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15 minutes ago, Scummbuddy said:

She had it all figured out in the first Monkey Island ending too, until Guybrush fumbled it up with his good intentions.

I think it worked well in MI1 because it was a subversion of the (at the time especially) expectation of the hero-rescues-the-princess template. In the first game, we know little about Elaine, beyond 'love interest who seems to have her act fairly together'. You get the sense that she can take care of herself, and from the interactions with Fester Shinetop that she likes to take matters into her own hands. But that moment at the end of MI1 is what creates the character of Elaine, in many ways.

MI2 deepens this, by making it clear that she's not a character who exists just for Guybrush to have a love interest, and is actually independent, and evolved beyond the need for Guybrush to justify her.

 

I do think there was such a missed opportunity in walking that back in CMI. The dynamic of a couple of characters who had a relationship that they're now beyond, but still sometimes have to work together is so interesting and underexplored in games.

 

I always loved the ending to Full Throttle, where you get the obvious romantic tension between Maureen and Ben, but he realises that it's just not where this is going, and leaves quietly while she's on a call. If there had been a sequel, it would have been so fun to see them interact as an almost-but-not-quite, wrong-place-wrong-time sort of couple, and in Monkey Island I would have really like to see the Elaine and Guybrush who have a bit of history and the wounds have mostly healed enough that they can be friends, but there's no going back to the MI1 days.

Edited by KestrelPi
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I forgot to say, I agree that broadly her role was pretty poor in CMI.

 

In fact, if you skipped the opening cutscene entirely as I did because I wanted to skip the credits and had no idea it stitched the cutscene onto the end, you hear virtually nothing from her the entire game.

 

It’s a shame the little depth that the ending would have added was cut. Even if it was a retread of MI1’s ‘Elaine is fine actually’.

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2 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:

And if you click through all the LeChuck dialog, you can watch her react to LeChuck's confession that he killed her dad. That's literally torture (and not particularly funny). Last scene, wedding dress.


Well, thank goodness he was Herman all along! Er… I think? (If we just ignore the captain’s log on MI1’s Sea Monkey.)

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50 minutes ago, Thrik said:

It’s worth noting that MI1 is where we first saw Elaine doting on Guybrush with very little reason to do so. She almost immediately flips from being quite standoffish to wanting his clothes off and inviting him back to her place.

True, but to me this was Elaine simply looking for a one-night stand, and nothing serious (at that moment at least).

I can see their relationship crumble not long after the credits of SoMI, when Guybrush won't shut up about how great he is.

 

59 minutes ago, Thrik said:

The hot/cold nature of the relationship was established in those two games, so it doesn’t seem a crazy stretch to me that she’d be feeling loved up again months/years after losing him to Big Whoop (I forget if the game said how long).

It is not a huge stretch to me either, that she would eventually fall in love with that dork. But it bums me out because the last time she saw him he was such a huuuge asshole. Since this is all I know about the two, it makes me yell at the screen "Nooo! You deserve better, Elaine! Find someone else, girl!".

 

To me her love for Guybrush in Curse doesn't feel like lazy writing though, it just sounds like the game skipped a whole chapter where the two (and we) learn why they like like each other.

 

Man, I wish we could learn what really happened after the end of Monkey 2...

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46 minutes ago, Marius said:

To me her love for Guybrush in Curse doesn't feel like lazy writing though, it just sounds like the game skipped a whole chapter where the two (and we) learn why they like like each other.

This sums my feelings up perfectly. I'm replaying Curse at the moment, and coming from MI2 it just happens way too soon. The relationship hasn't had time to breathe, evolve... I do however stand by Ron's opinion that they never should've gotten married, but the way they did is not lazily written... (although it is considerably hampered by budgetary reasons, that's gotta be the cheapest wedding ever...)

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Guybrush goes through a fairly significant personality change with each outing. He's a likable combination of nebbish and plucky in MI1, and becomes more of a blowhard and a jerk by the events of MI2. He's more humbled and easygoing in CMI, almost like the trauma of Big Whoop restored some perspective or something. In EMI he reemerges as "first gentleman" Guybrush, a role he seems to take to pretty enthusiastically, even while he spends the whole game being emasculated as a punch line. There's something Spongebob-like about this version of Guybrush, where everybody seems to find him stupid/insufferable and he just barrels forward unfazed. Then the game ends with he and Elaine recognizing that the two of them aren't meant to be the landed gentry, and they return to a more rough-edged piratey life, which is where we find them in TMI.

 

Elaine's trajectory is also interesting because as some have noted, Guybrush's feelings for her in MI1 weren't necessary requited in a totally unambiguous way, and in MI2 she seems over him -- and yet, she has feelings enough for him to sail all the way to Dinky Island to try to bail him out of his latest mess. How we find her in CMI is a bit jarring though it could be read that her thinking Guybrush was dead clarified her feelings for him. There seems to be a bit of lost time between MI2 and CMI in which much can be read.

 

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14 minutes ago, Udvarnoky said:

He's a likable combination of nebbish and plucky in MI1

Until he visits Meathook. Rude!

hairProblem.jpg

15 minutes ago, Udvarnoky said:

and yet, she has feelings enough for him to sail all the way to Dinky Island to try to bail him out of his latest mess.

That, or she tries to stop him from doing something bad with the treasure. (Although, that doesn't cancel out your point, she still could care for his safety at that moment.)

thatIdiot.jpg

 

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40 minutes ago, Marius said:

Until he visits Meathook. Rude!

hairProblem.jpg

That, or she tries to stop him from doing something bad with the treasure. (Although, that doesn't cancel out your point, she still could care for his safety at that moment.)

thatIdiot.jpg

 

 

True about Meathook, but the tables were more than turned later. ("Excuse me, Guybrush. Does the word 'keelhaul' mean anything to you?")

 

Re: Elaine's line, I took it more to mean, "That fool's monkeying around with a nuclear weapon!"

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4 hours ago, Thrik said:

It’s worth noting that MI1 is where we first saw Elaine doting on Guybrush with very little reason to do so. She almost immediately flips from being quite standoffish to wanting his clothes off and inviting him back to her place.

 

Very true. Elaine didn't have too much of a personality until the end of SOMI. She's basically nothing more than a reason for Guybrush to go to Monkey Island. It's all very deliberately campy though. Very silly and cartoonish. (Elaine was only named "Elaine" after someone put a reference to The Graduate into the dialogue. Presumably she was Girlbrush until then!)

 

Of course my 12 year old self thought their courtship was all very realistic and set my expectations for future relationships 😥

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Mto0lv8.png

 

TEH HUEG NEWS

 

There's a galley, and a ship, and a lamp, and a soup, perhaps even a vichyssoise, and and and ... a Guybrush!

 

Seriously folks, interactive lighting effects in a Monkey Island game, I feel good about this. Might help Mr. Brush to reveal all those pirate symbols on that dozen islands that we're going to visit.

Also!

kHooxOp.png

 

Dave tweeted that roughly half are Dominic's lines, and of course hilarity ensued.

 

vK3wTj8.png

 

So, 8,357 dialog lines in CMI, and about 5,000 of those were LeChuck explaining his evil plan. Sounds better and better for Return to Monkey Island.

 

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The more I think about it the more I think that Elaine really hasn't had a decent outing in the series except for Tales.

 

In 1 she has a couple of short scenes with Guybrush, one of which doesn't even happen if you do the thievery trial last.

 

In 2 she gets a brief appearance in the intro, a short conversation and then another couple of lines at the end of the flashback.

 

In the context of that, it's little wonder that the later games weren't too sure what to do with her. She's barely there.

 

In 3 she basically gets a bit of dialogue in the intro, then a brief conversation with Guybrush.

 

In Escape she finally has a larger role but also seems to undergo a radical personality change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Vainamoinen said:

Mto0lv8.png

 

TEH HUEG NEWS

 

There's a galley, and a ship, and a lamp, and a soup, perhaps even a vichyssoise, and and and ... a Guybrush!

 

Seriously folks, interactive lighting effects in a Monkey Island game, I feel good about this. Might help Mr. Brush to reveal all those pirate symbols on that dozen islands that we're going to visit.

Also!

kHooxOp.png

 

Dave tweeted that roughly half are Dominic's lines, and of course hilarity ensued.

 

vK3wTj8.png

 

So, 8,357 dialog lines in CMI, and about 5,000 of those were LeChuck explaining his evil plan. Sounds better and better for Return to Monkey Island.

 

Does anyone know how many of the lines in previous games were Guybrush's? If Guybrush has a larger percentage of lines in this game than the others, I'd bet it's for more unique interaction dialogues. If not then this game is just much bigger than the others.

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12 minutes ago, Knight Owl said:

Does anyone know how many of the lines in previous games were Guybrush's? If Guybrush has a larger percentage of lines in this game than the others, I'd bet it's for more unique interaction dialogues. If not then this game is just much bigger than the others.

 

6FfO7lK.png

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24 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

The more I think about it the more I think that Elaine really hasn't had a decent outing in the series except for Tales.

 

In 1 she has a couple of short scenes with Guybrush, one of which doesn't even happen if you do the thievery trial last.

 

In 2 she gets a brief appearance in the intro, a short conversation and then another couple of lines at the end of the flashback.

 

In the context of that, it's little wonder that the later games weren't too sure what to do with her. She's barely there.

 

In 3 she basically gets a bit of dialogue in the intro, then a brief conversation with Guybrush.

 

In Escape she finally has a larger role but also seems to undergo a radical personality change.

 

I think it's no surprise that Alexandra Boyd got the line readings so off... nobody knows who her character is. 

 

Personally I remember thinking that Charity James got Elaine "right". I felt the recasting was a course correction, and I don't recall anyone lamenting that her voice had changed. But it seems she was tarred with the same brush that gave us Monkey Kombat and plot holes.

I was disappointed when Boyd came back for the SEs and then Tales. And now Return. Has anyone ever actually loved Elaine in Curse?

 

Has Ron actually ever played EMI or Tales? 

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1 hour ago, Knight Owl said:

Does anyone know how many of the lines in previous games were Guybrush's? If Guybrush has a larger percentage of lines in this game than the others, I'd bet it's for more unique interaction dialogues. If not then this game is just much bigger than the others.

Guybrush talks to himself when alone and is 50% of most all conversations, so him having half-ish the script is probably the norm. 

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6 hours ago, Thrik said:

It’s worth noting that MI1 is where we first saw Elaine doting on Guybrush with very little reason to do so. She almost immediately flips from being quite standoffish to wanting his clothes off and inviting him back to her place.

H7mNDp4.jpg

 

Oh, right. It's that scene that I completely missed, like, my first five runs through TSoMI because I always solved the idol task last. 🥇❌  🥈⚔️  🥉👩‍🦰

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Throwing my hat into the Elaine discussion, while I have loved every single one of her appearances, I always enjoyed her character the most when her being a competent badass also did not take too much away from LeChuck's credibility as a legitimate threat. While the end of Secret was great because it took what was the typical damsel in distress trope and turned it on its head, it also made LeChuck look like a buffoon, which perhaps was the point.

 

That being said, I think the real payoff was LeChuck's character in the sequel; the fact that not only does he not seem to care about Elaine, but the fact that he doesn't even mention or reference her, not even indirectly, once is actually really disturbing. There is something so disturbing and personal going on just beneath the surface of LeChuck's Revenge, that the ending truly feels earned. LeChuck being Guybrush's brother always felt more than just a blatant Star Wars ripoff, because of the personal nature their battle became during the course of that game.

 

Going back to Elaine though, I think I loved her portrayal in Tales the most because of how it weighed her intelligence and resourcefulness against LeChuck's malice, and Guybrush's effectiveness as the protagonist, a little more evenly. While Elaine was always still partially two steps ahead, I always found it made sense that she would never believe a human LeChuck was good because she also knew him before he became undead; he was evil even back then. Despite that though, LeChuck still gained the upper hand and we later learn it partially had to do with a voodoo trust charm he was using. It was oddly satisfying to see LeChuck become such a credible threat to the point that the entire world and the afterlife were at stake by the end.

 

Tales did so much right from a story and character perspective in my opinion, but I truly loved what it also did for LeChuck as a villain. It showed his ambitions extended far beyond Elaine and revenge; he also wanted power, riches, and to conquer everything. He was just despicable in the last chapter of that game. How he so overtly abused Elaine just showed his obsession for her was nothing more than an extension of his need to control everything and everyone he lusts for. I loved the crazy escalation in Tales; the stakes have never been so high to the point that everything was burning and LeChuck was even taking over the spiritual dimension. It made perfect sense that Elaine just by herself couldn't stop him. She was far from helpless, but it took everyone in the end to finally take down LeChuck. I found that a perfect balance for everyone's character. The fact that Dave helmed the project with Ron's input really validated it for me.

 

Sorry, that was a little bit of a tangent for my love of Tales

 

Going to Elaine's relationship with Guybrush, it actually always made a lot of sense to me. I think to call Guybrush just a dork misses the entire point of his character. Yes, he's a dork but he also has a razor sharp wit that enables him to overcome impossible odds. Him managing to infiltrate Elaine's mansion and go toe-to-toe with a disguised LeChuck probably really made him stand out to Elaine, along with the mutual physical attraction. One of the reasons Guybrush is such a great character is that when he does have a moment of badass, it's so disarming and satisfying. Maybe that's what Elaine sees in him lol.

Edited by demone
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I think Elaine's personality can be perfectly clear when you've played MI1 and MI2. She doesn't get a lot of screen time, but that doesn't mean her character isn't fleshed out. The few lines she gets actually really ground her character as a tough, self made woman who can charm a man as well as beat him (no, not literally beat him, EMI) in a battle of wits.

When you do a study on her, which is the job of any writer, director and actor, it can also be deduced that she has trouble finding a relationship, with maybe a pattern of falling for someone weaker than she is. Maybe the identification with being an authority figure gives her the need to find someone who's less masculine, but after a while she learns that those men are just too sweet (haven't we all been there?), and that's the reason she remained single all those years.

Of course the second paraphrase isn't canon per se, but for an actor it's important to build a character profile of someone on which to base a performance on. This way the things she says get weight, and that's how an interesting performance developes. Apart from maybe Tales, which I keep saying I definitely need to play again, this has never really rung true for me in Elaine's voice acting. (Although in CMI she didn't really get a chance to do so.)

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3 hours ago, Lagomorph01 said:

I think Elaine's personality can be perfectly clear when you've played MI1 and MI2. She doesn't get a lot of screen time, but that doesn't mean her character isn't fleshed out. The few lines she gets actually really ground her character as a tough, self made woman who can charm a man as well as beat him (no, not literally beat him, EMI) in a battle of wits.

When you do a study on her, which is the job of any writer, director and actor, it can also be deduced that she has trouble finding a relationship, with maybe a pattern of falling for someone weaker than she is. Maybe the identification with being an authority figure gives her the need to find someone who's less masculine, but after a while she learns that those men are just too sweet (haven't we all been there?), and that's the reason she remained single all those years.

Of course the second paraphrase isn't canon per se, but for an actor it's important to build a character profile of someone on which to base a performance on. This way the things she says get weight, and that's how an interesting performance developes. Apart from maybe Tales, which I keep saying I definitely need to play again, this has never really rung true for me in Elaine's voice acting. (Although in CMI she didn't really get a chance to do so.)

I don't necessarily agree with the earlier point by the way that the characterisation wasn't well done - actually I think that they do a fairly good job of implying a lot about her character. But I do think she's definitely underused in the first 3 games. She is supposed to be an important character, and his main motivation in the 1st and 3rd games, but gets less screen time and dialog than Stan. Or Herman Toothrot. Or the Men of Low Moral Fiber.

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1 hour ago, KestrelPi said:

But I do think she's definitely underused in the first 3 games. She is supposed to be an important character, ...

I don't think Elaine is underused in 1 and 2 at all. In SoMI you are right, she is an important character to the story, but only because Guybrush puts so much importance into rescuing her. He is acting as this is the most important thing of his life. But when you reunite with her in the church, she is like "Er, what are you doing here?". I love this because, while Guybrush only had her on his mind throughout his whole rescue mission, she never even thought of him. He is just a guy she met shortly before she got "kidnapped". (I'm not suggesting Guybrush is not important to her around that time, but he has nothing to do with her own goal of dealing with LeChuck at that time).

 

 

In Monkey 2 it's even stronger: Elaine lives her new life on Booty Island, and Guybrush primarily sees her as an obstacle on his quest for getting a map piece. Her little role in this game works because there is a big distance between the two, and none of them are interested in getting back together (or, at least it's not their top priority at the time).

 

All these things work for me so well is because the writing for Elaine suggests she is having a life off-screen, with own goals and desires that she is not sharing with Guybrush (and the player).

 

So, I think the lack of Elaine is not a lack of writing. She just busy.

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22 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

The more I think about it the more I think that Elaine really hasn't had a decent outing in the series except for Tales.

 

Yea... I actually wasn't a huge fan of her role in Tales. Maybe she just isn't that interesting of a character and I prefer when she isn't as front and centre. For some reason I wasn't a big fan of her character model either... 

 

That being said, demone's long and loving post above discussing Tales was pretty convincing, and even if I'm not the biggest fan of Elaine as a character, I'll say she was much more developed than in any other game. I did like her (and her voice) a lot in EMI though.

 

20 hours ago, Vainamoinen said:

 

Oh, right. It's that scene that I completely missed, like, my first five runs through TSoMI because I always solved the idol task last. 🥇❌  🥈⚔️  🥉👩‍🦰

 

Yea, I actually only 'discovered' that scene (relatively) recently! I always solved the idol task last.

Edited by madmardi
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Hmm. I think that Punderbunny conversation on the dock is silly. I mean it's cute and fun and sweet, but it's cartoonish and pantomime. And knowingly so.

 

The fact that you can completely miss that conversation (by completing the mansion last) only adds more to the lack of Elaine as a character in the first part of the game. She's a macguffin: She propels the story forward by being an object of desire for Guybrush. 

 

Of course the twist at the end is great -- she's not a damsel in distress at all and doesn't need Guybrush's help. I think the inevitable turn in part 2 is great, too. It makes perfect sense that after MI1 Elaine gets to know Guybrush better and quickly learns he's a (lovable) doofus. 

 

She's an incredibly capable woman, and doesn't need him by her side.

 

It's always tricky when the audience identifies with a bad/idiot character though. They learn to love them and get angry with other characters treat them normally (ie. frustrated by their shenanigans).

 

I can't wait to see what Ron and Dave have done with this dynamic!

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