03/05/2017

My Top 5 Companions We Should Have Been Able To Kill in the Original Class Stories

This is probably my longest post title ever.

The return of Malavai Quinn in patch 5.2 has once again reinvigorated the discussion about what companions we'd like to get rid of or even kill. I think Bioware has handled this well enough in the content they've added since 4.0, but the original class stories still feature many moments where it feels outright wrong that you're not able to do anything but smile and nod in the face of your companions' actions. I understand that it's not feasible to go back and change that at this point, but it is nonetheless somewhat galling when you consider that the original reason for making companions unkillable (people killed their only healer and later regretted it) has completely gone out of the window thanks to the ability to switch their role on the fly.

In the spirit of angrily shaking your fist at the screen to no avail, I shall therefore present you... with what it says in the post title. This post contains spoilers for the class stories of all the Imperial classes. Somehow it's only Imperial companions that inspire this kind of rage in me... probably because the worst any Republic companions can do is be boring or mildly annoying. You might wish for an option to reject some of them, but it's generally not in character to want to outright murder them. Not so for the Imps though.


#5: Ashara Zavros

Ashara is only fifth on this list because she's a comparatively inoffensive companion. However, she is a Jedi padawan, and for some reason the Sith inquisitor decides to adopt her as his or her apprentice. Why? Who knows!

The warrior has a similar thing going on with Jaesa Willsaam, but at least she has a unique talent that makes her desirable to have around, and the Sith warrior in turn gets an opportunity to impress her big time and give her a reason to want to stick around. It's still a flawed scenario, but at least it's got something going for it.

The only thing that makes Ashara relevant to the Sith inquisitor is that she's related to a certain Force ghost, and once that's dealt with there isn't really any reason to keep her around. In fact, she comes across as incredibly naive and gullible, which are hardly good qualities in the eyes of a Sith. From her point of view it's not clear why she wants to stick with the inquisitor either; more than anything she just seems confused and embarrassed by what she's done, probably thinking that she has nowhere else to go.

If you're dark side, the logical thing really would have been to simply off her once you were done with your business on Taris. Light siders maybe could have been given the option to simply let her go and tell her to go back to the Jedi. Suddenly being stuck with her sure came out of nowhere though.

#4: Skadge

Skadge is simply the blandest and dumbest companion in the whole game as far as I'm concerned. Other companions may inspire more hatred from the player base, but in turn they also tend to have some ardent fans that balance things out. But Skadge... I think the most flattering thing I've ever seen anyone say about him was that they didn't mind him that much. What a ringing endorsement.

In more than five years, I never felt the need to take a screenshot of him either (which is why there isn't one in this post). Why would I want to? He's just a dumb, ugly thug. I think the idea behind him was that he could take the role of "muscle" for your character, but he was given to the bounty hunter... and the bounty hunter is already the muscle themselves! He is the one bounty hunter companion that nobody likes and where nobody understands why the story makes you take him along. It's as if you suddenly decided to adopt a random trash mob. And we all know what we really want to do with trash mobs.


#3: Kaliyo Djannis

I hated Kaliyo so much on my first agent. My agent was a well-meaning Imperial loyalist, which meant that Kaliyo disapproved of everything I did and I could not see why Imperial Intelligence considered her a useful asset. When she tries to sell you out at the end, it's hardly a surprise, but that only makes it all the more annoying. I couldn't believe that not only was I forced to forgive her, this was then immediately followed up with a conversation on my ship about what great buds we were. What the eff.

After re-playing the Imperial agent story with a more chaotic, dark-side lean, I've come to appreciate that Kaliyo can be fun to have around if you're playing the right type of character. But there are too many other versions of the agent with whom she just outright clashes, and those should have been able to punish her final betrayal accordingly.

#2: Gault Rennow

Putting Gault on this list actually makes me feel a little guilty because I think he's a great character and I do like having him around. But his acquisition story is awful. At least its ending.

Gault is the bounty aspiring hunters have to hunt down on Tatooine as part of the Great Hunt. And the writers did a great job at having him slip through your fingers over and over again, to the point where you can't wait to shoot this guy when you finally corner him in a narrow canyon. Except then... you're suddenly not allowed to. He offers you a way of claiming the bounty without killing him, and you have to take it. It's incredibly annoying.

I remember shortly after SWTOR's launch (when I was still playing WoW too), a fellow WoW blogger gave the game a try. This turn of events was enough to completely turn him off the game.


