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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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20 minutes ago, Laserschwert said:

By the way, I've played on hard, did the part where old pirate leaders hang around Melee town, and Guybrush initially mistakes them for the Men of Low Moral Fibre (as seen in one of the MI Monday videos) , appear in easy mode? I never got that scene.

Writer’s Cut!

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Just now, Laserschwert said:

Since it was deactivated from the start, I assumed it was the worse way to play. Time for a replay, I guess!

 

Does I add a lot? Obviously it's not just dialogue, but new scenes as well 

I don’t know how much there is. I heard it described as playing a DVD with the deleted scene special features stitched back in. In my experience that is good for satisfying intellectual curiosity and sometimes it works really well, but often you say “ah yeah I see why that was cut, in context.” Seemed like a good “second playthrough” feature to me. 

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5 minutes ago, Jake said:

I don’t know how much there is. I heard it described as playing a DVD with the deleted scene special features stitched back in. In my experience that is good for satisfying intellectual curiosity and sometimes it works really well, but often you say “ah yeah I see why that was cut, in context.” Seemed like a good “second playthrough” feature to me. 

 

I'm playing it right now and am about halfway through it. It doesn't add that much but I actually appreciate what is there. The old pirate leaders are a good example: In regular mode their shop just appears out of nowhere and their descent from the throne is barely touched on. In the Writer's Cut there is a lot more information about both things. Good dialogue, too.

 

I suppose I can see why they did streamline the game, but for more... enthusiastic... fans, I think the Writer's Cut is the "ultimate" option.

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31 minutes ago, Remi said:

 

I'm playing it right now and am about halfway through it. It doesn't add that much but I actually appreciate what is there. The old pirate leaders are a good example: In regular mode their shop just appears out of nowhere and their descent from the throne is barely touched on. In the Writer's Cut there is a lot more information about both things. Good dialogue, too.

 

I suppose I can see why they did streamline the game, but for more... enthusiastic... fans, I think the Writer's Cut is the "ultimate" option.

This has also been my impression too. I understand why it's optional as it probably hurts the pacing first time round, but people who want the slow pace of an adventure game world to live in for a bit will appreciate it. Also I'm fairly certain they just re-insert a few jokes in that weren't in the original too which I found to be decent.

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A couple more bullet points:

  • I like the writing, I think it's the snappiest the game has been for a while, but I feel like we could have had more classic 'pick your favourite of four jokes' for Guybrush to interrupt with moments. I wonder if that's partly Schafer's absence being felt. After Full Throttle and Grim I always considered him the king of dialogue trees. I liked the ones in this game where it was basically 4 variations of the same line.
  • LeChuck's voice was no substitute for Earl Boen's version, but for the story they were telling I don't think it had to be. Pre-voice LeChuck was full of menace especially in 2, while post-voice LeChuck became more of a comedy villain. In Return he's more ... sad. This is a LeChuck who doesn't know why he's doing it any more. It's become a rote, almost corporate exercise. He can barely inspire enthusiasm in even his most loyal crew, and I don't think we're supposed to be scared by him. Maybe that's a shame as I love the design and was hoping for a steer back towards menacing-lechuck that we never really got to, but I see why they went this way for the story they told.

 

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So I've been talking to people on reddit, discord, etc. about my thoughts on the game:

  • Absolutely loved it.
  • The framing device/the explanation of the end of MI2 was just genius.
  • Michael Land's score is brilliant, although it's missing some catchy themes of its own. The highlights of it being the points I recognised themes from the other games (Scabb Island cemetary as part of the LeShip music; the map music being Woodtick from MI2).
  • The puzzles seemed a bit easier than maybe Curse, Escape or MI2.
  • The chapter 5 puzzles and the codewheel reminded me a lot of Fate of Atlantis.

So the ending. Like many people it seems, the ending made me go 'huh'. In fact I think I uttered a "Really..." when stepping out into Melee Alley at the end. It left me initially feeling cold and dissapointed.

Reflecting on it after sleep and 23 hours later, I appreciate and quite like the ending - with everything Ron and Dave were trying to say throughout the game about the persuit of the secret; their letter in the scrapbook about their thoughts. They could never deliver a secret that would satisfy the fanbase, and on reflection what they have delivered with this game in regards to the secret is perfect.

My only downside to the ending is that I would have liked to have seen some sort of real confrontation between LeChuck, Guybrush and Lila. Even in an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade style "Leave the secret Guybrush, you don't need it" type of resolution. I think my initial "huh" at the ending would have been tempered somewhat by that.

Absolutely amazing game overall and Ron and the team really delivered something special. I think my favourite is still MI2 then Curse, but this is up there for me below those two.

Now to just work out how to find Cogg Island. I've seen it in the concept art in the credits and I know it's one of the achievements.

