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    Optimal Character Buildup FAQ by shockwaveXPOW

    Version: 10 | Updated: 05/10/04 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
    Version 6.0
    Shockwave (shockwave_xpow@hotmail.com)
    Copyright 2003 by shockwave
    All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by
    their respective trademark and copyright holders.
    None of this information can be reposted anywhere outside of gamefaqs
    without my express permission.  
    1. Introduction
    2. Party selection
    3. Character Building
       A. Gender
       B. Class
       C. Stats
       D. Skills
       E. Feats
       F. Powers
       G. Leveling
       H. Alignment
    4. Equipment
       A. Weapons
       B. Armor
       C. Items
       D. Money
    5. Miscellaneous
       A. Side quests
       B. Saving/loading
       C. Combat tips
       D. Pazaak
    6. Walkthrough Tips
       A. Planet order
       B. Maps
       C. Branching and Decisions
       D. Dialog
       E. Dark side end game tips
    7. Conclusions
    V1.0: First version
    V2.0: Added "Walkthrough notes", made some minor corrections
      and formatting changes to other sections.
    V3.0: Added some more information on powers, changed some terminology.
    V4.0: Added some more information on dialog, lightsaber choice, force
      powers, and feats.
    V5.0: More information on dialog and force powers.  Added note about
      strategic leveling.  Gave more specific advice about stats and skills.
     5.5: Minor changes to powers section.
    V6.0: Added some more information about armor choice, double bladed
      lightsabers, feat selection.
    V7.0: Miscellaneous updates to most sections.
    V8.0: Some updates to feats and skills.
    V9.0: Added section 6E.  Added more information about force powers 
      particularly as they relate to dark side choices.  Added notes on
      repair for HK-47.  Changed startup stats recommendation since it
      used two points more than is available.
    V10.0: Added some more notes about character class selection and buildup.
    This FAQ is for players who want to optimize their character to the
    max.  KOTOR, like many good open-ended RPGs, allows for many different
    routes for character development.  Part of the enjoyment is in making
    decisions experimentally, but more hardcore gamers may want the
    benefit of knowing whether certain choices are absolutely better than
    others.  In particular, there is sometimes a sense of regret in the
    end when earlier mistakes are realized, as well as frustration if the
    character is not powerful enough to finish the game due to earlier
    poor decisions that cannot be rectified after the fact.  This FAQ is
    intended to explain some of the concepts deliberately left vague in
    the user manual, and also subtleties that I have not seen in other
    more general walkthrough or character FAQs.  I assume that you have
    passing familiarity with concepts in KOTOR; I do not explain basics
    since those can be found in other guides or in the manual.  Only read
    this for more advanced aid as a supplement if you can't find your
    answers elsewhere.  Of course, I cannot guarantee that everything in
    here is novel either; I will try to stay away from basic information;
    but for the sake of being thorough, I will include as much as I know.
    In terms of philosophy, my goal is to have the most powerful, kick
    butt character in the known universe by the end of the game.  This
    means that I may ask you to pursue certain routes that will leave your
    character slightly weaker earlier on.  Since the later parts of most
    all RTSs tend to be more difficult anyway, it seems to make sense to
    do the tradeoff of having a weaker initial character in order to end
    with a more powerful one.  I will try as much as possible to give
    specific information on character buildup, versus just saying that
    certain skills are good or bad.  I am not infallible and have only
    played through the game once, so these are just my best judgments.
    There are spoilers in here!  I'm not even going to warn you when they
    come, but I'll try to avoid them as much as possible.  However, if
    you're like me and just want to become ultra powerful even at the
    expense of suspense, then hopefully you won't mind this at all.
    This is for a normal difficulty game.
    I'll start with this since party selection determines how you want to
    build up your PC.  By PC, I mean your Primary Character, NPC means
    Non-Primary Character (e.g. Carth, Mission, Bastila, etc.), CCC means
    Computer-Controlled Character and includes all non-party people you
    meet during the game and thus do not have control over, "monster" or
    "enemy" means all hostiles that you don't interact with.
    The simple point is that your PC doesn't have to be able to do
    everything himself because you'll have plenty of other NPCs to help
    him out.  You can have up to two other party members, and you should
    always have the max number since there is no drawback (note:
    experience is gained by all members whether they're in the party or
    not).  In the beginning, who you use is up to you, although I'd
    recommend generally having one character who has good skills like
    Mission or your droid so you can use them for those doors, computers,
    mines, etc. that come up quite frequently.  Of course, if you're in an
    area where you see that party selection is enabled, then you won't
    need them all the time: just switch to them when appropriate.  Keep
    this in mind in terms of how you choose to build your character.  You
    can e.g. keep your character at zero demolitions skill as long as one
    of your other favored NPCs that you always use has that skill.  There
    is no drawback to using other NPCs versus your PC; treat them as one
    party unit.  The only real issue is that occasionally your PC has to
    go solo, but these cases are infrequent.
    There are various ways to go about party selection.  One is to switch
    between using different party members just for the sake of having more
    fun and variety.  In particular, some party members interact with each
    other on occasion, this doesn't add to the plot but is just
    interesting.  Certain characters will interact differently with the
    various side quests; e.g. when you go to find Mission's brother, you
    obviously may want to have Mission in your party so she can add to the
    dialog.  And some characters will only have side quest encounters
    triggered if you use them.  What you do is up to you; correct playing
    of the game does not hinge on somehow knowing omnisciently which
    characters to have in which situations, so don't fret about that too
    much.  On the other hand, the game does encourage you to swap party
    characters, and sometimes forces you to, so it's not a bad idea to
    experiment around if not just for the sake of variety.
    My personal preference is to use a few NPCs always that I favor.  This
    allows me to be more intentional about how I assign skills.  One
    advice I have is that I believe the Jedi are definitely more powerful
    than other characters.  Even the simple fact that they have heal makes
    life a lot easier.  Not to mention, later on you're going to be
    fighting against a lot of dark Jedi.  If you're using someone with a
    ranged weapon, you'll have to make sure they're not targeted for melee
    because they suffer a huge defense bonus in that case.  If you do use
    them for melee, then it's probably better to use one of your Jedi
    because lightsabers are generally superior to other melee weapons.
    Having said this, I do need to bring up a couple of spoilers that will
    affect your party selection.  You can skip this if you don't want to
    read those, but I'll be referring to them later so it's probably
    unavoidable, sorry.  You'll lose Bastila near the end of the game, so
    bear that in mind as you select skills.  If you load her with your
    team force buffs like force valor and heal and your other characters
    have no redundancy, then you'll be in a lot of trouble.  Since you do
    lose Bastila late, this will be when your characters are near level
    20, so you won't have an opportunity to work up much more skill in
    your other characters.  It may be too late at that point to start down
    the cure/heal route.  The short answer is: Don't let her specialize in
    any skills that your other characters can't duplicate.
    As well, if you want the dark side ending, near the end you'll lose
    both your other two Jedi.  You'll regain Bastila to compensate, but 
    her skills will be all different since she'll have become a dark side
    character.  So, similarly, don't rely on your two other Jedi if you
    want the dark side ending.  This makes things a bit more difficult,
    because you'll have to incorporate a non-Jedi into your party and
    Bastila will be assigned some arbitrary skills that you may or may not
    find useful.  So I don't generally recommend that path, but you can
    minimize the pain if you keep in mind that you will be losing your two
    other Jedi and regaining Bastila albeit with fairly unpredictable
    Jedi powers allocation.
    A. Gender
    Gender only affects the game in very trivial ways.  You'll have
    different romantic interests with the other NPCs depending on whether
    you're male or female, and once in a while a dialog option will be
    different in some purely cosmetic way.  I would just choose whatever
    gender you actually are in real life.  It doesn't affect your stats or
    anything else concrete as far as I can tell.
    B. Class
    This is one of the more important decisions you make in the game, but
    unfortunately you do so at the beginning when you have no clue what is
    good or bad.  The game's suggestions don't really help because there
    is no way you can tell whether you'll actually enjoy fighting
    vs. indirect means since you haven't encountered either in the context
    of the game yet.
    a. Normal class
    You can choose your class based on your personal preference or style
    of play, but I feel that soldier is probably the best choice for most
    players.  Scoundrels will have to spend a lot of time avoiding combat
    and solving problems indirectly because of low health, so if you
    particularly enjoy hacking into computers and sneaking past guards
    than this is for you otherwise I'd pass on it.  Also, there are many
    situations where scoundrels are forced into combat, and here they will
    definitely be at a disadvantage to the other more combat-oriented
    classes.  You can't always rely on your other party members for help
    because some of the most important battles are solo.  A few such as
    the duel ring are avoidable since they are side quests, but others are
    not.  If you really want the indirect route, you can always
    use other members of your party, since almost all "puzzles" you solve
    will be ones where you are with other party members.  Mission joins
    your party early on, you can use her for all your scoundrel and
    indirect puzzle-solving needs.  You really don't need more than one
    scoundrel in your party.
    The main point is that being a scoundrel does not particularly open up
    new and interesting possibilities such as that kind of choice would in
    other RPGs.  So you're not missing out.  But you will definitely miss
    out on some of the more combat-oriented solo side quests since you may
    not be powerful enough to get through them without being a soldier or
    at least a scout.
    I'm told that one reason for going scoundrel is because sneak attack
    does wonder against stunned opponents later in the game, particularly
    if your NPCs specialize in stun weapons or powers.  That this is true
    is definitely indisputable.  Whether that makes up for all the other
    drawbacks of being a scoundrel is questionable.  Personally, I don't
    find that this one advantage offsets the other drawbacks I mentioned
    above.  It's your choice of course, but I would recommend soldier
    without a second thought unless you really know what you're getting
    yourself into.
    The scout is the in-between class.  Again, since I don't find
    indirect play to be particularly fun, there is no reason not to just
    be a soldier.  The only really compelling reason (and it's not much
    of one) to choose scout is becaues scout has repair as a primary
    skill and thus can easily bring that to high levels.  Having high
    repair is fairly useless through the game except that it allows
    you to upgrade HK-47.  See the repair section for more details on
    this.  Again, I don't feel this is a particularly compelling reason
    to choose scout.
    Here's some more reader notes about the viability of choosing other
    | "C M" writes:
    In your guide, you state that the scout class is an "in-betweeen"
    class and that the only good thing to the scout class is that they get
    Repair as a class skill.
    I would respectfully like to point out the other benefits to the Scout
    - The Scout starts with FLURRY feat.  Your guide states that the first
       feat you recommend taking is flurry.  Starting as a Scout saves you
       this feat selection.
    - The Scout also gets free IMPLANT feats at level 1, 4 and 8.  This is
       a VERY useful feat (for free) as it is the easiest way to increase
       your primary stats, as well as other stats such as your saves.  I
       believe that having (at least) level 2 implants are a definite
       benefit to playing the game.
    - By level 4, the Scout has only 1 less feat than the Soldier, but
       they have received FLURRY and IMPLANT levels 1 and 2 for free (not
       to mention Uncanny Dodge level 1).  This actually means that they
       have 2 more useful feats than the Soldier at the same level.
    - By level 6 the Scout has 2 fewer feats than the Soldier.  This means
       they will still have one more feat than the Soldier when you
       consider the free feats above.
    - By level 8 the Scout has 3 fewer feats than the Soldier - but they
       gain Implant Level 3 (not to mention Uncanny Dodge level 2).  If
       using level 3 implants are important to you, then this level is a
       wash.  If you donít want level 3 implants, then it is at this
       level that the Soldier finally catches up to the Scout for useful
    - The Scout gets far better skill points (up to 3 times as many).
