It is true, though, that just like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Monkey Island 2, and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Monkey Island 1 went through some visual changes during development.
This image, displayed in an old issue of Computer Gaming World (now Games for Windows), clearly shows that during production of MI1 EGA, inventory arrows were greyed out when not usable, as were the Talk and Travel verbs in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Why were they removed? It's likely that playtesters tended to click the grey arrows by accident, and their removal just made the GUI less confusing.
(Also note that in that same image, the pirate sitting at the table next to the dog is not yet Cob from Loom, but rather a fellow with black hair and beard. I guess that joke hadn't been thought up yet.)
According to this scan, the "Manual of Style" was originally the "Chicago Manual of Style." Was it changed to avoid a potential lawsuit?
Quite possibly so, since Guybrush's comments on it imply that scholars follow its guidelines like a religion.
This is the back of the MI1 PC box. The closeup of the dog never showed up in the actual game, due to restrictions on disk space.
Also noteworthy is the strange inventory font. Actually, the box artists touched up the GUI for advertising purposes.
Here are the same screenshots as shown on the British White Label package:
I've recreated those two images based on those scans.
Guybrush on Melee Island's Low Street.
The Governor's Mansion is swanky... ripe for the plundering.
Using the information from the above scans, I've made some facsimile images of early MI1 EGA.
Keep in mind they aren't real, but are merely (mostly-) accurate reproductions.
OK, enough disclaimers. Let's get to the screenshots!
MI1 EGA features a sunset the first few times Guybrush walks through Melee Town, an effect not present in the VGA and Amiga versions.
(Maybe it was removed because it's already night during the title sequence.)
Notice the door in the building. That was taken out and replaced with Elaine's re-election poster in the final product, but was shown in the MI1 demos.
I imagine that meat isn't very fresh!
The lookout stares blindly into space, as usual.
In the early game, the phrase "pieces of eight" had some odd capitalization going on.
The Voodoo Lady's parlor, filled with bizarre bric-a-brac and dead animals.
Now there's a rude fellow. Probably crawling with lice, too; no wonder Carla doesn't like him.
Originally the rubber chicken was a "dead chicken." I guess comedy won out over accuracy in voodoo paraphernalia.
Swordfighting. Hey, if the arrows are greyed out instead of invisible at other times, why not here as well?
The Melee dock at night--no more sunset.
Inside the Governor's Mansion. This place badly needs a new decorator.
The "stealing the idol" puzzle was originally meant to be solved entirely by the player, but the final result was ultimately funnier.
Outside the Mansion, Guybrush ponders the Chicago Manual of Style.
Just how thick is Otis, if he never noticed how suspiciously heavy his aunt's carrot cake was?
I imagine some players were quite befuddled by this easter egg. Sierra, at least, had the decency to pop up a dialog box saying "You're Dead. Restore, Restart or Quit?"
"Beat the Sword Master? Check. Steal the Idol of Many Hands? Check. Find the Legendary Lost Treasure of Melee Island?
That tunnel in Meathook's house is presumably left over from early designs wherein he made Guybrush perform three tasks, not just one, to prove his worth as a Captain.
The Captain's cabin aboard the Sea Monkey. Well, at least it's nicer than the crew quarters.
Where did they get the deck chairs from, anyways?
"That's strange. The hold is full of broken luggage!"
The Jolly Roger was at first just called "pirate flag."
Guybrush roots around in his pants for some ingredients listed in the directions to Monkey Island (TM).
Check out the odd space in the word "gunpowder."
"Holy Monkey Bladders, Batman! It's Monkey Island!"
Well, you can try, but I don't think you're going to get very far.
That "art" isn't exactly a masterpiece. I certainly wouldn't pay good money for it!
Monkey Island has some really nice-looking beaches, even in EGA.
There are two ways to get the gunpowder to ignite in this puzzle; I personally prefer using the flint and keeping the spyglass intact.
"Excuse me, I have pressing business to attend to." Like going somewhere that doesn't smell of unwashed old man.
Interestingly, Herman Toothrot was not originally a character in the game, but was added when playtesting showed that the Monkey Island section of the game was boring without any characters for Guybrush to talk to.
Topdown perspective in a 2D adventure game = extra work for the artists.
Guybrush manages to get the rowboat in working order again.
The cannibals' village. That big stone face--and Guybrush's fear of it--obviously refer to Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The Giant Monkey Robot was an idea originally floated for MI1, but rejected as just too weird (and for good reason, as EMI proved).
That banana picker is huge. It's a good thing Guybrush has bottomless pants.
Our intrepid protagonist returns to the Monkey Head, intent on pilfering the sacred voodoo root.
Mushrooms in Hell? Now where could Ron Gilbert have gotten that idea?
In fact, the mushrooms (and the eerie faces too) were inspired by Tim Powers' novel On Stranger Tides.
The book features a lengthy sequence in which the protagonist enters the weird Florida swamps that contain the Fountain of Youth.
LeChuck's ghost ship. In the Giant Monkey Robot idea as first suggested, the ghost ship was supposed to transform into Guybrush's opponent in the Mortal Kombat parody.
The streets of Melee Town are deserted, at least by the living.
LeChuck winds up to punch Guybrush, just because it's his twisted idea of fun.
Unfortunately for him, Guybrush knows that this is a comedic game, and thus intuits that "root" beer is made from a root.
The EGA ending close-up of Guybrush and Elaine has a neat "fireworks illumination" effect not seen elsewhere.
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