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It wouldn't be Halloween in a week if Dave Grossman wasn't carving a pumpkin up into something delightfully grotesque, would it? Take a look at the latest addition to the Pumpkin House of Horrors.

Update: Turns out Mixnmojo's already covered this news item, making this a scenic route towards that obligatory second link.

On Tuesday, the passing of prolific voice actor Jack Angel was reported by multiple outlets. Among his many roles across film, television and video games, Angel contributed voice work to a number of LucasArts titles, including Star Wars: Dark Forces, Full Throttle, Outlaws, and most notably Grim Fandango, where he played the roles of Bruno Martinez, Seaman Naranja, and ol' Chepito, whose substandard sense of direction and undying love for the "Lil' Chipper" were legendary.

Happily, Angel's talent is eternalized via these classics. Now lift those knees, stay close to his light, and try to sing in key:

Dave Grossman's unflappable tradition of pumpkin desecration enters what I think might be its twenty-fifth year with his latest installment, dubbed "Brain Worm".

Indulge your sick curiosity and enjoy the past entries all over again while you're over there.

Cartoonist extraordinaire Graham Annable, whose Grickle was adapted into the Puzzle Agent universe, will be releasing his “first ever doodle collection” next month. Here’s the product description:

The first ever Graham Annable Doodle Collection puts on paper a carefully chosen selection of some of the best Graham Annable cartoons to appear on Instagram from the past 6 years of over 2000 illustrations by Mr. Annable. With out-of-control frogs, pug-chefs, alien-dogs, to murdering-muppets, you will not want to miss this opportunity to hold in your hands such a gem of cartooning lunacy. Hurry now while supplies last!

And here’s the pre-order link.

If you stretch your memory back to 2006-2007, you might recall that Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings was supposed to be a big deal. Billed as a next-gen/AAA/Xtreme title, it was promoted as the character’s grand, interactive comeback from LucasArts following a long drought of non-casual Indy games since Emperor’s Tomb (2003).

Well, that drought never actually ended, because Staff of Kings wound up being a victim of that classic LucasArts pitfall: a transition at the upper level. The end result was that the studio felt it had to choose between putting its resources either toward a Star Wars game or a Not Star Wars game – another LucasArts signature – and the right to live predictably went to The Force Unleashed, which reputedly shared some of the same tech that was meant to power Indy.

Staff of Kings – in its original form, anyway – was thus cancelled, leaving some low-end third party adaptations for the Wii and handhelds to be burned off after the fact. There was an additional, unexpected casualty amidst all this: a fully completed novelization of Staff of Kings by go-to Indy author Rob MacGregor. What happened exactly to this unpublished tie-in gets kinda complicated, so let me just steal this excellent overview provided by “throwmethewhip”, who also reveals the happy ending that I’m really trying to report here:

In 2008, as merchandising efforts kicked up to coincide with the release of Indy4, one long-teased piece of media, a next gen video game with exciting new physics technology, was conspicuously absent. Behind the scenes of that project, there was production trouble. The next gen versions were canceled and production shifted focus toward the Wii. Ultimately on June 9th, 2009, with very little fanfare, Staff of Kings released for the Wii, PS2, DS and PSP. It was not well-received.

Meanwhile, veteran Indiana Jones author, Rob MacGregor was confused. Rob had written 6 of the prequel novels in the 90s and had been contracted to make his triumphant return to the world of our favorite adventurer with a novelization of Staff of Kings. But his book had not released alongside the game.

Rob has recounted this story at length on an old blog, but in short— the publisher, Bantam, forgot due to the year long delay of the game. Initially, they blamed Rob for not getting the manuscript submitted on time, but he reminded them that he had it in well ahead of the original deadline back in 2008. They did admit their error, but ultimately decided against publishing it; the game after all was not a commercial or critical success. And with that Rob’s novel was lost to the sands of time…

Or was it?

Fast forward several years and Dale Dassel convinced Rob to allow him to format the book. @cg_illus was commissioned to provide artwork. The hope was to persuade Bantam to release the manuscript as an ebook as all the work was done. Ultimately this too failed.

To my knowledge, seven copies of that manuscript were made. This is one of those copies! Fully formatted!

For years now, I have heard people say that the book was leaked and available. It has not been. It has never been sold to anyone and NEVER will be. I know where all seven copies are.

And so now, an announcement:

The book will make its public debut as a month by month, chapter by chapter reading completely free on Rob’s podcast starting in July! Rob has graciously asked me to make this announcement!

So there you have it! I don’t know the actual name of said podcast right this second, but I have until July to figure it out.

Onetime friends of Mojo (and of the seminal Remi and Stefan Do Spokane podcast), Panic, is getting close to open preorders for their bizarrely fun-looking Playdate. The $179 handheld console will also have an optional stereo dock. More importantly, one of its twenty-four titles is Sasquatchers, which is being developed by – no introduction needed – Chuck Jordan and Jared Emerson-Johnson (music and sound, natch). Additionally, Jared is involved with DemonQuest 85, in addition to familiar names like Alex Ashby, Lawrence Bishop, and Duncan Fyfe. (And also Belinda Leung – I don’t recognize the name, but based on the company she keeps, I will assume she is awesome.)

