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

Turning from KOTOR2's dark side

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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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