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The first chapters are always the best

posted by RockNRoll on - last edited - Viewed by 205 users

Have you noticed this? At least for me, whenever I think about replaying any Monkey Island games, I always am mostly excited about that first chapter or exposition of the game. For some reason in all of them it seems like that's where the most magic and fun lies, and then it kinda drops off a little as it gets more towards the end. It usually goes into slightly weaker, less atmospheric territory, and more linear gameplay, almost like all the great puzzles and fun scenes were kinda expended on the first part and the end is more rushed.

Arriving onto Melee Island and completing the trials is what I really replay MI1 for, to me it's much more fun than Monkey Island itself. Getting rid of Largo and getting the 4 map pieces is the real joy of MI2, as well. LeChuck's fortress, Dinky Island and the last scene is less open and involved, and really not what I replay the game for (though the story is still great). The carnival in MI3 feels the same way, at that point i feel like all the cool scenes and puzzles are behind me, and the end scenes are kinda lame. MI4 definitely starts dropping off once you finish the first two islands, and the monkey kombat stuff is like a chore.

Is it just me, or is this kind of a trend for the MI games? When I replay them, sometimes I almost lose interest once I'm done with the first main portion and then know what's coming next. It's like I got what I came for, and if I finish it, it's mainly for the sake of completion.

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  • @RockNRoll said: Have you noticed this? At least for me, whenever I think about replaying any Monkey Island games, I always am mostly excited about that first chapter or exposition of the game. For some reason in all of them it seems like that's where the most magic and fun lies, and then it kinda drops off a little as it gets more towards the end. It usually goes into slightly weaker, less atmospheric territory, and more linear gameplay, almost like all the great puzzles and fun scenes were kinda expended on the first part and the end is more rushed.

    Arriving onto Melee Island and completing the trials is what I really replay MI1 for, to me it's much more fun than Monkey Island itself. Getting rid of Largo and getting the 4 map pieces is the real joy of MI2, as well. LeChuck's fortress, Dinky Island and the last scene is less open and involved, and really not what I replay the game for (though the story is still great). The carnival in MI3 feels the same way, at that point i feel like all the cool scenes and puzzles are behind me, and the end scenes are kinda lame. MI4 definitely starts dropping off once you finish the first two islands, and the monkey kombat stuff is like a chore.

    Is it just me, or is this kind of a trend for the MI games? When I replay them, sometimes I almost lose interest once I'm done with the first main portion and then know what's coming next. It's like I got what I came for, and if I finish it, it's mainly for the sake of completion.

    I consider this a trend more with the last two. I loved CMI up to the Carnival of the Damned. Then it was just like, okay, this is fine and all, but when is it going to get good again.

    I personally replay MI2 for the confrontation between Guybrush and Lechuck, and MI1 I replay to do the Three Trials and to see the Cannibals again.

    EMI I've never finished, so I can't say for sure on that one yet.

  • I've done them all, and my favourite part of Curse was Puerto Pollo. MI4 was actually pretty consistent, all the islands were pretty equal. I liked up until the ship in MI1 the most, and I thought the ending of MI2 was retarted.

    So I think that on average, you're correct. But that's fine with me, I'd rather have one super memorable part and the rest just good, really good parts are what you remember.

  • This post is pretty cool.

    @Gryffalio said:
    The way I see the first two Monkey Islands, they start off really black and dark (well, that's what computers were like in those days) and it really helps the feeling of the story coming from the darkness, like a dream. The colours become more vivid throughout the game, and Monkey Island itself is absolutely idyllic, apart from the ghost/demon pirates there, and the cannibals. This gives a subconscious sense of the imagination picking up as we ourselves get more immersed in the story. Then when we get to the finale with LeChuck, it's dark again. Melee Island is dark in MI1 and the big-boss behind-the-scenes corridors are dark and dank in MI2. It aids his scariness, he's constantly followed by shadow. The darkness really aids a character like LeChuck because he's the kind of nightmare character who can haunt dreams. The darkness around the game always follows LeChuck, if you notice, and as previously mentioned, the music is almost perfect.

    Add to this the fairly basic graphics, which don't quite portray everything about the face. It's kind of like how our imaginations work. We create a character (like the realistic portrait) and then as we dream the detail fades a little.

    All these devices lend themselves to a genuinely scary LeChuck. I was one of those flinching every time LeChuck was about to get me in the big-boss bit at the end of MI2.


    Now move along to MI3. It's like a story-book we read when we were young, or maybe we read to our kids now. We can use the idea of our imagination creating this world, again, but only really in the context of something like a story-book. The whole thing is very light, and cartoony, and so loses the reality and nightmare-ish qualities which your imagination can create in the original two. Great artwork though, and it works on a different level with the surreal, absorbing mood being set in other ways (looking forward to Voojoo, if i'm allowed to say that on these forums :P)

    And then to MI4, a very divisive game. The whole game is based on an ozzie property-developer turning the Caribbean into a tourist haven. Complete with tourists in Bermuda-shorts and sandals. The whole world looks inflatable and the 3d style pretty much destroys LeChuck's ghost/zombie forms, and his fire-beard form was never as scary as his zombie form anyway. Lucre is sunny and clean, even the Myst o'Tyme Marsh (whatever it's called) is quite bright considering its creepy potential. Guybrush looks like a prat with a constant grin on his face, which in itself is scary, but that (along with bright blue and white clothes) takes away from that mood. Jambalya is another sunny tourist resort, while Knuttin Atol is more moody, but it's small size and the connection with the outside (via the koala-ship and the neighbouring Jambalya) makes it less potentially scary, and just seems subjugated and tired. Monkey Island is again bright, but the cannibals are less scary, the church of LeChuck is feeble when it could have been menacing, and the whole thing is becoming tired and unimaginative by now. LeChuck just can't be scary with these graphics and environments. Freddie Kruger would look funny, not scary, in that game.

    So MI1/2 got it right in that respect, with the entire games' ambiance working well for it, even though this was probably an accident. MI3 struggled because of its cartoon style, and MI4 was too bright and Guybrush just looked gormless and cheery throughout.

    That's probably all crap, but hey, the government seems to value these skills :/

  • I don't think that's the case, but I don't have enough coherent thought on the matter to really argue against it being the case. :P

    So instead, I'm gonna say that even if it is a trend, I doubt this will end up being the case for Tales.

    Tales is apparently supposed to try and be more "A single story in five parts" rather than a bunch of self-contained stories. While each will have a beginning, middle, and end....it's all supposed to build. I think the nature of episodic gaming and the fact that Telltale's games seem to get more engaging the more dramatic the scene, I'm going to go ahead and predict that one of the last two episodes will be my favorite. I'm already finding myself feeling curious about the Pirate God and the "execution" of Guybrush.

  • I think the cartoony graphics of monkey island 3 was the best. Monkey Island feels better with cartoony graphics. Plus, blood island was just as dark as Melee or Scabb Island.

  • Why are you guys talking about graphics in this thread? It's not what this is about at all.

  • I agree to an extent (although of course the four map peice puzzles in MI2 wasn't in the first chapter but the second).

    The ending of some of the games have felt rushed.

    I expect the opposite to be true though of Tales as they will have had more time to work on the later episodes.

  • I liked the stories throughout each game to be honest. I loved Melee (MI1), Scabb (MI2, though a bit dark for prolonged play), and Plunder Island in MI3. But then, there's only Monkey Island in MI1 after Melee, and I think MI1 Monkey Island is one of the best islands. In MI2 You start going through Phatt and Booty Islands and both of those islands kept me very interested, while in MI3 you go through Blood Island which most people vote the best island in the game.

    I think the issue is the end. In MI2 you wind up on dinky, which didn't really hold my attention because i'd been through brain-bending puzzles already and this one was relatively easy. But then, every time LeChuck got to me in the underground, I was flinching and trying to get away. In MI3 we end up at the carnival which did feel a tad like an anti-climax. I've heard the ToMI guys say this game will have some seriousness as well as gags and that gives me hope that they've learned from seeing MI3's carnival at the end. Then in MI4 I think most people seem to think it drops off after Lucre Island story-wise..

    I always look forward to exploring the first island. I guess this is because it's so free-form and you never know what's going to happen. In MI2 we kept this feeling because there was so much to do in the middle islands, while MI3 succeeded in making an island so good that you really could have a mini-adventure on it. I'm not sure i'd agree with you that it's 'best' bit, except in the case of MI4 which I think stands out from the other games in many respects.

  • The carnival of the damned was awesome! The puzzle wasn't super hard but it was fun. The final puzzle of MI1 had the same being chased by Lechuck from one area to another (oh so did 2. Must have been a series thing), and Ron Gilbert talked about the final puzzle being meant to be a bit of a breather, something not too terribly difficult to solve. I thought the carnival was awesome.

  • as for Monkey 1, even some of best scenes are right at the start, the game keeps interesting through out the whole game, and i agree that monkey island from Monkey Island 1 is one of greatest islands, with beautiful scenes, colours, mountains, and so on.

    in Monkey 2, its more-less the same thing, where Scabb Island is great portrayed, with those ships, cabins, but also Booty Island is one of the most interesting in whole series.

    as for Monkey 3, Plunder Island is also one of the fan favourites, with a great set of characters, beautiful sceneries and other. Blood Island with a Skull Island cameo are of course another great renditions, with Blood Island having something unique with that family history behind it, with some great minor characters like gravedigger.

    Monkey 4 Melee Island starts good with a ship battle, and then on Melee Island. Somehow, there is not much thing to do, like in Mansion, or in Scumm bar, and the island is deserted. But, the game is taking on with voyage to Lucre Island. What i miss here is traditional separate chapter for voyage, like it was in Monkey 1 on ship, or in Monkey 3. Lucre Island is not bad at all, with a potential, good set of characters but some tedious puzzles. Jambalaya Island also has tedious puzzles, and the self-parody is interesting but not well thought out, as for example for Planet Threepwood, and the whole island resembles Lucre Island in architecture and colors.

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