Escape From Monkey Island Strategy Guide

Escape From Monkey Island was the last in the long line of Lucasarts adventure games and was no doubt one of the factors in its demise. The previous entry Grim Fandango had been critically well received but was something of a commercial failure. Neither game was helped by their use of a new game engine which shelved point and click in favour of Alone In The Dark style tank controls. This was a huge step back and resulted in a control scheme that was slightly more awkward than Sierra’s AGI games had managed a decade earlier, with no benefit whatsoever for anyone playing the game on a PC. The tail end of the 90’s was an era when everything had to be in 3D no matter what though, much to the detriment of adventure games of the time.

At least Grim Fandango had a great game underneath (admittedly with a few unfair puzzles). My memories of Escape From Monkey Island are far less favourable. The humour and story were a real letdown, with much of the game rehashing tired old Monkey Island clich├ęs and failing miserably when trying to introduce anything new. If this was where Lucasarts were heading, I should probably be thankful that Sam and Max 2 and Full Throttle 2 both ended up being cancelled.

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It did of course get a Prima strategy guide in 2000 which is what I’m supposed to be posting about here. I must have scanned this in years back and never got around to uploading it but the pdf is now available on the downloads page. I don’t normally read any of these things until I’m playing or have just played the game in question so this has been sat around unread for some time. I did have a quick flick through and while it brought back bad memories of the game, it looks to be a potentially decent read with some nice concept art, a history of the first 3 games, brief hints, an entirely useless map section, and a lengthy walkthrough (as told by Guybrush).

You can download the guide here.

Wing Commander Junior Novelisation


This book was a censored and simplified version of the original Wing Commander movie novel aimed at a younger market. It was published at the same time as the adult version in 1999 by HarperEntertainment and made child-friendly by the original author Peter Telep. Aside from the changes in content, it was printed in a larger format but with far fewer pages, due to the cuts and simplifications.

I would usually read any of the books before I put them up on here, but I’ve made an exception in this case as I’d prefer to stick to the original version. I was curious as to the sorts of changes that were made though so just looking at the first page for instance:-

“He looked past the whirlpool of gases, past the black hole lying at the quasar’s core like an interminably deep maw, until his inner gaze rested on a gentle blue orb bathed in a soft glow.”

becomes:-

“He looked past the whirlpool of gasses, past the black hole lying at the quasar’s core like a giant mouth, until he imagined a glowing blue planet called Earth.”

The same character thinks about friends rather than bikinis in the next paragraph, and fails to give his reason of needing a leak when he asks his buddy to cover for him. Clearly anything even slightly suspect has been removed. There are plenty of word substitutions also to simplify the language used.

If the first page is anything to go by, there are far more changes to the prose than I expected actually. I presumed it would just be a few cuts of the racier parts of the story. The whole book is scanned in for anyone curious to have a look anyway but I’d much rather read Pilgrim Truth first myself. I had a few days away in Wales last weekend and was going to read it on the train journeys there and back, only to discover my ebook conversion hadn’t worked too well on the trip down. Instead, I’m halfway through an Anthony Burgess novel now which I intend to finish before I start on anything else.

In the meanwhile, I’ve added a pile of other new scans including guides to Tex Murphy Overseer, Alone In The Dark 1 & 2, Tie Fighter, X-Wing Alliance, The X-Files and Lands Of Lore 3. There are still more to come but I really am down to the last few now.

Official Book Of Ultima – 2nd Edition


I’ve been sent a link to a scan of the second edition of the Official Book of Ultima. For the most part this is the same as the first edition, but it has solutions to the games that were released between the two being published. I’ve added this to the downloads here for anyone interested. Thanks to xyzzy for the link and to whoever did the scans in the first place.

I’ve been struggling to find any spare time recently so I’ve not even looked at Terra Nova yet. I have added scans of the 11th Hour Guide though.