Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order as well as for other iterations of the Star Wars franchise.
Welcome back to the next part of Jedi: Fallen Order. The previous section of the game was absolutely wild as Cal returned to Zeffo. Exploring an Imperial base, a crashed Republic ship from the Clone Wars/prequel era, and an excavation site culminated in a duel against the Second Sister – and a shocking revelation about her past with Cere! That moment might be my favourite in the story so far, providing a great twist and raising the stakes dramatically. When we left Cal he’d escaped the Second Sister – who had seemed to be on the cusp of defeating him – and made it to the second Zeffo tomb.
Before we go inside, I just wanted to update you on one point from last time. I mentioned the game’s title screen depicts a damaged starship – having looked at it a little more closely I’m wondering whether it’s a Venator-class ship, like the crashed one on Zeffo. If so, it may be a representation of that very ship! Perhaps there’s more to the crashed ship than we know so far. On his approach to the tomb – which looks to be a whole building constructed inside a large cavern – Cal gets another “bad feeling”. His last one was building up to the fight against Trilla, so this can’t be anything good! At this point it felt like Cal’s real objective was to escape; exploring the tomb was incidental as he tried to make his way back to the Stinger Mantis. After all, if Trilla knew he was on Zeffo, she might know about Greez, Cere, and the ship too.
Cal made an attempt to radio the Mantis, but instead of Greez or Cere it was Trilla who replied! She explained that Cere is an expert at hacking comms, and she learned the skill from her. I liked this exchange, as not only did it set up Trilla taunting Cal during his exploration of the tomb, but it had a believable explanation as to why she could do so, as well as giving some background as to why Cere was able to hack Imperial communications so easily earlier in the game. This section of the game, similarly to the first tomb, will involve a lot of platforming and puzzles, and the way in was no exception, as Cal had to jump, run on walls, and swing on vines to make his way inside.
Squeezing through a narrow gap led Cal to a room where a couple of Stormtroopers had triggered a Tomb Guardian – the laser-wielding mechanical golems left behind by the Zeffo. The troopers were easy prey for the automaton, but here’s where I began to have an issue with the level’s layout and how it related to the story. Jedi: Fallen Order has a great story – one of the better Star Wars offerings in recent years – yet it’s too often undermined by sacrificing logic and consistency for the sake of giving the player more enemies to fight. This tomb, for example, has multiple areas that are blocked off behind walls that Cal needs to break with the Force, or small platforms that need to be accessed via complicated jumps and climbs, yet the whole place is crawling with Stormtroopers. How did they get there? In some areas, perhaps it makes sense that they came in via a dropship, as indeed we’ll see. But other areas are wholly inaccessible. This room could only be accessed by the narrow passage, yet it had two Stormtroopers inside, for example. Of course Jedi: Fallen Order is a game, and games need enemies to battle a lot of the time. But I’d rather see that done in a way that made a bit more sense.
Beyond the Tomb Guardian was a large room. Similar to the previous tomb, this one had a divot in the floor – one of those huge metal spheres lay broken a few metres away. Great… another one of these puzzles! The previous tomb had been at least slightly annoying with its “put the sphere in the hole” puzzles, and I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of repeating that all over again. However, there was no intact sphere at ground level to interact with, so I kept exploring. At this point I encountered another visual bug, as Cal climbed on a pile of debris in the middle of the room and seemed to levitate in mid-air, his feet nowhere near what he should have been walking on.
A room off to one side of this large circular chamber prompted an audio recording from Master Cordova – apparently the tomb has some areas that can be magnetised, which he says may be part of an ancient ritual. This was interesting, and of course will be important for puzzle-solving later. However, this room also contained something which had no explanation at all – an ongoing theme in Jedi: Fallen Order. A staircase is blocked by some vines or tree roots, and Cal’s lightsaber and Force powers have no effect on them. As a concept that’s fine – it means Cal will need to figure out a way to destroy or get around them. But… why was there no explanation at all of what these vines were? Even if something had popped up in the databank to read that would have been enough, yet there was nothing. An arbitrary video game barrier/puzzle piece dumped in Cal’s path with no explanation. There have been too many points where the game has not offered any explanation for what’s going on, these roots or vines are just the latest example. Cal is a Jedi armed with a lightsaber – weapons which can cut through almost anything. I feel these vines needed some kind of explanation – even a single line of dialogue – to explain why they’re lightsaber-proof.
The vines (as I’ll stick to calling them) can only be destroyed by fire, as it turns out. And luckily this tomb has a neverending supply of what are described as candles but which I’d probably say were closer in appearance to old-fashioned oil lamps. Activating a switch in this room caused three of these to shoot across the room – propelled by the magnets in the wall – and set the vines ablaze. The unlocked pathway led up a staircase to the upper level, and there was a meditation spot (but Cal didn’t have any skill points to use). A doorway led into a hallway that contained an inactive Tomb Guardian – I’m used to these things waking up when they spot Cal, so I’m not sure why this one didn’t; it just stood there silently. Another doorway led to the upper level of the main circular chamber, where a number of Stormtroopers were present. These were easily taken care of.
Trilla came back on the radio, telling Cal that her men found an “artefact” of interest in the tomb. They recovered it for her to study, but Cal tells her he doesn’t need it in a conversation that got uncomfortably close to Cal telling her the nature of his mission with BD-1! Trilla knows how to push his buttons, that’s for sure. A few moments later she was back on the radio, threatening Cal with sending more soldiers into the tomb. At this point it began to feel as though Cal was trapped – or walking into a trap. However, with the way behind him shut (and presumably under heavy guard) the only way to escape was to continue to go forward. After climbing up and defeating a couple of larger monsters, there seemed to be two routes – one across a bridge where a squad of troopers stood, and one that seemed to go into a smaller room. As someone who likes to explore as much of a level as possible (as well as grab more customisation items) I chose to explore the small room – but this led to a series of pathways that took me deeper into the level; I saw the bridge in the distance when I’d gone a fair way beyond it!
The next area of the level was a large chamber. Switches activated another of the magnets that Master Cordova talked about; these platforms would have to be moved forward and back a few times to allow Cal to cross over to the next part of the level. Several troopers – including a Purge trooper – were present in this area. Shortly after Cal arrived, an Imperial dropship appeared. At first I thought it was going to be a boss to fight, like the AT-STs had been, but it only dropped off some troopers before departing.
One part of the magnet-platform puzzle was very annoying, as it required pressing a switch then immediately sprinting to grab hold of the platform before it moved. Split-second button presses aren’t exactly my area of expertise, but to make matters worse, both buttons that needed to be pressed on the controller were the thumbsticks! The right thumbstick is used as an “interact” button for things like switches, and the left thumbstick needs to be clicked before Cal will sprint. Needless to say, this puzzle took several attempts. The level’s lone flame trooper was present in this area, but easily defeated. Cal pressed on into the tomb, when Trilla came back on the radio. She said Cal was too late – she’d taken the important artefact to her ship and was leaving. At this point I was worried that the level had been secretly timed and I’d have to do it all over again! Luckily that wasn’t the case, and I have to assume that no matter how fast Cal might’ve raced through the tomb, this conversation would always play out the same way.
After a lot more platforming and a few more enemies, Cal made it to the room indicated on the holomap. A meditation spot was here, which I took advantage of as Cal had lost some health. There were a couple of options to choose from for levelling up, and I put Cal’s lone skill point into an upgrade to his Force regeneration – granting him faster recovery of Force points while in combat. Like a bad smell, Trilla was back again – this time claiming to have lured Cal to the central burial chamber to “dispose” of him. There were a number of troopers on a platform up ahead, but it didn’t seem like an impossibly hard fight. However, partway through the battle the dropship from earlier showed up and started blasting!
The battle transitioned from gameplay to a cut-scene perfectly smoothly once again. The dropship’s firing had caused the chains holding up this platform to break, sending Cal and the troopers falling into the pit below! Cal dropped his lightsaber and seemed to be reaching out with the Force to grab hold of it when he heard Master Jaro Tapal’s voice. In the flashback that followed, we saw a young Cal learning to use the Force to pull his training lightsaber toward him, with Master Tapal’s encouragement. Drawing on this memory, Cal re-learned Force pull, and was able to retrieve his lightsaber.
Cal found himself hanging from the platform in the tomb, and using Force pull on one of the candles was able to destroy some of those indestructible vines to clear a path out of the burial chamber. Trilla immediately learned of Cal’s survival, and said she had a backup plan in case the trap failed to kill him. But as we’ll see on the way out, the backup plan basically consisted of sending a few more troopers into the tomb. The only way out was back the way I’d come, as was the case in the first tomb. Jedi: Fallen Order has a lot of backtracking and repeating areas, and while some of these sections bring in different opponents or new puzzles, sometimes it can feel repetitive, and as I mentioned last time, as if the game’s runtime is being artificially padded out.
Upon escaping the burial chamber and returning to the large main part of the cavern, Cal was confronted with a fairly large group of enemies. In typical video game fashion they stood in a line down a wide corridor, and while I don’t hate that as a concept – though it’s hardly original or particularly immersive – what was annoying is that at the back, behind a cadre of Stormtroopers and probe droids, was a Tomb Guardian just standing there. Elsewhere in the tomb, the Tomb Guardians had fought Stormtroopers, yet this one seemed to be allied with them waiting for Cal. It would have made way more sense to make the mini-boss at the head of this group a Purge trooper instead of a Tomb Guardian. The whole effect kind of ruined my suspension of disbelief for a moment, and made the whole thing feel very much like any old video game instead of the immersive Star Wars story I wanted to enjoy.
From a gameplay point of view this section was fine; the wide hallway had a couple of bottomless pits that Cal could send troopers tumbling into with his new Force pull ability, which was kind of fun. After defeating the various enemies, Cal was back in the main circular room, and in another random objective given to him with no explanation, was tasked with “raising the spire” of the tomb. Once again I’m left asking how Cal knew he needed to do that, where he got the information from, and all of the questions we’ve already covered when one of these seemingly-important parts of the story is unceremoniously plopped on Cal with no explanation. A line or two of dialogue – or even just an entry in the game’s databank – would have made this so much better. This puzzle was particularly annoying. Cal needed to move a chain – using Force pull – into a socket. That part should be simple, but for some reason when Cal was holding the chain, the camera became locked at a weird low angle, making it impossible to see where to go. I thought this was a bug unique to this area, but this chain-to-socket puzzle would be repeated later and the camera was locked then too.
It took a little while to figure out what to do next. The objective was to move one of the candles in the wall over to a chain which has vines wrapped around it – this will cause the chain to break and the sphere in the ceiling to fall. The sphere can then be moved into the socket on the ground floor. But the tomb is wet and there are torrents of water gushing from the ceiling – the candles are extinguished if they touch it. I spent ages messing about in a side room getting a candle through a small gap only to find that route was a dead end that only led to a Force echo! Eventually I figured out the solution – there was a magnet switch on one side of the room, and the casings of the candles are metal, meaning they’re attracted to it. It was a simple case of activate magnet, Force push a candle into the magnetised area, retrieve it, and then send it into the vines with Force push. Once again, Jedi: Fallen Order’s clunky controls let me down, and it took several attempts to launch the candle into the right place on the chain, but eventually I managed and the sphere fell to the floor. After Force pulling it into the socket, a room opened up.
Entering the room which had risen up from the floor led to BD-1 to display a recording from Master Cordova. He talks about something called a “Zeffo Astrium” which Cal describes a a key. This object will allow a Force user to “perceive the mysteries of the vault”… whatever that may mean! Whatever it does exactly, this Astrium seems like the key to gaining the holocron stored in the vault on Bogano – perhaps it will allow Cal to see something else in that large empty room. This small room was also the way out of the tomb – the spire that needed to be raised.
Once back outside, Trilla told Cal that she wanted him to raise the spire, claiming it was all part of her plan. I thought her plan had been to trap Cal in the tomb and kill him, but there we go. Unable to contact Cere and Greez on the radio, Cal urgently said he needed to head back to the Stinger Mantis. Presumably the artefact Trilla pilfered from the tomb is this Astrium, but that wasn’t confirmed at any point. This section led back into the Imperial base, and on the way BD-1 received another upgrade, this time allowing him to hack into probe droids. Not sure how useful this will be in combat, unless there’s a particularly large group of enemies, but it may have other uses. I also took this opportunity at the workbench to change Cal’s lightsaber from its orange colour to green for no other reason than I fancied a change.
Aside from the Scomp Link and the ability to climb zip-lines, BD-1’s upgrades appear to be optional. This workbench was along the main route back to the Mantis, but I think it would be possible to walk past it without getting the upgrade at this point. Perhaps that means it won’t be essential to the story. Back inside the Imperial base, and most of the troopers had respawned. Cal was able to defeat them, though, and backtracking through this area was uneventful.
I’m not sure if you remember from our last excursion to Zeffo, or from earlier this time as I kind of blitzed through it to get to the story, but the way to access this part of the level from the Stinger Mantis involved one of those Super Mario 64 ice slides. Climbing back up that was a no-go, but there was an alternate path by jumping on rocky outcrops that overlooked the ice slide. It was a hop, skip, and a jump back to one of the shortcuts that led to the village.
After jumping across the final gap near the top of the ice slide, I spotted the doorway leading to the shortcut. There might be a few more troopers en route, but other than that it seemed as though Cal was home free… until he was beset by a new enemy, someone named Atticus Rex. This vaguely Boba Fett-like character had a jetpack and a variety of weapons at his disposal. Regardless, Cal was doing well hacking away at him and using Force powers to wear his health down.
I liked this moment, as the appearance of a new enemy from nowhere was a surprise. Jedi: Fallen Order has handled surprises very well, and as this is my first playthrough, I was expecting an uneventful backtrack through the level to see what was happening on the Mantis. This fight came out of nowhere and I like that! Despite Cal seeming to have the upper hand, the fight ended in a scripted moment where Atticus Rex used a gadget to render Cal unconscious…
Having only died a handful of times so far in Jedi: Fallen Order (not to brag, I’m playing on easy mode after all) I couldn’t remember if the screen displayed on Cal’s death said “reawaken” or something similar. However, after seeing it for a moment, it was clear that a cut-scene was playing. Cal woke up in a prison cell, unarmed, and missing BD-1.
It turns out Atticus Rex was a bounty hunter, and because of Greez’s gambling, the bounty hunter guild came to know about Cal. Earlier in the game during one of the flights between worlds, Cere reprimanded Greez for his gambling, and this moment is a consequence of what Greez did. I like this as a story point, and as we’ll see later, it has the potential to bring Cal and Greez closer together. But as a gameplay section, this prison was a complete dud. Rescuing BD-1 was easy, he was in another nearby cell. After that, Cal ascended to an upper level on an elevator, where he found himself in an arena. The chief bounty hunter or head of the guild pitted Cal against a variety of the game’s monsters while a crowd of spectators looked on and – presumably – bet whether Cal would win or lose. Almost all of the monsters encountered so far were present in the arena, and after defeating several waves, Atticus Rex returned for round 2. Rex was relatively easy to defeat, but before Cal could do anything else – like break out of the arena and take on the other bounty hunters, the Stinger Mantis arrived and rescued him. The whole section took about five minutes to complete from waking up in the cell to defeating the final boss, and as a result it just felt like something completely tacked-on.
I know I’ve complained about Jedi: Fallen Order reusing levels and sending Cal back through areas multiple times. And I stand by those criticisms, as they often feel like unnecessary padding. However, this new section managed to feel like unnecessary padding too – unless Cal’s escape and killing of Rex leads to some as yet unknown consequence, this sub-plot with the bounty hunters just didn’t do much of anything. It was a minor interruption to the story – and actually if anything it got in the way of Cal learning what happened to the Mantis on Zeffo and how Greez and Cere were able to escape the Empire. Overall, I feel it was kind of a waste of time, and particularly a waste of development resources put into such a short and unnecessary section of the game. I’m also not sure why Atticus Rex was given a name – he never spoke, and aside from his presence in two short fights appears to be dead and no longer a part of the story. It’s possible he might make a comeback later, but it doesn’t seem like it right now.
The one good thing to come out of this is that Cal and Greez got some genuine development in their relationship. We saw last time Cal thank Greez for his safe piloting, and this time it’s Greez who speaks up, expressing his regret that his gambling addiction put Cal in danger. Seeing the characters develop is a key part of any story, and this section – while bland and uninspired – did at least have a positive effect on Cal and Greez’s relationship.
Speaking of interpersonal relationships, once safely aboard the Mantis, Cal jumped on Cere, telling her what happened with Trilla and asking her if Trilla’s accusations are true. Before they could really get stuck into what happened between Trilla and Cere, they were interrupted by the resistance fighters from Kashyyyk. Tarfful, the chief Cal needed to meet, has been located, but Saw Gerrera left the planet following an Imperial counter-attack. I’d hoped to get more time with Saw, but it may be that the first time on Kashyyyk was his only appearance; we’ll have to wait and see. With Tarfful found and no further information to go on, Cal plans to head to Kashyyyk.
When opening the galaxy map, however, Cere piped up and suggested that Master Cordova may have hidden supplies on Bogano, and says it could be worth a trip back there to take a look. This was presented as an option rather than something mandatory; Cal could have chosen to go straight to Kashyyyk. However, the thought of more loot – and perhaps more customisation options – was enough to entice me and I opted to to to Bogano. The Mantis dropped out of hyperspace and landed back in the same place as last time. Before ending this section of the playthrough, I used the Mantis’ meditation spot to use the skill points Cal had acquired – this time spending two skill points to further increase his maximum health.
So that’s all for this time. The tomb was partly interesting, partly frustrating. I liked that Trilla was able to hack Cal’s radio and be present throughout the exploration of the tomb, as it elevated the tension during that section of the game. From a story perspective, we’ve learned that we need to acquire a certain artefact – the Astrium – which may or may not be in the hands of Trilla. Perhaps the excursion to Kashyyyk will reveal a path to finding another one. Either way, it seems as though this artefact may be essential to gaining the holocron in the vault.
Next time we’ll take a second look at Bogano to see if we can find anything of use, and probably head to Kashyyyk too. So swing by then for the next part of the adventure!
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.