A Walkthrough of The Secret of Monkey Island
Note: The following walkthrough is composed from memory and might not be 100% accurate. However, it’s designed to address all the puzzles in the game so look for the topic under each part when you’re stuck.
Part 1: The Three Trials
The Scumm Bar
Firstly head on down to the Scumm Bar where you may talk to any number of pirates. Once you’re done wait around for the cook to leave the kitchen. Wait until he has passed the curtain separating the two ends of the bar and then slip in. Once in, pick up the meat, the cooking pot and the fish. To get the fish you’ll have to keep stepping on the plank to bounce the seagull. Each time the seagull flies a little higher but you should be able to pick up the fish after only two bounces.
You’ll first need to get some money if you want to do anything. If you talk to Men of Low Moral Fibre, you can convince them to give you a copy of the PTA minutes along with two pieces of eight. However, you will only be able to buy some breath mints from the store if you want to talk to the man in the jail cell (Otis).
For real cash head out of town (to the left from the Scumm Bar and up the cliff). You’ll pass the lookout and head to the right to enter the map-screen. At the centre of the island there is a clearing. Head there to find a circus tent. Enter the tent to find two men arguing. You’ll get to interrupt them after which they rush to give you an offer: get shot out of a cannon for money.
Accept and you’ll have to present them with a helmet (the cooking pot). Once done watch Guybrush get fired across the tent. Now you have money to spend on stuff at the store.
Sword fighting Trial
Of all the trials the sword fighting is the most labour intensive. Firstly, head to the store and buy yourself a sword (pick it up in your inventory and then talk to the shopkeeper), then you’ll have to head to house at the East end of the island. However, there’s a bridge with a troll on it blocking your way. The troll wants something, give him the fish you got at the bar to get past.
Once at the house you’ll meet Captain Smirk. Ask him to train you in sword fighting. He’ll keep on insisting you don’t have what it takes. Insist that you do and he’ll eventually consent. What follows is quite hilarious.
Now you’re trained but you’ll have to learn some insults. Smirk provides you with a couple to start with. Now, once you exit to the map there are pirates roaming all across the map-screen. Stop in their path to challenge them into a swordfight. The trick here is not just to learn all the insults but also the counter insults (you’ll learn why a soon). You will often end up losing fights but as long as you stack up on new insults and try them out, that is all that counts. You might eventually start winning swordfights, after three victories the pirates start telling you that you’re good enough to fight the sword master – but don’t believe them. Make sure you have the counter-insults to at least most of the insults before moving on.
Next up is finding the sword master. Head down to the store and tell the shop keep you want to face the Sword Master. However, every time you ask, he’ll leave the store and upon returning (the next time you’re back or if you try to steal something) he’ll tell you the Sword Master doesn’t want to see you. So instead, immediately once he leaves start following him. Don’t worry about him seeing you, just try to keep up.
On the map-screen he’ll head into the woods (the cross-roads near the middle of the map). Once in the forest, stay on his trail. You’ll pass some yellow flowers. Pick these up, they’re important. After you followed through the path you’ll wind up at the Sword Master’s house. She and the shop keep have a short discussion then you can go challenge her.
The sword master, Carla, uses different insults than the regular pirates. This is why you need the counter-insults because she always starts the round (even if you won). You’ll also have to best her maybe six or so times before she’ll give up. If you lose it’s probably because you don’t have enough counter-insults – but you can now get to her house straight from the map screen so don’t worry about leaving to train more.
Once you beat her you get a T-shirt and the trial is complete.
This one is pretty simple. Firstly you need something to drug the dogs outside. Use the flowers you picked up from the forest and stuff them inside the meat and then throw it to the dogs. Now you’ll get inside. Once in, enter the first door you see and an animation starts. You find the idol but you need a file to get it. Head down to the jail and give the Gopher Repellent to Otis and he’ll give you the carrot cake in exchange. Click “use” on the cake to eat it and you’ll find a file inside. Head back through the hole in the wall and you’ll get the idol.
Next up you’ll get the idol and meet Elaine. When you try to leave Fester stops you.
Trapped under water
Fester throws you in the drink. You’re stuck with not much to do. Your escape is actually very easy. Just pick up the idol and Guybrush will leave. However, if you want to have some fun, save the game and then wait for 10 minutes…
Treasure Hunting Trial
Time for the final trial, this one is rather easy. Go buy the treasure map from the citizen that stands at the street corner across from the Men of Low Moral Fibre. Then go to the store and buy a shovel. Now head to the forest and open up the map, you’ll notice that the map is made of dance instructions. However, these will lead you to the treasure. “Left” and “right” on the instructions obviously mean to the left and right of the screen and “back” means heading to the exit in the background.
Eventually you’ll find the X. Use the shovel on it and you’re done.
Getting a crew
Oh no! LeChuck has kidnapped Elaine. You’ll have to sail after him but you’ll need a ship and a crew. First let’s handle the easy part. You need three people for the crew. Firstly you can head out to the forest and ask Carla. She’ll accept but your other two crewmen are more difficult to get a hold of.
Otis will join once you show him the ransom note, but you’ll have to free him from jail first. Head back to Scumm Bar which is now empty. There are empty mugs everywhere. Gather them all up and head to the kitchen (the cook is crying outside so he wont care that you go in there). Right next to the door is a keg of grog. Take some and Guybrush will note that it’s eating through the mug.
Now, quickly head back to the jail, while keeping an eye at the rate the mug is dissolving. It will go through at least four stages of dissolution before the mug final melts completely. You should however switch mugs as soon as the mug hits its third stage, if it hits the fourth it will be too late. You’ll need maybe three or four mugs in all to get the grog all the way to the jail. Toss the grog on the lock on the cell door and you’ve freed Otis.
Head to the shop on the main street – the centre door on the right. You’ll enter a creepy Voodoo shop. You’ll see a chicken on a table. Pick it up and now you have the famous Rubber-Chicken-with-a-pulley-in-the-middle. You can also talk to the Voodoo Lady if you want.
Now head out to the North-East end of the island. You’ll come to a pole with a cable running to small inlet. Firstly, climb the pole and then use the chicken on the cable to swing to the other side. Now enter the house on the island. You’ll meet Meathook. He’s not happy you burst in and you’ll have a chance to insult him, but you should make nice with him instead.
You can now break the news about the Governor being kidnapped. Meathook proposes a challenge of courage for you. This one is simple. Meathook more or less explains it. Open the tiny door and then do something to the parrot. After this Meathook will join your crew.
Getting a ship
Head to the lights on the map to enter Stan’s Used Ship depot. Ask Stan about the cheapest ship available, when you talk about payment he’ll tell you that the shop keep will give you a note of credit.
Head back to town and go talk to the shop keep. He’ll go get the note of credit. Pay attention as he opens the safe. Once you tell him your job, he’ll seem unconvinced and head back upstairs. This gives you a second chance to memorize (or write down) the combination. Now, you need him to leave and you’ll know what will do the trick. Once he does head upstairs and open the safe to get the note of credit.
You can now spend 5000 pieces of eight but you’re not done yet. You’ll have to talk to Stan. Firstly have him talk about extras. On every item he mentions, tell him you don’t need that particular item. This will lower the price of the ship. Once he starts the cycle of extras all over again you can stop talking about them. You can ask how much he thinks the ship is worth. The price should be a little over 7000 pieces of eight if you said no to all the extras.
Now starts the bidding. Start with the lowest bid (1000) and work your way up. Stan will drop the price with every bid. Finally you should be able to get the ship for 5000 (or if you go over the extras a few times for even less).
Now that you’re done, head back to town and Part 1 is over.
Part 2: The Voyage
Now it’s time to get to Monkey Island. However, you don’t have any directions to go by. You’ll find a clue in your drawer in the form of a ship’s log. It mentions a recipe, now you have to find that recipe. For one, head below deck. Go to the kitchen and open the cupboard to find stacks of cereals. Pick up one box and rummage through it to find a prize. Open the prize and it turns out to be a key. Now, you can open the wardrobe-closet in your room. Inside is a chest and inside it cinnamon sticks and the aforementioned recipe.
Cooking up the recipe
The recipe mentions a number of things, like drops of blood and a skull. Don’t take the recipe too literally, you’ll have to approximate what is meant by this. For instance, the recipe calls for a live chicken, but all you really need is the rubber chicken. All the ingredients go in the cooking pot in the kitchen. Your breath-mints, place-marker, the chicken and the cinnamon sticks will all go in the pot. You’ll find a Jolly Roger if you climb up the mast to replace the skull in the recipe and going below deck you’ll find some wine (the blood) as well as some rope and gunpowder.
The doses aren’t exact so keep adding as much stuff in the pot until finally you have green smoke coming up. Guybrush passes out and when you wake up, go up deck and voila! You’re on Monkey Island.
Getting to the island
You’re going to have to shoot yourself out of the cannon again. Pick up some gunpowder from down below and a piece of rope as well as a pot from the kitchen. Use the rope and gunpowder on the cannon. Next up, use something flammable on the flame of the cooker to get a “flaming mass”. This will be used to light the cannon. Don’t use the flaming mass on the fuse though, instead either use the pot or have Guybrush climb into the cannon to start the animation sequence.
Now you’re literally on the island and that’s the end of Part 2.
Part 3: Beneath Monkey Island
Once on the island, you’ll notice there are only a handful of locations you can go to and you can’t get past the mountains to the North side of the island. There’s a rowboat on the beach where you landed but the oars are at the bottom of the steep pit.
Getting the Oars
To get the oars you’ll need two pieces of rope to make it to the bottom of the pit. The first one is easy. Just head to the East side of the island to the inactive volcano. There is a fort on the side of it, go there. Here you’ll immediately find your first piece of rope and a spyglass. When you push the cannon a cannonball and some gunpowder come out and the bearded fellow from the beach (Herman) reappears. After a brief discussion he’ll leave. Now pick up some of the gunpowder and, if you want, the cannonball.
The second piece of rope you’ll find with the hanged corpse at the clearing but unfortunately you can’t reach him. Head to the cliffs and you’ll find dam made of rocks redirecting the river. It’s time to bust that dam open so pour the gunpowder on it. Now, you can light it using two methods. If you took the cannonball and have found a piece of flint you can use them together to make a spark. Alternatively, use “open” on the spyglass and then use the lens with the sun. After this the dam will break and flood the clearing with the corpse on it. Take the rope from him.
Now head back to the cliff and use the ropes to get the oars. You can now sail to the North end of the island.
Getting to the Giant Monkey Head
You will have noticed that you can’t get to the Giant Monkey Head because of the fence set up around it. If you pull the nose of one of the totem-poles a door will open, but it will close as soon as you let go. You’ll need someone’s help here. Firstly, head up to the cliffs. Here you will find a strange contraption which turns out to be a type of catapult. Using “push” and “pull” you can aim it and going to the top of the cliff and pushing the rock down you can shoot boulders to the South of the island. The object is to hit the banana tree down at the beach. Just keep moving the catapult until you manage to hit it and then go collect the bananas from the beach.
Alternate ending: This is also where you’ll have a chance to get the alternate ending. If you use the catapult to sink your ship you’ll strand your crew on Monkey Island.
Now it’s time to head to the North end of the island. So get in your row-boat. The only place to go is the village there. Walk all the way to the left and pick up the bananas. As you are leaving the cannibals catch you. They’ll lock you up in the hut. You’ll find Herman’s banana-picker but you won’t be able to get it yet. Lift the skull holding down the loose floorboard and escape.
Head back to the South end of the island and go to the Monkey that shows up on the map. Give him all the bananas you’ve got and now it will follow you to the Monkey Head. Pull the nose again and the monkey will start hanging on to it. Now you can get to the Giant Monkey Head.
Getting in to the Giant Monkey Head
Now you only have one problem. You can’t open the Giant Monkey Head. You need the key. If you talked to Herman you’ll know that he has it and won’t give it away until he gets his banana-picker back. The natives have it and now they’re angry at you for stealing their bananas. Firstly, pick up the tiny idol lying near the Giant Monkey Head. Now head back to the village.
Each time you visit the cannibals will give you the chance to appease them. Give them the small idol and now they’ll let you come and go as you please. They’ll even open up the hut and now you can get the banana-picker. As you exit Herman’s showed up at the village. Give him the banana-picker and he’ll give you the key. Now you can get into the Giant Monkey Head.
Navigating the Caverns of Meat
Another thing to slow you down. You can’t get anywhere in the caverns and you’ll just end up back at the beginning. Looks like you need help. Go talk to the cannibals again. When you ask for help they’ll tell you about The Head of a Navigator. This is what you need but they won’t let it go. You’ll need to convince them that they can replace the head. Remember the books Stan gave you before you left? Give the cannibals the “How to Get Ahead in Navigating” book and they’ll give you the Head.
Now head on down to the caverns and once there, use the head. His nose will point where you’re supposed to go. Stop at cross-roads and doors to check which direction he wants you to go. After passing three screens or so you’ll have reached the Pirate Ship.
Getting the Anti-Root
If you talked to the cannibals you’ll know that the only way to defeat the ghosts is using a magic root. The Ghost Pirates have it and your next task is getting it back. But you can’t get on the ship with everyone seeing you. So you need to use the magic necklace. However, the Head becomes disagreeable over this. You need to convince the head to give you the necklace. You can do this by continuous nagging or be threatening to kick the head in the lava. Either way works fine.
Now you’re on the boat. If you head down below you’ll find a shining crate. The root is inside but you need tools to open it. There’s also a door you can’t enter because the squeaking hinges cause the pirates to stop playing. Also there’s a floor-door (in the same room as the root) you can’t open.
First things first, head to the back of the ship (left) and you’ll enter LeChuck’s cabin. The key to the floor-door is on the wall but you can’t pick it up since LeChuck can hear your footsteps. Remember the compass Stan gave you? It’s supposed to have an extra strong magnet. Needless to say, use it to get the key.
Now you can get to the bottom-deck where there happens to be convenient pool of grease to use on that squeaky door. Unfortunately there’s a huge ghost rat that won’t let you pass. You need to knock it out. Go back up and try picking up one of the ghost chickens. You’ll get a feather. In the next room there’s a ghost sleeping with jug of rum. While his fee are out use the feather to tickle them. On the second try he’ll drop the jug of rum.
Now go downstairs again and pour the rum in the little bowl on the floor. The rat will drink from it and pass out. Now you’ll get the grease. Go back on top and use it on the door to get in. Inside there are the tools you need. Pick them up, head on down and use them to open the crate. Now you have the root and it’s back to the Cannibal village.
This concludes Part 3.
Part 4: Guybrush Kicks Butt
You’re back on Mêlée Island again. There’s not much to tell about the fourth chapter. You’ll run into two ghosts on your way to the church but just use the Anti-Root on them and you’ll be fine. After the church scene ends you’ll have control of Guybrush.
How do I beat LeChuck?
After getting punched around you’ll land in the grog machine at Stan’s. You get pulled out by LeChuck as well a bottle of root beer. Quickly, get up, pick up the root beet and use it on LeChuck. If you’re not quick enough he’ll punch you but if you at least have the root beer you’ll get another shot at the next location he punches you at. After this, watch the fireworks.
And that’s all folks!