Thursday, 21 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - 3 Down, 1 to Go

When I started this session, I’d just gotten my hands on the Ashes-2-Life potion from the Voodoo Lady and the fishing rod from the fisherman. I was fairly certain that I would be able to use the fishing rod to get the map that was stuck halfway down the cliff, so I immediately set off to find out whether that was the case. It was, as Guybrush managed to hook it and then reel the map up towards him. I should have known better though. Monkey Island 2 has been thwarting my attempts to collect the four map pieces from the get go, and this situation was no different. As soon as the map was just about within Guybrush’s reach, a seagull flew past and grabbed it in its beak. I watched in disbelief as the gull flew all the way across Booty Island and appeared to land in the big tree. I had little choice but to head on over there and see what the damn bird had done with it. My worst fear was realised when I arrived at the top of the tree, finding that the bird had added the map piece to the huge pile of other map pieces in one of the huts. The bird now sat on top of the heap, as if mocking me. I tried a whole bunch of stuff on both the bird and the pile of maps, but nothing worked. After all the effort I’d put in, I still didn’t have a single piece of the map!

Oh you've got to be kidding me!

Use hammer on bird? Use knife on bird? Um...use saw on bird?

With that lead reaching a dead end, I decided to focus on the spitting contest. Ever since I’d fooled Augustus DeWaat into firing his cannon, I’d been planning to figure out what relevance it had that the spitmaster had wandered over to see whether the mail ship really had arrived. As soon as I actually stopped to think about it, a possible solution popped into my brain. I made my way to where the contest was held, then used the ship horn. Just as I’d hoped, the cannon was fired in the distance, and the spitmaster left proceedings to go and see what mail had arrived. This gave me an opportunity to do something in his absence, but what? I attempted to pick up the flags that represented first, second and third, and found that this action caused Guybrush to move them all closer to the fault line. Awesome! Now I should be able to spit far enough to get first place. I swigged some of the green alcohol, causing my spit to become thick in the process, then hocked up a loogie and spat. “Well, no records here. Looks like second place.” Huh? I blew the horn again so that I could move the flags even further, but couldn’t get the spitmaster to leave the screen a second time. Did I still need some other ingredient? I tried drinking more alcohol and spent more time preparing my spit before pulling the trigger, but I still kept falling short of first place. I’m really glad that I persevered, because eventually I drank some alcohol and then spat, with no hocking or swishing at all. “Sports fans, we’ve seen something incredible here today! Let me congratulate you and give you this fine commemorative plaque.” A commemorative plaque? What the hell was I supposed to do with that?

Might as well add cheating to the list of crimes I've committed during the game. Notice the spectators are watching the spitmaster leaving rather than me tampering with the flags.

When I looked at the plaque that was now in my possession, Guybrush informed me that it had an old-looking gob of something on it. There was no way this thing was going to solve any of the current puzzles I was facing, at least not directly. The only thing I could think to try was to take it to the souvenir shop. Perhaps the shopkeeper would take an interest in it? Things looked positive when I tried to give him the plaque, as Guybrush asked him how much he would give me for it. My optimism was cut short when he responded with “I’m not interested”. I noticed I had a dialogue option to try to persuade him though, so I gave it a shot. Over time I was able to convince him that the plaque contained the spit of the person who killed LeChuck on it. “Really? That would make it very valuable. I’ll give you 6000 pieces o’ eight for it.” That just happened to be the exact amount I needed to buy the map piece from him, and it also happened to be the amount I needed to charter a ship from Kate. I accepted, and decided to go and talk to Kate. I paid her the 6000 pieces of eight, and told her I was ready to go. Perhaps someone can tell me what happens if you try to just buy the map piece?

It really didn't seem likely that I would be able to sell the plaque at this point, let alone get 6000 pieces of eight for it.

I was so glad that I already knew the coordinates. I can only imagine how I would have felt if I'd not discovered them earlier.

Kate sailed us out to the location I'd provided. Guybrush then said he would dive in and look for the sunken galleon. Kate was pretty unsure about this idea, questioning whether he could swim well enough. Guybrush stated that he could hold his breath for ten minutes, then dived in with no oxygen assistance. He descended for a long time, with the environment around him getting darker and darker as he went. Finally he reached the bottom, where the galleon awaited. The monkey head figurehead was pretty damn huge, so I had no idea how I might be able get it to the surface. I tried simply picking it up, and watched intrigued as Guybrush firstly managed to snap it off the ship before somehow stuffing it beneath his clothes. Well, it's part of adventure gaming lore that main characters often have unlimited storage space on their person, but this had to be a record of sorts. Despite the physics of this act being completely ridiculous, the creators did decide to acknowledge the fact that Guybrush couldn't possibly swim back up to the surface while carrying the artifact. I had to laugh when Guybrush quipped that the game has no drop verb, so he was surely doomed. I could still walk around though, and when I used the anchor, Guybrush held onto it and gave the rope a tug to tell Kate he was ready to ascend. It was time to head back to Booty Island with my booty.

Deep diving without any gear is not a particularly smart thing to do, but then Guybrush has never been known for his high intelligence.

LucasArts' use of blue always seemed to result in gorgeous scenes, this one included.

Surely nothing could stop me getting my hands on a piece of the map this time!

I walked into the souvenir shop and handed my latest find to the antique dealer. “Well, well, well. I didn’t think anyone would ever get the Mad Monkey’s figurehead.” He gave me the map piece and well, nothing bad happened. It was mine! I looked at it and found that it was the upper left portion. Finally I could focus on three rather than four pieces, but which should I target next? It was only at this point that I put enough thought into the Rapp Scallion piece to realise that the purpose of the Ashes-2-Life must still be to raise the unfortunate pirate from the dead. As mentioned in my previous post, for some reason I’d just assumed that I’d taken all of his ashes to the Voodoo Lady, and that there was therefore nothing left to raise. Given the whole reason for getting the potion was to get his map piece, it suddenly dawned on me that there must still be some of his remains in the coffin. I left the shop with the intention of revisiting the cemetery on Scabb Island, but instead found myself watching a brief cut-scene. Once again I witnessed a scene from deep within LeChuck’s fortress. Largo LaGrande approached LeChuck and informed his master that Guybrush had found a piece of the Big Whoop map. Clearly not impressed, LeChuck commanded his man to bring Guybrush to him alive before he can find any further pieces.

What? You mean I can just have it? No-one is going to snatch it out of my grasp at the last second?

It's the top left quarter of the full map. Not much good without the rest.

It would be such a shame if something bad were to happen to Largo. He's such a friendly chap.

Ignoring the fact that Largo was likely on his way to disrupt my progress, I made my way to the cemetery on Scabb Island and entered the crypt. There I found that pretty much all of Rapp Scallion’s ashes still remained in the coffin. Feeling stupid, I used the Ashes-2-Life potion on them, and watched as Rapp’s ghoulish form un-cremated before my very eyes. He was understandably confused: “Whew! That was a close one! If I didn’t have my flame-resistant apron on, I would’ve been killed!” Rapp was obviously referring to the fire that killed him, leaving me in the tough position of having to give him the bad news. None of my dialogue options would let him down lightly, but I went with “Uh…Where exactly did you buy that apron, Rapp?”. I had a good laugh when he responded with “Stan’s Previously-Owned Restaurant Supply”. I then told him in increasingly insensitive ways that he was in fact dead. He eventually accepted that I must be telling him the truth, and feeling pretty down about the situation, complained that his soul was not at peace. “There is something I must do before I pass on.” I asked whether that something might be to give me his part of the Big Whoop map, but sadly he answered in the negative. “I just have this nagging feeling I left the gas on in my restaurant. It’s driving my crazy.” At first I wasn’t certain whether this was merely a joke about his having burnt to death or an actual lead, but eventually I figured it must be the latter. I offered to go and have a look for him, at which point he gave me the key to Steamin’ Weenies.

Voodoo sure is effective in the world of Monkey Island. I'd be screwed without it.

Let's not question how the potion also happened to un-cremate the key.

After around ten hours of play, I finally had the means to enter the restaurant on the water at the beach. Inside I found that Rapp had indeed left the gas on, and flame was roaring on top of the stove. His gas bill was going to be enormous this month! I was surprised to find that the oven was empty, and all I seemed to be able to do in there was turn off the gas. While I'd expected to find something of use in there, in the end I had to assume that allowing Rapp to find peace in death was my purpose for entering the restaurant. Having completed that task, I made my way back to the crypt and un-cremated him again. I informed Rapp that he had indeed left the gas on, but that it was now off. “Thanks. I guess where I’m going I won’t need this map anyway.” He actually looked pretty frightening as the map vomited forth from his mouth while his eyes glowed red. I could feel nothing but joy though, as I now had the second piece of the Big Whoop map in my possession. Half way there!

Rapp had even left himself a reminder to turn the gas off. Clearly it hadn't worked.

I absolutely love the T2 reference when Rapp cremates for the final time, raising his thumb as big Arnie did in the film. The game was released just months after the movie.

Two down, two to go.

By this point the amount of puzzles I had left to solve was getting quite low. I still had no idea what the pump was all about, but figured it had to have something to do with reaching the cottage on the smaller island. I also had no clue how I might find the piece of map that the bird had carried to the hut filled with maps. Given these were the only remaining puzzles, it made sense to me that the fourth and final map piece must be in or around the cottage. With this in mind, I set off for the pump. I was going to figure this out damn it! Before I could even have a shot at it though, I was shown yet another cut-scene. In it, Largo nervously informed LeChuck that the new torture chamber was now complete. His master liked this piece of news, but asked if there was anything else to report. Largo at first appeared as though he was going to say no and walk away, but eventually he admitted that Guybrush had found the second piece of the map. “YOU FOOL! You are to ready your ship and sail after him yourself! FIND HIM OR DIE!” This was the second time that LeChuck had commanded Largo to come after me, but I had a feeling he was staying away for a reason. After all, I still had the voodoo doll and pins in my possession.

A grammatical error? Shock horror!

I had Captain Dread take me to Phatt Island, then climbed up the path next to the waterfall to where the pump was. The game hadn’t really given me any clue as to what I was supposed to do with it. There was nothing apparent wrong with it, or any description that might hint as to its purpose. I had no choice but to go through my inventory and try each of my unused items on the pump, starting with the monkey (yeah, as if that's going to work!). To my great shock, Guybrush took out the monkey, and appeared to use it on the pump somehow. It wasn’t clear to me what he did, but the sound of rushing water stopped. The water in the distance also stopped running from right to left. What had just happened? I made Guybrush do it again, and only then did the realisation smack me in the face. Hypnotising the monkey with the banana on the metronome had caused it to form the shape of a wrench. A monkey wrench! I didn’t consider my failure to figure this out to be a facepalm moment, as the shape of the monkey didn’t exactly scream wrench. The puzzle didn’t imply that it could be solved with a wrench either. In the end I was just damn happy to have finally solved the pump puzzle, and raced back down to the waterfall to see what my handiwork had achieved. I found that there was no longer a waterfall at all, and a gaping hole was now visible in the rock face. Surely it would take me to the cottage...somehow.

Guybrush clearly knew what he was doing, even if I had no idea.

This is one gaping hole that I was particularly happy to see.

I entered the hole, and after walking through three sections of tunnel, re-emerged on the small island I’d been hoping to get to. There was a path leading up to where the cottage was situated, and another hole in the rock that I soon found to be too high to reach. I took the path, and when I reached the cottage, There was a statue of a monkey in front of it. It had one arm reaching away from its torso, and the position of its hand suggested that it once held something. There was a plaque at its base that read “When I can see far, you are near”. I immediately knew the solution for this particular puzzle, as the telescope I had seemed to fit the bill perfectly. I used it on the statue, and Guybrush slotted it into the hand. Sunlight shone through it and onto one of the shutters on the front of the cottage. The telescope fell to the ground shortly after I placed it in the hand, so I picked it up again and then opened the shutter the light had illuminated. I then used the telescope on the statue again, and was given a view of the light shining through the window and onto a framed wall within the cottage. Clearly there was something important about this particular spot. I entered the cottage to see if I could figure out what it was.

I had to assume that this hole would act as a quick exit from the cottage.

This has to be one of the game's easier puzzles, but then I did have the telescope in my possession at the time.

Intriguing. Very intriguing.

On entering the cottage, a rather large man approached me and asked me what I wanted. When I told him that I simply wanted to ask him some questions, he went off the deep end: “I knew it. Look, kid. I’m sick of you would-be treasure hunters comin’ over here. I just inherited this house two months ago, and every single day, all I’ve heard is rap tap tap, do you have a treasure here? Why can’t you people just go away and leave a retired pirate in peace?” I begged him to let me in about five different ways before finally falling back on a threat: “I’m Guybrush Threepwood. Prepare to die.” This angered the man, and he responded by suggesting we settle the dispute with a drinking contest. He placed a mug of his extra strong contest grog on the table and went to fetch another one. I knew straight away that the near-grog was going to be the answer to this puzzle, but first I needed to empty the mug. I noticed that I could interact with the tree near the table, so I used the mug on it. It worked, and Guybrush emptied the brutal stuff into the barrel the tree was planted in. I then filled the mug with near-grog and awaited the man’s return. He demanded that Guybrush drink his first, so he did, without showing any reaction whatsoever. Once the mug was empty, the old pirate downed his. He began slamming his head on the table before abruptly keeling over unconscious on the floor. I was free to explore!

Let's add cheating in a drinking contest to the list of dodgy deeds.

I explored the room before focussing on the picture frame, but couldn’t find anything else that I could interact with. When I did put my cursor on the frame, I found that it was actually a mirror frame. This was the third straightforward puzzle in a row! I used the mirror I had on the frame, then went back outside and used the telescope on the statue again. This time the light shone through the window, onto the mirror, and then onto the far wall just above what appeared to be a trapdoor. I pushed the brick that the light had hit, and fell through the now-open trapdoor! At first I was concerned that this would take me all the way down through the hole I’d seen at beach-level, but instead I found myself in a basement. There I found a skeleton in a bathtub, and to my delight, he had a piece of the map in his hand! I took it, celebrating the fact that I now had three of the four pieces and at the very least knew where the final one was. I looked around the rest of the basement, but when I couldn’t find anything of interest, I slid down the hole to the left of screen. This one did take me back down to the beach, and figuring there was likely nothing else to do on the island, made my way back to Phatt Island proper.

I've taken over 4,000 screenshots while playing Monkey Island 2. I think this is the most well-timed.

Hmmm...there are two X's on the map so far.

By now I knew that as soon as I travelled between islands after collecting a piece of the map, I would be shown a cut-scene. This time LeChuck confronted Largo: “Is it true that Guybrush Threepwood has found the third piece of the map to Big Whoop?” Largo reluctantly admitted that it was, at which point LeChuck made his feelings very clear: “Largo. You have been my trusted henchman for many years, but I won’t hesitate to drag your entrails from behind my ship if you do not bring me Guybrush before he finds that treasure!” The villain’s threats have been becoming more and more violent after the discovery of each map piece, but these cut-scenes have otherwise been repetitive. Back in control, I led Guybrush back to the big tree on Booty Island and into the hut with the bird and the pile of maps. This would be the final piece, but how could I avoid the bird and figure out which of the map pieces was legitimate? I tried a few things. I tried a few more things. I tried every damn thing I could possibly think of, but nothing worked. What was I missing? I revisited every single location on each of the three islands, but found nothing new. Damn it! How could I get this close to piecing the map back together, only to stumble at the last hurdle?! After a long session, it was clear I needed a break to ponder this. I’m going to ask for the smallest, tiniest, intsy-wintsy hint in case I need it. I really want to finish this game unassisted, and while that might not be possible now, I certainly don’t want any outright spoilers. I'm off to have another shot at it...

Largo must realise by now that the writing is on the wall.

This puzzle has so far defeated me. :(

Session Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 11 hours 0 minutes


  1. IIRC the price of the map piece was something like six MILLION, not thousand as Kate's ship tour.

    Regarding how you won the spit contest (not really a spoiler as you accidentally solved it already but I'm ROT13ing it anyway): Bppnfvbanyyl gur jvaq oybjf (lbh pna frr n cvrpr bs pybgu bs bar bs gur fcrpgngbef syhggrevat) naq vs lbh gvzr vg evtug lbhe fcvg syvrf shegure.

    1. Yeah, I thought that was quite a clever puzzle, needing to do three different things to solve it: doing something on another screen; combining inventory items; and finally paying attention to the background for perfect timing.

  2. Here's what happens if you wait long enough underwater. Guybrush slowly turns sickly blue. Also, you missed a really cool animation when Guybrush loses the drinking contest.

  3. Hello folks. First-time commenter here (after a while of lurking and archive binging).

    Below are three hints on the map piece puzzle. None are blatant spoilers. The first you've likely already concluded. The second suggests why you may be having trouble. The third suggests one way of figuring out what you need to do.

    First: Lbhe vairagbel vf ynpxvat jung lbh arrq.

    Second: Lbh'ir cerivbhfyl frra jung lbh arrq, ohg sebz lbhe ercbegf vg qbrfa'g nccrne lbh gevrq gb cvpx vg hc.

    Third: Erernq rirelguvat lbh'ir ercbegrq fb sne univat gb qb jvgu guvf cnegvphyne znc cvrpr.

  4. I was defeated by the monkey wrench back in the day. I think that might be the most egregious of the "makes sense in retrospect" puzzles. Except for people (not me) who've never heard of a monkey wrench, it doesn't even make sense in retrospect.

    I like the nod to the first game with the underwater section and picking up the giant item and stuffing it into your pants. Guybrush is a master of hammerspace.

  5. It really irks me that the map is shown "the wrong" way since the North arrow always should point up... or is there someplace where another direction is the standard for maps?

    And the monkey wrench puzzle... how am I as a Swedish kid gonna get that? Not only that, but now I learn that all I knew as a kid about monkey wrenches was a lie since everyone told me the monkey wrench (or skiftnyckel in Swedish) was a Swedish invention, but apparently a swede patented a modification to the original english invention. I need to have a talk with my old teachers.

    1. Or a spanish kid... I just solved it the same way as Trick.

    2. Don't worry, non-English speakers. I'm fairly confident close to zero English people worked it out either - they all just did the brute force method.

      As Fry said, it only makes sense in retrospect.

  6. >Perhaps someone can tell me what happens if you try to just buy the map piece?

    There's this neat video, by the way:

  7. I just replayed the game and both the diving coordinates and the correct pirate quote for the coffin change. Probably something randomised for each playthrough