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That most reliable of sources, the web, is contending that production on Indiana Jones 5 resumed this week from a holiday break for a final month of filming. There hasn’t been much leaked about the movie since it wrapped location shooting and moved exclusively to studio work at the hermetically-sealed Pinewood estate, but a casting rumor has recently emerged, and Mojo would be falling delinquent in its duties if it failed to accordingly service its readership’s legendary lust for gossip.

Anthony Ingruber, an actor who I’m told is oft-proposed as a Harrison Ford replacement by the sort of people who think that exercise is worthy of their time, is rumored to in fact be in the movie -- but not, the rumor holds, as a younger Indiana Jones.

I think that’s hilarious. In fact, I propose that every single actor who has ever been floated as Harrison Ford’s replacement should show up in the movie, preferably in the form of an unceremonious bit-part that ends grotesquely. Put the “fan” in fan service by feeding Chris Pratt into one. Have Bradley Cooper fall into a crocodile pit. Give the people what I want, and reap the box office rewards.

A few years back I penned a dubiously-formatted article that pondered the art style of Maniac Mansion, its sequel and its promotional materials under the fraudulent pretext that I had insight to lend to the exercise of comparing them.

Along the way I made a point of highlighting the cover of Nintendo Power Issue #16, which advertised the game’s NES port in the form of a clay diorama depicting the mansion and some of the characters built very much not to scale. It’s a super-rad piece of work that I was always taken by, and I was bummed that we couldn’t track down the artist for their recollections.

But the web has a way of turning things up, and it appears that last year Comic Art Fans published a little stub about the diorama. It is revealed, unsurprisingly, to have been destroyed after being used for the magazine, but the artist apparently had it in their yard for a while, and some photographs survive which really show off the craft that went into the commission. You can check out the photos at the link. I’ve also thrown them in a gallery because after all, theft is the sincerest form of stealing things.

There’s not much more to say, really. Get it from GOG for $20 minus a cent. Need a trailer? There’s that, too.

A year after releasing his Full Throttle movie spec script, Duncan Jones is trying to drum up support for his movie to be made.

Has anyone checked The Rock's diary?

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitter

Max, the adorable anthropomorphic rabbity thing you may remember being featured in a comic once in 1987 has been stuffed with fluff and is available for you to purchase, specifically if you have been unable to acquire one in the last year or so as they come in and out of stock.


What was new to me this time around with them coming back in stock is perhaps a new comic done by Steve Purcell, whom you might remember being the screenplay writer for Pixar's Brave.


Image

I love that they were able to pick on the scarcity of the Max plushie they've encountered. I hope no one has to ever give in to the high prices being asked for on eBay.

Comments: 2 / Source: Uncute

We didn’t do a “game of the year” for 2021, but I’m fairly certain Psychonauts 2 would have won had our laziness not prevented us from doing so. And what better way to celebrate that win-ish than by reading Alternative Magazine Online’s In Conversation With Peter McConnell? Questions are asked and promptly answered by the Psychonauts 2 composer, who amongst other things can share...

I am so proud of that Quarry piece because I think it captures a certain kind of orchestral Americana that I grew up listening to. I think of being six years old, dressed in the cowboy suit I got for Christmas, and listening to Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Ferde Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite. With the Motherlobe music I really wanted to capture Raz’s sense of awe arriving at a place he’s dreamed about being a part of.

I can only agree. Now, read the whole thing!

You remember Kevin Bruner, former CEO of Telltale Games? Well, he's back... in Dramatic Labs form.

The new games studio collective is "an independent collaboration of 20+ former Telltale writers, developers, designers, artists, and producers" according to their website. Their launch title taps into the beloved, and currently much expanding Star Trek franchise, and they even have a very Telltale-esque teaser trailer to show for their efforts. Behold Star Trek: Resurgence.

The standalone, non-episodic game is due next spring for PC, Playstation and Xbox. And, err, they're hiring!

The resurrected Telltale has leapt back to life after a quiet period, updating progress on The Wolf Among Us 2, revealing it is due early next year and will be a single, standalone, non-episodic adventure.

They also, surprisingly, announced a new game series based on the Amazon TV Show 'The Expanse', with an impressive game trailer. Click through to watch on youtube if you're too young to see it embedded below

Given it takes us at least a week to get around to reporting anything, you could swing by the official site at your leisure looking for the latest updates, should you prefer your news delivered in a timely manner.

Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain has revealed it's working on a new action-adventure game "Star Wars: Eclipse" set in the 'high republic' era (800 years after KOTOR, and 200 years before the original Star Wars trilogy).

The marketing guff says: "Star Wars Eclipse is the first video game to be set in an uncharted region of the Outer Rim during The High Republic era, known as the golden age of the Jedi. The game will build upon Quantic Dream's expertise in delivering deeply branching narratives and will go beyond their already established acclaim. Player's choices will be at the heart of the experience, as every decision can have a dramatic impact on the course of the story."

So, high on cutscene narrative, dialogue trees, and quicktime events to progress the story, one presumes? The game is estimated to be 3-4 years away, so speculating on platforms seems a bit premature, though you can expect latest PC, Playstation and Xbox support. Some people are not happy with the studio and founder David Cage due to past allegations of sexist and anti LGBTQ+ behaviour.

The long-awaited Monkey Island anthology boxed set from Limited Run Games began shipping this month, and fans who have been receiving the apparently gargantuan package have been sharing their reactions to finally having in their hands the irresponsible purchase they made twelve months ago. Some of those reactions have been enthusiastic, some have been heartbreaking, and almost all of them can be found in this forum thread.

Rather than try to recap that ongoing discussion which reveals many more details, I thought I’d at least front page what’s been learned about the actual game builds included. Limited Run’s original product listing mentioned (and in fact still does) that “archived versions” of the first two games would be included, with specifics to be determined.

Well, now that people have begun exploring the USB stick included with the package, we have a clearer idea of what that actually means. It seems that there are a few versions of Monkey 1 and Monkey 2 offered in the form of disk images and KryoFlux streams (for the uninitiated, see here), which is pretty exciting, as it represents the first time those games have been officially available with their original .exe files since the internet age.

So, what versions of the five Monkey Island games wound up on that flash drive in the end? The breakdown appears to be as follows:

  • MI1: Amiga version diskette images and flux streams; IBM EGA version diskette images and flux streams (5.25"), IBM VGA floppy version diskette images and flux streams (3.5"); special edition.
  • MI2: Amiga version diskette images and flux streams; IBM version diskette images and flux streams (3.5"); Macintosh version diskette images and flux streams; special edition.
  • CMI: The installer seems to be the same as the GOG version, which means the resource files are bundled with ScummVM, and the original .exe is not included.
  • EMI: The installer seems to be the same as the GOG version, which as far as I know translates to a faithful, as-is copy of version 1.1.
  • TMI: Includes the Earl Boen'd version of Episode 1, which is I believe the only variable that would have applied to this game. We were wrong, its the original non-Boen version.

Beyond obscure/translated versions of the games which probably would have been too much to ask for, the main absences appear to be the CD version of Monkey 1 (though that’s essentially included in the Special Edition as “classic mode”) and CMI’s original interpreter, the latter being a huge, and hugely addressable, bummer from a preservation perspective despite the fact that it’s notoriously helpless on modern Windows. Really pleased about EGA Monkey 1*, though, and if you’re gonna get one version of VGA Monkey 1, surely it’s just that it be the one with the stump joke.

Among the physical extras, the book was the biggest unknown and also sounds like the biggest highlight. At over 200 pages, it’s said to contain a lot of terrific content (including new interviews) especially for the first two games. It’s a shame to think of it as being exclusive to a mega-priced collector’s box that won’t be re-issued and is destined in many cases to sit shrink-wrapped in temperature-controlled cabinets, so here’s hoping Limited Run finds a way to make those pages available on their own some day for the enjoyment of fans who aren’t pulling in Jazz Age incomes.

Special thanks: Jan.

*Don't worry though, we can Glass Is Half Empty that one too: zaarin points out that it's lacking the Roland MT-32 upgrade disk.

It happened for Save the World last year, and the joined forces of Skunkape and Bay Area Sound weren’t about to drop the ball on the even more ambitious soundtrack for the second season. What I'm saying is the re-release is available now from Bandcamp and Steam for a ludicrous ten bucks. (The old release is still up as well, so don’t be getting confused.)

As you know well from playing the remaster fifty times already, it includes eight all-new music tracks, extending an already gigantic score. It looks like the album cover got some rethought lettering as well (old versus new), though the comparison mostly just serves as a reminder of how awesome Purcell’s artwork is. One wonders: Since The Devil’s Playhouse never received a proper album back in 2010 and Skunkape seem to possess the kind of taste that would make addressing that an imperative, might we see the trilogy completed at last? I guess we’ll find out in a year or so. For now, exercise the privilege of owning Jared Emerson-Johnson’s staggering opus for Beyond Time and Space.

Like all major movie franchises, Indiana Jones inevitably appeared in pinball form courtesy of manufacturer Williams in 1993.

But suppose your local bowling alley didn’t have this particular table in its arcade room, and you were left deprived of its trilogy-spanning 12 modes? That’s where Zen Studios comes in. Using their simulator Pinball FX3 which is available from all the usual storefronts and is apparently known for this sort of thing, they’ll be offering a digital recreation of Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure March 2022.

Nintendo Enthusiast has the full details.

Though Steve Purcell does it better, the spirit of the season propels me to note Lucasfilm’s apparent tradition of holiday greeting cards. This year’s effort falls during the company’s 50th anniversary celebration, as the “50” may clue you in on. There’s even some Not Star Wars tokenism in there in the form of Indy and Willow:

Regrettably, the bigotry against Bobbin Threadbare remains in full force.

Did you enjoy the writing in the Curse of Monkey Island? If so you might enjoy the debut novel by of the people responsible for that writing, Jonathan Ackley. It's called Off By One: Serious Games and is available to buy this very second.

The plot centers around the leak of a video games's source code and a mysterious government project that takes the protagonist into the heart of the post-Soviet underworld. The video game company in the novel is called "Coliseum Arts", which surely must be a wink to LucasArts. Right? (And if not, why not?)

So why not treat yourself? At $4 you can't go wrong supporting Ackley's latest endeavor!

Off By One: Serious Games on Amazon US and Amazon UK

Granted, not as timely as last year, but timely enough: the Mojo review of Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Remastered . That’s all I got. Read it, damn it!

When Mojo isn’t knocking it out of the park with first impressions, it can be found working its other famous charm: tediously embedding tweets:

This marks the third platform (I think) for Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual thus far. Since this port was originally set for early 2022, it would seem that they’re ahead of schedule, unlike Mojo’s review. But then, Beethoven didn’t rush his symphonies, either.

Since only those with a higher education in LucasArts adventure history read this site, you already know “SCUMMlette” as the term of affection for the junior programmers being trained in the SCUMM engine. There were two waves of these cadets between 1989-1990. In the first class you had your basic Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Jenny Sward, and Ron Baldwin, while the second batch consisted of Mike Stemmle, Tony Hsieh, Sean Clark, Tami Borowick, and Wallace Poulter. (Sources: Mike Stemmle)

Some of those names will be more familiar to you than others, but they all played integral roles in games you rank in importance above your own loved ones. In the case of Tami Borowick, those contributions are now far less shrouded thanks to an excellent new interview published by the highly scholarly and inescapably Italian Lucasdelirium.

As you’ll learn, Borowick’s primary LucasArts project was Monkey Island 2, after which she became one of the developers who followed Ron across the desert to Humongous Entertainment where she co-created the Freddi Fish series. The full interview is a real barn burner, with lots of great war stories from a most romanticized period at LucasArts, including how Borowick implemented the pants-falling gag in the Woodtick cemetery, and how Ron accidentally obliterated her laborious dialog tree for Rum Rogers. There’s even a photograph of an office whiteboard she shared with Dave and Tim in 1991. What more could you need?

You’ve gotten your Milk Duds and Diet Mr. PiBB and found your seat again, all just in time to catch the second half of Genesis Temple’s roadshow interview with Larry Ahern. Picking up where we last left off in August, the story continues with the post-CMI act of Ahern’s LucasArts career, a similarly frustrating stint at Microsoft, the noble casualty that was Insecticide, and an only recently ended stretch as a Disney Imagineer that sometimes reunited him with his old cohort Jonathan Ackley.

It’s an altogether great read, but I draw special attention to the fact that Ahern divulges new information about Vanishing Act and Attempt #1 at the Full Throttle sequel (which was never really called Full Throttle: Payback, a moniker which he indirectly chides Mojo for perpetuating), as well as some soon-to-be-stolen concept art for those games that I don’t believe have surfaced before. (Update: After review it turns out we did already have them. I should have known better; fortunes have been lost betting against Mojo.)

I guess it’s up to Dune: Part II to disappoint you, as the back half of the Larry Ahern interview delivers the goods.

We’re a day or two or three or so late on this one, but to quote Scummbuddy:

“Psychonauts 2 Wins 'Xbox Game Of The Year' At The Golden Joystick Awards 2021”

Well, hell! Resident Evil: Village looks to have won “Ultimate Game of the Year,” which… is what it is.

The real question is: Will Psychonauts 2 win Mojo’s coveted GOTY award? Stay tuned and see if we actually remember to hand it out.

You love Double Fine and you love Psychonauts 2. Multiply that with your infatuation with new merch and you pretty much have no other option than to buy a bunch of new stuff from Fangamer. That “psychedelic cast” t-shirt isn’t going to wear itself after all. Run and shop!

Comments: 1 / Source: Jason ¬

Yesterday brought a new video of the Skunkape crew playing twenty minutes or so of their latest Sam & Max remaster, commenting on some of the new stuff they've added:

One of the highlights is the much larger hole blown through the wall separating the Freelance Police's office and Flint Paper's, allowing the opening office scene to be cinematically shot through it. In fact, it's already the talk of the forum. But as a member of the "in" crowd you knew that already.

Comments: 3 / Source: IGN

We at Mixnmojo humbly considered ourselves natural shoo-ins for an Indiana Jones 5 set visit, but we responded to our snubbing professionally.

Most of us, anyway. Remi was heard to declare "I have been flouted, and I shall be revenged" before storming out the door. Now, we figured he was just going blow off some steam on a round of bowling. Then we saw this and knew better:

It is being said that Indy 5 is unimpacted, but who among us would have been surprised to see this production carbonized in a sudden inferno? It's just on brand at this point.

Jokes aside, we hope no one was harmed.

Or your Limited Run Games pre-order, if you prefer to look at it that way. Check it out:

You can read a few more words about Ron's sorrowful passion here.

Loyal readers who dug into our Bay Area Sound interview from April will not have been shocked to notice in Skunkape's announcement this morning that Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered will be boasting eight new music tracks. That's up from the five additional cues the first season received.

You might be wondering if these bonus arrangements will be of similarly high production values replete with live instruments. Well, let this tease that Skunkape just uploaded to their Youtube channel put that question to bed:

While it's been confirmed by implication nine different times now, Skunkape has officially announced their expected remaster of Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space, aka the second season of Telltale's better-with-each-installment take on Purcell's property after LucasArts fatefully said, "Nah, give us Thrillville."

Knowing you, you're probably still coming off the high of thwarting Hugh Bliss's hypnosis conspiracy in painstakingly re-lit HD, but Skunkape doesn't see your recovery time as their problem. They're ready to start hyping you up for the next mission in Sam and Max's oeuvre, which you may recall involves improbable excursions to the North Pole, Easter Island, a zombie rave in Stuttgart, the malleable fourth dimension, and the middle management bowels of Hell itself. Behold what these once poly-starved destinations look like in all their newly uprezzed fury by checking out the trailer:

Don't forget to start saving up for some absurd physical editions from Limited Run Games that history has sculpted us to anticipate are sure to follow this launch, and of course you'll want to get loudly and pre-emptively outraged about whatever CENSORSHIP! is sure to be committed by those known vandals of art over at Skunkape -- the better to impress your friends on the Steam forums.

Whatever you've gotta do to prepare your body and soul, be quick about it: launch is December 8th.

Comments: 2 / Source: Skunkape

This fan is a defense attorney's dream witness -- he really sticks to his story:

What do you mean Mojo has no business making fun considering we are dining out on this to disguise our paucity of things to report on?

Here is a behind the scenes promo video for next year's Willow series in which the titular hero himself, Warwick Davis, introduces us to his castmates in this long-awaited, long-form sequel.

That was quite humorous, one ascertains. Anyway, look for Willow to stream on Disney+ in 2022.

Sometime back in 2004, Mojo and The SCUMM Bar banded together to create an April Fool’s Day joke for the ages: a fake Monkey Island movie trailer. Yet, close as the prank came to fruition, the plans to execute it was aborted on March 3rd, 2004. Why? I take a quick look back at this footnote in Mojo’s history.

Bonus fact: this was the last time we attempted an actual April Fool’s joke, too. You’re welcome! (Update: OK, looking back through the archives it turns out that wasn’t entirely true, but any further attempts were pretty, pretty, pretty bad.)

By some accounts, Indiana Jones 5 has wrapped up its extended stay in Italy. Next up for the production is another extensive location shoot throughout various cities in Morocco. It seems the principle crew will be joining up with a second unit that’s already been busy filming stuntwork for action scenes, as this cheeky phone footage out of Fez testifies:

What strikes me about this glimpse is how reminiscent the set is of the Cairo marketplace in Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’d sure be nice to reclaim some of the Casablanca vibe that the series really dispensed with after its first installment (Though we know it wasn’t for lack of trying, Frank Darabont), and surely I cannot be alone in thinking that the above location is highly Sallah-appropriate.

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:

After bringing the world to its knees with his revitalization of the Monkey Island 2 cover, Laserschwert decided to direct his talents toward The Secret of Monkey Island. I forget which installment that is, but Lemon Head liked it all right so I’m guessing it’s one of the good ones.

Using a cross-section of rare sources of Purcell’s iconic art smuggled to him by Jake, who definitely didn’t murder any orphans to obtain them (so put that idea right out of your mind), Laserschwert was able to complete a smashing restoration that’ll have people making out with your wall. The amount of recovered detail isn’t exactly negligible, as the comparison images prove, and even more alternates are said to be on the way. You might as well cancel Christmas now because Santa just got preempted.

First thing's first: some startlingly high quality set photos of the Indiana Jones 5 Sicily shoot, taken just this week, can be found right here. The curious should be forewarned, however, that the glimpses get into spoiler-y territory.

One highlight is the first peek at the Antonio Banderas character, who is dressed as a rugged sea captain and seems to be an ally to Indy. You might think this an innocent development, but you'd be wrong:

See you on Thera!

Speaking of October traditions, an old Telltale classic just got dug up by the custodians at Skunkape. Submit some Halloween themed Sam & Max fan art for a chance to win Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered, a game which will exist by implication. Just follow the link below for all the details.

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.

Psychonauts 2 – already a bona fide classic – is not about to go gentle into that good night. Springing into your Humble Bundle account right npw is a 29-track volume one of the soundtrack. Want even more? Greed is good, and you can stay tuned for future volumes.

Log into your Humble Bundle to get going.

Variety reports, along with other Disney postponements, that Indiana Jones 5 will now release on June 30th, 2023.

Though production seems to have regained momentum, with an extended location shoot in Italy (lots of spoilery photos from which you can find on the 'net, by the way, if you're into that sort of thing) now being followed up with a stretch in Morocco, I guess those three months lost to Harrison Ford's recovery made a Summer 2022  launch a little too tight in the end. CGI Mecha Short Round isn't a swift render, you know.

Maybe they'll be able to release the Bethesda game with the movie now?

While participating in an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit with forty-five other developers (among the tidbits: Wadjet Eye confirmed talking with Brian Moriarty about a Loom sequel years ago, but no legal headway could be made with Lucasfilm), Skunkape loosed a screenshot from Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space: Remastered:

I might also point out something we failed to report last month: a sweepstakes to win a specialized, Psychonauts 2-themed Xbox console. But we can at least get a look at it:

I guess we could have been quicker on the draw, but you don’t need that thing cluttering your house anyway.

Comments: 5 / Source: Reddit

Today's Nintendo Switch livestream revealed that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic will be released for the Switch on November 11.


Skip to ~44:48 for the announcement.

Clearly this is not the 'Remake' version coming for PlayStation, PC and Xbox, but rather a straight port of the Bioware original from Aspyr games. You can pre-order it from the Switch store if you think digital copies might run out, and/or if you'd prefer Nintendo to be gathering interest on your money, rather than yourself.

It would appear that The Old Country is going to be a major location in Indy 5, as production is set to move there for much of the month of October. Anyway, that’s what the “Indiana Jones 5 News” Twitter account seems to think, and not being a bigot I should think their alleged intel is as suitable to steal as anyone’s:

After Crystal Skull's Los Angeles based shoot, it would certainly be nice to see Indy traipsing across Mediterranean vistas during his new adventure, even if it turns out to be a bum steer due to Plato’s tenfold error.

When the Germans aren't serving as every other punchline for late comedian and human treasure Norm Macdonald, they're up to making gummy snacks tied in to your favorite Xbox games.

And so they were only doing what their biology insisted when they whipped up this tangy Psychonauts 2 candy. Buy a packet and have it bequeathed to your great grandchildren. It will taste exactly as good when they inherit it as it would now.

Hey, not deploying edible marketing didn't exactly do the original Psychonauts any favors at retail, so you can see the logic here.

Comments: 3 / Source: Twitter

That seems about right. With original Willow composer James Horner having passed away in 2015, this was probably the best James for Disney to turn to. He’s not exactly a stranger to the studio, either, though I wonder if he’s cuddly enough with them to insist on the London Symphony Orchestra:

It would appear that since Harrison Ford injured his shoulder back in June, production on the fifth Indiana Jones movie has been on something like total hiatus, with the exception of a much-photographed Glasgow shoot in July which was carried out without the star.

(And if you ask me, the fact that everything ground to a halt to wait for Ford is probably good news. The last thing we needed was for Lucasfilm to try to shoot the majority of this movie in Ford’s absence as part of some sort of ill-conceived, Deepfake experiment from Hell.)

Anywho, here we are three months later: Filming is said to have resumed earlier this week and, seeing as the production had only gotten a few weeks in the can before Ford took on damage, will be going on for several months more, or until the whole production gets hit by a giant meteor. Which is, at this point, not a likelihood I’m prepared to rule out.

Please accept this tweet as proof. Remember that "today" is yesterday. So we're basically ahead of time by Mojo standards.

In addition, it seems that HappyGiant participated in some sort of live chat as part of Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual's inclusion in the Venice Film Festival. The reference to a "pass" suggests it was probably not open to the public, but it seems inevitable that the stream will turn up at some point. Let us know if when you notice before we do.

Good news everybody. The long rumoured KOTOR remake has been confirmed, but (bad-news, everybody) as-yet only for PS5. PlayStation's CEO Jim Ryan revealed the remake at the Playstation Showcase presentation earlier today. The task has gone to Aspyr, responsible for several other recent LucasArts / LucasFilm Games ports.

The original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was a groundbreaking and universally praised RPG from Bioware. Initially it was an Xbox exclusive, but eventually made its way to other platforms.

No gameplay footage, or further details on changes were available at time of going to press, sorry Meatbags.

Update: From a tweet (below) and a blog post "...it’s a console exclusive on PlayStation 5 at launch", it appears this remake is also coming for PC, and the PS5 console exclusivity is timed, so you'll likely be able to get it on Xbox (and possibly Switch) after a bit of a wait.

Comments: 7 / Source: Gamerant

These days, NME – née New Musical Express – is trying to regain its hip “street cred” with the kids, the type currently reserved for the Instagrams and the Mojos of the world. And what better way to do so than to have a chat with Peter McConnell about Psychonauts 2?

The interview is actually quite excellent, with small tidbits like this:

McConnell also mentioned that his undergraduate honours thesis was a cycle of songs about a series of dreams. Hence, the concepts that the world of Psychonauts plays with were undoubtedly of interest to him ahead of his work on the series as a composer.

There’s also some stuff about the Grateful Dead in there which will make elTee question every aspect of his life that has led him to not play Psychonauts.

I also think we missed NME’s Tim Schafer interview, so go read that, too. NME, you might just have what it takes after all.

(But only Mojo has an MP3 of “Brain In A Jar,” from arguably the best level in Psychonauts 2.)

Looks like Jared Emerson-Johnson and his recruits have returned to the studio to beef up the soundtrack for Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space with live instruments and/or new tracks, akin to what was done for the remaster of Sam & Max Save the World. And that’s awesome.

Comments: 6 / Source: Twitter

Mark Ferrari's work is so iconic, it apparently belongs to the world.

We've tattled on them to Lucasfilm, only to be curtly informed by the legal team that they're more interested in shutting down Fate of Atlantis fan games.

It's testing time again for ScummVM!

This time there's a boatload of new games supported: Alice: An Interactive Museum, The Crimson Crown: Further Adventures in Transylvania, Crusader: No Remorse, Grim Fandango, L-ZONE, Little Big Adventure, The Longest Journey, Myst III: Exile, Nightlong: Union City Conspiracy, Oo-Topos, Private Eye, Red Comrades Save the Galaxy, Red Comrades 2: For the Great Justice, Spaceship Warlock, Tri-3D-Trial, and Transylvania.

It also includes dozens of text adventure games created with Glulxe and hundreds of games created with Adventure Game Studio.

So get out your Grim Fandango discs, download Maniac Mansion Deluxe, or try any of the other hundreds of games that need testing during this testing period and report any issues you find on ScummVM's issue tracker.

Though you may have noticed some recycled tracks from the Telltale games when watching gameplay videos for Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual, let it be known that Jared Emerson-Johnson supplied a fair amount of totally original score for the game, all of which is now officially available through Bandcamp.

Buy the soundtrack for yourself and ten friends -- why should they be spared the Aquabears theme?

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.

I’m just not sure there’s a more elaborate way to rephrase that. The two Games Of Mojo Import™ will be joining the ranks of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and the Monkey Island special editions as part of the September additions to the service.

So if you’ve disgraced yourself by not already owning these games eight times over, this may be your chance to check them out.

Remember earlier this year when the sides for The Curse of Monkey Island voice auditions improbably turned up?

Well, another bottle washed ashore courtesy of the saintly “spielbergfan1”, and therein contained the Grim Fandango audition material. Without further ado, here it is in one of two forms:

Enjoy it however you see fit. We don’t judge.

You've read the only review that matters. Now it's time to buy the game* and play it for yourself. Because you see, it's out.

That bears repeating. Psychonauts 2 is a thing now. It's released; it exists. Go ahead and pinch yourself, because this is really happening.

What's Mojo supposed to cover now? That's tomorrow's problem. Because, again: Psychonauts 2 is released.

*Unless of course you were a Fig backer at the appropriate level, in which case you got a key yesterday, but nobody likes a braggart.

It’s that rare time of year decade, where we put on our review boots in a timely manner and share our less than humble opinions. This time we skewer Psychonauts 2, at least if “skewer” means “love, hug, and cuddle with.”

Don’t get used to this type of timeliness, but today, go read our review. (Spoiler-free, too!)

You wait how long for a jp-30 LEGO based news story, then you get two almost at once? ¬_¬ The world works in mysterious ways.

After a couple of years of no-showing, it seems the LEGO Star Wars Skywalker Saga game from TTGames is to be teased on Wednesday on some stream or whatever.

This will be the first viewing of a LucasArts LucasFilm Games logo on screen since... Star Wars Squadrons?

As we stare down the not so unwelcoming maw of Psychonauts 2, I’m feeling a little wistful about that magical period right before the original Psychonauts came out. Who could forget the (very) short-lived Psychonauts web comic by Scott Campbell hosted on the goofy, Flash-powered Majesco site, or the unspeakable dilemma of whether to go in for the EB Games versus the Gamestop pre-order bonus, or Tim pimping Thrik’s fan site (14:00) on camera, or those voyeuristic glimpses of the boozy wrap party, or the MTV Sharts?

Perhaps the highlight of the victory lap was the launch of the Double Fine Company Store, which sold more than the standard issue cheap schwag – it sold floaty pens.

Alas, the world was simpler then. It was before Double Fine hired on Spaff, who since used his Machiavellian influence to convince Tim to retire the company store and sell out to The Man. In short, you’ll be getting your Psychonauts 2 wares from the Xbox Gear Shop:

Still, there’s some neat merchandise there. And while your credit card is being processed, you’ll want to check out this launch video and Episode 6 of Basic Braining, “Pins and Upgrades”:

There's no time to celebrate the ambush return of jp-30, because Spaff keeps cranking these marketing videos out to ensure that Psychonauts 2 supercedes your own family as a presence in your life. The subject this time: Enemies.

The Censors are back in more variations than before, but Psychonauts 2 will also pit Raz against new mental foes known as Regrets, Doubts, The Judge, Enablers, Bad Moods, Bad Ideas and Panic Attacks. And just what are these hostiles all about? That's where watching this video comes in.

If you're looking at all the Psychonauts related deals and wishing for a bit more merchandise, you could go the route of Titolian and just build your own out of LEGO bricks.


