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"You know why Hannibal never conquered Rome? He was riding an Elephant."
―Indiana Jones[src]

The elephant is the largest of the land mammals, and is found in Africa and southern Asia. Though large, elephants are herbivores. Less temperamental than the African species, Asian elephants have been domesticated as mounts and beasts of burden. Additionally, elephant tusks have had economic value for their ivory. Elephants are are especially culturally significant in India and southeast Asia.

Indiana Jones has multiple experience of riding elephants.

Adventures with elephants[]

"I don't think we're interested in the sort of "Artifact" you might pick up behind an elephant."
―Marcus Brody in a telegram to Indy while he was in Istanbul[src]

In prehistory, elephants were significant in Atlantis: The second circle of Atlantis was a corridor ornamented with ghastly elephant heads.[1]

At some point, Maggie O'Malley learned how to ride elephants in Kenya.[2]

In September 1909, Indiana Jones and his friend Meto saw elephants among many other animals in the wilds of British East Africa while searching for the Fringe-eared Oryx.[3]

Indy on an elephant in Bombay

Indy on an elephant in Bombay.

During the later half of World War I, Indy visited Bombay, India while working for French Intelligence to stop a German spy from acquiring a ball-bearing bomb and utilized the assistance of an elephant to help him do so. He entered a temple and jumped on top of an patrolling elephant, allowing him to reach small idols that he needed to destroy with his whip to enter the Temple Dungeon, just as his friend Ali told him to.[4]

In 1918, Indy and Remy Baudouin saw an elephant in Batavia on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies. It was being used as a mount outside Hotel Batavia as the pair chased ex German solider, Zyke for the location of the Peacock's Eye.[5]

In 1935, Indy encountered Ivory Hunters in Ceylon while looking for the Idol of Kouru Watu. They used elephant tusks in some of there constructions like a bridge over a crocodile infested river.[6]

BigShortRound

Short Round riding Big Short Round in 1935.

In 1935 in India, Indy and his two companions, Willie Scott and Short Round travel by elephant from Mayapore to Pankot Palace. While Short Round was friendly towards his smaller mount, which he nicknamed "Big Short Round", Scott was less appreciative of her mount and its odor, pouring perfume on it in a vain effort to mask its scent. Before they reached Pankot, their guides stopped and wouldn't take the elephants any further.[7]. Both Jones and Short Round drew sketches of their mounts in Jones' journal.[8]

The Mayan temple of Tikal investigated by Charles Sternhart had an ornamental elephant head on the wall. Indiana Jones reconstructed the mechanism and opened the tomb in 1939.[9]

"Run faster, or I'll make a piano out of you!"
―Indiana Jones to the elephant in Istanbul[src]

In 1939, while searching for clues about the disappearance of Charles Kingston in San Francisco's Chinatown, Indy discovered an elephant statue in Tan's Exotic Imports. The statue's turned out to be a lever that, when pulled, would reveal a secret passage way to the Star of the Orient.[2] Indy pulled the lever with his whip. Later that year, Indy visited Istanbul in search for the Shepherd (which led to the Staff of Kings and Charles Kingston). After Indy escaped Topkapi Palace, he used an African Bull Elephant with a howdah to escape German secret agents and German Soldiers chasing him through the streets. They chased him with motorcycles and cars, Indy used his revolver to fend them off before reaching safety.[10]

Elephant-related artifacts[]

Behind the scenes[]

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis features elephant statues and effigies in Atlantis and Tikal, an Atlantean place. Indiana and Sternhart realize the paradox, since elephants did not exist in the American continent.[9] In reality, Plato mentioned in his works that elephants were abundant in Atlantis. However a direct connection between elephants and Atlantis is not given in the game, nor their significance to Atlantis is explained.

Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 6.41

The Elephant in the PS2/Wii versions.

An elephant features prominently in Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings. In the Wii/PS2 version Indiana Jones uses an elephant to escape the Sultan's palace in Istanbul after discovering the Shepherd there. Maggie finds in after avoiding capture from Magnus Völler. German secret agents and German Soldiers chase Indy and Maggie (who also has experience riding elephants in Kenya) in cars however the agents are unable to stop them as the rampaged through the city. The elephant had armour on to protect it from bullets. There is a glory point that can be earned on the Wii if you shoot for sighs during the elephant ride and is required for 100%.[2]

Indy Elephant Istanbul PSP

The Elephant in the PSP version.

In the PSP version Indy uses one to escape the Sultan's Palace palace after he found the Chronicle in a level called The Elephant. Fortune and Glory points can be earned escape, escape only falling off once, escape never falling off the howdah, shooting 10 barrels and allowing no Nazis to board the elephant. It was already rampaging when he found it. Germans on motorcycles chase him and Indy can shoot oil and milk barrels to stop them. He used it to reach the location of the Shepherd hidden inside of some old Roman Cisterns.[11] It doesn't appear in the DS version of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings as the Istanbul section is replaced with Paris.[12]

Elephant concept art

Concept art of the Elephant chase.

The elephant appears in the cancelled Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings novelisation. Indy and Maggie, while escaping Magnus Völler, entered a cage in the palace zoo and discovered a fully grown African Elephant. The elephant sat lowered to its forearms and knees and Indy and Maggie took it as the creature offering them a ride. They got on and it charged into the parking lot, destroying all the cars as if they were toys. The beast seemed confused by the cars, as if they were competitors for the affection of a female suitor. Magnus and his men shot at the elephant but it only seamed to enrage it. It tried to kill Magnus but he took cover and survived. It barrelled into the streets over to the spice bazaar while the Germans followed in pursuit. It smashed carts, destroyed storefronts, crushed stands of fruits and vegetables, sheared away awnings. The elephant’s trunk tossed a bicycle over its shoulder. Groceries spilled from the basket, pelting the pair with pieces of fruit, bread and rice while Germans in a limousine opened fire. The elephant made its way to the a railroad crossing and nearly crashed into a train but it halted just in time for the elephant to cross. The elephant finally stopped in the train station and let the two of who got on the train and left Istanbul. Magnus arrived at the station but was two late. He only finding Istanbul police officers and a couple of zookeepers attempting to calm the elephant down, but they seemed more excited than the elephant at the moment. Magnus asked about the couple on the elephant but a zookeeper said that if there was anyone on it, he would throw them off and trample them to death. Magnus walked away, looking for another way to find the Shepherd.[13]

African Elephant Concept Art

African Elephant Concept art from the base game.

The elephant was also going to appear in the cancelled Xbox 360, PS3 and PC versions of the game, also in the chase in Istanbul. A model and some animations were created for it, as well as some concept art. It also appeared in the trailer for the game, taking a Gold Mayan Statue from Indy with its trunk. Germans in a Kübelwagen and Sd.Kfz. 251 catch up to him and begin a chase.[10] In LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, two elephants can be ridden in the level Pankot Secrets and are used to cross dangerous mud lakes and carry objects. At least one is needed to stand on a pressure plate to open Pankot Palace. Two also appear in the DS version in a cage in the palace but are not rideable and act as more as scenery.[14]

In LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues the elephant returns as a rideable animal in the Temple of Doom hub world and two levels, Wrong Gong Rung and Monkey Mischief. They are used to step on pressure plates. They appear in some cutscenes Indy, Short Round, and Willie try to reach Pankot by elephant. The elephant would be launched there on a tree but they were all to heavy so they got off. The elephant was then launched into the high in the air, out of sight. When they defeat Mola Ram, the elephant returns and as it is about to crush them, the shot freezes and fades to black. They can also be used Create mode when using the Temple of Doom theme.[15]

Appearances[]

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Notes and references[]

External links[]

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