Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Retro Coin Op Synopsis

“Soon, Kali Ma will rule the world…”

As popular as they were in theaters, and as natural as they seemed for the video game world, the Indiana Jones trilogy produced only one arcade title. One year after its big-screen counterpart hit theaters everywhere, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom arrived on the coin-op scene, bringing Indy, Mola Ram, the Thuggee Guards and dozens of Mayapore slave children to interactive life (but sorry, no Short Round).

After selecting one of three levels of difficulty, you controlled Indiana Jones through four different adventures. In the first, Indy explored the underground slave labor camps of Pankot Palace, freeing imprisoned children from their cages and whipping the mess out of everything in sight. Thuggee Guards, cobras (why’d it have to be snakes?) and other dangers stood in the way, and at random intervals, high priest Mola Ram appeared in a puff of smoke, throwing a flaming heart at our fedora-wearing hero.

Once all the children were free, Indy hopped aboard a mine cart for the next game section. Moving in a funky diagonally downward direction, Indy’s cart sped along under your partial control, leaning to one side or another to switch tracks and avoid obstacles. Some tracks ended abruptly, while in later levels, Indy had to negotiate jumps, avoid large bats and dodge the Thuggee Giant (the whip came in handy here as well).

“We walk from here…”

At the end of the mine cart track lay the temple of Kali, home of the sacred Sankara stones. Here, you used Indy’s whip to swing across a fiery chasm, then grabbed one of the stones from underneath a giant statue of Kali. It took a bit of timing to avoid falling into the open/shut fire pit, and again Mola Ram and the Thuggees dogged your every move.

The stage cycle started over after Indy secured the stone, continuing to repeat until all three Sankara stones were safely in the archaeologist’s grasp. Once this was accomplished, the final stage awaited. Mola Ram himself stood at the opposite end of a rope bridge, flinging his trademarked fiery hearts in your direction (don’t ask how he keeps so many in stock). Thuggees ran at you from both ends of the bridge as you inched your way across for a showdown with the evil priest.

After all stages were complete, the game began again, upping the difficulty to keep things fresh for the experts. As a further enticement, the game featured digitized speech clips (“Whoa!”), as well as the movie’s creepy theme music.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom arrived in the middle of the arcade’s mid-80’s slump, but the built-in draw of matinee idol Indiana Jones was enough to draw gamers in. Unfortunately, though a third film installment was released in 1989, the world has yet to be treated to another Indiana Jones arcade adventure.

Arcade Machine Release History

1985 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

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