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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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11 minutes ago, RobDangerous said:

To me the "less extravagant park" looked like it was the same one, just 20 years or so later, implying that this indeed happened before - in which case the original Chuckie would still be quite the mystery.

Oh of course. Thats why the carnival changes. Its boybrush leaving the imaginary world in which his father is trapped as a child in a carnival and reentering reality, in which he is a child in a carnival. The clearer it becomes the more confused i feel 😂

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I'm actually still lost about LeChuck's role, even as a metaphor. Maybe that's why it felt weird to me that there was no final battle.

I really feel like LeChuck represents something for Guybrush - other than being a scary animatronic.

 

Was he really his brother, in the past, who tortured him? Therefore, LeChuck and him fighting would represents his bad relationship with his brother, like in MI2, and then, when Guybrush finally gets the Secret, he then decides to let go of him, to let go of the trauma.

 

If we go with the theory of Boybrush being just in old Guybrush's imagination, him talking to himself as a child, maybe Chuckie is what his brother was, and Boybrush and Chuckie, in the beginning of the game, represent the relationship he really wanted to have with his brother, something sane.

 

In the beginning, Boybrush says that Chuckie always has "great ideas"... then, during the adventure, LeChuck always complains about Guybrush stealing his great ideas. It still seems to me that they're the same characters.

 

Or is LeChuck representing his obsession for the Secret? It makes sense in a way. Guybrush follows LeChuck, this destructive entity, through the door... and then LeChuck disappears. Because Guybrush finally found the Secret. So he doesn't feel any rage or frustration at that point.

 

I don't know. I feel like I'm missing something.

 

Also, what about Dee? Does she represents Elaine as child?

 

I know, they could only be kids, Boybrush's friends, no real meaning... Still, I feel like they represent something deeper than that.

Edited by Joe monsters
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I think after spending a couple of nights thinking about it I'm starting to form a tentative opinion.

 

I really like Return to Monkey Island. I think I sort of love it.

 

but

 

(though it's just a little but)

 

I think I like it more for what it does than what it is.

 

In terms of what it is, it's great. It's well written, has fun characters, jokes that make me smile, neat puzzles, a servicable central story and wonderful art and music. All I could have realistically hoped for from a new Monkey Island game in 2022 really. But I'm never going to like it more than the MI2. I'm never going to internalise it in the same way I did with those games. I was ten. Those games opened my eyes to all SORTS of stuff that I've carried with me my whole life.

 

But also, there are just some areas where I just don't think it's quite as sharp as the original - the dialog trees, the locations, the characters - I just don't think they're as well defined as I felt them to be in the earlier games. They're decent, just not *chef kiss* wonderful in the same way.

 

But what it does, I think, and why I value it so much is that it provides just enough (but not too much!) extra context to the world of Monkey Island that it lifts every other game in the series. Return to Monkey Island is the game that does that rare thing of improving all the other games around it, and making me value them even more than I already did. And for doing that, I think it's really something special.

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10 minutes ago, Joe monsters said:

Also, what about Dee? Does she represents Elaine as child?

 

I know, they could only be kids, Boybrush's friends, no real meaning... Still, I feel like they represent something deeper than that.

I thought dee represented lila. One, because that’s the character she looks most like and two, because then you have one representative from each of the three factions in search of the secret. What’s going on and how it all fits together is beyond me however. We need a game theory episode to slowly explain everything to us. 

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Hi everyone, I'm new here, but not too new. I have been reading mixmnojo since the early 2000s and I was a member of the forum. I don't remember which account. I apologize in advance for my poor English.

 

I finished the game yesterday. I was shocked and shocked and stayed that way for a while.

I immediately talked with friends and the amazing thing is that the more you talk about it, the more you like the ending.

 

I liked the ending immediately, but I METABOLISED it after hours, after slept and after having talked with other "theorists".

 

Last night this forum was a safe place, there were few replies but I really liked those few.

 

I found the ending to be very introspective.

 

I summarize here what I have said and commented elsewhere:

 

  • The secret is what you want it to be, almost like a "your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one".
  • Guybrush is a storyteller. He may have lived through those stories or not. It doens't matter. They are stories handed down and conversely told again. Each of us experiences a little bit of his mental traps, from time to time. But when the story passes from mouth to mouth it undergoes changes and it is right to vibrate the imagination.
  • Guybrush is the flooring inspector of an amusement park where he has been working for years. Perhaps the lookout is even the person who is in charge of guarding the gates. After all, the flooring inspector joke happens in the earliest stages of mi1 play.
  • What we pursue in life can obsess us to the point that when we reach it it can disappoint us. Fantasy allows us to recreate the worlds we want and Boybrush isn't ready for that yet. My theory is that Guybrush is still a dreamer who lives a fulfilling, but not necessarily exciting, reality.
  • My theory is that Guybrush wanted to give a life lesson to his son, and then realized that it is not the time yet. Much better to get back to playing.


In short, as I wrote almost everywhere:


We are all Guybrush in our 30s, 40s, 50s and so on.
We were all BoyBrush when we played the first Monkey Island in our very early years.

 

So, I wanted to have my say,  Thank you all for the interesting ideas, useful for shaping my personal theory.

Edited by AlboAbourt
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34 minutes ago, JacquesSparkyTail said:

I thought dee represented lila. One, because that’s the character she looks most like and two, because then you have one representative from each of the three factions in search of the secret. What’s going on and how it all fits together is beyond me however. We need a game theory episode to slowly explain everything to us. 

I just thought about it, and I think you're exactly right. They do look the same. And I think Lila talks about having a tarantula... which Dee also says earlier in the game.

This makes everything even more confusing now!

I mean, one theory would be that old Guybrush is just inventing a story based on his son and his friends, I guess.

Or, again, Boybrush only exists in old Guybrush's mind, and therefore Chuckie and Dee are his friends from his past.

I feel like we're getting to a point where every story is a reflection of another story. It's not linear, it's parallel in a way.

That's crazy though... I feel like that the more I think about the game, the more I discover new things.

Edited by Joe monsters
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Terror Island: other than the three pirates from the box art of Monkey 1, were there any other Easter eggs? It was an odd location, with at least one area that had no interactions, and several areas with just one or two. I felt like I missed out on something there. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Colorfinger said:

 

Well in that case... Here's the full scene! Just recorded it from my game (please excuse RTSS in the corner, I normally play much twitchier games..):

 

https://streamable.com/twln4a

 

Heh... that's funny. Seems more like a throwaway than any kind of deliberate clue or anything. But it is funny.

Incidentally, has anybody tried standing by the SCUMM Bar fireplace for any length of time?

 

1 hour ago, demone said:

Out of everything, I think the "brothers" reveal was the one plot plot that Larry and Johnathan didn't want to touch with a ten-foot pole and it ended up working beautifully because Return establishes that they are not in fact brothers, so it fits perfectly why it's never brought up again. As for LeChuck turning Guybrush into a kid in MI2, I think that could still be true. Guybrush never mentions specifically which part his son and Chucky made up outside of the whole brother revelation as that becomes obvious afterwards.

 

Don't want to overanalyze it (too late), but I would note that mixing a little bit of contemporary pop culture (Star Wars) into their pirate story is totally a thing a couple of kids playing pretend would do. Probably just an opportunity to pay tribute to the mothership. But it happens to work well on that level 🙂

 

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3 minutes ago, Dmnkly said:

Don't want to overanalyze it (too late), but I would note that mixing a little bit of contemporary pop culture (Star Wars) into their pirate story is totally a thing a couple of kids playing pretend would do. Probably just an opportunity to pay tribute to the mothership. But it happens to work well on that level 🙂

 

That also makes a lot more sense about the reference to the Nintendo™ game (retrofitted to Lucasarts game in the special edition) and the Junior Ultra Soldier Commando Assault Vehicle™. 

 

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Hey everyone, I need your help:

Maybe someone in here can convince me otherwise, but I actually really hate the ending to this game!

 

It's not necessarily what happens, it's the execution. I feel it didn't stick the landing, and since so many of you are saying that for you, it did, I'm hoping I'm not too far gone; I'd love to be swayed!


I definitely understand the metaphors at play. It's about family, about aging, about the power of stories, about losing your sense of place in the world and trying to go back in time to recapture a feeling you felt when you were younger. I played the first game 30 years ago when I was 6 years old; it's not lost on me that I'm Guybrush, and if I'm hoping to get that feeling I felt as a 6-year old when I first played SoMI, I'll have to face the horrible truth that no matter how much you want to, you can never truly go back. Too much has changed, you just get shadows of what once was, and that's what Guybrush's quest is about here, overall.
 

The part that fails for me has everything to do with Guybrush's disconnected dialogue towards the end. As soon as he gets out of the door in the alleyway he says "Oh no! I'm not ready yet" and implies that the park is closing. Stan trusts him enough to give him the keys because Guybrush is either an employee or a superfan (saying he's going back to his flooring inspector job suggests the latter). Guybrush then makes some comments about how Stan did a good job with the puzzles this time, LeChuck was fearsome (but I'm still 6-0 against him!), and that adding the other pirate lords was a good twist. He's lucid and understands what's happening around him.

This all suggests that everything in every game has been different times that Guybrush has come to his favorite theme park (sure, video games are theme parks, so we're "him" playing the different games, or Boybrush) and the scrapbook is full of physical objects from those trips. That's fine! I'm happy with this, after 30 years of waiting I was initially excited to get some kind of answer as to the truth of what's happening here.