So: Playdate. Next month. Mojo-relevant games. What’s not to love?

Update! salty-horse points out that a game about "Forrest Byrnes," the Firewatch mascot is also under development. I'm now officially excited!

Following IGN, Kotaku, and Gamespot, Mixnmojo is making an appeal to anyone reading this to consider donating blood to Palestinian humanitarian groups or money to the following charities.

This is not a political post. It is an exceptional humanitarian appeal. Palestinian resistance to an ethnic cleansing campaign to “forcibly remove” them from their homes in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood escalated to mobs of Israeli settlers chanting “Death to Arabs” through the city and, now, to Israeli Air Force missiles bombing Gaza.

It is impossible to watch the situation on the ground and not want to help. Please watch that video.

Yesterday, Israel destroyed the Associated Press and Al Jazeera offices in the city. Entire families are killed. Images of children or children with thousand-yard stares cleaning bloody floors fill Arab media outlets, even as Facebook and Twitter independently claim that “glitches” have prevented posts on the situation spreading on their social media platforms.

Israel has been supported in this by the US and UK. As such, we urge anyone reading this to call their democratic representatives and ask them to pressure Israel to end its campaigns in Gaza and Jerusalem, even if they think it’s pointless. You can find your representatives here: The USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The following charities are apolitical and do humanitarian work in a place that badly needs it:

- Medical Aid for Palestinians

- The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

- Middle East Children’s Alliance

- Anera

- Palestine Appeal 2021

- Global Giving’s Gaza Emergency Relief Fund

Mojo will resume its dog and bunny adventure game coverage after this.

As long as we're on the subject of Laserschwert, did you know that he recently gave his frame-ready poster download of the Monkey Island 2 cover art a material upgrade? You better give your eyeballs a head-up on this one.

You see, a 1991 issue of the UK-based magazine "The One" contained a large, fold-out poster of Purcell's artwork, making it a superior scanning source to the box, or for that matter anything else known to exist. A generous fan in possession of that particular issue heard the call of duty and sent the precious reference material to the pre-eminent authority in this field, who then worked his arts:

Read more and collect your upgrade in Laserschwert's stickied poster thread, where the latest version of his offerings can always be found.

Boy, it's almost like reading the forums is a good idea or something.

You've seen the tease. Now see Scuba Max vs. Octopus and the Rubber Pants Commandos in their full glory:

You want to read such news hot off the presses, you go to samandmax.co.uk. You want to read it with a purple background, you wait for Mojo's artisanal approach.

We all know and love Laserschwert for his important contributions to the art of LucasArts postercraft, and have for some time now. But while Mojo recognizes greatness on sight, the mainstream media, typically dazzled by the distracting rather than the first rate, has been slow to kiss the ring.

Are they starting to wise up? That's the signal being put out by the latest issue of Retro Gamer. Operating under the preposterous alias of Jan Hofmeister, Laserschwert sat for an interview that appears in their March issue. You can buy your very own copy below.

You’ve already borrowed against your mortgage to afford those terrific Sam & Max action figures from Boss Fight Studio, so what’s another overextension to afford the next batch? Behold this new tease for “Wave 2”:

It’s been a while since the design for Wave 2 was unveiled, so to refresh your memory its two offerings are supposed to consist of the Rubber Pants Commandos and “Scuba Max” fighting an octopus. This is shaping up to be quite a year for Sam & Max stuff!

After taking last year off, The Pumpkin House of Horrors has made its diabolical return. This year's carving is topical, yet in the same grisly tradition you know and love. Check it out, and revisit the legacy collection while you're there.

Don't scare us like that again, Dave.

Being cool and popular, we recently received the following email:

Hi Mixnmojo,

My name’s Tim. I worked with George “The Fat Man” Sanger for a long time to release his master recordings from the Humongous Entertainment games he worked on. We worked really hard on the albums, restoring and remixing a lot of lost content, and taking them from raw ADATs to excellent listener-ready spreads. Now they’re finally out.

They sound fantastic, missing the 11025Hz distortion so characteristic of SCUMM games with digital music, and I thought your readers might be interested.

They can be found at thefatmanandteamfat.bandcamp.com

I run the Curator YouTube channel, too, which has some fun Putt-Putt related interviews and other content you might like.

Thanks for the great coverage over the years!

Do I need to draw you a road map? Go download those digitally liberated soundtracks right now!

Comments: 4 / Source: Bandcamp
A release date has been announced for a new book featuring some classic LucasArts locations. Virtual Cities: An Atlas & Exploration of Video Game Cities by Konstantinos Dimopoulos (illustrated by Maria Kallikaki) is a fascinating-looking hardback that takes a detailed look at some of the digital environments that video games have thrown at us over the years, and of course no such book would be complete without a few adventure games. Here's the official word:

Virtual cities are places of often-fractured geographies, impossible physics, outrageous assumptions and almost untamed imaginations given digital structure. This book, the first atlas of its kind, aims to explore, map, study and celebrate them. To imagine what they would be like in reality. To paint a lasting picture of their domes, arches and walls. From metropolitan sci-fi open worlds and medieval fantasy towns to contemporary cities and glimpses of gothic horror, author and urban planner Konstantinos Dimopoulos and visual artist Maria Kallikaki have brought to life over forty game cities.

