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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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4 hours ago, Junaid said:

 

Honestly, I interpret it as "whatever ending you want, it's yours". 


That was my initial reaction, but on reflection I feel it’s a difficult point of view to defend. Though there are technically several endings, every single one of them develops from Guybrush finding himself in the amusement park created in 1989. This seems to unequivocally establish that Guybrush exists in modern times (or some kind of time travel is involved). 
 

The other possibility is that you accept that in this world things like amusement parks, electricity, vending machines, roller coasters, robots and every other anachronism we’ve seen in the series exist during the time of pirates. 
 

There’s certainly room for interpretation, but I think the game makes very definitive and explicit decisions regarding its meaning when it comes to the reality of the world Guybrush inhabits. 

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1 hour ago, Sadbrush said:

I hope at some point Ron opens up about it and shares his original outline/notes for the game.

He’s said recently that his “plans” were more a few ideas and a vibe, than anything concrete. It seems like they wanted to go to the afterlife/hell (and Stan would be there), and LeChuck would become the Demon Pirate LeChuck as his final form, and beyond that they were trusting they’d figure it out as they went once they started working. Starting work turned out to take over two decades, and at this point the afterlife was in Tales and the demon pirate was in Curse. The end of this game does say the carnival is the original Secret, so I have to assume an “original vision” version of the game would have had some version of doubling down on the amusement park still being a meta layer that runs below the surface of the story.
 

You’re right that Elaine relationship and Boybrush stuff is surely not what we would have seen in a 1993 MI3, and I don’t think we’ll ever know what that would have been, because I don’t think they figured out what that transition out of the end of MI2 would be when they wrote it. The sense I get now is, they wrote that ending and knew they didn’t know how to write themselves out of it yet, but knew it would be a fun challenge to tackle once it was time to do so. I bet whatever we got in 1993 would have had the same feeling as Return, of an unsettling and thrilling record skipping the groove before settling in again, but all the details would be different. 

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5 hours ago, ocki said:

 

I second this. I got the sense they were trying to compare Lechuck and Guybrush and challenge us to the notion that they are not that different, personality wise, as they would have it.


Or hinting that LeChuck and Guybrush might be two sides of the same personality trying to reconcile itself. Elaine’s character acts almost as a therapist in certain parts of this game, guiding Guybrush to face up to aspects of himself in order to help him escape the seemingly cyclical nature of the fantasy he continually allows himself to fall into. 

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10 minutes ago, RobDangerous said:

while in every recent interview it was always just versions of "Guybrush goes to hell and Stan is there is all I ever had".

I still believe that, to some degree, Ron has been more consistent than it seems. For example if the original idea was that LeChuck gets worse and worse, and goes down these paths of increasingly dangerous voodoo as Guybrush chases at his coattails the whole way, and if the secret of monkey island is that it’s a gateway to hell itself that gives you more and more access to this power, that’s enough of an outline to know vaguely the tone and shape you might want the third act to take, even if you haven’t figured out what it is yet. 
 

I don’t know what it would have actually been - that vague thing above is something I made up just now to fit that hypothetical - but I don’t believe you need to actually have something plotted out and fully broken down, to know if the shape of the story feels right. 

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8 minutes ago, RobDangerous said:

I have no hope that he will ever open up about it. How he talked about it also completely changed over the years. In 2005 (https://web.archive.org/web/20051122075149/http://idlethumbs.net/display.php?id=59) he said

while in every recent interview it was always just versions of "Guybrush goes to hell and Stan is there is all I ever had".

 

I know, his claims have been wildly inconsistent throughout the years. I remember when he said this:

Quote

My dream is to buy the rights to Monkey Island and do the true Monkey Island 3. I'd call it "Monkey Island 3a: The Secret Revealed or your Money Back".

 

I refuse to believe he didn't know where the series was heading when he ended MI2 the way he did. And the fact that he stubbornly refused to accept the sequels as canon until recently made me think he had something completely different in mind for his version of 3a. None of that actually came to pass; we never got his Guybrush in hell (since it's been done in other games) and we didn't exactly get the game that continues directly from the end of MI2 (it's cleverly reworked). It just feels like ideals were compromised at a certain point and I think that's where a lot of my disappointment stems from.

