Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords
Knights of the Old Republic II –
The Sith Lords
|Series||Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic|
|Distribution||CD, DVD, download|
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords is a role-playing video game released for the Xbox and Microsoft Windows. It is the sequel to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and it was released for Xbox on December 6, 2004, while the Windows version was released on February 8, 2005. It was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by LucasArts. The music score was composed by Mark Griskey.
Combat and interactions with the environment and NPCs is based on the d20 system as in the first Knights of the Old Republic installment. Unlike a tabletop game using this system, however, combat can be initiated and cancelled at will by the player by either approaching and attacking an enemy target or running away rather than leaving a successful escape up to a die roll. Additionally, all of the player's skills and attribute play some part in combat as well as item creation and interactions with others.
The player takes control of an exile who rediscovers her connection to the Force while traveling the galaxy with a group of soldiers and mercenaries as they fight the Sith and restore order to the crumbling Republic. Canonically, the player character is a female Jedi Knight named Meetra Surik, but players may choose how their character appears and acts by selecting gender, appearance, and name; certain dialogue options will also affect Surik's alignment with the Force, whereas acts of kindness and nobility reflect the light side - cruel or vile acts, the dark side. Players may choose from one of three classes; the combat-oriented Guardian, the skill-oriented Sentinel, and the Force power-oriented Consular. Once Surik becomes markedly strong with their connection to the Force, the player can advance into a "prestige class", allowing access to powerful abilities and Force powers, with a Guardian becoming either a Weapon Master or Sith Marauder, a Sentinel becoming a Watchman or a Sith Assassin, or a Consular becoming a Master or a Sith Lord.
As with any RPG, the player gains levels as they become more experienced and powerful, and the level system is based upon a set of attributes and skills. The attributes available to players for leveling are strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma; the first three attributes are physical qualities and affect melee power, dodge and accuracy, and health level respectively, while the latter three are mental qualities that affect the player's potency with Force powers and their success with skills and NPC conversations. There are seven skills a player can choose from and these are all available to any class, albeit non-class skills cost twice as much to level up. These include persuasion, demolitions training, medical expertise, and computer usage; persuasion is a class skill for all three classes and is only available to the player for the purpose of negotiating with NPCs. Combat skills, known in the game as feats, are available for ranking up every few levels alongside Force powers. Feats range from finesse with weaponry to extra class skills, while Force powers cover a wide range of offensive and defensive capabilities, with light side powers such as Force Heal and Force Armor and dark side powers such as the iconic Force Choke and Force Lightning. Enemies do not level against the player, so combat situations may either be difficult or simple based on how responsibly a player's character is leveled or how far along they make it in the story arc.
The game takes place five years after the events of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, in a time when the Jedi have been nearly exterminated by the Sith. The player's character, a former Jedi Knight exiled from the Jedi Order, is referred to as "The Exile" or "Jedi Exile" and was later named Meetra Surik in the Old Republic novels. Throughout the game, the player's character (canonically a female, although the player can choose to play either sex) restores her connection to the Force while, with the help of non-player character companions, trying to stop the Sith. The player makes choices that turn the Exile to either the light side or the dark side of the Force, and travels to six planets to either help or hinder the Republic's efforts to bring peace and stability to the galaxy.
While hiding on the Harbinger, a Republic cruiser, Surik is sedated by HK-50, an assassin droid, to be delivered to a crime syndicate called the Exchange, who have put out a bounty on live Jedi. Surik is rescued by Kreia, with whom she forms a Force Bond, and the droid T3-M4 on the Ebon Hawk, and flee the Harbinger as it is hijacked by a squad of Sith assassins. However, their ship is damaged by the Harbinger's gunfire during escape, and they eventually arrive at the Peragus mining facility. Teaming up with smuggler Atton Rand, the group escapes to the planet Telos IV. While hiding out on Telos, they encounter Atris, a surviving member of the Jedi Council who sentenced Surik to exile ten years prior. After settling a dispute regarding Surik's past sentence, Atris forms an uneasy alliance with her, instructing her to seek out other surviving Jedi to combat the Sith. Surik then travels to four worlds to find reclusive Jedi Masters and either begs their aid or kills them in revenge over their treatment. As she continues her journey, Surik meets several individuals that join her in her quest.
