Sunday 24 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - LeChuck's Fortress

I was so determined to complete Monkey Island 2 without requiring assistance. One of the tricky things about blogging through adventure games is that there’s always a bit of pressure to make solid progress every post. It would be pretty boring if I spent two whole posts moving from island to island, trying to find the solution to a single puzzle. Well, I think there would be a few of you that would enjoy watching me suffer, but the majority of readers would likely feel like shouting the answer at me. So it was that I put a request for assistance in at the end of my last post. I’d spent a significant amount of time trying get the last map piece, but simply hadn’t been able to do it. When the first twenty minutes of my next session resulted in similar failure, I decided the time had come to swallow my pride and get a small hint. I was thrilled to see that the hints I’d requested had been provided by a first time commenter (Voltgloss). It’s always good to see new names here at The Adventure Gamer. I translated the first of his hints: “Your inventory is lacking what you need.” This came as a surprise to me, as I felt I’d been extremely thorough when visiting all the locations on all three islands. This information didn’t really help me figure things out though, so I read the second hint: “You've previously seen what you need, but from your reports it doesn't appear you tried to pick it up.” Huh?! You mean I’ve actually commented on, and possibly interacted with this object, but never even attempted to pick it up?” I had a strong feeling that I was about to have a facepalm moment. It was time to sift through the screenshots.

I'd had nightmares about this pile of maps. What could the answer be?

Now that I knew that none of the items I had in my possession were going to help me, it allowed me to really focus in on all the other locations. While looking at the Governor’s mansion screenshots, I found myself staring at the dog. No…it couldn’t be could it? Picking up a dog is a bit ridiculous, particularly one as big as this one. But then, I had already picked up a monkey earlier in the game, not to mention a huge monkey figurehead from the sunken galleon. Would the dog help me? It would certainly get rid of the bird, but how would it help me find the right m……. My palm thudded into my forehead! Of course! If I’d actually paid more attention at the right time, I would have picked up on the fact that the dog sniffed out that I had the Governor’s piece of the map. Not only could the dog scare the bird away, it could also find the map in a huge pile of other maps. Cursing myself for not figuring this out entirely unassisted, I raced over to the mansion and tried to pick the dog up. Guybrush did it, then stuffed it into his clothes along with the twenty or thirty other items that he’d collected thus far. I went back to the big tree and used the dog on the pile of maps. The dog jumped into the pile, scaring the bird away in the process, and after an unusually long amount of time, popped out with the map in his mouth. Finally I could move forward in the game. Guybrush hinted at what I might need to do next: “That’s the last map piece. Gee… I still can’t make heads or tails of it. I think I need an expert.” I just so happened to know a map expert.

I hadn't given much thought as to why the dog had growled at me earlier in the game. Mind you, I likely would have tried to find a way to make it follow me before attempting to just pick it up.

Thank goodness for Little Guybrush.

As I left Booty Island for Scabb Island, I was shown yet another cut scene. Largo told LeChuck that he had good news and bad news. The bad news was that Guybrush had found the final piece of the map. Before LeChuck could throttle him, Largo quickly told his master the good news: “The good news is that I’ve got a plan that can’t fail. He must take the map to a cartographer to have it deciphered. I’ll head him off before he gets there.” This was a little concerning, but with no other option as far as I could see, I continued with the plan to go pay Wally a visit. To my surprise, I reached his joint unopposed, so gave him the map pieces. “Hmmmm, very interesting.” Guybrush asked if Wally could put the pieces together into a single map, at which point Wally told him there would be a condition: “I’ll do it for you if you’ll run an errand for me. Go to the International House of Mojo and ask the fortune teller if my love potion’s ready.” This seemed a simple enough task, but I had a feeling that something bad was going to happen to Wally and / or the map in my absence. I went straight over to the Voodoo Lady and told her that Wally had sent me to pick up a love potion. “Oh, OK. Tell him I said to enjoy, but to be careful. It’s powerful stuff. Wouldn’t want that little guy getting hurt. Wait! I just felt a sudden disturbance in the Force, as if a tiny, tiny voice just called out in fear and then hastily scratched a message in a table. I think Wally’s in trouble, and I think LeChuck has something to do with it!” I can’t say I was surprised with this turn of events. It was time to go see what the damage was.

Well at least LucasArts knew that the cut scenes in Monkey Island 2 were boring.

I've got a bad feeling about this Wally.

The voodoo lady is a Jedi!

