Posted in Retro Gaming

LeChuck’s Revenge: The practicalities of revenge-oriented voodoo

(This is part of my journey going playing through 1991’s Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

Here’s one problem that I have with Monkey Island 2’s early game: Guybrush comes off as kind of a jerk to pretty much everyone. I have an issue with that, because he’s this genial guy in the first game who only pranks those who deserve it or hurts others accidentally (like leaving poor Herman behind).

In this game? He’s kind of ruining everyone’s lives left and right in his quest to obtain the necessary elements for a voodoo curse. He steals poor Wally’s monocle (it can be given back, but Guybrush needs it for an objective), he gets an innocent chef fired — and takes his job(!), and he cuts loose some hotel guy’s pet just to steal past him. And if Guybrush addresses any of these actions, it’s always in a goofy “tee hee” voice. I actually don’t like any of that. He’s a pirate, to be sure, but he’s a likable pirate. This makes him less so.

See, being mean to Largo LeGrande is something I can get behind. The bully has it coming.

And he (Largo) also wears women’s unmentionables. Ahem. Anyway, this means that Guybrush has the four essential ingredients to get a curse going, so curse him we shall!

The voodoo lady fashions a useful doll, which Guybrush then takes and uses to torment LaGrande until he agrees to leave the island (there’s no returning the money, though, since Largo spent it). Unfortunately during this confrontation, Guybrush shows Largo the still-living beard of LeChuck that he’s been keeping ever since his fight in the previous game (huh?). Largo steals it and vows to use it to resurrect LeChuck as a zombie.

…which he totally does. So we’ve gone from Ghost LeChuck to Zombie LeChuck. Not a great improvement, and Guybrush knows that he’s pretty dead either way. The voodoo lady tells him that his only hope is to assemble the four lost map pieces to Big Whoop and find the location, which will also put him out of range of LeChuck forever. Sounds like a framework for the rest of the plot!

Guybrush sets out for his first destination, Phatt Island, where he quickly discovers that he’s a very wanted man (I love the fake moustache on the wanted poster).

There’s very little subtlety here with Governor Phatt. Because he’s fat, you see? And drinks constantly from food hoses? And has flies buzzing around him? Just like all us fat people, I guess. Probably the grossest detail I saw was a water hose nearby, presumably to wash him down.

Anyway, Phatt wants to collect on a bounty put on Guybrush by LeChuck. Sensible, I suppose. And that means our hero is heading off to jail — and a fate worse than death and ghost and resurrection.

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