Title: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Release year: 1992
Developed by: LucasArts
Genre: Point-and-click adventure
Platform replayed on: PC
Here we go again…
I’ve featured Indiana Jones twice here on Present Perfect Gaming. The first time was my third overly blog, on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Whoopee Game. While not a unconfined game, it does have a special place in my gaming history.
The second time was for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (from here referred to as The Last Crusade). Now, nostalgia can do funny things. Despite not quite stuff the game I remembered it to be, it is still a upper quality point-and-click venture from the golden era of such games.
Now, I’m not going to situate the headline here—Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is an outstanding game, and a well-spoken favourite when I compare it to The Last Crusade. It is an original story, and has been considered by fans of the franchise as stuff the “fourth film” (which may or may not have gained popularity pursuit the very release of the polarising fourth film: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008).
This time, we join Indy as he searches for the lost sunken municipality of Atlantis. And he’s not the only one—it’s 1939, and the Nazis are seeking a mysterious power rumoured to be subconscious within the legendary lost city…
If you’re familiar with The Last Crusade, you know what to expect from Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.
You have a familiar set of verbs to select from to perform actions
You moreover have inventory management and exploration.
The game is fairly linear, so the number of locations at any given time is quite restricted. Within these locations, you need to explore, speak to people you meet, and use (or combine) the items you’ve picked up withal the way.
From my blog on The Last Crusade, I mentioned a couple of features that are not often seen in point-and-click adventures: mazes and fighting.
The mazes are all but gone in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, but the fighting definitely remains!
And speaking of fighting, it’s a unconfined segue into the most well-known gameplay element: “the decision”.
By that I mean, you get presented with a nomination of three paths to take early on in the story. You decide how Indy will tackle the challenges presented. Will Indy use his wits and go it alone? Or will he prefer to use his fists instead? Or perhaps he’ll team up and take a partner withal for the journey.
It’s up to you.
This gameplay element had been explored in The Last Crusade, as there was a section where you had a nomination of approach. This was during the zeppelin escape (for those familiar with the mucosa and/or the game), where you have a nomination between Indy getting on the zeppelin with his father, or stealing a biplane and bypassing the zeppelin section. If you take the zeppelin, you get to take tenancy of Indy’s father for a short time.
This time virtually in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, the three paths are fully developed, and provide a variegated experience. The overall narrative is the same, but the locations you visit, what you do in unrepealable locations, and the people you interact with, are variegated in each path.
Which path did I take?
Before we get to that, we’ll need to go when to the whence of the story. We join Indy as he searches for a small fabrication within his archives at Barnett College, at the request of a mysterious “Mr Smith”…
Finding this fabrication that Indy is looking for is shown as part of the intro credits sequence to the game. In The Last Crusade, the intro credits were handled in a similarly clever way. In that game, the circus train ventilator scene from the mucosa is shown while the credits roll. Despite not stuff an interactive experience, I think it was an inventive way of including this part of the mucosa in the game.
In Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, the intro credits sequence is interactive—and it’s incredibly well done. You have to help Indy explore parts of the archives as he searches for the artifact—a mysterious horned statue. What follows is a humorous, though somewhat painful, sequence of events. Let’s take a look:
Oh, did I forget to mention Indy speaks? That’s right, the CD-ROM version of the game was fully voiced. It’s not Harrison Ford, but it still sounds good in my opinion. This is the first time I’ve played the game with voice acting.
Back to the story, with the statue in hand, it’s time for Indy to find out why Mr Smith is so eager to get his hands on it.
It turns out he’s a Nazi wage-earner (surprise), and despite Indy trying to convince him it’s a fake, he escapes with it, and a mysterious teardrop that came out of it.
Why would a Nazi wage-earner want a fake statue? Well, Indy was spoofing when he said it’s not a fake. But Indy can’t place where it comes from. Fortunately, in the fight that tapped out between Indy and the Nazi wage-earner as he was trying to escape, Indy manages to grab his coat. Inside it is a vital clue.
Indy’s former archaeological partner, Sophia Hapgood, appears to be in danger, and theoretically has something to do with the statue. It’s off to New York, where Sophia has given up archaeology to wilt a psychic.
Indy finds Sophia in New York lecturing on the Lost Municipality of Atlantis. When he confronts her on stealing some artifacts from an trek in Iceland they both worked on, she reveals that the mysterious teardrop is an energy source tabbed “orichalcum”, used by the Atlanteans to power highly ripened machines. She moreover gives Indy a sit-in with her necklace, one of the artifacts “acquired” from the Iceland expedition.
Sophia believes the Nazis are without this orichalcum to help power their war effort. The race is on, and Indy’s once behind.
But where to next? Well, Sophia stuff a psychic, can waterworks the spirit of Atlantean God-King Nur-Ab-Sal. Indy’s not so sure.
Sophia believes the spirit of Nur-Ab-Sal is telling them to find the Lost Dialogue of Plato, which will lead them to Atlantis. Sound far-fetched? Indy certainly thinks so, as he doesn’t believe in the existence of the Lost Dialogue in the first place.
Skeptical, Indy nonetheless agrees to return to Iceland to see if they can find any leads.
After jet-setting wideness the world chasing lanugo a few leads, Indy discovers the Lost Dialogue of Plato is part of a hodgepodge owned by Barnett College. How convenient!
With the Lost Dialogue in hand, it’s now the time to make “the decision”. Did I go wits, fists, or team?
I know I’ve at least experimented with the wits and fists paths, but in my few playthroughs since first playing Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis in the 90s, I can never go past the team path. Particularly this playthrough, as it’s my first with the voice acting. I’ve unchangingly found the nomination to cut flipside weft out of the game difficult.
The interaction between Indy and Sophia is moreover very well written.
Taking the team path sees Indy and Sophia in some quite unique (and humorous) situations withal the way.
Sophia informs Indy that unrepealable circular stones must be located in order to proceeds wangle to Atlantis. Acquiring the circular sun, moon, and world stones is the key to progressing the adventure. They indulge you to interpret the Lost Dialogue to work out the positioning of the stones at unrepealable locations.
Figuring out the puzzle on Crete allows you wangle to an Atlantean labyrinth, and sooner Atlantis itself.
Somewhat predictably, but nonetheless enjoyable and funny, the tension is towers between Indy and Sophia…
Unfortunately, just as things are heating up between the pair, Sophia is kidnapped!
Indy is forced to requite up the sun, moon, and world stones at gunpoint. It’s time for a daring rescue on a U-boat, as the Nazis race to reach Atlantis!
Up until this point, everything had come when to me. I can’t remember exactly, but I believe it’s been well-nigh ten years since I’ve last played Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. As such, it’s nonflexible to scuttlebutt on the difficulty of the puzzles, as most of the solutions came when to me pretty quickly as I played through this again.
I will say though that Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis feels a lot increasingly narratively tighter compared with The Last Crusade, and there are no unwinnable states. By this I midpoint that you are usually restricted to a couple of locations maximum, and usually it’s only one; and it’s untellable to get yourself into a situation where you cannot progress.
Further, once inside Atlantis, Indy has the opportunity to get into fights with Nazis. However, these are unchangingly escapable, unlike in The Last Crusade where managing the value of fighting you did and maintaining Indy’s health was a minigame in itself (and quite challenging).
In saying all that well-nigh difficulty, I did get stuck for well-nigh an hour or two in Atlantis.
Getting when to the action, we rejoin Indy aboard the Nazi U-boat, where there’s just unbearable time to rescue Sophia and navigate the submarine to Atlantis surpassing Sophia gets kidnapped again.
Atlantis is psoriasis with Nazis, but the prize is tropical if Indy can work out the Atlantean machines and get to the centre of the city.
I found the maze section a bit tedious. There are quite a number of rooms to explore surpassing you can rescue Sophia and enter the inner chambers. It was this rescue that had me stuck for a while, and brought when the memories of a unrepealable frustration that only a point-and-click can provide…
It was worth it in the end, as the tension between the pair finally spills over.
