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BioWare's hit Xbox and PC RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was a massive game that allowed players a great deal of freedom to act and explore as they saw fit. Based on various choices throughout the game, players will lean toward either the light side of the force or the dark side. On the whole, the choices will be fairly obvious -- in order to adhere to the light side, Jedi must be kind, self-sacrificing, avoid violence when necessary and never use their powers for their own profit. Thus, instead of holding your hand and leading you on one path or the other, this guide will focus solely on giving you a brief rundown of the first half or so of the game, focusing on the key quests needed to advance.
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Escape from the Endar Spire
The goal here is very simple. Your first mission objective is to escape. First, grab the necessary equipment from your footlocker, then start out into the hallway. Eventually, you'll run into the first of what will be many battles, and shortly thereafter, another. Upon completion of the second battle, search the footlocker in the room for better armor and equip it. Continue forward, and make sure you keep scouting around for items and equipment that can help you along the way. Make your way to the starboard side of the ship, get past the enemies through stealth, mechanical genius or brute force, and continue onward. Eventually you'll meet up with Carth Onasi, use the escape pod, and head to your next destination, the planet of Taris.
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Landing on Taris and Freeing Bastila
From this point forward there are numerous side quests that open up. There really isn't space in this guide to cover them all, I'm afraid, but if you take your time, explore and talk to as many characters as possible, undoubtedly you will come across many of them. Now then, on with the walkthrough. Once you awaken, head out the door and immediately you'll find yourself forced into a battle with the Sith. Your primary objective is to find Bastila, but you'll probably want to get some better equipment first. If you do, make sure you go to the equipment shop in the upper city and pass on doing business with the merchant who approaches you. In order to proceed, you'll need to get acquire a Sith uniform to gain access to the lower city. Doing so ultimately requires a trip to apartment complex in the north end of the upper city, but a quick stop to the Cantina and some charm can help you avoid needing to fight for it. Once you have it, head to the west and use the elevators to descend into the lower part of the city.
Your mission, in between battles and side quest opportunities, is to make contact with Gadon Thek, the leader of the Hidden Beks gang. The base is pretty easy to find: it's to the left and in a northwesterly direction. Once inside, Gadon tells you that Bastila has been taken prisoner and will be given as a prize to whoever wins an upcoming swoop bike race. He will agree to help you provided you can recover a stolen bike part for him, and will also trade you papers for your Sith uniform. The next mission is to meet up with a Twi'lek named Mission Vao, which will require you go down to the Undercity. You'll meet up with Mission as soon as you exit the city, and you'll first need to help her with a rescue mission before she'll join you and show you how to get into the enemy base. Do so, and eventually you'll be given the opportunity to sneak into the Black Vulkar hideout. The swoop bike part is located in the garage, but getting there isn't an easy process. Once you secure the item, return to the Bek hideout and win the swoop bike race that follows. You'll free Bastila, though not without a fight, and then will be tasked with finding a way to escape from Taris.
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Finding a Ship and Becoming a Jedi
Decide who you want in your party, level them up if necessary, and then head off to the Cantina to meet up with Canderous Oro as prompted. He wants you to sneak into the Sith base to obtain launch codes, which are required for ships leaving Taris. First things first, though, you'll need to purchase the T3-M4 droid from a woman in the southern part of the Upper City and then put him in the party. The military base is located near the elevator, so it shouldn't be too hard to find. Navigating around the base is tricky, but your new droid ally and a healthy supply of computer spikes will make things easier. Eventually you'll need to square off against the Sith Governor in a tough boss battle. Persevere and you can find the necessary codes on his body.
Reunite with Canderous in the Lower City Cantina and he'll join your party. Next up, you'll need to acquire a ship, and your objective is to steal the Ebon Hawk. To do this, you'll need to go to Davik's Mansion, a place you may well already be familiar with if you've taken some time to do side quests. Explore the grounds, find and free the Ebon Hawk's former pilot, and then make your way to the hanger. You'll have to fight your way onto the ship, and once you do, you'll need to battle your way off the planet. Once you're in the free and clear, Bastila will ask you to return with her and visit the Jedi Enclave on planet Dantooine. Eventually, your character will undergo Jedi training, during which you will need to choose a new class. Finally you will be faced with one last task, which will culminate in a conflict with a Dark Jedi named Juhani. Choose to keep her alive and she can become a powerful ally.
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Eventually, after some further quests, you will pretty much be given free access to advance the plot as you please. Your next destination should either be Kashyyyk or Tatooine. By this time, you should have a pretty good feel for the game, and can probably manage without much guidance. Just make sure to speak with everyone, search every nook and cranny for hidden items, and remember that as the game proceeds, the choices made between the light and the dark will play a much greater role in the plotline. There are some tough boss fights and some startling revelations yet to come as well, and the future of the universe ultimately rests in you and your Jedi's hands, as your decisions shape his or her character and determines whether or not he or she will become the savior of the universe, or its next oppressor. Good luck, and may the force be with you, fellow gamers!