Escape From Monkey Island, LucasArts' 2000 Pirate-themed adventure title, is the fourth game in the Monkey Island series, and once again follows the voyages of the not-so-swashbuckling sarcastic adventurer Guybrush Threepwood as he attempts to finally lay to rest his posthumous ghost-pirate adversary LeChuck, and outwit the frantically franchising Ozzie Mandrill, Australian Pirate-hater and tycoon of the Caribbean.
Upon returning from their honeymoon, newly-wed pirate couple Guybrush Threepwood and Elaine Marley, governor of Melee Island, return home to find Elaine has been declared officially dead, and her position of governor revoked. With the election imminent, the lead candidate Charles L. Charles appears to have the Island within the grasp of his control, and only Guybrush Threepwood is capable of stopping him and returning Elaine to her rightful position as governor (whilst also uncovering a diabolical scheme led by new villain Ozzie Mandrill to see all of the surrounding islands Pirate-free by law, making way for Starbuccaneers, Planet Threepwood, and other such piratey pop-culture tourist attractions to infect the entire Caribbean with Western Consumer Capitalism, destroying the Monkey Island pirate ethos forever).
Meanwhile Charles L. Charles turns out to be more than just a politician, LeChuck makes a remarkable return to the series, standing once again between Guybrush and his dream of a quiet, slightly swashbuckling but not too dangerous lifestyle with Elaine at his side, and the hunt for the Ultimate Insult envelopes the minds of anyone who's ever sailed the seven seas.
Despite being labeled a Point-and-Click adventure game, LucasArts' Escape From Monkey Island can be said to have avoided this categorisation, if only on the surface. The new millennium had little time for the adventure genre, and so the development team scrapped all mouse-controlled elements altogether, choosing to implement the GrimE engine, which relied on use of the keyboard or a joystick to move characters. Guybrush (now fully three dimensional, what with the new millennium and everything) is now subject to up-down-left-right arrows, and page-up page-down options that flash up at the bottom of the screen whenever an interactive object comes into the required proximity.
The classic Monkey Island "Insult Swordfighting" is briefly revived during the earlier parts of the game. "Insult Arm-Wrestling" and a futile Insult Swordfight against Ozzie Mandrill are examples of the game's comic and frivolous roots, which carry over from the previous games into the fourth installment.
In-Jokes & References
When Guybrush returns to Mêlée Island, he is shocked to discover that the famous SCUMM Bar has been renovated and renamed The LUA Bar. This refers to the mixed fan reaction toward the introduction of the GrimE engine in Lucasarts' previous adventure game, Grim Fandango. The GrimE engine is built on the LUA programming language, a popular lightweight scripting language.
When the Playstation 2 version was released in 2001, Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the review score of 9 out of ten. Jeanne Kim wrote, "...Classic Q&A-style storytelling, mind-joggingly scrupmtious puzzles, zany wit and over-the-top silliness, plus visual candy that'll strip your saliva glands bare from all juices, await for the willing gamer... the pop culture-heavy humor that is Monkey Island tends to go a bit overboard at times... Overall, you really can't go wrong with this finale to a LucasArts legacy...".