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  1. Hello everyone. I cannot not do Monkey Island art while waiting for ReMI, so I made this. Please enjoy. Marius
    21 points
  2. Hi! Sorry, I feel like I'm disrupting a conversation. I'm new here. I'm not a native speaker, so I apologize if my English is a bit clumsy. I've been a fan of Monkey Island since I was a kid, in the 90s, MI2 is my favorite game (and MI2's ending is my favorite ending ever), and I've been really excited about Return since its announcement in April. So I guess I just wanted to meet and discuss with other fans. I already preordered the game (on the Switch), and I can't wait it for it to come out. I've been going on Twitter religiously every Monday to see new clips from Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman. I personally love the art style. It has, for me, kind of weird, in a good way, and unique vibe. It made me feel like I'm gonna enter this strange world, which is exactly how I felt when I first played MI1 and 2 in the 90s. I always felt like RG's games had some kind of Lynchian vibe, and I think this fits perfectly. Anyway... Nice to meet you all!
    20 points
  3. Hi all, If you read my recent interview here, you may have caught on that I've been working hard on a new emulator that is specifically designed to run all the classic SCUMM games (DOS versions, plus Curse of Monkey Island). Well, the time has come for me to reveal more. The emulator is called "DREAMM", which is a backronym for "DOS Retro-Emulation Arena for Maniac Mansion (and other LucasArts SCUMM Games)". It's been in private beta for a couple of months and is looking pretty solid at this point. You can download the latest release and read all the documentation on the project here: https://aarongiles.com/dreamm/ At the moment, the project is Windows-only (sorry!), but it runs all the DOS versions of the games (plus CoMI) quite reliably. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you! I'll keep an eye on this thread, plus my twitter feed (@aaronsgiles) and the official email address dreamm@aarongiles.com for feedback. Important note: you will need a complete install of the games you want to run, including the original DOS executable files. This is similar to what's needed when running the games in DOSBox. Some of the GOG versions of the games include them (DREAMM can detect this), some don't. None of the Steam releases do, sadly. But DREAMM can help you install everything from original media if you still have them! Have fun! Aaron Giles
    19 points
  4. A couple of last minute fixes, and I'm officially releasing DREAMM 1.0. DREAMM provides a simple way to run your original DOS or FM Towns SCUMM games on a modern Windows system with high fidelity to the originals. Download it here: https://aarongiles.com/dreamm/ At this point, DREAMM will run all the known DOS and FM Towns versions of the SCUMM games, along with the Windows-only The Curse of Monkey Island. This includes: Maniac Mansion (both low and high resolution versions) Zak McKracken & the Alien Mindbenders (both low and high resolution versions, plus FM Towns version) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (both EGA and VGA versions, plus FM Towns version) Loom (both EGA and VGA versions, including CD-ROM talkie, plus FM Towns version) The Secret of Monkey Island (both EGA and VGA versions, including CD-ROM music, plus FM Towns version) Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (including FM Towns version) Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (both floppy and CD-ROM talkie versions, plus FM Towns version) Day of the Tentacle (both floppy and CD-ROM talkie versions) Sam & Max Hit the Road (both floppy and CD-ROM talkie versions) Full Throttle (CD-ROM) The Dig (CD-ROM) The Curse of Monkey Island (CD-ROM) How Is DREAMM Different From ScummVM? ScummVM is a modern reinterpretation of the original SPUTM game engine. It has a modern(-ish) interface, and runs lots and lots of games, but its fidelity to the original games is limited to the accuracy of the reverse engineering efforts, combined with how closely the ScummVM developers choose to mimic precise behaviors and details. In general, it does an excellent job at this, but may not achieve 100% fidelity to the original code, due to the fact that it is not actually running the original code. DREAMM, on the other hand, runs the original SPUTM game engine code in an x86 emulator. This means that fidelity to the original depends largely on how accurately DREAMM emulates the well-documented x86 architecture. Further, it means that you get all the original “chrome” (such as the save/load screens) and behaviors of the original game. Finally, DREAMM provides a streamlined, simple user interface that is customized for running the SCUMM games. In the end, for most people, the two are probably equivalent for running most games. But if you’d like to experience the games closer to their original form, complete with original bugs and user interface, DREAMM might be closer to what you want. Try them both! How Is DREAMM Different From DOSBox? DOSBox is a generic DOS emulator, and has a lot of similarities to DREAMM in how it is constructed. Both DOSBox and DREAMM emulate an x86 machine and all attached peripherals, and offer a fake implementation of DOS to service requests from the games. But DREAMM takes this concept further by optimizing its experience and interface specifically around the SCUMM games. This means that mouse cursor control is integrated, video updates are done without tearing, and idle time is given back to your system. It also means that DREAMM will help you install your old games into its environment, and will handle all the configuration of video and sound devices. Finally, DREAMM has the advantage of including a miniature 32-bit Windows implementation as well that allows it to run The Curse of Monkey Island, plus a miniature FM Towns layer that allows it to run the original FM Towns versions of the games that were released for that system!
