Insult Swordfighting

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The Premise

Insult Swordfighting was a unique and interesting puzzle featured in most of the Monkey Island adventure games by LucasArts. The premise was that, as Guybrush, you would swordfight various pirates and eventually the Swordmaster. A sucessful counter to an insult means that you're one step closer to defeating the other person. The entire point of Insult Swordfighting in the Monkey Island games was to learn enough comebacks that you could use with the Swordmaster. Although the Swordmaster's insults are entirely different than the pirates' insults, the same comebacks can be used with certain ones.

After picking a fight with a pirate, Guybrush always has first shot at insulting.

  • If the pirate cannot respond, Guybrush takes the advantage and gets to pick the next insult (but doesn't learn anything).
  • If the pirate gives the correct response, the advantage goes to him and he picks the next insult (but Guybrush learns the response and has a chance at hearing a new insult).
  • Whoever gains the advantage three times in the match, wins.

Furthermore, Guybrush only uses insults that he's heard. Also important to note is that Guybrush starts with his own useless insults, like "How appropriate, you fight like a cow", "I am rubber, you are glue" and "I'm shaking, I'm shaking!" which were also used by the enemies when they didn't know the correct response to your insult.

The more insults you acquire, the more responses you're capable of hearing. When you've collected the bare minimum of responses, the game tells you that you're good enough to fight the Swordmaster.

The Swordmaster always has the advantage as she always picks the insults, and her insults cannot be heard anywhere else. Guybrush has to choose one of his previously learned responses to fit the insult. Pick the right response enough times, and you win.

Going back to the pirates and using a Swordmaster insult on them is a guaranteed advantage. The pirates can't ever give a proper respose to them, however, so there's no way of using the pirates to figure out the correct response to a SM insult. That part of the game requires the player's imagination and thought, and a bit of trial and error.

Insults and Proper Responses

Spoiler warning:
You may not want to read on if you have not completed the games!

Below is a list of all the insults (both Swordmaster and Pirate) and their correct responses, organized by game.

The Secret of Monkey Island

  • Pirates
My handkerchief will wipe up your blood
So you got that job as janitor, after all.
Soon you'll be wearing my sword like a shish kebab!
First you'd better stop waving it like a feather-duster.
I once owned a dog that was smarter than you.
He must have taught everything you know.
This is the END for you, you gutter-crawling cur!
And I've got a little TIP for you. Get the POINT?
Nobody's ever drawn blood from me and nobody ever will!
You run THAT fast?
People fall at my feet when they see me coming.
Even BEFORE they smell your breath?
You make me want to puke.
You make me think somebody already did.
I got this scar on my face during a mighty struggle!
I hope now you've learned to stop picking your nose.
I've spoken with apes more polite than you.
I'm glad to hear you attended your family reunion.
Have you stopped wearing diapers yet?
Why, did you want to borrow one?
You have the manners of a beggar.
I wanted to make sure you'd feel comfortable with me.
There are no words for how disgusting you are.
Yes there are. You just never learned them.
You're no match for my brains, you poor fool.
I'd be in real trouble if you ever used them.
I'm not going to take your insolence sitting down!
Your hemorrhoids are flaring up again, eh?
I've heard you were a contemptible sneak.
Too bad no one's ever heard of YOU at all.
You fight like a dairy farmer.
How appropriate. You fight like a cow


  • Swordmaster
My name is feared in every dirty corner of this island!
So you got that job as janitor, after all.
My tongue is sharper than any sword!
First you'd better stop waving it like a feather-duster.
Only once I have met such a coward!
He must have taught everything you know.
I've got a long, sharp lesson for you to learn today.
And I've got a little TIP for you. Get the POINT?
No one will ever catch ME fighting as badly as you do.
You run THAT fast?
My wisest enemies run away at the first sight of me!
Even BEFORE they smell your breath?
If your brother is like you, better to marry a pig.
You make me think somebody already did.
My last fight ended with my hands covered with blood.
I hope now you've learned to stop picking your nose.
Now I know what filth and stupidity really are.
I'm glad to hear you attended your family reunion.
I hope you have a boat ready for a quick escape.
Why, did you want to borrow one?
Every word you say to me is stupid.
I wanted to make sure you'd feel comfortable with me.
There are no clever moves that can help you now.
Yes there are. You just never learned them.
I've got the courage and skill of a master swordsman!
I'd be in real trouble if you ever used them.
You are a pain in the backside, sir!
Your hemorrhoids are flaring up again, eh?
My sword is famous all over the Caribbean!
Too bad no one's ever heard of YOU at all.

The Curse of Monkey Island

  • Pirates
Every enemy I've met I've annihilated!
With your breath, I'm sure they all suffocated.
You're as repulsive as a monkey in a negligee.
I look THAT much like your fiancée?
Would you like to be buried or cremated?
With you around, I'd prefer to be fumigated.
Heaven preserve me! You look like something that's died!
The only way you'll be preserved is in formaldehyde.
I'll skewer you, like a sow at a buffet.
When I'm done with YOU, you'll be a boneless fillet!
Killing you would be justifiable homicide.
Then killing you must be justifiable fungicide.
En garde! Touché!
Oh, that is so cliché!
Throughout the Caribbean my great deeds are celebrated!
Too bad they're all fabricated.
When your father first saw you, he must have been mortified.
At least mine can be identified.
You can't match my witty repartee.
I could, if you would use some breath spray.
I can't rest until you've been exterminated!
Then perhaps you should switch to decaffeinated.
You're the ugliest monster ever created.
If you don't count all the ones you've dated.
I'll leave you devastated, mutilated and perforated.
Your odor alone makes me aggravated, agitated, and infuriated!
Coming face to face with me must leave you petrified.
Is that your face? I thought it was your backside!
I'll hound you night and day!
Then be a good dog. Sit! Stay!


  • Rottingham
Your stench would make an outhouse cleaner irritated!
Then perhaps you should switch to decaffeinated.
When I'm done, your body will be rotted and putrefied!
Then killing you must be justifiable fungicide.
Your lips look as they belong on the catch of the day!
When I'm done with YOU, you'll be a boneless fillet!
You're a disgrace to your species, you're so undignified!
At least mine can be identified.
Your looks would make pigs nauseated.
If you don't count all the ones you've dated.
My attacks have left entire islands depopulated!
With your breath, I'm sure they all suffocated.
You have the sex appeal of a Shar-Pei.
I look THAT much like your fiancée?
My skills with a sword are highly venerated.
Too bad they're all fabricated.
You'll find I'm dogged and relentless to my prey!
Then be a good dog. Sit! Stay!
can't tell which of my traits has you the most intimidated.
Your odor alone makes me aggravated, agitated, and infuriated!
I give you a choice. You can be gutted, or decapitated!
With you around, I'd prefer to be fumigated.
Nothing can stop me from blowing you away!
I could, if you would use some breath spray.
I have never lost a mêlée!
You would have, but you were always running away.
Never before have I faced someone so sissified.
Is that your face? I thought it was your backside!
Nothing on this earth can save your sorry hide!
The only way you'll be preserved is in formaldehyde.
Your mother wears a toupee!
Oh, that is so cliché!

Escape From Monkey Island

  • Ignatius Cheeses
Ungh... Today by myself twelve people I've beaten.
Grrr... From the size of your gut I guess they were all eaten!
Ungh... You're the ugliest creature I've ever seen in my life.
Ungh! I'm shocked that you never gazed at your wife!
Aagh... People consider my fist a lethal weapon.
Ungh...! Sadly, your breath should be equally reckoned.
Give up now, or I'll crush you like a grape.
I would if it would stop your WINE-ING!
Aaargh... My stupefying strength will shatter your ulna into a million pieces.
Grrgh! I'm surprised you can count that high! Aargh!
I've got muscles in places you've never even heard of.
Aagh...! It's too bad none of them in your arms!
You arms are no bigger than fleas that I've met!
Aagh! So THAT'S why your scratching...I'd go see a vet. Ungh!
Aagh... Hey! Look over there!
Ungh! Yes, yes, I know: It's a three head monkey.
Aaagh... Your knuckles I'll grind to a splintery paste.
Aaagh! I thought that the bean dip had strange taste...Grrr
Ungh... Only once have I met such a coward.
Ungh! He must have thought you everything you know. Err...
Aaarhg... My ninety-eight year old grandmother has bigger arms than you.
Ungh...Yeah, but we both got better bladder control than you do.
I'm going to put your arm in a sling!
Why, ya studying to be a nurse?

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