Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Any game that features the modern hero/archaeologist, Indiana Jones, is guaranteed a fair slice of success, and this was the case with Fate of Atlantis. However, this game is so enjoyable it could have stood on its own merits anyway. It was hugely popular when first released in 1992 and is still on sale today, which more or less speaks for itself. (It's even better value if you buy it as part of the LucasArts Adventure Pack.)
This game has one of the most unique introductions I have ever seen, I can't resist mentioning it. Allowing the player to direct Indy during this sequence, and watching his mishaps, made the credits more than palatable and really set the scene for the game perfectly. The familiar stirring music by John Williams helped a lot too.
During this introduction Indy searches the cluttered library of Barnett College to locate a statue that has always intrigued him. Before he can do much with it though, it is whipped from his grasp by a suspicious character whom he fails to apprehend -- but in his efforts to do so he manages to rip the coat from the intruder's back. In the pockets of the coat are sufficient clues to start him, and you, on your way to solving the mystery. Following the clues you have to hand, off you go to visit Sophia Hapgood who will enlighten you on what is happening. The Third Reich, no less, is after the ancient secrets of Atlantis, and in particular the secret of orichalcum and an endless supply of energy. You must beat the Nazis to their quarry and foil their dastardly plans as only you can.
Next you must find The Lost Dialogue of Plato, it is the key to locating Atlantis, so leading Indy and Sophia on this search is your second objective in the first part of the game. Once you find it, it will provide you with more clues, and the 'real' adventure begins. Here you are given a choice of taking three separate paths through the game: Team, Fists and Wits. It is advisable to save your game at this point so that you can easily enjoy all three paths without the necessity of playing the first part again. Although, why not play it again? There are some puzzles that can be solved in various ways and many adventurers, I know, will like to find all of them.
Each path through the middle portion of the game is different, with different ways of solving problems, including some individually tailored scenarios along the way, until they meet up again at the end for the third, and final, part of the game. So it is a real bonus being able to play all three. In the Team path Sophia is with you to lend a helping hand and this, I thought, was the most enjoyable way to play -- it is certainly the most complex. In the Fists path brawn is what Indy needs most, and in the Wits path he exercises his intellect. Even though the Fists path has more fighting it is relatively mild and easy to manage, and still presents you with lots of unique puzzles to solve. I played it through quite happily, and I am not one for combat sequences in adventure games. Essentially, this game is a fun adventure and not really aimed at 'beat-em-up fans'.
If you have ever dreamed of being an archaeologist, travelling to exotic lands and discovering the secrets of ancient people, then Fate of Atlantis is definitely for you. And you won't even have to get your hands dirty, or put up with the uncomfortable bits like digging for hours in the blistering sun to enjoy your treasure hunts.
Fate of Atlantis is another excellent adventure from LucasArts and is eminently enjoyable. After playing all of the earlier LucasArts' titles I initially found the limited number of verbs available in this game a little disconcerting, but I soon got used to it. (Of course, nowadays we have the joys of 'smart' cursors!) There are lots of puzzles throughout, more than enough to keep the avid adventurer happy. And best of all it captures the essence of the character of Indiana Jones. If you haven't played it yet have a look, you won't be disappointed.
Copyright © Rosemary Young 1996.
All rights reserved.
386, 640K RAM, CD-ROM, VGA, keyboard/mouse. (Floppy version also published)