View Full Version : A Good Guybrush vs. a Bad One
06/30/2009, 09:07 am
My friend and I were discussing whilst playing CMI (our favorite) what makes the character so much better in that one. Of course it's a favorite because of art style, atmosphere, characters, story, and dialogue. But we realized almost simultaneously that the reason we can relate to the CMI Guybrush and root for him is because he's not a colossal dimwit.
Whoa, hold on. I know, Guybrush is oblivious and messes things up--of course, that's who he is. But at one point, he has to become a hero and take control. A character who bumbles his way through a plot lacks so many things...did you ever see The Stupids starring Tom Arnold? Exactly.
CMIbrush causes a curse with the ring, sure. But then he ends up recruiting a crew (by proving his piratey-ness, no less! I realize you cheat them, but it's so clever.) and exiles pirates from their ship to commandeer it as his own. Then he actually pillages other pirates with cannons and swords. Awesome. Finally you steal a diamond from thieves and crush LeChuck with ice. Bad. Ass.
SMIbrush is still pretty cool. Sure, he's kind of dippy, but he sets forth on a quest that's not his problem to begin with, recruits a crew (again, piratey), finds a hidden island, and uncovers all sorts of secrets (albeit not THE Secret) that help him in spraying LeChuck with Voodoo Root Beer. Not half bad.
MI2 Guybrush seems too cocky and quite obnoxious. As soon as he creates a voodoo doll, he accidentally revives LeChuck, and after tracking down the 4 map pieces (okay, not bad) gets himself captured, only to accidentally fly all the way to Dinky and...he sort of...wins... but... not really... 'cause... he's a kid... Well, needless to say, I wasn't crazy about it, but he seemed somewhat able.
This, I believe is the reason why I have a hard time relating to EMI. I just replayed it when I found out about TMI, and though there was a lot I didn't like (Monkey Kombat, Monkey Robot, Reusing everything from MI1, Too many winks and nods without its own stride, Ozzie Mandrill, Continuity errors), I didn't like the Guybrush it created.
He wasn't piratey. The "yes dears" and "okay hunnies" got old, fast. The first third of the game is trying to talk to lawyers. You rerecruit old shipmates by promising them government jobs. Everything's corporate, which again, was funny but got old quickly. Pirates don't have pet monkeys named Timmy. And fine, if you're going to have it all lead up to a gigantic robot Monkey Kombat Battle, there should be a conclusion. You win if you draw enough times. Mmm...satisfying.
So those're my incredibly long thoughts. A hero, even an unlikely one has to come into his own. I don't want to feel sorry for the character until they bumble their way into success.
Haha wow! I have the same feelings about Guybrush, but almost entirely reversed in terms of the games. I always see Monkey Island 3 as being entirely about a problem Guybrush creates by goofing up (he steals a ring and then turns someone to gold, and spends the whole game undoing that), while Monkey Island 2 always felt like he was being a proactive pirate adventurer (he says right from the start "I'm finding this legendary treasure!" and then he does ... only it turns out to be something else once he gets there). That said, obviously there is a huge amount of room for interpretation, which is awesome. I think EMI Guybrush was under everyone's thumb a bit, but he had some lines I quoted for far too long, and I did enjoy moments like finally successfully identifying pegnose pete quite a lot.
06/30/2009, 10:02 am
Very nicely said. Though I loved Escape from Monkey Island, there was something I didn't like about Guybrush and you hit the hammer on the nail. I also disliked the fact that everyone in that game seemed to despise him. In other games, there were alot of people who respected him such as Wally, the barber pirates, the cannibals, ect. In escape, no one seemed to like him.
06/30/2009, 10:34 am
I always saw it this way:
MI1: Guybrush as a young guy who wanted to be a pirate, and very naive about how to act or go about it. I always felt like through the game he grew out of that naiveness, especially once he landed on Monkey Island and realized that his goal wasn't just to be a pirate, but to save Elaine and get LeChuck.
MI2: He succeeded and is cocky and arrogant. He starts the game and seems to have all the answers because he is a famous pirate now! What I like are glimpses of the old Guybrush throughout the game (especially when talking to the Voodoo Lady and letting his guard down) because it is his naiveness that still gets him into trouble - he is so naive that he doesn't realize that no one cares who he is or what he has done. That same naiveness keeps him on the trail of Big Whoop because he assumes he can do anything now. By the end of the game (in the final scenes) he seems to get knocked down a peg or two.
MI3: At this point Guybrush has been knocked down from his arrogance. I see this as the most mature Guybrush because he knows his abilities, but isn't as much of a douche to people. He realizes he needs help while being able to understand what he has to do to get ahead in his quest. He is still horribly naive because he doesn't realize that his actions effect people around him.
MI4: I found him the most unlikable Guybrush, but I saw growth in him throughout the game. In the beginning of the game is a submissive husband, going about doing things for his wife who is in a pickle (I agree, the " Yes Dear" made him seem like a wimp, and did get annoying). Even though he was helping out his wife and seemed a bit emasculated, it added an aspect to his character - he is now a husband with responsibilities, and for once Guybrush didn't seem as self-centered or selfish. Throughout the series Guybrush would do anything to get what HE wanted (from breaking into a Governor's mansion, to sawing off a man's peg-leg while he slept, or putting lice on a man's comb), and now he has grown to care about what his wife needs above his own - granted he would still do anything he needed to, like lie to a man playing chess about a girl he loves. So this game shows Guybrush with different responsibilities, and as the game draws to a close it shows the older Guybrush a bit more, a man who is willing to take action to do what needs to get done...albeit a bit naive. EMI seemed to showcase Guybrush's naivete as something people didn't like rather than his arrogance. It seemed to me that people didn't like him because he didn't have that confidence anymore - and throughout the game he seemed to gain that back.
All in all, I think Guybrush changed in each game according to his circumstances, and I don't see any aspect of who Guybrush became in each game as especially unfitting. Granted, I was a little annoyed by Guybrush in EMI, but from what I've seen in Tales he seems to have taken on a bit more of his MI2 "man of action" persona, which I am excited for. But that shows another part of his growth: he's been a pirate for a while now and is just braver: simple as that. From what I know, he is rescuing his wife at the beginning of the game, a mixture of EMI and MI2 - responsible, and ready to take on the world (or LeChuck).
Those are just my thoughts.
06/30/2009, 11:20 am
In such a fine leather jacket in the two games mentioned, how could he not be a man of action?
06/30/2009, 11:30 am
I always accepted the Escape prologue explanation of Monkey Island 1, that Guybrush just kind of washed up onto Melee without a single character trait other than naivety and an inexplicable urge to be a pirate.
07/01/2009, 08:59 am
TBH in TOMI he looks a lot like Guybrush from MI2 crossed with COMI.
And yet... in 3D like EMI :p
But yes, I think EMI had everyone's least favourite everything... and the less remembered about that game the better.
07/01/2009, 10:35 am
Oh man. It is SO nice to find someone else who feels the same way about Guybrush's character as I do. While we're listing how he was in the games, here's my opinion.
Secret: I've noticed that Guybrush's personality is less defined in this game than the other ones, and that his personality depends more on your dialog choices than in the following ones. The dialog options tend to vary between polite, naive and rude, whereas in sequels, often he'll say similar things, just phrased differently. But ultimately, Guybrush comes off as a person who makes up for in determination what he lacks in other areas.
Revenge: This game brought us Guybrush's trademark ego, though now that you mention it, it is more prominent in this game than in the ones that followed. I also get the impression that Guybrush is a man in denial, who has dreams of being a legendary pirate, but deep down knows that he's lost what really matters and that he's in over his head by the game's end. He's still pretty naive too, though less so than in Secret.
Curse: I think the writers achieved a nice balance with his character here. He's silly, but he still often shows himself to be pretty clever. He seems more careful to not overplay his hand, and has learned to be more subtle in his manipulations of people. He's a man who has trouble with a situation at first, but will eventually figure out how to turn it to his advantage. And I love how sassy they made him. A physically weak character with a sharp tongue is a pretty good combination. Unusually, despite how often people don't take him seriously, he still seems a bit more on the ball than a lot of the people around him. Just look at his skepticism regarding El Pollo Diablo and his interactions with his crew in the third chapter.
Escape: In this game, they ended up removing most of his charm and wit, and focused entirely on his akward aspects. He's back to succeeding largely through luck, instead of learning how to control a situation. He still has his moments every now and then ("Hmm, giant monkey robot. Are you sure you got all your memory back? Maybe I should hit you again.", "Marcooo..." "Ooh, free goodies!"). Some may say that it's a comedy story, so it's not surprising that the character is stupid. In principle, that's true. But I still want a character who I think is likeable, and not just annoying.
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