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POLL: Now the dust has settled how do you feel about Return to Monkey Island?


ThunderPeel2001
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What did you think of Return to Monkey Island now it's all said and done? (Anonymous poll)  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you feel about REMI now you've finished it?

    • It was a religious experience. My life has not been the same since
      7
    • It was MI1+2 levels of greatness!
      12
    • Not the best of the series, but easily in my top 3
      27
    • I liked it, but it's not in my top 3
      18
    • I didn't like it
      5
    • I haven't finished it!
      0
  2. 2. What about the art style?

    • LOVED IT!
      36
    • Pretty good!
      19
    • It wasn't for me, but I didn't hate it
      9
    • I hated it. Sorry.
      5
    • I still haven't had a chance to see it in-game yet!
      0
  3. 3. How do you feel about the ending?

    • It was sheer perfection
      28
    • It was fine
      20
    • I would have preferred a more straight-foward ending
      6
    • I didn't like it
      9
    • I don't know how I feel about it yet!
      5
    • I haven't finished ReMI
      1


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  • ThunderPeel2001 changed the title to POLL: Now the dust has settled how do you feel about Return to Monkey Island?

I’ve voted though I have some feedback on the poll itself: I think the “ending” options are weighted pretty steeply towards negative after the first choice. There’s no “pretty good!” space, which feels like it will force polarizing answers. 

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Just voted.

 

It's been almost three weeks and I have yet to stop thinking about this game, the ending, its themes and so much more. To unwind after work many times these past few weeks, I loaded up some of my saves to play my favorite parts, of which there are many, over again and I'm still picking up on so many nice little details. I have gone back and replayed the previous games with renewed appreciation as well. Regardless of how I feel about the game, that shows just how special of an experience this game was.

 

That being said, I absolutely loved it. Is it perfection? In the purest form of the definition of that word, no. But for me and my experience, I really wouldn't change anything, so that's certainly a type of subjective perfection in my opinion. Nearly three weeks later, I think my appreciation and love of the game, and the series by extension, has only increased. The emotional layers added onto the series from this game makes me experience the other games in a whole new light and I just love that.

 

I will also say, just being on these forums and speculating before the game and then discussing it afterwards, made the experience all the better. Everyone here is pretty mature and civil, so it's easy to have genuine conversations and constructive and civil arguments.

 

Edited by demone
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4 hours ago, demone said:

 

I will also say, just being on these forums and speculating before the game and then discussing it afterwards, made the experience all the better. Everyone here is pretty mature and civil, so it's easy to have genuine conversations and constructive and civil arguments.

 

 

It really was all about the friends we made along the way.

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12 hours ago, Jake said:

I’ve voted though I have some feedback on the poll itself: I think the “ending” options are weighted pretty steeply towards negative after the first choice. There’s no “pretty good!” space, which feels like it will force polarizing answers. 

 

I know what you mean. I went back and forth on that second entry a LOT. I really struggling to come up with options for an ending that is designed to be uncompromising. (In the UK we'd call it a "Marmite" ending.) There doesn't seem room for lukewarm answers. Originally it read: "It was OK!". Maybe that read more upbeat.

 

However the responses haven't been so polarising after all...

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I'm bad at ranking things, so the first question is already hard :p

I think most of the game is fine but the ending elevates it, so I think if I were to try and rank these games, Return would end up in the top 3. Don't ask me about the other two games in there though...

 

The artstyle is thematic and well executed, so I voted for 'Pretty good!', since I did have to get used to it a bit, but now I can't imagine anything more fitting to the game.

 

I agree with Jake, my opinion on the ending is a bit between the two top options. "It was fine" feels a bit like a shrug, and I liked it far more than that, but I do feel it falls slightly short of perfection, since it feels kind of rushed (which may have been intentional, come to think of it). So I ended up voting for 'sheer perfection' anyway, since that came closest to my opinion.

 

Glad to see the voting skews towards the positive answers!

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It wasn't exactly a religious experience...but it's definitely the closest a video game will get to one, at least for me. I can't remember the last time a game left me thinking about it for weeks. I wasn't sure if the ending would be able to live up to what I imagined but it actually managed to hit all the notes I wanted it too and it made me really emotional. None of the other games had an ending that left me thinking "Y'know, this really would be a good end to the series." but I'd be genuinely okay with this being the end. I really think Ron and Dave knocked it out of the park on this one and gave the series the perfect send off it deserved.

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Those who've seen my posts in the spoiler discussion will see that I've really struggled with the ending, but I'm really finding that I've come around to loving it and the way it gives validity to any interpretation. I think

I initially just took the whole thing literally which is why I felt really let down, but then I understood what it was doing and how it frees the player to create their own meaning and...wow. Yeah it's actually great. I think it's really hard to rank it above my top 2 which are MI2 and Curse; it's almost impossible to compete with those early childhood memories, but as far as new games in the series go, it's pretty dang good. I love the art style, might be my favourite next to Curse (I think a remaster of that game would blow it out of the water). I think what brings it down for me is that there is a LOT of time spent on Melee and I've always been more interested in new locations, so for me it took a little too long to get to that aspect of the game. Overall though it was pretty neat.

Edited by OzzieMonkey
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Nothing will ever top MI2 in the series for me, not because I think it's especially better than the others (though I do think there's truly special parts of it that none of the other games have matched) but because it caught me at just the right time, felt weirdly grown up when I was at an age where I was probably juuust starting to want stories with more edge to them, inspired me musically in so many ways, and really opened my mind about different kinds of storytelling.

 

I don't think that 11 or so year old me would have properly understood all this, but it planted seeds, for sure. I loved MI1 before it too, and I've been thinking a lot about how much I enjoy that game's puzzles, but MI2 just feels unassailable. Nothing could ever be so formative. So I think it's a pretty big compliment from me to say that I think that Return could hang out with MI1 and CMI a little way below MI2 in terms of how I'm starting to feel about it.

 

I've said elsewhere that I like it more for what it brings to the series as a whole than what it offers as a game individually (though that's cool too), and I like that, because I feel like MI1, CMI and RMI all give me different reasons to love them. MI1 is just so nostalgic, my very first adventure game experience and how could I not feel warm towards it? CMI came at a time when I was at the peak of my LucasArts fandom, and it was so nice to be so excited about the new game and have so much of that excitement validated by what we got. And RMI is the game that makes all the others better (this is very mild allusions to the start of the game)

Spoiler

for me, takes the series as a whole, in all its messy glory, and gives it permission to be messy, and inconsistent, and sometimes weird, it rehabilitates the non-Ron games in my mind and basically acknowledges them as valid, and has given me a new respect for all the entries in the series while elevating the original two as well.

 

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Has the dust settled? The game hasn't even been out for a month.

 

ah well,so

I don't know where I'd place this game compared to the other MI games. I voted "religious experience" although I don't think it was that world-changing for me, it was a very very good game. That was the "positive option without invoking comparisons" so that's why I voted for that one.

 

Honestly though? RTMI is my fave game in the series right now. That's 100% newness bias and I know it, but its how I really feel at this moment.

 

Anyway any of my initial misgivings about the art style were cringe of me. I mean I never hated it and was willing to give it a try, but that was an understatement because it was cute and beautiful from start to finish. I came in with tempered expectations, and they were all exceeded and crushed and smashed and destroyed. The art was SO GOOD.

 

ending discussion (implied spoilers, I don't state anything concrete but implied spoilers are still spoilers):

Spoiler

I'm still digesting the ending. It was good, it felt appropriate. I voted "sheer perfection", because I was very satisfied by it at the time.

 

I've become more uncertain as I continue to process the ending, but that's just the result of thinking about it. I will continue to think about it. If the ending was meant to make the viewer ask questions, and I think it was, then it's certainly done that for me. Of course, as I overthink things, I become more unsatisfied and more thirsty for more lore. Lore which I know I'm not getting.

