After years (and years) of silence that led many to assume the Monkey Island brand had fallen by the wayside, original creator Ron Gilbert announced a return to its tropical isles earlier this month in the aptly named Return to Monkey Island. Now, Gilbert has also revealed his new game in the series will start off where Monkey Island: LeChuck's Revenge finished – at an amusement park.
"One of the things that was very important to me about this was that I did want the game to start right at the end of Monkey Island 2, when you walk into that amusement park. I wanted the game to start there," Gilbert told Adventure Gamers.
"That was kind of my one criteria: we need to start the game there. I don't want to go into all the details of it, but we do start there, and then it takes lots of weird twists and turns that you would expect from us."
Joining Gilbert for this interview was his Secret of Monkey Island and LeChuck's Revenge collaborator Dave Grossman.
The duo revealed that Return to Monkey Island has actually been in the pipeline for several years, and just been kept incredibly hush-hush. In fact, it was so hush-hush, no one knew whether or not to believe Gilbert when he announced his third Monkey Island game on April Fool's Day.
"I think the announcement went really well. The only part of the announcement I was a little disappointed with was that April Fool's fell on a Friday, which means we really couldn't announce it for real until Monday," Gilbert said.
"There was more time than I would have liked to let it fester with some people. But other than that, I think it went... better than I could have hoped."
Grossman agreed. "The first phone call that we had about the project included that plan of announcing it on 1st April, and at the time I thought, 'That's a terrible idea. Oh no, we can't do that. That's the worst idea'," he said. "And then I slept on it, and then in the morning I was like, 'That's the greatest idea!'"
Gilbert has now revealed a set of fresh images showing what we can expect when jumping back into the shoes of Guybrush Threepwood later this year. Without further ado, please delight in these new screenshots from the upcoming Return to Monkey Island.
As you can see, the church on Mêlée's High Street looks a tad worse for wear. Maybe the wedding dress-wearing monkeys that were posing as Elaine in the first game ran riot after Guybrush finally spritzed LeChuck with root beer?
It also looks like there is a nod towards the series' famous dual slandering mechanic hidden within these pictures, as there appears to be an insult sword fighting book on the shelf of the locksmith.
Locks and keys also seem to be a recurring theme in the new Return to Monkey Island stills. The aforementioned locksmith is more than likely the same shop that can be seen in the left-hand corner in the image of Mêlée's High Street, and is clearly important. There is also a key featured in one of the paintings in the courtroom image.
As for said courtroom picture, it certainly looks ominous. Guybrush has been to court before in Tales of Monkey Island, but it now seems that we will be getting Gilbert's own take on the piratical legal system.
And, this being a Monkey Island, we also have our first look at a "mysterious and dangerous location" within the game. I wonder if we will also meet more cannibals this time around as well.
But wait, don't go yet - I have found one more Monkey Island titbit to share with you for now (can you tell I am excited).
Those who have played their way through all five of the Monkey Island games will surely remember the bit in The Curse of Monkey Island that saw Guybrush removing the map to Blood Island from a sunbather's flaky back.
Well, it turns out, getting the sound right for removing a sunburnt layer of skin from an NPCs back isn't easy. Game designer Jonathon Ackley recently revealed that "to get the sound effect of the perfect ‘wet tearing' noise, [he] had to ask the sound department for three different revisions" of this scene.
Alas, we don't know what the sound department did to perfect that noise, with Ackley claiming he didn't ask, and that he is not sure he actually wants to know.