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Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II (Windows)

88
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Kyle Katarn, a former mercenary and now an ally of the rebels, discovers that he is in fact a Jedi, and is on a quest to find his lightsaber and learn the techniques of the Force. The evil Sith lord Jerec, who was responsible for the death of Kyle's father, is on a quest of his own, searching a mythical place called Valley of the Jedi, where his dark powers could be unleashed. Will Kyle be able to stop Jerec and become a true Jedi without falling to the dark side?

Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II is a sequel to Dark Forces. The game is set in the Star Wars universe and its events occur after those depicted in the movie Return of the Jedi (Episode VI). Primarily a first-person 3D shooter, the game also allows the player to switch to third-person perspective. Kyle can use blasters and rifles to take care of his enemies, and later in the game he will also be able to fight enemies with a lightsaber.

There are three kinds of Force powers Kyle may use in the game: light, dark and neutral. Light powers are mostly used for healing purposes; dark powers involve violent actions such as choking enemies or hurling objects at them; neutral powers enhance Kyle's speed and jumping ability. There are fourteen Force powers altogether; if the player chooses to develop only one type of powers throughout the game, a bonus power can be gained. Completing levels rewards the player with stars, which can be allocated to enhance the powers.

The game has a branching storyline with different endings, and the player's decisions can lead Kyle to the light as well as the dark side (for example, killing innocents will add "dark points" to Kyle's score). The game features video sequences with live actors as cutscenes.

Screenshots

Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II Windows imperial sonda (higher resolution play)
Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II Windows In cargo hold
Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II Windows using 3d card (jpg shot)
Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II Windows At the bar

Alternate Titles

  • "Star Wars: Jedi Knight" -- German title
  • "Guerra nas Estrelas: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II: O Cavaleiro Jedi" -- Brazilian title
  • "Dark Forces II" -- Informal title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Nothing beats being a Jedi (but a lot of flaws come close to) Zovni (9360) unrated
You can forget about the movies MAT (71333) 3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars
A flawed, yet worthy sequel to Dark Forces Giu's Brain (533) 3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars
At the front of the pack for its time ududy (47) unrated
Has it really been 5 years? Terrence Bosky (5235) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Use the fork Ashley Pomeroy (233) unrated
An excellent fps with a complicated storyline. A winner all the way! Mike West (2) unrated
A great game if you a Star Wars fan... Chris Martin (1098) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars
Jedi Knight was ahead of its time and is a classic but, and I hate to admit this, it simply hasn't aged well. Kadath Bird (706) 2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars
A fantastic Star Wars title. No No (2) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

The Press Says

GameGenie 1997 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
PC Player (Germany) Nov, 1997 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
PC Gamer Dec, 1997 94 out of 100 94
PC Games (Germany) Nov 05, 1997 93 out of 100 93
Game Revolution Jun 05, 2004 A- 91
PC Gameplay (Benelux) Nov, 1997 90 out of 100 90
Pelit Sep, 1997 90 out of 100 90
GameSpot Oct 09, 1997 8.9 out of 10 89
Power Play Oct, 1997 88 out of 100 88
Gamers Europe Mar 25, 2002 6 out of 10 60

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Comic

A comic book version was based on the plot of Jedi Knight.

Cut content

An early version of Jedi Knight featured an extra weapon not included in the final game, the "Tusken Prod". Several magazines have printed screenshots featuring this weapon on sneak previews and scoops of the game, though it is unknown why the weapon never made it to the final game.

There was also a screenshots of a "speeder level" where Kyle Katarn got onto a large speeder and could fly it around. For whatever reason, the speeder was phased out of the final game, and its model is not used anywhere as furniture or as decoration in any level.

Development

  • According to early interviews before the game was released, all of the character models and art in "Jedi Knight" were created prior to any live-action filming. This is why the model of Kyle Katarn does not have a beard like the actor does, and why many other models don't match very well to their FMV counterparts.
  • According to some rumors at the time of development and release, LucasArts contacted Lucasfilm and George Lucas directly over the effects of a lightsaber when submerged in water.
  • According to the US PC Gamer issue of October 2001, Justin R. Chin stated in a interview that he would receive constant criticism of his game design during each project evaluation meeting. He chose to ignore most of the criticism and stick with his design.

German version

The predecessor Dark Forces of 1995 has been banned in Germany and may only be sold to adults. In order to avoid a similar ban for Jedi Knight, the German version of the game doesn't mention the subtitle Dark Forces II.

Inspiration

Justin R. Chin, like George Lucas, researched ancient Asian history and culture for inspiration. The arch-enemy, Jerec, is apparently blind. In some Japanese folklore and myths, blind warriors are oft-times the most deadly, because it is the weakest sense (in warrior theory).

Mods

As of 2007, this game still has a active fan group that modifies it. For example, there is a new mod for this game called Jedi Knight Enhanced, which updates all the games models to "Quake III era", making it more appealing. The mod can be found here and is about 40 megs big. Make sure you read the installation instructions carefully.

There is also an ongoing project, which updates all the original games textures, and it can be found here.

Music

The music heard in the game is taken directly from the original Star Wars trilogy film soundtracks, performed by London Symphony Orchestra. It's included on the game CDs as Red Book Audio which means that the game CDs can be listened to in an ordinary CD player (be sure to skip the first track, though!).

References

  • In level 5 there's a secret that lets you encounter Max (the rabbit from Sam & Max Hit the Road.) If you let him out of the house, he will go on a shooting spree killing everyone from civilians to stormtroopers.... to you. And with what appears to a remote control too!
  • On Level 9 (Fuel Station Launch) do a 180 spin while jumping from the platform onto the ship at the end of the level (you can't turn once you've landed on the ship). The retracting platform has the face of Max tiled on the edge facing you.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 1998 (Issue #164) - Game of the Year
    • February 2002 (Issue #211) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #41 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #7 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll
    • April 2005 - #21 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1998 - Best Action Game in 1997
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1998 – Best First-Person Shooter in 1997
Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Alexander Schaefer, Emepol, Jason Musgrave, Kalirion, Mu77etOfDeath, naula, PCGamer77, Scott Monster, Simon Michelmore and Zovni

Related Web Sites

  • Jedi Knight Dot Com (A general overview of the Star Wars universe, but also includes a section with all Star Wars games by Lucas Arts.)
  • Jedi Knight Editing Hub (Everything about editing the original Jedi Knight game.)
robotriot (8637) added Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II (Windows) on Nov 03, 1999