Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Game 28: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Pull the Plug

Indiana Jones Journal Entry 3: “I finally made it through that underground tunnel system beneath Venice. I soon realised there’s no way my father went ahead of me, since many of the obstacles I faced on the way were unsurpassable in their current state. Flooded rooms, broken machinery, stuck levers, he didn’t go through there! I managed to find what he was looking for though, and the second marker in the knight’s tomb suggested our next destination should be Turkey. I can’t believe the Holy Grail might actually exist! Once I was out of there, I found out what happened to dad, and it’s more than a little inconvenient. He’s been kidnapped, and is being held captive in a castle on the Austrian-German border. Elsa and I have just arrived and I plan to scout the place out before trying to rescue him. The Holy Grail will have to wait I’m afraid!”


Indiana Jones waited patiently for the player to return and continue his adventure.

So, my last post ended with me having fully explored the underground area of Venice, and I was about to set off to go look for something I could hold water in. The manhole I exited took me straight to the plaza, where I had another attempt at getting the wine bottle off the two lovers at a table. I really have no idea why, but when I approached them this time and asked if they minded if I took the bottle, the man responded with “Of course not. It was a dreadful wine” and gave it to me. Can anyone explain why he responded this way at this stage, yet he’d said “Indeed I do!! We’re not done with our fine wine yet!” when I first tried? Is it a matter of timing or is there something else at play here that I just didn’t get? Either way, now I had the wine bottle, and went straight back into the underground to see if my instincts were right.


Well make up your mind buddy!

I made my way to the flooded room and used the wine bottle on the pool of water. It worked, so I now had a bottle full of water! I took the water back to the room with the torch stuck in the mud and used the bottle on the torch. Once again, it worked, and while I wasn’t able to remove the torch from the wall, I was able to pull it down. This caused a hole to open up in the ground beneath me, which I subsequently fell into. I found myself with another top down view, meaning I had a whole new maze to get through. As it turned out, it wasn’t a big maze, with only a couple of places of interest. The first thing I came across was a ladder leading back up to the floor above. I hadn’t seen a ladder leading down anywhere, so I ascended to see exactly where it would come out. The answer was the concrete slab that I’d been unable to get a grip on. It makes sense that I was able to push the slab up from below, even if it was too slippery to shift from above.


The little touches are great in the game, like Indy falling into a hole and his hat slowly drifting down after him.

The second place of interest had a narrow bridge, with what appeared to be a wooden plug that was dripping water in the ceiling above it. I figured it must be the plug that I could see in the floor of the flooded room above, but before I tried to figure out how I could pull it out, I crossed the bridge to see what was on the other side. I came across an alcove containing inscriptions all over the wall. The inscriptions described the Grail, and after reading through them, Indy came to the conclusion that “either the account of Abbess Hildegard of Bingen, or that newspaper column about the New Gospel is the correct account of the Grail”. The articles he’s talking about can be found in the Grail Diary that came with the game, and I’m assuming that this finding means the other numerous accounts in the book are nothing more than misinformation. I’ve taken screenshots of these two accounts if you care to read them.


You mean dad wrote red herring grail accounts in his diary in case it fell into the wrong hands? Genius!


Possible correct account number1


Possible correct account number 2

After reading the inscriptions, I moved back to the bridge and set about removing the plug. The first thing I tried was using the hook on the plug, which resulted in Indy screwing it in. I tried using the plug and then using the red cordon with the plug, but neither worked. I then tried using my whip with the plug and watched with great satisfaction as Indy walked to the side, wrapped the whip around the plug, and then pulled it down. The water came rushing through, knocking part of the bridge out on its way through. I felt pretty happy that I’d already crossed the bridge to the alcove, although I could have restored to just prior to the bridge if I hadn’t. With that done, I made my way back to the room with the ladder and up to the floor above.


Now I really feel like Indiana Jones!

