The Let's Play Archive

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

by Doc M

Part 7: Obligatory Sewer Level

Part 7: Obligatory Sewer Level

Last time, we explored the Undercity and fought a couple dozen rakghouls. In our travels, we came across the serum that cures the rakghoul disease, as well as something called a Promised Land Journal. The journal was kept by Malya, an Outcast who was the apprentice of Rukil until her untimely rakghoul-related death, so we'll give it to Rukil.

Your apprentice is dead. I have her journal.

It is as I feared, then. She joins the list of those who have given their lives in the service of our cause. But though I am saddened by this news, there is yet hope. By finding my apprentice you have proved yourself worthy, up-worlder. You are to be the beacon on our path to salvation. You will guide us to the Promised Land!

We will?

I am old - I have lived a hundred years in the Undercity, cast down into the darkness. I know the legends and history of our people - and now you must learn it, too.

Very well - tell me the history of your people.

The great city of Taris covers the entire surface of this planet. There is no land to grow food. Kelp harvests and the creatures of the sea are our only food source. A century ago rising levels of toxic pollution poisoned the oceans and famine swept the planet. The rich hoarded food for their own use, and the poor were left to starve and die.

Excellent observation, Carth. Please let the man speak.

The rebellion was crushed in the end, thousands were taken prisoner. The jails could not hold them all, and so the practice of banishing all prisoners to the Undercity was born.

I'm still waiting for someone to explain why these banished prisoners, who apparently numbered in the thousands, didn't try to fight their way back at any point instead of resigning to their fate and sitting here for a century.

Many brave men and women were banished here to the Undercity for their part in the rebellion. People like my father and grandfather were cast down, along with their families.

I still don't think... oh, whatever. I give up. The Promised Land. Let's do this.

For many years I searched for the Promised Land, just as my grandfather and father did before me. When I became old and gray my apprentice continued the search on my behalf.

What? Why in the hell would someone build a self-sustaining "paradise" beneath the Undercity of all places? "This way, one and all! Come visit us at our beautiful self-sufficient colony of wonderment, where the finest Tarisian ale flows freely and droid servants attend to your every need, and we do mean every need! The entrance is to the southwest, behind the 583th pack of rakghouls." Or was it built by some ultra-rich recluse who wanted to get away from other people?

Carth has a point for once, and it's completely understandable how most Outcasts treat Rukil as a weird old lunatic. The Promised Land sounds too good to be possible.

But I know my father and grandfather each had journals where they recorded their own discoveries. Perhaps with their journals I could at last uncover its hidden location.

Still, Rukil seems to be convinced the place exists, so we'll humor him.

I'm afraid that only with all three journals - my grandfather's, my father's and my apprentice's - will I be able to discover the location of the Promised Land. I will leave this journal with you for safe keeping for now. Perhaps it will aid you in your search for the others. I wish you luck, up-worlder - for the sake of the entire village.

We'll get on that. First off, though, there's something else we need to do in the village.

We did get the rakghoul serum, and the Outcast healer said they had locked some infected villagers in this quarantine pen back here. Maybe we can do something to help them out.

I'm going through those gates to try and help the infected ones!

I can't stop you from going through the gates, up-worlder. But if the infected ones have already transformed into rakghouls you'll be walking into your grave.

Good, they haven't transformed yet. Maybe we still have time.

Certainly, just let me give you a dose of this serum and...

...well, shit.

So, here we get to observe the actual moment of transformation. As it turns out, the infected person will appear fine until the mutation triggers fully and the infected is engulfed in a flash of bright light.

The one on the left seems quite happy to be there. This scene is unbelievably goofy for something that's clearly meant to be dramatic and horrifying. I realize they didn't have the tech for gruesome Resident Evil mutations, but even then this looks incredibly silly and probably should've been cut out because it utterly undermines what is supposed to be a serious moment.

In any event, we at least give these poor bastards a dignified end.

How about these two, then?

I'm pretty sure these guys will turn if you spend too much time asking stupid questions, so we'll just give them the cure immediately.

