"Savior, conqueror, hero, villain. You are all of these things ... and yet you are nothing. In the end, you belong to neither the light nor the darkness. You will forever stand alone."
— Darth Malak
A 2003 RPG developed by BioWare, set in the Star Wars universe, four millennia (or, to be precise, 3,956 years) prior to the events of the film that started that all, Episode IV: A New Hope. It follows the story of an unremarkable, customizable Republic soldier who ends up on a doomed starship in the middle of a war between the noble Republic and the villainous Sith Empire, ruled by Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Malak. The events that follow, starting with a quest to rescue a Jedi with the powers of Battle Meditation, become the focus of both sides of the conflict and could tip the balance either way in the war.. It eventually escalates to a confrontation between the protagonist and Darth Malak himself... and, after The Reveal, it gets personal.The game is notable for its numerous tongue-in-cheek movie references and for being surprisingly better than the typical licensed game. This success can be attributed to not being a direct tie-in despite being based on a licensed property, thus avoiding a deadline to meet the movie's release. The plot was essentially Neverwinter NightsmeetsBaldur's Gate, but not enough to be classified as Recycled In SPACE.The game was also instrumental to solidifying the Xbox as a versatile console (though, like most "exclusives" for the original Xbox, it was also on the PC); before KotOR, the system had a distinct lack of role-playing games and was derisively called an "FPS Box" due to the inordinate number of shooters on it. Furthermore, KotOR (alongside Morrowind) heralded the new Multi-Platform era of the Western RPG genre, which had, until then, been mainly found on the PC. In 2013, it was even ported to the iPad.Related media include:
A true sequel, Knights of the Old Republic III, was canceled during advanced pre-production back in 2004 due to LucasArtshitting a rough patch financially. Comments from the BioWare developers, however, indicate that much of its planned content made its way into SWTOR.
Actually Pretty Funny: On Korriban, you get accosted by a group of Sith, and you can avoid a fight with them if you can amuse them. You have the option of telling them a Mandalorian joke. Even though the Sith are quite hostile to you, they admit that your joke was actually pretty funny, and they let you go.
Affably Evil: Both the headmasters of the Sith Academy are terribly polite, ready to answer questions, and very pleased when you eliminate another student or help them backstab each other.
AFGNCAAP: Directly invoked by the Jedi Council as the cover identity for the player character, who is really an amnesiac Darth Revan.
Alpha Bitch: Lashowe comes across as one, especially if you first encounter her as a female character.
Lashowe: Quite literally, whether you live or die depends upon our whim. What do you think of that, hmmm?
Lashowe: What do you say? Amuse us. Make us laugh, and we just might consider allowing you to live.
Which makes it all the more satisfying when you get to kill her later.
Amnesiac Dissonance: Darth Revan, who turns out to be the player character. No matter whether Revan turns to the light or the dark side, the ex-Sith always ends up killing Darth Malak. Though the game give both choices a motive for doing so.
Amoral Attorney: One of the Courtroom Episodes on Manaan (Jolee's personal quest) has you in the role of defense attorney rather than defendant. It's entirely possible to get your client acquitted even if you know full well that he is guilty, and it is not considered a dark-side action.
Ancient Tomb: There are four ancient Sith tombs on Korriban that contain various hazards, like deadly puzzles and Hsiss and other students.
And I Must Scream: One of The Precursors has been trapped inside a mind prison (which is nothing more than a giant empty white space that goes on forever) with nothing to do for more than 10,000 years.
Armor-Piercing Question: While infiltrating the Sith Academy, you meet a woman with a tragic past that made her receptive to the Sith philosophy. She was enslaved and abused. She finally escaped and originally trained as a Jedi. However, she wanted revenge for all that was done to her and other slaves. Here is part of the dialogue tree that leads to her beginning to question the ways of the Sith...
Yuthura: I wanted to use the Force to free the other slaves I knew, to fight for what I knew was right. The Jedi restrained me until I couldn't stand it any more. They claim the dark side is evil, but that isn't so. Sometimes anger and hatred are deserved and right. Sometimes things change because of it.
Yuthura: Any failure to get the results I want is due to a lack of power on my part. That can change, in time. As a Sith, my mettle is tested far more than when I was a Padawan. I know this may sound strange, but only my compassion stands in my way, now. Once that is gone, let the slavers beware.
Player Character: But...if you lose your compassion, will you still care about those slaves?
Yuthura: [sounding unsure] I...yes, of course. I—I mean...losing my compassion as in...holding back...
Asleep for Days: The Player Character is injured when the escape pod crashes, and goes "in and out of consciousness for days" with Carth watching over them and tending to their wounds.
