Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

by Leigh Christian, Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, Mark Tait, Drew Struzan
U.S. Gold Ltd
Crash Issue 68, Sep 1989   page(s) 40,41

US Gold

Da, da, da, daaa, da, da, daaa!! Nope, it doesn't really work does it? Oh well, this is the computer version of that brrrilliant box office hit, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. This blockbuster of a film took $150,000,000 in the first ten days (that's nothing, I got that for last issue's reviews - Skippy).

The game tries to follow the film's plot but falls, the date for level one is set wrong. In the film nicking the Cross Of Coronado happens in Utah 1912, when Indy is a young boy. In the game Indy is grown up and there's no sign of his boy scout's uniform.

Indy has to collect different objects on four game levels. Level one holds the Cross Of Coronado, two a shield entombed under the library in Venice, in level three he has to rescue his dad's diary from the hands of the nasty Nazis, and on four he goes for the big one, the Holy Grail. It's action packed fun all the way.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is full of digitised pictures from the film with great music. All the sprites and backgrounds are really big to give the ultimate in realism, and it works quite well.

Playing the game the first couple of times is really enjoyable, but the trouble is that once you've completed a level, it's pretty boring to go through it all again next time you play. That aside, this isn't a mere arcade adventure: level one keeps you on your toes by making you collect new torches to fight your way. If you don't collect them, the screen darkens gradually, and you lose a life.

With so many large sprites on screen at once the game has trouble with speed, but this doesn't spoil things much. I recommend this to anyone, brill.

NICK [81%]

Nick really seems to like this, but I'm afraid I don't have the same enthusiasm; granted, It's got large and realistically animated graphics, and it's quite fun for a while, but after a couple of hours, it begins to wane. I haven't seen the film, so maybe that accounts for it. Colour could have been used a bit more effectively; the mono upper part of the screen is unstimulating, and the changing ink colour as you get deeper doesn't work. The packaging is slick, and I suppose the game is appealing if you're into the film, but I'm afraid I'm not a great fan of this sort of arcade adventure…
MIKE [70%]

Presentation: 83%
Graphics: 91%
Sound: 77%
Playability: 73%
Addictivity: 74%
Overall: 76%

Summary: A pleasing game as a film tie-in, as an action adventure it lacks sparkle.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 45, Sep 1989   page(s) 14,15

Game: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Publisher: US Gold
Price: £8.99 cass/£12.99 disk
Reviewer: David Wilson

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, the latest spanky film spin-off from US Gold has just made it to the Spectrum. So, with popcorn in one hand and joystick in the other, David Wilson battles his way across the office, deviously rolls under his desk, nippily parks himself in front of the Spectrum and plunges headfirst into the game.

You've seen the movie, read the book, worn the T-shirt - but have you played the computer game yet!? Nope? Well I have, so ner. And is US Gold's conversion of Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade a corker or what!? Better than the film I reckon! Okay, okay, so the film was a goodie. And I'll admit that I gasped as Indy leapt heroically from rope to rope over gaping chasms! Thrilled as he ran along a speeding train full of dangerous circus animals! And grimaced (quite a lot in fact!) when he leapt over rotating, razor-sharp blades in the entrance to the temple of the Grail! But Blimey O'Riley, that's nothing to what I did when I saw the computer game. (He swooned actually! Ed) Hem, hem. Anyway, wanna know what it's like?

You bet your last Rolo you do! Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade is a four level, horizontally/vertically scrolling arcade adventure. And it's boss! The game actually follows the plot of the film ties closely (which isn't surprising really since US Gold designed it around the original movie storyboards) and your goal, just like in the film, is to discover the Holy Grail. But, of course, before you can actually find the Grail, you'll need to first secure several helpful items. These include the Cross of Coronado (actually, of no use to you at all as far as the Grail is concerned, but still fun to find!), the shield (which belonged to a crusader who first discovered the Grail and bears inscriptions relating to its whereabouts) and the diary (which belongs to Indy's Dad - a bit of a Grail expert - but was nicked by the Nazis.) This contains the remaining clues.

Right, that's the storyline, so what does it actually look like? Well, at last Indy gets the sort of respectful treatment that Batman got in The Caped Crusader (except that Indy seems to have a bit of a limp!). It has large sprites with lots of detail and the animation is slick. The graphics are good despite being in monochrome! There is a slight problem though with the collision detection, which can be a shade ropey. This makes punching or whipping baddies a tricky task since if you touch them you're wasted.

The 128K version touts a Spectrum version of the famous theme tune on the menu screen, and the usual sound effects during gameplay. The latter is all that 48K owners hear, I'm afraid, but since the Speccy mix of the theme isn't quite the stirring orchestral version, you shouldn't be too put off by this! The control system is the normal up/down/ left/right/fire, but changes for the very last level (See Holy Grail), Gameplay is very good. The smooth scrolling and neat animation help everything to progress at an enjoyable pace. The level of difficulty is pitched at just about the right notch too, requiring a bit of thought and skillful joystick juggling. There are four main levels, but in fact the first is in two parts and there's a sub game for entry to the second level!

