You are a pirate and an adventurer in the 16th century, learning from an old seadog of a legend revolving around a cave filled with gold and booty, left behind and forgotten by another pirate lord decades ago. Alas, the seadog forgot in which island is the cavern located, but managed to produce three maps from his seafaring days for your adventure. You then set off to find the treasure, but ends up knee-deep in hostile territory owned by rival pirate enemies as you travel to the islands of La Isabea, Papeete, and Shetland in search for clues.
Gameplay-wise, Pirates is seen from a behind-the-back perspective throughout, with a crosshair indicating where your shots will hit as you control your character in avoiding bullets and projectiles. You spend the game dodging bullets, arrows, the occasional cannonballs (though this one can be shot to bits before they hit you) and can obtain cannons of your own to blow up large amount of enemies or deal greater damage on bosses.
The game was never ported to the NES or other gaming platforms for reasons unknown, though there are certain downloadable ports available for computers.
Time to yo-ho-ho-em'-up!
- Airborne Mook:
- Pirates on miniature hot-air balloons whose occupants fires away at you while airborne. These can be shot out of the air however, by aiming for the basket.
- For some weird reason, you'll sometimes face witches on broomsticks, at random, who floats at the top of an area while attacking you.
- Beneath the Earth: The stage after the Aztec jungles, where you enter a cavern that leads underground into a subterranean cavern.
- Blow Gun: Aztec natives uses these as a ranged attack, compared to common pirate mooks who uses firearms.
- Bottomless Magazines: Like every good shooter out there, you can repeatedly shoot enemies in the face without running out of ammunition. Or reloading. What's even better is that your weapons are old-timey flintlock pistols.
- Cool Ship: One of the earliest bosses is a flying pirate ship, carried by a large propeller. Steampunk-style.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Your pistols can collapse entire buildings or sink enemy ships by shooting them enough times. The first stage have you destroying a small, pirate-occupied town by collapsing all the buildings via pistols!
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Pirates is a game about pirates.
- Giant Enemy Crab: The underground cavern stage have one of these (tall enough to reach the cavern roof) serving as a boss, and it will occasionally release several smaller (as in, dog-sized) crab minions at you.
- Guns Akimbo: How you start each stage, with a flintlock pistol in each hand. Which can fire continuously without reloading.
- Mayincatec: The stage in the Aztec jungles where you battle hostile tribespeople (which your enemies, hostile pirates, have somehow formed an alliance with) have you taking on mooks around totem pillars, Olmec heads, and plenty of Aztec-inspired structure. Which, like everything else in the game, can be destroyed. Also, the treasure you spend the entire game seeking is located in a Mayan pyramid.
- One-Man Army: You're on your own (unless you're on two-player mode, in which your friend plays as a lady pirate assisting you) raiding entire towns and fortresses, slaying enemy pirates by the dozens and winning.
- One-Word Title: Pirate. Just pirate.
- Pirate: Yeah, well, of course. You're a bucaneer yourself, taking on hostile pirates while searching for missing gold.
- Pirate Booty: What your quest revolves around, in search of a hidden treasure cave from a slain pirate lord after you obtained a map from an old seadog. Complete the last level and you'll be rewarded with the final cutscene where you entered a cavern filled with chests of gold, and sails away into the sunset with an entire ship of booty.
- Pirate Girl: In two-player mode, the second player is a lady pirate.
- Shoot the Bullet: You can shoot cannonballs out of the air before it hits you. Expectedly, you gain more points for destroying projectiles rather than just dodging them.
- Tank Goodness: One of the bosses, somehow (despite the 16th century setting!) is a pirate tank made of bricks, with stone wheels and pirate cannons for it's three turrets.
- Unique Enemy:
- While raiding the enemy ship on Papete, you randomly fight a chef enemy (wearing white, sticking out among the colourfully-dressed pirate mooks like a sore thumb) who attacks by throwing his cleavers at you. He's a one-of-a kind mook encountered only in that stage.
- The underground cavern contains two minor pirate mooks with two peglegs, and they're the only enemies with this design.
- There's a single Aztec chieftain carrying a shield as large as himself in the final level, inside the pyramid. He can take plenty of hits thanks to said shield, but still goes down after a handful of cannonballs.
- Walking Disaster Area: Let's put it this way: the first level is set in a port town occupied by pirates, with enemy ships a distance away. By the time you're through, every single building in said town is levelled to the ground, with derelict ships in the distance. And then you proceed to wipe out a larger port, a Mayan village, a stone fortress, and by the time you're sailing away with your new booty nothing much behind you is left standing.