Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the first Indiana Jones adventure game developed by LucasArts. It was the third adventure game to use the SCUMM scripting language. When I saw LucasArts Classic Adventures, I just had to get it. I bought it for Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island, but Indy sealed the deal. I wish I still had that collection, I loved reading the manual. It had a reprint of Henry Jones’ Grail Diary in it, which was a great read for a girl like me who adored the Indiana Jones movie series. As for the game itself, it has a lot of great merits on it’s own. This game introduces the ability to pick what you want Indy to say. It adds a lot to the game play, as finally you feel immersed in the game, rather than feeling like a simple spectator. It sticks to the plot line of The Last Crusade very well, but it diverges just enough to make you feel interested.

The reason that I never completed the game until yesterday is the same reason I never completed Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders until years later: mazes. The underground caverns were simple enough, it was like The Secret of Monkey Island, where you had a map you could use, but you could just as easily blindly navigate the maze and find what you needed. I don’t mind that type of maze at all. However, the castle maze was irritating. Not only did you have to navigate blindly through corridors, you also had to keep switching between uniforms, as the guards would fight you if you walked by in different clothes than you wore when you first met them. The fighting was also a big turn off for me. I never could beat anyone with much more than a nudge of life left, and when you came up to your next fight, you still had the same amount of life as your last fight. This meant that I had to save and load often in order to be able to select the right conversations with the guards that would let me pass them without a fight. This “save early, save often” mentality was more like a Sierra game than a LucasArts game.

But, now that I finally did complete it, I’m glad I did. The story is solid, and follows the movie remarkably well. But, even more than that, the game is funny. It is loaded with a lot of injokes. I find the injokes in LucasArts games adorable. They keep me going back to see what I might have missed. There are a ton of references to other LucasArts games in Indy’s office and in the art room in the castle. I laughed out loud at the Zak McKracken reference in the library where Indy reads about a book that is “all about Caponian and Skolarian culture”, and then looks at the camera and says “huh?”. This game also introduces two injokes that will be spread throughout the other LucasArts games: the “I’m selling these fine leather jackets” line, and the cameos by Sam and Max. How can you not love that? :)

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