Bad Romance

I actually finished the Sith warrior class story on Shae Vizla! For as long as I've had alts on other servers, this is the first time I've actually completed a class story on a server other than Darth Malgus, and while it may be silly, I'm kind of proud of myself. I also realised that it had been a really long time since my last full Sith warrior playthrough in general... six or seven years, based on some comments I made on this blog.

A female Sith Pureblood standing next to an Imperial banner with her lightsaber drawn, near the end of the Sith warrior class story

Something I hadn't done in even longer was romancing Quinn. I wrote a post about the different base game romances for female characters last year in which I mentioned that I quite enjoyed the dynamic with him, but I've got to confess that this was all based on memories from over a decade ago at this point. I thought it would be fun to finally go through that particular storyline again with my newest Pureblood. Boy, was it a confusing experience.

To be clear, it's not that I completely changed my mind about Quinn or anything, but I basically hadn't considered that the way companion conversations work had changed in the meantime, and what effect this would have on the experience.

To refresh everyone's memories, at launch the class companion stories weren't tied to main story progress but rather to that particular companion's influence (then affection) level with you. I don't remember when exactly I went through most of Quinn's conversations, whether it was earlier or later, but I do recall that I was generally very bad at maxing out companion affection (I made a whole post on that subject back in 2014), so I probably didn't see at least half of his storyline until after completing the overall class story. Either way, I have no memory of how this interacted with his "big twist", but I figure it probably can't have been that big of a deal or I would've remembered it.

The point is, with Knights of the Fallen Empire, companion conversations were changed to unlock automatically after completing certain steps in your class story. I was very much in favour of this change, since it meant I actually did them at a sensible pace now instead of oscillating between basically ignoring my companions and going on gift-giving binges to get them to talk to me. I'm not sure how I expected this to affect the Quinn romance, but I know that what I actually got, wasn't it.

I was initially quite excited and keen to get the ball rolling, so I always made sure to talk to Quinn before any other companions, but he seemed coyer than I remembered, and it felt like it took forever for things to heat up between him and my warrior. I kept waiting for the big confession of love, but it just didn't come.

Eventually we got to the end of Voss and then the visit to the Imperial ship where... "the thing" happens. I couldn't help but think that surely it would've been more impactful if we'd already been closer beforehand, but I still chose a conversation option that said something like "we're breaking up". I was reminded of just how incredibly clunky the bit where you end up sparing him for "reasons" feels.

Then we got back onto the ship and I went to talk to him again to see what the next conversation was and... it was the big confession of love. My jaw just kind of dropped. Like, we literally got close to killing each other five minutes ago. Timing!? And I'd chosen the conversation option that said we were done, too!

Close-up of a female Sith Pureblood kissing Malavai Quinn

I tried to justify it in my head with something like that the emotional turmoil of all that just brought their real feelings to the surface even stronger or something like that, and I allowed the romance to continue, but it still just felt weird.

It's kind of funny to me that even replaying content I've done before while trying to achieve the exact same outcome can result in such a dramatically different experience. Maybe the game has changed more over the years than I usually give it credit for.


  1. My Sith Warrior on Shae Vizla just made it through the Iokath Story today. He is male and never romanced Quinn. I decided to let Quinn live, "but it still just felt weird".

    And another thing, that is weird... one Galactic Season weekly goal defining so many Mains on one Server. xd

    1. Haha, nice to know I'm not the only one who was easily influenced in that regard!

  2. I find it curious that they seemingly never flagged that cutscene as part of the romance chain. Granted, I can't remember whether the big kiss scene where romance is either finalised or a break-up is initiated was one of those cutscenes which was purely affection-triggered or still only activated after certain story scenes as the odd few did. Maybe that would be part of it, if so?

    I certainly noticed the oddity of it with my newest warrior, as I decided in the spur of the moment to break-off the romance with Quinn rather than see it through to the end. To date, this is the only time I have not completed a romance within the class story once initiated, Tharan's enforced one-night-stand notwithstanding.

    A sign of things to come with her, as she's something of a serial heart-breaker. In more ways than one when it comes to Quinn, of course...

  3. I haven't played through all the romances in SWTOR yet, but I've easily found the Quinn romance one of the most hilarious (in a positive way) and enjoyable. I think the writing conveyed Quinn's persona and history well (and of course, credit to the voice actor, Richard Teverson). It was ... delicious! Thinking about it just now, a parallel that comes to mind is the way the tragic romance in "Up" (2009) was portrayed in that movie. Just a few short, wordless scenes showing two characters growing up together and falling in love, and yet it was so powerful. I distinctly remember seeing that movie, and feeling piqued that the Star Wars prequel series portrayed the Anakin-Padme romance in such a wooden way, despite having much more time to show the development of that relationship. On a semi-serious note, my Sith Warriors never had any issues with Quinn surviving past a certain pivotal event; he was clearly worth more (in either utility or amusement value) left alive. ;) - DB


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