Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Last Crusade: All This For A Magic Cup?

So here we stood, near the entrance of the Temple of the Grail, in the Valley of the Crescent Moon. As I was about to admire a nearby sign, up popped Marcus. Where he had been, he wouldn't say, but I'm sure he would serve some sort of purpose. The sign made a grave warning: Though I might treat this as a game, beyond this point I would not be saved! (Or indeed be able to save, although that is more annoyance than hindrance).
On second thoughts, let's not go for the Grail

The temple itself was impressive, and we made our way inside, only to see a the mildly disturbing sight of a decapitated head rolling past. Advancing further, we saw the treacherous Donovan and his aide, Dr. Schneider. Working with the Nazis in order to get his hands on the Grail, he then shot Henry in order to force me to help him. Of course I was going to go in there anyway, but I guess I had no choice now.

You know, if we'd burned the diary, perhaps we could have avoided all this

Before I reached the grail, I'd have to face three challenges, three trials. Anyone who has seen the film will know where this is going, only in the game you get to restart if you lose your head! The first challenge says, "Only the penitent man shall pass". Which of course means that you have to kneel. But where's the kneel command? Why do I have a sudden realisation I should find the manual? What's that oddly coloured speck in the middle of the screen? Oddly enough, I got past this first time, only to fail the second challenge and have to repeat it. For the repeats, it took me ages to figure out how I had managed to get past it. It turns out there is a very specific place you have to click on, otherwise you'll be returned to the start.

The Penitent Man

The second challenge is all about spelling, and a certain name in particular. Different from the film, I had to walk on the tiles spelling "JEHOVU". Or at least at first I thought I had to spell the word, then I found out that any of the letters in the name can be stepped on, in any order. This made the task relatively simple, not that I would enjoy endlessly repeating it because you can't save at any point.

I guess this is yet another maze, isn't it?

The final challenge is the walk of faith. The grail diary is supposed to be helpful here, giving you a hint about where you should walk across the seemingly bottomless chasm. The picture isn't that clear on where exactly you should be standing, nor where you should be clicking. While it echoes the film scene, it's very much more annoying when you have to constantly repeat the previous challenges to reach this point.

"You expect me to step out into that chasm, again?"
The key to end my frustrations on this puzzle involved walking across as soon as I entered the room, and making sure to click on the most prominent central outcrop of the right-hand ledge. I had lost count of the amount of times I had fallen, but thankfully I had finally made it across. All that remained was the Grail chamber, guarded by the last of three brothers. I had to choose correctly, my fate would be sealed by the cup I chose.

THAT is the cup of a carpenter!

There were a dazzling array of cups, chalices and bowls. From my various adventures, I knew which account of the grail was correct, and therefore which to pick. It would have been remarkably easy to miss those clues though, over the course of the game. The glowing, plain, shallow vessel of bronze was my choice. I took it to the font of holy water, filled it, and took a drink. I stood paralysed, waiting for something to happen, and yet, nothing did. The knight spoke to me and said I had chosen wisely.

Rushing back to the temple entrance, I found Donovan had fallen foul of the trials, leaving only Marcus, Elsa and my dying father. A quick splash of grail water later, and he was back on his feet, good as new! Only one choice remained: what to do with the grail? In the end I decided to pass it back to the knight, for him to guard until another worthy soul could replace him.

One of the many references to the film

And so ends the tale of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade! His valiant quest of Nazi-punching and Grail-hunting is complete, and everyone lived happily ever after, apart from Donovan who got his head chopped off. All that's left for me is the final score, which was (apparently) fairly good.

Not entirely sure on the difference between "episode" and "series", but I'll take "not bad"

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