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Did Curse destroy Monkey Island?

posted by Ash735 on - last edited - Viewed by 3.2K users

Clearly there are a few people here that view Curse as the actual down point of the series, really laying into it, saying that the series would be better off dead than to have the Curse/Escape/Tales stories. Now, strong views, could be because of how they perceive the story or it could be something to do with the lack of Ron Gilbert being the main series runner once MI2 ended, but here's a coin flip thread, for anything that was done/explained in Curse, I'm going to take a look at why it was BAD and why it was GOOD. So let's get started:

THE BIG ONE: It was all a Dream/Curse??
BAD: In Monkey Island 1 and 2 we have many modern day references, as Monkey Island 2 progresses further into weirdness at the end we learn that LeChuck and Guybrush are brothers and are really kids at some amusement park, we're lead to believe that the series was actually in the head of a child with an over active imagination, as the credits roll we see Chuckie's eyes glow and somewhat resemble LeChuck facial features, but hey, this is just a cheeky nod to the gamer right? If we believe this route, then there would never be a Monkey Island 3, the idea is out, why would gamers want to play a game storyline they know is just the imagination of some kid, any threatening things in such story wouldn't matter anymore (which is odd seeing as Guybrush can Die in both Monkey Island 1 and 2). There were loads of book titles in the library that mention why Trilogies suck, etc so even though the idea was mentioned afterwards, Monkey Island 2 WAS meant to be the final story, the shock ending was meant to show the gamer that this amazing world they've been in for so long was actually just the dreams of a little boy.

GOOD: But wait, Chuckie's face turns into LeChuck as Guybrush and his parents walk away from him, and let's talk about Big Whoop, in the story, we already know that Four Crewmen and even LeChuck himself have seen Big Whoop and how terrible it is, yet here, in this odd tunnel, the crate is smashed, there is nothing in this crate except for a single E-Ticket, somethings not right here. Then we start seeing things from Melee Island and even the street from Melee Island itself, this is all getting weirder by the minute. Then comes the moment when Guybrush finally rips apart LeChuck, but wait, he's our Brother, our Kid Brother? And this Janitor appears telling us to get out? Then we get our weird ending, with the sinister glance from LeChuck to the player letting us know something is not right. And of course during the end credits we flash back to the Monkey Island universe where Elaine is waiting for Guybrush and comments that she hopes LeChucks hasn't put some kind of Curse on him and this is what Curse and essentially the rest of the series has built upon, has the rest of a series continued on from a throw away joke at the end of MI2, or was Guybrush really cursed and everything from waking up in the tunnels fake?


-- Coming Soon, LeChuck is a Cartoon Villain? The Four Map Pieces Explanation? An Amusement Park?? Continuity Problems? --

195 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I just think it's really hard to look at the flaming eyes and Elaine as "just a throw-away joke." I just feel like people who want to have developed theories for "it all being a dream" always want to over-analyze every little thing but just completely dismiss those two events as "throw-away jokes." Especially when people use "C'mon, Guybrush, that's how everyone talked back then!" as an actual point of emphasis that the game is a dream. That seems like a very convenient "I hear what I want to hear" kind of situation.

    I'm not saying 100% that it wasn't a dream (although I am pretty against that theory), but I just hate it when people write off what Elaine said as something that shows no importance.

  • @plrichard said: I just feel like people who want to have developed theories for "it all being a dream" always want to over-analyze every little thing but just completely dismiss those two events as "throw-away jokes." Especially when people use "C'mon, Guybrush, that's how everyone talked back then!" as an actual point of emphasis that the game is a dream. That seems like a very convenient "I hear what I want to hear" kind of situation.

    Agreed, I don't believe that it was going in the "dream" direction. You can't just write off that much foreshadowing and hints at the end of the game and assume that there wasn't more to the story. I think CMI explained it well. I have no real problem with Curse, except how they changed the characters and made them far more cartoonish (but I know that is just my own personal artistic preference).

    But to say that Curse is what made the series, really disregards the first two games. And without the first two games, there would never be a Curse. The humor, the characters, everything was established in the first two games. I think Curse is a great game, I enjoyed playing it, and I thought the voice acting was superb! But the mood is completely different, it did change the series completely. Whether for better or worse is always going to be subjective. It took it in such a new direction, it really isn't even plausible to compare them any longer.

  • I love the first two games, and played them years before Curse came out. And I never had a problem with Curse, when it came out I loved it too. I don't remember going 'wah, this does not respect Ron Gilbert's vision!', but that's probably because I was busy enjoying the game. Yes, it's different from the first two but it was also similar to other Lucasarts adventures of the time, like Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max Hit the Road, (toony graphics, voice acting) so I didn't find the different art styles and controls too jarring. So in short, in my opinion Curse did not destroy Monkey Island.

    And to be fair on Escape, I replayed it recently after finally getting it to work on my laptop, and it's actually better than I remember, rating higher than all of the King's Quest games except for KQVI. But maybe that's due in part to Tales convincing me that yes, adventure games really do work in 3D. Maybe now I'll finally pick up the Sam & Max episodes...

  • I for one didn't like the ending of the second game. I remember being really disappointed with the ending after completing the game and it really spoiled it for me. The whole dream thing has been done to death and never done well. I think Curse did a great job on fixing this. I loved the hand drawn animation and art direction

  • Curse certainly isn't what Ron's original plan for 3 must have been, but it's still a great game, and a worthy successor. The only real downside is that it loses the creepy edge that the first two had, but it's funny, the music is great, the art is great. It's a great game.

    The interactive abortion that was Escape is what killed the series (until its revival a few eps into Tales).

  • @petethepanda said: The interactive abortion that was Escape is what killed the series (until its revival a few eps into Tales).

    Le sigh...

  • @Rather Dashing said: I also didn't like Curse's horribly unpiratey atmosphere, with Puerto Pollo being the very lowest point in the series' history

    ...Jambalaya?

  • I hate that damn theory that its just a little kid in a theme park. If that was truth I'd swear off the first two games for good. I mean I REALLY hate that damn theory. Monkey Island is just fine as games about pirates with voodoo magic and sorcery. I don't want it to suddenly end up being in present day with Guybrush at a theme park.

    I like the ending of the second game. But I hate that theory.

  • @plrichard said: I'm not saying 100% that it wasn't a dream (although I am pretty against that theory), but I just hate it when people write off what Elaine said as something that shows no importance.


    I like the "Guybrush was in a mental hospital this whole time and the Monkey Island games were his schizophrenic delusions" theory. Then again, that's my favorite theory for like, everything.

  • @Jade Zealot said: I like the "Guybrush was in a mental hospital this whole time and the Monkey Island games were his schizophrenic delusions" theory. Then again, that's my favorite theory for like, everything.

    You must like every "psychological thriller" ever then.

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