Quest for the Holy MacGuffin

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The Council of Loathing sends you to recover the Holy MacGuffin, which they are sure will help them against the Naughty Sorceress. Sounds simple, doesn't it?


Hidden Temple quest (Gotta Worship Them All)

This stage of the quest has 2 parts:

The Hidden Temple

The Hidden City

Spookyraven quest (In a Manor of Spooking)

In order to complete the Macguffin Quest, you will need to have danced with Lady Spookyraven as part of the Spookyraven Manor Quest. Note that while optional, obtaining Lord Spookyraven's spectacles and a disposable instant camera from The Haunted Bedroom will help speed up the Macguffin quest.

The Palindome (Never Odd Or Even)

Obtain the Talisman o' Namsilat

The Copperhead Club
The Red Zeppelin

The Palindome

Pyramid quest (A Pyramid Scheme)

  • (Optional) Go on vacation at The Shore, Inc., get a scrip, and pick up a UV-resistant compass in the gift shop. Equip it (not all ascension paths can do this).
  • Adventure in The Arid, Extra-Dry Desert to get 10 turns of Ultrahydrated and to unlock An Oasis. You'll get +1% exploration per monster you defeat, or +2% with the compass equipped (this includes wandering monsters). Continue until you find Gnasir (at 10% exploration). Already having Ultrahydrated (such as through Superwater) will skip the initial Ultrahydrated boost.
  • Whenever you run out of Ultrahydrated, go to An Oasis to become Ultrahydrated again. You get 5 turns normally, or 20 if you're Lucky! If you fail to do this, you'll pick up negative effects during your exploration.
  • (Optional) Adventure in An Oasis until you obtain the stone rose (superlikely noncombat) and a drum machine (combat drop from a blur).
  • (Optional) If you haven't done so already, buy a can of black paint in The Black Market.
  • (Optional) If you haven't already, adventure in The Haunted Library for a killing jar from the banshee librarian.
  • Click on Gnasir's hut to turn in the paint, the rose, and the jar. He will give you one desert sightseeing pamphlet per item. Use the pamphlets for +15% exploration each.
  • Continue adventuring in The Arid, Extra-Dry Desert until you reach 100% exploration, or until you have 15 worm-riding manual pages (one or more of these sometimes drop after combats). If you find all 15 pages, go back to Gnasir's hut to turn them in and get the worm-riding hooks.
    • If you have the worm-riding hooks and a drum machine, use the drum machine for +30% exploration.
  • If you still haven't reached 100% exploration, continue adventuring in the Desert until you do. This unlocks the pyramid.

A Small Pyramid


  • A handful of confetti. Yay.
  • In your Quest Log under completed quests you will see: "You've handed the Holy MacGuffin over to the Council, and enjoyed a ticker-tape parade in your honor. That quest was so ridiculous, it wasn't even funny, and now it's over! Hooray!"


Council Text

On initial visit:

Ah, <name>, excellent timing. We've just received a message from the Distant Lands -- it seems that your father, the renowned archaeologist, has gone missing. Apparently, his life's work was to track down an ancient relic known only as the Holy MacGuffin. He left behind his diary, with instructions that it was to be delivered to you, but he didn't leave any funds to pay for shipping. So, you'll have to go pick it up yourself.
You can travel there from the Travel Agency at The Shore, but there's a slight hitch -- the area you're going to requires a passport for entry, and our passport offices are temporarily closed due to a tiny photograph shortage. You'll need to acquire some forged identification documents from the Black Market instead, but we're not entirely sure where the Black Market actually is. It's probably near the Black Forest, though, and we'll mark that on your map for you.
Once you've retrieved your father's diary, we request that you use his notes to track down the Holy MacGuffin for us, as an item of such power will obviously be of great help to us in our fight against the Naughty Sorceress and the other evils that plague our land. Good luck!

On subsequent visits:

Any luck getting your father's diary and recovering the Holy MacGuffin? It's a pretty important whatchamacallit, so we'd apprecate it if you'd get on that right away.

Upon Completion:

"Wow! You actually brought back the Holy MacGuffin, <name>? That's pretty darn impressive -- well done! Now we can pack it in an unlabelled wooden crate and stash it in a secret warehouse full of similar crates somewhere where it's likely that no one will ever see it again. Thanks for your help!"
"That's it?" you ask. "That's pretty anti-climactic."
"Yeah, you're probably right. You like parades? We could throw a parade."
And one quick (though enjoyable) tickertape parade later, you're standing back in front of the Council Hall, picking bits of confetti out of your hair and wondering what you should do next.

If on the Pocket Familiars path, it will add:

For a second, you think you see that kid Jerry glaring at you from an alley, but when you turn to look, he's gone.
Confetti.gifYou acquire an item: handful of confetti

Quest Log

Initial text: <name> and the Quest for the Holy MacGuffin

The Council has instructed you to collect your father's archaeology notes from Distant Lands, and use them to hunt down the Holy MacGuffin. Your first step is to find the Black Market, to get some forged ID.

