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If you are a Mac and/or Linux user—and why wouldn’t you be?!—you can finally enjoy the glory that is Psychonauts 2. Go through your Humble link, use your existing game key, and kiss your next few weeks goodbye. Psychonauts 2 was named Mojo Game of the Year 2021 for a reason after all. (Also the only new Mojo-related game from what I can remember, remasters aside.)

Bonus news: If you have any interest in becoming a game composer, learn from the best: IGN has a video interview with Peter McConnell and some other guy about how to get into the industry. (All respect to the other guy who I’m not familiar with.)

The hits keep on coming—though this one arrived a bit late at Mojo’s newsdesk: GamesBeat has published an interview with Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, one that has some meat on its bone. For example:

Mr. Grossman

The Monkey Wrench puzzle from LeChuck’s Revenge is notoriously unsolvable and was not a good design on several levels. Even if you are an English speaker from a location where the tool in question is commonly called a “monkey wrench,” and you realize that that’s what you need, you still have to make an astonishing predictive leap about how your actions will create that tool. Nothing in the game sets any of it up adequately. I use it to this day as my go-to example of what not to do with puzzle design, and it has influenced my thinking ever since. The player has to be able to somehow visualize what to do, and if they do give up and look at a hint, I want their response to be, “Oh, that makes sense, I should have thought of that!” rather than “How on earth was I ever supposed to think of that, you ridiculous, unfair clowns?!”

Conversely, The SCUMM Bar, everybody’s favorite website on the internet, is quasi-consistently being updated, landing-page style, with the latest ReMI factoids. Rumors (from me) suggests there might even be a few nuggets coming in later today.

Relatedly, our Adventurer newsletter already downright broke the GamesBeat news—we can’t be expected to update two sites at the same time after all. (Madness!)

We've come along way from this, now haven't we? Psychonauts 2 is well established to have been a critical darling, but it was no slouch in the sales department either -- at least if we're to believe this article from The Gamer. And we probably can, seeing as they're really just quoting a tweet from art director Lisette Titre-Montgomery, who refers to the sequel as the studio's "best-selling game to date."

Seeing as both the original Psychonauts and Brütal Legend sold over a million units over their lifespans, that would mean that Raz's latest adventure is in the seven figure range less than a year out. Now granted that's how many copies of Zak McKracken Germany sells in a day, but it's still pretty impressive if you ask me.

CNET has published what ostensibly is an interview with Ron “Zo” Gilbert. In-between the writer's tenuous Star Wars comparisons, Ron is allowed to speak a line or two, and… Look, they’re really keeping this Return to Monkey Island thing under wraps, so beggars can’t be choosers. Go read the interview if you’re a completionist.

A nuclear one at that.

Ron and Dave are making the rounds, and sat down with IGN to talk some more Return to Monkey Island. There aren’t a whole lot of new information, but in case there was any doubt that EMI and TMI were still canon…

Despite being Monkey Island 3 both in terms of Gilbert’s history with his own series as well as chronologically, Gilbert and Grossman both say the decision to canonify the other Monkey Island games rather than ignore or dispose of them was an easy one. “Yes, they are canon,” Grossman said, with Gilbert adding, “Neither Dave nor I felt like we could throw them out. There are a lot of beloved games. We love things like Murray. Throwing them out seemed like a pointless thing to do.”

… consider it undoubted.

Now run and read the whole thing.

Comments: 1 / Source: IGN

You think the previously announced Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space package is the only big boxed Sam & Max themed income-guzzler you're going to be pre-ordering come May 6th? Think again:

Ron "zo" Gilbert took his website, GrumpyGamer down the other week (I'm not going to find out exactly when, what do you take me for, a journalist?) prompting many in the community to speculate that it was due to a vocal minority of disgruntled 'fans' unhappy with what they've seen of Return to Monkey Island so far and not afraid to swear at the developers about it.

It turns out there might be a nugget of truth to those speculations, because the site is now back with an article called When I Made Another Monkey Island, in reference to that other one. He seems keen to make a few things clear.

For example, he'd like you to know that whatever his idea for MI3 was way back when, it was a nothing. There wasn't enough of a vision in the first place for it to become ruined.

The totality of that idea was "Guybrush chases the demon pirate LeChuck to hell and Stan is there." That's it. That's all it was.

There you have it. The plan for Monkey Island 3, in its entirety.

He goes on to give what I think is a spirited defense of the art style they chose for the game in the context of the history of Monkey Island, expresses disappointment with some of the fan response so far, and finishes with a plea to fans to join them in this ride. I don't think I can entirely do it justice in quotes so you'll just have to read it. I will leave you with one tantalising tidbit about the music, though:

The music Michael, Peter, and Clint are doing is equally amazing. It's not AdLib, Sound Blaster, or even Roland MT-32 music. Its stunning, interactive, and recorded live.

I'm giving you permission to get excited about Return to Monkey Island, people. I know you have it in you. Or as Ron puts it:

Return to Monkey Island is an incredible rollercoaster. Get on and have some fun or stomp out of the amusement park because it's not exactly the rollercoaster you wanted.

The Unofficial Sam & Max Website, once the go-to hub for Sam & Max news (a role assumed by samandmax.co.uk/ these days) got out of the day-to-day business somewhere around 2008, and you probably didn’t fail to notice its reduction to a static splash screen thereafter. This abandonment was perhaps in part because the staff was too busy making Sam & Max games to cover them, but let’s not trip over ourselves making excuses for those deadbeats.

Well as luck would have it, all these years later, new life has been breathed into the domain. The site has been relaunched and re-envisioned as Sam & Max Headquarters. The idea doesn’t seem so much to be producing content as serving as a flashy jumping-off point for all the online Sam & Max destinations deemed worthwhile through the parochial lens of a Web 2.0 world, though I also got a funny kinda feelin’ that there’s more to come.

Anyway, what’s going on there already is pretty neat-o, so show your support for mouseover hi-jinks and giddy up.

I know we report on these Prime Gaming inductions with a certain tone of discharging our duties (humor me on the we/our thing), but this time around there’s a little twist. CMI is indeed going to be one of six games being added to the service on May 1st, but apparently that came to pass because certain folks in the organization were really lobbying for it.

How brightly does the love for CMI burn at Amazon? Well, try on for size the fact that Principal Publishing Producer Amir Satvat put together a ten-minute video thesis arguing that the Plunder Island section of the game is “the greatest hour of video game gameplay ever made.” I mean, this is worth watching before you realize how much it’ll torque off Remi!

Comments: 3 / Source: Forbes

I, for one, am excited—Limited Run Games’ Sam & Max Save The World collector’s edition was an incredibly well put-together set, so consider the just-announced Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space an instant purchase. Semi-instant. They won’t take orders until May 6th. That aside, here’s what awaits you:

  • Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space on physical media
  • Bonus features DVD containing trailers, developer’s commentary, and other video goodies from the game’s original 2007-2008 production
  • Five episode postcards
  • Mini print of Steve Purcell’s "Autopsy" art (originally created for the March 2007 cover of Game Developer magazine)
  • Waterproof Banang sticker
  • Reproduction of Telltale’s Sam & Max Season Two Case File containing a souvenir from each of the game’s five cases: "The Friendly Demon Song" on mini CD, a Tiny Tiki drink coaster, Jurgen’s rave flier, one of eight random time cards, and a Soul Train subway token

$70 for the PC version, $80 for the Switch, which is pretty much them paying you to buy the set. Check out the LRG store for more, and get ready to open your wallet on May 6th.

Yet another Return to Monkey Island has been published over at Ars Technica, where Ron and Dave talk about... well, nothing earth-shattering, but it's always fun to read their thoughts on anything and everything.

"And very quickly, David and I came to the conclusion that we really wanted to build a game that was looking forward," he continued. "So that's kind of the impetus for the art we did, for the design, for the user interface. Everything we've done is building a game for the future, not necessarily the past."

Read more.

Or, as he more popularly is known, Herman Toothrot.

Ronzo took to Twitter today to announce that everybody's favorite hermit (and less favorite grandpa) is back in Return to Monkey Island. Wally Wingert will once again voice him.

Not too much more to say other than that ReMI is shaping up to be somewhat interesting.

Update: A little more say. When asked if Herman would be Elaine's grandfather (as he was in Escape) Ron shot that down and said, "He's back to being just an old crank."

History tells us that it’s always a mistake to expose staffers Benny and elTee to information of any kind. Naïve to their indefatigably compulsive ways, Dave Grossman had no idea what he was unleashing when he innocently mused in 2014 about an unlisted monochrome graphics mode for Monkey Island 2.

But those familiar with the personalities involved found it all too unsurprising when this ignited a near decade-long saga that even the most confirmed of basement-dwelling obsessives would go on to call, “rather sad.” Unmoved by pleas from concerned friends to walk back from the brink, the two defiantly embarked upon an unsolicited quest to resolve this most unremarkable footnote in SCUMM esoterica that guaranteed no wider interest and could only ever end in anticlimactic frustration – all the qualities that make for a classic article, in other words.

One of the bummers that goes along with most of the old hosted sites being lost to time is that a number of them were home to valuable interviews. Where possible, we like to try to import such orphaned archival content to that greatest of rescue shelters: Mixnmojo.

Today's rescues are interviews from the late, great iMuse Island. They were all conducted by the site’s able webmaster Luc Gilbertz and come from the period of 2000-2003. Improve your education and relive historical conversations with…

  • Clint Bajakian, fresh off his work on Escape from Monkey Island.
  • Peter McConnell, talking all the things that were relevant in 2003. Hey, remember that incident when he and Michael Land started a software company?
  • Jeff Kliment, the then-manager of the LucasArts Sound Department, with a few welcome intrusions by voice director Darragh O’Farrell.
  • Daniel “Wolk” Strandberg, composer of “Zak 2,” which, unique among Zak McKracken fan sequels, didn’t actually get finished. If that’s a subject that interests you, by the way, there’s no better resource than The Zak McKracken Archive.

This might be a good time to mention that such resurrections are not Easter exclusive, and that any retired webmasters who would like Mojo to keep their legacy content alive (or even to help you relaunch your site altogether) should pick up the phone and dial 1-800-ZAARIN, or for actual results reach out via webmonkey@mixnmojo.com or Twitter.

Mads Mikkelsen is the subject of a fat new profile at The Hollywood Reporter today. Naturally, the fact that Mikkelsen will be playing Indy's nemesis in next summer's fifth Indiana Jones wasn't likely to go unacknowledged, and while the actor can't reveal much, what he does say is likely to be what you want to hear:

His much-deserved break follows the actor working for 14 months on Beasts and his other upcoming big franchise project — the long-awaited Indiana Jones 5.

While he’s forbidden from discussing character or story details from the film (the rumor is that he plays, yes, the villain), Mikkelsen revealed the movie feels like a return to the franchise’s early 1980s roots.

“[Raiders of the Lost Ark] was one of my favorite films, and it just oozed that golden period of serials from the 1940s — and that’s in the fifth film as well,” he says. “They’re going heavily back to the first and second film and getting that original feel, the original Indy, something dense and epic.”

James Mangold (Ford v Ferrari) has taken over directing duties from Steven Spielberg, who remains on board as an executive producer. “It felt like a Spielberg film, though it’s obviously James making it with the same vision,” Mikkelsen says. Harrison Ford, who’s pushing 80, returns as the iconic adventurer.

Asked how Ford was holding up following reports that he injured his shoulder on set, Mikkelsen says he was impressed with his co-star’s physicality. “It was the first time I met him, and he’s an insanely powerful person,” he says. “Not just as an actor, but physically. I remember the first day we were shooting, it was a night shoot, then we stopped at 5 a.m. — and then he got on his mountain bike and went biking for 50 kilometers [31 miles]. Harrison is a monster of a man, a very nice monster.”

Since the franchise is in such a throwback mood, and now that Lucasfilm is all buddy-buddy with adventure games again, maybe they can get to work on Indiana Jones 5: The Graphic Adventure? The 21st century needs its Indy Quotient put to the test. And really, what better things do Ron Gilbert and David Fox have to do right now?

Adventure Gamers may have broken the seal, but they're not the only site interested in talking to Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman about a new Monkey Island. And so, after Mojo made it clear that the game just isn't relevant enough to Willow to work for us, the designers turned to The Verge to divulge more about Return to Monkey Island.

Though the screenshots included are the same crop shared with Adventure Gamers, what you want are those sweet anecdotes. Consider this one involving Dom and weeping:

How did [Armato] react to hearing you wanted him back for the role of Guybrush?

Gilbert: He was pretty stunned. I knew him, but obviously, we never worked together because we didn’t have voice back then.

But I kind of knew him, and I was at about the point that I wanted to loop him into what we were doing. I live in Seattle, and just by chance, he was visiting Seattle that weekend. So I said, “Hey, let’s get together, just have a coffee, and I can tell you about my new game, air quotes.”

We got together, we had coffee, and I think he was very interested in the new game, almost kind of wondering whether maybe he could have a voice part in it. And then I told him that it was the new Monkey Island, and he was just floored. Which is a reaction I get from a lot of people. Before, when we were bringing people on, and we’d talk to them, the minute I mentioned, “I’m making a new Monkey Island….” One person literally started crying. They were so happy that this was happening. So I think Dominic was really floored that we were doing it and extremely happy.

When Dom is happy, we are happy. Well, as happy as we can be while noticing that you aren't yet reading the full interview.

Your old pal and prolific Adventure Gamers contributor Emily Morganti is back to her hard-hitting ways, having snagged Ron Gilbert (and Dave!) for his first proper interrogation following the announcement of Return to Monkey Island. While our attorneys won’t allow us to make an accusation of bribery outright, we’re authorized to pass along the rumor that Cheese Squigglies™ were exchanged.

The interview includes some specifics about how ReMI* came into being, which involved Ron loosening up a bit on the position of ownership, but in the first place having the right connections:

The whole thing came about because I was talking to Nigel [Lowrie] from Devolver. We got together, I think it was at PAX, and we just started talking. He had mentioned that he knew John Drake, that they were friends, and John Drake was in charge of, I think, the licensing at Lucasfilm Games. So he wanted to approach [John] about doing a Monkey Island, and I thought sure, let’s see if anything goes.

Check out the full exclusive for the rest of the good stuff, which includes - oh yeah - the first screenshots.

*Remi has “suggested” that this be the abbreviation Mojo perpetuates for Return to Monkey Island, and we didn’t find his bolt action argument easy to disagree with.

The hits keep on coming—though this one arrived a bit late at Mojo’s newsdesk: GamesBeat has published an interview with Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, one that has some meat on its bone. For example:

Mr. Grossman

The Monkey Wrench puzzle from LeChuck’s Revenge is notoriously unsolvable and was not a good design on several levels. Even if you are an English speaker from a location where the tool in question is commonly called a “monkey wrench,” and you realize that that’s what you need, you still have to make an astonishing predictive leap about how your actions will create that tool. Nothing in the game sets any of it up adequately. I use it to this day as my go-to example of what not to do with puzzle design, and it has influenced my thinking ever since. The player has to be able to somehow visualize what to do, and if they do give up and look at a hint, I want their response to be, “Oh, that makes sense, I should have thought of that!” rather than “How on earth was I ever supposed to think of that, you ridiculous, unfair clowns?!”

Conversely, The SCUMM Bar, everybody’s favorite website on the internet, is quasi-consistently being updated, landing-page style, with the latest ReMI factoids. Rumors (from me) suggest there might even be a few nuggets coming in later today.

Relatedly, our Adventurer newsletter already downright broke the GamesBeat news—we can’t be expected to update two sites at the same time after all. (Madness!)

Authenticated original The Secret of Monkey Island posters are thin on ground these days, and when one turns up in mint condition, it is valuated by Lloyd’s of London at around $18 trillion. This is by way of setting the stage for Dave Grossman’s latest tweet:

Hey, you can’t put a price on a clever arts and crafts project. Well I mean you can, but it’d just be too depressing. Seriously, it should be said that it was Dave’s property to do with what he wanted. I will contend though that the cocktail napkins he made out of the Maya codices were a bit much.

The eminent Jared Emerson-Johnson's work on the Telltale Sam & Max soundtracks is rightly celebrated, and his opportunity to polish it even further for the Skunkape remasters was justly met with excitement.

But in the final analysis, is something truly of any worth until it's been discussed on public radio? To the relief of millions, it's a question that doesn't need to be confronted, as Jared was invited to be interviewed by WSHU. Listen to it, then head over to Bandcamp to buy the soundtracks eight more times.

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