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If you’ve been following Aaron’s DREAMM page or forum thread, you may have been keeping up with the various beta builds of DREAMM he’s been regularly unleashing to your testing efforts. Well, he’s now reached the milestone of the final beta release, which means it’s the last call for you to submit issues before Version 1.0 is minted.

So do your part: download the current version, dust off your Hebrew version of Loom, and report your findings. Put this thing through its paces for mankind’s benefit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update #2 Ron confirms a Mac release:

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

Sure, he's lied to you before, but I figured you'd want to know all the same.

Screw the ReMI trailer, Marius once again delivers the goods. An epic retelling of Monkey Island 2 in the style of his old “I Wonder What Will Happen…” flash films, this is… I mean, just watch the thing! (I don’t actually know what it is, as, as I said, it’s live… literally right now!)

”Sometimes dead is better.” There are far less accurate ways of summing up the general community reaction to the cancellation of Full Throttle: Hell on Eyes Wheels back in 2003. It was quite the contrast with the martyrdom Sam & Max: Freelance Police enjoyed when it met its fate six months later.

Still, the axed sequel remains the subject of some fascination, however morbid, and now the tide has washed up further material to masticate on. Forumgoer “Radogol” points us to the YouTube channel of one Evan Hanley, who uploaded two unfinished cutscenes from the game, never before seen:

For all you old LucasArts and Full Throttle fans, I thought this would catch your eye. I found about this game over a year ago and found two never before seen cutscenes, one of them being this. I'm still doing research as we speak into it.

This is the other cutscene I found for the cancelled Full Throttle sequel.

Any judgment of these clips should take into account that we’re looking at a far from finished glimpse at a PS2-era game. (Accounting for all of that, though: Good grief.) It’s a rare discovery, and hopefully not the last -- this isn't something Evan was likely to have just stumbled on while cleaning out the sock drawer.

If you’re finding yourself a junkie for more Full Throttle 2 information in the meantime, a decent recap of the game’s development can be found at Lucasdelirium, while Mojo’s own account is recorded around this chapter and verse of our titillating, clothbound memoir.

From JWFAN.com:

John Williams will start recording music for the yet untitled fifth Indiana Jones film next Tuesday, June 28 at 10AM, the composer revealed during the Kennedy Center pre-concert talk on Thursday.

Williams, who started writing the score last fall, recently announced that Indy 5 would probably be his last composition for film.

Not much I can really add to this. It’s just nice to know, isn’t it?

As of late last month, it was noticed that A Vampyre Story had been abruptly de-listed from seemingly all of the digital storefronts it was hosted on, including GOG and Steam. Eventually, the mystery was solved:

So what is the effective consequence of this? Seemingly, not much. While I’m unfamiliar with ZOOM (even though it’s apparently been around since 2014), it seems to sell its games as DRM-free downloads, so the exclusivity to that platform thankfully doesn’t do much to limit the accessibility of A Vampyre Story. Plus, the purchase comes with a bunch of cool extras, although I honestly don’t remember if that was also the case with GOG/Steam.

But is there anything to be read into the fact that ZOOM wanted to be the game’s sole vendor in the first place, which might have cost as much as fifteen dollars? Does its love for Mona extend to coming up with the end money for the sequel? I’d better slow down; there’s probably nothing to see here.

But Mojo’s on it anyway.

It seems that in conjunction with the Switch release of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the powers that be have made the laudable decision to release its soundtrack as well. As of June 8th, you can find it on a bunch of the usual storefronts and subscription services such as Amazon, Apple Music, and Spotify. But no Bandcamp, for some stupid reason.

The game’s soundtrack was the fantastic work of Mark Griskey, a prolific veteran who was an internal LEC composer in the early-to-mid 2000s. Though most of his credits during this time were Star Wars related, he also scored Gladius and Sam & Max: Freelance Police. Not that you’ve heard the latter.

It’s more noteworthy than it ought to be that a LucasArts soundtrack should see official release. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, all of the music the studio owned (encompassing the scores to movies and games alike) ultimately wound up under Walt Disney Records. What this means if you’re, say, Limited Run Games, is that licensing a LucasArts game and a LucasArts game soundtrack are two totally distinct (read: unfeasible) processes of red tape machete'ing, which is why your no-brainer idea that albums should have been included among the extras in some of those over-the-top collectors editions never actually happened.

So anyway, this is cool, and needs to be highlighted. Plus, I figured I’d do Lucasfilm a solid by drawing attention away from the fact that the game is apparently broken as hell on Switch. I mean, sounds like KOTOR II to me?

