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Where, in your mind, is the alley placed in relation to the Mêlée Town high street?


Marius
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Where, in your mind, is the alley placed in relation to the Mêlée Town high street?  

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  1. 1. Where, in your mind, is the alley placed in relation to the Mêlée Town high street?

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13 minutes ago, Odious Remi said:

In what galaxy is THIS a church? >:

 

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For a relatively small community like Melee Town there's actually not really anything that screams "not a church" to me. The front's all stained glass, but the sides don't need it, especially if what we're looking at is actually the part of the building given to the rectory, where the priest lives.

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1 hour ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

We've got official confirmation! (Apologies I shared your drawings on Twitter @Marius - I hope you don't mind!)

 

 

If that wasn't enough, Ron chimed in with a canonical answer and a possible spoiler...!

 

 

Ok, so I wasn't too far off, at least :sweating:

 

I asked my girlfriend earlier today what she thought and she said that she always thought the alley was behind the church, and when I come to post about it I find this and find out that (of course) she's right

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2 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

It's going to take a lot for my brain to adjust to the idea it's behind the church.

 

Well, maybe we can accept the fact that the alleyway was behind the shop in MI1/MI2 and then it moved behind the church in RtMI, canonforced by the mighty writing powers of the authors.

 

That also implies that MI1 and MI2 have been retroactively decanonized, of course.

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48 minutes ago, LowLevel said:

 

Well, maybe we can accept the fact that the alleyway was behind the shop in MI1/MI2 and then it moved behind the church in RtMI, canonforced by the mighty writing powers of the authors.

 

That also implies that MI1 and MI2 have been retroactively decanonized, of course.


Ahem. Remember that the Voodoo Lady is reshaping reality as she goes, to literally keep the story moving so that their universe stays relevant and alive.

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9 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:

idSnd7E.png

 

This is a beautiful drawing and quite similar to how I've envisioned it. That being said, I always thought the cliffs beneath the governor's mansion were above (or near the ocean), not with more town below. That's something I definitely agreed with when they recreated the mansion in EMI. Also, I guess I would have rotated high town by 90 degrees clockwise rather than having it come back towards the clock.

 

Anyways, great job - if I had any artistic talent I'd try recreating it myself.

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I think I'd always assumed 5.

This shot is from a project I was working on years back using the GZDoom engine (not Autobiographical Architecture, another one) and never managed to finish. Several different game spaces "quoted" in it and strung together in a dreamlike way. I should finish it someday!

Screenshot_Doom_20180517_205534.png

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19 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:

idSnd7E.png

Ok I finally have time to respond.

I can't put into words how amazing it is that you made this beautiful map @Vainamoinen. I love maps! My brain always tries to draw one mentally, and Mêlée Town specifically feels so real to me.

This tiny move to the left Guybrush does while approaching High Street now has more context. I can see him going down that route you drew, followed by him climbing some stairs.

Also, wild: I never felt that the town is built on a hill that you are climbing. But it's so obvious: Where is the water next to the mansion? I never really questioned it.

Anyway, just some random thoughts that your map gives me. Amazing artwork!

(Also: "Gefischtwarenladen" 😄)

 

9 hours ago, JPL said:

I think I'd always assumed 5.

This shot is from a project I was working on years back using the GZDoom engine (not Autobiographical Architecture, another one) and never managed to finish. Several different game spaces "quoted" in it and strung together in a dreamlike way. I should finish it someday!

Screenshot_Doom_20180517_205534.png

 

Duke Nukem voice: "Ooooh!  A circus. I love a circus!"

 

This looks so good. Back then I made a ton of levels in the Build engine. I love the restrictions of those old engines, they have this unique aesthetic.

Edited by Marius
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13 hours ago, madmardi said:

Anyways, great job - if I had any artistic talent I'd try recreating it myself.

 

Thank you! I might reevaluate the map after playing ReMI ... and draw a new one. Next time, with a bit more pizzaz. 🍕

 

3 hours ago, Marius said:

Ok I finally have time to respond.

I can't put into words how amazing it is that you made this beautiful map @Vainamoinen. I love maps! My brain always tries to draw one mentally, and Mêlée Town specifically feels so real to me.

This tiny move to the left Guybrush does while approaching High Street now has more context. I can see him going down that route you drew, followed by him climbing some stairs.

Also, wild: I never felt that the town is built on a hill that you are climbing. But it's so obvious: Where is the water next to the mansion? I never really questioned it.

