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Yeah, I thought the insult sword fighting in Tales was a nice evolution of that puzzle, in the sense of making it three-way, complimenting one participant and insulting the other. But I don't know how much potential it would have beyond that puzzle given that it was pretty straightforward. The Insult Sword Fighting in SMI, while it could be tedious, did involve more trial and error due to the variations of insults/comebacks that were available, and CMI was pretty much the same puzzle just with rhyming. EMI's Insult Arm Wrestling was essentially the same puzzle but without the grinding of finding the insults first (and there is also an optional Insult Sword Fighting in Ozzie's house that you can never win due to his use "Australia-themed insults" which Guybrush can only respond with variations of "What?!" "I didn't get that" etc. which I enjoyed!)

 

Maybe we'll have a callback in some form, but given how MI2 didn't repeat too much from SMI in terms of puzzles, storylines, etc. maybe ReMI will also move on and give us mostly new material, puzzles, etc. Something that takes advantage of Ron's new game engine would make it unique too.

 

 

P.S. Go to 8:48 to get a vague idea of how much knowledge Ron still has on Insult Sword Fighting...

 

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5 minutes ago, TimeGentleman said:

 

I know, I was joking :)

 

What multiverse stuff was there in Escape? Because there isn't any in the picture I posted!

 

Maybe the "Mysts of Tyme" where Guybrush meets himself in the swamp? Guybrush initially thinks the "other him" is just Pegnose disguised as him again, but upon confirming that they're both thinking the same number, he believes they are one in the same.

 

(You can also shoot the other Guybrush with the gun that he gives you! It causes a paradox later, but still, it's a fun easter egg!)

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I always liked that MI2 didn’t have any of that stuff. No insult swordfighting, no crew-gathering and finding a ship. I was sad to see them return in Curse, not because they were bad puzzles but because until Curse did them they were “just something you did in the first game,” and not “essential parts of the franchise.” Curse turned them into a pattern, almost like Return of the Jedi deciding to do the Death Star again - now they’ve become a trope that keeps showing up instead of being just one idea in an ever-growing universe of ideas. This isn’t to say Curse’s versions of those puzzles were bad (they weren’t), but I would have liked to see something new there instead of further entrenching the idea that we’ve got to repeat a specific puzzle from the first game over and over for it to feel like Monkey Island. Monkey 2 showed its not necessary. 
 

Sorry that this probably sounds more curmudgeonly than I mean it to. I really like Curse of Monkey Island!

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The insult sword fighting eventually devolved into Monkey bloody Kombat, and so I’m happy to let it lie.

 

Tales at least restored its honour somewhat, but I find the fan service repetition of ideas like this a little cringeworthy after a while.

 

I mean, we’ve had four games riff off of the sword fighting now, and it wasn’t even that big a part of SMI.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jake said:

I always liked that MI2 didn’t have any of that stuff. No insult swordfighting, no crew-gathering and finding a ship. [...] Curse turned them into a pattern, almost like Return of the Jedi deciding to do the Death Star again - now they’ve become a trope that keeps showing up instead of being just one idea in an ever-growing universe of ideas.

 

It's a valid gripe. Ron had invented a lot of unique things for The Secret and explicitly decided against a lot of recurring patterns with LeChuck's Revenge. What CMI brought back of the old it made compulsory for future games. 

 

I love CMI – it was in fact my first PC game right after I switched from the Amiga, and the second I ever used a helpline for – and it really bolstered the legend of that series as a whole. It also is responsible for making some elements of Monkey Island games a little too formulaic.

 

 

3 hours ago, TimeGentleman said:

What multiverse stuff was there in Escape? Because there isn't any in the picture I posted!

 

Oh, I don't even know what "multiverse" means and probably counted time travel into the paradigm. If you asked me what multiverse meant, I'd probably say "It's a Disney thing, right?".

 

 

Edited by Vainamoinen
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To me the worst part of Monkey Kombat is that the sequence just went on a bit too long and they thought it was good enough to go back to it for the finale.

 

One piece of praise I gave to EMI at the time which I stand by is that I appreciate its attempts to have unusual puzzles in the game, something I feel like CMI and even MI2 lacked in comparison to the first game which had a lot of puzzles which didn't have anything to do with 'use x with y'

 

I think for a lot of people Monkey Kombat was -extra- boring because they treated it like insult fighting but you had to collect collections of eeks, oops and chees which were meaningless, and so not even funny. But what I think the puzzle really was (and it doesn't explain this too well) is a logic problem in which eventually once you find out enough you can deduce the correct combos, and I appreciated the ATTEMPT to do a type of puzzle Monkey Island hasn't had before even if it kind of fails on execution.

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1 minute ago, KestrelPi said:

But what I think the puzzle really was (and it doesn't explain this too well) is a logic problem in which eventually once you find out enough you can deduce the correct combos, and I appreciated the ATTEMPT to do a type of puzzle Monkey Island hasn't had before even if it kind of fails on execution.

 

It was like someone took insult sword fighting and took out the witty mechanics. A wholly nonsensical puzzle that's solved through trial-and-error and not at all with your brain ... not my kind of puzzle even if it was, somehow "new" to the series.

 

I keep wanting to go back to MI4. I haven't touched since I played it first, and now the Monkey Combat is one of the few things that I still remember about the game. Recently I looked up the music on youtube and found that it was great. Maybe I should get myself to experience the rest again.

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14 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

To me the worst part of Monkey Kombat is that the sequence just went on a bit too long and they thought it was good enough to go back to it for the finale.

 

One piece of praise I gave to EMI at the time which I stand by is that I appreciate its attempts to have unusual puzzles in the game, something I feel like CMI and even MI2 lacked in comparison to the first game which had a lot of puzzles which didn't have anything to do with 'use x with y'

 

I think for a lot of people Monkey Kombat was -extra- boring because they treated it like insult fighting but you had to collect collections of eeks, oops and chees which were meaningless, and so not even funny. But what I think the puzzle really was (and it doesn't explain this too well) is a logic problem in which eventually once you find out enough you can deduce the correct combos, and I appreciated the ATTEMPT to do a type of puzzle Monkey Island hasn't had before even if it kind of fails on execution.

Monkey Kombat wouldn't have been as reviled if the puzzle wasn't randomized. If all you had to do was fill out a sheet once, it would only have taken a single person to put out a walkthrough with a filled in chart that people could just copy. Alternatively, it should've just been an in-game chart that filled in as you progressed, with better clarity than the one they put into the PS2 version. 

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2 minutes ago, Vainamoinen said:

 

It was like someone took insult sword fighting and took out the witty mechanics. A wholly nonsensical puzzle that's solved through trial-and-error and not at all with your brain ... not my kind of puzzle even if it was, somehow "new" to the series.

 

 

But that's the thing, it COULD be figured out, it just didn't do a very good job of explaining how. It's been a while since I played EMI but from what I remember about it in principle it could be figured out in a similar way that those grid based logic problems could be worked out, you know, these lookin' ones?

image.png

 

It's been... like 20 years so I'm really stretching the limit of my memory here, but I remember that if you kept careful track of the information you'd gathered so far about what loses to what and what wins against what you could logic your way to the solution faster than you could just by trial and error, so I remember being sort of okay with it because I had a system for figuring it out efficiently.

 

I do agree though that the fundamental problem with it though is that it was still a segment of the game where which... basically lacked any interesting dialogue or jokes. You just needed to deal with these nonsense monkey noises for a bit. It was insult sword fighting abstracted into what was potentially quite a nice logic puzzle, but in doing so taking out any of the stuff that made insult sword fighting fun in the first place. So in the end for me it's sort of a wash. I appreciate the effort, but I don't think it was really a success.

 

And lets face it, I like Monkey Kombat more than MOST people, and I STILL think it's not very good.

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1 minute ago, OzzieMonkey said:

Monkey Kombat wouldn't have been as reviled if the puzzle wasn't randomized. If all you had to do was fill out a sheet once, it would only have taken a single person to put out a walkthrough with a filled in chart that people could just copy. Alternatively, it should've just been an in-game chart that filled in as you progressed, with better clarity than the one they put into the PS2 version. 

Actually that's another thing I sort of liked. I liked that next time I played the game I'd have to figure it out again, so it wasn't just a 'dead' puzzle for replays. EMI did this in a few places. I can't remember them all but one of them was that time swamp, where different things happen, so you have to pay attention every time you play. I sort of appreciated the design choice there. But I do understand why it would be annoying for people who already disliked it the first time around.

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Ah yes, the swamp. That reminds me of another Monkey Island (or adventure game) trope, which is bloody mazes. Specifically, forest mazes. I think CMI was the one game that managed to avoid these, actually.

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Oh my gosh, the maze puzzles are always the ones I struggle with the most but I strangely feel like they're maybe supposed to be that way? I was one hundred percent lost in MI2 but I liked how it was done in MI1 and in Tales, the "aha!" moment of knowing where you're going is kind of nice actually. 

The one thing I'd want if they decide to implement another maze-like puzzle is for it to have a "return to the entrance" button like Tales had, backtracking is never fun, especially when you're lost and you don't know where exactly you're supposed to go to get back to where you started. 

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Posted (edited)

I don't particularly remember the swamp as a 'maze' puzzle, so much as I remember the neat mechanic of having to make things happen the same way when encountering your past/future self. It must have made an impression on me because the only things I can say I actually remember about EMI since I played it (3 times, when it came out) are:

 

* That puzzle

* Monkey Kombat

* Murray is in it, but not particularly funny in it

* Scumm Bar, which is later Lua Bar

* Charles L Charles ... good times and free grog?

* I guess you go back to Monkey Island

* HT Marley

* A diving competition?

* Ending with giant monkey robot

* Something about Planet Threepwood and Starbuccaneers

 

And the only one of those things I remember in an unequivocally positive way is that swamp puzzle. Everything else I remember about the game is at best a mixed bag. Heh

(Okay, I remember some other stuff, too, but my point is that my memories of the game are... scattered)

 

Edited by KestrelPi
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3 hours ago, Thrik said:

That reminds me of another Monkey Island (or adventure game) trope, which is bloody mazes. Specifically, forest mazes. I think CMI was the one game that managed to avoid these, actually.

 

That's a Ron trope I guess. He did it in TSoMI, did it in MI2:LCR, did it in Thimbleweed Park. Something in maze mechanics seems to agree with him. And ... I also  never liked the mazes.

 

 

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I never had a problem with the mazes and I remember the swamp puzzle as one of the highlights of the otherwise very flawed EMI. Actually Lucre Island was pretty fun as a whole if I remember correctly.

 

I can do without insult swordfighting (or any variation on it) in RMI. I enjoyed it in SMI and CMI, but it would feel stale if it turned up again.

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Posted (edited)

I'm pretty sure it was never in Ron's plans to bring back the insult swordfighting in sequels. I think the only reason it became a thing is because it was Curse that brought it back and made it the "Monkey Island" combat mechanics, then Escape did it again and unfortunately it stuck.

 

And even then, I think they maybe only brought it back in Curse because it had been a while since Monkey Island 2 and they probably wanted to give a sense of familiarity in a game that had such a drastically different artsyle from the last one... either that or for nostalgia points, who knows.

Edited by CalisDraws
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Posted (edited)

I remember in one of Ron's blogs he wrote that, had he done insult sword fighting again, he would make it much more intuitive in that players could create their own insults, rather than rely on predetermined ones you needed to learn. I would be open to that, since it would be a somewhat new concept and would make it even more enjoyable on repeat plays. The only complaint I have against insult sword fighting is that replaying the games already knowing the insults but still needing to relearn them again can be very grating, especially when you keep fighting pirates that don't have them. 

 

But, as others have said, I would rather Return to be nearly entirely new. It really seems like this game is going to toy with the reality of Monkey Island, which started to almost break down and morph at the end of 2. I'm almost picturing a segment where reality breaks down completely. Guybrush's reflection changes to other incarnations of his character throughout the series as he walks, parts of the environment containing inventory items from all the games, sound bites from different parts of the series. Something crazy to outdo the ending of 2.

Edited by demone
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I’m not to keen on the “Guybrush revisits the old games” theme that keeps popping up the last couple of pages. While it’s a nice homage to the series, it’s again nothing new. It’s recycling old ideas for a couple of cents of nostalgia. And while that obviously scores (looking at you Spider-Man), it does not make for something new, and it doesn’t make a good story most of the time.

And come on, if you were Ron Gilbert, and you’d finally be able to make a Monkey Island again after 30 years, would you spend that time looking back at old games, most of which you had nothing to do with?

I think whatever is coming is going to be totally unique for MI, and there will be very little nostalgia involved, aside from the recurring themes, islands and characters.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Lagomorph01 said:

I’m not to keen on the “Guybrush revisits the old games” theme that keeps popping up the last couple of pages. While it’s a nice homage to the series, it’s again nothing new. It’s recycling old ideas for a couple of cents of nostalgia.

 

I guess that theme is based on my "could work" theory, but better entry points to cheap nostalgia definitely wasn't what I was after. It was not about revisiting old games in the first place, it was about experiencing different stages in Guybrush's life, most of which the fans have never seen. It was about spreading an entirely sparkling new storyline throughout Threepwood's lifespan.

 

Maybe a bit like Dragon Age 2, with Guybrush himself as an entirely unreliable narrator with "Big Fish" ambitions and even choice points for the player (in order to seriously rip the canon and chronology to shreds, that could be great).

 

Now, we do have certain nostalgia moments confirmed for ReMI, the Return to Monkey Island first and foremost, then there's Melee Island again. So we're dealing with certain nostalgia moments anyway, the question is how "cheap" that nostalgia will feel. And ... maybe a good framing story can sell a whole lot. ;)

 

 

Edited by Vainamoinen
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48 minutes ago, Vainamoinen said:

 

I guess that theme is based on my "could work" theory, but better entry points to cheap nostalgia definitely wasn't what I was after. It was not about revisiting old games in the first place, it was about experiencing different stages in Guybrush's life, most of which the fans have never seen. It was about spreading an entirely sparkling new storyline throughout Threepwood's lifespan.

 

Maybe a bit like Dragon Age 2, with Guybrush himself as an entirely unreliable narrator with "Big Fish" ambitions and even choice points for the player (in order to seriously rip the canon and chronology to shreds, that could be great).

 

Now, we do have certain nostalgia moments confirmed for ReMI, the Return to Monkey Island first and foremost, then there's Melee Island again. So we're dealing with certain nostalgia moments anyway, the question is how "cheap" that nostalgia will feel. And ... maybe a good framing story can sell a whole lot. ;)

Thanks for clearing that up. I like this idea!

If this was executed right, it could work brilliantly! In part one Guybrush was an innocent youth, but in part two you can already see his ego getting the best of him. Old Guybrush could be a cynical old man, eaten away by the ego he developed in the years. The goal could be to, through flashbacks that may be very exaggerated, get him to let go of his ego and regain his innocence and purity. In the process this could make the player doubt everything that Guybrush has experienced in the previous games. What is true? And what is make belief? When done right, it could be more Mulholland Drive than Twin Peaks.

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On balance I think I'd still prefer a story that is kind of a bit smaller and self-contained across its timeline, than something that hops around a lot. After an episodic monkey island game I think I'd like one which felt a little less segmented between its parts. But I certainly wouldn't hate something along these lines, especially if it came together really well in the end.

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3 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:

So we're dealing with certain nostalgia moments anyway, the question is how "cheap" that nostalgia will feel.

I highly doubt Ron & Dave will do anything "cheap" for this game, I'm 100% sure they're giving all they have for such a unique chance.

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