The Fixer: How To Restore Knights of the Old Republic II

By Andrew Tsai on January 3rd, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Obsidian’s legendary/notorious Star Wars RPG is currently on a daily deal sale 75% at £1.74/$2.49 off until Friday 6pm GMT/Saturday 10am PST, likely the cheapest it’ll ever be on Steam. For that reason, today I’ll be providing a guide to getting the Steam edition of Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords working well on modern machines.

Widescreen resolutions, extra content, crash-dodging – this will make the infamously unfinished but ambitious and wonderfully-written RPG look and play far better than it did upon release.

Not only is the game currently selling for almost nothing, many consider the Obsidian-created game to be superior to its predecessor, especially with the restored content mod. For your other PC gaming fixing needs, visit PCGamingWiki.

KOTOR2′s rerelease on Steam in August this year pulled the game out of a physical format purgatory (4 CDs no less), kicking and screaming into the modern digitally distributed world. Originally rushed to be released in time for the lucrative Christmas sales of 2004, Obsidian were forced to cut out large swathes of content to meet the release date, leaving an abrupt and nonsensical cliff-hanger ending to the game. Thankfully, the game’s code has been tinkered and toiled with by the loving modding community, who have created a huge content restoration mod to fill in all the missing gaps and fix a vast number of bugs.

The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod (TSLRCM)

The TSLRCM is a hugely substantial mod that helps the game meet the vision that Obsidian had originally planned for the game. Not only does the mod fix a whole host of bugs, including broken items, dialogue tree errors and combat glitches, it has pulled content out of the code and made entire areas of the game playable including unusued audio files and dialogue trees. The most recent build has also introduced compatibility with the long-awaited M4-78 Enhancement Project, aka Droid Planet.
To install TSLRCM:

1) Download and install the mod from the official ModDB entry, now at version 1.18.2.

2) Make sure to install the mod at the correct Steam location, where the default location is here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Knights of the Old Republic II\ (unlike other KOTOR2 mods which fit into the \Overide\ folder).

3) Ensure that the Steam doesn’t accidentally overwrite the mod by disabling updates to the game (Right click on KOTOR2 in the library > Properties > Updates tab > Do not automatically update this game).

4) Mod installation is confirmed if the main menu of the game shows The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod 1.8.1.

Widescreen resolution

KOTOR2 only supports a 4:3 resolution, but ingenious modders from the Widescreen Gaming Forum have come up with a fix which will help you to experience the game in modern 16:9 1920×1080 glory.

These instructions for getting the widescreen mod to work with the Steam version of the game have been tested on multiple hardware configurations:

 

1) Run the game, and set in-game resolution to 1280×960 (this allows a custom resolution to be selected externally).

2) Download the Squizzy Kotor2 Resolution Patcher. Note: the only use of this download is to extract the kotor2.exe file which is compatible with UniWS, as the exe provided by Steam is not.

3) Extract the kotor2.exe file into the KOTOR2 install directly, overwriting the original file (you might want to make a backup of the old one first, to be on the safe side).

4) Download UniWS, a widescreen patching program.

4) Run UniWS, select ‘Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords’.

5) Point it to your KOTOR2 install directory, select the desired resolution (e.g. Screen Width: 1920, Height: 1080) and click ‘Patch’.

6) Edit the swkotor.ini in Notepad and edit the following lines:

[Display Options]
Width=1920
Height=1080

[Graphics Options]
Height=1080
Width=1920

Note that the resolution lines need to be changed in two places, and that the width/height entries are reversed in the second instance.

7) Because the game was never designed to run on a 16:9 resolution, forcing a widescreen resolution will cause problems with the minimap. Download updated 16:9 or 16:10 files.

8) Extract the mipc28x6_p.gui from the zip into the \Override\ folder.

Notes

  • Those using 1366×768 displays will be out of luck, as the widescreen mod breaks the way dialogue choices are rendered, making the game unplayable.
  • This method (the only known method to work on the Steam version of the game) is based on an older exe, which may introduce some minor bugs in areas such as swoop racing, an optional part of the game.
  • Unfortunately, UI elements will appear stretched in widescreen, and no fix has been developed for this yet. Personally I can live with the stretched UI, but it might cause compulsive facial tics for others.

Save games

Save games are kept in this folder:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Knights of the Old Republic II\Saves\

Save game cloud syncing is highly recommended for this game. It’s not supported natively, but can be hacked in using the brilliant program GameSave Manager, whose Sync & Link function will automatically detect savegames and then symlink them to your preferred cloud storage folder such as Dropbox.

Showstopping errors

The most common error with the game is ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has stopped working’. This can happen after the company logos display, or after clicking ‘Load Game’ from the main menu.

The simplest way to fix this is to run run the game in windowed mode. Open swkotor.ini in Notepad:

1) Under the heading [Graphics Options], add the line AllowWindowedMode=1

2) Edit the value FullScreen=0

Unfortunately, hacks to enable borderless fullscreen windowed are unplayable, as they will cause mouse cursor hotspot misalignment.

If running in windowed mode doesn’t work, there are a whole host of other fixes that you can apply, including an Nvidia fix and an Intel integrated graphics fix.

For more guides like this, check out PCGamingWiki, the website which aims to list fixes for every single PC game in a single, user-editable resource. Our Kickstarter project was recently funded in under 6 hours.

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138 Comments »

  1. Yosharian says:

    The widescreen doesn’t work with the Steam version, so it’s quite useless. I had to play it on my old 4:3 monitor.

    edit: sorry I meant RETAIL version not Steam version.

