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Geoff Keighley took to Twitter to announce gamescom will feature a “brand new” look at Return to Monkey Island on August 23rd, 11 am PDT.

What “brand new” means is anyone’s guess, but as Ronzo is involved, it should probably be interesting.

And, for your convenience, Mojo has an easy-to-tap-and-add calendar entry for you. Be reminded with no hassle to you—that’s the Mojo way of life!

Adjusted for inflation, $20 from 1990 would be roughly $45, which is a roundabout way to say that this is a good deal:

$25 for Return to Monkey Island? Granted, it isn’t official yet, but with Mojo’s stellar past with Brazilian hackers, we will just go ahead and trust this one, too.

Thanks to The Legend of Monkey Island for the heads up!

It seems like everyone and their cousin are doing video retrospectives of the Monkey Island games these days (not Mojo, of course—we don’t know how that kind of witchcraft works). Alanah Pearce has taken it to the next level with writing101: 30 Years of Writing Video Games - Tim Schafer | Video Game Writing 101 where (according to Eurogamer) Tim had this to say:

We were writing on Monkey Island, and we were told ’you guys, we can’t go on six floppies. We have to go on five. We have too much text. Ron was like, “we have to cut 25 percent of the dialogue.” I went and would look at a scene I wrote and I was like “no, I nailed that… that’s perfect.”

I admittedly have not watched the video, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

And, hey, at least we were able to preserve some of the “lost” dialogue.

In the wake of DREAMM, our resident Luddite Jason has sharpened his pen and thrown a critical look at obtaining uncompromised versions of original LucasArts classics. Some poor saps* might think the Special Editions of the first Monkey Island duology contain the classic versions of the games—these people are sadly incorrect.

So, what’s the deal then? Are the differences that big? Jason investigates in “The Poxy Custodianship of Monkey Island”—the first of many articles planned for this topic.

* Not my words, nor really Jason’s, but he strongly implies it.

Show your love for the Fatherland and enjoy Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, available on Prime Gaming as part of the August batch of titles:

It doesn't make up for cancelling Truth Seekers, but I suppose Amazon accidentally knows what it's doing now and again.

Here we go, then: Neo LeChuck:

To editorialize: I like it! Boen-esque yet with an individual spin. Suitable to the character. Very LeChuck. As for the blah-ing: If I were a betting man, I wouldn′t be surprised if, in the final game, the VO would fade into the background as we regain control of the game.

And that LeChuck′s Revenge-style music. Chef′s kisses all around.

Update! Sources have confirmed to Mojo that LeChuck is voiced by the prolific Jess Harnell. (The source being a Tweet from Ronzo.)

You might not consider Hitman 3 fertile ground for a Monkey Island easter egg, but with the launch of the new extra-piratey location, Ambrose Island, that has very much changed.

Eurogamer reports of a gravestone in the level, for one "G Threepwood, Mighty Pirate," and not only that, an associated treasure hunt you can engage in to dig up some treasure from our favourite swashbuckler's grave.

Apparently they do it in this very long video, but I took literally minutes to look through it and couldn't find it, so I'll leave that as a little challenge for YOU, the reader.

I mean, who knows exactly what’s going on, other than it looks like Mojo’s last Festivus party.

And sorry, no release date, yet.

It's all in this tweet:

The correct answer is clearly "monkey6.exe", but I can be a good sport and carry on the fiction of democracy by encouraging you to cast a vote yourself.

Developer Aspyr's remake of BioWare's 2003 Star Wars RPG Knights of the Old Republic has had its hand lobbed off by daddy studio heads after a "vertical slice" of the game gone awry:

On June 30, Aspyr finalized a demo of the game, known as a vertical slice, to show to production partners Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC and Sony Group Corp. [...] The following week, the company fired design director Brad Prince and art director Jason Minor.

More on that in the Bloomberg article, which paints a lot of doom and gloom for what I'd have imagined would be a relatively straightforward excursion. Such is the way with Star Wars, though.

