MobyGames Classic: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II community stories

Shacknews readers share their own stories revolving around the classic Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, the latest game inducted into the "MobyGames Classic" series on


Last Friday we announced 1997's Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II was the next addition our growing list of video game classics, presented by

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II finally gave Star Wars fans the power that they've always wanted: the ability to use a lightsaber. Released as a follow-up to LucasArts' first shooter, Dark Forces, it continued the story of the mercenary Kyle Katarn as he raced against Sith Lord Jarec to find the legendary Valley of the Jedi, and realize his true Force potential.

Many folks like Shacknews user reznory remembers Jedi Knight quite fondly, especially it's vertigo-inducing level design. He calls it "One of the best FPS of all time," adding that, "The vertical scale in most levels was insane. I actually felt the sensation of being afraid of heights."

Shacknews user timmie concurs. "The scale of the maps in that game were awesome," he writes. "The one map where you have to walk along some girders of a bridge freaked me the fuck out when I was a kid. It felt like I was 10 miles up in the air."

For Shacknews user jipey, Jedi Knight served as an early inspiration to get into game development. "JK was the game that lured me into editing," he states. "The user community developed a custom level editor (JED), documented JK's scripting language (COG), and shared dozens of tutorials and hundreds of levels and mods. The homegrown nature of the editing community inspired creativity and openness long before any gamers got their hands on engines like Epic's UDK."

"I can't believe the game came out when I was 11 years old; looking back 14 years later, it's hard not to smile as I prepare to start a gig at an awesome game studio," jipey writes. "Bigger team, faster computers, but it's still a community of dedicated folks working to inspire and entertain. Thanks for starting me on this journey, Kyle Katarn. Even if you did find a lightsaber in your dad's garage and call yourself a Jedi."

Check out the original Chatty thread for more stories and memories from Chrono Trigger.

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II on

Kyle Katarn, a former mercenary and now an ally of the rebels, discovers that he is in fact a Jedi, and is on a quest to find his lightsaber and learn the techniques of the Force. The evil Sith lord Jerec, who was responsible for the death of Kyle's father, is on a quest of his own, searching a mythical place called Valley of the Jedi, where his dark powers could be unleashed. Will Kyle be able to stop Jerec and become a true Jedi without falling to the dark side?

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II is a sequel to Dark Forces. The game is set in Star Wars universe and its events occur after those depicted in the movie Return of the Jedi (Episode VI). Primarily a first-person, 3D shooter, the game also allows the player to switch to third-person perspective. Kyle can use blasters and rifles to take care of his enemies, and later in the game is also able to fight enemies with a lightsaber.

    MobyGames Classic is our chance to look back at the games that helped shape the video game industry with the help of our sister site It combines a short history lesson on the title and anecdotes from the Shacknews community.

    From The Chatty
    • reply
      January 5, 2012 2:00 PM

      Shack Staff posted a new article, Moby Games Classic: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II community stories.

      Shacknews readers share their own stories revolving around the classic Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, the latest game inducted into the "Moby Games Classic" series on

      • reply
        January 6, 2012 11:02 AM

        Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 was a seminal game for me and in many of the same respects as the previous commentors. The level design in the game was groundbreaking for the time with few games matching the openess and scale of its levels even five years on.

        More significantly though was the (unintentional) openess of the game's scripting and assets. Modding and "hacking" Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II was my first realization that maybe one day I could program games too. I didn't follow up on that dream until recently but this month it comes true as I begin work as a programmer at EA.

        While elements of the game have not aged well, it certainly deserves being labeled as a "Classic" and being mentioned in the same breath as Half Life, which tends to overshadow it in terms of popular legacy.

    Hello, Meet Lola