Monkey Island Wiki

screenshot of the video game

The Secret of Monkey Island is the first installment of the series of games.

Guybrush's memoirs[]

"Excerpted from "The Memoirs of Guybrush Threepwood: The Monkey Island Years""

"I cursed my luck again as I slid down the monkey's throat. Have my dreams of guzzling grog and plundering galleons been reduced to this. 'Three small trials and you're a pirate like us.' Fair enough. If only I could stomach the foul brew these scurvy seadogs swilled, the rest would be easy. How could I have known I'd meet a powerful and beautiful woman with a jealous suitor too stupid to realize he'd been dead for years? And how can I crawl through this great stone monkey to find a man who walks three inches above the ground and sets fire to his beard every morning?"[2]


Chapter 1: The Three Trials[]

Main Article: Part One: The Three Trials The adventure begins when a someone by the name of Guybrush Threepwood appears on Melee Island, wanting to be a pirate. In order to do so, he must seek out the three pirate leaders, who order him to do three challenging tasks to prove himself worthy. Along the way he meets enemies and friends, including the lovely governor Elaine Marley.

Chapter 2: The Journey[]

Main Article: Part Two: The Journey

Guybrush's initiation of becoming a pirate has taken a setback when the beautiful governor has been kidnapped by the ghostly pirate LeChuck. In order to save the Governor, he has bought a ship and employed three crew members.

Chapter 3: Under Monkey Island[]

In this chapter Guybrush explores the Monkey Island, meeting a hermit and a tribe of cannibals. He gains entry to Hell and gets to board LeChuck's ship, but the ship leaves for Melee Island before Guybrush has the time to finish LeChuck off.

Chapter 4: Guybrush Kicks Butt[]

This is the final episode of the game, set on the Melee Island again. LeChuck is about to marry Elaine — against her will — and Guybrush rushes in just in time to stop the ceremony. LeChuck is not happy and he starts beating Guybrush around, but with a certain liquid Guybrush finally prevails and gets Elaine.


In Europe most gamers played Monkey island 1 on the Commodore Amiga's early machines, notably A500 and A2000. The Amiga version of SoMi1 had, between all platforms, the highest quality on the in-game music among the versions released on diskettes (3,5" double density disks). From Workbench 2 OS release, the game could be installed on Hard drive (Amiga) ,making it run significantly faster and easier than in the disk-swapping that was common for A500 games at around 1989-1991. The game could not run on A1200 without disabling the AGA graphics chipset.

It was remade for the PC CD-ROM, in which the music itself was improved from the first PC edition; the release also included graphical verb and inventory icons in the style of its sequel. The interface of the original version includes twelve verbs, including obscure commands along the lines of "Turn on" and "Turn off". However, in the PC CD version, two of these verb's were stripped from the menu, and the default "Walk to" no longer showing up in the verb selection.

The game was also released to Atari ST.

Later in the year of release, the game was imported to FM Towns (a Japanese variant of the PC) and in 1993, to the Sega CD. It is in this version that a password system to save the game is used. Whilst it included all the item's that were needed, it did not save the various items the character had acquired.

Worse still, the game suffered from diabolical load times. This is probably because of the single-speed drive of the CD-ROM. It was also reduced from 256 colors to 64 colors, giving the game's overall picture a washed-out, diabolical-quality look. As a result, this remake prompted LucasArts to cancel plans to release Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Monkey Island 2 for that system. In addition, the Monkey Island series did not appear as a console release again until Escape from Monkey Island in 2000.

Special edition[]

LucasArts released a special edition for the games 20th anniversary in 2009. The anniversary was celebrated on the creation of the game rather than the release date.

Elaine Comparison.jpg

The revised edition is widescreen with HD art and a revised HD score. Voice actors from the later games brought in to record the previously only subtitles lines. However a touch of a button reverts to the original CD-ROM version.

The verbs are accessed through a drop down menu.

It was released for PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and Iphone/Ipod touch.


  • The Three Trials - Complete Part One: The Three Trials.
  • The Journey - Completed Part Two: The Journey
  • Under Monkey Island - Complete Part Three: Under Monkey Island
  • Guybrush Kicks Butt - Complete Last Part: Guybrush Kicks Butt.
  • Sharp Tongue - Learn all of the insults and replies from the pirates.
  • Recordkeeper - Collect all of the notes and memos on Monkey Island™.
  • Marooned Everyone - Play both endings of the game.
  • Human Cannonball - Finish the entire game in under 3 hours.
  • Determined - Don't use any hints to finish the game.
  • Old School - Switch to classic mode at least once.
  • Ten Minutes Later... - Have Guybrush drown.
  • Escape Artist - Escape from the Monkey Island™ Cannibals' hut 5 times



  • An early idea for the game was to have the choice to play as a male or female protagonist. The idea was scrapped however for concerns about disk space and the need for double the amount of animations for the heroes.
  • The Secret of Monkey Island features a brief and small cameo of George Lucas in sprite form.
  • Ron Gilbert provides something of a commentary on his blog Grumpy Gamer.
  • One of the in-game items is the Red Herring. It is described as something 'distracting but of no real purpose to anyone'. SoMI has been unofficially referred to in the same way, partly due to its own purpose of being 'just a game', but more due to protagonist Guybrush Threepwood's own journey and character. Threepwood begins a quest to impress the pirate leaders, but when he is done, the pirates have fled and there is no one left to impress, and he has nothing to show but a couple of T-shirts. Meanwhile, Elaine Marley is kidnapped, and he sets out to rescue her. However, it turns out she had no need of his help, and was able to escape and get a ghost zapping formula alone. Threepwood's involvement actually complicated matters, and almost ruined her plan. If he had left well alone, Marley would have defeated LeChuck single-handedly.

Behind the Scenes[]

Following the success of Maniac Mansion, Ron Gilbert toyed with a few ideas for further games, none of which gained traction until he considered the classic game 'King's Quest' and it's fantasy setting. However Gilbert was not a fan of dragons and wizards and the like, so he instead chose the pirate theme which could easily incorporate numerous fantasy elements.

He was partly inspired by the book 'On Stranger Tides' by Tim Powers. Gilbert liked that the protagonist was a fish-out-of-water. He felt that a hero who was not a seasoned pirate and did not understand the world he was in would be well suited to whoever was playing the game. They can both learn at the same time.

He also drew inspiration from Disney's 'Pirate's of the Caribbean' ride for visual style.

Gilbert also hoped to achieve an improvement in the adventure game genre, avoiding the problems many previous games had. He wanted a clear end objective so that players knew what they were trying to do and why. Puzzles in the game should all be a part of the story, but he also wanted the player to have options of what to do so they didn't feel stuck on a linear path. He wanted there to be no player deaths in the game, as many other titles killed their heroes too easily which did not suit the often trial and error style of play in adventure games. He wanted to make sure players were always presented with problems/puzzles before they found solutions. He also wanted to guarantee that players would always have access to items they needed to solve puzzles, as some earlier games left players in unwinnable situations. He was also keen to remove the text-based gaming and replace it with the on screen verbs.

The earliest working title was 'Mutiny on Monkey Island'.

Ron Gilbert wrote the basic story during design stages. You can see the original document here:File:1990 The New Monkey Island.compressed.pdf


Reference List[]

Incomplete Game Script

Hint Book Walkthrough

Monkey Island Games

The Secret of Monkey Island (special edition) • Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (special edition)• The Curse of Monkey IslandEscape from Monkey IslandTales of Monkey IslandReturn to Monkey Island

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