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Friday night games, GAMES

Friday Night Games: “Visions in the Dark”

This month’s episode in Star Wars: Knights of the Fallen Empire is “Visions in the Dark”. This is one of the most Star Wars-esque stories since the original batch of releases in October and features solid character development.

You start your quest in your base on Odessen, deciding how an on-going mission ought to be implemented. Should you take a strong-arm approach and rely on Kaliyo or the sound military tactics of Aric Jorgan? The consequences of these choices is not quite obvious (at least in the choices I made) although the fractures in the alliance are showing with many different personalities creating dramatic tension. Most likely, this is setting up for the next episode when you attack the relay station responsible for controlling the Eternal Fleet.

“You have forgotten what it means to face death alone. I will remind you.”

Next, you move out to the Odessen wilderness (a very tranquil and welcoming place) to meditate with Emperor Valkorion who is not very pleased with your progress and has no problems showing it. The guy has some real anger management issues! He seems to zap you into unconsciousness with the goal of teaching you a lesson: “You have forgotten what it means to face death alone. I will remind you.”

For the entire episode you are without a companion. Granted, you get the ability to tame some local fauna to help you out. Yet the combat throughout Knights has never been terribly difficult outside of boss battles, and even then you almost have to try to die. You do encounter a new enemy here – perhaps reflecting some psychological demons in your head – which are actually pretty cool to fight, especially when you are on your own. On more than one occasion I had to dig into my survival pack you get equipped with (which makes you look a lot like Luke Skywalker did training with Yoda – when he was not tied on Luke’s back). This was especially true when I fought Vaylin (a vision of her anyways).

The entire episode is basically training you for the real final battle with Vaylin and Arcann. As far as foreshadowing goes, I think this episode does well at setting-up how strong they really are and how much more you have to improve. Vaylin especially has been shown to be very strong in the Force. I only hope when the time comes it is a genuine battle rather than a so-so fight with lots of buffs from a companion. I want there to be actual tension when the time comes.

You also get reunited (or perhaps introduced to, depending on your class) the (in)famous Satele Shan and (force ghost) Darth Marr, who was killed by the Emperor for refusing to kneel. These two offer great insight into their failures against the initial war. In short, they misunderstood the ways of the Force and how it is used by people on Zakuul (namely Vaylin and Arcann). As best as I can make sense of it, both sides of the Force are in perfect balance on Zakuul and are used as a means to an end: to eagerly serve the Emperor without question. The power of The Force is their reward for serving this ideal; the more loyal you are the more powerful you will become.

“Until you embrace your full potential, you will only be a pawn of fate. Never its master.”

You continue your training under Shan and Marr, who teach you to learn from their mistakes. The rest of this chapter plays out much in the way The Empire Strikes Back did for Luke Skywalker. You are not quite sure where all of this is leading: Valkorion leaves you after you fight him, while both Marr and Shan are apparently getting off Odessen for some unknown reason.

When you do return to HQ, your previous op is underway and does not seem to be going well. Did you make the right choice?

FINAL VERDICT

As mentioned, this chapter was true to Star Wars. There was much examination of the Force, in particular how it differs on Zakuul. The idea of using both the Light and the Dark side is interesting, yet it is suggested such thinking is in fact outdated when it comes to defeating Arcann. This is quite radical thinking within Star Wars cannon, although not quite revolutionary as many on both sides have argued both the Light and the Dark have their uses. I am interested to see where this story continues. This chapter also sees some new PvP Warzones added as well as a new Alliance mission. I am keen to get more of my old companions back, although I am not sure how all 40 companions will be brought back with only four more episodes to go. Nonetheless, a solid entry in the Knight of the Fallen Empire storyline.

There was also some great quotes to be had in this chapter:

Valkorion –

“Despite your precious warship, a legion of allies and my immense power at your disposal, you remain…incomplete.”

“You have mastered the dark side of the Force. It is not enough. It never was.”

“Until you embrace your full potential, you will only be a pawn of fate. Never its master.”

“The future is not a river to carry us. It is the ocean in which we drown, if we are not prepared.”

“You demand a simple answer, refusing to looking for it within. That is the essence of you failure.” (Yoda, anyone?)

Satele Shan –

“There is no greater challenge than to change from within. But that is what we all must do to survive.”

Darth Marr –

“The will of the Force is a flowing current. You can follow or fight it, but it is always there.”

“The Force is not ally, slave or transaction.”

There were many other great lines throughout, but those are some of my favourites.

 

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