"It is illusion that appears real. But a reality - true reality - is like a dream." -Ruby 3, The Underworld, ZBS Foundation
Although not all of us agree that MI2 ended the way the "It was all a dream" theory leads us to believe, some may agree that certain other parts of the MI series just "didn't fit in" and many "wished they could've been different." I, for one, stand by the folks who say that the events of MI 1 and 2 aren't dreamed up, but it's a rather unsteady stance. So, with a now unused "It was all a dream" plot element wriggling in my hand, I decided to toss the rulebook out the porthole and stick this controversial little thing into a place where it just might be more acceptable...heck, maybe even welcome.
I'm writing this little script (it wouldn't work as straight prose, trust me on this) to appease the displeased fans, and perhaps stir up some friendly little arguments and debates.
I'm pretty sure I'll get hurt because of this, though.
T. R. I. L. A. D.
True ~ Reality ~ Is ~ Like ~ A ~ Dream
Akril, December 2003
(Guybrush is tenaciously gripping the thick, protruding root from one of the topiary hedges that was conveniently jutting out of the sheer cliff face when Timmy caused him to jump off it at the end of MI4...)
GUYBRUSH: ...Someone...anyone...please? I'm right down here...I could really use some help...Elaine? Are you there?
VOICE: Yes, I am, Guybrush.
(Guybrush freezes and looks around for the source of the disembodied voice. Suddenly, he realizes that the cliff he is hanging from is no longer a cliff. It is merely a horizontal, flat slab of stone, and, for some reason he is floating several inches above it. Possessing absolutely no instincts for self-preservation, Guybrush lets go of the root and falls five inches to the hard slab directly below him. Wincing slightly, he pushes himself up from the gritty earth and rolls onto his back, where he dreamily stares at the night sky.)
(Guybrush grows puzzled upon hearing the voice again and glances around, but sees no one. He looks up again, towards the moon, which seems to be growing brighter and brighter the more he stares at it. The light grows so intense that it blots out the stars. Guybrush squints in pain, then closes his eyes...and when he opens them again...)
VOICE: Finally. I was starting to think you'd never come out of it.
(Guybrush finds himself lying on a rather hard cot in a small, sparsely furnished room, staring at a bright lantern that hangs from the ceiling. A window by his cot looks out on the night sky. Sitting on a footstool by his bedside is the source of the mysterious voice: Elaine. Like the first-time reader of this story, Guybrush is thoroughly confused.)
ELAINE: Don't start talking until you're completely awake, my friend.
(Guybrush struggles to sit up, but gives up after a few seconds. He stares at Elaine for a few seconds, noting how different she appears...her auburn hair, her azure eyes...not to mention the tart accent mysteriously absent from her voice for the past three months has strangely returned.)
ELAINE: I'm trying to coax you back into the land of the living, Threepwood.
GUYBRUSH: Elaine...? Where are we?
ELAINE: We're safe, Guybrush. And far, far away from that repulsive carnival.
GUYBRUSH: But...but what happened to Timmy and Herman and Jojo and everyone else?
ELAINE (completely perplexed): What??
GUYBRUSH (finally getting the strength to sit up and look out): And why are you suddenly talking with that funny accent again? You stopped talking like that just after we got married, and you never told me what made you do that...I don't think I ever asked why either, though...
ELAINE (stunned): You...me...married?
GUYBRUSH (starting to grow uneasy): Uh...yeah...what's wrong, didn't you like the honeymoon? That had to be the best three months of my life, but you never said...
ELAINE (after a long pause): Guybrush...it's been three days.
(Even longer pause for dramatic effect)
ELAINE: We took you back to Plunder Island after you went into that coma...well, I thought you had just fainted, but after the first day...
GUYBRUSH (almost frantic): All right. WHAT HAPPENED???
ELAINE: I was hoping you'd become coherent enough to ask that, Guybrush. Well, I'll start at the beginning: Right after you buried the demon/zombie/ghost pirate LeChuck under all that snow and ice - which I am very grateful for, by the way - the car you were riding in was derailed by the explosion that destroyed most of the roller coaster ride.
ELAINE: We found you thrown some distance from the tracks. By some amazing stroke of luck, you landed in a heap of unused canvasses, so you weren't that badly hurt. Neither was Wally.
GUYBRUSH (shocked): Wally??
(Right on cue, Wally appears in the doorway with a bowl of water in one hand and several dishrags in the other.)
WALLY: You called, Miss Marl -- oh, Mister Brush! You're awake! I guess we won't need to start whipping these things across his face again, right, Elaine?
(He sets the bowl and the rags on a side table and walks towards the cot. Guybrush glances at Elaine with a look more pleading than irritated. She avoids his eyes)
WALLY: Are you telling him about how we nobly freed all those innocent monkeys and ended the reign of LeChuck?
ELAINE: No, but I'm sure you can tell him all that later, Wally. I'm just explaining all that happened while he was unconscious. He seems to have had a very vivid dream...
GUYBRUSH: But it wasn't a dream...I think...
ELAINE (continuing her story): Anyway, Wally and I managed to get rid of all the skeletons that hadn't fled the island already and after that, we escaped from Monkey Island in their ship. Not a bad boat, except for the smell.
GUYBRUSH: Escape...Monkey Island...?
ELAINE: ...And we sailed here, to Plunder Island, where Wally and I helped calm most of the still-terrified citizens and rebuild some of the minor parts of the fort, and you had what I assume was quite a satisfying nap, before you started talking in your sleep about a half hour ago and finally opened your eyes some time later.
GUYBRUSH (thoroughly bewildered): I still can't understand...if that was real... and that was a dream...then...oh, geez...
WALLY: Do you think he's going to get any worse, Ms. Marley?
ELAINE (nibbling her lip, staring out the window): I thought that by now, I'd have learned my lesson, but it looks like we have no other choice. (looks at Guybrush, who is hunched over slightly, muttering to himself) Guybrush? (he snaps to attention) I want you to tell me everything.
ELAINE: Tell me everything that happened to you while I was cursed. Wally filled me in on exactly what your ring did to me. I have no idea how long I was a statue, and no idea what you did in the meantime.
GUYBRUSH: I...I was trying to break the curse, Elaine...
ELAINE (half-closing her eyes and smiling knowingly): Oh, but you did much more than that, didn't you, Guybrush? I know you too well. Just tell me what happened.
WALLY: But...Ms. Marley...
GUYBRUSH (eagerly kicking off his blanket and adapting a sitting position, with his legs dangling off the edge of the cot): From the top?
ELAINE (ignoring Wally): Please.
(Forty-five minutes pass for Elaine and Wally, but as an act of mercy, the reader is saved the trouble of putting up with Guybrush's greatly exaggerated tales of adventure, except for the three blessed moments when Elaine manages to get a word in edgewise.)
ELAINE: The Devil Chicken.
GUYBRUSH: He really wasn't that nasty. Of course, he put up a bit of a fight at first, but after a brief tussle, I skillfully pinned him to the jungle floor and demanded him to show me the way to where the pirates that had stolen you had anchored their vessel...(Interruption #2):
ELAINE: A cube of WHAT?
GUYBRUSH: Something made of bean curd, I think. I can't really remember what it was.
ELAINE: And you just pocketed it? Something larger than your head?
GUYBRUSH: Uh...it wasn't that big. Really. And experienced pirates always know how to organize their inventory. So, I bravely strode up the mountain and was greeted by a whole hoard of less-than-good-natured cannibals...
ELAINE: Wait...how did you know that Minnie and Charles were reunited? And how could you possibly know everything that was said between them?
GUYBRUSH: Uh...well, I'm just...kinda...speculating, you know? Erm, I mean, I knew who that skeleton guy was, and...look, I'm telling the story, okay?
GUYBRUSH: Yeah! Speculating! And besides, you weren't even there - well, technically, you were, but you were still cursed...anyway, after the two ghosts vanished, I found the engagement band lying on the crypt's floor...
(Fast-forwarding to the end, we come to the point where Guybrush says):
GUYBRUSH: ...So I put the ring on your finger, you were de-cursed, and then you proceeded to nearly knock my lights out. And that's all that happened.
ELAINE: Well, well. Sounds like you had quite an adventure, Guybrush. My own escapade certainly pales in comparison.
GUYBRUSH: Which was...?
ELAINE: Wriggling out of some of the best sailor's knots I've ever encountered, managing to escape a flaming demon named LeChuck, punching my way through a few dozen skeletons, and deciphering a multi-panel control station that looked far too advanced for this century in the space of what I estimated to be just under five minutes, judging by when I saw you running up the path towards the roller coaster, to hopefully prevent you from splashing down into a river of lava and becoming undead.
ELAINE: So what were you doing while I was doing that, Threepwood?
GUYBRUSH (hanging his head slightly): I'd...I'd rather not talk about it now. It's over, anyway. And I still can't get the memory of that huge...dog-man out of my head.
ELAINE: As you wish.
GUYBRUSH (looking around): Hey...where's Wally?
ELAINE (looking at the floor beside her): He's right here. I think he's asleep. I suppose he hasn't learned how to...appreciate your stories like I do. (looking at Guybrush again) Just out of curiosity, what happened after you destroyed LeChuck... from YOUR perspective?
GUYBRUSH (slightly miffed): Well, I can't really remember too much between the explosion and the start of our honeymoon.
ELAINE: I'm not surprised. My dreams have hardly any regard for continuity either.
GUYBRUSH: But after three months, we were finally headed back to Melee...
(Either Elaine is being grossly out of character or she has become a masochist out of sympathy for Guybrush. In any case, sometime later...)
GUYBRUSH: ...And then you just walked away and Timmy kicked me off the cliff. And sometime after that...I woke up...
ELAINE: I see.
GUYBRUSH: But I still don't get how everything that happened didn't happen...
ELAINE: Well, Guybrush, dreams are usually a jumble of past experiences packed together in a totally random order. After hearing your first story and recalling the two adventures that preceded our last encounter, all the events and locales in this dream you've relayed to me are actually starting to make sense.
GUYBRUSH: Really? What about that volcano and the lava fields and that crazy...church?
ELAINE: There was a volcano on Blood Island, and if what you told me about it was true, then you got to know it quite up close and personal, as well as the lava river that you barely escaped in the roller coaster. Such intense experiences would certainly show up in anybody's dreams...or nightmares.
GUYBRUSH: And the church?
ELAINE (glancing off to the side): Well...(leaning close to Guybrush and whispering) ...we have made it a point to steer clear of religion, but I suppose your subconscious had no intention of obeying the rules. It sounds like another ultimate bad dream scenario to me.
GUYBRUSH: Just like what the tourists did to all those islands...and the SCUMM Bar...
GUYBRUSH: What about JoJo Junior?
ELAINE: It's probably the end result of a sliver of guilt that remained with you after leaving your monkey friend hanging from the lever that opened the gate to the Monkey Head, coupled with the name of the monkey who helped you find a way to Rum Roger's house.
GUYBRUSH: Wow. You know, that actually makes sense, Elaine...And Otis and Carla... and Mr. Cheese?
ELAINE: Your mind was bound to drag those two out of its shadows sometime, Guybrush. They were part of your first crew. As for this Cheese fellow...it seems that that foodstuff has proven quite useful to you in your past exploits.
GUYBRUSH: Really? How?
ELAINE: I'm starting to think that that fall you took has affected your memory, Guybrush.
GUYBRUSH: Fall? What fall?
ELAINE: Oh, never mind. As I was saying, on Blood Island, you used cheese as a catalyst for the volcano's eruption, and a tar substitute. And didn't you use some sort of cheese-substance to trap and procure a rather useful rat back on Scabb Island?
GUYBRUSH: Yeah...I remember now...
ELAINE: So apparently your creative pirate brain created a person that could be as reliable as the thing that has proven so amazingly useful to you in your waking hours. And it playfully gave him a fitting title as well.
GUYBRUSH: Yeah...I guess you're right. But what about the Ultimate Insult and all the other insult games?
ELAINE: I'm guessing that it was just your subconscious being extravagantly creative again. But this Ultimate Insult thing seems so shabbily put together that I'm a little surprised that you didn't start questioning your reality, Guybrush. But then again...you're not the type to do something like that, are you?
GUYBRUSH: Guess not. (he drums his fingers on the edge of the cot and stretches his legs out in front of him, but remains seated.)
ELAINE: And there are so many other little things that just don't seem to fit in. First and foremost, I've never had an interest in monkeys, and as for having one as a pet, well, I just can't stomach the thought. My only pets so far have been dogs, and they've been enough of a bother.
GUYBRUSH: Oh - speaking of which, Elaine, what happened to the dog you had on Booty Island?
ELAINE: Oh, I brought him here after a servant found him in the woods, half-starved and with a terrible limp that looked like the result of a fall out of a tall tree. He's recovered, but he still acts strangely every now and then.
GUYBRUSH (suddenly looking away uneasily): Ah...yes.
ELAINE: But as I was saying, pets are a challenge enough for me, but one with opposable thumbs...it's just too much. And if we had gotten married, I certainly wouldn't have returned to Melee...that place is just too...dark.
GUYBRUSH (turning back to Elaine): Can't argue with that.
ELAINE: And as for most of the other bits, it just sounds like just about every element of the pirate lifestyle scrambled like eggs into near-incomprehension. Prostheses, voodoo trinkets, random treasure hunts, water-related competitions...just about everything.
GUYBRUSH: Uh...Elaine? What about Monkey Kombat? And the giant robot?
ELAINE (suddenly looking stern): Guybrush, there are some things that simply cannot be explained, and other things that are better left untouched. Those two things are a flagrant combination of both. So please...don't mention them again.
ELAINE: I know this is probably still disconcerting to you, but in many ways, things are a lot better off than they were for you. The Giant Monkey Head is still intact, the volcano is still dormant, Herman Toothrot is still just a hermit teaching philosophy on Dinky Island, the Caribbean hasn't been taken over by tourists, and, unless you've had a birthday recently, you're just under the legal age to buy grog...again.
GUYBRUSH (shrugging): Well...I guess four out of five isn't bad.
(There is a long pause in which Elaine leans against a nearby wall and yawns, rubbing her eyes, while Guybrush idly looks around the room, which is starting to turn rose- colored with the fast-approaching dawn. His worried eyes hint that something incredibly heavy is weighing on his mind. Finally):
ELAINE (casually turning to face him): Yes?
GUYBRUSH: I've wanted to ask you this since the moment you told me that I'd been dreaming for the past three days...
GUYBRUSH (hesitantly): Do...do you...
ELAINE (expectant): Yes??
GUYBRUSH: Do you have anything to eat around here? I'm so hungry that I could eat a couple of sea lions.
ELAINE (visibly let down): Oh...of course. (lightly bends down and taps Wally, who is still dozing on the floor. He reluctantly awakens.)
WALLY (wearily): Is it over yet?
ELAINE: Wally, would you please run downstairs and find a few edibles for our friend? I'm sure that shipment of apples has arrived by now.
WALLY (rising to his feet, still bleary-eyed): Aye-aye, Miss Marley. (He trudges out through the doorway.)
ELAINE: Such a noble little fellow. I'm pretty sure I can find a job here that would be befitting for a person of his skills. (glances at Guybrush, who is again staring at the floor, absentmindedly tapping his toes) Guybrush...(he looks up at her)...now what's wrong?
GUYBRUSH: It's about you and me...we were married, Elaine.
ELAINE: I know. But that was just your dream.
GUYBRUSH (almost pleading): But I proposed to you...and...and you never said "Yes," but...but I thought you would...
(Elaine raises her left hand, showing Guybrush the back. The massive, uncursed diamond engagement ring winks at him from her third finger. He slumps slightly, at a loss for words.)
ELAINE: I just couldn't take it off until you recovered...of course, there were quite a few things that I had to take care of, so I might've just forgotten about it...but that doesn't matter now.
GUYBRUSH: Does this mean...you accept my proposal?
(Elaine looks deeply concerned and sad for a moment. Then she turns, walks across the room and drags a chair back to the cot. She slowly sits down and looks directly into Guybrush's eyes.)
ELAINE: Guybrush...when LeChuck attacked my fort, the last time I saw you was when you were hanging from a rope in a crater that would've made a decent volcano. I'd heard of LeChuck's resurrection, and I knew that you'd be first on his list. After you fell, I waited outside that pit for hours. With the dumb luck you've always had, I figured that you'd be out in just a short while, but...you never returned.
(Guybrush tries to avoid Elaine's stare, but to no avail.)
ELAINE: I don't know what happened to you while you were LeChuck's prisoner, and you seem to be just as uncertain as well. All I can be sure of is that you were considerably changed, not just mentally, but physically. Like your hair, for instance.
GUYBRUSH (meekly, touching his head): A few days in direct tropical sunlight can do stuff like this.
ELAINE: And I'm glad that you got rid of that beard. It made you look like an otter with a ponytail.
ELAINE: But what it all comes down to is that when we last met, you had just escaped from the Gates of Hell with a mild case of amnesia and endured who-knows-how-many days in a crude raft, and I had just gone through a noisy, chaotic night of defending my fort and my people against one of the smelliest foes I've ever encountered who wanted to make me his undead wife. So...I guess you could say that neither of us were thinking clearly that morning. Combined with the obvious fact that we hadn't seen each other for ages and were doubtful of doing so ever again, I'm not surprised at all that we acted the way we did.
GUYBRUSH (rising slightly): Gee...I guess so. But you still haven't answered...
ELAINE (gently placing a hand on his shoulder, nearly causing him to fall backwards across the cot): I'm getting to that. In the beginning, after you destroyed the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and caught that ship headed for Mizzenmast Island, you seemed to grow more and more arrogant and cocky every time you returned to Melee. Sometimes I could hardly believe that you were the same boy who broke into my mansion only a few months before. I just couldn't stand the sight of you, and when I ran into you again on Booty, well, that was the last straw. I thought I would hate you for the rest of my life, until I found you hanging in that crater. Then...I must admit I felt sorry for you. The way you hung there reminded me of the ineptitude of the lad with the peculiar name on Melee. Then, of course, your rope broke, and after waiting for what seemed like ages, I returned to my boat and headed for home.
You were so different when you washed up on Plunder Beach that I hardly recognized you. That high-and-mighty air you had once carried was almost nonexistent. I can't help but wonder what might've happened to change you so much. But what truly amazed me was how much your appearance and demeanor reminded me of the pirate-in-training that I once knew, the ponytailed boy I had almost kissed on the Melee docks. When I finally got a chance to sit and be alone with my thoughts, I realized that I wasn't in love with the overconfident, bearded pirate who had a comeback for everything I said, including death threats. I was in love with the timid, uncertain pirate-wannabe who could barely speak... except for those all-too-fleeting moments when his heart helped him form the words.
To answer your question, Guybrush, I can't be too sure if you have indeed become that boy again, or whether you're still the arrogant man that I can't stand being with for more than five minutes. (she smiles gently) I have the feeling that you just might be the former, though. But marriage...Guybrush, it just doesn't fit. I'm the governor of an entire archipelago, and you are a pirate. How could the two of us coexist? You would always be aching to go off to sea or hunt for treasure, and I would always be stuck settling disputes and making major decisions. If we weren't constantly apart, one of us would become restless within a matter of days. Even though I no longer wince at the sight of you anymore, and just might be willing to be your close friend again, I just don't think the two of us could truly become an "item."
GUYBRUSH: So...you're not gonna marry me after all?
(Elaine sighs as she realizes that she hasn't even scratched Guybrush's mind, let alone penetrated it. Her glance drops to the floor, then falls upon the cot's rear legs.)
ELAINE: Does this answer your question?
(With one swift movement, Elaine swings her foot in a horizontal arc, kicking the rear folding legs of the cot upwards, causing the bed to suddenly form a definite slope, consequently, Guybrush tumbles sideways and down, landing in a tangled heap on the floor, with the blanket wrapped sloppily around his head and upper torso.)
ELAINE (smiling smugly): Here, let me help you out of that. (she carefully unwinds him and helps him to his feet. Guybrush wobbles for a moment, but quickly grows used to standing upright.) I think we both could do with some fresh air. Come on, I'll show you around the fort.
(Elaine leads Guybrush to the doorway, but Guybrush's sudden grip on her wrist causes her to stop and turn to face him with a perplexed look on her face.)
ELAINE: What is it?
GUYBRUSH: Were you serious about not marrying me?
ELAINE (closing her eyes for a moment and sighing deeply): Yes. I'm sorry, Threepwood, but there's too much going on in our lives right now. As long as I remain a governor and you a swashbuckler, it will be very hard for us to remain a true couple for more than a few months...mind, I do love you...but as a friend. A close friend. I may have hated you once, but...I'll be glad to give you another chance. Maybe someday, when you've plundered enough gold to provide for us well into our retirement years, or you get tired of the same old swordfights...maybe then I might be ready to say "Yes." But no matter when that time will be...(folds her right hand protectively over the ring on her left hand)...I will keep this on my finger at all times. That way, I will never forget you, and all you did to get it.
GUYBRUSH: Well...that sounds...fair.
ELAINE: I hoped it would.
GUYBRUSH: So...any way off this chicken-infested island?
ELAINE (in a low, almost seductive voice): A certain ship manned by three gentlemen who have reopened a barbershop down by the docks sailed in last evening. They have no interest in keeping the ship, and nobody else seems interested in buying it, not too surprising, considering its origins. It's pretty much free for the taking now...and I'm pretty sure there's one or two nautically skilled lads wandering about who want nothing more to do with this place in the wake of the recent siege, and would be glad to serve under a pirate as famous as you.
GUYBRUSH (after yet another uncomfortable pause): Y-You know...I think I'm starting to like your old accent after all.
ELAINE (slowly slipping an arm around his shoulders): I'm glad. Looks as if Fate is in our favor this roll. Who knows what the dice might bring us next time they're tossed.
GUYBRUSH: Ah...right. Um...one more thing before I go, Elaine?
ELAINE (half-closing her eyes and speaking in an even lower voice): Yes?
GUYBRUSH: Could you explain how all those incredibly vivid cutscenes that appeared whenever something pivotal in my dream-adventure happened or whenever I wondered how you were doing? I don't think I could have "speculated" all those things, you know...
ELAINE (shaking her head, mildly repulsed): I was hoping you wouldn't ask that.
GUYBRUSH (taken aback): Really?
ELAINE: No. But I was hoping you'd ask if you could kiss me.
GUYBRUSH (caught off guard, as usual): Oh...well...may I?
ELAINE (drawing closer): Of course.
GUYBRUSH (drawing even closer): Plunder Bunny.
ELAINE (moving in for the kill): Pirate Poopie.
(As the morning sun shines brightly and Guybrush and Elaine are in the midst of something best left to the reader's imagination, they are both unaware of a small movement from behind a large pile of towels on a table adjacent to the doorway. After the movement subsides, two empty, leering eye sockets peer over the top of the pile and lock on the enamored twosome. They narrow in undead, demonic rage, and a tongueless mouth clacks in a quiet growl that the two lovebirds are completely oblivious to):
SKULL: Nearsighted fools! Mortal minds can never perceive their doom until they are trembling beneath it! I told you I would return, didn't I? And of course you paid me no heed! Well, you won't regret your mistake for long! I shall strike both of you down with one fell swoop!...Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa...