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  1. As I kept reflecting on the ending, some new thoughts have sprung. This will be an enormous post, soI’ll be truly grateful to those who manage to read the whole thing. So called “metanarratives” have been told before, across various mediums, whereas by placing the audience as the unwilling target of some sort of storytelling, fourth-wall breaking pun, or resorting to the “it was all in the main character’s head and imagination all along” angle. Regardless of how masterfully conceived these “metanarratives” can be (whether in the form of books, movies, etc.), there is inevitably a gap, a distance, between what the characters are experiencing and what is our own reaction to those experiences. A good storyteller will diminish that distance, create greater empathy between the audience and the characters, but we are still outside witnesses, external observants. We can be touched emotionally by the story, but that tends to come down to how much empathy has been conjured between us and the characters, on how much we can imagine ourselves in the characters’ shoes, on how much we can “relate”. However, I feel RTMI takes this to a whole new level, using a storytelling method that is a particularly perfect vehicle for exploration of this kind of thematic undercurrent: the point and click adventure game. This goes beyond the mere notion of being able to control where the main character goes, or how long we can linger in certain places or even the choices of dialogue (within the obvious limitations of the game framework). Those are just the mechanical and functional means of the storytelling experience. We learn, in what I think is a pretty definitive and unequivocal conclusion, that the world of Monkey Island is a plateau of existence, a mental place, a dimension, if you will, where Guybrush finds solace, refuge, escapism and entertainment. I won’t go into the discussion whether this dimension is any more real than the one where his everyday existence is taking place. What seems pretty definitive to me, is that those two dimensions are separate, they are two different things, although elements from the “everyday dimension”, to a certain extent, seem to feed the fabric of the Monkey Island dimension (and probably vice-versa. as well), as the things we experience almost subconsciously in our everyday lives can also feed our dreams. This Monkey Island dimension might have been triggered by Guybrush’s experiences, both as a child and as an adult, in a pirate themed amusement park, as a way to escape from a reality that is either too sad, too painful, too dull or too empty to face without solace. The details really don’t matter. And this is where the “metanarrative” comes to its full fruition. We are not witnessing Guybrush escaping into an imaginary pirate world, as he tries to take some reprieve from his everyday existente, while feeling empathy for his plight. No, we are Guybrush! As much as I ever felt in any work of art, we are indeed the character. We are not empathizing with Guybrush, we are not relating to Guybrush. We truly are Guybrush. We are the ones looking for solace, refuge, escapism and entertainment in a fictional pirate world. We are the ones (particularly in this forum of such dedicated fans), who treasure and look forward to the moments we spend in this Monkey Island dimension. We don’t do it to spend the time while waiting for the train to arrive. We don’t do it because there’s nothing else to do. We don’t do it to fill in the blanks in our daily schedule. We make it a pinnacle of our leisure time. It’s primetime worthy. In those playing hours, we rather be in the Monkey Island world than in whatever real life has to offer , regardless of how happy or fulfilled we feel. I don’t play Monkey Island the same way I play other games. Not even in the same way I play other point and click adventure games. It’s not to reach the end, get a dopamine fix or an adrenaline rush. I play it for the experience, to live in that world for a bit. That’s why I like linger in the wonderfully evocative locations, just wander around the locals, why I look forward wish to get stuck certain puzzles, so as the music and ambiance seep through my skin and become engrained, so as to when we listen to the soundtrack, it will immediately conjure up memories and feelings of those precious moments spent in the Monkey Island dimension. And I know Monkey Island is not real. Guybrush knows Monkey Island is not real. But it is true. And it matters. And that’s why we like to discuss the minutiae of this world, what things are “more real” than others (although nothing of it is really real), why we hang posters of it on the wall, listen to the soundtracks, replay the games knowing by heart all the solutions to every single puzzle. We want to keep visiting the same amusement park, we get excited when there’s a new ride on the horizon and we love riding the same old, well-worn, familiar rides.. And when not in the amusement park itself, we reminisce by looking at ticket stubs, park maps, promotional brochures. And I, like Guybrush, want Monkey Island to be as real as possible. So I keep chasing the horizon, clinging on to every small thing that might make it a little bit more concrete. I want to make LEGO models of Melee Town, the Giant Monkey Head and Woodtick. I want character statutes to proudly display on my bookcases. I want to wear T-Shirts of the Legendary Treasure of Melee Island. But it is not real. It 's not concrete. It can’t be. And just like Guybrush, I felt disheartened when I reached the back alley of Melee Island at the end of the game. It’s time to go home. My day at the amusement park is almost over. No more new rides to try. It’s with heavy hearts that I turn off all the lights in the park. I have to get back to my more mundane existence. But this game gives us something absolutely new. Almost revolutionary. It shows us a Guybrush with a life outside of Monkey Island. And a happy and fulfilling life at that, with a beautiful family. And we realize, maybe for the first time, that Guybrush doesn’t really need Monkey Island anymore. He’s ceased to be obsessed by it. And this is where The Secret comes in. And how it really could never have been something of true importance. It was a red herring all along, a distraction, something with an importance that grew in an unwarrantedly disproportionate manner throughout the years. It was ever only something that was part of the fabric of Monkey Island, among many other things. It was never its raison d'être, never a cipher to understand the whole thing. Monkey Island is not a mystery to solve, but a “reality” to experience. Like life itself. Lechuck lost sight of this. Monkey Island ceased to be a “good place”, where one could have sprawling adventures, meet colorful characters and visit fascinating places. It was all about The Secret, looking for some sort of resolution, an answer, something with which to cover the gaping holes in his existence. At the end of the game, Guybrush is finally freed from this anchor (ohh, symbolism). He can now visit Monkey Island because he wants to, not because he has to. It’s something that adds to his life, it doesn’t replace it. And it has become a pure thing again. A place where he can play pirates, simple as that, only constrained by the limits of his imagination. Stories being told around a campfire. In light of this, the very beginning of The Secret of Monkey Island has become even more perfect. Guybrush arrives at Melee Island not by ship, but by walking through a stone archway, as it were some sort of portal, and declare bluntly and plainly: This is all we want. We are Guybrush from the very start. We want to be pirates in a make-believe world. That’s why we are playing. Even the setting is perfect. How else would a Pirate setting be enticing unless when seen and interpreted by a child-like imagination? Throw any serious degree of historicity in it and the whole thing crumbles, with all the pillaging, violence, depravity and filth involved. It has to be a Pirate universe as imagined by a child. Again, it was never about The Secret. The whole point of experiencing Monkey Island is perfectly captured by the very first thing Guybrush says. There can never be a Monkey Island prequel. There’s no other possible beginning. To do it would be to corrupt it. Nothing exists before that declaration of intent. That’s where the whole dimension of Monkey Island is born. “I want to be a pirate”. That’s the absolute summation of what Monkey Island is all about. At the end, Guybrush (and myself), realize there’s peace to be found in knowing there’s no deeper meaning behind all of it. Monkey Island is a “good place” to visit every now and then. Guybrush has regained the purity of intent shown in that very first scene in The Secret of Monkey Island. The whole thing has become unburdened by overarching narratives, unsaddled by strict continuity between adventures, freed at last from the shackles of having to provide answers and meaning. Elaine emphasizes this by suggesting yet another adventure. Of the simpler, purer kind. And how perfect and crucial that little intervention is. Brings the whole thing full circle. And Guybrush sits on that bench, looking truly at peace with himself (as I see it), having regained the true purpose of Monkey Island. That image is the perfect coda to the Ron Gilbert trilogy. The lookout scene in SOMI as an overture. This is one as an epilogue. The world of Monkey Island is now wide open. There was never a better time to create new stories in it. Purer stories. With more cannons and less “canon”. I became a father 6 months ago. A little Boybrush named Manuel. Like Guybrush, I now have a family to share the world of Monkey Island with. And it has become something new again.
    15 points
  2. While I've been planning to give Peter Chan's Star Wars DOTT artwork a make-over at some point, LRG's announcement of DOTT Remastered somehow put this on the fast lane. I wasn't really convinced by the poster they decided to include, so I got down to business, planning to offer them a new print-ready version of the art as an option. How could they say no to that? Well, while LRG seemed to be interested, Disney ultimately wasn't. So, here's the result of this effort, adding a much-needed improvement over my old version, both in terms of colors and detail. No more artficial brush strokes and oversharpened edges to suggest detail. I even separated the color channels of the scan to fix the severe alignment issues the Adventurer print suffered from, removing the color fringes and blurry edges caused by that. A few comparisons (at 70% size, enough to show the differences):
    14 points
  3. Had Ron and Dave made this game in 1992, I'm sure it would have been very different. But unless I'm mistaken, I believe the notion that Ron HAD ideas for MI3 back in 1992 assumes facts not in evidence. I mean, I'm sure his mind wasn't a total blank. But has he ever said that there was any vision for MI3 back in the day? Again, I might be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that never existed. It seems that for those who feel dissatisfied with the ending, there is a theme of feeling like they just wanted closure. But may I suggest the possibility that you're just overthinking it? I mean, there is a lot of ambiguity around the specifics, but I'm not sure how much more clear RtMI can be about the core revelation. The Secret of Monkey Island is that these stories are fantasies inspired by an amusement park. And in the fellas' defense, they've basically been telling us this for 30 years — in ways both subtle and less subtle — right from the first two lines of the first game. What constitutes "reality," so to speak, is much more unexplained and nebulous. Do Boybrush and Elaine exist? Where are the lines between Guybrush's fantasy and reality? What's the back story? How do all of these pieces fit on the timeline? My hunch is that these are intentionally very undefined because — to put it bluntly — who cares? It's interesting to ponder, but at least as far as this chapter is concerned, as they say quite explicitly, that's not the part that really matters. I'm not sure if the disappointment some people experience stems from feelings of ambiguity beyond the secret, or that RtMI's big reveal is hammering home confirmation that the secret is a fairly obvious thing that's been staring us in the face the whole time. (Or from something else, I don't mean to put words in anybody's mouth.) But FWIW, I really don't think there's a lot of wiggle room around what the core of the revelation is. Like I said way upthread, I get the impression that people's comfort with this ending largely comes down to whether you're comfortable with a lot of peripheral ambiguity, or if you really want everything spelled out to the letter. This definitely isn't the latter. But just because an ending is ambiguous, that doesn't mean it can't bring closure. My opinion is that yes, the game obviously and quite intentionally leaves all kinds of loose ends hanging. But when it comes to the primary themes of the story, the heart of the matter, the capital T Truth at its core, it really wraps things up quite nicely while still giving us a bunch of other stuff to play around with. And speaking for myself, that's what I want from a Monkey Island game. I don't want everything spelled out. I don't want a neat package where everything is carefully explained. To me, that hazy, ambiguous half real, half fantasy isn't the thing Monkey Island is trying to work through to get to a destination. That IS the destination.
    13 points
  4. Ugh I'm so excited for tonight to finally play Return! Couldn't resist drawing a whole bunch of character yesterday
    13 points
  5. I've taken the liberty of writing out text for a video interview with Ron that was done by Rock, Paper Shotgun but was locked by a paywall. There's some further detail of the hint system and confirmation of how it works as a mechanic within the fantasy of the game world as well as hints to what the story is (he's still vague enough about it but it's a great tease) So Ron, what has it been like for you returning to this world? It's been a lot of fun! It's been 30 years since I really immersed myself in that world and it's a lot of fun to sort of get back to it. I was a little worried at the beginning about what that was going to be like, but it is just like a comfortable glove at some point, you know when I started working on it with Dave, we just fell into it so quickly. Awesome! So what can you tell us about the story? Well, the story is...we kinda call it unfinished business. You know Guybrush, in the first game even though it's called The Secret of Monkey Island, he never actually found the secret, so this game is really about him finding the real secret to Monkey Island, and I think it's also unfinished business for Dave and me as designers, because we never disclosed what the secret was, and you know Monkey Island 2 ended on this bizarre cliffhanger, so for us it's unfinished business and for Guybrush it's unfinished business. Yeah we were talking before about this huge cliffhanger at the end of 2, so where in the Monkey Island timeline does this land? So the game starts right after Monkey Island 2 ends...and then it just gets bizarre from there. Can you explain what kind of bizarre things we're gonna see? No, you'll have to buy the game (laughs) I love that! So one thing that was talked about on the panel was this idea of puzzle creation and adventure games are known for their challenging puzzles. Will Return to Monkey Island follow in its predecessor's footsteps, or what kind of puzzles are we gonna see, what should we expect? Well it's definitely a point and click game. There's a type of puzzle that really inhabits a point and click adventure, so we're definitely doing that. I think that times have changed, players have changed, we're different people, we've changed, and I think adventure games need to change with that. And it's not about making thongs simpler, but I think it's how you design puzzles. You need to be a bit clearer about things with people, and there are people who don't know point and click, don't know Monkey Island, and you need to kinda ease people into that stuff. One thing we've added to the game is a hintbook, so if you are stuck you can look at the hintbook. I mean these days, when you get stuck on a puzzle, you don't puzzle theough it for a month and talk to your friends about it, you just run to Google. We didn't want people to leave our game to do that, so we added a hintbook, and it's part of the fantasy of the game, it's actually a physical object that Guybrush has in his inventory. And you have to go get the hintbook, it's not something that's just given to you. So we hope that people who do want hints use our hint system, because we can be very clever about the hints, we know where you are and what things you've tried, so we can give you hints that are very tailored to the specific issue that you have. As someone who's had a relationship with Monkey Island for so long, how has your approach changed from the older games to the new one? What's different? I think creatively, design and story-wise, not much has changed at all. We start with a high concept for the thing, down to the individual parts of the game, then below that the character arcs and below that the puzzles. We've always done that with games and I don't think that part has really changed.
    13 points
  6. Mojo: Stressing out Ron Gilbert since ‘97.
    11 points
  7. I went to PAX! I got to meet David Fox!* It was great. * (And Ron and Dave and Dom, but I have met them all before.)
    11 points
  8. You bastards lure me into doing all kinds of ridiculous stuff. https://mixnmojo.com/countdown/ Click the ReMI image on the frontpage and the same thing should come up.
    11 points
  9. Can i just say some of the jokes in Return have wonderful clues to the ending. For example, this joke reads differently with hindsight!!!
    10 points
  10. I've finally gotten around to gathering all the memo's and letters from Monkey Island™ and I've collected my paper crafted replicas too. I wrote the "legalese" for the rest of the letter. To: Herman Toothrot From: Yammer, Hem, and Haw, attorneys at law Re: Suit against cannibal tribe over malicious tossing of your oars into a chasm. I think we have a case here. We can probably soak them for emotional distress and possibly punitive damages as well. “Hmm. Sounds like Legalese. I don't think I can translate the rest.” Casus contra anthropophagos difficile est probare sine causa adducendi ad iudicium. Ex nostris monumentis monstraris in insula remota vivere solum cum anthropophagis et pirata larvae Lechuck loqui. Cum hic progreditur casus, vehementer commendamus ut omnes verbales et scriptae communicationes cum Anthropophagis desineres. Opus est ut artissimum iudicium de altero iudiciorum trium insularum interesse debeas; Judex PLANK. praesidebit. Should you require an inter-island visit pre case, please inform our office. Any return mail should be sent in the accompanying bottle. Yours Yammer, Hem and Haw P.S. Please allow 3-5 years for reply, the tides between here and Monkey Island™ can be unpredictable. Latin Translation: The case against the cannibals may be difficult to prove without the case being brought before a court of law. From our records you are shown to live on a remote island with only the cannibals and the ghost pirate Lechuck to speak with. Whilst this case progresses we would heartly recommend that you cease all verbal and written communications with the cannibals. You may need to attend the closest court for judgement on another of the Tri-Island courts, Judge PLANK. will preside.
    10 points
  11. As much as I’d love to go back to Scabb, I’m also kind of glad that it’s never been touched again. It’s my favorite one. Woodtick is so perfectly done with its art, cast of characters, and incredible music, Scabb’s locations are all lonely and a touch creepy, the map music is unique in its lonely backwater mood, and though the island seems small, it’s revealed to be full of little secret spots the more you play. I like to imagine that place is continuing on exactly how it is, maybe a little shabbier and a little more sunk into the swamp but otherwise unchanged by time. Scabb Island Romantic signing off.
    10 points
  12. OK, consider this pretty much done (music addition may or may not happen (but probably may)): https://mixnmojo.com/countdown/ Thanks to @Marius and @Kroms for constructive activities additions, and more importantly @Thrik -- our miniature Buddha -- for his strict but wise guidance.
    10 points
  13. I have finished the game. I haven't seen all the endings and probably haven't catch the abundant details scattered around, but I think I have achieved the main goal of experiencing the game for what it is: a Gilbertian autobiographical journey that reminds us how things evolve, including our memories. The one item that struck me and that I've found deeply symbolic is the chest that contains the "Secret." The story of this game functions as a giant metatext that constantly mixes fiction and reality. The treasure chest, over-embedded with large gems to the point of looking cheesy, is the perfect metaphor for how longtime Monkey Island fans transformed "The Secret", enriching it for decades so that its image far outweighed its substance. Although the story emphasizes this stark difference between appearance and "reality", it is by no means an attempt to mock the way players have fed the myth. On the contrary, it should be seen as a charming way to remind players that this biographical journey does not belong to the authors alone. It is a sea voyage shared with the people who loved the games and nurtured their stories until they were revived by the original creators. In a sense, if you are a longtime fan, you helped make Return to Monkey Island what it is. The distinction between what players see and what the creators feel does not stop at the cheesy image of the chest. Both Guybrush and LeChuck manage to lift it with great difficulty: the box is quite heavy. This is where the duality comes up again. The same heaviness that the players use as a proxy for value or importance, for the authors represents instead the burden they had to carry when they decided to embark on this new adventure. "The Secret", now overgrown in people's minds, was a hot potato to handle. In many interviews, both Ron and Dave recalled the serious thinking they had to do before deciding to make the game. Some of the doubts were related to fan expectations and whether the authors would be able to meet them. I think some players do not easily realize how onerous the task was: no author other than Ron Gilbert would have experienced the pressure of giving the original story a conclusion... ... which brings me to my final thoughts. Was it a good game for me? Well, my expectations were very high, and from a writing point of view, Return to Monkey Island managed to exceed them. I wasn't interested in knowing what exactly "The Secret" would be; I simply wanted it to be told to me by the person who created this fantasy world. I was interested in closing a circle opened 30 years ago, and I have no doubt that my quest for closure has been finally satisfied. In the finale, the story touched my memories and my heart in two key moments: 1) reading the plaque at the exit of the park and in particular the text "The Original Secret" and 2) staring for an unmeasured amount of seconds at the contents of the chest. It didn't matter if it was a bit predictable: it was simple, it was consistent with the original story, and most importantly, its role in closing the loop justified for me the chest's enormous weight. And now that all the rides have been turned off, I just need to buy a new super-spoilery Monkey Island T-shirt!
    9 points
  14. This may not be a unpopular opinion per se, but this is where this thought fits in the best, I think: Monkey Island fans are some of the luckiest in the world! Why? We have two great games as a base, three really good sequels that are fun and never really boring (you can argue about the story here and there). If you compare that to other game series where there are really bad sequels in between, we've been pretty lucky, I think. And now (TODAY!) we get a sequel from the actual creator, which will reveal the two biggest mysteries of the series. But wait, there's more! In all games we have solid to fantastic artwork, the same main composer with great working partners by his side, great voice acting without replacing the main character etc. And all this over a period of more than 30 years, with no oversaturation (so far), so that every new game was/is an event. Not to mention this great community here! All of this brings me to the conclusion: Yes, we Monkey Island fans are pretty lucky!
    9 points
  15. And here it is, probably the first Dave Grossman foto since E3 2010. I'm just so glad he's involved.
    9 points
  16. This is from the pre-release thread but it’s still compelling I think, especially given Ron’s cryptic post on Twitter a while back asking why Guybrush arrives on Melee Island via the arch and not via the docks — something he does again in Return. * Archway? Park entrance? * Guybrush and blind Melee lookout stand in the same place as Guybrush and deaf Booty lookout relative to the entrance? * Big Whoop is Booty Town but also not? And in Return now a seaside park too? * Big Whoop ticket desk is Captain Dread’s ship? * Guybrush arrives on Melee expecting weenies, which happen to be next to the Big Whoop entrance? * You also start Monkey Island 2 next to a weenie shop?????
    8 points
  17. The thing is, I don't feel like I've been 'robbed' of the author's take. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that this game, more than any previous Monkey Island game, takes an authorial stance on what Monkey Island is about. That's to say it actually takes some of the vague sense of mystery that we've always talked about the series having and makes comment on it. It doesn't resolve all the mystery, and in fact one of the things that it says very clearly is that tying everything up neatly isn't its goal. It also leaves enough open that yes, it is possible for the player to make up their own mind about what they believe about certain events. But... where I think I differ is that... while all that stuff is super interesting to talk and wonder about (look at all the discussion it's already generated) I don't think any of that stuff is at the emotional core of the game, and the emotional arc of the game is to me what provides the closure. We start with Boybrush playing around and messing with the ending of Guybrush's Monkey 2 story. Boybrush points out that there seems to be a lot unresolved in his stories, and so he starts to tell a new one. And as he tells it, the theme of storytelling, and what's important to a story, what makes a mystery fun, comes up over and over again. At various points during the story, Boybrush interrupts to remind us that this is a story we're being told, and also sometimes to criticise the way that Guybrush is telling it. Over and over again we are warned by different characters in different ways that we might not feel satisfied with the answers when we get to it but we press on, and just when we're about to confront LeChuck once and for all... the game goes all Monkey 2 on us and we're faced with a strange, hard-to-intepret ending. This doesn't satisfy Boybrush at all, and we probably feel a little similar as well, at least the first time through, but Guybrush isn't just going to hand Boybrush a satisfying answer. Or if he does ('rubies and gold!') it's pretty clear to the player that that's the most boring possible choice and probably untrue. I think he wants to teach his child to delight in the mystery of things. To enjoy the not knowing, and the speculating and the chase, more than the prize at the end of it. That, I think, is the emotional core of the story, that's the journey that we go on that has a satisfying resolution, and that was what was playing through my mind as the final shot before the credits lingered.
    8 points
  18. Obviously, I have a VERY vested interest in what happens with Monkey Island going forward, so take this for what it's worth But one of the things I kind of love about how the fellas wrapped this one up is that I don't think more would diminish anything. I love how they've kind of closed the loop while setting up almost a kind of framework that all of these stories inhabit. In some ways, I feel like this frees any future projects, should we get them, to simply be fun Monkey Island stories, new adventures, a standalone chapters, without the burden of dealing with the larger questions and setup. I feel like it would now be possible for a new game — with maybe just a couple of subtle nods to the metastory — to simply tell a fun story. I mean, it would be tough to top the emotional pull of RtMI. And maybe the best thing would be not to try. But so long as any future adventures are deferential to what we just played, I don't think there's any reason they'd have to detract from anything.
    8 points
  19. New poster. My phone news app helpfully recommended the site article "The Many Epilogues" to me and reading through this thread has been really interesting and entertaining. I find myself thinking more and more about the endings and I really appreciate what the creators did with the game. My opinion keeps improving. I like how the game gives substance to help with various interpretations of both the game and the series. And I especially like how it even lets the player choose the ending scene based on what is important to them. But the best part for me is the philosophical parts about stories, journeys, the changing perspectives of maturity, and other concepts like that that the game explores. Some of that was experiential through the game, some was directly stated by characters. But now I can see that it all really worked for me. It was a satisfying continuation/possible conclusion to the franchise. The ending of 2 was very thought-provoking and one of my favorite moments in the series. This ending finally surpassed that one for me. I was playing games when the originals came out, but never gave them a chance. I found Maniac Mansion DIFFICULT and didn't play other LucasArts adventure games until well over a decade later. But when I finally did play all of them, I really enjoyed the Monkey Island games. I hadn't even heard this game was being made, but when I saw it was for sale, I bought it immediately. In my first playthrough, I was a bit shocked after emerging into the back alley the final time. I didn't immediately know what to make of the ending. One thing I typically do after completing a game is to look at the list of achievements to see generally how close to experiencing all of the content I had gotten. I had less than 40% of the achievements. I hadn't even realized in my first playthrough that the reason I wasn't getting more trivia cards was because I wasn't answering them. Reading through the achievements, I realized there was a second ending of going back up the stairs. I thought I might have missed a lot, so I started on a second playthrough right away. It was during that second playthrough that everything started to hit. My opinion improved greatly as I got to see the themes and concepts much more clearly. I appreciated the characters more, especially my favorite portrayal of Elaine in the series. I appreciated the puzzles more, especially the Chum story one. After a third speedrun playthrough to get to 100% achievement completion was when I saw the article that got me here. And that blew me away because I had still missed eight of those epilogues. In my first playthrough, the option I picked was that the secret was the friends we made along the way. Looking at the fun playing the games, the great characters with great acting, and the way some of the games have caused me to really think about them, that is probably closest to the truth for me.
    8 points
  20. I just did another quick playthrough trying to pick up some more trivia cards and achievements, but it's really the ending that's still on my mind... I've now played through about 5 of the different ending options, and read the Mojo article to look at the rest, but I have to say I've been thinking about the ending to Return non-stop since I originally finished it. My goodness... I think it's going to take me a really long time to process all this! Besides some of the items Jake mentioned above, for me the most emotional part was turning off the lights and leaving... First time I played it I don't think it really hit me as hard as my mind was so overrun with everything, but now the more I think about it I just start feeling really... emotional. I guess for me it's really about realizing that it's all over (for now) and it's back to reality. When Guybrush appears surprised to be back in the alley he makes the comment, "Oh no... not yet!" and the sadness in his voice.... just gets to me. And it's exactly how I feel. Personally, life's been super busy and stressful these past few years, and hearing about Return's announcement was an unexpected oasis of excitement that I didn't ever expect... and something I didn't realize I desperately needed. I've been looking forward to this game more than any game I've ever looked forward to in my life, and even though I've been swamped with both personal and work stuff these past few months, I carved out some time this week to focus on just this - escaping from reality for a few days to go on an adventure as a loveable pirate. Unfortunately, after this weekend (that's all I could allocate) it's really back to reality for me, and all those things I've been pushing off. Sure, both Guybrush and I can always return to those old adventures (and potentially even new ones?) but that has to wait until another day... as it's closing time. <Sigh> I really really loved the ending, and I think it tied together so many themes for me throughout the series, not just MI1 and MI2. If there was one reservation I had as I played Return, it was that I struggled for a while trying to piece together 'when' the story took place. And more specifically, it bothered me that there wasn't clearer references to some of the events from Escape. That being said, I loved the scrapbook and the reference to the 'cushy government jobs', and I felt they did a respectful job with Herman, and by the time I neared the end of the game I was okay with how they chose to handle past cannon. And then ending came. For me it felt like it made everything okay and wrapped all 6 chapters of the series together into one nice big bundle, allowing me to understand that these are all just separate adventures stories that are just meant to be... fun. And that's it. They allow Guybrush (and all of us) to escape from our lives as flooring inspectors, and temporarily enjoying being a pirate. And I'm okay with that. And if this is our last adventure together... I will be okay with that too. Damn... I feel like I've been stabbed in the heartstrings!
    8 points
  21. When you finally can use the horse armor (final scene spoiler)...
    8 points
  22. A small positive news about RtMI: it's currently at position #11 in Steam top selling games. (Source) I really really hope that the developers will feel satisfied with the results. They deserve it!
    8 points
  23. Successfully moved my day off from Monday to Tuesday. Bring it on!
    8 points
  24. Came across this photo in one of the articles I was reading. It still makes me so happy seeing Ron and Dave work together again.
    8 points
  25. Wouldn’t be the SCUMM Bar without closeups.
    8 points
  26. In the ending, you can take a photo as a pirate, which was also possible in real life at PAX and Gamescom. More generally, the recreation of Melee shown at events was a giant real-life reference to the ending.
    7 points
  27. I read that a lot more positively: the thing they actually love doing together is going on adventures! The Secret is just absolutely not something they share and Elaine sees it as a self destructive fixation that Guybrush should drop. Guybrush in the early games is plagued by this quantum state of believing in himself against all the doubters, and the insane amount of insecurity that comes with it. The Secret (and his relationship with LeChuck) are framed in this game as almost regressive fixations Guybrush has — things that feel like once they enter his field of vision, they blind him from everything else he has accomplished. He finally gets away from LeChuck (for better or worse, due to his pursuit of the Secret) then finds the secret and (literally and figuratively) wakes up and looks around him and the mess he’s made, and has some clarity about what his situation is. I read finding the Secret almost as bottoming out. Elaine warned him on the walk to the monkey head that maybe he was about to bottom out, and all he can really do is make mild to wild excuses for it (while never fully copping to any of her points or the larger unspoken warning/concern). But a few minutes later it hits, and I think hits hard, and the wake-up moment isn’t far behind. But the part where Elaine and Guybrush are traipsing around the world getting embroiled in absolutely weird adventures or helping people solve their very complicated problems, that seems legitimately like things they have in common and is why they work well on screen together when they do. The sort of secretly-shared “I found some awesome map!” moment plays as that to me: the secret is long in their rear view mirror and now they’re off being their best selves, doing what they love. Yes I realize this is a cynicism-free read of the wraparound frame story! Anyway I feel like I’ve repeated myself in here too many times so I will stop until I have a better post.
    7 points
  28. My current thinking is a bit on the darker side. I see Guybrush as a man with very severe issues who has lost himself in this endless fantasy of Monkey Island and the rivalry with his nemesis LeChuck. The ending of Monkey Island 2 was ALMOST the point at which the illusion was broken, but he instead created an even deeper fantasy that we see in the prologue of Rtmi. I think his son and his friends do not exist, they are merely extensions of his own personality that revels in the stories of pirates and adventures and act as a conduit for him to become lost yet again in his fantasy. I mentioned in a different comment that Elaine, in certain sections of the story, acts almost like a therapist, guiding him along to face certain truths about himself. Her very peculiar behaviour when (and if) you choose to leave the amusement park is almost like she is waiting for Guybrush to make the choice to step out of the delusion. I find the scene on the bench at the end striking in that it seems like it’s the final moment of truth. Guybrush is almost free, but there is a final test. Elaine whispers about a hidden treasure and the promise of adventure. Then Guybrush is sat alone (maybe he was always alone). Does he finally break free of the fantasy, or does he cave in and meet Elaine at the dock? I guess that’s for us to decide.
    7 points
  29. Finally... It comes next week. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thirdeditions/monkey-island-book-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-saga
    7 points
  30. Hello! I finished the game last night, had the classic "Huh.", and then warmed up to it. Then I went to bed. And this morning, my partner asked me about the ending, so I told her what happened. And I talked and talked, tried to explain what was going on, which I couldn't, but I kept talking in excitement, and the longer I talked the more tears where flowing. Really!? Stupid game makes me cry and I don't no why? I wasn't able to explain really what was going on, but I felt this strong warmth from this game. The letter really hit my heart. Can't even make sense of all these feelings while writing you this. And I love it. I already miss the game, and I want to replay it immediately.
    7 points
  31. It’s crazy. In a few hours I’m going to be playing a Ron Gilbert Monkey Island sequel. It’s actually a little bit overwhelming. I can’t quite believe it. How did we get here? Ron has talked for so long about wanting to make his MI3. Some people thought he was deliberately emotionally manipulating fans. That he never had any intention of following through, and yet the Mojo review revealed that he’d been trying to get MI3 off the ground for years. In fact, if TellTale hadn’t scooped him to it with Tales, we may have gotten it back then. Eventually, after so many failed attempts, he wrote the Infamous Blogpost on a particularly grumpy day. Sort of hinting it would never happen, while also clearly wanting it to. Then so many years later the opportunity to do it finally landed in his lap. The thing he’d wanted for years… suddenly real. Uh oh. The pressure. Should he just walk away to avoid disappointing everyone? Nobody would ever know if he did. It’s one thing to want something, it’s entirely another when it becomes real. He called up Dave Grossman and asked for advice. Grossman and Gilbert worked through it and decided it was worth doing. (So it seems that if it wasn’t for Grossman, we may not have ever gotten this. Thank you, Dave!) The two of them set off and started making this thing. This thing we’ve all dreamed of. And now the entire ReMI team are sitting somewhere anxiously wondering how the next 24 hours are going to play out Good luck, anyone on the ReMI team who reads this! Whatever happens I’m so glad you were brave enough to try! I can’t wait to see what you’ve created. Thanks Ron, Dave, David, Rex, Jenn, Michael, Peter, Clint, Dom, Kris, Devolver and everyone else I’ve missed. This old fan will be always be grateful!
    7 points
  32. Forum News! FYI there will be a spoiler-only subforum going up tomorrow morning at the same time as the game coming out! I'm sure there will be some people who don't want to talk about Return spoilers yet, either because they can't play for a while, or don't want to see any of them until they've completed the game, which is why we'll be quarantining them in a dedicated forum for a while. The forum also has a nice "ignore" function that can filter the spoiler subforum and all of its posts out of your browsing experience, if you'd like. Eg spoiler forum threads won't show up in a "new post" search or activity feed list. Within the spoiler subforum itself we're requesting that people not use spoilers in thread titles, and tag their threads with "Part X" tags (or a few others like "early game" / "late game") so if you do decide to wade into the spoiler forum mid-playthrough, you can choose what you want to engage with. In the meantime despite the temptation, I don't think it's worth "pre-creating" a bunch of spoiler threads, because they'll just get filled with mush in the next few hours while people go stir crazy. I kindly ask that you wait until you've actually played the game a bit and have something spoiler-filled to say before starting a spoiler thread! I think that also means this thread will close when the game goes live or shortly after. End of an era! So live it up in here for the next 10 hours or so.
    7 points
  33. The grog-icon of the ReMI website actually dissolves towards the game's release. Never thought they would actually implement that idea.
    7 points
  34. New arrival (not yet sure how to tackle this one):
    7 points
  35. Don’t know what you’re all complaining about, it works perfectly for me.
    7 points
  36. Look… I’m not saying that I was dumb enough to try and change my Switch internal clock to September 19th to play the game… but according to my sources it does not work.
    7 points
  37. Just thought I'd share my tattoo
    7 points
  38. Nice that we’ll have closeups from time to time.
    7 points
  39. Took two days to read through 14 pages of this thread. General thoughts replying to the thread: - I too had a moment of "huh" when I finished the game, but by half an hour later I was quite pleased. - I also found the last puzzle very confusing even after discovering all the clues. Guybrush moves the top of the wheel left and right using right and left motions... and I kept setting the date to 1730 because it's 4 years after 1726, rather than tapping the year 4 times. Ah well. Once I wrote down the 4 combinations it could be, I resolved it quickly. - Did Wally have a theme song in MI2 outside of the Woodtick theme? I figured it makes sense for the map because Wally made the map. - Makes sense that Elaine comes across as maternal in the story, since Guybrush has known her as being a mother for several years by the time he's telling it, and since he's telling it to Boybrush, he may well be referring to Elaine as "mom" in his unheard narration. - If you told me that Ron's idea for what the MI2 ending "meant" involved the kid at the end really being Guybrush's son, I'd believe you. In any case, the segue was impossibly perfect. Maybe the first game I've played where the beginning was a bigger revelation than the ending, and I'm so very glad I got to play it unspoiled. New thoughts from my brain as filtered through other media: - Satoshi Kon's Millenium Actress All of Kon's films are known for playing with the blurred lines between reality and imagination. But Millenium Actress in particular feels relevant, as an aging actress describes her career... - The Lego Movie Spoilers for that film's ending: - The dueling Myst continuities: After the first Myst game came out, surrounding the release of the novels and the sequel Riven, a running gag emerged that the stories were adaptations based on centuries-old journals that had been uncovered, and the events of the game "really happened" in the 1800s. A couple of games were made by another company set in the same continuity as Myst and Riven, but when Cyan made Uru it was set in the present day and the "Myst is based on stuff that really happened" concept became canon. This had the benefit of making it easy to gloss over any continuity issues in the games by chalking them up to "artistic license," but it could also feel unsatisfying, so fans continue to form headcanons for what happened between games in the "game universe" separate from what happened in the "real world." So... yeah. My brain I guess is primed to read the ending of RtMI in an extremely generous way, where the pirate adventure story is real on one level and the theme park imagination story is equally real on another level. The setting in which Guybrush tells the story still seems to be a piratey world, so I certainly still belive Guybrush's adventures were real, in his timeline, but I easily accept that this one was colored by his storytelling flourishes, and it's equally plausible that the previous games were told that way as well. It's also easy enough to explain it all as a series of "real" things that happened, if desired, since Curse depicts a theme park built on Monkey Island, Escape expands on that, and during one of the long stretches when LeChuck was presumed dead it would make perfect sense that Stan of all people would buy it. From there it's possible to imagine that Stan really does contrive wild goose chases that end at his theme park, or just that Boybrush was familiar with the park and Guybrush incorporated it into the story to mess with him. Final final thought: - It's interesting that the game ends with Guybrush silent on the bench, and it's fascinating that different people read different emotions into it. I definitely read it as a sort of "well, that's it, not sure what happens now" vibe, potentially nodding to The Graduate. Which seems appropriate, given that the nod to The Graduate as SoMI turned out to be so pivotal.
    6 points
  40. Loved the game. A collection of random thoughts (will probably have endless more) Boybrush's voice and personality are perfect. The callbacks in the final scene (the stone coins), the huge dial-a-pirate puzzle, Lechuck and the (forget her name, Lina?) pirate recounting the entire series one line after another, made to me pretty clear that we were heading to a 'reality is caving in on itself' moment. Speaking of the ending, the whole game is a fourth wall breaking exploration on the concept of nostalgia and satisfaction (while simultaneously being a fun adventure in itself) so to that level it would have been disappointing had the secret been grounded in some form of 'reality'. Once you learn how 'the magic of movies' works, you can't unlearn it, but you can become immersed in the fantasy once more. I remember David Lynch in a recent Zoom interview talking about 'Rear Window', one of the guests tells him that the man in the corner house playing piano is the actual original composer of the Alvin and the Chipmunks theme. Lynch laughs for a second and then he basically states 'I don't like to know things like that, as it lessens the immersion into the fantasy' Speaking of Lynch, this game explores very similar concepts regarding nostalgia and 'going home' to Twin Peaks Season 3 (a show that returned 25+years after the original series ended), & Ron tweeted that he liked the new series. This was after development on the game had begun, but we know he was already a fan of Lynch/Twin Peaks, so this is a cool connection. Spoilers for the show - the lights go out at the end. 'I'm more button than man now' Speaking of that dial-a-pirate puzzle, it was the only thing in the game I couldn't figure out. I didn't cheat but I sort of had to semi-brute force my way through. I got the spinning down but couldn't figure the date. Was worried that Elaine might no longer be with us in the scenes with Guy & Boy. I was nearly getting emotional and then she showed up at the end. Phew. Speaking of Elaine, I loved her social pursuits & her semi-distant relationship with Guybrush. When I found the picture torn in half and then Elaine was investigating his path of destruction, I legitimately became concerned they were going to break up. It started to feel like a dark message was being brewed and that Guybrush would be made to pay for a lifetime of sins. But nope he just leaves Wally hanging again lol. Genuinely feel a replay urge to see the different lines of dialogue, which I haven't felt for a while with Monkey Island. I think Tales maybe didn't take this concept very far. I'm finished speaking
    6 points
  41. As the newly moved in Resident grump here who is probably the most down on the game as anyone in this thread, my issue is very much not about the secret. Or at least not directly. I, and I am sure several others had a general idea of what Ron always wanted the secret to be, let's be honest here, the hints of it being a theme park were around since early in Melee Island. So I figured that A) The Secret would be underwhelming by design and B) He would go even heavier into the theme park angle. That wasn't hard to deduce, heck I am sure if we look around predictions going back decades a T-shirt would be one of the more popular guesses. Sadly my issue with Return is more in the journey itself. The more I look at it, the more I find the budget is likely bursting at the seams, the art style was likely chosen for that very reason, and I admit, it isn't one i liked at first, and it didn't much grow on me either. Even places like Melee and Monkey Island themselves seemed like shadows of their former selves. Some of that I think I could have been okay with if there was a bit more of the idea that time was moving forward, and Melee was a relic of the past, an idea the early game seemed to flirt with, but one that got dropped along with many other ideas as the game continued. But with that drop there was nothing to fill its place. Elaine came off to me as disinterested and had no real role to play in the story at all, something that hasn't happened in a Monkey Island, ever. Stan was very un-Stan like, almost subdued. LeChuck was the opposite of a threat, and the new pirate leaders vanished from the story. I can one hundred percent be on board with ambiguity, but it is VERY hard to do well. And as much as it would give me joy to say I had felt that here, I honestly did not. But it's not the ending. It really was the Journey. The puzzles were generally weak, with a couple of exceptions, very few if any came off as cheeky or clever. The new islands were bland, the story tying it all together was too. It was essentially the MI2 story all over again, but with less urgency and less interesting character. Guybrush wants a thing, LeChuck also wants the thing. That was about it. I guess what I had always considered key to a Monkey Island game was a sense of adventure, a cheeky sense of humor, clever puzzles, and over the top characters that I ended up loving or loving to hate. They tended to build up to something, often to subvert it a bit at the end, and that was ok. And here some of that was there, at times, but it never quite gelled for me. And the worst part is I feel it could have had that journey to the ending if it actually had a climax, if the new people and islands were memorable, if I had some stupid puzzle that stuck with me in its absurdity. And had it not been Monkey Island I likey wouldn't be as down on it as I am. I love this series, deeply. Have since I first played it on a 386 in the 1990s during my freshman year. Every one in the series, even Escape were some of the best of their eras as far as adventure games went. This just felt painfully average in so much. Not the acting, that was top all around, you and Murray are always a treat. And honestly that is a feel I get from other places where there are more people like me who are a bit down on the title. Yeah the ending bothers some, but I think a lot of it is the experience as a whole. The great bits can shine through at times, but so much never quite felt like it lived up to its predecessors. I still rank it above Escape, at least
    6 points
  42. When you finally learn the Secret of Monkey Island
    6 points
  43. Here’s a shot I took the Photo Booth and an extremely Part 5-appropriate look behind it featuring @Dmnkly
    6 points
  44. They had to cut her to avoid the game getting an “M for Mature” rating. They said her character brought in too much violin-ce.
    6 points
  45. Ron and Dave had a long phone conversation with our own @elTee and @Marius. Or the other way around, arguably. It was fun.
    6 points
  46. What, another one? That's right: @Marius had a chat with Rex Crowle one day before the game's release, just for you.
    6 points
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