19.8 hours. yikes I’m not sure if t counts paused time.
As long as people want the game to have only one ending, they will not even imagine that Ron has created an ending even for those who want to reject the theme park idea.
I completed in 18 hours, using hints twice, for two riddles I wasn’t enjoying at all (the wheel in the ending and finding the right way in the maze - and I found the solutions unsatisfactory)
I’ve done the “go back through the door” ending where you go back through the caves and click on “Deny what I thought I saw downstairs and return to the world I know”, but it then just abruptly ends and has a brief post-credits scene based on what you picked up at the theme part. There is no proper conclusion, no showdown with LeChuck, etc., no plot strands tied up, it’s just avoiding the theme park ending rather than an actual ending in itself.
It feels like Ron was not confident in the theme park ending at all, so tacked on all manner of options you can click just to say you clicked them.
The real travesty in all this though is that the name Hernando was not mentioned once.
@LowLevel so, can we have your impressions? Did you find the resolution satisfactory, 1) emotionally and 2) consistent with all the clues we had been given during the years?
I’m not sure about 2, but I was blown away about 1.
The wheel was not a well designed puzzle at all. I kept cycling through the years looking for the year + 4 years!
Yes that was very confusing to me for the same reason.
I found the game engrossing, funny, and satisfying. Ending discussion here: I have misgivings with the ending, but more for the lack of resolution of some elements (what WAS the deal with the new pirate leaders?) than the meta nature of it. The Brush family is so cute. But if the story is more about the journey, the journey was a blast, and I enjoyed the midgame immensely.
I don’t feel comfortable ranking it on a scale with the other games yet. Too soon, I have too much newness bias AND old faves bias.
I played for 9 hours. Hard mode + Writers Cut + No hint book. Might replay later.
Just a few random thoughts:
As a player, I found myself being almost as obsessed as Guybrush about finding the secret. In a way, I was him. Elaine warns us, “I hope you’re not too disappointed with the secret” and “What do you expect to find?” As if there could never be an answer that would live up to the expectation.
We come to discover that a tangible secret never really existed. Only the abstract concept of a goal or obsession, and that guessing was much better than knowing.
Guybrush is disappointed that the game is over as much as I am. Boybrush is disappointed in not knowing the secret, like I am. He says Guybrush is terrible at endings. Guybrush assures him that the middle is the most important part. Elaine says the ending gets more silly every time he tells it. Reminding us that stories evolve over time. Guybrush is like the player, but also the story creator. The secret was really just an unimportant, non existant goal to give us all the fun in the middle. Riding off into the sunset is boring anyway.
Yes, very much. I was just searching for some form of closure, not caring much what type of closure I would get, and I definitely got it.
The plaque “The Original Secret” at the end resonated a lot with me, reminding me that whatever Ron had in mind 30 years ago would probably be classified as “dumb” by today’s players, or so he predicted. To me it was not stupid at all: it was simple and consistent with the most straightforward outcome that fans had hypothesized in the past, but not “dumb.”
The heavy, super cheesy chest that contained the secret perfectly symbolized the way fans have exaggerated over the years. For Ron, to deal with it in a way that was satisfactory to the fans was, in my opinion, more of a burden to carry than anything else. I think the authors handled it perfectly. As predictable as its content was, it made perfect sense and brought the secret back to the simpler values it probably had before it was expanded by thirty years of fan theories.
This was for me the part of the game that I was waiting for. All the subsequent scenes, where I can Choose-My-Own-Adventure-Ending are interesting and I’m sure that they will feed new theories for years to come (and I have a favorite one already) but that wasn’t what I was searching for.
After thirty years, I finally know: it was kids playing in an amusement park. And that’s beautiful.
I was just waiting for something else to happen. When it ended at this point, it was a let down, to be honest.
I will say this of my personal experience: I never cared about what the secret was. People use the word Macguffin incorrectly all the time. The point of a Macguffin is that by the end of the story it will turn out that the item that worked as the call to action (or some other seemingly important role) didn’t actually matter, it was just a way to move the story along. And the secret was a perfect Macguffin. When that game ended, I wasn’t thinking about what the secret was. And if I did I’d probably just assume that the secret of Monkey Island was a ghostly underworld.
By the time I started reading stuff on the internet, the only reason I was really aware that the “secret” had never been revealed was because Ron would talk about it never being revealed and wanting to do it his way if he got the chance, with full control.
For me, the entire narrative of the “secret” finally being revealed and it being a big thing, was because of Ron. The only reason I had expectations for the secret to be something actually interesting was because he talked about it a lot and because this game had people going on and on about the secret.
If this had been “Return to Monkey Island” and there was nothing in the game about finding the secret I would not have batted an eye. Instead, I only started to get interested in it because of this game itself and then when it was revealed it was nothing.
It’s true, we were all trolled by Ron. That’s why Stan is behind the theme-park at the end, Stan is really Ron. I can’t believe i was tricked into playing a fun game.
Same, and also it makes me wonder why he was so interested in doing the third part and finally revealing the real secret when it turned out to basically be the same thing as MI2.
I think MI2 did it in a simpler and more effective way as well - it showed they were in a theme park and also had the “Chuckie’s voodoo eyes” bit so if you didn’t like that it was in a theme park you could explain it away as being a spell LeChuck put on Guybrush.
When he’s been asked over all these years he could of said, “yeah, it’s all an amusement park, just like you see at the end of MI2, but if you choose to believe it was all a spell by LeChuck, that’s cool too”, instead of saying there is some big secret still to be resolved that a third part will reveal when he makes it.
It’s funny because I think of Back to the Future II, where they said their greatest regret was putting Jennifer in the car at the end of the first Back to the Future. They say it was hard for them to find something to do with Jennifer… they did their best to incorporate her into the future world, but it would have been easier if they didn’t have to deal with that thread hanging from the prior film.
Ron really wanted to start at the amusement park at the end of MI2, but the threads from that specific end scene of MI2 were sort of there to be dismissed? LeChuck and Guybrush weren’t brothers, and those people weren’t really their parents. And if we think about it too hard, it’s rough to figure out what the MI2 dream sequence (bone song) would have been in terms of Boybrush’s playtime.
Yeah, at the end of MI2 it felt like those elements could be resolved/answered directly (Elaine left hanging, Chuckie’s eyes, them being brothers and leaving with their parents) and worked into some kind of coherent resolution in a new game.
But at the start of RtMI it felt more like a brand new writing team had been brought in who had no idea what the original writers had in mind with those plot points, and had to think up something so they could dismiss what happened and get their new story under way.
I was also on team No Secret in the past.
How was the fan reaction to MI1, before MI2 teased that there was another Secret? I was too busy being a baby to know what the fan environment was like, sorry. Was anyone wondering what the secret was, or did everyone just think “yeah the secret was LeChuck’s hidden lair”?
Oh well. If you don’t like the RTMI secret, you can say LeChuck’s lair was the secret. I loved RTMI’s secret, but also part of why it amused me was because I wasn’t invested.
OK I was invested. I was invested for the six months before RTMI came out, but I was kinda expecting a joke answer. I was a bit nervous opening the final chest, I was fully into it. The punchline was a gut punch, in a good way. I think. I was honestly too engrossed to remember. I think I was laughing or at least smiling.
I took the option where I told Boybrush “yes it really was a t-shirt” in the end. All the final options were good, but that one felt the most right with my feelings on the story at the time. Which ending did everyone else go for their first time?
The time between October 1990 and December 1991. Occasionally I remember reading people who’ve experienced the first game in that very first year, but it’s rare. And for a lot, it took months to beat…
I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a BBS archive somewhere. But we are talking about a very different media environment, and I understand that. It would be hard to compare.
EDIT: no reference to The Secret here, but this old review is already cracking jokes about software piracy. that’s great. No idea how old this review is. But it makes no mention of sequels. And refers to the game as having twelve commands (verbs), an interface only the early releases had. So I think that dates the review to Pretty Early.
People used to just copy discs all the time. It was very easy. That’s why games like maniac mansion had things built in—like the security door needing a code that you couldn’t find within the body of the game—that only allowed for enough gameplay to function like a trial.