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A Small Wish: Dark Force Mod

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Mod rating: * * * (out of four) — 7/10 A big modification needs a vision. It needs some sort of mission, goal, aim, dream, objective... and a big mod that successfully fulfills that dream or
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vision is, theoretically, a good mod. This is why this mod, which you could probably call sloppy if you academically take everything into consideration, is good. In my mind, it\'s not sloppy when I know that it is trying to accomplish a certain goal. Its goal, I think, was partly to raise the level of power of just about everything that you can do that causes damage in multiplayer, which is partly accomplished by bringing elements of the singleplayer game into the multiplayer environment. It\'s a combination of powerful weapons, powerful Force powers, and other small changes that make this mod. Version three of Henry Christianto\'s \"Dark Force Mod,\" which requires [file=\"20459\"]Jedi Academy Patch 1.01[/file], permanently modifies part of the general configuration of the game and adds new bots, swords, a(n) NPC, and a vehicle; also included are new animations, moves, and effects that may (or may not) enhance your experience. It can be installed in one of two ways: the readme tells you to just put it in the base folder, which would change baseJKA to the Dark Force Mod (thus not allowing you to join other servers that don\'t use it), but you can also go into your GameData folder, create a folder (call it \"DarkForce\" or whatever), and drop the PK3 in there; this would enable you to play without any drawbacks in other servers that do not use Dark Force Mod, and still be able to use it yourself by going into Setup and pressing \"Load Mod\" to load it up. The default kata for dual sabers has been changed so that while you are performing the kata, you are standing and therefore can move around. I have a strong dislike of katas myself, but I can still tell you that it\'s a logical, well-executed change. Two more dual katas have been added: while running forward, perform a kata and you will spin and throw both of your sabers at your target; while running backward, perform a kata and you will spin in a similar fashion, but you will not throw your sabers. These were apparently things that Alora did in the single player game. Another important modification for the kata involves all of your other katas using other sabers. Performing a kata using any other saber will again not glue you to the floor—you can move around—and you can jump and change the direction of your kata. This is almost always more logical than the default allowed, and although you can\'t fight conventionally anymore because of these changes, it serves the mod in that it directly has to do with creating a certain level of over-the-top chaos. Various new single sabers have been added—all of which may be used in the single player—many of them actually being metallic swords. \"A Small Wish\" and \"Du Shang Xi Lou\" are two such metallic swords, except that \"Lou\" is a scepter and \"Wish\" is a plain sword. I did not like how they both have a longer range than the visible model shows, but nevertheless these are two powerful swords. Strike someone and it will do a lot of damage and you will see a red electrical image where you hit them—some sort of spirit blood? When you hit the ground or any other part of the map with them, a large bang and an explosion of energy occurs that knocks back anyone within a fair radius; this seems to be how the final level of the single player was fighting the cowardly Tavion. \"Ni Zhe Me Shuo\" is a lightsaber with a double-length blade and double radius; it continues to spin on the way back from the saber throw, which seems dangerous because I would not want a spinning blade of death coming towards me. The \"Zheng Ming Ni Yi Qie\" is a staff saber that is actually chosen from the single saber menu so that you can throw it and use single blade kata moves. Throwing a saber staff isn\'t exactly high in safety from its elongated length, and the idea of single saber katas with a staff I feel is somewhat strange and could probably result in annoying clipping; however, this exaggeration of power is to be expected. One more saber exists that works only in singleplayer: the \"White Saber\" or \"Crayons\" (if it\'s called \'Crayons,\' why is it white?), and can be accessed in singleplayer if you activate cheats and run the command in the console \"\\saber crayons.\" The Force is modified to make it much more powerful and have a longer duration and radius, and nothing seems too over-the-top; the author here executed it just right. He claims that we can use Light and Dark at the same time and that when we spawn, both Light and Dark are available to us, but this didn\'t seem to work for me. This does not really matter though, because I enjoyed it even without that feature. A nifty, powerful flame thrower is available when you are on the \"fists\" weapon and use Force Lightning level three, great in many ways except that the charred surrounding area looks awkward and buggy. The power of push and pull has been multiplied to the more realistic level: using them actually knocks around your opponent as it should. I was annoyed that the model makes a sound whenever you jump now, but I was also surprised to find that you can jump really quite high in level three. What\'s really nice is the Force Seeing power, which makes the identification of people really clear due to the increased intensity of the colorations of other characters. Overall, the exaggeration of Force powers and the speed at which they can be used really make this mod what it is, for the most part. The author made some interesting changes to the animations, and I like some of them, but not all of them. It\'s nice to be able to walk normally now like you could in [i]Jedi Outcast[/i]; the [i]Academy[/i] default walking animation I thought was rather atrocious (who walks like that?) in its original form. The lightsaber turn on/off animation I think is nice, but unnecessary; it\'s the singleplayer animation where your hand sort of flips. I really didn\'t like the jumping animation, because it makes you look like a Jedi performing in a ballet, and sometimes it became awkward, sometimes even buggy. A major problem that I had a lot was that I went into undying mode and began to fight NPCs or bots and suddenly my player model would stiff up; the animations would not run, even though my saber still went where I wanted it to go. It\'s like not being able to feel your arm at all, but you can still move it and perform actions with it. I really didn\'t like the animations that occurred whenever you\'re wielding any added sword that wasn\'t a lightsaber—you would begin to do some sort of elegant victory gloat, and it got really annoying because the animation starts the moment you \"ignite\" a sword. Anyway, what I thought was probably my favorite animation was the added one that makes you hold your arm in shock because your hand got chopped off; it was in JK2, but was missing from JK3, and now we have it. The new Force power animations didn\'t seem all that wonderful, but they weren\'t necessarily bad. I mentioned before that I really don\'t like the \"Alora ballet-jump,\" but I do like some of these, like the wave-hand mind trick. The others seemed merely \"okay,\" mostly somewhat unnecessary changes that don\'t seem to add anything exciting to the game. We\'ve seen these Force changes before, and they never did seem to improve the daily life of Jedi. We\'re now supplied with a slightly less than perfect melee weapon (fists and feet) and a delightfully powerful Bryar pistol. I liked the author\'s choice to change the Bryar pistol to this as opposed to any other weapon; the shots fit the fatness of the gun. It now has unlimited ammunition for the normal AT-ST shots, and its secondary fire is now a grenade launcher which seems to fire thermal detonators that explode on impact, creating metallic debris (the debris probably should have looked more generic and less metallic, but I still admire it merely because I\'ve never seen debris from the firing of a gun before). They\'re pretty powerful, and people seemed to have a hard time deflecting the AT-ST shots with their swords; however, the shots can be shoved back with Force push. The author\'s readme claimed that you\'re given the Bryar pistol by default in the game, but you\'re not, which is a bug that needs to be fixed so that people don\'t have to type \"\\give all.\" I\'m not entirely sure that I like the author\'s decision to place all servers using this mod in cheat mode by default. The author also added some moderately intuitive console commands, and I guess you could say that one could have fun in undying mode. Using console commands led me to a stranger problem (?) with the mod: the language. Using certain commands returns a response from the mod, a response that seems to be in either gibberish or a language just too foreign to me. This didn\'t affect gameplay however; I still knew what I was doing. Some other silly bugs existed, one being that spawning an AT-ST NPC results in a non-functional AT-ST that doesn\'t seem to want to turn its head towards me, and occassionally a robotic voice would say into the map (any map, not just Siege mode) \"Perimeter defenses online.\" I have no idea why, but I guess the author should crack down on random stuff like that. I liked the additional bots, NPC, and vehicle. What I thought was questionable—sometimes it sounded great and sometimes it was annoying—was the sounds that were added after successful use of certain Force powers. Especially unnecessary and also sometimes stupid were the taunts that played when you failed to push someone: they didn\'t always seem to be the right taunts. Also, I really don\'t need to hear characters gloat every single time they kill someone will Sith Lightning; that could be more moderated. What would be really nice is if it would only be when you manage to kill multiple people with one shot—then the character gloats. I don\'t think you can do that, but it sure would be a chance for bonus creativity points for the author. In the long run, it seems like these features aren\'t needed, but then why would the author make it? He is not one of those modders who make the mod for no rational, mature reason. He has his true target audience who love over-the-top action, and anyone within that target audience will probably be ecstatic. —Ra-Kom

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dark_force_3.zip
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Date Added:
15/10/2005
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