KOTOR: Tatooine tourism

(This is part of my journey going playing through 2003’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

It’s a race against time to stop the bad guys, as Malak already has the Star Forge and the information (from not-so-dead bounty hunter Calo Nord) that Bastilla is still alive. Meanwhile, Syppi and crew head to their first stop on the map-hunting expedition: Tatooine. Is there any planet more Star Warsy than this one? Very good choice to be included in this game, even if I’m not a fan of desert settings.

It does feel as though Tatooine helps to bridge a gap between the games and movies. Plus, there’s that strong dose of virtual sunshine to cheer up the questing soul. I kind of like being here, even though dark Jedi keep jumping me at every turn.

 

Of course, the BEST part of Tatooine is the acquisition of HK-47, the breakout star of KOTOR. This “hunter killer” droid drips with sarcasm and seethes with a desire to assassinate everything around him, which makes him a refreshing change from a lot of droids that we had experienced in the Star Wars universe to date. He became such a fan favorite that he appeared in both the sequel AND the MMORPG. I love me some HK-47.

Out in the Dune Sea, it’s a lot of fighting against Sand People — who are pretty tough, don’t let old Ben Kenobi tell you different. At least I died… clutching my… guns.

Since this is a BioWare RPG, each one of your companions comes fully loaded with a backstory and a crisis that needs to be resolved. For Mission here, it’s the fact that her older brother Griff deserted her on Taris. The crew rescues him from the sandpeople, but he’s still the same deadbeat and Mission is crushed to hear that he left her deliberately.

Here’s an interesting little interchange. Syppi questions Bastilla about her confrontation with Revan and Malak, and Bastila said that they boarded the ship to capture Revan. But when the player asks her if she killed Revan, she ducks the question. Repeatedly, but in that slippery Jedi way that you’ll only notice if this is your second or whatever playthrough.

Getting to the Tatooine star map means getting past this giant dragon thing, but here’s where SWTOR surprises. Instead of tackling it as a huge boss battle — which is what I would have expected — the thing can be taken down in a trap using mines and bantha fodder. Hey, we just got out of a boss fight!

Except we totally didn’t, because Calo Nord shows up looking to collect on a bounty. It’s not that tough of a fight — I’m not above using tons of grenades when the situation calls for it — and before I know it, the star map piece is in my hand and we’re blasting off this two-sun planet!

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