When community mainstay and poster restoration maven Laserschwert isn't scouring the globe for ever-better sources to feed his scanner, he's trying to sell you on the potential of AI upscaling technology.

You might have caught his case for training such tools on the barely-in-need-of-remastering CMI, a taste of the future which was enough to challenge an orthodoxy or two. Further beliefs may be shaken in the wake of his latest proof of concept, which tackles Sam & Max Hit the Road:

More examples can be found in the forum thread (at the above link) he made elaborating on this experiment.

While I personally am frightened, triggered and dehumanized by the very concept of imitation brush strokes and machine-learned artwork (not to mention the horseless carriages that the kids are into these days), I have to admit I'd have preferred these results over what the Day of the Tentacle remaster achieved (and which in turn I found way more desirable than the no doubt well-meaning efforts of the Monkey Island special editions), and it's not a bad punt on an approach to such a project if the reason Disney is holding back is on the basis that it shouldn't exceed the cost of a 12oz. soda.

So betray your values, knuckle under in the presence of The Algorithm and behold what dispassionate 1s and 0s can accomplish when put to work on the true issues of the day.

Marius Winter - Flash animation extraordinaire, celebrated intern of Telltale and Double Fine, co-conspirator of livestreams with Jake, reaction video artisan, reluctant imbiber of root beer, and unanimously elected* mascot for all of Monkey Island fandom - was not about to allow basic human needs like eating and sleeping apply any kinda deacceleration on his ever-escalating contributions to your happiness.

In fact, after coming down with an aggravated case of being awesome, he's putting the final touches on his greatest achievement yet: a Flash film version of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. Stare directly into the burning bush by checking out this sneak peek ahead of Monday's premiere:

*Not that it was gonna stop Germany were it otherwise.

Skunkape’s exulted remaster of Sam & Max Save the World has long been available from all your favorite digital storefronts, and there were the Limited Run Games collectors editions for those who demanded it expensive and in their hands. You might have thought that accommodated every possible consumer, but that would have overlooked the people who required to see it on Best Buy shelves:

I’ll admit, it hurts that they’d go with a pull-quote from Nintendo Life when Mojo’s contemporary rave, “Is it okay to say that I prefer Bone?” was there for the taking, but everyone sees a different statue in the marble, I guess. Literally go out and buy!

Although I haven't yet been able to put the almost two hours needed aside, Arcade Attack has spent some time with Tami Borowick discussing her career and projects in a video interview.

If it's anything like her previous interview that we shared last year, it's sure to be full of interesting anecdotes and insights into the development of the games she was involved with like The Secret of Monkey Island and Freddi Fish.

If you get time to watch it before we do, be sure to share any fascinating insights in the comments!

You’ll sometimes see people bellyache about how the post-Ron Monkey Island games got the personalities of certain characters wrong. Elaine was never that lovey-dovey, they’ll say. “There was never any precedent in LeChuck’s psychological profile to suggest that he would favor slaw so much, by Jove!” We’ve all heard that at some point. “Wasn’t Wally a lot hornier in his original depiction, what with the love bomb and all?” Ten times a day, I think I get that one.

Of course, it’s all the raving delusions of the hoodwinked, because the fact is that ruining characters isn’t the province of subsequent teams – the practice goes all the way back to Monkey Island 2, at the hands of the original writers. The victim: Stan. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Prepare your innocence for departure and read our new indictment, which like all formal charges are brought with the aid of EGA screenshots. Be warned: we don’t pull punches.

One of the advantages of being Noah Falstein is that he gets to be a beta tester for Return to Monkey Island, and you do not. To further parade this privilege, the battle-tested veteran participated in a new interview with Twitch streamer Cressup (the selfsame host who brought you that rather terrific conversation with Mike Stemmle for EMI's 30th anniversary).

So okay, Noah's depicted motives might partially be projection on my part, but you would be right to presume that the talk touches on the subject of ReMI, and he drops some intriguing hints about the thematic depths Ron set out to plumb with the game.

You should check out the full interview, which is wide-ranging, but forumite "neocolor8", who knows how you operate, has got the time-stamped URL for the ReMI part.

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitch

If you read our interview with Aaron Giles back in March, you’ll remember that we touched a bit on the dilemma of faithfulness with running the old SCUMM games on modern systems, leading Aaron to drop this juicy nugget:

In fact, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to these specific issues recently and have created a new SCUMM-specific DOS emulator called DREAMM, whose goal is to combine the fidelity of an emulator with a more approachable and simpler interface tailored to how the SCUMM games work. I hope to be able to share it more broadly in the coming months.

