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  1. This will be a long post, so I will divide it into sections, about a bit of my life story and it is closely connected to Monkey Island. Please bear with me, I think you might find it worthwhile by the end. Part I As with many kids of the 80’s, I grew up with LEGO sets around the house, and being the youngest of three siblings, I did end up “inheriting” a bunch of them, so it has always been part of my life for as long as I can remember. In 1990, I was old enough to start choosing and owning my very own LEGO sets, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the alignment of two things that ended up being absolutely crucial in my life story: LEGO and Monkey Island. Back in 1989, the LEGO Pirates Theme was introduced, bringing along with it a bunch of innovations to the toy line (like the very first minifigures with facial expressions other than the classic smiley face). The catalogs and box art for the theme were wonderfully evocative, with Caribbean sunsets, deserted tropical islands, and swashbuckling action pitting heroic Pirates versus nefarious Imperial Soldiers. I mean, just look at these, don’t they make your imagination soar? Within a year of the introduction of this new LEGO theme, my older brother got hold of a new Graphic Adventure (as we used to call them back then), after I had spent several evenings in the previous year sitting by his side at the computer while he played and finished Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. It was a favorite pastime of mine. This new Graphic Adventure was, of course, The Secret of Monkey Island, and the cover art alone by the great Steve Purcell was enough to completely capture my imagination with the promise of the adventure ahead. My brother installed and booted the game (which took a while back then) and once the establishing shot of Mêlée Island appeared on screen, with that wonderful main title music, I was hooked for life. But what absolutely sealed the deal, was that very first cutscene we get when Guybrush first exits the Scumm Bar, showing LeChuck in his ship’s cabin: I knew that location looked familiar somehow and it didn’t take long to connect it with the flagship (no pun intended) set of the LEGO Pirates line: the Black Seas Barracuda, which had a great cabin at the aft, with large latticed windows, that was totally reminiscent of Lechuck’s (it even had the map on the wall): This LEGO theme was no longer a somewhat generic Pirate themed toy line, this was now, to my young eyes, an official Monkey Island LEGO theme. And what perfect timing it was, as the upcoming Christmas would be the first time I would be allowed to choose and own my own LEGO system sets (no more Duplo or Fabuland). My brother finished the game in about a month and the memories of being by his side through the whole game are indelible. We had the same routine with Lechuck’s Revenge a year later, while LEGO kept expanding its Pirate line with even more sets. And regardless of whether I owned the sets or not, most of them were renamed and re-themed to fit right into the Monkey Island Universe. So this became Lechuck’s Ship: This became Mêlée Town: This became the Scumm Bar: This became the Governor’s Mansion: This became the Cannibal Village on Monkey Island (those statues): These two became Woodtick: This became the International House of Mojo on Scabb Island: Puberty did eventually hit, and my interest for LEGO waned a bit, although it never really went away. But at the turn of the century, I discovered a website called Bricklink, which finally made possible the purchase of individual LEGO bricks, as needed, without having to buy whole sets to get the necessary bricks for any given project (which is, obviously, not cost effective at all). My passion for LEGO was re-ignited by the prospect of large scale custom models, regardless of the very tight budget I had available, as a teenager, for buying LEGO bricks. Immediately, my dream project became quite obvious: a full, minifig scale model of what probably is my favorite, most immersive setting in all fiction, the one that has lingered the longest on my mind and been expanded upon the most by my imaginary wanderings: Mêlée Town! So I took all the loose bricks I had (plus the accumulated funds generated by two birthdays and Christmases, totally spent in buying a few thousand bricks from Bricklink) and I was finally able to build Mêlée Town’s Low Street: Guybrush and the map seller: Men of low moral fiber: It does look rudimentary compared to the high standard LEGO has set in these last few years, but this truly was the first step into a larger world. End of Part I
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