For the northern hemisphere, today is Talk Like A Pirate Day. And given that pirates and their marauding way of life has been a rich source of entertainment and for the gaming industry over the last few decades, it seems only right to reflect. So I asked around: who was your favourite pirate, or pirates, from the world of video games? Here's what everyone had to say.
Campbell Simpson, Gizmodo Australia editor
My favourite video game pirate doesn't have a name, because it's the player character in Sid Meier's Pirates! — the 2004 re-release for PC was the first one I played. Being a pirate in Pirates! was awesome — you could zip around the Caribbean and battle rival nations and seize cargo vessels and take on enemies three times your size, and win if you were gutsy enough. You could even dance with the Governor's daughter. Or like a dozen different Governor's daughters, if that was your speed.
Don't get me wrong, I love Guybrush Threepwood, but the player character in Pirates! was the best pirate ever, because he was me, and I got to live out all the Master & Commander dreams I had as a kid. God I loved that game.
Chris Jager, Lifehacker Australia editor
Does digital piracy count? If so, I'm going to plump for Chad; a hacker and saboteur from the 1989 cyberpunk game Interphase. You only get to glimpse Chad once at the beginning of the game before he breaks into the virtual-reality domain of the Dreamtrack mega corporation in an attempt to steal their secrets and disable their defences.
But he looks cool in his modded motorcycle gear. His text-based interactions with his girlfriend and fellow cyber pirate Kaf-E are also pretty endearing. Okay, so this character has very little to do with pirates in the traditional sense, but I'll take any excuse to bang on about Interphase I can get.
Also, Cervantes from Soulcalibur. Cool sword.
Alex Walker, Kotaku Australia editor
I’m almost with Campbell on this one in that it’s the same series of games – just the wrong pirate.
Rather than the wisecracking hero, I always had a fondness for Captain LeChuck. For one, he never seems to bloody die. He returns at multiple points as a demon, a zombie, and as a ghost, and he never stops seeking revenge at any point. You’ve gotta award him points for consistency.
He’s also an expert in the use of voodoo magic, which is always a plus. Why go to the bother of getting someone in front of you so you can stab them when you can just jab their stuffed counter-part in the side instead? There’s also the fun part where LeChuck was voiced by the same bloke who played the clinical psychologist in the first three Terminator movies. Respect.
But above all, you have to love LeChuck’s penchant for being a pirate version of Bowser by repeatedly kidnapping Elaine Marley. The part where he tries to make her his undead bride is a shitload more creepy once you become an adult and think about the ramifications of it all. Actually, some of his plans are a touch psychotic – like the part where he tries to use a voodoo talisman to make Elaine his submissive wife, or the time when he built a theme park around a portal into Hell as a way to bolster his undead army.
Still, he’s a great antagonist and a stalwart of the series. Guybrush is great, but he doesn’t work without LeChuck. Here’s to you, you bizarre, obsessed weirdo.
Hayley Williams, Gizmodo/Kotaku/Lifehacker social media and community editor
My favourite video game pirate has to be Faris Scherwiz from Final Fantasy V. The reason she sticks out for me is probably because I had a dodgy copy of Final Fantasy V on the Gameboy which wouldn’t save, meaning I never played more than 4 hours into the game. Because of this, I only have a shaky grasp of the overall plot, but I did play the earliest scenes over and over again — including this kind of odd (but definitely memorable) one where the main characters find out that the formidable pirate captain Faris is a woman:
Oh Japan, never change.
So it turns out she’s secretly a princess or something, but for the start of the game she disguises herself as a man to be a pirate. Not just any pirate, but the captain of her ship. She has a sea-dragon for a companion. She’s generally pretty badass. In a game series that’s got a thing for heroic heroes and self-sacrificing damsels, Faris is interesting. Initially she has no interest in saving the world, she does it for more selfish reasons which, honestly, can be pretty refreshing as a character trait.
Tegan Jones, Allure Media commercial editor
I’m going to have to go with Captain Syrup of the Wario Land games. After getting his arse handed to him by Mario, Wario decides to plunder the treasures of the Brown Sugar Pirates in his first protagonist title. Syrup was having none of this bullshit and took issue with him trying to take her stuff and being surprised that he was being foiled by a woman. No one disrespects the SS Teacup.
In the final boss fight she summons a god damn genie to help her throw fireballs at Wario for being a thieving, misogynist scrub. He wins of course, but it’s cool because Syrup just blows up her own castle like a baller.
In Wario Land II Captain Syrup returns and has renamed her group the Black Sugar Pirates after the cold, dead chasm where her house once stood. She proceeds to steal her shit back from Wario and fight him with a robot she controls from her plane because bitch don’t use public transport now that free opal trips have been revoked. Sadly she was eventually defeated because patriarchy, I guess.
Syrup prevails in the end by stealing Wario’s bottomless coin sack in Wario Land: Shake It. She is also the moral victor by naming her new ride The Sweet Stuff. She is everything I want to be.
Who or what are your favourite pirate or pirates from video games?