Monkey Island 2 Special Edition Announced

By John Walker on March 11th, 2010 at 12:14 pm.

Let's not complain about his hair this time, eh?

It seems that the Secret Of Monkey Island Special Edition must have been enough of a success for LucasArts to pursue the idea further. It’s been announced that the sequel is receiving the same treatment, now called Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: Le Chuck’s Revenge. And it’s arriving in the Summer.

There’s no video of the game yet, but screenshots are about. Once again the game has been completely overhauled, while still technically running identically in the background. You can switch back and forth between the original and new versions any time. However, whether they will have addressed any of the really rather enormous issues with the first remake is not yet known.

It was problematic that the special edition managed to make the game so much more awkward to use, a ghastly inventory and muddle of inputs that made it often far easier to just switch back to the original mode and play with that. Cycling through nine different interacting options that – bewilderingly – didn’t appear in the same order each time, was inexplicable. Even using the verb pop-up box still required multiple key presses and mouse clicks, cycling through options, and tearing at hair, taking a big backward step from the two-decade-old original clumsy interface. Since the game’s in super-widescreen anyway, this time I really strongly hope they have the top and bottom of the screen be mouse-over pop-up menus for the inventory and the verbs, to make a slick, simple way of playing with minimal fuss.

However, there’s news that there’s to be a new control mechanism, with Guybrush available to be directly controlled. This will be optional, for purists. And they’ve reworked his hair, which, oh heavens, it was weird enough that everyone complained about that the first time.

People could only draw with squares in the 90s. Paintbrushes were invented in 2003.

The remake looked lovely, the music was great, and the voice work was absolutely wonderful. Clearly they poured a lot of love into it. But there’s certainly room for Revenge to be a lot better, and I’m very hopeful it will be. So long as LucasArts didn’t only read the really worrying number of reviewers who appeared to be wistfully writing about their memories of playing it twenty years ago.

Now everyone argue about whether Secret or Revenge was better. Go!

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102 Comments »

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  1. Nick says:

    He looks like Guybrush this time, the hair was the most standout thing but he just didn’t feel right even though he has looked so different in each game. I can’t really explain it. Hope you are feeling better.

  2. Quasar says:

    I have some rather fantastic memories of playing through the original MI games back in the 90s, on my dad’s old Amiga… MI2 came on something like 16 floppy disks and you had to swap the disk pretty much every time you did anything.

    I loved the remake of Secret, despite the annoying control issues. Will almost certainly get this, if only to hear Armato’s voice reading out a few more classic lines. Already looking forward to giving Largo what’s coming to him all over again.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      @Quasar

      Eleven floppies. If you had two external floppy drives it was pretty tolerable ;)

    • Reverend Speed says:

      11 discs. One drive. BUT I HAD A SYSTEM.

      Man, I can visualise the way I had them laid out so clearly it’s a little spooky.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      It wasn’t quite that bad. I remember you had to typically swap disks twice for each of the three islands whilst you were on them, and then maybe twice at the start of the game and maybe once during loading. A major pain in the ass, but there were worse games around for swapping. Once certain locations were loaded into RAM it also didn’t need to reload them, which saved some issues.

      The only really intolerable bit was during cut-scenes, as the game would suddenly demand disks almost at random, leading to the famous Amiga Power observation about Largo coming in – swap disk – taking a big breath – swap disk – spitting – swap disk with spittle mid-flight on screen – and then impact – swap disk. That was just retarded.

  3. Premium User Badge

    lhzr says:

    the remake looked lovely? huh. i thought the art style was terrible. this one does look slightly better, though.

    couldn’t bear to play too much of the first one because of the flash-like animations, off-putting art and unskippable dialog lines (you could only skip the whole sentence/phrase, not individual lines like in the original).

    won’t get this. a second tales of mi series from telltale would be much more welcome.

    • the wiseass says:

      I dunno man, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first special edition. And I’m already wetting my undies for this one.

  4. sonofsanta says:

    Secret, obv. It had puzzles that made *sense*, unlike Revenge which was just strange-for-the-sake-of-strangeness a lot of the time.

    Don’t think I ever even finished Revenge because I got so fed up of nothing making any sense at all.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Because the navigator head, the giant cotton bud and the voodoo root beer made more sense than the spitting contest, the jailbreak or the library?

      Revenge was infinitely more grounded than Secret ever was!

  5. pepe says:

    Wherrrrrr’s the beard ?! outrageous.

    • Insectecutor says:

      There were jokes in the dialogue about the beard. I hope they haven’t fiddled with that.

      Also slightly concerned about the “remastered music” – the music in MI2 was iMuse’s debut, fully dynamic from beginning to end. I hope they haven’t got rid of that in favour of baked audio.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      That was my first thought too, but looking at the high res shots, it looks like there is a beard, it’s just more stubble than beard.

  6. hydra9 says:

    The art style is a million times better. I really hated the look of the first ‘special edition’.

    • James G says:

      Agreed, it may have been higher resolution, but it lacked all the character of the original and looked entirely absent of detail. This is far better, although personally I would have preferred they went back to the original paintings, although by now some of those are probably lost.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      Yes! I can understand them updating the character art, but the original backdrops are fine as they are. I re-played the first two MI games back when the first remake was announced, and I was surprised at how good Revenge still looks (especially after playing the first one, which is painfully redolent of its era). All they need to do is re-scan everything at a modern resolution.

      Come to think of it, the same is true of Beneath A Steel Sky.

  7. pilouuuu says:

    Wow! Great! I’m wondering how they will translate the brilliant ¡Muse music to interactive mp3 music. The graphics look really cool this time and Guybrush looks like Guybrush. But is he missing his goatee?

    And Revenge was obviously the best one. The chance to travel among island was great, as the music, the scanned backdrops and the humour. Secret is such a classic because it was the first one, and yes it had less ilogical puzzles. Both are really state-of-art adventure gaming really.

  8. LionsPhil says:

    Curse was the best.

    *runs*

    • Premium User Badge

      sonofsanta says:

      Actually, this.

      My copy had been water-damaged in the PC World store room and had soaked the manual, so now everytime I smell any paper that’s rotted from being damp, I can hear the soft Caribbean chimes coming back to me and I sigh a wistful lament for the fact that MI3 doesn’t work on any modern computer without faff.

    • JKjoker says:

      @sonofsanta: ever heard of scummvm ? with it mi3 works even on nds and iphone

    • Premium User Badge

      sonofsanta says:

      @JKJ: I remember trying it and it being, well, a bit of a faff, and I’ve not yet tried it on Win7. I think I’ve been spoilt by GOG games just working.

    • Reverend Speed says:

      @LionsPhil:

      I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking to troll, I can tell you I can’t be bothered. But what I do have are a very particular set of obsessions; obsessions I have acquired over a very long hobby. Obsessions that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you retract what you said about Curse, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will persuade you.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I thought Curse was the funniest of the MIs. The stories were never very good anyway, so it didn’t bother me that Curse’s was the worst.

      I’m sorry.

    • jarvoll says:

      @ReverendSpeed: Good luck.

    • Jad says:

      Lilliput King: I thought Curse was the funniest of the MIs. The stories were never very good anyway, so it didn’t bother me that Curse’s was the worst.

      I agree with this statement. I never particularly cared about the story or the puzzles in these games, just the constant supply of jokes.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Oh you crazy fanatical types.

      If I wanted to troll, I’d have said Escape.

    • Adam Whitehead says:

      If you’d said ESCAPE, we’d have just assumed you were mentally ill and not paid any attention ;-)

  9. Srejv says:

    I knew it!

  10. Amnesiac says:

    I know this is really petty.
    But Guybrush’s walking animation really ruined the art style for me.
    It looked slightly more natural in the original (possibly because its more difficult to to)

  11. unwize says:

    I’d argue that not only is Revenge better than Secret, but that it’s the best graphic adventure ever created, or at the very least on par with Day of the Tentacle (which should definitely be next for the SE treatment).

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      Agree. DOTT and MI2 are both in the small group of games I’d have to force myself to choose from if someone asked me for my all-time number one.

      I think Tentacle comes out on top, though. I can re-play that game any number of times and it’s still ridiculously fun, even after knowing all the puzzles backwards. I’m tempted to play it again now, just because you mentioned it.

    • Wulf says:

      The reverse is true for me.

      Though if they took out Hoagie, it might be a different story. But Hoagie’s section of the game just didn’t click with me.

  12. Premium User Badge

    HermitUK says:

    LeChuck’s revenge is by far my favourite game in the series. It looked fantastic on release, and clearly still does.

    Plus LeChuck is definately at his most evil in this game. From CoMI onwards he’s been much more of a comedic villain.

    Plus there’s the awesome/bizzare ending, so ungraciously tossed overboard in CoMI’s intro. Nothing against CMI and Tales, they’re both great (EMI can go die in a fire though). But it’s a real shame we never found out what Ron Gilbert would have done with the third (and intended final) part of the trilogy. Would have beaten the heck out of World’s End, for sure.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      Oh, also MI2 has Rapp Scallion. Who is just awesome. He also completely freaked out my poor young self, back in the day.

    • snords says:

      That graveyard gave me the creeps when I was a young’un.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      The graveyard is part of my favourite gag in the whole series — “I’d swear on me grandfather’s grave, something weird is going on.”

    • Wulf says:

      MI2 also had Captain Dread!

      Am I alone in absolutely loving the lead up to him and himself as a character? It’s funny, because everyone is hush-hush about him, but because of the name it’s easy to assume that it’s because he’s a fearful character, rather than simply just not being particularly noteworthy. As it turned out, he was a laid back guy with dreadlocks, and the reason people were being all hush-hush was due to the latter, because there simply wasn’t a lot to say about him.

      He was a great little character and a fantastic gag.

      Also: Wally. Yay Wally!

    • Newblade says:

      You haven’t played ToMI then. That game makes the best use of LeChuck as a villain.

  13. j says:

    This looks pretty good. They ruined the vibrant colours of the Largo-holding-Guybrush-by-the-leg scene, though.

  14. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I’m disappointed they’re not doing the crysis mod thing, that’d be amazing.

    Why don’t point’n’clicks use the left click default right click pop up menu thing for the verbs? you know it works for operating systems.

  15. Magrippinho says:

    That was a good call on your part, because Revenge’s ending was probably the most nonsensical sequence ever to appear in a video-game yet.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that

    Actually, there kinda is, and since they’ve really abandoned that plot-line, I’ll go with Curse as my favourite MI.
    I know, I I know: “How dare you, it’s automatically not worthy if it doesn’t have Ron Gilbert” etc.

    • Magrippinho says:

      Ooops, reply fail, meant to comment on sonofsanta not finishing LeChuck’s Revenge because it didn’t make sense.

    • Wulf says:

      Curse was horrible, but mostly because of the gratingly cheap and shallow attempt to explain away the ending of Monkey Island II. What’s wrong with you kids, today? Monkey Island was full of magicks and whatnot, and it had an ending which could rival Grant Morrison’s crazier moments. So?

      The thing is, I’m actually glad it had an ending that challenged the player to figure out what was going on, it was marvellous, and absolutely brilliant! It would’ve been a perfect way to end the series. The only person who could’ve figured a clever continuation from that point is Gilbert, because he’s an exceedingly clever man. I don’t know why all endings have to be predictable. The original Blade Runner (not the Director’s Cut) had a predictable ending and it was gut-wrenchingly terrible for it. The sad, poignant ending was much better.

      Sometimes I don’t want the perfect ending that wraps everything up, and sometimes I enjoy the crazy ending that makes little sense, the ending that leaves the storyline open and asks my imagination to come up with some sort of explanation. That’s the best sort of storytelling. I’ve actually covered this before; I loved the storytelling of VVVVVV and Star Guard because they invited me to use my imagination to fill in the gaps, and my imagination tends to be a veritable cornucopia of jubilantly creative ideas and questionably curious hijinks. I love it when my imagination is challenged.

      Furthermore, the ending my mind wrote for Revenge was far, far more interesting than the one that those horrid non-Gilbert/Schafer writers at LucasArts came up with. And no, you can’t have it, because the ending of LeChuck’s Revenge was supposed to encourage you to exercise your imagination and mind in order to find your own answers and continuation of the storyline.

      Just my opinion, but I’ll always be bitter at Curse for such an incredibly uncreative continuation of Monkey Island. Carnival of the damned, my arse.

    • Reverend Speed says:

      What Wulf said.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      The think that annoys me most about Curse is that it is actually a really good (though not great) adventure game, that should NEVER have been made into a Monkey Island sequel. It would have been better served by a whole new franchise – say, a Victorian horror setting, which the game already leaned towards anyway.

      Not to slight Ackley and Ahern, both talented guys, but CMI feels so forced. It’s like the time a friend dragged me out to see a Beatles tribute band. They’d gone to such painstaking lengths to make sure that everything was Beatlesesque … and the whole time I was wishing they’d just ditch the Sgt Pepper outfits and play something of their own.

    • Reverend Speed says:

      What Hodge said…!

      This is kinda weird for me. I totally agree with what you guys just said.

      I think Curse is a decent adventure game (with far too many random puzzles), but the art style totally leached away from the humour, style and THREAT of the originals. MI1&2 were great roller coasters in that, while you were always safe (well, apart from the single way you could die in each game), they could make you feel threatened and in danger when it was necessary. In fact, the whole art style captured the gritty, frontier quality of period and place perfect, adding a sense of relish and ADVENTURE to the most mundane exchanges (which, of course, made the humour all the more unexpected and hilarious).

      Curse felt like a slow, kid-friendly theme park ride, rather than anything with with a sense of bite and danger. The new art style (while beautifully executed) was such a horrific mistake… Made me think of a comedian constantly prefacing (and interrupting) his jokes with, “–this is going to be funny, now, right?” How do you pace comedy effectively without the tool of surprise?

    • Wulf says:

      Yep, gotta go with what Hodge said too, it feels right. A lot of what bothered me was that it was an unfitting tale that was just sort of wedged into the Monkey Island Universe, it wasn’t an incompetently told one, but just wedging it in there made it feel fake, and that made it horrible.

      It’s like the Carnival of the Damned thing, it felt like they were just trying to get past that as fast as they could so they could tell their own story, a story that had nothing to do with the Monkey Island Universe. Square peg story, round hole setting. BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! Eh, it sort of fits, except not at all.

      The thing is, both Curse and Escape had a very similar problem, they were both telling such un-Monkey Island-like stories (compared to Revenge) that they had to forcibly try to cram the cheesy Caribbean setting down our throats, something that Revenge didn’t do, as it was just a backdrop for a storyline that suited it. But look at Escape, especially, a tale about law and whatnot, horrible! Not that the story was horrible, but it just didn’t fit the franchise at all, not even slightly.

      Tales, on the other hand, I considered better than Curse and Escape (though not better than Revenge) because it embraced the values of Revenge. It wanted to tell the right sort of storyline and it used the whole Caribbean thing as a backdrop. I was especially pleased by Winslow, who wasn’t a stereotypical pirate at all, he was the Wally of that game, he was just another person in that Universe, but he was a three-dimensional person. Fantastic stuff.

      But the characters of Curse and Escape all felt one-dimensional, not because they were bad, but because the writers did everything they could to make them stereotypical pirates. It’s not “Well, he’s a pirate in a piratey Universe and that’s that.”, but, oh, no, they have to be an English man, a gruff guy, and a little puck that likes to say ARRR. In fact, this was the difference between Princess Bride and Pirates of the Caribbean, for me. If anyone gets where I’m coming from, here.

      If you’re telling the right kind of story, you don’t have to cram the setting down people’s throats, and because the setting and story were incompatible, that’s just what they did, to a nauseating extent, they used things that were just everyday props from the previous games as buzzwords. Hey, look, it has X and Y, Guybrush is using X on Y, IT’S A MONKEY ISLAND GAME, CHILDREN. x.x Except that, you know, it wasn’t. So yes, I can totally agree with this, it would’ve been a much better game if they’d just used a setting which fitted the storyline.

      The same was true of Escape, in fact, it was MORE true of Escape, because Escape actually had the stronger storyline and slightly better characters, but it was still trying to force Monkey Islandness down the throats of everyone, when it really wasn’t.

  16. McCool says:

    Where is the beard? Seriously I can’t see it. Its funny when pretty much the only mistake a project was liable to make is the one they do make. Predictable or something.
    I WANT THE BEARD.

  17. rei says:

    The colours seem a bit washed out. Or maybe I just had a dim monitor back in the day. At any rate, I didn’t get the first one and I won’t get this one; I much rather play the originals with ScummVM in all their pixelated glory due to nostalgia, but for those who don’t have that baggage I’m sure these are welcome.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      actually, one thing I really didn’t like in the SI remake was there was no option to play the old pixel version with the voices and new music. Cause that would be awesome.

    • Richard Clayton says:

      HermitUK – yes I was a little disappointed you couldn’t do this too.

      However MI2SE (see Features on the website) we will be able to do this. Superb!

      I found the art work ok, loved the voice acting, but the interface was just awful. John’s idea of popup verbs and inventory would serve the purpose well.

      Day of the Tentacle would be fabulous. I will buy this out of principle – I want to send a strong signal that LucasArts adventure games = a very good thing!!

    • Richard Clayton says:

      Also the joke where you get the idol from the Governor’s Manor was broken because of the lousy interface too. It’s a damn good joke (or series of jokes!) as well.

    • mrrobsa says:

      @HermitUK: The ability to have the old art and new voiceovers for this and Secret Of, is what its going to take to get my wallet open, otherwise no dice. Although the new art for this one looks more faithful, so theyre getting better.

    • Lilliput King says:

      actually, one thing I really didn’t like in the SI remake was there was no option to play the old pixel version with the voices and new music. Cause that would be awesome.

      This oh my goodness this.

  18. rebb says:

    Nice, altho i do think that this new Guybrush looks a bit too clean and “just had my hair done, how does it look ?”. Reminds me of Hansel from Zoolander a bit.

    The Guybrush in the Original MI2 always seemed more of a sloppy and rundown sort of Guybrush, which is still my favourite Incarnation of him.

    • Reverend Speed says:

      Agree. Guybrush suddenly looked like he had some mileage, even if it mainly came from his attempt at a beard (and that cool jacket).

      And that moodiness paid off when you realised how JOYFUL and utterly anarchic the game really was.

      Man. Cannot stop humming the Largo LeGrande theme now.

  19. snords says:

    Oh yes. This is the one for me. *gurrr*

  20. fishyjoes says:

    Since I got a SC2 key I curse everytime I hear of a game I would also like to play… but MUUUST play precious SC2… must not lose time doing other things!

  21. el Chi says:

    Have they added some sort of fast-track travel in these special editions? I started to replay a couple of old LucasArts adventure games recently and the interminable to-ing and fro-ing blotted out my nostalgia trip and I gave up quite quickly.

  22. Reverend Speed says:

    Nice to see how everybody knows this is the best in the series.

    Just before the games became trapped in a hideous, inescapable nosedive of rehashed insult sword fighting, random marriage proposals and acceptance, an ENTIRELY gormless Threepwood frozen in time, Stan locked in a cycle of awful gag repetitions (it only worked when it was repeated ONCE, guys) an art style which embraces the cuddly Disney style of pirate (totally undercutting the contrast between Purcell’s semi-realism and the insanity of the actions within the game), lack of driven storytelling, entirely random puzzles, a shocking lack of imagination and a paralysing fear of drama and horror (in a pirate game?), an attempt to HAND-WAVE the GLORIOUSLY INSANE MI2 ending…

    I can’t believe I waited six years for Curse to come out. Man. I dreamt of that third game so much when I was growing up. Goddamnit.

    Of course, Curse and Escape DID give us Murray.

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMURRAY!!!

    Can’t wait for the DOTT remake so I can get into a huge argument with everybody over how mediocre it was.

    Cannot.

    Wait.

  23. Wulf says:

    I always preferred Revenge for generally having a more complex and evolved character of Guybrush, it was the better game for actually taking the character and moving beyond what he originally was. Thus it was the highlight of the series. Curse and further were horrible as they stepped backward to the Secret era, thus dumbing Guybrush down again. Guybrush as more of a Dread Pirate Robins was far, far funnier than Guybrush as an inept college undergrad with no dress sense.

    That’s why I’d even rank Tales of Monkey Island over Secret, because Tales took the Revenge approach and evolved Guybrush even further, in Tales we see an older, more mature Guybrush who isn’t really that inept at all, due to a number of years of pirating under his belt. He pretends to be, but it’s more to get his opponents to drop their guard rather than actually truly embodying that as the Secret Guybrush does. I just prefer that as a character.

    One of the things about Tales that made it genuinely funnier for me than Curse was that, from the very start, Guybrush came over as a seasoned adventurer. The little chat he and Elaine have at the very beginning made me laugh, and then smile, for that very reason. That was the future Guybrush I always wanted, because he finally got to be the hero he wanted to be, rather than the inept idiot he was in his distant past. I’m not so fond of having a total idiot as a character.

    But yes, we saw improvements across the board in LeChuck’s Revenge, as well, where he was clearly on the road to becoming a seasoned pirate, but an intelligent one, too, hence the Dread Pirates Robin equivalence.

    In later adventure games we got to play more and more intelligent characters, and the games that featured such characters (hooray for April Ryan!) tended to be more enjoyable than the ones that featured morons (I really disliked Runaway). So yes, there you have it. And this is why I wasn’t so excited about Secret but I love the look of this, and I do. He has the beard and the look from the cover of LeChuck’s Revenge. You can see that they’ve literally used the cover art for his redesign, this is good, because Telltale did almost exactly the same thing.

    One of the problems I had with Secret, too, was that aside from making an already idiotic character look even more like an entry from the shallower end of the genepool, it actually had a horrible look. It was sort of like HD vaseline, where all the low-res areas had just been smoothed out. It was like looking at a voxel-based game, or a world of grease. Thankfully, the screenshots of the Revenge remake shows it isn’t suffering from vaseline-syndrome, and I would’ve been annoyed if it had because the graphics of Revenge were respledently detailed.

    Do a good job of this, LucasArts, I’m counting on you. I’m also counting on what’s-his-name, voice actor guy of Guybrush, as in Tales he actually made Guybrush sound more mature and intelligent than Guybrush did in Secret or Curse. I know it’s the same guy, but there was obvious effort there to make Guybrush not sound like a total dork. And really, he isn’t, he got past his dork phase quickly (thank goodness!).

    • Reverend Speed says:

      TOTALLY agree with you, Wulf. Guybrush is an odd character and while he’s still (from Tales) somewhat naive and gormless, he’s still a full peg-leg ahead in smarts than most of the characters he meets in the MI Carribean – and he’s aware of this (eg, Guybrush leaving the jail in The Trial and Execution… “He’s not getting any smarter”).

      Jesus, so while I’m in total fanboy mode (not normal for me), here’s a quote from Dominic Armato:

      DA: I am a little closer to Guybrush than I care to admit, although I think a lot of people feel that way about him. I’m sure that is not a feeling that’s unique to me. The thing that I like about Guybrush is that he goes through life with a little bit of naivete, but he’s got this energy and this zeal. He’s is always very positive about things, and even though he sort of comes by them in goofy, roundabout, sometimes Homerish fashions by stumbling into success rather than outright achieving it at times.

      He is not someone who is going to get jaded, but he still has some sarcasm and some wit–he’s not totally a babe in the woods. It sounds goofy, but in many ways that’s how I want to be. I want to be someone who always looks at the world with wonder and is always excited about it, without getting too bogged down by the machine. If that’s how I can live out my life, then I am thrilled.

      That about says it.

      …now we just need to find a way to split up Guybrush and Elaine… that married relationship is really grating.

  24. Mr_Day says:

    Sadly, I pretty much played the first SE in old mode, simply because of the stated input problems – my only regret being that the game didn’t put the new voices in if you played it old stylee.

    • Reverend Speed says:

      Thankfully, the new one allows you to listen to the voiceovers with the old art. Which is nice.

    • Wulf says:

      @Rev

      REALLY!? Despite the art not actually being that bad this time around, the one thing I always wanted from Secret was the original graphics with voiceovers. I’ve no doubt I’ll end up wanting that with Secret too. And I can recommend this to a friend of mine, who doesn’t particularly mind the lower res graphics, but hates having to read (lazy bugger!).

  25. Reverend Speed says:

    Apropos nothing, doesn’t Elaine look weirdly hardcore here?

    http://www.joystiq.com/photos/money-island-2-special-edition-lechucks-revenge/full/#2790035

    Colonel Quaritch with a full luscious head of red hair? Bit unnerving, you ask me.

    • Wulf says:

      It’s the Monkey Island 2 Universe, women and men could display equal levels of intelligence, at both the idiotic and incredibly capable ends of the spectrum. Elaine always was a bit of a tomboy, in 2 especially, and a very capable lady, so that look doesn’t bother me in the least.

  26. Reverend Speed says:

    From the official site: (http://www.lucasarts.com/games/monkeyisland2/#/features)

    “Character voiceover available in Classic and Special Edition modes”

    I know!

    *grabs Wulf, jumps up and down giddily, girlish squeal of delight*

    *awkward pause*

    *shame*

    • Reverend Speed says:

      Dammit, that was meant to go @Wulf. Gosh, this comments system is rough.

    • Wulf says:

      This makes me very happy, because I daresay alongside Full Throttle, Revenge was actually their best looking game. I’ve tried to replay Revenge many times, too, sometimes I’ve completed it, sometimes I haven’t, and the reason behind this is my sight, it’s not what it used to be and I’m visually disabled to boot.

      That I can have the dialogue read aloud, and play the game I loved as it was when I loved it (and still love it) is the best news I could have received in regards to this version.

  27. rocketman71 says:

    I’d take scummvm over the first remake.

    This one looks better.

  28. Ginger Yellow says:

    I liked the first special edition (controls asied) , but I’ve recently played through LeChuck’s Revenge, so I think i’ll skip this. ScummVM + Lucasarts Adventure Collection + netbook = travel gaming win!

  29. Magrippinho says:

    Mostly @Wolf but also @allMyFellowRPScommentators too:

    I didn’t say I disliked Revenge or its story: Yeah, wondering about the anachronisms, the tunnels, the out of order signs and speculating on the “true” secret of Monkey Island is fun and all… But they didn’t commit to that plot even in Monkey 2 (Oh, I sure hope Guybrush isn’t under some short of spell…) and, of course, they didn’t explore it further during the rest of the series.

    Even if we had a Monkey 3 with Ron Gilbert on board (I vote for “The Secret revealed or your monkey back” as its subtitle), I generally have this sort of pet-peeve with the middle child of trilogies: They should be able to stand on their own, have fulfilling story arcs that are actually competed, and not just be stepping stones, only work on the over-arcing plot.

    Now, especially since, like it or not, we didn’t get “Ron Gilbert’s Monkey 3”, I feel Monkey 2 loses a lot of its potential. I’m gonna open another can of worms here and say that everyone’s favourite Star Wars film, Empire, wouldn’t stand as well if we didn’t eventually get everyone’s least favourite original Star Wars film, Jedi.

    So, I like Curse best, because it has a sufficiently self-contained story, relatively solid puzzles, extremely funny (if, as in the original, kinda tedious) Insult Swordfighting and, most importantly: Voice Acting. I am obviously not alone in thinking that the writing is the best thing in the series, and hearing it performed puts it over the top.

    Of course, I understand that whether Curse has good writing or not is a matter of opinion… I feel it captures the spirit of the originals, but I can also see your viewpoint that it doesn’t evolve the characters. Then again, the Guybrush I have in my head isn’t supposed to evolve too much!

    The Telltale series did seem to get it: I liked how the overarching threat is as deadly as a plague, but still as childish as a pox… but I did feel that Guybrush was a bit too much of a bad-ass at times. I don’t think he should be a geek, but he should be hopelessly naïve and innocent.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents thesis on the subject. I guess I got to excited, I really am enjoying reading your comments and differing opinions!

    • Wulf says:

      “[…] but he should be hopelessly naïve and innocent.”

      He is, even in Tales, just not hopelessly so. In fact, it’s the hopeless part that I take umbrage with. I’ll explain.

      What you’re talking about is almost the stereotypical 80’s/90’s cartoon good guy, which I can dig. I love that stereotype, too. Lion-O, He-Man, Ulysses (from Ulysses 31), Prince Ren, Jayce, Goliath, Jack Tenrec, and so on, they’re not idiots but they are still a little on the gullible side, they’ve hearts of gold, and they always try to do the thing that’s ethically right. It’s a great role model, fantastic even, Jack and Ulysses especially, and despite that they could all still retain a certain edginess, they could be — as you say — ‘badass’.

      Now the Secret of Monkey Island and Curse of Monkey Island variants take it too far, because the characters I mentioned are capable, competent even, they’re reliable, steadfast, and all the good things that make-up a fantastic cartoon hero. And who doesn’t love that stereotype? But Secret Guybrush and Curse Guybrush are not at all capable or competent, and if anything they get by more on the charity of others and dumb luck than their own wits. Now what kind of message is that for any kids who might be playing? “Just be lazy dumbfucks, kids, and the Universe will take care of you!”

      I hated Guybrush and playing him for that reason. Even Ben, Ben of Full Throttle, was capable and reliable, he could do his own work, he had a brain, I dug him for that. But Guybrush, Secret Guybrush especially, was… an example of the shallow end of the genepool. By Revenge, Guybrush realised that he’d have to wise up or he wouldn’t survive versus nefarious, and indeed, Machiavellian threats like LeChuck unless he was at least as smart as LeChuck.

      I personally find it gating when a character gets by not by being particularly brilliant, but simply by a deus ex machina form of luck. “Hey kids, that was a blisteringly stupid idea, but by gosh I’m lucky! Isn’t that great??” Grrrrrr! There are many times that Guybrush really should have died, like the damned rubber tree thing (that made me twitch), but the Universe looks after its golden-hearted morons. I hate that scenario, I hate characters who’re so dependent on outside forces to take care of them.

      How about the frying-pan-helmet-and-cannon incidents?

      I want the character I play to be able to take my wits and then pull them off with a flourish and style, I’m fine with the character I play having a heart of gold, as I said, that leaves me fond of the character I’m playing, and I’m fine with them being a bit gullible, willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, but what makes the difference is the intelligence. Telltale’s guybrush was — as you say — ‘badass’ sometimes, but that was an illusion created by competence and intelligence, he was a capable character.

      So if having a capable character means having a ‘badass’ character, then I can live with that. Give me one of those any day of the week over a Secret Guybrush.

    • Magrippinho says:

      Ah, that’s the thing: I just don’t see Secret/Curse Guybrush as incapable.

      I think that, even in Secret, he comes off as resourceful and witty. He has adventurous goals (become a pirate, save Elaine, kick butt) and is adaptable enough to accomplish them by playing to his strengths. If you’re looking for an aesop, it’s more like: “Set lofty goals, try your hardest and the universe will conspire for you to accomplish them.” That’s not that bad a lesson.

      He even trains for the swordfighting part, whereas Revenge Guybrush would probably try to loophole his way out by stealing the monkey-powered sparring parter or something.

      And yes, Guybrush is a cheating bastard throughout the series, but in Secret/Curse he reciprocates by cheating when someone betrays his trust, while, in Revenge, he sort of pre-emptively dupes them.

      Now, I don’t mind that Revenge Guybrush isn’t as trusting, and I get how he could evolve into that sort of person; but I can also see him remaining childishly naïve. And, since Revenge Guybrush seems to default to a “con my way out” plan for every problem, I think I prefer the Monkey/Curse version who tries, fails and adapts. It’s because I love them “I’m making this up as go” characters, and Guybrush’s failures in Secret/Curse make him fit that archetype a bit more.

      And, of course, you can make a good case on why the Monkey Island universe works out exactly the way Guybrush expects. I admit, the Rubber Tree “we wanted to joke about Sierra” gag might not fit my theory, but the tech support call to LucasArts in Monkey 2 doesn’t either.

      I guess inconsistencies like this are why you shouldn’t pay more than 20 bucks for an adventure game?

    • Nick says:

      I think everyones least favourite Star Wars film is probably Phantom Menace now ¬_¬

    • Wulf says:

      “I think that, even in Secret, he comes off as resourceful and witty.”

      Aside from the examples I’ve already given, here are a few more off the top of my head…

      – The scene in the Governor’s mansion, both times, is just him doing a bunch of random stuff and being a lucky bugger, rather than him being particularly competent or intelligent.
      – He looks at the map and his first thought is “dancing lessons”, even though it was immediately obvious to me (and I’d imagine, most players) what it actually was.
      – He just randomly stole from a voodoo store, which is really not a smart thing to do. He was just lucky the voodoo lady was in a generous mood.

      The first word that enters my mind when I think of Secret’s Guybrush is “idiot”.

      ” He has adventurous goals (become a pirate, save Elaine, kick butt) and is adaptable enough to accomplish them by playing to his strengths.”

      His ‘strengths’ are dumb luck, and ambition does not equate to capability.

      “If you’re looking for an aesop, it’s more like: “Set lofty goals, try your hardest and the universe will conspire for you to accomplish them.” That’s not that bad a lesson.”

      …what? Yes it is.

      That’s like the Fellowship in Ultima VII. Good lord man, that’s a horrible lesson! That’s still relying on deus ex machina (like people expecting the Guardian to fulfil their desires in Ultima VII) to solve the problems of people.

      A good lesson is: If your ambitions are realistic, and you’ve got well laid plans, then your own work and wit will see you through, self-reliance is the key.

      “He even trains for the swordfighting part, whereas Revenge Guybrush would probably try to loophole his way out by stealing the monkey-powered sparring parter or something.”

      So, Revenge Guybrush would do the intelligent thing, and that’s bad? Having the smarts to outwit someone trumps relying on the charity of others.

      “And yes, Guybrush is a cheating bastard throughout the series, but in Secret/Curse he reciprocates by cheating when someone betrays his trust, while, in Revenge, he sort of pre-emptively dupes them.”

      Actually, he was unwittingly evil in the first game, he just wasn’t really all that aware of it because he wasn’t a particularly bright character back then. In the scene inside the mansion he did some particularly nasty stuff, and then there was that thing where he murders Elaine’s dogs. He’s always been a bastard, he’s just less aware of it in Secret and actually more evil for it. In Revenge, he’s more aware of it but actually a better person overall.

      “Now, I don’t mind that Revenge Guybrush isn’t as trusting, and I get how he could evolve into that sort of person; but I can also see him remaining childishly naïve.”

      People grow up. I hate the Bart Simpson scenario of permanency, it just promotes stagnation and quickly kills off a character. The Simpsons characters became pretty dead after six seasons or so, but imagine if they hadn’t played to the peanut gallery by keeping everything the same. Imagine if the characters aged, if Bart and Lisa moved out, and so on. There was room for growth in that show, they never took it and it stagnated.

      That’s exactly what you would have for Guybrush, and that’s the problem with the Curse scenario, where everything stays exactly the same. Not a lot of fun for me, that.

      “And, since Revenge Guybrush seems to default to a “con my way out” plan for every problem, I think I prefer the Monkey/Curse version who tries, fails and adapts.”

      No, he tries, fails, and lucks his way out. Whereas the Revenge version cons, yes, and uses his wits. Wasn’t that pretty much my point from the outset? You’re continually making a case for how Secret/Curse Guybrush was an incompetent buffoon, but yet how Revenge Guybrush could talk his way out of most scenarios with flair and finesse. Call me crazy, but I prefer the latter.

      “And, of course, you can make a good case on why the Monkey Island universe works out exactly the way Guybrush expects. I admit, the Rubber Tree “we wanted to joke about Sierra” gag might not fit my theory, but the tech support call to LucasArts in Monkey 2 doesn’t either.”

      A Universe which works exactly the way the character expects is a boring one. Besides, the tech support guy is pretty much getting mocked by Guybrush in that case, whereas with the rubber tree scenario it’s just Guybrush doing something stupid and relying on a deus ex machina plot device (like he always does in that game).

      In other words, it isn’t really inconsistent because Guybrush did something stupid in Secret knowing that there would be some plot device to save him, which is precisely the problem with the writing and the character of Guybrush in Secret.

      Point made?

  30. Robin says:

    At least you can turn off the graphical downgrade and keep the voices this time.

    Monkey Island 2 looked fine. It crafted an incredibly atmospheric environment and had some remarkable set-piece animations (Rapp Scallion!) considering the meagre tech specs. Visually it’s aged the best of the VGA SCUMM games, nestling in the sweet spot between the yucky low-colour Amiga/C64 stuff and the ‘cel-style’ stuff (DOTT, S+M, FT) which showed up the limited resolution.

    Tracing over those lovely visuals with horrible airbrushed cartoony glurge obliterates all that. It just looks like a bad early 2000s German adventure game now.

    • Wulf says:

      Totally agree.

      The graphics in Revenge are absolutely fantastic, and there’s little that can be done to improve them. Sometimes people are pixel artistes, and Revenge was absolute proof that a game could be low-res and yet absolutely beautiful aesthetically.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        I’ve felt that way about Maniac Mansion already, which definitely does not get enough accolades for what it did(creating a world despite being contained, character dependent “missions”/solutions and different interactions and SPACE POLICE!). And most other adventures since as well.
        VGA may not have had many pixels, but they sure were pretty darn beautiful in many a case.

  31. Thirith says:

    I didn’t think there was a huge difference between Guybrush in Secret and in Revenge (other than that I-can’t-believe-it’s-a-beard). For me the main difference between the two games was the tone – even at its goofiest, there’s something more sombre about Revenge, more gothic, which personally I liked a lot, up to and including the ending.

    • Wulf says:

      Really? I’ve recently replayed both and in Revenge he seems to be less naive, overall, he relies less on other people, he’s more talkative (and uses bigger words), and he has a generally well advanced grasp of humour, including even sarcasm and irony.

      His conversation with Phatt comes to mind, I can’t recall a single conversation in Secret that was like that.

      That’s not to say you’re not right though, because I honestly believe you are, I just think that both factored in, and that generally Guybrush was less of the Jack Sparrow he was in the first game, and more of a Dread Pirate Robins, generally a more talkative, charismatic, and clever character. I could see the cogs turning with Revenge, whereas in Secret I just felt that he was randomly trying stuff and hoping for the best.

      But I also think that he had to be that kind of character in the setting of Revenge, because in the Revenge scenario, the original gullible, luck-it-out Guybrush may not have survived, it took a more generally scheming and witty Guybrush to get by.

    • Thirith says:

      I see what you’re saying, Wulf, even if I think your strong dislike of Guybrush in Secret comes across as a bit of an overreaction (to me, at least). Thing is, due to the design of the puzzles Guybrush didn’t have any choice other than coming up with very goofy solutions – and that’s why I don’t ascribe that to his character as much as to the game design. If there was an obviously more clever solution hinted at (but impossible to actually do), I might see the puzzle design as characterising Guybrush the way you describe it, but as it was, I just put that down to late ’80s (right?) Lucasfilm Games design work.

  32. derella says:

    I’m really excited about this. I know exactly what you mean regarding the tone, Thirith.

  33. Nick says:

    Well the Art style looks better, Guybrush looks alot better (hoping for the beard!) and I hope the inventory and action system will be enhanced.. if these are all the case this will be a terrific remake!!

    The first remake was dissapointing. I enjoyed Telltale’s Tales from Monkey Island alot though!

    (btw Curse of Monkey Island was the best imo *runs away* )

  34. GetOutOfHereStalker says:

    YEAH! THE BEARD IS BACK!

    OR IS IT?!

    • Wulf says:

      It’s back.

      On the official page, if you wait a while, a large Guybrush wanders past (after LeChuck) and his beard can be clearly seen, it’s just a lighter blond than the original.

  35. Ginger Yellow says:

    Really? I’ve recently replayed both and in Revenge he seems to be less naive, overall, he relies less on other people…

    …generally Guybrush was less of the Jack Sparrow he was in the first game, and more of a Dread Pirate Robins, generally a more talkative, charismatic, and clever character.

    Of course, in the end, the Dread Pirate Roberts saves the princess while being physically propped up by other people

    • Wulf says:

      Roberts, yes.
      Why on Earth do I wish to insist on calling him Robins? I’ve had people pick me up on this before, but I’ve got a permanent brain error there that I simply cannot correct.
      Regardless, he wasn’t propped up by other people so much as that he had their support. He wasn’t completely reliant on them to solve all of his problems for him. And the “To the pain!” scene was actually indicative of what I’m talking about, wherein, even completely incapacitated, he simply manages to win by outwitting his opponent with superior intellect, thus proving his self-reliance, capability, and intelligence in one, fell swoop.
      That’s what I want my Guybrush to be like, too. Thank goodness that Telltale took that approach with their Guybrush.

  36. Jimbo says:

    I was disappointed with the last one. They did a decent job modernizing it, it’s just that Monkey Island was nowhere near as good as my childhood memories had led me to believe, especially the back half of the game.

    Full Throttle and Grim Fandango are both in a totally different league to any of the Monkey Island games I have played. They are still the pinnacle of the adventure genre as far as I’m concerned, though I don’t think I could choose between them. That said, I do have quite a soft spot for Police Quest 1 through SWAT and the Quest for Glory games…

    • Lilliput King says:

      Full Throttle and Grim Fandango are both in a totally different league to any of the Monkey Island games I have played.

      Agreed, easily two of the best games ever.

  37. Vinraith says:

    Ah, glad to see this. Hopefully, as with the first one, they’ll include the original along with the remake. For those of us that missed them the first time around (only to later discover they were impossible to find) it’s nice to have a means of getting these. I wish they’d put them up on GOG instead, of course, but what can you do?

  38. Risingson says:

    I’ll skip reading what you have said. Monkey Island 2 is and wll always be a masterpiece of design and writing (and graphism, and music). Only the “monkey wrench” puzzle didn’t work in every language, but whatever.

  39. Saul says:

    Secret was greatest– I must have played through it a dozen times. Couldn’t really get into the remake. I found Revenge somewhat frustrating, but I think the way I played it (with someone who’d already finished it looking over my shoulder) may have contributed strongly to that impression. And Tales was great– more fun than Curse, IMO. I won’t even mention Escape. Oops…

  40. Yanko says:

    I think MI2 is my favorite game ever. That’s a pretty bold statement for me, but it’s totally justifiable by seeing the screenshots =~

    Anyways, i really hope they spend a bit more frames in the animations, though. I love what they mean with “maintaining the original feel”, but heck, they didn’t have to extend that to the animations =P

    and btw, am i the ONLY PERSON ALIVE that really likes the “verb coin” approach to GUI like MI3 and Full Throttle?

    • jarvoll says:

      I’m playing through Time, Gentlemen, Please! right now and loving the verb-coin approach, as I did while playing MI3 and FT. MUCH prefer it to the verb-bank approach.

  41. Demiath says:

    Fantastic news. I’ve never played the second game in the series (or any of the other sequels to the original Monkey Island for that matter), so there is definitely a real incentive for me to both buy and play the LeChuck remake…

  42. Womgoose says:

    @Reverend Speed

    I had to read that twice after sensing something familiar.
    Nice Taken reference :)

  43. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Hmph. Secret all the way. Aside from that were I to buy this (and the renewed Secret), I;d only play it in Classic mode.

    I mean, it just looks wrong this way.

  44. Mike says:

    Am I the only one that DIDN’T like the voice-acting in the first Special Edition? I mean, the acting itself wasn’t that bad, but there seemed to be some real failure in the directing or editing. Every line felt like it was being read independently of all the others, completely devoid of context. Like they handed the actors a sheet with all the lines that need to be recorded, sorted alphabetically instead of grouped by scene.

    I played the remake in-between TOMI episodes, and the difference was sort of astounding. The dialogue in the remake just seemed to have no flow at all, and was really jarring for me. The characters in TOMI, on the other hand, actually sounded like they were talking to one-another.

    Add to that the fact that the visuals looked like a nicer-than-average Flash game, and I was pretty disappointed all-around with the first Special Edition. Plus, the stump gag was missing! To be fair, I think they actually removed that in an earlier version of the game (SOMI has actually been remade something like 4 times now), but it’s still one of my favorite jokes in there, particularly when it comes up again in Revenge and Curse.

    The only real improvement, in my book, was the orchestral score, but that’s something they’ll probably screw up for the sequel. Revenge’s iMuse-powered dynamic music was hugely important in developing the game’s atmosphere and charm, but it’s something that’s a lot easier to pull off with MIDI-style music than with a recorded score. Maybe they’ll invest the resources into doing the extra isolated multi-track recordings and updating iMuse to work with recorded audio, but my guess is that they’ll either stick to the generic themes for each area, or will just start the music over for each room, giving up the seamless transitions.

  45. jennifermilly says:

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