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Old 03-16-2010, 11:35 AM   #81
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It doesn't matter who it's being created for. There's nothing wrong with the original characters, and your argument makes no sense because they ARE redoing all the art to make it look good in the year 2010. I never suggested the SE should be in 320x200 and have adlib sound did I? Of course they have to modernize it, and they've done just that. But why on earth change the way the characters look? They could easily look like the original characters and still be "modernized". I see no point at all, for new fans or old, in changing the way they look. The game is set in an old Caribbean time, it's not as if the original was set in 1991 and now needs updated characters to be fashionable in 2010.
Well, I'm not saying the character design is dated, I love it. I just don't see why is so hard for some of you to understand the changes (you don't have to like them of course), it's a new version, changes are going to happen.
And I'm puzzled by this... you are really bothered that they changed the character design, but you don't seem to mind at all the fact that they change the music and the sound design (which they do, the music has new arrangements and lots of sounds have been added which weren't there before, affecting the dynamic and experience of the game in doing so). So, you are ok with them significantly changing some things, while other changes are just plain wrong. Don't really get it.

I certainly don't love all the creative decision making on this or previous SE (specially previous), but on the balance of things I see SO MANY positive things on this wonderful releases that I would feel pretty much an ungrateful bastard for criticizing any of it beyond mocking the slightly wrong bits.
Would it have been great if they retained the same character design? sure! but facing the changes I'll be damned if I whine all over them and become an overly-complaining bitch (not that I'm accusing any of you of being one).


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Old 03-16-2010, 12:29 PM   #82
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No that's ok I probably am an overly-complaining bitch!

Thing is, yes the music has changed, but they're still the same tunes. They've made it better using technology that's available now. Same on the background art. It's still the same picture we had before though. I'm sure that if they could, LucasArts would've done it this way in 1991. But would they have done this to the characters?

I highly doubt it.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:05 PM   #83
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Yeah, you have a point there. Probably the reason I don't mind it that much is because Lechuck's design especially, has changed significantly across the different titles (and in some cases in the same title), so I guess I don't have a really defined Lechuck image in my mind.

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Old 03-16-2010, 06:02 PM   #84
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Well, I'm actually somewhat worried about the music just because I'm curious on how well they are going to work with the iMuse transitions since they will now be recorded instruments instead of sequences of bleeps and bloops. Because isn't iMuse set up so that no matter what point in time the music is at, it can start a sequence to transition into the beginning of the song for the next location you skip to? Or is it just there is a preset transition arrangement from all possible locations? If it's the latter, I think they could have just recorded all of the transitions... Even if were the former, I think it's still the only solution available, assuming I actually know what I'm talking about when it comes to iMuse. I'm not sure.

They will (hopefully) still be the same arrangements.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:13 PM   #85
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Well, I'm actually somewhat worried about the music just because I'm curious on how well they are going to work with the iMuse transitions since they will now be recorded instruments instead of sequences of bleeps and bloops.
Woooah that's a good point! I'm no expert either but there have been threads about upgrading the MI2 music which was deemed impossible because of iMuse. Unless they somehow came up with a new way to do it... I hope so. I love those transitions in Woodtick.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:24 PM   #86
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I wouldn't worry about that, as Julian Kwasneski explained in the recent Mojo interview the only reason it wasn't done with instruments back then was because of storage limitations, but iMuse supported recorded audio. I imagine the score itself was composed with that idea in mind, so hopefully we'll enjoy the same transitional wonders in all its instrumental splendor.

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Old 03-16-2010, 06:32 PM   #87
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I wouldn't worry about that, as Julian Kwasneski explained in the recent Mojo interview the only reason it wasn't done with instruments back then was because of storage limitations, but iMuse supported recorded audio. I imagine the score itself was composed with that idea in mind, so hopefully we'll enjoy the same transitional wonders in all its instrumental splendor.
awesome
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:10 PM   #88
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:15 PM   #89
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Wow... The execution is really expertly done!
I thought the voices wouldn't fit, and it would seem all wrong altogether, but boy was I wrong!
Now I'm definitely buying this!