The joy is short-lived, as Sophia becomes possessed by the spirit of Nur-Ab-Sal when she enters the inner whirligig of Atlantis.
Now while a lot of the story is on rails, whispered from getting to segregate which path you take, there is a real nomination here: rescue Sophia (yes, again), or leave her possessed. You can finish the game with either choice. Rescuing Sophia requires solving how, and is not a dialogue or story choice.
Initially, I left Sophia overdue without realising. Thankfully, Indy gives you a reminder.
And so for the third time, I managed to save Sophia.
Returning to the inside chamber, Indy inadvertently activates flipside Atlantean machine. This one, it turns out, was used in experiments aimed at achieving godhood.
And the Nazis intend to use it.
I won’t completely spoil the ending here, but there are three possible endings from this point, and only one of them is good.
If you manage to unzip the good ending, you join Indy and Sophia pursuit their escape from Atlantis. Indy’s initial hope of some vestige (he is an wonk without all) is quickly dashed…
…but he does get flipside kiss.
Now I say “roll credits”, as getting to the end of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, it felt like an interactive fiction experience, and therefore closer perhaps to a mucosa than a game. The reason I say this (as I know this is, quite obviously, a game) is considering I largely played the game on autopilot—I have memorised most of what to do. As such, I was worldly-wise to alimony the story moving at a steady pace, and most importantly, enjoy it.
Anyone who’s played a few point-and-clicks will likely be familiar with the wits of getting hopelessly stuck on a puzzle for hours (or plane indefinitely). I liken this to reading a novel or watching a mucosa where you get to a unrepealable point in the story, and then suddenly have to stop or pause for a few hours surpassing you can continue. Now, you might say that we do this with novels all the time (unless it’s a marathon one-sitting read), we put them lanugo and come when to them later. But imagine having to backtrack through the novel or mucosa multiple times, or perhaps plane starting them then surpassing you can continue. That’s the archetype point-and-click frustration.
My point here is that I believe Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is an wits weightier enjoyed as a story. I’ve had my time with it when I first played it or replayed it, where I had to take my time and icon out the puzzles. But now that’s done, I can settle in and enjoy the ride. I can do this with other games too, like Sam & Max Hit the Road. But Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis feels variegated based on the fact it comes from an whoopee mucosa series—it has that fast-paced, epic feel, where Indy is in a race versus time to save the world. Playing the game should finger like the films.
In addition, playing Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis with voice vicarial for the first time remoter enhanced the wits to that film-like level.
From a gameplay perspective, the nomination of pathway was novel and well executed for its time. Plane if the overall narrative is unchanged, there are three variegated ways of getting to Atlantis, and three variegated endings.
Looking at the team pathway specifically, I finger like this was the intended pathway—if this were a film, Indy would definitely have a sidekick, and most likely a love interest.
One criticism I have of the team pathway is that untied from some clever set pieces, like the knife-throwing in Algiers and the seance in Monte Carlo, Sophia unquestionably felt like a bit of a passenger. There wasn’t really a lot of teamwork, and without choosing the team path, you never unquestionably proceeds tenancy of Sophia.
Overall though, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis deserves its place as a archetype venture game. I recommend it to fans of the franchise who can handle a 90s point-and-click (no unwinnable states, remember!). For those that have played it, but without the voice vicarial like I hadn’t, I highly recommend a replay to enjoy the full cinematic experience.
And a final thought from me, now that I’ve replayed three Indiana Jones games here on Present Perfect Gaming. It’s possible the early games were my entry point into the franchise, as I’m not sure when I first watched the films. All three games were early entries in my gaming history, so there’s upper nostalgia value for me. I’ve gone on to enjoy the Lego Indiana Jones games as well, and they were definitely my son’s entry into the franchise, as he has yet to see the films.
If I’m honest, I just might prefer the Indiana Jones video games over the films. Hmm, maybe it’s time to pebbles off the DVDs…
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