So, I guess I finished it. Not really, but close enough for me.
I made it to the very end, the final battle, but upon realizing that it occurs over several "stages" and that you have to repeat several of those stages if you die in between...and that the stage I reached was quite difficulty for me (basically a big guy that shoots fireballs that you must deflect - you need to deflect something like 15 of them without making any mistakes)...well, I decided to call it quits. It also helped that I looked up the final fight online and realized that there was another stage involving the pan-pipes I'd have to clear. Since I'd had trouble with the "regular" challenges (ambient noise can be an issue when playing on the train)...
I guess I'll never REALLY know what the actual ending is like, but I'm not that depressed about it to be honest. I mean, it's a Zelda game...right? Whatever happened in this game won't really matter in the grand scheme of any of the other Zelda games. There's not really any continuity between them so there's no real need to worry about "knowing" what happened. It's a bit of a shame now that I think about it, because it's resulted in (as far as my memories go) all of the Zelda games blending/merging into one. They're all the same. Although they're not. But I couldn't really say how they're different... I guess in this one the princess is with you all along?
I played a bit more the other night. Neat stuff - the "new" thing this time around are some green vines. When you shoot them with paint (water?) they grow. It looks really neat when it happens. It did take me a few minutes (more than I'd like to admit) to realize that the whole point of the vines is that you can use them to climb up walls! Pretty neat, though I'll admit that what I found most interesting was looking around white rooms and, rather than splatting paint, having wines grow all around. It looks like I still have a fair amount of things to do (in terms of chapters I've yet to complete), so I do have something to look forward to.
So the end of the game is shorter than the beginning. That's a good thing. The more I played the more I realized that the world of Monkey Island is quite bizarre. That's a no-brainer, but I was actually reflecting on how there are things in the world of MI that are clearly ahead of its time. Electricity, for example. I'm not really sure why I hadn't picked up on that earlier and, to be clear, I don't think it's a problem. Monkey Island is definitely it's own world and is interesting, fun, and engaging probably because of its zaniness and general lack of historical accuracy. It's a comedy game!
Now, here's the strange thing... I began to notice the non-historical (anachronistic?) elements more as I got closer to the end of the game. I've since finished it and the game's ending (which I didn't find all that interesting or satisfying to be honest) sort of explains them. Indirectly. Maybe?
Also, while the ending makes some sense of the game's strangeness, it makes no sense with the rest of the series. I'm not sure how the other games (MI3 and so forth) "explain" the ending (they probably don't). I guess I'm mostly surprised by how strange (and surprising) the ending IS (in what it reveals) and also curious as to why I hadn't heard about it before. It seems like people love the game - but never refer to how it ends?
In case I forget, here are the highlights (spoiler alert, you may want to stop reading):
1. Le Chuck is Guybrush's brother.
2. Their parents are dead (in the game), but not really because it turns out the whole thing was some sort of collective hallucination/imaginary game between young kid Guybrush and his older brother.
3. The kids have been messing around in an amusement park (their paren't come to get them)
3. Or maybe not... kid LeChuck's eyes glow ominously red as the parents tow their progeny away.
4. The "Big Whoop" (the super treasure you were looking for) is a major disappointment. Actually, I'm not really sure I understood what it was (other than an empty treasure chest).
So, I guess I need to start Googling to see what other people thought of the ending... in the meantime I'm sad that there aren't any other Lucas games for the iPad (that I haven't played already).
Several years ago I went back and finished Monkey Island 1. I now plan on doing the same with Monkey Island 2. However, this time I'm playing the iPad version which seems to work quite well...mostly.
Perhaps the greatest surprised for me so far has been how little progress I made the first time around. I vaguely remembered getting stuck at the spitting contest. Never could win it and I was slightly overwhelmed by all the different things that were available. To make matters worse (I now know this was a mistake), I had assumed that I would NOT be heading back to Scabb island because, well, I was done with that. A lot of mistaken assumptions really, and dealbreakers when it came to advancing in the game. Oh well. Things are definitely going better this time along. I've already finished the 2nd part of the game (getting the 4 map sections) which seems to be one of the meatiest? (again, I could be mistaken - I vaguely recall feeling like I was done with Monkey Island only to realize there was a lot left to do at the end).
Overall, all of the reasons you'd have to hate these kinds of games are still there. Sort of. I'm not sure if this is exclusive to the ipad version or not, but there are two things that are new to me at least:
(1) Shake your ipad and you get a clue as to what to do/go next.
(2) Hold two fingers to the screen and the interactive elements light up.
I've used (1) a few times and (2) is incredible. I was really worried about how the "hunt the pixel" problem would play out on the iPad (with fat fingers and all). Being able to highlight interactive parts eases a lot of my fears... HOWEVER, it seems to me like it doesn't always quite work. I've noticed a few items (the telescope) that didn't highlight even though they should have. Also, most of the entrances/exits don't highlight either. So, if there's a door you need to open and then walk through, you'll have to discover that by yourself.
So, while I've enjoyed playing I've done so with an increasing sense of trepidation. I'm worried that at some point the whole thing will fall apart. It doesn't help that I've run into some bugs that have almost thrown me off. For example, there's a part where you need to anger a chef and get him to chase you around a house in order to sneak into his kitchen to steal a fish. I caught on quite early that that might seem to be the plan to follow. However, the chef got a bit buggy - he'd chase me around, but the animation frames where messed up! Then I went into the kitchen and got kicked out. I ended up quitting/restarting the game in the hopes that the game would sort itself out. Thankfully it did.
However, at this point I'm stuck again. I've made it onto LeChuck's island fortress. There are some crazy doors I need to push that have different skeletal parts. This obviously ties in to a song I heard earlier and that Guybrush jotted down. The problem is that when I look at the paper on which the song is written, the text is unreadable (too small) and only occupies 1/4 of the screen. I was somehow able to get the game to render it in the "classic" style (low rez graphics!) and could read the verses. I think I wrote them down wrong though because I can't seem to solve the puzzle...and I can't figure out how to get the low-rez graphics again. (in fact, when it was stuck in the low rez graphics, I couldn't switch back to regular without killing the app).