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Why do you love the "darkness" so much?

posted by Kroms on - last edited - Viewed by 269 users

I get that pirates need to have a certain brutality about them, so I wouldn't be surprised if an MI game had keelhauling, but why is everyone so obsessed with the atmosphere being so dark? Is it because SMI and MI2 started out at night?

There's nothing wrong with sunshine and a bright atmosphere, or dark for that matter. You can do either and still retain that piratey feel.

Then you get something like "Chapter four made it good and dark.*" That's a quote, one of many. Why this obsession with dark? You end-up looking a lot like this:

(*I'm aware the thread refers to EMI, but it's the part in italics that matters.)

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42 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Kroms said: I get that pirates need to have a certain brutality about them, so I wouldn't be surprised if an MI game had keelhauling, but why is everyone so obsessed with the atmosphere being so dark? Is it because SMI and MI2 started out at night?

    There's nothing wrong with sunshine and a bright atmosphere, or dark for that matter. You can do either and still retain that piratey feel.


    I think it's harder to create atmosphere with daylight scenes. Places like Jambalaya or Flotsam don't seem top have much atmosphere or piratey feel to me. Plunder Island was a bit better though.

  • @youmaycallmemurray said: I think it's harder to create atmosphere with daylight scenes. Places like Jambalaya or Flotsam don't seem top have much atmosphere or piratey feel to me. Plunder Island was a bit better though.

    Jambalaya was supposed to be extremely un-piraty. That was the point. It was chemically cleaned of all atmosphere, courtesy of one Ozzy Mandril. But if you ask me, that gave it a whole new atmosphere, and not a happy one. It basically said "This is the end of the line for pirates. You are being branded and resold as fun relics of a past that never existed. Your time is up".

  • Jambalaya was supposed to be extremely un-piraty. That was the point. It was chemically cleaned of all atmosphere, courtesy of one Ozzy Mandril. But if you ask me, that gave it a whole new atmosphere, and not a happy one. It basically said "This is the end of the line for pirates. You are being branded and resold as fun relics of a past that never existed. Your time is up".

    Which was well acompanied by Knuttin Atoll.

  • It's just about atmosphere. CMI captured this perfectly, it managed to capture my imagination wonderfully in a way that bright skies and daylight couldn't.

  • People, don't get me wrong. I think dark has its place. I just think that you don't need darkness to make a story/game compelling, interesting, or a "true Monkey Island game".

    @Realepicurean said: It's just about atmosphere. CMI captured this perfectly, it managed to capture my imagination wonderfully in a way that bright skies and daylight couldn't.

    I think a dark atmosphere has its, I guess charm, but sunlight and happiness do too. You could still have a story about pirates where the entire thing takes place on an island sooo beautifully bright and sunny you feel warm just looking at it.

    Dark has to do with the mood of the story. When you want to tell a certain story to its optimal potential, then certain moods must be evoked. (Though honestly, I think that grim or solemn would be a better word to put the events of chapter 4.)

    I think some stories work purely in the dark. Oldboy, for example, is a very dark story, and it's so dark for a reason.

    All I'm saying is, darkness does not a good story make. Or a Monkey Island game. More humour could be added to anything. Everything should be a little funnier, I think, but not to the point of self-parody.


    I think it's harder to create atmosphere with daylight scenes. Places like Jambalaya or Flotsam don't seem top have much atmosphere or piratey feel to me. Plunder Island was a bit better though.

    I dunno. Flotsam was about as piratey as it gets short of pillaging and drunken buccaneers, and Plunder was a island run by pirates, through and through.

    You have crossed "Dark plot line" with "Dark personality". The Dark Knight was dark, though batman isn't emo or goth.

    It means the story has become deep, gritty and potentially frightening. Chapter 4 wasn't dark. it was just darker than most Monkey Islands which are usually the polar opposite of dark.

    Well, letting the Dark Knight is deep bit slide by, I want to point out that I intentionally left my definition of dark ambiguous, since I have a sneaking suspicion that not everyone shares the definition, and wanted to see what they all interpreted this "dark" as: story, daylight, grimness, macabre deaths?

  • I'm kind of confused by the amount of people that are using "dark" to describe what is, at the very best, a bit of light drama.

  • @Realepicurean said: It's just about atmosphere. CMI captured this perfectly, it managed to capture my imagination wonderfully in a way that bright skies and daylight couldn't.

    Except for Plunder Island. Guess you skipped the first third of the story? :p

    I know what you mean, but if there is only one atmosphere throughout the game then it's kinda limited. Sunny climes have their place for me, and Plunder was no more tense and moody than Flotsam. There were specific differences, which I have written about elsewhere, but darkness can only be used to create a tense atmosphere. MI1/2 weren't all dark. Granted, MI1 was until Monkey Island, but Phatt Island/Booty Island/etc. were all bright and sunny.

  • The question is badly founded. Some of us want something else than wacky cartoon pirates (something the first two games acomplished) and suddenly we're absurd joyless emos?

  • Anybody who knows ANYTHING about pirates knows that a proper "piratey" adventure, even in the PoTC sense, has to include a lot of darkness. Think about what pirates are, they're treacherous thieves, bandits, murderers, rogues, etc. Think about what a Caribbean night on a pirate hideout would really feel like in the 17th century. That's some great atmosphere.

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