After finding the Black Market:

You've found the Black Market... now to hit the Travel Agency and get yourself on a slow boat to China. I mean, Distant Lands.

After obtaining your father's Holy MacGuffin diary:

You've picked up your father's diary, and things just got a whole lot more complicated. Oh dear.

Black market

Initial text for black market subquest: Black to the Future

Seek out the Black Market in the Black Forest.

After receiving the map:

Keep exploring the Black Forest until you find the Black Market.

After finding the market:

Go to the Black Market and buy some forged identification documents.

After buying ID:

Take the identification documents to the travel agency on Desert Beach.

Hidden city

After reading your father's Holy MacGuffin Diary:

Gotta Worship Them All
You father seemed to think the hidden temple in the Distant Woods might be guarding part of the Staff of Ed. I hope you've got your lucky fedora with you.
After passing the first test:
You've cunningly evaded one of the Hidden Temple's traps. But what else lies in store? cue ominous music
After passing the second test:
Having proved that you ain't no hollaback girl, there's just one more trap to go. Pity dad never got around to translating that last passage...
After opening the Hidden City:
Awesome, you've evaded all of the temple's traps! Of course, it turned out that getting the piece of the Staff of Ed isn't going to be nearly that easy, but you were probably expecting that anyway. If you weren't, well, sorry.
After completing defeating the Protector Spectre (subquest complete):
You've defeated the ancient ghost of an ancient mummy of an ancient high priest and claimed his ancient amulet! Go you!


After reading your father's Holy MacGuffin Diary:

Never Odd Or Even
If you're going to get the Staff of Fats, it looks like the first step is to get into the Palindome. Maybe it has something to do with that amulet your father mentioned in his diary?
After opening the Palindome:
Congratulations, you've discovered the fabulous Palindome, rumored to be the final resting place of the legendary Staff of Fats! Now all you have to do is find it...
After encountering Dr. Awkward:
Well, you found the Staff of Fats, but then you lost it again. Good going. Looks like you're going to have to track down this Mr. Alarm guy for help...
After talking to Mr. Alarm:
Mr. Alan Alarm has agreed to help you nullify Dr. Awkward's ineptitude field (patent pending), but wants some wet stew in return. Those ingredients again: lion oil, a bird rib, and some stunt nuts. Sounds delicious!
You could also check party boobytraps in the palindome -- Mr. Alarm says those are sometimes baited with the stuff.
After returning with the wet stunt nut stew:
Oh yeah, you've got the Mega Gem, and are ready to deliver some pain to Dr. Awkward. They call you the bus driver, because you're gonna beat the hell out of that guy.
After defeating Dr. Awkward (subquest complete):
Congratulations, you've recovered the long-lost Staff of Fats!
Nice Work!


After reading your father's Holy MacGuffin Diary:

In a Manor of Spooking
Your father's notes indicate that the gem from the Staff of Ed is probably hidden in a Seaside Town mansion. At a guess, you figure Spookyraven Manor is probably your best bet.
After some progress?
Find your way into the cellar of Spookyraven Manor.
After opening the cellar:
Investigate the cellar of Spookyraven Manor.
After unlocking the basement:
You've unlocked the wine cellar in Spookyraven Manor. What are the chances there's a secret door hidden somewhere? Yeah, probably about one in one.
After opening the summoning chamber:
You've found Lord Spookyraven's secret black magic laboratory. When you're done with him, he'll be doing black and blue magic.
After defeating Lord Spookyraven (subquest complete):
You've defeated Lord Spookyraven and claimed the Eye of Ed! Huzzah!

Ancient pyramid

After reading your father's Holy MacGuffin Diary:

