Video Game: Jak II: Renegade
"Inside a cell or inside the city, walls surround us both. We are
all his prisoners."
The Darker and Edgier
second installment of the Jak and Daxter
The sequel starts as Jak and co. activate the device they found at the end of the first game
— which not only releases an army of horrific creatures
into their world, but also catapults them into the totalitarian empire
of Haven City
. Jak is immediately captured by the despotic Baron Praxis
and used as a guinea pig for his horrific Dark Eco experiments
, in an attempt to create a weapon strong enough to destroy the Metal Heads
, the very creatures Jak unintentionally unleashed into the world in the first place.
Two years after arriving, Daxter finally finds Jak and frees him from the prison, only to discover that his time spent there has not only turned Jak into a bitter, distrusting fellow
, but the experiments have also granted him a new, destructive Dark Jak
form, which threatens to destroy him from within
unless he learns how to control it. Oh, and he talks now.
Along the way, Jak sides with the underground movement
of Haven City in an attempt to overthrow Praxis — although in Jak's case, he's just in on it to get revenge on him. Throughout the course of the game, it goes from merely a rebellion against Praxis, until it evolves into a much larger plot involving not only the Metal Heads, but the very balance of time and life itself!
To say that the sequel was near-universally seen as an improvement over the original
would be a total understatement: the world is even more elaborate and interesting than ever and the collect-a-thon and eco gameplay is completely eschewed in favor of mission-based gameplay, while still mixing in some healthy platforming segments throughout the game. There is much more variety in gameplay: you can use guns, Jet-Board through the city, hijack vehicles (à la Grand Theft Auto
), pilot a mech suit here and there, among other things. The difficulty was beefed up considerably
, but this may have been a response to the original game's low difficulty
. The story was vastly improved, with much more characterization and more plot twists than you can shake a stick at. While the game didn't sell as well as the first game, it still did well enough to be considered a hit and received universal praise from critics and gamers.
Tropes Used In This Game:
- Aborted Arc: The side-plot of the Kid getting the throne of the city back literally comes out of left field (we're barely even told anything about how important the kid is; Jak only rolls with it because it means overthrowing Praxis) and barely receives so much as a handwave throughout the game. Then once Praxis steals the Precursor Stone, that's the last we hear of the Kid's inheritance plot thread... until the closing moments of the game, which very suddenly resolves several threads without much warning. And in the third game, his presence (or lack thereof) is very important.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Haven's Sewer system is really, really, really big.
- Affably Evil: While Jak is working for him, Krew is affable enough, seemingly delighted in Jak's enthusiasm to blow things up for gun mods. But when Jak doesn't play by his rules, Krew becomes angry and threatens him.
- Air-Vent Passageway: In the first stage.
- The Alcatraz: The Fortress.
- Alien Sky: On account of the Green Sun.
- Almost Kiss: With Jak and Keira at the end — once again ruined by Daxter.
- Always Chaotic Evil: The Hora-Quan, AKA the Metal Heads, the sworn enemy of the Precursor race and the main threat of the game. Subverted with the Lurkers, especially Brutter, who were this in the first game.
- Arbitrary Gun Power: Justified in most examples, since what you're shooting usually has super strong armor.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Baron Praxis.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Daxter inadvertently activates a handful of Plasmite Grenades, with Vin trying to keep him and Jak calm.
"Don't move! [Beat
] On second thought, move! Far away!"
- The Atoner: Torn, who was a Krimzon Guard officer, but quit to join the Underground when he discovered how the Baron was more than willing to sacrifice innocent lives and resort to brutal, fascistic tactics in order to keep Haven under his control.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Vulcan Fury can dish out damage fast and is great for attacking large groups of enemies, but is hard to aim and chews up ammo so quickly that it's best used sparingly. The Peace-Maker dishes out a ton of damage, can electrocute targets close to the main target, has very long firing range and a homing ability, and a very fast firing rate — but this is all brought down by its pathetically low ammo capacity. Also, Dark Jak is powerful (especially its upgrades), but it takes so much Dark Eco to use and lasts for such little time, that it's best used as a last resort.
- The Vulcan Fury becomes more useful when there's large targets around, as well.
- Ax-Crazy: Erol.
- Bare Your Midriff: Standard style for the girls.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Jak, although he doesn't become evil, just very vengeful and pissed off.
- Beneath the Earth: The Sewers, the Dig, and Mar's Tomb.
- Big Bad: Baron Praxis. At least initially. Then Metal Kor takes him out and becomes a better candidate for Big Bad.
- Big Bad Friend: Kor.
- Big Damn Fire Exit: When the duo escape the explosion of the ammo dump.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Metal Kor.
- Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: But let's face it, homing bullets are fun.
- BFG: The impossibly powerful laser cannon Mar built to harness the power of the Precursor Stone to blast open the Metal Head Nest. Too bad he died before he could use it.
- On a personal scale, Sig's Peace Maker is this. Jak gets his own, smaller (But still just as powerful) version towards the end.
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: "I prefer 'freedom challenged'." This is Krew commenting on Jak mentioning the Slave Trade involving Lurkers.
- Bloodless Carnage: Exaggerated with Baron Praxis's death. Of all the casualties in Act 3, not only was he was the only character to die on screen, but it's also very brutal — blasted into the air by Metal Kor into a pile of giant eco barrels that crush him to death. And there isn't a single scratch on his body!
- Blood Sport: The Zoomer Races.
- Blown Across the Room: Justified in that the ammo is made out of eco and not bullets and thus has unrealistic effects.
- Border Patrol: Go too far out in the waters outside of Haven, and a drone will pop up, killing you instantly.
- Boring but Practical: The Scatter Gun and Blaster Rifle.
- Bottomless Bladder
- Brain Uploading: How Vin survives the Metal Head invasion at the end of the game. We don't figure this out until Jak 3, however.
- Bragging Rights Reward: Getting all 286 of the Precursor Orbs. Getting all four of the Dark Jak powers before beating the final boss is also very rare.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: "GAME RIGHTS?!"
- Broken Angel: Kor, who is normally a giant insect/reptile-like Metal Head creature, but is trapped in an elderly, frail human form when he's inside the city, subject to its strong eco-powered shield wall.
- Brother Chuck: Brutter the Lurker only appears in this game and Daxter, and isn't even mentioned in Jak 3.
- Call Back: In an early mission, Daxter states that retrieving a gear (causing an entire machine to spectacularly collapse) is like taking candy from a baby. He later makes this proclamation when retrieving the Precursor Stone.
- Cardboard Prison: The Fortress in the opening sequence.
- Car Fu: Zoomers serve three purposes: transportation, racing, and crashing into stuff. Guess which is the more fun thing to do?
- Cerebus Syndrome: This game is one of the most famous, beloved examples of Cerebus Syndrome ever done in a video game. It's gotten to the point where some gaming communities refer to this trope as "Jak II Syndrome".
- Chain Lightning: The Peace Maker gun.
- Chekhov's Armoury:
- The Time Machine, which doesn't show up again until more than halfway through the game.
- The Seal of Mar.
- The Kid.
- The Dark Jak ability is not only what saves Jak from dying before the final battle against Kor, but can also be used to help turn the tide in the battle, as you can automatically trigger it during the fight once, regardless of eco meter. Keep in mind, outside of the first few minutes of the game, the ability has very little effect on the plot.
- The machine at the back of the Hip Hog Heaven Saloon. It contains the Time Map, and on your first playthrough without being spoiled, you'd probably think that it's just there for decoration.
- City of Canals: North Town and the Water Slums. The main slums also have large trenches, although the purpose of these isn't clear.
- Conflict Killer: Metal Kor.
- Continuing Is Painful: The final boss. Used up all your Peace-Maker ammo on the first try? Too bad, you're not getting it back.
- Convection Schmonvection: The Dig.
- Cool Bike: The Zoomers, both out on the street, and the ones you race in the stadium.
- Cool, but Inefficient: The Hellcat cruisers, which look cool, but are only equipped with the same wimpy gun as the Krimzon Guard Zoomers and don't allow you to use the top cannons, not to mention the thing moves as slow as molasses, and its large size is a huge liability in the claustrophobic streets of Haven City, making it not only very easy to crash and burn, but also serve as target practice for the local guards.
- Cool Gun: Vin has one.
- The Corruption: The Baron's announcements insist throughout the game that Jak will slowly lose control of his Dark powers and it will eventually destroy him from within. Talking to the Oracle confirms the Baron's warning. "I sense there is a dark rage burning within you, and in time, it'll destroy you with its madness." Thankfully, Jak learns to control them by the end of the game, and the Precursor that is released from the stone tells him the darkness is now balanced by a glorious light.
- Cosmic Egg: The Precursor Stone is actually the last Precursor Egg.
- Crapsack World
- Cross Over: Toonami once did a brief ad where Tom and Jak had a hoverbike race, during a contest to win copies of this game.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Baron Praxis takes on Jak twice, both times using tough vehicles and an impressive arsenal of weaponry. Both battles are quite tough, with the first one being a notorious Wake-Up Call Boss for some players. Then he goes up against Metal Kor with a glowing sword and a team of Krimzon Guards, and they get taken out with one shot.
- Custom Uniform: Erol and Ashelin are members of the Krimzon Guard, but their outfits are way different because one is The Rival and The Dragon and the other is both an Action Girl and Ms. Fanservice.
- Cutscene: Hours worth; it even ended up in the Guinness Book of Records for the amount.
- Cutscene Incompetence: Just before the final battle with the Metal Head leader, Jak just stands there while the cliff he's standing on is blasted apart.
- Cuteness Proximity: Probably the reason Tess is so ga-ga over Daxter when they first meet in Krew's bar.
- Cyber Punk: This replaces the Steam Punk art direction of the first game.
- Cypher Language: The Precursor markings actually mean something, and there are translation guides online.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: Try switching between this game and Ratchet & Clank without messing up the controls.
- Darker and Edgier: Generally seen as an example of how to do this correctly.
- Death Course: Most areas of the game.
- Decapitated Army: The death of the Metal Head leader terminates the invasion of Metal Heads. For now.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
- Trying to run too fast through the city before it can load everything up ahead? The Naughty Dog dev team is quite literally one step ahead of you. Upon the game encountering a situation like this, Jak will instantly fall flat on his face and take a few seconds to get back up, giving the game time to load the scenery up ahead.
- If you try to pass through a security gate by hijacking a vehicle passing midway through, the force field will instantly vaporize you.
- Difficulty Spike: Even disregarding the optional side-missions, the difficulty of the game can fluctuate wildly from mission to mission. Generally speaking, if a mission includes any elements besides platforming, JET-boarding, and run-and-gunning, prepare to restart a lot.
- Disney Death: Near the end of the game, Sig appears to get eaten by a Metal Head Centipede. He's fine, though.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Baron's Propaganda Machine is darkly humorous, with all the Blatant Lies and Suspiciously Specific Denial one would expect to find in such a Cyber Punk Dystopia. It also sounds eerily similar to the US Government's own propaganda at the height of the War On Terror.
- Dope Slap: Done to Daxter, courtesy of Jak.
- Down the Drain: The Sewers and the Underport.
- The Dragon: Erol, the leader of the Krimzon Guard.
- Drunken Song: Daxter sings one after managing to get sauced in under thirty seconds.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Torn doesn't like Jak and Daxter, which is why they get sent on the crappy missions. It's mostly because Daxter is a Deadpan Snarker who presses every button he can find.
- Dynamic Loading: Done via Shield Doors and Elevators.
- Easter Egg: Collecting at least 200 of the 286 Precursor Orbs unlocks lots of these.
- Egg MacGuffin: While it doesn't look like an egg, the Precursor Stone does have the last Precursor life force hidden inside it.
- Dark Eco Torture: Done to Jak in the opening.
- Elevator Floor Announcement: "Ding, ding! Third floor! Body chains, roach food, torture devices!"
- The Empire: Baron Praxis and his Krimzon Guard.
- Enemy Chatter: The Krimzon Guards.
- Escort Mission: Made even worse by the people you're escorting being utter morons. Ironically, the Kid, who is a toddler, is the least likely to get caught.
- On the bright side, at least both Sig and Ashelin can and do pop heads on their own, making their missions feel less like Escort Missions and more like team ups.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first thing Jak says to Daxter when Daxter finds him in prison. It's quite a turnaround, breaking his previous role as a Heroic Mime and showing how two years of torture have changed him.
"I'm gonna kill Praxis!"
- Eternal English
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Every vehicle in this world ends its life in an explosion. Every. Single. One.
- Hair Decorations: Tess and her pink hairband.
- Evil Brit: Krew.
- Evil vs. Evil / The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Jak and the Underground vs. Baron Praxis vs. the Metal Heads. The only thing that keeps Praxis from being considered anything other than "the bad" in this situation is that he's a (very slightly) Lighter Shade Of Very Dark Grey than the Metal Heads (specifically, he's not an Omnicidal Maniac like the Metal Head leader).
- Evil Redhead: Erol.
- Evil Plan: The Metal Head Leader's secret plot...
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Baron's ever-looming, absolutely massive palace, located smack in the center of the city, and supported by five equally huge support cables.
- Exploding Barrels: Exploding eco barrels, to be exact.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Jak.
- Eyepatch of Power: Praxis has a metal plate covering one of his eyes, a reminder of his failure to breach the Metal Head Nest. Sig has what appears to be either a bionic eye or a fancy lens of some kind.
- Face Death with Dignity: Krew, of all people, simply mutters, "Ah well..." in a somber tone and closes his eyes as the Piercer Bomb explodes.
- Faceless Goons: The Krimzon Guards.
- Face Palm: Jak does this when Daxter is harassing The Shadow.
- Facial Markings: Members of the Krimzon Guard.
- Fake Difficulty: Sure, Jak II's more difficult than the previous game, but a lot of the difficulty comes from really cheap tricks: trial and error gameplay, long sections with plenty of instant deaths but no checkpoints, timed missions with zero room for errors, etc.
- Fake Longevity: One could argue that the mission-based structure leads to a lot of boring and repetitive driving from one location to another, especially when the hub city is built to be such a maze that the drive distance between those locations is often unnecessarily long.
- Fantastic Racism: Haven City is this towards Lurkers, who were the first game's main enemies, now.
- Fantastic Slur: Erol frequently refers to Jak as "Eco freak", which is especially mean-spirited as he and Baron Praxis are responsible for making Jak that way.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Jak's single shoulder pad and triple-strapped backpack come to mind, as well as his goggles (one lens dosen't even appear to be see-through!)
- Fat Bastard: Krew.
- Floating Platforms: In the Mountain Temple and the Underport.
- Foreshadowing: If you re-play the game, you'll notice a lot of subtle hints to Kor being the Metal Head leader:
- When Jak and Daxter return from their mission to the Baron's palace, and tell Torn about the Baron's meeting with the Metal Head leader, Kor immediately worriedly asks them if they SAW the Metal Head leader, clearly concerned that they might have seen or heard enough to deduce his identity.
- He again mentions the Metal Head leader while talking to Onin, and almost proudly stresses that the Kid is no match for him at his age. Onin throws him a dirty look, with Pecker noting that she finds him very familiar. Pecker seems to incorrectly deduce that Kor is her New Old Flame, and makes no further connection.
- During one of the meetings at Vin's Power Station, Kor talks about how he's seen the destruction and devouring that occurs when the Metal Heads take a city. He later notes that he's seen "some of the bigger ones" during his travels in the Wasteland and admiringly calls them "awesome creatures". Daxter then recalls how he and Jak saw a big Metal Head coming out of a rift once, and calls him "uuuuuuu-GLY". Kor responds with a grumble and an annoyed face, unsurprisingly since Daxter just made an accidental insult to Kor himself.
- Kor is VERY excited about getting his hands on the Precursor Stone, more than he appears to be excited about any good that could be done with it. And though he's with the Underground members when they're captured in Mar's tomb, he's not with them when Jak rescues them from the Baron's prison, having apparently escaped through some unknown means of his own.
- Game-Breaking Bug: There is a notorious glitch where if you don't go to the final bike race immediately before doing any other missions or side-quests, Keira will not appear, making it impossible to complete the game, and thus forcing you to start over completely from scratch.
- Gatling Good: The Vulcan Fury.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Pecker lampshades his own name, but it's worth mentioning that his owner's name is Onin...
- Ghibli Hills: The Mountain Temple and Haven Forest.
- Ghost Town: Dead Town, a flooded locale made of crumbling, ancient stone buildings right outside Haven's shield walls, the result of Haven's old barrier wall being breached by a Metal Head attack, and the Baron ordering the Krimzon Guard to retreat behind the newly built shield wall, leaving behind the inhabitants to die. Only a young Samos the Sage survived, who used a magic life seed to repel the onslaught.
- Giant Spider: Daxter gets chased by one in Mar's tomb.
- Giant Squid: Metal Head Squids, specifically, that reside in the Underport.
- Gone Horribly Right: The Dark Warrior Program. Praxis and Erol got exactly what they wanted: an Ax-Crazy Dark Warrior. Unfortunately for them, he wasn't Brainwashed and Ax-Crazy.
- Goggles Do Nothing
- Gray Eyes: Kor.
- Green Hill Zone: The hidden Sandover Village level.
- Grenade Hot Potato: Thrown by Vin to Daxter. He promptly throws it back. Who throws it back again, and so on until Daxter tosses it to Jak. Whose hands are full with a crate of even more grenades.
- Grimy Water: All over Haven, particularly in the Sewers.
- Ground Pound: Taken Up to Eleven with Dark Jak's Dark Bomb move. It sends an electric shock-wave that obliterates every enemy close by.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: The Krimzon Guards.
- Guide Dang It: Good luck finding all the Precursor Orbs on your own.
- Gun Fu: Jak is able to mix his hand-to-hand moves with his gunplay.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The Lurkers.
- Hide Your Children: With the exception of The Kid.
- Hit Points: You get eight — too bad most attacks take away two of them.
- Hollywood Hacking: Done by Vin.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: The Metal Heads.
- Hover Board: Er, JET-board, anyways.
- Hurricane Kick: Can be mixed with the Rifle For Massive Damage.
- Hyperspace Arsenal
- I Call It "Vera": Krew loves his weapons a little too much.
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Baron Praxis gives Jak the Precursor Stone (albeit hidden inside the backup Piercer Bomb) before he dies from the wounds inflicted by Metal Kor.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Krimzon Guard, minus Ashelin, are usually lousy shots, but if they can fire off three or four shots in a row without being interrupted, the last one will be unerringly accurate.
- Indy Hat Roll: Done in Mar's Tomb, with Daxter serving as the hat.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: The three Titan Suit segments from late in the game.
- Interspecies Romance: Daxter and Tess.
- Invisible Monsters: One mission involves hunting down a bunch of (almost) invisible Metal Heads hiding out in Haven Forest.
- Irony: The Baron stating via the propaganda machine that there are no Metal Heads in the city, and that anyone who contradicts this fact will be shot. In the game's climax, he gets killed by an energy blast courtesy of the Metal head leader.
- I Will Fight Some More Forever: You'd think the Krimzon Guards would've learned eventually that picking a fight with Jak is comparable to suicide. Nope.
- Jerk Ass: Erol, oh so much. Jak himself is a real Jak-Ass at first, being especially evident in his early chats with Kor and Torn, although it's hard to blame him considering what he's been through, and he does get better.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jak eventually develops into this by the end of the game and stops caring about personally getting even with the Baron in favor of just toppling his rule.
- Karmic Death: Erol, who is so obsessed with personally killing Jak that he tries to run him down on a Zoomer in front of a huge crowd... only for Jak to dodge, and Erol to crash and burn into a whole bunch of eco barrels.
- Knight Templar: Baron Praxis will do anything to make sure the Metal Heads won't win... even if he has to arrange for everyone else to lose.
- La Résistance: The Underground.
- Laser Sight: The Morph Gun.
- Last Words: Vin's last words before his alleged death at the hands of Metal Heads.
The shield wall is down. I repeat: the shield wall is down! Sabotage! Kor
did it! I knew Metal Heads would be the end of me! Oh, no! Metal Heads are at the door! They're breaking through! Too many of them! Jak...
- Law of Inverse Recoil: Averted as Jak's gun actually does jerk back after firing.
- Lethal Lava Land: The Dig site.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Jak turning into Dark Jak prior to the battle against the final boss.
- Letting the Air out of the Band: Happens when our heroes start to celebrate another Item Get, only to suddenly have the platform they're standing on collapse.
- Licked by the Dog: Played with: the growly Crocadog likes the equally growly Jak. We later find out why.
- Limit Break: Dark Jak.
- Limited Wardrobe: Everyone in the game, obviously owing to the Crapsack World status.
- Living MacGuffin: The Kid, who we find out at the end is the only one who can open the Precursor Stone.
- Local Hangout: The Hip Hog Heaven Saloon, later The Naughty Ottsel.
- Lord Error-Prone: Baron Praxis.
- Lost Forever: The Metal Head Nest cannot be returned to after you beat the Metal Head leader, losing you seven Precursor Orbs and some Metal Head Skull Gems if you didn't take the time to snatch them up. Fortunately, there are 286 Orbs in the entire game, so it's not that big of a loss. The tower in Dead Town is rendered inaccessible due to it collapsing (although it's possible to reach the remaining platforms by using a well timed jump while using Dark Giant). The Drill Platform control tower is also rendered inaccessible after you blow it up late in the game. Also, some people think that the eco mines are inaccessible after the three missions you do there, but the entrance is conveniently located in the warpgate located in the first room you start the game in, right within the fortress! Convienient, huh?
- If you are a trophy collector and have gotten the Jak And Daxter HD Collection, the previously mentioned Metal Head nest will make getting the platinum trophy impossible as the trophy requires you to get all 286 orbs. So yeah, have fun with that. There is a Good Bad Bug that allows you to obtain infinite Precursor Orbs, however, by restarting sidequests while getting the precursor orb required to beat the side quest. However, only a few side quests can be exploited and if you beat all of those sidequests AND failed to get all the precursor orbs in missable areas...then you're screwed.
- Lost Technology: In the Mountain Temple area.
- Luck-Based Mission: Obtaining the piece of seal in the water slums from Brutter.
- MacGuffin: The Precursor Stone, which has the last Precursor life force hidden inside of it.
- MacGuffin Delivery Service: Just when Jak finds the stone, the Baron arrives with a Mini-Mecha to steal it. Jak technically wins the battle, but the Baron still gets away with the stone.
- Male Gaze: Daxter glances down at Tess' boobs when they meet at the bar. At least he looked her in the face first.
- Man Hug: An incredibly drunk Daxter hugs Jak while slurring "I love you, man!", which earns a disturbed look from Jak.
- Mecha-Mooks: The ball-bots that roll around bumping into Jak and the smaller spider robots. They make occasional appearances in the weapons factory, the Baron's fortress, and during the second boss fight with Baron Praxis. They later reappear in Jak 3 as more prominent enemies.
- Mind Screw: The more you try and piece together every aspect of the game's Time Travel plot, the more it hurts. Lampshaded by Daxter, of course. Keira's just finished building a replica of the time machine that brought the group to Haven City, and is worried that she didn't remember it quite right.
Samos: It's perfect, Keira. This is the very machine we found... or, will find, later.
Keira: What? I just built this! After seeing the first one, I mean. It's based on what I remember from—
Daxter: Honey, the more you think about it, the more it hurts the head.
- Mineral MacGuffin: Despite its name, the Precursor Stone looks more like a big green jewel.
- Mini-Mecha: The Baron's two combat mecha, the Krimzon Blast Bots, and the Titan Suit Jak uses late in the game.
- Mood Whiplash: Let's see, the first game was a fun little Platform Game, filled with Ghibli Hills, and Arcadia. The second game starts out with a torture, and takes place in a Police State called Haven City.
- Monster Protection Racket: Praxis and the Krimzon Guards do this with the Metal Heads, though it's an unusual variation as in this case the Metal Heads are a genuine threat rather than a hoax.
- Mordor: The eternally storm-ridden Metal Head Nest, the outskirts of it being littered with the rusty, crumbling remains of a failed attempt by the Baron to attack the nest years ago — specifically, lots of stone walls and towers, lots of old, rotting tanks... and the superweapon Mar built to blast open the nest.
- More Dakka: The Morph Gun's upgrades.
- Morph Weapon: The Morph Gun.
- Mundane Utility: Need to open a box? Shoot it!
- Mythology Gag: The Item Get jingle from the first game pops up at the end of the first mission you get, only to get parodied.
- Never Trust a Trailer: One tv promo showed Jak and Daxter being carried off by a Krimzon Guard cruiser in a scene that the trailer made it seem like they were being kidnapped from their world and brought to Haven City. The clip in question was from a part in the game where Jak and Daxter were willingly using the transport to just reach another destination.
- New Game+: Hero Mode, which is unlocked by getting 200 Precursor Orbs. It beefs up the difficulty of the game, but grants you all four of your guns right off the bat, and makes it easier to get the Dark Jak powers, as the Metal Heads always drop skull gems in this mode. Getting 200 orbs in this mode also rewards you with the Alternate Scrapbook.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Jak is the reason the Metal Heads got into the world in the first place AND got them sent into Haven City, whether he intended it or not. Also, there is tipping off Kor (while human) that the Baron was going to stab him in the back.
- Nintendo Hard: Parts of the game fall into this, but Hero Mode takes the cake.
- Nitro Boost: In the Stadium races and the Port Race.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Praxis plans to use a bomb that can destroy the universe to blow up the Metal Head nest. Justified as he is unaware of this.
- Noodle Incident: Jak to his younger self: "Stay away from ANY wumpbee nests on your ninth birthday, okay?"
- No MacGuffin, No Winner: Our heroes do have the stone by the end, but it's rendered useless when The Kid touches it, thus releasing the Precursor Life Force hidden inside of it.
- Non-Action Guy: Daxter is still this, but starts to show signs of shedding it, as he actually helps Jak in some parts where he couldn't have done it himself; he is also the gunner when Jak is busy driving. Also, Vin.
- No OSHA Compliance: The Fortress, the Weapons Lab, the Eco Mine, the Drill Platform, and the Palace's support towers.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Jak joins up with the Underground solely because he's looking to hurt the Baron in any way he can. Invoked by Torn when Jak accepts a mission, not because it'll help save the lives of other Underground fighters, but because it means he gets to trash some KG Hellcats.
Torn: Never part of a bigger cause, eh Jak? Fine, I'll take your help any way I can get it.
- Not the Fall That Kills You
- Omnicidal Maniac: The Metal Head Leader.
- One-Hit Kill: Any attack from the Border Patrol robot will instantly kill you, even as Dark Jak with the invincibility power. However, it is possible to use the Dark Giant Dark Bomb to destroy it if you time it correctly, allowing you to explore outside the intended areas.
- Only the Worthy May Pass: The Kid must face the "Tests of Manhood", but since he is too young, Jak faces them instead. Of course, Jak actually IS the kid, so it's all good.
- One-Winged Angel: Kor when he reveals his true form to Jak and the Baron.
- Optional Traffic Laws: As long as you don't hit one of them, the Krimzon Guard couldn't care less how many citizens you plow into.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: The Seal of Mar.
- Out of Focus: The Lurkers only have a very minor, disposable role in this game, as they have reformed in the time that has passed since the first game.
- Outrun the Fireball: At the end of the Ammo Dump mission.
- Over Crank: When Jak and Daxter escape the explosion of the Ammo Dump.
- Overheating: Can happen with the Turret Guns.
- Pass Through the Rings: On certain racing missions.
- Pause Scumming: It really helps to pause during the seer's minigame and during the whack-a-Metalhead machine minigame.
- Port Town: The Southern section of the city.
- Prison Episode: Any of the Fortress missions.
- Propaganda Machine: The Baron has planted these all over Haven City.
- Properly Paranoid: Vin.
- Psycho Serum: Dark Eco.
- Punch Clock Villain: When kept to themselves, the Krimzon Guard tend to have casual, friendly conversations with each other.
- Pull the Plug on the Title: Done in the opening credits.
- Purposefully Overpowered: The Peace-Maker and the Dark Giant.
- Puzzle Boss: Almost all of them.
- Racing Minigame: Some parts of the game.
- Random Events Plot / Kudzu Plot: Just try and sum up the entire plot, complete with all the threads, subplots, character arcs, time travel logic involved with it and foreshadowing it manages to cram in, and make any sense of it.
- Rising Conflict: Jak's original motive is revenge on Baron Praxis for the two years of imprisonment. By the time we reach the Third Act, he's working to save the city from the Metal Head invasion and Baron Praxis is killed by Metal Kor.
- Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The Mountain Temple.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: All of the boss fights.
- Temporary Platform: In Dead Town, the Drill Platform, the Mountain Temple, and the Underport.
- The Reveal: Lots.
- Save The World Climax: The plot gradually turns into this with the escalating conflict between Haven City and the Metal Heads.
- Self-Disposing Villain: Erol, until Jak 3 reveals he survived.
- Serious Business: Zoomer Racing.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike
- Shame If Something Happened: Krew to Jak, after he refuses to throw the Grand Championship race.
Krew: I wouldn't get too comfortable if I were you. *looking at Daxter* Everyone's expendable.
- Ship Tease: Daxter ships Jak with Ashelin (in front of Keira!) after winning the first official race. Hilarious in Hindsight, as they actually kiss in the next game.
- Shooting Gallery: There's one located in the Port.
- Shout-Out: A Ratchet & Clank poster appears on a monitor in North Town.
- The Krimzon ball-bots from late in the game have more than a passing resemblence to Droidekas.
- Smug Snake: Erol.
- Sneeze of Doom: Done by Daxter when he and Jak are trekking on the roof of the Baron's palace. The doom part comes from the fact that Daxter's sneeze tips off the Baron that he has guests.
- So Proud of You: After Daxter wins in the Class Two Race, Jak tells him that he's proud of him.
- Spider Tank: The Baron's second combat mecha, as well as the Krimzon Blast Bots.
- Stable Time Loop: By the end of the game.
- Stripperific: Ashelin, the only female Krimzon Guard we see, wears a "uniform" like this.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Lots of it in game, especially if you chose to pick a fight with the Krimzon Guards, have a lot of firepower at hand (or maybe Dark Jak) and feel like seeing some vehicles go ablaze...
- Stunned Silence: Jak's reaction to seeing the girl behind the curtain (Keira) for the first time. Daxter even tries to snap him out of it.
- Suddenly Voiced: Jak.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Dark Jak.
- Swiss Army Gun: The Morph Gun has a shotgun, a rifle, a sub-machine gun, and a lightning ball gun.
- Tank Goodness: The Tank Jak encounters in his mission to blow up the Ammo Dump in the Fortress.
- Techno Babble: Vin spouts a ton of this when Jak doubts his ability to activate the palace's old elevator system.
- Temple of Doom: Mar's Tomb.
- The Battle Didn't Count: The only times the boss you killed actually IS killed is if it's a weak sub-boss or the final battle.
- The Woman Behind The Curtain: Early on, Keira's interactions with Jak take place with her behind a curtain and neither of them realize who they're talking to. This raises the question of how Jak and Daxter didn't realize it was her by her voice. Keira can be forgiven, as she's never heard Jak speak and Daxter doesn't say anything. In fact, she only realizes it's Jak when Daxter finally gets fed up with the way she talks to Jak when she's behind the curtain and starts telling her off after staying quiet in the last few scenes.
Daxter: "Let me handle this, Jak. Listen lady, we beat your stupid course, and we can outrace anybody in this city!"
Keira: "Wait! That voice..."
Daxter: "And there's just two things you need to know. One, we don't want to join your stinking race team, and two... you just lost a date with Orange Lightning. Let's go, Jak."
Keira: *Throws the curtain open* "Daxter, it IS you!"
- The Man Behind the Man: The Metal Head leader to Praxis, who is extorting Eco from him in exchange for keeping the Metal Heads from invading the seemingly safe Haven City.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Praxis (unknowingly) is planning to use a bomb that can destroy the ENTIRE UNIVERSE to blow up the Metal Head Nest.
- Three Act Structure
- Third-Person Shooter
- This Is a Drill: The MASSIVE Drill Platform, the huge drilling machine in the mines that Jak destroys, as well as the Baron's second combat mecha, which uses two drills to try and remove the Precursor Stone from its statue.
- Timed Mission: Some parts of the game.
- Time Skip: In the intro of the game.
- To Absent Friends: At the end, Samos says "Let us not forget Vin, and all the others who sacrificed their lives to defeat this evil and protect the child."
- Too Awesome to Use: Dark Jak and the Peace Maker, not helped by their Awesome but Impractical status.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Jak. If you'd been tortured for two years with no idea why, you'd be mad too.
- Trailers Always Spoil: One of the game's trailers reveal that Jak is in the future, even though it's supposed to be a twist revealed a third of the way through the game.
- Trapped in Another World: Subverted, as it starts off seeming like that, until Jak finds out that this is instead a Bad Future of his world.
- Treacherous Advisor: Kor
- Triang Relations: Type 7, as a major plot in the racing plot of the game is Jak competing with Erol for Keira, who has feelings for both. As expected, Jak wins her back, while Erol is nearly killed after trying to run him down out of envy.
- There's also type 4, as Ashlin is also shown to harbor feelings towards Jak. Though it's not as noticeable as in the next game, there is some evidence, like when she flirts with him after he wins the first race.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: Towards the end of the game, Jak gets sent on a mission to the Under-Port. After completing this challenging task, you will be instructed to find the Mechanic at the Coliseum. If, however, you activated a stadium challenge prior to this (for, say, wanting to collect precursor orbs), when you arrive at the Coliseum, the Mechanic is nowhere to be found, and you will be unable to progress beyond this point in the game's story. The only option is to either restart from the beginning, wasting about eleven hours of work, or send your memory card to Sony so they can fix it for you.
- If, however, you have a very large amount of precursor orbs, you can master the race you're stuck in, and look around other areas for orbs you've missed, or perhaps Onin's button-pressing minigame. If you get 200 orbs, you can activate Hero Mode, technically bypassing the bug, and meaning that all of your effort for the last eleven hours was worth it after all. If you're already playing Hero Mode, however... well, you're pretty fucked.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change
- Unnecessarily Large Interior: Mar's Tomb as a whole could probably dwarf all of Haven City — the main room alone is as big, if not bigger than a football field! What on earth did Mar need all that extra space for?!
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The Krimzon Guard don't notice you until you hit one of them, unless you're taking on certain missions. Also, no one seems to be bothered by the fact that Daxter is a talking rodent who rides on Jak's shoulder.
- Urine Trouble: There's a cutscene in which the crocadog pees on Kor's walking staff. Jak and Daxter find this amusing; Kor does not.
- Used Future: Haven City features grungy industrial areas, rusty floating vehicles, and badly polluted waters, despite being a futuristic city. The surrounding areas are even worse, thanks to the Metal Heads.
- Vampire Refugee: Jak learns to control his Dark powers throughout the game by exchanging large quantities of Metal Head Skull Gems with a Precursor Oracle located in the Water Slums.
- Vice City
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Where Ashelin stores the Yellow Access Pass she gives to Jak.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: The game allows you to beat up and/or kill the many pedestrians of the city. While it may send a few Krimzon Guards your way, it won't have any effect on the story. This is also possible to do in stadium races by causing other racers to crash — this can even be done with Erol (9:26).
- Villainous Glutton: Krew.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: The first fight with the Baron.
- Weak Turret Gun: The Krimzon Guard turrets, and the sewer turrets.
- Weapon of Peace: The Peace-Maker.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Baron Praxis, with emphasis on the extreme part. He's willing to go to any measure to ensure the Metal Heads are defeated, even if it means sacrificing innocent lives.
- Wham Line: Jak's first line of dialogue.
I'm going to kill Praxis!
Metal Kor: Don't you recognize him? The boy is you, Jak.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Jak and Daxter can shoot/punch/maim hundreds of Krimzon Guards to death, but still be considered heroes. Then again, they are members of La Résistance fighting a Police State.
- Made worse by some proclamations from the Propaganda Machine which state that the penalty for hoverboarding is being conscripted into the Guard, and that one way to ensure your family's citizenship in Haven (which translates roughly to "keep them from being cast out into the waiting jaws of the Metal Heads") is to enlist.
- Wide Open Sandbox
- Wire Dilemma: Parodied in a cutscene near the end: Daxter crawls into the Piercer Bomb in order to get the Precursor Stone back and, theoretically, disarm it. He says things like "Should I clip the blue wire?" before just deciding to break a few more things to see if anything comes loose. It works.
- Womb Level: The inside of the Metal Head Nest.
- Wretched Hive: Haven City.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: The Krimzon Guard.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Praxis constantly reminds Jak of this via the Propaganda Machine. He also shoots down Jak's first boss victory over him with words to a similar effect.
- Zeppelins from Another World: Occasionally, enormous Krimzon Guard airships can be glimpsed above Haven City. They are most easily seen in Southtown, which has the most open skyline in the city.