Knights of the Old Republic EP51: Towers of Hanoied

By Shamus Posted Friday Feb 12, 2016

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 61 comments

Link (YouTube)

In this episode we argued about the last time we did the Towers of Hanoi on Spoiler Waring. I am 99% sure it was Mass Effect EP8: Oh Crap, a Popup, which originally aired on March 2nd, 2010. For my part, I don’t blame Chris for confusing it with episodes he’s been in. I’ve done the same thing. Wait, I’m not in this one? I could swear I remember being there for the recording?!?

Here is the RocketJump Ft. Key & Peele Sketch sketch I mentioned in the episode.


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61 thoughts on “Knights of the Old Republic EP51: Towers of Hanoied

  1. Majere says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever not redeemed Yuthura after I realized it was an option. Like, triple crossing both of them is hilarious but her redemption is actually rather well done (or at least I think so).

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      Yeah I always loved how many people you could save while playing super light side. Mikal, those three people in the cave, Dustil, Yuthura…. I like to imagine the scene that plays out as this string of former Sith show up at the Jedi temple.

    2. SlothfulCobra says:

      I prefer killing them both, since that would probably plunge the academy into less chaos than it’s already in.

      1. Majere says:

        Redeeming Yuthura is functionally identical as killing her insofar as its effect on the Academy. It still results in it no longer having a master and descending into a you induced bloodbath.

  2. Grudgeal says:

    17:00 — Funny you should mention that, Shamus. A 21-piece Towers of Hanoi turns up in an abandoned temple in Sunless Sea. Which, due to the interface, you solve by clicking dialogue options, one per move. So, yes, it takes roughly 2,100,000 clicks to solve it.

    At which point you discover the door mechanism it was supposed to open has long since decayed, forcing you to blow the door open to proceed.

    1. John says:

      I should clarify (because I love Sunless Sea) that the game does not actually make you click millions of times to solve the puzzle- it starts dropping hints that you may want to use dynamite pretty much immediately.

      1. Grudgeal says:

        I’m more impressed by the fact that they actually added an event for people who were willing to click that b___dy button 2 million times to begin with… Then again, they probably realized that someone was bound to try sooner or later, like that one ending in The Stanley Parable.

        1. Ranneko says:

          From what I remember looking through the files, there is also a chance of an event during the long path that resets you back to zero

  3. Chuck says:

    Wasn’t there a Towers like puzzle in Alan Wake? I remember the crew remarking on it, at least. Maybe that was what Campster was thinking of?

    1. MichaelGC says:

      [superfluous hyperlinkage]

      Edit: nvm Daemian’s got this one!

  4. WILL says:

    Redeeming Yuthura is a bit more complicated – you need to talk to her a lot, learn her backstory and essentially become her friend which might be impossible if you tell Uthar about her plan. I think *then* she realises you’re Revan.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Freedon nadd is pretty funny,but after hearing about jizz,nothing in the star wars universe sounds sillier.Except for jizz constructs,of course,like jizz box.

  6. Jokerman says:

    Tower of “annoyed”…. plus points if you know where i got that from.

    1. Metal C0Mmander says:

      I tried to google it but I think I broke the search engine doing that.

    2. ehlijen says:

      All I got is that game ‘avoid the noid’? You have to get to the top of a skyscraper (tower if you will) while hordes of pink bunnies called ‘noids’ try to ruin the pizza.

      It’s the tower of the noids?

      1. Gruhunchously says:

        You’re a droid and I’m a noid?

        1. Henson says:

          Take my Worf, please!

    3. Jokerman says:

      Well…. Obviously it was this episode of Interactive Fiction you all should’ve watched.

  7. Henson says:

    This entire episode was spent speaking directly to my computer screen:

    “No. No. No, Josh. No. Left. Left. LEFT. No. No no no no no no no no nononononono.”

    You’d think Josh would have done a Towers of Hanoi puzzle before.

