With LucasArts busy recreating The Secret of Monkey Island, Telltale is bringing us Tales of Monkey Island, an episodic adventure that picks up where the fifth Monkey Island game left off.
Yes yes, I realise there was no fifth Monkey Island game, but don't tell Tales of Monkey Island that. Telltale walked me through the beginning of the first episode, which kicks off with Guybrush Threepwood rushing to rescue his wife Elaine from the vile clutches of his arch-enemy LeChuck, who is torturing monkeys to get them to talk. It's the end of another epic adventure for Guy, who continually makes references to a long ordeal that we are not privvy to that he underwent in order to procure various elements needed to destroy LeChuck once and for all. Elements like a special root beer, which he heroically drops onto the floor, destroying it.
No worries! After a bit of back and forth with Elaine, their banter that of an old married couple now that they've been together for awhile, Guy convinces her to toss him a rope so he can board LeChuck's ship. Elaine kicks the rope...and LeChuck's mast falls over, spanning the two ships. Following the series' grand tradition of item substitutions, Guy uses a plant root and some bad grog to recreate the recipe, but when he uses it on his enemy, there are some rather unexpected results. LeChuck becomes human, Guybrush gets a cursed hand, and then the ship explodes, thanks to some unfortunately placed kegs of gunpowder.
Threepwood washes up on the shores of Flotsam Island, a mysterious place where the winds all blow inwards. Stranded pirates can't sail away, so they are forced to do their pirating amongst themselves...there's one intact ship on the island that the pirate community is continuously seizing and reseizing. It's from here that Guybrush begins his next epic quest in order to find Elaine, figure out what's happened to LeChuck, and deal with his hand, which is oddly glowing green.
From what I saw, the game really captures the spirit of the original series, and there really is no reason it shouldn't. There's barely a person working at Telltale who hasn't worked on at least one of the Monkey Island titles, and they've got series co-creator Dave Grossman onboard das well. They've even had Ron Gilbert stop by their office, giving the project his blessing.
You won't have long to wait to try the game for yourself, as the first episode launches in July on the PC, with the WiiWare version either launching at the same time or soon after. Unlike previous Telltale titles, Tales of Monkey Island will consist of five chapters in a much bigger story, rather than five more or less standalone games, so be prepared for some hot cliffhanger action.