Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
An epic adventure! A vast, amazing universe to explore! And a best friend who coughs up furballs. You are about to go on a very special journey...”— Writing on the back of the European box art
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is the first game in Jak and Daxter series, one of the first games on PlayStation 2 and considered to be one of the best games on this console, as well as one of its best platformers.
The world of Jak and Daxter consists primarily of small settlements, surrounded by varying environments and abandoned precursor ruins. Most of the world isn't technically advanced, save for the sages who study Eco and some precursor artifacts. Recently the areas surrounding the villages have been busy with dangerous lurker activity and several sages have gone missing.
After witnessing a secret meeting between two strange individuals and an army of lurkers, the duo accidentally turn one of them into a little furball. Jak has to save his friend from staying small and fuzzy forever by meeting the Dark Eco sage Gol Acheron, far, far to the north. Along the way they solve various problems, collect Power Cells, fight many dangerous enemies, explore a large amount of locations and eventually end up fighting for the fate of the world.
Despite being told not to go to the island, Jak and Daxter arrive on Misty Island just in time to witness a large gathering of Lurkers before Gol and Maia Acheron. Who are looking for Artifacts hidden within Sandover Village and surrounding areas as well as preparing to attack the village itself. Jak and Daxter, worried by what they are seeing, try to escape the island, when they find a pool of Dark Eco. While approaching the pool, Daxter discovers a small Eco barrel after tripping on it. Daxter tosses it to Jak, and it lights up in his hands. A Lurker suddenly shows up, and attacks them. Both of the boys panic and Jak throws the Eco barrel at the Lurker, which explodes, the force of the explosion throws Jak backwards into Daxter. Daxter falls into the pit of Eco below. Jak is devastated for a minute, believing that his best friend is dead, but Daxter is spat back out unharmed. Jak looks at him strangely, and Daxter realizes he has a tail. He screams in fright. Because of his short dip in the Dark Eco pool, he had been changed into an Ottsel.
They return to Sandover Village the next morning and seek help from Samos, but he explains that he couldn't help Daxter even if he wanted to. He adds that only Gol Acheron, the Sage of Dark Eco, can help change Daxter back, but they would have to travel far north, to where Gol lives. He explains that he could have teleported them there, but that the Teleporter Rings don't work to get that far, as the other Sages haven't turned theirs on for quite a while.
The route they have to travel is blocked by the Fire Canyon. Jak and Daxter need a Zoomer vehicle powered by Power Cells. In order to power up the Zoomer's heat shield, Jak and Daxter need to find a certain amount of Power Cells. Keira, Samos' daughter, is mechanically adept and had built one.
After a training part, they begin their adventure into the dangerous parts of the land in search of the Power Cells. They soon recover enough to power the heat shield and journey through Fire Canyon aboard their Zoomer. At the end of the canyon is Rock Village, which is being destroyed by a giant Lurker named Klaww. In addition to this, the Blue Sage who watches over the village has mysteriously vanished.
Jak and Daxter find themselves in search of more power cells to power an anti-gravity device that will unblock the way to Klaww's lair. After opening a path up the mountain, they defeat Klaww and have to beat some lurkers too the Volcanic Crateras they have rigged the mountain with explosives. Jak then makes his way to the Red Sage's laboratory, where he learns that all of the other sages have been kidnapped by the same figures who command the Lurkers.
The kidnappers turn out to be Gol and Maia. Jak must recover more Power Cells to fuel an upgraded form of Keira's heat shield. Their task complete, Jak and Daxter use the Zoomer to navigate the Lava Tube to the Yellow Sage's laboratory, where they activate the warp ring so that Keira can come through. Once she arrives, she tearfully regales that Samos has been captured as well. Journeying through Gol and Maia's citadel, Jak and Daxter succeed in freeing the Blue, Red, Yellow, and Green Sage, and then travel up an elevator to the top of the Dark Eco Silo. There they confront Gol and Maia who have pieced together the ruins of a Precursor Robot in order to open the silos and release the Dark Eco inside. Jak battles the pair, but only defeats them with the help of a Light Eco source. Daxter realizes that the Light Eco would change him back to normal, but instead decides to allow Jak to save the world with it. Jak channels the light Eco through his body, and beams the energy towards the robot, disabling it and ruining Gol's and Maia's plans.
