Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

Posted by Joonas Linkola.
First posted on 06 November 1997. Last updated on 14 December 2009.
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Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
It cannot be Monkey Island without some spooky night scenes.
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
Woodchuck or LeChuck?
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
LucasArts pays homage to Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean. Here he is, Walt the Dog!

Ron Gilbert's The Secret of Monkey Island proves that it is possible to make anarchic humors about pirates. The game reinvents the concept of humor in computer games and has since become popular among adventure fans all around the world. Indeed, the debut title of the Monkey Island series not only remains as an all-time favorite in the minds of many adventure gamers, it also stands as a testament that symbolizes Lucasfilm Games as the master of designing adventure game. The sequel, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, is nothing less than the original.

Long time ago, in the Caribbean far away, Guybrush Threepwood's (or Thrushweed's) life isn't going very well. After defeating the evil ghost pirate LeChuck, the beautiful governor Elaine Marley has left him. Now, our favorite antihero has a new problem: LeChuck's friend, Largo LaGrande, has stolen LeChuck's beard from Guybrush and has revived LeChuck as a rotten zombie. Meanwhile, Guybrush must travel to Scabb Island in hope of finding the legendary treasure which all pirates dream of—Big Whoop. At the end, Guybrush will find out a shocking secret about LeChuck. The word "family" surely takes on a whole meaning in this game!

Lucasfilm Games has not laid idle between the development of the games in this series. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is not just a "mon(k)ey away from the customers" sequel; this is something really new. The game is released in both Floppy Disk and CD-ROM versions. After the painless installation (the game even detects your soundcard automatically), it is one incredible ride from there on. Graphics have undergone a radical facelift from the original. The gorgeous backgrounds are scanned in from real hand drawn paintings. The new character animations are more lively. The characters now emphasize their comments and feelings with body languages. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is also one of the first (if not first) adventure titles from Lucasfilm Games that uses dedicated cut scenes. In the original game almost all cut scenes happen in the same mode as the game itself, where in this sequel full screen cut scene animations are used. Lucasfilm Games' legendary SCUMM game engine has been improved for this game. The interface is cleaner than that from the original, after the deletion of all the little used commands. The point and click system is the best I have seen and works like a dream. It is intuitive, so you do not have to spend time learning to use it. Inventory objects are now shown as pictures instead of word descriptions as in the original.

Beside the nice graphics, the amazing soundtrack in this sequel boosts the atmosphere even more in the game. Again, the music department in Lucasfilm Games has surprised gamers with even more great tunes that you will keep humming later on. The game introduces a new iMUSE system. It allows the game's music to respond smoothly and spontaneously to unpredictable player choices, creating at the same time a wonderful feeling of continuity in the music. Sound effects, however, are pretty simple with just a few squeaks here and there.

The game's main action takes place on 3 different islands and you can freely travel between them. The story starts on Scabb Island, but the action takes places on Booty Island, Phatt Island, and Dinky Island. This is a nice idea, and brings a feeling of freedom and nonlinearity to the game. You can work on all the islands, completing different puzzles in any order you want. After accomplishing all the necessary puzzles on these islands, Guybrush will travel to LeChuck's castle and then to Dinky Island where the game's ending takes place. Trust me, it is a weird ending! It must be one of the most talked about endings among all adventure games. I am not going to spoil your gaming experience by telling you what happens. See it for yourself!

Talking with other characters in the game happens in the standard fashion. You choose the line you want to say from up to five alternatives. The game designers obviously have fun doing this, for Guybrush's witty comments and jokes are very entertaining. You cannot die in the game, so you do not have to worry about choosing all the funniest alternatives just to see the responses. All the characters in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge are quite funny. You meet some of the old friends, like Stan, the previously owned coffins salesman, and the mystic friend Voodoo Lady who will again help Guybrush with his quest. There are also some new interesting personalities, like the fascistic dictator who gets a big load of grease fed straight to his mouth every other second.

"Really Good Ideas" is an option available at the beginning of the game, where you can choose between the normal game or "Monkey Island 2 Lite". The latter is for novice adventure gamers. It offers an easier game, whereby some puzzles have been left out and others have been made easier. This really makes the game suitable for people who have never played an adventure game before. Unfortunately, the lite option has been left out in the CD-ROM version.

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is simply an excellent game. It is fun to play and is quite a long game. The puzzles are well built. The music is marvelous and fits in like a rat in a soup. The game engine is superb. The wicked sense of humor is freshing. Some versions of the game have a nasty bug—when you are attending the spitting contest, the horn will work only once, so save your game before blowing into the horn. Other than this bug and the weak sound effects, this game is perfect. All in all, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is a classic in computer adventure gaming. It should be part of every adventurer's game library. Anyone with a liking for adventure games will enjoy this title. This is a game that stands well over time even against today's adventure titles. To quote Guybrush, "I'll be back."

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