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Return to Monkey Island VERY EARLY GAME Spoiler Discussion (Up through early Part One)


Jake
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Use this thread if you've just started playing and want to talk about the early game, without getting into the rest. If you've played the Prologue and are just getting into Part One, but don't want late game spoilers, this is the thread for you.

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21 minutes ago, Kroms said:

It's just a difference in interpretation. Curse never says the engagement ring was something LeChuck meant for Elaine, Return chooses to say it does. 

 

This I agree with. It is a bit weird that Guybrush doesn't really acknowledge his part in causing the problem in the first place but that IS sort of in character for him.

 

I think perhaps some might have been hoping he'd accept more responsibility based on other chats I've had. But... and this is just me ... but I've always thought this idea that Curse is sort of a redemptive arc for Guybrush in which he literally and metaphorically earns Elaine's love to be a bit of a reach. Curse to me is a very standard story of Guybrush causing trouble by acting before he thinks and other people ending up worse off for it and then him clumsily fixing it. It's fine that some people have weaved in an interpretation of Curse that tells it as a growth story for Guybrush where he learns the error of his ways from MI2, but I think you need a microscope to read that subtext, if it exists at all.

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15 minutes ago, Kroms said:

It's just a difference in interpretation. Curse never says the engagement ring was something LeChuck meant for Elaine, Return chooses to say it does. 


I don't want to hover like it's a huge deal; I can think of it as Guybrush being forgetful/vacant. I rank it up there with MI2 asserting that the Voodoo Lady helped make the voodoo antiroot in MI1. (Which I blame on Voodoo Lady's mindgame machinations, of course...)

 

But aside from that..

1. LeChuck wanted Elaine made into an undead-demon bride, as stated and attempted via Voodoo Cannonball at Part 1, and then via cursed lava rollercoaster at the endgame. (Regardless of having a hold filled with random voodoo crud, of which many could have damaged or cursed Elaine if used on her.)

 

2. Even if LeChuck had planned to make Elaine a statue, it was Guybrush who did it. LeChuck exploded and was MIA, presumed defeated, when Guybrush did what he did. Accept your own responsibility, Mr. Brush!

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1 hour ago, KestrelPi said:

 

This I agree with. It is a bit weird that Guybrush doesn't really acknowledge his part in causing the problem in the first place but that IS sort of in character for him.

 

I think perhaps some might have been hoping he'd accept more responsibility based on other chats I've had. But... and this is just me ... but I've always thought this idea that Curse is sort of a redemptive arc for Guybrush in which he literally and metaphorically earns Elaine's love to be a bit of a reach. Curse to me is a very standard story of Guybrush causing trouble by acting before he thinks and other people ending up worse off for it and then him clumsily fixing it. It's fine that some people have weaved in an interpretation of Curse that tells it as a growth story for Guybrush where he learns the error of his ways from MI2, but I think you need a microscope to read that subtext, if it exists at all.


The other angle is: the opening of Curse kind of copies the ending to Secret. LeChuck threatens Elaine, Elaine has things under control, but then Guybrush introduces a new set of problems. Like you said, Guybrush causes trouble by acting before he thinks.

 

It's not a perfect comparison, but "LeChuck was behind turning Elaine into gold" is along the wavelength of "LeChuck scared away the monkeys who had Elaine's root beer".

 

Romantic redemption in CMI may require a lot of subtext, but "copying the motions of MI1" requires much less!

Edited by BaronGrackle
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I like the idea that the curse and tales recaps are off. If guybrush is an unreliable narrator and, as we’ve discovered, the whole series is a story guybrush is telling, then suddenly theres a whole new aspect to the canon discussion.  Now the events happen, are filtered through guybrush’s poor memory, are filtered again by his desire to tell an interesting story to his kid and then are filtered one more time by the kid’s interpretation. A part of me kinda wants a remake of the entire series but just showing what really happened.. and i want it to be really dull. Like SoMI originally was about how guybrush once lost a bottle of root beer and had to go buy another. 

