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
“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
“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
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.”
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
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.
Fourth episode of five planned
Third person, 3-D adventure
Evolving story which contains
more than a few surprises
Cartoon style graphics
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
Voice, music, and special
effects independently adjustable
Saves at will and unlimited
Movement by WASD or mouse
Can be played windowed
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
Sound card: Creative Labs Sound
Blaster X-FI Xtreme Music
Tales of Monkey Island can be purchased via download from the
Telltale Games website.