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We’ve seen, what, two dialogue trees? I’m sure there is plenty of silliness in the game — see the burp teaser — but looking at the dialogue with the pirate leaders specifically, it seems like a natural progression from MI2. There wasn’t a lot of “I want to be a fireman” in that game, either. Nor should there have been — Guybrush had shed a bit of his naïveté at that point.

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So This is what I'm thinking about now.

 

1) Ron has replayed MI1 and MI2 very recently, before he worked on this game.

 

2) After playing through MI1 and MI2, it is difficult for me to imagine anyone assuming that Stan would still own that shipyard and the old Pirate Leaders would still be at that Scumm Bar table after MI2 is over (or after MI5 either, of course). This was the status quo at the BEGINNING of MI1, and it had changed by the END of MI1.

 

3) Ron has said this game isn't a straight chronological Part 3 or Part 6.

 

 

My current suspicion is that these Mêlée Island scenes could be some alternative version of Guybrush's first appearance in MI1. Possibly related to the Big Whoop amusement park.

Edited by BaronGrackle
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Gonna make a wild guess and say someone is overthinking something about the new #MonkeyIslandMonday video. Someone else has a nitpick. Vague, hypothetical reassurances from someone else?

 

I'm avoiding these videos now, but thought it worth commemorating that next week's is probably the last.

Edited by Kroms
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48 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

 

It's true that I haven't seen a lot of the 'here's 4 jokes, pick one' style of dialogue in evidence yet. I adore MI1 + 2's dialogue trees. I think the only game that has matched them is Grim Fandango. They're a perfect blend of well-written, silly, subversive and I'm really hoping we see a bit of that here. I think we will. We've only been shown a little.

I'm hoping so too. Fingers crossed that style of dialogue will make a return. 

 

41 minutes ago, Remi said:

We’ve seen, what, two dialogue trees? I’m sure there is plenty of silliness in the game — see the burp teaser — but looking at the dialogue with the pirate leaders specifically, it seems like a natural progression from MI2. There wasn’t a lot of “I want to be a fireman” in that game, either. Nor should there have been — Guybrush had shed a bit of his naïveté at that point.

Some good points, I do agree its too early to say what the dialogue trees will be like.

 

Sorry didn't mean to be a downer. I guess maybe I'm trying to manage my expectations as this might be the most hyped i've ever been for a game ever 🤣 

 

36 minutes ago, Kroms said:

Gonna make a wild guess and say someone is overthinking something about the new #MonkeyIslandMonday video. Someone else has a nitpick. Vague, hypothetical reassurances from someone else?

 

I'm avoiding these videos now, but thought it worth commemorating that next week's is probably the last.

Sorry 😅

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I like the fact the new pirate leaders were just willing to bully Guybrush. I love their voice acting, too.

 

I'm also really loving the facial acting. I like that the zooms have returned, and I think they add dynamic shots to what could be quite static scenes. I hope the zooms get used for emphasis multiple times, and aren't just shown once. Less like how MI1 used zooms and more like how Full Throttle used zooms, to explain with examples.

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3 hours ago, Kroms said:

Gonna make a wild guess and say someone is overthinking something about the new #MonkeyIslandMonday video.

Are you talking about me?

 

Ron said that the game will be autobiographical in a way.

 

He also recently admit, in an interview, that the game is about Guybrush going after something from his past he never resolved, and that it was a metaphor of him and Dave going back to Monkey Island.

 

Dominic Armato also talked about deep currents within the story.

 

I therefore don't think it's that far-fetched to see the characters as symbolic.

 

I think the game will at least talk about adventure games, like Thimbleweed Park did in its own way.

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9 minutes ago, Joe monsters said:

I think the game will at least talk about adventure games, like Thimbleweed Park did in its own way.

 

It's my fondest hope that this won't be the case, but based on past trends I feel like it probably will be. The adventure game genre has spent so much time looking backward to the "golden era" and referencing, reflecting on and relitigating its own history that I don't think there's a fresh thought, insight or observation still out there to be made. I'm really sick of the tendency within the medium to focus on stories *about* the medium at the expense of telling the kind of stories that earned its reputation in the first place. It's the main reason I didn't care much for Thimbleweed Park, and I really, really hope that Ron Gilbert got all the knowing winks and meta-commentary out of his system there.

