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Return to Monkey Island 🚨GAME-WIDE🚨 Spoiler Chat


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This thread is a place to talk about the ENTIRE GAME so if you haven't played it yet, maybe stay away!

 

☠️ YE BE WARNED ☠️

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Somehow Monkey Island returned... And we're playing it.

 

I was fortunate enough to be a playtester on the game so I already got to the end a while back. I am extremely eager to discuss the entire game with all of you so I made this thread. I'm guessing it'll take a little while for others to get there but in the meantime this thread is GAME WIDE spoilers. That means ending discussion etc is fair game in here!

 

I'm going to hold off on posting my thoughts for a minute so some others can catch up but... I can't wait. It's been a long few months holy hell.

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I am setting up this thread in advance - obviously - as ReMI is not released yet at the time of writing.

Let’s be honest here and write down your reaction after your first time playing ReMI.

How did you feel after you played it? What did you like and what not?

 

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It's a thread where maybe we should also put everything we say inside spoiler blocks? Who can say. Anyway hi Dom! Here:

 

Spoiler

The end of this game is good. 

 

14 minutes ago, Dmnkly said:

I feel like this thread needs a HERE BE DRAGONS header, or something along those lines 😄

 

I've added something.

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ENDING SPOILERS 

Just finished my first (arguably intense, but not deliberately rushed) playthrough. Absolutely loved it overall, but I'm unsure of how to feel about that ending. Might need to process it a bit more.

 

At the same time though, I get it. The Secret is whatever we, as the fans, think it is. It's the memories and joy it brought us and it's meant to be left open to our imaginations.

 

My read is that the entire series was real, and the Guybrush we see in the framing device was an older version embellishing for his son. If you think about it alongside the concepts introduced in Escape, it makes more sense, as the old ways were already crumbling. It makes sense for his kids to be growing up in a world where Pirates have become a folk tale, a novelty. Now they've settled down he can play "pirates" in a themed theme park with Elaine and his son, and whilst his tales are accurate for the most part he likes to mess with the endings in the cringeworthy way that only a Dad can.

 

In the end, it's down to our interpretation and that's how I'm seeing it. I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts though. :)

Edited by Purplephoenix
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Just finished. Played through the first time on casual as i’m going to jump straight back in and leaving hard mode til second playthrough gives a little replay value. 
 

Won’t go too in depth as it’s nearly 4am here but what i will say is that I wasn’t a big fan of the way they handled the monkey 2 ending but it wasn’t anything too egregious and it’s essentially just the first and last 20 minutes of the game. I was waiting for there to be a twist on top of the twist and was disappointed when i realised that it wasn’t going to be any more than what was revealed at the very beginning as that felt a little like a cheat. But i think that may have been my own fault for raising my expectations even while playing. 
 

by far my favourite chapter was when you’re a part of lechucks crew and essentially just hang out with the other ghosts, zombies etc. Of all the new characters, they were the most charming. 
 

I was always going to be disappointed by some of the characters they left out so i can’t hold that against the game. I think they struck the perfect balance between including the nostalgic stuff and the new stuff. Even if i would have stuck an extra meathook in there at the very least. 
 

I could talk for hours but I desperately need sleep now so I’ll probably post more in depth over the next few days. Basically… loved it. It’s great. It’s just not perfect. 
 

P.S. pleasantly surprised by the amount of morgan leflay shout outs in this game. 

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Okay, my thoughts as of right now....

 

I absolutely loved this game. The ending....I'm going to be thinking about for a while, but I think Ron has quite literally given us the keys to come up with whatever conclusion we are most happy with.

 

I think the true secret of Monkey Island is that it's a series of stories that Guybrush came up with based off his own experiences in an amusement park that Stan owned (he visited it as a kid and always kept coming back even as an adult, married and as a flooring inspector), with Stan tweaking the story and animatronics every now and then as the years went on (very much like the POTC ride after the movies came out). Guybrush used the park as inspiration to tell his son exciting stories. The Secret is something to keep the stories going on forever. Guybrush in his youth was truly an orphan and found solace in the amusement park to become a pirate, met Elaine, perhaps tried to defend her from a bully named Chucky/Charles, though she was already defending herself quite capably. He meshed those experiences with the park attractions.

 

Now then, as for my own personal take more ingrained with the "fiction"; I think the answers you can give kiddo Guybrush is what you believe as the true ending; the answer that I finally settled on (I replayed my save many times) was that Elaine was right and it didn't matter what the secret was. Her cutscenes observing Guybrush's destructive actions and the conversations she had with Guybrush while walking were too compelling. LeChuck, his crew, Madison and her partners, were all killing each other by the end and Guybrush did so much damage in his own quest. I like to think, in the end, Guybrush realized it didn't matter anymore, while LeChuck was enveloped by it. Guybrush has everything he ever needed. Sure, I would've liked to have seen my take with own eyes, but then, that would've only been the ending I wanted to see then, wouldn't it. LeChuck was consumed by the secret and Guybrush settled down to have a family.

 

I didn't need to see one more showdown with LeChuck; we've gotten that 5 times prior. Sure, I wanted to see one again when I was playing it, but now.....nah, I'm good. Seeing Guybrush as a father with Elaine, as an actual pirate or a flooring inspector, it doesn't matter. The Secret was that other things mattered more. Guybrush has that now.

 

@DmnklyThank you. You are Guybrush to me, Ron, Dave, and so many others, and a massive part of my childhood. You have no idea what you meant to me growing up. Actually sending a message to you on the day I finished this game.... I can't believe it is actually happening. I was nine when I first played these games, when Curse came out. The circle is now complete lol I couldn't be happier.

 

Edited by demone
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9 minutes ago, demone said:

I think the true secret of Monkey Island is that it's a series of stories that Guybrush came up with based off his own experiences in an amusement park that Stan owned (he visited it as a kid and always kept coming back even as an adult, married and as a flooring inspector), with Stan tweaking the story and animatronics every now and then as the years went on (very much like the POTC ride after the movies came out). Guybrush used the park as inspiration to tell his son exciting stories. The Secret is something to keep the stories going on forever. Guybrush in his youth was truly an orphan and found solace in the amusement park to become a pirate, met Elaine, perhaps tried to defend her from a bully named Chucky/Charles, though she was already defending herself quite capably. He meshed those experiences with the park attractions.

I like this read a lot, though I think it gets complicated (in an exciting way!) by Elaine revealing at the end that she's got a map to some lost island and they're about to go there. I read that moment as "real" and not in the imagination of the park. But it's all very fuzzy and misaligned... and I really like it that way.

 

I like the stuff you said about Guybrush seeing everyone else crash themselves against the rocks of the Secret too. 

 

In general I like that the game is not "about" just one thing. It's not some beautiful multilayered metaphor or anything, it's kind of raggedy and has about six endings on top of each other, but for me that worked really well. From the beginning of that walk and talk with Elaine, through finding the note in the back of the scrapbook, I feel like Return tried its best to close the book on a bunch of different layers and throughlines of the story, from the most literal in-universe ones up to explicitly meta conversations about the game series itself. The different moments didn't all hit for me equally, but by the end I don't think there was any more I wanted from it than what I got. ESPECIALLY if you take into account that Curse is still valid, Tales is still valid, hell even Escape is still valid if you want.

 

I said in some previous pre-spoiler threads that one of my favorite things about Monkey Island has always been the sense of the world getting dogeared and frayed and kind of crackling with dangerous energy when you get too close to the edge of it, and Return was... all about that. 

 

I think about the final shot of Guybrush on the bench often. I really like the ending.

 

I can really feel myself starting to ramble so I will stop and eventually collect my thoughts better! There's too much :) 

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Demone, I think you're very much in the right place on this, and I'm probably going to end up restating a lot of what you said.

 

Whilst in Seattle a couple of weekends back, I told Ron and Dave that I kind of see them as Lynchian figures. By which I mean that I'm not 100% certain whether they know precisely what they're doing and it's up to us to decode it, or whether things aren't set in stone even in their own minds and the ambiguity is, in itself, part of the goal.

 

But most importantly — same as I feel with Lynch — I'm not sure it matters.

 

There's a very simple, surface way to interpret the ending. There are various meta levels you could easily apply to it. There are a lot of angles from which you can approach an interpretation.

 

But I guess I'm just not convinced that ANY of them carry any weight beyond that which we feel compelled to add. The story isn't about the secret. It never really was. The possibility of learning some deep secret was *never* the real appeal of Monkey Island for any of us. And my feeling is that they've given us a nice soft landing to become comfortable with its ambiguity. Whether Guybrush is a pirate or a flooring inspector (or both), whether the stories are true or embellished tales or total fabrications for his kid's benefit... who cares?

 

I'm reminded of how the Coen brothers kicked off Fargo with the completely fabricated "fact" that it was based on a true story. But a story doesn't have to be lowercase true to be uppercase True.

 

Whether or not you're comfortable with the ending depends, I think, on whether that distinction is important to you.

Edited by Dmnkly
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I don't know if anyone else got this ending, but I just went back the way I came through the monkey head and the game just ended with an achievement notification saying "I don't believe". Clearly I've missed a very different ending if I just turn the switches off 😜

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13 minutes ago, OzzieMonkey said:

I don't know if anyone else got this ending, but I just went back the way I came through the monkey head and the game just ended with an achievement notification saying "I don't believe". Clearly I've missed a very different ending if I just turn the switches off 😜

I have a feeling there is a lot more to unpack in this game upon more replays. Upon my third replay of the ending, I realized you could indeed unlock the chest containing the secret and I loved it lol

Edited by demone
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8 minutes ago, demone said:

I have a feeling there is a lot more to unpack in this game upon more replays. Upon my third replay of the ending, I realized you could indeed unlock the chest containing the secret and I loved it lol

Wait, you can?! I was trying to figure it out! I tried using Stan's keys but it didn't work.

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Unrelated to anything, the structure of Return has made me think back to 2 and how it also told its story through a frame flashback, and opens on even more storytelling (Bart and Fink). Monkey Island 2 also has moments of the events of the past game being seen through this murky lens (“the Voodoo Lady said SHE did in LeChuck!”). Return takes that and runs with it. Not just the frame story but the lure guild where you take your story and keep pushing it until the truth gets farther and farther from you in the fog. 
 

Storytelling, subjective truth and reality, unreliable narrators, and just letting things run on for too long out of blind excitement come up a lot in the series! Not sure what that means but 🤷‍♂️
 

Anyway we are now crazy deep in frames! This isn’t quite right but almost, if you tilt your head and squint, we have Guybrush in a park telling his kid, who is reenacting with his friend at the fair, the story of Guybrush hanging from a rope in a hole, telling Elaine about the time he told two pirates on a beach about the events of Monkey Island 1.

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Also, shoutout to how casually we found out the Voodoo Lady's real name. Fittingly, I actually don't even remember what it is (I'm not even joking).

 

And yes, I already have my head-canon for how her role in this game connects to her mysterious agenda from Tales.

 

I never thought I would say this, but I actually don't want them to make another game, at least for several years. This ending is perfect in too many ways.
 

Edited by demone
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Okay, my last thought for tonight.  Guybrush, in some way throughout the series, was trying to make sense of why his parents abandoned him and left him to an orphanage. In the series, his parents came out of nowhere, like a kid crying for their parents and asking for answers, just like the dream in MI2. Perhaps that's why his son has a bit of his parents being dead at the end of his hypothetical retelling on MIS2 with his friend Chucky; it was closure for his father.

 

The amusement park gave Guybrush solace as a child to cope with this (and perhaps even motivated him to be a pirate if he wasn't actually a flooring inspector) and so, he kept visiting it even as an adult (eventually becoming good friends with the current owner/manager Stan) and, when he had a child of his own, took the family there. He wanted to make sure his son never felt alone or abandoned like he did and, so, he took him to the one place he himself felt solace in, even if it fell into disrepair. 

 

 

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I think this is the most warm and likable Elaine’s ever been. I don’t know if i’ve ever heard them tell each other directly that they love each other before but it went a surprisingly long way to making the relationship feel legitimate. 
 

Then as people slowly start complaining about guybrush to elaine i was thinking that his running around adventuring was going to put a strain on their relationship as elaine was finally hearing all of the awful things he does when she’s not around. 
 

I was starting to think that the story wasn’t going to be about finding the secret at all but about saving the marriage and my heart was in my mouth. 
 

But then there’s that scene where the two of them are walking through the jungle and elaine basically reveals that i was worried over nothing. She knows exactly who he is and accepts him for it. The love for eachother was on display in this game more than ever before. Secret, curse and tales all showed guybrush’s love through grand gestures but return just put them side by side and let the characters act naturally. I don’t know how but that for me was so much more effective. 
 

I feel like very little was actually done with elaine in the game but they still took me on a journey. From adoring this couple, to losing my mind with stress, to adoring them all over again. 

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My stages of dealing with the ending:

 

  1. Slight disappointment.
  2. Think about it for ten minutes; things sink in; not actually that disappointed.
  3. Think about that I've been thinking about it for ten minutes -- must mean they've done something right.
  4. Appreciation sinks in. It was the "right" thing to do.
  5. Set up the second play-through. Plan on re-watching Twin Peaks: The Return.
    1. (And possibly The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.)
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This is close to my arc with it. I got to the end and literally sat back from my computer in my chair and said "huh." And then was quiet for a little while. Then paced around my house for ten minutes thinking . Then went and excitedly told my wife all my thoughts on it because I had no one else to tell because nobody knew the game existed yet (she said "cool" or something, and I can't blame her because it WAS COOL).

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51 minutes ago, Jake said:

This is close to my arc with it. I got to the end and literally sat back from my computer in my chair and said "huh." And then was quiet for a little while. Then paced around my house for ten minutes thinking . Then went and excitedly told my wife all my thoughts on it because I had no one else to tell because nobody knew the game existed yet (she said "cool" or something, and I can't blame her because it WAS COOL).

 

Weird, last part was not entirely dissimilar for me, either.

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Well, I feel weirdly pleased with myself about talking so much about how all the pre-release speculation is part of the fun of all this, and that we should value that more, in the context of the ending I just watched.

 

Also: here is a list of idle thoughts I've had while and after playing the game that are in no particular order:

 

  • I can not imagine them coming up with a better solution to the end of MI2 than the prologue. It ticks all the boxes I wanted it to: it surprised me (a little bit, I did call some of it), it leaves a lot open to interpretation, and it allows for an explanation of some of the mystery surrounding the series without removing the kind of eerie ambiguity that it needs. It somehow performs the magic trick of making it so that everyone who has had an idea about what was going on the end of MI2 gets to be a LITTLE bit right. Except people who thought it was all just a voodoo spell and nothing more? I guess those people would have a hard time claiming they're right.
  • No but hang on, since we're never shown what REALLY happened in Guybrush's version of events, even THOSE people could claim that LeChuck still placed Guybrush under a spell at that part of the story, and everyone STILL gets to walk away happy. Remarkable.
  • I think the way they treat Elaine in this game is as good as possible, given that they didn't want to address the trouble the relationship has been in, in the past. It makes sense to me that she is here own person, with her own agenda, not directly supporting his agenda (and having her own) but not going out of her way to interfere with it, either. I think that's a fairly healthy way to run a relationship between two people whose ambitions might occasionally otherwise cause tensions.
  • Structurally the game feels quite different to the ones before it. For the first 3 parts we explore some specific locations, then only when it gets to part IV does it feel like the game really opens out with island hopping fun and a high number of nested puzzle threads happening at once. I don't think it's a negative, it's just not quite how I imagined it working.
  • Melee really does feel like the most important island in the game. It has the most characters and locations over all, and it features in more of the parts of the games, and so forth. I'm fine with it.
  • Terror Island just was a terrifying island. I guess sometimes it does live up to the name. Huh.
  • That said, I don't know if I really got a sense of place with the other islands in the same way as Melee. They don't feel quite so lived in, quite so fleshed out as, say, Booty, Scabb, or Phatt, or even Plunder and Blood Island. I can't help but feel like they come off more like... places that exist in order for Guybrush to have puzzles in them, rather than places with their own life independent of whatever Guybrush is up to.
  •  Brrr Muda comes closest to feeling like it is a real place, but it's still a bit empty. Most people just grunt. There's a town hall, a courthouse and a prison camp and a castle, and the town hall is basically rooms set up for 3 trials. I'm not quite lost in the vibe of it in the same way as something like Scabb.

 

Edited by KestrelPi
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57 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

I also have to say after finishing this we might FINALLY have a new contender for the coveted crown of Monkey Island game with least monkeys.

But how many geckos?!? I really need to know. It’s the only trivia card i got wrong and it’s starting to consume me. 

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