This is the 5th part in a series of dueling CBlog editorials Ive been doing with Aerox
. You can view his point on Mog from Final Fantasy VI here
Point & Counterpoint 4: Doom vs Marathon Doom Marathon Point & Counterpoint 3: SNES RPGs - Earthbound vs Chrono Trigger Earthbound Chrono Trigger Point & Counterpoint 2: Remakes vs Originals Originals Remakes Point & Counterpoint 1: Video Game Violence Violence Doesn't Affect Gamers Violence Affects Gamers
Best Robot You will ever have in a party, ever
Side characters, party members, or whatever you call them, RPGs are full of them. Some of them are utterly worthless and you wonder what the designers even created them, but there are a select few that truly shine and have a place in the hearts of gamers. While Mog was a great semi-secret character, and it was cute to see a little moogle attacking with dances and a spear, the best party member without a doubt has to be HK-47 from Knights of the Old Republic.
A droid’s definition of love
In the first KoToR, the player picks up HK-47 from droid dealer. An assassin droid mistaken for a protocol droid, his true nature quickly becomes apparent with his bloodthirsty dialogue and constant reference to all organic life as ‘meatbags’. In KoToR Two, HK-47 can be repaired using a series of parts collected during the story line.
(some spoilers ahead)
HK-47’s background story is one of a full circle, originally built by Darth Revan as the perfect assassin droid, he goes through a series of owners before ending up back with his original owner. Each owner he had ended up killing themselves in some manner after becoming angry with the droid and attempting to destroy him. These twists show a kind of irony that one would think a droid that hates organic life as much would kill their owners and attempt to escape, however his programming makes him extremely loyal to his ‘master’ and extremely hostile to basically everything else.
Always Ready to destroy whatever you point him at
While every RPG has their generic bad-ass character or the evil character with a shady background, but HK-47 stands out from these generic staple RPG characters. It isn’t often that robots are included as party members, and nearly unheard of to have one that’s bloodthirsty.
Typically any kind of artificial life that is ‘evil’ is relegated being your enemy, but yet we still seem obsessed with them. Whether it is Shodan, GlaDos, or Skynet, when an AI is out to kill organic life, it’s up to the player to stop them. A player’s first reaction might be to want to curb the droid’s tendencies, but over time a player will realize that HK-47, unlike the aforementioned AIs, is constrained. While he has the same desire to wipe out organic life, he is still utterly loyal to whoever he deems his ‘master’. This makes him different than even the traditional robotic villains and serves as a plot element to keep him from simply turning traitor.
The conversations one has with HK-47 are nothing short of absolutely hilarious, especially if the character is dark-sided. HK-47’s dark sense of humor is in stark contrast to the light hearted comical role that droid characters in Star Wars are usually relegated to.
In addition to his extremely overt evil nature, he has a peculiar manner of speech. Before beginning a sentence, he clarifies whether it is a statement, question, sarcastic remark, ect. This is because HK-47 speaks in a very monotone nature and while some ‘emotion’ or tone can be heard in his voice it is not always very obvious.
Keeping HK-47 in the player’s party will lead to a wide array of rewarding side dialogue as the player progress throughout the game. Whether the player is light side or dark side, the dialogue will change based on the actions of the player. In KoToR 2, the player can even install a pacifism module in HK-47, while this is not permanent, it does lead to a humorous exchange with the player.
Dialogue from KoToR 2
Devil on Your Shoulder
In many RPGs that offer moral choices as a part of the game, there are characters that will serve as the player’s devils and angels, offering moral advice to situational decision making. In the KoToR series HK-47 serves as one of the player’s ‘evil’ influences. Following the droid’s advice will lead to a slew of darkside points, and the ire of any of the ‘good’ party members.
Thusly Proving that not All droids in Star Wars are gay
Of all of the non-lead party members I’ve experienced in games, nothing even comes close to both HK-47’s badass nature and his pitch black humor, well except for maybe Dogmeat in Fallout, that pooch would charge head long into mini-gun fire for me. All things being equal though, I can tell that he is at least better than Aerox’s choice, Mog. Yea, he may have been cool to have as a party member, and he provided comic relief at times, he is still an organic meatbag, a liquidious fleshsack if you will, that could never pass up the awesome times and laughs that HK adds to the gameplay experience.