Unfortunately It's completely deconstructed as when Guybrush talks to Elaine, she sounds like she's trying to calm down an insane person having a nervous breakdown ("You're right here with me"). He repeats himself, says that he doesn't understand where he is, and Elaine just tells him it's time to go. Wait what? I thought he was an expert on this place? Why would he be suddenly confused in the slightest? Is he supposed to be a player-insert where we're supposed to be confused? If so then why the initial dialogue that plays the entire situation straight? What the hell just happened? Literally SECONDS ago he knew what was going on.

 

Now we're back on the bench at the "real" theme park. And Elaine says she has a map to a treasure.

 

So which is it? It's a pirate theme park and Guybrush is a flooring inspector? Or he and Elaine are pirates, voodoo/LeChuck are real, he's telling stories to his son but exaggerating them and he's bad at endings?

I'm seeing a lot of folks in here saying they love that the ending can be interpreted in many different ways. That it's great that it doesn't actually matter which of the above is true; that it could be either, both or neither, and that's what's beautiful about it.

I'll go ahead and say it; I must be in the minority where I absolutely hate when writers do this. I don't find the activity of speculating what the ending means to be particularly fruitful, as it puts the burden on the audience to establish their own headcanon instead of actually answering anything.

 

Yes, I'm serious when I say BURDEN.

Maybe I'm just burnt out from taking tons of literature courses in college but I check out as soon as we get to the part where we're interpreting what we thought the author meant vs. what they chose to actually portray in the story. I could come up with a million theories as to what's really happening in this story (the two above are just what I'd consider the most likely answers) but since there is no objective truth I just have to pick something to believe, and I'd honestly rather not.

I just felt like I'd leave Return with answers to 30-year-old questions, but then I'm just told "Ha, you dared have a question you thought we'd answer? Jokes on you, maybe you shouldn't have cared so much". I'm frustrated that all of the characters in the game essentially patronized me the whole way through, saying "hey you probably shouldn't care too much about the Secret" or "it's gonna be a disappointment so you shouldn't get your hopes up". When Flambe came out of the fire to tell me again I was very, very annoyed. Like, my dude, I get it. 

 

My bad for caring about what really happens in the story :( The endings of stories do matter, and I'm not happy that I'm being told otherwise.


The thing is, I didn't care what the secret was. I didn't care if I ever found the answer, I just wanted an actual ending that makes sense. The one where "it's always just been a theme park" is great. An ending where "these stories really happened, Guybrush is an unreliable narrator and we may never know the true ending to MI2" is also fantastic. It's just that what we actually see in the theme park is a Guybrush who is simultaneously fully aware of what's going on in the story, but also somehow completely confused and doesn't know where he is, and then he just gives up and says "well, does it even matter?" It's almost intentionally disruptive so that you can't definitively choose one or the other. 
 

Ron had an interview where he said that people would either be excited or infuriated by the ending. Do you folks think I'm just doomed to be the latter?

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Interesting. 

 

It deserves a thorough answer and I don't know if I'm capable.

 

I noticed that the common element of online comments goes from:

 

absolute hatred / denial to understanding and then again to wonder.

 

I don't know if you will get there, but I have noticed that it does not take much hold in those who were looking for concreteness. Concreteness that I did not expect even for a second. I have really welcomed the absurdity and the open quetions.

 

However, I appreciate that yours, at least, is a constructive approach. 

 

 

In any case, today, a friend of mine and user of this forum pointed out to me that Ron in a old chatlog gave an important clue saying that in the firsts MI there are "jokes that are not jokes" and that are evident, quoting precisely the "Flooring Inspector" line

Edited by AlboAbourt
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3 minutes ago, Leontes said:

Hey everyone, I need your help:

Maybe someone in here can convince me otherwise, but I actually really hate the ending to this game!

 

It's not necessarily what happens, it's the execution. I feel it didn't stick the landing, and since so many of you are saying that for you, it did, I'm hoping I'm not too far gone; I'd love to be swayed!


I definitely understand the metaphors at play. It's about family, about aging, about the power of stories, about losing your sense of place in the world and trying to go back in time to recapture a feeling you felt when you were younger. I played the first game 30 years ago when I was 6 years old; it's not lost on me that I'm Guybrush, and if I'm hoping to get that feeling I felt as a 6-year old when I first played SoMI, I'll have to face the horrible truth that no matter how much you want to, you can never truly go back. Too much has changed, you just get shadows of what once was, and that's what Guybrush's quest is about here, overall.
 

