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Return to Monkey Island


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This is a general catch-all thread for discussing Return to Monkey Island including all promotional media and preview content released for the game before it comes out. If you want to go into the game cold and spoiler-free you should probably avoid this thread!

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9 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

The comments are at least 98% glowingly positive! There's been a huge sea change since the announcement, which is great to see. Yes, there's 2 or 3 (Edit: OK 8-10, I read further) mean ones, but in an ocean of positivity they don't count :)

 

I like this one in particular:

 

Fans don't know shit! I remember reading the original fan reaction to Battlestar Galactica... it's a shame it's no longer online, but it's hilarious given how the reboot series ending up eclipsing the original.

 


Man, Wind Waker is such a good comparison. People seriously thought that series was ruined at that point, and even Shigeru Miyamoto himself wasn’t a fan. But once it all came together and people… just… fucking… played it… it turned out to be what remains one of the best and most timeless-looking Zelda games made.

 

Then they went and essentially did what the detractors wanted with the following game, and frankly that ended up being one of the most forgettable, lost in a sea of other ‘how Zelda used to look’ games.

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33 minutes ago, Lechuck said:

Unfortunately I'm just not a fan of the art style. To me, art as abstract as this is a barrier to immersion, and one of the things I always loved about the first two games was that you could get lost in those worlds. That was what Ron used to want too, with his story of wanting to get off the boat at Disneyland.

 

This is no criticism of Rex. He does what he does very well. But for a game that is celebrating so many of the original team coming back, it feels like a shame that this wasn't extended to the art team as well.

 

I wasn't necessarily after pixel art, and I hear Ron when he says that the games always used the most cutting edge technology that was available, but by returning to this property after so many years and making a direct sequel to MI2, this is by definition a legacy / nostalgia IP and that does come with years of weight to it.

 

But it is what it is, and I will really try to meet the game on its own terms when I get to play it.

 

I agree with this. I don't dislike the art per se, I dislike it as the art style for a Monkey Island game.

 

I respect that this is how Ron wants the game to look, and I wouldn't want the game to be any other way than what he wants, but there's no denying that it's visually jarring. At least to me, more jarring than any of the previous art styles.

If they were to remake the first two games in this art style, I think I might love it. But that's not going to happen (would Ron even be interested in doing that?).

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Looking at the key art again, something clicked for me in regards to some discussion about whether the Secret will be revealed or not. There's been some talk about perhaps Guybrush finding out, which closes out his arc, but that we the audience aren't privy to that information. This is not dissimilar from the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, and I believe that the chest Guybrush opens (which glows) in the artwork is potentially an analog for that. 

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14 minutes ago, Alexrd said:

I agree with this. I don't dislike the art per se, I dislike it as the art style for a Monkey Island game.

 

I respect that this is how Ron wants the game to look, and I wouldn't want the game to be any other way than what he wants, but there's no denying that it's visually jarring. At least to me, more jarring than any of the previous art styles.

If they were to remake the first two games in this art style, I think I might love it. But that's not going to happen (would Ron even be interested in doing that?).

Could you clarify this? I don't understand that you dislike it as a style for a Monkey Island game, but that you'd love it if the first two games were remade in this art style.

 

As for me, I love how the characters blend in with the backgrounds! In my recent playthrough of CMI I noticed that the characters feel like they're layed on top of the scenery, instead of being part of it.

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2 minutes ago, OzzieMonkey said:

Looking at the key art again, something clicked for me in regards to some discussion about whether the Secret will be revealed or not. There's been some talk about perhaps Guybrush finding out, which closes out his arc, but that we the audience aren't privy to that information. This is not dissimilar from the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, and I believe that the chest Guybrush opens (which glows) in the artwork is potentially an analog for that. 

The briefcase is a great example, and Ron would seem like just the kind of guy to pull off a similar stunt... and I'd love it! 😄

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Of course I adore MI2's backgrounds, Peter Chan is so good. But I already find that these depictions of Melee hold more character for me than MI1's - unlike EMI, these are unmistakeably the same location, but they've got so much flavour.

 

I don't dislike MI1's backgrounds, and they are in many ways ingenious, especially when you take into account the EGA versions (I've no special attachment to the EGA versions, but I am forced to admit they're exceedingly cleverly done). But as for the style itself, I always found MI1's background art... serviceable? It does the job. But I look at MI1's jail and think 'Yep, that's a jail.' ... I look at THIS one and I'm just bowled over by all the little details and how much life there is in it.

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20 minutes ago, Lagomorph01 said:

Could you clarify this? I don't understand that you dislike it as a style for a Monkey Island game, but that you'd love it if the first two games were remade in this art style.

 

Again, I don't dislike this abstract style in and on itself. I like it. I simply dislike that it's jarring for the third part of a trilogy (and even for the MI series in general, I think it's probably the most jarring art style). But if they were to remake the first two games with this art style, it would cease to be jarring and would bring some visual consistency to the trilogy.

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6 minutes ago, Alexrd said:

 

Again, I don't dislike this abstract style in and on itself. I like it. I simply dislike that it's jarring for the third part of a trilogy (and even for the MI series in general, I think it's probably the most jarring art style). But if they were to remake the first two games with this art style, it would cease to be jarring and would bring some visual consistency to the trilogy.

There is no trilogy. There are six games, four of which Ron Gilbert worked on to some capacity, and all six have different art styles. Judging from the screenshots and trailers all these games will be referenced in the new game as well, so counting it as a trilogy really doesn't hold up.

If they decide to remake SMI and MI2 in this art style, you'd have six games, of which three will have the same art style, and three will have something completely different.

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24 minutes ago, Lagomorph01 said:

There is no trilogy. There are six games, four of which Ron Gilbert worked on to some capacity, and all six have different art styles. Judging from the screenshots and trailers all these games will be referenced in the new game as well, so counting it as a trilogy really doesn't hold up.

If they decide to remake SMI and MI2 in this art style, you'd have six games, of which three will have the same art style, and three will have something completely different.

 

To add some weight to this, in interviews they have said that they don't see this as a sequel to Monkey Island 2, it's just that it opens where Monkey 2 leaves off (and looking at the trailer there's CLEARLY a time skip. Many of the characters including guybrush are visibly older)

And in another interview Dave said something 'at some point it's going to be difficult to put a number on these games.'

So it's been a bit of a misconception that this is supposed to be a spiritual MI3, probably because of Ron's blog post from 2014 - it's not that, they view it as just another game in the MI series, which happens to use the end of MI2 as a launching off point.

 

(btw if anyone can find these actual interview quotes that'd be great because I'm damned if I can)

Edited by KestrelPi
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24 minutes ago, Lagomorph01 said:

There is no trilogy. There are six games, four of which Ron Gilbert worked on to some capacity, and all six have different art styles. Judging from the screenshots and trailers all these games will be referenced in the new game as well, so counting it as a trilogy really doesn't hold up.

If they decide to remake SMI and MI2 in this art style, you'd have six games, of which three will have the same art style, and three will have something completely different.

*sigh*

 

Sure, okay... I'm not going down that rabbit hole. You know what I meant and I think I clarified my original point well enough.

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Ron Gilbert said, that when developing Thimbleweed Park they chose the retro graphics because they wanted the game to be retro. And this whole game cries out RETRO.

 

Now ROMI is a totally different approach.

They use new technology new art to tell a new story.

 

It always was like that.

 

When you look at each LucasArts adventure they always used a new style to tell a new story, be it Monkey series, Maniac Mansion 1 + 2, LOOM, Indy series,

Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, you name it. It always was different. 
 

And also always looked fresh.

 

And there also always have been people who didn’t like a new style.

 

I e.g. could not get warm with CMI, but mainly because I missed sth was not there any more after Ron left.