So what exactly is DREAMM, and what purpose does it serve in a world where both ScummVM and DOSBox exist? Well, you get to find out for yourself seeing as the software is now in public beta, but this snippet from Aaron’s FAQ sums it up pretty nicely:

How Is DREAMM Different From ScummVM?

ScummVM is a modern reinterpretation of the original SPUTM game engine. It has a nice modern interface, but may not achieve 100% fidelity to the original code, due to the fact that it is not actually running the original code. For most people, this probably isn’t noticeable/doesn’t matter. But if you’d like to experience the games closer to their original form, complete with original bugs and user interface, DREAMM might be closer to what you want.

How Is DREAMM Different From DOSBox?

DOSBox is a generic DOS emulator, and has a lot of similarities to DREAMM in how it is constructed. The advantage of DREAMM is that it was specifically written for the SCUMM games, so it knows about how the games use the system. This allows for automatic configuration for each game, better mouse integration with other programs, and a simpler, more approachable user interface.

The “limitation” of DREAMM is that it is Windows-only and relies on you having the original .exes (which, inexcusably, are often missing from the official releases on Steam/GOG, since ScummVM acts as a replacement), so you’re going to have to dig out your old floppies and CDs. But for any DOS-based version of the SCUMM games (plus, in a heroic exception to complete the catalog, the natively Windows The Curse of Monkey Island), there is no better or more convenient way to play them with faithful exactness, making DREAMM a wonderful new tool to add to the True Fan™’s arsenal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon is continuing its monthly run-up to Return to Monkey Island by offering yet another Monkey Island title for free: Escape from Monkey Island. And look, I don't know how these newfangled Prime Gaming services work, but presumably, you log into your account and claim the game. Presumably. It's not like one can have too much Escape from Monkey Island -- editor Thrik recently claimed it to be "the most beautiful game in the series," after all. (Might have been paraphrased.)

Seeing as we’re already hanging out in 2004, we might as well get comfortable there.

During this week’s "Star Wars Celebration" in Anaheim (the same event that brought you Willow and Indiana Jones 5 glimpses), it was announced that Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords will be arriving on Switch June 8th. The port is being developed by Aspyr, the studio responsible for the recent Switch versions of the original KOTOR, Star Wars: Episode I - Racer, Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Republic Commando, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and probably fifty others. Check out a trailer below:

Obsidian’s KOTOR II was of course the sequel to BioWare’s 2003 blockbuster. After the game got a spectacular reaction at E3 2004, LucasArts rewarded the team by pushing up its release date to December of that year. Though the final game was received positively enough, it was lost on no one that it was rushed – some have said incomplete. I’d assume, then, that this promise of “Restored Content DLC” at the end of the trailer is the biggest selling point, but I’ll leave it to people who have actually played this game to talk knowledgeably about that.

The appendix of the Freelance Police folio threatened that it would be a “living document” to be updated if new material ever came to light. Though successful in nabbing most of the key team members for interviews that would inform the article, I was unable at the time to make contact with Steven Chen – a regrettable omission, as he was Lead Designer on the game.

You may be familiar with Chen from his work on Indiana Jones and Infernal Machine; his Indy bona fides were later leveraged on Staff of Kings (the cancelled, good version). In the middle there, he also had a dalliance with Double Fine where, as one of the original employees, he worked on Psychonauts for the first two of its sixty years in production.

Well, now you’re about to be more familiar: Mojo bumped into Chen by chance at a monster truck rally the other day, and, after being plied with enough candy and cheese popcorn, he agreed to dredge up his memories of working on two of the most promising games LucasArts put on the docket in its post-2000 era. Both of which were of course killed, because, you know, LucasArts. Consequently, there’s a new inclusion in the Freelance Police interview compendium here, while the article itself has been quietly nourished with the designer’s insights.

Now then, who’s left?

Special thanks to retired Mojo staffer telarium for helping us get in touch with Chen. And of course, extra special thanks to Steven himself for taking time out for us.

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

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

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

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

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

Also from today's Lucasfilm showcase thingy:

Looks like Indy found the Marley heirlooms! Admittedly it's not much, but the movie is still thirteen months away. At least we know Harrison Ford can still cut that silhouette.

Ron Gilbert has gone on record to say:

Ron Gilbert

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

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

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

Ron Gilbert

You can quote me on this

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

Ron Gilbert

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

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

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitter

Even Ron's got sense enough to understand that he's not working on the most anticipated of belated and unexpected sequels amongst Lucasfilm fringe properties. That honor belongs of course to the Willow series on Disney Plus. And during some sort of Lucasfilm hootenanny in Anaheim today, the crowd was treated to a release date (November 30th) alongside this trailer:

Good to see Warwick Davis front and center. Does Disney think they have their answer to Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings with this? It seems wacky to think so, but that's the part I like about it.

