The Secret of Monkey Island

Released: 1990
Published by: Lucasfilm Games LLC
Developed by: Lucasfilm Games LLC
Credits: Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman, Brad P. Taylor, Aric Wilmunder, Tami Caryl Borowick, Martin Cameron, James A. Dollar, Barney Jones, Michael Z. Land, Patric Mundy, Andy Newell.

System Requirements

System Requirements 8088 or 8086 CPU, 640 KB RAM, DOS 3.1+, CGA, Hercules, Tandy/PCjr, EGA, MCGA, or VGA graphics. Best graphics = 320 x 200 in 256 colours.
Audio support for PC speaker, Ad Lib, Game Blaster, Sound Blaster, Roland MT-32 (or LAPC-I), or Tandy/PCjr. CD-ROM release requires MSCDEX 2.1 or higher.
80286 CPU is recommended.
Original Media Original EGA release - eight 5.25" 360 KB (DD) or four 5.25" 720 KB (DD) floppy disks or three 3.5" 1.44 MB (HD) floppy disks. A 1992 re-release came on a single CD-ROM.
Installed Size 4.4 MB

From where can it be run?

The floppy disk releases of the game can be played from floppy, though installation to a hard disk is recommended. If you have two floppy drives, run the game using the /d flag to tell the game you are using dual floppy drives.

If you're installing to a hard disk from a subdirectory which contains all the files from the floppy disks, the INSTALL.BAT program is intelligent enough to pick up your subdirectory and correctly install from there.

To install to hard disk, run:


If you do not specify a destination drive letter you will receive an error, as shown in the first picture below. You are not given a choice to specify the destination directory - it will always be installed to \MONKEY.

Game Audio/Video

Intro Music Samples:

Roland MT-32 "Old" 
Roland MT-32 "New" 
Tandy 1000 (emulated)  
Ad Lib (emulated)   Creative Wave Blaster (CT1900)  
Roland SC-55  
Yamaha DB50XG (in TG-300 mode) 
Advanced Gravis UltraSound  
Game Intro (VGA + MT-32)

Game Intro (VGA + Ad Lib) Game Intro (EGA + Ad Lib)


Copy Protection

At the start of both the EGA and VGA version of the game, you see "WAIT! Before we begin, let's have a quick history quiz... Press ENTER to continue". You are then asked to state what year a certain pirate was hanged. The pirate's face is made up of two sections: an upper section and a lower section. Using the Dial-a-Pirate codewheel included in the game box, turn the inner and outer ring to make up the face, then enter the year shown in the box for the location specified:


Each time you get it wrong a different pirate is shown. You have 3 attempts to get it right, after which you will be taken back to the DOS prompt.


How to Setup

There is no setup program, but the main executable file, MONKEY.EXE, allows for command-line arguments, as follows:

Note that The Secret of Monkey Island does not use any custom MT-32 patches, so if you don't have an MT-32 but do have a Sound Canvas such as an SC-55, SC-88 or SC-88 Pro, the music will sound just as good on these when put into MT-32 mode. To do so, on the SC-55 hold Instrument < while pressing the Power button to come out of Standby. At the prompt that reads "Init MT-32,Sure?" press the "All" button. On the SC-88 and SC-88 Pro, switch on the unit, press and hold the SELECT button on the bottom row and press Instrument <. At the prompt that reads "Init CM-64,Sure?", press "All".


Symptoms: When I start the game I see a message at the top of the screen which reads "No CD-Rom drive or MSCDEX not installed".
Cause: You have the CD-ROM release of the game, and are trying to run it from the hard disk without the CD-ROM driver loaded in memory.
Resolution: Make sure your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files contain the CD-ROM driver and MSCDEX lines, reboot your PC and confirm it finds your CD-ROM drive correctly and assigns it a drive letter. Oh, and put the game's CD into the drive ;-)

Symptoms: I have the floppy version of the game and Roland sound isn't working.
Cause: Early versions of MI1 didn't support Roland MT-32 or LAPC-I music. Lucasfilm released an update patch to enable this to work.
Resolution: Click here to download the patch.


To Quit the Game

Press ALT-X followed by Y to confirm.


Supporting Documents

Here are the original documents that came with the game:


Save Games

When you save a game, a new file is created in the main game directory called SAVEGAME._A_, SAVEGAME._B_, SAVEGAME._C_, etc. These are not text readable or editable.


Versions of the game known to exist

Version Date Comments
PASS.ZIP (Unknown) A playable demo. Type sampler.exe to start. This file includes demos of Loom and Indy 3 as well.
MIDEMO2.ZIP (Unknown) A playable demo. Type sampler.exe to start. Includes a quiz at the end.
Original EGA release 1990 The first version of the game was EGA only, supporting a resolution of 320 x 200 in 16 colours. This version has the "stump joke".
Commands at the bottom of the screen are in green text.
If you run monkey /? you'll notice there's no option for Roland sound (Lucasfilm released a Roland update for this version), but there is an option for MCGA and VGA ! Attempts to run in MCGA or VGA mode simply run the game in EGA.

This release ran interpreter version 4.0.62.
Original VGA release 1990 256-colour VGA support with redone background and character art. "Stump joke" still present. The changing sun positions were changed to a constant moon over the harbor, the Charles Atlas joke was changed, and the closeups featured a more realistic style. Commands at the bottom of the screen are still in green text.

This release ran interpreter version 5.0.19.
CD-ROM release 1992 The game released on single CD-ROM. This version differs from the floppy disk release in that it no longer uses the iMuse audio engine, instead just using CD audio tracks for the music instead of MIDI. The "stump joke" is removed. Commands at the bottom of the screen are larger and are in purple, more like MI2, with graphic icons representing the inventory instead of text.
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition July 2009 LucasArts' official remake of the original VGA game with updated hand-drawn visuals, a remastered musical score using live instruments and ambience added to certain locations where previously there was silence, voice work for characters, and a hint system. This version also gives you the option of switching betwen 2009 and the original audiovisuals at will.
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (GOG) (Unknown) Released by (Good Old Games) - this is the same as Special Edition above, except it also allows the game to be installed and played on a modern-day Windows PC by running it in a DOSBox shell.

Original Floppy Disk Contents

The floppy disks have no specific volume label.

Disk 1 of 4 (3.5" 720 KB DS/DD):

Directory of A:\     
MONKEY   EXE        71,809 09-01-90  12:00p
000 LFL 8,357 09-01-90 12:00p
901 LFL 2,264 09-01-90 12:00p
902 LFL 3,335 09-01-90 12:00p
904 LFL 4,368 09-01-90 12:00p
INSTALL BAT 3,184 09-01-90 12:00p
_INSTALL BAT 1,603 09-01-90 12:00p
DISK01 LEC 619,295 09-01-90 12:00p
MON1 TXT 0 11-21-21 12:09p
9 file(s) 714,215 bytes
9,216 bytes free


Disk 2 of 4 (3.5" 720 KB DS/DD):

Directory of A:\
DISK02   LEC       707,976 09-01-90  12:00p
1 file(s) 707,976 bytes
21,504 bytes free

Disk 3 of 4 (3.5" 720 KB DS/DD):

Directory of A:\
DISK03   LEC       707,833 09-01-90  12:00p
903 LFL 2,019 09-01-90 12:00p
2 file(s) 709,852 bytes
19,456 bytes free

Disk 4 of 4 (3.5" 720 KB DS/DD):

Directory of A:\
DISK04   LEC       642,947 09-01-90  12:00p
1 file(s) 642,947 bytes
87,040 bytes free


Installed Directory Contents

Once installed, the following directory structure exists in the game directory.

Directory of C:\GAMES\MONKEY
.            <DIR>         06/05/21   20:42
..           <DIR>         06/05/21   20:42
000 LFL 8,357 12-25-96 12:32a
901 LFL 2,264 12-25-96 12:32a
902 LFL 3,335 12-25-96 12:32a
903 LFL 2,019 12-25-96 12:32a
904 LFL 4,368 12-25-96 12:32a
DISK01 LEC 1,099,338 12-25-96 12:32a
DISK02 LEC 1,114,187 12-25-96 12:32a
DISK03 LEC 1,181,719 12-25-96 12:32a
DISK04 LEC 1,046,757 12-25-96 12:32a
MONKEY EXE 69,781 12-25-96 12:32a
SAVEGAME _A_ 20,014 12-25-96 12:32a
SAVEGAME _B_ 21,303 12-25-96 12:32a
SAVEGAME _C_ 21,384 12-25-96 12:32a
15 file(s) 4,594,826 bytes