Part 5: Wanted Dead or AlivePart 5: Wanted Dead or Alive
This is really just the second half of update 4, but I'm naming it Part 5 because otherwise the LP Archive won't like it.
Oh, hey. Looks like we're interrupting something again.
Calo Nord's character model is actually a lot shorter than most characters in the game. His official height is listed as 4'11".
We saw what happened to the last group of guys who tried to harass Calo Nord. This doesn't seem like it's about to end any better for these Rodians.
That's the plan.
Hi, Calo. Bye, Calo.
The Lower City Apartments look the same as the Upper City ones, but are populated by hostile Vulkars and other lowlives instead of NPCs cowering in fear of the crazy person who broke into their apartment. There are also groups of Vulkars just walking around and occasionally spawning in out of nowhere, so the Apartments can be a pretty hostile place when you're not specced for combat, especially at such a low level as ours.
Speaking of levels, we kill enough Vulkars to reach level 4.
I ended up putting the one extra attribute point to STR. An odd number doesn't increase our attribute modifier, so this might look like I'm wasting the point, but it very much does get us closer to that +2 modifier and the fact is we are going to be doing a lot of melee combat in this game so you'd generally want your STR to be at least somewhat decent, since unlike in KotOR II there is no ability to let you use DEX instead of STR for your melee attack modifier. It'd probably be more optimal to keep pumping our points into DEX as that'd help us get hit less often, but whatever.
Some more points in Computer Use, Persuade and Security. Now, I realize that technically you don't even need to put any points to Security because most if not all locks can be bashed with no penalty. However, smashing through every door like a caveman just seems so... uncivilized, and from a role-playing perspective it makes more sense for a rogue-type character to invest in lockpicking.
A common strategy for KotOR 1 players is to avoid leveling up until they reach a certain point in the game and unlock what could be described as a prestige class, letting them spend their unused points on abilities that only become available for those classes. I'll mostly be leveling up as normal, because I want more Sneak Attack and Scoundrel's Luck bonuses.
Oh good, this again.
You're probably one of the most skilled women I've ever met. You've saved my butt more than once and I'm lucky you're here to help me, no question. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop watching you or being wary. I'm just not built that way. Period.
At least he's not hitting on us this time, I guess.
Look... I'm not trying to insult you. This is just the way I am, no need to take it personally.
I'm beginning to wonder if you're even capable of trusting anyone.
Well, you can stop wondering. I'm not.
I don't need someone around me who doesn't trust me.
And I don't need all these questions. What I do need is to try and save the galaxy, if that's even possible.
We don't have time for this, so can we please just... drop it. For now? Can we pick it up later if you really must, I... want to get underway.
Well, that was pointless.
We picked up an energy shield from one of the Vulkars we killed. Might as well equip it, we'll need all damage protection we can get. To use an energy shield, you activate it using the combat interface just like you'd use any item.
We also seem to have located the assassin Selven. In case you can't tell from the fact we're glowing and have those arrows on our character portrait, I activated the energy shield and took a bunch of drugs before talking to Selven.
I'm here to collect the bounty on your head, Selven!
This fight can be really tough if you're not prepared for it. Thankfully, Selven will let you leave without a fight if you're polite enough, so you can go pump yourself full of drugs or what have you before you attempt to fight her. Of course, we already took care of the preparations, so let's throw down.
We found a poison grenade at some point, so we'll use that to weaken Selven.
Thanks to our drug cocktail and energy shield, we're more than capable of holding our own. That takes care of Selven's bounty.
Selven has a scope we'll fit on Carth's blaster later, along with an Adrenaline Amplifier belt and a Neural Band head accessory. Let's take a look at what those do.
Our Fortitude saves are really the ones that need a boost, but improving Reflex saves is fine as well.
Our Will saves were also pretty bad, so this'll help a little bit.
The problem with KotOR headgear is that it's always completely hideous. In the past, I've actively avoided wearing headgear in this game because it makes you look like a dumbass, and later on I might end up doing that in the LP as well for fashion purposes. If you're on PC, you can install the Invisible Headgear mod, which does what it says on the tin. No such option for us on Xbox, of course.
