Sunday, 20 January 2013

Game 28: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Maze of Torment

Indiana Jones Journal Entry 2: “I’ve managed to get hold of dad’s diary and then figure out how to gain access to the underground tunnels beneath the library. I find it difficult to believe that my father wouldn’t have found the solution, so I can only assume that I am somehow following in his footsteps. Either that or foul play was involved, but I refuse to believe that without evidence. Navigating the tunnels has been somewhat challenging, and there are quite a few obstacles that I will need to figure out how to get past. Frustratingly, I think I can see the knight’s tomb that holds the second marker, but it remains out of reach until I can work things out. It’s only a matter of time now!”


If dad couldn't find them, they must be really well hidden

I ended my last post having just entered the library in Venice. Dr. Schneider had told me that my father had been looking for Roman numerals in the library when he simply vanished, so I was about to set off and start looking for them. As expected, the library has rows and rows of books, and each row has a plaque at the end of it with funny little snippets from famous people. At first I thought one of these plaques might give me a hint as to where I might find a certain book (maybe even my father’s diary), but after checking them all out, I was convinced that they were there for humour’s sake alone. Intriguingly, the openings after each section of books has massive Roman numerals all over the floor, which makes my father’s comment about not being able to find them rather odd.

Yeah, really difficult!

Each of these openings also contained two pillars with lions on top and a stained glass window with obvious religious symbols. All of the pillars had inscriptions on them, all of which had three separate Roman numerals (for example: IV III IX). I checked a few of them out and looked at the numbers on the floor, but couldn’t find any relation or logical deduce anything from it. I did notice that one room had something none of the others had...a cordoned off window. I was not only able to pick up the red cordon, but I was also able to pick up one of the metal posts. I can’t really say why, but the first thing I thought to try was to use the metal post to crack open one of the squares on the floor. Indy responded to my request with “Even if there’s something down there, I have no idea which slab to break open. If only I had Dad’s notes!”

You and me both!

This made me think that using the post on one of the squares was exactly what I needed to do, but I was going to have to find my father’s diary to figure out which piece of floor. I thoroughly looked through the library for any other items or hints, but came up empty handed. All I could think to do was to head back to the United States to try to find the key for the chest in dad’s house. Surely the diary was in there! On my way out of the library, I took a bit of time to explore the Italian plaza. I didn’t seem to be able to talk to any of the people there, but interestingly, when I tried to pick up a wine bottle on the table of two lovers, Indy said “Mind if I take this?” The man’s response was “Indeed I do!! We’re not done with our fine wine yet”, but it hinted that I might need that bottle at some point. I tried a few things at the time, but couldn’t get them to relinquish it.

 Did you notice the whip? Just sayin!

Determined to find the diary, I flew back to the U.S. and entered the college. I entered the gymnasium change rooms and re-emerged in more casual attire. I was then able to enter the boxing ring and practice fighting. Fighting involves using the number pad, with each button having a different action depending on which way Indy is facing. Since I was facing to the right, numbers 7, 4 and 1 all made me take a step back, numbers 8, 5 and 2 blocked high, middle and low, and numbers 9, 6 and 3 punched high, middle or low. I was able to choose from three different levels of sparring, but managed to knock the boxing coach out on all three (although I had only a tiny amount of health left on the hardest level). Fighting feels fairly intuitive, although if I come up against someone that throws punches up, middle and down, I’m not sure I’ll be able to re-actively block. We’ll find out eventually.

The spectators act like they're not watching, but they know a God when they see one.

After changing back into my more formal attire, I went out of the college and climbed back in the window of my office (I didn’t want to face off against those angry students again). I felt like there must be something in there that I could pick up or use in some way. I looked at what I had gained since the last time I was in the office, and then started using them with some of the items. For some reason I thought I would try using the sticky tape with the jar of cleaning solvent and it worked! Not only that, there was a key in there!!! Now, there’s probably some scientific reason why putting the sticky tape in the solvent achieved something. Perhaps it simply allowed me to unravel the balled up tape and reveal that there was a key inside? Still, I solved this puzzle pretty much through trial and error, so I’d be interested to hear what others think about it. Anyway, now I had the key to the chest, and I was one step closer to getting the diary!

There is? In the jar? Yes...of course...I knew there would be!

I rushed back to Henry’s house and unlocked the chest, removing the diary that I knew would be there. Only it wasn’t my father’s diary!!! “This is the diary I made when I was a little boy. It was supposed to look like my father’s Grail Diary.” What? I found a replica of my father’s diary when all I needed was my father’s diary itself!? Harsh! What to do now? Well, since I hadn’t finished going through every item in my office on my recent visit, all I could do was go back there and hope for the best. There seemed no way to make use of the diary I made in my youth and I could only think it might be useful later on to trick someone trying to take the diary from me. I went back to the office and continued to use everything with everything.

Now that's just mean!

Those of you that have played the game will know where I eventually found the diary. You might remember that I picked up the junk mail that was sitting on my desk when I first started playing the game. What I didn’t do was continue to pick up more junk mail until there was none left! It didn’t even cross my mind that I might be able to pick up more junk mail after adding the first lot to my inventory. Underneath it all was a package from my father, which of course was the real diary! After picking it up, Indy put all the other useless mail back on the desk, answering my question about what on Earth any of it wasn’t going to be useful for. I tried looking at the diary but was informed that “I don’t see anything pertinent right now”. I figured it must only be of use when the time is right.

I guess I could call this a "face-palm" moment, although I'm sure I'm not alone

Now that I had my father’s notes, I made my way back to Venice and into the library. As soon as I was there, I tried using the diary again. This time a section of it was displayed that showed an image of one of the stained glass windows along with a cryptic message. “If ye would enter, follow the third on the left.” I walked through each of the library rooms until I found the stained glass window that matched the one in the diary. I then looked at the inscription on the left pillar in that room and found that the third Roman numeral on there was IV. It made sense to me then that I should use the metal post on the square with IV on it in that room. When I tried that, Indy took out the post and knocked the tile out, then jumped into the hole before a Nazi uniformed guard with a machine gun could apprehend him. Excellent progress!

You can't stop gravity mate!

Beneath the library, I found myself in an underground catacomb of sorts. There were skulls all over the wall, and three doorways out of my current room. I chose the left hand door and then found myself given a top down view of what was clearly going to be a maze. I opened up an Excel spreadsheet in preparation to map out my progress, only to find that the application was going to be completely useless. The tunnels went in all different directions, twisting off on all sorts of degrees. I considered getting a pen and paper and trying to draw the maze, but that plan wasn’t ideal given my wife was asleep in the bed no more than two metres away from me (meaning I couldn’t turn the light on). I decided to see how I went, and if things got nasty, I’d stop for the night and map it out on paper in the daylight of the next day. I won’t describe all of my movements in this post, as the maze took me all over the place, including back to my starting position.

My Baldur's Gate skills really kicked into gear while navigating down here

The first place of interest that I came across was a room with two skeletons in it. I was able to remove the hook from the end of one of the skeleton’s arms, but couldn’t find anything else to do there. The second place of interest was a room with a torch on the wall. I tried picking it up and manipulating it in every way possible, but was continually informed that “it’s held in place by hard, dry mud”. The third place of interest was a room with a concrete slab in the middle of it. I tried interacting with it, but was continually told that I couldn’t get a good grip on it. I didn’t have anything in my inventory that would make gripping the slab any easier, and using my items on it didn’t work (including the hook). The fourth room of interest was one half full of water, with a large plug at the bottom. Indy refused to enter the water, and none of my attempts to manufacture a device that would pull the plug out from a distance worked (I thought using the red cordon with the hook would have done the trick).

 Room 1: Skeleton Pirates

Room 2: Torch Stuck in the Mud

 Room 3: Concrete Slab on the Floor

Room 4: Flooded Cavern

The fifth place of interest had an opening to a sewer and a manhole cover in the ceiling. I’d seen a manhole in the plaza near the library, so figured that was the exit out of the maze. I wasn’t ready to leave yet, so I entered the sewer. This took me to a gate, through which I could see a casket sitting in the middle of a room. I couldn’t get through the gate no matter what I tried, and figured opening the casket would be the reward for solving the other puzzles I’d come across in the tunnels so far. Surely it held the knight that contained the second marker! At this point I gave the maze a thorough going over until I was confident that I’d found all the rooms of interest, then put my thinking cap on to try to figure out how I was going to get through this. I was going to have to figure out how to get the torch, remove the concrete slab, or unplug the plug, before opening the gate.

So close yet so far! 
I decided to focus on the torch, as that was the first room after the skeleton pirates, and my first thought was that I needed some water. Why else would the game make a point of telling me that the torch was “held in place by hard, dry mud”? Of course there was plenty of water in the room with the plug in the floor, but I had nothing to hold it in. I went through all my screenshots looking for something I might be able to collect some water in. I found two items, being the jar in the office and the bottle of wine on the table in the plaza. You’ll have to wait for my next post to see which one worked, if any. Well, I’m still describing my first three hour session, with this post covering an hour and a half of it, mostly spent navigating the underground tunnels. Obviously my feelings about the game haven’t changed since the last post, so I’ll finish up here. I’m off to play some more of the game now, so wish me luck!

Well at least I'll get some daylight for a while

Session Time: 1 hours 35 minutes 
Total Time: 2 hours 20 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!


  1. Guess that diary being hidden is a good example of knowing the movie making the game easier. Knowing that the Henry Sr posted Indy the diary might have got you looking through the mail more the first time. Also knowing to smash the floor with the metal post is probably your faint memory of the movie as it's a great gag involving the librarian and the stamp.

    1. Then I'm glad I'm playing without having watched the film recently. Makes for a better judgement of the game itself!

  2. Nice going, Trickster! I'm really enjoying the adventure. I also like how they got the most of EGA -- those screenshots look very nice and colorful.

    1. One EGA trick they didn't use in this game was dithering: everything is flat colours. They did use it in LOOM and The Secret of Monkey Island, though.

    2. I've also been very surprised at the quality of the graphics, despite the limitations. I'll have to do some screenshot comparisons against previous games to see whether my feelings are just based on the Emmanuelle experience or not.

  3. So... are you playing the game in DOSBox or ScummVM?

    And are you going to watch the movie after finishing the game? A comparison post would be fun :-)

    1. I'm playing in SCUMMVM. I very much considered playing in DOSBOX after you mentioned the Indy Quotient thing, but decided against it for two reasons. Firstly, I can see my quotient score by pressing I and secondly, I'm finding that taking quality screenshots is heaps easier in SCUMMVM. Given how much and how quickly all the dialogue flies around in the game, it's important that I can get shots when I need them.

      Yeah, I probably will watch the movie afterwards. Somehow it would feel like cheating if I watched it now!

    2. Talking about the movie, I made this today:

      (I also made a game one, but it's a bit further on, so I won't post because of spoilers)

  4. In regard to the solvent and sticky tape, I assumed the solvent was dissolving the tape instead of unsticking it. Which would make it bloody strong solvent!

    I actually knew I had to dissolve sticky tape as soon as I saw the solvent, but that was because I vaguely remembering doing it 20 years ago.

    I also didn't find the grail diary before going to Venice the first time, so you're not alone. I incorrectly assumed the pdf diary/manual contained the clues I neeeded

  5. The mazes have been the worst part for me so far. They really just seemed like unnecessary padding, because they're not hard to navigate.

    1. Oh...that makes me think there are more to come.

  6. Man, you are making me want to rewatch the movies.

    1. I'm making myself want to rewatch them Canageek!

    2. We should watch them together, Canageek. And we don't have to watch the Shia LaBeouf one if you don't want to.

  7. LucasArts Games, some of the few games which used movie licenses and were good :)

  8. Actually I thought the sticky tape puzzle puzzle was pretty good. It wasn't obvious that there was a key in there at first, but looking at it gave you a hint that there might be something in the ball of tape, and trying to open it resulted in Indy saying that it was too sticky. So the first thing I did was go to the water fountain in the college, and used it on the sticky tape. I was rewarded with "I'm going to need something stronger than water." At first I assumed that I would need the wine, which I hadn't figured out how to get yet. But later on I found the solvent and everything clicked into place.

  9. And here was one of the more unintentionally difficult puzzles in the game on display, ahem...

    Did you try LOOKing at the tape after picking it up? It's been a while since I've played, but in a moment that largely rivals the Monkey Island rubber chicken scheme (I'd be highly surprised if you don't already know what I'm talking about), I picked it up before examining it on my first playthrough, never realising it had a pulley attached.. and remember doing the exact same with the tape in Indy 3. Since then, I learned to examine all items before and after picking them up in Lucasarts games in particular.. it's always served me well.

    1. I can't say I remember, but I wasn't told that the tape was anything other than a balled up lump. Was there a different hint given if I had of looked at it before picking it up?

    2. I'm about 90% sure that when it says 'balled up lump', it actually says something more along the lines of 'there's a lump in this ball of tape'. Unfortunately, a touch difficult to reinstall a game that I've only ever had on borrowed CD / several three and a half inch floppies and verify. :) Still, I'm fairly certain that (unlike the junk mail 'puzzle' which is more or less down to your own dogged persistence with no real inkling it should work that way via traditional adventure gaming logic, UNLIKE real life where you'd actually turf all of your junk mail) it is actually possible to work this out by more than trial and error, at least.

    3. I've still got it installed, so I just did a check.

      Look sticky tape
      "It's kind of lumpy"

      It says the same both before and after picking it up.


      After you pick up the junk mail the pile of papers gets smaller and is now called "letters"

      Then you pick up the letters and the even smaller pile is called "papers"

      So it does at least gives you some kind of indication of there being more if you're observant enough (which I wasn't.)

  10. Oops, when I said this was one of my favorite adventure games, I had it confused with Fate of Atlantis. I don't think I actually played through this one. Loved the film, though. :-)

  11. I seem to recall I made it to Venice without finding the Grail Diary too. I did use the solvent on the sticky tape though.

    I played the game long before seeing the movie, so I didn't get the clue that the diary had been mailed.

  12. Ah the catacombs.. difficult to map indeed.
    However: Sbeghangryl fbzrbar ryfr unf qbar gur jbex sbe lbh va gung ertneq.

    If only: Gurer jrer fbzr cynpr gung tngurerq gbtrgure vasbezngvba sebz inevbhf fbheprf va n cbegnoyr sbezng gung bar pbhyq cvpx hc, gnxr jvgu bar, naq guhzo guebhtu ng bar'f pbairavrapr.. fbzr fbeg bs.. ersrerapr.. erfbhepr.. ercbfvgbel..

    If there were: Vg zvtug or jbegu gur rssbeg bs fpbhevat fhpu n erfbhepr sbe bgure inyhnoyr vasbezngvba.

    1. At hindsight this is probably obvious (after all, this is what these things are made for), but I still feel that the puzzle is a bit unfair. When you have the chance to pick the necessary items, you have no idea that you might make use of them later (V pna whfg cvpgher Vaql guvaxvat gb uvzfrys: "Guvf nvecynar znahny ybbxf ragregnvavat"). As even seeing the items requires keen eye (frrvat jura Jung vf punatrf sebz Obbxf va cyheny gb Obbx va fvathyne), you almost have to know that you are looking for specific items so that you'll know when you've found all there is to find. Well, at least this is all optional.

  13. I also missed the grail diary at first too!

  14. I cannot get the EGA version to work somehow. I tried several versions I came across while Googling, but none of them allow me to use the diary in the library. When attempting to open it, it'll say it's your father's diary, when trying to look at it, it'll say it's a package from your father.

    I assume this is because those versions of the game are cracked or something.

    I do own the GOG/VGA version, but wanted to have a go at the original EGA instead.

    1. Do you need to "open the package" to get out the Grail Diary? Just asking - it's been a long time since I played it.

    2. Yup. I opened the package, which reveals the grail diary. But I'm unable to read it. I managed to get into the catacombs through trial and error. Same with opening the door with the murals. But there's no way to actually "guess" the 6 notes to play.

      I've had a copy of the game for years, but apparently it always contained that same error. And while I love the upgraded graphics, I'd also like to play the EGA version. (Gold rush had a similar issue, where time doesn't continue, and you basically cannot leave the city. In both cases, I guess it's ue to the games being cracked, but perhaps not properly).

    3. I have a downloaded EGA version and it works for me.

      Are you sure you did the clicking correctly? Select "look", then "grail diary", then click on "grail diary" again (or on sentence line) to confirm. When looked at while there's no in-game reason, Indy will say "I don't see anything pertinent right now."

      If you fail the copy protection quiz at the beginning, Indy will mistranslate "Holy Grail" as "Holy Grain" at Donovan's, and you'll never get to Venice. It will also disable save/load.

      Have you tried both DOSBox and ScummVM?

    4. Just DOSBOX. I tried several different versions, and in the library, neither opening nor looking has any effect. One of them will say it's your father's diary, the other one will just state it's a package from your father. I entered the correct symbols from the manual, too, when starting up.

      If you don't mind me asking, where did you find your version? And how would I run it in ScummVM exactly?