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It’s a funny pun, apparently. “Monkey around.” Thirty years on, it’s still the pun du jour when writing about Monkey Island, with PC Gamer UK jumping on the bandwagon. The print magazine’s October issue will, as it seems, feature Return to Monkey Island prominently:

This month, we’re chatting to Ron Gilbert about the sequel that was never supposed to exist. The old Monkey Island team has a new perspective, from evolving its art style to modernising the point-and-click style of gameplay. What exactly is the plan for our dear Guybrush Threepwood all these years later? Monkey Island fans are in for a treat with the subscriber cover too, featuring gorgeous art of Guybrush’s favourite zombie pirate pal LeChuck.

Oh yeah, that cover…

… may very well be worth the price of admission alone. Chef’s kiss.

More over at PC Gamer.

First of all: Do not watch the video if you’re allergic to spoilers. They’re minor, but they’re there. In fact, stop reading if you want to play the game with fresh eyes, as I have some ramblings below the video.

So…

  • First, the dialogue is fantastic. Stylistically, right out of the first two games. You can fight me if you disagree.
  • The music features some suitable cues from The Secret of Monkey Island’s Mêlée Island map theme.
  • The Voodoo Lady proves that themed chains are a dangerous business. (Blink, and you’ll miss it.)
  • Still ten-o-clock.
  • Wally sounds notably older. “Ah I see Wally now has a third voice by the same voice actor” -Thrik.
  • Wally’s last name is, of course, Feed. Wally B. Feed.

There, just some observations of a fifty-second video that concludes today’s editorializing.

Look, this is beyond a longshot, but Reddit claims to have it, Return to Monkey Island’s release date: September 1st.

Take this with a BIG PINCH OF SALT: in Devolver Digital official website, the code of the page for Return to Monkey Island contains a block of structured data with information on the game.

There are two date "keys":

"date_override" : "Coming 2022" (which is what appears in the page to users)

"date" : "2022-09-01T12:00:00.000Z"

The Redditor goes on to speculate that it’s a placeholder, which... is likely.

Mojo, meanwhile, generally leans toward the more plausible Talk Like a Pirate Day: September 19th.

Update! A quick scan of a couple of Devolver's other upcoming games suggests they default to the first of the (presumed) release month. E.g. Skate Story has April 1st, 2023 set as "date" and "date_override" to "Coming 2023." Reigns: Three Kingdoms' "date" is December 1st, 2022 and "date_override" is "Coming 2022."

Geoff Keighley took to Twitter to announce gamescom will feature a “brand new” look at Return to Monkey Island on August 23rd, 11 am PDT.

What “brand new” means is anyone’s guess, but as Ronzo is involved, it should probably be interesting.

And, for your convenience, Mojo has an easy-to-tap-and-add calendar entry for you. Be reminded with no hassle to you—that’s the Mojo way of life!

Adjusted for inflation, $20 from 1990 would be roughly $45, which is a roundabout way to say that this is a good deal:

$25 for Return to Monkey Island? Granted, it isn’t official yet, but with Mojo’s stellar past with Brazilian hackers, we will just go ahead and trust this one, too.

Thanks to The Legend of Monkey Island for the heads up!

Here we go, then: Neo LeChuck:

To editorialize: I like it! Boen-esque yet with an individual spin. Suitable to the character. Very LeChuck. As for the blah-ing: If I were a betting man, I wouldn′t be surprised if, in the final game, the VO would fade into the background as we regain control of the game.

And that LeChuck′s Revenge-style music. Chef′s kisses all around.

Update! Sources have confirmed to Mojo that LeChuck is voiced by the prolific Jess Harnell. (The source being a Tweet from Ronzo.)

I mean, who knows exactly what’s going on, other than it looks like Mojo’s last Festivus party.

And sorry, no release date, yet.

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.

That whole Futurama “take my money” meme might be getting a bit overused at this point, but…

… for god’s sake, just tell me where to send it.

Dave Grossman just posted a short ten-second Return to Monkey Island teaser on Twitter, and cripes on toast...

Of note: Carla is the Governor, as evident by the election poster. It looks like some of the background animations aren’t done -- the meme-able crate-carrying ghost is standing oddly still -- but check out the silhouette in the SCUMM Bar. This all looks and sounds luscious.

The video is part of the #MonkeyIslandMonday promotion on Twitter -- Jason really wanted us to emphasize that because, quote: “news to me.”

Put your nostalgia boots on and check out the “Part I” screen of Return to Monkey Island:

“A Friendly Place” -- we can only assume that is Melee Island, and that the title might be a misnomer with the new guard taking over. Who knows, but for now: Gotta love the re-imagined music.

Twitch hostess extraordinaire Cressup is continuing to notch her belt with sensational long-form interviews. This time her subject is your lawful Guybrush and internet friend Dominic Armato, who so badly wants to share more about Return to Monkey Island than he's allowed to, but the sheer enthusiam he gives off is sales hype enough. Watch and be delighted.

Comments: 3 / Source: Cressup

So, you’ve watched the trailer a dozen times, yet you still want more. And Mojo provides: We’ve gone through each scene the trailer has to offer, grabbed screendumps, and written a light analysis of what we saw. Run and read it right now!

And feel free to share anything we may have missed. We’re nothing if not all about the dialogue around these parts.

PC. Nintendo. Awesomeness. Mojo will return with more soon. Just watch the damn thing.

Update! The official site has been turned into a small interactive game with screenshots, Stan, etc.

And to editorialize: If you don't at the very least respect the look of the game, you're dead inside. Dead!

Want to wishlist it? Steam has got you covered. Nintendo has it listed, too.

Update #2 Ron confirms a Mac release:

It will be released on the Mac. 90% of the programming team is on the Mac. Windows is the "port".

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.

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

Ron seems to be having fun zapping out teases for that little adventure game he's knocking together. And why not? For example:

While the true sickos inferred this back in April and so won't be surprised by the confirmation, Hammon's casting is a noteworthy departure from Return to Monkey Island's trend of reprising the voice actors from The Curse of Monkey Island and the Special Editions. Stan's been performed by three voice actors to date: Patrick Pinney was tapped for CMI and later the SEs, while Pat Fraley played Stan in EMI. Gavin Hammon voiced the character in TMI.

While I personally think all of Stan's voice actors have been good, I always found Pinney's delivery a bit lethargic for a character so pushy and animated, while Fraley may have been a slight overcorrection by going full-on Jim Carrey. Hammon felt like a nice balance to me at the time, so I'm happy to see him continue the part.

But that's just like, my opinion, man. So let's stick to facts. Statistics. Hard data. Like:

If Ron's on the level with that figure, it's pretty astounding. For reference, genuine epics like CMI, Grim Fandango and Psychonauts capped out in the upper thousands, while EMI was portrayed as being fairly bananas for hitting 10,000 voiced lines. This isn't a contest or anything, but ReMI is winning. Maybe Ron is juking the numbers by having these guys actually sing 1000 Bottles of Beer on the Wall?

Boy, those pirates must have been happy to get that phone call from their agents. Naturally, all this stuff is being discussed to a fare-thee-well in our world famous ReMI forum thread. And if you really need more reason than that to participate, it may interest you to know that the thread has been graced by the presence of none other than the voice of Guybrush and man of the people Dominic Armato. Or "Dmnkly," as he's known on the street. Enjoy his company before he comes to his senses.

GamesBeat — which, let there be no doubt, is VentureBeat’s gaming site — has sat down with ReMI art director Rex Crowle, for a short, yet content-heavy interview. A sample:

The Monkey Island games mean so many different things to different people it’s daunting having that range of hopes and desires pressing down on you. Some fans picture the earlier pixel art, some remember painterly clouds, some may have happy memories of giant mechanical monkey battles.

Monkey battles… The man isn’t afraid of controversies.

And while you wait for more art from the game — and for the record: I love everything we’ve seen so far — you can tide yourself over by reading VentureBeat’s other fascinating content, like “How a semiconductor metaverse could accelerate chip innovation!”

Update: Oh, you want a link to the interview, too? Fine, fine: Go read.

Ron Gilbert has gone on record to say:

Ron Gilbert

Making games in 2022 is a lot harder than making games in 1990.

The quote comes in the context of this being the year 2022 when Ron Gilbert is making a game called Return to Monkey Island, and comparing it to 1990, when Ron Gilbert was also making a game called The Secret of Monkey Island.

But how does Ron Gilbert feel about us reporting on this? To understand this, we must move to an earlier section of his remarks, which originate on Twitter. Revealingly, he says:

Ron Gilbert

You can quote me on this

Not only can we quote Ron Gilbert on this, but we did quote Ron Gilbert on this. Only history will be able to judge whether we should have quoted Ron Gilbert on this, but what history certainly cannot do is claim that we did not have permission to quote Ron Gilbert on this. It's right there in the text, which to be perfectly clear, reads as follows:

Ron Gilbert

You can quote me on this: "Making games in 2022 is a lot harder than making games in 1990."

Now, admittedly it's a little bit ambiguous whether he was only allowing us to quote him on the part about making games being harder in 2022 than in 1990 (i.e. "Making games in 2022 is a lot harder than making games in 1990.") and not the bit about being able to quote him on this, but we've quoted him on both now and it's too late to do anything about it.

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitter

Things are quiet right now, so imagine my joy when I find that Monkey Island creator Ronster has shared the entire contents of the Return to Monkey Island development diary!

Unfortunately it's about one page long and was left for dead in November 2020. But there are still some interesting insights to glean amongst the waffle about contracts and new starters.

For example, it looks like controlling Elaine was considered at one point, and the good old puzzle dependency charts — as discussed in the excellent Monkey Island 30th anniversary event by the Video Game History Foundation — have made a return.

And like me when I decided to replay the Monkey Island series recently, Ron was surprised at how many objects in the original game don't have custom responses, and generally found it quite painful to play. Which brings me to an article subject I've been considering recently: 'Was The Secret of Monkey Island even good?'.

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