Posted in Retro Gaming

The Curse of Monkey Island: The end! (or is it?)

(This is part of my journey going playing through 1997’s The Curse of Monkey Island. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

With the map to Blood Island stolen, this whole section of the game becomes focused on getting it back from Captain Rottingham. It’s definitely a section of filler that jettisons the usual puzzle-solving adventure game mechanics for a combination of ship combat and insult sword fighting.

If you don’t recall from the first game, insult sword fighting trades actual swordplay for back-and-forth insults. You say an insult, and your opponent either has the correct comeback or loses some footing. If he has the comback, then it’s his turn to insult. The trick is that at the start of this, Guybrush doesn’t have all of the comebacks — he only collects the insults and comebacks when he hears a pirate say them. So it’s a whole series of fights to get all of the right phrases.

Then, to make matters more tricky, the Rottingham boss fight (as it were) has him saying completely DIFFERENT insults but you use the same collecting of comebacks to win.

With the map in tow, Guybrush and his valiant crew sail for Blood Island. And, thanks to a storm, get shipwrecked right up on it. To make matters worse, Elaine’s statue flew off into the woods and the crew decided to mutiny and return back home to barber once more. Truly, this is the darkest timeline.

Never stop breaking the fourth wall, Guybrush!

Guybrush starts exploring Blood Island and its many interesting locales, including a hotel cemetery. So many screenshots in this game could be framed, they’re so nice to look at.

After imbibing a spiked drink, Guybrush, erm, dies? At least that’s what the game wants you to think, as the side characters comment on how they didn’t THINK anyone could die in a LucasArts adventure game these days.

It’s a fun fake-out as Guybrush’s body is dragged to a crypt and the game continues to act like it’s over and done with — awarding “0 out of 800 points” and starting the credit scroll. Guybrush wakes up and he’s not having any of it.

But this all works out rather well, because also in the crypt is Stan, the sleazy salesman who Guybrush tricked into a coffin in the previous game. He’s not that put out about it, fortunately.

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