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THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND
( Monkey Island 1 )

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela


The Scumm Bar, Famous Pirate HangoutWhat a wonderful game! The original in the now legendary 'Monkey Island' series, it was first published in 1990 and so has older graphics, by today's standards, and uses subtitles (& music!) instead of voice.  Nevertheless, it is still a pure delight to play and is sure to please the entire family:  everyone from the 'take it all seriously' little kids to their 'been there, done that' grandparents.

This is the story of a little boy (Guybrush Threepwood, by name) who wants to be a "mighty pirate"!  He has visions of sailing the seven seas in search of booty, handily defeating all comers with his expert swordsmanship, happily swilling grog with his cronies, and of course being loved and admired for all of this by a beautiful woman.

Stan's Used Ship EmporiumReality check!  As the game begins we find Guybrush, still in short pants, arriving on the shores of Melee Island somewhere in the Caribbean.  His first rude awakening comes when he is warned of the fearsome demon pirate, LeChuck, and he realizes that even the bloodthirsty pirates that he admires can be scared.  And then, when he tells the regulars in the Scumm Bar (the local pirate hangout) that he wants to be a pirate, they just laugh!  But finally, more to get rid of him than anything else, they say that if he can complete 3 trials (swordsmanship, thievery and treasure hunting), they will recognize him as a real, foul-smelling, grog-swilling pirate.  And the story of how he manages to do this, plus handle a problem that comes up later, makes for a totally original, irreverent and hilarious game.

Guybrush, The Human Cannonball?This is a 2D (with occasional animated cut-scenes), 3rd person, point & click game, with an easy to use interface and subtitles (no voice).  The original music by Michael Land is absolutely 'Caribbean Isle' perfect, the kind you find yourself humming for days (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear some now).  And the puzzles are challenging and wonderfully bizarre:  involving everything from deadly piranha poodles to the deadly chemicals in your breakfast cereal.

Guybrush, Captain of a ship?Guybrush soon realizes that there is more to being a pirate than he thought.  First of all, you have to deal with unsavory characters and men of low moral fiber ("the type his mother had warned him about"):  everybody from a prisoner with rat's breath to bridge building cannibals who write memos on letterhead (our particular favorite was Stan, the Used Ship Dealer). You also have to master the REAL secret of winning swordfights (the killing insult), and be prepared for all sorts of unexpected developments (like when we sunk our own ship!).  And just when you think you might be getting the hang of it, you find that you have to win the heart of a woman who just knows she's more competent than you are... AND kill a pirate who's already dead!

It's a classic masterpiece, with right-on-target humor, unforgettable characters, and great music! Highly recommended!


Full View Screenshot

Developed (1990) and published by LucasArts Entertainment.

Was available on 3.5 inch discs boxed with 4 other games in LucasArts Classic Adventures.

Both Monkey Island 1 ( Secret of Monkey Island )  and  Monkey Island 2: Lechuck's Revenge were available on a CD named Monkey Island Madness along with 5 other CDs ( The DigFull Throttle;  Dark Forces;  Afterlife;  and a Super Sampler ) in The LucasArts Archives, Volume III.

Rated:   K-A   for Kids to Adults

Minimum System Requirements:  DOS   Windows

Where To Buy This Collection Of Games:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthroughs" available here!

"Walkthrough" available here!


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