I is for Indiana Jones



The aim of my Blogging From A to Z Challenge is to find the origins of online games, some relatively modern and some with ancient roots. Gaming might well be a modern take on an art that is almost timeless – storytelling. A perfect excuse for a writer to delve a little deeper.

[Visit here for links to other A to Z participants.]


Game: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is a point-and-click adventure game widely regarded as a classic of its genre today. The game featured the Indiana Jones character who first appeared in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Release Date: June 1, 1992

Producer/Developer: LucasArts

Genre/gameplay mechanics: Point-and-click adventure game; single-player explores static environments and interacts with sprite-based characters and objects; three unique paths to select, influencing story development, gameplay and puzzles.

Setting: 1939, on the eve of World War II, with environments representing New York, Iceland, Guatemala, Monte Carlo, Algiers and the ruins of Atlantis.

Storytelling: Nazi agents are about to get their hands on a weapon more dangerous than the atom bomb. Only Indy can stop them before they unleash the deadly secret that sank Atlantis. Storyline offers three different paths to the completion of the game and many alternative ways to solve puzzles. The player who finishes all the puzzles in all three paths and all the alternative solutions receives a full IQ (Indy Quotient) score.

Releases + Expansions:

  1. 1993 – Re-issued on CD-ROM as an enhanced “talkie” edition with full voice acting and digitized sound effects.
  2. 2009 – CD-ROM version released as an unlockable extra of the Wii action game Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings, and as a digitally distributed Steam
  3. The intended sequel Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix was set after World War II but LucasArts cancelled the game. The plot was later adapted into a four-part Dark Horse Comics series by Lee Marrs.
  4. Another follow-up game, Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny was planned but eventually cancelled. Elaine Lee loosely reworked the story into another four-part comic book series.

Formats: Amiga, FM Towns, MS-DOS, Macintosh, Wii

Origins (Chronological):

  1. 1981 movie Raiders of the Lost Ark with Harrison Ford, (and later Indiana Jones films in the franchise).
  2. 1954 – According to Lucas and Spielberg, the first Indiana Jones film originated from Lucas’ desire to create a modern version of the serials of the 1930s and 1940s. However, there was a B-movie titled Secret of the Incas that provided inspiration to some of the team.
  3. 1948 – Carl Barks’ comic character Uncle Scrooge, was as a relation for Donald Duck in the “Uncle Scrooge” Dell Comics book series involving exciting and strange adventures in the company of his duck nephews.
  4. Many people are said to be the real-life inspiration of the Indiana Jones character—although none have been confirmed as inspirations by Lucas or Spielberg. An analysis by the Smithsonian Channel concluded that the linkage for the main contenders is indirect, but Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960) and other explorers such as Hiram Bingham III  (1875-1956) and Percy Fawcett (1867-1925) served as the model for heroes in adventure films of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, who in turn inspired Lucas and his fellow writers.
  5. 1912 – Another possible basis is Professor Challenger, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doylein 1912 for his novel, The Lost World. Challenger was based on Doyle’s physiology professor, Sir William Rutherford, an adventuring academic, albeit a zoologist/anthropologist.
  6. 1885 – Sir  Rider Haggard’ssafari guide/big game hunter Allan Quatermain of King Solomon’s Mines, is another notable template for Jones.
  7. The roots of the Indiana Jones universe lie in the quest for secrets and treasures that has become the science of archaeology, and which grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism, dating back to ancient scholars like Ouyang Xiu(1007–1072) and Plato (c.428-347 B.C.) – but probably without a bull-whip and Fedora; even if Plato knew about the Fate of Atlantis.

Adaptations set in the ‘Indiana Jones’ universe include:

  1. Video games – With nineteen games, and more on the way perhaps, it’s impossible to list them. However, here are some Top Ten listings from IGN.com and Ranker.com if you wish to explore.
  2. Literature – there are numerous Novels and Comics in the universe, so explore but watch out for snakes.


Recommendation: Overwhelmingly positive with over 1 million sales and multiple awards. The most successful Indiana Jones video game, although not one I’ve played – so stars are a pass.

Alternative ‘I’ thoughts:

‘I’ is also for It’s A Wonderful Life, one of my top ten movies – but this is a gaming post.

+ ‘I’ Games played: Icewind Dale in the same universes as my B post, Baldur’s Gate.


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