Stuff and Things and Monkey Island

Jun 1, 2009 half past nine am

I'm pretty good at keeping secrets.  I'm so good at it people actually send me death threats.  If you have a secret, you can tell me.  I won't tell anyone.  Go ahead.  I'm listening.

Over the past few months, I've been the vessel for a couple of very exciting secrets and it's been really hard to not give someone the nudge-nudge-wink-wink-don't-tell-anyone, but I couldn't.  Not these.

The first is the re-release of The Secret of Monkey Island.  Several months ago I was invited to LucasArts to get a sneak preview.  Very cool.

Hopefully this will open up the pure pleasure that is Monkey Island to a whole new generation of gamer that  knows only how to use a console controller.

The second secret is that TellTale is doing an episodic version of Monkey Island.  I had the great pleasure of spending a few days with Dave Grossman, Mike Stemmle and the rest of the TellTale crew getting my head into Guybrush Threepwood again.

I am very exited for both of these games.  It's strange and humbling to see something you created 20 years ago take on a life of it's own.

This next year is going to be very interesting.  Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer all have games coming out.  Someone check the scriptures.  Might be a good time to start hording canned goods.

About a year and a little more ago, as I began designing the uber-awesome DeathSpank at Hothead Games, I played all the way through The Secret of Monkey Island to refresh myself on the puzzles and dialog.

I know this will come as a shock to many of you, but I don't spend my evenings playing through Monkey Island.  It's probably been 15 years since I sat down and really played it.

Much like the experience of watching the Maniac Mansion Speed Run, it bought back a lot of memories and little tid-bits of facts, so I started keeping notes and in celebration of all things Monkey Island, I thought I'd share them.

Before we begin, a couple of points:

1) Some of this I've written about before, so I apologize if I'm wasting your time.
2) I was playing the VGA version that was released after the original EGA version.  The original original version used 16 colors and the inventory was text only.  
4) These are only "some-what" in order.
3) You may disagree with me on some of these, and that's perfectly OK.  My life is forever intertwined with this game and some of these are more reflective than anything else.
4) It's been almost 20 years.  My brain is full.

If anyone has specific questions about Monkey Island 1 or 2, feel free to ask them in the comments or send them to me.  If the answer contain interesting information or fuels a good story, I'll add it to this list.

Someone please turn off the lights, and I'll start the projector.

The very small "hot spot" areas are very annoying today but they were accepted back then; they were even considered a good thing.  It's called Game Play!  It would be hard to make an adventure game today where players were forced to hunt for small objects.  

Most people know you can hit the period key to skip a single line of dialog, but I'm surprised when I run into people that don't know why I chose the period key.  It seems obvious to me: a period ends a sentence.

While Insult Sword Fighting is one of the first things people think of when they hear Monkey Island, I thought it seemed little tedious (but fun) as I played though it again.  There is a point where you say "I get it", but your still forced to go though the motions again and again.  If I was going to do Insult Sword Fighting in a future game, I'd make it more free form allowing the player to be clever and construct their own sentences.

During the early stages of the Monkey Island design, we would watch old Errol Flynn era pirate movies.  One thing that stood out was during the fights they always taunted each other with insults.  I knew we needed to have sword fighting in the game - it was about pirates after all - but I didn't want to introduce any action game play and the old pirate moves provided the perfect solution.

Back in the late 80's, the mere thought of a scroll wheel on a mouse would have been crazy talk, but today I found it hard to break the habit of trying the scroll the inventory with it.

You only have to follow the shop keeper to the Sword Master once, after that it's just automatic.  That was a good design choice.  No point in having to solve the same puzzle over and over.

Scene behind the walls of the governors mansion seemed a little long.  The original plan was to have real game play and puzzles, but the game was feeling too big and we need to cut stuff.  This gag was perfect, and in some ways better then making the player solve more puzzles.  Never be afraid to edit you game down if it needs it.  It will often be better for it.  Except this went on too long.

"Ahoy there, Fancy Pants" is my favorite throw-away line ever.

Back then, the randomly generated forest was cutting edge technology.  Disk space was at a premium.  Everything had to fit on 5 floppy disks.  Sierra would ship games on 8 or 10 floppy disks. That was always a sore point for us.

I like the way you meet Otis, Sword Master and Meathook during regular puzzles, then hire them later.  Builds a sense of friendship before they are needed.  They aren't just three random people you meet for the first time while look for a crew.

The circus tent could have been more utilized.  Bit of a waste for one puzzle and the Fettucini Brothers didn't add much to the story.  That said, this was one of the first screens ("rooms" as we called them) where we used the SCUMM system's exclusive scrolling screens for dramatic effect.  Tim was the programmer on this room and he spent a lot of time getting it to scroll at just the right time to revel the tent.   I also like that the dialog choices are shown up up-side-down after Guybrush is shot from the cannon.  Doing that pushed the SCUMM system to utilize multiple fonts.  We didn't have that feature before this gag required it.  Guybrush being shot out of the canon was also foreshadowing for later when he needed to be shot out of the canon.  OK, come to think of it, this was a pretty useful room.

Touching the parrot puzzle was a little lame and linear.  I remember being rushed and we couldn't think of anything better.  The game was feeling good and long already, so I just punted on this puzzle.

UI for having to open and close doors independently from walking though them was obnoxious.  You'd never do this in an adventure game today, but like pixel hunting, it was accepted.

Something I added to the Humongous Entertainment adventure games was the cursor changing into a big arrow when you hit the edge of the screen and it was an exit.  Monkey Island would have benefited from this.  I was so used to it from the Humongous games that I'd scan the screen expecting to see it over exits.

OK, I'm going to admit that I was completely stumped by the grog puzzle.  I finally went and looked it up on the internet.  That's a damn good puzzle.  I found several puzzles would give me pause because I'd remember some previous unimplemented version of them and it would throw me off track.  My brain is filled with a lot of old adventure game puzzles, most of which never made it into a game.  DeathSpank actually has a couple of puzzles ideas that we talked about for the original Monkey Island.

Stan's Grog machine was one of three interesting lessons was I given about trademarks and copyright during the production of Monkey Island.  Originally, I wanted the Grog Machine to be a Coke Machine, baring that, I wanted it to look like a Coke machine.  It originally had the "Coke Wave" on it, but said "Grog".  The Lucasfilm legal team came back and said it was too close to the real trademarked Coke Wave.  I tried to argue Parody to no avail.  We kept changing it little by little until legal was satisfied it didn't look too much like a Coke machine.

Getting stuck on the Ocean floor is one of my favorite puzzles because the solution is so obvious most people overlook it.  The other puzzle I did in this same vane was in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade adventure game where Indy has to have faith and just walk over a ledge.  Players that had faith and just clicked on the other side of the crevice had no problem.  Players that fiddled around and clicked on other stuff, ignoring the advice, always fell.

I forgot about the ladder to get the pirate flag for the soup.  I kept focusing on Meat Hook's tattoo, which was something we talked about during the early design.

I had wanted the time you spent on Monkey Island to feel more like a RPG, which is why you had top-down view.  As the game progressed, I slowly scaled back those plans, but we were still left with these very cool maps.  I love maps.  For me a game design always starts with a map.

The key to the Monkey Head used to be called a Q-Tip(tm), but in my second legal lesson of the project it was changed.  According to our legal advice, it would have been OK if we were using the Q-Tip in a "correct fashion", but taking a giant Q-Tip and sticking it into a stone monkey's ear is not "correct usage".  Interestingly enough, a Q-Tip box states: "Do not insert cotton swab into ear canal".  I think we were doing just that.

"I had a feeling in hell here would be mushrooms" was one of Tim's lines.  Tim hates Mushrooms.  I also hate mushrooms, but unlike Tim, I'm happy to pick them out.

We called them "Special Case Animations".  The first SCUMM game they appeared in was The Last Crusade and then used to an amazing (well, amazing for 1990) extent in Monkey Island.   Each of the "actor" sprites had a set of basic animations that including standing, walking, talking, picking up and reaching.   If we need an animation that would only be used on one place, it was called a Special Case Animation and each one was carefully considered due to the 5 floppy disk limit.  Every pixel had to count.

Begging for the necklace from the head of the navigator is a bad puzzle.  It's too easy for players to think they're on the wrong path.

After getting the root, we didn't make the player walk all the way back to the cannibals then all the way to the ghost ship.  There was much discussion about this.  I think we made the right decision.

For the most part, Monkey Island is fairly open ended allowing players a lot of freedom to explore and solve several puzzle threads at a time, but there are two big choke points where the puzzles become very self contained.  The first is on the ship as you're sailing (or trying to sail to) Monkey Island.  The second is while you're on the ghost ship.  All the solutions to puzzles can be found right where you are.  These were done on purpose to give the player a small break and allow them to focus on one area.

After you've made you way back to Melee Island, you are forced to kill two ghost pirates with your root beer.  This was important because it showed not only how the root beer worked but that it would work.

Elaine Marley was just called "The Governor" until the scene in the church was written.  Dave Grossman wrote that scene and put in the gag dialog choice where Guybrush shouts "Elaine!", which is from the movie "The Graduate".  I liked that, so it became her name.  In the original design, Elaine was a more ruthless Governor, but she softened up and became a true love interested as the project processed.

By design, the whole ending of the game is a "gimme".   The player has worked hard to get to this point, I wanted something they could just sit back and enjoy playing.

There was supposed to be ship combat during your voyage to Monkey Island.  It would have been done top-down view with you controlling the ship and firing a cannon.  It was right to cut that.  Never be afraid to cut.  It's rare that I watch a "director's cut" of a film that is better then the original.  Most of that stuff was left out for a reason.

Last legal snafu we had with Monkey Island revolved about a "Look At" line in the voodoo shop.  When you'd look at a statue, Guybrush would say "Looks like an emaciated Charles Atlas."  We got a cease and desist letter for that and has to change it in future versions.  I don't know for sure when version it changed in.


P.S.  I was always bothered by these close-ups.  While they were great art, I never felt they matched the style of the rest of the game.  Not sure how I feel about them 20 years later.

Other people's comments:

Posted by RAZIM on Jun 1, 2009 ten to ten am

Yea I always wondered about those close-ups at the end.

Love the first 2 games, not sure if they'll catch that spark that those games did. We can only hope.

Posted by Instant Karma on Jun 2, 2009 ten past three pm

I loved this close-up actually! It felt like a jump back to a higher reality back then.. like "the dream is over" or something.. and recall getting my first boner (I think) by Elaine. That's right, Mr. Gilbert! - You have made me a man!

Posted by Lizard Scum on Jun 12, 2009 twenty past three pm

Yeah... back in those carefree teenage years when we only had Leisure Suit Larry close ups, MI cutscenes and that hospital nurse in It Came from the Desert to get excited about. Sad, weird but true. I'm glad I got it out there.

Posted by Aquarius on Jun 15, 2009 five to three pm

second that

Posted by Jeff on Jun 1, 2009 five to ten am

Agree about the closeups.  Guybrush looks like a real hero, not a doofus.  

It's cute how his eyes are the same color as Elaine's.

Posted by RAZIM on Jun 1, 2009 ten am

He reminds me of Westley (Cary Elwes) from Princess Bride in that close-up at the end.

Another must have for the Wannabe-pirate in any family :P

Posted by Jay Ay on Jul 27, 2009 twenty to eleven am

I always thought he looks exactly like young Axl Rose, so much as being certain the artist had used the singer as reference :)

Posted by Tulsi on Jun 1, 2009 ten am


Posted by Jon N/A on Jun 1, 2009 five past ten am

I'm overexcited!
It was always my dream to see you and Dave Grossman and Tim schafer work together...
It's just ... the what happens to our project?

Posted by Jack Shandy on Jun 1, 2009 five past ten am

I loved your review. It's interesting where the name of Elaine came from.
I was born in 1989, and played it for the first time on 1995-1996. My favorite game since then.

Posted by on Jun 1, 2009 ten past ten am

Ron you just ruined E3 for me

Nothing will top this, i litteraly have to control myself in order not to dance around!! :D

what the heck... im gonna do a few moves anyway!

Posted by What the on Jun 1, 2009 quarter past ten am

Wait, wait, wait... Are you working with Telltale on those episodes? Will the SECRET finally be revealed? And why EPISODES, I want proper MI3/MI5, for Heaven's sake!...

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 10, 2009 one pm

There's a proper Monkey Island for heaven's sake! Its called Curse of Monkey Island.

Posted by Shah on Jun 1, 2009 quarter past ten am

This is very exciting news! Will Michael Land be doing the music for the upcoming Monkey Island games? I sure hope so!

Posted by lemonhead on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past ten am

Posted by Aquarius on Jun 15, 2009 three pm

Oh, joy joy joy!

I wonder what was it like to work with Michael? The music is still one of my favourites.

Posted by Romi on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past ten am

A lot of exciting news but I must confess I'm a bit disappointed that you are not involved in the new game.

I feel Telltale is really the perfect company to finally reveal what is the Secret of the Monkey Island.

Everyody seem to be back but you... :-(

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to eleven am

As I mentioned above, I worked on the design.

Posted by Fan on Jun 1, 2009 quarter to eleven am

Will the Secret be revealed in this game (it's ONE game, those "episodes" are in fact "chapters" of the whole game, am I right?)? Please Ron, tell us!

Posted by Johnny Walker on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past eleven am

There is no "secret" to be told, you dufus.

Posted by LKM on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past two pm

I think he means to ask whether the story is in line with what Ron had in mind for part 3.

Posted by jalf on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to eleven am

I'm not sure about the close-ups either, but I think back then they helped make the game stand out. Other adventure games didn't have those close-ups. I remember for me, it helped flesh out the characters, and remind me that they were more than the two dozen pixels or whatever you normally saw them as. I agree, they didn't really fit the art style, but I think they still added to the game.

Also yay, new Monkey Island games!

Posted by James on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to eleven am

I liked the close up because Elaine was so pretty. It also was hilarious to have the funny dialog pictured with the scary close-up still pictures. I also just want to let it be known that I've been greeting people with "Ahoy there, fancy pants" for the majority of my life.

Posted by Lennie Melvin on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to eleven am

I just exploded from a mix of sheer happiness and excitement! I need to go hug people!


Posted by Joe on Jun 1, 2009 twenty to eleven am

I love you Ron.

I cordally invite you to carry and give birth to my children.

Posted by Elaine Marley on Jun 1, 2009 five to two pm


Posted by Javier on Jun 1, 2009 five to eleven am


Hi, Ron!

Great post! Monkey Island is for our generation a sort of Stevenson's Treasure Island, a classic history that enlightened our youth, you know : ) And for that will be forever, deeply and true grateful.

I've always though that meanwhile Monkey I and II were two master pieces that share the same spirit, all the nex games without you lost an internal coherence. Monkey III is unauthentic. Like jews with new testament, I've always considered subsequent games fake and not part of the Monkey Island Canon :) Only on exemple: In Monkey I/II Elaine is a charismatic and intelligent lady with strong character, in Monkey 3 is a helpless housewife. Plus the new art style without Steve Purcell was too childish.

Monkey II end never was used by the new designers, in a certain way we've never played the real Monkey 3 that we've expecting. The one you had in your head. So, please, Ron, can we expect you'll let us know the secret of monkey island with the final and true Monkey 3? :D That would be one of the dreams of my youth.

Posted by Bobo on Jul 16, 2009 ten past eight pm

"Curse Of Monkey Island" is the REAL Monkey Island 3 and the best of the series by far. After what it's been? 10 years? You get a little tired of hearing the same crybabies "Curse isn't a real MI! Waaaaaah!" and for some reason they've got it in their tiny little minds that the first two MI games were series dramas with a little bit of funny tossed in, while MI3 was a wacky toon game. Oye.

Posted by Johan on Jun 1, 2009 five to eleven am

"(Vista64 unsupported)"
Aaaaaaaw, bugger.

Posted by jp-30 on Jun 1, 2009 ten past three pm

Vista64 is supported, they've updated the specs on the Telltale site.

Posted by Mike Dimmick on Jun 8, 2009 half past five am

Given that Sam & Max Season 1 & 2, SBCG4AP and Wallace & Gromit all work fine on Windows Vista x64, and I've tried Sam & Max on Windows 7 x64, I don't think there's anything to worry about.

Dell Latitude D820, NVidia Quadro NVS 110M chip. These games never need much in the way of grunt. "Culture Shock" was happy with 1024x768, mouse starts to lag a bit at 1280x960.

Posted by Kroms on Jun 1, 2009 five to eleven am

Oh hecklesticks. Excellent post Ron, and I'm sure I've had a couple of questions to ask over the years but I'm in too much of a tailspin to be able to remember anything right now.

Posted by Tsam on Jun 1, 2009 five to eleven am

That's great! please, can i translate it in italian language for my site? I'm sure that'sthere's a lot of people loving it.

Here,you are near a rock star ;-).

ps of course, I'll indicate that you're the author

Posted by Guido on Jun 1, 2009 five to eleven am

This post reminded me a bit of the "Expurgation of Maniac Mansion", very interesting misc. details.

Back when I was a kid in Mexico there were no stores that sell games or software for that matter, other than DOS and wordstar. And all the games available where the ones that floated around in floppies with "natas" included. MI was the first game that I ironically didn't have pirated thanks to a realease from a spainish magazine.

About the pixel hunting, at the time I didn't found it that annoying because It kind of felt part of the puzzles. It's better to try to find a rope on the screen that you know obviously works along with a pulley that trying to figure out that you have to bend a monkey into a wrench. And the door closing and opening today would really be tedious but when I first played MM and MI I thought it was a very cool detail that kind of made the world more realistic and detailed

So, what happened in Lucasarts? Did someone fire (and hopefully shoot) the idiot that had been approving 10 crappy starwars games per year and canceling everything else? And now that Telltale Games are creating MI games what's the deal with the MI brand? I really hope that one day we see MI5.

BTW. Ron, can you tell me who can send me my missing floppies? I still cant get into the caverns part.

Posted by turmoil23 on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past noon

Until 97-98 you couldnt get any original game here in Argentina

I remember when i saw MI on 91 i went to the computer store and spent all my money on a XT-PC

Posted by Josef Motley on Jun 13, 2009 five past six am

the door opening / closing thing never bothered me either though i guess it is kind of unnessecary. i always felt the need to politely close doors behind me in monkey island for some reason. don't want let the chill wind in....

Posted by Damien on Jul 6, 2009 twenty five past six pm

Hahaha, glad to see I wasn't the only OCD adventure gamer that always closed doors behind me.

Posted by Ari on Jun 1, 2009 eleven am

Well...I stopped breathing for some minutes.

Will it be what we were waiting for?

Ron...we can't wait!

Posted by Alex on Jun 1, 2009 five past eleven am

brain dead
Monkey Island...

Posted by Greg on Jun 1, 2009 ten past eleven am

Thanks for sharing, Ron.  Very cool.  I am glad the wait finally is over.

Posted by Gerrhard troopsoup on Jun 1, 2009 quarter past eleven am


Come to barcelona on october an you'll love them

For sure

Posted by Gerrhard troopsoup on Jun 1, 2009 twenty past eleven am

OKOK Tim is welcome too

Posted by Anique on Jun 1, 2009 quarter past eleven am

Yay! Monkey island finally.

Posted by Chief05 on Jun 1, 2009 twenty past eleven am

Holy three-headed monkey! I can't believe this! 0_o

Monkey Island is finally back!
Telltale was great for bringing Sam n Max back, but now they are AWESOME for bringing the best Adventure series ever back to the PC screens!! xD
Hey Ron, did you also provide them with some "Monkey Island humour"?

Finished Monkey Island 1-3 again a few weeks ago, after reading these news i gotta play the 4th part now (though I hate the controls 0_o) . :)

Posted by Kristian Bland on Jun 1, 2009 twenty past eleven am

I'm about to call my fiancee and give her this good news. She'll flip out!

We both love Monkey Island so much, I proposed via Monkey Island 2 (with a little help from our gracious, grumpy host):

Thanks for all the memories, Ron - including today's little insider glimpse into all of the quirky and interesting landmarks lining the roadside of Nostalgia's Highway.

All monkeys. All the time.
�Viven los monos!

Posted by Neil Bradbury on Jun 7, 2009 quarter past four pm

That is the best proposal I have seen in my entire life. Well done, sir!

Posted by Joseph K. Garrahan on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past eleven am

This is awesome Ron, thanks for the tidbits. I wish there was a book written regarding the making-of of this game series (and others). I am sure there are so many stories to tell...

Posted by Johnny Walker on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past eleven am

Ahhhh... Elaine. She was so hot.

Posted by G on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past eleven am

Out of words.

Im just too damn happy right now.

Posted by Joonas on Jun 1, 2009 half past eleven am

I agree that the swordfighting sequence feels a bit stretched these days, but it felt totally incomprehensible when first playing the game as an eleven-year-old non-English speaking kid! Had to map each insult-reply pair through trial and error...

Posted by Johnny Walker on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to noon

Thanks for the great article, Ron! (I always wondered about that Charles Atlas line.)

Could you explain Hal Barwood's comments in MI2?

"Less is more, guys!"
"You can't polish a turd."

I always felt that MI2 was more "down" than the upbeat MI1, and things like this only seemed to confirm it. I remember feeling really sorry for poor Guybrush! Elaine didn't love him anymore and everyone was hassling him for a bigger, better adventure. It seemed like the designers just didn't like him anymore :( It damaged my innocent outlook on life (hey, I was 12).

Thanks again, Ron!

