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… and the world will become yours!
You may or may not recall how we introduced a virtual LeChuck’s Revenge code wheel replacement a few months back. While not particularly relevant to most—DREAMM and the Special Edition bypass the code screen fully—those with exquisite taste may still prefer to play the game on an Amiga emulator. (Or, if you’re Benny, the actual Amiga!)
Which all is to say, we now have a new Secret of Monkey Island code grid for your hacking pleasure. Mojo’s beta testing has, of course, been axed by the CEO , meaning... This should work, but who knows?! No money-back guarantee.
Your late-nineties self sure will appreciate this!
If you’re anything like me, you may have wondered what the logic behind LeChuck’s appearances in the underground tunnels is. (That is in LeChuck’s Revenge, natch.) Now, Ron has kicked Grumpy Gamer back into action and shed some light on it all:
One of the topics was how speed runners dislike random events and the end of Monkey Island 2 has a lot of randomness around when LeChuck appears. I was asked how this worked and to be honest that was a long time ago and I don't remember every little scrap of code. It is also possible that I didn't write it. But what I do have is the SCUMM source code for Monkey Island 2 and I tracked down the code.
A quick look at the code gives proof that you aren’t going crazy and there are reasons for LeChuck’s lengthy absences.
I’m one of those crazy people who like to take my time with a game, but I’ll still give budding speed runners a piece of advice: Use keyboard shortcuts—“P” for “pick up,” “U” for “use,” etc.—and you’ll save valuable seconds. The odds of beating LeChuck’s voodoo doll increase significantly.
As we enter the final month of Mojo being able to use this movie as Styrofoam peanuts for filling the front page with, Disney keeps the promotional hose running with seven character posters that proudly declare, "We are capable of clicking Copy and Paste":
Meanwhile, Disney Plus subscribers can kiss goodbye to those miserable days when their TV ever didn't have Indy on it, as today is the day that the four Spielberg installments as well as
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones became available on the service. For how long, who knows, but I'm sure you'll have at least until Dial of Destiny comes out to binge, purge, and binge again.
We elitists, of course, will be sticking to our UHDs, where the iconic sight of George 'Mac' McHale choosing not to stand up will be faithfully reproduced under the fullest color space, the maximum bit rate, and the highest dynamic range. It's called having standards, people.
A bit of a bummer this morning: Telltale is delisting Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People from Steam; it appears to have already disappeared off of GOG.
Telltale announced the delisting on the game's Steam page—not standard practice in the games industry, but appreciated—explaining: "We no longer have the rights to the IP and so we can no longer sell or support the game series."
It's unclear how long the game will remain available for, so, if you've been holding off for whatever reason, grab it now.
Reported rumours of physical media purists in the wild saying, "I told you so!" remain unconfirmed. If spotted, proceed with caution.
Try not to dwell on the fact that your projected life expectancy is now exceeded by the amount of developer interviews that are streaming on YouTube -- it might cut into the time you could be spending with Aric Wilmunder. Four hours worth, to be exact.
In his mellifluous, vaguely Nicolas Cage like voice, Aric mentions possessing “three grocery bags of design documents” (you may recall his regrettably halted efforts at scanning them for his long-404’d web site) that are currently on loan to Lucasfilm itself for some vague anniversary doings. Hopefully they’re ever seen again. It would be difficult to catalog all his other great stories, ranging from misadventures in SCUMM maintenance, the hiring of Aaron Giles, and the development of Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix, so you just as soon tear up those tickets you had for a repertory screening of Abel Gance’s Napoleon and get a-watchin’.
Microsoft is up to its tired schtick again, or so Eurogamer reports. Following this Tweet...
... some concluded that “PSYCHOXXX” clearly means Psychonauts 3 or Psychonauts III. Setting aside that “PSYCHO” could mean any number of things—will we finally see a game adaptation of the famous Robert Bloch novel?!—“XXX” also has many meanings. Adult content, for example. Or a reference to the classic Vin Diesel film? Perhaps they’re talking about the Pussy Riot EP?
What XXX does not mean is “3,” but rather “30.” So, maybe an upcoming game named Psychonauts 30 is on the horizon? Or an entirely unrelated PSYCHO 30?
Stay tuned for more schtick.
Thanks to Lagomorph01 on the forums for the heads up!
