Video Game: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
aka: Jedi Academy
Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Jedi Academy
(2003), essentially an Expansion Pack in the body of a true sequel
to Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
, featured a brand new character, Jaden Korr. This character is customizable, with male/female voices for several species as well as hair and clothing variations (though later novels pin down canonical species and gender as human/male, respectively). You can also choose from a selection of lightsaber hilts and colors, and later in the game can upgrade to dual wielding or use the double-bladed version. Jaden has somehow constructed a lightsaber without any prior Jedi training, and news of this remarkable feat results in being transported to the Jedi Academy, where you become the apprentice of Kyle Katarn. The game consists of progressing through missions assigned by Luke or Kyle until you become a Jedi Knight. Unusually, the game takes a free-form yet tiered approach—as an initiate, you can pick any of five missions to take in any order; at apprentice level, you gain a set of five new missions; and at Jedi Knight level, you get five more. Also noteworthy is that you need finish only four missions to progress to the next level, though as you get more powers with each of these missions it's in your best interest to do them all. In between each level of difficulty is a compulsory mission, linked directly to the main story. The story involves a group of Sith Cultists seeking to resurrect an ancient Sith Lord, Marka Ragnos. Like in Dark Forces 2
, there are two endings, one for each side of the Force (as usual with LucasArts
, the light side one was eventually determined to be canonical).
The game contains examples of following tropes:
- Action Girl: Your own character if you choose to make Jaden female.
- Alignment-Based Endings: You explicitly choose your side of the Force in the penultimate story mission.
- Always over the Shoulder: Academy doesn't even allow the player in first-person mode while using the lightsaber.
- An Arm and a Leg: Rosh loses an arm in the light side ending. Without making use of cheats to enable full dismemberment, the game also occasionally allows you to take off a hand or an arm.
- Artificial Stupidity: Enemies end up pretty stupid, which leads to a Good Bad Bug where you can kill multiple bosses by simply standing where you start the battle at and firing a Sense-enhanced E-11 into their faces until they die. In the Vjun level, where you have a duel with a New Reborn under a high-up walkway that has another Cultist on it. He's supposed to be another obstacle for you once you get that high up, but almost every time he hears your earlier duel, tries to jump down to join in, and promptly breaks his legs.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Many of the more flashy acrobatic moves, despite looking rather cool, aren't actually all that useful.
- Badass: Jaden hacks his/her way though an entire Sith cult. Then again, you shouldn't really be surprised that given that this is Kyle's student.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Jaden can learn dark side powers if you so choose but still fight for good.
- Bag of Spilling: The missions are implied to take place several days or even weeks apart, and you requisition weapons rather than owning them anyway, so it makes a kind of sense. In any case, starting with your first real mission you always keep your lightsaber, a sidearm, two heavier weapons, and one explosive with you (not that it ever matters; nothing beats your trusty lightsaber).
- Barrier Warrior: Luke and Kyle both learn Force Protection by the time of Academy. Jaden has the option of choosing this as well.
- Black and White Magic: Jaden can take his or her pick over what light or dark skills they want.
- Bonus Boss: Kyle replaces the final boss if the player takes the dark path.
- Boom, Headshot: Headshots do extra damage and will often result in an instant kill. Force Speed and Force Sense make it much easier to score them, even with the notoriously inaccurate Imperial blaster.
- Bounty Hunter: Boba Fett shows up for the second time in the series, running into Jaden in one of the side missions.
- Bulletproof Human Shield: Level 3 Force Grip allows you to use enemies as shields.
- Charge Meter: DL-44.
- Chewing the Scenery: Jaden's performance if you choose to turn to the Dark Side consists of this, with every single word fairly bursting with emphasis, passion, and perpetual rage at everything.
- Color-Coded Wizardry: Tavion's cult members adhere to this trope.
