Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis has one of the best opening sequences I can recall. After playing through it again now I was reminded of a discussion point we had a little over a year ago about the “Best Introduction to an Adventure Game”
While my vote went to The Curse of Monkey Island on this one, I agree completely with Torch, Rowan Lipkovits, Alfred n the Fettuc and Draconius – this game had one of the best introductions ever!
So I thought I'd share it with those of you who don't own the game or want to revisit the opening. Enjoy!
For those who don't have the time or inclination to watch the video, the game starts with Indy looking for a statue for his friend Marcus Brody. He keeps getting knocked down through levels of the museum until he finally finds the statue he's after in the cellar. He takes it back to Brody, who's talking to a German man called “Smith” who wants the statue. Smith turns out to be a Nazi (Indy hates those guys), there's a fistfight and Smith escapes with the statue, but Indy has grabbed his coat containing a Nazi identification and an archaeological journal containing a story about a digsite once managed by Indy and his young apprentice Sophia Hapgood. Indy decides to find Sophia in case the Nazis try to get to her instead.
The intro was very Indiana Jones. There's comedy where he keeps falling, but never injuring himself, an action fight that Indy loses while still getting a vital clue and an introduction to a girl Indy has a history with and who we fully expect him to fall in love with over the course of the story.
|Can't have Indiana Jones without punching a Nazi!|
At the end of the intro, we travel from Barnett College to New York City where Sophia has a sold out show as a psychic. And this is where we're given full control of Indy.
|The familiar Lucasarts interface|
When talking to the ticket taker I get some dialogue items, but whatever I attempt to say I'm interrupted by being told that I can't come in.
The obvious next move is to look for a back door. I pick up a newspaper from the newsstand and go around the corner.
Here I'm faced with a few areas of interest. There's the obviously inviting door where I enter the new screen, on the left, but there's also a small window with a ladder next to it, which when I look at it gives me a clue.
|I have no idea how you can tell that from where you're standing but okay.|
|As he talks and looks like a stereotypical mindless thug, I choose the options with single syllable words.|
Eventually I work out how to talk to him. He has a crush on Sophia because she's smart and makes things easy to understand for him. After convincing him I also feel the same way about Sophia he let's me in because I'm 'okay for a college boy'
|That was easy|
Back in the alley, I can't get through to the fire escape ladder because of the crates in the way, but with a little 'Push'ing or 'Pull'ing of various crates I can manoeuvre my way around until I'm in front of the fire escape.
|That was also easy|
|I just keep choosing the options that have words that someone who isn't a human thesaurus like a college professor might think are offensive|
The fight interface appears quite simple. I just click on Biff either high, medium or low and keep doing so until he's down. Looking at the manual it does seem a bit more involved than that, and I fully expect to need to use all options to fight when I'm playing the FISTS path (there's punch high, middle and low, block high, middle and low, and step back.) There's also a 'Sucker Punch' button which the manual tells me will win the fight, but get me no points. I don't plan to use this option but I'm glad it's there. I'll describe the fight interface in detail when I get to a harder fight later in the game. For now, I beat Biff and once again get backstage at the theatre.
|That was extremely easy|
This seems like a good point to tell you about Indy Quotient (IQ) points.
They are basically like the points system you'll find in many adventure games. You get points for solving puzzles, getting past obstacles or finding important objects.
The difference here to most games is that your points are counted for all games you've played. Let me explain.
|Pressing 'I” switches between the IQ points screen and the inventory screen.|
What that means is that in 'this' saved game I have 8 IQ points, but because I solved the same puzzle three different ways, even though I saved and reloaded in between, I have a total of 20 IQ points. This feature seems perfect for completionists.
Specifically, I noticed that I had a total of 2/14 points before defeating Biff, then 8/20 points afterwards. This suggests that the three ways I solved this puzzle each gave me 6 points, which is why my total is 12 greater than my current. I hope there's more alternate solutions as I go along, as I like the feature.
I mentioned in the comments of the introduction post that I probably wouldn't be trying to get the maximum IQ points (1000) but now I'm starting to rethink that idea. Though I expect to fall short, I'm going for the 1000!!!
Of course, I don't expect other alternate solutions to be as easy to find as the ones for the first puzzle. Much like the first fight was extremely easy I expect the alternate puzzles were also made easy to get me used to the way the game works before really making me think.
BACK TO THE STORY
And now that I've gotten backstage (three times!) I can see Sophia doing a talk about Atlantis, as well as an employee who controls some electrics – likely lights and the ghost-on-a-string thing.
I can just wait and listen to her speech.
|DISCLAIMER: Artist's impression of Atlantis, not an actual photo|
|It has layers, like an onion!|
|Was Atlantis the first Earthan civilization to destroy itself by global warming?|
She continues talking while I get control back and can interact with the worker. I get a choice of how to talk to him. I choose to be a prick.
|I could make Indy be nice, but where's the fun in that?|
|Can't you read the paper while still manning your post?|
|You call me DOCTOR Jones!|
|Ransacking a room? Kerner's been reading the stereotypical villain handbook!|
|The voiced dialogue says “Doctor Uberman” instead of “Fritz”. Kerner must be less formal in subtitles.|
|Why does everybody leave these historically important items just lying around.IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!!!!!!!!!!!!|
Some mystical lights swirl around her, manifesting a ghost that's much more convincing than the one from her lecture.
|Umm... did you just waste our only example of an extremely rare metal to show me a five second light show?|
|Ooh, that bottom option is exactly what I was just thinking.|
|That's another fine myth you've gotten us into, Stanley.|
So where to next???
|Sophia and Indy keep pointing out how annoying they find the other. I've seen enough movies to know that they must be in love.|
|Of course, Indiana Jones would never believe in aliens!|
As for my feelings on the game so far: I'm loving it. There's a lot more action than most adventure games. By action, I don't mean fighting, I mean animations. The characters are always on the move - people's heads and arms move when they talk, and even one-off actions often have individual animations, for example, Indy finding the bead in Sophia's dressing room has an animation of him ruffling and throwing papers around to find it - which makes me think that the fact that Kerner didn't find the orichalcum bead is a sign that he needs to work harder on his ransacking skills.
Session time: 55 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
IQ points: 23 of 35