I have changed my mind: "Monkey Island 3a" could suck

Short version of this post: “I don’t want a MI3a game by Ron anymore, because I’m afraid that it could ruin the idea that the younger me had of those games.”

Long version follows…

I have always considered “The Secret of Monkey Island” and “Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge” the only two “canon” games of the Monkey Island series. All the following games might be good but they have nothing to do with the original story that Ron Gilbert had in mind when he designed the first games.

To me, it’s if George Lucas had written the story of episode IV and V of Star Wars but then left the franchise, motivating the producers to ask Michael Bay to write and direct episode VI. I have no doubt that the movie would have been a commercial success, but it wouldn’t never be the same thing (even if watching the Death Star catastrophically exploding to the point of ripping space apart and forming a huge black hole that would have sucked hundreds of solar systems is something that I might have enjoyed).

So, when a few years ago Ron Gilbert fantasized about a sequel to MI2, calling it “MI3a”, the mind of the juvenile adventurer who still lives in my head got excited to the idea, even if I was aware of the fact that the chance to make MI3a a reality was extremely thin.

To some extent, a part of me still would like to know what the freakin’ secret is, but then “Thimbleweed Park” happened and that started a chain of events that motivated me to document myself more about Ron’s original idea, about his artistic preferences and about how that idea could have evolved in the hypothetical sequel of the series.

The first clue about the evolution of the first game can be found in an 1990 interview in which Ron, talking about the recently released first game of the franchise, said:

This isn’t a historically accurate game. In fact, you’ll see when you play that there are a lot of anachronisms, like the vending machine at Stan’s used ship yard. They’re there to add humor to the game of course, but they also have a secret, deeper relevance to the story – but I’m keeping that secret for the sequel.

It’s clear that those anachronisms were a hint to some serious twist of the story and we already saw part of that twist in MI2, where the quantity of anachronisms is even higher and the ending is clearly set in a modern age.

A second important statement by Ron was made in 2003 in a chat on the “#monkey-island” IRC channel

The problem with the Secret of Monkey Island is that it’s built up sich a mystic, that when I finally do reviel it, you’re all going to go “That was dumb”. :slight_smile:

And, yes, I will learn to type one day…

I think that Ron made a good point there, because my hope of discovering one day how the story would have ended wasn’t taking under consideration my expectations and personal preferences.

This was the moment in which I started wondering how the continuation of the Monkey Island story would have influenced my personal image of the first two games. What if MI3a would move the story towards a direction that I wouldn’t have liked?

I’m especially thinking of Ron’s love for metaphorical interpretations and endings that leave a lot of open questions. In his keynote at PAX Australia 2013, which I have partially quoted in this thread, Ron said the following thing about the controversial MI2 ending:

So then one morning I was laying in bed and I was just staring at the ceiling and the ending to Monkey Island 2 to just hit me. Not with all the details like the Star Wars parody but the basic gist of it and it just felt absolutely perfect; it was odd and it was strange and I knew a lot of people would have just hated it.

The adult me would probably find acceptable any ending for MI3a, but I’m not sure that the younger me would have appreciated some kind of meta/odd/puzzling/metaphorical turn for a game that I perceived as just a story about pirates and a young inexperienced lad trying to become one of them.

I mean, it’s highly likely that the younger me would have preferred a linear, banal Guybrush-beats-LeChuck-and-marries-Elaine kind of story.

The more I thought about it, the more the chance of getting a MI3a that could kill my suspension of disbelief and detach myself from that pirate role that I loved to play became a concern…

…Ron could really ruin that memory for me…

…to the point that I have changed my mind and now I don’t want to know at all how the original story ends nor I want to know more about the secret of Monkey Island nor about those suspicious anachronisms that suggest to me a possible unpleasant twist.

And that’s it, I just wanted to share with you my thoughts. :slight_smile:

I know that there are other Monkey Island fans here who have shared their opinion about a hypothetical MI3a game and I would be curious to know what they think about the idea of intentionally keeping the secret inside its unbreakable safe forever and just be thankful for the wonderful time that we spent playing the first games.


That´s pretty much my sentiments for years now and why I´m not holding my breath.

In my opinion, it depends on how my picture of Guybrush would evolve. Also, it ought to continue to be a pirates game series, because this fact has been the basis of the charm of this series. The Star Wars prequels (I - III) were a big disappointment to me, not least because of the extremely different style (compared to the original trilogy). Especially, Darth Vader got demystified by the prequels. Seeing the high expectations of the fans, a MI 3a could end up with a similar disappointment.

In CMI, they explained the ending of MI 2 by calling it a curse, if I remember correctly. I could live very well with this explanation, because this series continued to be a pirate game series this way. Though, Guybrush was different in the subsequent MI games.

I can hardly imagine that Disney would ever sell the IP, because they just don’t need to do this. It’s a market dominating company and they are just too aloof.

