Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Zakuul sightseeing for International Picture Posting Month

Around this time one year ago, I posted screenshots of my favourite new SWTOR area: the Endless Swamp of Zakuul. It was International Picture Posting Month (IntPiPoMo) and I took on the challenge of posting fifty pictures in one month. Now, one year later, IntPiPoMo is upon us again and once more I find myself on Zakuul.

It occurred to me that I really like the planet, but never had taken the time to stand still and look around - after all, during most of my visits I was being hunted down by skytroopers. Therefore, especially for IntPiPoMo 2016, I revisited to shoot pictures, of which my favourite are in this article. You can find all my challenge entries under the label InPiPoMo. If you want to participate yourself, scroll down to the end of this post to see how.

This is my newest character, master Ravaline. You may recognize her from SWTOR's Dark vs Light event: three months later. After spending the past summer mostly in Lord of the Rings Online running the new Gondor instances, I've now returned to SWTOR to finish the achievements needed for the Dark vs Light event companion. One of the requirements is playing through Knights of the Fallen Empire (KOTFE) on a DvL character, and thus it came to be that Ravaline found herself frozen in carbonite in the Spire of Zakuul.

I don't mind replaying chapters that take place on Zakuul, even if some involve an abundance of skytroopers (*glares at Kaliyo*). The place just looks so beautiful and atmospheric. The developers went out of their way to give the planet a unique and alien feel, which is particularly expressed in its architecture. Zakuulan architecture typically involves glass and metal, lots of space and a light brown to gold colour palette. 

A deserted office in Zakuul. Notes fly through the air. If you look closer, you see that a lot of detail has been paid to the design of the windows and wall panels. Even the lamps are designed for the room and fit the colour palette. Many new decorations must've been created to give Zakuul its distinctive feel.

My first thought when I saw this shot is that it was raining outside. It was not, though, I remember that much. Instead, we're might be looking at water vertically floating down a glass surface. Or mat glass with a special effect. Whatever it is, it looks cool.

The cantina - I love the pole dancing bloke! The choice of colours and attention to detail gives this part of Zakuul a lush and chique atmosphere.

Caught master Ravanel red handed in the cantina. Don't tell Satele!

It just occurred to me what Zakuul reminds me of: steampunk meets 19th century Paris.

There is an awesome bus diner run by droids.

The Zakuulan skyline is also a beauty to behold. It is unfortunate that you can't get high up yourself to admire it outside story chapters and cutscenes.

In my head canon, Ravaline is intrigued by the beauty of Zakuul, a world she didn't even know existed up until recently. She is convinced its citizens are mostly unaware of what is happening in the faraway Republic and Imperial territories. They are not to blame for the actions of Arcann. 

The Firebrand chapter was frustrating for my jedi knight. Kaliyo redirects her anger to the people of Zakuul, behaviour that Ravaline finds narrow minded, ruthless and childish. If it were up to Ravaline, this narcissistic terrorist would never enter her alliance, but there is no choice involved in the matter.

Another beautiful place on Zakuul that has this incredibly lush feel. I cleaned up some skytroopers for you before I took the shot; they kind of ruined it.

Zakuulan citizens looking at that mysterious slick looking building.

Being intrigued with Zakuul, it may not come as a surprise that Ravaline fell in love with one of its citizens: Koth Vortena. While the pair shares a vision of an Arcann-free Zakuul, they have different opinions on what the Emperor is like and what plans he has with Ravaline and the galaxy. Ravaline is a bit worried that Koth only answers in kind because of her prestige as Outlander and presence of his beloved Emperor. This could lead to some interesting conversations if Bioware approached companions like they do in their single-player RPGs. Unfortunately, their relationship so far seems to limit itself to short flings in between chapters.

It's not all beauty: even Zakuul has its bad neighbourhoods... that still look beautiful. This is Downtown Central.

Koth, can we spend our honeymoon flying through these lovely creepy alleys?

IntPiPoMo 2016 is hosted by Chestnut of Gamer Girl Confessions. If you want to participate yourself, sign up here and simply start posting. There are prizes and everything; it will be fun, I promise!

IntPiPoMo count: 16/50


  1. Ooh, I really like the shot with those indoor plants (5n2lv4V). Whereabouts did you take that?

  2. Thank you! Unfortunately, that's one of the few places you can't revisit in the open world. It's not a cutscene, but it's in an indoors area of one of KOTFE's early chapters.

  3. Zakuul is a great addition and love your Lonely Planet guide ;-)

    1. Haha, I should've used that as a title! Thank you. :)


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