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“The Poxy Custodianship of Monkey Island” 09 Aug, 2022 / 6 comments

In the wake of DREAMM, our resident Luddite Jason has sharpened his pen and thrown a critical look at obtaining uncompromised versions of original LucasArts classics. Some poor saps* might think the Special Editions of the first Monkey Island duology contain the classic versions of the games—these people are sadly incorrect.

So, what’s the deal then? Are the differences that big? Jason investigates in “The Poxy Custodianship of Monkey Island”—the first of many articles planned for this topic.

* Not my words, nor really Jason’s, but he strongly implies it.

6 Comments

  • Avatar
    madmardi on 13 Aug, 2022, 02:51…
    Great article! And I love the EMI quote :D
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    Torbjörn Andersson on 10 Aug, 2022, 17:55…
    Another thing I forgot to mention is the sometimes sorry state of the documentation: No Loom audio drama, and parts of the Zak McKracken newspaper is almost unreadable.

    (In other cases, they've gone above and beyond with the documentation. But not in these cases.)
  • Avatar
    Torbjörn Andersson on 10 Aug, 2022, 05:07…
    I agree. I did write to Disney support, suggesting that they should make the original versions available. But I guess they've gotten tired of me (it's not the first time I've pointed out problems with the LucasArts games) because this time I didn't get anything beyond the auto-reply.

    Adding insult to injury, if you go to their support pages, you'll find that they will cheerfully suggest that you install the Roland patches for EGA MI1 and Loom if you're having problems with the versions they're selling. They don't know, nor do they seem to care, what they're selling.

    Adding further insult to injury, the enhanced version of Maniac Mansion that they're selling on GOG (and apparently also on Steam) is cracked. (The older version is fine.) Any keypad puzzle (not just the security door) you find can be trivially "solved" by just guessing. As long as you get the last digit wrong, it will accept it. The game essentially works on the honor system now!

    The crack is a single byte that has been changed in 43.LFL that has been changed. I have no idea where this originated. The earliest reference I could find to it was a 1995 Usenet post. I reported that to both GOG and Disney over a year ago. GOG says they can't do anything because they only have what the developers sent them. Disney says they've forwarded my bug report. Presumably to the Disney Vault, because nothing has happened since then.

    In the end, I reluctantly fixed ScummVM to detect the damage and write back the correct value. In the past we didn't, because this problem only affected pirated versions. (ScummVM already did what LucasArts did to bypass the copy protection when the game was sold without the manual as part of Day of the Tentacle: Force the security door to stay open.) But now that Disney is knowingly and willingly distributing pirated software...

    Looking at archive.org isn't the solution here, because at least one of their copies appears to be cracked in the exact same way. Which could be a clue to where Disney pirated it from. Not the only bad crack found there, alas. Here's a blog post I found about one such case: https://www.benshoof.org/blog/case-cracked

    Adding no insult whatsoever, the version embedded in Double Fine's remastered version of Day of the Tentacle is undamaged. If you extract the data files from there, they're identical to the ones from the "Classic Adventures From LucasArts" collection.
  • Avatar
    Huz on 09 Aug, 2022, 23:07…
    And having actually read the article I feel compelled to add: excellent stuff. Free the monkeys! Or something.
  • Avatar
    Huz on 09 Aug, 2022, 22:53…
    I make that two-nil to Jason!
  • Avatar
    bgbennyboy on 09 Aug, 2022, 18:12…
    A cracking article, great job!

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