Game News Return to Monkey Island: 5 surprising anecdotes to know about the cult saga
Monday, September 19 will be marked by the return of a cult universe inaugurated by Lucasfilm Games in 1990, that of Monkey Island. Return to Monkey Island promises an emotional reunion with hero Guybrush Threepwood in an all-new pirate adventure. On this occasion, here are 5 fun anecdotes about the saga.
- The hero owes his first name to a file name
- Spielberg nearly produced a movie based on the game
- Sea of Thieves, Uncharted… these games that love the saga
- The author of the saga wrote a manifesto called “Why do adventure games suck?”
- Ron Gilbert has wanted to buy Monkey Island from Disney for a long time
The hero owes his first name to a file name
Guybrush Threepwood, the clumsy protagonist of the Monkey Island series has a rather unusual name. In 2009, the origin of this choice is already told on a forum by designer Dave Grossman. At LucasArts, when the franchise was being developed, it was customary to add the term “brush” to the name of a file to indicate that it was just a “brush file” of sprites saved from Deluxe Paint drawing software. Steve Purcell, animator, names the file of an unnamed character “guy” (“mec” in French) before naturally adding the extension “brush” to it. In the office, everyone gets used to the name. As for Threepwood, the name was simply put to a vote.
For the record, Guybrush got his name from a dpaint filename Steve Purcell used called “guybrush.bbm”. All of our art was done using MSDOS and it only had 3 letter file extensions. Please bookmark this tweet for your next trivia night.
— Ron Gilbert 🙈🙉🙊🏝 (@grumpygamer) April 28, 2022
For the record, Guybrush takes its name from a dpaint filename used by Steve Purcell called “guybrush.bbm”. All of our art was done using MSDOS and there were only 3 letter file extensions. Please bookmark this tweet for your next quiz night.
Spielberg nearly produced a movie based on the game
While Monkey Island met with dazzling success in the 1990s, Hollywood directors began to watch the saga, including a certain Spielbierg who is about to produce an animated film based on the adventures of Guybrush Threepwood. Unfortunately, the project will be canceled in 2001.
What’s really interesting is that the movie was going to be produced by Steven Spielberg (who is a huge Monkey Island fan himself). He asked Ted Elliott, a screenwriter who has worked on several Disney films (including “Treasure Planet”) and the game “Steven Spielberg’s Director’s Chair”, to help write the film’s story. The Monkey Island movie never got the green light, and years later Ted Elliott wrote ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’, which took up several ideas from Monkey Island – told on the Monkey Island fandom.
The film appeared to be a reboot of the franchise that would still retain its main characters and the Isle of Melee as the story’s starting point. LucasArts has confirmed the existence of a movie by sharing a gallery of concept images, as well as a storyboard showcasing several new characters, locations, and in-universe concepts.
Sea of Thieves, Uncharted… these games that love the saga
While Sea of Thieves’ A Pirate’s Life event was in full swing a few months ago and allowed players to team up with Jack Sparrow in an all-new campaign, within this one also hid an easter-egg. paying homage to the cult game Monkey Island. Indeed in Sea of Thieves, a quest shows you the way to the mythical Monkey Island.
It is in fact not uncommon for video games to pay homage to this monument. Neil Druckmann, creative director and co-president of Naughty Dog (Uncharted, The Last of Us) himself went so far as to slip secrets related to the series into the very serious Uncharted 4. At one point in the story, Nathan Drake finds himself in particular in front of the painting of a pirate who is none other than Guybrush Threepwood, main hero of Monkey Island.
The author of the saga wrote a manifesto called “Why do adventure games suck?”
In 1989, Ron Gilbert, creator of the franchise, published an article that became cult and soberly baptized: “Why adventure games Sucks”, to be translated into French as: “Why adventure games suck?”. In this paper that
you can find on his blogthe man draws up a whole list of points that he would like to see corrected in adventure games: “The end goal should be clear, the puzzles should move the narrative forward, give the player options”. “Even today, it’s quite amusing to discuss with certain game designers (and not the least), and to notice that it’s almost their bedside book, this article“, noted Nicolas Deneschau, author of the book The Mysteries of Monkey Island. A frankly fascinating article to read if the heart tells you.
I wrote this in 1989 while designing Monkey Island. We are now in 2004, a futuristic year, and we are all riding in flying cars and wearing jumping suits. A lot has changed for adventure games too, but unfortunately not in a good way – Ron Gilbert.
Ron Gilbert has wanted to buy Monkey Island from Disney for a long time
Stripped of his license since the closure of LucasArts by Disney, Ron Gilbert expressed his desire to get his hands on his creation in 2015. Namely that the creator actually only worked on the first two episodes of Monkey Island and hoped to fashion his own third installment himself: “Monkey Island is now owned by Disney and they have never shown any desire to sell me this IP. I don’t know if I could do “Monkey Island 3″ without full control over my license and the only way to do that would be to own it. Disney: call me”. In 2012 already, the man displayed his annoyance without difficulty:
The fact that LucasFilms owns them, I think I was OK with that, you know? Because I made them there. But now that they belong to someone else, it’s funny to me. Genre: If anyone else was going to own Monkey Island, it should be me.
Dear @Disney, now that you’re not making games, please sell me my Monkey Island and Mansion Mansion IP. I’ll pay real actual money for them.
— Ron Gilbert 🙈🙉🙊🏝 (@grumpygamer) May 23, 2016
In 2016, he reiterated in a tweet: “Dear Disney, now that you are no longer making games, please sell me my intellectual property on Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion. I will pay real money for her“. This year, GIlbert is therefore realizing an unfinished dream by releasing his third installment and claims to have had total creative freedom, even though the Monkey Island license still belongs to Disney.
I don’t want to make the game that Disney or Devolver wants, or even the fans want. I had discussions with Disney at the beginning, I told them all that and they were totally ok. And I must say that he was a very good partner. They really asked us for very few changes and each time it was for rights issues. It was like, “Ah, you can’t do that in the game, or we’re going to have a lawsuit”. But that’s all. Ron Gilbert at JV.
Return to Monkey Island is out this Monday, September 19.
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