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Writing Elaine

posted by Kroms on - last edited - Viewed by 838 users

Edit: Ahhh, I had a huuuuuge post written out here that I deleted by accident. I'll try to summarize and be brief.

The gist of it was how would you improve on Elaine being more likeable? To me, she:

1. obviously needs to snap less at Guybrush and consequently us, the players;
2. she needs to sound more like a sweetheart or a loving wife than my best friend's mum.

I think a total re-do of the character model would help, as she looked so...charming and pretty in the first and third games, whereas now she's more like a middle-aged woman - she seems 20 years older than Guybrush. And very, uh, British, as she says phrases like "Buckets" when Guybrush asks if she's missed him. Which is fine, but phrases like "Buckets" make her sound more like she's from Keeping Up Appearances than Monkey Island.

Elaine works best when she has the upper hand on everything - the better the comeback she has against Threepwood's enemies, the cooler she is. Obviously, after Trial and Execution, her character has developed enough that she doesn't trust herself that much anymore. Which I think means she'll be more open, which means she'll hopefully be more likeable...

I'm not suggesting that her being older is unappealing by default. I'm just saying that Elaine works best when she's more of a sweetheart and less of an angry mum. And her character model, unfortunately, reflects more of the latter than the former.

Just to elaborate, to me, this is the appealing Elaine:

MonkeyIsland1_06.png307251-elaine3_super.png

Exotic and mysterious, in a way, and Alexandra Boyd's voice, which was softer and smoother in CMI than Tales, added to it. It's much harder to do that with this Elaine, who also looks like she has extra bones in her cheeks:

talesofmi_ch2_guybrush_elaine-540x303.jp

I hope it's not an unreasonable request to re-do her character model and make her more likeable. I love Elaine, when she's working; Guybrush loves Elaine by default. It'd be a shame to see her become a fifth wheel.

Edit: I don't mean she should be pretty and smart, aka some sort of man's woman. I'm not like that. I'm just saying that I enjoy my girlfriend's company when she's being nice. I take the good with the bad, but it wears on me if it's 80% bad and 20% good.

105 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Chyron8472 said: In what way does this mean she's always a step ahead of everyone else?

    Yeah, it struck me as odd too. She's clever and resourceful, sure, but she doesn't seem like the type to plan everything ahead. I felt it made her look too manipulative in Tales, with the whole "I knew it all" although I'm happy believing that she actually didn't know anything.

    I can believe she's the type to be prepared for anything, and adapt to it, though. That I feel is more like her, and then if she suspects something, she can act according to it (such as giving her ring to GB in the hope that it would protect him since it's so powerful because she can tell something is wrong).

  • @Jenny said: I really don't see the need to even get that involved in the details of their relationship. Monkey Island isn't a romantic soap opera, it's a comedic, piratey adventure tale of mishaps and mayhem.

    This. It's pretty much what bothered me about Morgan as a character too. Maybe they put so much drama on her end that a comically exaggerated character like Elaine suddenly looks bad because she doesn't act in the same way.

    I think this thread is looking way too far into it. She is mean and a smartass most of the time on-screen because it's funny, it is a caricature of a piratey wife. I think it would be boring and awkward if we stray too far from that. (in fact I felt ToMI did that too much) I'm satisfied with the other aspects of their marriage being "just there" because it's simple.

  • Forme the relationship is notthe problem. The problem is the way they have changed the personalityu of Elaine. In the first 2 games Elaine is the pirate with the skills to deal with all the boys, meanwhile Guybrush was the goofy pirate. That has changed! Now Elaine is bossy, screams, demands and depends on the help of Guybvrush meanwhile Guybrush is like the errand boy.

    In fact how Morgan is portrayed in TOMI is somewhat how i perceived Elaine in the 1st game. Morgan has skills its athletic and knows how to survive in a world of pirate, as Elaine was in the 1st 2 games. Theonly thing Morgan has thta Elaine doesnt is the love for money and the pirate hunter aspect.

  • @Chyron8472 said: I don't know why the MI creators talk about, in the "Everything you wanted to know..." interview on talesofmi.net, that Elaine's character in general has planned ahead of everyone else in the MI universe. In SoMI, she got away from LeChuck becaus she's friends with several of his crew.

    I think she intuits what will happen, and knows what cards she holds. She has loyal allies and knows how to use them. She knew she was friends with LeChuck's crew so she knew ahead of time she'd be able to escape.

    I can see her character as one that is always ahead of everyone in the game. At least I can see that in the first two games. Although she didn't play a very large role in LR. That doesn't hold true for the latter games though.

    I agree with what you said Everlast. Morgan, to me, has more of the qualities I thought Elaine had in the first two games. Actually, Morgan makes me think of a combination between the Elaine in SMI and the Swordmaster in SMI.

  • Another thing, pirating used to be more important than Elaine for Guybrush. Remember in MI2, where he flirted with her just to get the map piece? Nowadays, he's just completely devoted to Elaine and values her over anything.

    And the first thing I thought when I watched Pirates of the Caribbean for the very first time was "Wow, Jack Sparrow is like a perfect copy of Guybrush!". You know, witty, smart and clumsy at the same time, and piracy meant everything to him. Even when deserted on an Island, he was happy as long as he had Rum.

    Guybrush of today is more Will than Jack. Something I don't really agree with. So either, Elaine has changed Guybrush, or Guybrush has been changed. I'm more likely to believe the latter, because he started showing signs of it early in CMI. Even the intro has him worrying deeply about Elaine, as if he was his boyfriend for years already, while in MI2, he only cared for himself. He hardly saw Elaine at all in that game. Something must've happened between MI2 and CMI that made him into the Guybrush he is today.

    But if they reason it with "Elaine changed him", then that's a shame, considering how many of us don't like the direction they took Elaine.

  • @StarEye said: he started showing signs of it early in CMI. Even the intro has him worrying deeply about Elaine, as if he was his boyfriend for years already, while in MI2, he only cared for himself. He hardly saw Elaine at all in that game. Something must've happened between MI2 and CMI that made him into the Guybrush he is today.

    The something that happened was Ron Gilbert left, and LucasArts thought it would bring in sales to marry Elaine and Guybrush. Or so that makes the most sense to me.

    We have no idea of what really happened at the end of MI2. The explanation they gave in CMI was never sufficient for me. You don't just drop two kids (one with demonic eyes) in a carnival scene and than ignore that it happened. But assuming a ton of stuff happened between MI2 and CMI, then them getting married in CMI isn't that crazy of an idea. And I suppose all that stuff that happened between MI2 and CMI could explain their character changes. But really, nothing was explained, and I still think Elaine needs to get a bit of a revamp.

  • How would marrying Elaine and Guybrush cause better sales? I'm really curious.

  • @Giant Tope said: How would marrying Elaine and Guybrush cause better sales? I'm really curious.

    Probably in the same way that everyone expects the hero to get the girl in the end of a blockbuster movie. And seriously, the love between them WAS hinted at plenty of times in the first two games, they were just never setting anything in stone. CMI did, and it was the easiest way out, which I think is a decision the series suffers from today.

    While the ending of MI2 was completely unexpected, CMI was incredibly obvious. That might also be one of the reasons - I don't know if people critisized the ending of MI2 at that time, but if they were, they probably didn't want to do the same mistake again. But again, this was handled in the wrong way, imo.

    EDIT: also, romantic story means more girls play the games. And they WERE going for a childish cartoonish look.

  • I dunno, I just can't see a person purposely buying this game because they know that in the end Guybrush and Elaine get married.

  • @StarEye said: Probably in the same way that everyone expects the hero to get the girl in the end of a blockbuster movie.

    @StarEye said:
    EDIT: also, romantic story means more girls play the games. And they WERE going for a childish cartoonish look.

    Those two reasons right there. It is just a more well accepted storyline to the general public. At least that is what I assumed.

    And I admit, at the time (I was about 10 years old) when CMI came out, I was thrilled Elaine and Guybrush got married. I'm sure I would have bought it anyway without that. But it was an extra pull. (I didn't particularly like the ending of LR at that point in my life either - because it was creepy and didn't tie up all the loose ends). But I was a little girl. When I got older and learned about what a good story arc means, and what well written plots mean, I realized how great LR's plot was and how interesting and unique the ending was and then I started to think that hey, maybe they shouldn't have gotten married so fast, and maybe it was causing the series and characters to change drastically. There are many directions that were cut off from the pool of possibilities when CMI's storyline had to be incorporated into the MI world.

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