Posted by Johnny Walker on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to noon

My 2nd thanks was sincere... I just noticed it sounded sarcastic!

Posted by turingmachine604 on Jun 1, 2009 twenty to noon

You said in an interview a few years back that the "true" secret of Monkey Island was never revealed. Since "Tales" is episodic instead of a full game, and may have more seasons similar to the episodic "Sam and Max" games, any plans to have the true secret revealed in "Tales"?

Posted by Ben on Jun 1, 2009 ten to noon

Great post Ron.

I'm so excited about these two games.

Posted by Chalito on Jun 1, 2009 ten to noon

Gee.. and here I was mailing you about the news.. silly me ;)

I really can't tell you how excited I am about this!! The rest of E3 seems so insignificant now =P

Posted by Bagge on Jun 1, 2009 five to noon

You don't have to beg the head to give you the necklace. You can threaten to dropkick him into the lava as well.

Posted by LenH on Jun 1, 2009 noon

Might be a good time to start hording canned goods.

I'll just use what I have left over from Y2K.

Posted by Peter on Jun 1, 2009 ten past noon

Hi Ron

I have a question, I remember two things from the floppy days (I think)

1. Where you are at the pier, you can interact with the moon, I think you could use: "walk to the moon" and Guybrush would say something like walk to the moon? Right! Have you or have you not in one version been able to interact with the moon?

2. The sun in the creek on monkey island (before you blow the dam). There are versions where you cannot interact with the sun. Why?

Your fan

Posted by naomi on Jun 12, 2009 twenty five to eight am

It's walk to the sun.  Guybrush turns round to look right at you and says "Yeah, sure, walk to the sun."  Because it's not just about clicking around desperately, hoping that something will work, is it...?  My favourite MI moment.  

This whole webpage has filled me with great joy.  Ron is such a hero.

Posted by Adam on Jun 15, 2009 six pm

On one of the newest two games, you could "Pick up the moon" to which Guybrush replied, "Pick up the moon? Are you crazy?!".

Posted by Fuz on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to one pm

Personally, I always loved both the Fetuccini brothers (always found them extremely funny) and the Close-ups.
And the scene behind the walls of the governors mansion it's a bit long, but just a bit and it never bothered me... I always find it (I play and replay MI and MI2 on a regular basis...) very funny.

Posted by David on Jun 1, 2009 ten to one pm

Posted by Fuz on Jun 1, 2009 ten to one pm

By the way, I think that the art style for both Telltale Games and Lucasarts projects really sucks. Big time.
They're too cartoonish and didn't catch at all the (semi-realistic) style of MI and MI2. Just look at the amazing cover of the boxes...
Hated the style in MI3 (which, as we all know, doesn't exist). And don't get me started on MI4 (which also doesn't exists).
Anyway, can't help myself since MI is for me like a religion, I just pre-ordered Telltale Games' season 1.

Posted by jp-30 on Jun 1, 2009 quarter past three pm

So, buy the remake for the new voices and the soundtrack, and switch to the old-chool classic pixellated view.

Posted by Javier on Jun 1, 2009 five to four pm

True. The Steve Purcell cover of Monkey 1 and 2 are so great!!! This is the graphic style that failed to follow. :,C Sigh

Posted by Aquarius on Jun 17, 2009 ten to two pm

I absolutely agree that the graphics of the classic LucasArts adventures are simply perfect. (Btw. was the MI cover made by the same guy that made Zak McKracken's?)

But I liked the looks of Grim Fandango, too.

Posted by simo on Jun 20, 2009 twenty five to seven pm

agree. One of the greatest ever for music, emotion, story, feeling, original concept and character desing.

also best disclaimer statement ever: For those who are disturbed by the amount of smoking in Grim Fandango, we offer two reasons: 1) we wanted to be true to the film noir atmosphere, and 2) everybody in the game who smokes is DEAD. Think about it.�.

Posted by chrisis on Jun 1, 2009 ten to one pm

This must be the first time in history, that there is a link from an official Lucasarts webpage to your blog. Well done Ron!

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Jun 1, 2009 one pm

Another sign that the end of times is near.

But seriously, LucasArts had been fabulous with all of this.  I had an incredible visit with them when I there a few months ago.

Posted by Fuz on Jun 1, 2009 five past one pm

While you were there... they should have given you HUGE sacks of dollars and beg you to write Monkey Island 3.
Why they didn't do it?? That's madness.

Posted by Psycho on Jun 1, 2009 two pm

Yes!! So true!!

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 8, 2009 eleven am

There was nothing wrong with Curse of Monkey Island, in fact it was one of the best games in the series. This Ron will you make MI3 is pure stupidity. Monkey Island 3 and Monkey Island 4 were made if you don't like them, get over yourself.

Posted by Merus on Jun 12, 2009 quarter to four am

Yeah, it's a fine game. It's done by different people, but it's clear that they wanted to do the best job they could given the circumstances.

Posted by Someone on Jun 18, 2009 quarter to nine am

and it is a new hope of future cooperations...
new special editions or even new (monkey island?) games ;)

But at the the moment I am very happy with MI SE.
thank you Ron and LA!!!

Posted by Filippo on Jun 1, 2009 one pm

I don't want to sound like a spoilsport but I don't like the new character design. Not that it will stop me from buying the game, mind you. I'd love a Wii version but that's asking too much, I guess.

Posted by Jaime on Jun 1, 2009 ten past two pm

I'm with you. They are too cartoonish in a common nowadays way. At least we could play with the classy and pixelated old graphics in the classic mode... phew...

Posted by LKM on Jun 1, 2009 ten past eleven pm

Yeah, the first two games have this dark, tim-burton-esque undercurrent. The newer ones are just plain cartoony, which I don't like. I do think that Telltale got the Sam & Max style reasonably well, though, so I have high hopes for their titles. They will be better than 3 and 4 for sure.

Posted by Aquarius on Jun 17, 2009 twenty to two pm

There will be a "press button to switch to old look&feel - instantly"-function in the game. I think this shows a great deal of respect from LucasArts for Ron's work.

Posted by martin on Jun 1, 2009 one pm

i remember when i was a kid, the head of the navigator scare me, jajajaj
sorry but i dont speak english very well, i always forget the words to write.

Posted by Martin V on Jun 1, 2009 quarter to three pm

Since you bring the topic of navigator head, I always remember this:

Before leaving the ship (after arriving to Monkey Island), I went to the cauldron and threw everyting I could in the fire beneath, as a way of getting rid of the junk in the inventory, because I thought "If I need it later, the game won't let me throw it in". But it turns out (if I remember correctly) that you COULD throw the leaflet there. No leaflet equals no navigator head, and no navigator head equals game over :( . It took me about a year to sit again with the game, and that time I made it right (thanks to the advice of a friend). I think that's what I get for abusing the "you can't lose" rule...

Posted by Nick Coller on Jun 11, 2009 quarter to five pm

This was the same, but even more frustrating, with the box of cereal. You could burn the box, and you could see eight other boxes right there in the cupboard, but couldn't pick up any of them. No cereal, no recipe, no Monkey Island. Game over.

Posted by jeremy on Jun 1, 2009 ten past one pm

i loved those closeups.  they were so serious.

Posted by Elaine Marley on Jun 1, 2009 ten to two pm

I love them to, sorry to dissapoint you Ron :)

Posted by anomonmom on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to two pm

wait, am I reading the gamespot article right? They're using the original voice actors from COM- which means Dom is coming back to do Guybrush?!

That's just plain awesome.

Posted by Enrike Brujo on Jun 1, 2009 twenty to two pm

Life has sense again !!!

The computers are fun AGAIN !!!


Posted by JSW on Jun 1, 2009 twenty to two pm

I liked the close-ups, largely because of their realistic art style. One of the things I liked best about the original SoMI was that the basic story outline could also work as a standard action/adventure story with a few small modifications, and that the art style seemed to match. Jokes are far more effective when they catch you off-guard, and so the contrast between the humourous dialogue and semi-serious presentation of the original game helped it quite a bit. The sequels, unfortunately, drifted away from that into pure cartoonishness and suffered for it.

Posted by Javier on Jun 1, 2009 two pm

Agreed. It has been said before, but Elaine was so beautiful... 0_0

Posted by drygear on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to eleven pm

I like the closeups too. I think they add a little bit of surrealism. They're fake soap opera-y in the same way Twin Peaks is.

Posted by Elaine Marley on Jun 1, 2009 ten to two pm


I have to admit that I enjoyed much more these invaluables words that you wrote here about Monkey, that the "goods" news of Lucasarts and Telltale... but, if you worked in the design, it's something.
How do you truly feel about this new voodoo recreation?

P.S:  I didn't know about the period key!!!! GOD, STOP KEEPING SECRETS FROM MEEE!!
And totally agree with the "map thing" you said about videogames design.

Posted by Beyli on Jun 1, 2009 five to two pm

Was it intentional that the voodoo lady was in the corner of the shop that didn't need to be accessed?  I remember seeing the screenshots with her in the ads and thinking that part must have been cut because I managed to play the entire game without walking over and saying hi.

Posted by JSW on Jun 1, 2009 twenty past eight pm

Same here. When she showed up in MI2 I thought she was one of the cannibals.

Posted by sven on Jun 1, 2009 quarter past two pm

Hi Ron,

just saw the trailer for the upcoming special edition- sorry I gotta say it, but the graphics are a total disappointment. I am working as a graphics designer and played loads of dos games in the 90s, so hopefully I know what I'm talking about.

The original 256 colors version was just awesome (also was the first pc game I bought in my life), I am still amazed how you people pulled off those great graphics with such a limited palette and low resolution. I would prefer those to any of the newer versions.

They lost me with MI3, I think the style was really boring mainstream, MI4 was a step into the right direction again, but I never really played that one. I do not understand why LucasArts never came up with better sequels. They totally wasted the whole franchise.

btw: Loved the closeups at the end- just great, great digital paints.

Posted by killik on Jun 2, 2009 twenty past one am

The first thing i thought after reading that news is please don't suck, pleas don't suck, please don't suck....
The second is also that the art direction totally sucks. I am still amazed by MI 1 & 2 graphic awesomeness, it is just a waste to have to go for that crappy cartoonish style. Maybe it is because it needs a lot less polygons or seems more appealing to a mainstream audience, i don't know but i really hate it.
I have to know, will the story be in the continuity of MI2 or MI4?

Posted by Michael on Jun 1, 2009 twenty past two pm

Your review is great! Please make sure they remaster MI2. I'm not really digging the new look of Guybrush or the voice talent (seems forced and cartoon, but the visuals obviously don't match because they're realistic and pretty). But if they can do MI2 in the CMI style... golden.

Posted by Mxy on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past two pm

Holy shit. This is awesome.

I'm talking about all the notes, of course. Don't know how I feel about the remake.

Posted by LKM on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past two pm

I liked the sword fighting even when I knew all the answers. Back when I first played the game as a kid, being invincible in the game made me feel really powerful and badass. Funnily, I'm Swiss, but I played the game in English, so I didn't get any of the puns. To get around that, I made a huge list on a piece of paper of all questions and simply tried all possible answers until I found the correct one.

Also, I liked the close-ups. They made me feel that the world in the game was more "real" than the simple graphic implied and that my actions mattered. And they were a huge reward for getting things right.

Posted by Sven on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past two pm

Hey Ron.
I play the LA games every week!  Not all every week but some every week. And MI too. I for example played MI 1 and 2 this weekend. And the other 2, too. But I think you�re not pleased to hear that about the other 2 games.

Posted by eobet on Jun 1, 2009 quarter to three pm

Where is the Mac version of that Special Edition?

Also, I want to buy the newly recorded soundtrack!

Posted by Nando on Jun 1, 2009 twenty past three pm

So... The secret of Monkey Island was actually the secret about it being ressurected in the future. This is like an episode of Lost... The secre is the secret itself when it's revealed.

Your comments about the game were somewhat like the ones in Half-life 2 by Valve's. I love these insights of the developers minds. Well done.

Posted by owen-b on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to four pm

I always thought those close-ups were sort of a gag - it's like you were mimicking the style of adventure movies, and the joke is that we know Guybrush isn't anything like that dashing charismatic classic hero in the picture.


Posted by jeremy on Jun 1, 2009 twenty to four pm


Posted by Colin on Jun 1, 2009 five to four pm

I'm pretty happy about all of this news. I'll give the new graphics on the SMI remake a try and see how I like them, but the old games are just so beautiful so I'll probably end up switching back to the original style for repeated playthroughs. I hope a remake of LeChuck's Revenge gets made because it is already one of my favorite games ever and I would love to play through it hearing Dominic act out Guybrush's lines. I am excited about Tales of Monkey Island, but I'm definitely not sold on the graphics. I didn't like the style for Sam and Max, Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island, and I'm not liking it here either, but I'm probably about to pre-order it anyway. I loved the look of Curse of Monkey Island and wish Lucasarts and Telltale had gone down that road instead.

Posted by Andreas Fuchs on Jun 1, 2009 five to four pm

Soooo, Ron, what did you really say you were blown away by in the Video? The cuts make it sound like a rather... edited endorsement (-:

Posted by Charles on Jun 1, 2009 four pm

For me for the overall look the EGA close-ups were much better suited than the VGA ones.

Posted by Chesh on Jun 1, 2009 four pm

Dear Mr. Gilbert,

I'm a huge fan of early Lucas Arts point and clicks and none more so than Monkey 1 & 2.

Could you maybe expand a little bit more on what you mean when you say that you always start a game design with a map?


Posted by WOOHOO on Jun 1, 2009 ten past four pm

Posted by Lennie Melvin on Jun 2, 2009 twenty past ten am

There's T-Shirts?
Man this is getting serious :D

Posted by Wintermute on Jun 1, 2009 ten past four pm

I hate to be so negative, but Mi1 is just too plain beautiful. The artwork is so great in the original, that a modern approach can imho only be wasted time. Just look at the jail cell, or the tent! Brings back even some of the LOOM(tm) feeling. Graphics never were so good again. I sure will buy this thing, even if it's just for even better intro-music, which i used a long time as my ringtone. Again something utterly beautiful.

As for telltale games, i love this crew. And i love they are bringing back adventure games. But i really dislike the episodic approach. i stopped playing Sam & Max after 2 episodes. Maybe also, because it was even too easy for me.

That said, i wish both projects to do well and i am convinced, they will. Oh, and WHEN IS IT DEATHSPANK TIME??!

Posted by Nacho on Jun 1, 2009 ten past four pm

Pure awesomeness in its purest form. I can't breathe.
Ron, you put magic into our lives.

Posted by Urbanstyle on Jun 1, 2009 quarter past four pm

When will you reveal the true secret of monkey island? ^^

Yours sincerely

Posted by ignus on Jun 1, 2009 quarter to five pm

I really dislike Guybrush' punk haircut, in the artwork for the remake :(

And the telltale games should have been 2d...

Posted by slx on Jun 1, 2009 five past five pm

The original 'The Secret of Monkey Island' contains realistic background and characters; but the characters in the 'Special Edition' are too cartoony and therefore this is disgusting for me. :(
Ron, why do you let this happen?
They could make it much better. They just ruin the cool old game. :(

Posted by Edmundo on Jun 1, 2009 ten past five pm

Thanks for the director commentary! I feel like hell has frozen over today.

Posted by Spummy on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past six pm

Wow, this will either be great or horrible.

Some game-design gems in that post too!

Posted by Phil River on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past six pm

WOOT!!!!!!! WAY TO GO RON!!!!!!!!!!

Now please... We wanna know the REAL secret of MI!

Posted by Juan on Jun 1, 2009 quarter to seven pm

This made me so happy. I'm naming all my sons Ron Gilbert. Daughters too. You are my hero Ron, thanks.

Posted by Dan on Jun 1, 2009 ten to seven pm

I think it's great that something is finally happening with Monkey Island again... something needed to be done to make us forget MI4 (the only MI game that I've been unable to bring myself to play through more than once).

I hate to be negative, but I agree with what some people said above.

1. I really don't like Guybrush's new hair in the remake... it looks like a cyberpunk version of the game or something. It's also a shame they seem to have re-done the "box-art" with his stupid new hair.
2. The Guybrush animations in the remake seem to look more fake and under-developed than the original...they even look kind of jerky... weird.

3. I hate episodic play.. I never played past episode 3 of Sam & Max, even though I paid for the whole season - they were just too short, too basic, and too repetitive... I hope the MI episodes fix that problem... otherwise it should have been released as 1 long game a few months later instead. Hopefully I can just wait til they're all released, and buy the whole season, and it won't feel as much like episodes as Sam&Max did.. and it'll, instead, just feel like 5 episodes in 1 long game, like the old days.

Posted by JSW on Jun 1, 2009 half past eight pm

2. The Guybrush animations in the remake seem to look more fake and under-developed than the original...they even look kind of jerky... weird.

I think that's due to the fact that they're trying to make both games run seamlessly alongside each other. It looks like they can't add in any extra frames of animation that weren't in the original game, which causes things to look jerky due to the higher resolution.

Posted by hnjfd on Jun 3, 2009 quarter to six am

Episode 1 2 and 3 of the first season I consider to be the warm ups for the team... I also dont like em too much... but in EP 4 5 and 6 they where raising the bar consistentely and the episodes get better and better. S1 EP4 and EP5 are just excellent and EP6 ist quite hard to solve, and S2 EP4 and EP5 are just awesome, plot and text-wise, with spectacular endings. So I think you have just stopped at the point where it started to get good ;)

Posted by Dan on Jun 3, 2009 twenty five to seven am

Ok, I'll give the rest a try :-D

Posted by parka_tag on Jun 1, 2009 twenty past seven pm

FORGE!!! LOOM is Evolution and now is FORGE!!!

The proyecto fans:

Staff Forge, We fabric a Demo the Forge, the secuele of LOOM.

Bye bye

Posted by on Jun 1, 2009 quarter to eight pm

Oh, after so many years dreaming of this day, it arrived.. twice!

There's only one thing that I do not find, er, perfect. The guys at Telltale followed the post-MI2 version LeChuck: as a bloated, corpulent corpse. He's got nothing to do when compared to the decaying, skeletal true zombie from MI2 who would scare you as Hell every time he crawled into a room in the game finale. Those dreadful features were just excellent for the funny yet complex villain he was: "still alive, and in great pain..."

When they added lips to LeChuck back in MI3, they partially killed him, and this would have been a good chance to retrieve him back from the dead (or the living): LeChuck should have the mouth of Shane McGowan and the voice of Tom Waits.

A very moving review, sir. You have made a lot of people smile today. Congratulations, and thank you.

Posted by Josef Motley on Jun 13, 2009 twenty five past six am

tom waits would be amazing as lechuck!

Posted by Damien on Jul 6, 2009 twenty to eleven pm

I know what you mean, every time you'd hear his theme music it would provoke a deep sense of forboding.

Posted by nichmekof on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five past eight pm

OMG!! I'm so excited! My favorite game of all time getting remade! I think i'm going to pass out.

Lots of great memories playing the Monkey Island series.

Posted by Barry on Jun 1, 2009 ten to nine pm

Sorry if you've told this a thousand times, but how did you come up with the name Guybrush Threepwood?  Was it entirely spur of the moment or what?

Loved the brief Monkey Island commentary, by the way.  Any possibility of us seeing a MI2 commentary as well?

Posted by Charles on Jun 2, 2009 twenty past five am

"The origin of the name "Guybrush" comes from Deluxe Paint, the tool used by the artists to create the character sprite. Since the character had no name at this point, the file was simply called 'Guy'. When the file was saved, Deluxe Paint automatically appended the extension '.brush'; before the designers could think of a proper name they got used to referring to 'Guy.brush' when talking about the sprite and decided to use it as the protagonist's actual name.[1] "Threepwood" was the name of Dave Grossman's RPG character and was picked through voting. The name comes from P. G. Wodehouse's family of characters including Galahad Threepwood and Clarence Threepwood, 9th Earl of Emsworth."

Posted by panos on Jun 1, 2009 ten to nine pm

this is the best news i've heard since they made the sam and max episodes.  which i thought were brilliant, by the way, especially the way they tied everything together.

only good can come of this!  now please tell us, is this game going to contain your own vision for mi3?

Posted by Pancho on Jun 1, 2009 half past nine pm


Posted by Blair on Jun 1, 2009 ten to ten pm

"After you've made you way back to Melee Island, you are forced to kill two ghost pirates with your root beer.  This was important because it showed not only how the root beer worked but that it would work."

Actually if you want to be conservative and compassionate you can spare the second ghost pirate by using those crazy doors. Guess they had a purpose after all.

Posted by Jordan on Jun 2, 2009 ten past five am

I always did that... I'm such a softie.

Posted by EvilHayama on Jun 1, 2009 ten past ten pm

Excellent commentary! Similar to Gamasutra's Postmortems. Very very post... Did you let the remake people know about the little problems you had? Things like pixel hunting could be fixable for the new version.

Very happy to see new and old MI games coming out, I hope the new one maintains the funny.

Posted by G on Jun 1, 2009 twenty past ten pm

I always played MI1 under EGA  graphics. Not only for "my good old memories", also those awkwards close ups looked better on EGA.

Posted by Dalty Smilth on Jun 1, 2009 quarter past eleven pm

Hey Ron, you may have answered this question before, but was Stan based on a real person?  It's just that a lot of his dialogue, especially in the first game, almost seemed like direct quotes.  So is he based on a real person, or is he just based on the stereotypical "used car salesman" character?

