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Video Game / Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

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"So it seems the answer begins not with careful research or sensible thinking. Nay! As with many of fate's mysteries, it begins with but a small act of disobedience..."
Samos the Green Sage

The debut game of the widely loved Jak and Daxter series, released for the PlayStation 2 in December of 2001.

In this first game, the Heroic Mime Jak and his buddy Daxter travel to the mysterious Misty Island, against the advice of the wise Green Eco Sage Samos. Not long after arriving, Daxter winds up getting knocked into a well of Dark Eco — but instead of being instantly vaporized, he is transformed into a creature called an ottsel, much to his chagrin. Thus the two set off to find a way to reverse the transformation. Unbeknownst to them, their quest will lead them to much bigger problems.

This game could be seen as the PS2's answer to Super Mario 64 (as well as taking a few cues from The Legend of Zelda) — what with the strong emphasis on Collect-a-Thon, run and jump platforming, bright and lively art, endearing characters, and fun levels and puzzles. Then everything changed in the sequel...

The Precursor Legacy has received two re-releases, one being a port to the PlayStation 3 and Vita as a part of The Jak and Daxter Collection, and the other being a "PS2 Classics" emulation for the PlayStation 4.

Tropes Used In This Game:

  • 100% Completion: Achieving 100% (out of 101%) will net you a bonus ending. All ten ambiguous seconds of it. The Updated Re-release gives a platinum trophy upon getting 100%.
  • Aborted Arc: The end of the game implies that Gol and Maia survive falling into the Dark Eco pool, but they never appear again in the franchise.
  • Actor Allusion: During the final boss fight, Gol — voiced by Dee Snider of Twisted Sister — sometimes cries, "We're not going to take it!"
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: There's a segment where the duo has to climb to the top of an underwater tower to escape a rapidly rising flood of Dark Eco.
  • Alien Kudzu: The Dark Eco Plant is an overgrown, heavily mutated plant creature whose roots have taken over the Forbidden Temple within the Forbidden Jungle. Defeating it in a Boss Battle will not only kill the monster, but also get rid of the roots.
  • All Your Colors Combined: The four main Eco colors are combined at the end of the game to create Light Eco.
  • Almost Kiss: At the end of the game, it seems like Jak and Keira are going in for a kiss, only for Daxter to get in between them.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Lurkers. They serve Gol and Maia, the games Big Bad, and are completely hostile towards Jak during his journey to help return Daxter to normal. This is subverted in Renegade, as it turns out they're not evil; just aggressive, easily misled, and not terribly bright.
  • Antepiece: There's a level - The Geyser Rock - which has no enemies or bottomless pits or equivalent and teaches you the basics of the game - collecting Precursor Orbs and Power Cells, attacks (on dummies), collecting Scout Flies and so on. The game's sequels lack such mercy.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Eco. Each of them have their own unique abilities, green for healing, blue for speed, red for power, and yellow for blasting.
  • Atlantis: The Lost Precursor City. It practically checks every box as it is located beneath the ocean surface, accessed only by an elevator that's located ways away from the village the Blue Eco Sage is staying, and few have attempted to search or investigate it. Jak even manages to bring a piece of the Lost Precursor City to the surface, much to Keira's glee.
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: The Gambler in Rock Village is broke, forcing him to wear a barrel in lieu of clothing.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Smacked down:
    Daxter: Hey, baby. What say you and I go cruisin'?
    Keira: ...Rule number one: I don't. Date. Animals.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Gol and Maia both share the role of main antagonist.
  • Big Good: Samos and the rest of the Eco Sages. The whole plot of the game is centered around Jak going to them in the hopes they can return Daxter to his human form. When they do actually meet them, they're very pleasant and help Jak in disabling the mech Gol and Maia intend to use to open the Dark Eco silos.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Despite being touted as a "city," the Lost Precursor City doesn't look anything like one. Not only does it house open vats of Dark Eco, but most of it is lethal as mechanisms in the water turn it deadly and will harm Jak if he stays in it, shifting platforms in the walls and even being home to the Lurkers.
  • Blackout Basement: A section of the Spider Cave is blanketed in total darkness, greatly reducing visibility. You need to hit light-generating crystals to illuminate the path.