As I left the swamp area, I was shocked to find a crate near its edge. It certainly hadn’t been there before. While I was intrigued to find out what the message was that Wally had scratched in the table, I couldn’t help but investigate this strange addition. When I looked at it, I discovered that it was addressed to The Ghost Pirate LeChuck, c/o LeChuck’s Island Getaway & Spa, and that it contained miscellaneous voodoo supplies. Was the Voodoo Lady actually providing LeChuck with items of mass incantation? I opened the crate, and then tried using it. Before I could even think about the consequences of my actions, Guybrush hopped into the crate, and two men arrived to pick it up for delivery. Their discussion revealed that the box was filled with live snakes, which certainly didn’t bode well for Guybrush’s safety. It suddenly dawned on me that I’d likely lost any opportunity to visit Wally’s place to read his message. I also realised that I’d not saved my game in quite a while (who needs to save in a LucasArts game?), so unless I was willing to replay everything described above, I was just going to have to assume that it wasn’t important for my progress. Maybe someone can tell me what happens when you go back to Wally’s? Regardless, I’d completed Part II of Monkey Island 2, and had "Part III: LeChuck’s Fortress" displayed on my screen.

I bet these guys charge a mint for inter-island courier services.

I still have no idea how many parts there are. If there are more than four, I could very well break the Adventure Gamer record for most posts for a single game.

So I was off to LeChuck’s Fortress already. I’d kind of expected my next destination to be wherever the Big Whoop treasure was hidden, but then Monkey Island 2 never attempted to meet player expectations. I was informed that Guybrush survived the trip in the crate by eating bat lungs and eel bladders, which sounds repulsive beyond words. Once the couriers delivered the crate, they understandably asked Largo for a tip. He refused, increasing his reputation as a complete bastard. Once everyone cleared the room, Guybrush hopped out, and control was handed over to me. What was I supposed to do here? Was Wally here somewhere? Did he still have the map? I noticed that the bag containing the love potion was still in my inventory, and wondered if there was anything else of interest in there. Opening it revealed that the potion was really a love bomb, and that some matches were present too. I walked to the right of screen and then climbed a lengthy set of stairs to a doorway. Inside were a bunch of tunnels and various signs pointing in all sorts of directions. Looking at them offered me little of use, so I was just going to have to pick a direction and hope for the best.

Does this mean that he does tip somebody?

I now had the option of a tunnel to the right, or two back tunnels leading left and right.

I chose to walk directly straight ahead, entering the tunnel to the right of screen. When I reappeared I found myself in a corridor with three odd looking pieces of art on the wall. No matter which ones I looked at, Guybrush described them as “some kind of strange skeleton statue”. I wandered further to the right of screen until I arrived in what appeared to be a prison. The only things I could interact with were a jail cell and a keyhole on the wall outside it. When I looked at the jail cell, Guybrush informed me that Wally was held prisoner inside! I asked the little guy how he was doing, and his answer was as you might expect: “It was horrible! They abducted me in my office, brought me here in a duffel bag, interrogated me, and then they…they…they took away my monocle for a while.” One of my dialogue options was to admit to Wally that I once stole his monocle too. I was intrigued to see how he would react to this news, so I chose it. Instead of admitting his violation of friendship and asking for forgiveness, Guybrush instead decided to tell Wally that Captain Dread stole his monocle! I literally laughed out loud at this point, as I did for the next bit of dialogue too. Throughout the conversation, Wally had been swinging slowly from side to side while attached to the chains. When I asked him if he could stop the annoying swinging, Wally merely apologised and the swinging stopped. Enough jokes though. The end result was that Wally told me not to worry about the map as he'd memorised it, and that I should go and find the key to his cell. I left to attempt to do just that.

Well I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a ghost pirate has strange taste in art.

A big keyhole needs a big key.

Apparently Big Whoop can be found on Dinky Island.

I made my way back to the room with all the signs, then took the back left tunnel. Once again I found myself in a corridor of strange skeleton art. I walked through several more rooms, noticing that each of them had differing numbers of skeletons and each of them had differing configurations in body parts. I tried pushing one of the “ugly bone things”, and found that I could spin them and squeeze through the gap created. Doing so took me to either another similar corridor, or back to the original room with the signs. I tried to find a pattern, but there really didn’t seem to be one. Each time I entered the tunnel I was shown a totally different configuration of skeletons than previously. I decided to check out the right back tunnel, only to find more of the ugly bone things there. It seemed I was going to have to figure this puzzle out if I wanted to make any further progress. What could it be about the bones? Was I supposed to be noting the various decorations that appeared in each section of corridor? What about the symbols that appeared on some of the walls? While looking at the skeletons, it suddenly struck me what this was all about. Once again, I’m a little embarrassed by how long it took me to make the connection. I’d wondered at the time whether the skeleton dance that I’d seen while knocked unconscious back on Booty Island would have any relevance later in the game. Clearly this was the section where I needed it!

