The Secret of Monkey Island

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The Secret of Monkey Island

Secret of Monkey Island - DOS - USA.jpg

MS-DOS - USA - 1st edition.

Developer Lucasfilm Games
Publisher Lucasfilm Games
Published 1990-10-??
Platforms Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, FM Towns, Macintosh Classic, Sega CD, Windows
Genres Adventure, Adventure, Graphic adventure, Passive puzzle, Puzzle
Themes Adventure, Cartoon, Comedy, Pirates, Wilderness
Series Monkey Island

The Secret of Monkey Island is a humorous graphic adventure puzzle video game created by Lucasfilm Games and released for MS-DOS in October 1990. It is the first game in the Monkey Island series, and uses the popular SCUMM engine. The original was released in two versions, EGA or VGA graphics. The Amiga, FM-Towns, Macintosh, and Sega CD ports are based on the VGA graphics while the Atari ST was based on the EGA graphics. A CD-ROM "talkie" version was released in 1992 and a Windows special edition was released on 2009-07-15.

In the game, you play as Guybrush Threepwood, a naive young man who wishes to become a pirate but lacks the necessary skills. After traveling to Mêlée Island, he meets some real pirates who tell him, to become a pirate, he must complete three difficult tasks. Very quickly learns he's in over his head as he falls for the lovely sword master and Governor who is being stalked by ghost pirates!


Won?Yes. Used a couple hints.

I first saw this game at a friend's house. He had the LucasArts adventure box set (EGA version) and showed me his saved game locations from various points in the game, including the ending. I never got a chance to play it then, but the game looked pretty cool. Hearing more and more about the series over the years, I finally decided to play it around 2015 and beat it.

I do not own the game, but I have beaten it, though I required a couple hints.


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5 5 8 5 6

Best Version: DOS VGA Remake

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The script is pretty hilarious, lots of funny dialog options.
  • The graphics are quite beautiful, especially in the VGA version, but even in the EGA version.
  • It was funny seeing Cobb as a pirate shilling for Loom.


  • You're unable to choose a lot of the dialog options because the game cuts-short many conversation trees. The only way to read these options is to keep reloading the game (or replay it entirely), which is a pain.
  • Like many adventure games, some of the puzzles are particularly difficult to solve and don't make much sense. I can attribute this to trying to pad the length of the game, trying to sell hint books, or laziness from the developers. Whatever the case, it's annoying.
  • Several parts of the game are just too silly and ruin the experience (but only temporarily).
  • There are a couple ways to put the game in an unwinnable state, but most of them involve having knowledge you shouldn't yet have, either from a hint book or re-playing the game.


  • Nothing.


Box Art

Steve Purcell painted the game's box art, and Cathrine Flanders designed the layout. I adore it. The painting is a wonderful collage of the game's main characters and locations in the same vein of the posters made for Lucasfilm action films, and the lettering is perfect for the game. Every region uses the same art, only with slightly modified layout.




Longplay - DOS - EGA.
Longplay - DOS - VGA.
Longplay - Windows - Special edition.

Play Online

Sega CD


Strong female character?PassCarla is the great Sword Master and Elaine Marley is the Governor (though she's also a damsel in distress).
Bechdel test?FailThe women never speak to each other.
Strong person of color character?PassThe Sword Master Carla and the Voodoo woman are form of indigenous Caribbean and Carla is pretty strong. There are also, unfortunately, "cannibals."
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.


This is the LucasFilm Games Passport to Adventure game sampler. It contains an MS-DOS demo version of The Secret of Monkey Island, Loom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure.


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English The Secret of Monkey Island
Japanese モンキー・アイランド ユーレイ海賊大騒動! Monki Airando: Yurei Kaizoku Osodo! Monkey Island: Ghost Pirate Turmoil!


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