Part 36: Korriban: Let's Play Jedi Academy
We’re not done with Onderon just yet, but we’re waiting for word from Master Kavar before we return there.
In the meantime, we’re going to Korriban, the last planet.
Korriban is the second of the KOTOR 1 planets to make a return in this game; it’s of particular interest as it’s the graveyard of the ancient Sith. The place is pretty much barren rock and sand.
I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and gets everywhere.
Korriban was originally home to a race called the Sith, which were different from the Sith Lords in this game. When the original Dark Jedi split off from the Jedi Order, they went into exile on Korriban. They became gods among the local Sith people, interbred with them, and eventually took on the Sith name.
If that sounds confusing, well too bad, because there’s a THIRD Sith group. They’re called the ‘True Sith’, and as Kreia alludes to several times, Revan left the galaxy in order to search for them. They’re completely different from the other two groups.
I can’t believe LucasArts/Films approved all this nonsense.
Visas gets through a sentence without using the word ‘echoes’ or ‘feel’.
No wait, she did use ‘feel’. Damnit.
“There is great power in this place - for those who can hear its call.”
“There is much that would draw a Jedi to this place. The resting grounds of the ancient... and more recently departed Sith... contain many teachings believed lost.”
In KOTOR 1, Revan stormed through here looking for the Starforge map hidden in one of the tombs. She came in disguised as a student at the Sith academy, and ended up pretty much killing all the Sith on Korriban. Although, you had the option to spare a few of the more noncommittal Sith.
The most humourous of these was a Twi’lek Sith named Yuthura, who lightside Revan can befriend and eventually redeem. You could spare her life, turn her back on the path of the Jedi, and send her to Dantooine for redemption from the Jedi Council. Except like, days later, Dantooine gets bombed to smithereens by Malak, with Yuthura presumably still on it. So much for redemption. Way to go, Revan.
“It was said that Revan intended to return to Korriban to subdue any potential Sith insurgents. But Revan disappeared. It took a year or two for the Republic to send a force here to deal with any Sith that may have remained.”
“The Republic found evidence that several Sith Lords escaped Korriban, fleeing to remote sections of the galaxy.”
“Do you think there are any living Sith here?”
“As lifeless as it seems the dark side is very strong here. The Sith Lords would not ignore such a powerful place. There is much that can be learned, even here.”
This is kinda a game mechanic to force you to use other party members. On Onderon, Atton had to stay with the ship, so we couldn’t use him. On Korriban, it’s Kreia’s turn to sit out.
No worries, the old witch still has more lines than anyone here, which is quite a feat considering she never leaves the ship.
“I cannot. This place is strong with the dark side... it is difficult to center myself here. Korriban holds few secrets from me... but much that you should learn.”
“Korriban doesn't look that bad. I'm not afraid.”
“Perhaps not. But I would caution you to guard your feelings carefully here - Korriban attacks the spirit and the body, and there have been few who can fight its power.”
“Very well. Stay here and keep the engines primed in case we need to leave quickly.”
“I will remain here and meditate. Our link remains, I shall contact you and provide guidance when needed.”
Welcome to Korriban. The map is recycled from KOTOR 1, much like Dantooine. However, in the previous game you landed the Ebon Hawk on the far side of the valley in an outpost called Dreshdae. That place is totaled now, so we have to touch down the Ebon Hawk in the middle of the Valley of the Sith Lords itself.
It’s my understanding that the scale of the Valley of the Dark Lords is completely off in KOTOR 1/2. It’s suppose to be based on the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs, and is suppose to be a giant canyon. In the KOTORs, it’s more of a small gravel pit.
Here’s the same valley in Jedi Academy, 4000 years later. Supposedly, this was a far more accurate representation considering the previous material. Now obviously, KOTOR uses the more granular RPG Aurora engine, while Jedi Academy’s using the Quake 3 engine, which can handle a much bigger space like this.
They could be entirely different valleys on the same planet, but the tomb of Markos Ragnos is in both KOTOR and Jedi Academy, so who knows.
If you look past the edge, the valley stretches for quite a bit, so it’s possible there’s more than one entrance to the tombs I guess.
“More recently, this tomb was where Revan confronted Uthar Wynn, the leader of the Sith Academy. When Revan left Korriban, the Sith Academy was thrown into turmoil - with their leader gone, many fought for the right to rule.”
This was where the Korriban Starforge map was hidden, but like the other 3 tombs that Revan visited, the entrance is blocked off here. All you get for visiting each of the tombs is a little lecture from Kreia about the Sith Lord buried in there. She use to be a Jedi historian after all.
Too bad you can’t go in; I would have liked to screw around with the Tower of Hanoi puzzle in there one last time.
“His skill was considered remarkable even in his time, when many true lightsaber masters lived.”
Maybe, but he probably didn’t face many blaster-wielding Jedi either.
“What made him so good?”
“That is unknown. But supposedly he created a holocron to teach his technique to other Sith. The holocron would have been laid to rest in his tomb.”
“I doubt there is much to be gained from looting these bodies. It would be best to leave them be.”
And turn down free Sith loot? I don’t think so!
Kreia gets pissed about the silliest things.
“What are these guardians?”
“Hssiss are semi-intelligent beasts, corrupted and strengthened by prolonged exposure to the dark side. As creatures of the Force, they have a limited ability to mask their presence. Hssiss are drawn to suffering and carnage. They must have fed on all the corpses left over from the war here on Korriban. The angry phantoms of the Sith, too weak to influence the sentient, have taken these Hssiss as thralls to their will.”
Hssiss are sentient lizards drawn to the Dark Side. Or something. The important thing is that they’re not too hard to kill, and a bunch of them spawn every time we loot a Sith corpse. That means free loot and free experience! This place truly is a paradise.
“Ajunta's dark specter lived on through the centuries, until Revan entered the Sith Lord's tomb in search of the blade.”
We only get this dialogue if we set Revan to Light Side at the beginning of the game. If Revan was Dark Side, he probably would have stolen the blade and left the tomb laughing at Ajunta Pall’s ghost.
“One who has fallen so far, and done so much evil does not deserve redemption. In a way, such a turning from one's nature is cowardly, a betrayal of the self.”
Come to think of it, that whole conversation in KOTOR 1 probably bothered me as much as it bothers Kreia. Ajunta Pall spends his life as a Sith Lord, committing god knows what evil; centuries later, Revan talks to his ghost for all of 3 minutes and suddenly Ajunta Pall is redeemed.
“Perhaps. But redemption is a form of spiritual collapse, a fall few recover from.”
“What became of the blade?”
“Unknown. Some have suggested that the blade led to Revan's demise, as it did Ajunta Pall.”
If this seems like a lot of exposition for Star Wars mythology, well… in interviews, the writers mentioned they rewatched all the movies and read all the EU material prior to making the game. If it showed anywhere in the game, it’s here.
“The new Sith order sought to progress quickly by finding objects of power. I can only imagine what was lost forever due to the carelessness of these excavators.”
Again, it’s the Jedi historian in Kreia speaking. She spent her whole life in the Jedi archives studying its secrets, she’s just a bit miffed that the Sith here had tried to quickly gain power by simply digging through old Sith Lord artifacts.
And finally, we come to the tomb of Marko Ragnos.
The half-breed is in reference to Ragnos being half Dark Jedi/human, half native Sith.
“Ragnos held power for over a century, using his cunning to turn his enemies against each other. His death left a great vacuum of power. We're standing close to the spot where Naga Sadow first confronted Ludo Kressh to vie for domination of the Sith.”
“Yes. It is the way of the Sith. They must continually test their strength against each other... even if it means destroying themselves.”
“So what happened between Sadow and Kressh?”
Incidentally, since all the tombs here are caved in, the only tomb we’ll be visiting here is the tomb of Ludo Kressh.
Kressh and Sadow fought for mantle of the Dark Lord of the Sith, until one day, Sadow crashed a ship into Kressh. And that was the end of that.
It may have been the idea behind what happened between Revan and Malak in KOTOR 1.
For comparison, here’s the outside of the tomb of Marko Ragnos in Jedi Academy. Quite a lot cooler, eh?
And here’s the inside of the tomb.
And there’s Marko Ragnos himself. His statue anyway.
I’m pretty sure I’m the only one on this green Earth who likes Jedi Academy better than Jedi Outcast. Mock me if you must . Sure, the combat was unbalanced as hell, and the storyline was hilarious asstastic. The level design in general was much more polished and memorable though, and overall seemed designed to be a flat-out, balls-to-the-wall lightsaber game, rather than the quasi-shooter feel of Outcast.
Anyway, next update is the famed cave sequence.