The Great Brain Robbery

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The Great Brain Robbery is a quest in the pirate quest series in which the player helps a group of Saradominist monks from Harmony Island. Their once peaceful island has been taken over by a horde of zombie pirates, led by Mi-Gor, a very dangerous individual.

Official description[edit | edit source]

The peaceful contemplation of the monks of Harmony Island has been disturbed by such rude interruptions as an invasion of zombie pirates and the theft of their brains! The evil zombie pirates have returned with a new scheme, and it's up to you to try to re-mind these poor priests before the sinister Mi-Gor completes his experiments...

Overview[edit | edit source]

Disharmony[edit | edit source]

Brother Tranquillity (zombie) chathead.png

Use a charter ship to travel to Mos Le'Harmless or talk to Bill Teach on the ship at the eastern dock of Port Phasmatys. A few paces east of the ramp off the docks will be a sickly monk by the name of Brother Tranquillity. Talk to him to begin the quest. He'll tell you about how some of his fellow monks are under attack from 'undead pirates' and will ask for your help. Hesitantly, accept his offer to teleport you to Harmony Island. Note: Before teleporting, make sure you have 4 regular planks, at least 10 nails, a fishbowl helmet, diving apparatus and holy symbol in your inventory to prevent having to repeat the trip to Harmony Island.

Little zombie[edit | edit source]

Moving the statue

Arriving on Harmony, you find yourself in a granary along with the monks, who all appear to have a ghastly visage, similar to that of an undead. Calming you down, Brother Tranquillity explains to you the situation of the once-peaceful island.

The monks are a cloistered group of Saradominists who originally inhabited the island, using its isolation to bless and illuminate books. They had a pact with the pirates - the pirates leave the monks alone, in exchange for any blessing they might require. That morning, they were awoken by a ship anchoring onto the island, and as they went out to investigate, a horde of zombie pirates entered and forcefully took over the monastery. Brother Tranquillity says that the zombie pirates appear to be under the control of Mi-Gor, a 'twisted little zombie'.

After the undead took over the island, the monks were captured and their brains were used to 'enhance' a zombie. Fortunately, with a few playing-dead tricks, Brother Tranquillity managed to free himself and the other monks back into the granary, where they stored their brain-less bodies in case they can be restored back to normal. Tranquillity tells you about a secret entrance into the monastery, under a statue in the garden. Talk to Brother Tranquillity to transport between Harmony Island and Mos Le'Harmless and its bank.

Deliverance[edit | edit source]

The stairs to repair
Items needed: 4 regular planks, at least 10 nails, fishbowl helmet, diving apparatus and a holy symbol

You now need to find out more about what's going on, so go outside and head north-east, dodging Zombie pirates, to find a statue that can be pulled to the side. Go down the ladder and into a tunnel full of water; you'll need to use your diving gear to traverse the water. Run past the zombie pirates and repair the stairs at the far end of the tunnel. Climb up the stairs and up the ladder, then look through the peephole to spy on the enemy.

It is revealed that Mi-Gor is using sleeping gas all over the island to produce enhanced zombies for a greater force, who goes by the name of 'Rabid Jack'. When he finds out that the gas production is unsatisfactory, he reprimands his sorebones, saying that they will be sent to 'The Box', which scares them to their bones. He then mutters to himself, seeming pleased at the thought of exchanging the enhanced zombies for test subjects to vivisect. Go back and inform Brother Tranquillity of Mi-Gor's plan. He'll suggest you get a prayer book that can be used to pray away the poison.

The secret room, peek through the hole.

Travel to the Monastery near Edgeville to find it in a bookshelf situated in the south-west corner of the building on the ground floor. Grab a holy symbol, head back to the island and talk to Brother Tranquillity, who speaks about 'words' and locusts; read the prayer book and he will take you back to Harmony.

The gas is seeping quickly into the granary, so recite the prayer book by right-clicking on it. If you walk outside before you use your book you will suffocate and wake up back inside the windmill. Equipping your diving gear can help you stay outside, despite the gas.

Family doctor[edit | edit source]

Elfinlocks makes another cameo appearance.

Now that the monks are no longer in danger of passing out, talk to Brother Tranquillity again. He'd like to get the monks' brains back in their bodies where they belong. Unfortunately, as you're all too well aware by now, you're no brain surgeon, but luckily, you know someone who is.

Travel to Dr Fenkenstrain's abode, which is directly north-east of the Canifis lodestone, and meet up with him on the 2nd floor[UK]3rd floor[US]. After a slew of requests, insults and negotiations, he eventually agrees that a new home free of the threat of being eaten sounds better than his current position. However, he doesn't want to risk being taken as game while walking to there, and is weirdly also allergic to teleportation, so you must find some other way to get him to Harmony Island. The doctor suggests speaking to Rufus about his meat delivery crates.

Err... meow?[edit | edit source]

The hotspot for the crate.
Items needed: 10 wooden cats (crafting ability gained after cutscene), 28+ nails, 4 planks, ring of charos

Head to Canifis and talk to Rufus, the owner of the meat store north of the bank. Make sure to be wearing the Ring of Charos when talking to him, and have two open inventory slots. He'll agree to let you use a crate and will give you 6 crate parts to build it, but you have to fill it yourself. He'll also need to check the quality of your 'product' to make sure it's worth carrying in one of his boxes and for this purpose, he gives you a wolf whistle to contact him.

Since he assumes you'll be transporting cats, you need to construct 10 wooden cats to fill the crate and avoid suspicion. A cutscene will ensue where your player character wonders where they can get some cats before seeing a player spoof walking with a wooden cat, then getting the idea to make wooden cats themselves. Do not remove the ring of Charos or drop the wolf whistle, as these will be used to summon Rufus and influence him to your liking. If you plan to make your own wooden cats, bring 10 wooden planks and 10 pieces of fur to a crafting table in your or your friend's house and craft 10 wooden cats.

Travel back to Fenkenstrain's castle with all of the required items. When you get to the doctor, you'll see a hotspot to build the crate. Do so, then use the extra (4) planks of wood to build a false bottom. Finally, fill it with fake cats and use the wolf whistle to call Rufus; Fenkenstrain will automatically get inside the crate. Once past inspection of the crate, Rufus will give you a shipping order to use on the crate, teleporting it to the island.

Scrubs[edit | edit source]

The player creates an explosion to open the door.

Travel back to Mos Le'Harmless. Grab your combat gear and diving gear from the bank and head over to Brother Tranquillity back on Harmony Island. Climb down the granary ladder and talk to Dr Fenkenstrain who will tell you that he needs some equipment to perform the surgery. He'll give you a list of items to collect:

Luckily, the antagonists already have what you need since they performed the surgery in the first place. The only problem is to get inside the monastery, considering that your previous route was discovered and boarded up.

The adventure in progress will resume shortly.

Put on your diving suit and head north from the granary to Mi-Gor's ship that had run aground. Open and search the locker on the west end of ground floor to get a fuse, then climb up a level and get a tinderbox and a keg of powder. The tinderbox on the tool belt does NOT work. With these in hand, go to the front door of the monastery (the main building on Harmony Island) and wedge the keg in the front door. Add a fuse and light it to blow the door down and create an entrance.

Audio options icon.png
Brain surgery
We replaced the gruesome sounds with some soothing music.

Once inside, kill some sorebones until you get the needed surgical equipment; they only drop as many as you need of each item. Make sure you are not currently in a group. If you are you will not receive any of the surgical equipment. With the items, go back to the granary and hand them over to Dr Fenkenstrain to begin the gruesome surgery. The surgery scene is cut out and instead, you see a kitten playing with a red ball of wool. After the successful surgery, go upstairs and talk to Brother Tranquillity.

Barrelchest[edit | edit source]

Now that the monks are back where they belong, it's time to end this once and for all. Grab all the armour, food and potions you'll need for the upcoming fight (lvl 93) – do not bring a helmet or cape, since you still need to wear your diving suit.

NOTE: you will be prevented from equipping anything after leaving the monk's mill (all equipment slots, not just head and cape) and will instead receive this message: "You cannot wear that without the gas affecting you"

The Barrelchest

Walk through the demolished front door of the monastery to find that the sorebones are missing, for now. Only Mi-Gor will be standing there, giving you the option to "confront" him. When you do, he'll sic his monstrosity on you – a giant mess of machinery named Barrelchest. If you log out or teleport away during the battle, Barrelchest will be at full health again when you return. Should you die, your gravestone will be placed outside the monastery door.

The use of abilities can make this fight significantly easier; players with combat level 70 or above should be able to defeat the Barrelchest easily with decent weapons and food. It will both disrupt your prayers and lower your prayer points. One super defence potion or two regular defence potions, and one prayer potion should be enough to counteract the lowering attacks.

Once you've killed Barrelchest, pick up the anchor it drops and walk back to the windmill to inform Brother Tranquillity of your victory.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

The Great Brain Robbery reward.png
Music unlocked

Achievements[edit | edit source]

Required for completing[edit | edit source]

The Great Brain Robbery is directly required for the following quests/miniquests:

Transcript[edit | edit source]

Credits[edit | edit source]

Update history[edit | edit source]

This information has been compiled as part of the update history project. Some updates may not be included - see here for how to help out!
  • patch 27 January 2020 (Update):
    • During 'the great brain robbery' quest, Dr Fenkenstrain will no longer take all of your hammers, he will now correctly take 1 hammer.
  • patch 3 April 2018 (Update):
    • Fixed a broken animation in The Great Brain Robbery shanty recap.
  • patch 5 January 2015 (Update):
    • Players can now run underwater during the relevant section of the Great Brain Robbery quest.
  • patch 1 July 2014 (Update):
    • The collapsed door during The Great Brain Robbery quest no longer has an 'Open Door' option.
  • patch 13 November 2012 (Update):
    • The "Cure Poison" option on the lifepoints icon near the minimap now works with the Prayer book reward from Great Brain Robbery.
  • patch 24 October 2012 (Update):
    • Some monks in the Great Brain Robbery have had their animations tweaked to lessen the stretching of their height.
  • patch 9 October 2012 (Update):
    • Reworded Rufus' dialogue in the Great Brain Robbery.
  • patch 1 June 2011 (Update):
    • Some misleading text during Great Brain Robbery has been altered.
  • patch 2 June 2009 (Update):
    • Removed safe spots from the Great Brain Robbery.
  • patch 8 April 2009 (Update):
    • Fixed an issue with the Great Brain Robbery quest journal not always showing.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The quest summary that appears in the player's Event Log in Runemetrics says "I thwarted the plans of a zombie pirate surgeon and helped the monks of Harmony get their brains back into the right bodies."
  • When Brother Tranquillity offers to take you to Harmony Island, the player freaks out. When the monk asks if you are alright, the player replies saying they don't know but they get "this thumping pain in the back of my head whenever I think about travelling to an island full of undead pirates." This is a joke about how Pirate Pete transports the player to Braindeath Isle.
  • This quest has a Crafting level requirement of 16 (the level required to make the unblessed symbol needed in the quest), even though Cabin Fever, a pre-requisite to this quest, has a crafting requirement of 45.
  • The Mi-Gor character and Barrelchest monster are probably references to emphysema, a fatal lung disease that leaves victims with a "barrelchest" and a raspy voice.
  • This quest marks the second appearance of Elfinlocks, a player spoof from the Draynor Bank Robbery, who is travelling with her clockwork cat in Canifis. She appears to have gained another blue partyhat since her last appearance.
  • The crate hotspot used to be one of seven construction hotspots made outside of your house, the other six being the penguin hide on the Iceberg, the Oracle's tent, and the four dog house hotspots in Draynor, Al Kharid, Falador, and Varrock during the 2012 Christmas Event. However, after the Construction Contracts update, many more hotspots were introduced.
  • If you examine the whistle it will say "a silver whistle" which in common folklore would seem odd, since a werewolf's supposed "weakness" is silver.

Cultural references[edit | edit source]

  • The title of the quest might be a reference to a real-life event called the Great Train Robbery in 1963 Bedfordshire, England. The title of the quest may also be a more direct reference to the name of Edwin S. Porter's 1903 film The Great Train Robbery.
  • The music track, Zombiism, comes from the movie The Great Train Robbery.
  • When first talking to Brother Tranquillity, the player's dialogue will reference Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, referring to Mos Le'Harmless as "a hive of scum and villainy".
  • When you're talking to Brother Tranquillity after the surgery, he'll say: 'W-wait..I have a bad feeling about this..' which refers to a famous quote in the Star Wars movies.
  • In a dialogue with Dr Fenkenstrain, you say: 'Urge to kill ... rising'. This sentence also was used in a Simpsons Halloween Special #5 when parodying Stephen King's The Shining.
  • When Rufus comments that the cats aren't moving, the character will comment that they're "probably pining", referring to "The Dead Parrot Sketch" by Monty Python. It's also a pun, as the cats are made of wood (pine).
  • The antagonist Mi-Gor may be a reference to the Mi-Go (the Fungi from Yuggoth) from H.P. Lovecraft's story "The Whisperer in Darkness". The Mi-Go were able to transport humans from Earth to Yuggoth (Pluto) by removing their brains from their bodies and inserting them into storage cylinders equipped with sensory devices.
  • When talking to Dr Fenkenstrain after teleporting him to Harmony Island, you will mention "Unusual Implements R Us", a play on the toy chain Toys R Us.
  • After obtaining the prayer book from the Monastery, Brother Tranquillity asks if you said the "words", which is probably a reference to the 1992 movie Army of Darkness, when Ash returns the book.