Based on the film of the same name, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade pits you against Nazis, the Luftwaffe, mercenaries, traitors and spies in a race to locate The Holy Grail in an effort to keep it out of the hands of the world's archfiend, Adolf Hitler. This graphic adventure, released in 1989, is the precursor to the popular Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis.
In a departure from the early graphic adventures that required typing key words from a pre-generated list to advance the action on the screen, the LucasFilm, Ltd. designed interface required nothing more than a simple point-and-click of relevant words and phrases and eliminated the parser frustrations prevalent in the 1980s (e.g., early King's Quest games). The storyline is held together by short animated cut scenes that supplement the actions of the player-controlled Indiana Jones character.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, although based on the movie, gives the player the freedom to deviate from the movie's plotline so that the adventure isn't just a re-hash of the film. Gameplay evolves as you search out clues to help solve the dozens of puzzles within the game. A pre-printed booklet called the Grail Diary (belonging to Indy's father, Henry Jones) is inlcuded with the game to aid in finding the correct solution to the puzzles.
In a short version of the in-depth storyline, what begins as Indy's quest to find his father, who has disappeared while searching for the Holy Grail, turns into a race against time to save his father's life. Walter Donovan, a wealthy industrialist who nobly funds Indy's search to find his father, has ulterior motives and eventually shoots Henry Jones, knowing that act will spur Indy into quickly finding the Grail and its healing powers as his father's life now depends on it.
All action within the game is handled via point-and-click and the story unfolds in third-person perspective. The game is designed to be played and can be finished without any fighting whatsoever. For those who like to mix things up a bit a fighting option can be triggered simply by choosing to "throw a punch" from the possible responses when interacting with another character.
A unique scoring method is also available for those gamers who want a numeric goal to shoot for rather than just working their way through the game. The Indy Quotient (IQ) is a running point total that is added to as puzzles are solved, obstacles overcome, etc. It comes in two flavors, an episode IQ and a series IQ. The episode IQ simply keeps track of the points earned in your current game while the series IQ accumulates all possible points gained in games up to your current attempt. The total possible score is 800 and will require solving every puzzle, finding every meaningful object and getting past all obstacles.
Indy needs your help! Do you have the backbone (now where did we hear that before?) to leap into the fray and guide Indy to a happy ending in search of the Holy Grail?
Following in the footsteps of the old crusaders, both the Nazis (boo!) and Indiana Jones (hooray!) are searching throughout war-torn Europe for the Holy Grail. With the aid of your father's diary and your bullwhip, you must follow a trail which leads from the rat-infested catacombs of Venice into the very heart of the Third Reich.
Having got yourself into another fine mess, you'll discover that your eccentric father is also stuck in the Wolfs Lair, so it's double trouble for the man in the Fedora. Before setting off for Venice you can travel to your father's house to pick up some useful objects. If you survive the deadly traps protecting the tomb of the crusader, your trail will lead onward to an old castle in Germany.
Rescuing your father and escaping the clutches of the Gestapo (boo!) will enable you to pay a call on Hitler himself, before you make a further dash in a Zeppelin to the Holy Lands. Here your most dangerous test awaits - three trials of faith must be endured before the secret of the Grail is at last revealed.
To make this adventure even more appealing, all commands use the point and click method, dispensing with typing completely. You may pick up and use objects, and talk to other characters by selecting sentences from an offered list. In case your fists are faster than your wits, the game will allow you to engage in punch-ups with various bad guys. Where an enemy blocks your progress, you have the option to resort to brute force and give him a right to the jaw.
The game has been designed with many different paths to success. Should you managed to fool the Gestapo (boo!) and escape from the German castle with the Grail diary, you will automatically head for the airport. Otherwise the game will point you in the direction of Berlin and give you the chance to retrieve the book.
For this reason you may play sections of the game which have not been seen by other players who have completed the quest. A score of Indy's IQ is given to indicate how well you are doing in the solving of the complete game. From time to time the view of the screen will change to an overhead perspective. This is used in a number of small mazes and in the castle corridors.
The animation and background graphics are first class. The title music and sound effects build up the atmosphere and do a great job of recreating the excitement of the film. Like the movie, this game is big. By avoiding the temptation to push out a second-rate product which simply cashes in on the film's success. Lucasfilms has satisfied both Indy fans and computer adventurers with a brilliant game.
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