The part that fails for me has everything to do with Guybrush's disconnected dialogue towards the end. As soon as he gets out of the door in the alleyway he says "Oh no! I'm not ready yet" and implies that the park is closing. Stan trusts him enough to give him the keys because Guybrush is either an employee or a superfan (saying he's going back to his flooring inspector job suggests the latter). Guybrush then makes some comments about how Stan did a good job with the puzzles this time, LeChuck was fearsome (but I'm still 6-0 against him!), and that adding the other pirate lords was a good twist. He's lucid and understands what's happening around him.

This all suggests that everything in every game has been different times that Guybrush has come to his favorite theme park (sure, video games are theme parks, so we're "him" playing the different games, or Boybrush) and the scrapbook is full of physical objects from those trips. That's fine! I'm happy with this, after 30 years of waiting I was initially excited to get some kind of answer as to the truth of what's happening here.

Unfortunately It's completely deconstructed as when Guybrush talks to Elaine, she sounds like she's trying to calm down an insane person having a nervous breakdown ("You're right here with me"). He repeats himself, says that he doesn't understand where he is, and Elaine just tells him it's time to go. Wait what? I thought he was an expert on this place? Why would he be suddenly confused in the slightest? Is he supposed to be a player-insert where we're supposed to be confused? If so then why the initial dialogue that plays the entire situation straight? What the hell just happened? Literally SECONDS ago he knew what was going on.

 

Now we're back on the bench at the "real" theme park. And Elaine says she has a map to a treasure.

 

So which is it? It's a pirate theme park and Guybrush is a flooring inspector? Or he and Elaine are pirates, voodoo/LeChuck are real, he's telling stories to his son but exaggerating them and he's bad at endings?

I'm seeing a lot of folks in here saying they love that the ending can be interpreted in many different ways. That it's great that it doesn't actually matter which of the above is true; that it could be either, both or neither, and that's what's beautiful about it.

I'll go ahead and say it; I must be in the minority where I absolutely hate when writers do this. I don't find the activity of speculating what the ending means to be particularly fruitful, as it puts the burden on the audience to establish their own headcanon instead of actually answering anything.

 

Yes, I'm serious when I say BURDEN.

Maybe I'm just burnt out from taking tons of literature courses in college but I check out as soon as we get to the part where we're interpreting what we thought the author meant vs. what they chose to actually portray in the story. I could come up with a million theories as to what's really happening in this story (the two above are just what I'd consider the most likely answers) but since there is no objective truth I just have to pick something to believe, and I'd honestly rather not.

I just felt like I'd leave Return with answers to 30-year-old questions, but then I'm just told "Ha, you dared have a question you thought we'd answer? Jokes on you, maybe you shouldn't have cared so much". I'm frustrated that all of the characters in the game essentially patronized me the whole way through, saying "hey you probably shouldn't care too much about the Secret" or "it's gonna be a disappointment so you shouldn't get your hopes up". When Flambe came out of the fire to tell me again I was very, very annoyed. Like, my dude, I get it. 

 

My bad for caring about what really happens in the story :( The endings of stories do matter, and I'm not happy that I'm being told otherwise.


The thing is, I didn't care what the secret was. I didn't care if I ever found the answer, I just wanted an actual ending that makes sense. The one where "it's always just been a theme park" is great. An ending where "these stories really happened, Guybrush is an unreliable narrator and we may never know the true ending to MI2" is also fantastic. It's just that what we actually see in the theme park is a Guybrush who is simultaneously fully aware of what's going on in the story, but also somehow completely confused and doesn't know where he is, and then he just gives up and says "well, does it even matter?" It's almost intentionally disruptive so that you can't definitively choose one or the other. 
 

Ron had an interview where he said that people would either be excited or infuriated by the ending. Do you folks think I'm just doomed to be the latter?

 

Maybe?

 

I don't mean to be glib about it, but from my perspective, introducing ambiguity about on which level various parts of the story are operating is the opposite of a burden to us, it's a gift. And I think the game lays out a very clear and well-thought-out case for why it's a gift and not a burden.

 

But perhaps it'd help to consider it from another direction. A week ago, we were all still wondering and disagreeing about what the ending to Monkey Island 2 meant, and exactly where the lines of reality are drawn in the Monkey Island universe. We'd in fact been talking about it for 30 years, and are no closer to having a firm, precise solution to it. Few of us hated MI2 for that. Many of us loved it that much more for it.

 

ReMI gestures at some possible answers to that question, but it deliberately stops short of answering it absolutely and definitively, so while we might have more material to work with now, in many ways we have no more closure than we did a week ago. We might even have more questions than we started with. But the one emphatic thing it says that that cuts through all that which I think is important is: 'That's not been so bad, has it?'

