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Pirate101 is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game from the makers of Wizard 101.
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During the colonization of the Spiral, tensions with Polaris reached their breaking point and a war between the great naval powers of the Spiral erupted. As the war went on, some mercenaries began to switch allegiances based on who offered the greatest profit, while others eventually swore off all allegiance and pillaged all ships they saw. Thus the first pirates were born.

Now the war has ended and all the great navies are broken and licking their wounds, allowing pirates to pillage and plunder to their heart's content. The thieves den of Skull Island has become a republic, and a golden age of piracy is on the horizon!

However, the Marleybone Royal Navy is beginning to regroup and the Valencian navy's army of clockwork solders, the Armada, is growing. The Armada's leader, Commander Kane, has made it his sworn duty to bring all piracy to an end and unite the entire Spiral under his flag. In the meantime, rumors of pieces of a treasure map leading to an island made of gold have brought many young greenhorns out of the woodwork while also luring older pirates back from their retirement, seclusion, and even their graves.

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It takes place in the same setting and at about the same time as Wizard 101, but the two games' stories do not interact. Pirates are a superstitious lot and thus avoid wizards (the Witch Doctor class uses a completely different type of magic than wizards). Most of the Spiral believes the affairs of wizards are strange, mysterious, and best ignored, while wizards themselves are reclusive and avoid getting involved in non-magical affairs.

Now has a character page that needs a lot of love.


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Pirate 101 provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc / What Could Have Been: The original draft of the story had the player spending a few books helping Gazpaccio build another clockwork, named Able, to match the power of Kane, and the final battle with Kane happening in El Dorado. However, after Book 15 spent 3 years in Development Hell, they just wrapped up Kane's story arc there.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Exaggerated. These are very common. The player's companions even begin to complain about the "wondrous" places the player takes them to.
    • There's even a shanty town in the sewers of the Isle of Dogs.
  • Accidental Murder: Ratbeard accidentally kills his crew when the knockout drops he thought he had were replaced with poison.
    Ratbeard: Poisoned? I never poisoned ye! I just meant to put ye to sleep! Not...well..."to put you to sleep".
  • Adorkable: Gracie Conrad has shades of this and is sort of YMMV.
    • However, anyone who has Milo Graytail on their crew knows that he has this in SPADES.
  • Affectionate Parody: As Wizard 101 was at least partially inspired by Harry Potter, Pirate 101 is partially inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Your Mother (and to some extent, You). The photograph you get at the end of Cool Ranch shows that she had dark (or at least tanned) skin.
    • Even more ambigiously, a later puppet show shows that your mother had red hair.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Ratbeard accidentally killed his crew when someone switched out the knockout drops with poison. Upon finding out it was Captain Fowl to blame in his second promotion, he will say, "Fowl! He took me leg, killed me father, burned me house, an' stole me parrot."
    • There are wanted posters all over Cool Ranch for a banditoad named "Warty Willy" who is wanted "For vandalism, theft, assault, murder, and loitering."
  • Ascended Fanboy: Timmy is a huge fan of the Magnificent 7, so imagine his joy when they decide to train him as their seventh member.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: At the beginning of the game, Avery uses Exact Words to rip the player off after they do a favor for him. Several books later, he gives the player a sidequest involving finding a rare item for his collection. When the player eventually gets their hands on not one, but two of the item in question, they keep one of the items for themself, as the deal only required them to hand over one item. For some reason, they just can't resist the urge to rub this in Avery's face.
    Avery: "Well, yes, I did only ask you for one set. Ah! You intend to hold me to the letter of our agreement, eh? You're learning. Well played."
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: While the pirate is engaged in destroying Beachhead, Bishop walks in on them, accompanied by a handful of clockworks. He orders the player to surrender, in typical Armada fashion, but then realizes that he's outnumbered, at which point he wisely turns tail and flees. He tries his luck again with more clockworks, only to run away again when he recognizes you as the pirate who killed Deacon. Then he comes back one more time with even more reinforcements and gets his rear handed to him, at which point he clears out for good.
    Bishop: Lay down your weapons—you are my prisoners!
    Ratbeard: Not a chance, Bird Beak! Ye're our prisoner!
    Bishop: Oh dear.
  • Badass Crew: Your crew evolves into this over the course of game, especially after their promotions when they Take a Level in Badass.
  • Badass Longcoat: Many of the Cool Ranch clothes are awesome looking trench coats.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When presenting Eagilles his Triumphal Feast, there are many hints that you're going to fight him. Eagilles' servant describes his as "wrathful and impatient", the location of the Banquet Hall is a dungeon, and the ode your crew sings to him is...less than stellar. But nope, Eagilles is amazed at what you had done for him and happily agrees to return to Troy.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Several of the animal characters. Some companions start this way, but gain shoes with promotions.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: Silver Rain was a bison who was poisoned to death by Three Scars, but the poison he used was so terrible that it blinded her ghost, preventing her from traveling to the Spirit World. Fortunately, you're able to put together a balm to cure Silver Rain and put her spirit to rest.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Monkey's Paw will twist the wish of any Monquistan who is not Pure of Heart.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Averted; bears are present in the game, as one of the species from Grizzleheim. However, they remain neutral throughout the game and have very little contact with the player.
  • Big Bad: Kane, the leader of the Clockwork Armada.
  • Big "NO!": El Toro lets out a dramatic one if you drink Moo Manchu's Elixir of Power.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Flotsam is an entire town made of floating shipwrecks, with a three dimensional maze of pier-like walkways holding them together.
    • Other towns are pretty normal, except for the places they were built. Jonah Town is built on the back of a flying whale (and see Womb Level below for a description of the dark side of this town), and Scrimshaw was built inside the skeleton of some sort of giant sea serpent-type thing, including some upper levels held up by braces attached to the ribs.
  • Born Lucky / Born Unlucky: Boochbeard has almost Rincewind-type luck since he is almost always thwarted in his plans, but he always escapes to try again another day. He also has a way of always being present when important events happen.