    16 points
  5. Hi all. I'm new to this site but just want to say how pleased I am to have found it. It's such a relief to find somewhere on the internet full of thoughtful, interesting discussion about the new game. I think I'm going to like it here.
    16 points
  6. I wanted my hand at EGA-palettised version of new Guybrush.
    15 points
  7. Man, reading this just made me feel impossibly old and sad. I cannot relate to this at all, and it just shows how much the world of gaming has changed in the last twenty years or so. When I grew up it was normal for games to receive changes. All of the early LucasArts games were changed multiple times. Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken were both replaced, during their original lifespan, by different versions. Loom has more versions than I can even count without a reference. The Secret of Monkey Island was released in EGA, then a few months later a VGA version came out with completely new art assets throughout. They released the same game on CD a few years later and made changes to it. They made a further edition of it in 2009 which had further changes. None of this was considered sinister or oppressive. It was a company taking an existing product and trying to give new buyers a reason to purchase it. I guess we all have one specific version of a game that is the one we played first. That's the "correct" one in our own little subjective world. For me and Monkey Island, it's the EGA PC version with the internal speaker soundtrack. That's not the "best" version or the "canonical" version or any of that guff, it's just the one I experienced first, it's the one I'm nostalgic for. The existence of all those other versions doesn't invalidate it. If I want to revisit it, I can revisit it. But that EGA version I played also had an adlib soundtrack that I didn't get to hear the first time I played it. I heard that music later, and it's objectively "better" than the PC speaker equivalent. I enjoy that version of the theme music too. If we're going to talk about re-releasing old games then it's important to ask the question of whether the company should cater to me. There's an EGA version of this game with a PC speaker soundtrack, so surely it's no real work or effort on their part to add a toggle for those modes, is there? Well, setting aside the obvious fallacy that anything in game development is "easy" or involves "no real work", why should those modes necessarily be supported? Is the objective of a re-release to simply emulate the original? Which version of Monkey Island 1 is the original in this scenario, anyway? I mean, EGA was released first, but LucasArts themselves replaced it with a VGA version. So which one is the "original"? If you first played the VGA version, you might make the argument that the VGA version is "obviously better" because it has more colours. But that's a subjective opinion! The simple reality is that the game I'm nostalgic for still exists. I can still play it. I don't need them to re-release it, I already own it. And where does the nostalgia end? Is it still true to the original experience if I don't have to type DOS prompts in to start the game? Is it really the same without the copy protection? My opinion is that the objective of a re-release should be to bring something new or to update the art and the music in a way that might appeal to gamers who weren't lucky enough to be there the first time around. It's never to "replace the original". Fans of the original version(s) might love a re-release or they might hate it, but so what? You said yourself that Skunkape has done a "fantastic" job "on a technical level". Skunkape has also made the original versions of the games available. If this isn't enough for you, I wonder what is? It almost sounds like what you want is a version of the game that keeps the graphical improvements, because you've deemed those to be acceptable, but that also lets you choose which other aspects of the game are "original" or "updated". That's fine if that's what you want, but let's not pretend that's an objective desire for "the original". That's what YOU want. And again, it's okay to want that. But why do you expect to find it in anything except your original version that you fell in love with? I guess the above is the part that makes me feel so old. The part that makes me feel sad is the words you use here. "Backlash, less sales, an army of trolls review bombing and warning people". This is INSANITY. It's a video game. The people who made it are real human beings with feelings just like the rest of us, and I'm fairly sure they are doing this as a labour of love, a genuine good faith effort to re-release an old game to a new community, and they want everyone to be free to enjoy it in the most inclusive way possible. How are these things seen as negative? Some of the other things you have said allude to the problems in this discourse. "The Voodoo Lady's voice actor is a white lady in that game so she obviously has to go." "people