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LucasArts' Secret History XIII 03 Sep, 2009, 09:04 / 53 comments

Do not adjust your time machines: there really has been a three-month gap between now and the last Secret History article.

Thankfully, the gals down at the article factory ploughed through all of last night, resulting in a seven-page Grim Fandango article sitting on my desk this morning.

I quickly sent it the publishing division, and the conclusion of their labour can be seen before you.

Big thanks to Colin Panetta for his artwork, Tim Schafer for his precious memories, Haggis and Icebox for their essays, and everyone else who contributed. Cheers!

Update: Artist Colin Panetta has updated his blog with a "making of" the header art, including some sexy wallpapers to download.

Comments

  • Porkspam on 06 Sep, 2009, 23:30…
    you know, these games would sell more if they stayed in print. Imagine if you could only get like, nevermind the bullocks here's the sex pistols, or some big life changing album if you got it in the first printing AND then after 3 years and a player upgrade it couldn't be played anymore. see what i mean? lucas should have kept the game in circulation and it'd have sold more instead of being a relic that would up being downloaded probably more than it sold. BTW got the original soundtrack AND the little manny toy.. go me =)
  • Capn_Nacho on 01 Sep, 2009, 14:01…
    I proooobably should've submitted a user review for my favorite game. Oh, well.

    Great article!
  • MarioColbert on 01 Sep, 2009, 01:16…
    I started an email, but I didn't get further than "I HATE TIM SHAFER (for being perfect)." That's literally all I can say, because Grim was a game I discovered later than most people, despite being a fan of LucasArts stuff for ages - age and stuff does that to you - and having recently replayed it in full in front of my wife on our big-screen TV just reminded me yet again that I love Tim Schafer for being perfect, and for not stopping with the rocking.
  • syntheticgerbil on 31 Aug, 2009, 20:46…
    Thanks guys, each time these comes out it makes my day. I love the part going over art deco, art nouveau, and Aztec architecture. Great summary and good examples.

    I also have apparently never experienced this elevator bug, even when I played through once without the patch. Call me lucky, I suppose.
  • ThunderPeel2001 on 31 Aug, 2009, 20:21…
    Ah man! This whole article makes me want to get lost in Grim Fandango again! What an awesome, awesome game.

    Also, I hope someone finds a way of adding back the lost dialogue... I had no idea there was so much stuff. Domino's explanations are really interesting, for one thing!
  • ThunderPeel2001 on 31 Aug, 2009, 20:24…
    Also: Was the "cast photo" the team made for Tim's birthday, the same one that appears when you install the game?
  • Kroms on 31 Aug, 2009, 20:25…
    I believe it is.
  • Keon on 31 Aug, 2009, 08:06…
    Only just started reading, and I hate to be picky, but shouldn't it be "double-N" tickets and not "double-end"? Double-N being slang for N-umber N-ine...

    I've never played the game with subtitles so I don't know for sure, but it makes sense.
  • Udvarnoky on 31 Aug, 2009, 21:55…
    You're correct.
  • Gabez on 31 Aug, 2009, 18:05…
    That does make more sense, so I changed it. Thanks.
  • manny_c44 on 31 Aug, 2009, 14:15…
    Yeah I never put those two things together I think you're right.

    ...it's kind of like the implicit pun of Glottis being a 'speed-demon', which clicks when he is revived by the high speed rocket ship towards the end of the game.
  • Sp0tted on 31 Aug, 2009, 00:33…
    Bottom of page 7 has a link to page 8 that goes nowhere...
  • Sp0tted on 31 Aug, 2009, 00:35…
    Correction, all the pages do.
  • clone2727 on 31 Aug, 2009, 04:39…
    As did the last secret history...
  • Gabez on 31 Aug, 2009, 08:48…
    The reason for this is that Mojo 9 is hanging by a thread. It's based on code that DJG handed in for his ICT project, and whilst it scored him an A+ and has served the site well for a long time, it's got to the point now when the house of cards is starting to crumble. Just to launch articles takes is a two-man operation, like turning separate keys in order to launch a nuclear missile.

    We're working on new code (I say "I" -- it's actually one man, Zaarin) but we need to start from scratch and that takes a long time. So in the mean-time just try not to get hit by any falling debris.
  • Sp0tted on 31 Aug, 2009, 14:55…
    Good to know. My site uses code from 1996... still works, just insanely tedious to put together.
  • Gabez on 31 Aug, 2009, 18:06…
    Yeah. Our site still uses code from *1986*. Technology has moved on since then. Like the invention of the Personal Computer.
  • Haggis on 01 Sep, 2009, 09:37…
    So you're using punch cards to update the site?
  • elTee on 01 Sep, 2009, 17:26…
    We wish it were that easy.
  • Ascovel on 30 Aug, 2009, 22:51…
    It's not true that the conversation with Domino was unused. It worked fine on the first system I played Grim on. It's a bug rather than an omission.
  • Jeo on 31 Aug, 2009, 07:57…
    Right, it worked for me too once or twice. I can't really tell what makes it work but it just isn't there most of the time. If someone found out how to get it working every time, it would really be appreciated.
  • ThunderPeel2001 on 31 Aug, 2009, 20:23…
    What, ALL of those dialogue options became open to you? Are you sure? The link in the article is broken, here's where it should have gone:

    http://www.grimfandango.net/?page=missing
  • Ascovel on 01 Sep, 2009, 07:24…
    Yeah, for sure. Because it was years before those files became available on the internet.