  • Bonus Boss: Moo Manchu. He's the Greater-Scope Villain behind General Tso's rebellion in MooShu, but the dungeon he resides in is designed for teams of top-level players and can only be accessed after completing a completely optional sidequest chain. Most players aren't going to be tough enough to challenge him until after they complete the game's main story.
    • The game's most recent updates added "Nightmare Doors" leading to these. Once again, these optional bosses are designed to be challenging for teams of top-level players.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Some bosses have the ability to do this to you and/or your companions if they're knocked out in battle.
    • You, in particular, if you drink Moo Manchu's elixir of power.
  • Call-Back: The storyline is rife with these to your previous accomplishments. In the first book alone, you get out of a jam when your opponent remembers how you got the drop on Fin earlier and decides he'd rather negotiate than challenge you to a fight.
    • Book Four begins with one to Book One. Just as you started the storyline by retrieving something Fin stole from Avery, you take your first real step into the game's main conflict...by retrieving something Fin stole from Avery.
  • Captain Colorbeard: You'll find too many examples in the setting to list them all when it comes to pirate-y names. The three most prominent ones are Boochbeard, Ratbeard, and Catbeard.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Did Hawkules mention that his father is Zeus? He would also like you to know that his father is Zeus. Oh, and he says that his father is Zeus.
    • Armada troops will usually greet the player with "You will identify yourself and surrender. Comply or be terminated." They gradually shift to more menacing variations on this theme as the story progresses.
    • Fin Dorsal wants you to remember this moment. The moment when you realized he had a catchphrase.
    • Whenever Lucky Jack Russell is about to fight, he often yells out "Have At You!" or some variation.
    • Old Scratch constantly refers to himself as "I an' I" and to you as "Captain my Captain".
    • Every companion will say one of a few dialogue options when you give them orders in battle or simply select them on the Companion menu. These range from the catch-all "At your command!" or "Yes, Captain!" to more specific phrases such as "Deal me in!" for a companion who fights by hurling playing cards.
  • Chain Lightning: Witchdoctors have an ability that, after it strikes, has a 75% chance of jumping to another random enemy.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The chalice wrapped in sailcloth from Captain Gunn's treasure. The chalice itself is a Monquistan heirloom, and Captain Avery plans on using it to help secure a treaty with the neighboring world. It's not until three books later that you learn Avery was really after the sailcloth—it's part of the coveted map to El Dorado. The chalice was just a distraction to trick you into handing it over.
    • The clockwork birds you collect for a sidequest on your first trip to Valencia. At the time, they're an interesting but ultimately pointless diversion; however, once you reach Marleybone you learn that the Armada knows where they come from and who made them, and later still it's revealed that the coded messages on their gears are a distress call from Gazpaccio, Kane's creator.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Remember Mustang Sally, that one pirate you help when you first arrive in Flotsam and then never see again? She's the original El Toro's daughter.
    • Captain Fowl was originally introduced in the side quest 'The Mooshu Falcon" as an enemy who was interested in buying the titular artifact. It wouldn't be until Ratbeard's second promotion that he would be revealed as Ratbeard's Arch-Enemy, who pretty much shaped him into the pirate he is today.
    • During the first half of Cool Ranch, a sidequest chain in Arroyo Grande ends with you capturing the Renegade leader Captain Foote. During the second half of Cool Ranch, he breaks out of jail and one of your storyline goals is to recapture him.
    • During Book 8, your plan for getting into Port Regal skyway involves capturing the Brass Monkey, Brastillo de Brass. He escapes from prison at the end of the book, then is never mentioned again...until he comes back and attempts to take his revenge midway through Book 12. Attempts.
    • When you first reach Valencia, your contact Captain Steed is a former Resistance member who has given up on fighting after almost all of his compatriots were killed or captured by Kane. By the time you return to Valencia, he's not just part of the new Resistance—he's a member of its Inner Circle.
    • Phule makes an appearance or two as the story progresses, but doesn't have much impact on the narrative until just before the player enters the Machine, when he clears the clockworks off of the docks and gives the pirate a free pass to reach Kane and start the final battle.
  • Chess Motifs: The final battle with Kane and the other elites (sans Phule) is presented as a chess match, complete with the floor looking like a giant chessboard. Kane is the King, Queen is the Queen, Bishop is the Bishop, Deacon is the Knight, Rooke is the Rook, and the Pawns are a group of Armada Marines.
    • The Armada in general uses a great deal of chess imagery—for example, in the player's first confrontation with Phule, the clockworks are divided into a black squadron and a white squadron that start on opposite sides of the battlefield.
    • Phule himself shares many characteristics of a knight—he is unpredictable, continually switches between the "dark" and "light" sides of his personality (much like a knight goes from a light square to a dark square and vice versa with every move), and prefers to hinder the player from a distance rather than by engaging in direct combat.
  • Chess with Death: Captain Blood became immortal by challenging Death to a poker game (Death has a gambling problem). Death had the winning hand, but when he played his hand first Blood left to go to the bathroom and never returned. Since the game is technically still going on he can't be killed.
  • The Chosen One: In Mooshu, the Order of the White Lotus have prophesied that a stranger would one day pilot Stupendor-X and defeat The Dreaded Stormzilla. Three guesses to who the stranger is, and the first two don't count note .
  • Clock Punk: Valencia's armada is manned by an army of clockworks. They are incredibly beautifully built.
  • Continuity Snarl: Between this game and sister game Wizard 101. Word of God says both games take place at the same time, and some quests have dialogue that alludes to events in Wizard 101, but as fans have pointed out, many of these references have implications that outright contradict each other. Notably, the very first world in Pirate 101 contains a direct reference to an event late in the second story arc in Wizard 101. However, it's also implied that the pirate travels to the later world of MooShu at the same time as the wizard—except in Wizard 101, the wizard's adventures in MooShu take place during the first story arc.
    • Certain sidequests and promotion quests can create this if the player chooses to wait a while before completing them. For example, Bonnie Anne's second promotion has you narrowly escaping an ambush from Deacon. This is rather awkward if you've already completed Cool Ranch's storyline, since it ends with you killing Deacon.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: The player character.