If this is your kind of thing, check out the full list of featured cities here, or if you want me to do your cherry-picking for you, the adventure games featured are Grim Fandango, Monkey Island 2, Gabriel Knight 1, Beneath a Steel Sky, and Dreamfall Chapters.

The book is released on November 12 2020 and I've pre-ordered my copy, because this is about as close as I'll get to visiting Rubacava. Well, until I'm dead, anyway.

We previously reported on Bill Tiller's involvement in a crowdfunded board game called The Shivers, which has seen unreasonable success.

Well, the folks behind the project have just added three new members to their team, and guess what two of them have in common?

  • Larry Ahern Larry is a former LucasArts adventure game designer/writer/artist currently working in the California theme park industry. He is part of the creative vision behind such beloved titles as Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and The Curse of Monkey Island. For The Shivers, he'll be writing some of the episodes included in the Core game, bringing his unique blend of cleverness and humor to our pop-up adventure!
  • Jared Sorensen Considered to be one of the founding fathers of indie roleplaying, Jared started publishing tabletop RPGs back in the '90s (he's also another LucasArts alumni) . In 2003, he created Action Castle, the first-ever Parsely game that brings the intrigue of '80s-style text based adventures onto tabletops around the world. For The Shivers, Jared will be overseeing and editing all of our 16 initial episodes to ensure they flow logically and intuitively with minimal continuity problems.

It's only a matter of time before Tim Schafer closes up shop and follows everyone else to this pot of gold.

The "top-down" shoot-em-up Zombies Ate My Neighbors was a favorite of the 16-bit era and not even the sole classic to come out of LucasArts in 1993. It is also, seemingly, among the most sequelizable games ever made.

Despite this, its potential as a series has been weirdly explored. It did get one official sequel, Ghoul Patrol, but that apparently began as an unrelated game only to be redecorated as a Zombies follow-up at the eleventh hour. A spiritual successor, Herc's Adventures was made by key members of the Zombies team but is technically not part of the brand, even if the branding is all that's missing.

Two obscure successors always seemed to be a rather limp legacy for a game that is still so fondly remembered, and apparently there are some developers that agree. Enter Demons Ate My Neighbors! by Tuned-Out Games and HumaNature Studios. Says Nintendo Enthusiast:

The premise of the game is a cursed VHS tape has turned Fairweather Valley into “a den of horrors,” ruining April and Joey’s relaxing summer. Now it’s up to them to use squirt guns filled with holy water to save everyone, while also battling creatures inspired by classic horror films.

If the title and premise don't convince you that this title is explicitly intended as an unambiguous tribute to Zombies Ate My Neighbors, the screenshot in the full write-up will. Look for Demons Ate My Neighbors! on Nintendo Switch and PC sometime in 2021, preferably with a Player 2 on hand.

News for a slow news day (since nothing's happening in the outside world):

YouTube user NoirReservoir wants to know your opinions on The Curse of Monkey Island, the best game in the series, which you can provide by clicking here. Do you like the music? The puzzles? El Pollo Diablo? Let 'em know.

This came to our attention via the Twitter account LucasArts fans, who said they'd be happy if we noticed them. Hi, losers. Sorry, we jocky, cool kid adventure game types can't share a table with you sweaty ne--How the hell do they have twice the number of Twitter followers that Mixnmojo does?

For shame. After you've done the survey, follow Mixnmojo on Twitter, you mangy curs. (And also those upstart LucasArts Adventure Fans.)

Many, many, many years ago we published reviews for all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which at the time were part of a trilogy. Now, just a little bit too late, we have completed the pentalogy, and reviewed the two last movies. Do we like them? Hate them? Do you care? All great questions, so go read!

Its been a while since the last Mojo podcast so to tide you over you might enjoy listening to the Super Marcato Bros video game music podcast. They dont have 4 guys arguing about which version of Loom is the best, but as podcasts go its pretty good.

Each week they analyse what makes the music in a particular game so great. To save you the trouble of searching here are some episodes that are of particular interest to Mojo readers:

Monkey Island 3 & 4
Monkey Island 1
Monkey Island 2
Sam and Max Hit the Road
Interview with Peter McConnell - his Lucasarts music
Interview with Peter McConnell - his post-Lucasarts music

When we're not stirring up controversy over resurrected Star Wars games the Mojo staff love nothing more than to relax with some good old handicrafts. Right now Jason is reaching the end of his Ozzie Mandrill knitting pattern and Remi has almost completed the tie-die swordmaster tshirts for his Etsy shop.

Its fortunate, then, that papercraft-maker Ninjatoes has created free papercraft models for EMI era Guybrush and Manny Calavera.

Find them and many more over at his blog.

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