Now this is more like it. GOG.com has made six more LucasArts games available on its service, and the inductees are:- Outlaws
- Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
- Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
- Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge: Special Edition (RIP vertical scrolling)
- The Dig
- Loom (Talkie version)
I am pleased by this direction. Naturally, some of those are already available on Steam, but that's fine because we want 'em all, and GOG has knocked 20% off those particular titles. (A savings of over a dollar!) The inclusion of Outlaws and Zak McKracken provokes a particularly hearty fist-pump from yours truly.
I'm now at the optimistic point where I think the only adventure games that will be skipped are the ones that have special editions coming. I use the plural form, because it would not surprised me if Double Fine tackled Full Throttle after Day of the Tentacle.
Anyway, exciting times. And if I find no reason to be a cynic, nobody should.
Back when we had a functional games database (a revival effort for which Remi will surely be taking donations), I Was a Teenage Lobot may have existed as a content-free entry stub. It was one of those unproduced games that we knew pretty much one thing about: a title. It was a game Ron, along with David Fox and Noah Falstein, pitched to Lucasfilm Games management between Koronis Rift and Maniac Mansion. It didn't happen, obviously, and the world grew just a little bit darker.
And now the design document is out, courtesy of Aric Wilmunder's mad archival skillz. Now you can find out what the game was, which includes Ron's first known use of the name "Chuck" and a penchant for threatening teenaged brains that would find its way into his next realized project. The rare document even contains some concept art. Damn we're relevant.
If Star Wars isn't your thing, the Humble Weekly Bundle is an adventure bundle this week. Pay whatever you like for Detective Grimoire, Broken Sword 1 & 2, and The Whispered World Special Edition. If you pay more than the average, you'll also get The Detail: Episode 1, A Golden Wake, and Cognition: Game of the Year Edition. If you pay $10 or more, you'll also get Broken Sword 5.
A lot of people were wondering if this cancelled remake really existed and if Double Fine might use some of the assets in their Day of the Tentacle Special Edition. Well, we now have the answers to those questions, and they are yes, and maybe.Double Fine's Vice President of Development, Matt Hansen, had this to say on the Double Fine forums:
I have to be careful with being too open since it isn’t our license, but I will say that I am very happy with the stuff from Singapore so far.
They're understandably cryptic about whether the material will be used, but it's good to finally have confirmation that it existed, and that it was apparently pretty good. Hopefully they do use these assets, as this would be the perfect game to become the last released project that was co-developed by LucasArts. Unless of course anyone is bidding to complete Sam & Max: Freelance Police.
Tim took to Twitter to turn the implicit into the explicit:
Stoked for Day of the Tentacle Special Edition? Want to see Full Throttle & more? Show folks adventure gamers exist and grab a copy of Grim!
So buy Grim Fandango Remastered, in other words. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, and you've already bought the game. But have you bought enough? What if you break the very bytes of the game by playing it too hard? Wouldn't you want a backup copy in such an event?
Did you buy a copy for your Mom? Sibling? The child you're pregnant with? The dog you own? To be clear, I'm not saying not buying your dog Grim Fandango makes you a bad pet owner. I'm saying it makes you a terrible one.
Hey, ah. I gotta split, so um...Viva la Revolución!
Just when you thought you couldn't get any more excited for tomorrow's release of Grim Fandango Remastered, here comes a fat new interview with Tim Schafer about all things Land of the Dead.
[...] Schafer heard competition to license Grim Fandango was fierce. "We didn't think we'd be able to do it as we'd heard someone else was trying to do it, and we were like 'oh no!'" When asked who this mysterious competitor was, Schafer says "It turned out to be Adam Boyes [VP of publisher & developer relations at SCEA]."
"Adam was like, 'we weren't trying to mess anything up. We just wanted to make that game come out again," Schafer recalls. "And we were like, 'Us too! But we think we should do it because we can remaster it the way it should be done.' And they agreed, so we decided to work together." Schafer notes that there were other companies vying to license Grim, but Sony came the closest.
There's a lot more, like Tim's correct observation that Double Indemnity and Sweet Smell of Success feature some of cinema's best dialog, as well as some mysterious claim that the game features a new camera pan and hints about future adventure remakes, but you'll just have to read it all, my good man.
I was reminded that we didn't really do anything to acknowledge the 10th anniversary of the Sam & Max 2 cancellation last year. Not that we should have. It's an increasingly irrelevant exercise and plus, with each passing year, it actually becomes more cringey for me to think back on that time when, shall we say, some slightly mortifying behavior was exhibited? Not that I'm absolving myself, but I was in high school in 2004.
One thing we are known to do sometimes is bust out our big honkin' compendium article, which is really just the database entry from Old Mojo that's been sloppily expanded over time as new facts and media came to light. I'm kinda proud of the unwieldy thing, because as far as I know it's still the ultimate resource on all known information related to the game, though I confess I'm too lazy to see if the Wikipedia article has gotten more accurate since I last saw it.
So as to why I'm making this post. I was re-reading that thing, when I got to this part, which made me sit up straight in my chair:
Let it be noted here that a second trailer for the game was allegedly produced and therefore may still exist as bytes on a hard drive somewhere. In a 2003 Something Awful forum thread (which we unfortunately can't link to because it doesn't seem to exist anymore, but here's our post and an Adventure Gamers forum reaction thread covering it), someone posted about their enviable experience attending one of the recording sessions where they met Mike Stemmle, Bill Farmer and Nick Jameson. Photos of the script and a voicemail greeting Bill Farmer recorded for the visitor were presented as proof, and the information about the game revealed by the account checks out as accurate, an account which claims that Mike Stemmle privately revealed the trailer to the author via laptop.
Ha, oh yeah! I'd forgotten about that. I wonder if anyone from the old team still has that lying about? I guess even if they did, Disney would be on them like sleaze on a Remi, but still, eff that Something Awful guy who got to see it!
Hold onto your hats, folks. "OzzieMonkey" in the comments reports that our sassy friends at Rock, Paper, Shotgun seem to know the next three LucasArts games that GOG will give a digital release. Behold what will arrive on the 27th:- Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
- Star Wars: Starfighter
- Star Wars: Republic Commando
There was apparently a proper press release announcing GOG's latest LucasArts drops, by the way. This is supposed to continue "throughout 2015," so with any luck they'll accidentally include Outlaws or The Curse of Monkey Island at some point.
As ever, Kotaku proves to be way behind the Mojo curve by pointing out the (not quite) existence of the cancelled LucasArts game Justice Unlimited. For those who don't know, it was the studio's ill-fated, late-nineties attempt to make a Diablo game, except with superheroes. Jackassery aside, two of the three bits of concept art in Kotaku's article are new to me, although it turns out that's just because they're from that Rogue Leaders book I never bought.
To show that we're grownups, here's our own, better scoop about Justice Limited as part of Mike Stemmle's recollection of the wacky stretch of his career between Afterlife and Escape from Monkey Island.
After Afterlife, most of the (tiny) core team from that game started work on another sim game. The not-so-tentatively-titled TV Wasteland was going to be a charmingly off-beat attempt to simulate the life of a television programming executive, which seemed like fertile ground my for my frothing love of snark and math.
While we were struggling with some of the basics of the title, the team had the misfortune of playing Diablo, and got fatally distracted. Soon, we were convinced that WE should do a Diablo-like game... only with superheroes. LucasArts allowed us to talk them into building this new game we called Justice Unlimited, and off we went... for over a year. And then we killed it.
After the collapse of Justice Unlimited, I took a two-month drive around the country (I'd built up a LOT of vacation time). On the upside, I got an opportunity to see most of the locations we'd ripped off lovingly homaged in Sam and Max Hit the Road. On the downside, I spent a lonely night in Las Vegas with the Worst Food Poisoning Ever. I guess you could call it a low-rent spirit quest capped off by a bout of ritualistic purging. At the time, I only half-jokingly called it the "Mike Stemmle Nervous Breakdown Tour of America."
That comes from an interview Mike granted us for that big honkin' EMI retrospective. Oh dear, did I just flog our own content? How embarrassing.
And they are:- Star Wars: Empire at War (Gold Pack)
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
- Star Wars: Rebellion (aka Star Wars: Supremacy)
Sorry I'm an asshole, but I'm sure enough of you are genuinely excited by these to balance it out.
GOG has announced a second wave of six LucasArts games to be made available beginning this week. Yawn your way through the following selection!
- Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Saga
- Star Wars: X-Wing Vs. Tie Fighter
- Star Wars: Dark Forces
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
Because if there's one game that Earth's population has struggled to find at a decent price over the last fifteen years, it's KOTOR 2. Thank goodness our prayers have been answered.
Look, I get it. These are well regarded games, and they deserve to be re-released. But generally, you treat the guy who's in cardiac arrest before the guy whose foot fell asleep.
You ain't funny, GOG. Give us a better reason to wait next time, please. These reasons should feel free to be spelled exactly like Day of the Tentacle or Full Throttle.
Now we know for sure this is an actual game. The screenshots and videos featured on the site seem to be things you'd have already been exposed to, but it's pretty much all worth it for the paper mache version of the Double Fine logo. Unless that's old news too.
Bit of trivia: The site's only been up for hours, which means that it's roughly on par with the sum total of Mixnmojo's uptime since 1997. Thank you! Thank you!¬¬
Dear Lord, this looks wonderful.
Some of the most interesting points brought up in the interview include the fact that Brian Moriarty, the creator of Loom and project lead of the unreleased first version of The Dig is on the board at Reactive too, and the team is going to try to do a text adventure style audio drama at some point, with Dave hinting towards a Sherlock Holmes story and one based on Jekyll and Hyde. Another interesting tidbit is that Dave Grossman is going to be helping out with another game project that had a successful Kickstarter, but he can't talk about that yet. So, even though Dave is working from home now, 2015 certainly looks to be a busy year.
This release brings Myst III: Exile support, fixes some bugs in Grim Fandango, and adds game data verification on first launch (so that you'll know if your game data was copied correctly from your CDs). There are builds available for Windows, Linux and OS X.In the unstable builds of ResidualVM, Escape from Monkey Island is also completable with a few glitches. The ResidualVM team is going to continue to work to get that game supported in 2015.
Turns out it's just that you're not giving the later sequels enough credit.
Every decade or so it's necessary to write an article delving into the "meaning" behind Monkey Island just to remind you of how stale the topic really is. Today comes my contribution to this tradition of over-analysis, but my "twist" is arguing that picking over the subtext of the first two games only casts the post-Ron installments in a more favorable light.
I'm just a merchant of controversy these days, aren't I?
Thanks to Remi for the header image.
Polygon was able to prod Tim a bit about the recently announced Day of the Tentacle remake, which is still in its earliest phases but which he promises will remain 2D. Beyond assurances of faithfulness, we'll just have to wait to learn what this upgrade will really look or sound like (while wondering what the LEC Singapore sweat shop kids came up with first).
When asked about the business side of securing the license in the first place, Tim describes a situation that really makes me hopeful for the future.
"There were just some people at Disney, Sony and Lucasfilm that care about these games," he said. "They're old enough that some of these people who are executives played them when they were kids. I've been really impressed with the fact that these kind of deals have come together because there's so many reasons for this deal not to happen. There's so many parties involved and so many people who could've said no, that it really took a passionate drive by people in the right places to escort it through the process."
Perhaps Tim's dream of revisiting all the old adventures is a bit too good to be true, but still, it's hard to imagine the future of these games ever being more bright, or for a better group of custodians to be assigned their preservation than Schafer's studio. Hopefully those fans strategically positioned at Disney stick around long enough for Double Fine to keep going through the catalog.
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