 

I don't think it's mocking you for caring about it, and of course it's all subjective, but if you could have been said to make any mistake I think it's in assuming the game is taunting you for wanting to know the answer. I don't think it's trying to taunt you all the times it alludes to being careful what you wish for and the like. I think it's trying to mentally prepare you for an ending that actually isn't about answers, but is instead about a different sort of closure.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

I don't think it's mocking you for caring about it, and of course it's all subjective, but if you could have been said to make any mistake I think it's in assuming the game is taunting you for wanting to know the answer. I don't think it's trying to taunt you all the times it alludes to being careful what you wish for and the like. I think it's trying to mentally prepare you for an ending that actually isn't about answers, but is instead about a different sort of closure.

 

This is interesting because I'm having this exact same discussion elsewhere with somebody who feels the same. And of course, I like to talk about why I like the ending, but at the end of the day, if you don't like it, you don't like it, and I don't think you need to apologize to yourself or anybody else for that.

But this other person had a very similar reaction. They felt punked, going so far as to imagine Ron and Dave making fun of them. And THAT got my hackles up. Not in an "I'm mad at you, you dolt" way, but in a way that just made me sad. Kind of like, after all these years and all these wonderful moments and all love that has gone into these, how could you think they wanted to end things with "Ha ha, we tricked you, stupid!"

 

So if it makes you feel any better, Leontes, you're not alone. Though it makes me sad here, too. I mean, I get it. Sorry to flog a tired analogy, but David Lynch isn't for anybody. And I don't think you're wrong to use the word burden, necessarily. Neither do I think you're wrong for not wanting to work for it. I hate to say it, but maybe this ending just isn't for you. Which shouldn't come as a surprise. No matter what they did, it was bound not to be for somebody. (Read: a bunch of somebodies.)

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I think I'm somewhere in that zone, too. I don't completely hate it, there's a lot about it that I think is brilliant, but there's a part of me that perhaps, at my stage in life, isn't ready for an ending like this. I've experienced a lot of existential crises recently and I think right now this is confronting in a way I'm not sure how to process. I actually felt a bit depressed after finishing it, but I'm reflective enough that I can recognise that isn't on Ron and Dave, they've crafted something really thought provoking that I think I have to come back to later to fully come to terms with.

Edited by OzzieMonkey
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8 minutes ago, Dmnkly said:

So if it makes you feel any better, Leontes, you're not alone. Though it makes me sad here, too. I mean, I get it. Sorry to flog a tired analogy, but David Lynch isn't for anybody. And I don't think you're wrong to use the word burden, necessarily. Neither do I think you're wrong for not wanting to work for it. I hate to say it, but maybe this ending just isn't for you. Which shouldn't come as a surprise. No matter what they did, it was bound not to be for somebody. (Read: a bunch of somebodies.)


Thanks for responding. It was helpful for you to say in the stream earlier (thanks again to you and Cressup! That was a lot of fun) that as an insider you actually do know about the other ways they could have done the ending, and that out of all of them, you think this one probably works out the best, at least for telling the story the way they wanted to tell it.

I think I just have to chalk it up to the fact that I don't care to speculate as to what might be truly happening. I just want the truth. Any truth. I'm not invested in any one truth over any other. The thing is, when I don't actually have the truth, I unfortunately stop caring about the story. Usually if I run into an interpretive ending I just think "great, anything and everything could be possible. Man, that's boring".

The trouble is, I don't want to stop caring about Monkey Island. That's what scares me right now. This is my favorite game series of all time, the one that got me into the industry. If this were any other game series I wouldn't have made an account on a forum just to decompress my thoughts, I would have just said "damn, oh well, thought it was going somewhere" and been on my merry way.

 

Maybe I thought I didn't have any expectations, but it turns out I did, but not in the way that I think the game is telling me not to. I didn't care about what the secret might be. If I had to guess, The Secret of Monkey Island is a 1990 point-and-click adventure game in a world of pirates.

 

Maybe I'm just so thrown off by how Guybrush seemed to simultaneously know and not know what was going on at the end that it's completely derailing my ability to enjoy it. He's the one telling the story! What's he actually saying to his son? "And then, I opened the door and I was back at the theme park just as they were closing! And then I got really confused and had no idea where I was. And then Stan gave me the keys and told me to lock up. And then I got very confused again. The End!"

Ahhh! Why? Even if I wanted to take the mental route of saying "I believe it's all just theme parks" or "they're really pirates and Guybrush is bad at endings" the dialogue at the end is so unbelievably jarring that I can't solidly land in either direction (or both directions at once, which ALSO works!). He should not be confused; he should be fully in control in that scene, even though he's an unreliable narrator. 

 

I think I could appreciate everything much more if I could just get past that hurdle. Maybe his confusion is supposed to mirror ours, but I was actually only confused at the fact that he was confused.

