Knights of the Old Republic EP3: Carth Blocked

By Shamus
on Aug 29, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

109 comments


Link (YouTube)

That’s the OTHER reason people dislike Carth. If you stray from the light side, he gets sanctimonious and acts like he’s in charge. Okay, he kind of has a point, inasmuch as the “evil” choice is usually a blend of Zsasz-level sociopathy, Rimmer-level pettiness, and Doofenshmirtz-level stupidity. But it’s still a major killjoy when you’re trying to have some fun with the game and Carth cuts in like he’s your mom.

Of course, having him ignore your evil shenanigans wouldn’t work either. I think the problem here is that the writers gave you all of these idiotic villain choices in the part of the game where your only companion is a pushy boyscout with trust issues. If go go evil he’s a killjoy, and if you play it virtuously he’s still difficult. On top of that, he’s the only character available to pull exposition duty, so when he’s not judging you, he’s busy dumping exposition on you. He gets better later if you stick with him, but by then most people have started ignoring him and spending time with the rest of the team.

So I don’t personally hate Carth, but I do see why he gets a lot of hate from the fanbase. The deck is really stacked against him.

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  1. GloatingSwine says:

    The Sith armour is shitty because anyone can wear it. Because your character has to be able to equip it to progress it has to be the lightest armour type, so they gave it a super low armour class so that characters restricted to light armour didn’t get high AC.

    • Zombie says:

      I also imagine that, since you lose it a little bit into the story, they didn’t want to make it something the player would actually want to run around wearing all the time. Because then the player wonders why the hell the game gave you good armor only to turn around and make you give it away.

    • hborrgg says:

      I think the armor you get for the quest comes with some tags that temporarily let you equip it even without the necessary armor skills. Although it sometimes bugs out and still doesn’t let you equip it.

    • Felblood says:

      Plus, it helps explain why a first level character can tear through all the Sith Empire Troopers on the Endar Spire.

      If you aren’t a named character or a force user, don’t expect anyone called the Sith Empire to issue you decent armor.

  2. Warclam says:

    Carth: “You showed a lot of guts dealing with those Vulcans, kid.”

  3. James says:

    The other issue is there is very little middle ground, i cant kill the guards because its convenient or the easier way i have to kill them ‘cus LOL Bloodshead murder MWHAHAHAH.

    You have to pass judgement on people or agree with lol murder lol mwhahaha, what if i just want to kill a person who’s an asshole to me or who’s been fucking up my SAVE THE GALAXY plan all day but no Carth thinks thats evil. fuck you Kaiden your not my dad.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      At least that binary choice makes sense in this world where light and dark sides are an actual thing(at least for jedi).Which is definitely not the case for mass effect,hence why the paragade choices are usually arbitrary and stupid.

      • MrGuy says:

        That’s actually my problem with it. Yes, Light and Dark sides of the force exist. But they do not equate to a “good guy/bad guy” dynamic nearly as cleanly as this game reduces it to.

        Dark Side and Light Side are about approaches to power and its application. It’s NOT a strict “morality” system, at least not in the good/bad sense.

        Obi Wan lets Vader strike him down, rather than fight to the last of his energy. Not trying to kill the bad guy would be a fail in a simple good/bad morality system, but in the films it’s presented as a victory for the light side of the force.

        It’s telling that the way the way Luke would LOSE to the emperor in Return of the Jedi is by killing Vader. Killing the bad guys in a game is always “you get good guy points!” But in the movie, killing the bad guy is a BAD thing, because striking out for revenge or in anger is ALWAYS a Dark Side approach.

        I realize it’s hard to make a game where Light and Dark are more nuanced than Good and Bad, but it’s disappointing to me that they didn’t really try.

        I almost like Paragrade better, because sometimes just shooting the bad guy is a Renegade option.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Luke still killed a bunch of storm troopers.So a light side can still fight armed opponents who are trying to kill them.And no one from your opponents in kotor tries to surrender.So you have no reason to spare them.

          • MrGuy says:

            Right. But the light side/dark side distinction (at least in the movies) is in approach, not outcome – do you seek a violent solution to problems, or is it a matter of last resort when attacked?

