Various people discuss Indiana Jones games, rating them all individually on the strength of Sophia's bottom.
The role of "Zaarin" was taken by Mr Zaarin; "JP-30" by Jon-"Not the Pope"-Paul; "Clone 2727" by unspecified, and "Gabez" by Schenk. The role of the host was played by The Tingler.
The following is a highly edited version of a chat that took place in February, 2008. The original logs, should anyone wish to read them, can be found here and here.
Gabez: Well the story was the film, and the film was the BEST THING EVER, so the story is therefore great in the adventure game as well.
The Tingler: Ah, it is a little different however.
Gabez: Yeah there were a few good extra sub-plots
Gabez: Dr. Eva's back story was interesting to find out
Gabez: Or whatever her name was
Gabez: The Nazi woman!
The Tingler: Elsa.
The Tingler: You're thinking of Eva Braun.
Gabez: Yeah, well, Eva Braun does actually make a cameo in the game -- but because the resolution is so small it's only a few pixels
Gabez: But I could definitely tell it was her
Gabez: The same eyes and smile
Zaarin: The story is also the cage of the game... It was made fast and had to stick to something that lasts two hours. So all the mazes make it just feel stretched out
The Tingler: What's amazing about it is how funny it is - almost in an un-Indy way. It's more Monkey Island than Indy. I like how they suggest that Marcus is the one doing all the action scenes, like the tank battle and the speedboat chase.
Gabez: It did play off the film quite well -- but they could do more with it today! Mind you, they could also ruin it better today. Most film to game adaptations are pretty rubbish: all polish and no substance
Zaarin: it would have been made into an action game with focus on the action sequences... then mindless platform jumping in-between...
The Tingler: Cool. Well I'll nip to the toilet very quick, then we'll continue. That drink went straight through me...
The Tingler: Right, back. Don't worry, I will edit this later.
Zaarin: It's the ultimate magical object! Eternal life! It also get plus points for George Lucas not liking it!
JP-30: it's, like the holy grai... oh, wait.
The Tingler: It isn't as good as the Ark of the Covenant though!
Gabez: Dude. It's better than the Arc. New Testament beats the Old. That's why it's called "new." "New" is Latin for "better"
The Tingler: I don't know, it's a bit silly. And the Grail's not even in the Bible!
Gabez: It is so is though
The Tingler: No it's not (smug mode)
Zaarin: well, what else would Jesus have drunk from? The hollowed out hoof of a donkey?
Whether the Grail is mentioned in the Bible or not is something that we discussed at length. It really depends on what strand of Grail lore you follow. The first recorded mention of the Grail is found in Chretien de Troyes' Perceval, where Perceval of Wales perceives "un Graal" in the court of the Fisher King:
"[...] A girl
Entered with them, holding
A grail-dish in both her hands—
A beautiful girl, elegant,
Extremely well dressed. And as
She walked into the hall,
Holding this grail, it glowed
With so great a light that the candles
Suddenly seemed to grow dim"
(Translated by Burton Raffel).
This is "merely" the cup that Christ drank from during The Last Supper, but as you can see from the description, this makes it holy (and supernatural) enough. Robert de Boron was later to add the story of Joseph of Arimathea collecting Jesus' blood, which is not in the Bible (though it is said by Christ that the cup holds his blood, this occurs before the crucifixion, and is in my opinion purely symbolic). Either way, the Bible does mention the Holy Grail, though not in the same way that people were later to write about it.
Both the film and the game of The Last Crusade follow the Arimathea story, thus taking the Grail further away from the original biblical source and towards Celtic mythology. It is, admittedly, a more exciting portrayal of the Grail. However, Charles Williams in <i>War in Heaven</i> chose to follow the Perceval description, calling it the Graal after the Medieval French, and making it Holy and powerful from simply being the cup that Christ drank from. At one point the Archdeacon muses:
"Ah, fair sweet Lord," he said half-aloud, "let me keep this Thy vessel; for love's sake, fair Lord, if Thou hast held it in Thy hands, let me take it into mine. And, if not, let me be courteous still to it for Thy sake, courteous Lord; since this might have well been that, and that was touched by Thee."
In this case, the Graal is Holy and important simply for being touched by Christ -- in fact, simply for possibly being something touched by Christ.