Posted by mcw on Jun 1, 2009 twenty past eleven pm

I have a sort of technical question about Monkey Island and the early Scumm games. Why did you decide to use a flashing/blinking cursor for these adventure games? Was that a design choice or a technical limitation. I noticed that this was kept in the upcoming Special Edition and I was wondering if people actually like that cursor.

Posted by hfgdgjhfd on Jun 4, 2009 quarter past four am

It cant be a technical limitation for sure. The blinking could be seen as an invitation. "Do something with this cursor". After all, clickability of the gfx (first in maniac) was one of the main motivations of Ron. (At least as I have gathered from what he wrote.) So, back then, it was only logical to emphasize this new ability with a blinking cursor. (With a quite cool blinking behaviour at least for me, as I recall. Sometimes I throught about things, and looked at these magically blinking 4 way arrows.)

And today it is also only logical that the sequel, or the new version, behaves the same as the old in this regard, especially since you can switch betwheen old and new.

Posted by Cyrano on Jun 1, 2009 twenty five to midnight

Monkey Island 1 remains the game I have the fondest memories of.  So much originality, mostly logical puzzles (as much as I love MI2, it was really nonsensical at times - at least in french - why the hell would i use a monkey as a crank?!), perfect length, great art. Thank you Ron, you probably played a big role in ruining hours of my life playing video games.

Also, don't disappear without telling us the secret of the monkey island. Odds are that there never was a secret (or was it MI2's ending?), but for the sake of your fans, you'll have to think of something incredibly clever every single day of your life.

Posted by mcfly on Jun 2, 2009 twenty past nine am

That's because it's a lost-in-translation-joke.  :)

Posted by Wintermute on Jun 2, 2009 quarter to one pm

In english this Monkey thing actually makes sense. It's a "monkey wrench". The german version had the same problem.

Posted by rado on Jun 2, 2009 twenty five past midnight

anyone who pirates the new "monkey island", is walking the plank :)

Posted by Jihan on Jun 2, 2009 twenty to one am

I love you, Ron Gilbert. I mean I freakin' love you, man!!! I'm talking about some serious man-love here. The first two monkey island games are my absolute favorite games. I translated both games into Korean (4,400 lines and 7,940 lines of pure text respectively) and localized them (which meant customizing the ScummVM engine, rerigging some SCUMM scripts, and creating 15 sets of Korean fonts including an upside-down font that you've mentioned above), printed my own monkey island T-shirts (with the text "I found the treasure of Melee Island and all I got was this stupid shirt" on the back, and for the last several years the ringtones on my cellphone have been various MI themes. To this day, I hear the Guybrush & Elaine love theme whenever my wife calls me on my cellphone ( So, Ron, you can only imagine the sheer joy and elation that I felt when I read this blog entry and found out there are going to be not only a special edition of my beloved gaming franchise, but the whole new series of monkey goodness in the pipeline. With Grossman, Stemmle, Land, and Gilbert! Seriously, I couldn't be happier. This will hands down be the best news I'll ever hear in the next ten years or so. (Unless that is I find out one day that the reunification of North and South Koreas is imminent.)

Posted by webtax on Jun 27, 2009 quarter to eleven pm

omg i thought your post was a little of a joke until i watched your links!!

nice job with the tshirt its awesome!

Posted by Schmutzli on Jun 2, 2009 quarter to one am

I just want to say that I was a little boy when you made me laugh and love with this game.  Thanks for the memories.

Posted by Someone on Jun 2, 2009 half past one am

Ron, this is the mother of all posts :D

thank you.

Posted by Peter on Jun 2, 2009 twenty to two am E3 announcements EVER...!

I couldn't be HAPPIER that my favorite adventure game series has new life -- TWO TIMES OVER!

Did I die and just go to....?  I knew there'd be monkeys there... :D

Posted by Gabriel on Jun 2, 2009 ten past three am

Funny, I always loved the closeups because i felt they were done that way ironically. They're so over the top that they are funny to me. The part where Guybrush sees 'the monster', with the flames reflected on his eyes, almost made me pee my pants laughing. I don't know, it feels like when a comedian imitates a really serious person. Does that make any sense?

Posted by Tomi on Jun 2, 2009 five to four am

It has been a while a single news of a new game has made me actually smile. I really am exited now. In the name of all that is good and holy, I hope that this will work.

Posted by Dani Rasch on Jun 2, 2009 twenty to five am

Hi Ron!
If you got any creative input for the new monkey island project, tell them to fix guybrush's hair in the remake.
He looks like a meth addict.

Posted by Shurk on Jun 2, 2009 quarter to five am

Oh hell!
I am so glad that they are putting this game back for us ! I just can't wait to play it again..
Do we have the chance to see your ending after all ? The good triology :)

Posted by JackShandy on Jun 2, 2009 five am

And obviously,it IS possible,to create a cartoon Guybrush,who still looks like Guybrush!


Posted by Julian on Jun 2, 2009 half past five am

soooo is this monkey island 5? or is this unrelated to the main story line from 1,2 and 3?
not sure how i feel about this new game.

Posted by Bravopunk on Jun 2, 2009 twenty five to six am

There is one small thing, that disturbs me:

Steve Purcell isn't doing the Art.
I think (even with Telltales Engine^^) the game would look darker, more realistic with his participation.

Posted by Fabrizio on Jun 2, 2009 quarter to six am

Two great news! - though I'd agree on Guybrush's hair. Actually, Ron, will your "final Monkey Island episode" follow? :-)

Cotton swab joke and "Secret of Monkey Island" ending... I liked them, clearly amongst other things.

(maybe there will be a second comment with some questions...)

Posted by FZ on Jun 2, 2009 quarter past six am

Great news, awesome post. Hopefully "Guybrush being shot out of the canon" wasn't a subtle freudian slip jab at MI 3&4 :)

Gotta agree with most people here, though: while the Special Edition updated graphics seem mostly fine, the Telltale Guybrush doesn't really look like a viable 3d version of the original games-era character. That spirit just isn't there. Way too similar to MI 3&4, and just ... wrong. The 'real' Guybrush is goofy, not stupid. That 3D Guybrush would never smirk while breaking the fourth wall, if you know what I mean.

A comment above about this post being a commentary gave me an idea: what about a running audio track on the Special Edition of developer commentary featuring you and the original team, DVD-like? It would be pretty awesome IMO. Kind of like what Valve started doing in HL2.

Posted by Max on Jun 2, 2009 twenty five past six am

Will there be a remake of MI2? I would love that!

Posted by rupy on Jun 2, 2009 half past six am

Whaouh ! What a post ! What news ! No rss feed had made me so happy !

I'm a french lover of monkey island from Amiga 600 and I've played and play MI1 and 2 so often that I can even remenber how many times I finished them ! I even play its with my DS !

Now I will have to buy a brand new graphic card :D, waiting for the episodic game !

Does anyone knows if there will be french releases of both games please ?

Posted by Alex on Jun 2, 2009 quarter to seven am

I'm not delighted. Maybe Ron's old pals are doing it, but they also did MI3 and MI4, and they SUCKED at it. OK, Michael Land returns, but the cartoony style and the same voice actor return too, so this has the potential to be a crapfest.

And Ron isn't announcing us that the "real" secret of Monkey Island will be finally revealed, so this means we won't get the true ending this time, either, if only because episodic content means "we will suck this game's tit until it gets dry". So we are getting years of possibly lame adventure-ish chunks of gameplay, not a real sequel.

Bring back Ron and Tim to co-write the final episodes, and maybe I'll tune in.

Posted by Yossarianuk on Jun 2, 2009 five to seven am

Seeing those screen shots make me think of one thing - Amiga ..

Right thats it - i'm going to play rocket ranger tonight and win the game (been trying to win it for 2 decades now)

Posted by Yossarianuk on Jun 2, 2009 seven am

One more thing make Linux versions!

Posted by JSW on Jun 2, 2009 five past three pm

The Sam and Max episodes worked perfectly in Wine, so if Monkey Island uses the same engine it should run without a problem.

The Special Edition might present some problems, but if they're developing this from the original Monkey Island codebase then maybe ScummVM will support it at some point.

Posted by Francesco Simi on Jun 2, 2009 twenty past seven am

Monkey Island is one of those games that really deserve to be called classics of the interactive art. An historical masterpiece like Citizen Kane in cinema and David Copperfield in literature. Always fresh, always funny. I suspect that it will be remade a lot of times, on every Console, forever.

Posted by Guarrior on Jun 2, 2009 twenty five to eight am

Sorry about my low English-level!! :(

I love the close-ups, is a very nice sensation the comparison between them and the absurd humor, like in The Naked Gun or Hot Shots.

Posted by kiddo on Jun 2, 2009 quarter to eight am

I found the whole Monkey Island adventure a lot funnier when you had to read the dialogue and not listen to the excruitiatingly mediocre performances. That way, in my head, it was always expressed the best possible way. Seriously man, the voices just KILL it.

As for the updated artwork, this is very clearly a commercial choice to introduce the story to young uns. These versions will never look as good to me as the originals because the artwork was originally informed by massive pixels and super low colour range- it would be impossible to improve on it by adding more definition- once you do that it becomes a mutant aesthetic, which doesn't sit right with the practically untouched narrative and characterisations.

As for the new versions, I wish them luck, but when a game in which dialogue and story is king, if the acting isn't top fucking notch, they're probably bound to fail.

Last note: Bitmap artwork seems to me much easier to convey atmosphere (also v.important for story). The 3D stuff gives me an impression of an infinite nothing between polygons. Fix it!

Posted by Rods on Jun 2, 2009 five to eight am

Some of the people posting here make me sick. Ron is happy MI is back, why can't you be?

The new game looks good. It looks funny. No it doesn't have pixellated 2D graphics. That's because it's not 1990 any more. Get over it.

Guybrush has changed in every game made so far, why should this be any different?

"I don't like his hair, boo hoo!"

Just because Ron wasn't directly involved with the game doesn't mean it's going to be crap, though that's probably too hard for a lot of narrow-minded folks here to understand.

Posted by Wintermute on Jun 2, 2009 one pm

Almost everybody here is happy to see a MI-Remake and the Telltale Episodes.

BUT as most of us grew old with the classic game, it's hard to accept new things. Just like Matrix 1, 2 and 3 (just joking ;-).
No seriously, we nay-sayers point out things we don't like, just because we want to express, how much we loved the original. And secondly, we have this feverish hope, that when we say "they did that wrong!", that in some kind of holy intervention, the "not so good" things will change in "what i have ever wished for".

Posted by Zurgo on Jun 2, 2009 five past eight am

Ron Gilbert, you're a true hero for whole generation of gamers.

Merci, Monsieur Ron Gilbert. Merci pour tout.

(yeah, I'm french)

Thank you so much for your work, my dear friend.

One last thing.. talking about 'hot-spot-chasing'.. it wasn't so hard (oh, come on..) to find a pixel in a 320x200 screen.

But things will be more complicated in a 1280x1024 screen !! ;) ;) ;)

- Greeting from France

Posted by Guarrior on Jun 2, 2009 quarter to nine am

Isn't any funny history width the troll of the bridge? isn't he George Lucas? because i have thinked it since the first time i played MI.

Posted by nano on Jun 2, 2009 quarter past nine am

Just crank out a version  of 1&2 for the DS and the world will be a better place :)

Posted by Andy on Jun 12, 2009 twenty past seven am

ScummVM DS should do in the meanwhile.

Posted by arvenius on Jun 2, 2009 twenty past nine am

dear rods and think-alikes,

people do not complain about guybrushs hairstyle here because they are forum trolls who like to bash at anything other people might enjoy but because they are truly in love with monkey island.
the game is 20 years old, it had 20 years of time to grow in us, to make us think and laugh about it. if computer-games were godlike beings "the church of the monkey" would be equal to christianity (when it comes to the number of worshippers, at last). Imagine you'd go to your local church and tell the priests you are going to rewrite the bible because the original one seems a little dusty and old fashioned. they will tell you to do so if it makes you happy but it wont make anyone in the whole clerus swap the original bible for yours.
Im not a religous person, don't get me wrong or anything, but many people feel that something this holy cant be renewed or remaked without selling its very soul. monkey island is what it is because of the technical limitations at that time and the humour it held in accepting and even utilizing those limitations.

that said im not completely against pulling monkey island back to live. whatever we get, it will only enhace the monkey island universe but not ruin it. the old games are there to stay no matter what. but i share the same sceptical views as all the others round here.

a legend can and will not be reborn since it was never really dead.


Posted by Lennie Melvin on Jun 2, 2009 twenty five past ten am


Posted by JSW on Jun 2, 2009 ten past three pm

How appropriate, you fight like a cow.

Posted by Baconian on Jun 3, 2009 five to six pm

I'd just like to add my voice to the growing dissent concerning Guybrush's new hairstyle.

Apart from that, I have nothing else negative to say, I just came back from holidays and now there's 2 new MI things being released, WOOOOOT!

Posted by Rods on Jun 3, 2009 five to nine am

First, not a great analogy: The church did that with old/new testament to make God a bit less scary and mean and stuff.

Second, please don't mistake me for someone who doesn't appreciate the first two MI, they are awesome and my favourites of the series. However I also enjoyed CoMI and (admittedly to a lesser extent) EfMI.

I just don't mind it being 3D, as long as the controls are good (which in EfMI they very much were not). MI should be evolving graphically, as it always has done. How much better were the graphics in MI2 compared to MI1? Ultimately the graphics don't matter, it's the gameplay which will be the kicker for me.

There's no money in making a pixellated 2D MI sequel. Only fanboys (and girls) would buy it, and for telltale/lucasarts/everyothergamecompany it doesn't make sense to target such a small audience.

I think your only hope is to learn to code using the Scumm engine, camp outside Ron's house in the hope to become his best friend and learn the real secret, then get to work. Good luck.

Posted by pananag on Jun 2, 2009 ten past ten am

I just can't believe it.
Out of the blue we have two games on monkey island and yet there are complaints.
We should be grateful that the franchise is resurrected again and we will see new episodes of the monkey island saga.
I agree that eventually it might not be what we expected. On the other hand, I believe that the guys at Telltale will take into consideration the fan's opinions and proceed to modifications and changes in future episodes that will lead to the desirable result.
But for this to happen we must support their effort.
As for the special edition I see it as a good opportunity for new generations to meet monkey island as it might draw their attention.
I know people that haven't tried to play SMI just because the graphics look old.
I will express my final opinion on the games after I have played them.Nonetheless, these new games will have my full support despite their flaws.

Posted by tHeIsLaNdMoNkEy on Jun 2, 2009 twenty five to eleven am

Wow, very excited about this. Looking at telltale's screenshots I cannot stop wondering however what's wrong with 2D art, which i personally would love to see in a future monkey island game. The sanitized 3D me-too style just doesn't really cut it for me. It also just seems bad value in comparison to hand-painted 2D background/sprite mixtures of old. There seems to be this strange conviction in the PC games industry that 3D is always the way to go, whereas 2D games would just not sell ( I remember a forum discussion between a bioware designer and some lot of baldur's gate fans, where his points were that the company would never release another 2D game because it would seem 'outdated' and never sell). With every semi-modern (netbook) cpu nowadays fast enough to run high-quality scaling algorithms, this just strikes me as a nice cost-efficient way to make (unfortunately) niche product and have the budget go to where it count's most: good and imaginative design, and not some technology drive to half-heartedly copy the look of blockbuster-type budget projects. Now enough ranting on these great days for MI fans...

Posted by Fuz on Jun 2, 2009 twenty past one pm

I completely agree.
Stop this 3D nonsense, it's totally NOT needed and it's way worse than a good old 2D.
It's just plain ugly! And the art of Steve Purcell was SO great and fit the atmosphere of the two games perfectly...

I don't agree on the "great days for MI fans" part. I've preordered ToMI, and I hope they will be great games (but I seriously doubt it. MI is Ron Gilbert, period.), and if they are it will be a great day for MI fans... but face it: the day MI3 came out was a TERRIBLE day for MI fans. and the day MI4 came out was even worse.

Posted by Someone on Jun 2, 2009 five past three pm

MI is only Ron? So Grossman and Schaeffer had nothing to do with it

Posted by Jamie on Jun 2, 2009 twenty past six pm


Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 11, 2009 five to nine pm

3D nonsense? Why don't we just go back to the 1980s and have games with 20 white pixels on the screen, even better why don't we just boycott movies made in the 21st century they all use 3D animation, why don't we just return to black and white without sound because we are hardcore. If you like Monkey Island 3, and Monkey Island 4 and you like 3D graphics you are not a fan and you are not hardcore! (Geez I hate gamers)

Posted by Captain WAH! on Jul 16, 2009 quarter past eight pm

Let me just filter this:

"I completely agree.

That's all I hear. Ron Gilbert worked on MI, but he wasn't the only guy on the team. But you brainless "Fans" wouldn't know, would you?

Posted by Asaki on Jun 2, 2009 eleven am

I was always bothered by these close-ups.  While they were great art, I never felt they matched the style of the rest of the game.

This is exactly the same reason why I thought the close-ups were so hilarious. Kind of like when videogames in the 80s would have this really lovely watercolor artwork on the box of astronauts flying through space, and then you plug the game in and it's just a couple of lines bouncing little dots at colored bricks.

The Ren & Stimpy cartoon series had a similar gag going on.

Posted by Someone on Jun 2, 2009 half past eleven am

*Posted by Bravopunk on Jun 2, 2009 twenty five to six am
There is one small thing, that disturbs me:

Steve Purcell isn't doing the Art.
I think (even with Telltales Engine^^) the game would look darker, more realistic with his participation.*

True,but at least Guybrush doesn't look like that CMI prick

Posted by Pablo on Jun 2, 2009 half past three pm

So, is there a chance now that you can develop the original MI3 you thought of? I crave for that.

Posted by Ezequiel on Jun 2, 2009 four pm

Hello Ron; The other day I was thinking how great it would be if there was any original footage from those days (video or pics) around the making of maniac mansion or monkey island games. Do you have something about that to share? Sorry if this was'n the place to post this.

Posted by Mario on Jun 2, 2009 five past four pm

Two words: AWESOME! sniff...

Posted by TJ on Jun 2, 2009 ten past four pm

What is the secret of Monkey Island?

Posted by Daniel Baker on Jun 2, 2009 twenty past five pm

Great news, I will buy these like I bought 1 & 2, I actually bought 2 twice as the first time I was ripped off by a magazine advert, I wish you were involved in the new versions more though, your humour as a team will be impossible for anyone else to recreate, and I agree with others the orginals had a dark Tim Burton feel that I doubt we'll ever see again Unless you all team up with Tim Burton and maybe Terry Gilliam and make a movie, although I guess that movie was already made in PotC).

Now a LOOM and DOTT remake pleeeeeease.

Thanks for the best adventure games ever Ron, they defined an era.

Posted by merriam on Jun 2, 2009 half past five pm

Did he die?

Posted by Martin on Jun 2, 2009 twenty to six pm

I hope it's not an exclusive for "Games for Windows Live."  I could never get it working, now I avoid any thing ther requires it.  "Live" should have stayed on X-Box only.

Steam is as far as I would go.  Actually I love Steam, got Freedom Force on it for next to nothing, I have all my friends using it and it actualy works.  I hope to see the rerelease of SMI there.

Posted by Jamie on Jun 2, 2009 twenty to seven pm

Can we act like Monkey 3 and 4 never existed? Please, Fate, Bring us the original and final Ron Gilbert's Monkey 3, with Guybrush and his little brother, with Elaine still single (breaking the everlasting romantic tension between she and Guybrush is one of the greatest and more notable errors in design), with Steve Purcell and Peter Chan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jamie T. Bentley on Jun 2, 2009 ten past eight pm

All hail the Monkey Island!

Posted by Someone on Jun 2, 2009 quarter past eight pm

im going to pee my already peed pants. i really dont know what to say im sobbing all the way

Posted by Anti on Jun 2, 2009 five past nine pm

Best news in looooong years :D
As it wil be a complete success, i hope we'll soon have new stuff about Maniac Mansion series too.
Cheers Ron, and take it easy, we are all waiting for Deathspank too.

Posted by franz on Jun 2, 2009 ten past nine pm

Happy they got Michael Land, but no Steve Purcell makes me kind of dissapointed.
  I can (hardly) accept  2-d not even being considered for making new games, but  why 3-d has to be crappy 3-d? In the telltale website LeChuck looks like chunks of green salami put together (not scary at all)  and Guybrush looks like a coke addict.

ps: i hated that musician dude from the lucasarts mi especial edition that commented mr.Land music as blips and blups... i still listen those blips and blups and it can`t stop to amaze me the incredible music he did with very little resource, now that, is truly amazing you jerk. now go and ``improve`` some of the greatest music in history.

Posted by Someone on Jun 3, 2009 half past ten am

What are you talking about? The dude was nothing but complimentary toward Michael Land's melody's and arrangements. All he was saying is that a high-rez remake needs high definition sounds and music.

I really think people are looking for reasons to dislike the new games. Can't we just be grateful that LucasArts cares about Monkey Island again? Ron certainly seems to be grateful.

Posted by anotheonebitesthedust on Jun 2, 2009 twenty five past nine pm

a little bit angry with the special edition. the ``for the next generation`` speech is crap. my brothers are 8 years old and play the old fashioned scumm. lucasarts first stabs the franchise (monkey 3) then thows some kerosene and lights it (monkey 4) then they let it die slowly along with other great games and now they put some make up to the near corpse and they try to tell me monkey island is again the next best thing... damn, it never ceased to be  great, but not thanks to lucasarts... so... glad telltale games is taking the torch for new games, although im skeptic.

pardon my grumpyness.

