What follows is a summary and my own thoughts about Chapter 10 – Anarchy in Paradise, the latest chapter in Star Wars The Old Republic’s story driven Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion, which became available for subscribers on the 9th of February. There is a spoiler free section followed by a spoiler section which includes a summary of the plot.
Spoiler Free Thoughts
If you like Kaliyo, then you will probably like Chapter 10. If you don’t like Kaliyo, then you probably won’t like Chapter 10.
Personally, I enjoyed it. I like Kaliyo. I felt this chapter was a satisfying continuation of Kaliyo’s story (from the Imperial Agent story) and complemented her character. The flow of the story was decent and the chapter itself was honestly longer then I expected! The combat however can get annoying at times but isn’t as bad as some of the earlier chapters (especially Chapter 8 ugh..).
Summary and Review with Spoilers
Beware of SPOILERS after this screenshot.
Chapter 10 starts off with another sibling bonding session between Arcann and Vaylin. Arcann is increasingly frustrated that his subordinates have not been able to find ‘the Outlander’ or the Alliance Base. Vaylin’s dry humour only makes Arcann more infuriated. Unfortunately for the Galaxy, he devises a devastating plan to goat someone to revealing the Alliances’ location.
Meanwhile back at the Alliance Base, Theron Shan let’s you know of a potential ally, an Anarchist known as Firebrand. Her knowledge of Zakuul and the fact that she has alluded capture, make her a potentially valuable resource. But at the same time, her methods are quite unorthodox making her a liability. This particular individual proves to be a controversial subject with Koth objecting to the idea of recruiting her. But nonetheless, it is decided that it’s worth meeting up with her and seeing if she would be useful to the Alliance.
Theron accompanies you to Zakuul to meet Firebrand. Cutting through a foray of Skytroopers (naturally) in an abandoned Tram Station in the Old World, you discover that Firebrand is none other then Kaliyo, a former companion of the Imperial Agent.
Those who have played the Imperial Agent story will be pleased or displeased to see that Kaliyo is her same old self; cunning and malicious with her usual dry sense of humor. She doesn’t like the idea of joining the Alliance at first but has something big planned and does’t mind you tagging along while talking business. The reunion with Kaliyo, for Imperial Agents, is quite amusing. She’s not happy at all to see you but is swayed to tolerate your presence to help her out with her big score. (Honestly if you have an Imperial Agent I would highly recommend doing this chapter on it just to hear the differing dialogue and experience the different interactions).
Theron leaves you with Kaliyo while he goes to meet a contact. You follow Kaliyo to a power junction and learn that Kaliyo’s plan is to storm the Overwatch and disable half of the droids which control practically everything across the whole planet. To accomplish this, you run around the Old World rigging up bombs to power junctions and disabling security measures while being continually attacked by Skytroopers. (Whom have since learned how to slow you every 5 seconds making combat quite tedious).
It is strange coming across so many Skytroopers in the Old World when they, and the Knights, had little jurisdiction in previous chapters of the story. Whether that has now changed (since the events of Chapter 7) remains unclear. Was a new agreement arranged between Arcann and the Heralds of Zildrog or did SCORPIO’s assistant end up annihilating the Heralds? Either way, they don’t seem to have much of a presence in the Old World while you’re playing through Chapter 10. Arcann perhaps simply broke the agreement after what happened in Chapter 7 or merely sent Skytroopers to the Old World in desperation to find the Outlander or someone who knows something about the Alliance. (But more on this later).
Intermittently, we learn quite a few new interesting things about Zakuulan culture and gain some insight into how the people live their day to day lives. It’s a Utopian society run by droids that do every little thing for the populace from cleaning to cooking, childcare, cosmetic surgery and everything else so they can focus on cultural and intellectual pursuits. This was Valkorion’s idea for making Zakuul’s society as equal as possible.
We also learn that Kaliyo has a fan-base of thrill seekers who find great enjoyment in following and witnessing her exploits. Usually young Zakuulans looking for a thrill or energy rush seeking to rebel against the peaceful, organised status quo.
You can glean more info about Zakuulan culture the following codex entries pictured below:
After blowing up some consoles, rigging bombs and killing a thousand Skytroopers, you’re finally ready to set things in place and infiltrate the Overwatch. You go to Kaliyo’s swanky apartment and have yet another lovely old chat. She shows you the changing perspectives of Zakuulans to ‘danger’ from before and after your arrival. You talk tactics then she sets off the power junction bombs and then you’re off to storm the Overwatch.
When you arrive at the Overwatch, Valkorion randomly decides to offer you his opinion of Kaliyo. He is as poetic and cryptically alluding as ever.
You then spend the next five minutes tearing through waves of Skytroopers, Knights and Overwatch Agents as you make your way to the Command Center. The interior of the Overwatch is what you’d expect; a series of conference rooms and offices.
In the Overwatch there are monitors that appear to depict ‘wanted’ individuals from throughout the Galaxy. If this is the case, it would be kind of interesting if you actually came across some of these people in the upcoming chapters. Below are some screen shots of some of the monitors in the Overwatch:
You finally reach the Command Center, disposing of even more walking scraps of metal. The Overwatch Commander, Tayvor Slen, walks in on you (of course) while Kaliyo is finishing up setting up the final charges to take down the Overwatch completely. The reason Kaliyo was able to allude capture is revealed in the ensuring chit chat then of course a prolonged boring fight, filled with theatrically dramatic mechanics, begins.
Then comes the plot twist and Kaliyo’s true intentions come to light. She doesn’t just want to disable all the droids, she wants to blow up buildings, roads, medical centers and cause as much damage as possible and doesn’t give a damn about civilian casualties. She’s out for vengeance and to get her street cred back (that you stole from her due to Chapter 3 events).
This is when choices actually begin to matter. You do get to choose whether innocent lives are spared or if the bombs go off. There are consequences to this choice for your alliance. Either way, you still disable the droids, which on it’s own, causes major disruption for the City.
Back at the Alliance base you meet up with Theron who has safely returned from Zakuul despite the damage or disruption you’ve caused. Koth here is visibly either relived or extremely unhappy with your decision. Kaliyo then walks in with SCORPIO; the two having been reunited after they had previously both been a part of the Imperial Agent’s crew. You have another chat with Kaliyo, in the Cantina of course. She let’s you know she won’t stick around, but to let her know when the Alliance is doing something big.
Things heat up in the Alliance War Room when word comes through of Arcann’s devastating attack. Five planets get bombarded to dust as ‘punishment’ for the Alliances’ existence. Debate arises about how to respond to the attack with no one really reaching agreement. You get to choose how or if there is some kind of limited response (due to the Alliances limited resources obviously). Depending on your previous choice with Kaliyo there is also a dramatic incident involving Koth (good riddance I say).
It’s certainly going to be complicated trying to keep the Alliance together.
The Chapter concludes by showing Vaylin returning from annihilating five planets and Arcann delivering her news of what ‘The Outlander’ was up to on Zakuul. Arcann decides to punish the Knights for their failure to stop ‘the Outlander’ by sending them to duel each other to the death to ‘motivate them’. Wonder if this will have an impact on the story going forward. Will there be increasing resentment towards Arcann from the Knights or the greater Zakuul population?
Even after my third play-through of Chapter 10, I still managed to enjoy it despite the (at times) tedious combat. The attention to detail is quite impressive and we learnt more tidbits about Zakuulan society. I find the structure of Zakuul’s society to be incredibly fascinating and worth exploring in more detail especially in relation to how Valkorion set things up compared to the how he treated the Sith Empire as Vitiate.
The almost continuous combat throughout Chapter 10 certainly makes the play-through more tedious, especially with all the slows that persist even after you’ve killed them. It did feel like, for the most part that the combat was appropriate to the story, but surely the Skytroopers couldn’t have always known exactly where you’d be. I feel they could’ve scaled back on the engagements somewhat and make it work with the story. I find it hard to believe that there would be that many Skytroopers in the Old World considering the story (as I mentioned earlier).
Another issue I have with the story overall is Koth and his seemingly contradictory, annoying nature. In earlier chapters when he learns that Valkorion is living in your mind he is super excited so wants to stick with you and defeat Arcann and Vaylin. But at the same time, if you’re more dark sided he doesn’t approve of your methods. If you choose to let Kaliyo kill more innocent lives, he leaves the Alliance seemingly throwing out his fantasy of seeing Valkorion return to the throne.
For dark side characters, it offers some slightly intriguing characterisation having Koth being conflicted with you, but choosing to stick around for the time being for greater good. Then, having him reach is breaking point with ending of Chapter 10; ultimately choosing to leave. Either way, I still find it strange that he left the Alliance as it’s his best chance of seeing Arcann and Vaylin defeated. Although I get a funny feeling we’ll see him again (Lana Beniko’s mail all but confirms that).
Overall though, Chapter 10 was enjoyable. I feel Kaliyo is a great addition to the Alliance and could potentially bring in valuable skills despite her unpredictable, violent nature being a liability. I feel the reward outweighs the risk in this case though and could potentially add another some more drama and conflict to the story.
I guess I felt motivated to share my thoughts on Anarchy in Paradise because a lot of the reaction and feedback towards it (from what I’ve seen) has been fairly negative for varying reasons. I feel like I’m in the minority for enjoying this chapter despite a couple of annoyances I have with it.
I am very much looking forward to the next chapter! Watching the Alliance grow and interact together has been incredibly fascinating and seeing the inevitable conflicts continue to boil up will be great. Kaliyo, in my view, adds some much needed flavor and alternate perspective not afforded from the other Alliance companions.
What did you think of Chapter 10? Did you enjoy it? Or did you find the combat tedious or find it frustrating having to hang out with Kaliyo? Tweet at me or let me know below in the comments.