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  • Best Level Ever: The climaxes of each Act are all fun challenges of your platforming and combat skills, but special mention to the Tests of Manhood in Act 2, which combines platforming, puzzle-solving, and even a Crash Bandicoot-esque boulder sequence. It's all a very fun time.
  • Catharsis Factor: Simply beating Erol in his race, which is considered one of the hardest mission in the game and a major reason why the game is viewed as one of the hardest PS2 games, is very satisfying. Heck, finishing any level notorious for Checkpoint Starvation and Continuing Is Painful is rewarding enough, especially on Hero Mode.
  • Complete Monster:
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    • Kor, the leader of the Metal Heads, sought to destroy Haven City to obtain and consume the last Precursor Life Force. To this end, he disguised himself as a kindly old man to help La Résistance, while making deals with Baron Praxis for Eco in exchange for softening his attacks—which he then undermines by sending Jak to sabotage Praxis's Eco supply and having Kaeden attack Haven City's defensive systems. When the systems are finally disabled, Kor kidnaps the younger version of Jak and promises to tear the city apart to find the Precursor Egg and murder all its inhabitants. Said to be the one to have wiped out the Precursors, Kor was driven entirely by his lust for death, destruction and the devouring of the last Precursor.
    • The aforementioned Baron Praxis is the despotic ruler of Haven City, which he conquered by waging war to overthrow the good-hearted King Damas. Leading his people to poverty and suffering, Praxis's rule is so barbaric that even his own daughter attempts to betray him, which leads to him threatening to have her killed. Kidnapping civilians as part of his "Dark Warrior Program", Praxis has them infected with Dark Eco, creating mentally unstable Super Soldiers for his army. Ostensibly enacting his cruel ruling policies to keep his Haven City able to combat the Metal Heads, Praxis is actually supplying his "enemy" with Dark Eco to keep the war going and himself in power. Upon being fatally wounded, Praxis attempts to destroy all of Haven City—including his daughter—purely out of spite.
  • Demonic Spiders:
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    • Metal Head Squids in The Underport section. Due to clunky controls of Titan Suit, it is sometimes difficult to target and destroy them before they can entangle you, which takes out over quarter of your health.
    • Invisible Metal Heads. True to their name, they are hard to notice before they open fire on you.
  • Even Better Sequel: A notable example, where not only the whole game experience is completely revamped for the better, but just about everything else, be it technical, gameplay or story wise, was as well.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • In the part of the game where you storm the palace, and when you leave the small conference room near the baron's throne room, ever wonder why you're greeted with a turret stationed outside? Simple: the Baron uses that to assassinate his rival diplomats when they leave!
    • Why was Jak the only person who even tried to make a direct assault on the Baron's palace, let alone be crazy enough to infiltrate it by one of its giant, dangerously high up support cables? Because he's just that obsessed with getting even with the Baron—Jak lost most of his friends and two years of his life and his innocence in a horrible world he was forced into, and his very life is at risk due to his Dark Eco corruption, all personally thanks to the Baron. And unlike the Underground who wanted to just overthrow Praxis and salvage Haven, Jak made it clear to Torn that he was in it entirely for himself and no one else, so Jak had nothing to lose—it was entirely personal to him, and as such, he was perfectly willing to go out of his way to find any chance to attack the Baron on his home turf and, at the least, get his vengeance before he eventually would have died.
  • Goddamned Bats:
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    • The Krimzon Guard. You do NOT want to hit one or otherwise give them cause to chase you during a mission, because they WILL fuck up your attempt. And then there are the missions where they automatically chase you...
    • Scorpion Metal Heads. They go down in one hit, but they are quite fast and there is never only one.
  • Good Bad Bugs: A well known bug which allows the player to access and explore Sandover Village as it appears in the game's opening. This is achieved by opening the disc tray during the opening cutscene, pressing triangle, and reinserting the disc. The game will drop Jak outside Samos's Hut, complete with Metal Heads flying out of the opened rift gate. At this point Jak will be unable to move; this is easily fixed by choosing 'restart mission' from the start menu. The area fully accessible, though its surroundings only lead to bottomless voids. There has been some debate regarding the presence of Krimzon Guard crates in the village houses — some people claim that this proves the glitch was intentional, while others attribute it to the area simply being copied and pasted from the first game, with the Krimzon Guard crates automatically replacing Scout Fly Crates because of how it was coded.
    • You can farm orbs by activating any timed orb challenge, jumping above the orb, and pausing the game. Choose restart, and the game will unpause and fail the mission. If done right, Jak should fall to the orb, collecting it just before the restart. For many, it is the only way to get "The Collectationator" trophy in the PS3 version.
    • At one point in the HD remaster, Kor's face is all black. It's unknown why this happens, and it clearly looks like it wasn't intended to be such, but for some, it's amusing to look atnote . Some sources claim this only happens the first time the PS3 itself plays the cutscene, though, so enjoy it while you can.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Clancy Brown would voice another ruler of a kingdom with a (somewhat) rebellious daughter fifteen years later, voicing King Frederic in Tangled: The Series. However, unlike Praxis, Frederic genially cares for Rapunzel, and is only strict out of Adult Fear.
    • In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, towards the end, Tip the Penguin is eaten by Undertow the Shark. They're respectively voiced by Max Casella (Daxter) and Clancy Brown (Praxis). In a way, Tip gains his revenge on Undertow by rescuing his prisoner and helping him overthrow his tyranny in this series.
  • Ho Yay: Torn to Jak after finishing a race mission.
    Torn: You can be MY driver ANY time...
  • It's Hard, So It Sucks!: A common complaint about the game. Jak's max health is fairly low and checkpoints aren't as common as in most games, so dying usually sends you back several minutes. The game also tends to rely on Fake Difficulty, as enemies can attack from off-screen, most attacks take 2 bars of Jak's health, several missions are at least partially based on luck, and enemies tend to come in very large numbers that are difficult to fight off without weapons without the game's most powerful weapons... which also happen to have the least ammo spawns. Speaking of ammo, both it and dark eco don't reappear in your inventory if you die, so parts you got through by using them become even more difficult.
  • It Was His Sled:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Krew crosses this when he tries to use his latest weapon to crack open the Precursor Stone, attacks Jak for quitting, and sends Sig on a hopeless mission in the Underport.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The Krimzon Guard say the same quotes all throughout the city, over and over and over.
  • Narm Charm: The first game was a child-friendly platformer, and for some reason Naughty Dog decided the sequel should have the protagonist kidnapped and tortured, meet up with a guy who plays with a knife and sounds like he has throat cancer so Jak can get revenge on the corrupt leader of the dystopia they are in, and turn Daxter into a Lovable Sex Maniac who gets drunk onscreen. It still works. Helped by the facts that the game still doesn't take itself too seriously and plays the edginess for laughs. The sheer Mood Whiplash is easily the most memorable part of the game, if not the series.
  • Rewatch Bonus: It's likely too subtle to be given much consideration on a first playthrough, 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.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • While the Titan suit looks and feels awesome, it's incredibly impractical and more often than not is clunky to control.
    • The driving mechanics aren't bad, per se, but the best word to describe them is "Tolerable". Turning with any amount of speed is difficult and the vehicles aren't that durable.
  • That One Boss: Krew, even though he comes near the end and the competition is pretty stiff. He lets tons of his untouchable (else you take damage) clones fight for him, you have to take them out all before you can even damage him, and when you finally can, he shoots back at you. Clones can leave some healing for you, but that happens only very rarely.
  • That One Level:
    • Escaping the water slums with the piece. Want to fight the Krimzon Guards? You're getting overwhelmed by their sheer number. Want to hover through the water? The perimeter defense system will kill you on the spot. Want to simply run like hell? Good luck avoiding the aircraft fire and not accidentally falling into the water with the aforementioned defense system. The Krimzon guards themselves are actually pretty easy with the scatter gun, but they are accompanied by indestructible turrets that will hit you unless you keep roll-jumping. The game also actively misleads you, as the one of the guard ships - which you are inclined to follow since in most cases the route forward is filled with enemies - is hovering over the wrong way, seemingly only so the player would think they need to go there.
      • ...Yet the mission can be completed with astonishing ease by just spamming punch, as the animation tears through the guards and civilians, is fast enough so the turrets cannot hit Jak, and propels him forward, leaving the ground the only obstacle. You'll be hit a few times, but this tears the mission in half.
    • Blowing up ammo in the fortress is an early example indicating what you've gotten yourself into. The beginning of mission features being chased by the tank through the obstacles, while camera shows you from the tank's perspective and its lock-and-shoot is quite unpredicable.
    • The first part where you are finding the Precursor artifacts. That one rockslide? Good luck trying to make it through without getting hit even once.
    • At one point in the Tests of Manhood, after Daxter ends up being chased by a spider, the part with Jak requires him to climb up a ledge through the use of polls and platforms. It's a lot harder than it sounds.
    • Escaping the Palace near the end of the game following Ashelin's subverted Face–Heel Turn. The first part is a Luck-Based Mission given Jak could be shot off one of the three moving platform if caught by the guards. And there are portions that require tricky jetboard moves....while guards are shooting at Jak.
    • The Under Port quests are almost as notorious as Erol. Especially since Checkpoint Starvation is in full swing except for the middle.
      • The first half is underwater and requires the Titan suit, but oxygen is not unlimited, and Jak must seek out vents to survive. But that's not the hard part. There are mines and Metal Head Jellyfish throughout, and if they touch the Titan suit, a good chunk of health is taken off. The hardest part is the need to jump over a ledge towards the end, which can only be achieved if you jump right as a platform you are standing on reaches the top, making this a Luck-Based Mission.
      • The second half after meeting up with Sig is somewhat easier, but the mission requires loads of jumping, has no room for mistakes, and there are segments where Jak needs to use his gun to advance. Unfortunately, there are no ammo crates throughout the whole mission, which means the second part becomes Unwinnable if Jak uses up all ammo. It is best recommended that Jak enters with full ammo, and once Sig is reached, either disable autosave, or make a backup save in case ammo runs out.
    • Destroying the Drill Platform ship on Hero Mode. While the two turret segments with the ship itself aren't horrendously difficult, the first turret segment leading to them requires a hellish amount of dexterity; fighting off about 50 flying Krimzon Guards on one health bar, where each one takes 5-6 shots to kill and deals more damage than on Normal Mode. Plus they come in waves that are more than happy to attack while you're still dealing with the last wave. And your turret can only track one enemy at a time. Usually a Guard who's stuck under the track while its buddies shoot you from above. On top of all this, if you don't hit them head on they just go flying off in some random direction and you can't change control stick sensitivity. Plus the gun can overheat, reducing the rate of fire. Bonus points: the Invulnerability cheat doesn't affect turrets, making this mission stand out even further since a majority of Hero Mode can be trivialized by unlocking that cheat early on (should you decide to use it, at least). One wonders if Naughty Dog ever actually tested this level on Hero Mode...
  • That One Sidequest: If you're going for all 286 Precursor Orbs, be prepared to swear up a storm at the coliseum races. Finishing the races is difficult. Winning them takes immense patience. But to get all the orbs, you have to beat a certain time on each race, and that time is much lower than what is required for 1st place.
    • There's also one challenge where you have to drive all the way from one corner of the city to Torn's hideout. In less than 90 seconds. There is no room for error in this and if you keep bumping into stuff or your zoomer gets blown up (which may actually happen, since you have to drive through a crowded overpass to make it in time), you may as well restart.
    • Ring Challenges are mostly manageable, but the one that force you to follow walkways in industrial section are extremely annoying due to how easy is to fall down when on vehicle (which equals failing challenge and starting over) and the fact you have to use vehicle.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: There are a number of fans who were not happy with the Darker and Edgier turn that the series took with this game.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The ability of Titan Suit to throw blocks is used all of once or twice in the entire game.
  • Unwinnable by Design: 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.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Jak II was claimed by some to be a thinly veiled protest against the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Bush administration (as supposedly represented by the MetalHead War and Baron Praxis respectively), particularly accusations that they are wars that were fought solely for political and/or economic gain by governments that had illegitimately gained power.note  There is no proof of that Naughty Dog had any sort of political agenda when they made the game and for that matter had been in development well before the controversies regarding the Iraq War began.
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