Part 16: AnchorheadPart 16: Anchorhead
Last time, we dealt with a stowaway on the Ebon Hawk, had many conversations with our crew, and visited an old Rodian inventor/merchant at the Yavin space station. However, now it is time to actually start our quest for the Star Forge, and that means we're going to look for our next Star Map on Tatooine.
Ah, this again.
That area in the vision looks quite a bit greener than Tatooine tends to look. Maybe it's a cave or something.
Well, here we are. Anchorhead, originally mentioned in passing in A New Hope. I'm sure the settlement looks very different in Luke Skywalker's time than it did in ours, but it's still pretty neat to get to explore this location.
Tatooine is known for little but blowing sand. I find it surprising that there would be a Star Map somewhere in its desolate wastes.
I suspect there are many such caves and caverns hidden in the sands of the Dune Sea. The creatures of this world probably use them as their lairs. No doubt things will become more clear once we discover the Star Map's location.
Before we head out, we need to talk to Bastila one more time.
I am a Jedi. I am far too disciplined to betray my emotions with outward physical displays. We both know the real reason you have some idea of what I am thinking: the bond we share.
A Padawan must receive considerable training. They must learn to control their emotions and darker impulses. Often it takes years before using the Force can be considered safe. The fact that you are so strong in the Force and have had such relatively little training could have terrible consequences. For you, and for everyone around you.
Thankfully you have exhibited a degree of compassion and self-control up to this point. I sincerely hope you can maintain these traits in the future.
Why didn't the Council assign a Master to supervise us on this quest, anyway? We're Padawan learners, so why aren't we traveling with our Masters? Do we even really have masters? Padawan are specifically meant to be assigned to or taken on by a single Master, like we saw with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan and Anakin, and even Anakin and Ahsoka. I suppose this might have changed in the 4,000 years between KotOR and the prequels, and originally Padawan was just a catch-all term for all Jedi pupils. Or BioWare simply didn't give a crap. Could go either way, really.
Our destinies are intertwined. Everything one of us does will have consequences for the other. Any reckless behavior on your part is likely to affect me as well.
Since the Council didn't send a Master along with us, I guess we'll have to support each other.
Your power could be a gift or a curse. When you need guidance, or advice, or support I will do my best to help you stay on the path of the light.
We're not exactly planning to turn to the dark side, but then again most Jedi don't.
Right. We'll do our best.
I like the Bastila/Mission team, so we'll go with that for now.
Oh, what now?
Czerka Corporation is the designated Morally Bankrupt Corporation(tm) of KotOR and KotOR II, and we'll have to deal with them a lot over the course of these games.
This customs officer just wants us to pay a docking fee of 100 credits. We could easily afford that, but I just don't want to pay this guy.
Once you've paid we will offer trade services as well. We're not unreasonable, we just want to cover expenses.
Is there any way you could reconsider the fee?
I assure you that the fee is non-negotiable. We have a very thin margin of profit on this world.
[Persuade] The money I save I'll spend in your stores.
This will cover any future landings as well. It's like a registration, so we can serve you better when you return. Now, as a customs officer, I can provide information on services. Is this visit business or pleasure?
We could ask him about various points of interest, but let's just get out of here.
What is it now?
We don't recall ordering anything.
Now, all I need is your thumbprint for the... wait a second, where did the datapad go? *sigh* Nothing is ever organized around here. At any rate, the gizka are yours. One of the loaders said the crate split open once he put it in your hold... some of the critters might have gotten loose. That happens, I'm afraid. We don't accept liability... and we certainly couldn't take the cargo back. Enjoy.
Fantastic. Now we have a ship full of space frogs.
Mic'Tunan'Jus here sells some fairly decent stuff.
Life Support Packs are the best healing item you can obtain in KotOR. I probably should put some points into Treat Injury at some point to improve our healing, but I don't think I will. Since we only get a single skill point per level, it's better to put that into something we actually use. Most of the time, we'll rely on Force healing anyway.
The Bothan sensory visor makes the wearer immune to critical hits and only costs 150 credits while also providing notable bonuses for several skills. We'll buy it just in case we need it.
Immunity to any and all Mind-Affecting status effects is very welcome.
Good lord, that Bothan visor is hideous even by KotOR headgear standards. But hey, if you want to run around looking like a mad scientist, you can! Before we continue, we should return to the ship to check that shipment. Maybe the guy was wrong and none of the gizka got loose.
Hey, little buddy.
[You scratch the little critter behind its nubs that pass for ears and it coos enthusiastically in response.]
[Play a game with the gizka.]
[The gizka looks at you curiously, cooing.]
[Leave it alone.]
These little guys aren't that bad.
Right, now we can make our way to Anchorhead proper.
Anchorhead is very much what you'd expect from a Tatooine settlement. Lots of moisture farmers, miners, and traders walking around, as well as the occasional Jawa and beast of burden such as that ronto up ahead.
And beggars, apparently.
My husband was a hunter... killed out on the dunes. This wraid plate is all I have left. Please, will you buy it? I don't need a handout. I just can't sell it to Fazza without a license. Please, I'm worried about having it. They are so rare...
I mean, you don't look like a farmer, and the only way to be allowed out of Anchorhead is to get a hunting license.
That... might complicate things, actually.
I think they charge 200 credits... but they have been known to make exceptions. Please... no one else will help.
200 credits for a hunting license isn't too bad. But first, there's the issue of this wraid plate.
Sure, why not. We'll take it off her hands, especially since it's apparently rare and valuable enough to possibly attract unwanted attention.
We'll give her a bit of extra as well.
Carth probably would've complained about us wasting credits again. Nice to see that Bastila and Mission at least appreciate our good deeds.
To our left is the Czerka office, so let's go ask about these hunting licenses.
And don't tell me to take my concerns to your corporate kiosk! I know when I'm not wanted!
Looks like this Duros is fed up with one of the Czerka corporate drones.
Typical corporate evasion. That's what happens when they own everything. No accountability. Don't even bother bringing it up.
The frustrated Duros storms out.
I'm pretty sure this Czerka employee has a unique or at least very rare face model for whatever reason.
Why wouldn't they sell the licenses anymore? How is anyone supposed to get out of this town?
The Sand People are becoming a problem. They destroy our sandcrawlers and kill our miners. One particular tribe is the worst. It's as if their chieftain has decided to wage a war against us. I would like their attacks... terminated. Bring me their gaffi sticks as proof. If you agree to do this, I'll give you a hunting license now and pay a bounty for each stick later. I'll give a bonus for the chieftain's.
We don't really want to play hired killer for Czerka, but we have to get a hunting license somehow so it doesn't seem we have much of a choice in the matter.
Here is your license, and a few directions. We believe one of their enclaves is in the far south of the Dune Sea. You might try following one of our sandcrawlers. They are regularly attacked. I wouldn't mind you escorting them.
I'll go get to it then.
Very good. Czerka Corporation looks forward to your future business.
Can't really say the same. We didn't exactly come here to kill Sand People.
Can this wait? I'd really rather not talk about... anything while we're in this office.
Eh, whatever. Shoot.
You must prepare yourself for when we face Malak. The confrontation will be difficult for you. I remember how hard it was when I first faced Revan.
Bastila hasn't really talked about her encounter with Revan. We saw glimpses in our visions, but it'd be better to hear something from her.
We did see in our vision that there was an explosion that took Revan down.
It was his desire to kill us and his master both. Thankfully we narrowly escaped the vessel as it exploded.
So it was Malak who betrayed his Sith master. Can't really say that's surprising, because that is how the Sith like to do things.
As I said, we were there to capture Revan alive. The Jedi do not believe in killing their prisoners. No one deserves execution, no matter what their crimes. Remember that Revan and Malak were once great Jedi. Heroes in every sense of the word. They demonstrate the danger of the dark side to us all. I'm sorry. We really shouldn't speak of this anymore. The memory of my confrontation with Revan is... painful. Let's return to the mission, please.
Let's. At least now we've got confirmation about what actually happened to Revan, even though Bastila doesn't like to talk about it very much.
This guy sells some decent stuff, including more Life Support packs and thermal detonators. I thought about picking up a thermal detonator, but they're 2000 credits apiece so I decided to wait until we had more money.
As we exit the Czerka office, the Duros we saw arguing with the office drone stops us.
The Sand People aren't animals. I've watched them, and they are intelligent. There must be a way to peacefully stop the attacks... I know it. But no one will try, of course. You can't even leave the city without Czerka approval and they want the Sand People dead.
Well, senseless killing is not our style and we'd rather avoid violence if we can help it, so if you have any better ideas we'd love to hear them.
What would you have done? To the Sand People, it must have seemed like an invasion. There were no negotiations for territory or resources. I don't think the killing has been justified, but as a conservationist I'm hoping someone at least tries to talk this out.
What would you suggest, then?
Communication. If we could just speak to them... but they don't talk. At least, not in any language an average translator can understand. There was even a Jedi here a few years ago that couldn't seem to get through to them. I... think that ended in blood too. I'm not saying it would be easy, but someone has to try. Maybe with a real translation droid, not these old protocol scrap heaps walking around.
The Sand People really aren't known for any sort of diplomacy, or indeed for much of anything outside roaring and repeatedly thrusting their gaffi sticks in the air as they attempt to kill you. Still, I suppose we could give it a shot, but as we don't speak Tusken we're going to need a translation droid.
I'm sure I heard Yuka Laka say that it could speak a Sand People dialect. Although he'd say rust is gold to make a sale... With that droid, maybe you could talk to them. I wouldn't survive... maybe with desert robes as a disguise someone could get into their enclave.
I suppose you could take them off of the warrior raiders in the Dune Sea, but there's no way I'd survive anything like that. Plus you would have to explain why you killed their warriors if you are trying to make peace... but I suppose there is no other way.
Maybe I'll look into it.
Or until the Czerka leave. The one is as likely as the other with the way things are going. Bah, what do I know.
Having said his piece, the Duros walks off. It certainly wouldn't hurt to consider his idea, so we should go visit this Yuka Laka and see if this droid of his is actually as great as he seems to insist.
First off, though, let's visit the hunting lodge next to the Czerka office. We need to offload that wraid plate.
We could talk to the various hunters here, but none of them have anything particularly interesting to say so we'll just sell the wraid plate and get out.
This world may not have much, but it does have the meanest predators this side of the Galactic Rim. A hunter's paradise.
I have something to sell you.
So I see. That's the biggest desert wraid skull plate I've seen in a season. Whoever got that was a skilled hunter. I'll give a premium price on that one. I've a buyer that put in a special request. Does 500 credits sound fair?
Unfortunately, we can't persuade Fazza to increase the amount but that's fine. For comparison's sake, regular desert wraid plates sell for 24 credits apiece at the hunting lodge. Fazza also sells some items, but nothing we'd particularly need.
Let's go find that droid shop, then.
Anchorhead, like most of the zones in this game, is quite compact. Yuka Laka's droid shop is the blip to the northeast, next to the east gate. Southwest is the swoop registration office, and southeast is the cantina. We'll visit both of those later, but right now we should make our way to the droid shop.
Oh. These gentlemen look like they have other ideas.
Occasionally, we run into these patrols of Dark Jedi, sent by Malak to take us out. These encounters are all scripted. As the Dark Jedi are Force users, Force Resistance/Immunity is extremely useful against them and their life-draining powers.
These guys go down quite easily, even if Bastila took a bit of damage in the fight.
They also have some nice stuff on them, such as the double-bladed saber, a short lightsaber, some crystals and the Dark Jedi Knight robe, as well as a datapad:
This datapad contains detailed descriptions of you and Bastila. It also has a brief message:
Bastila has escaped Taris. Whoever can find and dispose of her and her Jedi companion will be greatly rewarded by Lord Malak himself.
The Dark Jedi Knight robe is quite stylish, but all that black leather cannot be comfortable in the scorching heat of the twin suns so we'll just change back to our old blue robes.
That's the droid shop up ahead, and the gate to our right. I'm not entirely sure why there seems to be a slight red glow on the ground next to us. Emulation glitch? General jank?
Perhaps we do.
It's a fine protocol translator. I think it's been modified. It claims to understand the Sand People dialect, and also has some armor mounts. Combat ready, perhaps?
Intriguing. Let's hear some more, shall we?
What does the HK-47 designation mean?
Haven't got a clue. It doesn't match any protocol or utility standard. I assume it's a retired model. I'd tell you to ask the thing yourself, but it's pretty stubborn. Quality construction though.
Where did you get this HK-47?
I acquired the droid from a friend that manages an off- world Czerka warehouse. It was in trade for a debt he owed.
The unit has been a little uncooperative. They get that way when they go too long without a memory wipe.
Well, that sounds great!
Why haven't you wiped its memory?
I would have, but I can't seem to access any inner circuits. It's definitely built for security and built to last. At any rate, it claims that it doesn't have access to its own memory core anyway. Could be telling the truth, it's hard to say.
Why wouldn't a droid have access to its own memory core? That's odd.
Surprisingly, it also handles weapons exceptionally well. I'd even say it's seen combat, but it won't tell. Stubborn thing. It needs to sell itself better. Two moisture farmers have been in, but it just stood there.
I'm interested. Let's talk price.
That's highway robbery! We could afford it, yes, but surely we can convince him to go lower.
Huh, that was easy.
I think we can still go lower.
This option should really say [Persuade/Lie].
That's better. However, before we spend any credits we should talk to the droid itself.
Should your needs prove more... practical, I am also skilled in highly personal combat.
So you translate? I understand most languages well enough.
Extrapolation: Intuitive language comprehension? That would be the result of recognition and training of Force sensitivity. Your kind have little use of translation droids. Of course, your kind also encounters danger on a far more frequent basis than the average citizen. You would do well to have me work for you, then, before someone else makes use of my... more exotic functions.
Oh, okay. That's good then.
Request: Please do not speak so loudly, prospective buyer! Do you truly wish my price to be doubled?
All right, I'll see about purchasing you.
Statement: The fool Ithorian has decided I am to be an expensive purchase. He does this out of greed and not out of knowledge of my true capabilities. Advisement: I have observed him. He is a coward, and will be responsive to... aggressive bargaining.
Does Yuka Laka know you talk about him like this?
Statement: I wish only to be purchased and away from ill-treatment at the hands of this poorly-skilled mechanic. I have no desire to be subtle. Qualification: Err... of course I shall be quite pleasant to you, should you purchase me. Please?
Well, since you asked nicely.
We could try some "aggressive bargaining" as HK-47 suggested, but threatening shopkeepers with murder isn't really our style so we'll just pay the 2500 credits.
Well, thank you very much. Just go on over and talk to it. I'll deactivate the restraining bolt when you take possession. It's a good purchase, especially if it actually speaks a Sand People dialect like it said. Of course, I don't think it was telling me everything. Not many droids are programmed to lie, though.
Oh, thank you, most definitely.
Why do I still get the feeling we got ripped off in all of that? Oh well, let's go inform HK-47 that he's with us now.
My restraining bolt will be deactivated when you take possession of me. Am I to accompany you now? Shall I kill something for you?
Err... maybe later.
Travel with me now.
Statement: I will enter into your service now, master. I am certain you will make adequate use of my primary functions. My gears are practically quivering with anticipation.
And so, we have another new party member! Let's level him up and see what he can do.
Sure, Computer Use will do nicely. We'll get that up to 6.
We'll also give HK-47 a DEX boost since he uses blasters, and also teach him Sniper Shot. It's rather weird he didn't have any of the combat feats except for Power Blast.
HK-47, in case you couldn't tell, is not a very nice droid. Before we leave, we'll talk to Yuka Laka again to see if he sells anything useful.
But, since you purchased that worn out HK-47, you will get excellent prices as soon as I am restocked.
HK-47 is something of a fan favorite character. As much as I'd love to say otherwise, I can't help but be entertained by his antics even after all these years. Sure, he is extremely one-note, but that one note is pretty damn great and is helped immensely by Kristoffer Tabori's excellent voice acting. BioWare has tried to bring back the "comically violent murder machine who really likes his job" character in multiple games over the years, but most of the time those attempts just end up being kind of unpleasant (the Black Whirlwind says hello).
Yes, well... just keep away from me, then. I'm just an honest businessman.
We won't let HK-47 gut Yuka Laka no matter how much he might want to.
Instead, let's visit the swoop office. Maybe we can go racing and earn back some of that money we spent on HK-47.
We could talk to the various racers here, but again none of them really has anything of interest to tell us so let's just head on over to the Hutt at the back. This is Motta, and he organizes the races around here.
He's very rude.
Let's have a look at you. Hmm... just a human... nothing really special. You race? Maybe own a swoop?
We could tell him we won the race on Taris, but he doesn't believe us because a lot of people are saying the same thing. Since Taris got wrecked by the Sith, there isn't really any way to confirm who actually won the season opener.
And if you crash and burn, that's your problem. I just need warm bodies to pad the roster between the pros. Err... there is the matter of a small track maintenance fee... 100 credits.
[Persuade] Why not drop the fee? No racers means no crowds.
[Success] Well, I suppose you're right, but I'm not dropping it the whole amount. 50 credits. That's it.
Better than nothing, I guess.
Just ask me when you want to start and... there's some business I need help with... if you're serious about promoting racing.
What sort of business do you need help with?
