The Return of Zenith

All this talk about Galactic Seasons has really set me back in terms of writing about other things happening in the game that I wanted to cover on the blog. Time to get back on track on that front!

First off, let's talk about the return of Zenith, which was added as a small story update with patch 6.3.1 a month ago. It's sort of halfway between the two options I speculated about when the previous mini mission was released: It is indeed just a short chat on Odessen, but instead of being an Alliance alert, it is part of the main storyline. (The following post contains spoilers.)

Imperials misled Zenith with false intel to get him to destroy a Republic weapons shipment - a plan that does succeed, though Zenith himself gets away from the trap that the Alliance set for him (not sure why they bothered if he was unwittingly working for you anyway) and sends the Alliance Commander an angry letter afterwards.

For Republic characters, he successfully completes the mission he was given and then comes to Odessen to have a chat with you and you can try to recruit him into the Alliance. For non-consulars, this is doomed to fail as he's too put off by all the former Imperials under your command. I have to admit my mind was set racing, thinking about the possibility of whether it was feasible to have a character that he'd agree to join if you rejected every single former Imperial companion that you come across on your journeys... but of course you don't get the option for rejection for every single companion, and the Alliance is just generally portrayed as containing refugees from both the Republic and Empire lore-wise, regardless of your choices.

Now, the interesting part happens if you're a consular, because for your sake Zenith will agree to join the Alliance, as long as you keep the former Imps out of his hair (metaphorically that is). Or, and this is the part that excited me... you can flirt with him! Unlike many long-time players I'm not a romance fanatic, but this was something that was meaningful to me since Zenith was the first companion of whom I remember that I really wanted to flirt with him back in the day, just to be disappointed when I found out that it wasn't possible, and that there wasn't really any reason for it other than Bioware prioritising female love interests over male ones at the time. (The base game gave you eleven female companions to romance vs. only eight male ones.)

Since then I've kind of maintained it as my head canon that my Sage had deeper feelings for Zenith that she couldn't quite express at the time due to her strict observance of the Jedi code. Therefore I was filled with quite the mix of excitement and trepidation when I finally got to hit that [Flirt] option nine years later. (The trepidation comes from a feeling that I can never be entirely sure whether hitting [Flirt] won't make something wildly inappropriate for the situation come out of my character's mouth. To be fair, this hasn't actually happened in a long time, but the "trauma" from some early experiences with this in the base game has never quite left me.)

It led to what I thought was a very understated and cute little moment. Basically your consular says something like "I want you to stay" and "work with me" while taking a little step towards him and looking straight into his eyes, and you get the feeling that he's a little flushed and taken aback, yet very much swayed by this avenue of argument. It doesn't go any further than that, but it delivers an amazing amount of feels with little dialogue and a bunch of small touches, which I really loved. It would be great if we could get more at a later point, but I understand that content only applicable to a limited pool of players of a single class will probably be hard to fit in.

Anyway, even if you personally didn't care to romance Zenith or even about getting him back, this update still marked the end of an era, as it finally put a bookend to the "era of lost companions" that began with KotFE taking away all of the original class companions back in October 2015. (And yes, I know some people will point out that we haven't got Tanno Vik or Khem Zash back, but we also know that we won't at this point because we know why they aren't with us. With Zenith's return, everyone's accounted for.)

It's kind of mind-boggling that it took almost six years to reintroduce the last of the forty base game companions after they were taken away from us with a parting shot of them fighting in their undies in KotFE chapter two. I wonder if the devs ever regretted that decision... it did open up a lot of characters to interact with different classes, but I'm not sure Bioware was quite prepared for the vehemence with which players continued to campaign for their favourite companion to come back now, for months and years after they'd been separated from their base class. Never mind the newest story chapter about Zakuul, where's Mako?! However, I've got to give them credit for sticking with the overarching plan to bring them all back, even if it took forever. I reckon it would've been easy to say "who cares about that guy anyway" for some of the less popular companions and just move on, but the current dev team clearly values players of all classes and preferences - which is something I'm definitely grateful for.


  1. Honestly, Zenith is so long gone by now. I don't even remember anything of him. That is sad, because my main is a Sage Healer, proper 8 years old today.

    The last Sage i leveled is probably 2 years old!? My twinking days are over. You can't replay the same stuff forever over and over again.

    1. Is Zenith longer "not in the game", than he was "in the game"?

    2. At the moment, yes! As the game had only been out for a little less than four years when our class companions were taken away. But obviously the ratio will swing back the other way over time.

    3. If they don't force a kill option for Zenith. For dark side players "because we like to kill stuff", and for light side players "because of hero sacrifice" or something.

    4. That seems unlikely. I don't recall ever being forced to kill any companion. The closest would probably be Scorpio in the sense that the story caused you to lose her again either way, but I'd argue that was a somewhat exceptional situation.

  2. I feel you, Shintar! I recall feeling similarly when I first started playing my main, but, then, she moved on... To someone with the exact same voice, whatever that says about -me-. I didn't mean for her to flirt with him (for reals) when I did the conversation, but I HAD TO SEE it... And I was so taken by the moment, the understated but very IC feelings, the sweetness of everything that I missed my esc.
    Thankfully, these days, it's not like her husband would mind. Hahahaa
    I think it's one of my favourite character returns in a long time.
    (Aric's still the best of the returns, ofc)


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