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Did Curse destroy Monkey Island?

posted by Ash735 on - last edited - Viewed by 7.6K 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
  • The barbers where FORMER pirates though. They didn't like pirating much (which they basically say after crashing on Blood Island).

    Overall, I gotta agree with metroidreborn.
  • Rather Dashing;308415 said:
    I don't see how someone can see it this way, though. Secret's most famous puzzle, insult sword fighting, came from the fact that banter between fighters was common in Hollywood pirate films of the Errol Flynn archetype. The whole first act involved prooving you were a pirate through swordplay, theivery, and treasure-hunt-er-y. It's a romanticized, watered-down pirate world, but no less so than classic pirate films ever made it.

    The games also had anachronisms, it also had things that had little to do with pirates. But these things weren't run by pirates. You didn't have Arghargh the pirate clown going to pirate birthday parties while pirate stay-at-home moms marveled at their table centerpieces made by pirate glassblowers who may have enjoyed a day at the local pirate theater or pirate cabana club after getting their hair cut at a pirate barbershop. Stan didn't come up to you and say "Hi! I'm Stan, the pirate used boat salesman!", Elaine didn't have a big "PIRATE GOVERNOR" sign on her door. The things that didn't have a pirate atmosphere weren't being run by people who were ostensibly pirates. Curse and Escape kind of introduced that theme, where every person of every profession is a pirate.
    I see your point, but here again there are other aspects to look at other than the one you just brought up to determine how much piracy each game holds. How did Guybrush find the treasure that got him closer to becoming a pirate? By using a dancing lesson map and then saw that the treasure is actually an attraction on the island and is nothing more than a T-shirt. Same goes when you beat the sword master, which seemed to also be her profession. The name even seems like a title: My job is the sword master. How about getting a ship? You bargain with a salesman to get a good price on a ship instead of just stealing one. The sword-fighting trainer had a big sign outside his door advertising his services and I got the impression he was a pirate as well.

    Now, you mentioned that the first two games didn't have businesses run by pirates. I may have already brought up two examples where they may not be true, but lets look at Monkey Island 2. If what you say is true, and I do agree with you for this particular game, then the whole game had hardly any pirates at all. It was all mostly shop owners, party guests, and just random characters. Curse and Escape didn't seem to have that many pirates running their own businesses. The barbers were retired and everyone else seemed to just not be a pirate.

    I would need specific examples because I don't remember any pirates running businesses unless we were just to assume they were pirates. Even still though, Curse had ship battles and sword fights with real pirates where you actually stole real treasure and not some T-shirt. Yes, Escape seemed to have more of this issue than the others, but I don't believe that should be a reason to bash it so much because the other games don't exactly soar in that department either. I believe that each game has a more piracy setting when you look at different aspects. Piracy should not be solely defined as settings, but actions as well. The first two had no ship battles or real treasure. Instead you got a T-shirt, an e-ticket, and pirates who actually held organized events for looting such as when did to Elaine’s mansion. Curse soared much more there and even Escape opened with a ship seizure and sword battle.
  • Just look at all these pirates!


    Man, EVERYONE is a pirate!

  • did curse destroy MI ????!??!?!??!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Absolutely NOT! Curse of MI is the greatest pc game ever created...!
  • I am sure that was a reply to Rather Dashing, not you...

    PS. I would be nice if you could edit your post to remove the pics from the quote. No need having them twice so close together (same would be true for the LeChuck thread, but this is even bigger!)
  • Nice to know this is still alive, ok, next statement...

    LeChuck was turned into a Saturday Morning Cartoon Character!
    BAD: What the hell happened? In both The Secret of Monkey Island and especially Monkey Island 2: LeChucks Revenge, LeChuck was this super serious sadist, he enjoy torturing people, he enjoyed ruling, having his way, he never played around or mocked people, he always always there for the long kill, preferring to chase his victims and completely outwit them before killing them. Curse completely ruined this, now he's just some Demonic Pirate who keeps going after the girl, might as well give him a cape and a twiddly mustache.

    He's also surrounded by a new army that appear to be the SatAM line up cast, a load of bumbling fools (Dinghy Dog) and deranged people (Murray), plus he even allowed Wally to be on his crew, the same person who in the last game helped Guybrush find Big Whoop, the real LeChuck would of torn him apart once he got back from the tunnels!

    GOOD: Well it has been over SIX years since Monkey Island was last released, so at the same time, we had to reintroduce the game to a new audience, LeChuck was at his darkest in Monkey Island which made sense because of the events he'd been through in Monkey Island 1. Time has passed both story wise and market wise to mellow out LeChuck, he's had three months without Guybrush messing him around, it's just been him, his crew and Elaine's antics of getting away (Which we know she can do thanks to secret), this new LeChuck was a good standing to introduce to a new audience but also be somewhat faithful to the original.

    Now, is he a cartoon character as such? Face value says yes, but in Curse there is a lot of deeper meaning, we actually find out a lot about LeChuck and how he can be a bit of a bastard. With Blood Island we learn that he tricked an innocent woman into falling in love with him, just so he could ditch her to steal the Diamond ring to buy a new ship. Even more menacing is that we learn that LeChuck killed the most famous crew on the seas, Captain Marley and his crew (later retconned by Escape), in this part LeChuck goes into great deal, and joy, about how he picked off each crew member one by one, harking back to the old style LeChuck we met in the older games, fitting in perfectly with Monkey Island 2, we found out as LeChuck played a long game, bankrupted one of the members into pretty much killing themselves, taking them all out at later points in their lives once they thought they've moved on.

    Now LeChuck may be a lot calmer now but Curse actually shown us a darker side of LeChuck to and the lengths he'd go to kill his enemies, it's still in the game.
  • metroidreborn;308687 said:
    Never said they were. I simply said that Curse had island attacks and ship battles where you actually sword fight for real treasure. In that regard, Curse had more piracy than the first two games.
    Yeah, my response was to RD's claim that every character in the entire game was a pirate.
  • First post! :D

    I always have mixed feelings about Curse. Because, looking back, SOMI and LR were probably the best-loved games of my childhood.

    When Curse came out, my initial reaction was one of absolute glee that I was going to be able to continue to play my favourite series. And I still think that, taken on its own merits, Curse is a very, very good game indeed. Technically I think it's superb. The art and graphics are sublime. The voice acting is excellent.

    As part of the ongoing series I do have several problems with it. It did lose some of the 'atmosphere' that had made SOMI and LR such cherished games in my eyes - whilst that's a subjective viewpoint, I do think the decision to go with more cartoony graphics, away from the moody palettes of the first two games, did lead to a bit more of a carefree atmosphere in the game which was not something that you could say you got from a playthrough of LR (which, despite its many comical moments, is presented in such a way that makes the gamer far more uncertain, far more unsettled in a way (which does sound stupid for a series with many comedy aspects, but I think contributed especially to LR's greatness)).

    Before knowing the full low-down of the Ron Gilbert debate, I was a little surprised by the decision to marry Guybrush and Elaine (I always saw them as a pair who were made for each other in the player's eyes but who would always have a will-they-wont-they dynamic, and expected that to be drawn out further. It added to the whole bittersweet undercurrent that I always got from SOMI and LR).

    Although I could say a lot about the explanation in Curse of LR's ending, I do have to give credit where it's due; for a team trying very hard to get around one of the kookiest and left-field (albeit brilliant) endings in gaming history, I thought they pulled it off pretty well.

    I'm not a Curse hater and the art direction the series went in, whilst different, has shown that with a good storyline, writing and direction behind it it can still produce an excellent MI game (TOMI springs to mind). I think with the hand they were dealt, the Curse people did a pretty good job. But there are things in Curse that I am a bit unhappy about (admittedly partly because of nostalgia) and I would like to know what MI3 would have been like with Gilbert at the helm.
  • Fantastic first post muggy. Welcome. :)

    Everything you said is very dead on, I think especially for many that played SMI and LR first. I love the juxtaposition of comedic elements interspersed with a bittersweet, seriousness. And you didn't have to go searching for these elements either, they were right there every moment you played.
  • I always thought the entire atmosphere of the first two MI games was incredibly campy and comedic, I have never understood why people think they were serious and/or dark in any way.
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