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Best Moments from Jak and Daxter

November 27, 2012

On the 5th of November one of the greatest duos in console history celebrated their 10th anniversary and, no, it’s not Jak and Daxter, in fact it’s their awesome counterparts Ratchet and Clank. I really did want to write something celebrating this great milestone but I had recently reviewed the entire HD collection of Ratchet and Clank and couldn’t quite rush back just yet (even though they are awesome).

So instead, I’m giving you my best moments from the Jak and Daxter series. These are plot-point spoilers and generally about individual segments or missions from the games. So please enjoy.

  • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy – The Dark Eco trap in the underwater Lost Precursor City

The title says it all. While exploring the underwater city, Jak and Daxter find themselves frantically sprinting and leaping upwards, all the while the Dark Eco well underneath slowly climbs higher towards. Without your raw skill and ability this could be a tough challenge and this little chase speaks a lot about the game. It’s about two luckless losers overcoming the biggest obstacles and proving to themselves that they do have what it takes to be heroes.

  • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy – Fighting the giant Lurker Klaww

You big meanie!

The giant Lurker Klaww has been terrorising Rock Village for months, slinging enormous burning boulders onto the terrified residents. Jak will not be swayed in his quest; a mute innocent looking blonde kid and his loud mouthed orange pet, make their way slowly up the cliff-face and do battle with Klaww. Managing to defeat Klaww is really rewarding and it is one of the best moments in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Just like before, Jak and Daxter are starting to show the world they are the true heroes they have been waiting for.

  • Jak 2: Renegade – Ride Elevator up to Palace

Long Way Down!

Jak is pissed and wants to get to his tormentor of two years, Baron Praxis. One problem: the Baron hasn’t accepted any of Jak’s tea party invites so Jak has to make his way into the palace and take care of business. But he can’t just go through the front door, so him and Daxter must ride an elevator up on the palace’s support cables and make their way across the extension cable right to the roof of the palace! Even if Jak 2 was on the PS2, the view this mission gives you of the entire of Haven City and the surrounding areas is amazing. It really makes you feel like you are this small person trying to affect this world you find yourself in and you get totally immersed in the drama of clambering your way over the titanic support cable, the palace slowly dominating your skyline. Even though you will have mastered most of the platforming elements by now, throwing Jak into this kind of knife-on-a-string situation where one slip means death, makes you really feel like you are accomplishing a great feat of death-defying acrobatics. It’s moments like this that Jak 2 became more than a game, and more like a real tangible world. We have all had that sense of awe seeing a city or town from an elevated viewpoint. It makes you think and feel, and that’s why this moment in Jak 2 always remains one of the most lingering for me.

  • Jak 2: Renegade  – get Seal Piece at Water Slums

Second Left, Right, Right, Left, Right, Straight On, Second right, Right, Straight On. Very simple directions, but one of the single pieces of Jak 2 that still fills me with dread. Having grabbed a Piece of Mar’s Seal from Bruter’s house in the water slums, Jak is ambushed by the entire Krimson Guard (or so it seems). Simple, first thing you do: grab a speeder and race off. Ok they’ve all disappeared, right OK, just hover-board under all the walkways to the other side. Nope a little robot comes out of nowhere and shoots you dead. Looks like there is only one way out of this. Yeah Jak has to shoot, kick, punch his way to the other side through an infinite waves of drop-ships and Krimson Guard. I love this mission because it puts Jak’s back against a wall and he does the only thing he can. Kick-ass. It also really shows how up against it all Jak really is. He really will have to fight Haven city to save it from Baron Praxis’ iron-fisted rule. This is still one of the most fun, challenging and rewarding missions in the game. I dread doing it but I love playing it, and that’s why its a top moment for me.

  • Jak III – Defend Port From Attack

It’s war in Haven City and there is a wave of Metal-Heads and KG Death-bots attacking the port, it’s up to Haven’s savior to redeem himself and protect the city that betrayed him. The top-down look really throws you off for a second, but soon you are smashing up Death-bots and blasting holes into Metal-heads. Also, the sudden lack of weapons: you are given only the blaster with other weapons randomly spawning with limited ammo. This makes the action much more hectic. The one stand-out feature of this mission is at the climax: Jak and a wave of Freedom League Guard fight against a K.G Blast Bot. Naughty Dog managed to make you involved in a war that’s only been hinted at, but occasionally BOOM you are suddenly forced right into the thick of it. This is the kind of moment you remember, not only because of the unconventional view-point but what the mission represents within the story and feel of the game.

  • Jak III – Rescue Wastelanders

Who you gunna call!?

Imagine it: Jak racing between the streets of Spargus City, the sound of an approaching sand-storm, pulling his scarf down over his face and strapping his goggles on, jumping into the Sand-shark buggy (a reference to enemies in Ratchet and Clank’s first outing) and racing out of the city. The shunt as the heavy winds slam into the dune-buggy, the sand ripping and tearing at Jak’s fingers which are wrapped around the wheel. I love this mission because it really defines Jak as a real hero, even in the most humble way. He would dangle his own life above the jaws of death for people he never knew and will never meet again. The different between this and many other of the missions is that Jak’s life doesn’t seem genuinely in danger, Jak can fight through waves of Krimson Guards and Metal-Heads, but even he can’t stop the forces of nature. Not only do you have to fight against the merciless pounding of nature and the ticking of the clock, but you also have to fight a giant dark machine from the outer reaches of space (not kidding, it happens), leaving you only moments to get back before Jak is ripped apart by the storm. It’s so satisfying to speed into the safety of Spargus city, and doing a sweet handbrake stop. No big. It’s all in a days work for Jak!

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