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Video Game: Taipan!
aka: Tai Pan
Taipan! is an 1982 computer game, built for TRS-80. It is based on the James Clavell novel of the same name, itself part of the Asian Saga. The player takes the role of a "taipan" (merchant-prince) and trades all about the Indian ocean in four commodities: Opium, Arms, Silk, and General cargo. Variance in price makes it possible to buy low and sell high. There is also the risk of being attacked by pirates(though players with enough firepower might prefer piracy for the sake of the Plunder making you wonder who actually is the pirate. Other hazards include being mugged, having your opium confiscated by the authorities, and running afoul of Li Yuan the local crime boss. There is no definite end; play continues as long as the player wants. As with other An Entrepreneur Is You games, the most interesting part is toward the beginning when you are just getting your business started.

Those who wish to play again "for the memories" can find it online for free at

Taipan! provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Don: Li Yuen, head of the pirates and extortionists in Hong Kong. "Donate" money to his operations and his hired hands may assist you in naval battles. Refuse him and the guy will sent pirate ships after you. A regular extortion racket.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Your goal is to set up a successful trade operation.
  • Pirate: 19th century pirates of the Pacific Ocean are your constant opponents. They infest the trade routes between Batavia (modern Jakarta), Hong Kong, Manila, Nagasaki, Saigon, Shanghai, and Singapore. Thus every important trading port in the game.
  • Plunder: Defeating enemy ships leads allows you to plunder them and add to your supplies.
  • Spiritual Successor: Tradewinds
  • Turnbased Strategy: It is part of the genre.
  • Zerg Rush: Later in the game, you may get attacked by more than 70 pirate ships at once. If you have enough guns, you might even be able to beat them.

SuspendedUsefulNotes/Apple ][Test Drive
Sword of the StarsTurn-Based StrategyTen Minute Space Strategy

alternative title(s): Taipan
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