And that, in a nutshell, is that. A great game and well worthy of being made a Megagame. Tiertex, the programming house behind this little gem, has obviously spent a lot of time thinking of devilish traps and tricky bits of maze. All in all, a very slick conversion, with nice graphics and animation, and great gameplay! My only gripes seem to be the collision detection, and the slightly unrealistic things like the disappearing passbooks and the whip that's only good for five 'cracks'! Still, get used to these, and you'll find Indy every bit as enthralling as the movie!

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Life Expectancy: 89%
Instant Appeal: 93%
Graphics: 85%
Addictiveness: 95%
Overall: 92%

Summary: Good graphics, puzzling mazes and skillful joystick juggling, all pitched at the right level of difficulty.

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 71, Nov 1991   page(s) 65


More fun than a bouncy castle, better looking than a double cheeseburger. It's JON PILLAR and RICH PELLEY!

Reviewer: Jon Pillar

Indy Jones, eh? What a star! Tougher than a baked conker, adventurous enough to make insurance salesmen flee in terror. In this, the game of film number three (the one with Sean Connery as Indy's dear ole dad), you travel round the world in search of the Holy Grail, 'cos it'll look snazzy on the mantlepiece. Or something. As usual, the Nazis are out to nobble you, the bounders, so a fair bit of fisticuffs is called for over the four levels. (Sadly, you can only use your famous whip a few times.) The game starts with Indy deep underground, progresses onto a circus train and burning zeppelin, and ends up with our hero tiptoeing through booby traps set by a 1000 year-old knight.

The graphics are detailed but they're a bit sluggish. Still, its a very playable and spankily polished platformer with good gameplay. As long as you don't expect a full-speed arcade game like The Temple Of Doom (which was crap anyway), you'll have a cracking time.

Overall: 79%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 133, Mar 1993   page(s) 19


Look, over there, through that swirling cloud of strange mist... No, it can't be, but it is! SU's guide to the game-greats of yester-year. Yes indeedy there have been some good 'uns on the market in the last few years so now's the time to start polishing up on your collection if you've missed out on any of these fabbo titles. Mark Patterson, who's been in the business since before he was born and who has written not just for SU but also for Amiga, ST, PC and Console mages gives us an extra critical run down of the best...

Label: Kixx
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Mark Patterson

Indie is, as ever, on the hunt for ancient treasure, but things never go as smoothly as expected and the bad guys never give in without a fight. There are four game levels, these vary from darkened caves to a zeppelin. On the final level Indie must search for the greatest of prizes... for the Holy Grail.

The graphics are excellent and the main sprites are very lifelike, hat, whip, everything bar the stubble. And there's enough action to keep any Indie fan sweating.

Overall: 85%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 90, Sep 1989   page(s) 26, 27

Label: US Gold
Author: Tiertex
Price: £8.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

"Indy's back," the ad campaign shouted from the rooftops, "And this time he's bringing his dad!" Strange, as far as I can tell there isn't a hint of Conneryness to be found anywhere, which is by no means a bad thing. After all, no-one wants to see the movie just to see Indy's dad.

As you probably spotted from our demo last issue, Indy is quite a guy. He can walk left and right. He can jump. He can climb up and down ropes. He can crack his whip. He's even been known to throw a punch or two when necessary. He's quite a versatile guy. And so he needs to be because he's got quite a bit to get through. No less than four exciting scenarios from the exciting movie. You play the part of the lad himself, firstly in the form of the young Indy, partaking of the Cross of Coronado, which drops you deep down in a maze-like warren of caves, hunting a mysterious ankh. Guards not completely dissimilar to the thuggee are dotted about in prime positions just waiting to get a shot at you. Find the ankh and get out, and next you'll find yourself slap bang in the middle of an ancient temple in a way not a million miles removed from Heroes Of The Lance. Then to a slightly more up to date maze, racing around a Nazi Zeppelin, punching out guards and climbing ladders all over the shop. Finally comes the big one. The race through a Raiders Of The Lost Ark-like tunnel, leaping over and around traps in the search for the Holy Grail.

Probably the game's strongest point is its visual side. Quite a few nice digitised piccies adorn the game. As for the main sprite - it looks like Indy. It walks like Indy. It darn well IS Indy. Even when you leave the joystick it looks out at you in an Indy sort of way (yeah, ok Tone!?! - Al).

The backdrops are really nice too. The rocks and urns look very realistic, as does the interior of the Zeppelin. On most of the levels, the scrolling is normal, nothing outstanding, just regular. But on the Zeppelin level it's great. The Zeppelin bops up and doom constantly, as well as having four way scrolling when you move, so as you can probably imagine, that's quite an impressive image.

I've raved about the plot, and I've raved about the graphics. But what of the game? Well, if you're after a fast paced action arcade game, you'd better steer well clear. However, if you're after something that's a little more paced, but requires a groat deal more brainpower, then step this way sir, I think we might just have one to fit you.

Rather than being one set route, the paths to be taken on each level are many, and as you are given absolutely no indication as to where you are supposed to be going, it's down to trial and error as to whether you get there. However, beware! There are certain places you can get to and can't get out of, so be wary about dropping down holes or climbing high blocks.

It's good fun, and though not furiously addictive, or an essential purchase, it is a worthy one. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade captures the feel of the whole Indy character, and I look forward to seeing the adventure game.

Graphics: 86%
Sound: 79%
Playability: 82%
Lastability: 76%
Overall: 80%

Summary: Enjoyable arcade romp. Whip crack away indeed!

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 120, Feb 1992   page(s) 40

Label: Kixx
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Tony Naqvi

Da da da dah, da da dah, it's Indy again. Sean Connery made a big appearance in the movie but doesn't show his mug at all in this blockbuster game.

For that matter neither does the lovely, lovely, leggy blonde German spy but these faults aside, we have here a fine game with lots of variety, an incredibly accurate Indy main sprite and good, controllable action.

The four game levels take place in mazes that vary from caves to temples and to a Zeppelin. All the graphics look realistic and recreate the movie atmosphere quite accurately. As usual, Indy is on the hunt for lost, ancient artifacts which, as usual, are guarded by tricky booby-traps and raving-mad natives. You also have the added problem of other mindless explorers running around waving guns and trying to shoot you.

On level one. Indy begins in search of The Cross Of Coronado by collecting his famous whip with which He only has a limited amount of uses as shown on the screen before it runs out, and also he must collect burning torches to keep the caves light. After using ropes to jump Tarzan-style across obstacles, including a difficult waterfall, he should be able to locate the Cross and make his escape over the top of the train. Other levels include the creepy catacombs, a huge airship and the final search for the Holy Grail... Indy and the Last Crusade is a good action game. The playability is good and graphics are brilliantly detailed. Unfortunately the sound is very basic and doesn't do the game any justice, but apart from that it's still well worthwhile buy.

Running along the tops of trains, fighting my way out of giant Zeppelins, killing rats, yes it all in a days work for me but even superheroes can tire of it all after a while.

Overall: 81%

Summary: Whip crackin' Indy type action that takes you up, down and across with nicely detailed large graphics.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

The Games Machine Issue 22, Sep 1989   page(s) 92,93

Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £8.99, Diskette: £12.99
Amstrad CPC Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99
Atari ST £19.99
Amiga £19.99


U5 Gold's last Indy game was a disappointment, and there must be something in the theme that jinxes games designers, because - it has to be said at the outset - this newest one is its equal in the let-down stakes.

If you have seen the film, you'll be able to identify the obvious game sequences, as Indy Jnr (the lad), Indy Jnr (the man) and Jones Snr tackle the Nazis in the attempt to get the Holy Grail first. The game has four distinctive levels, first set back in 1912 where the teenage boy scout Indy discovers a group of treasure looters in a spooky cavern searching for the Cross of Coronado. Indy, of course, must find it first... and escape.

Obstacles natural (falling stalactites, chasms etc) and man-made (collapsing bridges and the thugs) thwart his plans. But escape with the Cross he does, onto a circus train where he discovers his phobia of snakes and that a whip is useful to divert a lion's attentions.

Thence to 1938 as World War II looms, and the adult Indy is searching Castle Brunwald for the Knights Templar's shield which should offer clues as to the whereabouts of the Grail in the Jordanian desert. It was here, in the film, that Indy rescued his father (admirably played by Sean Connery in the movie, but sadly lacking in the game). Nazi troops, rats, fireballs and lightning make reaching level three - the Zeppelin - difficult.

Aware of his presence, the Nazis order the airship taking Indy out of Germany to return, and the search is on for Dr Jones Snr's diary containing his notes on where to find the Grail. As Indy wanders through the Zeppelin looking for a handy plane to escape in, he must top up his supply of passports (Indy fans know what happens to people without tickets!) because if the passport icon in the display panel disappears completely an alarm sounds and all hell is let loose.

The final level is set in the temple where the Grail resides, guarded by those whirring blades, collapsing tiles and the rest.

Digitized pictures of Indy add the best touch to what is a very average platform game. After all the hype it was fair to expect something special, but although Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is graphically reasonable, its predictable gameplay sags, leaving only frustration when Indy gets killed for the umpteenth time. We're hoping tor something much more exciting from the Lucasfilm adventure game.

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Overall: 46%

Summary: Predictably monochrome (and not necessarily a drawback), colour isn't the only missing thing: what happened to the stalactites that plague the first level of the 16-bit versions? More seriously, why is Indy an adult and not a boy scout? Movement is also on the slow side especially when Indy whips a bad guy; not very impressive.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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