Good Ol’ Lucas: GoG Add Outlaws, Zak McKracken & Indy

GoG.com has just added six Lucasarts(films) games, three of which are enjoying their digital debut. The debutantes are 2.5 wild west shooter Outlaws, Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders, and Indiana Jones And The Emperor’s Tomb. All three will make a smattering of people very excited until those same people actually take the time to revisit the games, at which point they’ll either loudly deny the trickery of nostalgia while pulling a face like a kid pretending to enjoy a Liquorice Allsort, or they’ll quietly mutter something about the “shuddering, shifting, deceitful veil that is memory” while weeping into a pint glass. As for me – thoughts below.

I remember Outlaws fondly, even if I was more cack-handed Clive than Quick Draw Kid. I suspect it was a triumph of theme rather than technique, and I’m not sure it’ll have held up particularly well at all, but I’m tempted to test that theory. I think it has a place in my gaming biography as the first FPS that utilised frequent one-hit kills.

Then there’s Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders, which my mum bought me for Christmas when I was around ten years old. The cover has a woman holding a beaglepuss and a man holding a baguette and a goldfish in a bowl – exactly the kind of zany things a ten year old kid enjoys! It was a terrible Christmas present, mostly because I had to call the Lucasfilm hintline to finish the game and got in trouble when the itemised phonebill arrived. I did enjoy exploding eggs in a microwave though and, in a rare case of foolish imitation, I decided I’d see if the trick worked in real life. Rebel that I was, I panicked and stopped the microwave after about ten seconds. And then I probably went and phoned a premium rate hintline and spent the monetary value of twenty eggs listening to a recorded message.

John has written about Zak McKracken over on that there Eurogamer.

As for The Emperor’s Tomb, I’ve played it to completion but couldn’t tell you very much about it at all. At the time I thought it was fine, although I remember a puzzle chamber that was half-filled with water – I think I was stuck at that part for a couple of months. Wouldn’t want to do that again. The fact that my strongest memory of the game is a vague recollection of a part that I hate, I’m not going to recommend it to anyone anytime soon.

The three games that aren’t debuting are best Monkey Island game, LeChuck’s Revenge, and two other brilliant adventures in the form of The Dig and Loom. The latter, in particular, is a wonderful game.

33 Comments

  1. Michael Fogg says:

    Don’t be a fool, Marshall!

  2. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Oh man oh man oh man.

    I loved Outlaws so much. GOG is the best.

    • Fumarole says:

      GOG is the best.

      Agreed. GoG though, is the worst and those who use it should feel bad.

      • Fumarole says:

        I suppose it could be worse; it could be gOg.

        • BooleanBob says:

          Similarly but unrelatedly, grog both is the best and the worst and the people who use it feel very bad indeed, eventually.

      • zylonbane says:

        Only the finest capitalization here at RpS.

    • Vandelay says:

      I only ever played the demo (many, many times,) but always wanted to play the full game. Now is my chance!

      I still can hear the enemies’ taunts just thinking about the game.

  3. Brosecutor says:

    Outlaws had an awesome soundtrack.

    I played the hell out of Zak back then, played it more than any other Lucas adventure.

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      Thirith says:

      Monkey Island 2 later supplanted it for me, but Zak McKracken was the first adventure game I enjoyed unequivocally. I loved the characters, the wackiness, bits like using the (blue? yellow?) crystal on the yak and getting to play as a yak for a bit. :-D GNIK SISI VLE is still stuck in my head. For some reason Maniac Mansion never did much for me, but Zak McKracken… Good times. Also, together with Ultima V it’s probably what I honed my English skills on. (Which is why I still start conversations by going “NAME. JOB. BYE.” I don’t have a lot of friends.)

  4. Cash at Folsom says:

    If you take enough of a beating in Emperor’s Tomb, your hat gets knocked off, forcing you to go back and pick it up later.

    I mean, you could just leave it off, if you’re some sort of inhuman monster that hates Indiana Jones.

  5. Scurra says:

    The Emperor’s Tomb was a perfectly fine Tomb Raider knock-off (which, all things considered, is a moderately amusing thought.) And, like those earlier TR games, it had puzzles that you actually had to think about, rather than just following the prescribed path and maybe hit some QTE buttons. But, also like those earlier TR games, the engine is dated and the controls are less than stellar. Although that doesn’t bother me at all.

    • Vandelay says:

      I remember it being enjoyable too. Don’t think it was as good as Tomb Raider’s high points, but a good game in itself.

