KotOR 2 Restored Content In Open Beta

By John Walker on September 29th, 2009 at 2:15 pm.

Kerchop.

As spotted by a keen-eyed Eurogamer forumite, the KotOR 2 Restored Content Project has gone into open beta. You’re just a 15MB download away. Details below.

When Knights of the Old Republic 2 first appeared it was troublingly apparent that Obsidian had been forced to rush their sequel to the BioWare classic. The ending arrived in a garbled rush, and it was soon realised that entire chunks of the game had had to be left out. That it remained a truly fine game was testament to Obsidian’s excellent work. Then some people noticed that the discs the game came on contained references to sections that didn’t appear. They realised there was a chunk of unfinished game in their hands, and set about restoring it.

There’s two main projects – the unfinished but workable Gizka Restoration Project, and now the TSL_Restored_Content_mod which can now be explored. Created by Zbyl2 and DarthStoney, it’s been years in the making, and now ready for us to check out.

I’ve not got KotOR2 installed at the moment, but that will soon be corrected. If you do, let us know how you get on with this mod.

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60 Comments »

  1. Revias says:

    Time for lightsabers and cake.

  2. mesmertron says:

    I would so give this a try when I get home, except Tuesday is my roleplaying group night.

    I’ll still keep a candle burning for Team Gizka, anyway.

  3. kyrieee says:

    The reason people were left confused at the ending has nothing at all to do with the missing content (and I don’t mean that in a negative way)

  4. Paul S. says:

    I dunno, I feel fairly sure that KOTOR2 has plenty of problems that can’t really be fixed without a very substantial overhaul. I’ll probably give it a try eventually, though. Unemployment finds me replaying an awful lot of old RPGs…

  5. Bhazor says:

    It’s about damn time.

    An additional potentially sad addition to the story was that thing was leaked on a torrent about a year ago. Its an interesting morality choice of whether to download a thing against the creators wishes even if there is no intent on making money from that thing.

  6. Paul S. says:

    Well, even if it’s not immoral, surely it’s completely pointless? Who wants to download an unfinished mod, the stated intent of which is to finish an unfinished game? You’d have to be the thickest kind of internet dickhead to even consider it, surely?

    • ErrantConstruct says:

      Thats what I was thinking. Its not so much a matter of stealing as unfinished work.

    • Tei says:

      I started Kotor2 again, after reading “Lets Play KOTOR2″. The game maybe has a amazing deep, but I was bored, and I stoped playing it. I think is the combat, for me, has not replayability. And revisit areas is not as hot to me has can be. The graphics where really dull, to begin first, and after years look more like “boxmaps” thank anything else. I may install this or the other thing, If not break savegames.

  7. Wacky says:

    Time to suffer yet again through the crappy Peragus start KOTOR 2 forces on players.Ah well,at least there will be new stuff to do after that.

    • Bhazor says:

      I think the opening is pretty good. Sure the mines are a bit long winded but theres a great little dark story in there and certainly Atton’s more fun than bloody Carth.

      Also the Benny Hill like space walk is unintentionally hilarious.

    • James says:

      Peragus is far superior to the cruiser at the start of KOTOR. I think the only locales superior in KOTOR were Korriban and the Jedi Academy.

      What’s hilarious is that TSLRP has been going for years without a public release, and these guys have released an open beta in a fraction of the time.

    • Wacky says:

      I think it’s too slow and just plain boring,but that’s true for most D&D games openings.But only a couple of NPCs to interact with and the boring enviroments turn me off a lot,even though the sub-plot of what happened on the station is interesting.

    • BigJonno says:

      The start of KotOR2 is great the first time, especially if you take the time to really absorb what Atton tells you and how fucked up things have got. Once you’ve seen it through, you realise how long you have to play for before you get to make any major decisions, which makes for pretty dull repeat play.

      Despite that, it’s pretty high on my (very short) list of games that I’d like to see remade from the ground up. Broken and incomplete bits aside, can you imagine how scary that first section could be with a completely different graphics engine? It’s isolating and confusing enough as it is, despite the clean and shiny KotOR look.

    • Klaus says:

      Wacky, there is a skip Peragus mod available.

  8. Stense says:

    Ahhhh good. I’ve been wandering for a while if this would make it out. I really enjoyed KOTOR 2, but some parts were incredibly messy and sorely needed more time in the Obsidian maturation tanks. I’ll have to give this a try when I get some spare time.

  9. Mungrul says:

    I actually bought this recently, but my play-through petered out near end game. Maybe this will provide the incentive I need to finish it off. I have enjoyed it, but being a goody-two-shoes is starting to grate.

  10. Twyst says:

    Hooray! I am downloading this right now <3 KOTOR 2 is wonderful, even if TOR is ignoring it. Superior story by far.

  11. groovychainsaw says:

    Thing that most annoyed me in KOTOR 2 – becoming the most bad-ass lightning throwing, spellcasting world conquering mage-type chap by the end of the game, and then finding out the boss was immune to the force. Meaning the beginning of the fight was me nearly dying, pausing, going into my inventory, changing EVERy item of equipment to anything that would give my lightsaber a boost, and then battering boss person into submission, completely unravelling my tactical spellcasting type character I’d carefully built over 25 hours in one fell swoop.

    Bitter, moi?

    Other than that, it was one of the best RPGs I’ve played, particularly the stuff with your teammates and some of the morally grey (not light or dark!) decisions you could make. They should have been given another year, it would have been truly astounding what they would have done with double the time!

  12. Nimic says:

    I truly liked KotOR 2, despite it’s flaws. I liked KotOR more, but #2 wasn’t a bad game by any means. It was a pretty good one, actually. What has kept me from playing it more than I have (which is still a lot) is the beginning, which I quickly found incredibly boring. Really, it feels like a bit of a chore that I have to get through to get to the actual game.

  13. peter says:

    i always thought kotor 2 sucked hard.
    and all the people i know thought the same.

    i’m really surprised that there are people who liked this game ;)

    additional note: i loved kotor 1 and i’ll probably play tor

  14. Dominic White says:

    Damn, so much hate. While not officially confirmed, I’m about 90% sure that most of KOTOR 2′s problems came from a lovely decision Lucasarts made quite late in development.

    They moved the release deadline up. SIX MONTHS. Obsidian basically went into panic mode trying to give it some kind of ending – ANY ending – and finishing up any content close to completion, and chucking out anything else that they didn’t have time to polish up.

    That’s why this restoration project exists. The unfinished stuff wasn’t just forgotten. It’s in there in the game data files, complete with levels, voicework, character models, scripting and more.

  15. Fumarole says:

    Most excellent timing. I just installed KotOR 2 a few days ago after playing through the original.

  16. Bonedancer says:

    I think I would have liked KOTOR2, but after continual lockups and crashes to desktop I just couldn’t force myself to carry on.

    No pun intended.

    I don’t suppose the mods make the damn thing any more stable, do they?

  17. Paul S. says:

    I think it actually plays slightly better than #1, but fouls up in too many other places. The atmosphere is all wrong for one. Nothing looks like Star Wars. The music isn’t as good. The characters, while generally well written, aren’t as appealing either. It just doesn’t have KOTOR’s sparkle, the magic touch.

  18. Thirith says:

    IMO KOTOR is pretty much A New Hope: it’s a big, epic, silly, fun space opera. KOTOR 2 is Empire Strikes Back by way of Planescape Torment: it’s darker, more intimate, and leaves behind most of the Star Wars-typical black and white morality for a lot of moral grey areas.

  19. Cfp says:

    Bigger news is that SWTOR Beta sign-up is open. (Though the site crashed before I could sign-up.)

    http://www.swtor.com/news/news-article/20090929_001

  20. Brass Gerbil says:

    Band-Aid on a turd. K2 was a pathetic attempt to cash in on a the glory of K1; I deleted it halfway through.

  21. Thirith says:

    Yeah, just like The Godfather Part 2. Pathetic cash-ins…

  22. DK says:

    “Damn, so much hate. While not officially confirmed, I’m about 90% sure that most of KOTOR 2’s problems came from a lovely decision Lucasarts made quite late in development.”

    No, Obisidian confirmed that they themselves fucked up a large portion of it.
    Obsidian has yet to make a finished game – but it’s always the evil someoneelse that’s responsible, right, fans?

    • Dominic White says:

      Well, it’s pretty obvious that something forced the game out early as there are huge chunks of game in the data files that they didn’t have the time to finish. And of course they’re not going to come out and officially point any fingers at Lucasarts. Can you think of a better way of losing business for the rest of time?

  23. Homunculus says:

    If this puts Bastard of the Old Republic 2 a step closer, then great.

  24. Thirith says:

    @DK: Frankly, I like a number of unfinished games by Obsidian (or Troika, for that matter) more than a number of finished games by, say, Bioware.

  25. Klaus says:

    Haha. I figured this wasn’t Team Gizka’s mod. Pretty sad, but oh well. I just got Titan quest so no Kotor for me.

  26. TeamShizka says:

    Something actually released and without the Drama™.

    (For those who don’t get the reference:)

    Here’s the story, in brief.

    The team went pretty silent around a year ago, as everyone drifted off, other than Dashus, the coordinator. Then he went pretty silent too. The mods continued to squash any speculation about the state of the project. Then, last spring, Dashus posted a message titled “Two weeks…” with their WHEN IT’S DONE smiley as content.

    In two weeks, they released… a trailer. From 2008. With a release date: “Summer 2008.”

    Then, silence.

    The peasants on the board started grumbling, and the mods started locking threads big-time. They were hinting mysteriously that some of them were in touch with Dashus, although he personally didn’t feel like posting.

    Then, a month or two ago, DarthStoney and gang surfaced with this competing mod, apparently near completion. The team-gizka boards went apeshit. One of the beta testers threatened to leak 1.0b11, the latest released version, unless Dashus posted some kind of update about the state of the mod. He did: he surfaced only to say that he’s found a new girlfriend and hasn’t work on the mod for two months, but hasn’t abandoned it, “because he’s done that all too often.”

    Needless to say, that didn’t go down too well.

    So here we are — the Team Gizka boards are split between fans and former lurkers who are extremely upset at Dashus’s behavior, and mods who are treating them with sneering contempt. Meanwhile, DStoney and gang released their mod, which, by all accounts, is just about as good.

    About the only thing the Team Gizka partisans have to say is a plaintive “But it doesn’t have the lean animation.”

    My take? IMO Dashus has been behaving like dick. That’s his prerogative, of course — technically, he doesn’t owe anyone anything. However, he’s not the only one who contributed to the mod, and if I was one of the other contributors, I’d be extremely upset at having my work disappear up his black hole.

    • Klaus says:

      and mods who are treating them with sneering contempt.
      Heh, I use to lurk on the forums all the time, and this behaviour is why I never actually signed up and participated. I was also annoyed with the fact that they turned away volunteers.

    • Bobsy says:

      Indeed. The way the forum mods behaved towards fans and onlookers was utterly appalling. Even asking what the status of the project was ended up with a slew of unkind words and an immediate thread lock.

  27. Hug_dealer says:

    i loved both kotor and part 2. i feel part to even in its rushed status was a better game and story.

    I posted this elsewhere, but it applies here also. It details the differences in how each company goes about its story telling, and i feel that obsidian takes the cake, but that doesnt mean bioware doesnt do great also.

    http://www.hitselfdestruct.com/2008/02/bioware-all-stars.html

  28. Marar says:

    I really don’t get the hate directed at Kotor 2 and all the love directed at the first one, the second one was miles away of the first one in terms of storyline, characters and villans, the gameplay was the same, so you can’t hate that, and the length of it was pretty much the same, despite the fact that it had about 1/4 of the development time, and the Peragus was one of the best starting levels in any game.

    • malkav11 says:

      It did make a few changes to the gameplay, actually. Notably, KOTOR 1 capped the maximum damage of powers like Force Lightning. KOTOR 2 did not. With hilarious results.

      But I agree. The quality of area design, character design, and writing was much higher in KOTOR II, except for where it was plainly unfinished, which was mostly just towards the end. And I liked KOTOR a whole lot, so that’s saying something.

  29. R. says:

    KotOR II was a flawed masterpiece, with some of the most interesting characters Star Wars has produced. However, it did suffer in so much that it lacked a lot of the easy going feel the series generally has, being much darker and with a greyer sense of morality than you usually see.

  30. Dain says:

    I can understand the modders attitudes enitrely. Mod fans have this bizzare sense of entitlement, they fully expect you to drop your real life and devote yourself doing something for nothing. They’re usually rude and demanding.

    • Bhazor says:

      Yes but Team Gizka were dicks to volunteers. People offering to do additional coding or bug fixing but were being outright rebuffed. KOTOR 2 is a huge game, the idea they could test the whole game with just a couple dozen testers is pretty far off. The mod should have been in public or at least much wider beta from the start.

      If they’d accepted the offers and opened the beta I’m betting the forum users wouldn’t have been so impatient. But the way they refused to make comment and even banned people asking about progress it’s no wonder so many in the community are a bit peeved.

      It’s worth noting the number of reported bugs has sky rocketed since an early beta was leaked last year.

    • Klaus says:

      Team Gizka are slow and rude. And I despise that bullshit motto of theirs; “we mod for us, not for you!” (That’s totally why we have beta testers, and a forum.) If you’re modding for YOU, then mod for YOU. I have modded plenty of BG crap for me and did not have to deal with nagging/obsessive fans, because I never opened up a forum.

      they fully expect you to drop your real life and devote yourself doing something for nothing.
      Nay friend, not in this case. They rejected volunteers. Volunteers! i.e.
      people willing to devote their free time to cover for their personal lives. But seeing as their initial modders bailed I can see why they’d be wary of supposed reliability.

      My experience with other modding communities (Bg2, NWN1/2, Oblivion) have been great. So in short, Team Gizka- or at least the moderators -are assholes. As are the number of poor, saps still at the forum begging for digital scraps. All that sycophancy; hoping that their wee support will be rewarded with beta files! :D

      /melodrama

      It feels so much better to get that off my chest.

  31. Nimdok says:

    @Dain

    Kinda like game fans…

    • Dain says:

      Oh yes, exactly like game fans. The difference is that treating people who do something as a hobby like those who are paid to do it is a rather foolish thing to do.

    • Nimdok says:

      Yes/no. Whenever ANYONE feels a sense of entitlement from a group/organization in which they are merely customers as opposed to stockholders there’s a problem.

  32. Psychopomp says:

    @Dain

    “Kinda of like fans”

    fix’d

  33. TonyB says:

    Its darkness was perhaps a little unrelenting at times, but its greyer sense of morality is something I’d consider to be in its favour. Choices in RPGs are more interesting if the consequences of them aren’t quite as clear-cut as they may initially seem to be since they require more thought (and possibly even more role-playing, if that’s important).

  34. Adventurous Putty says:

    ALL OF YOU BUY THIS GAME IT IS ONE OF THE FINEST RPGS OF THE POST-PLANESCAPE PERIOD THANK YOU

    OK, now that my spambot mode is off: excellent stuff. I’d try it, but I want to give Team Gizka the benefit of the doubt and a few more months of development before going with these guys, who kind of popped up recently and don’t seem quite as polished. I mean, Gizka’s apparently really almost done with it this time, and I really only want to replay KOTOR II if it’s a truly complete version (I played it through completely about 8 times already).

    So yeah.

  35. Rei Onryou says:

    Am I better off playing vanilla, or with one of these patches?

  36. tssk says:

    I played through this unmodded at the start of the year and the one thing that pulled me through the game and kept me playing was Kreia. At first she was the team member I wanted to ditch. A bitter old woman past her prime and obviously a powerful but annoying Jedi.

    But she got into my head. She was always questioning my motives and I was always suspicious of hers but in the end she was my favourite by far.

    It might have been how I played through, it might have been the dialogue butchered as it was or it might have been the amazing voice acting by Sara Kestelman.

    There were two moments in the game where she totally took me off guard.

    I don’t want to spoil them for anyone but do make sure you play this just for her character. Most amazing person in a game ever. Big call I know.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      tssk, same here. When I first saw her I thought “Oh, someone secretly evil who will betray me”, but after a while I was hanging on to her every word and desperately trying to gain influence with her so she would explain more about her mysterious past.

    • Mr.President says:

      Her writing was probably the most grating, enjoyment-ruining thing about the game for me. She somehow managed to remind me of every single annoying person I know simultaneously, making me wanna interact with her as little as possible. A shame, seeing that Obsidian made interacting with her the main point of the game.

    • Paul says:

      Except Kreia wasn’t even ‘secretly’ evil. She never had anything good to say about any Lightside quest resolution. She became annoying after a while and I stopped taking her along in my planetside team.

      And I really wish this pack had been released two years ago .I still wanted to replay KotOR 2 then. I have 0 desire to do so now.

    • Dominic White says:

      She didn’t have anything good to say about any Dark-side behaviour, either. He entire point as a character was to point out just how stupid the polarized morality of the Star Wars universe is. An eternal battle between selfless good and boundless evil that just happens to constantly drags innocent people into the middle and has ruined countless lives? She was almost a real-world character in a setting full of comicbook heroes and villains.

  37. Masked Dave says:

    Annoying I finally got sick of waiting and started playing KOTOR2 last month! It’s been sitting on my self for ages too!

    Ah well…

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