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Old 03-17-2010, 06:20 AM   #90
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I wouldn't worry about that, as Julian Kwasneski explained in the recent Mojo interview the only reason it wasn't done with instruments back then was because of storage limitations, but iMuse supported recorded audio.
Of course, see CoMI!


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Old 03-17-2010, 07:32 AM   #91
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I wouldn't worry about that, as Julian Kwasneski explained in the recent Mojo interview the only reason it wasn't done with instruments back then was because of storage limitations, but iMuse supported recorded audio. I imagine the score itself was composed with that idea in mind, so hopefully we'll enjoy the same transitional wonders in all its instrumental splendor.
Actually, it's a little more complicated than that. There are things that are a lot easier to do in midi than with pre-recorded audio and MI2 takes full advantage of this. I think compromises will have to have been made, but as for how many, we'll have to see. I think we might find out pretty soon.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:57 AM   #92
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Surely you'd have to split the tracks into individual instruments or something... no expert. It's extremely clever though, iMuse, thinking about it now. Amazing stuff for 1991. I'm sure it could be done though, and it's not like filesizes are any kind of problem because the first SE was a billion mb anyway.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:33 AM   #93
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Splitting the files into individual tracks would solve some of the technical hurdles, but not all of them by any means. Changing around instrument arrangement is only one of the tricks that iMUSE employs. Technically everything in MIDI could be at least -approximated- in pre-recorded audio, but it's a hell of a lot of work (and therefore resources) and so it really depends on how much room they had in balancing making a good updated soundtrack against making one very faithful to all of the iMUSE foibles of the original. I'll be interested to know how far they went.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:56 AM   #94
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Actually, it's a little more complicated than that. There are things that are a lot easier to do in midi than with pre-recorded audio and MI2 takes full advantage of this. I think compromises will have to have been made, but as for how many, we'll have to see. I think we might find out pretty soon.
Yeah, that's my understanding, that even though the later Scumm games with digital audio still use iMuse, they aren't fully utilizing it in the way that MI2 does with midi. There are certainly less seamless transitions in the music going on in CMI.

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Surely you'd have to split the tracks into individual instruments or something... no expert. It's extremely clever though, iMuse, thinking about it now. Amazing stuff for 1991. I'm sure it could be done though, and it's not like filesizes are any kind of problem because the first SE was a billion mb anyway.
Yeah, I believe it can be done as well. To me, it's just hoping the SE team does it right, since they didn't do a lot of things right the first time, nor go back and give us all a patch. Apparently, according to a Lucidity player at Idleforums, a patch was promised for that game as well, but they failed to ever issue one.

So, I just hope it's all done right in the first place.

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Splitting the files into individual tracks would solve some of the technical hurdles, but not all of them by any means. Changing around instrument arrangement is only one of the tricks that iMUSE employs. Technically everything in MIDI could be at least -approximated- in pre-recorded audio, but it's a hell of a lot of work (and therefore resources) and so it really depends on how much room they had in balancing making a good updated soundtrack against making one very faithful to all of the iMUSE foibles of the original. I'll be interested to know how far they went.
Do you think with this in mind, would it be possible for the team to do something like record every location transition possible for every point in the game, instead? Would that be hard to do seamlessly? Sorry, I'm really kind of ignorant about midi and everything technical about iMuse outside of it's basic abilities.

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Old 03-17-2010, 01:06 PM   #95
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I don't think it's really that complicated, I don't really know how iMuse or videogame audio engines works, but I have my share of professional audio knowledge and to me that's not extremely hard. Music is now a days tightly sequenced in many genres and MIDI is still used (not the MIDI sounds, but the MIDI data which is what MIDI really is, data.). I could re-create transitions like that using Ableton Live. I actually don't recall the transitions in MI2 at all (but I imagine it blended perfectly the music from one place to the next), so this is another excuse to play it again (all this MI2 talk really makes me want to revisit it). Even in the original MIDI, it was all hand composed I really really doubt there was anything computer generated involved.

