The Curse Of Monkey Island

The Curse of Monkey Island was the twelfth game to use the SCUMM scripting utility. I love The Curse of Monkey Island. It’s hard for me to decide whether this matches or tops the original two because it’s so different. It’s plain to see that this was made with a different team from the moment you start the game, but that’s no problem for me since it’s such a great game.

Monkey Island 2 ended on such a strange note (which I loved by the way) that I wasn’t sure how the Curse crew was going to handle it for the sequel. Strangely, they decided not to put any plot details up front, but just started the storyline fresh. Fans did get an explanation, but that came at the end of the game. I remember a lot of reviews criticizing LeChuck’s long winded speech containing all the plot points at the end of the game, instead of weaving it into the game. But, honestly, it all worked great for me. I had no problem with Guybrush writing in his memoirs in a bumper car as the only up front connection between the second and third game. And I definitely had no problem with LeChuck’s tirade at the end of the game. It worked great as a spoof of villains giving away the plot to the hero before they send them off to their doom.

I enjoyed the voices of this game. Dominic Armato gave the right amount of naivity in his portrayal of Guybrush, Earl Boen was the perfect voice for LeChuck, and I enjoyed the English-accented voice of Alexandra Boyd as Elaine, but I think I prefer Elaine’s American-accented voice in Escape from Monkey Island. The only voice I didn’t like too much was Stan’s. It was too slow, and really didn’t match the frentic pace of which Stan moves.

The music was great as always, and the puzzles were among my favorites in all of the LucasArts adventure games. The puzzle where Guybrush was swallowed by a snake was definitely one of the most absurd puzzles I’ve ever played, but it was also one of the most fun.

About the only thing that disappointed me about this game was the features that I read were cut from the game due to budget constraints. I really would have loved to have seen Elaine’s fight that culminated in her shooting the track switch to save Guybrush from becoming an undead pirate. She was too much like a damsel in distress in this game, (although her punching Guybrush showed a bit of her previous personality).

The “Plank of Love” song that was supposed to play over the credits at the end also sounded like it would have been a lot of fun. I loved the Pirate Song (and especially the way they worked it into an interactive puzzle!), and I would have loved to have more music with lyrics to enjoy.

Still, even with the cuts, it is still one of the best games LucasArts made in my opinion. It’s near-Disney quality animation make it the LucasArts adventure game that stands the test of time the best visually too.

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