The Curse of Monkey Island

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The Curse of Monkey Island

BoxartMI3front.jpg

Original Curse of Monkey Island box art
Developer(s) LucasArts
Designer(s) Jonathan Ackley & Larry Ahern
Engine SCUMM
Release date(s) October 1997 (US), February 1998 (UK)
Platform(s) PC
Media CD-ROM
System requirements According to Monkey Island Bounty Pack
  • Windows 95 DirectX compatible computer
  • PCI graphics
  • Pentium 90 or faster
  • 16 MB RAM
  • 4x CD-Rom drive or faster
  • 16-bit sound card
Input Mouse and Keyboard
Preceded by Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
Followed by Escape from Monkey Island

The Curse of Monkey Island (abbreviated as CMI) is the third game in the Monkey Island series of adventure games. It was released on PC CD-ROM in October 1997 in the US and February 1998 in the UK and it is the twelfth and final adventure game by LucasArts to use the SCUMM game engine. As the game was made after Ron Gilbert's departure from LucasArts the project was headed by an entirely new crew lead by Jonathan Ackley and Larry Ahern (the graphic designers of Tim Schafer's Full Throttle).

The game took on several new aspects not seen previously in the series, such as a CD-quality soundtrack (still composed by Michael Land), a full voice-cast and the highest quality graphics seen in any SCUMM-based game with a graphic outlook imitating Disney feature-length animations. The game also had a revamped gameplay system which still used the mouse, but instead of a control-bar used a more convenient 'verb-coin' (this element was borrowed from Full Throttle).

As before the game is divided into parts over two CDs.

CD1:

  • Part 1: The Demise of the Zombie Pirate LeChuckGuybrush drifts to the shore of Plunder Island and is captured by LeChuck. He must escape his ship and help Elaine defend her island-fortress.
  • Part 2: The Curse Gets Worse – Elaine is turned into a gold statue by the engagement ring Guybrush discovers on board the ship. Guybrush must collect a map, a ship and a crew to find a cure for the curse.

CD2:

  • Part 3: Three Sheets to the Wind – Guybrush has to recover the map to Blood Island stolen by Captain Rottingham. This section is comprised largely of ship-to-ship combat and Insult Swordfighting.
  • Part 4: The Bartender, the Thieves, His Aunt, and Her Lover – Once on Blood Island Guybrush has to continue the search for the uncursed diamond ring without the help of his crew mates.
  • Part 5: Kiss of the Spider Monkey – Guybrush and Elaine are captured by LeChuck. After a lengthy discussion which explains a number of things about the games' history Guybrush is turned into a kid and has to cure himself in order to stop LeChuck marrying Elaine.
  • Part 6: Guybrush Kicks Butt Once Again – On the Rollercoaster of Death Guybrush must defeat LeChuck once again.

Excerpt from memoirs

Excerpted from The Memoirs of Guybrush Threepwood: The Monkey Island Years:

"I've sailed the seas from Trinidad to Tortuga and I've never seen anything like it! The engagement ring I gave Elaine has a terrible pirate curse on it. LeChuck is behind it, I'm sure. I should have known that nothing good could come out of that evil zombie's treasures. And if that's not bad enough, the clairvoyant I met in the mangrove swamp told me that if I am to break the curse and save Elaine, I will have to die!"

Plot synopsis

After escaping from the Carnival of the Damned, Guybrush Threepwood drifts off to Plunder Island and smack into the middle of a battle between the forces of LeChuck and Elaine Marley. He is captured by LeChuck who plans to blow down the walls of Elaine's island fortress with the power of the Voodoo Cannonball.

Part 1

Guybrush is united with Wally B. Feed, now going under the title of "Bloodnose the Pirate", onboard the Death Starfish. Guybrush, however, causes him to crack by insisting he isn't a true pirate and uses his cannon to sink LeChuck's longboats. Using the cutlass that got stuck on Murray's skeleton arm Guybrush cuts the restraint rope on Wally's cannon and fires, causing the ship to shake and LeChuck to drop the voodoo cannonball which promptly explodes, destroying him and much of the ship with it. It also causes the ship to capsize.

Guybrush then finds himself in the ship's treasure hold where he discovers a whopping big diamond ring. He uses it to cut the glass of a nearby porthole, flooding the ship and allowing him to escape. On the shore he is reunited with Elaine and proposes to her with the ring. Wally also appears shortly after having been thrown clear (apparently he wasn't wearing his seatbelt). He reveals that the diamond ring (probably referred to as the Midas Diamond ring) looks like the one in the treasure hold: "You know, the one with that ghastly, disfiguring voodoo curse on it." As Guybrush and Elaine simultaneously realize the truth she is about to punch him in the face when she is turned into a solid gold statue (thus being true to the ring's name).

Part 2

Conferring with the Voodoo Lady, Guybrush learns that he must replace the cursed ring with a pure one of greater or equal value; such a ring is only found on Blood Island. Unfortunately while they're talking Elaine is captured by the Pirates of Danjer Cove. Guybrush learns that in order to get to Blood Island he will need a map, a ship and a crew, but he is also warned that he will die on Blood Island.

Guybrush finds a map to Blood Island on the back of the agent Palido Domingo, who is tanning at the Brimstone Beach Club. After getting into the club and chasing off the Cabaña Boy Guybrush is able to peel the map off with the use of cooking oil.

Guybrush enlists the help of the pirate barbers of the Barbery Coast: Haggis McMutton, Edward Van Helgen and Cutthroat Bill. He duels with Van Helgen and beats Haggis in the caber toss; to sway Bill he proves his ability by finding gold on the island.

Guybrush also confronts the pirates of Danjer Cove, discovering that they are a group of monkeys under the command of the demented Mr. Fossey who acts as first mate to Captain LeChimp, an ape. Guybrush is able to trick him through ventriloquism to quit piracy and discovers that Elaine has been buried on the stage of the theatre in town. Guybrush inadvertently ends up sabotaging Slappy Cromwell's juggling act in order to stop the show and dig Elaine out.

Guybrush and crew then ship off on the Danjer Cove pirates' ship, the Sea Cucumber.

At the same time two unfortunate pirates are looting the spoils of the battle and unfortunately pick up LeChuck's boots, still hot and steaming from his evil presence. After they are dumped into the ship's hold, they catch fire and LeChuck is resurrected in a flaming demon form, turning the two pirates into skeletons and sailing back to Monkey Island.

Part 3

Upon their departure their ship is boarded by Captain René Rottingham, a customer at the Barbery Coast whose hair was amputated because of Guybrush. He challenges Guybrush to a sword fight and wins because Guybrush is unfamiliar with the maritime rules of Insult Swordfighting (all insults must rhyme). He takes his map and plans to make the diamond his personal paper-weight, but only after he is done pirating the shores around Plunder. Guybrush's crew engages in song ("A pirate I was meant to be") until Guybrush tricks them into an impossible verse.

Challenging several pirate captains in sea combat and swordfighting, Guybrush is eventually able to power up his cannons and learn enough insults and responses to challenge Rottingham and defeat him, winning back his map.

Part 4

Guybrush's ship enters a furious storm and crashes on Blood Island. The crew has a peaceful mutiny, deciding to patch up the ship and leave for home, leaving Guybrush on his own to lift the curse. In a nearby resort he is introduced to Griswold Goodsoup, whose great-aunt Minnie Goodsoup's diamond ring turns out to be the one that Guybrush needs. However, the ring was split into two parts when Minnie's fiancé sold the diamond to the smugglers of Skull Island. Guybrush ends up feigning his own death (at least twice) in order to get into the Goodsoup family crypt to get the wedding-band that Minnie took to the grave with her, also fulfilling the Voodoo Lady's prediction.

In the crypt Guybrush learns that Minnie's fiancé was none other than LeChuck. Uniting her with Charles DeGoulash, the two of them find each other, go into the light and leave the wedding band behind.

In order to get the diamond Guybrush ends up fixing the lighthouse of Blood Island, calling forth the ghostly ferryman, the Lost Welshman. On Skull Island he runs into the smuggler King André and challenges him to a game of poker. Using five tarot death cards he received from Madame Xima Guybrush beats the pirates but must escape with his life. Just then the bungling winch operator, Effete LaFoot, opens the door to the lair, causing the candles to go out and giving Guybrush the chance to escape.

Guybrush also ends up waking the island's dormant volcano in order to melt some cheese with tar-like qualities, which he barters for a bottle of hand-lotion to get the Midas Diamond ring off Elaine's finger and replace it with Minnie's ring. Elaine punches Guybrush, then asks where they have ended up on. After ensuring that everything is just fine, they are seized by LeChuck's skeletal horde.

Part 5

Guybrush winds up at the Carnival of the Damned on Monkey Island. LeChuck tells him many a horrible tale and eventually he stops listening. This irritates LeChuck enough to turn him into a child and leave him to his fate in the cable-cart which is lined with explosives. Guybrush, however, discovers that the door is unlocked and escapes. Guybrush then uses Griswold's hangover remedy to turn himself back to normal and pursue LeChuck on the Rollercoaster of Death.

Part 6

On the Rollercoaster LeChuck starts chasing Guybrush around the track, which Elaine has diverted to avoid the lava. Guybrush jumps out into the stage sets and gathers items which he uses to spring a trap for LeChuck. Setting up a bomb which he lights with one of LeChuck's fiery sneezes, he causes an explosion which drops a mountain of ice upon the demon pirate, burying him.

Elaine and Guybrush are married and sail off to the sunset being waved goodbye by Guybrush's crew and Lemon Head.

Characters

Main Characters

Supporting Characters

Ancillary Characters

Featured islands

Notes & Trivia

  • The game is dedicated to the memory of Brett Barrett, a programmer on the first two games who died in a motorcycle accident a year before the game's release.
  • Part III begins with a musical number, "A pirate I was meant to be", in which the player's goal is to flop the rhyming of his crew in order to stop them from singing. This scene was dropped in translated versions. This is the first full-fledged song in the entire series in which the characters actually sing. Monkey Island 2 featured singing characters but no voice-acting. Another song, "Plank of Love", was planned to play over the ending, but due to time constraints the song was never recorded, though its lyrics were finished.
  • The game has two difficulty settings, the standard mode and the Mega Monkey Mode. As opposed to Monkey Island 2, which has a 'lite'-mode that simplifies many of the puzzles in the game, the Mega Monkey Mode can be considered its opposite, extending puzzles and giving the game even more content than before. The player also has to collect a higher number of items and solve a higher amount of puzzles in order to beat the game.
  • This is the only game in the series that does not have a version for Apple Macintosh computers, consequently creating a gap between the second and fourth games. The game is, however, playable on Macs through the use of the emulation-software ScummVM.
  • Though not spoken by name, the Midas Diamond ring is one of the ingredients used to assemble the Cursed Cutlass of Kaflu in Tales of Monkey Island.
  • The name of Part 4, "The Bartender, the Thieves, His Aunt, and Her Lover", is a reference to the 1989 French/British romantic crime drama film The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover.
  • The name of Part 5, "Kiss of the Spider Monkey", is a reference to the novel Kiss of the Spider Woman.
  • The name of Part 6, "Guybrush Kicks Butt Once Again", is a reference to the fourth and final part of the first game, "Guybrush Kicks Butt".

Reviews

External links