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Old 03-17-2010, 01:28 PM   #96
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I don't think it's really that complicated, I don't really know how iMuse or videogame audio engines works, but I have my share of professional audio knowledge and to me that's not extremely hard. Music is now a days tightly sequenced in many genres and MIDI is still used (not the MIDI sounds, but the MIDI data which is what MIDI really is, data.). I could re-create transitions like that using Ableton Live. I actually don't recall the transitions in MI2 at all (but I imagine it blended perfectly the music from one place to the next), so this is another excuse to play it again (all this MI2 talk really makes me want to revisit it). Even in the original MIDI, it was all hand composed I really really doubt there was anything computer generated involved.
Okay, it IS a bit more involved than you remember. The main two things that they need to do like this:

* Ability to bring instruments in and out of the mix as required
Example: riding the coffin to the Voodoo Lady, and the various different configurations of the graveyard music.
Digital Solution: Record all the audio parts required into individual tracks, so that the game can cue them up individually. Possible, certainly, but could bump up file sizes quite considerably, as this sort of trick is used all the time in MI2.

* Seamlessly transition from one piece of music to the next, or one part of the music to the next.
Example: The way when you meet Largo, his theme always ends properly no matter where it is in the music when he leaves, and there are several different possible endings to the music
Digital solution: Several different transitions (or in the case of the example, endings) might need to be recorded, and it would have to be coded so that it waits to transition at particular timecodes in the audio so that it's not sudden and jarring. This is similar to the Midi solution but they will undoubtedly need to do a bit of tinkering to get it work right in digital audio.

The latter would probably be the source of most technical headaches. It's just not that easy to do in audio which is why for CMI they opted, at most, to just crossfade between tracks (to great effect on the rollercoaster).

Think of the pirate song in the middle of CMI. When you click on a new dialogue option to start the next verse, the background music basically quickly crossfades into the next verse, only doing so seamlessly if you manage to click at the right moment.

In MI2 style iMUSE, the midi file has special codes called SYSEX codes embedded in the Midi file. There would be a sysex code for every seamless transition point (say, at the end of every bar) which basically acts as a signal. The player would click on the dialogue and iMUSE would say 'okay, the music is ready to change now, but don't do it until you get the signal!' Or at least that's the general principle. It's very easy to do in MIDI and have it sound totally seamless, but a bit trickier to pull off in pre-recorded audio, which is likely why they didn't bother for CMI.

Maybe they'll try to do it in MI2:SE. If they do, I'll be very happy. There are other things that iMUSE does in MI2 which are even harder to do in pre-recorded audio, but those are the main ones.
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:54 PM   #97
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Woodtick sounds almost like a demo of sorts of what iMuse could do with about 10 or so endings to every boat theme as well as Largo's.

For several of the places where instruments fading in and out, it wouldn't be necessary to split up every instrument into isolated tracks. The only thing that changes in Swamp Rot Inn for example, is the melody line so only 3 separate tracks would be needed to pull it off. Of course, there are the 10 endings each track would need to be completely faithful to the MIDI soundtrack...
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:18 PM   #98
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Haha, this is great stuff, hearing you guys talk about it. The amount of time and work everyone put into the original MI2 is astounding. The way the music works in MI2 has always been fascinating to me. The transitions were noticeable even when I was too young to understand what was going on.

They were even more noticeable when the music failed to transition correctly and I was stuck on an island with the old background music still playing over the top of the new background music, making me have to save and reload. I think ScummVM fixed those problems though, since I didn't experience it once when I played MI2 again that way a couple of years back.

