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Return To Monkey Island - MI2 sequel from Ron Gilbert

The BRM

Novice
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
20
vthlompklyp91.jpg


Wonder how much money he made off this.
The game is at spot 28 on Steam after less than a week. They probably earned more than enough to cover all development costs and make a (small) profit, but not enough to go into retirement, so expect a sequel.

Compare that to Disco Elysium, which just kept running for months.
Wasn't Disco Elysium like super commie propaganda? Gotta be crazy if his new game in a widely loved series can't beat out devs who hate capitalism.
 

Ravielsk

Magister
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
1,563
I didn't see it that way back then, I'm looking at it now and I can't help but cringe, knowing what was to follow.

All female characters in the Secret of Monkey Island are smart, gifted, powerful and/or talented.
All male characters in the Secret of Monkey Island are stupid, cheating, bullying and/or rapists.

One of the major subversions is that the Sword Master of Melee Island is a black woman and you are beneath her contempt. The governor is a woman and the main antagonist is a man.

You can go through the entire character roster in the game and it never fails. From the loud, stupid and patronizing Pirate leaders, to the wise black voodoo woman, it's one long SJW trope.
The thing is that in the context of the 90s this is just a regular parody. Simpsons were in the same way a cultural parody of the 80s and 70s during which the female character were almost always the dumb ones. Today that is a forced ideological decree but back then it was just a relatively novel kind of a joke. Definitely obnoxious with a bit of hindsight but not necessarily malicious as it is today.

Still as far as Return goes Ron should have been the first guy to realize that this particular "form" of comedy has run its course years ago and stayed the fuck away from it.
 

Ravielsk

Magister
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
1,563
The game is at spot 28 on Steam after less than a week. They probably earned more than enough to cover all development costs and make a (small) profit, but not enough to go into retirement, so expect a sequel.

Compare that to Disco Elysium, which just kept running for months.
As old as the Monkey Island IP is it still had some pull among the masses due to all the nostalgia bros selling it as the seminal point and click adventure everyone must play. So no matter what its launch would be successful even if it came without an .exe to boot up. Luckily with this latest installment Ron successfully eliminated it so now he either runs back to his retro fascists or the series will be buried whenever the sequel to this "final chapter" comes out.
 

The BRM

Novice
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
20
Is Thimbleweed Park worth playing? I heard it ends kinda crappy, but wondering if the journey at least is ok.
 

Alex

Arcane
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
8,780
Location
São Paulo - Brasil
Is Thimbleweed Park worth playing? I heard it ends kinda crappy, but wondering if the journey at least is ok.
I think so. I think it was a pretty good effort, and is probably the only kickstarter game I've seen that didn't disappoint in some major way.

Yeah, the ending sucks a lot, but doesn't spoil the game, in my opinion.
 

GrindarkGoreMaster666

Barely Literate
Joined
Sep 27, 2022
Messages
1
Is Thimbleweed Park worth playing? I heard it ends kinda crappy, but wondering if the journey at least is ok.
Ahh, I remember TP... caught me like not any other A.G had done in years. Remember thinking while playing, "This game is a fucking masterpiece". Good atmosphere, clever puzzles, beautiful graphics, an intriguing plot.
Reaching the end. At last, I'm going to resolve this mystery, I'm going to get all the answers I worked my ass to get. This is about to be remembered as one of the best and most fulfilling experiences in my life.
And then, all of a sudden, that ending falls on me like a giant piece of rock from the sky right on my head. Stayed 25 minutes looking at my monitor, staring into the void. I think I never wanted to kill someone in my life more than that old fat fuck of Gilbert when I saw that ending. Pick up my 9mm, thought about to getting the first plane to LA. Took a deep breath, and just give up. I could almost hear him in my mind. He, laughing at me for wasting my time playing his retarded game with 0 payoff. I was furious, I started to cry in the middle of the night.
I knew it, My life was ruined.
I lost.
Fuck you, Ron Gilbert, fuck you.
 

negator2vc

Scholar
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Greece
Is Thimbleweed Park worth playing? I heard it ends kinda crappy, but wondering if the journey at least is ok.
Ahh, I remember TP... caught me like not any other A.G had done in years. Remember thinking while playing, "This game is a fucking masterpiece". Good atmosphere, clever puzzles, beautiful graphics, an intriguing plot.
Reaching the end. At last, I'm going to resolve this mystery, I'm going to get all the answers I worked my ass to get. This is about to be remembered as one of the best and most fulfilling experiences in my life.
And then, all of a sudden, that ending falls on me like a giant piece of rock from the sky right on my head. Stayed 25 minutes looking at my monitor, staring into the void. I think I never wanted to kill someone in my life more than that old fat fuck of Gilbert when I saw that ending. Pick up my 9mm, thought about to getting the first plane to LA. Took a deep breath, and just give up. I could almost hear him in my mind. He, laughing at me for wasting my time playing his retarded game with 0 payoff. I was furious, I started to cry in the middle of the night.
I knew it, My life was ruined.
I lost.
Fuck you, Ron Gilbert, fuck you.
Sooooo true.
No matter how good the journey was the big fuck you at the end completely destroyed it.
And the worst part was that Gilbert actually gloated at his blog about that (I was checking at the time his blog(s) since he posted some interesting technical details about the engine).
 

Mary Sue Leigh

Erudite
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
414
Location
Mysidia
I had played some ways into Thimbleweed Park, liked it, wanted to savor it, but honestly after this I just looked up the ending and yeah.. It no longer seems worth the time to even finish it.
I really want to know who enjoys those "so clever" meta endings.
And I am perfectly capable of accepting nonsensical or ambiguous endings such as Deadly Premonitions etc.. But this is just uninspired.
 

Neuromancer

Augur
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
1,238
And I am perfectly capable of accepting nonsensical or ambiguous endings such as Deadly Premonitions etc.. But this is just uninspired.
I thought, that Deadly Premonition had a real (and also very long) ending.
Yes, it is kind of strange in many ways - but so is the whole game. And this is part of its charm IMO.
 

The BRM

Novice
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
20
So is it OK to admit that Ron Gilbert is a one trick pony at this point? He kind of reminds me of the type of storyteller Niel Druckmann is, one who thinks that twists and shock value are the same as good storytelling when the reality is that twists and surprises are the byproducts of it.
 

Boleskine

Arcane
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Messages
4,045
Ron's reliance on lazy meta endings is like Michael Scott always pulling out a gun during improv.



Also, how much of Ron's butthurt over Sierra games having deaths and generally outselling Lucasfilm/-Arts games is in ReMI? More or less than Thimbleweed Park had?
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
5,895
His butthurt was already in the very first game, I remember that one schtick at the rock in MI where if Guybrush fell off you'd get a fake Sierra-style death popup... at least it was somewhat inspired then and got a chuckle out of me. Resorting to the same gag 32 years later is pretty desperate.
 

Boleskine

Arcane
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Messages
4,045
Side note, I'm convinced that the worst thing to ever happen to adventure games was Ron's "hurr durr adventure games suck" essay being held up as some kind of de facto design bible for the genre.

He made good points but over the years people distilled the whole thing down to oversimplifications such as "death is bad". Death in adventure games is fine. Unwinnable situations and dead ends... not good.

Finding the many amusing deaths in a series like Space Quest was half the fun, and it made sense for those games' tone. It would be stupid for a game like Broken Sword or The Last Express to not have deaths from which the player learns how to advance. If you're smart enough to figure it out the first time, good for you.

I'm just of the mindset that asking the player to save their game regularly and be ready to die and restore isn't such a monumental request that ruins the experience.

I'll take an old-school Sierra game over a Ron Gilbert game any day of the week.
 

Mary Sue Leigh

Erudite
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
414
Location
Mysidia
The only thing I remember about Sierra Kings Quest (can't remember which, five maybe?) is that bit when you enter a screen in town for the first time, you see a cat chasing a mouse. I thought it to just be a funny background scene. However much later down the line I'd get stuck with no idea why or how to resolve.
Turns out you have to have the right item when you encounter the cat and mouse scene (it occurs only once) and use the item (I think it is a shoe) quickly on the cat before both disappear.
Then the mouse will help you out later.
This is required.

I never played another Kings Quest. Yeah I probably missed out but honestly, this is not nifty.
Perhaps Galbert should have poked fun at this kind of thing.
 

negator2vc

Scholar
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
318
Location
Greece
Most Sierra's games are full of examples of bad designs and player's death is one of them.
In fact they reminded me the deaths in those old gamebooks where the player arrived at a crossroad.
The player had no info whatsoever about the correct path and must choose between 2 paths one of which kill him instantly and the other let him continue on his quest.
Many Sierra's games have plenty of similar deaths.
One of the reasons that most Sierra's games are pretty much unplayable now while many of LucasArts are perfectly playable.

Just because Gilbert does and say plenty of stupid things doesn't mean that some ideas of his didn't actually improved the genre.
That why (at least for me) his "betrayal" hurt that much. He actually could further improve the genre but instead choose to do damage.
 

Darkozric

Arbiter
Edgy
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,710
I thought, that Deadly Premonition had a real (and also very long) ending.
Yes, it is kind of strange in many ways - but so is the whole game. And this is part of its charm IMO.
How is Deadly Premonition overall? On the surface it seems like something that I would like. I was inclined to give it a spin some years back but the reviews about bugs and crashes were quite vocal.
Are there any fan paches to fix shit?
 

Mary Sue Leigh

Erudite
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
414
Location
Mysidia
I thought, that Deadly Premonition had a real (and also very long) ending.
Yes, it is kind of strange in many ways - but so is the whole game. And this is part of its charm IMO.
How is Deadly Premonition overall? On the surface it seems like something that I would like. I was inclined to give it a spin some years back but the reviews about bugs and crashes were quite vocal.
Are there any fan paches to fix shit?
The DP flow chart:

Do you like Twin Peaks? If yes, would you like to play a japonesy vidya game adaptation of it? If yes, are you willing to look past supreme jank and more or less breaking bugs to enjoy the experience?
If yes still, try.
If no to any : You might not like the game.

I have finished it on PC and it was quite a chore at times with crashes and other problems. Nowadays I can't even get the frame rate at a normal level (everything runs FAST and choppy), I think fixes exist here and there but I had to really hunt for them.
It's a shame, otherwise the game is amazing and not quite like anything I ever played from writing and even gameplay even though it's on the surface a scaled down "sandbox" game where you drive around small mountain town somewhere in the sticks.
The "action" sequences are very weird and feel almost tacked on just so you can shoot zombie like ghosts or escape from scary murder man, both of which may or may not be real (I theorized a bit because standard gun has infinite ammo, like it's just a finger gun used against imaginary foes).
The music, dialog and characters really make or break the experience, honestly.

Also you actually learn who or what's behind it all (more or less....) It's not just York's dream, or characters trapped in a video game or whatever.
 

HeroMarine

Irenaeus
Vatnik
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
16,306
Location
Rio de Janeiro, 1936
The only thing I remember about Sierra Kings Quest (can't remember which, five maybe?) is that bit when you enter a screen in town for the first time, you see a cat chasing a mouse. I thought it to just be a funny background scene. However much later down the line I'd get stuck with no idea why or how to resolve.
Turns out you have to have the right item when you encounter the cat and mouse scene (it occurs only once) and use the item (I think it is a shoe) quickly on the cat before both disappear.
Then the mouse will help you out later.
This is required.

I never played another Kings Quest. Yeah I probably missed out but honestly, this is not nifty.
Perhaps Galbert should have poked fun at this kind of thing.
King's Quest 5 is way more unforgiving than say, King's Quest 6
 

Mary Sue Leigh

Erudite
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
414
Location
Mysidia
I see, that makes sense. I checked, and it was 5. Absence makes the heart go yonder

With that horribly discordant town music.

 

JarlFrank

I like Thief THIS much
Patron
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
33,272
Location
KA.DINGIR.RA.KI
Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Side note, I'm convinced that the worst thing to ever happen to adventure games was Ron's "hurr durr adventure games suck" essay being held up as some kind of de facto design bible for the genre.

He made good points but over the years people distilled the whole thing down to oversimplifications such as "death is bad". Death in adventure games is fine. Unwinnable situations and dead ends... not good.

Finding the many amusing deaths in a series like Space Quest was half the fun, and it made sense for those games' tone. It would be stupid for a game like Broken Sword or The Last Express to not have deaths from which the player learns how to advance. If you're smart enough to figure it out the first time, good for you.

I'm just of the mindset that asking the player to save their game regularly and be ready to die and restore isn't such a monumental request that ruins the experience.

I'll take an old-school Sierra game over a Ron Gilbert game any day of the week.
Larry 6 even had a button that let you restart on the same screen after death. Just undo the action that killed you. Simple.
And most of the deaths were so hilarious you'd often deliberately trigger them just to see the funny death sequence.

I don't see how this is bad in any way. Functionally, due to the handy little undo button, it's as if death doesn't really exist anyway. But removing the scenes entirely would be detrimental to the game's humor.

Designers who go by a "bible" that clearly spells out what you can or cannot do force themselves into a creative straitjacket that prevents thinking outside the box.
 

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