Released in 1997, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II continues the story of Katarn, a young mercenary who successfully infiltrated the Empire in Star Wars: Dark Forces. He embarks on a quest into his past and learns the mysterious ways of the Jedi.
Best time: 0:25:57 by David 'RandomEngy' Rickard (Levels 2-7, 9-21) and Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery (levels 1 and 8) on 2010-10-06, done in 21 segments appended to one file.
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Overall this is 10 minutes and 40 seconds faster than the old run, which is a phenomenal improvement. It's been a long time since my last run and I've gotten a lot better at the game and put in a lot more effort this time around. Plus ExplodingCabbage came up with some killer shortcuts and a lot of optimization advice and pitched in running a few levels. Also the video quality is way better this time around. And the new video has menu transitions, boss intros and appropriate music for each level that was added in during video editing.
This run is done with 1 segment per level. FRAPS doesn't capture the menus so those parts were captured separately with Camtasia. Cutscenes are disabled in options, but the boss intros are left in because they are unskippable the first time you load the level. However when doing attempts I didn't have to wait through them.
Jedi Knight is still a really fantastic game for speed running. It has low downtime on cutscenes, Force Speed and Force Jump that rocket you around the map incredibly fast and provide ample opportunity for skips.
Diagonal running: If you strafe and hit forward at the same time you go faster than just going forward. The same technique as used in Doom and a few other games.
Snap jump/snap fall: When you look left or right with the mouse, your velocity stays the same relative to where you're looking. So you can run and build up speed in one direction, then turn and quickly jump (or allow yourself to fall) at a significantly different angle than you were running.
Ramp jumping: When you are running up a slope and jump, you get more height than the normal jump, because the game just adds to your upwards velocity rather than setting it to a certain amount.
Elevator boosting: Similar to ramp jumping - if you jump off a moving elevator, your upward velocity just gets increased from what it already was when you were on the elevator. With diagonal elevators, this can be used to propel yourself long distances horizontally at speed.
Water skimming: If you jump as soon as you hit the water, you pop right back out without losing speed or taking damage from enemies, damage or kill triggers that might be in the water.
Explosive boosting: Like in most FPSes from this era, you can use explosions to provide a boost in speed or to propel yourself further into the air than you could by jumping.
Jedi Knight has lots of explosive weapons to use for this: Thermal Detonators, the Rail Detonator, Sequencer Charges and the Concussion Rifle. The secondary fire modes of Sequencer Charges (which go off when you move towards them, or when triggered by another explosion), Thermal Detonators and the Rail Detonator (which both go off after a timer, or when triggered by another explosion) can be stacked for even bigger explosive boosts.
You generally pay for explosive boosting with a lot of shields, especially when using the Rail Detonator or Sequencer Charges. If you try it on health alone, you die instantly. The ratio of the boost you get to the damage you take is the same for all four explosive weapons, but the differences in how the four weapons behave and how much damage they do, as well as the differing availability of ammo for them, make different weapons right for boosting in different situations.
Different boosts can of course be combined with each other and with Force Jumping - for example, to perform a Force Ramp Rail Jump.
In this run we go light side and the main powers we use are Speed, Jump, Persuasion, Blinding and Protection. (We also need Sight for level 11.) We briefly looked into the idea of going dark side when Cabbage found a way to go dark side and still use Persuasion and Blinding (which are light side powers). To slightly oversimplify how it works: if you go dark side, the game slowly removes your stars in light side powers one by one whenever you're on the powers screen, so if you skip through it fast enough at the end of each level you can keep light side powers. However, picking any dark side power stops us getting Protection.
Cabbage found a way to beat level 14 in 12 seconds by spamming Throw, but it only takes 13 seconds without it and besides this single application, all dark side powers are completely useless. Protection, on the other hand, saves loads of time. So we went light side.