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3 minutes ago, Jake said:

I still believe that, to some degree, Ron has been more consistent than it seems. For example if the original idea was that LeChuck gets worse and worse, and goes down these paths of increasingly dangerous voodoo as Guybrush chases at his coattails the whole way, and if the secret of monkey island is that it’s a gateway to hell itself that gives you more and more access to this power, that’s enough of an outline to know vaguely the tone and shape you might want the third act to take, even if you haven’t figured out what it is yet. 
 

I don’t know what it would have actually been - that vague thing above is something I made up just now to fit that hypothetical - but I don’t believe you need to actually have something plotted out and fully broken down, to know if the shape of the story feels right. 

The point I wanted to make is not that his answers are inconsistent. I think his answers are strategic - he doesn't seem interested in opening up, he seems interested in making people curious.

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19 minutes ago, leecrawford19 said:

Though there are technically several endings, every single one of them develops from Guybrush finding himself in the amusement park created in 1989.

I read that as the Secret was created in 1989, not that it was taking place then. More a fourth wall break and confirmation to the players that yes you are seeing the bonafide original secret. The frame story doesn’t seem to be set in the 20th century unless everyone is a larper or something, which seems unlikely, but who knows?

 

 

 

I guess where I’ve landed is, the game exists in its own anachronistic alternate reality, basically a pastiche of a bunch of pirate legends and modern interpretations of them (theme parks, movies, etc), and within that world people DO have amazing adventures but also tell each other stories about them. The stories all have a bit of fish story to them, because they’re told by pirates to each other to puff up their legends, but that ends up almost folding back into the tapestry of the world and enriching it further, since it’s already a world built out of this patchwork quilt of legend and lore and what you imagine it’s like to be a pirate.
 

I know that doesn’t make any literal sense, but it’s how things feel to me. Honestly that’s always kind of how the games have felt to me (that they exist in their own anachronistic pastiche reality, more than there being some big secret) and Return went really hard on it. 

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15 minutes ago, Jake said:

I bet whatever we got in 1993 would have had the same feeling as Return, of an unsettling and thrilling record skipping the groove before settling in again, but all the details would be different. 

 

The major difference is that we wouldn't have spent 30 years speculating about it, for better or worse. Even if the ending to that hypothetical game was just as anticlimactic, it wouldn't have stung so much because we wouldn't have been waiting as long. Even if the big joke was that it was a T-shirt all along, it would have seemed funnier in 1992 than it does in 2022.

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50 minutes ago, Sadbrush said:

I know the difference is that a lot of time has passed and the devs aren't the same people who made the originals, which is why I'm so interested in Ron's ideas for MI3 back in 1992. I think it would have been a much different experience overall, and they probably would have handled the final reveal differently. For one, we know in Ron's vision that Guy and Elaine weren't a couple, so they presumably didn't have kids, which would have altered the framing story considerably. There's just a lot of conjecture for things that could have been. I hope at some point Ron opens up about it and shares his original outline/notes for the game.

Well, Ron was pretty clear that there weren't any other ideas at the time other than Guybrush going to hell and Stan being there. I think that's certainly not entirely true, because as a creative person you always have some ideas. But that doesn't mean that he would have or could have implemented those ideas in the final game...

 

And I think a real MI3a (exactly as he would have done it back then, if that would be possible) would have disappointed most people even more nowadays. It would have been a sequel for the old time (1992 or 93) and would certainly have been appropriate and good for then, but from today's perspective certainly a bit bland.
I find what we got instead much more exciting, appropriate to the current times, and satisfying!


But of course: In the end, no one can be satisfied - although I think Ron did quite a lot to do that: He revealed the real secret, he picked up a lot of cool elements from MI1 and 2, he didn't ignore the other sequels, he gave the whole series and especially the sequels even more meaning.

 

I don't know, what more could a fan ask for?

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7 minutes ago, Sadbrush said:

 

The major difference is that we wouldn't have spent 30 years speculating about it, for better or worse. Even if the ending to that hypothetical game was just as anticlimactic, it wouldn't have stung so much because we wouldn't have been waiting as long. Even if the big joke was that it was a T-shirt all along, it would have seemed funnier in 1992 than it does in 2022.

To be clear, in the text you quoted I was specifically talking about the bridge from the end of MI2 to whatever the next game was, as feeling like an unsettling record skip. 
 

(I also don’t find the ending to Return to be anticlimactic, or stinging, but that’s almost not worth pointing out since it’s just a fundamental point of disagreement, which rarely goes anywhere in a forum thread.)

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3 minutes ago, Jake said:

I guess where I’ve landed is, the game exists in its own anachronistic alternate reality


My current thinking is a bit on the darker side. I see Guybrush as a man with very severe issues who has lost himself in this endless fantasy of Monkey Island and the rivalry with his nemesis LeChuck. The ending of Monkey Island 2 was ALMOST the point at which the illusion was broken, but he instead created an even deeper fantasy that we see in the prologue of Rtmi. I think his son and his friends do not exist, they are merely extensions of his own personality that revels in the stories of pirates and adventures and act as a conduit for him to become lost yet again in his fantasy. 
 

I mentioned in a different comment that Elaine, in certain sections of the story, acts almost like a therapist, guiding him along to face certain truths about himself. Her very peculiar behaviour when (and if) you choose to leave the amusement park is almost like she is waiting for Guybrush to make the choice to step out of the delusion. I find the scene on the bench at the end striking in that it seems like it’s the final moment of truth. Guybrush is almost free, but there is a final test. Elaine whispers about a hidden treasure and the promise of adventure. Then Guybrush is sat alone (maybe he was always alone). Does he finally break free of the fantasy, or does he cave in and meet Elaine at the dock? I guess that’s for us to decide. 

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18 minutes ago, BillyCheers said:

But of course: In the end, no one can be satisfied - although I think Ron did quite a lot to do that: He revealed the real secret, he picked up a lot of cool elements from MI1 and 2, he didn't ignore the other sequels, he gave the whole series and especially the sequels even more meaning.

 

I don't know, what more could a fan ask for?

Like you, I consider the amount of things they DID do with this game to be just staggeringly impressive. 
 

I see many people say they wished for a big in-universe climax to LeChuck and Guybrush, and while I can understand that, I also think we already got that in all five of the preceding games, to a bigger and bigger scale each time*. The whole final act of the last chapter of Tales is a huge showdown with LeChuck that spans across the world of the living and the afterlife, in attempt to bind his living and undead forms, etc etc. It’s huge and full of lore. I feel like Guybrush (and the game) avoiding repeating that confrontation entirely in Return is more powerful than litigating it yet again. The way that happens is messy and imperfect in my opinion, but I’m still glad that that’s how it went down. Guybrush getting enough closure for himself and leaving, making it out of the cycle while LeChuck is stuck in his loop of grinding himself down in pursuit of this thing that may or may not exist. 


* Monkey Kombat asterisk here

 

 

 

10 minutes ago, leecrawford19 said:

My current thinking is a bit on the darker side.

Wow this is very different from anything I’d considered, but is an awesome read. Thanks for sharing it in here. 

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3 minutes ago, leecrawford19 said:


My current thinking is a bit on the darker side. I see Guybrush as a man with very severe issues who has lost himself in this endless fantasy of Monkey Island and the rivalry with his nemesis LeChuck. The ending of Monkey Island 2 was ALMOST the point at which the illusion was broken, but he instead created an even deeper fantasy that we see in the prologue of Rtmi. I think his son and his friends do not exist, they are merely extensions of his own personality that revels in the stories of pirates and adventures and act as a conduit for him to become lost yet again in his fantasy. 
 

I mentioned in a different comment that Elaine, in certain sections of the story, acts almost like a therapist, guiding him along to face certain truths about himself. Her very peculiar behaviour when (and if) you choose to leave the amusement park is almost like she is waiting for Guybrush to make the choice to step out of the delusion. I find the scene on the bench at the end striking in that it seems like it’s the final moment of truth. Guybrush is almost free, but there is a final test. Elaine whispers about a hidden treasure and the promise of adventure. Then Guybrush is sat alone (maybe he was always alone). Does he finally break free of the fantasy, or does he cave in and meet Elaine at the dock? I guess that’s for us to decide. 

 

These are the kinds of interpretations I enjoy a lot. When I first finished the game and saw Guybrush sitting there, alone on the bench, my initial interpretation of it was sadness rather than quiet reflection. (The interpretation changes slightly depending on my choices preceding it.) I always suspected something closer to this when we got the "twist" ending to MI2. That all was not as it appeared...

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8 minutes ago, Sadbrush said:

 

These are the kinds of interpretations I enjoy a lot. When I first finished the game and saw Guybrush sitting there, alone on the bench, my initial interpretation of it was sadness rather than quiet reflection. (The interpretation changes slightly depending on my choices preceding it.) I always suspected something closer to this when we got the "twist" ending to MI2. That all was not as it appeared...


I feel that this interpretation has the benefit of accounting for events across the whole monkey island saga and allows me to actually enjoy the games that previously left a bad impression. CMI’s botched explanation for the ending of MI2 and its ridiculous imagery of roller coasters coming out of the monkey head are less problematic now that I can view them as the results of a troubled mind frantically struggling to maintain a fantasy. 
 

Like you say, the feeling I got of Guybrush on the bench was one of sadness, almost despair. The sense that something incredibly vital was about to change in his reality. It’s the same feeling I got at the end of MI2 30 years ago. Something is wrong and he is so hopelessly ill equipped to deal with it. 
 

The scene of a confused Guybrush, little more than a flooring inspector, wandering around the amusement park as he shuts it down and turning to Elaine for reassurance was pretty devastating. 

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I know that Ron has recently said that he had no idea about his original Monkey 3 apart from Guybrush, Stan and LeChuck being in hell. But I think he really had some more ideas for the game in the early 90s. Indeed, he should have known the secret by then. Along all these years I have read once and again this interview:

 

https://scummbar.com/resources/articles/index.php?newssniffer=readarticle&article=1033

 

And if you don't want to read it fully, I'll put here the important part about the secret:

 

Ron Gilbert: I read a lot of novels and reference books, more for the flavor of the period than for accuracy. This isn't a historically accurate game. In fact, you'll see when you play that there are a lot of anachronisms, like the vending machine at Stan's used ship yard. They're there to add humor to the game of course, but they also have a secret, deeper relevance to the story -- but I'm keeping that secret for the sequel.

 

This interview was made in the fall of 1990. So, maybe he is talking about the park we have seen in Return to Monkey Island. That's why I think he put that plaque. As Jake said, this has to be the original secret.

 

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2 hours ago, Sadbrush said:

 

Yeah, fair enough. When I say "ad nauseam," I just mean we've already covered all this ground before. This game doesn't really further the plot or add much more coal to the fire, it's pretty much the same conversation we've exhausted after all this time.

 

I know the difference is that a lot of time has passed and the devs aren't the same people who made the originals, which is why I'm so interested in Ron's ideas for MI3 back in 1992. I think it would have been a much different experience overall, and they probably would have handled the final reveal differently. For one, we know in Ron's vision that Guy and Elaine weren't a couple, so they presumably didn't have kids, which would have altered the framing story considerably. There's just a lot of conjecture for things that could have been. I hope at some point Ron opens up about it and shares his original outline/notes for the game.

He did share it in a blog post a few months back. It was:

 

"Guybrush goes to hell and Stan is there."

 

Thats it. There wasn't a big plan beyond that. I know he's said stuff elsewhere that appears to contradict that. But if he doesn't think whatever plans he had were big or interesting enough to mention (and he clearly doesn't)... then why do you?

 

(also I still just disagree that this game doesn't add much more coal to the fire.)

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I finally finished the game last night. My read of the ending was similar to what some of you noted already, in that it's mainly a meta thing. Not necessarily "Guybrush was in a theme park all along", but rather that it's the players that have been on a ride (called The Secret of Monkey Island). And each game in the series is different just like how your childhood favourite ride is updated and different each time you revisit as an adult years apart.

 

Anyway I liked the ending, though it felt abrupt and not necessarily connected to the rest of the game.

 

13 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

I liked that they used Elaine to explore the idea of Guybrush's selfishness in going for his goals. I wish they'd leant into that a little bit MORE but I think it made sense for her to be the character that needled him a little for that, given that she has been on the receiving end of it a couple of times.

Yeah I thought this was what the entire game was going to be about. Like, the secret has something to do with the blind pursuit of (former) glory leading to lives ruined, big confrontation at the end, lesson learned, character arc resolved, etc. I don't know if it's an unfinished plot thread or maybe a meta reflection on the developers (or the players)...

 

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1 hour ago, leecrawford19 said:


My current thinking is a bit on the darker side. I see Guybrush as a man with very severe issues who has lost himself in this endless fantasy of Monkey Island and the rivalry with his nemesis LeChuck. The ending of Monkey Island 2 was ALMOST the point at which the illusion was broken, but he instead created an even deeper fantasy that we see in the prologue of Rtmi. I think his son and his friends do not exist, they are merely extensions of his own personality that revels in the stories of pirates and adventures and act as a conduit for him to become lost yet again in his fantasy. 
 

I mentioned in a different comment that Elaine, in certain sections of the story, acts almost like a therapist, guiding him along to face certain truths about himself. Her very peculiar behaviour when (and if) you choose to leave the amusement park is almost like she is waiting for Guybrush to make the choice to step out of the delusion. I find the scene on the bench at the end striking in that it seems like it’s the final moment of truth. Guybrush is almost free, but there is a final test. Elaine whispers about a hidden treasure and the promise of adventure. Then Guybrush is sat alone (maybe he was always alone). Does he finally break free of the fantasy, or does he cave in and meet Elaine at the dock? I guess that’s for us to decide. 

This sort of thing is exactly what I mean when I say ReMI gives us so much to work with.

 

It's not just washing its hands of responsibility and saying 'whatever, you decide. Have fun!' If you want to make up your own headcanon of what it is going on, the game certainly hands you enough slack that you can tie whatever threads together you choose, and I think that's neat that it does that, but there's so much here that also feels like it's just on the edge of being explored, and in that can live all sorts of things like the kind of wonderful read that I quoted above, which makes sense of a bunch of things that I also found unusual.

 

For all the game gives us in the way of possible explanations for what's going on I still feel like there are potential deeper reads of all this lurking underneath the surface, more reasons to keep on digging and wondering and uncovering because I think that it's more than just 'anything goes.'

 

I was talking to a friend yesterday who is a fan of the series but has been completely disconnected from this discussion and the wider community around MI. He enjoyed the start and the end in much the same way I did, which pleased me (there's always a bit of a worry that by being really IN it you lose the big picture a bit),

 

But also he mentioned something interesting which is that he felt like there were a lot of hints in the game that either something more is going on between LeChuck and Elaine than the game wants to let on, or alternatively hints that Guybrush and LeChuck are, in a sense, the same person: the fact that LeChuck has that wedding veil, the way that you end up checking off most of the stuff on his list, the fact that your goals are so closely aligned in this game and both characters are criticised for obsessing over it.

 

I hadn't thought of it much before, but there was that thing Ron said once which was 'In a way LeChuck are brothers, but in another way they aren't brothers' or something right? I think we'd always taken that to mean that perhaps they're step brothers, because some things in MI2 hint at that. But what if it actually means - yeah, they're related, in that they are the same person.

 

I don't know how much I trust that read, but I think it's super interesting that you CAN get that from this game.

 

The other thing that he picked up on which some people here did to is how much of the themes of this game are about storytelling, and what makes it work, with the stuff with the Chums being the most direct example of that. There's a whole stories-within-stories thing going on here, and also a discussion of what's important when telling a story which feels very not-accidental.

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8 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

which makes sense of a bunch of things that I also found unusual.


I see a lot of comments about how all the cutaways to Elaine discovering the bad things that Guybrush did didn’t really have a payoff and that Elaine simply hand waves it all away. I’d argue that, if you take the idea that Guybrush uses the Elaine character as a kind of therapist figure, their slow walk to the Monkey Head makes perfect sense. A therapist helps us to confront aspects of ourselves we might not want to face, as Elaine does in this scene, but the crucial point is that they DO NOT judge. 

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29 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

the fact that LeChuck has that wedding veil

 

Heh. I completely forgot about that veil until now. I thought for sure it was going to come into play at some point. I think it just ended up being a trivia card question? Really makes me wonder how much stuff got cut for time at the end (just like that whole Cogg Island at the bottom of the sea). 

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50 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

I hadn't thought of it much before, but there was that thing Ron said once which was 'In a way LeChuck are brothers, but in another way they aren't brothers' or something right? I think we'd always taken that to mean that perhaps they're step brothers, because some things in MI2 hint at that. But what if it actually means - yeah, they're related, in that they are the same person.

That is also really interesting! It is really funny, that normally I think I wouldn't like stories to be that unclear or vague. But either ReMI does it so well that I can embrace it or ReMI just taught me to like those solution (both would be great). And the more different interpretations I have or read, the more I love it – and don't even want to commit myself to only one. And that  again is so much in style of the game: It doesn't matter and it's good this way. 

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2 hours ago, leecrawford19 said:


My current thinking is a bit on the darker side. I see Guybrush as a man with very severe issues who has lost himself in this endless fantasy of Monkey Island and the rivalry with his nemesis LeChuck. The ending of Monkey Island 2 was ALMOST the point at which the illusion was broken, but he instead created an even deeper fantasy that we see in the prologue of Rtmi. I think his son and his friends do not exist, they are merely extensions of his own personality that revels in the stories of pirates and adventures and act as a conduit for him to become lost yet again in his fantasy. 
 

 

One particularly dark interpretation of MI2's end that I've been quite fond of is that the world of MI is a catatonic delusion created as a result of a severe childhood trauma, namely Guybrush witnessing the murder of his parents at a theme park. Stemming from the presence of the skeletons and the reference to "murderers and ne'er do wells".

 

There is something oddly compelling about the comedic taking a dark twist.

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7 minutes ago, roots said:

 

One particularly dark interpretation of MI2's end that I've been quite fond of is that the world of MI is a catatonic delusion created as a result of a severe childhood trauma, namely Guybrush witnessing the murder of his parents at a theme park. Stemming from the presence of the skeletons and the reference to "murderers and ne'er do wells".

 

There is something oddly compelling about the comedic taking a dark twist.


I have always felt there were dark undercurrents to those first 2 games. The surreality of the last section of MI2 always seemed like it was the visual and experiential representation of a mind finally uncovering a long buried trauma (notably this section takes place BENEATH the buried treasure chest that ostensibly is Big Whoop). The reveal of young Guybrush and Chucky at the amusement park, now followed by the reframing of this scene in the prologue of RTMI, can therefore be seen as the

mind’s desperate attempt to reestablish the fantasy. 
 

You can even take this further and use it to explain some of the other odd occurrences and aspects of RTMI. Much has been made about how, beyond Melee and Monkey Island, the rest of the islands and locations in the game feel somewhat sparse and rushed with little to see and do. If you approach these issues from the point of view of a troubled man (Guybrush) desperately trying to maintain a fantasy that is quickly breaking down, it suddenly makes sense why these areas lack sufficient fleshing out. 
 

I feel this whole game is a rabbit hole that is very easy to get lost in. 

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I can't help but think of it in the context of another game whose story I've enjoyed and takes a very different road, Final Fantasy XIV, which recently wrapped up the story arc that began when it was first released. So we're taking about a decade-long arc rather than 3 decades long, but still more than long enough to generate high anticipation.

