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Video Game / High Seas Havoc

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Pirates O' The Past! There Be A New Legend Before The Mast!
"Help Havoc outsmart boatloads of salty scoundrels and rescue his captured friends, held prisoner by Bernard."
Page 3 of the USA Manual.

An adventure game by Data East that was released in 1994 for the Sega Genesis, this delightful platformer tells the story of a noble pirate seal named Captain Havoc who, together with his kid sidekick, Tide, sail the seven seas in search of adventure, fighting more villainous corsairs and generally living the good life.

One day, Havoc's life would be changed forever when he and Tide come across a young woman washed up on the shores of the beach. Taking her under their care, they nurse her back to health, whereupon she introduces herself as Bridget. Producing a map, she tells them of a legendary treasure known as the Emerelda — a magical jewel that, according to legend, has the power to lay waste to nations if it ever fell into the wrong hands. And unfortunately, just such an owner of "wrong hands," the dread pirate Bernardo, has learned of the Emerelda and is seeking it out at all costs. When Bernardo's forces abduct Bridget and Tide, Havoc sets out to rescue them, defeat the scoundrel, and seek out the Emerelda. All in a day's work for a pirate hero, right?


In many ways, the game takes its inspiration from Sonic the Hedgehog in the form of its art style, lush graphics, and general gameplay — navigating complex environments with a character who moves swiftly. However, High Seas Havoc also has its own unique charm, and is worth picking up if you happen to come across it. Just be prepared for a noteworthy challenge.

Havoc to the Rescue!:

  • All There in the Manual: Averted in regards to the story — the opening cinematic when you load the game tells you how Havoc came to be chasing Bernardo and his crew, and why.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Havoc and Tide are purple seals with yellowish snouts, Bridget is a pink seal, and Bernardo is a green walrus with an orangish snout and eyebrows.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Emerelda — according to legend, it has the power to decimate armies and topple kingdoms if it was ever used for war. Bernardo knows this, and his pursuit of it is what sets the plot in motion. When Bernardo gets his hands on it in the final battle, he's able to fly around and summon meteors!
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  • Awesome McCoolname: Havoc, naturally. His sidekick, Tide, doesn't see any real action, but he still has a pretty cool name.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Most of the cast.
  • Big Bad: Bernardo, a scoundrel and pirate lord who wants to use the power of the Emerelda to rule the seven seas.
  • Bound and Gagged: Bridget is seen tied to a chair and gagged at the end of the game.
  • Climax Boss: The well-dressed wolf at the end of Mt. Bernardo, who fights with supernatural powers that don't resemble anything used by the other bosses up to this point.
  • Covers Always Lie: Havoc wields a cutlass both on the box art and in the opening cutscenes, but all you have to fight with in the game itself is a Goomba Stomp and a jump kick.
  • Difficulty Spike: The game seems rather easy at first, but once you get to Mt. Chester, it pulls off the kid gloves and things start getting a lot harder...
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Congratulations, you defeated Bernardo...except it was kinda early in the game to boast victory, right? Guess what — you still need to track down the Emerelda! But Bernardo'll be back later on...
  • Distressed Damsel: Bridgette, kidnapped by Bernardo's crew. Havoc's quest to rescue her and Tide is what kicks off the plot.
  • Evil Laugh: Bernardo's got a rather guttural chuckle.
  • Expy: Bridgette looks a lot like an older Amy Rose, doesn't she? And really, if not for his seal flippers, Havoc's general demeanor is rather reminiscent of Sonic's, and he even has a Kid Sidekick...
  • Final Boss Preview: Of a sort — you fight Bernardo at the very beginning of the game, but he comes back as the boss of the final level — only this time, he's wielding the power of the Emerelda...
  • Friendly Pirate: Havoc and Tide are heroic pirates who leave "peacefully," according to the game's intro, except for when Havoc fights villainous pirates.
  • Follow the Money: There's jewels scattered all over the place. Grab enough of them to get an extra life.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: You know that vaguely ninja-esque feline pirate who kidnapped Bridgette and Tide in the opening cutscene? You fight him later on in the Frozen Palace.
  • Goomba Stomp: Havoc combines this with a jump kick for dealing with his enemies.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Havoc regains health by eating chicken drumsticks.
  • King Koopa Copy: Bernardo is a Wily Walrus who heavily resembles Bowser due to his large frame, Evil Eyebrows, and similar color scheme. He also kidnaps the hero's girlfriend.
  • Mineral Macguffin: The Emerelda, which Havoc's seeking out to prevent its power from falling into Bernardo's clutches. It's implied to have a will of its own during the ending, when it appears and uses its powers to aid Havoc, Bridgette, and Tide in their escape from Bernardo's exploding ship.
  • Nintendo Hard: While the first few stages are generally fair, about the time you get to the first mountain stage, the game starts veering into this, with precise platforming, one-hit kill spikes cropping up everywhere, and extremely difficult bosses. Doubles as Surprise Difficulty given the game's atmosphere.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Come on, when was the last time you saw a seal as the main character?
  • Semiaquatic Species Sailor: Havoc and Tide are seals who are Friendly Pirates. The main antagonist, Bernardo, is a pirate captain walrus. However, the other members of Bernardo's pirate crew are non-aquatic animals.
  • Taken for Granite: Bernardo's final fate, after Havoc defeats him and he loses the Emerelda.
  • Turns Red: In your final battle with Bernardo, he uses the power of the Emerelda to pull this on you — what keeps this from being a One-Winged Angel scenario is that he doesn't really change his appearance, except for turning gold . Yes, you read that right — the final boss pulls this on you!
  • Wily Walrus: Bernardo, the Big Bad, is an evil pirate captain walrus who plans to steal the mysterious gemstone Emeralda and kidnaps the protagonist's girlfriend. He initially appears as the first boss, and doesn't have much in the way of attacks, aside from swinging his cutlass. For most of the game after that, he lets his crew of Funny Animal pirates fight you instead. However, he reappears as the Final Boss, having Took a Level in Badass. He uses the Emeralda to give him magical powers, and puts up one hell of a fight. It's worth noting that he seems to be an Expy of Bowser, not only because he kidnapped the hero's girlfriend, but because he's big, colorful, and he's got some Big Ol' Eyebrows!