I made my way to the previously flooded room, and was now able to climb (well, fall really) down the rocks to the ground. While there appeared to be three new exits to the room to check out, two of them were nothing more than dead ends. I took the third one and found myself in...yes, you guessed it...another little maze. I have to admit that I was getting a little bit fed up with the mazes at this stage, and hoped this was the last section. The first location I came across contained some sort of machinery, although it didn’t appear to work. Seeing the numerous wheels, I decided to try using the red cordon on it and was thrilled when it worked. Indy placed the cordon around two of the wheels forming a belt, and I then I turned the wheel at the side to make the whole thing work. The machine’s purpose seemed to be to lift something up below connected to a chain, although I couldn’t see what it was.


I think someone is making up for inadequacies

With that done, I began wandering through the twisting corridors of this maze section, eventually entering a room with three statues, a closed door, and an exit on the other side to where I entered. I immediately looked at the diary and was shown a “correct” configuration for the statues as well as one labelled “certain death”. By using the statues I could get them to change, but changing one would always cause another to change too. This resulted in me accidentally forming the “certain death” scenario, which caused me to fall through the floor. Strangely, I didn’t die, and was merely taken back to the room with the manhole exit to the plaza. I restored, and this time was able to form the “correct” configuration without too much trouble. The door that was closed now opened, so I went through.


A lot of effort just to lock a door!

The maze continued, as if there was any doubt, and I eventually come across a small bridge leading to a doorway with a chain next to it. This must be the door that I opened when I used the machinery that pulled the chain up, so I took it. It led to a couple more caverns, with the second one containing a locked door and a pedestal with six skulls on it. When I used the skulls, Indy would press them, and they would make a bonging sound. Each of the six skulls made a different sound, ranging from high to low. I looked at the diary and was shown some sheet music. My heart dropped! Clearly I was going to have to replicate the music on the sheet, yet my music skills are on par with my geography skills. Retarded!


I pity the player that arrives at this point and didn't fix the pulley machine!

When I got over my fears, I at first thought it would be fairly straight forward. Each of the lines must represent one of the skulls, so I must simply have to figure out which line represents which skull. Except there were only five lines and six skulls!!!! I quickly noticed that two of the symbols on the sheet music had stems (that’s what I’m going to call them) that went down, whereas the others went up. What did that mean??? The note in the diary said “the excerpt uses an obscure musical notation, and I am not sure why it never has more than six different notes.” Six different notes? How can there be six when there are only four different notes on the sheet? Confused! I decided to treat the first skull like the top line on the sheet and the last skull like the bottom line, therefore pressing them in this order: 1, 5, 6, 5, 1. The door partly opened and then closed!


I have as much chance reading the music as I do the title

I looked up sheet music on the net to try to figure out what the different stem directions mean, and discovered that it means absolutely nothing. The stems go up if they’re on the bottom lines and down if there on the top, but it’s for purely aesthetic reasons. I decided I would try ignoring the end skulls and try 1, 4, 5, 4, 1 and then 2, 5, 6, 5, 2. To my great surprise, the first combination worked, meaning I’d solved the puzzle on my second attempt, despite feeling completely flummoxed by the whole thing. Can anyone explain why there are six skulls? Is my confusion related to my ignorance about music or is this just a devious puzzle that’s solved through a bit of guesswork? Regardless, the door opened, and I raced through before the game could make me do anything else related to the skulls or music.


It opened? Really? You mean I solved it? No...seriously?!

The doorway led to more twisting paths, but it didn’t take me long to find my way through it. The exit from the maze took me into the room containing the casket that I’d seen through the gate about forty minutes prior. I opened the casket and discovered the knight was inside as I’d expected. I was told that “The shield is the second marker Donovan spoke of! It mentions the ancient city of Alexandretta! Today, the city of Iskenderun is built on its ruins. We’ll find the Grail near there!” Of course I had no idea where Iskenderun is, but I figured that piece of information is all I needed. It was time to leave! I went to the gate I’d peered through earlier, hoping that I’d be able to open it from this side. Thankfully, the lock was easily broken from inside as it was rusted (surely I would have been able to break it from the other side), so I was able to exit the underground of Venice.


Please don't come back to life! I fear you would kick my butt!

As soon as I climbed out of the manhole, Elsa approached with news that she knew where my father is. “He’s being held captive in the Brunwald Castle on the Austrian-German border.” It was decided that I would try to rescue my father and then Marcus would meet me in Iskenderum, then we immediately set off. The overhead map view showed a red line leaving Venice and taking an indirect route to the boarder on Austria and Germany, where it stopped. Soon afterwards, I was looking at a rather foreboding castle, complete with lightning and Nazi flags for full effect. I exited the car and told Elsa (who’d apparently come along) to wait while I scouted. Perhaps I wasn’t supposed to enter the castle through the front doors, but that’s what I did. The butler confronted me immediately!


Yes, you just sit in the car right outside the front door of the castle we're about to break into!

I’d decided early on that I was going to try to finish the game without fights if possible, so I set about talking my way into the castle. The butler of course wanted to know who I was, but I instead asked him if he was “the one with the relatives in town”. He responded with “My nephew Otto in Salzburg? Is something wrong?”, to which I said “No, he’s fine, but you must go to him immediately.” He wanted proof that I knew Otto, but I was somehow able to convince him through ridiculous logic, causing the butler to leave. OK, so now I’m in a big castle, likely filled with Nazis, trying to find and rescue my father without assistance. Shouldn’t be too difficult right? Well, you’ll find out how I went tomorrow.


That's a pretty random thing to say to someone. It could actually work!

Session Time: 0 hours 40 minutes 
Total Time: 3 hours 00 minutes 

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

45 comments:

  1. Regarding the wine: Jura Vaql ybbxf ng gur jvar ur znxrf n pbzzrag nobhg jung n onq jvar vg vf naq nfx gur obl vs ur xarj. Nf ur vf va n qngr naq jnagf gb vzcerff gur tvey, ur nafjref jvgu na: Bs Pbhefr!. Fb, gung'f jung znxrf gur jvar cvpxnoyr: Vaql'f pbzzrag nobhg gur dhnyvgl bs gur jvar.

    Regarding the skulls: Gurer vf n fvkgu (vaivfvoyr) yvar oryybj gur barf lbh frr va lbhe zhfvp furrg (nf gurer ner va erny zhfvp furrgf). Nf lbh thrffrq, gur beqre bs gur fxhyyf vf gvrq gb gur yvar va juvpu gur abgrf nccrne (gur obggbz yvar orvat gur evtugzbfg fxhyy). Gur abgrf (naq gur pbzovangvba sbe gur cerivbhf qbbe) ner enaqbz rnpu tnzr, fb gung'f jul lbh qvqa'g frr nal abgr va gung cnegvphyne yvar.

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    1. I read these since I'm way past them.

      The wine: I really don't remember Indy saying anything like that, but I must have just missed it. Either way, I didn't get it!!!

      The skulls: There's an invisible line on sheet music!!?? Who thought that was a good idea!? The puzzle would have been simple if I'd known that.

      Thanks for clarifying Deimar! CAPs to come.

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    2. To clarify: it's not so much invisible, but drawn partially and only when the composer needs so low notes (and actually you could make these additional lines even on top for really high notes). That way the sheet music doesn't have to cover all the possible notes there are.

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    3. Also, the reason why the "stems" are pointing down on the higher notes is that it takes less space vertically, when the high notes have downwards pointing "stems". And as a side note, in real sheet music notation, the notes can also exist between the lines.

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    4. Oh, with closer reading I just noticed that you already had this figured out..

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  2. I'm a little further ahead (I'm past the castle) and the game hasn't been much more fun for me. I doubt this would be considered a good game if it had nothing to do with Indiana Jones.

    Regarding the castle: Rnpu thneq frrzf gb unir n jnl gb trg cnfg jvgubhg univat gb svtug. Svthevat vg bhg frrzf gb or zbfgyl gevny naq reebe. Bhg bs gur zvyyvbaf bs ebbzf va gur pnfgyr, bayl n srj unir fvtavsvpnapr naq lbh unir gb onpxgenpx dhvgr n ovg. Jung lbh'er fhccbfrq gb or qbvat vfa'g greevoyl fgenvtugsbejneq rvgure. V qvqa'g rawbl gur "chyy punve" znenguba rvgure.

    I resorted to a guide after awhile and it still wasn't any fun to trek through. Fate of Atlantis must be a huge leap forward because I remember finishing that one on my own and actually enjoying it.

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  3. I agree that Fate of Atlantis is by (very) far the best game of the two. However, reading through it makes a lot of fond memories come back. I loved the beginning of the game, including the catacombs, as it really felt like Indiana Jones exploring dark caves and mysterious places.

    I have a shiver down my spine when I think about the castle, though, I don't know if it's just because I was too young or not good enough at adventure games at the time but I feel like I've spent waaaaaay too much time in it...

    Anyway, I'm sorry I didn't tag along on this one, Trick, but I'm still drowning in work, hopefully, I'll be able to join you on Mean Streets, as I'd love to play it again...

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  4. Replies
    1. Why is that? I played Loom as a kid and an adult (having forgotten the entire thing) and had little issue getting through it.

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    2. Just that music's pretty important in Loom and Trickster just confessed knowing nothing about it. But yes, I exaggerated a bit, at least with the easiest setting it probably won't be a problem.

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    3. Haha, I was thinking the same thing Ilmari. :-)

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    4. Yes, that's possibly why I never played Loom in the first place. Still, I'm very interested in the game and I do love music. I just don't know how to read it!

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    5. Just to clarify, with good notations LOOM shouldn't be a problem - it's moreso a game of Simon Says as far as the music-styled puzzles.

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    6. I hate music puzzles as well. I spent a long time trying to get through Myst, and ended up using a tape recorder to assist.

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    7. I guess the question is that which difficulty level Loom is played with. The easiest doesn't really require any musical talent at all, but the most difficult level might require some ear. But as long as you document everything, it shouldn't be overly difficult even then..

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    8. Maybe because I am a musician, I loved Loom. Great game; it's one of the few LucasArts games I played at the time it came out, so maybe I'm biased, but I still think you'll enjoy it, Trickster.

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  5. Wow...a lot of mazes so far, Trickster. How are they stacking up to the mazes in Zak McKracken?

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    1. The mazes are much easier to navigate than in Zak. They make physical sense and the castle at least can be mapped.

      I enjoy mapping environments that make physical sense. :)

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    2. Interestingly, David Fox, lead designer of Zak McKracken, is also one of the lead designers of this game.

      Maybe he has a maze fetish.

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  6. The mazes were boring and awful, ohg qba'g jbeel vg trgf zhpu jbefr! V'z va gur Mrccryva ng gur zbzrag, naq vg'f njshy.

    I had a similar issue with the music too, I have zero musical knowledge or talent, and my first few attempts didn't work. I resorted to a walkthrough.

    I applaud your attempt at a non-combat playthrough! I would find that far too difficult, I've been going toe-to-toe quite a bit. Nygubhtu V guvax lbhe nggrzcg zvtug or fubeg-yvirq, fvapr V guvax lbh znl unir zvffrq fbzr fghss rneyvre.

    And finally, I made a gif of Indy pulling the plug (VGA version): http://i.imgur.com/gNmeJMA.gif

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    1. Ooohhh...those graphics do look pretty nice compared to the ones I'm looking at. When looking at stills, the difference is not that obvious, but in motion...

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    2. The VGA is really nice, it's kind of a shame you didn't go for it. Plenty of VGA games around the corner though, once you hit 1990.

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    3. Might it be worth a speedrun to give it a footnote "And the VGA version gets...."?

