(Title screen music from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" on the NES plays while the Nerd looks for the Indiana Jones games)
The Nerd: Alright, let's play some shitty games. Now I have three games here based on the Indiana Jones Trilogy. "Trilogy"? Oh shit! There's a 4th movie comin' out! Yeah, tomorrow in fact! For 19 years, we've been calling it the Indiana Jones Trilogy. But now, it's the last day when we can actually call it that. Now, I'm psyched. I mean you can just tell, I'm all ready. So, to celebrate the occasion, let's pop this fucker in! Raiders of the Lost Ark on Atari 2600.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari 2600)
The Nerd: The first thing that happens, you see Indiana Jones descending from some kind of escalator, and then... nothing. You try every button, and by "every button," I mean one, you rock the joystick all around, you flick every possible switch, and nothing happens. Is the game broken, or did I already find the Ark and that's the end of the game? Pretty easy, I must say. But guess what? You're supposed to plug the controller into the second port. Now the game begins and you can move Indy. Yeah, isn't that weird? But even more fucked up, ya need two controllers to play the game. Controller 1 selects items with the joystick and drops items with the button. Controller 2 moves Indy with the joystick and uses items with the button. Once ya figure that out, you think you're all set? But, no. The confusion has only begun.
The Nerd: You wander around the marketplace (yeah, that's what it is), but, you'd never know about that unless you read about it. You collect items from baskets. Now, let me show you. This is the gun. (Indiana Jones shoots a bullet across the screen) Makes sense, right? You see the little bullet flyin' out? Now, let me show you the whip. (a dot flies a short distance from Indiana Jones) This is the whip. It's the same as the gun; just a shorter range! Why is it just a dot? I know the graphics on the Atari are limited, but don't tell me ya can't draw a line!
The Nerd: So after leaving this innocent marketplace you end up falling, and then there's some tall crazy guy in black chasin' you around. Who is he? What is he? Is he from the movie? Could it be him? (shows a picture of Toht) I don't know. But you walk all the way to the bottom with this guy pestering ya, only to find a dead end. So you go all the way back up to the top which just brings ya back to the marketplace. There's nowhere left to go, but back up where you started. But there's snakes on the edge of the screen just waitin' for ya, so it's impossible to go up without getting killed. Fuckin' snakes, I hate 'em!
The Nerd: But here's what you can do. Go to the merchant, select the bag of gold, and drop it which exchanges it for the flute. When you have the flute selected, it plays a tune which keeps the snakes from killin' ya. That's a lot of faith to put in the gamer for you to know that this is a merchant, that's a bag of gold, that's a flute, and you use it to keep snakes away.
The Nerd: But anyway, you'll find that you can't go anywhere beyond these three screens. You'll explore every last corner and exhaust every possibility of where you're supposed to go. But guess what? See this thing? That's a grenade. You put the grenade next to the right hand wall, you leave the screen, then you come back, and there's a nice big hole in the wall.
The Nerd: Okay. First of all, you'd have to know how to use the grenade. You can't drop it, like we did with the bag of gold. You gotta use the right controller. Otherwise the bomb just goes away and nothing happens. So dropping it isn't the same as activating it. But besides, how would you know to bomb a hole in the wall? Even in a Zelda game, there's usually some sort of clue. But here, there's nothing!
The Nerd: So you go through the caves, you collect all kinds of weird items (you can't even tell what they are), and ya end up in some sort of trap. Ya have to whip your way through the walls which is easier said than done. Then you come out and then you find that you can't touch the walls in this room. If even a single pixel of your body comes in contact with any of these walls, it sends ya back in the trap. But still, where do ya go? You're supposed to touch this one spot on the wall which leads you to the next room. Well, after knowing that you can't touch anything else in the room, why the fuck would you even consider tryin' to go through the wall?! Is there ever such a thing as a door?!
The Nerd: Also, in order to access certain parts of the game, it depends on how you move to the next screen. Here, we've already seen that when you go down like normal, ya fall and end up in this weird place they call the Valley of Poison. But, if you gently, carefully just ease your way down, it takes you to a whole different screen. Then there's a weird treasure room where ya have to keep swapping items, you leave the room, you come back into the room, you drop this, pick up that, swap this, exchange that 'til finally you get all the items you need. Of course, each item is just trial and error to figure out what they do and where in the game you use 'em, like the hourglass or the ankh. You use them to summon a little dot that bounces around. It's supposed to be a grappling hook. You hit the right controller button and time it when the dot goes over an island, then you'll appear on that island. You'd expect Indiana Jones to use a whip to swing across, but not an hourglass that turns into a grappling hook!
The Nerd: By this point, I also really have to say, using two controllers is a pain in the ass. Unless you're Goro. I'd recommend two sets of hands or two players.
The Nerd: Then you get to this part where you need to stand in a certain place for this map to appear. Ooh, like in the movie! You need to select the key to enter, you need the clock to tell you when the sun is rising, you need the medallion so the sun can shine at the right time and mark the spot on the map where you have to find a shovel to dig for the Ark!
(The Nerd, dressed like Indiana Jones, just sits there shocked)
The Nerd: Wow. How complicated can it be for an Atari game? Let alone that this is one of the few Atari games that you can actually beat, whereas most of them are just about tryin' to get a high score. And when I say it can be beat, that's hypothetical, because honestly, I think it'd be easier to find the real lost Ark. Just the fact that ya have to feel around for secret passage ways and stuff, it makes ya feel like Indiana Jones. Well, they got me there. Next up, is Temple of Doom.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (NES)
The Nerd: Based off the second movie, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was an arcade game which was ported to many home computers before eventually arriving on the Nintendo Entertainment System. There were two versions: an unlicensed black cartridge by Tengen, and an official release by Mindscape. (original) Although both versions are the same game.
The Nerd: (DVD Version and YouTube Re-release) The cover art is the same, except it's reversed, almost like the one game is a mirror reflection of the other. In fact, both versions are the same exact game, so I don't know what's up with that.
The Nerd: The game begins, Indy walks from one cave to the next and... what's goin' on here? What the hell? Ah no, not this again-- oh, it's Select. It's one of those games where Select is Start.
The Nerd: Now what's up with Indiana Jones? He looks like a park ranger. And he walks like he just dumped ass. Alright, so basically, you're just goin' around rescuing little kids. See, there's a little kid, you get the little kid, and then you-- oh, then get the sword and-- oh my God, another sword, oh, another sword, oh my God, this little cave here is awfully generous.
The Nerd: All through the game you keep finding swords and guns and stuff, but the big question is, "What do you do with them?" The Start button brings up this screen which shows your supply... but, how do ya select your weapons? You try every button and nothin' works. So what's the point of this screen? Nothing, it's just for shits and giggles.
The Nerd: Oh well, we're havin' fun with our whip in the meantime... but then ya find that your whip is pretty useless. You can use it to swing around and kill small insects, but, any of the regular bad guys, it only makes 'em jitter around and grunt. Huggh! It should be a dance. (The Nerd pretends to whip) HUGGH! HUGGH! Whip it! HUGGH! HUGGH!
The Nerd: Come on! This is ridiculous! By now you're wondering "Where the fuck are my weapons?!" Well, here's how it works. You hold the Select button, while pressing Right for the sword, Left for the gun, Up for the bomb and Down for the whip! On top of just being awkward, it's impossible when you're in a tight situation and have to switch real fast!
The Nerd: There's no way to pause the game and then switch weapons; you have to do it during the action. If you're on a conveyor belt, there's no way you're gonna mess around unless you wanna fall off and die! That's my biggest gripe with this game! I've never heard of such a back-ass dimwitted idiotic lame-brained way to switch weapons! But at least ya only use one controller.
The Nerd: There's also a serious problem goin' on with the jumping. Whenever you jump, you gravitate towards the bottom of the screen. You're constantly fighting against it with the D-Pad. At first, I didn't understand what was going on, but now, I kinda see what they were tryin' to do. The cliffs, the platforms, the conveyor belts, everything's descending as ya go down, like you're on the side of a mountain. So whenever you jump, naturally ya drop. But you're sorta looking at it from a bird's eye perspective... but, no, wait. Are these doors actually just rectangular holes in the ground? Is Indiana Jones walking or is he crawling? Or... huh. (The Nerd shakes his head in confusion trying to make sense of the perspective, but is at a loss.) I don't know, I don't have a fuckin' clue. It's like they couldn't decide if they were making a 3D or a 2D platformer, so what ya get is like a hybrid!
The Nerd: Anyway, the big problem is figurin' out where you're supposed to go. Some call it a platformer game, some call it an adventure game, I classify it as a "Where the fuck do I go?" kinda game. Yeah, one of those. It's dreadful.
The Nerd: All you do is jump around. You go in doors and you jump around some more. You jump around, you jump around. The stages don't really progress much; everything looks the same. It almost seems like I'm doin' laps. (record needle scratch) But wait. Yeah. How did I get here again?! You wanna know why? Because the damn stages cycle over and over again!
The Nerd: Let me draw it out. It's like, okay, here's the stage, y'know, all the little cliffs, the doors, the lava pits, all that bullshit. Anyway, for example, if you go all the way down here, you don't hit a wall or any kind of boundary, you just come out up here, but without any indication that you've done so. What kind of bullshit is that?! Everything looks the same anyway, so it only makes an already confusing game more confusing! Who would wanna play this?! I'd rather drink buffalo shizz! That's a combination of shit and jizz. Yeah, that's foul, I apologize.
The Nerd: You know, there's a major paradox going on here. If ya keep jumping down, you're basically coming out the top again. Yeah, ya follow? It's kinda like a never-ending staircase. Even Einstein would be baffled by how this game breaks the laws of physics. Just the fact that this game was made the way it is, it's a shit stain on the fabric of nature.
The Nerd: Another thing I hate is whenever ya get hit, usually by a stupid bat or somethin', ya end up goin' apeshit like Indy's havin' a seizure or somethin'! It stuns ya for a few seconds, but if it happens on a conveyor belt, you're fucked! You're goin' over the edge.
(Indy barely drops into lava)
The Nerd: How did I die?! Look at this, I jump down, I land on the conveyor belt, and I'm dead. You mean from stickin' my toe in the very, very, very edge of this lava pit?
(Indy whips across and again falls into lava)
The Nerd: FUCK! Try again.
(Indy falls off the conveyor belt barely into lava)
The Nerd: Kiss my ass! I hate this game! It's fuckin' horrible!
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (NES)
The Nerd: Next up, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. (DVD Version and YouTube Re-release) But first let's get Temple of Doom out of there.
(the Nerd carefully and quickly switches Temple of Doom with The Last Crusade, and then rips Temple of Doom's heart out)
Taito version (DVD Version and YouTube Re-release)
The Nerd: The Last Crusade is another one of those games where ya have to press the Select button to start. Why is that?
The Nerd: There are some good things to say about this game. It makes a legitimate attempt to follow the storyline from the movie, and it plays more like a traditional side-scroller. Most of the time, at least.
The Nerd: There is an overhead stage where you're on the motorcycle, which is cool to have some variety, but then there's a puzzle. I don't wanna do a fuckin' puzzle, I'm not even good at these things. What's it supposed to be anyway? I wouldn't be surprised if it was just a giant middle finger sayin' "Fuck you!"
The Nerd: The side-scrolling stages are OK, but redundant. You just mash buttons. Sometimes you get hit, sometimes they get hit. Pure random. The castle stage is a fuckin' maze. Unless you draw a map, you'll never know which direction to go, or where you've already been.
The Nerd: This game can be annoying, but it is playable. I never intended to review it anyway, because it's not the same version of Last Crusade that I remember. Yes, that's right. Once again, there's two versions. The one we just played was by Taito. The other one's by Ubisoft. This time, both of them are licensed, and the cover art is almost identical. The differences are very slight. It's almost like playing one of those picture games where you guess what's different.
The Nerd: So because they look basically the same, you would imagine that they're the same game, just like with Temple of Doom. But no. This time, they're both completely different! Why make two games off the same movie on the same console? To make it better, right? Well, let's see how much better it is.
The Nerd: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is another strange case. It was originally released by Taito, but then came a completely different version by Ubisoft. Did we really need two games based on the same movie on the same console? Especially when the later one's a steaming pile of pig shit. How bad is it? Well, let's begin with the first thing ya see, the graphics.
The Nerd: While the animation is pretty decent on Indy, why is there this choppy outline around his body? And where's the color? Everything's in monochrome. It's like somethin' you'd see on Game Boy. Indy's in like a sepia tone while the backgrounds range from yellow to green. What happened? Even the Game Gear version had more color, and that was a handheld console.
The Nerd: So when the game begins, you immediately take damage from everything in sight. Even when ya fall off the rope, some mysterious force hits ya on your way down.
The Nerd: Then you get shot at while you're wondering, "Where's my whip? Is this all you can do is just punch?" How am I supposed to fight a guy with a gun with my fists? You think you can just take the platform and go over him, but no, you come to a dead end, with a little narrow opening just to tease ya. No, you can't crawl. I tried. And you can't jump down either. So it's all the way back to the guy with the gun. You gotta get near him without touching him, and still, it takes quite a few punches to put him down. And this is just one guy. There's a million of 'em.
The Nerd: Next thing, you come to a small body of water. You can't touch it or ya die. Just keep jumpin' on the ropes. (Indy misses the jump) Fuck! Oh my God, get back on the rope! What the Hell do I--awwww, what the fuck? How is Indiana Jones such a wimp that he can't set foot in water more shallow than a kiddy pool? All the way through, the game's without mercy, and it doesn't help to not have a whip. And why does there always have to be a fuckin' time limit?
The Nerd: Once you get to the first level boss, any sane person would shut the game off. Just look, I have to fight a guy with a long range weapon with my bare fists. Once ya get the pattern down, you're able to step in, take a few jabs and step back, while avoiding the stalactites at the same time. And look how much damage it takes when you punch him. (Indy keeps punching the boss for a while and one unit of health goes down) Is it a fuckin' joke?! What dumbasses made this game? They should've sent it to the Marx Brothers.
The Nerd: Halfway through the second level, you finally get this weird item. In the back of your mind you think "What is that, a whip or somethin'? No." By this point you don't even expect the whip to be in the game. But yeah, this is the whip. You just have to select it, that's all. Why would you not wanna select the whip? So now, you're in complete shock thinkin' to yourself, "Oh. I get it now. Like in the movie. He doesn't get the whip 'til he's on the train." (record needle scratch) But whoa, whoa. Let's talk about the story.
The Nerd: As the game begins, it just says "Exploring the caves." That's it. It doesn't tell you why you're exploring the caves. But before you can complete each level, you need to find certain items. Here, it's a cross. So, okay, is this supposed to be the opening scene of the movie, where he's young Boy Scout Indy? Then why does he have the jacket and hat? In the third level, he's in the catacombs lookin' for stone tablets, and in the fourth level, he's in the castle, lookin' for the pages of his father's diary. So the whole game is loosely based around scenes from the movie, but, the whole time, it's the same adult Indy. So, here's the bottom line: Either follow the movie or just gimme the goddamn whip!
The Nerd: This is great, right? You remember when Indy fought an archer on the train? (the boss battle goes on for a while) Come on! (the archer's health slowly drains) You gotta be kiddin' me. Oh man. Just die. Uggggh. Ugggggggggh. God. Oh my God.
(the Nerd begins to get impatient)
The Nerd: The fuck, man?!
(The Nerd covers his face with his hat. A few seconds later, he uncovers his face, but the fight isn't over yet and he is like "Are you fucking kidding me?!" He has had enough with it and uses the whip to pull the game out of the cartridge. He then whips it. A crash is heard.)
The Nerd: (maybe a blooper) Oh, shit!
The Nerd: You'd think Indiana Jones would've been a great concept for a side-scroller game, but they just kept fuckin' it up! How'd they do this?! It's ass! But, here's one which was actually pretty decent, so, let's take a quick look.
Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures (SNES)
The Nerd: Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures is exactly what you'd expect of a movie-based game on Super Nintendo. You move from left to right and kill a bunch of bad guys with your whip. It's more self-explanatory than most of the previous games, which makes it easy to pick up and play.
The Nerd: And thank God it has a password system with only four characters, makin' it easy to continue where ya left off. Best of all, the stages all follow scenes from the movies. That's right, from Raiders to Crusade. One thing I find funny is that the final boss of the game is the skeleton; you know, when Donovan drinks the wrong grail? Kinda reminds me of a Castlevania game.
The Nerd: Overall, LucasArts gave the same care and attention to the franchise as they did with their Star Wars Trilogy, except here, they're all rolled into one game. Same as me, combining three reviews into one, but, hey, now I'm pushin' four, so, let's end this thing.