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Craig Derrick is undoubtedly the most vocal - if not the only - Monkey Island enthusiast still on Lucasfilm payroll. Around 2008-2011, he was part of a small group at LucasArts (the-so-called "Heritage" team) who were pushing to get legacy revivals and small, original games off the ground. All they managed to convince Scrooge to greenlight in the end were the (highly outsourced) Monkey Island special editions and Lucidity.

This team no doubt intended to keep going, but inevitably the higher-ups got wind that somebody was being paid to think about something other than Star Wars and consequently ordered all of these developers shot [citation needed]. A bullet-ridden Craig managed to crawl out of the mass grave and even more impressively survive the shuttering of LucasArts by the Disney acquisition; today he serves some nebulous executive role at Lucasfilm.

What Craig does over there is anybody's guess, but every now and then he'll say something on Twitter that seems designed to titillate fans of the company's adventure game properties, which he is clearly a champion of. We're grateful he exists, and hopefully our sometimes moody expression of that gratitude can be forgiven when LucasArts' history with this sort of thing is accounted for. The latest:

Considering that Limited Run Games plans to release their Monkey Island boxed set in October, I have a hard time believing this doesn't relate to that. Perhaps Craig is one of the main Lucasfilm folks interfacing with Limited Run Games on this effort, and there are some exciting details (like extras?) forthcoming. We'll just have to wait and see. Might I respectfully suggest the authentic inclusion of the original versions of the first two games, which the special editions nobly fell short of?

Comments: 5 / Source: Twitter

As someone whose experience playing Maniac Mansion on the NES (30th anniversary, incidentally!) was a formative one, that game means a lot to me. Consequently I’ve had a lot of inchoate and way-too-personal thoughts over the years about the game’s atmosphere, how promotional imagery managed to capture it, and how Day of the Tentacle opted to recast it. I also find myself struck by the attractively open-ended future this fairly unexamined series has, should anyone care to give it one.

Regrettably, I didn’t bother to actually pull those thoughts together before publishing them in an article, but hopefully the pretty pictures will distract from that. Don’t be a tuna-head; read it, and preferably not on a phone! MojoEx isn't up to it.

Over on their Youtube channel, PC Gamer is running a video series called “Reinstall”, which seems to consist of capsule retrospectives for selected games. LucasArts’ two 1995 graphic adventure releases, Full Throttle and The Dig, made the cut; enjoy their episodes below.

We’re really bringing out the big guns today!

Twelve years ago, Jason bought a poster -- a Maniac Mansion one specifically. Fast-forward to 2020, and he finally got it framed, a momentous occasion. And who are we to deny you from reading such a tale of excitement and intrigue? We give to you: Jason Frames His Maniac Mansion Poster: A Gripping Account .

Conversely, taking twelve years to frame a poster seems indicative of how we procrastinate about anything and everything around here, but either way... Read!

Oh, and want to show off your framed LEC posters to the world? There's a forum thread for that.

This one was irresistible. It turns out that The Orlando Sentinel does a pretty admirable job of digitizing its archives, as this online version of an editorial from August 16th, 1991 proves.

Here's how it opens:

We're getting letter after letter from readers wanting to know more about the Nintendo Entertainment System's Maniac Mansion ($54.95). To answer everybody's questions about this great (not to mention funny) strategy game, we'll take you on a run-through from the beginning. Remember, this is just one of dozens of possible scenarios. Try it out and use the same kind of strategy to solve the game with other characters.

You'll have to read the article if you want to see their useful hints for yourself. Tough break for the LucasFilm Games hint line.

Anyway, this is awesome. And a reminder that video games were always appallingly expensive. I would point out that the Nintendo version of Maniac Mansion was released in September 1990, so if they were getting "letter after letter" eleven months later, the game must have been big in central Florida -- and particularly so relative to the rest of the country, as the cartridge did not sell well enough to earn a second North American printing.

Because it is apparently compulsive for LucasArts legends to subject themselves to 90-minute interviews over Zoom, David Fox strapped himself into a headset and took his turn for a grilling over broadband. He and the interviewer cover a lot of ground about halcyon LEC, so do check it out when you're done with the Tim one, and just hope that someone will give enough of a damn about you when you are David Fox's age to put you through this:

Fox is apparently the darling of YouTube, as he's sat for quite a number of these over the years, and I doubt we've caught them all. If you find yourself craving more, Youtube is your friend.

First, so we don’t bury the lede: If you want to play the talkie-edition prototype of Monkey Island 2, we are here to provide: Download it right here.