       This may not be a critical feature for game play, but it is nice to
       not have to stress too much that your PC cannot see or disable
       mines, open security doors, repair droids, or persuade others.  I
       would suggest that the aggravation that is saved at being able to
       cover these bases with my PC at all times is a useful feature of
       this class.
    - The Scout gets many more class skills, making it much easier to get
       better skill point distribution. It is great to be able to upgrade
       HK-47, but it is also nice to be able to persuade others as well as
       get decent returns from your medpacks.  The Scout will give you a
       better chance to do this.
    I feel that these added benefits more than compensate for the lower
    vitality and attack base of the Scout.
    b. Jedi class
    Early in the game (well, relatively early), you'll abandon your normal
    character class and then proceed as a Jedi class.  I would not pick
    the sentinel; it is rather in-between class that neither excels at
    using force nor at combat.  Otherwise, this is totally subjective; if
    you want to be a lightsaber-wielding maniac, then choose guardian.  If
    you want to fry your opponents with the force, then choose counselor.
    Even as a guardian, though, I was able to get a decent number of force
    powers, and with a better-than-average wisdom I had enough mana to do
    whatever I needed to do.  A good choice might be to start off as
    soldier so you can grab a lot of feats, then choose counselor so you
    can grab a lot of force.  Same as with base character class, note that
    you will have other Jedi of various classes, so you're not going to
    miss out on using the force if you choose guardian since Jolee will be
    your main force spammer, etc.  BTW: Terminology note, I'll be
    referring to magic reserves as "mana"; i.e. this is the amount of
    force power you have.
    C. Stats
    The most important stat to upgrade is wisdom.  The second is either
    strength or dexterity depending on which you started out higher.  If
    you're a soldier, start with high strength (the default soldier gives
    you this).  If you're a scout, start with high dexterity.  Note that
    when using a lightsaber, the higher of your dexterity vs. strength
    will be used to determine your to-hit.  So you don't need high
    strength to use a lightsaber.  This is only for lightsabers, and I
    would guess is so that any class can use lightsabers effectively.  For
    all other melee weapons, strength is used for to-hit.
    Note that you only get a bonus for every even number stat.  Increasing
    dexterity from 12 to 13 gives you no immediate benefit, but 13 to 14
    gives you an additional +1.  Keep this in mind especially when
    upgrading NPCs.  Many NPCs start off with some stats that are odd
    numbers.  Increase those by 1 automatically at your first chance
    unless in the case of something like intelligence, e.g. Carth starts
    out with 13 intelligence and probably doesn't need another point.
    You'll have opportunities to improve your attributes every four 
    levels, which is not frequent at all.  In total, since the highest 
    level is 20, this means you can have 5 additional points to add to 
    your base stats.  
    Here is one suggestion:
    Strength: 14
    Dexterity: 14
    Intelligence: 8
    Wisdom: 16
    Constitution: 12
    Charisma: 10
    Increase wisdom at each level and leave the other stats alone.
    Strength / Dexterity: Simply for lightsaber use, you want one of these
    numbers to be high.  Strength additionally lets you inflict more
    damage, dexterity helps your armor class and some saving throws, so
    which you prefer is up to you.  I don't think either is necessarily
    better than the other, although if you want to think WAY ahead, the
    final boss pretty much never misses regardless of your armor, whereas
    strength will help you against him.  Certain other more powerful
    monsters also tend not to miss.  Anyway, those are minor factors; if
    you follow this guide, you won't have to worry about being too weak to
    take on anything.  On normal mode, the end boss will be VERY easy.
    Wisdom: this governs how effective your force powers are and how much
    mana you have in later game.  Mana is basically like magic, and you
    will be using it a LOT in later game.  Having higher mana not only
    helps you practically, but also makes the game a whole heckuva lot
    more enjoyable to play since force powers are hands down the coolest
    part.  You don't want to have to use mana sparingly because of
    mediocre levels in later game, or find that your mana is easily
    resisted because you only have mediocre wisdom.  In addition, this
    also helps you resist force powers, and makes it more difficult for
    others to rseist your force powers, and I think adds bonuses to your
    treat injury.  Just as a guideline, I had around 16 wisdom at the end
    and was able to use stasis field on Bastila (the 2nd to last boss
    fight) fairly successfully.
    Intelligence: this is pretty useless, it only gives you bonuses to the
    number of skill points per level, which is not terribly amazing
    because skills are not critical (more on that later).  This also
    affects the sniper shot feat, so you could raise this for that purpose
    although I hardly think it worth it just for that.
    Constitution: this gives bonuses to health per level and also affects
    some saving throws.  I would give constitution some mediocre but non-low 
    number and not upgrade it at all.  You can find items later that pump 
    up your constitution, or spend feat points on conditioning, or just 
    raise this occasionally if you're dying too frequently.
    Charisma: this is used for some force powers but wisdom is definitely
    more important, I would keep charisma at some mediocre base level and
    never upgrade it.  Charisma is also used for persuasion, but I find
    that putting points into persuade more than makes up for mediocre
    charisma, or later you can just use the Jedi affect mind.
    D. Skills
    Skills make certain tasks easier, but none are terribly critical for
    the game.  That is, the game is designed so that it can be reasonably
    solved without high skills in any particular area, and your PC doesn't
    have to be skilled in everything since party members can make up for
    this.  As I said before; early in the game, the scoundrel Mission
    joins you, and she gets insane skill progression so you can pretty
    much just swap her in whenever you need some skill-related task done.
    Your droid T3-M4, which you also get early, has very good skill
    progression too.  Some skills just decrease the number of parts you
    need for certain actions, and parts are just money, and you typically
    have a lot of excess money anyway (more on that later), so it's not a
    big deal to be low on those skills.
    Note that some attempts give failure no matter how high your
    respective skill is.  For example, I believe you'll always fail
    at some persuade or force persuade dialog even if the option is
    available.  There is of course no way to prove this unless you
    specifically stick all your points into that skill from the outset
    as a scoundrel and try again.  Suffice to say, though, I have a 
    pretty high degree of confidence that there are certain doors that
    are just not meant to be security'd through, and some persuade
    options that are not meant to be successful.  It's a bummer that
    the game gives you an option to attempt anyway, since that might
    be misleading, but I guess it's also more realistic this way.  
    The most important skills for my PC are persuade and treat injury.
    This is all relative; none of the skills are particularly important so
    this is not to say that these skills are vital.  If your'e using a
    soldier with low intelligence, I would recommend just putting
    everything into persuade and maybe an occasional into treat injury.
    It might be helpful to have one point in security and then use
    security-enhancing items, because you can't use the security skill
    unless you have at least one natural point in it.
    Persuade: this becomes important because it opens up better options
    when dialoging with NPCs.  You can often get a better result,
    significantly more experience, more money, etc.  If you have a low
    persuade and charisma, you'll forever be wondering whether you could
    have avoided a hostile outcome.  At least with persuade, you can go
    through "what if"s -- try out different choices in the dialog options,
    reload to try different ones, until you find the best.  Without high
    persuade, some dialog routes will not be successful for you.  Later
    on, you can use the Jedi affect mind instead of persuade, but this
    sometimes gives you a dark side hit so you won't always be able to
    rely on that if you're trying to follow the light side.  As one
    example, somewhere along the game you are required to help two people
    resolve a dispute.  Having good persuade gives you a very warm happy
    fuzzy feeling.  Having mediocre persuade leads to a lot of death and
    misery.  For dark side players, persuade is important for the frequent
    lying you'll be doing, and you can also goad people into doing all
    sorts of evil things with good persuade.  Note that you can only have
    persuade for your main character, so your NPCs cannot make up for
    this.  That's why I find it important to have my PC put points into 
    this.  Again, there are some situations where you'll fail regardless
    of how high your persuade is, so try to recognize those (e.g. by
    reading through other guides) before dumping more points than
    necessary into persuade on the mistaken assumption that yours is
    just not high enough because you fail occasionally.
    Security: this helps you get through locked doors and boxes.  This
    isn't that critical because most (all?) of the locked things you come
    across can just be bashed down or opened via a computer terminal
    ("open all security doors").  Or you can always use a spike to help
    you get through too.  I have yet to come across a door/box that I
    cannot bash down but which security can get through.  Some doors might
    take forever to knock down, but this is no big deal since you can
    always take a bathroom break since bashing is always done outside of
    combat.  If you're interested in the role playing experience, then go
    ahead and put points into security, otherwise just be content with
    bashing down doors and chests.  Doors and chests are never trapped
    or anything, so you run no risk of bashing them or attempting to open
    them (unlike mines).
    Treat injury: this determines how much health you gain back from med
    packs.  This is not all that critical since med packs are cheap, and
    you'll get healing abilities soon enough as a Jedi, but it can save
    you from sticky situations where you're very low on health and need a
    boost fast.  If you have low treat injury, you can still medpack
    yourself but you may end up taking more damage than you heal if you're
    in the middle of a fight.  There are a few solo situations where
    having good treat injury makes things easier, such as with the end
    boss.  Also, if you have high treat injury, can you elect to bypass
    using heal most of the time since you'll get such a high return from
    your med packs.  So if you're bent on saving mana, then this can be
    helpful.  But again, it is really not critical.  On normal, the only
    times I ever use med packs are on Taris before I have cure, and at the
    end boss where I use life support packs since I don't have time to
    repeatedly cast heal.  This is true whether I'm dark or light side; as
    I'll explain below, I typically get the cure power for my PC even if
    he's dark side.  All in all, treat injury is just like the other
    skills -- not awesome, but can save a bit of headache once in a
    blue moon, so you might as well put occasional points into it since
    there's not much else that's more critical.
    Awareness: you should have a decent level of awareness in your PC
    primarily to spot mines.  The other stated use is to spot cloaked
    enemies, but there is no cloaked enemy period in the game where
    awareness actually helps.  All the invisible enemies you'll find are
    non-detectable until they are triggered.  This is really sad, the game
    could have been a lot more dynamic if KOTOR actually made use of this
    facet of awareness.  Commentary aside, if you have a low awareness,
    you might step onto mines accidentally, but this is no big deal -- if
    you really care and want to get the mine back, reload and switch to
    another character with higher awareness and walk them so that you can
    see the mine.  Note that there is no need to have high awareness in
    your other characters; there's only one point in the game when you
    are solo with a NPC and here you don't need awareness at all, and
    for the most part you'll be electing to control your PC so he's
    the one whose awareness will be used for spotting mines.  The only
    time I would get awareness for other characters is if your PC is
    a weakling scoundrel and you'd rather lead with another NPC, or 
    you deliberately spend zero points on awareness and want to use
    another character for that instead.
    Demolitions: this is not a bad skill to have a mediocre level in.
    This allows you to recover mines for later use.  I hardly use mines; I
    only place them in hard boss fights where I know ahead of time (or
    have reloaded) that there is a boss coming up and that I can lure him
    through mines.  Of course, you can always purchase mines too.  I like
    having a decent demolition score because I like to hoard items.  It's
    a bummer just out of principle if I come across a mine and have to
    disarm it instead of recovering it.  There are various medium cost
    items and visors you can get later on that can bump up your
    demolitions tremendously such as the demolitions gloves sold in
    Korriban, so you may be able to skimp on demolitions and just switch
    on your gloves or what not as needed.  This is particularly easy 
    because generally you'll be setting and disarming mines outside
    of combat, so there's no drawback of temporarily switching equipment
    for that purpose.  E.G. If you have a low demolitions skill, you won't
    be able to set some of the better mines, but it's easy enough to
    switch over to your demolitions visor and gauntlets to set the mines.
    Computer use: this just decreases the number of spikes you need for
    certain computer options.  I hardly ever use computer options; I only
    download schematics (i.e. maps) once in a while, and you need a lot
    of computer skill to lower the number of spikes needed.
    Repair: this determines the number of spikes needed to activate
    certain droids that you'll find lying around.  This isn't a bad thing
    because activating droids most often gives you experience, but repair
    spikes are plentiful (I ended the game with well over a hundred) so
    they're not a valuable commodity to be conserved.  Your PC will also
    use repair later on to upgrade HK-47.  HK-47 is a great support 
    character if you for some reason don't feel like using your Jedi, and 
    the dialog you get when upgrading him is rather humorous, so this is
    definitely an option to be considered.  But once again, it really is
    not critical at all, and I hardly use HK-47 in my party because
    I have my Jedi available, and repair is otherwise such a rarely used
    ability that it's not worth putting many points into this.  
    If you do want to go the route of repairing HK-47, then the only 
    really feasible way is to choose scout, since other classes require 2
    skill points per point for repair.  If you're going for the dark
    side ending, you may want to consider this since for the last level,
    you'll probably use either Canderous and HK-47 as your third
    character.  Repairing HK-47's memory also rewards you with some
    very entertaining dialog.
    Stealth: this is only useful to scoundrels so I won't get into that.
    I never use stealth abilities, they're theoretically cool but having
    to stealth through enemies is a bit laborious.  If you do choose
    scoundrel, then you may have to use this occasionally, hence another
    reason not to choose scoundrel.
    E. Feats
    This is one of the more daunting parts of KOTOR.  When you level up,
    you're presented with a menu of all sorts of different feats and no
    clue as to which are actually good or bad.  For my PC, I would up
    flurry, two-handed weapons fighting, toughness, lightsaber
    proficiency.  Specifically, I put my first feat point into flurry,
    my second to two-handed weapons fighting (and at that point I
    start using two weapons), and my third into toughness.   I then
    continue along those three until I change to Jedi, at which point
    I start interpersing points into Jedi defense and lightsaber
    For starters, you'll probably want your PC to be a melee.  More on
    this later if you're unconvinced, but I'll assume you agree for now.
    If you didn't choose soldier, then sure you can have him use blasters
    in the beginning, but once you become a Jedi, there is almost zero
    reason to use any non-lightsaber weapon.  Keep that in mind so you
    don't waste points maximizing stuff like rapid fire and power blast,
    which are only applicable to ranged weapons.  Getting those might help
    you in the beginning, but the beginning part is really easy enough
    without them and if you want a powerhouse at the end, you'll have to
    make some tradeoffs.  I'd rather have a weaker character in the
    beginning for the promise of a more powerful one at the end.  Once you
    have lightsabers, you will probably never touch a ranged weapon again,
    so having master rapid shot is a waste from that point onward.  Of
    course, this does not translate to your NPCs -- for characters like
    Carth, HK-47, Canderous, you definitely want to grab rapid shot for
    them and ranged weapons proficiency.
    In any case, assuming you took my suggestion for soldier, you'll
    naturally be using melee weapons anyway so go ahead and max those
    feats.  Of course, you also have to think of your other characters, so
    I'll try to incorporate suggestions for both as I talk about feats.
    I'll rank the feats from best to worst, but basically in the
    beginning I would up two-handed and flurry for my PC whenever those 
    are available (substitute rapid shot for flurry in ranged characters),
    then toughness and maybe lvl1 implants if the next level of
    dueling and flurry are not yet available.  I list critical strike
    as an important feat but I'd only get that later when you've gotten
    the nice lightsaber crystals, otherwise just use flurry as default;
    this not only keeps the game simpler but also saves your feats points.
    Once I have lightsaber feats available, I'll still get two-handed
    and flurry whenever those are available for my PC, and jedi defense
    then lightsaber proficiency if not, then toughness.
    Critical, Power, Rapid/Flurry: These all augment your attacks while
    adding some sort of penalty.  The natural question is: how do these
    compare to each other in strength, or how do they compare to using
    regular attacks (whether ranged or melee).  The short answer is that
    I get flurry/rapid for everyone and max it, and don't generally bother
    with the others.  Flurry at high levels in particular gives only
    a negligable penalty to attack and defense so there is no reason
    to use your default attack instead.   Critical strike is also very
    powerful, particularly when combined with weapons that already have
    a high critical threat range, but the defense penalty is substantial
    and does not go down at higher levels, assuring that you'll get
    hammered if you use this while fighting multiple enemies.  Power
    attack is great for dispatching weaker enemies since you tradeoff
    worse to-hit for damage bonus, but you won't be able to use this
    against bosses and there are easy ways to dispatch weaker enemies.
    Critical for ranged attackers, i.e. sniper shot, is at least safer 
    because enemies will typically be directing attacks against your 
    melee units.  
    There are two times when I would opt for some other feat than flurry
    for my characters.  One is when I get critical strike for a character
    using a weapon with particularly high critical threat range, such
    as a modified lightsaber.  Two is when I expect to be fighting most
    of my battles with lvl3 burst of speed on, in which case I could
    use either critical or power attack.  The reason for the first is
    pretty self explanatory.  For the second, the issue is that flurry
    gives diminishing returns because you're already getting four attacks
    so flurry only adds one more, whereas power attack and critical
    strike affect all four attacks.  In other words, if you're only
    getting one attack per round, flurry doubles your attack.  If
    you're already getting four default attacks per round because of
    use of dual weapons and lvl3 speed, then flurry only gives you
    25% more attack.  Before I make your head explode, my advice is 
    simply that by default, max out flurry/rapid, and only get 
    critical/sniper if I have good reason to do so.  You can't go
    wrong getting flurry, whereas you can certainly go wrong maxing
    power and critical.  You could get all three and use each selectively,
    but that's rather wasteful in terms of feats because you don't
    get all that many.
    Dueling/Two-handed fighting: Max either of these depending on which
    you use.  For your PC, stick exclusively to two-handed fighting.  For
    weaker NPCs, get dueling.  
    Flurry: Flurry is probably the best feat in the game.  Getting extra
    attacks is very powerful, so I would max this.  The benefit of
    going from lvl2 to lvl3 is not as great since you only get an
    additional +1/+1, but it's still liable to make an appreciable
    difference given how much you'll be using flurry.  I.E. I use it in
    every attack as my default for all my characters.  Get master flurry
    for all your melee characters, particularly your Jedi.  The only
    exception may be Jolee; he's primarily a spellcaster and doesn't
    get many feat points, so you may want to consider first maxing 
    more defensive feats such as dueling and jedi defense.
    Lightsaber proficiency: Max this for your main character and Juhani.
    For Jolee, it's up to you whether you want to focus on defense/support
    such as Jedi defense versus attack such as flurry and lightsaber
    proficiency.  Either route is good, but just be aware that even if you
    keep Jolee in a support role, he'll still eventually charge into
    battle, so you may want to give him some attack feats.  It's really
    up to you, I don't find either route to be particularly better.
    If you're a dark side character, you may want to hold off on lightsaber
    proficiency because you'll later find very nice dark side gloves that will 
    give you lvl3 proficiency automatically. 
    Jedi defense: A very good skill to max also, as it'll save you a lot
    of damage against the numerous ranged enemies you come across.  Not to
    mention also that it just looks very cool particularly when you
    deflect blasts back to their owners for damage.  I would definitely
    max this with Jolee, and put it at least lvl2 with my other NPC 
    Jedi.  Definitely max this with your PC, there are a few solo missions 
    where you'll be going up against many ranged attackers at once.  That
    said, there is no real rush to max out on this.  Ranged enemies aren't
    typically the greatest threats in the game, as opposed to e.g. dark
    Jedi.  Put points into this at your leisure but be sure to prioritize
    things like dueling or two-handed fighting, flurry, and others that
    are useful in all situations.
    Toughness: Extra health is always good, although not terribly
    necessary.  At your max level 20, it means you have 20 extra health.
    Not bad for one feat point, I would get this if you find that your
    character is dying far too often, otherwise I would focus on the other
    skills above mentioned.  I would give at least lvl1 toughness to
    Jolee and Mission, though, since they have very little health to begin
    with.  All in all, I would up this for my PC after I'm done with all
    the skills above or if I'm dying or losing health too frequently.
    Lvl2 toughness is quite useful since damage reduction in the
    long run can become quite significant.  You don't need toughness, at
    least not on normal, and especially not if you're going the
    soldier/guardian route, but it's helpful.  It's never a bad choice, so
    it is more of a subjective decision.  If you take my suggestions
    as a soldier, then toughness 1 is going to be your best choice
    early on after you've put a point into flurry and two-handed weapons
    and the next levels of those aren't available nor are you a Jedi.  So
    you'd end up putting one point into it anyway.
    Critical strike, power attack: Given my inclination towards flurry, 
    I don't recommend focusing too much on the other two combat skills.
    You don't have that many feat points to spare, particularly for
    some of your NPCs, so I would be wary of spending them on
    multiple combat beats.  There is one instance where you can use
    critical strike to tremendous potential, however, and that is with
    a Nextor+Opila lightsaber.  One gives better critical strike range,
    the other gives increased damage when a critical strike is scored.
    You may want to consider having one Jedi character maximize critical
    strike and use that exclusively along with that buffed lightsaber.  
    I would recommend Juhani.
    Implants: Lvl1 implants is good enough for just about everyone.
    Don't put any points into this by default, but if you find an implant
    and are dying to use it, then start putting points in.  Bear in mind
    that although putting points into implants helps buff your character
    because implanats are good items, you have to counter weigh this 
    against other feats you are sacrificing for putting points into
    implanats.  For example, if you're just getting implants to have
    a +2 constitution, then you may want to instead put a point into
    toughness.  Think of implants sorta like "interchangeable feats".
    Conditioning: I don't find any need to put points into conditioning,
    but go for it if you can't think of anything else.  Having high
    saving throws is good, no doubt, so go ahead and consider putting
    points into here if your characters are failing their throws
    Power blast/sniper shot/rapid shot: These are all good for your ranged
    support such as Carth and Mission, so go ahead and beef them up with
    these.  It doesn't really matter; you won't generally be using those
    characters after you have access to both Jedi, since Juhani and Jolee
    are just hands down so much superior.  But definitely focus on maxing
    rapid shot for your ranged characters since it's as powerful as
    Weapons/armor proficiencies: I don't bother with these for any of my
    characters since the weapon types my NPCs come with are good enough as
    is, and my main character will be using a lightsaber later on anyway.
    I don't believe lightsaber is considered for melee weapons so don't
    upgrade that for your PC.  You'll also most likely want to wear robes
    for your Jedi so don't bother upgrading any of their armor
    proficiencies.  You may want to put points into light armor proficiency
    for your NPCs so they can wear certain types of head gear.  It's up
    to you whether you feel spending points in this is justified; don't
    put in anything by default, but bear that in mind as an option when
    you start finding very cool headgear.
    Caution/empathy/etc.: These all improve different skills.  Seeing as
    how I think skills are far less critical than feats, I recommend not
    touching these at all.
    Armor proficiency: For NPCs, you may want to put a point into armor
    proficiency so they can wear various types of headgear, since some
    of them require at least light proficiency.  Wait until you actually
    find good gear before you put points into this, though, because
    particularly for Jedi, they won't be wearing armor so you're only
    getting the point for headgear.  It's the same as spending points on
    implants.  Whether you do put points into this is really subjective
    and depends on what headgear you end up finding.
