Originally posted by Matt Kenobi:
i was wondering, was the last stage of the last level a last minute thing because i din't like it too much. It wasn't as suspenseful as the JK duels where you could block the hits and swings a little better, i found my self kind of pounding on the mouse button just swinging because there was no real Defense to it. you either kept swingin or died. In JK you had to protect yourself in oder to beat the dudes.
Yes it was, absolutely, good observation on your part. We originally had built an auto-blocking system that we were going to hard-code in to Darth Maul, and thus have a more interesting battle. Maul himself was supposed to be specially-coded by our programmers for both the Hangar and into the Power Core, but as we slipped closer and closer to when we had to have the game done, our programmers were mired in other problems, bug-fixing etc, so in anticipation, our level designers put in some placeholder "standard" AIs for Maul - meaning we used the same AI system as for all the other characters in the game. This was SUPPOSED to be replaced by a specially-coded AI with blocking capability, but, you guessed it, the decision was finally made in April that we needed to scrap it, and spend a little time making the existing AIs challenging enough.
For whatever reason, the Hangar AI for Maul turned out to be MUCH more entertaining than in the Power Core. Most of that came from having to have Maul dance around the pit and over the bridge, whereas in the Hangar there was quite a bit of room to move around. Maul felt really insanely difficult in the Hangar because he was so free and loose, but in the tight constraints of the Power Core, he had to adhere to a pretty tight set of places where he could fight. So yes, it was indeed a letdown.
Hindsight is 20/20, of course, and if we had decided from the outset that the standard AI system would have to do, we could have budgeted a lot more time for tuning etc for that final battle.