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Video Game / Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

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"I thought I'd killed the Ghost Pirate LeChuck for good. Wrong. How many times can that bloated old fool die? Other pirates tell me there's no escape. Legend has it that the treasure of Big Whoop holds the key to great power... I must find it before LeChuck finds me."
— Excerpted from The Memoirs of Guybrush Threepwood: The Monkey Island Years

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is the second game in the Monkey Island series, released in 1991. It takes place some time after the first. Guybrush is starting to have trouble getting other pirates to listen to his stories about the last game, so he decides to actually do something piratey that he can make a new story out of. His quest this time is to find the four pieces to a treasure map leading to a fabulous treasure known only as "Big Whoop". As the title of the game indicates, however, Guybrush's old foe LeChuck returns from the dead once more (this time as a zombie), and tries to get his revenge on Guybrush.

This marks the end of the old-school, Ron Gilbert Monkey Islands, as he left LucasArts the year after the release, with co-writer and designer Dave Grossman following in 1994, and the following installments in the series were, until Tales of Monkey Island came along, made without input from Gilbert or any of the other original writers. This game is given the twist-ending Gilbert wanted to put in the original game, an ending which divides the fanbase like nothing else in the entire canon.

Finally followed up by Ron Gilbert's Return to Monkey Island in September 2022, which serves primarily as a sequel to LeChuck’s Revenge while maintaining some continuity with the three games made in the interim.

A "Special Edition" Updated Re-release/remake was released in the summer of 2010, with redrawn artwork, voice acting from the cast of The Curse of Monkey Island, and creator commentary from Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert and David Grossman.

This game provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The Phatt City Library books "Damp Damsels of the Deep" "Lox and Locks," "Next To Nothing," "Pirating Primer," "Rock and Raunch," "Safe Sailing," "The Sailor and The Sea Cow," "Thirty Things That Taste Terrific On Toast," "The Yearn to Yawn," and Melanie Leary's romance novels, "Amour's Agonizing Adieu," "Desire's Distasteful Denouement," "Fascination's Final Frenzy," "Love's Lingering Lassitude," "Passion's Persistent Presence," "Romance's Wretched Residue," "Sin's Sordid Swan Song," and "Yearning's Yellowing Yesterdays."
  • Adipose Rex: Governor Phatt, of Phatt Island. Not a king, but he runs an entire island, so it counts. He seems to be fed entirely on pureed food, which he has piped next to the bed where he spends all his time.
  • Air-Aided Acrobatics: Has this during the spitting contest (watch the flags to see when you've got a tailwind).
  • The Alcoholic: Rum Rogers Jr. His house on Phatt Island is filled with empty bottles and he has a reputation for beating others in drinking contests using his special contest grog.
  • Always Night: On Scabb Island. Booty Island was also initially going to feature this, but it was later changed to Always Daytime.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Guybrush's parents died ambiguously, with only vague hints about what happened to them.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Did Guybrush fall into the chasm and experience an illusion brought about by LeChuck, was LeChuck telling the truth, is everything Guybrush sees in the tunnels a dream after being knocked unconscious from falling, is Elaine right about LeChuck placing a spell on Guybrush, is all of reality being called into question after what was seen in the tunnel, was it all false information, why was all that stuff there if it was or wasn't real, are Guybrush's parents alive or dead, is Guybrush imagining his adventures as a child, is the story set in the age of piracy or is it really a modern day pirate themed theme park, are there multiple levels of reality where Guybrush is both a child with his parents and a pirate where his parents are dead, is Guybrush really dead and experiencing the whole thing as a dying dream, what is reality really, etc.
    • Decades later Return to Monkey Island would resolve this - The kids are Guybrush's children, and they were role playing a story their father told them.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Some inventory items appear to be from the wrong century, such as the dollar bills and bonds in the pile of riches, and the cocktail glass, hubcap, manilla envelope, matchbook, laundry claim ticket, and library card, the Rock and Roll collector's plate, and the E Ticket.
    • The bell in Governor Phatt's room looks like a modern alarm.
    • The Phatt City Library references soda fountains (1774-1832), the term "Kangaroo court" (1841), cartoons (1843), zippers (1851-1893), the IRS (1862-1953), Social Darwinism (1870s), Jell-O (1881), the Dewey Decimal System (1876), record albums (19th century), the study of viruses (19th century), "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck" ("The Woodchuck Song," 1902), Surrealism (1920's), Nylon (1927-1939), rock music (1940's-1950's), collectible toy trucks (1960's), ZIP Codes (1963), video games (1947-1972), and software piracy (1970's). Then there's "Grammy Awards of the Renaissance," an "Elvis Lives" prediction of music in the future, an ambiguous entertainment industry and adult entertainment industry, and more modern genres of fiction and non-fiction like how-to books, self help books, and romance novels. The pirate themed books tend to reinforce the age of piracy as the current time period rather than it all being set in modern day.
    • The wanted poster mentions FDA limits for rodent parts.
    • Guybrush can suggest Macintosh Grey as the answer to Herman Toothrot's question.
    • Guybrush can find a phone in the jungle to call the LucasArts hint line and ask about video games.
    • The endgame introduces a modern looking underground building with modern doors, tunnels, signs, lighting, pipes, and an elevator, a helium tank that can be used for quoting pop songs and theme songs from television shows and movies, the return of the Grog machine, and teddy bears, modern shipping boxes, traffic cones, a modern-looking first aid room with surgical gloves and a hypodermic syringe, an amusement park with a rollercoaster, Chuckie's contemporary clothing, and Guybrush mentioning Nintendo™ games and the Junior Ultra Soldier Commando Assault Vehicle™ Guybrush and Chuckie played with, though it's not clear how much of this is really part of the game's setting.
  • Animation Bump:
    • Most of the (original) game is rather crudely animated, using mostly Limited Animation, but LeChuck stands out: His speech and walking animations have more detail and complicated movement patterns than other characters, and during the final confrontation has things such as anticipation and overlapping action. According to the Special Edition commentary, it actually made animating him a giant pain because his asymmetrical movement meant that they couldn't just flip his sprite when he is standing in the other direction.
    • In the Special Edition, Guybrush, LeChuck, and for whatever reason, Rum Rogers Jr. are 3D models designed to look like sprites, allowing them a much wider range of movement and actions compared to the simplistic sprites of everyone else.
  • Anti Poopsocking: Subverted. Much like the first game's appeal for the player to "Turn off your computer and go to sleep!" after the game ends, here the credits are followed by a Long List of possible suggestions for better things to do with your time.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • The phrase can be said almost exactly word-for-word as a response to the librarian's question if Guybrush has any vices (when getting a library card).
    • Guybrush's "Wanted!" Poster has a Long List of crimes that gets longer as the game goes on with some crimes such as possessing library books under a false name.
  • Artifact Title: Monkey Island is nowhere to be found in this game, something that wouldn't happen again until Tales. The next game does reveal that the carnival at the end was part of Monkey Island, but considering that was made without Ron Gilbert's direction, it likely wasn't his intention to imply that.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: The book "Theory and Practice of Bone Breakage" is written by someone with a pink belt.
  • Ascended Extra: The Voodoo Lady, who you could complete the first game without ever meeting, gets her biggest role in any of the games prior to Tales.
  • Awful Truth: The "employees only" door in Mêlée Island leads to a modern tunnel system with stacks of boxes and a broken Grog machine. The entire setting could be a modern theme park.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The infamous ending sees LeChuck seemingly trapping Guybrush as a child in an amusement park. For some fans, this was the "true" ending of the series until Ron Gilbert revisited it with Return to Monkey Island.
  • Bag of Spilling: Guybrush starts the game with his pockets full of riches earned in the past two years... before Largo LaGrande picks him up and shakes him until all his money falls out two minutes into the adventure. You never get it back, either. Largo spends it all.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: When in LeChuck's fortress and you come face to face with Wally, you strike up a small conversation. One dialogue choice involves Guybrush beginning with "I have a confession to make about your monocle," leading the player to believe he'll finally admit to what he did early on in the game. And then...
  • Barefoot Sage: The Voodoo Lady changes dresses between games, but is still shoeless. In this game, she uses her magical knowledge to serve as the Big Good.
  • Battle Trophy: Guybrush kept a piece of LeChuck's ghostly beard after blowing him up in the first game.
  • Big Good: The Voodoo Lady has a much larger role in this game, directing much of Guybrush's quest as he repeatedly returns to her home in the swamp for advice on how to find the fabled treasure of Big Whoop, which she says will help him deal with LeChuck and his minions once and for all.
  • Big "NO!": Done by Guybrush near the end when LeChuck claims he is Guybrush's brother.
  • Blackout Basement: Guybrush falls into a dark room and has to Pixel Hunt in the dark to find the switch and turn on the light. Creepier than ever, LeChuck is right there to greet you.
  • Blatant Lies: Guybrush opens the game by telling Elaine that "a couple of [his] admiring fans pressured [him] into telling his LeChuck evaporating story once again." When we actually cut to him reciting his story after the opening credits, however, it turns out not only was he not even requested to tell it, the people he is telling it to actually are outright sick of hearing it.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Wally is helpless without his monocle. Obviously, you have to steal it to progress the game.
  • Bookends: The first and last major puzzles of the game both involve making a Voodoo Doll of the current antagonist, using the same recipe.
  • Bound and Gagged: Guybrush and Wally are tied up and suspended over a pit of acid in LeChuck's fortress.
  • Bowdlerise: In a way. When playing on Lite mode, you collect a white shirt belonging to Largo instead of his pearly-white bra.
  • Box-and-Stick Trap: You need to make one of these to catch a rat, using some cheese as bait.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: Guybrush puts a bucket of mud over the door to Largo LaGrande's room so he'll take his clothes to the cleaners, since he needs a scrap of Largo's clothes to make a Voodoo Doll.
  • Buried Alive: Stan. Thankfully, when he shows up again in the sequel, he's just fine. He even managed to print out some business cards while he was in there!
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Guybrush. He's mocked and belittled by the other characters, robbed blind in the first few minutes, forced to wear a stupid pink dress to a costume party, beaten up by the aged groundskeeper, humiliated in a drinking contest with Rum Rogers, Jr, sets off a room full of explosives by dropping the match he's using as a light source...the list is too long to fully repeat.
    • Wally. The developers actually had to remove a scene that shows what happened to him after LeChuck's fortress blew up, because they just felt too sorry for him.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: You can see Guybrush's and Wally's eyes glow in the darkness of LeChuck's Fortress after their escape.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Par for the course.
    • Under the sea, Guybrush can remark: "This monkey head is too heavy to carry to the surface. Considering this game has no drop verb, I'm doomed."
    • Over the giant door with an absurd number of locks in LeChuck's fortress: "There is no way, not even in an adventure game, that I'd be able to get all those locks open."
  • Call-Back: There are quite a few references to the previous game littered throughout:
    • With the Men of Low Moral Fiber returning for this game, Guybrush can bring up the minutes to the PTA meeting paper they gave him in the previous game. In a similar manner, he can also ask the Voodoo Lady and Stan about their previous encounters with him.
    • Guybrush once again brings up the fact that he can hold his breath for ten minutes (which remains true in this game).
    • During the dream sequence, LeChuck shows up, and morphs into Guybrush with his look from the last game — white shirt and black pants — and sprays the actual Guybrush with root beer, which is how LeChuck was killed in the previous game.
    • When coming face to face with Rum Rogers, Guybrush will say his sword fighting opener ("I'm Guybrush Threepwood, prepare to die!"). Rum Rogers lampshades this and calls sword fighting outdated.
    • An elevator towards the end of the game takes you to a one-off location from Mêlée Island, where the "Employees Only" door originally was.
    • The Grog machine from Stan's that Guybrush broke by crash-landing into it head-first can be found in a workshop, still broken.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Subverted; Rum Rogers Jr.'s special contest grog is so strong that no-one can hold it, although Guybrush seems to be particularly bad at withstanding its effects.
  • Captain Colorbeard: Yellow Beard, who has a cocktail named after him: Yellow Beard's Baby.
  • Captain Ersatz: Captain Dread is clearly based on Bob Marley, from his looks and mannerisms right down to his music. You can even say "natty dread" to him and he responds positively — Natty Dread being a saying meaning 'nice dreadlocks' that was the title of one of Bob's albums and its title song, as well as the nickname of a recurring character in his work.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: The waterfall on Phatt Island has one, but the waterfall has to be stopped in order to access it.
  • Character as Himself: In the original game's end credits: "Featuring Walt as himself."+
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The making of a Voodoo Doll of the first Act returns in the fourth.
  • Church of Happyology: A book in the Phatt Library is called Dynanetics, by L. Ron Gilbert.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Stan explains the reason he started a coffin business was so he could be absolutely sure his customers wouldn't come back with complaints. In the Secret of Monkey Island, Stan wound up sucker-smashed into the ocean by Ghost Pirate LeChuck.
    • If you choose the name " "Herman Toothrot" while applying for the library card, you can only check out 3 books rather than 4. In the first Monkey Island during a conversation with Herman Toothrot about saving Elaine, he mentions "The fine on that overdue library book must be pretty big by now..."
    • Books in the Phatt City Library allude to what The Secret of Monkey Island characters have been doing since LeChuck's last defeat, including Herman Toothrot, Lemonhead, Meathook, and the Fettucini Brothers Alfredo and Bill.
  • Copy Protection: The "Mix'n Mojo" code wheel. The game would start off by "rolling" two random ingredients (one on the outer wheel and one on the inner), and it would then ask for a specific recipe. When you rotated the wheel so that the two ingredients aligned, you would then have to locate the recipe, and two 2-digit numbers (in the form ##/##) would be revealed, showing how much of the two ingredients you needed. Putting in the correct amount would allow you to proceed. The Monkey Island Madness Compilation Rerelease skips this entirely (it's still present in the game though, putting it in Dummied Out territory) due to it being on a CD and no longer including the code wheel; however, this also means the difficulty options went down along with it, since the same screen used for the copy protection was also used to select the difficulty. ScummVM compensates for this by still running the copy protection but accepting any value as correct, even on the CD release.
  • Covers Always Lie: Downplayed. The cover shows LeChuck torturing Guybrush with a voodoo doll on the deck of a ship. During the game it happens on underground tunnels.
  • Credits Gag:
    • "Fun and Excitement Supervisor," "Gum Chewing," "Yoyos" credited to "Tom Kuhn Custom Yoyos, Ltd."
    • Seagull™ appears courtesy of LOOM
    • Walt the Dog stars as Himself.
    • The credits are followed up with Long List of suggestions for what to do after beating the game and turning off your computer, preferably something more productive. Like mowing the lawn. Or changing your socks.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Wally's dialogue after you steal his monocle tugs at your heartstrings, but you can't progress through the game without taking it. And, though he's less sympathetic, Stan does the same thing when you seal him in his casket. Both seem even crueler with the voice acting in the Special Edition. In Wally's case is even worse if you're playing in the Easy Difficulty setting of the original game, since in Normal Difficulty you later find another lens to replace the Monocle you stole, but there's no such item in Easy Difficulty, since Wally's role is reduced, which means he never gets his sight back in the whole game. You can even take the Monocle without ever exchanging a word with him, treating the poor kid as mere scenery.
  • Darker and Edgier: Much of the innocent goofiness of the first game is toned down. Guybrush is a hunted Heroic Comedic Sociopath that hurts other characters and LeChuck is a murderous creepy villain. The dramatic and gory elements are toned up, especially during the final encounter.
  • The Dead Can Dance: Your late parents show up in a dream sequence, turn into skeletons and do a little dance (see below).
  • Dem Bones: Including one instance of Dem Bones singing "Dem Bones". Has to be seen.
  • Demoted to Extra: Elaine only appears in four scenes, including the pre-credits and the ending sequences, and has little dialogue apart from insulting Guybrush and asking him what he's been doing.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • One of the first dialogue options with Stan is him asking you how much money you have to spend on a coffin. You reply with however much gold you have at the moment (a very small amount), to which he replies (paraphrasing): "Consider cremation." You cannot access this dialogue choice to try again, it is one-time only. However, if you're carrying the large amount of gold you're supposed to use to charter the boat from Kate, and you've yet to have this dialogue with Stan, you can do it and he instead says something about how unfortunate for Guybrush that the cheapest model is just a few hundred gold more...
    • If Guybrush attempts to take the coat hanging in Elaine's room while he's still wearing his party dress, he'll comment that he's "already wearing enough women's clothing." Once he's changed back into his normal clothing, trying to take the coat again will make him claim "I'm warm enough in the one I have on." He can't dognap Guybrush the Dog while he's wearing the dress either.
    • Another great example avoids making the game Unintentionally Unwinnable. It's entirely possible to avoid visiting Stan until you have the hammer and nails in your inventory. Normally, Stan gives Guybrush the clean, white hankie the first time Guybrush attempts to leave his shop. If, however, you attempt to nail the coffin shut while Stan is sitting in it during your first visit, Stan automatically pops the lid open before you can do so and hands you the hankie. Quite handy, considering the hankie is necessary for solving the game's last puzzle.
    • You can go on mixing drinks pointlessly, but there's a limit on how much money can you waste so the game does not get unwinnable. Once you buy enough drinks you become a regular and don't get charged in Scabb Island bar.
    • Guybrush becomes bluer and bluer if you feel like testing his 10-minute breath-holding capability claims. Around the time mark, he gives up and returns to the surface.
    • The Stinger still plays halfway through the credits if you use the cheat code, but along with the A Winner Is You fakeout ending, instead of Elaine's normal line hoping LeChuck "didn't put some kind of SPELL on [Guybrush]", she wonders aloud what she's doing next to this big hole.
  • Did Not Die That Way: Guybrush's parents aren't a pair of skeletons. They are alive, and were waiting for Guybrush at an amusement park and sent Chuckie to find him.
  • Did You Die?: Inverted. If you "kill" Guybrush during the game, Elaine tells him that can't have happened, since he is currently telling her his story and he is obviously not dead.
  • Disguised in Drag: Guybrush has to wear a lady's dress as a costume in order to sneak into Elaine's Booty Island mansion.
  • The Dreaded: Captain Dread. He's actually a nice guy named for his dreadlocks, contrary to what people assume from his name.
  • Drinking Contest: During the quest for the map parts, Rum Rogers Jr. challenges Guybrush to a pure-grog drinking contest. Threepwood is a lightweight who has to be creative about it, but it turns out it's not Guybrush's fault, after all.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: No one is very inclined to believe Guybrush's claims that he is the Mighty Pirate who defeated LeChuck, this is particularly ironic in MI2 as he tells everyone about his exploits enough that people who know him are sick of hearing about them. Guybrush is a real bore about his Glory Days and has penned a trilogy of books about his killing of LeChuck. Guybrush's bad luck continues as he defeats Largo and everyone else takes credit for it or believes someone else's story.
  • Ear Trumpet: There's one old man on Booty Island whose job is to fire a cannon when the mail boat comes in. Probably because of being deafened by proximity to that loud cannon, he needs an ear trumpet to hear what Guybrush is saying. The launderer has been given one in the Special Edition, not that it helps him understand anything Guybrush says.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: "I've never played an adventure game before. I'm scared."
  • Electrified Bathtub: How Rum Rogers Sr. kicked the bucket. In this game, you'll find his corpse lying in the bathtub under his son's home, while the sequel explicitly retcons his death so that LeChuck killed him when he found him drinking rum and eating toast while bathing by tossing his toaster into the bathtub.
  • Elevator Escape: You have to use this to your advantage. LeChuck confronts you by an elevator. If you can get the doors to close on him, you can tear off part of his beard which you need for a voodoo charm.
  • Expert in Underwater Basket Weaving: One of the suggestions in the credits is to "teach basket weaving to clams."
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Largo bumps into Guybrush and robs him left and right in the very first controllable scene when you try to leave the screen. Take a shot of grog and raise your hand if, in your first play, feeling smart/frustrated, you did reload/restart to go in the other direction, just to be mugged anyway. The animation changes a bit accordingly, but that's it.
  • Famed in Story: Guybrush is famous for defeating LeChuck— so famous that everyone is sick of hearing his story.
  • Fat Bastard: Governor Phatt is so fat that he's completely bedbound and so lazy and gluttonous that he's fed a continuous liquid diet by a series of tubes that spray food into his mouth every few seconds. Even while he's sleeping. He's also a crooked dictator who throws his enemies in prison for the least offenses.
  • Framing Device: Guybrush tells Elaine how he ended up dangling from a rope while holding a treasure chest. Guybrush's story ends when the rope snaps and he falls down the pit, leaving Elaine to wonder how Guybrush is doing.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Guybrush mentions his parents a few times, something that will become a plot point later.
    • Guybrush notices the Junior Ultra Soldier Commando Assault Vehicle™ in the book "Collectable Toy Trucks." Chuckie started bullying Guybrush after Guybrush broke his Junior Ultra Soldier Commando Assault Vehicle™ when they were playing together as kids.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Near-beer and derivatives are parodied with near-grog: "It's just as nasty-tasting and foul-smelling as the real thing, but without the alcohol."
  • Gainax Ending: After Guybrush falls down the hole in Dinky Island, he finds himself in some concrete tunnels. LeChuck is there with a Voodoo Doll and he tortures Guybrush with it after revealing that he is Guybrush's brother. Big Whoop only contains a ticket with the letter "E" on it. In the tunnels Guybrush finds an elevator that leads to Mêlée Island, carnival equipment, and a hospital room with two skeletons that he immediately identifies as his parents. Later he builds a Voodoo Doll and nearly kills LeChuck with it, then he takes off LeChuck's mask and reveals that LeChuck is his long lost brother Chuckie. Then the scene cuts to both of them as kids at an amusement park where Guybrush's parents chastise him for wandering off, and then they go to a ride. But at the last second Chuckie makes an Aside Glance and lightning arches from his eyes. Finally during The Stinger Elaine wonders if Guybrush has fallen into another trap. And that's why there is a Broken Base (for this game). Many discussions with Epileptic Trees and Wild Mass Guessing have ensued. Nobody knows for sure what the ending originally was all about, and the next game simply goes with the "it was all just a spell cast by LeChuck" interpretation.
    • For those who played this game on the Commodore Amiga, there was also some Adaptation Deviation regarding the ending; specifically the cut back to Elaine by the large hole leaves out her second line questioning whether LeChuck had cast a SPELL on Guybrush. It's unknown whether this was a bug or whether the potential Sequel Hook was left out deliberately because LucasArts' developing Amiga versions was no longer going to be cost-effective unless Commodore drastically revamped the platform. This leaves the Amiga version with possibly the darkest interpretation of all as it leaves Guybrush in an alternate reality with LeChuck and no-one suspects what's happened to him.
  • Gallows Humor: The book "So You're Going to Be Executed..." With the description, "Dozens of things to say on the chopping block." Filed under Humor, Gallows.
  • Gargle Blaster: As usual, grog is the series' usual example, but this game amps it up to eleven with Rum Rogers Jr.'s special home-made grog, with twice the alcohol and calories compared to the usual drink, used for drinking competitions. Not even Rogers himself can handle the stuff.
  • Gender Flip: In the 1991 original, when Guybrush calls the LucasArts Help Desk (then LucasFilm Games Help Desk) on Dinky Island, the phone operator on the other end of the phone appears near him... and it appears to be a woman named Chester! In the redrawn Special Edition, however, Chester the phone operator is now a man. Interestingly, both characters can be found in the Special Edition version, with female Chester appearing in Classic mode and male Chester appearing in the high-definition mode, and both characters even have unique voice actors.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Happens twice with Guybrush: once when he lifts up the bone of Marco Largo LaGrande from his grave in Scabb Island Cemetery, and one when he gets knocked out by the gardener for taking a map piece while in a dress in the Booty Island mansion.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: There's one scene in the game when Largo LaGrande refuses to tip the deliverymen, resulting in one of them muttering out, "What a butt." The rest of the game averts this completely.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Governor Phatt's guard is one credulous cretin.
  • Guide Dang It!: Ordinarily a completely redundant trope, considering this is Monkey Island. There are however, two infamous puzzles that thwarted players utterly in the day, and still leave newcomers totally stumped wondering how are you to progress. Not because, they're difficult, but because they are insultingly easy. To the point where the games designer is no doubt mocking your intelligence:
    • The gambling "puzzle", is where gamers often overthink its complexity, thinking there's a simple mathematical formula to determine what numbers the various hand gestures correspond to. It's not. The correct answer is always the amount of fingers he shows in his example.
    • The fortress "puzzle" once again tricks you, as you helplessly assume each line of the skeleton song is the clue. It's not. You have to follow each verse for each statue, thus leaving a lot of repeating text on your song as an unwanted distraction.
  • Hard-to-Light Fire: Guybrush uses the last match to blow a hole in the ground so he can find Big Whoop.
  • How We Got Here: The framing device for the game opens with Guybrush dangling from a rope over a deep, dark pit, while hanging onto a treasure chest. Then Elaine comes down and demands to know how he got into this situation.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Castaway Herman Toothrot's Neo-Existentialist Cartesian Zen Taoism philosophy. "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, what color is the tree?" "All colors."
    Herman Toothrot: Now, what has this experience taught you?
    Guybrush: That philosophy isn't worth my time.
    Herman: I'm very impressed, it takes most people years to reach this point.
  • Instant People: Just Add Water!: There is a voodoo powder, Ash-2-Life that can (temporarily) bring a person back from the dead after his body has been reduced to ashes. It specifically only works on ashes.
  • Ironic Name: Largo LaGrande is... not. Though he is still a Pint-Sized Powerhouse.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Literally: "Son, it's always Mardi Gras on Booty Island."
  • Just Between You and Me: Played to the extremes when LeChuck places Guybrush in a Rube Goldberg Death Trap. Not only does he tell how the trap works in minute detail, he even stays around for while to answer any questions Guybrush might have about it.
  • Left the Background Music On: In the Special Edition, locking Stan in the coffin causes his Leitmotif to become muffled.
  • Left Hanging: After Guybrush's rope snaps and he falls down the pit, Elaine, still hanging onto a rope, is left wondering if Guybrush is being tricked by one of LeChuck's spells. Though some critics speculate in accordance with the game's Gainax Ending she's still playing their 'pretend pirates' game, and no one's told her its now over.
  • Leitmotif: LeChuck's theme goes through several variations, most often used as a sting to bring an ominous tone to different moments, with noticeably slower, creepier versions playing in his fortress and the tunnels under Dinky Island.
  • Life Embellished: Not only does Guybrush spin an ornate tale about his victory over LeChuck, he has also penned several books about it: "The time I blew Up LeChuck" "When I blew up LeChuck", "Where I blew up LeChuck" and "Why I blew up LeChuck"
    Guybrush: I can't believe I'm reading my own memoirs. The catalog was right, this IS pretty bad.
  • List of Transgressions: The "Wanted!" Poster for Guybrush. It's even dynamic, growing to include Guybrush's later escapades if you return to it over the course of the game.
    WANTED: Guybrush Threepwood : For the murder of G.P. LeChuck, and also for the use of witchcraft on the person of Largo LaGrande, the thievery of clothing and medically-prescribed hair supplements for such witchcraft, graverobbing, trespassing, larceny without a permit, disturbing the peace, illegal gambling on a sporting event, use of falsified identification for the purchase of alcohol, exceeding allowable FDA limit for rodent parts in vichyssoise, premature entombment of a non-dead individual, reckless tampering with city-maintained plumbing without prior acquisition of environmental impact report, transportation of animals not in a mental state to give consent, vandalizing a historical miniature, reckless use of gardening tools, impersonating a woman in order to evade prosecution, two counts of unauthorized exiting from a penal institution, impersonating a federal mail boat, reanimating dead persons within city limits, possession of library books not specifically checked out to oneself, mixing drinks without a liquor license, and releasing a dangerous reptile in a populated area. Also wanted for questioning regarding the disappearance of prescription eyewear.
  • Locked Door: Taken to ludicrous extremes in LeChuck's fortress, where you come up to a giant door with an insane amount of locks. It all turns out to be a Bait-and-Switch, however — the large door is fake, but there's a small door within it that you can go through with ease.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Your cell on Phatt Island conveniently contains everything you need to escape.
  • Long List: A repeated gag, including the growing List of Transgressions on Guybrush's "Wanted!" Poster and the final Credits Gag where the game suggests various things to do/things you should've been doing while you were wasting time playing this game.
  • Long-Lost Relative: LeChuck reveals himself to be Guybrush's brother Chuckie.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The waterfall music is only heard very briefly, and almost completely drowned out by the sound of the waterfall.
  • Lost in Translation: Perhaps a worst case scenario — the waterfall puzzle is a pun on "monkey wrench." Since this is a term only ever used in America though, the foreign English-speaking countries were scratching their heads trying to solve a puzzle that had an arbitrary solution as it stood. It got even worse when it was translated, with the translators struggling to find a way for this puzzle to make sense. Needless to say, Ron Gilbert made sure not to use another puzzle with a wordplay solution again. note 
  • Loud of War: The player can have some fun with the ship's horn this way. Try playing it near some sleeping pirates, or in the library.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: LeChuck to Guybrush: "No... I am your brother" See Shout-Out below.
  • Made in Country X: The label in the blowhorn says "Made in Hong Kong".
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation: Of the explosive variety.
  • MacGuffin: Big Whoop, mighty treasure! As the Meaningful Name suggests, it's a huge letdown. Apart from the tunnels, which may or may not be part of LeChuck's illusion, all you find is an E-Ticket (a reference to the daily pass for all the best rides at Disneyland between 1955 and 1982) in a locked chest.
  • Mood Whiplash: When Stan is trapped in the coffin, his dialogue swings wildly between legitimate panic over his situation and smarmy attempts to continue selling the product ("I'd bust out of here, but the dang thing's too well-built").
  • Mr. Smith: Parodied with Phatt Island's lone guard when you claim not to be Guybrush Threepwood while standing in front of your own "Wanted!" Poster:
    Guard: (looks to the wanted poster, then to Guybrush) Excuse me, sir.
    Guybrush: Yes?
    Guard: Aren't you Guybrush Threepwood?
    Guybrush: No, my name is Smith. You must have me confused with someone else.
    Guard: Smith, eh? That's an unusual name.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Wow, a whole bucket of mud! And it's mine — ALL MINE!"
  • Musical Nod: When Guybrush swings from pillar to pillar on Dinky Island, the Indiana Jones theme is played — triumphantly for the first four notes, but quickly deflating once he realises it's gone wrong.
  • Mythology Gag: A few examples of Lucasarts referencing their parent company Lucasfilm's body of work:
    • The way Guybrush replaces a book for another over the bed of Governor Phatt is exactly the same way Indiana Jones replaces a sandbox for an idol in Raiders of the Lost Ark. "Indy's Whip" is also available for sale in the local store.
    • The Reveal plays out just like The Empire Strikes Back, but with more opportunities to misquote the conversation due to the Dialogue Tree.
    • When LeChuck is critically injured, and asks Guybrush to take off his mask.
  • The Napoleon: Largo LaGrande might be short, but he's mean, and everyone on Scabb Island is too afraid of him (and his connection to LeChuck) to do anything about his bullying and extortion.
  • Nested Story Reveal: Zigzagged. Teased at the end of the game, with LeChuck claiming he's actually Guybrush's 'weird brother Chuckie', and the two of them walking out into a theme park version of Booty Island as children, suggesting the whole thing was just the product of a child's overactive imagination... until Chuckie's eyes flash red as the two walk off with their parents. The Stinger with Elaine has her wondering what's taking Guybrush so long and hoping LeChuck didn't "cast some sort of SPELL on him." The sequel explicitly shows the Carnival of the Damned as a real place, with Guybrush Lost at Sea aboard a detached bumper car and returning to the Carnival (shown to be on Monkey Island) at the end of the game.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Stan, who this game has a business called Stan's Used Coffins:
    Stan: Most of these coffins have been barely used, only for a few hours, premature burials and such...
    Stan: (later) You're back! I knew you would! All my customers return... eventually.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. Because Governor Phatt never leaves his bed, there is a pipe installed under him that gets rid of his waste.
  • Not So Remote: Dinky Island is next to Monkey Island on the map. The Dinky Island tunnel connects directly to Mêlée Island, but now the island is within walking distance instead of requiring travel by ship, suggesting the area is presented in a reduced scale or forced perspective like Disneyland, with the areas closer together than they appear. The items in the tunnel like the broken grog machine and shipping containers suggest the areas are regularly maintained by employees like an amusement park. The Dinky Island jungles appear to be modernized, and may not be so remote and isolated if they are just another area of the theme park.
  • Numbered Sequels: The only numbered entry in the series.
  • Oddball in the Series: It still follows the Monkey Island formula closely enough, but the much more open-ended structure, along with LeChuck acting like a murderous psychopath rather than an evil goofball, the complete lack of any insult combat game, Elaine having a hostile relationship with Guybrush (at least from her side) rather than being madly in love with him, and the gameplay forcing Guybrush to be needlessly cruel or jerkish to advance the plot, combine to give this a somewhat different feel to most of the other games in the series. Some of the latter games would take some inspiration from this one, however, particularly Return, where Ron Gilbert finally came back as lead developer.
  • Overly-Long Gag: When answering Herman's Ice-Cream Koan , you can go through a long list of colors before settling on the right answer.
  • Pamphlet Shelf: Averted: the library mostly contains irrelevant books, and finding the relevant ones is part of the puzzle. However, the book of quotes doesn't seem to be very long.
  • Pet Gets the Keys: Walt the Dog holds the prison key in Phatt Island jail.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Downplayed. Largo is short but tough enough to be intimidating, and strong enough to literally pick up the taller Guybrush over his head and dangle him over the Woodtick bridge with one hand.
  • Pirate Girl: Kate Capsize, captain of her own ship, and well-loved by the pirates of Booty and Scabb, though she's mostly hosting charter ship expeditions these days. Subverted with Elaine, who looks the part and is the governor of multiple pirate-friendly islands, but doesn't do any pirating herself.
  • Playground Song: Guybrush can entreat one of the two friendly pirates on Scabb Island to sing a song. After a couple semi-bawdy numbers about Elaine, he resorts to this song. You can choose to interject with a random number and he'll jump to it; and if you're patient enough to let him get down to one, the other pirate will say a different number and he'll start there again, meaning he'll keep singing numbers indefinitely if you let him. In the special version, a great amount of numbers are voiced until the pirate enters a "da-da-da-da-da" loop.
  • Posthumous Character: Guybrush's parents are already dead when they are introduced, and engage in a Dead Person Conversation when Guybrush is knocked out.
  • Proverbial Wisdom: Parodied with Herman Toothrot, who becomes a "philosophy teacher" and meditates in a tent. He gives Guybrush what seems to be a Zen-style Koan: "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, what color is the tree?"
    Guybrush: All colours?
    Herman: Exactly! Now what has this experience taught you?
    Guybrush: That philosophy isn't worth my time.
    Herman: I'm very impressed. It takes most people years to reach this point.
  • Pun: While reading "Bad Puns For Bad Pirates," Guybrush is particularly amused by a pun involving the word "stumped."
  • The Quiet One: Freddy, the fat, bald Man of Low Moral Fiber (Pirate), who doesn't even laugh occasionally like in the first game, instead remaining completely silent. Unless you blow the ship's horn...
  • Recursive Canon:
    • Hal Barwood's critical review of the game can be found in the Phatt City Library.
    • Guybrush says "This isn't Monkey Island 1" when trying to open the spy glass.
    • Guybrush can call the LucasArts help line and ask for help with leaving the jungle in Monkey II. Guybrush can ask about why adventure games cost so much, when is Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe going to ship, and who came up with that dumb stump joke. Chester says they've received too many calls about the stump joke and asks that Guybrush no longer ask about it.
  • Reduced To Rat Burgers: "In the small crate of voodoo supplies that would be his home for the next five days and nights, Guybrush is forced to eat bat lungs and eel bladders to stay alive" Cue "Part 3: LeChuck's Fortress."
  • Refuge in Audacity: A totally selfish, misogynist so-called hero who desecrates graves, sails swamps in a coffin, all in a cartoonish, comedic pirate videogame? You know it's just for laughs.
  • The Reveal: LeChuck is Guybrush's brother Chuckie who bullied Guybrush. Guybrush and Chuckie are still children. Guybrush's parents sent Chuckie to find Guybrush after getting lost in an amusement park, and were waiting for him the whole time.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: The title is Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge after all.
  • Rhyming List: When the Voodoo Lady tells Guybrush the ingredients he needs to find, so she can make a Voodoo Doll:
    Voodoo Lady: Something of the Head, something of the Thread, something of the Body, and something of the Dead.
    Guybrush: Wow, that almost rhymes!
  • Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...: One of the books in the Phatt City Library has this:
    Violets are blue
    Roses are red
    We're coming aboard
    Prepare to eat lead
  • Rube Goldberg Device: LeChuck attempts to kill Guybrush and Wally with one of these. If you wait long enough, it actually works... Until you realize Guybrush is still telling Elaine about how he got into such a mess. Naturally, she calls him out on it.
  • Self-Deprecation: From "Hal Barwood on Monkey 2," a critical review, under the category "Games": "Less is more, guys. You can't polish a turd."
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The framing device isn't so important as the rope ends up snapping, leaving Guybrush to fall into the chasm, only to find out Big Whoop wasn't a real treasure after all. Everything else that happens in the tunnels could be an illusionary spell cast by LeChuck.
  • Shake Someone, Objects Fall: In the opening moments of gameplay, the moment you walk left or right, over the bridge or out of town, Largo appears, backs you onto the bridge, then picks Guybrush up over his head and shakes him, cleaning out your entire inventory of your starting wealth and leaving you with, at most, a shovel.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Significant Anagram: There's a series of romance novels in the Phatt City Library written by Melanie Leary, implied to be Guybrush's old flame Elaine Marley.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: The ways to progress do not vary from one playthrough to another, but the player has the liberty to explore and complete the puzzles of the current episode (getting the parts of a voodoo doll and getting the parts of the map) in any order, except in the third chapter inside LeChuck's fortress, where it's all more linear.
  • So Last Season: Using the root beer on LeChuck does nothing this time, and he'll explain it only works on ghosts, not on resurrected zombies.
  • Solitary Sorceress: Unlike the first game, here the Voodoo Lady lives out in a swamp some distance from the main town.
  • Spit Shine: The bartender used his spit to clean the glasses.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: When Guybrush calls the LucasFilm Games Hotline, the split-screen image of Chester is more like a "bubble phone call".
  • Stock Footage:
    • The final scene of the game (The Big Whoop amusement park) is a recycled version of the first scene of Booty Island. The building that looks extremely similar to the antique store is pretty much a dead giveaway.
    • The Cave Behind the Falls on Phatt Island is reused for the ending sequence of the game, though this is justified since they were running out of disk space, and they originally had intended to use a much more factory-like room. Concept art of it still exists.
    • Stan's animation is recycled from the first game, as pointed out in the audio commentary of the Special Edition.
  • Stylistic Suck: As they say, the marvel isn't that the monkey plays the piano well, it's that he plays it at all.
  • Take That!: A book in the Phatt City library is called "The Majesty of the Sierras". If you examine it, Guybrush remarks, "The Sierras? Majestic? I think not." On a milder note, the A Winner Is You screen when you use the cheat code to "win" the game awards you the full 800/800 completely arbitrary points you'd get in Sierra adventure games of the era — side-by-side with the deliberately unsatisfying "You win!" message.
  • Take That, Critics!: Optional easy mode for beginners and '''magazine reviewers'''.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Whilst Secret had three (Elaine, The Voodoo Lady and Carla, the former two of whom reappear here), Kate Capsize is the only female NPC introduced in LeChuck's Revenge. Ron Gilbert addressed this when he returned in Return, however, as most of the new characters introduced are female.
  • The Talk: Guybrush can ask Chester "Where do babies come from?" Chester asks if Guybrush is some kind of pervert.
  • Tongue Twister:
    • One that really benefits from the talkie Special Edition:
      Guybrush: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
      Carpenter: A woodchuck would chuck no amount of wood since a woodchuck can't chuck wood.
      Guybrush: But if a woodchuck could chuck and would chuck some amount of wood, what amount of wood would a woodchuck chuck?
      Carpenter: Even if a woodchuck could chuck wood and even if a woodchuck would chuck wood, should a woodchuck chuck wood?
      Guybrush: A woodchuck should chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood, as long as a woodchuck would chuck wood.
      Carpenter: Oh, shut up.
    • Guybrush also has the option to nip the whole thing in the bud before the Carpenter does:
      Guybrush: Oh, shut up.
      Carpenter: Hey, you started it.
  • To Serve Man: Referenced with the book "How to Serve Your Fellow Man," under the category "Cannibalism," by the Monkey Island cannibal Lemonhead.
  • To the Pain:
  • Tradesnark™:
    • The Junior Ultra Soldier Commando Assault Vehicle™, Nintendo™, and Stretchy Strongman™ Guybrush played with as a kid.
    • iMUSE™ and SCUMM™ in the credits.
    • Seagull™ appears courtesy of LOOM™ in the credits.
    • A sign™ in the jungle on Dinky Island.
  • Trilogy Creep: The Phatt City Library has the books "When I Blew Up LeChuck," "Where I Blew Up LeChuck," and "Why I Blew Up LeChuck" by Guybrush Threepwood, each described as "One of Threepwood's worst," and "Why People Shouldn't Write Trilogies, "Why People Won't Read Trilogies," and "Why People Write Trilogies Anyway" by Simon Finklebirth, under the category "Trilogies."
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Early versions allowed Guybrush to get the 6000 pieces of eight needed to hire Kate Capsize one at a time by polishing the peg leg of one of the Men of Low Moral Fiber.note  Doing this bypassed learning the trick to winning the spitting contest, which was later needed to escape from a death trap. The special edition fixes this by capping the number of pieces of eight Guybrush could earn this way far, far lower.
  • Universal Eyeglasses: An early puzzle in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge requires Guybrush to steal Wally the cartographer's monocle,which he can't work without. You later have to replace it — with the focusing lens from a model lighthouse, which is of course a perfect match.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: There are several cruel and mandatory actions to advance the plot, but releasing Kate from prison after you frame her for your actions and get her ass thrown to jail is completely optional if you've already made use of her services.
  • Walking Spoiler: Discussing Chuckie involves the reveal that LeChuck is Chuckie in disguise, is Guybrush's brother, their parents are still alive, and they are still children who are in an amusement park.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: A very thorough one, which lists everything the player has done so far. And grows longer, and longer, and longer.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: The way to get Elaine to forgive you (until you manage to put your foot in your mouth again, that is) is to grovel as pathetically as possible. Her response when you finally wear her down implies this trope.
    Elaine: Oh, Guybrush, I know I shouldn't have anything to do with you, but there's something about your weakness and ineptitude that I find infecteous!
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Guybrush the dog. (This is one of the numerous Indiana Jones references in the series, as George Lucas had a dog named Indiana.)
  • Wham Line: "I am your brother!"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The fate of Largo LaGrande after the Fortress explosion is also bizarrely unknown, even 3 games after his last appearance. Intriguingly, the Special Edition has re-opened this question somewhat. In the original version, the fortress was utterly obliterated by the blast, making it seem as if Largo had been blown to smithereens. The Special Edition version on the other hand just has one of the fortress's side walls collapsing, increasing the chances of Largo surviving. So far, the only place where Largo's fate has been so much as discussed was an April Fool's Day gag with the World of Monkey Island website, where "leaked" audio files from a new Monkey Island game included dialogue for Largo. And of course the ultimate example: "What was the secret of Monkey Island™?"
    • We also don't find out what happened to Wally for the rest of the game. A scene that didn't make it into the final game would have shown him dropping his monocle into shark-infested water, then falling in trying to retrieve it, but it was cut because the developers themselves finally took pity on him.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Guybrush has to wear a "beautiful" pink dress to get into the costume party, though neither he nor anyone else seems to think it unusual.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: "Because we had an extra disk."
  • A Winner Is You: Using the "win the game" cheat (Ctrl+Alt+W) gives you one of a flat "You win! You scored 800/800 points" screen instead of the real ending. Roll credits. Governor Marley still appears in The Stinger, but instead of loudly pondering over whether Guybrush has been cursed by LeChuck, she simply wonders what she's doing standing next to this big hole.
  • You Bastard!: Wally's dialogue after you steal his monocle is really depressing, and you will have a hard time to not feel like an utterly bad and mean person about leaving him in his blinded state, especially when he talks about how he will "die blind, hungry and alone," followed by "I have never hurt anyone." At least you eventually have to replace it.
    • This also happens when you get the cook fired from the bar, when you cut loose the hotel owner's lizard, when you saw off the pirate's pegleg, when you frame Kate Capsize, and when you steal the barkeep's monkey. Guybrush really was a true pirate in this game - he was not afraid to do something really sociopathic to help achieve his own goals.
      • But only to other pirates. Almost all the really rotten things Guybrush can do are done in Woodtick (or to Stan), which is explicitly noted to be "a place where a pirate can be a pirate". And the ones he rips off who aren't scurvy as hell are the ones he can make amends with (you can spring Kate from prison and give Wally a new monocle).
  • Xylophones for Walking Bones: Guybrush suffers a Disney Acid Sequence in which the skeletons of his parents dance and sing to a jaunty xylophone rendition of "Dem Bones".
  • Younger Than They Look: Assuming what little we know about the series' sense of time is canon note , Guybrush is only nineteen years old in this game. Compare his design to how he looks in later games, where he's actually older, and you'll find yourself raising eyebrows.

I hope LeChuck hasn't cast some horrible SPELL over him or anything


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Monkey Island 2


Zoiks, Walt!

In a spoof video based on "Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge", Guybrush (as Fred), Elaine (as Daphne), Wally (as Velma), Herman Toothrot (as Shaggy), and Walt the Dog (as Scooby) unmask the Zombie Pirate LeChuck, who turns out to be the shopkeeper of Melee Island.


How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpoofyDoo

Media sources: