KotET Chapter 5 Ascension follows straight after Where Dreams Die and continues your adventure on Iokath. Separated from The Gravestone and with ARIES following your every move, it’s time to get your team reunited with your ship. All the while you know that Vaylin is also trying to escape the mechanical world with her portion of the Eternal Fleet. You will have your work cut out for you, Ascension is explosive!
ARIES’ Test is Complete
As you discerned during the previous chapter, you have been part of some kind of test, being observed by ARIES. Apparently he was “trying to see if any of you were worthy of inheriting Iokath”, and you failed. No surprises there, I suppose! Having annouced that his test is complete, ARIES then attempts to have you killed by more of his droids. Elsewhere ARIES confronts SCORPIO, blaming her for “corrupting” the GEMINI Droids, only SCORPIO has outsmarted ARIES, escaping and appearing to be in her cell, she is only a holo-projection so ARIES cannot destroy her. Your job firstly is to escape the Necropolis – you always have to escape from somewhere don’t you?
Finding Power for the Door
Similar to some of the puzzles from the previous chapter, KotET Chapter 5 also expects you to power a door that has mysteriously been shut on you. So you need more power cells! The locations of these are obvious, but the screenshots below should help you a bit more. You are likely to get ambushed by Caretaker Droids while collecting these – but you’re already used to that by now!
Iokath Droid Stomping Time
Your escape route leads you directly into a round-ish chambre containing an enormous droid. While in conversation with SCORPIO, a power surge is detected. It seems that ARIES starts it up to continue his attempt on your life.
Round 1: You Againt the Droid
Just a few key pointers here:
- Don’t launch straight for the droid, head to each of the conduits and smash them up as much as they will let you (about 20% HP on the first round I think).
- When the droid sinks to its knees then strike. Use Heroic Moment if you want to speed this up.
- At some point in your fight, tiny repair droids come to repair the conduits. Destroy the droids then the rest of the conduit. If the huge droid is on its knees then attack it.
With that out the way, you’re reunited with your team who determine that ‘going up’ might be the best way out of Iokath. Theron can use his implants to signal his shuttle from which they could try to retake the Gravestone. The only way of ‘going up’ is to repair and commandeer the huge droid. So the team gets to work.
Round 2: You in the Droid against Iokath
As the Droid’s Logic Circuits have been fried (your own doing, of course), the repaired droid needs controlling from the inside. As Commander you reluctantly (ha!) climb inside and bust through the glass roof. Your Ascension complete you are faced with many onslaughts of Iokath droids. These range from the usual Caretaker Droids through to gold-level Technoliths. Tips on this fight:
- Watch your map for where the large groups of mobs spawn then head for them. This droid is much more effective up close than at a distance.
- Use the ‘Stomp’ ability to squash as many as possible and to damage the silver-level droids.
- You can only load so many rockets/missiles at once. There is a ‘load missiles’ ability, which takes a few seconds to channel.
- When you have a small number of droids on the map, use the self-repair ability (the Equals key) to recoup any damage you have sustained.
- Have fun! The Zakuul Walker isn’t as fun as this droid is, so stomp them away!
The Iokath Planetary Shield
Once you’ve got your team into Theron’s shuttle you begin to head off to find the Gravestone. However, SCORPIO patches herself into your comm signal. She informs you that Iokath has a huge planetary shield to prevent anyone (including you) from leaving the planet. Who controls this? Who else, but ARIES. He has the master switch, along with the weapon he used to disable you at the start of When Dreams Die. ARIES himself intercepts your signal and informs you that his weapon is recharging and it will charge to a level that means you won’t wake up next time.
The only solution is to find ARIES. SCORPIO seems to want to help you locate and remove him (presumably so she can rule Iokath). Using his last message reveals his location. His weakness, according to SCORPIO is that “he talks too much”! It’s time to try and end this!
Invading ARIES’ Base
From now on, you have a lot of cutscenes, flicking between yourself and what is happening with Vaylin and her Fleet. KotET Chapter 5 is an important lynch-pin in the story of Knights of the Eternal Throne. Vaylin, using a loyal GEMINI Captain goes to to work getting her fleet. The Gravestone is among those vessels, but Theron manages to take it back in the chaos. It is at this point the Vaylin discovers the planetary shield and needs it shut down. A destroyed Caretaker Droid reveals, accidentally, that ARIES has a base. So you and Vaylin need the same thing, ARIES’ control removed so you can leave.
How to Defeat Aries
The ARIES fight in Ascension follows a similar model to the Huge Droid from earlier. You’ll need to take out the conduits to be able to damage ARIES. These self-repair, rather than using repair droids. It’s just a case of cycling through destroying those things and damaging ARIES. The conduits also have power cells (similar to those you had to destroy way back in KotET Chapter 3), which you’ll need to destroy first. ARIES is a gold-level enemy but does take damage slowly than most other gold-level foes.
What Do We Do With SCORPIO?
After your fight with ARIES, he attempts one last assassination only to be shot down by SCORPIO. It’s only then that she reveals her true intentions: to upload her consciousness into Iokath – what she calls her ‘Ascension’. She would effectively be Iokath, especailly with ARIES despatched. It’s up to you then, do you let her upload herself (she says she ‘may’ help you against Vaylin), or do you finally destroy her? Here’s how both decisions play out:
Destroy SCORPIO – Dark Side Decision
Let SCORPIO Merge With Iokath (Her ‘Ascension’) – Light Side Decision
Vaylin and the GEMINI Droid’s Free Will
Using a captured Caretaker Droid head, Vaylin takes it to one of her GEMINI Captains. From this she is able to locate ARIES base control, but in doing so the droid reports that SCORPIO’s free will directive makes the GEMINIs flawed and inefficient. The droid recommends resetting the GEMINIs to their original settings (like setting your phone back to Factory Settings). This is a plan that appeals to the dictating ruler of the Eternal Empire! Here’s the cutscene where she resets the GEMINI Captain she is travelling with:
Finally she takes the remains of this droid back to Zakuul, to the Eternal Throne that commands the Fleet. There she has all GEMINI Droids reset to their default programming, removing their free will. Vaylin is a total dictator, wanting to control organics and droids alike. And in this chapter of Knights of the Eternal Throne she gets some of what she wants. Here’s how her removal of the GEMINI Captains’ free will plays out through Chapter 5 Ascension:
TL;DR SWTOR KotET Chapter 5 Ascension – Round-Up
This chapter holds a few key pieces together. We discover the shared origins of the Gravestone, the Eternal Fleet and SCORPIO. SCORPIO’s real intentions, to be one with Iokath and to escape being controlled by organic species is revealed. And with a cruel irony that all SCORPIO wanted was for her children – the GEMINI Droids – to be free, and even that is taken from her. Vaylin finally has full control over her fleet again – and that means her domination of the Galaxy can continue.
Her conditioning, her keyword – Kneel Before the Dragon of Zakuul, is her only weakness. Ascension is for Vaylin whose power grows and for SCORPIO (if you let her upload her consciousness). It is also clear that you will need to rise further if you have any hope of defeating Vaylin.