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Gangplank Galleon

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"We're inside Pirate's Grotto. There's a sunken ship here. Something good inside? 'Cause that's how it always is in video games...right?"

A pirate-themed area seen in video games, especially in a Platform Game. Has many barrels, usually takes place near the water and a wooden ship, and features tons of pirate enemies in stock costumes. Typically features accordions in the soundtrack. Expect to climb/swing on rope, navigate water, and dodge cannonfire. Was once fairly rare, but skyrocketed in popularity after Pirates of the Caribbean was released (the attraction it was based on can be considered a Real Life version of this). If the character is capable of swimming, expect a diving for treasure sequence.

In RPGs, adventuring here may be related to the Port Town quest, to get the boat.

Named for the Final Boss stage of Donkey Kong Country.

Frequently overlaps with Palmtree Panic and Under the Sea. For the Ninja-based counterpart, see Wutai.

Sometimes overlaps with Ship Level.

For the television equivalent, see Pirate Episode.


    open/close all folders 

  • Epic Mickey, taking place in an imitation of Disneyland, has an entire world reminiscent of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and featuring the pirates from Peter Pan, including a boss battle against a robotic Captain Hook.
  • Goof Troop: The final stage takes place on Keelhaul Pete's pirate ship.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: After escaping the pirate fighting arena, Spyro first navigates through a large flying ship, battling both regular and ghostly pirates and avoiding venting steam pipes and firing cannons, before leaving it to fight his way across an entire airborne fleet, hopping around on lifeboats and gliding from vessel to vessel. In the end, the level culminates in a boss battle against the fleet's captain and his parrots. Throughout the level, collectibles and health pickups are hidden inside treasure chests and piles of gold coins left lying around all over the ships.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Ōkami features a large, curiously Western-looking shipwreck near one of the beaches. It is also home to many ghost-type enemies, crossing over with Big Boo's Haunt. The sequel, Ōkamiden, lets you explore the same ship before it becomes wrecked and haunted.

  • Zack & Wiki has a level on a ship, where the heroes and the game's initial bad guys get bothered by a titanic squid.

    Beat 'em Ups 
  • Castle Crashers: The player's sailing ship is attacked by a pirate ship full of ninjas. They board your ship, and you have to fight them off. In keeping with the trope, the player must dodge cannon blasts, and barrels containing health and the like slide around the deck of the ship.
  • Streets of Rage 2 has a very brief section in stage 3 that's on a swinging pirate ship ride, filled with ninjas note .
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time has "Skull and Crossbones", which takes place on a pirate ship in the year 1530 A.D.. It serves as the fifth level in the Arcade version and the sixth in the SNES version. In addition to fighting the Foot Clan soldiers, the Turtles also have to beware of loose floorboards that smack them in the face should they step on them. In the Arcade version of the game, the bosses are Tokka and Rahzar from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. In the SNES version, the bosses are Bebop and Rocksteady in pirate garb.

    Fighting Games 

    Hack & Slash 
  • Devil May Cry: There is such a level in Missions 12 and 13. In the former, Dante must activate the pirate ship and obtain the "Fire of Saint Elmo". The second boss battle with Griffon also takes place here. In the latter mission, the ship will sink. The skeleton of the ship's captain can also be found sitting inside his cabin in the underwater sections.


  • Kingdom of Loathing has a zone called, appropriately enough, the Obligatory Pirate's Cove. Get a pirate disguise (or manage to earn your pirate fledges) and you can explore the the pirate's bar and the different parts of the pirate ship.
  • RuneScape has the pirate town/island of Mos'Le Harmless, which is the centre of an entire quest-series focused around the game's pirates and their enemies, and also Braindeath Island (where "rum" is made), Harmony Island (monks besieged by zombie pirates), a small group of pirates that have run aground on the north coast of the Mordor-like Wilderness, and some more pirates in a cave near a large port.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Booty Bay is a neutral Goblin Port Town in the Eastern Kingdoms that looks entirely like this, with plenty of hostile pirates populating the nearby beaches. To a lesser extent, there's also Ratchet in Kalimdor.
    • Freehold (Battle for Azeroth) is a pirate Port Town on the continent of Kul Tiras and obviously has the looks.

    Party Games 
  • Mario Party:
    • Mario Party 2: Pirate Land, which takes place on a trio of islands connected by bridges. Landing on the Happening Spaces causes pirate ships to fire at the bridges, sending anyone on them back to the start. The characters dress up in pirate garb for this board, and the duel minigame is a fencing match.
    • Mario Party 5: Pirate Dream is a board that takes place inside a very large seaside grotto with a waterfall passing through the middlenote , and part of the board also passing through a pirate shipnote . The grotto also features large precious stones and a dinosaur's fossil.

  • Banjo-Kazooie: Treasure Trove Cove includes a ship stranded near the center of the level's mountain, and it's where Captain Blubber is lamenting that his gold ingots went missing. Downplayed with Jolly Roger's Lagoon in Banjo-Tooie, because only the surface area takes place in a naval port; the remaining 90% is Under the Sea.
  • Crash Twinsanity: High Seas Hijinks takes place on N. Gin's battleship, full of pirates, rats, and missiles.
  • Densetsu no Stafy has a stage called the Sunken Ship, a haunted shipwreck. Its boss is Boctopus, a pirate octopus.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • Donkey Kong Country: The Trope Namer isn't much of an example since it only has one level where you fight the Final Boss on a pirate ship. However, Gangplank Galleon would then return as the first world in both Donkey Kong Land and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (emphasizing their nature as continuations) and get several pirate and ship-themed levels.
    • Donkey Kong 64: Gloomy Galleon is a cove containing wrecked pirate ships, as well as a seafaring one that can be called to port by activating the lighthouse. Interestingly, the sunken ship appears to be the Trope Naming Gangplank Galleon from the first Donkey Kong Country.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns:
      • An interesting variation. The Kongs run through a ship as it's being attacked by Squiddicus, a giant octopus, forcing them to dodge its tentacles and platform on floating pieces of debris.
      • There's also a level that takes place on several ships that are attacking you/each other with cannon balls. Additionally, there are a few smaller areas within levels where you get rocketed onto a ship on the background.
    • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: The second level of the last regular world is set in the coastal zone of Donkey Kong Island, only now it's set in winter and the local ships are those belonging to the Snowmad tribe.
  • DuckTales 2: The Bermuda Triangle stage takes place on a pirate ship. It's also where the game's final battle takes place.
  • Fancy Pants Adventures: A good portion of The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 3 takes place around and in a pirate ship, as the protagonist is trying to rescue his sister from the pirates that kidnapped her.
  • Garfield: Caught in the Act: "The Revenge of Orangebeard", which serves as the second level. It was presumably inspired by the Garfield's Halloween Adventure animated special, as it features Garfield dressed like a pirate captain as he wanders the sea on a spooky night, facing pirate skeletons, ghosts, monkeys, and carnivorous plants.
  • Goofys Hysterical History Tour: The climax of the third stage, the Colonial American Exhibit, takes place on a pirate ship, where Pete, disguised as a pirate captain, is the stage's boss.
  • The Itchy and Scratchy Game has "Mutilation on the Bounty", which serves as the third level of the game. Enemies in this stage include parrots and miniature pirate-like robots of Scratchy. The boss of the stage is Scratchy in a giant pirate-like robot with cannons for arms.
  • Kirby.
  • Lost Vikings 2: Norse by Norsewest: The third area takes place on a pirate ship fleet.
  • McDonaldland:
    • McKids has the Captain's Ship level in the Professor's Worskhop, as well as Ports' O Comets.
    • McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure has a pirate ship in the second half of the third world. When Ronald reaches the crow's nest, an enemy ship fires many cannonballs, sinking the ship. The boss of the stage is a pirate captain with giant lips, who has the fourth and final piece of the treasure map.
  • Rayman 2: The Great Escape, due to the eponymous hero fighting pirate robots in their outposts. Most of the time they look like they're made of wooden ships, and there are pirate symbols pretty much everywhere.
  • Ristar: In the Game Gear version, Planet Terra takes place on a pirate ship.
  • Skies of Arcadia: As you would expect from a game about Sky Pirates, there is a lot of this; but mainly at the start of the game. As you progress through the game the technology gets more advanced, becoming more Wooden Ships and Iron Men in style.
  • Sly Cooper:
    • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus: Raleigh's hideout is a mansion sitting on top of a very large pirate ship, but the levels vary from fiery engine rooms to graveyards of downed airplanes, and a couple of rooms inside Raleigh's study.
    • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves: Bloodbath Bay is a pirate town located in the Caribbean islands of North America. It is known as one of the last true pirating towns, the town itself consists of many buildings, as well as a harbor and various passageways that allow access to higher levels. There are also some large dead sharks swimming around in the waters surrounding the town, such as outside the safe house and near a restaurant named "Pirate Grill." The ocean also contains smaller islands.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Speedy Gonzales: Los Gatos Bandidos has Ye Olde Bounty, which serves as the seventh and final world in the game. The final boss is a pirate cat.
  • Super Kiwi 64: The seventh level takes place in a tall pirate island with a big, skull-shaped sculpture; the island is played during night, so several port lamps are lit. After the kiwi climbs the island's top and presses a switch, a massive ship is unveiled; it has some marked targets the kiwi has to hit in order to get a gem. There's also a treasure chest that can be opened after gathering a stray key and unlock another gem.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 has the airship levels that take place on large wooden ships (that fly) with lots of cannons, as well as one level that takes place on boats (similar in design to the airship levels except the boats don't fly). If you know what you're doing, you can swim under the boats. You can't do this with the airships (for obvious reasons).
    • Super Mario World features an underwater Ghost Ship as a level, the completion of which reveals the way to the final world.
    • Super Mario 64 has Jolly Roger Bay, which is mostly Under the Sea but includes some sunken pirate ships.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U both have airship levels as occasional boss stages.
    • Super Mario Galaxy has Deep Dark Galaxy, which has both sunken ships and one major floating one. Also, the battle against Bowser Jr. takes place on a level revolving around SMB 3-style floating pirate ships.
    • Super Mario 3D World has the level Spooky Seasick Wreck in World 6, which features ships hanging on tilting platforms.
    • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3: The SS Tea Cup, which is Captain Syrup's ship. It's nominally one of the worlds in the game, and its lower body is mildly reminiscent of that of a tea cup (hence its name), but only the last two levels take place inside (the preceding levels take place in Underground Level and Palmtree Panic levels instead, narrating Wario's journey to the ship proper). Once inside, Wario has to go through its inner corridors, defeating several enemies along the way, until reaching the outer area where he has to climb at the top to face the boss (Bobo, a large bird).
    • Yoshi's Island:
      • Yoshi's Story: Shy Guy's Ship is a borderline example, as instead of taking place on a pirate ship it's set on the coast, where Yoshi must avoid the cannot shots of the actual, Shy Guy-crewed ships just offshore while platforming off of passing seagulls.
      • Yoshi's Island DS: The Goonie Coast Isn't Clear!, the second level of World 3, starts on a coastline before moving across a series of galleons, where the decks and sails form sets of stacked platforms that Yoshi can move between and the enemies chiefly consist of pirate Shy Guys, cannons, and large seagulls, interspersed with water-filled gaps home to giant fish and squid.
      • Yoshi's Crafted World:
      • Pirate Pier is a dock area with many moored pirate ships. The enemies are mostly pirate Shy Guys again, and the level boss is a pirate octopus named Yarrctopus.
      • Bombs Away on Pirate Island is a boating section where Yoshi mostly progresses by directing a small ship and blowing away obstacles with a cannon. The enemies are almost all pirate Shy Guys again, alongside a few giant crabs and fish.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures games:
  • Wild Woody: The first part of the first level takes place on a pirate ship.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Animaniacs: The SNES version has the end of the Fantasy Stage fought along pirate ships. Cannons, rope swinging, pirates and the boss being a pirate captain with an eyepatch and pegleg on a giant octopus.
  • Scribblenauts: The Listy Colon, a stage in Scribblenauts Unlimited, is a pirate ship with climbable masts and a cannon that you can fire things with.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Final Fantasy XI has the hidden town of Norg, and, although it's inhabited by Ninja and Samurai, the pirate-speak certainly clues you in to where you are.
  • Fire Emblem: A ship battle, with the two sides fighting on two or more ships connected by planks, is a staple of the games. Gaiden, Blazing Sword, Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance, Awakening and Fates all have at least one.
  • Golden Sun: Crossbones island, complete with an abandoned ship, a rigged treasure chest and a giant pirate ghost.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Neverland, especially in the first game, where it consists entirely of Captain Hook's ship and Big Ben. It's expanded in Days and Birth by Sleep.
    • Kingdom Hearts II: Port Royal takes place within both the eponymous seaside port, and the pirate ship used to travel between there and a distant island with a haunted grotto. This world encompasses the entire Caribbean later in Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Super Mario Bros.:

    Simulation Games 
  • Overcooked!: In the first game, the first non-standard-restaurant levels you go to are on pirate ships. These levels introduce moving countertops.

    Sports Games 
  • Golf With Your Friends: The Pirate Cove theme takes place on levels that evoke a large wooden sailing ship. There are also cannons, giant wheels, "sharks", and a kraken.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: As the game is set during The Golden Age of Piracy, a majority of it is set aboard pirate ships and within Caribbean ports.
  • "Precious Cargo" in Thief II: The Metal Age is set on an island that formerly had a pirate base, but has since been taken over by the Mechanists. There's still quite a bit of the pirates' architecture around, and, of course, there's a hidden chest of pirate booty hidden somewhere that will summon a vengeful Ghost Pirate when looted.

    Tower Defense 

    Web Games 
  • Platform Racing 2: Razorblade has players board a pirate ship and race to the top of the sail.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Necesse has pirate villages, which are the only biome where the main content is on the surface. They have pirate houses full of golden furniture that can be looted guilt-free, hostile buccaneers, and the Pirate Captain, who wanders around and initiates a boss fight if he spots you.
  • Starbound: You may occasionally come across the Grounded, Avian outcasts who have renounced Kluex, their god, and seek to make their own wings... in the form of big, ponderous flying ships. Not spaceships; just regular ships, kept aloft with big propellers.


Video Example(s):


Orange Ocean

The third stage of Orange Ocean mostly takes place on a seaside port and inside a massive pirate ship, before Kirby uses the Warp Star on top of the ship's mast.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / GangplankGalleon

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