My brain is slightly breaking with the news that: 1) a new Monkey Island game is coming; 2) it's led by Ron Gilbert, the designer of the first two piratical comedy adventure games; and 3) it's a direct sequel to Monkey Island 2, a game which already has a sequel. Remarkable news. Come watch the trailer announcing Return To Monkey Island.
The publishers, Devolver Digital say this new game "picks up where Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge left off." Which is a curious situation, considering that 1997's The Curse Of Monkey Island is set after the events of Monkey Island 2. However, Gilbert did add on Twitter, "MI3 doesn't go out of canon. We were very careful about that. Murray is in this game."
The official MI3 from LucasArts kinda sidestepped Monkey Island 2's ending, see. And Ron Gilbert had left LucasArts before then, and wasn't involved. It's a decent game, but not the one Gilbert would've wanted to make. He's talked about dreams of a new Monkey Island 3 for some time, saying that years back he had discussed with LucasArts which went nowhere. He even hit up Disney on Twitter in 2016:
Dear @Disney, now that you're not making games, please sell me my Monkey Island and Mansion Mansion IP. I'll pay real actual money for them.— Ronbrush (@grumpygamer) May 23, 2016
On a Video Game History Foundation livestream in 2020, Gilbert said that he had "the broad strokes" settled. He explained, "The third game in my head was always that Guybrush would go to Hell, and the demon pirate LeChuck would be down there and he would be doing a lot of what he would be doing in Hell." Whether that's what this game is, and how this game finally came about, I'll be fascinated to hear.
This here new third (sixth?) Monkey Island is made by Terrible Toybox, the studio where Gilbert and chums made decent adventure game Thimbleweed Park. Gilbert is leading Return To Monkey Island with an impressive team. He's writing and designing it with Dave Grossman, who worked on the originals (and later co-designed Day of The Tentacle with Tim Schafer, and was design director on Telltale's episodic Tales Of Monkey Island). And LucasArts composers Michael Land, Peter McConnel, and Clint Bajakian are doing music. And Dominic Armato is back as the excellent voice of Guybrush Threepwood. And the new art director is Rex Crowle, the artist behind the oh-so-pretty Knights And Bikes. And MI3's breakout star, Murray the demonic talking skull, is at least in the trailer?
Goodness me. The game is due to launch sometime in 2022. For now, I guess keep an eye on its website. How strange and wonderful.