Anyway, just some random thoughts that your map gives me. Amazing artwork!

(Also: "Gefischtwarenladen" 😄)

 

And here I thought "Duck Island" would get you first. 😛

 

Thank you so much! I love maps so much, every time they show Wally as a gullible punching bag I'm like BUT HE DRAWS MAPS HE'S LIKE A SUPERHERO YOU DORKS. I hope Return can set the record straight and have him save Elaine and Guybrush from a burning building. Or maybe there's actually time travel involved, he goes back in time, the cannibals chop off his head and use him as a navigato ... oooookay, let's not go there.

 

I always interpreted Mêlée Town as a tiny village at the edge of a vast island wilderness, just a starting port for budding pirates. Maybe I just wanted to feel like TSoMI gave us the full picture. My map mostly tries to link what we've already experienced as backgrounds with Secret's title screen. The title screen shows a certain elevation of the glowing lights already, but it's the clocktower background that really gave me a sense of 'going up': The archway to the right shows houses placed significantly lower. And left to the actual clock tower there's a building that could either be five or six stories high ... or it's simply placed much higher than Hand-at-ten Avenue. Add to that that coastal towns usually take care not to be accidentally washed away (Florida being the exception to the rule) and Bob's your ghost uncle.

 

 

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On 8/16/2022 at 5:59 PM, Vainamoinen said:

idSnd7E.png

 

 

This is a fascinating topic to me. I've spent a considerable amount of time in the last 25 years musing on what the is overall layout of Mêlée Town, for a personal project I've been conceptualizing and will share in due time. This will be a very long post, so please bear with me.

 

To that effect, I've been compiling every image, screenshot, artistic depiction and interpretation I've been able to find, in order to see the way other people pierce together the different parts of the town ("rooms", in video game jargon), that we get to see and visit in Secret of Monkey Island (and now also in Return to Monkey Island). 

 

I must say your map is the very first I've seen that tries to encapsulate and describe the whole town, and it was most refreshing and exciting to see it in this very topic. Now, some considerations:

 

To start our discussion, I will refer to the street with the Clock Tower and as Low Street and the street with the church, store and prison as High Street. That's how they're referred to in the Monkey Island Chronicles book that came with the Monkey Island Anthology by Limited Run.

 

I agree with you that is absolutely obvious that the town has a considerable climbing gradient when walking uphill from the Scumm Bar by the dock to the Governor's Mansion. This obvious from the fact that the Scumm is just by the water and the Governor's Mansion is build on a cliff that rises dramatically from the sea, at a considerable height. Now, when looking at this image:

 

bg_melee_city2.png

 

There doesn't seem to be a considerable climbing gradient between the location of the Mansion and High Street, which on its own also seems to be relatively flat and at the same level throughout. Which means that the uphill section of the town must come before we reach High Street when walking from the Scumm Bar.

 

I also agree that no way is the archway that we see on the right side of the image above is the back side of the archway under clock in low street. It's a common misconception to make, since all "rooms" that comprise Mêlée Town have archways on both its left and right ends, which may lead one to assume that a right-hand side archway on a section of the town is directly connect to the archway on the left-hand side of the following room, without any unseen sections of the town in between. But just by seeing how long it takes Guybrush to transverse between the three sections of Mêlée Town we can visit, we can automatically infer that there are unseen sections between the the section with the Scumm Bar and Low Street, and again, between Low Street and Hight Street:

 

giphy.gif?cid=790b7611e2529bc1c5ccd1c9a8

 

giphy.gif?cid=790b76117803605479eade0c9b

 

With that in mind, we can conclude that when walking from the Scumm Bar to the Mansion we have to transverse at least two, thus far unseen, sections of the Town, and that the path is generally uphill when walking from the Scumm Bar to the High Street, where the climbing gradient seems to level out. Low Street, on its own, seems to have noticeable climbing gradient, specially on its left-hand side, when walking, from the docks, although I reckon it also keeps a (slightly lower) climbing gradient when walking up the right-hand side of the street and through the archway under the clock tower. 

 

However, the sum of the overall climbing gradients visible in the sections of the town we can visit doesn't seem to be enough to bridge the difference with the level height of the Mansion and that of the docks surrounding Scumm Bar, So your choice of having a staircase between Low Street and High Street makes perfect sense.

 

Nevertheless, although your interpretation of the layout makes perfect sense, in having High Street, Low Street and the docks roughly parallel to one another, I must admit my preference with having the clock tower roughly facing the camera when we see Mêlée Island in the title screen from The Secret of Monkey Island. In a similar placement as you can see on this wonderful piece of fan art (although its placement of the left-hand side archway of Low Street is completely off):

 

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I just think it makes for a wonderful panorama of the town when approaching the island, with its iconic clock tower standing tall, as it is, as we have seen, on the highest point of Low Street.

 

Return to Monkey Island seems to take a similar stance to the location of Clock Tower in relation with the docks:

 

aI75znR.png

 

As do others pieces of fan art (this one does have a more correct placement of the left-hand side archway of Low Street):

 

FXTZOIK.jpg

 

Now, a lot of the fan art and interpretations have had a hard time reconciling and fitting together the position of the archway at the right-hand side of the  Scumm Bar screen and the left-hand side archway of Low Street, which is nearly impossible to do if one does not consider that are unseen sections of the town between these two "rooms" we can actually visit. The fan art above, with the Curse-like art style, does a good job at this, whereas others, while fantastic pieces of art on their own, really are not coherent with that we are shown in SOTMI (this is not meant to be read, at all, as a criticism of the art shown), like this piece from the SOTMI comic adaption by Paco Vink:

 

nB7TVO8.png

 

So in my interpretation, after we walk through the archway to the right of the Scumm Bar, we turn right into a U-shaped street, with a fairly steep climbing gradient, eventually reaching the archway on the left-hand side of Low Street, where we will continue our climb.

 

After that, we walk through the archway under the clock, where we will turn left, climbing a staircase, until eventually reaching High Street and the level height of the mansion. High Street is, therefore, in a roughly perpendicular position to the street that goes through the archway under the clock tower. I will try to make a simple scheme in the next few days to illustrate my reasoning

 

Concerning what's behind our viewpoint of the dock, I've always assumed it was a fairly large inlet or bay, which recedes into the land quite a bit, in so much as it makes sense to built the dock walkway across it, as a short cut connecting the two sides of the  bay, instead of following the contour of the shoreline, which would make for a much longer path. In your map, I don't think the bay recedes enough to justify having it bridged by the walkway. This is more in line with how I see it (and the previous image, also by Paco Vink):

 

UPdrfor.png

 

This fantastic piece of fan art offers a similar interpretation, although I would imagine far less docks walkways on the right side (inner side of the bay), as they would serve little purpose, having no access to the open sea:

 

 

 

MNMgnN8.jpg

 

I really could discuss this all day and never was a topic on this forum dearer to my heart. Don't take my remarks and disagreements of the layout of your map as criticisms, as I cannot praise your endeavor enough. It was really heartwarming to see a map showing the layout of Mêlée Town, probably my all time favorite fictional setting, in any medium.

 

I hope this discussion keeps going

 

P.S. I apologize for not crediting all the artists that did the wonderful fan art I used in this post, but after years of searching and saving whatever reference material and artistic interpretation I could find of Mêlée Island, I just lost track from where I got the images initially. My apologies to all the artists

Edited by Romão
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57 minutes ago, Romão said:

I will refer to the street with the Clock Tower and as Low Street and the street with the church, store and prison as High Street. That's how they're referred to in the Monkey Island Chronicles book that came with the Monkey Island Anthology by Limited Run.

It’s also how they’re referred to in the game’s source! As learned by @Marius and Frank Cifaldi when excavating it for the VGHF chat with Ron Gilbert. 
 

Also your post was a great read!

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I've noticed that Low Street has turned from a U-turn (with a fascade where the map dealer stands in MI1) to a 90 degree corner (or an L-turn) in RtMI. The U-turn looked like it was directly taken from the Rothenburg "reference", whereas the RtMI version makes the background look more like a 90 degree camera pan.

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1 hour ago, Laserschwert said:

I've noticed that Low Street has turned from a U-turn (with a fascade where the map dealer stands in MI1) to a 90 degree corner (or an L-turn) in RtMI. The U-turn looked like it was directly taken from the Rothenburg "reference", whereas the RtMI version makes the background look more like a 90 degree camera pan.

 

I have the feeling that these new backgrounds are even more warped than the original ones, and some of that original geometry was a little vertigo inducing already. 😅

 

It still works though. See, you have to squint and sort of turn your head, and ...

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