“Monkey Island 1,5: The Secret of Mêlée Island” preview

 As you have read in the prologue, in this issue we reveal “the secret project”. And, as you have seen the cover and screenshots, it will be tremendous.

            The plot, though, remains a secret. All we know is that it will be concentrated on Mêlée Island and will take place between the first and the second games.

            The graphics are very similar to the first two Monkey Island games. The sprites and animations also. On the whole they are one of the best I’ve seen in an amateur adventure game.

            The sound will keep the original atmosphere from the famous series. The Caribbean tunes will live on again.

            The game will be out really soon. The only thing left at this point is scripting. Alas, the game will not be as long as the other monkey islands. As I’ve heard, it will be as long as Mêlée Island in the first one of the saga.

            Now I leave you to the creators of this game, Farlander, N3tgraph and Barcik.


Ezine: Tell us a bit more about yourselves – where you live, what you like



Juan “Farlander” Ayala: I´m from Benidorm, Spain… I am studying for finishing the two remaining subjects of my degree in Tourism.


Boris – “Barcik”: I live in Rishon LeZion, Israel. My major fields are computers and physics, and I intend to follow that line in the future (if the army doesn’t interfere).


Jan “N3tgraph” Kuipers: I live in a tiny village in Holland called Hantum, I’m studying for programmer but things aren’t going that well so we’ll see what my profession will be eventually :P. My main hobbie is making music and listening to it.


Ez: Who does what in this project?

J: I am the author of storyline, ripping and making some of the art, including the original animations. Scotch helped me in some backgrounds and in some characters.


B: I am the programmer in this project. Everything besides Proskrito’s basic LEC template in this game is scripted by me, including all interactions, dialog etc. Besides, I have helped Nacho in co-writing the story, providing critism where it was needed. As I need to script the whole thing I occasionally come across parts I think can be improved. So I tell my opinion to Nacho, and if he agrees with me then we redo it.


N: I’m originally part of the team for the music and the sounds, but I once helped Farlander with some dialogs and so he crowned me to Dialog Maker and Editor. I also help with the storyline from time to time, by adding jokes which is kind of logical when making dialogs 😛


J: We´ve all collaborated in the jokes!


Ez: Which was the first adventure game you played and at what age?


J: Indiana Jones and the last crusade… I maybe was 12 or 13…


N: The first Adventure game I played was Larry 1, when I was about 9 or 10 I think, I didn’t understand much of it that time, due my bad English. But I did learn a shit load of English thanks to cartoon network and mainly adventure games. The first adventure game I played AND understood must have been the Day of the Tentacle.


B: As far as I remember, Leisure Suit Larry 1 was the first one for me as well. As for the age, I don’t remember.


Ez: Which adventure games are your favourite and why(both commercial and



J: Same question as in mittens! Well… It was forbidden to say Monkey Island… Now it´s not, so… Day of the Tentacle. Hehe…


The graphics and the plot, jumping from the past to future and all that… Amazing. As for freeware… Pleurghburg… Need to say more? 😛


B: Grim Fandango is my all time favourite. This is a true master-piece of gaming, as close to inch-perfect as one get. Great characters, amazing humour, lovely story and some wonderful puzzles.

As for a freeware adventure, I agree with both my partners here. Pleurghburg is my favourite, for it’s neat puzzles and great atmosphere.


N: Hmmm, tough call, since I like a LOT of adventure games. I think the best adventure game would be Monkey Island 2, because being a pirate is very cool! Yarr! But MI2 would be very closely followed by Day of the Tentacle and I also loved full throttle and Sam and max and the Larry series. Freeware games, hmm, Pleurghburgh was very very good and probably the most successful free-adventure game. But I’m really looking forward to Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth.


Ez: Why exactly a “Monkey Island” fangame?

J: Well… It is what almost all the newbies want! But I PMed Barcik and explained him the storyline. It seems he liked it! I think that many people feel that there is a gap between “The secret” and “The revenge”, I really wanted to fill that.


