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A memorable puzzle for PC: The Secret of Monkey Island

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Guybrush, the hero of this adventure wants to be a pirate, and when the pirates ask if he has any special abilities, Guybrush says “I can hold my breath for 10 minutes!” The author of the article says that there is a series of articles he loves about Vulture called The Great Bits, in which comedian John Roy makes jokes about comedians like John Mulaney and Maria Bamford in a truly masterful way.

This is also your opinion about a big ´Bit´, the jokes in the game Lucasfilm THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND. He is best loved for his insulting sword fight, but my favorite moment comes shortly after that, when the goofy hero Guybrush Threepwood has his first encounter with the baddie ghost LeChuck.

LeChuck, in disguise, ties Guybrush to a “fabulous idol”, which appears to be made of solid gold, and throws him from a pier into the ocean. In this situation, I would continue to drown myself immediately. But in THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND, this scene is used to say
at least three extremely good jokes on a single screen.

Instead of panicking and drowning, Guybrush just casually walks to the bottom of the sea, tied to the fabulous idol sunk in the sand. This is a call. Large punchlines often start with a setting or a little detail that seems disposable at first, and then highlight more and more elements until you forget everything about the new setting.

A memorable puzzle for PC The Secret of Monkey Island

Here THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND is delivering a joke about a joke it made at the beginning of the game. Guybrush really wants to be a pirate, and when the pirates in charge of being a pirate ask if he has any special skills, Guybrush says “I can hold my breath for 10 minutes!” There is! Except, as we’ll learn hours later, it literally can.

Guybrush is not freaking out because he can survive in this underwater scene for 10 minutes, when he is going to drown. The developers really did an alternate ending to let Guybrush drown in this scene, and that’s funny, too, but most players will figure out how to escape there. The second joke is just classic visual humor.

Scattered by Guybrush on the open floor are a knife, a “deadly meat cleaver”, a sword, a saw, and a pair of “razor-sharp scissors”, all capable of cutting the rope holding Guybrush down. But you cannot reach any of them. When you click on each one, you can feel the writers playing with you. “It looks sharp,” says Guybrush the saw. “Very sharp,” he says when you click on the scissors. But they are all useless.

1617872924 681 A memorable puzzle for PC The Secret of Monkey Island

See your inventory. Guybrush has many items. Perhaps one of them will finally be useful! But not. You cannot cut the rope with the shovel. The staple remover does not help. The solution is somewhere on the screen. There is only one thing you can do, but it is stupid. It’s ridiculous. But maybe you can catch the idol? Just pick it up, like any other item? What the hell, right? Then he experiments, thinking that he might be able to drag it within reach of one of these sharp objects, but Guybrush casually shoves it in his pocket as if it were a beautiful shell.

This may have been the peak of video games as a medium. I mean, there have been a few more good games since 1990, but what a perfect time. THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND casually established that it was playing by the rules of its own reality.

Being able to hold all sorts of items large and small in your pocket was not just an “inventory system”. If those items seemed to be magically disappearing into an infinite and weightless void, then that was exactly what was happening. This puzzle solution is so elegant, so perfect, thinking about it still makes me furious with envy, says the author of the article. But it’s the kind of moment that stays with us, because it makes us think about the rest of the game – and probably other games, too – in a different way.

Source: PCGamer

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