Game 70: Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (1991) – Introduction

Written by The Trickster

I’m excited. Are you excited?
If you’d asked me five years ago whether I’d end up writing guest posts for The Adventure Gamer, I would have told you that you were completely mad. But here I am, eighteen months after handing over the blog to the community, taking a break from a very different project to play through what many consider to be the finest adventure game of them all. I don’t really have a view on whether that label is justified just yet, as it has been about fifteen years since I last played Monkey Island 2. I remember very little of it to be honest, and am not even certain whether I’ve played through it more than once. After a lengthy break from adventure games (with the exception of the game that arguably started the whole genre), I sure am excited to get into it, but first let’s take a brief look at how it all came about.

When the bad guy gets top billing, you know things are going to get nasty.
As you would expect, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge was developed and published by LucasArts. It was the sixth game that they made using the much-loved SCUMM engine (after Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Secret of Monkey Island and Loom). The team behind The Secret of Monkey Island were so confident that that game was going to be successful that they began developing the sequel just one month after its completion. Many of the team that worked on the first game took up the same roles in the second, including the project leader and designer Ron Gilbert. He was once again joined by partners in crime Tim Schafer and David Grossman, who helped with the programming and writing. Tami Caryl and Bret Barrett also received programming credits after playing minor roles on The Secret of Monkey Island. A team of nine handled the graphics, animation and background art, with at least one member of each of the three departments having worked on the original (Steve Purcell, Sean Turner and James Alexander Dollar respectively).
I might not remember much about the game, but I do remember the ridiculous amount of disk swapping required to play it on my Amiga.
Probably the most interesting technical aspect of Monkey Island 2 is that it was the first game to utilise Michael Land’s and Peter McConnell’s iMUSE MIDI engine. iMUSE, which stands for Interactive Music Streaming Engine, is an interactive music system that synchronises the music to what’s happening in the game, and seamlessly transitions from one theme to another. It was Land that decided the system was needed after being very frustrated while composing music for The Secret of Monkey Island. To give you a practical example of how iMUSE works, there’s a section very early on in Monkey Island 2 where Guybrush goes in and out of buildings in the town of Woodtick. Land and McConnell composed a standard Woodtick theme that is heard while walking around outside, but as Guybrush walks in and out of each of the buildings, the theme seamlessly transitions to a variation of that theme (each one played by a different instrument). iMUSE was used in every LucasArts adventure game from this point onwards, and even in some non-adventure games like Star Wars: TIE Fighter.
Michael Land: Played a big role in creating a consistent and effective atmosphere in LucasArts’ games.
Unlike The Secret of Monkey Island, which had EGA, VGA and a CD-ROM with higher quality music to choose from, there’s thankfully only one version of Monkey Island 2. It’s VGA, and I’ll be playing it in the SCUMMVM emulator. While loading it up to make sure I could get it working, I noticed the game has two difficulty levels, being standard Monkey Island 2 (I want it all! All the puzzles! All the work!) and Monkey 2 Lite (I’ve never played an adventure game before. I’m scared.). I love that on the back of the box it is stated that the Lite mode was included for videogame reviewers. It’s ballsy to mock the people that will rate your game, but LucasArts could get away with it. Obviously I’ll be playing the full package, and I’m not sure whether I will get a chance to play through on the easier setting. Perhaps there is someone else out there willing to find out just how much easier it is? As for me, well I will delay no longer. It’s time to resume my role as the mighty pirate, Guybrush Threepwood. Boy does it feel good to be back.
Scared!? Ha! I laugh in the face of…scary things!

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – The Largo Embargo

Written by The Trickster

I often find that having high expectations of a game leads to hindered enjoyment. What I find tends to happen is that I come up with what in my mind would be the ultimate experience, and when the game differs from that (which it inevitably does), I feel let down. That hasn’t been the case at all with Monkey Island 2 so far for the simple reason that it’s pretty much impossible not to be entertained. Sure, I’m still playing through Part I of the game, but there has already been so much hilarious fun that I’ve literally had to drag myself away from it to write this post. Now that I’ve managed to do that, you’ll have to excuse me if I cut to the chase so I can get back to playing it as soon as possible.

LucasArts were by now stealing a lot of techniques from cinema, and this opening “climax” is a perfect example.

Monkey Island 2 starts in an intriguing way. Guybrush is hanging precariously from a rope with one hand while holding onto a treasure chest with the other. The woman whose heart he captured in the first game, Elaine, suddenly descends on a rope of her own, and rather than helping him, asks Guybrush how he got into this situation. Despite the imminent danger, our hero sets out to tell her the lengthy story, which of course leads to a flashback that I as the player will take part in. It’s a brilliant way to kick things off, and particularly perfect given that there is technically no way to die in the game (yes, I’m aware that there is one way, but that’s an anomaly for humour’s sake). So what’s the story? Well, it all starts on Scabb Island, which Guybrush is visiting in search of an infamous treasure named Big Whoop. Any thoughts that the protagonist might now be a renowned and respected pirate after defeating LeChuck in The Secret of Monkey Island are quickly quashed, as the two pirates around a campfire mock him while he tells his tale of victory. Having convinced himself that Big Whoop isn’t on Scabb Island, Guybrush tells the pirates that he plans to charter a ship and look elsewhere. As he stands up and walks away from the fire, control of Guybrush was handed over to me. It was now up to me to lead our hero through all the events that led to his current predicament.

And thankfully an entertaining one, or so it seems thus far.
Mockery of Guybrush’s abilities and status as a pirate is a regular piece of Monkey Island humour, but it never gets old.

Alright, let’s do this…
So off I went to charter a ship and get the hell off Scabb Island. The first thing I noticed was that I had an absolute crapload of treasure in my inventory, presumably as a result of my aforementioned defeat of LeChuck. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to remain in my inventory for long though, and that instinct was soon proven correct. As I attempted to cross the bridge leading to the various establishments on Scabb Island, I was accosted by a ruffian named Largo LaGrande, who demanded I pay a toll. My dialogue options ranged from “Sure. Take my money.” to “Who’s gonna make me, shorty?”. I decided right then and there that I was going to choose the most aggressive or ridiculous answers available throughout this play through, as doing so generally leads to the most humorous results. In this instance it resulted in me being hung upside down from the bridge by the obviously strong and capable pirate. I continued to insult him, which led to him respecting me and hauling my ass back up, but not before he relieved me of everything in my possession. Given that the first part of Monkey Island 2 is labelled Largo’s Embargo, it seemed obvious that this wasn’t going to be the last time I would see this brute. He threatened me a bit longer and then left, allowing me to start pixel hunting for the first time in eighteen months. The only thing on the screen that could be interacted with was a sign saying “No Trezer huntin zone”. I couldn’t help noticing that there was a shovel on the sign, and thinking it could possibly be real, I tried picking it up. Yep, it was a real shovel, and it was now mine.
Largo is not a particularly nice fellow. I can’t wait to give him is comeuppance.
I may have lost all my riches, but at least now I have my very own Thrifty-Dig. A fair trade me thinks.
With the bridge now free to traverse, I walked across and into town. The first establishment that I came across belonged to a woodsmith appropriately named Woody. Looking around the room I discovered a chair, some peg legs, a barrel of nails, a hammer, a calendar of Buzzsaw Girl, a stool and a workbench. I wasn’t able to pick up any of them, at least not while Woody was present, so instead focussed on getting information out of him (I actually thought Woody was a woman from appearance, but a quick Google suggests otherwise). The only thing of interest that I got out of the conversation was that Woody also hates Largo, and that he’s frustrated that even with all his tools, he can’t create a voodoo doll of the guy. I felt this was a pretty specific thing to say, so immediately figured this would be a task that I myself will be undertaking at some point. With nothing else left to try at this point, I headed back out into town, noting the way the iMUSE system seamlessly altered the music theme as I did so.
The town of Woodtick contains only a few establishments, with Woody’s carpentry shack being the first of them.
Things got fairly philosophical at one point.
The second place I visited was The Bloody Lip Bar and Grill, where an unattractive man behind the bar was in the process of cleaning his mugs by spitting green mucus into them and rubbing it with a cloth. My pixel hunting only revealed a piano, a metronome, an advertisement and a door leading off to the left. While using the metronome caused it to tick, I didn’t appear to be able to pick it up or do anything with it. Guybrush informed me that he never practiced piano, so I wasn’t able to play it, and the advertisement merely announced that someone named Jojo appears in the bar nightly. I wondered why Jojo wasn’t there right now, given that it was night time, but I let that thought go to focus on the barman. Like Woody, the man clearly wasn’t happy with Largo, as he’d got everyone so spooked that they never come in for a drink anymore. He too claimed that what was really needed was a voodoo doll of the brute, but just as he did so, Largo himself strolled in. He demanded a drink, and after taking one sip spat the most humongous green gob across the bar and onto the wall. He then made the barman hand over all the cash he had before leaving, laughing as he did. I continued my conversation, finding out that the barman wasn’t going to give me a drink unless I could show some ID, and that he couldn’t even give me a non-alcoholic drink as he’d sold his last one to someone named Courageous Captain Kate Capesize. When I asked about Kate I was told that she’s hard as nails, and that she rents out her ship to the highest bidder. After discovering that only hired help can go through the door to the left, I departed the bar to continue my exploration of the town.
The Bloody Lip Bar and Grill. Sounds like a lovely place.
I managed to capture a wonderful frame of Largo’s dirty but impressive discharge sailing across the bar.
I do have to wonder why everyone is putting up with this behaviour.

The next part of town I explored belonged to Wally the cartographer. Wally was working away at a desk, and around him I found a bed, a few maps on the wall, and a pile of paper on the floor, all of which I might be able to interact with. Whenever I tried to pick up one of the maps I was told that I couldn’t reach them, so I figured I might need to stand on something. This way of thinking didn’t lead to any success though, and I didn’t seem to be able to do anything with the bed either. I was able to pick up a single piece of blank paper though, doubling my inventory total. Speaking to Wally, he claimed to have seen the whole world, and that he spends his time putting what he’s seen down on paper. Like Woody and the Barman, Largo’s influence was affecting business for Wally too. Interestingly, when I asked Wally about Big Whoop, he became extremely paranoid, asking who sent me and making sure I knew that he was heavily armed. Once I’d calmed him down, he revealed that he’d been looking for the treasure for years, and that a lot of people would like to get their hands on his files. He told me a part of the Big Whoop story that I wasn’t aware of. Apparently a vessel called Elaine (yes, I recognised that name) was shipwrecked, and only four of the crew survived. They were washed up on a deserted island called Inky Island, where they discovered something so wonderful (or horrible), that they never wanted anyone else to find it. They made a map of the island, but split it into four pieces so that each of them could carry one. With nothing left to investigate, I left Wally’s for now.
Wally’s establishment is actually a boat on its side, which is reflected in the interior.
Well, now there’s one more buddy!

Walking further into Woodtick, I found that there were two more locations I could visit. The first one was split into two separate sections of interest. On the left I found the Men of Low Moral Fibre (Frank, Fin and Fred), a trio a pirates that ripped me off way back in The Secret of Monkey Island. They appeared to be sleeping up a ledge, and their pet rat Muenster Monster was running around below. Next to the rat was a bucket and a box, and I immediately wondered if there was anything in the box that I could take. There wasn’t, but at least I was able to pick up the bucket. I woke up the pirates, and after some awkward introductions, started questioning them on everything I could. I discovered that the rat is obsessed with cheese, that they recently attempted to go to Drinky Island to find Big Whoop but sank due to their glass bottomed boat not having any glass, and that they are now performance artists. One of them lost their leg while performing, and he gave me a piece of eight to go fetch him some polish for it over at the woodsmith’s. I was happy to have a task, even if it was of the fetch variety. I had less luck speaking to Mad Marty, the clinically deaf laundry-guy whose stall was to the right of screen. I asked him lots of questions, but since he misheard me every time, I was given answers that were far from helpful. The only thing I did garner from the conversation was that I wasn’t going to be able to touch any of the clothes there unless I could provide a laundry ticket. I of course didn’t have one, so moved on.
You have to admire the town of shipwrecks that is Woodtick. It’s beautifully designed, with lots of character.
Not the smartest bunch these guys. They’re too scared to come down too, presumably due to Largo.
It’s pretty difficult to talk to someone when they misinterpret everything that you say.
The final location to check out in Woodtick was an inn to the far left of town. The first thing I noticed when I walked down the stairs was a small green creature tied to a pole with a rope. Putting my cursor over it revealed that it was an alligator. I didn’t really have anything that I could use on it (of course I tried everything anyway in true adventure game style), so I attempted to untie the rope to see what would happen. Nope, it was too securely fastened. Figuring I’d deal with it later, I turned my attention to the front desk. There was a bell and a guest registry on it, and an innkeeper behind it. When I looked at the registry, Guybrush informed me that there was only one guest in it, and it was Largo. The inkeeper then piped up with “Yeah, but that dang Largo eats like thirty.” I filed this bit of information away in case it turned out to be important, then tried playing around with the bell. I wasn’t able to pick it up or move it in any way, and using it achieved nothing apart from the expected dinging noise. When I tried talking to the innkeeper, I was surprised to find that I had no dialogue options. Guybrush simply stated that he wanted a room, to which the innkeeper replied “Sorry, we only have one and it’s full”. The only other thing left to try was entering that room, and of course the innkeeper wasn’t going to allow that: “Hold it right there! That’s a private room. No going up there.”
I really hope all of these bridges have been reinforced.
Just as well. Who the hell keeps an alligator for a pet, in an inn no less.

My first sweep of Woodtick was now complete. I’d only collected four items (a coin, a shovel, a piece of paper, and a bucket), and only really received one task (to buy some wood polish for the peg-legged pirate), but I was already gripped by the characters, humour and all-round atmosphere of Monkey Island 2. One of the things that my walkthrough technique can’t possibly convey to the reader is all the clever dialogue that has little to do with the actual plot. There are lots of hilarious little details that I’d love to mention on every screen, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to trust me. Now, it’s time to go get that polish, and then perhaps I’ll go see what awaits me outside of town.

Session time: 40 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – Where’s the Cheese?

Written by The Trickster

My first Monkey Island 2 session covered my initial exploration of Woodtick. By the time I’d finished I really only had one lead, which was to go and purchase some wood polish for the peg-legged pirate…ahem…performance artist. I naturally started the second session by heading back to Woody the woodsmith to do exactly that. After exchanging the single piece of eight for the polish, I made my way back to the one-legged man and tried to give it to him. He wouldn’t wake up, but the game suggested that he actually wanted me to polish the leg for him. I used the polish on the peg leg, and the man woke up and gave me another piece of eight for my trouble. I’d kind of hoped that something more substantial might happen, and suddenly realised that I really didn’t have any other solid leads. I still had the wood polish though, so perhaps there was something else I could do with that? I couldn’t think of anything, so I decided the time was right to step outside Woodtick. There had to be more to this island than a few rickety businesses. As I crossed back over the bridge and walked to the right of screen, I confirmed that there was.

