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KestrelPi

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KestrelPi last won the day on September 29

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  1. Picking up from a bit earlier in the thread, I just don't think I can buy the idea that we start off with the kids imagining the end of Monkey Island 2, break out of that into something approximating the real world and then submerge again into a different pirate fantasy when we take control. I think they were imagining a fancy carnival and then we get to see the slightly gross park underneath, and I didn't once think to question that when I was playing. Another thing which I think makes it more likely is the way the SPIT FUN banner has RUN pasted over it. Why would Boybrush be imagining a race instead of a spitting contest if the idea is that he's now imagining the world as more gross and piratey? That said, I think the wishing well is there to show us that there is some room for the boundary between imaginitive play and reality here, and that not everything we see on screen at any one time is either necessarily all real or all imagined.
  2. Are people really that bothered by a lack of direct confrontation with LeChuck? That doesn't seem to be the thing that most people who didn't like the ending seem to be sore about. Speaking personally, it didn't even occur to me that there wasn't a direct confrontation at the end until I stopped to think about it later.
  3. I talked about this idea earlier in the main thread (which this is maybe a better topic for) but the short answer for me is that I don't think that - I don't think the game ultimately lays enough groundwork to make 'actually we're still in the fantasies' work for me as an explanation. It's an interesting idea, but I think, as it stands, it would somewhat cheapen the impact of the prelude where I think there is a really, super clear implication that what we're being let in on is a 'realer' interpretation of the ending of MI2. I think to back out of that and say 'nah, it's actually all still imaginary' is overly convoluted. When Guybrush tells Boybrush the story, he tells him about Stan's park - we know this because Boybrush reacts that it's a silly ending. So to me that moment at the end is Guybrush remembering the last time he went to the park, before he moved on with his life and let his adventures live on in the stories he would later tell his kid. And I take the stories themselves to be a mixture of real things that happened to him and elaine, and imagined adventures at Stan's park.
  4. I do suspect that the weird stuff on Melee's clock could have related to these puzzles. Maybe some of that graffiti around town, too. But as for 'time issues', worth it to remember that designing more than is effectively possible to produce is an extremely common problem in games and media as a whole. Which is why I describe getting a look at that stuff as a double-edged sword. It's interesting to think of what might have been, but stretching it to start believing that the better version of this game was one where this island was finished, and that the only reason it's not in is logistics. In nearly every game, stuff gets cut... so if this was the biggest chunk to get cut from this game, then it must be because they considered it the least valuable part of the game.
  5. I certainly understand that, I'd just argue that... looked at on that level the game isn't doing a LOT different to MI2. It avoids a direct showdown with LeChuck but essentially it's doing a similar thing of cutting away to weirdness instead of completely finishing the story we were just being told. It's arguably more resolved than MI2, because at least here there are other forms of resolution and not simply a big old WTF that's left hanging there free of any context. I feel like ReMI's ending could possibly be accused of being unoriginal in the context of MI2 (I don't believe that, I think there's enough different stuff happening, but I can see the argument) but I don't see the argument that what they do here isn't Monkey Islandy enough. Whenever the topic of whether things would be tidily resolved came up in the old thread SO many people predicted it wouldn't, even lightly mocked people for suggesting it would. We half-expected a weird end. Heck, we might have even whole-expected it. So when we get one, I feel like it's hard to argue that it isn't on-brand enough. Basically I respect people wanting more of a resolution, but I don't get why they expected one.
  6. We've talked about this interpretation a few pages back. I really like it actually, but I don't think I'm quite there for it being my interpretation, mainly because I feel like I like the reveal at the start to be so strongly implying a journey from fantasy to reality that I don't think I want it to be 'actually, it's just another layer of fantasy'. Maybe that could be really cool, but I don't think the game sets up enough stuff to make that cool. I remember feeling similar about the end of the second Matrix movie, when Neo does all the magic-looking stuff in the real world. I thought 'if the 3rd film addresses what happens here well, it'll be really cool,' but in the end it barely even addresses it. So as of right now at least I prefer to take the park, Elaine and Boybrush at face value. I love the IDEA that there could be even more to it, but I need a little more scaffolding around it.
  7. I don't know how I'll feel in a year but right now it's about: 1) MI2 2) MI1 = ReMI = Curse (I can't separate these at the moment, I like them all equally but for different reasons. If I absolutely HAD to, MI1, then ReMI, then Curse at the moment.) 3) Tales 4) EMI
  8. I basically posted mine already so here it is again, with a few modifications now I've had some more time to think about it: In the real world (or some slightly more piratey approximation of it) Guybrush visits Stan's carnival as a kid, and goes back every year, imagining himself having all kinds of adventures there. He doesn't quite grow out of it, but he does meet Elaine along the way, who used to appreciate it in the same way he did but has sort of moved on. She tolerates his fascination with the place but nowadays doesn't go out of her way to nurture it. In the park, there is a sort of treasure hunt, every year, but usually Guybrush either comes away empty handed or doesn't take away the biggest prize. His obsession with this does cause some tensions with Elaine over the years, which we see in MI2, but she comes to tolerate it. Elaine and Guybrush perhaps go on various real-world treasure hunting adventures, but they never really do anything on the same big, grand scale of Guybrush's imagined adventures in Stan's park. They start a family, and this becomes a new priority in Guybrush's life. He stops visiting the park every year, but he does keep it alive through the stories that he tells his son, which are a mixture of his real adventures with Elaine, and embellishments that he tells, inspired by the times at Stan's park. His son loves all the stories, and he often play acts them with his friends. Like many kids around his age, he has an idealised version of his father, which Guybrush does little to discourage. Where ReMI starts is during one such thing, and we get to see Guybrush telling his son another heavily embellished tale of his old adventures. At the end of the story, for reasons, Guybrush changes tack and reminisces about his very last visit to Stan's park, the one where he stays very late, determined to finally find the secret for himself. This, he does, or doesn't do depending on the player's choice. At the end of the story Elaine tells Guybrush about a new little adventure he has planned, but before we cut to credits we get to see Guybrush reminisce one more time about his younger days when anything seemed possible, and feel content that he's passing some of that spirit onto his son with his stories. Other bits: the LeChuck we see in the games represents an extreme version of Guybrush's worst tendencies - his obsessions, his disregard for the well being of others in pursuit of his goals. Also, the ending in my head (though not the one I chose for my first play) is that guybrush takes the key, but decides not to open the chest, finally content with the not-knowing.
  9. I don't know, I think there's a level of ambiguity about what Guybrush's world is like. He and elaine are still dressed like they are in the games, and the place ostensibly uses pieces of eight as currency, even after the layers of imagination are stripped back the food place sells things called scurvy dogs, and grog. And at the end Elaine talks about a treasure hunt for her and Guybrush to go on, and also Boybrush mentions something about wanting to watch the Galleon leaving. I sort of got the impression that the world we find them in is like the present world, but a slightly more pirate-themed version of it.
  10. I think I was just ready for this sort of Monkey Island game. What I will concede is that there are certain things in the game that I don't think were quite 'there', which I've talked about in this thread. Things like the locations not feeling as fleshed out as I'd like, the dialogue trees not being as fun as in some of the previous games, and so forth. I guess I just don't really see that sort of thing as an intrinsic problem related to the meta-commentary this game does. It could have done those things better and still delivered a meta-commentary. A while back I did a plot summary of all the Monkey Island games, sort of stripping it down to the bare bones summary of each game's plot to see how intrinsically goofy each story was: What I noticed among other things is that the stories of Monkey Island games have trended towards getting goofier over time, but also more convoluted (I don't really blame Tales for the latter, you have to expect that from an episodic storytelling format) MI1 has a REALLY simple story. A man wants to be a pirate, attracts the attention of a fearsome ghost pirate who takes his love interest, so he follows him to Monkey Island where he learns the secret of how to defeat ghosts, then chases him down for a final confrontation. MI2's isn't much more involved, it just gets a bit weird at the end. I think one of the things I actually appreciate about ReMI is that it doesn't really have an ambition to dazzle us with plot in the same way that some of the later stuff does. It's basically just a treasure hunt. But there's still at least as much 'journey' as those early games: You arrive on Melee, you find LeChuck already there, planning a voyage to get the Secret of Monkey Island, and pirate leaders uninterested in helping you and are involved with something called Dark Magic, so you hatch a plan to sneak on board his ship. When there you manipulate his crew to get them to go to monkey island, where those same pirate leaders have set a trap for you in order to claim the secret for themselves. You find out it's been taken back to Melee Island but you need to find 5 keys to unlock it. The pirate leaders meanwhile team up with LeChuck hoping to open it up with Dark Magic. You gather up the 5 keys, then go to open the chest, but LeChuck and team confronts you and makes off with the contents, taking them back to Monkey Island where the secret can be revealed. Once again you follow him back to Monkey Island, going deep into the monkey head through a series of traps until, at the final door, nothing is quite what it seems. With all the meta-commentart taken out, that still reads like a Monkey Island story to me, and it reads like some sort of journey that is similarly involved to the previous games in the series, but not as convoluted as the last couple. So I guess I don't understand what you mean by 'there's no journey'
  11. (as an aside I will confess that in my head I thought it was a coin flip whether, as guybrush sat on the bench on his own that we'd get catapulted back into the moment of confrontation with LeChuck... sort of get to enjoy it as a private moment between us and Guybrush without Boybrush there to hear it. On balance I'm glad they showed restraint and didn't try to have it both ways, but if it pleases you, one can imagine guybrush sitting there thinking about what "really" happened past that door)
  12. 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.
  13. I'm always sort of wary of peeking behind the curtain too much these days, given the double edged sword that has proven to be. I think the average player doesn't think a lot about content getting cut, and doesn't understand very well that cutting is a big part of the creative process. On the one hand I'm super interested in what the concept behind Cogg might have been and what the puzzles were like and how it fit into the story. On the other, it's hard for me to wish it hadn't been cut because maybe it killed the pacing, or they decided it was just the worst bit of the game, or didn't advance the plot enough, or just didn't fit thematically as well as some other stuff. 'Cut for time' could mean a lot of things. Sometimes I watch deleted scenes out of interest, but I only very rarely wish they hadn't been cut. In a way, I'm happier this easter egg exists than I am sad that Cogg wasn't finished in the end.
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