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Return to Monkey Island 🚨GAME-WIDE🚨 Spoiler Chat


Jake
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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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3 hours ago, madmardi said:

 

Yea, I was wondering the same. And wasn't there some line from the pirate leaders about this after they pushed Guybrush off the cliff? I didn't quite understand that.

Yes! After Guybrush says "Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!", Lila says: "You can't fool us. There aren't any monkeys here. This is Monkey Island!"

What a strange line. But it sounds like the developers know that there is a lack of monkeys. It seems intentional.

 

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52 minutes ago, Marius said:

Yes! After Guybrush says "Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!", Lila says: "You can't fool us. There aren't any monkeys here. This is Monkey Island!"

What a strange line. But it sounds like the developers know that there is a lack of monkeys. It seems intentional.

 

I found that one funny. I remember the developers of Monkey 3 and/or 4 talking about their game actually having a decent amount of monkeys, Monkey 1/2 had only one each (or did I forget some?) and I think some people used to wonder about that.

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2 minutes ago, RobDangerous said:

Monkey 1/2 had only one each (or did I forget some?) and I think some people used to wonder about that.

Welcome, friend, to a very weird conversation we had a few weeks back: 

 

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4 hours ago, backtothemansion said:

I'll post my gushing thoughts on this amazing game later but a couple of questions I have.

 

3. Why wasn't Elaine bothered by anything? (In previous games she would get angry at him like at the costume party, the cursed ring and Tales) is this because its Guybrush telling the story through rose tinted glasses?

I took this as "years of experience".  She knows how Guybrush is and wants him to change, but after her years of experience with him, she has realized some things.  First that he isn't going to change unless he wants to change, so she is using a gentler approach to try to guide him toward improving himself.  Second that she can still be supportive of him despite his flaws.  I have seen real-life couples get to similar places after being married for a while.

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6 hours ago, RobDangerous said:

Dang, Monkey 1 had a lot of monkeys and I forgot to look behind me.

That is somehow super creepy. What if the monkeys became some sorts of cryptids and are just out of sight/behind everyone. What if their master is the legendary three headed monkey. What if the monkeys are just behind the camera and thats why we can't see them...

 

What if we're the monkeys? The monkeys are listening, remember? They were in the audience in the theater in MI3. And monkeys are now associated with being behind someone, out of their view just like the fourth wall. When they look around to search for the three headed monkey there is nothing tho, because they are looking the wrong way... Would be funny and cool if they took all this as foreshadowing (aftershadowing?) and made a small plot out of it.

Edited by Aytiel
added some thoughts
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5 hours ago, madmardi said:

And I wasn't ever stuck more than a few minutes before I found something I could progress with. Is this just because I'm getting better at adventure games?

 

I think that's part of the reason. I can certainly suspect that some puzzle had to be solved in a certain way. For example, just seeing the flags with holes in them suggested to me how those flags would be used eventually.


In general, however, I think the puzzles were easier than those in Thimbleweed Park, which in my opinion had very logical and sometimes difficult puzzles.


During the development of RtMI, Ron asked the readers of his blog what their favorite puzzle was. To me this was a very suspicious question, and I hoped that the answers to this question would help him for his next game. Several replies pointed out that an original puzzle is something that does not necessarily rely on the usual key/lock metaphor. The melting mugs of grog in MI1 were cited as an example. (by Ron!)


I don't think RtMI has many of these out-of-the-box puzzles; I think most of them are based on the key/lock mechanism, both figuratively and practically. That might be a reason why the feel to me a bit on the simpler side, which is good for me, because I was more interested in other aspects of the game.

 

By the way, after the release, the icon of the official website slowly changed from a mug of grog into a melted mug of grog. 😁

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20 hours ago, JacquesSparkyTail said:

That’s just as good as anything i can come up with but it definitely feels like a bit of a stretch narrativly and a cheat creatively.

 

I'm starting to see it myself, actually. In the last few hours I have been leaning more toward the "the two children in the MI2 finale were already Boybrush and his friend" hypothesis. But at the moment I am under the effect of a powerful pendulum syndrome, swinging back and forth between hypotheses. Maybe in a few hours I will decide that the secret is that it is made of people.

 

17 hours ago, Joe monsters said:

What’s real? What‘s not real? What’s canon? When does this scene take place? And, more importantly, do we really need to care about what’s real or not?

 

This is the one thing that prompts me not to look for further logical explanations: not the fact that they cannot exist, but the fact that I have heard developers say more than once "it might not be important", referring to different aspects of the game. Rationality may not be the best tool to use here. Yet ... people have been using it for decades.

 

14 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

if it wasn't then its weird that the adults look the same, no? And that the lightning eyes thing happens in the same place

 

I don't remember glowing eyes in RtMI. When I heard Chuckie say something along the lines of "let's pretend I have powers" I interpreted it as yet another reenactment of something Guybrush had recounted happening to him in the past.

 

14 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

and that Boybrush would mention criminals

 

This could also be explained by the fact that they are continuing to follow the "script". As long as they see Big Whoop around them, I think their reenactment is not over. The first element that threatens the end of their fantasy is the man wondering if the parrot is real, and the abrupt conclusion of the reenactment occurs when the man asks them not to be followed. This did not happen in the story told by Guybrush, so the play must end and they stop seeing Big Whoop.

Edited by LowLevel
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8 hours ago, LowLevel said:

 

The aspect that confused me was that the inscription on the stone tablet says "after four extra years out at sea". I did not immediately interpret the "after four extra years" as "change the year piece four times". The center piece shows... years and I thought that "four" meant that I had to do some calculations with the years. I eventually understood it.

 

I do think it's super weird that 1730 (four years after the starting point of 1726) is even an option. It seemed like the only four-year gap among all the year options, so it really felt like the "correct" answer, and that it continued to not work made me feel like I missed another clue. I did ultimately solve it semi-accidentally when I was attempting to "reset" the wheel back to the starting point for the umpteenth time.

 

8 hours ago, Guybrush Transmasc said:

But, oh no! My hubris! I want more from the new pirate leaders! What's with them? What was Lila's deal? What happened to Madison? Where did Trent disappear to? What were their goals and motives in the end? Were they an analogy for Gen Z, and if so, to what end? And these are questions I know a sequel might never resolve, or only tease me about, because the franchise has a history of doing so.

 

I did find myself wondering about that myself. I really thought there would eventually be a twist wherein they turn out not to be such bad guys, since they were working against LeChuck just as Guybrush was, and Guybrush had no more "right" to The Secret than they did. If it turned out that they actually had altruistic goals, and Guybrush's refusal to move on with the times was a net negative in that story thread as well, I think it would have served the themes. 

 

10 hours ago, Laserschwert said:

I would love to see a sequel to ToMI after this. The whole concept of "More (Tall) Tales from the Monkey Island Universe" fits RtMI's ending just perfectly. And Tales had some great story threads, onviously the Voodoo Lady's and Morgan's, to pick up again.

 

Super agree. If nothing else, I hope this current MI resurgence at least greases the wheels for Skunkape to do a light remaster of Tales like they've been doing for Sam & Max. Punch up the cinematic music and lighting, tighten up the graphics and diversify the NPC's just a bit, so it feels a little less constrained by its time. (I would honestly similarly love another coat of paint on Escape, just cleaning up the resolution and implementing the PS2 control scheme on PC. Curse mostly holds up but I wouldn't say no to an upscale.)

 

6 hours ago, backtothemansion said:

1. Why is Lechuck a zombie again? (Don't get me wrong its my favourite form but shouldn't he be something else after the pirate god form?)

 

I definitely enjoyed the escalation of his forms among the first 3 games, so I do find myself a bit sad that the escalation plateaued and then settled on Zombie seemingly forever, but... This also becomes one of the quirks easily explained by Guybrush embellishing the story, and Boybrush's limited awareness influencing how it's visualized. If Zombie Pirate LeChuck is the version that he's seen depicted in paintings or whatever, that's what he'll envision as he hears the story. 

 

This honestly also explains why Guybrush and Elaine look exactly the same in and out of the story, a kid's not going to be able to envision his parents much younger than they are. 

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3 minutes ago, LowLevel said:

 

I don't remember glowing eyes in RtMI. When I heard Chuckie say something along the lines of "let's pretend I have powers" I interpreted it as yet another reenactment of something Guybrush had recounted happening in the past.

 

 

He says "let's pretend I have powers where I can make lightning come out of my eyes," when he's walking along behind the others. Which is what happens in MI2:

FUaweOt.png

 

Also he's wearing the same DETH shirt as Chuckie in MI2.

 

It's all interpretation of course, but I feel like there's a pretty strong implication that what we're seeing at the start of ReMI is the exact same moment as the end of MI2, but with some of the layers peeled back... a process which finishes when they give up on the 'parents' and walk back to the previous area and the buildings etc. have changed.

 

Also, Ron said it was important for him to pick up the story exactly where MI2 left off, which I guess it wouldn't actually be doing if this was actually just a re-enactment of that moment happening way later.

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

It's all interpretation of course, but I feel like there's a pretty strong implication that what we're seeing at the start of ReMI is the exact same moment as the end of MI2, but with some of the layers peeled back...

 

Yes, I have to agree that the identical elements are too many to suggest anything other than that the ending of MI2 is already Boybrush reenacting his father's stories... hmm... I have to think at the implications of this.

 

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11 minutes ago, LowLevel said:

 

Yes, I have to agree that the identical elements are too many to suggest anything other than that the ending of MI2 is already Boybrush reenacting his father's stories... hmm... I have to think at the implications of this.

 

The other thing that points to it is the ending of course where Guybrush tells Boybrush, "But you and Chuckie play the ending of Monkey Island 2 very silly" after Boybrush protests, which I think has to be an allusion to the ending we see in the game.

 

To me, the implication is that we actually don't KNOW how MI2 ends from Guybrush's perspective. It could end that LeChuck puts a curse on him and he ends up in some sort of hell carnival, or it could be something else. Which is perfect to me  because it means we can take the start of CMI at face value and say that yes, he did indeed escape some sort of carnival of the damned, and similarly the ending.

 

Or, we could sort of read it as... the carnival stuff starts to appear whenever the story is getting a bit frayed around the edges. Like the carnival is closer to reality than Guybrush's stories or Boybrush's imagination, and so whenever we see the carnival it's like when you hear something from reality in a dream and it starts to get incorporated into the dream, then eventually you wake up. Or as you're falling asleep you start to incorporate whatever happened the day before into the dream.

 

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I would think that either the modern carnival has to exist, or else crazy voodoo magic has to exist, because otherwise how would people living in pirate times think to imagine a modern carnival?

 

When the fake parents wonder if the parrot is real (real or animatronic), why would they be wondering this in pre-modern times?

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22 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

To me, the implication is that we actually don't KNOW how MI2 ends from Guybrush's perspective. It could end that LeChuck puts a curse on him and he ends up in some sort of hell carnival, or it could be something else. Which is perfect to me  because it means we can take the start of CMI at face value and say that yes, he did indeed escape some sort of carnival of the damned, and similarly the ending.

Aye, that seems to be the intent now. And I'm betting eight pieces of eight that it wasn't the intent in 1991. Anyway, two meta-layers on top of each other is too much for me, Monkey Island 2: Guybrush's Director's Cut next please.

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43 minutes ago, demone said:

Regarding the lack of Monkeys on Monkey Island, beyond being an inside joke, perhaps it's also an indirect to Escape, where all the monkeys leave.

Very possible but too boring for me imma think more about my bullcrap cryptid theory. Way more fun.

Edited by Aytiel
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I think I’ve come to the one criticism I have of the game, and it’s not one I expected to say.

 

I don’t think it’s hard enough.

 

This was also my problem with Tales - it felt more like a journey on rails than something where I was actively participating to solve puzzles. In ye olde days, I remember uncovering a puzzle, then discovering that to solve that puzzle I had to solve three other puzzles, each of which had its own branches and nuances. The deepest I remember getting in terms of puzzles in Return was when I found out I needed a mop, and to get the mop I needed to get a cook book to the chef. It all felt rather simple by comparison.

 

This is not to say that I didn’t love absolutely everything else about the game - I did. I suspect that might be very deliberate on the part of Ron/Dave to avoid driving people away from a frustrating adventure in a modern context, but I do wish that “hard” mode was actually hard - or at least had more layers of puzzling.

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1 hour ago, Colorfinger said:

I think I’ve come to the one criticism I have of the game, and it’s not one I expected to say.

 

I don’t think it’s hard enough.

 

This is not to say that I didn’t love absolutely everything else about the game - I did. I suspect that might be very deliberate on the part of Ron/Dave to avoid driving people away from a frustrating adventure in a modern context, 

It certainly could have been deliberate by the creators.  But I've seen a similar discussion about nearly all of the adventure games I've played in recent years - games by many different creators.  I think the adventure games with good story and good characters and difficult puzzles are very rare right now.  Creators seem to make a choice to have good characters/story or difficult puzzles without much beyond the puzzles themselves.  It is almost like two different genres now.

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Which adventure games are hard for adults who have been playing them for 20-30 years, but still have a structure like the old ones from that time? 
 

Asking because I used to think Monkey Island 2 was the hardest game I’d ever played, it took me weeks to figure out, but I was 11. Now when an adult who is a seasoned adventure gamer plays that game for the first time (like if they’d just never got around to it decades ago), they tend to say “surprisingly short.”

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52 minutes ago, Jake said:

Which adventure games are hard for adults who have been playing them for 20-30 years, but still have a structure like the old ones from that time? 
 

Asking because I used to think Monkey Island 2 was the hardest game I’d ever played, it took me weeks to figure out, but I was 11. Now when an adult who is a seasoned adventure gamer plays that game for the first time (like if they’d just never got around to it decades ago), they tend to say “surprisingly short.”


Do people feel Thimbleweed Park is a decent difficulty?

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22 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:

Do people feel Thimbleweed Park is a decent difficulty?

I did actually! Return didn’t clock as particularly easy to me - it took me well over ten hours. Return is probably easier puzzle-for-puzzle than Thimbleweed though. 

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5 hours ago, RobDangerous said:

Aye, that seems to be the intent now. And I'm betting eight pieces of eight that it wasn't the intent in 1991. Anyway, two meta-layers on top of each other is too much for me, Monkey Island 2: Guybrush's Director's Cut next please.

Reading this led me to hypothesising what the original intent would have been in 1991, and how the envisioned 3rd game would have differed from Return. For one thing, the Guybrush & Boybrush father / son relationship and storytelling narrative seems unlikely as the developers letter suggests this is a reflection on their own experiences of fatherhood and reliving on past glory, something they would have been unlikely to come up with 30 years ago.

 

I'd wager that the implication of Boybrush being a young version of Guybrush playing pirate games with Chuckie was the original intent. In this version, Chuckie may well have been Guybrush's brother and the two old people we see were indeed their parents. None of the events shown up until that point would have been anything other than the playtime fantasy of two boys in a pirate-themed amusement park.

 

If this was the intent, I much prefer the retconned ending. We still see Guybrush happily married to Elaine, and they seem to be pirates of some sort. Maybe they did meet on Melee island, and Stan's amusement park was a faithful recreation of this based island on their stories. LeChuck could have been a real adversary of Guybrush, eventually giving up on Elaine after meeting a new romantic interest and giving birth to his son Chuckie. Even the Secret could have been real.. or it was just T-Shirt.

 

Anything is now possibility, which is something the 'Guybrush is just a kid playing pirate games' interpretation wouldn't have achieved back in the 1990s. It was worth the wait to get it right in the end.

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1 hour ago, Jake said:

I did actually! Return didn’t clock as particularly easy to me - it took me well over ten hours. Return is probably easier puzzle-for-puzzle than Thimbleweed though. 

 

I'd agree with the above, sort of but I also think that there's more to this discussion of difficulty. What actually is difficulty when we talk about adventure puzzles? I think it's hard to balance for difficulty when your basic interactions are that you have an inventory of items and you can use them on stuff. Crafting scenarios where that use isn't obvious is hard, and I think adventure games have increased the difficulty traditionally in a few ways that I don't really think are very fun:

 

1) By unlocking LOTS of puzzles and items at once -

 

You increase the possibility space by a lot so the player is less likely to come up with the intended solution just because they're not focused on the problem and there are a lot of potential items they can be using in different places.

 

I think TWP does this a LOT towards the middle, and I'm not sure it's that fun. When I went to the hint guide it was very often less a case of me unveiling some sort of clever logic and more just that I'd forgotten about that inventory item between the 5 characters and inventories and 20 different goals I'm switching between. TWP got easier in the final act because there was a lot less it was possible to do, but I'd argue the puzzles were still quite satisfying. You want to say 'oh, I should've thought of that!' rather than 'Oh. I forgot I had that,' right?

 

2) By employing the so-called moon-logic.

 

Adventure games do this less now, and I think the extent to which they ever did it is exaggerated (you always remember the 1 puzzle that broke you, not the 50 puzzles which were perfectly fine), but I'm sure this has something to do with the reputation of older adventures as 'hard' games. I'm glad developers are more conscious of trying to avoid this now.

 

3) By adding more steps to obfuscate the path.

 

If you need to cut the rope to get the thing and you have a knife, it's pretty easy to know what to do. But if you have to craft a knife out of several other things then that's probably going to be more of a challenge. This is viable, but it's a little hard to keep interesting over the course of a whole game, because it's hard to do these sorts of puzzle chains while also keeping the plot moving. They inherently feel like 'padding', and so should only be used sparingly.

 

 

But In my opinion all the best adventure game puzzles, the ones that are memorable for the right reasons and feel difficult in a way that makes you feel clever, are good because they feel unique - they feel like a bit of a set piece, working like not quite like any other puzzles in the game. In Return for example I really enjoyed the successive museum heists, with the final puzzle twisting it so that you needed to set off the alarm to succeed.

 

There's loads of good set-piece puzzles in MI1, the insult sword fighting, the stan-negotiating, the grog-mugs, the map-directions, the head of the navigator, but I think it's incredibly difficult to consistently design these kinds of one-offs, and so, wanting not to fall into the various pitfalls of 1) , 2) and 3) I'm not surprised that adventure games have got easier, a little.

 

But yes, we have to remember the other thing too which is that we've all had a lot of practice.

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