The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition Walkthrough

3. Story walkthrough (Part 1)

Part I: The Three Trials

The first achievement of the game can be earned shortly after starting a new game with a press of cn_back. This toggles between the remade and original versions of the game. If you’re like me you periodically swap between the two in order to compare the graphics and soundtracks, or you can just pick which version you prefer and stick with it. Personally I recommend the remade version because of the controls and the music but the game is otherwise the same.

Secret Achievement in The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
Continue playing to unlock this achievement. (Secret)
  • Unlocked by 41,842 tracked gamers (99% - TA Ratio = 1.00) 42,358

We first meet our hero, Guybrush Threepwood, atop a cliff on Melee Island. After speaking with the Lookout, walk down the stairs on the bottom-right of the screen. Head down the path, go past the building and then enjoy the lovely view of the moon. When you’re finished, continue on to the right until you reach another building. This is the Scumm Bar [Speedrunners don't need to speak to anyone inside]. Head inside and speak with the pirate in the red coat by the door. Say you want to be a pirate and ask where the governor is. You can speak to Estevan at the next table if you care to learn more about the Melee Island goings-on, or head to the other side of the bar (past the red curtain) to speak with the Important Looking Pirates. If you tell them your dreams of becoming a pirate, you’ll be told of Three Trials you must complete to become a pirate: The Sword, Thievery, and The Quest.

You can ask the pirates for more details if you feel like it, but you need to grab something from the kitchen before you leave the Scumm Bar. Try to enter the door to the right of the fireplace and you’re stopped by the cook. To get past, wait outside the kitchen until the cook walks off-screen. Once he’s gone there won’t be anyone there to stop you. Grab the pot from under the right side of the table and then pick up the hunk of meat from on top of the table. Then use that meat with the pot on the stove to your right. Pick up the meat again and you’ll have stewed meat. When you’re done playing chef, head through the door to your right towards the dock. A seagull will fly over and start eating the fish. Guybrush will refuse to pick the fish up for fear of having his hand pecked off. Go to the end of the dock and step on the board on the nearest side. The board will tip and the seagull will get spooked, but return to the fish shortly. Repeat the process so the gull flies away long enough for you to pick up the fish. That’s all you need in the Scumm Bar for now so you can leave. At this point the first cutscene of the game will play, introducing you to the ghost pirate LeChuck. [Speedrunners should skip this cutscene - and all others - by pressing the Y button.]

We’ll need some pieces of eight to finance our efforts to pass the three trials, so Guybrush will need to get a job. After leaving the Scumm Bar walk back up to the Lookout (where you started the game) and take the path to the right. What you see here is an overhead view of Melee Island that I’ll refer to as the Island Map. In the center of the island you’ll see an orange dot labeled “Clearing”. Go there and enter the circus tent to the left. Meet the Fettuccini Brothers. Speak to them and agree to be fired from the nearby cannon. Give them the pot you collected from the Scumm Bar kitchen when they ask if you have a helmet. Guybrush survives the trip and receives 478 pieces of eight for his trouble. Return to the Clearing and walk back the way you came to return to the Island Map.

Go back to the Lookout, take the path down the mountain and past the Scumm Bar until you reach an Archway. Walk under it to enter Melee Island’s only town. Approach the Citizen of Melee (the man with a parrot on his shoulder) standing in the foreground. Tell him you had a barber named Dominique and then purchase the map to the legendary lost treasure of Melee Island for 100 pieces of eight. [You can speak to the Men of Low Moral Fiber to the left if you wish but speedrunners should skip it] Continue on to the left and enter the first door on the right. Here is where you first meet the Voodoo Lady, but you don’t actually need to speak with her in order to complete the game. [Speedrunners should skip talking to her as well] That being said, I recommend you chat with her a bit just for the heck of it. Regardless of your choice, you’ll need to grab the chicken atop the chest in the Voodoo Lady’s shop before continuing on. …Trust me, you actually do need it. Leave, then walk to the Archway under the town clock and continue on to the other end of the village.

