I derive an inordinate amount of satisfaction from the completion of video games, and Jedi Outcast is no exception. In fact, this particular triumph is especially sweet because it fulfills half of my gentleman’s wager with Miscellaneous G™. Now all that remains is finish Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption before mid-August and the victory will be mine!
The following is an account of the last four chapters in the saga of Kyle Katarn’s journey in Jedi Outcast. If you’ve not played the game, you should be aware that the landscape ahead is riddled with spoilers, lying in wait like so many laser trip mines.
When last we saw Kyle Katarn, he had confronted Tavion Axmis — Desann’s sexy-in-a-dangerous-and-creepy-way Dark Jedi apprentice — at Cloud City. Katarn defeated Tavion but decided to release her rather than kill her,
Using information provided by Tavion, Kyle boarded a cargo hauler bound from Bespin to the Imperial Remnant base on Cairn, an asteroid that also served as a spacedock for Admiral Galak Fyyar’s flagship, Doomgiver. Kyle infiltrated the asteroid in search of Jan Ors and learned that Fyyar was utilizing the Cairn facility to process cortosis, a mineral that is extremely resistant to lightsabers. Using the refined cortosis in combination with Force-imbued crystals, Admiral Fyyar created the Shadowtroopers, stormtroopers armed with lightsabers who could not only use the Force, but — thanks to a cloaking device built into their cortosis armor — could effectively become invisible.
Kyle learned that Desann and Admiral Fyyar were planning an assault on the Jedi Academy at Yavin, intent on utterly destroying the Jedi once and for all. After fighting his way through the Cairn installation, Kyle managed to board the Doomgiver just before it left the dock. While in hyperspace, Kyle was able to activate the ship’s communications array and open a channel to Rogue Squadron, the New Republic’s elite starfighter squadron. With reinforcements on the way, Kyle infiltrated the Doomgiver‘s detention area, where he was reunited with his main squeeze, Jan Ors.
With Jan on her way to the escape pods, Kyle made his way to the Doomgiver‘s shield controls intending to turn the massive ship into an equally massive sitting duck. Kyle was able to disable the shields, but in doing so came face to face with Admiral Fyyar, who informed the Fallen Jedi that the assault on the Jedi Academy was already underway.
Fyyar was outfitted with an armored exoskeleton, and it appeared that the Admiral intended to begin slaughtering the Jedi himself. However, Kyle’s mad lightsaber skillz proved to be too much for Fyyar’s armor. After defeating the Admiral, Kyle joined Jan in the escape pod and they descended to Yavin while Rogue Squadron pounded the Doomgiver into so much orbiting rubble.
On the planet’s surface, Kyle and Jan split up once again and Kyle battled his way through twenty-seven hectares of swamptroopers, stormtroopers, and shadowtroopers (not to mention a handful of AT-STs) and finally reached the Jedi Academy. Teaming up with a couple of Jedi apprentices, Kyle sliced and diced a few more shadowtroopers and several of Desann’s Reborn in preparation for The Final Battle.
Leaving the padawans behind, Kyle followed Desann into the heart of the Jedi Temple, using his Force powers to speed through corridors filled with flame jets and giant crushy stone blocks. After the onslaught of shadowtroopers and Reborn and the perils of the deadly Jedi obstacle course, the battle with Desann was decidedly anti-climactic; the reptilian Dark Jedi was crushed beneath a stone pillar that Kyle brought down with his lightsaber.
I had a lot of fun with Jedi Outcast, but the game also frustrated me quite often. As much as I love the streets of Nar Shaddaa in the multi-player game, the same bottomless pits that make the game so much fun when battling a half-dozen friends make it maddening in the solo campaign. It seems that every mission has at least one (and usually more than one) area in which Kyle must leap from platform to platform suspended over a deep, dark chasm. When stationary platforms aren’t tricky enough, they begin to move. As if that weren’t enough, there’s usually someone shooting at him. At this point, the game becomes quite tedious, with Kyle moving tentatively from point to point, plummeting to his doom or catching a rocket upside the head, and then starting the whole rigamarole over again.
Also frustrating were some of the lightsaber battles. Against opponents who wield lightsabers and use the force, projectile and energy weapons are all but useless. Blaster bolts are easily deflected with the lightsaber, while rockets and thermal detonators are turned back from whence they came with a quick Force Push. Once the Reborn and shadowtroopers are in the picture, it’s lightsaber battles all the way
Ah, but it’s Star Wars. Better than that, it’s Star Wars with Lando Calrissian and Luke Skywalker instead of Jango Fett and Padme Nabierre, stormtroopers instead of a clone army, Rodians and Trandoshans instead of Gungans and Neimoidians. Only Boba Fett