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The Nikto were a race of reptiloids evolved into five distinct races on their home planet of Kintan. They were an ancient species, being one of the three races signed into servitude to the Hutts as part of the Treaty of Vontor, during the Hutts' battles against Xim the Despot. The average Nikto, despite their individual race, shared several characteristics with its cousins. They were often very soft-spoken, preferring to use their physical appearance to intimidate other beings. Very little emotion was displayed on their faces, and a simple fluttering of their mouth flaps represented the closest thing to a smile.
The Nikto were characterized by their leathery skin, reptilian eyes, and fierce temperaments. The skin of a Nikto was made up up thousands of overlapping scales, which could be shifted to cover wounds to protect them from infection. All five races were genetically capable of interbreeding, although ninety-three percent of the offspring from such unions resembled only one of the parents. Those few individuals who exhibited the characteristics of both parents were often ostracized and abused as mixed breeds, and were often forced to find work offplanet.
There were a number of environmental and geological changes that greatly affected life on Kintan, causing the once-singular Nikto race to evolve its five unique races. Chief among these changes was the radiation expelled by the nearby star, M'dweshuu, which held a significant place in Nikto mythology. The Red Nikto, called Kajain'sa'Nikto, evolved in the deserts. They had ridged foreheads, with eight small horns around the eyes, and two at the chin. They breathed through a permeable membrane that covered their mouths, as well as through four breather tubes on their necks. The Green Nikto, known as Kadas'sa'Nikto, evolved in the forests. They were visibly scaled, with obvious noses and small horns ringing their eyes. The Mountain Nikto were called Esral'sa'Nikto, and had smooth skin. Their ears were large and fin-shaped, designed to be extended or pulled flat to regulate body heat and enhance hearing. They also had a nasal membrane similar to the Red Nikto. The Pale Nikto, called Gluss'sa'Nikto, were found in the islands of the planet. They resembled the Green Nikto, with fin-like ears. The last race, called M'shento'su'Nikto or Southern Nikto, lacked any horns but had a number of breather tubes at various points on their skulls.
The inner strength and fierce nature of the Nikto species in general was honed over millennia of survival against the predators of Kintan. This led to four intense civil wars which nearly destroyed Kintan some thirty years before the Nikto helped the Hutts defeat Xim, years before the formation of the Old Republic. After Xim was defeated, the Hutts then distributed the Nikto to various worlds as bodyguards and strongmen.
On Kintan, the Nikto races developed atomic-level technology on their own, and absorbed other galactic technology from the Hutts. Because of the Treaty of Vonter, the Nikto remained under Hutt control for over 25,000 years, and for the most part they remained neutral throughout the various battles of the Galactic Civil War. Because of this, many Nikto individuals who were sensitive to the Force remained undiscovered by the Jedi Knights, although a few Nikto escaped slavery to become Jedi.