 

But that thing is back again - I felt it when playing Thimbleweed Park - and I am sure it will be in ROMI.

 

So I am pretty sure it will be great.

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1 hour ago, KestrelPi said:

Of course I adore MI2's backgrounds, Peter Chan is so good. But I already find that these depictions of Melee hold more character for me than MI1's - unlike EMI, these are unmistakeably the same location, but they've got so much flavour.

 

I don't dislike MI1's backgrounds, and they are in many ways ingenious, especially when you take into account the EGA versions (I've no special attachment to the EGA versions, but I am forced to admit they're exceedingly cleverly done). But as for the style itself, I always found MI1's background art... serviceable? It does the job. But I look at MI1's jail and think 'Yep, that's a jail.' ... I look at THIS one and I'm just bowled over by all the little details and how much life there is in it.


Speaking about backgrounds: Is there a source where one can get the MI2 backgrounds or even the maps in hires?

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50 minutes ago, Alexrd said:

 

Again, I don't dislike this abstract style in and on itself. I like it. I simply dislike that it's jarring for the third part of a trilogy (and even for the MI series in general, I think it's probably the most jarring art style). But if they were to remake the first two games with this art style, it would cease to be jarring and would bring some visual consistency to the trilogy.

 

So, Lagomorph already addressed the point that this isn't part of a trilogy - and Ron has said as much, but I'd add that even if it was part of a trilogy, then arguably MI2 was already jarring, long ago. What's the similarity between these two jails in the MI1 and MI2 art styles:

KfmUnGD.png

NEwh8ea.png

I would say these are extremely different to each other, and the only reason we associate them as similar is because they have a similar resolution. But one is hand painted, the other is digital. One is noticeably more detailed and has a richer colour palette. One is clearly more interested in straight lines than the other. Which is unsurprising because it's a different background artist and different approach taken to the background. Granted, the sprite design is more similar between them than what's in ReMI, but they're still two different games with very different art styles, and so this is new one.

 

But it's not being pedantic to say this isn't part of an MI trilogy, either. It isn't. Theyve said it isn't, and the faster people accept it isn't the quicker we can get to what the game actually IS.

Edited by KestrelPi
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Moving on from art, because I feel like there's SO much more to talk about here...

 

'reactive dialog trees'

 

what do we think is meant by that?

 

My first thought was something like - can you interrupt characters to respond to whatever they're talking about at the moment and press them on that? That sounds interesting, but potentially a bit counterintuitive as someone who doesn't want to 'miss' dialogue.

 

I think it's more subtle than that, probably but that's the only thing I can think of. In what other sense could the dialog trees be reactive?

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3 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

My first thought was something like - can you interrupt characters to respond to whatever they're talking about at the moment and press them on that? That sounds interesting, but potentially a bit counterintuitive as someone who doesn't want to 'miss' dialogue.

Grim Fandango already does that to some degree (metal detector puzzle). It's just a joke, but it does exactly as you describe. 

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20 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

 

So, Lagomorph already addressed the point that this isn't part of a trilogy - and Ron has said as much, but I'd add that even if it was part of a trilogy, then arguably MI2 was already jarring, long ago. What's the similarity between these two jails in the MI1 and MI2 art styles:

 


I would say these are extremely different to each other, and the only reason we associate them as similar is because they have a similar resolution. But one is hand painted, the other is digital. One is noticeably more detailed and has a richer colour palette. One is clearly more interested in straight lines than the other. Which is unsurprising because it's a different background artist and different approach taken to the background. Granted, the sprite design is more similar between them than what's in ReMI, but they're still two different games with very different art styles, and so this is new one.

 

But it's not being pedantic to say this isn't part of an MI trilogy, either. It isn't. Theyve said it isn't, and the faster people accept it isn't the quicker we can get to what the game actually IS.

No, I would never say that there's a jarring or extreme difference between MI and MI2. MI2 looks like a game made a couple of years later [a year], which took advantage of the technology they had at the time. It looks different, but only slightly so. It's above all visually consistent.

 

Curse has an art style that is jarringly different from the first two games. But it's a classic style, not an abstract one, so to me is not as jarring. Same with the Special Editions.

 

I find the style chosen for Return to be the most jarring because it's more abstract and "modern", specially with the first two of which this is meant to be a continuation of. But if that's how Ron wants it to look, he has my full support.

 

And Return is the third part of the story that started in MI and continued in MI2. I do think it's pedantic to argue that point, but I'm not going to feed that discussion.

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11 minutes ago, Rum Rogers said:

Grim Fandango already does that to some degree (metal detector puzzle). It's just a joke, but it does exactly as you describe. 

Yeah, I did think about that scene, but I don't know how that sort of thing might work on a larger scale. It's interesting to think about though, if they're doing something non standard with dialogue trees.

 

My initial thought on it is that dialog trees are the main thing in adventure games that 'ain't broke'. That conversation we all had a few pages ago abot economy in writing notwithstanding, I've always been fairly satisfied with a 'pick a response from various options' style of dialog, and in particular with MI's style of doing it - which is to occasionally give you a chance to pick from a list of joke responses, and to occasionally subvert the format.

Most of the time, I've found attempts to revise this format less successful - so, like, I don't really like Sam and Max and The Dig's approach where you pick from a list of topics represented by icons. And I don't really like the Mass Effect style approach where you kind of pick a sentiment from a list and then sometimes find that that response wasn't exactly what you meant.

 

So I'll be really interested if they find a way to meaningfully make dialogue trees more interesting without losing the directness of the old style trees.

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8 minutes ago, Alexrd said:

And Return is the third part of the story that started in MI and continued in MI2. I do think it's pedantic to argue that point, but I'm not going to feed that discussion.

 

It's not. They've said it's not. I wish I could find the quote where Ron pretty much exactly says 'this is not a direct sequel to Monkey Island 2' but there's this:

 

289s9bh.png

 

You can 'not feed' it all you want, but this is just facts, they have literally said that there's no real answer to how this relates to the other games in the series, and it's not important to them.

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53 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:


KfmUnGD.png

NEwh8ea.png

I would say these are extremely different to each other, and the only reason we associate them as similar is because they have a similar resolution. But one is hand painted, the other is digital.

 

Resolution, and the same amount of colors. Which is a key point -- we often look at VGA MI1 as the defacto version, but however esteemable and tastefully done the upgrade was, however many of us knew it first, it is in fact revisionist. The EGA version is what was done by the original art team, and what shipped on release day.

 

MI1 and MI2 will always have the closest visual continuity because they were back-to-back productions, but I think you are right that the sequel is a noteworthy departure in style. Even comparing VGA to VGA makes the difference clear, but we are actually putting our finger on the scale a bit when we do so. Comparing original release to original release is most appropriate, and furthers your point.

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11 minutes ago, Alexrd said:

No, I would never say that there's a jarring or extreme difference between MI and MI2. MI2 looks like a game made a couple of years later [a year], which took advantage of the technology they had at the time. It looks different, but only slightly so. It's above all visually consistent.

 

If you think this

emwLw0T.png

 

and this:

 

OV16ckA.png

 

look only slightly different from each other in visual style then I don't think we're having a serious discussion here.

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Just now, Laserschwert said:

What do we think of this?

9kS8W0F.png

Just marketing messing up?

 

It's an interesting one, isn't it? But it might make sense... pair it with Dave's comments about the chronology of the games and how 'at some point' it's going to be difficult to put numbers on them and doesn't matter.

 

I mean, Guybrush finds the Secret - surely that IS an end to the series, as we know it, at least. The trailer certainly does seem to be pitching it as a resolution to all his adventure of the past.

 

But just because it's a conclusion to the series (if indeed it is) doesn't mean there aren't more stories to be told. Maybe because of what happens in this game it wouldn't make sense for there to be more stories set after it, but there's still room for more Monkey Island games in general.

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