Jump to content

Home

Return to Monkey Island


Recommended Posts

I guess my hopes for the game (which mostly seem to be in the right direction given what we've read) is that it's driven by so much more than nostalgia. I don't mind going back to old locations, revisiting old characters. Of course it's gonna have a bit of that. But the thing I was really frightened of with a new Monkey Island is what if it doesn't actually have anything new to say.

 

And they seem to be self consciously making sure it does have new things to say. Interesting things.

 

I think Ron is right to be frustrated that Thimbleweed Park is so heavily seen as a throwback when it does some interesting stuff, but also it was a very self inflicted label. It absolutely went out of its way to connect itself with the past and to make references only people familiar with the old stuff would get and to make jokes about how old school adventure games worked.

 

But here, we're coming in with new art style, an interface approach that is gonna at least be interesting enough that they're not yet ready to discuss how it works, a story that they claim is gonna be a wild ride and are clearly very excited for people to get into.

 

On the other hand, it's been a while since I've played a Ron Gilbert game that truly felt like it took its world building seriously. Not that MI ever took itself over-seriously, but it always felt like it was really GOING for something. Thimbleweed had elements of it but with tongue so firmly lodged in its cheek I don't think its atmosphere always held together. The Cave might've been that game for me but whether for budget or other reasons that always seemed just a little shallow to me, as a world. I liked the idea more than I liked the execution,  I guess.

 

I guess what I'm getting at is that I want this to be a game that really trusts itself not to be a relic of the past. That lets me lose myself in its world in the same way I did the first two games. That doesn't feel the need to constantly remind me that I'm playing an adventure game, or that I'm revisiting an old franchise, but actually trusts itself to tell a good story in an atmospheric world that I am invested in for its own sake.

When I fell in love with MI it didn't have the weight of 30 years behind it. It's gonna be difficult not to acknowledge all that baggage in some ways, but while I'm playing, I want to be able to forget I ever left.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/17/2022 at 10:38 PM, Rum Rogers said:

Seeing Guybrush being sprayed root beer upon during the dream sequence reminded me of a crazy theory I had.
Before spraying, LeChuck says he's about to destroy Guybrush's spiritual essence (as Guybrush did in MI1): we know that that dream isn't 100% a dream, because the notes Guybrush takes down are real, so what if LeChuck actually destroyed some part of Guybrush's spirit right there?
I mean probably it's just a dream and there's no explanation for the bone dance notes being real after he wakes up, but still, if we went nitpicking on that sequence it's quite odd that no one but me ever mentioned it?

 

I think you're onto something here

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I missed the conversation about insult sword fighting, but although it comes close to being a grind, the genius of it (and why I still love it) is two reasons: 1. I'm a sucker for collecting things (except the dust in TP). 2. It was super satisfying to take that knowledge and apply it future fights, and then to the Sword Master's insults.

 

The rhyming in CMI didn't add that much to me. I think I almost would have preferred it if they'd ditched that aspect and just had new insults that worked better (the rhyming meant they weren't quite as funny as SOMI's if you ask me).

 

I disagree that it was the same puzzle though, because although the mechanics are the same, it takes the same amount of effort to solve in each game -- you have to think and remember. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

I think you're onto something here


ATMachine suggested it could have been for LeChuck to prevent Guybrush from coming back as a ghost after being sent to hell as planned for the MI3a plot. I found this take very fascinating because something really similar occurs in TMI and Ron stated that some things he had planned were unknowingly used later by other MI games.

Edited by Rum Rogers
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

I guess what I'm getting at is that I want this to be a game that really trusts itself not to be a relic of the past. That lets me lose myself in its world in the same way I did the first two games. That doesn't feel the need to constantly remind me that I'm playing an adventure game, or that I'm revisiting an old franchise, but actually trusts itself to tell a good story in an atmospheric world that I am invested in for its own sake.

 

It's pretty much always contradicting impulses when it comes to narrative media. We want the old back, of course, but it has to feel new. It has to have completely new elements, but they must not feel alien. The resolution to a story should follow entirely logically, but still surprise the heck out of us. It should have the old characters, even when their arcs are long completed. It should really take risks, be bold and daring, but not shock us. It should take liberties with the source material but not infringe on the holy canon. It should fit just like your worn-out favorite gloves but still have that fresh-out-of-the-cow leather smell.

 

As an author, I guess the best thing to do is not to listen to the fans because they are, myself definitely included, slaves to those contradicting impulses. Which people will like Return to Monkey Island may in fact by and large already be decided. But I'm guessing this will play out well for you and me. 😊

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Vainamoinen said:

 

It's pretty much always contradicting impulses when it comes to narrative media. We want the old back, of course, but it has to feel new. It has to have completely new elements, but they must not feel alien. The resolution to a story should follow entirely logically, but still surprise the heck out of us. It should have the old characters, even when their arcs are long completed. It should really take risks, be bold and daring, but not shock us. It should take liberties with the source material but not infringe on the holy canon. It should fit just like your worn-out favorite gloves but still have that fresh-out-of-the-cow leather smell.

 

As an author, I guess the best thing to do is not to listen to the fans because they are, myself definitely included, slaves to those contradicting impulses. Which people will like Return to Monkey Island may in fact by and large already be decided. But I'm guessing this will play out well for you and me. 😊

 

Yes, it's true. I suppose a more basic thing for me is that I hope I find it funny.

 

So far I've found Thimbleweed's humour a bit of a mixed bag, and that's the latest example I have to go on. It has a bit of a habit of running jokes into the ground, or making characters that have one defining characteristic and then playing it to death. But then there are some moments that I think have been quite amusing.

 

I'm hoping that now some of that super referencey stuff is out of Ron's system, and with Dave there also with his hands in it we'll get a comic style that feels a bit more 'Monkey Island). I suspect the lack of Tim will be noticeable, I just don't know HOW noticeable.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

I don't particularly remember the swamp as a 'maze' puzzle, so much as I remember the neat mechanic of having to make things happen the same way when encountering your past/future self. It must have made an impression on me because the only things I can say I actually remember about EMI since I played it (3 times, when it came out) are:

 

It's a nice puzzle, but I would probably have been more impressed with it had I not seen an almost identical one years earlier, and I though it was better integrated there. (I wish it hadn't been so unforgiving, though: You only have a limited number of moves before you run out of air, and you have to get through a small maze.)

 

sorcerer.png

 

That's not to say they ripped it off, just that it was hard not to see the parallels. The game, in case anyone was wondering, is Sorcerer by Infocom.

Edited by Torbjörn Andersson
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone posted this wonderful new interview yet? I love the detailed answers Grossman is giving to the questions. One of my favorite Ron quotes: 

 

Gilbert: I feel no desire to tie up loose ends unless it serves our new story. It can be more fun to have them dangling out there. Let someone else tie them up in a future game. Why should we have all the fun?

 

tbc I never want the series to end so forward thinking design that will leave room for more story and an expanded pool of new creators contributing is something I definitely appreciate. 

 

All together I found this interview to be of better quality than other recent efforts and worth the short read.

 

Still no new images but one day we will get that I imagine 😀

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a lot of moments I liked in that interview relating to the writing - i like the idea of them replaying those older games to try to get into the voice of those old characters, and I really like "We revisited some locations and characters, but you have to be careful that it’s more than just a trip down nostalgia lane."

 

I was a little surprised by "Gilbert: I’ve always been a fan of parody. For me Monkey Island was about making fun of stuff." because it's always been important to me that Monkey Island ISN'T parody in the way that I understand it, and fails hardest (parts of EMI) when it is trying too much to be parody.

 

It has parody moments, of course, especially when it wants to reference star wars or indy. But it's not like a Mel Brooks film or Airplane or something. The comedy isn't that broad, most of the time. It's more like a pastiche of a pirate story, done in a kind of unique comedic style.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

I was a little surprised by "Gilbert: I’ve always been a fan of parody. For me Monkey Island was about making fun of stuff." because it's always been important to me that Monkey Island ISN'T parody in the way that I understand it, and fails hardest (parts of EMI) when it is trying too much to be parody.

 

It has parody moments, of course, especially when it wants to reference star wars or indy. But it's not like a Mel Brooks film or Airplane or something. The comedy isn't that broad, most of the time. It's more like a pastiche of a pirate story, done in a kind of unique comedic style.


Funny that you should mention Mel Brooks films as hardcore parodies. Back in the day, I watched Spaceballs just about five years before my first Star Wars part (the reasons are complex, let's just say "didn't have cable"). And even though it was spoof galore, the story worked, you took those characters seriously and you felt with them. Mel Brooks himself said it on the DVD commentary: Ruining the story for the gags is a no-go.

 

Monkey Island certainly had less direct spoof/parody moments than, say, Spaceballs – but on the other hand, Ron was always fond of demolishing the 4th wall every five minutes. Which is something that can take you out of the narrative in a much worse way than a spoof moment that still parodies the same genre.

 

Maybe it's less about "how much" parody you have and more about keeping the integrity of the story intact. And I won't talk about the Thimbleweed Park ending right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, OzzieMonkey said:

This is pretty cool.

 

 

My eyes focused on the logo and for a second i legit thought there was a new trailer 😭

 

I think maybe i need to stop waiting for news as the lack of news is killer.

 

Thank god for psychonauts 2, great distraction. Sad Double Fine with be xbox exclusive after such a great game but happy the developer has stability.

Edited by Toymafia88
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, OzzieMonkey said:

This is pretty cool.

 

 


I love this. The first minute is a little slow and odd, but once it breaks into the music proper it’s fantastic. And when the other theme came in during the second half I was like…

 

O1IadKe.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:

Ron was always fond of demolishing the 4th wall every five minutes. Which is something that can take you out of the narrative in a much worse way than a spoof moment that still parodies the same genre.

 

Maybe it's less about "how much" parody you have and more about keeping the integrity of the story intact. And I won't talk about the Thimbleweed Park ending right now.


Yep, it’s my biggest concern that Ron tries to out meta himself to the detriment of the story. 
 

It’s weird. I agree with the things that Ron says in interviews and on his blog about adventure games. The importance of story. The importance of the game world. Why adventure games suck, etc. but then I play Thimbleweed Park and I go… what happened to all that stuff you said?

 

I believe it’s 1. Story above all else. 2. Love your characters. 
 

In the first version of TP, the main characters didn’t really have any personality. Dialogue for them was patched in later. Am afterthought. And then the story was completely jettisoned at the end. 
 

As I’ve said before: I hope he’s gotten that out of his system. But I think the presence of Grossman, who seems to really get it, too, might keep it more on track. 
 

Very interesting that neither of them said they replayed the sequels though. 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:


Funny that you should mention Mel Brooks films as hardcore parodies. Back in the day, I watched Spaceballs just about five years before my first Star Wars part (the reasons are complex, let's just say "didn't have cable"). And even though it was spoof galore, the story worked, you took those characters seriously and you felt with them. Mel Brooks himself said it on the DVD commentary: Ruining the story for the gags is a no-go.

 

Monkey Island certainly had less direct spoof/parody moments than, say, Spaceballs – but on the other hand, Ron was always fond of demolishing the 4th wall every five minutes. Which is something that can take you out of the narrative in a much worse way than a spoof moment that still parodies the same genre.

 

Maybe it's less about "how much" parody you have and more about keeping the integrity of the story intact. And I won't talk about the Thimbleweed Park ending right now.

 

Yeah, I definitely don't think the Mel Brooks approach is bad, I just think there's a definite difference between what it does and Monkey Island does, and partly it's the density of it (I really think it's an exaggeration to say Monkey Island does it every 5 minutes, but it's not much of an exaggeration to say that about, say, Spaceballs) but it's also something about an the nature of the gags themselves.

 

Like, Monkey Island will have Guybrush turn the the camera and say "I bet you're feeling something similar" or end with "Never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game" and do a fake game over screen like a sierra game. It can have anachronisms like the grog machine. But all of these feel like moments, they're fleeting, they come and go and we move on. They're not really delivered as 'bits'.

 

The closest they get to being a 'bit' is at the end of MI2 when they drag out the LeChuck/Darth Vader parallel joke to an extent which, in hindsight, feels a bit out of step with the rest of the series. But it still works on its own merits (I hadn't seen Star Wars when I first played MI2).

 

In fact, That's another thing that marks a difference that even when it IS doing parody, MI is doing it pretty straight. Both MI2 and Spaceballs have a parody of the 'I am your father' thing - and I would argue one of them works pretty well even if you haven't seen Star Wars, and the other one doesn't. Mel Brooks may believe that his parody is always in service to the story, but I think even he would have to admit he walks that line HARD, and the parody work that MI dabbles in is much more subtle.

 

I don't think classic MI would ever do a bit like in spaceballs where the bad guys look up a video of itself to try and figure out where the good guys are. I don't think it even does a whole lot of jokes like 'perri-air' or 'beam me up snotty'. And - an in-hindsight-bad monkey wrench puzzle aside, it doesn't really engage in jokes like 'jamming the radar' very much. Even stuff like the grog machine, the grog machine is just THERE and the font looks a bit like Coke, it's barely even played for laughs. When it returns in MI2, it's even a bit creepy.

 

Until you get to EMI, when the whole thing becomes so referential, and self-referential that I feel like it stops doing little parody moments and instead does lots of 'bits' - the lua bar, Planet Threepwood, Starbuccaneers, all that jazz.

Definitely don't talk about the Thimbleweed Park ending, because I haven't finished it yet.

 

 

Edited by KestrelPi
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, KestrelPi said:

Definitely don't talk about the Thimbleweed Park ending, because I haven't finished it yet.


Does it say something about the game that even as a Ron Gilbert fan you’ve not finished the game in 5 years?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:


Does it say something about the game that even as a Ron Gilbert fan you’ve not finished the game in 5 years?

To be fair I didn't even start it until this year. The type of nostalgia it was going for (as in the art evoking early early lucas style) just isn't something I was that interested in, and I didn't particularly find the bits I'd seen very funny, and I didn't really want to play something that was quite so heavily referency, so I put it off.

 

I'm trying to meet the game on its own terms, and I'm quite enjoying it so far, but not without reservations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Warning: Thimbleweed Park ending spoiler below!

I just don’t get the dislike for that ending. Every little thing comes together beautifully in the end. What starts with a body in the river soon becomes something much bigger with everyone drawn to that mysterious pillow factory, all the while the realization that their world is not real slowly seeps in. All the characters reacting in their own way to their certain doom. It’s a kind of feeling of sadness and moarning. The only other games that give me that kind of feeling are Zelda Majora’s Mask and Zelda Links Awakening. You, the player, become a character, and get to say goodbye to the people you’ve grown to love. I think it works fantastic on so many levels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

2 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

Even stuff like the grog machine, the grog machine is just THERE and the font looks a bit like Coke, it's barely even played for laughs. When it returns in MI2, it's even a bit creepy.

 

Then again, the only reason why the Grog machine didn't look more like a Coke machine is that Coca-Cola would have sued their butts off. ;)

 

I do absolutely agree that the humorous moments or "bits" often feel less forced. They often feel like an in joke. I mean, modelling a character after Lucas, naming a character after Spielberg's wife, playing the first four notes of the Raider's March, dropping the names Tim, Dave and Ron in the same sentence ... it's not as in your face maybe, but it is still there.

 

1 hour ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

As I’ve said before: I hope he’s gotten that out of his system. But I think the presence of Grossman, who seems to really get it, too, might keep it more on track.

 

I love that latest interview in that respect, but I also really love the dynamic suggested in the early adventure gamers interview. Ron Gilbert, he seems to be all impulse, creativity, he's got drive and energy, he's ready to try everything both new and old, he's taking all the risks, oscillating between the extremes, but he's of course also grumpy as ever – thin skinned, vulnerable to negative comments, and prone to self doubt. That's where Dave Grossman comes in. He's got the motivation, he's all zen, he brings the "yes we actually can", he balances things out, he's at the theoretical and conceptual level when Ron has long since turned to his wonderful but not infallible instinct.

 

I think they're an incredible team of two very strong and very different characters , and I strongly believe they're going to give us great things. ❤️

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Jake changed the title to Return to Monkey Island
  • Thrik unpinned this topic
  • Jake locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...