calling each other racists or nazis in the community just because some people happen to prefer the old voice actor". These are not rational video game points of discussion. It's just a sad reflection on how successful the white supremacist propagandists have been in the last ten years. I'm not saying this about you, here, I just mean broadly across society. I think a lot of kids get introduced to concepts like this by extremely malicious individuals with a nihilistic bent who enjoy watching good people start to spout divisive rhetoric, because they've found a way to sell these concepts that is prima facie reasonable. Of course, it doesn't hold up to any real scrutiny. But this isn't the place for that debate, and if anyone tries to take it there they can expect to find this discussion diverted back on track quite sharply. We're all tired of these arguments. You said it yourself - "I saw that once, it was really stupid, I'd rather not watch the rerun thank you very much." I honestly think that this kind of comment is something people only really say when they're immune from the real-world negative consequences. When they are so hard-up for actual oppression, so far away from being a victim, that the only place they can find it is in a video game. I'm not trying to say anything bad about you, this isn't personal. Like I said, I'm just old, and I'm really, really sad.
    15 points
  8. 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
  9. Unceremoniously and not as a goodbye present, though it might still serve as that. It's Time, Guybrush acrylic on paper
    14 points
  10. Return characters in the style of curse. Think it's probably important to point out that this is in no way a criticism of the return style (which I love) but just a goofy experiment.
    14 points
  11. 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
  12. Playing around with ESRGAN a bit, I noticed how cleanly the HTR backgrounds could be upscaled, so I went the extra mile and added stuff like paper textures and brush strokes to them. The results could almost pass for scans of original background paintings (or remastered backgrounds), even though you can also see the limits of this technique on smaller details and stuff that's been meticulously pixeled in (especially text). Still, with a bit of manual work on each background, these could probably work as "Special Edition" backgrounds. A few samples (Note: These aren't aspect ratio-corrected yet):
    13 points
  13. Sorry I'm late! Y'all are some crazy bastards. Some beautiful, crazy bastards. Love this thread. Which I have spent half of today reading. (Well... skimming. And sometimes reading. There's a lot.) Mostly jumping in at the moment to send apologies for not responding to the request for VO for the stump joke. I'm usually pretty good about answering people, so the most likely scenario is that I either first got it on the run and totally forgot to respond, or it fell into the gap when Facebook and Instagram started filtering craptons of incoming messages into a "message requests" folder that I had no idea existed. When I finally found those, some of them were literally years old. Either way, I suck. Copious apologies. Though performing Guybrush in an unofficial capacity probably isn't something I could have done anyway, so no harm done. Except for the non-responsive rudeness Anyway, do carry on. Please keep being awesome. There are, like, twenty threads in here I'd love to revive but I don't want to sow chaos. (Not yet.) -Dom
    13 points
  14. Ugh I'm so excited for tonight to finally play Return! Couldn't resist drawing a whole bunch of character yesterday
    12 points
  15. 12 points
  16. Converting a day scene to night reminds me that I did the first pitch for converting the opening of Tales from day to night. It was originally a bright sunny day at the start of the game, and I suggested we change it to a dark night with thunderstorm, rain etc, and then have it fade to day as Guybrush washes ashore on Flotsam. The effect animation I made to test this time of day transition looked extremely goofy at 10x speed (which is a common speed to run at in Telltales tools because it has a 10x/1x toggle hotkey for quickly getting through things without skipping over any keyframes or code) because of how LeChuck and the ships bobbled around, and became a video I dumped onto my personal YouTube the day before the game came out
    12 points
  17. The new game absolutely has to be pixel art and if it's not it will be totally ruined! Oh no, wait... The new art looks really cool and is making me even more excited to play the game. Now that's a plot twist I wasn't expecting considering what a nostalgia-loving-change-o-phobe I am In other news... I've never been keen on Escape but your comments have made me look forward to playing it again and being open to enjoying it even more this time! Also, hello everyone I'm new and I've just read through this whole thread. Right, back to your interesting discussions.
    12 points
  18. 12 points
  19. Not to resurrect a contentious issue that appears to have died down, but imma just say that I wouldn't get too hung up on trying to precisely nail down numbering/timeline/etc. I think it is elegantly handled.
    12 points
  20. Turns out, guy posted two unfinished Full Throttle 2 cutscenes back in January and no one noticed Spoilers for a cancelled game Intro: Cutscene:
    12 points
  21. One of my pandemic efforts. I had a really good surge of creative energy back in 2020. But, alas, didn't finish much. Back when I showed it around, one of the most common comments was "That's not Guybrush Threepwood!". I mean, I can't taylor the outcome that much to what's in my brain, but this one is coming pretty close to how I imagined high res Guybrush in the original The Secret of Monkey Island. Hope you guys like it ... ... because I have tons of that stuff back from 2020, especially Swordmaster sketches ... I have so, so many Swordmaster sketches ...
    12 points
  22. Hey all, thanks for giving DREAMM and try and for the great feedback so far! I've just released a new beta (1.0b3). Give it a play and let me know if it fixes any issues you encountered. Changes: • Added Hercules mode support for Maniac/Zak/SoMI. • Add integral scaling (Alt+I), on by default, which only stretches game screens horizontally by integral amounts. • Improved scaling logic to support 3x and 4x scaling in software to reduce jaggies and improve smoothness. • Improve overall smoothness of video updates. • The most recent configuration settings are now used for new games. • Report missing EXE files even when running from the command line. • Fix problems locating munt DLL when running from the frontend. • Fix long hangs/crashes in Sam & Max CD version. • Fix mouse wrapping at far edges of the screen. • Fix Unicode error when asking if you want to remove an entry. New beta here (it's linked above but links are pretty subtle here): https://aarongiles.com/dreamm/
    12 points
  23. It's finished, but since Limited Run Games are using it somewhere in their Collector's Edition (probably the book), I'll hold it off for now. Once pre-orders are through, I'll add it to the thread. I've cleaned it up quite a bit and extended it with all the sources I could find:
    12 points
  24. 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.
    11 points
  25. Mojo: Stressing out Ron Gilbert since ‘97.
    11 points
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. Yeeting Guybrush will be the title of my memoirs.
    11 points
  29. Since the announcement of Return to Monkey Island I worked on the Monkey Island 2 Flash Film!! I just announced it with a little trailer, and will release the whole movie on monday.
    11 points
  30. Just a little heads up: The UK magazine Retro Gamer interviewed me for their latest issue, so be sure to check it out!
    11 points
  31. Thanks to a VERY generous collector, more stuff is in the works. Behold:
    11 points
  32. So, thanks to Laserschwert's wonderful efforts, I decided to print the poster art for the first two Monkey Island games and have them framed in old, piratey-looking frames I found in thrift-shops. This is the result:
    11 points
  33. 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
  34. There are people who do this a lot better than I do, and hopefully there'll be an official version, but either way... Here's the cover without text, etc.
    10 points
  35. Oooh, cool LeChuck cover on the new PC Gamer UK.
    10 points
  36. I’ve noticed sometimes in conversation that there’s confusion, which I share in, about how many distinct versions of Maniac Mansion there are, partially because of the way they’ve come to be labeled. Specifically, you’ll often see the computer versions bisected into “v1” and “v2”. When people use those terms, they tend to be talking about the two main graphic representations of the game, also commonly referred to as “original” and “enhanced” (and sometimes, “low-resolution” vs. “high-resolution”). Despite the implication, there are in fact more than two versions of the game, even if you limit the scope to computer releases. I thought I’d try to lay them all out. The impetus for digging into this was really for me to get a handle on the release history of Maniac Mansion myself, but why not destroy other people’s time by sharing what I’ve learned? A bit of housekeeping: The packaging images are taken from The LucasArts Museum, where you can find photos of virtually every printing, inside and out. Screenshots come from MobyGames. Grab a can of Pepsi and some wax fruit and let’s begin… Release #1 The original release of Maniac Mansion was published for the Commodore 64 and Apple II in the fall of 1987. Nailing down exact release dates for older games can be tricky, but it seems it was a simultaneous release for both platforms in October. Here’s the front/back of the C64 box: And below are some screenshots from the C64 version. The Apple II presentation is a bit jankier, but they fundamentally have same graphics. Amusing trivia about the packaging: The spiel on the back of the box caused a bit of a ruckus due to its use of the word “lust” in that list of nouns on the right. Apparently, a parent shopping at Toys R Us noticed it, dropped dramatically upon their fainting chair, and complained to management about the obscenity that had been unleashed unto children. The retailer banned the product from their shelves, and thus marketing cleaned up their act for all subsequent releases. Release #2 A couple of months later, in early 1988, the game was ported to IBM PCs (and since MS-DOS was the operating system, this is interchangeably referred to as a DOS port) as well as re-released on the Commodore 64. Here’s the front/back packaging of this release: Note that the back is redesigned. In terms of graphics, this release is nearly identical to the first release, and thus falls under the umbrella of the “v1” designation. Notably, the logo has been re-imagined into its more familiar “meteor tails” design, as you can see on the box along with a new tagline. The logo change is reflected in-game, on the character selection screen and opening sequence: There are other, more subtle visual differences compared to the original C64 version, but logo aside, screenshots from this release are virtually identical to the first release. On the audio side, the game is a bit quieter than the 1987 version, which had constant crickets in exteriors as well as a sound effect for the characters walking. Maybe these ever-present sounds were deemed annoying? Who knows. Also, when I look at a playthrough of the original C64 version, I find that the characters walk at a decent clip and the cursor movements are silky-smooth, whereas this DOS version was always painfully slow in that regard. I think ScummVM “fixes” the walk speed, but if you play this version authentically (either on an actual DOS machine or via emulator like DREAMM or DOSBox) you’ll experience the choppiness I’m talking about. Finally, the IBM version of this release introduced the “Nuke’em Alarms” copy protection, which C64 and Apple II versions never had. Instead, the door ahead of you upon reaching the second floor landing is just a regular door. Release #3 Finally, in 1989, the game was released yet again, this time with enhanced graphics (which is what people tend to mean when they talk about “v2”). In addition to being a re-release for IBM and Apple II, the game was further ported to Amiga and Atari ST with this version. Here is the front/back of the packaging, which features the familiar marble border typical of Lucasfilm Games titles from this period. Notice the studio came up with yet a third tagline, and gave Ron and Gary movie-director-style named credits that the studio came to take pride in. Note also that the rear packaging also has an all-new design, featuring an amazing oil painting of the Edison Family portrait by Steve Purcell. (I’ll also point out, since it’s sometimes misattributed, that Purcell is not responsible for the cover art for Maniac Mansion – that credit goes to Ken Macklin.) Here are a few screenshots from this version, which is probably the most familiar one in the PC realm: Note when comparing the graphics that this isn’t an EGA vs. VGA situation like with Indy 3, Loom and Monkey 1. The “enhanced” version of Maniac Mansion is characterized by higher resolution compared to the original, which allowed things to be rendered in a bit more detail. Noteworthy about this version is that the Edisons are depicted as having green skin. The Nintendo port carried on that idea, while Day of the Tentacle opted to revert the family to flesh color. As the credits on these old games aren’t great, I am not sure who drew the enhanced graphics – perhaps it was Gary Winnick himself? Later in 1989, this exact same version of the game was reprinted in a budget release for IBM – same box, but with less paraphernalia inside (no dormitory bulletin board poster!), a single 3.5” diskette (IBM customers got both a 3.5” and a 5.25” in the preceding package) and cheaper printing choices for the manual(s) and diskette label. There were a couple of other games that received this kind of budget reprinting that year, including Indy 3. You can compare the contents of the full-bodied version here with the cheapo version here. The "enhanced" version of the game is also what was found in the Classic Adventures pack (a compilation of the first five SCUMM games) in 1992. However, the version included as an Easter Egg in Day of the Tentacle (1993) was the “original graphics” DOS version (1988). In Day of the Tentacle Remastered, they decided to make the game-within-a-game the “enhanced” version instead. Today, When you buy Maniac Mansion standalone from Steam or GOG, it’ll launch by default as the “enhanced graphics” version (which by now has come to specifically mean the 1989 DOS port), but if you back out of the game to the ScummVM launcher, you’ll find that you have the data files for the “original graphics” version (which by now has come to specifically mean the 1988 DOS port) as well. Unfortunately, as with all the SCUMM games offered on digital storefronts that come bundled with ScummVM, you don’t get the native interpreter. The Console Ports The first console release was for the Famicom (the Japanese equivalent of the NES) in 1988. Its development outsourced to Jaleco (which also published it), it’s a version of the game notorious for its general weirdness. Perhaps that weirdness is why, when LucasArts decided to make an NES version in 1990, they opted to start over with their own 8-bit attempt rather than simply translating this release. While Jaleco remained the publisher of this port, it was developed by Realtime Associates in collaboration with LucasArts itself, and thus was a much better adaptation, censorship courtesy of a flexing Nintendo of America aside. Trivia: Dave Grossman, Tim Schafer, and Jennifer Sward all served as “object taggers” on this port during their SCUMMlette days – it may be the first credited role for all three of them. On the mythbusting front: You might have heard that Nintendo discovered the infamous hamster-nuking feature after the fact and forced its removal, thus making the pre-crackdown cartridges rare. This is only partially true. Nintendo did in fact discover the feature only after the game shipped in America, did in fact pitch a fit, and did in fact order that all subsequent printings remove it. However, the game didn’t sell well enough in the U.S. to justify a second printing (though the initial printing was a large one, I think of a quarter of a million units), so the removal only got applied to the international releases. Therefore, all U.S. copies have the feature, and all non-U.S. copies do not. The hamster-nuking cartridges are not rare, merely regional. Maniac Mansion Deluxe This is the fan-made VGA makeover that was released in 2004. It also removes some dead-ends that plagued the original game and adds a lot of observational dialog. (As the original game had a “Read” verb instead of “Look at”, there was unfortunately barely any incidental dialog.) I point this version out because the 256-color treatment is so tastefully done (and looking very Thimbleweek Park-esque indeed) that it’s sometimes mistaken for official. But the “enhanced graphics” release from 1989 is the last version of Maniac Mansion officially produced. At least, until they let Ron loose on a special edition…
    10 points
  37. Boy, it sure is good that there's a new Monkey Island game by Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman coming out. Golly gee
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  38. Thank you so much for sharing this!! I also hope the kids move on to shouting "Spit on the candle!" soon. And thanks everyone for reacting to my last post. Generally I know that I am not responsible for their behaviour, and don't need to feel a burden to "convince them to change their minds" bla bla. Right now, I chose not to remove those comments, since they are only few, and they are not blatantly rude... ... ... Hmm, but to be honest, I mostly don't throw them out because I still suffer from worrying what others think, and my head spirals into the thought of them noticing how I remove their comments and eventually I get flooded by more angry comments about censorship... You know, the kind of overthinking fear. But it's ok, like I said, I don't feel pressure to do anything right now. Also, I downvoted their comments, which I am seriously proud of, because even that took a bit of courage. Anyway. What I wanted to say is: Thank you for this platform here, where I can just share my feelings and feel heard. That alone makes my day much better. Also, while the views are steadily rising, these comments are still in the minority. So, all is great right now.
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  39. Oh, gads, no, that would never happen. This baby's coming and ain't nothing stopping it Now, if we're talking about any potential for Ron's future involvement or the likelihood of other things happening with Monkey Island after RMI... that's a completely different story, and that DOES concern me. But I'd be a lot more worried if this game weren't so stinking good. I don't want to set myself up for disappointment, but I have a hunch the reaction is going to be magnificent to behold.
    10 points
  40. He's, uh... heh... also in his mid-40s these days, which might have as much to do with it as anything
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  41. Oh yeah, the original menu is there too! I still have to implement the thumbnails, but other than that I managed to get every remaining feature to work as expected.
    10 points
  42. Throwing my hat into the Elaine discussion, while I have loved every single one of her appearances, I always enjoyed her character the most when her being a competent badass also did not take too much away from LeChuck's credibility as a legitimate threat. While the end of Secret was great because it took what was the typical damsel in distress trope and turned it on its head, it also made LeChuck look like a buffoon, which perhaps was the point. That being said, I think the real payoff was LeChuck's character in the sequel; the fact that not only does he not seem to care about Elaine, but the fact that he doesn't even mention or reference her, not even indirectly, once is actually really disturbing. There is something so disturbing and personal going on just beneath the surface of LeChuck's Revenge, that the ending truly feels earned. LeChuck being Guybrush's brother always felt more than just a blatant Star Wars ripoff, because of the personal nature their battle became during the course of that game. Going back to Elaine though, I think I loved her portrayal in Tales the most because of how it weighed her intelligence and resourcefulness against LeChuck's malice, and Guybrush's effectiveness as the protagonist, a little more evenly. While Elaine was always still partially two steps ahead, I always found it made sense that she would never believe a human LeChuck was good because she also knew him before he became undead; he was evil even back then. Despite that though, LeChuck still gained the upper hand and we later learn it partially had to do with a voodoo trust charm he was using. It was oddly satisfying to see LeChuck become such a credible threat to the point that the entire world and the afterlife were at stake by the end. Tales did so much right from a story and character perspective in my opinion, but I truly loved what it also did for LeChuck as a villain. It showed his ambitions extended far beyond Elaine and revenge; he also wanted power, riches, and to conquer everything. He was just despicable in the last chapter of that game. How he so overtly abused Elaine just showed his obsession for her was nothing more than an extension of his need to control everything and everyone he lusts for. I loved the crazy escalation in Tales; the stakes have never been so high to the point that everything was burning and LeChuck was even taking over the spiritual dimension. It made perfect sense that Elaine just by herself couldn't stop him. She was far from helpless, but it took everyone in the end to finally take down LeChuck. I found that a perfect balance for everyone's character. The fact that Dave helmed the project with Ron's input really validated it for me. Sorry, that was a little bit of a tangent for my love of Tales. Going to Elaine's relationship with Guybrush, it actually always made a lot of sense to me. I think to call Guybrush just a dork misses the entire point of his character. Yes, he's a dork but he also has a razor sharp wit that enables him to overcome impossible odds. Him managing to infiltrate Elaine's mansion and go toe-to-toe with a disguised LeChuck probably really made him stand out to Elaine, along with the mutual physical attraction. One of the reasons Guybrush is such a great character is that when he does have a moment of badass, it's so disarming and satisfying. Maybe that's what Elaine sees in him lol.
    10 points
  43. Didn't develop the idea any further than this ... maybe I should have.
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  44. After a bit more tinkering, I've replaced my old version of the Edison painting with a much more detailed one. To whoever wants to put this beauty up on their walls, enjoy! EDIT: I couldn't fully let it go yet, and added a few more oil paint strokes to the image. Now it's as beautiful as these people can get.
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  45. I guess one of the bigger things I did (literally) was using some machine learning models (via ESRGAN) to upscale all the CoMI backgrounds to 4x their size. All backgrounds can be found HERE, while I've posted several comparisons to the originals HERE. This is more of a proof of concept, because currently there's no way to use these inside the game (via ScummVM), plus all the sprites would need to be upscaled as well, which would be an enormous task on its own. Maybe I'll combine these with an offspring of the poster thread, in case someone wants to hang CoMI's backgrounds on their wall. And in the same vein I've also used ESRGAN (and further manual work) to clean-up and upscale the CoMI intro to HD resolution (while rebuilding the logo and credits): A side-by-side with the original cutscene can be found here:
    10 points
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