  • Convenient Questing: Unless you've been given a quest that's part of the main story line on the other side of a blockade, you can't get past it.
    • Painfully averted with one quest that requires the player to sail from Aquila to Subata in Mooshu, back to Aquila, and then back to Subata, then back to Aquila one last time. Oh, and these worlds are about as far apart as two locations can get in this game.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: In special battles, if the enemy outnumbers the player by more than one, the enemies are usually significantly lower level than normal enemies in the same area. Meanwhile, bosses that go solo against an entire team are much tougher than anything else in the area.
    • Lampshaded by El Toro while invading a ninja fortress.
  • Cool Airship: Hand in hand with the Sky Pirates theme.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: This is Sly Winkum's opinion on the idea of reuniting the Magnificent Seven to fight the Wild Bunch.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Later in the game, Bonnie Anne becomes this to fill the role of The Straight Man once Ratbeard, El Toro, and Catbeard are on your crew.
    • If your parents died to mutiny, you will have Dead Mike on your crew. He fits this trope to a T.
  • Dead Man's Hand: This is the hand that Captain Blood refused to play in order to cheat death—both figuratively and literally.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Old Scratch's specialty. With either a corpse or a few keepsakes he can summon the ghost of someone to learn more information.
  • Deal with the Devil: One of the major antagonists of Cool Ranch is the Duck of Death, formerly known as William the Duck or English Bill, who made 2 deals with the Devil, one metaphorical and one literal. The first (metaphorical) deal was when he betrayed his kind to the Dogs of Marleybone when they promised him riches and titles. However, the Dogs had no intention of keeping their end of the bargain and turned on him when their Steam engine failed. Bill decided to seek vengeance against the Dogs, who retaliated in kind and chased him to the world of Darkmoor. There, he made a second (literal) deal with an Eldritch Abomination (Savvy Wizard101 players will recognize this being as Old Cob) for great power in exchange for his soul.
  • Death Dealer: Standard attack of weasel gamblers/assassins. Also used by Bill Peacock.
  • Death from Above: The Privateer abilities Gunnery, Artillery, and The Big Guns. They can attack any 3x3 square on the board.
    • Musketeers have several of these as well.
  • Dear Negative Reader: A well-placed and polite one was added to the Port Royal mansion instance after several players called What the Hell, Hero? on the player having to kidnap the Governor's daughter. The writers answered why the player was doing this but let Bonnie Anne serve as a voice for those that didn't like it.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Several of your crew members are enemies when you first meet them.
  • Defeat Means Playable: A couple of bosses that do not join the player's crew after being beaten can be unlocked in the crown shop. Depending on the player's class, they may join the player for free.
    • There are also three bosses that become available in the crown shop once they have been defeated multiple times.
  • Didn't See That Coming: From when the Bison Warrior in the Bison Burial Ground summons the spirits of his Grandfathers' pets to fight you...
    Old Scratch: I... I not see that comin', Captain my Captain.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The result when low-level swashbucklers use the ability Walk In Shadows, then use a typical sneak attack. The ability is significantly less useful at higher levels as players and enemies learn abilities that allow them to counter this. If a player is not careful, it can backfire, resulting in the swashbuckler being knocked out instead of the other way around.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Usually played straight. For example, one of the possible crew mates is Lucky Jack Russel, an anthropomorphic Jack Russell terrier. Subverted and discussed with Froggo Villa, who is a salamander.
    • Also zig-zagged with El Toro. The current one is a bull, but his predecessor was a horse.
  • Dragged Off to Hell / Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: The defeat animation for the cursed Monquistadors does an impressive job of combining these two.
  • Dummied Out: El Tiburon, the Storm Shark companion, was suppose to became available in the crown shop after being defeated, but once the game went live, the badge that served as the flag that added him to the crown shop was removed.
    • This has become a subverted trope for those who defeated him after the third main update. For them he is now available as planned in the beta. For those that had completed the mission, he is still inaccessible, but plans to make him accessible to all in in motion. (Yes, this means currently we have an actual case of a partially subverted trope.)
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Guy Fox genuinely loves his sister, Bonnie Anne, despite seeing her as a traitor to the Radical cause. Sadly, this doesn't last when Bonnie Anne continues to interfere with the Radicals and soon settles for just killing her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ratbeard might scam his crew out of their share of the treasure, but he'd never knowingly do anything to harm them.
    • Crazy Horn was so savage that even his tribe, The Black Storm Raiders (one of the most murderous and dangerous Bison tribes in the history of Cool Ranch), threw him out.
  • Everyone Has Standards: You and your crew are firmly on the side of good (so to speak), but there are times where you do things that are morally ambiguous at best in pursuit of your goals, with no complaint from your crew whatsoever. In Port Regal however, Bonnie Anne feels that we're crossing the line by kidnapping the Governor's daughter, Mabel, even stating that if anything happens to Mabel, you'll answer to her (Luckily, Mabel has a rather boring life and finds being kidnapped by pirates exciting, and Catbeard promises that she'll be treated well. And when the plan is complete, she is promptly returned to her father).
  • Everything Is Better With Monkeys: The Monquistans.
  • Everything Is Better With Penguins: Polarians are a bunch of French penguins. They are more dangerous than they sound. Had Valencia not created the clockworks, Napoleguin would have conquered the entire Spiral.
  • Exact Words: Captain Blood's ongoing poker game with Death (and in turn, his immortality) can only be ended when Blood's cards are, in Death's own words, "played by his own hand". You're able to get around this by taking it literally, using Captain Blood's own severed hand to play his cards and end the game.
  • Expy: Subverted with Captain Avery in relation to Merle Ambrose. While they could pass as brothers, Avery quickly shows he's not above using Exact Words to cheat the player.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Naturally, in a pirate setting, you'll see a lot of capable fighters wearing eyepatches. One of the first you meet is the crafty and physically powerful Ratbeard.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Your crew calls out Captain Avery for failing to find Catbeard's hideout (i.e. The cave carved out to look like a giant monster).
