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Our new podcast series "People With Unrelated Accents" debuts with "In Defense of Escape from Monkey Island"

18 May, 2018, 14:21 | Posted by: Remi

Here at Mojo, some of us quite like Escape from Monkey Island, enough so that three people with unrelated accents came together to gab about the red-headed cousin in the Monkey Island franchise. Join Jason, Remi, and Zaarin as they defend the game, either by downloading the episode, or by subscribing to the greater MojoCast series with these fine feeds (with the caveat that our RSS actually work):

What does everyone else think about this?

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  • Avatar
    Comment by: Remi | Posted 13 Jun, 2018, 13:31 | Quote

    Bloodnose

    Great episode! My only critique is that a little more explanation of some aspects of the game would be helpful for listeners who haven't played the games in a while. For example: someone mentioned how bad the "dead eye dave" joke was. I was out running so I had no clue what y'all were talking about until I got home and googled it.



    Pretty sure we had talked about it in some detail before the callback. ;
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    Comment by: elTee | Posted 12 Jun, 2018, 19:09 | Quote
    This podcast literally filled me with anxiety. I'm not joking, I had to get a glass of whiskey after about ten minutes. You ALMOST made me want to play EMI again! I have tried several times in the last fifteen years but I've never managed it.

    In all seriousness, this was great and I hope there's more to come. Thanks guys!
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    Comment by: Jones Jr | Posted 11 Jun, 2018, 11:18 | Quote
    Thanks for putting that together, quite enjoyed it and would like to hear more! Maybe a poll for the next subject?

    I have to say that was more positivity about EMI than I have ever heard in one sitting!
    As much as it wasn't my favourite of the series, I'd still be keen to check out a remastered version.
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    Comment by: Bloodnose | Posted 05 Jun, 2018, 14:51 | Quote
    Great episode! My only critique is that a little more explanation of some aspects of the game would be helpful for listeners who haven't played the games in a while. For example: someone mentioned how bad the "dead eye dave" joke was. I was out running so I had no clue what y'all were talking about until I got home and googled it.
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    Comment by: Kolzig | Posted 02 Jun, 2018, 20:25 | Quote
    Very interesting podcast, but horrible game as the subject. I hope you guys do more, would be really great if Mojocast is back for good.

    Just recently tried EfMI for the second time in 18 years with ResidualVM. The game is technically not working perfectly in ResidualVM, but I immediately remembered everything I hated about the game when I completed it the first time back in 2000. I still personally wish that EfMI had never been created.
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    Comment by: CactusFrankie | Posted 27 May, 2018, 17:58 | Quote
    404 File not found! :(

    Edit: the "downloading the episode" link in the post works, but the link and the player in the sidebar do not.
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    Comment by: bgbennyboy | Posted 23 May, 2018, 16:05 | Quote
    I listened, I loved it. More please. Really good job.

    I think I discovered that randy sucks thing. I was making a background viewer for EMI so I could rip the concept art from the ps2 version for the SCUMM bar. The way the backgrounds are stored is as tiles that are then rearranged, masking information is also stored in some tiles in a magenta colour and it was drawn in that. So it wasn't visible in game,it was offscreen in the masking tile.
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    Comment by: Remi | Posted 22 May, 2018, 22:34 | Quote

    bgbennyboy

    The latest episode doesnt show up in Pocket Casts for some reason, even when manually pointing to the rss. The older episodes are all there.



    Pocket Casts? Sounds fake.
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    Comment by: bgbennyboy | Posted 22 May, 2018, 21:02 | Quote
    The latest episode doesnt show up in Pocket Casts for some reason, even when manually pointing to the rss. The older episodes are all there. I will download it manually.
    I'm looking forward to listening to this and like half the comments here I feel confident in saying I haven't listened to the podcast but you are all completely wrong.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Remi | Posted 22 May, 2018, 14:40 | Quote
    P.S.: I'm pretty sure we barely even mentioned MI2 in the podcast. ;-*
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    Comment by: Call me Squinky | Posted 22 May, 2018, 12:53 | Quote
    Yeah, I agree - handling that ending without treating it as a joke would have been very difficult. It makes you wonder where an MI 3 led by Ron would have gone. Given how he ended Thimbleweed Park, I think it's at least a possibility that he would have gone further with the "Guybrush is imagining everything" idea. Or maybe not, who knows. Part of me just really likes this idea that Guybrush is a kid at a carnival incorporating things he's seen and his mean older brother into this elaborate fantasy. And I think that the fact that it's been a fan theory for many years is pretty cool. BTW those were just some thoughts I had during the podcast in relation to CMI vs EMI and the earlier games - the ending of MI 2 wasn't really as much of a focus in the podcast. Sorry to have derailed the thread a bit lol.
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    Comment by: AlfredJ | Posted 22 May, 2018, 08:23 | Quote

    Call me Squinky

    ThunderPeel2001

    (I should listen to the podcast.)

    Aside: Anyone who thinks that MI2's ending revealed the entire world was a fantasy wasn't paying attention. The ending is deliberately inconclusive and contradictory in order to be as contentious and controversial. That's the point. Not that everything was a fantasy.



    I agree that it left things open to interpretation. That being said, I found the CMI explanation to be a cop-out, and a bit of a disappointment. I think the possibility that Guybrush is just a kid imagining everything is far more interesting, and I'd say that even some things in SMI could support that interpretation (i.e. some of the Insult-Sword Fighting pirates saying "Play along, Guybrush" in response to one of the dialogue tree options).



    (I also have yet to listen to the podcast, but will do so shortly)

    I've heard this opinion often, but I don't quite agree. Yes, it is a cop out, but the game is aware of it and pokes fun at it. In the dark days before the internet, the ending of MI2 was exciting and baffling, yes, but I also just saw it as a joke at the time. LeChuck's Darth Vader reference (I am your brother!) set it up as just weird reveals for the sake of weird reveals, and they just went full blast with it. But that was all it was to me, just a joke really. There's nothing the people behind MI3 could do without destroying what people expect from Monkey Island, without actually having Ron Gilbert (or Grossman/Schafer) on the team, or making it into something else entirely (either giving the semi-present day of the MI2 ending a bigger presence or building on that mystery the way Lost would years later). I don't think there was any other reasonable option than just 'keep treating it as a joke'. Every reference to it basically boils down to the characters being just as confused as the player, and I really enjoyed that.

    But I do get what you're saying of course. It's the same thing as The Secret (of Monkey Island) to me - I never assumed there was a real answer to it, or even a real secret, I always just thought of it as a joke about the slightly inaccurate title of the first game, nothing more. It's like the '42' business in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: the joke only works if you only have either the question or the answer, not both. It was never really about uncovering deep lore mysteries for me (which is why the reveals in MI4, like Herman being Elaine's father/grandfather/whatever, really didn't click with me, although I guess that's unfair of me because they were probably trying to do the 'overly elaborate reveals'-trick from the Monkey Island 2 ending again.

    But hey, I should probably listen to this podcast.

  • Avatar
    Comment by: Call me Squinky | Posted 20 May, 2018, 23:17 | Quote

    ThunderPeel2001

    (I should listen to the podcast.)

    Aside: Anyone who thinks that MI2's ending revealed the entire world was a fantasy wasn't paying attention. The ending is deliberately inconclusive and contradictory in order to be as contentious and controversial. That's the point. Not that everything was a fantasy.



    I agree that it left things open to interpretation. That being said, I found the CMI explanation to be a cop-out, and a bit of a disappointment. I think the possibility that Guybrush is just a kid imagining everything is far more interesting, and I'd say that even some things in SMI could support that interpretation (i.e. some of the Insult-Sword Fighting pirates saying "Play along, Guybrush" in response to one of the dialogue tree options).
  • Avatar
    Comment by: ThunderPeel2001 | Posted 20 May, 2018, 22:31 | Quote
    (I should listen to the podcast.)

    Aside: Anyone who thinks that MI2's ending revealed the entire world was a fantasy wasn't paying attention. The ending is deliberately inconclusive and contradictory in order to be as contentious and controversial. That's the point. Not that everything was a fantasy.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: ThunderPeel2001 | Posted 20 May, 2018, 22:29 | Quote
    EMI is an odd one. The first time I played it I really enjoyed it, but the second time I saw all the issues everyone else was complaining about. It really just isn't very good.

    It takes us back to Melee (yay!) but then changes everything (boo!). It fixed Elaine's terrible voice (yay!) but made the world empty and dull (boo!). It gave us Monkey Kombat (boo!), gave us a crappy answer to the Secret (boo!), and introduced a stupid plot hole because the developers apparently weren't playing attention when they played SOMI (boo!). But it did have the time puzzle (yay...).

    Ron Gilbert has argued that the world of an adventure game is hugely important. It's where we spend our time, and if it doesn't have a personality that we want to spend time with, the game will fail. EMI's world was visually ugly (even for the time, as I remember), but also ruined any atmosphere with endless jokey anachronisms.

    The previous MI games used the anachronisms sparingly to maintain their atmosphere. EMI didn't seem to care about maintaining world logic (which is part of the reason we got Monkey Kombat). Maybe Ron Gilbert hit the nail on the head with his observation, and that's really what's wrong with EMI, I don't know.

    The production levels were generally good... I have to wonder if the development was hamstrung by a lower budget, though. It just seemed to be missing all the lovely touches and details that made CMI such a joy to play.
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    Comment by: Pshield | Posted 19 May, 2018, 14:05 | Quote
    After years of visiting this site, this podcast finally forced me to register. Loved the analysis and reliving this experience - really haven't played it since the early 2000s so this definitely took me back. Regardless of where it shakes out in the ranking, its part of the saga so I would love to see this up on GOG or steam to relive these memories sometime soon. It was funny listening along and shouting back about Monkey Kombat, Elaine's Voice Actor, some of the more difficult puzzles, etc. Great job.
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    Comment by: Remi | Posted 19 May, 2018, 00:47 | Quote

    Scummbuddy

    Scummbuddy

    ... as Elaine's dad.


    Grandfather, of course.



    Wasn't it both?
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    Comment by: Scummbuddy | Posted 19 May, 2018, 00:41 | Quote

    Scummbuddy

    ... as Elaine's dad.


    Grandfather, of course.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Scummbuddy | Posted 19 May, 2018, 00:38 | Quote
    You all talked of Meathook's island being changed and that I as a long-time fan shouldn't be so upset about it. But that was just another occurrence of messed up continuity. And I won't take Herman as Elaine's dad.
    And I was bored to death doing "gubernatorial" chores. It's like going to watch a Star Wars movie and watching trade agreements and congressional hearings. Oh wait, we did that too.
    But I am one of those haters who only played through it just once, back when it was released. I played all the games on their release and I felt this game was not in the spirit of the previous Monkey Island lore.
  • Avatar
    Comment by: neon_git | Posted 18 May, 2018, 20:17 | Quote
    Unlike EMI, the podcast was really enjoyable.
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    Comment by: Jason | Posted 18 May, 2018, 20:13 | Quote

    Call me Squinky

    I will say again though that personally I prefer EMI to TMI, but evidently I'm in the minority there.



    Well I probably shouldn't have declared so confidently that there is a "consensus" of EMI being the least favorite. It is just a perception. I don't think it is radical to prefer EMI to any of the others games. I think all the games are closer in quality than is often considered.
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    Comment by: Threepwood4life | Posted 18 May, 2018, 18:19 | Quote
    RetroAhoy, a great video content creator did this documentary on SOMI https://youtu.be/9F9ahZQ7oP0
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    Comment by: J0j0 | Posted 18 May, 2018, 17:30 | Quote
    What a funny coincidence! Just yesterday I contribute a critic score of EMI from 2000 on Mobygames!! It has a score 99 out of 100. This shows that EMI is indeed an underrated game. You can find it here, but it is in Greek though...
    https://issuu.com/nkary/docs/issue_133-1_december_2000/86
  • Avatar
    Comment by: Call me Squinky | Posted 18 May, 2018, 17:01 | Quote
    Great analysis guys!

    I think the interesting thing about CMI vs EMI is that CMI took the escapism up a notch, presenting the pirate world as pretty much the reality (the Big Whoop carnival, for example, is presented as part of the pirate world rather than the true reality underpinning the fantasy, as in MI2). EMI takes things in the opposite direction - it arguably still presents the pirate world as the reality, but now it is threatened by commercialization, which also threatens our level of escapism and immersion because it brings us out of the fantasy. SMI and MI2 have great worlds to escape into, whether or not they're a fantasy, and their implication of those worlds being a fantasy is more subtle. EMI I think for some fans wasn't as much of an escape as CMI, and therefore got a poorer reception. When I played it as a kid, I hadn't played the other games and didn't have a reference for what the rest of the series was like, but I enjoyed it and it led me to check out the rest of the series. I can see though how fans who had been following the series might have not enjoyed it as much, and I agree that the previous games were better. I will say again though that personally I prefer EMI to TMI, but evidently I'm in the minority there.

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