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Raz by Titolian, on Flickr
Comments: 4 / Source: flickr

Figments, Emotional Baggage, Memory Vaults and PSI Challenge Markers make their court-mandated return in Psychonauts 2 (occasionally with enhancement), but what of the sequel's all-new collectible items that you've been hearing so much about in the hippest political clubs and Parisian coffee houses? The answers to that question and more can be streamed with prejudice below.

With Psychonauts 2 just days away, the original game and its VR sequel, In the Rhombus of Ruin, are a whopping 90% off on Steam. We don't highlight sales often anymore, but In the Rhombus of Ruin has never dropped this low. Psychiatric action adventures hooo!

Did you know that in Psychonauts 2 Raz will be getting some nifty gizmos courtesy of Otto Mentallis, a lead engineer and founding member of the Psychonauts? Well, you will after watching this video.

Having brought overwrought mayhem and blunt-force bewilderment to the Oculus Quest community, the next stop for Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual is SteamVR, which is good news for people who think that the torrid cost of a headset is barrier enough without forcing Facebook enrollment on top of it. It sounds like this version of the game will expand its audience to owners of the HTC Vive or Valve Index headsets, and I'm quite sure those are recognizable words to people who know things.

You heard the tweet. Head over to Steam to grab your demo, and have a thought for us lowborn who can't afford the virtual world by telling us how it is.

(Quoth the Benzo.)

Some of you may remember the cannon shoot-out scene at the beginning of The Curse of Monkey Island on a sliding scale of enthusiasm. Those of you on the :D end of said spectrum may also remember that the farthest turret cannot be destroyed when playing the sequence in ScummVM. Well, fret no more! According to Andy over at GitHub:

Turns out that while Full Throttle (and I believe every previous SCUMM game) indeed did what ScummVM already does when checking for object coordinates, The Dig and COMI use the ’>=’ operator in place of ’>’.

And so he fixed it – the magic that one pixel can do.

I have no idea if it actually will be part of a ScummVM release or not, because good god, it’s GitHub, and I can’t spend the precious few moments of my life reading through it. But there it is! Sound off in the comments about everything I surely missed.

The next Psychonauts 2 preview video is out, and this one concerns Raz's repertoire of psychic powers. After recapping the arsenal that Raz will be carrying over from the first game, we are introduced to three new ones: Mental Connection (which looks very hookshot-esque), Time Bubble (which appears to stun enemies and moving objects), and Mental Projection -- an ability by Raz to produce a paper "archetype" of himself voiced by Rikki Simons (GIR from Invader Zim) who can aid in battles and be dispatched through thin openings. He also may tend to fray Raz's nerves.

Sam & Max Save the World is back on the Xbox, this time for the One/Series-Whatever incarnations. It’ll run you a cent under $20. That’s about all I got – I’m sure the version is good, though! Let’s just cap it off with a trailer.

Game musician extraordinaire George "The Fat Man" Sanger, whose work can be heard in such titles as Maniac Mansion (NES), Loom, The 7th Guest, Wing Commander, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Outlaws, and a whole mess of Humongous stuff, fielded questions from Arcade Attack in extravagant video form. Reading off pre-written questions, the prolific frontman of Team Fat guides you through his long career all the way from his first Intellivision project.

It's possible that Sanger did a similar Q&A for Mojo almost a year ago as part of an article that for political reasons remains mired in a publication-palsying thicket of legal capework, shifting redactions and moral grandstanding, but hopefully we can speak of that in something other than innuendo before the year's out.

The unenthusiastically remembered Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings spawned an unreleased novelization (background here) that is now being unveiled by its author, Rob MacGregor, in audio form. There’s even a trailer with the details.

Double Fine seeks to keep you restless these remaining weeks before the release of Psychonauts 2 by drip-feeding you a series of preview videos dubbed Basic Braining. The first installment below introduces the interns of the Motherlobe, who include Dogen Boole’s pancake-eating sister.

Meanwhile, if you’re a backer of the original Psychonauts 2 Fig campaign, you’ll have received an email cowritten by some poor dope named Spaff which details the various ways you can redeem your copy of the game, depending on what level you pledged at and which…opts…you opted for.

I’m just guessing here, but if you’re someone who reads this site at all, you probably have a high opinion of your LucasArts knowledge. You know which versions of The Secret of Monkey Island are missing the Disk 22 gag; you’re capable of following a reference Remi might make to an Amiga-exclusive background prop in Woodtick; you compulsively offer to sell your first dates fine leather jackets as a secret handshake to weed out the rejects; you’d recognize a panel from the Defenders of Dynatron City comic; you could spot Jenny Sward dialog in Loom amidst Orson Scott Card’s lines at five hundred yards.

You’ve maintained the fan sites, solved the Three Paths, witnessed the death of Cobb, memorized the code wheel combos, chose DOSBox over ScummVM, made a fool of yourself in front of Dom on IRC in 1999…You know everything there is to know, dadgummit. So if there was something exceptionally outrageous to be exposed about 1990s LucasArts adventure artisans – like, for example, that they made an objectively insane, sketch-based local television show after hours – that would hardly be news to you, now would it?

To that, Mojo paternally brays the following rejoinder: “Hold my grog.”

Discover the tale of Fiction by Louie – five episodes worth of public access mayhem that Dave Grossman, Dan Connors, and other folks you would know slapped together, aired to the unsuspecting insomniacs of Marin County in 1996-2000, and then quietly moved on from, secure in the knowledge that no one would ever discover their dirty secret decades after the crime. But they didn’t count on our crack team of Ronan Farrow-esque journalists, and today the truth becomes the public’s business.

Our sincerest thanks to Jesse Clark, Dave Grossman, Dan Connors, Mark Cartwright and John Hannon for making this article possible with their generous donation of memories and artifacts.

Congratulations are in order for Double Fine, as Psychonauts 2 has gone gold (that is, development is finished and the game is under glass), and you can go ahead and treat that August 25th release date as scripture.

You might as well keep that Psychonauts 2 high going by checking out VentureBeat’s recent interview with senior systems designer Lauren Scott and lead environment artist Geoff Soulis. And when you’re through with that…well, you’re probably on your own at that point. Nevertheless: Psychonauts 2!

The high priests who maintain the Genesis Temple sat down with artist/designer Larry Ahern for six months to discuss his decades-spanning career. Getting the interview down on paper apparently required a scope akin to The Human Condition, because they’ve only published one of two parts.

But that first half takes us from the beginning of Larry’s career all the way through The Curse of Monkey Island. A number of good working-at-LucasArts-in-the-nineties anecdotes are shared from Larry’s experiences on Monkey Island 2, Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle, and we even get a few extra details on that scrapped prologue for The Curse of Monkey Island, which among other things would have seen the return of the Voodoo Priest of LeChuck’s Fortress.

The second part promises tales from Larry’s final years at LucasArts, including at least one collapsed version of Full Throttle 2, as well as the misadventures of Insecticide. Look for it whenever the intermission ends.

If you were hoping for a way to play Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis that requires a subscription, isn't DRM-free and supports Jeff Bezos, then today is your lucky day.

Joining the ranks of the Monkey Island special editions, Fate of Atlantis is now available via Prime Gaming, a revolutionary new service from Amazon that lets you register yet another app for doing the same thing you can do elsewhere, less conveniently. Go ahead and pinch yourself. This is really happening.

Though Peter McConnell failed to honor the sacred tradition of giving Mojo sneak peek MP3s for a Psychonauts game, we don’t hold grudges around here, which is why we remain deliriously excited about his score for Psychonauts 2, a game which comes out later this month, for goodness sake.

And being above pettiness is really primed to pay off for us, because this score promises to be amazing, with sky-high production values. You can hear that for yourself by listening to a preview of six minutes from the soundtrack, embedded below, which Double Fine and McConnell have presented via Spin instead of us.* It's unreasonably awesome.

*And we have no problem with that.

And it’s about time, I say! It seems the 78th Venice International Film Festival will be including Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual as part of the VR line-up. The unexpected occasion is being used to unveil Steve Purcell’s majestic cover art for the game:

Thanks, Venice!

Polygon also has a not-too-overwhelming preview of the game.

(And that is all -- short but sweet.)

Well, if they had to recast Mutt, they could have done worse.

Comments: 1 / Source: Deadline

Production on Indiana Jones 5 continues to be well-stalked, probably owing to the fact that the location shooting has happened to take place in some fairly public places so far.

It would be exceptionally difficult to hide what the production is doing right now. Shooting is currently taking place on a street in Glasgow that has been extensively converted into New York circa 1969:

Observers have dated the environment based on various context clues amongst the set dressing, positing that the movie will depict the Apollo 11 Ticker Tape Parade. New York is also home to a number of prestigious museums, which wouldn't be altogether radical territory for a tenured professor of archeology.

Whatever brings Indy to the Big Apple, it seems like a reasonable place to set Act I before he gets pulled into the proverbial One Last Adventure. Lao Che rises again It could be anything!

For those who have found the marketing for this game to be a bit evasive, let it be known that the bashfulness is over:

Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual will be available to Oculus Quest owners today at 1pm EST. For you social media types, HappyGiant will also be doing an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit at 8pm EST over at /r/SamandMax. While that may sound like no topic is off limits, it is critical to remember that the developers are really only interested in questions about the characters boning each other.

Tomorrow is the day that Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual will flow forth from the spigot that is your local Oculus Quest shoppe, and the reviews are starting to trickle in. And get this: they’re rather positive! Check out the raves from The Ghost Howls and Android Central, and learn what those sites are in the process!

I’ve also received word from one of my corporate spies planted in the Mojo front office that someone in our staff of thousands (spanning sixteen physical divisions across four continents) has received a review copy, so our authoritative voice on the matter will be gracing your browser soon as well.

And if that doesn’t leave you enthused, let’s see you maintain that stony demeanor of yours in the face of this moving verse that Mike Stemmle composed for the occasion:

Thrik

I seem to have somehow overlooked the existence of an entire Amazon platform

As had I, yet exist it does, and we just have to live with that. Prime Gaming, as it is known, is trying to tempt adventure gaming aficionados with The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. To wit:

You can find the very special edition in the “Games with Prime” section, which apparently is part of regular Prime. I’m pretty sure I read that they will charge more for the fun sometime in the feature. I don’t know; figure it out yourself, if you really need another version of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition.

You may or may not have heard that Sea of Thieves has doubled down on some Monkey Island content. (I assume with a new content update. But maybe not. I know nothing of the game.) Well, you do not have to play the game to see what it all looks like, thanks to this intrepid Redditor:

(Video was originally embedded here, but because Reddit is quite possibly literally hell, it insisted on autoplaying. So it’s now below the cut.)

I mean, that’s… something.

Update! Junaid points out that the map seen in the video is a tribute to Paco Vink's map from World of Monkey Island (RIP).

Read more...

As I’ve grown fond of touting, this is a historical summer where Lucasfilm has accidentally allowed not one but two non-Star Wars productions to go forward. On the forefront we have Indiana Jones 5, which has been blessed with a very smooth and incident-free…first two weeks. It seems while rehearsing a fight scene, Harrison Ford got understandably carried away with pretending to punch Nazis. Say Disney in a statement:

In the course of rehearsing for a fight scene, Harrison Ford sustained an injury involving his shoulder. Production will continue while the appropriate course of treatment is evaluated, and the filming schedule will be reconfigured as needed in the coming weeks.

Mary Bihr herself couldn’t have phrased it better! As online commentators seem downright giddy to point out, Harrison Ford taking abuse while filming is something of a tradition. Perhaps most notably, the star suffered a herniated disc on the set of Temple of Doom, an injury which kept the star out of pocket for over a month and led Spielberg to shoot as much as he could with Ford’s stuntman (the inestimable Vic Armstrong) before production was outright shut down for several weeks. The scuttlebutt is that Ford may need a month or so to recover from this latest injury, though for the moment production seems to be trying to work around his absence.

This is obviously not good news, and it’s getting downright suspicious how many setbacks this particular project seems to be given to (Forget microchip conspiracies; somebody obviously doesn’t want this movie to get made), but we’ve been here before, and presumably things will resume after whatever hiatus proves necessary. Of course, Option B would be to just do what they did on Raiders when logistical hangups meant a planned fight scene couldn’t be shot as storyboarded:

While Indy is in the infirmary, it seems that neither God nor man can interfere with the Willow streaming series, which some* have called the most anticipated release of all time. Production on the show commenced in Wales several weeks back, and it’s been announced that director Stephen Woolfenden (Outlander) has joined Jonathan Entwistle in tackling at least one episode of the season. And you’d have to have a heart of acorn-induced stone to not be cheered on some level by the spotting of Warwick Davis on a Willow set again.

Now let’s get this thing in the can and released and spawning a point ‘n click Willow game.

*Citation needed

Today is the welcome day that you can buy the LucasArts classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors and its sequel Ghoul Patrol on Windows, Switch, PS4 and Xbox Whatever. Head on over to your preferred platform's respective storefronts and relive some of your favorite 16-bit memories. With a few extra features to boot, it's probably the most exciting product that this "Lucasfilm Games" company has been associated with for some time.

And remember, if you find this digital release too reasonably priced, you can head on over to Limited Run Games to peruse their progressively outrageous physical offerings, including cartridge-based versions for the original release platforms, until pre-orders close July 18th.

By signing off on the use of Pirates of the Caribbean in Sea of Thieves, Disney has shown a willingness to license its IP to third party game studios, but how far does that willingness extend?

Acting as Mojo’s vessel, IGN hooked the nearest Mouse representative that swam its way that they might pose that very question, bearing in mind that Disney's property now includes things like Guybrush and Purple Tentacle.

Speaking to IGN, SVP of Walt Disney Games Sean Shoptaw said that Disney was happy to work with "the best" developers, specifically those who came to them with interesting ideas or interpretations that hadn't yet been done. When asked what was meant by "the best" and if it included indie developers as well as big-budget, AAA titles, Shoptaw confirmed that all were welcome... and hinted that there may already be something along those lines in the works.

"Obviously we work with a lot of big AAA partners like Ubisoft, like Bethesda, like EA, and we'll continue to do that," he said. "But we are very open to quality regardless of size, right? So if they're strong indie that has a real passion and a vision for a story of ours, or a character or ours, or anything in our universe, we are all ears. I think that you'll see stuff coming out over time here that really will back that up. So yeah, it's not just about the big guys. The big guys, those are really important partners of ours, as I noted. But we're hoping to work with a broad set of partners across the world."

Luigi Priore, VP of Disney & Pixar Games, said that in some cases, a big AAA game might not be the best avenue to tell certain stories or focus on certain characters.

"An indie storyteller, a creative could work on another property within the Disney and Pixar collection of IP in a different way," Priore said. "Those smaller indie kind of experiences that are more personal... I think those are opportunities too."

What does this mean? Well, not necessarily anything, but it at least alludes to doors being open rather than closed. No need to give up on your dream of having Bobbin Threadbare cameo in your Candy Crush knockoff just yet.

Comments: 1 / Source: IGN

If you’re a fan of Rifftrax, the Mystery Science Theater-like comedy troupe consisting of that show’s 1997-1999 cast, you know that it carries on its antecedent’s tradition of esoteric references. The general rule is that if you watch enough episodes of MST3K or any of its spiritual successors, you’ll eventually hear a joke about everything, from Shakespeare to 70s television to an incident involving a writer’s ex-girlfriend.

And now, we can add LucasArts adventure games to the mix. Reporting from Reddit, fan “CognitiveNerd1701” says:

I'm watching "The Dark" right now and they just made a joke about a meteor landing in Dr. Fred's yard "and you get to put a hamster in the microwave!" - Mike Nelson

Well, there you have it. If it’s good enough to rate a riff by Mike Nelson, it’s good enough for Disney to greenlight a third installment – that’s just how this works, People In Charge. As for the rest of you, the cited Rifftrax episode can be gotten here.

It is upon us:

Don’t have a headset to play this on and ran out of plasma to sell? Then you may want check out this second, saucier Sam & Max sweepstakes, which you can enter for a chance to win an Oculus Quest 2, a device which has an MSRP of eight trillion dollars (I rounded up) last time I checked.

It’s hard to figure out how much Indy 5 stuff to report on now that the movie is in production and the rumor/leak mill is in full operation. Beyond consideration about spoilers, there’s also the question of whether every stray stalker’s uploaded glimpse of the location shoots really merits that precious Mojo front page ink. Besides which, there are more capable institutions out there who are in better positions to sate your cravings for unfiltered coverage.

But, one innocuous-enough leak couldn’t pass without comment.

Some of the photographs to hit the less reputable broadsides out of the first week of filming depict Harrison Ford and Toby Jones (nice!) exchanging some sort of prop outside Bamburgh castle. (Based on the dots on Ford’s face and the WWII-era imagery associated with the shooting thus far, it seems we’re in for a 1940s prologue.) No one could possibly harvest any meaning out of such an obscured view of this unknown object – that is, no one except those with an eagle-eye for Atlantean architecture:

This is of course an absurd extrapolation that’s about as convincing as zaarin’s theory that Indy is chasing the Zodiac killer, but it’s still good fun. Of course, it’s always fun and games until somebody pops orichalcum into the mouth…

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitter

The film world is acknowledging the passing of photographer Eva Sereny, whose prolific work taking stills for movie productions includes this recognizable photograph of Harrison Ford and Sean Connery during the filming of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

How recognizable? Well, SCUMM fans know that it was chosen to grace the cover of the Last Crusade graphic adventure, in a sense making Eva Sereny the box artist for the classic game.

What we in the business call Xbox Games Showcase Extended happened today, and during it Tim gave a presentation about Psychonauts 2. He describes the game’s setup in pretty good detail, offering a more expansive look at the overworld than I’ve seen so far. It all starts at 16:40 in the video below.

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.

There was actually more Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual footage unveiled out of that “UploadVR” event than was covered in yesterday’s news post, but I we Remi was just too lazy to finish the job. But let’s not dwell on my our Remi’s indolence; let’s just get the job done.

First off is this exuberant fellow’s guided tour of the game’s first hour, albeit edited down to twenty minutes:

That it’s a positive impression is perhaps more persuasive for the fact that it comes from someone with no Sam & Max background. His only criticism seems to be that the game is on the easy/casual side, which isn’t so damning an assessment of a tutorial-y opening stretch. And if you’d like to see some of the same portions of the game without the commentary, there’s always this:

And don’t catch yourself going outside for some fresh air before you revisit yesterday's gameplay trailer, now on Youtube:

Finally, HappyGiant has revealed that none other than Steve Purcell will be doing voicework in the game. He will be performing the role of Duncan B. Dills, the creator of the Aquabears funtime park, here represented as an animatronic head/bomb that you have to defuse like a Bop It toy, which feels inarticulately objectionable in that Sam & Max way:

We did our best to warn you that the upcoming, surprise Switch releases of Zombies Ate My Neighbors and its sequel Ghoul Patrol would be accompanied by physical releases from Limited Run Game. But would any warning have really prepared you for this?

Well, if I'm gonna be impoverished, it might as well be by this.

We made it.

There was an event today called UploadVR, and Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual was in attendance. What do you say we cut the baloney and get straight to the footage?

You are probably aware of the fact that audio titans Julian Kwasneski and Jared Emerson-Johnson operate professionally as Bay Area Sound, the decorated studio founded by Kwasneski and Clint Bajakian back in the day. You might even be aware of the Pulitzer-repelling interview we did with them over ten years ago, in which we asked well-researched questions like “What was it like working at Skywalker Ranch?” even though the Ranch wasn’t a thing since the Lucasfilm Games days.

Lately, we got to thinking about the “ten years” part with a bit of embarrassment, and anyway BA Sound is involved with both Skunkape and HappyGiant on these Sam & Max projects we find ourselves surrounded by, so Mojo felt the time was right to confront them, put them on the defensive, and demand to know why it never happened between us after that first date went so well. Also, we talk Sam & Max sound/music. Enjoy!

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!

Today at long last is the street date for the Indiana Jones UHD box set. While we mortals haven't gotten our hands on one yet, the screencap comparisons that have been circulating suggest that we are in for material quality gains across all four movies.

The somewhat orange-y, "overexposed" grade that Raiders was given for the 2012 Blu-ray appears to have thankfully been dialed back.Temple is just looking straight phenomenal, and man, did the Blu-ray of Crusade really suffer from all those aliasing problems?

Meanwhile, Crystal Skull's color timing seems to have received revisionism of its own this time out -- but in a good way, with a bit of de-chlorination being mercifully conducted on that movie's ugly, trendy embrace of the almighty teal. There's no way to grade out the choice to shoot the installment with highly distracting diffusion filters and self-conscious lighting, though, so you're out of luck if that artifical dreamscape look was your problem with the movie.

But as blown away as we may be by the fine grain structure that has been reproduced so welcomely for these classics (and the Ray Winstone one), those movies are old news. On the subject of The Future, filming of the fifth installment is underway in UK locations like Bamburgh Castle and North Yorkshire. The production is predictably being stalked every step of the way, leading to photos like this showing up everywhere:

Seeing Ford in costume alongside longtime Indy producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy is a good feeling. Sad that Spielberg didn't join in on the fun, but life is a series of choices, and so forth.

There's some more spoilery stuff out there too, but I'll relegate discussion of that to the forum thread out of respect to those who prefer their Mojo front page without. Sure, I'm just inventing proprieties out of thin air here, but just roll with it.

Wasn’t sure we were ever actually gonna reach that milestone.

I suppose we have to shift from complaining about this movie never happening to complaining about the exclusion of Dan Aykroyd, as I predict that will age better. It is inescapable now that we’re getting one last adventure with Harrison Ford as Indy, and as the kids say these days: I am in attendance for it.

Comments: 1 / Source: Deadline

Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual had been slated to release on the Oculus Quest this month, but it looks like it's getting delayed just by a hair:

A month is not too bad at all, but let's face it: it's the end of the world nonetheless.

Just your friendly Mojo PSA that pre-orders for the various physical editions of Sam & Max Save the World on offer from Limited Run Games close tomorrow, Sunday, May 30th at midnight. A quick reminder of the various products you can redirect your child’s tuition budget toward if you act now:

As that slipcover implies, you’ll certainly be dealing with similar financial crises when Skunkape delivers their remasters of the remaining two seasons in due time.

In other Limited Run news, it seems that Monkey Island collector’s box has quietly been pushed from a Q2 to a Q4 ship date. Hey, getting Guybrush’s hair right is fastidious work.

Look, I don’t care what you say – the Amiga versions of The Secret of Monkey Island and LeChuck’s Revenge are the only Monkey Island-s you need. And now you can play them through the streaming service Antstream Arcade. What is Antstream Arcade? I have no clue, but it exists, and it has the Amiga versions of Monkey Island. The service is available for Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire, and Nvidia Shield.

You can try the Antstream for free; after that, it’s £9.99 a month. I could not find any dollar or euro prices.

(Some might also argue UAE is a better alternative, but I’ll leave that up to the individual.)

Double Fine has delivered another seasonal update for Psychonauts 2, a game that began pre-production sometime during the Coolidge Administration. Enjoy below the studio's unflinching Spring 2021 progress report, complete with voyeuristic peeks at the team's Zoom meetings, tantalizing new gameplay footage, and an exciting glimpse at the music recording sessions featuring not only Peter McConnell, but his brothers-in-arms Michael Land and Clint Bajakian.

Oh, and Tim draws parallels between the sequel and Monkey Island 2, showing that he still knows how to push Mojo's buttons.

Beyond that, Psychonauts 2 has also landed the cover story of the latest issue of Game Informer. Digital and...linear?...versions of the magazine can be purchased right here. And do check out this accompanying video showing off one of Raz's new Psi-powers:

The Game Informer preview is apparently the vanguard of an outright assault of incoming Psychonauts 2 coverage, so keep an eye out for that. Amdist it all will be a developer playthrough of the original Psychonauts - now available on Xbox Game Pass - streaming via the Double Fine Twitch channel over the next several Fridays.

And is there even time to mention the open pre-orders for Double Fine's 20th anniversary art book, or the Amnesia Fortnight movie, the trailer for which is below?

Probably not. I mean, I have to stop somewhere.

Update from Thrik: No, it doesn’t stop there! Double Fine has released a video about the game’s accessibility features, which seem to be very extensive — for my part, more so than I’ve ever seen in a game.

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.

Well, I didn't know about all that. Luckily, Laserschwert was able to steer me to the following tweet when I showcased my ignorance on the forums, thereby putting me In The Know™.

Now that's putting your license with Lucasfilm to good use. We'll just have to contain ourselves until all is divulged in June. In the meantime: woot.

Per Deadline:

Mangold's looting his own Logan cast, I see. And why not?

At least, that’s the impression Mads Mikkelsen is under. Here’s the relevant portion from the actor’s interview with Esquire.

You’ve been in Star Wars, James Bond and Marvel movies, and you’re now joining Fantastic Beasts 3 and Indiana Jones 5. Does this prove that, for franchises to be truly successful, they need you?

[laughs] It looks like it, eh? We just need the zombie franchises to give me a call.

But it is really funny and absurd, especially for a Danish actor who never dreamt of working over there, and then all of a sudden, I’m in one thing, and then I’m in four or five different franchises that are some of the biggest ones. It’s surreal for me. But I think it would be for any actor, British and American as well. It’s really a thrill.

Can you tell me anything about Indiana Jones 5?

I can tell you a lot, but then somebody has to shoot me [laughs]. We will start rehearsing this week, and then we’ll start shooting in 4-5 weeks. It’s starting up now. And Fantastic Beasts is already over. Ask me about the franchises, I know everything [laughs].

Rehearsing? Amateurs! In any event, the untitled fifth installment will hit theaters July 2022, while a single screenshot from its German fan game adaptation in pseudo-SCUMM will drop thirteen years after that before the project is unceremoniously abandoned. And Mojo will be here to guide you through both, unless Zaarin misses a payment.

If you’re a Switch owner and for whatever reason have not purchased the scourge of the Proud Boys, Sam & Max Save the World, you can now download a demo of it: North American store or European store. And after you’ve decided you love it, you can get it for 20% off from the Nintendo eShop – sale runs through May 31st.

As an extra bonus, the social justice warriors over at Skunkape have also posted a screenshot from the second season. I mean, what?!

And that's awesome.

More, please.

Update: Oh nice, there's a trailer, too, revealing extra features that include a behind-the-scenes gallery.

I’ve been told anecdotally that there are a number of public Discord channels where Mixnmojo readership types congregate and make predominately harmless mischief together. Being that I’m in my late eighties, I don’t keep up with such things myself and instead rely upon a few well-placed sources to funnel back the highlights to the nursing home I occupy.

All this is to explain Mojo’s palsied reaction to a rather stunning turn of events: Skunkape’s Randy Tudor, who served as a gameplay programmer both on Sam & Max: Freelance Police as well as the Telltale seasons, offered up without comment [that I know of] the following from his personal archive to the community of a Sam & Max Discord:

That would of course be Freelance Police project lead Mike Stemmle on the receiving end of Max’s ire. All signs point to this being produced during that cancelled game’s development -- perhaps as part of some web-based marketing that didn’t see the light of day, or maybe it’s just some internal nonsense the team made to amuse themselves?

We may never know, but like all untimely Freelance Police flotsam that makes it to the shoreline, it’s getting gracelessly stuffed into our big fat article where all extant media related to that martyred sequel shall collect like barnacles until the end of the internet.

While the specific date remains unannounced, next month will see the release of Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual on its debut platform, the Oculus Quest. Mojo hopes to contribute to the hype by following up its HappyGiant interview with another journalistic tour-de-force (stay tuned!), but if you’re more of a materialistic personality who’s into free stuff, you may want to look into this contest HappyGiant has just launched.

The way it works is you volunteer information that people on the internet shouldn’t be giving out, thus entering for a chance to win a pair of those excellent Boss Fight Studio figures you’ve heard so much about. HappyGiant promises that this is the first of multiple contests, so keep an eye out for more giveaways after you try your luck with this one.

You might think the fact that the founder of Mixnmojo works for Double Fine would mean we spend our days backstroking across a comprehensive ocean of exclusives, or can at least be relied upon for up-to-the-second Psychonauts 2 coverage, but such expectations would make you: an idiot, apparently.

Instead, we’re left to scratch around for others' leftovers like a bunch of grubby parasites while our absent father figure returns the affections of other people’s children. But if I could return to my point: Double Fine released some new Psychonauts 2 screen this week, which you can check out below.

While we were at it, we took the liberty of righting our woefully out of date screenshot gallery, so do give that a browse, too.

Need more? Well, how about this new interview with Tim which touts the sequel’s empathetic approach toward mental illness, including consulting with a doctor of clinical psychology? These efforts sure sound like something that sounds good, though I’m equally concerned that the franchise lives up to its orphanage-pancaking heritage.

Speaking of: Should any Xbox owners be itching to give the original Psychonauts a fresh spin as its long-gestating follow-up looms ever closer, they'll note that the game is coming to Xbox Game Pass. A nifty new trailer was created to mark the occasion:

Indiana Jones 5 co-star Mads Mikkelsen has strong opinions about the script he read before signing onto the project, going so far as to tell Collider that it was “everything I wished it to be.”

