Return to Monkey Island, video game, screenshot, featured image, skull, Murray

The life lessons of Murray

I fell in love with The Secret of Monkey Island when I was nine-years old.

It was the first game I played after being gifted an Amiga 500 for Christmas by my parents. A particular box had caught my eye, one showing a huge skull and fearsome pirates, and this was what I’d picked when my dad had asked me what I wanted to try.

We’d never heard of The Secret of Monkey Island before but after sliding the floppy disk into the machine, I was amazed. My young brain was entirely blown by realising that worlds I thought only existed inside books could be brought to life through a video game. On that day, a lifelong crush on pirates began and I’ve adored the adventure genre ever since.

My excitement at the release of Return to Monkey Island therefore wasn’t surprising. As mentioned in my post on Monday, it’s not a game I’ll be writing a review for any time soon though. Fans have been waiting so long for this to happen and it’s special now that it’s arrived, so the experience of playing it was solely for ‘me’. Check out this review over at Professional Moron by the awesome Mr Wapojif if you want the details.

After celebrating LeChuck’s evil awesomeness and suitability as a role model earlier this week, it’s time to turn our attention to another character from the series. Murray has always been my favourite and it’s hard not to write about Monkey Island without mentioning him. Just like LeChuck, he always gets overshadowed by that dimwit Guybrush – but there’s a lot we can learn from his experiences and positive outlook on life.

Don’t let anything hold you back

Return to Monkey Island, video game, screenshot, Guybrush, skull, Murray, ship

Murray may have had his skeletal body blown to pieces by a cannon, but did he let that hold him back? No.  Rather than being crushed by this tragic accident, my favourite skull turned it into the opportunity he’d been waiting for: to become a demonic overlord and conquer the land of the living. Despite his reduced state, he still considers himself to be an object of pure evil and dreams of spreading chaos throughout the Caribbean. Sometimes all you need to go places is a positive mental attitude.

Adopt, adapt and overcome

Although having a positive mental attitude is important, it’s also vital to be aware of your limits. This will give you the best possible chance of figuring out a way to overcome them. Murray could have put his head in the sand after his unfortunate first encounter with Guybrush, but instead he rolled with the punches and admirably adapted his demonic plan accordingly. There’s a great conversation between the two protagonists during The Curse of Monkey Island which proves this – take a look at the video opposite.

Grasp all opportunities

Return to Monkey Island, video game, screenshot, Guybrush, skull, Murray, ship, ocean

Murray may have no obvious means of movement, but this hasn’t stopped him from making his way around the whole of the Tri-Island area to experience all the world has to offer. A role in Slappy Cromwell’s piratical version of Shakespeare on Plunder Island, a scary prop in the crypt on Blood Island, a prize in Dinghy Dog’s guessing game at the Carnival of the Damned. This is one skull who has thrown caution to the wind and done it all, seizing every opportunity he’s presented with.

Know when to ask for help

Return to Monkey Island, video game, screenshot, Murray, skull

Murray has an unbending determination to rule the world and will do whatever it takes to achieve this goal. But he also understands that sometimes he needs a little push in the right direction, and that asking for help is a sign of wisdom rather than weakness. This is why he has tried to enlist the help of Guybrush on several occasions. Need some bones to support your skull so you can complete an evil deed? Simple: ask the pirate to pick you up so you can bite him and use his.

Keep your wits sharper than your sword

Return to Monkey Island, video game, screenshot, Elaine, Guybrush, map, Murray, skull

Overcoming a battle isn’t always determined by your physical strength. Sometimes it’s more about staying sharp and using your brains to outwit your opponent. Murray could have bitten Captain Trent when he was shoved in his pocket in Return to Monkey Island, but he cleverly decided to bide his time rather than immediately trying to escape. This meant he was able to steal the map to the secret and help Guybrush when he thought all hope was lost. That’ll teach those pirates to mess with the skull.

Be more like Murray

Return to Monkey Island, video game, screenshot, skull, Murray

Hopefully I’ve managed to convince you today that Murray is a role model worth following. He’s got a positive mental attitude which makes him a powerful diabolical force, and nothing is going to stop him from achieving his ambitious goal of taking over the land of the living. Here’s a skull who has got his shit together and is going places – including rolling through the gates of hell while the forces of darkness applaud him. Maybe we should all embrace our demonic side and be a little more like Murray.

That’s it for Monkey-Island-related posts from me for now but I’m sure there’ll be more in the future. And if you’d like to have a good chat over a coffee about Murray, Return to Monkey Island and that ending, you know where you can find me.

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