It only makes sense that NRK (the Norwegian state broadcasting corporation) comes running to Mojo when they want the word out about yet another Return to Monkey Island interview. Read the story if you can, but for most, the video interview—which is quite good—is the better/only option.
I’m going by second-hand information here, but that is what friend-of-Mojo Laura Cress told us in an email. I haven’t had a chance to watch her new interview with Ron yet, but looking at the chapter listing, it does indeed look like a must-watch...
So do just that. Watch. Because you must.
That’s right, ReMI and Terrible Toybox are setting their sights on “Best Storytelling,” “Best PC Game,” and “Best Studio.” Not shabby, and they’re up against some large, mainstream names—an honor being nominated, and yada, yada, yada definitely does apply here.
Yet, the masses can vote, so go show ol’ ReMI some love right here.
While waiting for an official soundtrack to drop—and the wait could be a long one—we decided to take matters into our own hands and release each and every track from Return to Monkey Island ourselves. That’s four hours of music, spanning more than hundred-and-forty files. You can download the OGGs or listen to the whole shebang on YouTube...
.... granted, completely without chapters/track indicators. We’ll leave it to the semi-professionals to do proper remixes of all of this. Need an example? Check out this twenty-minute mix our in-house DJ made of “LeShip,” arguably the best suite in the game.
Now, see if you can live up to that.
There is an easter egg in Return to Monkey Island that refers to a hidden island. That’s about what I want to say about it, as I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t finished the game. (Though it’s really not a spoiler—it has nothing to do with the plot. Or much anything else.) If you know, you know: Read our article about Cogg Island right now if you so would like and learn about all its secrets.
Something that came up in the Mojo interview with Ron and Dave ahead of ReMI’s release was the promise of multiple endings:
Ron: Well, you will be happy to know that I think the ending…there’s a lot of interpretation that can go into the ending.
Marius: That’s what I meant.
Ron: So yeah, I think there will be that. And there’s five variations of the ending, depending on things you did. And they all kind of have different interpretations, and so I think you will find that good, yeah.
Well, it turns out that Ron was off by at least a factor of two, because our team of interns count no fewer than ten endings. Did you find them all? You may wanna refer to Mojo's handy breakdown to compare notes. And it goes without saying, folks who haven’t finished the game yet should stay far away.
Perversely, there appears to be an institutional expectation that there should be reviews of Return to Monkey Island beyond our own. But hey, we’re easy, we can play along. So check out our roundup of today’s many reviews beneath this rockin’ Nintendo launch trailer:
It’s been an excruciating wait, but finally, it has arrived, Return to Monkey Island. And, of course, we’ve put together a timely review, courtesy of one Jason.
To address the question many might have: There is a very small amount of spoilers in the review, but nothing that will ruin any real surprises. We’ve even put together a feature that blacks out all the screenshots. To re-enable them, just tap the toggle on top of the page or click the individual blurred-out images. (These do feature some minor spoilers.) And if you just want the conclusion, zero spoilers:
Return to Monkey Island is a gorgeous, vibrant, hilarious, endearing adventure that manages to live up to its pedigree (already a stratospheric standard before you account for the whole return-of-the-messiah business) and deliver a certain closure to three decades of frustrated innuendo -- but not too tidily, of course.
What else is there to say? Godspeed, everyone—take your time and enjoy the game. But only after reading our review.
“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” - Marius (probably)
If you think Mojo was done and dusted before Return to Monkey Island releases tomorrow, think again. Our German bureau chief, Marius, sat down with art director Rex Crowle to talk about the game, fandom, Marius’s hair… Everything!
Your mouth may be dry from anticipation, so refresh yourself with this nice, cool, tall drink while you await the game’s release, twenty-one hours from now.
If you live in the one true time zone -- Pacific -- I hope you have taken Monday off: 9 am is when you can be the social misanthrope we already knew you were, and unpack three days of provisions as you fire up ReMI. Hey, we’re in full support of it!
I’m guessing at this point you’re all primed to play Return to Monkey Island already and don’t need to continue to be sold on it by every disposable gaming blog in cyberspace (plus Mojo). But the fact is, previews continue to get mercilessly published as these last few days tick away, and apparently we’re a fan site so, it would feel wrong not to diligently round up the coverage for a new Monkey Island to the very end.
- IGN continues their week-long celebration of ReMI with a discussion with Ron and Dave about puzzle design. In the process, it’s confirmed (or was it already?), that there is a “Lite” and a Hard mode for the game. Be sure to check out IGN’s previous daily articles you might have missed, like their video glimpse of the game’s hint system.
- Eurogamer has its own interview, where among other things Ron and Dave ponder what an Elaine-centric Monkey Island might look like.
- GamesRadar+ has some quotes from the designer/writer duo about the horse armor DLC lampoonery, if that does anything for ya.
- 9news out of Australia was gonna be goddamned if they weren't getting in on the act, so they've got a nice chat of their own with the boys.
- And don’t look now, but it looks like Mojo got Ron back into blogging, as he saw fit to post our supercut of the #MonkeyIslandMonday clips over on Grumpy Gamer. I’m not saying we’re letting this go to our heads, but Thrik was last seen in public wearing a thirty foot crown with “Most Important Web Site, Per Ron” inscribed on it.
And to answer the question on everyone’s minds: Yes, Mojo will be publishing its review as soon as the embargo lifts. And who knows? We may not be done with our ReMI coverage even beyond that. My gosh, who knew the old jalopy could still work up a horsepower or two?
People used to die of starvation staring at the official Lucasfilm web presence in the hopes of finding acknowledgment of their graphic adventure game catalog. I guess times have changed, because the company has published a nice preview of Return to Monkey Island. Check it out and be dumbfounded that you find yourself alive in such a period of history.
As one could, should, and would, IGN has dedicated the week leading up to Return to Monkey Island to… well, just that. Monkey Island. So far, we’ve seen an interview and, possibly more interesting, the scrapbook in action. (IGN apparently doesn’t allow embedding videos anymore, so follow that link.) Gotta love that lush music.
Keep watching IGN for more the rest of the week—and we might have a couple of things up our sleeves ourselves.
Sales aren't usually newsworthy anymore, but Terrible Toybox is marking some game that they've made about some monkeys or whatever's release in a few days by slapping a big ol' 75% discount sticker on their last outing, 2017's Thimbleweed Park—a historical low, in the parlance of the Internet. The existential critical darling can be yours for $4.99 on Steam (but not, apparently, GOG).
#MonkeyIslandMonday as we know it is over -- next week will see the actual release of Return of Monkey Island. But you probably already knew that? As for today . . .
It's true: Guybrush didn't turn in the evidence for all three tasks , and thus he is not a pirate. Will this play a part in ReMI? We will see in a week.
Update: And for the days long gone, here are all the #MonkeyIslandMonday videos gathered into one super cut:
I won't editorialize the dialogue -- actually, I will: it's chef's kiss -- but interestingly we do get close-ups, and awesome they look, too. Two weeks left.
A lot went down at PAX in Seattle over the weekend, and as you may have gleaned if you’re one of those social media types, good times were had by all who attended. As with Gamescom last week, an elaborate booth devoted to Return to Monkey Island – a wooden replica of the High Street of Mêlée Island – was on hand for photo opportunity and general shock and awe:
This time, the team was also in the hall for fans and press to mingle with, and the panels were evidently no slouch either: You may have caught the livestream of the expo’s much-touted gathering of influential old people, otherwise known as “Adventure Game Heroes & Legends.” Moderated by Frank Cifaldi, the hour-and-a-half-long conversation featured Ron, Ken Williams, Roberta Williams, Al Lowe, Dave Gilbert and Jane Jenson. If you weren’t tuning in live, you can find it archived below:
As for ReMI-specific coverage, so far there’s a pay-walled interview with Ron from Rock Paper Shotgun (what the hell, guys), and presumably more to come, but you’ll probably find the real gold on the developers’ Twitter accounts. Highlights include the ReMI team photo (probably the first time many of them were physically together since the game got started), the starstruck gushing of Neil, Druckmann, and hands-down the event’s best T-shirt.
The benevolent madness was said to have culminated in a ReMI wrap party, which Mojo may have technically attended by abstraction if the rumors (or, you know, photo evidence) that Jake weaseled his way past the bouncer are true. I’m getting the light here, so in closing I’ll steer two interviews out of Gamescom that we'd overlooked your way: one from publication Heis Online (original German here; English translation here), and another from Hobbyconsolas (original Spanish here; English translation here).
Those of you who didn’t have the spending money to hit PAX should have plenty of material from the expo (occurring as we speak) to look forward to soon. Even ahead of it, though, the ReMI press tour sailed on with a new interview from webzine GamersGlobal featuring Ron, Dave and Rex. The article is in German, the official language of adventure games, but here’s an excerpt from Google’s loose English translation:
GamersGlobal: In Return to Monkey Island you didn't just make decisions about the graphics that maybe not everyone likes. For example, the new part is not a sequel that takes over all the decisions and events of the predecessors. One or the other should be difficult for the fans to swallow.
Ron Gilbert: I don't think that's true. In other words, there were already a number of discrepancies between the previous parts. One of the first things Dave and I talked about in the beginning was which part of the canon we were going to follow and which part we weren't going to. Because a lot of the Monkey Island canon came from a time when Dave and I were no longer responsible for the games. We do not agree with all ideas. Others are clear fan favorites, like Guybrush and Elaine's wedding. While I personally feel that this should never have happened, I am against this marriage - but we cannot seriously backtrack and undo it. We briefly considered whether they might be divorced in our part. Or if they could never have married. But we quickly dismissed that. Fans love the idea that they got married. There is no turning back.
Another example would be: I never understood why Guybrush should be afraid of china. Serious? But we said what the heck, we won't deal with that. Dave summed it up very well: You ignore canon whenever it gets in the way of storytelling. So we respect canon as much as we can, but if it gets in our way... we don't hit it or anything, but we just don't pay it any attention at that point.
Though the noun came out the other end of the AI as “china,” one ascertains that Ron isn’t the biggest fan of the porcelain joke, and thus this trait of Guybrush’s will be censored in ReMI, which is just how Ron rolls.
There’s more great stuff in the interview, including the surprisingly open-ended position Ron takes on the series’ future (Relevant: Beloved, you-thought-he-was-dead community member Captain Mystery has triumphantly returned to notice that the descriptor “conclusion” has been artfully expunged from ReMI promotional spiels), so do read the full article for maximum cognizance of all Monkey tidbits.