"I've sailed the seas from Trinidad to Tortuga and I've never seen anything like it! The engagement ring I gave Elaine has a terrible pirate curse on it. LeChuck is behind it, I'm sure. I should have known that nothing good could come out of that evil zombie's treasures. And if that's not bad enough, the clairvoyant I met in the mangrove swamp told me that if I am to break the curse and save Elaine, I will have to die!" —Excerpted from The Memoirs of Guybrush Threepwood: The Monkey Island Years
The third game in the Monkey Island series, The Curse of Monkey Island was released in 1997, six years after the previous installment, LeChuck's Revenge. With two of the three fathers of the series, Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, no longer working for LucasArts, and the third, Tim Schafer, being busy with other projects, no one was really around to explain the infamous ambiguous ending of LeChuck's Revenge, so the company decided to go with a Cuckoo Nest interpretation of it.Curse starts off with Guybrush, adrift in a bumper car after escaping LeChuck's spell and his "Carnival of the Damned", arriving in the harbor of Plunder Island, just in time to save the island (and Elaine) from attack by LeChuck and his undead pirates. LeChuck is slain yet again, and Guybrush proposes to Elaine using a ring he found in the hold of LeChuck's ship. Unfortunately, said ring turns out to be cursed, and Elaine is turned into a golden statue. Guybrush's new mission is to lift the curse on Elaine and return her to normal (and defeat LeChuck again when the evil pirate once again comes back from the dead, this time as a fiery demon).This game marks LucasArts' final use of the SCUMM engine note Humongous Entertainment kept using it for nearly five years after. This game also marks the first appearance of Murray, the franchise's Ensemble Darkhorse.
Guybrush begins the game with only one item in your inventory: a pair of helium filled balloons. Presumably these are the same balloons acquired in the endgame of Monkey Island 2, but everything else from that game has been lost (including his beard, which is lampshaded).
Midway through the second chapter as well: Guybrush gets swallowed by a snake, and has to collect a wide variety of items inside the snake's belly before finding one that'll help him escape... after which the snake vomits Guybrush into a quicksand pit, which sucks almost all of Guybrush's recently discovered loot right through his pants.
Guybrush: Now there's an odd sensation...
Bald of Evil: Captain Rottingham becomes this after Guybrush puts lice on his comb and Haggis cuts his hair off.
The Lost Welshman says that King Andre is "as ruthless as he is bald"
BFG: The Destructo-Matic T47 Armor-Piercing Carnage-Delivery System with Auto-Loading and Fax Modem.
Blasting It out of Their Hands: Happens in the intro, when LeChuck raises his sword to kill Guybrush and Guybrush's future-wife Elaine shoots the sword out of LeChuck's hand.
Added bonus for A) firing from the fort, which was a good fifty meters away, B) using a musket (though not really an option) which are notorious for their poor accuracy at range. And C) blowing out the smoke from the barrel.
Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: Guybrush finds a wheel of nacho cheese bigger than a person, which he gets to use to tar the ship's hull and sacrifice to a lactose-intolerant Volcano God.
In Part II, even though it's always daytime in Puerto Pollo, the clock tower at the Long John Silver Center for the Performing Arts is a real-time system clock that is built in for your computer, telling you at what time you played the game and keeping track of your current, local civil time. At each hour, the clock chimes in a bit of LeChuck's Theme followed by the chime of the hour number, and about 30 minutes after each hour, the same bit of LeChuck's theme plays, but without the chime of the hour number. Even interesting is that when Guybrush examines the clock tower, he will say what current time will be in the Caribbean Standard Time in hours, minutes and seconds, whether in morning, afternoon and night, acting like a speaking clock on the phone at the time of day service. Complete with "Beep."
Also, when Guybrush speaks with Palido Domingo and asks him how long he's been lying in Brimstone Beach trying to get a tan, Palido will tell him he's been there since seven months prior to the current month and date on your computer clock. If you asked him in August, for example, he'll say, "Since January." Ask him in January, however, and he'll not only say, "Since June," but he will also wish Guybrush a Happy New Year! Weird!
"It just occurred to me that mixing medicine and alcohol is a really stupid and possibly lethal thing to do. If I were a real person instead of a lovably inept cartoon character with the potential for a few more sequels... I wouldn't even consider it. Skoal!"
"I didn't think you could die in LucasArts™ adventure games."
"Maybe they're trying something different."
Brick Joke: Early on in the story, Elaine is about to punch Guybrush when she suddenly turns to gold. Guess what happens the instant she's returned to normal.
Also, throughout the game there's some instances where Guybrush will attempt a distraction by yelling "Look! A three-headed monkey!", and a mechanical three-headed monkey makes an appearance in the game's last chapter. Guybrush even lampshades it with "I knew it'd turn up sooner or later!"
At one point, you have the opportunity to read a poster left by the Plunder Island Naturalist Society that teaches you the word "pappapisshu" (native Plunder Islander for "yowch"). If you do this, Guybrush (and everyone) will use the word instead of "yowch" for the rest of the game. Don't read it, and they'll continue to say "yowch" instead.
But Thou Must: Guybrush joins a poker game with a group of pirates who are obviously going to cheat, and no matter what 'you' pick, he'll say "Of course I trust you".
When Minnie asks if you're attached, you get multiple ways to say "yes" - and a single "no" response, but if you choose it, Guybrush will still say "yes".
He is asked early on by the Voodoo Lady if he wants to see pictures of some voodoo children. All of the selectable responses are of him being horrified and loathing it, but he will always say "Perhaps...later."
Continuity Nod: There's a pair of Easter eggs that reference the first game, as well as a call-back to the joke about Guybrush looking more like a flooring inspector than a pirate.
If you try to interact with the spittoon on Blood Island, Guybrush responds that he doesn't need to carry spit around anymore, referencing his need to collect spit from Largo for a voodoo doll in the previous game.
If you examine the cannonballs in LeChuck's hold, Guybrush will say "Nice cannonballs", just like in the previous game where he says "Nice (object)" to just about anything he sees.
The Monkey Island and LeChuck's Dungeon dioramas.
Guybrush once again says "Could you please stop that annoying swinging?" to the imprisoned Wally.
Dead Man's Hand: If Guybrush keeps losing against King André and then looking at the losing hands, one of the random comments he'll make is "Aces and eights... that can't be good."
Death by Despair: Minnie 'Stronie' Goodsoup died of a broken heart after her fiancée left her at the altar.
Death Is the Only Option: Guybrush Threepwood has his destiny told: he will die at Blood island. The fortune teller on the island gives him the death card five times in a row. He ends up faking it to enter crypts and becomes legally dead. The cards end up being useful, too!
Don't Try This at Home: Before downing a spiked drink, Guybrush breaks the fourth wall long enough to remind players that mixing medicine and alcohol is a stupid and potentially lethal thing to do.
Press Shift+J on the ship-to-ship combat screen to enable lightsaber sounds for the swordfighting battles.
Examining the giant web in the top-left of the screen in the Mutual of Stan and re-entering the crypt an absurd amount of times will result in a tiny woman attempting to escape from the web, and a spider chasing after her, mirroring a similar scene in The Dig, another LucasArts adventure game.
Attempting to use the ocean at the beach at Blood Island will eventually result in Guybrush walking in on a scene from The Secret of Monkey Island, where that game's Guybrush has begun to drown.
After being buried in the Goodsoup family crypt, examine the crumbing hole in the wall. Guybrush will stick his head out from behind the stump in the forest from The Secret of Monkey Island, a reference to the 'stump joke' from that game.
When playing Mega Monkey Mode and trying to find Elaine using the "treasure map" from LeChimp's ship, hitting the buttons in the sequence SE, NW, W, S, E, NE will result in Max's head appearing in the lights on the back wall of the theater.
Edible Theme Naming: The Goodsoup family members have soup-related first names. There's also a guest at their inn named Charles de Goulash.
Enormous Engagement Ring: A huge but cursed engagement ring is a part of the central story, which revolves around the main protagonist Guybrush Threepwood's attempt to restore his fiancée after accidentally turning her into a gold statue by giving her said cursed diamond ring.
The hangover cure must contain "the hair of the dog that bit you". In this case they mean actual hair from a not necessarily actual dog. And it must bite you.
Kenny Falmouth, the kid - ahem - the young enterpreneur who owns the lemonade stand, has a bottomless mug policy. Which means, of course, that the mug does not have a bottom and cannot hold any liquid.
Failed a Spot Check: In the introduction, a sea-stranded Guybrush mentions several things he could really do with right now, and exactly everything he mentions floats by a few feet away. Moments later, he looks up from writing in his diary to find he's floated into the center of an enormous battle.
Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Played with in this game, making it the only game to get an "Everyone" rating, even though the word "hell" as a place is mentioned a few times (it does say, either in the instruction manual or on the back of the box cover art, that LeChuck's Beard of Evil is made of "pure demonic heckfire").
Got Me Doing It: In the pirate song, one of the dialogue options will result in Guybrush himself adding a stanza. His expression when the crew breaks into refrain indicates he definitely didn't mean to.
Grave Humour: Several puzzles are based on faking the death and crypts, so...
The Gunslinger: Elaine, Edward Van Helgen, and even timid little Wally are very quick on the draw.
Ignoring By Singing: If you don't want to hear LeChuck's explanation of past events, one of the options is for Guybrush to turn his back to him, cover his ears and shout "Lalala, I can't hear you, lalalala..."
Interface Screw: After Guybrush consumes a spiked drink, the colors and sound start to get... weird.
Island Base: Skull Island. Even though it looks like a duck.
Yeah, but if you sorta squint and turn your head it looks like a bunny.
Monster Shaped Mountain: Parodied, "Skull Island" turns out to have a prominent mountain that's clearly in the shape of a duck. When the ferryman claims it looks like a skull if you squint at it and tilt your head sideways, Guybrush points out that just makes it look like a bunny instead.
Mood Whiplash: The Puerto Pollo chapter of the game and subsequent ship chapter are quite upbeat and humorous. The Blood Island chapter, which follows is very dark and morbid. Even the cartoony graphics can't disguise the Mood Whiplash.
Examining the crack in the Goodsoup crypt causes Guybrush to pop-up from the inaccessable stump of The Secret of Monkey Island in Melee Island (the one with the often misunderstood joke Insert Disk #absurd_number). The original (now crude by 1997) EGA graphics and SMI-music are used and Guybrush mentions that he feels like he's been here before, maybe in a dream. Luckily he can't exit to the other side, because he isn't aware that a killing horde is in his way.
The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Guybrush can introduce himself to King André this way, either under his own name or other aliases; but no matter which other aliases he chooses, André will still call him "Mister Threepwood".
The Napoleon: Wally tries to be one of these but isn't quite successful.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The cursed ring Guybrush gives to Elaine. Guybrush spends three acts undoing that particular screw-up.
Noodle Incident: Guybrush reveals he has a fear of porcelain (which is something of a running gag throughout the rest of the game) and never explains why other than that it's "a long story". Fans speculated that it was because he had a porcelain vase smashed over his head during the off-screen fight with Shinetop in the first game. Sadly, LucasArts shot down that theory.
What exactly happened between LeChuck's Revenge and Curse?
If you try to combine the dog hair with the scissors, Guybrush will mention he's avoided dog grooming due to an incident with his aunt's poodle. It's never further elaborated on.
Oh God, with the Verbing!: If the player doesn't have Guybrush saw off the plank the first time he boards the Sea Cucumber, and then gets walked off the plank, he will climb on board the ship after sawing off the plank and get this exchange after monkeys surround him again:
Mr. Fossey:(irritated) Again with the sneaking on board the ship! I don't know how or why you came back on board... but the next time you walk the plank will be your last!
Out of the Frying Pan: Midway through the second chapter, Guybrush gets swallowed by a snake, and has to collect a wide variety of items inside the snake's belly before finding one that'll help him escape... after which the snake vomits Guybrush into a quicksand pit.
Dread Pirate Bloodnose (also known as Wally B. Feed) "drinks milk straight from the carton!"
Murray. "I will hide your keys beneath the cushions of your upholstered furniture, and nevermore will you be able to find socks that match!"
Portrait Painting Peephole: Guybrush looks through the blank face of a painting and manages to convince the hotel landlord that he's a distant relative because he has the same eyes as the guy in the painting.
Riddle for the Ages: We never find out if El Pollo Diablo is real, or where the legend came from if it wasn't. In a series like this, one might expect it to be the result of a contrived and hilarious misunderstanding, but there's no indication one way or the other.
Also, the title of Part 5, "Kiss of the Spider Monkey", is a spoof on the title of Manuel Puig's 1973 novel, Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Named After Somebody Famous: Mr. Fossey, who hears voices in his head and interacts with the monkeys at Danjer Cove, is named after American zoologist Dian Fossey, who is known for saving the mountain gorillas from extinction and from poachers in Rwanda, and who met her sudden, untimely demise on December 26, 1985. Most of her life is described in her 1983 bestselling book, Gorillas in the Mist, most of which was made into a motion picture adaptation 5 years later, with Sigourney Weaver as Dian Fossey.
There's a special scene after the credits, in which they spoof the classic Urban Legend about Walt Disney being kept frozen and buried under his theme park, as LeChuck actually is buried frozen under his theme park, though a father tells the story to his son as a real father would tell Disney's story in real life.
When Guybrush uses his ventriloquism skills with Captain LeChimp he does a Captain Kirk/William Shatner impersonation, hams, random speech rhythm etc. LeChimp's (a gorilla) golden and purple attire deliberately resembles a Starfleet uniform.
Playing with the lights in the theatre enough will result in a Sam & Max illumination on the stage
In Blondbeard's fried chicken restaurant, there's a skeletal patron (dead, obviously) who looks like Manny Calavera wearing a button that says "Ask me about Grim Fandango"; itself a shout out to the first game, where a patron of Scumm Bar had a button "Ask me about Loom".
Exiting and entering the crypt an absurd amount of times in a row rewards you with an unsettling Easter Egg; a protagonist from The Dig being devoured by a spider.
When Guybrush drifts between Elaine's fort and LeChuck's ship during the intro, the visual is an homage to a similar event in Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride, not the movie).
And of course, Shakespeare: A character decides to rewrite various Shakespeare plays to better suit the local pirates' tastes, mangling not only famous Shakespeare quotations but entire plotlines, resulting in lines such as "Wherefore art thou treasure, Romeo?", "Spot, ye blasted dog, get out of me bloomin' garbage! Out, damned spot!" and "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him...and his two pals!", said while juggling three skulls (one of them being Murray, of course).
Alas, Poor Yorick: If you try to use Murray, Guybrush will say, "Alas, I can't use Murray with that"
Someday This Will Come in Handy: Guybrush reads in an encyclopedia that "a compass is a magnetized pin floating in a solution." He comments on how useless and random said piece of trivia is. Later, on Blood Island, he has to make a compass for the Lost Welshman.
Take That: This subtle... or maybe not so subtle jab:
Lost Welshman: I am the ferryman between here and Skull Island, trapped for so very long in the icy ocean mists. Oh, how I hate that blasted mist. Guybrush: Really? I like mist. I think it's pretty. Lost Welshman: Well, sure, mist is pretty! But egad, is it dull.
The Spanish (or any other foreign language) version of the game doesn't have the pirate song segment. It skips directly to sea navigation.
The Three Trials: Find a map, a ship, and a crew in the second act. A ring, a diamond and hand lotion in the fourth act. Each object demands a lengthy expedition and perilous adventure - yes, even the hand lotion.
Together in Death: One of the game's puzzles involves reuniting two dead lovers (a ghost and a skeleton, respectively). When the heartbroken ghost discovers that her lover had never intended to abandon her, their spirits are shown reuniting and then vanishing happily together.
Tonight Someone Dies: The game really, really wants the player to believe that Guybrush is going to kick the bucket, not only by having the Voodoo Lady tell him he's going to die on Blood Island, but also with the fortune teller, who deals him five Death cards.
The Voodoo Lady turns out to be right, in a manner. He does indeed die, but fakes it.
Guybrush: No, honest! I was dead for a really long time! Stan: And you just "got better?" Guybrush: Well, yes.
Un Paused: Elaine is gearing up to punch Guybrush right before she turns into a statue. She resumes the punch when unfrozen.
Variable Mix: iMuse at its finest. Depending on the interlocutor the background music would segue smoothly into a remixed version; the Barbery Coast theme would gain an accompaniment of accordion when talking to Captain Rene Rottingham, and when on the Sea Cucumber, steel guitar, steel drum, and atmospheric seagulls would be added to a more upbeat version of the Sea Cucumber theme when Mr. Fossey came to harass you.
Guybrush Threepwood: If I gave you your arm back, what would you do with it? Murray, The Mighty Demonic Skull: I'd terrorize the South Seas! I'd torture the living! I'd demolish the... er... (beat) Murray: What I meant to say was I'd use it to pet kittens. Guybrush:(laughs)Nope. You blew it. Murray: Drat.
Violation of Common Sense. "Violation of Common Sense, Part III": As expected. Guybrush's lines about mixing medicine and alcohol provide the quote for the trope, right below Voltaire.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Wally's fate. This trope may have been invoked intentionally, since Guybrush makes a point of saying that he needs to save Wally and all of the monkey slaves, but then the theme park explodes. It's hard to say though, because other stuff was clearly cut due to Executive Meddling. Guess Lucasarts didn't as feel guilty about killing him off this time around.
What the Hell, Hero?: In Chapter 3, similar to the Swordmaster from the first game, Captain Rottingham has his own set of insults which you'll have to think of the appropriate response to. If Guybrush is unsuccessful in fighting Rottingham, he can still fight other pirates for varying reasons (mostly for practice). It's possible for Guybrush to use Rottingham's insults against them, which they can't answer. They do however, call you out on it.
Pirate: No fair! You're using Captain Rottingham's insults!
A Winner Is You: After defeating LeChuck, the game instantly cuts away to a thirty second scene without any dialogue, that consists of Guybrush and Elaine heading off to their honeymoon, while their friends are waving goodbye. The developers had planned to include more gameplay, but had to cancel after the game threatened to Schedule Slip, so this could be the explanation.
You And What Navy?: Guybrush can say this as one of his options to Wally to talk him into defeat when he threatens to shoot our hero.
You Fight Like a Cow: As you'd expect from the franchise that named the trope, the Insult Swordfighting minigame returns...but with a twist: Because the fights take place at sea, the comebacks have to rhyme with the insults.
You Fool!: You've given cheese to a lactose intolerant volcano god!
You Must Be This Tall To Ride: When Guybrush is trapped in the Carnival of the Damned, all he has to do to escape is go out through the gate leading to the roller coaster — but the roller coaster has a You Must Be This Tall restriction, and he's also been magically reverted to childhood, so he's too short to be allowed through.
You're Insane!: There is a scene when smuggler King André believes that the Goodsoup Family Diamond and its energy flowing though it is the key to his power, and you can choose this:
Guybrush: You're a madman! André: Am I mad? Am I? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Is it madness to sit in a cave at the top of a deserted island, accumulating vast amounts of gold and jewels and stuffed animals, stockpiling plunder from across the Caribbean and passing the savings on to you? Is that madness? Or genius?!? Guybrush:(shrugs) Good point. I take it back. André:I'm not crazy -- my prices are!
Your Mom: One of René Rottingham's rhyming swordfight insults is "Your mother wears a toupee!", to which Guybrush can respond, "Oh, that is so cliché!", which is the same response to a pirate's "En garde! Touché!"
You Havegot To Be Kidding Me: Guybrush's reaction to Van Helgen going solo in the banjo duel and busting out playing that isn't even possible on a banjo.
Zip Mode: If you double click on an exit the game will skip the animation of Guybrush having to physically walk there, which saves a lot of boredom. note A feature sadly missing in the more modern Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island, 3D non-SCUMM-based keyboard controlled games.