Posted by John Phillips on Jun 2, 2009 half past eleven pm

Posted by Nathan on Jun 2, 2009 twenty five to midnight


oh losing my shit all over your comments page...but seriously, this is great great GREAT news...though i see that PSN got shafted...huh?

Posted by Tbone on Jun 3, 2009 ten past midnight

Am I the only one who thought the Telltale Sam & Max games were inane (and not in the rubber tree way)?  Some of the most dumbed-down redundant and visually unappealing shit I've ever played.  Bringing popularity back to adventure games fail, right there.  The ambition was there, unfortunately it just wasn't any more fun than playing sudoku.

Don't get me wrong -- the MI1 remake made me pee my pants.  The Telltale release, however, made me think "as if we needed to go any lower than MI4."  It's hard for me to believe that Ron approves of Telltale's direction with Sam 'n Max.  Then again, the guy likes The Watchmen and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  

P.S. I love you Ron

Posted by Nathan on Jun 3, 2009 twenty past midnight

yeah btw, do a run through with MI2 please?

Posted by Rods on Jun 3, 2009 half past one am

I just think that it's a little rich to slam a game that no-one has actually played yet.

And am I the only one here who doesn't care about the graphics? Here was me thinking the most important thing was the plot, puzzles and humour when it came to MI.

Obviously the hair is more important.

I love Ron's work, but to blindly assume that without his involvement MI should just die is wrong IMO

If you really feel that strongly about it, here's a crazy suggestion: Don't buy the game. Comments ripping the game apart and then saying they'll still buy it? I don't get it.

Posted by lucatuz on Jun 3, 2009 ten to two am

Ron Tried to find little black points on these games, but MI1 and 2 are the perfection made game.They were made when the word "patch" did not exist.That's why they are my favourites AG ever

Posted by Phil on Jun 3, 2009 twenty five to three am

On the Commodore Amiga, Monkey Island 2 came on 11 floppies. I was willing to play that game from start to finish multiple times with no hard drive and up to six disk swaps between screens. That's how awesome it was.

Ron, my nostalgia says you are wrong about every criticism of the game and spot on with every praise. Secret of Monkey Island is perfect.

Posted by simo on Jun 3, 2009 twenty to six am

before publishing that new videogame with pink pants, i hope that you'll remember that just like you... you public has grown in these 20 years (read: NO, we dont like wii) so please: dont make Tim's main mistake with psychonauts: making a 3d platform game while we wanted to play another adventure game)

(just for the lol, also check bacon shoes and bacon lube )

Posted by Jamie on Jun 3, 2009 five past seven am

Speak for yourself!!! Psychonaut was a GREAT action/adventure game (Eurogamer's well deserved best game of the year). I like Wii. I love Double Fine. And the only thing that I want is a good and intelligent game. But beware nostalgia.

Posted by simo on Jun 4, 2009 quarter to one am

how old are you?

Posted by kaffebaggel on Jun 4, 2009 quarter to seven am

Fun has no age limit, i agree with him. I have no problems with the wii or psychonauts. In fact psychonauts is one of my favourite games these last few years. And before you ask my age in a sarcastic manner i am 24.

Posted by simo on Jun 8, 2009 ten past one pm

fun has age. Adventure games died when they forgot to evolve plot into adult plots while adventure game players were growing up.

Posted by Jamie on Jun 7, 2009 quarter past eight am

32. So what?

Posted by simo on Jun 8, 2009 five past one pm

you are so young! i'm 81 and cannot use the Wii-mote without an heartache in bundle.

Posted by Fuz on Jun 7, 2009 five past two am

Psychonauts is one of the best games of the last 10 years.
Tim Schafer is a genius, period.

Posted by simo on Jun 8, 2009 five past one pm

disagree. while it has a nice plot, it completely misses the gameplay (and crashes my graphic card)

Posted by Ben McKenzie on Jun 3, 2009 ten past seven am

Thanks for the insight, Ron! Like a lot of people who read your blog, I played Monkey Island in 1990, and I remember it fondly. I'm excited it's coming to XBox Arcade - I'll be able to get my girlfriend to play it! (She loves pirates, and jokes, so it'll be an easy sell.) Glad to hear a hint that Deathspank will include puzzles - I wasn't sure what kind of game it would be, but I'm jazzed for it all the same. See, I like your old stuff - but I'm even more interested in what you're going to do next... ;)

Posted by Stevens on Jun 3, 2009 ten to eight am

I think that the art direction for the remake looks like some kind of poor, flash webcomic affair done by people with no real interest in breathing life (new or otherwise) into the Monkey Island franchise.  Also, there are some really strange inconsistencies with most of the pirate portraits being altered but easily recognizable compared to the originals while Guybrush and Elaine look like pseudo-anime inspired designs.  It's almost like a completely different person designed their 'new' look, and it's not for the better.

That said, I think Telltale's episodic series has a much more pleasing look to it, and while I'm not a fan of either Sam and Max series (I just never found them witty or amusing) I'll certainly give ToMI a go with Dave Grossman (and potentially The Ron) getting involved in some capacity.

Posted by Azure on Jun 3, 2009 half past nine am

I'm awesomely happy about all this, and really enjoyed this post!..and I hope the folks with doubts will at least DL the demo when it comes out. The art is different..but doesn't mean it's not funny or interesting.

Here's a question I'll throw out, how much of the story was dictated by what SCUMM could do? ( or visa versa how much was it upgraded to accommodate the story?).

Posted by Alex on Jun 3, 2009 half past nine am

The remake looks nice and well done. Somehow, the graphics still 'feel' like the original, IMHO.

But the Monkey Island episodes... I don't know. They had two chances to do a good job without Ron and they failed. CMI and EMI added nothing of value to the MI mythology, and nobody replays them for a reason. Also, the Sam & Max games are really superficial.

Still, I'm willing to give these new games a chance. If they deliver, I'm in. The reactions from the community will tell me everything I need to know.

Posted by Someone on Jun 3, 2009 half past ten am

I know a lot of people who would be shocked-nay, offended-to hear that you consider Murray the Demonic Talking Skull "nothing of value to the MI mythology".

Posted by Alex on Jun 4, 2009 twenty to four am

OK, but even that was almost accidental.

Quoting Wikipedia,

"Originally, Murray was only intended to appear in the opening scene of The Curse of Monkey Island, in which Guybrush "decapitates" him with a cannon and then knocks him off a piece of timber. However, when the opening scene of the game was released as a demo, his delusions of grandeur and over-the-top mannerisms were so popular with gamers that the developers decided to write him into the rest of the game. Despite being a disembodied skull, he has become one of the game's most popular characters."

Posted by flips on Jun 3, 2009 ten past ten am

I'm so happy!!!!!!!!
And I LOVED those closeups!! They gave some additional depth to that wonderful game. :-)

Posted by MrNicksane on Jun 3, 2009 quarter past ten am

I hope this will be a reason for LucasArts to find back to their roots again.
Hopefully the game will get the success and admiration which it absolutely deserves!! :)

Posted by Kristian Bland on Jun 3, 2009 twenty past eleven am

Good Lord, people are chatty about the new games! My scrolling finger nearly snapped in two while trying to read all of these comments.

My two cents? I'm tickled pink. I don't care to get fussy about Guybrush's hair, I don't bother with worrying about a polygonal LeChuck, and I'm sure the music will sound better than ever.

The only cause for concern that I can see is frustration at having to wait each month for the next episode. I'm not at all worried about the Special Edition, and anyone who would be is a damn fool. If you don't like the art, switch to the original presentation. I'm sure subtitles will still be there, if you don't like the speech.

I admit, something might be missing from the experience of playing on my x8088 machine with its twittery little turbo button blinking at me, but somehow I don't think it'll be a problem.

Coquetting Tarradiddles

Posted by Kimya on Jun 3, 2009 twenty past eleven am

The touch-the-parrot puzzle was not my favorite either, but I remember going back there several times just to talk to the skull tattoo. That definitely made it worth it for me.

I agree about the close-ups. I love the artwork, but it is true that the style does not really match the rest of the game.

I remember being close to the end of the game one night. It was quiet and dark, when I suddenly saw the close-up picture of the navigator's head. I think I almost jumped back. I know he was supposed to look funny, but I was not able to sleep that night. ;)

Good memories!

Posted by Chris on Jun 3, 2009 one pm

Those Telltale games sometimes look like they don't have any artists for the backrounds. I would like to see a Monkey Island 5 done by Ron in a way the game "The Book Of Unwritten Tales" was done. I think, this small german studio would have done a better job for a new MI-Game than Telltale. It's on of the most beautifull adventures I have played. I don't like those 3D-Low Detail-Games of Telltale, but the trailer sounds funny.

But because it is Monkey Island, I will buy it. Maybe there will be annother full Game of Monkey Island, lokalized, new Music played by an Orchestra and HD Movies like the ones of the Blizzard Games. But okay...I am happy with the Telltale game, too. Its the best Gaming-News for years. I loved those MI-Games.

Posted by Dago on Jun 3, 2009 five past one pm

Ron, how do you feel about the new graphic style? In both the remake and the new original games.

I like everything about the remake BUT the Guybrush bitmap, he kinda looks like a sick kid.
The new game looks OK, but I would love it to be 2D... Oh well...

Posted by Karl on Jun 6, 2009 ten to three pm

Ron doesn't bother to reply to mere mortals... and if he does, it's so unexpected, you can't figure out why he replied to that comment.

Posted by Someone on Jun 3, 2009 twenty past one pm

Hello Ron, when will we able to play your version of Monkey Island 3?

Posted by Penn0r on Jun 3, 2009 twenty to two pm

YAY! Cant wait to replay the original and check the new stuff..its been too long!

Posted by Javier Uicich on Jun 3, 2009 twenty to two pm

Well im amazed!! i think this is one of my perfect days!! I cant believe these news!! I can only say that this is going to be a GREAT YEAR, and the next year is going to be awsome!!

Just, incredible!! incredible!

Posted by JSW on Jun 3, 2009 ten to three pm

Who's idea was the fish/bird puzzle, anyway? That one always tripped me up since there was no indication that the end of the wharf was a hotspot.

Posted by Qwazin on Jun 3, 2009 ten to three pm

Ron, would you say the story for the Tales of Monkey Island is any good? It's great and very unexpected to see Monkey Island back, and while I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the special edition of the original MI, I'm worried Tales of MI is just a cheap trick to milk money from the franchise. Does the storyline have any significant relevance to the rest of the series? I don't want it to be Escape from Monkey Island all over again, nor do I want MI to become the next Mario Bros. where the same badguy kidnapps the damsel in distress and the hero comes to the rescue yet another time. I kinda liked how MI and MI2 were very different in tone and narration and yet expanded the story of Guybrush and LeChuck.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if the series become a long-running episodic adventure, will you be holding on to the secret of monkey island until your sales go down and/or get cancelled?

Posted by Marcelo Ariznabarreta on Jun 3, 2009 quarter to four pm

Hi ! I'm from Ushuaia city in Argentina country, i have 36 years old. Monkey Island was the first game i played with a sound blaster, and a VGA monitor .. in that moment i found like the first time i saw Star Wars ... a magic moment ! Thanks for your magic Mr Gilbert

Posted by Some Guy on Jun 3, 2009 ten past four pm

The parrot "puzzle" was a great gag. I laughed so hard at that. I loved the close up of Guybrush with his eyes reflecting the opening door and how all the interaction options changed to silly things.

Posted by Doni on Jun 3, 2009 twenty past six pm

I loved all the close-ups and I wished there were more. Especially of Elaine ;)
And I agree with "Some Guy": the scene with the parrot was great...

I don't like the look of Guybrush in the remake. His head looks very odd.

I hope the reorchestrated soundtrack will be released as a CD or as a free download. Im listening to the soundtrack of Monkey 1+2 just now and I really really love it.

Posted by unique2910 on Jun 4, 2009 five to three am

thx for those infos. maybe you'll make the same with mi2? born in 82 i grew up with mi and love to get smth new about it to know.

well whatever the remake looks good, but in the new mi-thingy guybrush looks not that dumb-funny-gentle-kind as he did in mi1 - mi4. (btw in mi2 imho he had the best look)

Posted by Christian on Jun 4, 2009 twenty past four am

Ron :) A collection of the unreleased Monkey 1 GFX would be very cool. Any of these around? ...comeon, just one pic!  :D


Posted by Madison on Jun 4, 2009 five past five am

Crazy! I don't know but I'm looking much more forward to playing "The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition" than to playing "Tales of Monkey Island".
There are so many good memories I had with playing that game together with my siblings and being excited how the game will go on. :)

I think the lightning in some outside screens of "Tales of MI" look a little "sallow". Hopefully they will be able to change that - but right, it's not all about the graphics.

I do really wish that it has some of those great atmosphere of the first editions. (catchy and deep story, adventurous, misterious and funny)

Anyways, I'll certainly buy both games!! :-)


Posted by Fabrizio on Jun 4, 2009 twenty five past five am

Back again, sorry for the English... reversed phrases and unreachable objects underwater, oh yes, funny jokes too :-)
Generally, it could be said that certain complaints are more or less intended as minor quibbles... About the questions mentioned in the previous comment: does Monkey Island's humour follow a certain style and what are the inspiration/sources, or is it "generic"? Coming to a Monkey2 question, some people wonders if Largo survived the explosion of LeChuck's fortress, and will maybe return...?

Posted by Hugh on Jun 4, 2009 ten past eight am

I must ask, are there any veterans here who especially wanted a voiced version of MI1?

The problem, as touched on above, is that for those of us who played the games more or less in order, any new interpretations of the text our inner voices perfected would be both wrong-sounding and inferior � in fact it's impossible for it to be otherwise. Stephen Fry once wrote that the actor in our head is inherently unsurpassable, and the first two Monkey Island games are surprisingly good reflections of this.

However, I feel that Armato's reading would make for a very different 'classic era' Guybrush regardless, and I for one would find it difficult to stomach, to the point where, while I might be curious enough to dip my toe, I don't think I could ever play through to the end. I don't mind the voice actors in the latter two games because they were cast to fit the style (and well-cast for that reason), and their presence helped distinguish the different eras, thereby making the non-Gilbert installments easier to tolerate (and separate). But the somehow sweeter, funnier, darker Guybrush that speaks in your head, managing to be both more na�ve and more complex, would be severely compromised by Armato's (or anyone's) overly comic reading. There's something about the blank understatement of the text versions that really launches the humour � they were not written to be spoken, after all.

All that said, it is fair enough to release a new version in the hope of winning fans who may have otherwise overlooked the museum pieces we adore. The underlying material will still be top-notch. And it's not like us curmudgeons are being forced to play it � it should in fact make no difference to how we experience and remember Monkey Island. Nonetheless, it is a shame that there will be some new players who will miss out on having cultivated their own inimitable Guybrush before someone else decided how he should sound.

(A quick postscript, anticipating criticisms of my somewhat 'sacred text' perspective. I've heard a few people express the argument that we should just accept Monkey Island 3 and 4 and whatever else as part of the series and not endlessly bemoan Gilbert's departure. To me, that's akin to someone saying that I should just accept Psycho 2, 3 and 4 and not draw a fat line between the Hitchcock and the post-Hitchcock films, simply because they're officially part of the franchise. As someone who values the author (really authors in this case, the Gilbert/Grossman/Schafer team), it's not easy to embrace works the original authors/creators had little to do with, particularly when Gilbert left on a cliffhanger and the new installments are unarguably inferior.)

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 10, 2009 five to one pm

You should accept Monkey Island 3 and Monkey Island 4, they are part of the series. Technology moved on, you should accept it. If you don't like it convince Ron to write a book, so you can hear the "voices" in your head.

Posted by Philbrush on Jun 12, 2009 twenty five to six am

Guy, take it easy. It's obvius most people here don't share your opinion. So get over yoursef, you!

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 12, 2009 ten past nine am

Philbrush its not me who should get over myself but rather the people who doesn't accept Monkey Island 3 and Monkey Island 4.

Posted by Hugh on Jun 16, 2009 twenty five past two am

I might not have made this very clear (I might even have indicated otherwise), but it's not so much that I don't accept them as part of the series � they are the third and fourth games in the franchise � as that I don't accept them on quite the same level, simply because the creators were no longer involved. Even the mere fact that 3 and 4 had different designers from 1 and 2 (and each other) ensures that to write about them with any meaning, you have to at least separate 1 and 2 from 3 and 4 at some point, just as you would divide the wildly varying Batman films by director. You could only make very broad generalisations about what the games, as a whole, represented if you did not do this.

I actually accept 3 and 4 far more than it might seem, and I often replay all four sequentially (although these days I'm more inclined to go 3-4-1-2, or even 4-3-2-1). But I think it's entirely legitimate to bemoan the fact that the people responsible for Monkey Island � the people who are ultimately responsible for the fact we're fans at all � did not end up helming Monkey Island 3 or 4. I think it's fair to feel somewhat bittersweet about the other sequels, particularly when you believe they aren't up to the same quality.

I personally feel that CMI would be among the better LucasArts games (even if not up to the standard of MI1 and 2) if it didn't have such a poor third act.

As for the other comment, my opinion of the re-release of MI1 was not about technological conservatism. It was intended, rather, for those who played the non-voiced MIs first. I ultimately think it's a good thing to re-release the game like they have, in the interests of attracting new fans. I have mixed feelings about playing it myself, for the reasons outlined, but that shouldn't be read as my decrying the whole operation. I am genuinely curious about whether other 'veterans' fans have ever wanted a voiced version of MI1.

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 16, 2009 five past ten am

Secret of Monkey Island was the first game I ever played. That was back in 1990.

Posted by Hugh on Jun 16, 2009 ten pm

Perfect! You can answer my questions. Have you ever wished for an updated version of MI1 with the CMI/EMI cast? Will this version be the one you now favour? Or to put it another way, are you interested in the new one beyond its inherent novelty for a veteran player?

I'm really quite curious about this. I personally love the text-only experience of the first two games, and any voiced version, however terrific, would fall short of that experience for me. I'm not, however, saying that text-only games are inherently superior to voiced ones, not am I advocating you switch off the voices in Sam & Max, or CMI for that matter. It's just that MI1 happened to be designed this way.

That is to say, I've never wished for an updated version for my own enjoyment, but I don't have a problem with one existing. Actually, my first experience was with an updated version of sorts -- the 256 colour version. I may run the risk of coming across like a primitivist, but I think my favourite version would have to be the original EGA one. I love the look of it. Anyone else here prefer it? I've actually grown somewhat curious about the new one, but I know I would bristle at the voices. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm peculiar in this regard.

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 17, 2009 twenty five past nine am

I think it will be impossible for the Special edition to match the Secret of Monkey Island for anyone who played the original all those years ago.

I bought the Monkey Island Collectors edition a few years ago feeling nostalgic and I have to say I would've loved voice actors for the original games, that said however I don't know if I would get Dominic Armato for Guybrush. I like the idea of a remake in the sense that it will introduce Monkey Island to a whole new generation, and when doing a remake I think adding voices is a logical choice. I think if Monkey Island special edition does well Lucas Arts might do a proper sequel. If Ron gets the chance to make a proper sequel to Monkey Island 2 I would support it, however I would like him to make it a prequel to Curse of Monkey Island (and direct sequel to Monkey Island 2, you could add a whole game's events between Monkey Island 2 and CMI), that would be possible with Curse of Monkey Island not explaining the Monkey Island 2 ending.

Elaine is the other point were I disagree with Ron. He said he always thought her and Guybrush's relationship was a brother sister type relationship, to be honest that would really make certain events in Secret of Monkey Island scary... I just think the whole evolution of the series was technology and they tried to fit in with the times. I would love a new Monkey Island game with TF2 type and quality graphics. But I'm still curious about what Ron intended it to be.

Sorry for my long-winded reply that covers more than your question. I always enjoy listening to the voice-overs and reading the text at the same time, it kind of makes the reading subconscious for me.  I'm a lazy reader, I prefer reading mathematics and physics books to novels, and that sort of thing. But that's just me.

Posted by Hugh on Jun 21, 2009 five to midnight

Thanks for the reply. Adding voices is certainly a logical choice for a remake, and it would be quite bizarre if they didn't do it. I'm with you about Armato. I think he was a great find for a CMI-type of game, which, let's face it, was pretty Disney-esque, but I wouldn't have cast him for the original Guybrush if we were in some alternate history.

As to your other point, I believe Ron once said that he had a story figured out that would resolve MI2's ending while still being consistent with CMI and EMI, so he's probably on the same page with you there.

I admittedly don't love the idea of Guybrush and Elaine being 'broken up', but I know what he means. After the revisionist damsel-in-distress story of the first game (which necessitated some tongue-in-cheek romance), I think it was a good idea to 'physically' separate the characters and make Elaine frequently annoyed by Guybrysh in MI2, and not defined by her previous relationship to him. I'm not sure if Ron intended for them to cease any romantic attachment, but I like the idea of having their (romantic) relationship teetering on the edge of being a sister-with-annoying-brother type thing (sans incestuous undertones!).

Posted by Kristian Bland on Jun 4, 2009 twenty past nine am

Psycho was directed by Alfred Hitchcock from a screenplay written by Joseph Stefano, adapted from a novel by Robert Bloch.

The problem with collaborative media and slavish devotion to any one element of the collaboration is that you're just picking and choosing which element you think was best, while discounting the rest.

Joseph Stefano went on to write the screenplay for Psycho IV: The Beginning, which you say is inferior based purely on the notion that Hitchcock didn't direct it. However, when you say that you value the author, should the director make that much of a difference?

In a truly collaborative medium, especially in the "olden times" when the original Monkey Island was made, you would be hard pressed to easily pick apart who contributed to what without each person who worked on the game coming out and specifically telling you.

I'm the first to admit that Ron's vision, influence, and writing are the main reasons I like Monkey Island 1 and 2. However, I can't be sure that this joke didn't come from Schafer or that one from Grossman, or that this puzzle is Ron's and this other one is Tim's. Instead, I recognize the medium for what it is, and realize that they all contributed and what they made together was magic.

I really despise people continuing the existing works of an author without his permission (such as the recent 'Catcher In The Rye' "sequel"), but something like games are a whole different affair than books, or even movies.

You can't make a good movie from a bad script, so the screenwriter is the most important person involved in the movie's creation, from a certain point of view. Then again, if it's an adapted work from an existing property (book-to-film adaptation), maybe it's the original author of the material who's most important. You can take a great story and write a bad script, after all - and no one's ever made a good movie from a bad script.

So, while you may be a fan of John Smith because he's an excellent director, that doesn't mean than he won't film a bad script at some point, or that someone may pick up a good script that he passes on. Or maybe someone else has a different take on the material that is a significant departure from his, and so it's possibly worth looking at. (Dark Knight vs. Batman and Robin, Alien vs. Aliens, etc...)

All I'm saying is that respecting the author and valuing his creation IS very important. The original writer of any material is the foundation upon which everything else is built - but, when you're dealing with a collaborative medium, you have to take a step back and appreciate the sum of the parts rather than pick out one element and focus on it as being the most important.

Heck, a great novelist could write an amazing book that a screenwriter adapts into an amazing script, from which a director films an amazing movie...only to have the editor come in and screw the whole thing up and create a dismal strip of horrible, unwatchable celluloid. You just never know.

Anyway, that's just my thoughts on the matter. I really don't like people taking the works of a singular author and trying to lay claim to sequels and reboots as their own. However, in a collaborative medium, things get a bit murkier - and, if you have the original author's acknowledgment and blessing, well...I don't see how anyone could argue with that.

Coquetting Tarradiddles

Posted by flips on Jun 4, 2009 twenty past ten am

I totally agree with you man!

Posted by Chris Zimmer on Jun 4, 2009 quarter to eleven am

You're right Kris.

Posted by Hugh on Jun 6, 2009 five past two am

Well, Gilbert, as the creator and project leader, is the easiest to separate, and is therefore a useful identifier for the old creative team; Grossman and Schafer should be acknowledged, and I include them as among the original authors who made the first two games what they are. It's probably best not to invoke auteur theory at this point, but I think the case can be made without devaluing the other contributors. The creative team on the first two Monkey Island games is extraordinary small compared to your average film, yet the cult of the director has been the standard mode of film criticism since the beginning of auteur theory. To single out one element at the expense of everything else is absurd, but to give everything equal weight is equally absurd, and if we want to write about such things with any meaning, I'm afraid we have to identify the main creative forces.

(My definition of author, by the way, does not exclusively mean 'writer'.)

Even if we take a sum-of-the-parts approach, we are still faced with the fact that very few of the parts that contributed to the first two Monkey Islands contributed to the second two. The creator was gone, the writers were gone � even the artists were gone, as far as I know. This would be easier to reconcile if it weren't for the ending of MI2, and the knowledge that a third game had been conceived to resolve it. As it is, we are left with the awkward, confused exposition of CMI. Given the quality of CMI and EMI, as compared to the first two games, I think it's reasonable to assume that the Gilbert/Schafer/Grossman team would have produced far better sequels. That is the crux of the matter � not simply the existence of sequels helmed by others. It is the fact we have an incomplete vision and two inferior games.

A quick self-examination reveals that what I love is not the Monkey Island franchise, or series, but the first two Monkey Island games. The next step was asking why that is.

Posted by Kristian Bland on Jun 8, 2009 twenty five to nine am

For me, MI2 represents the pinnacle of point-and-click adventure game design. It took it about as far as it could go, and so it is regarded (at least by me) as the ultimate achievement in the genre.

It is impressively non-linear, the puzzles are logical to the game's universe (meaning, sometimes it's an absurd and silly logic, but it does make a certain kind of sense, when taken along the context of the game), the characters are well written, and it is deeply, deeply funny.

I don't hate CMI like others seem to, though. I thought it was quite good, actually. Different, but still the same. EMI, on the other hand, seemed to only manage to capture a faint echo of a reflection of a hint of a whisper of whatever intangible quality it was that defined MI1, MI2, and most of MI3.

Some people consider that the missing quality is found in the absence of Ron. However, being as MI3 still very much captured the spirit of MI1 and MI2 without him, I rather think it's more to do with very, very few (if any) of the original creative and managerial forces having worked on EMI.

Of course, it could just be diminishing returns, and the farther we get from MI1, the less and less brightly its star will shine. Let's hope not, though.

Coquetting Tarradiddles

Posted by Hugh on Jun 8, 2009 five to nine pm

I don't hate CMI either, and I still play it every so often. I won't deny it's a fun game. The humour isn't really to my taste, though, and the ending is a big problem. Some people argue that it's a relatively forgivable flaw, but it taints the entire game in my memory. I still play EMI from time to time also. Solving the puzzles is enjoyable enough, but the writing is poor and the ending is criminal, even if it is more satisfying than CMI's. Neither captures the atmosphere of MI1 and MI2 for me, though at their best they emulate it well enough.

Posted by Jamie on Jun 9, 2009 twenty past three pm


Posted by Hugh on Jun 30, 2009 quarter to seven am

I realise now that mentioning "auteur theory" at all was a bad idea. I shouldn't even have singled out the writers. After all, my fondness for the game could never be adequately expressed without mention of the contributions of Michael Land and Steve Purcell et al. I still believe we need to talk about the main creative forces to some extent, but "auteur theory" � indeed, any single theory � is not the way to do it.

That said, this collaborative 'collusion', led by Gilbert, was for the most part disassembled and replaced for the sequels, and the person primarily responsible for MI2's ending did not get his chance to finish the story as he had conceived it. What makes the 3 and 4 difficult to accept on a critical level, or perhaps simply on a personal level, is the missing cogs. In their own right they can be judged � absolutely. But what I cherish is what the original Monkey Island team created, what they each contributed, not the franchise � not the simple fact that there are pirate-themed comedy games called Monkey Island with a guy called Guybrush Threepwood in them. There is no particular element of this premise that accounts for the quality of the first two games. That was down to its authors. CMI's decent enough stab had a lot more to do with the previous creative team's precedent than it did with the franchise itself, in so far as the two can be distinguished. But this is, to a large degree, personal, and I accept that many people treat it differently. I should stop rattling on about now...

Posted by willy on Jun 4, 2009 half past ten am

I really dislike the 3d graphics of telltale. sam and max was so dull, and now their continuing with monkey island. how in the world did lucasarts allow this. the graphics looks more like above average amateurs working on a fan game than professionals at the peak of their craft. come on, is this how monkey island, one of THE games of all time, will be continued? what a sad day.

but, telltale, i'm sure, ain't complaining, because if you look around on forums everywhere, every second guy just hears the name "monkey island" and drools "i'm buying". this is how you milk a franchise for money.

Posted by Fred on Jun 4, 2009 twenty five past eleven am

You may be right about the graphics but I'm sure they will be able to show us a great gameplay like in Sam&Max.


Posted by Klyde on Jun 4, 2009 twenty five past eleven am

mac people just got kicked in the nuts with these game announcements.

Posted by CB on Jun 4, 2009 twenty to noon

Much fan games look better than this telltale-games. I think, tales of mi series is more a kind of fan game although ist is done with Ron and LA. I don't think, that LA or Ron think of it as a real 5th part of the game. I hope so. But maybe it sells good enough, so they can produce something, that is more like other good adventures of today. MI is my favorite adventure, but this telltale thing is far away from other adventures you can buy today. The americans haven't produced good loking adventures for a long time. The good adventure games today come from russia, germany, france...

Posted by Nico on Jun 4, 2009 ten to noon

SoMI: SE is just fine as it is... they just did the remake for the people that dont play the original because of the "looks-so-old" thing.

ToMI, well... I really prefer 2D over 3D for adventures, and the classic point-and-click feels just enough and confortable to me... I dont feel more immerse in a game just because I get to move the char with keys... It just feels unnecesary.
Anyway... I dont mind if its 3D and if its not p&c... at this point I dont even care about LeChuk lips... the only thing that really bothers me is that it is episodic... that feels just wrong... like childrish mini-games...
Am i being too grumpy or is there anyone that feels the same about episodic?

Posted by Someone on Jun 4, 2009 five past ten pm

I believe ToMI is still gonna be point and click...and even all the original games had chapters, I think the episodes are just gonna be like longer versions of those.

Posted by Nico on Jun 4, 2009 five to noon

They already said it is not Monkey 5.

Posted by 2elly on Jun 4, 2009 ten past four pm


"This next year is going to be very interesting.  Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer all have games coming out.  Someone check the scriptures.  Might be a good time to start hording canned goods."

Does that mean DeathSpank (and the other games) will be released in 2010? Not this year? The word "this" is a bit confusing in there.

Posted by 2elly on Jun 7, 2009 five to eight am

2009 or 2010? Come on, someone tell me!!

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 8, 2009 quarter past ten am

I interpreted that as 2009! Its fairly early in the year and they say "this next year", with the emphasis on this. Tim Schafer's Brutal Legend is set to be released later this year.

Posted by The Todd on Jun 9, 2009 five past eight am

High five for 2009! Booya!

Posted by Mike on Jun 4, 2009 half past five pm

Hey, Ron! Great post. I LOVE Monkey Island and I played it for the first time in my life last year ;D I just love the feeling of that old games - that atmosphere... it's just wonderful.

When I heard they're doing new Monkey Island games I was really happy, because when I was done with Monkey Island 1 and 2, I wanted games like that for the future (never played 3 and 4).

Monkey Island 2 was perfect - I loved that, too. And I think I can imagine WHAT the "Secret" of Monkey Island is ;)

How do you feel Monkey Island is developed in 3D? Do you think it is the right thing to do? I would love to see a new 2D-Monkey Island (I will play the remake of the first game of course).

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 9, 2009 ten to ten am

Monkey Island 2 was brilliant, but that spitting challenge puzzle was very poor.

Posted by Mally on Jun 4, 2009 six pm

Man, I was soooo pumped when I heard this news...then I watched the trailer...

I know I'll just be repeating what everyone else has said but just to reiterate:

- The ToMI 3D graphics look sh!t, it's a slap in the face of MI and MI2

- The remake graphics look sh!t, it's a cool idea to be able to switch
between orignal and remake but if it degrades the remakes graphics what's the point?

- The voiceovers sound sh!t, I will definitely be playing the remake with them turned off. Also, is it just me or does Dominic Armato's voice make Guybrush sound like a little b!tch? It sucked in CMI and IMI and it sucks now.

I'm sorry for being so harsh and negative but I think I speak for every true MI fan out there when I say 'I don't think I can go through another IMI again!!!'

To end of a positive note though, I'm very excited to hear the remakes soundtrack.

Posted by Bob on Jun 5, 2009 five to one am

Ah, the old 'if you don't agree with me you're not a true fan' argument, wonderful.

Posted by Mally on Jun 5, 2009 quarter to two am

Are you saying you enjoyed IMI??????

Posted by Bob on Jun 5, 2009 half past three pm

I have no idea what IMI is.

Posted by Karl on Jun 6, 2009 quarter to three pm

Me neither. But it's always entertaining to hear the ramblings of a mad man.

Posted by Pedro on Jul 14, 2009 eleven pm


Posted by Neil Bradbury on Jun 7, 2009 twenty five to six pm

I assume it's Escape From Monkey Island. No idea how it gets abbreviated to IMI, though.

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 8, 2009 five to eleven am

Escape from Monkey Island wasn't that bad. It wasn't as good as the other three games, but it was still a good game. Its depressing that Tales of Monkey Island looks like it was released the same year as Escape from Monkey Island!

Posted by Tender on Jun 5, 2009 ten past four am


You think everything about the new games is sh!t?

"I'm sorry for being so harsh and negative but I think I speak for every true MI fan out there when I say 'I don't think I can go through another IMI again!!!"

I tell you something - I'm a true Monkey Island Fan - and I think (sorry for being harsh and negative) your comment is **. ;-)
To be honest - I especially love the remake of MI1!!
But you are right about the TMI graphics. Let's hope it will become a good game though!

Posted by CHucky on Jul 16, 2009 twenty past eight pm

"I think I speak for every true MI fan out there when I say 'I don't think I can go"

Nah, you're just speaking for the crying morons who haven't anything better to compain about. "Waaaah! Monkey Island 4 is horrible, I can't wait for the next one to come out, so I can buy it, play it and then cry some more. Waaaaaaaah!!"

Posted by Karen on Jul 16, 2009 half past eight pm

Sounds like you're the one doing the Waaaaaaaah!! now.  :-)

Posted by Matthew on Jun 5, 2009 quarter past midnight

I love the grog puzzle.  It's one of those ones my mind hit upon between playing sessions, back in the day...  The solution came to me somehow in the middle of the night, and I excitedly had to wait till the next day to try it out.  It took me a while to get to sleep...

Thanks for putting that puzzle in.

PS. My favourite line from the game has to be at the river fork: "Oh, sure. Walk to the Sun."  I don't know if it was an obvious idea in development, but comes out as an unexpected stroke of genius at execution.

Posted by Philipp Lenssen on Jun 5, 2009 twenty five past midnight

Fantastic stuff!

Posted by Javier D on Jun 5, 2009 twenty to two am

At last ... New generations will taste what was Quality in adventure games 20 years ago and will probably realize that we are not much better now (aside from technological aspects). At its best it is like narrative and theater mixed together.  MI is probably the adventure game that most people remember vividly.
I loved the 'sweard' fighting! Didn�t Orson Scott Card help with the insults?
I never understood why Lucas ignored this franchise I always thought Lucas could even have made something like Pirates of the Caribbean based on MI years before Disney ...
MI appealed to all segments (male, female, young and older), something that Star Wars shooters can never do!

Posted by FL on Jun 5, 2009 five to three am

I can not understand LucasArts...
Which is the sense of an another MI without Ron?!?!?
As a long time fan of MI I just want one LAST MI directed by its own creator: RON GILBERT THE GREAT!!!

Posted by xlynx on Jun 5, 2009 ten past three am

I love the final image, it's cute and I think it gives the players a good sense of "happily ever after". From memory the colours shift as the sun sets, but as a screen grab, the purple eyes look really unique and daring. I remember this scene being a real treat back in the day. I liked this version of the characters; even though Guybrush was clumsy and silly he also looks noble.

Posted by Christian on Jun 5, 2009 twenty to five am

I for myself really really like what Telltale has done. I think they really pushed the boundarys of the genre. These new adventures are awesome. Its pro work, absolutely. Alone that they are able to throw out that much of so convincingly animated characters as they did tells stories alone. Im a big fan of them and Im looking forward to the monkey series, Im sure it will be a winner.

That said, I dont like as I wrote here before some of these S&M Episodes too much, Season 1 EP3 I dont like at all, but one can not always expect perfection.

Regarding 3D vs Pixel... I still love these pixeled games, but, well, time changes, its only the style, the outer form. The content is what counts, and the content is top notch.

I also dont like the new LeChuck with his big lips too much, but well, I can get over it. The 3D-Guybrush on the other hand I overall like very much, also the hair. There are howver subtleties (did I write this right?) about his face as shown on the telltale site (cheeks!) Im not quite comfortable with, BUT, converting the feel of his character into 3D and get it WORKING is not trivial at all. (Im a modeler too.)

But overall, Im sure these series will be fun as hell - time will tell!

...just my opinion!

Posted by Peter on Jun 5, 2009 quarter to five am

Best. Blog post. Ever.

I cannot thank you enough, mr. Gilbert.

Posted by Coolio25 on Jun 5, 2009 quarter to five am

Ron this is awesome! I'm 12 years old and I love every MI game (except for EMI). I can't wait for the SMI remake, I'm really looking forward to getting it on my Xbox and playing it all day. I love MI 3, it's the first one I played and I LOVE the graphics in it, and yeah I know you didn't work on MI 3. MI 2 has really cool graphics, and I love the music by Michael Land. I love absolutely everything about MI and I love the voice that Dominic Armato does for Guybrush. Ron, you are a genius. Are you also working on the SMI remake? I really hope TMI is good. Do you know when they will be out in Australia?

Pirate: That's the stupidest name I've ever heard!
Guybrush: Well what's your name?
Pirate: Mancomb Seepgood

Posted by Kaminari on Jun 5, 2009 ten past six am

"I had the great pleasure of spending a few days [...] getting my head into Guybrush Threepwood again."


PS: and yeah, the new artwork looks awful to me.

Posted by Karl on Jun 6, 2009 quarter to three pm

I wonder which way...

Posted by Someone on Jun 5, 2009 seven am

nice post, thanks Ron

Posted by Dirk on Jun 5, 2009 nine am

Regarding the trapped on the ocean floor thing:

This is actually something that spooks around my head since ... I played monkey island as a kid. (The other thing spooking in my head for a decade was the swastika in a Commander Keen 5 level, but last week I found Carmack acknowledging this in an interview.)

What happens if you stay on the ocean for more than 10 minutes? Pleeeaaasssseee don't say nothing!

Thanks for you great games, I will always remember how I played them with my sister on my dad's 386... I also learned English that way ... Pirate English at least.  But Pirate German is so uncool :)

Posted by James on Jun 5, 2009 twenty past nine am

Dancing yes I'm literally dancing, I keep getting up and walking back and forth and making weird dance moves and then sitting back down... this is the first I heard about these games, and I cant wait.

I was happy with just getting deathspank, but now not only a new monkey island game, but a remake of the original and what I've seen a really good one.

Too exited, too happy... thank you world, you are starting to make sense again :D

Posted by F.Konkas on Jun 5, 2009 ten past ten am

But what I really want to know, and what actually is hard for me to let go, is why �That�s the second biggest monkey head I�ve ever seen!� is considered to be so damn funny. I mean yeah it's amusing but come on! It's on charts for the funniest things in games, on earth, in the galaxy and so on, but many things from MI are much funnier than that one, like for example "Vote Marley, when there's only one candidate, there's only one choice".

There, I said it it, sorry but I just had to. So what do you people think? And Ron, if you're honest, do you really think it's that funny? Or is there maybe some obscure point about the joke I'm missing? Or is humor maybe subjective?.. Hmm... nah, everone who likes it that much are wrong.

Btw who wrote that particular joke? (And don't get me wrong, I really like the game though.) :)

Posted by eobet on Jun 5, 2009 ten to noon

How can I let LucasArts know that I want to buy a SOUNDTRACK CD with the newly re-recorded songs????????????

Also, the closeups were great in the old games. They were like a reward for playing through all that low-res (though very charming) graphics. :)

Posted by Stan on Jun 5, 2009 half past one pm

A pirate I was meant to be!
Trim the sails and roam the sea!

:D :D

Posted by Fred on Jun 5, 2009 twenty five to two pm

"One infamous joke, which many players assumed was a technical error, involved a stump in a forest.
When examining the stump, Guybrush proclaims that a hole in it leads to a maze of caverns. If Guybrush tries to climb down into the stump, the game prompts the player to successively insert "disk #23," "disk #47", and "disk #114", though the game was distributed on four or eight floppy disks. After the "Disk 114" prompt, Guybrush states, "Oh well. I guess I'll just have to skip that part of the game."

Ron, will there still be that joke in the Special Edition of SoMI? I think it would be great because it would give such a wonderful nostalgic feeling to that game. =)

Posted by Neimonster on Jun 5, 2009 half past five pm

That joke is even in "The Curse of Monkey Island." I'm sure it will be included in the remake of "Secret..."

Posted by derrik on Jun 5, 2009 twenty past six pm

it took me FOREVER to figure out you had to give lemonhead the 'How to get ahead in navigating' pamphlet. You carried those three pieces of paper around for so long, I figured they were just garbage and stopped trying to use them with stuff, unless it was to to try and start a fire. AHHH NOSTALGIA!

Posted by derrik on Jun 5, 2009 twenty past six pm

damn, I forgot to check the 'Don't show email' button.

Posted by Lennie Melvin on Jun 6, 2009 quarter past five am

And of course we're all gonna email you spam now YEAH!

Posted by Jake Birkett on Jun 5, 2009 quarter past ten pm

Ron said:  "It would be hard to make an adventure game today where players were forced to hunt for small objects."

Is this a joke? Perhaps it was sarcastic :-)  Hidden Object games are huge sellers in the casual game space.  Games like Mystery Case Files and Azada are now going down the adventure game route where you have to hunt for tiny things on the screen to interact with.  Plus there's all those Room Escape games made in Flash.

Posted by fulgencius on Jun 6, 2009 twenty to one am

Can you do a similar article for Monkey Island 2?

Posted by dan on Jun 6, 2009 twenty five past three am

Perhaps I'm old school, minimalistic or have warmer feelings about memories of
my childhood, but I don't like the modern comic graphics style that much.

If your seeing something with too much detail, then there's no room for your own
imagination. For me it's a lot more fun if something is only hinted, and yourself
are completing the picture. It's the difference between active and passive consumption.

Perhaps it's not only the graphics style, but the tendency to too much of everything.

Posted by Neil on Jun 6, 2009 quarter past four am

will we discover the REAL secret of monkey island in this next series of games??!

Posted by Demetris Thoupis on Jun 6, 2009 twenty past six am

It was said in an interview that the Secret will NOT be revealed in the "Tales Of Monley Island" as it is Ron Gilberts' job. Now if we put all the clues together guys this means only one thing and Ron will never admit it of course but here is what I believe:

Monkey Island fan petitions came through to Lucasarts. Lucasarts wanted to give more stories about Monkey Island but because of all fans grudging that it was not true to the original series they handed it over to Telletales to do something for the fans to cheer about. Now the re-edition of Monkey Island 1 is coming out and guess what, Ron Gilbert was asked to see it and put info inside. Telletales had Ron Gilbert during the brainstorm. We can only conclude that Monkey Island 2 will be also released as a special edition. Now because there was never an original name for Monkey Island 3, it was simply called Curse of Monkey Island, I believe that Ron Gilbert will be the main one who will bring up via Lucasarts after Monkey Island 2 special edition comes out the final and complete Monkey Island 3 using the newly interface that is being used in Monkey Island 1 special edition so it will stay true to the original ones, have an interface playable in all platforms but finally let the secret being revealed. Anyone think I'm wrong? :)

Posted by A.V.F. on Jun 6, 2009 five past nine am

That would be the best case scenario, but life ain't that easy.

Posted by F.Konkas on Jun 6, 2009 quarter to three pm

Nice try :)

Posted by Lennie Melvin on Jun 7, 2009 quarter past nine am

Oh I wish it was true!

I hope they do a special edition of Monkey Island 2; that game is so beautiful...

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 8, 2009 five past eleven am

Not accepting MI3, and MI4 is the biggest problems I have with other MI fans. Ron moved on, I wouldn't want to see him make MI3, but MI5 would be neat.

Posted by Jamie on Jun 9, 2009 twenty five to four pm

Hahahahaha Yes, please!!!!!!!

Posted by Manuel Lichtenecker on Jun 6, 2009 half past eight am

Wow, That�s freakin� Awesome !! Yeahh !! Monkey Island is back, the Tales of Monkey Island Game will be pretty Awesome, and the Special Edition also to, i hope The Secret of Monkey Island 2 Special Edition will be announced , did you hear it, Sergeant Gilbert ?

THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!! Best Greetings from Austria !!!! :D

Posted by CordableTuna on Jun 6, 2009 ten past ten am

"It would be hard to make an adventure game today where players were forced to hunt for small objects. "

You know, they made a casual genre out of that. These days the hidden object games are everywhere, they all look magnificent and have the crappies gameplay in the universe. Here's an example:

Posted by Teamonkey on Jun 6, 2009 one pm

"For me a game design always starts with a map."

Ron, at the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, I'd love to hear more about your design process.

Posted by Someone on Jun 6, 2009 ten past three pm

Ron, did you replay MI2 as well? That one has always been my favorite in the series.

Posted by Gunar on Jun 6, 2009 twenty past seven pm

Great News! But there's one thing i need to know and i've been thinking about it more than 6 years....

Is Guybrush adopted and not Lechucks "real" biological brother?

Posted by Demetris Thoupis on Jun 7, 2009 ten past one am

Nobody knows except Ron! :) Although some hint in MI2 does suggest that it's not really clear.

Posted by Chris on Jun 7, 2009 ten past six am

The answer is very clear: LeChuck IS his real brother!

because ... the bones of Guybrush's parents in that Voodoo-doll wouldn't have worked with LeChuck if he wasn't

Posted by sharprm on Jun 7, 2009 twenty five to nine pm

How do you know they were Guybrush's biological parents and not his adopted parents?

Lechuck's doll didn't work - shoddy ingredients. Maybe Lechuck didn't know Guybrush was adopted and that is the secret.

Posted by Chris on Jun 8, 2009 ten to nine am

that makes sense in a way.

In the end of MI2 you find the bones of LeChuck's parents - well

The voodoo-doll made by Guybrush worked on LeChuck (he even lost one leg) -> the bones were from LeChuck's true parents

(So we guess in this part, LeChuck's doll didn't work properly on Guybrush because Guybrush had been adopted -  it had just for one reason some little power: because the other ingredients were truly from Guybrush.)

BUT when Guybrush and LeChuck left the building in the end of MI2 they were young children again.
Outdoors they meet a grown up man and a woman and Guybrush calls them "Mum and Dad".
We still can guess that those "really" are Guybrush's and LeChuck's parents and Guybrush could be adopted without knowing it.

Now there's a good question: How can we bring those two parts together?

Why are they young again? And why do LeChuck's and "Guybrush's" parents suddenly live again?

There could be one way to solve the problem:
Each time they visit the fun fair they travel into future - they feel like grown ups and experience the weirdest adventures.

-> they are grown up during that time

-> LeChuck's and "Guybrush's" parents are already dead
(a little bit sarcastic I think xDD )

Posted by Chris on Jun 8, 2009 quarter past nine am

P.S.: Of course there are also some other possibilities to interprete those happenings.
But thank you for your hint. It was very exciting for me to discover that what you say is possible - I haven't thought about that before!
To be honest, I was already very surprised when I saw that LeChuck was Guybrush's brother when I played MI2. :)

Posted by Filipe Silva on Jun 6, 2009 twenty five past eight pm

I'm still dizzy about these wonderful news - not only one but two great news! I am a MI fanboy since childhood and I vividly recall, for instance, the shock of having disk 10 of MI2 with a reading error - and the long wait for having it replaced...

Some comments:

Like some said before me, the closeups were nice. They gave a warm, fuzzy feeling of seriousness that endeared me to the game even further.

I agree with the doors - though clicking them once, old school way and them doing it automatically isn't a bad idea either. If you see a closed up door and can't think of action plus  click door you are seriously impaired. Seriously.

Pixel hunting, within a good measure is ok - like someone said, there's a whole casual genre that is based in pixel hunting. Also in the scene you depicted it was fairly obvious the cable had to be pointed at. So if you aren't depicting Smaug's horde and want the player to look for the single gold coin, you ought to be ok.

Posted by on Jun 7, 2009 twenty five past midnight

(I`m form Argentina and I talk a few englich so sorry)
I`d play monkey island when a have 6 years old. My cousin buy a pack of games of lucasarts and my father far time ago have de disks. I love monkey island, Guybrush and your work. Is a very important hit in the history of videogames. Congratulations! Plaudits from Argentina.
PD: Today, I have 18 years old and whenever I can I return to play it.

Posted by Miguel on Jun 7, 2009 five to eight am

When is DeathSpank going to be released according to this post? 2009 or 2010?

Posted by Cronny on Jun 7, 2009 ten past eleven am

When I first played the game I found the close-ups a little bit jarring.  But when I thought about them, I came to the conclusion that they were sort of a parody of the rest of the game.  The sharp contrast in realism is shocking and unnecessary, but freaking hilarious.  Sort of like the Ren and Stimpy close-ups that gave you way more detail than you needed or expected.

I guess that wasn't deliberate, but that was always the purpose they served in my head.

I'm so incredibly excited for the new Monkey Island projects and I can't wait to buy Deathspank.  This is going to be a fantastic year.

Posted by Karlology on Jun 7, 2009 five to three pm

Most annoying blog post for scrolling. Ever.

Posted by Bob on Jun 7, 2009 ten past seven pm

I agree with everything you commented on the game, your cuts were appropriate, and the gameplay was almost always fun and interesting.

However, I actually liked that the last portrait of Elaine and Guybrush was done the way it was done, mainly for 2 reasons:

1) it brought them closer to being "real" characters.  The cartoon graphics of the old 90s then became just a filter, so if you tuned your mind to it, instead of a cartoon character in pixel form, you were seeing "real" characters (imagining the details yourself).  It's the same as creating a 16 colour cartoon image of a friend, the image can in no way represent truly how your friend looks like, but if you know the person, when you see the image, you see the person, and not just the pixels.  I liked the 'real' look of these 2 characters, made them less goofy and more human.  They were still silly, but you empathized more with them.

2) it was such a clich� ending which you're used to see in the adventure movies of "olde", and linking the fun adventure movies together with the game didn't hurt, it made it more fun.

That's why I love that it's being faithfully redone and you can switch between the new look and the old, although it might perhaps be looked at as a silly thing, it is the reason why I'll definitely buy this game because the new character design might not be what I imagined what I saw behind the few pixels representing each character.

As an offside note: This is also the reason why I'm not so sure I'll be joining in on the new tales, it's just become way too cartoony, and the characters are just too puppet-like, to be mocked at and pushed around.  I'd rather have wanted to see the tales done as 2D graphics, it's more stylized, but again, it makes you see more than just the pixels.  3D style (done badly) sadly removes at least my ability to see real characters.

back on track: As this is the first game, which introduced many to adventure games, keeping things simple and faithfully capturing the first learning steps is I think one of the games strongest pillars to what makes the game excellent.

I'm hoping this will become what I'm hoping it'll be, and that the next in the series will be redone as well :)

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 8, 2009 nine am

Hi Ron,

What is the art style you had in mind for Monkey Island? I'm just trying to get the idea of what you'd do if you hypothetically had a $70 million budget with today's tech how would the game look. Your comment on the portraits are interesting, that would suggest it wouldn't be realistic.

I hope Telltale doesn't screw this up. Sam & Max first season was a big let down for me. I'm a big fan of adventure games, and it was way too easy and over simplified, so I don't know how I feel about Telltale handling Tales of Monkey Island, they have some awesome writers and I know they brag about having guys who worked on the Secret of Monkey Island, but if the gameplay is going to be like Sam & Max episodic they can stop right now.

I think they screwed up with the graphics as well, it looks rigid and unnatrual.  It may have been fine with Sam & Max, but Monkey Island deserves more respect.

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 8, 2009 twenty past nine pm

From wikipedia:
"Puzzles consist of traditional adventure game conundrums where the player must use the environment to pass a predicament, as well as puzzles that require the use of items that the player has collected and stored in their inventory to complete.[3] In contrast to previous games by Telltale Games, but in keeping with preceding Monkey Island games, Tales of Monkey Island allows players to combine certain items in their inventory to create new items."

In that case I'm looking forward to this game.

Posted by Arecyn on Jun 9, 2009 twenty five past two am

The GUY in the Tales of Monkey Island looks more like Larry Laffer than Guybrush.

I hate this 3d thing... :(

Posted by Sven on Jun 9, 2009 ten past five am

I heard them whispering in the interweb:Ron revealed the Secret Of Monkey Island in one ot the Telltale meetings? Did he? Or didn't he? He did, right? Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

As decent a game as Escape... was in its own right, it already suffered a bit from franchise syndrome. You know, the kind of thing first invented by Hollywood execs who would take original ideas and milk it for every last drop, even if what there is left to milk turns out as moronic as Terminator 4.

But to hell! This is Monkey Island!

Posted by Sketaful on Jun 9, 2009 twenty five to three pm

Damn this makes me happy. I've looked forward to a remake of the first 2 parts of Monkey Island and now atleast part one is in the making. Thank you.

Now all I have to look forward to is Lechuck's Revenge being remade and Curse/Escape to be remade with "the old" point/klick look instead. :)

My thoughts about telltale is split. I to hate the 3D thingy, but hopefully they keep true to the Monkey series and makes the puzzle, story and humor great enough so I wont mind the graphics. :P

Better a great Monkey-game in 3D than no more three headed monkeys at all. :D

Posted by Jack Silverman on Jun 9, 2009 twenty five past three pm

Ha, interesting. I JUST watched the Graduate for the first time last night. Yeah I played Monkey Island as a little kid, and I even remember, as a little kid, thinking those close ups were kinda weird. I loved Monkey Island, although I wasnt too fond of the last one.

Posted by Jason on Jun 10, 2009 twenty past three am

This post is a lone drop of water in the ocean, but I'm very stoked about the new Monkey Island games (doubly so since you helped with the planning), and the revamped Secret of Monkey Island.  I'm having a great night, between this and Futurama's return...

Posted by Dan on Jun 10, 2009 twenty past eight am

Everyone keeps asking for "The Secret"... I always assumed the "secret" was that you had to put that recipe together on the ship, in order to get to Monkey Island...

Posted by sharprm on Jun 11, 2009 twenty five to seven am

Nice. Now I can get on with my life ...

Posted by sad man... on Jun 10, 2009 ten past noon

tales of MI looks ugly. Every other adventure looks better. Poor Guybrush and poor LeChuck (even more ugly than Guybrush). Why can't you let them rest in peace instead of making them look like non-textured low budget 3D-puppets just to get some money from wii users...

Posted by Jeff on Jun 11, 2009 five past two am

What is it with MI that every time the graphics improve the character art gets worse? That trailer for SE on the LA site looks lovely, except for the main characters which are terrible. I want Guybrush to look like a plucky adventurer hero, not some skinny loser with a receeding hairline - which goes treble for Elaine!

Secret of Monkey Island is a classic and it's nice to see it coming back but I'd like them to stick to the original play style including the pixel hunting (call it "Easter Eggs" and everyone will think its genius) and opening doors. Too much automation and it'll feel like you're not in control.

Posted by sharprm on Jun 11, 2009 half past seven am

Tall and skinny loser.

I hope that MI6 looks like treasure island illustrated book or similar, I really find the detailed portraits make the world more immersive and funnier.,_Mr._Hands.jpg

Posted by franz on Jun 11, 2009 twenty five past two pm

The ecuation makes perfect sense, Guybrush was always Jewish but the primitive pixels from mi and mi2 did not show.

Posted by Phil on Jun 11, 2009 five to three am

Hi....I've always been a big fan of the MI the point that I would say they are my favourite games of all time! Even to the point that I seem to join websites under the name of Philbrush!

So...thanks for years of entertainment!

Posted by Eddy on Jun 11, 2009 five past five am

Just one month ago I played the first monkey island through for the first time, before me and my dad had always got stuck on the sword master. I was quite proud of myself when I needed help only on the ship part when I were on my way to monkey island.

All the other games I have played through a few times, but it felt extremely satisfying to play the first game through after all this time.

Its great that the game will be remade but I still love the pixels more, that being said I love the fact that one can play the original pixelated version still if one wants.

Posted by Roman on Jun 11, 2009 twenty five past eight am

Hey Ron

Thank you very much for bringing back those nice memories about MI.
I loved the game and ists the game which brought me to computer games after all.

Now I'm really crazy about Death Spank.

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 11, 2009 five past nine am

I hope Captain Smirk makes a cameo appearance in Tales of Monkey Island!

Posted by Someone on Jun 12, 2009 ten to seven am

Just wanted to say seeing the close up art at the end of the game was one of my strongest memories of childhood (playing through this game). When I think of Guybrush Threepwood that's the image in my head and it pretty closely matches the original box art. Strange and out of place- but kind of made it feel more "real" and memorable.

that is all.

Posted by Ocean Bottom Blues on Jun 12, 2009 five to seven am

An old song about being stuck on the ocean floor with the statue.

Guybrush Threepwood's Ocean Bottom Blues  ^

Posted by Ruben Grimm on Jun 12, 2009 ten past eight am

"There was supposed to be ship combat during your voyage to Monkey Island.  It would have been done top-down view with you controlling the ship and firing a cannon.  It was right to cut that.  Never be afraid to cut.  It's rare that I watch a "director's cut" of a film that is better then the original.  Most of that stuff was left out for a reason."

I think you're perfectly right about cutting thing's, but the comparison to "director's cut" is just rubbish!
Imagine LucasArts or someone "above" you would have said: "Please cut this and this and this...". You would have loved to get a chance to make a "Gilbert cut".
That's what's happening in film. And "director's cut" also doesn't mean that there are some more scenes. It means the film is cutted as the director wanted it.

In Germany (where I'm from) there is nothing like a "director's cut", because the cutting is always made by the director, which means he has the final say. I really think Hollywood could start copying this, but I think they're making good money with "director's cut" Versions.

PS: Please compare "Apocalypse Now" and "Apocalypse Now: Redux"...

Posted by Jeff Lewis on Jun 12, 2009 twenty five past ten am

I remember picking up the EGA version of Monkey Island 1 in the bargain bin at Electronics Boutique back in like 91 or 92 when I was 10. Absolutely loved the game, used to make weekly trips to the mall to ask one of the EB clerks for help when I got stuck.  That year for my birthday I got a Soundblaster 1.0 card for our 286 JUST for Monkey Island 2.

I remember my dad cursing late into the night trying to install the gargantuan ISA Soundblaster card and drivers and clearing out space on our 20 MB hard disk to install Monkey Island 2...I overheard him telling my mom "Had to delete goddamn Lotus to install this stupid crap"...hehe...memories!

Posted by Someone on Jun 12, 2009 twenty to eleven am

priceless times my man

Posted by F.Konkas on Jun 15, 2009 ten past two pm

Ah nostalgia... Thanks for the laughs! :D

Posted by bob on Jun 12, 2009 twenty five to noon

im to old for pirating anyway. har har!

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 12, 2009 half past noon

Cool video from Gamespot on Youtube showing Tales:

Really looking forward to this game. Seeing it in action actually excites me.

Posted by Bob on Jun 12, 2009 five to one pm

Ron, I don't know why, but I just wanna tell you I'm playing "Indiana Jones and the last crusade" at the moment and those stupid soldier-fights in that castle make me dizzy...!
I just find out how to get that key to unlock the other uniform but those soldiers discover me each time on the corridor and kill me. :-(
I love everything else about that game BUT this - now I can't see a way to go on - even walkthroughs don't help. :-/
IF there would be a remake of this game in the future please let there's be sometime a possibility to talk to the soldiers without needing to fight - or let health be full again after each fight.

Posted by Alfredo Gracia on Jun 12, 2009 twenty past one pm

Hello Ron, do you like to work with LucasArts to make a "Monkey 3"? in 2d or 3d?

Thanks to cheer my life!!

Alfredo Gracia from Argentina.
(sorry for my bad english).

Posted by Tim Dunne on Jun 12, 2009 five to two pm

I would be really great if lucasarts could work with the Scummvm guys to bring versions of the games to the iphone platform.  It already works if you jailbreak your phone but is really be ace to buy an official version! 40 million iphones/ipod touches are begging for it!!

Posted by Le Chucker on Jun 12, 2009 twenty to three pm

I am excited to here that Monkey will live on.  I will buy the games for sure.  

I am a bit disappointed in the art for the remake and the Tell Tale game.  Monkey Island deserves top notch art.

Posted by ritchan on Jun 12, 2009 quarter past three pm

Wow, Ron Gilbert has a blog! I just wanna say I love Monkey Island, especially 3, and I cannot wait for the day when you guys remake the rest of the series (especially COMI, that was like a cartoon) for HD resolutions. And I won't settle for cel shading.

I think there was a major shift in personnel from MI2 to MI3... did you work on MI3?

Posted by Pantufla on Jun 16, 2009 quarter past ten am

No, he didn�t.

Thanks for make his life a little bit darker.

Posted by Qwazin on Jun 12, 2009 quarter to six pm

will the 5th installment of the monket island series be called the fancypants of monkey island?

i'm drunk while i'm typing this so please ecsuce me mr. rn gilbert of monkey island

Posted by Qwazin on Jun 12, 2009 quarter to six pm

also the clock in your blofg sux

Posted by VILLA on Jun 12, 2009 quarter past six pm

Thank you very much.
For those evenings I spent in front of my computer breaking my head and trying to discover the Secret of Monkey Island.
Twenty years and four games later it's still the best kept secret.

Best whishes from Spain!

Posted by Josef Motley on Jun 13, 2009 ten to six am

i saw this graffiti and i would like to think it was only done out of sheer excitement of this news...

... but in all realism, it's probably just someone who can't spell 'scum'. still for a few beautiful minutes i felt like i was in a point & click game.

Posted by NostalGeek on Jun 13, 2009 five to nine am

Thanks Ron!
It was a blast to read your thoughts on the game, especially while listening to the soundtrack.

Posted by Daniel on Jun 13, 2009 ten past eight pm

Ron, a very interesting post. I have not played MI in a few years either and I was thinking of doing so... but I think I can wait for this release (of course I could also play on my Wii with the Wiimote on SCUMMVM!) I am so going to buy it... in fact check out the URL I've included to see my "Collection" of Monkey Island (you have no idea how hard it was to find this picture on my computer!).

Here are some of the things you didn't mention:

1. The background artwork. Most fans of the original games would be well aware of the difference between the Monkey1 and Monkey2 backgrounds - the Monkey2 ones really are amazing for 256-colour 320x200 graphics, which were created from scanned art. The original Monkey Island backgrounds were created digitally using (correct me if I'm wrong) "Deluxe Paint", a primitive artwork creation program. The "generated forests" were indeed innovative (Worms holds the record for that kind of thing though, and Lemmings uses it extensively very well) - but the fact that the artwork was created pixel-by-pixel itself is an amazing achievement because it really does look a lot better than other computer-made artwork of the period.

2. The SCUMM system which you used to create the game required an interpreter program (monkey.exe on PC). This should have made it relatively easy for LucasArts to update the program to have full Windows support - ultimately this lead to the SCUMMVM program, but I always think it's odd that LucasArts didn't bother to release their own Windows-version monkey.exe even on the "Monkey Island Madness" disc. After all this is what allowed the porting of the game to so many different systems to begin with.

3. It is not possible to die in Monkey2. Although you can drown Guybrush in Monkey1, having the interface replaced with "death" commands such as "bob", Monkey2 begins with Guybrush telling the story to Elaine, and as such can't die as the majority of the game takes place prior to that point.

This was another score point against Sierra who would be very unforgiving regarding death.

4. The scene behind the walls of the governors mansion is skippable, which is good design for the exact reason you mentioned - it can be lengthy if played through again.

5. Using the navigator head to find the ghost ship was a brilliant puzzle. In fact I also think it was brilliant to have two different ways to finish regarding whether you sunk your ship or not, this is something I only found out about when I read it online because I'd never accidently sunk the ship before. That makes that one "room" on Monkey Island have two in-jokes on Sierra, the first being the rubber tree that saves you from death, and the second being the fact you get another boat if you sink yours, where Sierra would have left you stuck later on because you didn't have it!

"It's rare that I watch a "director's cut" of a film that is better then the original.  Most of that stuff was left out for a reason."

Couldn't agree more. That's why producers tell directors "that has to go".

To VILLA - a few of us (believe we) discovered what the "secret" of Monkey Island is a few years back on a forum. The logic behind our reasoning was that Grumpy Gamer here had originally conceived a story covering not just MI1&2 but possibly extending enough to at least begin a third instalment (whether or not this was ever intended to be made is irrelevant), and that MI1 and 2 are an incomplete implementation of this vision which is derived from the "Secret". So with a bit of thinking about what might have been planned after the end of Monkey2, and what story elements in the two games are interconnected, you're left with a revelation about the game, that I think is much more obvious in Monkey2 then it was in 1 (especially given the ending - and I'm not talking about the carnival, I'm talking about the game up until that point). That's all I'm willing to say besides that I do believe we figured out the secret or at least understand the concept that is the Secret.

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 14, 2009 two am

The secret of Monkey Island is said to only be known by LeChuck in the Secret of Monkey Island. One here they say Ron Gilbert is the only one who knows the secret of Monkey Island, either someone is lying or Ron Gilbert is LeChuck himself! I always thought the end of Monkey Island 2 was a joke with Star Wars...

Posted by Lennie Melvin on Jun 16, 2009 half past six am

I'm sure LeChuck doesn't know the Secret of Monkey Island.

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 16, 2009 ten am

Go and play the Secret of Monkey Island . Talk to Mancomb Seepgood ask him where you can find the governor's mansion. After that go and talk to Estevan. He will tell you LeChuck set off to find the Secret of Monkey Island to impress Elaine. You can ask him at one point "So what is the Secret of Monkey Island?", to which Estevan replies "Only LeChuck knows!".

Posted by Chris on Jun 14, 2009 twenty to nine am

I get the feeling that people make so many thoughts about the secret of Monkey Island and in the end Ron Gilbert is coming to make fun of us by revealing a overwhelmingly surprising solution. ;DDD

Posted by Christopher on Jun 14, 2009 five pm

this game changed my life. i remember back in 5th grade, staying up ALL HOURS of the night, to sneak down to my well-off friends computer room, to try and beat this amazing game. it wasn't until the words "turn off your computer and go to sleep" flashed at the end of the credits that i knew i had found something worthy of my time and youthful joie de vivre. THANK YOU dude, for shaping my future and pushing me in a direction i always knew i wanted to go; just never capable of realizing it until i knew what it was i was looking for.

Posted by Jon on Jun 14, 2009 twenty five past six pm

Very excited about the continuation of Monkey Island. Would rather it wasn't episodic, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. And please get a different actor to voice Guybrush.

Agree with a number of posters about the special edition style missing the mark, but it's good that you can switch to the original graphics.

The original style, though limited by palette and definition did feel incredibly rich at the time. This is how I feel any new chapters should be approached i.e. it should look beautiful and detailed, perhaps almost painted, and not overly stylised and cartoony. MI3 and 4 failed in this department IMO.

I also really enjoyed the close-ups of the original, they felt quite special. It was great to see the gross detail on the navigator's head for example.

Thanks Ron for giving the world Monkey Island.

Posted by Daniel on Jun 14, 2009 twenty to midnight

Perhaps, and I do agree - I don't particularly like the new Guybrush design - but if the game had been made today then this is more like how it would have been made.

Of course pre-planning the "hotspots" to exactly where they're going to appear before painting, and the "generated" forests are two examples of things that wouldn't have been made the way they were if the game was made today.

Posted by Charles on Jun 15, 2009 five to four pm

Ron must have set out to kick every mac and web browsing person in the nuts with this blog post. Why?? Have I wronged you in any way, Ron? Please say something!! There are enough women out there who act out their passive aggressiveness!

Posted by Franz on Jun 15, 2009 twenty to eight pm

I think these MI games are just lies from Ron to draw our attention from Deathspank progress and buy himself some time to finish it. Is the old ``look behind you! a couple of new monkey island games coming out`` trick. I`m not buying it Ron, what about Deathspank?

Posted by Tim Seed on Jun 16, 2009 twenty five past six am

I am so excited by this news!

Thanks for the great games Ron, the Monkey Island series (Other than 4 *spit*) is one of my favourites.

Posted by Arnd on Jun 16, 2009 twenty five to two pm

Yeah, thanks Ron for these great games!!!
I am really looking forward to the SE.

I hope after MI SE there will be a MI2 SE ... (The pure freedom of choice in MI2 what to do next was one of my best gaming experiences.)

And maybe ... if we are in luck... a true "Ron sequel" could be done... This would be awesome. Even sometimes today I think about how Ron had planned Guybrushs escape from the carneval and the return to monkey island and of course Elaine ;)

Again, thanks Ron and LA for monkey island!!!

Posted by Anti on Jun 16, 2009 twenty five past eight pm

Another "Pirates of the Caribbean" game? cool!

ps: just kidding ;)

Posted by Aquarius on Jun 17, 2009 two pm

Kiss me. I've got scurvey!

I'll buy it. The first game in many years that I'll actually buy when it's fresh.

Posted by Why on Jun 17, 2009 quarter to midnight

Ron, did you explain why the hell you havent led this Monkey Island new game??

You always said that Lucasarts had the rights but why you didnt try to buy the rights and do it in your company?

Im sure your company would have earned lot of dinero!! Ahhhhh... I guess your company does not have the bussines running on their veins

Posted by You probably won't answer this, but... on Jun 18, 2009 ten past four am

Ron, will you ever make the TRUE Monkey Island 3?
Curse of... was a great, great game, but what really happened after LeChuck's Revenge? Before anyone flames me, Curse... and Escape... could be considered a dream Threepwood had.

Posted by Knightsaab on Jun 18, 2009 ten to six am

Thats the same question I ask myself since I have played MI2 in the early 90's. Actually I've never liked the end of MI2 and I've been so curious about the release of MI3, but when I finally got the game I was just as disappointed about the beginning of MI3.
I think Big Whoop was the ticket to this other world Guybrush and LeChuck approached in the end of MI2 and until today I wonder how Guybrush get back to his "Caribbean homeworld"...

Posted by Arnd on Jun 18, 2009 twenty five to nine am

Just my thoughts!!!

Posted by Thios on Jun 18, 2009 ten past four pm

I always thought the ticket from the end of MI2 was one of Grim Fandango's Number 9 tickets...o.O

Posted by Dawid van Straaten on Jun 18, 2009 ten past two pm

@You probably won't answer this. I think it would be possible to fit in a full Monkey Island Adventure game that happened between LeChuck's Revenge and Curse of Monkey Island (A prequel to Curse, and a sequel to LeChuck's Revenge). The game can be created in a way that it explains the end of Monkey Island 2 and explains how Guybrush escaped the Carnival of the Damned. A dream is too easy!

Posted by pablo on Dec 20, 2009 eleven am

actually, the 'dream' idea is something I thought about too when more monkey island games kept coming out. I liked the 3rd, I kind of hated the 4th, I don't know about the 5th (Tales) but I guess it will be kind of like the 4th. And although the 3 and 4 games are somewhat enjoyable (and the 3rd was actually hilarious and brilliant at some points), I still have the hope someday (and in the real 3rd MI game BY Mr.Gilbert) they will be pictured as a dream Guybrush is having on the underground at Dinky Island.

Posted by Xavi on Jun 18, 2009 twenty five past two pm

Man, Telltale Games seem so commercial...

I will always remember how much Lechuck's Revenge changed my life. Thank you, Ron. I think the story is just perfect. Cheers from Argentina!

Posted by cristinakirchner on Jun 18, 2009 twenty to nine pm

you know Telltale and all gaming companies are actually doing commerce. thank the maker adventure games can still be considered commercially profitable...

Posted by Xavi on Jun 19, 2009 five to two pm

You may be right, Cristina. That's a good point.

Posted by Leonox on Jun 19, 2009 ten past eleven pm

I hope that one day, I will make something so transcendent as the Secret of Monkey Island... 'cause Ron you have to know that this game changed my life, it was the principal reason that I ended studding Computer Science and it always will be part of my childhood, while all the other kids where playing on the backyard I was playing Monkey Island and Loom...

Posted by Giles on Jun 21, 2009 twenty five past ten am

Something I added to the Humongous Entertainment adventure games was the cursor changing into a big arrow when you hit the edge of the screen and it was an exit.  Monkey Island would have benefited from this.  I was so used to it from the Humongous games that I'd scan the screen expecting to see it over exits.

This brought a smile to my face. When I was 10 and playing Monkey Island for the first time, I spent months unaware you could actually leave town on the left side of the first screen you start on. I used to go through getting one teeny little stage further with puzzles in the bar and around town, getting excited by each little discovery, but never going back up to the watchman. Then one day I thought I'd try leaving the way I entered town. I was sure it would never work. God that was one of the most exciting moments playing a game ever.

Posted by Leonox on Jun 21, 2009 ten past six pm

True, I was 6 and the same happened to me, for me it was the biggest revelation in the whole game and it kept me stuck for a long time...

Posted by thedzizas on Jun 21, 2009 twenty five to two pm

Please stop the madness of Telltales 3d re-incarnation.
WHYYYYY, why the didn't go the hand drawn cartoonish way?
Thank god for the special edidition..

Posted by Leonox on Jun 21, 2009 ten past six pm

True, I prefer MI in 2D

Posted by Alex from Spain on Jun 21, 2009 twenty to six pm

Dave Grossman said, "The series takes place a couple of years after the end of the last game. The characters are a little bit older, but haven't really learned anything."

That's the point! When you played Monkey Island 2, you could see some character development, and Guybrush was a not-so-young kid (he's got a beard now, you see) trying to catch on with maturity. After that, we get a cartoon figure permanently stuck on the limbo of idiocy.

So I don't like where this is heading...

But at least they admit that the Secret of Monkey Island, whatever it is, belongs to Ron Gilbert.

Posted by CavalcadeGames on Jun 22, 2009 five past six am

This is one of the most charming games in history. A true classic! I am from the Philippines by the way. I played this a decade or so ago which is rare in that time. just wanted you to know that your greatness then and now extends even here.

Posted by rocktrap on Jun 23, 2009 five past six am

From Daniel - "To VILLA - a few of us (believe we) discovered what the "secret" of Monkey Island is a few years back on a forum."

Would you be able to post a link to that forum? I wouldn't mind hearing your ideas.

Posted by Nick on Jun 23, 2009 twenty past six am

my favourite joke is if you sink the ship with the makeshift catapult when on Monkey Island - just hilarious. when you stopped to think about it you knew it had to not matter because there was no death in the game design , but it was still a fantastic 'oh my god what have I done' moment.

Posted by Sean O on Jun 24, 2009 half past seven am

I just want to know if there is any back story to Guybrush's fear of porcelain, and also hope to see Murry the Skull in the new Tales.

Posted by Ernest on Jun 25, 2009 twenty five past one pm

Hi Ron,
I don't know much about how good your writing skills are but, as much as I think it's silly to ask you to make monkey 3 you had intended for the trilogy, it would make complete sense to write down the plot or story that you had in mind.

It'd be something more realistic to achieve and the fans will thank you forever. (and they'd probably stop bugging you as mush as they do now too :)

Posted by Ernest on Jun 26, 2009 ten past five pm

The comment on this article invalidates my previous request. As long as what it says is true.

Posted by Mikael Karlsson on Jun 27, 2009 twenty five past four pm

The close-ups are beautiful

Posted by webtax on Jun 27, 2009 ten to ten pm

yeah, i loved the way the close-ups made the experience more like "real".. they are beautiful and inmersive.

Posted by Jaybot7 on Jun 28, 2009 twenty to four pm

While I'm super-excited to see Monkey Island again, I'm hoping that Lucasarts doesn't screw up the remake too much. (I still can' forgive them for the atrocity that was Monkey 4). It's been a long time since they made a game without Star Wars in the title. ;)

Telltale did a great job on the Sam & Max games, and as long as Ron gives his nod to the writers (who are excellent in their own right), I'm sure the series will turn out great.

Monkey Island, and Guybrush's character in particular, were (and still are) a huge influence on my own writing and game ideas (be it adventure, RPG, action, or sushi-making), so I'm thrilled that this is happening and hope this trend continues :)

Posted by Someone on Jun 29, 2009 three am

from PC speaker (and hercules graphics) to Roland (and 256 color).
I'm never sure, I get the ultimative sound out of this game. :-(

Posted by Joe on Jun 29, 2009 twenty to eight am


Posted by Karl on Jul 2, 2009 twenty to one pm

Ron is busy giving television interviews. He won't answer you.

Posted by Spectrumknight on Jun 30, 2009 twenty five past one am

Dear Ron,

I play both EGA and VGA version in my childhood.

Monkey Island is a master piece of digital art.

Thank you to sometimes let us enter behind the scene.

If MI2 was awesome too, I didn't really find the same feelings in MI3 and MI4. Cartoon graphics which reminds me these of Sierra productions of the moment (Willy Beamish), and lack of a truly comico-epic scenario.

However, I hope the dynamic around telltale games will start somethings new for the saga and that you will be part of it.

C�dric, Paris, France.

PS: Close ups, were a very good point at the moment, when such images were scarse and enable us to have a sharper view of G and E.

Posted by FL from Italy on Jun 30, 2009 quarter past four am

I do not want to lost my hope for a "Monkey Island 2,5: the Final Chapter" made by "Ron the Greatest Gilbert" himself!!!
Ron do it for us !!!! Come on!!!!

Posted by Tim on Jun 30, 2009 ten past nine am

Hi Ron,

I'm curious what other sources of inspiration you used in creating monkey island. In the post you write you watched old Errol Flynn era pirate movies. Also, I read that the book 'On Stranger Tides' by Tim powers was an inspiration. Anything else?
Actually, any suggestions on good pirate books (or movies) are more than welcome. I read 'on stranger tides' and loved it. Big fan of the pirate scene, prolly because I played monkey island so much :)

Posted by kjetil on Jul 1, 2009 half past eight am

Incredible readthru, it took me way back to the very day i bought MI2 for the Amiga, 11 floppy disks for pure joy..will MI2 see a Special Edition as well?
I hope.

Thanks for the best game ever.

Posted by Really_Grumpy on Jul 2, 2009 four am

Why... Why the hell do they keep spitting on this serie by making it 3D... Armatos voice.... LeChuck lips... why?
Is not just a lack of common sense itself, but also an insult to us fans...
Is it so hard to read some forums to see what fans like and dont like about a game and so do its sequel better?
It is known that we dont like 3D... it is fucking known that we dont like Armato�s voice for Guybrush... are they never gonna learn?

Posted by Yugge on Jul 2, 2009 twenty past four am

Um, What forums would that be? In every single one I've gone to there has been words of praise towards Armato's voiceacting. And lechuck, I think he looks pretty badass ( )

Posted by Fuz on Jul 2, 2009 five past eleven am

I agree, it's TERRIBLE.
Bad 3D (WHY 3D, WHY?), horrible voice acting (Armato is almost ok, but LeChuck's voice is very badly done), bad character designing, not-so-funny and forced humor (for what I've seen so far)...
And yet another "this is not Monkey Island" game. :(
As I said before... no Ron Gilbert, no Monkey Island.

Posted by Really_Grumpy on Jul 2, 2009 four am

...I just forgot to mention...


Posted by ojobenito on Jul 2, 2009 quarter past five am

Watching the E3 trailer of the Special Edition, I noticed that the "green gobling" that took off the mask to eat the fish is George Lucas. On the original game it was a guy with a beard too. Was it meant to be George Lucas on the original game?

Posted by Christian on Jul 6, 2009 quarter past nine am

Yes! I read that some years ago.

Posted by Karlology on Jul 2, 2009 quarter past nine am

Any day now... DeathSpank is coming out any day now... As long as it isn't, I'm crying myself to sleep every night.

Posted by Qwazin on Jul 2, 2009 quarter to five pm

Dear Ron,

Is the secret of Monkey Island the missing kelp seeds from Freddi Fish?


Posted by Ron on Jul 2, 2009 twenty to seven pm

Yes. Good heavens. You figured it out... I never thought this day would come.

Posted by Sangshi Klemhogh on Jul 2, 2009 quarter to seven pm

Yes I played Monkey Island too when I was young. It was very good and funny! It would be nice to be able to play it on the new iPhone 3GS, which has a new compass, the ability to record and edit video, voice dialling and many more features with the new iPhone 3.0 OS. You can find out more about it on

Posted by A.J on Jul 4, 2009 quarter to two am

Hey, Guys

Telltale has released some footage of the new Monkey game here....

My apologies if this has already been posted.  Ron, did you do any of these puzzles which are displayed here.

Also, did guybrush had to be conceptualized on paper, before he went into pixles.  And is there anyway those drawings (by steve purcell I presume) can see the light of day?


Posted by DaVince on Jul 5, 2009 quarter to eight am

"Also, did guybrush had to be conceptualized on paper, before he went into pixles.  And is there anyway those drawings (by steve purcell I presume) can see the light of day?"

Yes, and they'll quite possibly be on the DVD version. I mean, the Sam and Max and Strong Bad DVDs came with sketches as an extra...

Posted by Kev on Jul 5, 2009 twenty to nine am

I really hate LucasArts's new approach to the Monkey Island since the LeChuck's Revenge. Especially the art direction bothers me. It has a cheesy Disney feel to it. Even though first two Monkey Island games were comical, they had creepy atmosphere that made Monkey Island very unique. Also very good story development.

Posted by frilansspion on Jul 5, 2009 twenty five past seven pm

I loved the fact that the close-ups (and general artwork) was more realistic back in 1 and 2! that and the mix of cartoony humor and situations was a perfect setting, that just doesnt happen anymore! I agree that it was also nice that it was so dark. I was of course very young, but I was really scared walking through LeChucks fortress... and even tended not to linger too long in the cemetery on Scabb. =D silly really, but it proves that the style and mood is engrossing; especially in a game where you KNOW that nothing can go wrong really - you cant die or screw up.
I think Monkey 3 was an amazing game with good puzzles and great animation. I dont consider it part of the same thing as the first two games (as Im sure everyone here says) but it was still as good as it could have got I think with a new team working on it. Tried to play the first 3D one but got tired of it within an hour... I hope 3D dies off soon now that its gotten almost realistic...maybe people will realise how pointless it is.

Posted by Kev on Jul 6, 2009 twenty to three am

In my opinion, LucasArts should listen to the true fans and create true Monkey Island 3 rather than wasting money developing the special editions. I liked the first two Batman movies but always hated the third and the forth one. That's how I feel about new Monkey Island games. Hope some rich game developer buys out the MI franchise off LucasArts and makes Monkey Island that concludes the saga and satisfies the fans. But I think LucasArts see dollar sign over the fans and want to squeeze every penny toying with the fans good old memory..and I believe most MI fans are in their 20s and 30s now...

If they ever make the true MI3, here is what I like to see
2. It should continue the story left off from the second one
3. Make it creepy yet maintain the comical spirit..probably a big challenge. I loved how the first two MI felt very lucid nightmarish dream.
4. Incorporate new technology available..good example would be new SF  game... 3D SF game never worked..but new SF game incorporated 3D into 2D brilliantly

My two cents. LeCuck is supposed to be a creepy mysterious undead thing veiled in mystery with magical powers, not a fat hobo with sombrero talks in fake pirate accent! He is supposed to be like a villain like Chigurgh or the new Joker from the Dark Knight. I don't like how new LeChuck is too revealing. He is supposed to be a unpredictable character makes you to keep guess about his next move.

Also Guybrush is supposed to be a boyish man who tries too hard to be a pirate..but why the hell new Guybrush looks like a washed out grunge rocker crossed with Abe Lincoln in the Tales of MI???? And Elaine is supposed to be kinda like a tom-boy or  supposed to be more pirate than Guybrush, not petite. Complete mis-representation of the characters!

Posted by frilansspion on Jul 6, 2009 twenty five to seven pm

speaking of which, telltales got the right to monkey island now, havent they? is there a lot of fine-print on the contract that only allows them to make a certain kind of games that consider the "official" story? or shouldnt there be a chance that ron works with telltale to make this monkey 3? tell tale, being hardcore adventure people should be well up for it? and mr. gilbert seems to be good mates with them lot and all.
ron, Im sure youve answered this multiple times before, but have you asked them about that? or has it come up ever?

