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YMMV / The Force Unleashed

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  • Anticlimax Boss: Done on purpose in the first game’s Dark Side ending. The Light Side ending requires that you Earn Your Happy Ending by fighting the True Final Boss (Emperor Palpatine) in a duel far more difficult than anything before it. The Dark Side Ending is an underwhelming quick time event against a weak and near-defenseless Darth Vader that allows Starkiller to easily get revenge against his old master, but doesn’t feel satisfying in the slightest. This point is driven home soon after when Palpatine immediately betrays Starkiller and turns him into a twisted man-machine hybrid living on borrowed time.
  • Awesome Music: The fact that the original soundtrack for this game is not available for purchase is downright criminal.
    • One specific example from the game itself occurs at the beginning of the final confrontation. The scene begins with Starkiller charging down a corridor on the Death Star toward the throne room where the rebels are, but suddenly he halts as the door at the end of the hall opens and Darth Vader marches through. Starkiller visibly steels himself for the battle ahead as the two draw their lightsabers and slowly walk towards each other. The main theme blaring in the background makes it a truly epic moment and arguably makes this specific moment the game's Money-Making Shot.
    • The music during the battle with General Kota is heroic and epic.
    • The main battle theme while escaping The Empirical has a powerful brass score, combined with a few other Star Wars melodies.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Debatable in the first game, with the scanty outfits on Shaak Ti and Maris Brood, young Leia dressed suspiciously like Padme in Attack of the Clones, and Juno's non-regulation uniform. Also, for the female/male gay side of the audience, there's one of Starkiller's outfits that shows his muscular shirtless body. Some fans criticized the second game for only having one important female character (two if you count Jedi Leia in the DLC), and she's missing for over half of it. Whether that's due to The Bechdel Test failure or missed opportunities for gratuitous fanservice is another question.
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  • Canon Defilement: Deliberately invoked for the non-canon Dark Side DLC levels, in which Starkiller completely derails the Original Trilogy storyline by killing just about every notable hero between the three levels.
  • Complete Monster: Emperor Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, is the despotic ruler of the Galactic Empire. Upon discovering that Darth Vader had been training a secret apprentice, Starkiller—born Galen Marek—to overthrow him, Palpatine commands Vader to murder Starkiller to prove his loyalty. Initiating a plan to wipe out all enemies of his Empire, Palpatine, through Vader, manipulates a revived Starkiller into gathering all members of Rebellion in one place. After capturing the Rebels, Palpatine intends to torture information about their allies out of them and then execute them. When Starkiller arrives to save the Rebels and defeated Vader in a duel, Palpatine tries to convince him to kill Vader and become his new apprentice. In the game's non-canon Dark Side ending, where Starkiller kills Vader, Palpatine slaughters most of the rebel leaders, then orders Starkiller to kill the latter's own mentor, Jedi Rahm Kota. When Starkiller refuses, Palpatine responds by torturing him and having Starkiller rebuilt into a cyborg, outright saying that he intends to use Starkiller as a living weapon before casting him aside as soon as he finds someone better.
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  • Critical Research Failure: In the sequel, Starkiller flees Kamino in Darth Vader's fighter, the TIE Advanced x1 prototype, which has deflector shields, a low-grade hyperdrive, and no life support system (it's Vader's ship, and being Vader, he always has one on). Although Starkiller does show up in the next level in an Imperial Pilot's uniform. Maybe Vader had a spare for his valet?
  • Demonic Spiders: Imperial Purge Troopers in the first game and their insanely precise shoulder-mounted homing lasers. Their shots are unblockable, are harder to dodge than anything any boss will throw at you and will easily perform nigh-immediate 180 degree turns to smack you in the event that you do somehow manage to duck under or jump over one of them successfully. Oh, and if the shot hits you, it'll take about 20% off your health and knock you down. If you dared to jump in an attempt to dodge it, the knock back effect will last long enough for him to shoot it at you again, this time without any chance at all for you to avoid it. If you manage to get close to them, however, they're easier to kill, at least if you're fighting them alone. Now imagine, if you will, facing off against four of these guys at a time, each one at a different range. It gets a tad hard to get through something like that.
    • More literal examples with the Terror Droids in the sequel and the assassins that accompany them. They Teleport Spam so that you can't hit them and have to come up with creative ways to kill them, such as going into Force Fury or blowing out a window or something. They've got attacks that can paralyze you and frequently close in for melee while teleporting away from you when you try to counterattack.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The fanbase seems to absolutely adore Maris Brood even though she was a minor character in the first game. You can even see people claiming for her return in the sequel.
    • The Shadow Guards get this as well, from a merchandising standpoint. When Legends characters need to win fan polls to get made into figures, the Shadow Guard received an unprompted Funko Pop as well as a 6" Black Series figure. As for Starkiller? He barely lost a fan poll in a narrow race with Jaina Solo and Darth Talon.
  • Escapist Character: Playing as Starkiller is basically an excuse to completely destroy anything and everything around you with the Force.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Dark!Maris Brood.
    • As well as Darth Phobos (especially when she impersonates Juno).
  • Fake Difficulty/Nintendo Hard/Guide Dang It!: All at once! Inexact controls, difficulty with the autotarget mechanism, occasionally-slow-to-react cameras (split seconds count in boss fights), the tutorial level giving the novice player an inflated sense of confidence ("Click lightsaber spam to win!") can make this game more challenging in ways that aren't related to enemies/AI. May count as a Porting Disaster on PC.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A common treatment of Starkiller's adventures given he retcons so much about the early Rebellion. Other fans, vehemently disagree. Nevertheless, with the acquisition of Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Company, the game, as well as other Expanded Universe stories, have been declared Canon Discontinuity, much to the dismay of some fans.
  • Foe Yay: When he defeats her, Maris Brood actually seems to be trying to seduce Galen into sparing her life. Made more explicit in the comic adaptation.
  • Game-Breaker: Force Lighting.
  • Goddamn Bats: In the Wii game, any enemy using a jet pack. They can't be thrown, have an impossible-to-block flamethrower (for close range), encourage you to whack them with your saber (in which case, they blast you with a flamethrower), have tons of hit points, and can attack you while you electrocute them. Luckily, you can quickly kill them by dangling them over a ledge and impaling them.
    • In the PS3/360 version, you can short out their jetpacks with lightning. Its Goddamn Bats are the Scout Troopers, imperials with sniper rifles that outrange Galen's force powers.
    • The Lightsaber Training Droids in the Jedi Temple.
  • Goddamned Boss: The Gorog in the second installment is a very long fight with repetitive mechanics.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: That scene where Starkiller kills Han Solo with his lightsaber at the end of the Han/Chewbacca fight sure does get a lot more depressing after what happened in The Force Awakens...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • One of the DLC packs that came with the second game was a "Maulkiller" skin. Around two years later, Sam Witwer is voicing a Not Quite Dead Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
      • The "Animated Starkiller" skin from the first game can count as well, putting him in the style of the Clone Wars series
    • In the Imperial Raxus Prime level in the first game, where Starkiller fights PROXY as Maul. He's fighting himself, from a certain point of view.
    • The release of the first game was delayed to where it was sandwiched between the premiere of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars feature film and the premiere of Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series on Cartoon Network. Both TFU and TCW have apprentices to Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader who wield lightsabers with the reverse-grip. This also happened with the second game: Starkiller (or rather, a clone of him) uses two lightsabers in the second game, while Ahsoka Tano also wields dual sabers (though the second one is shorter) as of the Season 3 episode "Heroes On Both Sides", which premiered a month after the release of TFU II.
    • With the release of Rogue One, both the main and Legends canon now have a man named Galen who was a critical part of the Rebel Alliance, and ended up dying for the cause.
    • Rahm Kota spends a lot of the second game trying to convince Galen that you can't clone a Jedi. His only appearance outside of the Force Unleashed series was in Star Wars Battlefront Elite Squadron, in which the main character and the main villain are both clones of a Jedi. He never bothers to argue the point with them.
  • Ho Yay: Not too particularly tangible in this game, but the way some mooks grab onto each other when you're throwing them around with the Force seems a little suggestive at times.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: One of the biggest criticisms of Force Unleashed II is that the entire game can be completed in a few hours and is significantly shorter than the original game. Not helping is that one of the chapters (Dagobah) is pure filler, the two Salvation chapters are basically the same level in reverse, and the game begins and ends on Kamino.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • General Kota might be a gruff, hardassed old man, but he lost almost everyone he ever cared about to the Empire, gets blinded while trying to fight back, and in the sequel, is forced to fight off endless enemies in a gladiator pit for a week.
    • Darth Vader. Starkiller recognises that his master hates himself, and in the novelisation, even comes to pity Vader. This becomes especially poignant when, in the novel, Starkiller realises that Vader didn't just want an apprentice, he wanted a son, and given what Vader thinks happened to his child, this, along with Vader being ordered to betray Starkiller, adds a whole new element of tragedy to Vader. On top of that, Vader is nearly cast aside by his master after being badly beaten by Starkiller, and in the Dark Side ending, is quite brutally killed by Starkiller.
  • Moral Event Horizon: See Player Punch.
  • Narm: During Emperor Palpatine's Large Ham moment near the end of the game.
    Emperor: You will give me the names of your friends, and your allies... Andthenyouwilldie.
  • Older Than They Think: The developers spent a lot of time talking about the game's materials system in pre-release interviews like they were the first ones to implement such a thing. They were late by four years, and ironically, one of the criticisms of the game found in many reviews is that the system is ultimately underused to the point of being barely noticable.
  • Padding: The key criticism of Force Unleashed II is that it had a half-hour of substance stretched to four hours, resulting in a game that is too short to justify the cost and yet feels like it lasts eons. One level, Dagobah, is a very short run that leads to a cutscene. The levels on the Salvation are especially egregious, because the game forces you to play through most of the level twice (albiet in reverse the second time) to finish it.
  • Player Punch: In The Force Unleashed II: DLC Edition's Endor mission, the Dark Apprentice (that's the player character) kills Chewie and Han.
  • Polished Port: The Wii version of the sequel was handled by Red Fly, the company responsible for the surprisingly good Wii port of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, and as such featured different level designs and actions that some critics and gamers felt was superior to its HD counterpart.
  • Porting Disaster: The company responsible for the PC port did the absolute minimum necessary to have the game run on a computer. The system requirements are ridiculously high, the graphics and controls have to be changed before launching the game (and the graphics options are limited to screen resolution) and the game itself is riddled with bugs and prone to CTDs. Oh, and game data is duplicated for each level, making the full game take 27 GB of disk space. It's a direct port and nothing more. The second game did much better, although in that case it was developed alongside other console versions and not just blindly ported.
    • The PS2/Wii/PSP version of the original tried to compensate for the Uncanny Valley graphics and smaller levels imposed by hardware limitations by adding in more levels in all 3 versions and motion controls for the lightsaber in the Wii version, but the extra levels were poorly done and became unwelcome Padding and the incompetent wiimote controls often turned the game into a Luck-Based Mission
  • Scenery Porn: Pretty much every level in the sequel looks great, from rain-soaked Kamino to the Renaissance stylings of Cato Neimoidia to the Salvation, which strikes an excellent balance between sticking to the Original Trilogy's visual style and updating the computer readout graphics a little bit.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The second game looks much better and plays far smoother. It also applies to the Wii port of the first game, which used waggle styled motion controls for swinging the lightsaber, which proved unpopular with Wii-owning Star Wars fans due to the action in the game being very frequent to the point of tiring arms (and not offering 1-to-1 styled controls that games like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword would later benefit from). The sequel, handled by another company, instead used standard button presses for attacks, making it more appealing to gamers who don't like waggle. The Wii sequel also saw much better graphics that averted the below mentioned Uncanny Valley problem, and unique level designs.
    • Contested Sequel: However, the increased story elements and the character shifts to a clone of Starkiller, the rushed job of the HD versions of the second game, the vastly shorter story mode, among other fractures-result in a more divisive reaction to the second game.
  • That One Boss:
    • Kazdan Paratus nearly always blocks all of your moves except Force Lightning, and, if you play on difficulty above normal, starts blocking Force Lightning too, if it's used repeatedly. He has hard to block light-lance attacks and can hit for about 70% of your life if he catches one of the objects lying around in his Force Push. He's not as bad in the Wii version, though, despite having a double-bladed lightsaber instead of his lightsaber pike. Taking his place however is the ghost/hologram of Galen's father, Kento, who not only blocks every attack you throw at him, but also seems to move and react twice as fast as you.
    • On higher difficulties like Sith Master, most of the bosses of this game fall under this category, unless you know the "trick" to beating them.
    • The Terror Walker. While relatively easy to beat one-on-one, it summons so many Terror Droids and Assassins to help that you can't really focus on it, allowing it to keep stepping on you as you take damage everywhere.
  • That One Level: The hangar in the Death Star (PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 version) isn't called the "Hangar of Death" for nothing. It's filled with snipers, Elite Mooks, and AT-ST's on all sides with you in the middle. However, fans discovered a cheap way past it- Force Repulse the doors you need to get through, and if you fall through, you'll automatically cause the cutscene to begin. There's also the bit where you pull a Star Destroyer out of orbit—to explain, the "guide" for how to aim the pull is completely off.
  • Uncanny Valley: The SD versions' character models are unable to produce any emotion whatsoever.
  • Vindicated by History: Many regard the first game in higher regard than at its launch due to its complex narrative and surprisingly well force mechanics, among other factors.
  • What an Idiot!: Darth Phobos dropping her Juno disguise in the middle of the battle.
  • The Woobie:
    • Starkiller's entire life qualifies, but most definitely the scene in the sequel where he starts hallucinating that Juno and Kota are rejecting him.
    Juno's voice: Who are you?
    Starkiller: Juno, it's me!
    Juno's voice: You're a monster, a thing.
    Starkilller: (sounding like he's about to cry) Juno, please!
    Kota's voice: You're Vader's puppet. Just a body filled with the memories of a dead man.
    • Kazdan Paratus. Wracked with guilt for fleeing the Jedi Temple when it was attacked, he made statues of the Jedi Council members, who he talks to as if they were alive. He's devastated when Starkiller destroys them.
    • Juno Eclipse. Particularly in the novelisations, which go into depth about her troubled relationship with her father, her guilt at Vader tricking her into causing a massive ecological disaster, her sense of betrayal when the Empire turns on her for basically being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and her deep sense of loss after Starkiller's death. Then, in the sequel, not only is she unable to get over Starkiller, but she's used by Vader to manipulate him. Even while Vader is choking her, Juno is desperately begging Starkiller not to give in to Vader's demands, and she ends up nearly getting killed by Vader almost immediately afterwards. The woman never gets a break.


Example of: