"Where the streets have no nameAs far as humankind has dominated the sea, sailors have been considered as one of the lowest links of the social hierarchy, since these men spend many, many weeks at sea, usually don't have a steady place to live, and usually use the little wages they have on lowly pleasures. Hence, the typical image of the settlements made to give these men a place to spend their wages and satisfy their urges. Common elements of these Wretched Hive-types of ports are shady merchants, run-down taverns with lots of drinking and gambling, cheap whores, barrels and crates everywhere, and lots and lots of fish. But we have managed to classify them in two types:
Where the devil's in all men
If you knew what was at stake
Pay or flee in Tortuga Bay"
Where the devil's in all men
If you knew what was at stake
Pay or flee in Tortuga Bay"
— Running Wild,"Tortuga Bay"
- Booty Bay, usually the hangout of your favorite pirates, whether they're idle or not. Expect them to be on an unknown location where authorities try to be on the margin of things and raids every once in a while. Set either somewhere in the Caribbean or in Southeast Asia, though not exclusively, expect it to be set in the 18th or the early 19th century. And yes, it's full of both kinds of Pirate Booty.
- Stormalong Harbor, generally associated with the novel Moby-Dick and a staple of the New England culture in general, though it is not a requirement to be. Expect sea shanties, whalers, maidens who wait for their men to return, and privateers around, usually set during the 19th century or the early 20th century.
Here be examples:
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Roanapur from Black Lagoon is a modern-day Booty Bay, being a hangout for pretty much every illegal or semi-legal shipping crews in the south Asian sea.
- Avast! The city of Vritanis, containing at least one pirate captain, complete with eyepatch, pegleg and cutlass.
- It has an arc around a battle next to a port. Being a Crapsack World like few others, the whole town and implicitly its port fits this.
- After destroying the pirates who pursues after them, Guts and crew lands in a small island to resupply, only to find out that the inhabitants, save for one little girl, are all part-human and part-deep sea monstrosity. Lovecraft would have been proud.
- One Piece: The Grand Line in all its cliched piratey glory. Interestingly, you can find both kinds.
- Mock Town is an insanely violent version of Booty Bay. It's so bad there, a man standing on top of a building challenging everyone to a fight and killing anyone who dares with his bare hands barely draws a crowd, much less a flaming man getting kicked out a window.
- Water 7 is a Stormalong Harbor. Mostly legitimate businesses of shipwrights and traders, but it's still a place full of gambling, street parties, bars, and other places where you can spend several MILLION of the world's currency in a matter of hours and have nothing to show for it.
- Sabaody Archipelago manages to be both by being broken into sections which can range from legitimate businesses and tourist traps to rip-off bars and slave shops while also being the meeting point of powerful rookie pirates. In fact the only thing keeping the order is the fact that it's right next to the Marine HQ and no one wants to draw that kind of trouble. After the Time Skip, the Navy moves their headquarters to the other side of the Red Line, and as a result Sabaody becomes more Booty Bay.
- Madripoor in the Marvel Universe is a Booty Bay set in modern times.
- Sweethaven in Popeye The Movie.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Tortuga, Singapore and Shipwreck Cove. Jack tells his crew to be careful about the latter as it's apparently a Meaningful Name. The Tortuga of the film is still somewhat cleaned up and Disney-fied, compared to how you'd expect it to be in real life; women can walk safely around without any fears of being raped, for example. Considering that a lot of the pirates have no qualms about murder ( at least in theory), that there are much more men than women everywhere in the film, and how most pirates spend a long time in boats without women, you'd expect that even pretty young men wouldn't be safe, let alone Elizabeth Swann.
- Samoa in Nate and Hayes.
- A New Hope: Mos Eisley is this trope IN SPACE! You will never find a more wretched hive...
- The movie Dagon transports Innsmouth of H.P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth to Spain and renames the town "Imboca", which translates to "in the mouth". It's set in the present day, but looks as though it could be the 19th century.
- Das Boot opens with scenes at a Wretched Hive bar at La Rochelle (France) during WWII, full of drunken U-Boat sailors and cheap girls.
- In the Winningverse, the city of Freeport, run by greedy merchant-princes and with guards so corrupt they are expected to supplement their income with bribes, is a notorious haven for Black Market deals in every sort of banned good, a hotbed of espionage and counterespionage, and a nest of organized piracy.
- Libertatia (or Libertalia), the free communalist colony forged by pirates on Madagascar under the leadership of Captain James Misson in the late 1600s. There is little historical evidence to suggest that Libertatia ever actually existed.
- The Shadow Over Innsmouth: Innsmouth in the Cthulhu Mythos is a Stormalong Harbor Town with a Dark Secret.
- The pirate town of Tortage in the Barachan Islands in the Conan the Barbarian novels.
- Damocles Docks in the third book of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
- Gloucester in Captains Courageous is the New England fishing village variety.
- Rhodes in Over the Wine-Dark Sea is the home port. A whole bunch of other cities are where they visit.
- Orca is set in a costal city and involves the House of Orca, whose "hat" is both seafaring, and being crooked businesspeople or government officials. So, while the town is actually quite nice looking, probably like a pretty New England town, it's actually a hive of corruption.
- In the Vorkosigan Saga, the planet Jackson's Whole started out as the Booty Bay variation In Space!
- The Port in Septimus Heap comes awfully close to this, being a hiring place of pirates and having generally a reputation for being an unsafe place to be in.
- Braavos in A Song of Ice and Fire. "Cat" provides a clam-seller's view from inside.
- Lordsport is also one, given that its inhabitants are Ironborn.
- Umbar in Lord of the Rings
- T*A*C*K: Sandy Harbor is actually a pretty nice little community, but they have seen the occasional thief or smuggler make trouble at least once a book so T*A*C*K can help solve the crime.
- Neceda in the Eddie LaCrosse series. It's a small-ish river port rather than a sea port, but has a lot of the same characteristics (like having actual residents be outnumbered by disreputable passers-through looking to get drunk and/or laid).
- The Pirate Republic of Saldonica in The Witchlands is a city-state controlled by two pirate groups always hungry for more slaves for their Gladiator Games. While the Baedyed half is actually well-maintained, the Red Sails part is a Wretched Hive where no-one dares to go without their weapons out.
- According to The Compleat Discworld Atlas, Barrie Island in the Widdershins Ocean used to be a Booty Bay. These days it's a pirate themed Souvenir Land, the locals having discovered this is a much more efficient way of robbing people.
Live Action TV
- Although the Frame Story takes place in the belly of a whale, a Stormalong Harbor figures prominently in "The Mariner's Revenge Song" by The Decemberists. Stormalong Harbors in general are pretty common in The Decemberists' songs, being that a lot of their songs are shanties or otherwise nautically-themed.
- Song example: Portobello Town in Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Pirates", "where we've been told That a purse of gold Buys any man a crown".
- "Singapore" by Tom Waits.
- Aside from the page quote, Running Wild's "Port Royal" also dwells on the subject.
- Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth. The pirate city of Bloody Bay is ruled by a cruel and heartless tyrant who overthrew the previous Pirate King. This has led to an atmosphere of paranoia and chaos in the streets, with violence rising to ten times previous levels.
- Dungeons & Dragons, Dungeon magazine #16 adventure "Vesicant". The port of Scrape is the home of not only vile and bold pirates but a dangerous green dragon that can breathe out a cloud of chlorine gas.
- In Castle Falkenstein, the economy of New Orleans is almost entirely based on licensed piracy.
- Port Duck in The Discworld Role Playing Game is the Sto Plains/Agatean settlement on the Brown Islands, and is full of sailors who definitely aren't pirates. Confusing things, the parts the Agatean tourists see are also full of people who really aren't pirates but insist they are, giving them all the excitement of drinking in a pirate tavern without actually being in any danger.
- Les MisÚrables
"My band of soaks,my den of dissolutes/My dirty jokes/my always pissed as newts/My sons of whores spend their lives in my inn"
- A non-nautical example is the Inn run by Monsieur and Madame Thenardier. Definitely a Booty Bay according to Monsieur Thenardier's description of his patrons
- Montreuil-sur-Mer has definite elements of this trope.
- World of Warcraft has Booty Bay, the former Trope Namer. Though, oddly enough, at least some pirates have actually been banned from docking there—the Bloodsail Buccaneers dock in a natural cove nearby. The mayor of the town even sics you on them as part of a quest. The town seems to be run jointly by the Steamwheedle Cartel and the Blackwater Raiders, the latter of which are (or at least were) pirates.
- Heroes of the Storm has Blackheart's Bay, a battleground ruled by the titular pirate himself, with his Ghost Ship at the center of the map, waiting for any hero to deliver his Doubloons to him.
- Runescape boasts quite a few belonging to both types:
- Port Sarim is the only sea town accessible to nonmembers, and the only pirate here would appear to be the friendly drunk Redbeard who just wants some Karamjan Rum.
- In the member's world is Brimhaven on the north end of Karamja as a firm example of Booty Bay.
- The Cabin Fever quest gives access to Mos Le'Harmless (pun intended), a whole island populated by pirates.
- Port Phasmatys was once an example of Stormalong Harbor, until it became a literal Ghost Town when all the residents were transformed into spirits. Surprising lack of Ghost Pirates, although Bill Teach and Pirate Pete are pirates who are still very much alive.
- EverQuest 1 has the entire Legacy of Ykesha expansion. All the zones in that expansion are located on an island called Brokenskull Rock, and Brokenskull Rock swarms with pirates. One of the zones is called Dulak's Harbor.
- Smuggler's Cove in the computer game I Spy: Treasure Hunt, especially in the past, but even in the present day, most townspeople seem obsessed with pirates and the sea.
- The Monkey Island series loves to parody the Booty Bay version with every town in every game. The town on Melee Island in Secret would be if all the pirates weren't too afraid to leave because of LeChuck, the town on Scabb Island in Revenge would be if all the pirates weren't too afraid to leave because of Largo LaGrande (and it's implied everyone is just lazy anyway), Puerto Pollo in Curse is a Booty Bay retirement community, and Melee again in Escape is until it's turned into a tourist trap. The only town to play it straight is (appropriately) Booty Island in Revenge.
- The pirate island Buccaneer's Den, appearing in the Ultima series since Ultima IV.
- Fire Emblem: Yaaargh, the port o' Badon, what be filled with pirates and other unsavory nautical characters.
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has the aptly named "Rogueport".
- Bloodstone in Fable II.
- Brynnlaw in Baldur's Gate 2, which also has the distinction of being the port servicing Spellhold.
- Bloodbath Bay in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves.
- Dragon Age II: The Docks in Kirkwall. Except for the Qunari compound (which nobody in their right mind messes with), it's a smugglers' haven in the daytime, and at night it falls into the hands of gangs. While the rest of Kirkwall is also unsafe at night, the dockside gangs get a special mention for, in two of the three Acts, being controlled by blood mages.
- Lion's Arch, the hub city in the Guild Wars setting was founded as a Booty Bay in prehistory, but (mostly) all the pirates in the city are Respectable Business Owners now. Prior to the city being sacked, most of the architecture was built (somewhat impractically sometimes) beached ships and high arched bridges between them. The city is still run by a Captains' Council, though, and and many of the settings, events, explorable areas in the surrounding regions involve things piratical as players fight against (or sometimes with) pirates in various ways.
- Scurvy Docks in MediEvil: Resurrection, where you must disguise yourself as a pirate to get a boat.
- Kao the Kangaroo Round 2 uses a pirate-infested harbor as The Hub.
- Dead Island: Moresby, a Booty Bay coastal city, has this trope turned Up to 11 with not only hostile human raiders roaming the streets, but hordes of zombies too. The loading screen hints suggest that the raider punks contributed significantly to the city's criminal elements prior to the outbreak. Everything just plunged into anarchy after.
- Far Cry 3 takes place on the Rook Islands, a series of islands taken over by Ruthless Modern Pirates. The protagonist and his friends end up captured and enslaved in the beginning of the game when they decide to go sky-diving to the islands.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, the Pirates' Cove in Yamato is the base of the Blue Dragon pirates and also a hive of scum and villainy.
- The Pirates of Dark Water has quite a few, most notably Zoolie's gaming house in Janda Town.
- The port in the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Waterbending Scroll." A rather scary-looking Wretched Hive where "high-risk traders" note , irresponsible Avatars and their inexperienced companions, and obsessive Fire Nation princes all end up at the same time.
- Stormalong Harbor is named after the Wretched Hive of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. In case you're thinking "Gee, way to name it after a cartoon I never heard of," be assured that Stormalong is a reference that is Older Than You Think.
- Klugetown in My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) is a landlocked airship harbor where sentient creatures and their body parts can be bought and sold. In the Mane Six's first encounter with a merchant in Klugetown, he asks Princess Twilight if she's interested in selling her horn, other residents offer bids for individual ponies, Rarity's mane, the whole lot of them, and Pinkie Pie's picture of her sister Maud, and Capper tries to sell them to pay off a debt.