Knights of the Old Republic is a critically acclaimed RPG franchise that is one of the most respected games in the Star Wars community. With a remake in sight, now is the perfect time to experience the game! The fight leaves a lot to be desired, but its history and surroundings have held up.
The story takes place four thousand years before the prequels. Many familiar environments are not exactly alike. When you meet the Jedi Council, you would expect to go to Coruscant and get lost in the megacity. Instead, you meet them on Dantooine, a planet full of lush plains and a calming atmosphere.
If you loved the Mass Effect franchise, you will love Knights of the Old Republic. Both share the same developer: Bioware. Their overall narratives are also almost the same. You will create a diverse group of aliens, travel to monoclimatic planets, rediscover an ancient civilization that founded the galactic government, and stop the bad guys.
The story is not canon
Knights of the Old Republic was released in 2003 and is considered part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, or EU. Contrary to popular belief, the Expanded Universe was never officially canon. George Lucas thought his films were canon, and that was it.
Although Lucas’ feelings were at odds with fans, he occasionally worked with Expanded Universe writers and integrated concepts that he found worthwhile. If anything, the EU has been an organizational effort to create a cohesive canon for fans that integrates media that do not contradict the films.
However, Star Wars is what you make of it. It doesn’t matter what Lucas or Disney say. It’s a franchise built on the love and passion that fans keep pouring in. If you want Knights of the Old Republic to be canon, go ahead! You shouldn’t let Canon dictate your enjoyment.
What is the Jedi Civil War?
At the start of the game you are immediately thrown into battle against Sith Troopers and Dark Jedi. Knights of the Old Republic occurs towards the end of the Jedi Civil War. The war itself takes place immediately after the Mandalorian Wars end.
The Jedi Revan and Malak gathered their strengths and led the war effort against the Mandalorians. Together they ended the war. Unfortunately, they turned to the dark side and created a Sith empire. Many of the Jedi who fought among them helped cripple the already weakened republic.
Darth Revan’s untimely death helped change the tide of the Jedi Civil War, and this is where your story begins.
What were the Mandalorian Wars?
The Mandalorian Wars were a series of crusades led by Mandalore the Ultimate and his Neo-Crusaders. The Mandalorians began to conquer and wipe out entire star systems. When Bioware developed Knights of the Old Republic, observant fans might notice the similarities between the krogan and the Mandalorian.
When news of this reached the republic, the Jedi Council decided to stand by and let the war run itself. Jedi Knight Revan was outraged by their callousness, so Revan convinced other Jedi to join them and stop the Mandalorian atrocities. It was a stormy war effort that brought the entire galaxy to its knees.
The war ended after two fatal blows against the Mandalorians. The first blow came when the mass shadow generator was activated and decimated both sides. The death knell came when Revan Mandalore executed the Ultimate in battle and hid his helmet: he prevented successors from claiming the Mandalore title. The fragmented Mandalorians scattered across the galaxy without a leader unifying them.
Where’s Revan’s Mask?
While Revan’s mask is an iconic staple for the series, it’s nowhere to be found. In some ways, there are a few reasons Revan’s mask is gone. After Darth Revan was killed in a targeted bombing by Darth Malak, the mask was destroyed or collected by the Jedi Council and hidden forever.
There is a way to get Darth Revan’s robes, however. During the game you can choose your orientation using dialogue options and player actions. To get the real Revan’s robes, you need to be attuned to the dark side. Otherwise the robes are white. Once you get to the end of the game, go to the second level of the Star Forge. From there, go down the hallway with the towers and turn left. There will be a room with a computer that you will have to hack. Once that’s done, you can wear Revan’s robes.
Go to Tatooine first
Once the Jedi Council dispatches you to save the day, you can travel where and how you want. The order is entirely up to you, but Tatooine comes highly recommended as this is where you can recruit one of the most adorable characters in the series. HK-47 is Darth Revan’s protocol droid who is also an assassin droid.
HK-47 has all the charm that Triple 000 and C3PO want. His monotonous voice is preceded by qualifiers to let you know what he really means. HK-47 is also a huge fan of going fiery red and tackling problems head on. If you want a party member to be open with you and severely despise “sacks of meat”, HK-47 will be happy to comply.
Choose a side
Knights of the Old Republic is almost twenty years old. It’s not the most mechanically complex game there is. Neutrality is of no use to you and the attitude of your group doesn’t matter until Rakata Prime.
Get the ball rolling by swinging to the dark or light side. If you get to the dark side, you are guaranteed to lose party members and challenge Darth Malak’s position. If you choose to stick with the light, you and all of your companions can save the day.
Since there are a couple of endings and special interactions, go through a couple of different passages and enjoy the differences.
There are a few revelations that, for your enjoyment, shouldn’t be tainted. It’s easy to accidentally stumble upon them when looking for guides or browsing Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wikipedia. While some areas can be difficult to navigate and overcome, be careful when looking for help. Too many forums and guides are clumsy with spoilers.
Not very often do you get the chance to play blindly through an old video game. Pop culture and fandoms usually suck in twists, revelations, and quotes that mock them about their original impact. However, don’t let potential spoiler worries put you off. It’s an incredibly solid game well worth the 30 hours.
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