Of course, when I say “we”, the credit belongs to Nicolas Deneschau, the gentleman author of the French Monkey Island tome, "Les mysteres de Monkey Island: à l'abordage des pirates!" Not only did he provide the file, he also conducted interviews with Aric Wilmunder (the man behind the voiced prototype, and also the voice of Rapp Scallion) and Khris Brown (LEC’s famed casting director). Make sure to read all the way to the bottom for instruction on how to get the prototype to run under DOSBox. Check it out now.

And Mojo wouldn’t be Mojo without without Benzo hacking his way into the prototype. If you’re the type of person who find deepdives into resource files interesting — and seeing you are reading this, you probably do — go read it, too.

In summation: A playable prototype; interviews; hacking tutorials. Mojo has it all for you. Go read, and expect more from this, because we’re going to milk this for what it’s worth.

And if you enjoy this kind of fine, quality content, why not contribute a donation to our Patreon campaign? Only you can ensure the continued excellence of Mojo and its vast ocean of exclusive features!

Way back in 2002, LucasArts.com, which was a site that once existed (ask your grandparents), underwent a revamp as the studio was celebrating its then 20th anniversary. In an effort that arguably represented the only substantial content the official site ever laid claim to, a 20th anniversary section was launched with all sorts of multimedia goodies. Aside from the immediately looted concept art gallery, most of that stuff has been lost to time, presuming you can't be motivated to board The Wayback Machine.

Among the offerings were three nice features -- one a four-part history of the studio, one a collection of employee memories, and one a series of profiles of five veteran developers: Jon Knoles, Sean Clark, Eric Johnston, Mike Stemmle, and Larry Holland. Thinking that these pieces deserved better than being lost to the ages, we went ahead and ported them to Mojo for posterity:

As you might expect, not all media survived the Wayback Machine crawls, and LOL on trying to match the LucasArts.com layouts in MojoEx to any pleasant effect. But whatever, at least they're essentially intact, and can now be enjoyed for centuries to come. Or until Zaarin misses a payment next Tuesday.

It's a listicle ranking. It's someones opinion. Have at it, or just live and let live...

20 BEST POINT AND CLICK GAMES YOU’LL PROBABLY CLICK WITH

While you count down the hours to tomorrow's Limited Run release of Star Wars Episode I Racer, you can spend your time wondering if a buying a single boxed anthology of the first three four Monkey Island games is something you'd be willing to do.

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View the tweet.

Due for launch this October, so a bit of time to save your silver coins.

Update by Remi: As you may already have noticed, Escape from Monkey Island will too be bundled. JP's paycheck has already been docked due to his embarrassing error.

Staring at a screen with nothing to do? Here's something to while away the hours until normalcy returns. Video Game Newsroom Time Machine has published a brand new interview with LucasArts alum, Noah Falstein.

You will primarily remember Falstein as co-lead designer on both Last Crusade and Fate of Atlantis games, but his name appears in most of the classic LucasArts adventures somewhere. From Maniac Mansion to LeChuck's Revenge, and even Thimbleweed Park, his fingerprints are there.

So what else is there to say? Go listen!

Other than arcade flight sequences in Battlefront FPS games, it's been 21 long years since the Star Wars space fighter pilot seats were warmed.

The game was leaked as Project Maverick a while ago, and has just been revealed as Star Wars Squadrons with a full trailer reveal due in the next day. Expected to be available for PC, Playstation, and Xbox.


Youtube link

I can't wait for the Uncle Antan plotline to finally get a resolution.

Update: Full details here. "Take full control of different starfighter classes from both the New Republic and Imperial fleets, such as the X-wing and TIE fighter. Modify your ship, divert the power between its systems, and destroy your opponents in strategic space dogfights... Compete in intense 5v5 dogfights, unite with your squadron to tip the scales in monumental fleet battles, and take off in a thrilling Star Wars™ single-player story. Immerse yourself in the pilot’s seat completely with the option to play the entirety of Star Wars™: Squadrons in virtual reality (VR) on PlayStation®4 and PC with cross-play support."

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitter

You may our may not have seen/heard this one before, but either way, why not relive the proof-of-concept voice-over for Monkey Island 2?

Starring Ron Lussier as Guybrush and Aric Wilmunder as Rapp Scallion.

For those who don't Twitter:

That's two hours from now, so find a comfy chair.

Comments: 9 / Source: Twitter

I ruffled some feathers earlier this week when I underestimated the nostalgia people had for Star Wars Episode 1: Racer. The repudiation of my assumptions continues with this paean to the Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace game published by The RetroBeat. Their argument is worthy of Criterion Collection liner notes:

Look, I’m not trying to suggest that the Episode I game is some massive hidden gem. It has not held up as well as other Star Wars games from that era, such as Episode I: Racer and Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. It also has some glaring problems, such as an awkward camera angle that is positioned far too high above your character and some lazy voice-acting.