The great pirate Guybrush Threepwood, made to polish peg legs for a single coin. Oh the shame!

Scabb Island in all its glory. There’s something exciting about seeing all the possible destinations on a lovely map like this.

Moving my cursor around the map of Scabb Island revealed that there was a beach, a swamp, a cemetery and a peninsula that I could travel to. Since the beach was the closest of these destinations, I chose to go there, watching as the little Guybrush figure made his way from the town to the illuminated seafront. On arrival I realised that I’d been to this location before. It was the starting point for the game, where Guybrush had attempted to impress a couple of pirates around a campfire. As I walked towards that fire, I noticed a sizeable stick on the path, so picked it up. I then sat myself down at the fire and had a chat with the pirates. The conversation went all over the place, but I was able to learn some seemingly important information. Firstly, the reason that everyone is too afraid to refuse Largo’s demands is because he was previously LeChuck’s right hand man. I tried to explain that I vanquished LeChuck so they had nothing to worry about, but the general consensus amongst pirates was that he still lives. Secondly, they informed me that if I had any chance of getting off the island, I was going to need the help of Captain Dread. He can be located on the far side of the island, but he was unlikely to be able to help me until the embargo is lifted. After hearing a few pirate songs, I hopped up to see what else I could do on the beachfront. There was a shack on the water called Steamin’ Weenies, but its door was locked and there didn’t appear to be anyone around. My exploration of the island would have to continue elsewhere.
Tradition can be hard to break sometimes.
I can only assume that this won’t remain closed indefinitely.
With the beach explored, I went back to the map and clicked on the swamp. It was an eerie place, made even more so by a coffin that floated on its surface. A sign next to it read International House of Mojo. I hopped into the coffin, and found that I could row it with a couple of oars that were resting inside. Making my way across the swamp, I soon found myself confronted by a skull-like construct, illuminated by torches. It turned out to be a shack, and rowing underneath it caused the lower jaw to rise up like a platform. I was now inside, and surrounded by all sorts of weird knick-knacks. The books were bound editions of Voodoo Quarterly, the bottles were all unlabelled, and the jars were all filled with weird sounding ingredients. I wasn’t able to pick up any of them, nor was I able to pick up the skull on the little table or interact with any of the various chests or baskets. I walked into the shadows to the right of screen and found myself in the presence of the Voodoo Lady from the first game. She told me that business had been very good lately, but that Largo had been taking her earnings too. She went on to speak of Largo’s connection to LeChuck before suggesting that “evil can never be destroyed completely”. When I asked her why she hadn’t just cursed Largo, she told me she needed to make a voodoo doll to do so. I offered to help, at which point she informed me of the artifacts required: Something of Thread (a piece of his clothing), Something of Head (a hair from his head), Something of Body (fluid from his body), and Something of the Dead (a remnant from his dead relatives). She gave me a list to remind me of the needed items. Now I finally had something concrete to do, so set off to do it.
I don’t recall much of Monkey Island 2 from my earlier playthrough, but this place tweaked my memory.
Hey, this place is like the TARDIS. It’s much bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside.
Yes, I think you’re right. OK, well I’ll be off now.
I made my way out of the swamp, then clicked on the cemetery on the Scabb Island map. If ever there was going to be a good place to find Something of the Dead, the cemetery was it. Once I got there I discovered a whole heap of graves, tombs, crosses and crypts to check out, with pretty much all of them offering up a death-related joke to make it worthwhile. I particularly enjoyed the three tombstones at the base of the hill. The first one was marked “The Grave of the Unknown Pirate”. The second one was “The Grave of the Unknown Cabin Boy”. The third and final one was adorned with “The Grave of the Unknown Drunk Guy We Found Face Down in his Own Vomit on the Beach.” It turned out that what I was looking for was on the summit of the very same hill. I found a tombstone with “Marco Largo LaGrande, Hell on sea or sand. The good news is, he’s dead. The bad news is, he bred.” etched into it. It was pretty obvious who the outcome of that breeding was, so I quickly used my shovel on the grave. Guybrush dug a fairly deep hole, while thunder crashed and lightning flashed all around him. Suddenly he stood up and raised a leg bone high above his head in exultation. This was a big laugh out loud moment for me, as Guybrush’s pants fell down just as my view abruptly switched to Largo in his room (presumably at the inn). He obviously felt something as I disturbed his relative’s bones, remarking “I’d swear on my grandfather’s grave, something weird is going on.” After investigating the rest of the cemetery, I went back to the map. There was only one place left on Scabb Island that I hadn’t visited…the peninsula.
The cemetery is dark and eerie, just as it should be.

Sadly I took my screenshot mere moments before Guybrush’s pants came down. At least the blog’s PG rating is intact.

I figured Largo would be the messy type, but this is something else.

The peninsula contained an unusually twisty wharf, and at the end of it was a houseboat. The sign on water’s edge read “Captain Dread’s Ship Charters. 20 Pieces of Eight. Inquire Within.”. So this was the Dread that the pirates on the beach had told me about. Thinking that this guy would likely turn out to be my ticket off this island, I wandered over to the boat and entered. Inside was a dread-locked dude who welcomed me with a very Caribbean-like “Ya mon, I’m Captain Dread. What can I do for ya?”. I asked him about chartering his ship, but he told me it wasn’t possible. I fully expected his reasoning to be all about Largo’s Embargo, but that was only partially the case. The main reason was that he’d lost his lucky sailing necklace, and he outright refused to sail without it. Calling it his “eye that has seen the world”, Captain Dread told a sad tale of his former navigator. The two of them had sailed to a legendary island, only to be taken prisoner by cannibals on arrival. Dread escaped, but all he found of his former partner was a single eyeball. Making a necklace out of it, Captain Dread continued to sail the world, believing it to bring good luck. Anyone that has played The Secret of Monkey Island will recognise the navigator as the decapitated head that helped Guybrush get through the underground maze to reach LeChuck’s ghost ship. Regardless, it was clear that I wasn’t going anywhere until I found the missing necklace and did something about Largo. I didn’t even have the option to search Dread’s ship, so left for now.
You’d think mooring your boat on the other side of the island from the town would be bad for business, but who am I to question Captain Dread?
The fearsome name obviously has more to do with his hair than his persona.

Since I didn’t really have much in the way of leads, I decided to take the bone to the Voodoo Lady. Maybe I would gain some information while handing in the first of four requested items. She was certainly pleased with my work, but merely demanded I go out and fetch the other three things she needed. I figured the time was right to stop and a have a bit of a think about each of the ingredients. The first thing on the list was Something of Thread, for which the Voodoo Lady had told me a piece of Largo’s clothing would do nicely. The obvious place to get clothing was from Mad Marty’s laundry, but he’d been adamant that I wouldn’t be getting anything without a ticket. As for where that ticket might be, well the most likely place would be Largo’s room, and I hadn’t yet found a way in. The second item on the list was Something of Head, and I knew that a hair from Largo’s head would fit the bill. Once again though, the most likely place to get a hair would be from his room. Hmmm…I really needed to get into that room, and the alligator seemed the likely key to the puzzle. If only I could find a way to let it loose, maybe the innkeeper would be distracted so I could sneak by. Letting this train of thought go for a bit, I focussed on the third item, which was Something of Body. How would I get fluid from his body? All of a sudden the answer hit me. The gob of mucus Largo spat on the wall! Perhaps I could collect some in my bucket? I rushed back to the bar, and tried. “There isn’t enough spit to put in the bucket.” Damn. Um…use paper with spit dripping down wall? Yep, I now had some of Largo’s bodily fluid, sitting in the middle of my piece of paper.
Hey, how about being a little bit appreciative before demanding more of me.
Yuck indeed. I feel like handing this one in to the Voodoo Lady quickly so I don’t have to carry it around.
Two of the four items needed to make the voodoo doll were now found. What now? Given that both the laundry and the inn seemed the most likely places to find the remaining two, I travelled to both of those locations to see if I could approach things differently. I didn’t have a huge amount of success, but I did partially solve one puzzle. While visiting the laundry, I once again played around with the box on the ground near the rat. It seemed logical to me that I needed to trap the rat, but then it also seemed logical that I was going to need cheese to do it. I tried using the stick on the box, hoping that I could wedge it open for the rat to go inside. It worked, but the rat still wouldn’t go near it. Figuring that cheese was still a requirement, I moved on again. I was surprised to be stuck so early in the game, but resigned myself to visiting each location one at a time until something jumped out at me. The woodsmith…nope. How about Wally’s? Yes, there was something there. While I once again spent time trying to interact with the bed and the maps, I noticed that Wally was occasionally placing his monocle on the table to rub his eyes. Could I pick it up while he did that? Yes, I could! I felt a bit bad about it really, especially when the poor little guy continually tried to find it while complaining of not being able to see anything at all. Promising myself that I would return it as soon as I was finished with it, I pondered what it might be good for. The excitement I’d briefly felt dissipated when I realised I had no clue what to do with it. I couldn’t see how it could help me get into the inn or achieve anything at the laundry.
Now I knew what the stick was for, but couldn’t think of what I might do with the rat if I happened to catch it.
I felt a bit shit stealing a clinically blind dude’s monocle. What I prick I am!
After a few more futile visits to various locations, I dropped in at the Voodoo Lady to hand over the spit. Interestingly she took the spit but returned the now-crusty paper. What the hell could that be used for? I didn’t know, but as I was walking out, I pixel hunted every inch in the skull room once again. Hang on…what was that by the skull!? A yo-yo string! I picked it up, and this time I had an inkling that I might just know what to do with it. I took the string straight back to the box near the laundry and found that I could indeed attach it to the stick. So I was right. If I could somehow get the rat to enter the box, I could pull the string to trap it. Now if only I had some damn cheese! I pondered which location might be the most likely one to have food. The answer was clearly the bar. Was there a way into the back area? The innkeeper hadn’t let me in previously because I didn’t work there. Had I missed a dialogue option? I went to find out, but as I approached the Bloody Lip, I stumbled upon something that I realised would change everything. The hatch wasn’t the only entrance into the ship that housed the bar. There was a window towards the back of it that I could interact with. When I looked at it, I was informed that it had no glass. Excellent! I clicked Walk and then the window, and watched delightedly as Guybrush vaulted the railing and swung inside. I’d found the kitchen. And what better place to find a food item than in a kitchen. Surely everything was back on track, right? Right?!

Oh blessed piece of string, how I have longed to hold you…or anything at all for that matter.
Well I did say walk Guybrush, but I guess a skillful vault and swing will do nicely.
The landing wasn’t quite as graceful, but who cares. I found the damn kitchen!
Session time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 0 minutes

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – Pride Before a Fall

Written by The Trickster

Those of you that have played Monkey Island 2 would have had a good laugh at the end of my last post. I’d been pretty certain that I was going to find some form of cheese in the kitchen, which I could then use to catch the rat in the box. My discovery of the open window to the kitchen did indirectly lead to me catching the rat, but not in the way I expected. In the kitchen I found a chef, flailing about making meals. I quickly surmised that I could interact with the stove, a saucepan on top of it containing vichyssoise (apparently a potato and leek soup), some cans of fruit cocktail on the shelves, a knife on the table, and the chef himself. Guybrush outright refused to touch most of the items, for three reasons: 1. He hates vichyssoise. 2. He’s not a cook. 3. He hates fruit cocktails. The chef was far too busy to talk to me too, meaning the only thing I was able to do after all my excitement at finding a new location, was pick up the knife. Still, this was progress, and I had a strong feeling that I knew what to do with my new inventory addition.

I’m not really sure what this guy is actually wielding. They look like corn cobs.

I didn’t have far to go to test out my theory, crossing the plank to the inn to see whether I could do something about the alligator. I used the knife on the rope and breathed a sigh of relief when it worked. The alligator, named Pegbiter, bolted up the stairs, and just as I’d hoped, the innkeeper quickly followed him out. Now I would be free to explore the inn, including Largo’s room. Before I did that though, I noticed there had been a food bowl behind Pegbiter the whole time. Looking at it revealed that there were cheese squiggles in it. Yes, it was the cheese that I’d been looking for! I picked them up, then set about exploring. I could find nothing to do with the bell or the registry, so made my way to Largo’s room. It was the same room I’d seen in the brief cut scene earlier, complete with mess. I rummaged through all the items that I could interact with, including the bed, a painting on the wall, the dresser and its drawer, the leftovers on the floor, and the dressing screen. None of those items offered up anything interesting. There was however a toupee sitting on a styrofoam head on the dresser which I was able to pick up. It sounded pretty gross, having “strange little white bugs all over it”, but I knew it would serve my purpose perfectly. I now had Something of Head to take to the Voodoo Lady, meaning there was only one ingredient left to make the Largo voodoo doll (a piece of Largo’s clothing). Speaking of Largo, he arrived just as I grabbed the toupee, literally telling me to “get the $#*&# out of here”. I did.
Thinking about it, I’m pretty sure an alligator could bite through a rope in quick time.

Things were progressing pretty well now, and I raced over to the Men of Low Moral Fiber to see if I could keep the roll going. I placed the cheese squiggles in the box and stood back. As expected, the rat followed its nose to the cheese, and as it stuck its head in, I pulled the string on the trap I’d set up previously. The door closed. I’d trapped the rat! As much as this pleased me, to this point I’d not given too much consideration as to what I might actually do with the rat if I managed to catch it. I also faced a more immediate problem. How could I transfer the rodent into my inventory without it getting away? The box was too heavy to carry around, but I figured the little thing would scurry away if I opened the door again. Perhaps I was never supposed to take it with me, and the act of catching it was enough? The only way I’d been able to wake the pirates up previously was to polish the peg leg on the third one, so I tried that now. Maybe he would notice the rat’s absence and set things in motion. That didn’t happen, but he did give me another piece of eight for my trouble. I wondered whether this was an infinite source of money, so set out to find out. I managed to get eleven pieces of eight out of him before he ran out (twelve if you count the one he gave me earlier to buy the polish), but nothing else happened. Eventually I just tried opening the door on the box, only to find that the rat just sat there and waiting for me to pick it up. This was a case of me overthinking things, but it did result in me gaining a bunch of cash.
This was a good puzzle, but now that I’ve solved it, I’m not quite sure why I needed to.

The only thing I could think to try was to put the rat in the soup. I wasn’t certain what that would achieve, but given the majority of the food was being made for Largo’s benefit, it seemed possible that it could lead to something good. I climbed back into the kitchen and tried using the rat on the vichyssoise. It worked, and the pot was now labelled vichyssoise avec rat when I placed my cursor over it. What now? I still couldn’t pick up the pot, and using my bucket on it still resulted in “I hate vichyssoise”. Talking to the chef got the same response as before too. Perhaps if I talked to the innkeeper, something would happen? I tried it, and knew I was on the right path when Guybrush said “Hey…Ah…How’s the stew tonight?” This resulted in the innkeeper heading out back to see how the chef was going with the vichyssoise. The conversation that the two of them had was relayed to me, and it involved the innkeeper tasting the vichyssoise avec rat! Unsurprisingly, he was not impressed. The chef was fired, and then the innkeeper placed a plate of the stuff in front of me as though nothing had happened. Guybrush politely declined, at which point the innkeeper offered him a job as the new chef. I enquired as to how much the job might pay, and the answer was 420 pieces of eight a week, with the first week paid in advance. I accepted of course, having no intention of cooking anything, but knowing that the money would serve me well when attempting to charter Dread’s boat.
I wonder how PETA feel about this? Animal cruelty apparently wasn’t as frowned upon in the eighties.

Guybrush really is being a prick to people in this sequel.

So what else did all this achieve? Did the soup serve any other purpose than getting me a week’s pay up front? I tried a few things in the kitchen, but was soon convinced that there was nothing to achieve. This unfortunately meant that my leads had run dry again. How could I possibly get a piece of Largo’s clothing? I still felt the obvious answer was the laundry, but I still had no clue where the laundry ticket might be. With nothing else doing, I wandered over to the Voodoo Lady to hand over Largo’s toupee. I didn’t gain any insight in the process, so paused to have a think about which of my inventory items I hadn’t used yet. If I ignored the second piece of paper, I’d not found any use for the bucket or the monocle. Hmmm…could it be that I wasn’t yet finished with the soup? Could it be that I needed to fill the bucket with something and then pour it into the soup. I couldn’t think why I might do that, but I set out to see if there was anything I could put in the bucket. There were really only two options, being sea water or swamp. I was already at the swamp, so after rowing the coffin back to dry land, I attempted to use the bucket on the swamp. Success!!!! I now had a bucket full of mud! Now all I needed to do was figure out what I should do with it.

Who knew I would feel this happy about getting a big bucket of mud.
Now that I had a bucket of mud, it dawned on me that it just might be related to the laundry. If I wanted a piece of Largo’s clothing, the best way to do that would be to make him send it to the laundry. I wasn’t sure how I would then collect it myself, but it was worth a shot. I’d hoped to find Largo in his room, but when he wasn’t there, I started looking for a piece of clothing or something that I could get dirty. The dressing screen jumped out as a potential option. Perhaps if I balanced the mud on the top of it, it would fall on Largo while he was getting changed? Nope, that didn’t work. Hey, what about the door to the room itself? That could work. And it bloody well did work too! Guybrush placed the mud on top of the door frame, and then hid behind the dressing screen. Largo entered and SPLOSH!!! I’m sure it goes without saying that the evil little guy wasn’t particularly impressed, desperately trying to get the bucket off his head while spouting exclamations of revenge. After he ran out of the room, I quickly made my way to the laundry, where I was certain that I would witness some sort of activity. I got there just in time to see Largo pointlessly arguing with Mad Marty, who continuously misunderstood what he was saying in typical fashion. Largo’s message was simple though; he wanted his clothes cleaned and ready tonight. He steamed off, leaving me to ponder how I could convince Mad Marty to let me have them instead.
No Mr. LaGrande. When I get my hands on a piece of your clothing, it is you that will be sorry.
I don’t think me telling him will make any difference.

I chatted with Mad Marty, but it quickly became obvious that he still wasn’t going to give me anything without a ticket. Should I follow Largo back to his room and try to steal it? Perhaps. It was worth a shot. When I got there I once again found that he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Had he left the ticket somewhere in the room? I pixel hunted big time, but couldn’t find a ticket. I looked in the drawer, and tried desperate things like using the knife on the painting, as if Largo would bother going to such lengths to hide a laundry ticket. Nothing. I went back to Mad Marty’s, thinking that I might run into Largo as he attempted to claim the laundry. Nope. I randomly started visiting other locations, but Largo was nowhere to be seen. Eventually I felt certain that the ticket just had to be somewhere in the room, so returned to it. Was I supposed to trigger something somehow? I tried closing the door, for no particular reason, and there was the ticket stuck to the back of it! Yes! I grabbed it and raced over to Mad Marty’s, eagerly handing it over. “I’ll see what we have ready for Mr. LaGrande.” Marty pressed a button somewhere and clothes started sliding on some sort of pulley system from the left of screen. Eventually a white bra came into view, which hilariously turned out to be Largo’s. He handed it over, and I immediately set off for the swamp, excited to see what would happen when I handed the Voodoo Lady the last ingredient.
This puzzle was nasty, but I did get there in the end.
So is Largo a cross-dresser or a woman?
The Voodoo Lady was just as excited as I was to finally be able to do something about Largo. “At last! Now I can make a voodoo doll to be reckoned with!” She put a dandruff flake from the toupee, a single piece of thread from the bra, a drop of the mucus, and a single chip off the bone into her juju bag, then added some voodoo herbs and seasoning. “Two! Four! Six! Eight! Who do we assassinate? Largo! Largo! Yeah!” The bag disappeared, to be replaced by a very lifelike voodoo doll. She gave some pins to me along with the doll, but warned I would need to be in close proximity to Largo for the process to work. I raced back to Largo’s room, and quickly used the pins with the doll. Largo jumped and screamed in a very satisfying way as I did it. He was very confused as to how I was causing this pain, and Guybrush prepared for the final attack. “Largo LaGrande, you are a no-good, vicious, two-bit thug. I command you to give me back my money and leave this island!” Guybrush thrust a pin in and out of the doll while Largo screamed, arrogantly shouting “That’ll teach you to mess with the slayer of the Ghost Pirate LeChuck!” Largo was shocked by this comment: “YOU killed LeChuck? The fortune-teller said SHE did in LeChuck.” This comment obviously hit a nerve for Guybrush, so he showed Largo LeChuck’s beard that he’d been keeping on him ever since he defeated him. This was a very bad idea! Largo grabbed it and stuffed it down his pants: “Now we can bring him back to life! The most fearsome pirate of all time will soon sail the seas again!” With that he was gone, and I had a very bad feeling.

I had a good chuckle at the Voodoo Lady’s cheerleader style ritual.
Now this was crazy good fun…
…until Guybrush’s pride got the better of him.
Next thing I knew I was back in the presence of the Voodoo Lady, informing her of my mistake. “I’m afraid it’s true Guybrush. If they have any animated tissue, they can reanimate his whole body.” Apparently I only destroyed LeChuck’s spirit form and not his body, which is buried far away. I asked her what I can do to protect myself and she informed me that I was already doing it. I must find Big Whoop. She went on to explain that Big Whoop isn’t just a treasure. It contains the secret to another world. If I can find that world then I can escape LeChuck forever. To assist me in my task, the Voodoo Lady gave me a book titled Big Whoop: Unclaimed Bonanza or Myth. I learned from the book that the four pirates that discovered the treasure were Rapp Scallion (the cook), Young Lindy (the cabin boy), Mister Rogers (the first mate) and Captain Marley. Just as the pirates at the beach had told me earlier, they buried the treasure on Inky Island and separated a map they made into four pieces (with each pirate taking a piece with them). The book went on to give brief descriptions of what each of the pirates did after their discovery. Scallion opened the Steamin’ Weenie Hut on Scabb Island before being killed in a fire, Lindy made a lot of money on Booty Island and then lost it all on a failed venture, Rogers retired on Phatt Island before disappearing, and Marley vanished while leading the America’s Cup race.
Apparently the overdue fines in Phatt City are pretty steep, so I better return the book when I’m done.
This was all interesting stuff, and possibly enough to set me on my way, but I now had a new interesting dialogue option while talking to the Voodoo Lady; “About that jar I was looking at…” I figured this was referring to one of the jars on the shelf in the shack that was labelled Ashes-2-Life. Guybrush had made a deal about it when I first looked at it, but claimed it was a promo copy rather than the real thing. The Voodoo Lady informed me that the potion is one of her most powerful, and can bring the dead back to life. When I asked if I could have one, she told me that it only works on ashes, and that the resurrection is only temporary. I would need to bring her some ashes so that she could mix up a batch. This got me thinking…I recognized the name Steamin’ Weenie Hut, as it was inscribed on the sign outside the closed down shack on the beachfront on Scabb Island. Since Rapp Scallion died in a fire at some point, could it be that I was supposed to bring his ashes to the Voodoo Lady with the intention of resurrecting him? For what purpose? To ask him about Big Whoop? Possible. Since I still had no idea where Captain Dread’s lost eye necklace was, I figured this was a lead I might as well follow up. I spent quite a bit of time hanging out around the Steamin’ Weenie Hut, trying to find a way in or something I hadn’t noticed earlier. When this failed, I then re-explored the cemetery, hoping to find a crypt or tomb for Scallion. When this process also turned up nothing, it was clear that I was going to have to reassess the situation entirely.
I really thought that I might be able to pick the Steamin’ Weenie Hut’s lock with a pin.
OK, so the only thing in my inventory that I hadn’t done anything with yet was Wally’s monocle, and the only puzzle left that I knew needed solving was Captain Dread’s eye necklace. Hang on a second. Could it be that I didn’t need to find the missing necklace at all? Perhaps I had what I needed in my possession all along! I tried giving the monocle to the Captain: “This will do just fine for my lucky sailing necklace. What con I do for ya?” I felt very pleased to have made progress, but I also felt a bit cranky about this puzzle. Maybe it’s just me, but I never considered that Dread might accept an alternative to his very special and actually functional navigator necklace. In hindsight the solution isn’t particularly difficult I guess, but it just didn’t feel…right…for some reason. Anyway, with Largo out of the way and a lucky necklace in Dread’s possession, all that was left was for me to hand over twenty pieces of eight to charter his ship. This was the end of Part I, meaning the whole Rapp Scallion lead that I spent quite a while following was never really there to begin with. Am I looking forward to Part II? Absolutely! Monkey Island 2 has been thoroughly entertaining so far, and apart from a couple of instances of trial and error style puzzles (such as putting the rat in the soup for no apparent reason), I have very little to complain about. Onwards I go…
Not fussy about lucky eye-related charms?

Session Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – It’s Always Mardi Gras

Written by The Trickster

While I have no idea how many parts there are to Monkey Island 2, I was feeling pretty happy with myself for having defeated Part I without too much trouble. It did seem odd to me that, apart from “lending” his monocle to me, Wally the cartographer played next to no role at all. It also seemed strange that the Voodoo Lady bothered telling me that she could raise the dead if I just happened to be in possession of some ashes, only for there to be no opportunity to actually do it. I was done with that part of the game though, so it was time to clear the slate and move forward, right? Well once again a lot of you will know that this way of thinking was incorrect, and I’ll explain why straight after this cut scene…

Part I took three posts. How long will Part II take?

As soon as I paid Captain Dread, I was suddenly faced with an image of a fortress. Not just any fortress mind you. This was LeChuck’s fortress, hidden deep in the Caribbean. Inside Largo was arguing with a witchdoctor-like figure, demanding to know when LeChuck would be resurrected. Before the witchdoctor could answer, the villainous pirate entered the scene, himself demanding to know about Largo’s discovery of “Guybrush Threekwood”. When Largo informs him that he saw his nemesis on Scabb Island, LeChuck commands Largo to fetch Guybrush and bring him in alive. Largo departs to do just that, at which point LeChuck tells the witchdoctor to start building a voodoo doll of his own. No guesses as to who that doll will resemble!
LucasArts were big fans of these villain cut scenes, showing the player goings on that Guybrush himself couldn’t possibly be aware of.
I would say that LeChuck looks a lot better in Monkey Island 2 than his ghostly form did in the original game, but it doesn’t feel right to compliment a green, decaying, living corpse.
As concerning as it was to know that Largo was right now on his way to collect me, it was now time to focus on the task at hand. This task was to find Big Whoop! I was standing on the deck of Captain Dread’s boat, and there was an empty packet of parrot chow sitting right next to me. I wouldn’t be much of an adventure gamer if I didn’t pick it up, so that’s exactly what I did. With that done, I wandered inside to chat with Dread. He asked me where I wanted to go, but since I really wasn’t sure, I asked him for options. It turned out that he only knew how to get to three islands, being Scabb Island (the one we just came from), Booty Island and Phatt Island. Both of the two new islands were mentioned in my book about Big Whoop, so it probably didn’t matter which one I chose. It was Dread’s brief descriptions of them that made up my mind. Booty Island is a party-at-all-time island, run by Governor Elaine Marley, while Phatt Island is run by a fascist dictator named Governor Phatt. Only one of those sounded like a place I’d want to go, so I clicked on the island with the word BOOTY next to it on the Dread Tours map that the captain gave me. It has been too long since I’ve seen Elaine. Let’s go!
Sail away, sail away, sail away…
Let’s hope there’s booty to be found on Booty Island, and I don’t just mean Elaine’s.
It sure was refreshing to be in new surroundings after running around nighttime Scabb Island for the last few days. I stepped off Dread’s boat to explore a whole new island, with various sunlit locations to check out. The first of these locations was Ville de la Booty, where the first screen contained an old man standing next to a cannon, a costume shop, and a souvenir shop. I approached the man (whose name is Augustus DeWaat) to start with, discovering that his only job is to fire the cannon when the mail arrives. He also informed me that it’s always Mardi Gras on Booty Island, and that Governor Marley is currently holding a big party up at her mansion.

Yay! Another whole island to explore.
Well then I guess that’s where I need to be.

When all my dialogue options with Augustus were used up, I entered the souvenir shop, which was called The Booty Boutique. There was an absolute crapload of different items to look at in the store, including hub caps, pirate hats, peg legs, and ceremonial lights from the South Pacific. The man behind the counter had lots to say about everything, but in the end there really only appeared to be two things in there that were of particular interest. The first thing was a parrot that appeared to be obsessed with it’s reflection in the mirror. I attempted to get it’s attention with the Parrot Chow packet I had, but that didn’t work. The second thing was a part of the Big Whoop treasure map. I was fairly sceptical that it was legitimate, and then completely shocked when he stated that it would cost no less than six million pieces of eight! Obviously I didn’t have that much coin, so was thankful when the guy said he would accept a trade. He had one particular trade in mind though, stating that I could have the map piece if I could bring him the figurehead of the sunken galleon Mad Monkey. When I asked him where I might find it, he replied with “Nobody knows where it sank or why”. Great. That really limits the places I need to look!
I get that you want it, but a little more info than it sank somewhere in the world would be helpful.

There was one other item in the store that I wanted. Tell me you wouldn’t want to own Indiana Jones’ whip!
As I walked towards the costume shop, the screen scrolled to the right, revealing a woman handing out some form of advertising, and another store called Stan’s Previously Owned Coffins. I immediately recognized the name Stan as the hilariously over the top ship salesman from The Secret of Monkey Island. As much as I wanted to head straight in there and enjoy the madness, I stuck to my original plan and entered the costume shop. Inside I found a whole stack of different brightly coloured costumes hanging up around the room. They were all on the silly side, including Mighty Moose, Wunky Elephant, Rhinoceros Ted and Rickety Rabbit. I examined all of them, but none of Guybrush’s remarks suggested any of them held particular interest. Once finished, I told the shopkeeper that I’d like to rent a costume, for the simple reason that I had no other dialogue options. He abruptly informed me that every costume was either gone or on reserve. I asked him the same question in increasingly urgent ways, but not even “My life depends on renting a costume” resulted in any different response from the shopkeeper. I could think of nothing else to do, so left.
This guy failed to understand just how much I NEED to rent a damn costume.
Having failed to achieve anything on the island so far, I approached the woman in the big hat, hopeful that I might at least get myself a brochure. After introducing myself, I discovered that she was Captain Kate Capsize. While I couldn’t remember exactly who had mentioned her back on Scabb Island (the pirates on the beach?), I did recall that she was a tough woman, and wouldn’t take any crap from anyone. I told her that I was searching for Big Whoop, and rather than mocking me for it, she instead spoke of her own experience hunting for it on the Limping Limpet. They’d given up trying to find Blinky Island when their captain died of boredom crossing the Sea of Biege Flotsam. I asked her for a leaflet, which she eagerly gave me, and then discussed chartering a ship. I didn’t see why I might need to charter a ship when I already had one, but could only assume that I might need to if I intended to go anywhere apart from the three islands that Captain Dread knows how to get to. I soon realized I was in no position to do so anyway, as Capsize’s fee was 6000 pieces of eight. Since that was all I could talk to her about, I moved on.
Nice to meet you Kate. Ever considered a change in either career or surname?
I’d had high hopes for Stan in his new role as a used coffin salesman, and he didn’t let me down. As soon as I entered his store, he pulled out every sales trick in the book, while animatedly gesticulating in his eye-catching way. “Welcome to Stan’s Previously Owned Coffins! We handle the dead for a lot less bread. What are you looking for, son? Need a bin for your next of kin? Want a family plot without spending a lot? You’re in luck! Just look at all this quality merchandise! Never before touched by a living soul. Most of it used for a few hours…premature burial, you know. That sort of thing. Well, speak up. Or are you dead? Either way, you came to the right place.” Stan went on and on with the death and funeral related puns, and I loved it. Eventually we got into a conversation about the purchase of a coffin, and after Stan sneakily measured my height while I wasn’t looking, he showed me what he described as “the Cadillac of Coffins”. To show off how roomy it was, Stan hopped in for a while. After he got out, I noticed that I had the dialogue option to ask him to get back in again. When he did, I realized that for the first time since entering his shop I had control of the cursor. Was there something I was supposed to do while he was in there?
Stan sneakily measures me up. These are the moments I love in the Monkey Island series.
I did some quick pixel hunting during one of the brief opportunities I had, and found a crypt key hanging up at the back of the room, a cash register in the shape of a tomb, and a bell. If I tried to use or pick up any of those items while Stan was sitting in the coffin, he’d tell me not to touch them. Hmmm…could I lock him in there? I asked Stan to hop into the coffin once again, and then closed the lid. It worked, but he popped straight back out as soon as tried to touch anything. He did suddenly hand me a white “Stan’s” labelled hanky though, which was at least something new in my inventory. Eventually I figured that there must be an item that I need to use to lock him in once the lid is closed, but since I didn’t have anything suitable, I moved onto the remaining dialogue options that I had. One of those options was to discuss the coffin’s price. “Pricing here at Stan’s works on a sliding scale based on one’s ability to pay so as to make a decent funeral affordable to even our poorest customers. So, how much dough do you have on you?” Enjoying the brilliance, I informed Stan that I only had 411 pieces of eight, at which point he recommended cremation. There is nothing else of note to report from the conversation, but I did make a connection that I’m pretty sure will be useful later on. When considering the crypt key, it suddenly dawned on me that I might be able to use it on a crypt back on Scabb Island. A quick look through my screenshots confirmed that there was a crypt in the cemetery with the words “Stan’s Kozy Krypts – A Place to Spend Eternity, Not a Fortune”, and it had a big rusty lock on it. If I can manage to get the key, I’ll be heading straight back to Scabb Island.
Stan is the ultimate salesman, not even baulking when I ask him to get into the coffin over and over.

Leaving Stan’s and wandering further to the right of screen brought me to a scene that I remembered all too well. The Pirates’ Spit Contest! There a bunch of expectant spectators waited patiently for someone to step up and test their prowess at spitting. The Spitmaster wandered up and down the contest zone, inviting anyone within hearing distance to have a go. “It’s a great day for spitting! Just look at this juicy crowd! Step up to the line and test your swill!” Even though I knew that I was in no position to do well at this point, I decided to test my skill anyway. I wandered up to the line, at which point Guybrush announced that he would “give it a try”. The Spitmaster asked me who I was, and I was given the dialogue options of Jucious Maximus the Third, The Phlegm Master, or Captain Loogie. I went with the third option, then hocked up what sounded like a decent gob. When I selected to spit though, my effort merely leaked out of my mouth and hung off my chin. “Misfire! Misfire! Everybody run!” yelled the Spitmaster, but he then encouraged the onlookers to give me a round of applause regardless. I had a second go and managed to spit a loogie past the halfway line. It wasn’t quite good enough to pass the third place flag though, nor had I expected it to. I recall from a distant memory that I need to concoct some sort of substance that will allow me to build up a disgusting but highly spittable phlegm-bomb. I can only imagine I’ll know when I’ve found the right ingredients.
This is a very serious event people.
A spit misfire is embarrassing at the best of times, but in a spitting contest it’s a catastrophe.

Walking past the spitting contest, I was suddenly confronted by the map of Booty Island. It appeared as though I’d completed my exploration of Ville de la Booty, but not the entire island. I moved my cursor around the map and discovered that I could visit a cliff, the Governor’s mansion, a small structure, and a big tree. The cliff was the closest of these locations, so I chose to go there first. It turned out to be wasted effort really, as I could find nothing to do there but look down the cliff face to the sand and ocean below. I pixel hunted a fair bit, but came up with nothing. I could only assume that something would happen at this site at a later time. I left the cliff and made my way up to the small structure on the pathway towards the Governor’s mansion. When I arrived at the small shack, I was shocked to find LeChuck standing outside it, guarding the path! Of course a second later I realise that it wasn’t really LeChuck at all, as the clothes were all wrong. It was someone dressed up in a LeChuck costume. It wasn’t until the costumed woman took off the costume head that Guybrush was able to realise this though, at which point she said “Don’t you know a Mardi Gras costume when you see one?” When I informed her that I was heading to the Governor’s party, she told me that it was invitation only, and that a costume would be required. I attempted to trick her into believing my outfit was my costume, but she refused to believe that anyone “would willingly wear such a dopey costume”. I quickly ran out of dialogue options, so it was obvious I wasn’t going to be visiting the mansion any time soon.
I could find nothing to interact with at the top of the cliff…

…or on the cliff face itself.

Come on Guybrush. Surely you’d know that this isn’t your arch nemesis.
So far my trip to Booty Island hadn’t been particularly fruitful. I’d uncovered quite a few new puzzles, but had only collected a brochure from Captain Kate Capesize and a white hanky from Stan in the process. Perhaps I would have more luck at the big tree. When I arrived I found that there was indeed a big tree, and that it had a heap of holes wrapping around it. The very first hole at the bottom had a plank stuck in it. I immediately figured that if I could stick a makeshift plank into the second hole, I could work my way up the tree by taking the one out behind me and sticking it in the hole in front of me. Alas, none of the likely items, such as the stick or the knife, worked the way I hoped they might. The only other thing to check out on the screen was an outhouse towards the back. I opened the door, but found I couldn’t do anything there either. There was nothing to interact with inside, and when I tried to “use” the outhouse Guybrush told me that there were “only shiny pages left in the catalog”. I departed the big tree, and realized that I’d completed my first exploration of Booty Island. I gained very little from it, but had a good time chatting to the many characters that reside there. Let’s hope I find a few more useful items on Phatt Island, which will no doubt make up the bulk of my next post. Until then…
Booty Island has basically been a bunch of puzzles for which I don’t have the items needed to solve them.
You’ve got a nice clean and crisp piece of paper in your inventory Guybrush. You do what you have to do.
Session time: 0 hours 40 minutes
Total time: 4 hours 25 minutes

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – Cheaters Always Win

With my exploration of Booty Island complete, it was time to go visit the third and final island…Phatt Island. I knew from a conversation with Captain Dread that Phatt Island is ruled by a fascist dictator, but that’s about all I knew. As soon as I arrived, it was apparent that the residents were not all going to be as friendly as those found on Booty Island. A large, muscular man with a helmet over his eyes and a sword on his hip immediately recognised the similarity between Guybrush and a poster on the wall. He very politely asked me whether I was indeed Guybrush Threepwood, and I chose to take the brash, arrogant approach of admitting it: “That’s right. I’m the man who swashed the Ghost Pirate LeChuck’s buckles.” He wasn’t the slightest bit impressed, dragging me off to meet Governor Phatt.

Oh joy! Another island to explore.
I thought the moustache was a great disguise, but apparently it wasn’t fooling anyone.

Pretty soon I was confronted by a horrifying scene. A disgustingly fat man, who I figured must be Governor Phatt, was lying in a bed. Every thirty seconds or so, an alarm on the wall would ring, and three tubes would pump toxic looking “food” into Phatt’s waiting mouth. A close-up revealed flies circling his many chins, and I noted a book sitting on the blanket next to him. “Well, Mr. Threepwood, I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have you here as my guest.” I responded to this comment by telling him how little I cared for his method of invitation, to which he informed me that he simply wanted to make sure we met before I departed the island. He then told me that LeChuck is indeed alive, and that he’s put a sizeable bounty on my head. Governor Phatt intended to collect that bounty, so after ignoring more fat and food-related taunts, he had me locked up in jail to await LeChuck’s arrival. Well so far things weren’t going particularly well on Phatt Island.
Oh my. It doesn’t get much more disgusting than this. I can’t wait to do something hilariously horrible to Phatt.

I’ve always wanted to say this in the right context.
I was unceremoniously dumped in a prison cell, where a rather placid dog named Walt stood guard with the keys in his mouth. The guard told the dog that he would be back at eleven to relieve him, which I assumed gave me enough time to figure out my escape. I’d been stripped of all my belongings, with the exception of my gold coins, so whatever I was supposed to do, it would involve items in my new surroundings. Pixel hunting revealed the skeleton of a dead prisoner in the cell next to me, a rock hard mattress on the bed in my cell, the cell door, two envelopes (a gorilla envelope and a manila envelope) in the shelves in the corner of the room, and Walt. Exploring the skeleton a bit more, I discovered that I could interact with the leg bone that was close to me. Unfortunately I couldn’t reach it, so I focussed on the mattress. Moving it aside revealed a stick underneath, which I picked up. I was then able to use the stick to reach the bone, and flip it over my head and into my coat pocket. Well, that was the plan anyway. The bone didn’t land in the pocket, but it did land in my cell, allowing me to pick it up and try to attract Walt with it. The dog fell for it, dropping the keys and running off with the bone. I unlocked my cell, and collected the two envelopes as my reward. The manila envelope contained my belongings, while the gorilla envelope had belonged to Mr. Willy Gorilla, who had apparently been arrested for “grinding his organ”. Inside the gorilla envelope was a banana and an organ, both of which were now in my inventory.
I love these shit grinning moments in LucasArts (and Sierra) adventure games. Watching my overconfident character fail miserably never gets old.
That’s what she said.
Having escaped my cell and recovered my inventory, I set off to explore the rest of Phatt Island. Reading my Wanted Poster revealed that I was wanted for “the murder of G.P. LeChuck, the use of witchcraft on the person of Largo LaGrande, the thievery of clothing and medically prescribed hair supplements for such witchcraft, graverobbing, trespassing, larceny without a permit, exceeding allowable FDA limit for rodent parts in vichyssoise, unauthorized exiting from a penal institution, releasing a dangerous reptile in a populated area, and involvement in the disappearance of prescription eyewear”. Well at least I was making my presence felt. I wandered up the pathway to the left of screen to see if I could add to the list. Heading in that direction took me back to the island map, where I discovered I could visit a mansion (presumably the one where Phatt resided), a waterfall, a cottage, and a beach. The cottage and beach appeared to be on a separate island, so I wasn’t at all sure how I would reach them.
Let’s hope this pathway leads to more opportunity for criminal acts.
Why do I get the feeling that Dread won’t simply sail me across to this secondary island.
I decided to go check out the waterfall first. It wasn’t apparent what I was supposed to be doing there, as there wasn’t anything to interact with apart from the waterfall itself. Eventually I discovered a path leading up the hill beyond the waterfall’s summit. At the top I found a pump. When I looked at it, Guybrush questioned what it was doing in a pirate game. It was a good question, and one I didn’t have the answer to just yet. I didn’t appear to be able to use the pump, at least not without combining another item with it. I went through my inventory, but nothing made any sense. In the end I had to assume that the pump’s use would become apparent later. I wandered back to the map to select another destination.
Yes, it’s lovely and all, but what am I supposed to do here?

An excellent question. Could it be possible that I need to drain the water between the two islands and walk across? Not likely.
On discovering that, as I suspected, I had no means to cross the water to the beach or the cottage, I instead made my way south to the mansion. When I reached the gate that led to the mansion grounds, I noticed a sign on the wall that read “Trespassers not delivering foodstuffs will be persecuted.” If there was any doubt that this was Governor Phatt’s mansion, there wasn’t now. I waltzed through the gates and into the house, getting a shock when I found the buff guard waiting for me inside. Fearing that I might be sent back to prison, I spoke to the guard to see what would happen. He recognised me, and asked why I wasn’t in jail where I was supposed to be. I was given a bunch of smartass answers, but I chose to go with “You must be confusing me with my cousin Guybrush”. It quickly became apparent that this guy was all brawn and no brains. He not only accepted my explanation, he then believed me when I told him that there was a fire in the kitchen. “Really? I’d better check it out.” He left me to explore the bottom floor, and after satisfying myself that there was nothing I could do with the red couch there, I made my way upstairs to the Governor’s bedroom.
Well, I have a banana. That counts right?!
A fair portion of the game’s dialogue trees contain a three-headed monkey line. They pretty much always result in something funny happening.

Thankfully Governor Phatt was asleep, allowing me to snoop around his room. I thought for sure that I would find something useful, but all my pixel hunting revealed was a Famous Pirate Quotations book on the bed (which I couldn’t pick up without disturbing the Governor), a bed table (which I didn’t seem to be able to interact with in any way), a wash basin (which had something stuck in its drain, but which I also appeared unable to do anything with), and the alarm on the wall (which went off regularly to remind Phatt to open his mouth for incoming food but was otherwise useless). I paused to consider what I might need to do in the room, but came up with nothing. Thinking the answer would likely become obvious later, I left the mansion and made my way back to the wharf where Captain Dread had dropped me off.
…the ugliest, fattest baby ever to have lived!
When I’d first arrived on Phatt Island, I’d been whisked off to prison before I could explore the waterfront. Now that the guard was gone, I discovered a few new locations to investigate. There were two alleys, and in between them was the Phatt Island Library. I decided to check out the left alley first, and soon found myself staring at a large green door. There was a slot in the door, which slid open as soon as I knocked. Someone called out to me through the slot: “What d’you want, kid?” I wasn’t really sure, but cycled through various silly responses such as the classic “I’m selling these fine leather jackets…”. All of the man’s responses were variations of “get lost”, although I did discover that his name was Bruno when I asked him what he was up to inside. With my dialogue options exhausted and nothing else to check out in the alley, I walked back to the wharf and then into the library.

It’s always nice to know you still have a few unexplored locations to check out. It takes the pressure off having to come up with a solution, at least for a while.

Would it help if I told you that I pretty much am lost?

The library, as you would expect, was filled with books. It also contained a model lighthouse on a table near the entrance, a card catalogue, and a librarian sitting at a desk. After trying and failing to pick up the lighthouse, I turned my attention to the card catalogue. It had twelve drawers, with all the letters of the alphabet represented on one of them. I clicked on the drawer that had A B on the front, and found I could look at each individual card within it. I didn’t really have any idea what I was looking for, but I systematically read every card in every drawer. The majority of them were clearly there for the comedy value alone, such as “Not Eating People and Feeling Good About It: Confessions of an Ex-Cannibal” in the self-help section, and “Elvis Lives: Predictions of Future Music by NotTrueDamus” in the music section. There were a bunch of books though that I felt could possibly be of use. For these ones, I soon discovered that I could click on “I’ll have to remember that”, and then ask the librarian to fetch them for me. I could only “remember” four books at a time though, so made numerous trips between the desk and the card catalogue. Before the woman would get me a book, I had to get a library card. This involved giving her my name, a fake address (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue), my age (which I gave as 21), my occupation (I chose Free Lance) and my vices (I selected nose picking). When I finished answering her questions, she informed me that my library card would be sent to the address I’d provided. Thankfully, she also gave me a temporary card so that I could borrow some books today.
I love it that every time Guybrush tells me something, the librarian tells him to be quiet.
A lot of the books had clever Monkey Island references.

Interesting. It appears Guybrush is actually 19 years old.

Some of the books that I had the librarian fetch for me were “Next to Nothing by E. Marley: An Account of Her Time With Guybrush Threepwood”, “Scabb Island History: An Introduction”, and “More of Me to Love by L. Phatt”. All three of these books turned out to be useless, with Guybrush refusing to read them for various reasons. One striking thing that I’d noticed while skimming through the catalogue cards were the amount of books that could relate to phlegm. I was pretty much certain that one of these books would assist me in winning the spitting contest, presumably by giving me some sort of ingredient list to make my spit thicker. I was actually quite shocked when Guybrush dismissed Viscous Fluids You Can Make at Home, Great Expectorations by Captain Loogie and a couple of other promising titles with “This is a pretty useless book, I’m not even sure why I checked it out”. I even tried “Famous Pirate Quotations”, since that was the book on Phatt’s bed, but the librarian merely told me that it was unavailable. If there was a book I needed to borrow, it wasn’t jumping out at me yet. Thankfully, I didn’t leave the library empty handed. When I talked to the librarian about the lighthouse model, I discovered that there was a scaled-down lens inside. I then found that I could open it up and take that lens. I broke the lighthouse in the process so that it will no longer close, but was able to leave with the lens nonetheless.
I was about 98% certain that Viscous Fluids was the book I needed. I was even feeling a bit chuffed with myself.
After leaving the library, I paid a visit to the second alley. There I found a man spinning a game wheel, and a second man standing nearby. The gamesman announced that there would be no more bets before spinning the wheel. It stopped on 32 red, at which point he announced that the gambler had won. “Which prize would you like? We have money, an invitation to Governor Marley’s Mardi Gras Party, and a Three-Day Vacation on Fabulous Hook Island.” The gambler chose the money, and left with his winnings. I decided to try my luck. I gave him one piece of eight, and was then given the option of 5 different numbers (23 black, 5 red, 8 red, 21 red and 18 red). I of course had no idea which one was going to come up, so I chose 5 red at random. The gamesman spun the wheel and it came up 27 black. “Too bad! Better luck next time.” Interestingly, the guy that had recently won a bag full of coins immediately jumped in to have another go. He chose 29 red, and won again! Just as he did the first time, the “lucky” bastard took his winnings and left, only this time I decided to follow him. I knew I was onto a good thing when I watched him walk out of the alley, along the wharf, and then into the second alley. I followed, hoping to find out the secret to his success.

I’m not sure luck has anything to do with it.
Boy it feels good to know you’re onto something.
As the gambler approached the big green door and knocked, Guybrush hid behind some crates so as not to be seen. When the unseen man answered, the gambler ordered him to tell him the next number. The man inside said he’d need to hear the password first, and then a huge hand appeared through the slot, holding up four fingers. “If this is five…” He then switched to holding up two fingers. “…what’s this?” The gambler answered “four”, and since that was correct, the man inside informed him that the next winning number would be 32 black. The gambler wandered out of the alley, presumably to go and win another bag of coins, so I approached the door to see if I could replicate what I’d just seen. I had a quick think before I knocked, but really couldn’t see how 2 might equal 4 if 4 equals 5. That equation isn’t going to appear in any mathematics text books, so there must be something else going on here. I wondered whether it was just a matter of memorising the answer. There was only one way to find out. I knocked, and told the man that I wanted to know what the next number would be. He informed me that I would need to give him the correct password three times in a row. He then put up one little finger and said “if this is two”, then stuck out his three middle fingers and said “what’s this?” Hmmmm…if 1 is 2, then what is 3? I couldn’t see any correlation between this puzzle and the one the gambler had solved, so guessed 4. “No. It’s one.” Huh?!
If 1 = 2, then 3 = 1??!! What kind of maths is this?
Thankfully, the guy gave me quite a few chances, so I wrote down each of his clues. If 4 = 3, then 2 = 4. If 2 = 4, then 4 = 2. If 3 = 2, then 4 = 3. By this stage I’d noticed a pattern. I didn’t need maths at all to solve this number puzzle. The answer to the second part of each equation was simply the amount of fingers he was holding up during the first part. I tested my theory and found I was correct. Once I’d answered correctly three times in a row, the man said “OK, you must be a member of the Gambler’s Club. But I don’t recognize you”. I informed him that I’d only joined today, which seemed to satisfy him. “Oh ok. The winning number will be 26 red.” Feeling pretty excited, I made my way back to the spinning wheel and guessed that the next number would be 26 red. I won of course, so had the choice of 60 pieces of eight, an invitation to Governor Marley’s party, or a vacation to Hook Island. Since I didn’t yet have a costume for the party anyway, I chose the vacation. With the Hook Island certificate now in my inventory, I went back to the other alley to get the next number, then returned. I was able to win again, and this time I chose the invitation. Things were going pretty well, and I was starting to wonder just how many times I would be able to cheat the system. Could I possibly raise enough money to either charter a ship off Kate or buy the piece of map? I soon found out the answer was no, as after winning one lot of 60 pieces of eight, the gamesman packed up for the day and left.

Yes, because no-one could possibly figure out your system. That would be unthinkable.
I’ve got myself an invitation to Elaine’s party. One step closer to a reunion!
At this stage I actually thought that I’d seen all there was to see on Phatt Island, but just as I was about to leave, I noticed something I’d overlooked earlier. There was a fisherman sitting on the wharf! I walked over to him and asked if he’d caught anything yet. “Are you kidding? I reached my limit hours ago!” His arrogance made me want to return the favour, so I chose my dialogue carefully. “I’m a game warden. I’ll have to confiscate your pole.” The fisherman wasn’t convinced, and asked to see my badge. I of course didn’t have one, so couldn’t follow through on my threat. I then took a different approach, telling him that I was “the best fisherman in these isles”. This had the desired result, as it led to the competitive little guy asking if I wanted to make a small wager. I said yes, but felt a little bit concerned when I heard exactly what he had in mind. “If you can catch a bigger fish than I can, I’ll give you my prize-winning pole. If I catch a bigger fish than you, you have to eat it. RAW.” There wasn’t any way out of the wager now though. What have I got Guybrush into now?!
I’m not sure how I didn’t see the fisherman earlier. Makes me wonder whether my observation skills are a bit rusty.
Oh now you tell me!?
Session time: 1 hours 15 minutes
Total time: 5 hours 40 minutes

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – Pretty in Pink

OK, where was I? That’s right, I’d just finished exploring Scabb Island, Booty Island and Phatt Island. It’s these moments that I both look forward to and dread in adventure games. On the one hand, with no more locations to explore (at least for now), it’s finally time to take stock of my inventory and see if I can actually solve puzzles. On the other hand, if I struggle to actually solve anything, then I have to face up to the fact that I’m stuck and start revisiting everywhere all over again. I’d just made a wager with the egotistical little fisherman on the Phatt Island wharf (that I could catch a bigger fish than him), so before I left there I pondered what this puzzle was all about. Why would I need his fishing rod? I had no idea. How could I possibly catch a fish without having a rod of my own? Could I make one? A quick look at my inventory told me it was very likely indeed. I had a piece of string, and I also had a stick that looked pretty suitable. I tried using the string on the stick: “I think I’m too clumsy to hold the stick and tie a knot at the same time.” Oh come on Guybrush, do I have to hold it for you? I tried to figure out how I might achieve the task but couldn’t.

Meanwhile the cheeky little bugger has got a huge head-start on me.

Looking through my inventory had given me a few ideas, so I set off to try them out. The first thing I did was head back to Booty Island to have a chat with Captain Kate Capsize. Ever since I’d won the holiday to Hook Island, I’d wondered whether she might be the one that would take me there. I still didn’t have the 6000 pieces of eight that she was demanding, but I was interested to know whether my dialogue options would change. They didn’t. I hadn’t given up on the idea, but would have to come back if and when I strike it rich. The next location I went to was the inn on Scabb Island. Finding the banana in the jail had reminded me that Jojo the monkey sometimes performs there. When I walked in I found that the monkey was indeed there now, making me all but certain that I was onto something. I tried giving the banana to Jojo and he seemed pretty keen, but the innkeeper sternly told me to stop bugging the monkey, once again ruining any chance I had.

It’s not a good sign that I couldn’t at least mention the holiday, so maybe I’m off the mark with that thought.

Hmmm…what could I possibly want from the monkey anyway?

I wasn’t done in the inn though, as when I’d previously tried to buy a drink, the innkeeper had asked me for ID. I just so happened to have a library card showing that I was 21 now. I was able to show it to him when he requested ID, and to my relief, he was satisfied that I was old enough to partake. He did ask me whether the name Guybrush was French, but accepted my answer that it was actually Fictional. There were three beverages on offer, being Yellow Beard’s Baby, Bloody Stump and Blue Whale. I bought one of each. When I’d asked him about the inn’s non-alcoholic “near grog” last time I was there, he’d informed me that Captain Kate Capsize had purchased the last glass of it. I asked him whether they now had any, but he told me they wouldn’t have any more for a month. I wasn’t sure what the relevance was, but it seemed like something I would need to remember down the track. In my inventory I now had a red drink, a blue drink and a yellow drink. Something told me that these drinks needed to be mixed to assist me in winning the spitting contest. This wasn’t a particularly logical thought, so I can only imagine there’s a memory held in the back of my brain from when I played the game in the early 90s. I experimented, and found that if I mixed the blue and the yellow drinks, I ended up with a green one. When I drank the toxic looking concoction, Guybrush commented that it made his spit thick. Yes! This must be what I need to win!

Alright! Time to go win that contest!
Excited, I had Captain Dread take me straight back to Phatt Island and raced over to the spitting contest. I sucked back some of the green drink, hocked up a giant loogie, and spat. My phlegm-based projectile flew further than any of my previous attempts, impressing the Spitmaster: “What’s this? A surprise turnaround in performance? Looks like third place.” What? Third place?! I had another go, this time drinking stacks of the green stuff and spending quite a while preparing my spit. I managed second place. Well that was progress. Perhaps I just needed to drink enough of the stuff or hock up enough mucus. I made about ten more attempts, but no matter what I did, I just couldn’t get across the line. In the end I had to assume that there must be another ingredient that I needed to mix with the alcohol to make it even thicker. Nothing I had in my inventory did the trick, so I gave up for now and moved onto my next idea. I made my way back to Booty Island and out to the big tree. I’d previously attempted to climb the tree by using my stick on the second hole. It hadn’t worked that time, but perhaps it would with the more solid piece of timber I’d collected from under the mattress in the jail. Nope! I really wasn’t having much luck here. Perhaps I could use the paddle that was stuck in the first hole of the tree somewhere else? I took it, just in case, and continued to look at everything in my inventory while thinking of each puzzle that I hadn’t yet solved. I soon discovered something I’d completely missed earlier…
Applause? I don’t want applause! I want…actually, I have no idea what the prize is for winning.
But it’s a round peg. Surely it fits into a round hole!
When I clicked Look and then selected the invitation to Governor Marley’s party, Guybrush read it out to me: “Don’t forget to bring this invitation when you pick up your complimentary costume! Please present invitation at door and wear your costume.” Clearly I’d never actually looked at the invitation before, as this was a very valuable piece of information indeed. I travelled back to the costume shop and gave my ticket to the shopkeeper. “Ah, you have a costume on reserve! Well that’s a different story! Let’s see…your costume is right over here.” He led me to the right of screen where a pink dress hung on a hanger. “Well, here it is. You’ll surely be the life of the party in this.” What? Really? This is my costume!? I had a good giggle, then picked it up and made my way up to the Guard Kiosk near the Governor’s mansion. This time when the woman asked me whether I’d brought a costume and invitation, I was able to answer in the affirmative. She told me that I better put my costume on before heading up to the party. Much to the woman’s surprise, Guybrush started to take his clothes off right in front of her. “No, no! Not here! Go in the bushes or something.” Guybrush did exactly that, returning shortly afterwards looking just gorgeous in the dress and his pirate boots.
Perhaps not the costume I would have chosen, but it should get me into the party.
What, you don’t want to see me naked? You realise other women would kill for the chance!

A classic LucasArts moment.

Now that I was in my costume and had provided the woman with my invitation, I was finally allowed to attend the party. I walked up a pathway, across a natural bridge, and then found myself standing in front of a pretty spectacular mansion. As I approached the front door, I came upon a dog resting in front of it and a gardener raking up leaves nearby. The dog didn’t seem bothered by my presence in the slightest, and while it seemed likely that he might fetch one of my sticks, using one on the canine only resulted in Guybrush telling me that he was “fetching enough already in this dress”. I couldn’t find anything to do, but did note that when I tried certain items the game told me that they didn’t seem to smell interesting to him. Perhaps I needed to find something that does? The gardener wasn’t interested in me either, telling me to leave him alone. When I noticed that I could walk around the side of the house, I decided to check that out before entering the front door.
I imagine Guybrush is really regretting breaking up with Elaine now. That’s some home!
Yeah, until it tries to bite your face off.
Behind the mansion was a back door, and near it was a garbage bin and some boxes. A sign next to the door said “Shhhh! Please don’t bang garbage cans. Governor sleeping upstairs.” I thought I might be able to rummage through the rubbish to find something that would interest the dog, but Guybrush refused to look in it. The boxes were empty, but Guybrush made a point of telling me that they smelled like fish. I tried pushing the bin, hoping to go against the sign’s instructions, and it worked. “CRASH!” A chef came charging out of the kitchen, clearly not impressed: “Hey! What’s all the racket? Don’t mess with the Governor’s cans! Who do you think you are?” Before I could tell him who I was and explain that I have spent much time messing with her cans previously, he went back inside and slammed the door. While I didn’t think it would work, I tried simply opening the door and walking in behind him. To my surprise, it did work, and once inside I could watch him going about his business. Pixel hunting revealed a bucket of fish on the table, but as soon as I walked near it, the chef noticed me and shouted “Hey! Kitchen staff only!”. Guybrush apologised and walked back out. It suddenly dawned on me that if I could get my hands on one of those fish, it would likely allow me to win my wager with the fisherman. Sadly, I couldn’t figure out a way to get one, and eventually walked back around to the front of the house to try something else.

The chef became more and more aggressive each time I bugged him, swinging his bloodied butcher’s knife threateningly.

Say, you don’t need all that fish there do you?

The dog still paid no attention to me, so I walked straight into the mansion through the front door. Inside were a whole heap of costumed party attendees, drinking what appeared to be red wine and chatting. As soon as I walked in I noticed a piece of the Big Whoop map in a frame up above the fireplace. Before doing anything else I clicked Pick Up and then on the map, and was shocked when I suddenly had it in my inventory. Surely it wasn’t going to be that easy! I tried talking to all the guests, but none of them would pay any attention to me, continuing their conversations as though I wasn’t there. The only other thing I could interact with in the room were some fish bones on the table, but Guybrush refused to pick them up as they were already picked clean. I’d hoped that I would be able to go upstairs and see Elaine, but I could find no way to get past the couple pashing on the bottom step. Well, at least I had part of the map. I had a strange feeling though that I wasn’t simply going to be able to walk out with it.

Yep, it seems everyone went to the same costume shop. Hey, isn’t that a piece of the Big Whoop map!?

Here’s the first piece of the map. Fish appears to be the theme of today’s post.
My intuition in this case was spot on. As soon as I walked through the door, the dog started sniffing at me and then barking. The gardener ran over and said “What’s the matter there, Guybrush?” Well it’s nice to know that Elaine still remembers me enough to name her dog after me. I told the gardener that the crazy mutt was trying to kill me, but he demanded to know who I was. I told him I was Mr. Threepwood, and then demanded that he take me to the Governor. He thought this was a good idea, but only because he thought my behaviour was suspicious and wanted her to know about it. Before he took me to Elaine, he demanded I empty my pockets. This act obviously wouldn’t end well, so Guybrush attempted to run. He didn’t get far, as the gardener thew a rake in his path. Just as occurred in all the cartoons I watched as a kid, Guybrush stepped on the rake and it smashed him in the face, knocking him out.
This would have been a great time to use the “Is that a three-headed monkey behind you” line.
I’m beginning to question whether this guy is “just your average gardener”.
Next thing either Guybrush or I knew, the gardener waltzed into Elaine’s bedroom and told her all about what had occurred: “Governor, I caught one of your party guests making off with your grandfather’s map.” She told him to bring the thief in, and was shocked to find that it was her previous lover. “Of all the parties in all the houses on all the islands in the Caribbean, he had to crash mine!” Guybrush did his best to smooth over the situation, but Elaine appeared determined not to look at or talk to him. She eventually gave him a mouthful, telling him that they were a mistake, and that he was breaking their agreement by being there. Suddenly I was given dialogue options. It looked like it was going to be up to me to make things right between the two ex-lovers.

I’m thinking the real reason Elaine left Guybrush was due to his choice of pet names.
I always feel safe when choosing dialogue in LucasArts games. There are no dead ends after all. But for some reason I felt a lot of pressure to get this particular conversation right.
I chose the most soppy, apologetic options possible, and after four or five carefully selected options, Elaine came around. “Oh, Guybrush, I know I shouldn’t have anything to do with you, but there’s something about your weakness and ineptitude that I find infectious.” Alas, Guybrush decided to undo all my good work by responding with “Does that mean you’re going to let me have the map?” This unsurprisingly infuriated the Governor, who opened the window, threw the map out, and then stormed out of the room. Both Guybrush and I realised at the same time that we could at least explore the room now that she was gone. I soon found that I could interact with a bust, a chest, a coat, a changing screen, a mirror, a couple of pillows, an oar on the wall, and the now-open window. Most of them resulted in nothing important, but the bust and the chest were basically a double-whammy joke. When I looked at the bust, Guybrush said “You know, I heard some guys talking about Marley’s bust. This must be it.” The chest offered up a similar theme: “It’s impolite to stare at a woman’s chest.” I knew as soon as I saw the oar what it’s purpose was, as it looked almost identical to the paddle I found in the big tree. I became even more certain of this theory when I found I could indeed pick it up. Now…I guess I better go chase that map down. It’s only one of four after all!
Hmmm…this is one puzzle that’s going to take a lot of effort to solve.

Session Time: 0 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – Let’s Go Shopping

My last post finished with Elaine throwing her Big Whoop map piece out of her mansion window. It was clear that I was going to have to put some serious effort into repairing her and Guybrush’s relationship, but at this point I was more concerned with the map. When I walked out of the mansion I was shocked to discover the piece just sitting on the ground next to the dog. I’d expected it to be lost, or stuck up on some precarious ledge, not just waiting for me reach down and pick it up. I walked over to do just that, but a small breeze blew it just out of my reach. I stepped towards it again, only for the same thing to happen. All of a sudden a huge gust of wind picked up the map piece and blew it way up into the sky! I was shown the map view of Booty Island, and watched helplessly as as the map floated around for a while and then settled down onto the cliff face near town. I knew when I saw the cliff originally that I would eventually need to do something there. It appeared I now knew what that was.

Hmmm…I thought this would be more difficult. What’s going to happen to stop me?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.

Rather than head straight for the cliff, I paid a visit to the big tree, hoping to climb it with the two paddles I now had in my possession. I stuck the first one into the first hole and the second one in the second, then walked across them. To my utter shock, when Guybrush stepped on the oar it snapped in half, and he fell violently. He lost consciousness, and the screen took on a red tint. Guybrush eventually stood up, but it was clear that he was only dreaming. An old man and woman approached him, and he recognised them as his parents. They informed him that they’d come looking for him, and that they had some information. When Guybrush asked what that information was, his mother told him that they would give it to him in the form of a song. All of a sudden their clothes and flesh dropped off, and two skeletons were left standing there. They began to dance, and sang the bones song that many kids are taught when they’re young, albeit in a slightly messed up form: “The rib bone’s connected to the arm bone. The arm bone’s connected to the head bone. The head bone’s connected to the leg bone.” They danced around a bit longer before departing to the right of screen. As they did so, someone crept up behind Guybrush. It was LeChuck!

Monkey Island 2 is just filled with shocks and surprises, constantly pulling the rug out from under the player.
I thought this was going to be a really moving part of the game,…
…but it turned out to be complete madness. Clearly influenced by Disney’s A Silly Symphony, the skeleton dance is quite impressive!
LeChuck literally scared the hair off Guybrush’s head, then laughed hysterically. Guybrush spluttered that he’d killed the villain, but LeChuck responded with “You didn’t kill me, you little moron! I was already a ghost when you met me! You just destroyed my spiritual essence. A favour that I will now return!” Suddenly LeChuck was no longer there, and in his place was Guybrush as he appeared in The Secret of Monkey Island, holding the spray that he used to defeat his nemesis on that occasion. The nightmare abruptly ended when past Guybrush sprayed present Guybrush in the face. It was all over, and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to make of any of it. Was the skeleton dance and song really a clue? Was it related to what I already predicted regarding the crypt in the cemetery? I really wasn’t sure. What I was sure about though was that the oar I’d just found at Elaine’s mansion was now broken to pieces, so there was no way that I was going to climb the tree now. Was I even supposed to, or had the dream been the whole purpose of the puzzle? Could I fix the oar? No, but I knew someone who might be able to. Woody the woodsmith!

Literally off his head!
Does any of this mean anything, or was it just a nightmare? I guess time will tell.
Since it was on the way back to Captain Dread’s ship, I briefly visited the cliff to see if I could recover the map piece. As expected, it was stuck halfway down the cliff-face, well out of my reach. I felt fairly certain that this was why I needed the fisherman’s rod, so left it there for now and sailed back to Scabb Island. I gave the broken oar to Woody, and was thrilled when the woodsmith took an interest in it: Hmmm…looks like a massive fracture. If you’re gonna be using this, I’d better reinforce it for ya.” He immediately got to work, and within seconds I was holding an oar that was reinforced with steel and alloy splints. I raced back to the big tree and once again attempted to climb it using the two paddles. It worked, and Guybrush ascended to the top of the tree where there were three huts. The first hut contained a massive pile of paper, which on further inspection was revealed to be hundreds and hundreds of maps! I attempted to look through the pile, but Guybrush informed me that “Even if one were a piece of the map to Big Whoop, I would never be able to find it!” Oh man…the people at LucasArts really had a good time making this game. Every time I feel like I’m making progress, it smacks me in the face and laughs at my misfortune.
If the fishing rod doesn’t retrieve this map piece, then I’ll create a video of me playing through the entirety of Les Manley 1 and 2 back to back.
Now this is every kid’s fantasy treehouse!
Of course it is! Why wouldn’t it be?!
There was nothing else of interest in the first hut, and Guybrush informed me that he couldn’t see anything worth investigating in the second one either. It was then that I noticed there was a telescope up in the third and final hut, so made my way up there. At first I wondered whether I might be able to use it right where it was, but when I selected Use and clicked on it, the game simply waited for me to pick an item to use with it. Did I need to put the lighthouse lens into it? When that didn’t work, I tried simply picking it up, and found that I could. Well at least I’d gained something for all my trouble. I had a think about where I might be able to use the telescope, but couldn’t come up with anything that seemed likely. I tried unsuccessfully to use it through the window in Elaine’s room, but when that didn’t work I once again had to assume that I’d know when the time came. What now? Yep, I’d once again reached that point where I’d run out of leads, so would have to put my thinking cap on.
Excellent! Another item discovered for which I can think of no use.
What did I have in my inventory? I’d already used the shovel, the polish, the voodoo recipe, the spit encrusted paper, the knife, the string, the stick, the cheese squiggles, the voodoo doll and the pins. It was possible that one or more of them would have another use, but it seemed more likely that I would find a use for my unused items. Those items included the white hanky, the organ, the banana, the parrot chow packet, the Captain Kate Capsize brochure, the lighthouse lens, the Hook Island vacation certificate, the straw, the alcohol, and the telescope. What unsolved puzzles did I have? Well, there was the spitting contest. Clearly the alcohol and the straw were going to play a role in the solution to that. Then there was the fishing rod wager. I had a strong feeling that the fish in the kitchen mansion would be the solution to that. Oh, and I hadn’t figured out how to get the crypt key from Stan’s shop yet, but was fairly certain it would involve trapping the salesman in the coffin. Come to think of it, I still needed to find a way to charter a ship of Kate too, which would presumably result in the recovery of the Mad Monkey figurehead that the shopkeeper wanted in exchange for the map piece. When I sat back and thought through things, I had the feeling that I was on the right track with most of these puzzles. All I needed was a catalyst, but I frustratingly couldn’t think of what or where it might be. There was only one thing left to do. I was going to have to methodically revisit every location on all three islands.
I had some inkling as to the purpose of most of the puzzles I was currently confronted with, but not this one. I really have no idea what the pump is for.
I won’t describe the entirety of my journey back through all three islands, and will instead focus on the notable findings that I had. The first notable thing was that I had a new dialogue option with Kate, which I can only assume appeared after my purchase of alcohol in the bar. I was able to ask her whether she was the same Kate that bought all the near-grog from the Bloody Lip, to which she responded “Yeah, and you can’t have any of it, so don’t ask.” I had a feeling that combining the near-grog with the green alcohol mix might give me the concoction I needed to win the spitting contest, but had no way of finding out whether I was correct. The second notable thing that occurred was that Wally accepted the lighthouse lens as a replacement for the monocle I stole from him earlier. It seemed obvious to me that I needed to give him the lens so that he could read the map that I will give to him down the track, but it wasn’t of much help now. It did remove another item from my unused list though, which was helpful for the process I was undertaking. What the hell was the brochure for? Where could I use the telescope? When would the vacation certificate be needed? It was then that I took another good look at the parrot chow packet. I’d been certain that I would be able to use it to distract the parrot that loves its own reflection in the souvenir shop, but hadn’t found a way to use it. I felt like this was my best lead, so followed it.
Not the catalyst I was looking for, but one less item to think about is still progress.
I spent a good five to ten minutes trying to use the parrot chow packet on and around the parrot without success. Still, I was more certain than ever that there was something to be done there, so stuck to the task. Eventually I started focussing on other items around the room, and noted that the well-polished old saw would be a pretty handy item to have in an adventure game. I tried picking it up, which hadn’t worked with the items in the store that I tried to do that with up until that moment. I was gobsmacked when Guybrush responded to my request by telling the shopkeeper that he wanted to buy it! The shopkeeper seemed up for it too: “I see you have an eye for quality. That’ll be 25 pieces o’ eight.” I accepted his terms and suddenly had a saw in my inventory. Rather than consider what the saw might be useful for, I found myself madly pondering what else I might actually be able to buy. Needless to say, I attempted to pick up every item in the store, resulting in the purchase of the sign that reads “Beware of Parrot” for 5 pieces of eight, the ship’s horn for 40 pieces of eight, a feather pen for 10 pieces of eight, a hubcap for 50 pieces of eight, a wreath for 20 pieces of eight, a pirate hat for 30 pieces of eight, and a rock and roll collector’s plate for 199 pieces of eight. All the other items in the store were either display models or not for sale. In just a few minutes I’d gone from not having a clue what to do to having a whole stack of new items to play around with!
Sadly I couldn’t buy Indy’s whip.
Before I left the store to go and try out all my new kit, I noticed that there was now a large hook sticking out of the wall where the sign used to be. Looking at it revealed that it was an authentic pirate’s fishhook. I immediately thought about my attempts to manufacture my own fishing rod with the stick and the string. Could this be the final piece to that puzzle? I tried to pick it up, but it was firmly stuck in the wall. I tried a bunch of unlikely things to get it out, but had to admit defeat. I decided it was likely just a red herring, and that the real solution was indeed to steal one of the chef’s fish at the mansion. Suddenly it dawned on me that I still hadn’t solved the puzzle I’d come to the store to solve. How could I use the parrot chow packet with the parrot, and what would that achieve anyway? Hang on a minute! Could it be that I needed to use the packet with the hook, therefore drawing the parrot’s attention away from the mirror? As soon as I had the thought, I knew that it must be correct. I used the packet on the hook and shouted in joy as Guybrush followed my instructions. The bird did indeed shift along his perch and start watching the the parrot on the packet. While it was distracted, I attempted to buy the mirror: “Alrighty. That’ll be 15 pieces o’ eight.” I eagerly handed over the coin, and admired the reflective new addition in my inventory. Victory!

My delight at having solved this puzzle was once again diminished by the fact I had no idea what the mirror might be used for.

As I stepped out of the store, a potential solution pretty much smacked me in the face. Augustus DeWaat was still standing next to his cannon, waiting for the mail ship to arrive. I figured that I might be able to use the ship horn to fool him into thinking that it had arrived. I clicked Use and then the horn, and Guybrush pulled it out and gave it an almighty blow. Just as I’d hoped, DeWaat was fooled: “That sounds like the mail boat! I’d better fire the cannon!” He did exactly that, and then the spitmaster unexpectedly arrived on the scene to find out whether there was any mail for him. He didn’t stay long, but the fact that he came must have meant something. I looked at all of my new items and tried to come up with a likely use for them. Was there anything I needed to cut with a saw? No. Was there any use for a sign, a hubcap, a wreath, a collector’s plate or a pirate hat? The only thing I could think of was that I might be able to use the feather on Governor Phatt’s feet. I didn’t know why I might want to do that, but his feet were sticking out of the bed. I had to try something right?

I’d figured out the use for the horn,…
…but to what purpose?
As I arrived at Phatt Island to go and try this unlikely solution, I stopped in to read the wanted poster to see whether any more of my crimes had been added to the list. While I was reading it, I just happened to notice the similarity between the brochure I had with Kate Capsize’s head on it and the image of Guybrush on the poster. I wasn’t at all convinced that it would work, but I tried using the leaflet with the poster. It did work! Kate’s face was now on the poster instead of my own. I’d already done a number of bitchy things to innocent people during the game, but this one surely took the cake. A short while after I left that screen, I was shown a cut-scene of Kate arriving on Phatt Island. She and Phatt’s guard stood in front of the poster and looked at it in just the same way the guard and I had done earlier in the game. Clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed, the guard mistook Kate for Guybrush due to the poster’s image, and pulled a weapon on her: “I don’t know how you got out of jail, but I’m taking you back in.” I immediately set out for the jail, and found Kate in the same cell that Guybrush had been locked in. A cell that I just so happened to have the key for. Progress was being made, even if the outcome of all my small victories had not yet become apparent.
Of all the things you could do to someone,…
…this has to be one of the nastiest.
Luckily I’m also the guy that can get her out of this predicament.

Session Time: 2 hours 05 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – The Joy of Hex

This session began with me saving Captain Kate Capsize from the prison cell I’d indirectly placed her in. It was pretty easy really, as I had the key in my possession after my own incarceration. Guybrush was obviously feeling guilty about his role in her imprisonment, but Kate was so thankful for being let out that he had no chance to properly apologise. She raced off to find out who framed her, leaving Guybrush to collect her belongings. Inside the vanilla envelope (to go with the manila and gorilla envelopes) was the last bottle of near-grog that she’d purchase from The Bloody Lip bar. Was this the ingredient that I needed to make my mucus thick enough to win the spitting contest? It didn’t seem very logical, but I had to rule it out. I made my way to where the spitmaster was encouraging contestants and then tried mixing the near-grog with the green alcohol. “I don’t like to mix my drinks like that.” Well, so much for that idea. I drank some of the near-grog and then some of the alcohol, but that didn’t improve things either. By now I was beginning to realise that Monkey Island 2 doesn’t work like most other adventure games. I keep expecting one solved puzzle to create a domino effect where I gain the ability to solve another, and then another, but in reality they mostly just create new puzzles that I don’t have the means to solve yet.

Well, you know, I’m all about selfless acts and helping people in need.

So that you’re never dead-ended, there is always some near-grog left. 1/2, then 1/3, then 1/4, then 1/5 etc.

So what could the near-grog be for if not the spitting contest? I took it back to the inn and tried giving it to the barman. Perhaps he would reward me for restocking him. Nope, that didn’t work. While I was there, I tried messing around with Jojo the monkey. I didn’t have any clue what I might be trying to achieve, but surely the banana would play a role in whatever it was. I could still distract Jojo with it, but he would never stop playing the piano or do anything else of note. Was there something I should do with the metronome? I tried, for absolutely no reason at all apart from ruling it out, to use the banana on the metronome, and it worked! Guybrush stuck the banana on the metronome so that it swung from side to side in front of Jojo. This of course distracted the monkey to no end, and seemed to result in him going into some sort of hypnosis. The barman wasn’t happy: “Hey, what’d you do to my piano player?” With Jojo standing statue-like before me, I wondered what good any of this did me. Surely I couldn’t just pick up the monkey. I tried it. That worked too! Guybrush picked up Jojo and stuffed him somewhere beneath his clothing. Perhaps this isn’t a particularly logical outcome, but using the banana on the metronome kind of was. If I’d given things more thought previously, I might not have had to stumble on it by accident.

Sorry, it was an accident. No really, it was!
It’s always amusing watching adventure game characters stuffing huge objects into their clothes.

OK. So now I had a monkey in my inventory. What the hell could I use that for?! I started visiting locations all over the three islands, trying to discover something which a monkey might be useful for. I also tried (again) to find the Big Whoop map piece amidst all the other maps in the treehouse, to get a fish from the kitchen beneath the mansion, and to find a way to trap Stan in the coffin. I achieved nothing none of these things. While considering the coffin puzzle, I had a think about what I might use in the real world to achieve the result. A padlock might be one option, but the only one I could think of was on the crypt in the cemetery. Given I needed to lock Stan in the coffin so I could fetch the crypt key to unlock that padlock, well that wasn’t going to work. Coffins are normally nailed shut, not padlocked anyway. Could I get nails anywhere? I knew where some were. Woody had a whole barrel of them in his workshop. He had a hammer there too. Was there a way I could get them? I felt a rush of excitement. This seemed a very likely solution. I raced back to Scabb Island and tried to pick up some of the nails again: “Hey! Don’t touch those! I need all of them.” Damn. Nothing had changed, and I had no additional dialogue options that might lead to a positive outcome either. Think Tricky, think!

But I REALLY need them!? I’ll pay you 100 pieces of eight for them!
I simply couldn’t think of a way that I might be able to get the hammer and nails off Woody, so I decided to once again revisit all locations on the three islands systematically looking for something, anything, that I could do. In a huge stroke of luck, I found exactly what I needed in just the second location that I visited. While visiting the Pirates of Low Moral Fibre, I got the idea that I might just be able to saw off the third pirate’s peg leg. I wasn’t really sure why I might do that, but for some reason it just seemed right. Needless to say, I was damn stoked when Guybrush actually went through with it. He then commented that he really should make himself scarce, suggesting that whatever the result would be, it would occur while he wasn’t onscreen. As soon as Guybrush departed the scene, the pirate woke up and got the shock of his life! “Aaaiiieee!!! My leg! Help! Someone get a doctor!” Even before he’d finished his overdramatic performance, I knew exactly why I’d needed to complete this dastardly act. I walked straight into the woodsmith’s workshop to find that he wasn’t there, clearly summoned to assist the once again legless pirate. There was a note confirming this belief: “Out on house call.” With Woody gone, I picked up the hammer and the nails that I needed. No guesses where I went next.
Guybrush continued his extended session of mischief and criminal acts unabated.
I raced back to Stan’s Previously Owned Coffins and asked him to demo the coffin for me again. As soon as he got in, I used the nails on it. Guybrush hammered all the nails in, ignoring Stan’s concerned cries. I was now free to pick up the crypt key, and to see if I could do anything with the bell and the cash register. Guybrush wouldn’t pick up the bell, but I had an idea when he told me the cash register was locked. I used the hammer on it to smash it open, but sadly it was empty. Feeling mildly sorry for Stan, I left to go pay the cemetery on Scabb Island a visit. I used the crypt key on the crypt lock, then entered, expecting to find the ashes of Rapp Scallion somewhere inside. There were a bunch of coffins in the crypt, each with plaques that I could read. From left to right they read “Old Bill the acrobat. He lies in her dead. He died like we buried him, propped up on his head.”, “Happiness is a warm Manatee.”, “Kiss me, I’ve got scurvy.”, “Aarrrrrrrg!”, “Violets are blue, roses are red, we’re coming aboard. Prepare to eat lead.”, and “Mouthwash? We don’t need no stinking mouthwash!”. I tried opening all of them, but received the same message each time: “I’m not opening up one of these without good reason!” Huh?! Didn’t I have reason enough?
I can’t think of much worse than being stuck in a coffin, but an adventure gamer’s gotta do what an adventure gamer’s gotta do.
It was obvious which crypt the key would unlock.
Guybrush! I’ll turn the game off! I mean it!

Feeling perplexed, I pondered how I might figure out which coffin Rapp Scallion’s remains were in. My immediate thought was the library, so that’s where I went. I’d not actually gained anything from the library thus far, apart from the model lighthouse lens. For the third time since arriving at Phatt Island, I methodically checked every card in the catalogue, looking for anything that might assist with any of the puzzles I currently needed to solve. I had a list of all those puzzles on a piece of paper next to me, and continued to refer to it throughout the process. When I reached the letter “D”, I found a book that could possibly help me to find where the Mad Monkey galleon sank (the antique dealer was willing to trade a piece of the map for the galleon’s figurehead). It was called “Great Shipwrecks of Our Century”, and I asked the librarian to fetch it for me. She did so, and when I read it I was ecstatic to receive the following information from Guybrush: “Says here the Mad Monkey sank at 38N, 84W.” This was a fantastic discovery, but it didn’t help me right now. I didn’t have the cash to charter a ship off Kate. I went back to the card catalogue, and had further success. Under Q for Quotations I found “Famous Pirate Quotations”. This of course was the book resting on Governor Phatt’s bed, and it made perfect sense that I would discover within it exactly who said each of the quotes that appeared on the coffins in the crypt. Now if only I could figure out how to get, or at least read, that book.
Yes!!! This must be how detectives feel when they find a really important clue.
I paid Phatt’s mansion another visit, and tried unsuccessfully to pick up or read the book. I’d not managed to achieve anything at all in his bedroom, so there was obviously something I wasn’t trying (or didn’t have). Every time I tried to interact with the book, Phatt would be disturbed and start mumbling nonsense in his sleep. Did I need to quickly replace the book with something else so that he wouldn’t notice its absence? It was a possibility. I tried to use the Big Whoop book I had in my inventory with the Famous Pirate Quotations book and fist-pumped as Guybrush did indeed switch them. I hoped that I wouldn’t need the Big Whoop book for anything later on, but then assumed I could probably just switch them again if necessary anyway. I read the quotations book, hoping desperately that my theory about the coffins was correct. I knew as soon as I read the first quote that it was. “Happiness is a warm Manatee” was a quote I’d read on one of the coffins, and it was attributed to Old Skunk-Eye. The second quote listed gave me the answer I was looking for, as “Kiss me, I’ve got scurvy” was said by no other than Rapp Scallion, one of the four map piece holders. With this knowledge, I journeyed back to Scabb Island and then out to the cemetery. As expected, I was now able to open the coffin with that quote on it, and inside was a pile of ashes. I picked it up, knowing exactly what to do with it.
Once again this puzzle was quite tricky, but solvable with a bit of thought.

Come on Mr Scallion. Let’s take a little trip.
With the swamp situated right next to the cemetery, it was a matter of seconds before I was handing the ashes over to the Voodoo Lady to make me an Ashes-2-Life potion. There was only one problem. “I forgot the recipe. It’s been a long time. I don’t have that cookbook anymore.” What? Another solution leads to another puzzle! At least the answer seemed pretty obvious in this case. If a cookbook is what I needed, the library was likely the place I could find it. I did find a likely candidate too, under R for Recipes, being the humorously named The Joy of Hex: 101 Essential Voodoo Recipes. The librarian fetched it for me, and I raced back to the Voodoo Lady to see whether it was the cookbook she was after. I told her of my discovery, and she responded by asking how many crab scalps is says to use for the potion. Guybrush answered 13. “That’s just what I thought when I whipped up this experimental batch. Remember, just a dab’ll do ya.” I now had the Ashes-2-Life potion, described as an “Un-Cremating Cream in a convenient powder” on its label. Now, this is where I have an admission to make. As much as I’d love to tell you that I did the really obvious thing of going back and raising Rapp Scallion, for some reason I had it in my head that I’d picked up ALL of his ashes, and not just a small pile. I didn’t even think to go back to the cemetery, instead trying to figure out where else I might be able to use the ashes. In hindsight, it’s really damn obvious, but I had what I can only describe as an Adventure Gamer Facepalm moment.
Of course you did. Why would anything be easy?
I can just imagine how much laughter occurred in the LucasArts office when someone came up with this title.
Being the idiot that I was at this particular point in time, I made my way to the Governor’s mansion to try using Ashes-2-Life on the fish bones on the table. This makes absolutely no sense, and is a rather embarrassing admission, but the journey did result in me getting what I was after. When the potion achieved nothing, I went round the back of the mansion to have another shot at getting one of the chef’s fish. I’d not actually noticed previously that the chef follows Guybrush around while spouting insults. I wondered whether he would follow me all the way round to the front of the mansion, and soon discovered that he did! The solution the problem became obvious then. I did a full lap of the mansion, and found I could enter the kitchen and pick up a fish before he came back around. I took the fish to the wharf on Phatt Island and gave it to the fisherman there. “Wow! This is the biggest – er – it’s almost as big as the leviathan I just hauled in.” When I asked him where this leviathan was, he admitted that he was making it up, and that I’d won the wager. He gave me the fishing rod, which I knew would allow me to complete yet another puzzle. Finally I was on a roll. Join me in a few days to see how long this roll would last, how long it would take me to figure out what the Ashes-2-Life potion was really for, and finally, to witness an experienced adventure gamer coming close to losing his sanity.
I think I’d be running at this point!
Yep. I caught it fair and square too…honest!
Session Time: 1 hour 0 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – 3 Down, 1 to Go

When I started this session, I’d just gotten my hands on the Ashes-2-Life potion from the Voodoo Lady and the fishing rod from the fisherman. I was fairly certain that I would be able to use the fishing rod to get the map that was stuck halfway down the cliff, so I immediately set off to find out whether that was the case. It was, as Guybrush managed to hook it and then reel the map up towards him. I should have known better though. Monkey Island 2 has been thwarting my attempts to collect the four map pieces from the get go, and this situation was no different. As soon as the map was just about within Guybrush’s reach, a seagull flew past and grabbed it in its beak. I watched in disbelief as the gull flew all the way across Booty Island and appeared to land in the big tree. I had little choice but to head on over there and see what the damn bird had done with it. My worst fear was realised when I arrived at the top of the tree, finding that the bird had added the map piece to the huge pile of other map pieces in one of the huts. The bird now sat on top of the heap, as if mocking me. I tried a whole bunch of stuff on both the bird and the pile of maps, but nothing worked. After all the effort I’d put in, I still didn’t have a single piece of the map!

Oh you’ve got to be kidding me!
Use hammer on bird? Use knife on bird? Um…use saw on bird?

With that lead reaching a dead end, I decided to focus on the spitting contest. Ever since I’d fooled Augustus DeWaat into firing his cannon, I’d been planning to figure out what relevance it had that the spitmaster had wandered over to see whether the mail ship really had arrived. As soon as I actually stopped to think about it, a possible solution popped into my brain. I made my way to where the contest was held, then used the ship horn. Just as I’d hoped, the cannon was fired in the distance, and the spitmaster left proceedings to go and see what mail had arrived. This gave me an opportunity to do something in his absence, but what? I attempted to pick up the flags that represented first, second and third, and found that this action caused Guybrush to move them all closer to the fault line. Awesome! Now I should be able to spit far enough to get first place. I swigged some of the green alcohol, causing my spit to become thick in the process, then hocked up a loogie and spat. “Well, no records here. Looks like second place.” Huh? I blew the horn again so that I could move the flags even further, but couldn’t get the spitmaster to leave the screen a second time. Did I still need some other ingredient? I tried drinking more alcohol and spent more time preparing my spit before pulling the trigger, but I still kept falling short of first place. I’m really glad that I persevered, because eventually I drank some alcohol and then spat, with no hocking or swishing at all. “Sports fans, we’ve seen something incredible here today! Let me congratulate you and give you this fine commemorative plaque.” A commemorative plaque? What the hell was I supposed to do with that?

Might as well add cheating to the list of crimes I’ve committed during the game. Notice the spectators are watching the spitmaster leaving rather than me tampering with the flags.

When I looked at the plaque that was now in my possession, Guybrush informed me that it had an old-looking gob of something on it. There was no way this thing was going to solve any of the current puzzles I was facing, at least not directly. The only thing I could think to try was to take it to the souvenir shop. Perhaps the shopkeeper would take an interest in it? Things looked positive when I tried to give him the plaque, as Guybrush asked him how much he would give me for it. My optimism was cut short when he responded with “I’m not interested”. I noticed I had a dialogue option to try to persuade him though, so I gave it a shot. Over time I was able to convince him that the plaque contained the spit of the person who killed LeChuck on it. “Really? That would make it very valuable. I’ll give you 6000 pieces o’ eight for it.” That just happened to be the exact amount I needed to buy the map piece from him, and it also happened to be the amount I needed to charter a ship from Kate. I accepted, and decided to go and talk to Kate. I paid her the 6000 pieces of eight, and told her I was ready to go. Perhaps someone can tell me what happens if you try to just buy the map piece?
It really didn’t seem likely that I would be able to sell the plaque at this point, let alone get 6000 pieces of eight for it.
I was so glad that I already knew the coordinates. I can only imagine how I would have felt if I’d not discovered them earlier.
Kate sailed us out to the location I’d provided. Guybrush then said he would dive in and look for the sunken galleon. Kate was pretty unsure about this idea, questioning whether he could swim well enough. Guybrush stated that he could hold his breath for ten minutes, then dived in with no oxygen assistance. He descended for a long time, with the environment around him getting darker and darker as he went. Finally he reached the bottom, where the galleon awaited. The monkey head figurehead was pretty damn huge, so I had no idea how I might be able get it to the surface. I tried simply picking it up, and watched intrigued as Guybrush firstly managed to snap it off the ship before somehow stuffing it beneath his clothes. Well, it’s part of adventure gaming lore that main characters often have unlimited storage space on their person, but this had to be a record of sorts. Despite the physics of this act being completely ridiculous, the creators did decide to acknowledge the fact that Guybrush couldn’t possibly swim back up to the surface while carrying the artifact. I had to laugh when Guybrush quipped that the game has no drop verb, so he was surely doomed. I could still walk around though, and when I used the anchor, Guybrush held onto it and gave the rope a tug to tell Kate he was ready to ascend. It was time to head back to Booty Island with my booty.
Deep diving without any gear is not a particularly smart thing to do, but then Guybrush has never been known for his high intelligence.
LucasArts’ use of blue always seemed to result in gorgeous scenes, this one included.
Surely nothing could stop me getting my hands on a piece of the map this time!

I walked into the souvenir shop and handed my latest find to the antique dealer. “Well, well, well. I didn’t think anyone would ever get the Mad Monkey’s figurehead.” He gave me the map piece and well, nothing bad happened. It was mine! I looked at it and found that it was the upper left portion. Finally I could focus on three rather than four pieces, but which should I target next? It was only at this point that I put enough thought into the Rapp Scallion piece to realise that the purpose of the Ashes-2-Life must still be to raise the unfortunate pirate from the dead. As mentioned in my previous post, for some reason I’d just assumed that I’d taken all of his ashes to the Voodoo Lady, and that there was therefore nothing left to raise. Given the whole reason for getting the potion was to get his map piece, it suddenly dawned on me that there must still be some of his remains in the coffin. I left the shop with the intention of revisiting the cemetery on Scabb Island, but instead found myself watching a brief cut-scene. Once again I witnessed a scene from deep within LeChuck’s fortress. Largo LaGrande approached LeChuck and informed his master that Guybrush had found a piece of the Big Whoop map. Clearly not impressed, LeChuck commanded his man to bring Guybrush to him alive before he can find any further pieces.
What? You mean I can just have it? No-one is going to snatch it out of my grasp at the last second?

It’s the top left quarter of the full map. Not much good without the rest.

It would be such a shame if something bad were to happen to Largo. He’s such a friendly chap.
Ignoring the fact that Largo was likely on his way to disrupt my progress, I made my way to the cemetery on Scabb Island and entered the crypt. There I found that pretty much all of Rapp Scallion’s ashes still remained in the coffin. Feeling stupid, I used the Ashes-2-Life potion on them, and watched as Rapp’s ghoulish form un-cremated before my very eyes. He was understandably confused: “Whew! That was a close one! If I didn’t have my flame-resistant apron on, I would’ve been killed!” Rapp was obviously referring to the fire that killed him, leaving me in the tough position of having to give him the bad news. None of my dialogue options would let him down lightly, but I went with “Uh…Where exactly did you buy that apron, Rapp?”. I had a good laugh when he responded with “Stan’s Previously-Owned Restaurant Supply”. I then told him in increasingly insensitive ways that he was in fact dead. He eventually accepted that I must be telling him the truth, and feeling pretty down about the situation, complained that his soul was not at peace. “There is something I must do before I pass on.” I asked whether that something might be to give me his part of the Big Whoop map, but sadly he answered in the negative. “I just have this nagging feeling I left the gas on in my restaurant. It’s driving my crazy.” At first I wasn’t certain whether this was merely a joke about his having burnt to death or an actual lead, but eventually I figured it must be the latter. I offered to go and have a look for him, at which point he gave me the key to Steamin’ Weenies.

Voodoo sure is effective in the world of Monkey Island. I’d be screwed without it.
Let’s not question how the potion also happened to un-cremate the key.
After around ten hours of play, I finally had the means to enter the restaurant on the water at the beach. Inside I found that Rapp had indeed left the gas on, and flame was roaring on top of the stove. His gas bill was going to be enormous this month! I was surprised to find that the oven was empty, and all I seemed to be able to do in there was turn off the gas. While I’d expected to find something of use in there, in the end I had to assume that allowing Rapp to find peace in death was my purpose for entering the restaurant. Having completed that task, I made my way back to the crypt and un-cremated him again. I informed Rapp that he had indeed left the gas on, but that it was now off. “Thanks. I guess where I’m going I won’t need this map anyway.” He actually looked pretty frightening as the map vomited forth from his mouth while his eyes glowed red. I could feel nothing but joy though, as I now had the second piece of the Big Whoop map in my possession. Half way there!
Rapp had even left himself a reminder to turn the gas off. Clearly it hadn’t worked.
I absolutely love the T2 reference when Rapp cremates for the final time, raising his thumb as big Arnie did in the film. The game was released just months after the movie.
Two down, two to go.
By this point the amount of puzzles I had left to solve was getting quite low. I still had no idea what the pump was all about, but figured it had to have something to do with reaching the cottage on the smaller island. I also had no clue how I might find the piece of map that the bird had carried to the hut filled with maps. Given these were the only remaining puzzles, it made sense to me that the fourth and final map piece must be in or around the cottage. With this in mind, I set off for the pump. I was going to figure this out damn it! Before I could even have a shot at it though, I was shown yet another cut-scene. In it, Largo nervously informed LeChuck that the new torture chamber was now complete. His master liked this piece of news, but asked if there was anything else to report. Largo at first appeared as though he was going to say no and walk away, but eventually he admitted that Guybrush had found the second piece of the map. “YOU FOOL! You are to ready your ship and sail after him yourself! FIND HIM OR DIE!” This was the second time that LeChuck had commanded Largo to come after me, but I had a feeling he was staying away for a reason. After all, I still had the voodoo doll and pins in my possession.

A grammatical error? Shock horror!
I had Captain Dread take me to Phatt Island, then climbed up the path next to the waterfall to where the pump was. The game hadn’t really given me any clue as to what I was supposed to do with it. There was nothing apparent wrong with it, or any description that might hint as to its purpose. I had no choice but to go through my inventory and try each of my unused items on the pump, starting with the monkey (yeah, as if that’s going to work!). To my great shock, Guybrush took out the monkey, and appeared to use it on the pump somehow. It wasn’t clear to me what he did, but the sound of rushing water stopped. The water in the distance also stopped running from right to left. What had just happened? I made Guybrush do it again, and only then did the realisation smack me in the face. Hypnotising the monkey with the banana on the metronome had caused it to form the shape of a wrench. A monkey wrench! I didn’t consider my failure to figure this out to be a facepalm moment, as the shape of the monkey didn’t exactly scream wrench. The puzzle didn’t imply that it could be solved with a wrench either. In the end I was just damn happy to have finally solved the pump puzzle, and raced back down to the waterfall to see what my handiwork had achieved. I found that there was no longer a waterfall at all, and a gaping hole was now visible in the rock face. Surely it would take me to the cottage…somehow.
Guybrush clearly knew what he was doing, even if I had no idea.

This is one gaping hole that I was particularly happy to see.
I entered the hole, and after walking through three sections of tunnel, re-emerged on the small island I’d been hoping to get to. There was a path leading up to where the cottage was situated, and another hole in the rock that I soon found to be too high to reach. I took the path, and when I reached the cottage, There was a statue of a monkey in front of it. It had one arm reaching away from its torso, and the position of its hand suggested that it once held something. There was a plaque at its base that read “When I can see far, you are near”. I immediately knew the solution for this particular puzzle, as the telescope I had seemed to fit the bill perfectly. I used it on the statue, and Guybrush slotted it into the hand. Sunlight shone through it and onto one of the shutters on the front of the cottage. The telescope fell to the ground shortly after I placed it in the hand, so I picked it up again and then opened the shutter the light had illuminated. I then used the telescope on the statue again, and was given a view of the light shining through the window and onto a framed wall within the cottage. Clearly there was something important about this particular spot. I entered the cottage to see if I could figure out what it was.

I had to assume that this hole would act as a quick exit from the cottage.
This has to be one of the game’s easier puzzles, but then I did have the telescope in my possession at the time.
Intriguing. Very intriguing.
On entering the cottage, a rather large man approached me and asked me what I wanted. When I told him that I simply wanted to ask him some questions, he went off the deep end: “I knew it. Look, kid. I’m sick of you would-be treasure hunters comin’ over here. I just inherited this house two months ago, and every single day, all I’ve heard is rap tap tap, do you have a treasure here? Why can’t you people just go away and leave a retired pirate in peace?” I begged him to let me in about five different ways before finally falling back on a threat: “I’m Guybrush Threepwood. Prepare to die.” This angered the man, and he responded by suggesting we settle the dispute with a drinking contest. He placed a mug of his extra strong contest grog on the table and went to fetch another one. I knew straight away that the near-grog was going to be the answer to this puzzle, but first I needed to empty the mug. I noticed that I could interact with the tree near the table, so I used the mug on it. It worked, and Guybrush emptied the brutal stuff into the barrel the tree was planted in. I then filled the mug with near-grog and awaited the man’s return. He demanded that Guybrush drink his first, so he did, without showing any reaction whatsoever. Once the mug was empty, the old pirate downed his. He began slamming his head on the table before abruptly keeling over unconscious on the floor. I was free to explore!
Let’s add cheating in a drinking contest to the list of dodgy deeds.
I explored the room before focussing on the picture frame, but couldn’t find anything else that I could interact with. When I did put my cursor on the frame, I found that it was actually a mirror frame. This was the third straightforward puzzle in a row! I used the mirror I had on the frame, then went back outside and used the telescope on the statue again. This time the light shone through the window, onto the mirror, and then onto the far wall just above what appeared to be a trapdoor. I pushed the brick that the light had hit, and fell through the now-open trapdoor! At first I was concerned that this would take me all the way down through the hole I’d seen at beach-level, but instead I found myself in a basement. There I found a skeleton in a bathtub, and to my delight, he had a piece of the map in his hand! I took it, celebrating the fact that I now had three of the four pieces and at the very least knew where the final one was. I looked around the rest of the basement, but when I couldn’t find anything of interest, I slid down the hole to the left of screen. This one did take me back down to the beach, and figuring there was likely nothing else to do on the island, made my way back to Phatt Island proper.
I’ve taken over 4,000 screenshots while playing Monkey Island 2. I think this is the most well-timed.
Hmmm…there are two X’s on the map so far.
By now I knew that as soon as I travelled between islands after collecting a piece of the map, I would be shown a cut-scene. This time LeChuck confronted Largo: “Is it true that Guybrush Threepwood has found the third piece of the map to Big Whoop?” Largo reluctantly admitted that it was, at which point LeChuck made his feelings very clear: “Largo. You have been my trusted henchman for many years, but I won’t hesitate to drag your entrails from behind my ship if you do not bring me Guybrush before he finds that treasure!” The villain’s threats have been becoming more and more violent after the discovery of each map piece, but these cut-scenes have otherwise been repetitive. Back in control, I led Guybrush back to the big tree on Booty Island and into the hut with the bird and the pile of maps. This would be the final piece, but how could I avoid the bird and figure out which of the map pieces was legitimate? I tried a few things. I tried a few more things. I tried every damn thing I could possibly think of, but nothing worked. What was I missing? I revisited every single location on each of the three islands, but found nothing new. Damn it! How could I get this close to piecing the map back together, only to stumble at the last hurdle?! After a long session, it was clear I needed a break to ponder this. I’m going to ask for the smallest, tiniest, intsy-wintsy hint in case I need it. I really want to finish this game unassisted, and while that might not be possible now, I certainly don’t want any outright spoilers. I’m off to have another shot at it…
Largo must realise by now that the writing is on the wall.
This puzzle has so far defeated me. 🙁

Session Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 11 hours 0 minutes