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Everything posted by Romão

  1. This is wonderful, @BillyCheers, thank you so much for doing this
  2. I also really love this track: It's a really cool riff on Diving for the Sea Monkey from Monkey Island 2, while still being totally its own thing. I just wish we could've spend more time in that underwater "room", with puzzles to solve
  3. I think that and Elaine's proposal of a new adventure are some of the most meaningful lines in the entire game
  4. Iron Rose. Great design, voice acting and personality. The art style really shone in the character animations for Lechuck's crew
  5. That is fantastic. You've managed to get a wonderful musical flow with your editing. With this game, it's like every island or large location is a big-scale Woodtick suite all on its own. You don't really get, for the most part, instantly recognizable "room specific" themes, but rather, each room has music that is a variation on the musical identity of the larger location, so nearly all the locations within an island, for example, will be a part of a larger musical whole. It does give each island a very distinctive and strong musical identity, albeit at the expense of greater variation of color and mood in the soundtrack. In that sense, I reckon the listening experience of the soundtrack might be best served by long suites, combining all the different "room" variations of each location into a single track (something like Melee Island Suite, LeShip Suite, etc.), rather that having a bunch 2 minute tracks playing in sequence.
  6. Thank you so much. What I wrote was greatly informed by other reflections and post such as yours Thank And although he was named after both his grandparents, I will always tell him the future it was also an homage to Manny Calavera
  7. The music you can hear here: Is quoting this: And what follows: Is also quoting this:
  8. 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.
  9. Jon Laney is clearly a pun and reference to Lon Chaney
  10. The very first screenshot that was shown of Melee Town showed the alley in High Street made inaccessible by the fish crates. This ended up not being in the game, correct?
  11. I must say Part II of this game is probably my favorite "Island-less" act in all of the Monkey Island games. Everything was perfect
  12. One piece of music I particularly loved was when Guybrush frees Murray in Leship's hold (right after we hear a rendition of Murray's theme from TOMI). The music in that "room" changes once you can explore the whole ship (it then becomes a variation within the whole Leship music suite), and you never get that piece of music again. It was quite fantastic:
  13. There's a particular segment in the music where we are by the rudder, underwater, that's linked to using @BillyCheerswonderful suites:
  14. LeShip. There was just a wonderful melancholy about the whole thing
  15. Absolutely this!!! Cannot agree with this enough. The Monkey Island storytelling potential never felt more open and ripe for exploration than it does now. A Curse-like type of game, for example, with its great locales, puzzles, humor and atmosphere, but with some lack, let's say, of far reaching implications and being kinda "toothless" (don't know how else to put it) would now fit much better within the Monkey Island world than Curse did coming of the heels of Monkey island 2. The whole series became unburdened, let's say. If I were a video game creator, I'd much rather work on a Monkey Island in the aftermath of Return to Monkey Island that in any other moment before this game was released.
  16. I finished the game yesterday late in the night and I still haven't fully digested what I have experienced, but I still haven't been able to spot thinking about it. Probably the first time it has ever happened with a computer game. Took me a while to read all the posts in this thread and it has been an absolutely fascinating discussion, with some truly wonderful and thoughtful insights throughout. Just some very scattered thoughts, I hope to write something more coherent in the future: - Having Guybrush and Boybrush as our POV works wonderfully well. Not only it allows to reconcile the various and often conflicting viewpoints and tonal shifts in the previous games, but it is also a clear reflection of the various stages at which we, the players, experienced these adventures: whereas as a gullible innocent child or a nostalgia-hungry, seasoned adult. - I really don't interpret the ending as a sort of "anything goes" or "make up your mind about it" kind of situation. It's actually quite definitive in some of the answers it provides. Again, we come to the fundamental differences between plot and story. The ambiguity is not so much about what happens (plot), but rather what it means. - Some people like to call the ending "meta", but I feel that's really reductive. Great works of art require some degree of input from its audience. Art is always a dialogue. It's not a monologue. It will generate outputs that vary with the input given by its audience. - In that vein, I feel this sort of storytelling has probably never found a better vehicle for exploration that the point-and-click adventure game genre. We dictate the pace, the timing, how we linger in certain places. We are, as much as possibly we can be, the main character. Not a spectator. But an active participant in what's unfolding. So what reflects upon the main character, reflects upon us as well. It would not work as well if this were a movie, or a book, or what have you. So that urge for escapism to a fantasy pirate universe is out own urge, that's why we play these games to start with. So the consequences associated with unraveling what's behind the curtain, sustaining this fictional construct, hits a much a deeper chord. -Although this might be a very egocentric point of view, this game seems tailor made to where I'm at in my life right now. I became a father 5 months ago. My whole professional career has been tailored and greatly influenced by my exposure to Monkey Island (I will elaborate a bit on this in future posts). It was deeply touching to realize that all this obsession with Monkey Island is good and all, has given me countless moments of bliss, but it's very important to place in its proper rank in life's priorities and goals. Don't let it consume you or drive you. And that some things you really cannot experience again. But if you are at peace with that notion, you can go back into the rabbit hole and experience new things with a lot less baggage on your shoulders and maybe, just maybe, regain some of that child like wonder in experiencing new things , freed from expectations and nostalgia that have metastasized into our senses. In that sense, that Elaine line about a new quest felt like a renewal of what Monkey Island can be, in its purest form.
  17. Do I hear Wagner's Tanhauser when approaching the castle in Brrr Muda?
  18. The menu music is a reworking of the theme we hear when Guybrush meets the lookout, after the main title sequence, in The Secret of Monkey Island, is it not?
  19. I'm still going through part I, but I must say I wouldn't mind having a whole game centered around little Guybrush as a main character
  20. Soundtrack CD! That's paramount
  21. I just skimmed through the gameplay video (watched like 20 seconds total), but one thing I absolutely loved was the Melee Island map theme being interspersed in the new Melee Town music
  22. I really don't think any great piece of storytelling can truly be "spoiled". Sure, some stories can lose the impact of the revelation when you come up upon it the first time, but if plot twists is all a story has going for it, it's not much of a story. And story is always more important (and less "spoilable") than plot. On another point, I hope Steam will have some sort of achievement for completing the game without using the hint book. That's an extra bit of motivation to keep me from resorting to it. I want to get stuck eventually. It's definitely not a game I want o breeze through. I hope it lives with me for quite a bit
  23. BTW, is it just me, or did they hide a tentacle in the thorny tree branch you can see in the foreground?
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