30 years ago today...

Sep 02, 2020

Thirty years ago today I made the final gold masters for Monkey Island.

Some notes about these.

These are the final source backups I made when the game left test and the gold masters were sent off.

They are labeled 1.1 because the game got bounced out of test during the final two weeks and so the version got bumped when it went back in.

For the younger readers out there: These are not USB devices and you can't text your friends or watch TikTok videos on them. I know. Crazy.

UPDATE:

The day has come and gone and I didn't get a happy birthday card from Disney with the Monkey Island IP tucked inside. There is always next year. Fingers crossed. Maybe it because I don't subscribe to Disney+.


Stewie Sep 02, 2020
We have to celebrate! Where is my Grog !?

Henk Sep 02, 2020
The masters of my favorite game were made in my birthday!  What are the odds...  (Yeah, yeah, I know the odds)

Pouf Sep 02, 2020
So you still have those; Neat!

Michaël Sep 02, 2020
Why is the final version labeled 1.1 and not 1.0? Is there an interesting drama behind this? 😀

Marco Sep 02, 2020
@Michaël: check here https://grumpygamer.com/monkey25

Eric Sep 02, 2020
That's awesome. Do you even have a floppy disk reader? I had buy a USB one to read old disks! When's the next adventure game coming out! We need leaks!

Michaël Sep 02, 2020
Thanks @Marco ! It was very interesting to read, and fortunately with no drama ;-)

Ron Gilbert Sep 02, 2020
I do have a USB floppy. I have never tried reading them. I have all the source anyway.

Chris Sep 02, 2020
Hey Ron,

just want to  say thank you for all the wonderful games you've created in the past. Monkey Island 1  and 2 were the main reasons that got me interested in computer graphics at a very young age and this love is still strong today though the tools shifted a bit from pixel art to 3D pbr stuff. 😀

A shame disney won't sell the rights for Monkey Island to the only person who deserves it: you. But what to expect from a company who already drove my beloved Star Wars franchise into the ground, next up they will also ruin Alien and Predator movies. A shame.

Anyways...thanks again for all the games that gave me a ton of fun and good laughs. Stay safe and be excellent. ^^

Evan Sep 02, 2020
I had to explain to my nephew the other day how installing a game off multiple floppys worked.  He also thought the entire process of setting up a multiplayer game of DOOM over a 28.8 modem with your (1) Buddy was hilarious.  

On a different note, when I got my first ZIP disk I couldn't imagine how I was going to fill up all that space....

Mario Sep 02, 2020
Shut up and take my money for all four of'em!

faehnrich Sep 02, 2020
source code release?

Matthias Sep 02, 2020
It would be great if you could release the source code under an open source license

Ron Gilbert Sep 02, 2020
It would be great if you could release the source code under an open source license

Yeah... talk to the Mouse. I don't own any of it.

Del Sep 02, 2020
please reveal us the secret of monkey island already!

Makkenhoff Sep 02, 2020
Out of curiosity, do you think the code itself is worth preserving? You might be able to donate the disks and code to a larger organization for storage purposes, even if they can't release it until the mouse quits it's drive to extend the law, it would be preserved..

Whisky Tango Foxtrot Sep 02, 2020
So where are disks 22, 36 and 114?

Folden Sep 02, 2020
What a cool little piece of gaming history. One of my favorite games ever. Thanks for sharing.

Ariel Bosi Sep 02, 2020
Happy anniversary, Mr Gilbert! To you and the whole team behind it. You made a better world for lots of us.

Looking forward for your upcoming projects.

Pasquale Sep 02, 2020
Thanks for creating the Monkey Island franchise: my childhood wouldn't have been the same without it!!
Although I know it's very difficult, I hope one day soon you can create other sequels of it, and obviously your much-desidered Monkey 3A!!

Pasquale Sep 02, 2020
Please bring back LARGO LAGRANDE (and his catchy theme, lol), if one day you do actually create other Monkey Island installments!!
I missed him so much in the other sequels: my favorite antagonist in the whole franchise!!

Matias Morrison Sep 03, 2020
I just stopped by to say thank you.

Chris Sep 03, 2020
Monkey and Maniac made my gaming interests (nearly) one dimensional. When I look for a new game I look for games that have the essential qualities of Monkey and Maniac. And that search almost always fails. I just don't enjoy most other games either due to the style or lack of humor or whatever.
Funny, feels like yesterday that I used those types of disks.

Nathan Sep 03, 2020
Thank you for sharing this piece of history with us.  This is still my favorite game of all time and I laugh every time I play it.
Any chance you can use section 203 of the 1978 copyright law to reclaim your rights in a couple/few years?  
https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/copyright-assignment-termination-after-3-37405/

max Sep 03, 2020
@Nathan This is interresting, I hope Ron will try and do that...

Konstantinos Konstantopoulos Sep 03, 2020
So many good memories for thousands of people from just 4 floppy disks containing tons of creative talent and much labor...
Thank you, Ron.
Best wishes for you and your beloved ones!

Nicolas Deneschau Sep 03, 2020
Happy Birthday SOMI and thanks Ron for giving us this game !
Concerning releasing Monkey Island source code under an open source license, I strongly hope we will have some news VERY SOON !

Daniele Sep 03, 2020
I could name them "my holy grail". Thanks for this Ron!

Chris Sep 03, 2020
Cool. Happy birthday Monkey Island!

Zak Phoenix McKracken Sep 03, 2020
The 15th of October, will be the anniversary of when the game was in shops and stores for the first time. Correct?

dada Sep 03, 2020
Happy Birthday Monkey Island! One of the games that will always have a special place in my heart and I will keep revisiting.

Rudi Sep 03, 2020
Awesome! Happy birthday! 😀

Argentina- Juan Matias Stati Sep 03, 2020
Thank you for giving me such a full adolescence. I only have one person that I admire in the world and it is you.

Gabriel Sep 03, 2020
Both Monkey Island games are my personal favorites and they affected me deeply, thank you so much for them Ron!

Francisco Sep 03, 2020
Congratulations! Monkey Island was my introduction to adventure games! And is still one of my favorites games of all time

Ron Gilbert Sep 03, 2020
The 15th of October, will be the anniversary of when the game was in shops and stores for the first time.

I have no idea. Things didn't work the same back then as they do now.  Stuff just left the warehouse and when ever it got there it got there.

Everything today is "an event".  Not so back then.

Dale Sep 03, 2020
Oh awesome! And we thank and salute you for such a wonderful piece of entertainment! :)

Ron Gilbert Sep 03, 2020
Any chance you can use section 203 of the 1978 copyright law to reclaim your rights in a couple/few years?

This seems to be for abandoned IP.  Unfortunately Disney is pretty good at not abandoning IP.

Rodrigo Savoye Sep 03, 2020
Congrats from Argentina. Thanks for share this piece.

Dave Sep 03, 2020
Thank you so much for what you did with Monkey Island. My youth (and hopefully my sons' one) was better thanks to you. And even now, at 42, I find myself go back and play your masterpieces, or listen to their soundtracks while I work.  I like Curse too, but I hope you will be able to make a Monkey 3a one day or another. Anyway, waiting for your next graphic adventure! My family will surely play it :)

mggnut Sep 03, 2020
Hopefully you get not sued by Disney like AL lowe when he showed of his Sierra Game Gold Master Copys

PS Happy Birthday best Game EVER Made!

Hans Sep 03, 2020
Thank you for all the great memories! I was in Venice for vacation the last two weeks and all I could think of was Indy 3 (the game, of cause).

Francesco Favia Sep 03, 2020
Mmmm linking the dots left behind I think Ron may be bluffing and he got the IP somehow and his new project is actually MI3a. Of course there are a lot of probabilities I am wrong but I have this strange feeling... Mmm...
Happy bday to Monkey Island by the way !

Basto Sep 03, 2020
Happy Birthday and thanks for everything!

Dipper_Berlin Sep 03, 2020
Just played 1 and 2 again plus Curse and still remember 1990, when I set foot on Melee the first time and chilled in the Scumm Bar with the boys on the Amiga. *sigh* I remember, being ten years old then, I was actually scared of LeChuck and at times wasn't sure if I should play on, lol! Not as much tho as I was of Edna in Maniac, but of course back then I was 8. But even standing on the corridor with that darn noisy grandfather clock and knowing she'd be in the kitchen, I'd be shit scared. Thinking of it, I still am, but she DOES look kinda monstrous, compared to Tentacle.

Good times but hey, I loved Thimbleweed almost as much as Monkey, and after all there are possibilities for spin-offs, aren't there.

chris Sep 03, 2020
Thanks for the best game ever made

Stevo Sep 04, 2020
"These are not USB devices and you can't text your friends or watch TikTok videos on them. I know. Crazy."
I still have some disks to explain my children where the save-sign is from...  :-D

I am wondering some times, if ANY young programmer could make it to develop a good game using just 4 disks. (Yes i know, we dont use DOS anymore.)
In times of MI/MI2 my brandnew(!) harddisk had only 120 MB!

Simon Swords Sep 04, 2020
I just wanted to say thank you for helping shape my interest in computers/software/programming/gaming and all the things that I am enormously lucky to have as a result of those interests.

I'm sure I am not the only person who  enjoyed the game and also had their life (even if only in some small way) changed by it.

Thank you :)

Daniel from Sweden Sep 04, 2020
Growing up with these games is something that I am very happy for. Thank you for creating something which has a greater impact on my life than the works of the brothers Grimm.  I hope you keep creating.

Piotr Sep 04, 2020
Thanks for an amazing game. Me & my brother had so much fun playing it.

gabe Sep 04, 2020
Ron, looking back now, much do you regret (or not) the deals made by your past self?

Winston Sep 04, 2020
I think I know what I am going to install and play this weekend...

Greg Sep 04, 2020
Hypothetically, what are the rules about revealing source code that isn't open source?

Charles Sep 04, 2020
Found this in my storage a few years back:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJh0M0xXUAASQXC?format=jpg&name=medium

Happy anniversary, Ron. Thanks for making my childhood a lot more fun than I thought it could be.

Aidan Sep 04, 2020
Would it be possible to do what the 1985 Blade Runner game did and make a game "inspired by the soundtrack" of monkey island?  That was an amusing loophole.

Mark Anderson Sep 04, 2020
We really need the mouse to let you have the IP. They aren't using it. And considering the timeline you talked about for 3a, you need to get started!

Fer Sep 04, 2020
Congrats! and thanks for such a great game!
oh, wait... How dare you use the word "master"?!  Oh no! you are in favor of slavery!!!  I knew it!

Ryan M Sep 04, 2020
Thanks Ron. I spent many hours playing with my cousin when we were young. It was fun to share the game with my kids, 20+ years later.

Rum Rogers (Eigendrea) Sep 04, 2020
Happy birthday to a real life changer for me!
Thanks for creating it, Ron!
Cheers!

Felger Sep 04, 2020
I love the font used in this blog. What's its name, pretty please ?

grumpycats Sep 04, 2020
>version got bumped

😀 do you remember what the bug was?

Nagra Sep 04, 2020
I really, really hope, this will happen some time.
I remember sitting there, back than in ´93 or so, watching the End Credits of MI2, reading the funny lines, that Boris Schneider had putten in there, and I thought, "what??? that´s it?, That is the end of the series?"
MI3 never felt right for me. So good luck and fingers crossed for your next birthday... and christmas of course 😀

Diduz Sep 04, 2020
Those are 4 HD floppies. I guess they must contain the source code too, because the original EGA 16 colors version of Monkey Island only needed 4 DD 720Kb floppies.

Zapotek Sep 04, 2020
Thank you so much for Monkey Island, Ron. I was nine when I played it and it was amazing. You gave me passion for good videogames -  that is my best hobby nowday. And I have a lot of wonderful memories about the world and the characters  you created. It was amazing that you did all that when you was only 26, using the technology of '90s. You are one of the people who made my world better and I wish you the best in everything.

pkw792 Sep 04, 2020
The soundtrack!!! And the game :D

Matt M Sep 04, 2020
Monkey Island is a fabulous game. A perfect mix of challenges, captivating artwork, and humor. Thank you for your work in creating it! It definitely captivated me and will hold a place in my heart. Thank you!

Hamed Sep 04, 2020
I think you should create an adventure game with you as the main protagonist and a few other characters breaking into Disney's HQ and reclaiming (aka stealing) back the Monkey Island IP

Hamed Sep 04, 2020
The final scene will be a showdown between  you and the mouse

Hamed Sep 04, 2020
With lightsabers!!

Howard Sep 04, 2020
Only 1.1! We have it too easy these days with patches. Monkey Island was a real eye-opener for me. The graphics, music and writing were wonderfully cohesive. The gameplay was way ahead of it's arcade-steeped peers, rewarding the player for sticking with it and rewarding with more content. The sequel was sublime and TWP + Devlog and weekly Scrumms brought it all back round. Big thanks Ron.

Marco Sgn Sep 04, 2020
Everytime someone asks me what's the best game ever written I say "Monkey Island" and I've been saying for 25 years. Thank you.

Paul Sep 04, 2020
I got pretty far with the pitch of the Monkey Island boardgame we designed but still waiting for one reply... since May.

Reagan W Sep 04, 2020
Incredible. Thank you for everything you've given us, Ron!

cache Sep 05, 2020
I can't thank you enough for those games! All of the comebacks in the swordfight mechanics were amazing and still pop into my head for seemingly no other reason than to put a smile on my face. I'm shakin in my boots. I have a dedicated nokia n800 with a stylus that's perfect for playing this game. So many thanks for such amazing games!

Hedberg Sep 05, 2020
Thank you for Monkey Island.. It is one of my favorite memories from early gaming. I hope you will consider to have the disks archived/preserved, so the sources are not lost.

Schreibschutz Sep 05, 2020
One disk was great, two acceptable (already needed  some swapping with a save disk on two drives), four already felt like too much, not speaking of MI2's insane eleven. In the later floppy days, before hard drives were common and the CD showed up, the gap between the data and the capacities of data carriers was painful. Sometimes (with enough memory and sys-format) RAM-Disks were a workaround.

I wonder how it felt, shipping games this way and knowing people will end up, swapping like jockeys.

I preferred the blue and a few other colorful ones with labels (nice canvas for drawing).

Laxer3A Sep 05, 2020
I just stumbled on your page thanks to Twitter.

I just hope that at least you have a backup of those disk into a 'better' digital form (one that age a little bit better I'd say). While 'the mouse' has the rights/IP on it, I am not even sure they still have the data... Floppy even grow mold... At least keep the data safe on your side.

Tony Asmus Sep 05, 2020
I am a huge fan of Monkey Island 1 and 2, because of part 1 I bought my first soundcard. Soundblaster 1 Mono. I will never forget the graphics and sound on my 286.
I long for the time back. So many great memories and feelings.

I am really a big fan.
https://imgur.com/a/ny50HdY

Tom Hardwidge Sep 05, 2020
Still waiting for the day when a long-serving janitor leaving Disney gets his retirement gift of a "rummage in the IP bin under the stairs" and decides to do the honourable thing.

Johan Sep 06, 2020
Happy birthday Guybrush!

Oh, and screw Disney.

Sebastian Huerta (Argentina) Sep 07, 2020
Happy birthday!!! You re a Hero in Argentina Ron! So many fond memories of your games! Thank you !!

GM Sep 07, 2020
The best game ever :') Thank you for everything.

Cpt. Catarro Sep 07, 2020
Guys stop to watch Disney's movie and pay for Disney plus... it's more easy that they fall than they sell MI ip... :(

Jeff Sep 07, 2020
You should make an online petition called "Monkey Island : Ron Gilbert Should Be The Rightful Owner"

Stick Sep 07, 2020
I guess your closing notes about Disney ot having sent you the IP was exactly to avoid discussions on a possible 3rd installment of MI, and I don't want to add to the fuel the fire, but I can't keep this for me, with you one click away.

Not having THE third MI is something I'll always regret.

TSO Monkey Island lit the spark that made me what I am today, professionally speaking. I owe a lot to you, and it goes well beyond a happy youth (something you definitively contributed to!): it has to do with what I am now.
I can't exactly explain what MI was to me, but trust me, it was huge and indelible.

Thanks for this!

Dimitris Papaconstantinou - Athens Greece Sep 07, 2020
Ohh my god.
My brain can only hold two birthday dates ,mine (read only) my son's (read/write).
I think I will replace the second!!!!

Johnny Walker Sep 07, 2020
#releasethesource ;)

DieSkaarj Sep 07, 2020
Say what you will about the mouse but he does know how to make a great game (especially circa 1990.) The biggest threats to my MI nostalgia are Alex Kurtzman and Kathleen Kennedy. The thought of Monkey Island getting a dark and gritty reboot makes my timbers shiver. like a Dr. on coffee.

Now call me a cynic but I think the MI ship has wrecked like a submarine on a coral reef but the witty self-effacing writing of those first games remains fresh even thirty years later. That's the second greatest achievement  any game designer has ever made. I love the subtle humor and shrouded pop references that blend in so well with the theme, it's all just really bloody good.

Chin-chin Ron. Here's to the funkiest monkey island there ever was!

Cruella de Vil Sep 07, 2020
Question is: How many further years can you wait before you start to smell funny?

Answer: You might want to try a different Disney-IP?

Bobe Sep 09, 2020
Does anyone know what would happen if Ron accidentally left these somewhere and they were posted online? Despite how it sounds, I'm not trying to suggest such a thing happen. I'm genuinely curious.

Ger Sep 09, 2020
What if you change the names like Boycomb Treewood or something like that? And change his hair color to black? And name it The Island of the Apes. Would it be possible to make a game like that and avoid any possibility of getting sued?

Xaby Sep 10, 2020
so damn sad

Enrico Sep 10, 2020
Hi Ron,
I never imagined I would actually have the chance to drop you a note but I just wanted to let you know that playing Monkey Island is one of the fondest memories of my teenage years. I used to play a lot of games back then and still I remember Monkey Island as the most fun of all. More than that, I am still amazed at how just magical everything was: the story, the characters, the music, the graphics, the dialogues...
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I'm looking forward to playing it with my son one day!

Tim Lammert Sep 11, 2020
I need to say thank you for this wonderfull game too. Loved it as a child and still do it.

Christian Sep 12, 2020
I love the first two Monkey Island games. And I would love to re-visit the Caribbean.
But a lot of creativity comes from not being able to do some things. Mark Ferrari's 8-Bit-art is beautiful, because he was limited. LucasArts/Lucasfilm Games wouldn't have created the games we love, if they were allowed or forced to use the Star Wars franchise. Thimbleweed Park is a great game. I rather have that, than the game equivalent to the soulless mass produced movies the Mouse spits out currently. The last original thing they made that I did like was Tron Uprising.
So.. I would prefer Ron to make new things, although a trip to memory lane gives me cozy feelings, too.

Josefin Sep 13, 2020
Endless thank yous for creating MI and letting us spend our childhoods in that funny and creative world.

Frange Sep 27, 2020
The community needs and requests another Monkey Island game. It's a hard year, we need jokes and adventures of Guybrush Threedwood.

Ron Gilbert Sep 27, 2020
I don't own the rights to MI, it's not my decision to make. If I could make another MI, I would.  And no, I'm not going to make a rip-off-pirate game.  Others have done that and it's just pathetic.

Nico Zazka Sep 29, 2020
You sent version 1.1 exactly on day of my 11th birthday. If that isn't a lucky charm I don't know what is ;)
More seriously, you have created some awesome childhood memories, Ron!

Joseph Sep 30, 2020
I dropped here... pretty much like Guybrush ended up on a collision course with Le Chuck unknowingly :)

I am 38 years old. And remember VERYVERY vivid playing MI1 and MI2 on my bros PC

I have installed SCUMMVM purposely to run the pixel versions

Please DISNEY if you are reading this, can you help/revive this wonderful world by at least acknowledging the IP idea please.

Vanack 2d ago
We know you don't own the rights to MI.. But is there any chance that you could be collaborating with Disney to make another MI game?

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