Art of the Genre

So people sometimes ask me why I still play SWG.  It is a dead game after all, at least through SOE, and there are Facebook games with better graphics these days, but to me it was never about the game itself.  I’m a writer, you see, and I don’t ever view games like a sane person.  To me, every step my avatar takes is a story that plays out in my minds-eye, and I create all the detail I need to keep things alive and interesting.  I guess that is why I chose to be a crafter, as I wasn’t ‘in it’ for the combat, I was there for the story, for the people, and for what I could create in my own mind along the way.

I’ve dealt with the Hutts, who hasn’t?  Still, I think I’d rather hunt rancors on Dath than get too chummy with those oversized slugs, although I do usually agree with their taste in women…’ Jericho Knox

So I’m doing this Krayt Skull mission and it strikes me that if a kid viewed it over my shoulder they’d be like ‘WTF, this is lame!’.  You see, the Moenia cantina is in itself lame.  It is like every other cantina in the game, just less populated, and even the NPCs are scarce.  You walk in, go around the back of the bar, go through a door, and see a NPC mope like any other.  He gives you a quest line and you take it.  Still, you can walk right past him into a back room that is completely bare save a little turd looking Brovo the Hutt.  THIS is the guy I’m supposed to be wanting to see?  This is a terrible criminal overlord?  Well, if you look at it at face value you can see why people got sick of quests quickly in SWG

For me, however, the scene in my mind plays out rather differently.  Jericho walks into the Swamp Spirits Bar & Grill (Moenia Cantina), the place filled with sallow-faced locals, a few skinny gungans, and a bartender that reeks of illicit drug vapor.  He asks around about the Hutt, and is finally pointed to a rusted back door.  There, he gives the secret knock he acquired in a game of chance at Toshi Station.  It works, but inside is a hard-looking merc, one eye replaced with cyberware and a sliced pistol that looks big enough to ventilate a bantha. 

There is some banter, some underworld thieves’ cant, and finally the guy decides he likes this wayward newcomer enough to offer him a little job that could prove his worth to the great Brovo.  This kind of stuff continues, mission after mission, each one slowly getting Jericho closer to the curtain that separates the privileged from the beggars.   

Finally, after weeks of space travel, assassinations, distant planets, and money recovery, the true lair of Brovo is revealed, and it is a splendor of debauchery and ill-gotten wealth that the stories boasted of all the way from Tatooine. 

 Yeah, when I see Brovo, it is more like this!

So, THAT is why I always loved this game, because in my mind, it was something so much more than what the game designers could provide in their limited technology, time, memory, and money. 

Reading Note: If you enjoy the nostalgia of these blogs, you might enjoy my pseudo-take on my time in SWG with my Gunsmith series.  You can get a copy here.

Written by Scott Taylor — July 23, 2016

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