Saturday, 19 January 2013

Indy Game Club - Emperor's Tomb

Year released: 2003
Format: PS2, Xbox and PC
Publisher: LucasArts

Indiana Jones has always been popular, be it comics, movies, action figures and general merchandise. However, there's one thing that's always been made since 1980 is the video game. After their success in 1999 with the Infernal Machine (which I'll cover in another article), LucasArts hit the ball out the park with 2003's Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb.

Storyline





Set in May 1935, a mere two months before Temple of Doom, the game opens with Indy in Ceylon, looking for the idol of Koru Watu. Indy searches through temples, avoiding traps and ivory hunters as he eventually makes his way into the idol chamber. After narrowly avoiding being eaten by a giant albino crocodile, Indy meets with the villain of the game, Albrecht Von Beck. After escaping from Von Beck and his men, Indy makes his way back to New York, where he resumes teaching at Barnett College, where he's approached by Marshal Chang and his assistant, Mei Ying. They tell Dr. Jones about the Heart of the Dragon, a black pearl buried with the First Emperor of China. They think the Nazis are going to steal it and want Indy to get it before the Nazis do. 

The journey takes Indy to Prague where he searches a large and seemingly haunted castle, filled with Gestapo agents who want the piece of the puzzle Indy has and the second piece that's hidden in the Prague castle. Indy finds the second piece, but is captured by the Nazis. Indy awakens in Istanbul and is feed by Mei Ying, who gives him a clue that the Nazis are after the third and final piece of the puzzle.

After battling his way through parts of Istanbul and into a nearby Mosque, Indy finds the Nazis have found the sunken palace of Belisarius, where the third piece supposedly buried. After a fierce and intense battle with a kraken in the amphitheatre, Indy recovers the third piece and escapes. After this, Indy finds Mei Ying and she tells him that Kai is the leader of The Black Dragon Triad, the most powerful criminal group in all of China. On the hunt for Kai, Indy heads to Hong Kong, where he meets up with Wu Han (from Temple of Doom). After Mei Ying is kidnapped by Kai's men, Indy and Wu Han give chase, right up to Kai's hidden fortress at the top of the Penglai Mountains.

After Indy infiltrates Kai's fortress, going through a Nazi U-Boat base, he learns that Kai and Von Beck are working together and plan to use the Heart of the Dragon to take over the world. He eventually makes his way into the Black Dragon Fortress, where he rescues Mei Ying from Kai and ends up falling down a shaft into the Temple of Kong Tien. After Indy makes his way out the temple, Von Beck persues Indy across a series of platforms in a drill tank. Though Indy is able to outwit and keep ahead of the tank, barely making it across a giant chasm which Von Beck falls down and is killed.

Indy learns that Kai has gone into the Netherworld after the Heart of the Dragon. Indy follows Kai and gets into a battle with him over the Heart. After losing control of his newfound powers Kai is consumed by the spirits of the Netherworld as Indy and Mei Ying barely escape.

Back in Hong Kong, Indy celebrates his discovery and tries to get some romantic time with Mei Ying, but Wu Han is quick to remind Indy that Lao Che has requested they find Nurhachi's urn, thus, leading directly into Temple of Doom.

Gameplay

The game is a basic 3D action platformer. Indy can swing across large gaps with his whip, shimmy across ledges, perform running jumps, exceute rolls and more. In combat, anything can be used as an improv weapon, depending on the level. This can range from shovels, to chairs, to bottles and more. Indy's own weapons aren't limited either. Aside from his whip, fists and revolver, Indy can pick up shotguns, extra pistols, SMGs, a rocket launcher and a crossbow.

During the game, there are puzzles, but usually the answer to the puzzle is conveniently nearby, except the Clock Tower puzzle in the Prague castle level. Though with looking around, the answer is always nearby.

The manual isn't what you'd expect from a game. Instead of being a basic info and controls booklet like most, it's actually in the style of a special 1935 journal, where the controls and everything is laid out as such. There's diary entries that fill in extra portions of the story. The controls are listed as part of a doctor's note.



Throughout each level of the game, there's a hidden artifact for you to find. Some of them are harder to find than others, but keep your eyes peeled.



The above picture shows all the artifacts that are available in the game.



The loading screens between each new locale is just like the movies

And finally. It's by no means a perfect game. There are glitches within it and some fans don't like the extreme supernatural elements of the storyline, such as magical boomerangs called a Pa Cheng, zombies, demonic possession and portals to the Netherworld, but nevertheless, it's still a game that's got a very rich and decent story to it and I do recommend that any Indyfan who has an Xbox, PS2 or a PC, get this game and give it a try, you won't be all that disappointed. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

So here we are. 2012 is behind us and now we face what's ahead of us in 2013. I hope all my fans and readers out there have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013. As Doc Brown said at the end of Back to the Future Part III: "The future is what you make it, so make it a good one"

Indy Book Club - The Treasure Trade (Epilogue)

Seems last time, I made a small mistake and missed out the epilogue. Oops....For all the fans wanting to know how the story ends:


Washington D.C.


          Crow could not believe it. He had spent days trying to figure out how that ring was a fake. He certainly didn’t switch it. He’d just gone along with Berlati because it seemed the only feasible method of surviving the old man’s wrath. Rath and Carson couldn’t possibly have cherished a fake so greatly. In fact, when he had told Rath about the incident, she had been just as confused as he was. And yet Carson was telling a different story…
“Wait, Jerry. Are you telling me you switched the ring?”
Carson seemed to take particular pride in regaling Crow with this tale. “Well, in the sense that I paid somebody else to do it…”
“When?!”
“A friend of mine within the CIA tracked Berlati’s calls and saw that he contacted a Dr. Vincent Conlon of Florence about verifying the authenticity of a ring fabled to be Andvarinaut.”
“Who’s Vincent Conlon?”
“That voice on the telephone you mentioned, most likely. He is the director of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. Apparently they’re quite a reputable body for these types of evaluations, don’t ask me why. However, their repute does not extend to their employees. I contacted Conlon’s secretary and promised to pay off his mortgage if he switched the ring when it came into Conlon’s hands.”
“Did he?”
“Oh boy, did he ever! Turns out Conlon had to come to Shanghai to evaluate the ring, but he didn’t much like the idea of spending a few nights in a city that isn’t in Europe. So guess who he sends in his place?”
          “You’ve gotta be kidding.”
“I kid you not. He had eight hours with that ring, only two of which he was under supervision. Bloody daylight robbery!”
Crow was sitting in the exact same spot he had been weeks ago, when Carson had first sent him on his mission. It was now late evening in D.C., and Crow had recounted to Carson what had happened during his assignment. Now Carson was proceeding to tell Crow his own little story about what he had been doing over the past few weeks.
Crow responded, “Well, that was lucky for you.”
Carson replied mischievously, “I don’t think luck came into it…”
Crow suddenly realized, “You tipped Berlati off about that ring, didn’t you?”
“I told him if I couldn’t have it, Rath shouldn’t either…”
“So all that crap I went through was for absolutely nothing?”
“More or less,” he paused. “What, you didn’t think I would actually part with the Ark Wood, did you?”
          Crow pouted, “You sure know how to waste a guy’s time, Carson.”
          Carson rubbed his forehead, thinking hard.
          “I suppose I should give you something extra, for all your trouble, then?”
          Crow smiled mischievously.
          “Sixty-million too much to ask?”





THE END