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The prologue did the impossible in threading the needle and turning the cliffhanger from Revenge into a new-user friendly tutorial section. I've just played Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo with my little kids, and that whole section had a Humongous vibe to it - albeit with plenty of gross touches that suggest a disturbing rot underneath the happy-go-lucky veneer.

 

To suggest a layer of meta-commentary for whoever write the dissertation about the prologue: It's interesting to think about this section in light of the fact that the first thing Ron did after he wrote the end of LeChuck's Revenge was create a mini-universe of children's games with wide-eyed, optimistic protagonists who are cut from the same cloth as kid-Guybrush (this is really reinforced by the voice-acting). If you prepared for Return to MI not by playing through the Monkey Island series, but by playing all of the adventure games Ron Gilbert produced in chronological order, you would follow up LeChuck's Revenge immediately with Putt Putt, and then a dozen other kiddie adventures. The prologue of Return to Monkey Island then serves not just as a resolution to the ending of LeChuck's Revenge, but a bridge from the bright and happy world of Humongous.

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In Tales, Elaine squarely places the blame on Guybrush for turning her into a statue (It's during a scene in TOMI part 4, when she's been summoned to testify in court). Elaine was affected by the pox of LeChuck at the time, and giving a very negative spiel about the guy (brush) as a result, but still.

 

I guess kind of feel the same way as @BaronGrackle here, if I'm reading their viewpoint right.

 

The line about LeChuck seeing Elaine as furniture, as objectifying her, has potential to be powerful commentary. But compared with the reality it seems off.

 

And it can be explained by an unreliable narrator! It's not a satisfying explaination imo, but it is one.

 

Its unsatisfying because if you look at the events of Curse, and the scrapbook lines from Guybrush in RTMI, it really sounds like Guybrush is the one ACTUALLY treating Elaine like furniture. And that's icky, isn't it. Don't like it. come on guy, yanno

 

Although I'll play along and go with the RTMI telling of CMI being canon for the story of RTMI, why not.

 

The TOMI Elaine spiel I'm talking about also contains a bit of a retcon I don't like (That the ending if MI2 was Guybrush intentionally abandoning her) (I guess poxed Elaine's also a bit of an unreliable narrator here).

Edited by Guybrush Transmasc
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11 minutes ago, JacquesSparkyTail said:

showing what really happened.. and i want it to be really dull

 

I should talk about this in a later-game thread. non-plot spoiler, but I will put this in spoiler tags anyway, alludes to thoughts on greater themes of the game and series maybe best saved for when youve played it all:

Spoiler

I think there are things across the game that show the adventures "as they actually happened" really are exciting, but that doesn't stop everyone from pushing them further in the telling. 

 

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9 minutes ago, JacquesSparkyTail said:

I like the idea that the curse and tales recaps are off. If guybrush is an unreliable narrator and, as we’ve discovered, the whole series is a story guybrush is telling, then suddenly theres a whole new aspect to the canon discussion.  Now the events happen, are filtered through guybrush’s poor memory, are filtered again by his desire to tell an interesting story to his kid and then are filtered one more time by the kid’s interpretation. A part of me kinda wants a remake of the entire series but just showing what really happened.. and i want it to be really dull. Like SoMI originally was about how guybrush once lost a bottle of root beer and had to go buy another. 

To my mind the whole point is that there is no official 'really happened'. You can decide that it all basically happened just as Guybrush said but with a few imaginitive wrinkles thrown in by his son, or you can decide it sort of happened buy Guybrush exaggerated and changed a lot of it, or that it sort of happened but Boybrush imagines a lot of the details and changes a lot of stuff, or that none of it happened at all and it's just fun stories Guybrush is making up for his kid which he's then taking and running with. It's true freedom that, that I think any attempt at peeling back the curtain any further would probably hurt.