Zaarin: The game got the most hilarious copy protection of all LEC games... in the floppy version you have to translate Donovan's tablet correctly and if you mess up three times, Indy'll make a silly translation and Donovan will send him back to Barnett, and you're out of the hunt : D
JP-30: it had solid gameplay, but the LucasArts 'style' was still being tweaked. Death being the biggie. And of course the fighting and mazes that were toned town or skippable in later games. Puzzles were good though, seeing the movie didn't mean you woudl stroll right through, which can sometimes happen with movie-based adventure games.
The Tingler: Indy's quips are sometimes out of character. For example, he makes a joke when his dad gets shot.
Gabez: What does he say?
The Tingler: He starts by saying "There is nothing you could possibly do to make me go and get the Grail."
The Tingler: Dad gets shot, then: "Okay, except that."
Zaarin: good one
Gabez: Well it's never going to be as dramatic as in the film
Gabez: Unless they used close-ups which hadn't been invented yet
JP-30: I could see Ford delivering that in the movie, totally
(Listen to love song about Sophia)
Zaarin: I like having Sophia along... she's a pixelly beauty!
The Tingler: You can discuss her in Graphics/Art in a sec!
JP-30: Oh, her bum needs its own section
JP-30: Oh those tight blue jeans, the wiggle. She was hotter pixellated than in the cut scenes though
Gabez: It was all about the wiggle
Zaarin: if you look at her while wearing that pink thing, she's still wearing her regular clothes in the close-up. Bummer :(
The Tingler: I think she's got a bit of fat arse.
Gabez: I think that you're a bit of a fat arse
Zaarin: I find the characters to be too low-res to really make out anything... a face of 6 pixels isn't really much
Zaarin: the background art is excellent though
JP-30: who's looking at her face?
The Tingler: The rest of the art is quite nice too. I would so love to see this game looking like Curse of Monkey Island.
Gabez: That would be interesting. Not sure it would work with Indiana Jones. But high-resolution 2D would be good
JP-30: I don't really think I gave the non-team paths a decent play. I'm sure I went through them, but he whole endgame was identical;, wasn't it?
Zaarin: beating Arnold is impossible if you're not willing to try a million times
The Tingler: Don't you just set the robot on him or something?
Clone 2727: No, that was the guard by Sophia
Clone 2727: You send the boulder after Arnold
Zaarin: Fists got really easy puzzles, but it got some differences, like the outpost is on Thera instead of the desert dig site
Clone 2727: I didn't like that you could just throw a sucker punch
Clone 2727: I mean, I liked it (because I'm bad at the fighting), but it took away the action
Zaarin: driving cars in Monte Carlo, the sub, camel (or was it a dromedary?)
The Tingler: The whole fighting thing is mostly identical to Last Crusade, except now you can control it with the mouse you're just clicking like mad.
Gabez: Some of the action is lame
Gabez: The hot air balloon is good
Gabez: The car chase less so
Gabez: Again, it's a technology thing -- but we're judging these in our times
Zaarin: we got to see Sophia in 3D!
Zaarin: but she cut her hair : (
Gabez: Yeah her hair was reduced to one big polygon
JP-30: WHAT THE HELL DID THEY DO TO SOPHIA!?
Clone 2727: the short hair wasn't too bad ;)
Gabez: Short, one polygon style hair
Gabez: And she had a lisp
Gabez: And no bottom
Gabez: They took all the polygons from her arse and hair and put them on Volodnikov
Zaarin: at least she has a boob polygon left!
Gabez: You're the only boob around here, Zaarin!
The Tingler: True, there are loads of other cool things - like King Solomon's Mines and Shambala.
The Tingler: It ties them all up quite well.
Clone 2727: Yeah, I love the mines! Second best level. Easily.
Gabez: It was very good
Gabez: Best level?
Clone 2727: My favourite level was the actual Infernal Machine level
Gabez: Oh okay
Gabez: That was good
Gabez: The monastry was nice as well
The Tingler: And Marduk is quite cool.
Gabez: The whole thing. Lots of atmosphere
The Tingler: Meroe is my favourite.
Clone 2727: I hated Aetherium, except for the Easter Egg :P
The Tingler: 3 Pyramids full of traps!
Gabez: The big snake was awesome!
The Tingler: And non-linear too!
JP-30: Ugh. Hey look, an idol. That thing looks whippable. This was teh game where they made Indy a mass murderer. Grenades. Bzookas. Uhh, jeeps. And once it got from the real world to the aetherium it just got dumber and dumber. lame. lame. lame. It may have been ok if it weren't for the ice monsters and the aetherium ending. But it really was a bunch of toss.
JP-30: AAArrrrgghh. blocks. Pushing blocks.
JP-30: do we count the ridiculous holstered gun on opening door in this section?
The Tingler: And considering LucasArts were supposed to be copying Tomb Raider here, I think we got very lucky with this.
Gabez: That was annoying.
Gabez: It was SLOW
The Tingler: Uh, yeah.
Gabez: Turning around -- holstering weapons
JP-30: and on ladders, yo had to pop off the top before drawing, and you'd usually get shot
JP-30: some levels were nicely put together, but the gameplay mechanics ruined any flow and for me killed a lot of the 'frantic pace' (in certain sections like gunfights and clambering) I'm expecting in a game like this.
JP-30: running over Russians in the jeep was great fun, as were the grenades, but Indy ends up with a body count greater than an Arnie move.
there's also this one jump in the jeep down the bottom aof a hill, and it took me several weeks to figure out the car had 2 gears (my fault, I know, shoulda read the instructions), but damn infuriating
Zaarin: short, low quality cues
Gabez: There was a lack
Clone 2727: Zaarin: It was not much, but I liked it
Gabez: But the lack worked -- lots of atmosphere. And great sound effects -- wind and birds and water. The map music was nice as well.
The Tingler: I don't know why the music is so short and low quality, really surprising for LucasArts.
The Tingler: And the voice acting - was actually good I think.
Gabez: Yeah the voice acting is good as it always isClone 2727: Volodnikov was very good too[/p]
Gabez: I love that level where you chase him around... And you just see his fat bottom wobbling around
Gabez: And you have to shoot him in the bottom
Gabez: The game is really bottom-fixated
The Tingler: Heh. I don't believe he survives!
Gabez: He has to have butt surgery
Gabez: The textures were good. Bill Tiller had something to do with that
Zaarin: ] good for its time, which was the "lego man in 3D" era
JP-30: Shocking. They took the JK/MOTS engine and made it worse.
Gabez: I remember JK/MOTS being very grey though. At least Infernal Machine has a lot of colour
The Tingler: Bit blocky, but I think it still occasionally looks amazing. Shambala, Meroe, that gigantic beach level...
Zaarin: shitty controls, wouldn't work with my gamepad, and mouse control made me dizzy. It felt half done.
JP-30: is this where I can moan about the save system?
The Tingler: SHITTING STUPID SAVE SYSTEM. What brainless moron thought that no checkpoints in a game like this was a good idea?
JP-30: The console style save system ruined this game for me. I was stuck in some cave/pit area where pixel perfect jumps were required. Teh Save point / level start was a good 5 minutes previous, and I mush have fallen down that pit 50 times before I uninstalled the game, never to have played again.
JP-30: I loved the brawling, and the flying fox slides on the cables and crashing through windows
The Tingler: It does have the Indy Action vibe really well done. Shame the rest is a bit disappointing.
JP-30: Perhaps still slightly mass-murderish, but the close combat was fun to watch and pretty easy to accomplish.
The Tingler: It does prefer you NOT to kill people mostly, just beat them up. Like Indy.
The Tingler: That's why you only get 6 rounds with your gun.
JP-30: i didn't like those ninjas(?) who would get up once or twice after you'd knocked them to the ground. Sneaky bastards
Gabez: Is that it?
The Tingler: You want to go to bed, Gabez? : P
Gabez: So is that it?
The Tingler: You can go if you want.
Gabez: But is that it!?
Gabez: Yes or no would suffice.
The Tingler: Pretty much, yeah.
The Tingler: For the rest of us, INDY QUOTIENT.
The Tingler: and ACTION.
* @Gabez (~firstname.lastname@example.org) Quit (Quit)
During the chat, everyone rated each Indiana Jones game out of ten, according to Sophia's bottom six special categories: