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Columns: Chapter XIII Impressions: Finding Fun in the Underworld

By Michael Bitton on May 04, 2016

Chapter XIII Impressions: Finding Fun in the Underworld

In films full of tons of action set pieces you’ll often find periods of downtime to break things up and advance the plot. That’s sort of what Chapter XII represented for KOTFE. I expected things to pick back up in Chapter XIII: Profit & Plunder, and they did, but not in a way that advanced the main story. Instead, what we got was essentially a filler chapter that takes us on an underworld adventure and reunites us with a couple of fan favorite companions in Gault & Vette. It’s filler, but it’s good filler.



I was a bit surprised that we were treated to a filler episode so close to the expansion’s conclusion, but I do have to say that in a vacuum, Chapter XIII was probably one of the most entertaining chapters yet. As usual, the gameplay isn’t really the highlight here, but BioWare Austin’s writing is on point throughout, carried heavily on the back of the always impeccably written Gault Rennow. In a sea of boring companions, Gault stood out as a diamond in the rough in the Bounty Hunter origin story, and he’s just as compelling here with a full story written around him.

In Chapter XIII, we’re still waiting to find out the fates of Kaliyo and Aric Jorgan, who we lost contact with during their mission to access the Eternal Empire’s GEMINI signal. With not much to do other than sit and wait, the Alliance’s Hylo Visz suggests linking up with one of her contacts for a job that could be beneficial to our cause. We’re soon introduced to the fast talking scoundrel Gault Rennow, who’s found us an opportunity in a heist targeting an impregnable Eternal Empire vessel carrying a huge haul of credits.

First things first though, like any good caper, we’ve got to assemble our crew! Gault brings us to the world of Vandin where a deal to purchase a missile with unknown purpose goes bad. Naturally, Gault can’t pay up the credits for the ordnance and the gangsters are none too pleased. Said missile inexplicably counts down a detonation sequence that sends the gangsters scrambling for an escape, defusing the situation (har har), but placing us in arguably worse one (death is bad). It’s here we’re introduced to the still spunky Vette, who had been inside the missile the entire time, trolling us all with a fake countdown sequence.

Vette takes off and we head off to find our next crew member: Dretcher. One of the best identity forgers in the galaxy, Dretcher’s been on the run for some time, and Gault had a hand in his misfortune. Dretcher’s imprisoned himself in an impenetrable capsule, preferring to stay alive in exchange for his freedom, but a convincing threat of violence gets him to open up and agree to work with us.

So, with our crew assembled, what’s the plan? The Gilded Star (our target) is an impenetrable ship, so Gault comes up with the idea to use Dretcher’s identity forgery skills to get Senya aboard the vessel under the guise of her daughter Vaylin. While Senya (aided by SCORPIO) take command of the vessel, the rest of the team is tasked with making their way to the treasure room to off-load the loot. The only problem is that there is a lot of loot, so while getting to the credits is a seemingly impossible task, getting it all off the ship is another story. This is where the bomb comes in handy. Since the ship is so heavily armored, the idea is to detonate the bomb inside the treasure room, atomize the credits, and then siphon it all out once we’ve docked with the ship.

The plan’s got the making of some of the more amusing heist films I’ve seen, and it all plays out fairly predictably, but it’s still entertaining enough. The dialogue sells it. It’s a straightforward, fun, underworld romp. One highlight for me was a scene where Vette takes a liking to an assault cannon she finds and enthusiastically puts it to the test covering our escape in the inevitable oh-crap-things-have-gone-wrong twist. Really, though, Chapter XIII is the Gault show. It’s not any one thing. The guy’s dialogue is just always on point. BioWare Austin would do well to include Gault in future story arcs. Hopefully he survives the expansion!

Speaking of surviving, once we get back to the base with our loot and divvy it all up, we learn that Kaliyo & Aric have returned and it’s time to check in with them. Naturally, Aric and Kaliyo are arguing about the mission when we find them. Previously, Kaliyo had come close to accessing the GEMINI frequency, but had come under fire from Eternal Empire forces closing in on her. Aric decides to disobey a direct order to stand down and goes in with Havoc Squad to rescue her, but ends up blowing the mission in doing so. I’ve always hated Aric, almost as much as I hated Kaiden Alenko (Mass Effect) and Carth Onasi (KOTOR), and my encounters with him in KOTFE only reinforced my feelings about him. Once the two got done arguing, I was hoping to have the opportunity to punish him for screwing up. My character is Sith after all, and the Sith don’t exactly reward incompetence and disrespect for their authority. What I wasn’t expecting was the opportunity to off the bastard, but I certainly appreciated it! As Kaliyo put it after my character ran Aric through with her lightsaber, “Good riddance!”

What's your take on Chapter XIII: Profit & Plunder?

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager.