Spoiler Warning: There will be spoilers ahead for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, as well as for other iterations of the Star Wars franchise.
Welcome back to Jedi: Fallen Order! Last time, I came up against my first difficult fight in the game, and it took a couple of attempts to get past some of Dathomir’s Night Brothers. This session didn’t start particularly smoothly, as there was apparently a connection problem with Steam that took a while to resolve. Jedi: Fallen Order is a single-player title of course, but I’m never sure whether playing while Steam is in “offline mode” means things like screenshots are disabled. I waited until whatever problem Steam was having was fixed before playing.
When Steam worked and we’d made it through the various loading screens and updates for Steam and Origin, Cal was back at the meditation spot where we left him on Dathomir. The Night Brothers in the area immediately beyond had respawned too, but were easily dispatched – I might finally be getting the hang of the game’s combat!
Past the locked door were a series of corridors and rooms – including the corridor where the camera got stuck last time. This go around Cal made it through alright, and having only used one stim-pack to regenerate his health too! In a rather out-of-place space-age crate amidst the rocks and ruins, BD-1 found a customisation option for the Stinger Mantis, giving it a shiny new metallic silver paint job. Though I liked its previous yellow colour, I decided to mix things up and try out the new one for now.
Jedi: Fallen Order’s third-person camera has been okay, despite the issue last time. I generally like third-person cameras in games, and especially in an action/adventure title like this it works well. It would make exploring and some of the more complicated jumps more difficult if it were a first-person title – not to mention the combat. The camera can also be used to peek around doorways; spotting enemies before they have a chance to see Cal gives him an advantage. And there were plenty of enemies in these ruins!
The hallways eventually led to an open area, where a stone bridge is crumbling. The back side of the locked door from earlier was here, and unlocking it created a shortcut back to the meditation spot where this section of the playthrough began. Cal was able to jump across a gap in the bridge, where a mysterious “wanderer” greeted him. Dressed in old, dark robes, this character gave off a distinctly creepy vibe – I’m about 98% sure Cal will have to fight him sooner or later! He reminded me somewhat of Kreia, the mysterious Force-sensitive old lady who mentors the Jedi Exile in Knights of the Old Republic II. The wanderer talked in very vague terms about visiting Dathomir to study extinct cultures, but not much of what he said was helpful in the short term.
However, one thing the wander explained was very interesting. He told Cal that others have tried to discover the secrets of the ruin – the one beyond the bridge that Cal is trying to reach – but that something inside it corrupted them. Could this be a hint at something connected with the dark side of the Force? It sounds intriguing… and dangerous! It’s also implied that there may only be one Night Sister, as the wanderer speaks of her in the singular. He then ends the conversation by telling Cal in no uncertain terms to “avoid the ruin”. Cal says he can’t do that… but actually he can, and has no choice in the matter for now.
At this point Cal hit the wall… literally. The bridge on which the wanderer is standing is broken, and Cal cannot jump from one section to the next; every time he tried he fell. There was a path below the bridge heading back the way we’d come. After several failed jumps I headed in that direction to see if there was something there to help Cal progress, and found something incredibly exciting! At a random workbench tucked away to the side of the passage, Cal was able to upgrade his lightsaber to be double-bladed – like Darth Maul’s famous lightsaber from The Phantom Menace! Obviously I liked this; the upgrade may very well come in handy! But I didn’t like that Cal worked on the blade in silence, and I especially disliked that no explanation was given as to why he was able to perform the upgrade here.
A couple of lines of dialogue would have massively improved this moment – having Cal say something like “look BD-1, a new lightsaber macguffin, I bet I could upgrade mine to be double-bladed” would have been all that was necessary to explain what was happening. The databank did lodge an entry about the upgrade, but nothing to explain why it was able to be done, how it could be done here, or what Cal found to be able to make the upgrade. It felt like one of those situations where we were very close to having a great moment in the game, but one element was missing and the result was that it just kind of fizzled out.
The lightsaber can be switched back to its single-bladed form at any time with a single button press, and I like having both options as it feels like it adds more variety to the game. Whether the lightsaber options are purely aesthetic or whether, as the game suggests, the different blades will be useful in different situations is unclear right now. After going through the tunnel beyond the lightsaber workbench and dispatching a handful of the poisonous spider-creatures, Cal ended up back at the meditation point where we began this playthrough. I debated saving, but doing so would allow all of the Night Brothers to respawn and I wasn’t keen to fight them all over again. However, there was nothing here that would help Cal across the gap in the bridge. Exploring the ruins further yielded nothing either, and I must’ve spent fifteen or twenty minutes trying various methods of crossing the gap or finding a way around, at which point I did choose to rest, though Cal had no skill points to use.
