Bastard of the Old Republic • Page 2

Part 3: Return of the Bastard.

The former Sith leader responsible for countless deaths and the destruction of planets. The man in whose shadow everything we've done has been performed. The most ruthlessly evil man in the galaxy. That's me. Of course, there have been a thousand hints throughout, and Bastila knew all along. Malak, Revan's former apprentice, had rather brilliantly overthrown his master. But Revan's back, baby, and Malak's in trouble.

You are held on Malak's Leviathan ship, and things begin with a good bit of torture. Worrying that you might be a noble sort, the plan is that they're torture Bastila every time you don't tell them the information you want. So here you can either delight in lying to hurt her as much as you can, or just telling them everything as bluntly as possible to cause the maximum chance of the Republic getting harmed. When you eventually escape, there's an awful lot of fighting to do, and finally Malak's revelation that you're Revan. You leave without Bastila, who is being properly tortured in an effort to turn her to the Dark Side. Goody!

The revelation is made slightly ludicrous when you've been playing the game as I have. It's not like I've been hiding Revan's personality, and my companions have seen me do some astonishingly dreadful things. When Mission pipes up that she believes I'm changed, I have to wonder what happened to her on Taris to have had her moral compass so terribly skewed. Zaalbar, of course, has no choice but to stick with me - he's sworn a life debt. Jolee Bindo knew the moment he saw me, and in his neutrality couldn't really care less - he's along for the ride. Canderous Ordo thinks I'm the greatest military leader of all time, and is honoured to be with me. T3-M4 just bleeps and bloops as usual, and to be honest I rarely remembered he was ever in my group. I killed Junhani so she never got to join us. HK47 was of course delighted - it turns out Revan was his former master, and his memory is finally restored at the news. But Carth Onassi, he fought against me in the war, and I rather wiped out his planet, and he's not too pleased.

Arriving on Korriban, I delighted in telling everyone I met how I was Darth Revan. Throwing the truth around to people who would never believe it was lots of fun. A few knowing traders knew who I was, but they kept it quiet. I was going to humbly work my way through the trials of the Sith to win my rightful place in the Academy, and thus get access to the temple containing the final piece of the Star Map.

Jedi raves always end badly.

Before getting in there was the brief entertainment of spotting the morons stood outside the Academy, who thought they were going through some sort of initiation test. Being asked to stand in the hot open air with no food or water for days, they were dying for the amusement of the Sith guards. It's possible to rescue them, obviously. Instead I encouraged them to keep going, making sure all died.

Being evil here is rather a pleasure. Everyone else is out to stab you in the back, apart from one or two pathetic wannabe students who never stood a chance. Gullible enough to offer me help, their fates were sealed from the start. In fact, I was so successful in doing terrible things to win prestige for Academy leader, Uthar, that it wouldn't even let me tell him all of it. The others never stood a chance.

Getting into the temple Naga Sadow, home to the last vital part of the Star Map, leaves you with Uthar and his assistant, Yuthura. As is the Sith way, of course Yuthura wants to overthrow Uthar, and has asked you to help. You can screw her over by telling Uthar in advance, but you know, it's more fun to agree, help her kill him in the temple, then kill her. You have to fight your way out of the rest of the Academy, but that's fun too.

It was time to go to the Star Forge itself. As you approach the Ebon Hawk is taken down by some magical shields Malak's put up around it, and you crash land on an unknown world, populated by a previously unencountered species. There's also a few familiar piratic races about to fight with, also brought down by the barriers. It's a bit of a ship graveyard.

Not the clearest picture, but one of the best things you get to say in the game.

As it turns out, this is the home planet of a race called the Ratakan. They were once rather important. At one time they ruled 500 star systems, with the mighty Star Forge as their greatest weapon. Called the Infinite Empire, it's the history behind the Star Maps you've been following this whole time. Now they are reduced to almost nothing, their population almost wiped out by a plague, and their empire lost. The rather pathetic remains are two warring tribes, the Warriors and the Elders, and you can pick a side in their squabble. I met the Warriors first, and was given the choice of peacefully meeting their master, or mindlessly murdering them. Of course I picked the latter, but in hindsight it might have been a mistake. It meant I was left to rely on the Elders to gain me access to a temple containing the technology to turn off the Star Forge's protective shields, and I suspect that the Elders were the slightly more good guys. Still, sometimes evil doesn't begat as much evil as you might hope, but there was plenty more to come.

Getting through the temple, you eventually reach the roof and the computer that can turn off the vital shield. At this point I was accompanied by Jedi Jolee, and we were suddenly confronted by Bastila. There was something different about her. Something... better. She was seething with evil. Swayed to the Dark Side, Bastila was here to end me for her new master Malak.

I remember this moment very clearly from my first play through. I rather liked Bastila, despite her nagging, and my continuous virtuous ways made her like me right back. I was playing a girl that time, but there was a frisson between them either way. I knew I could turn her back to my side with the right words. I knew she could be saved. Heh heh, not this time.

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John Walker

John Walker



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