Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (abbreviated to Jedi Knight and Dark Forces II) is a first-person shooter computer game. It was developed and published by LucasArts and released on October 9, 1997. It was made available on Steam on September 16, 2009. It is based on the Star Wars franchise and is a sequel to Star Wars: Dark Forces. Jedi Knight was received very well by critics, obtaining an 87% aggregate score on GameRankings and 91% on Metacritic. The storyline in Jedi Knight follows Kyle Katarn, the protagonist of Dark Forces. Katarn's father had been murdered by a Dark Jedi over the location of The Valley of the Jedi. Katarn follows the Dark Jedi to the valley to confront his father's killers. Jedi Knight adds some technical and gameplay improvements over its predecessor. It uses a more powerful game engine that supports 3D acceleration using Direct3D 5.0. Jedi Knight also includes a multiplayer mode that allows players to compete over the internet or a local area network. On January 31, 1998, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith was released as an expansion to Jedi Knight. The game was a large success and as a result, the next game in the series followed in 2002, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.
Jedi Knight is primarily a first-person shooter but offers the choice of a third person view. The game consists of 21 levels with objectives that the player must complete before being able to continue to the next level. There are weapons available in each level and after level three the player has the use of a lightsaber, along with the Force. In addition to being an effective weapon, the lightsaber is also a useful tool for the player, providing light in dark areas, deflecting incoming blaster fire and cutting through some obstacles.
A battle with Imperial stormtroopersEdit
There are three types of Force powers; light, dark and neutral. Light Force powers provide nonviolent advantages such as being able to restore health or persuade enemies to ignore the player. Dark Force powers are violent and give the ability to throw objects or choke enemies. Neutral powers enhance athletic abilities such as being able to jump higher or run faster. There are fourteen powers in total, four of each type and a bonus power in each light and dark if the Jedi stays true to that path. Players earn stars to allocate toward Force powers by completing specific levels. By finding all the secrets in a level, a player can also gain one bonus star to use. Between levels, the player can choose which Force powers to enhance by allocating stars to that power. Stars cannot be reclaimed from powers later on.
Levels contain puzzles that may require use of the Force to overcome, or by locating objects in the level. There are a variety of hostile and non-hostile non-player characters (NPCs) within each level that the player can interact with. Other enemies include monsters and vehicles.
There are two endings to Jedi Knight which depend on how the player plays the game. If the player does not harm non-hostile NPCs and focuses on collecting light Force powers then the game will end with the light side ending. Conversely if the player harms non-hostile NPCs and collects dark Force powers then the game will end with the dark side ending.
Jedi Knight includes a multiplayer mode that allows up to eight people to compete with each other on a local area network and up to four people online. Online gaming was hosted by the MSN Gaming Zone.
The player creates an avatar within Jedi Knight and selects a ranking. The higher the ranking the more Force powers will be available to use by the avatar. The player can also edit their avatar's "skin" and lightsaber color. There are two types of game that can be played in Jedi Knight's multiplayer mode, capture the flag and Jedi Training mode, similar to deathmatch. The players can customize the settings to play the deathmatch the way they desire, for example limiting the use of Force powers or playing on teams.
The story is set one year after the events of Return of the Jedi. The player controls Kyle Katarn, who made his first appearance as a mercenary in Dark Forces. Katarn meets with an information broker droid named 8t88 who tells Katarn that his father, Morgan Katarn, was killed by a Dark Jedi named Jerec, who also intends to rebuild the Empire. Kyle retrieves a disk from the droid that can only be read by a droid belonging to Morgan at his home. The disk's message, coupled with the droid giving Kyle a lightsaber, compel Kyle to undertake a journey to confront his father's murderers and to discover his own latent Force abilities. While on this journey, Kyle learns that seven Dark Jedi are intent on finding the "Valley of the Jedi", a focal point for Jedi power and a Jedi burial ground.
Katarn retrieves the Valley's location and travels with Rebel agent and close friend Jan Ors to Ruusan, the planet on which the Valley is located. Jerec captures Ors and offers Katarn the decision to execute her or die. The choice Katarn makes here depends on the player's actions within the game up to this point. If Katarn falls to the dark side he kills Ors, but if he remains true to the light path he spares her. With both paths, Katarn has a final confrontation with Jerec in the Valley of the Jedi's core. If the player chose the dark path, the game ends with Katarn becoming the new Emperor; if the player chose the light side, the game concludes with Katarn being reunited with Ors and carving a monument to his dead father.