I was originally going to say that all the bugs in KOTOR2 were amusing, much like its offspring, SWTOR. I’d start each session trying to guess how many attempts it would take to get the game to launch, and assuming signs of the apocalypse if it actually launched on the first click. NPCs would frequently play “Switch the Pronoun” when referencing my female PCs. I also enjoyed blackscreens and odd cutscene repetition. Then, after I completed Nar Shaddaa, but wasn’t allowed back on my ship and had to go all the way back to a Telos save, and after I completed Dxun, but wasn’t permitted on the Mandalorian shuttle, I started to get frustrated and had to strongly consider just how much this game meant to me.
Or rather, how much it meant to me to defy that bitch Kreia.
I no longer believe it mere coincidence that many issues involved Kreia. And if they didn’t involve her, I just assume she was in the background, busily scheming. Damn woman.
I blame my perseverance as much on my lovehate relationship with her, as I do my desire to find out what happened next in this intriguing piece of Star Wars history, and learn what has made so many before me love this game enough to push through the frustration, praising it even despite a disappointingly incomplete ending. Fortunately, I have the ending restoration mod, lovingly pieced together by fandom – proof that, in spite of whatever powers that be that will push out an incomplete and/or problematic product to meet deadlines and dollars, fans will find a way to make things right when it comes to something they love.
And there was so much to love in KOTOR2, not the least of which was the companion dynamics that forced me to rethink my usual strategy of trying to please everyone. Normally, I wouldn’t take certain companions with me if they won’t approve of my choices, or I counter negative approval with a gift or quest to keep them satisfied. In SWTOR, I said all the things my companions needed to hear to achieve their 10,000 affection because of the various bonuses. Yes, that means I whored myself a bit with confessions of love where none truly existed and even a marriage. What? A girl needs her Hawkeye armour properly crafted.
I realized that pleasing all my companions in KOTOR2 wasn’t a wise course of action and more importantly, Kreia pissed me off too damn much for me to actually want to please her and keeping her off missions doesn’t do a damn thing to stop her from expressing her opinion. Get out of my head, woman! After she gave me orders about whom I shouldn’t be mating with, I decided she was off my Christmas list.
But as angry as she made me, I know Kreia was doing what she needed to as my master; she was teaching me exactly what I needed to learn by forcing me to make the decisions that felt right for me, rather than what felt right according to the Jedi or the Sith codes. This is where the game earns its high ratings for me. I love the way the Old Republic series of games force the player to question the entire concept of good versus evil; Jedi versus Sith. My character didn’t need or want a convoluted and restrictive code in order to do the right thing, and the game allowed me to pursue this path. I earned light side points, without feeling like I was doing good because I was a Jedi who had to do so. And sometimes I did bad things for dark side points, but I wasn’t made to feel eeeeevil for doing so.
But my choices, with Kreia watching over my shoulders, did often make me feel like this:
The only way to fail with Kreia is to give up, but then, of course, you’re failing yourself. So you can do what you think she wants, or you can defy her, which could well be what she wants. Catch-22! Katch-22! Kreia-22!
Not my feelings matter, because this game isn’t about my decisions. This was the Kreia Show and I just got to come along and kill a few people in the process while wearing my pretty dancer’s costumer. At least, that was the plan, until Kreia took my dancer’s costume from me. There is no end to her treachery!
But alas, I am finally done and can breathe a sigh of relief. Saved the galaxy and all that. At least for now. Before playing either game, I’d read about Revan‘s story, and consequently slightly spoiled myself, such that I at least understood Revan’s true purpose. I can see now why KOTOR fans are upset that they got SWTOR and the Revan book, instead of a properly KOTOR3 that dealt with the Even Greater Evil that Revan foresaw and following the paths she and the Exile walked.