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It seems to me that people aren't getting at the heart of the issue; was KotOR II's story weak or epic?

 

Here I will attempt a mostly impartial analysis of the focus of the plot in KotOR II, and how it was committed:

 

 

The Exile's past and future:

Elaboration is made about what happened to him that led up to the events of KotOR II, his choices about saving individual Republic worlds, his influence over the other character's, his choices concerning what to do with his knowledge of the Jedi Master's. All of that? Wow. What, exactly, IS the driving motive of the story? What does it have to do with what actually occurred in the game?

 

What occurred in the game:

The Exile hunted down Jedi Master's; to kill them, to gather them, or to question them. The exile had a good and evil path, more or less, on Nar Shadaa, Dantooine, and Onderon. You end up fighting the Sith Lords.

 

The nature of development:

Question's asked of each of the Jedi Master's were almost exactly the same in each instance. Motive for killing the Jedi Master's is unclear, except, perhaps, for revenge. Why not become a great Sith? Why not for power and glory? But these really weren't clear options that were presented in the game. The motive of the main character was NOT portrayed adequately; there were maybe three lines to show the Exile's motivations. The player is, thus, not really as involved with this possible motive as they could be. Getting the Jedi together seemed like a good idea, but those efforts were completely destroyed anyway - and the player is truly no closer to their goal, which also lowers involvement. This wouldn't be so bad, except that the "Wound in the Force" motivation is a little unclear. Interesting, but unclear. What I mean is: why did the Jedi Master's decide to Exile, and eventually truly, cut you from the Force? The reasoning seemed a little obscure.

 

Ultimately, it looks like the Wound in the Force was the villain, the driving motive. But this focus was a rather abstract concept of fantasy - actually, it wasn't deserving of a focus for a Star Wars plot. Why? Not because it wasn't romantic enough, nor that it wasn't melodramatic, and not because it "Just wasn't Star Wars."

 

It's just that the whole concept on which the story is based is sedentary; a plot, in order to technically exist, needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. TSL seems to be a reminscience, a description of the Force, using the happenings of the game as an example. The beginning middle and end almost don't exist, because when it gets down to it, the center isn't the beginning, the middle, or the end - usually, it's only an essay or philosophical paper that turns out like this. It would be fun if it were the other way around, that the action drove the philosophy. Anyone agree with me, or at least see what I mean in those last last few sentences?

 

Thoughts?

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I wish I could comment, but so much of the game doesn't make sense due to cut content. I just don't feel like blasting a game with so much unrealised potential and so much story left untold. Which I suppose is a comment in and of itself. :blink:

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From what ended up in the final game (and in some ways even if cut-content was there) I would still find the game sort of unfulfilling. Like I said in another post, the story starts as trying to stop the Sith, but then ends up not having anything to do with the Jed Masters, or the Sith, but instead Kreia who wants to use your apparent unique force "situatation".

 

KotOR 2's story was not weak. All the main stories were the type seen in epics, but weren't covered greatly enough, and some just became irrelevant. Like in a full LS game, you gather the masters to no avail, no epic Jedi vs Sith showdown. Sure, the fact that they don't help was a dose of unpredictability, but also felt like the whole plot just fizzled out.

 

Also, I think people who thought KotOR 1 was too simplistic should perhaps go back and replay some of their other games and realise it's story is very good.

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Its a bit of a dud. Not a total dud, but duddy never the less

People laugh when I say that I think a jellyfish is one of the most beautiful things in the world. What they don't understand is, I mean a jellyfish with long, blond hair.

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******OMG SPOILER ALERT!!!******

 

 

>was KotOR II's story weak or epic?

 

comparing K1 and K2 is comparing apples and oranges

(I realize that was not your question).

 

K1 was a complete story with a romance and with resolution.

That is what K1 was supposed to be.

 

K2 was never intended to be that. That is why it cannot be compared to K1

in that sense. K2 does have the ability to stand on its own feet but it

is obviously a lead-in to something else.

 

 

>The Exile's past and future:

>Elaboration is made about what happened to him that led up to the events

>of KotOR II, his choices about saving individual Republic worlds, his

>influence over the other character's, his choices concerning what to do

>with his knowledge of the Jedi Master's. All of that? Wow. What, exactly,

>IS the driving motive of the story? What does it have to do with what actually occurred in the game?

 

OK, why do we hear about him being exiled? The exile thing was nothing more than a device to explain how some big Force baddie could avoid taking sides in the Jedi Civil War and just basically materialize out of nowhere when the story needed him. Nothing more than a storytelling device.

 

 

>What occurred in the game:

>The Exile hunted down Jedi Master's; to kill them, to gather them, or to question them.

>The exile had a good and evil path, more or less, on Nar Shadaa, Dantooine, and Onderon.

>You end up fighting the Sith Lords.

 

Yes, instead of looking for 4 Star Maps, you are looking for 4 people.

 

Why?

 

Ostensible reason: To learn more about your past and why they exiled you and/or for revenge.

 

Real reason: Your "teacher" wants to kill every last Force Sensitive in Known Space. She is using you to find the last of them.

 

 

>The nature of development:

>Question's asked of each of the Jedi Master's were almost exactly the same in each instance.

>Motive for killing the Jedi Master's is unclear, except, perhaps, for revenge. Why not become a great Sith?

>Why not for power and glory? But these really weren't clear options that were presented in the game.

>The motive of the main character was NOT portrayed adequately; there were maybe three lines to show the Exile's motivations.

>The player is, thus, not really as involved with this possible motive as they could be.

 

Why do you tolerate your "teacher"...you know there is something fishy going on, right? Well, it just so happens that there is a Lethal Force Bond between the two of you.

 

If you want to get strong enough to sever the bond, you need her teaching.

You are her poodle. You can kill the Jedi or let her do it...as long as you find them, that is the thing.

 

 

>Getting the Jedi together seemed like a good idea, but those efforts were completely destroyed anyway - and the player is

>truly no closer to their goal, which also lowers involvement. This wouldn't be so bad, except that the "Wound in the Force"

>motivation is a little unclear. Interesting, but unclear. What I mean is: why did the Jedi Master's decide to Exile, and

>eventually truly, cut you from the Force? The reasoning seemed a little obscure.

 

the idea of the Force being wounded at Malachor was a stretch for Star Wars...the whole "anamoly" thing is actually more of a Star Trek device. again, it was there as a way to help justify all the talk about you being exiled and how you cut yourself off from the Force. There is no way the Force was in any danger whatsoever...heck, the timeline alone tells us that.

 

 

>It's just that the whole concept on which the story is based is sedentary; a plot, in order to technically exist, needs a

>beginning, a middle, and an end. TSL seems to be a reminscience, a description of the Force, using the happenings of the

>game as an example. The beginning middle and end almost don't exist, because when it gets down to it, the center isn't the

>beginning, the middle, or the end - usually, it's only an essay or philosophical paper that turns out like this. It would be

>fun if it were the other way around, that the action drove the philosophy. Anyone agree with me, or at least see what I mean

>in those last last few sentences?

 

this is because this game was supposed to be "filler" and somewhat tie in to K3 (without giving anything away).

 

Obsidian did an admirable job giving us a filler story but it does not take a phd to see that that is all this was. I don't even want to think about what another company would have done with such marching orders.

 

IMO, K2 is a weak story but presented masterfully. K1 was a more complete story presented in a highly predictable way.

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Jedi are supposed to be trained from childhood. Luke was an exception, not the rule. I think starting from adulthood is the reason for the weird story. They had to come up with some way a character could start as a Jedi (LucasArts demanded this) and still have little to no Force Skills. Because of that, we had to be some weird, Post Traumatic Stress suffering void, Force Bond anomaly thing. They couldn't do the amnesia thing again and you can't start off all-powerful or the game would be too easy. The answer? Start off as a child and grow to adulthood. Simple. ;)

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Jedi are supposed to be trained from childhood.  Luke was an exception, not the rule.  I think starting from adulthood is the reason for the weird story.  They had to come up with some way a character could start as a Jedi (LucasArts demanded this) and still have little to no Force Skills.  Because of that, we had to be some weird, Post Traumatic Stress suffering void, Force Bond anomaly thing.  They couldn't do the amnesia thing again and you can't start off all-powerful or the game would be too easy.  The answer?  Start off as a child and grow to adulthood.  Simple. ;)

 

excellent point...that is going to be a persistent issue with these games.

I think a good solution is to have a "canned character" in a sense but to be able to choose between 4 or 5 different backstories...that would be cool.

 

it would also helpful if we could, early on, express a preference for a pro-Jedi path or a pro-Sith path...you could still stray from your path but it would be nice to get that going very early in the game.

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I like the idea of choosing between several backstories. To integrate both ideas, perhaps they could have a Darkside backstory, a Lightside and a neutral one. Of course, as you stated, one's alignment could change depending on his or her actions and choices. This way a player wouldn't be "locked in" to any particular one. Great post! ;)

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I like the idea of choosing between several backstories.  To integrate both ideas, perhaps they could have a Darkside backstory, a Lightside and a neutral one.  Of course, as you stated, one's alignment could change depending on his or her actions and choices.  This way a player wouldn't be "locked in" to any particular one.  Great post! ;)

 

right....basically, the way I see it is that questions such as whether you are going to get Hanharr or Mira...these kinds of things are determined by your chosen backstory and/or the statements your PC makes within the first hour of the game.

