Monkey Island creator gets second chance to finish the trilogy properly

Something to look forward to: I have fond memories of the old point-and-click adventures of the early 1990s. One of my favorites in the genre was Monkey Island and its subsequent sequels. It had several spinoffs and remakes over the years up until 2010. The original creator is back to redo the original trilogy’s third game.

On Monday, Devolver Digital dropped a trailer for a new Ron Gilbert game titled Return to Monkey Island, It is somewhat of a do-over of the third game, The Curse of Monkey Island (more on that after the trailer). The game is due out sometime later this year.

When he was with LucasArts, Gilbert developed the first two games — The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. However, he left the studio in 1992, leaving the rights to the game to LucasArts, which Disney later acquired in 2012.

After a six-year lull, LucasArts released the third game, The Curse of Monkey Island, without him. Although the game was a sequel to MI2, it discounted that story’s ending and went a different direction. Gilbert had talked about about wanting to do a third installment hilariously called “Monkey Island 3: The Secret Revealed or Your Money Back,” but since he no longer had rights or ties to LucasArts, there was not much he could do. He even made a half-hearted plea to Disney to sell him back the rights in 2016.

In 2020, Gilbert told the Video Game History Foundation that he already had Monkey Island 3 roughed out in his head.

“The third game in my head was always that Guybrush would go to Hell, and the demon pirate LeChuck would be down there and he would be doing a lot of what he would be doing in Hell,” Gilbert said.

It is unclear, judging by Devolver’s 57-second trailer, if the new game follows Gilbert’s thoughts from two years ago. The trailer does point out that it’s a joint effort between LucasFilm Games, Devolver Digital, and Gilbert’s studio Terrible Toybox. Writer and co-designer of the earlier games, Dave Grossman, will fulfill similar duties on the new title, and Dominic Armato returns as the voice of protagonist Guybrush Threepwood.

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