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Tales of Monkey Island review

Tales of Monkey Island

Episode 4 - The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood

Guybrush in Episode 4


It would be hard not to write a review of this chapter without publishing a few spoilers – but I’ll try my best to keep most of it a secret so that those of you who want to play the game, aren’t discouraged.

The game opens up as the previous episodes have done, with the voodoo lady giving the uninitiated a recap of how Guybrush is in his current predicament. At the moment, he is a captive of the pirate hunter Morgan Le Flay, who then proceeds to hand him over the crazy French scientist, the Marquis De Singe in exchange for a bounty. But just as the Marquis is about to do whatever it is he wants to do with Guybrush, a letter is delivered to Guybrush summoning him immediately to the pirate court.

To Kill a Talking Bird


It is here that we find out that Guybrush has been charged with a number of crimes, all resulting in the death penalty. It is then up to the gamer to help Guybrush clear his name of the crimes and hopefully get rid of the dreaded Pox of LeChuck once and for all with the help of La Esponja Grande which was recovered in Episode 3. It is here also that we get reacquainted with the classic Monkey Island character, Stan the salesman. This time he appears in the role of the prosecutor in the trial against Guybrush, and his arms still wave about wildly and he still owns his weird and wonderful coat.

Elaine also returns in this episode, and she is not too happy with the perceived goings-on between Guybrush and Morgan. In fact, a number of characters make a reappearance in this episode. For example, the action-figure playing pirate D’oro returns as one of the witnesses against Guybrush. As you may remember, Guybrush did give him a counterfeit Dark Ninja Dave doll and now he wants revenge.

A Few Good Pirates


LeChuck also returns to help save Guybrush from hanging. After clearing Guybrush of the claims against him, you find out that La Esponja Grande will only work once in its current adolescent state and must follow the Voodoo Lady’s (can she really be trusted?) recipe to bring the voodoo-sucking sponge to maturity. Can Guybrush do it and save the Caribbean from the Pox? Well, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.

The chapter is again loaded with great dialogue and references to pop culture. With much of the early game being set inside the pirate courtroom, the writers have pulled out many great lines from courtroom movies. Guybrush blurts out classics such as “You can’t handle the truth” (Jack Nicholson - A Few Good Men) and “A dingo’s got me baby” (Meryl Streep - Evil Angels). But my favourite quote from the episode was “Never pull a monkey out of your pocket until the most dramatically useful moment”. Great advice indeed.

Law & Order: Piratical Intent


The voice acting compliments the writing extremely well. As with the previous episodes in the series, the voice acting is high quality and there were times when I was chuckling to myself at the delivery of the one-liners. The music was again lively and continues to fit in well with the Caribbean theme.

One let-down in this episode was the visuals. If this is your first time playing a game from the Tales of Monkey Island series, then it won’t be much of an issue, but assuming that most gamers will have played the first three episodes, the graphics are a little disappointing. The reason is simply that the locations (apart from the courtroom and the inside of Club 41) are identical to those in episode 1. The only difference is that it is now evening on Flotsam Island, so the town is a few shades darker. Don’t get me wrong, the visuals are still nice, but some more variation would have been nice.

The puzzles involved a bit more walking from one location to the next (and back) than the last episode. It is a minor gripe of mine, but I guess that sort of comes with the adventure gaming genre. The puzzles again aren’t overly taxing, but I must admit that I did have some head-scratching moments when I was trying to clear Guybrush of the charges against him. The puzzles remain fairly linear, although the trials can be completed in any order. All the objects that Guybrush will require can be picked up and placed in his inventory, and this certainly helps those unfamiliar with adventure gamers.

How appropriate... you fight like a cow


This episode certainly finishes with a cliff-hanger ending, which is just as it should be with only one episode remaining. The story is progressing nicely, although this episode has probably opened up more questions to the plot than have been answered – such as the death of a couple of characters. I’m busting for the final episode to find out what happens. What are LeChuck’s plans? How will Elaine (and Guybrush…?) stop him? And what of the voodoo lady, what is she up to? No doubt everything will be revealed in the final instalment.

I can’t wait.
Fun score 7.5

Pros

The return of Stan and his astounding jacket. The story also ends in a cliff-hanger, leaving a number of questions to be answered for the final episode.

Cons

Same locations as Episode One – but at night... and with a similar amount of walking between the locations

Game Screenshots