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    4. How do you fit a maze on an airship? How big are these things??

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    5. I guess it's bigger on the inside than on the outside...

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  7. I'm onto Trickster now.. He said he'd played up to 3 hours two posts ago, and just notched in the 3 hour mark... What are the odds he's already finished?

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    1. I'm afraid not. I just got past the castle, which took a LONG time!

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  8. Exactly where I ended my last session, right after talking my way past the butler.

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  9. So very close to the finish, but it's past midnight here now, and I have work tomorrow. I have to say, even with it's flaws, it's been a fun distraction before I get back to X-COM.

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    1. Hey, it pays for my crippling adventure game habit!

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  11. As Deimar mentioned, parts of this game are random. I got different grail inscription clues as well as skull music.

    My skull music made perfect sense because one of the notes was on the 'invisible' bottom line so I saw 6 music lines and 6 skulls.

    Glad to hear you're past the castle. That bit frustrated me immensely.

    Quick note: If you like trying optional things, don't delete your saved games (which seeing as you're using ScummVM you probably won't do anyway)

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  12. Hey, I would like the opinions of people here, Trickster most of all: Would The Cave count as a graphical adventure game by your standards? I was watching Game Informer's Test Chamber, where they solve the first couple puzzles to demonstrate the game, and was wondering as it is very different from the ones you've been playing, but seems to have the same kind of logic. The vid I was watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7CbL26i1WE

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    1. I can tell you in about.. 13 hours when it unlocks on steam whether I think it counts or not!

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    2. On basis of mere trailer it looks like a combo of adventure game and platformer, which makes it a bit similar to the very first game in Trickster's blog.

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    3. Oh. That's right. Below the Root!

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    4. Woo. It unlocked. Time to play!

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    5. Yes, the video suggests to me that it's an adventure game, but it has obvious crossover into action and platformer territory.

      Below the Root was pretty unique because it discouraged harming any other beings in the game world. I can't think of any other side scrolling platform games that don't involve any sort of combat (remember, I've never played a console game). I'm sure there are lots of cutesy platformers where combat is light hearted (such as jumping on creatures heads rather than shooting them or hitting them with swords), but not many with none at all.

      I'm interested to know more!

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    6. Geeze, yes, I forgot about Below The Root. I'm not sure if there is any violence in The Cave. I mean, you move that dog-thing out of the way, but you don't harm it, and you can't die yourself, which makes most enemies pretty pointless. I guess we will see when you reach it in 10 years or so.

      So, do I get points for pointing out The Cave exists? It is a steam game (I didn't even think of this at the time! I was just curious)

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    7. Having played about an hour, I'll tell you all - it's a platformer in name only, at least to this point, which makes the Maniac Mansion 3-character use feel a little more like the Lost Vikings just because of the jump button. About the only thing that has taken any 'reflexes' has been a jump-then-activate-an-ability puzzle which had me stumped for a little (I hadn't realised that I could activate an ability and jump at the same time) - so yeah.. it's an adventure game.

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    8. I'm a bit on the fence as calling it more adventure than platformer, because I'm definitely at a part that's much more platformy than not. I know exactly what I need to do to advance, but it's something requiring reflexes and proper timing. On the other hand there are adventure game with parts that do require that same thing, but usually only in certain portions or segments, not as a core mechanic (again there are exceptions to even that). I'd say it's about half and half. And yes Canageek, there's definitely some violence in The Cave, even if your characters can't die.

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  13. Hey, I was just on GoG and noticed that there is a 'new' flag next to "Includes Leisure Suit Larry 1-6, the VGA remake of Leisure Suit Larry 1, and Softporn Adventure. The (in)famous missing floppies containing Leisure Suit Larry 4 are still missing. No, we are not hiding them, either." http://www.gog.com/gamecard/leisure_suit_larry :

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    1. I was rather more noticing that they conveniently forgot the existence of LSL7: Love for Sail. (It is very much for the best.)

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