We have been seeing some questions about the options to play through the game as either dark or light side, so I thought it might be useful to detail our thoughts on this.
As we have previously mentioned, in Jedi Betrayal, you return to the role of Kyle Katarn just a short time after the events of the dark side ending of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Jaden Korr has defeated Kyle in battle, and in making his escape, brought down the ceiling of the temple on Kyle. Kyle has been rescued, and is now hunting for Jaden so he can recover the Scepter of Ragnos.
Kyle has always been an interesting character, in that he never seems to easily fit fully into the light or dark side concept. You typically have the option to play as either, but at his core, Kyle tends to be more of an independent soul. He often comes across as conflicted – he ultimately has good intentions, but he doesn’t always see the light side as the most effective way to do what needs to be done.
We have tried to preserve this concept for Jedi Betrayal, although the events leading up to the current story may have actually led Kyle down a potentially darker path. He sees his own failures piling up. He feels responsible for the death of his student, Rosh Penin, at the hand of Jaden. He feels responsible for failing to keep Jaden away from the dark side. And he feels responsible for losing the Scepter of Ragnos, which in the wrong hands is still a very dangerous weapon. The weight of all this responsibility is beginning to wear on Kyle, and it shows in the story we have created.
Kyle is a man with a very specific purpose – to correct his failures and prevent the potential disaster that may result. While his goal may be honorable, Kyle does work with his own set of rules, and it will be up to you, the player, how he accomplishes these.
We are attempting to craft Jedi Betrayal in such a way that fans of both light and dark side gameplay will feel at home. However, in true “Kyle” fashion, neither method of gameplay will necessarily steer him from his goal. With Kyle, whether he avoids combat and helps people, or relishes combat and kills people, everything he does is simply a means to an end. Light or dark, Kyle is intent on stopping Jaden Korr.
We are attempting to stay with the spirit of the other Jedi Knight games, so at one point in the game, the player will make a solid decision that will affect the ending. As in previous games, there will be a light and a dark side ending. This does not necessarily mean that Kyle will become a full-fledged light or dark Jedi at the end – he will still be Kyle, shaped by his experiences, his past decisions, and his own motivations. With each ending, however, it should be quite obvious which direction Kyle is headed.
We have spent a great deal of effort crafting the story from a basic overall plot, including a couple of complete rewrites, and taken it down to the details of each mission. We are quite happy with the results, and the final experience should satisfy fans of both light and dark side, as well as middle-of-the-road gameplay, all while still preserving the sense of who Kyle Katarn is as a person, as he has developed throughout the Jedi Knight series. We look forward to your own opinions once the final mod is released.