KOTOR 2: Telos Jedi Academy

(This is part of my journey going playing through Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

As we transition into a new area, what I assume must have been a gas leak into the devs’ office occurs. It’s the only explanation for all of the sheer stupidity that happens over the next few minutes.

OK, so my team grabs a shuttle and heads for Telos’ polar cap where, presumably the stolen Ebon Hawk was stashed. At this point, the following chain of events occurs:

  1. A team of HK-50s barges into the military base following our departure and lament just missing me… but they see where I am going.
  2. The same team, presumably, then BEATS ME to the polar cap so that it can fire on my approaching shuttle with a rocket launcher. Either they run really fast or there are a bajillion HK teams all over this planet.
  3. Both of those scenarios are ridiculous.
  4. For the SECOND TIME in this game — on this planet — my shuttle is shot down.
  5. All three of us are somehow thrown clear of the shuttle without breaking the glass and getting hurt.

What? Just… what? This isn’t just unfair, it’s not remotely feasible. I’ll tell you what it is: It’s lazy writing and plotting, and it deserves to get called out as such.

Another fun coincidence: We just so happened to land right on the roof of this top-secret Jedi academy that’s populated entirely by female albinos for some reason. And, naturally, the lead lady, Atris, knows me and is bearing a grudge because she used to look up to me, and I failed her somehow.

This is the kind of frustrating part of this game, that you have this unknown backstory that everyone is reacting to, yet you (the player) didn’t actually do nor deserve all of this response. Anyway, I am as diplomatic as possible.

OK, so I’m being a six-year-old and choosing every antagonistic option available. But really, I’m not taking any guff from these bleached Force-wimps. All I need is a pair of blasters and a starship to take me across the galaxy.

Meanwhile, Kreia and Atton have an interesting in the prison cells. Kreia, for lack of a better term, mind-rapes Atton and finds out his deep — and currently unknown — secret. Something about him being a murderer with ties to my character’s past or something. Kreia uses this information to blackmail Atton in to being her pawn. Nice lady.

There’s surprisingly not a lot to do here at the secret academy, other than gather up your crew and get back on the Ebon Hawk. About the only diversion, other than being rude to the handmaidens, is challenging one in unarmed combat. I tried this, but since I can’t use force powers and my character hasn’t exactly specialized in hand-to-hand fighting (who really would in this game?), I get bested.

It should be noted that as I descend down the path of the Dark Side, Atton starts showing some serious signs of Dark Side corruption as well. Dark Side by association? How does that work, exactly? He’s not making the bad choices, I am; he’s merely being an accomplice at worst.

Love this Jedi’s ‘stache.

So this whole section — the academy and a pow-wow on the Ebon Hawk right afterward — is a major exposition dump that sets up the real quest of the game and attempts to at least partially answer the big question: Why was I exiled?

T3 has a holorecording that he stole of my trial at the Jedi counsel, and it’s interesting if only partly revealing. As far as I can deduce, my character was one of the Jedi that followed Revan and participated in the huge battle against the Mandalorians at Malachor V. Something happened there, something horrible, and the counsel called all participating Jedi to answer for their crimes. I was the only one who came back to do so, and as a result, was stripped of my status and had to turn in my lightsaber.

What’s interesting here is that this move wasn’t merely a punishment. The counsel sensed something in me other than dark side corruption, some sort of emptiness, and decided that by exiling me, they’d set me loose to go on a journey to figure stuff out.

And they’re being withholding with the infos, because Jedi are sneaky, cowardly morons. I’m sorry, I love Star Wars, but the whole Jedi order thing drives me up a wall with their moral relativism and large-scale cowardice. So there’s some more stuff that I should know but they’re not telling me… but at least I know that much, thanks to the holorecording.

Due to the Jedi purges following the end of the first game, there isn’t a counsel in operation right now. There are, however, several members of this meeting still alive and scattered throughout the galaxy. The game then reveals itself to be a roundup of Jedi — get all of them together, force them to admit the truth.

Next stop, Nar Shadda!

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