The two are then locked into the Dark Eco Silo and said to be destroyed by the Dark Eco's power and to have died, but Samos has his doubts about the two being completely destroyed and dead, hinting that they might return.
After the adventure has ended, our heroes find an ancient Rift Gate near to the silo where Gol and Maia were imprisoned, however, the player cannot see it and all that appears to be there is a hugely bright light. It is seen in the sequel, Jak II (and is also key to the plot).
The game is primarily a platforming adventure game, the main character Jak can do a standard variety of moves to get around the typical platform settings. Generally the player will be jumping over pits, roll-jumping out of the way for attacks or high-jumping to reach high ledges. The melee combat system is basic as well; Jak has a straight forward punch attack, a 360 degrees spin kick and can do an extra powerful smash downwards when in the air.
Where it gets interesting is when you chain or combo Jak's moves, for example it is possible to do an uppercut by punching, followed with a jump. While in midair, Jak can perform a spin kick or the downward smash attack. Combine this with Eco (a form of power-up) to either heal Jak, increase speed, increase strength or shoot homing balls of Eco from your hands.
Finally, in tradition to other platforming games you can collect items. Similar to Super Mario 64's stars, the player has to collect Power Cells. And similar to coins, the player can collect Precursor Orbs. Lastly, the player can collect Scout Flies, hidden in chests throughout the levels for an extra challenge.
Unlike previous 3D games, The Precursor Legacy was unique in that it delivered a world without loading times. It is possible to walk from a hub area straight into a level area, like a seamless transition (for example, Jak could go from Sandover Village straight to Forbidden Jungle, with no loading in between). The world is split up in three hubs (excluding the final location) connected by teleport gates (which had to be unlocked first). To reach the next hub area, Jak must collect Power Cells and then race a long and dangerous path with the A-Grav Zoomer until the next hub was reached.
Every hub is connected to a set of levels (either two or three), which in standard platforming convention all have their unique atmosphere, enemies, design and gameplay aspects. Areas include a beach, jungle, swamp, underwater city, ruins, mountaintop, cave and the final area; a massive enemy citadel.
There are two main modes of transportation in the game. One is the A-Grav Zoomer, which aside from reaching the next hub area, is also used twice in two other locations. Once at Misty Island, to fly over a lake and also at the Precursor Basin (a unique level as it is impossible to go here on foot) where there is a short race available as well.
And then there's the Flut Flut, not a machine but a large bird Jak can ride. The Flut Flut is capable of long leaps through the air and can reach new areas as well as help defeat enemies.
Development and productionEdit
Production of Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, handled by Naughty Dog, began in 1999, when Naughty Dog was working on Crash Team Racing; initially only two programmers were working on the project, with the rest joining when Crash Team Racing was finished. Naughty Dog had previously wanted to make an open world game, akin to Super Mario 64, but were unable to due to the PSOne's limitations.
The game took 2 years for the studio to complete, and many changes took place during development; originally, a third character was to join Jak, who would develop in a Tamogotchi-style fashion, but concentration went towards the two main characters, who would be Jak and Daxter.
After the game went on to sell admirably, Naughty Dog developed Jak II shortly afterwards.
|GameRankings||90/100 (based on 70 reviews)|
|Metacritic||90/100 (based on 34 reviews)|
|Official PlayStation Magazine (US)||10/10|
The game has been given positive reviews from game critics. Before its release SCEA gave IGN a demo build of Jak and Daxter. Douglass C. Perry, a member of IGN’s staff said that "...Jak and Daxter is a breath of fresh air, a funny, light-hearted, but no less epic action-adventure game all its own..." after reviewing the demo build for twelve hours. Game Informer gave the game a high score of 9.25 out of 10, highly praising its graphics and the absence of load times. IGN listed the game 8th on their list of "The Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time".
After its release in late 2001 it went on to sell over 1 million copies promoting it to "Greatest Hits" and reducing the price. To date, Jak and Daxter has sold almost 2 million copies (1.97million) in the US alone.
The music for this game was produced by the Mutato Muzika studio. Most of the music in this game sounds a lot like the music from the Crash Bandicoot series of PS1. It can also be noted that PS1 Crash Bandicoot's music was also composed by Mutato Muzika.
VideosEditJak and Daxter The Precursor Legacy Trailer(03:39)