Carth, your first "real" party member, frequently states that he doesn't trust you, finds your placement on the Endar Spire suspicious, finds what the Jedi are doing suspicious, and frequently gets angry about what he perceives as getting the runaround. He comes off as a total Jerkass and whiner...until The Reveal comes out. Turns out he was dead right about ALL of his suspicions, just not in the way he expected! The comics and the second game add a few more layers. He encountered a Jedi coverup before, as he helped Zanye Carrick escape from the Covenant. In the second game, Disciple is reporting directly to Carth. Given Carth's trust issues, Mical's reservations (even Exile, his childhood hero, has to be careful when prying info out of him), and how important the Ebon Hawk is, there's likely some strong history between Mical and Carth, meaning Carth may also know more about the Jedi than he let on.
Ditto Bastila. She comes across as a total bitch, quoting dogma at every turn, and regarding your PC with a cross of fascination and horror. Then The Reveal. She's a Padawan, set up on a babysitting task that even a Master would get overwhelmed with. She was given a token order to try and capture you alive, because "Jedi don't kill their prisoners" ...except when they do but no one seems to have expected her to actually do it. Worse, she's got a Force Bond to you, like it or not, meaning that (if you play Dark), you're pulling her down with you (see second game for more details on Force Bonds). Alternately, if you play Light, she becomes envious that you're doing her job better than she is; that the Light Side comes so easily to you, the former Dark Lord of the Sith, of all people, whereas she has to struggle to keep it up. Between the stress of all this, the fact that the Masters are no help at all and are, as usual, more concerned with covering their ass and reputation than actually helping... plus the fact that she has issues and doubts of her own? Malak didn't so much pull her to the Dark Side as give her a giant shove over a cliff she was dancing on already.
More a case of clever storytelling, but this only just occurred to me so I'm putting it here: At the very beginning of the first game your soldier is apparently unfamiliar with the details of a war they have supposedly been fighting, and is unable to perform basic tasks which should be second nature. Just the game teaching you how to work it right? Wrong. Your memories have been tampered with, and so any inability on your part to perform simple tasks or remember very important details, it's all because your memory has been blanked. This also neatly sidesteps Story And Gameplay Segregation.
A related piece of brilliance . When you hit Star Wars: The Old Republic's Alderaan level, you learn that Trask Ulgo was a very high-ranking member of Alderaanian nobility. In particular, his house's hat was military service, and Trask was one of their finest warriors. Who better to be the handler (and potential assassin) of a mind-wiped Sith Lord?
When you and Carth are ribbing Bastila for being taken prisoner by a gang of ordinary thugs, she insists that she was weakened from using her battle meditation, and that without it, you might not have escaped. She wasn't using her abilities to help the Republic forces on the ship. She was using them to ensure that you landed unharmed. Which you did... in the Upper City, right next to a disused apartment complex that sees only occasional Sith patrols, in easy walking distance from a Republic-sympathizing doctor. With a decorated military vet who's got the skill and experience to keep you alive and hidden, and the innate goodness to take care of your comatose butt for days, despite his misgivings.
Early in the game, Bastila asks you a series of basic questions about your past. You can point out that the answers to her questions are surely in your Republic service file, and she says she wanted to see how you answered. But what she's really checking for is whether your basic memories are still those of your programmed personality, even though some of Revan's memories, and his Force sensitivity, have begun to reemerge. Likewise, when Dorak is helping you choose a Jedi class, the reason he's unsurprised by your answers is because you're answering just like your programmed personality should – or possibly like Revan would have.
On Taris, you get to meet a crazy old kook out on the streets preaching about his hatred for aliens. What he says actually makes sense out of context! Two things he says particularly stands out:
Crazy Old Kook: Listen to me, people! There is a terrible scourge sweeping the planet! Heed my warning, before it's too late!
Crazy Old Kook: The evil walks among us! The enemy is here!
He's actually talking about you, Revan.
He's probably talking about the Sith on both counts.
Possibly Jossed. If you walk up to him as a Sith trooper, he greets you happily. Very happily. And then invites you to share in the alien-bashing.
In KOTOR 1, you can be invited to a Sith party (talking to Sarna as a male or Yun as female) - only for them to get super drunk enough to pass out, leaving their Sith armor for the taking. If you take the time to talk to some of the citizens in the Upper City cantina, one of them will say something about Tarisian ale being an extremely alcoholic drink...
In the Light Side path for dealing with Bastila's mother, Bastila gives up 500 credits so her mother can get to Coruscant and pay for medical treatments. It's literally everything Bastila has to her name. It's very sweet... until Fridge Logic sets in and you remember that your character, or at the very least your party, can at this point have tens of thousands of credits. Granted, the money Bastila gives is hers and hers alone (it isn't deducted from your total), but you'd think a Light Side Jedi would at least have the option to cover the expense.
Well, your party isn't exactly playing by Jedi Order rules of property ownership, in about the same way that a rhinoceros isn't exactly a cuddly lap animal.
Even so, later in the game you can give up 500 credits to a swoop racer for parts, not to mention the numerous other giveaways. Giving within your own party would be a bit weird, but something easily handwaved.
One of my favorite part of KOTOR was the the use of Charisma skill that can be uber helpful especially if you want to persuade other characters and NPCs on your ideas or stances on certain morales. Now, my favorite class is the Soldier (yes, very generic I know) and at first I was kind of confused why the Scoundrel class gets plus points on the charisma ability, but then I realized: of course they would! After all, Scoundrels are Genre Savvy and cunning individuals who are quick-witted and perceptively street smart. Being charismatic is practically their second nature!
Definitely ties in with how Han Solo- also a Scoundrel- is just so damn lovable.
And also Mission Vao. I mean come on!
How did Calo Nord, a badass but still a rather short man, survive the crashing of a good few hundred pounds of steel onto his back? Well, when you loot his armor, you find it's second only to Cassus Fett's battle armor!
This may belong more in irony, but I am playing through the game again knowing exactly what's going to happen, mainly in terms of the big reveal. I was talking to Juhani, and when she is yelling at you for indirectly causing her home world, Taris, to be destroyed, she tells you that "...It's so hard to lose your entire past. You wouldn't understand." You are given the option to agree with her and say that no, you would not understand. Which seems perfectly reasonable, until later in the game you discover that you HAVE lost your entire past, when the Jedi mind wiped you.
Brilliance: All those visions you have in the first game of Revan and Malak finding the different starmaps? Those aren't visions. Those are your memories coming back.
Mission Vao has a Berserk Button about being treated as a child. She's also 14 and has very few qualms about violently defending herself. Troubling Unchildlike Behavior? Yup. But she is also of an age, race, gender, and attractiveness level (young, pretty female Twi'lek) that would make her a prime target for thugs, pimps, and slavers. Furthermore, she fell in with Zaalbar months after Griff took off, meaning she was fighting off those slavers, pimps, and thugs from age 12, and maybe earlier. Top it off with regularly exploring the Undercity and going toe to toe with rakghouls. Yeah, the berserk button is justified.
A second bit of brilliance in the above. Carth is the only party member who points out Mission's young age and worries about her. But when you play his sidequest, you see that his son is about the same age as Mission. Carth is still reacting as a father when he sees a kid who would be the same age as his own child. Bastila wouldn't care as she's been training as a Jedi since early childhood. Juhani grew up in the same slums and knows how you have to fight to survive. Zaalbar, being a Wookiee, doesn't age on the same scale. Jolee considers everyone a kid. Canderous? 14 years is considered young adulthood among the Mando'ade, and Mission is already an established fighter, meaning that she's a full adult by his culture's standards.
Adding on to Carth's characterization: his fatherhood is fairly consistent throughout the game. There is one quest in which the son of a wealthy Dantooine man is found dead, and all that his left from his corpse was his diary. The father offers 100 credits to take it off of you. You may either accept it, decline but choose to give it to him anyway, or extort an additional 100 out of it. If the last option is chosen, Carth will get utterly PISSED and berate you for taking advantage of a grieving father. Made all the more reasonable once you learn that he believes his own son to have died.
