sábado, 28 de junho de 2014

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) PC/Amiga Review

For the PC I’ve recently purchased this game through Steam, but I’ve also got the Amiga’s Kixx XL 1992 floppy re-release of this awesome title.

Inside a pretty looking big box, there’s the three floppy disks, a folded manual that includes, besides all basic info, the Translation Table that is simply the copy protection codes that are asked when you start the game. Also inside comes a Kixx XL complete catalogue of their re-releases back in 1992. And, finally, the crown jewel: Dr. Henry Jones diary, like the one we see in the movie. I haven’t read it yet, but I believe that it’s filled with interesting stuff. It has hand drawings, sketches, newspaper pieces, letters and even the map showing the canyon of the crescent moon! It looks like it was written by hand. It’s just amazing the awesome stuff that used to come inside these big boxes back in the day.

Back in 1989, Steven Spielberg brought us the third movie of the Indiana Jones adventures, my favourite one. The Last Crusade transports us into the quest for the Holy Grail, where we have to fight against the Nazis and avoid Hitler getting his hands on the cup of Christ.

The graphic adventure point-and-click game was released for PC, Atari ST, Macintosh and the Amiga. There were also a CDTV edition of the game, but it had any graphical improvements over the original. It only included extra musical content on the CD.

It was published by Lucasfilm Games, the defunct LucasArts, and it was the third game to use the SCUMM engine. It follows closely the film’s plot and, sometimes, go beyond that.

Being a graphic adventure, it misses almost all the action scenes of the movie. These were present in the extreme difficult Action Game version that I played to exhaustion in my ZX Spectrum: the caves, the circus train, the Venetian catacombs, the jumping from window to window in the castle of Brunwald, the zeppelin and, finally, the traps and puzzles of the temple of Petra, in Jordan, where the holy grail is being kept. Although, the graphic adventure game had a few arcade fight sequences that could be avoided by picking your dialogue carefully.

The Spectrum version of the Action game received the best reviews and was number 2 on the charts because of RoboCop. As seen on my last post about Ocean Software, Robocop was number one for 18 consecutive months.

Lucasfilm Games introduced, in this graphic adventure, the possibility to complete the game in several different ways. They called it the IQ Score, or Indy Quotient. By doing this, George Lucas game studio found a way to maintain players interested in finishing the game more than once. This was one big problem with Sierra’s adventure games and made all the difference.

As mentioned before, this title has a built in copy protection at the start of the game. If you enter incorrect codes for three times in a row, the game goes into demo mode and when Indy is asked by Donovan to translate the tablet, he fails completely and he’s throwned outside by Donovan himself, ending the game. 

Later was also released a PC CD-ROM version with 256-colour graphics that didn’t have the copy protection.

Many of the scenes unique to the game were conceived by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg themselves during the creation of the movie. This explains the almost singular success of LucasArts in this area, not only with the Indiana Jones series, but also with their many Star Wars titles. George Lucas was always available to to give some ideas and transmit confidence to the teams behind these awesome titles.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Adventure game, is a must for all Indy fans and point-and-click enthusiasts.

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