Chapter 1 “A Friendly Place” in Return to Monkey Island puts Guybrush Threepwood back in the hands of the player as he begins to tell a story to his son about when he learned the secret of Monkey Island. It starts with tasking you to put together a crew for a new expedition to the island, but, as you’ll come to find out, things aren’t as simple as just talking to people and getting it done.
Return to Monkey Island is a throwback to classic Lucasarts adventure games so its puzzles can be a little obtuse and challenging, especially when on Hard Mode. Things certainly ramp up in difficulty as the game goes on, but the puzzles aren’t a total cakewalk in the beginning either. If you’re struggling, use the guide below to get through some of the game’s more obtuse moments.
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Talk to pirate leaders to get money
After talking with the man by the fire and exhausting all of the conversation topics, walk to the bottom right corner of the screen and then load into the next area. Here, walk past the docks and go into the building just past them. Inside, grab the trivia book sitting on a table with a group of pirates then walk as far right as possible and talk with the pirate leaders.
No matter what you say, the pirate leaders won’t help you out, so Guybrush vows to get a ship, even if that means using dubious methods, as he exits the building.
NOTE: The trivia book you picked up inside isn’t something necessary for solving puzzles, but you can find plenty of questions about the world the game takes place in inside it that are fun to research and answer as you go.
Get or find a ship
Once you’ve exited the building, head to the left and walk towards LeChuck’s ship.
After getting close enough to see that LeChuck has named his vessel LeShip (very original,) you’ll see a job opening’s board. Interact with it and you’ll start speaking with the ghostly woman nearby. She’ll offer you a job on the ship as a swabbie. Accept the job and she’ll tell you that you need to bring your own mop. When she asks your name, give whatever answer you please. Even if you lie, she’ll see right through you and reveal that you’ve been blacklisted by LeChuck.
The Quartermaster won’t let you in, so you’ll just have to find a way to join LeChuck’s crew without being recognized.
Join LeChuck’s crew
The two subtasks in the ToDo list can be tackled in any order and completed simultaneously, but for the sake of clarity, use the sections below to see which steps should be followed for each task. To continue forward with the story, however, you’ll need to complete both tasks.
Solve problem: Quartermaster recognizes me and won’t hire me
As soon as you leave the docks, head to Low Street by walking to the right of the Scumm bar. If this is your first time here, you’ll be reunited with Elaine. After catching up with her, you’ll be able to explore the island in full. Head into Wally’s Maps-N-More on the left side of the street. When you enter, you’ll have a quick chat with Wally, but once the two of you are done talking, you can take the monocle that’s on the table next to him.
Once you’ve got the monocle, you’re free to leave the shop and head up to High Street. Walk as far left as you can, underneath the archway, to the mansion on the far left side of the area. To the right of the mansion, you’ll find a road that gives you access to the interior of the island. Walk to it and you’ll find yourself on a map of the island, able to quickly travel between areas. Head to the forest which is to the right of the mansion on the map.
When you make it to the forest, walk to the right of the screen and enter the Museum of Pirate Lore. Inside, you’ll meet Conrad, the curator of the museum. After talking with them, examine the eye patch to your immediate left. Conrad will tell you that it’s an ancient item used for a pirate who specialized in disguises. Perfect. You’ll need to nab it.
Take a look at the lock on the case. When you interact with it, you’ll find that it’s locked and has some tiny writing on it. Luckily, you have a monocle to magnify it. Use the monocle on the lock and…the numbers are still too small. Leave the museum and return to Wally’s map shop. When you get there, you’ll find that a second monocle has been placed on his desk. Grab it and then return to the museum.
Once you make it back to the museum, combine the two monocles. Then, use them on the lock to magnify the tiny numbers. After you do that, you’ll write down the serial number of the lock. Before you leave the museum, head to the store room in the back right section of the screen and grab the cracker mix on the shelf. Once you’ve got it, head out and go to the locksmith on High Street across from the jail.
Give paper with the serial number on it to the locksmith and they’ll make you a key. After they hand it over to you, give them the cracker mix and they’ll tell you to take the crackers on their counter. Now that you have some crackers, you’ll be able to distract the parrot in the museum and steal the eyepatch.
Return to the museum again and use them on the parrot. It’ll be distracted and won’t squawk at you for opening the case now. With it distracted, use the key on the lock and then steal the eye patch.
If you go back to LeChuck’s ship, put the eyepatch on, and talk to the Quartermaster, they’ll see right through your disguise. While the eyepatch is magic, something seems to be wrong with it. Head to the Voodoo shop on Low Street to have it examined. If this is your first time in the shop, the shopkeeper will talk to you and give you the Hint Book. Once they’re done talking, show them the eyepatch.
The Voodoo shop owner will tell you that the eyepatch has lost its magic, but that it can be restored with something that has “the bite of a thousand needles.” Grab the knife towards the bottom of the screen in the shop by telling the shop owner that you really want it and then leave the shop. Go to the forest.
Get the Bite of a Thousand Needles for the Voodoo Lady
When you get to the forest, walk upwards into the deep dark forest. You’ll be back here to get the mop handle, but for now, enter the first area and find a carnivorous plant. Use your knife on it and you’ll cut a sample off it.
Return to the Voodoo shop and give the sample to the shopkeeper. She’ll bring the magic back to the eye patch and you’ll have your disguise good and ready to go.
Get a mop
Return to the dockside bar where you spoke with the new pirate leaders. Walk all the way to the right, past the leaders’ table, and into the kitchen. Inside, you’ll meet up with the cook. In the left corner of the room, a mop is leaning against the wall. Try to borrow it and the cook will stop you, explaining that mops are incredibly personal and that you cannot simply use the mop of another. He’ll explain that you need to build your own mop if you want to get one. As soon as he’s done talking, walk out the door to the right and onto the small dock outside the kitchen. Pick up the string that’s on the ground. This won’t be useful yet, but you’ll need it for later.
Make a mop
Exit the bar and head to Low Street by heading to the right. If this is your first time here, you’ll be reunited with Elaine. When you’re on Low Street, walk inside Wally’s Maps-n-More, the shop on the far left.
Inside, you’ll be reunited with Wally. He’ll tell you that he holds no grudges against Guybrush, and after a brief scene where the two catch up, you can ask him if he has a map to the mop-handle tree. He’ll tell you that he can make a map to the tree if you can bring him a sliver of the wood from a mop. Before you leave, grab the monocle from the box on the table if you haven’t already for the disguise quest.
You know where to find a mop, but getting a sliver off of it to bring to Wally will take something sharp. Leave Wally’s shop and go into the International House of Mojo (the Voodoo shop) across the street. If this is your first time inside, you’ll speak with the owner of the shop and she’ll give you the Hint Book before being able to explore the inside of the store.
After the woman gives you the Hint Book, select the knife that’s on the bottom of the screen and ask about it. After you do, you’ll be able to take it for yourself by saying “I really want this.”
Now that you’ve got the knife, run back to the kitchen of the bar by LeChuck’s ship and head over to the kitchen. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take the sliver just yet as any time you interact with the mop, the cook will tell you to stay away. Instead, speak with him and he’ll tell you about a new customer, Marlon Marlin, that’s sitting at a table in the main bar area.
Marlon wants a mystery dish that he had last week, which would be enough to distract the cook with making so that you can cut a sliver off the mop. The tricky thing is that the cook doesn’t know what it is or how to make it. He’ll reveal to you, however, that if he had the recipe, he’d get working on it right away. He mentions that Marlon had the dish at the governor’s mansion on the other side of town. Finish talking with the cook and then exit the bar.
Head over to the governor’s mansion by heading down Low Street, going underneath the archway between Wally’s shop and the Voodoo shop, then through High Street to the left side of the screen.
When you enter the mansion, you’ll be met by a swordfight with Carla. After going back and forth for a few blows, you can ask about the recipe. Unfortunately, she’ll tell you that she doesn’t know what you’re talking about.
After the fight, walk to the book case directly above you. Examine the recipe book “Ingredients” by Barbie LeFlay and ask to borrow it. Carla will tell you that she won’t let you borrow the book since Guybrush forgot to bring her last book back to her. You’ll need to find a way to make it up to her.
Leave the mansion and head to the International House of Mojo back on Low Street. Inside the shop, you’ll see a dead frog on the table next to where you got your knife from. Ask about it and the shop keeper will tell you it’s a Forgiveness Frog. Say “I think I’ll buy this” and you’ll put it in your inventory.
If you head back to Carla with the frog now, she won’t accept it since you haven’t written anything on it, so you’ll need to spice it up a little bit. In your inventory, one of the items you started the game with is Guybrush’s state of the art pen. Combine the two and you’ll start to write an apology. You’ll be given multiple options on what to write, but the specific details of what you need to write for the apology to be accepted changes on each playthrough. To learn what to write, first head back to the statue of Carla on Low Street.
The statue of Carla is located on the side of the Voodoo shop. Examine the plaque on the statue and it will tell you some of the details you need to know for the Forgiveness Frog. Once you’ve memorized the location of her great deeds, head to the the area outside of the Scumm bar. To its left, you’ll find a reelection poster for Carla. On it, you’ll learn another detail about her that you’ll need for the frog.
With all that information write the following:
-Sorry for losing the book I borrowed.
-Choose the option that reflects what was on the reelection poster.
-Choose the option that reflects what the plaque says.
-I promise to do better in the future.
After you have it all written down, give Carla the frog and then grab the recipe book.
With the book in hand, head back to the kitchen at the back of the bar and give it to the cook. While he’s distracted cooking up the recipe, use your knife on the mop to get a sliver of its wood.
Return to Wally’s map shop and give him the sliver of wood. He’ll give you the map which will then be in your inventory. Open it up and get a good look at it. The starting point for the treasure map is a house next to a bridge. Head to the mansion and then go to the side path that leads to the island’s interior. From here, go to the forest.
As soon as you load into the area, you’ll be next to a sign. If you read it, it’ll say that you should use a map if you’re going to enter the dark part of the forest. By exploring to the right slightly, you’ll notice that you’re next to the bridge and house on your map. As it turns out, the map you just got from Wally is the one you need to traverse the deep dark forest. Enter it.
Similar to the apology letter, the path forward from here varies game to game. The idea is that you’ll need to open the map on each screen to figure out which path to take based on which plant is near the path forward as marked on your map. For example, on my map (seen above) I should take the path near the carnivorous plant in the first area since it’s written on my map and so on. Your map will differ, but the principle stays the same. Use the map to get to the tree.
Once you make it through the forest, use your knife on the tree and you’ll cut yourself a mop handle off of it.
Now that you’ve got a handle, you’ll need the actual mop part of the mop. Luckily, the cook said that just about anything will do on that front. Remember the string you picked up back when you first met the cook? Combine it with the mop handle and your mop will be ready.
Joining LeChuck’s Crew
With your disguise at the ready and your mop in hand, head back to the docks. Put your disguise on right just out of sight of the quartermaster and then show them your mop. You’ll hop on board and the chapter will be over after a short cutscene.