DarK Side as Portrayed in KOTOR

Discussion in 'Literature' started by darthjulian777, Jan 18, 2009.

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  1. darthjulian777 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2008
    star 2
    I recently started playing kotor 2 again after my game glitched up like 6 months ago. And what i have noticed is this, KOTOR portrays a dark sider as ALWAYS bieng evil choosing only the path that will kill people or be mean to them. But what about their whole mantra, "We are not afraid to use all of force" surly that means they use the light side as well. If you are nice to someone in the game so you can twist them later on and make them do evil deeds it is still considered light side because you were nice to them but really its dark because you are twisting them. So what do you think
  2. Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 6
    The Dark Side option is always the one which will cause suffering or is motivated by fear, anger, and hate. That doesn't mean a Dark Sider has to choose that option all of the time.
  3. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Dark siders can use light side powers in KOTOR, they just have a higher FP cost for doing so. ( And vice versa. )
  4. Dawud786 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    Also, much as dark siders like to portray themselves as being willing to use "all of the Force" this is not how they work in the movies, or the novelizations of the movies. The ANH novelization has Obi-Wan telling Vader how narrow his view of the Force is because of his allegiance to the dark side. The Jedi almost exclusively refer to themselves as using the Force, while the Sith are always hung up on the dark side of the Force.

    Also, the very nature of the what the dark side is about and what the light side is about sort of makes my point even better. It has been this way for a long long time in the EU. The dark side is not a holistic view of the Force, while the light side is. The dark side is self-centered and a necessarily narrow view of not only life, but of the Force itself. The light side is at once a different outlook on life and the Force, but it also engenders this wider outlook. It's necessarily taking within it's scope the whole of the Force and the universe. A Jedi will see the connections between beings via the Force as indicative of the essential oneness of all things, while a Sith or darksider sees those connections as things to be exploited for their own gain. Oneness is not something they consider really at all.
  5. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    I think this is where "game mechanics" have to come into play.

    Its obviously not impossible for Vader to Force stun someone if he wants. It may be labelled a "light side power" but that's primarily for game play reasons: it gives Jedi an offensive power without needing to zap them with lightning. If Vader wanted to stun someone, he could, but he'd still probably be channelling the dark side unless for some bizarre reason he had woken up on the Jedi side of the bed for once.

    Full blown darksiders don't use the "light side" because they just draw on the Force in a wholly corrupt manner all the time, whether its to zap them, sprint, choke, stun, whatever: why let the Force work "through" you when you can just summon it at will? They're not literally casting a Force spell, they're channelling an energy field to do certain tricks. There is no such literal thing as a "force power" per se, because every use of the Force involves the same basic fundamentals, its just what you're doing with it. I don't believe its going to cost Vader more "Force Points" because he wanted to stun someone not just zap them to death; but in an RPG they want dark side players to feel different to light side players, otherwise everyone could just play a darksider for a full set of powers, even if they mostly just stuck to the light side ones without penalty.

    Does this mean there aren't any powers that only "light siders" can do? No. There are certainly some powers that require one to allow the Force to work through them to pull off; just like the reverse is true, in that there are some powers that require a total perversion of the Force. But the bulk are neutral, moreso than RPG mechanics make out for Jedi/Sith gameplay balance reasons.

    It'd just be too easy to be a darksider if you could blow your enemy up and still have ace healing abilities. Similarly, it'd make playing a lightsider disproportionately hard, as if you stayed true to your guns you wouldn't use the offensive powers, so would be handicapping yourself. That, clearly, would not be a balanced gameplay experience. They have to do something to make up for the "darksiders just don't care" attitude by handicapping them by encouraging them to mostly stick to using dark side powers.

    Despite the odd NPC like Kreia or Jolee Bindo, the WOTC mechanics just don't tend to really encourage "Grey Force" play mentalities. If you want to play a Jedi, they encourage you to play a Jedi, or suffer the pain of Dark Side Points. Likewise, if you want to play a Sith, they encourage you to play a Sith, or suffer the pain of higher Force Point costs. Its honestly no different really to conventional RPG mechanics. Just because a Ranger uses a bow doesn't mean a guy who used a bow couldn't pick up a sword, or vice versa; but for fairness RPGs don't tend to promote fully rounded characters who can know and do everything.

    I'm sure if magic really existed wearing chainmail would not stop me blowing you up with a fireball, but gameplay mechanics claim it does. :rolleyes:
  6. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    It's true in the sense that they use the dark side and in theory the Jedi don't.
  7. DarthUr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2008
    star 4
    No, we've had confirmation in the novels that there are things that are just easier to do if you're on the Light Side and very hard to do if you're on the Dark Side. They bring this up within the dialogue (rather than mere "mechanics") of the game, too -- the Sith Apprentices are helpless against the droid-infested tomb because the Dark Side focuses on preying on the senses and emotions of living beings, whereas as a Light Side Jedi disabling droids is child's play for you.

    See also Darth Vader being unable to successfully use the Dark Side to heal himself, and in general the normal form of Force healing being something only available to Light Side Jedi.

    This contradicts the EU. There are quite a few "Sith magics" that are intrinsically and inextricably related to the Dark Side, not least of which is the example of Force Lightning, and there are similarly "spells" that Dark Siders find it difficult or impossible to use. The Force isn't as simple as all that.

    It's not just a case of "game" mechanics. It's part of the story and the way the story works. If someone wants to make up a story where the touch of cold iron stops you from casting spells, thus creating a natural cultural divide between mages and warriors, you're free to think that's silly, but a fantasy can by definition be anything the writer(s) want it to be. And Star Wars is a space fantasy with Dark Side and Light Side "spells".
  8. DarthUr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2008
    star 4
    It's simple; they think "naturally" that everyone would maim and kill and brutalize if they were "allowed" to, and the only reason anyone acts "good" is that they're holding back what they "really" want to do.

    From one point of view this is correct; from another this is total nonsense. That's the nature of ideology for you, no different from the Jedi's claim that the true "natural" state of life is balance and harmony and evil and corruption are "wrongs" to be "corrected".

    The Sith don't *really* mean that if you're a Sith you can do *anything* you want, or else everyone would already be a Sith and there would be no Sith ideology. They mean that they believe, as an article of faith, that deep down inside everyone wants to be a Sith -- which is, for all their bluster, a rather specific and narrow way of behaving with its own code of behavior no less restrictive in the end than the Jedi's -- and that "freeing" everyone means forcibly remaking everyone into a Sith (or a "failed" Sith, i.e. a slave or a corpse).
  9. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    It was implied that Vader's failure was due to not having completely purged the remnants of good from within himself, rather than the dark side not providing the ability.
  10. DarthUr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2008
    star 4
    Vader can't be healed without feeling joy, and joy is a mental state inconsonant with the source of his power, the Dark Side, which is negative emotion.

    Vader *thinks* that the solution to this is to become completely incapable of feeling joy whatsoever and thus being unable to experience mental states inconsonant with the Dark Side no matter what kind of power he uses. It is by no means assured that his logic is sound or that, even if it is, his goal is achievable -- theoretically a Light Side Jedi could say the same thing, that you could wield Force Lightning with no harm from the Dark Side if you became a being totally incapable of feeling sadistic hatred, but it'd be foolish for any Jedi to think he was so pure as to try.
  11. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    The sequence of events in the novel seems to imply that his logic is sound. For all we know Vader?s view is identical to the view held by the author. Force lightning is canonically a dark side power, at least according to Lucas. Using lightning means using the dark side. To say that you could use lightning without using the dark side would make it a universal power rather than a dark side power. By contrast, healing as a light side skill was never claimed by the films or Lucas. It?s an EU invention, and it?s assumed by some authors and not others. ROTS itself implies that regenerative healing ? the kind that would not occur normally ? is a dark side skill.
  12. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Except that there's nothing to support your logic. Vader channels his hate and anger to heal himself -- successfully. He uses the dark side to heal himself. The problem is that he gets happy that he's healed, and his dark side concentration breaks, and the healing fails.

    You could also argue that Luke's "inability" to lift things in TESB without getting distracted proves that distraction is unavoidable while lifting, and the actual way to do TK is to stop concentrating and attempt to use a state of distraction to channel the Force.

    We've had this discussion before, and I know you prefer a Black Magick can't really heal/White Magick can dichotomy. But canon just doesn't support that (for just one non-Vader example, Darth Tyranus heals himself in Jango Fett: Open Seasons). They heal in fundamentally different ways, yes, but the dark side can still be used to heal.
  13. DarthUr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2008
    star 4
    ...The happiness and the healing are basically simultaneous. If he were successfully healing himself with the Dark Side then when the healing "failed" he would be, y'know, *healed*. Wounds don't magically come back when whatever you were using to heal them with goes away.

    Well then we have a bigger problem, because if you take all that completely literally then it makes Vader look like a fool who just didn't learn the right technique, unless you think that Dooku really was completely incapable of happiness or of feeling at all glad he wasn't wounded anymore. (And, again, this logic doesn't really work -- it's not that Darth Vader successfully heals his lungs and then once the Dark Side power goes away his lungs magically get re-burned to a crisp by the Light Side. It's that the *act of even starting to heal himself at all* begins to restore his connection to the Light Side.)

    Anyway, it's not like even the most hard core "LS/DS" sources say that Sith healing is *impossible*, just that it's *more difficult* -- which it is. One can easily reconcile all sources by saying that the FP cost to heal his wounds was too high for Vader to pay once the LS penalty is taken into account, or that Dark Side healing is actually what games call Force Drain and Vader didn't know it/didn't have a sufficient source for it, so was forced to use the regular Force Heal power.
  14. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    No, the happiness and the cessation of the healing are simultaneous.

    It didn't say anything about a restored connection to the light side. The dark side power ebbs because of his joy at being (temporarily) healed, not because of the healing itself.

    I thought the dark side was "quicker and easier".

    None of which works, because he was specifically cited as using the dark side.
  15. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    As Arawn said, if you read the passage, he healed himself. Briefly, but he did it; he had his body working properly again. Then he got happy, and at that point, he failed. He wasn't able to sustain whatever dark side effect was repairing his body, and his lungs sagged back to uselessness.

    Your metaphysical preferences simply can't outweigh what's on the page. Darksiders can heal themselves. You can argue about whatever game mechanic power it is, or you can complain about it being silly and conflicting with your view of what Star Wars should be (though I think we've had enough of that), but there's just not much room to argue that darksiders can't use the Force to heal.
  16. DarthUr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2008
    star 4
    All right, then how about this:

    If whatever power is "healing" Vader's lungs requires a constant use of the Force in order to *continue* "healing" his lungs in order for his lungs to continue functioning, and if a loss/release of that power causes his lungs to revert back to the way they were, then is that really "healing" as such? Or is he in fact just "sustaining" himself the way Darth Sion does?
  17. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Umm... I'd already addressed that myself in my own post:
    There's no need to tell me what I already said. ;)
  18. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    This thread is making me weep.

    Keralys, wherever you are, make it stop! (You know what I'm talking about :p)
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