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Hot off the presses: Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual will be released on the Oculus Quest in June for $29.99, on SteamVR and Viveport Infinity later in the year, and for Playstation VR in early 2022.

The full press release and a bunch of new screenshots can be found here. Update by Remi: No, not there. Here! At Mojo! Press release is below the fold, and our gallery is updated, too.

And don't bother calming down, as Mojo will be making itself complicit in this press push by publishing our own interview with HappyGiant. Stay tuned.

Oh, and did we mention the new footage?

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Comments: 1 / Source: Gematsu

And these hi-res beauties show off a game much closer to the finish line than some of the earlier glimpses:

Of course, you can check out all released screenshots to date in our meticulously maintained gallery.

You may already be aware that a major location in Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual will be a rundown "Aquabears" amusement park. And what dilapidated family funtime establishment could do without a creepy theme song?

And on just what platforms will you be experiencing this Purcellian Willy's Wonderland, you say? Take heart, for we will know soon:

In other "let's see what else Happy Giant tweeted over the last week that we can hastily compile" news, there's this new and improved clip of Max as Pennywise for you to ponder:

We all know and love Laserschwert for his important contributions to the art of LucasArts postercraft, and have for some time now. But while Mojo recognizes greatness on sight, the mainstream media, typically dazzled by the distracting rather than the first rate, has been slow to kiss the ring.

Are they starting to wise up? That's the signal being put out by the latest issue of Retro Gamer. Operating under the preposterous alias of Jan Hofmeister, Laserschwert sat for an interview that appears in their March issue. You can buy your very own copy below.

You’ve already borrowed against your mortgage to afford those terrific Sam & Max action figures from Boss Fight Studio, so what’s another overextension to afford the next batch? Behold this new tease for “Wave 2”:

It’s been a while since the design for Wave 2 was unveiled, so to refresh your memory its two offerings are supposed to consist of the Rubber Pants Commandos and “Scuba Max” fighting an octopus. This is shaping up to be quite a year for Sam & Max stuff!

So, we all know about the Monkey Island movie that ILM was puttering around with twenty years ago from its concept art and bizarre plot synopsis, all of which was eventually collected as bonus features in the Special Edition compilation LucasArts put out in 2011.

But what about the real behind-the-scenes dirt on this legendary project’s origin and demise? What about that rumor that Steven Spielberg threw a spanner into everything by suggesting that the main character be replaced by a monkey because he has lousy story instincts?

Wait, that was never a rumor. But it is nevertheless one of the several new tidbits unveiled by Polygon’s sordid tell-all about the Monkey Island movie, which offers hitherto unavailable insight into the abandoned project with the aid of its director, visual effects supervisor David Carson. Read all about the various permutations of the story - each pass of which took it further and further from its initial form as a loose adaption of the first game - and feel elTee's shame when the stubborn rumor that the screenwriters of Pirates of the Caribbean had any meaningful involvement is forcefully refuted. Then there’s this:

Beyond the problems of adaptation, there were also more troubling concerns. This included a second meeting with Spielberg. Jim Morris, Patty Blau, Rosen, and Tom Bertino (who was going to act as animation supervisor) were all present at this meeting.

“The first meeting was just this little table, but now Steven wanted to make the project the table … [imagine] this cartoonishly long conference room where Steven is sitting at one end, Tom Bertino is sitting at the other,” Rosen recalls. “The funny thing about Hollywood meetings and creative projects when you come up with ideas is, you’re like, ‘Oh, I have this great idea,’ and then the committee assembles. All of a sudden, this story that everyone was shaking hands on becomes, ‘What if we change the main character to a monkey?’”

“We gathered in Steven’s office, and the first thing he said was that we shouldn’t have the main characters be human,” Carson says. “Instead, he suggested we should make the movie be about the monkeys on Monkey Island. Everyone just nodded, but my heart stopped. What the heck? We had worked for several weeks on a story that was based on the charm and humor of the games, and Steven wanted to throw all that out and make some new story about monkeys? I was completely confused.

Share in the confusion and add to your knowledge by reading the full article.

Comments: 9 / Source: Polygon

May it weigh heavy on his conscience!

You should read the whole thread, which includes this reply to an inquiry about a CMI remaster:

COMI remaster is tricky. I looked into it years ago (as some have mentioned before) but I was always more interested in what we could do with Maniac Mansion first. Haven’t given up that idea quite yet.

I know Craig doesn't mean to be cruel, but tell it to the lacerations on my beleaguered heart.

Comments: 7 / Source: Twitter

Though no timetable has been offered, the innuendo from Skunkape has been strong that they will be following up their remaster of Sam & Max Save the World with similar treatments of the other two Telltale seasons.

Well, the implicit became explicit a few days ago when Skunkape shared this glimpse from episode 201 just in time for Christmas:

The North Pole is sure looking good in HD. Can the same be said of Stinky's Diner, Easter Island, the Stuttgart castle, the mariachis' spaceship and Hell itself? Hopefully 2021 holds the answer.