 

I'll keep working on it, haha.

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1 hour ago, Dmnkly said:

 

This is interesting because I'm having this exact same discussion elsewhere with somebody who feels the same. And of course, I like to talk about why I like the ending, but at the end of the day, if you don't like it, you don't like it, and I don't think you need to apologize to yourself or anybody else for that.

But this other person had a very similar reaction. They felt punked, going so far as to imagine Ron and Dave making fun of them. And THAT got my hackles up. Not in an "I'm mad at you, you dolt" way, but in a way that just made me sad. Kind of like, after all these years and all these wonderful moments and all love that has gone into these, how could you think they wanted to end things with "Ha ha, we tricked you, stupid!"

 

So if it makes you feel any better, Leontes, you're not alone. Though it makes me sad here, too. I mean, I get it. Sorry to flog a tired analogy, but David Lynch isn't for anybody. And I don't think you're wrong to use the word burden, necessarily. Neither do I think you're wrong for not wanting to work for it. I hate to say it, but maybe this ending just isn't for you. Which shouldn't come as a surprise. No matter what they did, it was bound not to be for somebody. (Read: a bunch of somebodies.)

 

Thing is, I love David Lynch, and this was not David Lynch. For an ending like this to work, the journey has to be interesting and great. And I think once the recency bias goes away and you really LOOK at the game, I just don't feel the journey was great. And to be fair it was going to be VERY hard for Gilbert to do a great follow up to MI2 and everything else 30 years later. 

 

For me the bigger issue than the ending was that the cast was flat as a board. And I don't mean the artstyle, which was also not to my taste. LeChuck gave me ZERO laughs, a few of the puzzles did, but that is about it. Elaine was just personality-less throughout the game. Wally didn't feel like Wally, about the only character that felt like themselves was Guybrush, and even he felt muted compared even to part 1 and 2. 

 

And I thought the ending was lazy meta. Can't help feeling this way. I liked it fine when it was the ending to MI2, but this is just the same thing, again but with nothing really new added on, just more questions to ask and none that I find particularly interesting. I like all MI games even this one, overall. But I do think that at the end of the day RMI falls a bit flat.

1 hour ago, Leontes said:


Thanks for responding. It was helpful for you to say in the stream earlier (thanks again to you and Cressup! That was a lot of fun) that as an insider you actually do know about the other ways they could have done the ending, and that out of all of them, you think this one probably works out the best, at least for telling the story the way they wanted to tell it.

I think I just have to chalk it up to the fact that I don't care to speculate as to what might be truly happening. I just want the truth. Any truth. I'm not invested in any one truth over any other. The thing is, when I don't actually have the truth, I unfortunately stop caring about the story. Usually if I run into an interpretive ending I just think "great, anything and everything could be possible. Man, that's boring".

The trouble is, I don't want to stop caring about Monkey Island. That's what scares me right now. This is my favorite game series of all time, the one that got me into the industry. If this were any other game series I wouldn't have made an account on a forum just to decompress my thoughts, I would have just said "damn, oh well, thought it was going somewhere" and been on my merry way.

 

Maybe I thought I didn't have any expectations, but it turns out I did, but not in the way that I think the game is telling me not to. I didn't care about what the secret might be. If I had to guess, The Secret of Monkey Island is a 1990 point-and-click adventure game in a world of pirates.

 

Maybe I'm just so thrown off by how Guybrush seemed to simultaneously know and not know what was going on at the end that it's completely derailing my ability to enjoy it. He's the one telling the story! What's he actually saying to his son? "And then, I opened the door and I was back at the theme park just as they were closing! And then I got really confused and had no idea where I was. And then Stan gave me the keys and told me to lock up. And then I got very confused again. The End!"

Ahhh! Why? Even if I wanted to take the mental route of saying "I believe it's all just theme parks" or "they're really pirates and Guybrush is bad at endings" the dialogue at the end is so unbelievably jarring that I can't solidly land in either direction (or both directions at once, which ALSO works!). He should not be confused; he should be fully in control in that scene, even though he's an unreliable narrator. 

 

I think I could appreciate everything much more if I could just get past that hurdle. Maybe his confusion is supposed to mirror ours, but I was actually only confused at the fact that he was confused.

 

I'll keep working on it, haha.

Also new but not new here. Been an MI fan since the early 1990s, playing on my soundcard less 386 as one of the games in a Lucasfilm Adventure collection. 

 

Overall I think the whole game is fine... just fine... and that's about it. The ending was a rehash of MI2, and the game was an inferior rehash of the first two. The new islands SUCKED. All of them. Look at Phatt Island, Booty Island, Scabb Island, the original Melee Island, all of them had more personality and areas to explore than this one did. Best area was Lechuck's ship but even that was done better in CMI. 

