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No need to get fancy with this one; I’ll just reprint what Aaron posted over on the forums:

It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally ready to open up broader testing of DREAMM 2.0.

Grab the latest beta here: https://aarongiles.com/dreamm/beta/

This release supports both Windows and MacOS (Catalina+), and both x86 and ARM64 architectures.

Compared to 1.0, this release adds:

  • Support for GRiME games (Grim Fandango, Escape from Monkey Island)
  • Support for Afterlife and several mid-90s Star Wars games: Dark Forces, Rebel Assault I/II, X-Wing, and TIE Fighter
  • Support for Windows releases of SCUMM games (including my own ports plus DIG95)
  • A new frontend and in-game UI (accessible via Alt+M)
  • Better support for GOG releases and special installers
  • Faster x86 emulation core
  • Improved VGA emulation, including SVGA
  • Basic joystick support

Feel free to report issues in this thread, or directly to me at dreamm@aarongiles.com

I mean, you heard him. Get to work, and do your part to ensure that Hugo the perfume salesman will forever spritz his way across the computer monitors of future generations.

In his coverage for Limited Run’s upcoming Return to Monkey Island physical release(s), Remi noted the unusual offering of an “upgrade kit,” in which you get an expanded and corrected version of the Anthology box (with the game logos in the correct order, in addition to appending ReMI’s position) along with a smattering of additional trinkets.

Well, Limited Run is workshopping an altogether new comedy sketch with the so-called “Gold Key Bundle.” See, the other quirk of these releases that you may remember was that each of the four individual editions (one per platform), plus the upgrade kit, would respectively include replicas of each of the five keys Guybrush collects in the game’s second half, in a predatory play for the OCD fan who's gotta catch 'em all. A visual reminder of how all that shakes out (note the bottom left of each picture):

For those who have lost their goddamned minds and would actually pursue that, the distributor is helpfully offering a comprehensive bundle of all the above for an even $419.99.

What kind of diseased mind even conceives of this stuff? Anyhoodle: buy away. Bankruptcy ain’t nothing but a number.

As if you don’t have enough things to spend money on, Côté Games are taking pre-orders for The LucasArts Chronicles.

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There are seemingly some oddities with the book—e.g., I recognize the screenshots as promo material—but who knows? Judge for yourself. The “simple” version of the book will run you €45; the complicated “deluxe” edition €62.

Variety is reporting that Earl Boen, who memorably provided the voice of the villainous ghost pirate LeChuck in the Monkey Island series up through Tales of Monkey Island, has passed away at the age of 81.

Though his voice work was particularly prolific, the veteran actor was well known for his appearances as Dr. Peter Silberman in the first three Terminator movies among countless roles across film and television. Though Boen had been retired since even before Tales, it was said that his enthusiasm for performing as LeChuck led him to nevertheless reprise the character for that project and the Monkey Island special editions that were produced around the same time. His contributions as Guybrush's arch-nemesis will endure. R.I.P.

Comments: 2 / Source: Variety

Clearly inspired by our own interview, online publication Time Extension decided to get in on the CMI 25th anniversary action in the final moments of 2022, running a retrospective with project leaders Jonathan Ackley and Larry Ahern eight seconds ahead of the New Year. A taste:

Fans claimed that Curse would use SCUMM 3D, taking Monkey Island away from its 2D roots. Ackley says two "brilliant and grumpy programmers" – Chris Purvis and Chuck Jordan – decided to troll the internet back, adding the 'Enable 3D acceleration option to the menu screen for "super-special 3D SCUMM environments." But clicking it only presented messages ranging from "We were only kidding" to "You can click that all you want, it won't do anything."

Ackley confesses he feels a little bad about this joke, however. "After the game came out, the support team received a letter from some poor gentleman had tried swapping out several video cards to get SCUMM 3D to work – and ended up bricking his computer," he says with a smile.

Listen. They did a fine feature. We did a fine feature. Who’s to say, really, who did the better job?

It’s always good to hear from Bill, so it was probably an easy decision by The Retro Hour Podcast to host him for an hour long chat.

Bill shares some pretty good war stories from The Dig, his surreal experience of getting personal approval from George Lucas to shoot live action footage for Star Wars: Rebel Assault, and of course his experiences on The Curse of Monkey Island. The conversation doesn’t get a chance to cover the Autumn Moon games in depth (might I suggest a follow-up?), but the designer/artist does confirm that he regained the rights to A Vampyre Story 2 several years back, and drops the bombshell that he is actively at work on a demo for the long-halted game to pitch out to publishers. In addition, he promises that the original game will return to Steam in a matter of months, retooled so that it will actually run on your computer.

You can listen for yourself here. The interview begins around the 40 minute mark.

