Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Dark Forces II
(1997) was the first game of the Dark Forces Saga
to feature first-person lightsaber battles. This story takes place after the events of the original trilogy. Here, Kyle learns of his Force potential and receives his own lightsaber, once owned by a Jedi Master named Rahn, whose spirit occasionally guides him in dreams and visions. He follows a lead to the Dark Jedi Jerec, with the intent to avenge his father's murder
. Jerec seeks for a mysterious Valley of the Jedi
that legend tells has monumental power, providing additional incentive to stop him. Part of the feature is a light side/dark side progression, where your actions (kill innocents or protect them) and choices and uses of Force power dictate which side you will lean to. There are two endings, light side and dark side. Word of God
(and future games) say that the light side ending is canon
. Live action cut scenes moved the plot along, elevating the game to an almost movie-like experience (albeit with daytime-soap-opera-level acting
The game received an Expansion Pack
in 1998, Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
, telling some of Kyle's story after he has become a full Jedi Knight. The player soon takes control of Kyle's "reciprocal apprentice" (as in, they're teaching each other), Mara Jade (who becomes Luke Skywalker's wife in canon some years later), as Kyle goes off to find what may be the remnants of a Sith temple. He disappears from all contact, however, and you have to track him down, only to discover him skirting dangerously close to the dark side. After the events of this game, Kyle swears off the life of a Jedi and returns to being a hired mercenary (for the New Republic, at least).
The main game contains examples of following tropes:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sequential sluice gates in the third level will probably haunt your nightmares the longest time.
- Alignment-Based Endings: The ending is determined by a hidden Karma Meter.
- Always over the Shoulder: Dark Forces 2, the first game in the series with a third-person camera, has a setting to automatically change to third-person when switching to the lightsaber.
- Artifact Title: "Dark Forces" refers to the Dark Trooper project, which would make its presence in Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight, about a guy become a Jedi and fighting a group of Dark Side users along the way rather irrelevant... were it not for the implications of the term "Dark Force" in the Star Wars universe.
- Black and White Magic: Kyle can use the light side (healing and support skills) or the dark side (only does damage and instant death).
- Charge Meter: Certain Force powers have it.
- Continuity Nod: Kyle says to 8t88, "The dark side? I've been there. Do your worst." This is referring to dialogue in Dark Forces where Kyle says "I'll see you on the dark side." just before launching to the Executor. It may also be reference to his previous occupation as a stormtrooper prior to the series.
- Dark Action Girl: Sariss.
- Deadly Gaze: Force Deadly Sight.
- Decapitation Presentation: Maw mentions doing this to Kyle's father, but the actual decapitation and subsequent public display of the head on a spike occurs offscreen. Unless you have the book...
- Dual Boss: Gorc and Pic, though this is less of a dual boss and more of a meatshield combined with a Goddamned Boss.
- Emergency Weapon: Your fists prior to receiving your lightsaber (though you still have the option of using your fists).
- Enemy Civil War: Mostly averted, in relation to your Imperial foes, save for some hints that stormtroopers were fed to or accidentally happened upon some kell dragons. Mooks working in the underworld seem much more prone to this sort of behavior, however. One notable example is a Bar Brawl between a number of Grans in Baron's Hed.
- Epic Tracking Shot: A particularly good one appears in the introduction to Nar Shaddaa.
- Evil Is Hammy: Christopher Neame is clearly having a lot of fun as Jerec.
- Eye Beams: The Dark Side power "Deadly Sight" could be considered this.
- Five-Bad Band: The Dark Jedi:
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- Force Destruction in the capable hands of Jerec is shown to be powerful enough to fatally cripple a docked capital ship, but in actual gameplay it doesn't do much more than hit really hard.
- Speaking of Jerec, he is shown to be without eyes (originally, he was intended to be a human whose dark side nature caused his eyes to rot away; eventually he was retconned into an eyeless humanoid species called the Miraluka), yet Force Blinding works on him perfectly fine in-game (although I guess you can argue that Force Blinding would cut off his ability to see through the Force as well).
- Get Back Here Boss: Maw flies to different parts of the arena that you fight him in the more he gets damaged.
- Giant Space Flea From No Where: There's a Drugon in Barons Hed's main pool for some reason. Two levels later, you can (optionally) stumble in a room of Jerec's Palace.... which, for some reasons hosts a Kell Dragon.
- Good Powers, Bad People: Several Dark Jedi use light side powers.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Maw is cut in half at the waist by Rahn during the opening cutscene. He spends the rest of the game without his legs, using telekinesis to get around. In the instruction booklet, he's described as "a levitating incarnation of rage".
- Heel-Face Turn: Yun, over the course of the entire game, as detailed in the novellas that were based on it. Which leads to his Redemption Equals Death.
- I Can Rule Alone: Kyle to Jerec in the bad ending for Dark Forces 2.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Apprentice (easy), Jedi Knight (medium), Jedi Master (hard).
- Karma Meter: A major element. You can fall to the Dark Side in two ways: allowing or causing the deaths of noncombatant individuals and droids, or investing too many ranks in Dark powers.
- Kill Him Already: After their respective defeats, Yun, Maw and Jerec each try this on Kyle. Maw succeeds.
- Multiple Endings
- The Obi-Wan: Rahn to Kyle.
- Redemption Equals Death: Yun. He has just enough time to complete his Heel-Face Turn before being cut down (intentionally or unintentionally, depending on the source) by his mentor.
- Second Hour Superpower: The game initially starts out like a shooter, but a few levels in, and you're a Jedi.
- Shout-Out: Gorc and Pic have been clearly inspired by the similar duo of "Master Blaster" from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
- Soft Water: Mostly played straight save for at least one occasion, such as when the player is required to navigate a metal grid suspended over a rather distant body of water on his way to an aqueduct. In this case, if Kyle falls, he exhibits an anomalous case of Super Drowning Skills.
- Unholy Nuke: Jerec can use the "Destruction" Force Power. It's a Dark Side attack that consist in a fiery ball of flames and negative energy that destroys everything on its path.
The Mysteries of the Sith expansion contains examples of following tropes: