• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here
  • Exhibitor application for VCF West 2022 is now open! If you are interested in exhibiting, please fill out the form here.
  • Here are the results of the VCF East 2022 Post Event Survey: Survey Results

The return to Monkey Island in 2022

SiriusHardware

Experienced Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
431
Location
UK
I had a lot of fun recently replaying the enhanced versions of MI1 and MI2 on my Xbox 360 - oddly enough I spent a lot of time in 'Legacy' graphics mode because I preferred the original point-and click user interface with the vocab always visible on a panel at the bottom. (The Scumm UI at that time was virtually perfect, so why mess with it?)

It's good to see that this appears to have come from the hand of Ron Gilbert, with Michael Land once again doing the soundtrack.

I have here an issue of the UK magazine 'Retro Gamer' - annoyingly no actual date on it but it is issue 'Load 212' and the main feature in that article is a retrospective of the Monkey Island games and interviews with the main developers of the original game, Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer (who sadly does not seem to be involved in this new one). Looking back through it I don't see any hint that this was coming so I wonder if it was the interest generated by that feature which sparked this off? There's just so much love for these games, even after all this time.
 

falter

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
5,623
Location
Vancouver, BC
I can't believe I missed the Monkey Island series. I didn't really get through any of the Lucasarts games - I got stuck somewhere in Zack McKraken and got bored and quit, I played Maniac Mansion a few times on my C64 but it was.. uh.. borrowed, and I wasn't aware you could save games. I've been trying to give my Macs some hours playing it there.. I have the mac version of the first Monkey Island but even on the imac it crashes. The trailer for this new one looks great!
 

Plasma

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
1,150
LucasArts adventures were great because unlike Sierra games you couldn't die/lose. So you were never paranoid about doing the wrong thing.
 

SiriusHardware

Experienced Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
431
Location
UK
I couldn't get on with the Sierra games because of that ridiculous insta-death culture, you could be killed merely by moving East or walking through a doorway. The only Sierra game I ever managed to stay with all the way through was the original 'Gabriel Knight' which did have a great atmosphere. But still with the stupid, irrational deaths.

There is actually one point in Monkey Island 1 where you can die but it takes 10 minutes, during which you have plenty of time to think your way out of it. If you do still somehow die, they even managed to make that hilarious.

Like Plasma above, I greatly prefer the original pixel art games to, say, the kind of early object modelling which was used for MI3 or Alone In The Dark, or 'Cruise for a Corpse' for example. I think Pixel art is a real, and almost lost art form nowadays. Some of the pixel art and animations in MI1 and MI2 are amazing for the time.

One of my other favourites at the time was 'Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis'. Iike MI1 and MI2, that (And Day Of The Tentacle) was made when the Scumm Interface had reached its absolute zenith. Later LucasArts games took to either simplifying the UI (Full Throttle, with a dumbed-down UI ideal for players who were unable to form sentences) or hiding it away out of sight (The Dig), which wasn't particularly sensible because you needed it to play the game.
 

falter

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
5,623
Location
Vancouver, BC
LucasArts adventures were great because unlike Sierra games you couldn't die/lose. So you were never paranoid about doing the wrong thing.

Is that true? I seem to remember playing Zak and missing something somewhere that prevented me from winning the game. Same with Maniac Mansion. I'm pretty sure in MM you could end up with everyone trapped in the basement if I'm not mistaken.
 

falter

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
5,623
Location
Vancouver, BC
I couldn't get on with the Sierra games because of that ridiculous insta-death culture, you could be killed merely by moving East or walking through a doorway. The only Sierra game I ever managed to stay with all the way through was the original 'Gabriel Knight' which did have a great atmosphere. But still with the stupid, irrational deaths.

There is actually one point in Monkey Island 1 where you can die but it takes 10 minutes, during which you have plenty of time to think your way out of it. If you do still somehow die, they even managed to make that hilarious.

Like Plasma above, I greatly prefer the original pixel art games to, say, the kind of early object modelling which was used for MI3 or Alone In The Dark, or 'Cruise for a Corpse' for example. I think Pixel art is a real, and almost lost art form nowadays. Some of the pixel art and animations in MI1 and MI2 are amazing for the time.

One of my other favourites at the time was 'Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis'. Iike MI1 and MI2, that (And Day Of The Tentacle) was made when the Scumm Interface had reached its absolute zenith. Later LucasArts games took to either simplifying the UI (Full Throttle, with a dumbed-down UI ideal for players who were unable to form sentences) or hiding it away out of sight (The Dig), which wasn't particularly sensible because you needed it to play the game.

I enjoyed Sierra because I was a 10 year old kid and the ability to wander around a virtual world seemed incredible at the time. But many of the puzzles were ridiculous and the opportunities to die were insane. I'm playing Space Quest again now and am cursing that stupid hovercraft segment with the darned rocks you bump into. That was designed purely for frustration.
 

Plasma

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
1,150
Is that true? I seem to remember playing Zak and missing something somewhere that prevented me from winning the game. Same with Maniac Mansion. I'm pretty sure in MM you could end up with everyone trapped in the basement if I'm not mistaken.
I know it's at least true for Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, The DIG, and Full Throttle since I played through those. Maybe the early ones were different, or just had bugs? IDK.
 

Lutiana

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
3,203
Location
Dublin, CA USA
Is that true? I seem to remember playing Zak and missing something somewhere that prevented me from winning the game. Same with Maniac Mansion. I'm pretty sure in MM you could end up with everyone trapped in the basement if I'm not mistaken.
Actually there was a way to get out of the dungeon if you got trapped in there, though you needed two kids to do it (one to push the loose brick, the other to get out). But I am not sure there was a no-win situation, rather multiple endings and a bit at the end where you had to be quick (or you'd "die" when the house blew up, though it just put you back at the start of the countdown if you did this).
 

Timo W.

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
1,356
Location
Germany
Is that true? I seem to remember playing Zak and missing something somewhere that prevented me from winning the game. Same with Maniac Mansion. I'm pretty sure in MM you could end up with everyone trapped in the basement if I'm not mistaken.
Yes, and I fully agree with what he said. I tried hard playing the Sierra adventures back then, but you could "just" die and it killed my motivation to keep playing quickly.

Yes, you can die or get stuck in Zak or MM as well. But there, it takes effort - it does not just happen. And in MM, you can even still complete the game with only one kid left, depending on how far you are into the game. And if you die, it's always obvious why (e.g. running out of air on Mars in Zak, or boiling radioactive water in MM etc.). In later LucasArts games, it became harder to die. I think in MI you can only die in the underwater scene if you take too much time to free yourself. But I'm not even sure if you die then. Never tried...
 

SiriusHardware

Experienced Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
431
Location
UK
Yes, you really do. All the words in the dialogue panel change to things that only dead bodies can do, such as 'Bloat... Rot... ' etc.
 

creepingnet

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
1,036
Location
Sparks, NV
This makes me happy, considering I never liked Curse or Escape, about the best part about those was Dominic Armato's voice acting, but otherwise, Monkey Island ended with LeChuck's Revenge. To me, Ron's efforts were the best ones. Hopefully this will be as good as Thimbleweek Park was.
 

mdh

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2021
Messages
84
Location
North East Ohio
I loved space quest series, especially the time rippers... But that damn dripping acid was a pain. And flying in the middle of the mall... And the fun of Radio Shock...
 

falter

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
5,623
Location
Vancouver, BC
I loved space quest series, especially the time rippers... But that damn dripping acid was a pain. And flying in the middle of the mall... And the fun of Radio Shock...

It really was kinda fun. It's the only series I really feel any urge to play again. The humor and atmosphere were great. My problem with it apart from sudden deaths are missing things and getting really advanced in the game before I realize I didn't do something I should have. heh
 

SiriusHardware

Experienced Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
431
Location
UK
In the Retro Gamer Magazine 'Monkey Island' feature I mentioned earlier in the thread, one of the things Ron Gilbert talked about was the lengths they went to to make sure the player couldn't get into an insolvable position through not having acquired a vital object or carried out some action before leaving one part of the game and proceeding to the next, that kind of thing. They wrote a kind of internal 'Bible' laying all of these rules out.

Another great hate of mine was non-linear mazes in adventure games (whether text or graphic), where moving east from location A to B and then back west from location B wouldn't necessarily return you to location A, but bizarrely to new location 'C' instead, so you'd be forced to drop an object in nearly every maze location in order to map the maze. Encountering a maze like that in an otherwise good game was sometimes enough to end my interest in playing the game any further, as I found them such a chore.
 

creepingnet

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
1,036
Location
Sparks, NV
Another great hate of mine was non-linear mazes in adventure games (whether text or graphic), where moving east from location A to B and then back west from location B wouldn't necessarily return you to location A, but bizarrely to new location 'C' instead, so you'd be forced to drop an object in nearly every maze location in order to map the maze. Encountering a maze like that in an otherwise good game was sometimes enough to end my interest in playing the game any further, as I found them such a chore.
Tell me about it, I remember playing Leisure Suit Larry III on my old Compaq Deskpro 386 (one of the early ones), which had the OEM Compaq DSM Monochrome monitor on it from the EGA card - oh my god, how I got through that thing was a miracle.

By contrast, once I decided to try the Monkey Island Catacombs without the ahem-required item - and managed to make it to LeChuck's ship without it in a surprisingly short period of time, lol. I was expecting to eat up a few hours doing that, lol.
 

Timo W.

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
1,356
Location
Germany
Zak McKracken had two of such mazes as well. I think they were cleverly designed. You could not really get stuck and just reached the correct destination at some point - no matter which way you took.
 

SiriusHardware

Experienced Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
431
Location
UK
Monkey Island 1 kind of had a maze like that but typically for Lucasarts there was a reason for it, namely that you couldn't find the spot marked 'X' until you had a map, which you eventually did.
 
Top