X Marks the Spot! A Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 5-Rise of the Pirate God (PC/WiiWare) Review

We’ve been at sea with Guybrush Threepwood since late July, and we’re finally approaching our destination that would conclude these Tale’s of Monkey Island.

It should be noted that the following review contains spoilers from Episodes 1-4 of the series, and for those of you scalawags that aren’t looking to have major plot points from this wonderful series ruined for you, feel free to walk Buttonbasher.net’s complementary plank!

You have been warned.

In the final scenes of the previous episode The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood the truly unexpected happened. Guybrush Threepwood was executed! Despite the title of the episode it was still very surprising! With LeChuck back to his evil ways, it’s up to Mr. Threepwood to set things right and vanquish him for good. Of course, that’s hard to do when you’re dead.

The majority of the episode takes place at the Crossroads, a pirate purgatory of sorts. You’re still controlling Guybrush, but instead of his body you’ll be playing as his soul. Ghost Pirate Threepwood has in his possession one last sliver of life which connects him to the world of the living. In his adventures in the Crossroads he meets with pirates in 3 pathways: Sword Master, Thieves Den, and Treasure Hunt, all callbacks to previous Monkey Island games. Without going into too much detail, Guybrush also reunites with several of his past acquaintances throughout the course of the episode which was nice to see considering this is the finale.

Something that I’ve noticed for a few episodes now is that each entry seems to have it’s own color palate associated with it. The cold colors of Rise of the Pirate God really help set the mood for the underworld. In addition to the world, Guybrush himself looks the part of a ghost as well. He is somewhat transparent which allows the player to see his ribcage and bones. In addition to the visual style, the music sticks out in my mind for this episode. The normal cheery island music has taken a backseat to haunting orchestral tunes. It helped a lot to tie everything together as a very cinematic experience.

I also like how things are resolved in the end. I obviously won’t go into too much detail (most everything in this episode is a spoiler), but the way things conclude had me smiling the whole way. I hope that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Guybrush and the gang, but regardless of that I’m glad this series happened. Certain fans expressed skepticism when things were first starting up, but I would be very surprised if those people hadn’t come around by now. As a whole I think the series is the best work Telltale Games has produced yet. The big story, broken up into episodes was handled greatly with cliffhangers to add to the excitement at the end of each tale. I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve next.

Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 5- Rise of the Pirate God is out now on PC,  coming soon to Wiiware. If you’re new to the series you can check out a free demo for the first episode right here. You can grab a season pass (with a nice DVD at the end) or individual episodes at the Telltale Store.

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