Monday, 4 February 2013

Game 28: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Won!

Indiana Jones Journal Entry 7: “Well I’ll be!!!! We found the Holy Grail! After escaping Germany by zeppelin, biplane and then car, dad and I made our way to Iskenderun. On entering the temple there, we were confronted by Walter Donovan and Elsa. Donovan had a gun, and before I could talk my way out of it, he shot dad! He was trying to force me to pass the three trials in the temple, recover the Grail, and then bring it back to save dad. I assume then he would have taken the thing from me, but he never got that chance, the impatient bastard losing his life at the first trial. I passed the three trials successfully thanks to dad’s Grail Diary and chose the right grail in the presence of a 700 year old knight, bringing it back to heal my father. The knight had informed me that I wouldn’t be able to take the Grail out of the temple, but Elsa tried to do it anyway, killing herself in the process. It’s now back where it should be, and dad and I are leaving this adventure behind. I guess knowing the Grail is real will have to do!”

This maze looked nasty, but wasn't too difficult.

I left my last post off feeling a bit concerned that I was about to be subjected to yet another maze in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. This concern turned out to be a valid one, but thankfully this particular maze didn’t cause me too much of a problem. During my first attempt to get through it, I was able to avoid guards by leading them into loops on the platform and doubling back whenever necessary, but after going up two or three levels I could find no further ladders to climb. Obviously I was going to have to go up some ladders and down others to reach wherever I was trying to get to, which didn’t sound pleasant at all. Eventually I ran into a guard and was forced to fight, but not before I noticed something that caught my attention. There was some sort of metallic object beneath me once I ascended as far as I could and then walked across to the right as far as possible (this item ended up having nothing to do with anything, but it got me heading in the right direction).

I can see no way to avoid this guard.

On my second attempt I was able to get back to that point, and then descend a few ladders down towards whatever it was. I eventually arrived at a section where I could see a ladder leading down to the world outside. The ladder dropped me down into a biplane, where my father was waiting for me. Unfortunately, there's one thing I’ve failed to tell you to this point. While I was descending down towards the plane, I ran into a guard that I simply couldn’t avoid. I’ve since done a solid investigation of the whole area, and there is definitely no other path that can be taken to reach the biplane. So if there’s only one path that reaches the plane, and there’s a soldier standing in the middle of that path, and there’s no way to talk to or offer anything to any of the guards in the maze (as soon as you make contact with them a fight ensues), I can’t see any way that I could get off the zeppelin without fighting and defeating at least one guard. Maybe there’s a complete other way to get off, or some tricky way to avoid the guard, but I’ve been unable to find it.

That really is a very good question!

Disappointed that I’d broken my no-combat challenge yet happy to be through the maze without too much trouble, I focussed my attention on the plane. Apparently I wasn’t the only one wondering how my father had made it to the plane before me, as Indy was just as confused. “Dad! How’d you get here before me?” Continuing the game’s (and I assume movie’s) repeated punch-line, all he had to say was “Don’t ask”! The controls for flying the plane were pretty straight forward really. All I could do was use the arrow keys to try to stay out of direct line with the Nazi planes shooting at me. If I could do this for any length of time, then dad would be able to get the enemy in his crosshairs and take them out. It wasn’t easy though, and it took me quite a while to be able to take more than one or two out before taking too many hits and crashing. Interestingly, crashing didn’t end the game though, and it appeared we would then be able to continue our escape from Germany via car. But I’m not one to give up without a fight!

Avoiding being shot was bloody difficult!

I began saving my game after every two planes we destroyed, restoring every time we took too many hits. It didn’t take all that long for me to take out about ten to twelve planes, but then we ran out of fuel anyway and crashed. I can only assume that more points are earned by flying as far as you can and taking out as many Nazis as possible, as the result is always the same once you hit the ground. The plane very coincidentally crashed into a farm house, where there were two cars just waiting for me to steal. I tried the car with the Nazi flags on it, thinking we might have more luck getting across the border if we looked like officers, but it had no gas. We therefore had no other choice but to hop into the other vehicle and continue our lawbreaking escape. The overhead map showed that we had indeed nearly made it to the Germany – Austria border by plane, with only a short drive needed to reach it.

Geriatrics Theft Auto

I arrived at the border and was unsurprisingly confronted by a guard demanding to see our papers. While I had a pass (the one that had the castle vault combination on the back of it), it had no signature and was therefore useless. I also wasn’t able to bribe the guard, so I began trying all the dialogue paths that were available. I seemed to be having the most success by telling the guard that my father was part of the Gestapo, but either dad would stupidly give the game away or the guard would question me until I didn’t know the answer to something. I considered just punching him out, since I’d already lost my no combat challenge, but pushed on anyway. Eventually I nailed it, and it involved finding out that the guard’s captain is named Kleist through one line of dialogue, and then using that information in another line of dialogue. The guard let us through, and next thing I knew we were standing outside a temple in Iskenderun, the apparent home of the Holy Grail.

Aha...a name! That's all I needed!

Marcus arrived at the same time as we did, which seems a bit contrived to me, but whatever. While dad and Marcus chatted, I took a look at the sign on the rocks outside the temple. “If thou thinkest life is but a game, be warned: beyond this point, THOU CANST NOT BE SAVED!” That seemed a pretty obvious way of saying “you will not be able to save your game from here on in”. I wondered whether that would be the case for me, given I’m using SCUMMVM to play the game. I entered the temple, where Marcus, dad and I witnessed a bloody head rolling past us. I was actually a little surprised by that, as I hadn’t expected that level of gore in an Indy game. Was it in the movie? Anyway, I quickly tried saving my game once inside and was able to do so. I decided I would try to play the game the way it was intended and would not save from here on in. I hoped I wouldn’t regret that decision...

I remember the heart scene in Temple of Doom, but I can't remember the rolling head in Last Crusade. Was it in the movie?

We soon ran into Walter Donovan, and Elsa appeared to be with him willingly. “Ah, Indiana Jones, you’re just in time. It seems I have run out of volunteers.” Indy responded with “There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING that could convince me to get the Grail for YOUR purposes”, to which Donovan calmly pulled out a gun and shot my father! Now it seemed I was going to have to find the Grail if I wanted to save dad’s life, which kinda sucked. My father told me to “remember my Diary. The three trials!”, so I immediately opened up the Grail Diary and looked for a section that discussed three trials. I soon found it, and this is what it had to say: “The challenge will number three. First, the breath of God; only the penitent man will pass. Second, the word of God; only in the footsteps of God will he proceed. Third, the path of God; only in the leap from the lion’s head will he prove his worth.” There were a couple of diagrams too, which didn’t mean much to me at this stage. I entered the cavern beyond, ready for the first test.

Well I guess you just have to wait here until I return. That's all you have to do. Just...wait...

I walked deeper into the cave, and then all of a sudden was decapitated by some sort of spinning blade! Well I guess that explains the head that flew past at the entrance! I couldn’t restore obviously, but reappeared just after the shooting of dad rather than having to go back to an older save game. I entered the cavern again, this time taking one small step at a time, looking for clues as to how I might avoid the blade. I died again. It seemed very obvious to me that I was supposed to kneel beneath the blade, not just because the first test speaks of penitence, but also because Indy yells “Kneel” just before losing his head. Yet there was no kneel action in the interface, nor was there anything else that might cause me to take evasive action. It was probably on my fifth or sixth visit to the cave that I somehow ducked under the blade and then jumped another one! I hadn’t done anything in particular on that visit, but had survived, seemingly out of pure luck. Looking at the images in the Grail Diary, I then noticed one of them was of a similar looking room, with an X marking the spot. The way past the blades was to stand in an exact spot. Only then would Indy duck!

This action scene didn't work at all with the SCUMM interface.

The second trial was initially quite baffling. I was faced with numerous tiles, most of which had letters on them. A message informed me that “in Tuskin, Jehovah is spelled “JEHOBA”.” OK, so perhaps I needed to step on the correct letters to spell the word Jehoba? No, that wasn’t going to work, as while I could step on J, E, H and then O, B was out of reach. Yet if I stepped on any other letter, the ground would crumble beneath my feet and I’d have to go through the first trial over again. There were no images in the diary to assist this time, and I shamefully have to admit that it took me quite a while to figure out what I was supposed to be doing. I tried just stepping on random stones and then writing down which ones didn’t collapse, but not being able to save and restore made it too time consuming, particularly when I realised just how many tiles there were! Eventually I had a Eureka moment and I realised none of the letters in the word Jehoba would collapse, but there was no particular order I was supposed to step on them. I could then just try a couple of paths until I found one that made it all the way to the end without stepping on a letter other than J, E, H, O, B or A.

This trial caused me more trouble than it should have. Anyone else?

The third trial was by far the easiest of the three, and took me all of two seconds to figure out. I found myself standing in front of a large gap. There was no way I could jump over it and I didn’t have my verb menu to use anything, but the diary pretty much gave the game away. It showed an image of a knight walking out into thin air, so that’s what I did. I was able to walk straight across the gap to the other side, thus completing the three trials! I walked through to a cavern containing a large bowl filled with holy water. I wasn’t able to do anything, so I walked deeper into the cavern. There I found I knight standing in front of fourteen “grails”. I knew instinctively that I was going to have to figure out which one was the Holy Grail, but first the knight spoke to me...

Who needs the Holy Grail? I'm frickin' flying!!!

“I am the last of three brothers who swore an oath to find the Grail and guard it. You proved your worthiness by passing the trials. The honor of guarding the Grail is yours.” Indy wasn’t completely satisfied with this outcome and explained that “my father is wounded, here in the Temple. I’ve got to find the Grail, or he’ll die!” The knight saw that my intentions were pure and asked me to choose a grail. The first thing I thought to do was check out a screenshot of the Grail painting I’d seen in the Nazi castle. The Grail in the painting looked exactly like the one marked “large ceramic drinking cup”, so I chose it. I walked over to the holy water, filled the cup, and drank! I then watched as Indy’s hair grew long and grey, his skin went all wrinkled and eventually fell off, before finally his skeleton exploded in a mess of bones and clothes. “He chose...poorly” was all the knight had to say. No shit!

That's a nice collection of Grails you've got there. Say, which one's your favourite!

I made my way quickly through the three trials and stood in front of the grails once again. This time I was determined to figure out which one was the correct one, and to do that I turned to the Grail Diary. The inscriptions under Venice told me that one of two articles was the correct description of the Grail, so I read them. The newspaper clipping had too things underlined, being “plain, shallow vessel of bronze” and “glowed”. I knew the Grail glowed from the painting, so I looked to see if one of the grails in the cavern was described as “plain, shallow vessel of bronze” or anything like that. I found one called “plain, shallow bronze vessel”, which was close enough, and it also glowed brightly. I drank holy water from it and... didn’t die. “You have chosen wisely, but remember this: the Grail cannot pass beyond the Great Seal. That is the price of immortality.”

Yeah, like I'd ever choose the wrong one, he he he...(ahem)

I made my way back to the temple entrance where my father was lying close to death. Apparently Donovan had become impatient and lost his head in the first trial, meaning only Marcus and Elsa were with dad. I poured the water on his wound and it quickly healed! He stood up and looked at the Grail. “All these years. My quest is at an end. But you found it, son. Its destiny is in your hands now.” My father then took Marcus and left, leaving me to decide what to do with the Grail. The knight reminded me to “remember the price of immortality”, making it pretty obvious I was going to have to leave it behind. Unfortunately Elsa had other ideas, grabbing the Grail and trying to leave. I tried to argue with her, but she wouldn’t listen, and was killed as soon as she tried to pass the large bluish seal. Her body fell down through a crack in the floor and the Grail appeared to go with her.

Well you can't say I didn't warn you!

I looked down the crack and saw the Grail sitting on a rock ledge. I used the whip to bring it back up, and then gave it back to the knight for safe keeping. “I give you my thanks. I see you indeed have the heart of a true Knight.” With that done, I walked back to the entrance where my father and Marcus were waiting for me. My father told me “that was a just and noble thing you did, Junior.” It was then revealed that Junior was my real name. Henry Jones, Jr.! Indiana was the name given to our dog! We all walked out of the temple and the game ended. I received a screen telling me that my final score was Episode: 333 and Series: 397, which was described as "Not bad". If I’m correct, the series score doesn’t reset when you restore or start again, meaning it’s a recording of all the unique points you’ve discovered in all attempts. That probably means it’s impossible to get 500 in the one play through, but maybe someone else can tell me otherwise? I've run out of room to talk about my feelings for the game, so I'll save them for the Final Rating post.

"Not bad"?! I found the frickin' Holy Grail! What else do you want from me!?

Session Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours 00 minutes


  1. Congratulations! Based on your posts, I think I overshot a bit in my guess for the final rating. The Last Crusade is a solid game, but I do think it suffers a bit from following the movie so closely. Still, I think it's a fine adventure game and certainly one of the best movie tie-in games.

  2. I got "In Olde English, Jehovah is spelled Jehova" Weird thing to randomise.

    I only got stuck trying to jump stones once though before realising what I was supposed to do.

    I also got shot down a lot quicker and had to go through 6 or 7 checkpoints, constantly trial-and-error-ing each particular guard's 'correct' dialogue option.

    Yet somehow I got a score of 389, which doesn't make sense seeing as I made a lot more mistakes in my play through.

    Maybe talking your way past checkpoints gives a lot more points than shooting down planes.

    Either way, well done. I'm keen to see how it rates.

    1. In the movie, I believe the hint is that Latin had no J, so Indy has to step on the letter I instead.

  3. The rolling head does indeed appear in the movie.

  4. Yes, you're not supposed to be able to save in the grail temple.

    BTW, each time a character comes and is asked why he's all dirty/wet, it's because it's indicated he did an action scene from the movie offscreen. At least that's my interpretation.

  5. I had real trouble with that third trial. You can only pass the gap if your standing on the exact right spot, and the right spot is the one you enter the room one. If you move around a lot, looking for the right spot (lacking in faith I guess), you wouldn't find it. Almost drove me insane untill I started clicking in pure frustration and succeded.

    1. Looks like I got lucky. I just walked out there first go!

  6. Well done! You did well.

    Strangely, I didn't get the bit at the end with Elsa, I just gave the grail back to the knight. I guess I was quick enough?

    A couple of celebratory gifs:
    Only the penitent man shall pass:
    He chose poorly:

    1. Yep. Being quick enough to grab the grail and return it to the Knight before Elsa makes her move for it will save her.

    2. It did make it kind of weird for her to be in the game at all at that point. There was almost no interaction with her at all.

    3. Yeah. One of the dangers of doing a movie based game is having plot points that aren't explained well enough for people who don't know the movie.

    4. I'm disappointed that "she talks in her sleep" didn't seem to make it into the game. Then again, the game is overall more kid-friendly than the movie.

  7. Yes, the rolling head appears in the movie!

  8. There is another way through the checkpoints.

    1. Vs lbh tvir gur erny qvnel njnl, lbh tb gb Oreyva gb trg vg onpx, naq bapr lbh ohzc vagb Uvgyre lbh pna tvir fbzrguvat gb jevgr uvf nhgbtencu ba. Inyvq vgrzf vapyhqr gur cnffcbeg, juvpu pna gura or hfrq gb olcnff rirel Anmv purpxcbvag rire.

  9. I find it interesting that the game seems to reward more points for options that Indy did not do in the movie. For example didn't you say you got more points for talking to the butler and getting him to leave without fighting in the castle? In the movie Indy just ends up decking the guy.

    I found some of the things in the game differed thematically from the movie as well. The game did not include the brotherhood of the cruciform sword (the people that tried to kill Indy in Venice and told him that his father was being held captive in the castle). That would have make a great scene for a tense conversation puzzle piece too, a timed puzzle talking with the guy as the boat you are on is being drawn into a massive propellor would have been awesome.

    Why they completely handwaved over getting to the Grail temple is a mystery to me as well. Deciphering a "map-with-no-names" (featured very heavily in the movie) is pure puzzle/adventure game gold.

    There was no traveling to Berlin to recover the grail diary from the nazis either. One of the most powerful scenes in the movie evoking the true evil of the nazi regime.

    The scene traveling to the temple also handwaved away what happened to the Colonel. This would perhaps be the best fighting scene in a game that had fighting as a built in mechanic.

    Anyways, it is my opinion that this game missed a number of golden opportunities for greatness. Despite some of my comments, I do like seeing that the game lets you explore alternate possibilities to the movie (I'm assuming Donovan only died because you didn't disable to beheading trap in some way such as Indy does in the movie for example). I suspect the game's over-reliance on mazes will be detrimental to the final score.

    Now go watch the movie!

    1. There was no traveling to Berlin to recover the grail diary from the nazis either. One of the most powerful scenes in the movie evoking the true evil of the nazi regime.

      There can be.

  10. Which raises what I believe to be an interesting question.

    Should the game reward the most points for following the movie or for finding the "ideal" solution?

    1. Well, regardless of which way to go, it should be clearly spelled out in the manual. If I was playing this game in the late '80s and striving for a high or perfect score, I would want a hint as to how. Something like this:

      "While fans of the movie will have an idea how to approach certain situations, innovative players will search for alternate and more rewarding solutions!"

      That tells me I could finish the game by following the movie, but if I want more points, I should find other more clever solutions.

  11. New game promo: GoG offers series bundles, including entire adventure game series:

  12. Yahtzee has reviewed The Cave. Now, before the link I'd like to point out a couple things: For those that don't know, Yahtzee's vids are about half comedy, half review, and he has a very obscene, insulting style that ranges from hilarious (if you like that style) to repetitive (Hey, not everything even a skilled comedian puts out is gold). Anyway, while I don't think this is his strongest work, he does raise some good points:

  13. Dreamfall Chapters is on Kickstarter :)

  14. I guess it's time to actually play Dreamfall then. I never did after I finished The Longest Journey.

  15. I never solved the third trial. I kept clicking on the far side. When I did, Indy would fall. I figured that you had to cross from the correct spot on the left side. I studied the drawing in the diary for weeks trying to put Indy on every possible pixel and no dice. Then I went back through the game thinking maybe I messed something up in some previous puzzle. Only with the advent of youtube did I experience the ending (my floppies and any computer to play them were long gone by the time I broke through my subconscious block).

    The double edged sword of pre-internets adventure gaming: those painful puzzles (or puzzles I made painful by accident) offered great joy on solution, but PTSD on failure.