As Lethal as It Needs to Be: The lightsabers. Although they are extremely powerful weapons in both games (arguably the only powerful weapons in the first one), they generally do not behave like the lightsabers of the traditional Star Wars lore and can't even cut through a door. They are more like normal swords, possibly to avoid the Game Breaker status. Possibly justified through the use of "cortosis", a material which blocks lightsabers. Presumably, the overuse of cortosis in this era rendered it rare by the time of the movies.
Black and White Morality: Embraced by the first game. That being said, flaws in the Jedi teachings are still brought up on a number of occasions and Manaan shows off some of the Republic's more shady workings.
Black Knight: Revan fits this trope in the events preceding the game. He can fit it during the game as well, should you choose to reclaim your legacy as a Sith Lord.
Black Mage: Characters with their experience put into Force abilities fit this role.
Blood Knight: Bendak Starkiller will only fight duels to the death. The Iridorian Mercenary on Manaan is an extreme example: while he works for credits, he considers making his enemies die painfully a far better reward. HK-47, the Assassin Droid built by Revan, is also an example. Revan seems to have been one before his brainwashing, and can be after too.
Carth was scarred when his mentor and idol, Saul Karath, turned out to be working for the Sith.
Mission's personal quest involves finding out her brother deliberately left her behind when he left Taris.
Cassandra Truth: If Korriban is the last world you complete, you have the option of telling people there that you are Darth Revan. Almost no one believes you.
Central Theme: Is redemption truly possible? In the Light Side ending, Revan proves that it is by redeeming him/herself, and Malak expresses his regret before he dies, showing there was some good left even in him. However in the Dark Side ending, the answer is clearly no.
Changing Gameplay Priorities: You can get through most of the game with a balanced Jack-of-All-Trades build that focuses on social skills and nifty force powers. This grows more and more unwieldy as the game progresses, until the final boss is all but impossible if you aren't a highly specialized combat machine.
Character Select Forcing: A minor example. The final boss battle includes a Shoot the Medic First scenario. However, unless you've chosen a force skill capable of damaging the medic pods (saber throw, drain life, destroy droid), you can't so much as touch them. If this doesn't sound too annoying, note that the boss not only heals every time he uses up a pod, but gets stronger, as well.
The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Yuthura Ban joined the Sith to gain the power to end slavery, but is now more concerned with advancing her own power within the Sith hierarchy.
Ambiguously the case with Revan as well. We know Revan and Malak said Screwthe Rules Im Doing Whats Right when they fought the Mandalorians, but then they went into the unknown and got their shebs kicked by the SithEmperor and were turned , coming back as conquerers. Worse, most of anything we know about Revan comes from sources that takeJedi Truth into a high artform.
Dirty Coward: On Dantooine, a farmer asks the Mandalorians who are threatening him to take his wife and children instead. They agree to do so, and still shoot him.
Discard and Draw: After finishing Taris, you trade your starting class for a Jedi class. This completely alters your feat and skill progression, including negating any of the automatic feats you would have gained otherwise. You do get to keep whatever feats you already had, however, and any class skills are preserved over the switch.
Do Well, But Not Perfect: Due to the way the swoop race on Taris is set up, it is self-defeating to make a flawless run on the first try, because your opponent will then beat you by a few seconds and you have to top that. The sensible way to win is to use your first run as a practice run (or hit every single obstacle to make your time horrible), then do a good run to beat the new score by a wide margin.
The Dragon: A chain of them. First, Malak is Revan's dragon. He arguably shares this position with HK-47. After Malak betrays Revan and rises to power, Darth Bandon becomes his dragon. Finally, in the Darksided ending, Bastila becomes yours, along with HK-47, again.
Drop Pod: Mandalorians use Basilisk war droids for this purpose. Some supplemental material suggests they ride these things to the planets surface. Yes, on the outside of the droid, like a mount. This becomes weird when you see a Basilisk in the sequel and it looks like a regular star fighter, as opposed to the more beast-like machine you see in comics.
Later canon reveals that there are at least three kinds of Basilisks. The first is the aforementioned droids, the second are the kind that show up in the second game, and the third are the enslaved Basilisks, which are dragon-like lizards that can be ridden on,even in space.
Drunk on the Dark Side: Most Sith manage to just be Smug Supers, but some of the students on Korriban are elated at becoming Sith. Needless to say, a lot of them will be dead by the time you leave the planet. This seems to have been actively averted by Revan, too, as he is one of the only Sith in the entirety of Star Wars canon who didn't embrace card-carrying villainy, opting more for a more logical approach of Pragmatic Villainy.