- Combat Pragmatist: Jaden (similarly to Kyle) shows many qualities of this. There's a good chance that a lot of your saber kills will be gained by knocking enemies over and then skewering them while they lie helplessly on the ground. And let's not even get started on the ways you can use Push/Pull/Grip.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
- As a boss, Kyle can Force pull your saber clean out of your hand, something that's impossible for anyone else.
- Each type of saber and style comes with its own energy-expensive sequence of unblockable swings, some more useful than others. Reborn can use any of these with any style, including a two-bladed and lance versions of ones that are only available to you when you have one sword (the second sword or the 'back' side of the lance sometimes passing right through the wielder with no ill effect).
- Good and bad lance wielders can separate their lances into a pair of lightsabers. You can't.
- It is almost impossible to attack a force-using enemy with a weapon other than a lightsaber. On the Korriban level, it's possible for a stormtrooper to fire a rocket at a Jedi dueling a cultist with a light saber; the rocket will continuously be reflected back and forth with the computer's infinite force power reserve.
- Continuity Nod:
- The game features not only Vader's fortress from the Dark Empire II comic, but the toppled Darth Vader statue. Kyle also mentions a rumour that Luke had been to Vjun at some point in the past in the intro cutscene for the levels set there.
- Kyle mentions he has seen chutes like the one he just jumped into before; the same type of chute was also present at Cloud City in Outcast. The same level also features energy-shooting pillars from the Cairn Installation levels and the sentry droids from throughout the previous game.
- Several of the Jedi Masters mentioned are actual characters from the Expanded Universe.
- Kyle makes reference to his battle with Boba Fett in Dark Forces after Jaden goes against him.
- Convection Schmonvection: A notable aversion is where you have to enable the heat shield to cross a bridge to some controls on Taspir III. Rather bizarrely it only applies to that one section of lava, and much of the remainder of the level has you merrily jumping around while only inches away from the stuff with no ill effects.
- Cranium Ride: A ridable Rancor can be summoned via cheat code in the PC version.
- Cutscene Incompetence: Slightly justified when Jaden gets captured while in the sights of about 10 snipers. Later on in the game you could easily kill them, but you're not quite that badass yet.
- Dark Action Girl: Tavion and Alora. You yourself can be this if you take the dark side route.
- Dirty Coward: Lannik Racto. The moment he is in harm's way he begs Jaden not to hurt him and gives him/her the information about his droid factories without a moment's notice.
- Disc One Nuke: The "pick whatever you want" method of leveling non-core Force powers allows any power to become this near-instantly — zap an entire room full of Stormtroopers to death instantly with level 3 Lightning, throw about anyone with level 3 Grip, or become basically invincible with level 3 Heal, among others.
- Disintegrator Ray: The disruptor rifle does this when fully powered up.
- Don't Call Me Sir: Further cementing his Badass Teacher status, Kyle prefers to be on first-name terms with his students.
Kyle: First off, just call me Kyle - titles make my skin crawl. Secondly, you're not 'serving under me.' I'm gonna teach you, and you're gonna learn. That's it.
- Down the Drain: Kyle and Jaden have to resort to this to get into Vader's castle on Vjun.
Kyle: Well, let's go; no one ever said being a Jedi was glamorous.
- Dragon Ascendant: Tavion, The Dragon in Jedi Outcast, becomes the Big Bad of Jedi Academy.
- Dual Boss: The "duel" against Rosh and the Reborn Master twins.
- Easter Egg:
- Enemy Chatter: Done to a considerable degree. Some of it's pretty amusing so worth listening to if you get the chance.
- Emergency Weapon: The DL-44 blaster pistol gets this treatment in multiplayer mode — its fire rate is halved in exchange for unlimited ammo. Its alt-fire can still potentially kill unshielded enemies in one shot, though.
- Enemy Civil War: A side effect of the Mind Trick power is that enemies will continue to shoot at one another even after the effect wears off. It's particularly amusing to watch a pair of jetpack-equipped stormtroopers spiral off into the sky, locked in their own private duel.
- Epic Tracking Shot: Kril'dor's introduction does one of these, to give a brief glimpse of every location you need to bomb.
- Escort Mission: Kyle Katarn accompanies you for most of the second of the game's three main story missions. Subverted in that he's capable of almost effortlessly obliterating the small army of Imperials and Sith that appear throughout the level, without needing any help from you. If you want, you can just lead him from point A to point B and watch him kick ass. One of the few (and welcome) times in a video game where it's practically the player who's being escorted. However, also played straight in that, when there isn't anything to kill, he pretty much refuses to actually move with the player unless there is a straight, flat line between them. One spot in the level in particular confuses him - some TIE Bombers are blocking the path to the level's exit, causing him to attempt to run under them and juggle their bombs when you first arrive and then refuse to follow you to the exit after you shoot them down.
- Face Death with Dignity: Tavion refuses to beg for her life, unlike in Outcast. This is particularly seen in the dark side ending, with the Light Side ending being more Defiant to the End.
Tavion: I will... not cower as I did before Katarn.
- Fat Bastard: Rax Joris. At the start of the mission he's in, he captures you, takes your lightsaber, then releases you and tells you that if you can escape you're free to go. However, he loses his patience and attempts to kill you himself at the end.
- First Name Basis: Kyle prefers his students to use his name, rather than the title of Master.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- Kyle tells you that powers are not necessarily good or evil in the training level, and you can choose between a light- or dark-side ending regardless of your power set. However, Luke and (to a lesser extent) Kyle still worry about you if you focus on dark-side powers or even have close to an even number of light and dark powers. In actual gameplay, nobody else (except Kyle, Rosh, and Reborn Masters) will use powers outside of their own alignment - in fairness, having every dark-side opponent able to use Heal, especially combined with their infinite Force pool, would probably make the game too difficult. Taken a step further in multiplayer, where, without mods, you're only allowed to pick one side's powers.
- The disruptor rifle is mentioned to be illegal throughout the galaxy. This is fine, given that you only tend to encounter it when dealing with mercenaries and criminals, but the good and presumably law-abiding Jedi will happily hand one over to you for use on missions, and don't seem to care when Jaden brings one back at the end of a mission.
- Genre Savvy: Kyle has become very well versed in FPS tropes by this game.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Kyle Katarn gets a lot of unique moves if you fight him after going Dark Side. One is to grab your sword arm with one hand and punch you in the gut with the other; it's unblockable and delivers a knockdown. The player can do this as well if you use the console to 'give' yourself your fists, and use the g_debugmelee 1 command.
- Good Powers, Bad People:
- A handful of Reborn will use light side powers. Rosh will also use light and dark powers after turning to the dark side.
- Potentially you, if you go the dark side route while having light side powers.
- Goomba Stomp: It's actually a useful tactic to Force Jump onto most humanoid enemies, including Reborn, as this will knock them down and leave them open to your lightsaber.
- Guide Dang It: While you're free to choose what order you do missions, prior knowledge of the missions greatly helps you to best decide what force powers to improve and when. In particular, the early missions to Blenjeel and Zonju V don't involve conventional combat and can be considered a free Force power point, and Force Protection is insanely useful for the first level on Vjun. A maxed out offensive power like Lightning will make the Dosuun mission far easier.
- Guns Are Useless: Subverted, see No-Gear Level below.
- Hammer Space: Where exactly does Jaden keep all of those large bombs when blowing up the weapon caches? For context, the bombs are about half his/her height and wider than him/her.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Rax Joris lets you escape from capture, just to see if Jedi hunting is any more interesting than letting the other less fortunate prisoners try. You can probably guess how it ends.
- I Can Rule Alone: Jaden to Tavion and Marka Ragnos in the Dark Side path.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Padawan (easy), Jedi (normal), Jedi Knight (hard), Jedi Master (very hard).
- Improbable Aiming Skills: When using at least Level 2 Force Sight, even the infamous Imperial blaster is somehow able to be fired with pinpoint accuracy.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Half of the first part of the final level is spent getting around an old rusty gate by breaking the chains holding it in place from the other side. Did we mention that you have a lightsaber and Force powers?
- I Shall Taunt You: Force users like doing this.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Academy makes it even easier by adding a stabbing attack that locks onto a downed target, before attempting to impale them for an instant kill. And if you choose to build a saberstaff later on in the game, the ability to kick makes it very easy to knock even Force users down.
- Kubrick Stare: Jaden in the dark side ending.
- Lethal Lava Land: Taspir III.
- Magikarp Power:
- Most of the Force Powers are like this, but Force Lightning is the most notable. At level 1, it fires a single weak bolt that can barely even hit, let alone kill a single stormtrooper using your entire Force bar. At level 3, it fires a massive arc of lightning that can wipe out an entire roomful of stormtroopers in a second or two. It also sends them flying. You can even pin them against walls by maintaining the attack.
- Similarly, Force Choke's first level is mostly useless, since it can only stun an enemy and not even harm them. Its second level can damage someone, but leaves you vulnerable. Max-level Force Choke allows you to slam every non-Force user enemy in the game off of the ceiling and floor, and makes even Force users ludicrously easy to kill if there's a bottomless pit or lava pool nearby.
- Malevolent Architecture:
- The Jedi tomb is composed primarily of bridges, platforms and ledges over a Bottomless Pit. Sometimes if you aren't quick with Force Push/Pull the Reborn can pull off the Force Grip-ledge drop on you.
- The absolute standout is the gas mining platform. Apart from the hangar and inside of the command tower, there is no part of the level where you and/or your enemies are not near a lethal drop. If you have Level 3 Force Grip (which is very doable) or are prone to using the Level 2 Push you're guaranteed to have, this will be your favorite level in the game.
- Not to mention the conveyor belt ride in the penultimate level of the same game, where you have to follow a block of iron as it's being reshaped by various very large crushing devices, one of which even has spikes that come together above it for what appears to be the sole purpose of deliberately maiming anyone who gets trapped there.
- Mêlée à Trois: In the Dark Side finale, both the Sith and the Jedi will be gunning for you while fighting each other. There are also a lot more Jedi around than on the light side path, where they are your allies.
- Mook-Face Turn: The temporary effect of a third level Jedi Mind Trick. Essentially Set a Mook to Kill a Mook in the end.
- Multiple Endings
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: To the point of being Lampshaded by Kyle.
- Mythology Gag: While searching for a droid, Jaden comes across another droid and says "This isn't the droid we're looking for".
- No-Gear Level: There is a mission where Jaden's lightsaber is stolen by an Imperial officer at the very beginning, forcing him/her to fight through the level with nothing except Force Powers and any weapons he/she could get off killed stormtroopers.
- The Obi-Wan: Kyle to Jaden.
- One-Man Army: Kyle's apprentice, Jaden Korr, hacks his/her way through an entire Sith cult.
- Possession Burnout: How Tavion dies in the light side ending.
- Powered Armor: A couple classes of Powered Armor wearing stormtroopers appear as giant mooks. Namely, the 7-foot tall Rocket Troopers, who had jetpacks and heavy armor, and the 9-foot tall Hazard Troopers, who wear extremely heavy powered armor and are armed with BFGs.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: The most Jaden's gender will effect is pronouns. And on one occasion, presumably due to an oversight in the scripts, not even that.
- Puzzle Boss: The Mutant Rancor.
- Recovery Attack: You can perform a lunging kick as you return to your feet after being knocked down, as can other Force users. Potentially this can result in a loop of you constantly knocking the other to the ground, unless you break it by using Force Push instead.
- Sand Worm: The Sand Burrowers on the Blenjeel level. The entire level is essentially one large Shout-Out to Dune.
- Schrödinger's Player Character: Eventually averted in the Expanded Universe with Jaden. Human male.
- Second Hour Superpower: Academy thankfully averts this: you get your lightsaber from the get-go, apparently because your character was smart enough to build one unaided.
- Simple Yet Awesome: Academy totally dispenses with the "gradual weapon upgrades" that all the previous games followed from typical FPS's (and was particularly pointless in Outcast), and just gives you the lightsaber right from the start, which is all you wanted to use in the first place. And it's still the most powerful and useful weapon in the game, though others like grenades for crowd control, and the disruptor for sniping, will still have uses and are available.
- She-Fu: Alora's acrobatic fighting style the second time she faces Jaden Korr.
- Shoot the Medic First: The boss battle with Rosh uses this. He sucks compared to you, so two Force healers will follow him around and heal him every time you damage him enough. You have to kill them to win. Made even worse by the fact that they have fully-decked out Force powers and thus are nigh-impossible to kill unless they're in the process of healing the boss. Or unless you have maxed Force Lightning or Absorb.
- Some Enemy Chatter from the level on the hovertrain copies a cutscene from Raven Software's earlier Soldier of Fortune series. That particular character is the only one of his type in the game to carry the Heavy Repeater (i.e. machine gun, as opposed to energy weapon).
- The hovertrain and swoop missions are both shout-outs to almost identical levels from Shadows of the Empire.
- Squishy Wizard: Unarmed cultists can spam force powers like crazy, but can barely take a hit before dying.
- Stance System: Jedi Academy supplements the three styles from Outcast with Dual Wielding and the saberstaff styles.
- Sword and Fist:
- Most lightsaber forms, but particularly the saber-staff (a possible shout-out to Darth Maul), include an array of acrobatic kicks that have a chance of knocking the enemy down before slicing them dead.
- Kyle, when he appears as the final boss of the Dark Side ending, fights with a lightsaber most of the time, but sometimes, decides to skip the pleasantries and just punch Jaden silly. While awesome in its own right, this is also likely a callback to the original Dark Forces, where he punched a freaking man-eating Kell dragon to death—without any Force powers.
- Take That, Us: The Lampshade Hanging quote about the door mocks how similar situations would pop up in older Dark Forces games. Notably, Academy itself is a lot more linearly designed.
- Traintop Battle: One level takes place on a cargo tram. A cargo tram that's moving really, really fast. It's actually very cool.
- Unique Enemy:
- Howlers are only fought on Yavin.
- There is literally only a single Human Merc Key Carrier in the entire game. His uniform differs from the regular Human mercenaries, and his voice is that of a generic Stormtrooper, rather than a Mercenary.
- Sand creatures are only seen on Blenjeel.
- Interrogator droids are only seen in a single room in Vjun.
- Tusken raiders are only fought in a single Tatooine mission.
- Of the two Rancors you can fight, one of them is an invincible mutant with a corrosive breath weapon.
- Useless Useful Spell: While it has had some scripted uses in Outcast, Mind Trick in Academy is up to 3 points to allow you just to distract enemies that could be sunk into Grip/Lightning, or Heal/Absorb/Protection. In the time you've used it, you could have run up to them and hacked them to pieces, or blasted them across the room with Lightning. And unlike other powers, it doesn't even work on Force users.
- Videogame Cruelty Potential: An AI-controlled Kyle Katarn will have a field day dropping stormtroopers down elevator shafts, bottomless pits, and what have you during the missions in which he escorts you. Made even more awesome by the fact that he is the only non-player character in the entire game capable of doing this.
- Wasn't That Fun?: Kyle Katarn says this word for word, often after having escaped some incredibly hazardous situation.
- Win Your Freedom: Rax Joris allows Jaden to try and escape to win their freedom, but had no intention of honouring the deal. It doesn't stop Jaden from killing him and escaping anyway.
- Younger than They Look: Later works which feature Jaden establish that he is, at most, thirteen years old during the events of the game.