Lit The Dark Forces Saga

Discussion in 'Literature' started by DigitalMessiah, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    Dude, I had a dream last night where I came out on stage at the EA conference at E3 in the future and announced that Visceral games and I were making Star Wars: Dark Forces: Jedi Knight III: Knightfall, following Kyle and Jaden Korr both through the Yuuzhan Vong Invasion, with Jaden focused on fighting back against the Peace Brigade and Kyle doing commando raids against the Yuuzhan Vong. A next-gen hybrid of FPS, third-person lightsaber combat, platforming, stealth and flight sections. And since it was a game, we threw in levels based on every major battle in the invasion because screw continuity, including Duros, Mykr and both Coruscant and Yuuzan'tar. It was beautiful. Until I woke up.
  2. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Frankly, if EA want to do something to rebuild trust in the Star Wars gaming franchise, doing Jedi Knight 3 must surely be staring them in the face as a guaranteed win-win?

    Heck, the reboot even makes it easier on what story they wanted to tell, as they could practically do a remake of Dark Forces if they wanted-- not like video games don't regularly revisit the same characters and do their stories over.
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  3. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    This Jedi Academy hate has got to stop!
    [IMG]

    I feel like the Jedi Knight series is something that can't really co-exist with Star Wars as it became prequelized. Part of the appeal of the series is that the lightsaber was the magic sword, being a Jedi was an accomplishment, a rarity. It's the inverse ninja rule. When there's 10,000 Jedi and they all have magic swords they cease to be magic swords.

    It's why I never really got the appeal of armies of Jedi and Sith fighting each other. It's the same thing Stradley goes on about Boba Fett and the Mandalorians. Boba Fett is cool. A bunch of Mandalorians aren't. Maybe part of why I liked The Force Unleashed is that Starkiller took it to 11 and made himself unique again in that sense. Kyle is a Jedi and that's a rarity except for the Seven Dark Jedi he fights, and then prequelization happens and everyone is like Kyle, so to stand out again you introduce Starkiller which is another step up.

    I suppose now with the reboot, things may very well be reset back to where they were when Jedi Knight was released. I certainly feel like we're back to it with SW Rebels, and if the ST is bereft of Jedi, that may continue.
  4. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    No, the Academy hate is fine.

    The reason, btw, Kyle is powerful in JO is because a new generation of writers and fans had come to the franchise who wanted all the toys and none of the moral choice system and lack of fun. You'd literally see stupid kids wanting to be "good guys but with good force ligthening!!1!" all over the place. 'twas the same with KOTOR. You want to have "all the powers!!!1!" but none of the choice. The point with JK was that the light side took a while to power up but, used properly, could counter anything a DS Jedi through at you. But moreover, it ended with a Kyle who made choices to either rule the galaxy as Emperor, or to put demons to rest and follow a peaceful path.

    Inexplicably, and with a big gob of phlegm spat into the face of JK too, we get Outcast where he's still tortured! And has forgot "all the powers!!1" but can relearn them quickly as he gets his old saber back. Which he must have dropped as it's now blue. Sigh.

    The best thing they could have done was end the saga with JK. Why? Because the franchise is fantastic at overusing characters and stripping the mystery from them. These worlds were better before Kyle was shoehorned into everything, including meeting with Luke in JO or the awful rubbish in Abel's article.

    They could have just made another faceless Jedi for outcast's mechanics (and the game was 100% mechanics, 0% story) and we'd be richer for it.
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  5. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    I'd say Mysteries of the Sith did that first.

    I agree though I miss the nuance in which bad guys are identified by their use of bad guy powers.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Jul 20, 2014
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  6. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
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    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    The best part of Academy is Wedge's inexplicable Boston accent.
  7. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    killing Rosh is pretty satisfying
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  8. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    star 5
    I know, I can't believe you get the dark side ending for that. I fail to see the turn of events that goes from killing an extremely annoying traitor to killing Jedi to taking over a Star Destroyer.
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  9. Riv_Shiel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2014
    star 1
    I do like that in JK choosing dark side options and mindlessly slaughtering droids and civilians is what makes you fall to the dark side instead of one decision where you can choose what side you want to be and nothing else you do or have done matters.
  10. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    Jaden gave into his anger!

    I dunno, I don't want to ruffle any feathers but the whole idea of "Force powers" being quantified and being made dichotomous is really a gaming invention altogether that isn't present in the films, and I feel like that extrapolation led to some silly conclusions, as well as this view of moral choice consisting of "do I use Force lightning or not?" That's not moral choice, that's silly. And it's created this paradigm where real moral choices aren't examined because so long as the Jedi is using light side powers they're toeing the ethical line, which is why certain EU works examined the subject from this perspective.

    I almost wonder if WEG's treatment of the dark side wasn't inspired by this fundamentalist Christian panic over Satanism (in RPGs, no less) in the 1980s when the books were being written because it has this corrupting black magic tack to it where Jedi fall to the dark side because they really need to use the dark side powers this one time to survive or resolve a situation and it's like inviting the vampire inside or something. But that's not what happens. Jedi don't struggle with the thought "I could really use Force lightning this one time" and that's how they turn to the dark side. Anakin didn't turn to the dark side when he slaughtered Tuskens (but then I guess he didn't use dark side powers to do it so I dunno).

    It's a real chicken or egg scenario, do people use the Force to harm others and that causes them to turn to the dark side, or do they use the Force to harm others because they turned to the dark side. I can't see how it's satisfying from a character perspective to possibly use the former, because that's not character development, it's plot facilitated character derailment. The dark side made me do it is lame and completely fundamentalist Christian, and I really doubt if Lucas had that view of the universe he'd decide focusing on Anakin for the prequel trilogy was a good idea.
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  11. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    Exactly. Jedi was a difficult choice because it required a constant commitment to doing the right thing at all times, including killing at a last resort. I mean, if you disarmed every enemy in a level in JK and didn't kill them... it was pretty much in line with the image of Jedi at the time, including the WEG books. (If you recall, in HTTH, Luke tries every option and outright says killing is a last resort when dealing with the Noghri).

    There was no reason why a Jedi couldn't be attached, it was simply that they had to overcome their emotions to be objective defenders and protectors.

    Aaaaaand then we get the prequels, and suddenly being a Jedi is about cool powers!!1! and cool fighting!!1! and dual sabers and double-bladed sabers!!1! and everything is utterly terrible.

    I mean, the wider trend to overuse characters and to avoid creating new ones is one of the reasons I'm glad the EU has been ditched (did we really need 80 year old Han Solo? Come on!) and it's not Outcast's fault. But nothing we learned about Kyle after the end of JK made him, in my view, any better. He didn't need to be there for every event past, present and future. It was a nice story arc, leave it at that.

    Plus, let's face it. You could still walk-push a civ into a doorway on Nar Shadaa and close it on him, or punch a Gonk to death without going dark. You could have your consequence-free fun. Just less of it.

    Also, Barons Head might be my favourite level in a SW game.
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  12. Rogue Five Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2014
    star 2
    God I hate waking up from dreams like that.
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  13. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    @DigitalMessiah Just a game mechanic or not, as a game mechanic it was a good one that made JK a superior game compared to the silliness of being able to make yourself into an unstoppable death machine who was still a good guy, really, wink wink.

    Having light or dark come down to one isolated decision-- as in Outcast and Academy's cases-- was a far less satisfying game mechanic, as it made replaying remain just as linear, without your choices throughout the whole game meaning anything.

    I always had the same feeling about KOTOR, as while I thoroughly enjoyed both my light and dark playthroughs, it's silly that you can just reload a save an hour before the final boss and totally change the entire ending just based on that; I've replayed it countless times, but it'd have been more rewarding had I NEEDED to replay it to get that second ending, not just a quick reload.
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Jul 20, 2014
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  14. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    [IMG]

    The reason why the endings became last minute choices over an aggregate of choices is because designers decided they didn't like trapping players into one ending at the end of the game, that a choice made thirty minutes into the game locked the player into a specific ending. This is not just true of Star Wars games but sort of became an industrywide thing around 2000.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Jul 20, 2014
  15. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Indeed it has. And industry wide I hate it.

    A choice you make thirty minutes into the game does not trap you. The choices you make through the entire game do. If you've played a jackass the entire game, and spent 10 hours Force slamming civilians into walls, you deserve a bad ending.

    I dislike the modern inability of gamers to accept that the choices you make in life have consequences.

    I mean, sure, was I annoyed at the end of Mass Effect 3 that I couldn't talk the Illusive Man into giving up? You bet I was. I'd been practically a Paragon the entire time... but for maybe a couple of lapses here and there. But I made those lapses of judgement, I probably slept with an Asari or something that I shouldn't have, and in the end, I paid the price for those choices-- and why not? It's a roleplaying game, and my character had made bad choices here and there, so only fair that I can't suddenly say I'm Jesus at the very last minute.

    That's why I replayed the whole trilogy again afterwards. Isn't a game mechanic that motivates players to replay a game something a developer should want to include...?
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Jul 20, 2014
  16. darklordoftech Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 6
    I guess saber colors has replaced "dark side powers".
  17. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    re: Starkiller, my thing is I'm not arguing that Starkiller is a "good guy," he's a morally ambiguous guy, like Han Solo in the original film. I guess you could say the same about Kyle or Jaden, should you choose to play them that way.

    Obviously it's not the Jedi way, but I dislike that Star Wars has locked us in on the Jedi as the heroes (notwithstanding the fact that they've been moral hypocrites in the post-NJO). I don't think that the Force prohibits anti-heroes, I mean Starkiller is fundamentally acting out of self-interest except for one time.
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  18. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    The interesting thing with Starkiller is if you play through the game on the hardest difficulty setting, he actually doesn't feel like such an unstoppable force of destruction. Snipers hurt, and AT-STs are plain evil.

    Sure, he throws around a lot of flashy powers, but playing on Sith Master made me appreciate that there could be a valid reason why Jedi and Sith don't always use superpowered Force abilities as a first resort, due to just how limited theatricality is when an enemy actually knows how to shoot straight.

    I mean, okay, in some stories Force lightning incinerates people instantly, but in the films and most places you've gotta cook someone for a while first-- during which time someone else has put a blaster bolt through your skull.
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Jul 20, 2014
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  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    Well, yes and no. Solo is a mercenary who develops a conscience, and is a bit of a trope. Starkiller is a product, and that product doesn't have a moral code. We grew up on the original SW, WEG etc where the dark side was objectively evil, and using dark side powers made one evil. Mara spends the entire Thrawn Trilogy wrestling with the darkness. Starkiller is absolutely evil, except they had to find a way to shoehorn a bunch of mindless game mechanics into a game millenials would play, because if you looked ragged, sallow of skin and yellow eyes - "My god, Starkiller, you look like sith!" in other words - kids wouldn't relate. I can still has be goodie if I use force choke and froce lightenings!!1! etc.

    I like that you didn't have a single yes/no moment to become dark in JK; if you chose to play in a way that was indiscriminate in who you killed, you paid a price for that. You chose to be a jerk, and were rewarded with it. If you put yourself between civs and danger in Barons Hed, for example, then you were already the kind of person who finds the light side.

    I kind of think that DF and JK are this perfect arc that could have been ended there. Kyle, a former imperial turned Rebel Commando, puts his anger and aggression to bed. Bam. Done. No need for silly sequels with no story worth mentioning.
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  20. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    In the films, the threat that Luke would turn to the dark side wasn't because he choked some guards in Jabba's palace.
  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    Correct, though if they were as stupid as Jedi Academy the entire "what happens to Luke?" moment is literally when he shuts down his saber and throws it away, telling the emperor he was "made of fail" (I believe this is a direct quote).

    Whether or not Luke turned was contingent on his behavior to that point. He had, on net, not abused his power; not given into anger, fear or hatred, and at that crucial point when his GM says "you've got 2DSP; if you hit Vader again you'll get another and have to make a D6 check vs dark side points". He hadn't been a jerk. So when it comes down to that crucial moment (incidentally, if you are borderline or a bit dark, and you use ranged weapons on Maw, that seems to tip Kyle to the dark side), he's best placed to step back and say "I'll never turn to the dark side*".

    (* dreadful comics notwithstanding)
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  22. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    I don't view characterization as a matter of game mechanics.
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    I don't either, I was being a bit flippant with that line though.

    My point is, in order to turn to the dark side, there should be a believable element of darkness in the character. So, for Kyle, his mercenary background and lack of formal training made that possible, and the player steered him towards one path or the other. But it shouldn't just be "Evil power? Why yes, I'll take it" though I suppose that's about as much as it took for Mannequin Skywalker to become Vader...
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  24. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6

    I agree that someone needs to have believable motivations to "turn to the dark side." The problem I have always had with the WEG paradigm is that it's extremely extrapolative and it doesn't realize that correlation does not imply causation. Someone will use the Force for selfish means because they're a selfish person, they don't become a selfish person because they use the Force selfishly. Yet the paradigm for so long was that the most incorruptible Jedi will choose to use the dark side in some way out of necessity one time, and this will derail their incorruptibility through teh dark side until they're Darth Vader. There are thousands of tragedies written in literature in which a fundamentally good person is corrupted into an evil person without an external influence acting on them, they turn evil strictly through a character flaw.

    In Star Wars, it's too much hard work to figure out why a good person would turn bad, but that's fine because:
    [IMG]

    It's through this crap paradigm that we get this:
    [IMG]

    Kyle is Luke from the original Star Wars: his father was murdered by Jerec(Vader), and he's seeking to avenge his father, or get revenge. This is the risk Luke has for turning in Empire, and it's the risk Kyle has in Jedi Knight. This is understandable, we can understand why he would do bad things in pursuit of this goal. Likewise in Jedi Outcast, he believes that his love has been murdered. The problem I have with viewing the dark side as this corrupting force is that it's simply plot facilitated derailment at the expensive of real characterization, an excuse the author uses because they can't think of a real good reason for a character to turn bad. Well, he used the dark side and that's why. All the author has to do is contrive a reason for the character to use the dark side, and you have your bad guy.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Jul 20, 2014
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  25. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    it certainly can be that, but it isn't always exclusively. Along a similar lines, and in a way which had Anakin's fall mirrored this it would have been so much better, is the fall from grace of Arthas Menethil in the Warcraft universe (http://www.wowwiki.com/Arthas_Menethil). You need that kind of seed of darkness, the risk that it could go either way, to make it believable and, if it happens, tragic. I agree Darth Yawnus was problematic, because he turned on a time but in my view that's as unfulfilling as "despite only being a good, lightside, disarm and kill nobody Jedi, you strike down Rosh and your journey towards the dark side is com-plete" option.

    Could it be the problem with that "dark side slippery slope" position is one of population?

    Jedi were (and should be, as they're quite boring) rare at the time of JK. Therefore the odds of someone coming into contact with the force and being corrupted by virtue of inexperience and lack of guidance was slim, but it also meant there were more dark Jedi than light. As the EU slavishly and unimaginatively followed the lead of the films and made everyone Jedi and forgot to explore a compelling galaxy of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, the need to have all these different character types around meant "evil" became an arbitrary description, no? "Oh, um, Jacen was really light and heroic in NJO, let's make him Vader Mk2 now because plot. Driven forward".