Monday, December 15, 2003

Beware! *BIG* Spoilers within!

If you're playing KOTOR (or have any ambitions of playing it) and you haven't found all four Star Maps yet, turn back now. This post is going to be very spoiler heavy, so if you read something here that is going to ruin the surprise for you later in the game, it's not my fault. You have been fairly warned.


You don't want to read any more if you've not got all four Star Maps yet.

Look, just come back tomorrow when I'm going to rant about something harmless like Saddam Hussein being captured by the Yanks in Iraq.

Still here?

Right, it's *your* fault if you get spoiled, okay? I assume no responsibility.

Here we go, spoilers ahoy.

Other than my brief foray into work on Saturday, I've been playing KOTOR *all* weekend. If it weren't for the fact that I had to sleep, I would have been playing it for the whole 48 hours. This game has a Force Choke on my gaming affections at the moment. It's superbly superlative defying. I *have* to get this game completed for this time next week, as that's when I fly off to France for Christmas, and I don't want to leave this game uncompleted until the New Year.

What makes this game special isn't the graphics, the character animation, or the particle effects or any of those ephemeral, technical bells and whistles that seem de rigeur for every title under the sun these days, it's the characterisation, and the story.

I'd just completed the recovery of the third Star Map on Manaan, and was just off to collect the last one on Korriban when suddenly the Ebon Hawk gets captured by the Leviathan, Darth Malak's ship. Oh shit, you think. They can't force the final confrontation on you this quickly. Here's the spoiler - they don't. If anything, this is the beginning of your journey into the game.

Here is where all the subtle clues that have been placed before you in cutscenes, visions and pieces of throwaway dialogue suddenly coalesce into a truth so unexpected, so shocking, that I was physically blown away. I don't think I've ever been as shocked by a game before.

The game constantly paints a picture of Darth Revan as an evil monster - all the Jedi you talk to lead you to assume that Revan was killed when Malak turned on his master as Bastila and her strike team went to capture him. For you to confront Malak on the Leviathan and then discover that *YOU* are Darth Revan, that Bastila, and the rest of the Jedi you have met and have been made to trust have lied and misled you thoughout the *whole game* up to that point, it's absolutely mind-wrenching. It's also classic Star Wars, and I really should have seen it coming, but it's a testament to the writing, and the subtlety of the game's execution that I didn't.

*This* is how games should be written. I can't wait to go home tonight and seen how the rest of the game unfolds.

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