The Let's Play Archive

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

by Doc M

Part 9: Queen of the Death Match

Part 9: Queen of the Death Match

Last time, we raced some swoop bikes and rescued Bastila from the Vulkars. Our next order of business is to get off Taris as soon as possible, but as of right now we've been summoned to the cantina by Canderous Ordo, the Mandalorian mercenary on the payroll of crime lord Davik Kang.

Hm? Sure. Is this about the vision we saw?

How can I help?

You want to talk to me about something?

Yes, I realize that of course. But surely there was more to it than a simple search. I doubt there were flashing signs pointing you in my direction; yet somehow you found me. You also avoided detection by the Sith, discovered I was a Vulkar prisoner, gained sponsorship for the race and became the Taris swoop champion. That's quite a resume.

Seriously, though, we wouldn't have gotten anywhere without Mission's help.

The Force is in all of us, though for most people it is a barely measurable whisper. But there are some individuals outside the Jedi Order that we considered 'Force Sensitive'. It is obvious to me that the Force has been working through you. There is no other explanation for your great success, though I am not certain what to make of this discovery. Perhaps if you weren't - well, if you were younger the Jedi might take you for training. But as it is...

Right, we're too damn old to be considered for Jedi training. Instead of accepting talented adults such as ourselves, the Jedi generally prefer to take away people's children and mold them into nice, obedient little Jedi younglings who learn at an early age to control their emotions and not to question the wisdom of the Jedi teachings.

Hopefully between your abilities, my Jedi training and the skills of our companions we can find a way off this planet.

Erm, okay then. Enough standing around, let's go to the cantina and meet up with Canderous already.

But lately Davik hasn't been paying me what he promised. I don't like getting cheated, so I figure it's time for me to break the Sith quarantine and get off this backwater planet.

Sounds good. Got any more details?

Right, the "escape Taris" part does sound very nice, so what does this job entail?

Thanks for the warning, Carth.

I saw you win that swoop race, and I started thinking. Anyone crazy enough to race like that is probably crazy enough to break into the Sith military base. I need someone to steal the Sith launch codes from the base. Without those codes any ship leaving the atmosphere will be disintegrated by the Sith fleet's automated defense guns.

That sounds a little too good to be true. What's the catch?

Okay, so let's say we accept the job. The Sith aren't going to let just anyone walk into their base, so how do we get in?

Lucky for you I know just the place to get a droid like that. Davik was having one custom built by Janice Nall. Just tell her Canderous sent you and she'll sell you the droid. Then you can use it to get the launch codes from the Sith base.

Normally I'd do this myself, but everyone knows who I work for. If I broke into the Sith base, they'd send an army down on Davik's estate to get those codes back. That's why I need you.

Makes sense, I guess. Canderous can't exactly blast his way through the Sith base without the whole thing being connected to Davik.

As it stands, we don't really have a choice, and if Canderous keeps up his end of the bargain this will be our ticket off Taris.

Bastila seems to believe Canderous is on the level, so that's good enough for us.

We'll go get the droid soon enough, but first there's more dueling to be done.

I think you're ready to go against Ice, human. She's tough, but so are you. There'll be lots action on this fight... a huge purse! You ready?

Always. And yes, Ajuur actually says "there'll be lots action on this fight" there. I'm assuming they meant to write "betting" instead of "action" because that'd make sense in the context of the huge purse, but there you go. EDIT: I've been informed that "action" is actually old-timey tough guy slang for "betting", which makes sense so I guess "lots action" just means "lots, as in many people, betting" and isn't necessarily another example of dubious grammar. Fair enough!

Hey, the announcer updated our introduction.

Before we start, we'll take some performance-enhancing drugs. We could probably handle Ice just fine without any of those boosts, but might as well.

And that's all she wrote.

So, who's next?

You've got a real talent for this game, Stranger. I think it's time you fought Marl. He's getting up there in years, but he's still very, very good. He used to be the duel champion.

Let's do it.

Okay, that's not a good start.


Not even close, old man!

With some inventory-related shenanigans, we're able to get back to full health and claw our way back into the fight.

That was more tense than I would've preferred.

Announcer: Twitch is waiting in the wings... do you dare take a shot at the champion himself? Will the wild-eyed wonder finally be unseated?

Before we find out, let's talk to Ice and Marl and see if they've got anything interesting to say now that we've beaten them.

First it was just Twitch I couldn't handle. Now it's you and Twitch. Pretty soon there'll be another young hotshot clawing past me in the rankings. This game's been good to me, but my time is done. I need to get away from the duel rings for a while, think things over. Goodbye, Stranger - I wish you all the best.

Having been beaten by Twitch and now us, Marl has decided it might be time to retire. If you ask me, he's still very much got it and he would've easily beaten us if we didn't cheat by exploiting mechanics.

You're good - very good. But you're wrong if you think that means I'm suddenly going to warm up to you. Truth is, I really don't have anything more to say, so you might as well move on.

Ice is still... well, Ice.

Before we start the championship match, we'll take all the drugs again and activate our Sith energy shield. We know Twitch prefers to use blasters, so the energy shield might be quite helpful at least until we get in melee range.

You've beaten almost everyone, human. I think you ready to fight Twitch. Twitch might be crazy, but he's the best in the game. If you can beat him, you'll be the new champion.

I'd love to see how Twitch would actually fight without the limitations of the Aurora engine. I bet it'd be pretty spectacular to watch.

Huh, apparently these fights are supposed to be taking place on different nights and we're not actually cutting our way through the entire dueling ring roster in 15 minutes.

Here we go.

The Sith energy shield does a good job absorbing the blaster shots that would get past our defense early on. So far, so good.

Twitch can be dangerous with his vibroblade, but I honestly feel Marl is the tougher fight. We manage to stun Twitch with Critical Strike, which leaves him open for the finisher.

And with that, the Mysterious Stranger is officially the dueling champion of Taris!

Now, all that is left is to get our winnings from Ajuur and then have a little bit of the bubbly.

The bad news is that I don't have anyone left who wants to fight you - you're too good for your own good. Nobody wants to go in the ring with you. The only one left who'll fight you is Bendak Starkiller, but he's retired. Too bad. People would pay a fortune to see you fight Bendak.

Hey, that's the guy the government wants dead for murdering his opponents in illegal death matches.

Damn right.

We can also bask in the adoration of the public (represented by the two spectators here).

Um, what? Did you not see the match just now? Who cares about Gerlon and Duncan, tell me how great I am.

That's better. Suddenly, everyone is talking about Bendak Starkiller and how they'd love to see us take him on.

Shows what I know. Enjoy your time at the top, Stranger. Sooner or later someone will come along to knock you down here with the rest of us grinders!

I'm pretty sure Deadeye would still very much be the designated jobber around here.

But don't get cocky, kid! One day it'll happen to you too! Time catches up to us all, sooner or later. Well, everyone except Bendak Starkiller.

Again with Bendak Starkiller. Well, if everyone wants to see Bendak Starkiller, we'll give them Bendak Starkiller.

See, there he is! Bendak will appear in the cantina when you start the dueling ring quest, but he doesn't have much to say until you actually win the championship.

But I only fight in death matches, and not too many people are willing to step into the ring knowing they won't ever come out. How 'bout you, Stranger? You think you got what it takes?

Sure! What's the worst that could happen?

Oh yeah, that. However, if we want to collect Bendak's bounty, we'll need to take him out and that'll only be possible if we accept his challenge. He's got standards, he won't have a barfight with us like some sort of ruffian.

Looking forward to it. Before we duel Bendak to the death, we need to take care of some other business, so let's start by heading to Kebla's shop next door.

You know Bendak's never lost a match in his life, right? You need to take a look at my weapons and armor.

Hmh. News travels fast.

While I do like our dual swords, there is something to be said for the elegance of a double-bladed Echani ritual brand, used by Echani Firedancers in their combat rituals that more closely resemble dancing than fighting. In the Echani rituals, both blades are heated and cause burns to any opponents struck by the weapon.

The Echani ritual brand gives us a nice damage boost, which we'll need.

It also looks cool, which of course is very important.

Since we're not currently at full HP, it might also be a good idea to visit Zelka at the clinic again to get healed up. While there, we'll be able to give him the rakghoul serum as well.

But first, we've got another scene with our party members.

Fair enough. But I've seen you Jedi in action. There's no way those thugs would have stood a chance against your lightsaber.

My Iightsaber was... misplaced. I couldn't find it after the crash. I looked *everywhere* in that pod. The Vulkars came and overwhelmed me even as I was searching for my weapon.

Well, that would explain how a powerful Jedi like her got captured by a bunch of thugs.

Carth's having a field day with this information.

Hell, let's join in on the fun.

Would a Jedi be able to sense where their lightsaber is, or use the Force to just summon it regardless of where it actually is (as long as it's in the general vicinity and not at the bottom of Cloud City or something)? I suppose Bastila would've been too exhausted to be able to do that anyway.

I like this scene a lot, because it is a much-needed lighter moment with Carth and Bastila that allows the two of them to show some charm and humanity. So far, the only thing resembling levity we've gotten with Carth has involved his terrible attempts at hitting on the female main character, which is the opposite of charming, and Bastila has just been too busy berating us.

Of course, Zelka is utterly floored by the fact we actually managed to retrieve the serum. We didn't even need to kill anyone for it, but he doesn't want to hear the details.

We gave a few doses to people who needed them, but there should still be plenty left.

The people of Taris owe you a debt they can never repay. Please, take this small reward. It isn't much, but it's all I can afford: a few credits and two spare medpacs.

And just like that, we've cured the rakghoul disease on Taris. We're not getting a massive reward for doing so, but helping people not turn into ridiculous monsters is enough of a reward on its own.

We could refuse the small reward Zelka gives us or try to strong-arm him into giving us more stuff, but the former is dumb and the latter is just dickish.

I'm sure.

After you give the serum to Zelka, he'll start selling it for 50 credits. I guess this is just in case you forgot to cure the infected Outcasts before taking the serum to Zelka.

"Mother of moons! What the hell have you been doing out there?"

Gurney is less than impressed, but who cares what he thinks? Now that we're healed up again, it's time to return to the cantina and fight one more time. Not just for the honor, splendor and pleasure this time, but also for our life.

Not too many people want to fight a death match anymore. Some are scared, others think it's wrong to kill someone else for credits. I guess that's why they're illegal now.

If you want to wuss out of the fight, you can tell Ajuur you don't want to kill someone for credits. He'll still let you change your mind, so you're not locked out of anything. Also, the Sith energy shield effect looks absolutely ridiculous in these close-up scenes. There are mods to disable these effects, but they do serve a gameplay purpose since you'll generally want to know when your energy shield runs out without having to look at your character portrait.

I'm ready!

Good. Excellent. High wagering means lots of credits for the winner on this match. Come see me after the fight to collect your credits - if you're still alive.

Announcer: And who would be crazy enough to step into the ring with such a lethal legend? Who would be mad enough to face almost certain death merely for your enjoyment?

Take a wild guess.

Before we start, I do have to ask - how exactly did the energy suppressor work its magic on our vibroblades to make them non-lethal? Obviously, I know the real answer is "because the energy suppressor, like the suppression magic at the Imperial Arena in Jade Empire, is literal magic and really just a technobabble excuse for why people aren't getting killed left and right, and you shouldn't think about it too hard."

When you enter the illegal death match against Bendak, you earn dark side points because killing people for money is bad even if they're wanted murderers.

Bendak starts the match by throwing a plasma grenade, and we return the favor. Actually, I'm not sure which one of us threw first, but it was probably Bendak because we had enough time to avoid the blast.

Bendak has a ton of health. Even after three direct plasma grenade blasts, he's still got two thirds of his health left.

Our next move is to toss an adhesive grenade at Bendak. It stops him from moving, but he can still attack.

Looking good so far. We're managing to deal a good amount of damage to Bendak, and he's missing his attacks (if he hits you with that Power Attack of his, you'll have a bad time).

That was far too close for the concussion grenade, so we stunned both ourselves and Bendak.

Bendak misses another Power Attack, and is now on his last legs. Is this the end of Bendak Starkiller?

A stab to the heart and you're down.

That was by far the most difficult fight we've had thus far. Our health just isn't high enough to withstand Bendak's attacks, so even with copious amounts of drugs and inventory cheating I still had to retry a few times. If you're a Soldier, you'll probably have a much easier time here.

Ajuur is over the moon after the fight.

If you exploit a glitch, you can actually earn another copy of Bendak's blaster here. You can talk to Bendak immediately after beating Twitch, before getting the reward from that fight. Then you fight Bendak, kill him and get the reward from Ajuur normally. After that, you can talk to Ajuur again, and he'll give you the dialogue for beating Twitch but with the rewards from the Bendak fight. I didn't do it here because I forgot it was a thing, but it's easy to pull off.

You know what, let's try to persuade Ajuur this one time. It didn't work when we were just starting out, but we just killed Bendak Fucking Starkiller. If that doesn't give us a massive cred boost with Ajuur, I don't know what does.

Everyone will be talking about you now, Stranger. They're all going to know you were the one who killed Bendak Starkiller. You're famous now.

Indeed, Ajuur is a lot more receptive this time around and increases our fight purse from 700 to 900 credits. Before we leave, we should chat with our fellow duelists one more time and see if they've got anything to say about our glorious victory against Bendak.

Um, sure, Deadeye. You go right ahead.

I mean, nobody's going to be stupid enough to go up against you anymore - not even Twitch! Kind of funny, isn't it? You win the big match, and you kill your career!

Going out on top sounds good to me, honestly. The Mysterious Stranger, the undefeated dueling champion of Taris.

As a little girl I used to dream of meeting him one day. When I finally did, the guy was a complete slime ball. Made me realize I had to be cold and ruthless to survive, like him. And now he's dead. There's probably a lesson in there somewhere. Something for me to think about, at least. Congratulations again, Stranger... and goodbye.

