This constituted inside joke #134 in the LucasArts point and click adventure, The Curse Of Monkey Island. Whilst the Monkey Island games have a long, proud (well maybe just long) tradition of referencing other LucasArts games, this was perhaps the first reference to an earlier reference to another LucasArts game. Perhaps I should explain.

In The Secret Of Monkey Island (the first in the series), we are treated to a gag revolving around a swarthy pirate wearing an Ask Me About Loom badge. The joke would become more ironic in time, as those few of us who actually played Loom can attest. Needless to say, the game is probably better know for this brief cameo in a successful game series than any merit of its own.

That may very well have been that, a funny but increasingly obscure joke enshrined in adventure gaming history. However, as The Curse Of Monkey Island coincided with the release of the (vastly superior) Grim Fandango, the team had the chance to resurrect an old Ron Gilbert moment (and considering how recycled Ron Gilbert moments were generally the best parts of The Curse Of Monkey Island, this is no bad thing). The star of Grim Fandango, Manuel Calavera (a well dressed skeleton, although he is currently in pirate regalia) is face down in his food at an otherwise customer-free fried chicken restaurant. Upon searching his body for vital, puzzle solving items, we discover, to our amusement, that he is wearing an “Ask Me About Grim Fandango” lapel pin! Which, as it transpires, is a lot less funny in a node than it was in the game.

A rather noble and self-sacrificing nodeshell rescue, if I do say so myself.

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