Years before the original PlayStation was released, one of the most passionate companies in the video game industry was Lucasfilm. Known for graphic adventures that are technically personal as well as hilarious in their dialogues, she reached her pinnacle of genius with two titles starring a pirate with an impossible name, Guybrush Threepwood.
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An announcement worthy of April Fools’ Day
The news of a return to the classic coordinates of this saga has caused a stir on the scene gamer. Already last Friday one of its original creators, Ron Gilbert, warned of the imminence of the project in his Web page. The problem was that his announcement coincided with April Fool’s Day, so it was misconstrued as a joke by the author.
Today, however, its veracity has been confirmed thanks to an advance uploaded to the YouTube channel of Devolver Digital, a company known for having developed one of the most recognized independent games of the past decade, Hotline Miami. Ron Gilbert himself has endorsed the news with another entry post on your blog.
In the short but fun Advancewhich jokes precisely with the alleged refusal of the author to revisit the saga, its release is anticipated for 2022. With the title of Return to Monkey Islandarrives as a collaboration between Lucasfilm Games, Devolver Digital and Terrible Toybox, a studio under which Gilbert edited in 2017 Thimbleweed Parkproposal faithful to its style.
George Lucas’ bet that gave rise to a myth
The stir that the news has caused makes a lot of sense, since The Secret of Monkey Island is probably the most fondly remembered game in the entire LucasArts catalogue. Originally known as LucasFilms Games, it was created as a side business to George Lucas’ film production company.
This video game, released in 1990, was the company’s fifth to use the SCUMM engine, a funny abbreviation for Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion. Among those who benefited from such technology are games as classic for the player of a certain age as the crazy Maniac Mansion (1987), the thrilling Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989) or the evocative loom (1990).
All of them had common characteristics such as an operation based on the simple method of the point and click (direct the path of the protagonist pointing to a specific point on the stage), interact with other characters through very comical dialogues and present simple but attractive graphics. It was the pixelated era, in which the recent jump from the four colors of the CGA system to the 256 of the VGA had already brought about a revolution.
The return to Monkey Island, 31 years later
The first title of the saga about pirates appeared in 1990, with the name of The Secret of Monkey Island. Your continuation, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s RevengeIt was published just a year later. That you specified that the argument of Return to Monkey Island will continue where this second part left off is not a trivial detail, for several reasons. The first, that this ending is still talked about as one of the most surprising in the history of the video game.
The second, that despite the fact that the saga continued with chapters like The Curse of Monkey Island (1997), Escape from Monkey Island (2000) or Tales of Monkey Island (2009), for their fans these had betrayed the original spirit. In fact, other LucasArts titles like Sam & Max Hit The Road (1993) or full throttle (1995) stood out in their graphics as a challenge to another giant of the time, Sierra On-line, responsible for Leisure Suit Larry or the saga King’s Quest.
In the first two Monkey Island The adventures and misadventures of Guybrush Threepwood, a young man who dreams of becoming a great pirate of the Caribbean, are narrated. His rivalry with the evil LeChuck and his attempt to conquer Governor Elaine Marley are developed through little short of delusional plot twists. These games are still a source of memes today, with some moments worthy of the best Monty Python among which, for example, the remembered insult match.
Good Hopes (for Guybrush Threepwood)
In addition to its conception as a direct sequel and the original writer-director’s return to the fold, fans of Monkey Island have celebrated the addition to the project of Dave Grossman, developer and co-writer with Gilbert of the first two games. Also that of the composers Michael Land, Peter McConnell and Clint Bajakian, responsible for its fantastic soundtrack, and the original voice of Guybrush, Dominic Armato.
At teaser-trailer revealed by Devolver Digital, a specific publication date is not specified for Return to Monkey Island, only that this will be produced throughout 2022. Nor has it been revealed for which devices it will be available, although it is assumed that since it is a saga more focused on the delights of the script than on technical spectacularity, the game will probably be multiplatform. And that includes, how could it be otherwise, a monkey with three heads.