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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.

Hard to believe, but in less than two weeks it will be the fifteen-year anniversary of the cancellation of Sam & Max Freelance Police and the death of LucasArts.* I was pretty sure that the occasion would come and go without incident, because really, what left is there to come out about the game that we haven’t already covered in our big informational round-up article?

As it turns out: some cutscene storyboards! Last month, artist and Grickle creator Graham Annable (who served as Lead Animator on Freelance Police) tweeted that he had found a “whole stash” of storyboards for the assassinated adventure game, and shared an enticing photographic peek as proof. The storyboards reveal that Bernard and Hoagie from Day of the Tentacle were set to make cameo appearances in the game sometime before marketplace realities invited them to go to hell.

You’ll want to read the whole Twitter thread, wherein Annable estimates that the game was “80% completed” and is encouraged by some dude to have his unearthed storyboards scanned and/or donated to The Strong Museum. Not sure if any progress has been made on that front in the month that has passed since the tweet (shut up), but it’s safest to assume those photos are the last Sam & Max 2 thing you’ll see until someone leaks a playable build of the game while the grown-ups aren’t looking. Hey, if it can happen with Warcraft Adventures

*True, the studio didn’t technically die for another eight years, but only the most cynical person would call what LucasArts was doing between 2004-2012 “living”.

Those of us of a certain age will remember how the Monkey Island games were unavailable for literal years, because . . . Well, who knows why, but it’s probably safe to assume LucasArts liked to pretend they didn’t exist.

Not surprisingly, what with TTG taking a nosedive, Tales of Monkey Island is now part of this tradition. The game has been scrubbed from Steam and GOG, though, as is usual, you can still download it if you have already bought it.

Will this mean pirating under the guise of "abandonware" will start occurring again? Who knows, but this feels like 2002 all over again.

Thanks to LucasArts Adventure Fans for the news, and my apologies if we already posted this and I forgot about it.

Now we've got a brand spanking new Mojo, but not much new news to report, let's take a look backwards into some (possibly) forgotten history.

Back on February 8th, 2003, exactly 16 years ago to the day, Bill Tiller (famed lead artist on The Curse of Monkey Island), graciously attended a fan-hosted IRC chat (ask your grandparents), and for 30 minutes answered their questions. One question came out of a thread on TheScummBar's LucasForums, and it was this:

The "secret" of Monkey Island has come up in some forums recently. Can I just ask you - what was Ron Gilbert's Secret of Monkey Island? Do you know it? Was it all a kid's imagination or is that just a theory?

Bill Tiller went on to give probably the most explicit and straightforward answer regarding the "secret" of Monkey Island, and Monkey Island 2's contentious ending that has ever been given.

And it was this:

Well this is all I know, and I learned it from Larry Ahern and Dave Grossman. Ron went to Disneyland, rode Pirates of the Caribbean ride. thought it was cool and wondered what it would be like to get out of the boat and explore the pirates cave and village. Calvin and Hobbes was very popular back then. It is a daily cartoon strip about a boy and his stuffed tiger going on all sorts of adventures and imagining themselves in all sorts of different things like dinosaurs, spacemen and monsters.

I speculate that Ron combined the to together - Pirates of the Caribbean and Calvin and Hobbes - and created Guybrush.

I was told that the ending of MI2 was originally going to be the ending of MI1. But Dave Grossman and Tim Shafer didn't like it an talked Ron out of it. Then I heard from Larry Ahern that two to three months before MI2 was supposed to be done, an ending had still not been decided upon. And about then Ron decided to go with the amusement park ending he was originally going to use in MI1.

The explanation I heard is that Guybrush was lost in the Pirates Ride at Big Whoop Amusement Park the whole time, imagining the whole adventure. Then Chucky, his mean older brother goes and pulls him back to reality. The end. And that magical lightning coming out of Chucky's eyes and Elaine waiting by the hole on Dinky Island (which sounds a lot like Disney Land) was put there just in case there was to be a Monkey Island 3.

The secret is that the MI world is not real. now I have no clue how Ron would have written his way out of the MI2 ending. He either knows and isn't telling. Or He doesn't know and he isn't telling you he doesn't know. Or he has a bunch of ides of what he would do and isn't telling you that either.That is a bigger secret then what the secret of Monkey Island is.

But secret being that the whole MI world is imagined sucks. Why? Because we want the world of Monkey Island to be real, not in a kids imagination.

Enter big whoop the portal of hell. Lechuck goes in, comes out a powerful ghost. Then he is killed again, comes back as a zombie and hatches a plan to lure pirates through the portal of big whoop and come out zombie/ ghosts. Guybrush had spell cast on him and that is why he was a little kid. he escaped Big whoop in a bumper/ dodgem car and reverts back. Elaine had to rush back to Puerto pollo to defend it from Lechuck renewed attacks because Guybrush is safely under his spell back on Monkey Island. That is the official secret of monkey island in CMI.

Sean [Clarke] and Mike [Stemmle, lead designers on Escape from Monkey Island] don't like that secret or want to add to it, so they either borrow Dave Grossman's idea that the monkey head is jut the top of a giant monkey robot, or they came up with it independently. That is the official secret of Monkey Island in EMI.

Is this all cleared up now? There is no 'one' secret of Monkey Island. Period. Maybe in Monkey5 there will be yet another one. Personally I'd like to know more about Guybrush' s origins. Where did he come from? Who are his parents? Any brothers or sisters? WHo was the voodoo priest who brought LeChuck back to life?


Thank you Bill Tiller! And to mymipage for hosting the event and asking the question! Read the complete interview here courtesy of Archive.org.

(Note: On this day 16 years ago... yesterday (unless you're in the US). I missed it by a few minutes!)

Mark Ferrari, one of the most important LucasArts artists during the early SCUMM era, has relaunched his web site, and you have reason to be exited - I particularly want to draw your attention to the Image Archives section, where Mark is hosting rare samples from his older work. JP has already been fomenting an irresponsible tizzy on Twitter (but not here, for some reason ¬) by suggesting that some of the screens may belong to an unreleased Star Wars adventure game.

So check out Mark's new site, which he promises is merely a work-in-progress. And unlike Mojo, it may actually graduate from that status at some point.

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