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

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

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

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

If you are a Mac and/or Linux user—and why wouldn’t you be?!—you can finally enjoy the glory that is Psychonauts 2. Go through your Humble link, use your existing game key, and kiss your next few weeks goodbye. Psychonauts 2 was named Mojo Game of the Year 2021 for a reason after all. (Also the only new Mojo-related game from what I can remember, remasters aside.)

Bonus news: If you have any interest in becoming a game composer, learn from the best: IGN has a video interview with Peter McConnell and some other guy about how to get into the industry. (All respect to the other guy who I’m not familiar with.)

The hits keep on coming—though this one arrived a bit late at Mojo’s newsdesk: GamesBeat has published an interview with Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, one that has some meat on its bone. For example:

Mr. Grossman

The Monkey Wrench puzzle from LeChuck’s Revenge is notoriously unsolvable and was not a good design on several levels. Even if you are an English speaker from a location where the tool in question is commonly called a “monkey wrench,” and you realize that that’s what you need, you still have to make an astonishing predictive leap about how your actions will create that tool. Nothing in the game sets any of it up adequately. I use it to this day as my go-to example of what not to do with puzzle design, and it has influenced my thinking ever since. The player has to be able to somehow visualize what to do, and if they do give up and look at a hint, I want their response to be, “Oh, that makes sense, I should have thought of that!” rather than “How on earth was I ever supposed to think of that, you ridiculous, unfair clowns?!”

Conversely, The SCUMM Bar, everybody’s favorite website on the internet, is quasi-consistently being updated, landing-page style, with the latest ReMI factoids. Rumors (from me) suggests there might even be a few nuggets coming in later today.

Relatedly, our Adventurer newsletter already downright broke the GamesBeat news—we can’t be expected to update two sites at the same time after all. (Madness!)

We've come along way from this, now haven't we? Psychonauts 2 is well established to have been a critical darling, but it was no slouch in the sales department either -- at least if we're to believe this article from The Gamer. And we probably can, seeing as they're really just quoting a tweet from art director Lisette Titre-Montgomery, who refers to the sequel as the studio's "best-selling game to date."

Seeing as both the original Psychonauts and Brütal Legend sold over a million units over their lifespans, that would mean that Raz's latest adventure is in the seven figure range less than a year out. Now granted that's how many copies of Zak McKracken Germany sells in a day, but it's still pretty impressive if you ask me.

CNET has published what ostensibly is an interview with Ron “Zo” Gilbert. In-between the writer's tenuous Star Wars comparisons, Ron is allowed to speak a line or two, and… Look, they’re really keeping this Return to Monkey Island thing under wraps, so beggars can’t be choosers. Go read the interview if you’re a completionist.

A nuclear one at that.

Ron and Dave are making the rounds, and sat down with IGN to talk some more Return to Monkey Island. There aren’t a whole lot of new information, but in case there was any doubt that EMI and TMI were still canon…

Despite being Monkey Island 3 both in terms of Gilbert’s history with his own series as well as chronologically, Gilbert and Grossman both say the decision to canonify the other Monkey Island games rather than ignore or dispose of them was an easy one. “Yes, they are canon,” Grossman said, with Gilbert adding, “Neither Dave nor I felt like we could throw them out. There are a lot of beloved games. We love things like Murray. Throwing them out seemed like a pointless thing to do.”

… consider it undoubted.

Now run and read the whole thing.

Comments: 1 / Source: IGN

You think the previously announced Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space package is the only big boxed Sam & Max themed income-guzzler you're going to be pre-ordering come May 6th? Think again:

Ron "zo" Gilbert took his website, GrumpyGamer down the other week (I'm not going to find out exactly when, what do you take me for, a journalist?) prompting many in the community to speculate that it was due to a vocal minority of disgruntled 'fans' unhappy with what they've seen of Return to Monkey Island so far and not afraid to swear at the developers about it.

It turns out there might be a nugget of truth to those speculations, because the site is now back with an article called When I Made Another Monkey Island, in reference to that other one. He seems keen to make a few things clear.

For example, he'd like you to know that whatever his idea for MI3 was way back when, it was a nothing. There wasn't enough of a vision in the first place for it to become ruined.

The totality of that idea was "Guybrush chases the demon pirate LeChuck to hell and Stan is there." That's it. That's all it was.

There you have it. The plan for Monkey Island 3, in its entirety.

He goes on to give what I think is a spirited defense of the art style they chose for the game in the context of the history of Monkey Island, expresses disappointment with some of the fan response so far, and finishes with a plea to fans to join them in this ride. I don't think I can entirely do it justice in quotes so you'll just have to read it. I will leave you with one tantalising tidbit about the music, though:

The music Michael, Peter, and Clint are doing is equally amazing. It's not AdLib, Sound Blaster, or even Roland MT-32 music. Its stunning, interactive, and recorded live.

I'm giving you permission to get excited about Return to Monkey Island, people. I know you have it in you. Or as Ron puts it:

Return to Monkey Island is an incredible rollercoaster. Get on and have some fun or stomp out of the amusement park because it's not exactly the rollercoaster you wanted.

The Unofficial Sam & Max Website, once the go-to hub for Sam & Max news (a role assumed by samandmax.co.uk/ these days) got out of the day-to-day business somewhere around 2008, and you probably didn’t fail to notice its reduction to a static splash screen thereafter. This abandonment was perhaps in part because the staff was too busy making Sam & Max games to cover them, but let’s not trip over ourselves making excuses for those deadbeats.

Well as luck would have it, all these years later, new life has been breathed into the domain. The site has been relaunched and re-envisioned as Sam & Max Headquarters. The idea doesn’t seem so much to be producing content as serving as a flashy jumping-off point for all the online Sam & Max destinations deemed worthwhile through the parochial lens of a Web 2.0 world, though I also got a funny kinda feelin’ that there’s more to come.

Anyway, what’s going on there already is pretty neat-o, so show your support for mouseover hi-jinks and giddy up.

I know we report on these Prime Gaming inductions with a certain tone of discharging our duties (humor me on the we/our thing), but this time around there’s a little twist. CMI is indeed going to be one of six games being added to the service on May 1st, but apparently that came to pass because certain folks in the organization were really lobbying for it.

How brightly does the love for CMI burn at Amazon? Well, try on for size the fact that Principal Publishing Producer Amir Satvat put together a ten-minute video thesis arguing that the Plunder Island section of the game is “the greatest hour of video game gameplay ever made.” I mean, this is worth watching before you realize how much it’ll torque off Remi!

Comments: 3 / Source: Forbes

I, for one, am excited—Limited Run Games’ Sam & Max Save The World collector’s edition was an incredibly well put-together set, so consider the just-announced Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space an instant purchase. Semi-instant. They won’t take orders until May 6th. That aside, here’s what awaits you:

  • Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space on physical media
  • Bonus features DVD containing trailers, developer’s commentary, and other video goodies from the game’s original 2007-2008 production
  • Five episode postcards
  • Mini print of Steve Purcell’s "Autopsy" art (originally created for the March 2007 cover of Game Developer magazine)
  • Waterproof Banang sticker
  • Reproduction of Telltale’s Sam & Max Season Two Case File containing a souvenir from each of the game’s five cases: "The Friendly Demon Song" on mini CD, a Tiny Tiki drink coaster, Jurgen’s rave flier, one of eight random time cards, and a Soul Train subway token

$70 for the PC version, $80 for the Switch, which is pretty much them paying you to buy the set. Check out the LRG store for more, and get ready to open your wallet on May 6th.

Yet another Return to Monkey Island has been published over at Ars Technica, where Ron and Dave talk about... well, nothing earth-shattering, but it's always fun to read their thoughts on anything and everything.

"And very quickly, David and I came to the conclusion that we really wanted to build a game that was looking forward," he continued. "So that's kind of the impetus for the art we did, for the design, for the user interface. Everything we've done is building a game for the future, not necessarily the past."

Read more.

Or, as he more popularly is known, Herman Toothrot.

Ronzo took to Twitter today to announce that everybody's favorite hermit (and less favorite grandpa) is back in Return to Monkey Island. Wally Wingert will once again voice him.

Not too much more to say other than that ReMI is shaping up to be somewhat interesting.

Update: A little more say. When asked if Herman would be Elaine's grandfather (as he was in Escape) Ron shot that down and said, "He's back to being just an old crank."

History tells us that it’s always a mistake to expose staffers Benny and elTee to information of any kind. Naïve to their indefatigably compulsive ways, Dave Grossman had no idea what he was unleashing when he innocently mused in 2014 about an unlisted monochrome graphics mode for Monkey Island 2.

