This little dude is "Shadax", the protagonist from the NES game Solstice.
Cursed Island is a deceptively hard scenario to beat. I played it twice in a row and lost.
Yes! It seems to me that you really need to get lucky with the map tiles. Unless you draw both a plains tile and a hills tile before your third mystery icon, your basically screwed because you wont be able to build bells, which are the only way of removing cubes apart from one discovery token. All of you who have cleared this scenario, were you just lucky or am I overlooking something?