Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II
Description official descriptions
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.
Credits (Windows version)
236 People (196 developers, 40 thanks) · View all
|Graphics / 3D Programming|
|Level / Scenario Design|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 88% (based on 33 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 136 ratings with 17 reviews)
The gameplay, while unrealistic, even beyond the star wars norm, (think quake 2 running speed), is very satisfying and fun, shooting stormtroopers and imperial officers never gets old. The AI is much better than other games of the time as well, although it doesn't really do much, it follows you around corners to attack you, but that's about it. The graphics have aged a lot since the game's release, but the art style is very Star Wars, which helps the game's atmosphere, although it is not good at portraying organic environments. The strongest point of the entire game, however, is the levels. The levels are truly massive in scope. In one level, you infiltrate an enormous imperial tower. In another level you run along the top of that same tower, dodging Tie-Bombers trying to bomb you (seriously), while looking for a way to escape. In yet another level, you have to explore a giant tanker ship, while it is falling to the bottom of a Canyon, with low gravity effects, malfunctioning machinery, and everything, to find your ship, and escape before the tanker hits the valley floor and explodes. In a word; Awesome. The boss fights are also very well done, with imaginative and inspired bosses, with some unexpected abilities. Finding out how to kill these bosses can be a pain though, as the difficulty is pretty high as well.
The force powers. This was the first time force powers were introduced into a first-person perspective game, although they weren't introduced as well as I had hoped. I personally was hoping for a hotkey system, similar to Jedi Knight 2. Switching between powers one at a time is too cumbersome. The level design can get confusing, and finding out where to go can take a while, and having several types of items to find doesn't help, three types of keys, and wrenches etc.
The Bottom Line
A great Star Wars shooter with a great story (to game standards), fun Jedi combat, and epic level design.
Windows · by No No (1) · 2008
It was nice being a jedi, for a bit. The lightsaber weapon is fun. Enemy AI is better than many early 3d shooters. Some of the mission goals were original. Unfortunatly, that's about all.
So many things are bad in this game. Let's start with the voice acting-- there are occassional good clips, but the rest is flat and basically 'awful'. The acting in the cutscenes is so miserable, I can't really explain it; you have to see it to believe it.
The automap is a nightmare to use; it attempted to be something like Daggerfall's 3d automap, I think; it's hard to tell because when you can actually tell where you are, you have no idea which way is up or down, and why the rotate buttons make the map turn three-sixty in half a second.
The levels are ridiculously frustrating and their layout often makes no sense at all-- while most maps in plot-based first person shooters have semi-decent excuses for why you can't go anywhere but where you want to go, Jedi Knight dosen't even really try. There are just mysterious walls blocking you off all over.
Oh, I said plot... ouch. The plot is so terribly, painfuly horrible, I almost cried. It all begins because Our Hero is off to avenge his father! Yes, it's the ultimate cliché, but they didn't even bother to give it any original twists in this game. I never finished it, because I knew I would do something horrible to my computer that I'd badly regret if I heard the android-actor who plays Our Hero intone 'You killed my father!' in one of the cutscenes, but I have heard from friends who braved the game how it ended, and it's just as cliché as the rest of the game. I have read some Star Wars novels, and I know how horribly written, typo-plagued, and plot-deprived most of them are, but nothing prepared me for this plot.
The force powers are also terribly unbalanced. Some are utilities, like Force Jump, which are easy and neccessary. The others are useless and you never use them throughout your entire play time. And the others are overpowered and once you get them, you breeze through the next several levels.
Although nothing could really have raised this game's enjoyability to a 5/10 with me, I might have given it a 4 1/2 if only there had been something good to save it. But the one paragraph at the top of this review says it all. Nothing else is good in this game.
The Bottom Line
Jedi Knight is basically a shooter that gets it all wrong. I would not recommend buying this game even if you are a Star Wars fan. Dark Forces remains fun, if unoriginal, with a much better plot and much more replayability. I would recommend it or Jedi Knight II over this title any day.
Windows · by ShadowShrike (277) · 2003
This game had some excellent features. The graphics were excellent for their time, the level design was INCREDIBLE. The cutscenes portrayed what you needed them to very nicely and ran relatively stable on my machine.
A few things weren't right about this game though, such as sometimes, the cursor would only show up every few seconds, forcing me to guess where I was by the sounds and click when I think I am there. The acting in the cutscenes was pretty good, but I didn't like the mix of live action and cg graphics, it just seems a bit too hokey for me. Those were the only gripes I had with this game.
The Bottom Line
Overall, this game is an excellent example of what game developers can do with the first person shooter genre if they put their minds to it. It is incredibly well put together, the levels fit quite well with the game, and multiplayer is excellent, if not a bit laggy. The use of force powers was well done, and added a new level of exploration to the game. Despite its (few) problems, this game is beautiful, and is a must-have for any person who even considers himself a light computer gamer.
Windows · by Mike West (2) · 2000
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.
A comic book version was based on the plot of Jedi Knight.
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.
- 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.
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.
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).
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.
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!).
- 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.
- 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
Related 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.
Wikipedia: Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II
Article about the game in the open encyclopedia
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by robotriot.
Game added November 3rd, 1999. Last modified September 14th, 2023.