To anyone unfamiliar with Star Wars: Jedi Academy, this 2003 game developed by Raven, Vicarious Visions, and Lucasarts was the final installment of their Dark Forces franchise. Most famous for mixing shooter elements with lightsaber mechanics that were both intuitive and elegant, it was this happy unity of hack n’ slash and FPS that made the game so successful.
For those of you who are familiar with the game, you probably know that the campaign is three acts of non-linear missions separated and punctuated by story-driven multi-part missions that were a little more plot heavy. Upgradable force powers served as the RPG element while the player character (Jaden) also gradually progresses to learn different lightsaber styles, including the option to dual-wield or use the famous doublesaber like Darth Maul.
The first playthrough of this game is a dream: It’s got the exciting combat, the logical level design, the tried and true Star Wars mythos, and even multiple endings for light side and dark side. Despite all that, there’s one modern aspect where this game falls short, and it’s an important one:
We’re not saying the game is short, with the average run through the main story typically taking around nine hours on average. We’re saying that once you’ve completed that story, there’s not much to do other than play the same missions over again. This game came out before the time of ‘Campaign Plus’ or other such modes that increase the difficulty but allow for a second playthrough with your endgame character and stats (something we think would have been a great addition to this game).
But we found a way to do the next best thing:
The PC version of this game has a drop-down for console commands if you press ‘Shift + ~‘ during the game. Here’s where the fun stuff begins. Now for those of you pointing fingers and accusing us of cheating, remember that we played this game numerous times before using any of the upcoming commands, and we’d strongly encourage you to do the same. Remember, this is a way to add more hours of replayability to the game, not to cheapen your experience with what we think is a fantastic experience!
Once you’ve opened the drop-down for console commands, the first thing you’ll need to do is type ‘helpusobi 1’ (haha) to enable the game to register codes. From that point you can enter any of the following to achieve these results:
1. addsaberstyle fast OR addsaberstyle strong –
This will allow for you to add the additional lightsaber forms that are only unlocked later in the game. Being able to switch between the given styles from square one makes the experience far more tactical without really altering the difficulty of the game.
2. sabercolor 1 ‘color’ –
While this is merely an aesthetic difference, it means you can change lightsaber colors whenever you feel like a change of pace. This includes the otherwise forbidden red lightsaber, which makes your evil playthrough exponentially more immersive. It may seem like a small change, but when you’re desperate to freshen up your eighth or eighteenth run through the campaign, size matters not.
3. setforceall 3 –
This code will give you all the Force powers at their highest level. By the time you’ve beaten this game as many times as we have, it’s sometimes more frustrating than fun to have to play the early levels without your full arsenal of force powers. While having to pick and choose carefully adds a deeper level of strategic choice, the gameplay from level to level is much more fun when you can Force choke or heal without having to spend level after level building up to it. Plus, you get to do all the neat little acrobatics and flourishes, and that stuff is cinematic no matter what level you’re on!
4. saber 1 saber 1 –
Allows you to use dual lightsabers like the player character can do late game. Usually, this is only restricted to the third act, but we think that’s a shame given the rock-paper-scissors style of combat that depends so strongly on what kind of saber style you pick. Also once you’ve made that choice you are locked in, which means that while a single saber might be better in one level, you might wish you’d chosen dual sabers later on. You can also change the colors of the blades by using the ‘sabercolor’ code above.
5. saber dual_1 –
Similar to the above code, this allows for the player to use a doule-ended lightsaber immediately (and you can change its colors, too). All the same justifications for dual sabers apply here, with the added bonus that you also unlock the option to kick with this. Considering how many pitfalls and catwalks there are early in the game, having a double-ended lightsaber early on may radically change the way you approach each encounter.
And you can find many more codes here if you’re looking to add still more.
If all these codes still aren’t enough for you, we’ve got one more ace up the sleeve: Star Wars: Move Duels 2.
This mod takes you through the climactic fights of the prequel trilogy as well as several battles from the Force Unleashed series (including Starkiller as a playable character). So if you’ve ever wanted to play as Darth Maul against Qui-Gon on Tatooine or test your skill against Count Dooku or General Grievous, this mod makes it all happen and it uses lines directly from the films. Did we mention it’s also 100% free to download? Regardless of whether you like the story campaign of Jedi Academy, the lightsaber combat of this game makes playing these famous scenes extremely fun for any Star Wars fan.
If you don’t own this game, grab it here for only $3.99. Get it while the Steam summer sale is still going strong! May the Force be with you!