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Return to Monkey Island


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13 hours ago, Wally B. said:

I don't think Ron or anyone from the team decided to make any "safe" choice with this game. I think that they made the choices that they thought were best for the game they wanted to make and for a new Monkey Island game.

 

The music is a very important aspect of Monkey Island (one could argue the most important), all the games had at least one of those composers working on it, seems like a pretty obvious choice to me.

 

The voices were already perfectly cast and I doubt they had someone else in mind to do them, so why would they need to change them? Doesn't seem to me like this is nostalgia pandering, but simply that they had (most) of the casting job already done.

 

The returning characters were a thing since Monkey Island 2 (there aren't many important characters in the first game, but most of them return in the sequel) even though they are few.

 

The UI we don't know anything about really, other than it works with a mouse OR with a controller, and that they worked really hard to make the controller option worthwhile. I think this really shows how really willing they are to modernise the way adventure games are played in a modern era.

 

This leaves the art style, which changes in every Monkey Island games (even between the first two). If there was a safe choice with the art, they couldn't take it while trying to make a modern game. Pixel art is out of the question because they don't want to get the "nostalgia game" label that Thimbleweed Park got, so it was a choice of choosing an art style that suited the game. They decided to go with 2D probably because it gives a cleaner look and ages the game less (look at how Curse aged better than Escape and even Tales visually) and getting the guy who made Ron's favourite fan art and worked as an art director in very good looking games was the best they could do. Also, Steve Purcell, Peter Chan, Bill Tiller and many others who worked on the art of the first 3 games were probably busy with their other jobs so...

 

 

P.S. Also I'm new here, been lurking around since page 1 of this thread 🙃

 

 


I agree with this, but why does everyone keep forgetting the other areas that Ron and company could take risks/do something different? Namely, the story and the story telling. 
 

I personally think Ron is about to blow shit up! He’s had decades to think about it. 

13 hours ago, Knight Owl said:

2. His abbreviation for the game is RTMI, not ReMI


His mistake. Someone should probably correct him. 

13 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

The 256 colour version of Monkey Island came out in Dec 1990, only 2 months after the 16 colour release and long before MI2. It's possible they were developed with both games in mind, though.


Ron wasn’t involved in the VGA versions. He’s said several times that he didn’t like the VGA close ups. He also told me (yeah, I totally met the legend once at a fan meet n greet) that he started MI2 immediately after he completed 1… without waiting for permission from the higher ups. 
 

So it’s possible the VGA sprites just got back ported from MI2 the same way the interface did for the CD VGA version. 
 

Either way, the VGA version isn’t Ron canon. 

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44 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

So it’s possible the VGA sprites just got back ported from MI2 the same way the interface did for the CD VGA version.

Possibly! But it's pretty likely the sprites came a bit later in the development (actually I feel like there were versions of MI2 shown at trade shows pretty late on where the Guybrush MI1 VGA sprite was still being used, am I imagining that?)  so hard to say whether they just took the ones that had already been made for MI1 VGA and adapted them for MI2 or the other way round.

 

I suspect it was MI1 VGA first though, just because by the time MI1 EGA came out they were probably already well into working on MI1 VGA too, because it only came out 2 months later.

 

Even if Ron didn't like the VGA close ups, I guess there's no reason that he wouldn't have re-used VGA sprites if they had them - especially considering the number of characters in 2, probably they were looking to save on art where they could.

 

(Incidentally, I really love the VGA close ups, but I guess that's not surprising as the Amiga version was based on those so it's what I grew up with. I think the EGA version is really clever, they do so much with 16 colours, I especially like the backgrounds on Monkey Island itself, and I understand why people rate it... but for whatever reason the close-ups never did a thing for me.)

Edited by KestrelPi
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2 hours ago, Marius said:

Oh no! Comparing the hands, it looks like Return-Guybrush's hands are BOTH cursed, like Tales-Guybrush's left one! 😱

 

Also, Bill Nighy called. He wants his hands back from CMI Guybrush.

 

No, sorry, bad joke. Nothing to see here.

 

 

Edited by Vainamoinen
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16 hours ago, Knight Owl said:

https://twitter.com/grumpygamer/status/1553041302643548160?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1553041302643548160|twgr^|twcon^s1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fpublish.twitter.com%2F

 

So I think Ron's tweet from this morning was probably partially a joke, but a couple things stood out to me:

 

1. Ron is OK with the game being referred to as "Monkey6."

2. His abbreviation for the game is RTMI, not ReMI

 

Just thought that was interesting 😛

Late joke: Didn't we already have the Execution of Guybrush Threepwood?

 

. . .

 

In regards to EGA vs. VGA "canon": I don't believe there's enough distinction between the two to say that one is more definitive than the other. If it were a big controversial issue and Ron hated the VGA, then he could have created a MI2 that didn't reuse the same sprites for the major characters including dream Guybrush.

 

Estevan's closeup is a work of beautiful tragedy in both versions. And I don't see the argument of saying that Guybrush and Elaine's VGA closeups create more disparity than their EGA closeups.

 

Exceptions: The missing stump joke and Carla's sudden headwrap are marks against the VGA.

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8 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:

In regards to EGA vs. VGA "canon": I don't believe there's enough distinction between the two to say that one is more definitive than the other.


I’m fairly certain you’ve stepped into a hornet’s nest here and that @elTee is typing up a fiery response as we speak.

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2 minutes ago, Remi said:


I’m fairly certain you’ve stepped into a hornet’s nest here and that @elTee is typing up a fiery response as we speak.

If it's related to the stump joke or to Carla's headwrap, then sure.

 

Otherwise: when Ron designed the dream sequence in MI2, did he or did he not have Guybrush look at himself from his time in MI1?

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2 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

(Incidentally, I really love the VGA close ups, but I guess that's not surprising as the Amiga version was based on those so it's what I grew up with. I think the EGA version is really clever, they do so much with 16 colours, I especially like the backgrounds on Monkey Island itself, and I understand why people rate it... but for whatever reason the close-ups never did a thing for me.)

 

Same, that's why I wrote this: 

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

 

However, it ain't "Ron canon", as much as I prefer it. So when people talk about being "true to the original", well... I just like to point out that EGA is actually the "original". (Not that you were saying otherwise.) The VGA/Amiga version was done by another team without Ron's input.

 

full20190314233559.png

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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3 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

I agree with this, but why does everyone keep forgetting the other areas that Ron and company could take risks/do something different? Namely, the story and the story telling. 

I think that's a given, since Ron is at the wheel. But all the other games took risks with their story (maybe Curse less than others, but still).

 

35 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:

In regards to EGA vs. VGA "canon": I don't believe there's enough distinction between the two to say that one is more definitive than the other. If it were a big controversial issue and Ron hated the VGA, then he could have created a MI2 that didn't reuse the same sprites for the major characters including dream Guybrush.

Well he can't hate it that much since he played the VGA version to get ready to make Return, right? (at least I remembered him saying that in an interview or somewhere, I might be wrong). As far as "canon" goes, the canon version is whichever one you like best. The VGA was the go-to version for me for YEARS, only last year I played the original EGA with my girlfriend and found out I prefer it over the other

 

20 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

However, it ain't "Ron canon", as much as I prefer it.

Curse and co. weren't "Ron canon" since a couple of months ago, so who knows what might happen? Maybe Ron will come out and say that the best and only true version of Monkey1 is the Sega CD port!

Edited by Wally B.
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(I can allow myself to talk about the art in previous MI games.)

 

What is the punchline to saying the EGA closeups are more definitive than the VGA closeups? I still see realism here. Mancomb has some exaggerated features, but they're exaggerated features that could be on a real guy.

 

Look at Estevan. thumb20190314233536.jpg

If you want to tell me EGA Estevan is more beautiful because the tragedy flows on his face, go ahead. If you want to tell me EGA Estevan is more cartoonish, as if he's the same style as Bart and Fink from MI2? I can't see that.


And Cobb? He's the exact same art as Cob in Loom. Are we to also see Loom as cartoonish instead of realistic or semi-realistic? I don't see any of these guys being comparable to Governor Phatt.

Eop81uJW8AIGp5V.png:large

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50 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:

I don't see any of these guys being comparable to Governor Phatt.

 

Of course not, things have changed drastically from game to game. It's all part of the fun.

