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After fans politely noticed that the first pass had subjective room for improvement, Limited Run Games went back to the drawing board to incorporate a number of tasteful changes to their commemorative Monkey Island anthology set with the guidance of Force ghost Laserschwert. Behold what can happen when an audience is listened to:

That's a major upgrade, with only a small growth in price point. Have your credit card at the ready on Friday, December 4th, when pre-orders will open -- for real this time.

What's that? We're several days behind on this rather significant news story? Only because we credit you with being people of taste who have therefore already been discussing it on the forums. For those who have fallen short of our expectations, why not pretend there's still something to complain about and join in on the discussion now?

It's here! The thing you didn't know you've been waiting 30 years for. Previously unseen artwork, deleted scenes, and insights from The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2! Not to mention a two-hour interview with Ron Gilbert where he reveals, amongst other things, some of his original plans for Monkey Island 3.

Gorge yourself on this bounty: The Secrets of Monkey Island's Source Code

All of this is thanks to the hard work of Frank Cifaldi and the other brilliant people at Video Game History Foundation. Look around their website and offer to donate your time or money to support their noble cause of documenting video game history. Thanks, VGHF!

With the assignment process of Telltale Inc. circa 2018-2019, their titles were scooped up by many different entities. So, I figured it would be handy to list what is currently known about the fate of their titles.

The rights to Batman: The Telltale Series, Batman: The Enemy Within, Hector: Badge of Carnage, Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent, Puzzle Agent 2, and The Wolf Among Us (as well as the publishing rights to RGX Showdown) were acquired by LCG Entertainment with their formation of Telltale 2.0 on August 28, 2019. They later acquired the rights to Tales of Monkey Island on June 26, 2020.

The rights to Telltale's The Walking Dead games were acquired by the creator of The Walking Dead, Skybound. They are now published by Skybound Games, a subsidiary that contracted members of the Telltale staff to finish The Walking Dead: The Final Season from the Telltale 1.0 offices in 2019.

The rights to Tales from the Borderlands were acquired by 2K, the company that holds the rights to the Borderlands franchise.

The rights to the Sam & Max games were acquired by Skunkape Games, a company formed by former Telltale 1.0 staff (and the studio that's currently remastering the games).

These games are currently available to purchase (plus Sam & Max Save the World is available to pre-order in its remastered form. Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Remastered and Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Remastered will be available once Skunkape remasters those as well).

The rest are not available for purchase (although all are available to redownload if you purchased them from GOG.com, Steam, the Telltale Store, PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Nintendo e-Shop, etc.). These remaining games presumably remain in rights limbo. We'll keep you updated as (hopefully) more legacy Telltale games become available to purchase again.

Oh, and the CSI games still belong to Ubisoft, but no one cares about those.

If you bought Sam and Max Save the World (season one) from the Telltale Games store back in the day, you are now eligible for either a Steam or GOG key to transfer your game. Just go to the appropriate link on the Skunkape website. Cool thing: "It’s okay if the email doesn’t work anymore; this step is only for verification."

You'll want to acquire it ASAP, as having the key in your library makes you eligible for a 50% discount for the remastered version through December 31, 2020.

Instructions: scroll down to the section titled Telltale Store Customers, enter your email, and choose the store you'd like, which it asks about after verifying. Once you have the original game in your library, go to the Sam and Max Save the World: Remastered page (GOG, Steam) and get the discount while it's valid. I've just tried it.

Mojo will give you a heads-up (timeliness guaranteed*) if news of the same comes out regarding the other two seasons. In the meantime, get to updatin'.

Sam and Max Save the World: Remastered releases for PC and Nintendo Switch December 2nd. (It's not the official title, but let's pretend it is for the sake of clarity.)

*Timeliness not guaranteed.

Comments: 5 / Source: Skunkape

It has been a long, bumpy road to the realization of a fifth Indiana Jones movie, to the point where I wouldn't be so confident that road leads anywhere but over a sheer cliff. Still, anything on Lucasfilm's slate that isn't Star Wars is enjoyable to cover, so I'm always game to pounce on the latest rumors.

Those come from The DisInsider, who claim that Disney has booked Pinewood Studios for an August 2021 production start date. Even if this is legit, it proves little, as soundstage bookings can easily change, but the timetable does shake hands with precedent: Crystal Skull began shooting in June 2007 for a May 2008 release. The new film is slated for July 2022.

It's probably as late a start date as the project could get away with given that release date, though I'm sure that's by design. Optimistically, the worst of COVID-19 will be behind us next summer, and that's no minor concern when you've got an ambitious, globe-trotting shoot* carried on the shoulders of a 79-year old.

Speaking of optimism, it has recently been confirmed that James Mangold's regular DP Phedon Papamichael will be shooting the film. This is perhaps the one silver lining of Spielberg stepping down as director, as it permits one to hope that the movie won't be patterning its visual identity after Sky Captain this time out.