This is how our force power progression goes in the run:
After Level 1: Got 1 star
After Level 3: Spent 1 on Speed
After Level 4: Got 2 stars, spent 2 on Speed
After Level 6: Got 3 stars, spent 3 on Jump
After Level 8: Got 2 stars, spent 1 on Speed and 1 on Jump
After Level 10: Got 2 stars, spent 1 on Sight
After Level 12: Got 2 stars
After Level 13: Spent 3 on Persuasion
After Level 14: Got 2 stars, spent 1 on Persuasion and 1 on Blinding
After Level 16: Got 2 stars
After Level 18: Got 2 stars
We get all the secrets here to get a force star. This allows us to have Force Speed on Level 4, which allows a huge skip, as well as just running faster. We could have also gotten the secrets on levels 2 or 3, but it costs the least time to do it on Level 1. We don't get any extra stars because they would not be worth the cost.
Pretty brutal level to run, since so many enemies can get in your way and mess you up. 3 bacta are picked up and used. It's quite possible to get through without using any bacta, but we don't need it later on anyway, so it works out.
It takes a lot of luck to survive to the end of this level because you come under a lot of fire at fairly short range and you're pretty much at the mercy of the random inaccuracy of the Grans' rifles. Like Engy says, there are also lots of opportunities to get blocked or trapped by enemies - the drop down through the fan at 0:44 being one of the worst, since all the enemies in the area tend to congregate right there after you drop down to the second secret. Getting blocked by enemies whilst jumping over a lethal drop was also a somewhat common way to end runs - indeed, at 0:24 I only survive because the Gran in my path kindly decides to step out of my way at the last moment.
One particularly cruel part of the run is trying to escape before the ceiling closes after I hit the button at 2:11. On hard you actually have only just enough time to get out, and any of the Grans there can block you which stops you getting out in time and kills the run. Over two minutes in, this is pretty heartbreaking if you've had a good run so far.
Overall though I get pretty good luck on this level, making it through without getting blocked much and surviving by the skin of my teeth with 3 health left. The only thing I'm a little embarrassed about is slightly missing the dark opening at 2:24, which was purely due to not having enough practice of the end of the level and costs a good second.
This level is rather odd. There's a part with diagonal lifts carrying boxes down. Once you get close enough to the lifts, they start moving up and down, and it's the exact same pattern every time, as long as you're loading from the same save. Except that the pattern that you get is random and baked into the autosave that's created at the start of the level. Some patterns are more advantageous than others. What we ended up doing was finishing Level 1 over and over again, then inspecting the lift pattern to see if it allowed us to get on one right away. If it was good, we kept that autosave and played on it. That's why in the run, we arrive at the lift with perfect timing.
Also of note is that whenever you start a new level, you're brought up to at least 100 health, 100 shields and 50 energy cells. It's a major source of healing for us.
And it looks rather tame in comparison with other levels, but in fact it was pretty difficult. It's the longest level of the run and there's a few things that can just mess you up: Jumping over the gamorrean guards, getting to the small box before it goes up the lift, making it in (and out of) the control room window, making it to the big box on the first pass every time, making the snap fall and getting on the diagonal lift.
One thing Engy didn't mention is that jumping through the control room window isn't actually part of the normal route for the level - you're meant to go off and grab the Red Key to open the door.
The random seed controlling the elevator start positions, together with the sheer length of the level and the fact that it never gives you a chance to break your concentration and catch a breath, make this one a massive pain to run, but Engy does a great job of it, in my opinion.
I jump over the gap with the falling beam, which saves a few seconds, then hop over the railing to skip the red key. In the next watery area you're supposed to find 2 wrenches, swim through an underwater tunnel and use them to lower the water level and go up a ramp. But I'm able to skip all that with a diagonal ramp thermal detonator jump. At the end there's sometimes goodies in the 3 crates I destroy. The ammo wasted during this doesn't matter since you get pushed back up to 50 anyway at the start of 4.
The jump over the wooden beam is actually a lot harder than it looks and requires a very precise snap jump. The jump from railing to railing isn't particularly easy either, because for some reason you slide off the railings when you stand on them which can easily screw the timing of your jump up. The detonator jump, while looking the coolest and saving the most time, is probably the easiest trick of the level once you've figured out the best technique.
By the way, all three of those tricks were Engy's ideas.
We can get out of the channel area thanks to the generous mantling in the Sith engine. The first big trick in this level is the Speed thermal detonator jump that skips a long section where you need to swim way under and raise the water level. Cabbage came up with this one. It's rather difficult to pull off, so I clear to area beforehand to make sure I'm not being harassed by enemies during the attempt. We do a little bit of water skimming past the jellyfish.
