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The communicator, known in The Precursor Legacy as the communicator,[1][2] and as the talk box in Jak II[3][4] and Jak 3,[5][6] in some contexts as the judge in Jak II[7][8][9] and likely Jak 3, and tenuously as the radio[10] (or floating radio in The Lost Frontier),[11] is a mobile communication device capable of videotelephony and geolocation.

The communicator is a small floating pod (roughly two feet tall in The Lost Frontier)[12] equipped with a speaker, camera, antennae, and a microphone array. Jak owned a communicator in every game sans Daxter and Jak X: Combat Racing, with which various characters would communicate with him to give instructions, explanations, congratulations, or reminders.

Origin and functionEdit

In The Precursor Legacy, the communicator was built by Keira Hagai and given to Jak so that she and her father Samos Hagai could contact Jak at any time during his quest.[1] The communicator was capable not only of radio communication, but video communication (videotelephony) and location tracking (geolocation) as well: with its camera, parties could see Jak's surroundings, such as when Samos would explain environmental elements to Jak during his training on Geyser Rock; Keira also once used it to lock on to Jak's location so that she knew to which trans-pad to send the A-Grav Zoomer.[2]

In Jak II and Jak 3 the communicator, now known as the talk box, evolved esthetically, but remained functionally identical to its counterpart in The Precursor Legacy. It is likely a common device used by civilians that Daxter acquired for Jak along with his new clothes after he broke out of prison.[4]

It otherwise appears to be standard Haven City technology, as it was used in the Mar Memorial Stadium as a judge to keep track of points in JET-Board challenges in Jak II, as well as in the city streets for the side mission computer counterpart in Jak 3. Additionally, the Haven City APA utilized the talk box to inform Jak of the on-screen navigation, as well as the Haven transportation system.

It was also used as a standard device in Spargus during Jak 3, having been used similarly as a judge in the mission "Complete arena training course".

CharacteristicsEdit

Communicator from TPL

The communicator from The Precursor Legacy.

In The Precursor Legacy, the communicator is a makeshift pod with a teal exterior, a large purple speaker in the center, a small camera on top, and two large, orange-tipped antennae. In each game, it will float around the user, namely Jak, until deactivation, upon which time it will shrink down to a minuscule size and return to Jak's backpack, from which it will emerge upon reactivation.

Talk box from Jak II screen

The talk box from Jak II, as it also appears in Jak 3.

In Jak II and Jak 3, the talk box took on a sleeker, more industrial design, with a more prominent, orange-lensed camera, a small, square-shaped ventilated speaker below it, and a large antenna rotor on either side of the device, each possessing a small antenna and a large antenna. Lastly there were two small microphones on either side of the top of the camera column. Small sound waves can be seen radiating from the speaker when someone is talking to Jak.

In The Lost Frontier the talk box, now referred to as the floating radio, remained identical in esthetic and function to that in the previous two games, albeit with a color change to more olive-toned colors as opposed to metallic blue and silver, as well as minor mechanical surface details. Additionally, the speaker's sound waves were no longer visible.

In Jak II in particular, there were some instances where the talk box appeared to mimic or relay the motions of the person speaking to Jak, most notably those of Brutter's in the scene "A Piece of the Seal", as well as Samos' in the scene "Old Memories".

Other devicesEdit

Daxter using the communication device

Daxter using the communication device.

While the communicator, talk box, etc. is mostly exclusive to Jak, other types of mobile telecommunciation devices have been used throughout the series by other characters. In Daxter, Daxter used the communication device,[13] a gadget similar in appearance to a cell phone. It was presumably given to him by Osmo, for the purpose of keeping in contact with him while he was away from the shop. Similar to the communicator, it was also used for geolocation, Ximon having once located Daxter with it.[14]

There was also a device known as the palm pilot,[15][16] which was also a cell phone-like device used for audio communication. It was also frequently used as a security pass for entrance through Haven's various barriers. It either had caller I.D. or had pictures to whom a particular palm pilot device was exclusive. Ashelin Praxis used this device most frequently, though Damas, Samos, and Rayn were also seen using it in Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing. Daxter also once used one in Jak II at the Metal Head nest, though this was presumably the security pass Ashelin gave to Jak earlier in the game.

Furthermore, there were also holographic communication devices, referred to by Jak as "some sort of communicator".[17] Kor used this device most frequently, both in Daxter and Jak II, though Cyber Errol and the Freedom League utilized this technology as well in Jak 3.

Behind the scenesEdit

An alternate unused line in The Precursor Legacy explained the communicator differently than in-game, stating that the communicator would function "no matter what the distance"[18] as opposed to "at any time".[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Precursor Legacy script § "Keira Hagai (in-game)"
  2. The Precursor Legacy script § "Keira Hagai"
  3. Jak II, file: talk-box-ag.go
  4. Jak II, file: 1032_-_VAGWAD_05df4030_00000, Daxter: "I got us a talk box. The city people use these things to communicate with each other."
  5. Jak 3, strategy guide, p. 44
  6. Jak 3, file: talk-box-ag.go
  7. Jak II, "Win JET-Board stadium challenge"
  8. Jak II, strategy guide (Piggyback), p. 68
  9. Jak II, strategy guide (BradyGames), p. 47
  10. Jak II, strategy guide (Piggyback), p. 85
  11. The Lost Frontier, file: CHARACTERS/JakFloatRadio
  12. The Lost Frontier, JakFloatRadio asset (scaled)
  13. Daxter script § "On the streets (in-game)"
  14. Daxter script § "Ximon to the Rescue"
  15. Jak II, file: palmpilot-ag.go
  16. Jak 3, file: palmpilot-ag.go
  17. Jak II script § "What Did You Two Do?"
  18. The Precursor Legacy, unused dialogue
Technology

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