Knights of the Old Republic EP31: Your Entire Party Has Been Killed

By Shamus
on Nov 18, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I think of all the ways your Star Wars adventure can end, “Killed in a popup” is perhaps the lamest. Come on, BioWare. At least show us a shitty animation. Or put some flavor text in the box. Something.

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  1. wheals says:

    KOTOR really does seem to be in a weird place, as a evolutionary middle step between text-heavy RPGs like Baldur’s Gate and “modern” ones, with its semi-voiced speech, numbers popping up during combat, and as is mentioned dialog boxes to convey information to the player. What really struck me was the whole ancient beast quest on Kashyyyk in Episode 26, which had you pulling out the sword blade from the corpse’s hide… in text at the bottom of the screen. Of course that would be a little cutscene with a special animation in a modern game, and while I personally don’t care about voice acting that’s definitely an improvement.

    • Metal C0Mmander says:

      That’s what makes you think this game is archaic? Not the combat system that can’t make its mind about being turn by turn or being real-time and instead half-ass both with a round system that makes it difficult to understand the rules of it?

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Rounds arent difficult to understan.Rtwp gameplay is not the problem,rather the weird bonuses and penalties that often make no sense.

        • ehlijen says:

          But it isn’t realtime with pause. It’s 3 second animated turns with a stoppable timer.

          Actual realtime with pause would be better, as then you wouldn’t have some people wondering why their character isn’t doing what they just ordered them to do.

          As in, telling someone to stop attacking and take a healthpack can take an aweful long time because the character has to wait for the next 3 second turn to start. But at the same time, you can interrupt anything with keyboard movement commands. It’s inconsistent and thus confusing to non d20 veterans.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Thats what real time with pause has been ever since baldurs gate.

            • Zekiel says:

              Pillars of Eternity (which admittedly came out over a decade later) managed to provide timers for each character so you can see how long it will take before they can act again. This makes things MUCH less frustrating.

            • ehlijen says:

              That’s only in RPGs. The UFO: After-* series had actual real time with pause, the difference being that you were never locked into an animation to finish before you could abort it with new orders and that the game ’rounds’ were measured in something like 1/10s of seconds.

              XCOM-Apocalypse also had that as an optional mode, and I believe many of the Jagged Alliance successor attempts used it. Fallout 3 was realtime with pause (Vats) and a bullet time semi-cheat mode.

              Even ME2 and 3 were realtime with pause (squad power menu).

              BG to KOTOR were neither turn based (as the game never waited for the player) nor truly realtime (as time is measured in too long stretches at once to be considered ‘real’).
              The very fact that initiative is rolled makes it very ‘unreal’ time.

              PEO came a lot closer than KOTOR because it wasn’t locked into synchronised 3s turns for everyone.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                The xcoms still had weapon cooldowns that took some time to fire after you gave the order.And you can still interrupt your actions in kotor by simply walking away.Walking is a free action in all the rtwp rpgs,and its only actions that have a delay between being issued and starting.

                • ehlijen says:

                  But in KOTOR every actual action still takes the exact same 3 seconds and can only be ‘slotted’ into the 3s turn framework everything is built on.
                  If you begin an animation for 1 second, walk away for one second and then try a new action, you must still wait another second for the next action slot to start.

                  The games I describe had many different actions of different speeds. The order in which things occurred was an emergent result based on the speed of the actors and their chosen actions. If you shot first, it was because you got into position first or had a faster to draw weapon.
                  In KOTOR, it is purely decided by initiative. The guy trying to aim the scoped rifle with the ctritical shot feat gets exactly one attack per 3s, same as the guy blasting with the pistol who doesn’t use any feat. The order in which their shots is resolved is determined not by who surprises whom, range of the battle or even tactical placement; it’s just about who rolled higher on a DEX check.

                  That’s why KOTOR isn’t true realtime. It has none of the advantages that realtime brings, because it chooses not to use them. The game is still just both sides alternating their d20 attack rolls. All that’s changed is that by default each turn has a timer as long as the replay of the previous turn.

          • Metal C0Mmander says:

            No that I understand very well it’s who hits first that’s a problem. Often I’ll end up in a fight where I’ll risk going for an attack in the hope of being able to heal before I get damaged twice but with this system it’s almost impossible to tell when characters start moving. I guess I could go and force the game to pause after each round but that’s a really bassakward way to do thing especially when you consider that it make simple fights take longer.

            And speaking of the movement system being horrible, why the fuck do my characters with guns decide to run in the face of my enemies instead of shooting them?

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              You can look at the log to see who won initiative,what rolls missed,how hard they hit,etc.Its a pretty extensive log.

              • Alexander The 1st says:

                Which you have to go into the journal menu and specify you want the feedback data to be triggered, and even then you’d have to check earlier to see the actual initiative roll, since every other roll shows up after that.

                It takes all the confusion of Real time, with none of the clarity of Turn Based, with the time span of turn based where you can pause at any point.

    • Metal C0Mmander says:

      Anyway to add a bit to the conversation, even to this day some games might not try to make a custom animation for something like that. Swtor for example would have had a canned animation of the character kneeling down and getting back up and he would have magically had the sword in his hand after that.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Umm,baldurs gate also had some voiced conversations,numbers popping everywhere on the screen and popups.The only difference is that bg had an isometric view instead of over the shoulder camera.

      • Supahewok says:

        …What Baldur’s Gate were you playing? Because there were NO pop-ups (unless you want to count the narration at the beginning of each chapter), and the only places numbers showed up was the dialog box at the bottom. Unless you held down Alt or something so that you could see your character’s HP totals above their heads, but that’s a far cry from arcade-y damage numbers.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Ok,Im slightly exaggerating.Things dont really pop UP,but surprise stuff does happen and appear in the dialogue box.Same with numbers,they dont really fly around the screen,but they do appear in the dialogue box.Which you can make into a massive place that consumes a big chunk of the screen.

    • SlothfulCobra says:

      You can also look at all of the calculations and rolls, if you want.

  2. Humanoid says:

    Your entire party has been killed, therefore it’s time to start the Fallout 4 season?

    • MichaelGC says:

      Patience you must have, my young padawan. It’s a little known fact that Yoda here:

      [t]hrough the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future…the past. Old friends long gone[,]

      is actually talking about quickload.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    @1:20

    Oh Mumbles,you are such a sith justice warrior.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Dangling someone in front of a monster is actually a good guy thing.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    For shame Shamoose,you let Josh have that whole “what do they eat?” tirade before you

    • MichaelGC says:

      They’re really showing their versatility this week! Mumbles takes care of the Twi’lek impressions (“Cheeeee-ku,” etc.) in the absence of Rutskarn, and I’m assuming/hoping the Thursday & Friday episodes will be mostly taken up by Shamus telling us about problems with his sink.

  6. Wide And Nerdy says:

    You can move those bodies in Fallout 4 by the way, just like in Skyrim and other Bethesda games. You hold the use button for an extra moment and you can pick them up and drag them.

    That said, it would be nice if they disappeared after you’re done looting. Or after you leave the cell or after you wait.

    There was a mod like that for Skyrim. I’m sure someone will make it for Fallout 4.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      What,you dont like naked people lying all around you?

    • Metal C0Mmander says:

      Oh yeah this was particularly annoying in New Vegas where bodies were considered heavy objects so that people would be dissuaded of using them and mobile containers. It got really dumb when the properties remain the same for a gib like an arm, a leg, a head or a fucking eye. Didn’t stop from moving the corpse from the streets but not too far. So that’s Goodspring got its welcome sing nicely redecorated with a Powder Ganger’s corpse.

    • Ayegill says:

      It’s really annoying in Fallout 4, because (at least with the default control scheme), holding that button is also how you get out of your power armor, so to grab items without getting out of your PA, you have to hold it for just the right amount of time.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        You mean you dont rush through the level killing everyone,then exit your power armor and meticulously backtrack to pick up all of the loot,thus preserving your fusion core(that you already have dozens of)as much as possible?What kind of weirdo would play carelessly like that?

      • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

        I wouldn’t have thought that would be much of a problem since the presence of any other thing that the E button could be used for seems to stop it being used to leave the Armor. So when I want to fix my armor, I have to walk up to the Power Armor station, face away from it, get out of the armor, then face the power station to start the crafting.

        This is in spite of the fact that you can’t do any of those other things (sit in a chair, lay in a bed, use a crafting station, etc) when you’re in power armor. It should just assume that you don’t intend to do those other things, since you can’t, and let you eject.

        • Zekecool says:

          Or you can just look at the station and press E. That also jumps into crafting your armor, no climbing in needed.

        • ehlijen says:

          It’s not the only doubling up issue the game has for buttons. The button for throwing grenades and stabbing with a bayonet is the same. Better hope the game gets which you mean!
          And you can’t even bind them to different keys on a PC as they’re hard coded to be the same entry in the controls menu.

    • James says:

      Or you can use the console to remove the entities, but that’s a purely PC fix.

      Also with all beth games i dont consider using the console cheating, its sometimes the only way to fix stupid crap.

  7. 4ier says:

    Were you hoping that someone would make a picture of mustache-twirling HK-47?
    Because… here you go.
    :)

  8. RE: Oral traditions.

    Here’s a thing that happened earlier this year here in Australia.
    Not a lot of detail in that article, but it’s still interesting, I thought.

  9. SlothfulCobra says:

    Josh is trying so hard to gimmick his way into putting on his favorite piece of gear, but it doesn’t matter, once he goes back past the light side threshold, that chinpiece is just going to fall off anyways.

  10. Mumbles says:

    i dont use push to talk anymore so i can’t hide all the giggling i do in real life my apologies

  11. Metal C0Mmander says:

    Oh yeah, there’s actually a dark side option once you kill the Krayt Dragon. It drops two pearls and you can decide to take the one for the other hunter killing him for it.

    • John says:

      The interesting thing abut killing Komad for the second pearl is that Canderous criticizes you for it. He seems to think that it’s dishonorable because you were working together. Unlike Carth or Bastila, however, he won’t actually stop you from killing anyone.

  12. Grudgeal says:

    Ah, I see the Spoiler Warning crew favours the Nodwick school of dragon slaying.

  13. Warclam says:

    And at last, we see the dreaded crate dragon! Turns out it’s an absurdly oversized monitor lizard. But with horns!

  14. Pyrrhic Gades says:

    That animation that the hunter used when he was about go get died was really confusing. You can’t tell that he’s is being killed since it looks like he is being controlled by the proto-Thorian.

    In my most recent playthrough (well, my brother’s game which I was backseat driving), I sent him into the cave, thinking that duckman (the guy who ducks his head) was in danger and that I could save him – I had recalled that talking to the Twileck would trigger the mining move, so I wanted to see what’s in the cave before hand.

    Don’t post under the influence at home. kids

  15. John says:

    The krayt dragon pearl is actually a fairly decent lightsaber crystal, at least for the early to mid game. I’d have to check the exact stats, but I think you get something like +3 or so to both hit and damage. By way of comparison, the sort of crystals Josh is likely to have after Dantooine, Tatooine, and Kashyyyk are (i) the Rubat, which gives +1 to hit and +1 to damage, (ii) the Bondar, which has a really pathetic stun effect, (iii) the Sigil, which gives +1D6 (or about +3.5, on average) to damage, and maybe (iv) the Damind, which gives +3 to hit.

    When I’m evil, I like to kill Komad for the extra pearl so that I can have a matching set of lightsabers.

  16. Jakale says:

    “Or put some flavor text in the box. Something.”

    I’ve got a mental image of Sierra style death pun boxes.
    “Your meeting with the Krayt Dragon certainly didn’t drag on.”

  17. Neil W says:

    I have feeling dragons and pearls comes from a Chinese legend or something. Did a dragon reach enlightenment and leave behind a pearl perhaps? Does the pearl represent enlightenment and the dragon guard it? Can’t remember enough details to google unfortunately so have undoubtedly wrecked some Buddhist metaphor :(

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