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Sega Ages: Pirate-Themed Games

Avast, me hearties! Ol’ Cap’n Sebastian “Voodoo Seabass” Phantar here! Arrr, ’tis the time that makes me heart sing, and yearn for the siren’s song of the seven seas: ‘Tis talk like a pirate day today! To celebrate this festive tradition, I invite ye old laddies of yore to take a look at yer collection: For aye, there are a few doubloons in the ol’ treasure chest of games for yer favourite gaming vessel, the ol’ Sega Genesis, that deal with any true sea dogs favourite profession: It’s pirate spotlight at the SS Sega-16! So, landlubbers and ol’ seadogs alike, let’s take a gander at those games for Sega’s ol’ flagship that had yer favourite profession as a theme: PIRATES!!!

 

The Pieces of Eight

 

Cutthroat Island

Shiver me timbers! What treachery be this? What foul stench is wafting over the deck? Arr, forgive me, lads and lasses, for startin’ this list with such a nasty pile o’ bile! Based o’ the horrifying tale that is the film of the same name, ’tis game be worse than the bomb that sunk the career of dread piratesse Geena Davis. Both the wench based off her person and the other lad you can choose to play with control worse than a shot-up merchantman with a broken mast treading water! This there game looks as sick as a stomach-ailin’ landlubber on the high seas after downing six pints of extra-strong grog! And I’d rather hear the sound of him hurlin’ lardboards than the tunes of this dark abomination.

’tis game should be send down into Davy Jones’ locker, bewitched with the Flying Dutchman’s curse, forced to scour the see and never to be allowed to find harbour in any working console again!

High Seas Havoc

Ah, how the sight of this ‘ere soothes me eyes! Though I agree that High Seas Havoc be more of a Jim Lad’s game, its bright colours and cartoonish characters are more of a wee lil’ pirate’s taste. And Havoc, the salty sea dog-pirate, what a jumpy fellow he be. By that I mean he jumps right up the mizzenmast; that high be his jumps! Arr, the crew of the SS Data East must’ve believed to make him a new mascot, a Sonic-like kind a guy, with speed and attitude. Alas me squires, he does not fare quite as well. But Havoc’s little platforming treasure hunt be a nice romp during a rainy afternoon.

Hook

Blast, another pirate-themed game after a movie license! Cursed be the scurvy dogs at Sony Imagesoft for dragging this rat out of the bilge! Mind, me, Cap’n Hook, he be a great pirate, with his smart looks, snappy clothes and his hook for a hand! He did not deserve to be remembered with this platformer bearing his name. And Peter Pan! The eternal child moves slow like a Spanish Galleon during calm. Alas, but look how bright it be! Mayhap masters of navigation, who be managing to get a grip on the unresponsive rudder, can draw some enjoyment out of this game. But beware the Sega CD port of this game. It not be worth it, even with its siren-song soundtrack! Be smart, stay with the cart, and even then, you’re headin’ for some choppy seas. Best ye be avoidin’ this one altogether. She be as rough as a coral reef!

Pirates! Gold

Ya harr, yo ho, and a boddle of Rum! Now we be sailin’ in rich waters. This is a golden piece of gaming, from the golden era of video games, set in the golden age of piracy… Pirates! Gold be truly golden. Commandeer ye own fleet, capture cities, find buried treasure, build up a reputation so ye can hire more men in dark taverns, keep ’em happy by pillagin’ and plunderin’ your way through the Caribbean, fighting or joining the English, Dutch, French or scrivelin’ Spaniards! Win the heart of a glorious maiden, find yer long-lost family members, and finally settle down, ideally as a governor or Viceroy! Yes, Pirates! Gold makes for a truly epic adventure!

Set sail for the Caribbean, an’ happy plunderin’!

Pirates of Dark Water

Now ‘ere be a fine couple of swashbucklers ready for adventure: The Pirates of Dark Water are journeying in a fantastic realm full of strange beasties. Ye can guide the stalwart trio of Ren, Tula and Ioz across the strange lands of Mer, to find the so-called treasures of Rule, in order to find wealth, fame, and to save the entire world. And as a good pirate tale goes, a sinister pirate king and his goons be chasing after the heroes. ‘Tis a nice adventurous romp, playing some nice tunes through the Genesis’ hornpipe occasionally. Though sometimes ye be needin’ to complete some bloody collecting puzzles in order to proceed – more swashbucklin’, less landlubbin’, that’s what “Voodoo Seabass” demands! Still, of all the platformin’ pirate tales out there, ’tis probably be the best o’ the bunch.

What’s still missing though? A hearty amount of Grog-guzzlin’…

Secret of Monkey Island

Harr-harr, there canna be any doubt – ‘Tis be the one game every true pirate needs to have played in his life! Learn from the techings of Guybrush Threepwood, who be setting out to complete the three quests to become a pirate: He be having to master swordplay, thievery, and… er… treasure huntin’! Overcoming a deadly duel both sabres and wits with the sword-master and deadly piranha poodles only be the beginnings of his epic adventure. Breaking a fellow out of a jail cell using the dealiest drinks of all (Grog!), acquiring a vessel from a fast-talkin’ used ships salesman, and the sage advise of the mysterious voodoo lady will lead our hero to Monkey Island, where he will win the heart of Governor Elaine Marley, defeat the dread ghost pirate LeChuck… and, of course, become a true pirate.

’tis a great adventure, full of wit, heart, and with some real’ catchy tunes. Plus, the disc version for Sega’s flagship add-on is one of the best editions of the game there be! (Aside from the new HD and FM Towns vessels). You dinna play the game? What be ye stinkin’ landlubbers still sittin’ ‘ere then? Get on and play it, now!

The Uncharted Waters series

Yarr, be not mistaken: Though at first glance the Uncharted Waters games be seemin’ similar to Pirates!, these waters be far, far deeper! True, ye be sailin’ the seas, engage in swashbucklin’ duels with other cap’ns, and plunder ships or engage in merchantship. But this be no mere strategy or simulation, this be a RPG spanning the entire known world of the 16th century! Ye really have to decide whether to play as an explorer, a merchant or a plunderin’ and pillagin’ pirate. Aye, ye truly be havin’ to dedicate loads of time into a game like that. But if yer a fan of both seafarin’ and roleplaying’, an’ don mind a li’l historic touch, these games be more than worth yer share of doubloons.

While in Uncharted Waters yer life as a pirate is purely optional. One of the six careers in New Horizons is purely set for a life as a freebooter. And the fiery wench Catalina be more than a match for the buccaneers and corsairs who sail the seven seas.

But careful if ye be venturin’ away from safe lands into uncharted waters… there be Dragons! Literally!

 

And an Honourable Pirate Mention:

 

Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday

Arr, now what do we have ‘ere? Why, ’tis a classic western roleplaying-game set in the world of Buck Rogers, in the 25th century. Choose a feisty crew of six from a range of classes (rocket jock, warrior, medic, rogue, and engineer) and six races (Human, Desert Runner, Tinker, Venusian, Martian, and Mercurian). Scour the solar system in service of the New Earth Organization (NEO), to defeat the evil Russo-American Mercantile (RAM) based on Mars.

Now, what earns this game a place on this list? One answer: SPACE PIRATES! On yer quest, these space-farin’ scallywags will be attackin’ yer space-vessel, forcin’ yer crew into ship-to-ship combat… IN SPACE! Granted, they be only random encounters, but in true pirate fashion, they make yer survival a mite difficult in the cold depths of the space-sea… ‘Tis a hard, obscure title, but ye hardcore roleplaying cap’ns will prob’ly enjoy it. Plus, c’mon, space pirates! What more de ye want?

 

Well, ladies an’ lasses, ’tis be it: The Sega-16 pirate-themed round-up! Now grab yerself a jug o’ grog, fire up ye ol’ flagship console, an’ enjoy “Talk Like A Pirate” Day in true fashion, 16-bit-style!

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