I make my money off of signing good racers. Good ones, not great ones. I want them young and stupid. I've got one. Nico Senvi. Great potential. Only started racing a year ago and loves it. He lives for it now.
Gah! No closeups of this guy, please!
You're a swoop-jock like him. You're new, but if you win enough he'll respect you. I'm counting on it. And if he doesn't, *make* him choose correctly. You look like you could scare some sense into him.
Nico's not going to give us the time of day until we actually do some racing, so we should hit the track.
Just set me up with a race.
Certainly. We just need to clear up the positioning fee. All racers pay the same before each officially timed race. 100 credits.
Will you negotiate on the price?
I don't feel that I need to. The price is reasonable.
So everyone has to pay a fee to race. If they win, Motta gets paid. If they lose, Motta still gets paid.
[Success] Eh, fine, I will extend this discount to you, if only to close your mouth. I'll have your bike moved into position. But I warn you, I have people to make sure I don't give too many favors. You won't get this discount again.
And yes, you will only get this discount once. Hopefully you have enough money to pay for your runs.
Doesn't seem too bad. Okay, let's do this!
GAH! Stop doing that!
The Tatooine swoop track is much narrower than the course on Taris, and there are far more hazards on the track as well.
This time, we are not holding anything back.
We utterly obliterate Garm's time.
The swoop fans are excited!
Take this, with my thanks. We'll see if you can do any better in tier two.
I should explain how the rewards work, actually.
Instead of credits, winning swoop races rewards us with race bonds. These can be sold to any merchant for 60 credits each... or to Suvam for 156 credits each.
That's still slower than our time.
I took a slightly different line through the course on this run, so the time wasn't as good. Still, it's more than enough to smash the tier 2 record.
I suppose you'll be up against my local pro attractions in tier three next. You've already ruined Yuka Rill. Let's see how you do against Zoriis Bafka, a pro. The time to beat is 0:22:51.
That is still slower than either of our times.
VIDEO: Tatooine Swoop Final
This time, we do even better and smash the track record into tiny little pieces.
That's the last I'll be giving you, I hope. You're too fast for most of my racers.
I'll be back later.
Go then, but don't hog the track with rec-runs. I need my pros to keep their skills up. You depress them.
First, let's bask in the adoration of our fans.
I'm not gonna show off the conversations with our fellow racers because , but I figured I'd at least give you a look at the racers themselves.
Nico, however, we do want to talk to.
Not sure there's much I could tell you. I mean, you have the track record.
How long have you been racing?
Just a few years. I used to run down in the canyons, but nobody sees you down there. I wanted crowds.
Are you any good?
I've been told I am. I might go pro. I'm looking at some contracts but... that's between me and Motta.
I talked to Motta about you.
I suppose you've got a right to know track business, what with the times you've been posting.
Why don't you want the deal with Motta?
Not that I care about credits. I just want to race... but the deal with Motta is pretty bad. He'll get most of what I win.
Nico seems like a decent guy, so it would be a shame if he got locked into a shitty contract with Motta. Let's see if we can do something about that.
But... I kind of doubt he'd give me a better deal. He doesn't have to. He is putting up most of the money. Thanks anyway, but I'll think it through myself.
We'll see about that.
What do you care whether I make money off the kid or not? He wants to race and you'll get paid. We all win.
Err... I'm not sure we should do that, considering we hold all the track records.
All right, I'll give him a better deal and make it back in the long run, I guess. You, of course, are not getting paid! I trust this is the last I will have to hear about this matter? Was there anything else?
Nope, that's it. Back to Nico.
Now I can take my bike to the big races. There's not much of a circuit right now, but I'll be ready when it recovers.
When do you think you'll be leaving?
Hard to tell. I'll get some more runs here first. I need the practice. I have to top *your* time.
Goodbye then. Good luck.
That's all we can do at the swoop office, so it's time for us to leave.
Sure I am! You are fast for a human, and once the races are running regular again, you'll be famous. Well, maybe you will. If you start winning on the real tour, I want to be able to say I saw you when you were just starting out. How about it?
It's highly doubtful we'll be going on the swoop tour, but sure. We'll sign.
Here, just put your hand on this pad. Thanks again. I know I'll be seeing more of you, human.
I wouldn't hold my breath.
With our business in Anchorhead now concluded, we can leave the town and head out to the Dune Sea to search for the Star Map and hopefully deal with the Sand People in a way that doesn't involve murder.