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12 Essential LEGO Indy scenes

You wouldn't believe the smiles spreading around here when LucasArts announced plans for an Indiana Jones LEGO game. It's the one series of movies (after Star Wars) that we've been itching to see brought to the world of plastic bricks.

We know the game will cover all three existing Indiana Jones movies, but to date we've only been given a sneak glimpse of scenes from the films that will make the transition to the LEGO world.

So, putting on our dirty brown fedora and pretending we're hot shit with a whip, we sat down and picked out 12 favorite scenes that simply MUST be included.

Escape from the giant stone ball
Okay, we're cheating a bit with this one as we've already seen it in the first trailer, but it's the iconic moment from the films. You know the score: after overcoming various horrible traps during the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy finally manages to get his hands on an artifact, only to end up being chased out a tunnel by a massive stone ball.

It's beautiful! The opening of the Ark
As the quest for the Ark of the Covenant reaches its climax, Indy's archaeologist opponent Belloq and his Nazi pals hold a Jewish ritual and open the Ark. What starts off all very nice with beautiful ghostly angels flying around turns nasty, and skin melts off the faces of the chief Nazis and Belloq's head exploding.

Imagine how good a melting plastic LEGO head could look with today's technology. Whether this would get past censors is another matter.

(Nerd alert! Incidentally, we wonder if LucasArts will include the little Raiders Easter Egg of R2-D2 and C-3PO appearing as hieroglyphics in the Well of the Souls...)

Battle with the man with the big scimitar
Raiders of the Lost Ark is full of great moments, but Indy's battle with the big dude in the turban wielding his scimitar like a ninja is a classic.

Our hero, you'll recall, is chasing Marion who has been kidnapped in Cairo and a crowd he's fighting through after engaging in fisticuffs with enemies suddenly parts and he's confronted by the guy swishing his big sword around menacingly. Indy's face takes on an expression of "I really can't be bothered to fight this guy" so he pulls out his pistol and shoots him dead. And the cinema laughed.

Bar fight
For pure, unadulterated action in an Indiana Jones movie you don't have to look much further than the bar fight in Nepal in the early moments of Raiders. Indy, on the trail of an artifact that will help locate the Ark, tracks down his old flame and owner of the artifact in her bar. Of course, the Nazis are after the same object and it results in a mighty clash of fists and bullets which ends with the bar being burned to the ground. Whoops.

Snakes, why did it have to be snakes
Locating the resting place of the Ark turns from joy to fear for Indiana when he discovers the Well of the Souls is swarming with snakes. Locked in the "tomb" with Marion by Belloq and the Nazis, Indy faces certain death-by-million-fangs as his flaming dies out. Will he die? Nah, of course he won't, but it's a brilliantly tense moment that smacks of James Bond-style escapes from peril.

Ohm num Shiva
Evil Mola Ram magically "ripping" the heart out the sacrificial victim before dropping him into a fiery pit of hell defines the gruesomeness of Temple of Doom in delicious fashion.

In the uncut version of the movie, Ram is seen lifting the still-beating heart into the air, which bursts into flames when the victim plunges into the fire. Nasty. Throughout the ritual, the victim continually chants "Ohm num Shiva" (that may be phonetically interpreted). If you know what it means, please let us know.

Mine cart chase in Temple of Doom
Indy and his sidekicks have sneaked into the huge underground complex that's home to the Thuggee cult but naturally it's not long before they're discovered by the bad guys and a mass chase ensues. Its highlight is the mine shaft scene where a thrilling fight commences in racing mine carts.

It's classic edge of the seat stuff as Short Round gets used like a rope in a tug-o-war match while the carts zip perilously along tracks precariously balanced on wooden beams high, high up the air.

Chilled monkey brains
The banquet scene in Temple of Doom is a brilliant juxtaposition of seriousness and comedy and still makes us laugh to this day. Dr Jones is discussing cult activity with guests while increasingly stomach-churning dishes are served up, much to the dismay and disgust of Short Round and Willie who are providing the light relief. Bugs, snakes slithering out of larger snakes, sheep eyeballs in soup - but the best moment is the arrival of chilled monkey brains served in monkey heads with the crowns sliced off.

Rope bridge fight
Indy's Temple of Doom adventures reach their climatic moment when our hero finds himself trapped on a rope bridge spanning a huge chasm and a river infested with crocodiles. Is the only way out down? Nope. Indy - cheer! - decides to battle the odds and sever the bridge's support ropes with a machete. It's a perfect heart-leaping-into-the-mouth moment filled with suspense as the rope bridge halves slam into the sides of the chasm.

Charlemagne comes to the rescue
A favorite funny moment from The Last Crusade... Indiana and his father, Professor Henry Jones, are in a car being chased by a couple of German aeroplanes and end up crashing on a beach. One plane turns through the air and bears down on the hapless pair. Professor Jones suddenly opens up his umbrella, flaps it around and starts clucking like a chicken while advancing on birds on the sand.

The birds are scared into flight and the plane collides with the flock and crashes and burns. "I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne," says Professor Jones. "Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky..." What a guy.

Tank action
We love the tank scene from The Last Crusade, mainly because it features a great, nail-biting fight between Indiana Jones and one of the chief Nazis on top of the vehicle, but also due to the funny bit where Marcus Brody squirts a German in the eye with ink from a pen and quips, "Well don't you see? The pen is mightier than the sword!" Of course, it all ends with the tank rolling off the edge of a cliff, and everyone thinks Indy is dead - apart from the audience.

But in the Latin alphabet, "Jehovah" begins with an "I"
It's only apt that we end with the edge-of-the-seat closing moments of The Last Crusade, and it's almost as though Steven Spielberg were thinking, "Hey, this would be really cool in a videogame." To reach the Holy Grail, Indiana has to circumvent a number of fiendish traps with only cryptic clues to help him out, and the decapitation of a guy who fails at the first trap isn't very encouraging. It ends with Indy having to take a literal leap of faith, before he finally gets his hands on the "cup of Christ."

So, do you have any classic Indiana Jones moments you'd love to see included in LucasArts' game? Let us know in the forums.

August 7, 2007

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