But those familiar with the personalities involved found it all too unsurprising when this ignited a near decade-long saga that even the most confirmed of basement-dwelling obsessives would go on to call, “rather sad.” Unmoved by pleas from concerned friends to walk back from the brink, the two defiantly embarked upon an unsolicited quest to resolve this most unremarkable footnote in SCUMM esoterica that guaranteed no wider interest and could only ever end in anticlimactic frustration – all the qualities that make for a classic article, in other words.

One of the bummers that goes along with most of the old hosted sites being lost to time is that a number of them were home to valuable interviews. Where possible, we like to try to import such orphaned archival content to that greatest of rescue shelters: Mixnmojo.

Today's rescues are interviews from the late, great iMuse Island. They were all conducted by the site’s able webmaster Luc Gilbertz and come from the period of 2000-2003. Improve your education and relive historical conversations with…

  • Clint Bajakian, fresh off his work on Escape from Monkey Island.
  • Peter McConnell, talking all the things that were relevant in 2003. Hey, remember that incident when he and Michael Land started a software company?
  • Jeff Kliment, the then-manager of the LucasArts Sound Department, with a few welcome intrusions by voice director Darragh O’Farrell.
  • Daniel “Wolk” Strandberg, composer of “Zak 2,” which, unique among Zak McKracken fan sequels, didn’t actually get finished. If that’s a subject that interests you, by the way, there’s no better resource than The Zak McKracken Archive.

This might be a good time to mention that such resurrections are not Easter exclusive, and that any retired webmasters who would like Mojo to keep their legacy content alive (or even to help you relaunch your site altogether) should pick up the phone and dial 1-800-ZAARIN, or for actual results reach out via webmonkey@mixnmojo.com or Twitter.

Mads Mikkelsen is the subject of a fat new profile at The Hollywood Reporter today. Naturally, the fact that Mikkelsen will be playing Indy's nemesis in next summer's fifth Indiana Jones wasn't likely to go unacknowledged, and while the actor can't reveal much, what he does say is likely to be what you want to hear:

His much-deserved break follows the actor working for 14 months on Beasts and his other upcoming big franchise project — the long-awaited Indiana Jones 5.

While he’s forbidden from discussing character or story details from the film (the rumor is that he plays, yes, the villain), Mikkelsen revealed the movie feels like a return to the franchise’s early 1980s roots.

“[Raiders of the Lost Ark] was one of my favorite films, and it just oozed that golden period of serials from the 1940s — and that’s in the fifth film as well,” he says. “They’re going heavily back to the first and second film and getting that original feel, the original Indy, something dense and epic.”

James Mangold (Ford v Ferrari) has taken over directing duties from Steven Spielberg, who remains on board as an executive producer. “It felt like a Spielberg film, though it’s obviously James making it with the same vision,” Mikkelsen says. Harrison Ford, who’s pushing 80, returns as the iconic adventurer.

Asked how Ford was holding up following reports that he injured his shoulder on set, Mikkelsen says he was impressed with his co-star’s physicality. “It was the first time I met him, and he’s an insanely powerful person,” he says. “Not just as an actor, but physically. I remember the first day we were shooting, it was a night shoot, then we stopped at 5 a.m. — and then he got on his mountain bike and went biking for 50 kilometers [31 miles]. Harrison is a monster of a man, a very nice monster.”

Since the franchise is in such a throwback mood, and now that Lucasfilm is all buddy-buddy with adventure games again, maybe they can get to work on Indiana Jones 5: The Graphic Adventure? The 21st century needs its Indy Quotient put to the test. And really, what better things do Ron Gilbert and David Fox have to do right now?

Adventure Gamers may have broken the seal, but they're not the only site interested in talking to Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman about a new Monkey Island. And so, after Mojo made it clear that the game just isn't relevant enough to Willow to work for us, the designers turned to The Verge to divulge more about Return to Monkey Island.

Though the screenshots included are the same crop shared with Adventure Gamers, what you want are those sweet anecdotes. Consider this one involving Dom and weeping:

How did [Armato] react to hearing you wanted him back for the role of Guybrush?

Gilbert: He was pretty stunned. I knew him, but obviously, we never worked together because we didn’t have voice back then.

But I kind of knew him, and I was at about the point that I wanted to loop him into what we were doing. I live in Seattle, and just by chance, he was visiting Seattle that weekend. So I said, “Hey, let’s get together, just have a coffee, and I can tell you about my new game, air quotes.”

We got together, we had coffee, and I think he was very interested in the new game, almost kind of wondering whether maybe he could have a voice part in it. And then I told him that it was the new Monkey Island, and he was just floored. Which is a reaction I get from a lot of people. Before, when we were bringing people on, and we’d talk to them, the minute I mentioned, “I’m making a new Monkey Island….” One person literally started crying. They were so happy that this was happening. So I think Dominic was really floored that we were doing it and extremely happy.

When Dom is happy, we are happy. Well, as happy as we can be while noticing that you aren't yet reading the full interview.

Your old pal and prolific Adventure Gamers contributor Emily Morganti is back to her hard-hitting ways, having snagged Ron Gilbert (and Dave!) for his first proper interrogation following the announcement of Return to Monkey Island. While our attorneys won’t allow us to make an accusation of bribery outright, we’re authorized to pass along the rumor that Cheese Squigglies™ were exchanged.

The interview includes some specifics about how ReMI* came into being, which involved Ron loosening up a bit on the position of ownership, but in the first place having the right connections:

The whole thing came about because I was talking to Nigel [Lowrie] from Devolver. We got together, I think it was at PAX, and we just started talking. He had mentioned that he knew John Drake, that they were friends, and John Drake was in charge of, I think, the licensing at Lucasfilm Games. So he wanted to approach [John] about doing a Monkey Island, and I thought sure, let’s see if anything goes.

Check out the full exclusive for the rest of the good stuff, which includes - oh yeah - the first screenshots.

*Remi has “suggested” that this be the abbreviation Mojo perpetuates for Return to Monkey Island, and we didn’t find his bolt action argument easy to disagree with.

The hits keep on coming—though this one arrived a bit late at Mojo’s newsdesk: GamesBeat has published an interview with Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, one that has some meat on its bone. For example:

Mr. Grossman

The Monkey Wrench puzzle from LeChuck’s Revenge is notoriously unsolvable and was not a good design on several levels. Even if you are an English speaker from a location where the tool in question is commonly called a “monkey wrench,” and you realize that that’s what you need, you still have to make an astonishing predictive leap about how your actions will create that tool. Nothing in the game sets any of it up adequately. I use it to this day as my go-to example of what not to do with puzzle design, and it has influenced my thinking ever since. The player has to be able to somehow visualize what to do, and if they do give up and look at a hint, I want their response to be, “Oh, that makes sense, I should have thought of that!” rather than “How on earth was I ever supposed to think of that, you ridiculous, unfair clowns?!”

Conversely, The SCUMM Bar, everybody’s favorite website on the internet, is quasi-consistently being updated, landing-page style, with the latest ReMI factoids. Rumors (from me) suggest there might even be a few nuggets coming in later today.

Relatedly, our Adventurer newsletter already downright broke the GamesBeat news—we can’t be expected to update two sites at the same time after all. (Madness!)

Authenticated original The Secret of Monkey Island posters are thin on ground these days, and when one turns up in mint condition, it is valuated by Lloyd’s of London at around $18 trillion. This is by way of setting the stage for Dave Grossman’s latest tweet:

Hey, you can’t put a price on a clever arts and crafts project. Well I mean you can, but it’d just be too depressing. Seriously, it should be said that it was Dave’s property to do with what he wanted. I will contend though that the cocktail napkins he made out of the Maya codices were a bit much.

The eminent Jared Emerson-Johnson's work on the Telltale Sam & Max soundtracks is rightly celebrated, and his opportunity to polish it even further for the Skunkape remasters was justly met with excitement.

But in the final analysis, is something truly of any worth until it's been discussed on public radio? To the relief of millions, it's a question that doesn't need to be confronted, as Jared was invited to be interviewed by WSHU. Listen to it, then head over to Bandcamp to buy the soundtracks eight more times.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments: 1 / Source: Twitter

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

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

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

Comments: 2 / Source: Teh News

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

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

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

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

Ronzo is in a saucy mood and decided to tease his legion with confirmation of another reprised character. In fact, the very first character ever seen in a Monkey Island game:

The great Rob Paulsen was in fact the voice of the Melee Island lookout in The Secret of Monkey Island special edition, so it's cool that they're keeping consistency there.

Of course, with all these signs that we're returning to Melee, we're teased with the possibility that we'll get to see what The International House of Mojo looks like, Rex Crowle style. To think, Ron went to all this trouble as an elaborate excuse to supply us with a new logo.

Comments: 5 / Source: Twitter

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

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

It’s been two days. You’ve all had your fun, and now it’s time to turn to pressing matters.

It’s time to put our feet back on the ground, drop the nonsense, stop forestalling the inevitable and embrace our duty.

It’s time to vote on the best Monkey Island official site.