    It's possible that this is yet another issue the game has with faster computers.
  • Jeo on 31 Aug, 2009, 21:06…
    Yeah, I know it sounds like I'm making this up not having proof or anything, but yeah that HAS happened to me a few times in the past. I don't even have a save at that point anymore since that was at least a few computers ago. It's driving me nuts really.

    Also, some of the other "missing" lines aren't exactly missing. I don't have time to check right now but I've definately come across some of them during gameplay. The "custard" one I remember was when I offered Eva some Fil-a-Dent.
  • Huz on 31 Aug, 2009, 21:27…
    For what it's worth, I remember hearing most of the "Domino Talks" MP3 in-game the first time I played it, too. It would be really interesting to know what renders it inaccessible - the patch? A wacky timing issue?

    I bet the dudes who work on Residual would know.
  • Thrik on 01 Sep, 2009, 09:04…
    My memory is telling me that at one point some guys on the Grim Fandango Network forum worked out that the patch does indeed seem to intentionally remove the dialogue.
  • Ascovel on 01 Sep, 2009, 09:55…
    it doesn't though
  • Thrik on 01 Sep, 2009, 19:59…
    Definitely no patch? Like, you didn't use the Grim Fandango launcher or something which automatically installs it?

    Just wondering because I've not been able to even play past the lift puzzle without the patch, so I've got no idea how to test this definitively.
  • Ascovel on 01 Sep, 2009, 20:32…
    Yeah, I reinstalled the clean, original version (because later ones were patched from the start).
  • Ascovel on 01 Sep, 2009, 07:29…
    I tried without the patch - doesn't work.

    But you can activate the Domino dialog if you teleport to the right room using the GF launcher:

    http://www.grimfandango.net/?page=launcher
  • ThunderPeel2001 on 01 Sep, 2009, 10:51…
    Man, considering how loved this game is, it's a shame that it's not been fixed yet. I still can't run the game with my gfx card :(

    I guess it's because learning everything about it is a TREMENDOUS amount of work that's only for this one game (and EFMI, but who cares about that? :).

    Games like Planescape: Torment have been pulled to pieces, bugs fixed, resolutions increased, new content added, etc. It's a shame GF is just so much work, as it deserves better :(
  • Izzy on 30 Aug, 2009, 22:45…
    Is EFMI next? >:)
  • Ascovel on 30 Aug, 2009, 22:47…
    EFMI was just a bad dream.
  • ThunderPeel2001 on 31 Aug, 2009, 20:20…
    You'd better believe it.
  • Udvarnoky on 30 Aug, 2009, 22:45…
    You'd better believe it.
  • Lagomorph on 30 Aug, 2009, 22:34…
    Great article guys.
    I haven't read through the whole thing yet, but I love that the secret history article of one of my favorite games of all time is done now.

    If only I had started writing that Film Noir article to go with it..........
  • Izzy on 30 Aug, 2009, 14:43…
    Wait! I think there is a mistake in this article! Davidson Monterose is Nickelstein!
  • Gabez on 31 Aug, 2009, 18:05…
    I don't see how that's a mistake... unless Nickelstein wants it changed.
  • Izzy on 31 Aug, 2009, 21:00…
    Yes Nickelstein does want it changed. Please.
  • Gabez on 01 Sep, 2009, 08:11…
    Sorry -- does that mean you're Nickelstein then? I'm confused.
  • Izzy on 02 Sep, 2009, 01:53…
    Yes I am...
  • Gabez on 02 Sep, 2009, 18:27…
    Are you really? How do I know you are?
  • Izzy on 03 Sep, 2009, 01:47…
    The question is how do you I'm NOT Nickelstein....seriously though its me so if you don't mind can you please change?
  • Gabez on 03 Sep, 2009, 09:04…
    Seriously though can you sign in as Nickelstein or e-mail me from a Nickelstein account or something?
  • elTee on 30 Aug, 2009, 14:33…
    Nice review Jason, and thanks to Thrik with the help getting in touch with Tim Schafer! Great article.
  • Izzy on 30 Aug, 2009, 14:27…
    Great! I've been waiting for this article for a while now! Another well-written and thought out article added to the Mojo archives! :)
  • Icebox on 30 Aug, 2009, 13:51…
    The Best Game Ever, Until Brutal Legend.
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  • MarioColbert on 02 Sep, 2009, 01:29…
    Don't you dare making me choose between Day of the Tentacle, Grim, and Psychonauts. That's cold of you, Mr. Icebox.
  • Ascovel on 30 Aug, 2009, 12:25…
    Amazing stuff. I haven't read it all through yet, but the superb banner + Shaffer's reminiscences + Haggis' architecture analysis are already making me giddy.
  • Kroms on 30 Aug, 2009, 11:52…
    Excellent work! A special pat on the back to Jason :)

    Unbelievably cool header art, by the way. Possibly the best piece of GF fanart I've ever seen.
  • bakana on 30 Aug, 2009, 10:58…
    The article keeps ragging on a 'notorious' elevator bug as being a huge chink in the game's otherwise pristine armor... But the thing is that bug wasn't always there. LucasArts didn't NEED to rush out a patch to fix their broken game or anything. It's an artifact that emerges when playing it on newer machines.

    I played through Grim Fandango at release, with no hitches, and only discovered this 'infamous,' 'notorious' bug last year during a long-overdue playthrough.
  • Udvarnoky on 30 Aug, 2009, 15:06…
    I didn't say the elevator bug affected everybody (it never affected me, personally), but it being "notorious" is true enough to the extent that it apparently happened to a large number of people. And you're wrong if you think the patch wasn't released shortly after the game's release - it was. I think you may be right about faster machines being the culprit, but we're talking faster machines in late 1998. Just because you only discovered it last year doesn't really change the experience many had ten years ago.