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Daxter logo.pngJak II logo (NTSC-UC).pngJak 3 logo.png

The guard is an enemy in Daxter and Jak II. They are the armed foot soldiers of the Krimzon Guard police and military force in Haven City, ultimately replaced by the Freedom League's soldier[1] in Jak 3.

In Jak II, the guard came in two additional types to the standard guard,[2] clad in red: the elite guard,[2][3] clad in yellow; and the hover guard,[2] a standard guard with a jetpack.

They primarily patrol the streets of Haven City, where they are passive towards Jak and Daxter while unprovoked. However, they will become hostile when attacked, or, in Daxter and Jak II, when encountered outside of the city. In Jak 3, they are mostly friendly towards the duo under the more benevolent city government, though some still express hostility towards him.

History[edit | edit source]

Daxter[edit | edit source]

A guard patrolling a prison corridor.

Guards did not patrol the city streets en mass during Daxter as they did in later games.[a] They in fact had very few appearances in the game. They first appeared in the prologue, during Jak's arrest and shortly afterwards, when Daxter collided into one in front of Osmo. Daxter would later to tell fictitious stories to bar patrons about "knocking guards silly with a single blow."[4]

They next appeared in the mission "Follow that prison zoomer!",[b] while transporting Jak in a prison zoomer through the city. Daxter gave chase to it before eventually being cornered by a group of guards in the Industrial Section.

A guard also accompanied Erol when they met an in-disguise Daxter in front of the Palace, before the mission "Escape the palace". Another was encountered at the start of the very next mission, "Rescue Jak", while chasing Daxter on a service zoomer through a service tunnel in the fortress. Guards were encountered throughout the rest of the mission, patrolling corridors in the prison, requiring Daxter to sneak past them.

Jak II[edit | edit source]

In Jak II, guards were first encountered in the fortress during the mission "Escape from fortress". Thereafter, guards patrolled the city streets both on foot and in patrol vehicles, namely the KG patrol bike and Krimzon Guard cruiser.

Armed with tasers and rifles, they would remain neutral towards Jak until attacked or run over with a zoomer, at which point all guards would pursue Jak until he successfully hid from them, outran them, or until they killed him. There were also fixed points in the game when guards would automatically chase after Jak.

Guards were also encountered in places other than the city streets, including outside the city. In these cases they would automatically attack Jak upon sighting him. Such missions included, among others, "Destroy ship at drill platform", "Rescue friends in fortress", and "Protect Samos in Haven Forest". These particular missions notably included guards with jetpacks known as hover guards. In the mission "Destroy equipment at dig", guards were uniquely equipped with grenade launchers, which fired miniature dark eco canisters as bombs.

Guards were deployed in squads, or units. Known squads included unit alpha,[5] the beta squad,[6] and unit zulu.[7] The meaning of and distinction between these names is unknown. In fact, guards rarely traveled in groups in the city, and were instead deployed as groups only for specific operations. Within the city, this notably included "Protect Kor and Kid" and "Get seal piece at Water Slums", during which several guards were deployed from air trains.

Guards with Baron Praxis in the construction site.

Guards would also serve as drivers for specific operations within the city. This included the missions "Rescue lurkers for Brutter" and "Destroy five HellCat cruisers", wherein they transported babak slaves in prison zoomers and patrolled with special elite HellCat cruisers, respectively.

Baron Praxis required that members from each family in Haven City join the Krimzon Guard to fill the ranks. He demanded this to a stricter extent after Jak caused "attrition difficulties".[8] After the mission "Defeat Baron in Mar's tomb" mid-way through the game, the Krimzon Guard deployed yellow-clad elite guards, which patrolled the city alongside the red-clad standard guards.

Between the missions "Beat the metal head mash" and "Break barrier at nest", metal heads roamed the city streets after breaking through the city wall when the Shield Wall was compromised. During this time, guards actively fought against the roaming metal heads, who would attack bystander civilians. The music and alarm bell associated with the alarm system persisted, though the guards did not pursue Jak, even if he attacked them. Their sole targets were metal heads.[c]

Jak 3[edit | edit source]

Soldiers marshaling Jak into the Wasteland.

