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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Knights of the Old Republic: The Beginning

Yes, it's Jan. 2006 and I am just now starting KOTOR (the first). I appreciated being able to create my own custom character. The appearance of your character is limited to several standard models (not as flexible as I was hoping). I would have liked to have been able to select different hair color, eye color, clothing (if you've ever played with Tiger Woods' PGA 2004, you know what I mean). I chose the Scout class female character, and I name her "Standard Female No. 4" because that's who she is. I thought the scout class would be a nice blend, a middle-of-the-road choice. The other choices are Soldier class and Scoundrel class. Scouts are supposed to be explorers endowed with dexerity (good defensive skills), intelligence (hey, just like me!), and wisdom (hey, that's me, too!). Intelligence gives you more skills, and Wisdom gives you more Jedi powers (or so I gather from the game manual).

Next, I chose my character attributes: abilities, skills, and feats. Scouts are recommended to start with the following abilities: Strength=12, Dexterity=16, Constitution=12, Intelligence=14, Wisdom=12, and Charisma=10. Charisma affects your Jedi powers and persuasive talking abilities, and I didn't want to get short-changed there, so I changed what seemed to be a less important skill, dexerity, to 15, in order to change Charisma to 12. Scouts are recommended to start with the following skills: Computer hack abilities = 4, Demolition abilities = 4, Awareness = 4, Repair abilities = 4, and ability to Treat Injuries = 4. However, this combo left out Stealth ability, which I thought would be important. Thus, in the spirit of nitpicking, I dialed down Demolition to 0 (cause frankly, I didn't want to be sent to disarm mines that are about to explode) and dialed up Stealth to 2 (stealth is more expensive, and it's not an even trade). Scouts are also recommended to have the following feats: armor (medium), melee weapons (1), blaster rifle and pistol (1), flurry attack, rapid fire attack, implant, and critical strike attack (1). However, after extensive reading of the effects of each feat, I decided to trade critical strike attack for Caution which gives me a bonus in demolitions and stealth.

So what was the result of all this character twiddling?

The first mission has begun: I wake up half-naked. Some guy barges in my room, claims he's my bunk mate but I've never seen him before. He shows me where to get some clothes and weapons, cause the ship Endar Spire in under attack and I've apparently sworn some oath to protect it (I'm thinking, "Like fu-n I did", but I don't say so, it's a little early to go Dark-side).

When I started and heard that I would be going into battle right away, I was worried that my constitution was weak (equivalent to only 9 health points), and I thought about increasing my constitution level. But as it turns out, that was unnecessary because there were many available health packs in the first mission. By the start of the second mission, my Constitution increased to 13 (equilavent to 27 health points).

By the time I had escaped the Endar Spire and started the second mission, I had earned 2 new feats. I chose Gear Head, which gives a repair, computer, and security bonus, and Empathy, which gives a bonus to Persuade, Awareness, and Treat Injury skills. I had also earned skill points, which I spent on Demolitions=4, and Security=1 (which is necessary to open locked doors -- I didn't like the idea of having to rely on other characters to open them). I'm not sure that my initial choice of changing Demolition skills to 0 and Stealth to 2 made any difference in the first mission of the game. There were no bombs to disarm, and at one point when forced to activate my stealth shield, I was still detected by the AI.

The second mission begins Taris planetside, and I wake up dazed and confused. Especially, since I am apparently trapped on this planet with a dopey-looking guy named Carth Onasi. The main objective of this mission is to find Bastilla (a Jedi lady, who I'm thinking can probably look after herself, but I don't say so, cause that would seem to defeat the purpose of this mission). I wander around town talking to supply dealers, cantina lowlifes, and stuck up Upper City snobs. I am looking for someone who might know where Bastilla has landed in the Lower City slums. However, I decide I must take a break from the game at this point, since the secondary objective is apparently to put up with dopey Carth following me around and standing in my way, and I just can't take it anymore.

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