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ZeldaTheSwordsman

Proposal: Writing Overhaul for TSL

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords is a fun game to play, at least as far as character leveling and battling your way through the game is concerned (so many of the sidequests being broken as all get-out, not so much).

Which is good, because if the story as-is was the main draw of the game? I might have donated or pawned my Xbox copy and never looked back.

Because... hot take: The majority of KotOR II's writing is crap, especially in regards to the Jedi Order and the Sith Triumvirate. Now, there are some things and concepts I like, but there's a lot (especially to do with the areas just mentioned) that has grated on me more and more with every subsequent playthrough. So, I'm going to cover the things I have problems with and pitch fixes for them (marked with underlines). Now, I realized a lot of these fixes cause contradictions with Legends storylines that referenced this game, but you know what? Serves Legends right for having mindlessly rubber-stamped practically every non-Lego game that came out after SotE as canon (especially The Force Unleashed). And for the NJO novels.

* Letting the player decide whether Revan embraced redemption or reverted to evil. Letting the player have it either way as far as Revan's gender is concerned? That's all fine and dandy (that is, aside from the sloppy coding not checking this properly especially wrt the stupid Jedi Masters). But KotOR II also tries to let you choose whether the first game had the Light Side or Dark Side endings (hence why the galaxy is so jacked-up) but that. Doesn't. Actually. Work. Because except in the situational alternate Dark Side ending, THE STAR FORGE DOESN'T GET DESTROYED on the Dark Side path. The Dark Side ending of KotOR 1 is: "Revan kills Malak, reclaims the Sith empire and the Star Forge, is poised to conquer the galaxy." With something like the Star Forge in play... trying to have it both ways like KotOR II does just doesn't work. I'm sorry, but no. Revan needs to be locked in as Light Side.

* Most of the attempts to tie the Sith Triumvirate and their crap, and the Trayus Academy, to the first game need to be excised. 1. Revan already had a secret ancient Dark Side MacGuffin facility that was part of what factored into their going Dark: it was called the Star Forge. 2. I'm sorry, but I think if Revan and Malak's empire used the Trayus Academy to convert Jedi then Malak would have taken her there rather than Lehon, no? 3. If Revan was sending suitable captured Jedi to Trayus as well as "disappearing" Force-sensitives from the ranks to send them to Trayus (and this seems too big a thing to keep secret from Malak), then somehow I don't think the Dreshdae Academy on Korriban would have been so blindly welcoming to defector Jedi and supposed defector Jedi. And would have been screening students in need of "correction". 4. Subtext in the first game seems to strongly indicate that Revan was Vrook Lamar's Padawan. Chris Avellone's Mouthpiece Kreia doesn't get to usurp that. Chuck it all, work in a nonconflicting setup for the Trayus Academy.

* Speaking of Kreia... Ugh. Just... Ugh. I think the game would almost be better off without her, but she's a little too enmeshed to be chucked so some rewriting will have to suffice. Chris Avellone has said:
"When it came to the narrative, a lot of thrust for the storyline came from an examination of some interpretations of the Force that were coming out of Episode I, II, and III, mostly the fact that the Force seemed to have a will of its own and it had a plan for everybody in the universe but that plan didn't seem beneficial for a whole bunch of people, result in a lot of death and destruction, and then lastly the idea that we didn't really have any choices over our actions; it was a lot of predestination. As a role-playing game designer, all of those things kind of bothered me" (quote found on Kreia's Wookieepedia page, but it's not the original source). Hence Kreia's extreme bitterness towards the Force and its will, to the point that she's trying to kill the Force.
But there are some major problems with that thrust. 1. The timeline proves that Avellone is either fibbing or mis-speaking in that interview, because TSL predates RotS and so RotS (and interpretations of the Force based thereupon, including a more competent examination of "the will of the Force" from Matt Stover's novelization) can't have actually been much of a factor. 2. Speaking as a prequel fan I don't seem to recall people talking that much about "the will of the Force" in the films. 3a. While those interpretations may have been present in Expanded Universe novels and whatnot of the time, they don't really match up with what the movies themselves (OT or PT) show (indeed, the movies themselves would seem to portray predestination as false - "Always in motion, is the future," remember? Avellone referencing that makes this writing even more painful- and actions that assume predestination as dangerous and self-destructive), or George Lucas' conception of the midi-chlorians and the Whills (which is more along the lines of destiny-as-choice, same for George Lucas' personal beliefs). 3b. George said in 2003 that what he was exploring with the prequels was how someone would fall into evil ways, and that his conclusion was the inability to let go and move on in the face of change and loss - which is exactly what we see with Anakin in the prequels; "will of the Force" has nothing to do with it, nor is it said to (at least in the movies). 4. All of that being said, Chris Avellone's counter-interpretation of the Force as mouthpieced through Kreia comes off as more than a little shallow and knee-jerk. It's made worse by the fact that the narrative doesn't offer much in the way of counterarguments to the interpretation given through Kreia, so it feels like the game is shoving that interpretation down your throat. For me at least, this is amplified by the fact that you're rarely if ever allowed to actually counterargue any of Kreia's philosophical attitudes. Rebuff? Yes. Counterargue? No.
Something else Avellone said is that the lesson he hoped players took away from KOTOR II was "it's okay to question the franchise." Well, as far as I'm concerned he couldn't have blown that one harder if he'd tried. Because what I took away from this game was "It's not okay to question my super-negative intepretation of the Force and I'm gonna viciously staple it to your forehead."
Rebalance the narrative to present good counterarguments to her interpretation in-story (both spelled out in dialogue and implied through actions in scenes) and also maybe tone Kreia the f*** down in places. Or, in lieu of toning her down, maybe change the story so that the Jedi Masters are overtly trying to draw her out (only to get more than they bargained for)? Just rewrite things around her hard enough that the game as a whole isn't cramming her view of the Force down your gullet (even if Kreia herself still is)

* Kreia's prophesy re: Mandalore is dumb for various reasons even in the context of Legends (I'm sure Karen Traviss in particular probably had a few things to say to Avellone about that one). Rewrite it for accuracy or just chuck it outright and never look back.

* The Jedi Masters' verdict on Dantooine feels very forced and abrupt, especially given Kavar and Zez Kai-Ell's individual reactions to a Light Side player. The first couple times I played through the game, I actually thought both Light Side and Dark Side players got this scene and it didn't properly take Light Side players into account (because, well, it honestly doesn't). As it stands, this is an unacceptable mess.
Fix 1: Insert sufficient buildup to actually justify the verdict
Fix 2: Change their reasoning for why they're doing what they're doing (maybe along the lines of "Under better circumstances, we would be content to let this be, but there are dangers"?)
Fix 3: Change what they're doing and the setup for Kreia's intervention entirely

* This game's presentation of the Battle of Malachor V doesn't seem to quite jibe with what the first game told of the last battle of the Mandalorian Wars. Not sure of a fix here, admittedly. But... It does feel worth commenting on.

* It feels like there's a bit too much information critical to plot logic walled off behind Influence with party members.

* The game tries to pull the same "trying to toughen the galaxy up for an outside threat" retcon on Revan that was elsewhere attempted in Legends re: Thrawn. It doesn't really work with Revan (it was semi-plausible with Thrawn, at least as an original, pre-corruption-by-Palpatine motive), although I'll admit that trying it with Revan still isn't nearly as bullcrap as people using it to try and excuse Palpatine and the Galactic Empire's sins. Regardless, it should probably be chucked.

* Rewrite the timing and wording of HK-50's drugging of the Exile and sabotage of the Harbinger to better fit with the established info about picking up the Ebon Hawk and investigating the Sith warship

I realize this is a huge undertaking, and not everyone will feel the same way I do about the narrative... But I feel it would be worth doing.

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20 minutes ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

I realize this is a huge undertaking, and not everyone will feel the same way I do about the narrative... But I feel it would be worth doing.

I am not sure I would call all of TSL's writing crap, but it's definitely lacking here and there.

Honestly I would say if you wish to go through 130,000 lines of dialog and improve them, rewriting them as well as finding a way to fix the Audio around them, crack on. Or otherwise good luck finding a team do so, I myself have had thoughts of changing all sorts of things, though I cannot say that the writing was heavily one of them, other than perhaps typos or out of place lines.

There is also one huge thing to consider, which is compatibility and interest, compatibility for something like this will be practically non-existent and I suspect interest would be lacking also, though I can also say that on the other hand if done right interest would be huge, so all in all good idea, huge undertaking, I would say make a start on it, or form a team and make a start on it, or start by heavily improving the writing of just a single area in the game to showcase your suggested improvements.

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7 minutes ago, Thor110 said:

I am not sure I would call all of TSL's writing crap, but it's definitely lacking here and there.

Honestly I would say if you wish to go through 130,000 lines of dialog and improve them, rewriting them as well as finding a way to fix the Audio around them, crack on. Or otherwise good luck finding a team do so, I myself have had thoughts of changing all sorts of things, though I cannot say that the writing was heavily one of them, other than perhaps typos or out of place lines.

There is also one huge thing to consider, which is compatibility and interest, compatibility for something like this will be practically non-existent and I suspect interest would be lacking also, though I can also say that on the other hand if done right interest would be huge, so all in all good idea, huge undertaking, I would say make a start on it, or form a team and make a start on it, or start by heavily improving the writing of just a single area in the game to showcase your suggested improvements.

Honestly I don't know if anything will come of this... But I wanted to air the idea while the thoughts were still crystallized in my head, before they slipped away again. I don't own a PC version of the game to tinker with right now, although I can at least draft ideas..

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1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

But KotOR II also tries to let you choose whether the first game had the Light Side or Dark Side endings (hence why the galaxy is so jacked-up) but that. Doesn't. Actually. Work. Because except in the situational alternate Dark Side ending, THE STAR FORGE DOESN'T GET DESTROYED on the Dark Side path. The Dark Side ending of KotOR 1 is: "Revan kills Malak, reclaims the Sith empire and the Star Forge, is poised to conquer the galaxy." With something like the Star Forge in play... trying to have it both ways like KotOR II does just doesn't work.

It is explained that after Revan disappeared, nobody was powerful enough to control the Star Forge:

Quote

There is no one left with the power to control the Forge, though many have tried. I have watched them be devoured, their life drained from them as they attempt to tap into its power. Knowing what we do of the Builders and their fate, I am convinced that Revan did not intend us to keep the Star Forge. To use it would mean the end of the Sith... and the end of the Force.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

1. Revan already had a secret ancient Dark Side MacGuffin facility that was part of what factored into their going Dark: it was called the Star Forge. 2. I'm sorry, but I think if Revan and Malak's empire used the Trayus Academy to convert Jedi then Malak would have taken her there rather than Lehon, no? 3. If Revan was sending suitable captured Jedi to Trayus as well as "disappearing" Force-sensitives from the ranks to send them to Trayus (and this seems too big a thing to keep secret from Malak), then somehow I don't think the Dreshdae Academy on Korriban would have been so blindly welcoming to defector Jedi and supposed defector Jedi. And would have been screening students in need of "correction".

The existence of one academy does not preclude the existence of other academies for other purposes. The Sith have multiple training facilities in the first game: Korriban, Lehon, Manaan, Taris. There is no reason they couldn't have had another on Malachor, assuming it was even active after Malak took over. Chronicles of the Old Republic implies that it was abandoned at some point and reestablished by Kreia after the events of the first game:

Quote

Guided by Kreia's influence, Sith assassins once again begin to emerge silently from Malachor V and strike at isolated Jedi across the Republic, capturing some Jedi to turn to the dark side, and slaying those that resist. Taken to the dark side world of Malachor V to be fed to the planet's dark energies, these Jedi husks create even more assassins and DARK JEDI, feeding the planet's hunger.

Although that source is riddled with continuity errors.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Subtext in the first game seems to strongly indicate that Revan was Vrook Lamar's Padawan.

I don't know where you got this from. The only character in the first game who explicitly mentions having trained Revan is Zhar:

Quote

When I was still on Coruscant Revan and Malak often came to me for additional training. In particular, Revan's hunger to learn seemed insatiable. I should have recognized this as a warning sign.

And that implies that Zhar was not Revan's primary master, just as in the second game, it is said that Revan had many masters:

Quote

Revan had many Masters. Zhar, Dorak, Master Kae before Kae left for the Wars. Towards the end of her training, she sought out many to learn techniques.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Because what I took away from this game was "It's not okay to question my super-negative intepretation of the Force and I'm gonna viciously staple it to your forehead."

You disagree with the villain of the story's point of view. And this is a problem how?

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Kreia's prophesy re: Mandalore is dumb for various reasons even in the context of Legends (I'm sure Karen Traviss in particular probably had a few things to say to Avellone about that one). Rewrite it for accuracy or just chuck it outright and never look back.

I thought this was an explicit reference to Jango Fett's death in Attack of the Clones.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

* This game's presentation of the Battle of Malachor V doesn't seem to quite jibe with what the first game told of the last battle of the Mandalorian Wars. Not sure of a fix here, admittedly. But... It does feel worth commenting on.

The only mentions of Malachor in the first game are:

Quote

I still remember that final battle in the skies above Malachor V. The two fleets filling the space around it, outshining the stars...

Quote

Canderous! I haven't seen you since the Republic broke our ranks at the battle of Malachor!

This seems consistent with the second game's depiction of the events to me, in as much as it can be consistent with so little existing information.

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1. Re: The Star Forge. That is a cheap copout if ever I heard one, especially since the idea of Revan not intending they keep the Star Forge and the idea of Revan leaving at all are completely disconnected from the first game's Dark Side ending. And I reiterate that the "Revan was trying to toughen the galaxy against some other threat" retcon is flimsy bullcrap.

2. Re: The Academies. A. If the Trayus Academy was specifically used for breaking Jedi to the Dark Side, why did Malak take Bastila to Lehon to do it instead? B. The policy of taking Jedi to Trayus and disappearing Force-sensitives in the Sith ranks to Trayus (as Atton establishes) seems at odds with the Dreshdae Academy's entrance policies and scrutiny (or lack thereof) of its students. C. The idea of the Trayus Academy having anything to do with Revan and Malak feels like a forced attempt to unnecessarily tie the sequel's Dark Side McGuffin Place of Doom to the first game's baddies D. There isn't a Sith Academy on Taris; not for actual Force wielders, anyway.

3. Re: Who trained Revan. Okay, fair enough, I forgot about the explicit thing with Zhar. That is my bad. I forgot about that and was going by remembering Vrook being extra-ornery towards and suspicious of the amnesiac Revan. However: KotOR II's saying "Revan had many masters" is a retcon that exists to shoehorn Kreia in there.

4. The problem is that it's not simply "the villain's point of view." The problem is that A. it's the writer's point of view, mouthpieced through the villain, B. The overall narrative seems to say "if you don't agree with this interpretation of the Force you're wrong" regardless of the viewpoint coming from the villain, and C. said viewpoit comes off as shallow and knee-jerk on analysis, making A and B all the more irritating.

5. Re: Kreia's prophecy about Mandalore. It is an explicit reference to Jango Fett's death. And it's stupid, because it implies that Jango Fett was the last of the Mandalorians; that was wrong even at the time the game came out.

6. The inconsistency is that the dialogue in KotOR 1, sparse on info though it is, implies an intense but straightforward battle, not a battle where the Republic resorted to a cataclysmic superweapon to turn the tide. "The Republic broke our ranks" does not really paint a picture of "The Republic used a gravity crush superweapon that wrecked their own fleet almost as bad as it wrecked ours"; it paints a picture of Republic troops and/or ships battering their way through the Mandalorian lines.

That reminds me: The Mass Shadow Generator needs a new name. Because mass shadows are just the "shadows" in hyperspace that correspond to realspace masses of sufficient size.

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17 minutes ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

6. The inconsistency is that the dialogue in KotOR 1, sparse on info though it is, implies an intense but straightforward battle, not a battle where the Republic resorted to a cataclysmic superweapon to turn the tide. "The Republic broke our ranks" does not really paint a picture of "The Republic used a gravity crush superweapon that wrecked their own fleet almost as bad as it wrecked ours"; it paints a picture of Republic troops and/or ships battering their way through the Mandalorian lines.

I took those to be two separate battles, but maybe I read it wrong. Considering info is spare as you say maybe we are both reading it wrong.

1 Considering the character was on their way to the Star Forge, going to the closest planet to the Star Forge, might have made some sense, rather than darting off to the other end of the galaxy.

As for the Star Forge, I don't think it really needs any mention of what happens to it or who might control it, I thought that was all meant to be a part of the end and your own imagination as to where you think the story truly goes from there. It is also made to be quite clear that no one even knew what happened, or only knows vague details that have spread across the galaxy like wildfire but likely remained inconsistent with the truth.

From a certain point of view! lol :)

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1 hour ago, Thor110 said:

I took those to be two separate battles, but maybe I read it wrong. Considering info is spare as you say maybe we are both reading it wrong.

1 Considering the character was on their way to the Star Forge, going to the closest planet to the Star Forge, might have made some sense, rather than darting off to the other end of the galaxy.

As for the Star Forge, I don't think it really needs any mention of what happens to it or who might control it, I thought that was all meant to be a part of the end and your own imagination as to where you think the story truly goes from there. It is also made to be quite clear that no one even knew what happened, or only knows vague details that have spread across the galaxy like wildfire but likely remained inconsistent with the truth.

From a certain point of view! lol :)

1. Canderous explicitly refers to it as the final battle. Here is the entirety of what he says about the Battle of Malachor V: "I still remember that final battle in the skies above Malachor V. The two fleets filling the space around it, outshining the stars...It was not your ships or your men or your vaunted 'fight for freedom' that won this, the final battle of the war. It was by the actions of one person - you - that the Republic prevailed. Your strategies and tactics defeated the best we could send against you. Even Mandalore himself was taken aback by the ferocity of your attacks, the tenacity of your defenses and the subtleties of your plans. You fought us to a standstill and then began pushing back. We didn't really have a chance. It was by the actions of one person, the Jedi Revan, that you prevailed."

No implication of a cataclysmic superweapon or of some potent Jedi other than Revan playing a pivotal role (or Revan being late to the battle). Every implication of Revan themself, leading the charge and ultimately overwhelming the Mandalorians through force, cunning, and sheer cussedness. Explicitly saying that the Mandalorians were fought to a standstill and then pushed back, which while not the most detailed is still very much at odds with the sequel's conceit of the Mass Shadow Generator being what did the job and the Exile being the one behind it.

2. The thing about the Star Forge is that Revan abruptly abandoning the Sith and the Star Forge is consistent with neither the implications of the first game's Dark Side ending (the wickedly triumphant return of Revan the conqueror, Star Forge at their disposal and poised to take the galaxy) nor what this game tries to retcon Revan's goal to have been (toughen the galaxy up and build up military in preparation for a nastier outside threat). Having reclaimed the Star Forge, Revan would then abruptly abandon it instead of resuming the original agenda because...?

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2 minutes ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

No implication of a cataclysmic superweapon or of some potent Jedi other than Revan playing a pivotal role (or Revan being late to the battle). Every implication of Revan themself, leading the charge and ultimately overwhelming the Mandalorians through force, cunning, and sheer cussedness. Explicitly saying that the Mandalorians were fought to a standstill and then pushed back, which while not the most detailed is still very much at odds with the sequel's conceit of the Mass Shadow Generator being what did the job and the Exile being the one behind it.

I guess this is just down to the two games being made by different developers and written by different people, unfortunately I suppose some of these things are the main reason some people tend to prefer the first or the second more, personally I thought they worked together quite well leaving the player to imagine the ultimate conclusion and backstory of the player character in both games. Though there is of course still a lot amiss and that might not add up so well, correcting this could mean potentailly rewriting both games, or just rewriting the second in it's entirety.

2 minutes ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

1. Canderous explicitly refers to it as the final battle. Here is the entirety of what he says about the Battle of Malachor V: "I still remember that final battle in the skies above Malachor V. The two fleets filling the space around it, outshining the stars...It was not your ships or your men or your vaunted 'fight for freedom' that won this, the final battle of the war. It was by the actions of one person - you - that the Republic prevailed. Your strategies and tactics defeated the best we could send against you. Even Mandalore himself was taken aback by the ferocity of your attacks, the tenacity of your defenses and the subtleties of your plans. You fought us to a standstill and then began pushing back. We didn't really have a chance. It was by the actions of one person, the Jedi Revan, that you prevailed."

Ok, now I remember it a bit clearly but it still sounds more like a campaign was led during that last battle that ultimately broke through their lines during a large battle over Malachor V, the inevitable conclusion I think is ultimately irrelevant as it is after the fact.

2 minutes ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

2. The thing about the Star Forge is that Revan abruptly abandoning the Sith and the Star Forge is consistent with neither the implications of the first game's Dark Side ending (the wickedly triumphant return of Revan the conqueror, Star Forge at their disposal and poised to take the galaxy) nor what this game tries to retcon Revan's goal to have been (toughen the galaxy up and build up military in preparation for a nastier outside threat). Having reclaimed the Star Forge, Revan would then abruptly abandon it instead of resuming the original agenda because...?

I kind of agree with this one, but no one can say with certainty what any one person would do in any given situation, there could be a reason to shy away from being the centre of attention in the galaxy for a while.

 

It certainly could be possible to tie the two games together a bit better, but major changes to the dialog is a tricky thing to do.

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On 1/16/2021 at 1:59 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

That is a cheap copout if ever I heard one, especially since the idea of Revan not intending they keep the Star Forge and the idea of Revan leaving at all are completely disconnected from the first game's Dark Side ending.

The implication of the dark side ending is that the Republic is destroyed. Obviously there had to be some semblance of a status quo for a sequel to happen and for the Republic to exist in the films. Revan's disappearance allows for that while also at least giving some recognition of players' choice in the first game.

 

On 1/16/2021 at 1:59 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

If the Trayus Academy was specifically used for breaking Jedi to the Dark Side, why did Malak take Bastila to Lehon to do it instead?

Even if Malak had access to the Trayus Academy, it was not his center of power. The Star Forge was. On the other hand, and I know you take issue with this, the Sith of KOTOR 2 did not have the Star Forge. In the wake of their civil war, their center of power moved.

 

On 1/16/2021 at 1:59 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

The idea of the Trayus Academy having anything to do with Revan and Malak feels like a forced attempt to unnecessarily tie the sequel's Dark Side McGuffin Place of Doom to the first game's baddies

I don't understand what this means. The Sith in KOTOR 2 would not exist without Revan. Of course the Trayus Academy was connected to him or her.

 

On 1/16/2021 at 1:59 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

There isn't a Sith Academy on Taris; not for actual Force wielders, anyway.

The Sith governor you meet was still being trained. Presumably, there, but that is beside the point. There were multiple training facilities. Korriban was not unique.

 

On 1/16/2021 at 1:59 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

However: KotOR II's saying "Revan had many masters" is a retcon that exists to shoehorn Kreia in there.

Again, the idea that Revan had multiple masters was established in the first game. Zhar says that Revan had a master other than himself, and we are never told who this is. KOTOR 2, as a sequel, introduces us to a character that must have existed, but that we had never met before.

 

On 1/16/2021 at 1:59 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

The problem is that it's not simply "the villain's point of view." The problem is that A. it's the writer's point of view, mouthpieced through the villain

You are given every opportunity to disagree with Kreia in dialogue, and the very nature of the game, with you as the player and Kreia as the final boss, forces you to oppose her ideologically. Kreia herself admits to her hypocrisy and that she has to be stopped:

Quote

Kreia: You may hold Malachor in your grasp, but I hold the answers to your past and future in mine. Would you destroy us both before learning them? If so, then do it - for you have already failed me.
Exile: If I had to, I would. You have to be stopped.
Kreia: I know. But there is more than death in this galaxy, and you shall not find it easy.

Quote

Kreia: But perhaps these are the excuses of an old woman who has grown to rely on a thing she despises.

Nobody is forcing you to believe her point of view is correct. Chris Avellone has said that he wrote Kreia to raise questions that he had about Star Wars, but I think you are putting words into his mouth as much as he put into Kreia's.

 

On 1/16/2021 at 1:59 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Kreia's prophecy about Mandalore. It is an explicit reference to Jango Fett's death. And it's stupid, because it implies that Jango Fett was the last of the Mandalorians; that was wrong even at the time the game came out.

I'm not familiar with other Expanded Universe material relating to the Mandalorians from that time, so I can't comment, but this is a minor reference that players familiar with the films would understand and is irrelevant to the story of the game.

 

On 1/16/2021 at 1:59 PM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

The inconsistency is that the dialogue in KotOR 1, sparse on info though it is, implies an intense but straightforward battle, not a battle where the Republic resorted to a cataclysmic superweapon to turn the tide. "The Republic broke our ranks" does not really paint a picture of "The Republic used a gravity crush superweapon that wrecked their own fleet almost as bad as it wrecked ours"; it paints a picture of Republic troops and/or ships battering their way through the Mandalorian lines.

I don't know how you inferred so much from a few sentences that say little more than "a battle happened." The Battle of Malachor V is a minor plot point that is barely mentioned in the original and elaborated upon in the sequel.

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-> calls something crap

-> doesn't give any productive suggestions themselves 

 

Enough internet for the day

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@JCarter426

1. That doesn't make Revan's disappearance any less incongruous with both that dark side ending and the goal K2 tries to retcon onto Revan - as I said, if Revan reclaimed their throne and the Star Forge, why would they abruptly go haring off in the Ebon Hawk and leave everything they built up and fought so hard to get back to rot instead of resuming their agenda prior to being usurped by Malak? Either give a satisfactory explanation for that, or lock Revan in as light side and have done with it. I am aware that Revan had to disappear to allow for there to be a status quo - my point is that disappearance is a hell of a lot harder to justify if you decide K1 had the dark side ending, so letting you decide that was a mistake. The need for a status quo forces the game to completely undercut Revan's victory in the K1 dark side ending anyway, so why even bother with the choice?

2a. The Star Forge was Revan's center of power too. 2b. My point is, why bring such an important capture as Bastila to the center of power to corrupt her if his empire supposedly has a more specialized facility elsewhere? 2c. My issue isn't the lack of the Star Forge per se, it's K2 trying to let you choose K1's ending when because of the Star Forge only one ending would logically lead to K2's status quo.

3a. Nothing in the first game gives any indication that Revan and Malak had another Dark Side McGuffin Place of Doom. Tying the Trayus Academy to them is unnecessary. 3b. The Sith Triumvirate could easily have been written without tying any of them to Revan and Malak personally.

4. That's not the main point. The main point is that Revan quietly probing their own ranks for Force-sensitives and "disappearing" them to the Trayus Academy for Dark Side training - and the level of scrutiny that requires - is at odds with the Dreshdae Academy's semi-open-door policy and relative lack of scrutiny (which Revan being able to infiltrate Korriban in K1 kinda relies on); it makes that look that much more questionable.

5. Where did Zhar say this? It's been a while. And Kreia still feels forced to me... Maybe with some better buildup it wouldn't rub me the wrong way.

