Our second winner is AhrimaaN, who submitted the LucasArts adventure classic, The Secret of Monkey Island.
The Secret of Monkey Island
In a world where the home computer was just starting to take off, Lucasarts created one of the most charming game worlds in the form of The Secret of Monkey Island, the original in an ongoing series of four (possibly five) episodes in the greatest point and click adventure game franchise ever. Adventure games, although somewhat popular at the time, didnt really take off until Lucasarts single handedly injected real comedy and style into the genre. Most notable in the first Monkey Island was the array of fantastic, varied, original and altogether hilarious characters that the player interacted with, and of course the one and only Guybrush Threepwood. Who can forget Stan the Salesmen, Governor Marley, the Voodoo Lady, the vegetarian cannibals or the pirate ghost LeChuck, who are still some of the most unique and memorable gaming characters of any game to this day.
The story involved the quest of one Guybrush Threepwood to become an accomplished treasure seeking pirate, who in the process of gaining the pirates' confidence, falls for the Governor of the Melee Island, who is set upon by the evil ghost pirate LeChuck and his crew. Although not particularly inspiring, the story was adequate enough to consist of many hilarious moments and unique experiences for the gamer and as a testament to its strength has spawned three sequels. Many fiendish puzzles were implemented carefully into the game without being entirely too abstract or difficult to the average gamer. Perhaps of most notable fame is the 'sword fighting' that was facilitated by an ingenious and entirely all too funny and ridiculous dialogue system between player and opponent. One had to learn appropriate responses to the enemies phrases. What other game has the player saying "How appropriate. You fight like a cow." to win a fight? This legacy of dialogue based combat has lived on in the sequels.
Not content to sit on the laurels of previous graphic adventure game releases, Lucasarts implemented new graphics scaling techniques to allow complex camera angles and further streamlined and improved the SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) point and click interface. Animation was fluid, graphics were colourful and detailed for the day, and the interface was easily learnt. Combining character items with objects on the environment was a simple affair, and most items had a default action associated with them.
Combine stunning character design with excellent cartoon-styled imagery, fantastic animation, brilliant (and very funny) writing, memorable music and Monkey Island really came alive. Many a gamer will fondly recall the light-hearted escapades of a pirate wannabee through his travels on Melee Island and beyond. Last but not least, some of the in-game gags still live with me today, and make me laugh even now. The 3-headed monkey and rubber tree will always make me smile. It is because of this, that even with Monkey Island's contemporaries such as The Dig, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Beneath a Steel Sky (and many others) that Monkey Island deserves a spot in the top ten PC games of all time before the others.