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Yeah, I would only change 2 things. Some type of final battle with LeChuck. There's been so many throughout the series that I didn't mind too much, but would've been a nice transition to the ending. 

 

And freeing Wally. There's gotta be a way lol For right now, my head canon is Elaine freed him. 

 

Other that that, my expectations were exceeded in basically every way. The more I think about the ending, the more I love it. 

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21 minutes ago, Staple Remover said:

Has it been confirmed about the multiple endings? I know Ron mentioned it in an interview previously. 

 

Specifically in our interview. Sheesh!

 

And yes, I'm confirming.

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I just finished the game and I feel like I really need to process this ending.

 

I’ve been dreaming of this game since the 90s, and I still can believe it now exists.

 

It really felt deep to me. I actually love the Lynch comparison because it made me felt the same way I felt while finishing S3 of Twin Peaks. Is it a work of madness or genius? Or even a bit of both?

 

I love the animations, music, voice acting so much… It really felt like a big adventure.

 

The ending though… The Secret actually was exactly what I wanted it to be. This has been my theory for decades… and at the same time, I love the fact that the game is still meta about it, and decides to not give a clear answer.

 

It felt abrupt. And I almost yelled: “That’s it?!?” But then I realized that was exactly the reaction the game wanted me to have, and this is what I love about Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman. They are artists, and they want us to reflect on ourselves while they are reflecting on themselves. The game triggers a reaction that pushes us to think about our own feelings and expectations.

 

Even though I would also have love to have a true last battle against LeChuck, I feel like it would have gone against the message of the game, about the frustration it wanted us to feel.

 

I, therefore, feel frustrated but compelled at the same time - which is weird - a bit lost, emotional, for sure…

 

I honestly think they couldn’t have make a better game.

 

I really feel grateful, and I’m so happy that it’s getting so many good reviews.

 

I’m sorry, I feel like I’m not saying anything interesting. Just thinking out loud with my broken English.

 

This, definitely, was a ride.

Edited by Joe monsters
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I hadn't even realized there wasn't a battle against LeChuck until people online started pointing it out! Now I kind of wonder what one would be like, but I also think its pretty great that they didn't do it. LeChuck is stuck on the wheel, now along with Madison and her crew, but Guybrush managed to get out (it seems, at least?!).

 

I know the folks who like Tales had wondered if any of its plot elements would come up in Return, especially the LeChuck/Guybrush/Voodoo Lady stuff that appeared in the very late parts of Tales' story. I didn't expect them to reference any of it, and they didn't, BUT when I think back on those parts of Tales, I remember Elaine was consistently pushing Guybrush to not keep falling into the same patterns (which LeChuck was insisting the Voodoo Lady was forcing them into through deceit). In Return, Guybrush actually escapes the pattern, with some nudging from Elaine, but LeChuck definitely does not! Guybrush eventually pops out of it to a theme park where everything is stuck on loop, but he's not part of it anymore, and can go home. I know that is probably not the primary read of that ending scene, but that whole notion of Guybrush and LeChuck on an endless wheel from Tales re-entered my brain this week and I was glad to see that Return has some resonance and resolution to that thematic arc, even if the "lore" parts about the voodoo lady are left behind.

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8 minutes ago, Jake said:

I hadn't even realized there wasn't a battle against LeChuck until people online started pointing it out! Now I kind of wonder what one would be like, but I also think its pretty great that they didn't do it. LeChuck is stuck on the wheel, now along with Madison and her crew, but Guybrush managed to get out (it seems, at least?!).

 

Seconded. And it's why I was frustrated by some of the discussion on OTHER BOARDS we will not mention, because some people saw this ending as a rehash — Ron and Dave going back to the same old, same old. A tease. A prank. Letting you think there would be a resolution and then giving you the same ending yet again. Lucy pulling away the football one last time. And I just wanted to jump through the screen, "Nooooooooooo! Don't you see it? THIS is the changeup ending. THIS is the time Guybrush finally walks away and seems at peace with it. Cross-reference that with the strong themes of aging, relevance, etc. and this ending is the crysknife that slowly and quietly slipped through your shield, and you didn't see it until it was pressed up against your side."

Edited by Dmnkly
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Again, I apologize for my English. I’m French. I’m trying my very best.
 

Also, I realized I barely read other people’s posts because I was so in shock about what I experienced.

 

I absolutely love these interpretations, and it seems like we all felt the same way while finishing the game. I, too, had to stop the game and just think for 10 minutes, then talk to my wife, then think again… It’s now been two hours, and I feel like I’m not gonna be able to sleep.

 

I especially love demone’s analysis. Thank you so much for that.

 

And yes, for sure, you’re both right. We don’t need a final battle. I’m so into that kind of stuff, usually, I didn’t realize how powerful it actually is to just not have one. I love the fact that Guybrush is finally at peace with his life.

 

I was playing with my daughter earlier today, and I couldn’t stop thinking about old Guybrush telling fun and silly stories to his kid. It’s so touching.

 

The last shot is literally him being at peace. It’s beautiful. I felt like I was seeing both Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, finally done with this chapter of their lives.


… Also, I just realized I’m talking to Dominic Armato, which is adding another meta level to everything. I love your voice, by the way – my family has been hearing you almost non-stop for two days. :)
 

A bit unrelated, but now, every time I play a new game, my three year old daughter looks at the main character and goes: “… Is it Guybrush?!?”

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4 minutes ago, Joe monsters said:

 Also, I just realized I’m talking to Dominic Armato, which is adding another meta level to everything. I love your voice, by the way – my family has been hearing you almost non-stop for two days. :)


Well, if you're not sick of me, I guess that's a good sign 😄

 

Thanks for the kind words. And absolutely no apologies. Even if your English weren't flawless (it is), you'd be no less welcome and appreciated!

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54 minutes ago, Joe monsters said:

Again, I apologize for my English. I’m French. I’m trying my very best.

Your English is great, but since you started your post with that, in my head I had to read it with a French accent. C'est la vie!

 

Also, can we talk about the music for a bit? This game basically had wall-to-wall music, and some locations (like LeChuck's ship) switched - no, faded! - between variations, Woodtick style so subtly. I was so glad we got that. Orchestrations were very similar to MI2, with the occasional orchestral grandeur (especially during the endgame), but mostly a smaller, softer ensemble. This probably helped keeping the budget for live musicians in check, but some of the new themes, like Scurvy Island, are really wonderful variations on the MI music formular.

 

A few points of criticism:

Some themes were misplaced. Sure, more of the Woodtick music is always great, but what did it have to do with the sea map? A variation on the sea map cue from CoMI would have been nice (or something entirely new). Also, no variations of the chapter screen music (as far as I can tell). This is something that CoMI got SO right, with every chapter getting its own little spin on the title card. I can't imagine that it would have exploded the budget to record some alternates of that.

Anyway, with so much interactivity in the tracks, it'll probably be difficult to adapt it into a format to fit a soundtrack release. Still, I SO hope we'll get one!

Edited by Laserschwert
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I'm just proud of myself for finishing the game without using the hint book once. Sorry to the guy who worked on it! 😂 Just a matter of pride. I felt like I took my time but still managed to finish the game quickly. I didn't feel like any of the puzzles were that difficult but maybe it's just something that comes with playing adventure games for 20+ years lol. 

 

I noticed there's a few items you actually don't use? Sponge in act 1 you find? Also how that dang book that's everywhere is a red herring of a clue. Thought for sure I'd need to get a copy somewhere haha.

 

Hardest puzzle for me was trying to figure out how to extend Stan's jail time. Took me a while to figure out I had to find the right combo in the painting frame. Biggest clue was showing all the different combos to Elaine when she mentioned something like "Ah so you want to be an accountant now?" And it clicked.

 

Also to get the key from the ghost chicken I assume it was just a matter of time after you feed it? I fed it like 10x times and was like "Man I must be missing something I'll come back later" and low and behold I guess time was all I actually needed when I came back haha.

 

Some of the jokes and dialogue really hit the right spot, loved it.

 

Looks like I'll need to replay the game and hunt down achievements and see the extra dialogue options from the writer's cut. You can tell the game is just FULL on tiny little details I am sure I missed.

 

Just happy we all get to play a new Monkey Island game.

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Hello! I finished the game last night, had the classic "Huh.", and then warmed up to it. Then I went to bed. And this morning, my partner asked me about the ending, so I told her what happened. And I talked and talked, tried to explain what was going on, which I couldn't, but I kept talking in excitement, and the longer I talked the more tears where flowing. Really!? Stupid game makes me cry and I don't no why? I wasn't able to explain really what was going on, but I felt this strong warmth from this game. The letter really hit my heart. Can't even make sense of all these feelings while writing you this. And I love it.

 

I already miss the game, and I want to replay it immediately.

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I'm still torn on the ending. I guess I expected an in-universe finale, not another meta closing. Then again, Little Guybrush's reaction to the ending was exactly mine as well, so it was obviously the idea behind it. And thinking more about it, there probably wasn't a Secret that everybody would have been happy with. Sure, as a player, you expect to be taken on a journey and leave it to the writers to come up with a conclusion that satisfies YOU. But from a writer's perspective, that's probably an impossible burden. I like the explanation that Guybrush finally can escape the circle, even if Elaine dragging him right to the next treasure hunt diminishes it a bit.

 

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I only played it once, so my memory might be fuzzy: I like that in Return, nobody actually wonders what the Secret is. Right? Guybrush and LeChuck just want it. Or do I remember it wrong? Anyway, I really enjoyed that stubbornness of the two. They are so fixated on the goal that they lost themselves.

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