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The Force Unleashed II *SPOILERS*
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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:55 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Son Of Skywalker wrote:
Good question; I'll check to see if Leland answered a question about it already and if he hasn't I'll ask him via his Facebook page.

I found it a bit lame that they decided to go about telling the "full" story, if you will, by using a cinematic you have to unlock. It would have been cool if we had gotten that, and then if you wanted even more backstory on it unlocked it; we should have been given the basics, though, in the game itself.


That's one of the reasons I think it only happened in the dark side ending. I also think it makes the story completely incomprehensible. People complain that Vader's motives aren't easily read; they make perfect sense in the context of the good ending. Throwing "Distant Thunder" into it is what makes it utterly incomprehensible. I though the dark side ending itself was crappy and poorly hashed out.

Basically, the choice you make, light or dark, is wholly irrelevant in terms of the actual content of the ending. Compare it to every other Star Wars game with dual endings: Jedi Knight - you rule as Emperor instead of Jerec, Jedi Academy - you take control of the orbiting Star Destroyer with the Scepter of Ragnos, KOTOR - you take back up the mantle of Darth Revan and assume leadership of his empire, TFU - you replace Vader as Palpatine's enforcer after killing him, TFU2 - you're impaled and the ending is about a heretofore unknown clone.

The ending isn't about your choice at all, it's about an entirely different character. Okay, so you choose to kill Vader... only you die instead. People that believe "Distant Thunder" did happen argue that your choice determines whether the Dark Apprentice strikes, but I think that's a cop out in terms of storytelling. It would mean a whole lot more if the Dark Apprentice character actually had a role or any sort of presence in the story. I could actually buy that explanation if Boba Fett snipes Starkiller prior to killing Vader instead of the Dark Apprentice impaling him... but then it would ruin the cheap shock value that the dark side ending is wholly dependent upon, because it would actually make sense within the context of the story. And the ending would actually be about Starkiller, and not about another character. My actions would noticeably affect my character's end, and not in an absolutely confusing way (unless you somehow watched "Distant Thunder" first, which I'm sure almost no one did).

If Leland says that "Distant Thunder" did indeed happen, then I'll accept that and just think the story is that much worse for it, but unless there's some sort of official confirmation, I think the story is definitely enhanced through its omission.


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 PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:47 am Reply with quote  
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  VileZero
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LivingJediDream wrote:
Son Of Skywalker wrote:
Good question; I'll check to see if Leland answered a question about it already and if he hasn't I'll ask him via his Facebook page.

I found it a bit lame that they decided to go about telling the "full" story, if you will, by using a cinematic you have to unlock. It would have been cool if we had gotten that, and then if you wanted even more backstory on it unlocked it; we should have been given the basics, though, in the game itself.


That's one of the reasons I think it only happened in the dark side ending. I also think it makes the story completely incomprehensible. People complain that Vader's motives aren't easily read; they make perfect sense in the context of the good ending. Throwing "Distant Thunder" into it is what makes it utterly incomprehensible. I though the dark side ending itself was crappy and poorly hashed out.

Basically, the choice you make, light or dark, is wholly irrelevant in terms of the actual content of the ending. Compare it to every other Star Wars game with dual endings: Jedi Knight - you rule as Emperor instead of Jerec, Jedi Academy - you take control of the orbiting Star Destroyer with the Scepter of Ragnos, KOTOR - you take back up the mantle of Darth Revan and assume leadership of his empire, TFU - you replace Vader as Palpatine's enforcer after killing him, TFU2 - you're impaled and the ending is about a heretofore unknown clone.

The ending isn't about your choice at all, it's about an entirely different character. Okay, so you choose to kill Vader... only you die instead. People that believe "Distant Thunder" did happen argue that your choice determines whether the Dark Apprentice strikes, but I think that's a cop out in terms of storytelling. It would mean a whole lot more if the Dark Apprentice character actually had a role or any sort of presence in the story. I could actually buy that explanation if Boba Fett snipes Starkiller prior to killing Vader instead of the Dark Apprentice impaling him... but then it would ruin the cheap shock value that the dark side ending is wholly dependent upon, because it would actually make sense within the context of the story. And the ending would actually be about Starkiller, and not about another character. My actions would noticeably affect my character's end, and not in an absolutely confusing way (unless you somehow watched "Distant Thunder" first, which I'm sure almost no one did).

If Leland says that "Distant Thunder" did indeed happen, then I'll accept that and just think the story is that much worse for it, but unless there's some sort of official confirmation, I think the story is definitely enhanced through its omission.


From my understanding of "Distant Thunder," the evil Starkiller wouldn't have killed Starkiller unless he was truly about to kill Vader. Since Starkiller let Vader live, he didn't make his move.

In this case, evil Starkiller is already the evil dark side presence. It would seem that, in this regard, Starkiller could never succeed in falling to the dark side again. On that level, I like it. So often, we see the bad ending being the villains win. I liked the twist, probably the only thing about TFUII I thought was cool. And frankly, I still wish it had been the true ending.

It's all a big convoluted mess, but my guess is that, as really the perfect clone of Starkiller, the two will face against each other if the third story is concocted.


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 PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:19 am Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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VileZero wrote:
From my understanding of "Distant Thunder," the evil Starkiller wouldn't have killed Starkiller unless he was truly about to kill Vader. Since Starkiller let Vader live, he didn't make his move.

In this case, evil Starkiller is already the evil dark side presence. It would seem that, in this regard, Starkiller could never succeed in falling to the dark side again. On that level, I like it. So often, we see the bad ending being the villains win. I liked the twist, probably the only thing about TFUII I thought was cool. And frankly, I still wish it had been the true ending.

It's all a big convoluted mess, but my guess is that, as really the perfect clone of Starkiller, the two will face against each other if the third story is concocted.


That's another reason why I think "Distant Thunder" isn't in-continuity. If Vader already has his "perfect clone" that's embraced his role as Vader's assassin and discarded Starkiller's memories, why does Vader go through the song and dance of taking Juno prisoner, choking her in front of Starkiller, demanding that Starkiller do his will or she dies, etc.?

Let's say when he sends Fett out to recover Starkiller, he doesn't know that Dark Apprentice is a success yet, and until that point Starkiller is the best clone (assuming he is a clone, which I don't think that he is) or Starkiller is the original and he wants the original. By the time that Starkiller and the Rebel fleet arrive, he already has chosen Dark Apprentice to be his apprentice, and given him his orders to strike when needed. So he has no reason to even try to convert Starkiller at this point, so why even bother with Juno? If he plans to kill them all, eliminate her now, then in lieu of messing with Starkiller's mind just kill him.

The answer I received at TFN is he wanted two Starkillers serving him, which is nonsense. If he wanted two Starkillers, he wouldn't have had Dark Apprentice kill Starkiller, because Starkiller had turned to the dark side by virtue of attempting to kill Vader. It's the dark side ending. It makes absolutely no sense to me that Vader would ask the Dark Apprentice to only kill Starkiller if he turns to the dark side, and leave him alone if he doesn't. And if Vader's motive is to be captured, then why does he try so hard to goad Starkiller into turning to the dark side, which would preclude his capture?

With the novel presumably being the "definitive" version (TOS says the novel of TFU1 is the "definitive" version of that story, so I presume that this applies to TFU2), there's also the scene in which Starkiller fights a bunch of his own clones and comes out the victor. If Vader was truly looking for the strongest apprentice, why not have the Dark Apprentice fight Starkiller then and let the chips fall where they may, rather than his "final test" to be to stab a guy in the back?

I honestly believe that "Distant Thunder" and the dark side ending were added after the story to the main game was already written because they simply couldn't think of a dark side ending that was any good or that was conducive toward doing their dark side DLC. Logically the dark side ending would be Juno dying and Starkiller killing Vader, but there's no story potential for that sans Palpatine. They needed some way to restore Starkiller to being Vader's apprentice for DLC, and the only logical way was to create this clone, which doesn't even appear in the story at all.

I think they should have just gone with a single ending, and for the DLC continued from the TFU1 DLC. The Endor DLC would have made more sense if it was Palpatine commanding Starkiller to eliminate the Rebels, and Luke's absence would be explained. Alternatively, to conclude the alternate-OT DLC, have you control Luke as Starkiller's secret apprentice in the Endor pack, and present a light side ending and dark side ending to that. IMO that would have been much more interesting.

I really hope "Distant Thunder" isn't in-continuity because then the game is a mess. I wouldn't be surprised if it was in-continuity, though, given that they like to be as inclusive as possible.


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 PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:34 pm Reply with quote  
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  VileZero
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Quote:
With the novel presumably being the "definitive" version (TOS says the novel of TFU1 is the "definitive" version of that story, so I presume that this applies to TFU2), there's also the scene in which Starkiller fights a bunch of his own clones and comes out the victor. If Vader was truly looking for the strongest apprentice, why not have the Dark Apprentice fight Starkiller then and let the chips fall where they may, rather than his "final test" to be to stab a guy in the back?

I honestly believe that "Distant Thunder" and the dark side ending were added after the story to the main game was already written because they simply couldn't think of a dark side ending that was any good or that was conducive toward doing their dark side DLC. Logically the dark side ending would be Juno dying and Starkiller killing Vader, but there's no story potential for that sans Palpatine. They needed some way to restore Starkiller to being Vader's apprentice for DLC, and the only logical way was to create this clone, which doesn't even appear in the story at all.


Ah, but the book includes the Dark Side ending!

When Starkiller starts to think about what would happen if he chooses the dark path and seeks revenge, what he envisions is the EXACT ending that we witness in the game. It seems inconceivable that the light/dark side endings essentially take place in parallel universes, right? After all, Darth Vader was training this evil Starkiller long before Starkiller makes his choice.

Hey, don't get me wrong - I feel the exact same about questioning the logic. But then again, this is THE FORCE UNLEASHED. Logic ain't exactly its strong suit. Wink


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 PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:07 pm Reply with quote  
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VileZero wrote:
Ah, but the book includes the Dark Side ending!

When Starkiller starts to think about what would happen if he chooses the dark path and seeks revenge, what he envisions is the EXACT ending that we witness in the game. It seems inconceivable that the light/dark side endings essentially take place in parallel universes, right? After all, Darth Vader was training this evil Starkiller long before Starkiller makes his choice.

Hey, don't get me wrong - I feel the exact same about questioning the logic. But then again, this is THE FORCE UNLEASHED. Logic ain't exactly its strong suit. Wink


Starkiller also notes that he killed all the clones in his earlier battle with them when his vision doesn't come to pass, so I don't see why the fact that he eliminated all the clones earlier didn't just preclude that one possible future. I mean, there's been averted visions before, whether they be the Sith Stalker version of Starkiller in TFU1, Mother Nell's visions of Gethzerion killing Isolder and Luke having multiple children, Luke's vision of his two nephews leading the Jedi order, or Ikrit's vision of Anakin and Tahiri. "Always in motion is the future."

I don't have any logical problems with the TFU series except for the Dark Apprentice stuff. The first game's story is solid. The second game's story is much weaker, but is consistent under the interpretation that I have of it -- and I suspect the third game will improve the second game by eliminating the ambiguity. I think most people have trouble with the series because they perceive Vader as being unbeatable, and have difficulty with Starkiller defeating him twice, so I've seen a lot of "well, Vader wanted Starkiller to fight Sidious in TFU1 and he wanted to be captured in TFU2," which leads me to question whether this widespread desire to accept "Distant Thunder" as having happened is borne out of the idea that it strengthens the idea that Vader wanted to be captured.

Certainly, I also have an agenda in wanting to believe that "Distant Thunder" is infinities, in that I think it absolutely destroys Vader's motivations and makes him a schizophrenic if it isn't infinities, and I'd prefer an intelligible story over maintaining the impression that Vader is infallible.

Ultimately, I suppose it doesn't really matter in the sense that it has really occurred to me that when you consider it, The Force Unleashed and its sequel are outside of continuity. Not de jure, but de facto. Nothing that happens in those two stories has any ramifications or effect on the Star Wars universe. Its original characters don't appear in any other stories (except Rahm Kota in a Battlefront game) and the important event it depicts already happened in other sources.


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mace Windu
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Sadly to say, this was garbage.


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:13 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Oops, another hater. Wink

No, I hear you. I just have trouble complaining about it to that extent, since it is Star Wars. But it was pretty bad. Sad
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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:41 pm Reply with quote  
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  YodaBauer2442
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I haven't played it, but the novel made it seem like it had potential.
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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  MasterAndrew15
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The novel was much deeper than the game itself; and, obviously, it had the chance to be in places the game could not be. That being said, the game did improve on the gameplay from the first, and added some fun modes, but that as about it; the story was much less solid, the game still felt a bit repetitive (although the new powers and Force Rage abilities were a plus.) I enjoyed it, although I would probably caution others to buy it cheaper than 60, for the next-gen version, anyway.
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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:30 pm Reply with quote  
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MasterAndrew15 wrote:
The novel was much deeper than the game itself; and, obviously, it had the chance to be in places the game could not be. That being said, the game did improve on the gameplay from the first, and added some fun modes, but that as about it; the story was much less solid, the game still felt a bit repetitive (although the new powers and Force Rage abilities were a plus.) I enjoyed it, although I would probably caution others to buy it cheaper than 60, for the next-gen version, anyway.


No. The whole thing was absolute crap. And BAD YOU FOR SAYING OTHERWISE.


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Old Master Ben
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Yeah, it was pretty darn bad. Couldn't finish it. And I liked the first TFU story idea well enough, but there was nothing in this one that interested me.


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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VileZero wrote:
No. The whole thing was absolute crap. And BAD YOU FOR SAYING OTHERWISE.


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:38 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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I wasn't particularly thrilled with either TFU novel. They both felt kinda flat to me.
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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I played TFU1 through before reading the novel, which I recommend for anyone that hasn't experienced that story -- if you know the story though I guess it doesn't matter, but the sort of twist halfway through is pretty good in a cinematic form. I thought the novel was pretty bad, and regretted buying it, and wished I had returned it before the opportunity to do so passed. It just describes what happens without expanding upon it in any way, except for a few brief Juno interludes. But Juno can't really do anything because she's accounted for through TFU1, unlike in TFU2 where she's unaccounted for throughout most the game, in which Williams was able to do more with her.

I read the TFU2 novel before I played the game, because I had been pretty much deprived of Star Wars for about six months to that point and my cousin wasn't going to be available to do an all-nighter with the game. I thought the novel to TFU2 was vastly superior to the first novel, and ALMOST made the story feel like it didn't simply exist to perpetuate the game.

The game itself is so fragmented I actually recommended that my cousin read the novel before he played it because the novel makes sense of what's happening in the game. And then the big scenes in the game, like when Juno first sees Starkiller, are simply handled so much better in the novel than in the game. In the novel you actually are in Juno's head, whereas in the game all you see is her reaction, which is crap. The same thing happens with the "twist" at the end involving Juno.

I think Blackman kind of mailed it in. He left LucasArts after the game was finished, and I sort of wonder if maybe he intended to do more for the game but decided he was leaving while writing the game so basically thought "Well, after Dagobah we'll just do the Salvation and Kamino again." I also think that he originally intended it to be like the Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions where they're two movies that are one story; TFU2 and TFU3 were going to be two games with one story, but he left without doing TFU3, and I don't think they're going to go with whatever he had planned because last I heard they were taking their time plotting the third game out.

As for the gameplay of TFU2, it's a rental. I don't think Redbox started carrying games before TFU2 was released and so doesn't have it, but that would be perfect if you have a Saturday open because you can definitely beat the game in one day. The two lightsabers style is okay, but the game would have had more depth if you could alternate between Starkiller's old style and the dual style, and given some pros and cons to the two. Back when the first game came out I thought that was the problem with the combat: pretty much every other game in the genre has more than one weapon. Since the lightsaber is the ultimate weapon in Star Wars, I can see why they wouldn't want to give you something else, but if you had some sort of variety between a single blade, two blades, or the double bladed lightsaber, or included different forms you could switch between with different attack patterns, that would improve the depth immensely.

I like the world design. Cato Neimodia definitely feels like a Star Wars location. Kamino is a believable look at the planet under the Empire. But that's really it. The Salvation was generic, and Dagobah wasn't really even a level. And the game suffered from the same problem as the original Halo, reusing the same levels.

And as much as I like Starkiller, he shouldn't have been revived as a character unless something was going to be done with him. I think it's very much likely he's going to die in TFU3, because there has to be a reason why he isn't considered a threat by Vader and Palpatine. The Empire Strikes Back makes it very clear that Luke is considered the only threat to them; Starkiller is out of the picture. And even if they do have him survive somehow, he has to be out of the picture for the OT anyway, and given that the post-ROTJ EU is already forty years past that point, I don't see what there is you can do with the character, unless you're going to go the Luke Skywalker and Shadows of Mindor route and write some book with him set in-between Bantam books. And Nick Rostu's appearance in that seems kind of like a loose-end anyway, so it's really not anymore satisfying than wondering what he was up to after Coruscant Nights. The same would apply to Starkiller IMO.


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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:15 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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LivingJediDream wrote:
...but if you had some sort of variety between a single blade, two blades, or the double bladed lightsaber, or included different forms you could switch between with different attack patterns, that would improve the depth immensely.


Hey, good point! That would have helped a lot. One thing I said detracted from the first TFU, and the second one as well, was the fact that the game was so...automatic. It's like everything was on autopilot. You just hashed and slashed and chopped, you didn't even have to think about where you were going, much less what weapon or style you were using. Shoving Stormtroopers off of ledges is only fun for so long.

Allowing for weapon and/or style changes would have definitely made the game more enjoyable.
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