            This is very different from “killing these people is good, killing those people is evil.”

        • Jeff says:

          Intent is a large part of it. Which is rather impossible to predict/simulate unless you give the player options like:

          1. You can’t be allowed to continue!
          2. MURDER DEATH KILL! SKULLS FOR MY SKULL THRONE!

    • Steve C says:

      Pretty sure that killing someone because they are an asshole to you, or inconvenient to your plans (however noble) is evil. It’s not Evil, but it is still evil.

      Killing is bad, mkay? Murder is bad, mkay?

  4. Spammy says:

    Fun fact: Calo Nord is voiced by Llyod Sherr, the narrator for most of the episodes of History Channel’s Modern Marvels documentary series. I did not realize this on my first playthrough back in the day, but that fact did make me take him less seriously on my second playthrough.

    I mean granted Lloyd Sherr has depth and has gotten a lot of random voice work but still on my second playthrough I got to Calo’s countdown and I realized I was getting threatened by the Modern Marvels guy.

  5. James says:

    To Chris on how the Sith retain control over their planets.

    I think at this point the Sith mainly control outer rim planets and do so with a HUGE FUCKING FLEET and people who kill you with light sabers for not following orders.

    As far as Taris is concerned its only really recently been conquered like maby a few weeks ago at most.

    They are the Space Nazi British Roman Empire.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      And the huge fleet is justified the Star Forge allows them to spawn an effectively endless fleet, the bigger question is where they get the manpower for the fleet. Clones? Forced conscription would be a problem.

      • PlasmaPony says:

        I believe it’s implied in the game that the Sith Armada is heavily staffed with droids, since the Star Forge lets them have an endless supply of droids and ships. That would make a lot of sense, we don’t see enough of the Sith outside skirmishes with their soldiers to know for sure how their structure works.

        • Supahewok says:

          I think this is confirmed at the end of KotoR or sometime in KotoR 2. I recall somebody saying that when the Star Forge got blown up, all the droids it made to crew the ships were deactivated, which disabled the majority of the Sith fleet and made mopping up their Empire easy pickings.

      • Steve C says:

        I don’t think forced conscription would a problem on spaceships. It would be very effective. Consider the guards have precognition, mind control and can turn off the life support for kicks and giggles. If a mutiny is ever successful then one of the other ships in the fleet will sense it and blow it up. The rank and file are pretty much screwed.

        The navies of the real world were pretty much all forced conscription just a couple of hundred years ago and that’s not including military drafts. It worked then and they didn’t have Jedi mind tricks.

        • Felblood says:

          The off-duty Sith Troopers who you meet in the cantina all say they joined up voluntarily.

          The Jedi Crusaders, who helped form the newest iteration of the Sith Empire won a lot of glory and goodwill in the Mandalorian Wars, and they are milking that for recruiting purposes.

    • Syal says:

      Oh yeah, that was what I wanted to respond to.

      The Sith Empire doesn’t avoid rebellions; its government is based on the idea that everyone is rebelling all of the time.

      • ehlijen says:

        Which is in contrast to how the Empire of the movies has been portrayed in the EU: mostly they stand for brutally efficient law and order above all. For example, in the TIE fighter game, you spend most of your time hunting criminals and pirates, forcefully ending civil wars and putting down traitors. Even the missions against actual rebels are framed in those ways.
        And as Han said in the first movie: The imperials are bad for the smuggling business.

        Which makes it all the more annoying to me that whenever some new sith baddy shows up in the EU, the empire just starts blindly following them without reason(coughJedi Knight seriescough). “Oh, you’re a darth? Here are the keys to my personal star destroyer. How many stormtrooper legions would you like with that?”

        • Syal says:

          Writers seem to forget that the first time we see Imperial commanders, they’re mocking Darth Vader’s faith.

          • James says:

            With the Bioware EU you can excuse it because there are alot of Force wielding sith, in the original trilogy the “faith” is all but dead there are 2 Sith known sith lords in all the galaxy and we only ever see 2 or 3 jedi.

            in SWTOR, KoTOR and KoTOR 2, there are entire academies and battalions of them, the “faith” is still very much a thing, and in sith culture something to be feared.

