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"The Secrets of Monkey Island" 30th anniversary livestream with Ron Gilbert


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This was mentioned in the archaeological discoveries thread but it probably deserves a thread of its own, so here we are.


The Video Game History Foundation has launched a new preservation project, where they archive and investigate the source code and assets to games. More about that here!


Their first Video Game Source Project is... The Secret of Monkey Island! They've apparently been digging through the source code and art from Monkey Island and will be discussing it live with Ron Gilbert during a ticketed event. (I'm going to just steal all their content and repost here):



The Secrets Of Monkey Island: An Evening With Ron Gilbert (Tickets)

Friday, October 30th 2020, 1PM-2:30PM PDT


Discover secrets and never-before-seen content from The Secret of Monkey Island with Ron Gilbert and The Video Game History Foundation


About this Event

Iconic PC hit The Secret of Monkey Island turns 30 this October, and we're celebrating by diving deep into its creation with Ron Gilbert...and the game's original source code! 


Join us for an incredible afternoon of stories and secrets in the-making-of two classics: The Secret of Monkey Island, and The Secret of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. This livestream event features:


  • Fireside chat with Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert, hosted by Video Game History Foundation founder Frank Cifaldi
  • Never-before-seen content, including deleted scenes and unused art
  • Stories from the game's development
  • Audience Q&A 


This is a virtual event that will take place via a livestream link with your ticket order. (The stream will be archived and available to view later with your ticket.) 100% of ticket sales go to support The Video Game History Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit preserving, celebrating, and teaching the history of video games.




I figured we would want a thread to be able to talk about it while its happening, so here it is. I'm, uh, extremely excited to say the least.

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An interesting article from The Verge:



As [Frank] Cifaldi explains it, there are frames of animation for a bridge collapsing in the original artwork for the game, but there’s no code that calls for it. It’s just there. So they took it to Gilbert, the creator, and asked about it. “Ron’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s not anything that was ever in the game. I’m not really sure why that’s there,’” says Cifaldi.


This bit seems particularly significant:



The Secret of Monkey Island is a seminal game, not least for Cifaldi, who cites it as “maybe my favorite game, depending on which day you ask me.” He says it taught him what games could be — like that they could have funny, memorable worlds and characters. The Foundation received the game the way they receive a lot of them, which is to say, on the sly. (Cifaldi identifies this as another problem the Foundation is out to solve: making it safe for people to donate games and such to the archive, even if they don’t own the rights.)


When they got in touch with Lucasfilm about making content around the game, however, the studio was supportive. “I mean, they’re the guys that make Star Wars, right, they understand,” says Cifaldi. “They understand that fans really enjoy this behind-the-scenes material, and that it directly benefits them if people are talking about it.”



Edited by ATMachine
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  • 2 weeks later...

I mean, yes, I understand why they would not want that, if they are still maintaining a policy of shutting down every fan made attempt on the titles or their (acquired) IP property.


But on the other hand, maybe it's time to rethink that policy? All these old titles are basically rotting currently, and I can't see how it would hurt to allow release of these old tools --probably with some basic license to protect assets or whatever.


Modding community and open source projects are basically doing stuff "backwards" and working off their own tools and understanding of the resources format for stuff like fan translations (including font localization and image exporting/translation/re-importing) and open source engine implementations (ie. ScummVM's work). And that work, considering that we now know these tools exist and are *very* viable and friendly to use even today, is basically trying to re-invent the wheel and it's thus taking a longer time and more effort to produce the desired result.


It is work that made these classic games accessible to a larger crowd, though, while not endorsing piracy, and I can't see why Disney would not appreciate that. 

Edited by cinnamon
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I’m pretty sure that isn’t a real screenshot. Is that a composite made for the special edition (which does include a spiffy closeup as a nod to the box)? It looks like a scan of the art from the back of the box pasted into frame with Guybrush. The pixels on the dog look anti aliased, while Guybrush is crisp. From what version of the game did you rip this resource? If it was the special edition that’s an untrustworthy source. 

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Edit -- rzil posted their reply the same time as mine! I'll keep my post for historical purposes.


Ditto to what Jake said.


15-20 years ago we went through all the resources using ScummRev after many of us (including me) claimed the Spiffy close-up was in the game. It was not found in the resource files.


Crispness aside, the aspect ratio there is weird, not like any of the other close-ups.

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