Dying Truce: At the end Revan manages to mortally wound Malak, after which the two of them have a short conversation about the choices they made and the consequences of them until Malak dies.
Bendak Starkiller on Taris can be one if you make the unwise choice of duelling him before you're ready or with bad tactics. He'll mop the floor with you effortlessly at a point in the game when you're still using boring swords and pea-shooting blasters, dishing out huge damage with his own custom gun, plasma grenades, and dangerous melee blows.
The Sith Governor on Taris has a lot of health and uses Force Powers, while your only Jedi party member at that point is a Jedi Sentinel.
Juhani serves the same role after you become a Jedi yourself, serving as your first taste of one-on-one lightsaber combat, after being introduced to it with kath hounds that die in two or three hits even if your gun-toting allies don't get a few shots off at them first.
Calo Nord certainly qualifies, peppering your party with plasma grenades and heavy blaster fire. However, since he only comes for you when you uncover your second Star Map, he can potentially come at a point when your party includes up to three Force-empowered badasses, or other serious combatants, who will utterly destroy him. See Too Dumb To Live below.
Eldritch Starship: The Star Forge is a station made from technology merged with the Force. It's bound to give off vibes of this.
Enemy Summoner: The Star Forge makes lots of ships and enemy battle droids.
Enigmatic Minion: If you view Jolee as a minion. He certainly has no problem admitting that he can be enigmatic.
Jolee: I'm old, dammit. I'm allowed to be enigmatic when I want to be!
Evil Is Petty: Often the actions that gain you Dark Side points amount to you threatening people and being a dick for no other reason than that it's EVIL!!! For example, you get a quest from a widow to recover a valuable artifact so she can sell it and support herself, you can choose to give it to her or sell it and keep the profits for yourself. But to complete the quest on the Dark path, you need to go back and tell her to her face that you're keeping it, apparently just because it's fun to see her cry.
Even Evil Has Standards: A recurring plot point. Given that you can choose your ending regardless of alignment, a dark-sided Revan can still decide that the Star Forge is too dangerous/that galactic conquest is not the route to choose and instead aid the Jedi. In addition, Revan can be dark-sided without going all the way to the wall.
Fallen Hero: Revan and Malak lead the Republic to victory against the Mandalorians, and were the most famous, well-loved Jedi in the Order, until they went too far out into space, got their shebs kicked by the Sith Emperor, and returned as conquerors who had fallen to the Dark Side. Since you ARE Revan, this means you, too. Also, Bastila.
Feed It a Bomb: The giant rancor in the sewers has to be killed by getting it to swallow a grenade, although it is possible to kill him by using hit-and-run grenade throwing, as he can not follow you back into the tunnels.
Genocide Backfire: One of the few people to escape the bombardment of Taris is the one person whom Malak specifically intended for it to kill. It never really comes back to bite him, though, given that everyone hates him already.
Gratuitous Foreign Language: Juhani is a Finnish name, probably chosen to sound exotic. The bad thing is, it's a man's name, the Finnish equivalent of John.
Also pronounced incorrectly, as Finnish J's are pronounced as Y's.
The Guards Must Be Crazy: It is remarkably easy to bamboozle, sneak around, or outright overpower nearly every Sith soldier in the first game. The only exception is the first Sith Guard underground in Taris who is accompanied by Turrets. There's no getting by him since he will not budge in dialogue options (even hackers using max stats can't make it through) and the turrets kill many characters in a single hit.
Infant Immortality: Largely played straight, but absolutely brutally averted in the Dark Side ending, which will see Revan either use the Force to force Zaalbar to kill Mission Vao, or does it himself, and kills Big Z as well. For the record, Mission is only FOURTEEN, and Zaalbar is her best friend. Nice job, You Monster!.
Inevitable Tournament: No matter what you do, you will be required to win the Taris Undercity swoop racing championship in order to rescue Bastila.
Infinity+1 Sword: Cassus Fett's Heavy Pistol is the most powerful blaster in KotOR 1, and pretty essential for a good gunslinger endgame, but it is expensive to buy, available in only one location, and needs upgrades to achieve its full potential, so you'll probably only get it after spending a fair time grinding your XP and credits.
Player Character: Hey! You were on the Endar Spire! You killed Trask! You'll pay for that!
It Will Never Catch On: When the Czerka Corp executives are about to abandon their mining operation on Tatooine, one of them laments over the fact they wouldn't be able to take the heavy equipment back with them. Another responds along the lines of "What could possibly happen? Can you imagine a Jawa trying to drive a sandcrawler?"
Just You And Me And My Guards: After you're manipulated into killing off the Genoharadan leadership, you can challenge the one now in charge to a duel. He'll bring backup, as can you. There's dialog for either situation.
Kick the Dog: Saul revealing to Carth his companion is Revan, which can be a double-ouch if Carth is romancing you.
Kick The Sonof A Bitch: It's this scene, in particular, that even many doing a light side mastery playthrough struggle with.
Kleptomaniac Hero: You can loot and steal to your heart's content without getting Dark Side points for it. Robbing the occupied apartments on Taris can make you feel like a dick, though, as the already poor families living there beg you not to hurt them while you take whatever little they have left. The only real subversion is the Sand People Enclave: even attempting to open any of the wicker baskets turns the entire tribe hostile.
Knight in Sour Armor: Jolee Bindo fits this trope exceptionally well. He left the Jedi order not because he didn't believe in their cause, but because he did not believe in their methods. Carth Onasi has become jaded and cynical after some serious personal trauma, but retains a commitment to basic kindness and decency.
Large and in Charge: Darth Malak. Choose any gender/class other than male soldier, and he will dwarf you when you go toe-to-toe. In the vision cutscenes, Malak has a whole head over Revan.
"The Star Forge is more than just a space station. In some ways, it is like a living creature. It hungers. And it can feed on the dark side that is within all of us."
Love Redeems: On the Star Forge you are given the opportunity to redeem Bastila, who has fallen to the dark side. You can try to do this by appealing to her training as a Jedi or to basic morality, but if you pursued the relationship side quest you can redeem her more easily by telling her that you love her. Subverted rather cruelly with Carth and the Dark Side Female PC; he tries, but the only possible results are for the PC to kill him herself or let [[spoiler:Bastila do it for her. The ending in which he would have been able to succeed and Revan sacrifices herself was cut from the official release of the game.]] Jolee says it best:
"Love doesn't lead to the dark side. Passion can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled, but passion is not the same thing as love. Controlling your passions while being in love, that's what they should teach you to beware, but love itself will save you, not condemn you."
Monster Progenitor: Played straight. A giant shark on Manaan is called the Progenitor and is believed to be the ancestor of the Selkath.
Moral Dissonance: A minor example in an optional quest, but when dealing with the woman who's too attached to her droid on Dantooine, you get light side points for reuniting her with the droid, and no points either way for destroying it and telling her it's gone, even though this is precisely what the droid wants you to do so she can move on with her life and, in fact, you will find her doing just that and grateful for what you did shortly thereafter.
Also the case with the PC. Unless you're going for a complete, no-holds-barred Dark Side or Light Side mastery playthrough, odds are you're going to find a situation to one direction or the other at least once where you'll make an exception just because the alternative is so ridiculously petty.
Another example on Taris - Carth will object if you decide to kill a Black Vulkar waitress whom you encounter in the base. Shortly after, you will meet another gangster, who surrenders to you because he doesn't really want to help the Vulkars anyways, being forced into it. You can decide to kill him as well - Carth will not object to this.
A gang on Taris tries to sell Bastila into slavery, mistaking her for a normal Republic naval officer. She easily escapes once the player provides an opportunity, and points out that the player was not really necessary.
On Korriban the various Sith students all threaten the player's party. Verges into Bullying The Dragon territory if they recognize that you are a Jedi and thus are already trained in use of the Force.
On Taris, a group of drunks will attempt to bully you. Given that the player is walking around sporting weapons and is clearly a combat-ready offworlder, it falls under this trope.
Non-Standard Game Over: The Court of Manaan will sentence you to death if you can't prove the Sith violated the neutrality act (therefore justifying your own actions for breaking into their base) or if you plead guilty.
Orbital Bombardment: Twice by the Sith, once on-screen (the destruction of Taris, which provides the page picture), and once off-screen (the destruction of the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine; we see the results in the second game).
People Jars: The tubes from the final battle. Also, the strange box you can get from Lurze Kesh on Korriban might count.
The Power of Love: Jolee Bindo is an advocate of Force users using love because he believes love can save a person. This is the reason he and the Jedi Order are not on good terms. If you go for the Lightside ending, he's proven right.
Running The Blockade: When main characters escape Taris through the Sith blockade of the planet aboard the Ebon Hawk, using the Sith's own ID codes to keep from being automatically targeted and shot down.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Towards the conclusion of the Star Map question on Manaan, the player character learns that several members of the Manaan government have been working with the Republic to get them increased quantities of kolto, despite Manaan's official neutrality in the conflict. They know that, if the Republic should fall, the Sith will not respect Manaan's independence, and they would rather break their own laws against taking part than wait for the invasion fleet.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The Sith Lord Ajunta Pall who has spent millennia in his tomb. The Star Maps can also been seen as this since they are often related to the Dark Side due to altering their surroundings (making creatures like a Krayt Dragon not only larger but more ferocious).
The opening missions on Taris. Everybody you help(or don't) dies almost immediately afterwards, when the Sith fleet glasses the planet.The Old Republic MMO reveals the Outcasts, who Revan canonically helps, survived a few more generations, barely clinging to life and slowly losing what little technology they had to the ravages of time in a Scavenger World, before dying all alone from radiation poisoning in a monster-infested wasteland a full century before recovery efforts began with the galaxy at large completely oblivious to their existence.
Dantooine is conquered and its Jedi Enclave is destroyed towards the climax, rendering all the aid you provided there meaningless.
A more minor example on Kashyyyk: It's possible to help a man caught unfairly in debt slavery right near the space dock. If you then later lead the Wookies in a rebellion against Czerka Corp, the man you helped mysteriously disappears ... hope you enjoyed those ten minutes of freedom.
"Shut Up" Kiss: The "consummating" dialog options for the PC/Bastila romance are "Shut up and kiss me, you babbling fool," or "I love you, Bastila. And I know you love me." If you choose the latter:
Bastila: Okay, you've made your point. Now shut up and kiss me, you fool.
Silent Whisper: Saul Karath in his last moments, whispers Revan's identity to Carth Onasi in this manner. Carth doesn't take it well.
Smug Super: The Sith in general. Not so much the rank-and-file grunts, but the Dark Jedi will rub it in your face.
Space Compression: Jolee Bindo lampshades this in the first game, sarcastically suggesting that the main Sith planet has only 12 or 13 Sith (an estimate not far off, depending on who you count).
Spiritual Successor: Knights of the Old Republic use basically a similar plot and the same character's archetypes that in Neverwinter Nights, another Bioware RPG released the previous year.
Spoiled Brat: Brejik of the Black Vulkars comes off as this - he joined the gang and dedicated it to wiping out the Hidden Beks simply because the Beks' leader didn't think he was ready to take his place, tries to rescind his prize in the swoop race because the player wins (though his reasoning is sound - the player cheats by way of a prototype accelerator on their bike - he only knows about and is protesting it because it wasn't one of his riders using it), and when others protest over this also being against the rules, he basically tells them that he can do it just because he wants to. Alternatively, if you decided to work with him instead, he just arbitrarily decides to keep the prize even though you helped him win the race. It's rather satisfying when Bastila frees herself on her own and helps you kill the brat not a minute later.
Star Power: Partially. The Star Forge draws power from a nearby star (and is also probably using the material as mass for construction) but also feeds on the Dark Side energies found within various beings.
Super Soldier: The character can be this if he or she chooses the soldier class. It is later revealed that the player character is Darth Revan, who is a very powerful Force user skilled enough to defeat Mandalore, the strongest of the Mandalorians. But Canderous is probably the best example. He is a large muscular soldier of the Ordo Clan and will gladly boast of how tough the Mandalorians are, going so far as to say they did not care about Kolto, a very effective healing medicine, during their conquest since they are a hardy people.
Ten Thousand Years: you encounter a droid on Dantooine that claims to be the remnant of an ancient empire. When you ask how long it's been there its answer indicates at least 20,000 years, long before the Republic came into existence.
Too Dumb to Live: One of the Sith on Korriban tries to shake you down for the artifact you just collected from a dangerous temple, reasoning that all he had to do was wait for someone to get it for him so he wouldn't have to fight his way through it. He has apparently failed to consider that anyone badass enough to get through the temple will be more badass than him. Furthermore, he is also too dumb to confirm that the artifact is authentic (there are two fakes you can pick up with the real one), and gets himself killed by the Sith master for his incompetence if you pass him a fake.
Truce Zone: Manaan, because of its trade in medical supplies.
We Have Reserves: Malak orders the bombardment of Taris despite the presence of his own troops on the surface.
Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: The dynamic of the romance subplots, for both genders. A Male PC can be the frustrating male or the frustrated male with Bastila, but the Female PC will fall squarely under this.
Wham Line: "You cannot hide from what you once were, Revan."
C8-42: "I'm afraid my owner became a bit too attached to me. Obsessed even. She...she tried to treat me as her dead husband. It was not healthy for her." Player Character: "Er... ALL the time?" C8-42: "You don't want to know..." Player Character: "Um... probably not..."