Articles

 
Thumb

April Fools 2002 Foreword

"Of course, it's all lies."

Mixnmojo has never been especially reliable in its annual observance of Ron Gilbert's least favorite holiday, but we figure the stunt we pulled in 2002 is worth a lifetime of phoned-in consistency.

The scene is this: The latest installment of the Monkey Island series is Escape from Monkey Island (2000), and the prospect of another sequel, or even another adventure game at all, or heck, anything merely not Star Wars related, is looking rather grim to this LucasArts fan site.

Nevertheless, some faint hope begins to rise. The new president, Simon Jeffery, declares that the studio will shift to a more balanced track that will allow room for some original and legacy titles once more. While another outing for Guybrush Threepwood is far from a sure thing, there seems to be just enough basis for optimism to inspire Mojo to plot the cruelest of schemes: fake audio leaks from a fictional Monkey Island 5.*

This wouldn't be some slapdash prank, either -- that would hardly visit the kind of suffering the staff had in mind for its readership. The hooligans behind the con would recruit Guybrush's voice actor, Dominic Armato, to record putative lines of dialog from the game, and they would even seek the blessing of LucasArts itself. No effort would be too great to ensure the most convincing fraud possible.

The scam began on March 30th, 2002, with Mixnmojo sharing the first of their daily audio "leaks." In a back and forth, hosted site The World of Monkey Island would dutifully report on each of Mojo's drops, as any decent MI site would. But after picking up on the joke they decided to get in on the action themselves, posting a tiny image of the fake game's supposed box art and therefore its supposed title, Return to Monkey Island -- yes, almost two decades before an actual game by that name would arrive in 2022. Finally, all was revealed on April 1st, with Mojo finding itself having to react to its unplanned co-conspirator. World of MI's contribution was the work of artist Paco Vink, well known in these waters for his Monkey Island comic.

The story wasn't over even after the joke was told. We turn the page to 2009, when Telltale Games released what ended up being the actual fifth installment in the series, Tales of Monkey Island. Having successfully planted moles into the studio's ranks, Mojo flaunted its influence and injected its fake game into the real one, sneaking in some of the invented lines from 2002's heist into the dialog of the "Lair of the Leviathan" chapter of Tales.

And now we come to the present, which isn't always the easiest place to accurately view the past from. Being that it's (almost exactly) twenty years old, the prank was executed several versions of Mojo ago. What that means is that if you look up those original news posts now, you'll see the text but none of the media. To correct this wrong, and in acknowledgment of the fact that a real game called Return to Monkey Island exists (the world is weird), we recreated the news items that constituted April Fools 2002 across the following pages, so that audiences can enjoy the height of our diabolical genius forevermore. Though not one of "the players," The SCUMM Bar's reactions, archived here, may also be of interest to completists.

And remember, always: we're not sorry.

- The Mixnmojo Management

Special thanks to Dom himself for throwing all the audio files on Archive.org which is, let's face it, a safer host than us if you're looking for longevity.

*But seriously, they just got bored while hanging out with Dom at Disneyland.