Diary of a Droid Jedi - Star Wars Conquest, part 6
This is the final part of our canon-destroying playthrough of Star Wars Conquest, a mod for sandbox RPG Mount & Blade.
Last week’s series of successful battles against the Empire was met by the realization that Star Wars Conquest seemingly has no end. In 20-some hours of play, I’ve learned that almost no amount of slaughtered Stormtroopers will significantly impact the universe. Named characters can’t die, captured planets rarely stay captured, prisoners always eventually escape, and climbing the political ranks of the Rebel Alliance mainly involves playing tax collector for Mon Mothma and Obi-Wan.
Frustrated that I’ve not yet been named Space King, I set out to simply cause as much chaos as possible. I chase down a huge swarm of Hutt forces. Jumbled in the pack of misshapen ships are the ships of Boba Fett (not Slave I, sadly) and Jabba himself. As I meet them on Tattooine in open combat, I gain new, instant appreciation for the face- and torso-covering properties of Stormtrooper armor.
For the first time in awhile, I‘ve bitten off more than I can chew. The blob of Hutt forces adds up to about a thousand, almost nine times my army. I regret my armor’s trade-off in durability for sex appeal; jesus, there are a lot of dudes.
Neither tasteful nor protective.
I get captured and lose a bunch of items. But again, we’ve already covered Conquest’s impermanence—I escape after being carted around the Hutt Cartel for a few days, presumably after serving as Jabba’s personal froyo machine.
Back in my ship, I buy a new army at a cantina, and I’m off and running again. I catch Boba Fett’s ship isolated from any escorts, and take the opportunity to engage him without the aid of his hundreds of Hutt comrades.
Well, that felt nice. Let’s see what other irresponsibly outmatched battles I can get into.
Yes, this’ll do.
Yawn. I ask Luke Skywalker for a mission, hoping that some sort of unique questline is coded into his character that distinguishes him from the mod’s other figures.
Nope; he wants me to do more money collection. Man, for an underground, anti-government organization, the rebellion sure are a bunch of capitalists.
I do a bad thing, and take out my ennui on some mostly-defenseless Jawas.
Still bored, I remember that there’s a feature of Conquest I haven’t tried before: arena combat. Maybe this’ll prove more interesting or challenging than the game’s mundane, open-area warfare. I chat up the “Arena Master” on Endor and arrange a fight against other lightsaber wielders.
The first few minutes of arena combat are, I’ll admit, mildly entertaining. Lightsaber attacks do a fair amount of damage, and new combatants are constantly respawning, fighting each other, then ganging up on me when I get close. I have to be wary of new enemies silently approaching me from behind.
Unfortunately, the incentive for fighting here is tiny: my health takes awhile to replete, and the money reward for clearing out the arena is just a few hundred credits. I take my boredom out on Vader.
I dig through Conquest’s menus for any signs that I might’ve missed. Then, in the “Take actions” menu I find a glimmering rectangle of hope: an option to retire from adventuring. Could this be a way out of this interminable, Star Wars-colored, DirectX 7 hell? I click.
“The decision is made, and you resolve to give up your adventurer’s life and settle down. You sell off your weapons and armor, gather up all your credits, and depart into the sunset…”
A score screen appears.
Good lord. Not only is retirement the only way to end a game, but apparently I've come nowhere close to winning. A weird “difficulty” penalty (for what, I’m not sure—I had every in-game setting cranked up) drains my accumulated points, which earns me a sad, depressing prologue: “It doesn’t take long to fritter away what little you bothered to save, and you end up a penniless drifter, going from cantina to cantina blagging drinks form indulgent patrons by regaling them with war stories that no one ever believes.”
Remember me not as the Droid Hobo I am, but as the brave, unscrupulous Droid Jedi I was.