Sunday, 3 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Pride Before a Fall

Written by The Trickster

Those of you that have played Monkey Island 2 would have had a good laugh at the end of my last post. I’d been pretty certain that I was going to find some form of cheese in the kitchen, which I could then use to catch the rat in the box. My discovery of the open window to the kitchen did indirectly lead to me catching the rat, but not in the way I expected. In the kitchen I found a chef, flailing about making meals. I quickly surmised that I could interact with the stove, a saucepan on top of it containing vichyssoise (apparently a potato and leek soup), some cans of fruit cocktail on the shelves, a knife on the table, and the chef himself. Guybrush outright refused to touch most of the items, for three reasons: 1. He hates vichyssoise. 2. He’s not a cook. 3. He hates fruit cocktails. The chef was far too busy to talk to me too, meaning the only thing I was able to do after all my excitement at finding a new location, was pick up the knife. Still, this was progress, and I had a strong feeling that I knew what to do with my new inventory addition.


I'm not really sure what this guy is actually wielding. They look like corn cobs.



I didn’t have far to go to test out my theory, crossing the plank to the inn to see whether I could do something about the alligator. I used the knife on the rope and breathed a sigh of relief when it worked. The alligator, named Pegbiter, bolted up the stairs, and just as I’d hoped, the innkeeper quickly followed him out. Now I would be free to explore the inn, including Largo’s room. Before I did that though, I noticed there had been a food bowl behind Pegbiter the whole time. Looking at it revealed that there were cheese squiggles in it. Yes, it was the cheese that I’d been looking for! I picked them up, then set about exploring. I could find nothing to do with the bell or the registry, so made my way to Largo’s room. It was the same room I’d seen in the brief cut scene earlier, complete with mess. I rummaged through all the items that I could interact with, including the bed, a painting on the wall, the dresser and its drawer, the leftovers on the floor, and the dressing screen. None of those items offered up anything interesting. There was however a toupee sitting on a styrofoam head on the dresser which I was able to pick up. It sounded pretty gross, having “strange little white bugs all over it”, but I knew it would serve my purpose perfectly. I now had Something of Head to take to the Voodoo Lady, meaning there was only one ingredient left to make the Largo voodoo doll (a piece of Largo's clothing). Speaking of Largo, he arrived just as I grabbed the toupee, literally telling me to “get the $#*&# out of here”. I did.


Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure an alligator could bite through a rope in quick time.


Gross!

Things were progressing pretty well now, and I raced over to the Men of Low Moral Fiber to see if I could keep the roll going. I placed the cheese squiggles in the box and stood back. As expected, the rat followed its nose to the cheese, and as it stuck its head in, I pulled the string on the trap I’d set up previously. The door closed. I’d trapped the rat! As much as this pleased me, to this point I’d not given too much consideration as to what I might actually do with the rat if I managed to catch it. I also faced a more immediate problem. How could I transfer the rodent into my inventory without it getting away? The box was too heavy to carry around, but I figured the little thing would scurry away if I opened the door again. Perhaps I was never supposed to take it with me, and the act of catching it was enough? The only way I’d been able to wake the pirates up previously was to polish the peg leg on the third one, so I tried that now. Maybe he would notice the rat’s absence and set things in motion. That didn’t happen, but he did give me another piece of eight for my trouble. I wondered whether this was an infinite source of money, so set out to find out. I managed to get eleven pieces of eight out of him before he ran out (twelve if you count the one he gave me earlier to buy the polish), but nothing else happened. Eventually I just tried opening the door on the box, only to find that the rat just sat there and waiting for me to pick it up. This was a case of me overthinking things, but it did result in me gaining a bunch of cash.


This was a good puzzle, but now that I've solved it, I'm not quite sure why I needed to.

The only thing I could think to try was to put the rat in the soup. I wasn’t certain what that would achieve, but given the majority of the food was being made for Largo’s benefit, it seemed possible that it could lead to something good. I climbed back into the kitchen and tried using the rat on the vichyssoise. It worked, and the pot was now labelled vichyssoise avec rat when I placed my cursor over it. What now? I still couldn’t pick up the pot, and using my bucket on it still resulted in “I hate vichyssoise”. Talking to the chef got the same response as before too. Perhaps if I talked to the innkeeper, something would happen? I tried it, and knew I was on the right path when Guybrush said “Hey…Ah…How’s the stew tonight?” This resulted in the innkeeper heading out back to see how the chef was going with the vichyssoise. The conversation that the two of them had was relayed to me, and it involved the innkeeper tasting the vichyssoise avec rat! Unsurprisingly, he was not impressed. The chef was fired, and then the innkeeper placed a plate of the stuff in front of me as though nothing had happened. Guybrush politely declined, at which point the innkeeper offered him a job as the new chef. I enquired as to how much the job might pay, and the answer was 420 pieces of eight a week, with the first week paid in advance. I accepted of course, having no intention of cooking anything, but knowing that the money would serve me well when attempting to charter Dread’s boat.


I wonder how PETA feel about this? Animal cruelty apparently wasn't as frowned upon in the eighties.


Guybrush really is being a prick to people in this sequel.

So what else did all this achieve? Did the soup serve any other purpose than getting me a week's pay up front? I tried a few things in the kitchen, but was soon convinced that there was nothing to achieve. This unfortunately meant that my leads had run dry again. How could I possibly get a piece of Largo's clothing? I still felt the obvious answer was the laundry, but I still had no clue where the laundry ticket might be. With nothing else doing, I wandered over to the Voodoo Lady to hand over Largo's toupee. I didn’t gain any insight in the process, so paused to have a think about which of my inventory items I hadn’t used yet. If I ignored the second piece of paper, I’d not found any use for the bucket or the monocle. Hmmm…could it be that I wasn’t yet finished with the soup? Could it be that I needed to fill the bucket with something and then pour it into the soup. I couldn’t think why I might do that, but I set out to see if there was anything I could put in the bucket. There were really only two options, being sea water or swamp. I was already at the swamp, so after rowing the coffin back to dry land, I attempted to use the bucket on the swamp. Success!!!! I now had a bucket full of mud! Now all I needed to do was figure out what I should do with it.


Who knew I would feel this happy about getting a big bucket of mud.

Now that I had a bucket of mud, it dawned on me that it just might be related to the laundry. If I wanted a piece of Largo’s clothing, the best way to do that would be to make him send it to the laundry. I wasn’t sure how I would then collect it myself, but it was worth a shot. I’d hoped to find Largo in his room, but when he wasn’t there, I started looking for a piece of clothing or something that I could get dirty. The dressing screen jumped out as a potential option. Perhaps if I balanced the mud on the top of it, it would fall on Largo while he was getting changed? Nope, that didn’t work. Hey, what about the door to the room itself? That could work. And it bloody well did work too! Guybrush placed the mud on top of the door frame, and then hid behind the dressing screen. Largo entered and SPLOSH!!! I’m sure it goes without saying that the evil little guy wasn’t particularly impressed, desperately trying to get the bucket off his head while spouting exclamations of revenge. After he ran out of the room, I quickly made my way to the laundry, where I was certain that I would witness some sort of activity. I got there just in time to see Largo pointlessly arguing with Mad Marty, who continuously misunderstood what he was saying in typical fashion. Largo’s message was simple though; he wanted his clothes cleaned and ready tonight. He steamed off, leaving me to ponder how I could convince Mad Marty to let me have them instead.


No Mr. LaGrande. When I get my hands on a piece of your clothing, it is you that will be sorry.


I don't think me telling him will make any difference.

I chatted with Mad Marty, but it quickly became obvious that he still wasn’t going to give me anything without a ticket. Should I follow Largo back to his room and try to steal it? Perhaps. It was worth a shot. When I got there I once again found that he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Had he left the ticket somewhere in the room? I pixel hunted big time, but couldn’t find a ticket. I looked in the drawer, and tried desperate things like using the knife on the painting, as if Largo would bother going to such lengths to hide a laundry ticket. Nothing. I went back to Mad Marty’s, thinking that I might run into Largo as he attempted to claim the laundry. Nope. I randomly started visiting other locations, but Largo was nowhere to be seen. Eventually I felt certain that the ticket just had to be somewhere in the room, so returned to it. Was I supposed to trigger something somehow? I tried closing the door, for no particular reason, and there was the ticket stuck to the back of it! Yes! I grabbed it and raced over to Mad Marty’s, eagerly handing it over. “I’ll see what we have ready for Mr. LaGrande.” Marty pressed a button somewhere and clothes started sliding on some sort of pulley system from the left of screen. Eventually a white bra came into view, which hilariously turned out to be Largo’s. He handed it over, and I immediately set off for the swamp, excited to see what would happen when I handed the Voodoo Lady the last ingredient.


This puzzle was nasty, but I did get there in the end.


So is Largo a cross-dresser or a woman?

The Voodoo Lady was just as excited as I was to finally be able to do something about Largo. “At last! Now I can make a voodoo doll to be reckoned with!” She put a dandruff flake from the toupee, a single piece of thread from the bra, a drop of the mucus, and a single chip off the bone into her juju bag, then added some voodoo herbs and seasoning. “Two! Four! Six! Eight! Who do we assassinate? Largo! Largo! Yeah!” The bag disappeared, to be replaced by a very lifelike voodoo doll. She gave some pins to me along with the doll, but warned I would need to be in close proximity to Largo for the process to work. I raced back to Largo’s room, and quickly used the pins with the doll. Largo jumped and screamed in a very satisfying way as I did it. He was very confused as to how I was causing this pain, and Guybrush prepared for the final attack. “Largo LaGrande, you are a no-good, vicious, two-bit thug. I command you to give me back my money and leave this island!” Guybrush thrust a pin in and out of the doll while Largo screamed, arrogantly shouting “That’ll teach you to mess with the slayer of the Ghost Pirate LeChuck!” Largo was shocked by this comment: “YOU killed LeChuck? The fortune-teller said SHE did in LeChuck.” This comment obviously hit a nerve for Guybrush, so he showed Largo LeChuck’s beard that he’d been keeping on him ever since he defeated him. This was a very bad idea! Largo grabbed it and stuffed it down his pants: “Now we can bring him back to life! The most fearsome pirate of all time will soon sail the seas again!” With that he was gone, and I had a very bad feeling.


I had a good chuckle at the Voodoo Lady's cheerleader style ritual.


Now this was crazy good fun...


...until Guybrush's pride got the better of him.

Next thing I knew I was back in the presence of the Voodoo Lady, informing her of my mistake. “I’m afraid it’s true Guybrush. If they have any animated tissue, they can reanimate his whole body.” Apparently I only destroyed LeChuck’s spirit form and not his body, which is buried far away. I asked her what I can do to protect myself and she informed me that I was already doing it. I must find Big Whoop. She went on to explain that Big Whoop isn’t just a treasure. It contains the secret to another world. If I can find that world then I can escape LeChuck forever. To assist me in my task, the Voodoo Lady gave me a book titled Big Whoop: Unclaimed Bonanza or Myth. I learned from the book that the four pirates that discovered the treasure were Rapp Scallion (the cook), Young Lindy (the cabin boy), Mister Rogers (the first mate) and Captain Marley. Just as the pirates at the beach had told me earlier, they buried the treasure on Inky Island and separated a map they made into four pieces (with each pirate taking a piece with them). The book went on to give brief descriptions of what each of the pirates did after their discovery. Scallion opened the Steamin’ Weenie Hut on Scabb Island before being killed in a fire, Lindy made a lot of money on Booty Island and then lost it all on a failed venture, Rogers retired on Phatt Island before disappearing, and Marley vanished while leading the America’s Cup race.


Apparently the overdue fines in Phatt City are pretty steep, so I better return the book when I'm done.

This was all interesting stuff, and possibly enough to set me on my way, but I now had a new interesting dialogue option while talking to the Voodoo Lady; “About that jar I was looking at…” I figured this was referring to one of the jars on the shelf in the shack that was labelled Ashes-2-Life. Guybrush had made a deal about it when I first looked at it, but claimed it was a promo copy rather than the real thing. The Voodoo Lady informed me that the potion is one of her most powerful, and can bring the dead back to life. When I asked if I could have one, she told me that it only works on ashes, and that the resurrection is only temporary. I would need to bring her some ashes so that she could mix up a batch. This got me thinking…I recognized the name Steamin’ Weenie Hut, as it was inscribed on the sign outside the closed down shack on the beachfront on Scabb Island. Since Rapp Scallion died in a fire at some point, could it be that I was supposed to bring his ashes to the Voodoo Lady with the intention of resurrecting him? For what purpose? To ask him about Big Whoop? Possible. Since I still had no idea where Captain Dread’s lost eye necklace was, I figured this was a lead I might as well follow up. I spent quite a bit of time hanging out around the Steamin’ Weenie Hut, trying to find a way in or something I hadn’t noticed earlier. When this failed, I then re-explored the cemetery, hoping to find a crypt or tomb for Scallion. When this process also turned up nothing, it was clear that I was going to have to reassess the situation entirely.


I really thought that I might be able to pick the Steamin' Weenie Hut's lock with a pin.

OK, so the only thing in my inventory that I hadn't done anything with yet was Wally's monocle, and the only puzzle left that I knew needed solving was Captain Dread's eye necklace. Hang on a second. Could it be that I didn't need to find the missing necklace at all? Perhaps I had what I needed in my possession all along! I tried giving the monocle to the Captain: "This will do just fine for my lucky sailing necklace. What con I do for ya?" I felt very pleased to have made progress, but I also felt a bit cranky about this puzzle. Maybe it's just me, but I never considered that Dread might accept an alternative to his very special and actually functional navigator necklace. In hindsight the solution isn't particularly difficult I guess, but it just didn't feel...right...for some reason. Anyway, with Largo out of the way and a lucky necklace in Dread's possession, all that was left was for me to hand over twenty pieces of eight to charter his ship. This was the end of Part I, meaning the whole Rapp Scallion lead that I spent quite a while following was never really there to begin with. Am I looking forward to Part II? Absolutely! Monkey Island 2 has been thoroughly entertaining so far, and apart from a couple of instances of trial and error style puzzles (such as putting the rat in the soup for no apparent reason), I have very little to complain about. Onwards I go...


Not fussy about lucky eye-related charms?

Session Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

13 comments:

  1. We are already in the nineties, Trick!

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    1. So we are! It's weird. RetroSmack is currently in the 70s and The Adventure Gamer is currently in the 90s. So I have no idea why I wrote 80s. ;)

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    2. That means there is time for KLAX?

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  2. >Apparently I only destroyed LeChuck’s spirit form
    >and not his body, which is buried far away.

    Somehow I got reminded of John DeFoe from the Chzo mythos. How long until they get to be played on the blog? 15-20 years?

    By the way, I love the use of leitmotifs in this game - fragments of LeChuck's theme play forebodingly during the voodoo lady's music when they discuss his upcoming resurrection and Big Whoop.

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  3. I think the rat is supposed to be okay because vichyssoise is served cold, but of course it actually has to be cooked first...

    As for the necklace, I always thought that was a pretty good puzzle. He was looking for an eye that had seen the world, and a cartographer's monocle is a damn close equivalent.

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    1. Well when you put it that way. I think I have to accept that this was a puzzle I probably should have solved earlier.

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    2. re: eye that had seen the world: in your own words, when describing Wally for the first time:
      "Speaking to Wally, he claimed to have seen the whole world, and that he spends his time putting what he’s seen down on paper. ".
      So the clue was there, technically :)

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  4. When I learned about the plot of Pixar's Ratatouille a few years ago I was immediately reminded of Guybrush and his vichyssoisse avec rat.

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  5. >I'm not really sure what this guy is actually wielding. They look like corn cobs.

    I think they're his gloves.

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    1. Correct you are Laukku.

      I just loaded up the Special Edition to check, and they're definitely yellow gloves!

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  6. On to the third episode of "What the LITE version does differently"...

    “The chef was fired, and … ... the innkeeper offered him a job as the new chef. “
    As I mentioned last time, getting into the kitchen was much easier in the LITE version. There is a HELP WANTED sign outside the bar at the start of the game, and the bartender offered me the chef job the first time I talked to him, so I got the money and knife straight away, which also explains why the items needed to catch the rat don't appear in the LITE version

    “I still felt the obvious answer was the laundry, but I still had no clue where the laundry ticket might be “
    This entire puzzle isn't in the LITE version - the clean clothes are already on Largo's bed, so you can get them at the same time as the toupee. (And it looks more like a shirt than a bra so no cross-dressing jokes for the LITE players)

    I attempted to use the bucket on the swamp. Success!!!!
    Unsurprisingly, no bucket in the LITE version means I can't get the swamp mud.

    “the only puzzle left that I knew needed solving was Captain Dread's eye necklace”
    Another puzzle the LITE version skips. I DO have the monocle, but don't need to give it to Dread to charter his ship.

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    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention that there also seems to be no Ashes-2-Life in the voodoo hut, likely another puzzle I won't have to solve

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