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Guybrush had no way of knowing the ring would turn her into a statue, right? If I remember correctly, he doesn't know it's cursed until Wally shows up and tells him and Elaine right after he proposes to her. I guess his mistake was proposing to Elaine with a ring that he stole, but LeChuck is presumably the one who put the curse on the ring. It's on-brand for Guybrush to not accept responsibility for it, of course. It is kind of funny how the scrapbook glosses over it like "here's another crazy thing that happened one time - Elaine was a statue for a while, and was got briefly swallowed by a snake! Anyway... ").


Boy, I'm glad to have stumbled into the Curse of Monkey Island spoiler thread where we can discuss the plot intricacies of this groundbreaking follow-up to Ron Gilbert's Monkey Island 2. 😇

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16 minutes ago, Aro-tron said:

Guybrush had no way of knowing the ring would turn her into a statue, right? If I remember correctly, he doesn't know it's cursed until Wally shows up and tells him and Elaine right after he proposes to her. I guess his mistake was proposing to Elaine with a ring that he stole, but LeChuck is presumably the one who put the curse on the ring. It's on-brand for Guybrush to not accept responsibility for it, of course. It is kind of funny how the scrapbook glosses over it like "here's another crazy thing that happened one time - Elaine was a statue for a while, and was got briefly swallowed by a snake! Anyway... ").


Boy, I'm glad to have stumbled into the Curse of Monkey Island spoiler thread where we can discuss the plot intricacies of this groundbreaking follow-up to Ron Gilbert's Monkey Island 2. 😇

 

It's true that he didn't know it was cursed, but it WAS part of a voodoo zombie pirate's treasure hoard, and so it was at least hasty. Also getting her stolen in five seconds flat was definitely on him. 😄

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2 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

To my mind the whole point is that there is no official 'really happened'. You can decide that it all basically happened just as Guybrush said but with a few imaginitive wrinkles thrown in by his son, or you can decide it sort of happened buy Guybrush exaggerated and changed a lot of it, or that it sort of happened but Boybrush imagines a lot of the details and changes a lot of stuff, or that none of it happened at all and it's just fun stories Guybrush is making up for his kid which he's then taking and running with. It's true freedom that, that I think any attempt at peeling back the curtain any further would probably hurt.

 

As an additional layer of complexity there's a third narrator, the one who narrates the 'Meanwhile...' scenes in LeChuck's ship and his fortress, which Guybrush cannot possibly have knowledge of.

 

The more I think about the Boybrush Solution, the more I love it. On one level it ties everything up - and on another it adds yet more ambiguity to everything we've seen so far. And to take us all by surprise even though we've had 30 years to think about it - that's just genius.

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Blown away by this game so far, for reasons everyone else is saying. They went all in on character with those closeups and the first-person mouseover text and I am LOVING it. The mouseover text is so elegant, a wonderful touch.

 

The scrapbook discrepancies felt to me as specifically retcons to present Guybrush and Elaine's relationship as smoother and sweeter all along (even in light of all the new mushy lenses to view the series through). Don't know where the game will go, but their first interaction was hecka wholesome. I played Curse for the first time recently (no nostalgia) and that game putting them in love after MI2 is wild, the biggest retcon. For Return to embrace the marriage as it's doing, it may as well in turn make a few small tweaks to support that. That's how it came off to me at least.

 

4 hours ago, Aro-tron said:

The prologue did the impossible in threading the needle and turning the cliffhanger from Revenge into a new-user friendly tutorial section. I've just played Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo with my little kids, and that whole section had a Humongous vibe to it - albeit with plenty of gross touches that suggest a disturbing rot underneath the happy-go-lucky veneer.

 

What a needle thread, and yes! This feels like a Humongous game for a wider audience. The Prologue's tone is great and so in line with those games!

 

This feels like it's taking a lot from Humongous so far. Those games dropped the verbs necessarily all the way back then, and were breezy clean adventures for it (with very simple puzzles). Making them for kids but enjoyable by parents meant simple and readable, going down smooth, with high quality and good taste. This is finally taking up that torch and going further with it.

 

There's heritage down to specific presentation too. Clicking on a character and hearing a small tree-less interaction, then clicking again for a different also snappy interaction is straight from those games. Marrying LucasArts adventures with some Humongous flow and readability is working really really well so far.

Edited by xorphplex
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Wow, the prologue was so interesting and beautiful, so many amazing moments.

 

Anyone notice how the theme park turned into a little town as soon as the prologue became playable? I'm wondering if that means anything, or if it's just a way to transition from the MI2 ending to this new story.

 

I still I have a feeling like not everything is as it seems – the first cutscene plays out a bit differently from how we remember, with kidbrush and chuckie  seemingly having a more friendly dynamic, rather than Chuckie "hunting down" Guybrush for his parents. It could be that the ending of Monkey Island 2 was still halfway "in their imagination," since they sort of do repeat the lines from the end of that game, just in the context that they're now pretending those people were their parents.

 

Though that doesn't explain why those two seemingly random adults from the future were in Guybrush's memories in MI2 when he fell off the tree. Wonder if that'll be explained.

 

If I had to guess, I'd say these things might just be retcons, and I'll go with it.

 

But if there is something weird going on, my only theory is that maybe the kid is actually just in older Guybrush's head, imagining a better life for himself as a kid? One where his parents didn't have to be his real parents, his brother was nice to him, and his real dad had a bunch of cool stories to tell. 

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29 minutes ago, Knight Owl said:

Wow, the prologue was so interesting and beautiful, so many amazing moments.

 

Anyone notice how the theme park turned into a little town as soon as the prologue became playable? I'm wondering if that means anything, or if it's just a way to transition from the MI2 ending to this new story.

 

I still I have a feeling like not everything is as it seems – the first cutscene plays out a bit differently from how we remember, with kidbrush and chuckie  seemingly having a more friendly dynamic, rather than Chuckie "hunting down" Guybrush for his parents.

 

Also, dunno why the two people the kids were pretending were their parents happen to be the same people from Guybrush's memories in MI2. Wonder if that'll be explained.

 

If I had to guess, I'd say these things might just be retcons, and I'll go with it.

 

But if there is something weird going on, my only theory is that maybe the kid is actually just in older Guybrush's head, imagining a better life for himself as a kid? One where his parents didn't have to be his real parents, his brother was nice to him, and his real dad had a bunch of cool stories to tell. 

 

I wouldn't call them retcons, I'd say that it's more like the end of MI2 gives you a little peek behind the curtain and the start of ReMI is them opening it the rest of the way. MI2 gives you enough to see them as kids playing but still has lots of elements of their imagination playing out, then this lets you see behind it bit by bit, first by making the parents some randos and then by showing the lightning as just a random idea that Chuckie had, and then finally by getting rid of some of the fancy decorations around the park, until we're seeing the world for what it really is (or are we? Maybe there are more layers still - the nice thing about this is that there is room for that ambiguity.)

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5 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

 

I wouldn't call them retcons, I'd say that it's more like the end of MI2 gives you a little peek behind the curtain and the start of ReMI is them opening it the rest of the way. MI2 gives you enough to see them as kids playing but still has lots of elements of their imagination playing out, then this lets you see behind it bit by bit, first by making the parents some randos and then by showing the lightning as just a random idea that Chuckie had, and then finally by getting rid of some of the fancy decorations around the park, until we're seeing the world for what it really is (or are we? Maybe there are more layers still - the nice thing about this is that there is room for that ambiguity.)

That’s a good way to put it! I’m *really* interested in hearing Ron talk about the history behind this stuff, and what ideas here if any existed 30 years ago

Edited by Knight Owl
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The prologue presents the idea that the world of the games is part of a storyworld that exists somewhere between how father Guybrush retells his adventures to his kid, how Guybrush remembers them himself, and how his kid imagines them. It cleverly speaks to the subjective nature of video game narratives, where the players inhabit a story the developers programmed, and re-tell it in their own way. It also strikes a delicate balance between resolving the LeChuck's Revenge cliff-hanger and honoring the previous three Monkey Island games that came after that cliffhanger.

 

In fact, the neat way Return's answer to the Revenge cliffhanger builds on the narrative baggage of the previous games, especially the idea of Guybrush as an older, married, established as pirate who has had lots of adventures, makes me wonder whether a satisfying resolution would have even been possible in 1992.

 

I feel like both MI1 and MI2 benefited from this sense of nagging dread, which helped to balance the general corniness of the world. Both games are constantly hinting that there is something actually quite terrible about treasure you're seeking. In Secret, it's a portal to Hell, which gave me the absolute heebie jeebies as a kid. It sort of feels like you're on the edge of unraveling the entire world. In Revenge, that same sense of dread is still there, in particular with the cutscenes that show LeChuck closing in on Guybrush each time he finds a map piece. However, Ron has admitted that he wasn't sure how to end the game, and I think he went with something that felt uncanny the same way that Hell did, without really knowing how the cliffhanger would resolve. So there's this great sense of the world collapsing in MI2, but how do you come back from that?

 

I can believe that Ron possibly intended the games to be sort of like a child's fantasy, but I think that idea works more as a vibe than as an overt plot point or M. Night Shyamalan twist. I think he was able to get the dread of the MI2 ending by sort of subverting that child-like vibe and making it overt in a way that feels uncomfortable and wrong. But it does kind of write the story into a corner.

 

I never wanted a Monkey Island 3a that revealed that the previous games were imaginary, and I also never though the anachronisms were something that needed to be explained. Even if you do want those things explained, that's nowhere to start the first chapter of a computer game that might be another player's entry to the series. Return makes the Childbrush section work because seasoned players understand it in context of Revenge, while newer players will just experience it as a 'junior pirates' tutorial section. No one was doing in-game tutorials in 1992.

 

It's possible that Ron had a great resolution planned for the start of MI3a, but he certainly didn't stick around at LucasArts to tell it. I find it hard to believe that it would have felt as natural of a resolution as what Return delivered. And in a weird way, I'm kind of glad to have had 20 years of speculating about what that resolution could have been. It's been fun!

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Did the Prelude tonight! I guess I owe an apology to my defamation of Bill Tiller. The Calvin and Hobbes stuff is definitely there.
 

I wonder if that Chucky kid is ever weirded out that Mr. Threepwood has so many stories about fighting a pirate named LeChuck.

 

I shall continue following this string to see where it leads.

Edited by BaronGrackle
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8 hours ago, Knight Owl said:

Anyone notice how the theme park turned into a little town as soon as the prologue became playable? I'm wondering if that means anything, or if it's just a way to transition from the MI2 ending to this new story.

 

Yes, and I lovelovelove that little touch. I suspect it's not complicated. I think it just hammers home that the kids are imagining an adventure, and as they come back to reality, the more fantastical elements quietly drop away.

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5 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:

I wonder if that Chucky kid is ever weirded out that Mr. Threepwood has so many stories about fighting a pirate named LeChuck.

Haha, that is awkward.

2 hours ago, Dmnkly said:

Yes, and I lovelovelove that little touch. I suspect it's not complicated. I think it just hammers home that the kids are imagining an adventure, and as they come back to reality, the more fantastical elements quietly drop away.

Right! I didn't notice that the first time I played. Jake showed me a screenshot afterwards, when it was still in Big Whoop mode, and I wrote back "Hold on! What is this! Your playthrough looks different!". What a great element.

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Wait... are they really at an amusement park but then imagine it as a little town park, or are they really in a little town park but were imagining it as an amusement park?
 

I had thought it was the former (really amusement park) because they were interpreting the modern setting down to pirate times... when they got the key to the "outhouse" and went inside a giant outhouse room (I don't think outhouses work like that, a big room with a "please wash your hands" sign), I figured it was actually a small restroom. And I figured they were ordering weenies but imagining them as disgusting "scurvy dogs".

Edited by BaronGrackle
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4 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:

Wait... are they really at an amusement park but then imagine it as a little town park, or are they really in a little town park but were imagining it as an amusement park?
 

I had thought it was the former (really amusement park) because they were interpreting the modern setting down to pirate times... when they got the key to the "outhouse" and went inside a giant outhouse room (I don't think outhouses work like that, a big room with a "please wash your hands" sign), I figured it was actually a small restroom. And I figured they were ordering weenies but imagining them as disgusting "scurvy dogs".

 

I wouldn't say that's the 'standard' or intentional read of what's going on here (as usual your reads absolutely flummox me 😆) but I think the game leaves enough to interpretation to allow that to be a read.

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MAN I wish there could've been a camera on me at the moment when the camera panned over and revealed

Spoiler

Guybrush,

my jaw dropped. Then when I hovered the cursor over it and revealed

Spoiler

"Hi, Dad!",

...my jaw was on the floor.

 

31 years of theories and predictions... did *anybody* manage to predict this correctly?!! 😵 I don't think I ever saw one person suggesting that

Spoiler

the parents weren't really their parents, Chuckie wasn't really his brother, or that the boy in the ending wasn't Guybrush... but Guybrush's SON!

 

I was racking my brain trying to think what Noah, Dom, etc. could've possibly meant by the game having such an unbelievably clever way of dealing with MI2's ending that didn't involve time travel or "a wizard did it" logic, that we couldn't have figured out anyway. But man, did they find a way.

 

 

Spoiler

All of the alleged canon issues, the inconsistencies, the embellishments, are gone after this opening. The story is being handed down from father to son. So it's already potentially being embellished once, and his son is embellishing it again himself and filling in the blanks. If one of them felt that making Herman Elaine's grandfather would be cool at some point, or the finale of Escape needed a robot... sure, why not?! Then if they change their mind later, fair enough. It's all interpretation. To think that initially Ron's plan years ago was to erase 3-5 from canon. Now, I think the whole series fits together better than it ever did before.

 

I think this is honestly the most surprised I've been by a twist in a work of fiction for a long time. I don't have that much of a visible reaction to movies/games/TV anymore (I still feel, it's just internalised!) but yeah, this was something else.

 

And yes. I have finished the game! I don't have the coherency to write an essay on the whole thing (again, this opening is the exception), so I'll post my full thoughts in bullet points in the other thread.

 

Teaser reaction: "!!!!!!!!!!"

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12 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

 

I wouldn't say that's the 'standard' or intentional read of what's going on here (as usual your reads absolutely flummox me 😆) but I think the game leaves enough to interpretation to allow that to be a read.


Well, I figured the outhouse was really a restroom that was modern enough to have a "please wash your hands" sign... I figured the gross poo water coming from a crack in the wall was really slightly-less-poo water coming from a sink... I figured the vender was selling food for modern currency instead of pieces of eight... and that it would be selling more ordinary weenie hut food, which the boys would imagine as pirate themed things like "scurvy dogs" and "grog"... I figured that that anchor with a plaque was really something like Lafitte's Anchor at Disneyland... I figured the barrels didn't really have rats with sunglasses floating recreationally... 😎

 

...I was thinking it was boys in a very small amusement park imagining they were in pirate times, but are you guys saying that it's actually boys in an ordinary community park imagining they're in pirate times cursed to look like a large amusement park, or maybe imagining pirate times overall but very briefly imagining it as a large amusement park, before going back to the pirate times game? 🤯

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