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Stadium Bug FAQ by PRadley

Version: Final | Updated: 11/11/2003

       ][               Jak II - STADIUM BUG               ][


                          -spoiler free-

by Paul Radley
Version FINAL
November 10, 2003

This document is copyright 2003 by Paul Radley.  It is intended for 
personal use only.  This document may not be reproduced, in part or 
whole, for commercial use or otherwise, without the express written 
consent of the author.  Jak II, is (c) 2003 by SCEA.  
All other products, trademarks, etc. contained here within remain the 
sole property of those corporations and other lucky bastards who own 
them (Naughty Dog, Sony, etc.)  ;)

Table of Contents
1.0    Version History

2.0    The Glitch

3.0    What to do

       - Restart
       - Send in your memory card
       - Abstinence
       - Detailed Explanation
       - Theories 

4.0    Official Response from SCEA

5.0    Frequently Asked Questions

6.0    Credits and Final Word


1.0   Version History

v.FINAL - 11/10/03 - Official response to inquiry from SCEA incorporated
                     with their explanation of the bug and how to avoid
                     it - OR - how to have your save file corrected.

v.1.0 - 11/5/03 - Submitted to GameFaqs

v.0.1 - 11/4/03 - First draft of faq written.  Not much to say except,
                  watch out!


2.0   The Glitch

** NOTE - Sony wrote me back and I've included their email in section 4.
The rest of this faq I've left essentially the same.  I've edited their 
email slightly as it contains a very minor spoiler, that probably isn't
worth hiding, but this is suppose to be spoiler free. **

While a wonderful game in many respects, Jak II is not without a few
bugs.  Unfortunately, there is one glitch that is particularly nasty.

Towards the end of the game (my game completion percentage was 92%) Jak
gets sent on a mission to the Under-Port.  After completing this 
challenging task, you will be instructed to find the Mechanic at the 
Coliseum.  Unfortunately, when you arrive at the Coliseum, the Mechanic
is nowhere to be found, and you will be unable to progress beyond this
point in the game's story.

I wrote this faq because I got screwed by the bug.  Not wanting any 
aspect of the game to be spoiled by discussions on the web, I avoided
discussion boards and such related to the game, and therefore missed
warnings and gripes about this bug in time to avoid it.  So, in an 
effort to keep others from sharing the same fate - but more 
realistically to tell gamers that can't find the Mechanic not to 
throw their PS2 out the window now, because who really looks at this 
stuff until after they get stuck? - I have written this faq.



3.0   What to do

The easiest remedy is to start a new game.

Unfortunately, if you are playing the game and encounter this problem,
it's too late.  Quietly turn your PS2 off, lock yourself in your closet,
and repeatedly bang your head against the wall.  No amount of swearing
will help, nor will the wanton destruction of property, as there is no
empirical evidence supporting the existence of catharsis. [since 
originally writing this faq, I have replayed the game, and it only took 
8 hours to complete the whole game, whereas I'd spent 30 hours up to 
where I got stuck the first time]  If you have an earlier save file you
may be able to continue from that save, providing you don't activate
the bug triggers discussed below.

Send your memory card to Sony and they will fix your save.

The data on your save file can be adjusted to reset the factors that
cause the bug to happen (see Theories below.)  Sony assures that none
of the other data on your card will be affected, and they will return
it to you in 7-10 business days.  Not too bad.  Though, it will probably 
take less time to replay the game.  See section 4.0 below for their 
address and specific instructions.

Just say No...

As with sexually transmitted diseases, the only way to prevent the bug
from infesting your game, is abstinence.  It appears that the bug is 
caused by changing the event in the Coliseum during normal play, prior
to going on the Under-Port mission, and replaying the Metal-Headmash
game.  By participating in Coliseum events only as they occur in the 
story, and not attempting any of the related medal challenges for 
Precursor Orbs, appears to be the only way to keep the bug from 
happening - 100%.  However, not everyone seems to be affected
by the glitch.  So, if you choose not to abstain, always make a back-up
of your save.  Sony also states that this method is the only way to be
sure the bug will not affect you and highly recommends keeping a back-up
save if you do replay the stadium events.