 

they are not determined by whether you are 29% DS or 30% DS at a certain time in the game...no way is that a good idea, IMO.

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I also think that different people follow you for different reasons:

 

* some follow because of your views on good and evil (Alignment)

 

* some follow because of your Reputation (cautious, daring, clever, etc)

 

* some follow because of your faction affiliation (Czerka Corp, Exchange, etc)

 

* and, of course, female PCs get certain hunks that us men don't need ;)

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right....basically, the way I see it is that questions such as whether you are going to get Hanharr or Mira...these kinds of things are determined by your chosen backstory and/or the statements your PC makes within the first hour of the game.

 

they are not determined by whether you are 29% DS or 30% DS at a certain time in the game...no way is that a good idea, IMO.

 

Those things are chosen by your actions. Just because your actions are measured on a scale dosnt change that.

 

So the game does exactly what you just asked for. It takes notice of your "statements" during the first part of the game and then sets you a particular NPC encounter.

 

On the other hand the gender one is based entirely on your background.

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

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Those things are chosen by your actions. Just because your actions are measured on a scale dosnt change that.

 

well, ideally, the PC would be able to choose between Mira and Hanharr...maybe you want Hanharr on your ship just so you can keep an eye on him..that sort of thing...

 

I am all about giving the PC much more say in party management...but then, I suspect you already know that.

 

It's just that if you chose a DS backstory, you would have already met Hanharr whereas if you chose a LS backstory, you would have already met Mira.

 

Something like that...there are many ways they could implement it.

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well, ideally, the PC would be able to choose between Mira and Hanharr...maybe you want Hanharr on your ship just so you can keep an eye on him..that sort of thing...

 

I am all about giving the PC much more say in party management...but then, I suspect you already know that.

 

It's just that if you chose a DS backstory, you would have already met Hanharr whereas if you chose a LS backstory, you would have already met Mira.

 

Something like that...there are many ways they could implement it.

 

Yeah but then your reducing it to a dialogue choice without any meaning. People are always harping on about consequence in RPGs and hanharr/mira is a perfect example of consequence of actions.

 

I'm more about realism of character and not having the NPCs there just to make the player feel good about themselves.

 

Long ago I jokingly suggested that KOTOR should in fact take the Pokemon/MegaMan approach and come in two flavours. KOTOR III:Jedi Blue and KOTOR III:Sith Red

 

Not only do you have a very good chance that people will by both but you also tailor the experience in a better way because your no longer trying to squeeze two games into one.

 

Each game would have different NPCs different locales, but the overall plot would be the same, only told from a different perspective.

 

Big problem with that sort of thing in a backstory. You cant have already met anyone because thats the first time you have played the game. Unless you had some sort of prologue where the characters meet and then part and then meet up later. The only way you could pull that off and not have the player going huh ? (like to an extent when some people met Bao Dur) is to have yet another character without a memory...

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

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I guess for me, that might be a little too easy.  I like having to convince/corrupt others to join me.  ;)

 

my point is that you really have NO CHOICE as to who your party members are.

most are predefined. true, there is one based on alignment but what if you just don't like the character? we need to have more in the way of party management, IMO.

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I think it would be unrealistic to just say "I'm going to play this game Light" because I want Mira. "So let me choose Light at the beginning and play." Then what? You still get Mira no matter how evil you are? I guess I don't understand.

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Long ago I jokingly suggested that KOTOR should in fact take the Pokemon/MegaMan approach and come in two flavours. KOTOR III:Jedi Blue and KOTOR III:Sith Red

 

Not only do you have a very good chance that people will by both but you also tailor the experience in a better way because your no longer trying to squeeze two games into one.

 

hey, I'm all about that. whether they sell it as one shrinkwrap or two, we essentially need two paths....which translates into two seperate games.

 

the DS guy is not fighting the Sith, etc.

 

this would be cool:

 

2 LS backstories to choose from

2 DS backstories to choose from

2 N backstories to choose from

 

and then, your political views in dialogue:

 

"I want the Sith Empire to conquer the Republic"

"I want the Republic to prevail against the Sith"

 

notice that, while there might be neutral alignment, there is no neutral politics.

it is your STATED POLITICAL VIEWS, not alignment, that determines the progression of your story.

