Throwback Thursday

RAWR! No, I’m not dead! I just didn’t post yesterday or this morning. I had the day off yesterday and I spent it at the gym and the chilling out and playing video games. 

I love video games! So much! And for today’s Throwback Thursday I wanted to share the first video game that taught me a game could just be more than running and jumping and shooting but it could also have a story, to get you involved with the characters and took you on an emotional adventure. 

I present to you the story of:

The Curse of Monkey Island
 
To give you the Wikipedia blurb before we start:

The Curse of Monkey Island is an adventure game developed and published by LucasArts, and the third game in the Monkey Island series. It was released in 1997 and followed the successful games The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. The game is the twelfth and last LucasArts game to use the SCUMM engine, which was extensively upgraded for its last outing before being replaced by the GrimE engine for the next game in the series, Escape from Monkey Island. The Curse of Monkey Island is the first Monkey Island game to include voice acting, and has a more cartoon-ish graphic style than the earlier games.

Basically you take control of the fantastically named protagonist, Guybrush Theepwood as he goes on a quest to get an uncursed diamond ring to save his fiancĂ©e who has been turned into a solid gold statue. 

There’s only two parts of the game when you need to use a weapon. The rest of the time you need to rely on your wits and (as with most point and click adventures) your ability to put two useless items together to come up with a useful one. For example, pancake syrup and an Ipicac flower makes a very useful (at the time) syrup of Ipicac. And when you need to cure a hangover getting the hair of the dog is quite literal!

It’s set in 1687 (as evidenced by the dubloon used for your verb wheel) and really brings the time period alive. The weird way it does this is by merging out of place things with the time period. A Barbershop run by pirates who were fed up of the sea, or the Brimstone Beach Club and Smorgy are just two examples. 

I really can’t oversell this game enough and I don’t want to delve too deep into the story to spoil it for people who are interested in it. But I remember the first time I played it at my Grandparent’s house (my Grandad is big into computers and he was the first one of the family to have a PC) and when I’d played it a few times over and over again he let me take it home (when we got a PC) and I played it over and over again and again. 

I played it at least once a year every year until last year when (unfortunately) I couldn’t get ScummVM to run on my iPad any more. ScummVM is required to play the game now because the game is too old to play on any computer newer than about 1998. But, thank you Internet, I managed to live vicariously through a YouTube channel called ‘World of Longplays’. I mentioned them in a Top Ten Tuesday, they play video games so you don’t have to basically, but they have all the monkey island games on there. If anyone’s interested they’re here:

The Secret of Monkey Island

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge

The Curse of Monkey Island

Escape from Monkey Island, Part 2
Tales of Monkey Island, Part 2, 3, 4, 5

They’re all about 4 hours each so ya know, if Netflix is down or you’re just really interested in what I think is awesome. I’m going to be trying to get ScummVM working on my iPad to play it again this year. The first two games were remastered but apparently there’s no chance of that happening for Curse onwards. Telltale games did Tales of Monkey Island (which is why there’s five parts) and I will live in hope that they do another one. 

How do you feel about video games? Do you love them? Loathe them? Why? What’s your favourite game? What’s the game that got you into gaming? Do you watch gaming videos? As you can see (from Monday’s post) I’ve tried gaming videos, what would you like to see? 

Answers on a postcard. Or, if no postcards are available, in the comment section. 

-Luke

Bring Your Love To Me – The Avett Brothers

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