The Let's Play Archive

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

by Doc M

Part 8: Super Charger Heaven

Part 8: Super Charger Heaven

Last time, we rescued Zaalbar here from 30-50 Gamorrean slave hunters, and he swore a lifedebt to us. As you probably know, that means he's going to follow us around for the rest of our days, but that's not a bad thing because who doesn't want a Wookiee buddy? We also made it through the sewers and into the Black Vulkar base, and now that we're here we should start looking for that prototype swoop accelerator they stole.

Cripes, that is a lot of rooms to check out. During development, the Vulkar base was a lot bigger than it is in the final game, and if you want to see how it used to be you can install various restored content mods for the PC version. The area was presumably cut short because someone at BioWare decided to make Taris less of a slog to get through, but that's just my guess.

Okay, that makes sense. You wouldn't leave something like the prototype accelerator just lying around.

The corridors of the Vulkar base are patrolled by a motley crew of Vulkars and combat droids. We repaired the droid on the left to help us out, although it's not going to help us all that much outside this one encounter so saving the parts might've been smarter. At least we got some XP out of it.

Let's see if we can do anything with this security panel. Mission currently has the highest Computer Use skill rating, so she'll get to slice into this thing. I should've taken the recommended points allocation for Zaalbar, he'd outrank us in Computer Use by now.

Well, that didn't work. Looks like we have to find the main terminal.

Even the Vulkar cook wants us dead. I suppose we did break into their base and all.

The bartender and the bouncer droids also decide to get in on the action.

We'll talk to this waitress in a bit, but first we'll explore some more.

This is the way out. We already killed the guards out front and they apparently don't respawn, so when we're done here we can just waltz right out of the front door.

This door is guarded by two sentry droids, so whatever is inside must be important. Could this be where they're keeping the accelerator?

The answer to that question is no, as this is just the armory. The door is locked, but we have more than enough security skill to get in here. You could also spend a few computer spikes to unlock the door... or just bash it, I suppose.

There is some pretty decent loot in the armory, so it's worth visiting. Concussion grenades stun enemies, making them perfect for setting up Sneak Attacks. Meanwhile, ion grenades are effective against droids and shields.

Now that we've murdered everyone patrolling this floor, we can go talk to the waitress. We actually could've talked to her earlier and it wouldn't have made a difference, but doing it this way seems more logical.

Don't worry, I just want to ask you a few questions.

Well... alright. I still don't know how much help I can be. But I sure hope you get rid of all the Vulkars. I hate them!

Let's see if she knows anything about Bastila.

I guess she's too important to be a slave here in the kitchens, getting pawed and groped and kicked and spit on like me. Brejik must have taken her somewhere safe.

Where can I find the prototype swoop engine accelerator?

What? I... I've never heard of such a thing. I guess it might be in the garage on the lower level - that's where all the Vulkars go to work on their swoop bikes. But I've never been down there. The elevator is protected by a security system - only the Vulkars are allowed to go down there.

Right. Makes sense that a slave wouldn't know a whole lot about the Vulkars' schemes.

Jesus, that fucking one-liner on the dark side choice. That's almost physically painful.

Like I said, it makes more sense to free her after all the Vulkars are dead, not just the ones in her immediate vicinity.

With that, Ada gets the hell out of Dodge.

We, however, still have a job to do. This security panel is the main terminal, let's check it out.

We've got menus for security cameras and system commands. Let's take a look at the cameras first.

I'm not going to bore you to death by showing every single camera feed, just the important ones. We'll start with the barracks.

Hm. That is a lot of Vulkars. We could probably take them in a fight, but it might be a better idea to look for an alternative solution.

That'll do it.

The overloading conduit zaps all but one of the Vulkars, and our job gets a hell of a lot easier.

"What did I tell you guys? I always said you shouldn't loiter around the power conduit, and you all just laughed at me! Well, who's laughing now? Huh?"

The Vulkar base also has a pool, although there isn't any water in it at the moment. There is a footlocker in there, though.

The garage elevator has some hefty security, so we probably shouldn't attempt to fight our way through.

We have more than enough spikes to simply shut down the security right now and head right in, skipping the rest of the rooms on the main floor, but come on. Of course we want to explore those rooms! This is an RPG, there might be important loot in there!

I didn't really need to open the security doors via the terminal because we could've just picked the locks. We won't upload the area schematics (i.e. a map of the base) to our datapad, because it's not as if navigating this place is difficult. If you're too stupid to live, you can also select the "Overload terminal" option, which does exactly what it says on the tin and kills you instantly.