#1: Malavai Quinn

Who else could be number one but everyone's favourite treacherous Imperial officer? I just replayed this part of the Sith warrior story recently and it feels so wrong to be unable to exact vengeance on him. Kaliyo's betrayal ticked me off, but she had always been a nuisance. Quinn on the other hand had always been useful, and I actually liked him. To have him turn against me really hurt. And the way he does it is so over the top too! He monologues about how it's a shame that you have to die, but in such an incredibly patronising way that you can pretty much hear the hashtag #sorrynotsorry. No, of course you don't stand a chance because he's observed you and these droids are totally going to counter your every move. Even when you defeat them with ease, he still sounds more surprised than anything else. Painful betrayal delivered in an extremely smug manner? What more reason do you need to want to kill someone? Yet all you can do is forgive him and move on. Sigh.

And I have to say, I'm actually not sure the option to kill him in 5.2 is a good substitute. It comes at an awkward moment when he's just spent several minutes grovelling to you and telling you about all the hardships he endured in your absence while looking for you. Not to mention that it's been five years. I'm sure there are players who hold a grudge and who want their character to hold a grudge too, and they will have happily taken the option to kill Quinn even then. But for me, that's not what I wanted (and my own warrior basically said "I don't think I can fully trust you ever again, but it's time to move on.") Quinn is not someone I would want dead for the sake of having him dead. He's a great and fun character overall. But after a story setup that's pretty much guaranteed to make you see red and lure you into committing a "crime of passion", not being able to go through with it feels highly constricting to this day.

12 comments :

  1. It's been a while since I've done the Inquisitor Taris storyline, so I don't know whether or not the option to allow the Force Ghost to attempt to kill her is still one of the dialogue choices, but this was clearly an after-effect of a time when she could have been killed at that moment.

    Kaliyo's would-be death is probably the one I would contest most on this list, given that she does (apparently) play an unseen and important role in the background following her arrest after the collapse of Intelligence. We never get any true exposure on what this is, though, so ehhhhhhh, not really as 'grand' as I make it seem.

    I think Broonmark is the only other Companion I would say definitely is worthy of absolute death during the original Class Stories. The motivation is there, certainly for Dark-Siders; he duels you and challenges your right to do as you please because you (accidentally) keep infringing upon his honour, so the Warrior always taking this lying down seems very surreal to me.

    Also maybe Guss for (trying to) betray the Smuggler to Rogun as well. A dark-side Smuggler is really unforgiving to those who double-cross them, so again Guss getting away (right after a cutscene where said Smuggler can basically challenge him to say why he can't kill him at that moment). If death is too serious for "ol' Guss", then he could also get turned away at the ship entrance, sorta a reversal of the original situation where you came to him for help but were double-crossed by him.

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    1. I don't remember ever getting the impression that Kaliyo did anything other than simply get locked up when she got imprisoned.

      Broonmark was a contender for my list too, instead of Ashara, but in the end I thought that the Sith warrior keeping a blood-thirsty killer pet around for their amusement had more merit than the Sith inquisitor's adoption of Ashara.

      Dunno about Guss. Killing him right after he fessed up and helped you feels ultra dark side to me more than a piece of natural story progression.

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  2. Wie immer ein wunderbarer Artikel.
    May the Fourth be with you!

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  3. For me, Skadge and Kaliyo are interchangeable at #1 and #2. Quinn fits in nicely at #3, and I personally don't like Xalek much at all, but he's not as bad as Tanno Vik, so I'd put Vik at #4. While we can punch out Guss, I never trusted him, so I'd put him at #5.

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    1. I remember disliking Vik intensely on my first trooper playthrough, but somehow I found him less bothersome the second and third time around, maybe because I knew what to expect. Still, I couldn't see outright killing him fitting into the story, because soldiers killing fellow soldiers on their own team... that's not just dark side, that would be outright treason. I just don't see how your character could have gone back to business as usual after that.

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    2. I'm sure that if he'd been given the opportunity via the plot that Vik could have potentially turned traitor. Then I'd have had no problem at all with having him buy the farm. And really, after his shenanigans on Balmorra I'd have had no trouble at all shooting him at the end of that questline. There were Imps I'd fought who had more honor than Vik.

      Besides, if they'd have rewritten Chapter One a bit you could have had Vik instead of the droid on Nar Shadda, and whether Vik was a double agent or not would have been a helluva storyline.

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    3. Well, wanting to re-write the plot altogether is a different kettle of fish really...

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  4. I cannot agree with this list, and that of most comments before mine. Many of the companions are annoying but dont deserve death(lightside) or arent worth the trouble(darkside). I've played through most classes as both male and female, light and darkside so have seen most of what the companions offer.
    Probably the only one I'd kill would be Tanno Vik. I hated that guy SO DAMN MUCH.

    I have had characters romance both Kaliyo and Quinn. Their betrayals were completely different. Kaliyo betraying you is simply part of the game between you - both an agent and Kaliyo are sneaky underhanded types living most of their lives with lies within lies. If you romance her, you'll find out shes very much less than faithful -but there are several opportunities for the male agent also, noteably that sith lord on Balmorra.
    Quinn's betrayal, particularly if you are romancing him, is hurtful. However some dialogue choices lend credence to Quinn being forced into the betrayal rather than it truely being his idea. I do wish you could put poor Vette's shock collar on him though!

    Broonmark and Skadge are just brutes. Keep them on a short chain and let them loose when the occasion demands it. Several of the other companions are somewhat similar but a bit more sophisticated. Pierce, Xalek, Rusk, Zenith and maybe M1 4X fit here.

    There are a couple, primarily Guss Tuno, Blizz and maybe Yuun that I'd keep around for comedy value, shock-collar enhanced if darksider. The two butler-robot ship droids kind of fit here too.

    Most of the rest of the companions are useful and likeable enough but only a few have really strong hooks for the PC to truely bond with.

    HK-51 (and what I've seen of -55) is so deliciously evil hes glorious. Scorpio as well, at least in the original game.

    Ashara is a project for an Inquisitor. A darkside one sees her as a challenge to corrupt. A light-side Inquisitor may see her as a refreshing, but flawed, relief from the normal Sith intrigues.

    Vette and Mako are just nice girls trying to survive. Nadia Grell, Elara Dorne and Risha are also generally likeable. Aric Jorgan, Bowdaar Felix Iresso, Torian Cadera and some of the other males are also generally likeable.

    Gault Rennow needs a shock collar (for both light and Darksiders!) but is great fun. Jaesa, and in some ways Kira Carsen are the mental health disasters but both are too useful to get rid of.

    Vector Hyllus is of course fairly freaky but generally nice to be around.

    Khem Val is my personal favourite, along with Scourge.

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    1. The title of the post is "companions we should have been able to kill", not "companions I hate and who should have died". :) I only really dislike two of them, and I even admitted that Kaliyo has likeable qualities if you interact with her in the right manner.

      The issue here is story context. E.g. the bounty hunter's mission on Tatooine is literally to kill Gault. You don't think killing him should at least have been an option there? Likewise if you look at Quinn's and Kaliyo's betrayals, yes, you may well have reasons to want to let them live. But considering that our characters have at that point killed lots of people for a lot less (such as simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time), it's strange that these companions are exempt from even the possibility of eliciting your wrath.

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  5. Currently going through the SI storyline, I'll admit I am a bit disappointed with Ashara. The fact that you can't just dispose of her alongside her masters aside, they present the option (or at least, I think it's an option, it might be a case of 'all options do this anyway') on Taris of corrupting her with a holocron.

    I was really hoping further conversations with her once she became your apprentice would allow you to continue along that path. Go full Palpatine on her by manipulating her emotions. Something along the lines of "You're headstrong and want to kill Sith, so let's keep working up that emotion and increasing your strength by hunting down Sith (That I may not like either >.>) for you to kill" And just continue corrupting her beliefs until she's basically like Bengel Morr. Because she makes it fully clear she doesn't plan to be Sith, but then you can at least make her a Dark Jedi >.>

    But yeah, for the purpose of this particular post, it is odd you can't just dispose of her once she's served her purpose. Also totally agree with you on Quinn. No opinions on the BH characters - that and Agent are the two Imp classes I haven't actually completed.

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  6. In re: Quinn. From the Outsider's subjective timeline, it's been rather less than 5 years since they last saw Quinn (a matter of months at most from FE.2 to Iokath), and the amount of time between the betrayal and the start of KotFE may only be a matter of months at most as well (depending on what the actual timeline of Ilum > Ziost is). A Sith Warrior might well have just kept seething the whole time.

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