The press tour continues as James Mangold chats with the Den of Geek. Sounds like COVID might have been a reason things lined up, so Remi causing the pandemic wasn’t without its fringe benefits:
James Mangold did not say no, exactly, to Indiana Jones when the man in the fedora came knocking. But he didn’t open the door at first either. Instead, during those precious few months before a pandemic changed the world, Mangold experienced the surreal sensation of having his filmmaking idols Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, and Kathleen Kennedy approach him about directing the fifth Indiana Jones film—and essentially turning them down.
“There seemed like a lot of danger on a project like this,” Mangold recalls about that early discussion, “a lot of Mount Rushmore heads of greatness around me and a kind of pressure that I’m used to, but the point for me is always why are we making this movie? What does it have to say? Like, I know why a corporation might want to make the movie, but what is the creative endeavor?” For Mangold, the sticking point became Lucasfilm wanting Indiana Jones 5 to shoot about six months after that sitdown if it was going to meet a 2021 release date. And Mangold needed a delay.
Says the director, “The script wasn’t there, and I felt like I wasn’t there. I needed to find a way in. I needed to somehow own something like this if I was going to do it. It’s not a gig you jump on.” At that moment, it seemed as if he might have let the project go, as a delay would throw Disney off its timetable. But as it turned out, the whole world would soon be on pause, and Mangold would have that precious resource that would come to haunt Ford’s title character in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. He had time.
Meanwhile, another production photograph has been released. We got a hell of a gallery going by this point.
It turns out that a whole mess of new Dial of Destiny posters were released today, as opposed to just that IMAX one. In fact, every one of those
upcharge rackets premiere presentation formats gets a one-sheet of its very own, so naturally we gallery’d them up all up. Here they are:
Nice to get another illustrated design along with the routine cheap stuff.
We had grand plans for Mojo's 25th anniversary last year, at least until Return to Monkey Island was announced. And, as the CEO had made necessary cuts to our features department (“preparations for emerging financial realities”), we could only focus on one. Needless to say, ReMI won out over Remi.
But: We're still in our 25th year, and there is plenty of time left to celebrate. (Months!) To kick it off, Jason put his mean face on and made all staffers pick their favorite Mojo articles from our vast back catalog.
And he didn't stop there.
For those who really want to reminisce, former staffers Spaff and Jake get meditative as they look back on their glory years. Even telarium gets in on the fun, sneaking in a small Tales of Monkey Island trivia.
Check out the whole 12-page extravaganza and relive some true relics from our past. And more to come, maybe.
You might have heard that the critical reaction at Cannes wasn't quite the complement for the enthusiasm Dial of Destiny was clearly enjoying behind the Disney parapets. Could it be that a conglomeration was somehow capable of misjudging audience tastes (gasp), or is the type of blogger who rates access to a prestigious European film festival perhaps not the best bellwether for a big tent swashbuckler's appeal?
Whether you are interested in seeing a movie that would inspire such schizophrenia, or if you're simply an incurable Indy fan, your response to all this is likely to be "Tickets, please." To that end, today is the day those become available for purchase. Here's a new sizzle reel with some fresh footage to encourage those credit card transactions, and beneath that is an IMAX poster, seducing you to spring for that surcharge.
We’re all getting older, as proven by the number of staffers and readers that have spawned offspring. And, for those with younger kids, finding a way to lull them to sleep can seem like a downright chore. Thankfully, an... artist?... called Lullaby Legends has taken it into their own hands to alleviate the problem with some unexpected tracks.
That is indeed the Scurvy Island theme and a strange version of “The SCUMM Bar” is available, too.
I have a hard time imagining this being properly licensed music—copyright Paul Robert Martin Leonard True?—so enjoy it while you can.
You may recall that Disney cancelled Willow after one season when its viewership didn’t make the grade. Hey, it’s just business. But after you’ve whacked a guy and sent him to rest in the Jersey Pine Barrens, that’s traditionally the end of it, and back you go to shooting pool at the Bing. Not content with tradition, Disney went full plaid and decided to go to the trouble of digging the body back up so they could shoot the damn thing into the Sun for good measure.
I don’t know quite how else to describe Disney’s decision to remove Willow (among other titles under their ownership) from their catalog altogether. It’s become a disturbing trend with these hemorrhaging streaming platforms – something to do with tax loopholes, residuals dodging and other ledger-book shell games – but it’s still kind of wild to observe. I realize we’re not talking about the most beloved of television casualties here, but nevertheless – damn.
When reached for comment, Jon Kasdan remained firm in his optimism that a Season 2 was still hypothetically possible, probably right after that Solo sequel gets produced.
I’ll keep this short so I don’t interrupt the flood of Indy coverage: You now have yet another way to own Return to Monkey Island, this time from the Epic Games Store. It’s available for a cent cheaper than $17.50.
Back to Indy!
Today is the premiere of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny at the Cannes Film Festival. For Disney to have programmed the premiere over a month ahead of the general release is a major vote of confidence, because the movie will be soaking in the incoming word of mouth for a while. Clearly, they are not ashamed of this movie, which seems fated for a glowing reception – reviews are already trickling in. On the downside, spoilers are going to be a challenge to avoid while you wait for June 30th. Good luck.
In the meantime, there’s been no end of red carpet photographs and pushy interviews of the attending Indy team splattered across social media (here’s a decent roundup) if you’re into that sort of thing. Mojo is famous for efficiency, so let’s leave things with this nifty new promotional reel released amongst the media shrapnel, which includes bits of new footage:
Though Disney obtained Indiana Jones as an IP when they acquired Lucasfilm, the distribution rights to the first four movies, plus The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, remain controlled by Paramount. Consequently, they’ve never appeared on Disney’s streaming service. Many have asked when that situation would change. The answer, of course, was “when they paid up.”
With a new movie to promote, Disney evidently felt the time was right to play ball with Paramount, and the latter hasn’t exactly been shy about leasing out the movies for cash anyway, with the series regularly disappearing from Paramount’s own service while they were licensed to the highest bidder. It looks like the Mouse bought their turn, and so starting May 31st, Disney+ will be streaming the Indy catalog on a nonexclusive basis (they will continue to be available on Paramount+), the better to leverage that sweet brand extension. Finally, a victory for corporations.
I believe there are fewer specks of dust in Thimbleweed Park than installments in this series. And who’s complaining? The author of DREAMM steps forward for a second turn at the merry-go-round, and not all sequels are diminishing returns. The considerable advancements of DREAMM since the last chat are discussed, and some time is even spent playing the games it supports.
Ahead of its Cannes premiere this week, a one minute clip from Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has been shared. It's a glimpse of an elaborate chase sequence set in Tangier, Morocco, which sees Indy and his goddaughter Helena trading quips while racing through the streets in separate tuk-tuks. It looks blessedly dusty and digitally self-restrained. Take a look:
No one cares that you’re still digesting the last one -- it’s time to spend an hour with Denny Delk, voice actor extraordinaire best known in these parts as Murray from Monkey Island, Purple Tentacle from Day of the Tentacle, and about a billion others. This guy has helped or hindered Guybrush, Ben, Indy, Bernard, the Freelance Police, and the Rebel Alliance to an extent few other resumes can claim.
This time, Daniel Albu is joined by his collaborator Paul Morgan Stetler, and their interview opens with a helpful bit of background about how this “Conversation with Curtis” series came about in the first place. In the process, the unfortunate implication is made that Paul was exposed to The Secret of Monkey Island through the Special Edition, but power through the pity and enjoy their exploration of the career of Denny Delk.
A ROM hacker known as gzip managed to decompress Maniac Mansion for the NES and expand the ROM. This allows the graphics and room layouts to be easier to edit.Using this decoded ROM, gzip made an uncensored NES version of Maniac Mansion that is closer to the Commodore 64 version than ever before. Even the infamous uncensored beta ROM doesn't go as far as this one does. It even changes the dungeon layout to match that seen in the C64 version, skeleton and all.
It also fixes some bugs, namely the glitched graphics under the house and on the coin box in the arcade room, and the tape text that was assigned to the current kid rather than to Green Tentacle.
There are also a few patches included if you want to mix-and-match things. One changes the graphics on Ted's calendar to be closer to the original, a second uncensors the text on said calendar, the third changes the pennant to read "L.F.L.U. Rah!", and the fourth brings life to Douglas Crockford's Muff Diver arcade joke.
Oh, and HonkeyKong's mouse hack is also included, making this the ultimate version of Maniac Mansion for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Although A Vampyre Story had been available from Valve’s service for many years, it didn’t play nice on a lot of machines, leading to a spate of negative reviews that complained of such design and narrative shortcomings as, “This game doesn’t work.” Last year, Bill took the game down so he could haul it to the garage.
With the help of ZOOM Platform, where the game recently re-emerged on an exclusive basis, it appears that it was given the under-the-hood retooling it needed for its support by modern PCs to be more widespread. So endowed, A Vampyre Story is now making its return to other storefronts. In any case it’s back on Steam, where its user ratings will hopefully be based on the content of the game itself going forward.