      Funnily enough, I happened to do a clear out of some of my old game jewel/DVD cases the other week and noticed this one absent. May have to pick this up at some point, if it doesn’t turn up.

  6. Wret says:

    Outlaws was fantastic except TARANTULAS. TARANTULAS EVERYWHERE. In the non-linear prequel-ish hub you can go to a cave that is nothing but a tarantula zerg rush(best time to use the handcranked, tripod machine gun), with a crushing ceiling trap inside. Fuck tarantulas. AND that poodle with the flaming eyes.

  7. Olaf the Merchant says:

    Man, I’ve been retired much too long from the oooold West. Most likely will hear no end of it, banditos shouting about seeing better shooting at the county fair. :P

    Good show, GOG. One of my all-time favs.

  8. spacejumbo says:

    Anyone know what the mouse support it like for Outlaws?

    I got Dark Forces hoping it’d be half as good as I remember, but it was never really intended for mouse look and they’d done some weird control update rather than the original.

    I found a youtube and it looks like mouselook works fine, but confirmation would be good.

    • Morph says:

      Just tried it out and the mouse was working fine.

    • Distec says:

      You talking vanilla or with something like DarkXL?

    • Lorewin says:

      Outlaws was the first multiplayer game in which I ever used mouselook. I’d been playing it over dialup with a friend, both using keys only, and we’d had fun with a fairly even matchup.

      Then I tried a bit of Quake and realised the joys of being able to snap to a different direction instead of slowly pivoting, and decided to check out how to do that in Outlaws.

      In our next play session I OBLITERATED my friend. The score was something like 43-3. And the 3 were through me suiciding on him with dynamite as he desperately tried to keep my spinning, mouselooking Marshal in view.

      We still talk about it to this day. (Well, I say we. It’s not a memory I want him to forget :) )

  9. theskywhale says:

    Outlaws is definitely worth a play. I bust it out every year for a play through. Great score

  10. vorador says:

    A release worthy of the name of the Good Old Games. Except the Emperor’s tomb (a knockoff of Tomb Raider) all of them are excellent, and worth of your time and money.

    I’m now kinda wanting a sequel to Loom. Sadly, it never happened.

  11. Hensler says:

    Oh my gosh, Outlaws! I can’t believe I’d forgotten about that game! I discovered Diablo and Outlaws at around the same time in middle school, and their multiplayer modes dominated my life for a long time, and led to me being a giant nerd for life.

  12. tomimt says:

    As far themes go I find Zak McKracken to be one of the more interesting adventure games, or games in any genre really. Playing a tabloid reporter chasing after alien artefacts, two-headed squirrels and the like is pretty rare. I also dig the humour of the game.

    But also I hate that Zak really goes overboard with those damned mazes. Every place is a damned maze.

    Outlaws I experienced as a demo version way back in time. I’m tempted to get that one at some point, but I do fear it might not have stood the test of time. Though then again Doom still is the best FPS game around, and Dark Forces isn’t half bad either, so maybe it does hold.

  13. PostieDoc says:

    I enjoy Liquorice Allsorts, no pretending needed.

  14. ansionnach says:

    Looks like the Zak they’ve got is the FM Towns 256 colour version, which had CD audio (and I think already had the copy protection removed). This might sound a bit mad, but it’d be cool if you could somehow play the C64, ST, Amiga, FM Towns and both DOS versions at the same time, side-by-side with just a single set of input devices. They’d probably go out of sync now and then, but that’d be part of the fun!

  15. letoeb says:

    Damn shame Outlaws doesnt include the soundtrack as an Mp3 album. I don’t care much for the game, but would really have liked to have been able to buy the soundtrack. (It’s kind of weird, too: I have a feeling the soundtrack is much more notable than the game itself, too.)

  16. Robmonster says:

    I’ve never played The Emporers Tomb, but used to love The Infernal Machine. I hope that will get a release.

    • snowgim says:

      Thank you! I was wracking my brain trying to remember which Indy game I spent so long playing (apart from Fate of Atlantis), and Emperor’s Tomb wasn’t ringing many bells.
      “Medicinal ‘erbs.”
      Ahh, those crazy Americans and their “pronunciations”.

  17. cpt_freakout says:

    Yes, yes, Outlaws was pretty amazing, but let’s talk more about LOOM, guys.

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      Skabooga says:

      Loom might have been one of the first games to overawe me and make me cry as a result. Just something about it, like an elegy for a fading world.

  18. moms pubis says:

    The Dig has been available on Steam for some years now. Personally I’m still waiting to be able to buy Full Throttle, objectively the best adventure game, online somewhere.