 

I am like you, I WISH I loved this game. But I don't. It's fine, just... fine. The art isn't at all to my taste, and the gross out part of it doesn't quite feel like it works. Yeah there was some of that in the first couple, but not quite like this. It felt like bad Ren and Stimpy.

 

Still the pacing was pretty strong, always knew where to go, and what to do, but the world felt tiny. Most of the islands had 2-3 areas, Melee was a shadow of its former self, which I guess was the point but I didn't feel it was handled all that well either. 

 

In many ways this felt like a band going back to record another album years after their heyday, but without anything new or interesting to say. 

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1 hour ago, bishopcruz said:

I am like you, I WISH I loved this game. But I don't.


Uh oh! I do want to be clear and say I totally loved this game from the first minute to the last. I think it was a fantastic return to form and really felt, at least to me, like a great old school point-and-click adventure game by the true masters of the genre. I loved the art, the music, the voice acting, the story, the puzzles, everything was absolutely fantastic. 

 

It's just that minor thing at the end that is nagging at me, but at least I'm not here saying "I don't understand the ending, ending bad". I don't think it's a bad ending at all.

However, this wouldn't be an internet forum without a jerk like me who loves 99.9% of something but only ever posts about the 0.1% they don't like though :D

 

That tends to be the case with anything anyone is passionate about, though. When everything else is great, it's very easy to focus directly on the negatives and suddenly that's all that ever gets brought up. 

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1 hour ago, bishopcruz said:

"And I think once the recency bias goes away..."


Not trying to deny you your opinion. Just as an aside, FWIW, @Jake and I both played the game months ago. We've been stewing in it and talking about it for quite a while. I realize "recency" is relative, but speaking only for myself, my appreciation for it has grown with time.

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23 hours ago, Nano said:

Everything is still much too fresh in my head to take a step back on the game, its end, and even its importance. It's so meta. It's gonna be exciting.

After the slap I received during the prologue of the game, I believe that the reflection that transpires from the fifth chapter deserves to be digested at length. What a fantastic game. What a great reflection on 30 years of gaming, on our expectations as players, and on the SECRET :)


Small question nevertheless, I knew that Neil Druckmann (Naughty Dog) had to interpret a character in the game. He appears, moreover, in the end credits. But does anyone know which character he plays exactly?

 

Image

 

Neil gave the answer :)

 

 

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Not sure if anyones mentioned this yet but in the prologue you fight chuckie on a ship and beat him in a race. Both of which you do in the main game. Is the prologue a summary of what’s about to happen? And if so what do the rest of the things you do represent? 😮 And what does this mean for the what is/isn’t imagined by guybrush discussion? 

Edited by JacquesSparkyTail
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Re: recency bias, I usually feel like I feel like I get a pretty good handle on whether I'm going to appreciate something longer term at this point in my life.

 

When I was younger I had the capacity to want to like something so much that I could go days and weeks trying to convince myself that I enjoyed it more than I did. I know that it's a tired one to bring up, but I had that kind of experience with EMI.

 

But these days I feel like just... experience helps me recognise how I feel about something sooner. Heck, if you read my reactions to it here I think it's fair to say I've been mildly critical of a few aspects of the game.

 

I know when I really like something though, I know the feeling that I get, of feeling more rewarded the more I think about it, and I get that feeling with this game.

 

I'm sorry if you or some other people aren't enjoying it in the same way - you're allowed, but rather than imply that if our judgment wasn't so clouded we'd feel like you do, could you just... Believe us?

Edited by KestrelPi
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10 hours ago, Jake said:


as @Joe monsters said, it actually starts off very in line with Monkey 2:

 

6D824129-72B1-4A7D-AABB-AD7E5BD9D558.jpeg

and is only after the kids stop “playing” the end of Monkey 2 and start thinking about what to do next, that it changed to the less extravagant park. 

 

... Oh right, Proof I have to replay the game more. It was still so ... funny the way they resolved that cliffhanger XD. I was like "30 years and they were trolling! Bravo Gilbert"

 

 Only of course not really!

 

----------

 

Changing topic, I noticed a few weird details. I don't care about continuity itself but... Am I wrong or Bob in the original game was never called 'Apple Bob'?

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7 minutes ago, Xantospoc said:

Changing topic, I noticed a few weird details. I don't care about continuity itself but... Am I wrong or Bob in the original game was never called 'Apple Bob'?

 

He was never upside down.

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52 minutes ago, JacquesSparkyTail said:

Not sure if anyones mentioned this yet but in the prologue you fight chuckie on a ship and beat him in a race. Both of which you do in the main game. Is the prologue a summary of what’s about to happen? And if so what do the rest of the things you do represent? 😮 And what does this mean for the what is/isn’t imagined by guybrush discussion? 

 

Interesting thought! Off the top of my head, as Boybrush you can also:

 

eat some disgusting food which you can make worse (scurvydog/ketchup, eating contest)

steal something by using a distraction (bread, a couple of puzzles in the game)

use fake money (the slug, the stone pieces of eight)

borrow something which someone is anxious you bring back (the pegleg, carla's books)

 

Ok, so not all of these examples are super strong, but along with the Dee/Lila thing you could make a case that Guybrush is watching the kids play, and when they come over, weaves a tall tale of which some parts are true, others are exaggerated or made up, and incorporates some elements of the things he saw into it.

 

I see Guybrush as someone who likes to get lost in his imagination. That, to me, is the meaning of how the game can have these jarring moments of feeling wrenched out of it. You know when you have a great dream, or even a dark dream which is so vivid and so imaginitive that you feel slightly sorry to be out of it? I think Guybrush feels that way, but about daydreams.

Edited by KestrelPi
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Hi all, actual benjoyce from all of those years ago, mostly from MILegend.com!

I am also one of those people with a lifelong obsession with the games, starting from the tender age of 9, with CMI being my first game.  I wrote my BA (2009) and MA Theses (2011) on the games, comparing the Disney influences, theme park design and adventure game design, as well as the many-many meta-layers of references of these games, sprinkling it with a bit of Baudrillard here, a bit of On Stranger Tides there (this before the 4th POTC movie, too), few kicks of theme park history, and a big dollop of game studies for good measure. I have even returned to the games later in my scholarly career here. And I think I am about to write a game studies paper on ReMI eventually.

I think that ReMI is a fine addition to the series, and a genuine iteration of the same principles that made the games great back in their day. Ron Gilbert was into meta for many, many reasons, mostly because postmodernism was in the Zeitgeist and a lot more innocent that the metafiction we get these days. But I believe that ReMI in particular owes its humour and metafictional aspects very much to William Goldman's fairytale adventure novel, The Princess Bride, and I especially emphasise that it is the novel, because it has a lot of textual shenanigans that plays with both the way stories are told, and also the nature/status of fictionality. Goldman's constant barrage of patently absurd historical claims and the obvious fictionalisation of his authorial persona, the numerous digressions, omissions, blatant lies, tall tales, asides, and the whole "found manuscript"/"fictional editor" shtick is very much in the same vein as Gilbert and Grossman's masterful play with the computer game as a (meta)medium.

There are several themes that run through Gilbert's whole oeuvre, intense preoccupations and hard-won lessons of storytelling, observations of real life and human nature that go well beyond the MI games, and his protagonists always seem to be "Lost in the Funhouse," to quote John Barth's lovely short story, which, incidentally, touches upon the same themes as ReMI, and it ends like this:

"He envisions a truly astonishing funhouse, incredibly complex yet utterly controlled from a great central switchboard like the console of a pipe organ. Nobody had enough imagination. He could design such a place himself, wiring and all, and he's only thirteen years old. He would be its operator: panel lights would show what was up in every cranny of its cunning of its multifarious vastness; a switch-flick would ease this fellow's way, complicate that's, to balance things out; if anyone seemed lost or frightened, all the operator had to do was. He wishes he had never entered the funhouse. But he has. Then he wishes he were dead. But he's not. Therefore he will construct funhouses for others and be their secret operator- though he would rather be among the lovers for whom funhouses are designed."

Quite like a game designer's passion, wouldn't you say so?
But I don't believe that Gilbert _certainly must have_ been aware of Barth's work (and while aware of The Princess Bride as a movie, not sure about him having read the book, either) but still, they are not essential to the argument. What is essential, though, is that Maniac Mansion, DOTT, The Cave and Thimbleweed Park are also part of this metafictional house of mirrors because they all seem to be centred around a few core themes:

1. The more aware we are of the artifice of art, the more we are equipped to deal with the absurdities of life.
2. The worlds we build in our fantasies and imagination are true to us, but might be paper thin for others.
3. Our personal quests are dangerous things to actually attain, because with the end of our quests, we lose something of our sense of self.
4. The human condition is one of always seeking, of finding new adventures,
5. Putting an end to interpretation is impossible, definite answers to find meaning and to stabilise it is a fool's errand.
6. Excursions, digressions, side-paths, getting lost are an integral part of getting where you want to be going.

Sooo, they are very postmodern attitudes by nature.

For these reasons (and because I would have accepted whatever ReMI would end up being at the hands of Terrible Toybox), I am grateful for the ride, and they way I eventually want to give back to the developers and the adventure gaming community is to continue to interpret, critique, and analyse this game as the metamodernist masterpiece I believe it to be.

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