6a. Disagree? Yes. Actually counterargue? Not so much, from what I can recall. You can tell her to shove it, but you can't really debate her much that I can recall (I.E. whenever she bitches at you for being charitable and goes "Helping people weakens them" you can't say "Not necessarily - it can inspire them to find the strength to help others in turn" or anything like that). 6b. Yes, you are forced to oppose her. And yes, she admits that she's a hypocrite for relying on the Force so much while hating it and wanting to kill it, and even offers at least a lip-service admission that she must be stopped. But I don't recall the narrative offering a whole lot in the way of actual counterexamples and counterarguments to her negative view of the Force and its will.

7. See the last part of the above. That's why it feels like her viewpoint is being forced down your throat to me.

8. It's still wrong.

9. Those few sentences still paint a very different picture than what K2 shows. "I still remember that final battle in the skies above Malachor V. The two fleets filling the space around it, outshining the stars...It was not your ships or your men or your vaunted 'fight for freedom' that won this, the final battle of the war. It was by the actions of one person - you - that the Republic prevailed. Your strategies and tactics defeated the best we could send against you. Even Mandalore himself was taken aback by the ferocity of your attacks, the tenacity of your defenses and the subtleties of your plans. You fought us to a standstill and then began pushing back. We didn't really have a chance. It was by the actions of one person, the Jedi Revan, that you prevailed." Let's take a look at this.

* This hammers home the point of Revan themself being the one who won the day. Not some other Jedi under Revan's command, Revan themself being there and in charge and directly kicking butt. K2 attributing swinging the battle to the Exile diminishes Revan's established role.

* "You fought us to a standstill and then began pushing back." That sentence right there paints a very different picture to what K2 paints. K2 paints the Republic as on the verge of being overwhelmed by the Mandalorians until the tide was suddenly turned by the Exile ordering activation of a superweapon that did almost as much damage to the Republic forces as it did to the Mandalorians.
But that sentence, that one little sentence, indicates a different state of affairs. "You fought us to a standstill." Not "We had you on the ropes," which is what K2 claims was the case, but "You fought us to a standstill." Meaning that, far from being on the verge of getting overrun, the Republic forces under Revan actually brought the Mandalorians' advancement to a halt. Then there's the next part of the sentence: "and then began pushing back." That means the Republic forces started gradually overpowering the Mandalorians. Again, very much at odds with K2's "It was activate the Mass Shadow Generator or be overrun by the Mandalorians" portrayal of the battle.

Of course, this is a hard thing to fix because of how much the Exile and Bao-Dur's stories rely on the bloody generator... The best I've come up with so far is "Make the battle where the generator was involved be a penultimate battle somewhere else instead of the final battle."

 

@1Leonard -Gives smug quick dismissal

-said dismissal blatantly shows you skimmed my post at best.

Have a look at this:
"Rebalance the narrative to present good counterarguments to her interpretation in-story (both spelled out in dialogue and implied through actions in scenes) and also maybe tone Kreia the f*** down in places. Or, in lieu of toning her down, maybe change the story so that the Jedi Masters are overtly trying to draw her out (only to get more than they bargained for)? Just rewrite things around her hard enough that the game as a whole isn't cramming her view of the Force down your gullet (even if Kreia herself still is)" There's a suggestion right there! A big one! Since underlining it to make it stand out apparently wasn't good enough to get you to notice it, I've also boldfaced part of it too! :D There are more like it, just look for the underlines :)))))))))))))

EDIT: The suggestions may be only written briefly in that first post, but I would hope they at least convey the essential idea of the fix. They obviously need fleshing out to be true improvements, but I don't think I ever said that this would be a quick or easy undertaking. It would be a massive pain in the ass and would require either a lot of redubbing or living with silent lines. But enough about KotOR II's story really rubs me the wrong way that I felt like airing my problems and proposed fixes anyway (and slowly picking away at the task when I'm in the right headspace, to see if I get anywhere) to see if anyone else agreed with me or had an interest in taking their own whack at such an undertaking (not as a co-op, mind, especially since all I can do right now is draft rewrites).

As far as me doing stuff about it myself, this would be a long-term undertaking where I have no idea when/if I'd finish or even if I'd get much of a start.. But I'll be chipping away at it all the same.

I have a much smaller, and less-controversial project in mind for the immediate future, if anyone still cares.

Edited by ZeldaTheSwordsman
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1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

My point is, why bring such an important capture as Bastila to the center of power to corrupt her if his empire supposedly has a more specialized facility elsewhere?

It is not "more specialized." It's mentioned at various points  in the game that there are many worlds like Malachor and Korriban that are wounds in the Force that the Sith used to break Jedi.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

My issue isn't the lack of the Star Forge per se, it's K2 trying to let you choose K1's ending when because of the Star Forge only one ending would logically lead to K2's status quo.

So choose that Revan was light-sided. Those who prefer that Revan was dark-sided and are fine with the subsequent events should still be free to do so.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

That's not the main point. The main point is that Revan quietly probing their own ranks for Force-sensitives and "disappearing" them to the Trayus Academy for Dark Side training - and the level of scrutiny that requires - is at odds with the Dreshdae Academy's semi-open-door policy and relative lack of scrutiny (which Revan being able to infiltrate Korriban in K1 kinda relies on); it makes that look that much more questionable.

I'm not going to defend the competency of NPCs in either game.

But as for the two locations being different, yes, the place where Jedi were taken to be turned to the dark side against their will is different from the place where Force sensitives who have already turned to the dark side willingly go.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Nothing in the first game gives any indication that Revan and Malak had another Dark Side McGuffin Place of Doom.

They have conquered half the galaxy. It stands to reason there are many places in their empire that we do not see.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

The Sith Triumvirate could easily have been written without tying any of them to Revan and Malak personally.

But they weren't. That's not the plot of the game.

And I don't see how it would be an improvement to completely disconnect the sequel from the original.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Where did Zhar say this? It's been a while.

I referenced this quote before.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Disagree? Yes. Actually counterargue? Not so much, from what I can recall. You can tell her to shove it, but you can't really debate her much that I can recall (I.E. whenever she bitches at you for being charitable and goes "Helping people weakens them" you can't say "Not necessarily - it can inspire them to find the strength to help others in turn" or anything like that).

Quote

Exile: You said I have grown strong in the Force - but you said there was more I had to learn from small actions.

Kreia: Before, you fought with me about small kindnesses. You were correct. From the slightest push, a decision, a chain of events may be set in motion. Even on a small microcosm as this ship, such echoes may be created. This is my challenge to you. Use small kindness, small cruelties, and listen for the echo in the Force.

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

"You fought us to a standstill and then began pushing back."

Most of what you're talking about here is Canderous' description of the war in general, not the Battle of Malachor V specifically.

I would also point out that Canderous has some dialogue in this conversation that makes absolutely no sense in the context of either game:

Quote

The Sith had gone - retreated into their empire. They sealed themselves off from the rest of the galaxy. We thought it would be centuries before they'd come back. It's amazing that they could rebuild their fleet so fast. But at the time, it looked like the galaxy was in our grasp!

 

1 hour ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

This hammers home the point of Revan themself being the one who won the day. Not some other Jedi under Revan's command, Revan themself being there and in charge and directly kicking butt. K2 attributing swinging the battle to the Exile diminishes Revan's established role.

Regardless of the Exile's role at Malachor, according to KOTOR 2, the battle was Revan's strategy and Revan was still the impetus of the Republic's victory. But of course Revan was not the only Jedi there.

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1. K2 seems to sell Trayus as the main, and stronger, Jedi-breaker though. And whether it's more specialized compared to the Dreshdae facility... the Trayus Academy certainly is a more specialized Jedi-corrupter than the Rakatan temple (which is where Malak brought Bastila).

2. Doesn't stop the logic issues. There's a reason that most Star Wars sequels to games with multiple endings just pick one. If the choice is to be preserved, then a lot more legwork needs to be put in to prop up the Dark Side choice.

3. I'm not arguing whether it's different. I'm arguing that one of the things K2 establishes Revan as doing with Trayus makes the security issues of the academy featured in K1 stick out all the more.

4. Yes, but K1 presents the Star Forge as the Dark Side McGuffin Place of Doom in their empire (as well as what corrupted them). Suddenly throwing Trayus into the mix feels almost as forced as, say, the introduction of Isla Sorna does in the Jurassic Park novels (speaking of rough sequel transitions). It either needs to be disconnected, or it needs more legwork to smooth out the injection.

5. Except that Darth Traya kinda is! Also, they're hardly the only link between the two games.

6. My bad, I misread your quote. Fair enough on that.

7. That actually doesn't automatically contradict her view that, say, those echoes usually include the people being weakened from receiving help. And most of the new information in that exchange comes from Kreia herself; it isn't offered by you as a rebuttal to her views.

8a. Got any justification for that statement, considering the entirety of the paragraph I'm quoting from? Here's a key point: "It was not your ships or your men or your vaunted 'fight for freedom' that won this, the final battle of the war. It was by the actions of one person - you - that the Republic prevailed."
That seems to make it pretty damn clear that A. the entire paragraph is in fact specifically talking about the Battle of Malachor V and B. The victory is attributed Revan's own actions.
8b. As I brought up in a previous post, you'd think something as cataclysmic as the Mass Shadow Generator would be worthy of at least a little comment (probably along the lines of "We never expected the Republic to unleash such glorious carnage against us" or something). But the only superweapon K1 gives any indication of in the Mandalorian Wars is Revan themself.
8c. That iffy statement you quote makes partial sense in the context of the first game (hinting at the Star Forge) and prior Expanded Universe material re: the Sith after Exar Kun's defeat; maybe a concept in the writers' heads that they didn't articulate properly was that Revan and Malak absorbed the remnants of Kun's empire.

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3 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

I have a much smaller, and less-controversial project in mind for the immediate future, if anyone still cares.

Controversial projects are my speciality and it's not that no-one cares, I think a few people have put quite some effort in to their replies.

Unfortunately everybody has a different view on both what the games stories actually are, represent, mean to them and how they interpret each and every aspect of the story which means that when discussing something like this, it is almost inevitable that everyone will be at odds or in conflict about certain key points somewhere along the line.

You have raised some interesting points I think and certainly many that I have heard raised before and perhaps even a few that I have thought about myself, but I definitely feel after playing it through in recent years that it started to make a lot more sense to me, especially with TSLRCM.

Yes it's not perfect, yes it's not what Bioware might have made, but it is what we ended up with.

Have you played TSLRCM and been through all of Kreia's deep conversations? I remember there being some key points about why Revan left his place at the helm of the Star Forge. Nothing specific but enough to satisfy me, though I could be remembering it wrongly myself, this is one of the problems discussing these things. ( As I remember it, Revan went to look for something on the outer edges of the galaxy, that is good enough for me ) as good or bad, seeking something powerful or hidden is almost always worth it. Especially if it could be something related to the force.

Before settling on anything like this, I would suggest re-playing both games to make sure that there aren't any small details that I, you or anyone else has forgotten or missed out on.

It could be interesting and no one is telling you not to do it, just raising what we think are key points in relation to the points you have raised.

Thor110

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By "If anyone still cares" I mean "if anyone still cares to see content from me, because I feel like I've gotten on everyone's nerves by this point"

No, I have not played TSLRCM yet. I would love to, but I need to buy a PC copy of TSL. I only have the Xbox version. I also despise going with Dark Side stuff in the first place; the only Dark Side point I deliberately get in either game is the one for doing the deathmatch against Bendak Starkiller. I am currently doing a fresh playthrough of K1 now that I have it running again, though.

I do think it would be good to have justifying exposition that wasn't influencewalled.

What I've read about K2 exposition in both vanilla and repaired says that Light or Dark, Revan went to hunt for the True Sith out in the Unknown Regions at the galaxy's edge, taking the Ebon Hawk to do so. The reason I'm not satisfied with that by itself in the context of the player picking the Dark Side ending for K1 is that K2 also tries to claim Revan was trying to secretly toughen the galaxy up in preparation for the True Sith while using the Star Forge to build up an armada to combat them. With that part in mind it doesn't make sense to me that, having reclaimed their throne and the ability to resume that plan, Revan would suddenly go gallivanting off in just the Ebon Hawk instead without - if I recall correctly - so much as appointing a steward.

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9 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

 

@1Leonard -Gives smug quick dismissal

-said dismissal blatantly shows you skimmed my post at best.

Have a look at this:
"Rebalance the narrative to present good counterarguments to her interpretation in-story (both spelled out in dialogue and implied through actions in scenes) and also maybe tone Kreia the f*** down in places. Or, in lieu of toning her down, maybe change the story so that the Jedi Masters are overtly trying to draw her out (only to get more than they bargained for)? Just rewrite things around her hard enough that the game as a whole isn't cramming her view of the Force down your gullet (even if Kreia herself still is)" There's a suggestion right there! A big one! Since underlining it to make it stand out apparently wasn't good enough to get you to notice it, I've also boldfaced part of it too! :D There are more like it, just look for the underlines :)))))))))))))

EDIT: The suggestions may be only written briefly in that first post, but I would hope they at least convey the essential idea of the fix. They obviously need fleshing out to be true improvements, but I don't think I ever said that this would be a quick or easy undertaking. It would be a massive pain in the ass and would require either a lot of redubbing or living with silent lines. But enough about KotOR II's story really rubs me the wrong way that I felt like airing my problems and proposed fixes anyway (and slowly picking away at the task when I'm in the right headspace, to see if I get anywhere) to see if anyone else agreed with me or had an interest in taking their own whack at such an undertaking (not as a co-op, mind, especially since all I can do right now is draft rewrites).

 

But here's is the thing: that's not a suggestion. It's not a plan anyone can work with. You only give vague details in the story you disagree with. 


"Rebalance the narrative to present good counterarguments to her interpretation in-story (both spelled out in dialogue and implied through actions in scenes) and also maybe tone Kreia the f*** down in places. Or, in lieu of toning her down, maybe change the story so that the Jedi Masters are overtly trying to draw her out (only to get more than they bargained for)? Just rewrite things around her hard enough that the game as a whole isn't cramming her view of the Force down your gullet (even if Kreia herself still is)

Okay, what does rebalance even mean in this context? What good counterarguments? Tone down what? Where? How? Change the story how? Where specifically? You're asking for a completely different game and expect others to flesh everything out, I.E. doing the actual hard work.

 

In your walls of text you're only underlining details where the two games disagree with each other. Sure, but that's what always happens in every sequel to a work that was made without a sequel in mind: it has to recontextualize parts of its predecessor (in most cases a complete three act structure) as the first act of a larger structure. Some details will always suffer because of that. For me, there's just nothing in your posts to engage with.

I just don't like this details first, drama last that most people (Star Wars fans in particular) seem to have, which is also why the reception of TLJ was such a mess, but that's a completely different story for a completely different thread ;)

I always sound smug btw, don't take it personally. It has to do with English being my second language, I guess. There's some humor lost.

 

Good luck on your quest!

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3 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

No, I have not played TSLRCM yet. I would love to, but I need to buy a PC copy of TSL. I only have the Xbox version. I also despise going with Dark Side stuff in the first place; the only Dark Side point I deliberately get in either game is the one for doing the deathmatch against Bendak Starkiller. I am currently doing a fresh playthrough of K1 now that I have it running again, though.

This kind of just adds to the "calls something crap - doesn't give any productive suggestions themselves" argument here.


Not only have you not played TSLRCM, a mod which expands upon the games arguable lore a lot more in depth (Myself and more can forgive this) but you don't own a PC copy of TSL. So, in theory, if someone was to create this mod for you that means you, who asked for this mod, won't even be playing it.

 

My own personal quote on this from my own past experience on this site.

Spoiler

doomed.jpg

"If I had a Nickle for every time I've seen a user type a claustrophobic wall of text for their mod idea whilst also not even owning the game on PC to actually play the dam mod, I'd have two Nickles.

 

That's not a lot but it's funny that it happened twice."

 

But in all seriousness, there are aspects of TSL which are an absolute cluster f*ck when it comes to writing, especially in regards to cut content which really wasn't meant to be cut. With TSLRCM, it really does give the game an 'ending', not the ending it deserves but definitely something you can look at and say "I'm satisfied".

 

While opinions may definitely differ, whereas some cut content such as Disciples Holocrons or the GenoHaradan provide little to no essential information to the plot of the game other restored content such as the Malachor endings, HK Factory and more really does help expand the plot and the characters as a whole.


Of course, even when 'restored', the game still is a cluster f*ck. For example, much of the restored Jedi Council dialogue makes no sense.

 

Spoiler

Alternate TSLRCM Quote:

Quote

Kavar: We feel that your true understanding of what happened at Malachor V will only happen in time. And it cannot happen here, near the battlegrounds where you fought.

It cannot happen here, near the battlegrounds where you fought? 
They are on Coruscant, a place where the Exile didn't fight a Battle

 

Vanilla Quote:
 

Quote

Vash: The war has touched the youngest of the Order. Many of them have lost themselves in battle against the Mandalorians.

 

Alternate TSLRCM Quote:

Quote

Kavar: Revan's influence has grown amongst the youngest of the Order - he speaks to their passions, not their sense.

Kavar: The war has touched them... many of them have found themselves in the war against the Mandalorians.

Vash: It is as I feared. And I fear that we have played into the hands of the enemy. 

What on earth do they mean by "lost" and "found" themselves here? Lost would suggest they maybe fell to the dark side whereas found makes no sense. And who on earth is the enemy Vash speaks of? The Mandalorian Wars is over and Revan's Sith Empire hasn't emerged yet.

 

Restored Quote

Quote

Kavar: We must let her go there. That is our only chance to know what has happened, and what the future holds. 

We must let her go there, and I will never tell you where that place is and I will totally forget about ever mentioning this.

 

 

Or maybe the entire Ravager level:
 

Spoiler
Quote

Mandalore: And our cargo?

Zuka: It's being brought aboard, and soon teams will be dispatched to the target sites. 

Mandalore: Do the Republic forces suspect?

Zuka: No, Mandalore, the proton cores do not emit a signature the Republic ships can detect. 
Zuka: If they do pick up the signal, they will assume it to be emanating from the ship's missile bays.

The Mandalorians and the Republic are fighting the same enemy, the Republic doesn't know that the Mandalorians are onboard the Ravager. Considering a Basilisk War Droid attacked Iziz during the Onderonian Civil War either for or against the Republic loyalist Queen I am fairly certain the Republic knows about a Mandalorian presence at least near Onderon, and even if they didn't they wouldn't just assume the Mandalorians are no more as clearly Mandalorian mercs are a thing.

 

So why would Mandalore want to hide the fact that he is bringing bombs aboard an enemy vessel which by destroying said vessel with greatly benefit the Republic.

 

There are quite a few plot points in cut content and in the vanilla game which could be rewritten because it makes little sense, past mods like Malachor VI and Ravager Rewrite have tried to fixed these in the past though they never came to fuition.

 

Here, you want to rewrite lore which works. This might not be popular with people for a variety of reasons.

 

On 1/17/2021 at 3:27 AM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Revan needs to be locked in as Light Side.

This makes the first game's multi choice RPG system redundant if this was true, why would my choices in Kotor 1 matter if at the end of the day my character was destined to be a Light Side Jedi Hero. From what I read, your issue with the alignment choice is "Both Light Side and Dark Side choices for Revan in TSL are *so* similar to one another that it is pointless as to what my character in K1 did".

 

So your solution to fix "The Dark and Light Side choices in TSL are so pointless because they're uncomfortably similar" is... to forcibly lock Revan as a Light Sider as that option makes the most sense? TSL isn't meant to be about Revan, it's about to be about the Exile, from an Obsidian Devs point of view back in 2004 a player can start TSL and not have that much before mentioned knowledge about Kotor 1 as the story is meant to focus on the idea that the Exile is the player, not Revan, so from that perspective it would be logical to reduce the player character from K1 into a back thought.

 

As to why Revan would just let the Star Forge yeet itself into obscurity (Allegedly without a master to wield its power like Revan or Malak, it just fell into the Lehon Sun... nothing like adding salt to the wound) I do agree is quite bizarre. But in the overall plot written for TSL it makes sense as Kreia and Disciple paint Revan as someone "Doing Evil things to prevent a greater evil", Obsidian was trying to build Revan to appear as if his Sith Empire wasn't designed to dominate the Galaxy like it is portrayed in K1, but rather to unify it against a future invasion by  the "True Sith".

 

And then the real issue appears when SWTOR and the books yeet on that idea even more and forcibly lock the Exile as a Light Side Female who dies in the story immediately after TSL (Almost sounds familar to your solution to your perceived problem) 

 

On 1/17/2021 at 3:27 AM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

* Most of the attempts to tie the Sith Triumvirate and their crap, and the Trayus Academy, to the first game need to be excised. 1. Revan already had a secret ancient Dark Side MacGuffin facility that was part of what factored into their going Dark: it was called the Star Forge. 2. I'm sorry, but I think if Revan and Malak's empire used the Trayus Academy to convert Jedi then Malak would have taken her there rather than Lehon, no? 3. If Revan was sending suitable captured Jedi to Trayus as well as "disappearing" Force-sensitives from the ranks to send them to Trayus (and this seems too big a thing to keep secret from Malak), then somehow I don't think the Dreshdae Academy on Korriban would have been so blindly welcoming to defector Jedi and supposed defector Jedi. And would have been screening students in need of "correction". 4. Subtext in the first game seems to strongly indicate that Revan was Vrook Lamar's Padawan. Chris Avellone's Mouthpiece Kreia doesn't get to usurp that. Chuck it all, work in a nonconflicting setup for the Trayus Academy.

It's not so much the academy itself which is the problem, its the Sith themselves (Saying the Academy is the main focus of TSL like the Star Forge is to K1 would be like saying Berlin is responsible for WW2).

 

Nihilus is a galaxy eating "Wound in the Force", similar to a black hole. The word "Nihilus" comes from "Nihilist" which is a person who believes in Nihilism, which can be described as, a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless. As Nihilus isn't even refered to as a man, he could be considered the living embodiment of Nihilism if it was a Sith Lord.

 

Sion, a lord of pain, pretty much can't die because his power in the Force is so strong he doesn't allow himself to die even if she should causing tremendous pain. 

These two Sith Lords are far more threatening than any academy in the galaxy, but Sion uses Trayus Academy as his personal base after he kicked Traya out (Hence is why my Berlin comparison is relevant).

 

So the Star Forge 2 isn't true, and I agree with the others that it is strongly hinted that Trayus Academy was abandoned until Kreia reopened it after K1. Unless you can find hard proof from the game files that proves us all otherwise.

 

On 1/17/2021 at 3:27 AM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Rebalance the narrative to present good counterarguments to her interpretation in-story (both spelled out in dialogue and implied through actions in scenes) and also maybe tone Kreia the f*** down in places. Or, in lieu of toning her down, maybe change the story so that the Jedi Masters are overtly trying to draw her out (only to get more than they bargained for)? Just rewrite things around her hard enough that the game as a whole isn't cramming her view of the Force down your gullet (even if Kreia herself still is)

Kreia has thousands of scripts attached to her and thousands of VO. To completely rewrite a bit of Kreia's ideology on the Force would either mean you have over 50% of Kreia's VO which you don't want changed to be voiced by Sara Kestelman, a professional actress with an astounding voice, and have your modified VO voiced by a voice actor from the internet who may or may not charge real cash for her work and you'd be lucky if she was a woman to play the part, let alone have her be old and actually good at voice acting to fit Kreia's role (95% certain any rewrite of Kreia's VO with a second actress will get hated on by the community, even if the writing is good).

 

Why would the Jedi Masters want to draw her out? In the lore, they want to draw out the Sith so they can fight them but because the Jedi are mysteriously genocided every time Jedi meet (Nihilus) they have exiled themselves until the Council can find enough answers so they can meet on Dantooine again to discuss a battle plan. The Masters feel that they can get answers from the Exile because the Exile, due to their self inflicted cut from the Force, is considered a 'wound in the Force' just like Nihilus was, just like how Nihilus eats planets to sustain himself the Exile kills hundreds and gets stronger (Experience).

 

That explanation has nothing to do with Kreia, if you were to rewrite it so instead of trying to draw out the Sith and find the Exile the Masters just want Kreia (The Masters thought she died in the Mandalorian Wars) even though Kreia doesn't serve Nihilus or Sion (Thus why on earth would they want her) you'd not only need to recast an actor for Kreia but you'd need to cast an actor for all three Jedi Masters, maybe even more than that if you want Atris and Vash involved as well?

 

Kreia, Vrook, Kavar, Zez Kai Ell, Atris and Vash all together have thousands upon thousands of VO lines (Plus you might want to redo Vrooks voice in K1. But in my opinion it isn't worth it as anyone who voices Vrook who isn't Edward Asner is always going to get hated on because of the drop of VO quality). You'd need to extensively study the original dialogue of the TSL game, study the K1 lore, write new lore so your rewrite would work, write out a new script to replace thousands of VO lines and at the end of the day probably pay hundreds of real life money to good quality voice actors simply because you don't agree with the plot of the game.

 

On 1/17/2021 at 3:27 AM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

* Kreia's prophesy re: Mandalore is dumb for various reasons even in the context of Legends (I'm sure Karen Traviss in particular probably had a few things to say to Avellone about that one). Rewrite it for accuracy or just chuck it outright and never look back.

Chuck out a piece of content which works (A piece of working content in a broken game) simply because you don't like the true fact that in both Legends and Canon that the Mandalorians are literally a shell of their former self by the time of the movies. Consider real life history for example, let's look at the year 1683 at Turkey:

 

Spoiler

In 1683, Turkey looks like this

Spoiler

OttomanEmpireMain.png

 

In 2021, it looks like this:

Spoiler

turk-MMAP-md.png&f=1&nofb=1

 

Back to Star Wars!

In 3978 BBY, the Mandalorians look like this:

Spoiler

Mandalore_The_Ultimate_by_Darren_Tan.jpg.7de9a2e1815d9f33bfc976483cce4588.jpg

 

In 21 BBY, they look like this

Spoiler

Jangodied.JPG.jpg.b1ead08b8c53f7c6c05ba354a470a86c.jpg

 

So, in over 400 years, the formidable Ottoman Turkey has become a shell of its former self. In 4000 years in Star Wars, the Mandalorians became a shell of their former self because no matter how much we want to see badass Mandalorians, history moves forward (even in Star Wars) and in order to have an engaging plot which stretches centuries like in Star Wars things must change over the course of history... even if we don't like it.

 

 

On 1/17/2021 at 3:27 AM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

* The Jedi Masters' verdict on Dantooine feels very forced and abrupt, especially given Kavar and Zez Kai-Ell's individual reactions to a Light Side player. The first couple times I played through the game, I actually thought both Light Side and Dark Side players got this scene and it didn't properly take Light Side players into account (because, well, it honestly doesn't). As it stands, this is an unacceptable mess.

Fix 1: Insert sufficient buildup to actually justify the verdict
Fix 2: Change their reasoning for why they're doing what they're doing (maybe along the lines of "Under better circumstances, we would be content to let this be, but there are dangers"?)
Fix 3: Change what they're doing and the setup for Kreia's intervention entirely

So if the Jedi Masters want to draw Kreia out, like you want, she only intervenes when the Jedi Masters try to cut the Exile from the Force again. So in your plot she just follows the Exile in and instead of attacking or trying to capture Kreia the Jedi Masters just explain their entire plans to the Exile... and Kreia... their enemy 🤔

 

???

And again, you'd need to redo every single Jedi Master line to achieve this.

 

On 1/17/2021 at 3:27 AM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

* The game tries to pull the same "trying to toughen the galaxy up for an outside threat" retcon on Revan that was elsewhere attempted in Legends re: Thrawn. It doesn't really work with Revan (it was semi-plausible with Thrawn, at least as an original, pre-corruption-by-Palpatine motive), although I'll admit that trying it with Revan still isn't nearly as bullcrap as people using it to try and excuse Palpatine and the Galactic Empire's sins. Regardless, it should probably be chucked.

And replaced with what? Why did Revan turn to the dark side and lead an army to take over the Republic? In Kotor 1, Vrook suspects the Crystal Cave turned Revan to the dark side.

 

Quote

Vrook: I do not believe Revan and Malak were corrupted on the Outer Rim. They had begun their journey down the dark path long before the Mandalorian threat appeared. 

Vrook: Here on Dantooine they discovered a sinister cave, a place where the strength of the dark side overwhelms the light.

Vrook: Perhaps this discovery was what first corrupted them... or perhaps they sought the cave out because they were already corrupted.
Vrook: Whatever the explanation, the Order was unable to turn them back to the light. Had the Council taken more decisive action in this matter, perhaps Revan and Malak could have been stopped. But in this we failed.

So what's your take? Revan being a morally grey anti-villain who wants to save billions by killing millions? Or "Sinister Cave made me do it!" (With no evidence in K1 to suggest that the cave was sinister)?

 

On 1/17/2021 at 3:27 AM, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

* Rewrite the timing and wording of HK-50's drugging of the Exile and sabotage of the Harbinger to better fit with the established info about picking up the Ebon Hawk and investigating the Sith warship

Why? I dislike this part as well but why is this so special to the plot?

So, perhaps you can change our minds. If you could point out exact quotes from the game, and rewrite them yourself as examples for us to follow maybe then we might take your idea seriously as modders like ourselves know that, even though we can do much, there is always a limit to our power even if we hypothetically CAN rewrite the game.

 

For example, I hate Peragus: A mining facility built into an asteroid... inside an asteroid field... made up of hyper sensitive asteroids where a single blaster shot can blow up the entire field... and Obsidian is trying to tell me Fuel miners built an entire air locked facility inside of an asteroid inside of a space mine field without blowing it up?

I hate that, but I cannot change that, changing Kreia's character is a tad easier, so maybe you can prove to us why it is so urgent that Kreia's ideology be flipped on its head in order to improve the flow of the game?

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11 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

K2 seems to sell Trayus as the main, and stronger, Jedi-breaker though. And whether it's more specialized compared to the Dreshdae facility... the Trayus Academy certainly is a more specialized Jedi-corrupter than the Rakatan temple (which is where Malak brought Bastila).

What is your evidence for this?

It is by no means said in KOTOR 2 that Malachor is the only place to make Jedi fall to the dark side, or even the first:

Quote

Kreia: Revan knew the power of such places... and the power in making them. They can be used to break the will of others... of Jedi, promising them power, and turning them to the Dark Side.

It seems likely that Lehon had the same property:

Quote

Jolee: This planet is a tainted place, the Star Forge and the Temple have twisted the Force into an instrument of evil - just as Malak has twisted Bastila into a servant of the Sith.

Malachor is perhaps the most important of these three locations in KOTOR 2, but that is in KOTOR 2, when it is the only one of the three that has not been discovered and attacked by the Republic.

 

11 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

There's a reason that most Star Wars sequels to games with multiple endings just pick one. If the choice is to be preserved, then a lot more legwork needs to be put in to prop up the Dark Side choice.

If your alternative is that there is no choice and other people should not be allowed to make a choice that you disagree with, in a roleplaying game, then I cannot be convinced this alternative is inherently better.

 

11 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Yes, but K1 presents the Star Forge as the Dark Side McGuffin Place of Doom in their empire

Yes, because it was the source of the infinite fleet. The Trayus Academy was not.

Later, the Sith lost the Star Forge, but still had the Trayus Academy.

 

11 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

(as well as what corrupted them)

No, this is not true:

Quote

Vrook: Perhaps this discovery was what first corrupted them... or perhaps they sought the cave out because they were already corrupted.

Quote

Dorak: No one is denying that Revan was one of the keys to defeating the Mandalorians... but something happened out there on the Outer Rim. Instead of returning after the war's end, the ships under Revan's command went deep into unexplored space.

There is no definitive answer given in the game, and it is speculated that they had already begun to fall before discovering the Star Forge.

 

11 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

That actually doesn't automatically contradict her view

You said the game gave you no opportunity to counter Kreia's argument, and I showed you a quote in which Kreia literally says "you were right." I don't know what more you want. Do you want another example of Kreia saying you were right?

Quote

Kreia: No... no, many choices were there, but... you made the right ones.

 

11 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Here's a key point: "It was not your ships or your men or your vaunted 'fight for freedom' that won this, the final battle of the war. It was by the actions of one person - you - that the Republic prevailed."
That seems to make it pretty damn clear that A. the entire paragraph is in fact specifically talking about the Battle of Malachor V and B. The victory is attributed Revan's own actions.

Yes, Canderous attributes the Republic's victory at Malachor to Revan's strategy. So does everyone in KOTOR 2.

However, other people were there and did things that Revan personally did not do.

 

11 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

That iffy statement you quote makes partial sense in the context of the first game (hinting at the Star Forge) and prior Expanded Universe material re: the Sith after Exar Kun's defeat; maybe a concept in the writers' heads that they didn't articulate properly was that Revan and Malak absorbed the remnants of Kun's empire.

There is no indication of any connection between Exar Kun's Sith and Revan's Sith in the game beyond this one line. I think it's a relic from an earlier draft of the game in which Bastila was Vima Sunrider and the game followed up more closely on the events of the Great Sith War, but that is only speculation on my part.

On that note, though, you are willing to accept connection between Exar Kun's Sith and Revan's Sith in order to explain this continuity error, but you are not willing to accept a connection between Revan's Sith and the Sith of KOTOR 2 who were explicitly written to be survivors of Revan's Sith?

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I regret making this thread. There's obviously a lot I have to consider and brush up on, and it's also the only thing I posted that anyone's paying attention to.

@N-DReW251. I'm not actually asking anyone to make this mod for me. I was really just throwing the idea out here as a proposal to air what I felt would be improvements, try to develop said ideas a bit (which I thought counted as productive), and see if anyone had similar thoughts or similar schemes on chipping away at such an undertaking.

2. Some of the stuff you're talking about does make some level of sense. 
The Kavar-Vash exchange: By "Found" Kavar is talking about the Jedi who followed Revan having found a sense of purpose (in actively defending the galaxy). The enemy Lonna Vash speaks of are the True Sith who the Jedi Council suspected of pulling the strings behind the Mandalorian Wars (and, as Canderous reveals if you get enough Influence with him, they were) and who Revan ultimately went after.
The Mandalorians on the Ravager: Yes, the Mandalorians destroying the ship is of benefit to the Republic. But I think the idea is that Canderous decided "This broken relic of our enemies dies now; No salvaging or recovery by the Republic, it's dead for good." It is a bit awkwardly-executed though.

3. "From what I read, your issue with the alignment choice is "Both Light Side and Dark Side choices for Revan in TSL are *so* similar to one another that it is pointless as to what my character in K1 did". " Partially accurate. My issues are that A. setting Revan as Dark Side does not logically lead to the status quo in TSL without a whole bunch of extra legwork (which is not AFAIK present in either vanilla or restored) to justify Revan going from "poised to conquer the galaxy with the Infinite Fleet" to "Gallivanting off in the Ebon Hawk and leaving all their hard work to rot" (Especially if as TSL tries to claim Revan was building up their empire and the Infinite Fleet to combat the True Sith - why abruptly leave and self-sabotage all that preparation?) and B. Given that Revan's victory in K1's dark side ending has to basically be completely undercut for TSL's status quo to make sense, it kinda makes the choice feel hollow.

It's the problem with making a direct sequel to a game that had multiple endings when by all rights each of those endings would result in a very different status quo afterward. Trying to let the player of such a sequel choose how the previous game ended is a "Have your cake and eat it too" situation, unless the sequel is willing to set up a suitably different status quo depending on which ending the player chose. At the very least, why the ending that should have led to Status Quo Y instead of Status Quo X needs to be solidly explained and justified.

As for SWTOR... Screw that game anyway. I hate basically everything it decided about the aftermath of both real KotOR games so much. Especially undercutting the poetic justice of the Promised Land sidequest. And the books... would these be the same stupid books that gave Bendak Starkiller a backstory that contradicts pretty much everything the actual game says about him and his timeline other than him having a death mark on his head?

4. Actually, the Trayus Academy is part of the bigger-picture threat in TSL - specifically, the Force Wound at the heart of Malachor that gives it its corruptive power is the threat. But my point is that tying it to Revan comes off as unnecessary - and, given what Atton establishes about it, raises questions about why the Dreshdae facility wasn't keeping a closer eye on its own students and disappearing stubborn or big-ticket ones off to Trayus.

As far as it being abandoned and Traya reopening it goes... The timeline would mean that it can't have been abandoned for too long if Revan was using it. K1 sets the duration of the Jedi Civil War as 2 and a half years, 2 with Revan at the helm and half a year with Malak. And TSL is set a mere five years after K1.

I also feel like tying Traya to Revan wasn't necesary, or at least not handled very well.

5. I am aware that it would take a crapton of new VO work for such a mod to not be silent.. TBH chunks of the K2 plot bother me enough that I would take silence over them as-is. Maybe I should be shooting for a fix-fic fan novelization instead of an outright game mod, idk.

6. I'll get back to you on the source of their corruption after I get to that point in K1 and experience the exposition for myself afresh (barring further K1R issues). For now I'll just say "tempted by power" maybe works.

7. It doesn't work as-is, though. Kreia says word for word "The shell of their armor on the shell of a man, all too easily slain by Jedi." A man. As if Jango Fett himself was all that remained of the Mandalorians by the time of the movies. Never mind the Mandalorians being established as still around in the Imperial era by the Marvel comics, never mind other surviving Mandalorians established post-AOTC, never mind Kal Skirata or any of the other Mandalorians from Karen Traviss' books...

8. The Harbinger sabotage timeline... Yeah, it's minor, but it does still stick out as a blatant instance of "People obviously weren't comparing notes here" and it's the kind of thing where if you're overhauling the writing anyway you may as well address it.

9. I do intend to provide rewritten samples... No promises on timeliness tho. I'm one of those people who can't resist having a million hobby projects going at once and this was always going to be a back burner thing... It's not the main KotOR thing I'm focusing on (that would be "Playing through K1 with K1R + some other choice mods active while planning some minor K1 mods of my own - current ideas are "Sith fighter base" and "make Gorton Colu spontaneously combust", and on-off reading tutorials on how to mod").

@JCarter4261. "It is by no means said in KOTOR 2 that Malachor is the only place to make Jedi fall to the dark side, or even the first." I. Never. Smegging. Said. K2. Claims. Malachor. Was. The. Only. One.

Where the hell in all of my messages do you keep getting that idea from? Especially in the one you just quoted.

Here is what I actually said there: "K2 seems to sell Trayus as the main, and stronger, Jedi-breaker though".

"main and stronger" =/= "only". As for my evidence for it being presented as the premium Jedi-breaker? Offhand, there's loading screen exposition, and what Atton says about the place. Malachor V being the center of TSL's universe (what planet can TSL not shut up about? Malachor V. What planet do all roads in that game ultimately lead to? Malachor V) also gives that impression.

Not arguing that Lehon isn't tainted enough to be suitable for Jedi-corrupting, I'm just arguing that the temple there isn't a specialized Jedi-corrupting facility like the Trayus Academy is; the temple's main function is acting at the ground-level control for the Star Forge's defenses.

2. The big problem with offering that choice is that, without a crapton of extra narrative legwork, only one branch of that choice actually makes sense for the smegging plot.

3. Again, I obviously need to brush up on stuff...

4. Kreia just saying "You were right" isn't the same thing as the Exile actually tendering a rebuttal to her. Especially when she follows it up with a spiel that expands on Thing B she said previously while potentially but not necessarily contradicting Thing A she said previously

5. Well, actually TSL seems to lean more on "Revan's plans and the Exile and Bao-Dur's actions" than "Revan's actions".

But here's the big thing: In that paragraph I was quoting from, Canderous also describes how the battle of Malachor V went. Briefly, sparse on details, but still in a way that it contradicts TSL's presentation of the battle. That highlighted sentence is what makes it clear he's specifically talking about how that specific battle went, not simply the war in general. Let's look at the whole paragraph again.

"I still remember that final battle in the skies above Malachor V. The two fleets filling the space around it, outshining the stars...It was not your ships or your men or your vaunted 'fight for freedom' that won this, the final battle of the war. It was by the actions of one person - you - that the Republic prevailed. Your strategies and tactics defeated the best we could send against you. Even Mandalore himself was taken aback by the ferocity of your attacks, the tenacity of your defenses and the subtleties of your plans. You fought us to a standstill and then began pushing back. We didn't really have a chance. It was by the actions of one person, the Jedi Revan, that you prevailed."

First off: Gee, I can't find any mention of Revan's forces using an apocalyptic superweapon that destroyed them almost as badly as it wrecked the Mandalorians in there. Can you? Kinda seems like the kind of thing that would have been comment-worthy, don't you think?
Second, let's break this down for a close look:

I. "I still remember that final battle in the skies above Malachor V. The two fleets filling the space around it, outshining the stars..."
Canderous is clearly talking about the final battle at Malachor V.

II. "It was not your ships or your men or your vaunted 'fight for freedom' that won this, the final battle of the war. It was by the actions of one person - you - that the Republic prevailed."
This makes it clear that he is continuing to talk about Malachor V specifically throughout the paragraph.

III. "Your strategies and tactics defeated the best we could send against you. Even Mandalore himself was taken aback by the ferocity of your attacks, the tenacity of your defenses and the subtleties of your plans."
Mostly Canderous fanboying over Revan, but it still paints a picture of the Republic forces under Revan giving as good as they got and then some. Also of Revan actually being there, but I forget if it was TSL itself or an outside comic that said Revan was late to the party.

IV. "You fought us to a standstill and then began pushing back. We didn't really have a chance. It was by the actions of one person, the Jedi Revan, that you prevailed."
The key part here is what's underlined. That portrays Revan and Revan's forces as turning back the Mandalorian onslaught and then overpowering the Mandalorians. And again, part II makes it clear that this is specifically referring to Malachor.

And that portrayal is completely at odds with what TSL portrays, which is that Revan's Republic forces were getting their butts handed to them by the Mandalorians and would have been defeated if not for the Mass Shadow Generator.

6. Oh, I'm not accepting the connection. There's a reason I said it made partial sense, not total sense - I can see where it came from based on existing EU content at the time, but it doesn't actually fit.

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21 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Where the hell in all of my messages do you keep getting that idea from? Especially in the one you just quoted.

Because you keep insisting that if Malachor existed, it would be the only place Malak would have taken Bastila without giving any evidence for that claim. Especially in the post I just quoted.

 

21 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Not arguing that Lehon isn't tainted enough to be suitable for Jedi-corrupting, I'm just arguing that the temple there isn't a specialized Jedi-corrupting facility like the Trayus Academy is; the temple's main function is acting at the ground-level control for the Star Forge's defenses.

Where is your evidence for this? The temple has a torture chamber for torturing Jedi which was successfully used to seduce a Jedi to the dark side.

 

21 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Kreia just saying "You were right" isn't the same thing as the Exile actually tendering a rebuttal to her.

Fine, then, you were wrong. Happy now?

 

21 hours ago, ZeldaTheSwordsman said:

Well, actually TSL seems to lean more on "Revan's plans and the Exile and Bao-Dur's actions" than "Revan's actions".

I don't see how this is a problem. Revan was not personally responsible for everything that ever happened, nor should Revan be.

KOTOR 2 goes in depth about the Exile's involvement in the Mandlaorian Wars because the game is about you, but it also builds up Revan as a master strategist and godlike figure more than even KOTOR 1 does.

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On 1/21/2021 at 2:03 AM, JCarter426 said:

KOTOR 2 goes in depth about the Exile's involvement in the Mandlaorian Wars because the game is about you, but it also builds up Revan as a master strategist and godlike figure more than even KOTOR 1 does.

This is absolutely true, adds so much replay-ability to k1 by playing k2. 

 

Also @ZeldaTheSwordsman, on point 3 first paragraph with swtor and the promise land quest, that was heartbreaking.

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I haven't read all of the posts yet, so I don't know if TSL's development history was addressed.

It wasn't Obsidian's fault, it was LucasArts'. LucasArts requested BioWare make a sequel before KoTOR was finished, transferred development to Obsidian after BioWare refused, kept Obsidian from speaking with BioWare, and gave Obsidian a year and a half to make the game when KoTOR took three years.

The first Obsidian learned about KoTOR came from playing the game after it was released, and the company had to scrap damn near everything it had and start over. Out of 18 months, 3 were lost to learning about KoTOR, and then story and game development proceeded. This is the reason why you barely see anything from KoTOR in TSL other than the game engine and a few character and object models.

Even worse, TSL was supposed to be a bigger game and the Exile was supposed to get to level 50. That was no longer possible with only 15 months of development and testing. Much of what has been restored in TSLRCM is undeveloped content that was scrapped due to time constraints.

The game we're playing is less than a year's worth of work. It's amazing it's as good as it is.

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Did you just report yourself for spam? I think that's a first.

 

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