Xuul

[Guide] Xuul's ULTIMATE guide for Kotor 2

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Xuul's Ultimate Kotor 2 guide

Step by step guide to installing, modding and fixing Kotor 2 for the PC

Topics covered in this guide

  1. Introduction

  2. Installing the Game

  3. Installing TSLRCM/M4-78

  4. Widescreen resolutions

  5. HD/ Widescreen Cutscenes (movies)

  6. Installing other mods

  7. Recommended mods

  8. Troubleshooting

  • Introduction

With the advent of the new patch for the STEAM version much of this guide is out of date and not needed in regards to STEAM VERSION

 

Hi there, welcome to my ultimate guide to Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2. This guide is intended to be the ultimate tutorial on everything from getting the base game running, to installing mods and changing to a custom resolution. Throughout the guide there will be links to various video tutorials that cover each of the steps in much greater detail.
Before we begin I will introduce myself. I’m Xuul, I make Youtube videos about gaming, modding and tech. For over a year now I have been making video tutorials and spotlights to help people get into the Kotor modding community; so if you think this guide was helpful please consider checking out my Youtube Channel 
 
With that out of the way it is time to begin setting up Kotor.

  • Installation

The first thing you need to do is install Kotor 2. If you have already installed it and attempted to mod/change the files in any way I would recommend that you do a fresh install. (Uninstall the game, delete all files, and then reinstall). This will help prevent any problems that may arise from residual files.
 
After that you need to determine two things:

  • What version of Kotor 2 do you have?

There are several different versions of Kotor 2 and each has its own problems and advantages. As of writing this guide the most common versions of the game are the 4 Disk Retail Version (Retail), Steam Version, & GoG Version
The main differences in these files are that the Steam Version has an encrypted executable making the widescreen hacks not work correctly, while the retail version requires downloading and installing of several patches before it works.

  • What version of windows do you have?

This really comes down to two things (or really 3) What version of windows are you using and if the OS is 32 bit or 64 bit
 
 
While the installation of the game itself should be simple it is important to test the game by launching it, creating a new character and entering the world once before continuing. This will help isolate if and crashing / errors that occur later are a result of a mod or from the game itself.

  • TSLRCM & M4-78EP

I do NOT recommend playing Kotor 2 without using TSLRCM. The game is an unfinished mess without the mod so do yourself a favor and install it. Just remember that some mods will not work with TSLRCM (see the Compatibility List for more info)
 
M4-78EP (Droid Planet Mod) is optional although I would recommend you give it a try at least once. The mod is not without its flaws and some people prefer to play the game without it. You can take a look at my video review below if you are having trouble deciding.
 


 

 Due to the fact that TSLRCM and M4-78 have several custom movie files I recommend installing them before using any widescreen fixes.

  • Download TSLRCM >>Link
  • Run the .exe file
  • Select the folder where Kotor 2 is installed and click next, then follow the prompts
  • Launch Kotor 2 to confirm if the mod is working
  • Download M4-78 EP >>Link
  • Select the folder where Kotor 2 is installed and click next then follow the prompts

If you are having installation issues check out the following videos. Each is very detailed and tailored to specific setups:
 
Retail/GoG version:


 
Steam version:

 

  • Widescreen Resolution

By default Kotor 2 will only run at a 4:3 resolution. Even if the game appears to fill your entire screen it is highly likely that is it merely stretching to fit your monitor.
 

With the advent of the new Flawless Widescreen plugin that is available for Kotor 2, getting to game to run in widescreen is easier than ever. This method works perfectly with all version of the game and even fixes the dreaded "text cutoff" bug that was present in the old version of the fix for users with common laptop display sizes.

 

For a video covering this new method click HERE

 

This fix WILL WORK for surround gaming setups

 

You will require Flawless Widescreen both  and the UI Fixes

 

  • Download Flawless Widescreen
  • Install the Version of the program that matches your OS. If you have problems with this try the other version.
  • In the plugins tab on the left hand side find and select the Kotor 2 plugin.
  • Ensure that all relevant fields (ie Fix Enabled) are checked.
  • Navigate to your Kotor 2 installation folder and open the swkotor2.ini
  • Open the ini using either Notepad or a similar program
  • We are looking to manually set the res
  • Find the entries under [Display options]  Find the width and height and set them to your resolution of choice (Ex: 1920 & 1080)
  • Go to the area called [Graphics options] in the .ini file and again change the width and height (This is often listed in the opposite order than the previous entry so be careful matching the width and the height correctly to both fields)
  • Under [Graphics options] find the line "Fullscreen=1" and SET IT TO Fullscreen=0
  • Under [Graphics options] add the line AllowWindowedMode=1 to the bottom of the list.
  • Set V-Sync=1 
  • Extract the Hud Fix that matches your resolution to the override folder of the game
  • Launch Flawless Widescreen if it is not open
  • Launch the game and enjoy widescreen 

NOTE: Flawless Widescreen MUST be running before you launch the game or the fix will not work.

 

If you are an advanced user who only needs a quick refresher click HERE

 

 

 

The old version of this fix can be found here in case the above method causes any problems

 

 

The method that I recommend requires two files Universal Widescreen (UniWS) and the UI Fixes. This guide will only work for the Retail and GoG versions of Kotor 2 due to the fact that the Steam version of the game has an encrypted .exe file. If you are using the Steam version of the game I recommend clicking HERE for more information.

  • Download all of the required files
  • Set the ingame resolution to the second highest available resolution (Ex: 1280*960 on a 16:9 monitor) 
  • Run UniWS, Under the game dropdown menu select "Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords"
  • Click find it for me**
  • Set the width and height fields in the patcher to match your monitor (Ex: 1920 & 1080)
  • Click Patch
  • Go to your Kotor 2 installation folder and open the swkotor2.ini
  • Find the entries under [Display options  Find the width and height and set them to your resolution of choice
  • Go to the area called [Graphics options in the .ini file and again change the width and height
  • Set V-Sync=1 
  • Extract the Hud Fix that matches your resolution to the override folder of the game
  • Launch the game and enjoy widescreen

**If this step fails something is wrong with your .exe file for Kotor 2. Search for the file manually. If it still fails to work check out the video below for troubleshooting.
 
HERE is the video I made regarding Kotor 2 in widescreen
It is important to note that if you do NOT see the option for the 1280X960 resolution in your list then simply use the SECOND LARGEST available resolution in its place.
THIS IS OF PARTICULAR NOTE TO USERS OF 16X10 MONITORS!!!!!

 

 

 

 

  • Widescreen Movies

One problem with changing the game to run at widescreen is that it will cause all of the prerendered movies to play at a very small resolution. This not only looks bad but can actually result in crashes and errors that may cause cutscenes to not work. This method is based off of THIS post over on the lucasforums. All credit goes to the author of said post
 
In order to fix this we are going to use a HeX editor and video conversion tools to both resize and upscale the movies to fit your screen. You may also need this Hexadecimal converter
 
There are several different steps that need to be taken depending on what version of the game you own:
 
Steam- Due to the encryption of the Kotor 2 .exe in the steam version you will be unable to edit the Hex values. An alternative method is outlined in the video >>Here 
Retail- This a complicated process. I would Highly recommend following this video guide as it is much more detailed and will walk you through the steps in detail. Make sure you download the HQ Movies Patch so you have the higher quality movies

  1. Ensure TSLRCM and M4-78 EP are installed
  2. Download the HQ movie patches found >>Here
  3. Install all of the HQ movies into the \Movies folder. This will overwrite many of your movie files with higher quality ones
  4. Use the video conversion tools to convert all of the .bik movies into the desired resolution. Convert all of the movies. There will be ~70 with TSLRCM and M4-78 EP installed. 
  5. Select all the movies then click "Bink it!" in the lower left corner of the RAD Video Tools window. Then under "Browse" select an empty folder to output into the desktop
  6. Under "Input video settings," enter your desired resolutions.
  7. Ensure compress audio is selected (unchecking this *may* result in no audio on some configurations)
  8. Wait for the movies to convert. 
  9. Install the HeX Editor
  10. Open the swkotor2.exe with the editor
  11. Find the following hex values and edit them to match your desired resolution (use crtl + F to find the values)
  12. Follow the steps below
  13. Ensure the .ini file is correctly set to your desired resolution

The following Hex Strings need to be edited:

  • 80 02 00 00 75 15 81 3D E8 C1 80 00 E0 01  &  80 02 00 00 C7 44 24 10 E0 01 

The bold HeX values correspond with the width and height respectively. The pairs need to be flipped before they are converted into decimal. Use this Hexadecimal converter to find the values you need.
 
For example in order to convert the movies into 1920x1080 I would change the following values: 
 
80 02 00 00 75 15 81 3D E8 C1 80 00 E0 01 >>>  80 07 00 00 75 15 81 3D E8 C1 80 00 38 04
 
80 02 00 00 C7 44 24 10 E0 01 >>> 80 07 00 00 C7 44 24 10 38 04

  • Open the Hex calculator and type 1920 (Or any width) in the Decimal field
  • Write down the Hexadecimal value as a pair adding 0 to the start as necessary (Ex. 780 >> 0780 >> 07 80)
  • Flip the pair (Ex. 07 80 >> 80 70)
  • Replace the blue value listed above (The width values) with the new width value  (Ex. 80 02 >> 80 07)
  • Open the Hex calculator and type 1080 (Or any height) in the Decimal field
  • Write down the Hexadecimal value as a pair adding 0 to the start as necessary (Ex. 438 >> 0438 >> 04 38)
  • Flip the pair (Ex. 04 38 >> 38 04)
  • Replace the red value listed above (The height values) with the new width value  (Ex. E0 01 >> 38 04)

 

  • Installing other mods

If you have followed the guide so far you have reached a point where you have a stable “base game”.  At this point you can go ahead and play the game with no problems.

 

Before you begin please read the Compatibility List to ensure that you do not have any conflicts.

 

If you are like me, you probably want to check out many of the other awesome mods for kotor 2. These mods install differently than the others we have looked at thus far. While it is best to always read the description and follow the authors instructions there is really three main ways to install mods for kotor 2 that I will quickly outline now. The headers link to videos on the topics that are under 2 min long. If you are curious it will only take 90 seconds to see how it is done.

These mods will come in a .zip or .rar archive. Use a tool like WinRar or 7Zip to extract the files into a folder. Drag the contents of the folder (NOT the folder itself) into the "Override" folder located in your Kotor 2 directory

This method is identical to an override installation; it is often used for texture mods that have flipped textures. If you installed a mod via override and the textures look weird: Use XNVeiw. Extract the mod onto your desktop using 7Zip. Open the folder using XnView and select all of the files. Click batch process. Set the output directory to your override folder and set the filetype to TGA. Set the overwrite to replace. Then press go. After that the textures should work properly.

  • TSL Patcher

Unlike what the name suggests the TSL patcher is a tool for installing mods for Kotor and Kotor 2. It is preferable to use the patcher instead of copying a mod's files to the Override, since the Patcher can merge most files. Simply click the TSLpatcher.exe and set the directory to your Kotor 2 directory. 

 

It is still important to read all the directions put forth by mod authors but these instructions should help you if you run into  trouble. Before installing any mods make sure you read the description and ensure that there are no incompatibilities and/or conflicts. 

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Recommended mods

Up to date as of March 22, 2015

 

The following are several mods that I would highly recommend.

I will link to any relevant videos on the mods as well as try to give a brief description.

I will try to keep this list up do date as best I can. If you have any suggestions for the list please let me know

 

/u/Snigaroo over on Reddit has an awesome set of mods that I would highly recommend you check out- HERE

 

There is also a spoiler-free version of the build- HERE

 

 

Mod Name:  Video(link) 

 

This is where I will describe the mod to you in detail

Download links coming soon

 

  • Texture Mods Texture packs, skyboxes, ect... Also includes new models

Xarrwarz OTE: Peragus + Telos & Colour Pack

 

An ongoing series of mods that attempt to recreate the textures of each planet in HD. This is not an upscale but a complete reworking of the textures that attempts to stay loyal to the original vision while providing crisp HD visuals

 

Telos Board Overhaul: Video

 

An amazing mod that makes all the Advertisments on Telos look incredible. Features 4K textures & animated boards

 

Casino Pazaak AnimatedVideo

 

A mod that takes the Pazaak board and brings it to the future. Featuring 4K textures and a cool animation this mod will make the endless card sessions much more visually enjoyable.

 

Xarrwarz Kotor 2011 Series: Video

 

An alternative to the OTE series this texture pack reimagines many of the enviroments to be a bit different. It is not as lore friendly, but it is both less taxing on your system and complete (unlike the OTE series).  IMO most of the areas look better than vanilla so if you want all the plaents to have new textures then it is worth trying out this one.

 

REALISTIC NAR SHADDAA SKYBOXVideo (coming soon)

 

The Vanilla Nar Shaddaa Skybox looks... bad. Install this mod and that will be fixed. This is one of the few mods that will never leave my load order.

