Our most legendary April Fools prank, never to be topped, was the successful counterfeit of some “leaked audio” from a fabricated fifth Monkey Island game called Return to Monkey Island (ahem) back in 2002. This prank was carried out by a previous generation of the staff with exacting fastidiousness, employing the help of professional resources, toward the goal of abject cruelty.

Some of the fake dialog lines even wound up in Tales of Monkey Island, earning Mojo billions in royalties that it defiantly insisted be given to a worthy children’s hospital, after The SCUMM Bar achieves solvency.

But with the 20th anniversary of the web’s finest prank having passed, few are alive who remember it firsthand. The issue of preservation thus announces itself. Dom already did his part by filing the audio files safely away on, ensuring its survival of extinction events. The problem is that these mp3s, impeccably produced though they are, remain estranged from their context. Sure, the old news posts they belong to technically still exist, but only as sad phantoms of brokens links and absence media.

”What is to be done about this?” is a question you shriek to the heavens with knowing urgency, given that an imposter Return to Monkey Island looms and threatens to permanently supplant the real McCoy in perpetuity’s memory.

Well, we just handle it, of course. Now settle down, and try to have more faith next time.

Just as they made a point of doing with Sam & Max Save the World, Skunkape has followed up their remaster of Sam & Max Beyond Time a Space with original builds as gratis DLC* and a bountiful archive of legacy bonus and promotional videos. Here, they’ve pretty much done all the legwork for us with these tweets:

*Unless you bought on GOG, in which case you've already got that.

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitter

Congratulations to Kimberly Brooks for winning a BAFTA for her role as Hollis Forsythe in Psychonauts 2. Double Fine had an incredible 6 nominations this year, including Artistic Achievement, Narrative, Game Beyond Entertainment, Technical Achievement, Music and Animation, but were cruelly pipped to the post in every category.

The original Psychonauts won the Best Screenplay BAFTA back in 2006, and its sequel recently won Best Narrative at the GDCA, so I bet Tim and company were hoping to take home another shiny face this year, but sadly it was not to be. Psychonauts 2 is still a modern day masterpiece though, and six nominations is nothing to feel bad about.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Return to Monkey Island news...

Comments: 2 / Source: Teh News

We don’t do much as far as editorials go here at Mojo, but once in a while, there are opinion pieces we can all get behind.

First, elTee, Mojo’s lead columnist, has written an op-ed called “Returning to Monkey Island (Again),” where he takes a look at the decades that brought us to a place few had expected us to be.

Want more? Our resident French philosopher Nicolas Deneschau asks, “Is Return to Monkey Island the first legacyquel in video games?” (Feel free to use it as citations for your college courses.)

Busy days here at the ol’ Mojo, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a load off and read “Return to Monkey Island, First Thoughts.”

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

While we at Mojo are excited about Return to Monkey Island, we also cannot shirk our journalistic integrity and report on scandals surrounding the sixth entry into the franchise. Anonymous sources have sent us a comparison of promotional logos, one from the website and trailer and one from the website’s OG image. (The latter being the one you see when you link to the site on Twitter.) To wit…

One is in the style of the original logo, the OG closer to the one from the Tales of Monkey Island era. One hydrated, one shriveled. What can we read into this? I think it’s safe to say it is all part of… Cover-up image Although, it’s hard to say which logo is censoring which, I think it’s safe to say that the purists amongst us prefer the original. We are also old, so take that for what it’s worth…

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.

Unsurprising to most—but apparently shocking to some—is that Ron Gilbert’s "If I Made Another Monkey Island" post from 2013 has passed its expiration date. That is to say, the almost ten-year-old musings may very well not apply to Return To Monkey Island. To quote Ronzo:

NOTE: Now that Return To Monkey Island has been announced it’s important to note that a lot of my views (but not all) in this post have changed. Don’t take anything in here as more than a historical moment. Quoting anything in here as canon will just led to tears.

Now go relive that ReMI trailer one more time to keep riding this high.

(News nabbed from The Legend of Monkey Island’s Twitter.)

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.

The Nintendo version of Maniac Mansion is an odd duck in the best possible way, sporting loads of charm and a number of unique features. Part of its popularity is that it’s the version that many played first, but there’s more going on here, or SEGA CD The Secret of Monkey Island would be held up as some sacred cow (No offense, Dom).

A major distinction of the Nintendo version is its soundtrack. Typical of its time, the original PC version of Maniac Mansion was a relatively silent affair, with its audio consisting of little more than a title theme and the odd ambient sound effect. Wall-to-wall music wasn’t really a thing for the SCUMM games until Monkey Island 2, but it was very much the norm for Nintendo games.

So when the Maniac Mansion console port had just about wrapped up its development, the publisher, Jaleco, was wondering aloud where all the music was. Eleventh hour marching orders for a full-bodied soundtrack came down, and project lead David Warhol, something of a game composer himself, brought on three local musicians to split what ended up being a workload of twelve tracks.

To provide an in-game justification for all this music, the seven playable teenagers were given a CD player as a default inventory item, each loaded up with a genre pastiche representing his/her favorite fictional band. Serving not only the requirement for a fuller soundscape but also functioning as a kind of character-building conceit, the end result is surely one of the most varied of all 8-bit soundtracks, and who better to speak about it than the composers themselves? This is where I stop typing and link you to the article.

More to come.

Official web site. Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman, Land, McConnell, and Bajakian reportedly onboard. (See what I did there?!) Oh, and Dom, too!

Rex Crowle of Knights And Bikes confirmed as art director.

David Fox confirmed as lead programmer. We've heard murmurs about some other familiar name -- more to come.

Khris Brown is on as casting and voice direction.

Robert Megone of Thimbleweed Park-fame is joining in, too.

Ronzo has confirmed that CMI is canon; presumable EMI and TMI are, too. Do note the retcon in the trailer, though: the seagull that was killed off in TMI is back. Devolver state that the game "picks up where Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge left off".

For German fans: Marcel Weyers is translating Kehre Zur Affeninsel Zurück .

Want the trailer music in MP3 format? Mojo provides because Mojo loves you.

Jenn Sandercock is a producer on the game -- she previously worked on Thimbleweed Park.

Jared Emerson-Johnson confirmed as a music producer.

Noah Falstein pulled rank and got in on the playesting.

Known fanboy Elijah Wood raised his grog to the news.

Alexandra Boyd says, "there is only one true Elaine!" and jumps back into action.

Perhaps most strikingly of all, both The SCUMM Bar and The Legend of MI have had no choice but to update their front pages in the wake of all this. I guess that’s just something Ron will have to live with.

I admit that this is almost as much a non-story as Ron’s tired schtick, but if you’re into this Prime Gaming thing you should be aware that Monkey Island 2: Lechuck’s Revenge: Special: E:d:i:t:o:n::: is included on the service as part of this month’s arrivals.

No word yet on when Gametap will have it.

Ron Gilbert hates April Fool's Day. His dislike of the day is something that his blog celebrates every year by acknowledging the lack of an April Fool's Day joke on it. He's done this 18 years in a row. This year, however, he decided to mix things up a little by announcing a new Monkey Island game.

Has he decided to do a deal with Disney, or did he just become a bit less grumpy this year?

Make of it what you will! ;)

Update: Reader Sopabuena has done some detective work in the forums and uncovered this ancient Tweet:

An April Fool's Joke 18 years in the making or the most "Ronzo" game announcement of all time? Join the discussion!

We're a bit late on this news by some standards. Relative to our Sam & Max VR review, however, we're right on time.

If you're not familiar with Jimmy Maher of The Digital Antiquarian, you probably ought to be. His ambitious goal to chronicle the history of computer entertainment for eleven years running has produced some pretty terrific essays thus far, including many devoted to the antics of ol' George Lucas's interactive division, I forget the name. You can find those Mojo-relevant articles, by the way, rounded up here for your convenience.

His most recent of the LucasArts-centric articles was a probe of The Dig last summer. The Dig is decidedly not the most beloved of the SCUMM games, but it's perhaps the most rewarding to write about, as the neverending turmoil behind its eighty-five year production cycle makes for deathless, compelling, smutty drama. It's like our Bridgerton or something.

Although Maher's article was exceedingly well-researched (look no further than his citation of Mojo as a source to be confident of that), there's just no bottom when plumbing The Dig's calamities, so he teamed up with Frank Cifaldi of The Video Game History Foundation (someone else you ought to know by now) to produce a podcast companion piece. So get some history delivered into your ears.

And one of you get to work on recording the defense argument so we can report on that nine months later too.

Remember the turn of the century, when getting the SCUMM games to run properly on Windows was a herculean task? The arrival of ScummVM delivered us to conditional salvation, but many reasonably pondered why LucasArts couldn’t provide an official solution by updating the native interpreters themselves.

Well, they did. Or at least, programmer Aaron Giles did, on the studio’s behalf. The problem is that among these sparkly, XP-compatible exe’s, only a few saw the light of day -- gradually, and without much fanfare.

After quietly throwing two of them onto a Europe-exclusive compilation pack in 2002, LucasArts presumably became too busy cancelling Sam & Max sequels to continue with such re-releases despite being armed with ready-to-go updates that had been handed to them on a silver platter. A few more of Aaron’s updated SCUMM launchers made their way to Steam in 2009, which came across as LucasArts burning off the remnants of a long since suspended initiative presumably codenamed What If We Didn’t Suck.

These days, the SCUMM games are sold on digital storefronts bundled with ScummVM, and the native interpreters, original or updated, don’t get reliably circulated with the data files, which puts a heckuva lot of pressure on your rotting floppies to preserve them. We decided to reach out to Aaron Giles to get his opinions on that dilemma and gain insight on what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the surrealistic insult that is updating a studio’s library only for said studio to indifferently put that work in a drawer.

And let’s be honest: it got the dignity of the drawer only because the dumpster was already filled with Ben Throttle standees.

Our thanks to Aaron Giles for his generosity with his time.

It is the year of the lord 2022, which means Mojo will turn 25 this summer. I mean, what the hell, right? And to kick off the celebration, Mojo is gifting you the grandest gift of all: a new game. We call it… Mojole.

This never-been-seen-before concept is simple: You get six tries to guess a five-letter word. That’s it. Each word is in one way or other related to the greater LucasArts universe or Mojo itself. Some of the solutions may be somewhat eclectic, but then, who are you to judge?

And you get to share your score! (Not on Mojo, mind you, as we don’t support highfalutin emojis. :~)

Join the game that’s sweeping the world: Play Mojole!

(Disclaimer: The game is in beta, and we’re aware of any and all issues you may find. So, don’t feel the need to report bugs. The game may not work properly on smaller phones like the iPhone SE because Huz never got around to doing a final test sweep. Mojole is not feature-complete.)

You see what happens when the grown-ups at Lucasfilm aren't paying attention? Something unrelated to Star Wars gets through.

Behold, your Golden Train Ticket has arrived. No more wandering around for years as you pass through the land of the dead. Harkening back to the instant "Win Game" button of yesteryear comes this ticket, by way of iam8bit's Nintendo Switch version of Grim Fandango Remastered. But not just any release, but one that comes with feelies in the box, like the good old days. Now you can secure your very own Golden Train Ticket by bribing spending real money, just like characters in the game! And also, you can look as suave as Manny with your new Calavera Cafe matchbook -- but that is actually a notebook. Take down all of your game notes within it and soon you'll be remembering to dig through kitty litter with a magnet in no time.
Head on over to iam8bit's website to see what Manny has in store for you. I sure hope you've been a good person in your life. Otherwise... enjoy this walking stick.
Comments: 8 / Source: iam8bit

Word is making the rounds that principal photography on Indiana Jones 5 will wrap February 23rd.

Sure, that still leaves Harrison Ford plenty of time to kamikaze a golf course for kicks, necessitating his replacement by a digital sock puppet, and the release date remains the better part of 18 months away. But it's still a noteworthy milestone for a project that was looking as downright cancellable as an adventure game under Jim Ward on about four hundred different occasions throughout its fraught development.

So, congratulations to the crew on getting this thing safely in the can. Now it falls to the post-production team, but the news is good there, too: Insider buzz is that they’ve heard the feedback from the last installment and have vowed to redouble their efforts and make Mutt’s vine-swinging absolutely perfect this time out.

Tomorrow, on Wednesday, February 9th we will be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at how the new TellTale Games has been working hard on Fables: A Wolf Among Us Season Two. They've been in pre-production on Season Two since Dec 2019 using the Unreal engine while keeping a pretty consistent look between the two games.

Geoff Keighley will be our host to bring us this latest coverage of the game, and appears to be simulcast on Twitch, YouTube, IGN, GameInformer, and then later-cast by a late news post on Mojo tomorrow night. So be on the lookout for more Fables information coming to you on Wednesday February 9th at 10am PST, 1pm EST, 6pm GMT.

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