Hey, they actually bothered to animate it this time. That's just the medpac/stimulant animation, but it's better than nothing.

Thank you, up-worlder. You have saved us from a fate worse than death. I only wish I had some reward to give you. Maybe you can find something worthwhile in the wreckage of that Republic escape pod.

We already checked that and found nothing, but never mind that. At least we managed to help these folks and stop them from turning into ridiculous monsters.

With that, we earn some more light side points and level up.

I decided to work on our Demolitions a bit more because I had to put those points somewhere. Another rank of Computer Use/Repair or even Treat Injury would probably have been more useful because we're too dumb to effectively use Demolitions and can't really disarm anything at the moment, but if we put enough points in the skill we'll eventually be able to do something with it. We won't be lugging Mission around all the time, after all.

More importantly, reaching level 6 nets us Improved Scoundrel's Luck, which increases our Defense bonus by a further two points.

I wish I had some type of reward to give you, but we Outcasts have nothing. All I can offer is the gratitude of the entire village.

It's fine. Now that we're done with that, we should head back out and get to the sewers.

As we head towards the gate, Igear stops us.

You know, most people don't believe his stories - they figure he's nothing but an old kook. But I think there might be some truth in what he's saying. That's why I want to stop him!

For an Outcast, I've got things pretty good. The village relies on me to bring in food and supplies - I'm an important man. If it wasn't for Gendar I'd be running this place.

But if Rukil ever finds his Promised Land, I'm sunk. People won't need to rely on me anymore. I'll just be another nobody like all the rest of the villagers. I won't let that happen!

That would truly be the greatest tragedy of our time. I'm pretty sure I wrote this exact comment when this same scenario popped up in the Jade Empire LP.

We'll tell Igear to fuck off.

The two explorers who went searching for the Promised Land might have found something. They might have found clues or evidence - just like Rukil's apprentice! They would have recorded that information in their journals. I'll pay you if you bring all three journals to me - the two from the explorers and the one from Rukil's apprentice. Then I can destroy the evidence and make sure nobody ever finds the Promised Land! I've saved up enough credits from my business here to make it worth your while if you help me.

Apparently, there was some part of "fuck off" he didn't understand, so we'll tell him again.

Once you have all three journals just bring them to me and I'll give you a decent reward. Now, was there something else you needed?

No. Fuck off.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's actually make our way to the sewers.

wait hold on

"Why are we misspelling the word 'embarrassing'?"

I never knew my parents, my brother always looked out for me. He's the one who brought me to Taris. I was just a kid, only five. But I remember the trip - if you could call it that. We were stuffed inside a packing crate in a star freighter's cargo hold with just enough food and water to make the trip. Not exactly first class, you know?

The only way to get off the planet was to smuggle ourselves out. I mean, I don't want to make it sound like we were criminals... well, maybe my brother was. See, this is why I don't like to talk about it. It makes Griff sound worse than he really was. My brother had his problems, but he always looked out for me.

He showed me how to slice into a computer's security system; how to get inside a locked building without the entrance codes, and how to spot a wealthy mark for a quick shell game.

Considering her former line of work, it'd be quite hypocritical for Zila to moralize about this stuff.

I really miss him since he left. I keep hoping he'll come back some day. He promised me he would.

I don't want to talk about Griff and Lena - just the thought of that space tramp makes my blood boil! Subject's closed as far as I'm concerned! If I'm going to be any help to you I can't be worrying about my brother running off with some intergalactic skank! So, is there something else you need?

I like how they specified "space" tramp and "intergalactic" skank.

Setting aside Mission's family history for a moment, we head down to the sewers. Lovely.

The sewers are crawling with Gamorrean raiders, as expected. The basic ones aren't too nasty, but there are some stronger guys as well and they pack a punch.

Since the Gamorreans use their war axes for combat and there's not a lot of room to maneuver around in the sewers, we should switch to melee weapons. Our two-weapon fighting ability is finally decent enough for two swords to be a viable option, so we equip the prototype vibroblade and a short sword, which has a smaller off-hand penalty than regular swords. That is a decent increase in our damage output, although we'll be likely to miss more often.

There is a button to twirl the swords around on command, but I couldn't find it on the Xbox controller.

The sewers are a maze of ugly, brown tunnels with entirely too many doors, and I always end up going through the wrong ones at first.

This one leads to a dead end with a bunch of rakghouls, but there is something actually important here.

Namely, the second Promised Land journal.

Promised Land Journal posted:

This journal is a record of the long and difficult search to find the Promised Land. It contains many half completed maps and cryptic notes, all attempting to decipher whether the legend is true or simply a child's fable. By itself this journal does not contain enough information to solve the mystery, however it could be a valuable piece of the puzzle.

We can't make heads or tails out of it, but maybe Rukil is able to decipher the notes and maps.

More doors. More Gamorreans. More fun!

This door leads to a force field. That path leads to the upper sewers and the Vulkar base, but we can't do anything with it until we rescue Zaalbar.

Seriously, too many damn doors. To our right is the Gamorrean compound, but I want to find the last Promised Land journal before we do anything else.

Hey, we managed to stun something with Critical Strike! That rakghoul is dead as shit, or at least it would be if its buddies weren't blocking the path.

Some of these ladders lead back to the surface. Don't go back to the surface, because the enemies here will respawn.

Guys, would you please stop ganging up on us? I know it's a good strategy to focus your attacks on the target with the lowest amount of health, but it's very rude.

Even more doors. As someone who easily gets decision paralysis when presented with multiple paths in RPG dungeons, I despise this place.

I guess we'll go through the door in front of us, which leads to more rakghouls.

These doors actually lead directly to the Gamorrean compound, as we did a loop and kinda came in the back way. This is not optimal, because had we come in through the front we could've reprogrammed a nearby combat droid to help us with the angry Gamorreans.

This was a really bad idea.

A really, really bad idea. The Gamorrean elites are bad enough, but the chief hits like a freight train full of trucks made of lead. His regular attack damage is bad enough and will easily cleave off half of Zila's health with a single swing.

Then he hits a fucking critical on Zila and one-shots her. I think her max HP is 36 at this point!

Many bad things are happening right now. Somehow, we manage to take down the chief before he is able to kill anyone else, which will make the situation much more manageable.

We're also helped massively by the fact this Gamorrean elite is too lazy to join the fray. Not having him swinging his axe around already helped, but since he's not attacking us right now, Zila is also able to get up and heal. That was a bit more intense than I would've preferred, and that's why you should repair the droid and go through the front door.

At least we survived, just about.

The nearby weapons locker contains Zaalbar's bowcaster, so Zaalbar himself is probably nearby.

One of the Gamorreans also dropped a belt that increases our Fortitude saves from 0 to 2.

You can't use conventional security spikes on these old locks, but don't worry. I've come across them before. I've rigged up a little device that should do the trick.

A bomb?

I guess not.

Who's that with you?

These are my new friends, Big Z. Without them I never could have got you out.

You have saved me from a life of servitude and slavery. There is only one way I can ever repay such an act: I will swear a lifedebt to you.

A lifedebt? Are you sure about that, Big Z? Think about it carefully. You better be sure about this.

I am sure, Mission. This is an issue of great importance to me. Because of our great physical strength, Wookiees are being used as slave labor on our own homeworld. They see us as brutes and animals to be exploited. Over the years slavers have taken many of my people; we must always be on guard against raids against our villages. When the Gamorreans captured me, I thought I was doomed to a life of servitude. l have been saved from such a fate, and the only way I can repay that is through a lifedebt.

I think KotOR was the first time I actually saw Wookiee dialogue translated to English.

That is very much what that means, yes. Note the "subtle" callback to the original Star Wars film, where Leia calls Chewie a walking carpet.

A lifedebt is the most solemn vow a Wookiee can make. It means he'll stay by your side for the rest of your life - wherever you go, whatever you do, Zaalbar will be with you.