N: Well I don’t think I can add much to that, since it’s Farlanders Idea, what I can say is that many many forums have people who discuss  ending theories, which is rather annoying I think… Because it always ends in fights :P. This game answers most unclear questions I think.


B: Nacho is holding my family at gun point.

Well, seriously, I agree with Jan and Nacho. There is an unclear gap between the first and second Monkey Island games, and this game provides our shot at what really is there.


Ez: What projects was each of you been involved in before this one?

J: Mmm… A Xmas eve tale… The first SCOOBAR project, a mags game. I do concept art for future projects, but nothing else.


B: I have initiated A Xmas Eve Tale for December X-MAGS 2002, my first game (I’ve done some plans for another one before, but I shelved it for now). I designed it, and Nacho did all the artwork. It won the 2nd place! Err… out of two that is. Well, at least I can boast with one of the hardest puzzles in AGS history. 😛


N: Well, I did make a tune for the XMax eve tale, for the rest I made some random tunes for varioius games, but I didn’t make anything concrete yet, so you can say this one makes me lose my virginity 😉


Ez: When did you start working on the project?

J: Eeer… As soon as I become an AGSer, probably in March 2003 or something…


B: I started around that period as well, when Nacho approached me with the idea.


N: I think I also started during that period, I don’t know really.


Ez: How many hours of work per day do you put in it?

J: The trick is to make a little everyday, maybe 1 or 2 fairly unproductive hours, with the #AGS going and all, fighting with that arse Vel XD


N: Hmm not that much actually. I’m a very busy lad, but the spare time I do have I spend on AGS and my Music, I think about 4 productive hours a week


B: I am very much the reason this game has been progressing in crawling pace so far, but the situation has become much better recently. I am able to make much more time for it nowadays, and it comes up to about 2-3 hours of work every 2nd day.


Ez: What is your motivation?

J:  I felt really motivated when after a deep talk with Barcik we reached to a which, in my opinion is, a good storyline. 


N: Monkey Island!!! I mean, come on!!


B: For this game, of course Monkey Island. We try to follow the original atmosphere as much as possible. For example, we try to put Ron Gilbert-style jokes in the game, so that the game will feel similar to the original.


Ez: What will the plot be like?

J: Well… Guybrush, Melêe Island… and Elaine discovering that she´s not actually in love with him.


Elaine will purpose as a condition for marrying with Guybrush something that in her opinion is impossible to accomplish, discovering the REAL SECRET of MELÊE ISLAND. Of course, nothing is impossible for Guybrush, and we will be involved into a so much complicated plot with voodoo, time travels, ghosts…


N: If I’d tell you that, I’d probably have to kill you!

No, we really like to keep that secret, for the surprise reaction.


B: The secret is that *gunshot*.


Ez: What encounters will Guybrush have with characters from previous games?

J:  Eeer… previous? Remember there is only one previous game! There will be some “cameos” to historical or fictional characters, such as Jack Sparrow… Let me not reveal more!


N: Well, you could say LeChuck plays a role in it


B: And some Melee Island citizens!


Ez: What will the main features of the game be?

J:  We´re trying to “copy” the original humour of the series, making the jokes as they originally were made… having fun ourselves!


N: We want to create the illusion that you are playing a game really made by LucasArts (c), so I’m looking very close to the use of words and dialogs so I can try to copy the great atmosphere that is Monkey Island.


B: We are focusing on puzzles mixed with humour, as the original creators did.


Ez: Are you not afraid that LucasArts will close your project like they did

to Scurvyliver’s “Fate of monkey island” series?

J: We want to finish a game for pleasure… The distribution is some other story, but one of the chances is to distribute it in secrecy. Of course, we hope that the game will be spread as powder between the community members before having problems.


B: Yes, the possibility does bother us, but this is a game we want to make. And besides, how could we be “underground” if we hadn’t done anything illegal? 😛


N: I am a bit concerned about that fact yes, but as Farlander said, the most important audience is the AGS community, so I think the spreading of the game will only start when most AGS members downloaded it.


Ez: Why did you keep the project secret for so long?

J: Fear of Lucas´ Lawyers! Hehe.. Nope… I´m tired to see Thrilling threads of BIG PROJECTS!… that are never done. We discovered the secret as soon as we noticed that we were going to finish it.


B: Also, we actually wanted to show something when we unveiled it.


N: Yeah, we wanted to see some results before the bragging ;). Although the completion of the game is far from done actually.


Ez: When it is due to be released?

J: Probably in the Xmas of the 2003. The luck is that Boris is Jewish, and he won´t have holidays during that days, so, he´ll be able to work hard if we´re late! XD


B: Hey, there’s Hannukah!


N: Hard to tell, I personally hate deadlines, so there ;).


Ez: Do you play AGS games often?

J: Eeeer… Look! A three headed monkey!


B: I played a decent amount of AGS games, but I haven’t played them recently, and in truth it quite bothers me. Well, I’ll catch up when the awards arrive.


N: I have to confess, I didn’t play that much AGS games, the big ones I did play, but the very short ones sometimes annoy me a little bit. It’s okay to create them, I’m working on small things too from time to time, but I think that there shouldn’t be that much in the Short Game list.


Ez: Do you consider that some AGS games can be sold as commercial titles in


J:  There is a big problem… If you make a big game with 150 rooms, with a nice storyline and music… You won´t probably have time to make “Suitable for commercial standards” graphics (I.E. Dark Ages). If you make a game with astonishing graphics.. You won´t probably have time for making it long. (I.E. Norman Cook).


There is not enough time to do it alone, we´re amateurs! That´s why I like group projects. But, in my opinion, if we had the resources, there is enough talent in the community, if we work together, to make the BEST MODERN ADVENTURE GAME in the world!


N: Heh good question. I think it’s possible to sell your game commercial like, but you can never ask more then 8 euros, because like Farlander said, we can’t cope with all the graphical techniques. You can buy Day of the Tentacle for 10 euros in stores in a city near my house. Try to sell your amateur game for 30 euros. Good luck, I’d say.


B: If we were to go commercial, Lucasarts’ would put a contract on us. Also, an adventure game, especially an amateur one, will probably not sell well.


Ez: Will adventure games ever be back to the main scene in your opinion?

J: Dark Ages… Indiana Foy… The Secret of Melêe Island, hehe…


N: I have to confess, that I don’t think so. Kids want multiplayer and casualities and score and clans. Adventure games don’t have those aspects, and making graphics better doesn’t work, look at FT2.


B: I was able to predict where the market would shift, I would be a millionaire. Unfortunately, I can’t.


Ez: What are your future projects?

J: I really like to work with Darth Mandarb in a pirates simulator game, but I need to know if some essential arcades can be made with AGS. If not, I´ll start “High School Quest”, a game in a “saved by the bell” atmosphere.


N: I want to make a game based on music, and I’ll make all you AGSsers ROCK AND ROLL freaks!!! *plays air guitar


B: A secret one.


Ez: Do you think that someday you will work as a game designer?

J:  No, honestly not. It should be some strange lucky strike, as happened with Harrison Ford for performing Han Solo in “Star Wars”…


Well, If George reads this… I´d really like to fix the disaster your employees have made with the Monkey Island Series.


N: Well, I AM studying for programmer, but I’d probably have to move to America, and that I don’t want so probably not, but hell, que sera!


B: I sure hope so, but there are plenty of difficulties. One is that according to my plans I will only be out of the army aged 28. L


Ez: Anything more you would like to add?

J: No.


N: Don’t forget to turn on your radio! And watch the hitlists for my name 😉




Ez: Thanks for your time.

J: You’re welcome.


N: No problemo.


B: Ditto.


1 Comment

  1. giocherellone said,

    December 18, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Hi to everyone! 🙂
    Excuse me… I’m a fan of the Monkey Island saga, and I’m happy to see a lot of fan creating fangames!
    Some news about this game (Monkey Island 1,5: The Secret of Mêlée Island)?
    If it has been completed, is possible to have a copy?
    Sorry for my English (I’m not so good…)
    Thanks to everyone!
    Peace and Wellness…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: