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Far in the north, far away in the north

Jak & Daxter The Precursor Legacy Cutscene 1080p Original text too short.

Remembering shocking moments of video games is easy. Set a specific point, a segment that can define your relationship with the environment, aims to be a reliable way to describe what you expect from it, or what you would like to experience again. Hence, as much as we all understand ourselves through stories, be referred to great dramatic twists — someone's death, a decision that changes everything — or phases that were embedded in memory for their difficulty or their caliber epic. In my case I can resort to examples of this kind, but honestly the first thing that comes to mind is a section of JAK II: the renegade that does not end up adjusting to any of these molds. The excursion you make to Baron Praxis Castle, concluding the first act of the Naughty Dog game, does not have too much dramatic relevance.

Nor is it especially difficult, and the amassed of obstacles that you have to overcome to reach the main hall does not obey more than the Inertia platform that the study dragged from the previous game, overturned with unequal fortune in JAK II. Why did it imp assay so much, then? So there was below. The Baron Praxis Castle rises over the city thanks to a system of huge pillars and cables, very much in the style of the pizza of Midgard in Final Fantasy VII, so that any walk through its streets happens to its shade. It is a constant presence, a praxis strategy to inspire inferiority in the subjects of it, and one that you never stop feeling in the back of the neck, generating anguish by frightening yourself. When you do it and ascend, curiously, you can not avoid looking down. And observe the houses at a bird's eye, distinguish the streets that you have traversed hours before, identify neighborhoods that cost you several missions to access. Not only are there known areas, but also others to discover; In short, Villa Refugio extends under your feet in all its immensity, but a purely physical immensity, which sales that you can travel from top to bottom. Because you have already traveled it.

It may sound stupid-or even naive, because we obviously find ourselves before a calculated tram panto to wake up exactly this reaction-, but adding me to the Praxis Castle I noticed the capacity of the video game to create worlds. Worlds with a defined architecture, with its own rules, which you could travel with the notion that there would always be a span of land that will not catch your eyes, or they could not reach your feet, but they could do it. Worlds of a palpable physician, to which the term scenario was small, and that they remained when you turned off the console. JAK II did not have the exclusive of his saga, of course. JAK and BAXTER: The legacy of the precursors, foundational work, pursued this feeling through an open world that stretched and extended without your eyes stopped gathering it. With such a symptomatic gesture of the intentions of the study, in addition, as being the battle against the Boss final at the highest point of the map. So that, once defeated, you will look down and appreciate the Honduras of your feat.

I

When Charles symbols commissioned him to design the protagonist of the project and, the only indication was that he should not be an anthropomorphic animal. The pets had been flooding the great headers for years, serving both to create a recognizable brand as an affectionate link with the public, and Naughty Dog itself had benefited from it. In the crook curriculum as an animator highlighted several television series and a classic as nigh, the secret world of Mrs. Risky, but also the creation of the Dragon Spiro and, yes, the same Crash Bandicoot that had thrown this study to fame. Crash Bandicoot had three deliveries behind him when Naughty Dog placed a couple of programmers at the head of the project and, and symbols had received the express order that the new character — called Bowman in the first tests with the engine that was coining — no It seems to him. His purpose of deviating from what had worked until now was firm, and went back to first years when the mathematics games had alternated ( Math Jam ) with the graphic adventures ( Rings of Power ) And a crazy title where the lack of budget had moved that the founders will include themselves in the game, allowing Way of the Warrior Check fighters with an unmistakable resemblance to Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin.

