Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight CTF is a masterpiece. It offers a depth that CTF in games of today lack. The graphics don’t discriminate against your less than state of the art PC and graphics card. The netcode doesn’t discriminate against you for being a dial-up player either. These are two of many great things about Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight that keep people playing it after all these years. The game was released in 1997 and people all across the world still play it as seriously as they ever did. The editing community is still thriving, even after the release of Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. From the outside, it would appear that this game will never die, but what is going on behind the scenes? What would possess a person to dedicate time out of their busy day to write an article about a game that appears to be doing just fine? Keep reading, and the answers will reveal themselves.
If you’ve played Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight online for any period of time, you’ve probably ran into what the modern community calls “hackers.” What exactly are these “hackers?” Jedi Knight uses a C scripting language known as COG to perform many operations. That in itself is interesting, but why is it important? Well, I’m going to tell you. These so-called “hackers” are able to edit these COG files to do just about anything they want. Want to turn yourself into a Tie Fighter and fly around the level shooting an automatic Concussion Rifle at someone? It is possible by editing COGs. Want to run around and delete items all over the level, like weapons, ammo, or even doors or elevators? You can do that. Want to totally cause havoc and ruin the fun of hundreds of players? You can do that. It’s been going on since shortly after the games release and it appears that it will be going on until the last person in the world is playing the game.
That’s all fine and dandy, but how does this relate to CTF? Simple. Until recently, Jedi Knight CTF was dominated by the older and/or mature players within the community. Even though there were a few bad seeds, the majority of the community got along quite well and accusing someone of “hacking” in CTF wasn’t half as common as it is now. What changed? Alot of the CTF players left the game (TF and ETI) to play new games and along came a new generation of CTF players. That isn’t bad in itself, because in this new generation, there were alot of good players, but there were also alot of bad players who started to use “hacking” as a means to win. My goal in this article isn’t to single out any clans or players, at least not at this point, but they know who they are. Before this new generation of CTF players, CTF was something to be treasured…something to be respected. This new generation of “hackers” or cheaters as I prefer to call them, have begun to cause havoc within the CTF community and alot of the remaining players that don’t cheat have decided to go underground, playing in games with a selected few. People that they know who wouldn’t use cheats. People that they have been playing with for years.
As anyone can tell, by reading this, things were in pretty bad shape. Then the unexpected happened. Someone went even further. Someone decided that the COGs that were already in existence weren’t enough. They need more powerful, sneakier COGs to ruin CTF games with. The old line of COGs were easily noticeable by veteran players, so they needed something more. Something that would not only ensure a victory each time they played, but something that would destroy CTF as we all knew it. What is this you ask? A series of COGs known as the Ultimate CTF Hax. Why is this series of COGs so terrible? Well, below is a list of the COGs thus far, and it will be obvious when you read a description of each (quoted from the author, LuNaTiK, who just so happens to be in the NKM clan), why they are so terrible.
# Team Fusion CTF level Pack AHP Crack:
I wanted to check out the two Team Fusion CTF levels, Fusion and Coret, but when I joined, they had some stupid built-in AHP crap that caught my current COG work that I didn’t bother to take out of my COG folder. Ok, as if this puny ‘built-in AHP’ is supposed to stop me. All it took was one letter added to their ‘built-in AHP’ cog. Here ya go, load it up in your COG folder and bring in whatever the fuck you want. * Only works in the two Team Fusion CTF levels, Fusion and Coret(duh).
# Flag Pickup Hack:
Considering how much lag there is in CTF games, I decided to take advantage of it and make this funny hack for CTF. Regardless of what team you’re on, activating this COG will make your flag unpickable, that is, until you toggle it off. Just blame it on ‘ol lag. Also note that if this is ON, you cannot capture the other teams flag, even when your flag is at your base, because JK thinks your flag isn’t there. You do NOT need a FF player hack for this COG, and it does not make any noise. * Only works in CTF nar!
# Anti-Thrust Toggle:
In CTF Nar, you know that fun puzzle? Don’t you hate 20 seconds or so for that triangle to turn white? Well just activate this and you won’t get blown away eve if you jump in while the triangle is red. Note: You are no longer affected by the fan thrust, so expect about 15 points of damage when you land. This can also be used in any other levels with thrust devices, i.e. Bepin’s ceiling thrust. You do NOT need a FF player hack for this.
# Sneaky Speed Tweak:
This will make it so you can run a little faster…just a tad faster so no one can notice it. It makes no noise. You do NOT need a FF player hack for this COG.
# CTF Key Hack:
Ever needed a key to open a door or run away and go cap? Activate this, and it will give you the other team’s key. Just make sure no one is looking ;p This COG makes no sound whatsoever, nor do you need a FF player hack for it. This will work in CTF Nar and the two Team Fusion levels, Fusion and Coret. I highly doubt it will work in other CTF levels, but be my guest if you want to try.
# Inventory TweaXeR:
Ever had a situation in a CTF game where you really need a Concussion Rifle, or a Rail Detonator, or even some mines? Simply activate Force Deadly Sight and the following items will be tweaked every half second: Health (by 20), Shields (by 25), Rail Detonator and Concussion Rifle (by 1), Sequence Charges (by 3), Power Cells (by 33), Rails (by 3), and Bactas (by 1). Let go of your hotkey to stop the process. This does not make any noise whatsoever, and you do NOT need a FF player hack for this.
# CTF Mine Scanner:
Ever hate having the flag and dying ‘cuz of someones mines (sometimes the mines your own teammate laid!)? This mine scanner will scan for any close mines in your way and set a target on them so you can destroy them. You do not need a FF hack for this, and it does NOT make any noise.
I refuse to post links to these COGs or to LuNaTiK’s website, because that will only increase the amount of people who use these cheap tactics. As you can see, each of these COGs are terrible for those of us who still play CTF. Each of these COGs are disrespectful to all of us who have spent years playing and training in CTF for this game, to get to where we are. The creation of these COGs among others, is a slap in the face to everyone who doesn’t use them to win. A slap in the face to every player who chooses to train hard so they can win with skill. Not only is this disrespectful but it opens up something that many players have predicted for years. They predicted that there would one day be a time in Jedi Knight when COGs are so easily available that hundreds of players will use them, and you will never know who was using them and who wasn’t. You will only have suspicions. Many players would argue that Jedi Knight was like this all along, but it wasn’t. Yes, it’s always been bad, but most COGs are easily noticeable by veteran players. These new COG’s aren’t.
It’s not the COG’s themselves that will destroy this game, it’s the suspicion that everyone who beats you with some ‘strange lag’ was using COGs. It’s the suspicion that everyone who you ‘shot three times and they didn’t die’, was using COGs. Will Jedi Knight survive this suspicion? Probably. Will CTF? We can only hope. Can we blame people like LuNaTiK for releasing things like this? Sure, but will it help? Probably not. Then who is there to blame? You could blame yourself for continuing to play this game, but if you’re like me, you haven’t liked a game so much, ever. No, you shouldn’t blame yourself, and you shouldn’t blame people like LuNaTiK, beyond an extent, even though it was his choice to try and single-handedly destroy CTF. Blame him a little, but how about we blame the source even more. You should blame Lucasarts. Are they not the company that made the game so easily “hackable”? In some ways, the ease of COGs is a good thing, like when you’re creating a MOD, but it would appear that the bad heavily outways the good in this case. What have you to say LuNaTiK? What have you to say Lucasarts? I doubt that anything you say will be productive.