Video Game / Tradewinds

Tradewinds is a series of video games released by Sandlot Games. The original version, simply called Tradewinds (now called Tradewinds Classic), has since spawned a number of sequels.

The basic premise of the first game is this: you start off in one of the ports in The Orient, with very little cash (or a huge debt, in some cases) and one ship. Your ship can be equipped with guns and loaded with cargo. You purchase the cargo from trading centers at ports. Ideally, your cargo should be bought low and sold high in order to make a profit.

While travelling between ports, you may get attacked by pirates. Both sides take turns to fire their cannons at each other; the side that destroys the ships on the other side wins the battle, as well as some cash.

As you progress through the game, you can buy additional ships and form a fleet. Each ship will increase the amount of cargo you can carry between ports, as well as your offensive firepower.

Your only goal is to reach the rank of Tai Pan. To do this, you must get a million points from either trading goods, battling pirates, accepting tasks from the head of authority of each port, or all three at once.

Tradewinds has spawned several sequels: Tradewinds 2, Tradewinds Legends (and its expansion pack, Tradewinds Legends: Unlikely Heroes), Tradewinds Caravans and Tradewinds Odyssey.

The original Tradewinds was considered a turn-based strategy game due to the way all battles are conducted, with each side taking turns to fire at each other. Every sequel since conducts all battles in real-time. Legends, Odyssey and Caravans all have Story Mode.

This game includes examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Zeus is a primary cause of this, kidnapping beautiful girls in order to get it on with them. One side-quest involves a father searching for his abducted daughter. It turns out Zeus turned her into a shrub to protect her from Hera's fury. Since she can't be turned back her father gives up on saving her and simply pretends that she left to get married.
  • AFGNCAAP: Completing Story Mode allows you to do this.
  • Armor Is Useless: Having full hull integrity or more armor doesn't stop your ships from losing cannons.
  • Arms Dealer: You, especially. You buy weapons and you sell them to other ports. And in the majority of the games, weapons and armaments are contraband.
  • A Load of Bull: Asterion the Minotaur, one of the player characters in Tradewinds Odyssey.
  • Anything That Moves: Zeus. Also Theseus.
  • Arabian Nights Days: The backdrop of Legends.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: The story ending for Asterion in Odyssey.
  • Battle Aura: There are several people or magic items in Tradewinds 2 and Tradewinds Legends that grant you this. As an example, the Berserker's Blade! in Tradewinds Legends gives your cannons near-perfect accuracy, but at the same time giving your enemies a slightly better shot at you.
  • Big Bad: Several to list, depending on which character you play as.
    • Tradewinds 2 has Sebastian La Roche, a feared pirate whose crimes include the murder of Ignacio Verdugo's father. It's the player character's goal to defeat him.
  • Bi the Way: In Odyssey, Achilles has Briseis as a slave-girl (and doesn't take kindly to losing her), but also calls Patroclus "my beloved." (The Iliad is distinctly more ambiguous about the latter than the former.)
  • Broken Bridge: In Tradewinds Legends, some of the ports are inland, instead of being seaports. In order to access them, you need to have progressed far enough into the game to purchase (and replace your entire fleet with) flying ships. Also an example of Sword of Plot Advancement in Story Mode.
    • Madame Tso in Tradewinds Classic has a broken bridge. You start off having a fleet of Chinese Junks, but you can't go to Edamame without having at least a 1 masted sloop. You wouldn't necessarily know that, though, if you started playing as someone other than Madame Tso.
  • Bounty Hunter: An additional source of income in Classic.
    • In the rest of the series, you may be called to capture or kill a pirate in the story.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In Odyssey, this is why Zeus is trying to kill Socrates: because gods are shaped by the beliefs of mortals. If Socrates' view of the gods as perfect, moral beings were to catch on, Zeus would be locked into that myth - something he finds a thoroughly unappealing prospect.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Played straight with Tradewinds 2. You cannot buy more than one ship. Your enemies can.
  • Cool Old Lady: Tiger Bai from Tradewinds Legends is this trope.
  • Cool Ship: In Odyssey, Triton's Destroyer. Yes, a ship that looks like a marlin.
  • Cosmetic Award: The ranks you obtain as you get richer.
  • Crossover: The storylines in "Legends" happen roughly around the same time and cross over into each other occasionally. One of Nandi Patel's plot quests involves Hasan's search for Sheherezade: Hasan regularly gets information from the Caliph, but never meets him, while Nandi is constantly ferrying the Caliph around not realizing who he is. Tiger Bai's story involves the son of one of the lords who is fated to be killed by association with Nandi, a prophecy that is mysteriously fulfilled without either knowing. And everybody runs into Hasan's possessed brother Omar, never for the better.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: In Caravans, virtually all references to Islam are cut out and replaced with vague mentions of "the gods." Curiously, Buddhism, Hinduism and Chinese mythology are left in and played straight (if sometimes comically).
  • Death Takes a Holiday: Daimonea ran away from Hades and took a vacation in ancient Greece. Doesn't end well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of the player characters appear to be this in varying degrees.
    • In Odyssey Asterion and Phil are of particular note.
  • Determined Widow: One of the player characters in Caravans. Though she isn't really a widow until you are done playing her storyline.
  • Doom Magnet: Sindbad in Tiger Bai's storyline. Despite very clearly knowing this, Bai is very good friends with him and is always willing to have him on her ship, no matter what misfortune may follow.
    • This is also referenced in a few other character storylines: at one point one of the kings even shows that threatening to make someone be cabin boy on a Sindbad voyage is a very effective means of punishment.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: The reason Daimonea shirked her duties.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Theseus.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Just read any of the quests carefully that supposedly have you on a time limit. Yet when you "run over" the time, there is no punishment.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Ariadne in Asterion the Minotaur's storyline chooses to stay in the Underworld, having apparently really hit it off with Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons.
  • Greek Mythology: The backdrop of Odyssey.
  • Handsome Lech: Prince Theseus of Athens.
  • Hello!. My name is Ignacio Verdugo. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die. If you play as Sebastian LaRoche in Story Mode in Tradewinds 2, be prepared to hear this several times throughout the course of your game.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners / Ho Yay: In Odyssey Petrakles and Ganymede are this.
  • 100% Completion: Tradewinds: Odyssey introduces Feats which are achievements by another name.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: In Odyssey in the storyline for Phil the Cynic, he acts as this for his cousin Herakles.
  • Immortality Hurts: One of the two connected storylines in Daimones the Goddess' Story Mode. When you have an agent of Hades who refuses to do her job, you get many Greek soldiers who can't just die even though they're in excruciating pain.
  • It's Up to You: The tasks given by the head of authority in most ports, ranging from grocery shopping to slaying the Big Bad.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Flying Dragon boats in Legends.
  • In Vino Veritas: In Tradewinds, if you tip the bartender enough, she'll provide the location of Shangri La for the next six months that someone let slip while drunk.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: The merchant Baobab in Legends has a inexplicable French accent.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Fire Pot special ammunition in Tradewinds 2.
  • Long-Lost Relative: The Tazere brothers in Tradewinds Legends ... twice. Hasan Tazere's plunge into the high seas and skies started when his brother, Omar, went missing. The first time this trope occurs is when Hasan encounters a Djinn-possessed Omar at sea. Hasan must eventually kill the King of the Djinn, but at the same time put his brother to the sword. Hasan believes that Omar died from the two stabs, but when he visits a temple later on, he meets his brother again, alive and well. Omar promptly forms a Sibling Team with Hasan for the rest of Story Mode and beyond.
  • Magikarp Power: The Tradewinds Odyssey characters' special attacks are based on total damage dealt, and the DPS rates get huge later in the game as you get More Dakka.
  • Nice Guy: The brother-in-law of one of the player characters in Caravans. In spite of being a widow with three children, he does everything can to help you, including taking care of your cursed children while you're out on the road. As it turns out, he's been in love with you for years and thinks of your children as his own.
  • No One Should Survive That: Sindbad. His habit for surviving through sheer chance what should and does kill everyone he's with on a constant basis is so amazing that it's strongly suggested that the murderous djinn who pursues him, Ivory, is actually a force of nature who has come to ensure he finally dies the death he is due.
  • Not Blood Siblings: On one route in Caravans, you play a supposed widow. At the end of the game, she mentions the possibility of her husband's brother (Truth in Television; this was virtually expected in the cultures of the age).
    • Said brother had actually been love with her several years and aids you greatly throughout her storyline. He was, in fact, the one who inquired about her when he saw her at a marketplace, and was heartbroken when you were betrothed to his elder brother instead.
  • One Ship Navy: Well, since you can't have more than one ship in Tradewinds 2 ... it is even lampshaded by one of the governors in the game.
    "I am not fit to bow in your shadow, commander. Defeating LaRoche - with a single ship!"
  • The Paralyzer: The Hive of Bees "Magic Curse" in Tradewinds Legends does this in battle, rendering a single target unable to return fire for ten seconds. Considering that most enemies have at least five cannons, and each one fires every four seconds, the Hive of Bees can actually come in handy in cutting down the damage taken by your fleet. It saved many players' their game.
    • Also, Phil the Cynic's argument attack in Odyssey.
    • Muse's Revenge definitely is this, which can be boosted with one of the relics from the Reliquary.
  • Ramming Always Works: Your ships are given the option to ram enemy ships in Tradewinds Odyssey.
  • Shout-Out: Many, "Mik the Jagged" of the "Rho Ling Stonemen" being just one of them.
  • Sky Pirate: You'll be facing those Dirigibles, Viminas and Dragon Boats during the second half of Trandwinds Legends.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: One of the side quests in Odyssey.
    • In Phoebe the Priestess' story, it's a girdle of the Goddess that poses a lot of problems for her when she has it.
    • In Caravans, Yu Qian the male monk has just about every girl on the Silk Road lusting after him when he's just trying to obey his Vow of Celibacy. He doesn't take it well.
  • Spiritual Successor: The original game was a Tai-Pan clone. Since then, the series has branched out and evolved, however.
  • Storming the Port: If you previously had access to a port and it's now blocked off due to certain circumstances and suddenly the port is hostile towards you, this happens. In 2 and Legends, you have to fight a fort and several ships in order to regain access to the port.
    • Subverted in Odyssey. Instead of a port fight, it becomes the usual navy vs navy fight.
  • Straight Gay: In Tradewinds Legends, the Tazere 'brothers' are very strongly suggested to be a Straight Gay couple using 'brother' as a term of affection.
  • Subsystem Damage: With every hit your vessels take, they run the risk of losing a cannon. In addition, when the hull strength of a ship is reduced to around half, as well as a quarter, it looks visually damaged.
  • Supporting Protagonist: In Yu Qian's quest in Caravans, he's ostensibly a monk on the quest to get a book of holy sutras back to Chang'an, and Su Min is a monk from a more martial order assigned to support and guard him, as well as (seemingly) a test of his Vow of Celibacy. Actually, the misogynistic Yu Qian is Su Min's final test on the road to Nirvana, and her death in the Final Battle and subsequent return to battle Mara is the culmination of her story. Of course, discovering this fact is still a priceless lesson for Yu Qian's own Character Development.
  • Swashbuckler: Many characters, Hasan from Legends being a particularly good example.
  • Ships of Plot Advancement: Flying ships in Tradewinds Legends. You cannot complete Story Mode unless your entire fleet comprises of flying ships. Also an example of Broken Bridge.
  • Symbol Swearing: This can happen in two quests in Tradewinds Legends, once when dealing with the crap wine manufacturing system in the Ten Kingdoms, which sends you to at least four different ports just to get one bottle of wine for the quest, and a second time when you have to deal with a bunch of golden women, a retirement home, and massive damages.
  • Theme Naming: The original Tradewinds and Tradewinds 2 do this with virtually every ship for sale, excluding the Juggernaut in the former. Also probably classifies as Meaningful Name if you take into account the size and cannon mounts of their real-life counterparts.
  • The Unfavorite: In Odyssey between Ariadne and Asterion, Asterion is the definite unfavorite of King Minos.
  • Truth in Video Gaming: Once in a while, upon talking to the owner of an alehouse, temple or such, depending on the game, you may get a small piece of Real Life history.
  • Unlockable Content: In pretty much all the games you have to complete one of the storylines to unlock the custom character mode.
    • Additionally in Tradeswinds Odyssey completing a character storyline unlocks a Secret Character.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Petrakles the Athlete in Tradewinds Odyssey. Lampshaded by other characters.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Free Trade Mode, also Story Mode once you finish it.