The Curse of Monkey Island
- The Curse of Monkey Island (1999 on DOS, Windows)
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.
- 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
Credits (Windows version)
318 People (272 developers, 46 thanks) · View all
|Lead Background Artist|
|2D Cleanup and In-Betweens|
|Art and Animation Director|
|Lead Render Artist|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 90% (based on 42 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 320 ratings with 18 reviews)
This game is an example of why LEC was among the top 5 best game developers of the 90's. Heck, for adventure games, they were number 1 as far as I'm concerned. MI3 has got to be the most impressively orchestrated comical adventure game ever. The game comes together flawlessly in every way. The visual and audio quality are amazing. This game will never age.
While LEC of today is nothing as far as game developing goes, this game shows what they were back in 'the day.' The artists over there put out a beautiful, amazingly styled game with awesome atmosphere. The music is perfect as well with Michael Land and crew putting out their best ever, until The Dig anyway. Heck I can sit around and listen to MP3s of this game. Sound effects are equally amazing. The voice actors probably do the best of any game ever, especially Guybrush.
Come to think about it this game reminds me of a movie. The quality is just there. It has all the characteristics of a blockbuster big budget.
How can a game which taunts you about it's 3D functionality in the options menu be given negative remarks?
The Bottom Line
This game is the peak of the mountain of modern comedic adventure games. If you can't enjoy this one, well, you should just give up.
Windows · by Deleted (33) · 2002
I should probably start this review by stating outright that Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is one of my sacred cows. The game is everything good about the adventure game genre, and one of the best presented computer games of all time. It achieved feats of sound design that to this day are barely matched or even attempted. It is, as one might figure, a hard act to follow.
Curse tries. First on its list of attempts is a visual update. The backgrounds are still hand-painted, and look nice enough, if drab in comparison to MI2's. Unsurprisingly LucasArts overhauled the animation entirely, going for a 'theater quality' style with low detail and high animation. This same craze of "Disney-like" animation had swept through, and killed off, the rest of the adventure game genre earlier in the 90s, so it's no great surprise that it got to LucasArts eventually too. Unfortunately the new style of animation with thin lines and flat colors did not mesh well with the SCUMM engine's 3D perspective feature, and rooms had to be designed to be as flat as possible. The few times that actors walk into the distance they lose all definition like a low res sprite run through 2xSai too many times. Still, this was a limitation the team was aware of, and they worked around it where they could.
Curse could hardly even have hoped to have matched MI2's sound design, seeing as how the latter had been both a showcase and advertisement for the iMuse system itself. Music (aside from one hilarious musical interlude) ranges from good to appropriate, but never quite reaches memorable. The voice acting is excellent, easily living up to the precedent set by Sam and Max and Full Throttle. While some of the choices for characters that return from earlier games do not match how I would have imagined them speaking, they all very obviously got into their roles fully, and every line of dialogue (which are 100% voiced) is entertaining on its own just due to the actor's particular inflections. In fact out of the entire cast the only dud as far as voice acting goes is, as it happens, the primary character Elaine, but she is a topic I will be returning to shortly.
Puzzle-wise Curse is a mixed bag. There are returning puzzles from earlier entries in the series, and they are all weak, but the new puzzles have a few standouts. "Adventure game logic" is for the most part absent, and the solutions to problems are usually logical based on the circumstances and world. In fact one puzzle requires you to throw out "video game logic" entirely and solve a problem how you would in reality. It's a shame that they didn't have enough of the good puzzles to make a full game out of.
The problems with Curse probably start with the absence of one element: Ron Gilbert. Gilbert had envisioned Monkey Island as a trilogy that would have had a very distinct ending in its third installment. The aberrant details of Secret and MI2 would have come to a head as the nature of Monkey Island and Guybrush's place in it would become apparent. Ending a franchise, however, is not at all what Lucas or the development team had in mind. They weren't making a game, they were making a Monkey Island game. What resulted in Curse is the best example of why fans should never be game developers.
The details of MI2, especially the ending, were a curiosity put next to the pirates and voodoo and the humor of the rest of the game. Unsurprisingly these elements of the game were exorcised entirely, written out in the most ham-handed way possible as just an illusion and display of LeChuck's magic powers. The team had no interest in developing the series toward an ending or goal of any kind. They were fans of piratey fancy, and now that they had control over the series they were going to make the piratiest, fanciest game they possibly could.
Curse was where the series began its unfortunate descent into self-referential humor, pulling out past jokes and themes to remind you, yes, you are indeed playing a game with Monkey Island on the cover. Secret ended its first chapter with a hunt for crew members, so therefore this game too should end its first chapter with a hunt for crew members. Secret had a highly quotable puzzle based around insulting opponents, so if this game has one of those as well, it will be just as quotable and memorable (admittedly it is well written, but that doesn't prevent it from being any less needlessly derivative). MI2 ended with a fast paced battle of wits and inventory puzzles with LeChuck, so bringing that back will make the ending of this game just as exciting (unlike the last point this one was not done even remotely as well as the previous game's).
In fact of all the things to be brought back from earlier games, the most glaring, and least surprising, change from the earlier games is also one of the greatest crimes of writing in the history of computer games: the complete and total character derailment of Elaine Marley. Elaine was the first strong, well-written female character in the history of electronic gaming. When Samus Aran was still hiding her gender, and half a decade before Lara Croft had any snappy comebacks to Atlantean demi-gods, Elaine was running an island of scoundrels and vagrants and, in her off time, working out how to deal with that annoying ghost pirate in the area. The protagonist Guybrush Threepwood went out on a heroic quest to save her from the clutches of LeChuck upon her disappearance, only for Elaine to reveal she'd never been kidnapped at all; she'd just gone out to look for some way of putting an end to LeChuck herself. In previous Monkey Island games there was a plot of romance between herself and Guybrush, but Elaine breaks it up, twice even, because Guybrush is an entirely impossible person to live with. Elaine's reaction to Guybrush falling to certain peril and possible death at LeChuck's hands in the closing hour of Monkey Island 2 was 'Oops.'
Suddenly, in the weeks between that and Curse's opening Elaine is bemoaning the lack of a Threepwood in her life, unsure if she can go own now that LeChuck has taken from her ' the only man (she) ever truly loved.' In the opening of Curse's first proper chapter Elaine is incapacitated and, shortly thereafter, kidnapped, and only Guybrush Threepwood is capable of saving her. Worse yet, upon being rescued and revived, Elaine is, before the cutscene has even ended, incapacitated and kidnapped again. There exists a storyboard of a cut movie where Guybrush and Elaine fend off a group of LeChuck's henchmen before being overwhelmed. I find it very telling that, when pressed to make a cut to the game for budget or time reasons, the developers cut out the one part where Elaine does anything of any competence or significance.
If they had to cut anything they could have cut out that misplaced ship combat minigame. As a hack of the SCUMM engine (like the optional highway minigame of Sam and Max and the motorcycle combat of Full Throttle that could be solved either through action or thinking) it's interesting, but pointless and contrasts heavily with the remainder of the game. I feel it was put in as an apology from the developer to the customers who were not "dyed-in-the-wool faithfuls" of the franchise. 'We're sorry,' they are saying, 'that our game only has dialogue and puzzles. Please enjoy this part of the game that reminds you of other games you have played.'
The Bottom Line
When Return of the Jedi originally came out it was blasted by fans and critics alike for being so underwhelming compared to the bar set by The Empire Strikes Back. Over the years, however, that perspective has been lost now that Jedi can be compared to Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Yes, Curse is a better game than Escape from Monkey Island. This does not mean that Curse's quality lies halfway between Escape and MI2. For all its Slave Leias (honestly Murray is one of the better things to exist in the MI franchise as a whole) Curse is a fundamentally damaged product that did its part to kill the adventure game genre by just not caring about itself or its medium beyond superficial elements. Perhaps others can play Curse for its few bright spots, imaging them as being part of a proper adventure game of the caliber LucasArts was, at one time, capable of producing, but I can only see it for everything that went so wrong.
Windows · by Lain Crowley (6594) · 2010
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.
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.
Windows · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2005
|Like a good wine...||The Fabulous King (1330)||Jul 9th, 2013|
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.
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.
- 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.
LucasArts initially designed longer end scenes for the game but due to budget and time restrains were forced to drop those plans.
The Curse of Monkey Island used 3 engines: SCUMM (the last LucasArts game to use it), INSANE and iMUSE.
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.
- 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."
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.
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, 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.
- 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, 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.
- 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.
Puerto Pollo, one of the main areas in the game, means Port Chicken in Spanish.
- Computer Gaming World
- March 1998 (Issue #164) – Adventure Game of the Year
- PC Player (Germany)
- Issue 01/1999 - Best Adventure in 1998
Related Sites +
A walkthrough of <em>The Curse of Monkey Island</em> 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.
The unofficial LucasArts fan website.
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
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.
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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 7th, 1999. Last modified October 4th, 2023.