Still Alive & Kicking


Written by Jeff Walters



Author - Ajay Huff

The Story -

Durga the Hutt successfully stole the plans to the Death Star's super-laser several weeks ago at Coruscant. A suprise attack by General Wedge Antilles' strike force managed to destroy the Darksaber, Durga's powerful weapon, though with a heavy loss. General Crix Madine has been pronounced dead.

Suddenly, Intelligence has reported that a contact on the Hutt homeworld told them about the Orko Skymine capital ship that had once belonged to Durga. The contact stated that the ship was carrying a second set of the super-laser plans in its main computer. The Republic Special Forces Unit has called upon you, Kyle Katarn, to retrieve the plans at any costs. But it won't be easy. Durga had powerful friends who will stop at nothing to revenge his death, and the Orko Skymine carries shipments of illigal wildlife, and they aren't very friendly.

Prediction -

From what I've heard and seen, this level looks like it should be fairly good. The design looks okay (if not spectacular) and the author has made use of Al McDonald's legion of WAXes which is great to see.

Katarn's Fate    

Authors - Adam Burnett & Ryan Luetzen

The Story -

Darth Vader, driven insane by the ease of the destruction of the potential super-weapon Arc Hammer by Kyle Katarn, seeks his vengance. With the Empire's forces spread across the galaxy in a vain effort to defeat the Rebels he does the next best thing, place a large bounty on his head. one million credits for the live capture of Katarn and a bonus 500 000 creditsfor the capture of his "side-kick" Jan Ors.

Many of the top bounty hunters in the galaxy immediately are drawn by the bounty and begin their efforts to find them. Infamous Bounty hunter "Boba Fett" and others like IG-88 and Bossk comb planets in an effort to find Katarn. A rogue mandalor named "Chigo Grownag" also accepts the challange and begins his search as well. Going on a rumour, the Empire traces Katarn's ship and manages to shoot him down and on the Hosk station, once a rebel space port, it is now resident to many alien species. The bounty hunters rush to the station, it is now up to who finds him first.

In "Katarn's Fate" you play mandalor (Boba Fett race) bounty hunter Chigo Grownag. You must attempt to capture Katarn and Ors while picking off any other hunters, rebels or local civilians that get in your way. You start high above the city in a docking attachment. Make your way through the hangers and appartment complexs. Drunken civilians in the reeyee's bar try to pick fights. You go through the sewers and a subway system. The surface of the city includes several bars and diners, an arena, zoo, hotel and other docking stations. There are puzzles throughout these parts in the level.


This project looks to be a winner. The author's promise that it will feature new cutscenes and a whole bunch of VUEs. There will also be over 50 new WAXes, VOCs and BMs. Adam also stated that this is the first, last, and only level he will make for DF. After this he, like many DF authors, will be switching to JK.



Jungles of Caldoun    

Author - Mark Haidekker

The Story -

After some excitement on Dantooine recovering forgotten items from the old Rebel base, Kyle enjoys the peace and quiet of a long hyperspace trip to Sullust, where he will drop off his cargo. Since the flight path takes Kyle past the Caldoun system, Kyle looks it up on his computer.

It seems that Caldoun is a backwater system. There is only one habitable planet, which is the fourth from its sun. Caldoun IV is mainly covered with tropical rain forest, but also shows some rough volcanic areas. Native life consists of a wide variety of jungle animals, including the feared Caldoun Wasp, which can spit a highly charged substance at any enemy, even from a distance, and a widespread bi-pedal intelligent life form who call themselves Mardans, who have a slight resemblance to the well-known Grans, a fact that still puzzles the ethnologists.

While the Mardans have a low level of technology, they do know the arts of creating explosives. They are a fierce people who have learnt the hard way how to survive in a hostile environment. During a brief period of imperial occupation, the Mardans developed weapons, survival skills, and a hatred for anyone not of their own species.

Suddenly an alarm sounds, and red lights start flashing all over the control panel. With a gut wrenching feeling, the ship drops out of hyperspace, and before Kyle has a chance to recover, it reaches the atmosphere. He completely loses control while the Crow approaches the surface of the fourth planet at high speed.

Grateful that the planet has a breathable atmosphere, Kyle decides that he'd best abandon ship. With the Crow already skimming the tops of the trees, he shoves some supplies out the door, hoping to be able to recover them later, and jumps out into a clearing. He watches the Crow disappear in a southerly direction into the jungle, where it triggers a minor earthquake upon impact. Desparately, Kyle tries to raise Jan on Sullust...

Review -'re a hopeless pilot
I was expecting a lot from this level, and it delivered all I wanted plus more. When you start the level you are alone in an infamiliar setting with no idea of where to go. I was very eager to see how the author would pull off a jungle setting in the Dark Forces engine, and for the most part - it works brilliantly.

Nice architecture and lighting...

It sounds right, with all sorts of animal noises. The height of the trees in the jungle could have been a bit higher, but that's minor. Scattered throughout the jungle are beautifully created villages complete with pissed off natives who like to beat up on you. Each village contains numerous huts, each sligthly different from the next. Campfires burn in the center of the villages to provide warmth.

The level also features numerous new waxes. My favourite is the beautifully constructed wasps that harrass you throughout the jungle. They use the same logic as remotes, but they are harder to spot because of their colour. Fearsome alligator like creatures haunt the swamps so don't stay in too long.

Seem familiar? Yep, it's Secbase..

There was really only one problem I had with this level. Near the end, it directly copies the design of other levels. Though this is as a homage to the author's favourite levels - it does ruin the mysterious atmosphere surrounding this excellent level. I suppose this is a mstter of personal preference, but it kind of ruined it for me to exit an elevator and find the exact opening design from secbase.

This mission contains many nifty special effects. The best being the scene where the Crow has crashed through a village and also a nice shuttle crash. Very good work. There are a lot of puzzles in this level and you have to use your brain and watch carefully to succeed. If you get stuck then try the EASY setting as you will get clues as to what to do that don't appear on the MED or HARD levels.

Overall -This level is brilliant. The mysterious story creates a lot of atmosphere. The use of other people's level designs at the end was a bit of a let down. It just broke up the mysterious atmosphere. But I would still rate this as one of the top ten levels ever made for Dark Forces.

Click here to download 'Jungles of Caldoun'