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”Sometimes dead is better.” There are far less accurate ways of summing up the general community reaction to the cancellation of Full Throttle: Hell on Eyes Wheels back in 2003. It was quite the contrast with the martyrdom Sam & Max: Freelance Police enjoyed when it met its fate six months later.

Still, the axed sequel remains the subject of some fascination, however morbid, and now the tide has washed up further material to masticate on. Forumgoer “Radogol” points us to the YouTube channel of one Evan Hanley, who uploaded two unfinished cutscenes from the game, never before seen:

For all you old LucasArts and Full Throttle fans, I thought this would catch your eye. I found about this game over a year ago and found two never before seen cutscenes, one of them being this. I'm still doing research as we speak into it.

This is the other cutscene I found for the cancelled Full Throttle sequel.

Any judgment of these clips should take into account that we’re looking at a far from finished glimpse at a PS2-era game. (Accounting for all of that, though: Good grief.) It’s a rare discovery, and hopefully not the last -- this isn't something Evan was likely to have just stumbled on while cleaning out the sock drawer.

If you’re finding yourself a junkie for more Full Throttle 2 information in the meantime, a decent recap of the game’s development can be found at Lucasdelirium, while Mojo’s own account is recorded around this chapter and verse of our titillating, clothbound memoir.

It seems that in conjunction with the Switch release of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the powers that be have made the laudable decision to release its soundtrack as well. As of June 8th, you can find it on a bunch of the usual storefronts and subscription services such as Amazon, Apple Music, and Spotify. But no Bandcamp, for some stupid reason.

The game’s soundtrack was the fantastic work of Mark Griskey, a prolific veteran who was an internal LEC composer in the early-to-mid 2000s. Though most of his credits during this time were Star Wars related, he also scored Gladius and Sam & Max: Freelance Police. Not that you’ve heard the latter.

It’s more noteworthy than it ought to be that a LucasArts soundtrack should see official release. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, all of the music the studio owned (encompassing the scores to movies and games alike) ultimately wound up under Walt Disney Records. What this means if you’re, say, Limited Run Games, is that licensing a LucasArts game and a LucasArts game soundtrack are two totally distinct (read: unfeasible) processes of red tape machete'ing, which is why your no-brainer idea that albums should have been included among the extras in some of those over-the-top collectors editions never actually happened.

So anyway, this is cool, and needs to be highlighted. Plus, I figured I’d do Lucasfilm a solid by drawing attention away from the fact that the game is apparently broken as hell on Switch. I mean, sounds like KOTOR II to me?

When community mainstay and poster restoration maven Laserschwert isn't scouring the globe for ever-better sources to feed his scanner, he's trying to sell you on the potential of AI upscaling technology.

You might have caught his case for training such tools on the barely-in-need-of-remastering CMI, a taste of the future which was enough to challenge an orthodoxy or two. Further beliefs may be shaken in the wake of his latest proof of concept, which tackles Sam & Max Hit the Road:

More examples can be found in the forum thread (at the above link) he made elaborating on this experiment.

While I personally am frightened, triggered and dehumanized by the very concept of imitation brush strokes and machine-learned artwork (not to mention the horseless carriages that the kids are into these days), I have to admit I'd have preferred these results over what the Day of the Tentacle remaster achieved (and which in turn I found way more desirable than the no doubt well-meaning efforts of the Monkey Island special editions), and it's not a bad punt on an approach to such a project if the reason Disney is holding back is on the basis that it shouldn't exceed the cost of a 12oz. soda.

So betray your values, knuckle under in the presence of The Algorithm and behold what dispassionate 1s and 0s can accomplish when put to work on the true issues of the day.

Marius Winter - Flash animation extraordinaire, celebrated intern of Telltale and Double Fine, co-conspirator of livestreams with Jake, reaction video artisan, reluctant imbiber of root beer, and unanimously elected* mascot for all of Monkey Island fandom - was not about to allow basic human needs like eating and sleeping apply any kinda deacceleration on his ever-escalating contributions to your happiness.

In fact, after coming down with an aggravated case of being awesome, he's putting the final touches on his greatest achievement yet: a Flash film version of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. Stare directly into the burning bush by checking out this sneak peek ahead of Monday's premiere:

*Not that it was gonna stop Germany were it otherwise.

Although I haven't yet been able to put the almost two hours needed aside, Arcade Attack has spent some time with Tami Borowick discussing her career and projects in a video interview.

If it's anything like her previous interview that we shared last year, it's sure to be full of interesting anecdotes and insights into the development of the games she was involved with like The Secret of Monkey Island and Freddi Fish.

If you get time to watch it before we do, be sure to share any fascinating insights in the comments!

One of the advantages of being Noah Falstein is that he gets to be a beta tester for Return to Monkey Island, and you do not. To further parade this privilege, the battle-tested veteran participated in a new interview with Twitch streamer Cressup (the selfsame host who brought you that rather terrific conversation with Mike Stemmle for EMI's 30th anniversary).

So okay, Noah's depicted motives might partially be projection on my part, but you would be right to presume that the talk touches on the subject of ReMI, and he drops some intriguing hints about the thematic depths Ron set out to plumb with the game.

You should check out the full interview, which is wide-ranging, but forumite "neocolor8", who knows how you operate, has got the time-stamped URL for the ReMI part.

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitch

Amazon is continuing its monthly run-up to Return to Monkey Island by offering yet another Monkey Island title for free: Escape from Monkey Island. And look, I don't know how these newfangled Prime Gaming services work, but presumably, you log into your account and claim the game. Presumably. It's not like one can have too much Escape from Monkey Island -- editor Thrik recently claimed it to be "the most beautiful game in the series," after all. (Might have been paraphrased.)

Seeing as we’re already hanging out in 2004, we might as well get comfortable there.

During this week’s "Star Wars Celebration" in Anaheim (the same event that brought you Willow and Indiana Jones 5 glimpses), it was announced that Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords will be arriving on Switch June 8th. The port is being developed by Aspyr, the studio responsible for the recent Switch versions of the original KOTOR, Star Wars: Episode I - Racer, Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Republic Commando, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and probably fifty others. Check out a trailer below:

Obsidian’s KOTOR II was of course the sequel to BioWare’s 2003 blockbuster. After the game got a spectacular reaction at E3 2004, LucasArts rewarded the team by pushing up its release date to December of that year. Though the final game was received positively enough, it was lost on no one that it was rushed – some have said incomplete. I’d assume, then, that this promise of “Restored Content DLC” at the end of the trailer is the biggest selling point, but I’ll leave it to people who have actually played this game to talk knowledgeably about that.

The appendix of the Freelance Police folio threatened that it would be a “living document” to be updated if new material ever came to light. Though successful in nabbing most of the key team members for interviews that would inform the article, I was unable at the time to make contact with Steven Chen – a regrettable omission, as he was Lead Designer on the game.

You may be familiar with Chen from his work on Indiana Jones and Infernal Machine; his Indy bona fides were later leveraged on Staff of Kings (the cancelled, good version). In the middle there, he also had a dalliance with Double Fine where, as one of the original employees, he worked on Psychonauts for the first two of its sixty years in production.

Well, now you’re about to be more familiar: Mojo bumped into Chen by chance at a monster truck rally the other day, and, after being plied with enough candy and cheese popcorn, he agreed to dredge up his memories of working on two of the most promising games LucasArts put on the docket in its post-2000 era. Both of which were of course killed, because, you know, LucasArts. Consequently, there’s a new inclusion in the Freelance Police interview compendium here, while the article itself has been quietly nourished with the designer’s insights.

Now then, who’s left?

Special thanks to retired Mojo staffer telarium for helping us get in touch with Chen. And of course, extra special thanks to Steven himself for taking time out for us.

Ron "zo" Gilbert took his website, GrumpyGamer down the other week (I'm not going to find out exactly when, what do you take me for, a journalist?) prompting many in the community to speculate that it was due to a vocal minority of disgruntled 'fans' unhappy with what they've seen of Return to Monkey Island so far and not afraid to swear at the developers about it.

It turns out there might be a nugget of truth to those speculations, because the site is now back with an article called When I Made Another Monkey Island, in reference to that other one. He seems keen to make a few things clear.

For example, he'd like you to know that whatever his idea for MI3 was way back when, it was a nothing. There wasn't enough of a vision in the first place for it to become ruined.

The totality of that idea was "Guybrush chases the demon pirate LeChuck to hell and Stan is there." That's it. That's all it was.

There you have it. The plan for Monkey Island 3, in its entirety.

He goes on to give what I think is a spirited defense of the art style they chose for the game in the context of the history of Monkey Island, expresses disappointment with some of the fan response so far, and finishes with a plea to fans to join them in this ride. I don't think I can entirely do it justice in quotes so you'll just have to read it. I will leave you with one tantalising tidbit about the music, though:

The music Michael, Peter, and Clint are doing is equally amazing. It's not AdLib, Sound Blaster, or even Roland MT-32 music. Its stunning, interactive, and recorded live.

I'm giving you permission to get excited about Return to Monkey Island, people. I know you have it in you. Or as Ron puts it:

Return to Monkey Island is an incredible rollercoaster. Get on and have some fun or stomp out of the amusement park because it's not exactly the rollercoaster you wanted.

The Unofficial Sam & Max Website, once the go-to hub for Sam & Max news (a role assumed by samandmax.co.uk/ these days) got out of the day-to-day business somewhere around 2008, and you probably didn’t fail to notice its reduction to a static splash screen thereafter. This abandonment was perhaps in part because the staff was too busy making Sam & Max games to cover them, but let’s not trip over ourselves making excuses for those deadbeats.

Well as luck would have it, all these years later, new life has been breathed into the domain. The site has been relaunched and re-envisioned as Sam & Max Headquarters. The idea doesn’t seem so much to be producing content as serving as a flashy jumping-off point for all the online Sam & Max destinations deemed worthwhile through the parochial lens of a Web 2.0 world, though I also got a funny kinda feelin’ that there’s more to come.

Anyway, what’s going on there already is pretty neat-o, so show your support for mouseover hi-jinks and giddy up.

I know we report on these Prime Gaming inductions with a certain tone of discharging our duties (humor me on the we/our thing), but this time around there’s a little twist. CMI is indeed going to be one of six games being added to the service on May 1st, but apparently that came to pass because certain folks in the organization were really lobbying for it.

How brightly does the love for CMI burn at Amazon? Well, try on for size the fact that Principal Publishing Producer Amir Satvat put together a ten-minute video thesis arguing that the Plunder Island section of the game is “the greatest hour of video game gameplay ever made.” I mean, this is worth watching before you realize how much it’ll torque off Remi!

Comments: 3 / Source: Forbes

History tells us that it’s always a mistake to expose staffers Benny and elTee to information of any kind. Naïve to their indefatigably compulsive ways, Dave Grossman had no idea what he was unleashing when he innocently mused in 2014 about an unlisted monochrome graphics mode for Monkey Island 2.

But those familiar with the personalities involved found it all too unsurprising when this ignited a near decade-long saga that even the most confirmed of basement-dwelling obsessives would go on to call, “rather sad.” Unmoved by pleas from concerned friends to walk back from the brink, the two defiantly embarked upon an unsolicited quest to resolve this most unremarkable footnote in SCUMM esoterica that guaranteed no wider interest and could only ever end in anticlimactic frustration – all the qualities that make for a classic article, in other words.

One of the bummers that goes along with most of the old hosted sites being lost to time is that a number of them were home to valuable interviews. Where possible, we like to try to import such orphaned archival content to that greatest of rescue shelters: Mixnmojo.

Today's rescues are interviews from the late, great iMuse Island. They were all conducted by the site’s able webmaster Luc Gilbertz and come from the period of 2000-2003. Improve your education and relive historical conversations with…

  • Clint Bajakian, fresh off his work on Escape from Monkey Island.
  • Peter McConnell, talking all the things that were relevant in 2003. Hey, remember that incident when he and Michael Land started a software company?
  • Jeff Kliment, the then-manager of the LucasArts Sound Department, with a few welcome intrusions by voice director Darragh O’Farrell.
  • Daniel “Wolk” Strandberg, composer of “Zak 2,” which, unique among Zak McKracken fan sequels, didn’t actually get finished. If that’s a subject that interests you, by the way, there’s no better resource than The Zak McKracken Archive.

This might be a good time to mention that such resurrections are not Easter exclusive, and that any retired webmasters who would like Mojo to keep their legacy content alive (or even to help you relaunch your site altogether) should pick up the phone and dial 1-800-ZAARIN, or for actual results reach out via webmonkey@mixnmojo.com or Twitter.

Adventure Gamers may have broken the seal, but they're not the only site interested in talking to Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman about a new Monkey Island. And so, after Mojo made it clear that the game just isn't relevant enough to Willow to work for us, the designers turned to The Verge to divulge more about Return to Monkey Island.

Though the screenshots included are the same crop shared with Adventure Gamers, what you want are those sweet anecdotes. Consider this one involving Dom and weeping:

How did [Armato] react to hearing you wanted him back for the role of Guybrush?

Gilbert: He was pretty stunned. I knew him, but obviously, we never worked together because we didn’t have voice back then.

