Part 57: Malachor V: This is the Fight That Never Ends
Last we left off, our surviving crew members all made their way over to the Trayus Academy, in one way or the other. Let's start off with some cut content.
We see Darth Traya, aka Kreia, meditating in centre of the Trayus Core.
"I say we fire a rocket at her right now, and blow her screaming, burning body into the heart of this planet."
"It wouldn't work- if there were other distractions, maybe, if she wasn't telepathic, maybe. If you want to kill her like that, you need something else to occupy her attention, otherwise you might just wound her. And then we'd all be in trouble."
"This battle will not be decided by weapons."
"You are wrong. Manipulation is Kreia's strength, not battle. Let us see what transpires... and plan our attack."
"We've come a long way, Kreia... don't bother getting up."
"Ah, the huntress. To come alone... you are braver than I thought."
"She is not alone. We stand with her."
"And with her, stand all the Jedi."
"And now I come in, saying something suitably heroic."
"Children with lightsabers... but not Jedi, I think. Come close, let me look upon you and see what the exile's teaching has forged."
"An assassin, a slayer of her own kin..."
"...A blinded slave... and a fool."
"Which of you wishes to try yourselves against me? As you can see, I am unarmed. You, perhaps? Come, child, where you walk, it is not far from battle, slaughter, and the blood of your sisters."
The Handmaiden attacks, but Kreia dodges all the blows and knocks her on her ass.
"Think. Think before you throw away your life for him. Think of everything you will lose by dying. Your lusts unfulfilled. A dance, unfinished. A love, requited. Think before you give it up so quickly."
"And you, blind one, you have hungered to strike me down ever since you saw the bond the exile and I share. Can you feel the Force running through me, even past the veil, past your bloodied eyes? You know you cannot win."
"The Force runs strong within you, Traya, but in the howling of a storm, it is difficult to hear the whisper of the blade. You have forever been the blind one. You were given a gift few are ever given, and yet you let your gift of sight warp you, tw-"
"You think your existence under your Lord was torture, Miraluka? I will make you see."
They probably should have planned that out a bit better.
Anyway, Kreia easily defeats them all, and the Sith come to drag them off to a jail cell. All except Atton, who manages to escape. Atton is sneaky like that.
Meanwhile, Jedi Jesus makes his long awaited entrance into the Academy.
In the full game, she never says what she means by "choice". She has some extra lines explaining it, but it got commented out in the script.
:: One path, assuming he survives, will allow him to save his friends, but he shall be the weaker for it. ::
:: The other route will lead him directly to this place, through the ones that have hounded his steps through the beginning... and he shall have his vengeance. ::
It got cut because, obviously, the scene where the others had their ass kicked by Kreia was cut as well, so it wouldn't have made any sense to go rescue them.
'Respect' from the Sith means throwing themselves in waves to test themselves against you.
So this is the Trayus Academy. It's red. And it's grey. And that's about it.
There's two paths to exit, which was what Kreia was talking about. On the left is the Trayus Crescent (it was actually called the Trayus Prison), where Visas and company would have been held. On the right is the Trayus Proving Grounds, which would have skipped the other side entirely and taken you straight to Kreia.
Of course that all got taken out, and they just ended up populating the entire place with various Sith soldiers and called it a day. Seriously, from beginning to the end boss, there are no cutscenes in between, no conversations, nothing of note here except like 4-8 enemies in every room, which you can cut through like butter. For a game based on dialogue and writing, this was just a stupid, stupid way to end the game.
If you had stealth, you could just use it to run past all these Sith, and to be frank that's probably a good idea. If you're bored like me, you can stealth and go mind control some random Sith, to make them fight each other.
That covered about 30 minutes of gameplay there. Sigh. Let's see what's happening elsewhere.
Atton escapes Kreia, but Sion hunts him down in the halls of the Academy.
I've said that almost every character got their little own spotlight bit - even the Remote got one. I've heard people complain about the excessive amount of them in this game, citing that it detracted away from the roleplaying of the Exile, but I kinda like them. It's good to have a little variety in your gameplay. Anyway, the only one left who hadn't had a solo sequence yet was Atton, because his got cut here.
"And I get the fool."
"Funny - that's just what I was thinking."
Yes, his solo sequence was a one-on-one deathmatch against Darth Sion. Completely player controlled.
Former Sith Assassin turned Jedi, against a zombie Sith Lord. These two are pretty evenly matched, so there's only one way to determine the winner...
A dance off!
Sion starts with a pirouette. Atton is skeptical.
But Sion shows how it's done.
Atton tries the same moves, but with a twist.
Even David Bowie is impressed.
Who will win? Who will go home the loser?
I'll leave that a mystery until next update.
Meanwhile, Jedi Jesus is still making his way through the halls of Trayus Academy.
The Sith built some lovely training facilities. More little rooms than you can shake a stick at, and dining halls with lovely views.
I couldn't find any bathrooms though. Come to think of it, there weren't any bathrooms back on the Ebon Hawk either.
They released this game in such a rush that they forgot to remove those little nodes pointing out areas of interest on the map. For example, it says Storm Beast Pen there, but it's just a big room full of nothing. You'll also notice there are some nodes on the right and bottom that are completely off the accessible map.
Well, there are ways of getting into those areas.
It's nothing exciting. No enemies were seeded here, so there's nothing much to do except explore.
Here's what I think happened: the concept for the planet/area was conceived early on in production, and the map makers were sent off with a few concept sketches and told to make the map for the writers and scripters to play around on. Whoever made this map just thought, oh I'll just make a ton of little rooms and jail cells and what not, that way the writers will be able to add in a bunch of cool little sequences here.
Crunch time came and they just didn't have enough content to fill this giant place, and what little content they had, they didn't have time to script and animate. So they just said, fuck it, we'll have to seal a bunch of these doors just to streamline the place. And the funny thing is, they didn't cut off enough areas, because you still end up spending an unnecessary hour or two in here cutting through waves of Sith to get through to the end.
One of the things you can find in the closed off areas is this dead Jedi, which was still scripted. There are a lot of jail cells here, with corpses of Jedi who had been captured by the Sith and didn't convert to their cause.
Off the Jedi corpse, you can find this one-of-a-kind lightsaber crystal. Again, I don't think this was itemized in the full game.
That's a horrifically stupid name for a lightsaber crystal by the way. I can deal with all the other stuff, but 'Hurrikaine' almost makes me glad this was cut.
The only other thing of interest is this jail cell here. I assume this is where you would have been able to rescue Visas, Brianna and Mira after their confrontation with Kreia. I guess they would have been unconscious or something, because after this you have to go on alone.
Just to show how far off the beaten path we are, the Exile is that arrow at the bottom left. The grey areas are the normally accessibly portions of the game.
At last, Jedi Jesus come face to face with Darth Sion.
Interesting, if the Exile is female, Sion is infatuated with her. He tells her she shouldn't have come, and urges her to leave Malachor before Kreia breaks her. He fights the female Exile to protect her from Kreia.
"Where is Kreia, Sion?"
"She awaits on the Trayus Core - the heart of this planet. But you will never reach her."
"It is ancient, a relic that survived the destruction of Malachor. It was always here, far before the Mandalorian Wars. It draws death and hate to it, channels it. Atrocities feed its power, and with its power, it creates hunger. Many Jedi have been consumed by it."
"But where did it come from?"
"Do you know what happened to Revan?"
"It does not matter. The Lord Revan had the galaxy at her feet, could have made it strong, and she surrendered it to weakness. Like you, Revan touched power and turned away. The chance to heal this fractured galaxy, and she turned away."
"Your master is using you. She hopes I will kill you here, as a test of my strength."
"Then it shall be proof that you are not the one she seeks... and she shall accept my loyalty again."
Remember from the conversation with HK-47, he advised the best offense against Sion was by literally talking him to death. Let's try that out.
"I can hear it in your voice - you know she is finished with you."
Pffft. "You will not erode my will!" (You have eroded his will).
"I am ready for you, exile. I have waited years to see the last of the Jedi fall before me."
Sion is the Lord of Pain, and is helluva lot tougher than that weenie Nihilus. He's a Jedi Guardian, or whatever the hell the Sith equivalent is, so he's got Force Jump and hits pretty hard with his lightsaber. He also has some Force powers, but doesn't use them that often.
Just for fun I tried to mind control Sion.
I didn't know it would actually work. I couldn't do anything to him like this, but I could buff and heal myself while I waited for it to wear off.
We get him down to 1 health, but he just ups and regenerates everything back again.
I mentioned during the Ravager sequence that Darth Nihilus was a reflection of what the Exile might have become, and the same holds true for Darth Sion. It's been a major part of Kreia's teachings not to overly depend on the Force, since such dependence tended to be parasitic, and atrophied one's other skills and made them 'blind'. It's how the Jedi Masters on Dantooine were killed, but to top off that theme, they designers had to create a villain who could wear that dependence in his physical appearance.
Sion is that avatar of the Force - someone who thrived on it so entirely that it's literally the only thing holding him together.
Yes yes, it can change the nature of a man.
And he's back to full life again. We'll just have to keep chipping away at his armour.
"But you cannot kill me. She knows this."
"Those are the words of Jedi, Jedi who over thousands of years, have never turned from power, from inflicting their will on the galaxy. They know power. The only weakness is not seizing it when it lies before you."
"Fight or die - but spare me the threats."
"You are the one who will fall. Die, Jedi."
Bastard still won't die, no matter how times Jedi Jesus shoots him.
"I fight because it is the power that the Force fills me with. To... survive, to inflict the pain on others. I... I still have the power to stop you. The Force runs strong through the screaming canyons of Malachor."
And he's still not dead yet. Time to bust out Jedi Jesus's own special moves.
"I will not fall. I cannot die."
Much like Vader's and even Malak's death, it's a neat trick to go from hating the bastard villain to feeling sorry for him. With Sion, there's a consistent arc of pathos to his character throughout the game, and the emotional payoff for it comes at the end here.
Good night, Sion.
Two more updates to go.