Is KOTOR 2 destined to be forgotten by Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Finding the wait for Star Wars: The Old Republic unbearable?  Can’t get into the beta?  Since we still have over a month to go until launch, there’s enough time to dip into the “prequels” (so to speak) of BioWare’s first MMO.  You know, Knights of the Old Republic, and, um, that other one.  I think it had a 2 in its name?  The one that nobody ever talks about?

In setting up my new laptop, I was sorting though all my software and came across my discs for Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, AKA “The KOTOR game I’ve tried to play twice and never finished.”  It got me thinking about KOTOR 2’s weird place in this whole franchise, and if it’s being overlooked by both fans and BioWare when it comes to SWTOR.

Of course, KOTOR 2 has a few strikes against it.  It wasn’t properly finished, it was done by Obsedian rather than BioWare, it was buggy as crap, and it never got the rave reviews that KOTOR 1 did.  Then again, it didn’t force you to play alongside Carth Onassi, so there’s a plus there.

But for all of the discussion swirling around SWTOR’s connections to its predecessors, I’ve never heard anything about KOTOR 2 references.  Mostly it’s just “You’ll hear more about Revan and, oh yeah, there’s HK-47, huzzah meatbag!”  In fact, from my observations, I think the only element from KOTOR 2 that I’m seeing in SWTOR is the blind people race that looks suspiciously like KOTOR 2’s Kreia (what with the hood over the eyes and all).

I’m not the only one to wonder this.  There’s a 51-page thread on the SWTOR forums titled “KOTOR 2 being ignored” that struggles with this issue and notes that KOTOR 2 isn’t mentioned at all in the SWTOR’s in-depth timeline.  The OP quotes BioWare’s Rob Chestney who addresses the topic:

“Even though KotOR 2 was developed by another developer, lots of folks at BioWare played and enjoyed it, including myself. If you look closely within the game, you will find several references to events or characters from KotOR 2, and we absolutely treat it as canon. I will also say that there have been discussions about the final fate of the Exile, who was indeed a woman according to the canon.

When outlining the Timeline series, though, we skipped over the events of KotOR2 for a few reasons [he goes into a few spoilers].  Because the events of KotOR 2 didn’t really change the political landscape of the galaxy in any significant way, it’s really more of an historical footnote to the Jedi Civil War rather than a major event in its own right.

This is absolutely not to say the story of KotOR 2 wasn’t important. Taken in the context of the Timeline series, however, we decided it would be confusing and that the next note in the history of the galaxy should be the Jedi Civil War.”

Even with the confirmation that KOTOR 2 is being treated as canon and it’ll be referenced in SWTOR, I have to wonder if that’s a bit of smoke and mirrors for the fact that BioWare doesn’t really have incentive to link to this game which wasn’t made by their own company.

BioWare’s stance is that KOTOR 2’s events didn’t really impact the galaxy as much as SWTOR, although players are quick to differ on that, citing many wide-ranging effects that KOTOR 2’s story had.  Some players say that BioWare is attempting to quietly retcon KOTOR 2, or at least remove portions of the story that contradict what the studio wants to have for SWTOR.

KOTOR 2 certainly is not a hot topic on SWTOR fan sites and podcasts — I’ve never heard it mentioned — and I feel that the sequel will eventually become completely ignored to the point where people new to the series in SWTOR will never know it existed.  Is it too obscure and forgotten at this point to really give much attention to anyway?  Perhaps.  Perhaps not.

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20 thoughts on “Is KOTOR 2 destined to be forgotten by Star Wars: The Old Republic?

  1. David B October 28, 2011 / 12:16 pm

    The Exile’s been seen in some of our assets before, even if she wasn’t recognized. Just sayin’. 😉

  2. Alphaman (@Alphaman_) October 28, 2011 / 12:24 pm

    If there’s one thing they should do with linking to the KOTOR 2 story, it’s having it in a trashcan somewhere in a Hutt palace.

  3. Rinvan October 28, 2011 / 12:45 pm

    I always wanted to pick up KOTOR 2 but didn’t want to pay the $20 they still want for it. I can’t even find it for a good price on those holiday steam sales.

  4. Maladorn October 28, 2011 / 1:06 pm

    It’s really kind of sad. KotOR 2 was the Star Wars game that tried to get the player to at least consider the vast gulf between Light and Dark sides. Go too far one way or the other, and Kreia was right there to point out the flaws of your chosen direction. It could annoying, sure, but it was also interesting to have the force-wielding mentor who wasn’t one of the normal archetypes. Even the Sith Lords are different than Malak, Vader, or Sidious. All in all, I left with the impression that they were trying to tell a different kind of Star Wars story, but the demands of the release schedule layered a pile of bugs and unfinished areas on top of that story, obscuring it.

    Also, in the game Kreia says that her eyes have atrophied from disuse, since she has been using the force to see for so long. While this is similar to how the Miraluka see the world, they do not have any physical eyes at all (if I’m remembering my Star Wars lore correctly). We often get to see Kreia’s eyes underneath her hood, but we never see Visas Marr, the miraluka, without hers.

    And to throw in a completely random side topic, some fans of KotOR 2 have speculated that Kreia is actually the mother of the Last Handmaiden companion, explaining how she could be a force sensitive Echani. For speculation, it’s a very interesting possibility.

  5. Asmiroth October 28, 2011 / 1:45 pm

    As Rob mentioned, KOTOR 2 had next to no impact on the general storyline of SW. Certainly it explored what the Force was capable and the dark side’s strength but as for global impact… the exile comes out of nowhere and leaves at the end. It’s not like they added Miraluka either, they were in canon by ’94. What they did bring however, was Malachor V.

    Despite the bugs in the game, I thought the gameplay was above the original and the story was more original, if less epic. Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus are much more interesting characters than any I’ve seen since original Vader (barring of course, Revan).

  6. Yeebo October 28, 2011 / 2:14 pm

    I recently finished KoTOR 2 for the first time on the X-box, and I’m almost done with my “other side of the force” playthrough. Apart from the last mission in the game, which is pretty obviously rushed, it’s a very good game with a lot more depth in some ways than the first one. It’s a shame that it ends on such a weak note. I also have only encountered one bug so far, i wonder if the X-box version is better than the PC version in that regard.

  7. aurgon October 28, 2011 / 4:10 pm

    It`s a shame, I actually think KOTOR 2 is a way better game than the original KOTOR. Kreia is simply an amazing character. KOTOR 2 is the most unique Star Wars plot I`ve ever seen. Everything else is `Light Side vs Dark Side`, but Kreia takes that discussion to a whole new level.

  8. Thomas Gilliam October 28, 2011 / 4:55 pm

    I bought KotoR 2 last year and it was a fun play through. Having played through it on PC I didnt experience many bugs but there were a few there. I’ve been thinking about going back and playing through it a few more times for fun. It was a fun experience and like someone mentioned not quite as epic as the first one but still a really good game.

    @ Rinvan

    Really 20 dollars is not that much for an interesting story and a pretty nice amount of game play. The good thing about the KotoR games is they have a lot of replay value.

  9. Gina October 28, 2011 / 9:27 pm

    Ignored and rightly so, if you ask me. Yes, I got through it.

  10. Sharon October 29, 2011 / 12:17 am

    I enjoyed KOTOR 2, though Atton Rand was nearly as annoying as Carth.

  11. Allan Anderson (@noodlenog) October 29, 2011 / 1:00 am

    I played it through again recently with the Restored Content Mod (not the aborted project from Team Gizka) http://deadlystream.com/forum/files/file/13-tslrcm/

    It is an amazing game, and it’s such a clear step up from Kotor1 in many ways. Kotor1 is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but Kotor2 brings much more depth to the occasionally flat ideas of the Force.

