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Joe monsters

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  1. Here is what I think, based on recent interviews… Ron had this theme park twist idea early on, but it didn't make it into the game, and we ended up with a more 'normal' pirate story, though some remnants of the twist stuck around. While finishing up MI2, Ron didn’t know how to end it. He remembered the weird theme park idea and used it in while leaving it ambiguous, not entirely sure himself what it meant. After leaving Lucasarts, Ron thought of ways to resolve the cliffhanger, with one option being "Guybrush is actually in hell," as he mentioned on his blog. So, the whole lost child in a theme park thing wasn't true anymore; it became more about "Guybrush is in hell." When Ron (and Dave!) finally got back to Monkey Island, they were older and realized the hell idea might not be the best. They decided to circle back to the original theme park idea, keeping what fans loved over the years – the normal pirate story, humor, and ambiguity. Now, players get to choose what it all means. That's what makes the most sense to me.
  2. I personally gave up at Tale 3. It's frustrating because, even though I love visiting these gigantic and beautiful 3D worlds, I find the puzzle design to be clumsy, and, most of all, the checkpoint system ruins everything for me. Every time I play, I feel like I need to rush so I don't lose my progress. While playing an adventure game, I enjoy taking my time. As a parent, I can't just play with no idea of how I'll be able to save my game. I've also encountered game-breaking bugs. I don't like the fact that we can only hold one item at a time. In terms of writing, it's fine – there's a lot of fan service. It's a shame, really, because the exploration is great. Being able to visit these islands in 3D is like a dream. I just don't think the Sea of Thieves gameplay matches what they were trying to achieve. I might replay it if they decide to create an offline version with a better save system. Otherwise, it will unfortunately be the first Monkey Island game I'll never finish.
  3. Thank you! I love your thoughts as well, especially what you said about LeChuck being Guybrush's alter-ego; this is something I've been thinking about a lot. In a way, LeChuck could represent Guybrush's dark thoughts and his past as an orphan. In MI2, this part of him wins, and he gets lost in the amusement park. In Return, he's old and finally able to face it, and therefore, to leave the amusement park - I love Dominic Armato's theory, stating that Boybrush doesn't really exist, and it's actually just Guybrush talking to his younger self to move on, as he's alone on the bench at the end. Now, I don't know if that was intended by Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, but still, I find it fascinating. Also, I forgot to mention how much I love Elaine in this game. She is, for me, the most interesting character in Return. You can interpret what she says and does in so many ways... Like, is she being a supportive wife to her obsessed and a bit immature husband? Is Guybrush changing what happens while telling the story to make it look like their relationship was better at that time? Is it Boybrush projecting himself as his father and seeing his mother as what she is, a mom? This is where I think the game shines the most, in its narration and all the layers behind it.
  4. It's been about a year, and after replaying the game a billion times – yes, I'm that obsessed, ha ha – I wanted to share a thorough review. I hope that's okay – I know I'm just some random member. I apologize in advance for the long post and clumsy English. First of all, I'm an old fan. I've been playing the games since I was a kid in the '90s. I've been waiting for this game forever, and I really wanted Ron Gilbert to make the game he wanted to conclude his trilogy. So, let's start! I'm reviewing it chapter by chapter. PROLOGUE Now, like a lot of people, I was really curious and excited about how they would handle MI2's ending... and I think they did an awesome job. It's simple but, at the same time, eerie, deep, and so strange. The more you think about it, the more you understand how it can be interpreted in different ways. It succeeds in giving an answer while keeping the mystery of it. I've been waiting for so long just to see what was on the right of this amusement park... It's just crazy to think that we can see it now. We're never sure what's real or not, who is who, when it happens. It could be just Guybrush being old and crazy and talking to himself... or a dad sharing his very real adventures to his son. I love that. PART 1 I really like this part. Yes, we already know Mêlée Island from previous games, but it feels fresh, somehow. I love the commentary about Guybrush being old and obsessed with something nobody cares about. There is a deep sense of nostalgia and even melancholy walking in Mêlée town. Sure, the puzzles are on the easy side, but I think it's a good start. It's too bad we can't visit Meathook's cabin. I'm not a big fan of two puzzles, though... First of all, I feel like the cracker mix could have been used to create crackers by adding water to them. This seems like a missed opportunity. Also, the plant for the voodoo spell... It felt a bit random to me. Now, about the mop tree joke... The first time I played the game, it felt out of place. Now, the more I replay the game, the funnier it gets. It's reminiscent of the absurdity of some past jokes, like the chicken with the pulley in the middle. Not related to this part directly, but you can feel how invested Dominic Armato is. Loved that! PART 2 One of my favorite parts. I think the look of LeChuck's ship is beautiful; this is the part where the art style shines for me. The music is incredible, and I love how it evolves depending on where we are on the ship. Sure, again, the puzzles are on the easy side, but I think it's great how we're interacting with this crazy crew. I love all of these characters. Also, an unpopular opinion... I love Jess Harnell's voice, even more than Earl Boen's. I think it's easier for me since I'm French, so I don't know Earl Boen that well. When I played Curse for the first time, I was playing in French, so it wasn't him but Mario Santini. Also, not related to this part in particular, but there are so many funny hidden interactions here and there; it's awesome – I missed most of them during my first playthrough. PART 3 This is my least favorite part... My main issue is that Monkey Island feels small and empty. Now, I heard from interviews that they had to cut a bunch of stuff so that the plot could get going. I have mixed feelings about this. Sure, I really wanted the plot to move forward at this point, but at the same time... this is Monkey Island. And it's too bad that we didn't get more of it. The writing part is very good, IMO. I particularly like when Guybrush falls... and then suddenly gets better. It's weird, and you can interpret that in many ways, like, did he really fall from that high? Is it Boybrush imagining this in a more dramatic way than it really happened? Elaine acts like it was nothing. Again, it shows that Guybrush is an unreliable narrator in a story where we're not sure what's real or not. PART 4 Phew... This is going to be long. First of all, I was amazed at how big this part was. When I saw the map with all of these islands, I literally said: "Wow!" out loud. This made me think of Monkey Island 2, obviously, and I absolutely loved that. Big islands to visit in any order... This is exactly what I was expecting from a Monkey Island game! Now... To go into details... Melee and LeChuck's ship – I think they were nicely used. There are some puzzles that were foreshadowed in the previous parts, so it feels nice and satisfying. Terror Island – I really like this island. I know a lot of people think it's empty, but I felt like it was part of the joke, like it's threatening everywhere you go, so Guybrush doesn't want to go too far. It's just creepy to be creepy. The maze part is smart, even though I got lost for like an hour because I didn't realize I should use the plaque. I felt like Guybrush could have said something like: "Oh, boy. I'm lost. Maybe I can try something else?" The part with Herman Toothrot was hilarious to me. There were so many hidden interactions... Like you reading the inscriptions on the wall, it's really funny. Scurvy Island and the pirates – Ok, so, I didn't care much for the island. I understand why it's here, it just didn't really seem interesting to me. I thought the seagull puzzle was a bit redundant since we're doing the same thing for the fish contest. I like the scurvy joke, though, and the pirates can be very funny. I like the Stan puzzle, even though I feel like something is missing, but I'm still not sure what. Looking twice at the case to get the license was unnecessarily difficult, in my opinion. Brrr-Muda – I have some real issues with this island. It doesn't feel as complete and fun as the other ones, and I think it's because I don't get why it had to be an ice island. There is one action we can do with an ice sculpture, but it's only for a joke. Besides that, all of these puzzles could have happened on a completely different island. I know I might be nitpicking, but that was frustrating to me. I feel like the environment should be used as a puzzle. That's too bad. Besides that, I think the characters are great, mostly Judge Plank. The queen trials... The fish and joke contests were easy but fun. I'm still not sure how we could know that the fire could be used as a distraction. I actually did it by mistake. So now, talking about two puzzles... Locke Smith's key – I know one island was cut, Cogg Island, and I wonder if it was for this key, because this felt too easy to me. That's a shame. Cogg Island looked awesome. The Chums – Just wanted to say I love this puzzle. I'm actually a (French) fiction writer, and this really felt like a good way to teach storytelling. Ok. So now... I loved the build-up to finding the Secret. Putting the keys in the chest felt rewarding. The part where Guybrush finally opens it was epic. And I love the confrontation with LeChuck. Again, really funny hidden interactions with Guybrush counting to 100. PART 5 So, I guess you figured it out... I'm one of the people who love the ending. I think the discussion with Elaine in the jungle was great, and it really made us think about Guybrush and the player's actions. The puzzles get really hard at this point, mostly the last ones, but I feel like it was totally justified. Now, my theory over the years has always been that Guybrush was lost in an amusement park, and I've been dreaming of him coming out of this door... So, when he did, I was actually really happy. And just being able to visit this last street, now revealed as a park with animatronics... I felt something I still can't really explain, but it was emotional. I think they were smart to do an ending like that, one that resolves everything and nothing at the same time, that gives you time to make you think, and it's really something that's still staying with me as of now. Also, I think the last shot with Guybrush alone on the bench is very meaningful. To summarize, I love this game. I think that, besides some small clumsy design choices, it really does everything that I wanted to see in a third Ron Gilbert (and Dave Grossman) Monkey Island game. It felt nostalgic, melancholic, and personal. I like that the game goes deeper into the themes of what's a story, what's real, what's not, and, finally, who cares as you make the story you want it to be. And, most of all, I think it's smart how the game embraced this feeling of disappointment we would have all felt anyway. So, there you have it, my messy review. Hope it was a bit enjoyable to read, at least.
  5. I know there isn't a lot to do there, but I love Terror Island. I love spooky stuff, and I think it really has a creepy vibe - love the art and the music. I like also the fact that we actually meet no one there besides Herman. It makes the encounter even funnier, IMO. The screams we heard are just from this frail and crazy old man. Also, the maze puzzle drove me insane. I was so happy when I figured it out.
  6. Oh, I didn't see that. My bad, then. I guess it does mean than, even though Guybrush can be terrible, he would never commit murder. I like that.
  7. Could anything be linked to the pamphlet? I still don't know if it's possible to fill the last entry, about "committing murder". Dave Grossman said on Twitter that good actions are time-limited, like saving Wally for example, but bad actions aren't. I don't know if that means something. Ron Gilbert could also been talking about a side-ending, like Guybrush drowning, something we can only do somewhere specific in the game. These images are fascinating, though!
  8. I'm laughing so hard. I didn't even think about it. This is so funny.
  9. I thought the same thing when I finished it, but now I feel like being disappointed and a bit upset was part of what Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman where looking for. Guybrush is disappointed and feels like it’s over too soon, and we feel the exact same way. I think that having a more fulfilling ending would have be too… well, fulfilling. We would just have witnessed Guybrush’s disappointment, not felt it with him.
  10. I really love everything you said. This is also my theory, I couldn’t have expressed it better. Thank you!
  11. I was actually answering the first post. I agree about the spoiler part.
  12. I feel like it mostly means that the ending is that anybody could make a new Monkey Island game, at this point, and it will be fun and interesting. I personally would love to see a sequel, with Ron Gilbert (and Dave Grossman) on board... or not... and I would be also fine if there wasn't any sequel.
  13. I’m going to be thought-provoking, I apologize… I absolutely love Harnell’s interpretation… and I therefore like him more than Boen. He has more of an old dangerous pirate vibe, like Black Beard. He felt threatening to me, whether Boen felt funnier. Also, I might not be as attached to Boen as most of the people here because I first played Curse in French in the 90s, so LeChuck didn’t sound like Boen or Harnell – just some very threatening French guy. I still love Boen’s interpretation, don’t get me wrong.
  14. Is there a way to completely fill the inspirational pamphlet? The only part I’m missing is "commit murder". Either it means Guybrush is similar to LeChuck but would never kill someone to get what he wants, or there is something secret we didn’t find. I would love to see a secret ending where Guybrush becomes LeChuck, or even worse than him.
  15. I think your analysis is top notch. I actually thought today about Boybrush being the one imagining the story and picturing his friends as the characters… It totally makes sense! I feel like this is the last piece of the puzzle I was missing to understand everything.
  16. I don’t know if someone talked about this before – sorry, I didn’t read the entire thread – but there is a dialog I love in the beginning of the game, when the old couple looks at the parrot in the amusement park. I’m paraphrasing. Something like: “It’s so lifelike.” “Is it real?” I think it’s symbolic. What’s real? What‘s not real? What’s canon? When does this scene take place? And, more importantly, do we really need to care about what’s real or not?
  17. Also played it on Switch. It was incredible. Everything felt natural. It’s definitely the best P&C adventure game I played on it. And I already loved the Daedalic ports.
  18. I agree. And I don’t see it as cheating. This is the beautiful part of it. I think, more importantly, we’ll see if we’re still talking about it in one year, in ten years, in 30 years… like we did with MI2’s ending.
  19. And also, I have to insist, I wasn't trying to be demeaning in any way. I perfectly understand people who dislike or even hate this ending. It's clearly not for everyone. To be honest, even if I love it now, I didn't like it at first. I was just trying to express my opinion on that matter.
  20. I'm honestly not a big fan of the "literature degree" argument. I'm actually a professional writer- a French one, obviously ; I don't usually write in English as you all can see - and I still loved the ending. I deeply think that art is about provoking emotions. The fact that we are all still thinking and talking about it, feeling strong emotions, whether it's joy, anger, sadness, disappointment, mean something, at least for me. I don't remember the exact quote, but I remember Ron Gilbert saying that this is what art should be, at least for him. Art shouldn't just be fun, nice, easy to understand, but provocative, something that makes us think and feel. For me, this feeling of disappointment is part of the experience. After all, it's a game about disappointment. Now, I'm not saying that it's pleasant or even that people have to like it - of course, anybody can like or dislike anything, and I perfectly respect that. I just don't think it was badly done, therefore badly written. There is meaning to what we experienced. There is a theme. Something Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman wanted to say. It's about aging, it's about looking at the past, it's about obsession and disappointment, it's about Monkey Island and thinking what Monkey Island is about.
  21. I just thought about it, and I think you're exactly right. They do look the same. And I think Lila talks about having a tarantula... which Dee also says earlier in the game. This makes everything even more confusing now! I mean, one theory would be that old Guybrush is just inventing a story based on his son and his friends, I guess. Or, again, Boybrush only exists in old Guybrush's mind, and therefore Chuckie and Dee are his friends from his past. I feel like we're getting to a point where every story is a reflection of another story. It's not linear, it's parallel in a way. That's crazy though... I feel like that the more I think about the game, the more I discover new things.
  22. I'm actually still lost about LeChuck's role, even as a metaphor. Maybe that's why it felt weird to me that there was no final battle. I really feel like LeChuck represents something for Guybrush - other than being a scary animatronic. Was he really his brother, in the past, who tortured him? Therefore, LeChuck and him fighting would represents his bad relationship with his brother, like in MI2, and then, when Guybrush finally gets the Secret, he then decides to let go of him, to let go of the trauma. If we go with the theory of Boybrush being just in old Guybrush's imagination, him talking to himself as a child, maybe Chuckie is what his brother was, and Boybrush and Chuckie, in the beginning of the game, represent the relationship he really wanted to have with his brother, something sane. In the beginning, Boybrush says that Chuckie always has "great ideas"... then, during the adventure, LeChuck always complains about Guybrush stealing his great ideas. It still seems to me that they're the same characters. Or is LeChuck representing his obsession for the Secret? It makes sense in a way. Guybrush follows LeChuck, this destructive entity, through the door... and then LeChuck disappears. Because Guybrush finally found the Secret. So he doesn't feel any rage or frustration at that point. I don't know. I feel like I'm missing something. Also, what about Dee? Does she represents Elaine as child? I know, they could only be kids, Boybrush's friends, no real meaning... Still, I feel like they represent something deeper than that.
  23. It’s actually interesting because it starts as being similar to the one in MI2, then, when you go back, it changes to a more piratey amusement park.
  24. I think it makes perfect sense, but it doesn’t make the literal interpretation any less valid. This is what I love about meta endings. You can get different meanings from them depending on what level you’re reading them. It can be a story about a pirate. It can be a story about an orphan lost in a fantasy world. It can be an allegory of Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman’s work, something that makes us reflect as players – was the Secret that important, in the end? It can also just be, and we don’t need to overthink anything, just feel. I absolutely love that.
  25. I think it's fascinating how much is, supposedly, happening behind the scenes. And, for me, that's why it feels like a Lynch movie or TV show. Lynch is all about implying ideas, not showing them. What we see is more of an interpretation of these ideas, a metaphor. The games show only Guybrush's point of view, so we can't see the big picture. It like a giant puzzle without a box. We have all the pieces, but we don't really now what the puzzle looks like, so we can only guess by looking at each piece separately. I missed this part. That's crazy! And it makes so much sense.
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