Now that we all know the Secret(TM), silly fan theories will stop, right? Right? -SPOILERS-

I had the same feeling. I spent the whole game noticing how Elaine was a different character from the ones seen in MI1 and MI2. Back then she was a very independent and strong woman, and proud of it. And in her relationship with Guybrush, she certainly was the one who called the shots.

In RtMI she acted differently. More calm, mature. Way more sweet with Guybrush than in MI2, more tolerant and understanding with him.

As if he had special needs, now that you mention it.

But this is not all about Guybrush. She even isn’t bothered she has lost all her political power, and she’s happy of being involved in social work and satisfied in dedicating herself to organic farming.
She looks like a person who is in peace with herself, with the world and with Guybrush, despite their ups and downs.

In a word, she looks like a HAPPY RETIRED PERSON.

But it can’t be! The story is a flashback. She might even be older and wiser at the time Guybrush is telling the story, but the actions described in the flashback happen in the past, when she and Guybrush are still young.

What’s happening, then? There are some hints that suggest that (maybe due to his mental weakness) in Guybrush’s narration present and past, reality and story somehow merge. There’s one particular strong hint which led me to come out with my theory, but I’ll tell you later.

Ok, ok. I didn’t know Dominic Armato said that, since I was avoiding anything MI-related since months. But basically that is part of my theory.

So, take a peek at my theory: ...

Guybrush and Boybrush are the same person (By the way, Boybrush is a great name. Whose copyright is it?).
Like many young kids, he identifies himself with the father, who -in this case- is a mighty pirate. Let’s say this pirate is a charismatic pirate leader, and he’s his son’s hero.
So the kid plays as a mighty pirate, dreaming one day to be as much successful as his father. And during his infancy games, maybe he plays along with his mother. And, like many little kids, he falls in love with his mother and wants to marry her.

Like Freud taught us, in an Oedipic relationship there’s a time when the kid realizes that he can’t marry his mother, and he realizes his “hero” is a RIVAL, indeed.

Here it comes the hint I nudged at: in LeChuck’s Diary, LeChuck writes: [Guybrush is a] Stupid name. Who names their kid “Guybrush”?

Why should this line be funny? It would be funny only if LeChuck was Guybrush’s father, indeed.

Guybrush realizes his “hero” is in fact his rival, and in his play he becomes, from a heroic captain, a tyrant, a horrible and evil zombie pirate leader.

And, as far as we know, Guybrush’s father could even deserve this new characterization in Guybrush’s mind. He could have been an oppressive and abusive father, both to Guybrush and Elaine.
And this toxic environment could have been the reason for Guybrush to need special attentions by his mother.

We don’t know what happened after the facts told by Guybrush during the flashback. We only know that LeChuck isn’t a threat to them anymore. We only know that, despite Guybrush is somehow “strange” from time to time, his mother loves him and takes care of him.


A part of me wants to explore questions like “is Booty Island the same place as Mêlée Island” or “is entering the Employees Only door the way Guybrush escapes Big Whoop and begins MI3”…

…but it also kind of feels like RMI really wants me to think everything is real and nothing is real. So. :frowning:

I like your theory, but I have a different, very pragmatic interpretation of the game.

And I think the letter at the end of the scrapbook hints at that. The letter states that MI1 reflected their status as developers - inexperienced young people wanting to find their big adventure - and so did MI2 - the one-hit-wonders who need to confirm their status with something new.

And so did this one.

What is RtMI? It’s Ronbrush’s return to his obsession. He’s old now, he’s been through lots of stuff and is overall successful, but there was still one thing that haunted him, The Secret. The theme park they built in-game is the videogame itself in real life, and Guybrush wanting to go through all the rides is them getting back to making a Monkey Island game one last time to get closure.

Elaine is so different, so condescending because she knows that Guybrush is just indulging in his memories and he needs it. And we all needed it too. When Boybrush runs away with her mom and Guybrush stays there on the bench, he is sort of sad that it’s finally over.

But also ready to move on. The last thing Elaine says is basically “the big one is over, but there are more things out there we will be exploring”. There will be new games that are not Monkey Island. Or there will even be more Monkey Island games and we must all forget the Secret, because… it’s just a shirt. It’s just a game. The most important part of a theme park is people’s enjoyment.

Edited to add: also Boybrush saying Guybrush is bad at endings. That’s what people keep saying about Ron.


Why does Guybrush say something in the sense of : “Oh not again” or “not yet” when he get through the door to the melee island? So it seems like he expects this but not this soon. is it like the ending of the ride?


I think so.

I’ve got that feeling as well. See part of my comment here.

I’m not so convinced about the father theory, however. LeChuck as “bad” older brother, as hinted by the MI2 ending would work equally well. Though I guess some things still don’t add up, like the dead parents in MI2. Or would Elaine be the step mum and Chuckie step brother?

Remains the questions how many “realities” there are. There’s the framing story, that’s supposedly the real reality, but could also partly be imagined if Boybrush == Guybrush. There’s the pirate world, which is clearly imagination. But then there’s the theme park that marks the end of the imagined story, but is still part of that same story. So is it the same as the park in the framing story? Or is it also just imaginary? As I wrote in the other thread: more questions than answers.

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First incoherence is the fact that the game starts with a redo of the ending of Monkey Island 2: Back then the man and the women obviously talked to them like being their parents. Leaving aside Chuckies glowing eyes and stuff.


Ema, I feel you’re really missing the point of “the Secret”. However poorly executed the reveal, and however minor details around the fringes may have changed over the course of 30 years.

Historical (and present day) piracy has a mystique to it, but its reality is dark, brutal and far from glamorous. Pirates were violent outlaws. Although they had the choice to decide when and in what context they would and wouldn’t be violent, they were brutal, cruel, and ruthless to those they crossed. In the Caribbean Golden Age they were made up of outcasts including African slaves, and defectors from Naval forces or cargo ships which had their own problems (brutality, rancid meat, lack of drinking water, disease/death at sea, and lack of fair payment). The cruelty of the sea transferred from the “non-pirate” ships to the pirate ships.

Piracy is only fun in fiction. That’s the Secret. The Secret is that you the player through Guybrush are a wannabe pirate in a make-believe “pirate-themed” adventure. Even if it wasn’t an amusement park it can only exist in fiction and in one’s imagination.

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I love this interpretation of the ‘point’ of the secret. Though I wonder, from a literary analysis standpoint, if there is any kind of textual (or whatever) evidence to support that this was the author’s (Ron’s) point? I guess I could replay it since I am bored as hell.

That’s not a secret to me. I am and was well aware of that.
What you describe as the secret is just the assumption this whole work of fiction called “MI” is based upon.
Like Harry Potter is based on the existence of magic, and 20.000 legues under the sea on the existence of a Kraken, and so on. It’s the fantasy assumption that you accept in your suspension of disbelief when you are willing to enjoy a fantasy work.


I fully concur. Guybrush goes back to the amusement park the same way Ron goes back to making RtMI and the same we (aging old farts) come back to reliving the glory days of point & click in VGA on our PCs, Amigas or Macintosh ( I was already on Macs back in the 90s, feeling proud, best sound quality ever. Well, best in the early 90s that is :). And a lot of us, Ron included, have had kids since then - his are probably more or less in transitioning from young kids to teenagers by now - so we tell them stories of our past to amuse them, but that’s all they are: stories from the past. And Ron has this lovely/motherly/understanding wife who perfectly knows what he’s going through and lets him relive the story to amuse their kids, pushing the limit as to “project herself” in his story (by fighting off characters and so on) but in an impossible/magical way (like, going to Monkey island without the potion, being back from Monkey Island to Melee in the end and so on).
So, yes, the end / the look on Guybrush’s face in the end to me is just about some form of melancholia mixed with happiness for what’s coming up next. Just like after a ride at the amusement park / after making a RtMI game / after playing RtMI (depending if you see it from Guybrush’s point of view / Ron’s point of view / the player’s point of view, in that order), as in " the ride is over, it was fun, the kid liked it. And now, time to move on". Move on to what? Well, apparently Elaine found a map to “Mire Island” so new adventures for Guybrush ? Or time for Ron to move on to another game. Or time for us to move on in our lives away from the glory days of our teenage years (and to buy more games from Ron :slight_smile: ).
The way the kid is the “tool” to help the “ageing geek” move on is, I find as a father, extremely realistic: it has been my (very personal) experience that it is kids that help you move on from sticking to / living in the past. So, I did like the ending.
I just have to find a way to explain my kids that the secret was just a Shirt !!! Haha.


You don’t have to, because Ron’s original secret was ACTUALLY a gate to hell that turned the living into undead servants! :wink:

When Herman and his Captain sailed to find the Secret years before the game? When LeChuck sailed to find the Secret, and came back as a ghost with a ghost crew, and Estevan said that only LeChuck knows the Secret?

“there is not and never was a Treasure of Monkey Island.”

“It is not a thing. It is a place.”

“Most pirates call it Hell.”

“It is their sacred purpose to see that no one discovers it’s secret or location”

Haha, well, Ron seems to have forgotten about this archive then !
Anyway, up for another adventure game sometime in the future. Any advice ?

I was just praising Primordia and Unavowed over in The (adventure) games on sale thread - #487 by Guga

I mean, I very much have my doubts about what I’m about to say, but the secret being “a place” and the imaginary pirates thinking of it as “hell” could be the reality that they are imaginary and it’s all just a theme park where they are lifeless animatronics.

I’m certainly not convinced that the secret was “always” meant to be that none of this was real, but there’s still some wiggle room here.


They could also be actual theme park employees who really don’t like their job.

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