back to article The Secret of Monkey Island

The Secret of Monkey Island ignites the urge to buckle swashes in everyone and 20 years on from its debut everyone I know still loves this game. The Secret of Monkey Island screenshot She goes sixty miles to the galleon Especially my friend Pippa, who manages to constantly find parallels between our pop punk adventures and …


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  1. tsdadam
    Thumb Up

    I'm selling these fine leather jackets

    It's worth mentioning that the special editions that have been recently released do NOT contain all of the sequels, only the first two games (and if you count the Tales Of Monkey Island episodes, we're lucky enough to have had four sequels now :) ).

    It's also worth mentioning the single biggest change to the Special Edition games too, the fact that they've had vocals added! Dominic Armato and the rest of the crew were brought in to voice them retrospectively.

    The first two are still two of the best games ever made. The third is very good, but I prefer not to think about the fourth :( Monkey Kombat especially ruined that game for me.

    Oh and while you can't die as a result of your course of actions, you can die as a result of your *inaction*. Ten minutes is a long time to hold your breath, but not always long enough... ;)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!

    This game really was my favorite as a child and still remains playable today. I know most of the story off the top of my head and yet it still manages to make me laugh.

    Getting captured repeatedly by the cannibals remains, for me, one of the best sequences of laughs ever.

    "I'm not sure which is more confusing, how you keep escaping, or why you keep coming back"

  3. craigj

    Look behind you, a Three-Headed Monkey!

  4. That's it man, game over man, game over!


    Lucas taking something old giving it some flashy new gfx and reselling it, wish they had thought of it before.....

    1. Sooty

      best part though

      is that you have the choice of reverting it to the original version... even the iphone version does it.

  5. LuMan
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    Utter brilliance

    I remember many a late night stuffing disk after disk into my Amiga (until I got that massive 20mb hdd). This game was (and still is) the best adventure game ever made. Better than Day Of The Tentacle, better than Simon The Sorcerer and better than Flight Of The Amazon Queen.

    My pal got the iPhone version with updated visuals, but he still reverted to the original graphics 'cos they're soooo much better. If you find the right SCUMMvm you can pretty much play this (and others) on any device. Sheer heaven.

    "You make me want to puke!"

    "You make me think somebody already did!"

  6. Shane8
    Thumb Up


    Loved the monkey island series favourite was number III. Would like to see review for similar games esp Broken Sword series !

  7. Monkey Bob
    Thumb Up

    Christmas my arse...

    I want this by now!

  8. Baudwalk
    Thumb Up


    Or indeed Arrrrr.

    My timber just shivered from nostalgic bliss.

    I want. Big time.

    *sigh* But I don't have the time to sit at my PC long enough to play these.

    May have to check out the ScummVM for my Android tablet.

  9. phuzz Silver badge

    But what about...

    How could you forget the insult sword fighting?


    Q: People fall at my feet when they see me coming.

    A: Even BEFORE they smell your breath?


    I've spoken with apes more polite then you!

  10. Mark Pitchless
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    You fight like a dairy farmer!

    For me it was the first game that really made me laugh and laugh and laugh again. The insult, retort sword fighting was an especially nice touch. Genius all round, arrr.

  11. Nick Roberts
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    Best game of all time.

  12. Joe K

    Portable too

    No mention of the excellent iOS version of the HD remakes?

    Monkey Island on the go, and you can flip between the old skool and HD versions with a 2 finger swipe, never gets old.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    How appropriate. You fight like a cow

    They can keep porting this to new platforms and I will keep buying it. And switching back to classic mode ...

    Now I just need DOTT: SE

    1. Powerlord

      I hear LucasArts switched CEOs right before the Monkey Island 2 remake was released, and it was the (now gone) CEO that was pushing for the remakes. :/

      So, I don't think we're going to see a remake of DotT.

  14. EddieD

    Don't make 'em like that any more...

    As title. Wonderful memories - thanks

  15. Annihilator Silver badge


    Could never get into Monkey Island, not sure why, but then I could never get into text adventure games either (which this just seemed to be an extension of)

    Although if you want to talk games that drag me into feelings of nostalgia, maybe cover Dizzy?

