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"What I do, I do for the glory of Germany."
―Magnus Völler[src]

Magnus Völler was a German archaeologist who competed with Indiana Jones in the search for the Staff of Moses in 1939.


Early life[]

Magnus Völler had attended the University of Chicago, where he was classmates with the American archaeologist Indiana Jones, both studying under Professor Charles Jacob Kingston. However, Kingston didn't much care for Völler due to links with the antiquities black market.[1]

In 1922, while in Panama on a dig with Kingston and Jones,[2] Völler snuck into a Mayan temple although he had been warned by Kingston not to enter because of booby traps. There he found the Jade Sphere and set off a rolling ball trap. He was saved by Jones, who had been sent in to find him.[3] After repeated reprimands, Völler was kicked out of the university.[1]

Disgraced and expelled, Völler crawled back to his native Germany, just as the Nazi movement had started to gain prominence. Shortly afterwards, Magnus started running errands for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, gaining himself a position within the Nazi ranks.[1]

Search for the Staff of Moses[]

In 1939, Magnus Völler began searching for clues for the Staff of Moses. Traveling to Sudan with several Nazi desert commandos, he started excavating a Nubian site, but Indiana Jones slipped in and grabbed the Gold Ram's Head. With the help of a soldier, Völler confronted Jones and managed to retrieve the artifact but his rival escaped.[1]

Needing information from Professor Kingston, Völler followed up on a lead that Archie Tan knew where the disappeared professor had gone. Völler hired Blind Duck and his Hip Chen Tong to get the information out of Tan, and also recover the Jade Sphere in Chinatown, but Jones managed to rescue Tan and claim the Sphere.[1]

Völler then returned to Panama, where the Sphere had originally been found. He hired Sudao and his band of pillagers to raid the Jungle Village where Kingston had made friends, and set up camp in some ruins overlooking a sinkhole. Realizing that Jones was also searching for the Temple of the Cosmos, Völler tracked the archaeologist and tried to capture him after Jones had found Kingston's hidden journal. However, Jones slipped his grasp once again.[1]

Völler caught up on Jones' trail in Istanbul, where Jones and Maggie O'Malley were going to attend the opening of a museum at Topkapi Palace. Völler cornered O'Malley and hinted that he knew her true identity as a British spy. Meanwhile, Jones had found clues in the catacombs to the whereabouts of the Staff of Kings, and rescued O'Malley, and escaped via elephant from Völler's men.[1]

Following Jones and O'Malley to Nepal, Völler arrived in the Odin, and sent his men to seize the town guarding the temple where the Staff was held. Letting Jones do the difficult work of retrieving the staff, Völler and his soldiers followed O'Malley into the temple. When O'Malley seized the staff from Jones, Völler took it from her at gunpoint, and kidnapper her, and tried to seal Jones inside the structure. Capturing Kingston from the village, Völler took the relic and his prisoners aboard the Odin.[1]

Eventually, Jones found his way aboard the Odin, and rescued O'Malley, while Völler tried to figure out how to use the mystical powers of the staff. Völler was defeated by Jones and was undone when the parted waters of the Bay of Bengal came back together.[1]

Behind the scenes[]


Concept art of "Magnus Reil".

Magnus Völler was voiced by the late English actor Adrian Schiller in Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings.[1]

The design document for "Indiana Jones 2007",[4] an early version of the Staff of Kings story by LucasArts,[5] indicates that Völler had the surname Reil and described him as Indiana Jones' graduate school nemesis and a high-ranking Nazi official who wished to acquire the Staff of Kings to help Germany win the oncoming war. An "evil döppelganger" of Jones, Reil was a "physically superior specimen" likewise trained by Charles Jacob Kingston, Abner Ravenwood and Frederick Oxley and "eternally jealous" at Jones for always getting the girls.[4]

In an interview with developer David Collins by in the lead up to the game's release in early 2009, Magnus Völler is referred to as "Magnus Moeller". Whether this was a mistake (such as on Collins' part or through a dictation error) or is an indication that the character's last name was changed late in development is unclear.[6]


While the storyline of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings is generally the same across multiple platforms, the details vary depending on the version of the game.[1]

Wii/PS2 version[]

After Jones worked his way through the Odin to the Völler's office where the Staff was kept, he found Völler up on the catwalk surrounding the room. Charles Kingston tried to talk Völler out of using the staff. Jones and O'Malley tried to sneak over to the catwalk but they were spotted by the Odin's pilot, who warned Völler. Völler tried to shoot Jones but Kingston jumped out of his wheelchair and was shot instead. Völler tried to shoot Jones again but his gun jammed. Völler pulled out the staff, and told Jones to come and get it. Using the staff's power split the sea, and escaped from the Odin aboard a motorcycle, landing on the now-cleared floor of the sea. Jones and O'Malley chased after him in a motorcycle of their own. After a long chase, Jones caught up to Völler's motorcycle and grabbed the staff. While fighting for control of the staff, Völler was pulled upward into the wall of water. Eventually his grip failed, and he was pulled into the churning sea. As Jones drove to the shore, the staff relaxed its power on the sea, collapsing the walls of water, and destroyed the Odin.[7]

PSP version[]

After Jones worked his way through the Odin to the Völler's office where the Staff was kept, he found Völler up on the catwalk surrounding the room. Völler sent out some henchmen to defeat Indy, but they were unsuccessful. Following their defeat, Völler came down from the catwalk via a ladder, and pulled a machine gun on Jones. Jones hid behind some statues while Völler fired at him, coming out to attack whenever the German reloaded his weapons. Indy finally disarmed Völler, and defeated him in a fist fight. Jones was able to retrieve the staff just as Maggie O'Malley and Charles Kingston entered the room. With Jones' back turned, Völler got up, picked up the gun and fired at Jones. Charles Kingston jumped in front of his former student and was killed by the shot. Jones and O'Malley jumped out of a window of the Odin and use the staff to part the sea below. Völler tried to fire upon Jones from the Odin, after they had escaped to the shore aboard a half-track, but the Odin was caught as the wall of seawater collapsed. The water rushed into the bridge, killing Völler and sinking the Odin.[8]

DS version[]

After Jones worked his way through the Odin to the Völler's office where the Staff was kept, he found Völler up on the catwalk surrounding the room. Jones reached the bridge where he found O'Malley and Kingston tied together and Völler watching from a catwalk above. Völler sent out a few goons to stop Jones, but Jones quickly overpowered them. Völler then came down on an elevator and attacked Jones. Jones succeeded in defending himself and got the staff. Völler fired his gun on Jones, but Kingston quickly jumped from his wheelchair in front of Völler, and saved Jones' life. In his dying breath, Kingston told Jones to protect the staff. With the gun still pointed at him, Jones grabbed O'Malley and jumped out a window with the staff. As they landed in the bay, the waters below them began to part, allowing them to land on the ocean floor. Völler sent his troops to the vehicle bay to bring them back. A few half-track motorcycles reached the sea bottom just before Jones reached the shore. Jones used the staff to split the Odin in two and sent it to the bottom of the sea. Then Jones raised the staff, causing the parted waters to collapse down onto the ship, completely submerging it. Völler yells out Jones' name in his dying breath.[9]


In Rob MacGregor's unpublished novelization of the game, Völler's background is expanded upon.[10] As Indycron keeper Leland Chee stated during an interview with in 2010 that a copy of MacGregor's completed manuscript never reached him, it's unclear how much, if any, information about Völler's early life is part of the Indiana Jones canon.[11]

In the book, Völler was a German nationalist and the son of one of the Thule Society's founders, also having a brother named Fynn. While a dedicated archaeology student under both Charles Kingston and Abner Ravenwood, he had an irritating habit of linking subjects back to his home country no matter how baseless. After being expelled from the University of Chicago—in 1921 as opposed to the 1922 setting of the game's prologue—for leaving Indiana Jones for dead at the Temple of the Cosmos to acquire the Jade Sphere, Völler completed his studies on his return to Europe, at his undergraduate alma mater the University of Dresden, and fell in with the growing Nazi movement, angry at Germany's treatment in the wake of World War I.[10]

By 1939, after being frustrated by Hitler putting a Frenchman and an American expatriate at the head of Nazi expeditions into the occult, Völler inherited Belloq's position and was placed by Heinrich Himmler to be director of Verteidigung Germanisches Altertum, the "Defense of German Antiquities" within the SS. With a focus on Biblical artifacts, Völler captured bricks from the Tower of Babel, pieces of Jacob's Ladder, Dead Sea Scrolls and fragments of the Septuagint before he turned his attention to uncovering the Staff of Moses which put him on a path to be reunited with Indiana Jones.[10]



Concept art of Magnus Völler.


Notes and references[]

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