    1. James says:

      In the mass effect series Randy did it, in one try with no mistakes, it is now confirmed Randy is better then Josh massivly

      1. David says:

        It took Josh 11 minutes 33 seconds to do what Randy did in 36 seconds. And it only took me an extra five minutes of searching through videos to get timestamps to figure that out. Time totally not wasted.

    2. ColeusRattus says:

      Yes, my SO actually asked me if everything was alright after the heavy facepalming I had to do watching Josh fumble the ToH…

    3. Trix2000 says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one doing this…

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Could it be that Chris is thinking of this:

    1. baseless_research says:

      Oh. My. God.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Not Kevin MacLeod’s finest hour imo. Although I guess the close temporal comparison with a masterpiece like Funky Chunk is particularly unkind.

  9. SlothfulCobra says:

    You know, seeing Josh rummage through his inventory reminds me of how I tried at first to read every item description. KOTOR was my very first RPG like this, and I wanted at the time to see all of it. They even have a nifty highlighting scheme so you know what’s new! I didn’t know yet that there are so many items, and most of the descriptions are dull and uninteresting. It sounds good to have these huge repositories of text to add lore and depth to the game world, but actually trying to go through it all wears you down for very little reward. The Codex made that whole deal even more prominent. It’s just so much text.

    The whole deal with the Sith uniforms is that they aren’t just gear to boost your stats, they’re a disguise. Everybody changes their reactions to you when you wear it, the droids will talk to you, the commonfolk will fear you, the other Sith stop acting like jerks, and the bars won’t let you in to drink on duty. They’d have to design the rest of the game around that one feature.

    1. Metal C0Mmander says:

      The sith armors are like that. Sith uniforms themselves are different.

  10. John says:

    The sad, sad truth of the matter is that the Towers of Hanoi portion of the tomb is completely optional. To make matters worse, the reward for completing the puzzle–the Poison Blade of Naga Sadow–is only a middling-good sword. It’s excellent in the early game, but obsolete in the end game. The Baragwin Assault Blade becomes available once you obtain all four maps and is the best sword in the game (with the possible exception of Bacca’s Blade). But wait! It gets even worse! The only companions who should be equipped with swords in the first place are Zaalbar and Canderous. No sane player would ever use Canderous in the end game during a Light Side run–Juhani and Jolee are much, much better–or Zaalbar in the end game under any circumstances. Wait! No, that was not a suggestion!

    The best way to defeat tarentateks is, as Josh discovered, to stun them. I was not aware that Force Wave would work. I generally use either Stun/Stasis Field or Horror/Insanity. Then I slice them to pieces. If you do Korriban too early, you won’t have access to those powers and you’ll have to do it the hard way. Pump yourself full of stims, pack a bunch of Mandalorian melee shields, and pray. It’s also possible to use stealth to avoid combat entirely, making that room the only post-Taris location where stealth is ever useful. Finally, there’s the exploit method. The tarentateks for some reason will not follow you into the room with the grenades. Go into the room, then shoot them. But don’t get cocky, kid. It’ll be five tedious minutes of plinking away with a blaster rifle before both tarentateks die.

    1. Atarlost says:

      Actually, it’s entirely reasonable to equip Revan, and Carth with blades as well.

      Going with physical swords on a soldier lets you pick up focus and specialization on Taris for a better early game, lets you go through shields that stop lightsabers and blasters, and — when fully upgraded — the best swords just plain hit harder than lightsabers.

      Carth isn’t Canderous, but he’s just better in a melee than Zaalbar because he can wear armor. And he’s better in melee than with blasters, really. Swords just tend to hit harder than pistols in this game even before the stat bonus. They tend to be d10s or d12s and guns tend to be d6s or d8s with similar static bonuses. Adjunta Pall is better than any two pistols, possibly even the Cassus Saul pairing, and is the bargain basement “Candy and Revan are bogarting all the enhancers” option. And then you add strength to damage and it’s slightly easier to stack strength than dex if you have Yavin access because of the heavy exoskeleton. Carth’s starting strength isn’t bad enough to make going dex worth it.

      Naga Sadow might not do endgame damage, but it has a pretty good poison DC: I think the best for any item. I believe poison has a stat reduction effect that actually makes it useful. You wouldn’t want to use it on the Starforge, but as late as the Rakatan temple it’s not an automatic reject. It also has the benefit of not eating upgrades like Bacca, the BAB, or every single off-hand vibro worth using ever.

  11. Benjamin Hilton says:

    On robes vs armor:

    The fig leaf in this and the next game is that armor somehow reduces the ability to focus the force (some rpgs do this with their magic system as well). This is rebuke by many other series (Obi-Wan wears armor all the time in the Clone Wars).

    On a lot of my play throughs (especially in KOTOR II where the player character is a former general) I just accept that I wont be able to use force powers and wear he heaviest armor I can find so at least I don’t look like a dunce.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I always thought the robes thing that bleed into the prequels from eu was stupid.Obi wan was wearing them because he was in hiding,not because they are somehow the official jedi thing.Not to mention that robes are a bad idea for when you are using a sword.

      1. Benjamin Hilton says:

        Yeah the only real argument is that it goes with the whole “warrior monk” motif.

        1. ehlijen says:

          Which again, wasn’t well thought out. Obiwan and Yoda certainly had monk traits, but neither of them were warriors. Yoda even rejects the term ‘warrior’ as applying to himself.

          The eastern monk/mystic motif has robes, absolutely, though, so putting every jedi in robes wasn’t the worst idea. Just making them exactly like their hiding robes…

          1. Alexander The 1st says:

            Just making them exactly like their hiding robes…

            “*Nobody* would go into hiding wearing the *official* robes of their prosecuted order! Clearly these reports of a Jedi-looking guy is a red herring.”

            EDIT: Reminds me of the joke conversation I had with someone on Twitter on the idea that the twist in Episode 8 that is revealed is that Luke’s just been hiding on an Endor that’s been flooded by all the water resources on the Death Star that blew up in Episode 6 the whole time, and nobody thinks its in their best interest to spend time following a rumor that “Luke was last scene on Endor by someone else.”

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Arent eastern monks in those tight toga like things however?Its those in the north that have cloaks because of the harsh weather,while those in the east(and south)were more modest about their clothing.You know,this as opposed to this.

            1. ehlijen says:

              Aren’t those both a type of robe?

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                No idea.But I know that when talking about starwars,we are talking about the second one.

      2. wheals says:

        People say that the prequels/EU made this up, but wasn’t Anakin Skywalker (the original one, not just the Hayden Christensen that got added later) in the ending scene of RotJ also wearing a robe? At least, that’s what it looked like to me.

        1. ehlijen says:

          Uncle Owen wore the same robe, too. Even Luke’s shirt on tatooine had robelike elements.

    2. Lachlan the Mad says:

      One of my favourite builds for KotOR is the Hammer Jedi; start as Soldier, gain as many levels on Taris as you can (i.e. don’t hang onto levels and do them all on Dantooine), then pick the Jedi Meatshield class, keep your heavy armour, and only pick force powers that aren’t restricted by armour.

  12. Benjamin Hilton says:

    I’m kinda sad we didn’t get to see Carth’s son. That is probably the most interesting companion quest in this game.

  13. Gruhunchously says:

    “She is so purple I just want to touch her head-tails (even though they’re probably slimy)” -Shamus 2016

  14. Gruhunchously says:

    “Did you not feel a moment of excitement in the tomb?” Bwahahahahahah….

  15. Starker says:

    Ah, so that’s how you spell Towers of Annoy.

