Part 43: Onderon: "They Called Me Jesus. General Jesus."
Last update, our intrepid team of galactic rejects had split up into two teams.
Jesus and crew crashed into Onderon into a nice welcoming party of Vaklu's soldiers.
Note the giant pothole the ship created. I hope we don't have to pay for that.
If we had sided with Vaklu for this planet, he would have been here to meet us. Though he would have some comments along the lines of, "Did you have to come in a Basilisk?"
This was the same map as the Onderon town square, only slightly more blown the hell up. The way to the cantina's been blocked off as well. You know a civil war is going badly when you can't even stop in for a pint.
Meanwhile, back on Dxun...
Making these sort of puzzles tend to be straightforward. I know a developer who worked on similar puzzles for adventure games, and I joked about where he came up with some of his more inane stuff. His response was, "I just borrow riddle books from the library." I now have absolutely no doubt this is what happens 95% of the time.
The answer to this riddle is C, since it occurs the most. Or something. You only get one shot at these puzzles; if you answer it wrong, the console explodes and won't work again.
Here's the answer to the other riddle. Yes, they fucked up, because there's two possible answers for it:
(6 * 2) - 8 + 9 * 1 = 3
(6 * 2) - 8 + 9 / 1 = 3
At one point, the game seemed to just randomly pick one and marked the other one as incorrect, so it was a 50/50 chance you got it 'wrong'. I think it's since been patched though.
Our reward - some nice loot from a chest nearby. Ah well, I guess it could be useful.
This is why the Mandalorians wanted Kavar to lead the Republic during the war. Because he sucks at planning.
"Even now Vaklu is using them to breach the Palace. I will not surrender to that usurper. I would die first."
"There is hope... It is faint, but growing stronger. I think my message was received."
Meanwhile, Atton and company are busy cleaving through the entirety of the Sith army on Dxun. Yes, he just did like 250 damage in one round there. The game is hilariously broken as you get to the endgame.
I guess one of the reasons is the crafting system. KOTOR 1 had this little half-assed crafting system; when they sat down to plan KOTOR 2, they mapped out this elaborate system where you can basically create upgrades to everything and anything, and breakdown useless items to create new ones. I thought it was all around excellent, and made good use of the skills that you could ignore otherwise; unfortunately, the only drawback was that the items you could create were so vastly overpowered that it broke the rest of the game.
Well, beyond the door was where the ritual was being conducted, I guess that's where we're suppose to go. Does anyone know what we're suppose to be doing here? All we got in the way of exposition was some vague warning about some Sith and danger... or something.
Back to Onderon.
Onderon is a huge walled city, built that way to keep the beasts out, and we're on top of one right now. The Sky Ramp connects the palace to the city.
This is pretty much the best action sequence in the game starting here.
There's a lot of scripted sequences scattered throughout, which is what makes it fun. It builds a pretty steady rhythm; one or two rooms of enemies, then you get interrupted with a puzzle, a cutscene, or a minigame. And then you get another two rooms of enemies, repeat.
I think that's the perfect way to pace it, because frankly the combat is just too simplistic to be any fun if they keep throwing waves and waves of monotonous enemies after you. If you see cutscenes with your enemies running away scared shitless, then suddenly cutting them all down in a hail of gunfire is a lot more satisfying.
I have to keep reminding myself what a good combat sequence feels like, because later on in the game they do indeed throw waves and waves of enemies at you for what feels like an hour straight. And it's horrible.
We can see the Sky Ramp and the palace in the background. The level is pretty huge and bright, which is a sharp contrast to the gritty, washed out colours of all the other worlds.
Mandalore just chilling out in the back. "I turn purple when I'm angry."
"I dub thee the Army of Jesus."
"Yes sir very good sir!"
Ooo, that's not good.
We get treated to a little scene between Colonel Tobin and General Vaklu.
"But, it will take time, General. The throne room's force shields are far stronger than normal shields."
There's a little minigame here that's completely worthless and doesn't affect anything.
Like the turret minigame on the Ebon Hawk, except on a stationary AAA battery. There's no crazy spinning and drunken Atton piloting this time though.
You also get to admire the pretty skybox and bloom effects.
Oww. What the fuck was that?
Blowing up power conductors is suppose to be the player's trick .
In the background, we see evidence that the Onderonians had begun experimenting with the idea of a clone army long before Palpatine.
We've got our obligatory hero shot of the General.
Yes, run away from Jesus and his army of Asian clones.
I suppose it's nice they worked the whole fear thing back into things. People use to be in awe of Jedi in KOTOR 1; they had this whole demigod status, since the common folk didn't really understand them. But that changed in this game, on places like Nar Shardda, where people were actively hunting you down on places, and on Dantooine, where everybody hated your guts simply because you were a Jedi. There was even that stupid scene on Dantooine there where some random farmer scrub mused about capturing a Jedi and collecting on the bounty. Just no respect any more.
Then we come back to Onderon and people are running scared shitless at the mention of a Jedi again. It's a happy feeling.
Back on Dxun, Visas has encountered a patch of purple mist.
I don't know how to feel about the Dark Side as a physical manifestation rather than a quasi-philosophical ideal. On one hand, it seems like the EU has been going that way for years, and it's no worse than midichlorians. On the other hand, there's a certain less-is-more quality to it that's sacrificed enroute.
For giving in to the evil, we pick up a random Dark Side power on this character.
Back on Onderon, Jesus and company seem to have gotten stuck on a force field.
Yeah well, Bao-Dur isn't here right now.
The only other way through is tossing Kreia a lightsaber stab the force field. Game design shows a clear lightsaber bias .
Say what you will, but the Sith have stepped it up fashion-wise. That really is a pretty bitching skirt.
The princess better not be in another fucking castle.
Over in Dxun, the Lightsaber Squad have fought their way over to the last terminal.
The door to the best laser show on Dxun is now open.
The throne room to Queen Talia is just ahead.
Ah crap, it's Colonel Tobin.
Damn you Tob-
Hey wow, that's a beautiful looking door right there.
"This is no ordinary door between us. The same material is used for the hull of capital class vessels. I'm afraid you will find it quite impregnable."
The writing is generally good, but sometimes these lines crosse into hilarious B-movie territory. Though that was probably the point, considering the original source material for Onderon/Dxun.
You've crossed me for the last time!
They're using a larval Drexl to break through into the throne room. They say 'larval', because a full grown Drexl looks like this:
It's what the Beast Riders rode and it's what all the anti-aircraft turrets around the city are for.
What is up with all the stupid animals?
Another exploding conduit. Whoever's doing this is going to pay.
The other part I enjoy about all this is all the soldiers around - they follow you around and help you out, and as you walk through the palace you see them fight each other. It gives more of a sense that the world's alive and there's a actual civil war going on. It's pretty standard fare for FPSs and a lot of other RPGs, but I don't really remember anything like it in KOTOR.
We can try to hack a computer nearby, but we're quickly cut off by another user on the system.
Oh son of a bitch.
Back on Dxun, the Sith are hatching their plan for an indomitable army of... Boma.
What could possibly go wrong with this foolproof plan.
Honestly around this point I wish they'd quit with the whole beasts thing, because it's just kind of lame. I realize they took the whole idea from the source Tales of the Jedi books - but it was kind of lame there too. It was fine for its place in the books, but the KOTOR 2 is suppose to be this gritty introspective saga, what with its whole depressing colour palette and everything. Then suddenly you have some repeated infantile shit about Sith taming little jungle animals and breaking down doors, and it's just you know, "Yes, we get it already."
If there was one thing they could have improved on in the tomb of Freedon Nadd, it's explaining what the heck we are doing here. Why are the Sith here? What are we trying to accomplish? Why are we killing so many innocent Bomas that could have gone to adoption shelters? Are Bomas preconditioned to be dangerous around children or is it simply a case of neglectful owners?
All these unanswered questions...
This is the mysterious hacker that's been fucking with us back on Onderon.
Looks like it's Kiph, the Twi'lek from the cantina. The guy who hacked our Starport Visa.
That sounds ominous.
It's a trap!
The droids explode violently when they die.
I'd rate it a C+ as far as traps go. At least it's a better plan than training some random Bomas.
I believe Kiph is violation of statute 2.5.1 and 7.8.3 of the DMCA. I hope he has a good lawyer.
"I was hired by General Vaklu to do a job. I meant... no malice. Haha... Just a misunderstanding really."
"Yes... A reason... Th-there are so many to choose from. But you are a Jedi, you couldn't kill me...? I surrender. Have compassion for me."
"Why would you work with General Vaklu?"
"The credits were good. And Talia has been declared guilty of treason. So I was getting paid and being patriotic. What could be wrong with that? But I can now see the error of my ways. I should go, right now, and contemplate the depth of my mistake."
You know, it's very rude to make someone talk to your back.
"I have perhaps embellished a little bit. But this is true - I am done working for Vaklu. I just want to survive."
"Of course not. It's obvious to me, at least, that General Vaklu is not going to win today. So survival is my first concern. I sense that causing you any more.. complications... would be counter-productive to that goal."
"But you helped me clear Dhagon Gent."
Holy fuck, just turn around already.
"I may have helped, but I saw it as the most prudent course. I am less interested in politics than in whatever can give me more... material advantages."
"That attitude will get you killed."
"But not now... right? I will take heart from your lesson. You are a wise Jedi."
"Stay here. Soldiers will come to deal with you soon."
He'll probably get executed for treason, but that's ok.
From this terminal we can unlock part of the gate, but we'll have to make our way to the other side of the palace to open it all the way.
If you think all this combat is bad, wait till we get to the endgame!
We stumble into the Royal Onderon Museum of Archaeology. It's a civil war, so of course we have to loot some museums.
Now we just have to think of ways to get our booty through custom officials when we're leaving.
There's another computer terminal with a one-shot puzzle here:
Solving it opens this door and... we seem to have broken into Queen Talia's bedroom.
Let's see what we can lift from here. Her bunny slippers? Kavar's pajamas? Maybe we can rifle through her purse while we're at it.
"We got split off from Talia's troops by the currents of this war. We really need to talk, but Kadron and I are coordinating the defense of the war. I know Captain Kadron needs someone to handle a dangerous assignment. He's in the other room. Talk to him, no one else could do the job."
"How did you get split from Talia's forces?"
La la la. All I'm hearing is 'failure'.
Back on Dxun, the Sith Masters are still trying to finish their ritual, or whatever the heck it's suppose to be.
It looks more like a Sith pool party to me. "Tonight we'll bathe... in blood!"
So this is what a Sith nightclub looks like. It'd attract the angsty goth chick crowd, that's for sure.
Meanwhile on Onderon, the Army of Jesus is getting ready to assault the opened throne room.
Will we make it in time to save Queen Talia? What are all the Sith doing on Dxun exactly? Will Bomas rule Onderon in the last days of mankind? Find out the answer to these pressing questions and more, next time on Let's Play KOTOR 2.