Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (MS-DOS)

Monkey Island 2 title screen logo
Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1991|Systems:DOS, Mac, Amiga, FM Towns

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing LucasArts' legendary point-and-click adventure game Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge! Or LeChuck's Revenge: Monkey Island according to that logo up there. Either way around it's still going to screw up your meticulously organised alphabetically ordered game library.

Monkey Island 2 is a game that needs no introduction and to be honest it doesn't need any commentary or reviews either. The game's so famous and has been so thoroughly examined that anything I write about it here will be entirely redundant; I might as well just show off some screenshots and call it a day. But I just managed to find a few thousand words to type about bloody Star Wars the other day for my sci-fi site so now I feel like I can take on anything Lucasfilm can throw at me! Though the game development group had firmly switched over to the name 'LucasArts' by this point, making this the first in the series to have the iconic Golden Guy logo (there's no skit though).

I dug out my old Monkey Island Madness compilation CD for this and I'll be playing the game using ScummVM, because it's awesome. The disc also has a version of Monkey Island 1 on it that's been updated with CD quality music, but Monkey 2 only has the original MIDI soundtrack. Which is good, because it'd only screw up the dynamic iMUSE effect. Who'd even want to explore a pirate town without the music seamlessly shifting to give each area its own theme?

Alright, this is an adventure game, so by writing about the first hour or so of gameplay I'm going to inevitably end up giving SPOILERS for the early puzzles. I won't be ruining that ending for anyone who hasn't beaten it yet though... unless you've read my Curse of Monkey Island post, then I already have. Sorry.



Monkey Island 2 difficulty select
The game begins with a difficulty select screen, unless you're playing the Special Edition remake, then it doesn't (it makes up for the lack of easy mode with a hints system). The Monkey Island Madness version usually bypasses it too, along with the copy protection, but running it through ScummVM has brought the option back again.

Normally I'd shy away from hard mode, because I don't play these games to suffer, but the top option is labelled 'Monkey Island 2' and the bottom one isn't, so I feel like there's only one correct choice here. Then again the back of the box jokes that 'Monkey 2 Lite' is "intended for video-game reviewers", so now I'm not sure! Oh fuck it, I'll play the proper hard version. It's not like there's any chance of dying or making the game permanently unwinnable either way.

Though there is one thing I'm still wondering about: why magenta?

Like the first Monkey Island, the story starts with heroic pirate wannabe Guybrush Threepwood having a chat in a cutscene. Except this time he's an actual real pirate, with a coat and a beard, and he's ended up hanging over a chasm with a rope in one hand and a treasure chest in the other somehow. Man, the guy must have phenomenal upper body strength, grip and stamina. His coat's pretty awesome too.

Fortunately Governor Elaine Marley, his love interest from the first game, has shown up in the nick of time! Unfortunately she's not going to lift a finger to help him until she's heard the story of how he got down here... so it turns out that this is just a framing device and the entire game takes place during a flashback. Thankfully it doesn't flash up a message saying "X HOURS EARLIER" because I've been conditioned by TV to instinctively want to throw a shoe at the screen whenever a story pulls that shit now.

Man I already feel bad for him just watching this animation loop and he's barely even started his tale yet. There's a built-in explanation for why he can't die during gameplay but I don't think much about his chances if his hand slips while he's narrating.

Oh right, before the story there's the dancing monkeys. Guybrush doesn't like the monkeys dancing to his theme tune so he keeps shooing them away, which seems really out of character to me. He's not the kind of person who'd be able to boss anyone around!

As far as early 90s pixelled adventure game intros go, I think Simon the Sorcerer wins this round, but when it comes to adventure game themes the Monkey Island games are unbeatable. Here, have a YouTube link, listen for yourself. That's what the MIDI sounds like played on a Roland MT-32; not bad for 1991. Though I think I might like the Curse of Monkey Island version better.

By the way if you play the Special Edition from 2010 you don't get the monkey dance, but you're not missing much.

I never really thought about how unusual it is to have opening credits in a video game like this.

Oh I forgot to mention that the game is by Lucasfilm Games legend Ron Gilbert (along with Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman)! It's the last game he made for the company before leaving to form Humongous Entertainment and make kids adventure games instead.

He's talked about wanting to make his own Monkey Island 2 sequel ('Monkey Island 3a') that ignores Curse, Escape and Tales and continues from the cliffhanger in the way he originally envisioned, but his talks with LucasArts didn't go anywhere and Disney aren't going to sell him the rights, so that's not going to happen. So he made the retro styled Thimbleweed Park instead, which I'm totally going to own at some point.

Monkey Island 2 scabb island
Eh, Scabb Island's not the prettiest island I've seen at the start of a Monkey Island game, it looks a bit too much like someone tried to hide their piles of junk by throwing a blanket over them, but it's alright. It's strange though to see a Monkey Island game sky without the curly clouds.

This intro's all skippable by the way. All except for this bloody screen that doesn't want to go away, no matter what I press.

Oh, that doesn't look so great compared to Monkey Island 1's close up portraits. Probably best that they don't zoom in like this again. The backgrounds are looking much better though, as they were drawn with marker pens this time and then scanned in. Plus it helps that the art wasn't originally created for 16 colour EGA graphics cards this time around.

It's nice to see Guybrush hanging out with other pirates, just existing in this world as a person instead of a puzzle-solving semi-sociopathic adventure game protagonist. Though his audience are getting sick of him now as the only story he's got to tell them is the one where he defeated the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and they've heard it already. Constantly.
 
But that's fine as the main reason he's come here to Scabb Island is to go on adventure to find the legendary treasure of Big Whoop and get another story to tell. Which is the story he's telling Elaine right now in fact.

Monkey Island 2 Part 1 The Largo Embargo title card
I've finally reached Part I! That's a bit fancier looking than the title cards in the original Monkey Island. Very piratey.

Oh the graphics look way better like that! They should keep the camera at that distance, it's working.

I’ve been given full control of my Guybrush now and a whole lot of buttons to press. Enough to cover the bottom third of the monitor and leave me playing in widescreen in fact. Well... there's only 9 actually, cut down from 12 in the first game, but look at those beautiful words! Sometimes I struggle with a game because I have to figure out the cryptic icons before I can do anything... I'm looking at you Curse of Enchantia:

If your verb buttons look like this then you've done something wrong.
But 'Use' and 'Pick up' doesn't leave much room for misinterpretation.

My goal is to charter a boat off this island because the legendary treasure of Big Whoop isn't actually here. Fortunately Guybrush is absolutely loaded with loot thanks to his successful (but not very noteworthy) off-screen adventures, so paying for his passage won’t be a problem. In fact he's carrying enough to buy his own ship, in five different currencies! No wonder he had to start wearing that huge coat.

The interface is very much like Monkey 1 in that I can perform the default action with a right click (usually 'Look at' or 'Talk to') and I can send Guybrush walking around the screen with a left click. So I’m going to move my mouse cursor over to click on the bridge and walk into town.

Amiga
Okay bad news, I got grabbed by a short thug who's now dangling me off a bridge (Guybrush has no luck with thugs and piers/bridges leading into town). But the good news is that I've got dialogue options now! Not icons, not lines of questioning to exhaust, actual choices of things that I want coming out of my character's mouth that will then result in a unique response from the other guy. In this case I think I’ll tell him to put me down, because I’m a badass pirate who's like twice his height and all kinds of intimidating.

Hey he actually did put me down when I asked! But he also took all my money. So that's why pirates bury the stuff all the time!

Well Largo LaGrande just made it a lot more difficult for me to get off this island, so I should probably go find a way to make his life difficult too. Right after I've ripped the shovel off that 'No trezer huntin' sign.

This is a shot of the Amiga version by the way. You can tell just by looking at it that there's less colours on screen, but it's also missing the background animation too. Probably for the best though, as even loading this much data has been the start of a disk-swapping nightmare. It's definitely a game meant for hard drives.

Now that Largo's gone I could go wandering off across the island  but I've decided to check out Woodtick first. It's a proper scrolling town built out of old shipwrecks (another idea for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to rip off), but I can't take a screenshot of scrolling, so I decided to stitch the place together as one picture.

I can't take a screenshot of the iMUSE system seamlessly transitioning between different themes as I enter each door either so you'll have to take my word for it. It was apparently a pain in the ass to get the interactive MUsic and Sound Effects working right here, but I appreciate that they did because it adds a lot to the atmosphere. Monkey Island 1 also has dark moody graphics (at first), but it's very quiet in the town on Mêlée Island™ and that drains all the life out of it.

Okay... I can't actually remember what to do here at all. They’ve let me loose on an whole island full of people to talk to with a vague goal of ‘find a way off’ and I guess I'm going to have to start talking to them to get my first real objective. There's six more screens in Woodtick alone I can visit right now so the game's quite open right out of the gate. The place seems a little less sprawling than Monkey Island's first island though, and it's absolutely tiny compared to vast wilderness I was journeying across in Simon the Sorcerer in my search for puzzles to solve.

Hey I've ran into my old friends, the Men of Low Moral Fiber (pirates) and now I'm indulging in a bit of fourth wall breaking. There's one difference between the PC version and the Amiga port right there: skull icons next to each dialogue option.

These folks told me a long and winding story about how they had a catering business on Phatt Island, then sold it and bought a glass-bottomed boat to search for Drinky Island, the supposed location of Big Whoop! But their quest went south when it turned out that the ship didn't actually have any glass in the bottom... long story short they can't be arsed moving from this ledge any more, so one of them's given me some cash so that I can go buy him some wood polish for his leg. I agreed to help him because it’ll no doubt further my own goals somehow. I'm Machiavellian when it comes to karma.

There’s also a two-thirds-deaf laundry guy up here on this screen but he won’t give me anything without a claim ticket so I'll leave him be for now.

The Secret of Monkey Island (EGA PC)
Here's another shot of the Men of Low Moral Fiber (pirates) hanging around in the original EGA version of Monkey Island, just so you can see how much the graphics improved in a single year.

The graphics improved quite a bit after a few months too, as Monkey Island soon got a VGA update with more colours, inventory pictures and Monkey Island 2's purple verb buttons bolted on. Monkey Island 2 on the other hand was plenty VGA to start with so it never got an upgrade... well until the Special Edition anyway.

(Lines only vaguely point to the right month, especially for the earlier games.)
This seems like the right time to drag out my old LucasArts adventure game timeline picture again. It's a shame that the resolution isn't good enough to really show off how amazing Monkey Island 2's cover is. It's got the best box art of them all in my opinion (with Fate of Atlantis, Secret of Monkey Island and Sam & Max: Hit the Road right behind it). Shame about what happened to Escape's cover though.

By 1991 their arch-rivals Sierra had already released a million sequels to their big adventure game series like King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest etc. but Monkey Island 2 was actually LucasArts' very first adventure game sequel. Well the first one they released anyway, as Fate of Atlantis was already in development back when they were making Loom (and The Dig).

Monkey Island 2 was also the very last of the LucasArts adventures to be entirely voiceless, as Fate of Atlantis got a 'talkie' CD version soon after coming out on floppy disks and Day of the Tentacle came out on CD from the start. The game remained silent for 19 years until the Curse of Monkey Island cast came back to provide voices for the Special Edition. But I'm not playing that so all I get is text.

It feels so weird to play an adventure game without voices now. But that means there's nothing to stop me skipping lines after I've read them by hitting the '.' key instead of waiting for the little pixel people to stop wagging their jaws.

Next door to the Men of Low Moral Fiber (pirates) I discovered Wally the cartographer, who was kind enough to give me some info about the four people who discovered Big Whoop. So I swiped his monocle when he put it down for a moment. I don't have any use for it yet, I just realised I could grab it.

The game's being really efficient with its dialogue, with every line either being a joke or another clue. Turns out that no one can leave the island due to Largo LaGrande's embargo and it's really cutting into Wally's map making business. Though not nearly as much as stealing his monocle will. He's pretty much blind and helpless without it, and he's sure letting me know about it. I don't know how Guybrush lives with himself.

Okay so now I know that I need to get rid of Largo, charter a ship, hunt down the people who found Big Whoop and get their map pieces, and polish a guy's peg leg. The game could really use a journal.

Next door along I found the carpenter, who sells polish! My peg-leg polish purchasing problems will soon be over, as long as I'm willing to hand over my single coin for it. In other games I might have worried that the coin would be needed for something else, but I'm sure the LucasArts folks wouldn't screw me over like that.

I've been fine without the voices up to this point, but now I kind of wish I was playing the Special Edition, if only so I could hear the two of them say the woodchuck lines. The carpenter also said something else that sounds important: the only thing that can do the town any good is a voodoo doll of Largo LaGrande.

I went back to the Men of Low Moral Fiber (pirates), polished the guy's leg, and got a second piece of eight for my trouble! I’m well on my way to getting the full set.

There's still a couple of doors I can try, but I'm bored of Woodtick now so I'm heading off to explore the island. Annoyingly locations aren't marked on it, even if I've been there once, so I have to hover the mouse around anything that looks locationy to see if a name appears.

Okay I can go to Woodtick, the beach where I started, a swamp, the cemetery or a peninsula. My memory's started to kick in now and it's strongly suggesting that I should go to the swamp, so I'll check that out first.

Hey I remember this bit. The first time I played the game I spent forever trying to find something I could use as a paddle for the coffin. Then I learned that it comes with one and there's no puzzle here. D'oh.

Also I was so young when I first played this that it didn't even register to me that paddling a coffin across a swamp was kind of weird.

Wow, even the swamp skull is built from a ship, that's cool. I'm going to have to make this trip both ways every time I come here though, so I'm sure I'll get bored of it soon enough. It should just warp me to and from the shore after the first visit in my opinion. Also being able to double click the edge of a screen to leave an area instantly would be nice.

The room inside the skull has a couple of important items in it, but they blend into the background so well that I remember needing a walkthrough to find them first time around. The game's old school interface doesn't put me off at all, but not having a button to highlight objects on screen kind of does.

It’s the Voodoo Lady from Monkey Island 1! And all the other Monkey Islands too! Though she's actually entirely skippable in the first game, which is why I recall being very confused when she started acting like she'd helped me defeat LeChuck the first time I played this. I hadn't even met her during my first playthrough of Monkey 1!

She's very much not skippable this time though as she's the one with the crucial information I need to construct the voodoo doll of Largo LaGrande. I'll need to acquire four components:
  1. Something of the Thread - A piece of clothing.
  2. Something of the Head - A lock of hair.
  3. Something of the Body - A sample of fluid from his body.
  4. Something of the Dead - A bone from one of his ancestors.
    So it's just like the three trials in Monkey Island 1, except there's four of them. They're a non-linear set of objectives I can choose to tackle in any order (or choose to put off until later if I'm finding one to be too hard). Well I've got a spade and there's a cemetery on the map, so I can get one of them sorted out right now.

    I dug up a bone! Also I think Guybrush needs to sort out his belt.

    Completing this task got me a short cutscene of Largo in his room swearing on his grandfather's grave that something weird's going on, so that's cool. The other three items aren't going to be so easy to get though, mostly because I've forgotten how to get them.

    I suppose the smart thing to do would be to head back to Woodtick and try the other doors.

    That's such a weird place for a porthole.

    I've found Largo's room, but the innkeeper won't let me in to steal his clothes. I'm sure I could distract him by releasing that pet alligator he's got tied up down there, but I don't have anything to cut the rope with.

    Alright I'll try the final boat then. But I'm going to climb in through the window instead of using the front door, because I'm crazy like that.

    Damn, how did he manage to come of a window on the port side of the ship when he jumped in through a window on the starboard side? Also why does the chef move like a robot?

    Oh, there's a knife on the kitchen table! I'll just help myself to that, then I'll go see if I can free the innkeeper's pet and get his attention away from Largo's door. Using items on objects is what this game's all about. It's going to get harder to pick the right ones for the job when my inventory fills up though.

    Crap, it didn't occur to me that Largo might walk in while I was looking through his stuff. I tried leaving and coming back, but he was still there waiting for me. Well at least I got his wig, that's got to count for 'something of the head' surely. But how do I get his clothes?

    My memory is saying... that I need to find a bucket, fill it with swamp water, and then rest it on the door as a trap for him next time he comes in. He'll take his dirty clothes to the laundry, then I can swipe his laundry ticket and claim them! I know my memory must be right on this because I remember reading it in a magazine walkthrough when I got stuck.


    SOON.


    Hah!

    Alright, where do I get the laundry ticket from then? Crap, I can't remember! Well that got me nowhere then.
     
    I got the bodily fluids easily enough at least. I was hanging around the bar next door to the kitchen, chatting with the bartender, and Largo came in and spat on a wall. Now I just have to use a bit of paper on the wood and I've got something of the body, job done.

    You know, I think I like adventure games better when I already half-know the solutions, as I'm mostly on the right track already. I get to have the satisfaction of coming up with the answers all over again without the misery of hours spent trying the wrong things.

    That said, where the hell is this laundry claim ticket? Am I going to have to look this up?

    Now why the fuck would that be there! What kind of a monster hides an essential item on the other side of an open door? Day of the Tentacle pulled this crap on me as well and I didn't like it then either.

    Alright, I’ve got Largo’s bra, spit, bone and wig so I’m sorted! The Voodoo Lady can make me a voodoo doll of him and I can get all my stack of loot back. Though I still need to get pins from the carpenter I think.

    Nope, pins were provided.

    The bastard has somehow found a way to spend all that cash he stole so I can't get my wealth back, but I can at least stab him remotely until he pisses off and lets pirates leave the island again.

    Though Guybrush just has to bring up the LeChuck thing again, whipping out his ghostly beard as proof that he killed him in the first game.

    Hey that wasn't in my inventory!

    Largo grabs LeChuck's beard, shoves it down his pants and then runs off to bring LeChuck back to life again with voodoo magic. As a zombie pirate this time instead of a ghost pirate. So now Guybrush's arch-nemesis is going to be making it his personal mission to find the man who exorcised him and, I dunno, throw him off a pier again. Or worse!

    I'd call this a pyrrhic victory but the plan actually went off flawlessly, so it's more like pyrrhic bragging.

    Fortunately the Voodoo Lady has a plan. Big Whoop is apparently more than just treasure, it contains the secret to another world, and if Guybrush can find that world he can escape LeChuck forever! So hang on, his main goal in this game is to find another dimension to live in? He seems surprisingly nonchalant about the idea of leaving the Earth forever.

    I've ended Largo's Embargo so now all I have to do is find a boat to hire and I'm done with Scabb Island. I should check out Phatt Island next, because the Voodoo Lady decided to do Guybrush a favour and take out a book on Big Whoop from the library in his name, and the overdue fees are steep.

    The book's got information on those four sailors who found Big Whoop and where they ended up, so now I've got four more objectives! Some adventure games just kick you out into the world and say 'good luck with all those puzzles', but this has been pretty good at pointing me in the right direction whenever I get a new goal.

    Captain Dread here's got a house boat docked down at the peninsula that I'll take me to Phatt Island, but he's going nowhere until I solve his problem. Seems his navigator was taken prisoner by cannibals and he lost his lucky sailing necklace. Hey I think I met that guy back in Monkey Island 1! It's a small Caribbean I guess.

    He calls his lucky necklace 'my eye that has seen the world', so it seem like a monocle that's glared at lot of maps would be a fair replacement. Thanks Wally, your eyesight wasn't sacrificed in vain after all!

    Though Captain Dread also expects me to pay him before he'll take me anywhere, which is something I probably should've realised earlier. So now I need to get 20 pieces of eight somehow. Balls, I thought I was done with this island!


    TIME PASSES.


    Monkey Island 2 Part 2 Four Map Pieces title card
    Alright, now I'm done with Scabb Island.

    In just one night I stole Wally's monocle and gave it away, I released the innkeeper's pet and drove away his only customer, I put the Men of Low Moral Fiber (pirates)'s rat in some cold soup and got the chef fired, and then I conned the bartender out of a pay cheque and bailed on him. I haven't found a way to screw over the carpenter or the laundry guy yet but chances are I'll get my opportunity eventually.

    Guybrush was a bit of a bastard in the first Monkey Island, but he's really stepped up his game here.


    MEANWHILE.


    LeChuck's Fortress
    Whoa, LeChuck's got an actual supervillain fortress now? Did he have it built himself or did he just nick it from someone else who really wanted to protect his piles of skull shaped rocks in the middle of the sea?

    It's a nice looking crib, but I can't help notice that the front door's flooded, so everything on the ground floor is going to be ankle deep in sea water.

    Oh great they really have brought LeChuck back as a zombie. I suppose it shouldn't be a huge shock considering that the game's called LeChuck's Revenge and he's on the box art.

    The guy seems a bit taller than he used to be though and his coat's a lot less transparent. Plus if you check the box you can see that's actually a dead bird he's got sticking out of his hat now.

    Doesn't make you look tough mate, it just makes you look like a lunatic with a bird in your hat.

    Now that I've got a boat I have got a choice of islands to go to: Phatt, Booty or back to the craphole I came from. The game world's just tripled and thing's are going to get a lot more complicated now. There's so much backtracking in my future.

    This map will always look wrong to me though. Captain Dread sails into Phatt Island from the top right and sails to Booty Island from the south, so in my mind the two islands should be in the opposite places. I almost feel like if I put the Amiga version on they'll be back to where I remember them being, even though I know that's not true.

    Anyway I successfully got off Scabb Island so I'm done now, I'm happy, I can turn the game off... but first I just want to quickly run around one of the other islands. I want to see sunshine! Three more screens and then I'm done, I promise.

    Oh cool I'm a wanted criminal on Phatt Island! I'm not sure what they think I've done though.
     "WANTED: GUYBRUSH THREEPWOOD...
    ...for the murder of G.P. LeChuck...
    ...also for the use of witchcraft on the person of Largo LaGrande...
    ...the thievery of clothing and medically prescribed hair supplements for such witchcraft...
    ...graverobbing...
    ...trespassing...
    ...larceny without a permit...
    ...exceeding allowable FDA limit for rodent parts in vichyssoise..."
    Oh those crimes. Well it's nice that they're keeping track.

    They'll be able to add "...unauthorized exiting from a penal institution..." in a minute just as soon as I escape the cell they've thrown me into. This puzzle's a reference to the prison dog with the keys in his mouth from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which is cool... except on the ride the dog famously never moves.

    I'm sure he'll help me out though, I'm a friendly pirate. We're going to be best friends I just know it. Then I'll stick him in my inventory and use him on stuff! Or maybe not.

    I eventually escaped the cell and got up to the notorious 'if this is X, what's Y' puzzle, where I need to figure out the code from the number of figures the guy inside holds up in the window. I was going to make a GIF of that, but then I realised that Guybrush actually has a reflection while he's standing here and that's awesome, so I went with that instead.

    Alright I really am finished now. I'll hit Alt+W to win, then turn the game off.


    CONCLUSION

    Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge isn't the greatest adventure game in the world. I know this because the greatest adventure game wouldn't hate me so much. It's a real bastard sometimes. It's been a few years since I finished the game last, but if there's one thing that's stuck with me it's that I don't want anything to do with book puzzles or spitting contests ever again, and near-invisible objects can stay hidden for all I care!

    Not that the game doesn't play fair; it's a LucasArts adventure so it shuns moon logic and there's no way to get into an unwinnable situation or die (well, there's one exception, but the game's a flashback so you can imagine how that works out). Plus I've always loved it too much to stay mad at it for long. I just have to think back to genuinely awkward and nonsensical point-and-click adventures like Dark Seed and Curse of Enchantia and all is forgiven.

    The game's got the same kind of comedy and feel as the original Secret of Monkey Island, which makes sense as the two games were developed back to back. The background art style's had an overhaul but this is very much more of the same. That means it's still using the classic verb based system, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It at least means that you know exactly what Guybrush is going to do with an object. It's not the most reactive adventure I've ever played, you can't use everything on everything else and expect a unique response, but it at least acknowledges some of the dumb things you try. Like try to cover up the wanted poster with the picture on a bag of parrot chow and Guybrush will say "I wouldn't want to implicate an innocent bird." It's both funny and it hints that maybe there is someone he would implicate. Because he's a dick.

    It's one of the prettier games of its era, even if the 256 colour depth and low resolution has really done a number on the beautiful marker pen backgrounds, and the shading on the sprites is a bit suspect, but it's the music that's really stood the test of time. That theme tune is going to make the game immortal and the dynamic iMUSE soundtrack following you around really adds a life and atmosphere to the game that the first Monkey Island was missing. The game keeps knocking on its fourth wall to remind you that it's all a joke but it's so easy to get sucked into its moody painted world regardless. In fact I prefer its style to the cartoonier Curse of Monkey Island and the soulless 3D-rendered plastic looking Escape from Monkey Island.

    So it's cool that the Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge Special Edition remake isn't an artistic disaster like The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition was at times. It's not absolutely faithful like Day of the Tentacle: Remastered, but to be fair they had a much harder job redrawing Guybrush's pixelly sprite in a higher resolution than the folks who redrew the cartoon sprites of DoTT. The Special Edition also has great voice acting from the proper cast, higher quality music, developer commentary, and a button to turn it all off, but I wouldn't say it's necessarily the ideal way to play the game, especially as the original runs great on modern machines thanks to the miracle of ScummVM. The jokes weren't necessarily intended to be read out loud and the humour comes across just fine without the voices. It's not exactly 'fall down on the floor crying in agony as your sides literally split open' funny either way, but it is 'best comedy game of its time' funny, on occasion.

    In conclusion, my verdict on Monkey Island 2 is that I don't know. I've got too much nostalgia and too many half-remembered puzzle solutions in my head to judge it fairly. It was probably the best graphic adventure ever made in its day, but it's been a while since then. Though if I'm still this fond of it after all this time, even though it's been dragged into the harsh light of 2017, then it must be doing something right. Plus I really like Guybrush's coat.

    That ending though...


    So now I've written about The Secret of Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, Curse of Monkey Island and Tales of Monkey Island. Great, now the only Monkey Island game I've got left to play for the site... is Escape from Monkey Island. Let's see how long I can put that one off for.



    There you go, have another game to guess. You get bonus points if you can also guess what month I'll actually get around to posting it in.

    Also thanks for reading! Now it's your turn to give me something to read by leaving a comment about LeChuck's Revenge, the Monkey Island series, my site, or something else along those lines.

    4 comments:

    1. I've never played this! I did have it for my Amiga 1200 but I got it at a point where the disk drive eject button had given up the ghost and I didn't fancy trying to swap eleven disks in that situation.

      There are other versions available, of course, but none of them have the Amiga music and the Amiga music is the best. Well, it was on the first game, but maybe it's not on the sequel, so maybe I should try it. I'm so confused!

      (Next game is Rolling Ronny on the Amiga, a game that, instead of a nice metallic plink or cheerful boing, spits out a terrifying metallic scream whenever you pick up a coin.)

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. DOS version has the best music, I think you got confused, Amiga is missing most of the original soundtrack

        Delete
      2. PC wins outright this time in my experience. When I was playing Monkey 1 in ScummVM I had it set up with the graphics from the DOS game and the soundtrack from the Amiga version, but this time around the poor Amiga's utterly left in the dust.

        Also yeah it's Rolling Ronny next. So you've got that to... look forward to.

        Delete
    2. After the best game in the universe (Fate of Atlantis), this must be the second one. At least for the general setting and music. Some puzzles (getting the bra in part 1, the monkey wrench in part 2) are really infamous, but still, there's a very mysterious atmosphere that got completely lost after this game. It's like there's always that sense that something is happening behind your back. Curse, Escape and Tales took the 100% comedic approach, which is not that bad, but feels very different.

      ReplyDelete

    Semi-Random Game Box