A Pyramid Scheme
Your father's diary indicates that the key to finding the Holy MacGuffin is hidden somewhere in the desert. I hope you've got your walking shoes on.
After finding An Oasis:
You've managed to stumble upon a hidden oasis out in the desert. That should help make your desert explorations a little less... dry.
After meeting Gnasir:
The fremegn leader Gnasir has tasked you with finding a stone rose, at his abandoned encampment near the oasis. Apparently it's an ancient symbol of his tribe or something, I dunno, whatever. He's not gonna help you unless you get it for him, though.
After returning with the stone rose:
Gnasir has asked you to prove your honor and dedication to the tribe by painting his front door black. A menial task to be sure, but at least it's not dangerous.
Well, unless you're really allergic to paint fumes or something.
After painting Gnasir's door:
Gnasir seemed satisfied with the tasks you performed for his tribe, and has asked you to come back later.
Okay, that's probably long enough.
After talking to Gnasir again:
For your worm-riding training, you need to find a 'thumper', something that produces a rhythmic vibration to summon sandworms.
It's unlikely that we're talking about bunny rabbits here.
After finding a drum kit and returning to Gnasir:
You need to find fifteen missing pages from Gnasir's worm-riding manual. Have fun!
After finding the first manual page:
One worm-riding manual page down, fourteen to go.
After finding the second manual page:
Two worm-riding manual pages down, thirteen to go. Sigh.
After returning to Gnasir with all 15 pages:
You've earned your hooks and are ready to ride the worm. Literally, not in the South-of-the-Border sense.
After riding a worm to the pyramid:
One excitingly-described worm-ride later, you've found the little pyramid with the map of Seaside Town inside. Looks like you're going to need the Staff of Ed to get the location of the Holy MacGuffin's hiding place.
After opening the pyramid with the Staff of Ed:
You've found the hidden buried pyramid that guards the Holy MacGuffin. You're so close you can almost taste it! (In a figurative sense, I mean -- I don't recommend you go around licking things you find in ancient tombs.)
After beating Ed the Undying and recovering the Holy MacGuffin:
The mighty Ed the Undying has fallen! You recovered the Holy MacGuffin! Jolly good show, mate!

Completion text:

<name> and the Quest for the Holy MacGuffin
You've handed the Holy MacGuffin over to the Council, and enjoyed a ticker-tape parade in your honor. That quest was so ridiculous, it wasn't even funny, and now it's over! Hooray!


  • This quest becomes available from The Council of Loathing when you become level eleven.
  • As a brief summary of the numerous subobjectives required in order to enter the pyramid itself, there are:
  1. your father's MacGuffin diary;
  2. Staff component A, the ancient amulet
  3. Staff component B, the Eye of Ed
  4. First Charm half from the The Copperhead Club
  5. Second Charm half from the Red Zeppelin
  6. Staff component C, Staff of Fats (requiring the Charms combined as the Talisman o' Namsilat)
  7. 100% desert exploration.


  • Prior to December 31, 2018 the Talisman o' Namsilat could be also be crafted from the snakehead charrrms which could be obtained by doing the following:


  • "MacGuffin" is a term popularized by Alfred Hitchcock; a MacGuffin is a plot device which is an object that motivates characters but is itself unimportant to the story.
  • The name of this quest is a reference to the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail (sometimes called Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail), which is based upon "The Death of Arthur," more commonly known as part of the Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table legends. The fact that your father is looking for it refers to the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, in which Indiana Jones's father was searching for the Holy Grail.
    • The name of the quest may also be a reference to a story arc of the webcomic Goats in which some of the characters steal an artifact called "The Holy MacGuffin" from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After their theft, they mention trying to sell it on the black market -- a Kingdom of Loathing location which has a prominent role in this quest. The story arc in question starts here.
  • The way you reveal the staircase by focusing sunlight through an amulet references Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indiana Jones also focuses light through an amulet to find the location of the Ark. The Council's remarks about placing the MacGuffin in an unlabeled wooden crate in a secret warehouse somewhere is a reference to the ending of the same movie.
  • The name of the first part ("Gotta Worship 'Em All!") is a reference to the Pokémon catchphrase "Gotta Catch 'Em All!" Additionally, Pokémon names like Pikachu, Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur are parodied by Pikachutlotal, Squirtlcthulli, Charcoatl and Bulbazinalli respectively.
  • The stones, the necessity to put them into recesses on altars, the coloured light they emit, the choice of colours, and the triangular stones which one might obtain before the August 24, 2013 revamp may all be a reference to The Fifth Element
  • Never Odd Or Even is a Palindrome and might be a reference to the Weird Al Yancovic song "Bob".
  • The riding of sandworms with hooks comes from a Frank Herbert novel Dune.
  • In the real world, a Pyramid Scheme is a get-rich-quick scheme in which one person (the person at the top of the "pyramid") pays to begin and then recruits two people who pay to participate. These people then recruit two more people, and they, along with everyone above them, receive a cut of the enrollment fee. In the end, only the people at the top few levels make a profit, as the amount of money taken in dwindles as one moves down the pyramid.
  • The Quest Log entry "It's unlikely that we're talking about bunny rabbits here" when you need a drum machine is a reference to Thumper the rabbit from the Disney movie Bambi.
    • The Quest Log entry about rabbits that is mentioned above could also be a reference to the Energizer Bunny.
  • The Quest Log entry "They call you the bus driver, because you're gonna beat the hell out of that guy." is a parody of a common boastful saying, "You can call me the bus driver, because I just took you to school."
  • The final Quest Log entry "That quest was so ridiculous, it wasn't even funny, and now it's over! Hooray!" refers to the fact that this is the Level eleven quest.
  • The Council text about a "slow boat to China" is a nod to a Frank Loesser tune, "(I'd Like to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China", which is also mentioned in the first verse of the "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego" theme song by Rockapella.