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| Voodoo Lady
The Voodoo Lady as she appears in Tales of Monkey Island
" I am not your enemy Guybrush. In fact, I have most likely saved you from yourself."-The Voodoo Lady voices her true nature and allegiance to Guybrush
The Voodoo Lady is a recurring side-character who often gives advice to Guybrush Threepwood, known as a nameless voodoo priestess, who keeps a careful watch over the seas for those who would misuse the powers of voodoo for sinister purposes, specifically the demon pirate, LeChuck, and his sinister cohorts. Her importance in the first game is somewhat fleeting as the game can be completed without talking to her, but in all her subsequent appearances she plays a key role to the player's progress. While she aids Guybrush numerous times throughout the series, her true allegiance and nature becomes much more clouded and sinister as the series progresses, eventually revealing the Voodoo Lady as a keen manipulator who exploits and even indirectly causes many of the events over the course of the series through her ambiguous guidance for her own agenda.
The exact contents of such an agenda are unclear, though she urges Guybrush to believe that she has always had his best interests at heart and seemed to genuinely value his heroism in taking down LeChuck, a man who she claims was always doomed to have a villainous life and destiny. While it is known that she has helped both Guybrush and LeChuck in various ways, it is made clear that she sees LeChuck as a true abomination who exploits the powers of voodoo for destruction and his own insidious purposes without following the natural state of order and must be taken down for the good of the Caribbean and beyond. Guiding the fates of Guybrush, Elaine Marley, and LeChuck, the Voodoo Lady is keen to ensure that certain events throughout the Seven Seas follow a specific path for an unknown goal. Her clouded nature, past, and agenda have served as one of the series' most pivotal and elaborate plot points throughout the games with varying levels of importance towards each game's plot.
Role in Games
The Secret of Monkey Island
As mentioned above, meeting or talking to the Voodoo Lady is not necessary for completing the first game, but if the player chooses to visit her, she will tell Guybrush his future, though somewhat hazily; she sees the Cannibals either helping or eating Guybrush, and she sees him inside a giant monkey. Visiting her shop is a necessity only in order to acquire the rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle, needed to reach Hook Island.
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
She plays a more vital role in the second game where she has relocated her place of business, The International House of Mojo, to the swamp on Scabb Island. In this game she helps Guybrush put together a voodoo doll of Largo LaGrande in order to drive him off the island. She also sets Guybrush on his search for Big Whoop when Largo snatches LeChuck's beard in hopes of resurrecting him as a zombie. Her final involvements include the resurrection of Rapp Scallion and giving Guybrush a bag of voodoo goods intended for Wally.
Despite the fact that the Voodoo Lady stands against LeChuck's plans and aids Guybrush in escaping his grasp several times, it is shown that the voodoo priestess makes shipments of voodoo supplies and weapons to LeChuck's Fortress, implying for the first time in the series that the Voodoo Lady may not be as helpful as she lets on to be. This notion is furthered even more in the scenario where, though she tells Guybrush that finding Big Whoop is the only way to prevent LeChuck's revenge, she seems to set in motion the events that lead to the game's bizarre ending, later telling Guybrush that Big Whoop is a treasure of pure evil and that he was fortunate to survive its hellish power.
All these seemingly random, contradicting plot points eventually culminate within a twist later on in the series, which reveals that the Voodoo Lady is intentionally exploiting the nature of Guybrush and LeChuck's battles towards an unknown goal, though seems set to eradicate LeChuck himself even if that means appearing to aid him at times.
The Curse of Monkey Island
In the third game she has once more relocated to a new island, this time Plunder Island. Her new place of business, Voodoo and Things (formerly just Voodoo), is located on a ship that has mysteriously ended up hanging from the trees of the swamp (Guybrush suggests it was thrown there by a typhoon). She also seems to be friends to a local group of unseen voodoo kids who make paper Voodoo Dolls at her house. She once again assists Guybrush by giving him vital information about how to break the curse on Elaine and where to find a pure diamond ring, but she doesn't supply him with any inventory items.
This is also the moment in the series where the Voodoo Lady informs Guybrush that going after Big Whoop was a foolish mistake, despite the fact that she told him it would be the key to his salvation away from LeChuck. While Guybrush's memory is foggy of her prior stance on Big Whoop due to LeChuck's torture and hex at the Carnival of the Damned, this seems to play into the fact that the Voodoo Lady is guiding Guybrush towards some unknown destiny, even if that means throwing him into perilous journeys that lead to further, dangerous circumstances.
Escape from Monkey Island
In the fourth game she has moved back to Mêlée Island and this time sits upon a mysterious rotating throne to hide from the people in the shop. She once more gives advice to Guybrush and helps to find Grandpa Marley's wedding gifts from amongst the junk in the safe-deposit chest. She also explains the history and power of the Ultimate Insult, which she describes as ten times more powerful and dangerous than Big Whoop.
Tales of Monkey Island
The Voodoo Lady re-appears in the first episode of Tales of Monkey Island, taking up on residence on Flotsam Island in a Creepy Shack. She is known on the island as Deep Gut (a possible reference to Deep Throat, a famous secretive informant) and guards access to her shack with a password. Guybrush meets her once again and she tells him to find La Esponja Grande, a voodoo sea sponge that will cure Guybrush and the infected pirates of the Caribbean of the Pox of LeChuck.
Tales elaborates on some of the Voodoo Lady's previously unknown past. It is revealed that she was once romantically involved with a man called Coronado De Cava, who was searching for La Esponja Grande; they separated when his quest for the sea sponge became an obsession. The Voodoo Lady sends Guybrush to seek him out, giving him a locket which contains a photograph of the two. The same (and complete) photograph and a sketch of the Voodoo Lady appear in De Cava's old island shelter in the Jerkbait Islands.
In "Lair of the Leviathan", Guybrush finally encounters De Cava and the mysterious explorer's relationship within the Voodoo Lady appears to parallel Guybrush's (though De Cava states that he fell in love with her, unlike Guybrush), in regards to being sent on perilous quests and being given magical and practical aide. The locket reveals itself to be a powerful intermediate device between the Voodoo Lady and whoever appears in the opposite picture, giving her the power to possess that person. Guybrush is able to reverse this power and for a small portion of the episode possesses the Voodoo Lady. Through this he is able to frighten the Marquis De Singe into giving up the secrets of learning the manatee language.
The Voodoo Lady returns in person in "The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood", when she is arrested for apparently being the malevolent force that has manipulated LeChuck throughout the Monkey Island series (according to LeChuck who presents the Voodoo Lady's journal). In jail she gives Guybrush a map which will help him increase the power of La Esponja Grande, and gives ambiguous answers in regards to the charges. Taking into account the events at the conclusion of the episode, it is considered unlikely that LeChuck's accusations are entirely true.
"Rise of the Pirate God" again has Guybrush reliant on the aid of the Voodoo Lady, although she again only appears to him through other beings (namely crabs and a dead seagull). Throughout Guybrush's journey in the afterlife, she appears to still be on his side, taking any accusations of her potentially evil agenda in stride. She aids Guybrush in possessing his dead body and pointing him in the direction of reversing the effects of the "Feast for the Senses" in order to shrink La Esponja Grande back to its earlier immature size.
Whilst La Esponja Grande is still at full size and providing LeChuck with unlimited power, one of his main goals is to kill the Voodoo Lady. The mere mention of her by Guybrush or anyone else causes him to become furious. Given her helpfulness to Guybrush, and LeChuck's obvious hatred of her, it would seem that her motives are and have been for the side of good. Every seemingly nefarious act that she was accused of appears to be refuted by revelations of LeChuck's actions. His becoming human was a ruse to prevent intervention of the Voodoo Lady (since he would not be filled with any voodoo) until he was able to put his plans into motion and she would be too late in stopping him. However, the epilogue of the episode leaves much suspicion over her true intentions. The ghostly Morgan LeFlay is seen handing over what remains of LeChuck to her, in exchange for Morgan being allowed back into the living realm. The Voodoo Lady's behaviour upon receiving LeChuck's remnants implies she has some dark plan for their use.
The Voodoo Lady herself, however, tells Guybrush that though she does guide others towards certain circumstances, she does not control the actions of individuals such as LeChuck and states that everyone is free to make their own choices. She further states that LeChuck was always going to have a villainous and wicked life regardless of her involvement, having played no hand in his ultimate characterization, but aided him in certain regards, which furthered his descent into voodoo. It can be assumed from this that, while the Voodoo Lady does not directly control others or their choices, she can predict the outcome of such choices and will exploit the circumstances to better fit her own agenda, which appears to be neither good nor bad. This notion is reinforced in an interview with one of the creators of the game, stating that, though the Voodoo Lady knows more than she lets on and works to keep things a certain way, she cannot simply control situations.
Her primary goal seems to be containing LeChuck and making sure his evil is eventually neutralized, setting the stage for Guybrush's battle with the villain through deception and manipulation, albeit for a seemingly good cause. Voodoo energy appears to be her primary method of monitoring others and exploiting their choices for her own ends, which explains why she was so distraught when LeChuck reverted back to a human and aided him in accumulating more voodoo power over the years prior to LeChuck learning her true objective; to better contain his evil and keep him under constant surveillance until Guybrush could obtain the means to destroy him and contain his voodoo essence.
