16. Learning Who Revan Is In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
After adventuring for many hours and traveling the galaxy far and wide, BioWare unleashes a stunning plot twist. The player is revealed to be Darth Revan, master to Darth Malak and the key villain of the entire plot, consider your jaw firmly on the floor.
Why it’s great
Because for the entirety of the plot, you are always sure that – either playing the campaign as good or evil – you are still fighting for the greater good in one way or another.
It’s a similar plot twist to Bioshock’s in that the player-character has been mentally conditioned to suppress his or her past, and keep their true identity and purpose tucked away in the subconscious.
Learning that the character is Darth Revan change everything you thought you knew about them, turning the whole story on its head.
Ultimately, the Darth Revan reveal is just a stellar piece of story-telling, and the twist changes your perception of the entire plot right up to the big twist.
Many have tried to create twists of a similar fashion and failed, but BioWare pulled it off with gusto in Knight of the Old Republic.
What the developer says
James Ohlen, designer, BioWare
We caught up with creative director on Star Wars: The Old Republic James Ohlen to discuss how BioWare formulated the reveal, “When we were working on the reveal for Revan we looked back at movies and books in the past that had a big reveal part way through.”
“Obviously we looked at Empire Strikes Back, but also Sixth Sense, Fight Club and Foundation and Empire. Looking at these gave us a lot of pointers on how to do a reveal that would have a big impact on the player.”
“The biggest lesson we learned was that we needed to give out obvious clues. When the twist comes, you don’t want it to come out of the blue, you want people to have been set up for it.”
“The successful twists were ones that a good five to ten per cent of the audience figured out before it happened.”