Let’s be clear about this: there’s the EGA version of Loom, and then there are the imitation versions. Unfortunately, the initial and definitive release has been out of legal circulation for a lifetime; what you’ll find representing this classic on Steam, GOG and wherever else is the “VGA Talkie” version, which Brian Moriarty himself has gently called “an abomination” for its revisionism and myriad of compromises.

Limited Run’s Monkey Island Anthology from a few years back offers some hopeful precedent for the inclusion of archival builds, as the USB stick in that package came loaded with a bunch of legacy versions of the game (original .exe’s included, which is crucial in a world where DREAMM exists). The idea of the upcoming Loom box following that lead was hoped aloud for on the forums, leading local poster restoration pundit – and by now routine collaborator on these LucasArts Limited Run releases - Laserschwert to confirm that the EGA build will be included. Justice.

Honestly though, can’t they just put all these old SCUMM builds on an FTP server at this point? I mean, what are even talking about here. Cripes.

As noted on the forums, a feature-length interview with Aaron Giles is now streaming on YouTube. The chat covers Aaron’s prolific history in the dark sciences of porting and emulation, and you’ll get to hear some of his stories directly from the horse’s mouth. His LucasArts tenure is of course highlighted, with DREAMM getting discussed at length in the second half. Though the games are not supported yet, he also relates adventures in expanding his emulator to run the two GrimE titles, and he even namechecks some non-adventures in the LucasArts catalog he’d like to tackle.

More important, you finally know that Aaron’s last name is pronounced with a soft G, so you no longer have to worry about making an ass of yourself if you ever bump into him at your local Delchamps.

We’re getting into the weeds here, with Loom set to receive the LRG treatment:

$75, so not too bad compared to some of these bundles. Currently unknown is if the EGA version will be included. We shall see soon enough.

Pre-orders start on January 13th, and it begs the question: What’s next? The Dig? Or Zak, a game Germans would legally be obliged to buy? Time will tell!

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Don’t start spending those Christmas cheques yet—Sam & Max Hit the Road is running Limited on January 6th:

$100 will get you... Well, a bunch of stuff. Thrik is looking at getting a good dozen copies as Mojo’s Christmas bonus was a decree making each of us give him a cool hundy. For the rest of you:

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While we were on a CEO-mandated furlough, no less than two stories passed Mojo by. And if you subscribed to our newsletter, you would have known what those stories were.

...

Fine, I’ll post them here, too:

I’m fairly certain NME—née New Musical Express—was my dad’s magazine of choice during the sixties, so it only makes sense that this grand old magazine sits down with the grand old game developer, which subsequently is being “reported” on by the grand old Mojo. That is to say, NME has a lengthy interview with Tim Schafer. There might not be a lot of new information to be found, but it is an interesting read nonetheless. Not least because of this:

On the subject of other games, Schafer says that he still finds the time to play plenty – this year, his favourites have included Ron Gilbert’s Return to Monkey Island, BlueTwelve’s feline adventure Stray, and Zelda-inspired adventure Tunic.

ReMI tops his list—that’s just heartwarming!

Doing a one-eighty, The Force Engine has hit 1.0. What is The Force Engine, you may ask? Have a gander at the trailer:

Those of us of “a certain age” may remember the original reviews of Dark Forces complained about the lack of lightsabers. Now, it feels downright refreshing.

Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders have been irreversibly tied together ever since that can of chainsaw gasoline was found on Mars, but a new fan game is taking it to a whole other level. Below is the spiel for Zak the Maniac - An Interactive Music Video:

Zak McKracken finds himself exploring the haunted mansion of the Edison family. Something has gone seriously wrong -- and if ghostly hauntings weren't bad enough, a band is using the dungeon as their rehearsal space.

This game is released as an "interactive music video" for Error 47's cover/mash-up of the Zak McKracken and Maniac Mansion theme tunes. The song is included in the download.

You can download the game and the cover tune that suggested it right here.

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Comments: 1 / Source: Error 47

If you've read our big 25th anniversary interview with the Curse of Monkey Island project leaders (and if you haven't, there's still time to do so fashionably), you're well aware of the legend of Bear Pig -- a classic example of programmer art that Jonathan Ackley cooked up to occupy "room zero" to the satisfaction of SCUMM's inviolate laws.

But just as everyone sees a different statue in the marble, BearPig represents different themes to different interpreters. In his latest blog post, CMI programmer/writer Chuck Jordan casts BearPig as his inspiration for some brief reflections on the concept of art that is "good enough." Read it, and lament Ron's delinquency in reprising the series' most indelible character.

Big-budget video games take something like seventy-five years development on average these days, dwarfing the investments represented by a tentpole movie or joining America's coasts by high speed rail. So you can probably expect next year's Indiana Jones movie to be celebrating at least its first birthday before you'll be playing the upcoming Indy game by MachineGames on whatever space-age platforms the average zero-gravity household will boast by then.

That we're still a ways out is endorsed by the fact that details on the title remain thin on the ground. However, a few comments were extracted out of Todd Howard of Bethesda (that would be the game's publisher, albeit one that also functions as a studio itself and which happens to share the same parent company as MachineGames, just to confuse matters) in a new interview with said Executive Producer:

... Howard says a game starring the character was always on his "bucket list" of things to do: to the extent he first pitched it 13 years ago.

"I had pitched Lucas," said Howard. "Met some people there and pitched them back in '09 this Indiana Jones concept, and kinda the deal fell apart". LucasArts wanted to publish any Indiana Jones game: Bethesda saw itself as the publisher. "I didn't really have the team to do [it] and you know we made Skyrim so I guess it worked out."

[...]

"I mean you can talk about the world of Indiana Jones but it's him, it's the character," said Howard. "I would just say it is a mashup, it is unique, it isn't one thing intentionally. So it does a lot of different things that we've wanted to do in a game. It's a unique game."

Pretty useless. But hey, at least the project is still trucking along. And if we know one thing about long-in-development Indiana Jones games, it's that it all works out in the end.

Did you enjoy Mixnmojo's cautious preview of Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels from our E3 2003 coverage, but wish you could have been there in person? Well, some footage from that very booth has made it into the wild, so now you can do the next best thing. As an added bonus, you get celebrity developers Malena Annable and Dan Connors hanging around the sides of the frame for some reason:

The uploader is the same archeologist who brought you leaked cutscene footage from the rarely-lamented game this past summer. I'm not entirely sure I understand where this was sourced from, although he attempts to contextualize it in his video description.

Only Father Torque knows what he means by that last statement, but maybe we somehow haven't heard the last of Full Throttle II. For now, enjoy the latest discovery -- ideally with a slice street pizza.

Thanks to forumgoer Radogol for bringing this to our attention.

If you don’t keep at least semi-regular track of the LucasArts posters thread, you’re missing out. Just over the last few months, Laserschwert has gifted to the world dazzling new versions of Peter Chan’s Day of the Tentacle Star Wars parody, Zak McKracken’s cover art, and, in a direct valentine to mine own heart, some marriage-threateningly seductive Maniac Mansion alternatives. Freshly endowed with some superior Outlaws source material, he’s promising to bring that one to similar heights in the future as well.

It’s all there for the taking in the internet’s finest forum thread. Sleep on it at your own peril.

Meteor Mess 3D, the 3D fan remake of Maniac Mansion that began development in 2008, was released just three weeks ago. In other words, it still needed less gestation time than an Indiana Jones sequel.

The phrase “labor of love” gets thrown around a lot, but I think a number of recipients of it would be well within their rights to feel embarrassment in the face of this victory, which Gabez’s coverage can surely only claim some responsibility for. Investing this long toward bringing a fan game to its finish isn’t merely dedication – it’s downright hardheaded. So celebrate the occasion by grabbing your very own download of the game, and be inspired by Mojo’s solidarity in updating its gallery – yes, we had one! – with more representative screenshots.

Amberfish Arts: There’s hope for you yet.

As revealed in a tweet from Geoff Keighley producer of The Game Awards, Rob Smith, the author of the comprehensive LucasArts retrospective book "Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts" has passed away.

Rob was also the editor of several gaming magazines over the years. You can read a mis-titled Mojo review of his book here: Rouge Leaders: The Story of LucasArts. There's also an interview with Rob himself about the book still to be found on the web archive, even though the original host site is long gone.

To quickly recap for the uninitiated, Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings was an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game that LucasArts was developing in the arena of 2005-2008. In the end, this long-awaited follow-up to Emperor’s Tomb was cancelled, but the separate incarnations that were being developed by third parties for the Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and PSP ended up making it to shelves in 2009.

Lead Designer Steven Chen told us that the internal Staff of Kings had reached a “vertical slice” level of development when we had a chance to speak to him, which may explain the reasonably polished look the game in the surfaced gameplay clip below, sourced from Christopher James (Level Designer)’s online portfolio.

As many had already speculated, the game comes off as very much trying to follow in the footsteps of Uncharted, not unlike the debt the early 3D Indy games owed to Tomb Raider. The use of John Williams cues lifted straight from the movie scores throughout the level is right out of the published game, both in its coolness and its not-necessarily-motivated-ness. With another fifteen years having passed without a AAA Indy game, it’s up to MachineGames to hopefully redeem the situation, but it’s nice to steal a look at what might have been, had its team not been subsumed by Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

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

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