And about the end. If you're dead, explosions move your corpse. If an explosion kills you, it doesn't move your corpse, but ones after that do. Also, if your corpse moves after you're dead, you pass through a lot of entities like doors or lifts. And your corpse can activate triggers: in this case, the level win trigger. I throw two secondary thermal detonators first, and they're bouncing around behind me. The third thermal detonator I throw in primary mode at the wall. It kills me and shortly after, explodes both thermal detonators behind me. The combined force is enough to push me through the door and onto the level end trigger. Although you can't see anything because the view is stuck in the door, you can hear the Moldy Crow coming to get me. It will bring you to the next level even if you are "dead" when it ends. ExplodingCabbage also found this delightful bug.
It's also worth saying a bit about the flowing water. There are acceleration triggers along the water channels designed create the effect of being swept along in the current, but these triggers extend above the water itself, meaning that if you jump above the water, you'll still be propelled forwards. In fact, it's advantageous to jump above the water because whilst in the air you experience much less friction than in the water, so the net acceleration you achieve is greater. This is why Engy gets up to such massive speeds jumping above the water channels.
Killing the enemies at 7:32 before the detonator jump isn't strictly necessary, but it makes Engy's life much, much easier - not only are they incredibly distracting at a moment when Engy is trying to pull off a jump that requires highly accurate positioning and timing, but if they hit you they can slow you down or knock you off course, ruining the jump.
This is where the run really picks up steam, with 3 stars in Speed. I do a bit of water skimming and a thermal detonator jump. Near the end I jump up onto a roof and end the level. There's actually only a really small area where you can jump up; there's clipping brushes that push you off everywhere else. I approach and crouch to control my speed and get in position for this.
I grab some sequencer charges for later, then go and get the secret area. This gives you 3 important things that make it worth the trip. The first is the Rail Detonator (rocket launcher), which allows us to perform some time-saving rail jumps instead of using sequencer charges (which we can't spare any of). The second is an Armor Vest that gives me enough shields to fuel 2 rail jumps. The third is a Force Star. For some reason, that's the only secret area on this level. This lets us put enough into Jump to make a trick on Level 8 possible.
I do a ramp jump to skip the stairs and a rail jump to skip waiting for the elevator. A second rail jump gets me into the compound. However getting in this way skips several triggers which would normally make the enemies in this area visible and enable their AI. It's hard to tell when watching, but I'm avoiding invisible, inactive enemies.
One thing about the Sith engine is that once you get into a confined area by crouching, you can uncrouch and run at full speed through it afterwards. That's what I do in the vent. I throw a thermal detonator to break the grating because using your lightsaber to break grates on the floor is surprisingly annoying and is usually more time consuming than using an explosive.
After hitting the elevator call button I start holding down lightsaber alternate fire. I go and hide under the stairs and count lightsaber swings in order to tell when I should leave and catch the elevator. This allows me to save a lot of shields for Cabbage to use in Level 8.
The invisible enemies are pretty funny and I do wonder why they're there instead of the game just having a trigger to spawn enemies in instead. What's even funnier is that the trigger to make them visible and the trigger to activate them are in different places - if you take the route Engy used in his old run, you'll hit the latter but not the former, and get shot at by a load of invisible officers.
Fairly straightforward. I hold lightsaber alternate fire, hit with 4 swings and avoid damage. Lightsaber alternate does a whole lot of damage and has the bonus of having a large area of effect. It leaves you open to attack, but this isn't a problem for me.
It's worth noting that against Dark Jedi, weapons other than the lightsaber do pitiful damage and there's no time to be saved here by using anything else.
Also, even though visually each secondary attack of the saber consists of two swings, you can only hit any given enemy once per attack.
I came up with the original thought that you might be able to blast your corpse to the exit from the roof with stacked sequencers. Cabbage took this idea and made it happen.
When I first looked at this level, I'd actually considered the idea of blasting yourself all the way from the first roof to the roof with the exit and dismissed it as impossible because there are invisible walls around the exit roof that stretch to the level ceiling on all sides except the back, which is facing away from the starting roof. Of course, I was right about this, but missed the crucial fact, until Engy's suggestion made me check out the level again, that you can use another roof as a stepping stone.
Let's start from the beginning of the level, though. The first task is to get onto the roof of the building you start in. The normal route is to ride down the elevator, cut some wires behind a grate with your lightsaber to open the glass ceiling, and then ride the elevator back up through the ceiling. This is very slow. Instead, with three of more stars in Force Jump, you can jump up and hit the ceiling itself with your lightsaber to open it, and then force rail jump out.
This is a good moment to mention something important about weapon switching in Jedi Knight. Whenever you let go of the 'fire' button, there is a delay (which varies depending upon the weapons involved) before you can change weapon or fire again. If I let go of 'fire' after opening the glass ceiling, my rail shot for the jump up onto the roof will be delayed, so I have to hold fire down the whole time. This makes the jump significantly harder, because I have to time my Force Jump precisely right for it to coincide correctly with the rail shot.
At 11:31, the reason I jump onto the right edge of the second building is that there is a one-way invisible wall blocking off the left and front edges. When I say 'one way', I mean it will block anything trying to get on to the roof, but will let things off. In normal play, this has the effect that the turrets up here can shoot you, but you can't shoot them because your shots hit the wall. Anyway, to get onto the building, you have to jump to the right of it and curve in the air to get around the front invisible wall. Luckily, such curving in the air is possible in the Sith engine.
I kill a Stormtrooper up there to grab some Rail Charges for Engy to use later, and then it's just a matter of planting a whole load of explosives and setting them off at once to blast my corpse onto the level exit trigger - and then waiting for the level to end. For some reason, the size of the boost randomly varies by quite a large margin; five sequencers and an alt-fire rail charge is the minimum amount of explosives needed to make the jump, but you won't make it every time - you just need to get lucky with the size of the boost.
All in all, this level is a perfect illustration of what I consider the number one rule for finding skips in many PC FPSes: if there's a fly cheat, always explore every level with it turned on because anything you can do with the fly cheat can usually be somehow replicated without it if you try hard enough. There's no way I would ever have discovered that it was possible to get onto the second roof by curving around the invisible wall if there wasn't a fly cheat in this game for me to explore there with.
There's one final thing I want to say here. When I found this skip and the timesaver at the end of level 4, we'd already got to level 13 of the run (with Engy doing most of the work) and implementing the new tricks without introducing inconsistency errors meant going back and redoing levels 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 - out of which Engy did everything except level 8. Many runners would have balked at the idea of redoing half of their work so far on a run to implement a new trick someone had found, but Engy did so gladly and was enthusiastic and appreciative of the trick rather than irritated that it had been found so late. I find it really enjoyable and gratifying to work with people who have this attitude towards their runs.
I grab the key and do a reverse ramp jump over the pipe. Instead of gaining height with an upward slope, I use the downward slope to temper the height of the Force Jump and hit the ground on the other side sooner.
I hit the switch to move the fuel level to the right location, then grab a Super Shield and the wrench. You have to change the fuel level and open the door in order for a clipping brush to be removed from the other side. But once the door's open, it's still faster to run around the tank rather than going through it. At this point I start making use of the Super Shield (immune to all non-impact damage) to blast a stormtrooper out of my way. I also make use of the Super Shield to do a Concussion boost for some extra speed on the way to the turret nest area. You have to drain all three fuel tanks, one after another to proceed. While the first tank is draining, I grab all the stuff outside while still protected by Super Shield. While the second tank is draining, I start up the elevator. After draining the third tank I can fall most of the way down the elevator shaft.
The next part is rather boring: you're forced to go through a series of doors and they don't let you open the next one until the previous one has closed. After getting through that and past the spherical room I grab another sequencer charge pack. Then at the elevator I do a force rail wall jump to skip 10 seconds the elevator would be spending at the second floor. Being a little conservative with force power use has allowed me to regenerate to full while in the super long elevator, which means I can do the full 5 jumps off the scaffolding and activate Speed to beat the elevator to the top. I blast the mechanic out of the way and finish the level.
Killing civilians does turn you toward the dark side a bit, but it is not a problem for us: you start slightly Light side in this game and each point you spend on a Light side power gives you enough light side points to offset killing 3 civilians. In our case we spend 3 points on Persuasion, so we have a license to kill a whole lot of innocent people and still be light side.
It was about this point in the run where I started to just really have no chance of competing with the level times Engy was getting. With 4 stars in Force Speed you get up to absolutely insane speeds, and I just don't have the skill to control that speed so precisely in tight areas as Engy does.
After opening the hatch, there are some doors that normally open when you break the wiring attached to them. However, like in Level 8, you can also open these doors by lightsabering them directly, which is what I do.
In the next area I shoot a concussion blast which hits a switch and deactivates the force field in the middle of the room. I shoot a secondary concussion blast to catch the attention of the enemies in the left control room (which is normally only accessible much later in the level). At this point you just have to hope that one of the enemies inside that control room will shoot the small panel and deactivate the force field blocking you from entering it. The trouble is that this almost never happens. You can be waiting there 10 minutes and it will never occur. In this run a miracle occurs and this happens basically immediately after returning with the key. I wasn't quite prepared for what to do afterwards and neglected to recast Speed, which made this part a little bit awkward. But still far faster than could ever be expected when going around the force field. I had several hundred more attempts that were foiled by the force field never going down, or in very rare cases the field going down too late to save any time. I eventually just gave in and accepted the miracle force field run.
Anyway after that, things go smoothly and the level ends in short order.
The odds of that tiny force field switch getting hit by a stray blaster shot so quickly really are miniscule. It's a shame about the mistakes that happen after, which resulted from this run happening before Engy had practiced the end of the level properly, but really the odds of getting luck this good again with the forcefield are so slim that it made sense to keep this.
This one was really tough because I had to hit both Gorc and Pic with every lightsaber swing. If you stand back, then run in as the swing is coming down they'll always block it. You have to stand near them for a while, then strike while they are both swinging at you. In order for it to work they have to stick together in the center and you have to be near both of them. This is often a problem because Gorc will force push Pic off into another room, or onto the shelves. Or Pic will get stuck on the shelves himself, or wander off. Gorc needs 6 hits while Pic needs 5. I was pleased with the end result because I didn't have a single miss on either of them.
This is the only part of the run where Force Sight is needed, as Pic will go invisible and make your job a lot harder. Yun can also use Persuasion, but never gets a chance to use it before he's cut down.
When playing the game normally, the fact that Gorc and Pic usually get split up early on makes this level much easier, since you can take them on one at a time. Speedrunning it, on the other hand, that same fact serves to make Engy's life much harder.
The first jump out into the red area is a bit tricky since you're jumping out of a small doorway and it's really easy to hit your head and fail. I use a low power force jump and crouch to make it out onto the walkway and land in a good position to do the next jump. Jumping to the green door is harder than it looks; it's easy to just bounce right off. After jumping to the top (this jump wasn't in the old run), I run outside to start the level end timer. After this I have 13 seconds before the level ends so I use it to run back in, drop down and break my fall on the slope, then grab a pack of sequencers I'll need later.
I go up to the top panel first so I don't have to backtrack from it. Here I pick up 12 rail charges, which come in quite handy later on. In the 3rd panel room, I grab an Armor Vest to fuel some later jumps. Jumping up to the hole after passing the downed force field lets me avoid having to swim underwater. Then I jump directly to the pipe under the bridge, run through the passage then make it to the lift area before the door closes. I've got enough shields left at this point to do a force sequencer jump with a wall rail boost to bypass the lift.
Engy and I found a pretty cool alternative route for the last 20 or so seconds of the level. Engy found that the walls of the big canyon at the end actually don't stretch to the level ceiling, and I found a way using sequencers, rail charges, and a conveniently positioned ledge to get up on top of them and survive. From there, you can cross over the top of the force field behind the AT-ST and drop down into the room with the final elevator. Alas, in testing this turned out to take the same amount of time as the route Engy uses here, but uses more ammo and is harder to pull off.
You can also boost your corpse through the door to the final elevator and trigger the end of the level just like on level 4, but in this case it would take longer to do so than simply opening the door.
Maw normally runs away to the center at 1/2 health, then to the end at 1/4 health. However Cabbage found a way to trap him at the starting area and finish him off, meaning with the right maneuvering, I can hold down lightsaber alternate and hit him 7 times in a row to kill him.
I had the idea of trapping Maw behind the starting building, but when I tested it I was fairly convinced that in order to lure him behind the building before hitting him for the fourth time (at which point he starts trying to flee) you would need to stop attacking him for a few seconds. Engy proved me wrong by managing to do the whole level just holding down alt-fire and having every swing connect whilst still manoeuvring Maw into the trap.
There's actually 4 mostly distinct routes through this level, which is pretty impressive. I take the one with the most wide open spaces, and it's significantly faster than all the others. There's a big drop near the start; going that fast is normally enough to just kill you on landing, but I break my fall on the stormtrooper. And in this level you see the first usage of Protection to fuel a concussion boost. Protection gives you a 200 point shield and deflects blaster fire as long as the effect is up, which makes it very handy. At the end I don't have to go around and raise the walkway. As soon as the Moldy Crow finishes lowering the level end trigger becomes active and I jump to it.
And here is the reason I've been collecting sequencer charges so diligently. They are like Dark Jedi kryptonite. Some of the damage comes from the initial blast, but the rest comes from hitting something after being blasted away at high speeds. The spot I use is the only place I've gotten the sequencer stack to work with 8 sequencers, probably because Sariss needs to hit the ceiling for the trap to be instantly lethal.
To clarify, the sequencers damage Sariss in three seperate ways. Firstly, there's the actual explosive damage they do. This is relatively tiny. Secondly, there's the impact damage taken when Sariss is first propelled away from the explosion. This instant massive change in velocity is treated as an impact by the game engine, even though it's a gain in speed and not a loss. Thirdly, there's the impact damage from actually hitting the ceiling (which presumably is of roughly the same amount as the first lot of impact damage). The ability to cause massive amounts of impact damage is what makes stacked sequencers such an effective weapon against Dark Jedi.
A very interesting level. A boatload of explosive boosts and other tricks.
This is where I get to really stretch my legs and start fueling explosive jumps with Protection. However the heavy use of Protection makes planning a route very interesting. The ability uses a whole lot of force power, but can always be cast, no matter how little you have remaining. That means that unless you are near full on force power, you're going to have absolutely nothing left after using it. This means that after casting it, you can't cast Speed or Jump for at least 5 seconds afterwards and you're running on a very small amount for a while after that you may need to ration. This poses a problem because this being the "Valley Tower Ascent", force jumps are naturally quite heavily used.
I cast Protection right away because I'll need it for the elevator boost and I need to start regenerating force power. Also because Protection has a "minimum effect time". The blaster deflecting effect will stay active for a certain amount of time, or for however long your bonus shields last, whichever is longer. You might have used all the shields on explosive jumps, but you still need to wait for the effect to wear off before you can re-cast it and get 200 more shields. Casting it right away means the minimum effect time has elapsed by the next time we need the bonus shields.
After getting inside I plant a sequencer on the elevator force field. After going upstairs and deactivating the force field, the sequencer is floating in midair. This is actually quite good for me, since force jumping off of it is easier: the time window of being close enough to it when it explodes is wider. I get close enough to activate it, walk forward and Force Jump as it explodes, sending me up and to the opposite side of the elevator shaft. A rail boost against the wall propels me up the rest of the way and pushes me to the exit at the top.
I jump up and blast a stormtrooper that likes to stand in the doorway. I collect two sequencer packs and recast Speed but at this point I'm completely out of force power so I have to make a rail jump in the green room. I make it to the air blast in the nick of time. The air blasts are 6 seconds apart and I'm pretty sure that it would be impossible to catch an earlier one.
After taking the next elevator up, I use the sloped right side to help me jump across without needing to use a Force Jump. After Force Jumping up to the ledge I can safely recast Protection since I'll be waiting on an elevator for a little while. A force rail wall jump takes me to the top once I get close enough.
There are several ways to do the next part, but after timing them all I'm fairly certain that going directly in and fighting the air current with 4 Force Speed diagonal running is the fastest. Jumping onto the sloped right side gets you decently far into the tunnel, and using the open area on the right lets you avoid the last bit.
One final force rail wall jump gets us up this last elevator. I jump out the window and blast another stormtrooper out of the way and enter the switch room on the right side: It's basically impossible to jump in on the front since the stormtroopers there will stand in the window and block you. After opening the air channel fully I force jump into it, reactivate Protection since I won't need to use any more force powers for the rest of the level and throw a concussion blast up there to break the grate and go into the hallway. That transition went really well this time; it's quite easy to hit to the right or left a little bit and be stopped before you get into the hall. Since Protection is on I can point blank concussion blast a stormtrooper out of the way and get to the end.
This was definitely the most difficult level in the run to plan. There are multiple alternate routes and a couple of tricks that weren't used because of their cost in force power (like force jumping and curving around the mountainside at the start to skip opening the first door), and to add further complication the question of which jumps to invest shields or force jumps on was intimately tied into the question of when to cast protection (which gives you 200 extra shields but drains all or almost all of your force energy). Consequently there were a huge number of possible routes to weigh up - which of course requires recording and timing them a lot of stuff, too. I contributed a couple of small ideas but Engy did most of the testing and maths - and seems to me to have done it perfectly.
One thing worth noting about the rail jumps on this level is that Engy does them all by firing the rail charge into the wall instead of into the ground, since this achieves the same boost whilst making the timing of the jump and shot much more forgiving.
A maxed Persuasion lets me run around without being bothered for the first section. My first goal is to get the control room key and start lowering the large crate. After the crate starts lowering, I have a certain amount of free time before the crate arrives and is ready to be lowered further. I use this to get another sequencer pack. It might look like I'm messing up or getting caught up by enemies at this point but it doesn't result in any lost time. I make it and hit the button to lower it just as it arrives.
There's a bug where sections of the crate actually disappear while it's being lowered across the threshold. I'm not sure why this happens, but Cabbage found out that you can squeeze through these if you push through with Speed on while crouching. After doing so I aim for a slope in the room we're trying to get to, to break the normally lethal fall. This skips a large section with making the crate spin around and running across it. After the fall I use some bacta because I have some spares at this point, and activate Protection for later. We get another sequencer pack for free, then I blast some officers out of the way and ride the elevator down. I make sure to stay quiet as it's arriving so they don't crowd the exit as I'm trying to leave. On the next drop it's actually possible to make it directly into the hall, but it's rather unreliable and the rest of the level went really well.
A force concussion wall jump is enough to make it to the top here. A rail boost would go too high and waste time. After blasting a stormtrooper out of the way and turning off the air flow, I run to the pipe to fall down it. Normally it can take a little while to float down, so I rail boost down. A final rail shot on the ceiling breaks the floor grate and I drop down to finish the level.
I love the fact that Engy has to kill a couple of the enemies who get in his way on this level with explosive weapons instead of his lightsaber because he's not trying simply to kill them, but rather to blast them out of the way so that their dying bodies won't obstruct him and slow him down.
Persuasion makes my life easier again. Entering through the top saves a good bit of time over the old run. The fall down to the excavated area is broken by the slope and hitting the edge of the hole. On the first counterweight, I skip one normally required button press and go on to the second one. When I get to it later on, I can still squeeze through which saves time overall. The AT-ST takes 6 rail shots to kill, and the time I use to go pick up 3 more rail charges in order to have enough to finish it off and kill the officer inside. The officer drops a red key which needed to open the door and end the level.
More sequencers! I need to do it in a confined area so that hitting the ceiling will finish him off. I'm pretty happy since this is the fastest I've ever seen him make it over there.
Yeah, Boc's constant jumping makes it pretty unlikely that he'll manage to follow you into that small passageway quickly. Engy gets very good luck here.
One level of Blinding is enough to keep him occupied while laying down 10 sequencers. I delay casting it a little bit to make sure it covers long enough. Jerec pulls away my sequencers just after I finish laying the 10th one, then throws a Destruction at me which is absorbed by Protection and which sets off the sequencers, that knock him into the central structure to kill him.
Hurrah! Maybe a slightly anticlimactic final battle, but certainly a fast one. We hope you all enjoyed the run.
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