  • Border Patrol: A Lurker Shark kills Jak if you idle in a deep body of water for too long. This prevents you from swimming away from the main areas.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Gol and Maia. If they just removed the Blue Eco Launcher, their bombs would kill Jak in 20 seconds flat.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: You only need 100 Power Cells to see the last scene. Getting all 101 Power Cells in the game earns you nothing in the PS2 version. All the other versions have a Gold trophy.
  • Broken Bridge: There's an island you need to get to from your hometown. There's a boat there, but you can't use it unless you talk to the right NPC after completing a mission involving him in the nearby jungle. You can try to swim, whereupon a fish eats you. There's a segment on the island set over a lagoon, and the only way around the lagoon is on your hover-bike. You can swim it too, but guess what happens then?
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Boggy Swamp. Some parts of the swamp are disgusting pools of muck that not only slow Jak down, but can actually harm him if he stays in it. It's also home to not just Lurkers but also a hillbilly living in his shack with a fish pig thing.
  • Call Reception Area: The game opens with Jak and Daxter sneaking off to a forbidden island, which ends with Daxter falling into a vat of Dark Eco and ending up as the furry Series Mascot.
  • Chokepoint Geography: You have to pass through Fire Canyon, Mountain Pass, and Lava Tube to reach Rock Village, Volcanic Crater, and Gol and Maia's Citadel respectively.
  • Cobweb Trampoline: Trampolines made of spider web that are used to reach higher areas in Spider Cave, which is in a mine level infested with crawlies.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Zig-zagged. While the Zoomer needs special heat shielding to protect it when going through Fire Canyon and the Lava Tube, Jak and Daxter can traverse a couple areas with open lava — like Volcanic Crater — with no ill effects.
  • Cool Bike: Keira's Zoomer bike is a small personal hovercraft akin to a motorcycle. You get to ride it in certain sections of the game.
  • Cue the Sun: The final boss fight takes place just before dawn. The sun rises during the ending sequence.
  • Deadly Dodging: This is a fairly common tactic in Boss Battles and fights with Giant Mooks in the game. One such battle involves tricking a man-eating plant into slamming its heads against spikes so that it becomes dazed and vulnerable.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Daxter and Samos. More often than not, the two engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: There isn't a lives system, checkpoints are plentiful, and collectibles are retained if you lose a life, so dying isn't a big deal. The worst thing that might happen is being forced to redo some platforming sections.
  • Death Mountain: Snowy Mountain. Not only does Snowy Mountain have areas covered in ice, which makes traversal especially difficult since there are several areas where Jak can fall and die, but Lurkers also roam the mountain. One particular area is absolutely infested with what looks to be murderous Lurker bunnies.
  • Defensive "What?": Daxter's initial response to Jak staring at him after his transformation into an ottsel.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • It's perfectly possible, once you've unlocked the Blue Eco Vent for Sentinel Beach, to use that to reach a cannon, shoot the pelican in its nest, and kill it — leaving nothing but the Power Cell it swallowed in its place.
    • The tower that houses the Sentinel Beach cannon has a few windows. If you look inside, you will see a fairly well rendered room with some storage barrels inside. The chances of you being able to look inside those windows, or even wanting to, are extremely slim, since climbing the tower is hard, and isn't supposed to be done in the first place. The devs did not have to model the room inside the tower, but chose to anyway.
    • After beating the game, Keira will find a gigantic door and says it needs 100 Power Cells to open. If you've already gotten that many, Daxter will say so.
    • The game won't let you skip Keira's message after defeating Klaww; even if you try to run into Mountain Pass, Jak will just stop, the message will play in full, and then the cutscene will play.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: In a famous example, the Fisherman refers to fish as "Them buggers"note  which, to speakers of British English, is fairly strong language for a children's game.
  • Dreamworks Face: In the western box art, Jak has a smirk with one eyebrow raised above the other. Averted in the Japanese boxart, which, in an inversion of American Kirby Is Hardcore, was extremely cutified.
  • Dynamic Loading: As the game is mostly interconnected levels (aside from warping between worlds), there are no loading screens. The game loads automatically as you progress, hiding some loading behind playable elevator transitions or concealed hallways. In the eventuality that you move too fast for the game to load on time, Jak will trip and fall, giving the game time to finish loading seamlessly while Jak gets back up.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: This game is drastically different from its sequels in almost every way. The gameplay is a free-roaming collect-a-thon with Eco power-ups rather than a mission-based third-person shooter platformer with guns, the humor and general tone is much more lighthearted and juvenile, with a joyful High Fantasy tone rather than a cynical Grimdark Cyberpunk future, the plot is a very simplistic good vs. evil affair, the cast of characters is much smaller, and Jak doesn't talk.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: Almost all the characters in the first game wear open-toed footwear.
  • Eaten Alive: The lurker sharks swallow Jak whole if he swims out too far. And if Jak is on his last health point, Non Standard Game Over ocurrs where the Dark Eco Plant hoists him into the air, snaps its jaws on him with a Sickening "Crunch!", then swallows him.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Jak gains access to Light Eco during the final fight.
  • Eternal Engine: Gol and Maia's Citadel, which also makes up for the final level. It's a large industrical tower originally created by Precursors, and now taken over by the Big Bad Duumvirate who renamed it after themselves; it also serves as the whereabouts of a very powerful Precursor robot which the aforementioned villains aim to empower so they can pilot it and open the biggest source of Dark Eco, leading to the world's total corruption. There's a large number of assets and hazards that have to be worked around here, such as color-coded tiles, platforms that move over huge chasms, and a chamber where Jak is ambushed by several lurkers. All the Sages (including, eventually, Samos) are kept imprisoned here, so Jak and Daxter have to venture through the level to free them one by one. With that done, they have to climb the top of the tower to face the evil characters (who, by that point, are aready using the Precursor Robot) in a Final Boss battle.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Sibling scientist duo Gol and Maia Acheron decided to study Dark Eco, hoping to use it for beneficial intentions, but due to not taking proper precautions, they were corrupted from the exposure, causing them to go mad and try to open Dark Eco silos to remake the world in their own image.
  • Evil Laugh Turned Coughing Fit: * One scene in the outtakes of the game has Gol doing this while laughing at the very concept of the evil laugh.
    Gol: Okay, sickly evil laughs. Hahahaha. That's too stupid. HahahaHAha! That sucks. What's an evil laugh? HA— *cough cough* *giggles*
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Gol and Maia's base of operations is a large Precursor citadel that they've converted to suit their nefarious needs. When you're on Snowy Mountain and see this set of huge towers looming in the distance, it becomes pretty clear where the final level will be set.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot is pretty simple ("go talk to the sages to find out how to turn Daxter back to normal"), existing largely to provide motivation to collect Power Cells and move on to new areas. Considering the areas were made first to establish and emphasize a world not needing load times, this is at least partly justified.
  • Exposed to the Elements: At one point, you go to Snowy Mountain wearing a sleeveless shirt and sandal-like footwear.
  • Exposition Fairy:
    • Daxter will occasionally spout gameplay hints or instructions.
    • Jak and Daxter are accompanied by one of Keira's drones. It will sometimes pop up to allow Samos or Keira to give instructions through the radio.
  • Fishing Minigame: There's a minigame in Forbidden Jungle where Jak has to capture 200 pounds of fish with an aquatic net while avoiding the poisonous eels (as they can spoil the whole catch, thus leading to instant failure). The minigame will also fail if more than 20 pounds are missed. The reward is a Power Cell, but it's also required to win in order to get the Fisherman to let Jak use his boat to get to Misty Island.
  • Flexing Those Non-Biceps: The game will sometimes pull this one with Daxter when the player acquires a Power Cell. He also tries to impress Keira with it, but of course to little effect.
  • Floating Platforms: There are hovering platforms that are explicitly 'fueled' by blue eco, the eco of motion.
  • Follow the Money: Used with Precursor Orbs. The game doesn't have lives, but you trade orbs for power cells.
  • Forced Transformation: During the opening scene, Daxter is turned into an ottsel after falling into a pit of Dark Eco. Jak and Daxter's quest is kicked off by them wanting to find out how to turn Daxter back.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: A glitch can occur in the Precursor Basin on some versions of the game, making it impossible to win the Zoomer race. This is fixed in the Updated Re-release on the Vita.
  • Gimmick Level: Certain levels can only be played while driving the Zoomer. While it makes sense for Mountain Pass, Fire Canyon and Lava Tube for being prolonged linear roads (and the latter two being also filled with lava, thus unsafe for walking), Precursor Basin has the design of a standard level and yet it can only be explored while driving the vehicle; accordingly, the Basin features two Pass Through the Rings challenges that require Jak to devise the most efficient route to complete them.
  • Go into the Light: One of the voice bytes by Daxter references this if Jak loses a life:
    Daxter: Don't step into the light, Jak! DON'T STEP INTO THE LIGHT!!!
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The primary objective to advance the game is to collect Power Cells. There are 101 in total, with 72 needed to complete the game and 100 to unlock the secret ending. There are also 2000 Precursor Orbs, but only 1530 are needed to gather all the Power Cells that require them.
  • Green Hill Zone: The island Jak and Daxter go to via the Warp Gate in order to sharpen up on their skills at Samos' insistence. For all intents and purposes, it's a training area, but it is the first area players can explore.
  • Great Offscreen War: It's implied over the course of the game that Gol and Maia are sending Lurker troops to towns overnight and ransacking villages for artifacts and eco. Near the end of the game, Keira mentions that they are becoming more and more aggressive now that they are close to their goal. You will never see any of this, however, as most of your adventure is in abandoned ruins and nearby areas outside of town, and in Rock Village, you get there after it happens.
  • Grim Up North: The Green Sage tells Daxter that the only person who will be able to reverse his case of Forced Transformation will be no easy matter to reach because he lives to the north — "far, far to the north." He turns out to be the one of the Big Bads and the reason the protagonists go there ends up being to bring down his evil lair.
  • Grimy Water: In Boggy Swamp, there are several areas where the water looks absolutely disgusting. The black murky water will not only slow Jak down if he attempts to wade his way through it, but also harm him. The brownish-green water that he treads through during his brief time here, however, is perfectly safe.
  • Guide Darn It!: The PS4 version, being a emulation of the PS2 original, has no options to change camera controls. One was added with a patch, but the patch notes don't mention how it's actually done as there are no new in-game options. One has to go to "Graphics options" and press Up on the D-pad and L3 at the same time.
  • Hair Reboot: Jak's Super Saiyan-esque antigravity hair flops down when he enters water (even if his head doesn't actually go below the surface) and immediately springs back up as soon as he leaves it.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The story starts off as a journey to figure out how to undo Daxter's transformation. However, the party's goals eventually shift to finding the Sages and stopping Gol and Maia from destroying the world.
  • Have a Nice Death: If Jak dies under specific circumstances, Daxter will deliver a randomized quip before respawn.
  • Herding Mission: A townsperson in Sandover Village tasks you with herding his goats back into their pen in exchange for a Power Cell.
  • Here There Be Dragons: The map that comes with the game includes two drawings of colossal sharks out in the deep ocean. They're not just for show, as in-game swimming out of bounds will have a Lurker Shark swallow Jak and Daxter whole. A later interquel (Daxter) reveals that there are much bigger Lurker Sharks out there, but still nowhere near the scale of the sharks on the map.
  • Hub Level: There are three hub worlds, each providing access to three different areas. Getting enough Power Cells in a world unlocks a fourth area which connects to the next hub world (or, in the case of the third, to the final level), giving the impression of traversing across one massive world instead of between a few disconnected areas. While the hub worlds themselves have no enemies, each one does have eight Power Cells of its own, though most are of the "bring X Precursor Orbs to Y person" variety.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Precursors robot, located in Gol and Maia's Citadel. Fittingly, it serves as the Final Boss.
  • Imprinting: An optional sidequest has you knock an egg off a cliff. When you get back to it, the flut flut inside hatches, and imprints on Daxter, over the latter's protests.
    Daxter: Aaaaaah! I'm not your ma! You see any feathers here?
  • Inferred Survival: It is strongly implied at the end of the game that the villains, Gol and Maia, were not truly killed, as Samos states that they are dead, "...probably." It could also just be a lampshade on The End... Or Is It? trope so common in first installments.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: A good few of these appear at some point in the game, for example the Fire Canyon and Lava Tube; you need to power up the Zoomer's heatshield to be able to pass through those areas. Then when you get to the Rock Village, you can't proceed to the Mountain Pass because a lurker called Klaww has thrown a flaming boulder in the way. Plus there's the ocean itself: Jak can swim safely in shallow water, but if he tries to go out into the ocean, a Lurker Shark will jump out and eat him.
  • In Their Own Image: Gol and Maia's Evil Plan amounts to this; by cracking open the Dark Eco silos, they'll be able to use the massive amounts of Dark Eco within to remake the world as they see fit.
  • Item Get!: Every single time Jax and Daxter get a Power Cell, triumphant music plays in the background while Jak and/or Daxter do a little dance or victory pose.
  • Jerkass: Samos takes great joy in tormenting Daxter.
  • Jungle Japes: Forbidden Jungle. It's home to many different kinds of Lurkers that resemble animals you'd find in a jungle, and it just so happens to be home to a murderous plant monster that's living inside of a forgotten temple.
  • Justified Tutorial: Samos orders Jak and Daxter to navigate Geyser Rock so they have some training before trying to go out and collect the Power Cells necessary for their journey North to get Daxter turned back into a human (Samos is very skeptical that they can be heroes).
  • Large Ham: There are a few characters who are rather dramatic, including the Sages, the most notable examples are Daxter and the Warrior. One of Daxter's earliest lines certainly highlights how dramatic he can be:
    Daxter: Waaait a minute! We are not going back to Misty Island! (Beat) ...are we?
  • Lava Surfing: The A-Grav Zoomer segments in Fire Canyon and Lava have the zoomer come with a heat shield to prevent the duo from being cooked alive. Otherwise, they're essentially using this trope.
  • Law Of 100: While there are 101 Power Cells in the game, exactly 100 are necessary to unlock the full ending.
  • Lethal Lava Land: There are three volcanic areas in the game. The first is Fire Canyon, the second is Volcanic Crater, and the third is Lava Tube. The former and the latter are prolonged passageways where lava flows like a river, so they can only be traversed with a Zoomer (and Jak must keep an eye on the vehicle's heat shield, as failing to gather cooling balloons along the way to lower its temperature will lead to its explosion, killing Jak instantly). The second area is a standard Hub Level like the Sandover and Rock Villages that connects with other areas (including the aforementioned Lava Tube, which in turn leads to the final level in the game); but unlike the other hubs which were Palmtree Panic areas, this one is a perilous magma cavern where a single misstep while jumping between platforms can lead to falling into the hot pit and die instantly.
  • Lost Superweapon: The Precursor Robot, which Gol and Maia spend most of the game unearthing and repairing.
  • Love Triangle: Jak and Daxter both have feelings for Keira, but she only has feelings for the former.
  • Limit Break: The Light Eco Jak uses in the final fight.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Keira is both beautiful and the daughter of the somewhat eccentric Samos.
  • Made of Explodium: The Dark Eco crystals found in Spider Cave are extremely volatile. All it takes is a slight touch to cause them to explode.
  • Malevolent Architecture:
    • There is an area known as The Lost Precursor City. Let's just say it's pretty hard to imagine any number of people ever having lived there, what with the electrified water, pools of dark eco, death traps, hot pipes, long and spacious slide corridors that are impossible to climb up, completely pointless pipes and platforms (some of which are on a time limit), and the fact that not that many rooms even have floors. Not to mention there isn't any evidence of the place ever being host to any sort of housing. Then there's Gol and Maia's Citadel, which was apparently somehow built right smack dab in the middle of one huge Bottomless Pit...
    • The Forbidden Forest temple prominently features multiple Bottomless Pits and floating platforms that turn upside-down, dumping you straight to your death. Oh yeah, and the only way to get in the place is to climb up to the top of one of the towers (via multiple Floating Platforms) to reach an elevator that then takes you down.
  • Man-Eating Plant:
    • The boss of the Forbidden Temple is the Dark Eco Plant, It is a gigantic, monstrous plant with eyes, a bulb-like mouth and mobile, tentacle-like vines. It will eat the player character if it succeeds in biting him at one point of health.
    • There is a variation - the Crash-eating plant - in Samos' hut. It won't harm you.
  • Musical Gameplay: The music will gain specific instruments based on Jak's location within a level (such as majestic horns at the Sentinel Beach lighthouse).
  • Nitro Boost: It seems Jak is very fond of zooming at high speed, as doing so boosts both Jak's on-foot speed and his Zoomer's speed for a limited time in among its other abilities in the game. Picking up more Blue Eco along the way will increase the time it was in use.
  • Noob Cave: The first area, Geyser Rock, lacks any enemies and has its collectables just lying around for easy pickings. It helps get the player accustomed to the controls in a safe environment, shows what collectables to look out for, and establishes the Eco Power-Up system.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Gol and Maia's demise. Samos even flat out states that they probably didn't survive. That being said, they haven't reappeared in any of the sequels, outside of a cameo Gol gets during one of Daxter's dream sequences in his self-titled game.
  • No Name Given: Some of the NPCs, like the Fisherman and the Sages (excluding Samos), have no name and are just referred to by their titles.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Jak laughs at Daxter when the Yellow Sage refers to duo as "a boy and his muskrat". He quickly switches to an innocent whistle when Daxter looks up at him in accusation.
  • One-Hit Kill: During the last battle, Gol and Maia will shoot a large burst of Dark Eco that can kill the eponymous duo instantly. This attack is done every time the villains' robot takes damage (or, in one case, all summoned enemies are defeated), and can only be avoided by performing a large jump with the help of an Eco-powered jump pad.
  • Palmtree Panic: There are many areas located in the coastal geography of the game's setting, such as Sandover Village (a peaceful sandy town where Jak and his friends live), Geyser Rock (a small island not too far from Sandover which doubles as Noob Cave) and Rock Village (a less pretty landscape whose waters are inhabited by Lurker Sharks, thus making them unsafe for swimming). However, the most conventional example is Sentinel Beach, a wide-open perimeter west of Sandover Village with some grassy hills, abandoned huts, and mechanisms that harvest green Eco energy which have been blocked (Jak can fix them so green Eco can flow again).
  • Pass Through the Rings: The level Precursor Basin features two Power Cell challenges that have you following the rings on a Zoomer, with the second one featuring rings requiring to hit a rock to be launched in the air or rapidly navigating narrow walkway.
  • Patchwork Map: There are such oddities as a beach, volcanic fissure and jungle next to each other, a lava pit opening onto a lush green mountain pass, and (most perplexing of all) a snowcapped mountain directly above a massive volcanic caldera.
  • Platform-Activated Ability: In some levels, there are blue-colored platforms called Precursor Launchers that grant a large jump boost to Jak, allowing him to reach high sports or grab items that would be unreachable otherwise. However, these platforms can only be used while Jak has blue Eco flowing through his body (and when Jak goes through a source of blue Eco, the flow only lasts for a limited time, so he has to run onto the platform ASAP if he wishes to use it).
  • Player Headquarters: Samos' Hut, Blue Sage's Hut and Red Sage's Hut are where Samos and Keira hang out and give you a tips for getting power cells if you don't want to blindly hunt them down.
  • Playing with Fire: Jak can shoot fireballs from the palms of his hands when he's powered up with Yellow Eco.
  • Plot Coupon: The Power Cells. Specific numbers of them are required to advance through the game.
  • Portal Network: It's a fairly simple setup, with five different warp-gates and the ability to choose your destination, though only the first two gates are available at the start of the game.
  • Power-Up: Jak can use Eco (a source of natural energy) to either heal or briefly obtain certain powers. Blue makes him faster and draws in Precursor Orbs and Scout Flies, Yellow lets him shoot fire balls, and Red increases attack power and range.
  • Power Up Mount: Jak can ride a large bird known as a flut-flut in specific sections of Boggy Swamp and Snowy Mountain. The flut-flut grants increased jump height and distance, a slightly slower fall speed, increased land speed, and the ability to break metal crates without needing Yellow Eco.
  • Precursor: Throughout the game, Jak and Daxter encounter several ruins and relics left behind by the eponymous ancient race. Daxter even mockingly quotes Samos when he and Jak go to Misty Island and discover what they believe to be a piece of Precursor technology.
  • Prophecy Twist:
    • May or may not have been intentional, but Samos states that the answer to the whole Precursor riddle rested on the shoulders of a young boy. This could obviously refer to Jak's important role in the events of the games, but as of Jak 3: Wastelander it may also refer to Daxter, now a Precursor, standing on Jak's shoulder for the majority of the adventures.
    • The precursor oracle statues state that the dark light (which is taken to mean Dark eco) has twisted the fate of one of them, and the pure light (Light Eco?) would put it right again. By the end of the first game, it seemed to refer to Daxter, who had been changed by dark eco, and could be changed back by light eco. Then at the start of Jak II: Renegade, Jak is corrupted by dark eco. In Jak 3: Wastelander, this is restored by the precursors giving him light eco powers. The prophecy in the first game, which was more of a meaningful background detail than part of the plot, took on a completely different meaning in retrospect.
  • Psycho Serum: Dark Eco. The stuff is absolutely dangerous, as anytime Jak takes a dip in it, he dies instantly. Subverted in the case of Daxter, who when he took a bath in the stuff, all it did to him was turn him into a weird orange furry creature called an ottsel. It's played straight to horrifying degrees in Renegade, as Jak can attest to.
  • Racing Minigame: Several areas, such as the Lava Tube, require controlling the Zoomer, a personal hovercraft piloted by Jak.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In a sense, Jak when he uses the Light Eco to blow up Gol and Maia's robot. His entire body is wreathed in shimmering white light except the red lens on his goggles and his blue irises, which makes the Three-Point Landing and resultant Kubrick Stare he pulls just before blowing the robot apart in one shot more striking.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: The game rewards you with health for randomly smashing barrels and crates everywhere.
  • Rising Conflict: A quest to help Daxter return to his former self becomes a quest to stop the Big Bad Duumvirate from bringing about The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Rolling Attack: Jak can roll on the ground and then perform a rolling leap that can hit enemies (also making for a handy Long Jump). Averted with the sequels, as the damage ability of this move was removed in them, so that you don't accidentally hit a cop and get chased across half the city.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: The PS4 port was given a re-rating of E 10+.
  • "Save the World" Climax: The plot of the game begins with Jak and the recently transformed Daxter going on a journey to find Gol Acheron, the only sage who can change Daxter back. Midway through the game, however, it's revealed that Gol is actually the game's Big Bad who plans to unleash Dark Eco on the world to reshape the world to his desire, changing Jak and Daxter's objective to stopping him.
  • Self-Deprecation: There is a Jak and Daxter trilogy DVD, written by the games' original staff, in which Daxter narrates and summarizes what happened in the first three games. His hour-and-a-half-long spiel occasionally jabs at moments lots of players reported to be frustrating. Him talking about the ending of this very game and the bright, shiny light behind the door takes the cake.
    And then we found it! After working our butts off in this adventure, after collecting every stinkin' power cell in this entire crazy world, clawing my paws to the bone, we got—that's right, drumroll, please—ab-so-lu-tely nothin'. Zippo, nada. Hello?! That sucked. That SUCKED. I'll send you my therapy bill and a receipt for the broken game controller.
  • Shark Tunnel: The Lost Precursor City is a highly-advanced underwater facility accessed via an evelator found in Rock Village (which itself is found in a coast), and whose glass windows let one see the sea the place is installed several meters under. Despite being overrun by monsters and no longer maintained by its original builders, its machinery remains fully functional, though it has many dangerous obstacles like a big pool of dark Eco and electrified water. It also has timed puzzles that require working around difficult platforming.
  • Shout-Out: A plant enemy that was present in Naughty Dog's previous series, Crash Bandicoot, appears as a harmless houseplant in Samos' hut.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Snowy Mountain, which is located at the top of the Volcanic Crater and is accessed via a cableway that travels upward. It features ungodly amounts of snow and ice that make moving rather difficult. A playable zone within can be seen across a thick ice floor, and because that layer is unbreakable the area in question has to be accessed from an underground tunnel.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Conversations with Daxter and Samos tend to involve them taking potshots at each other.
    Samos: Daxter, you finally took a much-needed bath, but in a bathtub filled with Dark Eco.
    Daxter: Look, old man! Are you gonna keep yappin' or are you gonna help me outta this mess?
    Samos: I'm gonna keep yappin', because in my professional opinion, the change is an improvement!
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Jak can swim in most water and can dive underneath the surface without being timed. He will, however, rise up automatically after a set amount of time. If he's caught below an object that prevents the automatic surfacing, he'll drown when the time runs out instead. It's not a good idea to swim too far out, either...
  • Super-Speed: Jak gets a boost of speed whenever he uses Blue Eco.
  • Super-Strength: Jak's attack power is doubled whenever he gets charged up with Red Eco, as well as having his physical attack range increased a bit.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss:
    • The Dark Eco Plant extends its leaves for no apparent reason every time its minions are killed, allowing Jak to climb on them and punch/kick the boss in the chin.
    • Klaww would be nigh-invincible if he didn't do the move where he prepares the huge boulder.note 
  • Take Our Word for It: The 100% ending has Jak, Daxter, Keira, and Samos opening the precursor door- we don't see anything other than a blinding white light but the characters are amazed.
  • Take Your Time: It doesn't matter what Jak and Daxter go off and do after Gol activates the Precursor robot he needs to open to the Dark Eco silo, he won't be able to break in until the duo gets to it.
  • Threatening Shark: Lurker Sharks are Border Patrol enemies that eat you if you try to go out of bounds.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Sandover Village and Rock Village. The former is notable for having unique homes for every NPC the player meets in the starting set of levels... and nothing else. Not even Jak or Daxter get a home (though there is one empty house it may belong to the Fisherman who is in the nearby Jungle)! It makes the Mayor's worries for reelection seem a bit odd (or even having a mayor at all), in a town of less than a dozen people. Rock Village, meanwhile, basically consists of a meeting hall and a bazaar awning. However, it does appear to have other buildings in the overhanging rocks.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: There's a gemstone the size of a good-sized house. The miners digging it out are not actually sure how they're going to transport it even once they have, but figure they have a good decade or so of digging to contemplate the problem, so why bother?
  • Underground Level: Mountain Pass is a prolonged cavern that serves as the linking area between Rock Village and Volcanic Crater. It has several pits explosive barrels that must be avoided while Jak is driving the Zoomer across the area, as well as luminous pink crystals in the walls.
  • Underwater Ruins: The Lost Precursor City is an abandoned underwater location with some Shark Tunnel motifs. It's still largely intact, with many of the machines still functioning, but it has been overrun by Lurkers, and the local machinery makes up for really dangerous hazards.
  • The Un-Reveal: Getting every Power Cell before or after you defeat the Big Bad Duumvirate lets you watch a cutscene where the gang unlocks a giant Precursor vault, but all we see are their awestruck reactions and the game cuts to the credits before we see what's behind it.
  • Vader Breath: Obviously all that Dark Eco experimentation couldn't have been good for Gol's lungs. Whenever he speaks, his voice has a weird metallic echo and raspy gasps.
  • Warmup Boss: The dark eco plant in the Forbidden Jungle is the first boss, and isn't particularly challenging as its fight is intended to test Jak's basic moves. It's also the only boss in the game as well as the main Jak and Daxter series whose strategy doesn't require shooting at it (it's not possible to do so at this early point anyway).
  • Weird Currency: The main form of currency is Precursor Orbs, items shaped and sized like large eggs.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: If it doesn't kill them, Dark Eco can instill people with great power; however, it also has a habit of driving people insane. Such is the case of Gol and Maia.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: When you reach the pinnacle of the Snowy Mountain, or defeat the final boss and overlook the world from their citadel, prepare for Scenery Porn unmatched by the Crapsack World of the sequels.
  • You Need a Breath Mint:
    • When the Fisherman is explaining that he can't seem to catch any fish, he gets very close to Daxter's face, prompting Daxter to say that his breath might be why.
    • One of the death cutscenes has Daxter frantically shouting to get Jak a stretcher or to perform the Heimlich maneuver, before saying he needs a breath mint too.


Video Example(s):


Rising Dark Eco

After collecting a certain Power Cell in the Lost Precursor City, Jak triggers a switch that causes the Dark Eco below him to start rising. So he has to book it up and out of the room to avoid the instadeath Dark Eco.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / RiseToTheChallenge

Media sources: