Tales of Monkey Island: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood




Genre:   Adventure

Developer & Publisher:    Telltale Games & LucasArts

Released:  November 2009

PC Requirements:   Windows XP / Vista, Pentium 4 Processor, 512MB RAM, 64MB Video card, DirectX 9.0c


Additional Screenshots





by Looney4Labs


"The charges are stupid. And believe me, I know from stupid." Guybrush

Tales of Monkey Island: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood (Trial) is the fourth of five planned chapters in Telltale Games’ episodic adventure. Therefore, if you have not played the three preceding chapters, you might want to quit reading now and skip to the short list at the end in order to avoid spoilers.

In the first three, we’ve seen LeChuck transform from a villainous, undead pirate into a charming and handsome man while Guybrush, Elaine, and many other pirates became infected with the vile Pox of LeChuck. Guybrush sets out to find a remedy, all the while hunted by the beautiful and curvaceous Morgan LeFlay, mighty pirate hunter. Meanwhile Elaine accompanies LeChuck as he attempts to atone for some of his formerly wicked ways. Morgan and Guybrush form a tenuous friendship while aiding a giant manatee in his quest for a mate.

Chapter Three rolls to an end with a stunning betrayal, and chapter four, Trial, begins a few moments later. The simpering and flagitious Marquis De Singe triumphantly takes charge of Guybrush. But his victorious celebration is cut short as a riotous crowd of LeChuck-poxed pirates arrive. Our Mighty Pirate™ is “rescued” from De Singe’s evil clutches only to be placed on trial for heinous crimes committed earlier while on Flotsam Island.

From here, the story twists, turns, gyrates, and along the way, reveals some previously unknown and ultimately, eye-popping information. Guybrush must defend himself from these not-so-serious charges, rescue Elaine, and cure the LeChuck-poxed pirates before they are totally consumed by its malevolence.

“It’s not every building that can pull off that ‘ship-backed-into-it’ look.” Guybrush

Trial delivers the same colorful cartoon graphics, upbeat atmospheric music and immersive ambient sounds as its predecessors. I particularly enjoyed satisfying my curiosity as to what lay behind those courtroom doors, and loved the Peter Pan influence found in the décor of Club 41. And who wouldn’t love a chandelier complete with a grog-swilling but very dead pirate monkey? Every home should have one.

The crowd sounds during the courtroom scenes were immersive. Behind the music, one hears onlookers coughing and sniffing and shuffling their feet. Outside the courtroom, the infamous Flotsam Island winds howl desolately.

“And by the ‘Marquis De Singe’ I mean the incredible pain in my fundament.” Guybrush

Along with many known characters such as the Voodoo Lady, Jacques the magnetic monkey, and D’Oro, avid collector of Porcelain Power Pirates, Trial introduces us to some new colorfully quirky characters. My favorite is the skeletal court stenographer. Who could be more perfect for a Monkey Island tale?

Though Stan appeared in all the classic Monkey Island games, he was new to me. His wildly gesturing arms, cheesy grin, and tapping foot--not to mention his annoyingly flashy blue plaid jacket--make him quite memorable. Here, he appears not only in his traditional salesman role, but also as the unrelentingly cheerful prosecuting attorney. The Right Honorable Judge Wallace P. Grindstump, or W. P. as he is known in Club 41 where he also tends bar and plays darts, is a hoot. His gravelly voice suits him admirably. Indeed, the voice acting continues its across-the-board excellence.

“La La La La…Not talking to you about it.” Stan

Most of the characters are chatty, so it is a good thing that the writing is waggish, witty, whimsical and liberally sprinkled with references to “piratized” modern icons such as “Ye Bay.” Though it can be clicked through or even skipped, most of the time you’ll want to listen as it may contain a clue to what Guybrush needs to do next.

“I’ve got a plan to break out of this joint, but I need your help to smuggle in a wombat and two sticks of string cheese.” Guybrush

As in the prior episodes, the puzzles are mostly inventory based and fit into the story as long as you view them through Monkey-Island-colored glasses. I don’t know if the puzzles in Trial actually were more logical, or if they just seemed that way. Perhaps I’ve become accustomed to Monkey Island rational? You’ll also need to solve a riddle or six. However, these are fairly clued and only one of the bunch made my brain hurt.

Though there are no sound puzzles, there is one that uses sound to indicate that each step in a multistep challenge is correct. There are no color dependent conundrums, no sliders, no mini-games, and no timed or action sequences. Though missing any difficult mazes, the jungle setting might call mazes to mind if you are a geographically challenged (ok, perpetually lost) gamer like me.

“No worries, mate.” Bailiff Hardtack

Trials is an adventure game told from the third person perspective and controlled by keyboard, point and drag, and sometimes, point and click. Directing Guybrush, while still occasionally awkward, was smoother this time around, which is likely due more to my becoming accustomed to the controls than to any changes in the engine.

Plenty of options allow the gamer to customize the gaming experience. For instance, I always appreciate the ability to adjust background music, voice, and ambient sounds independently as I can in Trial. In addition, the frequency of hints given via the dialogue is adjustable and pop-up text and subtitles can be turned on or off. Also, this game can be played in a window if desired.

As in the past chapters, saves are unlimited and at will, though you cannot name them. The game auto saves after certain actions, and it is Alt+Tab friendly.

I experienced no glitches or crashes while playing.

“Truly, these are the best of times.” W.P.

I very much enjoyed the five hours I spent with Tales of Monkey Island: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood. The story beguiled, amused, and surprised me. Aside from Stan’s befuddling jacket, the cartoony graphics are clear. The voice acting is excellent as are the background music and sound effects. The puzzles were something all puzzles should be---fun. Though Guybrush may sometimes be klutzy to move, the interface is easy to use, and the game is stable. I am very much looking forward to finding out what happens next.

Grade: A


Fourth episode of five planned chapters

Third person, 3-D adventure game

Evolving story which contains more than a few surprises

Cartoon style graphics

Eccentric characters

Inventory and logic puzzles

No color dependent challenges, mazes, sliders, or mini-games

One puzzle uses sound to confirm the steps in a multistep puzzle

Excellent voice acting, ambient sounds, background music

Alt+Tab friendly

Voice, music, and special effects independently adjustable

Saves at will and unlimited

Movement by WASD or mouse

Alt+Tab friendly

Can be played windowed

No glitches


The game was played on a computer with the following specifications:


OS: Win XP Professional SP3

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU @ 2.40 GHz

Ram: 3.25GB Dual Channel DDR2 667 w/ECC 2-DIMMs

Gx card: nVidia GE Force 8800 GTS

Sound card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Music

Tales of Monkey Island can be purchased via download from the Telltale Games website.

November, 2009

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