Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
|Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic|
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing, Massively multiplayer online role-playing|
Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Studios (since 2012)
Sony Interactive Entertainment (KOTOR Remake; PS5 version)
Aspyr (KOTOR Remake; PC version/Original KOTOR; Switch version)
|Platform(s)||Windows, Xbox, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch|
|First release||Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic|
July 15, 2003
|Latest release||Star Wars: The Old Republic - Legacy of the Sith|
February 15, 2022
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is an RPG video game series, based on an earlier comic book series, and with a subsequent new comic book series, all based on the fictional universe of Star Wars by George Lucas. The first title and subsequent MMORPG series were developed by BioWare, while the second was done by Obsidian Entertainment per LucasArts' request. All were published by LucasArts. Both comic series were published by Dark Horse Comics. Both series act as prequels to the video games.
With the discontinuation of the Expanded Universe on April 25, 2014, and rebrand as Star Wars Legends, the KotOR multimedia project is the only remaining source of Legends content.
The game's system is based on Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Roleplaying Game, which is based on the d20 role-playing game system derived from the Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. Combat is round-based; time is divided into discrete rounds, and combatants attack and react simultaneously. However, the number of actions a combatant may perform each round is limited. While each round's duration is a fixed short interval of real time, the player can configure the combat system to pause at specific events or at the end of each round.
The alignment system tracks actions and speech – from simple word choice to major plot decisions – to determine whether the player's character aligns with the light or dark side of the Force. In the first game, the player's speech and actions have no effect on their teammates. However, the player has influence over their companions in The Sith Lords, the player's actions determining not only what side the player is on, but their teammates as well. The influence the player has on another character can be minor, from converting a character from the dark side to the light, to something as major as teaching them the ways of the Jedi themselves. Influence can be lost, however, if the player makes an action inconsistent with past decisions, causing the player to pay very close attention before reacting in any way.
Lightsabers and corresponding classes
Along with new lightsabers are new classes: "Gray Jedi," who tend to follow their own path as far as the Force is concerned rather than obeying the light or dark side.
Lastly, a new type of lightsaber is introduced: the short lightsaber. This weapon is different from the longer lightsaber as it is easier to wield, making it more suitable for the off (defensive) hand and inflicting less damage.
In MMO The Old Republic there are eight player classes, each four assigned to one of two faction: Galactic Republic or Sith Empire. While the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Sith Warrior and Sith Inquisitor are Force-sensitive characters and use lightsabers, the Smuggler, Trooper, Agent and Bounty Hunter are focused on using ranged weapons and require more tactical approach. Each class has a distinct storyline, and all of them are integrated with the game's overall arc. Each class may also choose from two advanced classes, resulting in a total of 8 advanced classes per faction. The advanced classes affect only on gameplay, not storyline. Lightsaber and blaster colors are not faction or class restricted, but some are restricted based on level and/or Lightside or Darkside alignment. For example, some lightsabers can only be bought if Light or Darkside aligned.
Several new planets make appearances in the series as major locations. These include, for example, Dantooine and Korriban, the locations for the Jedi Academy and the Sith Academy, respectively; aboard the Star Forge space station where the final battle between master and apprentice takes place in KotOR; and war-ravaged Telos and its orbiting Citadel Station. Travel between locations happens aboard the freighter Ebon Hawk, which is also a playable location, though no combat takes place on board, except for three instances in KotOR 2 where you have to fight off Sith attackers, the character Visas Marr, and members of the Red Eclipse slavers. A space station near Yavin is also playable location in the PC version of KotOR and is available to Xbox players via download from Xbox Live. In The Old Republic, players have access to even more planets, like Ord Mantell, Nal Hutta, Balmorra, Alderaan, Tatooine, Dromund Kaas, Taris, Belsavis, Voss, Hoth, Corellia, Ilum and Quesh, and the moon Nar Shaddaa.
Four thousand years prior to the Star Wars films,[note 1] Darth Malak – Darth Revan's apprentice – has unleashed a Sith armada against the Republic. Many Jedi, scattered and left vulnerable by Malak's aggression, die in battle while others swear loyalty and allegiance to Malak. The game opens with the player's character awakening aboard a doomed Republic capital ship with no recollection of their past. After escaping the ship and crash-landing on Taris, the player gradually gathers companions and pieces together their past while attempting to stop Malak's forces. To accomplish this, the main character and their companions search for Star Maps that together reveal the location of the Star Forge, an ancient space station that creates massive amounts of material for Malak.
The main character's actions and speech influence whether they align with the light or dark side of the Force. Depending on the character's alignment, they eventually reach the Star Forge either to defeat the Sith (the light-side path) or to usurp control of the Sith from Malak (the dark-side path). A light-aligned character and their companions are hailed as saviors and heroes; a dark-side character stands before the remaining Sith forces as the new Sith Lord.
The Sith Lords takes place five years after the events of Knights of the Old Republic, in a time when the Jedi have been nearly exterminated by the Sith. The player's character is a former Jedi Knight exiled from the Jedi Order, referred to as "the Exile" or "Jedi Exile". During the Mandalorian Wars, the Exile served under Revan who ordered the activation of a devastating gravitational superweapon – the Mass Shadow Generator – that caused so many deaths to the point where they stripped themself of all connections to the Force unconsciously to save themself, and was removed from the Jedi Order. Throughout the game, the player's character restores a connection to the Force while, with the help of their new companions, try to stop the Sith. Unlike the previous game where your actions affect the fate of the galaxy, here your actions affect only the planets you visit. You can choose to either help or hinder the Republic's attempt to rebuild these planets. In the end, if the character is light-aligned, the Mass Shadow Generator is activated and destroys Malachor V and the Exile goes into unknown space to find Revan. A dark-aligned character, however, takes over the Sith academy on Malachor V and the Mass Shadow Generator is destroyed.
The Old Republic takes place 300 years after the previous two games, shortly after the establishment of a tenuous peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. The Jedi are held responsible for the success of the Sith and chose to relocate from Coruscant to Tython, where the Jedi order had been initially founded, to seek guidance from the Force. The Sith control Korriban, where they re-established a Sith Academy. The game begins as new conflicts arise.
|2003||Knights of the Old Republic|
|2004||Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords|
|2011||The Old Republic|
|2013||The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel|
|2014||The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan|
|2015||The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire|
|2016||The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne|
|2019||The Old Republic: Onslaught|
|2022||The Old Republic: Legacy of the Sith|
|TBA||Knights of the Old Republic — Remake|
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (often abbreviated as KotOR) is the first installment in the Knights of the Old Republic series. KotOR is the first computer role-playing game set in the Star Wars universe. The game was released on the Xbox on July 15, 2003 in North America and on September 12, 2003 in Europe. The PC version was released on November 19, 2003 in North America and on December 5, 2003 in Europe. The iOS version was released on May 30, 2013, and an Android release followed on December 28, 2014.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords (KotOR II) is the second installment in the video game franchise. The game was released on the Xbox in North America on December 6, 2004, in Europe on February 11, 2005, and in Australia on February 15, 2005. The PC version was released in North America on February 8, 2005 and in Europe on February 11, 2005. Per request as to have time to deal with other matters, BioWare, the original developer, handed over the job to Obsidian Entertainment.
In addition to technical changes – such as more combat animation and interface scaling – The Sith Lords includes several drastic changes from the original game's features. As mentioned earlier in the gameplay section, the player's actions now affect not only the player themselves but their teammates as well. The player can also teach some teammates the ways of the Jedi. The player also has more diversity when upgrading items, and can even create certain items, such as computer spikes and explosives, themselves.
