During the last Nintendo Direct Mini, Terrible Toybox, Devolver Digital and LucasFilm Games finally revealed the first look at Back to Monkey Island, the latest entry in the groundbreaking point-and-click adventure game series in 13 years. This trailer comes with plenty of reveals, such as the first look at the new art style, glimpses of the returning voice cast, and a preview of the upcoming title’s gameplay. The trailer finally promised that this adventure would finally reveal how Guybrush found the legendary “Secret of Monkey Island”.
A bit of news that went relatively unnoticed was the reveal on the game’s Steam and Nintendo eShop pages that Back to Monkey Island will be the last match of the monkey island series. The Steam page specifically lists it as “the thrilling conclusion to the monkey island series.” While this news will undoubtedly shock many, Back to Monkey Island acting as the conclusion of the series ultimately makes a lot of sense.
The road back to Monkey Island
Back to Monkey Island is one of the most unlikely modern video game sequels to exist. For a long time, fans had lost hope that Ron Gilbert would return to the series he created in 1991, especially given the series’ new ownership under The Walt Disney Company as part of its 2012 acquisition of LucasFilm. While many had assumed Disney had no interest in revisiting LucasFilm Games/LucasArts IP, Ron Gilbert posted numerous posts on his social media accounts claiming he was going to attempt to buy the rights to the series from Disney.
Disney has finally shown some interest in the former LucasArts IP after teaming up with Double Fine Productions to release remasters of classic titles such as sinister fandango and full throttlegiving some hope to monkey islandeventual revival. Later, the company would even continue to recognize the series in other ways, such as releasing The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge as part of Xbox’s backward compatibility program and the release of classic titles like Curse of Monkey Island on Steam. No major indication that a new monkey island the game was coming until mid-2021, when Microsoft sea of thieves included a reference to monkey island as part of his Pirates of the Caribbean crossover, indicating that it was possible to license the Disney IP.
Then finally, earlier this year, in Ron Gilbert fashion, the latest entry into the monkey island The series was eventually revealed as an April Fool’s Day post on the creator’s personal blog, which he often promised to do if he ever made a new game. officially announced on April 3, 2022 as Back to Monkey Islanda sequel directed by Ron Gilbert to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge which is slated for release in 2022. While the game will recognize events and characters from later games, Gilbert said it will be mostly concept-based for a follow-up to Monkey Island 2 that he had planned before leaving LucasArts.
Why returning to Monkey Island is a good place to end the series
From explaining the long and uncertain path to receiving a follow-up led by Ron Gilbert at Monkey Island 2The infamous ending, which concluded with the twist reveal that the events of the game may have been just two boys playing pretend at a theme park, it’s easier to see why. Back to Monkey Island makes such a great final outing for the series. It is apparent from his battle to win back the rights to the series and develop a new entry that Gilbert has had plenty of time to think about how monkey island should end. This includes telling a story about how Guybrush finally found the “Secret of Monkey Island” and ignoring entries that don’t match Gilbert’s original vision for the third entry.
Additionally, there are plenty of details that can be gleaned from recently released information about the game that indicates why this is where the story should naturally end. These details range from the trailer’s recent opening with Guybrush recounting experiences from his past – indicating that this story is being told at a time when Guybrush can be done with pirating – to new, younger pirates such as Captain Madison. replacing those who previously dominated and ushering in a new generation. Even the pirate leaders of Melee Island seem to have been replaced.
Even for fans of monkey islandhard to know where the series could go after a big explosion like Back to Monkey Island. Since Monkey Island 2the series spun its wheels with certain story elements, like how Curse of Monkey Island failed to satisfactorily pay for its predecessor’s final reveal by ignoring its storytelling nuances, Escape from Monkey Island fail on his promise to introduce new villains and instead fall back on LeChuck, and Tales from Monkey Island being just as standalone as the previous game despite introducing some interesting new elements. It seems as if there was ever a game monkey island should bow out, Back to Monkey Island looks like this.
Back to Monkey Island will be released on PC and Nintendo Switch in 2022.
MORE: The best puzzles in Monkey Island games (and how to solve them)