    Ratbeard: How'd they miss it? It's only the most conspicuous thing in the whole Skyway! What, did ye hire Fin again?
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Guns in the spiral shoot lightning, generated with spark powder, to non-lethally subdue opponents. Strangely, there's still a quest that involves silver bullets.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Foxes of Albion are regarded as second-class citizens by the Dogs of Marleybone, and are only allowed to take the worst jobs. This eventually spurred a freedom movement that led to the formation of the Radicals.
    • It's implied that the reason most Pigs in Mooshu are criminals is because they don't get a lot of respect from the other inhabitants.
    • Monquistans as a whole seem to exhibit this, at least towards humans. Almost every Monquistan you speak to opens the conversation with a backhanded comment (or, in some cases, an outright insult) regarding your size or appearance. One even throws in some delightful comments about your effect on his reputation, followed by the qualification that of course you wouldn't be expected to know better, considering your upbringing.
      • Hints of this are also apparent in Marleybone, most prominently during the "Where Man? Wereman!" sidequest.
  • Flunky Boss: Quite a few of these appear over the course of the game. Early on, there's Fin Dorsal who combines this with Damage-Sponge Boss. Later, there's Commander Davis, who is also a damage sponge and has three waves of mooks accompanying him. And then there's Scylla, who can quickly overwhelm the unwary with Demonic Spider minions that get free attacks anytime anyone dodges, can take a lot of punishment due to being buccaneers, overwhelm their foes with superior numbers, and have unbelievably creepy faces for a family game.
  • For the Evulz: A lot of the Inoshishi do despicable acts because they can. One good example involves an Inoshishi necromancer who hired an entertainer to entertain his men. After that, the necromancer paid her with cursed money, which lead to her death. Her ghost can't properly pass over until she spends the cursed money. She didn't even do anything wrong; the necromancer just did that because he felt like it.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Swashbuckler class.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Duck of Death, who was forced out of his home after betraying his people to the Dogs of Marleybone and being betrayed in turn. He sold his soul to an Eldritch Abomination, which resulted in him becoming invincible to anything except silver bullets, and returned to terrorize the people of Cool Ranch in revenge.
    • Captain Blood was a vicious but otherwise ordinary pirate until he ran out on a card game with Death, effectively making himself immortal and leaving him free to enact a reign of terror across Cool Ranch. Even long after his supposed defeat at the hands of the first El Toro, his name still strikes fear throughout the skyway.
    • Kane himself was originally intended to help Gazpaccio build new and better creations. Instead, he began working his way up through the ranks of Valencian leadership until he not only became the de facto ruler of Valencia, but also stood at the head of the Armada, which at the time of the game is poised to conquer the entire Spiral.
    • The player character qualifies, from the Armada's point of view. You start as an orphan who has to be rescued from prison, but by the end of the game you're at the head of a crew who are single-handedly mowing down armies of clockworks, winning wars, and taking on monsters that have most other characters quaking in terror without breaking a sweat. Small wonder that the first time you come face-to-face with Kane, he tries to kill you on sight. Captain Avery even lampshades it, pointing out that he never would have expected someone like you to become the biggest thorn in the Armada's side.
      • The same thing plays out on a smaller scale in Monquista. When you first show up on your mission to get a treaty signed, the Monquistans won't even give you the time of day. By the time you succeed in signing the treaty and are ready to bid Monquista "good riddance," you've started a revolution, and your mere presence is enough to elicit an Oh, Crap! reaction.
  • Funny Animal: As with Wizard 101, they make up a large potion of the Spiral's population.
  • Furry Confusion: In one quest the player is told to count all the crabs on Skull Island. After doing this, Old Scratch wonders if it was actually crab pirates they were supposed to be counting.
  • The Gambling Addict: Buffalo Bill and Death himself qualify. The former is referred to as a gambling man who is forced to honor his promise of rejoining the Magnificent Seven when he loses a bet, and the latter cannot resist a card game (but he's getting help about it).
  • Genre Blind: Avery just doesn't seem to realize that Fin is a greedy, backstabbing traitor, despite being robbed by him multiple times.
    • The player also suffers from this in a couple of side missions, such as when they unknowingly rob a bank.
  • Giant Mecha: The player pilots one to fight a Stormzilla. This is not a major plot point.
  • Gilded Cage: In Mooshu, a chicken named Cobb is being worshiped as Basa Basa, the Rooster of Doom. The villagers treat him like a god, feed him loads of food, and the village looks pretty nice. While Cobb says he enjoyed it at first, he has grown tired of it due them not allowing him to leave as well as their constant singing annoying him. You're able to help him by finding an identical chicken and claiming he's the real Basa Basa.
  • Glass Cannon: Witchdoctors have some of the hardest hitting attacks, but they have the least amount of health and no natural defense to physical attacks.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: In his first promotion, Dead Mike asks for the captain's aid to bring him back to life so he would have more time to fulfil his promise to avenge the captain's murdered parents. Once all of the ingredients are gathered for the potion, Dead Mike takes a drink. To his horror, the potion has the opposite effect, leaving him more dead than he was before (turning him from a zombie to a revenant).
    • Ratbeard tried to cheat his former crew out of their share of Gunn's treasure by drugging them and sneaking off with Gunn's will. His plan went off without a hitch...except that the apothecary who sold him the drops replaced them with poison, leading Ratbeard to accidentally murder his own crew. He's understandably upset when he finds out what really happened.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Moo Manchu, to General Tso. Though he's not relevant to the main storyline and doesn't appear in any notable capacity until after Tso's defeat, he refers to Tso as his minion and claims that Tso's rebellion would have ended with him becoming Emperor of MooShu.
    • Kane himself is this for most of the game; while his role as the Big Bad of the main story is hinted at from early on, he doesn't come into direct conflict with the player until Book 15. Prior to that, the game's conflicts revolve around lower-ranking clockworks, problems caused directly or indirectly by the Armada's meddling, or even completely unrelated threats.
  • Great Offscreen War: The backstory for the origins of the Pirates.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The Wharf Rat Squirts.