Posted by gizmo1990 on Jul 7, 2009 ten past three pm

Oh Ron, please please talk someone at Lucasarts into letting you make a proper monkey 3! One with 'good' graphics too.. not like the tosh from 3 onwards. And one where Guybrush has a feintly English accent. Undoubtably you'll mutter words such as 'gonna' and 'happen' and 'never' but seriously, I find grovelling works wonders!!

Pretty please with a cherry on top.

Posted by LUIS ANDRADE on Jul 7, 2009 ten to nine pm

RON RON RON RON you are the man...

I was 11 when i played M.I here in Venezuela, it changed my life and ours too. Now i know that god exist, we always praying and checking this and lucasarts website, and finally BOOM a remake of M.I, that means the need from us to want more 2D Monkey Island Games..... WE LOVE THE 2D IN MONKEY ISLAND GAMES, RIGHT GUYS!?..... LET THE DESIGNER IN LUCASARTS KNOWS WE LOVE IT...

AND Ron keep doing this secuels man, at least each 1 or 2 years, think this a like a band (green day) for example, they're making albums since '90 or back, and now in 2009 they're back again,.... well *THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND MUST BE ALWAYS IN THE AIR** THAT MAKE US SO HAPPY, IM HAPPY WITH THIS NEW HERE IN VENEZUELA, CAN YOU IMAGINE YOUR LEGACY OF MI IS HERE IN VENEZUELA TOO, ISNT IT COOL..

PS... The only thing for sure is that we'll never know the secret of M.I... THATS SO COOL TO KNOW... LOL .. THANK YOU RON AGAIN SO MUCH!

Posted by on Jul 8, 2009 five to four am

I hope there will be a special edition for Monkey Island 2 as well ! I didnt have the chance to play this game in the old days, I would love to do it now with revamped graphics and sound !

Posted by GOM on Jul 8, 2009 twenty five past one pm

Thanks for transmiting your science in Monkeyologie to Telltale. The tales of monkey island game is definitly on the good way to mymind.

Thank you

Posted by Krazystyle on Jul 9, 2009 ten past midnight

What a trip down memory lane, Thank you Ron! I noticed you talked quite a bit about 'Legal Snaffu'.  Was there any legalities involving the use of Can of Pepsi in Maniac Mansion? Or were you guys actually advertising Pepsi in that game?

Posted by dofus kamas on Jul 9, 2009 ten past midnight

wow thats incredible, thanks man

Posted by Rick Dekkar on Jul 9, 2009 ten to eight am

                                          Lucas Arts

                                    MONKEY ISLAND 5

                                  a Graphic Adventure
                                        RON GILBERT

Posted by Tiago Pascoal on Jul 9, 2009 five past nine am

Hello Ron!

I've got to say,  The Secret of Monkey Island (and Monkey Island 2)  is my favourite game of all time!

I played it in 1991, when I was eleven, for the first time, in it's original EGA version with text based inventory and those verbs that weren't needed at all like "Turn on, Turn off, Walk to", but it is still my favourite version.

I later bought the CD-Rom version, with VGA graphics and cd audio tracks, but  I prefer the original.

I'll be brief, after all you've already got dozens of comments here!

I'll start with the end: the close-ups. This is actually one of the reasons I like the EGA version better.

The close-ups in the VGA aren't quite as accomplished. If you look at the original box art, it is an alomst perfect match to the graphics in the EGA version and not the VGA. Both Elaine and Guybrush look better in the EGA, as well as the pirates in the SCUMM bar. The scene where Guybrush first meets Elaine at her house  in emblematic. That smile in Elaine's face is priceless in the EGA version.

And the final close-up you show in VGA isn't so close-up in the original, which also makes it better; you can see the background and the fireworks. And their faces are just better as I said above.

One question: do you remember who the man with the dog in the painting in Elaine's house is ? LeChuck ?

As to the sword master's house, you could actually get there without the help from the storekeeper. I did it for the first time EVER this year! You just have to wander around in the forest and eventually you'll find the way. You're going without directions, but it's to say it's not impossible. And you'll get to talk to the swordmaster with a slightly different initial dialogue from what I remember. And once you get there, it will also be automatic to get there afterwards.

Why isn't the origina,l EGA version, included in the Special Edition ? After all, the VGA came later. I understand it may be too crude by today's standards, but it's historically more correct. And to tell the truth, prettier in some respects, despite only having 16 colors.

At least there could be both the EGA and VGA versions included.

Why is there a sunset near the SCUMM bat at the start of the game in the EGA version, but not on the VGA where it's already nighttime ? Why did you decide to remove the sunset ? Is it because the initial scene with the lookout doesn't show any sign of sunset ? It that why you made that decision ?

The second thing pertans to what you said here: "After you've made you way back to Melee Island, you are forced to kill two ghost pirates with your root beer. "

Actually, you are only forced to kill the first. If you go through the door on the left, you can actually bypass the pirate you show on the picture.

I'm now heading off to buy the Tales of Monkey Island and next week the Special Edition! Congratulations! It's been a pleasure to be playing MI 1 and MI 2, two masterpieces, over the years, and still finding sometinhg new to laugh and to think! I didn't like the style of MI3 and even less MI4. From what I've seen, this Special Editon captures the feel of the Original one, and that is the right way to go!

I hope this revives the 2D adventure game genre at which LucasArts were the leaders!

Cheers from Portugal!


Posted by dofus kamas on Jul 11, 2009 twenty five past midnight

I liked the first two Batman movies but always hated the third and the forth one. Thanks Ron, i bet you must spend so much time on it.

Posted by Hanne on Jul 11, 2009 twenty to ten am

Just finished playing the first episode of monkey island 5, and I gotta say its not the same. It's good, but I still miss the old monkey games.... its like missing my childhood.... They are brilliant pieces of gameplay and funny as h***!

This post brought back a lot of memories... and I know what I'll be doing this coming week :D

Thanx again :)

Posted by Phaedonaz on Jul 12, 2009 two pm

Episode 1 of Tales  is just meh... way worse than MI 4...

Posted by DantheCan on Jul 13, 2009 twenty five past two am

No game can ever live up to the nostalgia if you didn't like TOMI then you'd never like anything made by the old team its simply not possible - at least until someone invents a bottling process for nostalgia & ships a free sample with ever game.

I quite enjoyed Tales of Monkey Island EP1 took a little while to get back into the adventure gaming groove but it was all there the some good puzzles witty comments and dry humor, came away very happy with it & looking forward to the next episode.

Posted by Phaedonaz on Jul 13, 2009 twenty past nine pm

@ DantheCan
If you are referring to my comment, you couldn't be more wrong... I'm 27 years old.
I played MI3 and MI4 for the first time and completed them, in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
I used to love MI1,2 so I was reluctant to touch 3 and 4 at first ,cause I feared  they wouldn't live up to the hype and the legacy, but both of them were unique, very well made and I loved them instantly. The new one feels more of a chore  and rushed game to me apart from 2-3 puzzles which were fun. I also never got why Monkey 4 was dissed so much... Probably the nostalgia you mentioned or because it was in 3d when everyone wished for a new MI3.

Posted by Darren on Jul 14, 2009 half past one am

Ron, I never realized you worked on "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".  20 years later, I would like you to know that my cousin and I were positively stumped by the leap from the lion's head and never progressed from that point.  You can imagine how difficult it was to carry this trauma with me as I grew up, and the healing now to have shared this pain with you.

Posted by Diego Gonzalo on Jul 14, 2009 twenty to seven am

The Secret of Monkey Island. The best game in the history. Thank you Ron for this Great Game.
Do you participate in the new version of Monkey Island (produced by LucasArts)?.

Posted by Girlgamer on Jul 14, 2009 five to five pm

I know I'm in the minority here lol but I loved monkey island 3, first monkey island game i'd ever experienced, wasn't till very recently wen I got my hands on MI1 and MI2 that I realised how far it had come on. It was really obvious after playing them that some of the original magic got lost as time went on.
AMAZING games tho lol totally awsum, MI4 needs to be destroyed and never mentioned again, only the voice acting by dominic armato made it endurable lol.
Thank you soo much Ron, you've formed a huge part of my childhood haha, really can't wait to get hold of the remastered MI1 and the next episode of TOMI lol.

Many thanks to you indeed.

Posted by Pedro on Jul 14, 2009 quarter to eleven pm

First game I bought was Monkey Island 2, I didn�t even know what it was about, then I thought it was amazing because it was just like Indiana Jones and the fate of atlantis (CD version), wich at that time was so cutting edge and innovative.

I congratulate you and all the other 4 people who worked on Monkey Island 2 (joke), I really laughted at the jokes. The deaf man in Booty Island, the giant monkey head wich Guybrush can easily put in his jacket, Guybrush trying to seduce Kate, the spit contest. The "romantic" scene in Elaine�s room at the party.. and I think the best one, the bones song with Guybrush parents...priceless.

Not to mention the best damn ending for a game! is just not the boring happy ending but a movie style scene... actually fantastic that the game follows a storyline, it starts just in a safe place ...then you go almost dying in le chucks fortress, then to a desert island, and then falling into a hole and being chased in some underground tunnel by a undead pirate. Actually, some scenes from the game were really scary, thanks to the great grapghics and music.

What Can I say? I hope they remake part 2 also!

Posted by adam on Jul 15, 2009 twenty five past midnight

All of the monkey island games are fantastic. MI2 was my fave, like many.
The voicing though... I hate to say it, but it's TERRIBLE. Guybrush sounds like a 12-year-old do-gooder. Rather than the bold-but-naive young man he's supposed to be.

Posted by Sparky on Aug 24, 2009 ten to nine am

Wow, you are an idiot.

Posted by Cine on Jul 16, 2009 twenty past two pm

Ron... I grew up with Monkey Island 1 & 2... I just wanna THANK YOU! Your games were (ARE) masterpieces... with only 16 colours, without billions of polygons or a hundred frames per second you wrote the HISTORY OF VIDEOGAMES! Thank You


P.S. sorry for my poor English ;-)

Posted by rh on Jul 17, 2009 twenty five past ten am

I just got this on xbox live and I have to say, it is OUTSTANDING - The best 800 Microsoft points I've ever spent. Please, for the love of god, Lucasarts need to do the same with Monkey Island 2.

Posted by Yado on Jul 18, 2009 five to seven am

I don't know how you feel about it, but Monkey Island in specific made many of us the people who we are right now! The game (Guybrush in specific) were and still are very influential in many aspects of our lives.

I played the original EGA game on a 386-SX personal computer, the bus speed was 16Mhz, and the RAM was a mere 2MB that I later upgraded to 4MB (Yes, MEGA Bytes, not GIGA Bytes!) paying a hundred dollars. I didn't have a sound card, but I bought one in '93 for $90, it was a Creative Sound Blaster Pro 8-bit. The only way I knew I was making progress in the game was when the hard disk indicator flashed and I could hear the loud sound of the old 40MB hard drive coming from the computer case! Boy I was pinned to the computer for hours! Those were the days...

I want to personally thank you, Ron, and the rest of the team who made the Monkey Island games. You guys rock!

Posted by Pedro on Jul 19, 2009 quarter past eight am

Yep, I also forgot to thank you for bringing such wonderfull games and such an influence in my life... dave grossman, tim shaffer, ron gilbert, michael land, steve purcell :)

Posted by Threepwud on Jul 19, 2009 five to four pm

I think it was 4 disks... on the Amiga anyway. my the music was great for that!

Anyway, please do a playthrough review for #2 like this. Wonderful to see and hear nostaligic references from Threep's dad.

Posted by Gorgo on Jul 20, 2009 five past seven pm

Monkey 1, 2 and 3 are the best games I've ever played.

My little tribute (still in process):

Posted by Mufti on Jul 21, 2009 five past four pm

After more than 10 years I'm just playing MI (Special Edition) again.
It's a nice nostalgic trip back into my childhood and I must admit that I can't remember all the puzzles what makes it even more interesting to play.

In my opinion it's still one of the best Adventure Games out there (together with MI2 and DotT).

By the way I fully agree with your critique (sword fighting little tedious, length of the scene behind the walls of the governors mansion) after replaying the game.

Good luck and thanks for the great game

Posted by CC on Jul 26, 2009 quarter past six am

please do MI2 special edition thanks

Posted by CC on Jul 26, 2009 twenty past six am

The 3 islands in MI2 is the awesomest part of any game.  Phatt/Scabb/Booty island, their music and scenery is the strongest nostalgia I have for any game.  Brilliant my man.

Posted by BCatDC on Jul 29, 2009 ten to seven am

Check out my retro MI desktop. It is the scum bar with tons of guybrush sprites doing drunken things. The conversation options give time, date, twitter status etc. And I think are pretty well written (read: funny).

I love the dock with the inventory items!!!

Thanks for all the memories Ron you guys did an amazing job!
Looking at all the sprites again while making this... I can't believe what you are able to achieve emotionally for all of us with such few pixels. They don't make 'em like they used to.

To see the desktop at flickr click on BCatDC above.

Posted by dani on Jul 30, 2009 ten past three am

Awesome post!! I couldn't stop reading every word of it. So many good memories... :D

But you've left apart the most trickier puzzle (for me). The only one that made me ask every friend to know how to solve it (remember, there was no Internet walkthroughs at that time): using the second paper to get the head...

I don't know why, but I only tried with the first, assuming that the other two would do the same...

Eternal thanks for those games and the one that comes :)

Posted by Driftwood on Aug 1, 2009 twenty past nine am

I loved the part on Monkey Island on the mountain if you go to far to the edge you fall down and it says "Guybrush died you have to start over", then suddenly he bounces back up again cause of a rubber tree! :D

Posted by Geert on Aug 14, 2009 five to six am

Just finished MI1 on my iPhone. Loved it!!!!
It's my most appreciated game on the iPhone.

Also love reading these remarks from you about making it. I recognize a lot of them as some kind of subconscious feelings I had when playing.

Funny to read about you not letting us go all the way back to the cannibals after finding the root.
After finding it, I was precisely wondering about that: would I have to go all the way back now, or check for more unfound clues first? I checked found out I really had nothing left to do on the boat by getting a hint.
I wish I knew that going back would be that easy.

I liked the navigator head puzzle, because it reminded me of the ocean floor puzzle in it's unexpected obviousness.

Posted by Lazarus on Aug 19, 2009 ten to six am

I am really excited that MI is back - that is definately one on most influential games I ever played - a cult game. Some quotes from game and situations are classic that just became a part of my and my friends life and leaked to every day language:)
I am really happy to hear that Telltale still remember who is a real father of the series - I hope Ron you will be able to have some influence on future of MI - maybe some "unfinished" ideas for never-made MI3 (by you) could appear in TOMI?

I have one uncomfortable question:) - some time ago in an interview for Wolrdlofmi you have told:
"Remaking MI1 would be a huge mistake and wouldn't add anything to the game. Having recently played the game again, it's just fine"

What caused you to change you mind - I see that currently you have rather positive attitiude towards MI SE.

Posted by eduardo rio on Aug 24, 2009 quarter past nine pm

Just want to thank you Ron and your outstanding team... such great memories... I'm 27 and played both monkey Islands back when I was a little kid. My father introduced me to your wonderful games (we are playing now the episodic tell tale games!) I learnt english that way, playing adventure games when I was like 10 year old...... Monkey Island will be forever in our hearts.

Greeting from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. (tropical beaches here)

Posted by Gorgo on Sep 1, 2009 twenty five past eight pm

Finished the Monkey figures:

The next ones will be based on Monkey 2 for sure... the best game ever.


Posted by Jack on Sep 28, 2009 five to one pm

Personally, I loved the close-ups
I find it enhanced the humour and the overall presentation of the game by several tunes.

I missed that feeling in the second game.

Posted by ramon on Oct 11, 2009 quarter past eight am

i played and finished monkey island a lot of times and until the sixth one i never realized there was a house of voodoo

Posted by Jorge Abascal on Nov 8, 2009 ten past one am

Please, i beg you, contact this guy and help him. Don't let Lucas fuck up the art again. :(


Posted by Ashley Pomeroy on Jan 3, 2010 five past one pm

It's a strange coincidence that you should post this, only six months ago now, which is nothing on a cosmic timescale. I didn't have the necessary hardware to play Monkey Island back in 1990, and by the time I owned a PC I was just in time to catch the wave of Grim Fandango, which seemed to linger in the local shops for ages. As a consequence of this I have only managed to play Monkey Island for the first time very recently, about a week ago, and so these words are coming at you and the world from the informed mind of a genuine neophyte.

I can understand why it's a classic. The original graphics don't look like a twenty-year-old PC title, they look like a modern-day handheld console game, and the classic version of Elaine Marley is mighty fine. A couple of bits have made me smile out loud; Guybrush being shot out of the cannon into the circus pole, and the direction during the sequence where he digs a huge hole for the treasure, and then fills it all in again. And "the machine" amused me.

Also, "I am rubber, you are glue" is meaningless in the UK, which makes it doubly funny, because it comes across as drug-induced madness rather than a playground insult.

The writing is of a quality that fills me with melancholy because it is so rare. It was rare at the time and it is rare nowadays. I can remember the magazines going ape for Lure of the Temptress and Beneath a Steel Sky and Rise of the Dragon and so forth because they were serious and thus somehow more substantial than Monkey Island, whereas of course Monkey Island now stands atop a pile of their rotting corpses, holding its sword to the throat of God Himself. I picture Guybrush lifting his skinny fists to heaven and shouting "If your brother's like you, better to marry a pig!". Which would work, because it was one of the swordmaster's insults. God cannot parry. The enemy's gate is down.

It's interesting that the two major female characters so far are not simpering dolls, whereas all of the men are idiots or fools. That tells us a lot about your relationship with your mother and your father and their relationship with each other and with you.

But. I've completed the first two trials easily enough. The puzzles made sense and I am a smart cookie. The third puzzle - my guess is that everybody does swordfighting and treasure hunting in that order, and then goes for the idol - disappointed me. You're supposed to put some yellow flowers onto a slab of meat and use this to drug the piranha poodles. To be fair, one of the pirates mentions that you can drug the dogs. But I was expecting the hitherto-useless voodoo lady to give me the recipe for some sleeping medicine. That could have been a short puzzle by itself. But no. I learn from a walkthrough that you're supposed to divine that the yellow - but not red, as far as I can tell - flowers can be picked up and used with the meat and that the resulting "meat with condiment" is a said-a-give.

Short of trying to pick up every clickable object and then using every item with every other item, I could not find a way to determine from the clues in the game that this was the solution to that puzzle. Everything else made sense. This puzzle did not. It felt as if a chunk in the middle had been cut out.

At this point I flew into a screaming rage and deleted the game; the second half, on the island, is apparently even more obtuse, and the sequel is apparently harder still. Grim Fandango was an excellent work of writing and acting and direction that genuinely moved me, and made me feel sorry that the story had to end; but the gameplay often ended up as a round of clicking every inventory item onto every other inventory item and then every clickable hotspot in the scenery until the puzzle was solved, and I grew sick of it.

Please tell me that this is a one-off, and that the rest of the game returns to the high standard it started with.

Posted by sammy on Apr 12, 2010 five past seven pm

Posted by Richard on May 29, 2010 ten past nine pm

I played that game as a kid.  It was a breath of fresh air after playing the 'Die-at-every-corner' sierra games.

Though I must admit I had played Last Crusade before that but still, the old EGA machine the family had worked perfect and it flawlessly brought me to the end of both.

20 years later and I still play it once in a while. I'm a pixel artist in a videogame company and while today's videogame 'business model' is far from satisfactory, I know I can rely on little pockets of fun such as Monkey Island.  It has it's little flaws, yes (the eye necklace is one) but it can be overseen.  It does not rob the player of what has been up to that point an excellent experience with humour and style.

It is very interesting to read what you and the team were thinking at the time and how you got around to doing some things.  Constraints for a console like the DS sounds a lot like what you had back then with disk space. Your games are foundations on which too few people build on nowadays.  Licenses and brands are a bane in today's games.

There is a new enhanced Monkey Island on PSN now.  And in the little lot next to the giant monkey heads, where all the little idols are, the original has a little totem-idol of Sam and Max, no doubt put there by equally legendary Steve Purcell, but the HD version has a tentacle. (Purple tentacle, I beleive, holding his stubby arm to the sky, to "Rule all the world")
The Grog machine, However, was put back as a coke machine.  Swirls and wave.

The Secret of Monkey Island is a game that has aged well.  I know I would be proud to have worked on it, had I been born earlier.
Right hand salute to you, Mr Gilbert.  You brought laughter (and some puzzle-induced frustration) to a whole generation that thought the good times would never end.

Posted by PointnClick on May 30, 2010 ten past eleven am

I like the style of the close ups (Pirates in Scumm Bar, Guybrush and Elaine). That style of art for the close ups gave the game a more realistic feel, which was needed. Since the small characters looked basic, cartoony and non-detailed, those close ups really changed the perception of the small characters.

Posted by glory on Dec 5, 2010 quarter past noon

Posted by Dork on Jan 30, 2011 ten to five pm

I know, I'm late, but:
I recently read that LucasArts' Avril Harrison was the model for Elaine's close-up. Ron, can you confirm that?

If that's true, I'd really like to see a picture of Avril from these days.

Posted by Fabrizio on Jun 8, 2011 twenty past five am

Just noticed... Well, obviously which game is the best is a matter of personal taste. MI1 and 2, while comedic and often crazy, DID have a bit of drama (or at least deadspan). Ron stated that CMI captured Monkey Island spirit, in fact i saw the introduction with original dubbing and found it good; I think Elaine's italian voice was a bit too "frivolous".

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