In this serial only attention for the smallest! Those things that do not always stand out while playing, but that make you very happy as soon as you discover them. Today in Oog voor Detail we take a closer look at not one, but three games! Welcome to Monkey Island!

While everyone is still completely blown away by the amount of detail in Red Dead Redemption 2, the Eye for Detail serial continues in some more manageable game worlds. This time I’m going further back in time than ever, to be precise 1990, 1991 and 1997. These are the years of the most famous point-and-click adventure series of all: Monkey Island. The first three parts, of course. The rest we ignore for the sake of convenience.

The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge both have some kind of half remaster / remake years ago under the title ‘Special Edition’. Here you can easily switch between the original graphics and the new jacket while playing and both versions have their own interesting details. Part 3, better known as The Curse of Monkey Island, is far too beautiful for a remake in itself, but has been easy to download on Steam and GOG since the beginning of this year. So no more hassle with an emulator! Ideal for highlighting a number of striking details of all three games.

1. The Secret of Monkey Island

Transformation

Just a really nice, raunchy animation, when LeChuck takes off his “Fester Shinetop jacket” and reveals his true figure. Actually much nicer in the pixels of 1990!

Ghost flag

Small continuity error, as you normally only see them in movies: the mysterious pirate flag of the Sea Monkey. Shortly after you have taken it down and processed it into a tasty soup for a puzzle, it will still be flying happily from the mast when you see your ship from a distance a little later. What kind of dark voodoo magic is this again?

Where are Sam & Max?

As a little Monkey Island connoisseur probably knows, every part in the series contains a reference to the illustrious detective duo Sam & Max. They were even seen in The Secret of Monkey Island when they only existed in comics, long before they got their own game. But unfortunately LucasArts no longer owns the rights, so they have been replaced in the remake of both part 1 and part 2 by another familiar from their point-n-click stable. Instead of a statue of Sam & Max, that one violin from Day of the Tentacle can now be found with the second largest monkey Guybrush has ever seen.

A familiar face

Not present in the original, but incorporated in the remake: the iconic head of Manny Calavera from Grim Fandango, just in the caves under Monkey Island! And later in Monkey Island 2, we meet him again in Mr. Phatt’s hall. Is this, together with the reference to Day of the Tentacle, perhaps a hint to the remasters that we would get later?

2. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge

Bugs!

By now, observant readers know: I love to spot small animals in my games! These frogs and fish at the beginning of the Monkey Island 2 remake were nowhere to be seen in the original, but just fit perfectly into the always cozy Woodtick.

Saint Nicholas

Just a bit of ‘ear for detail’ in between: as soon as you walk into the alley with the prize wheel on Phatt Island, you should hear a very familiar tune, especially at this time of year! “Daaaar is knocked on the door…”, my brain immediately hums along automatically. WTF? Did LucasArts just steal a Sinterklaas song ?! Well, not quite. Apparently the well-known Sinterklaas song is not really original either and the melody comes from an old Viennese song entitled “Oh du lieber Augustin”. Learned something again.

Threepwood XL

I shamelessly steal this one from the audio commentary that is included with the Special Edition, because it is quite a very cool detail. The developers explain that in this scene on the pier they accidentally made the fisherman way too big, in relation to the maximum size of Guybrush’s standard sprite. Starting over was not an option, so they drew an extra large version of Guybrush especially for this image, so that it was all in proportion again. That’s why we only see a larger, more detailed Guybrush at this spot in the game.

Back from the dead

Even better than LeChuck’s transformation from Part 1 is the one time you bring a dead cook to life with Guybrush. Another great piece of pixel animation!

3. The Curse of Monkey Island

Characteristic wood

It’s human nature to see faces in random objects, but the images in the knotty beams of LeChuck’s ship are certainly no coincidence! Never seen a monkey like this in a piece of wood before.

At the time

In Monkey Island 1 it is always 10:00 am on Mêlée Island, if we can believe the clock in the city gate. Here in Puerto Pollo it is different: here the clock tower always shows the system time of your computer. You can even have Guybrush read the time by having him watch the clock. You can also hear the clock ringing at the right time throughout the village, even when you are inside. Always found a funny detail.

Chicken A’hoy!

Probably the best eatery on all of Plunder Island has to be Captain Blondebeard’s Chicken Shoppe. In addition to the wide menu of chicken dishes (if in stock), this tent offers a very cozy and detailed interior. A huge painting of El Pollo Diablo on the wall, a Grim Fandango easter egg (got it again) and lice in the cake, what more could you want? Oh, one detail that I had never noticed before: the doormat does not say a welcome or something, but “A ‘Hoy!”. A nice touch!

This guy’s mustache

Yes, now it has been nice

Somewhere halfway through solving a puzzle in the theater you can meet this guy again… now clearly a Monkey Island tradition.

So much for this detailed selection of the first three Monkey Island games! What is your favorite Monkey Island moment? Throw it in the comments!

The Eye for Detail serial:

  • Paintings, posters and advertisements

  • Flowing clothing

  • Bodies in first person shooters

  • What you didn’t notice in God of War

  • What you didn’t notice about Detroit: Become Human

  • What you didn’t notice in BioShock

  • What you didn’t notice in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

  • What you didn’t notice in Half-Life 2

  • What you didn’t notice in The Last of Us

  • What you didn’t notice in Burnout Paradise

  • Which you didn’t notice in Rayman Legends

  • What you didn’t notice in Monkey Island 1, 2 & 3

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