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As with any work of art, this spot speaks for itself:

Chris Baker, who worked as a studio publicist for LucasArts in the mid-2000s, shared an interesting memory with Craig Derrick on Twitter today...

It’s a shame. The game would have been a beautiful fit on that handheld. Alas, in 2006 LucasArts had other priorities, such as Thrillville and hating you. But hey, with Return to Monkey Island being a bona fide instant classic and all, we live in a more optimistic time where no-brainer ports are concerned.

Comments: 2 / Source: Twitter

Man, a fella could get used to reporting on Monkey Island articles at Lucasfilm.com. As part of its “Defining Moments” series, the official Lucasfilm web presence has gone and blogged about The SCUMM Bar, and I say good on ‘em.

Among other ruminations on the iconic Monkey Island location, the author makes an interesting attempt to tie in The SCUMM Bar with the theories of Joseph Campbell, whose concept of the monomyth was famously an influence on George Lucas’s approach to stories:

The SCUMM Bar has similarities with other Lucasfilm stories as well. In Star Wars: A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi introduces Luke Skywalker to the settlement of Mos Eisley, describing the spaceport as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.” The dusty cantina they visit lives up to the Jedi’s blunt description. At an early stage in the journey depicted in Willow, the small but courageous Willow Ufgood carries the baby Elora Danan into a foreboding tavern full of human-sized Daikini. He finds no one caring enough to help him, and some are even openly hostile. And of course, we can all remember more than one instance when Indiana Jones wanders into a local watering hole.

All of these moments are examples of “crossing the threshold,” a phrase coined by mythologist Joseph Campbell (a friend and important influence on George Lucas) in his discussion of the mythical hero’s journey. Campbell illuminated how this story structure is common to ancient myths and legends from around the world. This crossing from the familiar safety of one’s home into the strange and dangerous wider world marks the start of an adventure.

Speaking of Willow – and go ahead and take in the effing BALLERINA-LIKE GRACE of my masterful segues here – we have Joanne Whalley dishing to Entertainment Weekly on her return as Sorsha in the upcoming sequel series. And did we mention Christian Slater is in it? House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings are putting forth a strong face, but we know they’re quivering on the inside.

Mixnmojo: Proving the theory that if you stubbornly stick around for enough decades, Lucasfilm will eventually grow bored enough to once again acknowledge the stuff you actually care about.

One of those names that seems to always be in the credits, Brad Taylor has had a crucial role on just about every SCUMM game from The Secret of Monkey Island onward, both at LucasArts and Humongous. Alongside Aric Wilmunder and SCUMM's originator Ron Gilbert, he was a key figure in the maintenance and maturation of the celebrated story system over its long years of service, all while preserving its critical separation of complexity from the designers, writers and artists so that their focus could stay on the creative aspects of the games.

So when Arcade Attack publishes a 100-minute conversation with the guy, it amounts to something close to self-care that you watch it:

Craig Derrick, Exec Producer at LucasFilm Games, has teased that something new might be coming in the Maniac Mansion universe on Twitter.

Given Day of the Tentacle has already been remastered, we're probably talking a remake of Maniac Mansion, or a new 3rd instalment of the series, if there's substance behind the comment.

Neat!

Something that came up in the Mojo interview with Ron and Dave ahead of ReMI’s release was the promise of multiple endings:

Ron: Well, you will be happy to know that I think the ending…there’s a lot of interpretation that can go into the ending.

Marius: That’s what I meant.

Ron: So yeah, I think there will be that. And there’s five variations of the ending, depending on things you did. And they all kind of have different interpretations, and so I think you will find that good, yeah.

Well, it turns out that Ron was off by at least a factor of two, because our team of interns count no fewer than ten endings. Did you find them all? You may wanna refer to Mojo's handy breakdown to compare notes. And it goes without saying, folks who haven’t finished the game yet should stay far away.

Perversely, there appears to be an institutional expectation that there should be reviews of Return to Monkey Island beyond our own. But hey, we’re easy, we can play along. So check out our roundup of today’s many reviews beneath this rockin’ Nintendo launch trailer:

I’m guessing at this point you’re all primed to play Return to Monkey Island already and don’t need to continue to be sold on it by every disposable gaming blog in cyberspace (plus Mojo). But the fact is, previews continue to get mercilessly published as these last few days tick away, and apparently we’re a fan site so, it would feel wrong not to diligently round up the coverage for a new Monkey Island to the very end.

  • IGN continues their week-long celebration of ReMI with a discussion with Ron and Dave about puzzle design. In the process, it’s confirmed (or was it already?), that there is a “Lite” and a Hard mode for the game. Be sure to check out IGN’s previous daily articles you might have missed, like their video glimpse of the game’s hint system.
  • Eurogamer has its own interview, where among other things Ron and Dave ponder what an Elaine-centric Monkey Island might look like.
  • GamesRadar+ has some quotes from the designer/writer duo about the horse armor DLC lampoonery, if that does anything for ya.
  • 9news out of Australia was gonna be goddamned if they weren't getting in on the act, so they've got a nice chat of their own with the boys.
  • And don’t look now, but it looks like Mojo got Ron back into blogging, as he saw fit to post our supercut of the #MonkeyIslandMonday clips over on Grumpy Gamer. I’m not saying we’re letting this go to our heads, but Thrik was last seen in public wearing a thirty foot crown with “Most Important Web Site, Per Ron” inscribed on it.

And to answer the question on everyone’s minds: Yes, Mojo will be publishing its review as soon as the embargo lifts. And who knows? We may not be done with our ReMI coverage even beyond that. My gosh, who knew the old jalopy could still work up a horsepower or two?

People used to die of starvation staring at the official Lucasfilm web presence in the hopes of finding acknowledgment of their graphic adventure game catalog. I guess times have changed, because the company has published a nice preview of Return to Monkey Island. Check it out and be dumbfounded that you find yourself alive in such a period of history.

Mixnmojo rarely covers sales deals anymore, but we'd be silly to not mention Humble Bundle's Starlight Children's Foundation Bundle, which nets you a few Star Wars games, including both Knights of the Old Republic, the LEGO Star Wars games, and the Double Fine remasters of Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, and Day of the Tentacle. Plus a serotonin dose for helping kids in need. Up the donation for extra serotonin. Plus serotonin to whoever you give your extra copies of these games to, since if you're reading this, you probably already have these games. Actually, could be dopamine, not serotonin. I've never really learned the difference. Whichever you get helping out kids in need.

Anyway! You don't need me to say it twice.

If you've been following Aaron on Twitter, it's pretty clear that his efforts to emulate Grim Fandango (in its original, shipped-in-1998 form) for presumed DREAMM support have made material progress. Perhaps the clearest sign of that is this morning's implication that he's already started down the path of standing up the second of the GrimE engine duology, that undisputed crown jewel of the LucasArts adventure pantheon, Escape from Monkey Island:

Bless him.

A lot went down at PAX in Seattle over the weekend, and as you may have gleaned if you’re one of those social media types, good times were had by all who attended. As with Gamescom last week, an elaborate booth devoted to Return to Monkey Island – a wooden replica of the High Street of Mêlée Island – was on hand for photo opportunity and general shock and awe:

This time, the team was also in the hall for fans and press to mingle with, and the panels were evidently no slouch either: You may have caught the livestream of the expo’s much-touted gathering of influential old people, otherwise known as “Adventure Game Heroes & Legends.” Moderated by Frank Cifaldi, the hour-and-a-half-long conversation featured Ron, Ken Williams, Roberta Williams, Al Lowe, Dave Gilbert and Jane Jenson. If you weren’t tuning in live, you can find it archived below:

As for ReMI-specific coverage, so far there’s a pay-walled interview with Ron from Rock Paper Shotgun (what the hell, guys), and presumably more to come, but you’ll probably find the real gold on the developers’ Twitter accounts. Highlights include the ReMI team photo (probably the first time many of them were physically together since the game got started), the starstruck gushing of Neil, Druckmann, and hands-down the event’s best T-shirt.

The benevolent madness was said to have culminated in a ReMI wrap party, which Mojo may have technically attended by abstraction if the rumors (or, you know, photo evidence) that Jake weaseled his way past the bouncer are true. I’m getting the light here, so in closing I’ll steer two interviews out of Gamescom that we'd overlooked your way: one from publication Heis Online (original German here; English translation here), and another from Hobbyconsolas (original Spanish here; English translation here).

Those of you who didn’t have the spending money to hit PAX should have plenty of material from the expo (occurring as we speak) to look forward to soon. Even ahead of it, though, the ReMI press tour sailed on with a new interview from webzine GamersGlobal featuring Ron, Dave and Rex. The article is in German, the official language of adventure games, but here’s an excerpt from Google’s loose English translation:

GamersGlobal: In Return to Monkey Island you didn't just make decisions about the graphics that maybe not everyone likes. For example, the new part is not a sequel that takes over all the decisions and events of the predecessors. One or the other should be difficult for the fans to swallow.

Ron Gilbert: I don't think that's true. In other words, there were already a number of discrepancies between the previous parts. One of the first things Dave and I talked about in the beginning was which part of the canon we were going to follow and which part we weren't going to. Because a lot of the Monkey Island canon came from a time when Dave and I were no longer responsible for the games. We do not agree with all ideas. Others are clear fan favorites, like Guybrush and Elaine's wedding. While I personally feel that this should never have happened, I am against this marriage - but we cannot seriously backtrack and undo it. We briefly considered whether they might be divorced in our part. Or if they could never have married. But we quickly dismissed that. Fans love the idea that they got married. There is no turning back.

