The Let's Play Archive

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

by Doc M

Part 2: The Mysterious Stranger

Part 2: The Mysterious Stranger

Alright, before we get started, I should note that I've rerolled my character because the feats we picked in the last update were pretty dumb. I also decided to move two points from Constitution to Strength, because we do want to be at least vaguely competent at melee combat early on. We'll be doing a lot of it, even though at this stage I'll mostly be using blasters since their Attack modifier is based on our DEX. The feats I took this time (Flurry and Two-Weapon Fighting) have been added to the first update.

With that preparation out of the way, let's get back to where we were.

We seem to have found a bed and are moving, which would imply we weren't killed when our escape pod crashed. That's good news at least, even if Zila seems to be having bad dreams judging from the way she's thrashing about.

VIDEO: A Strange Dream

Well, perhaps not bad dreams per se, but certainly strange dreams.

Zila stirs awake, unsure what to make of her dream about lightsaber fights.

I'm Carth, one of the Republic soldiers from the Endar Spire. l was with you on the escape pod, do you remember?

Of course we remember. Who could forget Carth?

We're in an abandoned apartment on the planet of Taris. You were banged up pretty bad when our escape pod crashed, but luckily I wasn't seriously hurt. l was able to drag you away from our crash site in all the confusion, and I stumbled onto this abandoned apartment. By the time the Sith arrived on the scene we were long gone.

I guess I owe you my life. Thanks.

You don't have to thank me. I've never abandoned anyone on a mission, and I'm not about to start now. Besides, I'm going to need your help. Taris is under Sith control. Their fleet is orbiting the planet, they've declared martial law and they've imposed a planet-wide quarantine. But I've been in worse spots. I saw on your service records that you understand a remarkable number of alien languages. That's pretty rare in a raw recruit, but it should come in handy while we're stranded on a foreign world. There's no way the Republic will be able to get anyone through the Sith blockade to help us. If we're going to find Bastila and get off this planet, we can't rely on anybody but ourselves.

I don't know, Carth. That does sound like a pretty bad spot. Still, at least we can make some use of our extensive alien language skills we've picked up in our travels around the Outer Rim.

Zila still isn't sure why Bastila is so important. We know she was our commanding officer on the Endar Spire, but we just lost the entire crew of that ship. Certainly, it'd suck if she died, but what's the big deal about her that makes it so crucial for us to find her?

Bastila is the key to the whole Republic war effort. The Sith must have found out she was on the Endar Spire and set an ambush for us in this system. I believe Bastila was on one of the escape pods that crashed down here on Taris. For the sake of the Republic war effort, we have to try and find her.

How can one person, even a Jedi, be so important?

Bastila is no ordinary Jedi. She has a rare gift the Jedi call Battle Meditation. Bastila's power can influence entire armies. Through the Force Bastila can inspire her allies with confidence and make her enemies lose their will to fight. Often, that's all it takes to tip the balance in a battle. Of course, there are limits to what she can do. But from what I understand of her ability, it requires great concentration and focus to maintain her Battle Meditation. The attack on the Endar Spire happened so fast she never had a chance to use her Battle Meditation. Like us, she barely got out alive.

Battle Meditation is a Force power in KotOR II, but in that game it can be used instantly in any fight. Presumably, that version of the power is much weaker than what Bastila is capable of, and consequently doesn't require as much effort.

Nobody will be looking for a couple of common soldiers like us. And if we're careful we can move about the planet without attracting notice; a luxury Bastila won't have. She's going to have half the Sith fleet looking for her. They know how important she is to the war effort. The whole planet is under quarantine. No ships can land or take-off. So if Bastila's going to escape Taris, she's going to need our help. And we'll probably need hers.

Having a Jedi with us would certainly help, although we're not sure how we are supposed to get off this rock with the Sith quarantine in place. Somehow, I doubt they'd let us leave if we asked nicely.

While you were out I did some scouting around. There are reports of a couple escape pods crashing down into the Undercity. That's probably a good place to start. But the Undercity is a dangerous place. We don't want to go in there unprepared. It won't do Bastila any good if we go and get ourselves killed.

Not much to go on, but it's a lead so we might as well follow it and see where it gets us.

First off, though, let's ask Carth a couple of questions. This is completely optional, but learning a bit more about the game's backstory and the planet we're on is always useful.

I'll tell you whatever I can, though I...l don't know how much help it'll be.

What do you know about Malak and the Sith?

Everything I know about Malak is pretty much common knowledge. He escaped the trap that killed Darth Revan, his Sith Master. With Revan's death, Malak became the new Dark Lord. It's obvious that Malak's a ruthless tyrant who'll crush anyone who stands in his way... just like Revan was. Experience has shown that the Sith won't stop until the Republic lies in ruins. Malak and his Sith don't respect anything except raw, brutal power. It's hard to imagine how someone who used to be a Jedi could become such a monster!

A Jedi? What do you mean?

Malak and Revan were once both part of the Jedi Order, but they were young and headstrong. And against the wishes of the Council they went to battle the Mandalorians on the Outer Rim. Something happened out there. Something corrupted them and drew them over to the dark side. Or maybe there was something rotten inside them all along. I don't know. They formed an army of ex-Republic soldiers and Jedi who had fallen to the dark side, with Revan at their head... until Revan was killed by Bastila's Jedi strike team.

The Mandalorian Wars and Revan and Malak's role in them are explored in more detail in KotOR II. We'll get some more lore about that period in this game as well, but KotOR II is where it really gets fleshed out.

"Or was it the Outer Wilds? I always get those two confused."

Taris was once a magnificent planet-wide metropolis of towering skyscrapers. But that was a long time ago. The Upper City, where the rich citizens live, still pretty safe. If it wasn't for the Sith occupation and the planet-wide quarantine it might not even be that bad a place to live. But farther down things have degenerated. The...the Lower City is nothing but a slum overrun by swoop-bike gangs waging a never-ending war for control. And the Undercity is, well, even worse. The lowest level of Taris is a wasteland overrun by rakghouls; mindless, diseased mutants that attack on sight. I've already entered all this info into your data-pad journal.

And of course, we're heading to the Undercity at the first opportunity.

I understand why you want to know more about me; l...l kinda get the feeling we'll be spending a lot of time together over the next while. But this isn't really the best time for long introductions; we should stay focused on the task at hand. There'll be time for that later.

Fair enough. We can always learn more about Carth later on.

Good idea. We can use this abandoned apartment as a base, and we can probably get some equipment and supplies here in the Upper City. Just remember to keep a low profile.

Somehow, I get the feeling that trouble's going to find us no matter how hard we try to keep a low profile. That's how these things tend to go.

But I figure if we don't do anything stupid we should be okay. I mean, after all, they're... they're looking for Bastila, not a couple of grunts like us. Alright, soldier, let's move out.

We would prefer to keep our mind where it is, so we'll be careful.

The abandoned apartment will serve as our home base on Taris. There's not much of interest in the apartment, just this locker and the workbench next to it.

We did pick up that vibration cell earlier, so let's go ahead and put that in our prototype vibroblade.

Obviously, we can also upgrade other weapons and armor, but those options are greyed out since we don't have the necessary components.

A nice +1 bonus to damage, bringing the total damage bonus of our vibroblade to +2. Nothing spectacular, but every bit helps.

That's all we can do here, so let's head out.

I like how he just stares at you in this shot. "Damn right you will have to take me, and there's nothing you can do about it!" We wouldn't leave him behind even if we could, though. Carth is not a fan favorite character, to say the least, but I don't mind him. Besides, another party member fighting alongside us always comes in handy.

So, let's take Carth along and get going.

Oh, fantastic. We get out of the apartment and can't even take two steps without running straight into a Sith officer.

One of the Duros talks back to the Sith.

That turns out to be a bad idea.

They're Republic fugitives! Attack!

So much for keeping a low profile, I suppose.

We could end this fight instantly by tossing a grenade at the Sith and his droid friends, but they're so weak anyway that there is really no reason to do so.

Hell, the surviving Duros manages to land the killing blow. That's some nice XP, by the way.

This isn't the first time the Sith have come here to cause trouble for us, but hopefully it will be the last.

Won't someone come searching for this patrol?

Don't worry about the bodies. I will move them so it looks like they were killed elsewhere. That should throw the Sith off the track. With any luck, they won't be bothering us again for a while.

The Sith officer has some decent loot on him, including a bunch of grenades and stimulants as well as a blaster rifle. The blaster rifle is an upgrade over our basic blaster pistol and has increased range, but it also sells for 120 credits so I'm going to offload it the first chance I get.

We can enter the various apartments in the complex, but most of them don't have anything exciting. So, we'll ignore them for now and have a chat with this Twi'lek instead.

Gotta love those dialogue options. Either you're an overly formal goober or a petulant 5-year-old. But yes, this is Larrim and he runs a store here at the apartments.

Might as well hear the sales pitch. We could just tell him we know everything we need to know about energy shields, but he's actually got some pretty interesting lore for us so we'll give it a listen.

When you use one it surrounds you with a radiant aura-particle mesh that absorbs blaster bolts. Pretty handy in a fight. The shield even protects against Iightsabers, or so I hear. The shields aren't perfect, of course. They can only absorb so much energy damage before they burn out, and ion blasters will take your basic dueling shield down pretty quick.

And I can tell you from experience that they aren't any good at all against a simple vibroblade. That's why the Republic has been training soldiers in hand-to-hand and melee combat.

I've heard rumors of the Echani using shields like this, but I never saw anything like them around here. Not until the Sith came. Where they discovered the technology is anybody's guess. The shields are too rare and too expensive to hand out to an entire army, but a shielded strike team can take out a whole battalion of soliders armed with conventional blasters. It gave the Sith a huge edge in the early battles, but it wasn't long before the Republic was able to copy the technology and come up with energy shields of their own. Now both sides are scrambling to come up with new weapons to slice right through the shields, but until they do you're going to see melee combat coming back to the forefront in this war.

There we have our explanation why so many people fight with melee weapons in KotOR. It's not just because it's 4,000 years in the past, but also because energy shields are so powerful and prevalent that blasters might not do the trick as effectively as you'd hope. This also means that melee combat might just be a better bet for us as well, since plenty of enemies use energy shields and blasters won't do anything to them for the first few turns. Larrim also mentioned the Echani, who are a warrior race we'll learn more about in the sequel. In KotOR 1, we just get a bunch of Echani gear which is quite fancy.

You want to see what I have in stock? I know my kiosk isn't much to look at, but my prices are reasonable and the merchandise is sound.

Why do you have a kiosk set up here?

I run a little shop here in this old building, selling basic equipment to the illegal aliens renting out these apartments.

You mentioned something about illegal aliens living here.

By law, most aliens aren't allowed to have a residence in the Upper City of Taris. They allow a few of us Twi'leks up here, but for the most part it's humans only. But no self-respecting Upper City human would want to live in the apartments in this dump. So the landlord has been renting out the apartments illegally to aliens. Better than letting them sit empty, I guess. Otherwise you get squatters and peopIe hiding out from the authorities living in the abandoned apartments, and they don't pay rent.

Aren't you worried about getting caught?

The Taris authorities pretty much turned a blind eye to this place. A few illegal aliens just weren't worth the bother. And once the Sith took over, they felt the same way. Besides, I don't live here myself. I just run a small business providing supplies to the residents. You want to see what I have in stock?

Right, so Taris has always been kind of a shithole full of racists, and the Sith just continued along the same lines. I will have to call bullshit on Larrim's claim about the Sith not caring about this place, because we just saw what happened back there with the Duros.

Further along, we run into this gentleman.

Well, alright then. No hard feelings. My name's Kadir. I'm the janitor for this building. You must be the new tenant here, right? I never thought they'd rent that abandoned apartment. Hmmm.... you look like an off-worlder. What happened, you get stuck here because of the quarantine? Can't see any other reason someone would want to rent that old apartment.

I want to ask you some questions.

Don't know how much I can tell you, but seeing as how you're new here I guess I can try and help you out.

Tell me about Taris.

Decent enough place to live, I guess. Except for the lower levels. That's where the swoop gangs hang out. Just stay in the Upper City and you'll be fine. You also might want to check out the cantina. I used to go there when l was younger. Good place to get a drink and find out what's going on in the Upper City.

Where is the cantina?

Just keep following the apartment complex ring until you come to the elevator. It'll take you out to the Upper City streets. From there just head south a ways. You can't miss it.

Kadir finds the Upper City a pretty decent place and doesn't even mention the treatment of the aliens.

Well, the best place to go is probably Kebla Yurt's store. She's right across from the cantina, so you can stop in for a drink if you get thirsty while you're shopping.

What do you think of the Sith and this quarantine?

I prefer to keep to myself, mostly. But there's plenty of people at the cantina who'll be more than happy to tell you what they think about the Sith and their quarantine.

Yeah, he doesn't give a shit.

We'll just leave Kadir to his cleaning.

Let's get out of here and check out that cantina. Maybe someone there knows about the escape pods.

KotOR has a limited fast travel mechanic that allows us to instantly travel to our base and back. While the game is telling us the function is disabled in most action and combat areas, that mostly refers to dungeons. Areas such as the Lower City, which as we'll soon see is crawling with swoop gang members, allow us to fast travel just fine and I... might make use of that on a couple of occasions.

Anyway, welcome to the Upper City of Taris. The area is not that massive and only has two main zones, as well as two apartment buildings and a few businesses including the cantina. Just offscreen to the right is our crashed escape pod, but there's nothing to see there so we'll just move on.

Well, we would move on if Carth didn't have something to say.

Yes? What's on your mind?

I'd like to know some more about you, Carth.

Me? Well, I've been a star-pilot for the Republic for years. I've seen more than my share of wars... I fought in the Mandalorian Wars before all this started. But with all that, I've never experienced anything like the slaughter these Sith animals can unleash. Not even the Mandalorians were that senseless. My home world was one of the first planets to fall to Malak's fleet. The Sith bombed it into submission, and there wasn't a damn thing our Republic forces could do to stop them!

I'm sorry, Carth. This must be very painful for you.

I'm just a soldier; I go where the fleet Admirals tell me to. I follow my orders and I do my duty. It just... *sigh* doesn't seem right that doing that means I failed them! I didn't!

Yes. No... no, that's not what I mean. I mean... I'm sorry. I'm not making much sense, am I? You probably mean well with your questions. I'm just not accustomed to talking about my past very much. At all, actually. I'm more used to taking action... keeping my mind focused on the business at hand. So let's just do that. If you have more questions, ask them later.

Oh, we will. We'll be hearing a lot more about Carth and his past as we make our way through the game.

For now, though, we'll head to the cantina. Maybe we won't find out anything about Bastila, but at least we'll be able to get a stiff drink. It's been an extremely rough day.

Cozy. Let's go and introduce ourselves to the nearest person.

Uh, right. Pazaak (not to be confused with sabacc, which is another card game in the Star Wars universe) is the primary minigame of KotOR, and we'll get an introduction to it very soon. That guy in the red shirt, by the way, is the self-styled greatest pazaak player on Taris, and we'll ignore him.

This older guy, on the other hand, we do want to talk to. Well, I normally wouldn't, but this is a special case.

Just fifty credits and I'll sell you all my cards. I'll even throw in a free lesson to boot. It's a great deal, if you can afford it.

See, talking to him and spending 50 credits on his deck is how we get started with pazaak. I'm not going to actually play pazaak, but I do at least want to show it off once.

My name's Garouk. I used to be a card shark - one of the best Pazaak players on the Outer Rim. But that was before I retired from the gambling life.

You're giving up gambling? Why?

Don't get me wrong, the game's been good to me over the years. I've traveled the span of the galaxy, from the Core Worlds to the farthest reaches of the Outer Rim. I've won countless fortunes... and lost countless more. But that was long ago, and things have changed. Gambling is a young man's game. That's why I'm looking to get out. My offer still stands - fifty credits gets you my old Pazaak deck and a free lesson. A great offer if you can afford it.

Sure, I'll buy your deck.

How could I possibly refuse?

Good luck. I hope the game's as good to you as it was to me. Now, is there anything else I can do for you?

I'd like a Pazaak lesson.

I'll just let the in-game tutorial take over for a moment.

Not really, but those are literally all of my cards so I don't have much of a choice.

Pazaak is space blackjack. Sabacc is more along the lines of space poker.

Well, we certainly don't have any negative cards at the moment, so this advice is useless to us right now.

Do not accidentally pick End Turn when you mean to pick Stand. Or vice versa, I guess. In both cases, you'll probably be screwed.

Okay, cool. Let's get on with this.

Hey, that wasn't too bad.

I take that back. I'd like to blame the computer for cheating, because it tends to do that, but in this case I had this in the bag until I accidentally selected End Turn instead of Stand and lost what would've been an easy win. Then I proceeded to lose the next two sets as well. Oops. Well, hopefully you enjoyed this introduction to pazaak, because this is the only time we'll be seeing it in this LP.

Well, that didn't go so well, but at least it was just a lesson so we didn't lose any credits. Let's go and talk to this person next.

You're from the military base? You don't look like one of the Sith.

I don't wear my uniform when I'm off duty. It's not allowed. In fact, anyone in uniform is banned from entering the cantina.

Aren't we technically in uniform right now? At least Carth is, I'm pretty sure.

The officers don't even like it when we show up here off duty. Don't like us fraternizing with the locals, I guess. But it gets pretty stale hanging around the base all the time. Besides, the Sith don't own me. Being a soldier in their fleet is just a job, you know? A job with long hours and low pay, I might add.

Not to mention a good chance of getting shot by us!

When I signed up I was promised adventure and excitement in exotic locales. Instead, I end up stationed at a military base on some backwater planet on the fringes of the galaxy. If I could just find some other way to earn some credits I could give this lousy job up. Retire my uniform, so to speak.

I'll be going now.

Oh... Okay. See you around. Say, do me a favor and don't repeat all the stuff I just told you. It might not go over well with my superiors.

That wasn't very informative. Let's try another one of the patrons.

That's not too useful either.

Tarisian Noble: Get away from me - I can't be seen talking with the common rabble. It wouldn't be proper for a man of my standing.

I knew this game was pretty bad about reusing character models, but they're not even trying to hide it here.

What do you think of our local music? The band is quite good, wouldn't you agree? They're on the verge of intergalactic stardom, you know.

It's different, but I like it.

Obviously you have an ear for music. Mark my words, they'll be famous soon enough. They were about to go on tour before this Sith quarantine stranded them here. Would you like to meet the band after the show? Maybe have a brief brush with fame before they become intergalactic superstars? I can arrange it, you know.

Eh, that's okay. We have more important things to do than meet some random band.

Are you certain? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity - meet the legends before they were famous. All it will cost you is a small handful of credits. I have a standing arrangement with one of the Rodian bodyguards backstage. For the small sum of 20 credits he'll let me set up a meeting with you and the band.

Sounds like you're running a scam to me.

Okay, so this is obviously a scam as Zila pointed out, and a lousy one at that. 20 credits? Seriously? You can't even buy anything with that.

That's too bad. They really are charming fellows. Very well, then - I hope you enjoy the music. If you change your mind come speak with me again.

If you pay him the 20 credits, he runs off to "arrange the meeting." Afterwards, a woman who was fooled by him earlier comes up to you and tells you you were scammed.

In the opposite corner, we have another gentleman with the same outfit as the last two guys. Must be in style this winter. Anyway, he is another Sith officer, just like the woman we talked to earlier.

Same dialogue options here, as well.

Nice to meet you, Yun. I'm Zila Galcyon.

I'm actually surprised you're talking to me at all... most of the people here on Taris can't stand us Sith. It can make this a pretty lonely job.

I wonder why people around here would have a problem with the Sith. It's not like they conquered the planet or anything... I mean... err... right.

Oh, great... I can see where this is going: the Sith are evil; why did I join them; blah, blah, blah. I don't need a lecture from the likes of you.

You seem pretty touchy about this. Maybe you feel a little guilty about what you do.

Maybe we shouldn't antagonize the Sith, but you know what? Fuck these guys. We could get an invite to a Sith party where they no doubt would show us how to party like it's 19 BBY, but a Sith party is the last place we want to be at this moment in time.

I don't think we have much else to say to each other. Let's just keep this civil and go our separate ways, okay?

We could talk to Yun again and apologize if we really wanted to go to that party, but we're not going so this is the last we'll see of him.

So far, we haven't had much luck finding information in this cantina. Let's see if there's anyone in this area who might be able to help.

I hate this planet.

*whisper* Careful what you say. I get the feeling this spoiled brat could cause us more trouble than she's worth.

You know what, let's just play along. I don't feel like causing a scene, even if this person must be impossibly stupid to mistake a heavily armed soldier in a combat uniform for waitstaff.

I swear this planet is populated by clones. Are we sure we're not on Kamino? Anyway, all's well that ends well. If you fail the Persuade check, she will run off and you'll have to fight some of her hired thugs outside the cantina when you leave.

One more room to check.

Hm, wonder what this is all about. They did mention fighting, so maybe something interesting is happening. Also, there's yet another NPC with the same outfit. You could probably make a drinking game out of this, but you probably shouldn't because you'd die of alcohol poisoning very quickly.

Well, let's check out this fight then. The spectators didn't seem to think it was going to be too exciting, but maybe the combatants will surprise us and put on a good show.

What kind of name is that?

That at least sounds like an acceptable name for a duelist.

Cue "The Grand Duel" by Luis Bacalov. Or maybe not.

I'm no duelist or an expert on dueling, but dropping your weapon as you draw it probably isn't a good thing.

Nope, definitely not good.

I wouldn't celebrate too much, Gerlon. That was sad for everyone involved.

Let's see if the duel spectators have anything to say about the five-star classic we just witnessed.

Apparently not.

Twitch here was the female spectator's favorite. Maybe he'll have some fun anecdotes to share from his dueling career.

We'll just leave him to it, I think.

Bye, Twitch. Maybe Deadeye Duncan is more of a conversationalist.

Who are you?

l'm Deadeye Duncan, the number five ranked duelist in this cantina. You must have seen me in the dueling chambers, right?

You're the number five ranked duelist? Out of how many?

Uh... five. But it's an elite group, okay? It's not like just anyone can step into the dueling chamber! Well, actually anyone can... but not many do!

You don't look so tough. I think I could beat you in a duel.

Big talk. Go speak with the Hutt in the corner to back it up - he's the Duel Organizer. I'll look forward to our match. Fresh meat is just what I need to end my losing streak!

Our combat prowess isn't exactly our biggest strength, but even then we should probably hang up our guns forever if we were to lose to Deadeye here. Before we sign up for a match, though, we should talk to the other duelists as well.

I want to step into the ring.

Good to see some new blood in the fight game. Things have gotten pretty stale around here lately. If you're serious about this go talk to Ajuur the Hutt. He's the Duel Organizer. He'll probably start a rookie like you out against Duncan.

Will do. Two more competitors to talk to first, though.

I'm just here to take care of business in the dueling ring. For some reason every woman who comes in here thinks we should have some kind of female bond. Guess what? We don't!

Wow - that was cold!

Now you know why they call me Ice. If you're looking for a match, go talk to the Ajuur. He's that big Hutt over there in the corner. Otherwise, just go away.

Surely there has to be one person in this room who'll give us the time of day.

Were you expecting me?

No, we've never met. It's just that most people who come here to watch the duels are bored nobles looking for a little excitement in their drab lives. But you're different. You look like you know a thing or two about combat. I'm guessing you didn't come here to sit on the sidelines and watch a duel. Are you looking for a match?

Well, we have killed plenty of Sith recently, so you could say we know a little bit about combat. Marl here does seem a lot friendlier than the others, so let's see if he could tell us something about the duels.

If you're interested in setting up a match - or if you want to place a wager - just go speak to Ajuur. He's that Hutt over in the corner. He'll make all the arrangements.


Goodbye, stranger. Maybe we'll talk again later.

That's enough chatting, time to get signed up for some fights. The other duelists mentioned Ajuur here handles all the booking, so he should be able to get us set up.

My name is Ajuur. I organize all the duels here. We need a new face in the dueling game, human. Maybe you want step into the duel ring? It can be a highly profitable venture.

I might be interested - what's in this for me?

I can arrange for you to fight in the duel ring. If you win, you get the standard contract: 10% of all wagers. And don't worry, nobody dies in the duel ring anymore. Death matches are illegal now. Most fighters in the duel ring use vibroblades or stun sticks because the ring's pretty small, but a few of the duelists use blasters. Use whichever you prefer.

That seems somewhat... irresponsible.

Carth would agree.

Well, sure, but what is this nonsense about ten percent? We deserve more than that.

No, you get the same as all the others - ten percent. That's my final offer.

It was worth a shot. I don't think you can actually succeed at that Persuade check no matter what you do.

You're an off-worlder. You're new here, people won't recognize you... I know! From now on in the duel ring you'll be the Mysterious Stranger!

That's a terrible name!

That's what I said!

The Mysterious Stranger is a perfect name for you. You've got no past, no history... it makes you seem like you have some big, dark secret. People like that. Makes them bet more.

Still, "Mysterious Stranger"? Come on, put some effort into it.

Who said anything about real names? I was thinking more along the lines of "Silver Phoenix" or something cool like that.

I'm ready for a duel.

Yes! You fight and people bet and I make money! It's all good. Only one rule - nobody dies. Your opponent goes down, you don't finish them off. Death matches are illegal now. You new at this, so I'll start you off easy. You get to fight Deadeye Duncan. Are you ready to go into the ring now?

Let's do it.

You know, that does sound kind of cool when the announcer puts it like that.

That was slightly anticlimactic, not gonna lie. Sure, it was Deadeye so you can't expect much, but that was downright shameful.

Announcer: But really, are any of us surprised? Deadeye losing isn't news. You have to do better than that to impress us, Stranger!

Despite the less than impressive fight, we did gain enough XP to level up. No feats this time around, all we've got is a few skill points to invest.

I keep investing in Persuade and Security like a proper scoundrel, and also put two points into Demolitions because even though I don't plan to specialize in that skill, it'll still be handy to be able to disarm the occasional mine without having a Demolitions expert in the party.

We also unlock the next tier of Sneak Attack, increasing the attack bonus on stunned or otherwise immobilized opponents.

Gerlon isn't too impressed by our performance. Can't really blame him for that.

Wow - you sure have a bad attitude.

Gee, I wonder why? Couldn't have anything to do with being the WORST duelist on Taris, could it? Even a rookie like you got the better of me! Look, I admit it - you're better than me. Everyone is better than me! A blindfolded, one-legged tach with a rusty knife could probably beat me, okay? Is that what you wanted to hear? You satisfied yet? Are you happy now that you've taken the last shred of dignity I have?

Yep, that's about right.


I realize it's bad form to rub your victory in the loser's face, but Deadeye was talking so much trash earlier that he kinda deserves it.

I always pay my debts. You won, so you get paid. Ten percent of the purse - that was the deal. Here's your credits. You come see me when you're ready to fight again.

100 credits isn't too bad for that level of effort.

You fought well last time. People like you, Stranger. They bet lots on your last fight. They'll bet more on your next fight. You get ten percent, same as always. You handled Duncan pretty well. I think you're ready to fight Gerlon Two-Fingers. Just remember - Gerlon uses blasters in the ring sometimes. You ready to step into the arena?

I'm not sure if we're actually strong enough to take on Gerlon at this point, but might as well give it a shot anyway.

Our introduction is the same as last time, so I cut that out. Let's see how we do against Gerlon in the fight itself.

Gah! Not very well, it turns out. This calls for desperate measures.

If you use healing items from the inventory menu, it's faster than using them normally via the combat interface. This can save your ass in an emergency. It's also very obviously cheating.

Announcer: Gerlon losing to a rookie: is this a sign that his injuries have finally caught up with him? Or is the Mysterious Stranger for real? Only time will tell!

That was not even remotely "fair and square", Gerlon.

In any event, we'll go grab our winnings from Ajuur. We don't stand a chance against the other duelists at the moment, but we'll be back. Right now, though, it's time to head back to the Upper City. Next time we'll see if we can actually get any closer to finding Bastila.