You're reading it as it happens.
Perhaps in the days, weeks, months, and decades to come... you'll look back upon this time, nod to yourself, scurry to 'n' fro across the dirty tunnel where you live like a pig, and mutter: "Yes... yes, that is a memory that I am having..."
In 1995 I bought my first PC purely to play Star Wars: Dark Forces, and it was the best money I ever spent. I was hooked on first-person shooters - or "Doom clones" as your grandmother used to call them - and a Doom clone that cosplayed as Star Wars was irresistible.
I loved Dark Forces in a way that was extreme and unseemly, and the relatively bland mercenary Kyle Katarn was a solid addition to the Star Wars pantheon. Much more so than that smug, shoulder-padded, strutter Dash Render from Shadows of the Empire.
Honestly, who dresses like that? He looked like he was wearing a padded cell.
Dark Forces has aged badly, of course - so very indebted to the Doom template, as it was - but at the time it felt the closest I'd ever come to being in Star Wars.
It got two things very right: a sense of scale, and the sounds. Sound is vital to Star Wars - and we take for granted how iconic its sound design, and music, has become.
Just check out these iconic sound effects:
Sorry, my mistake. Those aren't sound effects; they're Star Wars characters!!!!!!!?!!!!!
Yes. Isn't that funny?
There's a famous anecdote about how George Lucas showed an early cut of Star Wars, pre-John Williams score, to some of his friends, such as Steven Spielberg, Brian DePalma, John Milius and the Time magazine film critic Jay Cocks (ha ha), and they mostly all thought it was a pageant of stink.
In fact, it has been recorded that DePalma danced up and down in front of Lucas, singing "You might as well face it, it's a pageant of stink!" to the tune of Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love.
Although that last bit never happened, as far as any of us know, the real good-sounding Kyle Katarn series continued with Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, an expansion pack called Mysteries of the Sith, before ending up here with Jedi Outcast (and one more later entry in the series, Jedi Academy).
It's a bit weird that they've chosen to re-release the Katarn story beginning with what's essentially the third game in the series, and it would've been nice to have had them in chronological order, but beggars canyons cannot be choosers canyons (do you see?).
What really stuck me playing Jedi Outcast is how its story feels even more embedded into the Star Wars mythos than it did back in the early-00s.
That was an era long before we got Star Wars TV shows, and expanded universe movies, and the sequel trilogy - all made by people who were Star Wars fans before they were filmmakers.
Back in the day, I generally eschewed the expanded universe novels, as they always felt a bit fan fiction-y, and such as it was with the games. I had to switch off my nerdy irritation with the story and characters, and quibbles when something felt a bit off, and just embrace the gameplay.
However, now that the definition of what Star Wars is has evolved, I found that this decade's expansion of the galaxy - and how it has been delivered into the care of those who grew up with Star Wars - has left me far more receptive to Kyle Katarn's adventures. Set 8 years after Return of the Jedi, in a slightly weird way Outcast feels far more Star Wars-y now than it did back then.
The cutscenes look the part - particularly the pre-rendered shots of ships and the like - even if the dialogue Is sometimes a trifle hammy and expositional. Also, the bloke playing Luke Skywalker really sounds nothing like Mark Hamill (even if he did improve in many subsequent Star Wars games; he also was the voice of Porky Pig in numerous Warner Bros. projects).
It leaps out when the one actor to reprise his role from the movies - Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian - pops up, with all the same, slightly slurred, charm he displayed on screen.
Incidentally, did any of you ever read what George Lucas had planned for his version of Episodes VII, VII and IX?
Here's an actual quote about what was in his treatment for the story: "We were going to get into a microbiotic world. There's this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe."
...Thank Christ he sold the company.
What really struck me with Jedi Outcast is how little Force powers - as depicted here - have changed in Star Wars games since. The lightsabre combat and Force-wielding in relatively recent outings, such The Force Unleashed and Battlefront, is handled in almost exactly the same way as it was in Outcast, almost 20 years ago.
Pulling enemies towards you, lopping off limbs, throwing your lightsaber at them; once you get tooled-up, the game becomes an enormously compelling power fantasy.
What has changed enormously, is everything else. Obviously, the graphics of Jedi Outcast struggle next to modern visuals. Action games have come a long way in the past 17 years, and that ageing is only highlighted by the move to a console control system (ignore the ridiculous motion control option), from the original keyboard-and-mouse.
Shooting is trial-and-error, the enemy AI is ridiculous - Stormtroopers run straight at you, sometimes right past you, as if they know that you'll struggle to get a clear shot at them. Levels are full of switches that are often hidden behind doors that don't appear to be doors, and... well... it's a bit of a faff, and you'll end up dying a lot.
But... five or so missions in, you'll hook up with Luke Skywalker (not in the way that, y'know, a brother and his twin sister might hook up), embrace your Force powers and lightsaber, and... it becomes a completely different game. A much better game... Albeit one that really is best played with a keyboard and a mouse, and would've benefited from a conversion which took that into account.
Nevertheless, these relics from the gaming past aren't necessarily meant to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with modern games. They exist to remind us of what came before, a blast of nostalgia, with flaws that ideally should be overlooked.
Such as it is with Jedi Outcast. Fingers crossed the re-release the entire series.
SCORE: Episode IV out of Episode VI