User Avatar Image

Did Curse destroy Monkey Island?

posted by Ash735 on - last edited - Viewed by 2.4K 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
  • @Barnabus said: That's exactly what I wish had happened. MI2 should've been the end.

    You apparently hate playing good adventure games.

  • I like playing good original adventure games. Sequels that push things in interesting new directions are fine; sequels that just reheat the same old ideas I can live without. I love MI2 because it took what was established in the first game and expanded and built on it, and then finished in an interesting way. The rest of the series is generally enjoyable but basically needless.

    The popular idea that every good thing needs to be a franchise extending into infinity kind of depresses me. What I used to love about vintage Lucasarts was that, until the later Monkey Islands, they never sequelized anything unless there was a solid creative reason to do so.

  • @Barnabus said: What I used to love about vintage Lucasarts was that, until the later Monkey Islands, they never sequelized anything unless there was a solid creative reason to do so.



    So... you're saying you're glad that they cancelled Sam & Max: Freelance Police in favor of more Star Wars shovelware?

    The fact is that Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion and Indiana Jones are the only things I can thing of right off the top of my head that they made sequels for at all. If there are more, I bet you could only count them on one hand. Star Wars doesn't count.

    Besides, a person can make any excuse at all and call it a "creative reason" for doing something. More often, LEC would cancel something creative in favor of Star Wars and blame it on the gaming market.

    Telltale doesn't need "creative reasons" to make Sam and Max or Tales, but I love these games and think it ridiculous to suggest they're a waste because the furtherance of the story is unneccessary. These aren't crappy direct-to-video Disney sequels we're talking about, these are wonderful guaranteed-classic adventure games.

    If anything, I would say that the end of MI2 is so stupid and random that it required a sequel that I still am not convinced Ron would ever have made, even without CMI. CMI is necessary for the story to continue after what happened in MI2's ending, same as Tales is necessary to continue after EMI in general. As has been said that EMI is better as a black sheep if it's a middle title instead of at the end, so I would say that MI2's ending is more tolerable when it's not the end of the story either.

    I've been told by instructors that when listening to/playing music, that "the first impression and the last impression are the most important." I would say the same goes for good storytelling, even in video games and as such, having the story end with MI2's carnival or EMI's monkey robot would be quite lame.

    Tales works perfectly fine as an end to the series with how awesome it ended (though I really do want more games and keep the awesome going.) Sure, it has a cliffanger, but it's a good cliffhanger not a stupid one that makes you wonder what the hell just happened.

  • @Chyron8472 said: So... you're saying you're glad that they cancelled Sam & Max: Freelance Police in favor of more Star Wars shovelware?

    The fact is that Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion and Indiana Jones are the only things I can thing of right off the top of my head that they made sequels for at all. If there are more, I bet you could only count them on one hand. Star Wars doesn't count.

    Did you even read what I said? I said I *liked* the fact that vintage Lucasarts was more interested in exploring original ideas and only tended to return to old games on special occasions.

    I'm slightly more forgiving of something like Sam & Max being continued because the whole set up there is geared for a series format; only the two main characters have to be there and otherwise there's a lot of freedom in what can be done. Likewise as crap as most Star Wars games are, the universe itself is the only constant factor - the story itself can in theory be about pretty much anything. But post MI2, the Monkey Island series has had the same core characters in the same roles more or less playing out the same simple story with minor variations. There's no real point there beyond providing 'a bit more monkey island'.

    I honestly don't get what was so nonsensical about the MI2 ending. There are hints throughout the games that all isn't quite what it appears, then in a twist it turns out that it was two kids playing in a theme park, with another hint that maybe it's all a magic spell - the player is left to decide. It's really not that hard to understand. Have you people never seen a movie with an ambiguous ending before? I get the sense that gamers have difficulty dealing with even mildly challenging or unexpected storytelling approaches. The painfully literal explanation for MI2s ending in Curse certainly didn't do either game any favours.

  • @Barnabus said: I honestly don't get what was so nonsensical about the MI2 ending. There are hints throughout the games that all isn't quite what it appears, then in a twist it turns out that it was two kids playing in a theme park, with another hint that maybe it's all a magic spell - the player is left to decide. It's really not that hard to understand. Have you people never seen a movie with an ambiguous ending before? I get the sense that gamers have difficulty dealing with even mildly challenging or unexpected storytelling approaches. The painfully literal explanation for MI2s ending in Curse certainly didn't do either game any favours.

    I honestly don't get why people make the ending out to be this huge deep thing when it was just a corny Star Wars reference and intentionally anti-climactic beyond reason. I'm fairly certain that Tim has even said at some point that it was supposed to be anti-climactic and not mean anything. It's not like Ron, Tim and Dave were like "oh man, this would be so epic if we had this killer ending open to interpretation" It was ridiculous and over the top to make fun of movies that have big "reveals" at the ending (for example, Darth Vader being Luke's father, blatantly referenced in the ending scene of MI2), but it was still a crap ending.

    There aren't "hints" throughout the games. You're finding hints where there are none, because the ending was made as a joke, not some super-serious conclusion to some amazing dramatic storyline. The storyline in MI has always existed solely to provide the possibility of jokes. It was never meant to have some deep serious story that would blow your mind or something ridiculous like that, and if "oh, uh... they're kids in a theme park" blows your mind, you're pretty easy to amuse. (Not to mention that Ron has publicly stated that the whole kids in a theme park thing isn't a correct theory at all)

  • I don't know why is it so hard to accept that the MI2 ending is deliberately anticlimatic and parodic. For me it's brilliant and ingenious because it is so simple and yet almost 20 years later we still discuss it over and over again :)

  • The Curse of Monkey Island is one of the best in the series. More than a game, I treat that part as a work of art. It *is* a work of art. Beautifully hand-drawn animations and backdrops, a brilliant soundtrack (Michael Land FTW), funny, clever. Jesus, that game rocked. It is my number two on the "Best Games of All Time" list. I understand some people have a purist view on the subject, wanting future games (>= 3 (CMI)) to be canon to the story of the previous part, but I reject the notion that CMI ruined the series. It brought the series into the modern age and I believe it shows what LucasArts is capable of if the just stop making those god-damned Star Wars games all the time!

  • @Barnabus said: Did you even read what I said? I said I *liked* the fact that vintage Lucasarts was more interested in exploring original ideas and only tended to return to old games on special occasions.

    Yes, and what I said in response was that, most often, they wouldn't not-create-sequels to games merely because the story didn't require it, but rather they didn't create them because LEC thought Star Wars was more worth the effort of milking the hell out of. This is to say that I'd have preferred more classic adventure game sequels and less Star Wars shovelware.

  • I loved Curse myself, just as I love all of the MI games (yes, even EMI, although it was definitely the low point of the series), and I honestly couldn't care less whether Ron has a hand in making any more MI sequels. He made his own decision to kick that license to the curb years ago, and we've all seen how a director with a few great works of art can try to recreate the magic years later and fail horrendously (the LucasArts namesake...what a coincidence).

    His ship sailed off into the sunset long ago.

Add Comment