What's this? Do things almost seem to be looking up for Guybrush Threepwood? Heaven forefend! This act of Return to Monkey Island has you, ironically, leaving Monkey Island, sure in the knowledge that the mysterious Secret that you've been after has been right under your nose all this time.
Surely this act will be short and sweet, right? That earthquake definitely didn't break anything, LeChuck and Captain Madison will be too busy competing with each other, and the Voodoo Lady will be only too happy to hand you the Secret, right? No. Things are never that easy. Here's how to deal with the puzzles thrown at you in the longest act of the game.
Heading To The Voodoo Shop
While Elaine runs off to deal with organizing some earthquake relief, it’s up to you to head to the Voodoo Shop to find the Secret. Talk with the residents on your way, and examine both the cookbook and the exotic drink. You can’t nab the cookbook yet, and you don't need to grab the exotic drink yet either.
You’ll witness an important cutscene as you make your way to Low Street, featuring LeChuck and Captain Madison coming to something of a truce.
Make your way to the Voodoo Shop and confront the Voodoo Lady. She’ll let you know that the Secret is hidden within the safe in her shop – the safe with five locks on it. She’ll also tell you that it’s enchanted to be immovable.
When you leave the shop, you’ll be confronted by Widey Bones, another person whose life has been dedicated to finding the secret. She’ll let you know that you need five Golden Keys, hidden long ago, to unlock the safe. She will also provide you with information as to the locations of the keys:
- Widey Bones herself has one of the keys and will not give it up until you have a few of your own.
- Mrs. Smith had one – she lived on Melee Island.
- Bella Fisher had one, but lost it at sea.
- One of the keys is on Brr Muda.
- The final key is on Terror Island.
When Widey leaves, Guybrush remarks that he needs a good sea map, which makes our next destination obvious – Wally’s! You can get him to give you a sea map, easy peasy – just ask him for one!
It’s now time to start hunting for information and items that will help us find the keys.
Exploring Melee Island
Up on High Street, you’ll find that the fish shop that the old pirate leaders said they were going to open (if you did indeed talk to them back in Act 1) is, in fact, now open! Head inside and chat with the shopkeepers. They’ll have information regarding Bella Fisher – notably that she had a secret fishing spot, it’s likely where she rests now (with her Golden Key), and that she likely left hints as to its location.
While you’re here, get an order of lumpsuckers – it’s on the house, of course!
Enter the locksmiths – you might remember that the proprietress’ name is Locke Smith. Ask her about it, and she’ll reveal not only that Mrs. Smith was her grandmother but that Mrs. Smith left Locke the key in her will. Unfortunately, the key was apparently destroyed when Locke was too devastated to claim it. She’ll hand you the probate order as proof. Examine this for a hint as to where you can use this item - we'll cover that later.
Head up to the Governor’s mansion and cut the line – talk to Carla, and in the conversation, ask for one of the IOU’s she’s handing out. It’s important that you choose rebuilding local businesses as the reason. Give this IOU to the crying chef all the way back at the Scumm bar ruins. With the cook placated, you can take back the cookbook.
With the cookbook in hand, return to the Governor’s mansion. Put it back in the bookcase – now you can take a different book out. Take ‘The Endless Voyage That Would Not End.’
Head to the shipyard now – it looks like Stan’s office has completely collapsed! Pick up the toothbrush and the picture of Stan from the floor.
While on the overworld map, click on your ship at the docks – as long as you have the sea map, you’ll now have access to two more islands: Scurvy Island and Terror Island. There’s also a ship you can visit. We’ll visit Scurvy Island first.
You can also simply click on the sea map in your inventory to instantly board your ship! This can't be used in every situation, but it's a fantastic time saver.
Exploring Scurvy Island
Leave the beach and you’ll be on the Scurvy Island overworld map. Ignore the multitude of lime groves for now and get to the camp at the top of the island.
Elaine isn’t here, but you can pick up some useful items – grab the picture frame, the note on the desk, and the firewood near the entrance.
The note says that Elaine is working in a lime grove due east of the lighthouse and south of the camp. Head to the lime grove that sits perfectly at the intersection of those two points - the image below shows the right spot.
You’ll find Elaine here – chat to her, and be sure to ask her to spare a few limes. She’ll also hand you a flyer – apparently, her flyers aren’t working to get pirates to eat limes, and you need to find a sales and marketing expert to consult on them.
Boarding LeChuck’s Ship
When you arrive at LeChuck’s ship, you’ll have to make sure the coast is clear – when you head on up to the deck, have a chat with Bob. He’ll have no hard feelings, and it’s quickly obvious that you need to get the joke book that you gave him earlier from him. He’ll only trade it for another book, specifically a very long one – give him The Endless Voyage That Would Not End from the Governor’s mansion to get the joke book.
Head down into the ship and into the galley. Pick up the Demon Pepper shaker. Combine the Demon Pepper with the lumpsuckers you got from the fish shop on Melee Island to get some seasoned fish.
Head back to Scurvy Island quickly and find the lime grove with a seagull nest – on the top right of the map. Head there, and then throw one of the seasoned lumpsuckers at the gull. The seagull will fly away – pick up the torn picture of Guybrush.
How To Get Mrs. Smith’s Golden Key On Brrr Muda Island
Our next destination is Brrr Muda Island, the frozen landmass to the north. You must have limes on your person to be able to sail north of Terror Island, as there is a Scurvy Inspection Point - you can see this marked on your sea map as a horizontal line. When you reach the inspection point and show your limes off, you’ll be ordered to fill out a customs form.
Check the boxes next to the following questions:
- 1, 5, 11, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, and the final box.
- If you have never picked up a trivia card, check 25.
- If you have ever picked up a trivia card, check 31.
With that, you can finally dock on Brrr Muda. There are two buildings here in the first area, the town hall and the courthouse. Enter the courthouse – the town hall is locked at the moment.
You can chat with Judge Planke in the courthouse for some funny lines, but you’re primarily here to hand him Locke Smith’s probate papers. It’s revealed that the items weren’t destroyed, and while someone named Brad made off with the fancy box, the Golden Key was not! Judge Planke simply hands it to you! First Golden Key acquired!
How To Get Queen Odina's Golden Key On Brrr Muda Island
Go to the Brrr Muda overworld map by taking the path between the courthouse and the town hall, and then head to the ice castle. Climb up the overly long path to the castle proper, before having a chat with Odina, the queen on the throne, pick up the matches near the firewood. A short conversation will reveal that if you want her crown, which has one of the Golden Keys on it, you’ll have to best her in three contests. Challenge her to any one of them, and you’ll be transported automatically to the town hall.
- The Contest of Heartiness involves consuming more raw fish than your opponent.
- The Contest of Seriousness involves being the last contestant to laugh.
- The Contest of Intelligence involves solving a tough algebra problem.
To win the Content of Heartiness, you’ll first need to get some of the Fish of the Day from the fishmongers back on Melee. For us, these were lumpsuckers. If you are following this walkthrough, your lumpsuckers will currently be seasoned with demon pepper, which Guybrush cannot eat. Head back to Melee and trade in your seasoned lumpsuckers for fresh ones.
Back at the town hall, fill the bucket on the table with the unseasoned fish and then season them with demon pepper before ringing the bell. Instead of using one of these fish in the contest when prompted, sneak one from your inventory onto the plate – Odina will fail to eat the extremely spicy fish and you'll win the contest.
To win the Contest of Intelligence, you’ll need to successfully swap your paper for Odina’s - it's smart to cheat, right?
You may have noticed earlier that Odina gets very distracted by the sound of dripping water, and there’s a convenient, huge icicle in this contest’s room that you need to start melting. Place the firewood from Scurvy Island in the fireplace and light it with the matches from the ice castle.
During the contest, wait for Odina’s attention to get diverted to the dripping noise to the left and then swap the papers quickly.
To win the Contest of Seriousness, you simply have to use the joke book that you got from Apple Bob when prompted to try and make Odina laugh.
With all three contests won, you've already acquired your second Golden Key!
How To Find The Golden Key On Terror Island
Head to Terror Island. The first area doesn’t have anything for you to pick up, so just head to the island interior to open up the overworld map.
Head to the unlucky place just to the right first. Pick up the silver key from the skeleton here. Now go to the mysterious clearing at the top of the island. Pick up the oil lamp on the right of the clearing.
Now, head to the twisty path. Walk along the path, revealing more of the screen as you go – remember, it’s twisty – until you find a gate with a sign on it. Pry the sign off with your ceremonial knife and then use your silver key in the keyhole. Enter the newly unlocked dark cave.
Combine the matches with the oil lamp. Walk around the path using the lamplight to guide you and then enter the cavern on the right. First, head north – pick up the scrap of paper here and examine it. Note the marking in the middle of the passage. Pick random exits, picking up the notes as you go – eventually, you’ll have a stack of five.
Each note mentions a season, with two springs, so logic dictates that to navigate through this maze you’ll have to start at Spring, and take the exits corresponding to the markings on the notes. Examine the sign with XYZZY on it to reset yourself – it’ll teleport you to the cave entrance. Enter again so you can start over.
- The first room only has two exits with markings next to them, and only one of them corresponds to a Spring passage. Take the right exit.
- Summer will take you to the right again.
- For Fall, take the left exit.
- Winter is another left.
- The second Spring note will take you to the right.
You’ll come out to the ‘Pit of Agony.’ Before diving into the water, take a detour – leave Terror Island and board LeChuck’s ship again. Head up the crow’s nest and use the lamp on Flambe’s head to light it with demon fire - this won’t go out underwater. Go back to the Pit of Agony and dive underwater – don’t worry about solving that season puzzle again, the game will skip it for you.
Make your way to the right and you’ll come up on land again. Venture deeper into the cave, examine the sign, and you’ll come across Herman Toothrot. After chatting to him, try to take his Golden Key and enjoy the conversation that follows – the ensuing argument results in you having the key, but losing your lamplight. To get out, read the XYZZY sign. Third Golden Key acquired!
How To Find Stan And Solve Elaine’s PR Campaign Problems
Head to Brrr Muda Island and enter the ice quarry from the overworld map. Ask the guard if you’d be allowed to get inside to visit a prisoner – Stan, specifically. You’ll be required to prove that you know the man.
Examine the picture frame in your inventory. You’ll be able to rearrange the various portraits you’ve picked up so far. Arrange them to that Stan and Guybrush’s pictures are in it, facing each other. Show this to the guard and then enter the quarry.
Talking to the prisoners will reveal that Stan is ‘way in the back’ – indeed, you’ll find him right at the north-eastern edge of the screen. Have a chat with him. He’ll hand you a document that proves he’s only in prison for a month, which means he’ll refuse to let you break him out. He’ll also tell you about his accountant, Ned Filigree, who apparently keeps very meticulous records.
Here’s the problem: you need Stan to meet Elaine, he’s the one who can help her with her marketing problem. With his refusal to be broken out, you’ll need to up the charges.
You’ll find Ned Filigree on Barebones Island, which is directly to the west of Brrr Muda. It’s a tiny island with only one inhabitant – the accountant you’re after. After introducing yourself, show him the judge’s order than Stan gave you. In his panic, he’ll give you some damning financial records that you should promptly take to Judge Planke on Brrr Muda. He’ll accept the evidence, but you’ll need to convince him that you are Ned. Currently, he thinks you are Guybrush.
Peek at the financial records in your inventory, and then rummage through them to get Ned’s accounting license and Stan’s financial records, and then combine Ned’s license with the photo frame – rearrange the pictures to show Guybrush’s portrait next to the license. Use this to convince the judge.
This is enough to get Stan sentenced to ten years in the quarry – enough to make him need a jailbreak. Head back to the ice quarry to break the bad news to Stan by showing him the updated documents. He’ll beg you to free him.
Use the magnifying glass monocles on his shackles and get a key made back on Melee Island. Use the new key on his shackles and enjoy the cutscene. After the cutscene with Elaine, pick up the new pamphlet.
Return to Barebones to find Ned completely missing. While you’re here, though, take Ned’s picture from the tree.
How To Get Bella Fisher’s Golden Key
With the new, improved pamphlet in hand, sail to the adrift ship near LeChuck’s ship. The sailors here don’t want anything to do with boring old limes, but their crew is wracked with scurvy. Show them the new pamphlet and they'll let you aboard. Climb the rope ladder and quickly nab the Bella Fisher flag from the rope at the top. That’s what we came here for.
Trying to layer the flag over your sea map will let you know that you’ll need another flag to find the location of Bella Fisher’s secret fishing spot.
Head to Melee Island and go to the Museum of Pirate Lore. Use the old cracker trick and the old display case key to steal the flag on display, it’s a replica and won’t work for your goals, but you still need to do this.
The actual flag is in the storeroom, but it’s currently locked. Enter the museum again and this time, open the display case without giving crackers to the parrots, thereby setting off their alarm. Conrad will unlock the storeroom but gets distracted folding up the replica flag. Enter the storeroom quickly and Guybrush will swap the replica flag he just nabbed for the genuine article.
There is one final flag to find. Head to the fish shop on High Street. Now, ask the shopkeepers about the flag hanging above the door. After a short conversation, you’ll be inducted into the Chums and tasked with finding other members of the Chums to talk to. Show the following people the fishing lure you just acquired:
- Locke Smith in her shop.
- The pirate outside the Scumm bar.
- The ice quarry guard on Brrr Muda.
- Elaine in the lime grove on Scurvy Island.
- Apple Bob on LeChuck's ship.
Whenever you talk to one of the Chums, you’ll have to tell a story. Choose these options to successfully learn more about good storytelling:
- The pirate hunter Morgan LeFlay had my First Mate at sword-point…
- …my ship was swallowed by a whale!
- Once you learn about angler lingo, this option changes to ‘huge lunker of a whale.’
- Once you learn about descriptions, this option changes to ‘titanic alabaster whale.’
- It was gross inside. Soft floors and yellow stuff all over the place.
- Once you learn about descriptions, this option changes to ‘walking on soft cheese.’
- I made a fishing line with my own hair.
- Then Morgan knocked me out and sold me to my enemies.
Once you’ve learned all the tricks to telling a fishing story, you’ll be directed back to the Cod’s Wallop - the fish shop. Tell the story there by showing off the lure. Once successful, you’ll be able to take the third and final flag.
Try to combine two of them and Guybrush will layer them all over each other and over the sea map, revealing Bella Fisher’s secret fishing spot.
Before you leave the fish shop, you might have spotted the blowfish in the barrel on the bottom of the screen. You’ll need that shortly – examining it will let you know that you need to win it in a burping contest. Luckily, there’s also something nearby that’ll help you burp brilliantly – go back to the Scumm bar and nab the exotic drink there. Run quickly back to the fish shop and then drink it – if you’re not fast enough, the drink will be flat and won’t work. Immediately start the burping contest, and you’ll get the blowfish when you win. Leave the shop and get back to your ship.
Head to the spot marked with an ‘X’ and drop anchor. Blow up the blowfish by interacting with it in your inventory, and then climb down the anchor chain. Halfway down, Guybrush will remark on how deep he is – here’s where you need to open your inventory again and inhale your breath from the blowfish. When on the seafloor, take the key from the mast of Bella Fisher’s ship. Fourth Golden Key acquired.
How To Get Widey Bones’ Golden Key
If you stopped by to talk to Widey Bones on one of your return trips to Melee Island, you’ll find out that she was assailed by a short, female ghost pirate who stole her Golden Key, which is frustrating as she said she’d give you her key for free once you’d found some of the others.
The mystery ghost sounds like Iron Rose, so head back to LeChuck’s ship. Go to the hold that you were locked in all those acts ago, and you’ll find the Golden Key inside one of the ghost chickens – specifically the ghost chicken with digestive issues. Feed it some ghost chicken seed, leave the room to give her some privacy, and then re-enter to be able to pick up the key. Fifth and final Golden Key Acquired!
Opening The Safe
Sail back to Melee Island and dash to the Voodoo Lady’s shop. One by one, insert all five Golden Keys into the safe and then open it. That's the act!