LucasArts' Secret History #7: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis Plato's Lost Trivia

Plato's Lost Trivia

Although Fate of Atlantis followed in the tradition of post-Monkey Island games in that you can not reach a dead-end, it did retain the possibility of death scenarios for Indy as in Last Crusade.' Hal Barwood insisted on this because he felt that it wasn't an Indy adventure unless the character was in mortal danger, and reportedly he personally asked permission from Spielberg and Lucas in including this feature.

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In the early stages of this game's development, a rejected screenplay for the third Indiana Jones movie written by Chris Columbus (Gremlins, The Goonies) was considered for the basis of the game's plot. The notoriously weird script (which is available online) involved Indy traveling to Africa and meeting up with the Monkey King while attempted to recover magic peaches. Hal Barwood did not care for the screenplay anymore than Spielberg and Lucas did and thus decided to give the game an original story.

Hal Barwood was a screenwriter, producer, and director as well as a mutual friend of Steve Spielberg and George Lucas before landing his job at Lucasfilm Games. One of his more famous contributions to film was his uncredited work on the script for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in which he had a cameo appearance as one of the Flight 19 pilots.

Noah Falstein, who was one of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade's three project leaders, was initially unavailable to work on this game as he was leading an early version of The Dig. Other members of the game's team, such as William Eaken, Mike Stemmle, and Sean Clark, came off of another cancelled game - Forge, a sequel to Loom.

Hal Barwood and Noah Falstein worked together for the first time on this game, and would go on to be become partners in future projects, such as the adventure game Mata Hari.

Dark Horse adapted Fate of Atlantis into a comic which was loosely based on the script for the game. Ultimately release first, the comic features some elements that were dropped from the final game, such as Indy's travels to Cadiz, Spain.

This game was the first "Talkie" LucasArts produced, and unlike future voiced LEC games, the feature was conceived after production had wrapped, and did not involve the game's original team. Doug Lee, the voice of Indy, would go on to reprise his role in Indiana Jones in the Infernal Machine. Nick Jameson, another voice actor in this game, would go on to do countless roles in LucasArts games (most famously Max in Sam & Max Hit the Road as well as in Double Fine's Psychonauts.)

There are some interesting discrepancies between the text of dialog and the voiced version of the dialog, which you can find by turning both on.

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The floppy disk version of the game included a copy-protection, in which the player would have to correctly configured Atlantean keystones as indicated in the included sheet. The CD version did not include a copy-protection, because back then home CD-burners were nonexistent. This floppy/CD-ROM dual release trend would continue with the LEC adventures up to Sam & Max Hit the Road.

Due to the cost of scanners at the time ($5000 a pop), the game was unable to take advantage of them for drawn backgrounds until very late during development. Monkey Island 2, which began its development later but was ultimately released earlier, was able to use these scanners for all of its backgrounds.

The game contains over two hundred backgrounds, created by a team of three artists over the course of two years.

The animation for Fate of Atlantis was accomplished using rotoscope technology, a first for the studio. Steve Purcell (as Indy) and his wife Collette Michaud (as Sophia) performed the characters' actions (such as whip-swinging or passionate kidding) in front of a camera, and the animators then drew over the recorded results.

The game's box art was drawn by lead artist William Eaken, who was emulating the style of Drew Stuzan, the artist responsible for the Indiana Jones film posters.

The character of Sophia Hapgood was invented for this game and she would later go on to appear in future video games as well as comics.

The "I'm selling these fine leather jackets line" from Last Crusade is yet again referenced humorously in this game.

If you have Indy look at the special cup that can hold the molten lava in Atlantis, he will say, "This is certainly NOT the cup of a carpenter."

If you wait long enough while in a pitch-black room, things will gradually become visible as Indy "adjusts his eyes" to the darkness.

Having Indy look repeatedly look at the camel in Algiers will have him debate the animal's species and its spelling before finally just naming the camel, "George." The sentence line reflects all of the camel's name changes.

On one of the shelves in Indy's office, one can find a Thuggee idol (a reference to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, as well as a meteor that Indy wishes would "quit glowing" – a reference to Maniac Mansion.

In the game's resource files fans have found an unused location – a background screen for Sophia's office, adjacent to her apartment. The room featured Chuck the Plant, a prop that appears as an in-joke an other LucasArts adventure games, such as Maniac Mansion, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Day of the Tentacle.

The game is one of LucasArts' most financially successful adventures, pushing a million units all told. This led LucasArts' to begin development on a graphic adventure sequel, entitled Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix, which was led by Joe Pinney (now a designer at Telltale Games). Although the game was well into development and some footage was actually showcased at a game trade show, it was cancelled for development problems (which included the clashing of artistic styles and problems of communication between LucasArts and an external developer which was creating many of the game's resources) as well as for the fact that the game's integral inclusion of Nazis in its plotline made it impossible (due to a new law) to sell in the ever important adventure market of Germany. After the project was scrapped, LucasArts attempted another graphic adventure sequel, titled Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny, which was cancelled in its earliest stages. Finally, LucasArts elected to make their next Indy game an action/adventure in the style of Tomb Raider in Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, once again headed by Hal Barwood. The stories for Iron Phoenix and Spear of Destiny were loosely adapted into Dark Horse comics, much like Fate of Atlantis was.

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One of the useless items Omar-Al-Jabbar can offer you is a baseball signed by Lou Gherigh, but when you actually look at the ball in your inventory, it's revealed to be signed by Ron Gilbert, creator of Monkey Island.

If you wait a full fifteen minutes while Rolf is holding you at gunpoint at the Algiers dig site and never use your whip to snatch his gun, he will eventually kill you.

In this game Indy teaches as Barnett College, which is the same school he taught at in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (both movie and game). In Raiders of the Lost Ark he taught at Marshall College (named after one of the film's producers Frank Marshall) and he's seen teaching there again in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There's never been any official explanation given has to why he went from Marshall to Barnett, or from Barnett back to Marshall.

The French street names in Monte Carlo translate into injokes. "Boulevard des Guerres des Etoiles" is "Star Wars Boulevard," and "Avenue des Troi Bois" is "Three Wood Avenue" (Threepwood?).

Max of Steve Purcell's "Sam & Max" comic characters makes his cameo in this game as a form of a possible silhouette that Indy can make on the Monte Carlo hotel room wall with his flashlight.

The LucasArts' logo is drawn on a few backgrounds in the game, such as on some rocks in the labyrinth.

Monkey Island is references in several lines, such as "Look, a three-headed minotaur!" and Indy's line upon drowning beneath the sea.

The maximum Current score for each of the paths are: Team Path: 635 IQ points, Wits Path: 641 IQ points, Fists Path: 624 IQ points.

There's a reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark at the dig site, if you look at the painting on the left wall.

The line "I've got a bad feeling about this" is of course a direct reference to Star Wars. Interestingly enough, Indy would say the line again in the later made Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

On the central bookshelf in Indy's office, there is a stack of letters from the school principal to Indy's dad which all begin the same way: "Regarding Henry..." Regarding Henry was a 1991 movie starring Harrison Ford.

A black bird statue can be found in Omar's house. If you look at it, Indy says "It's the stuff dreams are made of," the famous final quote from The Maltese Falcon.

When you look at the strange markings in the middle circle of Atlantis and the strange markings next to the digging machine, Indy will reply "Atlantean graffiti." and "More Atlantean graffiti." This is of course a reference to George Lucas' film nostalgic 1950s teen film American Graffiti film and its sequel, More American Graffiti.

On the message board in Caswell Hall, one of the messages is: "Edward Teller: Phone Home."

In addition to these anachronistic references, mostly to Lucas or Spielberg releated projects, the game also features several references to literature and film contemporary to the 1930s time period throughout.

Fighting Tips

On Crete and the labyrinth, some of the guards' strength and speed are determined by what you tell the guards before the fight. Some sentences make the guards harder to defeat while some sentences make them easier to defeat. If you can't defeat the following guards, try the following sentences:

Klaus: "I've got a message for Colonel..." ] "Go tell Kerner I'm willing..." ] "Let me pass. That other guy..." ] "She's the double-crosser..." Effects: He will be a little bit slower at putting his fists up and fighting.

Hans: "I can't seem to find my tour group. Can you help me?" Effects: Smaller punch bar, slower reactions.

Franz: "OTHER foreign advisor?" Effects: Smaller punch bar.

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Otto: "Why aren't you at your post?" Effects: Smaller punch bar, slower reactions. (Interestingly enough, if you run away from Otto twice and keep coming back, he will progressively become stronger.)

Kurt: "I'm looking for a patsy, and here you are." Effect: Smaller punch bar, slower reactions.

Team Path

Get killed by Kerner at the end of the labyrinth. Death Message: With the stone disks in his possession, Kerner discovered Atlantis and drowned.

Lose the fight against the submarine captain. Death Message: Indy's failure to subdue a sixty-year-old U-Boat captain allowed the Nazis to conquer the world.

In the submarine, after Indy's first warning, go to the lower deck without moving the crew with the intercom. Death Message: Because the sailors proved to be reasonably alert, Indy soon found himself in deep, deep water.

In the submarine, tell you're selling these fine leather jackets to the soldier guarding Sophia. Death Message: Unfortunately, Sophia's guard knew a wise guy when he met one.

Wits path

Once you light the fire in the submarine, go in the bathroom, change back to the "IndywearTM by Lucasfilm" costume, and meet the soldier guarding the submarine exit. Death Message: Kerner recovered the stone disks and blew himself up tinkering with the orichalcum he found in Atlantis.

Fists path

In Omar's house, lose the fight against Horst. Death Message: Indy's savage beating convinced Omar to cooperate with the Nazis. Later he traded Indy's whip for a clay pot.

In Algiers desert, lose a fight against a soldier while looking for the dig site. Death Message: After losing the fight, Indy was devoured by vultures and scorpions.

At the dig site, make a false move while Rolf has you at gunpoint. Death Message: Indy's overly reckless behavior won Rolf a medal for bravery.

In Crete, lose the fight against Rolf. Death Message: Rolf was easily fooled, but not so easily felled.

In the labyrinth, lose the fight against Klaus. Death Message: Klaus dragged Indy into the Labyrinth, where someday someone will find the bones.

In the labyrinth, lose the fight against Hans. Death Message: Hans turned Indy over to Kerner and was decorated for valor. Indy was shot on the spot.

In the labyrinth, lose the fight against Franz. Death Message: Taking revenge for Hans, Franz hurled Indy into a bottomless pit, where his remains remain to this day.

In the labyrinth, lose the fight against Otto. Death Message: Otto tried to hurl Indy into a bottomless pit, but tripped and fell in himself. No one knows what happened to Indy.

In the labyrinth, lose the fight against Karl. Death Message: Karl summoned his superiors, who shot Indy on sight.

In the labyrinth, lose the fight against Kurt. Death Message: Kurt summoned his superiors, who interrogated Indy, then tortured and shot him. But they never did find Atlantis.

In the labyrinth, lose the fight against Anton. Death Message: After flattening Indy, Anton received a field promotion. Later he led the charge on Stalingrad.

In the labyrinth, lose the fight against Arnold. Death Message: After flattening Indy, Arnold went on to become a world-famous opera singer.

Run out of air while searching for the Atlantis airlock with the broken diving suit. Death Message: Unfortunately, Indy couldn't hold his breath as long as Guybrush Threepwood.


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Lose a fight against one of the patrolling guards in the Atlantis. Death Message: Indy discovered Atlantis, but the Nazis won the race to unearth its secrets.

In the brig, lose the fight against Fritz. Death Message: After defeating Indy, Fritz boxed his way to a gold medal in the 1948 Olympic Games.

Fall in the lava in the lava tiles puzzle. Death Message: Indy was swallowed up just moments before discovering the final secret of Atlantis.

Test the Colossus for Ubermann. Death Message: After Indy's fatal transformation, Atlantis shook itself to pieces, sealing its secrets and the Nazis in molten lava.

There is also an unused death message within the game's files that reads, "Suddenly, Indy forgot everything he knew about handling a bullwhip and flogged himself to death."

Further Reading and Resources:

  • The Making of...Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - Excellent, lengthy magazine article about Fate of Atlantis by Retro Gamer, complete with quotes from Hal Barwood. (PDF)
  • Sountrack Island - The Fate of Atlantis soundtrack.
  • Fate of Atlantis Oddities - A page of obscure trivia and creepily obsessive observations devoted to the game by the one and online ATMachine.
  • Interview from Amazing Heroes with the guys behind the Fate of Atlantis comic, which at the time was under the working title Keys to Atlantis. Thanks to "blueskirt" for the scan. (PDF)
  • Indy IQ Points Guide - A document that completely lists how to collect every last one of those elusive Indy Points. (PDF)
  • Indiana Jones Complete Adventure Game Guide - ThunderPeel2001's excellent, comprehensive, a picture-heavy walkthrough for the game, complete with how to get all IQ points for an impressive Indy Quotient.
  • Indiana Jones and the Monkey King - The infamous Chris Columbus Indy3 screenplay, rejected both for the basis of a film or video game. (Note that the site incorrectly calls this an Indy4 draft, and that this script was written in the mid-80s and not 1995.)
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