When LucasFilm Games (now called LucasArts) first started, it was small and consisted of only a few adventure games. Games such as Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken. Monkey Island 1 was the third adventure game by LucasArts, a game inspired by the Pirates of the Carribean Walt Disney World theme park ride. It was created and designed by none other than the famous Ron Gilbert who went on to work on Sam and Max Hit the Road and Day of the Tentacle. Steve Purcell, (creator and designer of the well-loved characters Sam, the Bogart speaking dog detective and Max, the hyper psychotic rabbity thing), also created some of the backgrounds and animations in this game. The fabulous music and theme songs were designed by the great and talented musicians of Earwax Productions. The LucasFilm company was the first to incorporate the SCUMM scripting system, which would later be followed by some of the greatest adventure games to hit the market: Broken Sword, Beneath a Steel Sky, and many more. The game was made in 1990, and was a smash hit when it entered stores.
The story is one of the best in the adventure game market, and I personally find it flawless. No doubts about it. It incorporated humor throughout the entire game, and anyone playing it will be laughing from the time they start the game to the time they finish it. You play the role of Guywood Threepbrush, uh, I mean, Guybrush Threepwood, a young boy who washes up on the shores of Melee Island, and decides he wants to become a pirate. He finds the nearest pirate leaders, who just happen to be in the nearest bar drinking grog, and asks that they enlist him in their pirate crew. They agree to do so on one condition - that he beats the three pirate trials which consist of: finding the Treasure of Melee Island, fighting the Sword master of Melee Island in a daring insult sword fighting duel, and stealing the sacred treasure out of the governor's mansion. Guybrush meets the governor, a beautiful and rich woman named Elaine Marley and falls head over heels in love. But before he can do anything about it, she is kidnaped by an undead corpse pirate named LeChuck and his bony skeleton crew, and whisked away to their hideout under the cursed, cannibal-ridden Monkey Island. He must get a crew together and rescue his damsel in distress before LeChuck makes her his bride.
This game has the biggest GUI I've ever seen! The GUI is ridden with commands, but none you haven't seen before. It is the same as in the adventure games Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders. The inventory is displayed by the GUI, and is easily accessible. There is a wide range of commands consisting of: Look, Walk, Pick up, Push, Pull, Turn on, Turn off, Give, Use, Open, Close, and Talk to. You may access the in-game menu by pressing F5, from where you can Load, Save, and Quit. As in all adventure games, if you get stuck, search everywhere, talk to everyone, and try to pick up everything. And believe me, everything has a really funny comment behind it, so do everything.
The music in the game is wonderful, certainly worthy of a movie soundtrack or an Oscar nomination, even for midi music. You probably won't get through the game without hearing some masterpiece of music. My personal favorites were the theme song played at the title screen, the song played when each of the new story parts screen comes up, and LeChuck's theme song. The puzzles in the game are by no means easy, and should be a little difficult even for veterans of Sierra's games. The graphics are simply stunning for the time it was made, and even for pixels, it borders on the realistic. Definitely worthy of an award. Another thing I liked about this game is the fact it doesn't have the annoying pixel hunt you normally see. The cursor displays the name of the hotspot when it crosses over it, telling you where it is.
I loved this game. When I first popped it into my CD drive, I figured it would be another average adventure that wouldn't be able to call itself better than Space Quest. Boy, was I wrong! I couldn't believe my eyes and ears, this game was amazing! I have probably replayed this game 100 times without getting tired of it. So as I find this game to be one of the greatest adventure games, I think it is especially deserving of a 100 score. But since the Abandonia score only goes as high as a 5, I'll give it a 5. You should get and play this game as fast as you can!