(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.)
LAST WEEK ON MONKEY ISLAND 2: Guybrush cleverly infiltrated the fortress of the feared pirate LeChuck — and then got him and Wally captured in the process. Way to go, Guybrush! This week’s episode begins with LeChuck explaining the very elaborate death trap that he’s constructed for Guybrush, which is then foiled by some spitting and deus ex machina.
It seems very common in adventure games with “chapters” that the earlier ones take the longest while the later ones are much more truncated. This is true here, as the third and fourth bits go by fairly quickly, including Guybrush’s adventures on Dinky Island. Somehow, Herman Toothrot — the castaway from the first game — has made his way here, but he features not very much into this tale.
In one highly amusing, fourth wall-breaking bit, Guybrush finds a phone in the middle of the jungle maze and gets to contact LucasArts customer support. It’s useless, naturally, but it did make me chuckle. I have no idea what “SWOTL” is supposed to be — at least until I googled it. That would be the 1991 flight sim Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe. Good to know.
Guybrush does find the big X that marks the spot of Big Whoop, but due to some TNT usage and failed Indiana Jones-eque heroics, he ends up dangling while Elaine pops on by to listen to his three-day story. And then he falls, and she exits the story.
This is where the game seriously starts to get strange, because Guybrush ends up in some maintenance tunnels, where LeChuck shows up, tells him that he is Guybrush’s brother, and then proceeds to torture him with a voodoo doll.
Mom? Dad? This room is very confusing for either interpretation of the game’s ending, but we’ll go into that in a bit.
My favorite bit of the game: Guybrush obtains some much-needed dirty underwear by giving LeChuck a really nastie wedgie. This is high-brow, mature humor, people. Anyway, Guybrush eventually gets the upper hand on LeChuck with his own voodoo doll, pulls off LeChuck’s mask, and reveals… a kid underneath.
So here we get to the touted/controversial ending — Guybrush is revealed to be a kid with an overactive imagination who wandered off in an amusement park and was tracked down by his somewhat overzealous brother Chuckie. In light of this, some of the locations and events of the past two games make a lot more sense, if you look at everything as Guybrush going around an amusement park and overlaying his imagination on top of it.
But that discounts the sequels (which don’t reference this) and the dead parent skeletons — which are shown twice in the game, I might add. Another theory is that this amusement park ending is a hallucination of sorts (similar to the tree episode that Guybrush had earlier). Both times, he thinks about his parents, who are obviously deceased. There are two more factors to consider here: that “Chuckie” is shown as having magical glowing eyes in this scene, and afterward, Elaine is shown outside of the hole, wondering if LeChuck had cast a spell on Guybrush. So I guess you can interpret as you like.
And that is LeChuck’s Revenge: Monkey Island 2! Some players hold this up as superior to the first game, and while I’m not prepared to go that far, it certainly is a highly clever adventure game with some gut-bustingly funny moments, agonizingly tricky puzzles, and a variety of interesting locations. It certainly is a classic and one of the better adventure games I’ve ever played, and I’m glad I finally got a chance to complete it.