Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

        Today I’ll be talking about a game I beat recently, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. It’s a collect-a-thon game, much like Banjo-Tooie or Super Mario 64, but unlike those, the collecting itself is much more story driven and sensible. For instance, in the previous two games you need to collect certain items to progress in the game, as you do here, but Jak and Daxter gives a specific reason that is the case, tying into the plot.
        But first, let’s go over the plot. We begin with narration from the sage, Samos, who says that he has spent his life looking for answers about the world: who the Precursors were, why they covers the world in their technology, how they used Eco, the life energy of the planet itself. He then goes on to say that the answer to all this started to come not through careful research, but through the disobedience of Jak and his friend Daxter.
        Against Samos’ warnings, they have traveled to Misty Island. They quickly find reason why they weren’t allowed to go in the form of what seems to be two villains commanding an army of minions, called Lurkers. They tell the Lurkers to look for any Precursor artifacts or items, and to keep anyone from leaving the local village, because they will attack it in due time.
        Jak and Daxter wander the island a bit more, Daxter tripping on some artifact near a pool of some sort of ‘dark ooze’. Jak picks it up, and it seems to glow at his touch, oddly. He soon has to put it to use, however, because a Lurker ambushes them and he throws the artifact at it, producing a massive explosion, destroying the Lurker, knocking Jak flat on his back, and knocking Daxter into the pool. At first it seems he is lost, but then he is sent flying back out, transformed into a small weasel-like creature like an Ottsel.
        They make it back to Samos without further incident, and he instantly figures out what happened, saying that Daxter fell into a vat of Dark Eco. Despite being a master of Green Eco himself, Samos cannot cure him. The only one who could is Gol Acheron, who, being the sage of Dark Eco, may know enough about to change him back somehow. But Samos cannot help them reach Gol either, because while there is several portals through the land that Samos’ connects to, the other Sages don’t seem bothered to turn their ends on.
        Thus, the only way to get there is the long way, through Fire Canyon- but as the name implies, it’s too hot for even Precursor metal to withstand. Luckily, Samos’ daughter Keira is working on a heat shield for Jak’s Zoomer, which would allow it to get across. She just needs twenty Power Cells, the game’s main collectable. She even tells you how to get them, namely by doing favors for the locals or paying them Precursor Orbs, the game’s money, for them.
        Before you go anywhere else, Samos forces you through the portal to Geyser Rock, the game’s tutorial level, where you learn how the game works. While it doesn’t cover everything, what I will talk about is the five kinds of Eco you’ll run in to. Green Eco is your health. You can normally take three hits, and collecting 50 small green eco orbs or one big one will restore a hit point, and you can collect 50 when full for an extra hit.
        Blue Eco is the energy of movement. When you collect it nearby machinery will start operating again, such as platforms, jump pads, etc, and collectables like green eco and orbs will fly to you, destroying the crates containing them if need be. Jak also runs faster. Red eco, sadly the least plentiful or utilized, makes Jak’s attacks, a punch and a spin move, stronger and gives them more range. Most enemies only take one hit anyway, so its not all that useful. Yellow Eco, on the other hand, lets you shoot a fireball in the place of your normal punch. By going into first person view with Triangle, you can aim your shots. It is also the only kind that can destroy metal crates. Lastly there is Dark Eco, which cannot be used. It is found either contained in volatile crates that explode on contact, or in natural pools of the stuff, which kills you instantly.
        Now that the collectables and such are covered, we can move on. The controls are very well explained in the game itself, and it’s fairly similar to other games like it, such as Super Mario 64. Anyway, once Geyser Rock is finished, though preferably you found everything, you may leave and explore the world. Sandover Village is your first hub, and from there you will get requests from the villagers, most of whom want 90 Orbs from you, but others have different requests that require you to explore other areas.
        One thing I especially love about the game is its visuals and music. The environments are simply beautiful to the eye, and the music is good, but what I find very impressive about it is that it changes depending on where you are. That is, the village has its own theme, but if you’re near one of the villagers, the music changes into a unique mix of the theme representing them.
        In any case, once enough Power Cells are collected, Jak and Daxter can take the Zoomer over Fire Canyon, and ends up in Rock Village. After activating the portal there, Samos and Keira will come through and they realize that the Blue Sage’s home has been ransacked, which explains why he didn’t have his portal open. The village itself is under attack from a massive Lurker named Klaww who has been chucking flaming boulders at it.
        As we learn from a warrior at the village, he single handedly kept the Lurkers away for a full year, but when Klaww showed up, he didn’t stand a chance. And to make sure the warrior wouldn’t get another shot at him, Klaww closed off the path up to him with a boulder. The Blue Sage was constructing a machine to move the boulder, but since he vanished, there’s no way to power the machine.
        However, with enough Power Cells, Keira can use it, so once those are gathered, Jak heads on to face Klaww. The first phase of the battle is simple, you just have to jump between three platforms to avoid the boulders Klaww shoots at you from his Precursor device. Once you dodge enough of them, he will sink into the lava and reappear far from you, and a small bit of Blur Eco appears. Grabbing it will make a bridge form, allowing you to run after Klaww, while the monster fires boulders down the bridge at you.
        Once you reach the end, there will be two bits of Yellow Eco. Klaww will start making another boulder to throw, and you have to shoot him to make him drop it on his head. The cycle repeats from there, with him firing at you faster, and the bridge having less and less pieces to it, making crossing more treacherous, but after three cycles Klaww is beaten.
        After that it’s another Zoomer trip to the Volcanic Crater, the last hub in the game leading to the hardest levels. Once you enter the Red Sage’s hut, you see it too has been torn up, and the sage himself nowhere to be found. After you let Samos and Keira through, Samos pondered that the Red Sage must have put up quite the fight for all this to have happened, but a voice cuts in that he hardly put up a fight at all. They look up to see the two villainous characters from the beginning of the game.
        After a moment, Samos recognizes them as Gol and his sister Maia, corrupted by Dark Eco. The two, mostly Gol, explain how they plan to open the Dark Eco Silos throughout the world, flooding the world in it and allowing them to reshape the world in their image. Samos calls them fools for attempting such a thing, as well as calling it impossible, because only a Precursor robot could break them open, but they leave, not swayed at all. Then it hits Daxter that that was Gol. The same Gol who was his only hope to be returned to normal! Poor guy…
        In any case, once more, more Power Cells are needed to power the Zoomer’s heat shield to reach Gol and Maia’s Citadel, as you have to go through the much hotter and longer Lava Tube. I should also mention we do see Gol’s Luker minions up to no good throughout the game as well. In Boggy Swamp we see that they’re trying to pull a large robot out of the murk with a dirigible. You get four power cells for destroying their tethers and ruining that plan. On Misty Island they’re trying to open a Dark Eco Silo to no avail with a cannon, and in the Spider Caves they are trying to excavate another Precursor robot, as well as find Dark Eco crystals.
        Anyway, once you actually make it the Citadel, Keira tells you that they kidnapped Samos as well, and going in, you quickly see why they’re so interested in the robots- they have one in the Citadel, albeit highly modified with their own, not as durable technology, to break open the Silos, and they needed the four Sages because of the Eco they embody is needed to fuel the robot.
        After navigating the bizarre and difficult platforming of the Citadel, Jak rescues all of the Sages, and they use their power to remove the barrier protecting the robot. They can’t actually destroy it though- as Daxter laments, that’s your job. However, they are too late to stop its activation, Gol and Maia flying into the robot’s head to take control of it.
        It flies off, and Jak and Daxter follow via an elevator taking them to the top of the Citadel. Several crates are there to give you full health, and Blue Eco to activate the platform to the Silo. Once there, Gol and Maia are firing a Blue Eco laser from the robot’s eye to try and activate the Silo’s hatch. It won’t hurt you itself, but obviously it must be stopped. Use Yellow Eco to fire at the laser eye. Five hits will destroy it.
After that, the Silo will in fact slowly start to open, currently the opening is so small you can’t fall in it, but it grows as the battle goes on. Next they will fire a mine of sorts that floats over the Silo. You need to go to the Blue Eco vent and then run to the jump pad to shoot into the air and avoid the explosion.
        The Silo will open further, enough that you may need a double jump to get across, and they will fire Green Eco into it from a chest device on the robot, producing giant Dark Eco monsters. Only four will appear at a time, but I think you have to take out 16 or so. They’re immune to your normal attacks, but can be beaten with a Yellow Eco shot, so shoot them and try not to let them get too close.
        Another mine is thrown, then the robot will aim its other arm, charge up Red Eco, and fire out five explosives, which will go off one after another, sending out shockwaves to be jumped over. Try to stay away from the Silo’s edges- you very well could be knocked off. After they all go off though, it will pause for a bit, allowing you to shoot the bomb weapon. As before, five shots will do it.
        By now the hatch will be too wide a gap for you to long jump over, so you’re forced to run around the edges to escape the mine. For the next phase, they pull out the giant Yellow Eco cannon on the robot’s other arm. It charges and fires very large shots, so you can’t jump over them ,but you can roll out of the way, or simply get it to track you and turn the other way as it fires. Exactly how long it takes to fire seems to vary as well, so this part is certainly the most difficult to deal with. It also takes a lot more hits than the other weapons, but luckily, it’s level with you, so you don’t need to aim in first person, just shoot.
        With the last weapon destroyed, the robot is forced to rely on the mine launcher now, but before it can fire again, devices on the corners of the Silo fire out the four colors of Eco above the Silo, producing Light Eco, presumably as a defensive measure to the Silo being opened. Daxter ponders if this stuff could return him to normal, but he ultimately lets Jak get it so they can save the world.
        Gol and Maia realize this very well could spell their doom, and they desperately fire out three mines to wipe you out in one blast, but once some of the Light Eco lands by you, all you have to do is grab it, and Jak will obliterate the robot in one shot, the head falling in the Silo with the two villains as it seals up once more.
        And with that settled, the Sages congratulate the heroes, as well as Keira, for their timely heroics, but then they turn their attention to a strange gate that is on top of the Citadel, which requires no less than 100 Power Cells to open. Open that to get the true ending of the game, which is a teaser of sorts to the second one.
        All in all, the game is very impressive in size and fun to play. It is very easy, and very forgiving- there are no lives, you just come back every time you die at a certain point on your current level. Even the true ending is a bit forgiving in that you need 100 Power Cells, but there is 101 in the game, so you can skip one. There is also no reason to keep grabbing orbs once you buy all the Power Cells there are to be bought.
        The true challenge in the game comes from trying to get everything and unlock that true ending, which can take quite a while. Being rather meticulous, I found it to be quite a lot of fun. At the very least, I hope you enjoyed hearing about it, dear readers, and I will see you next time.


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