After finding all the Masters, Surik travels to Dantooine, where she learns that the countless deaths at Malachor V resulted in the Exile giving up her Force connection unconsciously, which then became the teachings of the new Sith. As the Masters feared that these teachings could result in the actual death of the Force, they prepare to strip the Exile of her Force connection permanently, only for Kreia, revealed to be the former leader of the Sith, murders them all in retribution. Tracking Kreia to Telos, Surik finds not Kreia, but a corrupted Atris. After defeating Atris, Surik learns that Kreia plans to destroy the Force by strengthening a massive wound that Surik had caused ten years ago during the Mandalorian Wars; when Surik ordered the activation of the superweapon that ended the battle, thousands of simultaneous deaths ensued and subsequently caused a wound in the Force. Before following her to Malachor V, where the old woman had since rejoined the Sith as Darth Traya, Surik stops a Sith invasion of Telos, defeating one of Traya's former apprentices, the Sith Lord Darth Nihilus.
On Malachor V, the Exile is separated from her companions and fights her way through the hordes of monsters which inhabit the planet's surface, then through the inhabitants of a large Sith Academy which survived the cataclysm. On the final floor of the academy, Surik kills the Sith Lord Darth Sion, and then finally confronts Darth Traya in the planet's core.
Surik defeats Traya who, before dying, delivers a prophetic vision of the future pertaining to the player's companions and the worlds that were visited over the course of the story. Depending on Surik's alignment, she either orders the destruction of Malachor V, escaping before it is destroyed, and travels into the Unknown Regions in search of Revan (light side) or remains on Malachor V as the new Dark Lord of the Sith (dark side).
Characters and locations
The Exile's back story reveals that the character served under Revan during the Mandalorian Wars and ordered the activation of a devastating weapon at the climactic battle over Malachor V. The deaths that ensued created such a substantial "wound" in the Force that the character was forced to sever all connections to the Force, and the Jedi Council ordered the character exiled from the Jedi Order. As the game progresses, the Jedi Exile rebuilds a connection to the Force and creates unusually strong Force Bonds with other characters and places, while unknowingly sapping Force powers.
Among the characters who join the Jedi Exile are Kreia, who acts as the Exile's mentor in a manner akin to Obi-Wan Kenobi or Qui-Gon Jinn; pilot and former Sith assassin Atton Rand; technician and Mandalorian War veteran Bao-Dur and his droid remote; the criminal droid G0-T0; and the Sith apprentice Visas Marr. T3-M4 and Canderous Ordo (now identified as "Mandalore"), both featured in the first game, also join the Exile's team. Other characters join the Exile's party only under certain conditions. HK-47, who appears in the first game, joins the quest if the Exile collects and uses the parts necessary to reactivate it. The Wookiee bounty hunter Hanharr joins if the Exile is aligned with the dark side of the Force; Hanharr's competitor, Mira, joins if the Exile is light-aligned or neutral. If the player's character is male, Brianna the Handmaiden can join the player's quest, while Mical the Disciple joins a female Exile.
The game features three main antagonists: Darth Traya, a mysterious assailant who remains in the dark through most of the game; Darth Sion, an undead Sith Lord with a murderous hatred for Jedi; and Darth Nihilus, a Sith Lord whose physical being was destroyed due to his immense affinity to the Force. New playable locations include war-ravaged Telos, a Telos bunker and the orbiting Citadel Station, the port Iziz, Onderon and its jungle moon Dxun, Nar Shaddaa and Goto's orbiting yacht, Peragus, the starships Harbinger and Ravager, and Malachor V. Korriban and Dantooine from the original game are revisited, both now with ravaged buildings and intensified problems. The Ebon Hawk, the main character's ship in the first game, is also the player's transportation in this game.
The game is the sequel to BioWare's commercially and critically acclaimed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The change of developers came at BioWare's suggestion based on their familiarity with Obsidian Entertainment's previous work, as BioWare was busy developing Jade Empire and started focusing on their own intellectual properties. Development on The Sith Lords started around the same time of Knights of the Old Republic's Xbox release.
The Sith Lords was constructed using an updated version of Knights of the Old Republic 's Odyssey game engine, which Obsidian obtained from BioWare Company. BioWare also provided technical assistance to Obsidian's developers. New features include more combat animations and interface scaling.
Producer Chris Avellone in an interview after the game's publication stated that he wished "there had been more time" to work on the game, and that a large amount of content — a droid factory, an entire planet, and other locations — were cut.
There are four official patches for the game. The second and third patch updated the quality of the movies and music while the first and fourth fixed gameplay issues. In 2005 after the end of the official support the game community began to provide support themselves. A fan-released Unofficial patch by this modding community fixed around 500 remaining bugs and also restored most of the cut content back into the game. There were also methods found by the community for improving compatibility and implementing widescreen functionality on modern PC operating systems.
The game was generally well received by critics. The game received high marks from several reviewers: 8.5/10 from GameSpot, 4.5/5 from Gamespy, and 9.3/10 from IGN. Based on 30 professional reviews, Metacritic gave the game an average rating of 85 out of 100, compared to 93 for Knights of the Old Republic. GameSpy called Kreia the "Best Character" of 2005. However, the game was criticized for being incomplete due to a rushed deadline.
- Mark Griskey's official website
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords Developer Interview 2. Gamespot. 2004-05-08. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- Wallace, Daniel. The New Essential Guide to Droids, 2006.
- "Atari Announces Neverwinter Nights 2; Obsidian Entertainment to Develop Sequel to BioWare's Revolutionary Product". Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords Developer Interview. Gamespot. 2004-05-04. Event occurs at 0:28. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
We began development on The Sith Lords right around when the first product came out on the Xbox
- Star Wars Knights: of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords Developer Interview 2. Gamespot. 2004-07-14. Event occurs at 2:56. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
...as you increase the resolution in the game, the interfaces will scale the same way
- "Chris Avellone Interview". Retrieved 2008-09-04.
I do wish there had been more time and I wished I had had more time to work on the end game, and that was my fault. We did get a lot accomplished in the time we had, and I probably should have cut another planet (the droid planet got the axe). I still think it's a good RPG, we probably should have just made it shorter.
- Thompson, Michael (2009-10-06). "Fan-restored KOTOR II content creates refined, expanded game KOTOR II wasn't the most complete Star Wars title ever released, due to an …". arstechnica.com. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
After years of development, the cut content has been finally restored and the most of the bugs have been fixed, thanks to a project known as known as the "Restored Content Mod.
- Grayson, Nathan (2012-08-24). "Get These: KOTOR 2 And Its Restored Content Mod". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
On top of that, the mod fixes “over 500″ bugs, because Obsidian, basically.
- Wilde, Tyler (2012-07-26). "Community heroes: modders debug and restore cut content in Knights of the Old Republic II". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
- Tsai, Andrew (2013-01-03). "The Fixer: How To Restore Knights of the Old Republic II". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- "Overview over Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (PC) ratings". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-06-29.
- "Overview over Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC) ratings". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-06-29.
- "2005 Game of the Year". GameSpy. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
- Buecheler, Christopher (2005-02-15). "The Resident Cynic: A Rush and A Push On KotOR II and the continuing tradition of rushing games out the door". Gamespy. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
- Mott, Tony (2010). 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. London: Quintessence Editions Ltd. p. 586. ISBN 9781741730760.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords at MobyGames
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki