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Ron Gilbert Confirms What The Actual Secret Of Monkey Island Is

The Secret of Monkey Island has always been an evocative name. Most assumed that the titular secret simply had something to do with the mysterious island's pirates, either buried treasure, its ghostly residents, or its population of cannibals. It turns out, none of that was the true secret.

For that, we turn to Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert. In a far-ranging interview with BBC journalist Laura Cress, Gilbert finally lets slip just what the secret of Monkey Island truly is. For those who haven't played Return to Monkey Island, you might want to stop reading here to avoid spoilers.

"The original game was called The Secret of Monkey Island, and we never really addressed what that secret was. And when we started this game, we said, 'Well, we really need to tell people what that secret is,'" said Gilbert. "You don't want to just kick that football down the field another time.

"And the thing that I'm not sure that people really understand is that this is actually the secret of Monkey Island. As I conceived the secret in 1988 when I first started working on this game, and it got the title The Secret of Monkey Island, this was the actual secret of the game. It was that Guybrush was just in a giant amusement park. That's where it got its title."

The whole amusement park concept was apparently abandoned early in the first game's development, although Gilbert said there are still hints of it in the earlier titles, such as the grog machine and stands.

Check out the full interview for more tidbits on Return to Monkey Island, which is available now on Steam and Switch.

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