We’re going to switch gears this week while Reija, my Sith Warrior main, gets used to the cold, Skyrim-esque conditions of Alderaan after spending so much time under the blazing hot suns of Tatooine. In this edition of Tales from the Old Republic, we’re hopping servers and shifting the spotlight on Flendarer, a Chiss bounty hunter who dreams of fortune and glory by participating in the Great Hunt. Flen’s journey began on Hutta and while off running errands for the vile Nem’ro the Hutt in order to secure a sponsorship, my mentor was ruthlessly butchered by a young Mandalorian named Taro Blood. Fueled by vengeance, Flen and his companion Mako were tasked with travelling to Dromund Kaas, the Imperial Capital, and meet with a contact within the Mandalorian enclave. I’ll take this time to point out a very nifty feature in The Old Republic that was seen previously in Elder Scrolls V. People will react to you differently depending on your race. While running quests for Imperials as my Sith warrior, every NPC had been tripping over themselves in order to please me, grovelling at my feet while offering lots of “Yes, sir” and “You are a model to us all.” Now that I’m playing as a non-human (which the Empire has always despised), the Imperial officers and nobles make no effort to hide their severe contempt for my existence. It’s a great design choice that helps makes the experience feel fresh despite playing through quests I’ve already done on my main character.
“No bounties on you. A shame.”
Dromund Kass is a massive city, teeming with all sorts of Imperial business and goings on. Along the way, I was stopped by an individual named Minor Twenty, an agent for Imperial Intelligence who hired me to speak to “Manda.” Pointed in the direction of a cantina, I met my with Manda who quickly gave me a package to be delivered to another Imperial agent, this time a Chiss sitting outside the Galactic Market. Feeling the annoyance of being somebody’s gofer, I was directed to yet another contact, a droid, who took the package and gave me a few credits for my trouble. I never did get any sort of explanation about the exchange, but at that point Mako and I didn’t care.
It wasn’t long before I bumped into an Imperial citizen who was crying out murder. Apparently he witnessed a bounty hunter tagging certain individuals that were quickly killed by Sith acolytes. Wanting some sort of reprisal for the death of innocent citizens, the Imperial revealed the location of the bounty hunter in question. After seeking him out, the bounty hunter pleaded his case as he did not know why he was tagging people and was in the process of trying to escape offworld when I found him. I had the option of killing this man, but instead - as professional courtesy - I offered to help him out by using his tagging device on the Sith acolytes, their deaths at the hands of their own exposing the sordid affair. Grateful for the help, the bounty hunter paid me for the work before leaving Dromund Kaas for good.
After doing my good deeds for the afternoon, it was time to get down to the business of the Great Hunt. Heading towards the Mandalorian enclave situated near the massive Imperial citadel, I met my contact and discussed entrance into the event. After a bit of mindless flirting, I discovered that I and about thirty other bounty hunters have acquired sponsorships, but there is only one spot open. I was then directed to a gathering of fellow hunters and listened to a speech by the Huntsmaster, an giant, imposing Wookiee. He and his assistant laid out the rules for a special qualifying round involving the hunt for three targets of interest located on the Imperial planet. If I am successful in tracking and capturing my targets, this would grant me a spot in a final battle royale where the last man standing would be invited into the Great Hunt.
“He’s no good to me dead.”
My first target was a Republic noble who got himself captured by Imperials and instead of being ransomed off for credits, he was mistakenly sold into slavery and currently toils at a construction site where a young Sith has commissioned a massive statue of his master to be built. Vanity, thy name is Sith! Apparently, the Imperials are having a spot of trouble keeping their slaves in line and have completely taken over the dig site and the surrounding camps. Although poised to halt my advance, no resistance could stand up to the might of my rockets and flamethrowers. Connecting with the Imperial forces, a young trooper tasked me with investigate some odd goings on with the rebellious slaves as it appears they are killing each other. Since I had to wander into the area for signs of the Republic noble, I decided to accept the mission.
I fought through a number of slaves and came across a datapad that mentioned a secret meeting place for rebel slaves to gather. Upon reaching the rendezvous, I was approached by a giant of a man claiming that he and a small number of slaves have seen the light and want to be taken into the Empire’s fold and to prove their worth, they’ve been murdering rebels. Claiming an intense desire to become Sith, I chose to admonish their actions. This left the brute confused and seeking additional guidance and suggested that they first learn the ways of the Sith before mindlessly killing people. Or something. Flen doesn’t know how the Sith operate and he can only imagine the Empire will eventually put these slaves down no matter what they’ve accomplished.
After dealing with the slaves, Flen scoured the camp for any signs of the Republic noble and came across a datapad with a holorecording revealing the image of a beautiful Imperial woman in fancy garb. The recording hinted at a possible romantic connection between the two and the woman’s plan for securing her Republic lover by smuggling him out of the camp and into the city disguised as the woman’s brother. Finding coordinates to a cantina called The Nexus, it was time to track down my bounty.
“I want them alive. No disintegrations.”
Making my way into the Nexus Room, my path to the Imperial and Republic couple was halted by a small group of Imperial officers who attempted to disarm me and called for an arrest. Just as Mako and I were ready to announce our refusal, the Imperial officer receives a surprising and damning holocommunication from none other than my rival, Taro Blood. Calling him out for his weakness in not confronting me personally, Taro forces the Imperials to kill me. Well, try to kill me. Well, honestly, they were dead before they could get in a shot. Once again, don’t mess with a bounty hunter that happens to own wrist mounted rockets. Leaving the corpses behind, I confronted my target who did his best to hide his identity. After they gave up the ruse, the Imperial woman tried to make a deal based on her own selfish desires. Not content with her lover going back to Coruscant and back into the arms of his wife and child, she offered to pay me credits and have him killed. Realizing the importance of this man to my entry into the Great Hunt, I denied her request and captured my target alive. One target down, two to go!
My second target comes from a prominent figure in the Imperial Navy, an admiral whose daughter has fallen under the sway of a corrupt Sith Lord who has openly defied the Dark Council, earning their ire. Knowing that the Council will send forces to eliminate this rogue Sith and enslave his followers, the man wants me to kill the woman before she is captured and brings shame upon her entire family. Though Flen was a little uneasy about meddling with Sith politics, the Great Hunt is at stake and more importantly, a job’s a job...as long as it pays well.
Sith Lord Grathan’s estate wasn’t so difficult to find, as it occupies a considerably large amount of space on Dromund Kaas and has a small army maintaining the defenses. By the time I reached the front gates, it appeared that the Dark Council had launched their attack as I noticed other Sith running around, cutting people down with lightsabers and the Force. I had to work fast! Mako and I blasted our way through waves of droids and Grathan’s acolytes - the first time going against a Force user - and managed to survive relatively unscathed. Moving deep into the bowels of Grathan’s estate, I found my target. After dispatching her body guards, she immediately copped an attitude, expressing her disappointment that I was not a full blown Mandalorian bounty hunter, whom she believed would have only the slightest chance of defeating her. I didn’t appreciate her attitude and talked a little smack, suggesting that she was way overconfident of her abilities. This didn’t phase her much as she began her attack, putting up a good fight in the process. Still, I won the day and the once cocky Sith now laid blubbering at my feet. Only then did she realize that she was fooled by Grathan and wish her life to be spared. This was one target I didn’t mind putting a blaster bolt through the temple and with the job done, I returned to get my pay.
The third and final target for this qualifying round meant having to work with Imperial Intelligence, an organization that never fails to elicit panicked shushing. An officer named Captain Medle who had just been promoted to the organization after a black ops recon mission he put together went too well and now he finds himself caught up in the paranoid world of spying. His first assignment involved sending out a squad to investigate the Dark Temple, an ancient Sith structure just outside of the Imperial city that is currently undergoing excavation by the Dark Council and has been designated a “no go” zone for non-Sith. Naturally, Imperial Intelligence wants to scope it out and the team Medle put together has been lost and in order to prevent any Sith backlash, he has asked me to venture into the ruins, collect the squad’s ID tags and confirm the death of the squad leader so that he may put together a more favorable report.
“What if they’re still alive?” I ask. “They died. And if they didn’t? They died. Understood?” was the answer I received.
Leaving the imposing headquarters behind, Mako and I traveled to the outskirts of the city and found a path to the Dark Temple. Things immediately took a strange turn as we were attacked by possessed workers and Sith acolytes. Listening to reports from an Imperial outpost, it appears that the dark Force energy seeping out from the temple has rendered everyone in the area insane which meant I had a bit of an arduous hike to the structure, blasting those who came after me. Once inside, Mako started to freak out and wanted us to spend as little time here as possible. Things got complicated when it turned out that Medle’s squad was very much alive and twisted by the Dark Side. Taking them out one by one, I managed to collect all their dogtags before seeking out Commander Gargun who had planted himself deep within the temple.
Gargun appeared to share the same affliction as his troopers, but rather than being a crazed Imperial officer, his mind was broken so thoroughly that he believed himself to be a long lost Sith, ordering my surrender and eternal worship. Wanting to end this quickly, I attacked and killed Gargun and his followers, collecting his gear and putting as much distance between me and the creepy temple as possible. Back at Imperial Intelligence HQ, Captain Medle was happy to see me, but revealed that in the course of infiltrating the Sith temple I had become a liability and had to be destroyed. Bad move.
I spared no mercy for the spineless agent, dispatching his backup before putting a bolt through his chest. I sought out my handler within the Mandalorian enclave to report my success, who was thrilled to see me. Apparently, Taro Blood told the surviving finalists that I had been killed and started the melee without me. Rushing to the arena, I secured myself in the battle royale, no doubt disappointing those who were eager to see me out of the picture. After a bit of trash talking with my opponents, chaos broke out as the area became a cacophony of sound: blaster bolts, explosions, flamethrowers - everyone had gone all out. Unlucky for them, I emerged victorious, dispatching all of my rivals and FINALLY earning my place within the Great Hunt.
“What if he doesn’t survive? He’s worth a lot to me.”
Taro Blood was most displeased with my victory and once again tried to get me expelled, this time threatening to report the situation to Mandalore. The Wookiee Huntsmaster sided with me, staying my hand as I was more than ready to kill him dead. We parted ways just as my handler laid down the ground rules for the Hunt. I am given two specific targets and must track them down before my rivals do. Unlike the qualifying rounds, hunters are allowed to eliminate one another in order to further cement their victory. Mako and I can’t wait to cross paths with Taro and end our rivalry for good. But first things first! I need to get off world and the only way I’m doing that is by securing a ship. Rather than be given one, I would in fact have to steal a ship. Luckily, a vessel that would more than suit my needs was parked in the Dromun Kaas spaceport.
At the spaceport, Taro Blood strikes once again as an Imperial security squad confronts me about my impending theft of a Nemoidian’s transport ship. This ended up being the biggest fight I had to face, as the entire hanger security detachment came after me. The blaster bolts came fast and furious, and there were a couple times I almost didn’t make it. After a long and grueling fight, the transport ship was mine and I was finally let loose within the galaxy. With two bounties to tackle, one on Balmorra and the other on Nar Shadaa, my adventure truly begins.
Teen Services Librarian by day, Darkstation review editor by night. I've been playing video games since the days of the Commodore 64 and I have no interest in stopping now that I've made it this far.