Climbing on the wall by the wanderer didn’t work. There was a tiny hole at the bottom of the gap that I thought Cal could have squeezed through, but that did nothing. There were no vines on the wall to climb, and nothing else to hold on to. I mentioned last time that some elements of Jedi: Fallen Order feel less cinematic and very “video-gamey”, and this moment is absolutely one of them. The rough rock that’s supporting the next section of the bridge could be easily climbed – there are a number of potential footholds and handholds, and from its base the rock face can only be four or five metres high. A Jedi – even a trainee Jedi – should be easily able to climb this short, cragged rock face, yet Jedi: Fallen Order makes no such allowance. I eventually relented and headed to the internet in search of a strategy guide. I was careful to avoid spoilers for the rest of Dathomir, but it turns out that this is as far as Cal can go until he unlocks a “Jedi flip” ability much later in the game!
This Jedi flip sounds like it’s basically a double-jump, and will allow Cal to cross the gap with ease. As cool as it was to come to Dathomir and get the double-bladed lightsaber, I’m disappointed with this outcome. Why would Jedi: Fallen Order give me a choice of destinations if one is basically blocked to Cal until he levels up? Despite the amount of time we’ve spent on Dathomir so far, we haven’t actually done anything of consequence yet; if I had to guess based on the size of the previous planet (Bogano) I would say Cal has maybe explored a third of what Dathomir has available, and aside from the monsters and the Night Brothers, all Cal has done is speak very briefly to one Night Sister and this wanderer.
I’m playing Jedi: Fallen Order for the first time, and until this moment I hadn’t picked up a guide or searched online for any walkthrough as I wanted to experience what the game had to offer for myself. After completing Cal’s quest on Bogano, it felt as though I had a free choice of destination – two planets were available, one of which said it was the main quest and one – Dathomir – that felt like a side-quest. I’m just a little confused why the game would do this, and why it wasn’t made more obvious that we’d gone as far as possible into Dathomir. Cal makes an offhand remark that he “can’t jump that far” when failing the jump for the first time. But that’s it. There was nothing to say that I should go back to the ship or that this was all I could do on Dathomir for now – but it is, and after reading online that I’d done all I could I doubled back and returned to the Stinger Mantis. The enemies had all respawned, but sprinting and bashing the dodge button repeatedly meant the return journey was fast and Cal took no damage.
Back aboard the ship I went straight to the galaxy map and selected the Zeffo homeworld – confusingly also named Zeffo. The ship took off from Dathomir as smoothly as before, and within moments we were landing on a stormy planet.
It wasn’t a perfect landing – despite what Greez tried to claim – and the storm appears to be interfering with communications aboard the Mantis. I always like this kind of setup, as having no way to communicate with the ship ramps up the tension. The storm on Zeffo provides a good excuse for why communication may be difficult. Cere promises to stay aboard and work on getting them working, leaving Cal to explore the landing zone.
There were several things to explore in the immediate area. Near the ship was a large open hangar – it had one crate inside that contained a lightsaber part. Further away from the ship there were two routes, one that led up a hill and one into a larger hangar. Inside the hangar was a locked door and another crate – this one contained a new poncho for Cal, which I promptly equipped. He seemed to approve!
With the door in the hangar locked, and nowhere else to explore in the immediate area around the Mantis, Cal headed up the hill and across a damaged bridge, where two animals were chewing on the dead body of a Stormtrooper. That’s right – the Empire made it to Zeffo first! If only we hadn’t wasted all that time going to Dathomir… just kidding, I know that isn’t how it works. After killing the creatures (they were no challenge, like the other monsters seen so far) Cere had managed to restore communications. Cal informed her of his discovery and the Empire’s presence.
Beyond the trooper’s body were two paths – I took one that went off to the right, into a pitch-black cave. Holding the block button means Cal uses his lightsaber as a flashlight, illuminating a small area around him. Aside from a Force echo, the only thing of note in the cave was a crate that contained a stim-pack upgrade: BD-1 can now carry three stims instead of two, giving Cal one more chance to heal in between meditation spots. I knew sooner or later we’d be able to upgrade this, and I’m so glad I came this way or I might’ve missed out! BD-1 did the most adorable little dance when being given the upgrade, and honestly he’s my favourite Star Wars droid right now. Sorry BB-8. You’re cute too, but you’re not as cute as BD-1. If anything happens to BD-1 I’m giving Jedi: Fallen Order 0/10 for traumatising me.
Exiting the cave meant doubling back to the fork in the road, and after a couple of jumps and ramps up, Cal was on top of the hangars near the Mantis. Going down placed him behind the locked door in the hangar bay; unlocking it provides a shortcut which may come in handy later. There were a couple of monsters along the way, but no Stormtroopers yet… I was sure they couldn’t be far away, though!
Immediately beyond the door and we got our first group of Stormtroopers. All of them were using blasters, which meant it was relatively easy to hang back and deflect their shots back at them. The Stormtroopers talk during combat, both shouting aggressively at Cal and bantering with each other – but Jedi: Fallen Order doesn’t seem to have recorded many lines of combat dialogue for the Stormtroopers, and they very quickly begin to repeat themselves. Perhaps we should excuse that since they’re clones(!) but as with the lightsaber upgrade that had no explanation, a few extra lines would have been nice and would have avoided the sense of repetitiveness, especially as we got further into Zeffo and encountered more troopers.
The path leads away from the hangar towards a village crawling with Stormtroopers. In addition to the regular troopers carrying blasters, there are also Scout troopers armed with melee weapons – we’d fought a couple on the train on Bracca back in Part 1 of the playthrough. In small numbers neither type of trooper is particularly bothersome, but a larger group, consisting of both ranged and melee opponents is harder to overcome. Regardless, Cal made it through several scraps in the village unscathed.
We got our first mini-boss on the far side of the village – a Scout trooper commander, designated by his orange shoulder pad. This guy uses a melee weapon like the regular Scout troopers, but is more skilled and harder to take down. Eventually Cal was able to prevail, however! There were several Force echoes in the village, which combined with the one we found in the dark cave to tell a story of a family forced from their homes by the Empire. An eviction notice was seen pinned to a doorway in the village, too. Are these people the Empire expelled Zeffo? Or are they another race that has settled the ruins of the Zeffo homeworld? I understood from what Master Eno Cordova said that the Zeffo are extinct, so I assume these people were settlers – but that remains unconfirmed right now! Hopefully we will learn what became of these people.
The Scout trooper commander was guarding a drawbridge. The bridge seemed to have a red glow or aura to it, similar to how some objects have a blue glow indicating Cal can use his Force powers to slow them down. However, this is presumably linked to another skill Cal doesn’t yet have, as there was no way to move the bridge. At several points during Cal’s time in the village I heard the distinctive whine of TIE Fighter engines, but unfortunately I didn’t look up in time to see them (and when I waited none flew overhead).
There was another route near the bridge which took Cal into what looked like one of the huts in the village. However, this building was cut into the rock behind, and contained a passageway that was another shortcut back to the abandoned hangar near the Mantis – perhaps this shortcut will come in handy as well! More importantly, though, the passageway contained a meditation spot, and I was able to get two new powers/lightsaber moves for Cal, as well as rest and make sure the game had checkpointed. I was tempted to call it a day, but we’d only just got to Zeffo and I wanted to see what was beyond the bridge, so after using the meditation spot and unlocking the shortcut I headed back outside.
The outfit Cal wears under his poncho has been the same since we left Bracca, and I didn’t think it was something that could be customised. But in a storage box here, BD-1 found Cal a different colour for his outfit – there are only five options, but it’s another nice little element of customisation. This one is a brown/khaki tone, and I equipped it to replace the blue/grey outfit he’s worn since the beginning of the game.
The troopers had all respawned due to using the meditation spot (a feature I can’t decide if I like or not) and despite taking Cal on a different path I still had to fight several of them. There was another way across the gap that the bridge should have allowed Cal to cross, by climbing and jumping across a couple of roofs, and on the other side a couple of troopers were no match for Cal’s lightsaber.
This area was fairly small, and aside from a locked storage crate that BD-1 can’t access yet – he still needs repairing, apparently – there wasn’t much to see. I was able to get all the way around to see the bridge from the other side, though. If we have to come back this way later, hopefully Cal will be able to move the bridge somehow and use it to get back to the Stinger Mantis, as I don’t think jumping back the way he came is possible.
After heading up a ramp, Cal came upon another dark cave and another meditation spot. I decided to take this opportunity to have a break, and save exploring the cave for next time.
So Dathomir was a bust! What a waste of time. As cool as it is to get the double-bladed lightsaber, it’s patently obvious that the upgraded weapon can’t be necessary to complete Zeffo, or the game would have made acquiring it mandatory instead of hiding it. I don’t really like that Dathomir was made available to visit but not possible to complete – that’s poor game design, in my opinion. At no point while playing should I need to pause the game and open a guide because the game hasn’t made clear where to go or what to do, yet on Dathomir when Cal couldn’t make that jump I was stumped. It wasn’t in any way clear that this was an absolute barrier to progress, and I wasted time on that world that I could have spent advancing the story on Zeffo further. Not to mention that when Cal finally makes it back to Dathomir later, we’ll have all the same monsters and enemies to fight.
That aside, I think I’m getting better at Jedi: Fallen Order. The battles this time went much more smoothly, and fights I might’ve lost when I first started playing were easily won. Story-wise, aside from the Dathomir dead end not even being acknowledged by any of the characters, I think Jedi: Fallen Order is doing a solid job. I’m curious to see what we’ll uncover on Zeffo and what the Imperials are doing here. It seems unlikely they’re here for the same reason as Cal – unless they saw Master Cordova’s message somehow.
Swing by next time and maybe we’ll find out!
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is out now on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the copyright of Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts. The Star Wars franchise is the copyright of Lucasfilm and Disney. This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence.