Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman worked on both The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge all the way back in the early 90's. Now, the duo are returning to the series in the aptly named Return to Monkey Island and in the run up to its release have revealed the one puzzle they regret from their original time working on the series.
Chatting to GamesBeat, Gilbert and Grossman revealed the Monkey Wrench puzzle from LeChuck's Revenge, which saw Guybrush Threepwood using an actual monkey to activate a seemingly broken pump, was a mistake, calling it "notoriously unsolvable" and "not a good design on several levels".
"Even if you are an English speaker from a location where the tool in question is commonly called a 'monkey wrench,' and you realise that that's what you need, you still have to make an astonishing predictive leap about how your actions will create that tool," said Grossman. "Nothing in the game sets any of it up adequately."
Grossman went on to say he still uses the Monkey Wrench puzzle as his "go-to example of what not to do with puzzle design" revealing it has influenced his thinking "ever since".
"The player has to be able to somehow visualise what to do, and if they do give up and look at a hint, I want their response to be, 'Oh, that makes sense, I should have thought of that!' rather than 'How on earth was I ever supposed to think of that, you ridiculous, unfair clowns?!'"
On the flip side of things, the duo never regretted making any puzzle too easy for players to wrap their head around, saying "the consequences are much less severe for that".
Return to Monkey Island will pick up after the events of LeChuck's Revenge (and its infamous Monkey Wrench puzzle) and start off in an amusement park. It will also include its own hint system, that will make sense "in the fantasy" of the game and provide users with "more than just a walkthrough."
Meanwhile, Gilbert has also responded to fans unhappy with Return to Monkey Island's art style, stating "Return to Monkey Island may not be the art style you wanted or were expecting but it's the art style I wanted".
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