Wednesday 30 March 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Where's the Cheese?

Written by The Trickster

My first Monkey Island 2 session covered my initial exploration of Woodtick. By the time I’d finished I really only had one lead, which was to go and purchase some wood polish for the peg-legged pirate…ahem…performance artist. I naturally started the second session by heading back to Woody the woodsmith to do exactly that. After exchanging the single piece of eight for the polish, I made my way back to the one-legged man and tried to give it to him. He wouldn’t wake up, but the game suggested that he actually wanted me to polish the leg for him. I used the polish on the peg leg, and the man woke up and gave me another piece of eight for my trouble. I’d kind of hoped that something more substantial might happen, and suddenly realised that I really didn’t have any other solid leads. I still had the wood polish though, so perhaps there was something else I could do with that? I couldn’t think of anything, so I decided the time was right to step outside Woodtick. There had to be more to this island than a few rickety businesses. As I crossed back over the bridge and walked to the right of screen, I confirmed that there was.

The great pirate Guybrush Threepwood, made to polish peg legs for a single coin. Oh the shame!

Scabb Island in all its glory. There's something exciting about seeing all the possible destinations on a lovely map like this.

Moving my cursor around the map of Scabb Island revealed that there was a beach, a swamp, a cemetery and a peninsula that I could travel to. Since the beach was the closest of these destinations, I chose to go there, watching as the little Guybrush figure made his way from the town to the illuminated seafront. On arrival I realised that I’d been to this location before. It was the starting point for the game, where Guybrush had attempted to impress a couple of pirates around a campfire. As I walked towards that fire, I noticed a sizeable stick on the path, so picked it up. I then sat myself down at the fire and had a chat with the pirates. The conversation went all over the place, but I was able to learn some seemingly important information. Firstly, the reason that everyone is too afraid to refuse Largo’s demands is because he was previously LeChuck’s right hand man. I tried to explain that I vanquished LeChuck so they had nothing to worry about, but the general consensus amongst pirates was that he still lives. Secondly, they informed me that if I had any chance of getting off the island, I was going to need the help of Captain Dread. He can be located on the far side of the island, but he was unlikely to be able to help me until the embargo is lifted. After hearing a few pirate songs, I hopped up to see what else I could do on the beachfront. There was a shack on the water called Steamin’ Weenies, but its door was locked and there didn’t appear to be anyone around. My exploration of the island would have to continue elsewhere.

Tradition can be hard to break sometimes.

I can only assume that this won't remain closed indefinitely.

With the beach explored, I went back to the map and clicked on the swamp. It was an eerie place, made even more so by a coffin that floated on its surface. A sign next to it read International House of Mojo. I hopped into the coffin, and found that I could row it with a couple of oars that were resting inside. Making my way across the swamp, I soon found myself confronted by a skull-like construct, illuminated by torches. It turned out to be a shack, and rowing underneath it caused the lower jaw to rise up like a platform. I was now inside, and surrounded by all sorts of weird knick-knacks. The books were bound editions of Voodoo Quarterly, the bottles were all unlabelled, and the jars were all filled with weird sounding ingredients. I wasn’t able to pick up any of them, nor was I able to pick up the skull on the little table or interact with any of the various chests or baskets. I walked into the shadows to the right of screen and found myself in the presence of the Voodoo Lady from the first game. She told me that business had been very good lately, but that Largo had been taking her earnings too. She went on to speak of Largo’s connection to LeChuck before suggesting that “evil can never be destroyed completely”. When I asked her why she hadn’t just cursed Largo, she told me she needed to make a voodoo doll to do so. I offered to help, at which point she informed me of the artifacts required: Something of Thread (a piece of his clothing), Something of Head (a hair from his head), Something of Body (fluid from his body), and Something of the Dead (a remnant from his dead relatives). She gave me a list to remind me of the needed items. Now I finally had something concrete to do, so set off to do it.

I don't recall much of Monkey Island 2 from my earlier playthrough, but this place tweaked my memory.

Hey, this place is like the TARDIS. It's much bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside.

Yes, I think you're right. OK, well I'll be off now.

I made my way out of the swamp, then clicked on the cemetery on the Scabb Island map. If ever there was going to be a good place to find Something of the Dead, the cemetery was it. Once I got there I discovered a whole heap of graves, tombs, crosses and crypts to check out, with pretty much all of them offering up a death-related joke to make it worthwhile. I particularly enjoyed the three tombstones at the base of the hill. The first one was marked “The Grave of the Unknown Pirate”. The second one was “The Grave of the Unknown Cabin Boy”. The third and final one was adorned with “The Grave of the Unknown Drunk Guy We Found Face Down in his Own Vomit on the Beach.” It turned out that what I was looking for was on the summit of the very same hill. I found a tombstone with “Marco Largo LaGrande, Hell on sea or sand. The good news is, he’s dead. The bad news is, he bred.” etched into it. It was pretty obvious who the outcome of that breeding was, so I quickly used my shovel on the grave. Guybrush dug a fairly deep hole, while thunder crashed and lightning flashed all around him. Suddenly he stood up and raised a leg bone high above his head in exultation. This was a big laugh out loud moment for me, as Guybrush’s pants fell down just as my view abruptly switched to Largo in his room (presumably at the inn). He obviously felt something as I disturbed his relative’s bones, remarking “I’d swear on my grandfather’s grave, something weird is going on.” After investigating the rest of the cemetery, I went back to the map. There was only one place left on Scabb Island that I hadn’t visited…the peninsula.

The cemetery is dark and eerie, just as it should be.

Sadly I took my screenshot mere moments before Guybrush's pants came down. At least the blog's PG rating is intact.

I figured Largo would be the messy type, but this is something else.

The peninsula contained an unusually twisty wharf, and at the end of it was a houseboat. The sign on water’s edge read “Captain Dread’s Ship Charters. 20 Pieces of Eight. Inquire Within.”. So this was the Dread that the pirates on the beach had told me about. Thinking that this guy would likely turn out to be my ticket off this island, I wandered over to the boat and entered. Inside was a dread-locked dude who welcomed me with a very Caribbean-like “Ya mon, I’m Captain Dread. What can I do for ya?”. I asked him about chartering his ship, but he told me it wasn’t possible. I fully expected his reasoning to be all about Largo’s Embargo, but that was only partially the case. The main reason was that he’d lost his lucky sailing necklace, and he outright refused to sail without it. Calling it his “eye that has seen the world”, Captain Dread told a sad tale of his former navigator. The two of them had sailed to a legendary island, only to be taken prisoner by cannibals on arrival. Dread escaped, but all he found of his former partner was a single eyeball. Making a necklace out of it, Captain Dread continued to sail the world, believing it to bring good luck. Anyone that has played The Secret of Monkey Island will recognise the navigator as the decapitated head that helped Guybrush get through the underground maze to reach LeChuck’s ghost ship. Regardless, it was clear that I wasn’t going anywhere until I found the missing necklace and did something about Largo. I didn’t even have the option to search Dread’s ship, so left for now.

You'd think mooring your boat on the other side of the island from the town would be bad for business, but who am I to question Captain Dread?

The fearsome name obviously has more to do with his hair than his persona.

Since I didn’t really have much in the way of leads, I decided to take the bone to the Voodoo Lady. Maybe I would gain some information while handing in the first of four requested items. She was certainly pleased with my work, but merely demanded I go out and fetch the other three things she needed. I figured the time was right to stop and a have a bit of a think about each of the ingredients. The first thing on the list was Something of Thread, for which the Voodoo Lady had told me a piece of Largo’s clothing would do nicely. The obvious place to get clothing was from Mad Marty’s laundry, but he’d been adamant that I wouldn’t be getting anything without a ticket. As for where that ticket might be, well the most likely place would be Largo’s room, and I hadn’t yet found a way in. The second item on the list was Something of Head, and I knew that a hair from Largo’s head would fit the bill. Once again though, the most likely place to get a hair would be from his room. Hmmm…I really needed to get into that room, and the alligator seemed the likely key to the puzzle. If only I could find a way to let it loose, maybe the innkeeper would be distracted so I could sneak by. Letting this train of thought go for a bit, I focussed on the third item, which was Something of Body. How would I get fluid from his body? All of a sudden the answer hit me. The gob of mucus Largo spat on the wall! Perhaps I could collect some in my bucket? I rushed back to the bar, and tried. “There isn’t enough spit to put in the bucket.” Damn. Um…use paper with spit dripping down wall? Yep, I now had some of Largo’s bodily fluid, sitting in the middle of my piece of paper.

Hey, how about being a little bit appreciative before demanding more of me.

Yuck indeed. I feel like handing this one in to the Voodoo Lady quickly so I don't have to carry it around.

Two of the four items needed to make the voodoo doll were now found. What now? Given that both the laundry and the inn seemed the most likely places to find the remaining two, I travelled to both of those locations to see if I could approach things differently. I didn't have a huge amount of success, but I did partially solve one puzzle. While visiting the laundry, I once again played around with the box on the ground near the rat. It seemed logical to me that I needed to trap the rat, but then it also seemed logical that I was going to need cheese to do it. I tried using the stick on the box, hoping that I could wedge it open for the rat to go inside. It worked, but the rat still wouldn't go near it. Figuring that cheese was still a requirement, I moved on again. I was surprised to be stuck so early in the game, but resigned myself to visiting each location one at a time until something jumped out at me. The woodsmith...nope. How about Wally's? Yes, there was something there. While I once again spent time trying to interact with the bed and the maps, I noticed that Wally was occasionally placing his monocle on the table to rub his eyes. Could I pick it up while he did that? Yes, I could! I felt a bit bad about it really, especially when the poor little guy continually tried to find it while complaining of not being able to see anything at all. Promising myself that I would return it as soon as I was finished with it, I pondered what it might be good for. The excitement I'd briefly felt dissipated when I realised I had no clue what to do with it. I couldn't see how it could help me get into the inn or achieve anything at the laundry.

Now I knew what the stick was for, but couldn't think of what I might do with the rat if I happened to catch it.

I felt a bit shit stealing a clinically blind dude's monocle. What I prick I am!

After a few more futile visits to various locations, I dropped in at the Voodoo Lady to hand over the spit. Interestingly she took the spit but returned the now-crusty paper. What the hell could that be used for? I didn't know, but as I was walking out, I pixel hunted every inch in the skull room once again. Hang on...what was that by the skull!? A yo-yo string! I picked it up, and this time I had an inkling that I might just know what to do with it. I took the string straight back to the box near the laundry and found that I could indeed attach it to the stick. So I was right. If I could somehow get the rat to enter the box, I could pull the string to trap it. Now if only I had some damn cheese! I pondered which location might be the most likely one to have food. The answer was clearly the bar. Was there a way into the back area? The innkeeper hadn’t let me in previously because I didn’t work there. Had I missed a dialogue option? I went to find out, but as I approached the Bloody Lip, I stumbled upon something that I realised would change everything. The hatch wasn’t the only entrance into the ship that housed the bar. There was a window towards the back of it that I could interact with. When I looked at it, I was informed that it had no glass. Excellent! I clicked Walk and then the window, and watched delightedly as Guybrush vaulted the railing and swung inside. I’d found the kitchen. And what better place to find a food item than in a kitchen. Surely everything was back on track, right? Right?!

Oh blessed piece of string, how I have longed to hold you...or anything at all for that matter.

Well I did say walk Guybrush, but I guess a skillful vault and swing will do nicely.

The landing wasn't quite as graceful, but who cares. I found the damn kitchen!

Session time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 0 minutes


  1. Here's a nice article on iMUSE (Internet archive link, as original is down):

    And the accompanying video examples:

    And a related bug:

    (BTW, isn't Largo supposed to be facing at the camera during the graverobbing scene?)

    1. Largo turns around. I was too quick on the screenshot trigger. :)

    2. I suspect the reason for this system being abandoned is the fact we stopped using MIDI and moved to pre-recoded music, and that makes that sort of seamless transition harder. Which I think is a fair tradeoff for the lovely live work we've been getting as of late?

  2. I vaguely remember is puzzle. But damn, the scenery in is game is great, very lush and evocative.

  3. I remember these puzzles as if I'd only played it yesterday. Love the voodoo doll stuff rfcrpvnyyl ubj vg gvrf vagb gur raqtnzr.

  4. So many great memories! I remember being very stumped at the beginning of the game simply because I didn't find the back entrance to the kitchen. I guess I didn't have the pixel hunting reflexes yet...

  5. So no Aussies found the reference in the name of this post? Disappointing. ;)

    1. Of course!

    2. Ah. I completely forgot about that and didn't even get it after Trickster drew attention to it, but watching that video, yes! NOW I remember and get the reference!

      Better late than never, eh!

  6. And for my postly "This is what the LITE version does differently" comment...

    "I noticed a sizeable stick on the path, so picked it up"
    No stick for me.

    "Hang on...what was that by the skull!? A yo-yo string! I picked it up"
    No yo-yo string either - looks like the LITE version is trying to save me from pixel-hunting

    "I clicked Walk and then the window, and watched delightedly as Guybrush vaulted the railing and swung inside. I’d found the kitchen."
    There was a much easier way to get into the kitchen in the LITE version, but I'll leave that until the next post as it could have spoilers...