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The Secret of Monkey Island         Le Chucks Revenge          The Curse of Monkey Island

Escape from Monkey Island             Escape from Monkey Island                  Links
                                                       
Press Release

 

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The Secret of Monkey Island

"The Secret of Monkey Island" is the first in the series of these games and was release in  1990. It revolutionised the Adventure game on the home computer as we knew it. All of the games follow a young wannabe pirate named Guybrush Threepwood in his quest to become a Pirate. What set this game apart from anything else that came before it was the excellent humour! Although looking dated by today's standards... the humour and story still hold up, in fact, "The Secret of Monkey Island" is still considered by many as the best of the series.

You start off on Melee Island, a small, unhappy island deep in the Caribbean. There is a shortage of pirates because of a Ghost Pirate roaming about the sea, causing terror and other general Ghost pirate stuff. This would be the evil Ghost Pirate LeChuck who is also in love with the lovely Elaine Marley, Governor of Melee Island.

To cut a long story short... boy meets girl, Ghost steals girl, boy sails after girl, Ghost gets zapped, Boy gets girl and lives happily ever after, almost. Ok, not quite the story... but if you want to know about the story in depth I really recommend playing the game.

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Le Chucks Revenge

"Monkey Island 2: LeChucks Revenge" finally appeared two years after "The Secret of Monkey Island". Much to everyone's surprise it was even better than the first! Funnier, bigger and better looking.

This chapter of the story sees our hero Guybrush Threepwood boring people to death with his tale of zapping the Ghost Pirate LeChuck, even though no one seems very interested (not that they would believe him anyway!) he continues. Guybrush reveals that he is here on Scabb Island ) looking for the legendary treasure of Big Whoop! One other small detail worth mentioning is that LeChuck doesn't feel like staying dead and so has been re-animated into a lovely rotting Zombie!

Guybrush Thrushweed's quest for Big Whoop eventually takes him to a total of four Carribbean islands (and one Zombie Pirates Fortress) before he finds Big Whoop! You don't really find out what Big Whoop is until The Curse of Monkey Island.

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The Curse of Monkey Island

"The Curse of Monkey Island" is the third Monkey Island game... and it is a great improvement on the previous two.

The humour remains faithful to the first two games. From the moment the first chicken floated by Guybrush in the intro... to the end sequence! It's the little things that makes it so great, like the clock on Plunder Island... it tells the right time and chimes the LeChuck tune.

Featuring the voices of Gary Coleman (Arnold of Diff'rent Strokes)! Dave Madden (Ruben Kincaid of The Partridge Family)! Alan Young (Wilbur Post of Mr. Ed and 'Scrooge McDuck' from 'Duck Tales')! CMI also features some great moments which I would class as 'classic' right up there with the 'Ghost Dance' and 'Sword Fighting' from MI1 and the 'Skeleton Dance' in MI2. The Pirate Ship Song is absolutely brilliant.

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Escape from Monkey Island

The latest in the "Monkey Island" series was released in November 2000. This was the fourth game in the series and some would say "by far the best".

I have only just purchased this game so I am a new player and cannot therefore comment but things are looking good so far. Watch this space for further reviews as I play more. The only thing that has annoyed me so far is the interface - no use of the mouse and lots of use of arrow keys and letters to 'use', 'pick up' etc.

Below is another review of the game:

Escape From Monkey Island is the fourth in the well respected series that stretches way back to the days of the Amiga. Can Guybrush’s latest swashbuckling adventure match up to the previous three?

Upon returning from his honeymoon with his lovely new bride Governor Elaine Marley-Threepwood, Guybrush Threepwood has discovered some rather nasty secrets about Melee Island™. Elaine has been declared dead, the Governor’s mansion is set to be torn down and a hauntingly familiar politician (a Mr. Charles L. Charles) is about to take Elaine’s place.

Whilst the gorgeous Elaine scrambles to launch a re-election campaign, You, as Guybrush are sent on a small legal errand that catapults you into a world of thievery, voodoo and strange prosthetic devices (seriously). Armed only with your razor sharp wit, you must navigate ever deeper into a villainous scheme to wipe out the Tri-Island Area using the fearsome power about the legendary ‘Ultimate Insult’. Can you make the Caribbean safe again for fun-loving, grog-swilling pirates like yourself?

If you have played any of the Monkey Island games before then you will be familiar with the great sense of humour included in the game. However, newcomers to the graphic-adventure scene will be pleasantly surprised by the tongue-in-cheek belly laughs that lie in store. Escape From Monkey Island isn’t afraid to slip in a pun here and there. Lucasarts have promised more jokes, more puns and more of those famous cutting insults for you to deliver to unwitting foes.

However, the biggest difference between Escape From Monkey Island and its predecessors is the switch from 2D to 3D. The old ‘SCUMM’ engine from the previous games has been replaced with the new ‘GRIME’ engine, seen before in Lucasarts ghoulish adventure Grim Fandago. Monkey Island looks damn good in 3D, and any fans of the series worried that it would affect the game can rest assured - it looks much better and plays as good as it always has. Guybrush and friends wander around dozens of beautifully rendered backgrounds which positively burst with colour - it really does look fantastic.

Escape From Monkey Island also has much more puzzles to tax the old grey matter, ranging from fairly easy to mid-bogglingly tricky. They will test even the most seasoned Monkey Island veteran. If you are familiar with the Monkey Island games then you will recognise a lot of the original characters popping up now and again e.g. Stan the used boat salesman has now risen the ranks and become...an estate agent. There are lots of in-jokes for fans of the previous adventures to enjoy.

Escape From Monkey Island is everything you could have hoped for. It continues the series in fine style with it’s polished graphics engine, great sense of humour and comedy characters. To top it all off, Lucasarts are promising more monkeys in this game than there were in the previous three games combined. How could a game with that many monkeys possibly fail?

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Press Release for "Escape from Monkey Island"

SHIVER ME TIMBERS AND POKE ME OTHER EYE OUT! ‘TIS TIME TO ESCAPE FROM MONKEY ISLAND, THE FOURTH PIRATEY ADVENTURE FROM THE SWASHBUCKLERS AT LUCASARTS

Internationally-Acclaimed Adventure Series Returns in 3D with Fresh Jokes, Rotten Puns, the Ultimate Insult and More Monkeys Than Ever

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- April 26, 2000 -- A scurvy-inducing new chapter in the legendary Monkey Island adventure series unfolds in rollicking 3D with Escape from Monkey Island from LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC. Expected for release in fall 2000 for PC, Escape from Monkey Island finds series hero, perennial pirate-wannabe Guybrush Threepwood, returning to face sociopathic parrots, freakishly deformed buccaneers, and an insult flinging original villain with a sinister agenda.

Escape from Monkey Island continues in the hilarious tradition of its critically hailed and award-winning predecessors, The Secret of Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2: Le Chuck’s Revenge, and The Curse of Monkey Island. Developed by the team who created LucasArts’ irreverent classic Sam and Max Hit the Road, Escape features an original cinematic story full of drama, intrigue and of course, side-splitting humor. The game is highlighted by hundreds of challenging puzzles, set amidst dozens of rich and brilliantly rendered backgrounds.

"The Monkey Island series of graphic adventures is one of LucasArts’ strongest and most successful brands," says Tom Byron, product marketing manager for LucasArts. "Escape from Monkey Island continues LucasArts’ considerable adventure game legacy and honours a series that is among the most popular in the world."

Escape from Monkey Island finds Guybrush and his new bride, Governor Elaine Marley-Threepwood, returning to Melee Island from their honeymoon. They quickly discover Elaine has been declared dead, the Governor’s mansion is scheduled for demolition, and the slick, yet hauntingly familiar politician, Charles L. Charles, is gunning for her job.

While Elaine scrambles to launch a reelection campaign, Guybrush is dispatched on a seemingly trivial legal errand that catapults him into a maelstrom of thievery, voodoo, and experimental prosthetic devices. Armed only with his sharp wit and an uncanny ability to hold his breath for ten whole minutes, our hero navigates ever deeper into a villainous scheme to wipe out the Tri-Island Area using the fearsome power of the Ultimate Insult. Can Guybrush make the Caribbean safe for fun-loving, grog-swilling pirates, or will the twin forces of heckfire and unbridled capitalism bring an end to the swashbuckling merriment?

So begins the next captivating chapter in the long-running Monkey Island series. Buccaneers, hoist the yardarms, batten down the hatches, and let the insults fly!

About LucasArts

LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC is a leading international developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for a variety of computer and console platforms. Based in San Rafael, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts is one of five companies in the Lucas group which include Lucasfilm Ltd., Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC, Lucas Licensing Ltd., and Lucas Learning Ltd. Lucasfilm is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm’s businesses include George Lucas’ film and television production and distribution activities as well as the business activities of the THX Group. Lucas Digital, which consists of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound, provides visual effects and audio post-production services to the entertainment industry. Lucas Licensing is responsible for the merchandising of all Lucasfilm’s film and television properties. Lucas Learning creates engaging interactive entertainment products that provide learning opportunities through exploration and discovery. 

Escape From Monkey Island begins shortly after the end of the last game, with Guybrush Threepwood and his bride Elaine Marley-Threepwood, the governor of Mle Island, returning from their honeymoon. Once they arrive home they find that Elaine has been declared dead and the governor's mansion is about to be demolished. A shady character by the name of Charles L. Charles is running for governor, and many of the island's pirates have disappeared. While Elaine sets out to prove that she is very much alive, Guybrush is faced with the task of stopping the mansion's destruction and figuring out what evil scheme is afoot.

As Guybrush, you journey around the Caribbean, wandering through Mle Island, Lucre Island, Jambalaya Island, Knuttin Atoll, and, of course, Monkey Island. For Guybrush, who just may be the world's wittiest pirate, each area presents a variety of challenges: on Mle Island, you are out to assemble a crew and leave the island; on Lucre Island, you have to clear your name after you are accused of a bank robbery; on Jambalaya Island and Knuttin Atoll, you are to piece together The Ultimate Insult; and once you're on Monkey Island, the point, of course, is to escape. Along the way you will have to solve many puzzles, compete in insult contests, and figure out why Charles L. Charles looks so familiar.

Escape From Monkey Island uses an updated version of Grim Fandango's interface. Walking from setting to setting, you manoeuvre Guybrush and interact with characters and objects. The interface for dialogue is quite simple: you select from a variety of things to say when conversing with people, and it's easy to navigate conversation paths within the game. When you come upon an object, you can look at it, pick it up, use it, or combine it with something else in your inventory, and a host of options pop up on the screen. When Guybrush comes into a setting, his head will sway towards an object or person you should interact with, which takes a little bit of the guesswork out of the game's many tasks. However, there is no mouse support, and it's difficult at times to navigate each scene using the cursor keys; occasionally Guybrush will hit an invisible obstacle and circle around it, altering his direction. For the most part, though, the game is fairly straightforward, and it isn't difficult to get Guybrush to where he needs to go next or access the inventory once you get used to the controls.

Like any good adventure game, this latest Monkey Island outing requires you to think. How do you stop the catapult from destroying your mansion? How do you find a way to propel yourself into the upper window of the bank? How do you convince three judges in a diving competition to give you a good score while sabotaging your opponent? How will you ever sneak your souvenir Monkey Mug out of Planet Threepwood without getting caught? Is it possible to master the art of Monkey Combat? And these are just a few of the game's dozens of puzzles, and many of them are downright hard. In an attempt to help those without the patience to complete the more challenging tasks, LucasArts has included a walkthrough strategy guide with the game--you don't have to open it, but it is incredibly helpful at times. What is great about Escape From Monkey Island, however, is that only part of the joy of playing it is in the challenge; while the puzzles will make you think, and many of them may stump you at times, there is still a lot to explore on each island, some of which is not integral to completing the game.

As you would expect from previous instalments in the series, Escape From Monkey Island is laugh-out-loud funny. It's not merely amusing, witty, or clever--it is hilarious. The dialogue is excellent, featuring an array of memorable voices for each character, and there are hundreds of jokes within the game, ranging from obvious settings like Planet Threepwood, StarBuccaneers, and the Micro-Groggery on Jambalaya Island (where all the pirates have been removed and everything is "family-friendly") to subtle gags, which include the SCUMM bar, a host of characters from past games, and the odd appearance of LucasArts merchandise. To say any more would ruin a good portion of the game's humour, but even nonadventure gamers will take a liking to this game if they spend a half hour with it, and they will find themselves addicted if they spend more. (And honestly, how can you not love the Reform School for Pirates on Knuttin Atoll, with a pirate-hating school marm voiced by Edie McClurg, from Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Hogan Family?).

Escape From Monkey Island's graphics are a step up for adventure games as a whole. The earliest adventure games featured pixelated graphics, later entries went for a more animated look, and Escape From Monkey Island features 3D graphics, rendered nicely against 2D, painted backdrops. While the game looks sophisticated and the animation is fairly smooth, there are minor jagged lines here and there--but overall, it's no big deal. There is a fixed camera on every scene, and Guybrush moves not only left and right, but also into the foreground and background. Angles change during some settings, and the game has a definite storybook feel. The music also matches the game's playful mood, with a nice Caribbean-flavored soundtrack. This presentation works, and though it lacks the eye-popping amazement of a title like Rune, it has more wit, charm, and raw likability than almost any other game released in the past five years.

Some folks, especially those unfamiliar with graphical adventures, may not understand the appeal of Escape From Monkey Island at first. If you've never spent weeks or months playing an adventure game, where being stumped and spending hours exploring the scenery was as much fun as the payoff, it's hard to grasp what makes this style of gameplay so compelling. But if you consider yourself a hard-core gamer, well-versed in the history of what makes computer gaming so great, it is impossible to overlook this title's considerable merit. Fans of any genre will love this game if they sit down and play it, and it offers more in the way of engrossing, non-twitch fun than any other game on the market. Escape From Monkey Island not only perfects the graphical adventure, it takes it forward.

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Links

Check out these excellent sites:

http:scummbar.mixnmojo.com

http://mi.adventuregamer.com/             - may now be unavailable (May 2002)