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Encyclopedia > Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)
Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)
Developer(s) Firaxis Games Full Fat (PSP)
Publisher(s) Atari, 2k Games, Valve Corporation (Steam)
Engine Gamebryo
Latest version 1.02 (August 11, 2005)
Release date(s) November 22, 2004 (Windows)
July 11, 2005 (Xbox)
October 26, 2006 (Steam)
January 22, 2007 (PSP)
November 1, 2007 (Gametap)
Genre(s) Strategy
Mode(s) Single player
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Playstation Portable
Media CD (2), DVD (Xbox), UMD (PSP)
System requirements Windows 98/Me/2000/XP, Pentium III or AMD Athlon 1 GHz or higher, 256 MB RAM, 1.4 GB hard disk space, 4X CD-ROM Drive (8X Recommended), 64 MB T&L-compatible SVGA video card
Input Keyboard and Mouse (Windows), gamepad (Xbox 360, PSP)
The 2004 version of the game features a high-end 3D engine, a feature impossible to deliver with the original 1987 release.

Sid Meier's Pirates! is a 2004 strategy/action/adventure computer game developed by Firaxis Games and published by Atari.[1] The game is based on Sid Meier's earlier 1987 game, also named Sid Meier's Pirates!. Overall, the gameplay remains similar to the original game, though it features a 3D game engine (NDL's Gamebryo). Some elements such as sun sighting have been removed, but other features have been added, such as a ballroom dancing mini-game and an improved turn-based land combat system. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File linksMetadata MeierPirates2004_cover. ... A video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates video games. ... Firaxis Games is a computer game developer. ... Full Fat is an independant UK video game developer Official website: Full Fat ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about a corporate game company. ... Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. ... Valve Corporation is an American video game developer based in Bellevue, Washington, USA, made famous by its first product, Half-Life, which was released in November 1998. ... Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. ... A game engine is the core software component of a computer video game or other interactive application with real-time graphics. ... Gamebryo is computer and video games middleware, originally from Numerical Design Limited (NDL), and is the successor to NDLs NetImmerse engine. ... is the 223rd day of the year (224th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 326th day of the year (327th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. ... is the 22nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... The PlayStation Portable , officially abbreviated as PSP) is a handheld game console released and currently manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment. ... is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... GameTap is a subscription-based video game service by Turner Broadcasting System (TBS). ... Video games are categorized into genres based on their gameplay. ... Chess is one of the most well-known and played strategy games of all time. ... In computer games and video games, single-player refers to the variant of a particular game where input from only one player is expected throughout the course of the gaming session. ... “Windows” redirects here. ... The Xbox is a sixth generation era video game console produced by Microsoft Corporation. ... The PlayStation Portable , officially abbreviated as PSP) is a handheld game console released and currently manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment. ... The CD-ROM (an abbreviation for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory (ROM)) is a non-volatile optical data storage medium using the same physical format as audio compact discs, readable by a computer with a CD-ROM drive. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... A UMD The Universal Media Disc (UMD) is an optical disc medium developed by Sony for use on the PlayStation Portable. ... Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 95. ... Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me (IPA pronunciation: [miː], [ɛm iː]), is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ... Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K) is a preemptive, interruptible, graphical and business-oriented operating system that was designed to work with either uniprocessor or symmetric multi-processor 32-bit Intel x86 computers. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Pentium III logo The Pentium III is an x86 (more precisely, an i686) architecture microprocessor by Intel, introduced on February 26, 1999. ... Athlon is the brand name applied to a series of different x86 processors designed and manufactured by AMD. The original Athlon, or Athlon Classic, was the first seventh-generation x86 processor and, in a first, retained the initial performance lead it had over Intels competing processors for a significant... This article is about the SI unit of frequency. ... RAM redirects here. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... Transform and Lighting is a computing term used in computer graphics, generally used in the context of hardware acceleration (Hardware T&L). Transform refers to the task of converting coordinates in space, which in this case involves moving 3D objects in a virtual world and converting 3D coordinates to a... Super Video Graphics Array, almost always abbreviated to Super VGA or just SVGA is a broad term that covers a wide range of computer display standards. ... A video card, also referred to as a graphics accelerator card, display adapter, graphics card, and numerous other terms, is an item of personal computer hardware whose function is to generate and output images to a display. ... A 104-key PC US English QWERTY keyboard layout The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout A standard Hebrew keyboard showing both Hebrew and QWERTY. A computer keyboard is a peripheral partially modelled after the typewriter keyboard. ... A contemporary computer mouse, with the most common standard features: two buttons and a scroll wheel. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Sid Meiers Pirates! 2004 remake This is a screenshot of a copyrighted website, video game graphic, computer program graphic, television broadcast, or film. ... Sid Meiers Pirates! 2004 remake This is a screenshot of a copyrighted website, video game graphic, computer program graphic, television broadcast, or film. ... 3D computer graphics (in contrast to 2D computer graphics) are graphics that utilize a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images. ... A game engine is the core software component of a computer video game or other interactive application with real-time graphics. ... Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ... 2004 2004 in games 2003 in video gaming 2005 in video gaming Notable events of 2004 in video gaming. ... Chess is one of the most well-known and played strategy games of all time. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This is an article about the computer and video game genre. ... A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ... Firaxis Games is a computer game developer. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about a corporate game company. ... Sidney K. Meier (born 1954 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American programmer and designer of some of the most commercially and critically successful computer strategy games of all time. ... 1987 1987 in games 1986 in video gaming 1988 in video gaming Notable events of 1987 in video gaming. ... This article is about the videogame released in 1987. ... 3D computer graphics (in contrast to 2D computer graphics) are graphics that utilize a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images. ... A game engine is the core software component of a computer video game or other interactive application with real-time graphics. ... Gamebryo is computer and video games middleware, originally from Numerical Design Limited (NDL), and is the successor to NDLs NetImmerse engine. ... A minigame is a (usually short) segment of a video game that uses a different style of gameplay than the rest of the game. ... A turn-based game, also known as turn-based strategy, is a game where each participant plays in turn. ...

