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YMMV / Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II

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  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • In the original game: As you're about to enter the center of the Valley of the Jedi at the end of Level 19, you confront an AT-ST walker, the only one in the game that you actually need to destroy in order to progress (its driver holds the key to the door). There is actually a lot of build up to this fight: the giant door slowly revealing the machine of terror lurking in the shadows, your awareness that it's probably the last non-Force using enemy you'll have to take down in the entire game and all that. But due to the fact that at this point you've become a walking arsenal fully capable of wiping out an entire army, you get to enjoy the spectacle of the erstwhile awe-inspiring machine toppling to the ground less than five seconds afterwards.
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    • In the expansion pack: Arguably, Kyle, since you can't actually defeat him and the only way to finish the game is to turn off your lightsaber, as suggested by one of the bas-reliefs in the room, depicting a kneeling woman with a lightsaber laying in front of her.
  • Demonic Spiders: Vronskrs in Mysteries of the Sith. They're frighteningly fast, so fast that they'll chew through your health the instant you get close enough, no matter which from which direction, which is essentially Collision Damage in all but name. They can also interrupt your lightsaber swings, leap at you while you're trying to deal with them from range, even if you are on higher ground, and can even swim. Their appearance also occurs in the sections of the game where your guns are rendered useless. If you encounter more than one of them at a time, you're in trouble. It's a good thing this game has quick saving, because you will use it. A lot.
  • Goddamned Bats:
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    • Remotes, a.k.a. those little floating spherical drones used for lightsaber practice, serve as Attack Drones at the fuel station on Sulon. They're tiny and move around a lot, making them very difficult to hit. They also keep themselves well out of lightsaber range forcing you to shoot at them, which is very risky inside the fuel pipes - any stray blaster bolts will bounce around and eventually hit the fuel, causing explosions.
    • Those pesky Sentry Droids in Barons Hed and Jerec's cargo ship. They're essentially miniature Probe Droids, but move around a lot more and are harder to hit.
    • The mailocs that you encounter on Sulon and Ruusan take a lot of your health and are pretty creepy in their own right although they do take their sweet time between placing themselves in front of you and attacking which means getting rid of them is fairly easy; your basic lightsaber hit will easily cut down even two of them at the same time, practically making them more of a nuisance rather than an actual threat (note that it's NOT the case in the expansion pack where the mailocs tend to take you by surprise, usually in much larger numbers, and your guns are disabled in the levels they appear in, so you can't take them out from long range).
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  • Good Bad Bugs: In Mysteries Of The Sith, Imperial troops will occasionally refer to Kyle as "she" or "her", since some of the audio files meant for later in the game sometimes play on his levels.
  • Growing the Beard: This game is the point where the series began to truly set itself apart from other first person shooters of the era by introducing Force Powers and lightsabre combat. While the original Dark Forces is fondly remembered by PC gamers, Jedi Knight and its sequels are considered classics and triumphant examples of No Problem with Licensed Games. It helps that Kyle literally has grown a beard in this game.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Go here.
  • Oddly Named Sequel: Even the developers themselves don't seem to agree on whether its Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II or Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight.
  • Pandering to the Base: The expansion pack features a surprisingly big amount of content from Timothy Zahn's so called Thrawn trilogy:
    • Mara Jade as the main character.
    • Dromund Kaas features some vornskrs and ysalamiri. The latter retain their ability to block the Force within a certain range, although they're otherwise harmless.
    • The portrayal of the Noghri was widely ridiculed among the fans of the books since, aside from the skin color, they look nothing like the original and more like a generic orc from World of Warcraft: they're seven feet tall, ridiculously strong, fast, and, apparently, unintelligent, whereas in the novel they were described as short-sized cunning creatures who, while indeed were considered extremely dangerous, it was mostly due to their familiarity with a variety of martial arts and overall agility rather than brute savage force as seen in the game.
  • Porting Disaster: The initial release of the game on Steam. The original game and Mysteries of the Sith were basically thrown onto Steam with no fixes for their various limitations as Windows programs developed in 1997. Most players on modern systems were greeted with the games being unable to start or display correctly, the cutscenes and menus being shown in a window while gameplay was fullscreen, no background music (due to the game using CD audio for it) and the games crashing constantly during loading and menu screens, effectively making it impossible to even resume the paused gameplay without loading a savestate. Luckily, a patch for Jedi Knight dropped in mid 2016 made the menus and cutscenes run in fullscreen, fixed the crashes and restored the music (all of which had been already fixed in the GOG.com version), with similar fixes for Mysteries of the Sith dropping a year later.
  • Scrappy Weapon: The Bowcaster in the base game was poor enough, but the Carbonite Gun from Mysteries of the Sith takes the cake. With its pitiful range and the sheer amount of ammunition required to achieve the desired effect, literally any other weapon in the game would be more efficient to use. And it doesn't even kill them, requiring a follow up attack to smash the carbonite encased enemy to pieces. Its secondary attack is a simple Pistol-Whipping, which does nothing the fists don't already.
  • Sequel Displacement: While revered as a classic of the FPS genre, this game, along with its predecessor, is much less known and talked about than either of its sequels (whose graphics still hold up well even today, which cannot be said about the first two games).
  • Special Effects Failure: The live-action cutscenes consist entirely of actors (and a few props, such as a bed) filmed against a greenscreen and superimposed onto very cheap and simple CGI scenes. While the videos are so heavily compressed that everything appears smooth and blurry anyway, it's still very noticeable, particularly when there's some object involved that's held by both a CGI character and an actor, such as Morgan's disk. When the CGI droid 8t88 holds it, it's very obviously a flat and simple-looking CGI model, but when Kyle later holds it it's a real prop with details and reflections. It's even more blatant when Kyle gets his lightsaber - a flat, diffuse CGI cylinder pops out of a CGI droid, followed by Kyle picking up a detailed, metallic lightsaber prop from offscreen.
  • That One Attack: Force Grip when used by enemies. You can't dodge and it does a lot of damage. Thankfully boss battles do have health pick ups.
  • That One Boss
    • In the base game: Jerec, being the Final Boss, would probably be expected by most gamers to be harder to beat than any of his mooks we killed along the way... but maybe not that much harder. He takes a good deal more damage than any of the previous bosses, and will pull out Force Lightning when you are trying to hit him, which at that range you can't reliably dodge. When he's further away he'll use Force Destruction, which can take off over half your health in one hit. To top it all off he'll go into the center of the arena to heal himself, during which you can't hurt him. During this time two statues move closer to the center and if they reach it, you lose automatically. You can turn their movement off when he starts moving them, but you can't stop from moving completely, making it a timed fight. And the game never tells you any of this.
    • In the expansion pack: Mara Jade's evil doppelganger. Fighting her is very much reminiscent of the Final Boss battle in the original game, except you have much less space to maneuver. Fortunately, Dark Mara doesn't have nearly as much health.
  • That One Level:
    • Level 15 in the base game. After defeating Maw, Kyle is thrown back onto the crashing cargo ship and has to get to the landing bay to the Moldy Crow. On easy, it's challenging enough with a ten minute time limit (which can be increased by engaging the ship's thrusters) and little indication as to where to go. Enemies on board still try to kill you. On hard mode, you have one minute. Good luck.
    • Levels 12-14, the three final levels in Mysteries of the Sith, present a Difficulty Spike so steep they make every other level in the whole series feel like cake in comparison, mainly because they take place within a Dark Force nexus that disables your guns entirely, forcing you to use your lightsaber, which is slow and clunky. Level 12 is not so extremely hard as it's extremely annoying - it's a Bubblegloop Swamp infested with goddamned mailocs and dart-spitting plants, and the occasional vornskrs are easily bypassed. But then you enter the Sith Temple. First and foremost, this is a Dark Side temple in more ways than one - it's so literally dark that your field light won't do you much good, meaning you have to use your Force Seeing a lot, which comes with some problematic side-effects. Force Seeing disables the lighting altogether making every surface equally lit, and since most rooms in the temple use the exact same flat stone texture, it's often very difficult to navigate despite being able to see in the dark. The temple is also full of Moon Logic Puzzles, but what makes the spike really take off is the temple's inhabitants. The lightsaber-wielding Sith statues aren't too bad, but the others are major Demonic Spiders - the temple is teeming with the aforementioned vornskrs in every corner, and they later get joined by noghri who spam Force Lightning with perfect accuracy and take several hits to kill. It's no wonder Kyle went insane in this place.
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