Longtime fan site The Legend of Monkey Island is still busting out jams. To celebrate the 26th anniversary of The Curse of Monkey Island, they’ve published an ambitious new article detailing the differences between the game’s demo and the shipped final product. There are even some fresh quotes from Bill Tiller to give it that extra prestige. Read it and remind yourself that great Monkey Island content isn’t exclusively hosted on or by Mojo. Even though it's basically a rounding error.



Daniel Albu’s interviews continue to deploy at a rapid clip, and his latest is with Mike Stemmle. On the Freelance Police front, the designer acknowledges that the source is “floating around” (oh really?), and as far as I know reveals for the first time that the Gytgo stood for Genial Yet Troubling Gaming Organism. It’s all but a taste of the full interview, which explores Stemmle’s whole thirty year plus career:


We’re barreling headlong toward the 20th anniversary of Sam & Max: Freelance Police’s cancellation now, yet there always somehow seems to be a few drops more blood to squeeze out of the stone.

Karen Purdy, who worked as an environment artist on the game, was the source of the last bits of known media, through her online portfolio. Reader Emma T has alerted us to the fact that Purdy has since revamped said portfolio with some additional art from her LucasArts projects, including Sam & Max 2.

We’ve dutifully made both our screenshot gallery and preposterous feature-length Feature current in accordance with this development. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for our attempts to contextualize the latest additions.

Need more Freelance Police autopsying to bring your day to its fullest potential? Daniel Albu’s ongoing series of developer interviews, which you can always keep track of in the dedicated forum thread, has included a recent chat with Dan Connors. This timestamped link will drag the needle to where most of the Freelance Police talk is.


Last we reported, Bill Tiller was putting together a demo for A Vampyre Story 2: A Bat’s Tale to pitch out to publishers in the hopes of restarting production. In a quick update, Bill says, “Still working on the AVS2 publisher demo, but it is rapidly winding up and looks fantastic! My team has done a tremendous job.” So, know that. While waiting, he encourages you to pre-order that pop-up board game he worked on, Shivers.

’Course, nobody was exactly expecting that A Vampyre Story 2 was imminent. On the other hand, Skunkape’s much-anticipated remaster of Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse had openly targeted a 2023 release, and December has traditionally been the release window for these. Yes, I’d say it’s high time that Jake guy explains himself. And so he has, in that globally recognized confessional that the guilty are always free to avail themselves of, the Mojo forums:

Season 3 has been a significantly more rude game to remaster, technically. It did things with the Telltale Tool that are basically unsupported in modern versions that use a more modern rendering pipeline. We have conscripted three ex-Telltale engine/graphics programmers to help bend the modern engine to our will, but it has taken a lot of annoying and uncertain experimentation.

So it’s coming, you just gotta wait a little longer. You can handle it. Heck, you probably won’t even be sobered up from all those no-holds-barred Grim Fandango 25th anniversary bacchanals (they’ve been sweeping the nation) by the time it hits the streets. I’m here to tell ya, the one my grandma hosted did not spare the hookah water in those coffin shooters.


Bill Tiller must be making headway on that A Vampyre Story 2 demo he mentioned at the beginning of the year. Over on his Instagram page, he shared some background art from the long-stalled game and the following caption.

Here is a little taste of A Vampyre Story 2 : A Bat's Tale. Its a view of the new town Mona explores, Gothford Falls. Also the trailer for A Vampyre Story is now up on the ZOOM Platform YouTube channel if you haven't seen it yet. You will notice on the little snippet of the map that Mona's boat is washed up on the beach on the northwest coast of France. Something must have happened on the voyage! But don't worry, the crew was all bad!

What publisher could afford not to pick this up? Bad Brain, thy redemption arc is nigh.

Source: Bill Tiller's Instagram


As we reported earlier in the summer, Bill Tiller teamed up with the publisher Zoom-Platform to get A Vampyre Story in fighting shape for newer machines during a self-imposed hiatus from digital storefronts. The title has relaunched on Steam at a discounted price and armed with various updates, which you can find laid out here.

The occasion was seen as grounds to relaunch the long-kaput Autumn Moon web site, complete with a refreshed logo:

Could this signal a new lease on life for the label? Who knows, but in the meantime you gonna want that TruCoat them emotes, whatever those might be.

Source: Autumn Moon


Sure, by being someone who is “with it” and therefore a confirmed reader of the forums, you’re about to be told redundant information, but a new version of DREAMM always has to hit the broadsheets. Here is Aaron with the rundown of your newest testing mission, DREAMM 2.1 Beta:

I've started testing beta releases of DREAMM 2.1. Grab the latest version here:

New games supported:

  • Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures
  • Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion
  • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
  • Star Wars: Yoda Stories
  • Outlaws
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
  • Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
  • Windows versions of: Afterlife, X-Wing, TIE Fighter

Major new features (documented in more detail at the link above):

  • Linux support
  • Portable mode -- put DREAMM and all your games/settings on a USB stick and take it with you!
  • Standalone mode -- two ways to launch DREAMM directly into a game!
  • Built-in OPL MIDI synthesizer -- because Linux needs a default synth, and who doesn't love the soothing FM sounds?
  • Command-line installation -- drag & drop is cool, but command lines are for true old skoolers!
  • Telemetry (yes, you can opt out) -- help me know when DREAMM crashes or encounters a previously-unknown version of a game!

Source: Aaron Giles


We’ve gotten past “this exists,” so now let’s see if we can collect the cold hard facts that have come to light about Sea of Thieves: The Legend of Monkey Island so far.

Your first burning question is most likely, “Is Ron involved?” Frankly, I think you guys are insulting Disney by even raising that as a concern. We’re talking about the creator of Monkey Island here. We can take it for granted that they’d show the basic courtesy of at least consulting him about the project.

Uh, whoops. Well listen, I’m sure it’s perfectly innocent. They probably just didn’t know how to get a hold of him. Moving on, you’ve got this interview with Creative Director Mike Chapman which pretty much summarizes everything known so far. The product will consist of a three-part expansion to Sea of Thieves, released on a monthly basis. As you heard from the trailer, the key voice talent has been retained. And as for the story-line, well, they seem rather committed to having one:

And that title – The Legend of Monkey Island – is riffing on the main series’ titles. Can you talk more about where it falls in the timeline?

The double meaning of the ‘legend’ in The Legend of Monkey Island, refers to Guybrush’s “past stories”, and the adventure you will go on in this new Tall Tale in Sea of Thieves.

One of the things we thought was absolutely key was that we tap into were the themes and core DNA of what makes Monkey Island… ‘Monkey Island’, and what makes Sea of Thieves…‘Sea of Thieves’ – weaving them together at a deep thematic level beyond just the pirate thing. We wanted to pull from the most beloved elements of the franchises while also trying to pick a time period where an untold story could be unveiled.

The double meaning of the ‘legend’ in The Legend of Monkey Island, refers to Guybrush’s “past stories”, and the adventure you will go on in this new Tall Tale in Sea of Thieves.

The story takes place when Guybrush gets to marry the love of his life, Elaine. At the end of the third game, The Curse of Monkey Island, Guybrush sails off to the horizon on a galleon with “Just Married” on the back, and they go off to presumably have their honeymoon. It’s a really interesting entry point for our story – what if Guybrush and Elaine had their honeymoon in the Sea of Thieves? What if they had been invited to the Sea of Thieves to have this ultimate pirate honeymoon? And that’s where our story picks up.

Personally, I don’t understand the need for this “alternate history” exercise when Return to Monkey Island burnt so many calories to make the further adventures of Guybrush and Elaine as open-ended as possible. I mean, do they not even remember ending #8-Q?

Anyway, it’s not a real Monkey Island game until The SCUMM Bar anoints it an official acronym, but as we await that formality, it's cool to get the sense that the team at Rare is so enthusiastic to play in this sandbox. Stay tuned throughout the week as Mojo does its best to orient itself to the implausible reality that Monkey Island games are now a yearly event.

Source: Xbox Wire


It looks like Rare wanted in on the shtick, because what you see below is a real thing that is in fact happening:

Fans have had to deal with what they thought was a lot of change over the course of this series, but at the end of the day Monkey Island after all consisted of six traditional graphic adventure games. Never before has its fans had to process an outright genre change or dalliance with another franchise. But after the right licensing fee was negotiated with Craig Derrick (who presumably made the deal contingent on that Special Edition logo), the era of the Monkey Island crossover left the realm of the hypothetical. A lot to grapple with here.

We were fashionably late to this big news, so the chatter on the forums is already well underway, awaiting your participation. And congrats to on what we assume was a handsome compensation package for the right to that title that makes the AltaVista guy’s cash-out look like tip money.

More to come, undoubtedly.

Source: The Forums :D


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’.

Source: A Conversation with...


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.

Source: A Conversation with...


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.

Source: A Conversation with...

Don't be a tuna head. There's even more Maniac Mansion NES romhacking news.

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.

Source: Steam


Daniel Albu continues to expand his labyrinthine warehouse of LucasArts developer interviews with Noah Falstein. The preposterously prolific game designer more than justifies the two-hour chat, and naturally where his LucasArts tenure is concerned he is pumped for insights on the Indiana Jones graphic adventures as well as The Dig.

Source: A Conversation with...


How does four hours with Bill sound to you, other than that it’s about fifteen fewer than you’d like? Daniel Albu is here with his latest developer interview, and with it the remainder of your day is sorted out. And yes, A Vampyre Story 2 gets a status report.

Source: A Conversation with...


We have the uncomfortable duty to remind you that Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, which was inevitably invited to the Limited Run dance, is available for pre-order through Sunday and no longer. Owning Zak McKracken boxed has until now been the exclusive privilege of billionaires. Thanks to Limited Run, you now merely have to be fabulously wealthy:

Embrace your inner German and pre-order now.

Source: Limited Run Games


Because he likes breaking my heart, Steve Purcell’s official Sam & Max presence these days remains…a Facebook page. Though he often uses it to re-run vintage Sam & Max art, he’ll occasionally slip in a new piece.

Trouble is, you pretty much have to be as diligent as to notice such things in a timely manner, and who could be expected to be their equal? So if you keep up with them (as you should), you already know that Purcell rang in the new year with this gem:

Hey, why not? With the as-of-yet-undated release of The Devil’s Playhouse Remastered due out sometime this year, it will indeed be a noteworthy year for Max. It’s also the 30th anniversary of Sam & Max Hit the Road, so maybe someone out there should get cracking on the retrospective? We did ours 15 years in, so now it’s your turn. We’ll even host it for you.

Update: It's been brought to my attention that the Twitter account does a reliable job of posting any new art that Purcell puts out, so you may want to be keeping tabs on that as well.

Source: Sam & Max Funhouse


The world has been awaiting a worthy follow-up to telarium’s twenty-two year old interview with Gary Winnick, the first artist hired by Lucasfilm Games as well as Ron’s creative accomplice on Maniac Mansion and Thimbleweed Park, and pundits are finally ready to say that a contender has emerged.

A highlight comes at 43:30 when Gary holds up his original character designs for Maniac Mansion. I’m sure if they had been left for Lucasfilm to vault they’d be landfill by now. Protect that binder, Gary.

At the close of the interview, Daniel Albu teases that his next interview will be with Bill Tiller. May the roster of LucasArts veterans at his disposal never tap out.

Source: Conversations with Curtis


Twenty-four hours remain for you to decide whether you want to have electricity this month or own any/all of these from your rapacious friends at Limited Run Games:

Meanwhile, folks on the forums are reminiscing that it was a year ago today that Ron announced a new Monkey Island game as a vicious April Fools joke. Still can’t believe some of you fell for that. There’s a sucker born every minute, I suppose.

Source: Limited Run Games

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