Escape from Monkey Island

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[[Back to the Island]]
We all loved Monkey Island, and most of us have played at least one of them. If you haven't, well then pop on over to your local computer games dealer and pick up the first one you see. Jeez! They are all fantastic. Sure they might not always have the greatest graphics or be pushing you computers 3D accelerator to the limit, but that's not what these kinds of games are about.

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Adventure games are fast fading in today's Q3, UT, and Deux Ex world. People don't seem to have the time to sit and enjoy the games from yesteryear. Adventure games basically catapulted Sierra to new heights with Kings Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Roger Wilco among others. But undoubtably, the funniest computer games ever have come from LucasArts. Their Monkey Island series was probably the funniest thing until Bill Gates got pied somewhere in Europe. And even after that, The Curse of Monkey Island came out and topped even that.

[[The New Game]]
Now those clowns (and I mean that in a good way) at LucasArts are working on the newest Monkey Island yet, Escape from Monkey Island. EMI will be the first fully 3D Monkey Island game, but the series seems to have made the transition from 2D to 3D extremely well. The game will use something like "Grim Fandango engine Ver.2". Like Fandango, EMI will have colorful polygonal characters who can walk or run about rendered backdrops. The character will also be able to track objects and characters of interest with head movement. And of course, the dialogue with the game's NPC's will take the form of a series of dialogue choices - none of which will ever be "wrong" and all of which will be humorous.

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However, EMI will also have a number of enhanced gameplay and graphical features. EMI will feature an extremely bright and varied color scheme, so that it looks different from the dark Grim Fandango. EMI will also have some enhancements that weren't simply around in Fandango including: optional floating sentence tags over items and characters of interest, as well as possible actions, such as using an item on another object or character, or leaving the current section of the map.

[[The Story!!!]]
But what about the story?! What wacky adventure has our good ol' Guybrush gotten himself into this time? Didn't he finally kill LeChuck in Curse of Monkey Island? Dammit will that LeChuck finally die. Oh wait, he's already dead. Damn.

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EMI takes place some years after the previous game; Guybrush has put LeChuck on ice and has married Elaine. The two have just returned from their honeymoon to Melee Island, but find that Elaine has been declared dead, and a mysterious Charles L. Charles is running for governor. (Who could that be… hmm...). So, Guybrush and his new bride Elaine must travel to Lucre Island and visit the Marley law firm to set things straight - and discover what could just be the beginnings of a bizarre and sinister plot that's being hatched by a mysterious and truculent Australian land developer, who's reportedly been seen around Melee Island, challenging all the local pirates to bouts of insult-arm-wrestling (that's right... insult-arm-wrestling).

[[The Final Word]]
Many of the characters will have returning voice actors, including Dominic Armato and Alexandra Boyd, who are returning as the voices of Guybrush and Elaine Marley Threepwood, respectively. In addition, expect to see some of the original characters return, including Meathook, Otis, Carla the Swordmaster, Stan, and the increasingly more sinister LeChuck. And don't forget Murray. I can just hear that skull's haunting words from The Curse of Monkey Island, "Do you hear me? I shall return!"

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EMI is sure to be another addition to a wet-your-pants funny computer game series that has always been fun and challenging to play. If the conversion from 2D to 3D holds up as LucasArts predicts, this game will surely be a hit.

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