If there’s one game genre packed to the giddiest of rafters with sneaky and cheeky little hidden gems, it’s adventure games. By the very nature of the pointing and the clicking, there’s the potential for games designers to hide all kinds of appealing jokes, items, facts or tidbits of lore among their dense and beautifully rendered scenery.
Yet the truest adventure game Easter Eggs are those tucked deepest in the code, where even the most experienced of players may never plan to look. Having played these games all my life, I’ve stumbled across a fair few of these from time to time, yet there are some that eluded my notice even until the most recent of playthroughs in the last couple of years.
The Monkey Island series is such a curious and long-lasting franchise that it’s had plenty of opportunities to dip into its past. Heck, there are plenty of adventure games more than happy to pay Monkey Island homage too, some more overtly than others.
Yet the above screenshot is just one secret gag in Curse of Monkey Island. There’s another, even more hidden Easter Egg in Guybrush’s third adventure that was so deeply buried and tucked away that I didn’t experience it for myself until well into adulthood, and only when I was told it was there by someone else.
Potential Curse of Monkey Island spoilers below!
You have been warned!
We’re gonna do it!
You’re gonna see it!
Okay, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
You’re playing with fire, guy!
You’re gonna get burned!
You’re on the edge!
Turn back if you don’t want spoilers!
Alright, here goes then!
Our favourite adventure game Easter Egg iiiis…
In Curse of Monkey Island, Guybrush sets out to reach Blood Island and, as is his way, gets up to all kinds of shenanigans. The beach of Blood Island is dark and moody, and the only way to cross the water to nearby Skull Island (or Duck Island, depending who you ask) is with the ferryman.
If you ask Guybrush to cross the water himself, he refuses. One sentence, shuts the idea down. He doesn’t want to get into the water. He absolutely refuses. No, seriously. Stop clicking on it.
If you insist on clicking on the water enough…
Guybrush agrees to go in, steps inside and… walks into a scene from The Secret of Monkey Island where he has drowned. Given this is the only place in Secret you can even die, and only by trying extremely hard not to solve the puzzle, it’s sort of a double Easter Egg – a scene you might not have even witnessed in The Secret of Monkey Island, which Guybrush is now witnessing for himself in Curse via an Easter Egg so fiendish that I never found this scene during gameplay at all, throughout childhood or young adulthood.
Unbelievable! I only ever saw it for myself a couple of years ago! But let’s not dwell on the space-time ramifications of Guybrush encountering a past version of himself who appears to have died, or the fact he doesn’t seem to recognise himself. I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation that’s only mildly headache-inducing.
Still, it’s ingenious, and I love it. My favourite Easter Egg in an adventure game ever. What’s yours?