Level 12: Gol And Maia's Citadel - Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

 

This video covers everything in the Citadel up to the elevator for the final boss fight. This video also marks the end of the need to collect Scout Flies, Precursor Orbs, and Power Cells as there are no more once you reach the elevator. Fortunately, my efforts have resulted in no need for more backtracking than I've already done in the past.

You know, even though I don't like every last little thing that Naughty Dog has put into their Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter games, I must say that's it's exceedingly rare for me to feel that something, even something I don't like, from them is badly designed. Maybe annoying, maybe frustrating, maybe unintuitive, but rarely does the sentiment "poorly constructed" come to mind. The Yellow Sage's "hut" is one of the rare exceptions to that trend. It's boring in its sparsity, and I can only imagine that the developers planned to come back to it after finishing the Citadel but ran out of time before that could happen. That's the only thing that could explain such a striking incongruence here and nowhere else.

Anyhow, it's on to the Citadel, the last level of the game. On one hand I think it's an interesting final level, but on the other I'm not too fond of the heavy use of hovering platforms. I like when games try to "ground" (no pun intended) their environments in some basis on reality (e.g. LittleBIGPlanet 1). Sure, huge machines and isolated lava that you can find in Jak & Daxter may not be that realistic, but they still have a higher verisimilitude than hovering platforms and bottomless pits. (The partial circles are the worst, because they often have literally nothing while the hovering rectangular platforms usually at least have some fiery propulsion.) As such, this level is a bit of let down on the aesthetic side after so many other wonderful and distinct environments earlier. To me, that (and stuff like the very brief appearances of the other Sages) only reinforces the belief that some rushed development happened towards the end of the game.

9:31 - I didn't really intend for that to happen, but I'm proud of my ability to get the last Precursor Orb in that area right as the last viable ground disappeared.

 

This video covers the final boss fight in the game as well as the subsequent cutscenes and credits.

6:09 - Credits
12:36 - Extended Ending

Though it's likely not necessary, it's nice that the platform right before the final boss (as well as the Silo itself) has enough large Green Eco to heal you up to the maximum of four hit points instead of the usual three. You can beat this boss without taking any damage, but an extra bit of help might not hurt.

This boss is the only one in the game that I consider a "true" boss because the Dark Eco plant and Klaww are very easy by comparison. Those two only had three short and simple phases while the Precursor Robot has five more complicated phases. I guess it seems fairly easy to me now, but back in my youth I thought this boss was tough.

1:48 - Lucky catch!

My only disappointment with this boss is the final phase with the Light Eco. I actually consider this one of the more memorable and fun bosses of my game-playing career for its mix of light puzzling and heavier action, but the final blow just feels so anti-climatic since it relies more on random luck than skill.

Interesting side note about the credits here. When I originally recorded this part, there was no music during the credits. The entire time I was thinking "Is that right? Did this game really not have any music during the credits? That seems so unlike Naughty Dog, and even unlike most developers in general!" Eventually, I just shrugged it off and made a mental note to supplant that by overlaying some of my favorite tracks from the game while editing. As I was scrounging through the OST, I found a longer piece titled "Credits & Mountain Pass (Vs. Klaww) long version". It was then that I realized that my memory was correct, and that the game's credits did indeed have music! I'm not sure whether the game bugged out (note the occasional jiggle in the text scroll as well as in the subsequent cutscene) or if it was just an oversight on the part of the people responsible for making the HD Collection for PS3, but either way I've tried my best to restore the credits music to its rightful place.

6:16 - Another spot were you may see that corruption again. And rewinding to right around that point temporarily fixes it, same as last time. Still not sure what exactly is causing it (maybe I'm trying to record blocks of footage that are too long), but fortunately it happened in a rather trivial spot this time.

13:46 - Ah, yes, and the last bit of regular footage ends with another possible instance of that strange visual glitch. How wonderful.

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