Phew, well that took longer than expected to complete ;) *Takes a VERY deep breath* Ok, on with the show eh? A little introduction is probably required first, so here's the history for you. Dark Forces was the first game in the Jedi Knight Series (Dark Forces, Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, Jedi Knight, Jedi Knight II e.t.c), and it came out way way back when I got my first PC. In fact, the original game was probably the first FPS I ever played and in that respect I think I know the game pretty well :) This file is basically a remake of that game for Jedi Academy. What the team for this mod has done is taken the old game and completely transferred it onto JKA, new textures, new sounds, better all around you could say.
There are three demo levels in this mod, all of them fairly large, but you have to play them in order, starting with the good old imperial base. I spawned in a small lift and the grate opens into a narrow corridor, exactly as I remembered it from the original game. Here comes my biggest and worst point about the entire first two levels of the demo. FPS. It's absolutely awful, and running around this level is absolutely horrifying. It doesn't go too low, i.e below 10, but in the cavern area it never goes above 20 either. If a little more attention to VIS had been used, and techniques such as area-portaling, some indoor areas could have been vastly improved. The same applies to the second city level. Whilst it looks fantastic, and the weather effects are stunning, the map may be verging on 'unplayable' for those with lower spec PC's. However, this is THE worst thing about the mod, because pretty much everything else is great :D (As you'd expect from three years work)
After stealing the plans from the imperial base in level 1, you're treated to some remakes of the original cut-scenes which are very nice indeed. The downside is that the character's mouths don't move which looks a little silly, but the whole effect is simply jaw-dropping. This leads you onto Level 2. (My favourite) Set on a planet called Talay, a city-typed area called Tak-Base has come under fire from the imperial forces and their new 'secret' weapon (A.K.A Dark Trooper.) Spawning into this level and I was instantly greeted with some intense weather effects and some brilliant ambient noise. Then I was off through the city, trying to find the power generator. It was a pain at first as its so darn easy to get lost, but when you get there and turn all the lights on the city is much brighter and well, you get the idea.
Onto the musical aspects. Each level comes with the same music it had in the original game, except remade so it isn't so midi-like. Whilst this is accurate to the game, they're not that amazing to listen to anymore, and the transition between the action music and the stealth music isn't always as smooth as it could have been. My example here would be the title credits you see when you first load a new game. Whilst the music is what it sounded like in the original game, it would have been much better to have put the orchestrated version here because it sounds so much better!
There are a few new enemies to kick around, like the sewer monsters in level 3, but the animations need tweaking slightly to make them more lifelike. As they stand, they look like cardboard cut-outs when they die ;) The weapons here are also from the original game, but the two you'll use the most in this demo are pretty much the same as the JKA versions. (The Bryar pistol and the E11) You also get thermal detonators, but I was disappointed there were none of the cooler weapons available to test out. All health and ammo pickups have been altered to resemble those from the original game, as has the HUD. The startup menus have also been changed, now being more green and saying "Dark Forces" instead of Jedi Academy. But for the final, please get rid of the annoying button-click sounds, they are far too loud and repetitive!
What else? I'm not going to go into describing the depth and detail of the levels because it would take far too long. Just have a look at the screenshots and then test it yourself to from your own opinion. :) Oh yes, the enemy AI. I don't know whether it's the default JKA which I'm criticising here, but sometimes I could be stood behind an enemy, or sometimes even in front of them and they wouldn't notice I was there, whilst other came after me from halfway around the level (Stupid interrogator droids ;) ) My favourite level was Talay because I love cityscapes, but the best to play was Anoat Sewers because the framerate there was vastly improved. I'm sure there's plenty more I've forgotten to mention, such as the cool cutscenes and briefing screens, but If you download the mod you can see for yourself! I believe with some fiddling this demo will also work on a MAC. Check the developer's website for more info.
The Dark Forces team would like to thank the following organizations for helping make the Dark Forces MOD for Jedi Academy a reality. ------------------------------------------------ Raven Software Lucas Arts Entertainment JediKnight dot net SourceForge dot net The Gaming Union dot co dot uk Wired Lamp Studios Lucas Files dot com Honorary Team Members - for their invaluable contributions ----------------------------------------------------------- Simon "Sock" O'Callaghan for the excellent (and FREE) skyboxes Tony "DarkSaber" Denton and Derek Del Rio for the Moldy Crow model Karsten A. Loepelmann for the official Dark Forces FAQ Tobias "Phantom Lord" for working on Secret Base Patrick Haslow for Secret Base textures Barry Brien for Secret Base textures Patrick Martin for the detab tool Matthew Hallaron for Secret Base, Talay textures Duncan for the Gamorrean Guard model William Feht for the Sewers textures Christian "MilesTeg" for the original Secret Base version Dark Forces MOD was created with the following tools ---------------------------------------------------- Cool Edit Pro 3D Studio Max WinZip Milkshape Photoshop Paint Shop Pro Various GNU/Linux distributions (Debian, RedHat, Storm, Libranet) Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP Roland Sound Canvas SC-88 Premiere JK Radiant GTK Radiant wEdit ICQ mIRC Q3ASE NullSoft Installer EasyGen Original Dark Forces Credits ---------------------------- Producer - Daron Stinnett Lead Artist - Justin Chin 3D Engine - Ray Gresko Story - Justin Chin Programming - Aaron Stinnet, Ray Gresko, Winston Wolff Game Design - Justin Chin and the Dark Forces Team Level Design - Ingar Shu, Jim Current, Matthew Tateishi, Brett Tosti Tools - Winston Wolff Texture Artwork - Chris Hockabout, Patrick Sirk, Tom Payne Texture Placement - Aaron Muszalski, Chriss Ross 3D Artwork - Ralph M Gerth IV, Scott Baker, David Vallone, Ron Lussier, Bill Stoneham 2D Cutscene Artwork - Justin Chin, Jon Knoles Art Technician - Aaron Muszalski Cutscene Video Effects - Michael Levine, C. Andrew Nelson, Mark Christiansen Animations - Leonard Robel, Gordon Baker Additional Art Design - Paul Mica Music and Orchestration - Clint Bajakian Digital Sound Effects - Clint Bajakian Starring the Voice Talents of: Kyle Katarn - Nick Jameson Jan Ors - Julie Eccles Rom Mohc - Jack Angel Mon Mothma - Peggy Roberts-Hope Imperial WO - Nick Jameson Stormtrooper - Denny Delk Dying Rebel - Denny Delk Narrator - Denny Delk Darth Vader - Scott Lawrence Voice Directing and Editing - Khris Brown Voice Producer - Tamlynn Barra Executive Producer - Steve Dauterman Project Coordination - Dan Conners REQUIRED DISCLAIMER ------------------- Dave "Darth Linux" Turner Spokane, WA USA [email protected] THIS LEVEL IS NOT MADE, DISTRIBUTED, OR SUPPORTED BY LUCASARTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC. ELEMENTS TM & (C) LUCASARTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC AND/OR ITS LICENSORS.
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