Return To Monkey Island All Endings [Explained]

Check out our guide to learn how Guybrush Threepwood's adventure in Return to Monkey Island ends!

After years and years of waiting, the next installment to the legendary Monkey Island Series is back! Return to Monkey Island took fans back to their childhood as it reintroduced the exciting tales of Guybrush Threepwood. As for today, we will go through the Return to Monkey Island Ending, as it left some fans perplexed.

The final moments of Return to Monkey Island did leave us a bit confused for a while, but after some pondering, it really settled down with us and made the whole experience even better. Hence, in our guide, we will explain the game’s ending along with the different endings you can achieve while playing.

Key Takeaways
  • Players can go through multiple endings in Return to Monkey Island based on their final decisions in the game.
  • These Endings include: 
    • Leaving the Chest Key: In this ending Stan gives you the keys to his pirate-themed park in Melee Island. There you will find animatronics of different characters and the key to the secret chest.
    • Taking the Key but not opening the chest. In this ending, you snatch the key from the Locksmith’s animatronic but do not use it to open the chest.
    • Opening the chest: If you choose to open the chest the secret of the island is revealed to be rather anticlimactic.
    • Backtracking at the Catacombs: In this ending, after you get the keys to the park from Stan you can use them to open a mysterious door that leads you back to Melee Island.
    • Drowning: In this ending, if you choose to let Guybrush drown 3 consecutive times, a caption will appear on the screen which is an obituary of Guybrush. This is by far the saddest ending of the game.

Before we get to the mix of things, we would like to issue a serious warning that this guide will contain some MAJOR SPOILERS. If you haven’t finished the game yet, we advise you not to read the rest of the guide, as it discusses all the possible endings in the game.

With that said, let’s now talk about the endings you can get with Guybrush Threepwood in Return to Monkey Island!

About Return To Monkey Island

overview of return to monkey island
Return to Monkey Island: Overview

The Return to Monkey Island takes place in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. In the mix of it all, we have our ever-so-favorite protagonist, Guybrush Threepwood. In the game, Guybrush still shows his determination to find the Secret of Monkey Island.

The game follows a playstyle of a casual point-and-click adventure game. Where the gamer is tasked to solve numerous puzzles and visit multiple islands, the challenge of these puzzles can be altered by changing the difficulty to either Casual or Hard Mode in Return To Monkey Island

In Return to Monkey Island, we see a lot of popular places that feature in the previous games. Of course, you get to visit Monkey Island, and on top of that, you also get to explore Melee Island. As for the storyline, the game begins with Elaine’s and Guybrush’s son Boybrush (The Special Character we mentioned earlier) playing around in an amusement park with Chuckie and Dee

He finally sits down with his dad, who insists on telling him his story of when he found out the Secret in Monkey Island. This is where your adventure begins with Guybrush as your main character. You will then narrate the whole adventure and make several choices. Whereas, in the present time, Guybrush continues to tell the story to his son. 

With the basic overview of Return to Monkey Island out of the way, we can now bring our focus to all the possible endings in the latest Monkey Island game!

All Endings In Return To Monkey Island

return to monkey island possible endings
Possible Endings in Return to Monkey Island

Even though most of the players only got to experience one or two endings in Return to Monkey Island. We can safely reveal that there are a lot more endings that you can achieve. However, all these endings are attained mostly by choosing a specific answer while talking to Boybrush.

Read: Stray Ending Explained

Nonetheless, there are still a few more endings you can experience while taking control of Guybrush’s tales. As we mentioned earlier, the game tells the story of Guybrush chasing down the Secret of Monkey Island. In order to do this, he is tasked to find five keys and open a Hidden Chest on Monkey Island.

As he unfolds his journey, you get to live the adventures of Guybrush on Monkey and Melee Island. Near the final parts of the game, there are several different choices you can make to alter the conclusion of Return to Monkey Island.

To make things easier for you, we have broken down these choices into separate sections. All the endings in the game have a thin fabric between imagination and reality, which makes you think if the tales of Guybrush are true or just fiction (More on this later).

Without further ado, here are all the potential endings you can get for Guybrush in the latest Monkey Island game! 

Leaving The Chest Key

Once you conclude your journey in the catacombs of Monkey Island by chasing down the chest and the final keys, you will unexpectedly end up on Melee Island, which was quite shocking for us as well! Guybrush will be pretty confused as to why he’s back in Melee Island, and he will then find out that he’s in Stan’s Pirate-inspired Theme Park

Upon exploring the amusement park, Guybrush comes across Stan, who will ask him to close down the Amusement Park by handing him the keys before leaving. The player can then turn off the lights and leave with Elaine.

However, Guybrush will stumble upon LeChuck, Madison, Trent, and Lila, but they will all be animatronics. Guybrush can then take the key from the locksmith, who is being held upside down by LeChuck.

But if you ignore the key and leave the amusement park, you will get a unique ending in the game. In the post-credits scene, you will see Dee being chased by Chuckie. Dee will have the final key in her hand. 

Going for this ending will keep the Secret hidden, and Boybrush will claim that his dad is bad at creating endings to his story.

Keeping The Chest Unopened

In the previous ending, we revealed that you could leave the amusement park with Elaine without obtaining the key. However, there’s another slightly different ending you can achieve. You can do that by getting the final key but ignoring the secret chest in Stan’s Amusement park. 

Even though this ending still keeps the mystery untouched, it is still a fun ending to experience, especially if it’s your second or third playthrough. When you explore the Theme Park on Melee Island, you will stumble upon the animatronics of LeChuck and a few other characters we mentioned earlier. Here you can snatch the key off of the locksmith (being held upside down by LeChuck) and then close down the park and leave with Elaine.

Going for the above-mentioned ending, you will go through the usual ending sequence, but once you’re done concluding your story to Boybrush. Elaine will come by and fetch him and ask you to tag along. However, Guybrush will sit on the bench for a while, and in the last few seconds, he will pull out the final key and wonder about the things that could’ve been. 

Despite that, in the post-credit scene, you will see Guybrush in the catacombs of Monkey Island, watching the chest key drown in lava.

Opening The Chest

Boybrush in return to monkey island
Dialogue options after opening the chest

Till now, we have covered all the endings you can achieve by either ignoring both; the key and chest or by obtaining the key and leaving the chest. Now we will discuss the ending of the latest Monkey Island game if you decide to take the key and open the chest once and for all. 

If you have ended the game by now, you would be well aware of what the Secret chest held. For those who don’t know yet, the Secret of Monkey Island was actually a Novelty T-shirt which had “I found the SECRET of MONKEY ISLAND and all it was was this stupid T-SHIRT” written on the front of it. 

Yes, we know that was pretty anti-climactic, but it doesn’t take away the game’s beautiful ability to narrate an adventurous story! So, if you do end up opening the chest and leaving the Theme park with Elaine, there’s a whole bunch of mini endings you have unlocked for Guybrush!

Although, the course of the tale ends there. But once the game returns to the point where Guybrush tells Boybrush the whole story, he is quite displeased. Boybrush yet again accuses his dad of coming up with bad endings (we agree, Boybrush!). He refuses to believe that the Secret of Monkey Island was just a T-Shirt.

Boybrush then pushes Guybrush to spill the truth and tell him what he actually found in the Chest. This is where the game provides you with 5 Different Answers to choose from. Each one of these will unlock a unique dialogue sequence and a post-credit scene.

Gems, Rubies & Gold!

The first option you can choose while answering Boybrush is “The Chest was filled with gems, rubies, and gold!” Even though we know, that isn’t true, but Boybrush is quite ecstatic as he claims that they’re finally rich. Out of all the options, this one has the best reaction you can get from Boybrush. 

After that, Elaine comes by and fetches Boybrush to show him the Galleon sail off at the docks. She also asks Guybrush to tag along, who then tells her that he’ll be there in a while. In the post-credit scene, we get to see Boybrush playing around on top of a pile of gold.

Friends For Life

The second dialogue option you can choose while talking to Boybrush is, “The secret was really the friends we made along the way.” Guybrush tells Boybrush that the mid-part of the story is the juiciest bit, whereas the endings are mostly a lesson. However, Boybrush bites none of that and claims that it sounds like “those stupid grown-up answers”. 

Boybrush then calls upon Elaine and tells her that his dad isn’t telling him the secret (this dialogue is quite reoccurring with most of the dialogue options you choose). After that, the rest unfolds the same way as it did in the last ending we reviewed. However, in the post-credit scene, we see Guybrush happily sailing with some of the other characters on a small boat.

Keeping It A Secret

While telling the Secret to Boybrush, you can also pick the dialogue option, which reads, “Your mom was right, it’s better not to know.” After saying that, Guybrush claims that once you find the answer to a question like that, you lose the essence of the whole story. Of course, Boybrush isn’t satisfied with that answer and calls his mom right away. 

The rest of the dialogue sequence unfolds in the same way. However, in the post-credit scene, we see the chest resting in a ditch as someone continues to throw dirt over it to bury it for good. 

The Truth

Probably one of the most straightforward answers to go for while curating your own conclusion in Return to Monkey Island’s story. You can answer Boybrush by choosing, “I wasn’t making anything up, that was what really happened.” However, the truth doesn’t seem to change Boybrush’s reaction because he isn’t happy with that answer either; who wouldn’t be? 

As for the post-credit scene in Return to Monkey Island, you will see three Amusement park tickets, presumably for Guybrush, Elaine, and Boybrush, being slid across a countertop.

There Is More To The Secret

One of the most fitting answers you can choose while ending the game. The answer hintingly talks about what the game is actually doing by giving the player all these options. So, when Boybrush asks you to tell him the real Secret, you can choose the option of, “There isn’t any one answer to what The Secret is.” From here on, Guybrush will talk about how a story changes in accordance with time and the person who’s telling it.

Which is exactly what the whole story was about in Return to Monkey Island. While telling his son the story, Guybrush made changes to suit his preferences (your in-game choices). Despite the deep answer, Boybrush doesn’t buy it, and the rest of the sequence unravels as it did with the other options.

Whereas the post-credit scene shows a banana perfectly balanced on top of a rock, which is a reference to what Guybrush told Boybrush while answering his question about what the secret of Monkey Island was.

Backtracking In The Catacombs

Other than the easy resolutions we mentioned above, there are a few secret endings in Return to Monkey Island. Not a lot of players know about them but worry not; we will cover all of these for you. Once you solve the final puzzle in the catacombs of Monkey Island, you will return to Melee Island by going through the mysterious door.

After that, when you meet Stan at Melee Island, he will hand over his Amusement Park keys to you. You can use these keys to go back towards the secret door and unlock it to return to the catacombs! Guybrush can then lead back using the stairs in the catacombs.

For some time, you will have the option to make your way back to Elaine in the Amusement park. However, if you don’t do that, there are two different post-credit scenes you can get to see in Return to Monkey Island.

Without The Chest Key

The first ending you can get while backtracking in the Monkey Island catacombs is if you ditch the chest key in the amusement park. If you return to the catacombs without the chest key, the post-credit scene will show Elaine and Guybrush at the helm of a ship, sailing through the seas to find new adventures!

With The Chest Key

Whereas, if you do manage to grab the last Chest Key from the Locksmith in Stan’s theme park, you will unlock a new ending. Guybrush will backtrack in the catacombs, eventually accepting that he made the wrong choice. As for the post-credit scene, you will get to watch Lila and LeChuck sword fighting next to a pool of lava with the Chest resting between them. 


return to monkey island drowning
Guybrush Drowning

There is another secret ending in the game that you can try getting after you’ve had your first playthrough. The ‘Drowning‘ is by far the worst way to conclude Return to Monkey Island. There are three different sequences you will go through while experiencing the Drowning ending.

When you first allow Guybrush to drown (by keeping him underwater for 8 minutes), the game will take you back to the conversation with Boybrush. He will ask his dad to stop goofing around because he knows he didn’t die.

If Guybrush drowns again, you will be taken back to the conversation on the bench, where Boybrush will ask his dad to stop. To which Guybrush will apologize and say that he didn’t know Boybrush was invested in the story so much. 

However, if you drown for the third time, the game will take you back to the bench, but this time it will be empty. After a while, a caption will appear on the screen, which will reveal that “Guybrush Threepwood died on this very day many years ago by accidentally drowning“.

The caption will further read that he left behind his wife without having any kids. Implying that the whole story was rather his own imagination and that Boybrush does not exist. Hence, the secret drowning ending is by far the saddest one you can get in the game.

Return To Monkey Island Ending Explained

ending explained in monkey island
The secret of Monkey Island

By now, you’re aware of most of the endings to the latest adventures of Guybrush. However, we have to admit that the ending did leave us puzzled. We weren’t sure what hit us. How did Guybrush end up back in Melee Island? Does Monkey Island truly exist? Was LeChuck animatronic all along? Was the Secret of Monkey Island really just a T-shirt? 

The questions we had were endless. However, that’s the true beauty of how well the story was narrated by Ron Gilbert in Return to Monkey Island. Despite only being a point-and-click game, it’s amazing how nicely packed the storyline was. 

The perception of the ending is totally up to the player. Regardless of that, it was nice to see Guybrush relaxing and spending time with his family after years of pirate adventures against the opposition of LeChuck. If we try to unfold the story of Return to Monkey Island, the best possible explanation is that Guybrush never really left the Theme Park and the whole story was actually his own imagination, which explains the random arrival at the Melee park and watching LeChuck as an animatronic.

Guybrush was exceptionally portrayed by Ron Gilbert in the development. He played the role of a narrator who unfolded the main aspects of an adventurous journey of a legendary protagonist. Whereas, Boybrush represented the new generation of gamers who were getting familiarized with the intriguing series of Monkey Island.

When you think about it, the ending does have a really heartwarming side to it. Of course, at first, it seemed a bit anti-climactic, but the way the story was displayed and presented was truly beautiful. 

Will There Be More Games In The Monkey Island Series?

Return to monkey island new games
Elaine with a new Treasure Map!

There hasn’t been any official announcement as to what Terrible Toybox has planned with the Monkey Island series. However, there was a subtle hint during the final seconds of the game. Which we deliberately left out in the previous section because we wanted to cover it here. When Guybrush finally concludes the story while talking to Boybrush, Elaine comes by and fetches Boybrush.

After Boybrush leaves, Elaine tells Guybrush that she found the lost treasure map of Mire Island. Guybrush doesn’t really give out any notable reaction to it. But it does provide that glimmer of hope to all the Monkey Island fans that maybe a new title is under development.


So there you have it! Our extensive guide about the Best Endings in Return to Monkey Island. We covered almost all the endings you can achieve in the game, which included loads of different post-credit scenes!

It’s always great to fall back and play some point-and-click adventure games, mainly when they narrate a beautifully crafted storyline. This is exactly what talented Ron Gilbert has done with the Monkey Island games. 

Return to Monkey Island expanded the ever-loved pirate adventure series. The last game (Monkey Island 2: LeChuck‘s Revenge) was released back in 1991. The new game introduces Guybrush Threepwood, who’s living a rather calm life until he begins telling the audience and a “Special Character” his story.

If you just started the game, you can consider reading our guide about Return to Monkey Island Scurvydogs.

We hope you enjoyed reading through our guide! Stick around at eXputer to read loads of stuff about Return to Monkey Island! You can also learn a few more inside bits about Return to Monkey Island on their website!

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Moiz Banoori.

Having worked at various Video Game sites, coupled with 7 years of Content Writing Experience. I presently monitor teams, create strategies, and publish qualified pieces through my aptitude.

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