But I kind of knew him, and I was at about the point that I wanted to loop him into what we were doing. I live in Seattle, and just by chance, he was visiting Seattle that weekend. So I said, “Hey, let’s get together, just have a coffee, and I can tell you about my new game, air quotes.”

We got together, we had coffee, and I think he was very interested in the new game, almost kind of wondering whether maybe he could have a voice part in it. And then I told him that it was the new Monkey Island, and he was just floored. Which is a reaction I get from a lot of people. Before, when we were bringing people on, and we’d talk to them, the minute I mentioned, “I’m making a new Monkey Island….” One person literally started crying. They were so happy that this was happening. So I think Dominic was really floored that we were doing it and extremely happy.

When Dom is happy, we are happy. Well, as happy as we can be while noticing that you aren't yet reading the full interview.

Your old pal and prolific Adventure Gamers contributor Emily Morganti is back to her hard-hitting ways, having snagged Ron Gilbert (and Dave!) for his first proper interrogation following the announcement of Return to Monkey Island. While our attorneys won’t allow us to make an accusation of bribery outright, we’re authorized to pass along the rumor that Cheese Squigglies™ were exchanged.

The interview includes some specifics about how ReMI* came into being, which involved Ron loosening up a bit on the position of ownership, but in the first place having the right connections:

The whole thing came about because I was talking to Nigel [Lowrie] from Devolver. We got together, I think it was at PAX, and we just started talking. He had mentioned that he knew John Drake, that they were friends, and John Drake was in charge of, I think, the licensing at Lucasfilm Games. So he wanted to approach [John] about doing a Monkey Island, and I thought sure, let’s see if anything goes.

Check out the full exclusive for the rest of the good stuff, which includes - oh yeah - the first screenshots.

*Remi has “suggested” that this be the abbreviation Mojo perpetuates for Return to Monkey Island, and we didn’t find his bolt action argument easy to disagree with.

Authenticated original The Secret of Monkey Island posters are thin on ground these days, and when one turns up in mint condition, it is valuated by Lloyd’s of London at around $18 trillion. This is by way of setting the stage for Dave Grossman’s latest tweet:

Hey, you can’t put a price on a clever arts and crafts project. Well I mean you can, but it’d just be too depressing. Seriously, it should be said that it was Dave’s property to do with what he wanted. I will contend though that the cocktail napkins he made out of the Maya codices were a bit much.

Ronzo is in a saucy mood and decided to tease his legion with confirmation of another reprised character. In fact, the very first character ever seen in a Monkey Island game:

The great Rob Paulsen was in fact the voice of the Melee Island lookout in The Secret of Monkey Island special edition, so it's cool that they're keeping consistency there.

Of course, with all these signs that we're returning to Melee, we're teased with the possibility that we'll get to see what The International House of Mojo looks like, Rex Crowle style. To think, Ron went to all this trouble as an elaborate excuse to supply us with a new logo.

Comments: 5 / Source: Twitter

It’s been two days. You’ve all had your fun, and now it’s time to turn to pressing matters.

It’s time to put our feet back on the ground, drop the nonsense, stop forestalling the inevitable and embrace our duty.

It’s time to vote on the best Monkey Island official site.

  • First up you got your basic Curse of Monkey Island official site, all right. Now with this one you get HTML frames, chattering Murrays, and a developer diaries section filled with vintage Dan Pettit anecdotes. An easy choice for those with discerning tastes who also need to stay within a sensible budget.
  • Fancier customers may not be prepared to settle for less than Escape from Monkey Island's official site, a triumph of judicially-appointed UI controls and conservative screen resolution expectations. It is said that if you contemplate its all-encompassing blueness with deep enough concentration, you can actually start to levitate. And, ladies: it's said to be single.
  • And then there’s the newest contender of the pageant, an oven-fresh splash screen for Return to Monkey Island organically sourced and tailor-fit for the modern sensibility. Sleek. Elegant. Purple. These are but a few of the elements lifted shamelessly from Mixnmojo, but we admire anyone with the good sense to steal from the best.

There you have it. To which does your heart belong? Cast your vote in the comments, or declare loudly to Lucasfilm through indifference that they were wrong to revive this series. Whichever expresses your feelings best.

We're not quite through selflessly promoting "Video Game History Hour" - that would be the podcast of the Video Game History Foundation - which just last week delivered another Mojo-baiting episode by having Noah Falstein as their guest.

Noah's always a great listen, and this is no exception. He also at one point mentions having a "thick stack of design docs" still in his possession, which can only be interpreted as fishing for a bribe. Anyway, treat yourself to recollections from one of the industry's most storied careers, and thank me later.

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