 

Sith Holocron's Holocron: Video

 

Improves the textures of the Holocrons found in the game. It makes them a bit more lore-like. 

 

Movie Mandalorians: Video

 

New models for all Mandalorians in the game to make them look to be made in style of Jango and Boba Fett. Also improves the textures of said models to 1024. It also tweaks the fights in the battle arena with the Mandos and also adds some new weapons and armor.

  • Story Mods Changes the actual story, new quests, new areas...

Extended EnclaveVideo

 

This mod extends the Rebuilt Enclave sequence near the end of the game. It takes many dialogs modified by TSLRCM and modified them to be longer/ more consitent with lore. There is so many great lines in this one that I would not pass it up. This is one of the only mods I considered moving up into the main guide due to how impressive it is.

  • Feature Mods New features: powers, mechanics, companions...

Holowan Duplisaber ProjectVideo (outdated but still covers basics)

 

If you are planning to use a hilt mod this should be the one. First off it is compatible with TSLRCM (USM is NOT compatible) and secondly it is awesome. It essentially adds a mechanic to the game that allows you to customize your lightsaber. You can change the color, the hilt and it features cool new hilt models. There are 59 total saber hilts to choose from, and  13 different colours, meaning 767 possibilities. It is still in Beta now but from what ive seen it works fine.

 

A word of warning though there are some bugs with this mod so use it at your own risk

 

 

Troubleshooting/FAQ

Up to date as of March 22, 2015

 

How can I tell if TSLRCM is installed? The main screen is not changed?

 

Uninstall any/all texture mods. If the main screen remains unchanged then TSLRCM is not installed. Make sure you installed the mod to the correct directory

 

 

The widescreen fix won't work!!!

 

This will happen for one of two reasons
1) You failed to follow the steps. The most common mistake is not selecting the second largest resolution in game and/or forgetting to edit the ini file. If you need help watch this- VIDEO

2) You have a resolution of 1366x768 and under. Kotor 2 has issues with this resolution and may either crash or cause the dialogue to be cut off the bottom of the screen

If this is the case set the resolution to 1366x785. Some people have confirmed this to work, but for others it causes a crash. Again some info here: VIDEO

 

 

The dialogue is cut off at the bottom of the screen when I set the game to widescreen

 

This is likely due to your resolution.You likely have a resolution of 1366x768 and under. Due to an inherent issue with Kotor 2, this will cause the dialouge to be cut off. There are two possible fixes for this and both are not very elegant.

Set the resolution to 1366x785. Some people have confirmed this to work, but for others it causes a crash. More info here: VIDEO  

You can also try changing the actual screen resolution in windows. I have not confirmed either of these fixes personally but have had second hand reports of them either working or causing a CTD

 

 

How do i get the game to run on Windows 7/8

 

Run the game as an administrator if you have issues. Ensure you have DirectX Runtimes installed.

You can also try the TSL Vista Fix

 

 

After combat I can't move

 

Enable Vsync

 

 

I want to record Kotor 2. Why is my FPS so low?

 

If you have a multicore CPU changing the affinity for kotor 2 may help.

Launch kotor2 then hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete Go to the task manager and select the processes tab then right click on Swkotor2 and set affinity to all cores. You will need to repeat this process any time you launch the game  

 

 

I am getting issues installing the 4 CD Kotor. It keeps asking me to change disks!

 

Some users have reported success in copying the files from all four disks onto a usb and installing from there.

 

After combat I can't move

 

Enable Vsync

 

 

 

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Very good job, Xuul! :D

 

The only thing I'd change off the bat is the description for TSL Patcher. Specifically, where you have the following:

"It is preferable to override installs as it can combine certain files."

 

As I interpreted it, it could be meant to say "It is a good idea to override a mod's install because the Patcher can combine certain files."

That could just be me, but I think it would be worded better with something like "It is preferable to use this  instead of copying a mod's files to the Override, since the Patcher  can merge most files."

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Also, I like how you have shed light on converting the movies to widescreen.

 

Many people overlook this step.

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Bravo.  I was thinking about something like this.

Thank you

 

Very good job, Xuul! :D

 

The only thing I'd change off the bat is the description for TSL Patcher. Specifically, where you have the following:

 

"It is preferable to override installs as it can combine certain files."

 

As I interpreted it, it could be meant to say "It is a good idea to override a mod's install because the Patcher can combine certain files."

That could just be me, but I think it would be worded better with something like "It is preferable to use this  instead of copying a mod's files to the Override, since the Patcher  can merge most files."

Reading that part again yeah I can see that. -Fixed

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Also, I like how you have shed light on converting the movies to widescreen.

 

Many people overlook this step.

Yeah most people are not even aware of it. Others i suspect skip the step due to the effort. Here is hoping more people take the time. I'm planning on a guide like this for K1 at some point and i'll include that there as well. I think that 

 

 

I would add the disclaimer that there are still bugs with the Holowan Duplisaber mod.

 Will do

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Very professionally done takes most of the repeat questions and says hey read this ...

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The plan is to be as comprehensive as possible so that everything is covered here.

At some point I'll have to start looking around from any common troubleshooting issues that people might have, and get the recommended mods section done.

 

It will be good to have a place to point people who are new or have some issues 

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When talking about how to hex-edit the .exe file for the resolution, the part about changing the height values mentions the width values in parentheses and uses the original width value instead of the original height value.

 

I wouldn't nitpick, but I've seen some misunderstandings with directions in the past.

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When talking about how to hex-edit the .exe file for the resolution, the part about changing the height values mentions the width values in parentheses and uses the original width value instead of the original height value.

 

I wouldn't nitpick, but I've seen some misunderstandings with directions in the past.

I had to read it over a good 3-4 times before I actually caught my mistake. Thanks!

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Guest guardian0930

I've downloaded both mods, run the installer several times now, and the startup screen still won't say for sure whether or not the mod has been installed. I have an Asus Vivobook running Windows  8.1 and my KOTOR II game is on Steam. Any advice? I've directed the installation to the correct directory each time ( C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Knights of the Old Republic II\ ) and the startup screen hasn't changed.

 

Any advice?

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 I've directed the installation to the correct directory each time ( C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Knights of the Old Republic II\ ) and the startup screen hasn't changed.

 

Any advice?

 

Please confirm you are using the correct directory

 

You can do this by launching Steam >> right clicking on Kotor 2 >> Selecting properties >> Local files tab >> Click Browse local files.

 

Use the file path there and try again. Please let me know if it worked or not.

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Guest guardian0930

Please confirm you are using the correct directory

 

You can do this by launching Steam >> right clicking on Kotor 2 >> Selecting properties >> Local files tab >> Click Browse local files.

 

Use the file path there and try again. Please let me know if it worked or not.

 

It worked! The problem was that I kept directing it to the Steam folder I had in Program Files (x86) when the local files were kept in the Steam folder on my desktop. Silly me! Thanks a bunch.

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Hi everyone, i don't know if this is the right place to post this, but i'm in a hurry so if i'm in the wrong place forgive me just this once

I just started playing sw kotor 2 again after downloading and installing the latest version of TSLRCM (1.8.3), but i have an issue...

After i skipped peragus thanks to a mod, after completing telos and getting away from the accademy i wanted to get to nar shaddaa right away to get the wookie and HK-47,   but   as soon as i select the destination on the galaxy map and i watch the landing cutscene and the cutscene with goto and the mercs, i find myself on goto's yatch in the room where the cutscene take place i can't get out of there and i can't enable the console to warp out of there.

I have installed M4-78 and the mod that allowed me to skip peragus plus some mod for textures and new force powers, with the exeption of M4-78 i used the other mods in other playthroughs and i have never come across this bug

ANY help would be most appreciated

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Skip Peragus mods are incompatible. Read the Compatibility List before installing mods to prevent future frustration.

Yeah, I probably should have added a direct link to that in the guide. I'll update it.

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Thought about uploading this guide to the Obsidian Boards/Steam Forums and GOG Forums?

Good idea. I have posted it to the steam forums. I will have to find time to get the others up to date.

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Hey, nice guide. I'm using the GoG version and everything works great except the 1080p movies that have a weird issue that I can't figure out. Prior to editing the exe movies play just fine in good old 800x600 or whatever it's hardcoded at. After I edit it for 1920x1080 they lose focus or something. They still play but they're probably hidden behind the interface. You can hear the sound but get no visual. If I tab out of the game and then back in they apparently get into focus and I can see them. It's pretty minor considering I could just watch them in the original res or keep tabbing everytime a movie plays, but it feels like it should be an easy fix. Happens to anybody else? Any ideas? Tried compatibility mode and stuff obviously without any luck. 

 

All this on Win7 64bit, R9 270x with latest drivers.

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