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I see where you're coming from, and I agree in a way.

I think it might be interesting though. Thimbleweed Park was a nostalgic game, and it did talk about the golden era.

I feel like Return to MI will develop things differently.

Terrible Toybox said, and I'm paraphrasing, I'm sorry, that the game will "look at the past but go toward the future".

So I think it will be more about reflecting on past things to go forward, put an end to the regrets of the old time and finally create something new and fresh.

This is how I see it, at least.

The game is not out yet, so it's only conjectures, of course.

Edited by Joe monsters
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A thought occurs. It’s established in secret that the story would have resolved quicker and cleaner if guybrush wasn’t in the game at all. 
In mi2 guybrush spends 90% of the game looking for a map the he doesn’t end up needing and in doing so brings lechuck back to life and never defeats him.

In curse guybrush does save the day but the day only needs saving because he upgrades lechuck and curses elaine right at the start. Tales is the same. He cures the pox but he’s the one who unleshed it.

Escape is the only game in which guybrush is truely and effectively heroic. The rest of the series has him stumbling around causing problems and occasionally resolving them.

With that in mind does anyone really believe guybrush is going to be able to fix melee island and discover the secret of monkey island? Or is he just going to unleash kraken lechuck and get everyone eaten in the first 10 minutes. 

Edited by JacquesSparkyTail
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31 minutes ago, JacquesSparkyTail said:

A thought occurs. It’s established in secret that the story would have resolved quicker and cleaner if guybrush wasn’t in the game at all. 
In mi2 guybrush spends 90% of the game looking for a map the he doesn’t end up needing and in doing so brings lechuck back to life and never defeats him.

In curse guybrush does save the day but the day only needs saving because he upgrades lechuck and curses elaine right at the start. Tales is the same. He cures the pox but he’s the one who unleshed it.

Escape is the only game in which guybrush is truely and effectively heroic. The rest of the series has him stumbling around causing problems and occasionally resolving them.

With that in mind does anyone really believe guybrush is going to be able to fix melee island and discover the secret of monkey island? Or is he just going to unleash kraken lechuck and get everyone eaten in the first 10 minutes. 

I really do feel like bumbling from problem to problem of his own making is peak guybrush, and so presumably they won't be making him TOO competent.

 

I like how in the latest clip nobody knows or cares who he is. I think that's as it should be. No matter how much he achieves on paper, everyone sees him as at best irrelevant, and at worst an annoyance who gets in the way. Though I like the character of Morgan LeFlay, on my last play of Tales I wasn't that enamoured with the idea of a Guybrush fan. It helped that later on she discovers her idea of Guybrush was severely distorted, but still I feel like Guybrush doesn't quite work if he truly becomes a legend. The only people who really consistently care he exists are Elaine and LeChuck... and perhaps the Voodoo Lady.

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Yes, I like that this is kind of the same scene as the one with the pirate leaders in MI, and that Guybrush's responses are mostly the same, but the context is quite different. In Secret, he was too young and naive, and in Return he's too old and out of touch. He's still trying to prove himself as a mighty pirate, and still unflappable about his ability to prove it.

 

I think that's a fun way of kind of returning to and re-contextualizing the situation from the first game.

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I've taken the liberty of writing out text for a video interview with Ron that was done by Rock, Paper Shotgun but was locked by a paywall. There's some further detail of the hint system and confirmation of how it works as a mechanic within the fantasy of the game world as well as hints to what the story is (he's still vague enough about it but it's a great tease)

 

So Ron, what has it been like for you returning to this world?

It's been a lot of fun! It's been 30 years since I really immersed myself in that world and it's a lot of fun to sort of get back to it. I was a little worried at the beginning about what that was going to be like, but it is just like a comfortable glove at some point, you know when I started working on it with Dave, we just fell into it so quickly.

 

Awesome! So what can you tell us about the story?

Well, the story is...we kinda call it unfinished business. You know Guybrush, in the first game even though it's called The Secret of Monkey Island, he never actually found the secret, so this game is really about him finding the real secret to Monkey Island, and I think it's also unfinished business for Dave and me as designers, because we never disclosed what the secret was, and you know Monkey Island 2 ended on this bizarre  cliffhanger, so for us it's unfinished business and for Guybrush it's unfinished business.

Yeah we were talking before about this huge cliffhanger at the end of 2, so where in the Monkey Island timeline does this land?

So the game starts right after Monkey Island 2 ends...and then it just gets bizarre from there.

Can you explain what kind of bizarre things we're gonna see?

No, you'll have to buy the game (laughs)

I love that! So one thing that was talked about on the panel was this idea of puzzle creation and adventure games are known for their challenging puzzles. Will Return to Monkey Island follow in its predecessor's footsteps, or what kind of puzzles are we gonna see, what should we expect?

Well it's definitely a point and click game. There's a type of puzzle that really inhabits a point and click adventure, so we're definitely doing that. I think that times have changed, players have changed, we're different people, we've changed, and I think adventure games need to change with that. And it's not about making thongs simpler, but I think it's how you design puzzles. You need to be a bit clearer about things with people, and there are people who don't know point and click, don't know Monkey Island, and you need to kinda ease people into that stuff. One thing we've added to the game is a hintbook, so if you are stuck you can look at the hintbook. I mean these days, when you get stuck on a puzzle, you don't puzzle theough it for a month and talk to your friends about it, you just run to Google. We didn't want people to leave our game to do that, so we added a hintbook, and it's part of the fantasy of the game, it's actually a physical object that Guybrush has in his inventory. And you have to go get the hintbook, it's not something that's just given to you. So we hope that people who do want hints use our hint system, because we can be very clever about the hints, we know where you are and what things you've tried, so we can give you hints that are very tailored to the specific issue that you have.

As someone who's had a relationship with Monkey Island for so long, how has your approach changed from the older games to the new one? What's different?

I think creatively, design and story-wise, not much has changed at all. We start with a high concept for the thing, down to the individual parts of the game, then below that the character arcs and below that the puzzles. We've always done that with games and I don't think that part has really changed.

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5 hours ago, OzzieMonkey said:

So the game starts right after Monkey Island 2 ends...and then it just gets bizarre from there.

 

Man... I know Ron mentioned this before, but just reading that sentence sent shivers down my spine! I can't believe that we're picking up right from the ending of MI2 - I never thought we'd get a clear(er?) explanation of that ending!

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4 minutes ago, madmardi said:

 

Man... I know Ron mentioned this before, but just reading that sentence sent shivers down my spine! I can't believe that we're picking up right from the ending of MI2 - I never thought we'd get a clear(er?) explanation of that ending!

I'm actually more excited for this now than I was when this game was a hypothetical and we all thought it would erase the last 3 games from canon. Now that we know that's not exactly the case, I'm really curious about what solution Ron and Dave have come up with to start at the end of 2 but also after Tales somehow, because it sounds like it's going to be more complicated than a simple timeskip. 

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1 hour ago, OzzieMonkey said:

I'm really curious about what solution Ron and Dave have come up

 

So do I, and, actually, this is the main aspect that made me super excited about the game, thanks to the high praise that the solution received from Noah Falstein and Dominic Armato, who found it remarkable.

 

1 hour ago, OzzieMonkey said:

it sounds like it's going to be more complicated than a simple timeskip

 

I'm not sure about that and my hope is that the cleverness of the solution is based on its simplicity. For example, what happens in the first minutes in the amusement park might simply be something that older Guybrush is remembering.

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1 hour ago, OzzieMonkey said:

... it sounds like it's going to be more complicated than a simple timeskip. 

 

The way Ron describes the hint book, it sort of sounds like nearly all of the game takes place within Guybrush's memories. The hint book can exist because Guybrush knows he's done this before but can't quite remember how exactly. 

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17 hours ago, BillyCheers said:
Nice that we’ll have closeups from time to time. :) 

 

It certainly gives the game a bit of a cinematic vibe. I hope they're also doing closeups of Guybrush once in a while (which would be notably different from TSoMI).

 

17 hours ago, Toymafia88 said:

One of my favourite things about Monkey Island was picking the silly dialogue choice but going by the recent clip the dialogue options all seem very tame with no wacky answers.

 

I won't try to find that interview again, but at one point in the last months Ron said that he loves how they've put a team together where everybody has some input and they can rather spontaneously insert a wacky idea somebody has at any point in the game creation process (heavily paraphrasing, but I think that was the gist). Pretty sure you won't have to worry, these nooks and crannies and bells and whistles will be there, and not just in fourth wall breaking stuff that we won't live to see missing in any Ron Gilbert game. 😉

 

12 hours ago, Niemandswasser said:

It's my fondest hope that this won't be the case, but based on past trends I feel like it probably will be. The adventure game genre has spent so much time looking backward to the "golden era" and referencing, reflecting on and relitigating its own history that I don't think there's a fresh thought, insight or observation still out there to be made.

 

It's become so customary to self-reference, comment on, jump to the meta level, to lament the downfall of adventure games. As I said above, we'll have to expect certain in-jokes as Ron will not do without, but I don't think that is what's teased at here. Return is probably not a game about the personal lives and careers of Dave and Ron, it may just allow the analogy.

 

In the same vein, the new pirate leaders could symbolize the game industry if you wish to interpret it that way, no problem. If we're going for the kind of analogy that high literature would give us, it could be overt AF but would never be spelled out for us, but it also wouldn't be to the detriment of the storytelling.


Let's attempt to interpret the new pirate leaders as "the gaming industry" for a moment, because I think we're running into some really interesting roadblocks.

 

So let's assume Guybrush wants to get his game, I mean expedition, financed. He turns to the people who once were his patrons (say, an analogy for the LucasArts of old). But those were anything but perfect patrons. They were just higher ups who looked for some doofus that made the work for them, handing out honorary titles in return. They were just leeching of of Guybrush! So he presents this expedition to the new pirate leaders, asking for substantial amounts of money to finance it. The new pirate leaders are not interested, because Guybrush is trying to do exactly the same game/raid he did 30 years ago. He wants to go to Monkey Island AGAIN (= make a point & click adventure game). The new pirate leaders' rejection, therefore, is just, because Guybrush/the game idea is essentially completely unoriginal. At the same time the new pirate leaders will, without a second thought, finance the 15th expedition to the final fartasy fairgrounds, so at the very least there's some bigotry involved.

 

9 hours ago, JacquesSparkyTail said:

Or is he just going to unleash kraken lechuck and get everyone eaten in the first 10 minutes. 

 

Well, wouldn't that be bizarre.

Edited by Vainamoinen
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I was thinking about the dialogue system and how Ron always lamented the fact that many games don't really do interactive dialogue like he imagines it. From what we've seen with every #MonkeyIslandMonday dialogue trees, it seems like every dialogue choice by Guybrush could lead to wildly different responses and consequentially to another set of different dialogue choices and so on, making the game possibly quite different every time you replay it. I don't know if that's the case, but if that's so, it makes me very excited. Especially because Escape and Tales gave you very limiting dialogue choices and that was always kind of disappointing.

 

25 minutes ago, Vainamoinen said:

Return is probably not a game about the personal lives and careers of Dave and Ron, it may just allow the analogy.

I always thought that the first two games were kind of analogies of their lives anyway, with the MI1 talking about Guybrush wanting to be a pirate and embarking on this bigger than life adventure without really knowing what he's doing (kind of like Ron made Maniac Mansion and MI1) and MI2 talking about Guybrush trying to live another different, bigger adventure and try to go forward with his career (like they were doing at Lucas and how Gilbert did by leaving and founding Humongous). It makes sense that this game would talk about Guybrush trying to return to the past with some prospective and some very well understandable doubts by everyone else.

 

36 minutes ago, tmetic said:

The hint book can exist because Guybrush knows he's done this before but can't quite remember how exactly. 

In one of the last interview posted here, they said you actually have to look for it and pick it up. Maybe it's a vodoo book you can buy/steal/borrow from the vodoo shop in Mêlée

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9 minutes ago, Wally B. said:

 

In one of the last interview posted here, they said you actually have to look for it and pick it up. Maybe it's a vodoo book you can buy/steal/borrow from the vodoo shop in Mêlée

 Considering the Voodoo Lady is a character who can see the future (and might have influence over it if you go with Tales' interpretation), it would make total sense for her to have an item that can help Guybrush even long after he's left the island she's on. I imagine that even if you have to go and get the hintbook, there probably isn't a whole puzzle chain dedicated to getting it, as it would be truly madenning to get stuck getting hints for another puzzle you're stuck on 😂

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