Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Title Screen: Notice the 1989
Who doesn't love these movies?!
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (as opposed to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game that came out in the same year) was the third game to use LucasArts SCUMM engine (after Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken). It was released to coincide with, and loosely follows the plot of, the film, and begins with Indy returning to his college having claimed the Cross of Coronado. From what I understand, the game featured an innovation for LucasArts, being a flexible point system called the “Indy Quotient”. The system works in a similar way to Sierra’s well established points system, giving players alternate ways to solve puzzles while rewarding what the designers considered to be the most ideal solutions. The Indy Quotient was LucasArts attempt to respond to the biggest criticism of adventure games – that they have little replay value.
The cover of the original EGA version of the game
The game was designed by Ron Gilbert (Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken) and David Fox (Zak McKracken), with the addition of Noah Falstein. Noah is listed as Creative and Technical Support for the first two SCUMM games, so Indiana Jones marks his step up into a fully fledged game designer. The graphics were handled by Martin Cameron, James Alexander Dollar and James McLeod (all of whom worked on Zak McKracken in some capacity), along with Mike Ebert and Steve Purcell (who illustrated the National Inquisitor newspaper for Zak). The music was originally written by film score composer John Williams, but all the sound and music for the game was once again produced by David Hayes and David Warhol (both earlier SCUMM games), along with Eric Hammond. There are a bunch of other humorous credits associated with the game (such as Whip Researcher and Nazi Trivia Researcher), but I won’t go into them all here.
The VGA Title Screen: Notice the 1990
With all the superlative info out of the way, it’s time to discuss what may or may not turn out to be controversial. There are two versions of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure, with the first being a 16 colour EGA version released in 1989 and the second a 256 colour VGA version released in 1990 (converted by Ron Baldwin and Aric Wilmunder). There have been a few questions about which version I’ll be playing, but I think if I’m serious about the chronological nature of this blog, I have to stick with the EGA version. Yes, I could play the game at the end the 1989, therefore placing it neatly between the two years, but rules are rules. Besides, having run both versions using SCUMMVM this morning, the difference is not as massively noticeable as you might expect. I’ve put some screenshots below and while you can tell the difference, I doubt it’s going to affect my enjoyment of the game.
EGA College Exterior
VGA College Exterior
EGA College Interior
VGA College Interior
Henry Jones' Diary
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've recently 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. As this is an introduction post, it's an opportunity for readers to bet 10 points (only if they already have them) that I won't be able to solve a puzzle unassisted (see below for an example). If you get it right I will reward you with 70 points in return (it's going to keep going up until someone beats me)! It's also your chance to predict what the final rating will be for the game.
From now on voters should pick whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All correct (or nearest) votes will go into a draw, which I'm yet to figure out the form of (we'll cross that bridge when we get there).
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Jung'f zl anzr sbe 20 PNCf?
Extra Note: Once again, Lars-Erik will gift the next readily available game on the list to the reader that correctly predicts what score I will give this game. So, if you predict the right score (or are closest), you will get 10 CAPs and a copy of Tex Murphy 1 & 2 from GOG! Good luck!