Mads is excited. Now you’re excited. And most importantly, you know who to blame if this turns out to be one of those rare fifth installments that falls short of redefining the potential of the medium. The guy’s just implicitly accepted all responsibility for your expectations. Start getting pissed off now.

Comments: 2 / Source: Collider

We've learned that LucasArts games tester Judith Lucero has passed away. Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert shared some thoughts on her importance at his blog.

Although she isn't in the opening credits to Monkey Island 2, Gilbert's post proves she did work on it. Her name appears in the opening to The Secret of Monkey Island, and her list of credits speaks for itself.

Mixnmojo gives its condolences to her family and loved ones.

This summer, Lucasfilm will improbably be going into production on two not Star Wars things. When has this last happened? Will it ever happen again? I would doubt it.

And thus our rebelliously compulsive coverage of the Willow show must proceed, with the latest casting news:

Mojo has not yet received an invitation for a set visit, but we figure they're just playing hard to get.

Remember when Mojo was fun? Well, we don’t either, but we’re not going to let that stop us from launching Fun Zone™! Here we will post small projects that may or may not be interesting, weird, and/or fun.

First out: The Thimbleweed County White Pages.

You probably do remember the phone book from Thimbleweed Park, with its voice mail greetings and all. Well, now you can browse through it and listen to/read the voice mails to your heart’s content. That’s just the type of fun services we provide here at Mojo.

Go relive a small snippet of Thimbleweed Park and you, too, can be fun!

I mean, “glory” might be a stretch, plus you’ve been able to access these podcasts through our media section for a while. However, for those who aren’t savages like Thrik, your favorite player can yet again access all our episodes as our RSS feed is back up to snuff. It might take a while for Apple, Google, etc., to catch up, but keep an eye out on your favorite podcatcher and get ready to relive 30 episodes of your favorite podcast. As a reminder, you can subscribe through:

And sure, we haven’t released any new episodes in a while, but more is to come shortly. Maybe. (But probably not.)

Each week brings a new casting announcement, it seems. The latest get is Thomas Kretschmann.

It's hard not to conclude from this that the franchise is crawling back to the Nazis as villains. We shall see!

This is a preannouncement of a preorder: Limited Run Games is going to be taking orders on a Sam and Max slipcase in about nine days. Or whatever the countdown says by the time you click over to it.

In a case of Japanese-style blurring, the slipcase lists the unconfirmed Beyond Time and Space and The Devil's Playhouse. I wonder what we're supposed to pretend is meant to fit in that big slipcase. Could it be...a banana?

So we're preannouncing that the other two Sam and Max games are releasing at the announcement of the Sam and Max slipcase preorder that goes on sale in nine days.

Marketing!

All these timely announcements would prompt me to tell you to go over to our mortal enemies good friends over at SamAndMax.co.uk for speedier Sam and Max updates, since they announced the preannouncement two days ago, but I think in this case the preannouncement is a bit, uh, premature.

It must be a slow news day: Psychonauts 2 is still releasing in 2021, according to a series of Tweets from the Double Fine Twitter account. It's also "playable."

Not that I understand the follow-up Tweets. Twitter is a surreal place.

It is unclear just when in 2021 the long-awaited followup to the 2005 longgg-and-slowww-burning hit releases.

Or at least that’s what Limited Run Games proposes with their Save the World bundle. Case in point:

There’s a lot to (literally) unpack here. Those comic-book-style covers in postcard format? There. The iconic “Highway Surfin’” illustration as a mini print? Check. I mean, just look at the goddamn tweet thread and leave me alone.

The Switch bundle will run you a cool $74.99; the PC version $64.99. Pre-orders start April 30th.

Update! Skunkape has posted as history of the casefile. Definitely run and read it!

After announcing Indy's sidekick last week, Deadline is ready to reveal his love interest:

So maybe we don't actually know anything about the character Mads will be playing, but he's good casting even if he's gonna be portraying the animated red line on the map.

Comments: 2 / Source: Deadline

During the four unproductive years that Spielberg was attached to the project as director, Indy 5 was being scripted by his tentpole go-to, David Koepp, with a break in the middle there during which Jonathan Kasdan and then allegedly Dan Fogelman took a stab at the intractable installment.

Mangold is an accomplished screenwriter himself, so when he took over directorial duties it seemed likely he would have a hand in the script that would ultimately be produced. Now we know:

That this is the same writing team that brought you Ford v Ferrari is probably a good thing, as good things have been said about that movie. Plus, if you’ve dealt with one Ford, you’ve dealt with them all, so Mangold probably knows what he’s doing here.

Okay listen, headline aside, I'm gonna dial back on the snark that it has been politely noticed I tend to dish out when Limited Run Games robs a deserving SCUMM title of one of these top notch packaged releases by routing the budget to a Star Wars title instead while their licensing arrangement with Lucasfilm presumably tick, ticks away.

It's inappropriate, it's not the time, and frankly it's not reading the room.

So in the interest of fair play here - and for gosh sakes, what do I stand for if not fair play? - and without further unsolicited commentary from the peanut gallery, here is the announced Star Wars: Republic Commando boxed set, presented in its full glory:

But if I could just say one thing. Limited Run? You listening? I want to run something past you right quick. It'll just take a second.

You get it, Limited Run Games?

See what I'm saying, Limited Run Games?

I love you, Limited Run Games.

Hey, I wouldn't make this up:

The inevitable speculation: Is Waller-Bridge playing Indy's daughter? Well, maybe, but slow down. We need to drag this out. It's the Mojo way.

Those revived forums are paying for themselves! The venerable “monkeyboobs” started a thread upon noticing the following submission on Unseen64:

A good few years ago I was contacted by one of the lead devs of the original Zombies Ate My Neighbours game. He was a fan of the channel and thanked me for making a video on the franchise :)

If that wasn’t cool enough he then went on to explain that a TRUE sequel was pitched but sadly not successful. Here are a couple of pics he showed me from that original pitch. The plan was that I would interview him and show off more, but sadly that never happened :(

We have lost contact over the last couple of years now and I have been sitting on these images for a long time not really knowing what to do with them! So, before I accidentally delete them I feel it is best that I share them with the world :P

Zombies Ate My Neighbors (1993) has had an impressively unsuccessful time of getting continuations off the ground. The only direct sequel was Ghoul Patrol (1994), which began its life as an unrelated game before the Zombies protagonists were slapped on it at the eleventh hour. In terms of gameplay if not genre, Herc’s Adventures (1997) could quite reasonably be thought of as a third installment, while a proposed tribute game called Demons Ate My Neighbors looks to be going for something much more faithful to the original.

The book Rogue Leaders revealed that LucasArts began work on another game that was intended to be kindred to Zombies back in 2000. The game, code named Sawyer, was abandoned when its team was reassigned to Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. Concept art can be seen here. Is Sawyer the same game as this alleged Zombies Ate My Neighbors 2, or something different altogether? We may never know, but dropping a quirky game in favor of an Attack of the Clones tie-in is some classic turn-of-the-century LucasArts.

Comments: 1 / Source: Unseen64

And it's just enjoyable to see.

Dan Connors and Jake Rodkin of Skunkape were the featured guests on the latest episode of the Retronauts podcast, in which they tell war stories both about making the original Sam & Max Save the World as well as the excellent remaster. There are a lot of good anecdotes here, including how Steve Purcell vetoed a lactating Max and an intended Salmon Mack origin story in Season 2.

It’s really an excellent conversation, and not just because of the multiple Mojo shoutouts. Though that does make it a contractual obligation.

We often talk about the LucasArts adventure catalog as numbering fourteen, starting the count with Maniac Mansion (1987) -- a first both for the SCUMM engine and for Lucasfilm Games’ status as a publisher.

But the fact is, the oft-snubbed Labyrinth: The Computer Game (1986) was the first adventure product the studio developed, and with its “word wheel” concept – a prototypical stab at a graphic adventure interface that in fact appears only after a text-based prologue – it’s of substantial academic interest unto itself, not to mention one of the earliest examples of a commercially successful movie tie-in of its genre.

And as it turns out, its development was pretty interesting, too. Speaking to Retro Gamer last month, David Fox reminisces about the project’s production, which included a trip to the UK for a brainstorming session with two of his heroes, Douglas Adams and Jim Henson:

One night Douglas invited us over to his house for dinner and Jim Henson was also invited. He was sitting right across the table from me and if I was a little intimidated by Douglas I was probably more so by Jim because I knew his work even more. I'd be eating my food and every once in the while I'd hear Kermit The Frog across the table from me. Jim was really kind, humble, unassuming. Douglas was too, they were both extremely warm creative people who I felt honoured to be in the presence of. I also remember that when Jim arrived he came with a huge smoked salmon, maybe three foot long. That was intended as a joke, so Douglas could say at the end of the evening, 'So long and thanks for all the fish!'

Like most (all?) of Lucasfilm Games’ pre-Maniac catalog, Labyrinth isn’t commercially available, but there are probably ways to play it for the enterprising spirit while waiting for the inevitable German-made fan remake.

They've swung capably at the softballs lobbed so far by affable VR bloggers and Oprah Winfrey, but the developers at HappyGiant knew the time had come to exit the bubble and submit themselves to the hard-hitting rite of passage that is a Mixnmojo interview.

Join us as we put the Real Questions™ to CEO Mike Levine about all things Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual which, as you know from today's skin-searing press blast, will be hitting a number of VR platforms over the next year, starting with the Oculus Quest in June.

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Did you know that Bill Tiller irregularly offers updates on A Vampyre Story’s future, but you just never hear about it because he hides them on Facebook?

It’s true! On the A Vampyre Story Facebook page – the only web presence for the property that appears to still be standing - Bill will make the occasional post and engage with fans in the comments. Here’s a reference to AVS 2 from last summer which, okay, isn’t that recent, but still a lot more recent than the last reference to the series’ future that I was familiar with, and I’m on active lookout for them:

Those with a long memory will recall that Bill used his favorite platform to announce that he regained the rights back in 2019, so the fact that he’s still keeping the dream alive as recently as nine months ago is, well, better than nothing.

And I don’t care if it’s not season appropriate -- I’m also taking this moment to share the Autumn Moon Halloween 2020 card Bill posted on Facebook that I never knew existed because it was posted on Facebook, god dammit.

Help us help you, Bill. Listen, I can blackmail Remi into paying the hosting for amegames.com, if that’s the issue. Don’t worry, he can afford it after selling all those non-fungible tokens for The SCUMM Bar. I know: the guy's shameless.

Comments: 1 / Source: Facebook

How many times have you asked yourself, “Self, I wonder what the CMI audition material looks like?” Odds are never, because who would even think about anything like that. Turns out spielbergfan1 did, as he has gotten his grubby hands on 70+ pages of the stuff. To quote:

This took some time to fully collect, but the bundle is FINALLY complete! Behold, the original audition copy, character sketches, some cutscene storyboards, and even an unused background plate/game sequence angle thrown in for good measure for "The Curse of Monkey Island!" An immense thank you to my contact, who worked on this game, for providing me with all of this! "The Curse of Monkey Island" is very near and dear to my heart, and I’m beyond elated that I have the honor of getting to preserve this material from the LucasArts days of old (it makes me sad to type that out). Anyway, I hope you enjoy this blast of nostalgia. I know I did! Here’s hoping we one day get more games (and even a movie or two) from this franchise!

As the man of fine taste he is, he decided to send it all to us. To wit:

  • View it all as images, or...
  • Download the PDF!

Thanks spielbergfan1! #2 is just an ass in our book.

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You’ve probably noticed that today has been an orchestrated press bonanza for Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual, and while our hubris demands that our own interview remain at the top of the page, we also wanted to provide a public service by pointing out a few other artifacts of the blitz from the internet at large, including:

  • This preview of the game by Game Informer.
  • Sworn rival Fellow fan site SamAndMax.co.uk’s own interview with HappyGiant.
  • This GIF that elTee made: I’m told it makes sense if you’re familiar with the album Remi was parodying in our interview’s header art. We’re all about ostracizing readers with presumptuous reference humor, after all.

We’ll add to this list as necessary!

Hot off the presses: Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual will be released on the Oculus Quest in June for $29.99, on SteamVR and Viveport Infinity later in the year, and for Playstation VR in early 2022.

The full press release and a bunch of new screenshots can be found here. Update by Remi: No, not there. Here! At Mojo! Press release is below the fold, and our gallery is updated, too.

And don't bother calming down, as Mojo will be making itself complicit in this press push by publishing our own interview with HappyGiant. Stay tuned.

Oh, and did we mention the new footage?

Read more...

Comments: 1 / Source: Gematsu

And these hi-res beauties show off a game much closer to the finish line than some of the earlier glimpses:

Of course, you can check out all released screenshots to date in our meticulously maintained gallery.

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.

You may already be aware that a major location in Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual will be a rundown "Aquabears" amusement park. And what dilapidated family funtime establishment could do without a creepy theme song?

And on just what platforms will you be experiencing this Purcellian Willy's Wonderland, you say? Take heart, for we will know soon:

In other "let's see what else Happy Giant tweeted over the last week that we can hastily compile" news, there's this new and improved clip of Max as Pennywise for you to ponder:

A big collection of prototype and review copies of PS2 games has been released by preservation site Hidden Palace. This includes a number of Lucasarts games such as Secret Weapons Over Normandy, RTX Red Rock, Wrath Unleashed and Gladius.

Sadly EMI wasn't among the dumps but I'm sure our readers are already scrabbling to uncover the differences in Wrath Unleashed. A game that Mojo memorably predicted "may end up being a complete turd".


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.

News for a slow week: If, like me, you're working, bored of music, and not doing great because it's spring and you're stuck in a place you were supposed to be visiting for a few weeks but wound up a whole year in due to a pandemic mishandled by the two countries you live in inside, you might enjoy YouTuber BuzzMoo's lovely Monkey Island ambience videos. It's like being outside, but with Michael Land music.

Hey, I'm grateful. Stuff like this helps.

Comments: 1 / Source: YouTube

Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, who will be serving as Director of Photography of Indiana Jones 5, has given Screen Daily the following update on the project's status:

Fast forward to 2021 and Papamichael is gearing up for the shoot of James Mangold's Indiana Jones 5 project for Walt Disney and Paramount and will shortly travel to the UK to begin work at Pinewood. "It's a great challenge. It's definitely the biggest budget movie I've ever done, by a lot," he said.

It marks Papamichael's sixth collaboration with Mangold following Identity, Walk The Line, 3:10 to Yuma, Knight And Day and Ford v Ferrari.

"I go in with a certain confidence because it's my sixth movie with James Mangold but of course, it is always a bit daunting because it [Indiana Jones] has affected generations. It comes with a certain responsibility."

Papamichael said that while his recent collaborations with Mangold like Knight And Day and Ford v Ferrari had become increasingly technical their approach even with action films was to remain focused on the character's point of view.

"All this action is really only effective when you feel for the characters when you care whether they're going to make it or not. We really try to focus on their faces, their expressions, their POV."

Papamichael worked recently with Indiana Jones lead Harrison Ford, doing some additional photography for last year's Jack London adaptation, The Call of the Wild, in which the actor starred.

"I personally found him super-fun to be around, very inspirational, [with] the enthusiasm and humour he brings. I'm just looking forward to [Indiana Jones]," Papamichael said, comparing himself to a kid "about to go to Disneyland to explore rides he maybe knows from the past."

Steven Spielberg, who co-created and directed the first four Indiana Jones films, has given his full backing to the new film, added Papamichael, although he could not say how involved he will be. "But I know he's definitely having conversations with Mangold. He is very supportive. He is very excited for us to be doing this," he said.

The project is currently in pre-production and expected to shoot in the summer. Locations are being scouted and production designer Adam Stockhausen is coming up with plans. "We get going in Pinewood and then we go to various locations which I cannot reveal to you."

Papamichael has worked in the UK before, on action-adventure The Huntsman: Winter's War. "I was very impressed by the technical crews, especially the art department, scenic painters and construction. They were very, very impressive. The camera crews were extremely experienced," he said.

Mojo stopped getting invited to film sets after that unfortunate incident with the staple gun on Funeral Parade of Roses, but it will at any rate be fun to obsessively follow the production of an Indiana Jones movie one last time. Unless Craig Derrick is ready to revive The Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine, we're all you got. Well, us and every other web site, but still!

It's official. Here's the tweet from Paramount:

And here's the full press release:

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (March 15, 2021) – Relive the unforgettable exploits of world-renowned, globetrotting hero Indiana Jones in spectacular 4K Ultra HD when the INDIANA JONES 4-MOVIE COLLECTION arrives in a new 4K Ultra HD set June 8, 2021 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Paramount Home Entertainment.

The cinematic classic that started it all—Raiders of the Lost Ark—celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, having first introduced audiences to the man with the hat on June 12, 1981. Forty years later, the legendary hero continues to captivate new generations of fans.

Now, for the first time ever, all four films are available together in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision® and HDR-10 for ultra-vivid picture quality and state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos® audio*. Each film has been meticulously remastered from 4K scans of the original negatives with extensive visual effects work done to ensure the most pristine and highest quality image. All picture work was approved by director Steven Spielberg.

In addition, all four films were remixed at Skywalker Sound under the supervision of legendary sound designer Ben Burtt to create the Dolby Atmos® soundtracks. All original sound elements were used to achieve the fully immersive Dolby Atmos® mixes while staying true to each film’s original creative intent.

The INDIANA JONES 4-MOVIE COLLECTION includes a collectible booklet with behind-the-scenes images from all four films. Each film is presented on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc with original theatrical trailers and access to digital copies. The set also includes a Blu-ray™ with seven hours of previously released bonus content as detailed below:

- On Set with Raiders of the Lost Ark

  • From Jungle to Desert
  • From Adventure to Legend

- Making the Films

  • The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 documentary)
  • The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (HD)

- Behind the Scenes

  • The Stunts of Indiana Jones
  • The Sound of Indiana Jones
  • The Music of Indiana Jones
  • The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
  • Raiders: The Melting Face!
  • Indiana Jones and the Creepy Crawlies (with optional pop-ups)
  • Travel with Indiana Jones: Locations (with optional pop-ups)
  • Indy’s Women: The American Film Institute Tribute
  • Indy’s Friends and Enemies
  • Iconic Props (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)
  • The Effects of Indy (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)
  • Adventures in Post Production (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)

It's hard to complain about an extras list that wide without looking like an ass, but I was rather hoping the rumors about deleted scenes were true. Also, let's pray the "extensive visual effects work" undergone in the enhancement process doesn't mean the worst case scenario of how that can be interpreted.

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!

We previously reported that the upcoming Willow series for Disney Plus had undergone a director swap, and it seems there’s been a cascading effect on its cast. Reports Deadline:

Ruby Cruz (Castle Rock) has landed the female co-lead opposite Ellie Bamber and Erin Kellyman in Willow, Disney+ and Lucasfilm’s upcoming TV series follow-up to the 1988 fantasy movie, with the film’s star Warwick Davis reprising his title role, I have learned. She replaced Cailee Spaeny, who had been originally tapped for the role, after an extensive recasting process. Lucasfilm declined comment.

Sure, my pop culture awareness was put out to pasture about twenty years ago and thus I have no idea who any of these actors are, but what am I suppose to do -- stop covering Willow? Fat chance.

Keep your eyes on Mojo as the series heads to production, where we hope to someday confirm that the character of Willow will play a meaningful role in Willow.

Comments: 3 / Source: Deadline

Legendary artist Drew Struzan is responsible for a large quantity of iconic movie posters, then abandoned us to the purgatory of studio-preferred Photoshop jobs when he retired from full-time commission work after the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull campaign in 2008. Nevertheless, Struzan has been known to do the occasional ad hoc illustration for friends, as he did for Frank Darabont with The Walking Dead and Mob City.

James Mangold, the director of the upcoming Indiana Jones 5, is obviously hoping his next film will be a similar exception, as he is actively courting Struzan on Twitter:

Here’s hoping Mangold can seal the deal (aka: convince Disney to cut the check), but if he strikes out, William Eaken ought to be the next phone call. Plan C: Chris Miles.

And to combat skeptics like Remi, they've decided to ante up with a glimpse of the game's intro screen.

There's still no firm release date, however, so there's still time for you to save up to buy me a platform to play this on. Thanks in advance.

It is tough to be a living legend. Ron's got that mysterious new game to make, but right now his hands are literally too busy signing four trillion certificates of authenticity (huge mistake), so the auteur has no choice but to consent to help. To this end, a few new job opportunities have appeared on the Terrible Toybox web site.

Do you have what it takes to drag limestone blocks across a desert's expanse in order to construct the great pyramid that is the next Gilbert/Winnick joint? Cast your name into the bowl, qualified game developer, and be judged.

So, we all know about the Monkey Island movie that ILM was puttering around with twenty years ago from its concept art and bizarre plot synopsis, all of which was eventually collected as bonus features in the Special Edition compilation LucasArts put out in 2011.

But what about the real behind-the-scenes dirt on this legendary project’s origin and demise? What about that rumor that Steven Spielberg threw a spanner into everything by suggesting that the main character be replaced by a monkey because he has lousy story instincts?

Wait, that was never a rumor. But it is nevertheless one of the several new tidbits unveiled by Polygon’s sordid tell-all about the Monkey Island movie, which offers hitherto unavailable insight into the abandoned project with the aid of its director, visual effects supervisor David Carson. Read all about the various permutations of the story - each pass of which took it further and further from its initial form as a loose adaption of the first game - and feel elTee's shame when the stubborn rumor that the screenwriters of Pirates of the Caribbean had any meaningful involvement is forcefully refuted. Then there’s this:

Beyond the problems of adaptation, there were also more troubling concerns. This included a second meeting with Spielberg. Jim Morris, Patty Blau, Rosen, and Tom Bertino (who was going to act as animation supervisor) were all present at this meeting.

“The first meeting was just this little table, but now Steven wanted to make the project the table … [imagine] this cartoonishly long conference room where Steven is sitting at one end, Tom Bertino is sitting at the other,” Rosen recalls. “The funny thing about Hollywood meetings and creative projects when you come up with ideas is, you’re like, ‘Oh, I have this great idea,’ and then the committee assembles. All of a sudden, this story that everyone was shaking hands on becomes, ‘What if we change the main character to a monkey?’”

“We gathered in Steven’s office, and the first thing he said was that we shouldn’t have the main characters be human,” Carson says. “Instead, he suggested we should make the movie be about the monkeys on Monkey Island. Everyone just nodded, but my heart stopped. What the heck? We had worked for several weeks on a story that was based on the charm and humor of the games, and Steven wanted to throw all that out and make some new story about monkeys? I was completely confused.

Share in the confusion and add to your knowledge by reading the full article.

Comments: 9 / Source: Polygon

Telltale continues its post-death shuffle with Tales of the Borderlands, which will release for the Nintendo Switch on March 24, 2021. I've not played the game, but other people on Mojo think highly of it.


Thanks to Scummbuddy for the heads-up!

Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands is back in action in next week for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC, after being piled in rubble when the company collapsed in September 2018.

The game is set between Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3, but is purportedly accessible to anyone who's not played them. Gameplay-wise, it follows the template set by The Walking Dead.

My entire knowledge of the series comes from The Campo Santo Quarterly Concern, which published an oral history of the game. Did you know that the series sold so poorly that Telltale almost binned it halfway through? It only survived because its developers fought studio heads for it; a skeleton crew volunteered to stay after-hours to see the game to the finish line. Makes you wonder who stuck that "popular" in Polygon's subheading.

Comments: 9 / Source: Polygon

Some good news for those who missed out on Telltale's Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures: they're back! On Steam and GOG. On the latter of which they're 60% off at the moment, setting you back $5.99. Get going if you want 'em, lads; Mojo enjoyed the games back in the day, even if we never reviewed the fourth episode. They hold up nicely.

The real question: when did they return? The answer: who knows? How did no-one tell us about this? In what world is Mojo ahead of the news cycle? What do we pay you people for?

Comments: 9 / Source: GOG

The folks over at VR blog The Ghost Howl snagged HappyGiant CEO Mike Levine for a lengthy interview about Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual. The interview can be enjoyed in the form of a one hour video version embedded below in which subject and host are depicted as Costume Quest characters, while those of you left alarmed by this approach can stick with the transcript version.

That’s not all. Some new footage has been released, in which Sam and Max welcome you to “Cap’n Aquabear’s Funtime Park” -- the depilated amusement park which the Freelance Police have retrofitted into a training academy. Check it out below:

Says The Hollywood Reporter:

Willow, the Disney+ fantasy series based on the 1988 movie, has found a new director for its pilot.

Jonathan Entwistle, known for the well-regarded series The End of the F***ing World and I Am Not Okay With This, has been tapped to direct the pilot for the show that is set after the events of the film.

Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) was due to direct the pilot and executive produce but announced Jan. 11 that he was stepping away due to scheduling concerns and an upcoming baby due in the summer.

Entwistle is also exec producing and now joins executive producers and co-showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Wendy Mericle (Arrow). Kasdan wrote the pilot.

“With its epic world of swords, sorcery and adventure, Willow captivated and influenced so many,” said Entwistle in a statement. “I’m excited to be going on this journey and working with Jon and Wendy to create something that is both deeply rooted in that original film and also a fresh, funny and charming addition to the beloved story. To be able to play within the world so painstakingly crafted by Ron back in '88 is a dream come true for me."

The series returns Warwick Davis to the title role of Willow Ufgood, the heroic apprentice Nelwyn sorcerer of the original film. Ellie Bamber and Cailee Spaeny are among the new additions.

The production begins shooting this spring in Wales.

So all of you can stop freaking out now.

An animator who pitched in on HappyGiant's upcoming Sam & Max game shared the following:

My opinion is that all attempts to date to model Max in 3D (the Freelance Police version, the Telltale version, and the one above) have done a commendable job of faithfully capturing the fuzzy maniac, and it's fun to compare the nuances. The in-engine footage of This Time It's Virtual shared so far has subjected the characters to a certain "compressed for Nintendo DS" look to my eyes, so hopefully the shipped version can have Max looking a little more like he does in the animation tool.

Mixnmojo: We pretty much just embed Tweets now.

Right here. There isn’t a whole lot more to be said, other than that their friends apparently have changed over the last fifteen years.

Image

We had a good run!

Sometimes these are easy to write.

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitter

Not surprisingly, EA has been kicked to the curb – thankfully, after the yawn fest that was Fallen Order – and Ubisoft/Massive has taken the mantle. A teaser for a new “story-driven, open-world Star Wars adventure” has been announced:

There’s a short interview which says very little, so we’ll see what happens next. Personally I’d be into a good Star Wars game that aspires to be more than painfully average.

The newly re-christened LucasFilm Games – round and around we go – is hitting the ground running. Working with Bethesda and Machine Games, a new Indiana Jones game is on its way:

No word what platforms the game will be available for, but if memory serves me right, Bethesda is now a Microsoft joint, so take from that what you want.

It was reported last year that the first four Indiana Jones movies would debut on 4K Blu-ray this year, tying in with the fortieth anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark. New rumors have narrowed that down to a June 14th release date. And here's some bad box art that may or may not be legit:

The details I am eager for are with regard to the extra features, as it had previously been suggested that Paramount was given access to the Lucasfilm archives to create new supplements, which may possibly, finally, include deleted scenes.

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitter

The Willow series for Disney Plus was meant to start shooting in March, but it seems the latest lockdown in the UK has forced a move of the production schedule. This has created an availability issue for director Jon M. Chu, originally attached to helm the pilot episode, and he has announced his departure from the project:

Ron?

So, teasing by Craig Derrick regarding a Monkey Island TV series not punishing enough? Step right up, son of David Bowie and movie director, Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code, and um, Warcraft), who spent his lockdown adapting the Full Throttle script for screen.

Kotaku has broken the story, nicked from Duncan's twitter feed.

If you know any movie studio bosses looking for something to fund, point them towards the pdf in Duncan's dropbox there.


Comments: 2 / Source: Kotaku

Yesterday Gamasutra reported the passing of Kelly Flock, who was the General Manager of LucasArts in the early-to-mid 90s.

It is noteworthy when a management figure is as fondly remembered by developers as Flock seems to be. He wielded greenlight power during a time when the studio could boast being at a creative height, and various accounts portray him as instrumental in that status due to his championing of original titles.

It was Flock who approached Steve Purcell about licensing his comic strip characters to the company to initiate Sam & Max Hit the Road; Dave Grossman cites Flock as the influential force in the assignment of himself and Tim Schafer to a Maniac Mansion sequel as project leads; Mike Ebert remembers Flock as a counterbalance to "politics," and credits him for approving games like Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Metal Warriors. Ebert even suggests that he left LucasArts largely because Flock did.

May it weigh heavy on his conscience!

You should read the whole thread, which includes this reply to an inquiry about a CMI remaster:

COMI remaster is tricky. I looked into it years ago (as some have mentioned before) but I was always more interested in what we could do with Maniac Mansion first. Haven’t given up that idea quite yet.

I know Craig doesn't mean to be cruel, but tell it to the lacerations on my beleaguered heart.