Personally, I would be content if Ron would try to create a similar game series (not necessarily a pirates game, if the appearance of the characters and settings would still be similar), as I already mentioned here. Ron said that he would never like to rip off one of his own games, but I’m convinced that there are ways to make such a game stand for itself at the same time - both stylistically and storywise. Maybe not every MI fan would like the result, but it would still be a completely new and independent IP. It would just be inspired by MI. It would not be an official MI 3a, so Ron would be allowed to create any new story he would like to create, without this heavy burden of the MI IP - without risking any shitstorm from the MI fandom. I think it would be worth a try.


We know what The Secret Of Monkey Island is:



This is also valid for me. When I was a child, I loved MI 1 & 2 and I just missed a sequel in which everything would have continued to be how it had been before: A rivalry between the antihero Guybrush and the villain LeChuck - featuring Governor Marley who seems to be more intelligent than Guybrush and LeChuck together.

By the way: No fulfilled marriages necessary.

Play for full effect.

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I recently replayed Monkey 3 (Curse of Monkey Island). I admit that, even though it’s not by Ron, it has some great puzzles (and also some bad ones). It also has some nice jokes. But I could not really enjoy the game. Why? Because the graphics just didn’t work for me. To be clear: the graphics is very well done, technically I appreciate it a lot… but somehow it does not build the right atmosphere.

What does this have to do with your post? What I am trying to say is that, in my opinion, it is much easier to screw up Monkey3a with a wrong graphic style than with a bad “revelation” about the Secret of Monkey Island ™. So I wouldn’t worry that Ron screws up the final twist about the Secret, because he is much more likely to ruin it by choosing a modern graphic style (which he will have to do if he wants to sell something.)

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For me MI2 had the perfect ending. It explains all and came unexpected. I never even got the idea that there could be a third game. :slight_smile: (Yes, I am one of the few who loved the ending of MI2.) And the “Secret” of Monkey Island was also clear - at least for me. I never liked what they did with/in CMI. They were good adventures but I never considered them “real” Monkey Island games.

But Ron has said that MI was planned as a trilogy. So I really would like know how the story ends. I don’t think that I would be disappointed if Ron puts the same love in MI3a as he did in TWP.

Have you read Ron’s blog post? He wouldn’t use a modern graphic style.

I didn’t recall that article, but I think it’s likely that he changed his mind after TWP.

Also, I recall he said he would budget monkey 3a at 6 million $. No way he recovers that with the graphic style of monkey 2. So from my point of view it’s almost guaranteed to be a letdown…

(Sorry for going OT)

I’m not Ron, but why should he? (We are talking about MI3a and not a new adventures game.)

Producing a game is that expensive (at least in the US :wink: ). And remember that TWP had cost over 1 million US-Dollars.

/edit: To get back to the topic: I would definitely dislike a MI3 in a “modern” graphic style. For example Guybrush in MI3 and MI4 wasn’t the Guybrush from Mi1 and MI2. So in that case I would agree with @LowLevel: A modern graphic style would ruin the game experience (for me).

I agree that CMI was not on a par with MI 1 & 2, which are the only canonical MI games for me as well.
I’m convinced that Ron’s MI 3a would have been the only true sequel. But, at least we got any sequel with CMI, and it was still a good game.
MI 2 has a funny ending and it could have been the ending of the whole series… if Guybrush’s “creepy” brother Chuckie hadn’t had this creepy mysterious look at the very end. :star_struck: :cloud_with_lightning:

I wouldn’t imply a sequel from his mysterious look: It’s just there to highlight (visually) that he was and is the “more evil” brother. :slight_smile: To me it was more like a wink with the eye at the end of a film.

He wasn’t but due to the how he was presented, not because of the modern graphic style.

I would love to see a comeback of style of MI2 but not the way the finished game looked like, but their original projects before they were destroyed by a scanner. There’s nothing retro about that look other than that’s 2D.

I would pick another character from Monkey Island game… you could also see the parts where Guybrush is crossing our new hero journey independently.


you will be playing Herman Toothrot …his life story since beginning to the Monkey Island accident and much further beyond the Monkey Island…ending on Dinky Island and as he goes through his journey, you will see Guybrush in background for a few second… …or without Guybrush at all.

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That´a great idea and probably what Disney would do, would they consider Monkey Island a marketable property.

Monkey Island Prequel Trilogy
Monkey Island Sequel Trilogy
Herman Toothrot origin story
Lemonhead standalone movie
Bob origin story
Men of low moral fiber spin off movie
Monkey Island Cannibals - The Musical
Largo Lagrande origin story
Herman Toothrot standalone origin story

etc etc…:money_mouth_face::money_mouth_face::money_mouth_face:


That would be great. I have one more idea for the near future, maybe I will propose this soon.

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That’s great!
It starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes an aeroplane, Lenny Bruce is not afraid!

Really I see a great potential in them, comparable to MI3a.

Oh great, now I can´t get that song out of my head…

I know that´s from a different video, but I just wanted something with Michael Stipe dancing.

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And they have a rodent sidekick! People love animal sidekicks!