Three Short Arguments

Mar 08, 2018

This video makes me seem much smarter than I actually am.

LostTrainDude Mar 08, 2018
Given that I really enjoyed this, I often wonder about the "being smarter than" bit for any kind of creative work. As an artist, if I'm not consciously creating such "depth": when someone points it out, does it mean that I managed to create it unconsciously or is it just an opinion? Probably there's no correct answer, nonetheless I always found the question fascinating since studying literature in school.

Blombo Mar 09, 2018
Oh Ron, you are much smarter than you think you are :)

backpatcher Mar 09, 2018
I liked his explanation of Elaine's character.
Thanks for sharing.

Clark Mar 09, 2018
I enjoyed his observations as well, especially on Guybrush and Elaine's characterization. From my hazy recollections of first year philosophy, art has multiple meanings - there are the intentions of its creator(s), but the meaning that is created when it is received by others in a public social context is also just as important.

Something of the Head Mar 09, 2018
Well, that's better for your reputation than being much smarter than you seem.

By the way, I recently played the new Monkey Island (with the old interface) trying to learn how a hint system works, while writing down puzzle dependencies. I noticed the system gives you immediate local hints before more important puzzle hints. Curiously, in the first part of the game, the system keeps asking you insistently to talk to the pirates even when that action is something absolutely optional in the game! That made me think of two things: the hint algorithm is much smarter than it seemed and maybe talking to the pirates should have been made necessary before allowing the player to move to any other location in order to give the story complete sense even for the fuzzers.

Francesco Favia Mar 09, 2018
Well, Ron just wants to tell us he did not think anything of the things this guy said in the video.
Anyway I can't still explain myself why the MI theme still gives me goos bumps.. after I guess... mmmm 25 years..

Francesco Favia Mar 09, 2018
by the way, does anybody know where I can find the theme plaid with accordian that we can listen in the video?

Blombo Mar 09, 2018
@Francesco Favia
I think Ron, as many smart people do, suffers from the Dunning–Kruger effect (the "good" one), i.e. he underestimates his smartness.
I was amazed by that version of the Jojo theme too. I'm pretty sure it's this one: Fantastic rendition.

Frans Mar 10, 2018
This post didn't show up on the RSS feed. Is that intentional?

Giorgio Novelli Mar 10, 2018
Thanks for sharing. Really interesting analysis on which I can relate a lot, especially on comparing the first to the second MI.

Big Red Button Mar 11, 2018
Most of the observations in the video are indeed some of the reasons why this game is so awesome, albeit some of the conclusions appear a bit too flat to me.
I fully agree that it was very funny for the player to see how meaningless extensive puzzle chains turned out to be eventually. The statement that there is no real destination, but the journey itself is the destination in that game, is absolutely correct. And, in my opinion, this perception is the most important aspect in adventure games in general. The journey itself is what makes an adventure game an adventure, I think.
I also like the comments on the sequels. They point out some good reasons why the sequels have to be called non-canonical.

Big Red Button Mar 11, 2018
That said, there is always a clear cliffhanger that motivates the player in MI 1, such as the three trials and the funny dialogue with the Governor after you have rescued yourself from drowning. Though, the fact that these cliffhangers turn out to be flops in a funny way does not impair the entertainment at all.

TheSpaceNavy Mar 13, 2018
This video reminds me a little of the Hobbit, and how Bilbo Baggins was a burglar and then a hero, despite having any of the natural aptitudes that are usually associated with these professions.  Also, If you look at as art as opening yourself as a conduit to your muse, then it makes a lot of sense that people see things you didn't know were there.  Call the muse what you will, but it's definitely way below the surface in most cases.

Paul Nicholas Mar 14, 2018
It seems Ron's RSS feed is always a bit behind the blog. Perhaps it's updated manually? Not sure.

Frans Mar 14, 2018
@Paul Nicholas: Indeed, it just showed up. Good to know. 😀

RC Mar 14, 2018
Great example for a conspiracy theory. You just pull together some random stuff to support your narrative. One could easily make a video claiming the exact opposite of everything in this video, by just using some other parts of the game.

I also like Monkey Island 2 a lot more than 1. I played 2 first as a kid; got 1 after. Coincidence? :P

Ron Gilbert Mar 14, 2018
Perhaps it's updated manually?

Yes, I have to push a button to generate the RSS feed, and sometimes I forget. I don't want to do it automatically because most reader services won't pick up corrections, so I give it a bit to make sure.

Call me Squinky Mar 16, 2018
One thing about his comment on futzers - after the opening scene with the lookout you can turn around and go to the Melee Island map - you're not railroaded into going straight down the road to the Scumm Bar.

Andrea "Rum Rogers" Serreli Mar 20, 2018
The guy didn't mention that, if you steal the idol last, you will miss the entire cutscene with Guybrush and Elaine in the dock talking romantic. I think this is the only real flaw MI1 has. Of course, MI2 doesn't have any.

Fuz Mar 21, 2018
I'm DEFINITELY a Futzer.

Bernhardinski Mar 23, 2018
The term 'genius' originally referred to someone who created something that should be beyond their capability, someone who didn't intended the deeper meaning of their work, but created it accidentally. With due respect, mr. gilbert, you are a genius.

Joe Allen Mar 27, 2018
Interesting ideas. I would also add
1.' The secret of monkey island' as a title gives the impression that Melee island is just an appetizer and greater adventures lie over the horizon. This gives the game depth and inspires you to get to this other place.
2. Mark Ferarri's art work on this and Loom is very 'John Alvin' - see 80's movie posters like ET and Arachnophobia. It feels like you're stepping into a Spielberg adventure. This is compounded by the lucasfilm logo on the box.
3. Starting at nightime around a fire is great idea - like being told a story at camp. Also those 8-bit blue graphics and twinkling stars are a Mark Ferarri speciality. The game looks  great.
4.  Ron is a pro when it comes to quality control. I can't think of any puzzle that is half-baked or any plot item that is just tagged on. It all fits beautifully and within minutes of playing the game I have forgotten that it has been made by real people.

Dave G Apr 10, 2018
This is a great analysis! Also, "cheerful nihilism" is the perfect description of my personal philosophy in 1989.

Noah F Apr 12, 2018
Very nice!  Ron, I think your subconscious gets some credit for what he attributes to intention (and I thought his design (part 2) section brought back some memories of debates we all had in how to structure the puzzles, so there was intention there.  Also spot on about the character of Elaine, I think she was a great blend of the writing and character skills of the 3 of y'all.  But the thought there was "no real Secret of Monkey Island"?  Pshaw.  I'm disappointed he missed - and dissed - the main clue.

Oh, and wouldn't it be great if someone writes a dissection of the art of writing about adventure games and covers how this is a great example of how to do it?

Frank Diver Oct 24, 2018
This was a brilliant video covering a lot of stuff I had never been aware of. Thanks for sharing.