Look, I’m still very very early in this game. Just talked to Carla for the first time. I’ve probably seen more spoiler than I should… (I’ve seen indications that the different endings might let you pick an interpretation.) But… when this game started?
When this game started, it showed me two boys in an amusement park. Before my very eyes, that amusement park began turning back into a make-believe pirate world before they even left the screen. I even saw Lafitte’s Anchor, even though the amusement park reality was wearing off by then, so I know we’re at a Disneyland stand-in. After all, they aren’t going to imagine modern-world stuff unless they already live in a modern world or unless there’s magic.
And then I see Adult Guybrush talking to Boybrush, and he begins telling a story that begins with LeChuck hanging out on Mêlée docks, preparing for an expedition, with nobody scared of him.
What? What sort of reality is this, where people in Mêlée Town are casually remarking about LeChuck making preparations at the docks for a voyage? This is NOT the same reality as MI1, where an island of pirates was too terrorized to take to the sea, and fled for their lives when LeChuck made landfall at the end if Part 1.
But fortunately, the Prelude already explained to me what happened. Either:
Everything in all the games is a made-story combined from sets of unreliable narrators (Dadbrush conceiving the story himself, Dadbrush telling Boybrush, Boybrush playing them out, Boybrush’s friends contributing, Dadbrush hearing the different stories and adapting his own narrative accordingly), which is a very neat and tidy metaphor for the actual reality that Monkey Island is a made-up story told in pieces by different narrators of different generations at different times. Or,
As my son suggests, Guybrush is still trapped in Big Whoop, which is messing with his brain. And hopefully he won’t stop to think about things like the fact that his younger self is talking to his older self, or the coincidence that Boybrush has a best friend whose name is equivalent to the name of his dad’s fictional arch nemesis.
. . .
Or the fact that “Guybrush” is clearly stated to beca FICTIONAL name in MI2. If this game’s ending gives us a “real world” reality for our hero, I betcha it doesn’t think to assign him a nonfictional name.
EDIT: Also, I played MI2 after already playing MI1 and MI3 and basically knowing what ending to expect. But MI2 was still my favorite for many years. Spoilers work differently for me.
EDIT EDIT: And I’m going to leave this here again:
Before Guybrush, LeChuck, or Elaine were conceived, this was the Secret of Monkey Island in Ron Gilbert’s mind. Whether that conception included a theme park is unclear, but it would be a truth unrelated to the secret LeChuck and Herman sailed to find in MI1.