Now Playing: Star Wars – Dark Forces (1995)

The Star Wars bug has not quite left me yet, and so I am forced to choose between the many excellent old Star Wars games out there to play again. I could have gone for the original Battlefronts, or the old Super Nintendo trilogy, or maybe Republic Commando, but in the end I decided to go with the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series.

Wow look at those high tech graphics. Listen to that intense midi sound. Experience the power of the keyboard-only control scheme! FEEL THE FORCE OF THE 2.5D GRAPHICS INDUCING SLIGHT VERTIGO SENSATIONS! but no. It was fun, really.

Yes it’s dated as fuck and a little clumsy to control, but it did have great atmosphere and level design for its time. Some of the designs were maybe a bit too complicated for their time even. Like one level where there are 2 elevators that go to multiple different floors each, and you explore all the floors and end up stuck because it turns out you need to leave both elevators positioned on the correct floors from the outside, then crawl through a duct that seems to just be a dead end with the elevator in its proper position, but actually turns out to lead through a series of ducts that involves climbing over the tops of both elevators so you can come out of another duct in the room with the key you need. I don’t know how you were supposed to figure that shit out as a kid. I’m lucky that I vaguely remembered something about it when playing it again.

This was before all them new-fangled nav points and such too so you were just left on your own to figure out where the hell your objective was in the huge, complex levels. Also, no save system! You have limited lives each level. This was pretty rough back in the day, but I actually had a surprisingly easy time with the game this time. I didn’t lose a level except for that one fucking Jabba the Hut level where you lose all your gear and have to punch out dragons and shit for half the level until you find it. That one is still tough as hell.

Overall it was still fun though. One thing I would maybe do differently is look into some mods or something that would allow me to change the controls to something better because manual turning and using the PgUp and PgDown keys to look up and down is fucking awful.

Anyway…now onto Dark Forces 2/Jedi Knight 1.

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