Gamestuff: Jedi Outcast (Complete)

Jedi Outcast @ Amazon.comI 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,Probably not the brightest idea, as Tavion was a major antagonist in Jedi Academy, the sequel to Jedi Outcast. probably because she revealed that Kyle’s love muffin, Jan Ors, was still alive and being held captive by Desann.

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.The shadowtroopers’ cloaking device renders them “Predator-invisible”, so they’re not impossible to spot, especially if you know what to look for. They also have a tendency to activate their lightsabers while cloaked; the red lightsaber blades aren’t cloaked, which is a definite giveaway. The cortosis armor makes it very difficult to give the shadowtroopers a proper beatdown, and I eventually resorted to using Force Grip to choke the life out of them from a distance.

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.This was pretty much an accident. In my first attempt at fighting Desann, I noticed two things: first, he was a total badass; second, when I used Force Lightning on him, the surrounding pillars appeared to be taking damage. The extent to which the environment in Jedi Outcast is destructible is very limited; if Kyle can break something, there’s usually a good reason for it. On my second attempt, Kyle was running around the area picking up shield boosters and generally evading Desann. Once I had collected all of the power-ups, I jumped down to the floor ran around the perimeter. With Desann hot on my tail, I decided to see just how much damage the pillars could take. I flung my lightsaber at the column on my right and — much to my surprise — it immediately collapsed, crushing my pursuer beneath it. Game Over.

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.Jedi Outcast was originally released with no in-game save function. The game saved only at “checkpoints” or the end of a mission. This made the sequences that required multiple attempts using trial and error to complete especially frustrating, even more so when Kyle had to continually battle through waves of enemies just to reach the point where he could plummet to his death after misjudging a Force-enhanced leap. An official LucasArts patch introduced the ability to save the game at any point.

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 wayIt is possible to snipe the Reborn from afar with the disruptor rifle, but only with a precisely placed crotch shot. Any other shot will be easily dodged. The shadowtroopers do not appear to have this weakness, from what I could observe.. Though it’s a very versatile weapon and Star Wars junkies like myself were drooling at the mere thought of hearing the snap-hiss as their ancient Jedi blade ignited, actual one-on-one (or worse many-on-one) lightsaber combat in the game seems largely a matter of luck. There are three different fighting styles and a number of moves that can be executed, but about 50 percent of the time the battle comes down to a lucky slash that eviscerates Kyle or his opponent. As a result, most lightsaber battles were a frenetic flurry of mouse clicks and frantic spinning around to keep an opponent at least marginally lined up with the targeting reticle followed by a pained cry as one or the other was ultimately cut down in glorious slow motion.

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 FettThough not present in Outcast, the bounty hunter does make an appearance in Jedi Academy, as does Chewbacca (though not Han Solo)., Darth Vader, AT-ATs and the Millennium Falcon could have made it feel more like the genuine article. It’s Star Wars, and when Kyle is Force Pushing stormtroopers into those bottomless pits or leaping through the air while his lightsaber ignites with a satisfying hum, the annoying shortcomings don’t seem to matter.

11 thoughts on “Gamestuff: Jedi Outcast (Complete)”

  1. I played the game up til the tavern just after he gets his lightsaber. I always found lightsaber combat annoying in that game. Anyway, I killed everyone and then ran around in a small area with no exits for 15 minutes. Couldn’t figure out where to go from there. I uninstalled the game. Currently playing Empire at War, which is pretty cool. I blew up the Death Star this weekend, and now I’m playing through as the Empire.

  2. [Comment ID #8559 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Is that the taverns with the blue-skinned Chiss who talks in pluralses behind the counters? If so, after the big firefight, Kyle talks to the bartender again and learns that he needs to follow the garbage haulers. The only way to access the rest of Nar Shaddaa is to go to the second floor of the tavern and access the walkways from there. The second floor exit is almost directly above the door through which Kyle originally entered the tavern.

    There was one spot in the game where I needed to resort to the walkthrough just to figure out what to do next. After killing everyone in the mining facility (the second mission, I believe), I knew that I needed to get to an area that I hadn’t yet explored. I could see the entrance, but couldn’t get to it. I also knew that I’d need to hop aboard one of the hovering mining cars, and had figured out where to do so. Unfortunately, any time the mining car was in the proper position, the area was flooded with radiation, and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. The walkthrough pointed me to an exhaust shaft that I hadn’t previously seen, probably because I didn’t have the brightness configured properly.

    I’ve got Empire at War but haven’t played it as much as I should have. Perhaps I’ll play through the Rebellion campaign after I finish Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption. I see there’s an expansion for EaW available that lets you play as a smuggler-type. That sounds like it could be interesting.

  3. I might have to reinstall this game. I got halfway through the game on an old computer that really coudn’t handle it at the time. My current computer would create a much better experience and maybe get me to the end…

  4. [Comment ID #8595 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Reinstalling the game would also give you an opportunity to kill me with your Wookiee bowcaster, P.G.; something I know you’ve fantasized about for some time.

  5. [Comment ID #8655 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I haven’t, but I’d certainly like to. Jedi Outcast is my favorite multiplayer FPS on the PC.

    [Comment ID #8656 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I’ve you’ve still got it and want to play, send me an e-mail and we’ll get our lightsabers on.

  6. Would you be so kind and explein to me how to defet Fyyar armored with his exoskeleton?

    Wow. Let’s see if I remember any of that battle: I believe the enemy is outfitted in an exoskeleton that has some sort of personal forcefield generator. He’s also firing all sorts of nasty stuff at you, which makes it rather easy to die. You’re fighting him in a room that has a number of pillars within the perimeter wall and—if I recall correctly—Fyaar is unable to manuever directly behind those pillars, thus offering you the opportunity to get him temporarily hung up and unable to shoot you.

    Defeating Fyaar involves lots of running away, putting those pillars between you and him. At the same time, you’ve got to hit him with some kind of concussive force (I think) to momentarily disable the forcefield generator. Once the field is down, you can charge in and wail on him with your lightsabre, but I believe there is a specific spot on the armor that you need to destroy (probably to permanently disable the forcefield). I think that spot is fairly easy to recognize, but I apologize if that’s not the case; my memory is rusty, at best.

    Best to go into battle with a full load out of rockets, if you can. Hit properly (possibly from behind, but again I don’t recall exactly; it’s been a while), the forcefield should drop after one or two rockets. Then hit him a few times with your lightsaber until the forcefield comes back up (I think it might knock you off your feet when it is reactivated). Wash, rinse, repeat.

    Best of luck!

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