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Please badmouth Secret VGA for me


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14 hours ago, Torbjörn Andersson said:

 

I can see why it was removed, though. It doesn't make sense when running the game from CD. (Multi-CD games were still a few years away, I believe?) But I agree it's a shame. Particularly since both MI2 and MI3 make references to that stump joke.

 

It is still in the VGA floppy version, though.

 

stump-joke.gif


Man, look how Guybrush is appropriately lit for the darker lighting of the forest too. Unlike…

 

ZGvuSsY.jpg
 

God bless that floppy VGA edition.

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I never understood why or how that stump joke could ever have been taken seriously by some people until I played the english version. The italian version makes it clear that it's a joke by asking you to press all buttons on the keyboard and to insert the floppy disks all at once.

 

On the topic of badmouthing the VGA version, going international for a minute here, there are differences in translations between the EGA and VGA version (at least in Italy) in particular regarding some more crude terms, such as LeChuck calling Melee pirates "cacasotto" (people who poop their pants) in the EGA version and "fifoni" (wimps) in the VGA one.

Also while the EGA translates the chapter screens with the giant blue font in italian, while the VGA keeps the english chapter screen with a small subtitle in the normal game font in white.

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On 8/12/2022 at 3:46 PM, BaronGrackle said:

A lot of bugs in VGA are ridiculous.

 

VGA CD... not VGA!

 

On 8/13/2022 at 1:58 PM, Wally B. said:

On the topic of badmouthing the VGA version

 

VGA CD... not the VGA!

 

To recap:

 

EGA: The one true Messiah

VGA: A glorious and much loved remaster (includes Amiga edition)

VGA CD: A bug ridden abomination

Special Edition: An abomination built of top of a bug ridden abomination

 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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4 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

VGA CD... not VGA!

 

 

VGA CD... not the VGA!

 

To recap:

 

EGA: The one true Messiah

VGA: A glorious and much loved remaster (includes Amiga edition)

VGA CD: A bug ridden abomination

Special Edition: An abomination built of top of a bug ridden abomination

 

 

Ok, first of all thanks for drawing attention to that clarification (I also noticed that some posts were grouping VGA and VGA CD together, even though they are very separate releases). I grew up on the VGA release but only played the VGA CD once, years later.

 

That being said, IMHO  “a bug ridden abomination” and “an abomination built on top of a bug ridden abomination” seems a little… harsh? I was actually comparing the versions myself last night and I was surprised that there were so many big names involved in the CD version. Besides a) removing the stump joke b) messing up the character lighting c) adding the non-Land Stan theme, what other bugs are present in the VGA CD version? Personally I also really enjoyed the SE and thought that it showed a lot of love and care (I enjoyed it much more Thant the MI2 SE).

 

I guess I’m just of the opinion that any new release of any of the games can potentially introduce new players to the series, and isn’t that a good thing? That being said, I also believe that ALL releases should remain available for purchase, and I’m not excited that the SE (and the underlying VGA CD) release is all that is available at the moment. So I completely agree with the article Jason wrote recently.

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28 minutes ago, madmardi said:

That being said, IMHO  “a bug ridden abomination” and “an abomination built on top of a bug ridden abomination” seems a little… harsh?

 

Yes. Just a little Mojo hyperbole. But when perfection is just within reach, why settle for less?

 

28 minutes ago, madmardi said:

Besides a) removing the stump joke b) messing up the character lighting c) adding the non-Land Stan theme, what other bugs are present in the VGA CD version?

 

You mean besides the ones I linked to in Post #4 of this very thread?

 

28 minutes ago, madmardi said:

Personally I also really enjoyed the SE and thought that it showed a lot of love and care (I enjoyed it much more Thant the MI2 SE).

 

I think it may well have COME FROM a place of love and care, but I think having a tiny budget scuppered actual love and care from being included, as many other threads here have gone into lots of detail on.

 

What "big names" were connected with the VGA CD version?

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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19 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

You mean besides the ones I linked to in Post #4 of this very thread?

 

Sorry, can’t believe I missed that you already answered that exact question 😅

21 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

I think it may well have COME FROM a place of love and care, but I think having a tiny budget scuppered actual love and care from being included, as many other threads here have gone into lots of detail on.

 

I don’t know… I also think this is a bit harsh.

23 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

What "big names" were connected with the VGA CD version?

 

I don’t have my computer with me at the moment so I can’t start it up and double check, but far as I remember it was led by Aric Wilmunder and Sean Clark also involved with programming?

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5 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

VGA CD... not VGA!

 

 

VGA CD... not the VGA!

 

To recap:

 

EGA: The one true Messiah

VGA: A glorious and much loved remaster (includes Amiga edition)

VGA CD: A bug ridden abomination

Special Edition: An abomination built of top of a bug ridden abomination

 


Does VGA disk version have the art upgrade for the close-up portraits?

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3 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:


Does VGA disk version have the art upgrade for the close-up portraits?

 

Yes, but the inventory and verbs are the same as the EGA.

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37 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:

Hmm, I've heard people (e.g. Ron Gilbert) throw shade on the VGA portraits much more frequently than I've heard complaints about Stan's theme or the extensions on LeChuck's.

 

Hmm. Let's be more accurate. You've heard ONE person (Ron Gilbert) say he wasn't a fan of the VGA portraits. Most fans, however, prefer them (possibly because that's the ones they were introduced to -- who can I say, I know I personally prefer them).

 

This is why the VGA version is now canonically referred to as "A glorious and much-loved remaster".

 

And here's an interview we did with Iain McCaig, the person who drew those portraits:

https://mixnmojo.com/features/sitefeatures/Revealed-Iain-McCaig-the-man-behind-the-Monkey-Island-VGA-portraits

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

Hmm. Let's be more accurate. You've heard ONE person (Ron Gilbert) say he wasn't a fan of the VGA portraits. Most fans, however, prefer them (possibly because that's the ones they were introduced to -- who can I say, I know I personally prefer them).

 

This is why the VGA version is now canonically referred to as "A glorious and much-loved remaster".

 

And here's an interview we did with Iain McCaig, the person who drew those portraits:

https://mixnmojo.com/features/sitefeatures/Revealed-Iain-McCaig-the-man-behind-the-Monkey-Island-VGA-portraits

 


That's fantastic if apparently the VGA portraits are more beloved by the majority of fans! I have read that wonderful article and often go back to it. But I have heard other people indicate a strong preference for the original EGA portraits.

 

Often, it's for the sake of continuity with the product that Ron Gilbert was involved in - though of course people will reference Steve Purcell directly.

 

The comparisons have come up in recent art-based discussions, when I've listed the portraits in Secret as one of the items that pulled me into Monkey Island and one of the reasons I interpret those first two games (or at least the first) as looking more "realistic" than Curse and the later games. People disagreeing tend to hold up the EGA profile of Mancomb Seepgood (arguably the most cartoon-leaning of the group) as a repudiation of realism in the ORIGINAL game, and some have even told me that when experiencing VGA Secret they were taken out of their immersion by the too-realistic closeup images.

 

For me, I saw it all as a realistic world with cartoon logic applied, akin to the weight-lifting scene in the original Nutty Professor where the live actor has his arms stretched out cartoonishly. More recently, I see continuity between Purcell's art and the animatronics for Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean. Those animatronics have such a realism-to-cartoonism range that the characters in Secret and Revenge could coexist with them, in my opinion.

 

But yes, I have heard from people who strongly prefer Purcell's closeups.

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1 hour ago, BaronGrackle said:

some have even told me that when experiencing VGA Secret they were taken out of their immersion by the too-realistic closeup images

 

Hmm. I can honestly say that in 30 years of discussing these things, I can't recall hearing anyone ever say that. I've heard people say that's why RG didn't like them, though. From what I've seen, the overwhelming majority prefer the VGA/Amiga graphics, but there's been a growing appreciation for the EGA version recently.

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1 hour ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

Hmm. I can honestly say that in 30 years of discussing these things, I can't recall hearing anyone ever say that. I've heard people say that's why RG didn't like them, though. From what I've seen, the overwhelming majority prefer the VGA/Amiga graphics, but there's been a growing appreciation for the EGA version recently.

 

Someone (don't remember who) recently mentioned that he didn't even directly say VGA portraits. He just said that he never liked 'those close ups' or something. He was looking at the VGA version at the time, but he might have been referring to both the EGA and the VGA versions, the idea of having close ups in general. Which would make sense since they basically went away for MI2.

 

Personally I don't care too much. I think they're both fine, I slightly prefer the VGA ones but if they'd not been in the game at all that would have been fine too.

 

 

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2 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

there's been a growing appreciation for the EGA version recently.

I think it might be thanks to that video game history foundation video with Ron, talking about all the behind the scenes and cut content of the game. I know that was the thing that really made me take interest in that version.

 

I really love the close-ups in both version, but I find the EGA ones having more charm and they're actually funny (debatable if ironically or not, I think they were made funny on purpose)

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Posted (edited)

I've heard it more recently in the midst of MI6 art discussions, regarding Ron's original vision and such.

 

Specifically, I learned this year that the final scene for EGA has the fireworks casting shadows on Guybrush and Elaine, which the VGA version did not replicate. People notice that, and I guess it's hard to blame them when they argue the VGA end portrait lost something on an objective level.

 

And while a different topic, some folks also disparage the 256 color backgrounds over Mike Ferrari's original work. This isn't entirely related to the closeup portraits, but it is a VGA change in the disk version - not just the CD.

 

I'm not in my discords anymore, so I can't find any of those quotes. But here are some references in articles. 

 

Here's a November 2020 article, describing art that would have been true to VGA's disk or CD versions: https://scientificgamer.com/lucasarts-time-machine-the-secret-of-monkey-island/

Quote

Another word on versions. Monkey Island’s original release was the EGA version, which I have been playing for this series. A couple of years later it received a VGA rerelease just like Lucasarts’ other titles. This version is acceptable and is the one I previously played through, although I think the more I do this the more I’m becoming an adventure game purist who thinks they must be enjoyed in the Original Format Only to avoid losing anything in translation; the VGA art for Monkey Island is more detailed but also flatter and less punchy, and I think I like the EGA art better in 90% of cases.

 

This random comment relates to the loss of Ferrari's dithered backgrounds, but it likewise applies to any VGA version:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26446738

Quote

The same is true for Monkey Island 1. The reason the VGA versions are inferior is because they replaced Mark Ferrari's amazing dithered EGA backgrounds. Additionally, the VGA versions used scanned art in spots, so it feels less sharp and detailed. I'm not sure who did the VGA treatments, but I doubt it was Ferrari. Ferrari did many (if not all) of the backgrounds in Thimbleweed Park. The guy is incredible. I'm lucky that I played and beat both Loom and Secret of Monkey Island before they went VGA as a kid. We were kind of brainwashed back then to think more is always better. I always preferred the EGA versions but never really knew why until I was much older.

 

And from that article written by ThunderPeel, one of the comments:

Quote

The VGA art is really nice, but I kind of never liked a certain aspect of it, which is the un-uniquity of the characters. They just look like your everyday standard human while the Purcell art really had characteristic and expressive faces.


I find that to be especially annoying for the final cut (not the Pink Floyd album, but the screen where watch the fireworks). Guybrush and Elaine look like some random replacable models and you can't really see their personalities and inner shiiine.
But I still appreciate his art and it is part of the game and how we love it.

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3 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

 

Someone (don't remember who) recently mentioned that he didn't even directly say VGA portraits. He just said that he never liked 'those close ups' or something. He was looking at the VGA version at the time, but he might have been referring to both the EGA and the VGA versions, the idea of having close ups in general. Which would make sense since they basically went away for MI2.

 

Personally I don't care too much. I think they're both fine, I slightly prefer the VGA ones but if they'd not been in the game at all that would have been fine too.

 

 

 

Yeah, for something that gets bandied about a lot, I wouldn't mind seeing the original quote!

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I appreciate the EGA backgrounds for how much they did with so little, I really think they make ingenious use of the palette... but it's still a palette that I find rather ugly, aesthetically, and there's only so much artistry that can work around that for me, and the same goes for the portraits. That's really why the VGA will always win out for me. I look at the EGA stuff and go 'oh that's really well done' and I look at the VGA stuff and go 'oh, that's pretty'.

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I found one of the conversations I had recently: https://forums.thimbleweedpark.com/t/ron-declares-he-is-working-on-a-new-monkey-island/4993/1673?u=barongrackle

While I rather disliked the (admittedly impressive) VGA close-ups in MI 1 back then (too much detail, compared to the rest of the game and therefore misplaced somehow), the cover art for MI 1 & 2, which had quite realistic styles as well, made the games even more immersive to me, when I was a kid.

I asked to verify: he liked the realistic covers but not the realistic portraits?

Yes, I hadn’t been prepared for them to pop up with such a high level of detail. Also, I was quite a picky boy and didn’t like the faces, independent from the high artistic effort.

 

 

Bonus - while searching, I found this other random forum. They were arguing about MI6's art style compared to the more "standard" art in MI1's portraits, which pivoted into a side-discussion about Secret's EGA art vs. VGA art.

https://www.resetera.com/threads/return-to-monkey-island-announced-by-devolver-digital-lucasfilm-games-2022.569392/page-20

Not to be a huge pedant but the original look is actually more cartooney; the VGA update came later by a different artist and adopted a more realistic style! Still very different from Return, and I completely get your point, but I am the guy who can’t resist pointing this out when people call the VGA release the original. Surprisingly few people have seen the original EGA portraits and they’re always worth sharing. Guybrush and Elaine look way more like the people on the front of the box (since these closeups were drawn by Steve Purcell).


 

Stuff just comes up in relation to the art direction in various Monkey Islands, with this new release.

 

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6 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:

Specifically, I learned this year that the final scene for EGA has the fireworks casting shadows on Guybrush and Elaine, which the VGA version did not replicate. People notice that, and I guess it's hard to blame them when they argue the VGA end portrait lost something on an objective level.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always though you could see shadows of the fireworks in the VGA version. (I haven't finished playing the EGA version yet, so maybe its more dramatic in the original and I'll be pleasantly surprised.)

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4 hours ago, madmardi said:

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always though you could see shadows of the fireworks in the VGA version. (I haven't finished playing the EGA version yet, so maybe its more dramatic in the original and I'll be pleasantly surprised.)


Not in the VGA versions I know. Could it be a VGA floppy vs. VGA CD situation?

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1 hour ago, BaronGrackle said:


Not in the VGA versions I know. Could it be a VGA floppy vs. VGA CD situation?

 

Ooooh... interesting. I seem to recall seeing it in the VGA floppy version, but once again, I could be wrong.

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It seems to not be in the floppy version based on this video:

 

 

You can see it in action here (note that it’s not shadows but the illumination from the fireworks):

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Thrik said:

It seems to not be in the floppy version based on this video:

 

 

You can see it in action here (note that it’s not shadows but the illumination from the fireworks):

 

 

 

Oh, you're right - I've never seen that before. Thanks for looking it up, I'm excited to finish the EGA version now!

 

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Unless there's a bug in ScummVM that I've never heard of before, I guess I have to award this one to the VGA CD version:

 

mi1-flash.jpg

 

The flash when the voodoo lady disappears is different between the two versions as well, but there I couldn't say which one looks the best.

Edited by Torbjörn Andersson
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