Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) is a role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts. It was released for the Xbox on July 15, 2003, for Microsoft Windows on November 19, 2003, and on September 7, 2004 for Mac OS X. The Xbox version is playable on Xbox 360 with its Backward Compatibility feature. The PC version was re-released as part of the Star Wars: The Best of PC collection in 2006 as a limited release. The sequel, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords, was developed by Obsidian Entertainment at BioWare's suggestion as BioWare wanted to focus on their own intellectual properties. Jeremy Soule wrote the soundtrack score for the game.
This game's system is based on Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Roleplaying Game, which is based on the d20 role-playing game system derived from the Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. Combat is round-based; time is divided into discrete rounds, and combatants attack and react simultaneously. However, the number of actions a combatant may perform each round is limited. While each round's duration is a fixed short interval of real time, the player can configure the combat system to pause at specific events or at the end of each round.
The alignment system tracks actions and speech—from simple word choices to major plot decisions—to determine whether the player's character aligns with the light or dark side of the Force. Generosity and altruism lead to the light side, while selfish or violent actions will lead the player's character to the dark side, which will alter the character's appearance, turning their eyes yellow and their skin pale.
Non-combat interaction with other characters in the game world is based upon a dialogue menu system. Following each statement, the player can select from a list of menu responses. The dialogue varies based on the gender and skills of the main character.
The story of this game takes place 4,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire. Darth Malak, a Dark Lord of the Sith and Darth Revan's former apprentice, has unleashed a Sith armada against the Republic. Malak's aggression has left the Jedi scattered and vulnerable; many Jedi Knights have fallen in battle and others have sworn allegiance to Malak.
The game opens with the player's character—the player can choose a face and be male or female (canonically a male)—awakening aboard a Republic ship under attack by Malak's forces. The player's character gradually gathers companions and pieces together his or her past while attempting to stop Malak. While taking refuge at the Jedi Academy on Dantooine, the player's character learns to be a Jedi, discovers a "Star Map", and learns of the "Star Forge", the probable source of Malak's military resources. The player's character and his or her companions search planets across the galaxy—Dantooine, Manaan, Tatooine, Kashyyyk, and Korriban—for more information about the Star Forge. Through the course of his or her travels, the player will eventually discover the character's true identity - the brainwashed Darth Revan, whom the Jedi Council on Dantooine took in and subjected to memory modification so that he would no longer be a threat to the galaxy. Darth Revan had been injured when attacking a republic planet because Darth Malak turned his guns on his former master. Because Bastila Shan was aboard Revan's ship with a Jedi strike force, she was able to heal him and bring him to the Jedi Council on Dantooine. Her actions lead to the force bond between her and Revan, which plays a role later in the game.
Depending on the character's alignment, upon ultimately reaching the Star Forge he or she either defeats the Sith (the light-side path) or usurps control from Malak (the dark-side path). A light-aligned character is hailed as a savior and hero; a dark-side character stands before the remaining Sith forces as the new Dark Lord of the Sith.
Characters and locationsEdit
Eventually joining the main character's quest are veteran Republic pilot Carth Onasi, the Twi'lek teenager Mission Vao and her Wookiee companion Zaalbar, the Jedi Bastila Shan, 'Gray' Jedi Jolee Bindo, utility droid T3-M4, Mandalorian mercenary Canderous Ordo, and assassin droid HK-47 if he is bought. Juhani, another Jedi, may also join the party if she is not killed fighting the main character. Republic soldier Trask Ulgo is also playable briefly on the Endar Spire. Antagonists include Black Vulkar gang leader Brejik, crime boss Davik Kang, bounty hunter Calo Nord, Zaalbar's twisted brother Chuundar, Sith apprentice Darth Bandon, Sith Admiral Saul Karath, Sith Overseer Uthar Wynn, Rakatan tribe leader The One, and Darth Malak, the Dark Lord of the Sith. On several planets the main character deals with Czerka Corporation, a company operating on several planets that allied itself with the Sith, engaged in slave trade and other nefarious practices. Major allies that help the player's party along the way are Hidden Bek gang leader Gadon Thek, Jedi Master Vandar Tokare, game hunter Komad Fortuna, Zaalbar's father Freyyr, light side turned Sith Apprentice Yuthura Ban, Republic leader Roland Wann, Rakatan tribe The Elders, and Republic Admiral Forn Dodonna.
Action takes place on the planets Tatooine, Dantooine, Kashyyyk, Korriban, Manaan, Rakata Prime, and Taris; aboard the cruiser Endar Spire and Saul Karath's Leviathan; and on the Star Forge space station. A space station near Yavin is a playable location in the PC and Mac OS X versions of the game and is available to Xbox players via download from Xbox Live. Travel between these locations happens aboard the freighter Ebon Hawk, which is also a playable location.
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