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Knights of the Old Republic was a point-and-click adventure game for that Halo console.
Based on the 2002 Matt Damon film of the same name, Robert Ludlum's Knights of the Old Republic follows a young transgendered amnesiac named Jays-wan Bournobi, who travels the galaxy killing people left and right before receiving the shocking revelation that (s)he is the killer known as Darth Revan (spoiler alert). The game is set 65,000,000 years ABY.
In 1997, a memo circulated the offices of LucasFilm regarding the Final Fantasy series of roleplaying games, which had been appropriating the names of Star Wars characters without authorization. In particular, the game Final Fantasy VII featured a pair of supporting characters early in the game called "Death Star Gunner" and "Jabba Puppeteer #3". After months of debate over potential avenues of litigation, someone at LucasFilm brought up a stunning suggestion: "Why not make our OWN game?" The idea was largely met with disapproval, given the company's historic lack of success with Star Wars-licensed games. After a long period of argument, the game was given a green-light, but with a major precondition: it was 2001, and George Lucas had just begun figuring out the story of his prequel film trilogy (an especially daunting task given Lucas's having already released the first film of the trilogy two years earlier). Lucas therefore forbade the use of any of the characters from the films.
Translation Errors Edit
The game designers ignored this one rule, but a series of mishaps during the back-and-forth with the game's overseas programmers resulted in a game that obeyed Lucas's proscription nonetheless. Notable examples of changes that arose from the language barrier include:
- The Millennium Falcon - In the completed game, the Falcon has undergone a slight redesign and been dubbed the Ebon Hawk.
- R2-D2 and C-3PO - The droid sidekicks from the films were both repainted and renamed. C-3PO was changed from a diplomatic translator droid to a brutal assassin, without any noticable change in personality.
- The Force - Instead of seeking Force mastery, characters are instructed in ways to become more "Like Mike". Players cannot use Force powers unless their character has "Air Jordans" equipped.
The game featured a groundbreaking morality simulator, in which the player's conversation choices determine whether Revan becomes a Jedi or a Sith. For example, if given the following dialogue options:
1."Please give me the datacard. If your poverty-stricken life is too hard for you to hand it over for free, I'll gladly pay you 10,000 credits."
2. "Can I have that datacard?"
3. "Could you give me that datacard?"
4."I kill you! MWAHAHA the datacard is MINE! I want to nail puppies to the wall and eat their souls!!!!"
Choice 1 would yield a .01% move towards Light Side mastery, while Choice 4 would move .01% towards the Dark Side. Meanwhile, Choice 3 would move the player almost completely to the Light Side while Choice 2 would move almost completely to the Dark Side. This realistic simulation of Jedi ethics led to the game's use in training programs for parking meter attendants across the United States and Canada.
Knights of the Old Republic (or KnitOlic as it came to be known by fans) received a great deal of praise. Star Wars fans gave the game an average score of 14.5/10, with comments ranging from, "Lightsabers!!!OMG" to, "It says Star Wars on the box. Of COURSE I like it." KnitOlic also garnered recognition from the general public who, while confused about why Revan and not Han Solo was piloting the Millennium Falcon (as well as why the Falcon had been remodeled and renamed Ebon Hawk), greatly appreciated the opportunity to revisit the desert planet Tatooine, which upon the game's release had only been featured in four out of five Star Wars films (this would change with the release of Episode III: Why Weren't the Other Two Like This? which brought the total to five of six). "Hooray for Sandpeople and Jawas! They NEVER get old!"