Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures - Part 2 (Temple of Doom + Last Crusade)


The second half of this great game. We start with my least-favorite of the first three movies (it's still good though). I hope this game doesn't contain that insufferable, screeching blonde. It's bad enough to lose Marion, but losing her and getting a shrill harpy is a true step down. At least the movie also has Shorty, the most likeable character in the trilogy. The game does not contain Playable Shorty, unfortunately.

Temple of Doom might have also inspired every "mine cart level" in every video game. I like mine cart levels, so that's cool by me. ...will THIS game have a mine cart level, though?

The previous movie took place largely in the Middle-East, while this one goes more towards the Far East.

Nintendo Power doesn't have much for this one. They tended to go less and less in-detail as they got closer to the end of a game.

The game doesn't treat this like a totally new adventure, it treats it as a continuation of the previous one. Meaning the difficulty is continuing to ramp up.

First stage is this nightclub, where you have to dodge random gunfire that's coming from the foreground (by hiding behind various objects). Stay out in the open for more than a couple seconds and it's CURTAINS FOR YOU.

This is even worse than the boulder level!

Now they're dropping chandeliers from above! How the hell is the player supposed to avoid these while doing rolls between the furniture? What were they THINKING?

Game over and you get this sweet Connery still shot, at least. Also... limited continues. As if this game isn't harsh enough!

This next level is the slums of Shanghai. It's a break from the extreme difficulty, but it's also a maze. You have to find a very specific route to climb the buildings, and it's a chore and a half.

Fall down and you have to do it all over again, plus you get RUN OVER BY A CAR just because f*** you that's why!

Next stage is a rad sledding level. Finally, making more use of the Mode-7 effects. Super Star Wars and co had plenty of Mode-7 levels, but so far this game has avoided them in comparison. Seems like most of them are late in the game. Indeed, there are some cool levels in the latter parts of this game, too bad a lot of players didn't get to see them.

We've got our next objective: Find the stone for these villagers. Also rescue all their kidnapped kids, who are being forced to work in the mines. Nowadays they call that "being an Apple employee"

The next level is a palace across from the Taj Mahal. Looks awesome at first glance, until...

...it turns out to be another total hassle of a level. These statues teleport you around, and it's incredibly confusing. They have different destinations depending on if you touch them from the left or right. Ended up needing a walkthrough to get out of this infernal place because every room looks similar. It's the same thing Bebe's Kids did in the second level. At least Nintendo Power's abbreviated coverage tells you how to get through here (hopefully they got it right).

Next level is the actual temple, starting with a molten cave. Look closely and you can actually see the bad guy in the background of the level doing his ritual.

These guys are Thugee tribe, like in The Wrath of Kali. They want to basically wipe out every other world religion. Well, good luck! You're only outnumbered about 50 million to one.

Next is a hellscape of conveyor belts, then...

...AT LAST. THE MINE CART LEVEL. Unfortunately this one is also a pain in the ass, due to all the switches in the track that you have to worry about. One mistake and you start over, of course.

The final battle takes place on a rope bridge, just like in the movie.

The High Priest isn't much of a fight, though the bridge is collapsing as the fight goes on which makes it particularly dangerous for the short time it lasts. Unlike Belloc and the Ark, this fight actually WAS in the movie.

Dr. Jones returns the stone (and all the kids) to the villagers and gives us a big dumb grin.

I like how the game totally no-sells the screeching insufferable blonde. There's no sign of her at all.

The worst thing about the blonde is that she isn't Marion. Matter of fact she's like the opposite of Marion. While Marion is a strong, assertive, confident, charming, and unselfish person, the blonde is pretty much the opposite of every single one of those qualities. That's why I call her "the blonde" and don't even know what her name is in the story. She has like no redeeming qualities and is the single biggest thing dragging the movie down compared to its predecessor.

I played this while watching the movie at the same time. It took about the same length of time overall, and at a few points (like the first appearance of the High Priest) it synced up.

Next up is The Last Crusade, the last Indiana Jones movie. That's right, the last one. Was a good trilogy. Let's see what Nintendo Power has to say:

Looks like the Nazis are back in this one, as they abandon the serialized storytelling format to go back to what worked in the first movie. Also we finally get Sean Connery. ...probably not playable in the game though. So many great potential playable characters left on the table in this.

We're going right into this one, no splitting posts up. Looks like this only comprises the last 5 or 6 levels of the game (out of 26) so it's almost over. Got the movie on, racing it again.

The Holy Grail is missing. One of those "top men" they referred to in the first movie was on it, but he also went missing. What's more, the top man in question is Sean Connery. And also Indiana Jones' dad. The plot thickens!

This one starts out in Venice. Not awesome surface-level "pretty to look at" Venice, no, noooo. It starts you in...

...the catacombs of Venice sewers, how swell.

Then a massive wall of fire almost immediately instakills you, because f*** you that's why!

Jump out of the way, and you fall into a death pit in the water. "lol" said LucasArts when reached for comment.

No, you gotta jump aaaall the way to the right onto that one area near the heart, that's actually solid and not a death pit. After losing a bunch of lives trying to figure out WTF you're doing, of course.

This level is just plain bad, considering how hard it is to tell where you can land and where you'll fall into a pit. Actually I'm starting to think this whole game is bad!

Here's Elsa, the mind-numbingly gorgeous "love interest" for the third movie. Well, if we can't have Marion, we might as well have a mind-numbingly gorgeous German lady. She may be sort of a Nazi, but at least she doesn't shriek constantly.

They omitted the Nazi flag, likely so the game could get released in Europe.

We get an entire level out of the Bavarian castle where Sean Connery is being held. For some reason the castle is shaking violently the entire time. That scamp!

This zeppelin made a huge impression on me as a kid. What a tremendous invention. No wonder the Final Fantasy games use this kind of tech for their airships, it just looks cool.

They made the zeppelin into an actual level, which it isn't in the movie.

The very brief plane ride from the movie is a whole level here, where you have to shoot down 20 enemy fighters. It's probably the most fun level in the game once you figure out how the hell it works (after being insta-killed at first). Basically you have to fire at them while they're a distance away, because once they're close they'll shred you if you line up with them.

In the movie they didn't shoot down 20 fighters. I believe it was zero because Connery shot down their own plane. This unfortunately doesn't play out in the game. Matter of fact is Connery even in the plane? They're treating him even worse than John Rhys-Davies!

Next is a boss fight with a guy on a tank while trying to balance on the moving treads and not get thrown off. This probably should have been the final boss because it's a good brawl.

Indy: "Now I have a tank. Ho ho ho."

This is it, the final level, the resting place of the Holy Grail.

And IT'S TERRIBLE! Basically a harder version of the very first level in the game, with traps everywhere.

You barely even have any ground to stand on that ISN'T traps.

Here's that poor old crusader who looks like a Monty Python refugee. So 700 year old ghosts are canon in the Indiana Jones mythos? Well, WMD arks that shoot lasers also exist so I'll allow it.

The final boss is... the skeleton of Donovan. In the movie he just sort of falls apart when Indiana pushes him. The game devs, though, went "LET'S MAKE A BOSS FIGHT OUT OF THAT PUSH" and it's yet another way-too-hard fight. Rolls seemed to be the key to avoiding most of his attacks, and it only takes about 12 hits to down him which is the saving grace of this battle.

Our heroes ride off into the sunset. Sean Connery lets Indiana ride first, which is the least he can do considering which of them usually rides first. ...just ask Elsa. HEY!

Finished the game about 20 minutes before the movie on this one.

Too bad Elsa didn't survive the end of the movie, but it did have a good lesson about greed and covetousness. Of course a carpenter who advises against materialism wouldn't have a gaudy gold chalice.

Great trilogy of movies (and they never made another one). The game, though? For its time, it's a movie-based game that actually plays well, so that puts it in the upper tiers. However the insane difficulty and lack of unlimited continues (over 26 levels, no less) means most people who played this likely didn't get to see the later levels of the game. It's just as well, some of them seemed pretty rushed, like that fire wall cave. The SNES Star Wars trilogy are timeless games but I don't think this reaches the same level they do at all. More playable characters, a few more levels, fewer cheap deaths, and most importantly unlimited continues would have made this an A-tier game.

The rest of Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures

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