The first rapping of JAK and Baxter: The legacy of the precursors took place in parallel at Naughty Dog will develop Crash Team Racing, a surprising deviation of the formula that replaced the platforms for the races, and that marked the rupture of the study with his fetish character. Shortly after its launch in 1999, Naughty Dog was disconnected from Universal Interactive Studios — as this one with the character's rights — and was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment under an irresistible agreement: from now on the Californian study would be attached forever to this Seal, but would not suffer any interference for its part in the elaboration of future works. The project and could get ahead in a situation of absolute freedom, and parallel to increasing the personnel involved they were doing their aspirations. In this TEXTURE JAK was born as a response to the famous of novel pets retaining features such as muteness or the square heroic, while the developers did not take long to decide that a partner was needed. Or two, already posts. Naughty Dog stayed with Baxter — whose primal model was a weasel, as well as Crash Bandicoot- discarding a third sequacious, and with the birth of the duo also came a narrative thread from which to pull. Because, of course, Baxter had always been an orange rodent. He once had JAK's best human friend, and he desperately needed to return to normal.

Rubin and Gavin wanted JAK and Baxter: the legacy of precursors had a more elaborate story than seen in Crash Bandicoot, but this interest was eclipsed very soon by the possibility of creating a world. Leaving aside the encrésette halls that pierced his pet, JAK and Baxter sought to close in a huge open world of clearly delimited areas but located in the same visible environment, which would not require load screens or a linear tour. Adding these elements to an amazing variety of locations that organically breathed in the same ecosystem -selves, swamps, beaches, snowy mountains, volcanoes and much more-, JAK and Baxter was erecting early as a milestone for the PlayStation 2 where I was going to debut. Because, in fact, all his concerns and successes were consecrated to geography: In our first conversation with Amos after Baxter's accident, the Sage Green summarized imply our task — we should travel home Acheson, only person capable of returning his Original appearance to our friend-, as well as the main difficulty involved — Live far in the north, far away in the north. Everything was as simple as undertaking a great trip: one that would not pass on a straight line since the various stages that we're overcoming depended on the number of batteries in our credit. The finding of him demanded an attentive and patient exploration, that the game facilitated with the very extremely immersive experience he proposed.

In a great reflection for hidden level, Mateo Trujillo identified the Sentinel Beach as the location that had most impacted him from JAK and Baxter: the legacy of the precursors. Not far from the village of Handover where everything began, your steps led you to a beautiful place where Josh Men sell's jumping music acquired a different quality, more evocative and placid. JAK and his hairy friend ascended the steps of one of those strange buildings, looked around, and the immensity of what had designed Naughty Dog in parallel with a new sensation: that world had always been there, centuries before That we arrived. This achieved it both the purely textual — we already had been heavy enough with the condition of precursors as demiurges, also that the different types of echo were remnants of the power of it — as the design itself of these phases. The great success of George Lucas when it comes to standing Star Wars -inevitable reporter to assess any audiovisual birth of new worlds — was to provide each ship or building a patina of decadence, rust. An elementary dirt that served as a witness a step of time that the story alone was not able to express, and that it filled that impossible a long time ago in a very distant galaxy. Ben Ken obi's monologues about a period of splendor for the Republic and the Jedi were very useful to settle the galaxy in a reality sensitive to the historical evolution, but only because they took place in a stay full of accumulated dust.

It is the same correspondence script / place that drives JAK and Baxter. Each step that you give outside the village of Handover leads you to areas with a piggy baggage, be as punctual as the climatic or so fundamental incidence for the plot as those traces of precursor mediation. The batteries that you have to pick up to progress on your trip are no more, after all, that relics of the past: a way of nutrition of it to advance not very different, in a way, what they intend to make a goal and their sister Main to raise the world. The narrative of the game of Naughty Dog is not built, therefore, from JAK's anguish for helping his friend or fight against the Lurkers who command the Acheson, but from interaction with an ecstatic landscape for the possibilities of the half. From there one extracted one of the most controversial aspects of the game is extracted: when you have already defeated a goal — thank you that Baxter renounces to be human again — and Kiera encourages you to find the batteries that are scattered around the world to open a door Mysterious And go to it, of course. How to refuse the offer to continue discovering what surrounds you.

When you get them all the door opens, but we do not know what is behind it. We only listen, like a heavy joke, the bulkiebiera exclamations of the protagonists. No matter how disappointing it is, it does not stop having its logic within a game that has made the journey its reason for being, no matter where you come from or wherever you go.