I'd been tricked into thinking all the little symbols on the walls had relevance. Now I realised they probably didn't.

Any of the skeletons can be twisted, allowing Guybrush to walk through to another corridor.

So what was it the song had said? “The rib bone’s connected to the…arm bone. The arm bone’s connected to the…head bone. The head bone’s connected to the…leg bone.” So how could I apply that? I found one the skeletons that had a ribcage on top of arm bones, with a skull at the bottom. It made sense to me that this should be the bit of art that I needed to walk through first, but what then? There were no bits of art that had four body parts on them. Was I supposed to go through rib-arm-head and then arm-head-leg? This just didn’t feel right, and attempting it proved that it wasn’t. No matter how I applied the song, Guybrush would eventually reappear back at the starting sign room. I spent a good twenty minutes trying to figure out the solution, but in the end I got through by luck alone. I’d love to know how I was supposed to apply the song, as I really did give it a good shot. Anyway, eventually I was confronted by a huge door that had massive locks. When I attempted to do anything with the locks, Guybrush let me know in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t going to happen: “There is no way, not even in an adventure game that I’d be able to get all those locks open.” Well at least I knew not to spend time on them. I tried simply pushing the door, and laughed when a smaller door opened up in its centre, allowing me to walk straight through.

Notice the middle skeleton has ribs above arms above a head, just like the first part of the song. From there, I have no idea.

I was stoked to figure this out, as there was no way I was going back through the maze.

Through the door was another room, with this one having a large gold throne with skulls all over it. There was a big key hanging on a hook next to it, which is exactly what I needed for the big keyhole on Wally’s cell. I did what any adventurer would do, and tried to pick it up. A cage lowered rapidly from the ceiling, trapping Guybrush where he stood. LeChuck entered the scene, stoked that he’d finally caught his nemesis: “Guybrush Threepwood. You have finally been caught. I have searched every island, sailed every sea, and now you are mine. What do you have to say for yourself?” I had a bunch of dialogue options, but regardless of which snappy retort I chose, Guybrush was too frightened to actually speak. LeChuck called for Largo, then commanded him to take Guybrush to the torture chamber and to get the machine set up. I had no idea what awaited me in this so called torture room. It sure didn’t sound good though.

It's always satisfying when you find exactly what you need in an adventure game.

Less so when it turns out to be nothing more than a trap.

Next thing I knew, Guybrush was chained up next to Wally over a pit of acid. As all good villains do, LeChuck explained the overly complicated series of events that were about to take place, making sure that I very clearly understood every contraption that would play a role in my death. “You see the candle over there. When it burns through that rope, the bag will fall on the bellows. When it is compressed, it will shoot a single lead bullet, which will ricochet off that pan, then off the shield behind me, bounce off that other shield, finally striking the green balloon. When it pops, it will cause that lever to fall, releasing that ratchet on the chain wheel and sending you down into the pit of acid. I will then take your bones, still alive and in great pain, and make them into a chair. I will call it my screaming chair. Every morning I will sit in it and listen to you scream. Any questions?” After this hysterical James-Bond-ish rant, LeChuck of course left the room, giving me an opportunity to attempt an escape. This was going to be particularly difficult though, as my hands were chained up above my head. I couldn’t reach Wally or any of the items in the room, nor could I easily use any of the items in my inventory. Speaking to Wally didn’t result in any ideas either. I started going through my stuff, trying to find something that I might be able to use without hands. I took my time. This is a LucasArts game after all. I knew that the rope wasn’t going to burn all the way through. But did!

Well, yes actually. Why didn't you just throw me into the acid?

Everything that LeChuck said was going to happen did happen, and Wally and I were lowered into the acid, screaming. All of a sudden I was in the present, with Guybrush continuing to tell Elaine how he got into the predicament he's in. The Governor was obviously sceptical about the part of the story Guybrush had just recited: “You honestly expect me to believe you were disintegrated in acid, and yet here you are telling me all about it, looking very integrated indeed.” Guybrush then admitted that he might have embellished the story slightly for dramatic effect, at which point Elaine demanded he tell her what REALLY happened. Guybrush agreed, and abruptly I was back hanging above the acid with Wally. If this doesn’t show you how genius LucasArts were at created adventure games, then I don’t know what will. Given another chance, I quickly discovered that I could drink the spit-thickening alcohol through the crazy straw without requiring hands. Once I did that, my verbs changed to spit-related ones such as Spit, Loogie, Hawk, Gleek etc. I tried spitting at the candle, but every time I tried it would hit Wally instead. I spat at pretty much everything in the room until I finally made a golly ricochet off the shield to Guybrush’s left, onto the pan, and then finally onto the candle. This extinguished the flame of course, and everything went black.

Well this was...unexpected.

I'd completely forgotten that I was playing through Guybrush's version of events. Nice to have a reminder.

I'm not sure that Wally will help me find Big Whoop considering the amount of phlegm I hit him with in this scene.

I have no idea how Guybrush and Wally got out of the chains, but when Largo relit the candle, they were nowhere to be seen. LeChuck was furious, demanding that Largo find them immediately. When I was given back control, Wally and Guybrush were in an unknown location, surrounded by nothing but darkness. There were some matches in my inventory, so I used them. Doing so revealed that we were surrounded by explosives, and when the match burnt Guybrush’s fingers, he dropped it. There was a huge explosion, with a large portion of LeChuck’s fortress being blown to smithereens! The last thing I saw before Part IV: Dinky Island appeared on the screen was Guybrush flying through the air over the ocean, his destination unknown. Given the title of the fourth part, I think I can make a pretty good prediction. See you on Dinky Island!

Well this isn't going to end well.

Not well at all!

Session Time: 1 hour 0 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 0 minutes


  1. >So it was that I put a request for assistance in at the end of my last post.

    Dang, I interpreted your wording in your last post to mean that you'd post an official request for assistance when you're completely sure you're in need of one. No CAPs for me. :-(

    >Maybe someone can tell me what happens when you go back to Wally’s?

  2. Also regarding the bones puzzle, Thloehfu jebgr gur fbat qbja, erzrzore? Ybbx ng gur fcvg-rapehfgrq cncre va lbhe vairagbel. Gur obql cnegf zragvbarq gb gur yrsg va rnpu irefr (evo-nez-urnq, rgp. V qba'g erzrzore jurgure gurl'er enaqbzyl trarengrq) ersre rnpu gb n qbbe.

  3. The "blowing up the fortress sequence" is one of my favourite scenes as it just oozes Looney Tunes to me. And then there is poor Wally. Whatever did he do to deserve this? First his monocle stole, then kidnapped, spat on and then blown up. And Guybrush didn't even give him his Love bomb so he stole that to. Guybrush is such a prick in this game.

    1. He definitely is. This is why Lori rates the original Monkey Island higher than MI2 - in the first game, Guybrush is a friendly young man trying to become a pirate. In the second, he's jaded and a jerk. We prefer watching films and playing games in which we can identify with, and like, the protagonist.

      Trickster - I mentioned the "Saturday morning cartoon" and pun-based puzzles earlier. The particular one I thought about was the "monkey wrench" to operate the pump. That one could have been set up better as Guybrush doesn't have a good reason why he needs to use the pump. (There may be a suggestion of that, but if so, it's well hidden.)

      Other "cartoon logic" events include the Rube Goldberg escape and leaving the island by blowing up tons of explosives a few feet away. Picking up the dog is really just a shortcut - it could represent getting the dog to follow Guybrush. I'd have set it up the latter way, but maybe they felt it would require too much animation, or maybe they just thought it was funny to put a dog in Guybrush's pocket.

    2. I actually like having a jerk protagonist in this sort of game (when it's written well enough, anyway). It makes all the petty theft and general misbehaviour appropriate for the character. Anyway, you can't be too much of a good guy if you want to be a Mighty Pirate!

    3. Guybrush is tolerable due to the karma nullifier, he gets robbed 5 seconds into gameplay, arrested, forced into a pink dress, put in a deadly trap that Rattigan would be pleased with and of course blown up here as well. But you really wonder what happened between the first game and this to alter the personality. Same goes for the in-between this and the next game.

  4. Timely Lucasarts sale on GOG, which includes Monkey Island 2 (Special Edition) for $5 or $3.

    Also includes Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max Hit the Road, and The Dig, which we'll play here in the future, and Loom, Secret of Monkey Island and Zac McCracken that we've played here in the past.

    They're also having a Nightmare sale that contains some adventure games...