Part 37: Deep FearPart 37: Deep Fear
Last time, we broke into the Sith base on Manaan and killed most people inside, which as you might expect got us in some trouble with the law. However, since we managed to find evidence of the Sith's nefarious plot against the Manaan government, we got off scot-free.
Since we didn't get executed, we can now head back to the Republic embassy with the data from the stolen probe droid. I'm really not a fan of the Burst of Speed motion blur here, and you can't even disable it on console.
Damn right we have, Roland. Did you not hear about the Selkath hauling us downtown? Good thing they didn't confiscate any of our items, I guess.
Excellent! It does not appear to have been tampered with, so the Sith did not manage to copy its contents yet. And now for your information... We are not supposed to speak of this, but since you are a Jedi, and we have exhausted all the other options, I think I can entrust you with this.
Why is this Republic ambassador so reluctant to let a Jedi deal with sensitive Republic problems? Isn't that kind of, you know, our job? We don't even ask for payment or anything, so why are we the last resort?
We need much in the way of supplies and material to stem the tide of battle and bring us victory.
"Am I spouting pointless exposition again? Sorry, I tend to do that."
Again, bacta hasn't been discovered yet. Kolto is less potent, but for now it does the job.
But a few more far-sighted Selkath see that if the Sith are ever allowed to win, the galaxy will be plunged into darkness and there would be nothing to stop them from taking Manaan anyway. So we made a deal...
Of course they did. What could possibly go wrong with shady backroom deals with government officials on a planet such as Manaan, where the Republic's presence is already barely tolerated and even a minor scandal (say, a retired Republic war hero murdering a Sith) could spell disaster?
If you pick the middle option, I seem to recall Roland basically goes "AHHH NOT SO LOUD "
We recently began construction of a secret underground facility to harvest kolto directly at its source. We also hope to one day be able to synthesize it effectively. Current techniques are insufficient for the task, so we must mine it for now. The amount we take would hardly be noticed, since most is lost naturally before it reaches the surface anyway. We were nearing completion of the base when the digging teams reported some sort of obstruction... an ancient building or artifact. Possibly your 'Star Map'. Transmissions from the base were cut off abruptly after that, and we haven't heard from the station since.
That does seem like they discovered some Builder ruins in the depths. Speaking of which, how did Revan and Malak find or rather access the Star Map five years ago, anyway?
As you may have noticed, we are hiring a lot of mercenaries around here. Ostensibly they're to be shipped off-world to aid in our fight against the Sith, but they are really for another purpose. When we lost contact with the station in the Hrakert Rift, we sent our contingent of Republic soldiers down to investigate. None returned... We have tried hiring mercenaries and sending them down as well, but none of those expeditions have returned either.
Well, at least we now know why the Republic is hiring so many mercenaries. We should go report to Nilko Bwaas at some point.
But now that we have the data back, our operation is in no danger of exposure to the Sith. And now I must live up to my end of the bargain.
That you do, Roland.
It has been programmed to take you down to the station, and also to take you back up should you need something. I would send soldiers to assist you, but we have lost many of ours, and nearly exhausted the mercenary population of this planet. The soldiers we have are barely enough to keep this base secure! The Sith have also noted our interest and begun to bribe mercenaries away from us...
Looks like we're going down, and we'll be doing it on our own as the Republic can't spare any backup. That's fine, they'd just get underfoot anyway. It's also kinda nice we won't be stuck down there in case we forgot to do something or need more resources.
Good luck in your efforts.
Before we board the sub, we'll make our way all the way back to Ahto West to turn in a couple of sidequests. We don't need to do it now, but might as well get everything done while we're up here.
First off, we've got the information Nilko Bwaas wants.
The Hrakert Rift? It is as I feared - though the Republic is fortunate I was the one assigned to investigate this case. Human, allow me to be blunt with you. If I report this violation to my superiors the Republic will be banned from Manaan - but I do not wish to do this. I see the Sith for what they truly are: ruthless and evil. The Republic has always respected our independence, but if they fall the Sith will be quick to send an invasion fleet to conquer Manaan.
I know the Republic is just doing what they think is best and it's also good not all Selkath officials are morons when it comes to the Sith, but this whole deal just seems like a really, really bad idea. What if someone in the Republic embassy is a spy who recorded our conversation with Roland and is now on the way to present his findings to the law or the Sith? Hell, what if someone is listening in right now?
The Republic really isn't covering itself in glory on Manaan. Technically speaking, they absolutely are stealing the kolto, even though Roland seemed to believe the amounts are so small no one will notice anything.
They can't. The Republic has recently lost contact with the science facility.
Of course, I should have realized. Doubtless they were hiring the mercenaries to investigate the situation. But I fear mercenaries alone may not be enough to save their station. There are ancient mysteries within the Hrakert Rift that even we Selkath do not comprehend. I fear the Republic has awakened something that was best left undisturbed.
Well, there's something we really needed to hear before plunging down into the depths of the ocean.
I fear the mercenaries will not find the answers the Republic is looking for - they prefer blasters to brains. But you have shown yourself to be resourceful. Perhaps you can succeed where the others have failed. Investigate this facility, human - and I promise to keep my silence so that the vile Sith do not gain from the Republic's foolishness.
We shall be doing exactly that.
And now I must take my leave, human. My superiors are expecting a full report from me, and there is much I must do to ensure they cannot uncover the Republic's actions.
Sounds like Nilko has his work cut out for him. Next, we'll go tell Shaelas we found his daughter and she's safe and sound.
They're also planning to overthrow the government!
If Malak brainwashes our youth and indoctrinates them in the ways of the Sith he will have a strong following among the Selkath people - strong enough to seize control of Manaan and our kolto! My daughter, Shasa - she too has been indoctrined into the Sith camp?
Yeah, but we managed to convince her to get out.
Hopefully the testimony of my daughter will be enough proof of their actions, to make the Ahto City authorites take action.
I hope so.
We already have proof of their actions and handed it over to the judges, but I guess some more will help.
It's really more like "we have so much money we don't need his 500 credits", but that works too.
The drunken Sith in the background looks like he's about to throw up after witnessing our goody two-shoes bullshit.
That'll do it for the sidequests, now let's head back to the Republic embassy so we can board the sub and go investigate the kolto facility.
We'll take HK-47 along because he's got a couple of amusing lines in the next section.
Just gotta head through this door, which was previously inaccessible but can now be opened with our keycard.
And there's our sub.
Let's get in and find what sort of absolute horrors are going on down there in the facility.
Yes, we've established that, thank you.
Down we go.
And here we are. So far, we haven't been eaten by any giant sea monsters or anything, which is a somewhat promising start.
There's nothing at the submersible dock but some corpses and a couple of containers with boring loot, so let's head through the door in front of us.
Looks like there's still someone alive down here. Maybe he can tell us what's going on.
Who killed everyone?
I was one of the mercs the Republic sent down here to find out what happened. We came down and secured the first couple rooms... there were bodies everywhere... And the Selkath came out... screaming and croaking their fishy little war-cries.
Clearly, there's more to this. The Selkath wouldn't start killing people randomly, that's not what they do.
So we ran... But hardly any of us made it. I looked the door behind us, bu... but the others had already left in the submersible! The sharks... the firaxa out there and... worse... I heard an explosion shortly after the submersible left. They didn't make it. Just food for the sharks and the Selkath... like us.
All of this sounds horrible, but before we do anything else we should get this poor bastard back to the surface.
We didn't see anything, though.
Life would be so much easier if everyone was an HK-series assassin droid.
I'm still pretty sure we can just leave whenever we want.
Do... do the Selkath do that? Just... lay their eggs all over the place? I'm guessing that is not regular Selkath behavior and is just something these crazed ones might do. Do the crazed Selkath even do it or is it just something this guy thinks might happen? Regardless, we now know the important bits and bobs are in the southern part of the facility, but getting to it might be troublesome.
We'll handle this with our protagonist powers, no worries.
If you want to die, then go! You won't hear me mourning for you! I'll stay here and be safe until some sort of REAL rescue comes!
I'm not sure what he thinks this "real rescue" would be able to do, but we don't have time to think about that right now because we've got a job on our hands.
Most KotOR players hate this section, mostly because of one particular reason that'll become evident soon enough, but aside from that one thing (which, admittedly, is a big thing) I really quite like the Hrakert Rift part of the game. The premise is really solid. I mean, come on. We're exploring a deep sea research facility where something horrible has happened for unknown reasons, causing the scientists to go berserk and start tearing each other apart. This is a survival horror setup if I ever saw one.
The atmosphere is rather survival horror-esque as well, with the entire facility gone to shit.
We find a thermal detonator on one of the many dead bodies scattered around the facility. Thermal detonators are the best grenades we can find in the game and do decent damage, but personally I tend to sell them because Suvam gives you a lot of credits for them.
What is it the Republic found down here?
Ah, good, a security computer. Maybe we'll find some information on there, or at least be able to make our job a bit easier in some other way.
Jolee has the highest Computer Use skill of our current party, so the old man gets to operate the terminal.
Right, let's see what we've got.
There's a group of Selkath, and while it obviously doesn't come across from the screenshot we can tell from their erratic movements that something is very wrong with these guys.
There are several rooms full of the crazed Selkath in the facility, and we can vent gas into those rooms to take them out. That seems like kind of an evil thing to do, to be honest, but the fact is that these guys are basically mindless zombies and we'll have to put them down anyway. Sucks for them if there's a way to get them back to their senses.
We've also got some droids patrolling the hallways. We can corrupt their targeting, but that costs so many spikes at our current rank of Computer Use that we'll just dispose of them the old-fashioned way.
The security room has this scary-looking droid waiting for some poor sap to wander in.
Sure, let's deactivate his shields, that'll make things a little easier.
Except that picking that option doesn't actually disable the shields on the damn thing, so we just wasted six spikes. Wonderful.
We want to make our way to the airlocks in the south, but we'll also need an environmental suit to access the flooded part of the station, and preferably something we can use against the firaxan sharks out there.
Hi, droids. Bye, droids.
Here's our first encounter with the insane Selkath. They will try to claw at us, which can inflict poison.
Of course, the best way to handle these guys is to never let them anywhere near us.
We can repair that droid to give us some extra firepower, and we might as well do that since HK-47 has a pretty high Repair skill at this point.
That's a Dark Jedi model. Why is there a Dark Jedi model down here?
Why is there a Dark Jedi with a Jedi Master robe and a lightsaber crystal down here?
Blowing up multiple droids with a single wave of an arm is always satisfying.
I guess we'll just follow our droid buddy for the time being.
There's the sentry droid whose shields we deactivated, and as we can see its shields are currently very much active. When you spend computer spikes to disable the shields on droids such as this one, they normally stay disabled because why would you bother wasting spikes on it otherwise? This guy, however, just reactivates them as soon as it sees us. Another bug? Sure, I'll go with that.
We seem to be doing normal damage even though the droid's shields are up, so maybe the shields actually are down and it just looks like they're still active? Whatever, it's dead now.
Lead on, droid. To our right is one of the storage rooms we vented gas into earlier, so let's go check that out. Hopefully the gas has dispersed by now or this will be very embarrassing.
What asshole puts live mines in the storage room of their research facility? Don't worry, this is far from the last mine we'll run across down here. I'm probably not going to show us triggering any more mines, because you'll get the idea.
Anyway, this is what we came for. The sonic emitter is very, very important.
Scientist's Memo posted:
In response to those firaxan sharks outside I managed to whip up a little something in one of the workrooms. This is a sonic emitter which should scare them off. The sound seems to work a lot better underwater than through the air and if you fix it on the outside of an envirosuit, just push the button every time they get near and you'll have no problems.
So I was just wondering... when am I going to get that raise?
-- Caal Jordan
Sonic Emitter posted:
This device emits a powerful sonic pulse useful for scaring off or stunning various wildlife. It normally has an extremely limited range, but in an underwater environment the signal would travel quite a distance. It has proven quite lethal to several species of firaxan sharks.
Yes, "scare them off" actually means "fucking kill them instantly" in this case. I don't think Caal here ever got that raise, unfortunately. We need the sonic emitter before we can exit through one of the airlocks, and now that we have that we'll just need to find the envirosuit.
Oh, hey. Speak of the devil. That's very much an envirosuit up ahead.
Hm. Lockers aren't generally known for whimpering.
You know, that is a very small locker. I don't think Zila would fit in there.
When the Selkath went insane and started killing everybody, I locked myself in here! I'm safe in here. Nothing can hurt me in here! No fishy food for me.
They're not very talkative, to be quite honest with you.
And so we learn that a "demon" drove the Selkath insane with its scream, at least if this guy is to be believed. What is this "demon" and why or how did it drive the Selkath berserk? It didn't seem like any of the humans were affected so strongly.
[Failure] No, no, no, no, no. That's what the others said. Mercenaries like you. But they're dead. The Selkath ate them! Lunchie-munchie! Only the ones left in the south part of the base might still be alive, where the kolto is. Few fishies there! But many, many fishy in between in the water!
If you don't come out, I'll just leave you in there.
You can't convince the guy in the locker to come out, so we'll just be on our way.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, buddy.
We'll take the envirosuit and head towards the airlocks.
If you missed the sonic emitter in the other storage room, you can find one here. Sadly, we can't dual-wield them.
Onwards. The door in front of us leads to one of the airlocks, but we'll check the hallway to the left before we proceed.
More droids. No big deal.
More insane Selkath. These can actually use weapons such as the sonic rifle seen here, so apparently whatever drove the Selkath insane didn't quite take all of their faculties.
We'll greet them by Force Waving at them... and then the game freezes on this exact frame. Wanna guess where the last save was? Yep, you are absolutely correct. My latest save was at the very start of Hrakert Rift, when we arrived at the station in our submersible.
Just a second.
Okay, we're back. From this point on, I will be saving approximately every 30 seconds.
Before we proceed through the airlock, we'll check out this door to the east. Our security skill is too low for it and I can't be bothered to use any security spikes or change equipment, so we'll just bash our way through it. We actually end up spending quite a while here because our bashing efforts are really ineffective for some reason, but eventually we do get it open. There isn't actually anything interesting in that room anyway, so that was a waste of time.
Right. Now we can go through this airlock.
You don't say.
For some reason, this time we only get one envirosuit. On the Leviathan, one space suit was enough for the entire party, but here we just get the one. Probably because that makes things more
Welp, here we go.
You might have figured out what most people's main gripe about the Hrakert Station is as soon as the word "envirosuit" was mentioned.
Yeah. Just like with the space suit, you move like a granite slug through molasses with this thing on. On the Leviathan, that was okay because it was just a very short space walk, but here we're actually going to have to walk quite a distance to reach the south half of Hrakert Station. Also, that looks like a survivor up ahead, decked out in an identical getup to ours.
Oh, I'm a merc the Republic hired a couple days ago to investigate - but all we found was a bunch of insane Selkath killing everything that moves! All my companions are dead. The Selkath swarmed over us - there were dozens of them! And they...they looked wrong, somehow. Like something had changed inside them. Insane or something... Oh, I'd have gone back to the surface long ago if this complex hadn't been overrun by all those crazy Selkath! There's no way for me to get to the submarine docking bay.
What are you doing in the underwater section of the facility?
I discovered a way to get to the bay and seal off the rest of the base. I just have to find the kolto harvester they built on the edge of the Hrakert rift. It's got an emergency override to open the doors to the submarine docking bay and I could get in from the outside. I figured my only chance was to slap on an environment suit, head out onto the ocean floor and check that harvester out for myself.
Sounds like our way in. What are we waiting for?
I'm heading out to the ocean floor right now - it leads to another complex of buildings. Going through them is the only way to reach the kolto harvester. We should probably stick together, but I won't wait around in here with the Selkath. You can catch up with me if you want - down the hall and through the doors on the right. I'll be waiting on the ocean floor where it's safe.
We're not spending any more time in this scuba suit than we absolutely have to, so let's get a move on.
Coming! We can't exactly sprint in this stupid thing, you know.
Yes, yes, lead the way.
I think that's a good place to stop for today. Next time, we'll very slowly make our way to the south part of Hrakert Station.