At this point, I feel it is safe to say that Kyle Katarn and I are official Jedi Knights. We have gone through the tests of battling the dark Jedi, resisting Jerec's calls to the dark side, and protecting the Valley of the Jedi, so I feel the title is deserved. However, there's still plenty of tests to go through and Katarn's story is far from over. SO we're continuing the Jedi path with the Dark Forces 2 expansion, Mysteries of the Sith.
Mysteries of the Sith picks up five years after the end of Dark Forces 2. Kyle has taken on an apprentice, who is actually a very well known character in the Star Wars expanded universe, Mara Jade. At this point in her story she has been swayed from the dark side by Luke and begins training to be a Jedi Knight (Hey! That's a coincidence). After the first 4 missions, Mara takes the role of the protagonist throughout the expansion.
The story for Mysteries of the Sith is fairly short and concise; which is to be expected from an expansion. While training at a Republic base, Kyle and Mara are attacked by two mobile Empire bases. Kyle fights through the imperial forces, steals one of their shuttles, goes to one of their bases, uses it to blow up the other and then causes it to self destruct. During this intense bout of bad ass behavior, Kyle learns of a planet called Dromund Kaas that is important to the Empire. Naturally, Kyle flies out there to put Jedi boots to Empire asses.
At this point, control is switched to Mara Jade who takes over Republic missions in Kyle's absence. Mara meets up with a Hutt named Ka'Pa to negotiate a supply issue, where she is then asked to track down a device. She becomes imprisoned after getting trapped, where she breaks out and eventually comes face to face with a Rancor(a la Return of the Jedi). After her escape Mara is tasked with protecting a Jedi holocron, that is stolen by pirates, but then ultimately taken back by Mara. During these experiences Mara grows a stronger connection with the force.
After all of these missions Mara becomes concerned for Kyle after not hearing from him since the attack at the start of the game. She tracks the shuttle he used to Dromund Kaas where she discovers that the entire planet is strong in the Dark Side; so much so that the only weapon of hers that will work is her lightsaber. Mara then makes her way through the swamp she landed in to find a Dark Force temple that Kyle has secluded himself in. As she fights her way to the heart of the temple it becomes increasingly clear that Kyle has become maddened by the dark side. When they meet in the temple they begin to duel, until Kyle comes back to his senses and realizes he's fallen to the Dark Side. Kyle and Mara then leave the planet; Kyle convinced that he has failed as a Jedi. This doesn't look good for Kyle and I's Jedi Knight status.
The first and most noticeable thing about Mysteries of the Sith is that the production value takes a serious hit. The cutscenes are produced in-engine and look very distorted and choppy. You never realized how wonky the character models looked in Dark Forces 2 until you see them trying to convey serious dialogue by motioning their arms wildly. However, this can be forgiven seeing as how Mysteries of the Sith was released a short 3 months after Dark Forces 2 using existing assets.
Mysteries of the Sith does add a few new Force powers to play around with such as saber throw and Force lightning. Other than the new powers and lacking the cinematic set pieces of the previous game, Mysteries of the Sith remains mostly the same as the game it succeeds. Level designs are fairly similar to Dark Forces 2. Character models, textures, and weapons are the same as well. Basically if you just wanted 14 bonus missions, this gets the job done.
Even if Mysteries of the Sith was more of the same, I enjoyed Dark Forces 2 a whole lot so it was appreciated. I also loved how it played such a vital role to the overall story of Kyle Katarn. It ended up being a much more important entry to the series than I had intially anticipated. Seriously that ending was a large blow to our Jedi Knight progress and the title of the next game, Jedi Outcast, gives me a pretty good hint at where my journey is headed next.