LucasArts Entertainment Company's Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II is one of the first of the next generation of "Quake Killers" to be released. The original Dark Forces was one of the most popular Doom clones because of the quality levels, graphics, and effects. For Jedi Knight, LucasArts chose not to license the latest 3D engine from id Software, instead using an engine developed in house by a talent team. This technology, while it does have certain limits, has many strengths that will make Jedi Knight a viable contender in the struggle for market share.
As its name would imply, Jedi Knight is set in the world of George Lucas's Star Wars. You see an exciting series of levels through the eyes of Kyle Katarn. Like the movie character, you gain skill and technique as you develop as a Jedi Knight. And, just like Luke Skywalker, Katarn must choose between the light side and the dark side of the force. An impressive selection of weapons are at your disposal, but the force is always your greatest ally. Here is the story from LucasArts:
You play Kyle Katarn, the mercenary hero from Dark Forces who successfully infiltrated the Empire. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II continues the story of Katarn as he embarks on a quest into his past and learns the mysterious ways of the Jedi. Your father has been murdered by Jarec, the most powerful of seven Dark Jedi. Jerek wants to unlock the Force energy of thousands of past Jedi Knights held in a hidden Jedi burial ground. Your father died keeping the burial ground's location a secret from Jerec. As Kyle, you must stop Jerec's evil quest and avenge the death of your father. This task forces Katarn to decide his destiny. If he chooses the dark side, he will come into enormous power. If he chooses the light side, he faces seemingly insurmountable evil. Whatever path Katarn chooses will change the face of the galaxy forever.When Kyle initially discovers the Force, he is uncommitted to either side. Eventually, he develops his Force powers and must make a choice. During the game, your actions help determine your alignment to either the dark or light side. If you choose the light side, you'll stop Jerec from unleashing his evil on the galaxy. If you choose the dark side, you'll want to stop him and seize the power for yourself. To find the powerful burial ground, you'll need to follow scant clues left by your dead father and his allies. Along the way, you aspire to become a Jedi Knight yourself, though whether it's a good or an evil Jedi is yet to be determined.
Jedi Knight has many of the features that are becoming the standard for new First-Person Shooters, including GL support for 3dfx graphics cards, support for a version of Capture the Flag, and true 3D. Ironically, on of the games greatest strengths is also its primary weakness: Jedi Knight has all but eliminated the lag so typical in other multi-player games, but the game only has support for 8 players in multi-player mode. Many people have been drawn to the game because of the ability to play over a 28.8 modem as if you were on a local area network, but it is too early to determine if this interest will sustain an active Jedi Knight community on the web.
On October 2, 1997, Lucas Arts released a playable demo of Jedi Knight. The demo was very well received and generated much excitement when the full retail version hit store shelves on October 9, 1997. The level includes several levels from Jedi Knight. Microsoft's DirectX Version 5 must be installed to play the demo, and can be downloaded here.
It must be the dream of every gaming company to receive the type of support provided by JediKinght.Com. If you are going to play Jedi Knight, or just wish to learn more about the game, you must go here first. The site contains every scrap of information available about Jedi Knight, detailed background information to a large "walkthru" of the levels. This site also hosts half a dozen excellent sites dedicated to different aspects of Jedi Knight, including active editing teams.
Last update: December 28, 1997
This page is maintained by Darren L. Tabor,