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The babak,[1][2][3] including its glacier variant the yeti,[4] is a type of lurker in The Precursor Legacy, Daxter, and Jak II. They are introduced as enemies, being the most common foot soldiers in Gol Acheron and Maia's army. They eventually evolved and became non-hostile, and were the species of the character Brutter and his tribe of lurker people, domesticated and enslaved by Haven citizens.

The babak is perhaps the most representative and common lurker. It is some species of primate, with magenta fur, a large mane, and physical characteristics common to all lurkers, including skin-colored spurs along its jawline, and bright yellow eyes. Babaks are simple one-hit enemies and are commonly encountered in groups.

Babaks represent one of five known non-human sapient species in the Jak and Daxter series, accompanied by ottsels, Kor's species, Kaeden's species, and moncaws. However, only Brutter was ever shown to speak. They are also among lurker sharks and jungle fish as the only lurkers known to have survived the 300 years between The Precursor Legacy and Jak II.

History[edit | edit source]

The Precursor Legacy[edit | edit source]

Babaks on Misty Island.

Babaks first appeared in the opening cutscene of The Precursor Legacy. Gol and Maia addressed a throng of them, along with bone armor lurkers, ordering them to attack anyone who strays from Sandover Village.[5]

Babaks were first actually encountered at Sentinel Beach and Forbidden Jungle, subsequently appearing in every other location except for Mountain Pass, Lava Tube, and inhabited villages. They appeared to be some of the more intelligent lurker types, capable of carrying out specific commands and operating a variety of technology, such as mine droppers and cannons.

Babaks were also notably adaptable to extreme climates. They were able to survive on the hardened patches of volcanic soil in Fire Canyon, as well as the frigid conditions of Snowy Mountain (adapting not only through attire but slight adjustments to their appearance). They presumably owe to this feat their progressed intelligence over other lurkers.

Daxter[edit | edit source]

Brutter, a babak character, as he appears in Daxter.

By 300 years after the events of The Precursor Legacy, the lurkers became non-hostile, and were in fact enslaved by the humans of Haven City. Babaks were kept as both forced laborers and pets inside the city,[6] but some managed to evade capture, living in a hidden underground lurker village.[7]

In Daxter, a civilized and seemingly emancipated babak named Brutter solicited the help of Kridder Ridder to exterminate metal bugs in his fish cannery. He explained to Daxter that he was losing his business thanks to the infestation, showing much gratitude for Daxter's assistance in eliminating them.[8]

In the epilogue, babaks made a cameo as trophy mounts in the front of the Naughty Ottsel.[9]

Jak II[edit | edit source]

A babak operating a trapeze balloon in the dig site.

At some point in Jak II, Baron Praxis discovered the lurker village, and turned it into a dig site in search of the Tomb of Mar. Kor tasked Jak and Daxter with the mission "Destroy equipment at dig" to disrupt the Baron's progress.[10] However, after the Krimzon Guard left the site, metal heads moved in and began terrorizing the trapped babaks there.[11] Given the fact that Kor was secretly the metal head leader, the previous mission was presumably given under false pretenses.

Babaks were rarely seen during Jak's visits to the dig site, in the aforementioned mission and "Get seal piece at dig". They were only seen in the latter mission, operating trapeze balloons,[12] identical in appearance to the mine-dropping lurkers from The Precursor Legacy.

A babak being transported in a prison zoomer.

Later, Krew gave Jak and Daxter the mission "Rescue 3 lurkers for Brutter". Brutter, who was Krew's associate, paid him in return for transporting them safely outside the city. At the time, three Krimzon Guard prison zoomers were transporting babaks to a project Baron Praxis had outside the city, so Jak was tasked with breaking them free and bringing them to Brutter's trinket stand in the west Bazaar.[13]

Brutter and a trio of babaks operating the lurker transport.

Some time afterwards, Brutter asked for their help again, assigning the mission "Rescue 6 lurkers for Brutter". This time, Jak needed to transport the babaks to sewer grates placed around the city so they could escape underground. After Jak completed the task, Brutter made him an honorary member of his tribe, and promised to help him whenever he needed it.[14] Brutter ultimately came through, helping to transport Keira's rift rider to the Metal Head nest via a lurker balloon, operated by two other babaks.[15]

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

The babak is some species of primate, with a magenta coat, a dark magenta mane, and a pale underbelly. These primates were turned into lurkers by Maia through dark sorcery,[16] and as such share physical traits common to all lurkers. These include bright orange-yellow eyes, skin-colored spurs along their lower jawline, and metal braces used to indicate their enslavement at the hands of Gol and Maia (and presumably Haven citizens in the future).

Babaks have considerably large heads with extended, broad lower jaws, and an exaggerated chest with a hulking posture. Their forearms, hands, and feet are also large, with which they can walk upright, gallop on all fours, or use an unorthodox, tumbling-like locomotion as exhibited by Brutter.[8]

A babak operating a mine dropper.

Yetis, the glacier variant of babaks, are identical to babaks excepting a blue coat with pale blue underbellies. They are also clad in heavy yellow winter gear, including some type of animal pelt used as a cowl, obscuring a presumably dark blue mane.

Babaks appear to be related to a variety of other primate lurkers, most notably including the bone armor lurker and Barter's species, both of which are blue similar to the yeti, and share many resemblances to babaks overall. While those are not considered part of the same species, lurkers such as those that operate the mine dropper and trapeze balloons are babaks different only by use of aviator goggles.[a]

Combat[edit | edit source]

Babaks are perhaps the simplest engagement in The Precursor Legacy. As soon as they notice you they will gallop towards you, and attack simply by coming into contact with you. After harming you, they will pound their chest in celebration, then repeat the cycle until they or you are killed. If you travel to an area where they can see but not reach you, they will either pound their chest or shrug, then walk away.

Defeating them and evading their attacks are fairly straightforward. They are among the weakest enemies in the game, going down with only one hit. Typically the slow speed of their approach will be enough to hit them before they hit you.

Jak fighting a babak on Misty Island during an ambush.

The most likely they are to hit you is during ambush segments at Misty Island and Boggy Swamp, as they tend to surround you and close in before you can defeat all of them. The recommended tactic in these situations is to use the spin kick, as it has a 360-degree attack radius and a quicker recovery than the punch. This is especially effective when combined with red eco, as it extends your attack radius.

Yetis are a similar case to babaks during an ambush, as they endlessly spawn from beneath the snow. Upon first encountering them, it will soon become evident that their respawn rate is endless, so it is recommended to not invest effort in clearing areas of them. Instead, simply run around them and proceed to the next area. As roll jumps double as attacks, it is recommended to use them while navigating through a group of yetis.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Babaks were used and designed as the lurker archetype during development for The Precursor Legacy, from which all other species drew inspiration or commonality. During Charles Zembillas' initial design stage of the Lurkers, when they were referred to as "Critters", an early design for the babak was created based on Naughty Dog's feedback.[17]

This was further refined by concept artist Mark Koerner to incorporate the purple color scheme and hulking posture.[18] This was then finalized by Bob Rafei into the more upright design seen in the final game.[19] Rafei's native given name is Babak,[20] presumably from which the creatures derive their name.

Concept art of the babak at various stages in development by Charles Zembillas, Mark Koerner, and Bob Rafei (left to right).

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The aforementioned lurkers are also low LOD variants, but are presumed to be identical if the technicalities are accounted for.

References[edit | edit source]

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