Getting to Know Jack

posted by Jonathan Stauder August 10th 2017

Introducing a new character into the beloved cast of a Telltale game is no small challenge. Jack, a new addition to Minecraft: Story Mode, had to be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Jesse and Petra by the end of our new season premiere. Jack’s origins are best left for another day when our lead writer, Eric Stirpe, can walk you through how he came to be. Today I’m going to talk about how we made getting to know Jack a playable experience. And not just through dialogue choices, but through exploring a new environment (the Sea Temple!) and fighting a new foe (the Prismarine Colossus!).

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Jesse (which means you, the player) first meets Jack inside the shop he runs with his best friend and Villager-partner, Nurm. Jack saw a strange Prismarine gauntlet similar to the one on Jesse’s hand during an adventure in his distant past. That adventure ended tragically and Jack has no desire to see the same tragedy befall Jesse. You can choose how to convince Jack to help you: offer to help him find closure on his tragic past or bruise his ego by suggesting you can just find someone else willing to help.

The Sea Temple is where Jack lost two of his best friends, Sammy and Vos. For him to return to this location is to return to the site of his greatest failure. As Jesse, it is your job to pull Jack through the Sea Temple even though he is terrified so that Jesse can find the Structure Block and save Beacontown. Jack is brought face to face with the loot pile of his former friend, Sammy! In that moment, Jack is so overcome with emotion that he is almost killed by a Guardian. Jesse rescues Jack from certain death, which means now Jack is alive to process his grief. While Jack broods in a corner, Jesse crafts the solution to open a locked door that leads even deeper into the Temple. By unlocking the door, Jesse also unlocks the glowing obsidian cages overhead… and releases Vos, Jack’s long-thought-dead friend!

Jack believed that Vos had perished, alongside Sammy, and for years had carried the guilt of being the only survivor of their ill-fated expedition. Thanks to your actions, Jack can finally forgive himself for Vos’s fate. And now, with Vos by his side, Jack is ready to help Jesse overcome the final challenge of the Sea Temple… the Prismarine Colossus!

By securing the Structure Block and escaping from the Colossus, Jesse provides Jack with closure on his tragic backstory by helping him complete his original, ill-fated quest. If this is something you never noticed as you played the game, then great!. Our hope was that you would be swept up in Jesse’s adventure, and Jack’s character development would happen in the background as you played through the story.