    • Hawklules doesn't wear a shirt, but that's most likely due to his muscles.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ratbeard does one when you save him after his new allies betray him. Catbeard, Old Scratch, and Monkey King perform similar about-faces, though the last one is not necessarily by choice.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: While every class has a couple of special attacks that can strike multiple targets, Witchdoctors exemplify this best; almost every attack they use can hit multiple enemies.
  • Hidden Depths: Ratbeard is the biggest pirate stereotype in the game, but he can read Monquistan for some reason.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: The Witchdoctor class, practitioners of hoodoo who can animate the dead and work other dark charms.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Ratbeard's second promotion quest involves tracking down Captain Fowl, a truly irredeemable villain who has, among other things, burned down Ratbeard's home, cut off his leg, killed his father, stolen his parrot, and even tricked Ratbeard into poisoning his own crew. Ratbeard has every right to kill him then and there. Instead, however, he declares that the player has "shown him a better way" and promptly hands Fowl over to the authorities to face justice for his many, many crimes (and claims a large reward for his trouble).
  • I Gave My Word: Dead Mike swore to the parents who died in a mutiny that he would look after their child and that vow holds strong even in death, leading him to join your pirate crew.
  • I Have Many Names: Boochbeard has collected quite a few in his long career. This being Boochbeard, none are particularly badass.
  • I Have No Son!: Don Rafael (The original El Toro) renounced Rodrigo (The current El Toro and Rafael's adopted son) when he learned that Rodrigo was training Carolina, Rafael's biological daughter, to fence (He was a Fantasy-Forbidding Father who felt that fencing and swordsmanship were too dangerous for her).
  • In Their Own Image: Kane's ultimate goal for The Spiral.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: While some quests play this trope straight, many subvert it to some degree, either by giving training points that can be used to level up companions or by adding extra dimension to the narrative. Many of them are interesting stories in their own right. Others flesh out events and characters that are given only passing mention in the main quest line. It's arguably worth it to complete all sidequests on a first playthrough, if only because many of them contain details that become relevant to the main storyline later.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Many quests involve you targeting wealthy and corrupt enemies and stealing their ill-gotten gain to help the less fortunate.
  • Karma Houdini: Guy Fox. After attempting to kill your crew multiple times and nearly dooming an entire world to destruction via violent pursuit of his radical ideology, he flees, leaving his fellow conspirators to take the fall. Your crew is all set to pursue him, but Bonnie Anne persuades you to let him go. Though even she admits it's a poor decision, it's understandable, since he is her brother.
  • Kid with the Leash: The player uses the leash in question to control the Monkey King. A necessary evil, as the one on the leash made two attempts on the player's life before being collared.
  • Kid With The Remote Control: When the player spares Old Scratch, Old Scratch becomes unswervingly loyal to the player, even banishing his former master, the Dark Crawler, with the player's help.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Book 15, after killing Gazpaccio, Kane makes a speech about how "children are meant to replace their fathers". Shortly afterwards, Kane (wisely) decides to evacuate the Machine and attempts to activate the self-destruct sequence. The Machine outright refuses and tells Kane that he is no longer necessary. El Toro even lampshades it.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Following advice from Catbeard, the player starts a war between Marleybone and the Armada in order to weaken Fort Elena's defenses enough to sneak in and free some of its prisoners.
  • Life Drain: Witchdoctor's Jobu attacks drain enemies health and restore a portion of the damage to the caster's health.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!
  • Loophole Abuse: The reason Captain Blood is immortal. When he was about to lose his poker game with Death, he left for the bathroom and never came back. Since the game is still considered ongoing, Death can't claim Blood, nor can he directly interfere with his life.
    • Interestingly, this is also the method the player uses to resolve the problem mentioned above. To finish the game, Blood's cards must be played by his own hand. No rule says that the hand has to be attached to his body, however; so the player tracks down Blood's severed hand and uses it to play his cards, thus ending the game and stripping Blood of his Immortality.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Napoleguin's cell in Fort Elena looks rather cozy.
  • Mad Scientist: Bishop.
  • The Mafia: Frogfather's Syndicate is the most powerful group of smugglers in the Spiral.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Armada all wear Venetian style masks. Of course, there's nothing but machinery underneath.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Mr. Gandry is rumored to be the real mastermind behind Boochbeard's operations.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The Armada are extremely advanced sapient machines. They are not actually alive. They are but puppets with a facsimile of life. Hollow men, run on gears and wires; heartless, soulless, and ruthless. They do not tire. They do not sleep. They do not stop. Ever.note 
  • Mighty Glacier: The Buccaneer class
  • Monster Clown: Phule, one of the members of Kane's court, is dressed like a jester.
  • Morality Pet: A literal one with General Tso's chicken. During the battle against him, Tso is invulnerable, and the only way to win the battle is to break through his defenses to get to his chicken. He immediately surrenders the moment his beloved pet is in danger.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: When creating a character, you are given three choices to determine your backstory, each of which affects some aspect of the game: how your parents died (a crewmember you'll recruit), where you were raised (a stat boosting trait), and why you were imprisoned by the Armada (your class).
  • Must Make Amends: The ghost of Rafael de la Vega begs you to reunite his two children, Rodrigo and Carolina/Mustang Sally, and tell them that they have his blessing to marry each other (relax, they're Not Blood Siblings) after his actions in life split them apart.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Many of the companions reactions to seeing Marleybone's skies transformed into a war zone filled with debris from Marleybonian and Armada ships as a result of the war the player started.
    • When Don Rafael found out that his adopted son was teaching his biological daughter fencing, as well as the fact that the latter two were in love, he promptly blew a fuse and disowned Rodrigo, leading to Carolina leaving Cool Ranch in retaliation. Only in death did Rafael tragically realize that he had alienated both of his beloved children.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Captain Blood, one of the most evil Pirates to ever exist. Fortunately, they claim he met his end a few years ago. Yeah, right.
  • The Napoleon: Napoleguin, the ultimate Chess Master. Or so he'd have you believe.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Rodrigo (The current El Toro) and his adoptive sister Carolina (Mustang Sally) fell in love in their youth. When Rodrigo asked his adoptive father Rafael for his blessing in marrying Carolina, he was denied, which ultimately lead to Rodrigo getting disowned and Carolina leaving Cool Ranch. Luckily, Rafael would realize his mistake in death and granted both of his children his blessing to marry each other posthumously.
  • Not-So-Safe Harbor: Skull Island is supposed to be type 1, but as this is a family game, it is fairly safe.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Fox Radicals. They started out as freedom fighters who wanted equality for the mistreated Foxes, but as Bonnie Anne states, they lost their way and are now out to get revenge and hurt the Marleybonians in any way they can.
  • Not This One, That One: After finishing the first few missions, the player is rewarded with their very own ship from Avery's private fleet. The private dock the player is directed to is home to massive, magnificent Cool Ship. This is promptly moved aside to reveal the player's broken-down raft.
  • Oh, Crap!: Whenever a character makes a critical hit, the person on the receiving end pulls one of these.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The Stormgates are giant whirlpool-like swirly things that enable ships to travel between the worlds of the Spiral.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Subverted, The player is first told that the password to see Frogfather is "swordfish;" however, the real password is "ribbet". Though it seems like a stupid phrase for a mafia of anthropomorphic frogs to choose for a password, no one has ever guessed it.
  • Precursors: The Aztecosaurs, a race so old they lived on the first world alongside the titans before it was destroyed. Their empire had dwindled to only Azteca since the first world was shattered. Unfortunately, Azteca was destroyed when a comet collided with it leaving only their ruins on different worlds of the Spiral. Azteca is still around and it's denizens are still alive as well, at least at the moment...
    • The Celestians and citizens of El Dorado were two extremely powerful civilizations that developed magic and technology far beyond anything seen in the rest of the Spiral. El Dorado had such power that when its people died off the Celestians used their power to make its Stormgate vanish and reappear in a way that was almost impossible to predict to prevent anyone from accessing El Dorado and its magic. The Celestian civilization later met a similar fate when the Storm Lord sank their civilization when they asked him for help in a war. It's rumored that there are powers in El Dorado that could destroy the Spiral, if awakened.
  • Plague Doctor: Bishop, one of the members of Kane's Court, is dressed like one.
  • Poke the Poodle: The Mann the Bounty Hunter side quests in Marleybone involve you going after criminals that Mann considers to be scum at the bottom of the barrel who deserve no mercy whatsoever, and while they did things that are considered crimes, they don't really deserve the level of animosity that Mann gives them. note 
  • Present Company Excluded: A side quest in Marleybone has you dealing with a Werehuman, a dog that transforms into a human. Multiple time, the residents of Marleybone comment about how ugly and monstrous the human is, and when they realize that you're human, they say that you make it look good.
  • Previously On…: Boochbeard and the player's companions remind the player what they were doing when they log in if it had been a while since the last time the player logged in.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Amber Horde.
  • Puzzle Boss: Some fights require facing the boss with a different tactic than just attack everything. Sometimes there are time limits; other times, a specific character must be protected or objects must be interacted with to render the boss vulnerable.
    • The most infamous fight is the Giant Mecha fight with Stormzilla. In a plain hand to hand fight Stormzilla will win because it has more health than the player, gets two to three attacks per turn compared to the player's one, and summons minions which do additional damage if they are not destroyed quickly. The player has to learn to use the Mecha's abilities and battlefield to their advantage to win.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Your entire crew is essentially this. Crewmembers range from a Proud Warrior Race Guy to Blood Knight to Dumb Muscle, Anti-Hero, Loveable Rogue, The Engineer...the list goes on and on. You and rest of your crew are up against an army of Mechanical Lifeforms and everything else that's trying to get to El Dorado.
  • Reality Ensues: Despite what Catbeard seems to think, wars do not end quickly nor quietly. When you arrive at Marleybone, it's obvious that they are not doing well against Valencia, an enemy who mass produces soldiers by the minute.
  • Reassignment Backfire: The player's diplomatic mission to Monquista. It's heavily implied to be an Uriah Gambit intended to get the pirate out of the way while Avery profits from Gunn's piece of the Map. However, the joke is on him after the pirate successfully starts a revolution, picks up some powerful allies, gathers information that will be incredibly valuable down the road, and gets the treaty signed as the cherry on top. They even get a hefty reward for their services.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Travelling to Valencia by going through the main stormgate (essentially the front door) while you're the Armada's Most Wanted definitely qualifies. The best part is that when you meet Kane, he actually does recognize you, but he can't do anything about it—not only are the King and Queen taken in by your deception, you have diplomatic immunity, meaning his only option is to wait and hope you slip up somehow. This doesn't stop him from attacking you on sight when you enter King Casmir's court, however. Listening to the King and Queen chew him out is truly a satisfying experience.
  • Retired Bad Ass: Captain Horace Avery, the most successful Pirate in history. He's forsaken the sail and is now the Steward of Skull Island after he won it in a bet from the previous governor.
  • Retired Outlaw: Sly Winkum used to be part of The Dreaded Captain Blood's crew, but during a fight between Blood and the original El Toro, Sly led a mutiny that resulted in the captain's death (except not really). He has since left his wicked days behind him and lives as a genuine law abiding citizen.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The Fox Radicals are doing everything in their power to sabotage Marleybone in their war against the Armada as revenge for their discrimination, despite the fact that the Armada will treat them no better, if not worse, should they win.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: When looking for the grave of Captain Gunn's first mate, the crew comes across several different tombstones. All of them name the person buried there and how they died in verse.
  • Riddle for the Ages: How did Wyatt Chirp die? All that's known in-game is that some of the Magnificent 7 blame Duck Holliday for what happened to Wyatt and that Old Man Bronco says that Wyatt learned the hard way "what happens to heroes". According to Blind Mew, Wyatt died in the line of duty, but the precise circumstances are left hazy.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Some of the pets are this, without a doubt. Special mentions include: Orchid/Cutie Chameleons, Armadillo Verde, and White-Tailed Jackalope. (For Easter, There were variations on the Armadillo and Jackalope called the Marshmadillow, which is the armadillo Verde with the design of a marshmallow peep, and Chocolopes. Jackalopes that are chocolate bunny look-alikes. Putting a whole new meaning to the term "Tastes like diabetes.")
  • Running Gag: A trumpet riff is heard almost every time someone says the name "El Toro". At one point when he's not feeling all that confident, it trails off.
    • Ratbeard's suggestion whenever the crew is faced with a wall or locked door is to blow it up, which results in some hilarious comments from fellow crewmembers.
    • A surprising number of quests require the player character to wear a disguise or simply change into a different outfit. Sometimes it's practical, such as when they impersonate a clockwork to enter Sivella, but most of the time the temporary ensemble is just silly, like the jester outfit they're forced to wear in Puerto Mico.
  • Scenery Porn: Kingsisle has vastly improved their graphics from when Wizard 101 was first released. The whole purpose of Catbeard's Lair is to show off just what Kingsisle can do.
  • Self-Deprecation: Kingsisle makes a reference to the poor design choice of making most of the areas in Marleybone for Wizard 101 take place on similar looking rooftops via Ratbeard saying that the sewers were more appealing.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: El Toro (the first one) accidentally creates one when he buries Captain Blood. At the time he didn't know that his opponent was still alive. Judging by the broken clockworks surrounding the empty grave, the Armada got a very nasty surprise when they dug him up in search of a key.
    • Napoleguin is another example. Widely considered the most dangerous mind in the Spiral, he was safely locked inside Fort Elena prison—at least, until the player came along.
    • If the cryptic hints left by Marco Pollo are true, El Dorado itself may qualify.
  • Shamu Fu: One of Catbeard's critical attacks makes use of the pickled herring he carries.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Your main purpose in Marleybone is to find out where Catbeard's piece of Marco Pollo's map is. Unfortunately, he's been imprisoned for starting the war between Marleybone and Valencia, and he won't reveal where it is unless you free him, only telling you that it's safe. You decide to abuse the law a bit and try to get commissioned as a Captain in the Royal Navy (who can legally take any able-bodied sailor into their crew, even prisoners). After a lot of hard work involving a Suicide Mission, a mutiny, radical anarchists, and changing the tide of the entire war, you finally gain the commission and free Catbeard. After he's freed, he reveals that he lost his piece of the map to Captain Gunn. The piece you got from his treasure. Hey, it was safe, wasn't it?
    • The quest to obtain all of the pieces of Marco Pollo's map and prevent Kane from reaching El Dorado was ultimately this. When Kane figured out that the map was made using astronomical equations, he was able to construct his own map in 20 days (For comparison, it took Marco Pollo 20 years to finish his map). The reason he has yet to make a move was because he was busy perfecting his Doomsday Device.
  • Shattered World: This takes place in the same Spiral as Wizard 101, made up of islands that are the remaining pieces of the first world after it was shattered by the war between the dragons, ice giants, and tritons and stitched together in the Spiral shape by the grandfather tree.
  • Shed the Family Name: Bonnie Anne abandoned her last name, Fox, when she left Marleybone in an attempt to distance herself from the members of her family. Most infamously led by Guy Fox, they were known radicals and anarchists who were attempting to secure Albion's freedom through violence and destruction.
  • Shock and Awe: Musketeers are able to fire electrically-charged shots from their guns. Witchdoctors are also able to launch bursts of electricity via Mojo Strike, Mojo Blast, Mojo Storm, and Chain Lightning.
  • Shout-Out: Similar to Wizard 101, the game is loaded with references to everything from history to pop culture.
  • Sky Pirate: Since there aren't any seas on the Spiral, this is the main way to travel.
  • Smoke Out: Swashbucklers have abilities that create a cloud of smoke and let them become invisible for a few turns. They also do double damage for any attack performed while invisible.
  • Split Personality: Despite being a machine, Phule has two separate personalities. Whichever one is active is indicated by which side of his mask the camera is facing. The white smile regards you with a certain level of respect and seems to be entertained by how much trouble you're causing for Kane, while the black frown just wants you dead.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Witchdoctor class has the lowest base health and does not naturally learn to wear armor. Partially averted in that they can learn to wear light armor for the cost of a Skill Point.note 
  • Stable Time Loop: As revealed in the Wizard101 B.O.X.E.S Event, Boochbeard and Mr. Gandry showed up to rescue the pirate at the beginning of the game because they overheard a time-travelling villain called the Maestro tell Deacon that a young, orphaned pirate (the player) would one day destroy the Armada.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: While on your way to get Captain Blood's treasure in the Motherlode Mine, you come across some large rocks that block your way. El Toro suggests putting some dynamite in a mine cart and pushing it down the tracks into the rocks. Bonnie Anne asks why they don't just place the dynamite directly on the rocks. El Toro admits that they could, but it would have far less dramatic flair.
  • Suicide Mission: When the player tries to exploit a wartime decree and join the Marleybonian Navy in order to free another character from jail, the navy commanders send the player on one of these in order to destroy a massive Armada fortress. This is implied to be done out of desperation, rather than malice—Marleybone is losing the war and needs every possible advantage. In addition, suicide missions are apparently relatively common practice, and at least one commander has been on multiple suicide missions. Considering that the player has already made short work of a similar (albeit much smaller) fortress, the command truly expects to see the player survive. This doesn't stop Ratbeard from lampshading it, though.
    • Earlier in the game, the player must journey to Valencia, the home world of the Armada. The only way that isn't heavily guarded is through Avernus, which is universally considered a death trap.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Zig-Zagged, When diving into a lake to retrieve Captain Blood's hand you have to complete the fight in 15 rounds because you're holding your breath, but earlier in both Skull Island and Monquista, there were underwater fights with no special conditions that weren't even lampshaded. In Mooshu, Old Scratch says the following just before you have to go underwater:
    Old Scratch: These be no natural waters, my Captain. You be safe to breathe beneath them, I think.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Perhaps one of the most massive cases of this, all of Monquista is at least a third cousin of some former king. Their marriages are so twisted and tangled that the family trees look like cobwebs made by drunken spiders.