That whole Futurama “take my money” meme might be getting a bit overused at this point, but…

… for god’s sake, just tell me where to send it.

So this showed up on Twitter:

I dunno anything about DeathCharger, but these offerings look rather bootleggy to me, and Laserschwert seems to think that some of this stuff is derived from restoration work of his (thx, Jan), and faulty old versions at that.

On the other hand, history tells us that merchandise which is shamelessly fan-sourced doesn't necessarily mean it isn't authorized, and here we have a Lucasfilm employee promoting it, so it's hard to know what to think.

For my money, the only item of interest here is the recreation of the vintage long-sleeved T-shirt that few mortals have had an opportunity to own since 1991, so it'll be interesting to hear how well those came out. And can we do the Maniac Mansion one next?

Dave Grossman just posted a short ten-second Return to Monkey Island teaser on Twitter, and cripes on toast...

Of note: Carla is the Governor, as evident by the election poster. It looks like some of the background animations aren’t done -- the meme-able crate-carrying ghost is standing oddly still -- but check out the silhouette in the SCUMM Bar. This all looks and sounds luscious.

The video is part of the #MonkeyIslandMonday promotion on Twitter -- Jason really wanted us to emphasize that because, quote: “news to me.”

Larry Holland’s Totally Games, the studio behind a slew of well-regarded flight simulators often published by LucasArts (among them the X-Wing series), was at work on an Xbox-exclusive fantasy game in the early 2000s that didn’t make it to the finish line. Details on the sometimes-called Knights of Decayden have now emerged from Axios. Here’s a summation by Eurogamer:

According to Axios, Knights of Decayden - which has briefly surfaced once before in 2009, in a listing on cancelled games website Unseen64 - was to take Totally Games' experience with space shooters and adapt the formula to suit a fantasy setting. It would see players - either in the single-player story campaign or multiplayer mode - controlling a knight on a flying seahorse, travelling "amid skyscraper-like islands soaring above a sparkling sea." Action was to be a mix of ranged combat and slow-motion jousting against other knights and monsters, and would also incorporate underwater segments against sea creatures.

In addition to reading about how the game died, you can check out this footage:

The British quiz show "The Chase" had a Monkey Island question the other night, and someone on Twitter has the proof:

Comments: 2 / Source: Twitter

Even those who don’t put Lucasfilm’s 1988 fantasy opus Willow on the highest pedestal will acknowledge that the late James Horner delivered a barnburner of a score. Thus it is in everyone’s interest, if not budget, that Intrada Records is giving it the prestige treatment with a two-disc expanded soundtrack album:

At last! Magnum opus fantasy score by James Horner receives expanded 2-CD set! A LucasFilm Production, Ron Howard directs, scripted by Bob Dolman, story by George Lucas who also executive produces with Val Kilmer, Warwick Davis sharing majority of the screen time with Joanne Whalley, Billy Barty, Jean Marsh all nearby. Evil sorceress Bavmorda imprisons all pregnant women in her domain to prevent birth of a baby prophesied to bring about the end of her reign. Said baby is born and cast adrift, with Bavmorda, her vicious Nockmaar Hounds and her army in pursuit. Enter Willow Ufgood and the Nelwyns, who find the infant. A perilous adventure ensues that involves the Brownies, a fairy queen, an aging enchantress… and flamboyant rogue and expert swordsman Madmartigan. James Horner took inspiration from rousing action and swordplay as well as fantastic special effects made by ILM, including landmark early use of digital morphing technology, a CGI breakthrough. Film unfolds with generous amount of dazzle dazzle and derring-do but also offers darker side to fantastic tale, especially in latter battle and climactic duel sequence. Horner showcases his energetic youthful big-orchestra vernacular on one hand while balancing with his newly-maturing severe, intense musical vocabulary, resulting in incredibly wide-ranging score. Richly drawn main theme anchors, makes key appearances, shares time with exhilarating theme for Madmartigan, takes back seat to ferocious sequences, then ultimately brings score home. Besides colorful array of material, score is also notable for several lengthy cues, amongst the longest of the composer’s career. Massive pieces often play as movements of a symphony, developing ideas with cohesion, complexity, generating considerable tension, then relief - no easy feat: “Canyon Of Mazes” (7 minutes), “Tir Asleen” (10 minutes), “Bavmorda’s Spell Is Cast” (18 minutes), “Willow The Sorcerer” (12 minutes) are massive, masterful works for large symphony orchestra. Generous original 1988 album featured over 70 minutes of music but film’s wall-to-wall scoring included over 100 minutes of music! Finally, on this Intrada 2-CD presentation, some 107 minutes of music by Horner appears, with a wealth of previously unavailable cues, including aggressive, fierce “Death Dogs”, colorful and fantastic “Enchanted Forest”, and riveting and florid “Sled Ride”, all courtesy LucasFilm and Disney, mastered from original digital stereo mixes made by Shawn Murphy at the scoring sessions and beautifully preserved by engineer Simon Rhodes. Front cover art by John Alvin, package design by Kay Marshall, booklet notes by Frank DeWald. Score recorded in January & February 1988 at Abbey Road Studios. Greig McRitchie orchestrates, James Horner composes, conducts. Intrada Special Collection 2-CD available while quantities and interest remain!

Intrada produces these things in limited quantities, so run and buy if you’re in the market.

If you’re not paying attention to samandmax.co.uk, you’re decidedly not part of the cool crowd. The site’s latest feature is an interview with voice actor Chuck Kourouklis, a recurring cast presence in the Telltale catalog. His more notable roles were Mr. Norrington in Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse and the Ferryman to the pirate crossroads in Tales of Monkey Island.

What were the recording sessions like for Sam & Max?

Damn difficult in one respect – like many of the best-written projects, you fall apart like Harvey Korman in a Carol Burnett skit (am I giving you all some wild stuff to Google and YouTube or what?) Seriously, you just break up and collapse laughing in the most inopportune moments, and Sam & Max was MURDER that way. I hope at least there was a writer gratified to hear how he wrecked my professionalism, somewhere in the creative chain…

Read his recollections in full, and look forward to re-experiencing his Sam & Max performance in higher quality whenever Skunkape can get that Season 3 remaster to you.

And speaking of Sam & Max voice actors, let me quickly work in this month-old tweet of a fan’s happy run-in with Bill Farmer, the original Sam and parenthetically the voice of Goofy.

Put your nostalgia boots on and check out the “Part I” screen of Return to Monkey Island:

“A Friendly Place” -- we can only assume that is Melee Island, and that the title might be a misnomer with the new guard taking over. Who knows, but for now: Gotta love the re-imagined music.

Twitch hostess extraordinaire Cressup is continuing to notch her belt with sensational long-form interviews. This time her subject is your lawful Guybrush and internet friend Dominic Armato, who so badly wants to share more about Return to Monkey Island than he's allowed to, but the sheer enthusiam he gives off is sales hype enough. Watch and be delighted.

Comments: 3 / Source: Cressup

This is a rather momentous year, and was shaping up to be that way before we came down with an aggravated case of Return to Monkey Island. That announcement would have been enough to dine out on through December 31st, but you might recall that we were already celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Curse of Monkey Island*, the third and in some respects most influential Monkey Island game.

And while we can’t speak for how you were celebrating it, we were doing it the Mojo way: By kidnapping Jonathan Ackley and Larry Ahern, trapping them in a giant bottle, foisting 600 questions on them to answer in longhand, and occasionally reminding them that air holes are for closers. The end result is right here for your discerning entertainment. If Lucasfilm doesn’t see fit to give this game a remaster, you know who not to blame.

*Not to mention Mixnmojo itself, as the fan scene and CMI are very much joined at the hip in that babymaking heyday of early internet access that was the mid-to-late-90s.

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