Zapping all the Vulkars in the barracks earned us another level, so let's see what we've got.

Business as usual with the skills.

Reaching level 7 unlocks Sneak Attack IV, improving the Sneak Attack bonus even further. The damage bonus on stunned or immobilized targets is now a whopping 4-24. That will be the last Sneak Attack bonus Zila is getting, because the next one unlocks at level 9 and I'm not leveling her starting class to level 9.

One of the rooms we unlocked has another Vulkar fight. Nothing special, or is it?

This Vulkar is actually a bit different, as he surrenders the instant you put the hurt on him.

That was easy.

Then Brejik and his followers took over and turned our gang into a bunch of violent thugs and bloodthirsty punks. Now they treat all us original Vulkars like second class citizens. Take me, for example. I used to be one of the highest ranking Vulkars in the gang. Now I'm stuck on guard duty here in the back, all thanks to Brejik!

The pirate base in Jade Empire has an older pirate in the same situation, who has almost exactly the same dialogue with the names changed. We all know BioWare likes to recycle a lot of things between games, but I didn't remember it was quite this blatant.

Brejik and his followers are the real traitors. They turned on Gadon and now they slaughter the Beks in the streets... and anyone else they happen to run across. Brejik knows anyone with character will never willingly follow a leader like him, so he uses brutality and violence to stay in power.

This guy isn't going to be of any use to us, so we'll just let him run along.

Working on it!

The barracks are next door. The last Vulkar standing tries his best, but is no match for us.

One of the many dead Vulkars has a pass card on him. This'll let us into the elevator.

But first, the pool area. If we had 5 repair parts - which we don't - we could reprogram the pool droid to crawl into the pool and self-destruct. Why would you want to do that, you ask? Well...

The pool has several gas vents that poison us if we try to get to the crate on foot.

Totally worth it, though, Plasma grenades are pretty great, and we also get some nice upgrade parts and an accessory.

All that's left to do on this level is to insert our pass card into the elevator console.

That takes care of the security system and ensures we don't get ventilated by the turrets.

Down we go.

Here's the swoop garage area in all its glory.

If you need assistance and have enough parts, there are some droids you can repair near the entrance. We don't have enough parts, of course, so we'll just do this the old-fashioned way.

The patrol droid is nothing, but the garage head puts up a decent fight despite Zaalbar giving him a roundhouse kick to the face.

We can see mines down the ramp, so that must be the way to progress.

These garages have some Vulkar guards and swoop mechanics, none of whom pose much of a threat.

One of the garages also has a workbench, so we get an opportunity to upgrade our stuff.

The swoop accelerator is behind this door. We could go in right now, but first we'll check out the other path leading down from the main garage level.

This one right here, to the west.

The only point of interest down here is the garage head's office. The desk contains some pazaak cards we'll never use, a blaster upgrade part, and the garage head's personal keycard that can be used with the nearby terminal.

Let's have a look at the engine lab. That's the room behind the big security door we saw.

Four Vulkars, and that's the prototype accelerator on the upper right. Unfortunately there's no way for us to blow these guys up remotely, but at least we know roughly what to expect.

Before we head in, we'll make sure to activate our energy shields because things might get rough.

Yeah, we were the ones who were supposed to use it to cheat in the swoop race!

The Beks have gang colors?

Yeah, yeah, we know where this is going. Just give us the accelerator so we can get out of this dump.

No, really, we don't care.

So yes, if you're playing a dark side character you can join up with the Vulkars, kill Gadon and represent the Vulkars in the swoop race. Naturally, we won't be doing that.

Kandon's bodyguard here is very eager to get rid of us.

This fight can be a bit rough because Kandon has high defense and is difficult to hit, especially with our less than ideal dual wielding abilities. The bodyguards blasting away at us can be a bit annoying, but Kandon is the biggest threat so Zila and Zaalbar focus on him while Mission tosses grenades at the bodyguards. One of the grenades may have slightly hit Zaalbar earlier, which is one of the reasons his health is so low at this point.

Eventually, the whole crew eats dirt.

Kandon has a ton of stuff on him, including a response package implant and a disruptor pistol as well as the items we see here. The Sith Energy Shield absorbs 30 points of damage instead of the usual 20, the Military Suit is medium armor with a +6 defense bonus and max DEX bonus of +3, and the Verpine Headband offers a +3 bonus to Will saves and +2 to Awareness.

All that's left to do here is to grab the accelerator and get out.

The Verpine Headband does at least look a whole lot less idiotic than the Lobot headgear we've been rocking for these last couple of hours, but it's still a crime against fashion.

Anyway, that was the Vulkar base. We can now just walk out and head back to Gadon.

I was beginning to wonder if you would make it. The race is tomorrow, and my mechanics need time to install the prototype into the swoop engine of our bike.

And I'm even going to go one better - I'm going to let you ride the swoop bike with the prototype accelerator installed on it. Without it, you won't stand a chance.

Sure, sounds great. What's the catch?

That too, I guess. Shouldn't this super engine booster be reserved for someone who has some idea what they're doing?

Oh. Well, that figures.

If you can complete the track before the accelerator overheats then you'll win for the Beks. If you die, then one of my other riders could still come through for me.


...I have a bad feeling about this.

Still, we can't exactly back out now, can we?

What's the worst that could happen? Aside from us exploding to bits, that is?

But I've got good instincts, and you have the look of a racer about you. Just try to relax and in the morning we'll take you to the swoop track.

Sure. Here's hoping there's gonna be enough left of us for someone to take back from the track.

Gadon mentioned that you've never done this before. You want me to run over the basics of handling a swoop bike for you?

Sure, might be a good idea to actually know how to ride one of these overpowered beasts.

All swoops are equipped with dynamic deflector systems, so hitting an obstacle won't cause you to crash. But it will shake you up a bit and slow you down. The track also has accelerator panels built into its surface. If you fly over one it'll give your swoop a boost of speed, so try to hit 'em when you see 'em. When the engine starts running hot you'll get a warning and you'll have to switch gears. Other than that just try to hang on. You'll be fine.

Well, that didn't tell us a single thing about actually handling a swoop. Thanks, buddy. I'm sure we'll figure it out as we go, so let's start those engines already.

Normally a rider can run as many heats as they want, but I don't know how long the prototype accelerator on your swoop will hold up. No more than four or five races, I'd guess.

We get exactly five attempts. If you fail to get the best time on that fifth attempt, you blow up and have to reload your save.

Sounds like you're ready. Go talk to the race announcer over by the counter. He'll give you the time to beat and get you out on the course. I'll be waiting for you here after the run so I can make any tweaks or repairs to your swoop in case you want to go out for another heat. Good luck. And don't worry about the prototype overheating and exploding while you're out on the track. That *probably* won't happen.

Right, we can't actually blow up during one of our attempts, so that's something at least.

We can talk to some of the spectators before entering the actual race. This guy is one of the Beks.

I'll be careful.

It's not that hard to understand. It's the biggest race of the year, so obviously you're going to get some hopefuls entering the race and trying to win it. Kinda like how one-off entrants will participate in the Indy 500 to get a shot at the glory, although those drivers are at least experienced in other disciplines of motorsport (to be fair, there have been some dubious entrants in past decades) and nowadays those entrants are mostly just IndyCar drivers who don't have a full-time seat for the season.

Thanks for the confidence boost!

These two are Vulkars, and obviously they're gonna be talking all kinds of trash.

We'll see.

This is Redros, the Vulkars' swoop champion and our main rival in this event.

He doesn't think much of us.

There's Bastila in the cage, guarded by one of the Vulkars so no one gets any ideas. They've also fitted a neural disruptor collar on her to keep her under control, so she won't respond if you try to talk to her.

Ah, you're riding for the Hidden Beks I see. Always liked them... I hope they can show these Vulkars a thing or two. But I digress.

Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, it's time to get on the track and see what we can do. The announcer seems to be not-so-subtly rooting for us.

Lost only one rider today? It's like the Isle of Man TT over here!

Don't worry... they scraped what was left of him off the track already. Just remember to hang on and you should be okay. You can hit the track whenever you're ready.

This dialogue might sound absurd. Surely, racing events could only be run like this in fictional stories! However, if you know anything about the history of motor racing, you'll probably also know this is exactly how things used to be even at the highest levels. Hell, some of the very real horror stories I've read from the 60s and 70s make the Taris swoop race organizers seem downright professional.

We should probably know what the current fastest time is before we get out there.

That's... not even remotely a good time. Did he just do a shakedown run at half speed? (Yes, I realize that's just because the time should be easy to beat even if you're a beginner, but it's pretty silly when you actually race one of your heats and see what the actual times look like)

Okay, let's get you out on the track.

Right, so, here are the basics of swoop racing. Press A to accelerate at the start, and press it again to change gears whenever the gauge at the bottom is full or close to it. It'll prompt you to press the button, so you can't really screw that up if you're paying attention.


That doohickey next to us on the track is a boost pad, the function of which I'm sure I don't need to explain.

That right there is one of the obstacles you'll want to avoid. If you hit one, your swoop will slow down.

On this first run, I'm actively avoiding some of the boost pads. There's a good reason for this.

That's our first run. 0:26:41 is not a spectacular time by any means, but it is 12 seconds faster than the initial fastest time so we're comfortably in the lead.

Celebratory fistpump!

Our mechanic seems to be pleased with our run.

The first run was just meant to be for practice. Here's where the actual race for the best time begins.

Let's get back to it.

The announcer stole my bad joke! I was supposed to say that! The current best time, by the way, is 0:26:16. This is why I held back on my first run, because if you go all out on that first attempt you might genuinely have trouble beating Redros' improved time.

We just about manage to overtake Redros for the top spot.

I guess Gadon knew what he was doing he picked you to ride for us. Now the only thing is to wait for the time to become official and go collect your prize.

To be perfectly honest, I thought Redros was going to do a third run, so I was still holding back. Had I gone all out and hit all the boost pads, I'd easily have shaved at least two or three seconds from that time and obliterated Redros. However, it turns out this was enough to win the race.

Zila, please put those swords away. You'll put someone's eye out.

So that's Brejik.

Hey! I mean, he's not wrong, but I can smell a sore loser from a mile away. Naturally, if you race for the Vulkars on the dark side path, he will suddenly be completely fine with cheating.

He'll still withdraw the prize no matter what, because he doesn't think anyone except him should be allowed to get their hands on Bastila. He does promise to compensate you, though.

You old fool! Your traditions are nothing to me - I am the wave of the future! If I want to withdraw the prize and sell this woman on the slave market myself, nobody can stop me!

Brejik might have gloated too soon.

Bastila seems rather gung-ho for a Jedi. Of course she's been imprisoned by these idiots for the last couple of days or so, so we can't really blame her for being angry even if it's against the teachings of the Order.

For some reason, Brejik will demand your death even on the dark side path. Either he was always planning to double-cross you, or, well,

Just like at any good victory lane celebration, a giant fight breaks out.

Brejik and Redros are pretty tough (both also have Sneak Attack, so don't let them flank you), but in no way a match for Bastila. Bastila is actually invulnerable in this fight, so if you're having trouble you can just sit back and have her take care of everything.

Before you talk to Bastila, remember to loot Brejik. Not only is he carrying his own custom belt, arm band and gloves, but he's also got Bastila's double-bladed lightsaber. I don't know if you can actually miss out on getting the lightsaber regardless (although I do know that one version of the Skip Taris mod I installed years ago did not give it to me, which leads me to assume you need to manually grab it here and the modder forgot that), but be sure to grab it anyway.

Wait... I don't believe this! You're... you're one of the soldiers with the Republic fleet, aren't you? Yes, I'm sure of it. How did you end up racing for these swoop gangs?

Can't go wrong with the classics, right?

Bastila is voiced by Jennifer Hale. Jennifer Hale is the best, even when she's berating us in a British accent.

Brejik and his Vulkars would have left you for dead if I hadn't stepped into that fight. You're lucky I was here to get you out of this mess!

Honestly, she's not wrong. We would've gotten wrecked if she wasn't there to help us.

If I'm going to figure out a way for us to get off this planet I need to know what kind of resources we can draw on. First, are we the only two survivors left from the Endar Spire?

"We also picked up a Wookiee and a teenage girl, both of whom I like more than Carth."

Maybe I misjudged you. Carth wouldn't have sent you if he wasn't confident in your... abilities. Forgive me - despite my Jedi training, I still tend to act a bit rashly sometimes. Please, take me to Carth right away. Between the three of us I'm sure we can figure out some way to get off this planet before the Sith realize we're here.

Are we sure she's talking about the same Carth Onasi? Well, whatever. We've rescued Bastila, so now we should get back to our apartment and see what we can do about getting off this planet. But first, Zila is struck by another vision of Bastila.

VIDEO: Another Vision

Once again, we see Bastila fight some Sith. She's not alone this time, either.

Revan does not respond and simply assumes a fighting stance. Unfortunately, I'm not a big enough nerd to be able to tell you which lightsaber form that is.

However, before any lightsaber combat can commence, there is a violent explosion on the bridge of Revan's ship.

Bastila is the only one left standing.

The Dark Lord has been defeated, but it was not Bastila who landed the killing blow. But if she wasn't the one who killed Revan, who was?