  • Tarot Motifs: When you ask Madame Esmerelda where to find the key to Captain Blood's treasure, she uses Tarot Cards to answer. The first card, representing the past, is an upside-down Judgement (which represents the mutiny that was led against Captain Blood). The second card, representing the present, is The Drowned Mariner (which represents the undead Captain Blood). The third card, representing the future, is Death (representing the Reaper himself). In short, the answer to your question is that the key is in the possession of Captain Blood, and the only way to get it is by contacting Death himself.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Your Companions do this when you promote them.
  • Trap Master: Musketeers excel at laying traps and barricades to force enemies to go where they want them.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The Clockwork Armada have become the most powerful navy in the Spiral and are constantly growing more powerful, but have enslaved the people of Valencia and are destroying entire floating islands (some of which are still inhabited), to create The Machine.
  • Turn-Based Strategy: Every fight in the game, boss battle or not.
  • The Weird West: Cool Ranch.
    • Considering that the western outlaws could be considered a Western version of Pirates, this is a bit of Fridge Brilliance.
  • The Unfavorite: It's implied that Phule is the least favorite of Kane's "children".
  • Uriah Gambit: Proposed during Catbeard's trial by his own lawyer. According to an emergency wartime decree, the player can take him onto their crew on military parole to fight in a hopeless war against the Armada and face almost certain death. (And given that he would have certainly been convicted and sentenced to death otherwise, this is still the better option for him.)
    • It is implied that the player's attempts to forge a treaty with Monquista at Avery's request are another example of this. Avery states upon their return that he was sure they were dead or in prison...which would conveniently leave him free to keep their piece of the map to El Dorado.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Deacon pulls this off in the tutorial after injuring Boochbeard. Later on Ratbeard does this as well.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Attacking three powerful military forces at the same time was an ambitious move on Napoleguin's part, but the fact that they were all his allies makes you wonder if he had his facts straight.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Bonnie Anne and Ratbeard.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Some of your companions feel this way after seeing Marleybone ravaged by war. Some (reluctantly) feel that starting the war was necessary, while the others wonder if there was a better way.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Ratbeard betrays the crew the player joins in search of Gunn's treasure. When the player later saves his sorry hide he begs for forgiveness and asks to join the player's crew. One member of the player's crew makes an objection but goes on to accept Ratbeard as a fellow crew mate.
  • Wild Card: The Monquistans are quick to change alliances since they are very easily offended. Boochbeard's second in command, Mr. Gandry, served in three different navies before becoming a Pirate.
  • Wham Line:
    • In order to obtain Monkey King's staff, Dragon King orders you to find his most prized possession, the Jade Egg. It isn't until you find it that you realize just how prized it really is.
      Old Scratch: Dragon King, him not tell us all there was to know. This Jade Egg... it is alive!
    • From when you enter Marleybone for the first time, only to see the world ravaged by war.
      Ratbeard: Catbeard thought Marleybone'd make short work of the clockworks did he? Looks t'me like Captain Kitty has much to answer for!
      Bonnie Anne: He had help.
  • Wham Shot: At the very end of Cool Ranch, you find a photograph of Marco Pollo's crew amid Captain Blood's treasure. This doesn't seem shocking until your Presidio companion recognizes one of them as your mother.
  • Whip It Good: El Toro uses one for both attacking and to swing over obstacles. He can even latch onto thin air with it.
  • Womb Level: Gullet, a city built inside a sky whale. You get there by riding a bucket down the blowhole.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist. Zig-Zagged. Captain Blood's treasure does indeed contain gold, just not as much as people were led to believe. The real treasure, in fact, is a piece of Marco Pollo's map and his ship, the Santa Oro (which translates to Holy Gold). Played Straight from Ratbeard's point of view, however.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: The player starts off as a captive of the Valencian Clockworks but is rescued by Boochbeard and Mr. Gandry. A surprising number of companions are also former jailbirds.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Marcus Fox is a "credit to his class" who has earned a high position as Head Programmer in the engineering corps, despite being a lowly Fox. Subverted when it turns out he's a radical who worked his way up to Head Programmer to sabotage the war effort.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: In the Moomori Mansion instance, your first Companion, from Mooshu, volunteers to deface the walls. After Ratbeard asks what the graffiti says, your Companion refuses to translate. This trope is voiced literally by Subodai, the Companion given to Swashbucklers.
  • You Get What You Pay For: After the player goes to a lot of trouble to do a favor for King Ferdinand of Monquista, the king repays them by trying to have them killed. The player replies in kind by freeing a number of political prisoners and whipping up a revolution which eventually gets Ferdinand kicked off the throne. The pirate's new allies are more than happy to reward them for their aid, and as a result, receive a lot more help from the player farther down the line.
    • One would think that after swindling the player once and getting away with it, Avery would quit while he was ahead. But he tries again, this time sending the player off to Monquista so he can use them as a scapegoat and keep the piece of the map to El Dorado from Gunn's treasure. Instead, Fin steals it, forcing him to ask the pirate to get it back. (Meanwhile, the pirate returns from Monquista having gained several powerful allies and a tidy sum of gold for their trouble.)
    • A side quest in Marleybone has you investigating the Zephyr, a train in Cool Ranch that spectacularly exploded on its first ride, practically crashing the Locomotive industry. The quest reveals that the head architect of the project was ordered to construct the train using Albion steel, but instead decided to cut corners by using Valencian steel, which as it turns out, can explode under unknown circumstances.
  • You Killed My Father: A member of Kane's Court and Grand Marshal of the Armada, Rooke gives us a rare case of the villain saying this after the player kills his "brother", Deacon.
    • Ratbeard also says this to Captain Fowl during his second promotion.
    Ratbeard: Ahoy there, turkey! My name's Ratbeard. Ye killed me father! Prepare to die.note 
  • Your Size May Vary: Particularly large companions will be shrunken to only slightly larger than the player when not in combat.
    • Monsters in the skyways are huge when they're not boarding you, due to the camera being extremely zoomed out when you're steering your ship.

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