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Ahoy Fancy Pants

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  1. Jake, thank you so much for taking the bait! I appreciate the response... it's certainly more concrete than anything I took away from my viewing of The Return. I'm also someone who always kinda liked MI2's ending. I felt like it was a really nice balance between a parody of a cliffhanger ending and a real cliffhanger ending, with just enough ambiguity for the player to draw their own conclusions. I'm still coming to terms with RTMI's ending which feels too close to a rehash of MI2's ending, with a different coat of a ambiguity painted on it. (Not to mention the reveal of "The Secret" as something intentionally/unavoidably anticlimactic.) Which is also how I felt about Twin Peaks: The Return's ending. While the story arc was consistent with Cooper's character, the big climax in Twin Peaks (the town) was oddly anticlimactic, with an epilogue that introduced an out-of-the-blue cliffhanger that will almost certainly never be paid off (and probably is never intended to be.) In neither case was the ending "an accident" and they're certainly intending to convey something to the audience about endings... but again, it seems like we're covering the same territory previously covered, which brings me back to the question of, what motivated this return in the first place? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the hell out of Return to Monkey Island, and I'm so glad that it exists! Some of my disappointment in the ending is simply that the game is over. But a greater meaning aside from "story endings are weird and hard!" just keeps slipping through my fingers.
  2. Sushi the goldfish is a cameo from Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders if I'm not mistaken. Did not expect a Zak McKracken reference!
  3. OK, so the title of this post is really just an invitation to someone who's smarter than I am to deliver a real honest-to-goodness analysis comparing Twin Peaks: The Return and Return to Monkey Island. Dantoine in another thread (here) brought up this comparison, and I think it's a great one, well worth exploring. In both cases, the original creators (David Lynch for Twin Peaks, Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman for Monkey Island) return decades later to pick up and "wrap up" their original stories that never received proper conclusions. In both cases, the creators insisted on full control to create exactly what their vision was. And in both cases, the results were not what many expected or necessarily wanted, in some cases actively pushing back against the very concept of there being such a thing as a satisfying conclusion. I'd argue that Gilbert and Grossman are way more in the camp of "give 'em what they want" than Lynch is. RTMI is much more inviting than Twin Peaks: The Return, which at times felt intentionally alienating. But I can't help but feel that they share a lot of the same DNA philosophically in regards to the tension between storytellers and their audience. What is the story that needs to be told that justifies coming back after all these years? Do they have a story so compelling that they felt a need to share it with the world? Is it more of a feeling of obligation because the fans demand it? How much is motivated by money? If the answer to that is, a lot, does that taint the experience? How much is motivated by ego? Isn't storytelling largely ego-driven to begin with? Is it possible to deliver a satisfying follow-up to a popular, legacy franchise without coming across as pandering? RTMI is first and foremost a fun and silly game, and these are some philosophical questions that a casual observer might argue are looking for depth where it isn't merited. But just because it doesn't present itself as Art (with a capital A) the way so much of Twin Peaks: The Return did doesn't mean it doesn't warrant the same level of scrutiny. At any rate, it's fun! Not just the game itself but talking and debating about it. If nothing else, maybe we'll make some friends along the way!
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