Stars Wars Knights of the Old Republic is an all-time classic, so anyone who’s played it will be thrilled to hear that a behind-closed-doors E3 presentation from before the RPG game was even announced has been unearthed and uploaded online, with thousands more old tapes of videogame demos, conferences, interviews, and more on the way; and not just for Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic.
The clip from E3 2001 has saved, logged, and digitized alongside thousands of other videos by videogame documentary enthusiast Danny ‘Noclip’ O’Dwyer, who is slowly uploading many of the gems to a new YouTube channel.
From Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic to old game demos, a Hideo Kojima interview scrubbed from the internet, and even an incredibly high-quality version of Microsoft’s E3 2009 press conference, and so much more. There are so many tapes in Noclip’s possession that it’ll make your eyes water, and they call it “the largest collection of videogame history that hasn’t been digitized in the world.”
There’s even an Infinity Ward Studio tour from 2007, which is only, checks notes, 16 years ago.
While we recommend subscribing to Noclip’s game history archive, today we’ll be focusing on the never before seen Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic demo from E3 2001, which has never been seen online before.
KOTOR was in early development at the time, with it coming out in mid-2003, around two years after this presentation. While it’s a really excellent look at videogame history, it’s also painfully 2001 in the best way possible. Even just the concept art feels like it’s from a completely different era.
My absolute favorite part is when what looks like a PC World ad interrupts the concept art showcase, with the person presenting calmly saying “so we’re just going to pop out of that.” Imagine if that happened at this year’s Summer Game Fest, it’d be the highlight of the show.
Then we go into an actual model viewer in Windows, and there’s nothing quite as nostalgic and oddly satisfying as the early 2000s operating system. On top of the actual presentation, it’s a marvel to see how developers viewed games back in the day, and what was revolutionary and important to games 22 years ago.
It really shows how far we’ve come in two decades and how fast videogame tech has evolved. Hearing someone say “We actually have 30 NPCs right now in this small town area” really puts everything into perspective. After all, Assassin’s Creed Unity was said to have at least 5,000 at one time. Don’t worry, that’s just an increase of 16,566% in about a decade.
Despite its age, this look at Star Wars KOTOR is incredibly important for videogame preservation and history, as Noclip continues to digitize the thousands of tapes it has that are sure to contain some absolutely incredible finds never seen before or feared lost for decades.
If you want more we’ve got a breakdown of all the best old games currently still available on PC, with games like Star Wars KOTOR chief among them. We’ve also got the best Star Wars games too, if you want more from a galaxy far, far away.