10 Things You Did Not Know About Monkey Island

With the recent re-release of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, long-time Monkey Island fans and gamers new to the series have a lot to look forward to. Older gamers that played the original games 20 years ago remembered its light-hearted humor and pop culture references, and those new to the series will be able experience one of the greatest graphic adventure games of the '90s, back when the genre was still popular. Monkey Island's two decades of popularity is a testament of how precious the game series is to its fans. However, there may have been some facts and trivia that you may have not noticed.

1. The man in the troll suit guarding the bridge on Mêlée Island is a pixelated version of the LucasArts founder George Lucas.


2. The Disneyland ride “Pirates of the Caribbean” was a major inspiration for Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert.

 The game features many visual references to the ride, such as the scene with the a dog holding keys in his mouth and prisoners in a jail trying to lure him with sticks and bones. What's the name of the dog in Monkey Island? Walt, of course, an homage to Disney founder Walt Disney.

3. How did “Guybrush” get his name?

The artists of Monkey Island used a program called Deluxe Paint, and it saved files as “brush” files. When designing the main character, the file was saved as “guy.brush,” hence the name Guybrush.

4. Where did Guybrush's last name “Threepwood” come from?

The name was decided by a LucasArts company contest. The name Threepwood came from a series of novels and short stories by British author P.G. Wodehouse which featured a fictional Threepwood family.

5. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie made a few references to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.

Captain Jack Sparrow at one point used a coffin as a rowboat, just like Guybrush did. The movie and the game both featured a Caribbean voodoo lady who lived in a swamp. Perhaps Captain Jack Sparrow played some Monkey Island in his youth?

6. The Secret of Monkey Island featured an in-game joke that went wrong.

In the original version of game, there is a tree stump in the forest. When players examine the stump, the game prompts the player to insert the non-existing discs “#22”, “#23”, “#47” or “#114”. Because the game was originally planned to be divided between eight floppy discs, this was meant to be a joke.

LucasArts' help desk received so many calls regarding these “missing discs” that they were forced remove the joke from subsequent releases of the game.

7. Several character designs were based on real people.

The original design for Governor Elaine Marley was based on Avril Harrison, a graphic artist for LucasFilm Games at the time. Carla the Swordmaster's image was based on Carla Green, who was in charge of LucasFilm Games Product Support.

8. The Secret of Monkey Island featured a code that would instantly allow the player to “win” the game at any time.

When the player presses CTRL+SHIFT+W at any point in the game, he or she will be prompted with the message “Are you sure you want to win? (Y/N)”. By selecting yes, the game will immediately end and the credits will roll. Unfortunately, the player will miss the chance to play through a great game.

9. Monkey Island is loaded of pop culture references.

It's the pop culture references make the Monkey Island series so special. There may be more references than you realize! To name a few:

  • Guybrush often says, “That's the second biggest ___ I ever saw!” This is from the 1960s TV show Get Smart.
  • The troll on Mêlée Island repeats the line “None shall pass.” This is from Monty Python and the Holy Grail's Black Knight.
  • Guybrush tells Governor Phatt “I'll be back,” just like T-800 in The Terminator films.
  • Guybrush looks at the Sea Monkey at Stan's boat store and says “What a piece of junk!” as Luke Skywalker did regarding the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
  • When Guybrush looks at the chalice in the Voodoo Lady's home, he says “Now THIS is the cup of a carpenter!” This is a reference to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

10. There is only one person who knows what “the secret of Monkey Island” truly is.

There is only one person who truly knows what the real secret of Monkey Island is, and it's the series creator, Ron Gilbert. He has stated in an interview with Designer Threads that he never revealed the true secret to anyone. Gilbert worked on the first two Monkey Island games before the series was handed over to another team. According to a 2004 interview with Idle Thumbs, he states he “knows what the third [part] is” and “how the story's supposed to end.” This indicates that he had a definite concept of the secret and a conclusive third game.

Unfortunately, another team took over the series after the second game, and Ron Gilbert never had a chance to continue the story the way he intended.

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