Part 18: Nar Shaddaa: The Hazing of Mira
Last update, we finally caught up to the lost Jedi on Nar Shaddaa, Zez-Kai Ell. He was one of the council members responsible for sending Jesus into exile; there's a certain irony that he's now in exile himself.
Well, I counted 10 billion votes to 1 in favour of Light Side. We're going to let him live. For now.
Don't worry Dark Siders, it only takes one evil vote win to completely mess up this playthrough! There'll be several more chances.
I'll come clean, I pick the option to fight him to see what would happen.
He starts like 5 feet from Jesus when combat begins, so he immediately ran up and got two criticals for 166 damage. In one round. Jesus only has 182 HPs total.
That's what we get for not wearing armour.
"Suffice to say redemption was not Revan's choice, and I have never believed those of the Council who attempt to console themselves otherwise for the crime they committed."
They wiped her memory.
He teaches us Force Affinity, a new Force form for Consulars only. It allows force points to recover quickly during combat.
Saber Stances and Force Forms were a new gameplay element in KOTOR II. Basically there were 7 Saber Stances and 4 Force Forms you learn. Each Stance gave some bonuses and some penalties. For example, some increased your chance of getting a critical hit, but lowered your defense, etc.
I didn't know this before, but the 7 saber stances were based on established Star Wars EU canon. Soresu, for instance, was suppose to be a defensive technique used by Obi-Wan or whatever, and in KOTOR II you get a blaster deflection bonus when using it. While this is cool, what's not cool were the lengthy threads I stumbled on on Star Wars boards of people arguing back and forth about who used which saber stance in whatever movie.
"Mace Windu clearly used Juyo Form VII in the latter half of his duel with Sidious, you can tell at 1:43:38 he's tapping into the Dark Side for..."
"Pffft. Anyone would know that it was in fact a modified version of Ataru. What are you, some kind of idiot?"
1 down, 3 more Jedi Masters to find.
Kreia doesn't particularly like our Light Side path and has some choice words for us.
"Do not let the higher mysteries blind you to others. Turning away from that which tempts you or causes you fear is not strength. Facing it is. I have seen you display many acts of mercy - charity, in our journey. Why?"
"It is instinct in me, to do what is right."
"If you're trying to guilt me out of helping people, you won't succeed."
"Ah, then you have learned nothing."
"And I would view the ones you travel with much the same way."
Kreia is amusingly pragmatic as always.
Anyway, we've picked up Goto's droid and Mira from Nar Shaddaa; now we're getting our third new party member...
Yes, it's time to activate HK-47.
If you haven't played KOTOR 1, HK-47 was an amnesiac assassin droid who ended up being bought by Revan from a junk shop. It was discovered halfway through the game that Revan was the one who originally built him; he was used as Revan's personal assassin to dispatch his opponents during the Jedi Civil War. Then HK-47 got his memory core wiped, and Revan... got her memory core wiped too.
The last component we needed came from T3's dismantling of the HK-50 units.
He's been sitting broken on the Ebon Hawk the whole time. Can you imagine what it would have been like if you forgot to pick up one of his pieces on Peragus or in the Warehouse? You wouldn't have been able to restore him throughout the whole game, and he would have remained in the Ebon Hawk, his rusting frame standing there silently reminding you that you royally fucked up.
That would have been so sad.
"Answer: If by "okay," you mean the loss of almost all my existing assassination protocols, then no, I am not okay."
"You're an assassin droid?"
"Well, get used to it."
"Answer: Yes... master."
"I'm not sure I like the idea of having an assassin droid on board."
"Answer: Well, I am not certain I like the idea of a master who feels reservations at having an assassination droid at their disposal. In fact, it brings with it a certain sense of dread that you may actually not use me to my full capabilities."
"Why were you in our storage hold?"
It looks like HK-47's memory is gone. Again. That means the only one who remembers everything that happened since the first game is...
"You look a lot like a series of droids that have attacked me."
"Answer: Oh, that is impossible, master. If I were out to kill you, we would not be speaking. And regardless, I am a unique model. Why, to think that there would be other versions of me would be unacceptable."
"Well, there's at least four other now defunct versions of you in the galaxy."
"Statement: Master, I must inform you that your attempts at humor are wasted on a droid such as I. As I have expressed, I am unique."
"Actually, there's a series of HK-50 units sharing your model and function that we have encountered on multiple occassions."
"Resignation: Very well, Master, if you persist in your attempts at humor, I shall indulge you. Let me check the ship's records, and we will settle this matter once and for all."
"Conclusion: You speak the truth. This discovery is also causing me some degree of anger. And humiliation."
"Are you all right?"
"Mockery: "Am I all right?" Oh, yes, master, why, I am fine."
"Statement: I mean, I have only just been re-activated, only to find that there are sub-standard duplicates of me running all over the galaxy, corroding my good name. But if they are, in fact, hunting you, then I look forward to the opportunity to meet these units - and educate them in proper assassination protocols."
This was the subplot that would have ended in the droid factory, but alas.
Malachor V was the last major battle of the Mandalorian Wars, shortly before HK-47 was built. It makes sense that Revan told HK a bit about what happened.
"And how is that?"
"Statement: Well, all your behavior up to this point suggests either strong atonement or confirmation that the atrocities attributed to you during the war were in fact, accidents."
"I am not proud of what I did during the Wars - and I do not wish to discuss it."
"Statement: I suspected as much, master. There are few who would discuss such things with an assassination droid, and that is perfectly understandable. I mean, what use is there for communication in a galaxy such as ours? Understanding might be achieved, or sympathies might be gained by such callous acts. You are right to remain silent about your past. I have seen the damage that repressing such things brings, and it is far preferable to share such traumas."
"Are you trying to provoke me?"
"Answer: Why no, master. I have no intention of attacking you or enacting assassination protocols."
"Why did you ask me about the Mandalorian Wars?"
"Answer: Why, because your actions then and now are related and I feel I need some context. I confess to being somewhat needy that way. Sometimes, master, it is difficult for meatbags to step back and gain some perspective on death and its importance in their insignificant lives."
This is the subtle hand of Chris Avellone: HK-47 almost sounds like Kreia when he talks about this Chaos Theory stuff. The mostly likely candidate to have programmed these views into HK was... Darth Revan.
Maybe this means there was a relationship between Kreia and Revan? We'll go ask Kreia about it when we get the chance.
HK-47 changed personalities a bit for this game. In KOTOR 1 he was about as subtle as a Mack truck, much like the first HK-50 unit we encountered on Peragus. Here, like the other party members, he's a lot more philosophical, and he rhapsodizes about his killings as more about finesse than brutality.
In fact, towards the end of the game, he had a whole long speech about the nature of assassinations in the grand scheme of the universe. Unfortunately this was cut out. Of the characters most short-shifted by the missing content, HK-47 stands out as the most butchered.
Up there I was writing, "In KOTOR 1 he was about as subtle as a ______", and I was trying to think of a big gun to put in, so I typed 'AK-47'. Then I thought... wait a minute.
It's time to talk to Mira. I don't like how you can't berate her for gassing Jesus and stealing his stuff back at the docks.
"Your face... you, well, you have this glow. I mean, not a real glow, but... It's like you're calm, at peace? But it's more than that. You haven't been chewing on spice, have you?"
"I don't poison my body with spice."
"Okay, maybe not spice. Maybe someone just jammed a power coupling up your ion engine and switched it on full."
That sounds like... OW.
"When one is in touch with the Force, others can feel it."
"Me and Visas what?"
Option #3 is tempting, but I don't want to piss off the Visas fans here.
"I was hoping we could talk."
"Talk? About what?"
"Just wanted to get to know you a little better, is all."
She's a young attractive female on our crew, right? She obviously has to fall madly in love and develop an unhealthy obsession with the Exile. There's no other choice.
"Come on, I can't be that bad. Give me a chance."
"Are you sure you're a Jedi? That exile of yours must have gone on longer than I thought."
"Besides, you already have your little entourage. I don't want to be a part of the pack, you know?"
"What are you talking about?"
Well she's no fun.
At least we'll always have the albino punch girl and the creepy Sith chick.
"Were you raised on Nar Shaddaa?"
"Yeah, more or less. I wasn't born there, just ended up there."
"What happened to your family?"
"It's what happens after the wars are over that you don't hear much about."
"They died in the final battle?"
"I think so. After Revan crushed the Mandalorians, planets throughout the Republic were flooded with refugees. I was just one of the others. Me, I got passage to Nar Shaddaa. From there... not much you can do, so I became a bounty hunter."
"How could you have lost family at Malachor V? There were no colonies - it was a taboo world to the Mandalorians."
With all those Mandalorians wearing the tin can helmets, it's hard to tell sometimes.
"As much as any slave becomes a Mandalorian. They took prisoners on every world they conquered to bolster their ranks - and they took a lot of worlds. They mostly used me to carry ammo packs and munitions. Toward the end of the war, they needed everyone they could get. They taught me to fight, to hunt, to survive. I was part of their squad, even when I was young. Everyone served as part of the unit, and I felt like I had a place there."
"After Malachor, it didn't really matter anymore - the Mandalorians lost. Bad. But you know that."
"Yeah, I know. I saw the worlds they left behind them during the war. That kind of stays with you - I haven't forgotten it. What happened at Malachor - they, they probably deserved it."
"You don't sound too happy about it."
"So you became a bounty hunter?"
"I'm good at finding people. So I used it to make credits."
"But you won't kill your targets."
"Not unless I have to. And bounty hunters... the good ones... don't ever need to kill a target."
"Oh, do I? Is that it? How you could ever possibly hope to understand is beyond me. Jedi don't have family. I know what happened at Malachor V, and I know the Jedi didn't care about life there."
"We did what had to be done, and I carry that decision still."
Rawwwr. The cat's got claws.
Now she's pissed.
"I wanted to apologize."
"Whatever, don't worry about it - it's just a sore subject with me."
"Still, I'm sorry you lost your family at Malachor."
Hanharr had a raging Wookiee hard on for her that never quite got explained.
Only if it involves raging Wookiee hard ons.
"I didn't kill him once. Biggest mistake ever."
"Do you know the name of his homeworld?"
"I don't remember the name - something with too many 'k's and 'y's. Sounds like you're gargling ronto spit when you say it."
That's Kashyyyk. Whoever wrote this dialog (Avellone?) was apparently annoyed that it was necessary to put 3 'Y's in a row in "Kashyyyk".
"So he was a slave?"
"I don't know. I always thought he just liked using them as weapons."
"Sounds like Czerka deserved it."
"Well, before you get too teary-eyed, Hanharr figured Czerka had the right idea. I don't think he understood the concept of slavery before, at least on the scale that Czerka practiced it. But now he did."
You get certain dialog options that come up with if you have high Wisdom, Awareness, and Intelligence, etc. In a lot of cases, like this one, it doesn't make a difference in the response you get, but it does make you feel like your character isn't a total idiot. Yes, Jesus has heard of these planets; he's not an amnesiac and he has actually has a past. It's good to have a reminder of that every now and again.
"Right, that's because Hanharr happened. He makes what happened to his homeworld look like an exercise in community building. He's not a bounty hunter. He's a slaver... a predator."
"So how do you factor in?"
"I was prey. And not only did I escape, but I saved his life while doing it. He's been hunting me ever since. I don't pretend to understand it, but among his people, they have these codes of honor. But somewhere along the line, Hanharr's got twisted. His people form these things called 'life debts.' If you save the life of one of them, they pledge themselves to you."
"So when I saved his life, it was the worst thing I could do - it was like slavery all over again, but it was in his head. It was like it pushed him over the edge."
"Turns out, they were even able to get him cheap - he'd heard about me, and wanted to hunt me down. For sport. He didn't think I'd be much of a challenge. He tried to box me down in vents beneath the Nar Shaddaa docks, and he'd set one too many proximity mines to cover the escape routes. I think he'd hoped to drive me into the mines and let them do the work - or that I'd be too scared to try and walk through them."
"I figured that would buy me enough time to move through them and get away."
[Demolitions] "Sending out a jamming signal for proximity mines isn't a simple trick."
"No, it isn't. I spent most of my childhood hauling mines and munitions. I got to know my way around them; if I hadn't, I wouldn't be here right now. Like I said, I disarmed the trigger fuses for enough of the mines to get by - temporarily. Hanharr was pretty fast on my trail. I'd just made it to safety when he hit the first one. The blast leveled the entire ventilation section... and Hanharr was caught right in the middle."
"And he survived. Barely."
"He was crawling around, blinded from the flash and the plasma burns - it had happened so fast, all the blood had been scabbed and crusted from the flash. I had the drop on him, and even blind, he knew it. He could still hear me. My ears were ringing from the blast, but I could hear him..."
"I suppose I should have killed him, but I couldn't do it... he was in pain, and he was helpless. So I dragged him out of there... enough to get him to safety. And he kept hunting me ever since. He said he'd pursue me to the edge of the galaxy, no matter where I ran, he would find me - and break me."
"A life debt to Hanharr is a death sentence; he'll hunt you until you're dead. When I saved his life, it meant he had to kill me. And so he kept chasing me in hopes I would die. I think the fact I showed him mercy after hating humans for so long, that was something he couldn't stand."
"That life debt makes no sense."
"Tell me about it. Like I said, I get the impression a life debt's supposed to be a gift, but to Hanharr it's more like a curse, to both people involved."
I think Obsidian took at a look at the personality-less Wookiee from the first game, Zaalbar, and said, "What if we made him not suck?" So they came up with the psychotic Hanharr, who runs around hunting people he owes a life debt to. If we went Dark Side, we would have been able to get Hanharr as a party member (he would have killed Mira back at the arena).
"Maybe... I've thought about that moment. A lot. And wondered if I would do things differently if I had another chance."
Now it's OUR turn to break Mira. Chatting her up like this is enough to max her influence.
"It's all this traveling. Being trapped in this ship. Everything's... everything's just too quiet. I'd rather be doing something. Somewhere with people, activity... some life."
"Like Nar Shaddaa?"
"Yeah, well, I wouldn't go that far. I'll believe it when I see it."
Way to ruin a nice moment, Mira.
We're taking Mira back to Nar Shaddaa, to show her the spot where Kreia taught us to listen to the Force.
"Do not turn away - face it."
"This is greatest moment of your life, and you're off somewhere missing it! Without sacrifice, without pain, you would have nothing! It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything!"
"That's what I want. I'm sure of it, more than anything."
"This is the potential all Jedi possess."
"But if... if I become a Jedi, I'll have to turn myself in for the credits."
And thus we break Mira. Mira is the easiest to turn out of all the potential Jedi in your crew, mostly because her initial dialogue has so much influence gains in it.
She's terrific with guns, but we're gonna get her a lightsaber. I'm having horrific luck with getting good guns to drop for me this game (most loot in this game is random). We've got tons of good melee weapons, but almost nothing for decent guns. Even Jedi Jesus is still using Benok's blaster from way back in Citadel Station. Lightsabers are easier to find and upgrade, plus there's also a certain comedy to all the pretenders running around with lightsabers, and the real Jedi using guns instead.
Speaking of lightsabers, we're about due to get one. We start in an unlikely place, the Docks flophouse. Those two guys up ahead are having a private conversation, so we'll have to eavesdrop.
Jesus puts his Jedi Watchman stealthing skills to good use.
Good tips, good tips. Off to the cantina we go.
That'll take care of the dogs. Now to coerce a dancer to come with us to Vogga's chambers.
Eh, how do we get ourselves a dancer for Vogga then?
First person to volunteer to dance gets a shiny lightsaber!
Okay, what about Visas? She looks like she could dance...
... as long as she keeps her hood on.
C'mon, a lightsaber is on the line here. Someone must want it bad enough to whore themselves out.
What about Mira?
That's the spirit!
Should we keep Mira in this horrific outfit for the rest of the game?
I'm kidding. PLEASE don't vote.
The sheer effort of having to follow the dancer with his eyes causes Vogga to fall asleep.
We pour the Juma juice in the dog's water bowl.
I think there was a quest like this in Tarren Mills.
With Vogga and his dogs asleep, we can run into his secret vault.
The final piece of a lightsaber. Finally. We can take it to Bao-Dur to make it.
For the record, we could have gotten this lightsaber piece much earlier... but then we wouldn't have had the chance to torture Mira.
Getting chilly in here, Mira? Too bad. A Jedi's life is sacrifice, after all.
I hope that was worth it, Mira.
Bonus Video - Let's Play Jedi Knight II: Outcast!
No, I'm not really going to play Jedi Knight II. It's just a quick 1 minute video for people who haven't played Jedi Knight II: Outcast, and want to see the Nar Shaddaa level. It was what I was sort of expecting when I heard Nar Shaddaa would be in KOTOR 2. Dark, but with lots of neon lights to spice it up; narrow walkways and buildings; most of all, I was hoping for the sense of a vertical city, running UP buildings rather than ACROSS them, which is what we got in KOTOR 2. I guess a lot of that had to do with engine limitations.
Also, this Nar Shaddaa is suppose to be 4000 years later.