Indiana Jones Chronicles
Jaleco USA, Inc.
& Jaleco USA, Inc.
Release date: 1992
Action, Platform Game
In the early 1990s,
many of us thought we had seen the end of Indiana
Jones on the screen. Oh sure, Indiana
Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was in the
works, but it was only a video game and many Indy
fans wondered whether or not the man with the
hat would ever have another big budget adventure.
The first few years after Indiana
Jones and the Last Crusade were filled
with uncertainty to say the least. However, hope
was on the horizon. Even though a new film was
far from thought, co-creator George Lucas had
another idea percolating in his brain. Lucas wanted
to make a television show about Indiana Jones
when he was a young man. The result was The
Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
The show was very interesting, with
each episode featuring either a very young Indiana
Jones or an Indy in his early twenties. In most
of the episodes, Indy would find himself running
into important figures of the early 20th century,
such as Howard Carter and Al Capone. The show
was relatively short lived, met with lukewarm
reviews. Aside from the Indy fans, the general
population just held no interest for a young Indiana
Jones. People wanted to see Harrison Ford and
silver screen adventure. The idea held on for
a few years as a series of television movies starring
Sean Patrick Flannery, who played the intrepid
Indy in his twenties as he found himself embroiled
in everything from World War I to the early silent
films industry as a stuntman. These films were
very well done and it is a shame that they did
not catch on with the public.
Story and Gameplay
Young Indy in
Even in light of its short life
span The Young Indiana
Jones Chronicles had its own merchandising
machine which inspired two console games, one
for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and one for the
Nintendo. The first game was made for the Nintendo
in 1992 right around the time that the old 8-bit
workhorse was making way for its "Super"
successor. The game's plot is a kind of summation
of Sean Patrick Flannery's escapades through the
chronicles of Indy's past. As young Indy, the
player must traverse levels like Mexico where
he fights Pancho Villa, an espionage mission in
Paris, caves, deserts, etc. These levels are loosely
based on episodes of the chronicles and truly
serve the title of game by encompassing many adventures
of the young Indiana Jones.
Unfortunately, this game has many
drawbacks. For one, the game is identical to almost
every other game in the Nintendo library. It is
a side scrolling platform action game that bears
a frightening resemblance to Castlevania. Indy
starts with his whip and fights his way across
each level, running and jumping, while dodging
bullets and breaking open boxes to find useful
items. These items are standard platform gaming
fare, such as new weapons like grenades, pistols,
and dynamite. Gold bars can be collected for points.
Sadly, this platform game is so typical of the
hundreds of NES platform games that it stands
out in no unique way with the exception of being
an Indiana Jones game.
As with many of the final games
made for the NES, this platform is uninspired
and boring (anyone recall Felix
the Cat?). The play control is acceptable,
but somewhat loose. The graphics are very typical
of the Nintendo's average palette abilities. Indy
and most of his surroundings (in Mexico especially)
are a pale, nauseating beige color. Some greens
and blues are thrown in here and there, but the
graphics are extremely flat, even for the NES.
The sound fares somewhat better with an attempt
at playing the Young Indiana Jones theme at the
beginning of the game, which is accompanied by
a nicely rendered logo.
Any true pluses to this game at
all you ask? Yes there are. The first plus is
that the game box is really slick with a nice
action photo of Mr. Flannery running like heck
with a bandoleer of ammunition over his shoulder
and the famous hat on his head. The second great
thing about this game is that it looks great on
display in an Indiana Jones collection because
the box is so nice to look at. The
Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was a good
solid television series that was rather underrated.
The Young Indiana Jones Nintendo game does not
in any way reflect the quality of the actual TV
program and please remember that when playing.
Thank you. (MF)