Nice post of Ron Gilbert about the book that really inspired Monkey Island

Continuing the discussion from Non gamer converted into adventure game fan.

In that thread we were talking about the iconic line spoken by Guybrush Threepwood at the very beginning of The Secret of Monkey Island:

Hi! My name’s Guybrush Threepwood, and I want to be a pirate!

We discussed a bit why this line was just perfect for introducing both the character and the main goal to the player, but I thought that it would have been interesting to cite Ron’s thoughts on this matter.

Here is a 2004 post by Ron Gilbert about the book that really inspired The Secret of Monkey Island and about that phrase by Guybrush.

Ron says:

I was sorting through some boxes today and I came across my copy of Tim Power’s On Stranger Tides, which I read in the late 80’s and was the inspiration for Monkey Island.

Some people believe the inspiration for Monkey Island came from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride - probably because I said it several times during interviews - but that was really just for the ambiance. If you read this book you can really see where Guybrush and LeChuck were -plagiarized- derived from, plus the heavy influence of voodoo in the game.

And about that iconic line by Guybrush, he says:

I figured if Guybrush didn’t know anything, then the player wouldn’t be frustrated when they didn’t know how to do basic pirate tasks. Which was the whole genesis for the opening line:

“Hi, my name is Guybrush Threepwood and I want to be a pirate”

It told the player that Guybrush didn’t know any more then they did, and they were going to learn together.

“On Stranger Tides” was also an inspiration for the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”. That tells you how much that movie series and the original Monkey Island game were somehow linked. :slight_smile:

It’s a very interesting short post, and I suggest reading it to anyone interested in the creation of the game.


And here is the ride(@around 12 minutes there is the prison cell scene from MI2):

I don´t know about you, but to me the differences seem to be big enough to say “inspired by” instead of “based on”.

I remember reading Ron’s post at the time. I bought On Stranger Tides that same day and I read it almost in one sitting. It’s a great book.