Comments: 7 / Source: Twitter

Though no timetable has been offered, the innuendo from Skunkape has been strong that they will be following up their remaster of Sam & Max Save the World with similar treatments of the other two Telltale seasons.

Well, the implicit became explicit a few days ago when Skunkape shared this glimpse from episode 201 just in time for Christmas:

The North Pole is sure looking good in HD. Can the same be said of Stinky's Diner, Easter Island, the Stuttgart castle, the mariachis' spaceship and Hell itself? Hopefully 2021 holds the answer.

Well, we’d like to let you all enjoy your Christmas in peace, but people refuse to stop putting out these unspeakably awesome Double Fine videos to report on. Looking to put Santa to shame, the documentarians at NoClip have gifted us with a real doozy – a comprehensive history of Double Fine in Tim’s own words, larded with rare home video footage of the larval days of studio.

There’s too much good stuff here to try and single one moment out in an attempt to sell you on the fifty minute investment; you’re just going to have to place your faith in me and watch the whole thing. The stretch about the LucasArts remasters does have one horrifying moment where Tim points out that the fragile SCSI drives they recovered the original Grim Fandango assets from were gotten to just in time (what the heck does that mean for the older stuff?), but otherwise this tour of Double Fine’s first twenty years will leave you smiling.

Comments: 2 / Source: NoClip

Double Fine has stuffed the stocking with the following holiday greeting slash Psychonauts 2 update. It offers all kinds of nuggets about the sequel while revealing that development has hit an exciting milestone: the game will be undergoing content lock as the year draws to a close and is firmly entering the polish phase. We made it!

Want more? How about IGN’s lengthy new interview with Tim?

We were all sixteen years younger the last time a Psychonauts game was this close to shipping. This occasion is not only awesome, but rare, so enjoy it! And in case we don't see ya, Happy Holidays from all of here at House of Mojo!

Comments: 1 / Source: Youtube

An update to Sam & Max Save the World: Remastered has just been published to address some minor bugs, and the good folks at Skunkape have, in light of growing interest, used the release of this patch as an opportunity to write up a blow-by-blow of dang near all observable differences between the remaster and the 2006-2007 original. In doing so they've laid to rest a few misconceptions, but mostly just further expose how much thought went into their fastidious upgrade of Sam & Max's post-LucasArts debut.

Be among the cool kids and read the lowdown while you wait for your update to download. There's also a brief new promo that shows off several pullquotes from the game's more laudatory reviews thus far. Mojo's rave was excluded, but you've gotta grade them on a curve on that one: After the heat Skunkape attracted from up to four pre-adolescents over "censorship" concerns, one can only imagine what kind of hell quoting a known CMI denigrator like Remi would have raised. Look, if he weren't so handsome, we wouldn't put up with him either.

Comments: 21 / Source: Steam

It seems we didn't actually cover the first one, but quiet you.

Mike Levine's second update of the dev blog delves a bit into the team's process in devising the gameplay mechanics of a Sam & Max VR title from a graphic adventure starting point, then offers something of a synopsis:

It’s 2021 … and Sam & Max have been doing this a long time now. Sam has convinced Max to begrudgingly begin taking on new cadets to train for the next generation of Freelance Police. After putting you through some basic aptitude tests (i.e. making Sam coffee, nuking Max’s Lunch, or clearing out cockroaches from their closet), they take you over to an old abandoned amusement park on the outskirts of town. Sam & Max have “retrofitted” Capn Aquabear’s FunTime Park into a set of death defying (and life affirming) challenges the player must make their way through. Players will tackle the “Courses” in the 3 parts, and be graded on their performance. A passing grade will unlock the next section. But as usual, “life” gets in the way. Real crimes are taking place that cannot be ignored. And as you earn Sam & Max’s trust (ok mainly Sam’s), they will take you with them out into the real world, to solve crimes, thwart bad guys, and tell you where to get the best pedicure. Amazingly, the skills you have been honing in the Park come in handy as you take on the city’s seedier elements. Everything is going just swimmingly as you approach your big graduation day. But nothing is ever that simple for Sam & Max, is it? And you are now along for the ride! We don’t want to spoil all the goods here, so I will just end this here before I give away too much.

Finally, we're given another piece of concept art from the Capn Aquabear’s FunTime Park, which seems like it will be serving as something of a hub throughout the game. Hey, you had me at Peter Chan:

The reaction to William Eaken's header art for that loopy Sam & Max 2 article was predictably positive, but it has been brought to our attention that Laserschwert poster enthusiasts at large would be even merrier if they could also get a "clean" version of the art without the title and dialog bubbles.

Well, despite conflicting reports about how well behaved you've been this year, we set our elves to the task, and they've emerged from the Photoshop mines with the goods. It's almost enough to make us feel like heels about paying them in Planet Threepwood coupons.

Risk taking Mojo down and simply click here to grab the image while Remi figures out how much cruelty will need to be inflicted on his stylesheets to add it as a second download link at the top of the feature. It's the best Festivus ever!

Thanks again to William Eaken for the brilliant art.

Get a load of this!

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitter

Sixteen years after Maniac Mansion Deluxe, another LucasArts oldie has received a fan remake of astonishing care – the oldie, it could be argued. The decade-long labor of love Fractalus is now available for Windows, MacOS and Linux, and it’s probably as fine example of this sort of thing that comes along. May I present my first witness: the project lead of the 1984 original?

If that’s not enough to make you download the game, I’m not sure what else can be done for ya. Highest marks to the Australian enthusiast who apparently masterminded this. One wonders: is the Land Down Under to Rescue on Fractalus! what Germany is to the SCUMM games?

What’s interesting about the looming Monkey Island anthology set is that for all the hullabaloo about its extras and packaging, there’s still a bit of mystery about what actual game files we are going to find on that USB stick.

Right now, the only legally obtainable versions of the first two games are the special editions, while Curse comes bundled with ScummVM when you buy it on GOG or Steam, so that it’ll run on modern versions of Windows. But will Limited Run Games version include the original versions as well? This question rates a little higher than trivia, since the original game files for Monkey 1 and Monkey 2 have technically not been in legal circulation since whatever the last compilation was LucasArts put out prior to the SEs. And the original executables – which ScummVM replaces – would be necessary if you wanted to go Full Authenticity and run the game in DOSBox or a vintage PC. (We know you kooks are out there.)

So, what do we know? Here’s what Limited Run Games is saying on the subject at the moment, taken from their product description:

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge, The Curse of Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island, and Tales of Monkey Island will all be included as DRM-free installs/executables for modern Windows platforms. We will also be working to include fresh archives of original Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2 releases on various older platforms. Usage of these archived versions will be at the owner's discretion. We can't yet guarantee which older formats will be included, but hope to confirm soon.

Fingers crossed, but that’s promising verbiage! I’m also excited by the suggestion (if I’m reading it right, anyway) that The Curse of Monkey Island will run on a native interpreter rather than ScummVM -- which runs the game fine, but doesn’t seem to support its use of iMUSE correctly. At least for me.

The outrageous boxed set from Limited Run Games will continue to be available for pre-order until January 31st. Keep saving up those wooden nickels.

The details are all here. The new footage will be coming to you live from the "Upload Winter Wrap-up" at 9AM PST -- that's three hours from now. You'll be able see it below at that time:

Comments: 1 / Source: UploadVR

A lot has been written about Sam & Max: Freelance Police (2004) over the years. It would hardly seem to have gotten more relevant during that time, and many would reasonably argue that there isn’t much left to say on the subject.

We disagreed, and what’s more decided that we were the only ones qualified to prove our conviction that the history of Sam & Max 2 had not yet fully and satisfactorily been entered into public record. We accomplished this show of respect to a heady subject by - literally, according to some definitions - writing the book on it. Weep for our priorities and cozy up next to the fireplace with our indefensible digital tome, The Unabridged History of Sam & Max 2: A Mixnmojo Memoir.

The most unwieldy article Mixnmojo has ever published has been a long time coming. Hindsight tells us that the cancellation of Sam & Max 2 is the major event in The Mojo Histories™, and the theory was that the definitive account of the project’s life, death and legacy could only be written this far out and by the site that, for better or for worse, it had the most impact on.

This was a job too important to be left to the professionals, who would have left out the strikethrough humor and Dan Pettit references. Nevertheless, we did bamboozle William Eaken into crafting us professional-grade header art, and you’ll want to be downloading that (link inside) in its full-resolution glory because: my word. And in case you die of natural causes before reaching the appendix, I should point out here that all the new interviews we conducted for the article have been organized as a separate feature for convenience.

Yes, the fact that there is an appendix should raise some red flags. It took a minute to put this monstrosity together (At one point, this was meant to be a tenth anniversary article, then we punted to the fifteenth anniversary before giving up on a pretty number altogether), and at the outset no one could have predicted it would ultimately clock in at this biblical word count, but the important thing is that Mojo’s equivalent of The Aeneid is now here and available for your consumption. And unlike that hack Virgil, we finished what we started.

Now leave us alone, would you?

That's soon. But it kind of has to be, doesn't it? The announcement was made by Kathleen Kennedy during today's Disney investor conference whatsit.

Join me in hoping that Lucasfilm has made its first accurate projection for this project, and that Harrison Ford's saga can go out on a high note.

Put me squarely in the camp that contends social media has been a net negative for the species, but some flowers bloom even in darkness. The following thread proves that Twitter can claim to have produced at least one (1) neat thing, as it chronicles the Monkey 1 team’s real-time epiphany of what Mark Ferrari’s inspiration for Melee town might have been:

Another plagiarism exposed mystery solved!

It's true! Head over to Gamasutra for the press release. I am particularly happy about Wallace & Gromit, an understated gem that represented an important transition point in Telltale's gameplay style, and which the more skeptical among us feared was permanently condemned to licensing hell.

Who wants to be the studio to acquire - and finish - the Bone games? Gabez's never launched hosted site is still waiting to be justified.

From Twitter:

Derrick's "Uh..." should strike fear into the heart of Netflix. For if we know one thing about The Dig, it's that it is Lucasfilm's most jealously protected trademark. Or are you forgetting a certain precedent in which Digg.com, the briefly relevant news aggregator, was accused of trademark infringement for sounding too close to the name of an old adventure game? A reminder of the legal argument:

"THE DIGG mark is confusingly similar in sound, meaning, and appearance to the Opposer's THE DIG mark," reads the LucasFilm Notice of Opposition document filed last month in San Francisco. "The Applicant's registration and use of the DIGG Mark would likely create confusion, mistake, or deception in the minds of prospective purchasers as to the origin or source of the Opposer's Goods associated with THE DIG Mark."

There's a deadly asteroid on the way all right -- it's called the Business and Legal Affairs team. Heck, those guys wield such power, you could hardly be blamed for wanting to join their ranks yourself. Someday you could be the one issuing takedowns of Fate of Atlantis fan sequels!

Comments: 7 / Source: Twitter

If you've wanted to buy the Monkey Island 30th Anniversary Anthology from Limited Run Games, pre-orders started about two minutes ago and will end January 31st, 2021, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time (US). It's got the games! It's got a behind-the-scenes book! It's got a statue! It's got a $174.99 price tag. If that sounds appealing to you, get pre-ordering, as this is a limited run (hey, that's the company's name!).

It just doesn’t stop.

You’ve read our review and likely already purchased the game, so what’s next? It’s time to purchase the soundtrack, courtesy (of course) of Jared Emerson-Johnson! The 82(!) track album is available for $10, or as part of a 15%-off bundle with the game. Get it/them from: GOG (where it’s listed for $5.49), Steam, or Bandcamp. And yes, the new tracks and FLACs are included.

Remember, remember the 2nd of December as the day Mojo posted a timely review. For the Switch, even, because we’re down with what the kids use.

Run and read our official Sam & Max Save the World Remastered review right now should you against all odds be on the fence about getting it. Read. It’s good for you.

If you're that one person who reads Mixnmojo, wants to play every Walking Dead game Telltale put out, and have yet to buy a single one, you're in luck: every game in the studio's arguably most famous series is available in one HD'd packaged for about 50% off everywhere. The biggest discount (at 55%) is available at Fanatical, which sets you back $22.49 and about 30 to 40 hours of (emotionally devastating, life and death choice-based) fun. Similar deals are available at other websites, but Fanatical's is the cheapest I've found.

The package includes behind-the-scenes stuff, dynamic lighting/art touch-ups to previous seasons carried over from the final one, and seasons one, two, A New Frontier (season three), The Final Season, the "miniseries" Michonne, and the "400 Days" DLC.

Deadline reports that casting for the upcoming Willow series is well underway, with talks taking place with Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals), Cailee Spaeny (The Craft: Legacy) and Erin Kellyman (Solo: A Star Wars Story) to play female leads on the entertainment programme. There's also this:

According to circulated casting information for the series, it revolves around a group on a mission to save a kidnapped prince. The members of the team include Dove (Bamber), whose backstory resembles that of Willow from the movie. Dove is an unassuming kitchen maid who proves she is the “chosen one” as she embarks on the journey. She is joined by Kit (Spaeny), the princess whose twin brother was abducted. She is destined to be a leader and ultimately the queen. Kellyman plays Jade, a servant who is Kit’s best friend and moral compass. She is on her way to becoming the best young warrior in the kingdom. Also part of the group is a guy who echoes Val Kilmer’s character in the movie. A thief and liar, he joins the quest in exchange for getting out of prison.

It sounds as derivative as one would hope from this brand! Hopefully they don't blow the opportunity to make another NES game.

Comments: 1 / Source: Deadline

The golden age of video chats with LucasArts alum has yet to peak. In the latest news from November 12th, a virtual interview with Noah Falstein was carried out by the fine folks at Arcade Attack. But you didn’t watch it then, because you were naturally waiting for Mojo to embed it in a news post:

Highlights include Noah describing his role in the conception of insult swordfighting, elaborating on his rejection of the “terrible” Monkey King script as the basis for an Indy game, showing off his rare Fate of Atlantis movie poster, his perspective on why the adventure games traveled particularly well in Europe, and general behind-the-scenes goodness.

Meanwhile, GOG is offering some patently ridiculous discounts at the moment. Remasters excluded, Lucasarts legacy titles appear to be 65% off across the board, meaning they’re all about $2 a pop right now. Angling for the record, Tales of Monkey Island is a whopping 90% off and can be had for $1.49. That’s just crackers.

Double Fine's 70s futurism Metroidvania-style game Headlander is at a head-spinning 90% off over on Steam. It's never gone this low before, so if you're interested, head over to Steam and land yourself a critical darling for $2 before the Autumn Sale wraps up this Tuesday at 10 am Pacific Time (or $2.49 if you want the soundtrack).

Obligatory second link here.

After fans politely noticed that the first pass had subjective room for improvement, Limited Run Games went back to the drawing board to incorporate a number of tasteful changes to their commemorative Monkey Island anthology set with the guidance of Force ghost Laserschwert. Behold what can happen when an audience is listened to:

That's a major upgrade, with only a small growth in price point. Have your credit card at the ready on Friday, December 4th, when pre-orders will open -- for real this time.

What's that? We're several days behind on this rather significant news story? Only because we credit you with being people of taste who have therefore already been discussing it on the forums. For those who have fallen short of our expectations, why not pretend there's still something to complain about and join in on the discussion now?

It's here! The thing you didn't know you've been waiting 30 years for. Previously unseen artwork, deleted scenes, and insights from The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2! Not to mention a two-hour interview with Ron Gilbert where he reveals, amongst other things, some of his original plans for Monkey Island 3.

Gorge yourself on this bounty: The Secrets of Monkey Island's Source Code

All of this is thanks to the hard work of Frank Cifaldi and the other brilliant people at Video Game History Foundation. Look around their website and offer to donate your time or money to support their noble cause of documenting video game history. Thanks, VGHF!

With the assignment process of Telltale Inc. circa 2018-2019, their titles were scooped up by many different entities. So, I figured it would be handy to list what is currently known about the fate of their titles.

The rights to Batman: The Telltale Series, Batman: The Enemy Within, Hector: Badge of Carnage, Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent, Puzzle Agent 2, and The Wolf Among Us (as well as the publishing rights to RGX Showdown) were acquired by LCG Entertainment with their formation of Telltale 2.0 on August 28, 2019. They later acquired the rights to Tales of Monkey Island on June 26, 2020.

The rights to Telltale's The Walking Dead games were acquired by the creator of The Walking Dead, Skybound. They are now published by Skybound Games, a subsidiary that contracted members of the Telltale staff to finish The Walking Dead: The Final Season from the Telltale 1.0 offices in 2019.

The rights to Tales from the Borderlands were acquired by 2K, the company that holds the rights to the Borderlands franchise.

The rights to the Sam & Max games were acquired by Skunkape Games, a company formed by former Telltale 1.0 staff (and the studio that's currently remastering the games).

These games are currently available to purchase (plus Sam & Max Save the World is available to pre-order in its remastered form. Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Remastered and Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Remastered will be available once Skunkape remasters those as well).

The rest are not available for purchase (although all are available to redownload if you purchased them from GOG.com, Steam, the Telltale Store, PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Nintendo e-Shop, etc.). These remaining games presumably remain in rights limbo. We'll keep you updated as (hopefully) more legacy Telltale games become available to purchase again.

Oh, and the CSI games still belong to Ubisoft, but no one cares about those.

If you bought Sam and Max Save the World (season one) from the Telltale Games store back in the day, you are now eligible for either a Steam or GOG key to transfer your game. Just go to the appropriate link on the Skunkape website. Cool thing: "It’s okay if the email doesn’t work anymore; this step is only for verification."

You'll want to acquire it ASAP, as having the key in your library makes you eligible for a 50% discount for the remastered version through December 31, 2020.

Instructions: scroll down to the section titled Telltale Store Customers, enter your email, and choose the store you'd like, which it asks about after verifying. Once you have the original game in your library, go to the Sam and Max Save the World: Remastered page (GOG, Steam) and get the discount while it's valid. I've just tried it.

Mojo will give you a heads-up (timeliness guaranteed*) if news of the same comes out regarding the other two seasons. In the meantime, get to updatin'.

Sam and Max Save the World: Remastered releases for PC and Nintendo Switch December 2nd. (It's not the official title, but let's pretend it is for the sake of clarity.)

*Timeliness not guaranteed.

Comments: 5 / Source: Skunkape

It has been a long, bumpy road to the realization of a fifth Indiana Jones movie, to the point where I wouldn't be so confident that road leads anywhere but over a sheer cliff. Still, anything on Lucasfilm's slate that isn't Star Wars is enjoyable to cover, so I'm always game to pounce on the latest rumors.

Those come from The DisInsider, who claim that Disney has booked Pinewood Studios for an August 2021 production start date. Even if this is legit, it proves little, as soundstage bookings can easily change, but the timetable does shake hands with precedent: Crystal Skull began shooting in June 2007 for a May 2008 release. The new film is slated for July 2022.

It's probably as late a start date as the project could get away with given that release date, though I'm sure that's by design. Optimistically, the worst of COVID-19 will be behind us next summer, and that's no minor concern when you've got an ambitious, globe-trotting shoot* carried on the shoulders of a 79-year old.

Speaking of optimism, it has recently been confirmed that James Mangold's regular DP Phedon Papamichael will be shooting the film. This is perhaps the one silver lining of Spielberg stepping down as director, as it permits one to hope that the movie won't be patterning its visual identity after Sky Captain this time out.

*At least, if they're making the movie correctly it will be. No more Indy installments shot on Los Angeles soundstages, thank you kindly.

So apparently, back in 2016, when Campo Santo was both a small, scrappy company putting out a fun newsletter and in existence, they put out this game called Firewatch. The critically acclaimed game was scored by one estimable Chris Remo, and the soundtrack, on vinyl, sold out.

Woe, as the kids say. Anyway, if you've wanted to get the soundtrack on vinyl since then, you'd have had to sell a kidney and score it on eBay. Except as of last week, when Remo put (what is likely the) final printing up on Kickstarter for all you surface noise-loving, guitar-strumming tree huggers hopefully-locked-indoors out there. (I joke because I'm one of you, except the guitar bit.) Grab it here.

It’s a joyous time for Sam & Max fans, as the Telltale remaster and This Time It’s Virtual means the characters have two concurrent projects on the way. See, 2020 was worth a damn after all.

In the midst of all this, something called “The Escapist Games Showcase – Fall Edition” is going on this week. What matters to you is that both Sam & Max projects got some promotional time during “Day 1” (yesterday) of the streamed expo, which amounted to some new gameplay footage from This Time It’s Virtual (click here to watch), and more noteworthily a live chat conducted with Dan Connors (representing the remaster) and Mike Levine and Mike Stemmle (representing the virtual reality game) -- all together. You can watch the archived Q&A here.

Points of interest include a playthrough of the first several minutes of remastered Culture Shock (which makes for an excellent showcase of just how much of a jump the presentation has taken, and offers a first listen at Bosco’s new voice, Ogie Banks*), Jake being referred to "the king of Sam & Max content", and Connors/Stemmle intriguingly/depressingly going on a brief tangent about some of the great minigames in Freelance Police that we’ll never get to enjoy. But you'll enjoy the Q&A, guaranteed.

*Also known as camper Chops Sweetwind from Psychonauts!

When Telltale was taken out behind the woodshed in 2018, one of the projects it had in development was an unannounced Stranger Things game – the strangest thing about which was probably the fact that it was a Telltale game that Jared Emerson-Johnson wasn’t handling the music for.

Instead, the soundtrack was the commission of Antimo & Welles (The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us), who apparently got a fair amount of work done at the time the lights were turned off, leaving their music in limbo. Now, two years later, they’ve arranged a suite of the “best bits” of their unfinished work and shared it for all to enjoy:

A nice outcome, I would say! Check out Bloody Disgusting for more info, and the composing duo's Patreon if you'd like to support them.

The good news keeps rolling in. With Sam and Max: Beyond Time and Space Sam and Max Save the World (aka Season One) getting that shiny remaster, you may be wondering how to get your hands on it or on the old game.

According to Skunkape, the rag-tag team of ex-Telltale people spitting on the old game and shining it, anyone with copies of the original game on GOG or Steam is eligible for a 50% discount for the remaster—just login to GOG or Steam to see the discount, which expires December 31st. So get on it.

Better, those of us who bought the game from the Telltale website and jealously guarding their HDs for fear of losing their old copies will be given a key for either Steam or GOG to keep the old game. That's still being set-up, but you can keep an eye on Skunkape's Twitter for news on that front (or Mojo a week later).

We can only assume Skunkape accidentally sent this interview to Vice instead of us, but either way… After we exclusively/allegedly broke the news of Sam & Max Save the World: Remastered, this is a good follow-up read. An excerpt:

Consequently, this update is more than just tweaked visuals and lighting. There are fundamentally new music cues, different camera angles, and altered timing for jokes. They recast the voice actor for Bosco, because it was a black character voiced by a white actor, a creative decision that didn't exactly sit right with the team when they decided to revisit it.

Go read the whole thing.

Well, here’s something we’ll be able to dine out on for a while.

Sometime after Telltale folded, some choice Telltale veterans – original CEO Dan Connors, engineering maestro Randy Tudor, technical director Jon Sgro, and affirmative action Mojo alumnus Jake Rodkin – thought to themselves, “Hey, what if we made those Sam & Max games we built at Telltale not only available again, but gussied up with retrofitted engine improvements like some tarted-up whore?”

That question obviously rhetorical, the quartet joined forces with Steve Purcell, scooped up the game assets at a flea market and founded “Skunkape Games” (which certain eagle-eyed busybodies already noticed had been quietly restamped as the publisher of the Sam & Max seasons on digital outlets earlier this year), and under this new moniker are primed to do just that.

And soon. Sam & Max Save the World: Remastered is due to drop December 2nd, with the other two seasons to follow.

To be honest with you, the results look jaw-dropping. These games have always been gems, but the above makes me unspeakably giddy to experience them all over again in widescreen with their new coat of paint and without voice compression targeting 60MB file downloads. There are loads of other little enhancements promised as well, but it’s probably best to discover them for ourselves.

For media and more information (including how to pre-order), check out the official Skunkape web presence or maybe even Sam & Max.net. That’s right, anonymous sources tell us that the beloved hub is coming back from the dead, and putting on new airs: What was once The Unofficial Sam & Max Website is to be imminently reborn as very much an official resource. Gandalf the White’s transformation looks like a damn haircut by comparison.

So you’re telling me we’ve got this, a new Sam & Max VR game, new Sam & Max figurines, the return of the forums, a Monkey Island anthology box set, revelatory violations of the Monkey Island source code, and Psychonauts 2 in its final stretch of production all the while? You bet your hiney you are. Mojo has renaissanced yet again.

Artist/animator extraordinaire Mark Ferrari recently sat down for his own extended video chat, and it would feel like paying insult to pretend that any more of a sales pitch is necessary:

I don't know what's in the air these days that is impelling so many lengthy interviews with LucasArts veterans to be recorded, but please do keep them coming.

That livestream with Mike Stemmle took place a few hours ago, and you can re-watch it right here at your own convenience. Drag over to 43:09 if you want to skip right to when Mike appears.

Throughout the 80-minute conversation Stemmle gives a lot of great anecdotes and some borderline apologies about Escape from Monkey Island, which is rightly the main topic (it’s celebrating an anniversary too, you know!), but there’s plenty of memories shared about the productions of Sam & Max Hit the Road, Sam & Max: Freelance Police, and the Telltale games Mike worked on. He even talks about some ideas that were pitched at Telltale but never happened, like his Lovecraftian take on Maniac Mansion.

And of course, there’s some pimping of the upcoming Sam & Max VR game, including some new story details. It’s all here, and a must watch.

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitch

What with all the Halloween and Monkey Island hubbub, we plumb failed to notice that HappyGiant has shown off a little more of Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual.

So let's play catch-up. First off is this new piece of concept art HappyGiant tweeted for a shooting gallery game Sam and Max will play called "Circle of Carnage":

HappyGiant soon followed that up with a gameplay video that shows this sequence in action:

Quoth the Reddit

Just in case it’s of any interest, I’ll be chatting to LucasArts’ Mike Stemmle of Sam and Max and Escape from Monkey Island fame on my Twitch stream tomorrow, Friday 6th November from 8pm GMT (as it’s the 20th anniversary of Escape!). Feel free to drop by and ask a question, he’s also working on the new Sam and Max VR game so will be chatting about that too! https://www.twitch.tv/cressup

While Jason and Ron Howard’s family are showing great excitement for Disney+’s Willow, the more rational amongst us are feeling strangely drawn to the streaming service’s new Star Wars special:

That’s right, Life Day is happening again in The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. It premiers November 17th.

The Video Game History Foundation conducted their "Secrets of Monkey Island" evening with Ron Gilbert to celebrate the game's 30th anniversary. A finished edited version of the event will be posted soon, but the raw streamed version is now available to rewatch for those who bought tickets and missed it.

The VGH Foundation unearthed previously unseen background artwork, sprites, cut-scenes and locations from Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2. They also demonstrated how a SCUMM programmer would have written code, and revealed the custom tools that they had to hand. It was wonderful stuff.

Oh, and Ron also casually revealed his original plans for Monkey Island 3, too. So there's that.

As soon as the public version has been made available, we'll share it here.

In the meantime, go give some love (or money) to The Video Game History Foundation for their incredible efforts and noble work.

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.

Even though George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, the actual offices have remained at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in The Presidio -- a park in San Francisco. As Lucas owns those facilities, Disney has actually been paying George rent for that space despite owning the assets held there.

With the conglomerate undergoing a period of COVID related belt-tightening, rumor has it that Disney is finally ready to relocate all those assets to their home turf in Burbank.

The move down south for Lucasfilm apparently has been the plan for years. It is unknown what has been the delay in getting them down to Burbank. The goal was to have all of their divisions at convenient proximity to Disney headquarters. With that, they cut down distance and they no longer have to pay Lucas rent.

Why do we care? Well, presumably this means that the Lucasfilm archives are destined to make a six hour road trip, and as elTee's illuminating interview with Limited Run Games revealed, the original assets related to the old adventure games have not necessarily been digitized. And I'm not making judgments, mind you. It's hard to ask a supposedly state-of-the-art studio to make time over a thirty year period to digitally bank Monkey Island key art when there's a hundred other things to do. Those Baby Yodas aren't going to stack themselves.

I'm just asking everyone to join me in a collective prayer that they, you know, have the straps on the flat bed fastened tight as they load it up with irreplaceable diskettes of source code or Ken Macklin artwork for The Dig. And you know, that they throw a tarp over it if the weather forecast looks dicey. Things like that.

Apparently this has been on Youtube for a while, but I know I'd never seen it before, so maybe you'll be as blown away as I was:

Many questions have surrounded the upcoming Monkey Island bundle from Limited Run, so we decided to put our Pulitzer Prize winning* journalist, elTee, on the case. In his interview with the company, you can among other things learn about the edition of Tales they have included:

I received the files for TMI last week but I haven't had the chance to verify anything yet. My gut feeling would be that I was sent the latest and greatest versions of each episode, so my assumption would be that we have the Earl Boen version.

Go read the whole thing right now, if you know what's good for you!

* Unconfirmed.