Enter the last building on the left with the barred windows. The town Jail only has one prisoner, Otis. Try to speak to him and Guybrush will refuse because of his bad breath. There’s nothing else you can do here now so leave the Jail and go into the open front door of the two story building to the right of the Church. This is Melee Island’s General Store and the Shopkeeper is the only one who can lead you to the Sword Master so you can best them in combat and complete the Trial of the Sword. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, we’re not nearly ready to fight the Sword Master yet. We’re just here to pick up some supplies for now. Grab the sword off of the red chest, then head up the stairs at the back of the shop and pick up the shovel by the safe. Speak to the Shopkeeper (ring the bell if he isn’t behind the counter) and purchase the shovel and the sword. Ask if he has any breath mints and buy a roll of those as well. Now we need the Shopkeeper’s help to find where the Sword Master is, so ask him who you can try your new sword out on.

The Shopkeeper isn’t actually willing to take you straight to the Sword Master, only to ask her if she’s willing to meet you. No matter how many times you try, the Sword Master will always refuse. This means you’ll have to ask the Shopkeeper to speak to the Sword Master and follow him to her hidden cabin in the forest in order to speak to the Sword Master yourself. You can’t stumble across the cabin, you have to actually follow the Shopkeeper all the way there. Fortunately this isn’t too difficult, just don’t get too close or fall too far behind. After leaving the shop the Shopkeeper will head out of town, up past the Lookout, and will walk to a place called “Fork” on the Island Map. It’s likely that you’ll lose sight of the Shopkeeper at some point but as long as you continue on after him relatively quickly you won’t have any real problems. Once you reach the Fork, continue to follow the Shopkeeper down whichever forest path he goes down until you reach the cabin. Guybrush isn’t prepared to fight her yet, we just traveled here to get the ability to fast-travel here later. Leave the area, returning to the Island Map. Double back to the Fork and take the left path of the two heading up. You should see some yellow plants. Pick some up, then head back the way you came to return to the Island Map.

Now that Guybrush has a sword he’s going to need to learn how to use it. Head for the House found in the Southeast portion of Melee Island. Before you reach the House, Guybrush will be stopped by a troll guarding a bridge. Give him the fish you got from the Scumm Bar dock and you’ll be free to continue on to the House. Knock on the door (press “use” on it) to meet Captain Smirk, the sword trainer. Ask to be trained to be better than the Sword Master and repeatedly insist that you do have what it takes. When he acquiesces, pay him 30 pieces of eight for lessons and show him your sword. After many, many hours of training Captain Smirk will teach you the art of Insult Sword fighting, which is how you actually fight in this game. You win by responding to insults with witty comebacks, or by using lines on your enemy that they don’t have a response to. The only way to learn insults and their comebacks is by hearing your opponent use them on you. You’ll have to learn several insults and comebacks before you’re ready to face the Sword Master.

You’ll know that you’ve got enough material when your opponent says something like “Wow, you’re good enough to fight the Sword Master” after you defeat them. However, there’s 16 pairs of insults/comebacks in total, and you’ll earn an achievement when you learn all 32 lines. [Speedrunners should fight the Sword Master as soon as they're told they're good enough to. Getting all the insults can be a time-consuming process that could cost you the Human Cannonball achievement.] Wander around the central part of the Island Map and you’ll see people labeled things like “Bloodthirsty Pirate” walking around. Each pirate knows a handful of insults and comebacks and the first person to use three insults in a row successfully wins. If the insult is successful, you’ll see the insulter advance towards the other. If it fails, the target will advance. Losing fights comes with no consequence, and you’ll inevitably lose a few along the way, so don’t worry. By doing so you’ll learn new insults you can use on other pirates and attempt to learn the proper comeback for that insult. If you’re having trouble getting an insult, try to draw out a fight by trading successful insults back and forth. To get a particular comeback, use the corresponding insult on all of the pirates until you find the one that knows it.