- Though her place of business is continually referred to as 'The International House of Mojo' she did not use this name until Monkey Island 2. Nonetheless, her place of business on Mêlée Island is referred to as the original House of Mojo in the fourth game. Her business on Plunder Island was called 'Voodoo and Things (formerly just Voodoo)'.
- She has lived on four different islands during the course of the series: Mêlée Island in Secret and Escape, Scabb Island in LeChuck's Revenge, Plunder Island in Curse and Flotsam Island in Tales of Monkey Island. She tends to move around the Caribbean to aid Guybrush in his quests, though she states in Curse that she believed her location in the swamp on Scabb Island was not ideally situated (though she moves to the swamp on Plunder in the following title). Other than Mêlée, she usually lives in remote locations on the islands.
- She has a tendency of exaggerating her role in previous games. In the second game she told Largo LaGrande that she was the one who defeated LeChuck. In the third game she also takes credit for preparing Guybrush's antiroot in the first game (this was done by the Cannibals). She also says she's the one who prepared the voodoo doll of LeChuck in the second game, and though she did do one of Largo it was actually Guybrush who makes the doll (though it is only through the Voodoo Lady that he learns the art of doll-making).
- In her first two game appearances, she appears in a two-screens room. The player has to travel from the left to right, until he encounters her sitting on her throne. When this happens, he always enters a dialogue mode, and has no other way to interact with her (for example, it is impossible ever to do a 'Look at' or give inventory items to her). In the third and fourth games she can only be talked to when the player does something to make her throne appear.
- Some MI fans argue that the character Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean movies was inspired by the Voodoo Lady.
- In Tales of Monkey Island she uses a crystal ball and tarot cards to see the past and the future (as well as looking for people), something which she had not been seen to do previously. "Lair of the Leviathan" elaborates more on this, as she uses the cards and a tarot mat to create magical spells. In the PS3 version, having her use every tarot card combination will reward the player with the "What a Card" silver trophy in the "PlayStation Network Trophy Achievements".
- Also, in "Launch of the Screaming Narwhal", when Guybrush looks at the books on the bookshelf, the Voodoo Lady warns him that "Merely intoning the TITLES of these forbidden tomes can inflict a curse on uninitiated tongues!" Nevertheless, when the player keeps having him look at the titles of the books on the bookshelf, his voice starts to get more and more choked up as he reads the titles (most of which are parodies of titles from movies, TV, and other literature, and even those from the previous games in the Monkey Island series), until he eventually loses his voice over his coughing that will continue on until he leaves the bookshelf and regains his voice. (In the PS3 version, this transaction with the bookshelf, upon reading all the book titles, will net the player a silver trophy called, "This Ain't a Library", and meeting up with the Voodoo Lady herself will reward the player with the "Use the Source" silver trophy in the "Trophy Achievements", while examining Nor Treblig's shrine in her shack after carefully and properly examining every nook and cranny of Guybrush's and Elaine's ships and of Flotsam Island and repeatedly talking to Elaine and LeChuck nets the player a "Why Is My Older Brother Laughing?" bronze trophy.)
- The second, third and fourth episodes of Tales begin with a short narration by the Voodoo Lady in which she uses tarot cards to recap previous events. The fifth episode shows a similar scene but the Voodoo Lady is absent and the voice of Judge Grindstump is heard calling out to imprison her and LeChuck for their manipulation of the deeds after Guybrush's release (described in the "Justice" card), followed by the voice of a man who was cured of the Pox of LeChuck (in the "Healer" card); LeChuck's battle cry of "Unholy THIS!" before stabbing Guybrush, whose voice follows with "Is that you... mother? I washed my hands...." (in the "Treachery" card); and finally LeChuck's evil laugh and Elaine's frightened voice screaming out Guybrush's name (in the "Death" card), indicating what has happened in the previous episode.
- In the final scene of the game, when receiving LeChuck's remains, the Voodoo Lady is shown to be in possession of Guybrush's severed left hand, which is still, indicating that it may have been cured by La Esponja, or that she has some power over it.
- "I am known by many names on many different islands. But names have very little importance. You should know this more than anyone, Guybrush Threepwood."
- "True evil can never be destroyed completely."
- The Secret of Monkey Island and Special Edition
- Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge and Special Edition
- The Curse of Monkey Island
- Escape from Monkey Island
- Tales of Monkey Island - "Launch of the Screaming Narwhal"
- Tales of Monkey Island - "The Siege of Spinner Cay" (brief appearance in narration at the beginning)
- Tales of Monkey Island - "Lair of the Leviathan"
- Tales of Monkey Island - "The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood"
- Tales of Monkey Island - "Rise of the Pirate God"
- Leilani Jones Wilmore (Curse of Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge)
- Alison Ewing (Tales of Monkey Island)