Those maniacs actually did it! A Willow series is headed for Disney Plus. Here's the press release:

The enchanting world of “Willow,” created by George Lucas, is officially coming to the small screen.

Disney Plus has confirmed a sequel series taking place years after the events of the original Ron Howard-directed pic is heading into production next year. Howard is returning to the project as executive producer alongside original star Warwick Davis, who will once again play the titular hero Willow Ufgood.

The series has also tapped “Crazy Rich Asians” and “In the Heights” director Jon M. Chu to helm the pilot and exec produce. Jonathan Kasdan (“Solo”) and Wendy Mericle (“Arrow”) will serve as showrunners.

“Willow” the series hails from Lucasfilm and represents the company’s first non-“Star Wars” venture since 2015. The show will introduce all-new characters to the magical realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters. News of the official greenlight from Disney Plus comes over a year after the project was first reported as coming down the pipeline.

The original film centered on Davis’ Willow, who reluctantly forced into playing a critical role in protecting a special infant named Elora Danan from an evil queen (Jean Marsh). A prophecy told that Elora would bring the queen’s downfall. Willow was helped along the way by a mercenary swordsman, played by Val Kilmer. It also starred Joanne Whalley, Billy Barty and Kevin Pollak.

“Growing up in the’80s, ‘Willow’ has had a profound effect on me,” said Chu in a statement. “The story of the bravest heroes in the least likely places allowed me, an Asian-American kid growing up in a Chinese restaurant looking to go to Hollywood, to believe in the power of our own will, determination and of course, inner magic. So the fact that I get to work with my heroes from Kathleen Kennedy to Ron Howard is bigger than a dream come-true. It’s a bucket-list moment for me. Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle have added such groundbreaking new characters and delightful surprises to this timeless story that I can’t wait for the world to come along on this epic journey with us.”

Bob Dolman, writer of the original film, serves as consulting producer, with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy on board as an EP alongside Michelle Rejwan. Howard’s Imagine Television is producnig, with the company’s Roopesh Parekh and Hannah Friedman in place as co-executive producers. Julia Cooperman will produce.

“It’s creatively exciting to not only revisit the world and characters first conceived by George Lucas, Bob Dolman and myself but to see it take flight in such fresh, fun and cinematic ways through the imagination of Jon Kasdan and Team Willow,” added Howard. “This isn’t a nostalgic throw-back, it’s a creative lean-forward and it’s a blast to be a part of it all.”

As I've said before: why the hell not? If Star Wars nerds can get three trillion hours worth of movies and television shows per year, we might as well give the pecks a ten episode pick-up. What a world.

Comments: 6 / Source: Variety

If you've been waiting for the Limited Run Monkey Island anthology, wait no more. Or rather, wait until October 30th. Point being, it has been fully announced:

It might run you a cool $160, but you do get a lot for your money, provided you actually want what's bundled. The E-Ticket? Awesome! Ultimate Insult illustration? Amusingly random. Books? Fo' sho'. The rest... well, it might be for some of you, for others, not so much.

Like it? Love it? Disappointed? Let us know in the comment, and let us know if you have any questions for Limited Run -- Mojo Interview(TM) is forthcoming.

Double Fine has announced that the previously PlayStation 4 exclusive* titles, Day of the Tentacle Remastered, Full Throttle Remastered, and Grim Fandango Remastered, are coming to XBox Game Pass on October 26.

In other news, their website is still a holding page.

*Ignoring the other platforms they were also available on.

As something of a supplement to the upcoming livestream which will delve into some unreleased content from the first two Monkey Island games, Verge has published an interview with Frank Cifaldi and Kelsey Lewin of the Video Game History Foundation to discuss their motives behind preserving vintage source code and the reception they got from Lucasfilm when they approached the company about making Monkey Island the vanguard of their efforts. There's also some good stuff about omitted content that underlines the improvisational nature of the early SCUMM games' development:

They also had access to Gilbert’s sketchbook from when he was making the game, which contained the raw ideas that eventually made it into the finished product. “There is a page that just says, ‘booby trap on bridge?’. And I think that’s like, all it ever was,” Cifaldi continues. “Like, the game wasn’t designed enough, but artists need to be working on something. So it’s like, I don’t know, ‘work on a booby-trapped bridge, and maybe we’ll revisit it,’ and they never did.” It’s not a cut puzzle; it doesn’t mean anything other than it was an idea that didn’t quite make it.

The full article is quite good, so do read it.

Sure, we're all perfectly excited about that fireside chat at the end of the month. But what does Ron know about Monkey Island, really? Was he there or something?

The fact is, if you want the real scoop, you go to the experts. And that would be Youtuber "onaretrotip", who's put together an 80-minute documentary about the making of The Secret of Monkey Island as part of the 30th anniversary internet love bomb we're in the midst of. Included throughout are quotes from the core team, and I think some of these recorded reflections are new. Let me know if I'm wrong, and I'll see to it that the correct people are fired.

Comments: 2 / Source: Youtube

With which I mean the crazy, fun stuff hidden in Monkey Island's SCUMM code. To quote the press release:

The Video Game History Foundation (VGHF), a nonprofit that brings old video games back to life by preserving, celebrating, and teaching their history, is today unveiling the Video Game Source Project, an effort to save and study source code and related development materials before the stories around these games' creation are lost forever.

(some more stuff, then the interesting part)

The first games to benefit from the Video Game Source Project will be Lucasfilm Games' legendary point-and-click adventure The Secret of Monkey Island, which celebrates its 30 year anniversary this month, and its sequel Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.

So, what will we see? Reconstructed scenes, for one thing. (Presumably the cannibal village scene will be one of them.) And a fireside chat with Ronzo himself. An audience Q&A. You know, the normal stuff.

The event will take place Friday, October 30th, 1pm PDT. Tickets are $10. Run and get them right now!

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

Another 30th anniversary article for the venerated series comes by way of LADbible. An excerpt:

Which is to say: this game is in my blood, a part of what makes me, me. Not just a favourite game, but an experience of my childhood - like a favourite movie, or book, from a lifetime ago - that always, without fail, puts a smile on my face. It still makes me laugh aloud, even when I can see the jokes coming - which the best TV and film can do, too. Not fall-around-the-place hysterics, as I grew out of that. But a chuckle, a titter, just the gentlest guffaw. It's enough to make me not feel my age, for a moment at least - and The Secret of Monkey Island is an experience that'll forever remind me why I love video games so much.

Who among us cannot relate? Click here for the whole piece.

And while I've got you here, let me sneak in this recent blog post by Chuck Jordan reflecting on Habitat. You didn't even see that coming, did ya.

Everyone's favourite adventure game virtual machine (ie. the thing that allows you play classic adventure games on modern computers), ScummVM, is having its 3D-based sister, ResidualVM, merged into it.

What does that mean for you, dear adventure fan? Simply that Grim Fandango, Myst III - Exile, The Longest Journey, Escape from Monkey Island (Remi's favourite!), and an unfinished engine for Revolution's In Cold Blood, are now part of ScummVM.

Hopefully it will still support Grim Fandango Deluxe, because that might be finished one day ;)

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.

Say what you want about Escape from Monkey Island -- it enjoyed an interesting spate of promotional memorabilia. Coasters, bottles off grog...and perhaps most memorably an inflatable monkey doll that was presumably meant to be in the divine image of Timmy the Monkey, a character introduced in EMI as a pet of the Threepwoods. Despite being an instant hit with the fan base, Timmy was somehow excluded from Tales of Monkey Island, which is a bit like writing Tom Hagen out of The Godfather Part III. (Jake was unavailable for comment at the time of this writing.)

The doll’s first appearance, we believe, was at the Escape from Monkey Island Playstation 2 release party, which Mojo attended, taking home plenty of photographic proof. The doll had a tendency to pop up on a few occasions in subsequent years, like in the earliest photographs of the Telltale Games office space, way back in 2004, which kicked up a lot of runaway speculation.

Well, his latest cameo is on eBay, where he can be had right now for $275.00. Not sure what LucasArts vet, or what fan that might have mugged a LucasArts vet, needs the money so badly for, but why not help them out and give Timmy a new home?

The Happy Giant Twitter feed, which I assume is Mike Levine, recently tweeted some concept art for Save and Max: This Time It’s Virtual!, credited to Augie Pagan and Peter Chan. Take a look:

Say what you want about 2020; at least at some point during it, we now know that Peter Chan was doing sketches for a Sam & Max game. And that’s what I’ll choose to remember about it.

In the aforementioned Wireframe Magazine spread on Monkey Island for the series’ 30th anniversary (buy it here, or click here for a preview), a fairly remarkable tidbit is casually mentioned. In a section on CMI, a screenshot of The Barbery Coast is featured alongside a revamped, HD version of the location with the following text:

Bill Tiller has recently been repainting some of the game's backgrounds in the hope of convincing Disney to release a new HD version of The Curse of Monkey Island for fans to explore.

This glimpse of the hi-def version is definitely appealing and unsurprisingly reminiscent of Tiller’s more recent adventure game work, although I question whether the spirit of Larry Ahern’s art direction really survives the choice to lose those pencil outlines. Like them or not, they are an elemental component of CMI’s look.

But whatever! The point here is that Bill Tiller has been redoing CMI backgrounds, and that’s headline news. I don’t know how successful he will be at getting Disney’s attention, but maybe the fans can help see this project through somehow. Godspeed, in any case.

I should also mention that there is another magazine spread on Monkey Island this month, published by Retro Gamer in their October issue. You’ll want to buy that too, surely.

It’s looking to be a big month for Monkey Island, which is marking its 30th anniversary. Whatever Limited Run Games has in store with their box set should be unveiled imminently, and a faucet of retrospectives is evidently opening for the occasion as well -- The Guardian published a courtly little piece in celebration, and Wireframe Magazine has a feature devoted to the series in its latest issue.

I would also encourage everyone to keep their eye on Craig Derrick’s Twitter feed. Just today he posted a photo of what looks to be the original acetate layers for the Secret of Monkey Island box:

More is no doubt to come, and if this was 2003 we’d probably be the best place to keep up with it all.

Now that the forums are back up, it’s time to loot them for news items. What did you guys think we restored that junkyard for? Thanks to Nacho for falling for the scheme and doing the legwork for us.

The first item comes from Noah Falstein’s Facebook, where he posted some Terryl Whitlatch concept art from his version of The Dig. Artwork from that version of the game remains relatively rare, so it’s always an event when a new piece turns up:

Falstein also came across an old design document for a never-made Ron game called The TimeFly. A photograph of the game proposal has been posted to Grumpy Gamer, and you can check it out below. Ron estimates it falls somewhere between Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island in the timeline:

Why play their games when you can read about them? Double Fine is turning twenty, and what better way to celebrate than to release a coffee-table book filled with concept art and (presumably) entertaining yarns? 20 Double Fine Years -- Jesus Christ, has it been that long? -- is available for pre-order in the US and the UK for $50 ($65 for the luxury "legend" edition) and will ship during the second quarter of next year. Run and buy.

David Fox has shared more information on the development of the original Rescue on Fractalus and its aborted sequel on his Twitter account.

Here's some fo what he had to say:

When #RescueOnFractalus launched in 1984, we held a big press conference at the Lucasfilm Ltd C Building Screening Room. We wanted to present only direct footage from the games, so produced this video which starts with 1:20 of VO and SFX only.

We did the same for Ballblazer, with 1:40 of VO/SFX.

Some reporters didn't believe this was actually playing on an Atari 800 at 60fps and peeked under the table, expecting to find a laserdisc player (there wasn't one). David Levine had it screaming fast.

The production didn't always go smoothly, but that made for a slicker final product:

So many delays meant more time to polish. We were ready to release our first games at January 1984 CES. Atari wanted to wait until June. Then in July Atari was sold to Tramiel. Deals changed, found new publisher, had to create disk versions.

Fox then goes into details on the sequel, sharing mock-up videos used to give an idea of how the final experience would have looked, as well as images from presentation and concept artwork. (All of which can't be easily linked to.).

Unfortunately, in the end it was the familiar story...

So, what happened to the game? Our team had multiple meetings at LucasArts with their president Darrell Rodriguez (@drod1000) (who was a huge fan of our old games), Craig Derrick (@craigderrick) (who produced Tales of Monkey Island series and MI special editions), and several other people... And then, as had happened many times before, there was a change of direction/focus dictated from the top. No more reboots of the old games. Focus on Star Wars. Darrell left, and the project died. We were all pretty devastated.

For the full story, read Fox's full Twitter thread. Thanks for sharing, David!

After I posted about the Craig Derrick tweet earlier, it was brought to my attention that he's also commented on the often-scuttled efforts of the LucasArts Heritage team. Since those efforts remain largely mysterious to us - all I'm aware of is that Handsome Halibut title that never got announced and an internal Day of the Tentacle special edition - it merits the notice of the front page when new tidbits emerge.

Which brings me to this Twitter thread in which David Fox mentions this:

We were deep in talks with Darrell Rodriguez to create an iPhone version of Rescue on Fractalus with the original team. And then LucasArts was ordered to change direction and focus on Star Wars and he was replaced. Sad.

It brings a warm feeling to know that there were folks at LEC at the time who even considered such a tribute to the studio's very first game. And based on Craig Derrick's reply, it wasn't the only cool project to get the axe when Darrell Rodriguez stepped down:

Many amazing projects, partnerships, and plans left when he did. I’m glad the remasters found a home after 2013, but there was some cool stuff coming — including the original 1313.

This is intriguing stuff. Not intriguing enough for me to actually start reading Twitter (so do keep referring such findings to us as you spot them) but it certainly sheds some light on what a lot of us assumed about the Rodriguez years: that a slate of projects acknowledging the studio's legacy was attempted, before the powers that be did what they do best. Sort of the Simon Jeffery era in turbo? Maybe what Derrick is up to these days represents an attempt to get this type of agenda cooking again. We send only the best voodoo his way if so.

Comments: 10 / Source: Twitter

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

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.

Info for the new Sam & Max VR game keeps streaming forth, and samandmax.co.uk has been keeping on top of it. While Mojo falters in timeliness, it makes up for it by excelling at leeching off others.

First, some clarification on the game's team team. The studio publishing the game, HappyGiant, is the one founded by LucasArts veteran Mike Levine, who you may know from his work with Larry Ahern on Insecticide, while Sam & Max Hit the Road is among the many credits from his LucasArts days. Also integrally involved is Mike Stemmle, whose Sam & Max bonafides hardly need to be listed. Peter Chan is another of the apparently numerous Hit the Road alum involved, and Steve Purcell is naturally consulting.

Since the initial announcement, an extended trailer was released by IGN, some screenshots and story details came to light, and gameplay footage narrated by Levine and Stemmle appeared during something called a "Gamescon" Twitch stream yesterday.

For your convenience, we've got the screenshots safely stolen in our own galleries. Note the appearance of Sam and Max's office landing as a location, which we haven't seen since Hit the Road, but which we would have seen in Freelance Police.

In fact, what I'm finding most interesting about this game so far is how its depiction of the office/street is a balanced tribute to both the LucasArts and Telltale incarnations. The street environment seems extremely indebted to the Freelance Police version, while the hoodless DeSoto, the voice actors and certain specifics in the office (like the television) are straight out of the Telltale games.

Anywho, keep tabs on Mojo as we keep tabs on samandmax.co.uk's ongoing coverage of Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual!.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard concrete rumblings about any new Sam & Max games, so this one came as a bit of a surprise…

Good to see them again! Particularly if you own a VR headset. At least five people from the previous Sam & Max titles are back working on this over at HappyGiant. We’ll keep you posted in a timely-ish manner.

And the forums are figuratively hopping with chatter about these news, so go discuss!

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.

If you were a person of good taste, you'd already know this from reading our forums, but if for whatever reason you're not...

Terrible Toybox are looking for an art director, and as you will see in the description, the studio is working on an "unannounced 2D pixel art adventure game." That's pretty much it. But Ronzo and Winnick and new adventure game are words you want to hear together.

Excited? Go to the forums and giddy your heart out there!

We reported on a Firewatch movie back in 2016, and now it seems things are gaining traction.

Snoot Entertainment and Campo Santo are joining forces this time around to produce a movie, nay, piece of cinema, centered around the 2.5-million-copies-sold game. Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman – no introductions needed – will receive production credits.

Meanwhile, the rest of Mojo staff is still doing Mojo, because we’re not sell-outs and not at all questioning certain life choices.

Remember video game magazines, which you could have and hold? Me neither. But they apparently still exist, and the October 2020 issue of Edge, available now, contains a lovely spread about Psychonauts 2, printed upon tactile pages:

Psychonauts 2 features on the cover of Edge this month, and strangely enough, its premise couldn’t feel more of the moment. We were the very first media to go hands-on with a psychedelic new level, and we’re bringing you all the exclusive details on how Raz’s next adventure is coming along.

We’ve also gone inside the minds of the team at Double Fine – including art director Lisette Titre-Montgomery and Double Fine co-founder Tim Schafer – to figure out what makes a good Psychonauts level tick. A very large Google Doc, set up by Schafer 15 years ago, is one part of it. But elsewhere there’s talk of multiple script passes, algebra, prog-rock jam sessions – even a little bit of Uncharted. And, of course, novelty. The inside of everybody’s head is different, after all.

Naturally, then, we had to bring you something unusual for our Psychonauts 2 cover. The result is a very special glow-in-the-dark treatment that’s positively mesmerising to behold. Draw the curtains, turn off the lights, and take a look for yourself.

You heard them -- take a look:

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.

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.

You begged, you bartered, and as Mojo loves you, Mojo has provided the Mojo Forums. That’s right, party like it’s 2001 with good, old-fashioned posting boards.

So what do we got? Well, these are a continuation of the old LucasForums, so if you had an account there, you’re good to go here. Otherwise click the "Sign Up" button (it’s under the hamburger menu if you’re using your phone) to get rocking. All the old forums can be viewed in read-only mode; for new stuff we have a brand new board.

So why are you reading this when you could be posting your heart out? Be part of the Mojo Community – we are sure it will be very, very active!

And remember, these kind of updates would not be possible without the help of you, our dear Patreon contributors. If you still haven't had the chance to love Mojo back, why not do so now, with a healthy contribution to the Mojo Fund!

Looking for some Psychonauts 2 gameplay footage? Who better to show it to you than Jack Black himself?

Tim even calls in!

While renowned illustrator and one-time Autumn Moon CEO Bill Tiller continues his slow, NDA-shrouded efforts to get A Vampyre Story 2 financed, his drawing hand hasn't just been sitting around idle. He's been recruited as the artist of a crowdfunded board game.

It's called The Shivers, which describes itself as a "mystery pop-up Role-Playing Game for 2-5 players, exploring a spooky mansion filled with hidden secrets!" With 28 hours to go at the time of this writing, the Kickstarter has raised $490,000. Its goal: $40,000. Well, good for them, but when I think about how Bill's AVS prequel Kickstarter seven years back couldn't come close to its $200,000 goal, well, the contrast is saddening.

Check out the project for The Shivers to get a sense of its Tilleresque beauty, and do excuse me while I come up with some-assed board game concept. Apparently that's where the money is.

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.

I am currently doing a Coding for COVID-19 fundraiser. This is a game making fund drive with funds being raised through the West Elmira Computers Museum, with game development by my company Cydoca Entertainment with support by Double Fine through use of their intellectual property.

All proceeds go to charity. 90% of proceeds will be split up evenly among Doctors without Borders, Direct Relief, and Action Against Hunger. The remaining 10% will go to the West Elmira Computer Museum.

Three games are currently being developed: a conversion of Host Master and the Conquest of Humor from Flash to Wintermute, A Host Master Carol - a sequel that sees Tim Schafer work with himself in three time periods to make sure he has a game for each time he hosts, and OpenQuest II, a sequel to Michael Sheail's OpenQuest that takes place right where the last one left off. All games will be available for Linux, Mac, and Windows through ScummVM. More games will be added as the charity drive goes on.

To support the fundraiser, visit https://donorbox.org/coding-for-covid/

The West Elmira Computers Museum is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, EIN 83-2343976. Your contributions may be tax-deductible.

In order to celebrate 20 years of Double Fine, Humble Bundle have are giving you the chance to pay what you want for every Double Fine game ever*. And some of their soundtracks, too. And also a ton of their "Presents" games.

The bundle includes Psychonauts, Day of the Tentacle Remastered, Full Throttle Remastered, Grim Fandango Remastered, Broken Age, Brutal Legend. As well as Everything, Gang Beasts, RAD, and 140 just too many more for me to type out!

If you own them all already, why not bestow the give of Double Fine on a friend, neighbour or total stranger?

Partake here: The Double Fine 20th Anniversary Humble Bundle

* There's probably some games missing.

When it comes to Lucasfilm news, I am well aware that the only thing our readership values is scoop on Willow. Be assured, I hear you loud and clear.

And on that front, Ron Howard's got some updates. Speaking to radio host Andy Cohen, the director of the 1988 "classic" confirms that development on the potential Disney Plus series continues, with Jonathan Kasdan as the creative mastermind and presumed showrunner. Though quick to reiterate that the show is still yet to be greenlit, Howard makes it clear that the prospects have never been better:

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Kasdan is acting as head of a writers room that is in the process of breaking a first season for the proposed show, implying that Disney wants all the scripts written upfront before deciding whether to move forward. Still, while an active writers room is hardly full-on production in terms of a financial commitment from the studio, it isn't nothing, either. In a separate interview, Howard even indicated that "tentative" scouting in Wales has already occurred. Fans will note that Wales, along with New Zealand, was a primary filming location for the original film, and both countries are probably in a better position to safely accommodate film production than a few others I could name and/or find myself occupying.

Godspeed to the Daikinis trying to prove the potential of one of Lucasfilm's more neglected properties (aka Our Thing). And let's do DRAGONSLAYER next!

Check this out: News while it's still fresh! The YouTube interview show/podcast We Have Cool Friends has just dropped a new 80 minute interview with Tim Schafer. Like three hours ago!

(I told you it was fresh.)

See you in three weeks we spot some news from two months ago.

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

Do you remember Legend of Monkey Island? Of course you do, and as you probably know, the site has been offline for nearly a decade. Until now. The web site, possibly best known for its library of Monkey Island animated GIFs, is back with a new design, one that even is responsive. A first among the old Monkey Island fan-sites, and what I can personally only consider a slap in my face.

So, that means two of the classic fan-sites are alive -- The SCUMM Bar too, of course. Get World of Monkey Island going again, and we really can party 2002-style.

Comments: 6 / Source: Jake

If you, like us, have been waiting for some new Psychonauts 2, wait no more.

There’s a lot to unpack here, none of which I’ll jump into, because, y'know… Laziness. But, a punch list: Muscle Man in logo! Ultra-stylized graphics! Jack Black fronting a psychedelic jam that will make our LucasTones particularly happy! More!

The game will be released next year for PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and the Xboxes.

(Oh, have some screenshots, too.)

(And if you like the song, here it is in MP3 format.)

DoubleFine's classic adventure, Broken Age, and all their LucasArts remasters, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango can now be played on macOS Catalina. But that's not all. In order to celebrate this fact, DF have made them all FREE to download for the weekend!

If, by some small chance, you don't all these great games (and you're a Mac owner) now is your chance to grab them!

Here's a link to get you going.

Thanks, DoubleFine!

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.

Image

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.

If you bowed out of buying Telltale's adventure games around the time they stopped producing Sam & Max or Monkey Island episodes, now's a great time to grab a Humble Bundle of their later releases.

Spend US$1 and receive:
Batman: The Enemy Within – The Telltale Series
The Walking Dead – Season 1
The Walking Dead – 400 Days
Oxenfree and the Oxenfree soundtrack (non-Telltale)

Pay more than the average purchase price and you'll also get:
The Wolf Among Us
Batman: The Enemy Within Shadows Mode
The Walking Dead: Michonne
The Walking Dead: Season 2

Spend over US$15 to also receive:
Batman: The Telltale Series
Batman: The Telltales Series Shadows Mode
The Walking Dead: The Final Season
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier
Heaven's Vault (non-Telltale)

On top of that, profits from the sales will go towards diabetes support and research. So what are you waiting for, go buy the bundle.

Tales of Monkey Island is once again available for purchase from GOG and Steam. If you somehow haven't bought Telltale's single Monkey Island outing, it's going for $9.99, a healthy 50% off.

Comments: 10 / Source: GOG

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

Despite there being a mad flurry of news during May (by Mojo standards at least), we somehow missed making a big deal of this: Tim Schafer playing Full Throttle for the game's 25th Anniversary.

So here it is, only three weeks late!

And while you're at it, you might also like this little internal WFH update from DoubleFine, that is four weeks old.

And if you liked that, well you'll almost certainly love Tim's little self-isolation update. Also a mere four weeks old.

Honestly DoubleFine, this is what happens when you delete your website. Probably. It's definitely not like we've done this before. Oops.

The Thimbleweed Park interface-turned-free video game Delores: A Thimbleweed Park Mini-Adventure is now DRM-free on GOG, following its release on Epic and Steam last month.

Speaking of GOG, their summer sale (which ends June 15) is on, including a selection of Double Fine games and other adventure game stuff outside Mojo's sphere of influence, but which you should look into anyway. In my opinion, works like Primordia and Technobabylon stand comfortably shoulder-to-shoulder with the best LucasArts and its alumni ever swung-out.

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.)

We mentioned this on Twitter (which we intend on using until the White House shuts it down) but seeing Rum_Rogers threatened to break up with us, we'll mention it here, too: Ronzo has released Delores's source code. For free. On GitHub. If that means anything to you, then great. If not, then go about your life like the rest of us, and enjoy your freedoms while you have them.

Anonymous Mojo Glitterati

Say what you like about Ronzo, the man can code

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.

Double Fine's Rad, published last year to critical acclaim, is going for pretty dang cheap right now over on Humble Bandai Namco Bundle 4. The average price keeps changing, but currently anything above €8.60 gets you Rad plus a slew of other games, including an entry in the Katamari Damacy series. It's never been more affordable.

Rad is an isometric roguelike about a hero searching a post-apocalyptic wasteland for "respirators," which may restore civilisation in the wake of an apocalypse. Feels prescient. I haven't heard whether there's a pitchfork mob high on hydroxychloroquine out yelling something about reopening the economy despite it killing people, but you can let us know if there is by trying the game yourself.

Well, here's one for the quarantine dwellers: Ronzo's prototype for a new adventure game interface has all of a sudden morphed into a small adventure game: Delores: A Thimbleweed Park Mini-Adventure. Read all about it, then get it from Steam or Epic Store. For free. How can you lose?

For those who don't Twitter:

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

Comments: 9 / Source: Twitter

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

What could possibly be better than watching Jake and Marius's [and Dom's] Twitch stream yesterday? How about reading us watching it?

It's the third installment in our Excerpts from the Slack series, and it's available here in a global launch for all browser platforms.

UPDATE: It's over now, and it was excellent. Dominic Armato showed up about 90 minutes in, and the gang played through the Three Trials section before adjourning. If you missed it, you can watch the entire three-and-a-half-hour stream here. Stay tuned to Jake's Twitter to find out when they will schedule the continuation.

I dunno how all this "Twitch" stuff works, but I always credit the Mojo readership with being hipper than I, so here goes. Jake informed the world yesterday that he and designer Marius Fietzek will be streaming their playthrough of The Secret of Monkey Island through his Twitch channel. If listening to Jake talk about the game for hours was on your bucket list, I'm happy to say you can die soon.

It all starts streaming at https://www.twitch.tv/ja2ke? come 11AM PT/8PM CEST. That's a little under than two and a half hours from now. Be ready.

We're a bit late on this and I didn't set out to make this Bummer Saturday, but acknowledgment is owed to the passing of actor Malcolm Dixon.

Cast at the beginning of his career as an Oompa Loompa in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Dixon was one of a number of dwarf actors who would find work in the 80s as creatures in fantasy/sci-fi films, appearing under thick costumes in the likes of The Dark Crystal, Return of the Jedi (as an Ewok) and Labyrinth.

Dixon's performances weren't exclusively buried beneath rubber and foam - he also had more visible roles in Time Bandits as "Strutter" and Willow as a musician in the village festival scene. A picture of Dixon from the latter can be seen below.

It has been reported that American actor Dimitri Diatchenko, who was often cast as Russian characters, passed away on April 21st.

Diatchenko played one of Irina Spalko's nameless Soviet henchmen in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a role which became expanded after he made an impression on the director. The actor was originally booked only for the campus chase sequence in New Haven, and beefed himself up to 250 pounds for the ten-day shoot.

But when Harrison Ford accidentally clipped Diatchenko on the chin during a take, Spielberg saw something in the actor's reaction that he loved and decided then and there to extend Diatchenko's commitment to three months, with the character brought back as a member of Spalko's permanent entourage for the second half of the film.

It was good news for Diatchenko but a rough break for his character, whose participation in the South America mission meant he lived long enough to get sucked up into an alien portal at the climax of the movie. That's cinematic immortality from where I'm standing. RIP.

Comments: 1 / Source: Deadline

One of the more insane and popular features this site has ever published was the tenth anniversary article by Gabez in 2007 -- a particularly fruitful year for the mischievous staffer. When it ran originally, the celebration/exposé garnered over a hundred comments. Even DJG himsef got in on the act.

Six years later, Remi re-published the article, but his effort to import Gabez's abusive HTML into the far less tolerant MojoX was predictably compromised. Today, we've gotten it into more faithful shape, and thought that would be an excuse to milk Gabez's deranged opus a third time. It's still a mess, but what can you do? Read it.

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.

Like the dead-but-resurrected Telltale that birthed it, The Walking Dead shuffles on. You can buy every entry in the series, from the acclaimed, surprise hit first season through the company's swan song, via Fanatical's Sanctuary Bundle, which sets you back $4.99 for the lot. That's Steam keys for all what my Palestinian grandma calls "zombiss" plus Sanctus Reach, Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic, Blood: Fresh Supply, This War of Mine, and Redeemer: Enhanced Edition. And, for $4.99, this is a steal, tempting even to people such as yours truly who shuffled away from Telltale once Walking Dead changed the game (sorry).

You could do worse than support dark humour-as-marketing ("Sanctuary Bundle" raised an eyebrow, but I appreciate the effort) in these troubled times. Escape your troubles into a world overrun by the flesh-eating dead by clicking here.

Edit: Never post stuff at the tail end of a 20+ work day, kids. The Walking Dead games available are season one + "400 Days," season two, and Michonne, the "miniseries". You'll have to get seasons three and four separately.

Jason

Have you seen this lineup? I'm not newsing all this garbage as it comes out: https://limitedrungames.com/
Somebody who has actually played some of these game ought to step up. ¬

For the record those games are forthcoming Jedi Knight titles making their Limited Run appearance.

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.

That's the speculation over at SegmentNext, who point out the possible significance of a new job opening at Double Fine:

According to a recent job listing, Double Fine Productions was seeking a Game Scripter to implement “amazing writing and story moments” into Psychonauts 2. The position was closed a month ago and was on a contract basis of six months, which is just about the same time as when the game is expected to be done.

The six-month period also ties up Psychonauts 2 around the release window of next-generation consoles, which in this case implies that the long-awaited sequel could possibly be a launch title for Xbox Series X. Double Fine Productions was already revealed to be working with next-generation technology last December through a different job listing. Hence, seeing Psychonauts 2 release for Xbox Series X at launch will hardly be surprising.

As someone who's fallen somewhat behind on console platforms (any Wii U titles you want to recommend, for when I finally open the box?), I can't say this does much to change my position of I Sure Hope My PC Can Run This, but what do the rest of you think about Psychonauts 2 possibly angling for release on next-gen consoles? And when will Thrik relaunch Razputin's Domain now that Psychonauts 2 is coming out?

In short, hassle Thrik.

It only just relaunched, but samandmax.co.uk is doing something no one could have ever predicted from a modern-day Sam & Max fan site: reliable updates and actual content.

The unnatural activity began just a few days ago, when the site published an exclusive new interview with David Nowlin, the voice of Sam since 2006. They even got him to admit that "there has been some talk about some things here and there" with regard to future Sam & Max projects, so time to act like you're still a university student and get excited about that on the internet.

Mere hours ago, the restless fan site also reported on a second wave of Sam & Max action figures from Boss Fight Studio, which will consist of The Rubber Pants Commandos and Scuba Max. As for the first wave, both the Sam and the Max figures are still available for pre-order. Low on funds? Why not enter Sam & Max.co.uk's contest for a chance to win Max?

I don't know if there's any competition between Sam & Max fan sites these days, but I do know who's losing. In their neglectfulness, Jake and Metallus have allowed themselves to be usurped by a bunch of upstart monarchists from across the ocean. Being confirmed mercenaries, we at Mixnmojo are only too happy to forge an alliance with the winning side, so all hail the definitive, and some would say only, Sam & Max fan site of the modern era.

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.

No no, not the game, nor Unofficial… -- though we’re sure it’s right behind -- but Sam & Max.co.uk. They have a new design and content (allegedly), not to mention forums. It's all delicately old school, so check 'em out.

Who knows, maybe we will get out forums back one day? (Zaarin)

Cognizant that the stay-at-home world we currently live in has come with a rise in video conferencing, Double Fine is offering background clips from Psychonauts 2 and RAD so that you can virtually bond with your loved ones and coworkers while advertising Microsoft product at the same time! The publicly available mp4s can be downloaded directly right here, courtesy of Spaff himself.

Speaking of Psychonauts 2, it's fair to wonder whether the pandemic will impact the development schedule of the oft-delayed sequel. It seems the team itself isn't quite sure yet. Beyond a comment saying as much and a vague statement from Microsoft about first-party studios facing "unique challenge" due to the ongoing situation, it seems the team is very much in the same boat as the rest of the world: figuring it out as they go along.

Although it's had an indiscernible impact on the frequency of Mixnmojo news posts, the ongoing pandemic has naturally caused a number of film productions to be delayed, and Disney has announced revised release dates for a number of its upcoming tentpoles, among them Indiana Jones 5. The long awaited cursed sequel is now slated for July 29th, 2022.

While COVID-19 is as legitimate as reasons get, the fact is that the delays to this project are so reliable as to achieve drinking game status. For those counting at home (and we do recommend you do your counting there, per government guidelines), this is the third year-long postponement that the film has seen since its original announcement back in 2016, timing the movie's release to be an 80th birthday present for its star.

That is, if you believe Ford is still the star of this. After all, the film's been undergoing serious behind-the-scenes havoc even before viral outbreaks started getting in on the act, with Spielberg demoting himself to a producing role and Logan director James Mangold reportedly being pursued as his replacement.

So we'll see! But at this point, Vegas is saying that Zaarin's estimates are more trustworthy than anything Disney would have you believe about this movie.

Comments: 21 / Source: Variety

Hey, in these SARS-CoV-2 times, we read what we can get. And you know, TheGamer’s top ten Telltale Sam & Max list is worth a perusal. They correctly got all the episodes from Mojo’s perennial favorite The Devil’s Playhouse on there, though I personally would put "They Stole Max’s Brain!" as number one. (Although "Looks like it’s time to boil the haggis!" alone should have boosted "Beyond the Alley of the Dolls" up a notch or two.)

As we’re all awaiting our impending doom, why not share your favorite episode?

Answer: At least one!

Let me quote iam8bit:

iam8bit, Limited Run Games and Double Fine Productions have joined forces to bring you this exclusive variant to one of our favorite games – the seminal, superb and scrumptious Psychonauts! Originally intended to be sold in person at the 2020 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the event’s postponement inspired our collective teams to make this an online exclusive release event instead, with only 500 copies of this highly collectible version available on each of Limited Run Games’ and iam8bit’s webstores.

Get ready to pick it up tomorrow at 9 AM PST. I mean, just look at the Scott C. cover. Available for PS4 for a mere $29.99.

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.

Image

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

Well, so much for a proper finale from the original team.

Variety reports that Spielberg has stepped down as director for the first time in this series' history. He is relinquishing Indiana Jones 5 of his own volition "in a desire to pass along Indy’s whip to a new generation to bring their perspective to the story."  He will remain as a "hands-on producer," while James Mangold of Ford v Ferrari "fame" is said to be in talks as his replacement in the director's chair.  Ford is reported to still be starring, but I wasn't born yesterday.

And just like that, the official ending of the Spielberg era of Indiana Jones becomes Shia LaBeouf shuffling out of a chapel.

Comments: 11 / Source: Variety

If you try to visit DoubleFine's website today, you'll be shocked to discover that you can't! In its place is a farewell message from the website itself. The dear old thing is going to wherever websites go when they die (archive.org?).

You might wonder why they didn't just secretly work on a lovely new website and switch them over when it was done. You might wonder if Microsoft decreed that their old website wasn't Microsoft-y enough and demanded it be taken down immediately. You might also wonder why we're even reporting on such things.

So never let it be said that Mojo doesn't make you think, even when scraping the barrel for news! #foodforthought

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.

To capitalize on both the 40th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the allegedly upcoming fifth movie, Paramount is reportedly planning a 4K Blu-ray box set of all four Indiana Jones movies in 2021.  The Digital Fix has the scoop.

As you may know, while Disney owns the Indiana Jones IP these days, they only hold distribution rights to future films; the first four films remain in Paramount's control, which complicates the possibility of a five-film box set down the road.  However, the companies both stand to benefit from the renewed relevance of the brand, and the article states that Lucasfilm has given Paramount access to the archives in order to produce new bonus material for this release -- including, it is hinted, deleted scenes, which fans know have never been made available before.  Will we get to see the periscope ride, the singing on elephants, the death of Chatter Lal, Pat Roach's role in Last Crusade, the explosion in the Canyon of the Crescent moon, and the original tarantula version of the Name of God trial, among others?  Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I need to save money for a 4K TV.

One of Telltale’s underrated titles was Tales from the Borderlands, a game I’ve chosen to forget was a spin-off from Gearbox’s Borderlands franchise. As it seems, a sequel to Tales… might be in the works according to DFTG. To wit…

The rumor in question comes from notable leaker Hereitismydude, who recently took to Reddit to share some information. According to them, Tales from the Borderlands 2 is indeed happening, but it won’t be arriving for a few more years. “Gearbox is working out a deal for Telltale to have season 1 back as we speak, AdHoc is on board for season 2,” according to Hereitismydude. In addition to this, it is rumored that another Poker Night is also on the table, but it would just be Telltale making that.

Oh yeah, Poker Night, too, but whatever.

I do believe AdHoc -- which is in the middle of developing The Wolf Among Us 2 -- is made up of many from the Tales… team, so we chalk this up as good news.

(I apologize for this interruption in the Willow/Indy stream.)

Comments: 2 / Source: DFTG

At least, that's the impression Harrison Ford is under. Listen for yourself in this except from an interview with CBS Sunday Morning that will air in full this Sunday:

Stay tuned as we desperately follow every angstrom of the production's progress this summer.

So here's the deal.  Mojo may or may not be gearing up to publish a massive feature to commemorate the fifteenth sixteenth fifteenth anniversary of the canceled Sam & Max: Freelance Police.

So massive, in fact, that we thought it deserved more than one header.  Perhaps, thought I, with unwonted optimism, there could even be a unique piece of art crowning each one of the feature's numerous pages?* That's where you come in.  We are inviting all artists, professional and amateur, to contribute artwork related to Sam & Max 2 for display in the article, which we are arrogantly approaching as the final word on the subject.  We ask that it somehow be related to the cancelled LucasArts sequel specifically.  What that means is for you to intepret.  Go nuts.

If you are interested in making such a contribution and achieving immortality, please email your work to webmonkey@mixnmojo.com.  And tell your artistically inclined friends, because statistically speaking, they are unlikely to be Mojo readers.

Get drawing!

*In the unlikely event that we get more original art than there are pages, we promise that any work we accept will be given a place of prominence somewhere in the article.

The fifth Indiana Jones installment currently has a release date of July 9th, 2021. Assuming the Earth’s orbital period remains stubbornly faithful to a billion year precedent, any film of scale hoping to make that deadline would surely have to be in front of the cameras no later than this summer.

You’d expect, then, that Indy 5 would be as we speak in the passionate throes of pre-production, possibly even reverberating with widely circulated rumors about locations, castings, storyline -- y’know, all the usual buzz that comes with a high profile movie genuinely heading toward production.

And given the advanced age of the creative team, and given the ample time they’ve had to get the material ready, any delays at this point, you might assume, would be considered intolerable.

But you’d be a total idiot, apparently. BBC News asked Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy for a brief comment on the state of Indy 5 while she was on the red carpet at the BAFTA Awards yesterday. Her response would seem to confirm that old adage: no news is no news.

“We’re working away getting the script where we want it to be and we’ll be ready to go,” Kathleen Kennedy told BBC Newd after accepting the BAFTA Fellowship award. And when asked if it would be a reboot, she said, “Oh, Harrison Ford will be involved. It’s not a reboot, it’s a continuation. [Harrison Ford] can’t wait. He absolutely is [involved].”

In a joint statement sent exclusively to Mojo for release, authors George R.R. Martin and Robert Caro have referred to the writing pace of this screenplay as “a trifle undisciplined.”

Comments: 6 / Source: BBC News

When they're not productively pondering what makes the Indiana Jones movies problematic, Vice Magazine can apparently find time to dash off the odd Loom retrospective.  And they're pretty good at it!  Check out their newly published appreciation for Brian Moriarty's spellbinding point 'n click classic in honor of its 30th anniversary.

Now for somebody to get the EGA version of the game commercially available.

The folks at Collider were able to talk to Ron Howard at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and they knew what project the world most wanted an update on:

“We are developing Willow for Disney Plus,” Howard said. “And I don’t know about directing or not, but Jon Kasdan is writing, he’s very passionate about it, great job. We don’t have a green light yet, but if it goes, I’ll certainly want to roll up my sleeves and be a part of that, because that would be great, to revisit that world.”

Knowing that the project isn’t officially a go yet does clarify the matter a bit, but at least Disney approved the idea of having somebody map out the series, which is better than nothing. And it’s nice to know that Howard would be interested in an active role. Who better to direct the pilot? Mixnmojo in 2020 is Willow news central, after all, so we’ll let you know how things develop. Imagine if Cronkite had the courage to cover truly controversial subjects instead of Vietnam, and you’ll have a decent idea of what we’re all about here.

Double Fine Productions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT), has gotta find some way to occupy its employees after it ships Psychonauts 2 later this year, hence that unannounced title we’ve occasionally heard whispers about. Whatever the game is, it looks like you’re going to be able to play it with a friend, as the studio has an open listing for a "Multiplayer Programmer.

The requirements of the position only give us so much to go on; that’s where your rampant speculation comes in. The first time Tim marshaled the forces of his beloved studio in the service of an online multiplayer experience, we ended up with Brutal Legend, so I’m sure we’ve got something fun to look forward to. Unless you think Microsoft’s pulled a Campo Santo on Double Fine and the big mystery project is just a Halo expansion pack.

But that would be cynical.

Look, it's a slow news day: Chris Remo and Jake Rodkin and, hell, Psychonauts co-writer Erik Wolpaw are currently part of a group Ask Me Anything on Reddit. They're talking about Half-Life: Alyx, which adds another notch on Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman's popular video game franchise belts. Monkey Island 5? Those two. Half-Life: Not Quite 3 But Maybe? Those two. I can only assume they'll be resurrecting Silent Hill or Grim Fandango next. Which you can ask them about here on our obligatory second link. I'd be stoked as hell for it if I had a halfway chance of using VR soon.

Indiana Jones news is so scanty that rumor is often all we have to go on. Well, today’s rumor, courtesy of the rumor-mongers at We Got This Covered, is that Disney is developing a television series starring the daughter of one Professor Henry Jones, Jr. The idea is that the character would be introduced in Indiana Jones 5, because back-channeling a reboot via Harrison Ford’s final film isn’t cynical at all.

Still, giving Indiana Jones a daughter (which the Young Indiana Jones wraparounds in fact do) has always been an idea with potential. Apparently it was considered for the fourth film, but Spielberg rejected it. (Not sure why Indy needed offspring at all, but whatever.) The idea of Indy passing the baton to a successor character in the fifth film has been speculated on quite a bit, and a daughter role would be as good as any for such a transition. I don’t know how old a daughter of Indy could be if she’s meant to be the legitimate child of the newly married Jones’s, but it’s hardly implausible that Indy would have fathered a few other bastards besides Mutt over the years.

What leaves me scratching my head, however, is why you’d want Indy’s successor trapped in the 1960s-70s. Unlike, say, Bond, which is flexible enough a sandbox to update with the times, Indiana Jones has always been tied to a particular era – the golden age of pulp – and it seems to me that departing from it was really only to accommodate Harrison Ford’s age. If there had been some way to freeze the actor at his Raiders age, we’d still be getting adventures set in the 30s and 40s. So, it’s hard for me to imagine what the future this rumor suggests would even look like. Once you’ve retired Ford and have some other adventurer running around during the Nixon presidency, are we really even resembling the original IP enough to bother connecting to it?

The main reason this rumor excites me is that it means by implication that there’s life left in Indiana Jones 5. Things have remained alarmingly silent on a project that pretty much has to be in front of the cameras in a matter of months if it is to make its release date. Either I’m unequal to the challenge of second grade arithmetic, or an announcement has to be arriving imminently. Rest assured that when the news breaks, Mojo will be the sixth to let you know.

If you would have told me fifteen years ago that the primarily thing keeping Mixnmojo alive was Willow news, I would have said, “That sounds about right.”

A month after it was reported that screenwriter’s son extraordinaire Jonathan Kasdan had turned in a pilot script for a potential Willow series, the writer (and, I presume, showrunner?) has tweeted a photo of a Willow Ufgood baseball cap pinned to a bullet board with the caption “The office is open.” The implication is heavy that a writers room is being convened, which puts this potential Disney+ series yet another step closer to reality. Hopefully Bob Dolman gets invited to the party.

Oh, and happy belated new year from The International House of Mojo!

To spite Temple-shading elitists like Remi and Thunderpeel, I decided to follow in the footsteps of Shiva by consecrating the 35th anniversary of the second – and, according to the sexual endowed, best – Indiana Jones installment with a three-page valentine as feverishly out-of-control as its endlessly rewatchable recipient.

Read my truth, then respond with yours in the comments.

Jason may threaten you readers with Star Wars content on Mojo, but only I have the balls to actually follow through with it. But I will concede we're talking the golden age of games from the Galaxy Far Far Away - the much loved and even more missed space combat simulators from Larry Holland, of course.

PC Gamer has a wonderfully in-depth interview with Larry, and his wife Robin (and other peripheral characters like Barbara Gleason) who discuss all sorts of interesting facts and stories about those early days at LucasFilm Games and LucasArts, then the formation of their own Totally Games.

(Larry) describes his first time playing the game as though a TIE Fighter were an artifact you might find out in the world, restore, and take flight in.
"This thing, this tin can," he says, "had a whole different feeling. So many of the other games had all these fighters, whether it was X-wings or P-47s, which could handle a lot of abuse. Here, it really felt like we captured the fear factor of being in something that could blow up with only a few shots. I liked that take on things—that emotion that was surrounding you at all times."


Mention is made of early Lucasfilm Games titles like HMS Pegasus, Strike Fleet, Battlehawks 1942, and the Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe series. There are early TIE-Fighter sketches and embedded videos, George Lucas anecdotes, and all sorts of greatness.

Comments: 2 / Source: PC Gamer
Hot on the heels of the new company with the old Telltale name announcing a new Wolf Among Us game, they have also announced (and released) a compiled and updated set of their old Batman titles, but with a noir remastered twist.

Step into the shadows and experience the twisted world of Telltale’s Batman in a way that brings the fractured persona of the Dark Knight and the City of Gotham to life in a sinister, new way. Enhanced with hand recolored game play and remastered textures, the Telltale Batman Shadows Edition brings all ten Telltale Batman episodes across two seasons into one, complete game while staying true to the spirit of the Dark Knight’s rich, visually compelling history.

Includes:
• Batman: The Telltale Series (Episodes 1-5)
• Batman: The Enemy Within (Episodes 1-5)
• Batman Shadows Mode


Shadows mode is a black-and-white-and-colour-splash re-texturing of the games, so far as I can tell. And it can be purchased as a DLC add-on if you already have the game(s).



As well as the current release on Steam, it's also out now for Xbox One, and coming soon for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC owners who prefer to buy from the Epic Games Store.
Comments: 1 / Source: Steam

Six months back it was reported that screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan and narrator Ron Howard got together to scheme about giving Willow a sequel in the form of a series on Disney+.  Now, Bleeding Cool reports that Kasdan has completed a pilot script for the potential project.  While that is far from a green light, it is material progress.  The existence of a script is more than you can say about, for example, Indiana Jones 5, which some have called the In the Valley of Gods of franchise film sequels.

Anywho, we at Mojo are pulling for this Willow show to become a thing, because when you consider what we have left to report on in 2020 aside from Psychonauts 2, things start to feel a little dour.  What are we supposed to do, start covering Star Wars?  I'll see the site become a Leisure Suit Larry hub first.

Although the fate of The Walking Dead: The Final Season was what seemed to worry the gaming press most when Telltale threw in the towel at the end of last year, it was the incubating follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Wolf Among Us that was perhaps the more lamentable (non-human) loss when the building came down.

Happily for fans of either series, both of those losses were ultimately recovered.  The Walking Dead got its finale earlier this year, and today yesterday Forbes reports that the-holding-company-now-going-by-Telltale is collaborating with AdHoc Studio (the current home of several ex-Telltale developers) to revive the other orphaned project.  Here, have an announcement trailer:

Now to revive that The Devil's Playhouse soundtrack album...

Comments: 4 / Source: Forbes

You might have seen this posted in the comments by the suspiciously named “custard,” but in case you haven’t, this Twitter thread by contracted In the Valley of Gods writer Duncan Fyfe is worth a read.

We do, of course, sympathize with Duncan -- we got woefully little left to write around these parts, although Jason is pushing hard for more Larry content. But hey, there’s always an opening for you at Mojo, Duncan. We pay in love and hugs.

When Valve swallowed up Campo Santo, Zaarin predicted Jake would jump on a Steam overhaul project. Turns out that was closer to correct than what we had expected.

In a statement accidentally sent to Polygon instead of us, Jake said:

To fans looking forward to In the Valley of Gods, it’s probably clear that the optimistic “2019” at the end of the announcement trailer isn’t going to be accurate. In the end, Valve Time makes fools of us all. But yes, developers from the former Campo Santo team have joined other projects at Valve, including Half-Life: Alyx. As you can imagine, our experience in the first-person adventure genre is pretty relevant. You hear a lot about how at Valve you can work on what you want. It turns out that’s true, and there’s a lot of work available. As we integrated ourselves into Valve it became clear there was a lot of valuable work to be done on Half-Life: Alyx. Some of us starting lending a hand, and have since become full-time on the project as it approaches launch. Similarly, some ex-Campos are working on Dota Underlords, some are on Steam, and so on. So to answer your question as of today, In the Valley of Gods development is on hold—but it certainly feels like a project people can and may return to. And when that happens, we’ll find an exciting way to let fans know.

And that's all we got.

Comments: 8 / Source: Not Jake

So here is a Mojo rarity: a sunshine story filled with sweetness. Don’t get used to it.

If you for whatever reason have played Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order you may have noticed a reference in the game to a "Jedi Master Mar Ti 'Buck' Kam'Ron," which, of course, almost spells out Martin "Bucky" Cameron. Many will remember that name, having seen it in the credits for games like The Secret of Monkey Island and X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter. Turns out that Bucky’s son worked on Fallen Order and added the tribute to his father who sadly passed away last year.

Check out GameSpot for more.

In the last few days a reporter at PC Gamer has noticed several strange goings-on at Campo Santo, the game developer started in part by ex-Telltale and ex-Mojo Jake Rodkin. They report some disappearances of mentions of the game-in-progress Valley of the Gods:

...recent changes in the Twitter bios of three of its lead developers—Firewatch producer and 3D environment artist Jane Ng, art director Claire Hummel, and Campo Santo co-founder Jake Rodkin—has some followers worried that the game has been canceled.

A check of the Internet Archive confirms that the changes were made relatively recently. The Twitter bios of Ng and Hummel both indicated that they were working on In the Valley of Gods as recently as October 2019, while Rodkin's bio made the same reference up to September. All three now indicate simply that they are employed by Valve.

But they also point out that the game website is still up, as its Steam holding page. Jake could clear this up, but what are the odds of that?

Comments: 5 / Source: PC Gamer

Quoth the Jason, “The bloodletting begins.”

Greg Rice, Double Fine’s VP of business development and arguably their second most recognizable face, has left the company for a “new position elsewhere in the game industry.” A tweet string makes it pretty clear there is no bad blood behind the departure, though it seems somewhat prudent to speculate if the recent Microsoft acquisition would have changed his responsibilities within the company. And that’s what we do. Speculate.

The day you’ve been waiting for has arrived. Limited Run Games is continuing the mission they announced back at E3 to anoint select classics from the LucasArts library with handsome re-releases in beautifully curated collector’s boxes. You might recall that the first batch from their ongoing slate dropped back in June.

As usual, they are taking the responsibility that comes with holding a precious license for the LucasArts catalog seriously, by reserving this benediction for only the most deserving titles. This ability to exercise taste and judgment is critical, because the studio's library is a vast one, and you don’t want to squander the finite resources that plainly go into these packages on anything less than the undisputed gems. On that basis, you’ve probably already guessed that the latest re-releases are Star Wars Episode 1: Racer for N64 (available in regular and premium editions, both containing actual cartridges) and its sequel, Star Wars Racer Revenge for PS4 (the game was originally for PS2).

I speak for everyone when I say it couldn’t have happened to a better pair of games. The people making these calls really seem to know what they’re doing. I mean, God bless them.

GamesRadar got with Tim for the tenth anniversary of Brutal Legend, resulting in an interview that comes off as something of a postmortem for the studio's second project, and also arguably still it's last game of a giant scale. Read the article and renew your expertise of the game's wacky development history.  Remember that hilarious lawsuit, what with all the laughter it caused?

Tim also talks about how you can play against him in Brutal Legend online every "Rocktober" 13th, but that probably would be more relevant if we'd reported on this article when it was published. We'll try harder next year, as far as you know.

For now? Scummbuddy points us to a recent Archive.org, where 2,500 DOS games can be played to free through an emulator (DOSBox as it seems). Which games, you may ask? A quick search reveals:

Loom
The Secret of Monkey Island
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
Zak McKracken
Maniac Mansion

And so on, read the full LucasArts list for more. I haven't taken much time to look at this, but LeChuck's Revenge requires the code wheel at least. I assume all of this must be legal and all Actually, I don't assume that at all, so go look for both LucasArts and LucasFilm games while you still can.

Update: Turns out this is all a whole lot more legal than I had expected. Archive.org is, as it seems, exempt from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, due to their efforts to preserve our digital history. A simple summation of that can be read right here.

Tomorrow is Rocktober 13th, the 10th anniversary of the release of Brutal Legend! To celebrate DoubleFine is hosting a livestreaming event where you can play against Tim Schafer and other members of the Double Fine team.

As Lee Petty Tweeted earlier today, "You can beat him! @TimOfLegend is old and nowhere near his fighting weight!"

Join the melee tomorrow between 1 and 4pm PST (9pm to 1am GMT).

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That headline might sound like an anno-2001 fan-game, but it is, in fact, a reference to an Uncle Scrooge comic that comes loaded with Monkey Island references.

A Reddit… person… thing (Redditor?) brought this to light, and kindly posted a bunch of images from the story. Some highlights: Captain LeChunk, Brushwood, “LeChunk’s Revenge,” and the rather inspired Grizzlebert.

This Disney-Monkey Island thing seems to have come full circle.

Comments: 1 / Source: Benzo

PC Gamer has put together a small oral history of sorts about what they -- and probably many of us -- consider the best Psychonauts level, "The Milkman Conspiracy." A quote:

That was only possible because writing all the dialogue came last. After the designers and gameplay programmers had finished, Schafer would assess every piece of the level, and write dialogue based on all the work that came before. "That was the most solid foundation for the jokes to get layered on top," Robson says. "Half of my memory of Milkman is playing it without any of that dialogue, so that stuff still almost feels like a sort of recent edition. And then after you're done with the level, six or eight weeks later, this dialogue appears all of a sudden in the game."

Now run and read it.

So back in July, the official Arby's Twitter posted this.

That is a real thing.

Not sure what I can really add to this. I knew Stan was a whore, but...social media?

I'd make a smart aleck comment about how Arby's is doing more to promote Monkey Island than its actual copyright owner, but what point would I really be communicating? Everyone, by definition, is doing more to promote Monkey Island than its copyright holder.

J’accuse! See Stan there? That’s shamelessly stolen from the venerable SCUMM Bar. How do I know this, you may wonder. Simple. Notice Stan having a black something or other coming out his mouth. When Skyfox created that animation for TSB, he did it by hand, capturing each frame manually, removing the background . . . All while thinking Stan was smoking a cigar, when it was actually part of the background. Arby’s, have you no shame? - Remi

After the controversy surrounding the SCUMM Bar theme, an anonymous source going simply by Bozeke has pointed us to Burt Ives’s "Go Tell Aunt Rhody," a 1956 1752 ditty which sounds eerily familiar . . .

I do believe Stan’s theme appeared first in LeChuck’s Revenge. Follow the notes, and we undoubtedly will find the elusive Secret of Monkey Island.

(And yes, this is pretty much all we have to post about these days.)

I maintain that the one consistency we saw through Telltale’s turbulent history, was the quality of their soundtracks, composed nigh exclusive by Jared Emerson-Johnson. And now you can own (or rent, if streaming services are your thing) a piece -- a large piece -- of it, by grabbing The Walking Dead soundtracks featuring thirteen hours of music from the games. Digitally, you can find them at Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

And if you’re really with it, go pre-order the four soundtracks on vinyl from Skybound. They’ll be available this December.

Mojo: We’re All About the Music(TM).

The theme, that is, not the honorable web site.

@Nicozilla_FR points us to a Reddit thread, where the SCUMM Bar theme's origins are revealed . . .

So now I guess we have a name: "Oh Good Ale Thou Art My Darling."

(And before the usual suspects start whining, I know it's not actually a rip-off, but it's interesting the original material wasn't credited. A very quick search reveals the song at least has existed as a recording since the fifties.)

Update! Our crack reporter, elTee, has through diligent research confirmed the song has existed at least since 1859.

Over at PAX West, a thing which was going on last week, Double Fine was on hand to show off Psychonauts 2. Judging by this preview on Shacknews, Double Fine was giving the same demo they were giving back at E3, resulting in said preview offering exactly zilch in the new information department.

But despite the fact that Shacknews has let all of you down in a very personal way, PAX West wasn't a washout. That's because those stalkers at Destructoid chased Tim all around the expo until he "consented" to be interviewed at length. With a gun pressed against his cheek, Tim talks about all sorts of juicy stuff, like the fact the Microsoft acquisition is still an ongoing affair, the unclear fate of Double Fine's publishing arm, hints about the studio's post-Psychonauts 2 project, and how he really feels about virtual reality, now that the cameras are off and Rhombus of Ruin is Old News. And then there's this observation:

I love the Switch, and a lot of people at Double Fine are huge Nintendo fans and I think we always have been and will be. Early on in my career, Super Mario 64 was obviously very influential for me. And it always felt weird that I feel like I just cannot sell a game in Japan. Japanese games people would come to visit at LucasArts and they would look at Grim Fandango and they'd be like "Are these characters done?" One of them actually said that. I was like "Yeah, that's the final art," and he was like "They don't have skin." I always thought that we had very Japanese sensibility in our love of design and love of character. But, I guess our taste and aesthetic are more American than I realized. Some day we'll have a game that Japanese people will like.

Why do you resist Tim, Japan? Why have you not read the full interview, everyone else?

Double Fine doesn't just make games, they sometimes bless them with love, and release them into the world, too. Not that we normally mention that, but why don't we? So breaking with tradition here's news on another new DF game, hot on the tail of RAD. This one is called "Knights and Bikes", from by London-based Foam Sword Games, and it has already been called "gorgeous" in the comments.

It's out "today" (actually last week) for PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux. But not XBox. (The last time that will be happening.)

Shortly after it was announced that the Telltale brand has been relaunched, its web presence was relaunched as well. A few of the studio's catalogue titles are directly available again, letting us know which IPs that Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, the men behind Telltale Redux, where able to snatch up. Behold the 2019 Telltale library, in the order the site presents it:

  • RGX Showdown
  • Batman The Enemy Within
  • Batman: The Telltale Series
  • The Wolf Among Us
  • Puzzle Agent 2
  • Hector: Badge of Carnage
  • Puzzle Agent

So, a smattering. And two of those games were merely published by Telltale, rather than developed. (Remi had to explain to me what RGX Showdown even was. It didn't take.) The highlight as far as I'm concerned is Nelson Tethers. Hopefully that means Graham Annable at least got a check outta all this hooey.

Happily, some decent person behind this revival (or maybe just our own Jennifer, going by the comments of the previous news post) has made it so that you can sign into Telltale with your old account and download your old purchases once again. I just logged into my account from January 18th, 2005 to confirm that. So take the second chance you've been handed and get your games if you failed the first time.

Comments: 2 / Source: Telltale

. . . or at least the name is. Polygon reports TTG has been acquired by LCG Entertainment, and that, and I quote, "some of Telltale’s back catalog and will work on new games based on a few Telltale-associated properties, as well as new licenses." The Wolf Among Us, Batman, and Puzzle Agent are part of the roster.

We know some other assets have sailed off -- The Walking Dead for example -- and while there are murmurs of former employees coming back in some form or other, it's uncertain how Telltale-y this new Telltale will be. We shall see.

DoubleFine's latest game, the post-post-apocalyptic rogue-like, RAD, is released today for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. It's the latest project led by Lee Petty (Stacking, Autonomous, and Headlander), and I'm sure the obligatory Mojo review is just around the corner.

Check it out


While some of us were ready to group Double Fine in with Telltale as companies we would never get to see (or touch as it might be) any new games from, a glimmer of hope has surfaced. Matt Booty, Xbox’s first-party studio head, mused thusly about Microsoft’s studio umbrella’s potential multi-platform releases:

Yeah, I think we would. I think that the question is less binary about, ‘should it be on Switch, should it be on PlayStation?’ and more, ‘does it make sense for the franchise?’ [..] With something like Minecraft, I think it was a no-brainer that we were never going to try and take anything from players that existed on those platforms, and certainly we’ve added platforms since that acquisition.

So there you go. The possibilities of seeing Double Fine titles fall under "dooes it make sense" in our world, followed up with a ringing "yes" endorsement, so consider that a full on guarantee.

Comments: 12 / Source: VGC

As you probably remember, Double Fine is now a Microsoft property, which means a whole host of things, potentially most so for those who invested in the Psychonauts 2 Fig campaign. Looks like Christmas will come early for said investors, with payments now being sent out in September, according to Destructoid. This because publishing rights have shifted to Microsoft.

Of course, who knows if it will amount to a happy Christmas or not -- a 139% return is nothing to sneeze at, unless, of course, Psychonauts 2 beats all estimates. That seems unlikely to me, but consider that only one handsome man’s opinion.

Did you invest? Sound off in the comments if so, though I never considered the Mojo crowd the investor type.

A post today on game developer Dynamighty's facebook page confirmed the studio, who had a well received release in Counterspy, has closed down. And as a double blow, one of the founding members passed away.

It may come as no surprise, but Dynamighty ceased operations sometime back in 2017.

An all too common story of small game studios but regretfully, after the release of CounterSpy, we were unable to secure a follow up project. We made a small mobile game, Fingers of Fury, as our team members slowly dispersed to other opportunities...

The end was painful. We didn’t want to say goodbye, which is why we were remiss in posting here. But it’s been a couple of years and recent events brought us back together and reminded us of how amazing this journey was and how thankful we were that we got to make this game CounterSpy. That we got to work together as an amazing team, making lifetime friends, and that millions of people like you reading this, played our game. We thank you all.

It is with sadness then, that I reveal the second part of this post, which is the event that brought us Dynamightys back together.

Back in 2014, 2 ex LucasArts folk met with a guy who decided to team up with them and invest his time, passion and energy into starting a company. That man was Mark Erman.

Mark passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. In life, Mark was one of the kindest, most warm hearted people you could know. He was a key part of The Dynamighty team throughout its own too short life. He ran the studio so we could make the game.


Condolences to Mark's family, friends and colleagues. You can read the full post here

If Counterspy passed you by, here's a taste of what you've missed.
Direct Link
Comments: 6 / Source: Facebook

DoubleFine has revealed a post-E3 update for Psychonauts 2 (put together by the folks at 2 Player Productions) and also revealed that the game's release has been pushed back to 2020. As they said to backers:

We know it’s always disappointing when you have to wait a bit longer, but we also know that you are an amazing, supportive bunch, who - just like us - want the game to be as good as possible. So we’re hopeful you’ll understand! <3

I think we do, but if you're struggling, checkout the update to kill 15 minutes and 1 second while you wait for next year:

Continuing our Scummbuddy news cycle, you can now pre-order Boss Fights’s Sam & Max toys. Grab yourself some Sam, and pick up some Max on your way out, and you’ll only be out $37.99 * 2. Boss Fight even posted some photos of the figurines on Instantgram.

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Well, color me surprised that Limited Run Games seems to have produced genuine, no-joke NES and Game Boy cartridges for their re-release of the very first Star Wars console game, along with a physical PS4 port of Bounty Hunter, on Friday.  (It is especially impressive since, didn't Capcom consider that for Mega Man 9 before deciding it was cost-prohibitive?)  Not that I am unequal to the challenge of finding fault, as I sense no effort to replicate the mail-order hint book. Check out the packaging for yourself on Limited Run Games' Instagram page.

This is a little frustrating for me personally, I must admit.  LucasArts made impressive contributions to a number of consoles, but the NES wasn't a platform they did very well on; some would argue that their debut for the system, the iconic (and in-house, unlike the title being awarded this treatment) port of Maniac Mansion, was the only project worth a damn, with all due respect to Defenders of Dynatron City.  It was the gateway drug for many to the LEC adventure catalogue, and it comes with a nice juicy censorship controversy to boot.

Alas, as always, Star Wars gets the slot.  But don't let me stink up the joint with my griping, because this is still really cool.  Be sure to head over to the nearest Limited Run Games web presence on Friday to place your order.

Our thanks to Scummbuddy for bringing this to our attention

Days of arguing brought us to this: Which one is better, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or Temple of Doom. I said the former, and to prove it, I sat through it, and live-Slacked it. Some would call that a huge mistake, and some might be right.

Read the result. Or don't. But do.

Earlier in the week, Tim demoed to convention goers the first level from Psychonauts 2, which also featured in the gameplay trailer that debuted around that time. I’ve collected links to a few of the previews that resulted, settling once and for all the question of whether I can type a phrase into Google News:

The previews also indicate that the game has been quietly pushed back to 2020. Not hugely surprising, and after all a five year development schedule is an elemental bona fide of any Psychonauts installment.

I leave you with three videos. The first is the new trailer which we’ve linked to a few days back but which is now embedded for your convenience. The second is nine minutes of footage from the game narrated by Tim, and the third is an hour-long “E3 Coliseum” panel for the game featuring Tim and Jack Black.

Or so we can just assume, based on Twitter’s very own @samedods who tweeted to us a Limited Run trailer of "collector’s editions of classic Star Wars games". That in itself is probably cool if you care about those kind of things, but more interestingly, the Amiga version of the Monkey Island theme plays at the end of the trailer. So, you know, 2 + 2 probably equals 4, and that is the conclusion I have decided to make.

Update! THE @fantasticleak16 has even more: “@mixnmojo MI1, MI2 and Curse are in the list of Limited Run’s announced titles! And it looks like some sort of Collectors Edition may be coming! Check out the bottom of the page... Link

I have no clue what this Limited Run shenanigans is, but woo all the same!

It’s true: Double Fine is now officially part of Xbox Game Studios, and… I don’t even know. Check what Tim has to say, and Mojo will be back with more. Meanwhile, check out some Psychonauts 2 goodness.

For those of you who are into this kind of stuff, here are fourteen insufferable minutes of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Rumors of it being as adult as 1313 remains unconfirmed.

Psychonauts has seemingly been made available for every platform under the sun at this point, but it hasn't been printed as a physical release since the Majesco days.

That will change this Friday, June 7th, when Limited Run Games will be releasing a PS4 port of Double Fine's classic in both standard and collector's or "Psycho-Portal" editions -- the latter including a SteelBook case, a reversible poster, and a soundtrack CD. So that's pretty nifty. What with the run being limited and so forth, you'll want to act fast on Friday morning if you're in the market for this, which you are, definitionally, by being Mojo reader.

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Double Fine's upcoming Roguelike, RAD, has a competition running to have your graffiti artwork featured in the game.

You could also win a RAD Skateboard, a RAD Lunchbox, a RAD Floppy Disk, a RAD Action Figure, and Digitally RAD Copy of the Game, provided you live in the USA and submit your entry by the end of June.

Why not give it a shot? Submit your RAD artwork here

(Question: Will it ever get tiresome saying RAD all the time? Answer: Yes.)

In response to the Monkey Island tribute tweet that Remi just posted about, Craig Derrick took the opportunity to weigh in on the series’ dormancy with a tweet of his own, which read simply:

Maybe I should do something about that.

If you need a refresher on who Craig Derrick is, he was the figurehead of the so-called “Heritage” team at LucasArts during the 2008-2011ish arena, which more or less coincided with the Darrell Rodriguez epoch. Working in the periphery, this small group of optimistic developers gave us the Monkey Island special editions (what little that the powers-that-be didn’t delegate to Singapore, anyway) and Lucidity. These folks obviously intended to do more original and legacy projects along those lines, but as with every other stab at turning LEC into an interesting development studio after the turn of the century, it was smothered with a pillow. You can read one sobering account of the life and death of “Heritage” here.

As a nice contrast to our undying cynicism, Derrick remained optimistic and committed to keeping that candle lit as recently as the year of the Disney acquisition. Derrick, in fact, still walks those halls; while LucasArts as it once existed is gone, Derrick remains a “Managing Producer” at Lucasfilm these days. What that actually means is unclear, though going by his blog it’s Star Wars related.

But hey, read into his comment what you will. At the very least he may know which cages to shake to get some more of those Double Fine remasters off the ground. It’s not like Brian Moriarty hasn’t been vocal about Loom, nor has Bill Tiller been bashful about his desire to repaint The Curse of Monkey Island for the HD era. And as long as he’s granting wishes, why not get that last 40% of Freelance Police’s development Kickstarter’d? Worst case scenario, we’ll have another Kierdorf situation and enough belly laughs for many a year to come.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on this reminder from @fantasticleak16:

@mixnmojo Ten years to the day since Tales of Monkey Island & Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition announcements! Pretty sure this is now officially the longest hiatus that the series has ever had. We were pretty lucky that year-long revival happened all things considered!

So pour one out for the series today.

Part of being old is that you stop keeping track of all the various subscription services that are out there, looking to convert your wallet into a trough for corporate snouts. At a certain point you just stop paying attention and focus yearningly on the oblivion you're galloping toward.

So I'm not feeling particularly remorseful about the fact that I've never heard of Nitro Games, a service available as a $10 upgrade to the Discord app. But it is my duty to inform you that six LEC games have been added to the service:

  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

A decent but sort of random smattering of games, if you ask me. But if you're a Nitro subscriber, get gaming, I suppose.

Some sad news is making the rounds today, reporting the death of programmer Stephen Ash, a veteran of LucasArts, Double Fine, Ion Storm Dallas, Factor 5 and his most permanent home, id Software.

Ash's career at LucasArts included work on Grim Fandango, and like a number of developers on the Grim team, he was one of the earliest employees of Double Fine, where he developed the physics system for Psychonauts. Tim acknowledged his contribution and passing in the following tweet:

Saying goodbye to Stephen Ash, a brilliant programmer and kind, soft-spoken person. Everybody wanted Steve on their project. We were lucky to get him on Psychonauts in the early, unheated warehouse days of Double Fine, to help get our first engine off the ground. Thanks, Steve!

Because the world needs more Star Wars movies, and Disney apparently has burned through original content, it is now sinking its grubby white gloves into the seminal Knights of the Old Republic. I mean, I assume it’s seminal—had I played through it further than the first ten minutes, I might have more of an opinions.

The film is set to be written by Laeta Kalogridis, co-writer of Battle Angle: Alita, and Mojo will follow the development with the type of vigor usually reserved for Willow.

Comments: 5 / Source: BMD

GOG delisting Telltale is one thing, but Steam's another. In another instance of "We don't know when it'll be back, if ever," Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands is no longer available to buy on Steam.

I still have a hard time believing Telltale is gone, sometimes. Don't you?

Another shovelful of soil on Telltale Games's grave: GOG.com will be delisting their remaining games on Monday; Tales of Monkey Island is already gone. Sam and Max, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Puzzle Agent, the Telltale-published Hector: Badge of Carnage, Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Wolf Among Us, and Tales from the Borderlands will be following suit.

It is unclear when—or if—any of the games will be returning to the platform.

To quote GOG, "Sadly, we need to inform you that, due to company’s closure, all the remaining Telltale titles will be delisted from our catalog on Monday, May 27, 10am UTC."

Purchased games shall remain in your library.

If you're feeling wistful, listen to Mojo discuss Telltale's closure. You can buy the games here.

Comments: 4 / Source: GOG

Psychonauts 2 excitement is building, and E3 looks to be the epicenter for some long-awaited information on the title. During the conference, we'll see Jack Black (courtesy of his Jablinski Games YouTube series) and Tim demo the game, and the final release date -- set for this year -- should also be revealed.

Additionally, Rad, which to this quasi-reporter-ish looks almost as exciting, has an official release date of August 20th.

Thanks to Jason for kindly letting me post this on his behalf.

The documentary is out, we have whined about it not being comprehensive enough, and Jason has put pen to paper, as he is wont to do: Read his review of Telltale: The Human Stories Behind The Games, and then run and check out our podcast for the real goods.

Always nice to see Humongous get some love. The good folks over at Vice have put together a lovely history of the studio that brought SCUMM to kids with the likes of Pajama Sam, Freddi Fish and Putt Putt. The article contains new quotes from Ron as well as Humongous designer Tami Borowick, so do check it out.

And don't forget that the old Humongous titles are readily available these days, just like all the other SCUMM games, now that I mention it. And no matter how jaded you've become about this world we live in, that's a pretty rad thing.

Comments: 1 / Source: Vice

Speaking of Nicolas Deneschau: He has taken it upon himself to post all the images from the thankfully cancelled Curse of Monkey Island movie, which (I believe) were bundled with the Special Edition DVD. See them all right here, and hopefully we'll never have to talk about that carwreck of an idea again. (Fair is fair, though: the art looks fantastic.)

Les mysteres de Monkey Island: à l'abordage des pirates! will be releasing by publisher Third Editions.

Written by self-professed "LucasArts archaeologist" Nicolas Deneschau, the book features interviews with the likes of Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Larry Ahern, and Steve Purcell. Or, well, the author says he talked to them. It's hard to tell, since Deneschau's English is adorably incomprehensible at times.

Excitingly, Purcell furnished the book with a beautiful new cover and Ahern, co-lead on Curse of Monkey Island, penned the preface.

The author said the book would be publishing on May 31, though only in French; us English speakers will have to make some noise for Third Editions to publish it. The Amazon.fr listing, on the other hand, puts the release date at June 21 and features a different cover.

Comments: 6 / Source: Twitter

Look, I don't know what this is all about. el "LucasTones" Tee came running in, screaming about a new Monkey Island poster by Steve Purcell, and that it's for sale right here. That page turned out to be in French, so I'm out beyond that.

elTee mumbled something about some French book about the making of The Secret of Monkey Island, and that's where the painting is from, but, really, who cares? You can get a poster by Steve Purcell, and that's more than you deserve. Run and spend €40, cold, hard, cash right now.

Update! Doug "Mojo 9" Tabacco brings word of an English language ordering page.

Noclip's documentary Telltale: The Human Stories Behind the Games is out today. As per the fear Jason voiced in the original news post two weeks ago, the documentary is indeed myopic, pretending that pre-Walking Dead Telltale wasn't a thing.

This is partially because of the format of the documentary, which has interview subjects candidly discuss life during their time at Telltale, and most (if not all) of these came on board after the switch.

It's an interesting watch, and one which will take on some more significance once/if the full story of Telltale's collapse emerges. Watch it here:

Comments: 7 / Source: YouTube

The tenth anniversary of A Vampyre Story came and went this past fall with little incident. As you may know, Bill Tiller's planned gothic saga has been in limbo due to frustrating rights issues - while Bill owns the IP itself, the distribution rights to the original game and its long-stalled sequel have been tied up with German-based publisher Crimson Cow Games.

But judging by the update Bill posted to the AVS Facebook page today, the Denver boot is finally off Mona de Lafitte:

Hi all. Good news, I have all the rights to A Vampyre Story back! Over this summer I will be trying to figure out the best strategy for moving forward so I can get the sequels and prequels funded. If you have any suggestions or funding ideas contact me at billtiller@gmail.com

It's unclear if the rights have simply reverted to Bill or if a blood sacrifice was involved to make this happen. We look forward to covering the quest to get AVS2 funded and back on track. In the meantime, it's always a good day when an IP and its creator are reunited. Congratulations, Bill!

Our thanks to reader Threepwood4life for bringing this to our attention and in the process bravely outing himself as a person who reads Facebook.

Some of you may have had little to no luck subscribing to the MojoCast through Apple Podcasts, after we unceremoniously were kicked out from the directory by who we can only assume was Tim Cook himself. After an arbitration period, we can now happily announce that Mojo Legal has managed to negotiate our way back in, and you can once again subscribe to our casts. And that's about it.

“Mojo does what Idle Thumbs don't.” -AlfredJ

I mean, it's from The Onion, but seeing things are slow, why not take three minutes and check out their exclusive preview of Psychonauts 2's legal disclaimer screen?

Like I said, slow times. Mojo is still investigating if rumors of Jason getting a haircut hold any truth. We will be back with more.

With a full coup to turn Mixnmojo into an Indiana Jones fansite underway, we've not had time to post about an ongoing Star Wars sale on GOG. Once the mortal enemy of LucasArts adventure games everywhere, a number of these Star Wars games are now considered classics, including Knights of the Old Republic and LEGO: Star Wars. Hell, even I've been tempted.

Speaking of Star Wars....

It's worth noting that actor Peter Mayhew passed away earlier this week. I don't know much about Mayhew, except that he played Chewbecca in four of the six George Lucas Star Wars films and was a "Chewbecca consultant" in Solo, but his Reddit account paints the portrait of a very kind man, which is a worthy legacy. Our condolences to his loved ones.

Jason, Zaarin, and myself got together sometime last year and recorded a tearful, in-depth* good-bye to Telltale, in the third episode of People With Unrelated Accents, "Toldtale." We reminisc about everything from Texas Hold 'em to The Walking Dead and even some of the games released in the later years. Run and listen to the MP3, or subscribe for continuous fun:

* The podcast is neither tearful nor in-depth.

Disclaimer by Jason: Though I haven't listened to this, I should acknowledge that my side of the conversation was accidentally recorded through an internal laptop mic, hence the awful fidelity. Apologies, and it will not happen again, until it does.

As pointed out earlier, we may be getting a Willow television series for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service.  Though it sounds far from a lock, Ron Howard says that his Solo cohort Jon Kasdan, freshly deposed from Indiana Jones 5, has a pitch for the series and that the talks with Disney have gotten "serious".  Here's the full quote from Opie:

There are some really serious discussions going on with Jon Kasdan, who was one of the writers of Solo, who kept hounding me about Willow the whole time we were shooting and also hounding Kathy Kennedy. We’re in discussions about developing a Willow  television show for the Disney+. And I think it’d be a great way to go. In fact, George always talked about the possibility of a Willow series, and it’d be great and more intimate, and built around that character and some of the others. And Jon Kasdan has, I think, an inspired take on it and it could be really, really cool.

A Willow series makes a degree of sense, and apparently Lucas was toying with the idea of an animated show fifteen years back, getting as far along as some concept art. There's also just the "Why not?" factor, given that everything else is getting revived. If Star Wars can justify eight more spinoff trilogies, don't tell me you can't throw Warwick Davis a bone and greenlight some new Willow content after thirty years.

Kasdan is as good a choice for adapter as any, for all I know, but I hope SCTV vet Bob Dolman is invited back to the universe. While there isn't a consensus that Willow's strengths outweigh its weaknesses, the endearing quirkiness it offered in moments surely occupies the former category, and I have a hunch about where it came from.

And so Mojo finds another project to desperately cleave to after Psychonauts 2 comes out.

Mojo never really did much to cover the new cinematic Star Wars trilogy or its assorted spinoffs, because who gives a damn, it’s not Willow there are countless better online destinations that offer exhaustive and up-to-the-minute coverage of that juvenile nonsense, which to our refined tastes lacks the understated dignity of Kevin Pollack in front of a green screen.

”Teh Mooj” is about the underdogs, and bizarre though it might sound, the Indiana Jones franchise kinda qualifies. Indy has always taken a backseat to Star Wars in both the cinematic and interactive mediums, and with a final installment of the “original recipe” series (meaning, movies that star Harrison Ford and are directed by Steven Spielberg) possibly in the cards, we’re going to try to follow the production as closely as other sites will track the pulse-pounding progress of Episode XIXVV, or whatever installment of that shabby Princess of Mars knockoff we’re on.

Having made that declaration, let’s play catch-up on Indy 5’s sluggish development. In the first eight years after Crystal Skull was released to glowing reviews by Gabez and The Tingler, Lucas and Spielberg made about as much progress on a fifth film as LucasArts did with not dying. In 2016, the film was formally announced with David Koepp as screenwriter and a release date of July 19th, 2019. During the two years Koepp was on the project, the release date was pushed back (to July 10th, 2020), but he indicated that progress was going well. This seemed to be supported by Spielberg who, while promoting Ready Player One in the spring of last year, indicated that he would commence shooting on Indy 5 in the UK in April 2019.

Alas, they were all just pulling our leg the whole time. In June 2018, it was reported that Koepp was out and Jonathan Kasdan (son of Lawrence Kasdan and the screenwriter for Solo: A Star Wars Story) was in for what amounted to a total reset, and with that the release date was kicked further down the road to July 9th, 2021. Spielberg consequently swapped out Indy 5 for his long-gestating remake of West Side Story as his next project, and he is currently prepping it for a shoot that begins next month. Indy 5, if they ever get a script written (and why should we expect eleven years to be long enough for that?) will directly follow.

Too bad they don’t appear to be any closer to delivering that screenplay. The latest rumor is that Kasdan has been shown the door, and scriptwriting duties have been transferred yet again, this time to Disney favorite Dan Fogelman (Cars, Tangled, and the television series This Is Us), for whom the stakes are pretty high when you consider Harrison Ford’s penchant for flying his private plane underwater without a seatbelt.

But the best part is what Kasdan is now working on instead of Indy 5. You guessed it: he and Ron Howard are pitching a Willow television series for the upcoming Disney+ service. It may sound like I’m making this up, but it’s all quite true, completely vindicating my controversial but retrospectively prescient tilt of Mojo toward all things Willow. I knew which way the wind was blowing, fans.

And so, this news post has come full circle. *kisses fingers*

@Nicozilla_FR brings word that a Monkey Island Monopoly game exists. Sure, it’s obviously “unofficial,” but then, does anyone with its ownership of the franchise even know Monkey Island exists anymore? We say no. (And odds are Hasbro would be the ones to get their underwear in a twist over it, anyway.) Go check the game out on Facebook—sorry!—where you can also learn a Risk edition is on its way.

In late May, Noclip will be releasing a documentary on Telltale Games, conducted via interviews with former developers and interspersed with shots of both the old office and the post-Walking Dead-mania new one. It's called Telltale: The Human Stories Behind the Games; the trailer has a very US west coast feel to it (or so this non-American thinks):

It's probably the kind of thing Mojo would make if we had a penny.

Comments: 3 / Source: Noclip

Faithful reader, Rum Rogers, was recently out on one of his . . . colorful . . . web surfing voyages when, out of the blue, popped this rather adult looking ad:

Always a man who wants to get to the bottom of things, so to speak, Rum dug a bit deeper, and found that the aforementioned logo, which at least was a somewhat modified version of Ben, was not one of a kind:

We got nothing, other than utter bafflement.

Those of you with better memory than you probably should have, might recall that the Mac version of Escape from Monkey Island (and possibly the PC, too?) came bundled with a set of desktop wallpapers. Mojo reader Andrew, the bon vivant he is, certainly remembered, and he sent us all five of them. Now you can adorn your desktop with some EMI art, too! Download them all right here, or enjoy this preview:

And thanks, Andrew!

Comments: 3 / Source: Andrew
Bad management killed Telltale Games. The studio's fall gets a write-up over on Game Informer, going in-depth about the post-Walking Dead delirium which saw the studio's two-act implosion last year. It's a good read, partially because its follow-up gives Kevin Bruner, the CEO who arguably steered Telltale into the iceberg, a voice.

Bruner's been on something of a redemption campaign—his Twitter is all nostalgic for the Telltale he helped close by suing, for example—and this does read like a continuation of that. But the portrait of Telltale painted is actually sordid.

Consider nuggets like this, for example, which ignore the very different feel you got playing, say, "They Stole Max's Brain!" (helmed by Mike Stemmle) than you did "The Penal Zone" (Chuck Jordan)...

I think one of the misconceptions is that Telltale was auteur-led, and what I mean is that [the games are envisioned by] myself or by particular individuals. One of the things that I take the most pride in is that for many people at Telltale, it was their first job. And we would give people a lot of responsibility really quickly for better and/or worse. But then team that made The Walking Dead was a different team than the team that made The Wolf Among Us, Borderlands, or Minecraft. The fact that people could come in and really do stellar work, particularly early in their career – I take a lot of pride in that.

...To, well, this:

We tried to create an environment where you really had to do that to survive at Telltale, because we didn’t have these three-year long production cycles. You would have to say, "You know, I need to go home and not work on the game that I care so deeply about and that I want to be the best game ever, because this is the chance I get to work on Batman or this is the chance I get to work on that or the other thing. I know they’re going to record my script in two days and I want it to be as good as it can be."

Managing that was really, really hard because everyone cared really deeply. The simple answer is: "Just take more time." A big studio costs a lot of money every day in order to open the doors. We didn’t have the option of taking more time even though that would have been the perfect thing to give to everybody. Everyone worked really hard because they were really passionate. We wanted to make the best content possible, which I think is what everybody does in the industry. I think the difference with Telltale was how relentless and ceaseless the content was.

As soon as you finished passionately working on an episode and you’re just like "I’m just going to put in a couple extra things to make sure it’s as good as possible," you turn around and there’s another scene that you’re like, "I want that to be good too." It really was ceaseless. We needed people to go home, and we encouraged people to go home, but it’s hard when you care.

Everybody knows you write great existential dialogue when you don't get to go home to see your family.

I think this all lends credence to that description of Bruner as a jealous Eye of Sauron. Ouch.

Read the original article here. Read the follow-up interview here.

Humble Bundle, the pay what you want/some money goes to charity bundle maker, are currently selling every Humongous Games release in a single bundle.

If you fancy seeing what Ron Gilbert (and sometimes Dave Grossman) got up to in the 1990s after they left LucasArts, get the Humongous Entertainment Humble Bundle.

Thanks to reader Call me Squinky for alerting us to this.

Telltale imploded a little under seven months ago. Despite the odds, however, some ex-staff was taken on-board with Skybound Games (which consisted of a whopping five members at the time) to release The Walking Dead: The Final Season unto the world.

So how did they do it? Well, Gamespot released an interesting article on that during our (latest but not last) downtime. Good read. Has that annoying thing with auto-playing videos plus ads.

Skybound CEO Ian Howe had an interesting tidbit: "I will give huge credit to the management of Telltale who went out of their way and did everything they could to make this deal happen as quickly as it could. For exactly that reason to help those people out, so that I don't think that should get lost in this."

It's implied that it's Dan Connors and Pete Hawley he's referring to. Or maybe I'm wrong. Either way, give it a go.

Comments: 3 / Source: Gamespot

Oh, hey, we're back -- your prayers worked!

So, what has been going on? Borderlands 3 has been announced, and while that probably means preciously little around these parts, some might be interested to hear Rhys, the protagonist in TTG's Tales from the Borderlands, is making an appearance in it. Troy Baker, the actor behind the character, might not be, mind you, which is odd. He did a great job in Telltale's episodic take on the franchise.

(And while many of our dozen readers might not have given Tales from the Borderlands a go, you probably should do so. It's a good game. (Although, I'm guessing not available anymore.))

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, an FPS game released by pre-Phantom Menace LucasArts in 1997, has gotten some HD textures. The game can be procured on both Steam and GOG.

What makes the story interesting is that the new textures were created by an AI. I can see the Black Mirror episode already.

Apologies to Scummbuddy for the delay on this, as they let us know about the news in an earlier story. I can only assume most other Mojo staff has perished in an ongoing, secretive, Snatcher-like murder campaign by these AIs.

Well, here we are. Skybound Games has released the final episode of the final game from Telltale, The Walking Dead: The Final Season. It should be out on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

The reviews are already pouring in, but we're pouring one out for Telltale.

This is a bittersweet piece of news:

The final ever Telltale anything will be releasing on Tuesday, March 26th, although technically completed by Skybound Games. "Take Us Back," the fourth and final episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, will be appearing on consoles and PC.

"It’s time for the end. After years of fighting to survive, Clementine is now the leader of a community of lost children, and they’re depending on her to get them home safe," said Skybound in a press release, adding: "Her story comes to a dramatic and heart-wrenching climax in this final episode. The night will be over soon…"

I haven't played Walking Dead past the first season, but that does sound thrilling.

Anyway, pour one out for TTG, from Telltale Texas Hold 'Em and "The Great Cow Race," to "Culture Shock" and "What's New, Beelzebub?," through "Launch of the Screaming Narwhal" and "The City That Dares Not Sleep," to Nelson Tethers, to "A New Day," "It's About Time," and "A Crooked Mile" and finally to "Iron from Ice" through "Take Us Back." I should take the opportunity to note that Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures celebrates its tenth anniversary in three days (March 24th), and I, for one, would much rather remember that Telltale than the one that left over 200 employees without severance payment. Episode 3, "Muzzled!," was the first Sean Vanaman-penned Telltale release.

Comments: 4 / Source: Variety

… which incidentally is the name of their new game. Headed by Lee Petty Rad looks to live up to its name…

The game will be available for pretty much every platform under the sun; no release date is given other than this “summer.”

Disney may be resurrecting Lucasfilm Games, given the recent addition of several new high-level job positions on their recruitment website.

Assistant Producer (Lucasfilm Games)
Producer (Lucasfilm Games)
Assistant Producer (Lucasfilm Games - Asia)
Brand Art Coordinator (Lucasfilm Games)
Brand Marketing Coordinator (Lucasfilm Games)
Associate Brand Art Director (Lucasfilm Games)
Associate Brand Marketing Manager (Lucasfilm Games)

Whether this means EA will be losing their position as exclusive creator of Star Wars licensed games as some have speculated remains to be seen. We can only hope...

Why they would be using the historic LucasFilm Games name rather than LucasArts is another mystery. Speculation in the comments is welcomed.

David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows is one of the more stylish horror movies over the past few years, and these days the director is ready to release his new movie, a neo noir called Under the Silver Lake. What does that have to do with Mojo, you may ask, to which we give you…

“One of the things it was inspired by was graphic-adventure games from the ‘80s and ‘90s. In terms of scene construction, you get seemingly common objects that you wouldn’t think have a purpose.” The writer-director explains the point-and-click premise of Maniac Mansion and the Monkey Island series. “As the main character in the game, you assume that this object has a grand purpose. The truth is, sometimes it’s completely meaningless. And sometimes it needs to be combined with something in order to unlock something deeper within the story.”

Or as the story states: “So there’s your tagline: it’s Michelangelo Antonioni meets The Secret of Monkey Island.”

US release date is April 19. I’ll bet Jason’s bottom dollar that this’ll be a good watch.

We exclusively reveal the artist behind The Secret of Monkey Island's VGA close-ups, and get some fascinating behind-the-scenes tidbits, in this brand new feature. Yes, that's right, brand new feature!

Go and read and enjoy!

Mojo: Still alive and kicking.

If you remember, Double Fine's Costume Quest is now an animated series. It released three days ago—say one thing about Mojo, say we're on that breaking news cycle, like a petulant man-child on Twitter—and you can watch it here.

Anyone seen the show? What did you think of it?

It's crazy to think that Costume Quest released nine years ago. You could do worse than pass a few hours punching ogres for candy. I'm going to be playing Costume Quest 2 this Halloween.

There’s not much more to say, really. Jack Black, his YouTube channel, Brütal Legend. Watch it like crazy:

GOG.com's got most of their Double Fine catalogue on sale, including AAA games like Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, smaller fare like Massive Chalice (I had to make that joke), and LucasArts reissues like Grim Fandango: Remastered and Day of the Tentacle: Remastered. The exception is funky sci-fi platformer Headlander, which is coincidentally the only one of the lot I don't own. Maybe next time, Headlander.

As is par for the course with GOG, getting the games gets you all sorts of extra goodies.

Other games are on sale, too, including Samorost.

Thanks to Javier Tolstoi for bringing this to our attention.

Comments: 2 / Source: GOG
Remember Humongous Entertainment? I know at least one guy who plays adventure games as a result of Ron Gilbert's ultimately doomed but memorable foray into children's adventure games, and the Pajama Sam games—created by Gilbert, Richard Moe, and Rhonda Conley, and centred on a kid named Sam and his cape, facing the scary things that children do—are on sale to prove why. They really are very good.

In other news, Americans, apparently, spell it "pajama." If you've ever wondered why the self-proclaimed "greatest country in the world" can't quite crack the literacy top 20, this might be a good place to start "analyzing".

Comments: 5 / Source: GOG

While we've been somewhat worried about Starbreeze's current financial issues (what with them publishing Psychonauts 2 and all), Tim himself has soothing words for us through GameIndustry.biz.

"At a show like DICE, other publishers come by and say, 'Yeah, how's that going? If anything happens, give us a call,'" he said. "With Psychonauts 2 having been high profile and already having a great trailer out there, there would be enough interest in other people funding it and finishing it if something happened. But I've got no reason to believe Starbreeze isn't going to come through and publish it well."

See, it's all good, and going by the previous times in the past years we've been assured not to worry — Trump will never be elected president, Brexit won't happen, etc. — we see no reason for this to go down the toilet either.

Mojo: Cynical Since 1997™.

Comments: 3 / Source: Jason
This is just a kind reminder by yours procrastinator truly that Thimbleweed Park is being given away for free today and until March 7 by the Epic Games Store, which, like Steam, GOG, and Origin, is a digital games platform. If, like me, you still haven't played this game, and if, unlike me, you haven't bought it yet, now's your chance. It should be available later today.

Thimbleweed Park is the latest from Maniac Mansion co-creators Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick. It should be a good way to send-off the winter (I find winter ideal for video games, especially adventure games; does anyone else?).

Actually, he granted an interview to The Hollywood Reporter, or more specifically its hosted blog Heat Vision, in one of apparently many press encounters Tim had during last week's D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas. Still though, be a sport and check out what he has to say about Psychonauts 2:

You are an established voice in this industry –

Oh, established voice. I like that.

Does that make it harder for you to live up to expectations when you’re releasing a new game like Psychonauts 2?

I don’t think about that too much. I think the reason we made the first game was that we were just making what we enjoyed. I think we’re doing that again. You definitely think more about your obligations to the characters than to the audience. We definitely keep in mind the player’s experience from the first game, but it’s what’s true to these characters and what situations do we want to put them in and how will they react. That’s more of what I think about.

When do you decide to come back to a series?

For a long time, we never did it. Psychonauts 2 is really my first time going back to a narrative but it doesn’t really feel like going back to it because you get into this frame of mind when I made the first game and we had all these hooks and plotlines that we put in the first game for the next game. We always thought we’d do a second one but it kind of got shelved for a few years. It was surprisingly easy to inhabit those heads again just because you know them really well.

The full interview isn't a whole lot longer, but read it anyway.

I can't really set this up, because I obviously haven't taken the time to watch it (yet), so, um, cleave tight to your Grail Diary and...Dig in? Or something.

It seems like only last freaking May that Boss Fight Studios announced their license to produce collectible Sam & Max figurines. Seeing as it's the only upcoming Sam & Max thing in existence, you'd think I'd be more grateful for the fact that we can keep dragging the coverage out.

But not for much longer! Earlier this week, the full Sam & Max toyline was finally unveiled, and I have to say it looks pretty rad. Furthermore, "These premium action figures will be offered in attractive window box packaging with new illustrations and a new comic strip by creator Steve Purcell!" New comic? I guess there are more Sam & Max things to look forward to after all.

The bad news: the release date is "TBD" 2019. The good news: Zaarin assures us that he's got just enough window caulk to keep the Mojo servers humming until TBD, give or take a downtime.

Hard to believe, but in less than two weeks it will be the fifteen-year anniversary of the cancellation of Sam & Max Freelance Police and the death of LucasArts.* I was pretty sure that the occasion would come and go without incident, because really, what left is there to come out about the game that we haven’t already covered in our big informational round-up article?

As it turns out: some cutscene storyboards! Last month, artist and Grickle creator Graham Annable (who served as Lead Animator on Freelance Police) tweeted that he had found a “whole stash” of storyboards for the assassinated adventure game, and shared an enticing photographic peek as proof. The storyboards reveal that Bernard and Hoagie from Day of the Tentacle were set to make cameo appearances in the game sometime before marketplace realities invited them to go to hell.

You’ll want to read the whole Twitter thread, wherein Annable estimates that the game was “80% completed” and is encouraged by some dude to have his unearthed storyboards scanned and/or donated to The Strong Museum. Not sure if any progress has been made on that front in the month that has passed since the tweet (shut up), but it’s safest to assume those photos are the last Sam & Max 2 thing you’ll see until someone leaks a playable build of the game while the grown-ups aren’t looking. Hey, if it can happen with Warcraft Adventures

*True, the studio didn’t technically die for another eight years, but only the most cynical person would call what LucasArts was doing between 2004-2012 “living”.

During last week's DICE Summit in Las Vegas, Tim found himself cornered by a journalist at VentureBeat; the result is this interview in which various Double Fine topics are touched upon. Points of interest:

  • Tim is currently in a dialog-writing crunch on Psychonauts 2
  • Pixar has yet to confess to nakedly poaching Tim's ideas with Inside Out and Coco
  • Double Fine has a team working on "secret, unannounced thing"

Fortunately, Tim does not mention any publisher troubles, so I guess we can rest easy that the impact of Starbreeze's recent woes does not extend to Psychonauts 2. Although you have to admit, it would be downright Shakespearean given that we're almost exactly fifteen years downriver of this.

Anyhow, read the whole article here.

Hey, remember how Costume Quest is being turned into a TV show from the studio that animated Adventure Time? Well, we now know the show will debut on March 8th on Amazon Prime. Here's a trailer:

Based on one of my favourite Double Fine games and created by Tasha Harris—who apparently left Double Fine in 2011 (where does the time fly?) and now works at Pixar—Costume Quest is the story of a twin out to rescue their sibling from the clutches of a monster. To do this, they use their costume's ability to harness super powers. More friends join, and the party barrels towards the final showdown. It's cutesy, light, and friendly, and is one of only two Double Fine games to get a sequel (in 2014; how has it been five years already?).

Think you'll be watching?

Thanks to Jones Jr. for pointing this out in the comments to an earlier story:

Thimbleweed Park, the latest from Maniac "you microwave a hamster" Mansion co-creators Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, will be free for users of the Epic Games Store from February 21 through March 7. Remi was a big fan.

Epic Games is trying to compete with GOG, Steam, Origin, and one-to-two-platforms-for-my-games convenience to make a name for itself. It makes one game yours to keep for free every two weeks; the current pick is Axiom Verge, and Subnautica and What Remains of Edith Finch preceded it. It also makes exclusive offers, like the new Supergiant Games outing Hades (and Supergiant is a great developer to support: A+ games, writing, and storytelling, made by an indie team with real heart).

Anyway, this has apparently been known for a while, but we're not late! Technically. Mojo, immediately bringing you the latest news from last week!

Hey, it only took us, what? Half a year or so to release the second episode of our People With Unrelated Accents series. This time, join Jason, Remi, and Zaarin alongside podcast O.G., elTee, as we discuss Loom, without really knowing a whole lot about it. At all.

Is it any good? Who knows?! I haven't listened to it, but Zaarin had to spend months massaging it into a listenable state, so how bad could it really be? Check out the MP3 or FLAC file, or subscribe, like a good person would do:

Sure, Tales of Monkey Island might be scrubbed from the internet, but does that really matter now that The Fan Game - Back to the Future Part III: Timeline of Monkey Island is done and ready for download (albeit for PC only)? We say "yes," but run and download it anyway.

Those of us of a certain age will remember how the Monkey Island games were unavailable for literal years, because . . . Well, who knows why, but it’s probably safe to assume LucasArts liked to pretend they didn’t exist.

Not surprisingly, what with TTG taking a nosedive, Tales of Monkey Island is now part of this tradition. The game has been scrubbed from Steam and GOG, though, as is usual, you can still download it if you have already bought it.

Will this mean pirating under the guise of "abandonware" will start occurring again? Who knows, but this feels like 2002 all over again.

Thanks to LucasArts Adventure Fans for the news, and my apologies if we already posted this and I forgot about it.

Now we've got a brand spanking new Mojo, but not much new news to report, let's take a look backwards into some (possibly) forgotten history.

Back on February 8th, 2003, exactly 16 years ago to the day, Bill Tiller (famed lead artist on The Curse of Monkey Island), graciously attended a fan-hosted IRC chat (ask your grandparents), and for 30 minutes answered their questions. One question came out of a thread on TheScummBar's LucasForums, and it was this:

The "secret" of Monkey Island has come up in some forums recently. Can I just ask you - what was Ron Gilbert's Secret of Monkey Island? Do you know it? Was it all a kid's imagination or is that just a theory?

Bill Tiller went on to give probably the most explicit and straightforward answer regarding the "secret" of Monkey Island, and Monkey Island 2's contentious ending that has ever been given.

And it was this:

Well this is all I know, and I learned it from Larry Ahern and Dave Grossman. Ron went to Disneyland, rode Pirates of the Caribbean ride. thought it was cool and wondered what it would be like to get out of the boat and explore the pirates cave and village. Calvin and Hobbes was very popular back then. It is a daily cartoon strip about a boy and his stuffed tiger going on all sorts of adventures and imagining themselves in all sorts of different things like dinosaurs, spacemen and monsters.

I speculate that Ron combined the to together - Pirates of the Caribbean and Calvin and Hobbes - and created Guybrush.

I was told that the ending of MI2 was originally going to be the ending of MI1. But Dave Grossman and Tim Shafer didn't like it an talked Ron out of it. Then I heard from Larry Ahern that two to three months before MI2 was supposed to be done, an ending had still not been decided upon. And about then Ron decided to go with the amusement park ending he was originally going to use in MI1.

The explanation I heard is that Guybrush was lost in the Pirates Ride at Big Whoop Amusement Park the whole time, imagining the whole adventure. Then Chucky, his mean older brother goes and pulls him back to reality. The end. And that magical lightning coming out of Chucky's eyes and Elaine waiting by the hole on Dinky Island (which sounds a lot like Disney Land) was put there just in case there was to be a Monkey Island 3.

The secret is that the MI world is not real. now I have no clue how Ron would have written his way out of the MI2 ending. He either knows and isn't telling. Or He doesn't know and he isn't telling you he doesn't know. Or he has a bunch of ides of what he would do and isn't telling you that either.That is a bigger secret then what the secret of Monkey Island is.

But secret being that the whole MI world is imagined sucks. Why? Because we want the world of Monkey Island to be real, not in a kids imagination.

Enter big whoop the portal of hell. Lechuck goes in, comes out a powerful ghost. Then he is killed again, comes back as a zombie and hatches a plan to lure pirates through the portal of big whoop and come out zombie/ ghosts. Guybrush had spell cast on him and that is why he was a little kid. he escaped Big whoop in a bumper/ dodgem car and reverts back. Elaine had to rush back to Puerto pollo to defend it from Lechuck renewed attacks because Guybrush is safely under his spell back on Monkey Island. That is the official secret of monkey island in CMI.

Sean [Clarke] and Mike [Stemmle, lead designers on Escape from Monkey Island] don't like that secret or want to add to it, so they either borrow Dave Grossman's idea that the monkey head is jut the top of a giant monkey robot, or they came up with it independently. That is the official secret of Monkey Island in EMI.

Is this all cleared up now? There is no 'one' secret of Monkey Island. Period. Maybe in Monkey5 there will be yet another one. Personally I'd like to know more about Guybrush' s origins. Where did he come from? Who are his parents? Any brothers or sisters? WHo was the voodoo priest who brought LeChuck back to life?


Thank you Bill Tiller! And to mymipage for hosting the event and asking the question! Read the complete interview here courtesy of Archive.org.

(Note: On this day 16 years ago... yesterday (unless you're in the US). I missed it by a few minutes!)

According to Variety, Ad Hoc studio has been founded by four former Telltale designers to continue the narrative game legacy into the future.

The four founders are Michael Choung, Dennis Lenart, Nick Herman, and Pierre Shorette. That's some heavy hitters right there. Hopefully, this batch of creative awesomeness leads to some excellent titles in the future. They're interested in developing live-action interactive narratives, which could be interesting.

Or maybe they'll be like Telltale and hone their craft on Sam and Max. One can only hope.

Comments: 4 / Source: Variety

. . . and as does Telltale.

What do you mean you don’t care? Look, things have been beyond slow in the Mojoverse over the last few weeks, likely because we updated the site, and the world is against us. However, word has it Zaarin is completing two super exciting features this week, so hopefully we can post something other than . . . this . . . soon.

Over the years, a number of Mojo’s articles have been casualties of various badly handled transitions (like the one you’re enjoying now), leaving them only partially accessible via frustrating trips to The Wayback Machine. This isn’t a handful of features we’re talking about here – well over fifty percent of Mojo’s celebrated, and now twenty year strong, body of work evaporated over time, including some of the site’s best material, like the entirety of its E3 2002 coverage (including Sarah’s infamously unsporting preview of Gladius), Cooking with Spaff, and a trove of valuable interviews.

(The years also spawned some content we’re less proud of, like that pompous Sam & Max: Season 1 uber-review that concluded with The Tingler collating a didactic list of dubiously reasoned flaws for Telltale to address (Posing the breathless question: “You want a perfect 5 review Telltale?”) that piqued Chuck Jordan; that description-defying Christmas 2008 Contest Results article that Gabez punished us with; also, everything I’ve ever written – but we’re not gonna go all George Lucas on our history by gouging out the less flattering parts. We can’t learn from Vietnam if we whitewash it.)

Despite valiant efforts undertaken by just about every staffer at some point, the restoration of Mojo's body of work has been one of the modern world's most intractable problems due to tons of lost media and irreproducible formatting. The process of dragging those old HTML features into the world of BBCode is a torturous one, particularly given the creative use of mark-up Gabez seemed intent on making the staple of his articles, leaving them about as easy to translate as coffee-stained Sanskrit ciphered into reverse Wingdings. Not to speak ill of the dead.

What we did in the end as an alternative to ritual suicide was preserve at least the text of all missing articles. Where we could, we went beyond that. The individual results of anguished, nonstop compromise range from borderline pointless (like an article exploring various versions of the Gold Guy logo that doesn’t actually contain images of the Gold Guy logo), to hard-won success stories made possible by the discovery of virus-laden FTP backups.

What you’ll discover quickly is that the work is still very much ongoing, but given that every article sitewide is knackered to various degrees right now thanks to formatting bugs MojoEx introduced, we figured there was little point in holding back what we have. Their actual condition aside, we do believe every article is accounted for, and do let us know otherwise. To the extent that they can be improved, it'll just have to happen on the same time table as everything else in this dump.

So what are you waiting for? Click around the Features section and reacquaint yourselves with old classics and embarrassments. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have forgotten that half this stuff was ever published. And who knows? Maybe that Mojo CD Jake supposedly has buried in his closet is more than an old legend, and we can get everything looking as it actually should. But don’t count on it.

It’s catch-up month here at Mojo, and some of you may (or may not) find interest in Double Fine-regular Jack Black’s new video series, "Jablinski." Edited by his son, the videos have a charmingly lo-fi quality, with content more sincere than most of the gaming dreck out there. (Naturally, fans of the latter have taken to their regular channels to whine about . . . I don’t even know what.) Anyway, give it a watch.

Mark Ferrari, one of the most important LucasArts artists during the early SCUMM era, has relaunched his web site, and you have reason to be exited - I particularly want to draw your attention to the Image Archives section, where Mark is hosting rare samples from his older work. JP has already been fomenting an irresponsible tizzy on Twitter (but not here, for some reason ¬) by suggesting that some of the screens may belong to an unreleased Star Wars adventure game.

So check out Mark's new site, which he promises is merely a work-in-progress. And unlike Mojo, it may actually graduate from that status at some point.

This had been acknowledged on Twitter during the downtime, but I figured the passing of British actor W. Morgan Sheppard merited front page mourning. The Mojo faithful will recognize him as the voice of Guybrush Threepwood's loyal if reckless navigator Ignatius Cheese, who is additionally revealed to be the owner of The SCUMM Bar*, in Escape from Monkey Island. He was also that one guy from The Prestige, among about a thousand other roles. Sheppard was 86.

*In fact, I considered titling this "Owner of The SCUMM Bar dies", but that seemed in poor taste given that people might have interpreted that as being Remi, and why get people's hopes up?

Comments: 3 / Source: Deadline

OK, so that server update took a bit more than what we expected—what are a few weeks among friends?—but Zaarin got it back and running. More or less. If something doesn't work, well, then that's how it'll be for now.

And, hey, MojoEX has finally gone live, in all its Alpha glory. This first phase is known as "Works Kinda OK On Your Phone." Enjoy! Or don't. Mojo loves you all the same!

The GOG.com winter sale is in full swing, and features new, one-day only discounts daily. And lo, so it came to pass that on this December 27th, 2018, Thimbleweed Park featured a whopping 55% discount.

Personally, I have never seen Thimbleweed Park on sale, so now's a chance to buy the latest from that one guy that made one game about the monkeys. Mojo reviewed Thimbleweed Park and Remi liked it.

Comments: 4 / Source: GOG

It's no secret that The Wolf Among Us likely ranks as Mojo's favorite post Rodkin-era Telltale game, and the sequel was reservedly anticipated around these parts. Then, of course, Telltale did what it did, and here we are, Wolf-less, which might not be a bad thing if Eurogamer is anything to go by:

The Wolf Among Us' second season was one such casualty of Telltale's closure. The sequel to the critically-acclaimed adaptation of Bill Willingham's Fables series, Wolf Among Us 2 barely got started, so small and lacking in budget was the team working on it. "[The budget was] shoe-string, even by Telltale standards," said an ex-staff member. "Everybody knew Wolf 1 was a critical success, but not a commercial hit. I think people came into it realising they were making a boutique product. At one point the season was going to be three episodes."

Well, then . . . Another little tidbit:

"If something like The Walking Dead: Season Two did a fraction of sales of the first season, and the Michonne mini-series tanked, what made people think Season Three, let alone Season Four, was a good idea? After The Walking Dead: Season One, very few people from creative had any say about what projects the studio took on."

The hits just keep on coming.

The Fan Game - Back to the Future Part III: Timeline of Monkey Island they call it, and it looks right about as wacky as it sounds.

From what I understand, you follow Marty back to the times of Monkey Island in an alternate timeline from the original games. I mean, of course it’s alternate; that’s the effect of time travel. Anything else would be crazy.

A demo and all is apparently available: More on Twitter

(Thanks to Benzo for the original heads up on this.)

Some good news from the implosion of Telltale:

Former lead writer on The Walking Dead: The Final Season Mary Kenney is now at Insomniac Games, which recently returned to the spotlight after a successful Spider-Man game. She shared no details on what she's been working on.

Before The Final Season, Kenney worked on Batman: The Enemy Within, which Remi liked a whole lot more than he did the original series.

You can check-out some of her writing here. Prior to Telltale, Kenney created her own games and worked as a journalist, publishing articles in outlets like The New York Times.

Good luck to her from Mixnmojo—especially on not having too many severance-free sleepless nights at Insomniac. (Listen, if SNL can get away with making the same joke over and over again on one of their sketches, I can get away with making the same joke twice in a news story.)

I'll let Jason explain this one himself:

Jason noticed that more than the average number of folks were logged into the Mojo admin Slack channel at once, so he seized the opportunity to revive a time-honored, zero-effort manner of generating feature content that had long fallen out of fashion: reprinted chat logs!

This time, join Jason, Remi, Zaarin, Bennyboy(!), and elTee as they talk about the Psychonauts 2 trailer.

The fossilized LucasArts Fan Network was Mojo’s home and hearth for many a mutually productive year, but awhile back the grown-ups in charge decided we needed to break away from our notoriously unstable guardian for greener, Patreon-financed pastures in keeping with Zaarin’s newly inaugurated article of faith: If Mojo’s is going to go down, it will be by its own doing.

To this day the LFN domain can be seen to flicker off and on, and right now we’re in one of those “on” times, presumably because somebody’s credit card got auto-charged. While many of the sites LFN hosted were long dead anyway, a number of beloved destinations are temporarily available again due to the oversight, and it might be worth revisiting sites like IndyJones.net while you can.

And just so you know, LFN: It wasn’t you; it was us. :~

After being available on Amazon Prime for a while, it seems that the four Indiana Jones movies will be switching to Netflix as their exclusive streaming home beginning in January. We report this because we’re all about Lucasfilm. With the obvious exception of anything Lucasfilm has been doing since 1989.

So if you don’t own this classic film series on eight different home video formats already, perhaps this will serve as a handy excuse for some of you to enjoy Indy’s cinematic adventures for the umpteenth time while you await Indiana Jones 5, due out July 9, 2021. Upon hearing that release date, 86-year-old composer John Williams was overheard to declare: “lol”.

Comments: 2 / Source: Collider

42 hours, 50 minutes, and 24 seconds. At the time of writing, that's how much time you've got to grab Full Throttle for free from GOG. Already own it? Gift it! 'tis the season.

In honor of Willow’s 30th anniversary, I sportingly elected to use it as a cudgel to beat on other movies with. Check out my new rant that decries the way movies look nowadays, using Willow as a tortuously coerced polestar in a desperate attempt to be able to market the piece as Mojo-relevant.

Thanks to Remi for the header

Way back in 2013, the Lucasfilm classic Willow finally debuted on Blu-ray to sales that dwarfed every Star Wars release combined. About eleven seconds later, it fell out of print, having vanished as surely as a pig beneath an apprentice sorcerer's cloth.

The reasons why remain murky. The release roughly coincided with the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, so perhaps there were prosaic legal complications. At any rate, the title became a favorite of eBay scalpers, commonly selling for over a hundred smackers on the second hand marketplace only a year after it came out. The situation was sad, bleak, hopeless. We measure the lives lost by the cemetery.

Now, for the movie's 30th anniversary, it looks like this grievance is getting addressed. Pre-order listings for a reissue have begun to spring up on various online retailers. The implication is that you will be able to obtain Willow by disc or by stream for a reasonable price on January 29th, 2019.

And that, handsome gentlemen, is the kind of news we at Mojo proudly risk our lives to bring you.