Live By the Code, Hunt by the Code

If there has been one complaint I’ve seen more than any other as I’ve been leveling through The Old Republic during early access, it was Mako.  Mako is the very first companion and pretty much the only companion you have for the majority of your class’ prologue and chapter 1.

Mako is, in simple terms, a total bounty hunter fan girl.  She knows the names of every Great Hunt winner, and has a dream of working with a real bounty hunter i.e. you.  The problem comes when you play a bounty hunter that doesn’t match up to her fan girl fantasy of how the job works.  You can kill, you can enjoy doing it, and there are plenty that do.  And your affection with little Mako will suffer for it.

So how do you fulfill your slicer assistant’s fantasy?  Well, from playing around with it a bit it seems to be based entirely on following the bounty hunters’ creed in Star Wars.  What? You didn’t know that the bounty hunters had a code?  I’m not surprised. From Wookiepedia it doesn’t seem to be referenced in a lot of material, and the world’s favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett doesn’t seem to follow them.  But it exists, and if you follow it, you’re probably gonna end up a gray to light side bounty hunter with massive affection with Mako.  Let’s take a look:

The Bounty Hunters’ Creed

No Bounty is Worth Dying For

This is a simple rule. If you are presented with a choice: Your life or your bounty. Choose your life. There will be other bounties, there is only one life.  Naturally, this doesn’t apply to in-game mechanics, and I haven’t come across such a choice in game yet (doubt I will to be honest). But it’s good to keep in mind.

People Don’t Have Bounties, Only Acquisitions Have Bounties

The wording on this is a bit strange, but its intent is not.  When someone has a bounty on their head, they are no longer people, they are your acquisition.  Thinking of them as people breeds compassion, which can cause you to do foolish things like letting them go.  If you want a good example, watch Cowboy Bebop.  There is a reason they only eat peppers on that ship, and lack of opportunity is not one them.

Capture By Design, Kill By Necessity

This is a big one. A really big one.  Probably the biggest one when it comes to making Mako happy.  Only kill by necessity.  What does that mean?  If you’re supposed to kill your bounty, kill your bounty. Otherwise – DON’T KILL PEOPLE.  Sure, you can threaten and intimidate them. But don’t kill them unless your job says to kill them. If there is a peaceful non-killing solution that does the job, take it. If your employer did not specify whether they preferred them alive or dead, assume alive.

No Hunter Shall Slay Another Hunter

This is actually a central plot point to the bounty hunters’ storyline.  You have a rival. He can’t kill you, and you can’t kill him. Not until you square off in the Great Hunt.  The Great Hunt is of course, the exception to this rule.  You’re supposed to kill the other bounty hunters. They are one of your targets. Otherwise, don’t kill other bounty hunters!

No Hunter Shall Interfere With Another’s Hunt

This one is also exempt during the Great Hunt. Because that’s part of the point is to eliminate the other hunter going after your bounty.  But again, that’s the exception and not the rule.

In the Hunt One Captures or Kills, Never Both. 

The general idea behind this is that you should never kill a defenseless target.  You can’t capture your bounty, tie them up and then kill them. I mean, you can. But that’s not really hunting, is it?  The hunt is an important part of being a bounty hunter. It’s what separates you from being a mercenary or a soldier.  Honor the hunt.  You either capture the target, or kill the target. You do not kill a captured bounty. You do not capture a killed bounty (which, for the record, is gross.)

No Hunter Shall Refuse Aid to Another Hunter

Another simple one. If another bounty hunter requests your assistance, you are obligated to help them.  However, the twist on this is that they are also in debt to you for it, be it for credits or just a favor back.  Again, I think this might be overlooked in the Great Hunt, but who knows? I haven’t won it yet.

So those are the rules to being a bounty hunter. Their code of honor.  Does this mean you should or have to play your bounty hunter this way? Oh heck know. Plenty don’t follow these at all, and as I said at the beginning of this post I’m pretty sure that even Boba Fett violated a few of these.  But in general it seems that this code is what Mako thinks you should strive for.  I try to follow it myself, with a few exceptions.  Even if there are ‘peaceful’ resolutions available, if my employer said kill then I will kill.

However this has led to more than one funny conversation with the Imperials during my adventures:

“There were some cultists worshiping this thing.”
“Oh? I assume you killed them all?”
“What? WHY?!”
“You didn’t pay me to kill them.”
“Yes… well I suppose I’ll have to be more specific next time.”

So there’s some entertainment value to go along with getting the girl.  Don’t worry if you’re a violent bloodthirsty bounty hunter though, you’ll find some companions that agree with you. They’re just not the pretty ones.  And just remember, a bounty hunter without his honor is just an assassin.

Happy hunting!