Thursday, 1 August 2013

Why KOTOR means a lot to me.

For anyone that knows me and the games I like to play, you've probably heard me mention or screaming like a psychotic pigeon with a terrible secret - that Knights of the Old Republic is my favourite game ever.

So apart from just listing things like graphics, game play and general good story-telling, why exactly I am so fond of this RPG by Bioware

For anyone that cares, sit down, grab a cup of tea or coffee if you're a heathen and get comfy.

Yes KOTOR for me was a perfect game in terms of all the basic wants a consumer would like from their purchase, at least in my opinion. It had great game play, nice variety in character building (aesthetically and morally), albeit yes a very clean cut model of dark/light game effecting options compared to RPG's making a valiant effort these days. Nevertheless it's story was I cared about, the twists were, oddly, some I didn't see, but felt were right when revealed and the characters weren't only loved because of their quirkiness and individuality.

For me personally I had some sort of connection in my young mind with Revan. Not in terms of being a plunderer/savior of the galaxy or being able to shoot lightning bolts out of my fingertips/arse. 

Before you realised you are Revan (this really can't be classified as a spoiler anymore), you are whatever name you call yourself and you wake up with a vague memory that isn't your own. You won't find out that the memories you have were altered and implanted to suit the needs of others, against your will.
So as you wake aboard the Endar Spire, you are either a scout, a soldier or a scoundrel and you don't have much choice but to escape your bombarded upon vessel. Everything is too hectic for you to be given a chance to realise where you are and you just need to survive and get off this ship and you have also no choice but to trust this random dude appearing as a hologram before you, calling himself Carth Onasi.

You awake with no choice but to fight through sudden unforeseen circumstances and put your faith into someone that could help or kill you. I know that feeling in reality, I'm sure a lot of people do. I know the feeling of waking up to an unforeseen problem that you didn't initiate or if you did, your memory leaves you no clues.

As the story of the game progresses, you meet new crew members to join you on board the Ebon Hawk, this is now your home, where you keep your weapons, rest your weary bones and contemplate and learn from and about your squad-mates who in time risk their lives for you and accept your terrible secret and decided to judge you on who you really are, by your actions and morals, rather than who you use to be, not ever really knowing what made you that ghost from the past.

There's very few people out there, at least the ones I've encountered who have an untainted past and feel as if their present is unblemished  but many people have to battle with inner demons and onsets of paranoia and depression. What helps a lot of people get through this is time, what makes them feel like they can be a better person or be accepted for the person they are or want to be, is the people around them. If you have true friends they will, perhaps after a lot of aggravation and deliberation, not abandon you, not judge you and accept that the only difference between themselves and you is the labelling of whatever negativity wriggled into their lives.

Knights of the Old Republic is a story not only about saving the Galaxy, but one of finding truths and redemption. There's many times I feel as if I need a little redeeming and Revan had to go through the same process. Revan was faced with the horrible truth that she was someone who had killed many and done selfish scary deeds. In that moment it is very easy to falter, not just if you've done something wrong, but even if you've done nothing wrong but are beaten by the world nevertheless. In that moment you can succumb to the fear and let it win or you can push through and do the right thing, for yourself, your friends...for the NERD ALERT galaxy!

Books, poems, music and other mediums are usually associated with some sort of "yeah that's me, they get me" moment amongst a lot of people and I'm not saying KOTOR gets me and that's my whole being and secret unleashed, but when I play KOTOR I enjoy it for the game it is and I also feel like "yeah Revan I know how it feels, just keep trying to do the right thing".

This scene from Knights of the Old Republic II has always given me shivers, the dialogue, Kreia's voice and the score playing in the background along with the whole plot that hits you in this moment, resonates. Give it a watch

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