A Microsoft Xbox version was released on July 11, 2005 which includes some multiplayer capabilities. The Xbox version is on the Xbox 360 backwards compatibility list in North America and Europe. A version for the Sony PlayStation Portable was released on January 22, 2007. This new version features some modified gameplay mechanisms and was developed by Full Fat in collaboration with Firaxis Games. Xbox and a Controller S The Xbox is Microsofts game console, released on November 15, 2001. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been suggested that Xbox 360 Elite be merged into this article or section. ... In technology (especially computing), backward compatibility has several related but differing meanings: A system is backward compatible if it is compatible with earlier versions of itself, or sometimes other earlier systems, particularly systems it intends to supplant. ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Sony Corporation ) is a Japanese multinational corporation and one of the worlds largest media conglomerates with revenue of $66. ... The PlayStation Portable , officially abbreviated as PSP) is a handheld game console released and currently manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment. ... is the 22nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... Full Fat is an independant UK video game developer Official website: Full Fat ... Firaxis Games is a computer game developer. ...



New games start off with a short back story: An (evil) Spanish nobleman, the Marquis de (la) Montalban, enslaves the hero's family because a fleet of ships under their control is lost at sea. The hero, at this time a boy, manages to evade capture. Several years later, he enters a bar, where he is given a list of options to define his name, difficulty level, special skill, and preferred era. After selecting these, the player must choose which nation to initially sail with: the English, Dutch, Spanish or French. In every case the voyage on this ship is harsh and the captain treats the hero and his fellow crew like slaves, until he incites a mutiny by his ill treatment. The crew sets the captain adrift and selects the hero as their new captain. After this, the ship is the hero's and he is deposited a short distance from a major city of the ship's nationality. Mutiny is the act of conspiring to disobey an order that a group of similarly-situated individuals (typically members of the military; or the crew of any ship, even if they are civilians) are legally obliged to obey. ...

From this point on, the hero's future is entirely in the player's hands in an open-ended campaign in which the hero gains fame and notoriety before retiring. The story itself evolves in whatever manner the player chooses, and optimally ends with the player gaining enough fame points (by completing various achievements) to retire into a wealthy position in the Caribbean community.


Pirates is separated into several mini-games requiring different skills, as well as an overall "sailing map" mode where the player navigates around the Caribbean, looking for things to do. Sailing technique, evasion (running from guards), cannonplay, turn-based strategy, dancing, fencing and strategic planning are all skills needed to succeed in Pirates. During the game, players can acquire items and special crewmembers which make some mini-games less skill-dependent, but must also choose one of 5 different skills, at the start, which the game will give them an advantage in.

Most controls are relegated to the nine keys of the number pad, and the game is completely playable using only the keyboard (numpad keys and enter). This is assisted by a visual representation of the keypad in the lower right corner of the screen, which also shows the function of each key at any given time. For example, during ship-to-ship combat, the "3", "7", and "1" keys on the numpad representation are shown with images of different cannonball types - these buttons are used to select different types of cannonballs to fire. The on-screen keypad can also be clicked with a mouse, performing the same function as the keyboard key would have performed. Though the mouse can be used for various commands, the keypad is the preferred input mechanism due to the game's mechanics. Operating a mechanical 1: Pulling the mouse turns the ball. ...


The majority of the game is spent sailing from destination to destination around the Caribbean islands. To control their ship the player must use the number pad (or the directional arrows) on the keyboard. Mouse navigation is also possible, where clicking anywhere on the screen will send the ship sailing in that direction. During the sailing segment, the player navigates between areas of interest in the Caribbean, including colonies, cities, missions, pirate havens, and others. Wind conditions have an important effect on sailing, as winds tend to blow westwards (especially on lower difficulty levels) and as such speed up travels to the west while slowing down travel to the east. Clouds passing overhead indicate barometric depressions, and at the centers of these depressions are storms which cause powerful winds (usually assisting sailing in any direction) but also posing a threat to any ship passing underneath the storm. Unlike previous versions of the game, the Caribbean is teeming with ships represented visually by their three-dimensional models. The player can spot these ships from a distance and even collect information about their mission, port of departure, destination, and nationality. This allows the player to hand-pick his or her engagements, but also requires the player to actively pursue most ships if an attack is to be attempted. Unlike previous Pirates! games, however, enemy ships cannot force the player to fight, although they can bombard the player's ships en route to wherever. Fortified cities which hold a particular grudge against the player (or whose controlling nation holds a substantial bounty over the player's head) may also open fire upon the player's fleet as they pass by. The player must also navigate around reefs and shoals, which cause hull damage to any ship which passes over them. Finally, if the player wishes, he or she may sail their ship unto the shoreline, allowing the crew to disembark and begin to march. This can be used when the player wishes to approach a hostile city without being fired upon, or to travel on land seeking bured treasure. This is a list of inhabited islands in the Caribbean. ...

