Here's What Monkey Island 2 Might've Sounded Like With Voice Acting

Here's What Monkey Island 2 Might've Sounded Like With Voice Acting

Before LucasArts went all-in on voiceover, it tested it out with a bit of LeChuck's Revenge.

For players of a certain age, the first fully voice-acted game they ever played likely holds a special place in their memories. What's relatively commonplace nowadays was still a rarity in the early '90s when LucasArts started doing full voice acting for its adventure games. Now, thanks to a video from SCUMM engine co-creator Aric Wilmunder, we can see the studio's earliest test of putting full voiceover into one of its games.

Posted to YouTube by Wilmunder, and boosted by the Video Game History Foundation's Frank Cifaldi, the video in question is of a scene from Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. In 1992, LucasArts used the meeting between Guybrush Threepwood and the very dead cook Rapp Scallion as a test for adding voiceover. At the end of the video, you can see the test is referred to as "M2TALKIE."

Wilmunder says he's the one playing Rapp Scallion, while another LucasArts dev (artist Ron Lussier, the VGHF presumes) plays Threepwood. For some developer test dialogue, it must be said that Wilmunder's hoarse, wheezy performance as Scallion isn't too shabby.

A year later in 1993, voice acting came to LucasArts adventure games in a big way. Not only did Day of the Tentacle become LucasArts' first title with full voiceover, but a re-release of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis with voice work followed shortly thereafter (A few years back, Wilmunder released some documents concerning an abandoned Fate of Atlantis sequel, too).

Monkey Island didn't officially receive voice over until 1997, with the release of The Curse of Monkey Island. Dominic Armato has voiced the Threepwood ever since, including for the special edition remakes of the first two Monkey Island games. Thanks to the remake of LeChuck's Revenge, we can actually compare this developer test against the officially released voiceover work from 2010. Again, Aric's acting isn't half-bad, but the real gift here is that this internal test can live on for LucasArts fans and historians alike.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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