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Video Game / Jak II: Renegade

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Due to its nature as a sequel, spoilers for The Precursor Legacy are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.

"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 series.

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. The group is separated upon impact and 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. Daxter manages to escape and has his own separate adventures (depicted in the Daxter spin off).

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 (with a voice of his own), 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. Have we mentioned that he can talk? 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!

As a sequel, it's a massive departure from the original: the world is even more elaborate and detailed than previously and the collect-a-thon and eco gameplay is completely eschewed in favor of mission-based gameplay, while still mixing in some 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 compared to the relatively simple Excuse Plot of the first game, with much more characterization and more plot twists than you can shake a stick at. Compared to the squeaky-clean, kid-friendly original, the tone is much grittier and, more mature, now with swearing and more-than-a-little-bit-suggestive jokes.

Tropes Used In Jak II:

  • 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.
    • In the cutscene where Jak and Daxter overhear Praxis planning to double-cross Kor at the palace, right before Daxter sneezes Erol mentions about persuading a spy of theirs. You think this is gonna be important later on as Praxis having a spy would possibly mean the Underground getting discovered and Jak has to find out who the spy is before it's too late but nope. The spy for Praxis is never even seen or mentioned again after the cutscene. Jak and Daxter completely fail to mention it to Torn when they get back to the hideout. Cuz you know... the enemy having a spy is something you wanna take into consideration!
      • The spy was actually Ashelin, but this revelation and plotline goes basically nowhere.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The American cover (posted as the page image) is actually the most tame out of all the regions, as the PAL cover puts the duo in a more action-y setting complete with Jak Is About To Shoot You, while the Japanese cover goes all in with the Darker and Edgier aspect with a Juxtaposed Halves Shot of Jak and Dark Jak, and a rather lengthy exposition blurb on the bottom.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In the first game, the Long Jump actually damaged enemies if you hit them while doing the move. This is removed in II to avoid accidentally hitting a KG soldier and getting the cops on you.
    • Skull Gems. They always "stick" to the surface on which they're dropped and never fall of edges, and Metal Heads killed by being knocked off a ledge will generously make their last action in life be to throw their gems back onto the platform they were last standing on, ensuring you can always collect them. Gems from Metal Heads defeated over large pits will zip straight to Jak.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Justified in most examples, since what you're shooting usually has super strong armor.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Baron Praxis is the ruler of Haven City, and is the Big Bad of the game.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The other racers at the coliseum races. While they may be challenging for the first time you race them, the sheer amount of time it takes to beat the optional time trials reveals them to be this. They never boost, all of them stick to a certain path (as seen when they pack together to form a unpassable block of zoomers at the start of each race) and frequently drive into obstacles, sometimes as a result of (trying to) ramming you into one.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Daxter inadvertently activates a handful of Plasmite Grenades, with Vin trying to keep him and Jak calm.
    Vin: "Don't! Move! [Beat] On second thought, MOVE!! Far away!"
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: You are chased by a giant spider in Mar's tomb, and by a Metal-pede in the underport.
  • 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.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Jak, although he doesn't become evil, just very vengeful and pissed off.
  • Beneath the Earth: The Sewers are a massive complex big enough to smuggle an enormous statue through. Mar's Tomb is also big enough for several grand chambers, a big pool of dark eco, a spider the size of a hellcat cruiser and several jumping puzzles to fit comfortably.
  • Big Bad: Baron Praxis. At least initially. Then Metal Kor takes him out and becomes a better candidate for the trope.
  • 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.
  • Beeping Computers: Invoked with the many computer terminals and mainframes scattered around Haven City's fortress and industrial areas.
  • 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!
  • Blown Across the Room: Justified in that the ammo is made out of eco and not standard gunpowder 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 will get you through most of the game, due to the Scatter Gun being good at clearing crowds at close range, and the Blaster Rifle being good at long range, along with killing most enemies within two hits. Ammo drops also tend to be quite plentiful for them.
  • Bottomless Bladder: Jak and Daxter will never take a break from any plot-related events in the game.
  • Brain Uploading: How Vin survives the Metal Head invasion at the end of the game. We don't figure this out until Jak 3: Wastelander, however.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: While getting 200 Precursor Orbs earns you Hero Mode (or if you're already in Hero Mode, a scrapbook), getting all 286 of the Precursor Orbs earns you nothing outside of a trophy on the PS3, PS4 and Vita versions.
  • 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.
  • 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 first mission is escaping the Fortress. Once he breaks out of his shackles, Jak is able to escape with surprising ease. The door is wide open!
    • At the beginning of Act III when everyone except Jak and Torn are arrested Jak is able to open the doors and get everyone out in less than a minute.
  • 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 fires balls of lightning that can arc from enemy to enemy. If the target is a vehicle, anything close will be reduced to burning hunks of metal.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Time Machine that transported Jak and company to Haven City in the first place doesn't show up again until more than halfway through the game, when Kiera tries to make another one. By the end of the game, Samos uses it to send a young Jak back to the past.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Seal of Mar, which The Kid wears around his neck. It allows Jak to visit the Mountain Temple and unlock the Tomb of Mar.
    • 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. The Time Map is used to build a time machine later in the game.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Kid, whom Jak and Daxter meet at the beginning of the game, turns out to be a young Jak.
  • Chekhov's Skill: 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.
  • City of Canals: North Town and the Water Slums. The main slums also have large trenches, although the purpose of these isn't clear.
  • 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.
  • Contrasting Sequel Setting: The original game takes place in a jovial High Fantasy setting with some Steampunk elements. This game takes place in a gritty Cyberpunk Wretched Hive. There is a big wham moment in the last mission of the first act, where Jak and Daxter are given a mission to travel to the ruins on the edge of the city to clear some Metal Heads away from a sacred site, and then they go there and see the sacred site themselves: It's Samos' hut from the first game, run-down and forgotten. This is the moment where the heroes realise that they are in a Bad Future.
  • 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.
  • 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: Haven City is presented as walled prison city ruled under a totalitarian dictatorship by Baron Praxis who brutally kills any opposition to his rule. Outside the city walls is a horde of ravenous Metal Heads waiting to come into the city and kill everyone. Meanwhile the Baron is making deals to provide Eco with the Metal Head leader to stave off Metal Head attacks enough to solidify his rule, but the Baron is running out of Eco, the shields that protect Haven City are dampening, and the Metal Heads have lost all patience.
  • Crossover: 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 in 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 (and probably gets a pass on it for the sake of being the Baron's daughter). Torn is a former Krimzon Guard member, and his outfit still retains many iconic elements of the uniform.
  • 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.
  • Cyberpunk: This replaces the Steampunk art direction of the first game.
  • Cypher Language: The Precursor markings actually mean something, and there are translation guides online.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • In the first game, both L1 and R1 could be used to crouch and roll. In this game, R1 is now used to fire your weapon, which can result in some accidental weapon discharge when you meant to crouch or roll.
    • 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. It even shows in Jak's first ever spoken line!
    Jak: I'm gonna kill Praxis!
  • Decapitated Army: The death of the Metal Head leader terminates the invasion of Metal Heads. For now.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • 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.
  • Diesel Punk: The design of some of the Zoomers is evocative of this. There's a twin-bodied two-seater that looks like an oldsmobile crossed with a Star Wars speeder, a three-seater that looks kind of like a Volkswagen and a two-seater with wings and a body reminiscent of a muscle car. It even has racing stripes.
  • Disney Death: Near the end of the game, Sig appears to get eaten by a Metal Head Centipede. He's fine, though.
  • Double Unlock: Collecting Precursor Orbs unlocks bonus features, but some of them don't unlock until after you've beaten the game, even if you have the orbs.
  • The Dragon: Erol, the leader of the Krimzon Guard, serves this role to Praxis.
  • 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.
  • Earth All Along: A rare fantasy variant: while on a mission, Jak and Daxter discover a dilapidated version of Samos' hut, and realize that the cyberpunk dystopia they're in is actually the future version of their own world.
  • 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.
  • Electric Torture: Done to Jak in the opening with Dark Eco.
  • Elevator Floor Announcement: "Ding, ding! Third floor! Body chains, roach food, torture devices!"
  • Enemy Chatter: The Krimzon Guards occasionally interact with each other when not pursuing Jak.
  • 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 is "I'm gonna kill Praxis!". It's quite a turnaround, breaking his previous role as a Heroic Mime and showing how two years of torture have changed him. Immediately afterwards however, while towering over Dax in his Dark Eco form in a blind rage, Jak recognizes his friend and immediately backs off and powers down, clearly showing that while he's got a much harder edge than he did in TPL, he cares for his friend and still has a generally good heart, somewhere in there.
  • Eternal English: Despite traveling into the future by at least several hundred years, everyone is still speaking the exact same language as they were in the first game.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Every vehicle in this world ends its life in an explosion. Every. Single. One.
  • 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.
