User Avatar Image

Murray's backstory

posted by Kroms on - last edited - Viewed by 163 users

A couple of weeks ago I sat down and, thinking that I wanted to write something but feeling too tired to come-up with something original, I wrote a lengthy background story for Murray. To be precise, I wrote several, all of which tied into how he came to become pathetically evil. (For fun, only. I sometimes even write dialogue for games I'm playing, just to see how it measures up against the real thing. It's good practice, and teaches you new ways of thinking.)

Anyways, I'm not planning to show you guys any of the stories, but I want to ask: What do you think about Murray actually being disabled in life? What I mean is, what if Murray had never been able to control his body, had been given that ability a few moments before setting sail to Plunder Island (LeChuck killed him), and had then met the taste of a bitter cannonball that had left him bodiless? I thought it was both funny and sad, would explain his complete lack of self-confidence, his penchant for "true evil" (revenge against his tormenters, who he probably wants to be like), and was the kind of dark humor that Monkey Island tends to flirt with.

But, I'm not sure if this in character. Does this fit in the Monkey Island universe? Or have I gone too far?

14 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Kroms said: A couple of weeks ago I sat down and, thinking that I wanted to write something but feeling too tired to come-up with something original, I wrote a lengthy background story for Murray. To be precise, I wrote several, all of which tied into how he came to become pathetically evil. (For fun, only. I sometimes even write dialogue for games I'm playing, just to see how it measures up against the real thing. It's good practice, and teaches you new ways of thinking.)

    Anyways, I'm not planning to show you guys any of the stories, but I want to ask: What do you think about Murray actually being disabled in life? What I mean is, what if Murray had never been able to control his body, had been given that ability a few moments before setting sail to Plunder Island (LeChuck killed him), and had then met the taste of a bitter cannonball that had left him bodiless? I thought it was both funny and sad, would explain his complete lack of self-confidence, his penchant for "true evil" (revenge against his tormenters, who he probably wants to be like), and was the kind of dark humor that Monkey Island tends to flirt with.

    But, I'm not sure if this in character. Does this fit in the Monkey Island universe? Or have I gone too far?

    I don't think so at all. Monkey Island are funny games, but when you get to the core of it all, the stories are very sinister and serious. Murray may be a funny character, but there's not denying that he was brutally gutted and murdered until he was reduced to a mere skeleton. I'm sure he wasn't too happy about that and the guy is just tortured to have to live with having lost everything in his life and never dying. LeChuck is also funny, but at the bottom of it all, he's just a cruel and horrible person with no sense of value or morals. I say it's creative thinking that's on par with the series.

  • Though, you'd probably need to balance out the sentimentality of it with what makes Murray who he is. How much do you reveal? Do you talk about how his disability caused other boys to make fun of him when he was young? (That's part of the story I wrote.) Or do you just skim over it? There's some characters you probably don't want to know too much about. Guybrush and Murray strike me as such characters.

    I'm happy you think it works with the tone of the series. I had an alternative version where it was just a joke, just that Murray actually did scare his fellow crew members. They're absolutely terrified of him, but I don't think that works very well. Murray has some self-confidence issues.

    *smokes pipe*

  • @Kroms said: Though, you'd probably need to balance out the sentimentality of it with what makes Murray who he is. How much do you reveal? Do you talk about how his disability caused other boys to make fun of him when he was young? (That's part of the story I wrote.) Or do you just skim over it? There's some characters you probably don't want to know too much about. Guybrush and Murray strike me as such characters.

    I'm happy you think it works with the tone of the series. I had an alternative version where it was just a joke, just that Murray actually did scare his fellow crew members. They're absolutely terrified of him, but I don't think that works very well. Murray has some self-confidence issues.

    *smokes pipe*

    I think exploring the characters that have become fan favorites really makes them that much more valuable. For instance, I would love to know more of LeChuck's past. We know how he died and how he got his powers, but not of his childhood and why he became such a horrible person. I myself came up with back-stories for LeChuck and many other characters based on what was hinted at in the series and adjust it as I go along.

    I had the Voodoo Lady actually know LeChuck when he was just a kid and introduced him to voodoo, explaining why he turned to her later in the series for supplies and such. Yes, the chances of such stories being real are very slim, but speculation keeps a game alive even as it gets old. So I don't think you're really overdrawing things, it makes sense to want to explore such characters and add more depth to them. I've done it and I'm sure many others have as that's what series of any type of media do, allow us to speculate with our own theories and ideas.

  • Canon+Boat full of skeleton pirates=Murray

  • "It's like you're not one of LeChucks evil minions!" ^^^^

  • The problem I've always had with writing MI fic is that balancing the humour of the series with srs business is really difficult, on the one hand you don't want it being completely silly, and on the other you don't want it getting too angsty/serious. I find that watching some of the darker episodes of Futurama helps, because Futurama has had some really dark/sad moments yet still manages to be funny. (and also I just love Futurama)

    I'd really like to write a backstory for Morgan, but I think it would lean too far to the serious side. Plus I'd love to see an official one from Telltale.

  • @Jen Kollic said:
    I'd really like to write a backstory for Morgan, but I think it would lean too far to the serious side. Plus I'd love to see an official one from Telltale.

    In game form? If so, me too.

  • @Jen Kollic said: The problem I've always had with writing MI fic is that balancing the humour of the series with srs business is really difficult, on the one hand you don't want it being completely silly, and on the other you don't want it getting too angsty/serious. I find that watching some of the darker episodes of Futurama helps, because Futurama has had some really dark/sad moments yet still manages to be funny. (and also I just love Futurama)

    I'd really like to write a backstory for Morgan, but I think it would lean too far to the serious side. Plus I'd love to see an official one from Telltale.

    I think the Futurama or early Simpsons tone is the one to aim for (edit: I should say, play off of. They're the base you grow from). And, if you care about writing, try doing it. I swear, it's good exercise. Not as good as trying to come up with your own characters (and I have, complete with extensive backstory), but you'll be surprised at how much you don't know.

  • @haydenwce27 said: In game form? If so, me too.

    In game form, prose form or comic drawn by Steve Purcell form, they're all good! Just so long as there is one.

    @haydenwce27 said: And, if you care about writing, try doing it. I swear, it's good exercise. Not as good as trying to come up with your own characters (and I have, complete with extensive backstory), but you'll be surprised at how much you don't know.

    Oh, I'm no stranger to the seedy world of fanfiction, I just find it hard to write MI fanfic that fits the tone of the games without being too serious/silly. Obviously it's time for more Futurama!

  • I adore exploring background of characters, even if it's pure speculation or completely off the wall and refuted later by the canon. It's fun! And I would totally read a backstory of Murray akin to that one. It's so tragic, but you can't help but laugh. Poor Murray... xD

    @Jen Kollic said: I just find it hard to write MI fanfic that fits the tone of the games without being too serious/silly. Obviously it's time for more Futurama!

    I concur with both accounts, and also Futurama is awesome. That's actually a really good comparison; there are some episodes that, while genuinely tearjerking, never stop being funny or true to the characters. Just like chapter four of ToMI! Among other events, obviously. it's a pretty defining trait of the series.

    I wish there was a place to post MI fanfic where... actual MI fans would see it. =/ Mostly because I want to read more (recent) fic, but hey, it might actually inspire people to post what they write, too...

Add Comment