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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a role-playing game set in the Star Wars universe, developed by Bioware and released by Lucasarts for the Xbox, as well as Windows and Macintosh personal computers.

Set 4,000 years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, Knights of the Old Republic (or KotOR) contains original characters, locations, factions, and storyline. Knights of the Old Republic is critically acclaimed for its strong and intricate story, well developed characters, and excellent voice acting. The game is sometimes compared to an interactive cinematic experience.

Knights of the Old Republic allows the player to create a custom character, either male or female, and control many aspects of that character throughout the game. The player can influence the story through dialogue decisions, including whether his or her character follows the light side or dark side of the Force.

Knights of the Old Republic uses modified Dungeons & Dragons rules for combat and includes most classic elements of role-playing, including classes, inventory, and the ability to level up.

Gameplay

Gameplay follows fairly standard RPG procedure. Player characters have individual statistics, a character class, and a numerical level which reflects the character's strength and growth through the game. Characters can also be equipped with weapons, armor, and other items which add modifiers to the character's actions, allow new abilities, or perform special functions.

The game's combat system is based on Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Roleplaying Game, which is based on the d20 role-playing game system derived from the Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules.

Character Development and Abilities

The player gains experience points from performing actions, solving quests, and defeating opponents in combat. Experience points are given to all characters the player has, not just members of the player's party, and are not divided. For example, if the player defeats a creature which gives 200 experience, all characters will gain 200 experience, regardless of participation in the battle. Characters level up after gaining certain amounts of experience.

Combat and most actions are carried out with dice rolls, affected by modifiers from many factors including player's statistics, level, and equipment, and any modifiers associated with the target's statistics, level, equipment, and so forth.

Skills

Characters have skills and corresponding numerical values which reflect their ability to perform certain tasks, such as hacking a computer or repairing a mechanical device. Upon leveling up, the player is given the option to assign skill points to the skills of his or her choice. Different characters receive different amounts of skill points per level, depending on various factors, and for some characters may have to put more points into a skill than others for the same effect.

Feats

Feats are abilities which either add modifiers to a character's actions (for example, increased attack) or allow the character to perform new actions (for example, a special attack). Some Feats are combat-based (particularly special attacks) while others increase non-combat skills. Many Feats are available in multiple levels. New Feats are made available by leveling up; depending on character class, the character may be able to learn up to two Feats of the player's choice (unless auto level is used). Some classes do not gain a Feat with every level. Some Feats have a requirement (usually the character must have reached a certain level) before becoming available. Some classes earn certain feats automatically.

Powers

Powers are Force abilities which are only available to Force users. These consist of both combat attacks, noncombat abilities (such as Force persuasion), and generic abilities which can be used in and out of combat (such as heal). Powers use Force Points, which recharge gradually. Some Force powers have a light- or dark side alignment and cost considerable extra Force Points to be used by a character of the opposite alignment. Other Powers are neutral. Many powers have multiple levels available. Some classes gain certain powers automatically and some powers are restricted to certain classes. Some Powers have a requirement (usually the character must have reached a certain level) before becoming available. In Addition, there are some times "Restricted by Armor" Powers, that you cannot use while using Heavy Armor.

Combat

Combat in Knights of the Old Republic takes place in a 3D environment and uses a DnD turn-based system. Although all calculations are performed in turns, if the player prefers combat can be carried out in real time, where a new round (and new actions) takes place every three seconds.

Calculations

Combat is turn-based and uses base values, "dice rolls" (random numbers generated in a certain range), and modifiers to determine the success of an attack and how much damage it inflicts. For example, a blaster shot's chance of hitting and damage are calculated from the shooter's Dexterity, the blaster's base attack, all modifiers from the character's equipment, all modifiers from the player's feats, and all modifiers from the target's statistics, armor, and feats, and the dice rolls corresponding with any statistics and modifiers that have a range of values. These calculations are not displayed in the main view, but a log of all rolls (both combat and noncombat) and the various factors influencing them is available in the menu.

Actions

Each character in the party can perform one action during each round of combat. The player is only in direct control of one character at a time (rather than being asked to choose an action for each character at each round like in traditional RPGs) but can switch control to a different character at any time. The player can add actions to a queue to override the AI and execute more control over the battle. If the player does not choose an action, the computer AI will choose an action for that character.

An action may be an attack, the usage of a power, switching weapons, or the usage of an item. The player can use an item in addition to another action if he or she activates it through the menu, but this can only be done once per turn.

Movement

Unlike many traditional RPGs, combat takes place in a full 3D environment, which means that characters can move around during combat and the surrounding environment can be used for tactical advantage. If the player has the corresponding option enabled in the options menu, he or she can move a character during a combat phase. In this way, the environment can be used as cover, or to position characters with ranged weapons so that they are not exposed to enemies with melee weapons.

Fallen Party Members

As is fairly standard among RPGs, the player's party does not die, nor the game end, until all members of the player's party have fallen in Combat. As long as any one of the three party members (not necessarily the primary player character) remains standing, the game continues. Players who have fallen in combat do not die and will automatically revive (with very little HP, generally 1) when no enemies are nearby. This feature can sometimes be used to the player's advantage by using the surviving party member to lure enemies away from the other party members, allowing them to revive and heal.

Story

Four thousand years before the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Republic verges on collapse.

Darth Malak, last surviving apprentice of the Dark Lord Revan, has unleashed an invincible Sith armada against an unsuspecting galaxy.

Crushing all resistance, Malak's war of conquest has left the Jedi Order scattered and vulnerable as countless Knights fall in battle, and many more swear allegiance to the new Sith Master.

In the skies above the Outer Rim world of Taris, a Jedi Battle Fleet engages the forces of Darth Malak in a desperate effort to halt the Sith's galactic domination....

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