Saturday, 30 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Won! (Part 2)

It didn’t take long to get the answers to the questions I asked at the end of my last post. A thump emanated from the next room, and Guybrush announced that he was still alive. LeChuck had to admit that things might not have gone exactly as he’d planned: “Strange. There must be something wrong with my voodoo doll. It was supposed to send you to another dimension, not the next room.” He decided to give it another go, stabbing the voodoo doll once again. This time Guybrush appeared back in the original room, giving me an opportunity to check out the broken treasure chest and anything that might have been held inside. Strangely, all I could find amongst the rummage was a ticket with a capital E on it. After all the effort, was this ticket really all there was to the Big Whoop treasure? I wandered through the door to the right of screen, and thankfully LeChuck was no longer waiting for me in front of what appeared to be an elevator. There was a button next to it, and a plaque letting me know that the service elevator had a limit of 1000 pounds. I pushed the button, and the doors opened, beckoning me to enter. When I obeyed, I found that there was a large box inside, with a sticker stating “900 pounds”. That didn’t bode well. Surely Guybrush’s weight combined with the box would cross over the elevator’s weight limit. Before I could even attempt to pull the lever, LeChuck entered the elevator and once again stabbed his voodoo doll. It was going to take a while to explore this underground area if he was going to keep doing that.


Believe me, if it didn't work the first time, it ain't going to work the second or third either.


You're telling me!


Oh come on. Can't you give me a minute to check things out before torturing me again?



Guybrush reappeared in another room I'd not seen yet, and a sign on the wall suggested it was just to the right of the elevator. There was a doorway in the back wall, and through it I found myself in some sort of storage area. Around the room were drawers (all of which were jammed), some railroad track pieces, a helium tank, some crates that stank of anchovies, a broken grog machine (similar to the one in the first game), and some teddy bear costumes. Once again, LeChuck arrived before I could try everything I wanted to, sending me to yet another section of tunnel. This at least gave me access to a first aid area that I hadn’t seen earlier. The first thing I noticed there were two skeletons on a couch; the words “LOST PARENTS” on a sign above them. Could they be Guybrush’s parents? Why were they here? When I looked at them, Guybrush confirmed what I was thinking: “Holy cow, these are my PARENTS!!” Across the room I could see a bin, a bed, and a chest of drawers within which I might find something useful, but LeChuck reappeared once again to teleport me. Clearly he was just enjoying the pain aspect now, as the inter-dimensional transportation bit wasn’t working.


Could this be the same machine that I ended up inside in The Secret of Monkey Island?


Things are getting just a bit weird now.

My latest teleportation experience once again resulted in me finding a new room, with this one containing craploads of boxes. I began looking through them, and was able to collect a generic voodoo Kewpie doll before LeChuck sent me back to the first aid room. I quickly looked in the bin and found a pair of surgical gloves, then discovered a syringe in the drawer. Having thoroughly investigated the room, I made my way back to the room with the boxes unassisted, and rummaged through them. I added a green balloon and some root beer to my inventory before LeChuck arrived and sent me to the storage area. I'll cease including all the instances of LeChuck torturing Guybrush, only to say that it happened a lot while I was trying to figure things out. Eventually I managed to fill the balloon and both surgical gloves with helium, and this act gave me an idea. Given that helium causes balloons to ascend, could it be that carrying them into the elevator would result in the total weight remaining under 1000 pounds? I had to assume the answer was yes, so re-entered the elevator and pulled the lever. The elevator doors closed and it descended for a short period. When the doors opened, I exited to find that I was standing in the alley from The Secret of Monkey Island!


By now I was starting to build up a nice collection of goodies, but the constant LeChuck interruptions were making it difficult to figure out what to do with them.


But...this alley is on Monkey Island! What's going on?

I spent a bit of time in the “hauntingly familiar” alleyway, but couldn’t find anything at all to do. The street was blocked off, so I couldn’t go anywhere else. With nothing else to do, I re-entered the elevator and ascended back up to the tunnel system. I paused to look at all my new kit, and couldn’t help but wonder whether the root beer might once again do the trick, just as it did in Monkey Island 1. Next time LeChuck approached, I used it on him, but while Guybrush did squirt a whole heap in his face, it didn’t have the desired result. “Root beer only works on ghosts, Guybrush. Having been resurrected, I’m not a ghost anymore.” I continued to explore each of the rooms, and my next discovery was that pulling the little lever on the grog machine made a coin drop out and roll across the floor. Before I could pick it up, LeChuck arrived and noticed it. “Hey, a Susan B. Anthony!” He reached down and picked it up before returning to his torturous ways. This event had to have occurred for a reason, so I went back to the storeroom and released another coin. This time when LeChuck bent over to pick it up, I noticed that I could interact with the underwear sticking out of the villain’s pants. Surely I wasn’t supposed to give him an atomic wedgie was I? Yep, when I clicked Pull and then the underwear, Guybrush ripped them out. Brilliant!


Squirting root beer in LeChuck's face looked promising at first, but achieved nothing.


Another classic, laugh out loud LucasArts moment!

Now that I had LeChuck’s underwear, it seemed a good time to take stock of my inventory and see if I could figure out what the hell I needed to do. I quickly noticed that I had at least three items that would be needed were I to make a voodoo doll of LeChuck. The Kewpie doll looked a lot like the decrepit pirate, and the syringe could surely be used to stab it. The underwear could easily be Something of Thread too, meaning I only needed Something of the Head, Something of the Body, and Something of the Dead to complete the doll. As soon as I thought of Something of the Dead, I remembered the skeletons in the first aid room. I paid them another visit, and found that Guybrush didn’t mind ripping off the head of his dad. I knew for sure now that I was on the right track, but I have to say that I found collecting the last two items to be very difficult. I wandered back and forth between all the rooms over and over, without achieving anything. At one point I went through all the items in my inventory, looking for something that I hadn’t used yet. The white hanky that Stan gave me was still unused, which seemed strange. Then it dawned on me that the Something of the Body that I’d used for the Largo doll was snot. Could I repeat the process? I honestly have no idea why LeChuck agreed to do it, but when I gave the hanky to him the next time I saw him, he paused, blew his nose on it, and gave it back to me. Very strange if you ask me, but I was happy to have three out of four ingredients required.


Well, he doesn't need it anymore!


Did I miss something that suggested LeChuck might need to blow his nose?

The final ingredient took a fair bit more effort to figure out, and in fact I didn’t figure it out at all. I kept wondering what on Earth the elevator was for. The alley didn’t seem to serve any purpose at all. During one particular trip to the elevator, LeChuck entered before I’d managed to do anything. I pulled the lever to escape, and his beard got stuck in the closing doors! As the lift ascended to the alley, part of the beard was ripped off and was then simply waiting for me to pick up. I imagine I’m not the only player to struggle to figure this out, particularly as once again I don’t believe there were any hints suggesting it could happen. I was pretty excited regardless, as I now had everything I needed. The only remaining question was how could I actually make the doll? I looked back at my early screenshots to see what the Voodoo Lady had done, finding that she’d made a point of putting all the items in a juju bag. I just so happened to have one of those, as Wally’s love potion came in one. I used the beard, the skull, the hanky, the underwear and the Kewpie doll in the bag, and then Guybrush did the cheerleader dance that the Voodoo Lady had done. When he burst the bag, a voodoo doll appeared in its place! “OK, brother, watch out, ‘cause I’ve got my OWN doll, now!”


This took more than a little luck, and could easily have resulted in a request for assistance.


Now you're gonna get it LeChuck!

I walked around until LeChuck made another appearance, then used the hypodermic syringe with the generic voodoo Kewpie doll. LeChuck jumped in surprise, but then acted as though he wasn’t at all bothered by what I’d just done. He mocked me: “Ooh, look at me quakin’ in me booties. I laugh at you and your puny voodoo tinkerings.” I figured he was bluffing, and selected “I wonder what would happen if I tore the leg off this thing” from my dialogue options. I don’t know what I expected to happen, but I sure as hell didn’t expect LeChuck’s leg to literally come off! It lay on the floor next to him, and as he fell to the ground, his arm also detached from his body. Suddenly a dog appeared from one of the tunnels, picked up the arm in its teeth, and left with it. It wasn’t the dog I’d picked up earlier in the game too, so it was a bit out of the blue. LeChuck appeared to be dying, and requested Guybrush to come closer. Guybrush refused of course, believing that LeChuck would try to rip his face off, but the pleas continued: “I want you to – gag – take my mask off…choke…see the TRUE face of your brother”. Intrigued, I agreed to do so, and Guybrush pulled his enemy’s face off to reveal…a normal looking man! “My God, you’re my creepy brother Chuckie.” WTF!? I knew the ending of Monkey Island 2 was a bit weird, but this was like Scooby Doo. I was confused to say the least!


Take that you maggot infested scoundrel!


I felt just as stunned as Guybrush did at this point.

I asked Chuckie why he’d been chasing me all over the place, to which he responded with: “Our mother told me to hunt you down”. He then asked Guybrush to stick the leg back on the voodoo doll, and I was given a bunch of dialogue options with various promises. I selected “Will you promise not to hold me down and spit on me anymore?” and just as he agreed, a man dressed all in brown arrived on the scene. “Hey, you kids! You’re not supposed to be in here!” This was pretty weird, but nothing prepared me for what happened next. Two kids, with one clearly being a young Guybrush, walked out of a building at a carnival to be greeted by their parents. The same two parents that spoke to Guybrush while he was unconscious on Booty Island! Was I supposed to accept that these two kids were simply play-acting the roles of pirates, and none of The Secret of Monkey Island or its sequel really happened? I asked the “parents” what was going on, and they told “Guybrush” that he was being scolded for running off. “Your mother and I were very concerned. Thank you for hunting down your brother like we asked, Chuckie dear. You boys didn’t get in any trouble, now, did you?” I selected “Chuckie tried to kill me!” from my dialogue options, but Guybrush ignored me and responded with “No, sir.” I continued to ask questions about what the hell was going on, but the father brushed me off and said “let’s go ride the Madly Rotating Buccaneer”. As the parents and their kids walked towards the ride, the face of Chuckie looked towards the “screen”, his eyes bright red and his mouth unnaturally open wide.


Huh?! You're not supposed to be in this game buddy!


What the...who are...where am...


Wouldn't be the last evil Chucky, that's for sure.

This was all very strange, but I just knew that there would be another twist. The legends at LucasArts were surely going to somehow bring everything back into order before the game would come to a… But then the credits started rolling. The game was over, and I sat there blinking and shaking my head. Would it all suddenly make sense if I just thought about it? Would the designers’ collective genius become clear when the inevitable epiphany hit me? The credits kept rolling. What about the ticket? Will I never find out what it was for? What about Elaine? Surely Guybrush and Elaine must get back together before the game ends? It can’t just… suddenly I was shown Elaine standing next to the hole in the ground at the big X. “I wonder what’s keeping Guybrush? I hope LeChuck hasn’t cast some horrible SPELL over him or anything.” And then the credits started up again. This time the game really was over, and the true meaning of it all became a lot clearer. LeChuck must have cast a spell on Guybrush to make him believe that he was never a real pirate to begin with. This didn’t sit well with me at all, and raised even more questions that I had no answers for. Was Guybrush actually unconscious and dreaming the whole experience with his brother and family? Did he ever have a brother named Chuckie? Would I have to play The Curse of Monkey Island to find out the answers to all these questions? Given it came out five years after Monkey Island 2, that’s a long time to leave fans waiting. I will continue this dissection of the games ending, and whether or not it’s a good one, in my Final Rating post in three days time.


They put the word spell in capital letters, presumably to emphasise its importance in figuring out what just happened.


Off you go!

Session Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 14 hours 00 minutes

14 comments:

  1. Hehe, I was pretty confused myself about the ending when I first encountered it, but to my mind, the "Guybrush is a kid imagining the whole thing"-explanation makes just enough sense, and I love it. The glowing eyes and "horrible SPELL" thing seem like a bit of a cheap cop-out to leave open the possibility for sequels, or, you could say, Guybrush getting his imagination on again to escape the reality of being a powerless child with an abusive brother. Think about it again: How the whole game was inspired by the Pirates of the Carribean ride, and how the first game starts with Guybrush coming out of nowhere, proclaiming "I want to be a pirate!", like an over-enthusiastic child that just hopped off the ride. The anachronisms can be explained that way too - quasi-Lynchian reminders of a surpressed reality, creeping their way up to the surface - which makes them more than cheap jokes like in so many adventure games that came after. If you ask me, that's the "Secret of Monkey Island" right there: It's a coping mechanism, a boyhood fantasy, just like the games themselves are. And I find that kind of heartwarming, in a melancholy way.

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  2. "What about the ticket? Will I never find out what it was for?"

    I guess it's a reference to Disneyland:
    http://www.yesterland.com/abcde.html

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  3. I really do love the way that your first and last major puzzles are both constructing a voodoo doll. It's a nice bit of symmetry, and requires you to remember what you did!

    Monkey Island 3 does try and pick up where this one left off, but without the original creator (Ron Gilbert), they just had to make up something as best they could. MI3 is still a pretty good game though, even if it isn't a "true" sequel.

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    1. Yeah, I think the sequel did a good job, ohg qvq shyyl unaqjnir gur 'vg jnf nyy va lbhe vzntvangvba' guvat naq vaqrrq, gur jubyr raqvat.

      From memory, the first line in Curse of Monkey Island is something like...

      "Nsgre rfpncvat YrPuhpx'f Pneaviny bs gur Qnzarq..."

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  4. Maybe I imagined it, but I have a vague recollection of a short sequence after the credits featuring Stan still trapped inside the coffin.

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    1. You're not alone there, Charles.

      The ending, as brilliant and terrible as it is all at once, is why I suggested MI2 would not dethrone its prequel. I actually don't mind it too much, but Lucasarts has a bit of a thing with bizarre and or underwhelming endings for fantastic games.

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    2. I certainly didn't see Stan at the end. I wonder why?

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    3. Because there is no such sequence. He's misremembering.

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    4. Given the 25 years that have passed, a misremembrance is likely the case. Probably induced by the disturbing realization at the time that the game does indeed end with Stan still trapped inside the coffin-- eek.

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    5. I also remember a bit with Stan still stuck in the coffin. Strange that more than one of us can have the same memory if false!

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    6. I think that bit's in MI3.

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    7. Yeah, I think you're remembering the same thing.

      Spoiler for MI3...

      Va ZV3 lbh tb gb n przrgrel naq urne n abvfr va n pbssva. Lbh bcra vg naq Fgna cbcf bhg.

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  5. Wow, I remembered that "Big Whoop" was just an amusement park, but I had forgotten the rest of that nonsense ending. Yeesh.

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  6. Fun fact: If you press Alt+W during the main game, you get a slightly different ending.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7y1drSYt0o

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