  16. silver Harloe says:

    “if we froze the acid, would it still be acidic?”

    here’s how acids “work” (warning: it’s been 30 years since I learned this, I may be off here):
    an acid is like H-Cl. The H part is the dangerous bit, it can bond with molecules in your skin and make them no longer appropriately part of your skin and they come off. But in order for the H to come off the Cl, you have to have it in a big pile of water: the Hs from the acid start interchanging with the H-OHs which ARE the water, and while they are switching off, they are “free” so they can latch onto things like your skin. Basically HCl + HOH = HCl + HOH, but the leading Hs are switching around randomly, and while they are “off” the Cls and OHs, they are happy to bond with anything even more exciting they might find on the way.

    If you had a big pile of absolutely dry HCl and you could promise not to sweat or excrete water in any form, you could coat yourself in it, and nothing exciting would happen. But add a little water, and it starts doing the magic acid thing.

    So basically, if the water is frozen, the free exchange of Hs from H-Cl and H-OH doesn’t happen, and so you don’t have a bunch of Hs transiting from one molecule to the other looking for something even more exciting (like your skin) to latch onto.

    In short: frozen acid is harmless (except if you melt any of it with your body temp)

    1. Matt Downie says:

      So, completely harmless, unless you touch it and have a body temperature above freezing point?

    2. Jean says:

      So basically if Revan Cuthbert had dropped a thermal grenade on those two Sith, that would have ended the fight right there.

    3. Neil W says:

      Ah, but if the acid is anything at all like water-ice, simple pressure will melt it. (This is why ice is slippery when you tread on it even with an insulated boot whose outer temperature is much the same as the environment; the top layer of the ice becomes a frictionless fluid when stepped on). So the frozen acid would melt a tiny, slippery, corrosive layer onto the soles of your boot as you run across.

      Or you could Jedi-jump across, that might work.

      1. SL128 says:

        Yes, but theoretically if you use a non-water solvent which is more dense as a solid than liquid and has a freezing point above 310.15K, touching it would be totally fine.

    4. Grudgeal says:

      That’s essentially it, yes. It works the same way for bases incidentally, as you may remember from the famous Fight Club scene. Basically, acids and bases need water as a reactant in order to donate or absorb hydrogen ions.

      However, when frozen acid begins to melt, you’ll get acid fumes (in the HCl example this would be steam mixed with Chloride ions, which will ‘reform’ into HCl in your lungs) coming off of it. So unless the frozen acid is in an environment where there’s no heat exchange, i.e the room is as cold as the acid is, I’d wear a gas mask. Aaaand a body suit.

  17. Rodyle says:

    Damn you Chris. I now want a show in which 24 is the henchman of a sith lord.

  18. Zantaros says:

    I haven’t played Jade Empire in a few years, so my memory might be spotty, but I can’t seem to figure out where the Towers of Hanoi puzzle was in that game.

    Granted, that’s probably part of the game that my brain intentionally chooses to not remember.

    1. Henson says:

      The TV tropes page mentions a Towers of Hanoi puzzle in Jade Empire, but my own investigations can’t seem to find specifically what or where it shows up, and I sure don’t remember it.

      But apparently, it does show up in The Old Republic!

  19. Warclam says:

    Oh my god, Josh. What the hell. It’s the Tower of Hanoi. It’s only FOUR DISKS. How can you screw it up so much?

    Moving an odd stack: start by moving to your destination. Moving an even stack: start by moving to not-your-destination. That’s it. 4-disk ToH is only 15 moves.

    1. mhoff12358 says:

      Recurse damn you! Recurse!

      1. Speaking of which, pretty much the only reason I find the ToH puzzle interesting is because of this recursive function in Python to solve the puzzle. I love staring at this code and feeling like my mind is turning inside-out.

    2. ehlijen says:

      Yup, the only trick and danger to the puzzle is that it specifies one destination as good and the other as bad.

      Otherwise it’s a ‘like riding a bicycle’ puzzle. Do it once and it should all come back if you ever need to do it again. Which is why it surprises me how often bioware used it.

  20. Jonathan Scinto says:

    Are we going to get any SW slash fanfiction read in the Dolphin Lover’s voice?

  21. Scott Schulz says:

    So, who’s up for doing this all again when the recently announced remake comes out?

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