Sunday, 25 March 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - Hungry Hungry Statues

Written by TBD.

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis Journal Entry #5: I spent most of my time in Atlantis running away from weak Nazis and putting things in statue's mouths. And if Sophia had been a bit more cooperative I would have rescued her too - maybe later.

Now that I've made my way to Atlantis three times, let's explore the lost underwater city.

After a submarine ride and a conversation with Sophia (TEAM), an underground Atlantean tram ride (WITS), or taking off my diving suit (FISTS) I stand at the entrance to Atlantis.

The room is dark in much the same way as the dig site in the Algerian desert, with the LOOK verb replaced by TOUCH.

Unsurprisingly, I touch everything I can see.

One of the things in the room objects to being touched.

I touch a wood thing that 'feels like a ladder' and pick it up. I touch some stone rubble, which 'feels like a steep rocky incline' I use my ladder on the rocky incline and walk up it, where I can see a little bit better.

Like the dig site I encountered earlier, the picture gets slightly brighter as I explore, suggesting my eyes getting used to the dark.

In the TEAM path, climbing the ladder gives me a little cutscene where Sophia... say it with me everyone... gets herself captured.

I open a stone box and take a metal rod out. The rod has an opening on one end. In my inventory it looks like a cat head with an open mouth. And open mouths in this game mean one thing... I put an orichalcum bead into the mouth. I now have a light wand.

As for how my light wand has also lit up the picture on the wall, I have no idea.

Apart from Sophia's capture in the TEAM path, there are minor graphical differences in other paths, simply based on how I entered the Atlantean airlock. The TEAM path shows the submarine waiting outside and the WITS path shows the nose of my train that had crashed through the wall.

How did I exit the train, anyway? The place where the door was seems covered in rubble.

Next to a bronze door I find a familiar looking spindle. I put my Sunstone, Moonstone and Worldstone on the spindle, and try to find the correct combination.

Note: Because I was curious and like to break the logic of games, I tried reading the book before making a light wand. Indy said, “I can't read in the dark.” Thumbs up for not letting me break your logic, game.

According to Plato's Lost Dialogue, final entrance to Atlantis yielded only to contrary minds. My first guess is that I just need to reverse all the instructions on where to place the stones. So I place to tall horns on sunrise rather than sunset, put the noon sun above the new moon and put the city in the light. I was very pleased with my brilliant deductive reasoning skills.

Indy seems less pleased with my deductive reasoning skills.

After a bit more trial and error, I find the solution. Rather than following every step but doing the opposite, first you must set it up by following the instructions properly, then rotate each disc so it points the opposite way. This sounds like it might have the same result, but if you try to follow each step in reverse, the second and third disc end up in the wrong place because you've changed their point of reference on the first disc. Hopefully I'm explaining this well enough for you.

The correct combination didn't open the door as I'd anticipated, but the statue opened its mouth. Again I 'fed' the statue an orichalcum bead, and the bronze door opened. I was now in Atlantis, if I wasn't already.

Through the magic of cut/paste, I can turn all four screens into a single map!

I ended up continuing on my TEAM path playthrough, purely because that was the first one I did. But I'm confident all paths are the same at this point because the manual told me so. I do have slightly different items in my inventory in each path, but I assume any items I don't have in all paths serve no purpose or have alternate solutions.

The outer ring of Atlantis works like this:
  • There are a few rooms you can visit (they're darker than the rest of the map.)
  • The rooms start off being called “?” but after visiting them they get a name.
Thanks for that detailed description, game. Much appreciated.
  • Some rooms have specific names, such as 'Machine Room', 'Lava Room' or 'Statue Room' – I'd tell you what those rooms contain, but that would ruin the surprise.
  • The entire area is being patrolled by nazi soldiers. I can avoid them fairly easily, and even run away if they do catch me, or I can fight them. The fights are easy, with all guards having similar health to me.

This guy was carrying a sausage. No other soldier I beat up has anything of use on them.

All, or at least most, rooms have crabs in them, but they don't do anything interesting (yet.) Some rooms have grates in them. Like all adventure game grates, I open them and crawl through.

The item in the alcove is an eel statue like the one we took from Heimdall's frozen corpse in Iceland.

I find a 'machine room'.

Ah, the adventure game staple of machines having parts randomly scattered throughout an area.

One of the grates/vents takes me to a dungeon, where a Nazi guards Sophia.

I can reach the Atlantean statue, it has a mouth, and there's orichalcum in my inventory. Can you guess what I try next?
This Nazi is about to be killed by the legendary Atlantean Statue of Arrgh.

Sophia can't hear me from where I am and I can't do anything else from my vent, so I leave and explore further.

I find a small pool, which is how the crabs have gotten into Atlantis. I take the opportunity to fill my clay jar with water. I had a vague memory of catching a crab in order to catch a bigger animal, but I wasn't sure if it was this game or a different game – my mind kept thinking of The Dig when I thought of this idea so I suspected I had it wrong here.

In another 'room' I find a stone fish head statue. I take its head.

A Buish!

Most of the Nazis I meet, I run away from – not because I won't win the fight, but because after a few fights, fighting gets tedious.

I'm not a coward, I'm just impatient!

I find a 'lava room' which contains, you guessed it, molten rock.

I have a Buish head statue that might fit...

I notice that my Buish statue will cause lava to flow onto a platform and surmise that I can put something on that platform. I try using my eel statue and various other items on the platform to see if I can get a lava mould or something.

This doesn't seem funny, but the voice acting of this line makes me laugh. He says it with a combination of surprise and amusement in his voice that just works.

I also find a broken robot, and try to take its parts.

But I need those special parts to make my robot friends...

Next to the robot parts is a bronze gear, which I take.

Some more exploring takes me to a room with some double doors and a fish statue.

The Atlanteans really were obsessed with statues having open mouths.

Next to another broken robot I find a bronze spoked wheel.

An... infernal... machine, perhaps?!?

More exploring, and I find the 'statue room' which contains, well, a statue. In the statue's hands is a cup. Unfortunately for me, there is a gap between me and the statue so I can't reach it easily.

I try a few things to get the statue's cup. The chasm is too large to cross, I can't whip the statue or cup towards me and there's no outcropping for me to Indy-Swing from.

But at least its mouth is open.

I go back to the 'machine room' and use my bronze spoked wheel on the place something is missing. I then go to the top of the machine which has a funnel. I pour my jar of water down the funnel.

I prefer coffee myself, but you haven't drunk anything for centuries so maybe you should stop being so picky.

Thinking that the machine might prefer some lava, I go back to the lava room, but it, expectedly, destroys my clay jar when I try to fill it. I can't use my gold box either. I suspect the ugly statue's stone cup is the correct receptacle for lava so I'll have to have a think about that puzzle.

In the meantime I find another vent that takes me to Sophia's cell, but I can't do anything from there but talk to Sophia.

I only ask the important questions

Thinking back on the statue room puzzle, I suddenly have an idea. I need to cross a chasm, and back in the air lock we were in at the start of this section, I'd used a ladder.

I agree completely, Indy.

I go back to the air lock and try to take the ladder.

I really should have thought of this earlier than I did.

I go back to the 'statue room' and use the ladder to cross the chasm, then take the stone cup.

I then go back to the 'lava room' and use the cup on the lava under the buish statue head.

Yeah but you're not the one holding the mouse so do as I command!

I fill the cup (by first taking the buish head off and replacing it after placing the cup) and go back to the machine room to pour lava into the machine's funnel.

And the statues in this place have a lot of mouths. Seems like a match made in heaven.

I go back to the 'sentry room' where there is a mouthed statue and a door.

I can try using one of my orichalcum beads in the fish mouth, and something happens, but nothing particularly useful.

I try to pour lava in the water to evaporate it, but Indy just says “I don't want to pour lava in there!”

Remembering what happened in Iceland with orichalcum making the eel scupture get hot and free itself from the ice, I put orichalcum in my new eel statue.

Now, I can put an orichalcum bead in the fish head again and this time the unbroken half of the door opens enough for me to walk through. I can now access two new places: Sophia's dungeon and the canal.

Let's start with the dungeon. Now that I've entered through the front door, I can get up close and personal with Sophia's cage. I try to open it.

Well, I thought that would be easier. Oh well.

The dead guard doesn't have a key, so I take a machine part that had fallen out of the broken statue and leave the dungeon, ignoring Sophia's protests.

Leaving Sophia, I check out the canal. There's a crab-shaped raft there, but also a creature in the way.

I've only seen a maximum of two tentacles at a time. Are you sure it's not a duopus?

Going back to Sophia, Instead of trying to 'open' her cell, I try 'pull'ing it. This works, making the “I can't move it” comment earlier a tad dishonest, though not quite to the extent of 'move slab' from last time.

Indy visibly strains to open the door, with his legs shaking. Sophia refuses to leave because she doesn't trust my ability to hold the door. Seeing as I can consistently hold the door while we have a four sentence conversation, I figure she'd have plenty of time to escape if she wanted to.

At this point, I'm inclined to just leave her here if she won't help herself.

One of my dialogue options to Sophia is to suggest she brace the door with a rock (which she doesn't have.)

That gives me a clue so I try giving her my items, instead of a rock. I really thought the ship rib would work here, but nothing does. I leave

Hey, I just spent six minutes trying to convince you to roll under the gate when I lifted it. You being stuck there is your own problem now!

I further explored Atlantis in case I missed a rock somewhere and discovered something I hadn't noticed before: apart from the rooms, there are also two other locations labelled with a “?” on the outside ring of the area. I made my way to both of them, and one of them contained an old tram with a skeleton on it.

I know exactly what to do with this rib cage.

When I found the crab room I'd suspected I'd be able to capture one of them but wasn't sure if my memory was from the right game. Now I was close to certain. I went back to the crab room, put my submarine sandwich (though I expect the german sausage would have the same effect) in it, and placed my baited rib cage in the small pool.

Oh, snap!

With my fresh new crab, I go back to the canal and see if the duopus wants a crab.

Okay, maybe it's a quadropus

The quadropus takes my sacrificial offering, burps and leaves the area, so Indy is now willing to swim to the crab raft. I put a bead in its mouth, and find out that it has a motor. I can now float to a closed gate on either side.

Next to the gates is a spindle. I can put my Sunstone on the spindle, which opens the gate. The next room has a similarly closed gate which my Moonstone will open. And a third gate which is openable by my Worldstone.

The canal is circular as if I continue in one direction I end up back where I started. There are two more places to visit in the canal. One of them is the entrance to the next section, and the other is a small room containing a crescent-shaped gear in an open cupboard. Having solved similar 'close door that was previously open' puzzles earlier, I tried that again here. After closing the cupboard, I can see a design on the door.

I can't read Atlantean but I'm sure this is a hilarious joke about technology and/or politicians

And... we'll cut off here for now. Next time we'll enter the inner sanctum of Atlantis and we might even rescue Sophia!

I've been stuck a few times in this section so I'm definitely finding Atlantis harder than the rest of the game. It's still been great fun!

Session time: 2 hours
Total time: 6 hours 35 minutes
IQ Points: 492 of 833 (I didn't get around to checking out alternate solutions yet but hopefully will before my next post)
Times Sophia's been captured: 5 - at Crete (TEAM), at Thera (WITS), at Crete or earlier (FISTS), in ocean southeast of Thera (FISTS), at Atlantis airlock (TEAM)


  1. My thoughts on this:

    Some of the ? rooms are random, while some others are not. For example, the lava room is not random, it's always on the NW quadrant, on the third room from the start. Same with statue spewing lava from the SW quadrant (at least on my versions, it may be more or less randomized on other versions).

    You are right, you can use the sausage or the sandwich on the crab trap.

    Also, the guard you killed by the statue puzzle, is the other guard in the entire game that can't be sucker punchered (like Arnold in fists path). If you try, he will say something like "good thing I know how to dodge those blows from my training from the olympics" or something similar in mid combat.

    Why the open cell command didn't work ? Im sure that's the normal way of triggering the Indy tries to free sophia sequence. Also, I love the Ughhh sound Indy makes when he releases the cell, very weird.

