The Secret of Monkey Island

Developer/Publisher:  Lucasfilm Games

Walkthrough by Steve Metzler (January, 2013)
The Secret of Monkey Island was released in 1990 by Lucasfilm Games. There are no voices available in the original DOS version which I played to bring you this walkthrough. However, there is a talkie version available for the iPhone, iPad, PC, and XBOX 360 that also has updated graphics. I played it using DOSBox 0.74, which I show you how to install and configure here. As far as I know, the puzzles are the same in all versions, so this walkthrough should get you through it.

While The Secret of Monkey Island is technically point and click, you still have to construct primitive sentences using the verb list at the bottom left of the screen to get your character to do anything useful. Throughout the walkthrough, I'll be highlighting the correct sentences to use in each situation like this: Open door.

Whenever Guybrush acquires a new object in inventory, use Look at on the object as soon as you get an opportunity to do so. Sometimes you will get a clue as to how the object may be used.

Remember that you can combine certain objects (even if both objects are in your inventory) like this: Use brush with paint.

The conversation choices in this game are largely there to provide comic relief, so you might as well try them all. Occasionally though, it actually does matter which choices you make. I'll flag these situations where applicable. In any case, it's fun to experiment... which is why saving your game often is very important! You can even save in the middle of a conversation.

Speaking of which, it's good practice in adventure games to save often, to avoid extensive backtracking (or even having to start over) if you make a mistake. There are nine save game slots available. Make good use of them!

Part One: The Three Trials
You gain control of Guybrush as he walks down from the lookout point and is standing on a dock. Head to the right, and use Open door on the door of the Scumm Bar to enter. Believe it or not, the first thing you should do here is Talk to dog. Any dialogue option will do except for "Grrrrrr". This is where you first hear about "LeChuck". Now talk to the pirate in the very centre of the bar, underneath the pirate that is twirling around on the chandelier. First, choose:

"I'd like to introduce myself... my name's Guybrush."

And then:

"Does the name 'LeChuck' mean anything to you?"

This is how you first learn about the ghost pirate LeChuck. Before quitting the dialogue, also choose:

"Where can I get a drink?"

From this, you learn that you need to find an empty mug and head into the kitchen in order to get a drink. But believe me when I tell you that you won't be finding a mug any time soon. Walk to curtain next, and you see three important-looking pirates sitting at a table. Talk to important-looking pirates and choose:

"I want to be a pirate."

You learn about The Three Trials:

  1. Defeat the Sword Master.
  2. Steal the Idol of Many Hands from the Governor's mansion.
  3. Recover the Legendary Lost Treasure of Mêlée Island™.

Wait for the cook to come out of the kitchen and head to the left beyond the curtain, then you can head in there. Pick up hunk of meat and Pick up pot. Then Use hunk of meat with pot o' stew, and Pick up meat in stew to obtain some stewed meat. Head outside onto the dock, and a seagull is preventing you from picking up the fish. Walk out onto the end of the pier, and Guybrush steps on a loose plank, tossing the seagull into the air. You may have to try this a few times, but eventually you will be able to Pick up fish once the seagull stays long enough in the air. Now head back out on to the street. Head to the right, and Walk to archway to enter the village. Then Talk to Citizen of Mêlée, and:

"No, but I once had a barber named Dominique."

He will sell you a treasure map, but it'll cost ya 100 pieces of eight, and you don't have any money yet. Right across from there, Talk to Men of Low Moral Fiber (pirates). When they offer you the minutes of a PTA meeting:

"No, but I'll take one if you give me two pieces of eight."

And you come away with the minutes and 2 pieces of eight. In the middle of a row of shops across from there, you can open a door and enter. Lots of voodoo stuff here. From the trunk on the right, you can Pick up chicken. Then Look at chicken, and Guybrush notices that it's a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle of it. You can walk over to the right and have mojo lady tell your fortune... sort of. But you can't get a full reading yet. Head up the cliffside to the lookout point next. Choose Walk to path on the right, and now you have a bird's eye view of Mêlée Island™. Go to the clearing in the middle of the screen, head to the left once you're there, and enter the circus tent. Talk to the Fettucini Brothers, and they ask if you're willing to be shot from their cannon. They insist that you have a helmet. Say you've got one, and when asked to produce the goods, Give pot to Fettucini Brothers. That does the trick, and after that you are 478 pieces of eight richer (480 in total if you got the 2 pieces of eight for taking the PTA meeting minutes).

Head back into the village, and buy the map from the Citizen of Mêlée for 100 pieces of eight. Then Look at map. Hmm. It's not a map, but rather a diagramme of some dance steps. Head through the archway under the clock, and you see a "Pssst" coming from the middle of the screen. Walk to alley, and sheriff Fester Shinetop follows you in. Dialogue choice doesn't really matter here. Head out of the alley, then head right and into the shop by the archway. Pick up shovel and Pick up sword, then purchase both of them from the storekeeper (another 175 pieces of eight down the tubes, but you don't have to worry about money in this game). Then:

"I'm looking for the Sword Master of Mêlée Island™"

The storekeeper heads out to talk to the Sword Master. Follow him all the way up to the lookout point, then click on the fork (on the way to the circus) and keep following him. He leads you to the Sword Master. Talk to Sword Master, and:

"My name is Guybrush Threepwood. I've come to kill you."

But you aren't ready to do battle with her yet. You need some training first. Head back up to the lookout point, and this time go to the bridge. Give fish to troll, and now you can cross the bridge. Keep heading east towards the lights, and the first place you come to is Stan's Previously Owned Vessels. Look at sign on the door, and Stan seems to be away for now. You can try using your pieces of eight on the grog machine next to Stan's, but you get no grog for your efforts. Head back out onto the path, and keep heading east to the house. Look at sign once you get to the house, and it turns out to be Captain Smirk's Big Body Gym. Hmm. Only 30 pieces of eight for sword training. So head on in. Guybrush knocks on the door. And:

"Could you train me to be better than the Sword Master?"

You have to persist a bit before he decides to allow you in. Well, it turns out that the secret of top class sword fighting has little to do with mastery of the sword, but rather a lot to do with the best insults to throw at your opponent. You don't get the right responses to work with here, but not to worry. Your time will come :-) And then you get chucked out. Now, head back out onto the map, and challenge every pirate you meet to a sword fight. Each time you hear a new insult, use it in the next fight, and try to get a witty response. Even when the pirates start saying "You're good enough to fight the Sword Master", keep going until you figure you've heard every possible insult and its proper response. Then head back to the Sword Master and challenge her once again. Unfortunately, she hurls insults at you that you never heard before, but if your repertoire is large enough, you can find the correct retort for each one. Not to spoil anything (well, this *is* a walkthrough), but here is a random sample:

Insult: "My name is feared in every dirty corner of this island."
Retort: "So you got that job as a janitor, after all."

Insult: "There are no clever moves that can help you now."
Retort: "Yes there are, you just never learned them."

Insult: "Now I know what filth and stupidity really are."
Retort: "I'm glad to hear you attended your family reunion."

Insult: "I've got a long, sharp lesson for you to learn today."
Retort: "And I've got a little TIP for you. Get the POINT?"

Insult: "My sword is famous all over the Caribbean."
Retort: "Too bad no one's ever heard of YOU at all."

Insult: "I will milk every drop of blood from your body!"
Retort: "How appropriate, you fight like a cow."

Insult: "My wisest enemies run away at the first sight of me."
Retort: "Even BEFORE they smell your breath?"

Insult: "I hope you have a boat ready for a quick escape."
Retort: "Why, did you want to borrow one?"

Insult: "I've got the courage and skill of a master swordsman."
Retort: "I'd be in real trouble if you ever used them."

Insult: "You are a pain in the backside, sir!"
Retort: "Your hemorrhoids are flaring up again, eh?"

You get the idea. You don't have to get every response correct, just the majority of them. Once you win, She gives you a 100% Cotton T-shirt that says: "I beat the 'Sword Master'". That's one out of three down on your way to becoming a pirate. Next, head back to the fork in the trail where you first followed the storekeeper into the forest, and now you can explore the place at your leisure. Actually... the apparently bogus map you were sold by the Citizen of Mêlée really is a treasure map. 'Back' means go to the back of the screen, and 'Left' and 'Right' are kinda obvious. When you come to a place with bright, yellow flowers, Pick up plants. Then Use yellow petal with stewed meat to obtain meat with condiment. Then keep following the directions on the 'map' until you come to a plaque. Use shovel with X to dig up the Lost Treasure of Mêlée Island™. It's another T-shirt that says: "I found the Treasure of Mêlée Island™, and all I got was this stupid T-shirt." That's two out of three.

Go back to the village now, head straight through to the archway out the other side, and continue onwards to the Governor's mansion. Use meat with condiment with deadly piranha poodles to put them asleep. Now you can enter the mansion. Open the door immediately to the right as you enter (next to the vase), walk in, and sheriff Fester Shinetop follows you. A hilarious series of adventure game moves plays out behind the wall. Guybrush emerges victorious at the top of the stairs, and comments:

"If only I had a file, I could get the idol!"

Right then. Head for the prison (to the left of the church), and Talk to prisoner. But you don't get very far because his breath stinks, and Guybrush won't talk to him further. Go to the storekeeper, Talk to storekeeper and:

"I could really use a breath mint."

The storekeeper sells you a roll of breath mints for a piece o' eight. Then return to the prison and Give breath mints to prisoner. Now he asks if you're there to release him. You should say:

"Would you happen to have a file?"

And he replies that all he has is some carrot cake that his Aunt Tillie gave him, which he hates. You can have that if you figure out some way to get rid of the rats. Give gopher repellent to prisoner then, and he gives you the cake in return. Look at cake, and Guybrush remarks that it's heavy. Then Open cake, and you find the file that is hidden inside. Now you can return to the Governor's mansion and Walk to gaping hole. You get the fabulous idol, but Fester follows you out and confronts you:

"She said I could have it!"

And indeed, she did! You finally get to speak to Elaine Marley. Well, sort of. Then on the way out of the mansion, Fester confronts you once again, and confiscates your sword. This time you wind up at the bottom of the ocean with the fabulous idol tied to your neck. Just Pick up fabulous idol, and Guybrush also picks up a sword on the way out of the water. It appears that LeChuck has kidnapped Elaine. The lookout presents you with a note from LeChuck. Well, looks like we need to find a boat and head for Monkey Island then.

Go to Stan's Used Ship Emporium next, and talk to Stan. Hmm. You can't afford anything he's got, but Stan mentions during the conversation that if you can manage to get a job, the storekeeper might extend you some credit then. So go Talk to storekeeper. Save your game before you start the conversation, and then:

Guybrush: "I'm interested in procuring a note of credit."
Storekeeper: "You are, are you? Got a job?"
Guybrush: "Yes, of course I do."

The storekeeper goes to his safe to get a note of credit. Take note of how he turns the handle to open the safe. Of course, you don't really have a job, and the storekeeper sees right through any of the fibs you choose to tell him. He puts the note back in the safe. Then, use the old reliable:

"I'm looking for the Sword Master of Mêlée Island™"

Now you can open the safe:

  1. Pull handle four times.
  2. Push handle once.
  3. Pull handle two times.
  4. Push handle four times.

All that's in the safe is the storekeeper's note, which is now in your inventory. Look at storekeeper's note though, and you see it is a promissory note worth 5000 pieces of eight! :-) On the way back up town on your way to Stan's, stop in at the voodoo lady's place and:

"Hey! I'm back and I'm ready to know more about the future."

She tells you that you will need other people to help you (hint: you need to find a crew), and that you must go to Monkey Island™ and defeat LeChuck. The only way to do this is by making a preparation using an ancient root that is to be found there. Oh, and there are cannibals on the island that may either help you or eat you. She is not sure which. Now head to Stan's and:

"I don't really have that much to spend."


"I got credit from the storekeeper. Will you take it?"

Then you start negotiating for the "Sea Monkey". Stan starts off asking for 10000. First, start to walk away:

"Forget it. I don't need this boat anyway."

But then go back:

"Well, maybe you're right..."

And keep making him offers, beginning at 2000. Then start to walk away again. He begins to bring the price down. Once he comes down to 6900, he'll accept your offer for 5000. He takes the storekeeper's note from you, and tells you to come back for the ship once you have a crew. Head for lookout point next, and then for the island all the way to the NE on the map. Walk to pole, then Use rubber chicken on cable and Guybrush makes his way to the island. Open door on the house there, and speak to Meathook:

"The Governor's been KIDNAPPED!"


"We could get a crew together and sail off after them."

All you need to do after that to get him to join your crew is interact with his "murderous winged devil". Any action will do :-) Next, go speak to Carla, the Sword Master:

"The Governor's been KIDNAPPED!"

That was almost too easy. We still need one more crew member, so go Talk to prisoner:

"The Governor's been kidnapped!"

He agrees to join your crew if you can manage to free him. Head for the Scumm Bar, pick up every mug that the pirates left behind, go into the kitchen, and save your game. You have to use the mugs in a relay system to get some grog to the prison. Don't wait too long before transferring a 'melting mug' to a fresh mug, or you will have to start over. It will probably only take three mugs to accomplish this, but you can never be too careful. When you do manage to get some grog to the prison, Use melting mug with lock to free the prisoner. Oh noes! He appears to go against his word. But all you need do is walk out of the village in the direction of the Scumm Bar, and Stan is waiting there for you on the dock with the Sea Monkey. Otis (the prisoner), Carla, and Meathook then join you...

Part Two: The Journey
On the Sea Monkey, you start out in the captain's stateroom. You can use Open drawer on the left-hand drawer of the desk. Then Look at drawer. Guybrush finds a dusty book there. Look at dusty book and Guybrush reads the captain's log. Hmm. Seems they found Monkey Island by chance. Or was it the soup? :-) There was also a bookmark in the log, which is now in your inventory. From the desk, Pick up feather pen then Pick up ink. Note that there is a cabinet on the right-hand side of the stateroom, but it's locked. Now head out of the stateroom. You can try to Talk to mutinous crew, but that's not going to do you much good. Walk to rope ladder to climb the mast, and Pick up Jolly Roger. Then head back down to the deck, and Walk to hatch (just behind Meathook). Walk to door, and now you are in the ship's galley. Open cupboard, and Pick up cereal. Then Open cereal and you find a prize. Look at prize, and it's a small key. Head back to the captain's stateroom and Use small key in cabinet to open it. Then Pick up chest, then Open chest, and Look in chest. Guybrush finds a piece of paper and some cinnamon sticks. Look at piece of paper, and it's actually a recipe for soup. Hey, I guess the secret really is in the soup ;-)

We need a few more ingredients before we can make the soup. So go below decks again, and this time Walk to hatch to get into the ship's hold. Pick up kegs on the kegs to the left, and you get some gunpowder. Pick up giant piece of rope, and Open chest (to the right). Then Look at chest, and Guybrush finds some fine wine. OK, now head back to the galley. Basically, you can throw almost anything in your inventory into the cooking pot. I found this was the minumum ingredients needed to make the soup (actually, these ingredients roughly, very roughly mind you, match the ingredients in the recipe you found in the chest):

  1. Jolly Roger
  2. ink
  3. cereal
  4. fine wine
  5. cinnamon sticks
  6. rubber chicken
  7. breath mints
  8. gunpowder

When Guybrush is coming to, use Walk to to stand up. Then Pick up pot from the counter before leaving the galley. Also, before going up on deck, head down to the hold and get some more gunpowder. Then head up on deck, and we're, of course, just off Monkey Island. Put gunpowder in cannon nozzle. Then Use giant piece of rope with cannon, and Guybrush uses it to make a fuse. Go back to the galley, and Use dusty book with red hot fire to obtain a flaming mass. Now head back up on deck and Use pot, and Guybrush launches himself to Monkey Island.

Part Three: Under Monkey Island
You wind up on the beach next to a tree. Use Walk to to stand up. By the way, you'll be seeing a lot of Herman Toothrot around the place as you explore the island. You can safely ignore him, except for one occasion where you need to interact with him, but this occasion will be rather obvious when it occurs. Pick up banana and Look at piece of paper. Also, by the way, you'll be reading lots of notes around the place, mostly exchanges between LeChuck and the cannibals that live on the island. You might as well read them, because they give you clues as to what you are meant to be doing. Head into the jungle next, and a bit north of the beach you come upon a monkey in a clearing. Don't bother giving him a banana just yet. You are going to need a lot more than one to keep him happy. Continue north until you come to a crack. You can see some oars down there at the bottom of the chasm. Now go all the way to the NW part of the island, where there is a large crater. At the very top (northern part of the crater) there is a fort. Head there. Pick up spyglass and Pick up rope. Then Push cannon and Pick up gunpowder. Also, Pick up cannon ball. Now leave the fort and head east to the river fork in the middle of the island.

At the river fork, Pick up note under rock, and Guybrush also takes the noteworthy rock. Look at noteworthy rock, and Guybrush observes that it is a piece of flint. Next, Walk to footholds across the river, and Guybrush climbs halfway up the towering rock. Either Pull primitive art or Push primitive art until it is pointing straight at you, the person sitting at the keyboard. To determine if you have it positioned correctly, Use spyglass and if Guybrush says:

"I can see that big banana tree on the beach!"

Then you have it right. Walk to footholds to climb all the way up to the top, and Push rock. If you had the primitive art lined up correctly, then Guybrush should say:

"Wow. Looks like it hit the big banana tree on the beach. I bet the odds against that are incredible!"

If not, then you can try lining it up again, and firing it by taking another rock from the heap o' rocks at the top there. Assuming that you managed to hit the banana tree, head back down to the river fork. Before you go to the beach to collect your bananas, Use gunpowder with dam, then Use flint with spyglass. That blows up the dam. Now head to the pond that was created at the very end of what was the dry river bed, and you can Pick up rope there from the unhealthy-looking man. Head back to the crack next, and first Use rope with strong branch to descend halfway down the cliff. Then Use rope with sturdy stump to go all the way down, and Pick up oars. Now you can finally head back to the beach where you first arrived and Pick up bananas. You should now have three bananas in your inventory, but believe it or not, we need some more. Use oars with rowboat, then hop in and take a spin. Head all the way east, then north, then NW and land on the beach there. Head to the village in the NW. Once you enter the village, walk all the way to the left and there is a fruit bowl there. Pick up bananas, and as you are trying to leave the village, the cannibals confront you. Dialogue choice is not important at this time. You get locked in a hut no matter what you do. Once locked in the hut, Pick up memo, and it looks like the large item in the hut is Herman Toothrot's banana picker, which the cannibals are holding hostage for their key to the monkey head. Pick up skull then Pull loose board and you can escape from the hut, but the banana picker is too large to fit through the hole in the floor. Not to worry. Head back to the monkey now.

Give all five bananas to the monkey, and he will now follow you everywhere that there is some jungle. Head for the clearing all the way on the eastern side of the island, where the large monkey head is. The monkey follows you there. Pull nose on the left-hand totem pole, and it opens the door in the fence so the monkey head is now accessible. But once you try to walk to there, the door closes. But now that you have the monkey in tow, he imitates you and pulls the nose to let you in. Pick up wimpy little idol, and return to the cannibal village. Just walk all the way to the left near the fruit bowl, and they will block your way as you walk to the right again. Then:

"Don't eat me! I'll give you anything!"

And Give wimpy little idol to cannibals. Now you have the run of the place, and can enter the now unlocked hut, Pick up banana picker, and leave. On the way out of the village, Herman Toothrot is (conveniently) there. Just Give banana picker to Herman Toothrot, and you get the monkey head key in return. Head back to the monkey head, and Look at gigantic monkey ear. Then Use monkey head key in gigantic monkey ear and the mouth opens. Now... you can enter, walk over to the right, and try Walk to cave numerous times, but you aren't going to get anywhere without some navigational assistance. Go back to the cannibal village, and:

"Well, actually, there is something..."

Turns out they do have something that will help you to navigate the catacombs, but it's the only one they have, and they won't give it to you immediately. So... Look at leaflet (that Stan gave you), and it says: "How to Get Ahead in Navigating." Give leaflet to cannibals, and in return you get the head of the navigator and necklace on navigator. Return to the catacombs under the monkey head, and before you walk to the caves, Use head of the navigator. Follow the head's directions as you walk through the catacombs, and you eventually wind up overlooking LeChuck's ship. But now the pirates will be able to see you unless you use the navigator's necklace to make yourself invisible to them. But it's not that easy. Talk to head of the navigator and he will only let you use his necklace if you pursue the intimidating conversation path and threaten to drop-kick his head into the lava. He finally relents, and you can then Use necklace on navigator which becomes necklace on Guybrush. Walk to ghost ship then, and you arrive on the deck.

Once on LeChuck's ship, head to the left and Open door. It's LeChuck's cabin. There's a key on the wall here, but you can't get near it without LeChuck sensing your presence. So Use magnetic compass with key to pull it from the wall. Now go back the the deck, and Walk to hatch to go below. Walk to passage past the sleeping ghost crew, and then Pick up ghost chicken. You only come away with a ghost feather, but that'll do. Go back to the sleeping ghost crew and wait till he flops his arm out with a bottle. Then Use ghost feather with sleeping ghost crew (on his feet) to tickle him, and you can then Pick up jug o' grog. Return to the place with the chickens and pigs, and Look at hatch (in the middle of the floor). There's a keyhole in it. Use key in hatch then head down there. There's some cooking grease in the corner, but Guybrush can't get to it because he's afraid of rats. So Use jug o' grog with rat, and Guybrush pours some into his dish. Now you can Pick up cooking grease, and Guybrush comes away with a glob of grease. Head back up to the deck, and Open door (the one to the right). It makes a creaking noise, and the pirate shuts it. Use glob of grease on squeaking door, and now you can head in. It's the brig, where they are holding Elaine. Pick up ghost tools and head back to where the chickens and pigs are. Use ghost tools with glowing crate to open it, then Look at crate and Guybrush retrieves a voodoo root. Now you can go back to the cannibals with it. Just exit LeChuck's ship and Use head of the navigator. Guybrush heads straight to the cannibals, gives them the voodoo root, and they present him with a magic seltzer bottle. Once you leave the village, there's a lengthy cut scene. Short version: you wind up back on Mêlée Island™ with whatever gold you had left over, and the magic seltzer bottle. Head for the church, and I'm quite sure you can figure out the rest yourself :-)

See the Review of The Secret of Monkey Island.

Copyright © Steve Metzler 2013. All rights reserved.