*At least, if they're making the movie correctly it will be. No more Indy installments shot on Los Angeles soundstages, thank you kindly.

So apparently, back in 2016, when Campo Santo was both a small, scrappy company putting out a fun newsletter and in existence, they put out this game called Firewatch. The critically acclaimed game was scored by one estimable Chris Remo, and the soundtrack, on vinyl, sold out.

Woe, as the kids say. Anyway, if you've wanted to get the soundtrack on vinyl since then, you'd have had to sell a kidney and score it on eBay. Except as of last week, when Remo put (what is likely the) final printing up on Kickstarter for all you surface noise-loving, guitar-strumming tree huggers hopefully-locked-indoors out there. (I joke because I'm one of you, except the guitar bit.) Grab it here.

It’s a joyous time for Sam & Max fans, as the Telltale remaster and This Time It’s Virtual means the characters have two concurrent projects on the way. See, 2020 was worth a damn after all.

In the midst of all this, something called “The Escapist Games Showcase – Fall Edition” is going on this week. What matters to you is that both Sam & Max projects got some promotional time during “Day 1” (yesterday) of the streamed expo, which amounted to some new gameplay footage from This Time It’s Virtual (click here to watch), and more noteworthily a live chat conducted with Dan Connors (representing the remaster) and Mike Levine and Mike Stemmle (representing the virtual reality game) -- all together. You can watch the archived Q&A here.

Points of interest include a playthrough of the first several minutes of remastered Culture Shock (which makes for an excellent showcase of just how much of a jump the presentation has taken, and offers a first listen at Bosco’s new voice, Ogie Banks*), Jake being referred to "the king of Sam & Max content", and Connors/Stemmle intriguingly/depressingly going on a brief tangent about some of the great minigames in Freelance Police that we’ll never get to enjoy. But you'll enjoy the Q&A, guaranteed.

*Also known as camper Chops Sweetwind from Psychonauts!

When Telltale was taken out behind the woodshed in 2018, one of the projects it had in development was an unannounced Stranger Things game – the strangest thing about which was probably the fact that it was a Telltale game that Jared Emerson-Johnson wasn’t handling the music for.

Instead, the soundtrack was the commission of Antimo & Welles (The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us), who apparently got a fair amount of work done at the time the lights were turned off, leaving their music in limbo. Now, two years later, they’ve arranged a suite of the “best bits” of their unfinished work and shared it for all to enjoy:

A nice outcome, I would say! Check out Bloody Disgusting for more info, and the composing duo's Patreon if you'd like to support them.

The good news keeps rolling in. With Sam and Max: Beyond Time and Space Sam and Max Save the World (aka Season One) getting that shiny remaster, you may be wondering how to get your hands on it or on the old game.

According to Skunkape, the rag-tag team of ex-Telltale people spitting on the old game and shining it, anyone with copies of the original game on GOG or Steam is eligible for a 50% discount for the remaster—just login to GOG or Steam to see the discount, which expires December 31st. So get on it.

Better, those of us who bought the game from the Telltale website and jealously guarding their HDs for fear of losing their old copies will be given a key for either Steam or GOG to keep the old game. That's still being set-up, but you can keep an eye on Skunkape's Twitter for news on that front (or Mojo a week later).

We can only assume Skunkape accidentally sent this interview to Vice instead of us, but either way… After we exclusively/allegedly broke the news of Sam & Max Save the World: Remastered, this is a good follow-up read. An excerpt:

Consequently, this update is more than just tweaked visuals and lighting. There are fundamentally new music cues, different camera angles, and altered timing for jokes. They recast the voice actor for Bosco, because it was a black character voiced by a white actor, a creative decision that didn't exactly sit right with the team when they decided to revisit it.

Go read the whole thing.

Well, here’s something we’ll be able to dine out on for a while.

Sometime after Telltale folded, some choice Telltale veterans – original CEO Dan Connors, engineering maestro Randy Tudor, technical director Jon Sgro, and affirmative action Mojo alumnus Jake Rodkin – thought to themselves, “Hey, what if we made those Sam & Max games we built at Telltale not only available again, but gussied up with retrofitted engine improvements like some tarted-up whore?”

That question obviously rhetorical, the quartet joined forces with Steve Purcell, scooped up the game assets at a flea market and founded “Skunkape Games” (which certain eagle-eyed busybodies already noticed had been quietly restamped as the publisher of the Sam & Max seasons on digital outlets earlier this year), and under this new moniker are primed to do just that.

And soon. Sam & Max Save the World: Remastered is due to drop December 2nd, with the other two seasons to follow.

To be honest with you, the results look jaw-dropping. These games have always been gems, but the above makes me unspeakably giddy to experience them all over again in widescreen with their new coat of paint and without voice compression targeting 60MB file downloads. There are loads of other little enhancements promised as well, but it’s probably best to discover them for ourselves.

For media and more information (including how to pre-order), check out the official Skunkape web presence or maybe even Sam & Max.net. That’s right, anonymous sources tell us that the beloved hub is coming back from the dead, and putting on new airs: What was once The Unofficial Sam & Max Website is to be imminently reborn as very much an official resource. Gandalf the White’s transformation looks like a damn haircut by comparison.

So you’re telling me we’ve got this, a new Sam & Max VR game, new Sam & Max figurines, the return of the forums, a Monkey Island anthology box set, revelatory violations of the Monkey Island source code, and Psychonauts 2 in its final stretch of production all the while? You bet your hiney you are. Mojo has renaissanced yet again.

Artist/animator extraordinaire Mark Ferrari recently sat down for his own extended video chat, and it would feel like paying insult to pretend that any more of a sales pitch is necessary:

I don't know what's in the air these days that is impelling so many lengthy interviews with LucasArts veterans to be recorded, but please do keep them coming.

That livestream with Mike Stemmle took place a few hours ago, and you can re-watch it right here at your own convenience. Drag over to 43:09 if you want to skip right to when Mike appears.

Throughout the 80-minute conversation Stemmle gives a lot of great anecdotes and some borderline apologies about Escape from Monkey Island, which is rightly the main topic (it’s celebrating an anniversary too, you know!), but there’s plenty of memories shared about the productions of Sam & Max Hit the Road, Sam & Max: Freelance Police, and the Telltale games Mike worked on. He even talks about some ideas that were pitched at Telltale but never happened, like his Lovecraftian take on Maniac Mansion.

And of course, there’s some pimping of the upcoming Sam & Max VR game, including some new story details. It’s all here, and a must watch.

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitch

What with all the Halloween and Monkey Island hubbub, we plumb failed to notice that HappyGiant has shown off a little more of Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual.

So let's play catch-up. First off is this new piece of concept art HappyGiant tweeted for a shooting gallery game Sam and Max will play called "Circle of Carnage":

HappyGiant soon followed that up with a gameplay video that shows this sequence in action:

Quoth the Reddit

Just in case it’s of any interest, I’ll be chatting to LucasArts’ Mike Stemmle of Sam and Max and Escape from Monkey Island fame on my Twitch stream tomorrow, Friday 6th November from 8pm GMT (as it’s the 20th anniversary of Escape!). Feel free to drop by and ask a question, he’s also working on the new Sam and Max VR game so will be chatting about that too! https://www.twitch.tv/cressup

While Jason and Ron Howard’s family are showing great excitement for Disney+’s Willow, the more rational amongst us are feeling strangely drawn to the streaming service’s new Star Wars special:

That’s right, Life Day is happening again in The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. It premiers November 17th.

The Video Game History Foundation conducted their "Secrets of Monkey Island" evening with Ron Gilbert to celebrate the game's 30th anniversary. A finished edited version of the event will be posted soon, but the raw streamed version is now available to rewatch for those who bought tickets and missed it.

The VGH Foundation unearthed previously unseen background artwork, sprites, cut-scenes and locations from Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2. They also demonstrated how a SCUMM programmer would have written code, and revealed the custom tools that they had to hand. It was wonderful stuff.

Oh, and Ron also casually revealed his original plans for Monkey Island 3, too. So there's that.

As soon as the public version has been made available, we'll share it here.

In the meantime, go give some love (or money) to The Video Game History Foundation for their incredible efforts and noble work.

After taking last year off, The Pumpkin House of Horrors has made its diabolical return. This year's carving is topical, yet in the same grisly tradition you know and love. Check it out, and revisit the legacy collection while you're there.

Don't scare us like that again, Dave.

Even though George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, the actual offices have remained at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in The Presidio -- a park in San Francisco. As Lucas owns those facilities, Disney has actually been paying George rent for that space despite owning the assets held there.

With the conglomerate undergoing a period of COVID related belt-tightening, rumor has it that Disney is finally ready to relocate all those assets to their home turf in Burbank.

The move down south for Lucasfilm apparently has been the plan for years. It is unknown what has been the delay in getting them down to Burbank. The goal was to have all of their divisions at convenient proximity to Disney headquarters. With that, they cut down distance and they no longer have to pay Lucas rent.

Why do we care? Well, presumably this means that the Lucasfilm archives are destined to make a six hour road trip, and as elTee's illuminating interview with Limited Run Games revealed, the original assets related to the old adventure games have not necessarily been digitized. And I'm not making judgments, mind you. It's hard to ask a supposedly state-of-the-art studio to make time over a thirty year period to digitally bank Monkey Island key art when there's a hundred other things to do. Those Baby Yodas aren't going to stack themselves.

I'm just asking everyone to join me in a collective prayer that they, you know, have the straps on the flat bed fastened tight as they load it up with irreplaceable diskettes of source code or Ken Macklin artwork for The Dig. And you know, that they throw a tarp over it if the weather forecast looks dicey. Things like that.

Apparently this has been on Youtube for a while, but I know I'd never seen it before, so maybe you'll be as blown away as I was:

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