    Atlantis is the point where most people start hating the game, the reasons are, the long time it takes to move from one point to another to try something, only for Indy saying I can't do that. (it gets worse later as you progress). You can actually forget your disc stones in the first spindle (the contrary minds), and proceed with the game, only to reach the middle river without them and going back and forth (5 minutes trip). The nazi fights which you can escape just pad this part.

    I don't know if it's harder, it's just that it takes a lot of time to traverse all the rooms, one is even in an unconnected part of the maze and only reachable by using one of the vents.

    Most people stumble here with the use the eel figurine to dry the water, which to be fair, is an event that happened right at the start to melt ice, so maybe a little more hinting would have been appreciated.

    I will say it now, the next puzzle you'll face, took me 2 years of my life to solve (1993 to 1995), playing the whole game from start every couple of months, to reach the same place and fail to open the damned door. (I didn't understand english, and I was 8 years old). This is the secret to my detailed knowledge of the game, had played it more than 50 times from start to finish.

    1. I've finished the game now, and I know what puzzle you're talking about. I was stuck for a while on that one too (but not for 2 years, fortunately for the reader)

  2. Mazes in adventure games are generally viewed as bad, and IMO this one is worse than usual. Not only are the room locations randomised, but there is also the system of vents, which kind of functions as a parallel maze and complicates navigation further.

    yo dawg, I herd you like exploration, so I put a maze in your maze so you can backtrack while you backtrack

    1. The Venice maze in Indy 3 is much worse, I think. And coming up, gur ynin ebbz chmmyr jvgu gur qbbef vf whfg cynva boabkvbhf.

      As for the vents, yeah, a couple are secret passages, but you have to check them all, because a couple are not -- and contain an item, as he's already picked up here.

    2. The Venice maze is non-random, and there is even a map included in the library (good luck finding it though).

      Even the Kyrandia maze is better as it can be completed in a straightforward manner if you use a walkthrough.

    3. I actually didn't mind this Atlantis section from a maze point of view.

      King's Quest V and Zak McKracken both had mazes that annoyed me immensely, but this one was one I could cope with, probably largely because I didn't have to manually map it out one screen at a time.

    4. The Zak mazes were mostly just patterns (like, following certain icons over doors or just walking in a different direction each time and making sure not to re-enter a doorway). That said -- unless your brain is in a certain place at the time, you won't notice those things. 12-year-old me never noticed those patterns, so those mazes were horrible.

  3. IQ point-wise...
    There's a couple missable ones here - gurer'f bar anmv thneq va rnpu bs gur sbhe dhnqenagf bs gur znmr, naq nyy sbhe bs gurz tvir lbh n pbhcyr VD Cbvagf sbe qrsrngvat gurz. Guvf nyjnlf sryg cerggl hasnve.

    There's also an alternate solution that you probably already realized was there - Tb gb Fbcuvn'f pryy ebbz jvgubhg xvyyvat ure pryy thneq jvgu gur fgnghr svefg naq lbh trg gb svtug uvz. Sbe fbzr ernfba lbh qba'g npghnyyl trg nal cbvagf sbe qbvat guvf, vafgrnq lbh trg n frcnengr frg bs cbvagf sbe chggvat bevpunyphz va gur pryy ebbz fgnghr sebz vafvqr gur ebbz engure guna guebhtu gur tengr. Vg'f jrveq.

  4. This section contains a line that became a running gag in my family growing up. When Indy gets to the crab pool he says something to the effect of "Looks like crab central" if you look at it. If you place the rib cage in the pool without baiting it first he says, completely straight-faced, "There's a ribcage in Crab Central." For some reason the totally matter-of-fact way he says such a weird and ridiculous line struck my siblings and me as really funny, and it's still the only thing my non-gaming sister remembers from this game. The voice actor for Indy really knew how to pull off a great deadpan delivery.

  5. One of my favourite moments in the game is when you turn on the lights in the Atlantis antechamber and the "tragic Atlantis" theme plays. It's such a grand moment. (from the demo as not to spoil)

  6. Just wanted to say I really like your writing. I'm enjoying this report very much!