opening screen of kotor2 with darth sion darth nihilus and visas marr
kotor2 menu

KotOR2

Knights of the Old Republic 2

 

Developer: Obsidian Entertaintment

Publisher: Lucastarts

RPG

2005

 

The story of Revan caught many gamers in the game Knights of the Old Republic 1. The game was a big bang. Many role game players thought KotOR1 was one of the best RPG ever. It was a good situation to continue the story. There was a call for a second part, and also there was a pretty good business opportunity in it. But the story could not be continued directly, because Revan and other friendly characters were upgraded to the top, and the game was out of further possibilities to develop. So a new protagonist was needed, a new story, new friends, and some extra thing. This is how the concept of the expelled Jedi, the "EXILE" was born.

 

They needed a character, that can be started from the very beginning, can be upgraded well, a newcomer who is even in an interesting situation. It is important to feel empathy of his actualities, and to live his adventures in person. Exile has no name, we don’t know who was/is he. His companions call him Exile, and he also thinks about himself as an outcasted Jedi, an outlaw man. Yes, he used to be a Jedi, and a not a novice one. But his Force abilities were taken away on Dantooine by the Jedi. You’ll learn why during the game, but it depends on your path, Dark Side is different then Light Side. But something is common both way, Exile was too much suggestive, he was a person who enchanted his companions either in some good, or some bad things. They followed him blinded, respected his opinion, women idolized him, loved him, and took to him, while men revered him, and often prise him as an icon, trusted him as their leader.

 

History:

Exile learned the ways of the Jedi on Dantooine in the old Jedi Academy. Master Kavar taught him a lot. His story builds KotOR1 events into this second episode. When the Mandalorian Wars was exploded, Revan, Malak, and some more renegade Jedi went to fight for the Republic in contempt of the forbidding of the Jedi Order. Exile was one of those. He left his Padawan back, and joined the voluntaries. He served under Revan, and known him well. Revan was a same kind of genius like Exile, these two men carried many Jedis with them who trusted them, believed in the good aim, and followed truly. Exile fought heroically during the battles, and promoted to a General. (that is why you can hear Bao-Dur, Exile’s veteran soldier call him „General” all the time.)

I have informed you about the tragedy of these renegade Jedis earlier, in my article of Revan. Exile’s personal tragedy was Malachor V. It was a planet, and there was a gigantic fight for its possession. It seemed to be an awful never-ending battle, which will take a terrible death-toll. To prevent this, Exile ordered to use the Mass Shadow Generator, a new super-weapon to end the egregious massacre. It is like Terminator 3 when the Skynet program was activated to kill the dangerous virus that attacked the global networks. In that film they released an even more dangerous virus on its way, which almost killed the human race. Exile almost did the same. He opened the box of Pandora, and ignited the never tested brutal weapon, which was developed by Bao-Dur. It works! It takes away the whole enemy army, but there is a small side-effect, it destroys the Army of the Republic, too! Exile feels responsible for the loss of those lives. The Force echoes the death of many, many cries, then dies in a second. Exile’s soul hurts physically. Maybe the same pain was when Master Yoda feels the pain of the killed Jedis after order 66, or what the elder Kenobi felt in EP. IV. when Alderaan was blew, and the all the civilians died. Exile was shocked the same. In addition he was responsible for the deaths, while the two other mentioned Jedi couldn’t been blamed. Exile is struggling, we wanna get to grips with the pain of his soul, but he finally can’t ease the weight, he quits the army. The other Jedis, also Revan and Malak stay, and fall deeper in the Dark Side. Exile all alone returns to Dantooine, and takes all responsibility for all his acts in front of the Jedi council. The Jedi Council know Exile well, they know he fought for a good aim. They also know that Exile and Revan are symbolical characters for the other Jedi. They can’t punish him for his sincerity, he was the only one who admitted what he did. But they afraid, other Jedis will make the same mistakes. So they deterrence Exile to make a lesson for other Jedis, and show others how a Jedi get close or join the Dark Side. So they banish Exile from the Jedi Order, they incapacitate him from Force powers with an ancient Jedi trick, they also delete his memories, and they bundle Exile off. Exile admits his guilty, he knows he acted against the will of the Order when he went to war, he violated rules, so he submit himself without resistance under the Jedi Order’s will, he lets them to do what they have to do, so he looses his Jedi abilities and his memory, and he starts a new life as an ordinary man.

Time goes by. The tide has turned. The Sith were victorious at many worlds. The Jedi are being pursued, and the evil is everywhere present. The Order at Dantooine was found, and attacked. The Masters are fleeing. The universe suffer under the Sith dictatorship. Complete Systems were ruined, and human lives were taken. The Fortune does not let Exile to be vanished, he gets adrift the galactic history line again, he takes part in the events, and as „good” he gets a chance to recover his lost life or as „bad” he finishes the ways of the Sith once and for all. That is up to you, meet Exile and his story in the game!

 

New features:

This second episode of the game was not only made for business reasons! The developers wanted to satisfy Star Wars fans and hardcore gamers, building their suggestions, feedbacks into KotOR2.

 

Personality development:

You won’t get your companions „fully developed”! None of them are that person, that he/she can be developed later. Exile is a leader-type, everybody listen to his words. And he was a Jedi. And here comes THE idea, the developers wrote the dialogues so that we could train a Jedi from almost every human character! You gotta simply talk with them frequently, you gotta know their motivations, and support them with your appreciation, while gently influence them.

Earlier in KotOR1 dialogues were not as important as now, so many gamers only ran thru it, hitting space button, or clicking the mouse quickly. Even those Star Wars fans who couldn’t speak English, or were not interested in the story quit the dialogues. Well, the developers force us now to talk to the friends, listen their life stories, help them, and answer their prickly questions if you wanna train them to be a Jedi! Also, you gotta influence them!

 

Influence:

You can manipulate people in this game, or lets say influence them. Don’t forget, your Exile is a cock of the walk... :-) If you play a male character...

KotOR2 gives you a kind of influence points. These are positive or negative impressions or actions, what we make towards our friends. But the situation is far more difficult! As different situations have different effects on different persons. If you agree with somebody he will grateful for that and we may have influence with him/her, but his/her argument opposition may be angry for us and we’ll loose INF with him/her.

The Light Side friends will be happy if we do noble things, but that will be a sign for our weakness among the Dark Sided partners who won't be happy at all. Obeying Kreia's cruel suggestions would give us influence with Kreia, but additionally you'll get DS points for that. This will make the game difficult! Usually it was easier to play a DS character in KotOR1, you only had to pick on everybody, you  had to be cruel, and had to loot the people and you had to treat everybody as an animal. Well, it became more complicated in KotOR2. Because if you do bad things, speak rude with friends, or you boss them around  there will be pouring with DS points for sure, BUT you'll get negative influence points with those friends, they will be more withdrawn, they won't tell you things so you cannot communicate with them, that makes IMPOSSIBLE to train them a Jedi! And that is you don't wanna do, as MANY of our friends can be a real strong Jedi! Therefore many gamers fondle, praise and love their partners, they tell nice things for them to gain positive influence point with them. But with this strategy you'll get LS points which are not needed for a bad protagonist, because that will drop you back on your dark way making you step back toward the Light Side. With this that will be very hard to reach the end of the dark side path what is called Dark Side Mastery, and where you'll be awarded with some valuable bonuses! So you gotta think what to do, you'll need a strategy, you'll got to decide which method you wanna make only one way can be followed without penalties! This is maybe the most professional and most surprising thing in the game, because many gamers like to play DS killing everybody and speaking rude, well they will find it more difficult to play it through on the dark side professionally. The game had been well balanced, the developers put the two methods on the two pan of a precision scales, if you play DS that won't be easy to train Jedis, if you play LS there won't be easy to get enough money or to upgrade HK-47. I was happy I could meet all of my friends and trained all to be a Jedi, and in the meantime I reached DS mastery pretty early in the game solving both difficult method. The developers had made a perfect system there will be several points in the story where an NPC will make you decide, but you can take advantage from it! Gather homogeny friends in your team! I mean don't have LS and DS friends in your team in the same time, because an event or act will generate opposite reactions and/or influence points with the good and the bad partners. If Ebon Hawk is nearby run back and reselect your team. Bring characters who will appreciate your saving actions, (Atton, Bao Dur, Mira, Handmaiden, Discipline, T3) or if you wanna kill around a bit take Visas, Hanharr, HK-47, Goto, or Kreia... If you can protect a droid that will be appreciated by your droids for sure. Get to know your friends! You can always tell Atton what you have done was necessary therefore right, too. Bao Dur, and also Atton like if we favor them with their mechanical skills, or call them "expert". T3 beeps grateful if you say you are happy he is around, and you have a great droid having him. HK-47 prefers the cynical and cruel acts. In general all like if we care with them, if we understand them and we listen to their past, dreams, and problems. Doing this some female partners react with emotions, try it!

 

More intens(iv)e romance

Our female partners will react stronger emotions to us in this episode. You had a small romance with Bastila as Revan, but you'll experience more intense emotions in KotOR2. Women are jealous, they are hungry for your words and wanna have your look. They even fight each other for you... If you fight Handmaiden halfnaked (called echani fight) the other girl Mira will be upset, if you spend your time with Mira then Handmaiden will turn up her nose. They won't tell you certain things if you spend more time with the rival girl! Only the beautiful Miraluka girl, Visas Marr is low-key. And that is why it so surprising - you will fall in the big L.O.V.E. with her at the end! Quite new and very interesting that the creators has built the virtual relationships and partner connections in this game! Fully interactive, quite unbelievable new innovation of KotOR2!

 

Skills and feats

You' be well tricked if you start putting your initial points on your skills and feats as you learned in KotOR1! For example there is a much bigger advantage for demolition. You can have XPs for defusing or collecting mines. If you were not good at demolition in KotOR1 but your awareness was high, you noticed mines you could not defuse them but easily could avoid them not to step on them. I also avoided all of them in KotOR2, who cared!? Later when I became better at demolition I noticed I could have gained XPs for them. That could have raised my character's level. So be smarter! Put a few points for each important skills rather then you'll miss something later on! Beware, the "intelligence" feat gives you the points that you'll be able to distribute among your "security" and "demolition". It is tricky, because opening a door or a locker with security gives you XP, while forcing them open or sabering them will NOT give you XP. In addition if you force a locker or a crate open the item(s) in them may suffer damage and you'll be able to take only broken components from them. However these components are also good for something, you can build things even armors or lightsaberparts from them with a high repair skill. Also, you can break your not effective or spare weapons, clothing and other items into components, and you can build some better stuff from them on a work bench. Don't try to send your friends to the bench using their higher repair skill, it is always the main character's repair what determines the components you'll got. (Except 2 quests, when Exile is not present) Repair will be also needed when repairing your droids what is very important to do, as you'll get important holomessages from T3's cores, you'll get extra bonuses for yourself and for the droids, and you can recover important historical lines from your past! Persuade is also very essential! You can only defeat Darth Sion with a high persuade. The cruel Sith Lord will always resurrect after defeated, so you gotta break his soul first  to be able to kill his body. So don't think only bargaining, ripping off people, or expelling NPCs away when you put point on persuade, it will be needed in the endgame against Darth Sion!

Certain parts in your lightsaber are valuable, you can create them on a bench with a high awareness. But don't ask me why you need awareness to create a lens fixture... Maybe it is the same reason for a belt that increases your wisdom. J

 

Lightsabers

There are basic lightsabers and staffs. You can also use two sabers, one in each hand. It will take for a while to get your first saber. You gotta find an emitter, a lens and a crystal. You don't get your friends complete, remember? You don't get your saber complete, neither... You gotta upgrade it. There was a single improvable part in KotOR1 - the crystal. But you could build 2 crystals in your saber. In this episode there are 3 upgradeable parts, the mentioned crystal, lenses, and emitters. The parts interact with each other, so beware of the optimal configuration. One part gives you a better damage, but reduces the laserbolt deflecting ability. There are other parts, which give you a critical hit, but it costs you some precision. The crystal which gives pain for humanoids is ineffective against a droid, and ion crystals which are perfect against droids won't be good choice vs. a living creature. So craft more sabers, and change them in the different situations! Also, you'll have many color crystals in the game, so you can even give a different color for each team member. With this method you'll be able to find your friends even in the biggest battle, just watch they colors sparkling and you'll know where are they, what are they doing, or who are they fencing with. You can use a major bug to craft infinite lightsabers with PARTS IN THEM, I crafted the best available saber then "cloned" it, and I multiplied that for every team member, one for each hand and some extra pieces against robots, and little bit more to sell for a pretty good money. J Of course I know that is a program failure, but even without it you'll have enough and properly working lightsabers.

 At the beginning of the game there will be a conversation. Atton asks you about your sex in KotOR1, he wanna know whether Revan was good or bad when you played with him/her, and also asks the color of "your" former lightsaber. Answer as you want, but keep in mind that your answers will determine how the AI will "remember" Revan, and also your old saber will be seen in Atris' hand with a color that you told Atton. Also, you'll find your old crystal which will be simply called "yourname" crystal. It is the best crystal ever! It will add bonuses for everything it will develop as you develop, that is unbelievable, try it! If you level up your Exile show your crystal to Kreia, then take it out from your saber, Kreia will synchronize it to you, it will give you very good bonuses.

 

Graphics

The graphics is wonderful. The environment is splendid, the characters are very nice. There are many cool creatures, and there are huge areas to roam. Inner and outer environments are great, no big difference, but of course inner places are better, because they are easier to be programmed. Outer scenes are not bad either, the sky, the rain, the grass are pretty cool. However Dantooine is still a problem, slow, and interrupted or broken all the time. If you cannot control Exile, don't hold "run" button just slowly walk with him gently pressing "forward". If the program does not let you play this planet and always interrupts, then reduce graphical settings switch off shadows and grass sway. That may help a bit. KotOR1 and KotOR2 have the same problem, even 3G processors and ultimate video cards have problems with Dantooine. Probably it is a kind of optimalising problem. There are new planets which are even nicer than Dantooine and you'll not encounter this mistake. The new planets (Dxun, Onderon, Telos, Malachor, etc) also wonderful and enjoyable.

kotor 2 ikrekThere is an other problem in the graphics. The developers had not solved the "twins" problem what means you'll see the same faces on several people. It is frustrating that you'll meet 100 totally alike twi'leks, you'll talk with the same faced humans and creatures all the time. That is possible kotor ikrekto see the same face once on a thug, then on a soldier, and later on a shopkeeper. It is a bad conception - no matter how beautiful they are, it makes the conversations with the NPCs boring and non-authentic. In addition you can meet 3-4 people with the same face at the same time, check out these illustrations, you'll see a group of three "thug brothers", and some other twin pairs.

Voices

I am sad to say but it is true for the voices, too. I mean all creatures have a gorgeous voice, authentic rodian speech, typical Hutt mutters, or Sullustan gabbles were digitalized in the voice databank, but they are being repeated! NPCs say them over and over! If you quit their lines, they will start it over from the beginning, so the character will tell the same few sentences all the time. First it may be funny, but later you may become angry. Listen to it, once a phrase means "it is 2000 credits, no less, no more", later the same sentence means "you'll die by my hands, Jedi!" These sentences were fictive examples, but the situation will be similar, you'll see.

Kelly HuBut I can't say more bad words on the voices. Actress Kelly Hu gives her voice for Visas Marr. She is a beautiful actress, and as hot as Visas, but in real! She's made superb work in the dubbing studio. As I remember she played a sorceress role in Scorpion king. She played a sexy advisor and had a magic power. Well I trained Visas the same way, she was a warrior-force user in my team. But Kreia's voice is also great, her hoarse voice makes her a typical witch. I can only tell the highest words on Nihilus' voice, brutal, cruel, and kind of singing like voice, but tremendous! However Exile has no voice (as Revan neither spoke in KotOR1.) He nods his head, has facial expressions and gestures, but no voice. I know - it would have been a giant work to record his/her lines in the databank on a male/female voice because we communicate with Exile very often, but it would have been super to hear his/her voice, too. Unfortunately it is not possible.

Funny moments

Exile has some really funny but cruel sentences when you play Dark Side. You cannot hear them, but you can read them. But HK-47 and his actor, Kristoffer Tabori does his best again, he is THE source of humor! This is why fans demanded him back. His funny cynical sentences are awesome on his machine voice. Very special of him that HK first categorizes, hk-47declares ALL sentences which makes his speech even more humorous. In general HK-47 is not a very strong droid, but it worth taking him for your quests, he will always say something cool. I recommend him as a partner if your Exile is Dark Sided as HK will agree your slaughtering around, and also you'll make good friendship with him with many influences. And look at the bonuses he gives! But you can only play with HK if you find his missing 3 vital parts first. If all 3 are recovered you'll be able to enjoy the companionship of HK-47. (You'll also see Bastila and/or Carth from the first episode.)

 

Figures

sith legacyDarth Nihilus seems to be the only character that will be released in a Sith Evolution set, because of the success of the game. It is a wrong idea that the other good characters won't be so popular, or so interesting as a Han Solo (or any other film character) in the 1000th outfit. That is true KotOR2 has less unique figures that KotOR1 had. All right then, please Hasbro or anybody release KotOR1 figures! But unfortunately they don't think this way. Exile cannot be compared with Revan because Revan had his own specialties, he was more unique with his mask and armor. Exile has NO special distinguishing mark, I generated him this way, you generated yours that way. It makes a free character generating, but makes the figure characterless. But there are many more KotOR2 characters! Why don't they release Darth Sion or Darth Traya? Or who can say a critic on Visas Marr? Isn't Handmaiden pretty? Or what about Mira and her opponent wookie -Hanharr  in a battlepack? OK, there are plenty of wookies (mostly Chewbacca all the time) but this wookie is crazy, and has 2 Ryyk blades! And there are many, MANY more figures in KotOR2! It can be heard that one day MAYBE Visas or Mira will be released, but that is not decided yet. But anyway, if you have any opportunity to make your decision on a poll, don't hesitate to vote on Visas or anybody else from KotOR! Maybe next time, next Fan's Choice. But I won't settle down with this hope. So I decided to make some K2 figures for me, and not only main characters but soldiers in good uniforms or armors, creatures, or cool robots. You'll see those in the menu, on the left side. I'll show them all for you - hopefully a few will satisfy you. A fact is for sure, KotOR series  have a rich environment of colorful, character rich original ideas. You'll meet many species just take a closer look. I think so much variety of colors, species, humanoids, robots, bad guys, etc won't be in any other SW game, or even in any other games, just in KotOR series. That is why I decided to make an own shelf for KotOR series, which display characters from the KotOR Universe. I made those characters that I liked or I was able to make its torso, face, or colors. Maybe they are not so bad, you may interest about them, soon I start displaying them in this section, telling a few words about them, putting them in the storyline to make an introduction of the very character. It will help you to know who were they.

 

Game feeling

The story is superb again, voices and music are great, combat system is perfect and enjoyable and easy to study, so KotOR2 will give you an excellent game feeling. Playing the game again and again is usual, as the fans wanna know the LS ending and the DS ending, too. It is a different story, and for the 3rd time you'll get new conversation elements (no matter which side you choose). In addition you can unlock cut scenes and video inserts, which will be stored in the menu, so to collect all you gotta play the game both sides, more times, with female and male protagonists, also try to get to know everything from ALL companions. You have to solve all side quests, you gotta visit everywhere, and talk to everybody (NPCs and friends)

pazaakYou will have games in the game as a bonus. There are pazaak tables and players everywhere, it is a card game, which stand its own ground in the game. Kind of a minigame, pretty good. Has a new table, also the color of the cards has changed, and there are some new cards. There is a tiebraker which helps you to win even a 20:20 game if you play the card. The card game is not easy even with the best cards, the AI is a big cheater. Say goodbye for your opponent after each won game, save your game, then go back to him/her. Funny, they usually great you as a foreigner again like they had not seen you earlier, and they will ask you if you feel like playing a game of pazaak with them. J

sith troopsAn other minigame is to shoot Ebon Hawk's cannon as a shooting practice or a real fight against Sith Infiltrators, OR Sith trooper in the hangar. But I suggest not to kill them with your cannon! It worth more to let them enter the ship and take them out personally for some XPs, while shooting them in the hangar with your cannon won't give you XP.

 

kotor fanskotor costumKotOR2 gives you a new game feeling and a great quality of amusement. It will satisfy Star Wars fans and neutral gamers, too. Neutral gamers can become fans, and fans like these cool fans in their awesome costumes can be even fanatics for the KotOR series, and I can understand what they feel. They can express their feelings with walking in their super costumes, similar when I make custom figures of my favorites to manifest them. The game length depends of the number of the visited places in your KotOR Universe, but the virtual Star Wars Universe can present you 50-60 game hours full of excitements, and also important information from the world that was 4000 years before the film events, and shows you planets, their citizens, and the knights of the Old Republic.

written and translated by: Norbert Rostas

 

kotor2 cover

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