 

backstory affects who mentors you, who you meet, etc.

 

alignment primarily affects your access to various Force powers....and IMO the crossover penalties need to be alot more severe than they are now.

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I think it would be unrealistic to just say "I'm going to play this game Light" because I want Mira.  "So let me choose Light at the beginning and play."  Then what?  You still get Mira no matter how evil you are?  I guess I don't understand.

 

we call it BACKSTORY....you can always become someone different but I believe in allowing your backstory to define alot of what will happen to you. I just think it is more realistic.

 

again, with several backstories to choose from, it is not going to be a simple Mira/Hanharr choice anyway....each backstory will have a slightly different default party composition.

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I don't agree. I believe backstory should play a VERY small part in the overall story. This is will be a consistant problem with the series. It would be nice if a game series were made where: First one your character is born and a child, second teen to adult, third adult to death... or whatever. I don't think that's ever been done before. Then you would really create your own backstory and not just choose from options someone else made up.

 

Edit: Of course, some people would think that's boring because you'd be playing the same character.

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I don't agree.  I believe backstory should play a VERY small part in the overall story.  This is will be a consistant problem with the series.  It would be nice if a game series were made where:  First one your character is born and a child, second teen to adult, third adult to death... or whatever.  I don't think that's ever been done before.  Then you would really create your own backstory and not just choose from options someone else made up.

 

Oh, I agree. I would prefer not to have to use backstories. But we have to for the reasons you have indicated:

 

* LA wants a Jedi

* Jedis normally get trained as kids

 

so, we either need to have the PC grow up in real time (like in Fable) or have canned backstories...

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Me too! ;) If we are talking about the KOTOR series, I don't see any way around it. Perhaps my idea of LS, DS or neutral backstories is the problem. Make them all neutral and that allows for more freedom. I would pick choosing a backstory over "rapid aging" any day though. Maybe that's just because of my bad experience with Fable. <_< To me, rapid aging makes any game dreadfully unrealistic.

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Skywalker:

I felt the referrences to the exile's past were a little weak; I appreciate the attempt to make the Exile a deeper character, it just wasn't done well. I would've liked more, or none at all. I realize the Exile's past was perhaps just background story, and didn't even need to be there.

 

My only point was that the main conflict of the story was incomplete. It was also a bit more ambitious than the plot of KotOR I.

 

As an aside, addressing other points skywalker made to me:

And frankly, romance plots aren't that important to me. I was more concerned with how everything dropped off, arbitrarily, with certain characters, and you could pretty much never talk to them again. They basically died when you trained them to be Jedi; they continued to play a role in the story, perhaps, but most of characters didn't even do that. For so much of the game, it just felt like the NPC's were scripts, and nothing beyond that.

 

I liked ESB. I liked PS: T. I liked a billion stories most people would probably hate for how terribly vague they were. What I'm not certain of is why, then, I find this story a little bit lacking and arbitrary.

 

 

Also:

I guess the idea of backstory is altogether controversial. I would push the point, though, that it's because it's hard to do well - and that what people don't like is incomplete (badly formed) backstory.

 

My primary point from the original post of the thread:

KotOR II really depended on the first confrontation with Atris, where the main quest really started.

It was explained what happened in the Exile's past would create motive for the rest of the story. I just feel that this motive wasn't well-developed enough, for being the central idea of the story.

 

After all, the Sith Assassins really didn't motivate the story. I remember encountering them three times during the story; Peragus, Dxun, and Malachor.

This Force Wound idea was an interesting motive for the story... and it was talked about continuously... it just wasn't explained. Perhaps it can't be explained fully; in that case, it seems like the story is incomplete by virtue of the story's central theme.

Or is it?

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Skywalker:

I felt the referrences to the exile's past were a little weak; I appreciate the attempt to make the Exile a deeper character, it just wasn't done well.  I would've liked more, or none at all.  I realize the Exile's past was perhaps just background story, and didn't even need to be there. 

 

I'm sure that was intentional. The background was there to build on if you allow the player to do that you cant simply come along and destroy whatever carefully crafted background they created.

 

While you had the framework of being a general and being cut off from the force as story hooks. It never implied what sort of general you were, whether or not you fell to the darkside or stayed true to the code.Those were very much your choices (as part of the conversation with Atton on the ship)

Background has to be their because everyone has a background, it's what makes us who we are and determines the choices we make. Thats why removing a characters memory is such a cheap trick in RPG terms.

 

If you played KOTOR first you may well have approached it with the I dont really need to create a character since I'm probably playing one thats going to get revealed in the game anyway. In which case I would imagine the game felt a bit empty.

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

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