In the presence of you all I swear my lifedebt. Forever after I will be by your side, Zila Galcyon. May my vow be as strong as the roots of the great Wroshyr trees of Kashyyyk.

The asshole responses seem to be extra assholish here for some reason.

Oh, right, the Vulkar base and the prototype swoop accelerator. I almost forgot why we were going into the base in the first place.

I can't remember exactly how to get there, but I know it was somewhere here in the sewers. Over to the northeast, if I remember right. I just hope the rancor monster isn't still there.

Luckily rancors aren't too bright. I was able to sneak past it before, so I'm sure we'll figure something out. That is, unless you want to change your mind.

Eh, what's the worst that could happen?

Okay then, off we go. Like I said, somewhere to the southeast. Just look for the force shield and we'll know we're there.

You said NORTHeast, Mission.

[You can switch party members using the PARTY SELECTION screen, accessible by pressing A while on the map screen. This button is disabled in areas that are considered dangerous.]

Having sworn a lifedebt to us, Zaalbar is now a party member! The Party Selection button, by the way, is actually enabled while we're in the sewers, so clearly this is not considered a dangerous area.

We'll take him along because we've spent more than enough time dealing with Carth for now.

Your first instinct might be to equip Zaalbar with his bowcaster, but he's much more useful out front as a melee fighter due to his obscene strength and constitution. As a Scout, Zaalbar is also able to equip implants, but we don't have any at the moment.

You can do a lot of things with Zaalbar, but I just end up boosting his Treat Injury skill so that he's even harder to kill. If you go for the recommended points allocation, Zaalbar will end up quite handy with computers, which I always though was pretty amusing because I can just about imagine him hunched over a keyboard. I'd love to see artwork of Zaalbar using a computer.

Since Big Z's going to be a melee combatant, we'll give him Improved Flurry. It reduces the defense and attack penalties from the basic Flurry feat by 2.

Holy shit, look at that HP and STR and CON. Extremely low charisma, though, because the developers are clearly racist against Wookiees. He's also not going to dodge very many attacks with his 11 Defense, but he's got so much health that it doesn't really matter.

We still need to find the remaining Promised Land journal before we can proceed, so let's wander around some more and kill more Gamorreans.

In fact, now that I think about it, your breath has been pretty rancid ever since we rescued you from those Gammorean slavers. What did they feed you, buddy?

Yes, they misspelled Gamorrean in the subtitles.

"Arm of a guards"? Come on now, guys.

Wookiees do not brush their teeth, Mission! It... it just isn't done! What humiliation will you use on me next? A comb?

Okay, relax. No toothbrush. Sheesh. Just try to eat something else to cover up that smell, okay? Stay away from anything that's smart enough to lock you in a cage this time.

*sigh* I'll take care of it as soon as I can, Mission. For now, let's stay focused on the task at hand.

These two are so much better than Carth.

In the room with the combat droid we could've reprogrammed to help with the Gamorreans, we also find the last Promised Land journal. We can't decipher this one either, so let's return to Rukil.

Hmmm... yes. Yes! Of course! Now I understand - it all makes sense! Now I see why the Promised Land has been so hard to find! It is so obvious! You have done a great thing, up-worlder - a selfless act that will bring great joy to all the people of this village! I must take this to Gendar right away!

Apparently, there was something useful in those journals after all.

What... no. It can't be! Are these real, Rukil? Is this information accurate?

I swear to you everything in these journals is true, Gendar. The Promised Land - I told you I would find it!

The entrance is far from here, Rukil. It will take us weeks to get there... perhaps even months. And we will have to cross many rakghoul infested areas.

I do not deny the journey will be hard, Gendar. But surely it is better than the miserable life we have here!

Wise words, Rukil. Our supplies are high right now - we could leave by nightfall! I will tell the others to prepare for the journey.

Thank you once again, up-worlder. I will say a final goodbye, for where we are going I fear you cannot come. The journey to the Promised Land is long and arduous.

