USH'S STAR WARS GAME- Seocnd Campaign Episode IV Post-Scripts

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'Destiny' for the Dark Side was really about the first moment where they got back 'into' things, hence all the long-term speculation about the Desert of Stones (the point at which your entry into that destiny becomes clear). The background behind the Desert- a place of staggering mineral wealth made impassable by an abandoned droid army- was amusing in of itself, especially with the revelation that these were no stock battle droids, but it also allowed, for once, the Dark Siders to fight some techno gizmos. It had plenty of other stuff for Dark Siders too- Zorin, a possible political ally in the Republic that could get them around the Bureau, though at the same time it showed the troublesome situation with your transponders which make the Zorin link harder. It also had the idea that with these smaller outer colonies, a bunch of Dark Siders like you can effectively take control-but working WITH the locals works better. Your status as deputies on that planet remains, and has its uses.

But of course, all that was mere detail. What people CARE about in this game is the campaign plot stuff that the players ran into- The Lady Adelmo, the Syphar n Kalar... and the apparent revelation of Kuylen's survival.

Adelmo has been floating around in visions once the end of the first campaign, oh so long ago, as the woman with white hair. Adelmo needed to put her foot down at once, hence her spectacular destruction of Galder's sabre (not planed for Galder, but for the first to show aggression there... which was inevitable that someone should). The point hammered down immediately is that Adelmo can just kill any of you- she is THAT powerful; way beyond anything you have ever met, and even Palpatine couldn't just do that at a whim. This stops you guys just killing her, and puts her into the possible role of either leader or antagonist. It was also meant to irritate you- but yet, there is method to her ways, and if someone had asked to take a close look at her at the moment it happened, you might have got more info... as it is, there are always things to be discovered. Who is she? Where does she come from? How is she so powerful? Who are those with her? Who is the mysterious tattoed girl alongside her? Actually you now know that- Kara Katai, the agent/assassin with a wall-walking ability whom the Jedi met on Cassilis, not that you know that bit. What is HER story?

Well, you guys have no idea! The point was for you guys to start in utter ignorance and thus only have the option to submit and do as you are told. As the game goes by, however, your options will increase... so long as you are sharp.

Revelation number 2- Kuylen's survival. Of course, you've heard THAT before... part of the point was to keep Kuylen so often dead/alive, in game/not in game that you guys no longer believe anything about him you are told, ever. Kuylen's return to the plot is what triggered Galder's visions and his own possible destiny. I spent a long time planning on how to deal with the moment of his revelation, even though it was not in person. In the end, I went for a grandiose connected series of cues- the musical notes I did in the trailers and Galder's vision which was going to link into a story Kuylen once told Galder. The notes were from a bugle; a cavalry charge from an old battle on Charnel. In the end, though, that really didn't take and I don't think I should have bothered with the cumbersome flashback I did. Kuylen always talks too much in those; he's meant to be pretty taciturn; a man of quiet rather than flashy brutality. One thing the flashback got completely right, though (from sheer luck) was Kuylen looking up the Syphar n Kalar at Avalar and getting nothing- but him never mentioning it at any other point. It was a trivial thing, that he seemed to look up on a whim and then forgot about as he went for the Mausoleum. However... I feel Galder is going to be annoyed when that particular plot thread is developed, as it is not going to be for him to take advantage of...

Other than the Syphar n Kalar, the Kuylen link has some mysteries. Who is this man Briande, whom Adelmo described as a thief? He hid in the Desert as he knew that Adelmo's extreme powers of influence through the Force were useless on droids, and she only has one Kara Katai to do her combat work for her. How did he know this weakness? Meanwhile, something had clearly gone wrong- Briande's pick up never came. What was the plan meant to be? Where did it go wrong? Where did he get the crystal from? As to the question 'what IS the crystal'... well, you don't know in game, but the Malphas-era games released at Christmas have at least told you as players where the crystal came from. The four-armed/tentacled being on the crystal imager had also been long foreshadowed.

Of course, the really important thing on the crystal was the term 'Syphar n Kalar'- and the Dark Siders get their trump card; a primary evidence source that suggests this concept truly DID exist. Thus comes the central mystery of the game, to match the Mauseoleum mystery form the first campaign. My brother has done a little work crafting a continuity of events of the Sith BEFORE the days even of KOTOR and the like- the truly, truly ancient times. Bits of this lore can be seen in the text games. As is the Sith way, we have a never-ending succession of effectively tribal dynasties of factions and cults and strange powers and the like that just kicked the crap out of each other in the most horrible ways for millennia, no one faction ever dominating for long enough to really 'win'. By the point the Sith in some way unified enough to start attacking the Republic in the style of the Malphan Wars, KOTOR and similar such media, the horrors of these wars had been lost even to the Sith, such was the destruction (hence the significance of the Meneleth Opus that the crystal is from, as it holds these secrets). The Syphar n Kalar is from that period, but it is a conundrum. If a weapon that could win wars just like that was used... why was it never used again? Why was it not used to destroy the Republic? If it was a weapon that simply won wars, how could it ever have been lost? No Sith would destroy it- they would take it and use it. Or if it was so fragile as to be so easily destroyed... then looking for it in the present is an obvious bust. Hence the very reasonable conclusion that it was just a scary fairy tale Sith myth (Syth?) that never existed... except now the Dark Siders have reason to think it did.

So what the heck is it, how did it work, what did it do and just why WAS it never seen again? Herein lies the campaign, and a race by both sides to identify what it actually is. As the Jedi will have more resources to help them, the Dark Siders got a headstart. You can speculate as much as you like on it.

The genetic lock on the crystal for the bonus message gives everyone a reason to want to find Kuylen, even though most of you never met him- that's a simple plot force; a lock that cannot be undone except via plot. And so it is that your next story will begin...

Whilst the Dark Side story has all the kickers for the main campaign plot, it was probably 'Purity' that was the biggest plot moment for all the three episodes, as we concluded the Sienar plotline started in Episode III for Andro and Gallagher.

This was about as dark as Star Wars plots can go- the ugliest side of the Republic, corrupt and inefficient to the point where it not only fails to prevent famines, the system actively encourages them. The Jedi on a world that hates them, surrounded by Senators who do not want the Jedi to interfere, by charity workers who are frustrated by the system that the Jedi are a part of, and trying to catch a man who, as the Star Wars equivalent of the Pope, was diplomatically untouchable. To make it worse, the Jedi could not 'win' as such- not in the traditional way. This is why it was not a good choice for first time players...

The idea of the Force as a religion beyond the Jedi makes good ground for many things- also taking the idea of passive defence to an extreme. The legend of how these people just let the Sith massacre them back in the old days and died as martyrs was there to show that these people really meant it. They are not bad guys, of course; their Light Side affiliation is genuine. But it was intended to portray the idea that whilst such views are respectable, society needs to be protected else everyone lives a miserable lifestyle under oppression and hate of those who would take advantage of them, and not is not objective desirable. The Jedi have decided to use their powers as best they reasonably can to provide that protection, and this was a good and noble thing, even if this was the story where the limits of the Jedi became clear. Often I asked the question of the players- why don't the Jedi intervene to sort these things out? The answer, of course, is that the Jedi couldn't assume such power without ceasing to be that wise and good force they strive to be. It would have to be VERY extreme- i.e. the Supreme Chancellor being revealed as a Sith- before they would take that step, and even then Yoda was not happy. I kept poking Andro with this stick, partly because he was talking to the person who was making this point, bit partly because I'd already given him a riposte- his favourite Osokan had given this justification to your OT characters in the Lanzar game. He explained how the Jedi could have avoided destruction if they had seized control of the Senate as soon as they knew the Sith were back. But then what would that have said about the Jedi? The long term implication is this- the Jedi died as honest people trying desperately to save the Republic. It is in that memory that the Rebellion that will eventually save the Galaxy is possible- so even in dying, by holding to their principles the Jedi won. In Star Wars, this sort of thing is possible.

But that is hard to justify to those working with those dying from Republican inefficiency all the time, and in-game the lesson of this was- you just had to lump it. People would be pissed off with you and this could not be stopped. The idea of these failed charity efforts, btw, is from GL as well. Deleted scenes from AOTC have Padme discussing her work with the same types of Republican aid organisations we were having turn up at the conference- and also how it basically not working, as the people Padme was trying to re-settle all died. From there we have- what happened to such organisations ty the time of the Empire? All subsumed into feeding the Imperial machine of course. By the OT game, the Mandragos commission is responsible for dealing with all galactic emergencies. What is the largest such emergency? The Rebellion! In fact, the Commission directly funds the special Imperial Task Forces in the OT game. Isn't life funny?

But the dominant figure in the game was the wonderful Sienar, a unique Dark Sider. A variant of a Revenant, it was designed to be possible that even Gallagher could beat him, such were his injuries. But Sienar was not defeatable in the traditional sense. He had played his Dark Side cards perfectly- unseen, his plan was already too well advanced by the time you found it for you to reasonably stop it, because the plan was built into the Republican system. What it boiled down to was- you couldn't stop the plan unless you tore that system apart... and you are meant to protect the Republic. Sienar knew this and mocked you with it- either you let his plan happen or you turned to the Dark Side to stop it. Either way worked for him.

The other reason he could not be beaten is that he was dying anyway (something you might have found out a lot earlier is various facets had been followed up). A nice Dark Side deception of a very fatal condition being hidden behind a horrible looking chronic one- not a situation he created, but one he made good use of. Sienar's story was that of, basically, unfairness. He was a very unlucky man, who did Dark Side things correctly and intelligently, and was rewarded with two hideous diseases that meant he would never rule in that way. His frustration at this unfairness turned into a hatred for absolutely everything, which is why all he wanted to do was destroy as best he could. He harnessed the power of nature- the famine- and his innate understanding of the human//alien mind (Cosmic Force powers) to make his dreams come true. The lesson here is just how horrible a use the Force can be put to, without any needed for super-weapons. The twisted mind can destroy- exactly what Yoda always warned about. Destruction in the end, is all too easy compared to creation, and what Sienar ultimately realised is that destruction is all the Dark Side was good for. That the destruction had no ultimate point is something he also realised- but he was too mad to care by then.

So yes, Sienar was nuts, but it was a very controllable, background madness that did not detract from his cunning and cleverness. His ultimate weapon was the Lie, used to good effect throughout the story, mixed with truth. The players' mentors warned you that to undo a Sith Lord you had to find the lie. Most of what Sienar told you was true. The lies were twofold- first, that he was dying. Second, he managed to conceal that which in retrospect was bleeding obvious- he was trying to cause the famine, not stop it. He had you distracted in trying to find what his gain was by stopping the famine, as was his intent., And why had he assumed control of the church? Because the last piece of the puzzle he needed was to be able to put MORAL AUTHORITY behind the plan he knew would doom billions- the last step needed to make it work. In this respect, it was intended for Sienar to have a very different MO from Palpatine, Both posed as good guys in an evil world, but Palpatine went straight for political power. In contrast, Sienar went for being able to look like the good guy. In the end, he destroys, Palpatine conquers. Palpatine would call Sienar's achievement meaningless. But Sienar would say that what he did would last forever. whilst Palpatine was undone as the Sith always were, because the destructive power of the Dark Side would always eventually extend to itself.

So, in the end, the famine could not be stopped, Sienar is remembered as a good guy martyr and you guys have to cover up the truth because the truth wouldn't stop the famine and it WOULD cause more misery and pain. Yes, being a Jedi seems to suck sometimes. Even killing Sienar only brought forward what was happening in a few days anyway. Sienar had one last moment where his inner hatred finally left him, and this was the moment where he gave his final message to Roan. Interpret that as you like- but Sienar knew a lot about the future.

Gallagher was having his own plot all this time. What it boiled down to was this- Gallagher's background is very dodgy; family ties, Sith, beaten Masters etc. The story allowed me to tie it all up and make it look like that Gallagher was actually a Dark Sider that the Council was cynically employing to get information from as they sensed Gallagher would in turn sense useful things in the future. Gallagher turned to the Dark Side years ago when he killed his sister, the trauma of which had messed up his memory of the surrounding events.

In fact, the truth was that no-one actually knew whether Gallagher had fallen or not, because no-one witnessed it. The Council decided it was too dangerous to train him but Master Korth begged that Gallagher be allowed to continue as a Jedi because he deserved his own chance at becoming something better. The Council agreed so long as he was watched- but Sienar's intervention messed that up.

Did Gallagher kill his sister out of rage and hence fall? That wasn't decided. It came down to this- if Alka had failed to save Gallagher, then yes he did. As it is, we can say that whilst Gallagher's situation was dodgy, like Anakin after he massacred the Sand People, he hadn't taken that final step over- like when Anakin cut off Windu's hand. He could still step back before it became inevitable.

The crucial thing for Gallagher was to let go. Gallagher keenly felt the dying from the famine in times ahead- only he and Sienar actually knew for certain that this was going to happen. But the lesson from the films is that Jedi can't actually stop all evil- and they sometimes have to let things go. In the end, it is ATTACHMENT that dooms a Jedi. Effecively, Gallagher had to conclude “Shit happens... but I can't reasonably stop it. I just have to do my best with what life gives me.” Alka made that realisation at the eleventh hour, in time to save Gallagher. Which of course means the slimey lawyer got away with it too- that was part of the price for Gallagher's soul. Players, of course, don't like to give up on stuff, especially things they got visions about. That was all to the good, as Alka's struggle could mirror his character's.