    F. Powers
    a. General advice
    What powers you decide on is determined by whether you choose the
    light or dark side.  The only definite advice I'll give is that you'll
    save a lot of headache against the final boss if you have at least one
    spell that does damage.  For dark siders, this is no biggie, but for
    light siders, most of the spells do not do damage and you'll be
    wishing you had one.  It literally makes the end boss 5x easier,
    because otherwise you'll have to kill him 10 times instead of 2.
    Also in general, if you're going to get a power, commit to maxing
    it.  Level 2 and level 3 versions of the power are always more
    powerful, and cost the same amount of mana.  If you only get level 1
    of some power and aren't in direct control of your character, he
    may use that instead of level 3 of some other power; for example,
    take your eye off your PC and he might cast level 1 slow instead
    of level 3 kill.  So it's preferable to choose ahead of time
    which powers you'll want to commit to, and max those.  NPCs will
    start at level 1 or 2 of certain powers themselves, so it's
    similarly a good idea to max those unless they're for utterly
    useless powers.  Once you get the higher level power, you can't
    choose to cast the lower level one.  This is usually not a big
    deal since the higher level powers are supposed to be better, but
    e.g. force push has different manifestations depending on level
    and there are some rare instances where level 2 might be more
    useful than level 3.  Again, unfortunately you can't cast the
    lower level version; but suffice to say, you'll run into no
    significant situations where you'll have regretted getting
    getting the higher level power.
    b. Alignment
    As a general comment on powers selection, you of course want to
    generally stay within your own alignment.  If you're dark side,
    primarily choose dark and universal powers, etc.  There are very few
    exceptions to this, cure being one of them (discussed under that
    section).  An important note is that using reverse-alignment powers
    doesn't decrease their effectiveness, it just costs you more mana.  In
    some cases, this amounts to the same thing (e.g. you get less healing
    per mana point if you're dark side and casting cure).  Unless I
    mention specifically, my suggestions for aligned powers are only
    for those PCs that are following that alignment.  For NPC Jedi,
    you have more choice because they're towards the middle, so it's
    up to you.  The penalty for casting opposite-aligned powers for
    a person of max alignment is +50%.  The reward for casting same-aligned 
    powers for a person of max alignment is -50%.  
    c. Status-altering powers
    KOTOR doesn't follow the pattern of many RTSs where more powerful
    monsters either always save or are immune to status spells, i.e. those
    that cause incapacitation or other effects.  In other words, more
    powerful monsters don't always make their saving throws.  E.G. For the
    Sith academy final bosses, I was able to use lvl3 wound successfully
    on both Sith masters, which made the fight trivially easy.  When I met
    Darth Bandon, insanity from Jolee incapacitated him with no problem.
    Don't be afraid to get spells that include a saving throw and use them
    against even more powerful enemies.  Granted, some of those are
    immune, but a surprising number are not and this includes even bosses.
    If you took my advice to choose Jedi Counselor and start with high
    wisdom, you'll be able to use powers very effectively against even the
    highest level enemies given your force focus bonus.
    The one thing to watch out for is that some Jedi bosses will
    immediately activate force immunity at the start of combat.  Sometimes
    you can get off your status-affecting spell before they're able to do
    so, so this is a toss-up.  Just don't waste your time trying to cast
    those after you see it come into effect.
    d. Three very similar spells
    Push, Stun, Fear: Let's start off looking at the differences
    between these very similar powers.  They all have various
    incapacitating effects, all start out single target and later become
    area effect, so how's one to choose between them?  First, for any
    given character, I would only get one.  You don't need different
    versions of the effectively the same spell.  The main differences are:
    1) how long the target is incapacitated, 2) what the area of effect is
    and when the spell goes from single target to area of effect 3) what
    the effects are if the target makes its saving throw.  Fear, for
    example, seems stronger because at 2nd level it is area effect,
    whereas stun is single target.  But at 3rd rank, stun has a slow
    effect on even targets that make their saving throw, whereas fear has
    absolutely no effect at all.  Also, the level prereqs for the spells
    are different such that you can get 2nd and 3rd level fear sooner than
    the other two.  I would recommend not getting horror but instead
    getting force push if you're dark, and getting stun if you're light
    and not force push.  Of course, some characters will start already
    with lvl1 of one or more of these by default, so this saves you if
    you continue with that power.  Since there is no *strong* difference
    between the three, I would just continue down whatever route is
    already there.  One final note is that stun is much more expensive
    mana-wise than force push but stun is light side whereas force push is
    neutral, so for your middle-of-the-road NPCs, you probably want to get
    force push to save on mana.
    Overall, this is all stylistic.  Some spells are more powerful at
    early levels at the expense of being weaker comparatively at later
    levels so there's a tradeoff.  If you're having trouble early on,
    e.g., you may want to invest down the fear route with one of your
    dark siders or Jolee since it becomes area effect at level 6, which
    is far sooner than any other status spell.  
    Personally, I would prefer the force push route.  Level 2 force push
    is semi area-of-effect, and level 3 force wave can be thought of as a
    weaker form of force storm in that it does damage, but with the
    benefit that it has short-term stunning potential.  I'll usually favor
    casting force wave at groups of enemies when I first see them, there's
    no drawback because they take damage even if they save.  During
    combat, I may cast force wave repeatedly since it'll finish off badly
    damaged enemies anyway.  Ditto with level 2 stun, with the exception that
    casting this multiple times is less beneficial since slowed enemies
    will not be further slowed if they save again, and slowing enemies that
    are near dead is not as beneficial since they'll die shortly afterward
    e. General spell commentary
    Force suppression: Useless.  They probably put this in only because
    your enemies will use it against you, where in that case it is
    definitely useful for THEM.  If this was area of effect, it could
    be useful in Star Forge level against those groups of dark jedi
    that all force resistance.  But targetting individual enemies
    is not very efficient.
    Throw lightsaber: Not great in terms of damage.  The 2nd level hits
    multiple targets but there are better area effect spells that can hit
    more targets and do more damage so why bother.  When your character
    reaches level 20, throw lightsaber will do as much damage as lvl3 
    shock but without the mana drain.
    Burst of speed: Get this for all your characters and max it or at
    least get level 2.  Definitely max for your PC.  The extra attack per
    round itself makes this worth it, even if you didn't get the
    additional defense bonus.  With the defense bonus, this is a no
    brainer.  This also saves you a lot of travel time since your movement
    speed is doubled.  When I'm wandering around areas that I've already
    explored, I put on burst of speed so I can get through them more
    quickly.  As long as one of your characters has at least first level
    burst of speed, you can take advantage of this, but in any case it's
    good for everyone.
    Force resistance: Works pretty well for its stated purpose, and
    moreso annoying when enemy Jedi use this to protect themselves
    against your force powers.  Putting one point into this before
    going to the Star Forge level is a very good move; you'll be
    encountering hoardes of dark Jedi who will use abilities like
    level 2 drain life, level 2 shock, choke, etc. against you.  I
    would give a point to my PC.  Putting two points into this is
    not necessary.  Having this on at all times is not difficult
    because it lasts for 60 seconds, so it only needs to be renewed
    Energy resistance: This might be good to get to lvl2 for one of
    your characters, since lvl2 resistance benefits everyone and lasts
    for a whole two minutes so it's easy to maintain.  However, how often
    do you run into elemental damage anyway?  It's fairly rare, so there
    are better options.  Leave this alone until you've gotten the more
    important defensive skills like force armor and valor.  Juhani starts
    with lvl1 resistance so you may consider just getting lvl2 for her
    at some point, but again I would deprioritize it.  Definitely don't
    get this for any of your other characters.
    Affect mind: You should definitely get this for your PC, and maybe get
    dominate mind if you really are crazy about wanting to open up good
    dialog options.  Without this, you won't get additional options in
    dialog.  Of course, given high enough persuasion, you may never need
    to use this at all, but spending one point in affect mind is probably
    worth it for the extra dialog options.  There are some situations
    where you'll always fail regardless of how high your
    persuade+charisma+affect mind are, but those are rare.
    Cure: Definitely get this for at least your main character if not all
    your characters.  You don't necessarily need it for all of your Jedi
    but it is hands down the best light side power so make sure SOMEONE
    has it.  I would give it to everyone except Juhani, especially since
    she doesn't get many force powers.  Note that your characters will 
    automatically use cure during combat if you're not directly 
    controlling them, so that's a nice benefit.  Heal is good to get
    too although not critical; you get +5 healing and this takes away
    damage, but I find that I have enough poison antidote anyway
    and +5 doesn't make all much difference since lvl1 cure will heal
    at least 17 damage by the time you're able to get heal anyway.  
    One big question is whether to get cure even as a dark side character.
    If your PC is fully dark side, cure will cost you close to a whopping
    45 mana, versus 12 if you're light side.  This is generally not a good
    idea, particularly if your PC decides to cast cure during combat when
    he's not under your control, as you don't get more than a couple
    hundred mana to begin with.  On the other hand, there may be instances
    where you really need party-wide cure and don't have access to it,
    such as if your other Jedi are incapacitated or you don't have them in
    your party, or if you're outside combat and don't want to be wasting
    med packs.  I would say that if you're dark side and get to a point
    where you don't have good choices for other spells and you have good
    mana reserves, then you may want to throw one point into cure.  For
    example, I would not get cure for a guardian unless I had super high
    wisdom because I just don't have enough mana to be throwing around
    frivolously.  You may even want to get heal later so that at least
    your mana gets better use.  This will keep you pretty well until you
    get lvl2 drain life, which is very late in the game.  It also depends
    on how much mana you typically use; I tend to look at using the force
    as an aid to combat, but not a necessity for all combat.  From this
    sense, I'll generally have a lot of mana at most points of the game
    anyway, so I don't mind dumping a ton into a single cure if that'll
    help me once in a while.
    So, my overall suggestion is: If you took my advice and went with
    high wisdom, counselor, and became Jedi at level 4, then get cure,
    and maybe heal if you're using cure a lot for whatever reason.
    Force aura: Not bad, but without much duration.  I would get this for
    your PC and maybe Juhani.  It's a bit of a pain to have to think about
    activating it constantly whenever you're getting into combat.  I would
    by default not bother activating this, but only do so if a battle goes
    poorly and you reloaded it.  I generally save right when going into a
    battle to allow for this.  I'd stick with force valor since it is
    has a party-wide effect.
    Force valor: Very very powerful, I would get this for at least one Jedi 
    and have them responsible for casting it for the party.  Improved
    saving throws is of course very useful and can take the place of
    having to cast things like force resistance.  +5 to all attributes
    is pretty amazing too; it not only increases some saving throws
    further, but also has a myriad of other positive effects.  Imagine
    that the description of mastor valor is "adds +2 or +3 to all attacks,
    damage, armor class, and at least +5 to all saving throws.  Adds 2 or 3
    health per level and 2 or 3 mana per level.  Increases effectiveness
    of offensive force powers by at least 2."  Note also that some force
    powers benefit from both charisma and wisdom modifiers, you'd be
    essentially getting a +5 bonus for those, meaning that e.g. you're
    suddenly casting stun as if you're five levels higher.  The only drawback is 
    that the power is fairly short acting, lasting typically only one combat 
    length.  I would have a dedicated character cast it at the beginning of 
    combat for non-trivial fights.  One question is whether to get this
    for dark side characters.  I generally would not but it's up to you;
    getting only level 1 is probably not worth the mana cost, and spending
    3 force powers on this robs you of arguably more useful powers.  Stick
    it on one of your light side characters, not Bastila because you'll
    be losing her for a while.