But The Phantom Menace also has a lot of merit. It’s a snapshot of a much different time in the history of licensed video games, when developers were struggling to make 3D experiences that felt like true interactive versions of the moves they were based on. Eventually, this practice became much too expensive and difficult to create with a release date guaranteed to coincide with the release of a film, so now we see movies flock to the mobile space for their licensed games.

You know what, I'm just going to keep my mouth shut this time. Except to say this: If Masters of Teräs Käsi gets some sort of lionizing reappraisal next, a straitjacket's getting appended to my wardrobe rack.

The arms race for undeserving re-releases continues to heat up! Having already received a bogglingly reverent N64 cartridge recreation from Limited Run Games a while back, the 1999 bestseller Star Wars Episode 1: Racer is now getting ported to Switch and PS4 as well. Be amazed as James Vicari of Aspyr attempts to frame the most obvious tie-in product ever conceived as some sort of crown jewel of the LucasArts catalog. But he didn't count on the pushback from those notorious skeptics at StarWars.com. I'm kidding, of course:

StarWars.com: Star Wars Episode I: Racer is really fondly remembered. What do you think is the legacy of that game?

James Vicari: Legacy is an interesting thing to try and talk about. There’s like the pure metrics aspect, right? It’s one of the bestselling racing games of all time. At some level that means something, but it’s not the thing that makes people talk about a game 20 years later. That’s an intangible. And with Racer, I think its legacy is a very specific feeling of joy. When we announced it within the company, it was crazy how many faces lit up. Once we had it up and running, people from every department kept dropping in to check it out. If you’ve played it, you know. There’s just something about being in one of the coolest scenes from a Star Wars movie.

StarWars.com: Why is reintroducing Racer important to Aspyr?

James Vicari: Honestly, because good games should never be forgotten and great games deserve to be revisited as much as possible. I think Racer, like Jedi Academy and Jedi Outcast before it, has two crucial qualities: it’s a great game and it has emotional resonance. Those are very important to us. We really believe in reuniting fans with something they cherished, or connecting a new audience with something they may have missed.

Get ready to re-live the emotional resonance of Star Wars Episode 1: Racer May 12th.

MixnMojo may never sleep, but we are pretty damned lazy. How else can you explain taking two weeks to report on an amazing 3D animation featuring Ben Throttle? (Thanks to Scummbuddy for bring it to our attention.)

Red Knuckles Animation Studio are the incredible talents behind an ultra-realistic re-imagining of Full Throttle... that actually works.

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I'd embed the video right here but we don't support Vimeo. So here's a link instead: Full Throttle 2020.

Spectacular, eh?

It just isn't Lent without an anniversary of the cancellation of Sam & Max: Freelance Police.

Kind of weird to keep marking it every year like a bunch of creeps, I'll admit, but Mojo never was good at letting things go, and the event is, for better or for worse, an inextricable part of the site's history. And we'll be exploring that link in some depth soon.

I've recently let the cat out of the bag that we're at work on a big fat Sam & Max 2 feature. And when I say this article has got a calorie surplus, I'm talking President Taft, here. And we can't wait for you to see it, but unfortunately we need even more time to address a few...complexities...between now and publish time. And, to be frank, some of them were pretty darned avoidable. I don't why, for example, Remi insisted that the totality of the White Album be licensed for continuous streaming on each page of the article, but there's just no getting him to budge on his artistic principles. Your patience is appreciated.

In the meantime, make the most the occasion by reheating a Glazed MacGuffin or two and getting your pre-order of those deluxe figurines in. And have a thought for a graphic adventure that was guillotined amidst that bloody period of revolution in the Spring of 2004.

Our own Benny thought you should all check this out. Behold the laudable work of "Dude 27th":

Benny would have told you this himself, but the torrid fortune he's raked in from Quick and Easy Software over the years has enlarged his head, and at this point he exclusively communicates with his fellow Mixnmojo staffers in the form of snail mail dispatched through an elaborate network of high-priced attorneys. So it's left up to me, a man of the people, to pass the word along.

Edit: And because we're unstoppable lunatics who just can't help ourselves, here's a link to the mod to you can track its progress and support its creator.

Comments: 2 / Source: Bennyboy

Some of us might not have seen this one coming. From Limited Run’s Twitter:

Join Guybrush Threepwood as he seeks to complete three trials on Mêlée Island and become a full-fledged pirate. And all is not what it seems...
The Secret of Monkey Island gets a Limited Run for the Sega CD on Friday, February 28 at 10am & 6pm ET on http://limitedrungames.com.

Well, huh! Mojo will return with more.

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