Best. Ending. Ever.

Jul 24, 2014

An email sent to me from LucasArts Marketing/Support letting me know they "finally" found some people who liked the ending to Monkey Island 2.

We really like the MI2!!! But the problem in Argentina was that nobody had the chance to buy it original.

I really love the MI games. And also I love the ending in MI2. I think something is forgoten to be explained between MI2 and MI3. Is it all in Guybrush's head?

And I always wanted to say...
Mr. Gilbert, I thank you for giving us Monkey Island. I am a big fan from Norway.


Hi Ron. Great post. Just wondering if you had any feedback on the un-used items in MI2 mentioned in the e-mail? Were those just accidental leftovers?

Ron Gilbert
Just all the stuff leftover from 40 hours of adventure gaming.

Dear Mr. Gilbert,
about 22 years after completing the game (MI2), it's time to thank you for creating the best adventure game of all passed times. I loved the ending of MI2! It was the best possible statement at the end of a brilliant game!
Thank you so much!

Those were the times, when people still took the time to write notes thanking for games....

Best game ever an inspiration to be creative in our lives. Wonderful, this game means a lot to many people i know. Thank you Ron again! Love all your Games…Manuel

Ahh the good old MI2 ending!

In a prior post you mentioned if you did MI3a you'd "want to be free to take the story where I wanted it to go"

I assume at some point, somebody somewhere is going to find a way to make this happen. I have to believe that.

The fan base is big enough and somebody @ Disney has got to see the sense in giving you access - I'd bet easily the biggest kickstarter success if nothing else.

Or worst case the copyright expires 70 yrs after origination right? So what are you doing in 2060?

"We're finally getting this over with, huh?"

That would be the thought in my head while launching MI3a.  Acknowledging the ending of MI2 would detract from the enjoyment of playing a new game.

I like how in the The Legend of Zelda series the characters are new incarnations of themselves.  That is the direction CMI and EMI should have taken.

Instead it was like that kid you tell a joke to, and he tells it to all his friends.  You have to hear him repeat your joke and steal all the laughs.  Now his friends are telling the joke, and everybody has heard the joke several times and nobody remembers why it's funny anymore.

The Monkey Island universe is well-suited for telling new stories, and while I haven't played Tales of Monkey Island, it seems they went in that direction.  That was a really smart name for their series.

I really liked MI2's ending, although it was somehow shocking. Didn't realise that so many people were mad about it until recently!

One of the best endings ever to a game and the best cliffhanger ending to a game.  As a player, I found the ending both a satisfying way to end that particular chapter of the series, but it also made me extremely excited about getting to play the next installment.  

Unfortunately, that next installment completely missed the mark.  At the the time I couldn't understand what Lucas Arts was thinking.  It was as though I had entered a strange parallel dimension, because this felt nothing like the game I had fell in love with.  The worst thing about it is was that very brilliant ending from the previous game was just thrown away as though it never happened.  It had the effect of making MI 2's ending feel unsatisfying.  

One of these days, I hope there is some way for us to get to have the real MI 3 experience.  That excitement I had for the next chapter is still there, as I have chosen to treat any of the MI games that have come after 2 as bastard step children. (Especially 4.  What in the world were they thinking with that one?  3D 3 headed monkeys, oh my!)

To paraphrase one Mr. G. Threepwood, "“Please? Pretty please? Please pretty please with sugar on top, will you sell your soul to Disney and make MI 3?”  Seriously though, I hate that all I can do is beg you to do something that your are philosophically against.  I would ask though, who really owns anything?  When we all dissolve into cosmic dust, is anyone going to care that Disney owned something you created?  I don't think so.  I think that we should take advantage of the moments we have together.  

Yes, that is probably coming from a selfish place, but it seems like you want to make the game and it seems as though there are many people who want to see you make it.  If the terms are that Disney gets a big slice of the pie, then who cares?  Everyone knows who really owns it.  We're never going to have the opportunity to have this experience again.  

-A zealous fan

Ron Gilbert
It's not about money, it's about control. I don't want some marketing department and focus group telling me what MI3a needs to be. I wouldn't be trying to make a hugely successful game, I'd being making a game that was true it itself.

There is also the principal of the issue. I'm tried of making stuff other people control, from Mansion Mansion to The Cave. I'm done with that.

Isn't the only other way to create a Kickstarter project? Unless you find someone else who just gives you money.

Sony must have some really intelligent people working there considering the fuzz they made about Grim Fandango. Have you been contacted by them regarding the rights to Monkey Island? Incredible that it's been over 20 years since MI2. Played it again on my ps3 the other day to get the last trophies. Loved you guys' comments.

We wouldn't want that either.  You would have to have full creative control and final say.  I'm on the outside looking in, but I don't see why anyone would bother giving you notes on a Monkey Island game.  What you've done with MI speaks for itself.  

I understand your principal, but you birthed MI into the corporate world.  Who knows if it ever exists outside of it?  In this case, I think the story is too good not to tell regardless of who gets to say they control the property. Just make sure you're well positioned when they write up the paperwork, because your fans are going to make that game a hit.

Wow, are you saying that they were making discussions on how MI2 should end?? :

Ron Gilbert
No, Lucasfilm Games never exerted any creative control, at least not during the time I was there. I'm saying any publisher today would never let me do what I wanted to MI3a. There are too many middle managers at a big publisher that have to justify their existence.

Also, making games is a lot of hard work. I'm done working my ass off to make other people rich. I've done it my entire career and I own nothing I've ever created, I get no royalties or backend and I'm not going to do it anymore.

Sorry if that come across as being selfish. I'm just trying to be honest.

That's capitalism. You are the counterexample that it doesn't support innovations.

It's true, I've a bit of experience on that (much less than Ron Gilbert though). Creating a game, taking the responsability of the actual result is not just a "normal" job. You sacrifice yourself for a relatively long period of time and during that your work could be considered AS your life.

You cannot lose a part of your life for someone that, in the end, would leave you with anything that a bit of glory and much frustration..

Creating a game is like a love story, and the right relationship should satisfy all the parties.

Well, they can kiss my arse. I loved MI2, from the start to the end. However, I always felt there was something more to follow, even back when I was a pimply teenage smartarse. Too bad we never got to play the something more. Really, too bad. But we all know Disney and their iron grip on stuff they own, so I don't expect to see MI3a anytime soon.

That being said, I'm down to buy and play whatever you come up with next. From Maniac Mansion to The Cave, you've never disappointed me as a gamer.

Hey, is that email adress still in use? ;-)

Ron Gilbert
These we the days before the Internet (as we know it today). We didn't have the ability to send email outside the company, hence the lack of a .com any other domain extension. It was all Internal.

When we worked at Skywalker ranch, Lucasfilm Games was in the the "Stable House", a building crafted to look like an old stable. When we moved from the ranch down to the office park in San Rafael, we changed the name to "Unstable".

The AOL you see after people names isn't really an AOL email address, they were just using the AOL service to communicate.  LG also had an AOL account and we'd talk to people that way. Either that or CompuServe.

Fun times.

If you don't wont to create a MI3a for Disney please just write a Online-Blog-Book with the upcoming story.
I wont to know whats the secret of monkey island is^^

And,... If a real Book hurts any licence we can call it "The Fanfiction of Monkey Island written by Nor Treblig" or something like that.

As long as I can read the true story befor I or you die Iam happy^^

Or even better,... Your last will are the publishing of the true story/secret.

sorry,... "WILL" know

Also wrong,.... I belive "I want to know,..." are right,...OR?

Sorry for my bad english^^

It's not selfish to want to be compensated fairly for something you have created.  I don't want you to get screwed again, but there is some part of me that has to believe that you want to tell the rest of the story and also that you could find a way to set things up, so at the very least you would be compensated fairly for your efforts.  

As a fan, as someone who has fallen in love with the story you have woven, I sincerely want to know how it finishes.  Or maybe I don't. Maybe it's better this way.  I don't know.  All I do know, is that if one day you do decide to tell the end of the story, I would do whatever it takes to make sure I'm within earshot when you're telling the tale.

You know,
I love Monkey Island, but I think that any game based on
story/characters made by R.G. and a bunch of great graphics artists and an awesome composer would be great for nostalgic people.

He showed the world, more than anything else, that also gameplay could become good story-telling, and just focusing on what you DO in the game could be enough to entertain people both at emotive and intellectual level.
Story, characters and graphics art enhance that, of course.

In other more recent adventure games, story telling is done just by... story, art and, in the best of hypotesis, characters; so I think this is the reason why they doesn't satisfy us like Monkey Island.

I really hope that R.G. would make another adventure game, not necessarily MI3a.

Yeah, i also hope that Ron will make a new point and click adventure game again some day. But i guess thats a bit more time consuming than doing short mobile games like Scallywags.

And if you do....please dont make a game most suited for Broken Age. ;-)

Did you find the puzzles too easy or the story to kiddie? I agree with you but I'm not sure why the game bugged me.

I think that puzzles should be memorable and fun; also when they are simple to solve, you should understand the creativity and genious behind them. Grim Fandango had this. Broken Age is a cool piece of art, but I can't even remember a puzzle :/

I think millions of people have already suggested it, but I'll do it anyway: have you considered doing a kickstarter for MI3a and publish it through DoubleFine, the same way Broken Age was made?

Ron Gilbert
Well... Disney owns Monkey Island and they are not interested in selling it. Read my comment above for more clarification.

Hypothetically, provided Disney was willing to sell, wouldn't it be horribly expensive anyway?

Tim Schaffer had to get Sony on board to buy back Grim Fandango, and MI is probably more popular, hence valuable to them.

What do you have in mind to raise that much money?

Ron Gilbert
Tim did not buy back Grim. He is just doing a remake with Sony, who licensed it from Disney.


Doing MI3a without anyone controlling you can be solved with a kickstarter campaign which I am sure would be really successful.

The hard part is the negotiation with Disney for the rights but I have the hope you will eventually find the way, even if it's ten years from now.

Btw, thanks for your tips about the creative process.

“I really do hope that there will be a Monkey3.”

Isn't it funny how little has changed in the last 20 years? :-)

ah, that hurts to read. that was always something I feared most, doing something you love just so a bunch of suits can take it from you like big bullies.

as many above already mentioned, are you interested kickstarting a project? or does kickstarter just replace corporate suits with raging nerds and in the end it's the same dilemma?

Best ending ever indeed.

Pure genius.

I think the ending of MI2 was a promise of great and surprising things to happen in MI3. I feel both furious and sorrowful for what happened after the ending or rather did not happen at all.

I am pretty sure I'm not the only one who went through the Monkey Island games from 1 - 5 and felt like experiencing 2 different stories. I felt drunk.

Reading your blog, Ron, helps me understand the game more and experience it in many different ways. It gives me also strong hope for the true story to continue someday.

I want to believe this post brings another brick to build a stairway to creating the new MI3 and more.

I support your work, Ron, and I respect your choices whatever they may be. Nevertheless my ultimate dream is to experience MI3 of your creation. I will never give up hope for this to happen.

Best wishes. Bartosz

I was young when I played that game and the ending was a huge anticlimactic let down to me at the time. I wanted the fairy tale so to speak. But fairy tales quckly becomes boring, while unexpected endings becomes interesting.

Another ending I adore is the The hunt for the holy grail by Monty python. It is absurdly nonsensical though which mi2 isn't. It is anticlimactic in a way but still let the story carry on.

Do you have a flair for anticlimaxes Ron? Or just for the unexpected?

Hi Ron! Big fan here! :)
When did you aproach Disney asking to sell Monkey Island to you? What exactly did they say? They are planing to make another one or just don't wanna sell to you? It was a meeting or just exchanging e-mails? Do you lost you hopes that one day you will make another Monkey Island game? How much in mind do you have of the MI3a?

Ron, I hope you get to read this.

Is there anything we the old fans can do to make MI3a happen? Maybe an online petition, I'd be willing to write an open letter to Disney asking them to at least negotiate with you. Then a Kickstarter campaign could come next.

For me it's heartbreaking, really. I played MI2 when I was a little kid and it is, by far, the game that I loved the most. And I don't know if I understand the ending correctly, but it seems to me that LeChuck WINS. So, actually, Guybrush really needs to be rescued!

It's been a long, long time. It's time we do something. If there's anything we can do to help, we will be here.

And thanks again for Monkey Island. It's not just a game.

Ron Gilbert
I read all the comments. There is no place you can hide a comment from me! That said, they do not want to sell MI. It's not a matter of price or raising the money. Trust in me that I've looked into this and done everything I can. For now.

Hi there Ron,

I've got the solution!
We can start a Kickstarter to buy Disney, and then give you the rights of MI.

Now seriously, thanks for MI, believe it or not I'm who I'm thanks to MI. It began like playing a game, now It's the way how I make my living... and no, I'm not a pirate :)

Ron Gilbert
Yes, I think this is the loophole I've been looking for!

Hello Ron, i'm 25, i was really young when i discovered MI, I started from the 3rd one, and i enjoy it, but i then wanted the first two and fell in love, there are two games that make me became a game designer (I'm far from your skills, and nowadays it's not easy to do this job as you say many times, i got a project "stolen" once (i wrote all the game design, all ideas, and system, they then fired me and took it... i won't say names)

I have to thank you still for the inspiration your games, and yourself have been to me, i wish you the best luck and i hope one day i'll be able to do a game as inspiring, and as intelligent as yours.

wait... do we play Elaine Marley in MI3a?  

Really appreciate the last comment, Ron.  For some reason I thought you had given up hope, but I can see now that you're just dealing with reality.  "For now" gives me hope.

"For now" gives hope for all of us.

I don´t get why can´t it be just a regular adventure game with new characters and a new world.
You´ll do an adventure game ONLY if it´s MI3?
I tought you weren´t doing graphic adventures because you wanted to move to other genres, wich is fine. Now it seems that it was more of a fight for the rights, though Disney bought LucasArts only a year ago. Sorry, I honestly ask because I´m confused about this.
I´d just do a new world, new characters. I´m sure it would double the reception that Broken Age had (well as long as people didn´t loose faith with that one)
Well, anyway, just a doubt.

Being relatively young I'm rather surprised that 'lol' as an acronym was very much alive and kickin' in 92.

Alvaro Tello
Just want to say ... THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU for MI, this was a very important part of my childhood. I have many problems at home and this game help me a lot. Thanks Ron!
And I will support you in any kickstarter project of you.

Sir Joe Works
«Much better than Kings Quest V» !!!

Huh, I've always loved that ending. I just love how nothing else mattered! It's probably the reason why it's my favorite in the series. These games made me the cheap Macgyver I am today -sans the mullet :(

My friends just pointed out that I tend to like screwy endings esp. those that contradict the whole story's "message"
(Have you seen Wizards? and ending we all secretly hoped for came true)

Well, looks like I have my answer now. Congrats on the new game, it´s almost funded already and it looks like it´s gonna be great.

Francesco Favia

I will try to be short as you are busy with your new game that I will buy for sure... unless Russia will invade europe, you never know nowdays..

Along this last 20 years I am sure you have been asked thousands times what does that ending means...
But I want to ask you something else Ron ( at least I hope nobody asked you that before) ...

Why did you guys ended the game that way?
Why that ending?

(please applause for the original question)

Emails in 1992?? Madness!!

Francesco Favia
Damn... no answer to my question... and we are still not invaded...

Paul Blan
I'm going to have two children.

I shall name them Guybrush and Ron.