What's the best puzzle in the Monkey Island series?

“The Secret of Monkey Island” and “Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge” had very good puzzles that are still remembered today by the players. To be fair, they also had a few obscure or unfair puzzles, but they were exceptions, not the rule.

I also assume that the other installments of the Monkey Island series had their fair share of good puzzles (but I remember almost nothing about those games).

If you have played any Monkey Island game, is there a puzzle that you consider to be very good and that made you feel smart when you solved it?

My choice: the “grog puzzle” in MI1.


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I know @seguso’s answer:


I can’t really say. But I know THIS puzzle made me feel smart because I solved it multiple times. For some reason I often forgot the solution and had to solve it again:


Yes, that’s my favorite puzzle. Thanks for writing on my behalf, cause I am leaving for a place similar to monkey island and can’t write right now :hear_no_evil:

Oop oop eek? :monkey:

I’ll tell you an aspect of that puzzle that I don’t like. :stuck_out_tongue: Kate is on Booty Island while the poster is in Phatt Island. Until that moment, the player has never witnessed a character moving to a different island and it might be reasonable to conclude that each character stays in the island in which Guybrush found him/her. As a consequence, expecting that modifying the poster on Phatt would magically call Kate on that island isn’t, in my opinion, a very logical hypothesis.

That’s a good one.

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I confess I did not solve any important puzzle by myself in the monkey island series. :disappointed_relieved:

In twp, calling with Franklin in order to moan. Figuring out I needed to put something colored in the puddle. Using the electric fence with the battery.

My favourite Monkey Island puzzle was the spit contest, because it involves many parts to be solved. You think to have found the solution in order to win, but you discover that’s not enough yet :rofl:
Of course, in normal mode.

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Spitcontest was great. Other puzzles I barely remember.

I’ve solved this puzzle a long time ago and I’m not really sure what kind of clues are really there for new players.
But at least Kate (and Dread) are characters who can easily travel from island to island, contrary to most others.
In hindsight it would be nice to have a little bit more realism like Kate not being on Booty Island all the time (because she is doing tours).

I also like Voodoo recipe puzzles, e.g. the very first big puzzle chain in MI2 and the very last one!

I think this is a very interesting thread, since it forces me to gather my thoughts about the puzzles… I mean: I prefer MI1 than MI2, but if i think about the puzzles, I have to admit that the puzzles of MI2 are far more better, and more complex. MI1 lacks in puzzle chains. The only thing that can resemble a puzzle chain is the three trials… but I have to say that insult swordfighting (if it can be considered a puzzle chain) is a genius idea, and it alone can be enough to make me prefer MI1 on MI2.
Still, even if MI2 has -globally- better puzzles, THE best puzzle for me and the best puzzle chain both come from MI1…

Ok, time to give you an answer. Ok, no, wait, I’ll give you a short answer and a long answer:

Q: What’s the best puzzle in th Monkey Island series?

Short answer: following the shopkeeper to find the Swordmaster’s place.

Long answer: The short answer is valid if a “puzzle chain” is not suitable as an answer to your question. Anyway I think the shopkeeper’s is the best single puzzle of MI1, closely followed by the mug puzzle.
The two best puzzles of MI2 are, in my opinion, the mud bucket puzzle to get Largo’s clothes, and the coffin puzzle in which you have to nail Stan inside.

Speaking about puzzle chains, the making of the voodoo dolls are great, but they are so HUGE puzzle chains (they make a whole game part each) that I don’t know if it is possible to consider them single chains… so I have to narrow my choice between the spitting contest in MI2 and the insult swordfighting in MI1.
And I think that insult swordfighting should win.

So, to sum up: following the shopkeeper as a single puzzle, insult swordfighting a s a puzzle chain.


Otoh, she said she was about to leave for phatt island, iirc.

I think you 're right.

In Tales I enjoyed …
e1: rescuing yourself from Marquis de Singe.
e2: helping LeChuck to solve a puzzle.
e3: hex me now but finding Murray was the best moment.
e4: … Fugu Jolokia
e5: getting that worthless little paper back.

Relevant to the discussion. A puzzle dependency chart that Ron created during the design of “Monkey Island 2” (Source), showing how to craft the voodoo doll for Largo LaGrande:

Notice the name that was used before choosing “Largo LaGrande”. :slight_smile:

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I must replay Tales of Monkey Island, I don’t remember some of the puzzles you mentioned.
But I remember well the fifth episode, the whole episode: it’s the best!

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The mug of grog puzzle (MI1)
Dealing with the ghosts animals (M1)
Red herring (M1) Can’t believe I actually got that one

Getting the cook fired (MI2)
If this is 2, what’s this? (MI2) Actually never found the trick, I simply played a bunch of times and annotated the answer to each question, later on I found the secret when someone mentioned it)
Monkey Wrench (MI2) I think I solved this one by accident mostly
Escaping LeChuck’s contraption using spit (MI2)
LeChuck’s voodoo doll (MI2)

Using a fish on some bongos to simulate music in absence of the musician (Tales)
Using a caged trained monkey to help Guybrush escape from being tied to the rack of that mad De Singe (Tales)
Using the pyrite parrot to find a lost treasure (Tales)
Playing detective to destroy all the evidence against Guybrush in his trial (tales)
Knocking Winslow from the Narwhal (Tales)

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Uhm… I assumed, from the text of the first thread entry (and not from the thread title) that it referred to the first two original games.
I think that Tales of MI (which I haven’t played) deserves a separate thread, since it seems to me a very different game. And since I don’t want spoilers, in case I’ll play it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

@LowLevel: why not taking the puzzles cited by the players to make up a multi-chioce poll?

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You were very, very lucky then!

(4) if this is one… (3) what’s this?
(4) if this is one… (2) what’s this?
(4) if this is one… (1) what’s this?
(4) if this is two… (3) what’s this?
(4) if this is four… (5) what’s this?
(4) if this is five… (1) what’s this?
(4) if this is four… (4) what’s this?
(4) if this is four… (5) what’s this?
(4) if this is four… (3) what’s this?

The answer to the above questions is always the same number. Guess what?

I agree, the insult fighting in MI1 was my favorite part.

I also liked the Monkey Island Stew recipe puzzle, substituting breath mints for mint leaves, etc.

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