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Help Support Research Video Games Last Crusade - Graphic Adventure

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
The Graphic Adventure

Box Cover

Developer: Lucasfilm Games
Publisher: Lucasfilm Games

Release date:

Written by: David Fox & Ron Gilbert
Original Music by: Andy Newell
Programmed by: Mark Haigh-Hutchinson
German Version by: Boris Schneider
Location Scout: Tony Schweikle

Technical Info:
Platforms: DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, Macintosh, FM Towns, Amiga CDTV

Genre: "Point and Click" Adventure game

Engine: SCUMM

Media: 3½ inch Floppy

After the immense success of the games Zak McCracken and Maniac Mansion, Lucasfilm Games had established itself as a master of the graphic adventure. In 1989, concurrent with the release of Lucasfilm's blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which we all know and love, they released two movie-based video games for the PC. One was an action game and the other was a graphic adventure comparable to their Maniac Mansion title. The action game fell into obscurity quickly after its release, but the graphic adventure has become a classic and Lucasfilm Games (now known as LucasArts) still sells it today. What makes this game so great? Well, let me enlighten you.


Story and Gameplay

I do not have to tell you the plot of the game, but just in case some of you suffer from memory lapses, let me recap for you. The game begins with Indiana Jones teaching at Barnett College when he received a package from Venice, Italy containing his father's Grail Diary which contains "every clue he followed, every discovery he made" in his quest to find the Holy Grail. From there he learns that his father has disappeared while searching for the Grail in Venice and Indy is hired by Walter Donovan to go to Venice and find Henry Jones Sr. and the legendary chalice. With that a wonderfully engaging and intelligent game begins.

click to enlarge
Henry Senior's house.

Like all graphic adventures, the game hinges on collecting items and applying them to problems to solve puzzles and find solutions to further your quest. Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure is full of them. From the moment the game begins, Indy is faced with fun challenges. For example, one of the first puzzles is trying to figure out how to evade all of the screaming students in Indy's office. This is the kind of classic LucasArts wit gracing all of their graphic adventure titles, and every stage of this game. The humor really adds to the fun of it all and keeps the game interesting when the action gets slower.

LucasArts expands the game beyond the film in very innovative ways to lengthen the playing time and provide the player with more puzzles. However, the brilliance lies in the fact that all of the extended puzzles are still confined within the film's locales. At some points, the designers actually drew puzzle ideas from cut sequences of the film itself. For example, there is a line in the film on the zeppelin as Indy and Henry race to the biplane when Indy says "I thought it would take them longer to figure out the radio was dead" or something to that effect. This was actually the tail end of a sequence that involved Indy and Henry encountering the Gestapo in the bowels of the zeppelin and a fist fight ensuing. In the game, there is a stage where Indy and Henry must find their way through the zeppelin to the plane and Indy fights guards along the way. Preceding it is a stage where Indy must disable the radio itself. There are other fictional enhancements to the locales as well. A good example of this is the expansion of the Venetian Catacombs.

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Inside the library, the catacombs, and one of the few action moments.


The graphics are excellent for their time. LucasArts uses a rich color palette and wonderful meticulous animation to bring the excitement of Last Crusade to the PC. People who have played the game recently have expressed to me that the graphics and the sound are bad for this title. I must vehemently disagree. The game is over 18 years old, but at the time of its release it was a superior gaming experience. LucasArts pushed the limits of gaming visuals and animation in 1989 with this title. This game has examples of some of the best screen designs for the time, complete with shading and light sources. Age should not be held against it. No one who has played it denies having enjoyed the game itself.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure is easily one of the best Indiana Jones games ever made and one of the best graphic adventures surely. The game also nicely paved the way for its famous sequel, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. With all of this, one might be asking, "Is there any drawback to this game at all?" Yes, but only a small one. It is really a shame that LucasArts has not done a CD-ROM version of this game like they did with Fate of Atlantis. I think that actual voices could really enhance the experience. If there was an ultimate dream realized, LucasArts would overhaul both Last Crusade and Fate of Atlantis with updated graphics and sound work. That is probably a pipe dream at best and quite frankly, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure is perfectly acceptable the way it is. Indy fans will be hard pressed to find many Indy games of its caliber. Of the many games made based on the third film in the Indiana Jones series, The Graphic Adventure is the only Holy Grail. (MF)

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At the Brunwald Castle.


Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure introduced the phrase "Hello, I'm selling these fine leather jackets," which became a running gag in many future LucasArts games. The phrase is a reference to an in-house promotion that was going on during the game's production.

All the Swastikas had to be removed from the game prior to its release in Germany. According to Boris Schneider (who translated the game for the German market) this was a very challenging task, especially with the software that was available to him back then.

Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure was the third game to use the SCUMM engine.

References & In-Jokes

The yellow crystal shard and the wallpaper crayon drawn map are from another LucasArts game; Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.
The oozing purple meteor, Chuck the plant, and Michaelangelo sculpture are all taken from Maniac Mansion; a previous graphic adventure game by LucasArts.

A Sam & Max totem Indy describes as coming from a "tribe that worships dogs and rabbits."
This is a references to Sam & Max Hit the Road; another LucasArts adventure game that was released in 1993, four years after Last Crusade.
(Sam & Max are inserted tot the totem with subtlety in the EGA version, and more obviously in the VGA remake.)


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