 

Monkey 1 (1990)

 

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VITWtR1.png

 

Monkey 2 (1991)

5BE5HDu.gif

ll4.jpg

E0TfkA5.png

 

Curse (1996)

16343-the-curse-of-monkey-island-windows

765445-the-curse-of-monkey-island-window

784691-the-curse-of-monkey-island-window

 

Escape (2001)

323950-escape-from-monkey-island-windows

16987-escape-from-monkey-island-windows-

765100-escape-from-monkey-island-windows

 

Tales (2009)

41712-tales-of-monkey-island-screenshot.

442540-tales-of-monkey-island-screenshot

442542-tales-of-monkey-island-screenshot

 

Return (2022)

C5BB5132-70AF-4F87-8FC7-500FC904F545.webp

Return-to-Monkey-Island-trailer-shows-of

Return-to-Monkey-Island-sword-fight.jpg

 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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I think when EGA is called definitive it's simply an acknowledgement of the fact that it's the game that originally shipped. The 16-color version is what Monkey Island 1's art team created. Everything after is revisionism by definition, which doesn't mean it can't be preferred.

 

A factor here is that the original version was actively made scarce by the studio. The 256 color version (though I'd distinguish VGA floppy from VGA CD) is realistically the version the majority of us were initially exposed to, because it's the one LEC pretty much exclusively sold thereafter. The choice was kind of made for us, similar to how it was made for people who became exposed to the first two games through the special editions. According to that game, VGA CD is "classic mode," further shoving EGA out of awareness.

 

I don't remember Ron's exact quote about the VGA closeups, but I think his misgivings were more about the fact that the original closeups were more consonant with the style of the surrounding game.

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2 minutes ago, Udvarnoky said:

 

I don't remember Ron's exact quote about the VGA closeups, but I think his misgivings were more about the fact that the original closeups were more consonant with the style of the surrounding game.

In this article he says:

"I was always bothered by these close-ups. While they were great art, I never felt they matched the style of the rest of the game. Not sure how I feel about them 20 years later."

I always took it that he didn't like the fact that there were close-ups to begin with, and that's the reason there aren't very many close-ups in Monkey 2. Though again, I could be wrong.

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9 minutes ago, Udvarnoky said:

I think when EGA is called definitive it's simply an acknowledgement of the fact that it's the game that originally shipped. The 16-color version is what Monkey Island 1's art team created. Everything after is revisionism by definition, which doesn't mean it can't be preferred.

 

A factor here is that the original version was actively made scarce by the studio. The 256 color version (though I'd distinguish VGA floppy from VGA CD) is realistically the version the majority of us were initially exposed to, because it's the one LEC pretty much exclusively sold thereafter. The choice was kind of made for us, similar to how it was made for people who became exposed to the first two games through the special editions. According to that game, VGA CD is "classic mode," further shoving EGA out of awareness.

 

I don't remember Ron's exact quote about the VGA closeups, but I think his misgivings were more about the fact that the original closeups were more consonant with the style of the surrounding game.

 

Indeed. Just like how most new players are exposed to the Special Edition first. 

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Did Ron or anyone involved with the first game ever talk about how they decided which character would get the full portrait treatment? It's odd that it's so front-loaded starting with 3 very unimportant pirates in the Scumm Bar, then so sparse afterwards.

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Carla, Smirk, Elaine all get them, and Meathook’s scene has a closeup dedicated to it but it’s Guybrush. So many of the main Part 1 puzzle chains have a closeup, but you’re right that they disappear after that until the end of the game. Maybe they decided it wasn’t worth the disk space (That’s one reason why the LeChuck closeups were cut from Monkey 2.) but liked what they’d done so far and kept them?

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3 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:

Exceptions: The missing stump joke and Carla's sudden headwrap are marks against the VGA.

 

Far as I remember the stump joke was in the floppy VGA version.

 

And what's this headwrap you speak of?

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I think the close-ups in the SCUMM Bar in MI1 serve to make the world feel more immersive early on in the game, and I never really thought about the fact that they mostly disappear afterwards. They are such a crucial part of my memories of Monkey Island, probably because I spent a lot of time as a kid wandering around through the early sections of the game not really knowing what to do. I didn't feel disappointed that they dropped away after that, though. They're kind of luxurious, but they also feel intrusive in a way that the regular dialogue usually doesn't.

 

I did like that they returned at the end for the final scene with Elaine, and it gave the game a sense of coming full circle. I played the VGA as a kid, and even then I think I picked up on the fact that those portraits were pastiches of old, romantic oil paintings. There was something funny about the level of detail on them, even though the style was naturalistic. Which I guess is to say that they are dissonant with the rest of the game, but I enjoyed that aspect of them even as a kid.

I some ways, I think they tried to improve on the full-screen portaits with full-screen animation in MI 2 -- There's the single instance of full-screen animation early in MI2 when Largo chucks a loogie, and that seems like it could have had the same effect of making the game feel like it's going to be more immersive and technically impressive, except

1). It's a shot of just a ball of spit/snot, and kind of gross

2). I think it took like a full minute to load on my computer back in the '90s, and then just as long to transition back to the regular game.

 

So I'm looking forward to what other kinds of surprises the early stages of MI6 has for us :)

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Some time ago, I stumbled on the tidbit that some (most? all?) of these portraits were actual LucasArts employees. Life really sparked from those closeups, from the Swordmaster, Elaine, Sophia Hapgood's newspaper picture. They ruined it all for the special edition of TSoMI of course, because that's a horrifically tricky rights situation.

 

Today, the portraits are a reminder that the carefree can-do attitude of the LucasArts adventure crew is gone forever, and that adventure games today will absolutely have to innovate because they can not go back to what is impossible today.

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2 hours ago, madmardi said:

And what's this headwrap you speak of?

The red bandana? Headband?

In EGA, Carla has nothing in her hair for the sprite or the closeup.

 

full20190314233434.png


In VGA, her sprite looks similar but her closeup has the headband now. Continuity oof!

 

carla.jpg?w=840

 

full20190314233629.png


She keeps the red headband in Escape, and the Secret Special Edition adds it to her sprite. She also still has it in Return.

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1 hour ago, Vainamoinen said:

Some time ago, I stumbled on the tidbit that some (most? all?) of these portraits were actual LucasArts employees. Life really sparked from those closeups, from the Swordmaster, Elaine, Sophia Hapgood's newspaper picture. They ruined it all for the special edition of TSoMI of course, because that's a horrifically tricky rights situation.

 

Unclear actually - the concept of likeness rights is a relatively recent invention, but if we look at the laws to do with california, they are generally in place to protect likeness rights that carry some sort of commercial value - which basically means celebrities.

 

traditionally there haven't really been laws in place to protect a likeness otherwise, just because it's a terribly tricky thing to properly establish in most cases - this Monkey Island portrait example is a very weird one, and you'd want to avoid a situation where anyone who happens to look like a character in something might have a case, because it sets such a tricky legal precedent.

 

I'm not a lawyer so I couldn't say for sure, but my day job is involved with media rights and my gut says they're probably legally fine. But the law still isn't very mature in this area.

 

I always assumed they redid the portraits in the SE to go along with the other art style changes they made. A poor decision IMO, as I feel like they strayed too far from the spirit of the original and a remaster I think should stick to the spirit of the original art.

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7 hours ago, Remi said:


I’m fairly certain you’ve stepped into a hornet’s nest here and that @elTee is typing up a fiery response as we speak.

I have strong feelings about the EGA version, it's true. But I don't begrudge anyone for preferring the VGA version. Amiga, on the other hand...

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8 hours ago, Udvarnoky said:

a dubious music track for Stan's once silent shipyard


Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa . . .

 

I could haggle all day to that song. (And I did, on at least one particular Friday in my memory.)😛
 

EDIT: Either get all the extras for 5000, or get the porthole defoggers and burgundy wine casket elevator for 3000, or else Stan has beaten you.

Edited by BaronGrackle
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18 hours ago, Udvarnoky said:

Yup, it's only VGA CD that removes the stump joke, and unfortunately that's the one the Special Edition presents as Classic Mode. It also tosses in a dubious music track for Stan's once silent shipyard for no added charge.

 

It's a bit generous to call it "music" ;)

 

17 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:

Some time ago, I stumbled on the tidbit that some (most? all?) of these portraits were actual LucasArts employees.

 

Was it during Mixnmojo's exclusive interview with Iain McCaig? :)

 

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

 

Quote

As for models, I did look at my colleagues for inspiration—Avril among them—but none of them were meant to be straight portraits.  I was really just trying to bring Steve’s wonderful characters to glorious 256 color life, and kill some time while I waited to go off and work on Terminator 2.

 

I think McCaig himself was probably partially the model for Guybrush.

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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