Part 26: Onderon: NO I Don't Want to Play Fucking Pazaak
Hey guys, we're 50 percent through the game! At this rate we'll be finished... in September. To celebrate or mourn, however you want to look at it, I'm co-opting Team Gizka's latest video update:
It's a cut scene with Visas on the Ebon Hawk. Most of the Ebon Hawk party members have some sort of function or minigame you can access. Atton plays Pazaak with you; T3, Mira, G0T0 make unlimited computer spikes, grenades, and security spikes respectively. Visas Marr, unfortunately, is kinda useless as she is now. What was cut from the game was the ability to practice lightsaber fights with her. Kreia, like the good teacher she is, is of course on hand to supervise the kids.
We're finally leaving Dantooine and headed for Onderon. Onderon was a noted Republic rim world, but Darth Revan left it alone during the war for her own reasons.
It's going to take a while to get there, so let's review what we're suppose to be doing again. T3 downloaded the Jedi records, so he can show us a quick recap. Each planet we're going to hides one of the lost Jedi Council members:
Atris was the first Jedi Council member we found. She set up her own secret academy under Telos and is busy hoarding Jedi artifacts from across the galaxy. She's also turned into a crazy delusional bitch.
Zez was the second. He was busy hiding on Nar Shaddaa, running from whatever's busy hunting and killing the Jedi. He's a big chicken. Kaw kaw kachoo!
Next was Master Vrook. We just finished rescuing him on Dantooine, but he wasn't particularly appreciative to say the least.
Vash is on Korriban, but we're not going there yet.
Right now we're headed to Onderon, where we'll look for - aaagghhhh. What the hell is wrong with his eyes?
Anyway, ever wonder how the hell T3 ended up here? He just showed at the beginning of the game on the Ebon Hawk and has been with us since. Why is he even still with us?
[Computer] "Let me check your core. I'll be careful, I promise."
"Beee-deet, bee-reeeet! Deeet, deet!"
"I want to make sure you're all right. Just let me check, all right?"
[Success] "Dee... reet."
Hey look, it's Carth... and he's staring into your soul.
Revan ditched him when she left into unknown space, and who can blame her? He probably moaned about his dead wife one too many times.
If he was a real man, he would go and find her. But he's not, so he's just going to sit there and mope about how she abandoned him.
"Bee-deet. Dee... deet, dee-reeet, deet. Deet.... deet."
"I don't understand why you were concealing that from me."
"Dee-reet, veee-reet. Bee, deet. Deet-deee, be-deet."
"I understand. I didn't think you kept messages like that. Who was the person the hologram was talking about?"
"Dee... deet. Deet."
"What happened to your old friend? Why aren't you with her?"
"...and he left you. I'm sorry, T3."
"Dee reeeet, deet - deet!"
"That message doesn't tell me where the Ebon Hawk came from."
"You deleted it? Why? Something's wrong here - there must have been a reason for it."
"Don't be sorry - maybe you had a good reason, or were trying to protect someone."
There's a different hologram that shows up depending on how you set Revan's gender and alignment. If you set Revan to Dark Side female, for example, Carth would have been ditched (and probably killed) on a backwater planet somewhere:
"T3, there's not much time - Now I've seen her start to turn as we near the end... but there's still a chance to save her. No, if I fail, I need you to do whatever you can to protect her. Now, I'm convinced that whatever the Jedi Council did, there's still some humanity left in her. There has to be. Do what you can, T3 - and if I don't make it back, then I need you to go find help. Other Jedi, the Republic, anyone you think can help..."
We'll take advantage of the intergalactic commute times to get another lesson from Kreia.
Last time we were able to brush the surface of some of our party members. We could learn to do more than that...
"Imagine the ice of Telos, cold and smooth, as it gathers upon the plateau. Now stretch out, feel the ship around you."
We start to read the minds of our various party members. Visas has nothing to think about except her dead home planet, apparently.
Her father was killed when he fought Revan herself, so I doubt being a bit faster would have helped that much.
Mira is of course always thinking about how much she could get if she sells the Exile.
Atton is... what is he doing anyway? Counting cards?
All the voices of the characters start blending together in a cacophony.
"You have taken the first steps on a much longer road, exile."
"What about the droids?"
Interestingly, she can't read Bao-Dur, but we heard him quite clearly. I never quite understand why they keep referring to non-humans in this game as 'aliens'. With all the intergalactic mingling, you'd think 'alien' would be an outdated term.
She's a little surprised and pissed that her student can do something she can't. This sounds like something that has significance for the Exile and Bao-Dur. Except it doesn't. As I said before, they completely to forget to write for Bao-Dur later on.
"There was also something wrong with Atton's thoughts."
"At times, he will list off engine sequencers, memorize the hyperspace routes on the other side of the galaxy, count the ticking in the power couplings even though they are fixed."
He makes such a great romance option for female characters!
"Perhaps. Maybe I will go see him - and see how his pazaak game is coming."
He doesn't seem the least bit perturbed that we know what's in his head.
"You're not making any sense."
There some weird scripting issues with where he's standing that seems to prevent him from pivoting to look at the player, so every time you have a conversation with him on the Ebon Hawk he stands up and stares dead ahead at the windshield. It's unnerving when he says all this crap without ever looking at you.
"Why do I play pazaak? All right, I'll show you."
"I don't want to play pazaak."
"We're not playing for credits. We're playing for something else. Are you going to play or not?"
If the Exile is female, his line is: "Nope, our clothes are gonna stay on. Do you want to deal, or should I?"
"If it's a friendly game, sure."
"Good match... now, what are you thinking about right now?"
"Fair enough. But that's why I play pazaak in my head. Because if you don't, you've left the door open. And anyone could walk right in."
"Atton, before, I felt your mind. With Kreia's help. I'm sorry."
That's because everyone who read his mind before were bored to death of his card counting.
"No, I play pazaak in my head."
"What do you have to hide?"
"Nothing, I'm just someone who plays pazaak in his head. But while I'm doing that, it's a lot harder for someone to walk in."
"Can you teach me to shield my thoughts?"
"No. I can only teach you to play pazaak. Do you understand what I'm saying?
But we don't want to play fucking pazaak.
"That's not something I can teach you - you've come to the wrong guy."
"Good. Now you understand. All right, I'll deal, then. If you're ever fighting someone who has the power over your mind... whether light or dark... play pazaak. Start listing hyperspace routes. Recite engine sequencers. And when they try to use their powers on you, suddenly it's not as easy as they thought. Jedi do it all the time, and when they walk in the dark places of your mind, they'll use it to hold you by the throat."
That's Atton final unlock, and to be honest that's a pretty weak bonus after that particular exercise in frustration.
Jesus is never playing Pazaak again, just to spite Atton.
We've finally arrived to Onderon, and not a moment too soon. Onderon is the big planet on the left; the nearest moon is Dxun, and I think the far blue one is called Suthre.
There will be a quiz later for 10% of your grade.
Unfortunately the orbital traffic above Onderon looks only slightly better than my morning commute yesterday, if only because I don't see a rear ended Toyota Tercel anywhere in this screenshot.
"I guess this blockade is a symptom of larger problems on Onderon."
Err why? What did you stash in the cargo, Mira?
Oh great, someone we don't know, and he wants us dead. We've heard this song before.
A bunch of fighters orbiting the planet suddenly take off after us.
Well, we're not hanging around for this shit. Time to bail!
You know what this means:
No, this hasn't suddenly devolved into a Let's Play X-COM Interceptor thread.
It's the space shooters mini-game from KOTOR 1.
Unlike in KOTOR 1, this is actually a pretty cool sequence. First off, the guys firing on the Ebon Hawk have started off a chain reaction among the ships waiting in orbit, and suddenly a full space battle breaks out, so you can see them firing on each other in the background.
Second, the skybox for this little minigame can spin around, giving the illusion that the Ebon Hawk is moving and strafing. Judging from the jerking around the ship does, it also gives the impression that Atton is a terrible pilot. Seriously, if you're spinning the gun turret around, and the skybox is spinning around on its own too, it gets a bit disorienting.
The ships that were waiting in orbit are now busy kicking the shit out of each other. If only that was part of my morning commute too.
To his credit, Atton manages to actually land the ship properly this time. You half expect him to crash it into a lake or something.
"Well, the space battle's still going on overhead. Since they were so eager to use our hull for target practice, I doubt they're just going to forget us. I don't like it - Onderon is about as far from the Core as you can get and still be in the Republic. But even out here the locals have heard of us. We're lucky I was able to find this place to land - looks like something has cleared away the jungle in a few spots around here."
"Where did we land?"
"I did pick up the remains of an old outpost near here. Maybe that's why there's all these clearings around - maybe they were once settlements."
"There were no settlements here. Those clearings were most likely once craters... or crash sites."
"Much is buried here... and there is much that should remain buried."
"We need to get to Onderon."
"There may be a means to get to Onderon by another route. The Force has guided us here for a reason."
She can detect what's here on Dxun, but she's not going to say anything yet.
"Nevertheless, we should explore our surroundings... and that nearby outpost would be as good a place as any to begin."
"Let's head to the outpost, then."
"Well, if you go, be careful - no telling what other ships were forced down in the battle."
And with that, Jesus leaves the cockpit. Kreia stays and has a few words for Atton.
"Yeah... I understand. What's so important about this place?"
"This is where the Mandalorian Wars began. He fought here once, and there are things here he must see."
"He fought here? Why didn't he say anything?"
Welcome to Dxun. It's pronounced DUCKS-un if you must know. It's a jungle world and we'll see a lot of fighting and the like, but it's got a fairly interesting atmosphere. Since it's the site of the first engagement of the Mandalorian Wars, and the Exile fought here, we'll be delving into galactic history and the Exile's past a bit.