Another example would be: I never understood why Guybrush should be afraid of china. Serious? But we said what the heck, we won't deal with that. Dave summed it up very well: You ignore canon whenever it gets in the way of storytelling. So we respect canon as much as we can, but if it gets in our way... we don't hit it or anything, but we just don't pay it any attention at that point.

Though the noun came out the other end of the AI as “china,” one ascertains that Ron isn’t the biggest fan of the porcelain joke, and thus this trait of Guybrush’s will be censored in ReMI, which is just how Ron rolls.

There’s more great stuff in the interview, including the surprisingly open-ended position Ron takes on the series’ future (Relevant: Beloved, you-thought-he-was-dead community member Captain Mystery has triumphantly returned to notice that the descriptor “conclusion” has been artfully expunged from ReMI promotional spiels), so do read the full article for maximum cognizance of all Monkey tidbits.

Though the movie is still almost a year away, the score for Indiana Jones 5 is currently being recorded, and John Williams got permission to play a piece for a live audience at The Hollywood Bowl. A rogue cell phone then did what it must. Enjoy “Helena’s Theme,” which belongs to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character:

And let me round up a few items while I’m here by pointing out that the Willow series was recently previewed by Entertainment Weekly. Meanwhile, The Dig gets its turn being rotated into the Prime Gaming catalog. Nice to see they’re getting to seemingly every last one.

Comments: 1 / Source: YouTube

DREAMM was originally intended as an emulator for the DOS-based SCUMM games, but Aaron just couldn't abide a missing title, so he walked one last barefooted mile in broken glass, emulating just enough Win32 to support The Curse of Monkey Island.

Without promising anything, it seems he's being plagued with another itch:

As you may recall 4,794 days ago, the year was 2009 and Laserschwert had completed a wonderful interview (news post) and separate review about The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition music. The interview was of Jesse Harlin, the composer for the Special Edition release. Along with our hint at a hopeful "official" digital release of that soundtrack (just checked; not quite ready yet) also came with the tease of a Bonus Track known only as "Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx".

Little did we know how clever the Mojo readers were with word puzzles years before we would let them prove that daily (Mojole) that it would be quickly figured out that the cypher solution could only be referring to a "Maniac Mansion" track. And although the Monkey Island Special Edition Soundtrack would make its way online, the Maniac Mansion Bonus track did not.

Yoda-yoda-yoda, it's now March 2022 and a Monkey Island 1 Special Edition Soundtrack CD mysteriously appears on eBay, containing the Bonus Track. A winning bid is declared and the CD is not heard of again. Until today.

So come take a listen to an official LucasArts take at a Maniac Mansion updated theme by Jesse Harlin and join in discussion with other Maniac Mansion music aficionados; Ed-Heads I believe they are called. This track was made with love and at a time when it very likely had to be made in secret, with the hope of pushing upper-management to consider making Maniac Mansion Deluxe Maniac Mansion Remastered.

Comments: 2 / Source: YouTube

Though the geography of the Edison mansion makes about as much sense as the Overlook Hotel when you try to diagram it out, the principles of sound engineering haven’t stopped amusing attempts at visualizing some parody of a floor plan. Take, for example, this loose stab at the impossible from the game’s Nintendo Power preview back in the fall of 1990:

Well, it looks like you’ll be seeing another attempt to map the mansion, along with the overworlds to 35 or so other NES games. It’s all part of the upcoming book Video Game Maps: NES & Famicom: Greatest Hits Edition, which appear to be a curated version of a larger book. Here’s a promotional tweet that shows Maniac Mansion made the cut:

Pre-order the book here.

It seems like everyone and their cousin are doing video retrospectives of the Monkey Island games these days (not Mojo, of course—we don’t know how that kind of witchcraft works). Alanah Pearce has taken it to the next level with writing101: 30 Years of Writing Video Games - Tim Schafer | Video Game Writing 101 where (according to Eurogamer) Tim had this to say:

We were writing on Monkey Island, and we were told ’you guys, we can’t go on six floppies. We have to go on five. We have too much text. Ron was like, “we have to cut 25 percent of the dialogue.” I went and would look at a scene I wrote and I was like “no, I nailed that… that’s perfect.”

I admittedly have not watched the video, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

And, hey, at least we were able to preserve some of the “lost” dialogue.

Show your love for the Fatherland and enjoy Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, available on Prime Gaming as part of the August batch of titles:

It doesn't make up for cancelling Truth Seekers, but I suppose Amazon accidentally knows what it's doing now and again.

It's all in this tweet:

The correct answer is clearly "monkey6.exe", but I can be a good sport and carry on the fiction of democracy by encouraging you to cast a vote yourself.

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