Naval battles

The player will encounter numerous ships while sailing, all of which can be attacked. The player may decide to start a battle, although enemy ships may open fire and put up a chase on the sailing map. The player also gets the option to switch flagships, controlling which of the ships under his or her possession will actually engage the enemy. Sailing ships in combat is handled much the same as sailing them on the main map. The player controls a single ship, and must navigate this ship according to the prevailing winds, the ship's specific sailing strengths, and the goals he or she wishes to accomplish during the battle. Several differences do apply, mostly the inability to sail directly into the wind with most ships (which is possible, albeit slowly, on the sailing map), as well as the lack of dynamic weather (no storms, although engaging while in a storm will provide storm conditions during the entire battle). Depending on the player's ship, the enemy's ship, and various other factors, a battle may have one or more desirable outcomes. The most common goal in ship-to-ship combat would be the capture of the enemy vessel, either by directly boarding it and carrying the deck, or by subduing the ship through superior cannon fire. An enemy ship will always surrender it is dis-masted (exception: escort ships never surrender), although it can also choose to surrender if faced with a powerful boarding party compared to its own crew. Smaller ships are adept at the former strategy (quick boarding, with little cannon fire exchanged). Larger ships, especially Frigates, are often much more suited to subduing the enemy ship through cannon play, due to their powerful broadsides.

Another possible outcome may be the sinking of the enemy ship. After the enemy's hull has been hit enough with cannon balls, a shot will end up in the powder magazine, destroying the ship.

Much of the naval combat mini-game goes into attempting to out-maneuver the enemy, bringing the enemy vessel into cannon range while trying to stay out of the enemy's line-of-fire. Some players prefer to avoid firing cannons altogether, attempting to board the enemy as quickly as possible so as not to harm his ship (or to avoid damage to the player's ship). Wind direction and specific ship capabilities feature heavily into this. Some ships are adept at sailing in sharp angles to the wind direction, while others can only gain reasonable speed while sailing along with the wind. Turning speed is also different between ship types, and so some ships can actually weave between cannonballs, while others turn extremely slowly and cannot afford to make fancy maneuvers at all. There is great emphasis in knowing the particular strengths and weaknesses of one's ship, and the ability to continuously gauge wind direction and act accordingly.

Automatic aiming is also applied to the shot, which may (especially in lower difficulties) cause the cannonballs to be fired at a narrower angle to the ship's heading. This automatic aiming attempt to take into account the heading and speed of the enemy ship, and so will often cause a more accurate hit, although it can also be detrimental, especially against quick enemies. Cannons are fired in volleys, meaning that all loaded cannons will fire simultaneously. Once fired, the crew begins to reload the cannons, one by one, a task which takes a certain amount of time depending on the number of cannons, the number of crew, and several other factors. Volleys can be fired even when not all cannons have been loaded, but a full volley has a number of cannonballs equal to half the number of cannons on the ship (the rationale being that only the cannons on one side of the ships get to fire, while the others are actually pointing away from the enemy). The largest volley possible is fired by a fully armed Ship of the Line, with 24 (half of 48) cannonballs. Such a volley is often wide enough to hit the enemy regardless of his attempts to maneuver out of the way. The player needs to take into account the enemy's heading and speed when firing the broadside, as cannonballs take some time to travel the distance between the two ships, and therefore cannot be fired directly at the enemy's position unless the enemy is motionless or at extremely close range.

Another important tactical decision is the ability to choose cannonball types. If a ship has been properly upgraded, the player can choose between grape shot, chain shot, and the default round shot. Each cannonball causes a different range of damage upon impact, and also has different ballistic capabilities. Round shot, being the typical round projectile, has the longest range of the three, and also flies fastest through the air. Upon impact, it has a great chance of damaging a ship's hull (potentially sinking the ship), and a smaller equal chance of destroying cannons, killing crew, or damaging the sails. Chain-shot projectiles have a shorter range and fly at a slower speed. Their impact is most likely to cause sail damage to the enemy ship, slowing it down, or potentially dis-masting it. Chain shot also has a small chance of killing enemy crew. Grape shot is an aggregate of small cannonballs, much like buckshot fired from a shotgun. This swarm of small projectiles is very slow and has a short range, but upon impact it can kill large portions of the enemy crew, weakening the ship and slowing their cannon reloading. Grape shot also has the potential of damaging enemy sails. Without having purchased specific upgrades for one's ship, it is impossible to fire anything but round shot. Grapeshot was a kind of anti-personnel ammunition used in cannons. ... In artillery, chain-shot is a type of ammunition formed of two balls, or half-balls, chained together. ... A shotgun shell is a self-contained cartridge loaded with shot or a slug designed to be fired from a shotgun. ... For other uses, see Shotgun (disambiguation). ...

Ship capture and prizes

If a ship has surrendered, or its captain defeated in combat, it is considered "captured". The player may now unload any gold and cargo from the ship, and may also add it to his/her fleet if there is room. If the ship's crew had a specialist, like a sailmaker or a cooper, these will automatically be added to the player's crew. Some of the captured ship's crew may also be inclined to join the player's ranks, especially if the player's crew morale is high. Captured enemy crews may also have news on various events which are of interest to the player.

It is also possible to sink the captured ship. This is desirable if it has been damaged too severely to be towed quickly to port, or if the player has no interest in selling ships. Also, if the player's crew is very small or is already maintaining a large fleet, adding an extra ship may cause the whole fleet to become inefficient, slowing it down considerably on the sailing map.


Several events in the game will trigger a swordfighting mini-game, where the player fences an opponent in one-on-one combat. These segments may or may not include crews fighting in the background, affecting the outcome of the battle as well.

Most often, swordfighting duels occur when two ships collide during naval combat. Swordfights can also break out during attacks on cities, particularly if the city has too few defenders to mount a land war outside the city gates, but also if the player manages to reach the town gates during such land battles without first having defeated the enemy force. During these two kinds of fights, the player's crew and the enemy crew will have an important influence on combat. Crew sizes and morales dictate which side is more likely to lose men during the conflict - any men lost on one side will cause a reduced effectiveness of that side's leader's combat moves.

Dueling also occurs when the player challenges an enemy. This often occurs in taverns, when the player challenges the captain of the guard, or when confronting a known criminal and attempting to bring him to justice. When romancing governors' daughters, they will at one point request the player to defeat a jealous suitor in one-on-one combat. These duels occur without crew presence, and as such are not subject to the effects of crew morale.

A duel is carried out with swords, although pistols can be acquired by the player to give him or her a starting advantage. During the duel, each combatant attempt to strike at his enemy without being stricken. This mini-game relies mostly on hand-to-eye coordinating and quick reflexes, although in lower difficulty levels it is quite possible to defeat an enemy with very little skill or thought involved.

Each combatant can use one of three attacks - a low slash, a high chop, and a mid-stab. Each combatant can also defend against incoming blows, with a dodge (against high chops), a jump (against low slashes), or a parry (against mid-stabs). When a blow "connects" properly (that is, the opponent fails to block with the right move), the stricken duelist moves a backwards. When one duelist reaches the "limit" of the fighting area, he or loses the duel and either surrenders or is knocked out of the battle.

A bar across the bottom of the screen indicates battle advantage. When properly performing a blocking move, or when striking the enemy, the bar shifts towards that opponent, indicating that he has lost advantage. The duelist with more advantage can attack faster, while the duelist with less advantage attacks slower. Also, a failed attack (one that was blocked properly) has the chance of disorienting the attacker, causing them to become even slower for a short time.

Another important combat move is the feint. If this move is executed in full without the opponent striking, the opponent loses advantage.

Also, when fighting on ships, several events can provide opportunity for a non-conventional attack. These include buckets and gaffs lying around on the ship's deck, as well as ropes swinging overhead. When the player or the enemy are situated adjacent to such an item, executing the correct attack will use the item (kicking the bucket, swinging from the ropes, etc.). If such an attack is successful, it knocks the enemy back and causes more disadvantage to him than a normal strike.

Lastly, almost every fighting scene has a middle point which has a strong effect on combat. On a ship, this is the flight of stairs leading from the poop deck or forecastle onto the main deck. In a tavern, this is the balcony and the stairs leading up to it. If a combatant has been pushed all the way to the middle point, a cut scene will show the two combatants moving past the obstacle. On a ship, they'll run down or up the stairs. In a tavern, the enemy will be knocked down the gallery, and the player will run up the stairs. This has the effect of giving time for the advantage bar to swing back to the neutral position, equalizing the fight somewhat during this cut scene.

Most importantly, each contestant in a duel will select his dueling sword out of three possible selections. The rapier is the quickest attacking sword, capable of delivering swift attacks but slow on the defense. The cutlass is a strong defensive sword, capable of quickly blocking or dodging out of harm's way but slow on the attack. The longsword is an average of the two, with mediocre attack and defense. When playing on the lowest difficulty setting, the player cannot choose a sword, and is automatically given a longsword.

Several items can be acquired that enhance the player's fighting capabilities. These include balanced swords (attack faster), silk clothing (defend faster), armor (chance to block mid-stabs without properly selecting a parry), and pistols (automatically pushes the enemy back a few steps at the beginning of combat). Also, selecting the "fencing" skill at the beginning of the game will allow the player faster performance.

As the character ages, his swordfighting capabilities will decrease, causing him to become slower. This is one of the game's methods for ensuring that older characters be pressed into retirement. Some of the duels in the game become impossibly fast on higher difficulty levels, when the character has reached a certain age.

Land warfare

Pirates! also has land battles in which the player fights battles in a turn-based system, on a grid map. This occurs whenever the player assaults a well-defended city (100 or more soldiers in the city's garrison), or the evil Montalban's hideout.

When beginning a land assault, the player is given several units. The exact number of units is determined by the proportion of the player's crew versus the size of the city's garrison. An overwhelming superiority for either side will give that side up to 10 units to command, while equally balanced fights will generally produce four or five units for each side.

Battle takes place outside the city, on a map with hills, forests, and plains. The player's force starts out in one of three selectable positions nearer the bottom of the map, while the enemy force begins closer to the top of the map, near the city gates. The goal of this mini-game is either to defeat the enemy force altogether, or to have one unit reach the city gates, after which a swordfighting duel commences against the city's captain of the guard and all remaining defenders.

The player is given three different types of units: officers, pirates, and buccaneers. Each has different statistics and is suited for a different purpose. Officers are unique (the player may only have one unit of officers in the battle). They possess a higher attack power than any other class, and as such serve as shock troops useful against any enemy. Pirates act as melee infantry, requiring a direct attack on enemy units. Buccaneers hold rifles, and are able to attack enemies at a distance, provided that no hills or forests block their line of sight. Buccaneers are also the weakest units in melee combat, and will almost always lose when assaulted directly.

The enemy has a more versatile force, completely different than the player's. Enemy infantry make up the bulk of their forces - these are rifle-bearing troops with a slightly shorter range than that of the player's buccaneers, but they are also apt in melee attack and are usually numerous. Enemy guards are slightly tougher, with a shorter ranged attack but a powerful melee attack which can devastate most units. Enemies also use Indians, both scouts and skirmishers. These units move quickly through forests, and as such are good flankers. The scouts fire devastating arrows but do not stand up too well against melee attacks. Skirmishers are dangerous on melee assaults, but possess no ranged attack. Finally, well-defended cities may also employ cavalry. These units move very quickly over open terrain, and have the most powerful melee attack of all units. However, if caught in forests, they can be destroyed easily.

The player and the AI take turns moving their units. During a side's turn, each of its units can move, attack, or fire ranged weapons. Most units can move up to two squares a turn, or one through forests. Indians can move two squares through any terrain. Cavalry move three, giving them much higher mobility. Ranged units can move one square and then shoot, or shoot first and end their turn. Units can also turn about, wasting one movement point. Once all units on one side have moved, fired, attacked, or skipped their turn, the other side gets to play.

Many factors determine the strength of a unit when attacking or defending. Units which have previously been damaged will have lower morale, lowering their strength. Ranged units firing at an enemy which is hiding in the trees will have their attacks halved in strength (hence stressing the importance of cover). Charging down a hill also adds strength to a unit, the greater the difference in height between attacker and defender, the more power it gives to the attacker. Similarly, charging up a hill is dangerous, giving similar bonus to the defender. Cavalry caught in a forest will have their strength divided by 3.

Finally, a very important aspect to combat is flanking. All units are said to face a specific direction (south, west, southwest, etc.). If attacked from a perpendicular (or more acute) angle to their facing, the unit is said to be flanked. This increases the attacking unit's strength by a factor of 2, and is an extremely powerful tactic. During their turn, units can spend part of their movement points to change their facing, sacrificing mobility for defense against flanking opponents. So in other words, you kind of need to use math in order to be one step ahead of your opponent.

Units that are damaged in combat will lose morale, lowering their combat strength. When a unit drops below "panicked" morale, it is routed, fleeing from the field of battle. Some units will rout without reaching their lowest morale - this occurs when a unit is being attacked by a much stronger opponent, especially when flanking. Although this causes a quick rout and often an easier victory, decimating a unit slowly (often by ranged attacks) is often favorable, as it decreases the number of enemy soldiers left to defend the city - if this number drops to 100 or lower during combat, it becomes possible for the city to be conquered for a different nationality, with powerful results for the player.

Capturing cities

Successful land-combat on the part of the player will yield a one-time gold prize, often very large (can reach over ten thousand gold pieces). The exact amount is determined by the city's wealth and population parameters. Also, as mentioned above, if the city's garrison drops below 100 during or before combat, successful land-battles allow the player to change the city's government to that of a different nationality. This not only changes the political situation in the Caribbean, but also makes the new owning nation greatly pleased with the daring pirate (the player), as well as any other countries who disliked the original owner (who is, of course, extremely annoyed). The attack also has the effect of lowering the city's wealth rating.


Upon performing tasks favorable to one of the four nations in the game and thus being promoted enough, the player may be given the chance to dance with a governor's daughter at a ball. Dancing is done by following the daughter's signals, and moving appropriately, using the number pad. Successful dancing is rewarded with amour from the governor's daughters, as well as gifts or valuable information.


The player may be refused docking privileges at an enemy town (a nation the player has pirated from). In these cases, the player is given the option to sneak into town. This is done by avoiding the town's guards who patrol the city and moving towards the tavern, or governor's mansion, which are pointed to by signs throughout the city. The player may run or walk and has some places to hide to avoid detection. The player may also sneak up behind guards and knock them unconscious (but this risks discovery if they are discovered or they come to). If caught, they are thrown into jail, where they must remain to serve a sentence of several months, pay a fine or attempt escape.

Major cities

Spanish: Campeche, Cartagena, Coro, Cumana, Gibraltar, Gran Granada, Havana, Maracaibo, Margarita, Nombre de Dios, Panama, Puerto Cabello, Puerto Principe, Rio de la Hacha, San Juan, Santa Catalina, Santa Marta, Santiago, Santo Domingo, St. Augustine, Trinidad, Vera Cruz, Villa Hermosa Location within Mexico Country Capital Municipalities 11 Largest City San Francisco de Campeche Government  - Governor Jorge Carlos Hurtado Valdez (PRI)  - Federal Deputies PRI:2  - Federal Senators PRI:2 PAN:1 Area Ranked 18th  - State 50,812 km²  (19,618. ... Nickname: The Heroic City The Walled City The Diplomatic City The Key of the West Indies The Walled Kingdom Best Fortified City of the Americas Historical Heritage of Mankind The Stone Coral Region Caribbean Region (Colombia) Department Bolívar Department* Foundation 1533 Mayor Nicolás Francisco Curi Vergara Area    - City... CORO ROCKS MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OOOOO YAA BABY!!!!! WHO ROCKS DA HOUSE? WHO ROCKS DA HOUSE??? CORO DOES!!!!!! CORO DOES!!!!!!!!! OK TIME TO CALM DOWN NOW..........The city of Santa Ana de Coro was founded in 1527 by Spanish colonists. ... This article contains information that is not verifiable. ... This article is about the capital of Cuba. ... Nickname: Motto: Muy noble y leal Coordinates: , Country State Counties Maracaibo Government  - Mayor Gian Carlo Di Martino (2000 – 2008) Area  - City 550 km²  (212. ... For other uses, see Margarita (disambiguation). ... Nombre de Dios (Spanish: Name of God) is a town on the Atlantic coast of Panama, near the mouth of the Río Chagres. ... Puerto Cabello is a city on the north coast of Venezuela. ... The mud jars The statue of Ignacio Agramonte on the Plaza de Revolucion Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Soledad Rooftops of Camagüey and Maceo street Iglesia San Francisco and Estadio Cándido González in the background Camagüey (founded as Santa María del Puerto del Pr... Riohacha is the capital city of the department of Guajira in Colombia. ... For other uses, see San Juan. ... Categories: Philippines geography stubs | Municipalities in the Philippines ... This article is about the Colombian city. ... Santiago is one of the names and/or surnames by which Saint James is known in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world. ... It has been suggested that Greater Santo Domingo Area be merged into this article or section. ... Augustine is the name of two important Saints: Augustine of Hippo (354-430) -- philosopher and theologian, author of The City of God, Confessions Augustine of Canterbury (d. ... Look up Trinidad in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Veracruz from space, July 1997 The city of Veracruz is a major port city and municipality on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. ... Villahermosa (Beautiful Village in Spanish language) is the capital city of Tabasco, Mexico, and the municipal seat of Centro municipality. ...

English: Antigua, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, Nassau, Nevis, Port Royale, St. Kitts, Barbados New Providence Island and Eleuthera Island from space, April 1997 See also: Eleutherae Eleuthera is an island in the Bahamas, lying 50 miles (80 km) east of Nassau. ... Grand Bahama from space, June 1998 Grand Bahama is one of the northernmost of the islands of the Bahamas, and the closest major island to the United States, lying just 55 mi (90 km) off the coast of the state of Florida. ... For other uses of Nassau, see Nassau (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Nevis (disambiguation). ... Port-Royal was a Cistercian convent in Magny-les-Hameaux, in the Vallée de Chevreuse southwest of Paris that launched a number of culturally important institutions. ... Saint Kitts (also/previously known as Saint Christopher) is an island in the Caribbean. ...

French: Florida Keys, Montserrat, Port-de-Paix, Tortuga, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Leogane Palm trees in Islamorada The Florida Keys is an archipelago of about 1700 islands in the southeast United States. ... Port-de-Paix (Pòdepè or Pòdpè in Kréyòl) is a city and the capital of the département of Nord-Ouest in Haïti on the Atlantic coast. ... For other uses, see Tortuga (disambiguation). ... Leogane is a coastal town in Ouest Department, Haïti. ...

Dutch: Curacao, St. Martin, St. Eustatius Curaçao and Bonaire are two Caribbean islands Curaçao [pronounced koo-rah-sow] (population 150,000) is an island in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea, one of the Windward Islands of the Netherlands Antilles, a self-governing part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. ... St. ... Map showing location of Sint Eustatius relative to Saba and Sint Maarten/Saint Martin Sint Eustatius (also Saint Eustace and Statia), pop. ...

Types of ships

Ships encountered in-game have many different roles, usually identified when the player's ship nears their own.

  • Merchant ships are the most common, and sail from their port of origin to another of that nation or one with which their nation is at peace.
  • Smugglers trade with nations at war with their own.
  • Pirate ships originate at pirate havens, and attempt to attack and plunder cities about the Caribbean. They may carry a rival (named) pirate (see below), and can be sent to attack any nearby port by the player.
  • Raiders sail from a port of their nation and attempt to damage cities or sink ships of a nation at war with their own.
  • Privateers sail from a port of their nation and attempt to capture ships of a nation at war with their own.
  • Pirate hunters are warships diverted to attack the player for offenses against their nation. They are usually of the Sloop or Brig classes, but repeated serious offenses against a nation may eventually draw out frigates, and very rarely, if you really make them angry, non-Spanish towns will start to send out Frigate-class warships, and Spanish towns will send out comparable Combat Galleons (up to the Flag Galleon). They rapidly pursue the player and shoot cannon balls at their ships until they lose interest (rare), are engaged and defeated, or the player reaches a friendly city.
  • Treasure ships are the largest type of that nation's merchant class, and carry a large amount of valuable goods in addition to a large amount of gold.
  • New Warships are ships of that nation's warship class(es), typically carrying full complements of cannon and crew, but only a small amount of gold or goods. They sail from one city to another. New Warships may be of any warship type, and a [Ship of the Line]could occur.
  • Invasion forces are ships of that nation's warship class, carrying many crew and attempting to capture a city of a nation with which their own nation is at war. If they succeed the city changes hands, if they fail, the garrison is reduced.
  • Military payroll couriers are ships which carry a large amount of gold (typically no goods) to reinforce the defensive garrison of another port.
  • Troop transports are warships which travel from a settlement to a city of their nation in order to reinforce its garrison.
  • Treaty carriers are ships (typically Mail Runners or Royal Sloops) which carry an ultimatum or an offer of peace to another nation. The player may be offered missions to escort one of these ships to its destination. The ultimatum always triggers a war and the offers always suspend a war or (if there was no war going on at the time), enact a peace treaty.
  • Immigrant ships are merchant ships (typically Merchantmen) carrying a number of passengers to a destination city. They boost the population on arrival, and players may be offered missions to escort them to their destination. They have a higher chance of carrying a specialist which may aid the player's crew.
  • Grain transports carry a large amount of food, and sail from one port of their nation to another. They make poor targets unless the player's crew is starving.
  • Other ships may transport new governors, carry a native war party, or be the personal ships of named villains in the game's central quest.

Ship classes

There are nine distinct classes of ships in-game, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Within these classes are 3 sizes of ships. Players of the PC version may have up to eight ships in their personal fleet, however ships other than your flagship may not participate in combat.

Pinnace class

The Pinnace class consists of the War Canoe, the Pinnace, and the Mail Runner. The class is fairly uncommon, but make decent warships due to their high speed and maneuverability. The War Canoe is the smallest, and is exclusively used by native war parties. The Pinnace itself is the most common, and is used by merchants and smugglers. The Mail Runner is the largest and is classed as a warship, but is typically only seen as a treaty carrier. Pinnaces and Mail Runners are used by all nations. A pinnace is a light boat, propelled by sails or oars, formerly used as a tender for guiding merchant and war vessels. ...

Sloop class

This class consists of the Sloop, the Sloop of War, and the Royal Sloop. This class make better warships than the Pinnace class thanks to their comparable speed and maneuverability but larger cannon, cargo and crew capacities. The common Sloop is seen as either a merchant ship or a warship (a pirate ship or an escort). The Sloop of War is a warship and usually seen escorting a merchant ship. The Royal Sloop is a warship, but is rare and usually seen as a treaty carrier or New Warship. The class is used by all nations. A sloop-rigged J-24 sailboat A sloop (From Dutch sloep) in sailing, is a vessel with a fore-and-aft rig. ...

Barque class

This class consists of the Coastal Barque, the Barque, and the Ocean Barque. The class is used by all nations, but make poor warships as they are slow, hard to maneuver and carry few cannons. However, these ships can be important in-game: they serve as grain transports, and Ocean Barques serve as military payroll couriers (typically for the Spanish). A barc is a type of sailing vessel. ...

Brig class

This class consists of the Brigantine, the Brig, and the Brig of War. This class has the unique ability of sailing well against the wind, and thanks to their balance of speed and power make excellent warships. The Brigantine and the larger Brig are often seen as pirate, privateer or merchant ships. The Brig of War is rarer, and is more commonly seen as a troop transport, New Warship, or military payroll courier. Brigantines and Brigs are used by all nations, but the Brig of War is never used by the Spanish. Description In sailing, a brigantine is a vessel with two masts, at least one of which is square rigged. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Brigantine. ...

Frigate class

This class consists of the Frigate, the Large Frigate, and the Ship of the Line. This class is used exclusively as warships, thanks to their ability to carry huge crews and many cannons, though they lack the maneuverability of smaller ships. The frigate is typically seen as carrying an invasion force, or as a pirate hunter. The large frigate is rare, but occasionally seen as a New Warship or a military payroll courier (often escorted). The Ship of the Line is exceptionally rare and much sought-after, being the best-armed ship in the game, but can occasionally be found as a New Warship. The class is never used by the Spanish (see below for why). For the bird, see Frigatebird. ...

Merchantman class

This class consists of the Merchantman, Large Merchantman and East Indiaman. The class is used as merchant ships by the English and French. Merchantmen are used as immigrant ships by all nations, and East Indiamen serve as treasure ships for the English or French. Ships of this class make decent warships as they have moderate speed, large cargo capacity and can carry a fair number of cannons. Cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship that carries goods and materials from one port to another. ...

Fluyt class

This class consists of the Fluyt, Large Fluyt and West Indiamen. The class is used solely by the Dutch, and West Indiamen serve as Dutch treasure ships. Ships of this class make poor warships as they are slow, hard to maneuver, and carry few cannons. They are universally regarded as the worst ships in the game for the players purposes, however they are usually easy to catch. Dutch fluyts of 17th Century A fluyt or a flute (IPA: ) is a type of sailing vessel originally designed as a dedicated cargo vessel. ...

Merchant Galleon class

This class consists of the Trade Galleon, Royal Galleon, and Treasure Galleon. The class is used solely by the Spanish, as merchant ships, but make undesirable warships as they are slow and hard to maneuver, though packing many cannons. The Trade Galleon is the single most common ship in the game, and Treasure Galleons serve as Spanish treasure ships and make up their Treasure Fleet. What the trade galleon losses in speed in makes up for in storage space. The Royal galleon has the largest storage in the game and is good for carrying supplies and treasure. A Spanish galleon. ...

Combat Galleon class

This class consists of the Fast Galleon, War Galleon and Flag Galleon. The class is used solely by the Spanish, but make decent warships due to their toughness and ability to carry many cannons and crew members. They are typically seen as new warships, troop transports, invasion forces, military payroll couriers, and the personal ships of the Spanish villains of the storyline.


In the game you will encounter nine pirates. Each time you defeat them you will get their plunder and their ship. Also, you can move upwards on the top ten pirates list to become number one. The nine pirates are as follows: Henry Morgan, Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet, Captain Kidd, Jean Lafitte, Fran├žois l'Ollonais, Roche Brasiliano, Bart Roberts, and Jack Rackham. They each have a buried treasure worth from 10 000 pieces (Morgan) down to 2000. Digging up the treasure means that the pirates will act like pirate hunters if they see your ships. Sir Henry Morgan (Hari Morgan in Welsh), (ca. ... A flag often attributed to Blackbeard. ... Stede Bonnet (1688?-December 10, 1718)[1] was a pirate captain from the English colony of Barbados. ... The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ... Jean Lafitte (1776 - 1854?), was a famous pirate in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. ... An illustration of François lOllonais from a 1684 edition of The History of the Bucaniers of America Jean-David Nau (c. ... Roche Braziliano (born c. ... Born John Roberts (May 17, 1682 - February 10, 1722), Bartholomew Roberts, also known as Bart Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who raided shipping off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. ... Jack Rackham, commonly known as Calico Jack, was a pirate captain during the 18th century. ...

Notes and trivia

  • Many in-game characters are partially modelled on developers of the game.
  • The names for the villains Montalban and Mendoza were used in the original Pirates game. The name "Marquis de Montalban" is thought to be a reference to Ricardo Montalban[attribution needed].
  • The main character cannot get a parrot; however, if the bartender in taverns has nothing to say, he will ask the player where their parrot is.
  • The flag on the wall of the tavern (of a pirate haven) behind the "mysterious traveler" is the historical flag of Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.
  • International Talk Like a Pirate Day is honored by altering dialogue and narration if the system's date is set to September 19th.
  • If the player choses the earliest possible time period (beginning in 1600), English governors, etc. erroneously remark that they have a new "king", although Elizabeth I reigned until 1603. In addition, even though much of the game can take place from 1640 onwards, no mention is made of the English Civil War, or the complete lack of a monarchy from 1649 to 1660 (characters will still refer to a 'King' even during the period of the Commonwealth of England).
  • Sid Meier occasionally will be the mysterious traveler or an abbot of a Jesuit Mission, with a distinct difference between the normal character and Sid's character. If the Jesuit abbot appears once, he will appear every time the particular Mission is visited.
  • The game also allows personal pirate flags which must be saved in .dds format and placed in the custom directory.

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Ricardo Montalban (born November 25, 1920 in Mexico City) is a television and film actor. ... Blackbeard (1680? – November 22, 1718) was the nickname of Edward Teach alias Edward Thatch, a notorious English pirate who had a short reign of terror in the Caribbean Sea between 1716 and 1718. ... International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday invented in 1995 by John Baur (Ol Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Capn Slappy), of the United States, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. ... 1600 was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Look up king in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603 ) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. ... Year 1603 (MDCIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see English Civil War (disambiguation). ... Motto: PAX QUÆRITUR BELLO (English: Peace is sought through war) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Language(s) English Government Republic Lord Protector  - 1649-1658 Oliver Cromwell Legislature Rump Parliament Barebones Parliament History  - Declaration of Commonwealth May 19, 1649  - Declaration of Breda April 4, 1660 Area 130,395...

See also

This article is about the videogame released in 1987. ... Pirates! Gold is a 1993 computer game, a sequel to Sid Meiers 1987 release, Sid Meiers Pirates!. MicroProse developed this 256-color version for MS-DOS, Macintosh, Mega Drive/Genesis, Amiga CD32 and Windows 3. ... Port Royale 2 is the sequel to the trade simulation game Port Royale. ...


  1. ^ Pirates! at MobyGames

MobyGames is a website devoted to cataloging computer and video games, both past and present. ...

External links

  • Official Pirates! site
  • Firaxis' (developer) site with patches



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