That's going to be a mystery for a later date, because our vision is over and we're back at the apartment.

I see. Now that I'm back in charge of this mission, perhaps we can start doing things properly. Hopefully our escape from Taris will go more smoothly than when you "rescued" me from Brejik.

Hey, you're welcome. Always happy to lend a hand.

My Battle Meditation ability has helped the Republic many times in this war, and it will serve us well here I am sure.

To be honest, I think all that meditation might have left our Jedi friend here with a severely inflated head.

For the record, Carth is right and Bastila is being an arrogant jackass, but we should try to defuse the situation rather than incite either of them any further.

Of course we've all had a rough time here, but none more so than Bastila. As I said earlier, it's no wonder she's not quite acting like the calm and collected Jedi you might expect her to be. Bastila is also very young and not even a full-fledged Jedi Knight yet, just a Padawan learner who has been thrust into a position she's in no way ready to handle yet as the Republic's single greatest war asset and the biggest and best hope for the galaxy.

Well said, Carth. And the sooner we start looking the better; I've already been a prisoner of the Vulkars and I don't plan on being captured by the Sith.

Can't disagree with that.

I think we'll need some help getting off Taris. Maybe if we ask around one of the locals can help us out. We should probably start by asking around in the cantinas.

Before we do anything else, we should ask Bastila what the hell that vision was just now.

Something weird happened when we first met. Like a vision.

A vision? A vision of what?

Of you. Fighting a dark Jedi. Revan, I guess.

This is... strange. Such visions are often a sign of Force sensitivity.

Does that mean what it sounds like?

It is possible that in the excitement of the battle's aftermath the Force allowed you to witness one of my more intense memories.

So she doesn't know either. Got it.

Maybe we should also mention the fact we already saw a different vision of her earlier, when we weren't anywhere near her.

Once we escape Taris we can seek the guidance of the Council, if you wish. They will understand the significance of your vision... if there is any. However, I think it would be best if we all stayed focused on the task at hand right now. We can't afford any distractions; we need to find a way off Taris.

Yeah, that does sound like a decent plan for the time being. We can talk about Force sensitivity and all that when we get off Taris. Let's get out of here and start looking for clues.

Last we checked, yes.

Who's this guy, though? An adoring fan?

Why would Canderous want to meet us? He works for Davik.

That said, if he's with Davik, maybe he'll know something useful. We'll go meet him as soon as we can.

Before we end today's update, let's just quickly level up Carth and Bastila. The game is recommending Toughness for Carth, and while that's not a good feat I really don't give a shit what Carth gets.

Here are the attributes Bastila starts with, plus that extra attribute point we put to Charisma to get the modifier up to +3.

Again, I've never really bothered with the skills for most party members because the main character is the designated skill monkey and handles most of the important stuff.

As a Jedi, Bastila can obviously use Force powers. I said earlier that staying at a neutral alignment doesn't provide any perks, but one thing that does do is make light and dark side powers equal in terms of Force point cost.

At level 4, we don't have that many good powers available, and since our next destination will have plenty of droid enemies (as does the game in general), Stun Droid is a solid investment and is what the game recommends here as well.

For Bastila's level 5 power, we choose Energy Resistance. It's basically an energy shield, but instead of a physical shield you're using the Force to protect yourself. It also doesn't absorb quite as much damage as energy shields, but it's still very handy to have. As far as I'm aware, it also stacks with energy shields and damage resistance items.

Force Immunity: Stun is a Jedi Sentinel feat that, as the name suggests, makes the Jedi completely immune to any kind of stun effect. The Stun power, Critical Strike, Sniper Shot, concussion grenades, all of that. This is the second Force Immunity rank, obtained at level 6; the first one protects from Fear and the last one from Paralysis. Knight Sense is the second rank of Jedi Sense, which provides a passive defense boost (currently +4).

Since Bastila uses a double-bladed lightsaber, she'll want to be as effective at two-weapon fighting as possible.

At level 6, Bastila becomes able to learn the Cure power. Obviously, we're going to want that. You know, I used to think being able to use the Force like an RPG cure spell was silly and just one of those videogamey things, but... well, it's official canon now, isn't it?

Finally, we'll have Bastila equip her lightsaber. I still remember how exciting it was to finally get a Jedi party member with her own lightsaber the first time I played this.

Hell yeah. Probably shouldn't wave that thing around in public, though. In any event, next time we'll go see what Canderous wants, and take care of the remaining sidequests on Taris.