    1. Bassey

      Re: Annihilator

      I'm with you Annihilator. My friends and I all tried to get into these games as all the games magazine reviewers kept telling us they were the best thing since sliced bread - but I just found them dull. And this is from a person that would spend hours at a time playing computer Risk so my dull-tolerance levels were pretty high.

    2. Joefish

      I could handle the slow pace and adventure puzzles, and the design is great.

      What I could never stand is the way the text is delivered at a speed for someone with a reading age of about 6 (even if you can speed it up by repeated key-bashing, it becomes tiresome). When you have to click on half-a-dozen different characters to find the one who furthers the plot, and the others just repeat the same 'witty' conversation between themselves, whichever one you click on, over and over, I just give up.

  16. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    All remade in HD

    Really, I was aware of the first two which I brought straight away.

    These games are classic and although I am aware remakes may never capture the magic of the originals on the original systems I still prefer them to most games.

    /me still waiting for a HD remake of Manic Mansion and Manic Mansion: DOTT!!

  17. wibble001

    I remeber a while ago looking at the revamped version on XBox Live, which allowed you to switch back to the original version.

    Stilll remains one of the best games (possibly series?) of all time.

    1. Sys110x

      It's worth the purchase, believe me. I was captured back in my childhood the second the intro music started.

  18. Rob Beard

    I found the Legendary Lost Treasure of Mêlée Island

    ... and All I Got Was this Stupid T-Shirt

    Ahh this has to be on my top 10 list of favourite games of all time. I remember when this came out a friend of mine got this on the Amiga. He would rant and rave about it but I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. It wasn't until I got an Amiga that I understood.

    I think overall I must have bought this game about 5 or 6 times (on the Amiga, on PC Floppy, the PC VGA enhanced version, a MI 1, 2 and 3 box set and finally on the XBOX).

    It's one of those games that I keep playing and finding things that I'd not noticed before, such as the holding your breath for 10 minutes thing.

    In fact I think I'll probably dig it out and play it later on.

    Beer icon... well there isn't a Grog icon.


  19. jai

    by Lucy Orr?

    Lucy Aaarrr more like :-)

  20. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Truly were wonderful games

    And Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis would have a much better fourth movie than what we got.

    As for adventures, I still have a soft spot for the Infocom games. I bought one of Commodore's breathtakingly slow floppy disk drives for my C64 just so I could play 'Zork' - which probably explains my A-level results. They were magnificent pieces of writing - both prose and code; has there ever been a more laugh-out-loud game than 'Leather Goddesses of Phobos'?

  21. The Unexpected Bill

    "Never pay more than twenty bucks for a computer game..."

    The Secret of Monkey Island succeeded where almost no other computer game or gaming system ever did--it sucked me in around the early 1990s when I came into a copy the way I suspect a lot of people did. (A neighbor gave me a bunch of "old computer stuff" at the time and one of those things was a cracked copy of the program. Most of it wasn't old, just unwanted.) I was probably too young for it at the time, as I never managed to get off of Melee Island.

    Fast forward to the mid-2000s when someone else was giving me their old computer stuff. (Notice a pattern here?) Most of it was the usual junk, but buried deep in a box was a LucasArts multi-game box set that looked new. A few of the disks had bad spots, but nowhere that mattered and soon I was playing once again, with my eye on actually seeing it through to completion. I completed the game while waiting in a car dealership, playing it on a Compaq LTE 5000 laptop.

    I always loved the soundtrack, whether played on a proper soundcard or PC speaker (weren't those the days?) The newer version of the game in that box set had better (MCGA) 256-color graphics and no longer required the "type in the year this pirate was hanged" test at startup. I still fire it up every now and again on a PS/2 Model 70 and spend a few hours puttering around with it. This and the modern Rigs of Rods stand alone in holding my interest.

    Extra points awarded if you knew that the title of this post was actually something you could choose to have Guybrush say at the end of the game.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grim Fandngo

    Liked Monkey Island but loved Grim Fandango,its the only game I have played 4 times !!

    1. Dixie Nourmous

      Any better theme song ?

      uno dos tres quattro bring om the fulll mariachi band

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Anyone know a) where one can get a copy of GF and b) how to get it to run well on Windows7+? I *love* this game, it trumps all others for me, but sadly I think I gave my copy away years ago.

      GF is amazing, I look forward to a review of this gem. Emotional, clever, witty, unusual and fun. Ah, Glottis, I miss you...

  23. lpopman
    Thumb Up

    titular memories

    I am rubber, you are glue

  24. Rob
    Thumb Up

    Old classic also plays on WinMo 6.5

    Before I changed to an android phone someone genius had put a SCUMM emulator together for Windows Mobile, I think my memory card was stuffed with Beneath a Steel Sky & the original Monkey Islands. Suffice to say a small tear of happiness always wells when I think about these games, got some very happy memories playing them with my mates.

    I saw the special edition advertised on Xbox, will be downloading the demo tonight :))))))))))

  25. Bleph

    Ask me about LOOM

    And yes, we need DOTT and Grim Fandango updates.

    1. Dixie Nourmous

      For all you affecitionardos.....

  26. apleszko

    I just felt old.... it seems too long ago I played it on a green display!!!

    I am from Brazil and this game was the best I've had during the XT/286 era.... Adventures like this also helped me on learning some english since I was about 11 years old at the time!!

    Until today I remember the damn forest labyrinth that I got stuck for hours!!!!!!!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more updates please

    I'd love to see Fate of Atlantis, Sam'n'Max, The Dig, DOTT and Full Throttle all redone.

  28. Anonymous Coward


    LOL Just seeing the title of this article made me smile with happy memories. They literally don't make them like this anymore...

  29. Shao
    Thumb Up

    Loved this game

    I do agree that this is one of the top games for getting immersed in a different world. A close second would be Simon The Sorceror.

    In terms of these types of puzzle games I think Day Of The Tentacle does it a bit better for me although the humour isn't quite as good. Doing things in the past to affect the future was really well implemented.

  30. DeVino

    Get A-head in Navigation ! Arrrrrr!

    Wonderful Game

    Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis WAS the 4th movie as far as I was was concerned.

    It's up in the loft with Monkey Island, Doom, WingCo and Incredible Machines as the remnants of simpler days.

  31. AbortRetryFail

    I loved the first couple of Monkey Island games, although they did go downhill somewhat after that.

    Honourable mention to DotT too.

    But, for me, the greatest Lucusarts Adventure was The Dig. A slow burner as it had almost no humour, but oh the atmosphere! Totally captivating. I would dearly love a reimagined HD version of The Dig.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ScummVM: The best way to play adventure games on a lot of platforms

    Lucas Arts (2D) adventure games are best played with ScummVM

    Remember: ScummVM


    ScummVM plays a lot of classical 2D point & click adventure games. Not only Lucas Arts, but also the ones from Sierra On-Line (not all, but progress on supporting the newer ones is being made) and other companies like Revolution Software (Broken Sword, Beneath a Steel Sky) but also other companies like Adventuresoft/Horrorsoft and Cocktel Vision.

    But what's the best thing after this? You can play them on a lot of different platforms, there's few left to do to make it run even on your toaster:

    Computer platforms: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, BSD, IRIX, AmigaOS, Atari

    - Portable devices: iPhone, iPad, PSP, Nintendo DS, , Dingoo, GP2X, GP2X Wiz, Caanoo, Pandora, Windows CE (Windows Mobile/Phone, etc), WebOS (Palm OS for their phones, then bought by HP and maybe getting killed in the most stupid way EVER in the probably future suicide strategy of HP itself), Bada (Samsung's propietary smartphone OS)

    - Game consoles: Playstation2, GameCube, Wii, PS3 (ongoing port), Dreamcast and even Nintendo 64!

    - Samsung TV's (they have an ARM with Linux on them)

    I recommend anyone into classic gaming (and specially adventure games) to look into the project. It's also a technically interesting project of reverse engineering for digital preservation, as those geeks use disassemblers like IDA Pro to know the inner workings of those games to implement them on a very portable C++ code (they developed OSystem framework to ease on a very high degree of portability and also their code is specially crafted to be very portable to all kind of platforms).

    Why not mention it on your articles? Do some company will accuse you of being an evil open source advocate? Come on El Reg, your articles are usually more polemical and detailled and nobody seems killed (yet).

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