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Did Curse destroy Monkey Island?

posted by Ash735 on - last edited - Viewed by 7.3K 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
  • Did "Curse" destroy Monkey Island? Absolutely not! Curse, in my mind, is the best Monkey Island game to this day. Tales is my second favorite. Curse has the best graphics, most fitting for it, than any other Monkey Island game, including the newer ones. Curse's gameplay was also phenomenal, from the shooting the canon at the the beginning, to the puzzles, to the ship battles and insult sword fights. The humor was top-notch.

    Some people have been saying it was goofier than the previous two? No it wasn't. Let's not forget that Monkey Island 1 had the grog machine in a used ship lot - kind of like a used car lot, - cannibals worried about their weight, a three headed monkey and more such nonsense that I can't even name it all. Two carried on that nonsense with cross-dressing Guybrush, a joke ending, and all sorts of other crazy things. The cartoony graphics really fit Monkey Island 3, more so than the realistic graphics fit Monkey Island 1.

    Others have said that LeChuck was turned into a joke in Curse. Sorry to say, but LeChuck has always been a bit of a joke, a bit of a joke with a nasty side. Let's not foget that in 1 he was a bumbling fool quite a bit. And in 2, he had the audacity to turn his back on Guybrush to pick up a coin that fell out of the grog machine and to get his beard stuck in an elevator. What an idiot! So in Curse he wasn't much different.

    Curse took the best things about Monkey Island 1 and 2 and extended upon them, in terms of witty dialogue, good humor, sword-fights, and so forth. I hope to see another game as good as Curse in the future.
  • Yeah, I really saw Curse as the natural next step for Monkey Island. Especially in regards to the ending that even the developers said wasn't the best idea in retrospect. I certainly understood that there were a number of ways you could interpret MI2's ending, but I think that Curse did a marvelous job at handling it.

    The art style in Curse was also some of the best I've ever seen in the series, so I'll agree with you there. I say some, because if you've ever seen their concept artwork, that stuff is just awesome to look at. But gamewise, I'd have to say it was definitely the best looking of the games. It also gave us Guybrush's trademark voice, and I honestly can't see him sounding any differently.
  • If any game almost destroyed the series it was Escape. I hate the whole GRIME system compared to SCUMM. Between the Robot Monkey, Monkey Kombat and Herman Toothrot I don't know what's the worst. Probably Monkey Kombat. I'm glad it's barely mentioned in Tales. Curse brought life to the series, plus gave us Dominic and Earl.
  • Meant to mention this earlier.. but shortly after I made my earlier posts, I played through Escape From Monkey Island for the first time in years.

    While the controls/user interface was abysmal, I didn't actually have much issue with the writing. Maybe it was because I knew about the displaying the Monkey Kombat short-cut, which shows you the poses and the buttons to press, but I didn't have any real problem with it. What bothered me the most about itwas trying to get all the poses and commands to unlock Monkey Invaders (which was pointless cause it seems unwinnable). The stuff with Herman Toothrot.. the way I see it, it kind of needed to happen.

    We already knew that Elaine was the governor of the tri-island area. You'd think a governor couldn't go off having adventures unless someone was performing those duties. While it may not be the best solution, I think it allowed the writers a bit more freedom to have Elaine go with Guybrush on quests and such without having to needlessly explain why she can leave or what's going on back in the islands.

    I guess I'm willing to cut it some slack because it was, technically, the first game in the series I played since I had a hard time finding the earlier games when I was younger.

    EDIT: Although I must admit, the graphics are pretty bad, they're actually not all that bad compared to other games which came out around that time. Okage Shadow King, Simon the Sorcerer 3D, and so on. Escape was a fairly obscure game according to a lot of people I've talked to.. I myself only found it by sheer luck at a used game shop. Such games often tend to be below par on visual prowess. Not really a proper excuse, but it could go a ways to explaining it. Don't forget that Sam & Max: Freelance Police was also being developed around this time, and how it was cancelled. For all we know, they simply didn't have a whole lot of money or time to make the game look as good as they could.
  • Curse has not destroyed anything, it just set a new tone to the MI Universe. You can like that or not, for me it was a great Adventure Game even if Monkey Island 2 is still my favorite.

    Would I buy a Special Edition with higher resolution backgrounds and better sound quality? Sure, I do love the Art in this game.
  • I love Curse.. not my favorite MI game but its a great adventure game tons better that most adventure games actually.
  • Curse was my first monkey island game but I do remember my older brother playing mi2 and thinking that the box art was rad as hell. Although due to my young age I didn't see the appeal until years later when I played it myself . But Curse in my opinion brought the monkey island universe to life in a way it's predecessors did not with it's colourful atmosphere, dialogue and characters.
  • Curse is a fantastic game, no way around it. But it took the series in a new direction... whereas the first two blended a more serious tone with comedy, Curse became all cartoon comedy. Though Blood Island is very remniscent of the darkness of MI2, as a whole the game felt more cartoony than it needed be. I also hated the Guybrush design from day 1. He suddenly became tall-and-slim, with a huge nose (or none at all, depending on the light), where in the first two games he was probably closer to Michael J Fox in size.

    I love the first two games more than anything, and Curse felt off for me from the very first time I played it, despite being incredibly hyped by it. But I still loved it and will always cherish it on a level above most other adventure games.
  • No offence but this whole thread is ridiculous. I mean Curse was, and is, immensely popular, advanced the story well, and while Ron Gilbert didn't work on it he still accepts the game.

    But it' not ridiculous because of that. It's ridiculous because no MI game DESTROYED the series. To destroy it, MI would either have to have become trash (much like a certain 20 year old cartoon TV show) or would have to have been stopped being made due to loss of fans.

    MI's not trash, it's the same now as it's always been and while there is no game planned MI hasn't lost any fans. If anything the last MI game made MI have even MORE fans.

    The only game that came remotely close to DESTROYING MI was Escape (which also nearly destroyed all adventure games), but overall none of them ever did destroy it.
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