Should This Really Be A Dark Side Choice?

Bioware is famous for creating quests that have questionable choices. They come up with complex stories that have morally ambiguous outcomes and are left open to interpretation as to whether the players made a good decision.

But then they go on to make side quests that are treated as a black and white solution. You can either make a dark side choice or a light side choice. There is no in between.

I was playing SWTOR a couple days ago and came across this quest on Taris called AWOL. It’s about a squad of soldiers who disappeared and you are tasked to find them. When I found them I discovered they were trying to desert because they were convinced the Rakghouls couldn’t be stopped.

It was a light side choice to tell them they deserved to rest and let them go and a dark side choice to tell them they couldn’t leave and order them back to their posts.

As a Jedi Knight I know I was supposed to let them go because it was supposedly the right choice, but the truth isn’t that simple. Who ever made that quest was trying to treat it as a black and white scenario when it is far more complicated then that.

When the soldiers joined the military they knew the risks. They knew that they could die in combat and they knew they could possibly come up against an enemy they couldn’t beat. I’m all for soldiers having a vacation or a little R & R, but I am against them deserting their posts and making a run for it, thereby leaving other people to die when they could have been there to help. Running from your duty is an act of cowardice and I didn’t appreciate having to make a dark side choice by reminding them that they knew the risks when they signed up and then force them to return to their base.

It’s one of many side quests that I hate doing because Bioware makes it a black and white outcome when in fact it should have been left up for interpretation. It’s weird how a gaming company like Bioware can make some pretty crazy stories and blur the lines on many decisions your character makes and yet have side quests that are an either/or situation.


2 thoughts on “Should This Really Be A Dark Side Choice?

  1. Not to toot my own horn too much, but I’ll simply link to another old post of mine here, from when people were often having arguments about this shortly after launch. The short version is that I don’t think light and dark side points are purely about good or evil but more about Jedi vs. Sith teachings. So in this case you could argue that it’s the light side decision to let the soldiers get away because you’re being compassionate to their plight vs. it being dark side to force them back into a warzone. But there’s certainly room for discussion with these things. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diana

    I saw someone arguing over this on the fleet just the other day — same viewpoint as you — and I was too busy to comment much on it, but it did got me thinking into the logic.

    I think a lot of the logic over LS Vs DS in this particular quest relates to being both Taris & the Bonus Series.

    By this time, between your class story and the planetary story, it should be clear that Taris isn’t a viable planet for the Republic to keep. It’s too dangerous, it’s too costly, it’s a perpetual drain on resources, etc. Trying to keep it for the power it represents is and should be seen as a power grabbing DS choice and I think there’s little doubt that Saresh walks a very dark path through it and after it.

    Of course soldiers know of the risks they run when they sign up to the military, but the things said in Taris ( and Saresh’s attitude) make it clear that not the soldiers, not the crews, not any of those in official capacity have had the choice of refusing the assignment on Taris & that the Brass has bad-intel on the ground’s real conditions. Saresh wants to make it work in spite of overwhelming odds and I very much doubt her reports are true to reality. In forcing them to go back to their posts, you’re reinforcing this posture.

    And — I don’t think dying in itself is the danger and fear they have, it is loosing their minds and becoming beasts. If you’re dead, it’s over or whatever, if you’re trapped in a nightmare eating your former comrades… That is not a risk they should be asked to take on, or driven to take on without knowing what it entails.

    I think the real failure is that the true Light Side option would be to bring them back, escort them out of the planet, but not for them to just live their lives happily: for them to bring the truth to the public and pressure the Republic into retreating from Taris altogether, saving thousands of lives in the process — even if they didn’t manage to secure it before the Empire hits the planet.

    Sure, the Republic ends up losing teh planet to the Empire, but even that is a absurd danger as they’re not above weaponising Rakghouls.

    Liked by 1 person

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