Knights of the Old Republic EP37: The Shocking Conclusion of KOTOR

By Shamus
on Dec 30, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

Fair warning: This episode is bound to be an instant classic. It starts off with some armchair game design, loses its way, makes a bunch of inside jokes, and then goes off-topic, while unendurable ages of indistinguishable combat roll on. Then we discover we came all this way for nothing, before it’s revealed that we REALLY came all this way for NOTHING.

That’s a really strange ending for a AAA game, even in 2003. It lacked closure. Oh well. Next up I think we’re going to play Dragon Age: Origins: The Deep Roads: Maximum Difficulty: Solo Run.

See you there.

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2020201777 comments. (Seventy-seven is the smallest positive integer requiring five syllables in English!)

From the Archives:

  1. Ledel says:

    Well, at least this is one Bioware game that allows you to face the consequences of your actions and doesn’t railroad you along to the next plot point.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Props to them for that. And its not just at this point that they let you have a wildly off the rails ending to your story. This game really is good. What happened to Bioware after this?

      • Jokerman says:

        Jade Empire also had a pretty cool set of choices near the end that can completely turn your party against you.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well me2 does allow you to have an ending where everyone dies in the suicide mission even though you defeat the collectors.And technically the extended ending to me3 does have the “everyone died,the cycle continued” ending.So they still do those from time to time.

    • Blovsk says:

      If they only had autosaves in appropriate places before these instant-death moments.

    • Ilseroth says:

      As someone who didn’t act like a total lunatic, I never got the death ending of that trial. Right up until it went to the main menu I was expecting it to cut away to something happening to save you guys but nope.

      Good stuff.

      • Talsin says:

        I got the death ending on this. I plead guilty, since I figured that they caught me and there was no disputing that, but afterwords I could justify my actions with a good old fashioned “I was doing it to save the poor innocent Selkath children” defense. They give you three dialogue choices to change your mind and then kill you. Nobody in the room believes it when you plead guilty, it’s kinda the funniest thing in the whole game.

        • ehlijen says:

          Is there a way to get out of being executed without having started the missing children quest?

          • Supahewok says:

            Pretty sure you can still reason/lie your way out of it; completing that quest is just the easiest way out of the trial.

            • Supahewok says:

              Now that I’ve seen the episode I’m pretty sure that the “Sith lured me in —> Sith were trying to turn me to the darkside” were actually the options I used way back in my first playthrough to get a Not Guilty verdict.

          • Endymion says:

            I’m quite certain no, there isn’t.

            Back when I first played through KOTOR I used 3 saves and rotated between them. So I had 3 lovely savefiles of near the start of the sith base, somewhere in the middle, and right when I realized I couldn’t open the door.

            So yeah, I must’ve tried to get through that trial a dozen times at least. In the end I concluded it was a dead file and I needed to restart the whole game over again.

    • What I love about this ending is that depending on how you play, you might end the game even though you only played like 1/4 or 1/5 of it.

      Also most games these days you just get a game over screen and that’s it, here though you get a long scripted game over screen with interactivity/dialog choices.

      Today devs don’t get to do this as that budget must be spent elsewhere. Bioware clearly had enough time and budget to add this ending.

      I can’t recall it, but I think on my first play through of KoTOR that I actually did end up dying in this ending, to say I was surprised was an understatement. But I still enjoyed that it existed.

      I always enjoy games that allow you the choice to take “the path not taken” or “choice not taken”.
      Most games just do not include in the design process at all, I wish they all could though.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Reminds me of the multiple cases you can do this in The Witcher 2.
      Even frequently gives you chances to back out!

  2. In Dragon Age, will you be using the mod that doubles the size of the enemies’ health bars? ‘Cause that’s the definitive way to play the game and I will accept no substitutes.

  3. Wide And Nerdy says:

    After the one rule was established for Chris, you should have disagreed with each other making it impossible for him to comply.

  4. SlothfulCobra says:

    Lisa the Painful RPG has a way better fish court.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugejZEUNjzg

  5. krellen says:

    I was really expecting just a full minute of laughter closing out the episode.

  6. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Was that intentional Chris?

    Whats funny is you haven’t done the Manaan Manaan joke before, but you did ask before if you’d done it before. Everyone even concluded that you should have just done the joke rather than asking.

  7. Pyrrhic Gades says:

    What’s bullshit about that trial is that the Selkath weren’t able to pull any witnesses. What’s that? No one saw me go on a rampage killing everyone in the base? Pft, a likely story concidering that I killed everyone.
    I DEMAND A RETRIAL (BY COMBAT)

    • Spammy says:

      This being a video game, an RPG, and a Bioware game besides I’m surprised that the Selkath who abhor violence and are fierce about maintaining the delicate peace of their world do not actually allow you to trial by combat your way out of the execution.

  8. Gruhunchously says:

    Best Episode Ever.

  9. Gruhunchously says:

    RIP Regina Cuftbert

    3994 BBY-3956 BBY

    “She felt like showing them who was boss.”

  10. Rodyle says:

    So Shamus, as far as RPGs go, as one of about 3 reviewers that actually finished Witcher 3 (or played past Novgorod for that matter), do you have any intention of really sitting down and doing a proper, long form analysis of it?

    Also have you got Heart of Stone yet? It’s a return to the form of the original Witcher short stories, this self-contained remix of traditional folklore with Geralt mixed in and it’s easily one of the best parts of the game.

    • Shamus says:

      I’m not sure. I’ve got the Mass Effect series cooking now, and Fallout 4 has to come next. That would mean I’d be writing about Witcher 3 in late summer 2016. It’s hard to say what will happen between now and then.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        When you say “Fallout 4 has to come next” do you mean an article (maybe in two or three parts) or something novella-length like each of the Mass Effect games is getting?

      • Don’t forget Mass Effect 4 will happen around summer 2016, Shamus.

        • MichaelGC says:

          Aye – although it’ll be southern hemisphere summer, I think!: December 2016…

          I’d love to read more Shamus on Witcher, but I think we’ll just have to be patient and hope that the spirit takes him to have another playthrough at some point. Which may be never … but I’d be surprised! And, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m happy to “make do” with Mass Effects and Fallouts and WhatNots in the meantime… :D

          • Bubble181 says:

            On the one hand, sure.
            On the other, ME and FO are both series Shamus has written literally hundreds of thousands of words about, while The Witcher….I think 5 posts, all negative, about the first two games, and one or two positive about the third game. For a game he’s mentioned as “nearly perfect and everything I want”, which he’s played for dozens of hours this year, he’s been surprisingly tacit.
            I do understand ten posts saying “I love this. This is great too. That works well. Oh my, that’s good. Oooh, nitpick, this bit only works somewhat okayish.” can get boring, but I’m really curious about his thoughts there. And I, for one, seriously doubt we’ll ever get them, because of FO4 and ME2/3.

            • Supahewok says:

              Yeah, honestly. I respect that Shamus gotta write what he’s passionate about, and I also respect that it’s his damn blog and he can put what he wants on it, but I’m sick to death of Mass Effect talk. I also really don’t care about FO4, I don’t intend to ever play it. From a purely selfish perspective, I love Shamus’ writings, but wish he would direct them somewhere else.

  11. The Mich says:

    Uhm… I’m feeling pretty dumb. Can someone explain to me the joke at 7:40 please?

    Awesome episode by the way! :)

  12. Mintskittle says:

    Yep, I ran into this same problem when I played KotoR way back when. Even better, I was in the habit of overwriting my old saves with new ones, so I had no way to get back out of the Sith base and no older save to revert to.

    • No idea if it was fixed in a later patch (or community patch), but ideally a auto-save should be made in such cases so that you can go back to the moment just before the point of no return.
      I don’t recall exactly but I think it was a dialog choice at one point that was the point of no return.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Always fail checks work in games where persuading is not a percentage,but a pass/fail barrier like in new vegas.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      I don’t think New Vegas has any ‘always fail’ checks though.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      I think the always fail checks could be a somewhat meta thing. If the player has a dialogue option that obviously looks like some kind of persuade check but doesn’t have markers they could suspect it’s a case of either always pass or always fail situation. Of course this is assuming that there are markers and that they are given consistently. In case of KOTOR I’m willing to believe that it’s a leftover from tabletop games, a lot of DMs will let the players carry arguments and will only demand rolls in certain situations to verify how convincing the character is or how well they can lie.

      Of course in tabletop RPGs this is more important as part of a separation between player and charater, for example if a player is fairly quick witted but they are playing some kind of really despicable dreg the DM may use rolls to demonstrate that even valid arguments get shot down at times because the character simply isn’t liked, same thing if the player is socially awkward but they are playing a charismatic character. In case of video games the player can only use the dialogue options provided by the developers so it would make sense to change or limit those depending on the character’s attributes rather than do “rolls”, like the original Fallout (drink) did if I remember correctly.

      • Jabrwock says:

        I rolled a nat’20 on some kind of diplomacy check, and the DM rolled something behind his screen, made a “huh” noise, and then lifted his screen. The bureaucrat had rolled a nat’20 on his counter check. He explained it as basically our attempt to out-clever the clerk were too good, and he was too dense to fall for it, so he was falling back on bloody-minded stubbornness. We had to try another tactic to get past him.

        Another time I rolled a 1 on a check I needed a 2+ to pass. The conversation basically went like a comedy of errors after that.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    They sound different to you?

    Of course!One sounds much younger and charismatic,and the other one is Josh.

  15. Cuthalion says:

    Wow. This is probably the second funniest Spoiler Warning episode I’ve ever seen. (The first was when the horse killed the dragon in Skyrim. Or maybe when Josh got arrested 8 times in Skyrim. Or maybe those were the same episode?)

    I probably sound like I’m being sarcastic, but I really did laugh out loud.

  16. Christopher says:

    Booo to that title!

  17. Grudgeal says:

    Welp, now I can’t unsee Exar Coon either. And here I thought I’d left the Space Racism behind on the Planet of the Howling Fur Carpets.

  18. Neil W says:

    As an ending it still makes more sense than KOTOR2 though.

  19. Jarenth says:

    I genuinely can’t think of a better way to close out the year.

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