Friday, 25 January 2013

Game 28: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Nazi Drunks

Indiana Jones Journal Entry 4: “This castle is filled with damn Nazis! There are too many to fight my way through, as enjoyable as that would be, so I’m going to have to take the stealth approach. It helps when they can’t hold their liquor, as I managed to get a bit of information out of one particularly inebriated guard (along with his beer mug). If I’m going to sneak my way to wherever they’re holding dad, disguise is going to be the key, so it’s damn fortunate that they stash their clothes on the first floor. Dressing as a servant got me far enough in to find the key to unlock the officer’s uniforms. I never thought I’d find myself in one of these bland outfits, but I’ll do what it takes to get to dad, and hopefully do some damage to whatever there up to while I’m at it.”

Getting into the castle was easy...

I’ll say straight off the bat that it took me no less than five hours to get through Brunwald Castle! There are a few different reasons why it took me that long, but the main one is undoubtedly my obsession with getting through without having to fight a single guard. I won’t give the game away and reveal whether I was successful in that quest. There’s no way that reading through a blow by blow description of all five hours could remain interesting, so I’m going to take a different approach. I’ll move my way through the castle in the most ideal way I could figure out, revealing all the challenges I faced and revelations I discovered in each section as I go along. Before I start, I should point out that I was able to map out the castle in Excel, since all the corridors are in the north, east, south, west directions. This definitely helped me to figure out the best way of doing things.

When it comes to mapping, right angles and straight lines are my friends!

My last post finished with me having just convinced the butler to leave the castle to go see his relative. As soon as he left, a message popped up saying “Meanwhile, elsewhere in the castle...”, and I was then witness to a scene within the Colonel’s office. I know both Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken utilised cut scenes to inform the player of goings on that they otherwise couldn’t possibly know about, but for some reason I hadn’t expected to find them in Indiana Jones. In this particular scene, Colonel Vogel commanded one of his guards to “protect that priceless painting we just acquired”, because “the Fuhrer is VERY interested in it”. The guard accepts the order, but only after commenting that “it’s just a painting of an old cup!” So, the Nazis have a rare painting of the Holy Grail locked up somewhere in the castle, but I had no idea whether that’s something I should try to retrieve.

Painted by a young boy with no knowledge of the Grail's appearance for that matter.

The castle has three floors, with the first one being split into two separate sections. If you look at the room where the butler interrogated me, you will notice there are exits at the back of the room and to the right (there are actually two to the right, but they both end up in the same place). I took the exit to the rear as soon as the cut scene was over, and found myself in yet another top down maze-like environment. While this made me sigh loudly after having just got out of the Venice underground, I quickly realised that I was going to be able to map this one, so settled into it. There are only two locations of interest in this section, so I won’t bother describing any of the rest. The first one I came across was a very drunk guard, and I do mean drunk! The guy could hardly stand up, and didn’t even contemplate the fact that I might be an intruder.

The dotted lines mark doors or stairs by the way.

Below you can see the options I had available to me when starting a conversation with him, and I would eventually try every conversation path possible to make sure I found the optimal dialogue. Saying “Hello, and how are you?” caused the guard to respond with “Terrible. I’ve run out of ale.” When I offered to get him another drink, he thanked me and gave me an empty beer stein. The only useful information I was able to get out of him was that “the big fellow on the third floor can be nashty when he’s shober”, that I should “watch out for that text-book Nazi who minds the alarm”, and that there are only a dozen Nazis in the castle. This all seemed like useful information, but I set out to find the poor guy a drink. He seemed to think there was a kitchen somewhere around the place, but couldn’t figure out which direction it was in.

This guy was amusingly pissed!

The kitchen was in fact just next door, and in it I found a keg of beer and a large roast cooking over hot coals. Using the stein on the keg made Indy fill it with beer, but before I went back to the drunk, I spent some time investigating the roast. The meat and the coals were way too hot to touch, and I didn’t have anything in my possession that might be able to assist with that...except for the beer! I used the beer on the coals and the fire was put out, causing a heap of steam that lasted a few seconds. I was then able to pick up the entire roast and put it somewhere on my person! I didn’t seem to be able to do anything with the coals, so I refilled the stein and went back to the drunk. He simply thanked me for the beer and nothing else happened, making me think the stein’s purpose was to put out the fire and nothing more. I offered to get him another drink anyway, and filled the stein one more time in case it had another use down the track.

Throwing beer on the coals probably gave the roast boar an added flavour boost too!

With that section of the castle done with, I took the second doorway out of the starting room. Here’s where things got challenging! Immediately I could see two guards walking up and down corridors. Running into either of them caused them to interrogate me and eventually start throwing punches. Besides the fact that I’d committed to trying to get through the castle without fighting, any attempts resulted in me losing more than half my health. Since there are twelve guards in the castle and Indy’s health doesn’t regenerate, fighting every single one just wasn’t going to be an option. I began taking the stealth approach, waiting until Guard 2 (see map below) was facing away from me, before bolting into rooms. I could get to two rooms using this technique, but getting out without him seeing me was challenging to say the least.

Where you see the same guard multiple times, it represents the path they walked up and back

The first room I came across was a hall, with a large table, a fireplace, and two complete suits of armour as decoration. There were only two items that I was able to interact with, being one of the suits of armour and the statues at the fireplace. Interestingly, if I interacted with the armour in any way (Push, Pull, Open, Pick Up etc.), the axe would fall from its grasp and stick into the floor. Indy would then say “oops” and then pick it up and put it back. I couldn’t seem to do anything else, so I figured eventually I would have something in my inventory that needed to be cut into at least two pieces. I tried using the roast, but that didn’t work. Pushing the belly of the left statue caused a secret door to open up in the fireplace. I saved my game and walked through to see what was hidden beyond.

I really wanted to put this armour on. See how the Nazis like facing a knight with an axe!

The secret door took me outside the castle, where I found a motorbike parked at the rear. I tried using it to see what would happen, and Indy told me “I’m not leaving without my father”. I could only assume that the secret door was to be used to escape once I’d found my father, so restored back inside the castle (the secret door had closed behind me so I wasn’t able to walk back in). I then used stealth to access the second room without being seen by Guard 2, which turned out to be a closet. I was pretty excited when I saw a grey officer uniform in the rack, but that feeling was short lived as there was some sort of lock stopping me from picking it up. There was however a servant’s uniform, which I picked up and put on immediately, hoping it would allow me to sneak past a few guards unnoticed.

I guess I put my entire outfit in the same pocket that has the roast boar in it

When I walked out of the closet I was confronted by the guard, and no matter what I said to him, it always ended up with him being suspicious of me and then fighting me. In the end there seemed no way to avoid fisty-cuffs, so I had to restore until I left the closet while he was facing away from the door (by chance) and then stealthily move out of the corridor. There was no way I was going to be able to evade contact with Guard 3 though, and since there was no other path to take in the castle, I set about talking my way passed him. Through trial and error, I figured out the only way to get the guard to let me pass. I told him I was “on an errand for one of your fellow soldiers”, that the errand was “to pick up some boots to polish”, that the boots were “on the second floor and their owner is on guard duty”, and then finally that the fellow soldier was “on guard, just like you.” Answering his questions in this exact way resulted in him saying “I suppose that’s OK. You may go to him.”

Fat guards are always stupid apparently!

The guard didn’t disappear; he just didn’t bother me anymore, allowing me to walk through that corridor unopposed. Past him were some stairs, leading up to the second floor, which I took. The second floor was by far the largest and most challenging of the castle sections, and it’s where I spent the majority of the five hours. When I describe what occured there, it will probably sound easy, and you might wonder why it took me so long. But hindsight is a beautiful thing, and many things that now seem obvious were anything but at the time. You might also be thinking that all of this sounds awfully tedious, and that does seem to be the reaction some of the commenters have had, but I found it all to be challenging in a good way. Mapping it all out to find the best approach, trying to figure out the secret to get past each guard, and then trying to figure out how I was going to save dad really made me use my brain, and was hugely satisfying whenever significant progress was made.

Guard 4 really messed with me on this floor!

The first room of note on the second floor contained nothing more than a chest, inside which I found 50 marks. With that collected, I continued on my way, running into Guard 4. This particular guard caused me no end of pain. I could avoid him by waiting until he was facing away from me, which would allow me to enter the rooms to the right of him on the map and beyond, but I could find no way to get past him to the doors I could see on the left. I tried everything, including every possible conversation path, but it always ended up with a fight and me restoring. Eventually I simply fought him and beat him to a pulp, which would at least allow me to see whether what was behind him was even worth getting to. The door at the end of the corridor led to a large room containing stacks of paintings of note, but I couldn’t find anything to do in there at all. It did however give me an idea!

I initially wondered what the purpose of this room was. I eventually figured it out.

I restored back to just before I fought the guard and confronted him again. This time I used the "Offer an Item" option and gave him the painting I took from dad’s house. His response was “What are you doing with that? You know the help isn’t supposed to touch anything valuable!” and then he was gone! A few seconds later I witnessed another cut-scene, as the guard took my Holy Grail painting (which I did as a boy) to the Colonel. The Colonel said “Good Work! Here, I wrote the combination to the vault on the back of this form. Memorize it now. I’ll keep it in this drawer if you need it again.” I can’t go on without mentioning the obvious puzzle flaw here. I would never have known how to non-violently pass the guard without defeating him violently to find out what was behind him. I would have had to just try giving him the painting for no particular reason, which I don’t like. I probably wasted an hour because of it, so I have a reason to hold a bit of a grudge.

I can't help but think of Austin Powers when I see these cut-scenes. "I'm putting the combination to the very important vault in the draw right here. You got it?!"

The next room of interest contained another chest, and in this one I found another uniform. Looking at it revealed that it was way too small for me to wear, but that there was something in one of the pockets. A key! I knew straight away that the key would be for the clothes rack in the closet downstairs. Since I found this key long before I finally got rid of Guard 4, this is where I wasted stacks of time. Even if I could get past him through stealth, he would come running and shouting “HALT” as soon as I tried to take the stairs back down to ground floor. Once he was out of the picture though, I was able to go back down to the closet, unlock the rack, and get the officer’s uniform! I’d previously tried using stealth to get through the top floor and failed miserably, so I hoped having the officer’s uniform would get me through. You’ll find out how I went soon enough.

If you can't beat'em...join'em!

Session Time: 2 hours 00 minutes 
Total Time: 5 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!


  1. FIRST! I've never had top comment before!

    I must say, the detail you are putting into this is quite nice. I'm getting the sense this is a competent, but not extraordinary, game, and that it has a few flaws in the puzzles that are detracting from an otherwise quite enjoyable experience. Would you agree with that?

  2. I didn't really enjoy the castle, mainly because it took far too long to try and figure out what would get you past each guard, and I think they get progressively harder to fight as you go on (or perhaps it was my low health?).

    I'm sure I didn't finish it in the best way either, I think I missed out a lot of stuff on this section.

  3. Did you meet the big Nazi fellow somewhere in the castle? Challenge - are you able to beat him?

    1. jvgu n gevpx vg'f dhvgr rnfl :)

  4. The castle is where I am at right now. It is really difficult, but I enjoy the different dialog options depending on what clothes you are wearing. Like if you talk to guard three as Indy, you convince him that you are a coat salesman, take his money, and leave. Or you can also do what you did as a servant. I just wish the fighting controls were not so difficult! I have had to do stuff over a lot of times because I keep getting in fights.

    1. This is also the beginning of a long running gag in LucasArts games. Guybrush Threepwood uses the line "I'm selling these fine leather jackets" in just about every Monkey Island game.

    2. Yep. I failed to mention Chuck the plant in Henry's office too, which is another long running gag.

  5. I remember the castle as pretty weird and a trial and error place. The movie of course helps.

  6. For every "room of interest" there are quite a few useless rooms. And yes, getting past most of the guards is trial and error. I saved shortly after I got out of the castle and it sounds like the next major section isn't any better, so I'm not exactly itching to get back to it.

  7. Ah yes. "Memorize this very important thing... but I know you're pretty stupid so you'll need it again, right? Good! I'll leave it right here for when you inevitably forget even after I've told you to memorize it!"

    1. And of course you (the player) can see and hear this, and know about it, so that you (the character) can get the information later. You'd think there would be a better way of doing it.

    2. Either way as an adventure Player you would check all hot-spots. A drawer in the desk is an obvious object to search for items to your collection.

  8. So, does count as an adventure game?

    1. Yeah, definitely. It doesn't meet the minimum requirements for CAPs, but still worth having a look at. The creators seem to have the right background and attitude about it, but it doesn't show quite enough for me to back it. It should make the low $8000 though. You have to wonder how far $8k would go when making a game!

  9. To celebrate Australia Day, I will give 10 CAPs for to the first person that can tell me the most famous adventure game to be set in Australia.

    I predict Google is about to get a workout. ;)

    1. For once, being an Australian -helps- my gaming knowledge!

      Orarngu n Fgrry Fxl?

    2. Late again for CAPs.. the introduction is quite memorable and it gives away the location - It's a really long time since I played it, is the word "Australia" (or other real locations) actually mentioned in the game?

    3. I never knew Orarngu n Fgrry Fxl was set here. That's probably because I never played very much of it. Hope you enjoyed your lamb Trick.

    4. Correct you are Aperama! It's a fact I didn't realise when I played it all those years ago.

      @Fenrus: I'm not actually sure. I know the game is based on a story that is entirely set in Australia, but I don't know how much of that crept into the game's dialogue.

      Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:

      "Beneath a Steel Sky is set at an unknown point in a dystopian future, when the Earth has been significantly damaged by pollution and/or nuclear fallout. In Australia, the six states and two territories who have been consumed by their respective capital cities are described as "city states". Union City is the second largest of the six remaining city states after the acquisition of Asio-City. Notably ASIO is Australia's national intelligence agency."

    5. The character is named Foster, after the beer. There is also a mention of the outback in the introduction.