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Video Game / Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine

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Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine is a 3D action-platformer game based on the Indiana Jones film series, developed for the PC by LucasArts and published in November 1999. Ports were subsequently developed by Factor 5 and HotGen for the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color respectively.

Indiana Jones is hard at work in Utah, doing some archaeology (and not finding a lot) when old flame Sophia Hapgood drops in on him to elicit his help investigating a strange machine part and Russian activity in Babylon. Soon Indy finds himself travelling to the four corners of the earth in search of more machine parts, before the Russians do something everybody's going to regret.


Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The Easter Egg cheat makes your bazooka fire rubber chickens.
  • A.K.A.-47: All of the weapons Indy collects over the course of his quest are referred to with generic descriptors. The official strategy guide reveals their real-world basis, however.note 
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: There are sections of the Aetherium that revisit past locations, and items found there are used in the boss fight.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: Turner is introduced this way, courtesy of an unfortunate mook.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: Volodnikov, Turner, and Marduk.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Soviet enemies all speak grammatically correct Russian.
  • Book Worm: Volodnikov, according to Turner. Later proven right when Indy discovers an elevator under the ruins of Babylon, confirming Turner's claims.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Volodnikov's first scene, a message from his superiors reminds him that "Socialist Theory disavows the existence of supernatural powers." At the end of the game, when Indy reveals to him that God was not on the other side of the portal, he remarks that "Socialist Theory disavows the existence of supernatural powers."
    • The climax of the Return To Peru level. Indy retrieves an incredibly more valuable and ornated golden idol, much like the one René Belloq stole from him. Due to how elaborate its traps were this time, it is suspected Belloq's idol might have been nothing but a decoy.
  • Call-Back:
    • The secret level, Return to Peru, is exactly what it means. Indy returns to the location where the first movie began. Also serves as Book-Ends, if and only if the player didn't purchase the Secret Map; in which case, the level will take place after the end, and will feature closing credits.
    • The cheat codes for the game require you to pair up the parts of the eponymous machine with Indy's previous love interests: Urgon_Elsa, Taklit_Marion, Azerim_Sophia and Nub_Willie.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, as is standard naming convention for the franchise.
  • Chase Scene: Indy chasing after Volodnikov in a Benny Hill-esque fashion in the Nub's Tomb level, much like chasing a chicken. Blocking a path with a mid-sized statue is all it takes to trap Volodnikov.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • That mirror you find in Teotihuacan and use to solve one puzzle turns out to be the key to defeating Marduk's first form.
    • King Solomon's three gems return in the final level and are used to open doors to reality which weaken Marduk's second form.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The subtitles are different colors depending on who's speaking.
    • Indy is orange.
    • Sophia is purple.
    • Volodnikov is green.
    • Turner is blue.
    • The Shambala caretaker is pink.
    • The Nubian boy is teal.
    • Marduk is gray.
    • Mooks are white.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Indy can hop across stone blocks floating in lava with no ill effects. He only dies horribly if he actually comes into contact with lava.
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: Indy spends King Solomon's Mines and Nub's Tomb in underground caverns, and flinches in pain when Sophia opens a trap door leading to the surface and blinds him with sunlight at the end of the sequence.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Indy's reaction upon finally meeting Marduk face to face is rather flippant.
    Indy: Marduk! You're one of those angry gods, I'll bet. Ugly too!
  • Dirty Communists: These play the role of the Nazis, years before the fourth movie.
  • Easily Forgiven: Volodnikov. Indy doesn't seem to have too many objections to him sending hordes of mooks to kill him in the end, and they all go out for vodka after Indy (truthfully) denies meeting God in the Aetherium.
  • Eternal Engine: The Infernal Machine, a giant interdimensional portal created by beings from another dimension.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The Marduk fight takes place in his home dimension, the Aetherium.
  • The '40s: The game takes place in 1947.
