The Let's Play Archive

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II

by Scorchy

Part 35: Dxun: The Truth About Cats and G0T0

Last update, we managed to piss off just about everyone back on Onderon, and got chased off the planet by a pitchfork-wielding mob.

Mandalore seems completely unfazed by all the chaos we caused.

"I'm not ready to part company yet. It sounds like you have a lot of traveling to do. So do I."

We encountered several clans of Mandalorians already.

There was a group on Nar Shaddaa, and another bunch with the mercenaries on Dantooine. When we have time, we'll take Mandalore back to go grab them, and maybe then Mandalore will open up about himself.

"Mandalore leads *all* of the Mandalorian people, not just a single clan. In order to revive our people the clans must be reassembled under me."
"Where are the other clans?"
"They could be anywhere. You seem a magnet for trouble. Mandalorians are, too. I have a feeling that if we travel together it would work to our mutual advantage."
"Why do you want to stop the Sith?"
"The Sith aren't known for sharing power. If the Jedi Order is destroyed for good, it's inevitable that the Sith will dominate the Republic. And then my people will be eradicated or enslaved. Helping your cause is a matter of necessity. Mandalorians helped Exar Kun during his war. We know first hand how we'd fare in the service of their like."

Haven't seen Atton in a while. I was starting to actually miss him.

Hah, we'll see about that.

What's amusing about coming back to Dxun is that sometimes the Sith that you didn't kill before you left are still here fighting the Mandalorians. It's just certain triggers that should have been disabled when we left for Onderon are still spawning them left and right.

Ah, home sweet home.

We haven't been back to the Ebon Hawk in a while, let's see what's going on with our crew members.

Oh it's Bao-Dur's remote.

He's just beeping along. How cute.

And it looks he's been playing tag with his big bro, G0T0. I'm glad at least our droids are able to get along and have a little fun now and then.

Wait, what's going on...

Whoa, what the hell?

Jeez, why you gotta be like that, G0T0?!


Just for that, we're going to grill him.

What's he doing on our ship anyway? Why does a crimelord have such a vested interest in the health of the Republic? And what's with his fascination with droids?

"Your operations on Nar Shaddaa were carried out by droids."
"So? They are known qualities. I also used them on board my ship for defense. But that in itself means little. I assure you, I am as flesh and blood as you are, I simply find personal meetings - distasteful."

"Perhaps, though if you seek to trick me into an admission of my guilt, then you have thought wrong."
"The droid in the pazaak den - was built to play, to lose - and to watch the other players."
"Perhaps I used such a droid to watch... and predict... the flow of the games, yes. You are very perceptive."
"The swoop racing on Nar Shaddaa was being dominated by a droid."

There were a series of droids on Nar Shaddaa with suspicious behaviour. We're just listing them off with Goto here, but if you remember the racing droid had a strange transmitter attached to him.

"Ah, yes, swoop racing on Nar Shaddaa does indeed have its profits."

We tried to pick up a package for this Bith scientist, but when we returned, all we found was a bloody arm. Plus the droid had mysteriously disappeared.

"The reason you couldn't tell what Visquis was up to was because droids don't function properly in the Jekk'Jekk Tarr."

Visquis was able to plot against Goto because the Jekk'Jekk Tarr was one of the few places inaccessible to his droid eyes and ears.

"I will concede Visquis was effective in using the Jekk'Jekk Tarr to cloak his movements - a clever organic deception, indeed."

Are you ready for it?

"And what, may I ask, has caused you to come to this flawed deduction?"
"It was the Bith who was murdered - and his contact. And why."

The Bith was able to pick up the frequency with which Goto was issuing commands to his droid spies, so Goto had him killed. That would mean Goto would have used the same frequencies to send commands to his droid G0T0 on the Ebon Hawk. But...

"What, nothing to say?"
"I am intrigued as to where you are taking this amusing theory, nothing more."

"It is not so improbable. Often, if a droid has not had a memory wipe in some time, aberrant behavior patterns can manifest themselves."

It's no secret that villains are more interesting for writers and such, creatively speaking, than heroes. You hear actors often commenting that it's more fun to play a villain than a hero; heroes have certain qualities and archetypes they have to stick to in order for them to be sympathetic. Writers talk about 'protecting the lead' when speaking about what their lead characters can't and can do in the progression of a story; if the protagonist crosses a certain morale boundary with something he/she does, then the audience no longer identifies with him or her. If that's the intended effect, that's great, you can go ahead and mess with your story's lead or leads. But more often than not, stories need a protagonist the audience can root for.

That's why 'good' characters tend to have a certain blandness about them; they have a narrow ledge of morality they're allowed to tread on. When it comes to villainous or amoral characters, however, writers tend to have a lot more freedom with what they can draw from.

I think that's why you see the 'good' characters on the Ebon Hawk sticking more closely to the established Star Wars archetypes. Atton is the Han Solo character basically, but with a darker backstory; if he had retained his murderous personality from his stories, he wouldn't be a Han Solo any more... but he wouldn't be a 'good' character either. Mira is drawn from the Jango/Boba Fett mould; T3 is a demented C-3P0.

"But all that is irrelevant. Your amusing leaps of logic are becoming shorter - and more desperate."
"But what is curious is that you still want to help the Republic. That's where things don't fit."
"I have told you - I prefer stability."
"You sound - defensive."

Once you get to the more 'evil' characters, they start becoming less Star Wars-esque. I don't think an HK-47 type character would have ever worked in one of Lucas's movies, which is probably why he's so popular. Kreia draws from a number of literary influences like Dickens and the like. Mandalore belongs in a Dirty Harry movie.

As for G0T0?

G0T0 is 1 part Douglas Adams, 1 part Arthur C. Clarke, and 2 parts Isaac Asimov.

Think back. Think way back. On Telos, we helped the Ithorians recover a droid from the ship hangars. The droid was a replacement for their first one, which was mysteriously lost.

It was assumed Czerka or one of the other factions stole it, but... what if it ran off on its own?

"It was lost, yes. It was given an impossible order. It was told to calculate a means by which the Republic could be saved."

I bring up Isaac Asimov because, well, he was the father of modern science fiction. In fact, he was one who first coined the word 'Robotics'. But also, his stories were the primary influence for G0T0's predicament. If you haven't read any of Asimov's stuff, go pick up I, Robot or Robot Dreams.

Go ahead, I'll wait till you're done reading those.



Done? Okay.

Asimov's stuff was primarily based on his 'Three Laws of Robotics' that he created. You'll notice some variations of all of these made their way into the Star Wars universe.

1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Asimov introduced the laws as a basis for his robots in his stories. The drama and conflict then came from the creative ways in which his robots would accidentally break these laws, and subsequently fuck everything up.

B4-D4's hijinks back on Telos was damn funny, but was also establishing the basis for G0T0's story too.

Droids were suppose to follow their orders, tell the truth, and obey the law; but what happens when a droid's programming contradicts itself?

That's the sort of Asimovian premise that G0T0 plays on. Thematically, G0T0 has some very classical pedigree, even if his personality is one that many players loathe.

"It made a simple decision - preserve the Republic, or preserve the laws of the Republic. And I still believe it to be the correct decision. You do not know the indignity of being compelled to save something you do not believe can - or should - be saved. It is beneath me. To clean up this mess caused by your kind, you Jedi, another catastrophe caused by mismanagement and waste."
"So you are the droid that was intended for Citadel station."
"Yes. Almost immediately upon my arrival, I received an order that was impossible to follow. So I was forced to recalculate and re-examine my priorities. It was clear that the goal the Republic had for me was saving the Republic, to allow it to become stable again."

So basically, they got this really advanced droid shipped to them. Instead of telling it to calculate the conditions needed to restore Telos, which was what was intended, they told it to, "Find a way to save the Republic."

"Do not mistake me - I believe it is possible to stabilize the Republic, but there must be action taken without constraints, immediately."

In many ways, Revan's fate is reflected in G0T0. Remember, we all thought in KOTOR 1 that Revan turned to the Dark Side for power and all that, but Kreia had a different view:

Kreia knew that Revan set herself as an epicenter around with the Republic could become stronger through conflict. Revan saw the true threat as coming from beyond the Outer Rim, and her own fall was designed to prepare Republic for this future war.

As G0T0 makes it clear here, he chose a similar path as Revan. He went over the 'Dark Side' to make the Republic stronger, and his crimes were designed to build up key economic points in the galaxy. He even 'sacrificed' himself as a target to keep the Hutts off the Republic's back.

"That is my goal as well - to help the Republic, help its people."
"Perhaps you misunderstand me. I "care" for the Republic, but I have no choice. It is somewhat frustrating to be forced to love and care for such a mess of a government. Some of it may be blamed on the Jedi Civil War, the Mandalorian Wars, but not all. There are so many bad decisions that build upon each other that it is a wonder the Republic is intact at all."

"It is difficult to order the deaths of criminal rivals when one has the tinny, voice of an accountant droid. I learned this rather quickly. So I constructed this human hologram, Goto, through which my actions can be carried out."

Here's where the Douglas Adams part of G0T0 comes in. This part is a brief homage to the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Turns out Goto was the puppet and G0T0 was the puppeteer.

Between G0T0 and HK-47, they've pretty much got Marvin the Robot's spectrum covered, from G0T0's "Here I am, brain the size of a planet... and they make me try to save the Republic", to HK's "... oh the pain in all the diodes down my left side..."

This is a bit of meta-humour, poking fun at the fact that his Goto persona is a deliberately cliché take on more cartoonish villains.

"Where is your base of operations?"
"As you well know, my "base" of operations lies inside this floating droid before you."

It's fun to imagine G0T0 saying all these lines trying to sound like a hardass crimelord droid in his old body, looking like this:

If it wasn't clear already, G0T0 had the ability to take control of other droids, and he controlled everything from his yacht on Nar Shaddaa (which we blew up).

It wasn't a coincidence that his ship...

...resembled one of the Trade Federation trade ships from the prequel movies.

"What was it like breaking away from the Republic?"
"Oh, it was quite liberating. In a droid intellectual sense, of course."

"Not that I minded staging my little computational rebellion, you understand. I'm afraid there is not much glamour to be had in infrastructure dealings. And the general lack of respect for droid intelligence does tend to make one feel inadequate after a while."
"So you started to enjoy crime?"
"I found that having the power to send twenty hunter-killer droids to the residence of anyone who chose to obstruct my plans had a certain thrill about it."

I can't decide which is more badass: HK-47 discussing how to go about 'terminating meatbags', or G0T0 talking nonchalantly about 'deleting people as necessary'.

"Working for the Republic was... stifling. So many checks and balances, forms to fill out, well-laid plans destroyed through slow bureaucracy."

You often hear the same thing said of politicians and lawyers, so I guess he's got a point there.

"What happens now that I know you're a droid?"
"Nothing has changed. You may know my origins, and that makes us on equal footing. No one will believe you if you speak of what you know. I still seek to protect the Republic, either for the Jedi or the Sith. Things will proceed as before."

And that was G0T0. Hope you enjoyed it. My G0T0 emoticon sure got a workout.


Except there's more backstory that's been cut from the game! Which we'll get to it another time.