Vulkar Gang Bosses are the most fearsome Vulkar enemies you'll run into down here. I may also have slightly blown us up with a grenade. That doesn't help. At least I think that was my grenade, I don't think the Vulkars use grenades in combat. Some enemies certainly do, and it's always a fun time.
These two groups of Vulkars spawn in right after we kill the gang boss. I don't know if that's a scripted event or if they just spawn in randomly, but it's still not great for us. Carth also gained a level in all of that, so let's see what we can do with him.
Carth's skillset is pretty useless, so I usually just give him what the game recommends. In this case, that means some more points in Treat Injury.
Sure, why not.
Here's Carth after his levelup. We also found another Combat Suit for Carth, so he got a defense boost at the cost of his default outfit being replaced with the generic combat uniform. Again, I might keep some party members in their default gear for fashion purposes later on.
Hm, this looks interesting. That force field around the foot locker indicates the locker has been rigged with a mine trap, which is triggered if you walk into the force field radius.
We've got enough Demolitions skill to disable this mine. If you're skilled enough, you can also recover mines, which is a decent way to make money early on because mines sell for a nice amount of credits. I'll make use of this whenever I have a Demolitions expert in the party.
Now that we got rid of the mine, we can take a look at the terminal and check out the message, which reads as follows:
Hey, Elam! How's life on Taris? I heard your brother left for Tatooine to become a miner. Did he at least leave Hyperdrive behind to keep you company? I hope you're still practicing with that blaster I gave you. Remember what I taught you, because you might need it. Taris isn't like Alderaan: it can be dangerous there. Stay away from those swoop gangs, and keep everything locked up in that old strongbox. Nobody's going to be busting into that thing! Hope to hear from you soon.
[Because this box is an older, off-planet model there is no interface for you to try and slice the system. You'll have to figure out the password if you want to get inside.]
Well, I think it's safe to say that Elam either joined a swoop gang or got involved in some other way, so we shouldn't feel too bad for breaking into his strongbox.
Hyperdrive was mentioned in the message, so we'll choose that.
The message was from an Uncle Louie, who mentioned giving Elam a blaster. (What kind of Star Wars name is Louie, anyway?)
The message said Taris was not like Alderaan, and while that doesn't confirm the family came from there it'll be as good a guess as any.
Why, thank you.
The Republic Mod Armor is an improvement over our basic combat suit. It has a Defense bonus of 5, with a max DEX bonus of +4, and can be upgraded. That'd be more useful if we weren't going to find an even better replacement soon.
That's all we can do in these particular apartments, so let's head back out.
The bouncer from Javyar's cantina will actually help you in a fight if you lure enemies close enough to him. This was actually one of the Vulkars guarding the hideout, we got in a fight too close to them and ended up having to retreat because Carth got knocked out. Carth eventually got up, but the Vulkar was still following us.
Since we had to return to our apartment anyway for a heal, let's check out the place next door.
I'm sorry. I was just investigating the area.
That's no excuse. You can't just go around barging into people's apartments because you're curious! But at least you're more polite than that pig, Holdan.
This, of course, is Dia.
We know who Holdan is. He put the bounty on Dia.
What do you mean?
l... I don't want to talk about it. I'm in enough trouble already. Besides, I don't know if I can trust you.
Holdan's a spiteful little Hutt-slug. He went and put out a bounty on my head for what I did! That's why I'm hiding out here.
We know all this, of course, not that any of our dialogue options reflect that.
Maybe I could speak to Holdan for you.
You could try, I guess. He usually hangs out at the cantina in the Lower City. It probably won't do any good. Holdan's used to getting his own way. That's one of the fringe benefits of being a goon for Davik. Working for the local crime lord lets you get away with things. Still, I appreciate the offer. Goodbye, and good luck. I hope you can talk some sense into Holdan.
Well, we heard Dia's side of the story. Time to head back down to the cantina.
Here - 300 credits. That's the price for all bounties.
First off, inform Zax we took out Selven. 300 credits is okay, but we can do better.
You do good work, human. There's lots of bounty hunters on Taris, but most are lazy. Maybe if you keep cashing in bounties they'll work harder.
Zax is a lot more receptive to bargaining than Ajuur, so you can get 400 credits for every bounty you turn in. Now that we got that out of the way, let's see if we can find Holdan.
Don't worry, honey - alien girls aren't really my thing. I'm much more interested in an attractive female of my own species.
Here's our boy. A real charmer, he is. We'll tell him we want to talk about Dia's bounty.
I can't let her get away with what she did - that wench tried to cut me with her vibroblade!
Why would she do that?
Because she's crazy! She started screaming that I was making advances, and the next thing I know she's coming at me with a knife.
Even Carth realizes that this guy is a jackass.
Sounds like maybe you got what you deserved.
Hey - you weren't there. She totally over-reacted!
Okay, enough screwing around.
Although I do feel a little guilty about all this. Dia's a good looking gal - it'd be a shame to kill her. Tell you what - I'll take 200 credits in exchange for lifting the bounty.
No, that's not good enough.
I was a bit hesitant to choose this option because it kinda reads like we're encouraging him to kill Dia himself, but he did say he doesn't actually want her dead.
Don't worry - I'll stick to my end of the bargain. I'll go tell Zax right now that the bounty is off the table.
That's that. We earned some light side points for our efforts, and now we just need to tell Dia the good news.
Wait a minute... I know! I don't have many credits, but there is something I can give you. It's a family heirloom. It's not much, but it's something.
We could refuse the reward for maximum light side points, but that's dumb.
Err, thanks. It'd help if the game told us what the item we got actually is.
Okay then. That's not too bad, let's visit the workbench and upgrade our stuff.
That takes care of the upgrades. Next stop, the other apartment building in the Lower City.
Same deal as last time - a small army of Vulkars itching for a fight. Thankfully, we can repair this sentry droid to even the odds a little.
After murdering some more Vulkars, we gain another level and find a heavy blaster, which'll be a nice upgrade over our basic blaster pistol.
We'll invest the points as we've been doing thus far. I tend to alternate between Computer Use and Repair to keep them roughly equal. They'll eventually become class skills, so it'll only take one point per rank.
A bigger sneak attack bonus is always appreciated, even though we haven't really been stunning enemies all that much so far.
That should make dual-wielding actually worth using.
We're also well on our way towards the light side of the Force.
Yep, dual-wielding is actually a viable option now because we're actually able to hit things other than our own leg. We'll stick with double blasters for now.
That looks interesting, let's see what it's about.
The desk in the corner has a datapad containing the following message:
The Twisted Rancor Trio posted:
Guts and Glory: A Chronicle of The Amazing Story of The Twisted Rancor Trio
By Gilthos Uksaris
(A work in progress)
The origins of what would eventually become the most famous band in the galaxy are surprisingly humble. The brains behind the group, manager Gilthos Uksaris, founded the Trio to earn a date with a young singer named Elinda.
The ploy worked, and Elinda became the first member of the band. Gilthos scrambled to find musicians to back her, and signed a Bith named Ujaa to be the lead musician. Soon after that he signed Ujaa's brother Ujii to complete the trio.
The band struggled at first. Elinda was a fantastic singer, but Ujaa wasn't much of a musician. When Elinda threatened to quit, Gilthos fired Ujaa and signed another Bith named Loopa.
Of course this didn't go over well with Ujaa's brother, and Ujii quit. Fortunately, Loopa knew another musician named Fodo, who joined to replace Ujii.
Led by Elinda's singing, the second incarnation of The Twisted Rancor Trio became quite popular on their home world of Taris, eventually attracting the attention of local legitimate businessman Davik Kang.
Davik asked Gilthos to bring his group in for a command performance. Gilthos agreed, realizing this could be the band's big break. Unfortunately, Elinda had heard certain unsubstantiated rumors about Davik Kang and his connections to the Exchange. Fearing for her life, she refused to go to his estate to perform.
Many felt that without Elinda's singing the band would crumble. But Gilthos came up with a brilliant plan to save the group by hiring Elinda's sister, Ashana, as the new lead singer on the eve of their scheduled appearance at Davik's estate.
Gilthos knew he was taking a risk. If Ashana couldn't perform at Elinda's level, Davik's infamous temper could have dire consequences for the entire band. However, if Ashana could match her sister's performance then Davik was likely to sign the band to a big time touring contract.
It was a risk, but The Twisted Rancor Trio was founded on "Guts and Glory".
[There are no further entries.]
Doesn't seem like Guts and Glory was quite enough in the end, sadly.
The strongbox in the center of the room will open if you activate the holograms in a certain order. The names on the holograms match the band members in the story, so all you need to do is activate each hologram in the order the corresponding band members are mentioned. If you activate them in the wrong order once, nothing will happen, but if you screw up again the entire room will blow up and take you with it.
The correct order is of course Elinda, Ujaa, Ujii, Loopa, Fodo, Ashana.
For solving the Twisted Rancor Trio puzzle, we earn a few credits and the Echani Fiber Armor.
The Echani Fiber Armor has a defense bonus of 5 and max DEX bonus of +5 and can be upgraded, making it the best armor we can get for free for quite some time.
Behind a locked door, we encounter this Twi'lek who is understandably not happy about us breaking into his apartment.
None of your business. Just turn around and go back the way you came, if you know what's good for you.
[Persuade] Are you in some sort of trouble? Do you want to talk about it?
[Success] I... I guess I could tell you. You'll probably find out on your own eventually, anyway. Zax is giving his bounties away like candy, or so I hear.
My testimony helped put some of the biggest criminals on Taris away for life. But Davik didn't like seeing his friends go down, so now he's got a bounty on my head.
So yeah, this is Matrik, one of the bounty targets. We know his story and don't have any plans to haul him in, so let's see what else we can do.
Maybe you could fake your own death?
I've already thought of that. I even came up with a plan of how to do it. But I can't pull it off while I'm holed up in here.
Tell me your plan and I might help you out.
The trick is getting Davik to buy it when there's no body found at the scene. If it looks like I died in a massive explosion, he won't be suspicious when my corpse never turns up. If I had an accomplice go back and tell Davik that they were the one who set off the explosion to eliminate me, I think I'd be home free. I have some demolitions experience from my own days in the Exchange so I could set it all up. But I'd need to get my hands on a permacrete detonator.
As luck would have it, we just happen to be carrying a permacrete detonator with us. The Force truly works in mysterious ways.
Okay, the timer's set! Now let's get out of here before it blows!
That explosion was disappointing.
Okay, that's better, even if we can barely see it as the screen is fading to black.
There was a footlocker with random contents in the apartment that we could've looted before giving Matrik the detonator, but I doubt it had anything particularly useful.
So good luck, and goodbye. Now that I'm 'dead' I can't be seen wandering the streets.
What are the odds he'll run smack into one of Davik's bounty hunters the instant he exits the apartments?
That apartment is going to need a bit of work. Not our problem, though.
Ha! Can't say I've met a woman quite like you before. You're really something. I just don't trust easily, and for good reasons... which are my own.
Ahhh, damn it. I suppose I won't get any rest until I talk, will I? You want to know why I don't trust anyone? Fine, here goes. Five years ago the Jedi had just finished the war with the Mandalorians. Revan and Malak were heroes. I was damn proud to have served in their fleet. It was completely unexpected when they turned on us, invading the Republic while we were still weak. Nobody knew what to think, least of all me. Our heroes had become brutal, conquering Sith... and we were all but helpless before them. Think about it... if you can't even trust the best of the Jedi, who can you trust?
What do I have to do with Malak and Revan?
It... it's not that. It's... That's not what I mean. There were... there were others. Good, solid, trusted men who joined them. Malak and Revan and the Sith deserve to die for what they've done... but the ones who fled the Republic and joined them are even worse. The dark side has nothing to do with why they joined with the Sith. They deserve no mercy!
I haven't joined the Sith, Carth.
It's just... never mind. Let's just continue with what we were doing. I'd rather not talk about it.
Well, we've finally learned something about Carth's past and ongoing trust issues. I can see that being very rough on him, his friends and comrades from the Republic joining up with Revan and Malak and the Sith.
Anyway, we're done with the east apartments, so let's go tell Zax that Matrik is dead.
It's good Matrik's dead but maybe you went overboard, human. Next time use a blaster, not a bomb! Bombs are messy. But at least the job is done.
Erm, sure. That was easier than expected.
We're almost done in the Lower City, so let's upgrade our armor with some parts we found in the apartments.
After that, we're finally ready to head down to the deepest and darkest parts of Taris.