An update to Sam & Max Save the World: Remastered has just been published to address some minor bugs, and the good folks at Skunkape have, in light of growing interest, used the release of this patch as an opportunity to write up a blow-by-blow of dang near all observable differences between the remaster and the 2006-2007 original. In doing so they've laid to rest a few misconceptions, but mostly just further expose how much thought went into their fastidious upgrade of Sam & Max's post-LucasArts debut.

Be among the cool kids and read the lowdown while you wait for your update to download. There's also a brief new promo that shows off several pullquotes from the game's more laudatory reviews thus far. Mojo's rave was excluded, but you've gotta grade them on a curve on that one: After the heat Skunkape attracted from up to four pre-adolescents over "censorship" concerns, one can only imagine what kind of hell quoting a known CMI denigrator like Remi would have raised. Look, if he weren't so handsome, we wouldn't put up with him either.

Comments: 21 / Source: Steam

Get a load of this!

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitter

What’s interesting about the looming Monkey Island anthology set is that for all the hullabaloo about its extras and packaging, there’s still a bit of mystery about what actual game files we are going to find on that USB stick.

Right now, the only legally obtainable versions of the first two games are the special editions, while Curse comes bundled with ScummVM when you buy it on GOG or Steam, so that it’ll run on modern versions of Windows. But will Limited Run Games version include the original versions as well? This question rates a little higher than trivia, since the original game files for Monkey 1 and Monkey 2 have technically not been in legal circulation since whatever the last compilation was LucasArts put out prior to the SEs. And the original executables – which ScummVM replaces – would be necessary if you wanted to go Full Authenticity and run the game in DOSBox or a vintage PC. (We know you kooks are out there.)

So, what do we know? Here’s what Limited Run Games is saying on the subject at the moment, taken from their product description:

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge, The Curse of Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island, and Tales of Monkey Island will all be included as DRM-free installs/executables for modern Windows platforms. We will also be working to include fresh archives of original Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2 releases on various older platforms. Usage of these archived versions will be at the owner's discretion. We can't yet guarantee which older formats will be included, but hope to confirm soon.

Fingers crossed, but that’s promising verbiage! I’m also excited by the suggestion (if I’m reading it right, anyway) that The Curse of Monkey Island will run on a native interpreter rather than ScummVM -- which runs the game fine, but doesn’t seem to support its use of iMUSE correctly. At least for me.

The outrageous boxed set from Limited Run Games will continue to be available for pre-order until January 31st. Keep saving up those wooden nickels.

A lot has been written about Sam & Max: Freelance Police (2004) over the years. It would hardly seem to have gotten more relevant during that time, and many would reasonably argue that there isn’t much left to say on the subject.

We disagreed, and what’s more decided that we were the only ones qualified to prove our conviction that the history of Sam & Max 2 had not yet fully and satisfactorily been entered into public record. We accomplished this show of respect to a heady subject by - literally, according to some definitions - writing the book on it. Weep for our priorities and cozy up next to the fireplace with our indefensible digital tome, The Unabridged History of Sam & Max 2: A Mixnmojo Memoir.

The most unwieldy article Mixnmojo has ever published has been a long time coming. Hindsight tells us that the cancellation of Sam & Max 2 is the major event in The Mojo Histories™, and the theory was that the definitive account of the project’s life, death and legacy could only be written this far out and by the site that, for better or for worse, it had the most impact on.

This was a job too important to be left to the professionals, who would have left out the strikethrough humor and Dan Pettit references. Nevertheless, we did bamboozle William Eaken into crafting us professional-grade header art, and you’ll want to be downloading that (link inside) in its full-resolution glory because: my word. And in case you die of natural causes before reaching the appendix, I should point out here that all the new interviews we conducted for the article have been organized as a separate feature for convenience.

Yes, the fact that there is an appendix should raise some red flags. It took a minute to put this monstrosity together (At one point, this was meant to be a tenth anniversary article, then we punted to the fifteenth anniversary before giving up on a pretty number altogether), and at the outset no one could have predicted it would ultimately clock in at this biblical word count, but the important thing is that Mojo’s equivalent of The Aeneid is now here and available for your consumption. And unlike that hack Virgil, we finished what we started.

Now leave us alone, would you?

Put me squarely in the camp that contends social media has been a net negative for the species, but some flowers bloom even in darkness. The following thread proves that Twitter can claim to have produced at least one (1) neat thing, as it chronicles the Monkey 1 team’s real-time epiphany of what Mark Ferrari’s inspiration for Melee town might have been:

Another plagiarism exposed mystery solved!

The golden age of video chats with LucasArts alum has yet to peak. In the latest news from November 12th, a virtual interview with Noah Falstein was carried out by the fine folks at Arcade Attack. But you didn’t watch it then, because you were naturally waiting for Mojo to embed it in a news post:

Highlights include Noah describing his role in the conception of insult swordfighting, elaborating on his rejection of the “terrible” Monkey King script as the basis for an Indy game, showing off his rare Fate of Atlantis movie poster, his perspective on why the adventure games traveled particularly well in Europe, and general behind-the-scenes goodness.

Meanwhile, GOG is offering some patently ridiculous discounts at the moment. Remasters excluded, Lucasarts legacy titles appear to be 65% off across the board, meaning they’re all about $2 a pop right now. Angling for the record, Tales of Monkey Island is a whopping 90% off and can be had for $1.49. That’s just crackers.

After fans politely noticed that the first pass had subjective room for improvement, Limited Run Games went back to the drawing board to incorporate a number of tasteful changes to their commemorative Monkey Island anthology set with the guidance of Force ghost Laserschwert. Behold what can happen when an audience is listened to:

That's a major upgrade, with only a small growth in price point. Have your credit card at the ready on Friday, December 4th, when pre-orders will open -- for real this time.

What's that? We're several days behind on this rather significant news story? Only because we credit you with being people of taste who have therefore already been discussing it on the forums. For those who have fallen short of our expectations, why not pretend there's still something to complain about and join in on the discussion now?

With the assignment process of Telltale Inc. circa 2018-2019, their titles were scooped up by many different entities. So, I figured it would be handy to list what is currently known about the fate of their titles.

The rights to Batman: The Telltale Series, Batman: The Enemy Within, Hector: Badge of Carnage, Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent, Puzzle Agent 2, and The Wolf Among Us (as well as the publishing rights to RGX Showdown) were acquired by LCG Entertainment with their formation of Telltale 2.0 on August 28, 2019. They later acquired the rights to Tales of Monkey Island on June 26, 2020.

The rights to Telltale's The Walking Dead games were acquired by the creator of The Walking Dead, Skybound. They are now published by Skybound Games, a subsidiary that contracted members of the Telltale staff to finish The Walking Dead: The Final Season from the Telltale 1.0 offices in 2019.

The rights to Tales from the Borderlands were acquired by 2K, the company that holds the rights to the Borderlands franchise.

The rights to the Sam & Max games were acquired by Skunkape Games, a company formed by former Telltale 1.0 staff (and the studio that's currently remastering the games).

These games are currently available to purchase (plus Sam & Max Save the World is available to pre-order in its remastered form. Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Remastered and Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Remastered will be available once Skunkape remasters those as well).

The rest are not available for purchase (although all are available to redownload if you purchased them from GOG.com, Steam, the Telltale Store, PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Nintendo e-Shop, etc.). These remaining games presumably remain in rights limbo. We'll keep you updated as (hopefully) more legacy Telltale games become available to purchase again.

Oh, and the CSI games still belong to Ubisoft, but no one cares about those.

It’s a joyous time for Sam & Max fans, as the Telltale remaster and This Time It’s Virtual means the characters have two concurrent projects on the way. See, 2020 was worth a damn after all.

In the midst of all this, something called “The Escapist Games Showcase – Fall Edition” is going on this week. What matters to you is that both Sam & Max projects got some promotional time during “Day 1” (yesterday) of the streamed expo, which amounted to some new gameplay footage from This Time It’s Virtual (click here to watch), and more noteworthily a live chat conducted with Dan Connors (representing the remaster) and Mike Levine and Mike Stemmle (representing the virtual reality game) -- all together. You can watch the archived Q&A here.

Points of interest include a playthrough of the first several minutes of remastered Culture Shock (which makes for an excellent showcase of just how much of a jump the presentation has taken, and offers a first listen at Bosco’s new voice, Ogie Banks*), Jake being referred to "the king of Sam & Max content", and Connors/Stemmle intriguingly/depressingly going on a brief tangent about some of the great minigames in Freelance Police that we’ll never get to enjoy. But you'll enjoy the Q&A, guaranteed.

*Also known as camper Chops Sweetwind from Psychonauts!

Artist/animator extraordinaire Mark Ferrari recently sat down for his own extended video chat, and it would feel like paying insult to pretend that any more of a sales pitch is necessary:

I don't know what's in the air these days that is impelling so many lengthy interviews with LucasArts veterans to be recorded, but please do keep them coming.

That livestream with Mike Stemmle took place a few hours ago, and you can re-watch it right here at your own convenience. Drag over to 43:09 if you want to skip right to when Mike appears.

Throughout the 80-minute conversation Stemmle gives a lot of great anecdotes and some borderline apologies about Escape from Monkey Island, which is rightly the main topic (it’s celebrating an anniversary too, you know!), but there’s plenty of memories shared about the productions of Sam & Max Hit the Road, Sam & Max: Freelance Police, and the Telltale games Mike worked on. He even talks about some ideas that were pitched at Telltale but never happened, like his Lovecraftian take on Maniac Mansion.

And of course, there’s some pimping of the upcoming Sam & Max VR game, including some new story details. It’s all here, and a must watch.

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitch

Apparently this has been on Youtube for a while, but I know I'd never seen it before, so maybe you'll be as blown away as I was:

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