First of all I would like to thank everyone, who tried the Dark Pastime mod (DP) and sent their thoughts and sentiments on the work we'd been making all these years. It was good to hear different opinions as well as check the issues (still) found by the Players in the mod. I must say, that we update the pack periodically, but the link remains the same. One of the last additions includes the French subtitles for the mod, kindly provided by lang_french at JKHUB.
If you haven't downloaded the mod just yet, Chapter I is available through the link below. Remember, that you need OpenJk to be installed in order to run the Dark Pastime. The link includes Installation Guide.
The Dark Pastime introduces a new story for Kyle Katarn, as well as a few 'mechanics' to the gameplay, which differ from its original game – Jedi Academy. As you are playing one and only Jedi, your appearance stays the same, but you can change the clothes at the start. Lightsaber hilt remains that of Katarn until some time, but creating a new "laser sword" is now part of the story.
I were originally dissatisfied with the Color icons of the sabers as well as menus themselves, that's why we changed them drastically. The Color Choice now depends on the Crystals, each one with a unique name, most of which you might recognize from older stories, such as KOTOR. For example, Adegan crystals serve for blue color now, while Sigil is for yellow blades.
The very first mission introduces new Imperial forces, such as Imperial Female Officers, as well as a few minor personnel in the Imperial Remnant.
The situation around Imperial Dreadnought was also expanded: you can now spot the Imperial captain and his crew, when battle begins near Ord Mantell.
Ord Mantell was the planet, originally only mentioned in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, but it later was a major spot in such classics as Shadows of the Empire, as well as was in a mission in JA. It also saw the conflict between the Old Republic and local separatists during the Galactic Cold War, as seen in SWTOR. This time the planet is where the battle between the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant takes place.
As dusty and remote as it might seem, Ord Mantell isn't that abandoned. In DP you encounter the first of the new factions here, which mostly consists of the old Mining Droids. They might be primitive, but their armor, intended for hazardous environments, can withstand blaster fire for some time.
The new feature is the Coruscant HUB, where the Player can now prepare for the adventure. In this New Republic Intelligence HQ you can get information and recon data for the upcoming missions. As you progress, new doors would be opened, allowing to learn more about the Galactic state of events and your investigation.
The second mission takes place on a new world of Dvorn, occupied by the Empire. A large portion of its surface is now covered by military bases and factories, with metallic beast slowly destroying all the forests with mostly extinct animals and local tribes. In Chapter I this is the longest mission, which can be divided into several parts, with each representing a different game type: stealth and speeder bike chase.
This area might be interesting for those, who like the Star Wars lore of the old days. There are many easter eggs and direct references to various books and stories.
It's funny thing to notice, but years ago DP was released as a Demo, which was nothing like what we had in mind. There are similarities with Chapter I however, but the whole project moved in a very different direction, with lots of things redesigned completely, even though the very first mission might look basically the same. Since then we expanded many areas in first levels and put various puzzles in the section of the Imperial Academy on Dvorn.
If you wonder, what's the difference between DP Demo and DP Chapter I, here is a list of some of them:
- Chapter I has a completely new menu and HUD, as well as a Cutscene, showing the Ord Mantell battle,
- The Dreadnought level has different atmosphere now: action is more intense and includes more enemies. Republic Allies are also present and it's now explained, how they get into the ship with you,
- Coruscant is no longer a mere cutscene, it's a HUB between missions,
- Level Stats are back!
- The mod relies more on Datapads and reading terminals – a feature which would be helpful in a few cases during gameplay. Don't forget to check them if you're stuck!
- You can choose, whether dead NPCs disappear and how soon,
- Some areas have more than one solution,
Moving forward means, that Chapter II is in the works now. It's worth mentioning, that it lacks the same action against the Imperials and brings in three different missions, taking place on Anarmar, Dantooine and Sulon, with the latter two being complete. It also introduces several new factions, with one being the Areem Corporation. This means encountering new enemies and talking to new people. These missions also get you to meet old friends.