    • Alec Meer says:

      It does say how to correct that in the piece, sir.

      • Yosharian says:

        Yes but if I remember correctly the problem is that the TSLRCM mod modifies the executable, meaning that you can’t use the one from the Squizzy mod.

        edit: I have the non-steam version and I remember tinkering for hours trying to get this thing working. It doesn’t work. I edited the wiki to reflect this problem, but it’s been reverted since then from the looks of it. The Squizzy widescreen workaround does not work with a TSLRCM game.

        edit: apparently it’s not TSLRCM which modifies the exe but something does

        • andytizer says:

          The widescreen patching method listed in the article has been available on PCGamingWiki for a number of months and playtested by a large number of people. I have personally tested the method on 4 different hardware configurations. The Squizzy exe allows the UniWS to apply its patch, and the method is compatible with Steam, retail and TSLRCM patches.

          The TSLRCM does not modify the exe, as mentioned by Hassat_Hunter, (search ‘Aug 3 2012, 10:16pm on the page’) one of the developers of the mod.

          Edit: Regarding your edit – you don’t need to use the Squizzy exe if you’re running from retail, which is reflected on the wiki.

          • Lukasz says:

            Well… i did exactly as told in this article and game is in 4:3
            so…
            the faq?

          • Yosharian says:

            UniWS does not modify the executable I have in my directory. It does not work. If it isn’t TSLRCM that modifies the executable, then it is some other patch that is required to make the retail version work on Win7.

            When I said earlier that it does not work on Steam versions, I meant that it does not work on Retail versions, I got mixed up because I have KotOR1 on Steam but not KotOR2, I found it in a bargain bin a few years ago.

          • andytizer says:

            Some questions:
            What resolution are you trying to run?
            Did UniWS allow you to patch successfully?
            Are the correct display options edited in the swkotor.ini?

            [Display Options]
            Width=1920
            Height=1080

            [Graphics Options]
            Height=1080
            Width=1920

          • Lukasz says:

            Okay. I made it work. Apparently you have to change the ini AFTER you change resolution to 1280×960 in game. otherwise it overwrites the changes to ini and you get 960 instead of 1080.

          • Yosharian says:

            UniWS doesn’t even find the executable, there is no ‘patching’ to be done

            my desired resolution is irrelevant when UniWS can’t even find the damn .exe, but it’s 1920×1080

            I wrote all this down on the wiki but it was obviously deleted

          • andytizer says:

            Thanks for the feedback – the custom resolution step is required (and is part of the UniWS instructions) and is now part of the widescreen resolution instructions, and hopefully we can get this main article adjusted as well.

            When you say that UniWS cannot find the game – have you made sure that:
            1) The game ‘Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords’ is selected AND
            2) The correct install directory is selected

          • Yosharian says:

            1) Clicked on KOTOR2 in drop down menu

            2) Clicked ‘Find it for me!”

            3) UniWS reports: “Found C:(slash)Games(slash)KotOR2(slash)SWKotor2.exe!”

            4) and then nothing. both ‘Patch’ and ‘Undo Patch’ are greyed out and cannot be selected. Resolution boxes cannot be selected and nothing can be entered in them.

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          • Man Raised by Puffins says:

            Ah, poo: I have the same issue as Yosharian. For what it’s worth I have a UK retail version bought at release patched up to 1.0b, plus the restoration mod, running on 64-bit Windows 7. Swapping in the Squizzy exe doesn’t seem to work either, UniWS actually finds the exe but it comes up with error when I try to patch.

    • Thargor says:

      The first instruction in the widescreen bit is:

      1) Run the game, and set in-game resolution to 1280×960 (this allows a custom resolution to be selected externally).

      But that’s not any of the options in the Graphics menu and there’s nowhere to input values manually, what the hell am I doing wrong?

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      • Lukasz says:

        there is option to change resolution in graphics menu. you can find it. we believe in yoU!!

        • clifftheripper5 says:

          I had the same problem :/ it says to set it to like 1290×960 in-game but there isn’t that option :(

    • Hannibal942 says:

      My game fails to load after I install the widescreen patch. I have the steam version and TSLRCM installed. What can I do? The game keeps crashing whenever I load a save.

  2. Drake Sigar says:

    KotoR 2 and Vamp Bloodlines are probably the two most deserving games for a restoration article.

    • stahlwerk says:

      On that note, are there any news regarding the Source engine “re-port” (from the alpha version Source Engine used by troika to a more recent release version)?

    • tobecooper says:

      Agreed, but don’t forget about Fallout 2! The new and final version of Restoration Mod is coming in a few days.

  3. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    How about the much lauded Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, which is also at about 2.50 € at the moment? Enjoyable without mods? Best served with anything else?

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      I have played it without any mods (and I don’t know if there any worthwhile ones, if any, out there) and found it to be a superb gaming experience. There are one or two tough spots throughout the game, but if you can stomach a few quickloads here and there, as well as giant spiders (yikes) as frequent enemies, you should be in for a fun ride. Recommended.

      • dE says:

        The Spiders also coincidence with the quickloading. I really love Dark Messiah, it has one of the best melee systems in my opinion and rewards exploration. But the spiders are a part I absolutely hate.
        “Oh lookey, a spider. With poison. I can deal with that. Oh another. And another. And… well a dozen others. And… oh stop it already with the damn spider flood, I get it, spiders, yes, now buzz off for crying out loud. What is that? More Spiders with poison… come on – I’ve used all healing items and antidotes on the previous 300 spiders… am I supposed to sit waiting for the regeneration ring to kick in?”

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      It was a bit of a gimmick, but kicking people off cliffs or onto spikes never got old. [See Bulletstorm]

      • Squirrelfanatic says:

        For me, that mechanic pretty much defines the Dark Messiah Experience. Kicking is so good, you never want to stop doing it.

      • lowprices says:

        The lack of foot/man interaction was the only major flaw of Dishonored for me. DMMM has a rubbish story, and a few rubbish bits (POISONOUS SPIDERS), but most bits are glorious little physical puzzles full of traps, spike, high drops and guys to inflict them all on.

    • phelix says:

      You could try SweetFX for tonemaps, bloom, faux-HDR, sharpening and other filters. If you have an NVIDIA (GTX x50 or above recommended) card you can add some additional jazz by forcing NVIDIA Ambient Occlusion through NVIDIA Inspector (pick hl2 compatibility).

  4. AmateurScience says:

    I really must get round to fixing up/playing KOTOR2, but as I played through the first one 8ish years ago (in about 3 very long sittings iirc) I feel like I ought to play that first, and that’s a lot of game and aaargh.

    • Narzhul says:

      Not really. If you’ve played it before you can go through it very fast without missing anything. 25 hours or so should be enough. Fastest I’ve done is 17 hours I believe.

      I played a LOT of the first KOTOR back then.

      • Caiman says:

        Holy hell. It took me 9 hours just to finish Peragus. I’m at 31 hours now, partway through Dantooine (the first planet I’ve played after Telos). At this rate I’m in for a good 60 hours! I haven’t exactly been dawdling, but I explore every area and go through all the dialogue trees (where it makes sense to do so).

        • Narzhul says:

          No no, what I said was concerning KOTOR 1, because he said he needed to play the first one first.

          I don’t remember how long KOTOR 2 took me, because I think I only played it… once? :U

          • Continuity says:

            Well kotor 1 isn’t exactly quick either, I payed it though several times and I think my par was about 60-70 hours… sure you could speed run, but IMO with and RPG that entirely misses the point and you’d be better off watching highlights from a youtube LP.

          • elderman says:

            Yes, each game has taken me about 60 hours (KOTOR II twice, years apart).

            But I actually think KOTOR II feels like an even deeper game without playing the original first, which is how I did it the first time. You piece together the outline of the plot from the first one and the presumed knowledge from the first game makes the world seem richer. There are some references and character cameos that rely on a knowledge of the first game, but those are just minor pleasures that you miss.

            If AmateurScience has already played the first game once, however many years ago, I don’t see why it would be obligatory to go through it again before playing the sequel.

  5. OrangyTang says:

    Question: When a game is released in such a state and requires this much modding and tinkering, can the original game be called a good game?

    I played the original (unmodified) when it came out and found it mostly ‘meh’ and frustrating to play. Can we (should we?) be giving Obsidian this much praise given the amount of fan patches and content this requires?

    • Paul says:

      KOTOR 2 is fantastic and better than KOTOR 1 even in its vanilla state. Considering Obsidian had less than one year to develop it, with smaller team and budget, it is nothing short of miracle what came out.
      These mods are just icing on a cake.

      • OrangyTang says:

        (Devils advocate: on)

        Do those things matter though? Does anyone ever say “This book is amazing, it doesn’t have an ending, but it was written in a month!”

        • NathanH says:

          You won’t get very far against the horde of Obsidian fans with this sensible line of argument, I’m afraid.

          The best response I can think of is that the endings to games tend to be disappointing anyway, so the fact that KOTOR2 has an ending that is unfinished and makes no sense is not such a big deal as, say, a start that is unfinished and makes no sense.

          I thought a lot of KOTOR2 was good fun (although not having played the original probably helped). I’m happy I had the opportunity to play it, and although the fact that the ending was nonsense was disappointing, I didn’t feel too unhappy for very long. At least they kept the ending as nonsense rather than something that just contradicted and made pointless all that had gone before.

          Still, I don’t think we should be absolving Obsidian of some responsibility for the mess, like people always want to. Especially since one of the serious failings of the game in general is that things drag on longer than they need to. Even if they didn’t have very long to make the game, spending too much time on bad padding was their mistake.

          • mouton says:

            I love Obsidian.

            They are like a genius painter who forgets to put on pants, buy food, pay the bills and constantly gets exploited by savvy “business partners”.

            They are brilliant and I love them, but they can’t code.

          • DrGonzo says:

            I love Obsidian, but it’s pretty much entirely for the dialogue. I don’t think I’ve liked any of the actual games they’ve made except for New Vegas (an underrated classic imho). Yet I still play them for the fantastic characters and dialogue.

        • Bhazor says:

          “This book is amazing, it doesn’t have an ending, but it was written in a month!”

          Yes they do actually.

          The Gambler by Dostoyevsky is remembered not because it is a great book but because it was a great book written to ridiculous deadlines.

          As for the ending, I actually quite liked it. It felt like I was being manipulated and lied to by THE BADDIES right through to the end. It felt fitting that my character was just a pawn in a plan so large I couldn’t even see it. Certainly better than the bland happy ending of KOTOR1.

          • greg_ritter says:

            Sorry, but this comparison is flawed.
            “Gambler” is a finished product, that was written purely for money, yes, but it was finished.
            What OrangyTang was saying was that KOTOR 2 is unfinished. Why it was left unfinished is another thing, and yes, mainly due to the assholish publishers, but still.
            Obsidian gets money for unfinished game, that fans need to mod to play normally. Not a very good thing, I reckon.

          • Bhazor says:

            But critics still say the book was unfinished in that it certainly wasn’t upto his usual standards. But they still cut it slack and say its impressive for what he accomplished.

            You must take the background of a work into account. You wouldn’t criticise a budget film for not having an A list cast or low cost special effects. In Sith Lords case you have to accept that it had similar constraints and measure the product by them.

          • Jenks says:

            You would criticize a budget film for not having an ending, unless you were an apologist. There’s certainly no shortage of those around here.

          • Bhazor says:

            Criticising a low budget film for having a low budget is just the same as criticising a game for being unfinished when they didn’t have time to finish the game.

            The game is still fantastic and the ending was better than Mass Effect.

          • darkChozo says:

            That’s a bit of a flawed metaphor, not having much of something and running out of something are two different things. You can certainly excuse the former and criticize the latter (ex. a low budget film blowing their budget on an expensive CGI scene instead of hiring good actors [edit] or a low budget film using bad CGI instead of clever cinematography for effects), though whether that’s a criticism of artistic merit or project management skills (and whether there’s a reason to distinguish between the two) is a whole other issue.

          • Logeres says:

            Most of Kafka’s works are unfinished, and yet he is seen as one of the best authors in German history, if not in the world.

          • Big Murray says:

            “The game is still fantastic and the ending was better than Mass Effect.”

            It’s happened. Somebody’s found the one instance where “That ending was bad, but it was still better than Mass Effect” doesn’t work. And it’s KOTOR2.

            The “ending was better than Mass Effect” meme is officially broken.

          • drewski says:

            A book (or a movie, or most other media) is almost entirely a narrative construct – a videogame is not.

            You can have an amazing time with a game, hate the ending, and still very much like the game overall. Would KoToR2 have been better with a more coherent ending? Sure. Is it still an awful lot of fun even with the ending being pasted on? Yep.

            If I lose a game of Team Fortress 2, I don’t think the game sucks because I didn’t get the ending I wanted.

    • idiotapocs says:

      Absolutely. The publisher was the one who rushed them. Reeeally looking forward to the Stick of Truth.

    • Bhazor says:

      So you’re saying STALKER is garbage? Because that’s a game that requires far more modding than this.

      Even in Vanilla this game is as good as Planescape, you can’t say the same about STALKER.

      • OrangyTang says:

        I didn’t say anything about the quality of STALKER, having not played it due to the amount of pre-modding the game requires.

        Is vanilla KOTOR2 as good as Planescape? For my money, no. Your mileage may differ.

        I should say that I genuinely am asking a question, not trying to push an opinion. Should we be lavishing such praise on a game where a lot of people didn’t play Obsidian’s game, but actually played a franken-game of Obsidian and other people’s work? Even more so with games like STALKER or Fallout where there isn’t just a ‘fixed’ version, but actually people are really saying “I really liked *my* version of STALKER which I made by assembling the game and mods that made the game I wanted to play”. Suddenly we’re not evaluating games on the same foundation, and that makes me uneasy.

        • Bhazor says:

          I have never used a single mod in Kotor 2 and still call it one of the best games I’ve ever played. So there.

          Kotor 2 vanilla is a great game, so is Stalker vanilla, so is Morrowind vanilla. Look at it this way, there is a reason people are willing to spend months of their time making mods for these games.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        You overplayed your hand, sir, and shat your pants.

        Your statement “vanilla is as good as planescape”….. Not even close.

        Some broken pos ununique franchise game, and it doesn’t matter what it’s potential is if it’s BROKEN and unplayable.. which it is without all the dicking around people have done for it, is as good as PS:T?????

        You need a hobby, may I suggest Trepanning?

        • Bhazor says:

          I played the game three times without using a single mod and without any game breaking bugs. I can name a dozen games from the last couple years released in a far worse state to rave reviews such as Skyrim and Red Dead Redemption.

          And yes it is as every bit as good as Planescape.

          • NathanH says:

            Kotor 2 is way better than Planescape.

          • Jenks says:

            Skyrim and RDR were in far better states than KOTOR II. The entire final act is a comedic shitshow. I’m having a hard time thinking of a game I’ve ever played in that bad a state. I didn’t buy The War Z, but that comes to mind.

          • drewski says:

            Let me get this right.

            30 hours of great entertainment, 30 minutes of confusion = second worst game ever.

            OK.

          • DrGonzo says:

            RDR was polished, don’t get why you’d mention that.

            And as good as Planescape? Either you missed something in Planescape or I missed the bits that elevated Kotor 2 from forgettable but entertaining child friendly RPG to the best game ever made.

          • ffordesoon says:

            Red Dead Redemption was not “polished.” Not at release, anyway. It wasn’t KOTOR 2-level bad, but, well, type “red dead redemption donkey woman” into the search field at YouTube, and you will see RDR turn into a Dadaist hellscape.

            At least, if the video’s still up. Which it should be.

      • DrGonzo says:

        Lost me at as good as Planescape. This was a decent and enjoyable Star Wars romp, but not up there with Planescape imho.

    • Berzee says:

      I call KotOR2 a good game because I played the vanilla version and loved it. When it ended I was confused and mildly disappointed the first time, but not so much that it kept me from replaying it twice more. At the time, I thought the disjointedness was a deliberate choice to make the game seem more eerie and ambiguous (since ambiguity is one of the things that game’s about).

      So I disagree with your statement that the game *requires* all that modding in the first place. =) It certainly didn’t require it for me (although I’m very much looking forward to seeing it someday, when I make another sweep of Teh Classix).

      What I might agree with is a statement that the game requires all that modding before I would consider recommending it unreservedly to friends; this one bad ending didn’t vex me overmuch, but most bad endings or poorly explained happenings just kill me, so I wouldn’t like to foist that upon others without a caveat, even if it for the sake of playing / reading a magnificent thing.

    • iucounu says:

      I own both KOTOR games – PC retail versions – and playing at the time thought they were both bloody brilliant. There’s certainly stuff to carp about, but not enough to make me feel they’re not still brilliant games.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        I thought they were both fine games at the time and well worth the time it took to play them despite the bugs.

    • drewski says:

      I didn’t even realise there was anything “wrong” with KoToR2 until it the internet started moaning. Enjoyed the first, enjoyed the second.

      I was obviously fortunate enough to miss any gamebreaking bugs, but it didn’t feel unfinished, just unpolished and incoherent at the end.

    • ffordesoon says:

      I played the original when it came out, and I thought it was a masterpiece with a slightly weird ending. I was baffled by the lukewarm reaction to it until I found out there were apparently rather a lot of bugs because the game was released too early. I encountered none of them until the ending, but a lot of people did, which rightly affected their feelings about the game. I would have killed at the time to let them experience the game the way I did.

      If you didn’t care for it the first time around, fair enough, but I submit that a hefty portion of the game’s audience was cheated out of a glorious experience. Taking a few minutes to polish a diamond in the rough to its intended sheen is always a wise choice, in my experience.

      But no game suits everyone’s tastes. If you modded the game back into shape and nevertheless found it irredeemably dull, I wouldn’t blame you at all for feeling shafted.

      So, to answer your original question… Maybe?

  6. Spinks says:

    This may actually have been the best game I played last year.

  7. adonf says:

    “Those using 1366×768 displays will be out of luck”

    Too bad that’s 99% of cheap laptops. Any ideas if that could be fixed in the future ?

    • lizzardborn says:

      Doubtful … it is hard to convince people not to buy cheap crap and choose proper machines. The required technical literacy era seems to be slipping away. And with more tightly integrated PCs the manufacturers will have easier time in forcing you to buy crap you don’t need to get the higher end stuff you need. So we will have preconfigured lowend – 300$, precongifugered highend with everything for 1500$ and nothing in between, while what you need is the the 300$ stuff with a decent video for 500 bucks.

      • adonf says:

        Good point, but my question was related to fixing the game, not screens :)

        (Actually in my opinion any 16/9 screen resolution is a heresy yet it’s everywhere ! Only Apple sell 16/10 laptops and that’s a bit better but not much)

        • AmateurScience says:

          On a relatively wee monitor (13-15″) black bars at the side (or even a bit if stretch) shouldn’t be too distracting though. Worth it to be have a good game available on the go (for me at least).

          • adonf says:

            I agree with the part about black bars but this game was made before wide screen monitors were common, so it will probably assume a 4/3 ratio and come out stretched on a 1366×768 monitor. Stretched images are a big problem for me, enough to spoil the game.

          • Ernesto says:

            There is an option in your graphics driver not to stretch the image when a lower-than-native resolution is used. At least there is in my Nvidia control panel. Check under Display -> Change flat panel scaling. Where it says ‘When using a resolution lower than my display’s native resolution…’ set it to ‘Use my display’s built-in scaling’. Works for me.

            I’m pretty sure there is a similar option for the AMD users.

          • adonf says:

            Thanks Ernesto I’ll try that.

            edit: Actually the best possible solution to me when running older games would be for the GPU to scale the image but keep its original aspect ratio (ie stretch the image in both directions until it reaches an edge of the screen). I’m not sure if what you described does this, it seems to me that it lets the monitor handle the scaling, which in my experience is done rather poorly.

      • Caiman says:

        So people are technically illiterate if they can’t afford a more expensive laptop? Not sure you’re going to win any awards with that line of reasoning.

        • lizzardborn says:

          Depends … my nearest online shop sells GTX610 for 50$ with 2GB of vram. It looks like a bargain – it has lots of vram – must be good right? It is nvidia latest generation. 6th series. So it should be able to play something at least? But it does not.

          Very few with cheap laptops are with them because they are the ultimate top they could afford. It is usually because they don’t have the literacy to filter the marketing tricks and traps. Also this is not their fault – they were actively discouraged to become literate by the industry. No one likes assholes that buy balanced machines with the best price/performance ratio. There the margins are thin.

          But lets take the resolution – I had on my crap PC in 2001 resolution 1024×768 and it was not sufficient. So now 10 years later to have the same amount of vertical pixels is travesty. you can barely fit the first snippet of a RPS article even on 1050 pixels. Small resolution is something you cannot allow yourself.

          The price performance in on a logarithmic curve. Sometimes to shed just 50 bucks you sacrifice a lot. The opposite is true in the enthusiast segment. You throw insane amounts of money for very incremental increases,

          • datom says:

            I would say that’s complete and utter nonsense. The reason the majority of people have a cheap laptop is because they want a cheap laptop to work, surf the internet, store files. They have no or little interest in gaming, and even less interest in modding those games.

            When you talk about return to scale, think about what that means in terms of say a $200 netbook.. Will it make MS Word run quicker? Not noticeably. Will I see any improvement in Excel? No. So 95% of what I do on my laptop will not be affected.

            However, if I decide to fire up KOTOR2, I’ll lose the small black border around the screen! If only I hadn’t been technically illiterate (surely illiterately techinical?), then I would have known I only needed to add 25% to the price of my laptop to avoid this terrifying problem.

      • Wedge says:

        The sad truth is most people getting a laptop WANT crappy low resolution screens. Or at least not to have to learn how to adjust an OS at all. They complain about “things being too small” (nevermind how easy that is to adjust). You can even find published reviews of old laptops like Lenovo T61′s with their glorious 1900×1200 res screens that make this complaint. Once the manufacturers realized this, it was an easy choice to pad the bottom line by putting in shitty screens when 95% of their customers are going to be perfectly happy.

        • jrodman says:

          Just because some things are easily adjusted to use more pixels doesn’t negate that some things aren’t.

          Larger pixels means you can’t be defeated by stupid programmers!

        • drewski says:

          I think the cheap notebook market is robust enough that the majority of savings from poor screens are being passed onto consumers.

          When I can buy an i3 notebook for about half the price of an iPhone, I think the maker is probably operating on a pretty thin margin.

    • MattyFTM says:

      1366X768 isn’t directly supported by this method, but it should be possible to set a higher resolution (1530×864 would work) and use your graphics card settings to scale it down. That works flawlessly on KOTOR 1, it should work fine with KOTOR 2 too.

  8. Aninhumer says:

    I tried playing this a little while ago, and I ended up getting annoyed because I felt like my responses to Kreia’s deconstruction were far too limited. Basically all I could say was “Hmm I guess you’re right” or “My naive black and white morality is fine, what are you talking about”, there was little chance to actually argue with her.

  9. MeestaNob says:

    Bought it today, fantastic article and fantastic timing.

    EDIT:
    Further to this, while I appreciate the enormous effort the community have put into restoring the game, I would pay money for Obsidian to patch/update the game professionally to the state they originally intended.

    I wonder if they would still even have the rights to make any changes even if they wanted to, publisher meddling aside?

    • Bhazor says:

      Given that Lucasarts were refusing to let them release the unfinished the material I’d say no, no they cannot release an official patch.

      My problem with the restored content is that a lot of it was probably removed for a reason and what is there would have been reworked.

      I would pay full price for a Directors Cut edition with the team spending an extra few months to finish it properly.

      • mouton says:

        Similar reservations here: Restoration mods often claim they bring back the “true vision” of the creators – a very arrogant attitude, in my opinion. Even fully finished games have a lot of their content cut for various reasons, I think Gabe Newell said in some l4d commentary that it was usually around 30%. Who is to say which elements are the “true vision” and which were discarded on purpose?

        Still, I have yet to play Kotor 2 and will likely use the mod for the dialogue and bug fixes.

        • unangbangkay says:

          I’d say that the reason for cutting content is for time and work reasons, as often as whether or not it was any good. By necessity edits are sometimes made in service not to the quality of the design or content but to a deadline. Modders’ one advantage is that they don’t have that kind of restriction.

          I wouldn’t go so far as to call them arrogant, at least not in this game’s case, considering that it was very much unfinished at released, or at least conveyed a much stronger impression of such than usual. And oftentimes they’re able to engage the developers themselves, particularly for older and less closed titles. Just look at how modders have been able to engage Obsidian for their unofficial patches and restorations in Fallout New Vegas and Neverwinter Nights 2.

          A shining example of restoration mods without the arrogance you dread is the work on old Infinity Engine games (Baldur’s Gate series, Planescape Torment). For Baldur’s Gate 2′s various mods even BioWare designer David Gaider himself to help flesh out the ending for Throne of Bhaal, including new powers they didn’t have time to implement and alternative, roleplaying-friendly solutions to several encounters that, in the vanilla game, were simply boss fights that didn’t make a huge amount of sense.

          TL;DR it’s not always about a bunch of scrubs who think themselves better than the professionals.

  10. kael13 says:

    Hah! This is well-timed. Just bought the game last night.

  11. oceanclub says:

    I presume replacing the original EXE with the older version won’t be flagged by Steam?

    (Am always paranoid about such things.)

    P.

    • Yosharian says:

      Usually it’s only multiplayer games for which you shouldn’t modify the executable.

  12. Christo4 says:

    Regarding the 1366×768 resolution on the laptops, there is a workaround, pretty simple actually for those with Nvidia graphic cards. Just go to custom resolution and set it to 1600×900, it won’t be the native resolution but it works so that you can get dialogues in the game. I tried it in KOTOR 1 and it works and i don’t think it will be a problem for KOTOR 2.

  13. Ergates_Antius says:

    a fix which will help you to experience the game in modern 16:9 1920×1080 glory.

    16:9…glory?!?!
    16:9

    I spit on your disgusting console screen ratio. 16:10 is the only correct screen ratio – all others must be shunned.

    • lizzardborn says:

      4:3 is the real ratio. 24 inch crt trinitrons are immortal. And great.

    • Christian says:

      I’m with you here good sir, and this really has to stop..calling 16:9 sensible…pfft.

      I never quite understood the nonsense that is 16:9, the missing space *is* noticeable and it’s annoying to have so much space wasted just because panel makers are taking the cheap route.

      But good news: most games these days do offer a nice 16:10-option for us lucky ones with working vertical peripheral vision :)

  14. unwize says:

    I installed this for my Dad to play, following all the steps on PCGamingWiki as listed above. It throws the ‘stopped working’ crash when boarding a shuttle fairly early in the game. I tried all the suggested solutions mentioned, and many more found via Google, but couldn’t make it through that crash.

    Anyone have any suggestions? It’s running on Windows 7 64bit with a not-too-ancient (last 5 years) ATI graphics card.

    • drkeiscool says:

      I’m assuming your trying to board the shuttle on Telos. Try this:

      http://knightsoftheoldrepublic.filefront.com/file/Telos_Shuttle_Crash_Movie_Fix;94444

      I haven’t tried it myself, so make backups of the affected files and may the force be with you.

      If that doesn’t work, you may need to disable the cutscenes: find the cutscenes that are causing the issue in the KotOR files (something like C:Program Files (x86)LucasArtsSWKotOR2Movies), and put a 1 at the end of the file name. I don’t know the Steam location, so you’d have to find it yourself.

      If that doesn’t work, go into swkotor2.ini with a program like Notepad++, find Disable Movies=0, and change it to Disable Movies=1. It turns off all cutscenes except intro ones, so do it as a last resort.

      Beyond that, play it on Windows XP, where it’s probably much more stable.

  15. povu says:

    Another silly thing: The original resolution of the pre-rendered cutscenes is shit, but there’s higher resolution movies available for download. These are included in the Steam release already.

    BUT: The resolution of these new cutscenes is 1600×1200, so if you have a 1920×1080 monitor like me that doesn’t even fit and it still plays the crappy ones, switching the full screen resolution every time. I don’t know if there’s any way around it.

  16. tigershuffle says:

    My 10 year old son finished this on my old Xbox1 a few weeks ago *proud Dad*……hes now working through KOTOR1.

    As Ive just cobbled his first pc together I might treat the little fellow to this once I open a Steam a/c for him He might stop nagging me about putting Old Republic on his ‘new’ pc …..

  17. Bhazor says:

    For all the talk of how broken this game was at release I had way more problems running Mass Effect and Oblivion. Horses clipping into mountains, grenades flying through walls, being attacked by giant question marks, being pushed through the wall of a space station and left tumbling through a void for twenty minutes until the game crashed.
    In comparison the only problem I had in Kotor 2 was being unable to trigger the reward text in a small side quest.
    I’d say it was just ahead of the curve, it’s about as glitchy at release as any modern game.

    • Big Murray says:

      Why did you leave the game on for 20 minutes while you were glitched into a void …?

  18. PostieDoc says:

    This is brilliant.
    I don’t know my arse from my elbow when it comes to modding games so these guides are a massive help for me.
    More guides please!

  19. Beybars says:

    Sadly, this does not fix the game’s disjointed plot. I remember playing and finishing it, and every time Traya/Kreia opens here mouth, it’s just plain gibberish. The game is still great tho, just not as good as it’s predecessor.

    • Bhazor says:

      … gibberish?

      Hmm, my jimmies have been rustled.

    • Berzee says:

      Perhaps you were expecting some surprise, for her to reveal a secret that had eluded you, something that would change your perspective of events, shatter you to your core.

      • Bhazor says:

        Berzee, I would have killed the galaxy to preserve you. I would have let the galaxy die. You are more rare than you know, and what you have taught yourself must not be allowed to die. You are not a fool. Not truly. And it is for that that I love you.

        I mean, I agree.

    • Snuffy the Evil says:

      You may be interested in reading this excellent Let’s Play of the game- it explains a lot of the core themes and conflicts in the game while also exploring and describing all of the cut content.

      http://lparchive.org/Knights-of-the-Old-Republic-II/

      • Berzee says:

        If this is the one I’m thinking of, I second it as well! (Is it the one that details all of the missing dialogue and stuff, telling you “if the game had been complete, we might have seen something like…”)?

  20. tomeoftom says:

    I love these kinds of articles, I really do. Excellent form, RPS & Andrew Tsai. I’d been meaning to try KOTOR II finally, and I wouldn’t have known to do all this.

    • Bhazor says:

      I’m hoping to see “The Fixer:” become a regular feature.

    • Arasaka says:

      After hearing about its buggy and relatively unfinished release I had avoided picking this p, only to do so on the sale. This article is very timely – many thanks! I’ve followed the steps as you listed them and so far, so good!

  21. unangbangkay says:

    Are there any similar features planned for KotOR 1? For that matter, are there even any similar mods for KotOR 1? Or even Jade Empire (on an unrelated note).

    I’m jonesing to play both in succession before I start trying The Old Republic.

    • HadToLogin says:

      No real restoration mod – Bioware was very throughout when they were cutting something from game.

    • drkeiscool says:

      No. Most of the cut content from KotOR 1 is just dialogue or minor NPC’s; if you have a burning desire to see them, look in http://knightsoftheoldrepublic.filefront.com/files/Knights_of_the_Old_Republic/Mods/Restored_Content;9831

      I think there was supposed to be a Hutt planet, but none of the remain accessible to modders.

      If you were referring to a fix-it guide, I think most of these fixes work with the original KotOR as well.

      Jade Empire is not mod friendly. You’ll hard pressed to find anything besides additional character models. I don’t think there’s any cut content that can be restored in Jade Empire.

  22. Nameless1 says:

    Great article, I love you.

  23. gritz says:

    I did all of this a few months ago, and unfortunately still encountered a well known show-stopping crash bug (Onderon doctor quest). If anyone figures out a fix for it, please let me know!

  24. SkittleDiddler says:

    You’d think Valve would force publishers to put pertinent information like “Does not work with widescreen resolutions” or “This game may CTD on modern systems” on their games’ Steam Store pages, but that’s apparently expecting too much from a consumer standpoint..

    • HadToLogin says:

      Then it probably would start looking like medicine information, where you can read that you shouldn’t use cranes after using this infant-only-pills…

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        “Symptoms of legacy game support and lack of proper coding may include…”

        That would be pretty funny, because half of the games Steam sells would require a lengthy BUYER WARNING whitepaper link.

  25. cptgone says:

    Goodie!
    Steam owes the Fixer another sale.

  26. gujamari says:

    my friend’s mother makes $78/hr on the computer. She has been fired from work for 9 months but last month her income was $16680 just working on the computer for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more http://www.Cloud65.com

  27. drkeiscool says:

    I need some help. Using the KotOR Collection on Windows 7 x64 bit.

    KotOR2 refuses to run in fullscreen. Edits to the .ini file don’t work. Using the old .exe included in the Squizzy patch doesn’t work. Using UniWs doesn’t work, and actually flags a 13000 with SecuRom (f*** you, SecuRom). The modified Mss32.dll Vista fix doesn’t help either (if it was supposed to).

    I’m at my wit’s end, so any help would be appreciated.

    EDIT: May have found a solution: I had to run the Squizzy .exe in compatibility mode for Windows XP Service Pack 3.

  28. TheDoctorofParis says:

    I could use some help as well. When using the Squizzy Resolution Patcher, there is no obvious option to simply extract the exe. Moreover, none of the resolution options it provides are the 1280×960 required by UniWS.

    I’m at a bit of a loss in this regard. Any advice would be welcomed.

    • TheDoctorofParis says:

      In a STUNNING turn of events, the problem was solely due to my interpretation of the instructions. The Squizzy Resolution Patcher doesn’t extract jack. Extract the rar into the folder? Who could have foreseen such madness.

  29. Crosmando says:

    Does anyone know if Obsidian even receive royalties from KOTOR 2 sales on steam?

    Also, it’s important to mention that when KOTOR 2 got on steam, it got patched to remove some bugs. If you use the Squizzy patcher, you need to replace the new steam executable with an old one that Squizzy’s widescreen hack works with, and that old exe is buggy.

    So either buggy widescreen or patched 4:3, but there’s always playing in a window.

  30. ScorpionWasp says:

    Help me out here. I once fell head over heels in love with a game, that up to this day is absolutely unlike anything else I’ve played. In a world where saturday morning cartoon level writing is praised to high heavens, this game dared to treat me like an intelligent being. Characters had believable motivations, they didn’t tell me every detail of their lives upon minutes of having met me. They were suspicious. They lied. They manipulated. Not “for teh evuls”, mind, they did it all like real human beings in the real world would. And the ending… gods, was it fucking absolutely genius… I can’t possibly overstate the unmatched achievement the grossly under-appreciated VAMPIRE – BLOODLINES was.

    As I finished it, I was naturally starved for more like it, which apart from the eventual The Void here or Silent Hill there, simply does not exist. At all. Someone at the time suggested KotOR (the first one), and while Star Wars isn’t a fictional universe known for its great, nuanced writing, I was starved enough to go and give it a try. I was thoroughly disappointed. KotOR is NOWHERE comparable to Vampire at all. The writing sucks.

    Ok, so I asked for help and you might be wondering by now what is it that I want. Reading this article, I couldn’t help but notice the expression “wonderfully-written RPG” being used. That, of course, has picked my interest, but I’ve been burned so many times I need further information before I go and waste a few hours on another crap interactive saturday morning cartoon. So,

    TL;DR
    1 – IF you have played Vampire Bloodlines to the end and consider it to be absolutely genius. Unlike crap like Fallout 3, Skyrim, Mass Effect, KotOR 1 and all the other wannabes. AND you have played this KotOR 2 thing here. How do the two compare? Is KotOR 2 as good as Vampire? Is the writing half as clever?

    2 – If you have not played Vampire. What the hell are you still doing there? Go play it, NAO!

    3 – If you have played Vampire but don’t like/adore/worship it: “Die you monster! You don’t belong in this world!”

    • Lukasz says:

      Compared to bloodlines….
      hard to tell which is better. so that’s your answer. it is different…. KOTOR 2 is very heavy on deconstruction. of Star Wars mythos as well as standard RPG elements like leveling up, questing, fighting or even robbing people blind by going into their rooms.

      It is very unStar Wars game for SW game.

    • Cerius says:

      You have a really bad hand at choosing rpgs. ;)

      Yes, also play (at least) Planescape: Torment and NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer.

    • Fiatil says:

      Kotor 2 is definitely right up your alley. They’re all from the same Black Isle successor-studio tree, and Bloodlines and Kotor 2 are both on my top 10 all time list. And yes, definitely play Mask of the Betrayer and Planescape for two other games that are fantastic and similar to Bloodlines.

    • USER47 says:

      KotOR 2 is pretty much a Planescape: Torment dressed in Star Wars clothes. NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer is well written as well.

  31. w1nter says:

    I’m not sure why, but after every fight with any mob, I cannot move for a minute or so. The game is enjoyable though!

  32. TheDoctorofParis says:

    The big issue with the load game screen is a glitch with threaded optimization on nVidia cards (hence the nVidia fix). If anyone doesn’t want to click through to another article, just disable threaded optimization for KotOR 2 in the nVidia Control Panel.

  33. tsnyder700 says:

    Thank you so much for the article!
    It worked fantastically!
    The only fix for the article is that the link for the 16:9 and 16:10 files does not work for me.
    I found them at: http://www.wsgf.org/article/star-wars-knights-old-republic-ii
    Hope that helps anyone!

  34. Kazeh says:

    I have the same problem that Yosharian had back in January. There is no option for me to change the resolution to 1280*960 in-game and I can’t use UniWS to give me a higher resolution. It says it can’t find the exe in the folder that SWKOTOR II is installed in. I have the UK version I believe that is on 4 CDs. Here is a link with the errors I get when trying to use UniWS.
    http://imgur.com/a/qoNs8