  • First up you got your basic Curse of Monkey Island official site, all right. Now with this one you get HTML frames, chattering Murrays, and a developer diaries section filled with vintage Dan Pettit anecdotes. An easy choice for those with discerning tastes who also need to stay within a sensible budget.
  • Fancier customers may not be prepared to settle for less than Escape from Monkey Island's official site, a triumph of judicially-appointed UI controls and conservative screen resolution expectations. It is said that if you contemplate its all-encompassing blueness with deep enough concentration, you can actually start to levitate. And, ladies: it's said to be single.
  • And then there’s the newest contender of the pageant, an oven-fresh splash screen for Return to Monkey Island organically sourced and tailor-fit for the modern sensibility. Sleek. Elegant. Purple. These are but a few of the elements lifted shamelessly from Mixnmojo, but we admire anyone with the good sense to steal from the best.

There you have it. To which does your heart belong? Cast your vote in the comments, or declare loudly to Lucasfilm through indifference that they were wrong to revive this series. Whichever expresses your feelings best.

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

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

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

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

We're not quite through selflessly promoting "Video Game History Hour" - that would be the podcast of the Video Game History Foundation - which just last week delivered another Mojo-baiting episode by having Noah Falstein as their guest.

Noah's always a great listen, and this is no exception. He also at one point mentions having a "thick stack of design docs" still in his possession, which can only be interpreted as fishing for a bribe. Anyway, treat yourself to recollections from one of the industry's most storied careers, and thank me later.

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

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

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

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

More to come.

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

Rex Crowle of Knights And Bikes confirmed as art director.

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

Khris Brown is on as casting and voice direction.

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

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

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

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

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

Jared Emerson-Johnson confirmed as a music producer.

Noah Falstein pulled rank and got in on the playesting.

Known fanboy Elijah Wood raised his grog to the news.

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

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

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

No word yet on when Gametap will have it.

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

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

Make of it what you will! ;)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Everyone watching the latest in Star Wars on Disney+? Are you all caught up without any more Boba Fett to watch? Why not checkout some Star Wars 1313 demo reel animations that were uploaded to Vimeo a mere two to eight years ago? Mojo (and other news sites) were apparently just waiting for the right moment.


Over on James Zachary's Vimeo page, he announces that he directed the in-game animation for Star Wars 1313 along with running the motion capture performances and the actual animation pipeline for the game. For a game from "a long time ago..." I would say that the graphics on the more final rendered videos sure look good.


And maybe I'm just jealous that I wasn't the news poster to post about the Maniac Mansion claymation model from the Nintendo Power cover, so for more of a write-up on this, you can perhaps read Kotaku - Canceled Star Wars Game Footage Teases Boba Fett Bounty Hunting Action.

It looks like the success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has enticed LucasFilm and EA into furnishing Respawn Entertainment with more dollar than can be found in Big Whoop itself. A big press release from LucasFilm announces that three new Star Wars games are coming from the aforementioned developer. Three!

Shepherding the next installment in the Star Wars Jedi story is game director Stig Asmussen of Respawn; Peter Hirschmann, game director, who has a long and accomplished history with Star Wars, leads the development of Respawn’s Star Wars first-person shooter. A new studio helmed by games industry veteran Greg Foertsch will create the new Star Wars strategy game, developed through a production collaboration between Respawn and Bit Reactor. Respawn will produce the new Star Wars strategy game while Bit Reactor leads development of the title.

Now, Respawn Entertainment is the real deal, founded by key personnel involved with driving Call of Duty to monumental success. Titanfall 2 offered one of the best single-player first-person shooter experiences of the last generation, and Apex Legends was and is a refreshingly good take on the hit-and-miss battle royale concept. The studio’s Fallen Order effort was considered a solid experience for Star Wars aficionados.

I can’t help but be a little saddened, though. Respawn Entertainment has bags of potential as a powerhouse of original games, or at the very least it could continue carving out its own lovely little universe a la Arkane Studios. Instead, I fear it is just going to become ‘the Star Wars studio’, apparently taking on genres it doesn’t really have experience with and neglecting the original IPs that put it on the map. Hopefully its developers love them some Star Wars.

I also worry for the mental health of Vince Zampella, who is apparently overseeing this new effort in addition to having been announced last month as taking the helm of the Battlefield franchise. This follows and is likely because of the disastrous launch of Battlefield 2042, which was executed with about as much finesse as delivering a new Monkey Island title that is actually a disguised Candy Crush Saga. That franchise is handled by DICE, which funnily enough was primarily handling the Star Wars: Battlefront games beforehand. What a yarn this all is.

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.


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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: 3 / 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.


Image
Image
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.