    Stun droid: This is probably the third best power next to heal and
    burst of speed.  You may wonder what the big deal is because this only
    affects droids.  Well, there are a LOT of droids in the game, and some
    of them are quite mean.  Kill droid turns you into a droid-destroying
    machine (no pun intended there); you'll be able to brush off the most
    powerful ones without breaking a sweat.  Destroy droid in particular
    has NO save against the stun, so you can cast it on the most powerful
    droid in the galaxy and it'll be stunned and take at least (1-3)xLVL
    damage.  Jolee starts with this at lvl2, so I recommend just
    letting him get destroy droid upon first available and using him as
    one of your NPCs all the time.  You only really need one character
    with stun droid in the party because, with few exceptions, one casting
    of destroy droid will take care of all or most the droids in a single 
    encounter, so I would stick it on Jolee and that's it.  But, there
    might be some reason I want redundancy, such as if I don't want to use
    Jolee in my party or I'm dark side and want stun droid for the final
    mission after I lose him.  In that case, I would give it to your
    PC regardless of whether he's light side or dark side.  Lvl3 stun
    droid is THAT good that it's useful regardless of its mana cost,
    particularly in the last mission where there are droids early on
    in the star forge.  In any case, if you take my suggestion and use
    Jolee as a party member all the time, or are dark side but are o.k.
    with combatting those droids directly later on in Star Forge (they're
    not that hard to kill with usual means), then just stick stun droid
    on Jolee only and max it out on him asap.
    Drain life: This is your equivalent of heal.  You probably want this
    on dark siders for those solo situations where you don't have a light
    side character around to cast heal, unless you want to compensate with
    med packs.  For NPCs, definitely get cure instead of drain life.  
    Shock: This is a very very useful power.  I'd definitely get this for both
    Juhani and Jolee, as it has the capability of doing massive damage,
    and max it.  Your PC should get this too if he's dark side, this will
    be his primary offensive dark side spell.  One note about lvl2 shock,
    it hits everything at a certain range in front of your character, not
    at certain range around a target.  This means that if you spot a group
    of enemies at a distance and queue up shock immediately, you'll
    probably hit only one.  However if you wait for them to get closer,
    then you'll attack probably all of them.  Lvl3 shock is a more
    powerful not only for the mana drain but also because you can just
    queue it up to target it upon an enemy upon first sight versus waiting
    until the group is close enough.  Shock is where dark side truly
    shines in terms of area effect spells.  You can march into a room
    full of 10+ enemies, cast a couple of force storms, and they're
    all dead in a heartbeat.
    Wound: This is a great spell for taking out individual targets.  I
    definitely give this to Jolee, and to my dark PC.  Lvl3 wound has good
    effects even if the target saves against it.  If not, the spell
    inflicts half of the target's health, which can be a lot for more
    powerful enemies.  If it's under 1/2 its health then it will basically
    be incapacitated and die on its own.  The mana cost isn't trivial, so
    I'd save this to use on singular enemies that I might otherwise have
    trouble with.  Wound is probably one of my most often-used dark side
    spells, it can really make some battles easy since if you're powerful,
    you can knock out even powerful enemies with it.
    Slow: Not bad at higher levels since there is no opportunity for a
    save.  Juhani starts off with this ability so you may want to continue
    down that route with her.  This is good against more powerful enemies
    if you're not confident that they'd fail a save against something like
    wound, I would definitely use wound against most targets instead though 
    since the effects if not saved are much more decent.  By default, I wouldn't
    put any points into this for my PC, and shy away from it for my NPCs.
    The most powerful bosses will have force resistance so they'll get
    a saving throw of sorts anyway, and lesser enemies can be taken care
    of through standard means.
    G. Leveling
    Make sure auto-level is off so that you have explicit control over
    when and how you level your characters.  In general, you should level
    characters as soon as they are capable.  The only exception is with
    your PC.  Your PC starts off as a normal soldier/scout/scoundrel then
    eventually stops progression in that class when he becomes a Jedi.  He
    then continues on as a Guardian/Sentinel/Counselor.  So if you became
    a Jedi at level 8, at end game you might be level 8 soldier / level 12
    counselor.  Maximum combined level is 20.
    Your characters will all gain experience even if they are not in
    your party, so there is no need to switch between party members to
    progress them.  Even if a character dies in combat, it will still
    agin experience for that battle.
    The Jedi levels are far more powerful than the regular class levels.
    You not only get the usual feats and attribute increases, but you also
    get access to additional lightsaber feats which are generally more
    powerful than your regular ones, as well as force reservoir increases
    and force powers.  It is FAR better to be a level 4 soldier / level 16
    counselor than level 16 soldier / level 4 counselor.
    So you want to hold off leveling as much as possible until you get to
    Dantooine and become a Jedi.  How do you do this?  One way is to just
    not kill anything, but this is obviously silly.  The other way is to
    not level up when you're given the option to do so.  Theoretically you
    could then become a level 2 soldier / level 18 counselor and kick some
    MAJOR butt.  Of course, the tradeoff is that this leaves you very weak
    through Taris, and it may be impossible for you to get through without
    leveling at least somewhat.  You only gain the additional health when
    you accept your level, so going through Taris as a level 2 soldier
    means you're going to be a plaything for any enemies you meet.  As a
    general rule of thumb, I would hold off leveling until you get into
    situations where you're frustrated or have to constantly reload.
    Level up to 4 or 5 without question, then start seeing if you can get
    by with that.  If you really want to be silly, you can turn the
    difficulty down to easy and then back to normal or hard once you reach
    Dantooine.  Personally, I had NO trouble at all getting to Dantooine
    with a level 4 soldier.  You won't either if you follow my general
    advice on stats and feats.  The only time I needed to make heavy
    use of items to compensate was for the duel ring, where I ended up
    throwing around 8 plasma grenades and using a couple of advanced
    healing packs to beat the final dueler.  Big deal.  And if you're
    worried about this, you can always skip that side quest.
    Another thing to keep in mind is that when you do level up, you
    get healed automatically.  This is particularly useful in situations
    like Korriban's Tomb of Tulak Hord since you start off the major
    boss battle with little health.  I don't want to overemphasize
    this, though; you generally don't want to be saving off levels
    just to look for opportune times to heal yourself.  But it can
    come in handy once in a while.
    One final thing to keep in mind is that since your maximum level is
    20, you'll want to be aware of how you plan out your skill/feat/force
    allocation.  Don't keep holding off getting certain skills and then
    accidentally reach 20 and realize that you can't pump them any higher.
    Your characters will all eventually reach 20, although typically only
    in the very late stages of the game a bit before you get to the final
    boss encounter.
    Several readers have pointed out that it is possible to get through
    Taris without levelling past lvl 2.  I would certainly entertain
    trying this if you want a challenge, but I personally have no idea
    how hard it is so I can't give a strong recommendation.
    H. Alignment
    a. What does it really affect?
    Whether you're light or dark alignment merely affects the cost of
    different force powers.  It does NOT necessarily affect the ending,
    although if you want the dark side ending then you should probably
    head down dark side alignment through the game.  If you side extremely
    to one or the other, then you should really only choose to use that
    side's force powers, since it'll cost you 1/2 the force points whereas
    the other side will cost you double.  Another minor difference is that
    certain items can only be used by light or dark side characters.  But
    since you don't really know what items are going to appear unless you
    cheat and read through FAQs, there's really no way to anticipate this.
    And thankfully, I don't think one side really gets much better items
    than the other, so you won't be full of regret from making the wrong
    decision.  Furthermore, you do have NPCs on both sides, so e.g. Jolee
    can use any dark side you find if you're not dark side, and Juhani
    or Bastila can use light side items if you're not light side.  
    Whatever you decide, don't stay in the middle.  Being in the middle
    may seem attractive because you can use both light and dark side
    powers.  But this also means you neither will be able to use items
    attuned to the light nor the dark side.  It also means that you may be
    running out of force points very quickly because all your powers will
    cost their base amount.  If you choose one side and stay with that
    side's powers, then it means you effectively have double force points
    for most powers.  It is thus far more advantageous to choose one side
    and start heading down it so that by the time you're comfortably
    through the game, you can spam whichever side powers you're attuned to
    with impunity because of the reduced cost.
    Note that just because you choose for your PC to be one side or
    another doesn't mean that you'll never be able to play with all of the
    force powers.  Jolee is a more dark side character and you'll be using
    him consistently after you get him.  Bastila is a light side
    character so you'll be able to use light side powers through her.
    Jolee is more in the middle so you can have her do both, although
    she's fairly limited in her force powers so you can't really go crazy.
    Light side and dark side points only affect your PC, and there is
    nothing you can do as far as I know to affect the alignment of your
    b. How to choose
    I would just pick light or dark side based on your preference for how
    you want to enjoy the story.  It does not affect the ending because a
    single choice you make near the end is what determines that.  However,
    again, one caution is that if you do become a light side character and
    want the dark side ending, you'll have to switch alignment near the
    end, and if you've been focusing on light side powers (which you
    should have been doing) up until then, those will suddenly all become
    very expensive to cast.  It'll thus be much more difficult for you to
    solve the game than if you started dark side in the first place.
    Apart from that, it's purely subjective which route you go.  It is
    obviously far easier to go dark than light, though.  Earning light
    side points often involves doing ridiculous things like constantly
    rejecting rewards, giving people more money than they ask for, not
    taking advantage of people when you easily could do so, etc.  On the
    other hand, if you get a twisted sense of morality and compassion from
    doing these things (I do), then might seem more natural to you.  I
    originally intended to start out dark side but just couldn't make
    myself be that mean.  Not only do I see the results against the people
    I torment, but I also get constant lecturing from my party members.
    One other thing -- you don't always have to choose the route to earn
    light/dark side points whenever the option presents itself.  In other
    words, there are PLENTY of opportunities to gain points, particularly
    for dark side, so you should be able to max out at either end at
    around 3/4 of the way through the game.  For dark side in particular,
    I was maxed out shortly after leaving Dantooine (i.e. before getting
    even halfway through the next planet).  Thus, if you really want that
    reward but are playing light side, then take it.  Etc.  If you do all
    the side quests, and get the light side reward at around 3/4 of them,
    then you'll max out soon enough.  I maxed out on light side after
    completing missions on two planets, so that was plenty early.  For
    dark side, this is even easier.  So if once in a while you're presented
    with an option that you really object to on moral grounds, feel
    free to bypass it.  
    It's all about tradeoffs.  For example, one obvious situation is when
    you meet Juhani if you're dark side.  You can kill her to get dark
    side points, but this REALLY isn't worth it because it is FAR more
    valuable to have her as a NPC in your party later on.  For light side
    characters, you may want to take up the Genoharadan assassinations
    side quest because you eventually get very good items, even though
    you'll get dark side hits for each of them.  Hopefully if you do them
    early enough that you can recover light side points afterward.
    Another example is the duels on Taris, you'll get a dark side hit from
    the final duel (but only the final duel), but you get some half-decent
    items including a nice upgradeable pistol for Carth so I suggest that 
    this is worth it.
    There is at least one glitch where you can earn repeated dark side
    points.  After you solve the Manaan main quest and return to the surface,
    talk to Roland and demand a bribe.  You'll get a dark side shift.  Now
    do it again and that option will still be present.  I believe you can
    just do this over and over again until you're maxed on dark side.
    c. Personal opinions
    Finally, let me give you my subjective view on which is more "fun".
    Dark side powers are a whole lot more interesting than light side
    since light side are primarily defense-oriented.  With dark side, you
    can choke and lightning your enemies with oblivion; with light side,
    primarily you'll be buffing your character.  Personally I find buffing
    to be somewhat of a chore -- as I enter combat or slightly before, I
    have to cast some buffs to prepare, then after a while I need to check
    to see which have expired and need to be recast, etc.  With dark side,
    I just see an enemy, lightning it, watch it fall dead.  Light side
    does have a couple of offensive spells.  Stun droid is an awesome
    power but you only need one character to have it, and Jolee is the
    natural choice since he already starts at lvl2, so your PC's
    alignment shouldn't affect any decisions about this unless you want
    redundancy.  Stun is a nice spell but there are near-equivalents in
    fear and force push so this is not particularly unique.