After the death of Baron Praxis, his daughter Ashelin Praxis became the new governor of the city, and alongside Torn reformed the Krimzon Guard into the New Krimzon Guard, and eventually the Freedom League. The guards, now called soldiers, were clad in blue armor rather than red.

Soldiers first appeared in the opening cutscene, marshaling Jak out into the Wasteland to banish him from the city.[9] In the city, they would patrol neutral zones in squads of four men. Unlike in Jak II, attacking a soldier did not trigger any alarm system. Instead, the squad of surrounding soldiers would retaliate against Jak until he was out of reach or died.

Soldiers fighting against KG Death Bots and Metal Heads.

Certain sections of the city were embroiled in a battle of soldiers against metal heads and KG death bots. Such sections included the north-western Port area leading to the Metal Head city section, the north-eastern Port area leading to the Industrial Section, the Industrial Section itself, the Slums, and eventually New Haven. In these zones, soldiers actively fought against their foes in much a similar manner to Jak II during the first metal head invasion. Unlike in Jak II, guards did not patrol in vehicles (presumably due to the war on the streets), and were not seen outside the city. Also, some soldiers were armed with grenade launchers inside the city; though this time they fired generic metallic shells rather than canisters.

Soldiers rarely factored into missions in Jak 3. In the mission "Defend Port from attack", soldiers would act as reinforcements to fight off metal heads and death bots alongside Jak.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Concept art of the guard.

All guards are sturdy-built male humans wearing segmented plates of armor over a cloth undersuit. This armor consists of a helmet, a chrome breastplate (across which is a cloth sash), and bulky metal plates around the shoulders, forearms, hands, abdomen, thighs, knees, toes, and heels.

The helmet consists of a chrome cranial cap connected to eyewear with red lenses,[d] and silver metal plates across the top of their elongated ears. On top of the cap is a plate of armor forming a characteristic "hood", or visor, over the head. Metal plates extend from the helmet around the jawline, at the front of which is a device (presumably used either for radio communication or as a breathing apparatus connected to the chest tube, or both). This chest tube connects from the bottom-left side of the breastplate to a small tank in the back.

In Daxter and Jak II, the segmented plates of armor were red in color, over a dark blue undersuit and with a red sash. Later on in Jak II, elite guards donned a yellow armor color and sash instead. Both the standard guards and elite guards had the Krimzon Guard emblem painted on the shoulder plates (though the elite guards had red stripes around the emblem instead of beige). In Jak 3, the soldiers wore blue armor over a khaki undersuit and with a yellow sash, with the Freedom League logo on their shoulder plate.

Typical of all ranking members of the Krimzon Guard, guards had dark gray face and ear tattoos of a consistent pattern; similar in nature to but different in pattern from Erol, Ashelin, and Torn. This was to show their uncompromising loyalty to Baron Praxis and his regime.[10]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Guards were hostile towards Jak in Jak II, and had a negative reputation among the populace for overly aggressive policing, wanton destruction of property during raids, mass arrests, and misplaced family members of civilians.[8] They were also highly corrupt, with Krew implying that they could normally be bought with bribes.[11] During idle chatter, guards can be heard longing for action, even violence against civilians, and calling for the deaths of the Shadow, Torn, Jak, and the Underground in general. Guards were also prone to gossip, causing rumor of Jak's Dark Jak capabilities to spread quickly throughout their ranks. This can be heard from both idle chatter[6] as well as their exclamations upon encountering Dark Jak, particularly Dark Giant.[12]

In Jak 3, it appeared that Freedom League ranks comprised former KG guards as well as former Underground fighters.[e] Some would express hostility towards Jak, while others would be encouraging or sympathetic to him. Some would express how they "miss the old Baron", while others remained faithful in Torn and Jak, encouraging others to do the same.[14]

Combat[edit | edit source]

Attacks[edit | edit source]

Combatant guards in the Palace.

Guards (hereafter including soldiers) have a variety of ways to attack their targets. The first couple are their short-range attacks: a simple strike with the butt of their weapon; or if armed with an energy rod,[15] also known as the shock rod rifle,[16] a short-range shock delivered by a tase. Taser-armed guards will always attempt to close in on their target if from a distance.

The ones with rifles or grenade launchers will instead assume a standing or crouching position and take aim with their weapons, repeatedly firing until they hit their target, are hit themselves, or if the target becomes out of range or view. If in a vehicle, they will close in on an enemy and shoot it with the mounted turret. If the target is using a vehicle, they will ram their vehicle full-force towards their target kamikaze-style.

Hover guards are equipped with dual rifles on their jetpacks, and present an additional threat in their maneuverability, speed, and numbers.

In Jak 3, soldiers patrol in groups of up to four men. All except one will be armed with rifles. The odd one out will use his weapon as a grenade launcher when his squad is attacked; when he himself is attacked, he will use it as a taser instead.

Evasion[edit | edit source]

The easiest way to evade patrolling guards is to exit the city or enter a building, and then return to the city, at which point the alarm or avenging soldiers will have passed over. Another strategy is to walk against a flat wall to "hide", at which point Jak will push his back against the wall. This only works if the pursuing guard arrived from out of range on the minimap, however. This strategy is most effective if you are additionally out of reach of the guard or behind some sort of barrier.

Taser-armed guards are the easiest to avoid as they are both short-range and cannot attack while moving. Grenade launcher-armed guards are easy to avoid so long as you pay attention to whether there are undetonated grenades in your general area or path of travel. Rifle-armed guards are notably more difficult, as they can attack from afar and are quite accurate. Also, if the alarm system is at such a high phase that riflemen are deployed, there are usually many guards called to action, making evasion of the cross-fire difficult.

In this instance, it is recommended to attempt to outrun the guards using a zoomer. Stay in the lower hover-zone to avoid patrol bikes and cruisers ramming into you. A single-seater is recommended in situations with a low amount of guards, due to its speed. Two- and three-seaters are recommended if several are after you, due to their durability.

Note however that even if you escape the range of one group of guards, more guards will spawn in all directions. Thus it is recommended to speed away to a safe zone or hiding space if you are repeatedly taking damage. In any case, any zoomer type proves nearly invulnerable to the taser, which is very weak in damage output compared to the rifles.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Guards in the fortress.

Guards are most formidable by their numbers and variety of attacks. In turn, strategies for attacking them mostly involve first evading them so that you are in a position to attack.

Taser guards are the easiest to take out, as they must first set their position before tasing, and then can only attack within short range. Use the speed of Jak's moveset to your advantage in this situation: close the distance, attack with a punch and/or a kick, and move on. When being attacked by multiple taser guards, the Scatter Gun works well due to its large cone radius, though beware its slow rate of fire. The Vulcan Fury works for particularly large groups, as its rapid bullet spray can take out large groups at once. Beware of its high rate of ammo consumption, however.

Note that guards drop ammo after being defeated, so it may be advisable to attack them to collect ammo. In these instances, it's best to attack just enough without triggering the deployment of riflemen, as the taser guards are the easiest to fight.

Combat strategies against rifle guards and grenade launcher guards both involve evading and picking off from afar. The Blaster is best suited for this task due to its long range and relatively large ammo capacity. When overwhelmed by pursuing riflemen, the Blaster may prove too slow and discrete, at which point the Peace Maker is a good alternative. A single blast can take out a cluster of guards, and its range is sufficient for attacking the guards before they reach or discover you. This is particularly evident in the missions "Explore palace" and "Get Heart of Mar in weapons lab".

Such strategies are similarly applicable to hover guards. Due to their flight ability, they often need to be attacked from longer distances. The Blaster and Peace Maker are both useful, as is the Vulcan Fury if in close enough range. Fighting hover guards in the gunpod has similar principles but different mechanics; see "Destroy ship at drill platform".

Notes[edit | edit source]

Annotations
  1. Although it should be noted that pedestrians were not in the city either. This could be due to technical limitations rather than for story reasons.
  2. However, the guard model is not physically in the mission since the driver's seat is mostly obscured from view in the game. Instead the guard only actually appears in the associated cutscenes.
  3. And yakows, due to a bug.
  4. Interestingly this eyewear had blue lenses for the in-game soldier model only (not the cutscene model).
  5. The voice actor for soldiers was that of Underground fighters in the previous game rather than that of the guards.[13]
Citations

References[edit | edit source]

Video games
Bibliography
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