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Impressions of the Monkey Island boxed set 18 Dec, 2021 / 4 comments

The long-awaited Monkey Island anthology boxed set from Limited Run Games began shipping this month, and fans who have been receiving the apparently gargantuan package have been sharing their reactions to finally having in their hands the irresponsible purchase they made twelve months ago. Some of those reactions have been enthusiastic, some have been heartbreaking, and almost all of them can be found in this forum thread.

Rather than try to recap that ongoing discussion which reveals many more details, I thought I’d at least front page what’s been learned about the actual game builds included. Limited Run’s original product listing mentioned (and in fact still does) that “archived versions” of the first two games would be included, with specifics to be determined.

Well, now that people have begun exploring the USB stick included with the package, we have a clearer idea of what that actually means. It seems that there are a few versions of Monkey 1 and Monkey 2 offered in the form of disk images and KryoFlux streams (for the uninitiated, see here), which is pretty exciting, as it represents the first time those games have been officially available with their original .exe files since the internet age.

So, what versions of the five Monkey Island games wound up on that flash drive in the end? The breakdown appears to be as follows:

  • MI1: Amiga version diskette images and flux streams; IBM EGA version diskette images and flux streams (5.25"), IBM VGA floppy version diskette images and flux streams (3.5"); special edition.
  • MI2: Amiga version diskette images and flux streams; IBM version diskette images and flux streams (3.5"); Macintosh version diskette images and flux streams; special edition.
  • CMI: The installer seems to be the same as the GOG version, which means the resource files are bundled with ScummVM, and the original .exe is not included.
  • EMI: The installer seems to be the same as the GOG version, which as far as I know translates to a faithful, as-is copy of version 1.1.
  • TMI: Includes the Earl Boen'd version of Episode 1, which is I believe the only variable that would have applied to this game. We were wrong, its the original non-Boen version.

Beyond obscure/translated versions of the games which probably would have been too much to ask for, the main absences appear to be the CD version of Monkey 1 (though that’s essentially included in the Special Edition as “classic mode”) and CMI’s original interpreter, the latter being a huge, and hugely addressable, bummer from a preservation perspective despite the fact that it’s notoriously helpless on modern Windows. Really pleased about EGA Monkey 1*, though, and if you’re gonna get one version of VGA Monkey 1, surely it’s just that it be the one with the stump joke.

Among the physical extras, the book was the biggest unknown and also sounds like the biggest highlight. At over 200 pages, it’s said to contain a lot of terrific content (including new interviews) especially for the first two games. It’s a shame to think of it as being exclusive to a mega-priced collector’s box that won’t be re-issued and is destined in many cases to sit shrink-wrapped in temperature-controlled cabinets, so here’s hoping Limited Run finds a way to make those pages available on their own some day for the enjoyment of fans who aren’t pulling in Jazz Age incomes.

Special thanks: Jan.

*Don't worry though, we can Glass Is Half Empty that one too: zaarin points out that it's lacking the Roland MT-32 upgrade disk.

4 Comments

  • Avatar
    Jason on 18 Dec, 2021, 19:35…

    Laserschwert

    You're welcome, I guess.



    https://mixnmojo.com/behind/news/Proportional-Attribution
  • Avatar
    Remi on 18 Dec, 2021, 18:51…
    LRG’s heartfelt thank-you to Jan — basically Cher — almost brought a tear to my eye.
  • Avatar
    Laserschwert on 18 Dec, 2021, 17:43…
    You're welcome, I guess.
  • Avatar
    elTee on 18 Dec, 2021, 15:12…
    I'd also like to extend non-personal thanks to "that guy from the forum" who put so much work into this

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