So, Gallagher's main lure to the Dark Side was meant to be that he needed the power to save billions of people. Hopefully that looked a tad better than Anakin's "I want to keep having sex with Padme" motive. One other point of reasoning that Gallagher never tried to use, btw, was to remember that Sienar's lesson was that the Dark Side was essentially destructive. You would never have saved those people- that's just not how the Dark Side works. It would have been twisted in someway; maybe the people would have been saved but locked into centuries of warfare instead.

One other viewpoint in the story was from the underused Durson Sott, the Abbot out of favour with Sienar's administration. He made his view at the end- that trying to do anything was pointless; you should just trust in the Force to provide as it is wiser than everyone. This was the root cause of why the Synod dislike the Jedi, as the Jedi try to change things, which the Synod sees as doomed,. Sott knew Sienar was dodgy but didn't do anything as he thought the Force would sort it out. Only the Light Side endures, and Sott believes that even the famine has some ultimate purpose. Is this pure religious dogma? Is Sienar's plan as doomed as all Dark Side plans- can destruction be destroyed? Who knows- these points are made for your consideration, is all. The famine is happening, and in our storyline helps propel things into the Clone Wars as the Republic breaks down at the fringes.

And that was that- the end of a plotline- in the end, nothing to do with Adelmo or the Syphar n Kalar or anything, but sometimes thewse mini-arcs are very satisfying, and I feel Purity was a good- if very harsh- story. Time for you guys to pick it up and move on, and everyone who did Purity can certainly feel they have a measure of experience over fresh-faced newbies.

Well, thanks guys, that is that. Your participation is appreciated as ever. Now Episode V approaches. The Jedi are after answers to several mysteries, and answers they can find... but also a lot more questions. The Dark Siders have just had a bunch of answers and questions, so they have a rather more direct game that will push their desire to survive to the limit. The Dark Side game is about as hardcore as a Star Wars game can reasonably get, and ends in the biggest fight scene we have ever done- but it might be the Light Side who feel that they gained the most, and the fate of a planet again hangs in the balance according to their actions.

And for both sides, it is time for the past of this game to catch up with you.

Lord Melkor
The Sienar storyline was great, though I am curious to learn more about Sienar and Syphar`n Kalar and the Lady.

By the way, we were supposed what happened with Gallagher when he played in PM`s, right?

Yes, I will get around to that sometime.

And here I thought Adelmo's display of power was leveled solely at Galder... but really, it makes sense that it was him! I have a feeling you were hoping for one of the Psychos at the very least.

Ah, the flashback is where the Fifth Punitive War is from, is it not?

Indeedy so!

The important point being that it is not quite as straightforward as 'Adelmo is the most powerful Force User in the cosmos and is 100% unbeatasble."

Though for all practical purposes, that is the situation for the Dark Siders right now.

Adelmo sounds like fun! Sienar certainly knew about her...

The scripts of Gallagher and Sienar chatting is mostly going to be Gallagher stumbling over himself trying to find a way to avoid the Dark Side.

Originally posted by REXXXX
And here I thought Adelmo's display of power was leveled solely at Galder... but really, it makes sense that it was him! I have a feeling you were hoping for one of the Psychos at the very least.

Haha stick out tongue Yeah, I remember when that happened, I was like "well, glad I kept my mouth shut enough that that wasn't me..."

Lord Melkor
I just reread the Revelations and Purity Episodes and I must say, it is great story even beyond being a game, certainly would make for a very good novel, better than vast majority of other Star Wars stuff.

I wonder what would Sienar do with the Church if he was not dying from the brain disease?

Good story, I agree, though VERY hard to tell. I am not sure if I have the time these days needed to make a story like that work.

Sienar would have just been a very dangerous and sneaky Sith Lord equivalent rising to power. But there's no point in that story as it is Palpatine's. The whole driving force behind the Sienar storyline was the insight into the Dark Side that his fatal illness gave him- an insight very few on the Dark Side have, and fewer still can have and still actually function.

It was also the main opportunity to explore the theme of falling to the Dark Side; a major Star Wars schtick but not one that we wanted to throw around casually like some takes on Star Wars do.

Lord Melkor
By the way, I just remembered that Gallador is only player character in game to have the Subterfuge Force Power, which is supposed to be the Dark Side's greatest weapon. I must find ways to use it more often...

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