Neil Druckmann, creative director of The Last of Us and its sequel, has confirmed that he has a cameo voice role in Return to Monkey Island.
The developers of Return to Monkey Island seem to have snuck a secret cameo into the game, as Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann voices a character. Return to Monkey Island, the new point-and-click adventure game from Lucasfilm Games writer and director Ron Gilbert, is now available. The sequel to the classic Monkey Island games is full of jokes, references and funny cameos. Gilbert also seems to have taken the opportunity to pay Druckmann back for an earlier cameo.
In 2016, Druckmann confirmed in an interview with VentureBeat that he had personally asked a Naughty Dog concept designer to help place an easter egg in Uncharted 4. The easter egg in question referred to The Secret of Monkey Island, which Gilbert directed and helped write in 1990. The easter egg was a painting of a young pirate captain labeled “Guy” accompanied by a monkey sigil, a reference to Guybrush Threepwood from Monkey Island. Nathan Drake even cracks a joke about the “second largest cistern”, a joke that was also featured in The Secret of Monkey Island.
If you know, you know.
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) September 22, 2022
The love that Druckmann and Naughty Dog shared for Monkey Island has apparently stayed with Gilbert, as Druckmann himself has now been confirmed to make a cameo appearance in the new game. In a tweet, Druckmann linked a picture of a Return to Monkey Island character who looks like Druckmann. Then, in the credits of Return to Monkey Island, it was confirmed that Duckmann was the voice actor for the game. It looks like Druckmann will live forever as one of Return to Monkey Island’s pirates.
Druckmann says of the cameo, “Still can’t believe it!” and shared his eternal gratitude to Ron Gilbert and those involved in the development of Return to Monkey Island. This isn’t the first time Druckmann has mentioned Return to Monkey Island. He’s highly recommended the game since its release and has been gushing about it on social media for some time now.
You don’t have to see too much into it. This is just a fun example of game developers who appreciate each other’s work coming together to create something fun. Druckmann arranged for Monkey Island to be represented in Uncharted 4’s pirate story, and Gilbert returned the favour by featuring Druckmann as a pirate in the new game.
Game development is so complex that friend cameos and easter eggs like these are difficult to handle. Uncharted 4 couldn’t directly reference Monkey Island due to potential legal issues, so the team must have worked hard not to cross any boundaries. And it was a nightmare to get Druckmann to spare time for dubbing. But now Uncharted and Monkey Island fans have something special to smile about as they play through each game.
Return to Monkey Island is out now for PC, Mac and Nintendo Switch, and you can read our review here.