Since the release of the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, some have compared the original two games and the TOR to the Original Trilogy movies, with KOTOR as A New Hope, KOTOR 2 as The Empire Strikes Back, and TOR as Return of the Jedi. However, the first game itself could be a combination of all three movies itself!. Let's look at the beginning of the game, a good guy ship gets attacked by the bad guys in order to find a particularly important young woman. The heroes then escaped on an escape pod to the planet below, and proceeded to train to be a Jedi. (Also, a planet got destroyed) The second arc involves the good guys travelling around the galaxy and being pursued by a Sith Lord, got captured and proceeded to escape but had to leave someone behind, and a reveal of a terrible truth. The infamous Luke, I Am Your Father in ESB and you are Revan in KOTOR. And the final act is a discovery of a superweapon threatening to dominate the galaxy, an epic space battle that didn't go well with the good guys at first, until the main hero went inside the space station to confront the bad guys and do something to turn the tide of the battle, and that something involves the redemption of the hero's loved one. Basically, Knights of the Old Republic is all three Original Trilogy movies put together.
Straddling the line between Brilliance and Horror: Marriage and family are forbidden by KOTOR's era, but forty years prior in Tales of the Jedi, no one batted an eyelash about married Jedi and Jedi with families, such as the Sunrider and Qel-Droma families. The ban must have been enacted fairly recently. Then, you hear of how Jolee trained his wife in secret, after the Council forbade him to do it. Nayama Bindo fell to the Dark Side, Jolee spared her life out of love for her, and she went on to kill many Jedi before dying at the end of the war. Jolee blames himself, but Jolee could have been the reason the Order put a ban on marriage and family for most of its history after that.
There's a conversation or two where Canderous refers to Revan as "he," regardless of the gender you pick. The brilliance? Mando'a rarely uses gendered pronouns or gender-specific terminology. Vod, for example, translates to "brother," "sister," or "friend" depending on context. Falling back on "he" says more about Basic not being his first language than it does about Revan.
In Knights of the Old Republic, If the Jedi plan had actually worked, the Endar Spire not been attacked, and the Star Forge still found and destroyed, what would they have done with the mind-wiped former Sith Lord who thinks (temporarily at least) that he/she is an ordinary Republic grunt? Someone like that would be far too dangerous to just leave alone. Would they find some way to draft him/her into the Service Corps and take the risk of him influencing other Force-sensitive Jedi washouts? Would they mind-wipe him/her again? Would they turn him/her over to the Republic? Would they arrange an accident?
Oh, that's not even the beginning of it. Remember the horror you felt at the berserk Selkath on Hrakert Station, or the Peragus Mining Facility, or the Harbinger? Now remind yourself that you are the kickass protagonist, a real face. Imagine what it must have been like to be one of the nameless victims.
Here's another: Just what exactly did Revan do to the Jedi that he was kidnapping to places like Dxun, Korriban, and Lehon? You know, the ones he wanted to "break"?
Carth and Canderous have an argument in the first game about "warriors versus soldiers" where Canderous is playing his Proud Warrior Race Guy card to full effect and Carth (a die-hard supporter of the Republic) is having none of it. Of course, they're arguing about the recent (for that era) Mandalorian War. Flash forward three milennia and change later, and we have the Clone Wars, where the "Grand Army of the Republic" is composed of (essentially) Mandalorian slaves. Somehow, I think Misters Ordo and Onasi would be grateful they're long dead by that point.
Mandalorians are not a race. They are a culture. A bunch of clones with no understanding of that culture could not possibly consider themselves or be considered Mandalorians.
Yes and No. While the fact that they are clones of a Mandalorian isn't enough, the EU suggests that Fett incorporated Mandalorian traditions into their training.
Something that should be considered: Jango Fett sold his genetic code to the Kaminoans and helped develop the training curriculum for the Clone army, so if the Republic is to be bashed for using Mandalorian slaves, then they were enabled by a Mandalorian traitor.
So, you decided to be a good guy and help the old, rightful wookie chieftain rise back to power. Finally, a truly independent leader to stop all of slavetrading with the corrupt Czerka Corporation!.. By killing every non-wookie in said corporation's colony. Even though the slave masters got their comeuppance, it shudders to think about what happened to the peaceful personnel and merchants (including optional quest-givers!). Not to mention that Czerka will not be very happy to hear about their old trade partners destroying the colony, and will probably send more troops to get revenge on the wookies - this time fully enslaving the whole tribe instead of trying to buy slaves from the chieftain!
Well, the Czerka did have an impressive spaceport and capacity to transport large amounts of sentients in a hurry. While the casualties among the security staff would have been atrocious, it's likely that most everyone else got on the transports and burned sky.
Another bit of subtle horror. Most of the Wookies initially believe that you're a Czerka slaver, despite your protests to the contrary and refuse to believe you until you prove yourself. After the change in leadership, they state that they don't expect any human to show their faces on their world for quite some time, subtly implying that they view any human as a possible agent of Czerka and they will be shot on sight. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
Now imagine the fate that might befall some poor bastard who hasn't heard the news and decides to land there....
Well, you and your companions are said to be welcome there anytime so hopefully there will be some kind of communication system set up to warn innocent persons away before any shooting starts since they'd need to identify you if you ever come by for a visit.
Fridge Horror: Remember how the group of people at the lowest level of Taris went off to find the Promised Land in KOTOR? Well, assuming that they survived the destruction of Taris, a very disconcerting thing was found in the unused voice clips of KOTOR II. Read on if you dare. The HK-50's are talking about the Droid Factory, and how there is more than one factory. One of them comments on how there was one located on Taris. If the Promised Land was, in actuality, a Droid Factory that contained very hostile droids, then that means the group of people are.... That is Fridge Horror.
Not quite. HK-50s may not have been in production at the time, and the factory could have been built after the destruction of Taris. After all, no ones going to find (or expect to find) a droid factory in the giant smoking pile of rubble that remained of Taris.
You want Fridge Horror? How about this. You just convinced a bunch of people in an underground bunker of a city, surely the safest place on the planet, to pack up and leave for what one expects would be a green outdoorsy type place. I don't think anyone would call more tunnels and sewers "paradise". A couple days later, the entire surface of the planet was bombarded with turbolasers. If paradise WAS there, it isn't anymore. If they were in paradise when this happened, THEY aren't there anymore either. Congratulations, Light-Side Jedi, you just sent an entire settlement to their deaths!
Another awful piece of Fridge Horror. Remember Dr. Zelka Forn, the stubborn but selfless medic working on a cure for Rakghoul Plague and keeping dying Republic soldiers comfortable, despite risking discovery from the Sith? His medical center on Taris is still reasonably intact by the time Star Wars: The Old Republic rolls around, enough so that generators work and a viable sample of his vaccine is still sitting in the basement. It means he likely survived the carpet bombing, and spent the life he had left hip-deep in the wounded and dying with no one coming to help them and his supplies running out.
If you go to Korriban before she gets captured, everybody decides that Bastila should stay on the Ebon Hawk since all the Sith are looking for her and she'd be easily recognized. Makes sense. But wait. Back on Taris, wasn't she running around in public all over a planet crawling with Sith troopers? Why did she not stay in hiding then, or create some sort of disguise? If anything, you'd think that the Sith troopers on Taris would be more likely to recognize her than the teachers and students at the Sith Academy. The ones on Taris had fought her before her ship crashed and had been given her description and orders to track her down and bring her in. The people at the Academy, on the other hand, were pretty far away from the front lines and would probably be less familiar with her.
One could assume that maybe she had been using the force as a perception filter. Meanwhile, the people on Korriban are Force-sensitive, so they'd probably be immune to such things.
Another possibility would be that her pod crashed in the middle levels of megalopolis, and we know that middle and lower levels weren't under control of Sith forces, but controlled by gangs instead (at least in middle levels case). By said gang members she was captured eventually.
They explicitly say in the game why Korriban is a problem for Bastila: Most of the Sith at the academy there were formerly Jedi, they would know her personally from when they were at the Jedi Academy together. That's the issue, not just that Sith in general would recognize her, but that she'd run into old friends and classmates that aren't just operating on a description or picture.