Our win over Bendak has also made Ice reconsider some of her decisions.

Damn right.

What? This fucking guy, I swear.

That's more like it. I think his dialogue is bugged.

Bastila has leveled up and learns the Disable Droid power. Again, we'll be fighting a ton of droids in the near future.

We still have one more bounty target to take care of, and he's in the North Apartments. There seems to be some sort of commotion going on in front of the building, so let's see what that's all about.

Listen kid, someone with a face model like that has no place calling someone a goggle-eyed freak.

Little bastards.

I doubt that, but we'll try.

That went about as well as expected.

The third option here is to threaten these little shitheads with physical violence, but that might be going a bit too far and will also give us dark side points.

Good. Scram.

You are too kind, human. I thank you for your generosity. Most of your kind here on Taris care little for aliens like myself. Once more, thank you for saving me from those human children. I must take leave of you now. My life mate will be wondering where I am.

That's some more light side points. Now then, where is this guy?

We find Largo the merchant hiding in a locked apartment.

You mean you're not here to kill me? But... I thought you were one of Davik's bounty hunters. If you're not here to kill me, what do you want?

Maybe I could help you with your problem with Davik.

I don't think anyone can help me. I owe Davik money, and l was late with the payment. So he went to Zax in the bounty office and put a price on my head!

Right. How much money are we talking about?

...are you kidding?

You'd give 200 credits to a stranger just to help them out?! I... I don't believe it! Thank you!

Wow, that was sure generous of you. I just hope we don't end up needing those credits later on.

Yes, Carth, I'm sure those 200 credits will end up deciding the fate of the galaxy. For the record, we currently have 3000+ credits on us.

That takes care of Largo's bounty. We're obviously not getting paid, but we did get more light side points and that's useful as well.

Now that we're done with the bounties (we'll go inform Zax of Bendak's demise a bit later), let's get back to our main objective. We need to buy this fancy astromech droid from Janice Nall's droid shop.

Definitely looks like the right place, with droids of all shapes and sizes everywhere. One thing I should maybe point out is the fact Canderous didn't actually give us money to buy the droid, so whatever it costs will come out of our own pocket.

Always good to see a new face - customers are hard to come by. A lot of the Taris citizens won't even come in here; they refuse to shop at a store owned by a Twi'lek.

What do they have against Twi'leks?

That's not a very difficult guess.

No, no they won't.

My selection is a bit limited right now - the Sith confiscated all my assault droids. But I've got a utility droid you might find interesting.

Canderous said you'd sell the T3-M4 to me.

Oh, Canderous sent you! Well why didn't you say so? Okay, the droid is ready. You can have it for 2000 credits.

2000?! Must be some droid, that's ten times the amount Largo's life is worth! The normal going rate for an astromech droid is 50 credits, or at least that's what it costs to buy the droid next to T3-M4. If you buy that one, it'll blow up (hey, just like R5-D4 and its bad motivator in the movie!) and you can get a refund from Janice.

Now, you can haggle the price down to 1500 credits (or threaten Janice to get the droid for free and earn some dark side points), but the only reason she gives you the discount is that she's afraid of getting on Davik's bad side. It doesn't seem like Janice's store is doing particularly well in the first place and she could use a customer who isn't a complete asshole, so we'll just pay the 2000 credits. From a purely mechanical perspective, this is stupid and a waste of money. However, this game is still an RPG, and I feel that sometimes some actual role-playing is in order.

And now we've got an astromech droid!

There he is. Carth is getting benched and will not return to the party until much later.

Here are T3-M4's starting stats for posterity.

The extra attribute point at level 4 goes into DEX to get the modifier up to +3.

As a utility droid, T3-M4 is extremely good at Computer Use, Repair and Security.

We also want him to be able to dual-wield blaster pistols, so he'll get Two-Weapon Fighting and Improved Two-Weapon Fighting to make that viable. He also automatically gets the Tactician Logic Upgrade, which provides a +4 Defense boost.

Finally, T3 gets Droid Upgrade Class 2, allowing him to equip class 2 equipment such as armor plating.

We'll give him Bendak's blaster, because why the hell not. It's not like there's anyone else in the party who would need it at the moment.

Droids can also use special weapons such as this stun ray. Most of these weapons are limited to ten uses, but others can be used indefinitely. We don't have any items for the Sensor slot or the two Utility slots in the top row, so we'll have to leave those empty for now.

With our new, horrendously expensive droid in tow, we make our way to the Sith base.

Okay, droid, do your thing!

The droid does his thing, and the door is now open.

Next time, we will enter the Sith base and kill a lot of Sith. It's gonna be fun!