Airships are vehicles featured in the Jak and Daxter series. They are aircraft typically large in size, distinguished from other anti-gravity vehicles like zoomers in that they are high and variable-altitude as opposed to low and/or fixed-altitude, and use jet engines (sometimes with propellers) instead of traditional aircraft mechanics like balloons. Airships were used only in special cases throughout most of the series, as most of civilization was very secluded, making the use of zoomers or buggies evenly sufficient. In The Lost Frontier, however, airships were commonplace and the primary methods of traveling within locations due to the remarkable landscape and large scope of the Brink.
Airships first appeared in Jak II, belonging exclusively to the Krimzon Guard, including the airship tanker, eco tanker, and air train, only the latter of which was used by Jak. In Jak 3, Jak used a modified version of the HellCat cruiser, which was capable of high, variable-altitude flight, technically making it an airship instead of a zoomer like its predecessor. KG Death Bot KG fighters made an appearance as minor enemies as well.
Airships did not make another appearance until The Lost Frontier, both in the form of flagships, the ACS Behemoth and Phantom Blade, but much more notably as planes: personal jet aircraft most commonly used as fighters and long-distance personal transport. Jak accumulated a sizable collection of his own planes by the end of The Lost Frontier, and could use them from the Phantom Blade's hangar. The Aeropan Navy also commissioned several different fighter planes, auxiliary aircraft, and large transport airships. Plane races were an available minigame on Brink Island and Sector Zero, organized by ace pilot Dirk Hardpeck.
Each of Jak's planes is capable of three standard ways of flight: boosting by holding , which speeds up the aircraft; braking, by holding , which slows it down; and coasting or cruising by using neither of these. Boosting will have to be used to keep chasing enemy aircraft, or to get away from them. It severely limits turn rate and navigation capabilities, however, but does offer more stability. Braking is in turn the reverse of boosting, as it greatly increases turn rate and decreases speed. It is often useful for showering upon a stationary enemy with a weapon, such as the Phantom Blade or shield generators at the abandoned research rig. Jak can also utilize a series of special maneuvers to dodge enemy fire and remove the lock-on of their weaponry. These maneuvers are the barrel roll, either to the left or right with or , respectively, which effectively throws the ship sideways; the loop, used by pressing , which will often put yourself directly behind aircraft which was previously chasing you, turning the tables on them; and the slip turn, activated by pressing , which allows for a mid-air brake and immediate turn-around of 180 degrees mid-flight.
Lastly, Jak can use Daxter to perform a gameplay mechanic called Daxterjacking, in which he launches Daxter at an enemy ship through the grappling tube. From there, Daxter can steal scrap, weapons, and modifications and ultimately destroy the enemy ship.
Enemy planes are typically equipped with a set of standard machine guns, which also goes for the majority of mounted turrets. However, Jak can field two different weapons at once (sometimes three) out of a total of ten available weapons. These range from standard projectile weapons like the aforementioned machine gun, to flak cannons, lasers, chain lightning guns, Vulcan Cannons, and missile-based weaponry like the ground attack rocket, slow homing missile, lock-on missile, swarmer missile, and the incredibly powerful Armageddon warhead.
Plane mods are used to improve the performance, strength, or damage output of a plane, as well as more specific and unique purposes such as repairs, targeting enemies, reloading, grappling, and Daxterjacking. There is a set number of mods available throughout the game, some of which you start with by default or acquire during missions, or as a reward from completing side missions. However, some others can only be bought from the Phantom Blade console in the hangar or via Daxterjacking ships after gaining progress through the game.
Airships and planesEdit
|Hellcat||The first plane with which Jak, Keira and Daxter set out to search for the cause of the eco shortage along the brink. Was eventually downed by Daxter when he shot into the ship, subsequently repaired and then shot down again by the Sky Pirates. Was used in the final mission "Stop the Behemoth" with a special modified light eco beam with which they destroyed the ACS Behemoth. Average in comparison to the rest with a low amount of slots.|
|Sky Raider||The Sky Pirates' preferred combat plane, typically used in groups of three to support the Phantom Blade but also seen in larger groups when their mothership is not present. Small and fast, it performed similar to the Hellcat but with an additional ground attack rocket slot and the largest number of modification options.|
|Bomber||Stolen from the Aeropans and given to Jak by Phoenix after defending Far Drop. Large, bulky and very powerful due to its standard load-out of three ground attack rockets, but lacking in standard weapon slots. Also has a low turn rate and air speed.|
|Interceptor||Stolen from the Aeropans' abandoned research rig by Jak. It is a unique fixed-wing aircraft, it is among the fastest and most maneuverable of aircrafts. Has few modification slots and low armor, but makes up for it with a rather large amount of weapon slots|
|Gunship||Eventually offered to Jak from a pirate near the end of the game for 15,000 scrap. The only weapon with two sets of five-slot weapon mounts and thus arguably the most powerful, with an additional ground attack rocket slot and four modification slots as well. Slow in turn rate and maximum air speed, but makes up for it in damage output.|
|Jaguar||Originally created by Tym and subsequently destroyed, it was scattered in five parts along the Brink until Jak found them all and had it reassembled. Has a modified single-slot ground attack rocket which acts as if it has three and a large amount of weapon and modification slots. Also has an excellent speed and maneuverability with strong armor, making it among the strongest planes to appear.|
|ACS Behemoth||The Aeropan Air Forces' flagship, commanded by Duke Skyheed himself. Supported with many anti-air turrets located on the sides, top and wings. Eventually would be upgraded with automated defense drones, a massive crystal with which it could store eco energy drained from the Eco Core and form a massive energy shield. It continued being modified and transformed by Skyheed until the very end, when it was destroyed by Jak using the Hellcat.|
|Aeropan fighter||Small, fast and maneuverable fighter ships used in bulk by the Aeropans. Prominently available at nearly all locations, they have little armor but in groups their machine guns can prove a notable threat.|
|Aeropan heavy fighter||A large fighter-bomber used by the Aeropans to attack enemy cities (namely Far Drop). Can also be accompanied by two Aeropan fighters, in which case it acts merely as an escort fighter. A special one was once used by Dark Skyheed which had a dark purple tint and appreciably amplified powers.|
|Aeropan bomber||A very specialized aircraft used only in Sector Zero to attack the Phantom Blade, launching focused airstrikes against it with considerable damage.|
|Repair tender||An auxiliary ship used to repair and protect the shield generators at the abandoned research rig during the mission "Search research rig for Precursor facility".|
|Aeropan gunship||Two kinds of aircraft, the first being an auxiliary ship, semi-offensive with lightly-equipped weaponry, and the second being an assault aircraft with a heavy armament. Identical in base model to the repair tender but different in purpose.|
|Aeropan transport||A massive aerial transport ship, only sighted in pirate radio tower missions in which they carried valuable cargo. They have several mounted turrets but otherwise rely on their immense structural integrity and armor, which can withstand immense punishment.|
|Airship tanker||Used by the Krimzon Guard to move large amounts of eco, often seen in the skies above Haven City where they will moor against the Haven Palace. Jak once fought and destroyed one in the mission "Destroy ship at drill platform".|
|Eco tanker||A large truck-like vehicle used to carry eco, once featured in the mission "Intercept tanker" in which a single tanker was hijacked and used in a probing ambush by the Metal Heads. Several more could also be seen stationed at the top of the weapons factory.|
|Air train||A large personnel carrier used by both the Krimzon Guard and Freedom League, used for both traveling long distances and as armed dropships to rapidly deploy troops. An air train pass was required to use it.|
|HellCat cruiser||Identical to the standard Krimzon HellCat cruiser in design, the Freedom league variant had a much more capable mounted blaster and missile launcher that effectively generated its own ammunition. Used once in the mission "Destroy war factory defenses" by Jak himself, while also featured in the mission "Blow open tower door".|
|Phantom Blade||The Sky Pirates' flagship, also known as the 'pirate galleon'. Designed like a boat complete with sail, it was commandeered by Captain Phoenix and first mate Klout. Eventually Jak would also be granted access to the ship, which he and friends used to travel the Brink. It was destroyed when Phoenix rammed it into the ACS Behemoth|