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The day you’ve been waiting for has arrived. Limited Run Games is continuing the mission they announced back at E3 to anoint select classics from the LucasArts library with handsome re-releases in beautifully curated collector’s boxes. You might recall that the first batch from their ongoing slate dropped back in June.

As usual, they are taking the responsibility that comes with holding a precious license for the LucasArts catalog seriously, by reserving this benediction for only the most deserving titles. This ability to exercise taste and judgment is critical, because the studio's library is a vast one, and you don’t want to squander the finite resources that plainly go into these packages on anything less than the undisputed gems. On that basis, you’ve probably already guessed that the latest re-releases are Star Wars Episode 1: Racer for N64 (available in regular and premium editions, both containing actual cartridges) and its sequel, Star Wars Racer Revenge for PS4 (the game was originally for PS2).

I speak for everyone when I say it couldn’t have happened to a better pair of games. The people making these calls really seem to know what they’re doing. I mean, God bless them.

For now? Scummbuddy points us to a recent Archive.org, where 2,500 DOS games can be played to free through an emulator (DOSBox as it seems). Which games, you may ask? A quick search reveals:

Loom
The Secret of Monkey Island
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
Zak McKracken
Maniac Mansion

And so on, read the full LucasArts list for more. I haven't taken much time to look at this, but LeChuck's Revenge requires the code wheel at least. I assume all of this must be legal and all Actually, I don't assume that at all, so go look for both LucasArts and LucasFilm games while you still can.

Update: Turns out this is all a whole lot more legal than I had expected. Archive.org is, as it seems, exempt from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, due to their efforts to preserve our digital history. A simple summation of that can be read right here.

That headline might sound like an anno-2001 fan-game, but it is, in fact, a reference to an Uncle Scrooge comic that comes loaded with Monkey Island references.

A Reddit… person… thing (Redditor?) brought this to light, and kindly posted a bunch of images from the story. Some highlights: Captain LeChunk, Brushwood, “LeChunk’s Revenge,” and the rather inspired Grizzlebert.

This Disney-Monkey Island thing seems to have come full circle.

Comments: 1 / Source: Benzo

So back in July, the official Arby's Twitter posted this.

That is a real thing.

Not sure what I can really add to this. I knew Stan was a whore, but...social media?

I'd make a smart aleck comment about how Arby's is doing more to promote Monkey Island than its actual copyright owner, but what point would I really be communicating? Everyone, by definition, is doing more to promote Monkey Island than its copyright holder.

J’accuse! See Stan there? That’s shamelessly stolen from the venerable SCUMM Bar. How do I know this, you may wonder. Simple. Notice Stan having a black something or other coming out his mouth. When Skyfox created that animation for TSB, he did it by hand, capturing each frame manually, removing the background . . . All while thinking Stan was smoking a cigar, when it was actually part of the background. Arby’s, have you no shame? - Remi

After the controversy surrounding the SCUMM Bar theme, an anonymous source going simply by Bozeke has pointed us to Burt Ives’s "Go Tell Aunt Rhody," a 1956 1752 ditty which sounds eerily familiar . . .

I do believe Stan’s theme appeared first in LeChuck’s Revenge. Follow the notes, and we undoubtedly will find the elusive Secret of Monkey Island.

(And yes, this is pretty much all we have to post about these days.)

The theme, that is, not the honorable web site.

@Nicozilla_FR points us to a Reddit thread, where the SCUMM Bar theme's origins are revealed . . .

So now I guess we have a name: "Oh Good Ale Thou Art My Darling."

(And before the usual suspects start whining, I know it's not actually a rip-off, but it's interesting the original material wasn't credited. A very quick search reveals the song at least has existed as a recording since the fifties.)

Update! Our crack reporter, elTee, has through diligent research confirmed the song has existed at least since 1859.

Well, color me surprised that Limited Run Games seems to have produced genuine, no-joke NES and Game Boy cartridges for their re-release of the very first Star Wars console game, along with a physical PS4 port of Bounty Hunter, on Friday.  (It is especially impressive since, didn't Capcom consider that for Mega Man 9 before deciding it was cost-prohibitive?)  Not that I am unequal to the challenge of finding fault, as I sense no effort to replicate the mail-order hint book. Check out the packaging for yourself on Limited Run Games' Instagram page.

This is a little frustrating for me personally, I must admit.  LucasArts made impressive contributions to a number of consoles, but the NES wasn't a platform they did very well on; some would argue that their debut for the system, the iconic (and in-house, unlike the title being awarded this treatment) port of Maniac Mansion, was the only project worth a damn, with all due respect to Defenders of Dynatron City.  It was the gateway drug for many to the LEC adventure catalogue, and it comes with a nice juicy censorship controversy to boot.

Alas, as always, Star Wars gets the slot.  But don't let me stink up the joint with my griping, because this is still really cool.  Be sure to head over to the nearest Limited Run Games web presence on Friday to place your order.

Our thanks to Scummbuddy for bringing this to our attention

Or so we can just assume, based on Twitter’s very own @samedods who tweeted to us a Limited Run trailer of "collector’s editions of classic Star Wars games". That in itself is probably cool if you care about those kind of things, but more interestingly, the Amiga version of the Monkey Island theme plays at the end of the trailer. So, you know, 2 + 2 probably equals 4, and that is the conclusion I have decided to make.

Update! THE @fantasticleak16 has even more: “@mixnmojo MI1, MI2 and Curse are in the list of Limited Run’s announced titles! And it looks like some sort of Collectors Edition may be coming! Check out the bottom of the page... Link

I have no clue what this Limited Run shenanigans is, but woo all the same!

In response to the Monkey Island tribute tweet that Remi just posted about, Craig Derrick took the opportunity to weigh in on the series’ dormancy with a tweet of his own, which read simply:

Maybe I should do something about that.

If you need a refresher on who Craig Derrick is, he was the figurehead of the so-called “Heritage” team at LucasArts during the 2008-2011ish arena, which more or less coincided with the Darrell Rodriguez epoch. Working in the periphery, this small group of optimistic developers gave us the Monkey Island special editions (what little that the powers-that-be didn’t delegate to Singapore, anyway) and Lucidity. These folks obviously intended to do more original and legacy projects along those lines, but as with every other stab at turning LEC into an interesting development studio after the turn of the century, it was smothered with a pillow. You can read one sobering account of the life and death of “Heritage” here.

As a nice contrast to our undying cynicism, Derrick remained optimistic and committed to keeping that candle lit as recently as the year of the Disney acquisition. Derrick, in fact, still walks those halls; while LucasArts as it once existed is gone, Derrick remains a “Managing Producer” at Lucasfilm these days. What that actually means is unclear, though going by his blog it’s Star Wars related.

But hey, read into his comment what you will. At the very least he may know which cages to shake to get some more of those Double Fine remasters off the ground. It’s not like Brian Moriarty hasn’t been vocal about Loom, nor has Bill Tiller been bashful about his desire to repaint The Curse of Monkey Island for the HD era. And as long as he’s granting wishes, why not get that last 40% of Freelance Police’s development Kickstarter’d? Worst case scenario, we’ll have another Kierdorf situation and enough belly laughs for many a year to come.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on this reminder from @fantasticleak16:

@mixnmojo Ten years to the day since Tales of Monkey Island & Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition announcements! Pretty sure this is now officially the longest hiatus that the series has ever had. We were pretty lucky that year-long revival happened all things considered!

So pour one out for the series today.

Part of being old is that you stop keeping track of all the various subscription services that are out there, looking to convert your wallet into a trough for corporate snouts. At a certain point you just stop paying attention and focus yearningly on the oblivion you're galloping toward.

So I'm not feeling particularly remorseful about the fact that I've never heard of Nitro Games, a service available as a $10 upgrade to the Discord app. But it is my duty to inform you that six LEC games have been added to the service:

  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

A decent but sort of random smattering of games, if you ask me. But if you're a Nitro subscriber, get gaming, I suppose.

Some sad news is making the rounds today, reporting the death of programmer Stephen Ash, a veteran of LucasArts, Double Fine, Ion Storm Dallas, Factor 5 and his most permanent home, id Software.

Ash's career at LucasArts included work on Grim Fandango, and like a number of developers on the Grim team, he was one of the earliest employees of Double Fine, where he developed the physics system for Psychonauts. Tim acknowledged his contribution and passing in the following tweet:

Saying goodbye to Stephen Ash, a brilliant programmer and kind, soft-spoken person. Everybody wanted Steve on their project. We were lucky to get him on Psychonauts in the early, unheated warehouse days of Double Fine, to help get our first engine off the ground. Thanks, Steve!

Speaking of Nicolas Deneschau: He has taken it upon himself to post all the images from the thankfully cancelled Curse of Monkey Island movie, which (I believe) were bundled with the Special Edition DVD. See them all right here, and hopefully we'll never have to talk about that carwreck of an idea again. (Fair is fair, though: the art looks fantastic.)

Les mysteres de Monkey Island: à l'abordage des pirates! will be releasing by publisher Third Editions.

Written by self-professed "LucasArts archaeologist" Nicolas Deneschau, the book features interviews with the likes of Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Larry Ahern, and Steve Purcell. Or, well, the author says he talked to them. It's hard to tell, since Deneschau's English is adorably incomprehensible at times.

Excitingly, Purcell furnished the book with a beautiful new cover and Ahern, co-lead on Curse of Monkey Island, penned the preface.

The author said the book would be publishing on May 31, though only in French; us English speakers will have to make some noise for Third Editions to publish it. The Amazon.fr listing, on the other hand, puts the release date at June 21 and features a different cover.

Comments: 6 / Source: Twitter

@Nicozilla_FR brings word that a Monkey Island Monopoly game exists. Sure, it’s obviously “unofficial,” but then, does anyone with its ownership of the franchise even know Monkey Island exists anymore? We say no. (And odds are Hasbro would be the ones to get their underwear in a twist over it, anyway.) Go check the game out on Facebook—sorry!—where you can also learn a Risk edition is on its way.

Those of you with better memory than you probably should have, might recall that the Mac version of Escape from Monkey Island (and possibly the PC, too?) came bundled with a set of desktop wallpapers. Mojo reader Andrew, the bon vivant he is, certainly remembered, and he sent us all five of them. Now you can adorn your desktop with some EMI art, too! Download them all right here, or enjoy this preview:

And thanks, Andrew!

Comments: 3 / Source: Andrew
Disney may be resurrecting Lucasfilm Games, given the recent addition of several new high-level job positions on their recruitment website.

Assistant Producer (Lucasfilm Games)
Producer (Lucasfilm Games)
Assistant Producer (Lucasfilm Games - Asia)
Brand Art Coordinator (Lucasfilm Games)
Brand Marketing Coordinator (Lucasfilm Games)
Associate Brand Art Director (Lucasfilm Games)
Associate Brand Marketing Manager (Lucasfilm Games)

Whether this means EA will be losing their position as exclusive creator of Star Wars licensed games as some have speculated remains to be seen. We can only hope...

Why they would be using the historic LucasFilm Games name rather than LucasArts is another mystery. Speculation in the comments is welcomed.

David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows is one of the more stylish horror movies over the past few years, and these days the director is ready to release his new movie, a neo noir called Under the Silver Lake. What does that have to do with Mojo, you may ask, to which we give you…

“One of the things it was inspired by was graphic-adventure games from the ‘80s and ‘90s. In terms of scene construction, you get seemingly common objects that you wouldn’t think have a purpose.” The writer-director explains the point-and-click premise of Maniac Mansion and the Monkey Island series. “As the main character in the game, you assume that this object has a grand purpose. The truth is, sometimes it’s completely meaningless. And sometimes it needs to be combined with something in order to unlock something deeper within the story.”

Or as the story states: “So there’s your tagline: it’s Michelangelo Antonioni meets The Secret of Monkey Island.”

US release date is April 19. I’ll bet Jason’s bottom dollar that this’ll be a good watch.

We exclusively reveal the artist behind The Secret of Monkey Island's VGA close-ups, and get some fascinating behind-the-scenes tidbits, in this brand new feature. Yes, that's right, brand new feature!

Go and read and enjoy!

Mojo: Still alive and kicking.

I can't really set this up, because I obviously haven't taken the time to watch it (yet), so, um, cleave tight to your Grail Diary and...Dig in? Or something.

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