Help a scrawny lad named Guybrush Threepwood realize his lifelong dream of becoming a swashbuckling pirate in this tongue-in-cheek adventure from LucasArts. Starting in a place called Melee Island, young Threepwood must complete three trials before he can become a booty-seeking buccaneer: mastering the sword, mastering the art of thievery, and mastering the art of treasure. Finishing all three will allow Threepwood to form a crew and set sail to the fabled Monkey Island, where he'll need to defeat an evil ghost pirate known as LeChuck. Trade insults with rivals, solve humorous puzzles, interact with eccentric characters, and engage in a three-way battle for the affections of a lovely lass named Elaine Marley. Fans of previous LucasArts adventures will recognize the SCUMM point-and-click interface, which involves selecting verbs from a predefined list before clicking on an object to initiate the action.
Deep in the Caribbean lies Melee Island, ruled by the beautiful governor Elaine Marley. The cruel pirate LeChuck is deeply in love with her - so deeply that he refuses to accept his own death! As a ghost, he dwells with his undead crew somewhere near the mysterious Monkey Island. You are Guybrush Threepwood, a young man whose only wish is to become a real pirate. At the Scumm Bar you meet three pirates who tell you'll have to complete three difficult tasks in order to be worthy of this title. Could Guybrush ever suspect that while trying to complete those tasks, he will encounter the governor Elaine Marley, fall in love with her, and face the anger of the dreadful ghost pirate LeChuck?! This is when Guybrush' adventure truly begins!
The Secret of Monkey Island is an adventure game that utilizes the command verb-based SCUMM interface first introduced in Maniac Mansion: you construct commands for Guybrush by clicking on the appropriate verb, and then clicking on the inventory item or an object in the room you want to interact with. It is the first LucasArts' adventure game in which it is impossible to get irrevocably stuck or to die. The branching dialogue system, where you choose one of the available responses while talking to people, allows you to talk to characters in different ways without fearing a wrong choice. There are plenty of inventory-based puzzles to solve, and even "insult swordfighting" to participate in, where Guybrush has to prove his wit is as sharp as his sword!
When LucasFilm Games (now called LucasArts) first started, it was small and consisted of only a few adventure games. Games such as Maniac Mansion and Zak McCracken. Monkey Island 1 was the third adventure game by LucasArts, a game inspired by the Pirates of the Carribean Walt Disney World theme park ride. It was created and designed by none other than the famous Ron Gilbert who went on to work on Sam and Max Hit the Road and Day of the Tentacle. Steve Purcell, (creator and designer of the well-loved characters Sam, the Bogart speaking dog detective and Max, the hyper psychotic rabbity thing), also created some of the backgrounds and animations in this game. The fabulous music and theme songs were designed by the great and talented musicians of Earwax Productions. The LucasFilm company was the first to incorporate the SCUMM scripting system, which would later be followed by some of the greatest adventure games to hit the market: Broken Sword, Beneath a Steel Sky, and many more. The game was made in 1990, and was a smash hit when it entered stores.
The story is one of the best in the adventure game market, and I personally find it flawless. No doubts about it. It incorporated humor throughout the entire game, and anyone playing it will be laughing from the time they start the game to the time they finish it. You play the role of Guywood Threepbrush, uh, I mean, Guybrush Threepwood, a young boy who washes up on the shores of Melee Island, and decides he wants to become a pirate. He finds the nearest pirate leaders, who just happen to be in the nearest bar drinking grog, and asks that they enlist him in their pirate crew. They agree to do so on one condition - that he beats the three pirate trials which consist of: finding the Treasure of Melee Island, fighting the Sword master of Melee Island in a daring insult sword fighting duel, and stealing the sacred treasure out of the governor's mansion. Guybrush meets the governor, a beautiful and rich woman named Elaine Marley and falls head over heels in love. But before he can do anything about it, she is kidnaped by an undead corpse pirate named LeChuck and his bony skeleton crew, and whisked away to their hideout under the cursed, cannibal-ridden Monkey Island. He must get a crew together and rescue his damsel in distress before LeChuck makes her his bride.
This game has the biggest GUI I've ever seen! The GUI is ridden with commands, but none you haven't seen before. It is the same as in the adventure games Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Zak McCracken and the Alien Mind benders. The inventory is displayed by the GUI, and is easily accessible. There is a wide range of commands consisting of: Look, Walk, Pick up, Push, Pull, Turn on, Turn off, Give, Use, Open, Close, and Talk to. You may access the in-game menu by pressing F5, from where you can Load, Save, and Quit. As in all adventure games, if you get stuck, search everywhere, talk to everyone, and try to pick up everything. And believe me, everything has a really funny comment behind it, so do everything.
The music in the game is wonderful, certainly worthy of a movie soundtrack or an Oscar nomination, even for midi music. You probably won't get through the game without hearing some masterpiece of music. My personal favorites were the theme song played at the title screen, the song played when each of the new story parts screen comes up, and LeChuck's theme song. The puzzles in the game are by no means easy, and should be a little difficult even for veterans of Sierra's games. The graphics are simply stunning for the time it was made, and even for pixels, it borders on the realistic. Definitely worthy of an award. Another thing I liked about this game is the fact it doesn't have the annoying pixel hunt you normally see. The cursor displays the name of the hotspot when it crosses over it, telling you where it is.
I loved this game. When I first popped it into my CD drive, I figured it would be another average adventure that wouldn't be able to call itself better than Space Quest. Boy, was I wrong! I couldn't believe my eyes and ears, this game was amazing! I have probably replayed this game 100 times without getting tired of it. So as I find this game to be one of the greatest adventure games, I think it is especially deserving of a 100 score.
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