II

Ending JAK and Baxter The masterpiece range is not at all exaggerated, and may never glimpse all the importance it had for the development of the environment. In 2001, as he left the market, both creators and a critical and public were aware that something great had been achieved. However, the elaboration of JAK II: the renegade could not be more different from the term exhibited by the legacy of the precursors. While the eagerness of experiencing and moving away from previous works, each of the features of the first delivery, JAK II was a production enormously sensitive to the mutations lived around them, which permeated its elaboration and required fulminating changes of plans. It's not that JAK and Baxter: The legacy of the precursors out alien to his zeitgeist -SU vitality and his colorful militant shouted nineties from any angle-, but what happened with JAK II was dangerously close to the caricature.

Naughty Dog had already started working on the continuation when Grand Theft Auto III came to the market, with scarce weeks of JAK and Baxter difference: the legacy of the precursors. Both games cultivated a pioneer open world, but while the title of Naughty Dog did it from some coordinates family friendly and inseparable from the platform, Rock star invoked a more urban spirit, backed violence and criminal drama. Grand Theft Auto III changed everything, of course, and affected JAK II extremely. The bright places surrounding Handover and the Sentinel Beach gave way to a city in constant penumbra, suffocated by smoke and industrialization, which also over presented a traceable past at each step. We had arrived in Villa Refugio, and the change of location would affect many other aspects, whose totality we will ultimately associate that habit as rooted that the sequel is more dark and adult than the original. It is possible that this custom was born with -Yes, we return to Star Wars — The empire counterattack, so it would not be able to stress JAK II contemporary vices, but since its release occurred in full surf 11-S -With the escapist cinema of Hollywood Channeling your paranoia- It is inevitable to go to the easy and insert it into a large cultural earthquake. In any case, JAK II was edgy. So ridiculously edgy that it seems miraculous that still was an extraordinary game.

The increase in darkness went beyond Villa Refugio. I permeated the story, I had JAK as a great repository, and even a metalinguistic pirouette was allowed. The experiments with a dark echo who suffered our protagonist not only made him talk for the first time-mocking drastically the player's relationship with his avatar-, but that incredible Hulk allowed him to access a super powerful ego alter when he was listed, and everything adorned by A mane and a knob of the most Malta. JAK reflected, well, the opportunistic walk of Naughty Dog by the wild side, but it also did the reminiscent missions structure to Grand Theft Auto and certain retouching in the character of Baxter. That is, in the previous game he was already a papillary kid whose metamorphosis furry added discomfort to the comments of him out of place, but in JAK II this Gamer spirit expanded so that Baxter's gaze modulates the design of the female figures. Kiera, along with new additions, became a much more sexualized character, and the game was going so far when it comes to celebrating it as to dedicate an infamous close-up to the TESS polygonal neckline. Baxter's loving interest, and perhaps the most eloquent aspect of this adolescent / Intel reconceptualization of the franchise.

JAK II is, go, product of his time, and taking advantage of these elements, he has aged sensibly worse than the previous delivery. The desire for ascending target also led to an increase in the difficulty and reinforcement of the combat phases, now adapted to the indispensable shootings, and everything had to contribute to one of the wildest mutations of a delivery to another one who has seen the middle. The disappearance of Baxter of the title — and the addition of a frown the renegade in its Spanish degree — also witnessed the distance of the game in front of that boiling of pets and platforms that closed the legacy of the precursors, but Naughty Dog successful discerning what Elements Store in this ambitious sequel. The platforms lost protagonism, but they were maintained thanks to the status of Villa Refugio as a bridge between levels. The argument gained a lot of depth with respect to the previous delivery, but it was founded entirely in the postulates of this. What leads us to the best idea of ​​JAK II, expressed by an argument twist that collected the physicality that Naughty Dog had preserved when he conceived this new world parallel to the adventure / scenario fusion of the legacy of the predecessors. And it is that, in a turn to the planet of the apes, JAK and Baxter discovered that they had never moved from place, but that precursor artifact had made them travel over time. Villa Refugio was the map of JAK and Baxter, but in the future. We kept at home, we had previously traveled those streets. The world was the same, but changed.

The introduction of temporary trips in the franchise pushed, naturally, to a succession of revelations that gave him an apparent complexity to the work-anyway, the basic purpose of JAK II was that we took him seriously-, but in his Most of them had consistency, and managed to emphasize the immersion of the saga through charismatic characters and cinematographic dramas. The technical advances experienced from the legacy of the precursors to JAK II did the rest, and guarantee their consideration of delivery that he had overcome in all aspects possible to the previous one. With such success, it was unlikely that Naughty Dog would like to jump a similar vacuum leap to the inevitable JAK III, and did not. With JAK III, marketed in 2004 shortly that Rubin and Gavin left the company, we were facing a classic example of a sequel that is limited to intensifying the achievements of the previous title by quantitative. More locations, more combats, plus narrative ambition, more vehicles, more After ​​EGOS covered by ECO.

In JAK III we had a few phases that could only be overcome with a new transformation of the character — the bright JAK, who had already had a small appearance in the legacy of the precursors — but he was still an anecdotal element, which pale before The great novelty of the game. And it is that, returned to be inspired by Rock star -Now with Smuggler's Run —, the expansion of the scenario to a huge desert map allowed a succession of enormously satisfactory automotive missions, far from the orthopedic Villa Refugio flying vehicles. These new cars had the wheels stuck to the ground, and offered communication with the most spectacular scene of which Naughty Dog had been capable until now. Without constalling careers or collections of items, the persecutions and hunting of huge heads threw JAK III to a reminiscent imaginary to mad Max and at Jurassic. Simply, he Milan too much.

Without stopping being a continuous sequel, JAK III introduced enough improvements and deepened enough at a narrative level to be spoken of her as a summit of a breaking saga. His status of an event, practically blockbuster, was reinforced by a soundtrack with reverberation to John Williams -Elena of Leitmotivs that transcended his accompanying status — and a couple of argument occurrences as idiosyncratic as the kinship of JAK or the (intelligent) resolution of the identity of the precursors. It seemed, in effect, an end point. It was impossible to fine-tune the formula, and that is why the next JAK game in charge of Naughty Dog focused on this pleasant driving.

III

The trilogy of JAK and Baxter supposes such a monolithic phenomenon, so marked by a regular creative ecstasy, that few games have embraced the point and apart as JAK III did in the middle of the first decade of 2000. Those final credits at the rhythm of Josh Man cell and Larry Hopkins, who also offered a look at each of the pointed ears characters who had traveled the saga, had a lot of farewell letters and embrace in immortality. What could be done after an end that had taken the enormous epic of the franchise to his apotheosis? Because Naughty Dog had the answer, because it was something he had already practiced before: Ringing the view of Crash Team Racing, opium of a saga that coincided with the birth of the boy and his rat, the study resolved that his next job was a consecrated game At cars racing, investigating JAK III's most celebrated novelty.

The result had its grace. With the indoor mood of making a smaller game, almost a Spin-off, JAK X continued JAK III events assuming your footnote condition. Baxter retained his pants, but JAK's nature as heir of the sea and the destinies of Villa Refugio and Sparks did not have any importance. The derivative mood of the proposal was perceived from the approach itself, not exempt from ingenuity: the reading of the Crew will (character of JAK II killed at our hands) preceded the poisoning of the protagonists, being a total victory in ERAS races City The only way to get the antidote. JAK and his friends were trapped in a mortal competition, and beyond the good reviews he kept from his side JAK X went by inaugurating a very present tendency in the last compassion of the franchise: the striking game of echoes with another saga, RATCHET & CLANK, which in charge of Insomniac Games had developed parallel to JAK and Baxter during his PS2 journey.

As happened with JAK and Baxter, Ratchet & Clank had enjoyed a trilogy of unanimous praise and indisputable progress, and both brands toured in 2005 with a delivery that specialized in one of the elements that had defined them. JAK X focused on driving, Ratchet Gladiator in combat, and the argument that supported him also had to do with enthrone and characters pushed to compete to survive. It is interesting, for all this, assessing the dialogue of both games, and perceive in this regard how then Ratchet & Clank confirmed to have a personality much more adaptable to these holdings than JAK and Baxter. Let's stop at one of JAK X's new characters, GT Blitz. In principle, GT Blitz is the presenter in charge of commenting JAK's eagles as a driver, and does so with a cynical mood that is clear inheritance of the comedy type that Ratchet & Clank had from his beginnings, being his galactic context very marked by The breath Misántalo de Douglas Adams. JAK and Baxter had always had comedy, of course, but it was a comedy more teen, very limited by Baxter's Histrionic Exabytes. GT Blitz hugged, on the other hand, the look at Ratchet & Clank chaos and, in a declaration of voluntary intentions or not, it turned out to be JAK X's main villain after the corresponding turn. While the ethical climate of Ratchet & Clank favored that there was a multitude of GT Blitz, the only one who could have JAK X should also be his villain.

It is a more important detail of what it seems, since the great problem of JAK and Baxter once brandished JAK III — and contrasting Ratchet & Clank's uncommon continuity — has been not knowing how to articulate his identity once finished the narrative arch principal. Guilt of it has had it, of course, Naughty Dog, which was gradually leaving the performance of the saga in his hands. Going for two years to Clank: Secret Agent — which gave the protagonism to sidekick after spending most of the time exercising multi-purpose backpack — BAXTER came to the market in 2006 as a game of PlayStation Portable and A pretty suggestive argument: it was fooled in the two years that JAK had remained a prisoner of Baron Praxis, and recorded his friend's attempts to rescue him. This luck of interfaces motivated toy with continuity from the reappearances of KOR, praxis or even Count Very (Villain de JAK III), and as a small-scale return to Villa Refugio fulfilled admirably well. As an addition to the Canon of JAK and Baxter, however, a forgettable and prematurely aged occurrence — caught to those mini-games who placed Baxter as a protagonist in Parodies of Matrix, The Lord of the Rings or Brave heart -, which Naughty Dog He had been limited to supervising Ready at Dawn the study in charge of carrying it out. The mother company had other priorities, in fact, and this circumstance ended up exploring in the development of the next delivery.

On paper, JAK and BAXTER: The Lost Frontier seemed a logical step. Baxter recovery in the title, the elimination of the knob (the mane and we had lost it in JAK III, luckily), the presence of Kiera as support to the detriment of the rest of the gang. Everything pointed back to the roots of the legacy of the precursors, with the forced inclusion of flight phases with a spaceship as a toll to defend a minimum notion of progress. All cosmetic, despite everything, since this new game for PSP was seriously taken the persecution of hypothetical essences that even tended inconsistencies with what is seen in previous deliveries — that Baxter that suddenly had an alter ego dark and nullified — and He stayed in an impersonal and dying terrain. Naughty Dog had returned to depart from development, this time giving him relevant High Impact Games, and not even the new set of the game seemed especially fresh. After all, Ratchet & Clank had premiered in search of treasure (Ecuador of his trilogy Future ) Some months before sharing his spatial pirates, and consolidating a kinship that had lasted almost a decade but here I would find an abrupt outcome. The bad reception of The Lost Frontier froze any pretension to make more JAK and Baxter games, while Naughty Dog placed his attention on new and promising IPS: Uncharted and The Last of US.

Assuming that JAK and Baxter are History, we can track his influential findings in Naughty Dog's back trajectory -no only in relation to the maturity of his scripts, but to the manufacture of a calm scenario found his peak in The Last of US Part II —, and placate our love for the original trilogy since the understanding that, if it has not continued more than with false closures, it is due to something as simple as its principles are allergic to nostalgia. JAK and Baxter are synonymous with an indomitable adventure, with the always pending view of the horizon, and the constant discovery of an expanding world. The trip is over, yes, but the best thing about it is that there is no way back.

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