  • Fusion Dance: Marduk's One-Winged Angel form is this, when he possesses Sophia for the final confrontation.
  • Gratuitous Russian: Volodnikov speaks in this manner, throwing Russian words into English sentences at random. While it makes sense when he's talking to the American Indy, it is baffling when he does this to his Soviet comrades.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Volodnikov, to some extent. He lets Indy go and cancels his search after Marduk once he realizes how dangerous the outcome is (assuming he ever actually intended to use the Machine in the first place).
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: At the same time, Indy can be carrying his whip, three different sidearms, two rifles, a shotgun, a machete, grenades, satchel charges, and a bazooka.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Taklit's part allows Indy to turn invisible. It's great for slipping past foes Indy can't actually damage.
  • I Want Them Alive: Volodnikov makes it very clear he wants Indy captured alive, intending to force him to help the Russians find the parts of the Infernal Machine.
  • Jungle Japes: Peru, a large jungle infested with snakes and the like.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The second and third Philippines levels take place in an active volcano.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: In an interesting variation, the Russians ambush and capture Indy at the 3/4 mark instead of the end, but otherwise this is played straight when they relieve him of the three Infernal Machine parts he's collected up to that point. Happens again when both Volodnikov and Turner show up at the end of Nub's Tomb to demand the parts from Indy, who surrenders them to his fellow Americans.
  • Meta Twist: The entire plot is arguably a subversion of the old movies. At first it seems that the Russians want the machine to conquer the world, but that was really just Turner's delusion. Volodnikov reveals that he knew how dangerous the machine really was, and it's implied that he only looked for it because otherwise the Americans could have tried to actually use it (which indeed Turner does in the end, putting America squarely on the villains side for once).
  • Minecart Madness: King Solomon's Mines. Indy even gets to ride the minecarts.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Sophia Hapgood. Forced to betray Jones under Turner's orders, something she doesn't feel particularly guilty about.
  • No-Gear Level: The V.I. Pudovkin, where Indy is captured by the Soviets after gaining the third part and is stripped of all his gear and imprisoned.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: While Volodnikov carries a pistol around, he never actually faces Indy in direct combat and pulls a Heel–Face Turn before he gets the chance.
  • Obvious Beta: The N64 version. One of the most memorable glitches had to be the fact that in one level, when you tried to drop into a cave since access seemed impossible, when Indy fell in the water and you tried to resurface, he just swam through the air. Effective for getting in the cave, but he just drowned.
  • Palmtree Panic: The first Philippines level takes place on a tropical island chain.
  • Plot Hole: Marduk, in and out. His hostile behavior, incentive, and desire to lure the Babylonians into building a portal for him to invade Earth, a realm whose atmosphere is lethal to him, are never explained nor justified.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: The machines and puzzles designed to safeguard the parts of the Infernal Machine still work like a charm even after several millennia. Duly lampshaded by our erstwhile protagonist in Teotihuacan.
    Indy: After two thousand years, the machine still works. And old Azerim didn't even have a college degree!
  • Reality Ensues: The first level features some astonishingly accurate archaeology, in which all Indy digs up is a few potsherds.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Meroë is in the middle of the Egyptian desert.
  • Ship Level: The V.I. Pudovkin takes place aboard Volodnikov's personal ship.
  • Shout-Out: In a final-level Easter Egg where Indy inexplicably turns into Guybrush Threepwood.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Kazakhstan, a snow-filled country just south of Russia and just as cold.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The V.I. Pudovkin starts with Indy stripped of all his weapons and gear. He is forced to make good use of trickery and Taklit's part to slip by the guards and retrieve his belongings.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Heavily implied with Marduk, who lives in another dimension that can be accessed by portal (also years before the fourth movie).
  • Temple of Doom: Teotihuacan and Olmec Valley take place in ancient temples.
  • The Unfought: You never battle Volodnikov; the closest you get is chasing him around to get a gear he found that you need.
  • Visible Invisibility: When Indy uses Taklit's part, he is rendered 90% transparent, but the player can still see him if they look close enough.


Example of: