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Return to Monkey Island 🚨GAME-WIDE🚨 Spoiler Chat


Message added by Jake,

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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22 minutes ago, Doom Saber said:

 

I might be one of the few who loved the ending of Return to Monkey Island

 

Maybe from the front page of the subreddit one can get the impression that the ending is massively disliked, because “I didn’t like it” posts are choking out the rest of the discussion, but when there is an actual poll, even in that community, extremely positive to at least neutral-to-positive reactions win out. So, plenty of people enjoyed it even if they didn’t all think it was perfect. They just aren’t posting about it as much there. 
 

 

Anyway, good take and theory on the ending! I’ve always read Elaine as maybe a little older than the other characters, at least in the hypothetical “kid fantasy” reality, and what you said tracks as a fun possibility. 

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20 hours ago, Xantospoc said:

The only others guys we know for sure were employees are the local fortune teller Corina (who also seems to be the ticket seller) and the man running the show, Stan.

 

I have always considered the Voodoo Lady (who is sometimes called "the fortune teller", at least in the MI1 demo) to be a representation of an element common to Disneyland and amusement parks: fortune telling machines:

 

image.png

 

By the way, one of the fortune telling machines in Disney parks is the pirate Fortune Red.

null

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29 minutes ago, Jake said:

Maybe from the front page of the subreddit one can get the impression that the ending is massively disliked, because “I didn’t like it” posts are choking out the rest of the discussion, but when there is an actual poll, even in that community, extremely positive to at least neutral-to-positive reactions win out. So, plenty of people enjoyed it even if they didn’t all think it was perfect. They just aren’t posting about it as much there. 
 

 

Anyway, good take and theory on the ending! I’ve always read Elaine as maybe a little older than the other characters, at least in the hypothetical “kid fantasy” reality, and what you said tracks as a fun possibility. 

I also believe that Elaine was a bit older than Guybrush by a few years.  I feel that this is due to various factors - the Elaine model in the original game looked older than the Guybrush model and how more mature the character came off when conpare to the more naive Guybrush.  It also doesn't help that the Elaine's voice actress sounds older than Guybrush's. 

 

I feel that Guybrush was probably a freshman in highschool whereas Elaine was in highschool when they first met in MI1  Because of their age differences and hence their difference in maturity levels, they probably broke up before the events in MI2.  In MI3, they probably reunited after not seeing each order in along time - Guybrush probably went to out of state to college. In the fourth game, Elaine quit the amusement park gig to attend college, hence why Elaine in MI4 sounds different - maybe she was replaced by another cast member (Morgan Leflay?) who pretended to be Elaine for Guybrush's story.  Tales of Monkey Island is probably when the two were insecure of their relationship with one another especially when the younger Morgan Leflay was giving Guybrush all her attention, making Elaine jealous.  Likewise, Guybrush was jealous of the cast member who played human LeChuck as he was being friendly with Elaine.  Knowing this, Elaine pretended to have been seduced by the pox and be on LeChuck's side to get back at him - to make Guybrush even more jealous.  Perhaps Elaine realized that Guybrush didn't have feelings for Morgan and that he still had feelings for her.  

 

As silly as my headcanon on Tales may have sound - I should replay Tales to see if my theory holds water as it has been ages since I last played it - each Monkey Island game may be a reflection of a specific stage in Guybrush's life.

 

Are you the same Jake that worked at Telltale games during their early days?  If so, I met you in person once when I went to Telltale's focus group on the Sam and Max episode, "Abe Lincoln Must Die!"

7 minutes ago, LowLevel said:

 

I have always considered the Voodoo Lady (who is sometimes called "the fortune teller", at least in the MI1 demo) to be a representation of an element common to Disneyland and amusement parks: fortune telling machines:

 

image.png

 

By the way, one of the fortune telling machines in Disney parks is the pirate Fortune Red.

null

I too thought the same thing, but someone said that the ticket holder was the Voodoo lady.  I got that post credit ending as well, but I thought it was someone else since all we see is a hand.

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On 9/26/2022 at 1:55 AM, BaronGrackle said:

Do people feel Thimbleweed Park is a decent difficulty?

 

I do. Thimbleweed Park was the game that was able to recreate for me the same complexity and "ah-ah!" moments that I remember when Playing old Lucas games in the past. I really think that several TWP puzzles were clever, creative and, still, largely logical.

 

The puzzles of RtMI weren't very interesting to me, but for this specific game I didn't care much about puzzles. I was focused on the story.

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2 hours ago, Jake said:

Maybe from the front page of the subreddit one can get the impression that the ending is massively disliked, because “I didn’t like it” posts are choking out the rest of the discussion, but when there is an actual poll, even in that community, extremely positive to at least neutral-to-positive reactions win out. So, plenty of people enjoyed it even if they didn’t all think it was perfect. They just aren’t posting about it as much there. 

 

I haven't been on reddit, but this is my impression as well. Definitely a few vocal people that didn't like the ending, but I definitely feel they are outweighed by those that did. There is a bunch too though that liked the game, but were underwhelmed by how it ended. Oh well, overall it seems to be well received!


 

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4 hours ago, Doom Saber said:

In my headcanon, Elaine was originally  a cast member a la "Disney princess" in the sense that she worked at the amusement park.  She probably gave Guybrush a chance when he asked her out due to his love of the park and playful personality 

 

Yeah, especially the fact that she's in costume and seems to stay in character as "governor" would be a way of explaining how they met in the park and why he started falling for her. I still think she might be a higher-up in the park, since she seems to get around the island area pretty frequently, but still takes her "job" very seriously.

 

3 hours ago, LowLevel said:

I have always considered the Voodoo Lady (who is sometimes called "the fortune teller", at least in the MI1 demo) to be a representation of an element common to Disneyland and amusement parks: fortune telling machines:

 

image.png

 

You think Guybrush as a kid came across a Zoltar machine at the carnival and wished he were a Pirate?

 

Screen-Shoot-of-Zoltar-from-Movie-Big-wi

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2 hours ago, Sadbrush said:

You think Guybrush as a kid came across a Zoltar machine at the carnival and wished he were a Pirate?

 

He demanded to be a pirate:

 

"My name's Guybrush Threepwood, and I want to be a pirate!"

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I keep thinking about the rug pull at the end and how difficult it must have been to write effectively.

 

Because the game sets you up for it, all the way through, and that becomes more obvious the more you think about it. The constant allusions to being disappointed when something ends, or when a secret is revealed, everyone warning you that the secret might not be worth all the effort, when you really look at it the game is really, really saying

ELs-GsZUYAAGv8Q.jpg

all the way through.

 

So it would be really easy to have the end not feel surprising, or not feel like the rug pull that it is. It must have been really quite hard to balance the desire to make the themes of the game clear with still wanting the ending to feel like a surprise.

 

I know at least that the last thing that I expected when going through that door was to see that back alley again (great choice, by the way. Arriving there was always a big moment of wonder in MI2, and actually not to have to confront LeChuck, and to have it end the way it did.

 

When Guybrush says 'not yet' I feel very in-sync with Guybrush in that moment. Despite everything I still wanted the big denouement even though I knew, and had been reminded so many times that it won't live up to what's in my head.

 

And then even in the options the game presents you with. You can decide to reject what you see and go back, you can decide to take the key but not open the box, you can decide to not open the key or box, but ... much like Guybrush, I'm weak. As soon as I saw the key there I was never not going to open the box. And so it's very fitting that when I do, it's just a stupid t-shirt.

 

I think the next time I finish it I'm going to take the key and leave. To me that's the ending that is where I ended up closest to emotionally after I had processed everything about the ending.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

So it would be really easy to have the end not feel surprising, or not feel like the rug pull that it is. It must have been really quite hard to balance the desire to make the themes of the game clear with still wanting the ending to feel like a surprise.

That so didn't work for me. I expected to go back to the park and I already recognized the door from the other side.

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Well I finally feel ready to discuss ReMI... and there's 18 pages of hot takes to work through 🤪 I'm sure they're filled with interesting and thought-provoking discussion, though!

 

My main takeaways were: 

  • My, what a PLEASANT game. Everyone is so damned nice about everything all the time. ("Remember that time I blew up your ship, left your stranded on an island, and you were nearly eaten by cannibals?" "Oh yes, but don't worry about it!")
  • Guybrush is unbelievably nice and non-destructive, too (apart from maybe two moments where I felt they added them afterwards because he'd been so nice)
  • LeChuck has been defanged from his absolutely terrifying MI2 version.
  • OH! And the art style is amazing! That was my first impression. I was like, "Oh shit! I love how this game looks". And I was definitely someone who was unimpressed with the screenshots and trailer. The whole game looks so much better when you're actually PLAYING it.

 

The ending still bends my brain a little. I suppose I want to believe everything really happened... but the game sort of tries to have its cake and eat it, too: The games are retellings of fantasies that have been had... inside a fantasy pirate world.

 

The opening sequence and the park bench are all "reality", but it's a reality where pieces-of-eight are real currency and pirates are real. It also means that the ending he told his son was just randomly weird: "And then I remembered I was in a fairground where I worked as flooring inspector..." Okay, dad! Thanks for the crappy ending to the story. Are you feeling OK? I'm getting a bit worried.

 

It's a bit odd when you think about it... but Ron wouldn't have it any other way.

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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17 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

The opening sequence and the park bench are all "reality", but it's a reality where pieces-of-eight are real currency and pirates are real.


I think the Prelude's amusement park is "more real" than what it looks like after you take control. I think it's a stuffed giraffe instead of a pirate... modern currency instead of pieces of eight... a restroom instead of an outhouse... trash cans instead of barrels with sunglass rats.

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10 hours ago, Jake said:

Maybe from the front page of the subreddit one can get the impression that the ending is massively disliked, because “I didn’t like it” posts are choking out the rest of the discussion, but when there is an actual poll, even in that community, extremely positive to at least neutral-to-positive reactions win out.

 

Yes, this can happen in many unmoderated discussion forums. For example, the difference between Steam reviews and discussions in the Steam forum is striking. While the reviews are quite good (over 90% positive), the forum is full of trolls, flames, and people who feed on negativity.


I was deeply misled by how negative the Steam forum was, I thought those few people represented a larger percentage of gamers, while they were just noisy.

 

[off_topic]

However, I have always found these behaviors fascinating from a social point of view. After a while, one begins to recognize quite easily the characteristics common to those who derive some sort of psychological reward from negative environments: their negative opinions are often not presented as subjective viewpoints, but tend to define inherent flaws in the game; the alleged inherent flaws are used as an excuse to point out the incompetence or moral flaws of the developers; sometimes they paint themselves as victims (the developers fooled/treated me badly); sometimes they feel unsafe and start looking explicitly for alleys ("Am I the only one who thinks X is bad? "). Although this may be a sad view, I also find it extremely interesting.

[/off_topic]

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In a way, it's sorta satisfying. They can troll all they want: they didn't stop Ron from making the game he wanted to make. The game was very well received by both critics and fans. They are spamming some review sites, but it's just sad at this point. They are only robbing themselves of a great experience because they can't look at something with mature and open eyes. 

 

Granted, I don't think every negative review is a troll, but there is definitely some review bombing on certain sites. 

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10 hours ago, LowLevel said:

image.png


 

A bit of a tangent, but I have to wonder if the tease of Stan's shop existing in the Big Whoop park at the end of MI2, as pictured here, was supposed to be a hint that he was running the park...

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Amidst the war between 0 ratings and 10 ratings, I am getting a sense that people have medium-high view of the game. I commonly see it ranked third or fourth (even among those who loved it) because fans have such a high regard for the first two or first three games. And among people who have complaints against it, I see it generally ranked fourth or fifth.
 

I've never seen it ranked last; I don't THINK I've seen it ranked first.

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11 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:

Amidst the war between 0 ratings and 10 ratings, I am getting a sense that people have medium-high view of the game. I commonly see it ranked third or fourth (even among those who loved it) because fans have such a high regard for the first two or first three games. And among people who have complaints against it, I see it generally ranked fourth or fifth.
 

I've never seen it ranked last; I don't THINK I've seen it ranked first.

 

 

I'm not sure it's accurate to say people have a "medium-high" view of the game. Some could have a very high view of the game but marginally prefer (say) MI1 and MI2 because of nostalgia or whatever. It's all relative. (On the flipside, they might just like MI1 and MI2, and hate the rest of the series. But that seems unlikely.)

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The reason I put Return first was because not only do I find it a great game on its own, but it made me appreciate the other games even more. So, even as much as I love the other games and have nostalgia for them, Return actually makes me appreciate them even more now knowing what's been established in Return. It reframed how I view the entire series in a great way. 

 

Edited by demone
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30 minutes ago, Remi said:

 

 

I'm not sure it's accurate to say people have a "medium-high" view of the game. Some could have a very high view of the game but marginally prefer (say) MI1 and MI2 because of nostalgia or whatever. It's all relative. (On the flipside, they might just like MI1 and MI2, and hate the rest of the series. But that seems unlikely.)


Yes, I did just read that post and reply to it not long ago. 😆
 

And yes to relativity. I'd rather play Escape than many other video games, but I consistently rank it last among MI.

Edited by BaronGrackle
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I finished the game yesterday late in the night and I still haven't fully digested what I have experienced, but I still haven't been able to spot thinking about it. Probably the first time it has ever happened with a computer game. 

 

Took me a while to read all the posts in this thread and it has been an absolutely fascinating discussion, with some truly wonderful and thoughtful insights throughout.

 

Just some very scattered thoughts, I hope to write something more coherent in the future:

 

- Having Guybrush and Boybrush as our POV works wonderfully well. Not only it allows to reconcile the various and often conflicting viewpoints and tonal shifts in the previous games, but it is also a clear reflection of the various stages at which we, the players, experienced these adventures: whereas as a gullible innocent child or a nostalgia-hungry, seasoned adult.

 

- I really don't interpret the ending as a sort of "anything goes" or "make up your mind about it" kind of situation. It's actually quite definitive in some of the answers it provides. Again, we come to the fundamental differences between plot and story. The ambiguity is not so much about what happens (plot), but rather what it means.

 

- Some people like to call the ending "meta", but I feel that's really reductive. Great works of art require some degree of input from its audience. Art is always a dialogue. It's not a monologue. It will generate outputs that vary with the input given by its audience.

 

- In that vein, I feel this sort of storytelling has probably never found a better vehicle for exploration that the point-and-click adventure game genre. We dictate the pace, the timing, how we linger in certain places. We are, as much as possibly we can be, the main character. Not a spectator. But an active participant in what's unfolding. So what reflects upon the main character, reflects upon us as well. It would not work as well if this were a movie, or a book, or what have you. So that urge for escapism to a fantasy pirate universe is out own urge, that's why we play these games to start with. So the consequences associated with unraveling what's behind the curtain, sustaining this fictional construct, hits a much a deeper chord.

 

-Although this might be a very egocentric point of view, this game seems tailor made to where I'm at in my life right now. I became a father 5 months ago. My whole professional career has been tailored and greatly influenced by my exposure to Monkey Island (I will elaborate a bit on this in future posts). It was deeply touching to realize that all this obsession with Monkey Island is good and all, has given me countless moments of bliss, but it's very important to place in its proper rank in life's priorities and goals. Don't let it consume you or drive you. And that some things you really cannot experience again. But if you are at peace with that notion, you can go back into the rabbit hole and experience new things with a lot less baggage on your shoulders and maybe, just maybe, regain some of that child like wonder in experiencing new things , freed from expectations and nostalgia that have metastasized into our senses. In that sense, that Elaine line about a new quest felt like a renewal of what Monkey Island can be, in its purest form.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:


Yes, I did just read that post and reply to it not long ago. 😆
 

And yes to relativity. I'd rather play Escape than many other video games, but I consistently rank it last among MI.

 

EMI is great, don't knock it.

 

Well, it's good.

 

Or, it could be worse.

 

Or, at least they tried.

 

In all seriousness, I do think EMI is perfectly decent and unfairly maligned. It takes some pretty hard swings that sometimes hit home, and other times miss by a wide margin. And I think the ones that fall flat are what some solely focus on.

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55 minutes ago, Radogol said:

What’s up with the Lookout, is he not blind anymore?


No, he "still is" blind. But in MI1, when you're on Monkey Island, if you look through the spyglass after pushing the primitive art to one of its corners, Guybrush says:

Quote

Hey, I can see the lookout on Mêlée Island! He's looking right at me!

 

Which blew the mind of child-me, and had me interpreting that the Lookout was crazy farsighted - unable to see things nearby, but able to spot people and things on distant islands, like a superpower.

 

EDIT: But hey, that line was probably improvised by one of Boybrush's friends, after they were playing through the story for about the tenth time or so.

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