOR 3. Just face it.

 

KOTOR 2's ending was sorta off, but not because of this. Nihilus was a flat character, no real personality--he couldn't even freaking talk. Granted, all the baddies should've been stronger, and there should have been more energy in the Kreia talk... maybe some sparring in between sentences, but they didn't have time to play with anything, to tinker. They did this game in 13 damn months. That's like someone telling you to eat a gallon of ice cream in ten seconds. It's impossible.

 

LA won't learn from this, though. They're turning into the new Eidos--a company which doesn't support its own developers, and doesn't listen to its own audience. In the long run this atittude, if it doesn't change, inevitably causes humongous losses in sales, if not the death of the publisher.

 

They should learn from Bethesda--the whole reason they are rolling in dough now is because they took time to truly perfect Morrowind. The whole reason that Call of Cthulhu: DCotE will do well is because they let the developer for that game perfect it, but marketed the game--a more hands-off approach. If LA would let their developers polish their games the way they want, without letting them get stuck at 99% but without rushing inspiration, they would get far better returns in the long run.

 

Maybe you don't like the way the ending went--I only partially did myself--but I bet you anything OE could've made you like it better if they'd had more slack in their choices.

 

As a last note, I'll just say I agree with Jivin--the number one dissatisfaction I had with KOTOR 2 is the fact that the character relationships didn't have closure.

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I think it would have been a far better cliffhanger for it to end on Dantooine. Traya knocks you out (and apparently kills you) and then buries you in the temple. After all, the final meeting on Dantooine really feels like a climax, and at least you understand what just happened, as opposed to on malachor, which is a true WTF moment.

 

Leaves the Sith Lords to be destroyed in the third game.


Hawk! Eggplant! AWAKEN!

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I agree 100% Kotor 2 story was a big disapointment and I found it rather boring than interesting. Bioware did a very good job on Kotor 1 story which was so good I coulnt stand away from it till I finished whole game.

 

Kotor 2 story was a fast made just for profit..... :(... too bad I thought it would be such a cool game. It was a good average game however.

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I think Drakkonen has a valid point of view. To try to put his words in some kind of context, imagine: it would have felt strange, would it not, to have flown to the Star Forge and destroyed it, and *then* to have to fly to the Unknown Planet Temple to deal with Bastila and Malak?

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Save that KOTOR 2 is not about 'stop the evil Darth villain, blow up his superweapon and save the galaxy', and crowbarring the standard Star Wars plot into it won't really help it any.

 

Nihilus is a non-entity. The entire story is about the Exile's rediscovery of himself through Kreia and her manipulations, not about Nihilus, regardless of how awesome you imagined him to be.

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They should learn from Bethesda--the whole reason they are rolling in dough now is because they took time to truly perfect Morrowind.

 

You're certifiably loony. Morrowind was never in a shape where it could be called a game, let alone finished or 'perfected'. A board and some pieces, or a sandbox, but no game.

 

Bethesda put lots of towns, dungeons, people and whatnot into Morrowind and so they never got around to designing the underlying game as such. Look at what you want - character development, combat, magic, mercantile, alchemy, quests, everything. The stuff was never developed beyond the earliest, proof-of-concept prototype stage ... The background/lore was first-class but I get more of that and with better quality if I simply go and buy a book; much less cumbersome to read too.

 

The only game I've played that was even worse than Morrowind was Dungeon Siege. DS was pure mindless grind from beginning to end while Morrowind at least had Ajira, M'Aiq the Liar, Gaenor and so on to give it a bit of character. Despite all the imperfections of KotOR ][ it is still much more of a game than Morrowind. For example, one might say that KotOR ][ has somewhat poorly balanced classes, but Morrowind does not even have any classes and there cannot be something like balance or lack thereof in something which is not even coherent.

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Save that KOTOR 2 is not about 'stop the evil Darth villain, blow up his superweapon and save the galaxy', and crowbarring the standard Star Wars plot into it won't really help it any.

 

Nihilus is a non-entity. The entire story is about the Exile's rediscovery of himself through Kreia and her manipulations, not about Nihilus, regardless of how awesome you imagined him to be.

 

Absolutely right. It made for a nice change, too, having a little more thought involved than usual.

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I conjecture that, with more exposition, a final confrontation with Darth Nihilus, and coming face to face with the true nature of what the wound in the Force means for the galaxy, could have been every bit as deep as the final confrontation with Darth Treya. I do not say that the game is about Nihilus - merely that I feel he could have made a much more interesting *final* step on the Exile's path to rediscovery than Treya. Nihilus IS as close to Malachor V personified as things will ever get, and the ramifications for facing him down and what that would have meant for the Exile could have been so much more than they were.

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crowbarring the standard Star Wars plot into it won't really help it any.

 

In addition, it is important to remember that we're not talking about 'the standard Star Wars plot' - we're talking about exposition, suspense, building to a climax and delivering on that climax, some very fundamental rules of drama. I merely used KOTOR 1 as an example of that. Planescape Torment managed these things very nicely while being far more revelatory and deep than KOTOR2 could ever manage.

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Querry: wonder how posters would have been if they saw the end of the empire strikes back years ago.. and no word on return of the jedi :-

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Hey, ESB is an example of a well-handled ending to a second part of a trilogy - it foreshadowed what was to come, and made a clean break, setting things up for the third and final part. By the end of it, you knew what was going on, and you were looking forward to what was going to come (rescuing Han, Luke and Vader meeting again). The end of KOTOR2 leaves too many unanswered questions - we're not even entirely sure what we should be looking forward to in KOTOR 3.

 

It is important to note that neither ESB nor KOTOR2 have a cliffhanger ending in the strictest sense.

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I've really been pondering how the whole end part of the game went wrong, recently.  Not just the fact that there really was no ending (hell, even if there was a real ending there was still no epic feel at the end). 

 

For me, KOTOR2, just didn't have the Epic feel that KOTOR1 had, and I think I figured out why it left me with that impression...

 

I think where Obsidian went wrong was the order of the bosses and final worlds: putting Nihilus and Telos first, then Sion and Traya on Malachor second.

 

The whole game it seemed like Nihilus was built up as the baddest dude on the block.  A planet consumer who wiped out scores of Jedi.  Yet he was the third to last boss (Not to mention ridiculously easy to beat).  After the fight with him at Telos and the whole space battle raging on, thats when you go to boring and dreary Malachor and face down the other two.  It was all down hill from there.

 

Obsidian should have made it so you went to Malachor FIRST.  After learning nothing of real value from the Jedi Masters and Atris on Telos, we should have them left Telos and went straight to Malachor to take down Traya, there you would  defeart Sion, and meet Traya like you're supposed to.

 

You fight her of course, and mortally wound her, but before she goes Traya has real information for you, one final lesson from master to apprentice, and not just endless rambling: How wield the Exile's true power which is how to defeat Nihilus.  Nihilus feeds off the Force after all, and the Exile is the one person who was able to shut himself off from it, and she teaches him how to turn it off and on like a lightswitch, and how to use that against Nihilus.  She also has your old lightsaber for you which she took from Atris, and gives it to you before she dies.

 

THEN you leave Malachor and head back to Telos once traya has informed you Nihilus is going to strike, and where the Telosians, the Onderonians, the Republic and the Sith all are at, waging their huge space battle, the TRUE climax of the game.  Then you proceed from there as you would have earlier, boarding the Ravager to face down the true baddest of the bad in the game, saving him for the very last like you should. 

 

To make the final battle better, the more Force you use on Nihilus, the more he feeds off it and the stronger her gets, so to defeat him the Exile must shut himself off from the Force entirely once again (although he can turn it back on afterwards).  It makes far more sense to me.

 

After that, you leave the Ravager and that is when talk to Admiral Carth, who further seals the deal about convincing you of the need to follow Revan and determine his fate, or join him in the battle.  You settle things with your party members (if there were a real ending that is), then head off alone to hopefully find Revan and fight against the "true Sith."

 

Overall, I think this would have done a much better job of building things to a climax so that the climax happens at the end, with all the various factions present in the heat of a big battle in true Star Wars fashion, rather than climaxing early, then dragging along all down hill from there for another couple of hours through the dreary and downright boring Malachor.

 

With the Climax at the end as it should be, it would leave gamers far more satisfied, and the lasting impression would be of the Epic struggle at the very end, not the tedious romp through a boring world and an extremely long dialogue tree.

 

Anyone else agree?

 

i agree with evrything you've said

 

nihilus was a tragically underused character and should have been the bullwork which the ending of that game was built upon, and i agree with the boring as hell dialogue tree with traya at the end, thats an awful way to end a game, having everything explained by the person you were out to kill after you effectively beat her

 

it seemed really underwhelming going from a huge spacebattle to malachor where not alot was happening

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I conjecture that, with more exposition, a final confrontation with Darth Nihilus, and coming face to face with the true nature of what the wound in the Force means for the galaxy, could have been every bit as deep as the final confrontation with Darth Treya. I do not say that the game is about Nihilus - merely that I feel he could have made a much more interesting *final* step on the Exile's path to rediscovery than Treya. Nihilus IS as close to Malachor V personified as things will ever get, and the ramifications for facing him down and what that would have meant for the Exile could have been so much more than they were.

 

Considering that Nihilus is just the Exile's Force-draining condition made flesh and taken to an extreme, I don't think there's enough there to have him as the game's final antagonist - to have him as the single object which the entire game has been spent building up to.

 

*Kreia*, now, *Kreia* has things to say. She has a relationship with the player character. She has her fingers in pies throughout the game. She is the architect behind the entirety of the game; the whole thing is her training the Exile to be the UberJedi. She drives the game, she drives the plot.

 

In contrast, what does Nihilus offer? He's a wandering ghost feeding on the souls of the living; a walking death machine. He serves as a warning for the Exile should he submit entirely to the Force - 'give into your Force hunger, and you shall become a puppet of the Force'. Yes, he's Malachor V's avatar, but Malachor V is the past. We've done it already.

 

Kreia is the big bad evil behind it all. Nihilus is just a, a, a lackey and a sub-boss. Kreia, a real, breathing character, has a relationship with the Exile. Nihilus is just one of two demonstrations of the Force's manipulation of its users (which, by the by, is part of Kreia's big story, not the other way around with Kreia being an example of Nihilus' story, whatever that is). Kreia has a lot to offer as a personal antagonist because there's just a lot, lot *more* of her. Nihilus has sod all because he is *just* a concept, just an idea, not a real person any more, as the game states many times.

 

Besides, the plan as proprosed (Kreia, then Nihilus) is silly.

 

Kreia: I used you to defeat my enemies.

 

Exile: Foul witch! I won't let you manipulate me any longer! Which is why I'm going to kill you, then finish the job you started me off on!

 

Right-o, Exile. Way to carve a new life path for yourself, man!

 

 

 

In addition, it is important to remember that we're not talking about 'the standard Star Wars plot' - we're talking about exposition, suspense, building to a climax and delivering on that climax, some very fundamental rules of drama. I merely used KOTOR 1 as an example of that. Planescape Torment managed these things very nicely while being far more revelatory and deep than KOTOR2 could ever manage.

 

Actually, shoehorning a 'standard Star Wars plot' is exactly what Drakonnen wants to do. He wants something that has

 

the Epic feel that KOTOR1 had

 

- that is, something that ends with Luke the Exile dueling with his father, Darth Nihilus, on board the Death Ravager while the Battle of Endor rages above Telos. He wants the story to be about the hero saving the galaxy by charging up to the bad guy and running a lightsaber through him. He wants an epic story; he wants Star Wars.

 

KOTOR 2 doesn't do this. From the start it focuses on the Exile trying to find a place for himself following the devastation of the Mandalorian wars and the recent Jedi Civil War. It focuses on the Exile's fledgling Force ability and how he develops it, how he uses it and comes to terms with it. The big 'look for four things' quest is driven by the character's need to discover things about his past.

 

The Exile doesn't look for the Jedi Masters because only they can tell him how to defeat Darth Nihilus, who threatens the galaxy with his Force hunger. Nihilus is a sidequest... he's a giant black neon sign that tells the player to get on with the game - not because he'll blow everything up if the player dawdles, but because he's what the player will become if he doesn't sort this nasty Force-hole thing rather sharpish. The small role he plays is connected to the player's personal quest for identity, not to a grand epic story.

 

That is why Drakonnen is attempting to turn KOTOR 2 into KOTOR 1 with this proposal, and that is why I called him on it. KOTOR 2's storytelling flaws (which you point out above) have nothing to do with this basic decision of KOTOR 2 being about the Exile, not about somebody called Nihilus attempting to destroy the galaxy. And the problems won't be solved by switching from one idea to the other.

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*Kreia*, now, *Kreia* has things to say.

 

Yeah, thats exactly right. She has things to say. And then after that, she has more to say. Then when she is done with that, she has MORE to say. She's little more than a boring hag.

 

He wants an epic story; he wants Star Wars.

 

KOTOR 2 doesn't do this.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself, Blaise. I want Star Wars. And KOTOR2, despite being sold as a Star Wars game, DOES NOT DELIVER IT.

 

As for the whole "shoe horning it" get over it. It wouldn't be something forced like you seem to suggest, it would have just been a much better set up.

 

That is why Drakonnen is attempting to turn KOTOR 2 into KOTOR 1 with this proposal, and that is why I called him on it. KOTOR 2's storytelling flaws (which you point out above) have nothing to do with this basic decision of KOTOR 2 being about the Exile, not about somebody called Nihilus attempting to destroy the galaxy. And the problems won't be solved by switching from one idea to the other.

 

See, thats where you're wrong. It would still be about the Exile, even more so than the other way. He still finds out all the stuff from Kreia, learns how to use his special power better, and comes to terms with himself and the past. However, before going off after Revan to fight the "true Sith" he TRULY becomes whole by facing his final test: Nihilus.

 

Take Return of the Jedi for instance. Luke goes back to Dantooine to find Yoda again and speak with him and Obi-Wan, finding out all he needs to know and that his training is complete. However, he's not "whole", not a Jedi yet, until he confronts Vader and the Emperor. It would work the same with the Exile. Kreia would give him his final guidance, but to be complete, he would have to face his final test, who is essentially the antihesis of the Exile to a certain extent.

 

You're absolutely right that my way would be more "Star Wars". I think "Star Wars" is what most people want when they buy a Star Wars game.

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