PIRATE ADVENTURES ON C64

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>After big titles like Pirates and Piracy, you can find on c64 game archives also other little games about pirates genre as pirate adventures on C64, it’s the case of Treasure Island…

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Treasure Island was a computer game made in the mid-1980s, based on the book by Robert Louis Stevenson. In the game, the player takes on the role of Jim Hawkins (the protagonist of the book), and has to battle through hordes of pirates before a final showdown with Long John Silver. The game view did not scroll, but used a flip-screen style, as was popular in the 1980s.

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None of the pirates moved around, but some of them would throw a cutlass at Jim if he moved in range. The pirate in question did not lose his cutlass if he does so – he always had another to use himself. A pirate would very rarely throw more than one cutlass.

If Jim was hit by a cutlass thrown at him, or if he touched a pirate, he would lose a life and start again from the beginning of the screen. However, if he moved out of the way in time, the cutlass would land on the ground, and he would be able to throw it at a pirate of his choosing to kill him. A killed pirate disappeared, thus allowing Jim to pass.

At the start of the game, Jim had just escaped the stockade. He was unarmed, and had only one possible exit to the next screen, to the right. Here he would find a throwing pirate, whom he could trick into throwing a cutlass, and thus obtain it for himself. However, it would be foolhardy to kill that same pirate with it, since that pirate was not blocking access to anything.

Instead, the player should find a pirate who was blocking access to an exit (or perhaps a power-up) and kill him with it, thus advancing progress through the game. This strategic rationing of cutlasses (i.e. knowing where to pick them up and where to use them) in order to progress around the island was a major gameplay element.

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Treasure Island Map

The programming was done by Greg Duddle, and the music was rendered by David Whittaker. The version for the Commodore 64 and MSX was released in 1984, and the Commodore Plus/4 version was from 1985.

It has been ported also to ZX Spectrum and Commodore Plus4

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>Another Treasure Island but as Text/Graphic Adventure:

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You roam vast areas of beach and greenery in search of treasure. The nostalgic atmosphere of the 1700, where Britain ruled the seas and exploration was innovation….

However the search for treasure was slightly hindered by the poorly programmed commands which meant simple instructions such as ‘find treasure’ , ‘use compass’, and ‘swim to large boat and sail home’ from making sense to our little friend the Commodore 64.

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>..and , for now, at the end : Pirates of the Barbary Coast

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Ship’s log:

“On returning to the ship from business in the port, I was
informed that my ship was raided, and my daughter Katherine has
been kidnapped by Bloodthroat the Pirate. He demands a ransom of
50,000 pieces of gold within thirty days or he will sell her into
the harems of the Coast. Now I must raise the ransom, and try to
rescue my beloved Katherine.”

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You are a more or less peaceful man, which is why you are going to pay for your daughter’s release. But in order to pay the ransom you need to raise the money. Luckily you have a treasure map and you are a skilled merchant, so getting the gold should be an achievable goal. You begin the game in the port of Casablanca. You can select a destination to go to, or you can see what this port has to offer you. Generally all the ports are the same. There’s a merchant, a ship’s repair dock and a store. The main difference between the ports are the prizes of merchandise, so your main goal is to buy cheap and sell expensive. You start off with 5000 gold pieces and you need to add one more zero to that in order to see your daughter again.

Now sailing from port to port (you’ll see a map with available locations) you may also encounter enemy ships. If that’s the case you can either flee (the smarter option) or fight. Sometimes a fight is unavoidable.

The goal is to gather money, find the Pirate and get your daughter back. With some luck you can do it in about half an hour. The ports have fairly similar prices, so if you remember a few of them (what’s good to buy and what not) you won’t have trouble making money (*hint* I bet your history teacher never told you about the profitable cocoa-wool trade route between Casablanca and Algiers). The treasure island and the pirate captain will always be placed on the islands in the Atlantic ocean. So I’m not sure how often you’ll be replaying this game, since it has rather low replayability.

The game does, however, offer some action as well, not only trading. If you run across a ship you may choose to flee (usually you’ll be able to do so), or you may choose to fight.

If a fight is what you’re after, you must know how to use the cannons! You need to load them, you need to aim them and you need to fire them at the right time. All of this may be a bit tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it! Just remember that you need to put the powder in the cannon first! The good thing is that you can load several cannons. So when the enemy comes up to the first one and you miss, you’ll simply skip to the next loaded cannon and take better aim!

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