September 2, 2019 at 10:54 am #2848
I think that for new players, I’ld like to put a few things here to make sure they get the best out of the game in the month :D.
Essentially, when starting the game, picking the default options gives you the most flexibility in the game world, with an English start in “The Buccaneer Heroes” period, 1660-1680, where the non-Spanish European powers all have decent presence in the New World, and Spain is still a very lucrative target. Pick any skill for the time being, we will restart a few times. Essentially, the skill you pick means the game plays that ability at one difficulty level lower than your current.
Starting the game, you challenge the existing Captain to a duel to take control of the ship. You will probably lose this a few times. Fencing is a skill you will need throughout the game, and you’ll get better at it :D.
Use the NumPad to battle, with the 7-4-1 keys doing attacks, 8-5-2 doing parries, and 9-6-3 moving away. The ENTER key does a harder attack when pressed with an attack. You will get interrupted in an attack animation if you are hit, and you may find the quicker low attacks to be easier early on.
The sailing master will give you an overview of the world, starting off in the English Port of St. Kitts, where you will enter the town and kind out what the Governor, as a representative of the British Crown, wants you to do – attack their enemies, the Spanish and the Dutch.
You’ll then visit the Tavern, a place to hire more cannon fodder, sorry, sailors, to take along with you on your career. You may also be offered a treasure map, showing you a place near a town with buried treasure, that you’ll have to land and search for. The Tavern will also give you an update on what’s going on in the world.
In towns, you can visit the merchant to sell pirated goods, buy food etc, as well as “divide up the plunder”, which will divide up the ship’s wealth by the number of (alive) crew, and given you a share based on your difficulty level. If you are healthy enough you can round up a new crew and carry on your adventures. (After a while, your crew will lose morale and would like to get paid, this essentially resets that mechanic).
From here, the world is yours! Do you follow your orders and become a respected English captain? Find the foreign coin too tempting and sail for another European power? Prey on merchants moving goods around the New World, or stalk the Spanish fleets moving riches out of the New World to Europe, and take some for yourself? How about doing all of that!
You should attack the first ship you come across, and take part in the second-most common thing in the game, a naval battle. Fire your guns from the sides of the ship against your opponent, being careful to dodge their attacks. You can raise your sails with the UP key, and lower them with the DOWN key. Having sails up will mean they take more damage, but of course gives you more speed. If you damage your enemy enough, and you are close enough (or board them), they will surrender to you rather than face the briny deep! If not, you will fight their captain in a duel. The duel will end when one captain surrenders – the crew’s morale will go down on their captain being hit, or when the crew are dying. Crew will fight in the background whilst the duel is going on, and casualties will accumulate.
If you lose a duel, you will be captured and imprisoned, and you will escape, but of course lose what you have got.
Your in world actions will affect how Towns and Governors react to you, and some Towns may simply blow you up if you try and dock, and some merchants may simply not trade with Pirates. Sneaking into Towns by land is always an option, however, if you’re well known or been hanging around, you will get caught trying to sneak in and will have to Duel your way out!
Once you are happy with both forms of combat, I suggest you start from scratch and see how you go!
Games can be saved in town by going into the “Check Information” option in Town.September 8, 2019 at 2:28 pm #2857
I’m finding this game extremely hard and honestly not a lot of fun. The ship reacts really slowly when I’m trying to turn it both on the world map screen and in naval battles.
I think my game might be bugged. When I fight other pirate ships, I suddenly don’t have any cannons in the naval battle although just before the battle started, I had plenty. Also, somethimes when I’m fighting a duel, the game suddenly goes back to the world map without telling me what happened, and it’s like I lost the duel because one of my ships and a lot of cargo is then gone. Have you experienced this?September 10, 2019 at 9:29 am #2861
Hi Don, the ships don’t quite turn on a dime, but it should be a bit more responsive than it sounds like you’re experiencing.
The ship you take into battle has a maximum number of cannons, you can have more, but of course some ships are better at fighting than others.
If you take too much damage in a fight, either in naval battles or sword fighting, you’ll lose, but your character should at least ‘surrender’ on screen after taking a few hits on low morale – after that, yes, you’ll have lost the battle and will suffer whatever outcome the game gives youSeptember 10, 2019 at 9:38 am #2862
Thanks for the reply.
That makes sense, but that’s not what I’m experiencing, so I think the game is bugged. I’ve tested it several times. I leave a port with 30 cannons, meet a pirate ship and have 0 cannons in the naval battle. Then there’s the cutting to the world map in the middle of a duel and sometimes a walking character appears near the bottom of the screen, who only disappears when I reload the game.
I bought it from GOG. Maybe I should try reinstalling it or tell them about the bugs, since it doesn’t sound like you’re experiencing the same thing.September 10, 2019 at 9:42 am #2863
Try playing Pirates! Gold as suggesed by Tijn, it’s the same game for the most of it, I’m surprised the GOG version is having trouble like that!September 10, 2019 at 9:47 am #2864
I am playing the Gold version from GOG. I can see in the comments there that a lot of people are having the same problems. They’re saying it’s a bad port.September 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm #2877
So I talked to a guy from GOG and he told me to reinstall the game, install Direct X 9.0, disable full screen optimization, run as administrator and add it to my list of exeptions in my antivirus firewall. This actually made the game playable so now I’m exited to get my swashbucklin’ on. 🙂 By the way, the thing about losing the cannons when you meet pirates is the copy protection. You have to look in the manual and find the name of the pirate that corresponds to the flag you see.September 11, 2019 at 7:42 pm #2878
If you’re not playing the Gold version, you really need a map. Weirdly the gog.com version doesn’t seem to come with one? Anyway, here’s the one I’m using: https://magisterrex.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/piratesgamemap.jpgSeptember 12, 2019 at 7:52 am #2879
I’m playing the Gold version from GOG and that has a map. Luckily. I’d be pretty lost without it. 🙂
PixParticipantPodcasterSeptember 12, 2019 at 11:16 am #2880
I’ve been playing the original 87 version. I actually like having to use a physical map with games of this era, it’s all adding atmosphere. There isn’t a lot of it but the game has 3 channel sound if you play it on a Tandy so I’d recommend trying that in DOSBox if you are OK with the reduced colour palette. Tandy doesn’t look much different to EGA the majority of the time.
Does anyone have any tips on rescuing your family members? I’ve got all four pieces of the map for where my sister is, found where that is but I’m not seeing anything there.September 12, 2019 at 11:22 am #2881
You have to go to the spot that’s indicated on the map, go the menu en choose “search”. Then (if you’re in the correct spot) you’ll find your long lost relative 🙂
PixParticipantPodcasterSeptember 12, 2019 at 11:26 am #2882
Thanks. That search option in the menu is news to me. I’ll give it a go tonight.September 12, 2019 at 11:27 am #2883
Yeah, it’s only available when you’re on land. It’s at the bottom of the menu.
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