When you fight the Sword Master she uses a set of insults that are different from the ones used by the random pirates. However, you can still use your usual arsenal of comebacks against them. Here is a list of all the insults and the comeback to each:

Insult: Have you stopped wearing diapers yet?

[Sword Master Insult: I hope you have a boat ready for quick escape.]

Comeback: Why, did you want to borrow one?


Insult: I've spoken with apes more polite than you.

[Sword Master Insult: Now I know what filth and stupidity really are.]

Comeback: I'm glad to hear you attended your family reunion.


Insult: I'm not going to take your insolence sitting down!

[Sword Master Insult: You are a pain in the backside, sir!]

Comeback: Your hemorrhoids flaring up again, eh?


Insult: I've heard you were a contemptible sneak.

[Sword Master Insult: My sword is famous all over the Caribbean!]

Comeback: Too bad no one's ever heard of YOU at all.


Insult: I got this scar on my face during a mighty struggle!

[Sword Master Insult: My last fight ended with my hands covered in blood.]

Comeback: I hope now you've learned to stop picking your nose.


Insult: I once owned a dog that was smarter than you.

[Sword Master Insult: Only once have I met such a coward!]

Comeback: He must have taught you everything you know.


Insult: My handkerchief will wipe up your blood!

[Sword Master Insult: My name is feared in every dirty corner of this island!]

Comeback: So you got that job as a janitor after all.


Insult: Nobody's ever drawn blood from me and nobody ever will.

[Sword Master Insult: No one will ever catch ME fighting as badly as you do.]

Comeback: You run THAT fast?


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

[Sword Master Insult: I usually see people like you passed-out on tavern floors.]

Comeback: Even BEFORE they smell your breath?


Insult: Soon you'll be wearing my sword like a shish kebab!

[Sword Master Insult: My tongue is sharper than any sword.]

Comeback: First you better stop waving it like a feather duster.


Insult: There are no words for how disgusting you are.

[Sword Master Insult: There are no clever moves that can help you now.]

Comeback: Yes there are. You just never learned them.


Insult: This is the end for you, you gutter-crawling cur!

[Sword Master Insult: I’ve got a long, sharp lesson for you to learn today.]

Comeback: And I've got a little TIP for you, get the POINT?


Insult: You have the manners of a beggar.

[Sword Master Insult: Every word you say to me is stupid.]

Comeback: I wanted to make sure you'd feel comfortable with me.


Insult: You're no match for my brains, you poor fool.

[Sword Master Insult: I’ve got the courage and skill of a master swordsman!]

Comeback: I'd be in real trouble if you ever used them.


Insult: You make me want to puke.

[Sword Master Insult: If your brother’s like you, better to marry a pig.]

Comeback: You make me think somebody already did.


Insult: You fight like a dairy farmer.

[Sword Master Insult: I will milk every drop of blood from your body!]

Comeback: How appropriate. You fight like a cow.


When you’ve learned all the insults and responses you'll earn another achievement:

Secret Achievement in The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
Continue playing to unlock this achievement. (Secret)
  • Unlocked by 17,246 tracked gamers (41% - TA Ratio = 1.56) 42,358

it’s time to take on the master herself, so go back to the Sword Master’s when ready. Approach the cabin and speak with her. She’ll quickly figure out that you’re there to challenge her and a fight will soon begin. Now unlike the other pirate opponents wandering Melee Island, the Sword Master uses a different set of insults. Your vocabulary of comebacks will still work, you just have to think about which one best suits the insult she uses on you. After besting the Sword Master in a battle of (literally) razor-sharp wit, she’ll give you a T-shirt to show the pirates back at Scumm Bar to prove your skill with a blade. No need to return there now so let’s press on. Leaving the area near the cabin will return you to the Island Map. From there, head for the Village.

Head over to the Governor’s Mansion at the end of the cliff side road. If you try to enter, the deadly piranha poodles out front will stop you so we’ll have to drug them like the pirate in Scumm Bar suggested. Take the yellow flowers you picked in the forest and combine them with the stewed meat you made in the Scumm Bar kitchen and then give it to the deadly poodles. They’re no longer a threat so you’re free to walk inside now. Once inside, go through the set of doors to your right and Guybrush gets into a small tussle. You’ll need a file to get the idol and complete this trial.

Return to the Jail and give the breath mints to Otis. Ask him if he has a file and hear his complaints about the rat problem. Give him the gopher repellent you somehow acquired in Governor Marley’s mansion and Otis gives you a delicious carrot cake in return. Open the cake to find a file inside. Head back inside the Mansion and go through the hole in the wall that Guybrush made earlier, which triggers another cutscene. After speaking with the beautiful Governor Elaine Marley, leave the mansion. Guybrush gets ambushed by Sheriff Shinetop and is captured regardless of your dialog choice. Our hero ends up underwater and we end up with another achievement opportunity.

Guybrush is tied to the idol and cannot reach the surface, nor can he reach any of the sharp implements nearby to cut the rope. Fortunately for Guybrush, he has the unique ability to hold his breath for ten minutes, and that’s exactly how long we need to wait to earn this next achievement. Wait out the ten minutes and keep the game from going into sleep mode. You only need to press a button or something every now and then because the achievement might not pop if the game is paused at any point before the ten minutes are up. Guybrush will turn a variety of colors and then drown, popping the game’s grimmest achievement.

Secret Achievement in The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
Continue playing to unlock this achievement. (Secret)
  • Unlocked by 17,272 tracked gamers (41% - TA Ratio = 1.56) 42,358

To successfully escape from this predicament, simply pick up the fabulous idol and Guybrush will automatically grab a sword and climb back onto the dock. Governor Marley arrives and she and Guybrush soon declare their love for each other. Guybrush is left with a strong urge to complete the Three Trials. Fortunately for him, there’s only one left. Return to the world map. There’s a location near the center of the island called the Fork, head there. You’ll end up in a maze-like forested area, with the treasure of Melee Island lying within. You’ll need some help in order to find it, so consult the map you purchased from the man back in town.

Each line will contain a direction, either “left”, “right”, or “back”. This tells you which path to take to the forest to get to the treasure. For example, if the first line says “left”, the second says “right”, and the third says “back” you would take the left, the right, and the path heading away from the player’s perspective in the first, second, and third areas respectively. When in doubt, remember that "left" or "right" means "left/right-most path" regardless or orientation. Eventually you’ll find yourself in an area with a big “X” on the ground. Use your newly-purchased shovel on the X to get the treasure. Leave the area and return to the Lookout Point.

Your arrival triggers a cutscene where Guybrush learns some horrible news: the evil ghost pirate LeChuck has kidnapped Governor Marley and taken her to his hideout on Monkey Island. Guybrush will need a ship and a crew in order to stage a rescue attempt. Leave town and go back to the Island Map. In the south-central portion of the island you’ll see a cluster of lights called …lights. That’s where you need to go to get yourself a ship. Meet Stan, who wants to talk ships. Guybrush can only afford one ship despite being able to inquire about others. Either admit from the outset that you don't have much to spend or not, eventually Stan will want to talk money and Guybrush's true financial situation will come to light. Tell Stan you’d like to buy a ship on credit and he will refuse since you have no documentation. We’ll have to get some credit elsewhere, so head back to the Shopkeeper’s place in the Village. Stan will give you a business card and a compass as you leave, which will come in handy later.

Once at the Store, ask the Shopkeeper for a note of credit and when he asks if you have a job lie and say yes. The Shopkeeper will climb the ladder to his safe and open it ...this part is important. Watch how he opens it by moving the handle around, you’ll have to memorize what he does and replicate the same series of pushes and pulls. For example, he’ll do something like: A quarter turn to the left, a three-quarter turn to the right, and then a half turn back to the left. You may wish to have a scrap of paper handy and jot down what he does. Once he’s retrieved the note of credit he’ll ask you what job you have. No matter what your answer is the Shopkeeper will rescind his offer of credit and put the note back in the safe. Watch how he opens the safe and confirm that you have the right combination. When he’s put it away, ask him to go talk to the Sword Master again. After some grumbling the Shopkeeper leaves and you’ll have an opportunity to open the safe. Use the “push” and “pull” commands on the safe handle to copy the series of moves the Shopkeeper made. Once the safe is open the note of credit is all yours. However, this note is only good for 5,000 pieces of eight, so you have a firm budget there.

Return to the Used Ship Emporium, ask to see the cheap ship again and tell Stan about your line of credit, which he will accept. Stan’s starting price is 10,000 pieces of eight but we can get him below that right away before even asking him. Before making an offer or hearing Stan's price, ask about extras. Say “I think I can live without that particular piece of junk”. Do this until he comes around to the first one again (the porthole defoggers) and then say “enough about extras already”. Stan's reaction to your initial offer is the same no matter what you say, so start off by low balling Stan with an offer of 2,000 pieces of eight. Ask his price (should be around 8,000) and reject it. At this point there's no real one best way to do it as far as I know. Just keep making offers and asking what Stan's price is. As his comes down, yours should go up, with the goal being for both of you to meet at 5,000. You can walk away and get Stan to call you back in order to lower the price, but I didn't find that to be necessary as long as you start low enough. Eventually you’ll wear him down and be given a price that you can afford. Stan will tell you to meet him at the dock with your crew and our business here is finished. Now to put a crew together.

Start by going back to the Sword Master’s place and tell her the Governor has been kidnapped. Guybrush will show the Sword Master the note from LeChuck as proof and she’ll agree to meet you at the dock. Leave the area and return to the Island Map. Our next stop is the small Island in the northeast. However, the only way to get over to Hook Island is by using the cable. In order to make it across we’ll have to use the chicken found in the Voodoo Lady’s shop. It has a pulley in the middle (for some reason) so “use” the chicken with the cable in order to zip line over to the island. Open the door of the house and meet Meathook. Tell him that the Governor has been kidnapped and you’ll show Meathook the note just like you did with the Sword Master. When he asks you what to do say you’re getting a ship and crew together to go after Elaine. However, Guybrush has to prove his bravery to Meathook before he’ll accept you as his captain. Meathook challenges you to open a door and touch the ferocious beast inside, which is as simple as it sounds. Once you’ve done that Meathook agrees to join your crew and you can go find your third crew member.

The final crew member is a little more challenging to recruit. We need to break Otis out of the village Jail. If you spoke with the pirates in Scumm Bar you might have learned just how corrosive the grog that’s served there is. Go to the Scumm Bar and pick up all the mugs lying about. There will be three in the first half of the bar and another two on the table near the crying chef. We need to use these mugs to transport grog from the barrel inside the kitchen to the Jail in order to destroy the lock on Otis’ cell. You only need one mug of grog, but the grog will eat through the mug over time. This means you have to pour the grog into a new mug before it destroys the current one and spills. The mugs will respawn after each attempt and the barrel never runs out of grog so you can try as many times as you need to. If you're like me and you struggle a bit with the controls you may want to practice using one mug on another in your inventory. I often find myself pulling the wrong trigger and opening the wrong menu. As long as you keep that straight this isn't too difficult as long as you always keep Guybrush moving, changing mugs as you walk. I usually have a couple leftover mugs to spare. When you reach the Jail, use the full mug on the lock to free Otis. Go back to the dock and meet Stan. He’ll give you some seafaring literature and then your crew will arrive, ending Part I.

Secret Achievement in The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
Continue playing to unlock this achievement. (Secret)
  • Unlocked by 25,343 tracked gamers (60% - TA Ratio = 1.29) 42,358

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