In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

The Curse of Monkey Island

aka: A Maldição da Ilha dos Macacos, CMI, La Maldicion de Monkey Island, La Malédiction De l'Ile aux Singes, La maledizione di Monkey Island, MI3, Monkey Island 3, Prokljatje Ostrova Obez'jan
Moby ID: 547
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Description official descriptions

Having barely escaped LeChuck's dreadful amusement park, Guybrush Threepwood finds himself stuck in the middle of the sea, with nothing in his boat but a sausage and a diary. Musing over the events that have led him into this predicament, Guybrush suddenly discovers a ship navigated by none other than his archenemy. Once again, Guybrush saves his beloved Elaine from the claws of his undead rival. In the midst of the treasure that belonged to the defeated foe Guybrush finds a ring. Overwhelmed by his love to Elaine, he proposes marriage to her and gives her the ring. What he doesn't know is that the ring is cursed; before he is able to realize what is happening, Elaine is turned into a gold statue. Will Guybrush be able to lift the curse and to save his one and only love?

This third installment of the Monkey Island is, like its predecessors, a humorous puzzle-solving adventure game. The game features cartoon-style SVGA graphics and (for the first time in the series) voice-overs for all the conversations. The interface no longer involves a list of verbs that occupies a part of the screen; instead, it follows the same principle as in Full Throttle: the player chooses first the object to interact with, then the action from a menu that appears. Like the second game, The Curse of Monkey Island has two difficulty levels.

Spellings

  • Проклятье Острова Обезьян - Russian spelling (unofficial)
  • 猴岛小英雄3:猴岛的诅咒 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 猴島小英雄III:猴島的詛咒 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 원숭이섬의 저주 - Korean spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

318 People (272 developers, 46 thanks) · View all

Project Leads
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Background Artists
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2D Animation
3D Animation
2D Cleanup and In-Betweens
Art and Animation Director
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Render Artists
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[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 90% (based on 42 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 324 ratings with 18 reviews)

Nice for Monkey Island fans

The Good
I'll be brief and let me just keep it more to the point...

  • I have mixed feeling about the new cartoon style graphics. For one thing, the graphics are not pixelated anymore, they are stylish and sharp. The animations feel smooth and are of great quality.

  • The usual point and click gameplay style is solid. The new inventory system was an improvement.

  • The character voices are well acted, cartoon voice style. The sounds and music are indeed of film quality, maybe even better.

  • The story. Despite Ron Gilbert not being involved in this sequel, I think the people who created it did a very good job in connecting the story with the events of the second and first game. This sequel is not only a proper continuation, it explains successfully what happened in the bizarre ending of the previous game (which many people hated). Quite frankly I was somewhat impressed.

  • The tone and sense of humour of the game world is just about right for a Monkey Island adventure I suppose. Some jokes are spot on; the cultural references are there; the characters are colorful.

  • I found some puzzles very challenging and original. The game gives the player possibilities of puzzle solving order and exploration. The length of the adventure is more than adequate.

    The Bad
    - First of all, bear in mind that I find the whole Monkey Island thing a bit overrated. I'm a grumpy gamer, I admit. These adventure games with juvenile stories in the middle between the totally absurd and the comedic are not my favorite genre. They just don't hook me. Maybe I'm getting too old for this but I found it way too infantile and sometimes lame; I felt some irreverent humour was missing (I like Simon better than Guybrush).

  • I personally didn't like that cartoonish style too much. It kind of makes more sense to the tone of the game, but I just didn't like it (see above).

  • The puzzles here do advance the story and the goals are clear, but I was disappointed with some nonsensical solutions. The game also features unconnected solutions you get to find before the problem arrives. Those are called backward puzzles.

    The Bottom Line
    I would still recommend playing it if you enjoyed the previous games. I preferred MI 1 and 2. They are funnier and let you use more your imagination. But nevertheless we do see a leap forward in graphics and sound after the intermission.

Windows · by Czar Husk Qi (27) · 2009

Another day, another Monkey Island 3 review

The Good
So this is LucasArts's third Monkey Island adventure after six years. It may not be created by Ron Gilbert like the previous Monkey Island games, but LucasArts made sure that all the spirit of these predecessors that made them very popular, exist in the third game. Once again you play Guybrush Threepwood, who places an engagement ring on Elaine Marley's finger, and, unfortunately for him, the ring turns Elaine into a gold statue due to the pirate curse that LeChuck has placed on it. In order to get the real ring, he must travel to another island far away. To make matters worse, LeChuck wants to marry Elaine just to piss Mr. Brush off.

Right at the start of the game, you will notice how Mr. Brush has transformed from a bearded and stubby pirate to a skinny dude who happened to grow overnight. The game is divided into six parts, and gives you the option of playing in either regular mode or Mega-Monkey mode. There really is no different between the two, except that you have to do more shit in Mega-Monkey, and if you happen to choose just the regular mode, certain scenes won't be omitted.

CMI has all the elements that The Secret of Monkey Island had. During the course of the game, you have to get a crew of three pirates to sail the seas with you, prepare to swordfight against some pirates, travel between islands, do a little business with some foreigners, and finally, defeat LeChuck once and for all.

If you have forgotten already, this first game required you to learn fifteen insults to use against Carla, the swordmaster. CMI is no different. There are new insults that you must learn. However, to initiate a swordfight, you do not click on a pirate anywhere on a map, but click on a pirate's ship, do a little combat out in the sea, and board his ship. The point with this particular rant is that there are some arcade sequences in this game, and some of them include using the cannon at the start of the game to sink boats with pirate skeletons on them, and going out to sea and bombing a pirate ship in order to get on-board. These sequences are fun to play.

The game features high-resolution graphics, but because 3D was not popular in the nineties, the graphics are still in 2D, just like the last two games. When I first looked at the graphics, I realized how Disney-like they were. Of course, CMI is not the only game with a Disney-like feel. I can give you a few examples such as Sierra's King's Quest VII and Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail!. The backgrounds and the characters that you interact with are hand-drawn nicely. When you get on-board a pirate ship, and start throwing insults at the pirate, the tone that they use to comeback at you with lines like "Oh, yeah?", "I'm shaking, I'm shaking.", and "I am rubber, you are glue." are the originals from MI1, but they sound great coming from different pirates.

Speaking of characters, some of them from previous games, including the voodoo priestess, Wally, and Stan, are back. Stan is one of the funniest characters in the game, and seems to change professions. First, he was a ship salesman, then he specialized in used coffins, and now, he's an insurance salesman. What is funny about him is that I really have no idea why he waves his arms. A new character that you will meet is Murray, the talking skull. He says nothing sensible but how when he comes back as a normal human, he is going to cause pain and suffering to the good samaritans, and how he wants Mr. Brush to join him.

And what good is CMI without some humor added to the mix? Occasionally, you have to laugh at what characters will do or say, or what appears on screen. I laughed at the way that CMI was written in the form of the THX logo, with the text "The Monkeys are listening" below it. Another example would be when the three pirates suddenly burst into song instead of just doing their jobs, and you have to make them shut up. Minor things include the false ending halfway through the game, and how you can get fooled into thinking that you can use 3D graphics.

Well, after six years, Lucas managed to incorporate the Monkey Island theme into the game, so that MI fans will immediately know that Lucas didn't fool them into thinking that this is actually something else entirely. This theme is also easier to remember. It was likely that fans would be singing the tune just before they decided to buy a MI game. I remember when an old friend from uni sang it when I lent him a copy of Escape from Monkey Island. The theme that plays when you are talking to voodoo priestess and Stan (from Monkey Island 2) is still there, but these are "revved" up.

The interface is pretty simple to use. Point the "X" anywhere until some text at the bottom appears. Right-click the mouse button to bring up a coin with three pictures inside it, allowing you to examine and pick up objects, or talk to characters or use your mouth on something. Pressing [F1] will bring up an open book, which will allow you to adjust several game settings, turn text and voice on or off, and save, load, and quit your game. During the game, pressing [SHIFT-W] will allow you to win the game, but I have no idea why you want to do this.

The Bad
All I can complain about is the ending, which is very short compared to other MI games. Normally, when I finish a game, I tend to sit back and watch the end credits roll by. The end credits in CMI are crap, and I felt that they needed more work. At the start of these credits, you have Murray saying "This is so unfair" and that's it. It wouldn't hurt to have him say different lines every two seconds, and that is what made him funny. The background could have changed so to make it have several other backgrounds rather than the animal skull at the right remaining static.

The Bottom Line
If you have played the previous MI games, my suggestion to you is try to play this one. The third game has much better graphics, and there is some humor and the gameplay that made the other MI games successful.

Rating: ***½

Windows · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2005

Am I the only dissenting voice here?

The Good
It's glossy and well put together. The puzzles are ok, and they've got 2 difficulty settings. Murray is nearly amusing and the soundtrack is classic, but it is from the original Monkey Island anyway. Some of the voices are perfect and don't spoil anything (Le Chuck). It's not a BAD game or anything. If it was released without the Monkey Island label I'd probably enjoy it more; since it has the label you assume the games are going to be similar in some way, and this one ain't.

The Bad
The graphics, despite being quite artistic and well drawn (especially the clouds), are just wrong. Guybrush has been mutated. His height has tripled and he looks younger. In fact according to sources, he IS younger. Apparently Guybrush is 20 in this one, yet he's 21 in Monkey Island 2. The characters pixelate and look a little ugly when they go into the distance. The game seems very aware of the quality of it's predecessors, so bounces ideas and jokes off them frequently. But it's changed everything about what made the first 2 games so sublime. The magic has gone. I know it's unrealistic to say the game should never have used speech; but these old characters are immortal and it shouldn't have been done. Guybrush should never have a voice, not that the guy who does it is in any way bad because he's not, but because it immediatly ruins the character that your subconcious plants in in your brain. The text of the first 2 games meant that you could give your own voices to the characters, and you could laugh at the quality of the writing instead of the delivery of it. Imagine if someone remade the first game with speech, all those funny lines of dialogue would have to be read out perfectly so as to keep them funny. It's hard to explain. But this is why so many scripts are better than the films or programmes themselves. Ever read Calvin & Hobbes? Imagine if a voice actor did Hobbes voice. Travesty. Anyway back to the game and everything...Monkey Island 3 is not funny. It's just not. All the parts and lines seem overracted in case we don't get the joke or something, and often the joke is needlessly explained in detail by some overly hyperactive character. This is again why it would be better without speech. Turn it off, just use text. It's better. The insult swordfighting, once great, is tacked on unessecarily. Though not quite as shamelessly or as pointlessly as Monkey 4. The locations aren't that interesting. The game didn't really need to made considering the ending of the 2nd, which was terrific. It would be better if it stopped while the series was legendary as it once was. They could have made an original game instead of a sequel, but then it might not sell I guess.

The Bottom Line
A solid and good game, but a shadow of it's parents. Slick, stylish, glossy, yet charmless. Lacks the Ron Gilbert magic that was so present in the first 2 and unfortunately does something to dampen the allure of them as well. The 2nd was worse than the 1st (barely), the 3rd is worse than the 2nd, and the 4th is worse than the 3rd. Stop now for the love of God and make a game like Grim Fandango again.

Windows · by Shazbut (163) · 2002

[ View all 18 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Like a good wine... The Fabulous King (1332) Jul 9, 2013

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Curse of Monkey Island appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled movie

There used to be a department somewhere within Industrial Light and Magic, that was tasked with writing screenplays for animated films based on Lucasfilm's intellectual property from other media. One such screenplay was a Monkey Island movie, entitled The Curse of Monkey Island, likely loosely based on the game of the same name. In the big reorganization of Lucasfilm that occurred a couple of years ago the department was killed and the movie (still in pre-production) with it.

Cut content

  • A love song called "Plank of Love" was planned to be in the game but was never recorded. A stanza from the song, written by Chuck Jordan:

Elaine: "Oh, how I love you Guybrush."

Elaine: "Not even your corny jokes'll..."

Elaine: "Make me wish that I was not your bride..."

Elaine: "When you carry me 'cross your fo'c'sle!" * In a PC Gamer sneak preview of the game, the designers admitted that Gary Coleman's character, Kenny Falmouth, was supposed to answer "What-chu talkin' about, Guybrush?" to a certain question, but they decided to remove the line since they didn't want to risk offending the former star of Diff'rent Strokes.

Development

LucasArts initially designed longer end scenes for the game but due to budget and time restrains were forced to drop those plans.

Development tools

The Curse of Monkey Island used 3 engines: SCUMM (the last LucasArts game to use it), INSANE and iMUSE.

Fingers

You can notice how all the characters in the game have only four fingers on each of their hands. Hard to notice when you're too busy finishing the story, but you can check the end credits. You'll be able to see that quite clear.

Gags

  • When Van Helgen is doing his guitar riff, Guybrush will pull out a lighter if you don't move him for about a minute.
  • On the in-game menu there's a button which appears as disabled and it says "Enable 3D acceleration", but when you get over it with a mouse, it says "No, really, there's no 3D acceleration in this game."

German version

The German version of the game changed the character Rottingham into "Röchelieu" (an obvious pun referring to the cardinal Richelieu, the French politician of the 17th century), and he talks with French accent. Another slight change concerned Palido Domingo, which is a parody of the famous singer Placido Domingo. In the German version it was changed into "Blasido". Why is it funny and why did they change it? Because "blas" means "pale" in German! This way, the joke is even funnier, since the name "Blasido" is more similar to "Placido" than "Palido". Other changes: the character Minestrone is called "Meistersuppe", which is "master soup", and Haggis talks with a broad Frisian accent instead of the original Scotch.

A sequence missing in the European versions of the game is the shanty Guybrush's crew sings in chapter three: A Pirate I was meant to be. For reasons not yet known, the song was cut from non-English versions of the game: in an interview from 2021 designer Larry Ahern says he was not even aware of the song being cut and does not remember ever being asked about it, so he assumes it was probably a decision made by the localization team alone.

Macintosh

Although no Mac version of the game was released, it is possible to play on Mac OS X using ScummVM and the game files from the PC CDs.

Murray

Murray, the demonic skeleton, was only planned to be near LeChuck's ship in the original script. But thanks to loads of positive feedback on the Curse of Monkey Island demo and some initiative of the programmers, the character was added to four other locations in the game in the last few months of development. Murray even has to be used as an inventory item to solve a puzzle at one point.

References

  • In The Curse of Monkey Island there's a place where you can enter the 'forest' screen from original The Secret of Monkey Island. You can only see your new Guybrush head, lurking like from some hole in a tree-stump. From another place, the dying scene under water can be visited. More information about both easter eggs can be found in the tips & tricks section.
  • When you enter the dialogue with LeChuck in part V of the game, Guybrush threatens LeChuck that should he kill Guybrush, there will be no more sequels and LeChuck's name will be forgotten, just like Bobbin Threadbare's. Bobbin Threadbare, of course, is the name of the main character in Loom, and thanks to the low sales of the game, there never was a sequel.
  • The dead guy at Blondebeard's restaurant is none other than Manny Calavera - the main character from Grim Fandango.

References to the game

The Curse of Monkey Island was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 02/2007.

Ron Gilbert

Ron Gilbert, designer of the original two games of the series, said that the game was done well considering the tough job they had, but his biggest complaint was that Elaine fell in love with Guybrush. Gilbert says that Elaine thinks of Guybrush as more of a brother, and she would never do something like that.

Time

  • The church clock tower on Plunder Island always shows exact time in reality, Guybrush will tell you exactly what time is it.
  • Ask Palido Domingo about how long he's been staying at the beach. The answer it will depend on the date set on your computer clock.

Translation

Puerto Pollo, one of the main areas in the game, means Port Chicken in Spanish.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 1998 (Issue #164) – Adventure Game of the Year
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1999 - Best Adventure in 1998

Information also contributed by Adam Schoales, Daniel Albu, Emepol; Gothicgene, James1, Jason Harang, Little Yoda; Marek, MAT, MDMaster, Scott Monster, Tom Murphy, Unicorn Lynx, Zack Green, and Zovni

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Related Sites +

  • CMI Walkthrough
    A walkthrough of The Curse of Monkey Island by Cindy Wells, which provides direction through both the regular and MegaMonkey modes of the game.
  • Escape from Monkey Island
    A website with lots of stuff about Monkey Island.
  • Hints for Curse of Monkey Island
    These hints are written so you can gradually get the help you need without spoiling the game for you.
  • LucasFans
    The unofficial LucasArts fan website.
  • ScummVM
    Get "Curse of Monkey Island", as well as many other adventure games, to run on modern systems by using ScummVM, a legal and free program.
  • The Curse of Monkey Island
    Official Website
  • The Scumm Bar
    A really good unofficial Monkey Island fan-club with lots of fan art, music and info about the game.
  • World Of Monkey Island
    An excellent fan-club with lots of things to look at such as errors in the game, screen shots, and more.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 547
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

Macintosh added by Stelios Kanitsakis.

Additional contributors: MAT, Swordmaster, Itay Brenner, Adam Baratz, Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, Jeanne, Apogee IV, James Isaac, chirinea, Sciere, MDMaster, Zeppin, Paulus18950, federicocrane, Mastran, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added December 7, 1999. Last modified March 6, 2024.