    It's debatable which side's power is better overall; I haven't quite
    decided on that although the absence of cure for dark side characters
    is a bummer later on because drain life can only be done during
    combat.  All the way up until late game, you can use your supporting
    Jedi for things like destroy droid, heal, force valor, so you may find
    more usefulness in a dark side character since there is less overlap
    with the group party-affecting skills that folks like Bastila already
    have, but in end game (i.e. the last 1% of the game), you may suffer a
    bit.  I don't see this as being a major factor, though; the more
    important drawback for dark siders is that you lose your two other
    Jedi.  You should have enough medpacks at that point that the absence
    of cure won't be a big deal, and medpacks after all are just money of
    which you should have a lot by that time.  Note again that regardless 
    of what alignment your PC is, that doesn't affect your NPCs.  You'll 
    still be able to cast spells from both sides using your other Jedi.
    And if you're a Jedi guardian, you won't have many powers anyway
    so the differences between light and dark side will be more minor.
    One other note is that some levels of dark side powers (i.e.  drain
    life, shock) only become available at character level 18, which is
    fairly late into the game, so you'll be waiting a while to get
    those.  Your NPCs will get those very late, generally around
    when you're in the final mission, whereas your PC will get them
    slightly earlier.
    Revisiting the topic of alignment-specific items, I find that
    the dark side gets some pretty interesting equipment from Korriban
    that are useful for your PC.  One is the Sith Mask, which gives
    increased mana regeneration as well as lightsaber proficiencies.
    The other is the Marko Ragnus gauntlets, which give lightsaber
    proficiencies as well.  The mask is in particular very useful
    for the increased regeneration, and you can't just stick this
    on Jolee if you're light side because it requires heavy armor
    proficiency.  This again isn't a reason to be dark side; there
    are some good light side items, but it's something to keep in
    All in all, I reiterate that the primarily choice for being a light
    side versus dark side is subjective depending on whether you enjoy
    being heralded as a saint or chastized with expressions such as "You
    monster!" or "What do you think you're doing?" for behaving in ways
    that even hardened criminals might find extreme.  Apart from this, it
    also depends on what you prefer as far as defensive vs. offensive
    spells goes.  Since there is no way to tell unless you've played the
    game, I can only give my personal opinion that dark side powers are
    slightly cooler and more visible.
    As a final note, personally I found the dark side ending to be
    far more enjoyable than the light side.
    A. Weapons
    a. Melee vs. Ranged
    First, let's revisit the notion of melee versus ranged weapons.
    Melee weapons do more damage but have no range, obviously.  This
    is a tradeoff but is not really much of one.  It takes very little
    time to close in on an opponent so the range isn't a tremendous
    advantage.  And once you close in, those opponents will have to 
    spend a round changing to melee weapons else suffer a defense
    penalty (i.e. be easier to hit by you) since there is a natural
    defense penalty added to AC whenever a target with a ranged
    attack is fighting against melee.  On the flip side of course,
    if you're ranged then you will suffer the defense penalty from
    melee attackers.  And a LOT of the early enemies are melee, some
    of them engage you starting from fairly close so it takes them
    no time at all to get within melee range.
    Being melee also helps you avoid things like getting hit by
    grenades.  If you keep a watchful eye, you can move when enemies
    throw grenades at you to avoid the blast.  But this isn't always
    possible.  Finally, I find that just straight out, given equal
    strength and dexterity, I tend to kill things far faster with
    melee.  That said, before I got other Jedi NPCs, I would use
    the Wookie as a party member since he's melee and maybe one ranged
    support for kicks (generally Carth).
    Of course, once you become a Jedi, you'd better use a lightsaber or
    you're missing out on most of the fun of the game.  I suppose if
    you're physically weak (e.g. you went the scoundrel/counselor route),
    then you could possibly stick with blasters to keep yousrelf away from
    battle.  But then the question is, Why did you choose to go such a
    weak route to begin with?  Even if you want to stay out of combat, I
    would still use a lightsaber purely for the sake of blaster
    deflection.  If you're using mana a lot (which you should if you're a
    counselor), then you can't wear armor anyway, so your lightsaber
    becomes a good defense weapon.
    b. Weapon selection
    i. one vs two weapons
    I don't have much comment on ranged weapons, you can use your own
    common sense and preferences for that.  There are two more tricky
    issues, though.  One is whether you want to use one weapon or two, and
    the other is whether you want to use a double-bladed lightsaber or
    single one(s).
    Two weapon fighting versus dueling is an interesting issue.  I
    generally prefer two weapon fighting because it is more offense
    oriented.  This also allows me to make more use of the various neat
    gems I find in the game for my lightsabers since I can carry two
    instead of one.  I'd only get dueling for someone like Jolee who needs
    a bit of additional defense.  Juhani can go either way, it's up to
    ii. lightsaber choice
    There are then three options for lightsabers: single lightsaber, two
    lightsabers, or double-bladed.  As mentioned before, I would keep
    Jolee on the single blade so he has better defense.  I let Bastila
    continue to use her double bladed lightsaber just for the heck of it.
    Juhani can go either way although since she has a lot of health, I
    favor putting her on two lightsabers or double lightsaber for the
    added offense.
    For my PC, I'd either go two lightsabers or double lightsaber.  So the
    natural question is, how do you choose between those?  Both choices
    give you two attacks per round.  The double lightsaber does
    significantly more damage but has less chance of critical.  I don't
    know how or if the double lightsaber affects defense or other more
    esoteric factors, but in any case all of this is pretty easily
    verified if you just look at your character stats while wielding one
    versus the other.  You'll also notice by comparison that the
    double-bladed lightsaber has a higher to-hit bonus than dual
    lightsabers.  Apparently the double-bladed lightsaber does not suffer
    from the two-handed-fighting penalty as it should and as is stated in
    the manual.  This alone makes it fairly abusive; you basically get two
    attacks just as if you were using double lightsabers, but without the
    to-hit penalties.  Wow.  
    That said, it seems to make sense to get the two most powerful
    crystals you find in the game, stick them in a double lightsaber, and
    then give that to one of your characters.  If on the other hand you
    prefer more balanced fighting, such as being able to have one
    lightsaber that is mostly for blaster defense and another that dishes
    out damage, then that is fine too.  But the main point is that you'll
    find a few very rare gems, and putting them into your double
    lightsaber is essentially as if you had two of them, one for each
    All said, unless you have some moral objection against exploiting
    bugs, you'll do pretty well to stick double lightsabers on all of
    your Jedi characters.
    Short lightsabers become available later on for use in the off-hand,
    they give less off-hand penalty at the expense of less damage.  This
    provides a good alternative to those who are using dual lightsabers
    but are having trouble hitting with them.  I generally find that my
    to-hit is fine such that I don't need to use a short lightsaber, but
    definitely consider this as an option if you're missing frequently.
    If you're using an offhand lightsaber that is primarily
    status-affecting such as with the Bondar crystal, then short
    lightsaber might be a good choice since those are more concerned with
    to-hit versus base damage.
    Lightsaber color is completely cosmetic, it has no effect on
    functionality.  Most crystals you'll find are red since those are
    typically used by dark side enemies.  Color-coding may be useful for
    making your life easier though so that you can quickly distinguish
    between your lightsabers on your inventory screen.  For example, my PC
    uses two purple lightsabers, Jolee uses his green one, Juhani uses a
    double-bladed blue, etc.  This way, when I find additional
    lightsabers, I don't have to worry too much about accidentally
    confusing them when I go to my inventory screen.  This does become an
    issue because there are times when you will either be forced to
    unequip your lightsabers or choose to do so.  Although those are rare,
    there may be times when you'd like to customize a lightsaber for a
    particular purpose, e.g. have a yellow double-bladed lightsaber around
    with bonuses against droids to use when you encounter those.  I
    generally stash my spare lightsabers in the Ebon Hawk storage, or sell
    them, or at least equip all your non-buffed lightsabers with red
    crystals so you can quickly tell them apart with ones that you using.
    B. Armor
    Armor is pretty much a no-brainer for non-Jedi, so just stick them
    in whatever armor gives them the best AC, taking into account that
    some have pretty good side effects such as with saving throws and
    reduced damage from elemental attacks.  
    For Jedi, I keep them in robes since this allows them the full range
    of force powers.  Robes start out pretty weak but near the end you'll
    start having access to pretty amazing robes with high defense as well
    as other side effects such as wisdom and saving throw bonuses.  Note
    that you do get Jedi sense armor bonuses whether you wear robes or
    Whether you choose your Jedi to go down the route of armor vs. robes
    is up to you, but I'd recommend going robes unless you really have a
    good reason not to.  Look carefully at the force powers you can invest
    in that are affected by armor, and decide whether those are worth
    going without.  Personally, e.g., I cannot imagine playing a dark side
    Jedi without using lightning and drain life, both of these are
    restricted by armor.  For light side, it's a toss-up since the
    restricted powers are typically ones that boost your defense, so you
    can make up for those by wearing armor, whereas stun and stun droid
    are both usable with armor.  The other important drawback is that
    neither side can use burst of speed with armor.
    Let's throw in some numbers for a completely beefed up light side
    Jedi.  If you have lvl3 burst of speed, lvl3 force aura, lvl3 force
    valor, and Star Force Robes, that's a total of: Defense 18, Saves +13,
    Wisdom +5, 2 extra attacks per round, plus dexterity bonuses
    (typically +2 if you started and kept dex at 14 as I recommended).
    Compare with upgraded Cassus Fett's Battle Armor, arguably the best
    armor in the game, which gives defense 14, DR 10/-
    sonic/fire/electrical, +1 strength, no dexterity bonus.  So you can
    essentially get a MUCH higher armor class wearing robes and using
    force abilities, this is not even including that you have access to a
    wider range of force powers when not wearing armor.  The tradeoff is
    that you have to invest points into those force powers and activate
    them, sometimes wasting rounds in combat doing so.  My light side Jedi
    doesn't always cast all possible buffs, at each encounter, but I will
    do so for the more significant battles where I need them.  Even if I'm
    dark side, I can still benefit from burst of speed, and force valor
    cast from a NPC.
    My simple recommendation after all of this is that you should just
    stick robes on all your Jedi, whether light or dark side.  You'll have
    more fun playing because you'll have more force powers to choose from
    and you can potentially have a much better AC near end game than if
    you chose the armor route.  More technically savy folks can outline
    the actual comparison in more detail; but suffice to say, if you're
    one of those then you probably didn't need this advice in the first
    C. Items
    I'm the type of person who hoards items and never uses them,
    particularly for those items that have charges.  You can get through
    the game without using items at all -- you don't really need to use
    your grenades, mines, stimulants, med packs, shields, etc.  The
    default abilities of your characters are typically more than good
    enough.  Also, whenever I use an item, I always have a sense of regret
    that I might have been able to get through the situation without it.
    When I get into hard fights, I'll first try surviving without item
    use, then use items sparingly if I get frustrated with constant
    reloading.  I only really had to use combat items for the Taris duel
    ring and for the final boss fight.  I ended the game with dozens of
    grenades, stimulants, and shields.
    All this is to say that items are good but not critical, but on the
    other hand don't be afraid to use them.  You can get through most
    stages without them.  But they definitely do help in some situations.
    You shouldn't be afraid in particular to use items early in the game;
    it makes logical sense that nothing you get in early game is going to
    be particularly unique and irreplaceable since the items you get are
    fairly weak comparatively.  Chucking grenades into rooms full of
    ranged weapon attackers is a very straightforward way to win battles
    with minimum headache.  You definitely will want to use grenades
    against the ranged attackers in the Taris duel ring, that makes all of
    them fairly trivial to beat.
    D. Money
    Cash is plentiful in KOTOR, particularly if you're playing the dark
    side and don't have to worry about refusing rewards or taking bribes.
    Once you have high persuade or affect mind, you can use that to soak
    even more money out of the CCCs you encounter.  There's generally a
    couple of really good items, particularly ones sold in the cantina at
    Korriban, so all your cash reserves will probably go towards one of
    two of those 10,000 credit items.  You will occasionally need to spend
    large sums to buy NPCs, but the game gives you enough so that this
    isn't much of an issue.  Just make sure you spend all your money
    before you to the final planet, and you will not be able to visit
    Dantooine after solving the main quest on any three of the other
    planets (i.e. Dantooine becomes unavaialable after you're captured on
    the Leviathan), so be sure to buy whatever you need from Dantooine
    before then.  In particular, if you want the dark side ending,
    you'll lose some of your Jedi near the later stages and will have
    to use a normal NPC instead.  A good choice might be Canderous with
    Cassus Fett's Battle Armor, which is probably the best armor in the
    game and is sold for a whopping 15,000c in Dantooine.  
    If you can't think of anything to get, stock up on thermal detonators, 
    those come in handy for the final boss fight.
    Of course, you'll also pick up items that can be sold for a good
    amount.  Since I exclusively use Jedi near the end stages and
    definitely on the Star Forge and Unknown Planet, I don't find it
    necessary to keep around all the other items I find that might
    potentially be used on my other characters.  Give your non-Jedi
    characters decent items, and sell the rest away.  Nice armors in
    particular give a pretty good amount.
    You can really go through the whole game without buying a single
    thing, apart from maybe some Pazaak cards if you want to play Pazaak.
    The game gives you enough powerful items as it is.  Look at item
    buying more from the standpoint of giving you a boost if you really
    need it, but otherwise unnecessary.
    You can even avoid buying things like health packs.  In early game,
    you'll have to use some because there is no other way of healing.
    Once you can return to your hideout, i.e. any time starting from
    Taris, you can get completely healed just by using the auto-transit.
    This takes a little time, but it's not unreasonable, particularly
    because you don't always need to be healed to the max.  Turn off
    auto-save if you want to make the transit faster, so it doesn't waste
    time saving in between.  Later on, you of course will have Jedi
    healing for your PC and/or NPCs.  Mana regenerates fairly quickly
    particularly outside of combat, so you should be fine.  The only time
    I'd use a medpack is if I'm in the middle of combat and need to
    conserve force.
    All in all, your money will accumulate pretty quickly and you'll only
    need to spend it on key expensive items if at all.  Don't buy items
    wantonly; selling items back only gives you a fraction of the credits
    you bought them for.
    A. Side quests
    The easiest way to make sure you cover all the side quests is to
    follow a guide.  I recommend the walkthrough from GameSpot; it is far
    more thorough than any others I've seen so far although of course I
    cannot guarantee that a better one will not come along.  Annoyingly
    enough, some (although few) quests become obsolete if you solve other
    quests.  For example, the Honest Debt quest disappears once you solve
    the main quest if you choose the light side branch.  For other quests,
    you may not be able to re-enter the area after you leave, such as the
    Sith base on Manaan.
    If you don't have a guide available, I can only say from general
    principles that you should talk to EVERYONE.  If CCCs have
    generic names like "citizen", then don't bother with them.  Anyone who
    has a unique or personal name is worth talking to.  Some may not
    actually give you side quests, such as the anti-alien preacher on
    Taris, but you should check just in case.  And when you do encounter
    these types, save your game beforehand so you can explore the
    different dialog options.
    Good persuade or force persuade often opens up nice options for dialog.
    Even if you fail your attempt to persuade, you can sometimes circle
    back to the dialog option and try again.  This is a bit of cheap play,
    but it's better than reloading.  You can also just leave the dialog
    (reload if you're unsure you'll be able to get back to it again) and
    come back later when your persuade score is higher.  Sometimes, although
    rarely, not going the persuade route is better, so you may keep that
    in mind.  For example, early on you meet a Sith off-duty in the upper
    level Taris cantina.  If you have good persuade, you can get invited
    to a party where you'll end up getting an item for free.  If you have
    bad persuade, you'll have to bust in forcibly and kill some Sith.
    I prefer the latter because it nets experience and some items.  There's
    no way to know ahead of time which is the best route, so this may
    take some reloading or guide-reading.
    B. Saving/Loading
    Save a LOT.  Your Xbox has a ton of memory, unless you've been hogging
    it with other games, you should be able to store well over 200 saves.
    I by default just choose the "new save" every time, this also makes
    things convenient because I know without looking that my last game is
    always my most recent.  Frequent saves can help you backtrack and
    there is no reason not to save often because saving takes very little
    time (especially compared to loading).  Auto-save is a tradeoff; the
    amount of time you spend waiting for auto-save will definitely add up,
    but this can occasionally spare you some frustration if you don't save
    manually very frequently.
    In any case, periodically I'll go back and delete previous saves,
    maybe keeping around one or two per dozen.  I'd recommend doing this
    through the XBox memory management interface, not the KOTOR load game
    dialog, because the latter takes a LOT longer.
    Save often.  It is the worst feeling in the world when you realize
    that you forgot to do something important and can't go back to it, and
    need to reload from a much earlier point or forever feel at a loss.
    C. Combat tips
    Ranged attackers suffer a defense penalty against melee so it's
    tempting to have your ranged attackers switch to melee and also
    learn melee feats (flurry etc.) so that they can handle close
    combat.  I find this to be too laborious, so I just keep my ranged
    attackers in the back and bear the defense penalty if melee attackers
    get closer.  Otherwise you'd have to spend feat points in melee
    skills you'll hardly ever use, and go through the laborious process
    of changing weapons everytime you're engaged in hand to hand.  If
    KOTOR had a single button to swap weapons, then this would probably
    be worth it; but as it is, it's too much of a pain to deal with.
    Particularly if your character is melee (which he should be!), you
    can use him to keep attackers off of your ranged.
    Definitely pause often during combat.  Generally when I enter combat
    and get an auto-pause, I cycle through each character and queue up
    actions for each of them.  You can queue up actions against different
    targets; it remembers when you change targets during the queuing.  For
    example, I might queue up Jolee to cast kill on three different
    Pausing outside of the game also helps, particularly when I want to
    activate various force powers.  Unfortunately, I have not found a way
    to queue up commands outside of combat.  So if I want everyone to
    activate burst of speed and force aura, I'll pause and cycle through
    each to have them cast force aura, unpause and let them do so
    simultaneously, wait a split second so they're fully done doing that,
    pause again, cycle through them to cast force aura each, etc.  Since
    those effects don't last very long, this ensures that I cast them as
    quickly as possible.
    I'll make a comment about the Jedi guardian's force jump -- this is a
    great attack that instantaneously closes distance on an enemy and can
    do massive damage, it only works though at a certain range and also
    only works if you press the normal attack within that range.
    Sometimes I press attack and my character just starts walking, thus
    wasting my opportunity to use the attack.  When this happens, I just
    start hitting cancel and attack (B then A) in succession to re-input
    the attack, this will ensure that my character will jump once he gets
    into range.
    I also keep my Jedi on the Jedi support script so that they
    automatically use their force powers during combat.  This more often
    than not saves me some headache.  Force powers regenerate quickly so
    it's no big deal if they run themselves dry.  The only times I turn
    this off are when I'm in looking forward to a bunch of successive
    battles, such as on Deck 2 Star Forge.  If you have this turned on,
    your characters will occasionally cast things like force valor outside
    of combat.  In particular, if I cast heal with any character and then
    switch off of him (i.e. swap to my next character), the previous one
    will always cast force valor immediately after heal.  I haven't gotten
    them to cast anything else and I'm not sure of the logic behind this,
    but I'm sure it's possible to do so.  This is either helpful or an
    annoyance, generally I find it a benefit even when they cast it when
    there's no threat anywhere.  It's too bad I can't train them to
    constantly cast buffs whenever those wear off, that would reduce a lot
    of the tedium.
    One note is that force powers regenerate much faster when you are
    out of combat (generally a good indication is that the battle music
    toggles off and your character sheathes his lightsaber).  In fact,
    you can even trick the game into thinking you're not in combat if
    you avoid it long enough.  For some boss fights including the end
    boss, you can turn on burst of speed and run around, eventually
    you'll start regaining mana pretty quickly.
    Save your game right when you get into boss combat.  Boss fights
    are often preceded by a bunch of dialog that is annoying to have
    to go through again if you happen to die and have to retry.  
    D. Pazaak
    For optimal deck, you should load up on +/-2, +/-3, and +/-4.  It's
    impossible to say how many of each card to have because the game
    chooses a subset randomly whenever you play.  The most powerful cards
    in order are +/-3, +/-4, +/-2, +/-5, +/-1, +/-6.  This may or may not
    be related to how much the card actually costs, it's just from my own
    experience.  You do want to have some distribution, though, since
    having different cards available in the actual match gives you more
    flexibility (i.e. versus having 4 cards all being +/-2).  For example,
    probably the best 4 cards to end up with during the matchup are +/-2,
    +/-3, +/-3, +/-4.  Having said that, of course there is no way to
    guarantee that those are the ones randomly chosen, but as a
    distribution note I would have my side deck stacked accordingily with
    primarily +/-3's, and some +/-2's and +/-4's.
    It is tempting to think that the comp "cheats" but I doubt this is
    the case.  However, the game is definitely stacked against you because
    you place the first card.  If you start off low and your opponent starts
    high, then you can overcome this disadvantage, but that's purely by
    I go by this specific rule when I have all 4 cards available: if I'm
    17+, then I either hold or play a card to get myself closer to 20 then
    hold.  If I'm 16 or below, I'll hit.  This is because as long as you
    have +/- cards, you have a pretty good chance of being able to - your
    way out of a bust.  The cards are numbered 1-10, so if you have +/-4
    card then you'll only have an unrecoverable bust if you're brought
    above 24, which is on a 9 or 10, i.e. 20% chance.  This is better than
    holding on a 16, where you are pretty much guaranteed to lose because
    it is not hard to hit a natural 17+ or the comp can certainly use its
    own cards to get above 16.
    Don't be too aggressive about spending your cards, because the worst
    that can happen is if you run out of cards and have to just play it
    straight.  One reason is that you have no buffer for getting yourself
    out of bust if you go over, so you'll have to hit much more
    conservatively.  E.G. If I have a 13 and a +/- card left, I'll
    definitely hit without question, because on the small chance that I
    bust, I can just use my card to bring me back under.  If I have no
    cards left, then it's rather risky hitting on anything higher than a
    10 since I have no insurance if I bust.  So, suppose it's the first
    round and I'm on 16, and have a +/-4 card in my hand.  Do I use it to
    get a natural 20 or hit?  I would argue that you should just hit.  You
    have almost a 50% chance of not busting, and if you do bust *then* you
    can use that same card to
    probably bring you back to 20.  
    Don't overlook Pazaak, it is a good way to earn money.  I've
    experienced some bugs where the opponents ante up their cards as bet
    when they run out of cash but I don't get those cards afterward.  O
    well.  And save after each game, because the game is rather
    unpredictable.  You can have the best hand in the world and lose to a
    mediocre Pazaak player because you're dealt rotten cards.  Your Pazaak
    opponents all, as far as I can tell, use the same algorithm to
    determine whether they hit or stay, so the only difference is in the
    strength of their hand.  Don't expect the Pazaak players in the
    beginning part of the game to make stupid decisions.
    Most Pazaak players will progressively up their bet.  As far as I
    know, few if any start using a better deck though, so they should be
    just as easy/hard to beat as before.  Finding a mediocre Pazaak player
    is a great way to earn a lot of credits fast by milking him until he
    runs dry.
    I'm obviously not going to give a full walkthrough because that isn't
    the intention of the guide.  But I will at least point out some 
    more subtle notes.
    A. Planet order
    After leaving Dantooine, you can visit the other 4 planets in any
    order you choose.  I don't think the enemies are more difficult on
    any particular planet versus another, so it's not like you're going
    to be unable to progress if you choose the wrong order.  I would
    primarily choose my order based on party selection.  First, Kashyyyk
    gives you Jolee, so I'd visit that early because he's one of the Jedi
    you'll definitely be using as a NPC and it's rather fun to play around
    with his powers period.  Visiting Kashyyyk first is not a bad idea.
    Second, you can't take Bastilla along with you on Korriban so I would
    save that for last since you lose her anyway between the 3rd and 4th
    planet (no matter what order you do them in).  There's also some funny
    dialog options that open up when you visit Korriban as the 4th planet,
    I won't give away this spoiler because it's huge but suffice to say,
    it's pretty entertaining if you save Korriban for last with that in mind.
    One other reason to have Jolee early is because at end game, you
    most likely will be using Jolee and Juhani as your two NPCs (if you're
    light side and you take my suggestion).  It's better then to have Jolee
    early so you can start tailoring him and your other two characters so
    that you have good coverage of force powers and skills.
    So although this is fairly subjective, I would recommend visiting 
    the planets in this order: Kashyyyk, Tatooine, Manaan, Korriban.  Also
    note that you don't have to complete one planet before going to the
    next, although for continuity this is probably the most natural way
    to do things.  However, you could e.g. detour to Tatooine and quickly
    grab HK-47 just for the sake of getting him since he's available fairly
    early in the planet, then go to whatever other planet you intend
    to visit.
    B. Maps
    There are frequent occasions where you can purchase maps or hack into
    security systems to download maps.  I would generally NOT do this, or
    at least save it until the end.  The reason is that once you have the map,
    you have no idea where you've explored or not, so it's easy to miss rooms.
    On the other hand, if you just explore around, it'll be easy to see where
    you haven't been because that'll be a grayed coordinator or a door with
    nothing revealed on the other side, etc.  I do get maps once in a while,
    but I save this until the end after I've explored the area fully, just to
    be sure that I haven't missed anything.  Even at that, I have yet to miss
    something... the areas are fairly obvious in that there aren't typically 
    secret doors or what not.  If you want to be really stingy, just get
    the map, compare it with what you've seen, and reload so you save on
    C. Branching and Decisions
    There are several instances where you make important alliance
    decisions that affect how you resolve various sidequests.  For
    example, starting early on in Taris, you meet two gangs and can
    eventually ally yourself with one or the other (more specifically, you
    choose whether to double-cross the first that you met).  If you have
    time, you may want to save at these points so you can explore both
    options.  First, this gives you more playing time since the paths are
    sometimes very different and you wouldn't see both unless you did
    this.  Second, the rewards and dark/light shifts can be significantly
    The game does not fundamentally branch until near the end where one
    decision will affect whether you decide on the dark or light side
    ending.  But some situations can be solved in dramatically different
    ways that will affect outcome on the particular planet, such as the
    incident I mentioned on Taris.  These are all restricted to the
    planets as far as I know (e.g. something you do on Tatooine will not
    affect the storyline in Korriban), and usually the major branching
    happens in the end (for the obvious practical reason that the game
    programmers have less work to do the later the branch occurs).
    Most other dialog and decision making in the game aren't critical.
    KOTOR isn't the type of game where you forget to be nice to a CCC
    early in the game and then regret it several planets later when his
    family comes to hunt you down.  Most of the cause-effect is fairly
    localized in the game; e.g. if you're mean to a lady in the Taris
    cantina, then her cronies come to beat you up as soon as you leave the
    cantina a few minutes later.  This way you don't have to be paranoid
    about long-term consequences of decisions.
    D. Dialog
    Just as well, many of your dialog decisions have no real consequence
    other than to give back a different dialog response.  If you talk to a
    CCC and choose the mean dialog option, he may add in a "Don't be rude"
    and then proceed to say his line anyway.  Some dialog options give you
    richer responses particulary if they're more sympathetic; e.g. if
    someone tells you they had a family tragedy and you say "What do you
    mean by family tragedy?" instead of "Go on", then they may offer more
    detail.  None of that will be particularly critical, though; it is
    primarily incidental or fun factoids at best.
    Some dialog options will give you light side or dark side shifts even
    if they don't directly affect the consequence of the dialog, so be
    aware of those.  If ever in doubt, just save before important dialog
    and try different branches, because some of the choice differences may
    seem fairly trivial.
    Dialog options with your own NPCs generally falls into the category of
    non-critical.  The way you respond to your NPCs during these
    conversations usually has little effect; e.g.  I don't think you can
    irritate one of your NPCs enough that he'll stop talking to you
    forever, although he may cut off the particular conversation.  For
    example, insult Juhani and she'll end prematurely with much hostility,
    but this doesn't affect her attitude towards you in later
    conversations nor does it delay when she's next ready to talk to you.
    That said, there's really no reason to be antagonistic towards your
    NPCs even if you're dark side.  You don't get dark side points from
    this, and -- outside of dialog during encounters -- it won't make them
    behave significantly different.  The only effect I've seen is that you
    may miss out on some interesting background or personal information.
    But no big deal; if you don't want to hear that, then you can skip it
    by being rude or telling them you're not interested.
    Several of your NPCs have small side quests, I'm assuming you'll read
    other walkthroughs to get a sense of those.  One thing to note is that
    generally these side quests involve random encounters when a NPC is in
    your party, so you may want to occasionally switch around your NPCs to
    trigger those.  None are particularly critical and none give
    tremendous rewards, they're more just interesting from a storyline
    perspective.  Many of those sidequests happen or are triggered in safe
    areas, i.e. the starports and non-hostile parts of town.  I make a
    habit of selecting random NPCs whenever I'm in a starport, then
    switching to my favorite NPCs when I get closer to combat situations.
    E. Dark side end game tips
    The dark side route is far more difficult to complete than the
    light side.  This is because you lose both Juhanee and Jolee before
    the Star Forge level.  You do regain Bastila, meaning that at least
    you'll have another Jedi with you, but her feats, powers, and
    skill are all reset to some canned settings that are very weak.  And
    since this is near end game, you won't have an opportunity to make
    many further choices with her; you get to add one force power and
    one skills but that's it.  Her powers include heal, force suppression,
    choke, insanity, drain life, and shock.  Note that some of these
    are only level 1 abilities; you'd really e.g. like her to have 
    level 2 shock if not level 3.  For my one force power, I chose level 2
    drain life.  At least she has heal, and since she's not fully dark
    alignment, she can use it without a huge penalty (although it'll
    still be very expensive).  In terms of feats, she only gets level 1
    critical strike, she doesn't have flurry at all.  She doesn't get to
    improve on her feats so you can't e.g. stick her with a critical strike
    lightsaber in hopes that she'll later master it.  Her powers allocation
    makes her fit to be an armor-wearing Jedi, but alas she doesn't have
    any feats in armor either.  Overall, she sucks pretty badly.
    To make matters worse, you then need to pick a non-Jedi as your third
    character.  And you can't use Misson of Zaalbar.  This leaves you with
    either T3-M4, HK-47, or Canderous.  Picking T3 is masochistic since he
    is primarily a skills character whereas there really is nothing that
    requires skill use in Star Forge.  HK-47 is suitable if you've upgraded
    him all the way, but if you took my advice then you didn't choose scout.
    Also, HK-47 is a ranged support character, but this is less useful in
    Star Forge because most of your opponents will be wielding lightsabers
    or chucking grenades at you.  The flip side is that HK-47 is not affected
    by many of the dark side powers that will be used against you, including
    choke and drain life.  
    This leaves you with Canderous.  Canderous is a great character if you
    level him correctly.  What I mean is that he comes equipped to be a
    heavy ranged support character, but his attributes don't make him ideal
    for this role since he starts out with high strength and low dexterity.
    Since you get him early on, you can spend points increasing his dexterity
    as he levels; or, more appropriately, you can just stick him with a good
    melee weapon and let him go at it.  Bacca's Ceremonial Blade or Yusani's
    Blade are good choices.  Early on, I see no problem with having
    Canderous continue to use his blaster particularly since he starts out
    with specialization in heavy weapons, but be upgrading melee feats
    off to the side and eventually switch him over.  This means upgrading
    melee weapons proficiency, flurry, and either dueling or two weapon
    fighting.  Canderou gets a lot of feats since he's a soldier, so you
    won't have to worry too much about having him go down a completely
    different route than how he started.  With all of this, he evolves
    into a very effective melee fighter.  If you neglected to build him
    up in this way, don't worry too much; he still does fine even without
    melee feats.  You can alternatively have him use his ranged weapon,
    but this has the same drawbacks as with HK-47, namely that he'll do
    a lot worse damage, get grenaded to death since he'll be stationary,
    and have many of his shots deflected.
    From here, getting through Star Forge is fairly straightforward.  One
    piece of advice is to save often, particularly in the rare lulls between
    battle.  You'll fight hoardes of enemies, which is great because it 
    nets you a lot of experience, but they hardly give you a break.  And
    during breaks, it seems that once you take a few steps, you're back
    to fighting another endless wave of enemies again.  Between fights,
    heal up completely, and take a coffee break so that your mana can
    regenerate, then save.  It's easy to die unexpectedly if your characters
    e.g. get hit close range by a few grenades at once or fail a saving
    throw against something like choke.  Also make sure that your main
    character has force resistance on at all times if you invested in this, 
    trust me it'll save you a lot of headache against the dark Jedi.  In the
    end boss battle, use area effect abilities like level 2 drain life to
    get rid of the captive Jedi since you'll be able to hit more than one
    at once.
    The nice part about KOTOR is that at least on normal difficulty, you
    can solve the game without much trouble no matter how "poor" your
    choices for character building etc. are.  However, if you're one of
    those people who will play through a 40-hour RPG and then play through
    it again out of regret that your character wasn't powerful enough the
    first time through, then I hope that this guide has provided some
    sanity in helping you make correct decisions.  Since I haven't played
    through the game many times, this just comes from my own experience.
    I welcome corrections and comments.  Remember though that this
    information is copyrighted.  If you attempt to use this somewhere
    else, I will find out and hunt you down with legal action.  Otherwise,
    please enjoy everything here and I hope that this is as helpful as the
    time it took me to write it.
    You can email me at shockwave_xpow@hotmail.com for corrections.  Don't
    expect a quick response; this FAQ is primarily provided as-is and I am
    not intending to make constant updates.  Do NOT email me to ask for
    strat help on things not covered by this guide.  As I mentioned
    repeatedly, this guide is intended to be used as a supplement, not
    replacement, to other more general walkthroughs.  If you have general
    walkthrough questions such as about how to get past levels or what
    not, then you should email one of the other contributors because I
    will typically not respond to those.  If you ask me questions about
    things that are not addressed by this guide, i.e. any issue not
    related to character development, then I will not respond to your
    email at all.  If you have a comment, suggestion, or question about
    something more esoteric, then I will gladly add that to my guide.

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