To explain in more detail...

At some point during the game, Jak will be required to complete a 
challenge in the Coliseum.  Later, another story event will take place
in the Coliseum.  These events can be replayed as mini-games after
completing them during the story.  However, the Coliseum will be setup
for the first challenge when you return.  In order to select the event in
which you wish to participate, you must access the "Stadium Computer."
You may have noticed blue holographic panels scattered throughout the 
city with question marks on them.  One such panel is located in an alcove
to the right of the Coliseum at the north edge of the city map.  "Talk"
to it by pressing the triangle button to access a menu that allows you
to select from the available challenges. Note that you cannot do this if
there is an alert as the hologram changes to a short red haze, nor is the 
option even available until at least one stadium challenge has been
completed in the story.  However, changing the stadium layout starts an 
unlabeled mission for the event selected.  Any mission icons on your 
small map will be replaced with a race flag icon that leads into the 
coliseum.  Leaving the vicinity of the Coliseum will restore the normal 
mission icons on the small map.  This effect will occur at anytime during 
the game, but does not seem to affect any missions, including others 
where you must return to the Mechanic, except the one after the 
Under-Port. If you try to restart the mission while in the vicinity of
the Coliseum, you will be placed at the beginning of the currently
selected stadium challenge.  And if you leave the area and restart the
mission you will be placed back at the last place you entered the city,
most likely in the port area - and you still won't find the Mechanic
when you return to the Coliseum.  According to Sony, it appears that the
final condition required to trigger the bug, is to also replay the 
Metal-Headmash game - which is far more entertaining than the stadium 
events.  I can corroborate that NOT replaying the stadium events, but
replaying the Metal-Headmash game does NOT trigger the bug.

Running theories

I've emailed Naughty Dog and Sony has replied with a somewhat satisfying 
answer.  It is possible that the danger zone for operating the Stadium 
Computer is after the fourth Coliseum challenge and before the Under-Port
mission.  It seems that the game resets properly after each Coliseum 
event in the story. So, based on this hypothesis, one should be able to 
play with the Coliseum mini-games as much as they want before the fourth 
challenge. I haven't tested this theory yet, so if you try it, you do so 
at your own risk.  The odd thing, of course, is that not everyone seems 
to be affected by the bug.  This inconsistency could be related to Sony's
attestation that replaying the Metal-Headmash game is also required to
trigger the bug.  Based on that information, it should be theoretically
possible to play the Coliseum events at anytime you want during the game,
as long as you do not replay the Metal-Headmash game until after 
completing the mission triggered by finding the Mechanic at the Coliseum
after the Under-Port mission.  But in my opinion, considering the 
challenge of this game, why take the chance?



4.0   Official Response from SCEA

Below is the email I received in response to my inquiry regarding the
bug.  I have made minor edits to preserve the "spoiler free" nature of
this faq.  Follow the recommendations listed below to avoid the bug, or
follow the directions to send in your memory card to have the save file

<begin email>

from:  Webmaster <webmaster@playstation.sony.com>
Friday, November 07, 2003 8:19 PM
subject:  SCEA Email - Jak 2

Hi Paul,

This is a follow-up email to your last correspondence with us.  Your 
original question is attached at the bottom of this email for your 

We apologize that your Jak II play experience has been interrupted by a 
game bug.  Unfortunately, we did not find this bug in our final testing 
of the product.  We believe the bug is triggered when the user opens the 
races in the kiosk by the stadium and competes in Race Class 1, and then 
leaves for the "Metal Headmash" mission at the Hip Hog, then returns to 
the stadium to locate the new mission, only to find that [the Mechanic]
is no longer there to trigger the mission. 

If you encountered this bug and would like to resolve this problem, 
you have two (2) options:

1. You can play through the game again.  If you decide to do so, we 
strongly advise using the extra save slot* before you go the kiosk near 
the arena to do the extra race events.  On a good note, it will take less 
time to get through the game the second time through and you will likely 
find more of the hard-to-get orbs.

2. Send us your Memory Card (8MB) (for PlayStation(R)2) and we will 
correct the Jak II Save File for you.  This will not affect any other 
save files you may have on your Memory Card (8MB) (for PlayStation 2).  
If you would like to take this option, here is our mailing address:

Attn: Kenneth Law
P.O. Box 5888
San Mateo, CA 94402-0888

Please include a short note with:
- Your Full Name
- Complete Mailing Address (include Zip Code)
- Your Phone Number (include Area Code)
- Short Description of the Problem

We recommend you ship your package via traceable or insured mail.  We 
will return your Memory Card (8MB) (for PlayStation 2) to you within 7 
to 10 working days, not including the shipping time between your home 
and our office.  Again, we would like to apologize for any inconvenience 
this situation may have caused you.

*Note: If you already happen to have a second save file for Jak II on 
your Memory Card (8MB) (for PlayStation 2), and if this save file was 
created PRIOR to entering the problems described above, you will still be 
able to continue with the game by doing the following:
- When you are ready to enter the area described above, avoid all of the 
kiosk missions and proceed directly to the stadium.  You will be able to 
speak to [the Mechanic] at this point.

Multimedia Specialist
Sony Computer Entertainment America
Consumer Services Department

</end email>



5.0   Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions that I have asked, and have seen posted on the
message board at GameFaqs.  If you have any questions that aren't 
answered here, know some answers that aren't written here, or have any
other constructive advice that can be corroborated, please feel free to
email me at loberto_e@hotmail.com  As I have now received official 
correspondence from Sony, there probably isn't too much more to add, but
if anything important develops, I'll update the faq.

Q:  What the ****?  Are you kidding?  I have to start over from scratch?

A:  Yup.  Sucks to be us.  You can send your memory card to Sony and have
    them repair the save file, but that will take longer for them to do
    than for you to replay the game.

Q:  Is there anything I can do to fix the bug once it's happened?

A:  See above question.

Q:  Where the **** is the ******* Mechanic?

A:  Normally, the Mechanic is located in the garage down the corridor 
    to the left of the Coliseum entrance.  After the Under-Port mission,
    the Mechanic is suppose to be at the bottom of the Coliseum stairs
    with some equipment - where the wrench icon appears on the big city
    map.  If you can't find the Mechanic and the wrench icon on the 
    small map has changed into a race flag icon, see the first question.

Q:  What is a Coliseum/Stadium/Race Computer?

A:  It's the hologram board/kiosk located in an alcove to the right of 
    the Coliseum and along the north edge of the city map.  You can talk
    to it when there isn't an alert to select mini-games in the Coliseum
    after you've played through two or more in the story.  When you 
    activate it, it says something to the effect of "Welcome to the 
    stadium main computer. Please make a selection."



6.0   Credits and Final Word

That's about all there is to say on the issue.  If this faq helps prevent
just one soul from experiencing the pain, frustration, and psychotic 
rage of being screwed by this horrible lapse in play-testing, then I've 
done my job.  

This faq is authorized for hosting on Gamefaqs.com and IGN
If you'd like to host it on your site, drop me an email and I'll most 
likely let you.  

Thanks to P.K. at SCEA for responding to my inquiry, and for Sony for
offering to repair save files for those so unjustly afflicted.

Special thanks to my wife Julia for putting up with my addic...er, 
lifestyle, though she is the one that got me playing the Jak series.

Thanks to Naughty Dog for creating such an entertaining game concept and 
following through with a challenging, and technically exquisite sequel.

Thanks to Gamefaqs for being a quality resource and hosting my faqs. 

Thanks to you for reading this.  I hope you find it useful.

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