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Star Wars: KOTOR Novice Battle Strategies Part III: Your Lightsaber and You
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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Novice Battle Strategies Part III:
Your Lightsaber and You

Written By: J. Michael Neal

You’ve got your character all plotted out. You’ve got your other Jedi all squared away. The rest of your party has settled comfortably into their roles. What’s next? What could possibly be left to do? How about choosing which lightsaber is right for you?

Part III: Your Lightsaber and You

Players often ask, “which is better to use, a single lightsaber, a dual-edged lightsaber, or sabers in both hands?” However, there is no cut-and-dry answer. It’s all a matter of preference. Jolee works better as a single lightsaber man, Bastila leans towards the dual-edged, and Juhani works pretty well dual handed, but your character has no set affinity. Make the decision based on which you think will serve you best based on the pros and cons of each style:

Single Lightsaber – This style uses a single short or standard lightsaber for combat.    

  • Pros – Much higher “to hit” rate than two-handed weaponry; has that classic Star Wars look.
  • Cons – Limits you to only two upgrade crystals and one color; maximum of six hits verses a two-handed weapon’s seven.
  • Recommended For: Players who’d sacrifice one attack for the fact that the other six will always land; those who’d rather keep it old-school and fight like a true Jedi master, with a single lightsaber.

Dual Edged Lightsaber – This style uses one “Sith Lightsaber”, a dual-bladed saber a la Darth Maul.

  • Pros – Maximum of seven hits verses a single lightsaber’s six; looks killer.
  • Cons – Lower “to hit” rate than single saber; limits you to only two upgrade crystals and one color.
  • Recommended For: Those who want to look like Darth Maul while throwing seven attacks at a time.

Two Lightsabers – This style uses one lightsaber in each hand, usually with a Short Lightsaber off-hand, similar to Anakin’s brief bout with Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones.

  • Pros – Maximum of seven attacks per round; can make use of four upgrade crystals; can have two different colored blades; looks unbelievable badass.
  • Cons – Lower “to hit” rate than single saber; everyone’s using it.
  • Recommended For: People who don’t mind following the crowd; people who want to make the most of their melee combat.

Personally, I think two lightsabers are the best way to go, as you can use two upgrade crystals per blade to come up with some really wicked combinations, but since everyone and their mother are using this fighting style it has almost lost its uniqueness, so I tend to lean towards the classic single saber style. Hell, if it was good enough for Luke, and Yoda, and Mace, and Darth, and Obi-Won it’s good enough for me.

If you are going to use two lightsabers, use a Short Lightsaber off-hand, as it will further lessen the “to hit” penalty of using two-handed weapons.

Lightsaber Upgrade Guide

Now, what crystals you place in the hilt of your saber are equally preference based. There are numerous combinations, and finding the right ones for you as the game progresses is part of being a Jedi. To help you figure out which is best for you, I complied a list of all the upgrade crystals in the game and what bonuses they add that you can browse through at your leisure. Finding them, however, is left up to you: 


On Hit – Stun 25% for 6 seconds
Save – DC10 to negate stun 


Damage +1
Attack +1


Damage – Energy +1-6
Attack +1


Attack +3


Attack +1
Critical Threat Range x2


Damage +3
Massive Criticals +2-12dmg on critical hit 

Krayt Dragon Pearl*:

Damage +2
Attack +3

*Hint: You can gain two of these if you are insistent enough…


Damage +2
Blaster Deflection +5 


Damage +1-6 vs. droids
Attack +2 


Damage +2
Attack +2


Damage – Physical +1-6


Damage +2-12 vs. droid
Attack +2 


Damage +3, +1-8 Physical Damage vs. Dark Side
Attack +3

*Note: Limited to Light Jedi only.


Damage +3
Attack +2 


Damage +1-8
Attack +3

Some general advice – the Jenruax Crystal is your best friend. Every one of your Jedi should make use of it, particularly two-handed fighters, as level three Jedi Defense and a Jenruax in each saber makes you practically untouchable by blaster shots. Also, if you’re using a Short Lightsaber as your off-hand weapon, make sure you compensate for it’s relatively low damage and “to hit” with items like the Krayt Dragon Pearl, Eralam, Sapith, Upari, or Solari once you obtain them.

By now you should be a lean, mean, ass-kicking machine. Your character should a roaming ball of destruction and your party should be a well-honed weapon. That is, unless you can’t figure out what to do with them on the battlefield. Sure, even all this planning doesn’t guarantee easy victories if you don’t know how to use what you’ve put in place. Once again, this is where I come in. I’ll give you some basic combat strategies to consider until you get comfortable with the game.

Basic Combat Strategies

During your long journey you’ll discover that enemy encounters fall under one of six major categories. The following advice will point you in the right direction as to how these enemies should be dealt with:

Droids, Sentries, Turrets, etc.

These are probably the most common enemies in the game. They can be a real pain in the ass later on in the game, particularly the shielded battle droids. There are four things to keep in mind while facing this kind of foe: 1) most of the real tough ones, including guards and turrets, can be shut down by hacking into a computer terminal, 2) high Blaster Deflection will protect you from the majority of their attacks, 3) the real nasty ones have super high defense, only taking real damage from ranged attacks or lightsabers outfitted with “vs. droid” damage crystals, and 4) Destroy Droid – Destroy Droid – a thousand times Destroy Droid; even the most insane turret or sentry can be taken down with two or three zaps.

Large groups of weak enemies

These become much easier to handle as the game progresses. At the beginning use liberal amounts of grenades and ranged attacks from afar. As you develop your Jedi abilities, Stasis Field, Advanced Throw Lightsaber, Force Wave, and Force Storm will make short work of petty goons.

Large groups of strong enemies

Closer towards the end of the game “large groups of weak enemies” turn into “large groups of strong enemies”, and although they are handled with practically the same tactics, your party taking damage becomes more of a factor. Be sure to keep a constant eye on your party’s health, as they rarely heal themselves, and switch characters to administer Heal, Death Field, and Advanced Medpacs when needed. Also, make use of the Guardian’s Force Jump ability. Not only can it get you around quickly, but it can also get you out of tough situations if you know how to use it properly.

Rancors and other large enemies

The really huge, really dangerous creatures tend to roam solo in specific locations throughout the game, so make taking them down a group effort. The best strategy is to stun them somehow, preferably with Stasis Field, then cast Plague to drop their defenses while your fighters are using Master Speed, Major Valor, and Flurry to take them down.

Dark Jedi

If you were smart enough to invest in Force Immunity these guys shouldn’t be too difficult to take down. If you weren’t, or you’ve got non-Jedi in your party, you’ve got your work cut out for you – Dark Jedi like to incapacitate your unprotected party members one by one then kill them while they are defenseless. If you can, have everyone cast Force Immunity (or Breach if you have to protect non-Jedi) as soon as the fight begins and you should have no problems. The rest of the fight should then be the usual Master Speed/Major Valor/Flurry combo from your fighters.

Solo fights

Occasionally you will be separated from the company of your party and forced to take care of things on your own. However, if you have Force Immunity, Master Speed, and Stasis Field under your belt you should be able to handle yourself fine. Just remember to heal yourself often and cast Death Field whenever you can.

By now there should be nothing you can’t do. Even the greenest gamer can tackle this game with confidence after thumbing through this series. It’s shown you how to plan your character, how to develop the rest of your party, how to set up your Jedi, how to pick your lightsaber and customize it properly, and what the best way to handle the enemies you’ll face throughout your epic journey. All you have to do now is sit back and enjoy the ride.

Have fun fellow gamers, have fun…

Posted: 8-18-03
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