Saturday, 19 January 2013

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1990)

To break up all the X-COM posts, and to give me a little rest from killing aliens, I've decided to play along with The Adventure Gamer at the next game on his list: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The game was made originally in 1989 in EGA (16 colours), but I'll be playing the more eye-pleasing VGA version (256 colours).

The game itself follows the film pretty closely, but adds in a lot of extra puzzles and alternative solutions to problems that Indy finds himself in. There's even a little action, with a little fighting mini-game. The game opens after the credits at Barnett College, where Indy occasionally teaches archaeology, when he's not having adventures. After a brief chat with old pal Marcus Brody, you get changed into your suit in the gym.

Here, I practised my boxing a little with the instructor, had another little chat with Marcus, and then went into my office. I arrived to find my secretary Irene surrounded by students demanding me to sign their report cards (or something). I had to get rid of them all... but how? The obvious solution was to go the film route, and get Irene to take all their names while I sneak out the window. But the game allows variations, and recalling my last conversation with Marcus Brody, I told them to change their professor to John Reid, an upstart geologist that fancies himself an archaeologist.

There's lots to see in your office, but very little to do. The various treasures on display are little references to the other Indiana Jones films and the other games made by Lucasfilm. What is important, is the pile of junk on your desk. Once you've cleared the mail, letters and papers, you reveal your father's grail diary! Why would he send this to you, I wonder?

Next stop, a lot of exposition! In a series of scenes virtually identical to the film, upon leaving the college you are asked to meet Walter Donovan, who tells you about his quest for the grail, and about your father going missing. The next location to visit is Venice, but first you can take a quick detour to your father's house. There, you can even find an old book that you made, which looks like the grail diary (perhaps it will come in handy?). More importantly, there's a painting of the grail which is essential (although I'm pretty sure you can come back for it later).

In Venice, you meet the lovely Dr Schneider, and after a little flirting, you make your way to the library. You can wander through the bookshelves, and every other room contains a stained-glass window and some Roman numerals on the floor. Here is the first major puzzle of the game, and one that had me pulling my hair out for a while until I realised what I needed to do. It's quite simple really, you read your father's grail diary! In the diary, it tells you which room you need to be in (with a helpful picture of the stained-glass window you need to look for), and gives you a clue about which number the hidden chamber is beneath.

I cracked the floor with a metal post I'd found elsewhere in the library, and found myself beneath Vencie, in a strange catacomb. Skulls lined the walls, and there was squeaking in the distance. I saw three tunnels ahead of me, but hadn't a clue which one I should take. I wonder if this is trial and error, or should I have discovered something else about these tunnels before now?

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