 

I wouldn't change a thing about the ending. I'm starving for more, and I'm going to keep starving, because that's where the ending has left me. Truely in this moment I am a boybrush.

 

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Now that the dust has settled, I'm ranking the game a little lower than I would've thought.

That's not to say I didn't really, really, really like it, but it has more to do with how little new ground it treads.

Most of the locations we've already seen in other Monkey Island games, and the new locations don't really feel quite as inspired or detailed as the old ones. A lot of the themes have been done before too (by EMI no less!), maybe not as effectively, but the overlaps are there.

The graphics are nice and the compositions and details are wonderful! I'm just still not a fan of tween animation, and while it was expertly handled, I still just see shapes tweening back and forth. I guess it's a compromise that has to be made if you want 2D animation in this day and age, but I just don't like it.

About the ending:

While the ending totally blew me away and stuck with me for a couple of days, it isn't really as new as I'd like it to be either. Most of the revelation about the secret has already been done by MI2, this only confirms that. It took me by surprise that we were suddenly back at the back door in Mélêe Island, but it's nothing new either. The shutting off the lights was symbolic and surrealistic, but other than that it was a retread of the Monkey Island 2 ending. So only the fact that Guybrush is now at peace with it gives it a silver lining, and that's the part that really affected me personally.

 

I really love the humour, the music and the ambience, but I can't shake off the feeling that It's retreading some of the same ground as in MI 1, 2 and 4. On that note, it's not in my top 3. That'll still be SMI, MI2, CMI.

That being said, I had a great ride! And the fact that, to me, it doesn't reach the hights of some previous titles, doesn't mean it's not a great game!

I'm really impressed by the accomplishment of Ron and his team! Chapeau to them, and I love the product that they've made!

 

Now gimme a physical edition with a soundtrack CD!

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I posted this previously, but my ranking still stands: 

On 9/22/2022 at 9:28 PM, Staple Remover said:

Monkey Island Ranked

1. Secret of Monkey Island

2. Return to Monkey Island

3. Tales of Monkey Island

4. Curse of Monkey Island

5. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge

6. Escape from Monkey Island


Ranking all Lucasfilm (and others) Games

1. Secret of Monkey Island

2. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

3. Grim Fandango

4. Return to Monkey Island

5. Tales of Monkey Island

6. Curse of Monkey Island

7. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge

8. Day of the Tentacle

9. Thimbleweed Park

10. Sam and Max: DP

11. Full Throttle

12. Sam and Max: BTS

13: Sam and Max: STW

14. Escape from Monkey Island

15. Sam and Max: HTR

16. Maniac Mansion

17. Indy Last Crusade

18. Loom

19. The Dig

20. Zak McCracken

21. Broken Age

 

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On 10/10/2022 at 2:52 PM, Lagomorph01 said:

Now that the dust has settled, I'm ranking the game a little lower than I would've thought.

That's not to say I didn't really, really, really like it, but it has more to do with how little new ground it treads.

Most of the locations we've already seen in other Monkey Island games, and the new locations don't really feel quite as inspired or detailed as the old ones. A lot of the themes have been done before too (by EMI no less!), maybe not as effectively, but the overlaps are there.

 

 

I think for me the biggest thing that stops this game from quite reaching the heights of some of the older games is that feeling that the new locations feel a bit empty, a bit like they're just locations for puzzles to occur in rather than having a strong personality. It's just 'ice island', 'scary island', 'lime island'. They feel a bit like video game levels rather than places.

 

I can't imagine ever feeling like I understand Brrr Muda the way I do Scabb, Booty, Phatt, Melee, even Plunder and Blood, or even some of the places in the 3D ones, they're just a bit... thin in comparison, here.

 

Spoiler

almost like Guybrush was making some of it up as he went along *whistles*

 

I think what makes up for it for me is just how it adds to the framing of the Monkey Island universe. It's almost like the story and locations are backdrop to the main thing that the game wants to convey. And while I can't deny I wish that they'd have fleshed out that backdrop a bit more, I also am still so in love with what it does around it that I'm giving it a pass on a lot of that stuff (also it's not like it's bad, just a bit slight).

 

I learn a lot about the game moments that are really important to me when I think about how I skip through let's plays of a game on youtube.

 

  • For MI1 I always watch most of Part 1, then I tend to skip to arriving on Monkey Island, then sometimes I'll just skip straight to the final part of the game and outro.
  • For MI2 I will always want to watch parts of part 1, the end of part 1, I find myself seeking out certain parts of part 2 (the password puzzle, governor marley, Stan, the bone dance), I tend to watch the acid pit escape, then skip to the X marks the spot.
  • For CMI I watch the opening, any part with Murray, the pirate song, bits and pieces of blood island and big whoop parts.
  • For EMI I have tried but usually abort watching shortly into part 1 (sorry).
  • Tales I'm most interested in seeing people play through parts 3-5

For RMI I've been watching the intro, a little bit of the first part, and then I tend to skip all the way to the final part. And I think that's because I don't really care that much about the middle of the game. I don't hate it, and I rather like it but there isn't a part of me that's begging to know what so-and-so thought of this bit or that bit. That said, I recently watched someone play through the part with the Chums stories, and that I did rather enjoy. But I might be more interested in seeing their reaction to the start and end of this game more than anything else in the whole series, with the possible exception of MI2's ending (which is of course closely related)

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The more I think about the ending, the more I simultaneously appreciate it for what it's trying to say, but also... *sigh* I just wish we got a bit more character resolution. I think they could have still incorporated those themes while not necessarily "taking the wind out" of the ending, as Ron put it in Cress's interview. The ending started to get a bit emotional, and I feel like it could have been more so if it played around in that space a little more. And, although the game's main themes revolve around storytelling and memory, there were also themes about accepting change, and being kind and respectful of others, that I'm not sure really came through in the ending. For how long this game was anticipated, and how many times Ron has done the abrupt ending, I guess I thought it would have been okay for this game to finally have a bit more of a cushion to land on. Idk.

 

I think, certainly, the wrong way to approach this game's ending is to finish the game, immediately think "wow, that sucked and meant nothing," assume the team meant it as a slap in the face, and never try to think about it beyond that. But, even after thinking about it a whole bunch, I'm still not sure this is the best ending they could have gone with.

 

Oh, btw, I think they handled the stuff with the secret and the dialogue tree with boybrush at the end really well (although I feel like, to make things slightly less confusing, the T-shirt probably should have said "all I *got* was this stupid t-shirt" rather than "all it *was* was this stupid t-shirt", no idea why they worded it that way, but whatever haha).

Edited by Knight Owl
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The more I try to see the best of this story and appreciate its themes, the less I want to see any other Monkey Island sequels in the future.

 

We turned out the lights. We finished the unfinished business. We're ready to leave this bench. Right?

 

EDIT: If you would want a sequel someday, how would it... how would that even work? Just like a standalone pirate adventure, and we play through wondering what might actually be happening and which character is probably narrating/imagining it?

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I feel now that originally as a kid I loved MI2 despite the ending, because it confused me and I didn't understand it (I just got the Star Wars reference and found it cheap).

 

Later I grew to love its ending after getting the themepark hints and also the themes about Guybrush's character development, as it gave what I already loved another several layers of meaning.

 

RtMI feels like it focuses too much on the Secret of Disappointment and the Story and sidelines these (to me) very important parts of the older games like world building, the sense of adventure.

 

Dispite RMI having like 10 times the dialog lines it felt smaller than SMI, MI2, CMI and EMI.

 

I didn't enjoy _being_ in "the world" as much as with those games, and was focused, like Guybrush, to just get to the end, and get to the secret finally.

 

And maybe all of this is on purpose, and I appreciate it for conveying this feeling so well.

 

Just I would be curious what a more optimistic take on this theme from the 90s would have looked like.

 

Like a fusion of this and Curse.

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1 hour ago, Gins said:

RtMI feels like it focuses too much on the Secret of Disappointment and the Story and sidelines these (to me) very important parts of the older games like world building, the sense of adventure.

 

Dispite RMI having like 10 times the dialog lines it felt smaller than SMI, MI2, CMI and EMI.

 

I didn't enjoy _being_ in "the world" as much as with those games, and was focused, like Guybrush, to just get to the end, and get to the secret finally.

 

And maybe all of this is on purpose, and I appreciate it for conveying this feeling so well.

 

I think I would agree with this as it pertains to the ending, although before I got to the end, as I was playing the game, I honestly didn't have many complaints about the world and characters. I do think the islands could have been more fleshed out, but I was just happy to be able to explore this vast sea and meet a bunch of new characters. The part on LeChuck's ship struck me as being particularly character focused which was awesome, and a great change of pace from what I'd experienced with Monkey Island up until that point. The adventure just felt really big to me, the way it basically takes the structure of monkey island 1 and 2 and smushes them together. It certainly felt like a bigger game than SMI, imo. It helped that I only played a couple hours a day and spread it out over two weeks, I think. But near the end I felt like I was definitely rushing to see what was next and get to the secret, which dampened my enjoyment a bit. I was so caught up in getting to the next screen that I didn't even realize you could unlock the golden chest! 

1 hour ago, Gins said:

Just I would be curious what a more optimistic take on this theme from the 90s would have looked like.

 

Idk, feel like this game was pretty optimistic in the end (despite being intentionally unsatisfying in a traditional way), and I can't imagine that whatever Ron had in mind in the 90s would have been more optimistic than this. 

Edited by Knight Owl
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9 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

I think for me the biggest thing that stops this game from quite reaching the heights of some of the older games is that feeling that the new locations feel a bit empty, a bit like they're just locations for puzzles to occur in rather than having a strong personality. It's just 'ice island', 'scary island', 'lime island'. They feel a bit like video game levels rather than places.

 

I can't imagine ever feeling like I understand Brrr Muda the way I do Scabb, Booty, Phatt, Melee, even Plunder and Blood, or even some of the places in the 3D ones, they're just a bit... thin in comparison, here.

 

Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head here. They definitely felt less "real" (if that's the right way to put it) than Scabb, Phatt and Booty.

 

7 hours ago, Knight Owl said:

The more I think about the ending, the more I simultaneously appreciate it for what it's trying to say, but also... *sigh* I just wish we got a bit more character resolution. I think they could have still incorporated those themes while not necessarily "taking the wind out" of the ending, as Ron put it in Cress's interview. The ending started to get a bit emotional, and I feel like it could have been more so if it played around in that space a little more. And, although the game's main themes revolve around storytelling and memory, there were also themes about accepting change, and being kind and respectful of others, that I'm not sure really came through in the ending. For how long this game was anticipated, and how many times Ron has done the abrupt ending, I guess I thought it would have been okay for this game to finally have a bit more of a cushion to land on. Idk.

 

Yeah, I wonder what would have happened if Guybrush could acquiesce to Boybrush's demands for a satisfying conclusion on the bench. And then we cut back and finish the story properly.

 

I mean The Princess Bride did this and it worked beautifully... you can have your cake and eat it sometimes.

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58 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

Yeah, I wonder what would have happened if Guybrush could acquiesce to Boybrush's demands for a satisfying conclusion on the bench. And then we cut back and finish the story properly.

 

I mean The Princess Bride did this and it worked beautifully... you can have your cake and eat it sometimes.

I half expected it to happen in the final shot of Guybrush sitting on the bench. Boybrush has to wonder for longer just like we all did, but we get to share in Guybrush's thoughts once Boybrush goes away. I think that would have been a quite sweet way of handling it, but I still think I'm glad they showed restraint.

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Finished it a few days ago. Still processing but...

 

* Overall I enjoyed the game and revisiting the world

 

* Tonally it felt quite innocent and sweet - more similar to MI1 than MI2's burnt-out vibe. But even sweeter and more storybook than MI1.

 

* I thought it was a shame you couldn't revisit locations from previous games, like Meathook's Island, Captain Smirk's hut, or the remains of the Cannibal Village, etc. Even if there was no story there, it would have been nice to see them again. And other islands let you visit locations that served no story purpose.

 

* Contradictory maybe, but I found visiting locations that had no purpose a bit frustrating.

 

* The art style grew on me and of course I now can't imagine the game any other way. I wonder if there are further entries, is this now The Style or will it continue to change with each game? I'd still love to see a Steve Purcell/Peter Chan art directed modern MI game.

 

* LeChuck did not feel threatening or intimidating to me at all, which is a shame. But I did enjoy his crew.

 

* I have mixed feelings about some of the story threads being abandoned, especially Elaine's investigation into Guybrush's activities. That had me genuinely nervous as to where that was leading and I don't think it really paid off. I was expecting something like "Guybrush is the real bad guy" maybe?

 

* I didn't mind the ending - I didn't see it coming, but as soon as it was revealed, it was "aha, okay, of course." I remember when Mixnmojo first posted their theory on this years ago, and it blew my mind then. In the years since, I came to accept it as the likely truth - especially with that Bill Tiller quote about the making of the first two games, and knowing about Ron's initial inspiration. So this felt a bit like Game of Thrones to me: for better or worse, we all knew who Jon Snow was before the show got there. I'd say MI2's throwing in of some doubt made it a bit more fun, and possibly even contributed to the series' iconic status. Sometimes unanswered questions are just more fun to chew on. Maybe it was something that should never have been definitively resolved?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Lechuck said:

Maybe it was something that should never have been definitively resolved?

It kind of still hasn't. Those who love to speculate about the MI3a from the 90s or even the version from 10 years ago, can still do so because those games are, as per Ron, lost to  time.

 

Return actually only confirms one of the most agreed on fan theories, yet it only contributes mere clues to how it would have played out back then.

 

I'm pretty sure a Ron and Dave helmed MI3 in the 90s wouldn't have had the literal Secret and reliving the glory days as its central themes, or even introduced Boybrush.

 

It would have probably continued more organically from that ending, similar to CMI, have a different central theme and likely different character development, matching Ron and Dave's points in their careers from back then and taken another path to the theme park reveal.

 

With Return, fans now have at least four potential MI futures to speculate about, all of them influencing the others: 90s MI3, 2000s MI3a, Tales season 2 and the inevitable successor to RMI.

 

As a fan, that's awesome.

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7 hours ago, Lechuck said:

The art style grew on me and of course I now can't imagine the game any other way. I wonder if there are further entries, is this now The Style or will it continue to change with each game? I'd still love to see a Steve Purcell/Peter Chan art directed modern MI game.


I don't blame anybody for hating the art-haters like myself. But for my ilk, the nightmare scenario was always that this would become "The Style".

 

That, despite everybody always saying that Monkey Island changes its art style every game, we always knew that MI1 and MI2 had similar/identical character models, that if Tales Season 2 happened it would have looked like Tales Season 1, and also that if Return is overwhelmingly well-received to the point of demanding an immediate sequel then its art will look the same.

 

Funko Pops looking like Rex. Novelty toys looking like Rex. T-shirts with images looking like Rex. A world in which the universe of Monkey Island will forever continue to look like the universe of Rex.

 

Maybe for some people, that's the dream instead of the nightmare. For those of you who have this dream, I am sorry. And this is why we wage war against each other. :(

Edited by BaronGrackle
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