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    FAQ/Walkthrough by WDeMarco

    Updated: 01/28/01 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Pirates! Gold FAQ/Walkthrough for Sega Genesis
    First Edition - 1/28/2001 
    By Weed DeMarco
    email: Hombrehomme@yahoo.com
    This document Copyright 2001 by Weed DeMarco
    Please do not bootleg or reproduce this work in any and all unauthorized 
    If you want to post it on a website (provided that it can be accessed 
    for free) send me an e-mail.
    Let's leave the piracy in the game, okay!
    IMHO this game is great fun.  It doesn't take very long to learn the 
    basics, and the replay value is practically limitless.  All of the good 
    components from the NES version are here, along with several 
    improvements (namely a map).  Music is very good, but sound effects are 
    a bit weak.  Graphics are strong, but many images are simply re-colored 
    and repeated.  I've always been partial to Pirate themes and I think 
    this game is really good stuff.
    This guide is mainly to help out newbies and people having lots of 
    trouble with the game.  Veterans and Experts may find something new to 
    try; or they may just laugh at me.  I am also assuming that you know the 
    rough basics to the game and are only looking for a little help or a new 
    perspective.  This guide will only focus on the New Career option.  I 
    don't find that commanding a famous expedition is nearly as much fun.  
    However if enough people out there show interest in them, I could be 
    persuaded to make some additions. Please feel free to send me questions, 
    comments, criticisms, or any other kind of input to my email address: 
    I just hope that if you like the game you'll enjoy this guide.
    There are several options given on the Main Menu screen.  Select Start a 
    New Career to get started.  There are six different time periods to 
    choose from, and each one is very different from the other.  I will 
    provide a brief overview of each of them in just a little while.  On the 
    options screen, change categories by moving the highlight up or down.  
    Change settings in the individual categories by pushing left or right.  
    Use the A and B buttons and left and right directions for entering your 
    name.  Use the C button to toggle between upper and lower case letters.  
    I like to use names that match the Nationalities; ex. Bordeleau for 
    France and van Kessel for Holland, but that's just me.  Feel free to use 
    your own family name if you like, and enjoy the Sega version of Sailor's 
    Hornpipe playing in the background.
    So which special ability should I choose?
    This all depends on what you want to get out of the game, as well as 
    your own strengths and weaknesses.
    FENCING - This skill makes you a better sword fighter.  This is the most 
    important technique to master in the game.  A good choice for newbies 
    and people having trouble winning duels.
    NAVIGATION - This skill makes it easier to sail the seas.  I suppose 
    that it allows you to travel safer and faster, but I've never really 
    used it.  I think it's a waste.
    GUNNERY - This skill improves the accuracy of your ship's cannon fire.  
    Helpful for those who really enjoy blasting forts and ships with 
    continuous broadsides.  I don't find it particularly useful, simply 
    because you can have a very successful career without firing a single 
    WIT AND CHARM - Brown-nosing!  This skill is useful when talking to 
    Governors and their Daughters.  Basically it makes you more charismatic.  
    I suppose that it makes it easier to curry favor from the Governors and 
    thus receive more land and promotions, but I am unsure of just how much 
    effect it has.  Truthfully I think it only makes it easier to find a 
    "better" wife.  This skill can be fun; perfect for you Casanova types!
    MEDICINE - Good for promoting general health and adding to your 
    longevity.  As you age your abilities begin to diminish slowly, but 
    noticeably!  This skill lessens the harmful effects of aging and helps 
    you to recover from wounds (especially if you get captured or 
    shipwrecked).  A good skill to choose, especially if you plan on having 
    a long career.
    I usually pick MEDICINE, because it will allow you to have a longer 
    career and thus make more money!  But FENCING is a good choice for any 
    player and probably the best for newcomers.
    I will give a brief overview of the various historical time periods in 
    chronological order.  Also there will be descriptions of the different 
    nationalities.  As a general rule of thumb, don't lose your first fight 
    before you're made captain.  If you do, just reset and start over again.  
    Different difficulty levels will have various effects on the game.  
    Comments made here reflect the APPRENTICE level of difficulty, unless 
    otherwise noted.
    This period is characterized by a Spanish Empire that has grown rich and 
    fat on, you guessed it, Silver!  Spain pretty much runs the whole show 
    here.  They have nearly every town and almost all of the loot.  You can 
    play as a Spanish Renegade, An English Seahawk, or a French Corsair.  
    Holland is currently unavailable.
    You'll start out in a Spanish port; usually San Juan, Nombre de Dios, or 
    Borburata.  You'll be at a disadvantage from the start.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 60, pleased
    GOLD: 1000
    FOOD: 10 tons, lasting 42 days
    CANNON: 6
    SHIPS: One Pinnace
    There's not much going for you right now.  You don't have any ranks yet, 
    but any Spanish Governor should provide you with a Letter of Marque 
    fairly easily; but you'll have to pay.  Don't spend any gold until 
    you've gotten it.  If you managed to start out in San Juan, you'll be 
    closer to the French and English ports.  But there isn't much profit in 
    attacking them.  For an interesting twist, try some friendly trading 
    between the French and English, then turn on the Spanish!  If you don't 
    anger the French, they'll reward you for being a traitor.
    After winning your first duel, you make landfall in a "friendly port".  
    It almost always seems to be Trinidad, which is Spanish controlled.  
    Luckily for you the Spanish don't see you as a threat, well not yet at 
    TITLES: English Captain
    CREW: 156, pleased
    GOLD: 1000
    FOOD: 20 tons, lasting 32 days
    CANNON: 20
    GOODS: 50
    SHIPS: One Fast Galleon and one Pinnace
    You start with a fairly large force, but they're not very happy.  You'll 
    have to find some booty fast before morale slips even more.  At higher 
    difficulty levels the crew will be unhappy and some will desert when you 
    leave port (taking some of the gold).  Not a good way to start a career.  
    Try selling some of your goods to a friendly merchant with high prices.  
    Only St. Augustine, which lies far to the north and is French held, has 
    a Governor who will issue promotions.  Your best bet is to try and make 
    friends with him.  The English ports of Eleuthera and Nassau are weak.  
    Don't rely on them for much help.  French towns don't fair much better.  
    The easiest way to get rich is to team up with the French and attack 
    Spain.  When you get stronger try to capture a large Spanish town and 
    install an English governor.
    After the duel you'll start out in one of the French ports, hopefully 
    St. Augustine.
    TITLES: French Letter of Marque
    CREW: 80, happy
    GOLD: 4000
    FOOD: 30 tons, lasting 96 days
    CANNON: 6
    SHIPS: One Barque and One Pinnace
    You have a smaller crew than the English Seahawk, but you also have more 
    gold and higher morale.  Feel free to make friends with the English, 
    especially if they declare war on Spain.  For France open warfare has 
    already been claimed, so start looting!  Once again try to capture a 
    strong Spanish town and install your French governor.  This will provide 
    you with a better trading port, and a good place to recruit more 
    This time period is rather difficult, especially for the Spanish 
    Renegade.  I would suggest against a newcomer starting in this era.  But 
    if you want to try it pick the French.  No matter who you pick, keep a 
    close watch on your food supply.
    The period is similar to the last one.  Spain is still the top dog, but 
    is starting to backslide.  French and English ports are still weak and 
    poor, don't look for much help here.  Now you can set sail as a Dutch 
    The same Modus Operandi as before.  Try to side with France and then 
    turn on your homeland.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 60, pleased
    GOLD: 1000
    FOOD: 10 tons, lasting 42 days
    CANNON: 6
    SHIPS: One Pinnace
    Most of the time you start out in either San Juan or Caracas.  You will 
    probably be at war with France as well.  In order to make money use the 
    war to your advantage, and join the French against Spain.  But there's 
    no French Governor to help you out.  You'll have to overpower a Spanish 
    port and put in the French Governor yourself!
    After you've beaten your old captain, your ship puts in at Trinidad.  
    Prospects will again be lean as the English ports are weak.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 80, pleased
    GOLD: 2000
    FOOD: 18 tons, lasting 60 days
    CANNON: 8
    GOODS: 30
    SHIPS: One Merchantman
    Your best option is to attack the Spanish again.  But don't look for too 
    much help from England or France at the start.  Wars have cooled down a 
    bit, and Governors are few and far between.  Try trading a bit in 
    Trinidad before you really offend Spain.  Your Merchantman is ill-suited 
    for war, commandeer a more suitable vessel quickly!  Once again try to 
    take over a Spanish port and establish a new English foothold.  Your 
    position here is weaker than in the previous time period.
    You'll usually end up in Grand Bahama with your stolen ship.  Spain and 
    France will most likely be at war.  
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 40, happy
    GOLD: 5000
    FOOD: 10 tons, lasting 64 days
    CANNON: 8
    GOODS: 10
    SHIPS: One Barque and One Pinnace
    Consequences are again similar to the Silver Train days.  But you've 
    lost the town of St. Augustine.  Take over a Spanish one.  Trade your 
    extra goods as soon as you can.  Your party is well equipped for 
    attacking Spain, so get going!
    Ah! A new flag to serve under.  Don't get too excited though, things are 
    still tough.  You'll probably start in Trinidad.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 20, happy
    GOLD: 8000
    FOOD: 20 tons, lasting 256 days
    CANNON: 6
    GOODS: 25
    SHIPS: One Cargo Fluyt
    You're all set to go trading.  Trinidad will be receptive, but there 
    isn't much promise here.  You've got a small crew, but a lot of gold.  
    They'll be happy for a while.  To make any real profit, ditch the 
    trading gig and attack the Spanish.  Try to install a governor from any 
    nation that is at war with Spain.  Don't forget to lose the sluggish 
    Cargo Fluyt before you go off pirating.
    This time period is probably even harder than the last one.  Not 
    recommended for the faint of heart.
    Spain is continuing to weaken, but still has the richest ports.  
    England, France, and Holland have established towns with governors.  Pay 
    close attention to who's at war with who, it can change depending on 
    which nation you sail for.
    The life of a Spanish Renegade is still difficult.  However you may be 
    able to find more enemy ports to raid now.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 60, pleased
    GOLD: 1000
    FOOD: 10 tons, lasting 42 days
    CANNON: 6
    SHIPS: One Pinnace
    You'll probably start out in either Caracas or San Juan.  But there is a 
    chance that you may begin in Puerto Principe.  Spain will probably be at 
    war with France, so you can always fight for them.  As usual it's easy 
    to get a Letter of Marque from Spain, and you can try and wipe out the 
    foreign colonies of all three nations.
    Your career usually starts in Nevis or Eleuthera, but the later is a bit 
    of a disadvantage.  More than likely Spain will be at war with England.  
    Happy Hunting!
    TITLES: English Letter of Marque
    CREW: 40, happy
    GOLD: 4000
    FOOD: 18 tons, lasting 115 days
    CANNON: 10
    SHIPS: One Barque
    Barbados and Providence are the only ports with governors, so try to 
    head for one of them as quickly as possible; preferably Barbados.  Try 
    selling plundered goods in Barbados and Curacao.  It's quite possible to 
    use Providence as a base for raiding the Silver Train and Treasure 
    Various wars will be raging when you arrive in port.  Find out who 
    France is at war with, and then pick sides with the rest.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 56, happy
    GOLD: 4500
    FOOD: 12 tons, lasting 54 days
    CANNON: 8
    GOODS: 10
    SHIPS: One Barque
    Pay close attention to the wars, and get your French Letter of Marque as 
    soon as you can.  Sell the goods in Barbados for some quick cash.
    Holland is slowing becoming a legitimate presence in the Caribbean.  
    You'll start out in good shape for combat.
    TITLES: Dutch Letter of Marque
    CREW: 175, pleased
    GOLD: 4000
    FOOD: 20 tons, lasting 29 days
    CANNON: 22
    SHIPS: Fast Galleon
    You're well armed and ready to go.  Holland will probably be at war with 
    Spain.  Try to side with either France or England.  One of them will 
    probably go to war with Spain sooner or later.  They may attack each 
    other as well, this gives you more opportunities.  Buy food before 
    setting out from Curacao, you have a lot of men.
    The balance of power is beginning to shift away from Spain.  Wars are 
    breaking out all over.  Pick a country and start looting.  This time 
    period is easier than the first two, but still it's no free ride.
    1640 - WAR FOR PROFIT
    Spain is really starting to fall apart.  However there is still enough 
    wealth around to make raiding her profitable.  France, England, and 
    Holland are all growing.
    Conditions are actually pretty good now.  Less military clout in the 
    Spanish ports makes for easy pickings.  Most likely you will begin in 
    Puerto Principe or Caracas.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 60, pleased
    GOLD: 1000
    FOOD: 10 tons, lasting 42 days
    CANNON: 6
    SHIPS: One Pinnace
    You can easily get a Letter of Marque and start raiding the enemy, but 
    don't bother.  Side with a foreign power yet again.  Finally the life of 
    a Spanish Renegade is rewarding indeed.
    Starting out in either Barbados or Nevis, you'll usually find England at 
    war with Spain.
    TITLES: English Letter of Marque
    CREW: 40, happy
    GOLD: 4000
    FOOD: 18 tons, lasting 115 days
    CANNON: 10
    SHIPS: One Barque
    Barbados is one of the best trading ports around.  It's rich and well 
    supplied, but Nevis and St. Kitts aren't far behind.  Frequent open 
    warfare against Spain by many nations gives you plenty of opportunity 
    for success.  Enjoy!
    France had also become strong over the years.  Martinique and Guadeloupe 
    are fairly wealthy ports, and Tortuga is a great pirate town.
    TITLES: French Letter of Marque
    CREW: 48, happy
    GOLD: 3000
    FOOD: 12 tons, lasting 64 days
    CANNON: 10
    SHIPS: Two Pinnaces
    Like England you have many opportunities here.  Check with the Governor 
    to see just who France is at war with.  More than likely she's fighting 
    England or Holland in addition to Spain.
    Curacao is a fantastic trading port, and its location makes plundering 
    Spanish towns quite enjoyable.  Oddly enough you will probably start in 
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 20, happy
    GOLD: 8000
    FOOD: 20 tons, lasting 256 days
    CANNON: 6
    GOODS: 25
    SHIPS: One Cargo Fluyt
    In Trinidad you can talk to the governor to learn about current events, 
    but don't bother with the Letter of Marque.  Set sail for Curacao as 
    soon as possible.  Get a Dutch letter of Marque and sell your goods.  
    Trading isn't nearly as profitable as looting, so lose the Cargo Fluyt 
    England, France, and Holland are now very successful.  Flags of all 
    nations are found flying over wealthy ports.  Pick your country and pick 
    your enemies.
    This is probably the best time period for the you.  Wars rage 
    everywhere, and the Spanish towns are even easier to raid.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 60, pleased
    GOLD: 1000
    FOOD: 10 tons, lasting 42 days
    CANNON: 6
    SHIPS: One Pinnace
    When you start out, usually Caracas, you need to talk to the governor 
    and find out who is at war.  Feel free to continue fighting for other 
    countries, but it's not necessary this time.  You may luck out and find 
    Spain and another nation fighting against a common enemy.  Use this to 
    your advantage.
    The English Ports are even stronger, making recruiting and trading easy.  
    More than likely England will be at war against Spain and Holland.
    TITLES: English Letter of Marque
    CREW: 40, happy
    GOLD: 2000
    FOOD: 14 tons, lasting 89 days
    CANNON: 8
    SHIPS: Sloop
    Barbados is still one of the wealthiest ports, but St. Kitts and Port 
    Royale are also healthy.  Pay close attention to the wars, nations will 
    shift alliances rather frequently.  Your sloop makes an excellent 
    pirating vessel.
    Martinique and Guadeloupe are fairly wealthy, while Tortuga remains a 
    pirate headquarters.
    TITLES: French Letter of Marque
    CREW: 48, pleased
    GOLD: 1000
    FOOD: 13 tons, lasting 69 days
    CANNON: 8
    SHIPS: Sloop
    France will more than likely be at war with Spain and England.  Try to 
    make friends with the Dutch while attacking your enemies.  Use Curacao 
    for you main trading port.
    Curacao and St. Eustatius are two of the best ports around.  While St. 
    Martin is fairly successful in its own right.  War with England is 
    TITLES: Dutch Letter of Marque
    CREW: 40, happy
    GOLD: 2000
    FOOD: 20 tons, lasting 128 days
    CANNON: 6
    SHIPS: Sloop
    Begin waging war against England, and try to stay on the good side of 
    the French.  Barbados should be your first target.  Loot the Spanish as 
    This time period is quite possibly the most active.  You can be very 
    successful with any nation, although France is probably your best bet.  
    No matter who you sail for, stay posted on current events.  This is the 
    best time period for players just starting out. 
    1680 - PIRATE'S SUNSET
    The final historical time period is similar to the last.  Control of the 
    Caribbean is spread fairly evenly between France, England, and Spain.  
    But Holland isn't too far behind.
    Now it's time to make England and France pay!  Raid their ports freely 
    and still receive strong support back home.
    TITLES: Spanish Ensign
    CREW: 50, happy
    GOLD: 2000
    FOOD: 11 tons, lasting 59 days
    CANNON: 8
    SHIPS: One Sloop
    Wars will not be quite as frequent as before, but you can still team up 
    with another nation.  Try selling plundered goods in Havana.  You can 
    also try Curacao or Barbados, depending on who you've sided with.
    There's a good chance that you'll be at war with France.  Barbados and 
    St. Kitts are excellent places to sell plunder and recruit sailors.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 56, pleased
    GOLD: 1000
    FOOD: 12 tons, lasting 54 days
    CANNON: 8
    SHIPS: One Sloop
    Bone up on current events before picking sides.  It may be more 
    profitable not to side with England, but this is unlikely.  Loot Spain 
    as usual.
    You are likely to be starting out in the middle of a raging war with 
    Spain and England!  Looks like your friends and enemies are already 
    chosen for you.
    TITLES: French Letter of Marque
    CREW: 48, pleased
    GOLD: 1000
    FOOD: 13 tons, lasting 69 days
    CANNON: 8
    SHIPS: One Sloop
    If France is at war with England and Spain, you'd be wise to make 
    friends with Holland.  With luck Holland will declare war with England, 
    giving you two nations to fight for.  If this happens you'll receive 
    promotions and land grants like crazy.  A great opportunity here!
    France and England will probably be at war.  Attack one and side with 
    the other.  While you're at it, attack Spain.
    TITLES: None
    CREW: 40, happy
    GOLD: 4000
    FOOD: 15 tons, lasting 96 days
    CANNON: 8
    GOODS: 15
    SHIPS: One Sloop
    Decide who you are going to side with quickly.  England has more wealthy 
    ports to raid, but these ports are also good for selling and trading.  
    Curacao still provides a great base for raids against Spain.
    This can be a pretty fun time period.  Wars may not be quite as common, 
    but enough to help you turn a profit.  Don't underestimate the value of 
    trading and selling plunder in this time period; no matter who you sail 
    for there will be plenty of rich friendly ports.  This time period is 
    also a good pick for a newcomer.
    There's plenty of opportunity for making money in this game.  From 
    raiding enemy ships to digging up buried treasure, each has positives 
    and negatives.  
    This is very basic stuff, but often overlooked because it usually 
    doesn't provide a big, quick payoff.  Making a profit in trade means 
    that you will have to buy items for low prices and then sell them for a 
    higher price.  This will take a lot of time and provide marginal 
    profits; it should be your last resort.  However if you sell products 
    which you have looted from ships and towns, you'll have an easier time.  
    Food, Goods, Cannons, Ships, and whatever special cargo exists in your 
    time period will turn a modest profit.  You won't get rich quickly this 
    way, but you can supplement you gold cache nicely.  Try to sell in the 
    ports that have the wealthiest merchants.  They'll have higher prices, 
    and more money to buy with.  If they don't have any money, they won't 
    buy your plunder.  Cannons and ships can always be sold to the 
    Shipwright.  Don't underestimate the value of the extra cannons you have 
    stashed away.  It's also a good idea to sell any damaged ships that you 
    don't use in combat.  They'll slow you down.  Be careful not to sell too 
    many ships unless you're going to divide the plunder.  Selling ships 
    reduces your cargo space, and if you're not careful you may have to dump 
    excess cargo overboard when you leave port.
    Successful raids on enemy ships and towns have many benefits.  Most of 
    the time you'll steal gold itself, but you'll also get large quantities 
    of plunder to sell.  Generally a larger ship will have more gold, but a 
    town has more gold than a ship.  Fat Merchantman and Cargo Fluyts 
    sailing around rich ports will have the most gold.  Galleons can be very 
    fruitful as well.  Pay close attention to a town's economic status.  
    Naturally you'll want to raid the richest ones.  Buy information given 
    by the travelers in taverns if you need to.  And pay attention to the 
    news; a gold mine near a town will briefly increase its prosperity.  
    Don't attack a town that's got too many soldiers for your crew to 
    defeat.  It's better to build up your strength first.  Also your attacks 
    on the enemy will please your governor, resulting in promotions and land 
    grants which will increase your score.  If you're lucky enough to 
    capture a town, you can install a governor from any country you like.  
    Thus making promotions more likely; and land grants even larger.  Raids 
    will be your most common source of income.
    The Treasure Fleet and the Silver Train are quick scores that provide a 
    big payoff.  They will only be found in Spanish towns, and only at 
    certain times.  Pay attention to information provided by contacts and 
    captured notables.  They'll clue you in on where you can find these cash 
    cows.  They move from town to town depending on what time of year it is.  
    But sometimes they are in Spain or Peru and you can't raid them.  Wait 
    for them to show up again.  You must successfully raid the town in which 
    they are located to capture them.  If you manage to catch one in a rich 
    port, you could pull in 80000 gold!  It is possible to find them both in 
    the same town, a rare opportunity to make a ton of money.  If you find 
    out that one of them is in a town far away from where you're at, sail to 
    a town further down the "line" and work your way back to the original 
    town; make sure you hit all ports in between.  If you just set sail to 
    the first town, it's likely that your target has moved on.  If you're 
    trying to be friendly with the Spanish, you'll have to pass on these 
    two.  A good reason not to side with Spain!  The Treasure Fleet and 
    Silver Train will provide you with a quick hit of cash, but they're not 
    always available for looting.  Be careful and be sure to time your raids 
    Sometimes you will find an individual in a tavern selling a treasure 
    map.  Buy it.  The cost is usually around 500 gold, but the treasure is 
    from 5000-13000 gold pieces.  Well worth the investment in the map.  The 
    map will show you where the treasure is buried, and also which town it 
    is located near.  It shouldn't be very hard to find it and dig it up.  
    If you have trouble, look at the map of the Caribbean accessible through 
    the "cabin screen".  Just hit the C button while sailing or when walking 
    around in town.  Find the town that is mentioned on the treasure map and 
    look for distinguishing geographical features.  When you get to the spot 
    where the treasure is located, dig it up by pressing the A button.  Like 
    the Treasure Fleet and Silver Train you get one quick payoff here, but 
    it's not always available.  The payoff here is considerably lower, but 
    the risks aren't very high at all.  A wise investment.
    The lost Inca Treasure is the hardest "quest" in the game.  But if you 
    are successful, you'll earn 100,000 gold.  The hard part is finding out 
    where the heck it is.  To do so you will have to find a family member 
    first.  Sometimes a friendly governor will tell you that so and so 
    (usually a Spanish Aristocrat) may have information about where one of 
    your relatives is being held in captivity.  He'll also tell you which 
    town they were last seen in.  Head for that town as quickly as you can.  
    On the way to the town, you may come across an enemy ship with crew 
    members who can provide you with more up to date information on this 
    guy.  Sometimes he is still in the same town, but sometimes he has moved 
    on.  The crew will inform you on the latest location.  Track him down!  
    If he's in a friendly town, just sail into port and visit the tavern or 
    the governor.  You'll fight a duel with him.  Defeat him and he'll give 
    you a map showing the location of the plantation on which your family 
    member is being held captive.  If he's holed up in an enemy town you 
    have two choices.  You can try to sneak into the town and catch him at 
    the tavern or governor's house.  More than likely you will have to 
    successfully raid the town, in which case you will automatically enter 
    the duel.  Again you must defeat him to receive the map.  
    Use this map just like the buried treasure map.  Things will be harder 
    now, because there is no town name to give you help.  You'll just have 
    to go by the geography.  This can be very difficult.  If you can't 
    figure it out, try to track down another nobleman with information.  If 
    you have made friends with many governors, you shouldn't have too much 
    trouble finding out where these rapscallions are hiding.  Visit as many 
    friendly governors as possible; with luck you may blindly stumble across 
    one of these guys while bar hopping.  Win another duel and receive 
    another piece of the map.  Again study the map carefully, looking for 
    mountains, lakes, swamps, shoals and islands.  As you play the game 
    more, you will become more familiar with the geography; making your job 
    a lot easier!
    Once you've nailed down the location of your captive family member, find 
    them by moving your crew over the spot and pushing the A button.  It's 
    just like digging for the buried treasure.  When you find them they will 
    tell you about a lost Inca treasure and provide you with a piece of a 
    map.  Here we go again.  This will be the same deal as when you for 
    looking for your family member.  The small portion of the map will give 
    you a rough idea of where to look.  Find the location and dig it up just 
    like the usual buried treasure.  Again try to familiarize yourself with 
    the geography; this takes a lot of game playing, but it will make things 
    much easier.  If you still need help, you'll have to track down another 
    lost family member; repeating the entire process of hunting down 
    noblemen with inside information, and using the new maps.  The next 
    family member will provide you with another piece of the same map.  Find 
    all four pieces and you'll also get the name of the closest town.  This 
    whole process can take a very long time.  It is quite likely that you'll 
    get too old before you find everybody.  Just do your best.
    But within this quest is a golden opportunity, literally.  The game is 
    really designed so that you find all four family members (sister, 
    father, mother, uncle), then use the completed map to dig up the 100,000 
    gold piece lost Inca Treasure.  However it is possible (but incredibly 
    difficult) to get four separate 100,000 gold treasures!  If you manage 
    to dig one up with only one piece of the map, the next rescued family 
    member will provide you with a map piece to a completely different 
    treasure!  In this way, you can find a map to a different treasure with 
    each family member rescued.  But you have to find the treasure and dig 
    it up before you rescue the next family member.  An extremely difficult 
    and time consuming endeavor, but well worth it.  This is why it is so 
    important to learn the geography.  Not only can you save a lot of time 
    searching for family members and the treasure, but you can earn up to 
    four different treasures.  The biggest payoff in the game!
    In this regard lies the only cheat in the game that I know of.  Once you 
    have discovered the exact location of a lost family member, save the 
    game in a friendly port.  Then set sail for the plantation and rescue 
    them.  Look at the map that they give you very carefully.  With luck you 
    may recognize the location immediately, or at least have a good guess.  
    If you are clueless as to where it is, reset the game, reload the saved 
    game and rescue them again.  You'll be given a different map this time.  
    Keep resetting and reloading until you receive a map that you recognize.  
    In this way you can almost guarantee a crack at all four treasures!  You 
    can even use the save and reload technique when hunting down nobleman.  
    Save the game before going to the town, and if you don't like the map 
    they gave you, try again.  This may take an enormous amount of time and 
    patience on your part, but it saves a ton of game time and provides you 
    with a lot of gold.  It is still exceedingly difficult to pull off, but 
    you'll get better at it the more you play.
    This cheat isn't exactly within the bounds of good gamesmanship, but 
    we're playing with pirates here aren't we?  Many times a family member 
    and/or the treasure will be located near Florida and the Bahamas.  These 
    waters are dangerous because of all the shoals, so be careful.  If you 
    wreck a ship, you'll lose some of your hard earned gold!  No matter how 
    you do it, rescuing all four family members and finding the lost 
    treasure is very hard; but it also provides the biggest reward.  Not 
    only do you get a big gold payoff, but you get a higher score for each 
    family member rescued.  The higher the score, the higher the rating when 
    you retire.
    In this section I will discus different tactics that will help you 
    become a successful pirate.  You may have already noticed that the game 
    provides you with many choices concerning this topic.  There are many 
    different ships you can use, and several swords as well.  You can attack 
    towns from land and sea; and you can either ram enemy ships or blast 
    them with cannonfire.  I'll start with the ships.
    As you probably guessed the various ships have many different 
    characteristics.  Speed, maneuverability, and cargo capacity are all 
    different.  For the most part a smaller ship is quicker and more agile, 
    but it is less sturdy, holds less cargo, and carries less men than a 
    bigger ship.  So it's really up to you to make the choice.  
    Do you want speed over power?  If so then stock up on Pinnaces, Sloops, 
    and even Barques.  These boats turn quickly and sail into the wind 
    faster than larger vessels.  Furthermore, Pinnaces and Sloops can safely 
    sail over shoals without fear of shipwreck; a distinct advantage when 
    searching for treasure and lost family members.  But they don't carry as 
    many men, cannon, or cargo.  This makes them less favorable for trade 
    and selling plunder; they just don't carry much stuff.
    When I play, I prefer to have a fleet of the smaller vessels; Pinnaces, 
    Sloops, and Barques.  They are far superior when fighting other ships 
    and when attacking a town.  You can avoid cannon fire rather easily with 
    them.  The main drawback is that you don't have as many men when you 
    reach the town, or collide with the other ship.  If you're attacking a 
    Frigate or Galleon with 200 or more men, it isn't a bad idea to hit them 
    with multiple broadsides before boarding them.  If you are adept at 
    swordfighting, you can easily overcome the disadvantages.  My ideal 
    fleet for raids and treasure hunting would be made up of Sloops and 
    Pinnaces only.  This way I could sail anywhere quickly. Be careful when 
    taking on Galleons of all forms, favorable winds will make these ships 
    faster than you!  They may be able to run you down quicker than you 
    If you prefer to have larger and more powerful warships, try stocking up 
    on Fast Galleons or Frigates.  These ships have decent maneuverability 
    for their size, and they can carry large crews and many cannons.  I 
    would highly recommend against using Cargo Fluyts, Merchantman, or 
    Galleons in combat.  They are large and unforgiving.  Never attack a 
    town by sea with one of these dinosaurs, you will regret it.  If you do 
    opt for the bigger ships, try to have at least one small ship in your 
    armada.  One Barque would be sufficient.  Remember, the only way to get 
    more ships is to capture them in combat.  So try not to damage them too 
    much in the fight; especially if you plan on using it for your flagship.  
    It's a good idea to sell excess or unwanted ships to the shipwright.  
    Just remember to keep track of your cargo capacity.  Damaged ships can 
    be sold as well (at reduced prices), or repaired if you want to keep 
    them in service.
    When you are sailing you will randomly encounter other sailing vessels.  
    Investigate them to find out what kind of ship it is, and what country 
    it belongs to.  Sometimes you will find other pirates, or dangerous 
    pirate-hunters.  Select the Close For Battle option to start the fight 
    You ship is the brown one, no matter which side of the screen your name 
    is on.  Raise sails for quicker sailing, but this will make your ship 
    more vulnerable to damage from enemy cannonfire.  If you are having 
    difficulty with avoiding hostile fire, stick with battle sails until you 
    get better at it.  
    The main point is to keep your ship away from the sides of the enemy 
    vessel.  Cannons only point out the sides of the ship, so don't sit 
    here.  If you have a more agile ship then your opponent, this shouldn't 
    be a problem.  Luckily a bigger ship doesn't take as much damage from 
    the smaller ones.  The best way to win a battle is to ram the enemy as 
    quickly as possible.  This will start a duel with the enemy captain.  
    Win the duel and you can take the ship, plunder goods, and sometimes 
    even recruit defeated sailors.  
    If you are severely outnumbered you may want to fire several broadsides 
    into the other ship to even up the sides.  This is especially important 
    if you are having difficulty swordfighting.  No matter what the 
    circumstances are you can still shoot at the enemy.  Ramming them 
    immediately is just quicker and easier.  If you are good at winning 
    duels, you'll easily be able to capture Galleons armed with 250 sailors 
    with only a 64 man Pinnace crew.  If you shoot too many holes in their 
    ship they will sink; and you won't be able to claim any booty.  So 
    unless you are feeling very bloodthirsty avoid this.
    The most important thing to remember when attacking a town by sea is: 
    Don't get shot by the fort's cannons.  I know it sounds silly for me to 
    say this, but most forts have a lot of cannons and they will inflict 
    huge loses on your crew.  Don't waste your time trying to return fire.  
    You won't be able to cause much damage.  The best thing to do is to 
    raise sails and charge the fort as quickly as possible.  Many times the 
    wind will be blowing from an unfavorable direction.  Just keeping 
    plugging away and be sure to avoid the cannons.  Try to land your ship 
    as close as possible to the fort.  If you make a landfall too far away, 
    your men will refuse to march and you will have to withdraw.  Try to use 
    the smallest ship possible when attacking.  Smaller ships perform better 
    under poor wind conditions, and they can be maneuvered in hazardous 
    waters more easily.  Unfortunately small ships will limit the amount of 
    men in your attacking party, so you better be good at swordfighting.  
    When you reach the fort you will have to duel the captain.  When you 
    defeat him you can loot the town.
    You can also attack a town from the land.  Simply land your ship near 
    the town and move your men into it.  Land attacks are tricky, and many 
    times you will suffer huge casualties.  Don't try this unless you have a 
    large force to command.  On the plus side, a larger force will increase 
    your chances of capturing the town.  If you do manage to capture an 
    enemy town.  Put a governor from your favorite nation in power. 
    Since you are leading a pack of sailors in combat against trained 
    soldiers, things are going to be tough.  Remember that you can only fire 
    your muskets if you are standing still.  Trees will provide you with 
    some cover, but stay out of the swamps.  The blue lines in the grass 
    will signify a swamp, and they will slow you down.  Being stuck in the 
    swamp makes you target practice.  
    The best tactic that I have found when storming the fort is to carefully 
    work your way around the enemy troops and into the fort.  Many times 
    they will have several different squads of men.  Try to avoid the 
    largest one if possible.  Place all of your men together, and move them 
    in unison by holding down the A button while moving the directional pad.  
    You will probably get shot at on your way, especially by the garrison 
    that has remained in the fort.  Move as quickly as you can into the fort 
    to begin the duel with the captain.  Sometimes the enemy will charge 
    with cavalry.  Avoid them at all costs because they will slaughter you.  
    If you hear a little bugle call you are in trouble.  
    You must become very good at this if you have any chance of succeeding 
    in the game.  Without a doubt it is the most important skill to master.  
    Luckily you can practice duels from the main menu screen.  Here you can 
    engage the enemy at any skill level with any sword of you choice.
    Which sword should I use?
    Again this is a matter of personal choice.  I almost always fight with 
    the Rapier.  It doesn't hit for very much damage, but I strongly believe 
    that it's speed and length more than make up for lack of power.  I would 
    never pick the Cutlass.  It has poor range and takes an agonizingly long 
    time to strike with.  As your pirate ages he becomes even slower when 
    swordfighting.  Unless you are the world's greatest swordsman you will 
    never beat a guy wielding a Rapier with your Cutlass.  You will be way 
    too slow to strike or even parry.  Some people prefer the Longsword 
    because of it's balance in all categories, but I highly recommend using 
    the Rapier instead.  Experiment with different swords and pick what's 
    best for you.
    A slashing attack will inflict more damage than a thrust, but it's a 
    slower move.  If you're equipped with the Rapier going up against a 
    Cutlass, slash away.  The huge difference in speed and range will make 
    up for the slower attack.  High attacks also have a longer range, but 
    are slower to execute than low attacks.  High attacks with a Rapier are 
    like a good jab in boxing.  They'll frustrate you're opponent and keep 
    them away from you.  Try practicing this technique.
    As soon as a fight begins, I try to connect with a high slash.  Most of 
    the time this will hit.  Plus the computer tends to attack high first, 
    and you will already have your sword up to defend.  A good way to attack 
    is to lead with a high slash then follow it up with a low thrust.  If 
    these attacks connect, thrust high and then low again; keep repeating 
    high and low thrusts until you are victorious.  Sometimes your opponent 
    will get the jump on you, or land a wicked combo.  Back off a little and 
    parry by pushing the C button.  When you're opponent pauses, quickly 
    attack.  With practice you should become fairly proficient at dueling.  
    It's an important skill, but thankfully not too difficult to master.
    When you talk to the governors of friendly nations, they will tell you 
    who they are at war with.  Attack their towns and ships, and the 
    governor will reward you with promotions and land grants.  Land will 
    make you a richer person, and higher ranks will make it easier to 
    recruit men, and woo influential women.  All of these will increase your 
    score when you retire.  Try to get as many titles from as many different 
    nations as possible.  Make governors even happier by completing their 
    If a governor asks you to take a mission, accept it.  Most of them are 
    easy.  You'll be asked to deliver a letter, rescue somebody, send a 
    message to a spy, or capture a pirate.  If the letter is going to a 
    friendly town, just go to the tavern to meet that recipient.  If you 
    have to give the message to a spy, or rescue somebody, simply raid that 
    town.  The spies and captives are always located in an enemy port.  To 
    capture a pirate just sail around the town where he's causing problems.  
    Eventually you will run into him.  Board his ship and defeat him in the 
    duel.  When you have completed the mission, just return to the governor 
    who sent you out.  He will thank you for the job, and sometimes give you 
    a promotion.  Just keep track of where you need to go, and where the 
    mission originated from.  I like to write it down.  Example 1: Pirate so 
    and so near Barbados for Port Royale.  This means that the Pirate can be 
    found around Barbados, and I need to take him back to the governor in 
    Port Royale.  Example 2: Letter to spy in Havana for Martinique.  Take 
    the letter to the spy in Havana, then return to the governor in 
    Martinique.  You get the idea.
    Many times you will be introduced to the governor's daughter.  Pay close 
    attention to the rank and status of her suitor.  Check your rank from 
    the same nationality.  If you out rank him, you will probably be able to 
    marry her right off the bat.  If not, just "make pleasant conversation".  
    Making conversation to the same woman many times will make it easier to 
    marry her.  But try to have a rank as high as or higher than her suitor.  
    If she accepts your proposal you will have to duel the suitor.  Lower 
    "ranking" woman will fall for your charms and agree to be your 
    informant.  When you visit them they will tell you what they know about 
    the location of the Treasure Fleet and Silver Train.  If you have chosen 
    WIT AND CHARM as your specialty, it will be much easier to impress the 
    woman, allowing you to marry them even when you have a lower rank.  
    Finding a wife will increase your score at the end of the game.  Try to 
    marry a woman with a high ranking suitor.  These more prestigious women 
    will provide more points at the end.  Hint, the woman with the cat and 
    the umbrella provides the most points.
    Hopefully these hints and guidelines will get you on the right track.  
    There are many different aspects of the game that you will need to 
    become proficient at, but the basics are easy to learn.  Keep practicing 
    and soon you'll be a great success.  Good Luck!

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