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Welcome to the first in a series of weekly columns that will be discussing all things Jedi Knight II (JKII), as well as exploring some topics that are nebulously Star Wars related at best.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Brent Duran, alias Vagabond. I first saw Star Wars when I was 9 years old, not expecting much. At that time, classic Star Trek reruns were the best sci-fi game in town, and there was just no way that this new movie would ever compare, or so I thought. From the very first sequence, with the Corellian Corvette fleeing the Star Destroyer, exchanging fire over the desert-world of Tatooine below, my love affair with Star Wars began and continues to this day. My favorite movie is still Episode IV, A New Hope. Maybe it was because I thought the droids looked so realistic. Maybe it was because the cantina scene, with all of its bizarre-looking aliens captivated me. Maybe it was because this was the first movie that truly realized the daydreamed adventures of a 9 year old boy.

To give you an idea about my gaming background, I started gaming in 1992 with a 486 DX2 66 Megahertz PC with 8 MB of memory. She may not sound like much now, but at the time, she was one mean machine. Some of my all-time favorite games are, in alphabetical order:

While not an exclusive list of all the games that I've played and enjoyed, the above rank among the most voracious consumers of my free time. And while most, if not all of the aforementioned games, are classics in their respective genres; the one most dear to my heart is Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith. For me, its exciting multiplayer maps, interesting weapons, the flexibility to combine dark and light Force powers, the Star Wars universe, as well as the superb controller support, made this game special, providing hours upon hours of online fun.

In fact, it was during these online adventures that I first encountered one of our community's leading members, Wilhuf, and we continue to game to this day. This despite the fact that he still maintains the absurd notion that he is better with his mouse than I am with my joystick. He'll occasionally attempt to lure me to the dark side, but he fails every time. I am a joystick user, like my father before me.

Enough about me. Let's talk about JKII and our hopes and dreams of what it will be. If you asked 10 different Jedi Knight fans what they want in a JK sequel, you'll probably get 10 different answers. But since this is a sequel, it's probably safe to say that Raven will be looking at Dark Forces, Jedi Knight, and Mysteries of the Sith, and try to incorporate the best ideas from each of those games. And just as each of these games built upon each other, so too should JKII build upon its predecessors, evolving the gameplay in ways that was not possible before. These are some of the possibilities we'll be exploring in the coming weeks. Until then I'll leave you to ponder this: if Star Destroyers actually could, then the Emperor wouldn't have needed the Death Stars.

-- Vagabond, 06/15/01

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