Guybrush Threepwood is a man who knows what he wants and what he wants is to be a swash-buckling, grog-swilling pirate. Tracking down some pirates in the SCUMM bar in Melee Island, he is told that in order to become one of them he must first complete three trials. One is to beat the Sword Master in an insult fight, which requires training and a fair amount of practice, another is to find a way past some man-eating poodles and steal the Idol of Many Hands from the governor's mansion, and lastly, he must find the hidden treasure, which is easily enough done by buying the map from a shady character on the street corner. However, he will have to find a way to earn some money first.
During the second trial, which is one of the funnier moments of this game, the governor catches our hero in the act of his thievery. Fortunately for Guybrush, the governor also happens to be a beautiful woman by the name of Elaine Marley and it's love at first sight for both of them. After agreeing to a naughty tryst once he completes his trials, our hero eagerly goes off to find X marking the spot, but after digging up the treasure he discovers that his love has been kidnapped and spirited away to sea by a pirate.
Before all this, while investigating how to pursue his chosen career, Guybrush learns the tale of the infamous pirate LeChuck. Apparently, he too had fallen for the governor, but not being to her taste, he suffered the humiliation of rejection. In despair, he sailed out to sea and died. Now he and his ghostly crew terrorize the seas, which is why all the pirates are guzzling grog at the SCUMM bar and not sailing.
Guybrush now learns that it's LeChuck who has kidnapped Elaine and taken her to a place called Monkey Island. The problem is that nobody knows how to get there and besides which, he has no ship or crew. He sets about to find a way to buy a ship with no money and ends up recruiting a motley bunch of characters to help him. Once embarked on the voyage, however, they develop more of an interest in sunning on the deck than in saving the governor. After solving these dilemmas and finding the secret of getting to Monkey Island, Guybrush must now face the cannibalistic natives and find his way into hell where LeChuck's ship is moored.
LeChuck is also no favorite of the natives as he has stolen their sacred root. After Guybrush helps them by stealing it back, they agree to concoct a secret potion of root beer that can destroy ghosts. By the time this is all accomplished, our hero is on the verge of being too late. Lechuck has returned to Melee Island to force Elaine to marry him. Guybrush must hurry before all is lost.
The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition is an enhanced rework of the original point and click adventure game. It's possible to switch between the 256 color enhanced and the new version of graphics by pressing F10 without interrupting the flow of the game. This also switches between the original soundtrack and the remastered score. Just as an aside, there are a few references in this game to another LucasArts game called Loom and you actually get a sales pitch from one of the pirates in the SCUMM bar.
Much of the dialogue is somewhat humorous and the reworked graphics are very pretty. The menu and inventory system, which controls most of the actions is not the best, however, and is a bit sluggish. Choosing an action closes these screens, so that if it's the wrong choice you have to keep opening them several times. This resets where the action buttons are placed and if you opt to use the mouse wheel to scroll through them, it seems they are never in the same place twice. This makes everything very slow going. At times, there also seemed to be some confusion as to whether action was a right click or a left click, which often resulted in the wrong choice and required another re-opening of the two menus.
I bought this game because the majority of people speak highly of it. I know it's ridiculous, but I feel guilty that I don't love it when so many people rave about this series. It has nothing much to do with any serious faults on the game's part, it is what it is, an old school point and click adventure. It's just a matter of taste and as it turns out, I really don't have the patience to think about the solutions and go back and forth over the same ground countless times. It just ultimately makes them boring with nothing new to do or look at. I like more action and interaction. Seems I'm just an action junky and these types of games are just a little too slow going for my appetite. ( You gotta love that talking head, though lol! )