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Old 03-17-2010, 04:44 PM   #99
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They were even more noticeable when the music failed to transition correctly and I was stuck on an island with the old backgrounds music still playing over the top of the new background music, making me have to save and reload. I think ScummVM fixed those problems though, since I didn't experience it once when I played MI2 again that way a couple of years back.
Nope it still happens... last time I played (ScummVM) I was on Booty Island with one hell of a double-tune going on! And if you try to quit and load the game again, it's still there. Good point though... horror.. a flaw in MI2!
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:48 PM   #100
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Yeah, the scripts mess up a bit there. It usually happens if you leave place 1 to go to place 2, then before the music from place 1 has stopped playing, you go to place 3. Imuse ends up with 3 bits of music playing at once there and it tends to get stuck playing the first or second one indefinitely.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:54 PM   #101
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Ah, you're right, just reloading didn't help, I do remember having to quit the game to fix it.

I think I just didn't rapidly take Captain Dread's ship from location to location in Act 2 last time I played, so I just assumed ScummVM fixed it.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:04 PM   #102
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Mmh, very interesting, thanks for the summary SurplusGamer. That does sound more tricky, but it still seems quite possible to me. As most of you probably know, music is recorded almost always into many individual tracks. So if certain transitions call for a specific instrument or set of instruments to remain or fade, it can be done by mixing the music to specific stems of instruments. It does requiere a bit more space than a single stereo file, but not nearly as much as having ALL the individual tracks (which could be up to 24 or more, per piece).

I will certainly play it again soon, now I'm curious about it. I would be quite disappointed if they don't manage to pull it off.

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Old 03-17-2010, 08:44 PM   #103
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Okay, it IS a bit more involved than you remember. The main two things that they need to do like this:
Indeed. Add to that that iMUSE also allowed programmatic transposition of the individual instrument tracks, which was also used some places in MI2 and FOA. Then we're starting to add quite a few CPU cycles to the sound engine. This is, almost for sure, one of the places they'll compromise. And knowing how high the music department is on the budget list on most games these days (which is to say, not very high at all), I have a feeling it will be a lot more compromised than that. I.e., most of what MrC says, is not gonna happen in the Special Edition.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:27 AM   #104
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Some transpositions, like the cook chase, could be done by recording the four or five loops since they're not random. It won't be the same without the music getting more and more insane.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:13 AM   #105
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What gives me hope is that Jesse Harlin seems to have really good instincts for this stuff. Without being a fan of Monkey Island he managed to take the MI1 tunes, update them and in some cases really change them significantly, but without ruining what was great about the tunes in the first place. He really got the style down well, he -gets- it.

For MI2 I feel like he'll need to be much more involved with the construction of the soundtrack and how it actually works in the game, but even if he does have to make compromises as a result of things like budget and time, I have a lot of hope that he'll still be able to capture the essence of what made the soundtrack so great, even if he can't recreate all the complexity.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:19 AM   #106
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What gives me hope is that Jesse Harlin seems to have really good instincts for this stuff. Without being a fan of Monkey Island he managed to take the MI1 tunes, update them and in some cases really change them significantly, but without ruining what was great about the tunes in the first place. He really got the style down well, he -gets- it.

For MI2 I feel like he'll need to be much more involved with the construction of the soundtrack and how it actually works in the game, but even if he does have to make compromises as a result of things like budget and time, I have a lot of hope that he'll still be able to capture the essence of what made the soundtrack so great, even if he can't recreate all the complexity.
That's good to know... especially coming from you

I'm with you on Jesse Harlin, I like him and he does seem to get it.

Unlike... JS.

Remember that video of the making of the first SE? I quote, "I really wanted to develop the character of Guybrush. We did quite a few development sketches of him in different ways, one of them being with a captain's jacket. We even did some sketches of him with a beard."

WHY?! He didn't/doesn't have a jacket, or a beard.

How can you "develop a character" for exactly the same game? Sure, develop him for sequels, but man this kind of thing goes so far over my head I will never comprehend it. It's like translating a book and changing the main character just for fun. I really don't get this guy and he clearly doesn't get it either.

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Old 03-18-2010, 09:53 AM   #107
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I totally agree with you :P
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:01 AM   #108
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Remember that video of the making of the first SE? I quote, "I really wanted to develop the character of Guybrush. We did quite a few development sketches of him in different ways, one of them being with a captain's jacket. We even did some sketches of him with a beard."
That should be enough right there to prove that reinterpretation wasn't a must. What if he had said, "I wanted to recreate the look of Guybrush from the cover and Adventurer magazines" instead? I'm sure we would have had a different style. Of course no one is ever going to say what a fan wants to here in those terrible promotional documentaries.

Speaking of, when's the cheesy video for this one coming out? Will the pierced broseph Craig Derrick go on and on about his fake love for the series again? Will Ron Gilbert be awkwardly sandwiched inside? How about a Lucasarts exec lying and saying they always cared about their "legacy" of original adventure games?

Cynical today... I should stop.

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Old 03-18-2010, 11:48 AM   #109
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Cynical today... I should stop.
No no I like it. LucasArts can't blame anyone for being cynical after the last decade
Edit: And the more I read your post the funnier it gets

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Old 03-19-2010, 02:38 PM   #110
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I wouldn't think it'd be hard at all to use real instruments and achieve the same effect as iMuse. Each track would simply have to have a standardized time code attached to it like midi does, so that it would be able to swap between multiple tracks seamlessly based on the exact point in the time code the track is at.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:10 PM   #111
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Well, If I had to choose, I'd rather hear the music in its intended glory, without the fancy transitions. It would've been nice to have both, but I don't think LucasArts had enough time to reinvent iMuse for recordings.

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Old 03-19-2010, 07:17 PM   #112
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I remember that on the Amiga, when you were being chased by LeChuck at the end, the music started off AWESOMELY, but then became more and more unravelled and chaotic as it went on. It felt more random than deliberate (or rather, it felt deliberately randomised).

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Old 03-19-2010, 07:21 PM   #113
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I wonder if they got Neil Ross back as the voice of Wally.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:10 AM   #114
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I hope they added the raft thing.


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Old 03-20-2010, 10:37 AM   #115
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That's the first time in the 19 years since the game was released that I've seen this bug. I can't even do it in ScummVM.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:24 PM   #116
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I wonder if they got Neil Ross back as the voice of Wally.
I hope not, he never matched voice of Wally in my head... but I guess, he was still good.

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Originally Posted by elTee View Post
I hope they added the raft thing.
The what thing?

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Old 03-21-2010, 05:11 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by ThunderPeel2001 View Post
he never matched voice of Wally in my head...
Yeah... but then neither did Guybrush. I secretly don't like Guybrush's voice at all but it's forgiven because Dominic Armato is such a monkey island nut
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:24 AM   #118
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Wasn't there some scene with Wally and Guybrush on a raft after LeChuck's fortress that got cut? I think Wally was supposed to fall in or drown or something, they decided it was too cruel. I never liked Wally ;

I don't think they'd add it in now that Wally returns in CMI.


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Old 03-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Snugglecakes View Post
Yeah... but then neither did Guybrush. I secretly don't like Guybrush's voice at all but it's forgiven because Dominic Armato is such a monkey island nut
I kind of agree. I think all the voices are overacted. They oversell the jokes. In my head, the voices of the characters were always matter-of-fact. I would prefer it if they underplayed the voices a bit. You don't need an over the top pirate voice to make the material funny, in fact I think overacting is often the death of comedy.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:27 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Megakles View Post
I kind of agree. I think all the voices are overacted. They oversell the jokes. In my head, the voices of the characters were always matter-of-fact. I would prefer it if they underplayed the voices a bit. You don't need an over the top pirate voice to make the material funny, in fact I think overacting is often the death of comedy.
Yikes. You're not talking about Curse of Monkey Island are you? Because Armato's acting was perfect in that. He was also great in TOMI, too. The other voices in CMI were also very good.

I've not heard him in the Special Edition because playing the SE is like having hot needles dragged through my eyes, but I did hear some of the other voices and YES, they totally sounded like "comedy voice = more laughs". (Hard to believe nobody noticed how idiotic some of the SE voices sounded, but then again, THAT hair somehow got through quality control...)

If only someone would create a SOMI: SE editor that would allow me to turn off certain character's voices. It would be a start.

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