There have been 4 Monkey Island games (that I know of) but unfortunately, the last 1 kept cutting out on my computer, so I don’t think that I could do it very much justice after only playing the first half.











The earliest memories I have include watching my older sister spend hours playing Monkey Island 1 (also known as “The Secret of Monkey Island”). I was so captivated by it that when it came my time to play it, I couldn’t wait. But unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. I tried to play. I tried to figure out how to get past the annoying chef.











I tried to interact with the other characters.







But alas, I couldn’t. I had to resort to calling my sister on several occasions and asking her for help. I am not ashamed to say this. I needed my big sister. But after the fifth call or so, that’s when she really pulled through. She gave me the best advice I think she ever game me. She said “Just try everything, with everything.” Admittedly, it took me a while to realise that she meant “try using every item that you have with everything else.” And yes, this is a VERY long method, but when you’re playing these games for the first time, it’s the only way to succeed. So I followed my sister’s advice, and surprisingly enough, it worked! Who could have guessed that you’re red herring could pay the toll? Or that by using a flower with the stew that you could inevitably poison deadly piranha poodles?
The story is simple: we immediately meet our protagonist, Guybrush Threepwood (possibly the best named character ever!) and we discover that his ambition is to become a pirate. The young Guybrush is advised to seek out the 3 pirate elders. This first stage of the game is set purely on Meleé Island where Guybrush must complete the 3 tasks to become a real pirate. The tasks are that he must master the sword, become a thief and find buried treasure. This is a tad tedious, but well worth it. the villain of the story is the Ghost Pirate LeChuck, who inevitably steals Guybrush’s woman, Elaine Marley, with plans to make her his own. With many twists and turns, Guybrush eventually saves the day, becoming a true pirate.
I must say that everytime I play this game, I find it thoroughly enjoy it. Although I like to leave a good year or two in between, hoping that I forget most of the tricks. It’s original with its own humour which I find refreshing and hilarious. The creators carry this on through the entire series, not only using humour as a weapon, but sheer randomness and sarcasm. Which leads me onto...





Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge!









Again, we meet our favourite pirate wannabe Guybrush. He is once again telling the story of how he thwarted LeChuck. His pirate friends (named Bart and Fink) subtly let Guybrush know that he desperately needs a new story to tell, and he reveals that is why he has come to Scabb Island. He is in search of the legendary treasure known as “Big Whoop”. After setting out to explore the island (and hopefully find a way off it) he soon meets a nasty piece of work call Largo LaGrande, a short bully who was once LeChuck’s right hand man. Largo is hated by everyone on the island due to the fact that he seems to be running everything, which involves taking everyone’s money. So Guybrush does the one thing that everyone else wishes they could: make a voodoo dolly of Largo. With the return of his good friend the Voodoo Lady, Guybrush drives Largo off the island. But not before showing him his souvenir of LeChuck: LeChuck’s actual beard, still alive and kicking (which disturbingly enough he kept in his trousers). Largo swipes it and informs Guybrush that with it, he shall soon bring LeChuck back to life.
The creators became much more ambitious with this game as they expanded the main body of it to occupy 3 different islands (Scabb, Booty and Phatt)








Guybrush carries on with his search to find Big Whoop. The only map to the island on which the treasure resides had been divided up into quarters, leaving Guybrush to trawl all over these 3 islands to find them. Conveniently enough, he meets a cartographer named Wally at the start of the game.
The rule applies here too: you have to try everything with everything! The creators have a bit of a warped sense of humour and I’m sure they enjoy the thought of kids slaving over these games for hours and hours. The ending isn’t the best. In fact, everytime I finish the game, I turn it off just before the ending starts. I like the thought of this being Guybrush’s life... and not that it’s all stuck in his head.
My last (and possibly favourite) of these games is the third instalment entitled “The Curse of Monkey Island”. As opposed to its predecessors, who were both pixelated, it is a design masterpiece. Using flamboyant curves and bright colours, the designers perfectly capture the essence of the Caribbean. I love this game. I think it’s hilarious and engaging and I could talk about it all day if given the chance.











In this episode, Guybrush finds himself captured in LeChuck’s ship, being guarded by his once innocent friend Wally. After a series of impossible-to-figure-out events Guybrush finds himself proposing to Elaine with an enormous diamond ring which he found in LeChuck’s treasure hold. Soon after the proposal, Wally informs them that the ring had a terrible voodoo curse on it. Promptly, Elaine turns into a solid gold statue. Confused and seeking help, Guybrush ventures into the unknown island, leaving Elaine on the beach. Correction: leaving a solid gold statue on a fully exposed beach on an island full of pirates. Clever.



Guybrush soon bumps into the Voodoo Lady once again who informs him of his idiot decision to leave her out in the open. After discovering that she has been stolen, Guybrush sets out to find her while still searching for the treasure that is Big Whoop. With a fabulous back-story and wonderful characters, this is by far the best of all the games.
This is the only game that the sound and voices worked on my computer and I believe it made a huge difference. By hearing Guybrush speak it made the experience all the more real and enjoyable. By carrying certain characters and jokes through the entire series there is a great sense of continuity (even more so if you ignore the ending of number 2) by bringing back Lemon Head and the Monkey Island Cannibals, Wally and Murray the talking skull, the creators make you feel as if you are standing right alongside Guybrush in all his adventures.
These games will always hold a special place in my heart, and I can only hope that I can find some way to keep playing the games even though the technology has moved on. I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. I encourage anyone and everyone to play these games as soon as humanly possible. Go. Now.