Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (series)

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Genres Action role-playing, Massively multiplayer online role-playing
Developers BioWare
Obsidian Entertainment
Aspyr Media
Publishers LucasArts
Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Studios (since 2012)[1]
Platforms Windows, Xbox, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Linux
First release Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
July 15, 2003
Latest release Star Wars: The Old Republic - Knights of the Eternal Throne
December 2, 2016

The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series, often abbreviated as KotOR, is a RPG video game series and subsequent comic book series based on the fictional universe of Star Wars by George Lucas. The first and third video game installments were developed by BioWare, while the second was done by Obsidian Entertainment per LucasArts' request.[2] All were published by LucasArts. The comic series was published by Dark Horse Comics. This series acts as a prequel to the video games.

With the discarding of the Expanded Universe on April 25, 2014 and rebranding it as Star Wars Legends, KotOR multimedia project is the only remaining source that continues to produce Legends information.

Gameplay[edit]

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.

New introductions[edit]

Characters[edit]

Lightsabers and corresponding classes[edit]

The KotOR series introduces more than just new characters; it also introduces new lightsaber types and colors, as well as Jedi classes. The new colors include silver, cyan, and orange.

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. Once a character earns enough experience, 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.

Locations[edit]

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.

Video games[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

Four thousand years prior to the Star Wars films, Darth MalakDarth Revan's apprentice – has unleashed a Sith armada against the Republic. Many Jedi, scattered and left vulnerable by Malak's aggression, die in battle whilst others swear loyalty and allegiance to Malak. The game opens with the player's character – whom the player can customize to be either male or female, though the gender is canonically male[3] – awakening aboard a doomed Republic capital ship with no recollection of his past. After escaping the ship and crash-landing on Taris, the player gradually gathers companions and pieces together his past while attempting to stop Malak's forces. To accomplish this, the main character and his 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 he aligns with the light or dark side of the Force. Depending on the character's alignment, he eventually reaches 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 his 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,[2] 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." During the Mandalorian Wars, the Exile served under Revan who ordered the activation of the devastating 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 her new companions, try and 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 and help him if she can. A dark-aligned character, however, takes over the Sith academy on Malachor V and the 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.[4]

History[edit]

Timeline of release years (as of 2016)
2003 Knights of the Old Republic
2004 Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011 The Old Republic
2012
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

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic[edit]

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[edit]

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.[2]

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.[5] 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 3 (cancelled)[edit]

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).[6] 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."[7] The game was cancelled as part of cuts initiated in 2004 aimed at positioning LucasArts for future success.[8] 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.[9]

Star Wars: The Old Republic[edit]

On July 17 at E3 2008, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello confirmed a Knights of the Old Republic MMORPG.

On October 6, 2008 LucasArts and BioWare sent an invitation to the press, inviting them to attend the unveiling of their next game on October 21, 2008. As stated in the invitation: "BioWare and LucasArts invite you to attend the official unveiling of the game that has been rumored about for years." This official unveiling was widely believed to be about Knights of the Old Republic 3 or the much rumored Old Republic era MMO game. On October 21, Bioware and Lucasarts confirmed their next project was an MMO titled Star Wars: The Old Republic.[10][11]

Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) was released for the Microsoft Windows platform on December 20, 2011 in North America and Europe, and released in Australia on March 1, 2012. 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.

Game has received four storyline expansions and two smaller addons focusing on new gameplay mechanics:

Rise of the Hutt Cartel[edit]

Rise of the Hutt Cartel is the first storyline expansion 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 new planet Makeb. It was released on April 14, 2013. It was extended by free gameplay addons:

  • Galactic Starfighter - which introduces 12v12 space-based PvP combat on two maps, with 2 'capture-the-flag' combat missions. It was released on February 4, 2014.
  • Galactic Strongholds - introduced player housing and flagships for guilds. It was released on October 14, 2014.
Shadow of Revan[edit]

Shadow of Revan is second storyline expansion centered on the Order of Revan, an army seeking to establish a new galactic rule, led by the reborn Revan himself. 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 9, 2014.

Knights of the Fallen Empire[edit]

Knights of the Fallen Empire is third storyline and largest expansion to date, features a renewed focus on cinematic storytelling, as well as new planets, new companions, and a dynamic story affected by player choices. It focuses on 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 27, 2015, with additional chapters starting in early 2016.

Knights of the Eternal Throne[edit]

Knights of the Eternal Throne is fourth expansion, set in the aftermath of Fallen Empire events. 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.

Comics[edit]

The first issue of the "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" comic book series.

The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comic book series takes places around 3,964 BBY, the Sith era, approximately eight years prior to the story of the video game series. 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.

Synopsis[edit]

Zayne Carrick, a young Padawan training at the Jedi Academy on Taris, is given one last chance at capturing a notorious Snivvian smuggler Marn "Gryph" Hierogryph, which will allow him to be promoted to Jedi Knight at the academy graduation ceremony the very same day. After numerous hurdles along the way, Zayne manages to capture Gryph, but is late to the graduation ceremony. Upon arriving back at the academy, Zayne is horrified to find the Jedi Masters, his own included, standing before the slain corpses of his fellow Padawans. Instinctively, he flees from the scene with Gryph and the two are soon framed for the murders. With no other option, Zayne must now learn the ins and outs of being an outlaw, with Gryph as his mentor, hoping to stay alive long enough to clear his name and discover the reason why the Jedi Masters murdered the academy students.

List[edit]

  • 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.

Novel[edit]

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 Exile). It then has Revan defeated and imprisoned in stasis by the Sith Emperor. Novel serves as a bridge between KOTOR 2 and The Old Republic and also provides a backstory for the events of the first game.

Others, minor novels are Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance and Star Wars: The Old Republic: Annihilation.

Reception[edit]

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.[12] 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.[12] Interactive Achievement Awards awarded it for best story and best character development.[12] 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.[citation needed] The game is also part of the Xbox Platinum Series/Classics for sales in excess of one million units.[citation needed] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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,[15] compared 93 for Knights of the Old Republic.[16] The game was however criticized for being incomplete due to a rushed deadline.[17]

The Old Republic has received generally positive reviews from critics, with a score of 85 on Metacritic[18] and an 83.87% on GameRankings.[19] G4TV gave a review of 5/5 and praised the game for "Top notch music and voice acting" and "hundreds of hours of content."[20] PC Gamer gave a 93/100, praising the story, voice acting, and the amount of content available.[21] Gamespy gave a review of 4/5, praising the story lines and companion system but criticising the "standard kill and fetch" quests.[22] 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."[23] GamesRadar gave the game 8/10 calling it "an extremely satisfying experience that sets the stage for a bright future".[24] The game has received a 9.0/10 "Amazing" rating from IGN.com.[25]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Games on". Gog.com. Retrieved 2016-12-19. 
  2. ^ a b c Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords Developer Interview 2. GameSpot. May 8, 2004. Retrieved August 22, 2007. 
  3. ^ Chee, Leland (July 13, 2005). "Holocron continuity database questions". Star Wars Message Boards. If needed, a definitive ending is chosen . . . Another example is the decision to make Revan a male character. 
  4. ^ "Star Wars: The Old Republic - The Setting". 
  5. ^ Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords Developer Interview 2. GameSpot. July 14, 2004. Event occurs at 2:56. Retrieved August 22, 2007. ...as you increase the resolution in the game, the interfaces will scale the same way 
  6. ^ Smith, Rogue Leaders, 171.
  7. ^ Smith, Rogue Leaders, 202.
  8. ^ Smith, Rogue Leaders, 176.
  9. ^ Smith, Rogue Leaders, 202-203.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Star Wars: The Old Republic". 
  12. ^ a b c "Critical Acclaim". BioWare. Retrieved March 30, 2007. 
  13. ^ Game Informer Issue #168 April 2007
  14. ^ "Obsidian game information". Obsidian Entertainment Inc. 
  15. ^ "Overview over Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (PC) ratings". Metacritic. Retrieved June 29, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Overview over Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC) ratings". Metacritic. Retrieved June 29, 2007. 
  17. ^ Dixon, Craig (March 4, 2005). "KOTOR2: The Incompletion Controversy". TheForce.Net. Retrieved September 7, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Star Wars: The Old Republic". Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Star Wars: The Old Republic". Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  20. ^ Keil, Matt (December 21, 2011). "Star Wars: The Old Republic Review - PC". Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  21. ^ Augustine, Josh (December 22, 2011). "Star Wars: The Old Republic review". Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  22. ^ "GameSpy: Star Wars: The Old Republic Review - Page 1". Uk.pc.gamespy.com. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Star Wars: The Old Republic Review - GameSpot.com". Uk.gamespot.com. December 15, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  24. ^ Cooper, Hollander. "Star Wars: The Old Republic Review". GamesRadar. 
  25. ^ Nick Kolan. "Star Wars: The Old Republic Review - PC Review at IGN". Pc.ign.com. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]