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7 hours ago, Toymafia1988 said:

This is super not important but a tradition i loved in the old lucasarts games were the little winks and easter eggs to other games. 

 

Do you think Ron will still include some retro easter eggs and references.

 

I know Ron said he wants to move the series forward but i still love a few references. 

 

Maybe a maniac mansion easter egg? 

 

Hell... maybe a thimbleweed park easter egg? 😁

 

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I wouldn't be surprised if we got someone wearing an "ask me about Thimbleweed Park" button

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

It might be to do with that! It just feels... awfully specific to me, in that it seems to be referring to some specific mystery about guybrush and the world he's in. I mean sure, the voodoo lady says a bunch of mysterious stuff, but nearly all of it is either a specific prediction about what's going to happen ('The cannibals are helping you... or eating you'), stuff that's fairly vague and unhelpful ('you will learn things better left unlearned' and all that)... but then there's this line, the last thing she says to you, which is pretty directly saying to guybrush that there's some spooky secret he's going to learn about himself and his world. I don't care how haphazardly the story might have been put together, I just don't personally believe they put a line in like that as a stinger for literally no reason other than to sound mysterious. If that rumour you mentioned is true, that could explain it, yes.


I agree. Those Voodoo Lady’s sentences are all quite specific: for example, “You will learn things better left unlearned” refers to Guybrush discovering the catacombs under Monkey Island, that might be the very secret of Monkey Island. Almost the same phrase pronounced by Voodoo Lady can be read in the Mutiny on Monkey Island document written by Ron Gilbert:

 

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I believe that both the secret of Monkey Island and Big Whoop could revolve around these two Ron Gilbert’s ideas:

 

1) Monkey Island is the place where the enter of Hell is hidden;

2) all the world in which Monkey Island is set could be a child’s fantasy.

 

In CMI Ackley and Ahern tried to link heavily Big Whoop  to the first point, because in MI2 there are clues which let you think that Big Whoop “is not a thing. It is a place”. Do you remember what LeChuck tells to Largo in the cutscene that was cut from the final game but stil exists in the source code? Talking about Guybrush’s quest for Big Whoop, Largo says:  “What good can a chest full of money do him?” and LeChuck’s answer is: “It is not the treasure that is important. It is what is buried beneath the treasure that concerns me. He must not find the treasure of Big Whoop”. However, in MI2 there are of course other clues that bring you straight to the second point.

All this is to say that, even without precise planning, the seeds of MI1 growing into MI2 and the strong connections between the first two games can be due mostly to the persistence of those two ideas (and others like those) in Ron Gilbert’s head.

 

Edited by Giorgio
Correcting typos
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

So why is it there? Was it from some leftover plot point that got dropped and they forgot to get rid of the line? Was it hinting at some direction they already wanted to take the story in in 2? Was it there for no apparent reason?

 

I have two guesses:

 

- Considering that Monkey Island 2 was made right after the first one without anyone looking at or even waiting for SoMI's sales figures it's very possible that Ron had a vague idea of where to take this whole thing.

 

- It was the early 90s when the idea of "something dark is lurking beneath the pleasant surface" was a very popular concept. It's the Blue Velvet opening scene:

 

And really Twin Peaks was the biggest thing ever in television when MI2 was made, for example it's kind of hard not to notice at least signs of inspiration when comparing Cooper's dreams with MI2's bone dance scene. It was a thing people did back then so why not have it an adventure game?

Edited by Zaxx
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5 hours ago, Zaxx said:

It was a thing people did back then so why not have it an adventure game?

You mean, it was a thing David Lynch did back then, and everyone in television started copying. 😜

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I know Ron says he isn't a fan of the Day of the Tentacle art style but when i compare these two images I definitley see a Day of the Tentacle influence.

 

Maybe Rex Crove or whoever did the background art was inspired by DOTT.

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DOTT was aping an existing style. I don't think Rex Crowle was copying DOTT myself.

 

Here's some interesting quotes from contemporary MI2 reviews about humour in video games. (Interesting to me, at least! The industry has changed so much...)

 

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2 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

DOTT was aping an existing style. I don't think Rex Crowle was copying DOTT myself.

Both DOTT and Return seem to be drawing from mid-century animation, which definitely includes Chuck Jones cartoons (or more specifically Maurice Noble’s style including background designs), but also UPA cartoons like Mr Magoo on the way more stylized end and Disney cartoons like Sleeping Beauty which is also stylized but more ornate, and 101 Dalmatians on the more naturalistic end.


Here’s a mess of stuff from that era of animation:

 

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The original Secret does seem to be the entrance to Hell, which for the purposes of MI1 is simply a spooky magma marina where ghost pirates dock and not much else.

 

MI2 takes the same hidden-entrance idea and introduces some actual torment. I forgot LeChuck actually doesn't want Guybrush to find it, which doesn't make sense if it's a deliberate trap. If it's all a fantasy and Chuckie just doesn't want the game to end, why confess to being his brother, etc?

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1 hour ago, Trapezzoid said:

If it's all a fantasy and Chuckie just doesn't want the game to end, why confess to being his brother, etc?

Personally, I’d confess to anything if someone tore my leg off.

 

Anyway, it’s an interesting little enigma. If LeChuck didn’t want him there, why confess? Then again, maybe it’s an act of despair, since Guybrush is so close to Big Whoop.


The thing that jumps out to me is the room with the dead parents and specifically the sign that literally says “Dead Parents”. Why is it so obvious? Was the whole dream staged? And if they’re already under the Theme Park, why are his parents very much alive moments later? And if this is LeChucks work, was he leading Guybrush to Big Whoop the whole time? And if it’s not LeChuck’s work, who’s is it? It’s such an odd detail.

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Posted (edited)

The Style:

A whole lot of stuff that Jake posted up there looks like it could easily be from Curse of Monkey Island (the first!), from Day of the Tentacle, or – and that makes things interesting – from Return to Monkey Island. That one with the cobwebs from Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, a little color and texture adjustment and it could be a background down there in LeChuck's ship. Rex Crowle has stated that he's going for backgrounds that you'd finish in your mind, leave things open to interpretation. I guess 50's animators thought of it the same way, especially since 50's televisions were pretty skimpy on the detail.

 

But Rex also said that he'd love to see fan art that fills out all the blanks that he's intentionally left in there. Now that's something 50's animators could never hope for. In any case, I'm intrigued how this plays out (artistically, socially, culturally). My pencils and brushes are ready and version 1.0 of the locksmith is well messed up already.

 

The Secret:

I never thought of "The Secret of Monkey Island" as an untold twist in the lore that could be revealed and have the players gasp at how they could have overlooked that for more than 30 years. Guybrush found and experienced Monkey Island, above and below, so he's found its secret.

 

The Jokes:

I was a big fan of the anachronisms back then, because they were comparatively seldom. Fast forward four parts, and I got pretty annoyed at the prevalence of photographs and cameras in Tales of Monkey Island. 😘

 

The Meaning:

The first two Monkey Island parts were magical in that they actively encouraged interpretation. The sudden throwback to Melee Island in LeChuck's Revenge was a great example. This was a screen that in TSoMI had no other purpose than to get caught by Fester Shinetop in, basically a meaningless dark alley. It also had the circus poster – rather a poster of the prototypical circus that Guybrush still loved like a child, not the actual circus in which Italian madmen named after noodles fire him out of a cannon.

 

But like in literature, the author's art is not to bluntly hide "a secret" or "an interpretation" in a scene, but rather to combine core thematic elements until flashing associations give a spark to the imagination of the recipient. The first two MI games did that exceptionally well (there was a Melee Island throwback scene in CMI as well – an "easter egg" that didn't have an ounce of the same interpretative impact). I'd love to see similar things in ReMI again.

Edited by Vainamoinen
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37 minutes ago, Vainamoinen said:

I guess 50's animators thought of it the same way, especially since 50's televisions were pretty skimpy on the detail.

 

Just a tiny note that isn't really relevant to any of the discussion here: by and large, these 50s animated shorts (such as What's Opera, Doc?) were made for theatrical release, as household television sets were not yet the norm. This continued into the mid-60s, although by 1960 most American households had televisions so cartoons like Mr Magoo's Christmas Special started to be created for that medium instead.

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Noah Falstein talked about The Secret in a Retro Hour interview
 

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he [Ron] and I brainstormed right from the very beginning. I have to say I think I'm one of the very few people besides Ron who knows what he had in mind when he called it the Secret on Monkey Island and he has been very careful never to give out what that actual secret was because it's not really apparent in the first couple of games but in fact part of his plan for the third game was to base it on what the original secret of Monkey Island was all about.

 

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I think that further illustrates the problem with making any definitive claims about the creators' intentions, the meaning of a lot of stuff in the games, etc.

Ron has just recently said that the only thing he had planned for MI3 was 'Guybrush goes to hell and Stan is there', which would seem to contradict that statement by Noah. If we assume both to be true, then we need to reinterpret Ron's statement as meaning that the hell thing was the only idea he had for a story beat, but he did also have ideas of what revelations would be made along the way.  It seems that sometimes we may not even realise that there's ambiguity in their statements to be interpreted. I think that until the day comes (if ever) that Ron announces 'this was the final Monkey Island game I'm ever going to make, and here is exactly what everything meant in all my MI games', they are going to maintain that Lynchian ambiguity.

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1 hour ago, TimeGentleman said:

I think that further illustrates the problem with making any definitive claims about the creators' intentions, the meaning of a lot of stuff in the games, etc.

Ron has just recently said that the only thing he had planned for MI3 was 'Guybrush goes to hell and Stan is there', which would seem to contradict that statement by Noah. If we assume both to be true, then we need to reinterpret Ron's statement as meaning that the hell thing was the only idea he had for a story beat, but he did also have ideas of what revelations would be made along the way.  It seems that sometimes we may not even realise that there's ambiguity in their statements to be interpreted. I think that until the day comes (if ever) that Ron announces 'this was the final Monkey Island game I'm ever going to make, and here is exactly what everything meant in all my MI games', they are going to maintain that Lynchian ambiguity.

Well it's like I said, I doubt any of them really remember how it all went in enough detail reliably relate it.

 

Maybe what Noah remembers as a comment about the plan for Monkey Island 3 was actually just an offhand comment that he's thinking about how to make the secret more meaningful in the future.

Maybe what Ron remembers as a very sparse and not at all fleshed out plan for MI3 actually existed in several detailed discussions, some of which Noah remembered better than he did.

 

Maybe Ron didn't actually say that, but something similar enough to that that Noah remembers it that way.

 

Maybe ... etc

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8 hours ago, Jake said:

Both DOTT and Return seem to be drawing from mid-century animation, which definitely includes Chuck Jones cartoons (or more specifically Maurice Noble’s style including background designs), but also UPA cartoons like Mr Magoo on the way more stylized end and Disney cartoons like Sleeping Beauty which is also stylized but more ornate, and 101 Dalmatians on the more naturalistic end.

 

Very well described! Also inline to what Bill Tiller commented:

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“A bit like the UPA style except a lot more colorful”

 

He also went on to say he loves it:

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“I think it looks pretty cool! I’m excited. I like the 2d cartoon style. (..) Can’t wait!”

Source

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Trapezzoid said:

The original Secret does seem to be the entrance to Hell, which for the purposes of MI1 is simply a spooky magma marina where ghost pirates dock and not much else.

 

MI2 takes the same hidden-entrance idea and introduces some actual torment.


Yes, it seems that way to me. I also agree with what Vainamoinen smartly wrote about the secret and the meaning.

 

18 hours ago, Trapezzoid said:

I forgot LeChuck actually doesn't want Guybrush to find it, which doesn't make sense if it's a deliberate trap. If it's all a fantasy and Chuckie just doesn't want the game to end, why confess to being his brother, etc?


It is a very good question, since we can speculate, make assumptions and still not have the answer. This is one of the nicest things in MI2: it creates a world that can be interpreted by the player in a number of ways and on a variety of levels, without one way or level contradicting necessarily the others.

So, if it is all a fantasy, we could also think this: Guybrush imagines that LeChuck doesn’t want him to find Big Whoop, so that the game doesn’t end, while Chuckie on the contrary has to find Guybrush, put an end to the game and take his brother back to their parents. But this is just one of a thousand hypothesis. We could also assume that nothing that happens after the rope breaks and Guybrush falls down into the dark is strictly real (maybe Guybrush dies after his fall and that’s why the original idea for MI3 was ‘Guybrush chases the demon pirate LeChuck to hell and Stan is there’? Who knows). I’d like to point out that if we take the Star-Wars-parodying ending for real, then we must suppose not only that Guybrush and LeChuck/Chuckie are brothers, but also that the entire world of Monkey Island is a masquerade, a play in which the actor who was given the role of LeChuck wears a costume not very different from the Mardi Gras costume worn by the woman that guards Elaine’s mansion on Booty Island.

Edited by Giorgio
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18 hours ago, Trapezzoid said:

I forgot LeChuck actually doesn't want Guybrush to find it, which doesn't make sense if it's a deliberate trap. If it's all a fantasy and Chuckie just doesn't want the game to end, why confess to being his brother, etc?

To make things even more compliated: Big Whoop isn't something that only concerns LeChuck and Guybrush. Others found the treasure before, and as Wally says, "Whatever it was, it was so wonderful - or so horrible - that they never wanted anyone else to find it."

I like the idea that Big Whoop is something powerful and independent, and LeChuck is just using/abusing it's power to mess with Guybrush.

 

Also, good profile pic @Giorgio:guybrush:

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:

I never thought of "The Secret of Monkey Island" as an untold twist in the lore that could be revealed and have the players gasp at how they could have overlooked that for more than 30 years. Guybrush found and experienced Monkey Island, above and below, so he's found its secret.


That’s what I said a few pages back, however there’s been enough quotes from legitimate sources to make me accept that it can’t be true. However it’s interesting to me that I don’t think “the secret” was mentioned in MI2? (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)

 

If there really was this ongoing mystery, then why not mention it in MI2?

 

As for the anachronisms, I agree that they got too much for me, but in Escape before Tales. The first three MIs felt like a real pirate world first, and a jokey anachronism second. Which is how I like it. 
 

Blazing Saddles still feels like a western despite it ending with the characters going to modern cinema to watch how the film ends. It’s great when you can have your cake and eat it. 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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23 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

However it’s interesting to me that I don’t think “the secret” was mentioned in MI2?

It can be mentioned twice as more-or-less throw-away lines. :)

 

You can ask LeChuck about it in his torture chamber:

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Guybrush: "What IS the secret of Monkey Island?"

LeChuck: "All will be revealed in a few moments."

 

And you can ask about it on the phone on Dinky Island:

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Guybrush: "What IS the secret of Monkey Island?"

Chester: "I'm fed up with stupid questions like that. It's a surprise, OK?"

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Marius said:

To make things even more compliated: Big Whoop isn't something that only concerns LeChuck and Guybrush. Others found the treasure before, and as Wally says, "Whatever it was, it was so wonderful - or so horrible - that they never wanted anyone else to find it."

I like the idea that Big Whoop is something powerful and independent, and LeChuck is just using/abusing it's power to mess with Guybrush.

 

Also, good profile pic @Giorgio:guybrush:

 

Thank you very much, @Marius Your profile pic is very nice too!

I also like the idea of Big Whoop as something independent, that goes beyond the relationship between LeChuck and Guybrush.

 

About the relevance of the anachronisms in the first two games – another “secret”! –, I think that what Ron says in an interview published in «The Adventurer» first issue (fall 1990) is very eloquent:

 

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Bearing this in mind, the fact that in MI2 the broken grog machine from MI1 is in the Disneyland-like tunnels, where LeChuck seems to wear a theme-park-character costume, is another point in favor of the Monkey Island world interpreted as an amusement park, together with the many other elements that bring to this interpretation (the elevator that leads Guybrush from the tunnels under Dinky Island to the alley of Mêlée Island, the “Employees only” door, the “under construction” section of Mêlée Island, etc.).

Edited by Giorgio
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Oh, by the way, a neat little thing we found while we worked on the Video Game History Foundation Event where we dug through source files of Monkey 1 and 2. This tidbit wasn't revealed in the event or the blog post, because it's not really that exciting. But I think it's a great detail for y'all.

 

There is one script in Monkey Island 2 where a comment refers to the game's title as The Secret of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.
I think that's exciting, and changes the view on the first two games a small bit: At one point the series was not just called Monkey Island, but The Secret of Monkey Island.

 

Now, that full title did pop up before, in old issues of The Adventurer for example. But I always thought it could've been a Marketing thing written by a PR person. But seeing this title in a script in the source files gives it more weight, since it has been written by the developers themselves.

 

We don't know if they eventually dropped it because the game evolved into a different story, or because that title of the sequel is stupidly long. Whatever it is, I love this little detail!

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Marius said:

Oh, by the way, a neat little thing we found while we worked on the Video Game History Foundation Event where we dug through source files of Monkey 1 and 2. This tidbit wasn't revealed in the event or the blog post, because it's not really that exciting. But I think it's a great detail for y'all.

 

There is one script in Monkey Island 2 where a comment refers to the game's title as The Secret of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.
I think that's exciting, and changes the view on the first two games a small bit: At one point the series was not just called Monkey Island, but The Secret of Monkey Island.

 

Now, that full title did pop up before, in old issues of The Adventurer for example. But I always thought it could've been a Marketing thing written by a PR person. But seeing this title in a script in the source files gives it more weight, since it has been written by the developers themselves.

 

We don't know if they eventually dropped it because the game evolved into a different story, or because that title of the sequel is stupidly long. Whatever it is, I love this little detail!


I can’t agree more! @Marius, thank you very much for sharing this detail with us! I didn’t know you worked on that VGHF event. Wow, well done! I think that is the best thing happened to Monkey Island fans since July 2010 until March 31st, 2022!

Edited by Giorgio
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That fall 1990 interview is cool, it shows that Ron had the amusement park idea (or whatever it is) by the end of MI1's production at least.

 

MI2's Barton Fink reference is interesting to think about. That movie has a very questionable reality and a distinct main-character-is-in-Hell vibe.

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