Guybrush Threepwood does not have an American accent. He just doesn't. He has a cool British accent. Case closed. The more LucasArts attempt to cut and paste the 'official' vocals of Dominic Armato over Threepwood's voicebox, the further they are straying from the vital template that exists inside my head. In the days before CD-ROM, I forged this character's voice in the more central parts of my brain, and ever since its creators have done their utmost to undermine it. The same goes for Stan the used ship/coffin salesman. Stan doesn't sound like that in my head either, and his voice should accentuate more whenever his hands point directly upwards.
How can they keep on getting it wrong? What's more, and I'm fuming now, when you load up the latest special edition release of Monkey Island 2, not only is the newest LucasArts logo shown (the new one!) but they don't roll the old credits with the cute dancing monkeys! Can you believe it? If my MP wasn't Nicholas Soames, and unlikely to care much about such a vital issue, I'd almost certainly be writing a strongly worded letter to him.
Getting rational though, in every other way the redux version of Monkey Island 2 is wonderful. It's also notably more wonderful than the Special Edition of Monkey Island 1, in which you couldn't help feel that the new graphical gauze that had been fitted over the pixels of old was ill-fitted and somewhat stilted.
What's more, when played on the PC the game's controls were fiddly, Guybrush often felt like he wasn't grounded in the scenes he stuttered across and, to be honest, his character model looked like a perpetual startled ape - albeit not one of three-headed persuasion. I didn't like it, and grumpily stuck to the classic look - like the future-hating stick-in-the-mud I clearly am.
This time is different. LucasArts, with this Special Edition, you are really spoiling us. Slicker menu screens, more animated and imaginative treatments of the elderly scenery, a radial selecto-action function for the mouse... Perhaps the success of the last release convinced The House that George Built to pour in a little extra voodoo love potion, or perhaps they just had more time.
Whatever, this is a better tribute to the best point-and-click adventure sequence of recorded history. It even features the likes of MI2 development starlets Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman chatting over scenes in an easily accessed developers' commentary - providing fascinating material for anyone who has lived with an affection for clicking and pointing for the past decade or so.
So much, so new. This is the Sunday Retro Supplement so let's get down to brass tacks: we shouldn't technically be discussing any PC game that hasn't been given life by a boot disc and an autoexec.bat.
Monkey Island 2 was the tale of newly qualified pirate Guybrush Threepwood and his search for the treasure of Big Whoop, featuring the reanimation of arch-villain LeChuck and re-wooing of Governor Elaine Marley along the way. Arguably the first game was punctuated by more memorable comic moments (the stump, the mountain-side tumble, the yak-lips, the underwater sequence, the swordfighting) but LeChuck's Revenge was bigger, had better puzzles, more engaging characters and a hugely brave and expertly choreographed surprise ending.
Sure, the denouement may have been coughed and spluttered over by the time Monkey Island 3 rolled around, with Guybrush appearing on the Caribbean seas floating in a funfair bumper car, but it was still a rug that a modern developer wouldn't dare to pull from beneath current audiences.
Then and now, the writing remains razor-sharp - with sequences like the voodoo doll banishing of Largo LaGrande, the spitting competition and asking for a coffin demonstration from Stan and nailing him in hilarious in both words and actions. In fact, something that the new graphics can't quite hold up is the sheer wonderment of the old-style character animation. Watching Stan's whirligig hands, or the way he'll suddenly measure up Guybrush for a coffin when he's not looking, is instantly funny in a way that adventures developed outside of LucasArts could never really manage.
The sheer number of in-jokes, nods and references remains undimmed by the passage of time too - at least for the increasingly pudgy and increasingly thirty-something gamers that the re-release is presumably squarely aimed at. Star Wars and Indiana Jones gags proliferate alongside nods to the first Monkey Island game, and it's hard not feel your inner self drift back to the long-lost times when the Lucas badge was a mark of undisputed quality. Tell that to kids nowadays and they'd laugh in your face before slashing your tyres.
It's also interesting to play the game with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in mind. A sequence in the game sees Guybrush imprisoned and attempting to lure a dog (called Walt) over to the bars, a set of keys dangling from his doggy mouth. This is in itself a reference to the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which explains why the same sequence also appears within the first movie when Captain Jack is incarcerated.
Throughout though, the Monkey Island games (with their ghost pirates, uptight governors and general nautical chaos) genuinely do feel like Pirates of the Caribbean forerunners when played with hindsight. You can't help feel that for the first movie (the decent one) Monkey Island was as far up the inspiration ladder as Disney's slightly shonky water-ride. Game and movie share the same DNA - and you wonder what might have happened had Lucas pumped some cash into a Monkey Island flick before Bruckheimer got his claws in. On paper, it sounds better. In reality, it's almost certainly a dream best left undreamt.
For a genre that has reportedly had a more protracted death than the UK postal services and print media combined, there's little doubt that the point and click is alive and well, pointing and clicking. The works of Telltale, Zombie Cow et al. have shown that there is still an appetite for using objects with other objects even if, I'd argue, most of their clientele are gentlemen of a certain age who witnessed the Lucas/Sierra adventure renaissance at first hand.
A more relevant question is whether we'll ever see an adventure game produced that is even half as good as Monkey Island 2. Thankfully the answer is a resounding yes. Not a new one of course, though - I'm referring to when LucasArts gets round to producing Special Editions of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Sam and Max: Hit the Road, Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle.
When nostalgia is correctly placed, it really is a marvellous thing.