FAQ/Strategy Guide by TreeUK

Version: 1.4 | Updated: 05/14/06 | Printable Version

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		Version 1.4

		By TreeUK

Copyright Notice

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a
violation of copyright.


1.  Startup info
2.  System
3.  Cities and buildings
4.  Guide
5.  Types of Goods
6.  Ship Upgrades
7.  Map areas, ports and goods available at each
8.  Rumours
9.  At sea events
10. Other things inc codes

Use CTRL F to skip to a section.

Version history
1.4 - Added to awards, thanks to Caroline Smith for those.
1.3 - Added to the Other things etc section with more Awards
1.2 - Added to the Guide section and the reputation info in Map areas.
1.1 - Added to the Guide section and modified awards info.
1.0 - Original

1.  Startup info

Your first decision is game length.
You have three decisions:
a. Quick Trade    - 1 year   - 365 days
b. Market Venture - 3 years  - 1,095 days
c. Trade Empire   - 10 years - 3,650 days

Your second decision is which first mate to choose. You can change first mate
from the first mates who appear at various ports (always the same mates).
Your choices are:
- The Navigator - "I sail fast but avoid peril".
- Choosing Lorin takes a day off your normal travel time(except 1+2 day trips)
b.Sun Li
- The Negotiator - "I'll help you get the best deals".
- I could'nt really see a difference in prices with Sun Li though BOARDING
  seems to succeed more with her.
- The Cannon Master - "With me your guns will fire true".
- I could see no bonus with Ollio, the cannon shots seem no more accurate,
  it's possible the shots are more powerful...
- The Engineer - "My ships are as hard to sink as me!".
- As well as having the best facial expressions of the four, damage is
  reduced and it seems as though the ship is harder to hit.

2. System

On the map screen you can see at the top the name of the charted region you
are currently in. The bottom of the screen shows the current city you are at
or have highlighted as well as the current day x of the total.
The L + R buttons cycle through the status screens Ship Status, Stats, Awards,
Manifest. On the merchant and other trading screens L + R change from buy to
On the map screen, the arrow keys will change the destination, the A button
will confirm the destination while B will cancel.
On the City screen, the arrow keys will cycle the buildings[section 3]. The A
button will enter the highlighted building while B will cancel to the Map.
In a building B will cancel to the city screen.

3. Cities and buildings

All the cities and what they sell are listed in section 7. but for now I will
tell you what each building is for.
From right to left:
Merchant, Tavern, Customs Office, Bank, Shipwright, Warehouse

-The most important building for starting your empire, this is where you
purchase and sell goods. The A button will choose the good to sell or buy
while right or up will increase the amount to be bought or sold, left or down
will decrease this amount. If you are selling the good you have selected will
show (Loss) or profit under the name and below that, the amount of profit or
loss per item. Illegal goods cannot be sold here.

-For a 100T round of drinks you have the chance of being given a tip. If you
buy too many rounds (4-6) you wake up in the street with less money.
It is a good idea to bank all but 400-600 Taels before going to the Tavern.
The hints are described in section x.

 Customs Office
-The seat of piracy, you make a donation starting at 1,000T and then are given
access to various illegal goods. Depending on your reputation level you can
also purchase charts here to allow you access to other parts of the world.

-The one constant in the game, at the bank you can deposit, withdraw, borrow
and repay money. Especially useful for keeping your money safe from pirates
and thieves etc. Be warned about loans however, if you do not repay them each
week bounty hunters are sent after you in droves. Banks are in most cities
and your money is accessible at any of them.

-This is where you come to repair your ship when damaged and to upgrade when
you have the money. There are 5 improvements:
Sails, Cannons, Crew training, Armor and Cargo Hold.
Improved Sails - faster travel + greater likelihood of escaping in battle.
Improved Cannons - more damage per shot.
Improved Crew - better accuracy in battle, more likely to successfully board.
Improved Armor - less damage sustained in battle.
Improved Cargo Hold - greater load capacity.
The names of and money required for each improvement is listed in section x.
NOTE: You gain access to new types of improvements each time you buy a new map

-The warehouse is as the name suggests for housing your wares, you can store
up to 600 goods in each warehouse at a cost of 10T per week. Despite the
claims of the owners a lot of stealing goes on so don't be surprised if you
find half of your stock gone in a week.
Very useful for storing large stocks of currently cheap goods bought in a city
for quick profit selling elsewhere.

4. Guide

You start in Hong Kong in S. China with 2,000T. It is a good idea to visit the
other cities to get a general idea of the prices for things. A rule of thumb,
at all merchants over the world, the items are listed by price The last two
on the list being the most valuable. These have the most legal potential as
common sense states that if something costing 1000T normally is purchased at
500T and is sold at 1,000T on 100 items you make 50,000T.
500T x 100 goods = 50,000T
1,000T x 100 goods = 100,000T
50,000T-100,000T=50,000T profit.
Compared with a normally cheap good of 20T selling at 40T per 100 units you
make just 2,000T.
So as soon as you can afford it you should completely bypass the cheapest
goods, unless you have a tip, in favour of expensive goods.
In S. China these are Silk and Fine art. I did a stratified random sample of
10 city visits and the average normal price for Silk was 1,029. It was sold at
212 and 432 at the cheapest and 1,349 at the most expensive. A potential profit
of 1,137 possible on this one test.

The biggest profits and key to the game it seems is getting into the black
market. As I said before in section 3. Cities and buildings the Customs
office is where you go to trade in black market goods. In order to see the
goods for sale you have to first pay what is effectively a bribe of up to
10,000T. I think the amount you pay is linked to your reputation.
There are six illegal goods available at various offices these are:
Ivory, Grog, Stygian Lotus, Pitchblack, Gun Powder and Turkish Delight.
They all cost roughly 1,000T each so to be profitable the common sense rule
above should be used. If you see any of them near the 500 mark or below, buy
as many of them as you can, fill the warehouse with them then proceed to sell
them on at other ports with maximum profit. Added to this illegal goods
fluctuate regularly up to 3,000T so it is possible to make a 2,500 profit or
more per unit.
NOTE: The pricing dynamics work on supply and demand so it you've bought all
the black market goods, sold some elsewhere and gone back, it is very likely
that the price where you bought them will have risen steeply so you can sell
all your goods back straight from the warehouse. This is the best get rich
quick method I have found in the game, it is VERY possible to make 600,000T+
in this way from just one round of purchases.
NOTE: Be careful not to leave your goods in the warehouse too long as despite
the warehouse owners claims your goods are regularly stolen at quite a high
Regarding the ship, I recommend upgrading SAILS first, then CREW, then CARGO
followed by CANNONS. The reasoning behind this is that beginning the game you
are doing a lot of trips so the sails will cut down the journey time. LORIN
is the best character to start the game with for this reason, Sun Li is a
second best option for her supposed 'better deal' skills.
Upgrading CREW means that if you cannot escape then the shots you take at the
pirates are more likely to hit. CARGO for the obvious reason that you can make
more profit on more goods. CANNONS mean you sink the pirates in less time.

a.If you find a good cheap or very cheap, buy as much as you can, fill the
  warehouse with it to the max. Leave the current port, go back and due to the
  lack of the good you bought the price will have rocketed up. Simply take the
  goods you bought from your warehouse and go back to the merchant and sell
  them all. This is the easiest way of making large amounts of money.

b.As I said before Black Market Goods tend to fluctuate regularly and are the
  easiest of goods to make a large profit on each time, if you do not have the
  money for these, the second most profitable goods are the last two goods at
  the merchants, in S. China these are Fine arts and Silks. Silks are the
  better of the two as they cost more.

c.When you see a good is cheap, buy all of it that you can, fill the warehouse
  leave the port you are at and return again and the price of the goods in the
  warehouse will have increased. Sell them at this high price. It's simple but
  effective. The rules of supply and demand (i.e. seller has no goods=high
  prices, seller has lots of goods=low prices. Buy low - Sell high)

5.  Types of Goods

There are 36 types of goods, 6 of which are illegal. 5-6 types of goods are
available on each chart.
They are as follows:
S. China - Coconuts
	   Fine Arts
N. China - Banana
	   Exotic Birds
India    - Raisins
Africa   - Sugarcane
	   Olive Oil
U.K.	 - Coffee
Caribbean- Hemp
	   Fine Art

Illegal  - Ivory
	   Stygian Lotus
	   Gun Powder
	   Turkish Delight

6.  Ship Upgrades

As I said before the ship is upgraded at a Shipwright. There are 5 levels of
improvements including the starting level. You gain access to each level of
improvement when you buy a new map. Also the prices are cumulative so if you
do not buy the 2nd level of improvements and instead buy the 4th level, you
will pay the same price as it would have been to buy 2nd, 3rd and 4th level
of improvement. That said here are the prices and names for each improvement:

| Imp. Type  |   Level 1  |   Level 2  |   Level 3  |   Level 4  |  Level 5  |
| Sails      | Breath     |  Gust      |Gale        |Storm       | Typhoon   |
| Price      | N/A        |  15,000T   |30,000T     |90,000T     | 150,000T  |
| Cannons    | Light      |  Cannon    |Heavy       |Trident     | Tsunami   |
| Price      | N/A        |  15,000T   |30,000T     |60,000T     | 100,000T  |
| Crew       | Bilge Rats |  Swabs     |Deck Hands  |Sk. Mariners| Salty Dogs|
| Price      | N/A        |  10,000T   |15,000T     |25,000T     | 50,000T   |
| Armor      | Oaken Hull |  Reinforced|Studded Keel|Armored Prow| Iron Clad |
| Cargo Hold | Narwhal    |  Beluga    |Orca        |Humpback    | Leviathan |
| Price      | N/A        |  30,000T   |90,000T     |200,000T    | 500,000T  |
NOTE: if I wasn't clear, the above table shows prices as if you bought each in
turn, i.e. bought gust for 15k then bought gale for 30k etc. To buy Typhoon
sails from Breath Sails would cost 15k+30k+90k+150k=285k.

7.  Map areas, ports and goods available at each

The 6 maps are purchased at the Customs office and are only available if you
have enough reputation. The easiest way to gain reputation is to defeat
pirates. Each pirate gives you +2 rep. Rep goes down over time and killing
guards and traders reduces your rep.
In order you purchase maps in:

South China[Starting map]

Ports: Shanton, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Macao, Haikoi
Goods: Coconuts, Orchids, Lumber, Iron, Fine Art, Silk

North China

Costs    - 250,000T
Ports: Qingdao, Shanghai, Nagasaki, Fouzhou, Xiamen
Goods: Banana, Starfruit, Passionfruit, Exotic birds, Dyes


Costs    - 750,000T

Ports: Bangladesh, Calcutta, Nellore, Madras, Ceylon
Goods: Raisins, Oil, Tea, Cocoa, Porcelain


Costs    - 1,500,000T

Ports: Casablanca, Marrakesh, Dakar, Freetown, Abidjan
Goods: Sugarcane, Canvas, Hides, Perfume, Olive Oil

United Kingdom

Costs    - 3,000,000T

Ports: Arran, Belfast, Cardiff, London, Ipswitch
Goods: Coffee, Paper, Cotton, Salt, Tea, Books


Costs    - 5,000,000T

Ports: Biloxie, New Orleans, Kingston, St. Croix, St. Martin
Goods: Hemp, Limes, Oil, Fine Art, Foodstuffs, Swords

8.  Rumours

You hear rumours at taverns or in bottles you come across at sea. I will list
them here and what they should mean to you:

a. Supplies of X have dried up in Y / There is a shortage of X in Y
-  Buy X at a reasonable or cheap price then go to Y where the prices will be
much higher than normal.

b. A harvest festival is being held in Y
-  I believe this means that most products are cheap for a limited period.

c. Produce is rotting in the streets of Y
-  The produce(generally crop based items) are very cheap in Y, so buy them!

d. There is famine in Y
-  Buy food based products and go to Y where the price will be high.

e. Drought has lessened the harvest in Y
-  Buy crop based goods and sell them in Y. (similar to d. famine)

f. A big load of X was sold to Y
-  X will be very cheap in Y so go buy as much as you can, store it and sell

NOTE: If you do not act quickly or take too long in getting to the rumoured
location the prices will have changed.

9. At sea events

I left this until last as it seems fairly obvious to me.

The options available when you spot a ship are:
Wait - Until you know if it is a guard, trader, bounty hunter or pirate.
Hail - Used mainly for traders, to initiate a trade.
Flee - To attempt to escape.
Dump Cargo - Used against pirates makes it likely you will escape, against
guards you won't be caught for possessing illegal goods.
Fire - To... fire cannons on the ship.
Board - To attempt to board the ship and then proceed to steal some goods.
- Bounty hunters will first ask for the money you owe the bank, then go if you
pay or attack if you don't.
- Pirates will always attack and if fired on will sometimes flee. Your
reputation increases when you destroy a pirate.
- Traders are a good source of profit as they sell all types of goods often
at very cheap prices, alternatively if you attack them they will often flee.
- Guards will ask to check the ship, if you have any illegal goods they are
easily bribed with 10,000T or alternatively you can attack them although this
lowers your reputation.

As mentioned earlier you come across bottles which give you rumours see
section 8.

Additionally there are the following events:
Storm - Your ship suffers an amount of damage and you arrive at an alternate
Shallow Water - Your ship suffers an amount of damage.
Mermaid/Siren - Your ship appears at an alternate or the original port.
Sea Monster - Your ship appears at an alternate or the original port.

10. Other things including codes


There are 8 awards to be won, I know of 3.
Trade Baron - For attaining 100,000,000T - reward 1,000,000T
Around the world - Circumnavigation of the 6 charts of the world - reward 100k
Materials Master - For transporting 3,000 units of material goods - reward
Green Grocer - For transporting 3,000 units of Grocery goods - reward unknown
Crafts Dealer - For transporting 3,000 units of craft goods (vases, art etc.) -
reward unknown
Killing 100 Pirates gives you the Scourge of the Sea award.
Killing 100 Guards or Tradeships gives you the Bloody Buccaneer award.

Also you apparently get awards for transporting 3k of various types of goods.

I got your FAQ through Gamespot and wanted to offer a littl bit of extra info.
Just finished a mission at the 1085 days level and have some info on new awards
you can get in Sea Trader.

green grocer - 3000 units of grocery (food, fruits) goods
materials master - 3000 units of material goods (and has lumber on the seal!)
crafts dealer - 3000 units of crafts - finsihed goods (vases, art etc.)
bootlegger elite - 3000 units of elite ("illegal") goods
(these are the first 4 awards from the left you can get)

I was really impressed wth the stats you used in the walkthrough, BTW, and
appreciate the effort and professionalism.

B. Jenkins

I did my first GBA code searching on this game and found the codes for Max T
and Day # reset.
Open Visualboyadvance, start the game, then open the
cheat menu and click the Hex type and Code button.

For Max Taels enter:
This will give you 999,999,999 Taels which will not go down unless you turn
off the code.

To reset the day to day 1 enter:

NOTE: These are hex cheats usable to my knowledge only with VisualboyAdvance

11. Credits and contact details

Mary - My ever lovely chicken pook.

Me - For staying up until 3am to write this guide.

Gamefaqs - For hosting my first guide.

Special thanks to B. Jenkins who supplied Awards information.

I can be contacted at treeblesome@hotmail.com but put faq or something in the
subject line.

Hope you enjoyed the guide/faq :)


Copyright 2002 Tristan Smith