I'd really like to see this Promised Land, but we have a job to do so we can't exactly drop everything and run off with this bunch. So, we'll just bid Rukil and the Outcasts farewell and wish them luck on their quest.

And thus, the Outcasts set out for their long and arduous journey to the Promised Land. Will they find it? Will it be as amazing as the stories described it? Will the Outcasts have a happy ending to their story after all? (According to The Old Republic, the answers to these questions are "yes", "no", and "fuck no" respectively, because no one in KotOR or KotOR II is allowed to have nice things in the Old Republic continuity)

We are left in a now very empty Outcast village. There's nothing else for us here, so we'll return to the sewers.

Now then, let's get rid of this force field.

I picked them off the pocket of a Black Vulkar who had a little too much to drink in the cantina one night. Here, let me get that energy field down for you.

Mission enters the codes into the console, and the path to the upper sewers is open.

The upper sewers look very much like the lower sewers. The one interesting thing we see in this area is a bunch of rakghouls having a fight with Gamorreans. Who's going to win?

If you guessed the rakghouls, congratulations! Give this guy a high five!

More doors to choose from. This time around, only one path contains anything of note and that is the actual way forward.

Further up, we run into this malfunctioning droid which will shoot us on sight. Mission could probably use stealth to get rid of that mine without alerting the droid, but I use stealth so rarely that I completely forgot to even consider that option.

It doesn't even matter, because the gas mine completely fails to poison anyone anyway.

One of the dead ends has a Gamorrean raid leader, who seems fearsome but is easily disposed of with Critical Strike and Sneak Attack.

You're making this up! I groom every day! My hair is not tangled, and it's not going gray!

You know what, let's tease Zaalbar a bit.

Don't worry, Big Z. It's nothing I can't fix. A little trim, a splash of coloring and you'll be as good as new. Best looking Wookiee on the planet. Maybe a nice suit...

Close enough. Now I want to see a picture of Zaalbar dressed in a suit, operating a computer.

Okay, okay. Sheesh. Try to offer some constructive criticism and this is the thanks I get? Let's move on. You can just stay naked and scruffy for all I care.

I don't even want to know what this is doing here, but it is holding something.

That something is a Hidden Bek datapad, as well as some sort of synthesized odor.

Synthesized Odor posted:

This appears to be a timed release device for a strange substance. The liquid has a very pungent odor.

Maybe the datapad will tell us what this thing is for.

Bek Datapad posted:

This datapad seems to detail plans the Hidden Bek had to get into the Black Vulkar base. Of note is the following:

"We have synthesized a substance with an odor that resembles a favorite prey of rancors. If we place the bait properly, we can lure the rancor into eating something lethal enough to kill it."

Interesting, though it clearly didn't help the former owner of this arm very much. Presumably, he tried to flee the rancor and ran for this hallway, but got chomped before the door closed.

Well, so much for hoping the rancor had quietly wandered off.

The corpse pile here contains items that don't seem particularly crucial. Instead of picking them up, you want to switch to the Give Items menu, which up until this point has never been used and first-time players might not even have noticed the option existed (back in the year 2003, 16-year-old me slowly raises his hand and doesn't know why).

So, what you want to do is place the synthesized odor in this pile to lure the rancor out. You can also place some other crap if you want to clean out your inventory, but the synthesized odor and at least one grenade are important.

The rancor notices the odor and is clearly intrigued.

For some reason, I always found it funny they decided to subtitle the rancor's snorts like this. Not even *Snort*, but "Snort, snort" like the rancor is actually saying the words. I'm quite easily amused.

The rancor, on the other hand, is not amused by the surprise we left in its dinner.

Poor guy.

Mission and Zaalbar level up, but there's nothing particularly interesting to show off there.

Now, if you were so inclined, you could attempt to fight the rancor or try to sneak past. Neither of these options is recommended because the rancor will very easily kill you in a single hit, but you can give it a shot.

Past the now deceased rancor is the path to the elevator leading to the Vulkar base. These guys aren't going to pose much of a problem.

Next time, we'll break into the Vulkar base and go racing.