            • Felblood says:

              Plus, with basically* the entire Crusader faction of the Jedi Order defecting to the Sith Empire, they have a huge supply of Force Users, to ensure that everyone remembers the Force is real.

              *(Everyone except The Exile)

        • Veylon says:

          In fairness, the “Law and Order” Third Reich that inspired The Empire was also run by a batch of weird madmen that would’ve been locked up had they not been in charge.

        • Orillion says:

          I don’t know about other stuff, but the Jedi Knight series is kind of justified in that the Remnant just isn’t strong enough to soldier on without some kind of magical, seemingly all-powerful leader, no matter what that leader stands for. I think Jedi Academy is trying to imply in the (good) ending that the Republic is blowing up the last Empire-run Star Destroyer (even though I’m sure the other parts of the EU disagree emphatically).

        • djw says:

          The sith empire in KoTor and the galactic empire in the movies are Completely different. They are separated in time by 4000 years! Comparing the Sith empire to Palpatines empire is like comparing Nebuchadnezzar to Napolean. Of COURSE they are different!

    • Supahewok says:

      Yeah, pretty much. Its established, at least 3 times in this game alone, that the Sith will raze your planet to the ground at the drop of a hat with no remorse whatsoever. How can average Joe Schmoe rebel against military space ships? A ground occupational force, sure, just throw bodies at them until they’re wiped out, but there’s nothing to do about the ships out in space. You rock the boat too hard, the Sith are just bound to evaporate the ocean.

    • John says:

      The other thing to consider is that Taris is not a representative planet for the Sith. I mean, they’ve only been here for what, a week? They’re really only here because they’re looking Bastila. Taris is of no value or strategic importance otherwise.

      • SlothfulCobra says:

        Of course, when we do get to an area that is actually important to the Sith Empire, it’s going to be even worse.

        • John says:

          Ah, but Korriban–if that’s what you meant–is even less typical. There is no population to speak of, just a school and some contract workers. The fact is that we have absolutely no idea how Malak’s Sith govern the world’s that they intend to hold on a long-term basis.

  6. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Yeah, those Bacta Tanks. I’ve seen this sort of thing elsewhere and I could never ever relax in a small cylindrical tube filled with fluid top to bottom. I’m guessing the breathing tubes must pump in a constant supply of knockout gas.

    • Veylon says:

      Be reasonable. If those tanks were pleasant, people would be exaggerating their injuries to spend more time in them. You don’t want all your bacta being used up to marinate hangnail sufferers. No. You want them to come into the hospital, look at all the motionless bodies hanging there unconscious, susceptible to drowning without hope of escape should anything go wrong with their equipment and then walk right back out again, thus saving the system a fortune in medical bills. It’s the only practical solution.

      • AcCtually, it’s kolto. Bacta is invented later. I think it happens between Kotor 1 and 2. In 2 they talk about Manaan troubles as their main source of income and importance to the galaxy comes from kolto and bacta is just about to render it worthless as it’s better in every way. Except for it still needs to put the patient unconscious inside a cilinder full of liquid.

        • Felblood says:

          Except that bacta is also a naturally occurring substance that is impossible to synthesize. There will never be enough to meet the demand with bacta alone.

          While losing their monopoly on “The best healing juice in the galaxy” will definitely hurt Manaan politically, their export goods are still highly valuable. –especially to people who have been cut off from the bacta trade by political sanctions.

          Still, adjusting to this new reality will be difficult for the current leadership of Manaan. If they cling to closely to the old strategies in the new economy, they might have to be replaced.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            They maintained a very precarious balance between the Sith and the Republic when kolto was the sole source. Even if kolto is still valuable, the shift in that value thanks to bacta should cause massive disturbance and may cause one side or the other to become more aggressive in dealing with Manaan.

  7. Jonathan says:

    I always liked Carth. He seemed like a pretty reasonable, nice guy.
    Bastila has a better voice though (cute british accent).

    • Yeah, Carth was definitely my favorite character. But I tend to like people with more cagey personalities, and boy scout always appeals. :D

      • djw says:

        I have nothing against Carth, but in a game that includes Jolee Bindo and HK-47 he is not going to see much action past Taris (in my play throughs, at least).

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Indeed.Though I tended to rotate my companions,because you dont really need their skills much,and they all have interesting stuff to say.But when back on ship,I always started my “talk to everyone” rounds with the droidsassin.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      (cute british accent)

      So a british accent.

    • I liked Carth too. He was my second preferred character, once I got tired of HK47, which was around two thirds in the first play through and he fell from second to the least liked character, ahead only of Bastila and Juhani. Though Juhani is not as much as disliked as a char I never played with. She does just not interest me in any way.

  8. Henson says:

    So yesterday I dug out my old discs so I could play this game along with the crew, installed it and OHMYGOD THIS GAME KEEPS CRASHING. Every. Thirty. Seconds. And I do mean Literally. It calmed down once I got to Taris, but Jesus, the Endar Spire is broken on a modern system. I had to save scum after every single fight just to make it through.

    I now dread every new location.

  9. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Mission is such a sweetheart. I don’t care how flat and boring her character might be to some. Her whole optimistic street urchin schtick wins me over.

  10. Gruhunchously says:

    Bioware really likes their perky, optimistic young-ish girl characters, don’t they.

    But even though Mission is proto-Tali in a lot of ways, they’re actually quite different in a few fundamental ways. Tali is talented but naive, while Mission is optimistic but savvy, and has learned much of what she knows through hard experience. She reminds me more of Veronica (from New Vegas) than most of her Bioware contemporaries.

    • Orillion says:

      Nah, Mission is Imoen-point-two easily. Comparing her to (BG1-era) Imoen, there’s not really a difference.

      • djw says:

        Except you can’t dual class her to mage after 6 levels of rogue and turn her into a power house by the end of the game.

        • Zaxares says:

          Was I the ONLY guy who kept Imoen as a pure Thief all the way through BG1? >.< (Of course, this may have had something to do with the fact that I also played a Mage and I don't tolerate "rivals" in the party.)

          • djw says:

            Thieves are pretty weak in BG1 vanilla (and in AD&D 1rst ed) so once you have traps and locks taken care of its really hard to justify more levels. Also, there are more thief NPC’s than any other class, so its easy to get a replacement.

            Imoen’s stats also make her by far the most powerful good/neutral mage in the game. Only Edwin is better, and that is only because of his amulet. Well, his lines are good too, but I don’t like killing Minsc and Dynahier just to get him.

            • Ringwraith says:

              You can grab him after rescuing Dynahier from her hole provided you didn’t talk to him before at all and he reluctantly tags along if I recall.
              Though he will try and kill her eventually.
              He can also attempt to kill Minsc sometimes in the second game if they’re together long enough, but it’s not nearly as much of an inevitability.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Damn,I wanted to say this!You are encroaching my “the only one who mentions baldurs gate stuff” turf.

        At least this time I went through the comments before saying something that someone else has mentioned.

      • Amstrad says:

        I’m glad I’m not the only one to recognize Mission as a later version of Imoen. Really most of the characters in later Bioware titles have their roots in those initial Baldur’s Gate party members.

    • Jokerman says:

      All the way to there latest game, inquisition. Sera is a whole lot more crazy, but she fits the mold.

  11. Gruhunchously says:

    Oh wow, I forgot that one of Carth’s battle shouts was “You asked for this!”. Makes me wonder he’d get along with a certain augmented security dude.

  12. Zombie says:

    The Sith Empire (at least in SWToR (the MMO)) runs on a system that is basically: Sith over everyone, but beyond that the most powerful people run the Empire. The Dark Council is just the most powerful Sith in the galaxy, and you make your way up the ranks by connections and power.

    The random preacher man is weird. I honestly don’t see any point to him even existing beyond “Some people on Taris are space racists and hate aliens”

    Who the hell came up with these gang names? The Beks and the Vulkars? And why would you have the “good guys” I guess (They are a biker gang after all) die in like three seconds?

    Calo Nord is the most frustrating boss fight in the game. He throws grenades like candy and basically makes you hate life. And just now, looking at the game guide, the advise for beating that boss fight is “battling Calo Nord is foolhardy” and what you should do is kill the other guy first, and then they both “die”. However, Calo is kinda cool.

    Dang it Josh. How do you fail to get killed.

    I like Mission. She’s in the top tier of companions along with HK-47, Bastila, ect. Yeah, she’s pretty young, which is kind of a weird decision because theres a sidequest where a kid sneaks onto the Ebon Hawk, and shes only like 10, but Mission is also only like 3 or 4 years older than the kid, so why does this random kid get kicked off, so why is it cool that Mission get to fly around with us…. but whatever. Missions cool, the Wookies cool, just about every companion apart from Carth is pretty cool (I never liked Canderous though. I don’t know why).

    Josh, this is a universe where no one bats an eye when someone gets renamed Darth Vader and names like Malak and Reven are normal. I think Mission gets a pass on her name.

    • SlothfulCobra says:

      People like to root for the underdog. Also, since the Sith Empire doesn’t bother providing justice, protection, or anything for the lower city, gangs have to make up the difference and look out for their own. You see similar things in the real world, either in areas where the rule of law has failed or in historical periods when there wasn’t much proper law enforcement and justice had to be sought by clans or tribes.

    • Metal C0Mmander says:

      Yeah Canderous as a character is alright but, from what I remember, he never gets involved enough in conversations to actually become interesting. All you get out of him is that he’s a mandalorian merc and not much else. You never see if he’s somewhat honorable or particularly cruel and he never gives a good reason as to why he doesn’t support the more militaristic siths.

      • djw says:

        If you talk to him enough you find out that he is completely infatuated with Revan. The rest of the Sith and the Jedi are irrelevant next to the warrior that actually beat the Mandalorians on their own terms.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      For me, the most frustrating fight in the game was Darth Bandon. I dunno what was going on, maybe I was underleveled or sporting the wrong gear, but the on my first play-through that guy wiped the floor with me so thoroughly that I literally cried and quit the game for weeks (I was quite young). It was very cathartic to finally beat him.

      • John says:

        If you’ve got a couple of Jedi with you, or even Carth or Cancerous, he’s not so bad. I fought him once with T3-M4 and Mission. Took me a couple of tries to pull that one off.

    • GloatingSwine says:

      Throwing grenades like candy is a good strategy for a lowbie character to beat the arena, so maybe Calo is actually saving all his level ups for Jedi levels?

  13. SlothfulCobra says:

    There’s actually an entirely separate quest to get the Sith armor just in case you didn’t go to the upper-city cantina first, so you don’t have to go all the way back in order to progress. That’s what I ran into the first time I played this game.

    I think the other version of the quest gives you two sets of Sith armor too, so it’s better too.

  14. John says:

    Hey Josh! You’re gonna help–or maybe “help”–with the dance audition in the net episode, right? Please tell me you’re gonna do the dance audition.

  15. Eleion says:

    I played as a boy scout too in my first playthrough, so Carth never complained or got annoyed with me. I quite liked him when I played the game.

    Buuut I can see how he would be super annoying without serving any real purpose if you were playing as anything less than full-lightside.

  16. Jokerman says:

    That guy guarding the door is Loghain from Dragon Age, which means he is in every Bioware series since this game.

  17. hborrgg says:

    So I played Kotor 2 before I played kotor 1, and the sense I got from that game was that Revan was the a-hole who screwed up the galaxy all while somehow being super self-rightous about it and everyone talking about him as this mary-sue-ish military genius when he really doesn’t sound like it. Point is I really grew to hate him, so going back to Kotor 1 and knowing that gasp, the PC was Revan the whole time I just couldn’t bring myself to actually finish the game.

    • lurkey says:

      I too played 1 after 2, and while I finished it, a lot of my disdain for it comes from that not only I am suddenly playing an idiot, I’m also supposed to believe said idiot is the Machiavellian mastermind from previous game? Pft.

      And by the way, military genius Mary Sue has her own name – Mary Tzu. :-}

  18. Vect says:

    So about Mission being romanceable, in SWtOR, the Sith Warrior’s first companion is a Twi’lek slave girl who happens to be voiced by Mission’s VA. She’s the Light-sided romance option (evidently she’s Early 20’s young), but you can also zap the shit out of her with your shock collar.

    They try to alleviate the whole Stockholm Syndrome thing by making it so that you have to take off her collar to progress through her personal storyline, but she’s still nominally your slave.

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    To be fair to carth,he is technically your superior in this prologue.He follows you because he is out of ideas,even though he technically outranks you.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    They should make a patch so that I could romance mission.Its ok,she is above age of consent in my country,so Im not a creepy perv.Unless I decide to turn her into a jedi,that is.

  21. RCN says:

    I see Josh hasn’t lost his knack for breaking games with a mere touch.

    Carth looking wherever the hell he wants to, NPCs vanishing between loads, people getting trapped out of their walking paths when he locks into conversation and being forced to teleport around.

    You guys have truly been blessed with suck.

    • Jokerman says:

      Heh, this games run weirdly even when it’s not josh who is playing. Mostly small visual stuff that does not impact the game though.

      • RCN says:

        Well, to be fair I’ve never encountered the “face away from the conversation passive-aggressively” bug.

        Though once I somehow survived a cut-scene/conversation that should have killed me and broke the whole game in the process.

    • John says:

      It’s not so much Josh as the game engine. This kind of thing happens all the time in both KotOR and Neverwinter Nights. Scripting in-engine cutscenes is a massive pain in the ass because pathfinding is–to be charitable–none too good. To make two characters stand close together, for example, you have to set the set a special flag on at least one of them that turns off collision detection. Otherwise, they won’t even come as close as arm’s length. Of course, now one of your chatacters is permeable to other characters and objects, so I hope you remember to unset the flag when you’re done. Bioware may have decided that characters occasionally standing in the wrong spot or facing the wrong way was the less ridiculous of two evils.

  22. RTBones says:

    Seems like every time one of the cast makes a joke about Regina’s backside which causes the cast to cut up – which is every time anyone makes a joke about Regina’s backside – I keep hearing this song in my head.

    I must be old.

  23. Tony Kebell says:

    ” Okay, he kind of has a point, inasmuch as the “evil” choice is usually a blend of Zsasz-level sociopathy, Rimmer-level pettiness, and Doofenshmirtz-level stupidity”

    I want this villain as a wrestler.

  24. Ringwraith says:

    This series is making me want to play the game again, which I never got around to finishing.
    Not helping my backlog!

  25. Bubble181 says:

    Man, just finished episodes 1-3 of this season. How do people manage to find enough time to listen to all episodes as they come out? When I’m not watching, I can at least contribute to the conversation when it’s still active =/ Despite this being the first season of agame I’ve played, I still may have to opt out. too large of a time investment…Anyway.

    -> I don’t understand people’s sidekick choices. Juhani’s easily one of them ost interesting ones, especially if you go Dark Side. She has quite afew interrupts and you can bring her right back to dark (though it doesn’t show as an in game change, it’s only in conversation). her and Jolee were always my go-to crew once available.
    -> Choosing strength as a consular is a crappy and nutty idea. The way lightsabers work, unless you’re goign full-guardian lightsaber-swinger, dexterity is objectively better.
    -> I vastly prefer this sort of combat over any form of real time combat or pure turn based combat, or one that demands actual player skill (that is, reaction speed/aiming; tactical choices are OK in my book)
    -> That’s….really not an especially big ass. Plenty of other heroines in PC games have wider asses. I can live with it as a recurring joke, sure, have fun, but I felt the need to point this out at least once.
    -> Pazaak is actually only good in KOTOR 2. In Kotor 1 you always go first, meaning you’re always at a disadvantage. In 2, it’s randomized.
    -> Some of the ridiculously long alien speeches are actual sound bytes recorded in fleshed-out alien languages. Which, of course, means they have to convey all of the meaning implied in the transliteration, which makes them stupid long.
    -> It’s perfectly possible to win the last arena fight as a level 2 scoundrel in regular clothing. Some stims, shields, mines, grenades help but aren’t even essential. As a soldier, especially if you’re leveling on Tarsis, it’s a cakewalk.

  26. NonEuclideanCat says:

    Mission is a fine name. I happen to know a one-eyed frog who goes by Mission.

  27. PowerGrout says:

    What did Mumbles ask Rutskarn to do that he then discovered he couldn’t?
    I can’t figure it out

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