Return to Monkey Island

Tales of Monkey Island LogoMonkey Island is kind a big deal for me. Growing up, I spent countless nights in front of my Amiga 1200 playing The Secret Of Monkey Island, solving clever-but-bizarre puzzles (what possible use could I have for a rubber-chicken with a pulley in the middle?) and laughing at the unique fourth-wall-breaking humour. I also loved the sequels – from Monkey Island 2’s enhanced non-linear mechanics, to Curse Of Monkey Island’s exceptional presentation, to Escape From Monkey Island’s capitalist-satire. I was thrilled to hear that the original will soon be receiving a HD-makeover, but the last game in the series was released in 2000; without even a hint of something new in nearly a decade, it seemed the adventures of wannabe-pirates everywhere had come to an end. Not so, thanks to Telltale Games.

The new art-style retains elements of all four prior MI games

In what is almost certainly my biggest news of E3, Telltale Games – developers of the hugely successful episodic Sam and Max and Wallace and Gromit seasons – have announced that, starting this July, gamers will be returning to the Tri-Island area for classic point ‘n’ click adventure gaming with a 3D twist in Tales of Monkey Island. The five-part monthly adventure sees protagonist Guybrush Threepwood dealing with his greatest trial yet: a voodoo plague which threatens to wipe out the entire caribbean! To make things right, Guybrush will need to consult the mysterious Voodoo lady, expert in curses and hexes; rescue his wife, governor Elaine Marley; and face his eternal nemesis, the demon pirate LeChuck. Just as in the previous games, this involves guiding Guybrush through a mix of puzzle-solving gameplay and hilarious dialogue events, including insult-swapping matchups and never-ending pirate songs.

Well, she did mention a five-game contract before...
Well, she did mention a five-game contract before…

Initial E3 demos of the game seem to suggest that Telltale have the balance just right but if you have concerns over whether the company will be able to re-capture that legendary monkey magic, fear not. Many of Telltale’s employees have signficant history with the franchise; Dave Grossman, founder of the company, was a co-writer and programmer on the original game and music-guru Michael Land will once-again be composing the game soundtrack. I was particularly pleased to hear that Dominic Armato, the voice of Guybrush Threepwood in previous titles and a noted Monkey Island fan, will also be reprising his role as the central character: in my mind he is Guybrush. Perhaps most significantly, series-creator Ron Gilbert has revealed on his blog that during the initial Tales of Monkey Island development process, he spent some time over at Telltale games, laying out key story and puzzle-elements. He even pitched some jokes!

Tales of Monkey Island will premiere on PC and WiiWare with “Launch of the Screaming Narwhal” on July 7th 2009. You can pre-order the entire season online for PC download on the day of release, and pre-ordering will also net you an exclusive DVD slipcase painted by famed comic artist Steve Purcell (among other bonuses) at the conclusion of the series. Despite Guybrush’s own assertion that we should “never pay more than 20 bucks for an adventure game”, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist!

Arrr, pre-order me game today, ya bunch of geekwoods!
Arrr, pre-order me game today, ya bunch of geekwoods!







5 responses to “Return to Monkey Island”

  1. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    Aaaaah Monkey Island goodness. I’m looking forward to getting stuck again. Crazy puzzles but lots of laughs.

  2. Lorna avatar

    Fantastic blog, Scott ๐Ÿ™‚ Though I’m not so keen on the 3D art style, it’s Monkey Island, so I’ll be giving it a go regardless (once I’ve played the last few installments which I never got around to…again, put off by the art.

    Where can we go to pre order it Scott? I love collectible goodies ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Scott avatar

    @ Lorna: Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’d highly recommend checking out the other MI installments if you enjoyed the first; although the art-styles are odd at first, they usually feel quite natural by the time you’ve played through the first hour or two of each game (especially in the case of Curse of Monkey Island). Plus, Murray the all-powerful-demonic-skull is one of the best characters ever.

    I’ve updated the last paragraph of the post with a link to pre-order the season from Telltale games. It’s in US currency, but it shouldn’t be a problem. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Lorna avatar

    Cheers for the link ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the stupidly ridiculous chin they have given Guybrush ๐Ÿ™

  5. gue avatar

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Ready Up » Return to Monkey Island .

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