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Video Game / Return to Mysterious Island

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Return to Mysterious Island is a point-and-click adventure game made by Kheops Studio and The Adventure Company. It is a loosely-connected sequel to Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island.

Mina, a young sailor, is shipwrecked on the titular mysterious island during a storm. Hungry and entirely cut off from civilization, she begins to explore the island. At first, the game mostly revolves around her survival, but gradually, a bigger plot begins to form...

A sequel called Mina's Fate was released in 2009. Both games can be bought on Steam, and the first game is also available on GOG.

Contains the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: The plot is initiated by Mina's attempt to sail around the world on her own. By the end of the game, she's shooting robots.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: With no training, Jep can tie secure knots to anchor rope ladders, take clay impressions from engraved inscriptions, open a panel with a screwdriver, fly a kite, and air-surf on a steampunk hover pad. One of the monkeys in the sequel knows how to paint coherent pictures, not just the abstract smears typical of Real Life painting simians.
  • Androcles' Lion: The second game opens with Jep saving Mina from drowning after she's been struck unconscious, similarly to how she saved him from his peers' bullying.
  • Beneath Notice: One of the endgame tasks can only be solved by invoking this trope. The servant robot asks Mina to identify the oldest weapon stored in the Nautilus (a fact only Captain Nemo would know) and won't let her read the explanatory plaques hung beside each weapon. So Mina sends her pet monkey over to the plaques with a lump of wet clay, which he imprints on each plaque and brings back to Mina.
    • Similarly, one of the guardian robots doesn't notice that it's hovering right in front of a medieval-era cannon.
  • Buried Treasure: Mina can uncover a chest of old coins while digging up turtle eggs to eat.
  • Canon Welding: Continuing in the mode Jules Verne himself established, the sequel game adds elements of From the Earth to the Moon to The Mysterious Island's existing connection to 20,000 Leagues.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: After Mina enters Granite House, the plot shifts into high gear.
  • Coconut Meets Cranium: Subverted; Mina has a close call while walking along the beach, as a coconut thumps to the ground right behind her.
  • Cool Boat: The Nautilus, creepy and dilapidated as it is.
  • Cosmetic Award: Accumulating high Scoring Points unlocks concept art.
  • Cutting the Knot: You can unlock the cliffs' security lasers by doing a puzzle...or you can synthesize dynamite and blow them up. Or bypass the lasers entirely by using a lightning arrester.
    • You can scare the monkey gang away with a slingshot...or you can rebuild the windmill steps and sneak up on them. The latter way is much faster.
    • You can earn the servant robot's trust by correctly answering a cryptic quiz...or you can play the game's theme on Nemo's pipe organ.
  • Disposable Pilot: The rescue-chopper pilot who arrives to collect Mina at the end of the first game is an early casualty of the sequel.
  • Due to the Dead: Captain Nemo appears to Mina in a dream and requests that she give him a proper burial. If the player so chooses, she can...and is rewarded with a huge black pearl.
    "A present for you..."
  • Dung Fu: Although it's not explicitly called dung, the gang of monkeys in the second game throw ... something ... brown and sticky at Mina to discourage her from crossing the temple chamber.
  • Foreshadowing: The island's horizon is marked by bright vertical lines. They indicate the presence of Nemo's barrier dividing Lincoln Island from the outside world.
    • The jaguar whose tracks Mina sees in the mud in the first game shows up in the sequel.
  • Happy Ending Override: In the sequel, Mina's escape from the island is derailed by volcanic debris that breaks her helicopter. And the only two endings involve a Sadistic Choice between going home (which doesn’t even work and results in a Downer Ending where Jep dies of illness) or preserving the island life (which does work, resulting in a Bittersweet Ending where Mina must live out her life on the island).
  • Martial Pacifist: Mina is one; she refuses to use lethal weapons (such as the gun or bow) on animals, but the Nautilus' very hostile robots are a different story. Fortunately, the game provides a plethora of non-lethal options to deal with pests.
    "I'm going to have to get this animal out without killing it."
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: For the first two thirds of the game, it's ambiguous whether Captain Nemo really exists, or is just a dream/hallucination.
  • Mysterious Watcher: In the opening, Mina is woken by a humanoid shadow over her. Some time later, she sees a strange man looking down on her from Granite House. Both times it's Captain Nemo.
  • Public Domain Canon Welding: The game is something of a distant sequel to The Mysterious Island, as it focuses on a new character discovering Captain Nemo's skeleton and long-abandoned ship. The character, a sailor named Mina, is strongly implied to be descended from him somehow.
  • Retcon: Lincoln Island was not destroyed in a volcanic eruption, that was just a lie the castaways used to preserve Nemo's privacy.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: One of the first things the player makes will be a knife. Which is good, because they'll be using that knife for pretty much everything over the next hour of gameplay.
  • Sleep Cute: After healing Jep, a CG in which he and Mina cuddle together while sleeping is shown.
  • Somewhere, a Herpetologist Is Crying: The sea turtle eggs Mina digs up on the beach are the wrong shape, oval instead of spherical.
  • Take Your Time: Certain Plot Locks will not be triggered until Mina and Jep are sufficiently healthy, but that's the only limitation the survival elements provide.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Mina's watch phone, which ran out of power in the shipwreck.
    • Nemo's "most prized possession" is not any of the priceless historical relics strewn around his ship, but an old sketch of his deceased family.
  • Try Everything: The gameplay's heart and soul. A sufficiently experienced player can make everything from nitric acid to lemon cake. There's usually an obvious solution for plot-relevant puzzles, but extra points are awarded for particularly ingenious combinations.
  • Unsuspectingly Soused: One of the ways you can deal with rogue monkeys is to give them alcohol.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: There are many methods of healing Jep other than feeding him: bandaging his wounds, mixing herbal teas, making a straw mattress for him, etc. Since food items are some of the most versatile ones in the game, those methods reward the player with greater freedom in other sections.
  • Xenofiction: Portions of Mina's Fate are played from Jep the Monkey's POV. He can't combine objects or use fire, but he can interact socially with other monkeys in ways Mina can't.