In a similar way the player's actions and alignment with the light or dark side affects their teammates (both a teammate's alignment and who teams with the player in the first place), gender is also a factor when it comes to companionships and gameplay in general. In addition the appearance (due to choices) also affects your teammates. For example, choosing a female character teams the player with Mical the Disciple, while being male teams the player with Brianna the Handmaiden.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic III (cancelled)
In 2003, LucasArts cancelled the Proteus console MMOG project during its design phase. The game was intended to be an in-house sibling to Star Wars Galaxies. Upon its cancellation, the Proteus project's team and elements of its designs were applied to developing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3. According to designer John Stafford, the team "wrote a story, designed most of the environments/worlds, and many of the quests, characters, and items." The game was cancelled as part of cuts initiated in 2004 aimed at positioning LucasArts for future success. Concept art from the cancelled Knights of the Old Republic 3 project was published in the book Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts (2008); the artwork includes depictions of Taloraan, Rodia, and a Mandalorian city, as well as a Coruscant vehicle and a new character named Naresha.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) was released for the Microsoft Windows platform on December 13, 2011 in North America and Europe, and released in Australia on March 1, 2012. It was first confirmed by Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello at E3 2008 confirmed. The game was developed by BioWare, who developed the first Knights of the Old Republic game. It takes place 300 years after the first two installments, as new conflicts arise between the Republic and the Sith Empire. Players participate in a period of time known as the Cold War in the galaxy, after the First Great Galactic War, which leads into events in the Second Great Galactic War.
The game has received six storyline expansions and two smaller addons focusing on new gameplay mechanics.
Rise of the Hutt Cartel
Rise of the Hutt Cartel is the first storyline expansion to The Old Republic. It is centered on the rising threat of the Hutt Cartel, which has arisen to challenge the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire for control of the galaxy. The level cap was raised to 55, with the leveling from 50 onwards centered on the new planet Makeb. It was released on April 9, 2013.
Galactic Starfighter is the first gameplay add-on and second expansion to The Old Republic. It introduces 12v12 space-based PvP combat on two maps, with 2 'capture-the-flag' combat missions. It was released on December 3, 2013.
Galactic Strongholds is the second gameplay add-on and third expansion to The Old Republic. It introduced player housing and flagships for guilds. It was released on August 19, 2014.
Shadow of Revan
Shadow of Revan is the second expansion to The Old Republic, after Rise of the Hutt Cartel. It is centered on the Order of Revan, an army seeking to establish a new galactic rule. It is led by the reborn Revan, who is depicted in Shadow of Revan as a canonical male character. The campaign raised the level cap to 60, and takes place on two new worlds: Rishi, a tropical pirate haven on the edge of the galaxy, and Yavin 4 (which first appeared in the original Star Wars film), home of an ancient Sith warrior sect called the Massassi. It was released on December 2, 2014.
Knights of the Fallen Empire
Knights of the Fallen Empire is the fifth and largest expansion to The Old Republic. It was announced at the E3 2015 with the release of a new cinematic trailer, "Sacrifice". The third major expansion, it features a renewed focus on cinematic storytelling, as well as new planets, new companions, and a dynamic story affected by player choices, introducing the new threat of the Eternal Empire and its leader, the Emperor of the Eternal Throne. At Level 60, the player's character is frozen in carbonite and awakens five years later to find that the Eternal Empire has become the dominant force in the galaxy. The player becomes the "Outlander" and builds an alliance to wage war against the Eternal Empire. The first nine chapters of Knights of the Fallen Empire were launched on October 20, 2015, with additional chapters starting in early 2016.
Knights of the Eternal Throne
Knights of the Eternal Throne is the fourth storyline and sixth expansion overall to The Old Republic, set in the aftermath of the events of Fallen Empire. It was released on December 2, 2016, in celebration of the game's five-year anniversary. The story continues on from the previous expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, with the Outlander leading the Alliance against the forces of Empress Vaylin. Eternal Throne also features two new gameplay features, Galactic Command and Uprisings, allowing the player to participate in new battles and expand their influence across the galaxy. It was accompanied by a cinematic trailer, "Betrayed".
Onslaught is a fifth storyline expansion, focusing on the reignited war between the Republic and Sith Empire. It was released on October 22, 2019. The player chooses to support the Republic or the Sith Empire. Onslaught introduces the Nautolans as a playable species.
Legacy of the Sith
Legacy of the Sith is the eighth expansion to The Old Republic. It focuses on the return of Darth Malgus and the rise of a new cult of dark lords. It was released on February 15, 2022, in celebration of The Old Republic's 10th anniversary. It was accompianed by a new cinematic trailer, "Disorder"
Select characters from the series have also made a non-canon appearance in the mobile turn-based role-playing game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, released on iOS and Android in November 2015, also published by Electronic Arts. While most of the game's playable characters come from the 2012 mainstream Star Wars continuity that Lucasfilm established under The Walt Disney Company, several characters from the Knights of the Old Republic series are also included, mostly due to Electronic Arts being responsible for both Heroes and Knights. All new players are given a Jedi Consular who wields a green lightsaber and has the ability to heal.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic — Remake
In September 2021, Knights of the Old Republic — Remake, a graphically-updated remake of the original game, was announced as in development by Aspyr in collaboration with Sony Interactive Entertainment, for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 5. It will be a timed console exclusive for PlayStation 5 before releasing on other platforms. On the remake's development, lead producer Ryan Treadwell wrote: "We’re rebuilding it from the ground up with the latest tech to match the groundbreaking standard of innovation established by the original, all while staying true to its revered story". Several individuals who worked on the original game are returning for the remake, such as former BioWare developers and Jennifer Hale (reprising her role of Bastila). However, certain original cast members have since been deceased or will not be returning, such as Tom Kane who has retired due to medical reasons.
Kotaku reported that "news of the project began leaking out earlier this year on social media and was later confirmed by former Kotaku news editor Jason Schreier [...]. There has been speculation that the remake will actually include parts of both KOTOR 1 and 2, and also establish some of the lore from those games in the official Star Wars canon, something Disney seems keen on as it spins Star Wars off into new books, TV shows, movies, and games". Little information is otherwise revealed about the project.
The original Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi (and specifically Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi - Knights of the Old Republic) comic book series preceded these games, first published in 1993 by Dark Horse Comics. They formed the basis for the game setting, as well as inspiration for the game characters and story.
The second Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comic book series takes places around 3964 BBY, the Sith era, approximately eight years prior to the story of the video game series.[note 1] The publisher and publishing company for all issues are Mike Richardson and Dark Horse Comics, respectively. Art work was done by Brian Ching, while the series’ script was done by John Jackson Miller. Each issue was released monthly.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Commencement is the first story arc in the comic book series. The arc consists of six issues; the first issue was released on January 25, 2006, while the last was released on June 28, 2006.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Flashpoint is the second story arc in the comic book series.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Reunion is the third story arc in the comic book series. The arc consists of two issues, the first issue released on December 27, 2006 and the second released on January 10, 2007.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Crossroads is a comic flip-book included in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic/Rebellion 25¢ flip-book, released on March 1, 2006.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Days of Fear is a fourth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Nights of Anger is a fifth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Daze of Hate is a sixth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Knights of Suffering is a seventh story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Vector is an eighth story arc in KotOR comic book series and first story arc in standalone crossover storyline Star Wars: Vector. The storyline proceeded from Knights of the Old Republic, to Dark Times, then to Rebellion, and finally to Legacy.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Exalted is a ninth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Turnabout is a tenth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Vindication is an eleventh story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Prophet Motive is a twelfth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Faithful Execution is a thirteenth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Dueling Ambitions is a fourteenth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Masks is a fifteenth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - The Reaping is a sixteenth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Destroyer is a seventeenth story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Demon is an eighteenth and final story arc.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - War is a standalone miniseries story arc, set after Demon.
Revan is a novel released by author and lead writer of Knights of the Old Republic, Drew Karpyshyn. It is focused on the time period between the first and second games and that which follows the second. Promoted as revealing the fate of series protagonist Revan, the novel also reveals the death of the hero of the next game in the series, the Jedi Exile. It then has Revan defeated and imprisoned in stasis by the Sith Emperor. The novel serves as a bridge between The Sith Lords and The Old Republic and also provides a backstory for the events of the first game.
As of April 2022, eight cinematic trailers have been released for the video games in the Knights of the Old Republic series. The first trailer, "Deceived", was released on June 1, 2009 as the announcement trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic. It was followed by "Hope" in 2010, and "Return" in 2011. A cinematic trailer, titled "HK-51 Revealed" was released for the game's Patch 1.5. No more cinematic trailers were produced until "Sacrifice" premiered at the E3 2015 as the trailer for The Old Republic's largest expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire. It was followed by "Betrayed" in 2015. A cinematic teaser trailer was released for the upcoming remake of Knights of the Old Republic at the PlayStation Showcase 2021. Finally, for The Old Republic's 10-year anniversary expansion, Legacy of the Sith, a cinematic trailer called "Disorder" premiered on February 14, 2022.
At the Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April 2019, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy was asked by MTV News about KOTOR film adaptation: "Yes, we are developing something to look at. Right now, I have no idea where things might fall".
The following month, BuzzFeed News's Kate Aurthur broke the news that Laeta Kalogridis is writing a script for an adaptation of the 2003 video game. BuzzFeed identifies the project as a "potential trilogy".
The general critical response of Knights of the Old Republic was overwhelmingly positive. KotOR won numerous awards, including Game Developers Choice Awards' game of the year, BAFTA Games Awards' best Xbox game of the year, and Interactive Achievement Awards for best console RPG and best computer RPG. KotOR has seen success as the game of the year from many sources including IGN, GameSpot, Computer Gaming World, PC Gamer, GMR Magazine, The Game Developers Choice Awards, Xbox Magazine, and G4TV. Interactive Achievement Awards awarded it for best story and best character development. IGN gave KotOR additional awards in Best Sound (Xbox category), Best Story (PC category), Xbox RPG Game of the Year 2003, PC RPG Game of the Year 2003, Xbox Game of the Year 2003, PC Game of the Year 2003, and Overall Game of the Year 2003 across all platforms. G4TV's game review show X-Play picked KotOR as the second "best game ever" since the show began. The game is also part of the Xbox Platinum Series/Classics for sales in excess of one million units. In 2007, a story twist within the game was ranked number two in Game Informer's list of the top ten video game twists of all time.
The Sith Lords was generally well received by fans and critics alike. Mirroring the success of the first game, The Sith Lords has garnered over thirty-five "Game of the Year" awards. The game received high marks from major reviewers - 8.5/10 from GameSpot, 4.5/5 from Gamespy and 93% from IGN. Based on 30 professional reviews, Metacritic gave the game an average rating of 85 out of 100, compared 93 for Knights of the Old Republic. The game was however criticized for being incomplete due to a rushed deadline.
The Old Republic has received generally positive reviews from critics, with a score of 85 on Metacritic and an 83.87% on GameRankings. G4TV gave a review of 5/5 and praised the game for "Top notch music and voice acting" and "hundreds of hours of content." PC Gamer gave a 93/100, praising the story, voice acting, and the amount of content available. Gamespy gave a review of 4/5, praising the story lines and companion system but criticising the "standard kill and fetch" quests. GameSpot gave the game 8.0/10, saying "[The Old Republic] isn't the next step in online role-playing games. Instead, it's a highly entertaining refinement of what has come before it." GamesRadar gave the game 8/10 calling it "an extremely satisfying experience that sets the stage for a bright future". The game has received a 9.0/10 "Amazing" rating from IGN.com.
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