Bastard Of The Old Republic: Part Two

By John Walker on March 22nd, 2009 at 12:38 pm.

The galaxy's biggest dick, in his look-at-me-I'm-a-dick goggles.

Talking of Knights of the Old Republic, part two of my adventures as Simon Evil, the galaxies most evil Jedi, is up on Eurogamer today. After the squirm-inducing antics of Part One, Simon Evil’s continuing douchebagging his way around the planets seemed to become slightly easier. Perhaps too easy…

“Get over it,” I told Mission, the 14-year-old Twi’lek who had joined my party. She was confiding in me about the horror of her home planet being utterly destroyed. The Sith had completely obliterated the population of Taris, countless millions had been slaughtered, and everything she had ever known or loved, beyond one Wookiee, was gone. Move on, whiny child.

It continues here.

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44 Comments »

  1. N-Al says:

    The main problem, to me, with the bastard route through Kotor was the fact that during my goodie-two-shoes run before that there were many situations where I felt I had just narrowly averted disaster by being the nice guy; it was such a disappointment, then, to find that even being a right old nasty piece of work generally only resulted in my companions complaining about why I was being so mean, but they stuck with me nonetheless. I wonder whether I would’ve felt the same way had I not played through the game as a nice guy before.

    The evil route did have the benefit of being (un)intentially funny, though.

  2. Ben Abraham says:

    That’s a fantastic second part, Mister Walker. You’d better do the whole game now.

  3. Helm says:

    Excellent stuff. Also I have to ask did you actually snap and turn dark side for real or is it mostly a writing device? Does it actually stop hurting to do the evil things? I could never do that in KOTOR and every time a Morally-Manichaeanist RPG comes out I swear to myself I’ll play it like a bad guy for a change. Simply impossible for me.

  4. Andrew Dunn says:

    Excellent stuff. This is only improving!

  5. John Walker says:

    Helm – It’s true. I realised around that time that I’d stopped squirming and starting grinning.

  6. PC Monster says:

    ‘Bastard of the Old Republic’ or ‘John Walker earns his puppy-kicking Merit Badge’ (With extra credits for kicking a 3-legged one).

    Great read, John. Brought a smile to my face – Mission was always too annoying.

  7. Helm says:

    Fascinating. I shall test this with a future rpg that allows for it.

  8. karthik says:

    Wish I could do this. I have an image in my head of my character walking up to Malak in his (or her) old robes on the bridge of the Star Forge, determined to teach the imp a lesson or two about being the dark lord of the Sith.

    And yet, every time I get to Dantooine, I’m practically sneezing flowers and spouting Jedi wisdom. And it gets better (worse) from there.

    As an aside, wouldn’t it have made for a better role-playing experience if you were to start out as a well meaning nobody and slowly succumb towards what you’re doing now?

  9. Jacques says:

    Ah, HK47, my favourite companion through KOTOR 1 + 2.

    The genoharadan quests are great fun, unfortunately, last playthrough I completed the Manaan storyline before I’d finished their quests, and wasn’t allowed back on the planet :(

  10. Fat Zombie says:

    Hm. Interesting. I may need to get this game. It sounds quite good. Is the goodness all confined to the story, though, or is it a lark to play as well? It’s an RPG, yes?

  11. drewski says:

    Kicking Puppies and Drowning Kittens 101.

    I didn’t mind doing to callous things or annoying my incredibly irritating party members in KoToR (why is every single member except HK such a needy, whiney little bitch?) but the really, really evil stuff just made me uneasy.

  12. Hoernchen says:

    Awesometastic !

  13. Man Raised by Puffins says:

    If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will!

    Keeping Bastilla with us, purely to torture her (and all the while, every time she levelled up only giving her new Dark Force powers)

    You’re not going to be able to get the most out of those though, they’ll require more Force points while she’s Light-side and by the time she rejoins your party Malak will have retrained her with a weak assortment of low level Dark-side powers instead. Unless you’re just doing it to be a dick, in which case carry on.

  14. DigitalSignalX says:

    Those damn dirty Mandolorians!

  15. skalpadda says:

    Thanks for another great read! The first article made me reinstall KotOR and have my first play through as dark side (consular as well, I’d always gone light side and lightsaber focused before). I wrote it on the forums yesterday; this is the second time an RPS article makes me go back to an old game with new eyes and I enjoyed it immensely. Imagine my joy at seeing another article this morning :)

    What surprised me was that you don’t have to be a greedy racist psychopath murderer but can choose to slowly keep those dark side points trickling in by carefully choosing who to betray and double cross. It’s given me a renewed respect for the writing in the game, and that approach really makes as much sense as any other.

    I must say it’s a shame you killed Juhani though, you get so many opportunities to be a complete dick to her throughout the game, and she’s a bit like a female Carth, so it’s not even that hard.

    Getting away from the rather weird behaviour of your light side companions was as easy as mostly bringing HK and Canderous, they don’t have any moral problems with being evil and HK is great fun. Jolee is cool too, he’ll give you his mind about things he don’t like but he’s a lot more relaxed, being neutral in his alignment.

    I think I’ll have to play through it again..

  16. malkav11 says:

    Actually, I think if you handle Juhani properly she joins you. But it’s been a long time since I played KOTOR1.

  17. malkav11 says:

    Er, yeah, the person who posted while I was considering my post seems to confirm that. ;P

  18. Schadenfreude says:

    Yeah, you can get Juhani to join you; and if you’re female she will eventually make it clear that she’d like to lez you up.

    “As an aside, wouldn’t it have made for a better role-playing experience if you were to start out as a well meaning nobody and slowly succumb towards what you’re doing now?”

    I’ve done that; sorta. Was playing through all nicey nicey until the big reveal then went “Screw that” and went to the dark. Still had time and plenty of opportunity to max out my evil gauge and everything (God bless that wookie).

  19. skalpadda says:

    @ Fat Zombie
    “Hm. Interesting. I may need to get this game. It sounds quite good. Is the goodness all confined to the story, though, or is it a lark to play as well? It’s an RPG, yes?”

    Most of the goodness is in the story. The combat is generally easy, especially if you bring Jedi and give your characters combat and healing powers. You can make the combat a lot more tactically interesting if you chose a skill based party, let’s say bring the sneaky Mission and one of the droids. A party with three properly specced an geared jedi (it takes a few planets before you can get this though, and some choices will end you up with only one other jedi) is almost unstoppable which can make the combat into more of a boring chore, so varying your party is good :)

    Some of the puzzles are great, some mediocre. Overall the game is competent in every area but it’s the story that makes it worth playing.

    It also looks surprisingly decent on a new machine, which is always nice :)

  20. Arnulf says:

    Well written. I enjoyed this.

    Addendum 1: I think I found a logical error in your article. On page 2, paragraph 7 you switched the names Nurik and Ahlan. It makes sense the other way around.

    Addendum 2: I find it slightly disturbing that the comments show a more devilish tone compared to the first installment. Somehow this part manages to show more evil players creeping out of the woodwork, bandying about tips how to be even more evil.

  21. John Walker says:

    @Jacques I’m really glad you said that! Awesome tip, thank you.

    And yes, of course Juhani can join you. I’d forgotten that. But, well, my remit says to do the worst thing at all times, and the worst thing to do there was senselessly kill her.

  22. Alex says:

    I remember trying to play a dark side character, but my failure began on Tatooine. I couldn’t steal the skull. I just couldn’t. These articles are pleasant to read to see what I missed.

    Maybe I’ll try again with KoTOR 2 if the Gizka patch ever comes out.

  23. Tim says:

    I think you can make Juhani join you in a dark side way, ie, as a servant of the dark side. She makes a decent evil companion as I recall, you get to encourage her dark side thoughts. Maybe I’m remembering it wrong though.

  24. Jacques says:

    No problem, I think it depends on how you complete the last quest, dumping the toxin seems like the evil bastard thing to do, but it can leave you buggered later.

  25. skalpadda says:

    You can urge on Juhani’s dark side tendencies and try to feed her anger, but in the end it doesn’t make much difference sadly. It does offer some very fun dialogue though. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I was cackling evilly in my comfy chair :)

    In KotOR 2 you really could drag your party members down with you (to some extent), which was a great concept, but I never played dark side there either so I’m not sure how well it worked if you were truly evil.

  26. Daniel says:

    I will admit I only skimmed the second part, but I’ll post up a few thoughts. I like your writing style John- it makes me smile, but your piece really shows why Bioware RPGs do evil really, really badly. Evil should be manipulative, purposeful. The Master in Fallout is a good example. Whilst not the deepest enemy ever written, he at least has an agenda that he is carrying out. A moral standpoint.

    In KotOR you are merely, as you put it, a bastard. A more accurate word would probably be psychopath. Would Star Wars have been as grand a film if they’d cut scenes of Darth Vader walking up to a pair of grieving parents, saying “You’re daughter is dead! Hahaha!” and proceeded to demand they give him all their money?

    This stuff is weak, and would be thoroughly ridiculed on film. Why do we put up with it in our games?

  27. Kieron Gillen says:

    Because it’s really funny.

    KG

  28. Dav says:

    KoToR’s dark side choices seemed awfully disappointing to me, particularly in comparison to going dark side to save the galaxy because those pathetic fools in the Council refuse to do it and cutting a ruthless swath through your enemies so well that the Mandalorians can’t help but admire it despite being the enemies in question. Murdering helpless beggars and dancers…really, that’s just a pathetic use of your powers.

    Though if you want less mustache-twirling evil and more psychological horror, you could always do an evil run-through of Planescape: Torment. Reading through a Let’s Play on Something Awful I was quite amused by all the self-titled “goons” admitting that they’d tried the evil path but had never been able to go through with it. (Me, I’ve never tried–I got my RDA of evil just from finding out about the things “I” had done in my past lives, thank you very much.)

  29. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Once you reach the Conscience Critical Failure point, being a bastard in games stops bugging you. Or it could be a Writing Immersion Critical Failure, too.

  30. malkav11 says:

    The problem with the “drag your companions into the Dark Side with you” theory of KOTORII is that your Light Side-trending companions typically require “good” actions to gain influence with them so that you are theoretically able to drag them to the dark side. In practice, you end up with the deeply amusing thought of a Dark Side utility droid and not much else.

  31. Ian says:

    Oh my, now Evil John has been drawn out of his shell we need to get him playing more RPGs like a prick.

  32. BigJonno says:

    One experiment I tried with KotOR was being totally mercenary, rather than being out and out “evil.” I always went for the options that seemed to offer the most money. Initially I slowly gained dark side points, not going out of my way to be a dick, just being selfish. As soon as I got force powers, especially the mind control one, I plummeted into red and scary oblivion.

    Which is, of course, exactly how it’s supposed to work in the setting. I was rather impressed.

  33. JamesOf83 says:

    The best evil thing in KOTOR is forcing the Wookie to kill his Twilek friend. It happens off-screen, but it’s hilariously evil, and I was genuinley suprised that the game let me be that evil.

  34. Lukasz says:

    @Malkav11

    Not really. I do remember I made everyone super evil (except kreia of course) You just cannot be a dick to them.

  35. skalpadda says:

    @ Daniel:
    In KotOR you are merely, as you put it, a bastard. A more accurate word would probably be psychopath.

    I used to think this too, which was why I never played DS before, but I’ll just quote myself from a few posts up:

    What surprised me was that you don’t have to be a greedy racist psychopath murderer but can choose to slowly keep those dark side points trickling in by carefully choosing who to betray and double cross.

    Sure, you can play it like John is doing, taking the most ludicrous psychopath options available on every opportunity, but while it may be very funny, you don’t have to play it like that to be dark side. In the play through I did after reading the first article here I managed to be fully dark side around the time I found the last star map and I wasn’t menacing innocent civilians for sport or murdering people out of greed (ok, I might have slipped once or twice.. but..).

    To take an example from the article above, I didn’t steal the wraid skull from the woman on Tatooine, but bought it from her (I did haggle for the price though), because she had done nothing to me. Later in the bar however I force choked a man who was being rather rude and unpleasant to me, which made him so scared he couldn’t utter another word to me. The woman had done nothing to me, but the man was showing no respect and I wasn’t going to take that, badass that I was.

    What I’m trying to get at is that it’s perfectly possible to play as dark side and still uphold a moral code. I simply had my own agenda and I wasn’t squeamish about who I stepped on to achieve my goals. I also did the very good thing on Kashyyk for example, and managed to do the very bad thing on Tatooine, not by being a murderous psychopath, but by simply asking the wrong question and then defending myself in the battle that ensued. (Being vague here, but I don’t want to spoil stuff :)).

    Point being it’s not the black and white game so many make it out to be, and there’s plenty of room for granularity between just how good or evil you want to be.

  36. BigJonno says:

    One of the problems with this kind of game is that people approach it from a “I’m gonna be good/evil” viewpoint, instead of roleplaying (of course some people just min/max the most effective character they can, but we don’t associate with those people.)

    If you go into KotOR (or BG, or ME, or JE, or Fable) with a clear black/white, good/evil mentality, it’ll seem very simplistic. If you have a character in mind and go with it, you’ll see how well these games support roleplaying.

    The only time I can remember being particularly frustrated with a blatent good/evil choice was in the Fable 2 Knothole Glade DLC. I wanted to kill that annoying twat of a chief, not side with him.

  37. phil says:

    If you’re doing requests a dark side PS:T walkthough would be superb; your options related to your ex(in every sense) wife and the chance to return Morte ‘home’ to the tower are just Shakespearen horrific.

    SPOILER: having actually done it the only moment my heart softened was during Morte’s sequences, when he thrust himself back out of the heaving mass of skulls (none of which were pleased to see him) for one final hopeless bid for freedom. I reached in and grabbed him, which caused the skulls to ruin my right hand and left me with a permanent injury, no good deed goes unpunished when you are chaotic evil I suppose.

  38. Andrew F says:

    I did a second playthrough as Sith, and I remember having actual serious difficulty stealing that skull.

  39. Athatar says:

    When it came to KOTOR I had a lot of fun playing the evil guy but again I didn’t go out of my way to be an in your face psychopath. I try and play a character who doesn’t see the point in stealing the skull of the woman but screwing with the mind of the widow with the droid or causing the fight between the houses seems, in my mind, the sort of manipulation that appeals to a Dark Side Jedi. It’s the same reason i’m nice to my companions. You can slowly corrupt them by seeming interested in their lives.

  40. Daniel says:

    Lol, Kieron. I suppose that is true. Despite its terrible evil options, I do have soft spot for KotOR. Bioware did wise up for ME, which was nice to see.

  41. egg says:

    I am much quite like you, John. In the matter of usually being an angelic creature in every game I play. I also tend to be a nice dude too “in real life”, in my own way.

    With that said, I was the most obnoxious bitch in the galaxy when I played Mass Effect. Which was probably the only reason I managed to play the whole game without losing interest.

    It was just too satisfaying when I logged out in the middle of a mission debriefing, thus pissing that given “universe council” off. And then, after the next mission, when I was again being debriefed and they started criticizing me for logging out in the middle of the session, I just did it again.

    I never managed I would feel so good. Might try that in a conference call with a client tomorrow. Hmm.

  42. Grey_Ghost says:

    Well, you got farther down the bastard path then I ever did. After awhile I just couldn’t stand the remarks of my companions & npc’s regarding my evil acts. Actually I think that woman on Tatooine with the skull was the straw that broke the camels back.

  43. Rei Onryou says:

    I can never bring myself to play a game evilly first time through. Well, except GTA IV, but that doesn’t really count (I accidentally hit the button to kill someone, rather than let them live, and just went with the flow), especially since it’s not that evil in comparison to standard GTA gameplay.

    Keep the bastardisation of Walker going!

  44. Klaus says:

    I only played fully evil path in Baldur’s Gate 2. After a few small evil acts it all seems to get pretty easy – slippery slope, eh? I was fully intending on going on in Masquerade with little humanity but ran into technical issues.

    Though I realize it’s all a game, the idea of going into a ‘new world’ and causing nothing but misery for everyone is bothersome.

    @egg
    lol. I seriously want to go play Mass Effect now. I never thought they would say anything if I cut the transmission, so I never did.