  • Exact Words: Before they get separated, Samos tells Jak to "find yourself". It's because he knew Jak's younger self would be in the future.
  • Exploding Barrels: In the dig there are stacks of barrels that can be knocked apart and made to explode. Combined with the Krimzon Guard having grenade launchers instead of the usual blasters, it's almost inevitable that they'll all blow up.
  • 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.
  • Face Palm: Jak does this when Daxter is harassing The Shadow.
  • 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, luck-based missions, long sections with plenty of instant deaths but no checkpoints, timed missions with zero room for errors, and combinations of these. The most hellish examples combine luck-based missions and timed missions with zero room for errors, specifically races through the city and hidden orb rushes where citizens and guards are cruelly notorious for happening to walk directly into your path, throwing you utterly off course and ruining your chance of completing the mission.
  • Fake Longevity: The mission-based structure leads to a lot of tedious 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 (With one lens being a sort of augmented HUD)
  • Fat Bastard: Krew, who's not only very selfish, but he needs a hoverchair to move because he's so fat.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the very first scene, there's a hint that Samos, at least, travelled back in time at some point. As the swarm pours out of the portal opened by the Rift Gate, an awed Samos mutters, "So that's how it happened...", implying that to him, the effects of opening the Rift Gate happened in the past.
    • If you re-play the game, you'll notice a lot of subtle hints to Kor being the Metal Head leader, with the obvious examples being that there's little backstory to his origin up until the reveal.:
      • In the very start of the game, after escaping the Baron's prison, he goes out of his way to introduce himself to Jak, almost as if he was expecting them. The prequel Daxter makes it more obvious.
      • 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. When Daxter describes him as "big and ugly", Kor brusquely dismisses him, obviously taking the insult personally.
      • 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.
      • At one point, Kor puts his hand over his abdomen as if he's experiencing discomfort, and promptly dismisses it as "just his aching bones" when questioned about it. With the knowledge that the eco shield around the city is inhibiting his strength...
    • In a different vein, there's a scene where Jak meets the Kid's pet Crocadog, who is surprisingly friendly towards Jak. When this is pointed out, Jak says "I guess I'm just good with animals." Except Jak is the Kid's future self, and the Crocadog is able to sense this.
    • At the end of the game, Samos remarks on how "Mar may be closer than you think". (spoiler for the third game): At the end of the third game, we discover that Jak is one of Mar's descendants himself, even named after him.
  • 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.
    • 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 Stadium. If, however, you activated a stadium challenge prior to this (for, say, wanting to collect precursor orbs), when you arrive at the Stadium, 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. Doubly true if you're playing the HD version on PS3, or anything like Open GOAL or an emulator, since there's no memory card to send to Sony.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Erol is supposed to be a championship racer but in the Class 1 Race he's no better than the other AI racers. You can also kill him in the race by making his vehicle explode just like the other racers, but he will still show up in the cutscene afterward.
    • In one early mission Sig uses his peacemaker to blow up a water tank. In Hero Mode when Jak has all his guns available from the start of the game, the peacemaker does nothing to said tank.
  • Gameplay Roulette: One moment it's a platformer; another it's Grand Theft Auto driving; another, it's jet-boarding; then it's Zoomer bike racing; then it's mech suit riding late in the game! Phew!
  • 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: Both Jak and Daxter have goggles but they never wear them.
    • This is the only installment to be the case for Jak, however, as in TPL he pulls them down to aim fireballs and ride the zoomer, and in 3 he makes use of his goggles and scarf to cover his face in the harsh environment of the wasteland.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Jak and the Underground are good, Baron Praxis and the Krimzon Guard are bad, and the Metal Heads are evil. It should be noted that the only thing that keeps Praxis as The Bad is the fact that he is a very slightly lighter shade of black than the Metal Heads, as he is not an Omnicidal Maniac and is ultimately determined to destroy them, which would clearly benefit everyone.
  • Government-Exploited Crisis: Haven City is constantly under attack by the ferocious Metal Heads. Baron Praxis, the tyrannical ruler of the city, actually has an arrangement with them in order to keep himself on the throne and justify his rule. The Metal Heads attack the city just enough to scare the populace into believing their Baron is their only chance at survival, an in turn Praxis bribes them with an immense amount of Eco to feed on. In one of the earlier missions Jak and Daxter stumble upon a pair of Krimson Guards handing over barrels full of said Eco to the Metal Heads.
  • Ground Pound: Exaggerated with Dark Jak's Dark Bomb move. It sends an electric shock-wave that obliterates every enemy close by.
  • 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.
  • Heel–Race Turn: The Lurkers, who served as the bulk of the Big Bad's forces in the first game, have been captured by Baron Praxis, who sells them to the citizens of Haven City as slaves. You even work with one of the more intelligent Lurkers, Brutter, throughout much of the game and help to free some of his brethren, though both he and his race have seemingly disappeared by the time the third game starts.
  • Hit Points: You get eight — too bad most attacks take away two of them.
  • I Call It "Vera": Krew loves his weapons a little too much.
  • Ill-Timed Sneeze: Done by Daxter when he and Jak are trekking on the roof of the Baron's palace. Daxter's sneeze tips off the Baron that he has guests.
  • 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.
  • I Am Not My Father: Ashelin says this word for word after Jak wins the Class 3 Race at the Stadium, explaining that all her life, she has dreamed of making Haven City a better place than the dystopia Praxis has made it into.
  • 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 Escape: In Mar's Tomb, Daxter has to outrun what at first appears to be a giant (FOR AN OTTSEL!) boulder, but later turns out to be something MUCH worse: a giant SPIDER!
  • 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.
  • Interface Spoiler: The remaster trophies don't even try to hide that Kor leads the Metal Heads.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: The ele-beasts in the Metal Head nest are too large and powerful to be damaged. Even a point blank Dark Bomb or Dark Blast from Dark Giant will fail to hurt them.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass: Erol. 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, which aims to overthrow Baron Praxis.
  • Last Words: Vin's last words before his alleged death at the hands of Metal Heads.
    Vin: 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... the
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Averted as Jak's gun actually does jerk back after firing.
  • Love Triangle:
    • 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 killed after trying to run him down out of envy...well, nearly killed anyway.
    • Ashelin is also shown to harbor feelings towards Jak, such as when she flirts with him after he wins the first race. Though it's not as noticable as in the sequel.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Any race through the city or hidden orb rush, depending on the random placement and movement cycles of citizens and guards, both on foot and in vehicles. They REALLY love to get in your way.
  • 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.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: Early on, Keira's interactions with Jak are delivered from 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 who it was from the voice. The person behind the curtain 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!
    Behind the Curtain: 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!
    Daxter: KEIRA?!
  • 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.
  • Man Hug: An incredibly drunk Daxter hugs Jak while slurring "I love you, man!", which earns a disturbed look from Jak.
  • Market-Based Title: The game was simply known as Jak II in North America. PAL regions added the Renegade subtitle that This Very Wiki uses, and the Japanese release called it Jak and Daxter 2 (though the box still uses the North American Jak II logo).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mundane Utility: Need to open a box? Shoot it!
  • Musical Nod: 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 Plus: 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.
  • 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-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Baron Praxis claims his tyrannical rule is necessary to protect against the Metal Heads, only to have it revealed he's bribing them into attacking the city to justify his rule. Even his ultimate plan to backstab them is because the deal's about to fall apart.
  • 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...if you're in a vehicle. For some reason however, running into a citizen on your jet board alerts the guards and makes them come after you.
  • 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, Jak and Daxter outrun an explosion.
  • Overheating: Can happen with the Turret Guns if you fire them too often.
  • Pause Scumming: It really helps to pause during the seer's minigame and during the whack-a-Metalhead machine minigame.
  • Percussive Maintenance: During the first Pump Station mission, Daxter attempts to steal Jak's glory by turning the pump's main valve. Sadly, the valve is not only too heavy for Daxter to even MOVE, it's completely STUCK! So Jak fixes the problem by hitting the pipe, which instantly unsticks the valve...and promptly sucks Daxter on a ride through the pipes!
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • 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.
  • Production Throwback: When you complete the very first mission, Daxter does a familiar victory dance as the game plays the Power Cell acquisition fanfare from the first game...ending in a Record Scratch as the ground collapses underneath Jak and Daxter.
  • Propaganda Machine: The Baron has planted these all over Haven City, telling the citizens that the Crapsack World they live in is the best that can be done, that the Krimzon Guard are out for their best interests, and occasionally to threaten Jak himself.
  • Psycho Serum: Dark Eco, as part of the Dark Warrior project. It worked, now Jak has access to a superpowered evil side with access to claws, horns, small bolts of purple lightning, area of effect attacks, and permanent anger.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: When kept to themselves, the Krimzon Guard tend to have casual, friendly conversations with each other.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Peace-Maker, which can one-shot any vehicle and can arc from enemy to enemy. Plus the Dark Giant, which increases the size and power of all Dark Jaks attacks.
  • Racing Minigame: A few story missions and most of the side missions involve getting from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.
  • Random Events 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.
  • The Reveal: Three big ones:
    • Jak isn't just toiling in some nightmare world he's been thrown into — the despotic Haven City and the bleak wastelands beyond its walls are the fate that befell the world Jak knows and loves from 1.
    • Kor, your helpful mentor, is in fact the metal head leader and Big Bad of the game.
    • "The kid" is Jak himself, ultimately sent back to the past to become the man he must be in the future.
  • Rewatch Bonus: It's not likely to be given much consideration on a first playthrough, as there's no overt reason to distrust him, but almost all of Kor's scenes are littered with hints and foreshadowing for The Reveal. Specifically notice how his quests never go against his faction.
    • Another case is the scenes surrounding The Kid, which while a bit more noticeable, will likely fly over new players' heads, but once noticed will put events like the Test of Manhood in a new perspective.
  • Rising Conflict: Jak's original motive is revenge on Baron Praxis for the two years of imprisonment and torturous experiments. 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.
  • 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, Young Jak goes back to the past, which stabilizes the time loop.
  • Stripperific: Ashelin, the only female Krimzon Guard we see, wears a "uniform" like this.
  • Storming the Castle: The final few missions of the game involve a direct assault on the Metal Head Nest by Jak. This is repeatedly touted as impossible by other characters such as Baron Praxis, evidenced by the rotting remains of weapons, vehicles and fortifications left over from prior invasions. Presumably Jak is only able to do so now with any success because the lion's share of Metal Heads are currently attacking the city.
  • 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 Speaking: Jak's first appearance after Daxter rescues him.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Dark Jak takes less damage, deals more damage and does so faster, can be upgraded with a Ground Pound that kills almost anything around him, a spinning attack that automatically zaps any enemies and vehicles nearby destroying most of them instantly, invincibility, and can become a Dark Giant which increases his range and power enough to send mooks flying over buildings.
  • Swiss-Army Gun: The Morph Gun has a shotgun, a rifle, a sub-machine gun, and a lightning ball gun.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The second battle with the Baron has him launching little bombs that can be bounced back at him, damaging his mech. There's also Krew who insists on coming closer between waves so you can damage him instead of just staying out of range the entire time.
  • Tagline: "This world is better left to Jak."
  • 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 features lots of poisonous spiders, one giant spider, spiked platforms, pools of dark eco and platforms that fall into bottomless pits if you step on them in the wrong order. Justified, as it's designed as a test for the heir of Mar.
  • Temporary Platform: In Dead Town, the Drill Platform, the Mountain Temple, and the Underport.
  • 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.
  • 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: Various missions:
    • Most of the side missions involving getting somewhere or flying through rings before time runs out.
    • Beat Time to Race Garage, Collect Money For Krew, Shuttle Underground Fighters, Destroy Cargo In Port, all 3 Stadium races and an impromptu race against Errol, all of which are required to progress through the game.
  • Time Skip: After the last scene in the previous game, this game skips two years ahead.
  • 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.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: The second half of the Underport mission is impossible to clear if Jak runs out of ammo, since no crates can be found anywhere. And the game continues to save during this mission, so unless there's a backup save, the game is unbeatable and must restart.
  • 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 or hit a citizen while riding your jet board. 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. Computers range from generic low - fi mainframe computers to holographs.
  • 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.
  • 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 is so morbidly obese that he can't even move by himself anymore, requiring a hoverchair. He's also the crime lord of the city.
  • Weak Turret Gun: Automatic turret guns can be found in the slums and industrial section of the city, as well as in the sewers, the palace and the towers leading to the palace. They can be taken out in a single punch, kick or shot.
  • Weapon of Peace: The Peace Maker, which shoots balls of lighting capable of instantly destroying most vehicles, taking out small squads of enemies and even blowing up a giant water tank.
  • Wham Episode: There are a few, but the last mission of the first act is one of the biggest; Torn gives Jak and Daxter a mission to drive Metal Heads away from a sacred site in the ruins outside of the city. They do exactly that, then they see said sacred site for themselves. It's Samos's hut from the first game. That's when they realize they're in the future.
  • Wham Line:
  • 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.
  • 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: The water slums in Haven City are a wooden patchwork of houses that look as though they could fall down at any minute with the rest of the city not looking much better. The slums are falling apart with great gashes in the roads patched by planks. The industrial section is dark, cramped and oppressive. The KG seem more interested in tormenting and abusing the people than guarding them while the Barons propaganda speakers blast messages at them reminding them that this is as good as it's going to get.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Jak II


Plasmite Bombs

Vin sends Jak and Daxter on a mission involving the use of plasmite bombs, but thanks to Daxter the mission becomes a race against the clock.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / GrenadeHotPotato

Media sources: