Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - Push slab. Push Slab! PUSH SLAB! PUUUUSHH SLAAAABBBB!

Indiana Jones Journal Entry 4: I spent most of the day killing Nazis and pushing stones. I even broke my ship rib by using it to push a stone. But I'll mourn later. Now, I have to rescue Sophia and/or explore Atlantis!

When we left off last time, I'd taken a barely-feasible balloon trip to Crete.


It had exactly enough gas to take me from Algeria, through Tunisia, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea and all the way to Crete. What luck!

To the left of where I landed are the ruins of Knossos in Crete, where I had to do some of the same things I did during my TEAM playthrough.
  • I took the surveyor's transit, found some statues under loose stones, found a map inside one of the ruined buildings, used the transit on the statues to lay out lines towards the 'tall horns' and shipribbed the place the transit lines met.

  • I dig up the Moonstone and use it, along with my Sunstone, to open the secret door to the underground labyrinth.

But this time, before I can enter the labyrinth, a Nazi comes through the secret door and wants a chat.

Unfortunately, this does not work.
Repeatedly pummeling him in the face however, DOES work.

Because I want to hear what else he says, I reload and ask him other things – I find out that the Nazis have kidnapped or coerced Sophia and she's helping them find their way to Atlantis.

Walking over Klaus' dead (unconscious) body, I enter the labyrinth and, once again, repeat things I've done in other paths:
  • I take the stone heads from a pressure plate, including the one I have to use my whip to get
  • I use my whip on a minotaur statue head so I can get down to Sternhart's corpse and take his staff
  • I use Sternhart's staff to access more of the labyrinth where I find a box and another orichalcum bead. 

But after all that I was stuck for a while. I actually started mapping the labyrinth to ensure I hadn't missed a room. Amongst my repeated travels, I tried something I'm sure I'd tried before. There was a heavy stone slab blocking a doorway. I tried pushing it.

No. That was the player groaning in frustration and disappointment.

I push the slab again and get a similar clue “Did it move a little bit...” A few more pushes, and...

Whump Indeed.

I checked my old screenshots to make sure I hadn't missed something earlier. So what happens the first time I try to move the slab...

Screw you, game. That is NOT a clue that I just need to try a few more times!

Anyway, beyond the heavy door slab that I had to push FOUR TIMES before it fell, I find a chasm with a convenient outcropping above it.

Despite most people thinking the bullwhip was invented for controlling cattle, it was actually used primarily for crossing chasms by using outcroppings.

Further along is a section of the labyrinth I hadn't seen in the other paths: the Nazi section.

When I enter from the right I can see two Nazis having a chat at the other end of a long corridor. If I walk past the corridor, I'm noticed and one of the Nazis comes to investigate.

I like that the last option actually allows me to leave so I can try something else.

I had noticed two large rock slabs before being interrupted by the Nazi, so I went back into the room and got the Nazi's attention before hiding behind one of the slabs. Then, when the Nazi came to investigate, I do what I've just been trained to do. PUSH SLAB.

His name is Hans, and he has one second to live

Before continuing, I reload and try to fight Hans in order to get more IQ Points.

Only if you show me who you're talking to
But Hans... booby... I was your white knight...

I try to fight him again a few times but fail, so I give up, go back to my PUSH SLAB save, and continue on through the corridor. There, I pick a fight with Hans' friend, Franz.

If the pit was actually bottomless, wouldn't my remains still be falling to this day?

Eventually I kill Franz, then further along kill Otto, Karl and Kurt with my FISTS.

Getting bored of fisting Nazis, I use some masonry to kill Anton the Nazi.

Did I just turn a stalactite into a stalagmite?

Past Anton, I find a singing Nazi, a sloped floor and a boulder.

SPOILER ALERT: this boulder will soon be crushing a Nazi?

Ignoring the boulder for now, I go ahead and meet the singer, a Nazi named Arnold. He'll let me leave if I give him the name of a song he knows, or I can fight him.

And if he'd taken up professional singing a little earlier, Indy might still be alive.

Arnold has way too much health for my fighting tactic, which consists of randomly clicking my mouse on either the Nazi's head or body. I could probably fight better if I learned to block, but who needs tactics when I can roll giant rocks instead.

Speaking of which, I go back to the boulder, and when I try to push it I'm told it's too heavy (I've heard that one before, game - why should I trust you this time?) and I need some leverage.

Do I have anything for leverage – of course, the multi-talented ship rib.

Now I'm trapped. Can things get any worse?


As there are two entrances/exits to Arnold's area, I can get back there and take the other exit to get back to the rest of the labyrinth, but I can't do it without being interrupted by Arnold. I (after a reload or two) give Arnold another song he's happy to sing and leave back to outside Arnold's room.

I see the other side of the boulder blocking the entrance and I suspect that if I can push the boulder it should roll down to where Arnold was.

You keep saying that to me, game. Don't you remember when I believed you and was stuck for a while?

This time, the game's serious about it being too heavy to push, so I go back. I have no ship rib anymore, but I have an idea on what I can use to replace it...

Refusing to be consistent on the heaviness of stone, the game lets me take the stalactite off Anton's body and put it in my pocket

That's the second item of mine that the boulder has destroyed.

The stalactite breaks, but the boulder is loose. I get a mini-cutscene of the boulder rolling down, followed by the sounds of “yodel-odle-URRRK!” from the next room. I go to investigate.

What gave it away, genius?

Indy searches Arnold's body, and gets some orichalcum beads and our old friend, the amber fish-on-a-string that I'd used in the TEAM path as an orichalcum detector.

Squeezing past Arnold's boulder, I find the Atlantean map room, but can't open any of the doors, and my stones won't do anything without the Worldstone.

This is the 40th time I've attempted to push some stone in this section. I think I'm developing a complex.

I use the fish/orichalcum detector in the map room, but it doesn't detect anything. I then systematically go room to room using my fish-on-a-string everywhere. Eventually, in one of the rooms containing a dead Nazi, the fish points downwards next to a waterfall. I then noticed I can TALK to the waterfall.

I use my whip with the pit, and Sophia climbs up.

Sophia had very conveniently found the Worldstone in the pit Kerner had left her in. Now that I have all three stones, we go back to the map room and I correctly align the stones, opening a door to the outside, sort of. Sophia translates an inscription on a stone arrow.

So... Atlantis is SOMEWHERE to the north. Thanks for the detailed instructions, pedestal.

As the nearest island to the north is Thera, Indy and Sophia decide to go there. Are they forgetting that all Atlantis legends say that the city is under the sea? Why do they think going to a landmass is in any way helpful?

Having been to Atlanis twice before, I know Atlantis is pretty much where we are now, rather than at Thera.


After arriving at Thera, Indy and Sophia have a discussion about what to do next. I start by talking to the fisherman. And I start talking to him by insulting his boat. He demands I apologize to 'Bessie the Boat'

Agreed, Indy. I can't think of a more ridiculous name for a boat.

After trying and not advancing with all other dialogue options, I eventually give up and apologize to Bessie. The now-agreeable captain asks me where I want to go.

Um... good question.

I have to tell him the direction and distance I want to go. I have no idea so I just give him random answers. The conversation gives me a few chances to back out, so I'm confident my guesses are wrong, but as I know I'm playing a 'no dead-ends' game, I want to see what happens if he takes me to the wrong location.

He takes me to my randomly guessed coordinates, and I play around with the items on his boat. I attach an air compressor hose to a diving suit, but the suit has a hole in it. There's not much else to do here, so I give up.

Back at Thera, I go to the mountains. After an amusing little interaction, Sophia decided to stay at the dock while Indy explores. Next to a Nazi truck in the mountain location I'd been to in the WITS path, I find an item that will obviously help with the punctured diving suit.

There's nothing else to do here. I close the open wooden box but the balloon bladder invoice that was there during the WITS path isn't there. And the entrance to the dig site was collapsed.

If only I had my ship rib – sniff – I miss you already, ship rib!

Before telling the boat captain where to go, I re-read the Lost Dialogue of Plato for clues.

So if the lesser colony is 180 miles northwest of Atlantis, and another page tells me there was a tenfold error in translation...

I ask the captain to take us 18 miles southeast of Thera. He takes us there, I use the tire repair kit on the diving suit, turn on the compressor, and use the suit.

Then I'm given control of Sophia. I get her to use the hook/hoist with the diving suit and drop Indy into the ocean.

I'm controlling Sophia – I can tell because the text is now purple!
One thing I haven't mentioned about the interface is the text colours. Whenever Indy's talking, the text is white. When it's Sophia the text is purple. Other characters have other colours (the ship captain is green.) I'm not sure how many games have a similar feature, but this would be very useful if I didn't have voices on and was relying on subtitles.

When I'm only halfway lowered to the seabed, I notice I've stopped descending. I also notice that the shadow of our little boat has a new friend.

Alec Baldwin?

Back up on the boat, Sophia's been reunited with her favourite kidnapper, Kerner.

So why didn't Kerner come when we went to the wrong location the first time?

Kerner disconnects my hose, and I drop down to the seabed. As I fall, I see the shadows of the two ships move away as well. So I know I won't be leaving via boat.

I can hold my breath for three minutes!

There are a lot of cave entrances here – each one a potential Atlantis. And there are a number of other screens full of caves if I go left or right. With luck, the first cave I entered turned out to be the right one. But who wants to be right. I reload and try the other caves in case I find something interesting, and also to see what happens if it takes me more than three minutes to find the right entrance.

Okay. But can Guybrush Threepwood push rocks?

Fine, but back to this game, let's restore to when I chose the correct cave entrance.

It is pitch black. I feel like I've been here twice before.

So next time we'll finally explore Atlantis as our paths have converged, and in the meantime I might try to do all the alternate puzzle solutions I've missed along the way!

Session time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Total time FISTS: 4 hours 35 minutes
Total time combined: 11 hours 45 minutes
IQ Points: 305 of 688
Nazis killed: 8 (Klaus - punched, Hans - slabbed, Franz, Otto, Karl and Kurt - fisted, Anton - stalactited, Arnold - big baller branded)
Stone objects pushed: 8 - slab, SLAB, SLAB, SLAB, different slab, hanging column of rock, boulder (with help from ship rib), boulder (with help from stalactite)


  1. Not going to bother ROT13-ing these, since they're so obvious: The three sets of IQ Points you missed were for beating Hans, Anton and Arnold in a fight as opposed to with the alternate solution.

    Beating Arnold in an actual fistfight is another of those solutions I never did as a kid. He's tough.

    1. I suspected that. The only question now is: will I give up my quest to get 1000 IQ points because I can't be bothered grinding the fighting? I'll at least give the fights another go before giving up.

    2. Realistically, shouldn't you rather lose IQ points for getting punched in the face...?

    3. I've heard there's an issue with ScummVM that makes the fights harder than they're supposed to be because the processor/clocking speed (I'm no computer expert and don't know my terminology) is higher than the game was ever intended to run at. I remember that while I died a few times against Hans over the years, I was generally able to beat him, and that I never had any trouble with Franz, so there's probably some truth in that.

      You might also want to try using the numpad control scheme for the fights. It might be easier that way.

    4. My game is using Dosbox with files copied directly from my CD - I'm playing so old-school that when I start up the game I get a screen asking me if I want to play this game or demos of other Lucasarts games. So my problem isn't faster emulation but laziness/incompetence.

      I will have a crack at using the keyboard when I try to do those fights again. I never tried too hard to learn the fighting system largely because I never needed to - all the fights with people with more health than me could be solved with puzzles instead.

    5. Some of the nazi fights are extremely difficult, and could take months of practising to beat. If you really want to get those IQ points, you may want to look into using debug mode to alter variables of opponents.

      Another option could be slowing DOSBox to ease the fights, as I have done here: https://youtu.be/fwC8kd4odA0

  2. My thoughts on this part:

    The push stone at the beginning of the maze is indeed a little off. If they only changed the first line to go along with something like "I might be able to open the passage with a little more effort". I don't quite remember, but I think there was a sound effect each time you pushed it, so it's not what Indy says, but what you heard ?

    I love the 2 stones on the screen with the 2 nazis chatting. First time I picked the one on the left, and after pushing it I had to fight the nazi, of course.

    Also, weird that they reused the name Klaus for the first nazi (when they already have the dragon Klaus Kerner).

    Most of the nazis on the maze are just knocked out. Ones that are killed are Hans, Anton and Arnold (note that they can also be fighted and beaten without killing them, even Arnold). Also, Arnold is the first of 2 enemies in the entire game that can be sucker punchered (the manual explains this maneuver).

    It's also peculiar that Indy almost never uses the whip on the entire game, but in the maze you use it twice (pass the chasm, and for Sophia to climb). Can also be optionally be used on Omar's house to rescue him, at the start to scare the jungle rodent in Tikal, disarm the nazi at the dig site, and that's it ? Anyone else remember more whip uses ?

    The coloured dialogues is a very LucasArts feature, they used in most of the titles, starting at least with Monkey Island (Zak McKracken I think had the pink color for the girl sidekick, not sure if Maniac Mansion already had it). Protagonists are always white.

    Good work, and enjoy Atlantis, the difficulty will spike a little. But it's worth it

    1. Don't you mean "the first of 2 enemies in the entire game that CAN'T be sucker punched"..?

      I counted using the whip 4 times in the maze, including the last of the 3 heads and the minotaur head.

    2. >Protagonists are always white.

      Boston Low (protagonist of The Dig) is blue.

    3. Yes, thanks and thanks ! forgot about Boston Low blueness dialogue.

    4. I just reloaded to test for sound and there was no sound effect whatsoever. It actually surprised me - Indy didn't even groan with effort.

    5. I'm fairly positive the game was originally made without voice acting in mind, so audio cues like this just aren't going to exist.

  3. Congratulations on reaching Atlantis! Thrice! After this point the game goes rapidly downhill. Gur bhgre evat bs Ngynagvf vf n uhtr znmr, jvgu enaqbzvfrq ybpngvbaf bs ebbzf, naq lbh'er yvxryl gb onpxgenpx onpx naq sbegu frireny gvzrf gb srgpu vgrzf lbh arrq zhygvcyr gvzrf.

    I suggest you play a bit of the Atlantis antechamber with different paths (especially TEAM) as there are still minor differences - Fbcuvn trgf pbairavragyl xvqanccrq ol anmvf va GRNZ.

    1. Thanks. Will do - I actually already passed that bit in TEAM and WITS so did notice the minor differences.

    2. IIRC there are not really differences between FISTS and WITS, so you've seen already what I was thinking of.

    3. The only difference is that in wits you enter atlantis by crashing the wall with the tram