 

In that game (don't worry, no spoilers) the most recent expansion wraps up threads that started long ago, and while it deliberately and consciously leaves some threads open still, everything important about the conflict set up years ago is answered and resolved.

 

Surprises come thick and fast, and it's a grand conclusion worthy of the decade spent leading up to it. It was very, very satisfying.

 

And I wonder if Monkey Island could ever have done anything similarly satisfying. I think... probably not, if the idea was to stick close to Ron's vision of what the series is capital A About. I think the ambiguity is baked into Monkey Island. If you remove the ambiguity you sort of remove the Monkey Islandness of it at the same time. You could, I suppose, completely resolve all open mysteries, before opening up new ones, but... I don't know. I just don't see this thing ever being built for the grand conclusion. Whatever it was, I don't feel like it could have ever done the job.

 

To be a Monkey Island fan to me, thinking all the way back to my 10 year old self staring at the screen at the end of Monkey Island 2 and wondering what I just saw... has been to grow comfortable in its eerie, dusky mood. Maybe there's an argument that 30 years is long enough for anything to remain mysterious and that by this point more closure was called for, but I feel like the game does provide a sort of closure. Just not the kind that is 'here are the answers to all questions.'

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5 hours ago, Sadbrush said:

I know the difference is that a lot of time has passed and the devs aren't the same people who made the originals, which is why I'm so interested in Ron's ideas for MI3 back in 1992. I think it would have been a much different experience overall, and they probably would have handled the final reveal differently.


Had Ron and Dave made this game in 1992, I'm sure it would have been very different.

 

But unless I'm mistaken, I believe the notion that Ron HAD ideas for MI3 back in 1992 assumes facts not in evidence. I mean, I'm sure his mind wasn't a total blank. But has he ever said that there was any vision for MI3 back in the day? Again, I might be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that never existed.

 

It seems that for those who feel dissatisfied with the ending, there is a theme of feeling like they just wanted closure. But may I suggest the possibility that you're just overthinking it? I mean, there is a lot of ambiguity around the specifics, but I'm not sure how much more clear RtMI can be about the core revelation. The Secret of Monkey Island is that these stories are fantasies inspired by an amusement park. And in the fellas' defense, they've basically been telling us this for 30 years — in ways both subtle and less subtle — right from the first two lines of the first game.

 

What constitutes "reality," so to speak, is much more unexplained and nebulous. Do Boybrush and Elaine exist? Where are the lines between Guybrush's fantasy and reality? What's the back story? How do all of these pieces fit on the timeline? My hunch is that these are intentionally very undefined because — to put it bluntly — who cares? It's interesting to ponder, but at least as far as this chapter is concerned, as they say quite explicitly, that's not the part that really matters.

 

I'm not sure if the disappointment some people experience stems from feelings of ambiguity beyond the secret, or that RtMI's big reveal is hammering home confirmation that the secret is a fairly obvious thing that's been staring us in the face the whole time. (Or from something else, I don't mean to put words in anybody's mouth.) But FWIW, I really don't think there's a lot of wiggle room around what the core of the revelation is.

 

Like I said way upthread, I get the impression that people's comfort with this ending largely comes down to whether you're comfortable with a lot of peripheral ambiguity, or if you really want everything spelled out to the letter. This definitely isn't the latter. But just because an ending is ambiguous, that doesn't mean it can't bring closure. My opinion is that yes, the game obviously and quite intentionally leaves all kinds of loose ends hanging. But when it comes to the primary themes of the story, the heart of the matter, the capital T Truth at its core, it really wraps things up quite nicely while still giving us a bunch of other stuff to play around with.

 

And speaking for myself, that's what I want from a Monkey Island game. I don't want everything spelled out. I don't want a neat package where everything is carefully explained. To me, that hazy, ambiguous half real, half fantasy isn't the thing Monkey Island is trying to work through to get to a destination. That IS the destination.

Edited by Dmnkly
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