Editor's note: Daniel's entry for our Anticipated Games callout is also the game that literally changed his life growing up. His personal tale of living with LeChuck is an engrossing read. -Brett
The recent announcement that Money Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge would receive a special edition did not surprise me — the success of the special edition for the first Monkey Island game led to many rumors of the sequel getting a similar treatment — but it definitely made me happy. I wanted to shout from my window, "LeChuck's Revenge is returning it all its glory!"
LeChuck's Revenge has a very special place in my heart. I played it during a pivotal point in my life, and it left a deep impact on my sense of comedy and storytelling. It also forever cemented my love of gaming.
That last sentence may be a bit hard for some of you to swallow; LeChuck's Revenge is, after all, just another adventure game. But there was a spark there, some strange pull the game had over me as a kid. I had never even heard of Monkey Island before, let alone played it. My little mind was blown away by the absurdity of its characters, the deviously difficult puzzles, and the surprisingly deep narrative — all of it richly rendered with a truly brilliant amount of detail for a game of its time. Every puzzle, every moment is engrained into my mind. The jokes are still with me, and they make me smile just thinking about them.
A few scenes sick out in my mind. Making protagonist Guybrush Threepwood pick up a dog and place it eloquently in his pants (the look on his tiny pixelated face is pure gold). Experimenting with different combinations of grog to achieve the perfect spittle during the spitting contest. Reusing the voodoo spell from the opening chapter to defeat LeChuck in the final battle of the game. Questing for Big Whoop's treasure and encountering its sudden shock ending — one of my greatest entertainment experiences as a child, a truly epic quest that sent Guybrush throughout the Caribbean on a grand comedic adventure.
And who can forget Stan and his previously owned coffins? I loved how Guybrush convinced Stan to enter a coffin to give a demonstration of its roominess, only to nail him into it. The dark humor and absurdity of it left me slack jawed. In fact, it may be the single funniest thing I have ever encountered.
LeChuck's Revenge stands among giants. It ranks with games such as Super Mario Bros., Final Fantasy 6, Xenogears, Super Metroid, and Ico — games that have defined my love of the medium. They are games that mean something personal to me, experiences that remain vivid despite the ravages of time.
I am giddy with anticipation for the special edition. I'm not worried about my fond memories being destroyed. After the superb respect paid to the special edition of the first game, I have total faith in LucasArts' ability to remake my youth.
Monkey Island 2 was a seminal moment for me. It was my Star Wars. It defined my taste in video games. It placed me on my path to being a gamer.
So forget Halo: Reach, forget Super Mario Galaxy 2, and forget StarCraft 2: Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge is my most anticipated game of 2010, bar none. I am ready to reimagine my youth.