By Marty Mulrooney
After every new episode of Tales Of Monkey Island is released, Alternative Magazine Online of course posts a review. However, what we shall also be exclusively doing is asking Guybrush Threepwood voice actor Dominic Armato a few episode-specific questions every month, so that our readers can get some further insight to accompany the reviews. This month, it is of course all about the fourth chapter in Tales Of Monkey Island, entitled The Trial And Execution Of Guybrush Threepwood…
*Warning: Contains Spoilers*
Hello again Dom! So episode 4: the best of the series so far?
Well, it’s tough to play favourites. I still love the feel and atmosphere of 3. It’s pretty tough to beat 4 for drama, though. And I really enjoyed the puzzles in this chapter.
The darker setting looked great. Do you think it added more than just an aesthetically pleasing change to the sunny locales we have seen in previous episodes?
The darker environments in Monkey Island games always end up being my favorites… Scabb Island, Blood Island, Flotsam by night. Dunno why. But personal preference aside, yes, it’s a nice aesthetic change, and only makes sense given the chapter’s story elements.
Stan’s back! What did you think of his return?
It’s always great to have Stan back. And I loved the new voice as well. Nothing goofy, just a great read. I’m always trying to think of examples of how VO is about the acting, not about the voice, and that’s a great one.
Did Telltale do his famous jacket justice?
Funny you should bring up the jacket. When I saw that Stan was coming back, my very first question to the Telltale guys was, “How the hell are you going to do the jacket in 3D?” I think the response was something along the lines of an exasperated, “We’re working on it.” I’m sure any gamers with some basic understanding of the technology will understand why that presented something of a challenge. But they nailed it!
You get to interact as two arguing versions of Guybrush in this episode. Was that fun to perform?
Seeing as it’s the only time I have somebody to play off of in the recording booth, you betcha!
The pyrite parrot is gone forever! Are you sad deep down, or glad like Guybrush seemed to be upon its unfortunate demise?
May his tiny, atomized, faux-golden bits rest in peace.
Morgan LeFlay… did you choke up a little?
Pathos! How could you not?
LeChuck! Mad about him much?
Glad to have him back, actually… much as I enjoyed good guy LeChuck.
Glad Earl Boen is back?
Thrilled. Adam Harrington did yeoman’s work in an impossible situation that I don’t envy one bit. And if Earl Boen weren’t available (which might’ve been the case with chapter one), I think he’d do a great job with LeChuck in the future. But like most fans of the game, it’s tough for me to imagine that cackle coming from anybody other than Earl Boen.
Are pox-infected sea-lasses kinda hot, or is that just me?
I always thought Elaine was pretty awesome, but poxy Elaine? Yow… you’re not alone.
This episode takes the series into some darker territory. What are your views on this and how it was handled?
I know there are some varying levels of comfort with the (relatively) more serious tone of some scenes in chapter four, but I loved it from the moment I read the synopsis and I love it now. I think it was handled perfectly. There was some serious gravity without straying too far from tradition, it all grew out of the various characters new and old, and I think it was (and will continue to be) beautifully structured.
Do you think by doing this, Telltale have elevated the narrative to new heights?
Well, I want to be careful not to drift into the realm of hyperbole, but I think they’ve done a wonderful job of avoiding the typical sequel trap of just throwing the same characters and situations up on screen, and have carefully crafted a new story that’s both fresh and compelling with old, familiar characters. It excited me not only that it’s turned out so well, but also that they were, quite simply, willing to take that risk. Dumb sequels are born when writers aren’t willing to do the things that the Telltale guys are doing with Tales, and though I can’t say I’m surprised given their history, I’m definitely happy to see them being a little courageous with the story.
The Voodoo Lady! Can it be?
I mentioned back in our episode 2 interview that I think Guybrush is becoming kind of badass… do you see that more now we draw close to the end of the series? During one emotional scene in this episode, he looks at the camera and the anger on his face is quite suprising!
Badass may still be a little strong. You might say that more serious circumstances have allowed him to find a more serious part of himself. But the important thing is that he still feels like Guybrush, and he does to me. It isn’t as though our dorky pal has gone anywhere. He just has occasional fits of confidence and competence brought on by a little age-appropriate wisdom now, I think.
It must be fun to read the lines and all of a sudden be saying things that you never expected from the character? I assume that must be the pleasure of acting in this role?
They know how to keep the character fresh and exciting from an acting standpoint, that’s for sure. I mean, Guybrush’s death scene won’t be highlighted in the Oscar reel (nor should it – this is still Monkey Island), but some of these characters are being drawn a little more deeply this time around, and it’s impossible not to enjoy that.
One more chapter to go. Are you excited? Do you ever wish you didn’t have the lowdown on what was happening next?
Definitely. I’m the guy who closed my eyes, stuck my fingers in my ears and shouted “LALALALALALALALALALALALALALA!” every time one of the Lord of the Rings trailers came on. I love just going in fresh with no preconceived notions, ready to be surprised. It’s a luxury I’ve lost while working on the games. But… uh… I’ll take that tradeoff
Finally, do you know what Morgan whispered? I know you probably can’t say, just wondering if you know!
Actually, I have no idea. And I’m not sure if that’s because it doesn’t exist or I never knew it or I forgot it, the last of which is more likely than you might think. Lines and plot elements don’t stick in your head so well when they’re all disjointed and out of time and context. But barring an, “Ohhhhh, riiiiiight, THAT’S what she said,” moment at some point, I dug it as a nice little Lost in Translation moment.
Thank you for your time Dom, looking forward to our final chat next month!
Please also be sure to check out our review for this episode here, and let us know if you agree with our score! (Dom reads the comments there as well remember!)
You can also see a much longer and more comprehensive interview we did earlier on with Dom here.