Join the Dark Side

In which the best choice is not always the good choice.

Knights of the old republic

One of the great lies in the Star Wars Universe is the validity of choosing the dark side. I get the path is fraught with a few missteps (oh god, not the younglings) but the idea that it is not as strong is hokum. I’m currently replaying the great Knights of the Old Republic and very early on you get to decide whether you are going to be the next Yoda or Vader.

In modern RPGs there is this morality split of whether you choose the path of the enlightened good guy, or pursue the path of a douche. That’s a bit unfair, the split is often to decide if you try to help everyone you come across and right the wrongs of the world or prefer to not intervene and let chaos reign.

However this further becomes a choice of extra healing powers (light side) or the ability to shoot electricity from your fingertips (dark side). Come on fear, let’s starting walking down that path.

Maybe it’s the developers putting that temptation in your path, just in the Star Wars game you get special powers dependant on your moral alignment.

If you choose the light side you can:

  • Run really fast – to get away from the bad guys shooting at you.
  • Healing – in case you didn’t run fast enough
  • Disable droid – to turn off robots shooting at you

Yet be tempted by the dark you can

  • Shoot force lightning – to kill the bad guys with guns
  • Force choke – to kill the bad guys with guns
  • Horror – to send the bad guys shooting at you mad and get them to shoot each other

The final decision comes down to would you rather lead the path of Obi Wan confusing droids and end up dead, or go around squeezing necks and rule the universe? Being a megalomaniac this is quite an easy choice and straight away I look for any opportunity to get jiggy with the sith.

The interesting part about playing dark sides in games is that the choices are not that clear cut. You would think the path that leads a trail of bodies would be the “bad” way but it is more a choice between intervening or not. An early quest in KOTOR demonstrates this quite clearly, you are given the choice to give a beggar some credits. The light side gives him the money for some food and off he goes, whereas Darth Ergo walks on by.

Easy choice yes? Well if you can him the money then some robbers see and beat the man to death for the change you have him, not doing anyone means he is still a beggar but he is still alive. This is why I like playing the dark side (okay that’s a lie, to cover up my sociopathic gaming behaviour) is that being the busybody can have just as many unexpected problems.

It is the distinction between order and chaos. Try to bend the universe to your will by either your moral code or you iron fist, either way you are controlling.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Decisions, Decisions.”

How are you more likely to make an important decision — by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?

Author: geekergosum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

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