    I did notice that the composer responsible for Kotor2’s moody soundtrack is lead composer for Swtor. Cool! http://www.griskey.com/

  12. Bimsa October 29, 2011 / 7:08 am

    Kotor 2 was much better than 1 and there was no bugs in the PC version. The Darkside ending was unfinished. There is the Restored Content Mod which fixes most on PC. There is a lot of discrediting going on with this one (IMO coming from Bioware/EA). Actuallly, Kotor 2 continued the story of Kotor. It went deeper into the plot(Mandalorian Wars) and into Revan’s character. It concentrated on the characters, their deciisions and what defined them. Saying that it doesnt brought new story is complete garbage. It still is the perfect prequel for kotor 3.

    Everybody who says different has no clue… disgrace.
    SWTOR has this 300yrs later story, which i really dont care about, because it is WEAK. Go play it MMOKid.

  13. snickeringcorpses October 29, 2011 / 9:41 am

    @Asmiroth Initially I read that as Darth Nihlus, and was thinking. “Sith Turian Spectre? His encounter with Samara all makes sense now…” 😉

    KOTOR2 is that game that I want to play sometime but not badly enough to spend money on it when I need to be spending it on Mass Effect or on Turbing Points for LOTRO.

  14. Comstrike October 30, 2011 / 7:27 pm

    I like the stories, but being able to read it online, see the cut-scenes is better than contending with the byzantine user interface.

  15. Darrin January 24, 2012 / 4:50 pm

    You wanna know why it’s so ignored by BioWare and fans? Because it was an utter disgrace to the gaming world! It was rushed by Obsidion to get it on the market for Christmas, and they pretty much ripped half the game out of it. If you pay attention you can clearly see massive chuncks missing out of the story. Perfect example: Ever here of the HK factory? Of course not. It was talked about a lot by both Gotto and HK, It was SUPOSED to explain where the other HK’s came from, and was even found within the games files, but was ripped out due to time constraints. That is just one of the dozens of examples of things that were left out. The developers didn’t even bother to really even cover it up ether. It was like a giant slap in the face all gamers that wated their money on this games, regardless of wether or not they cared about actually following the StarWars “lore.”

  16. Matthew August 21, 2012 / 10:41 am

    I loved Kotor 1 and 2 the same, Kotor 2 is amazing, just use the restored content mod and play it as it was meant to be played.

    oh and Darrin, LucasArts rushed it not Obsidian!!!

    I think people ignore kotor 2 becuase its a story unfinished, meaning kotor 3! it would be appreciated more if all the ends were tied up in a third game and then make an overall bigger and epic plot.

    But they decided to ignore kotor 2’s story line potential and make an mmo instead…..a shame really

  17. Jerome December 10, 2012 / 3:28 am

    Kotor 2 has been my favorite star wars game because well this may be a bit off topic but the story line of what was captured in the game was amazing. Kreia or “Darth Traya” I should say, she’s real bad I mean her lessons in the game were beyond words.

    And her aspect of viewing life from both extremes light and dark. I was happy to see the exile in swtor. Very grateful to see an appearance from her. I was fortunate to play kotor 2 on botht he xbox and pc. I think I enjoyed it better on xbox since I’m more a console gamer than computer gamer.

    Either way Kotor is epic regardless is swtor fans don’t wan to talk about it.

  18. Thomas December 20, 2013 / 1:40 pm

    Kotor 2 has had all of its plot ‘finished’ and ‘fixed’ along with the bugs and glitches ironed out. Its called the ‘Restored content mod’. Combined with ‘Game Balance Mod by Achilles’ and ‘Improved AI by Stoffe’ and the ‘2012 Visual Enhancement mod’ Kotor 2 is not only an excellent game quite free of bugs, difficult and flaunting almost modern in graphics.

    Attempting to add more mods than this is very dangerous.

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