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Author: PiratesAhoy! Community


a mod for Pirates of the Caribbean

"Pirates of the Caribbean: New Horizons", also known as PiratesAhoy! Community Build 14, has been in development ever since the release of Build 13 in early 2007. We have come a long way since then, adding much new content and many new features, some of which were thought to be impossible to achieve even by the original game developers themselves.

Although the game is called "Pirates of the Caribbean" and a lot of movie-specific content has been added, that is not all that's been done. Better still, there is a lot to enjoy even for those people who don't much care for the movies and it is entirely possible to play the game as a fully realistic period naval simulation, rather than a movie tie-in.

The following are a couple of the main features you will find in "New Horizons". However, be sure that there is a lot more new content than just that listed below.

- Selectable Storylines:
Arguably one of the biggest new features in "New Horizons", the "Selectable Storylines" mod will enable you to select different main quests to play. The original game's main quest has been retained, but there are now five additional main quests to choose from:

* Bartolomeu o Portugues

In the year 1660, Portugal had been at war with Spain for over twenty years. Once one of the main superpowers on the high seas, Portugal was now a part of the Spanish Empire. Struggling for independance, the Portuguese government handed out many letters of marque in an attempt to turn the tide. It is in this world in turmoil that Bartolomeu decided to leave his beloved country and take his chances in the New World. Little did he know that he would soon become the most famous Portuguese pirate in history, feared by the Spanish and hailed by his countrymen. [View Trailer]
* Blaze Devlin

A quest that leads you to find long lost family members, and a vast treasure... that is, if you can survive! Along the way you will encounter a band of rather colourful characters who will help you on your journey. You will get the choice whose help you want, each character offering a different style in achieving your goal.
* Devlin Opera

This quest follows a similar storyline to that of Blaze Devlin, but, has been specially written for our female players. The main character is now a pirate lass, and the dialog and story line has been written to accommodate this. She is just as adventurous and plucky as her male counterparts and can stand her own in any battle... Oh! And she has a sister!
* Horatio Hornblower

As a seventeen-year-old with a touch for seasickness, young Horatio Hornblower hardly cuts a dash in His Majesty's Navy. Yet from the moment he is ordered to board the Indefatigable, he proves his seafaring mettle on the waves. With a character-forming duel, several chases and some strange tavern encounters, the young Hornblower is soon forged into a formidable man of the sea.
* The Legend of Jack Sparrow

A lot has been speculated about the early days of Jack Sparrow and we're not even sure if this particular account is entirely accurate. It does explain some of the events that shaped this infamous pirate, but the journey can take multiple twists and turns depending on your choices, which may or may not end with you sailing into the sunset after lifting the Curse of the Black Pearl.

- Periods:
The "Periods" mod goes hand in hand with the "Selectable Storylines" mod and goes a great way to improve realism in the game. Depending on the year of the storyline taking place, the game world will be a different place. There will be different types of ships sailing the seas, the soldiers guarding the towns will wear different uniforms and nation relations will change.
There periods range from the year 1500 when the Caribbean was just being discovered to 1820, at the height of the Napoleonic wars. In the final fifty years, there will even emerge a new power in the Caribbean. Indeed, the United States of America make their appearance in the game!

- Real Caribbean:
No more fantasy archipelago in "New Horizons"; the "Real Caribbean" mod renames all islands to their real-life counterparts and adds three additional islands.

- Capture Colonies:
This is probably the most often requested mod, ever since the release of the stock game. Originally you could sack enemy towns, but you couldn't capture them. With this mod, however, you will be able to parlay over the terms of surrender with the town's governor, enabeling you to sack the town as usual, give the town to another government or take it for yourself!

- Realistic Weather:
Build 12 added a mod that would allow weather to change while sailing around in 3D sailing mode. However, this was not a very sophisticated mod and weather changes could be rather abrupt. The weather system has been rewritten and weather updates will now occur much more smoothly. Therefore paying attention to what the weather is doing can play an important part in naval battles and having the weather guage in a chase becomes very worthwhile.

- Direct Sail:
This mod has often been requested by fans of realism in the game and was long thought to be impossible to achieve given the game engine limitations. However, achieve it we did and now you can sail from island to island in 3D sailing mode without making use of the worldmap. Along the way, you will occasionally encounter other ships and items drifting in the sea, which may or may not be dangerous. But those who prefer arcade-like gameplay need not fear; the worldmap is still working as it always did.

- Walk on Deck:
When sailing at sea, you can now freely walk around your ship and visit your captain's cabin, the crew quarters, cannon decks and cargo holds. Depending on the size and class of your ship, you will have a different captain's cabin and outside deck. On deck, you will be able to interact with your officers and crew.

- Side Quests:
Not only are there five new main quests, there are many new side quests as well. These include stories where you will help Portuguese pirate Bartolomeu o Portugues get back his ship and crew, help the pirate island of Turks defend against a Spanish invasion, find treasure on a mysterious island and discover a strange menace that threatens the safety of everyone in the Caribbean.

- New characters:
As with all the previous Builds, there are many new characters added. This includes many quest characters such as an improved Jack Sparrow and Will Turner, but also new ones as Davy Jones, Cutler Beckett, Horatio Hornblower and Bartolomeu o Portugues. Additionally there are many new random characters to liven up ordinary streetlife, as well as period-specific soldier uniforms. [See examples]

- New ships:
As far as ships are concerned, we are now up to 175 unique ships and the number is still increasing. We have recently developed ways to add completely new ship models into the game, rather than just recoloured ones, and we have made great use of this new ability. The added ships include various quest ships, such as the HMS Interceptor and Flying Dutchman, but by far most new ships are used to liven up the random encounters at sea. Many ships are now nation-specific, so you will now fight fleets of black-and-yellow British Royal Navy warships and loot beautifully decorated Spanish treasure fleets or Dutch galeons with their characteristic green stern decorations. [See examples]

- New locations:
The newly added islands all have new towns and land locations. Additionaly, there has been added an English town to Nevis, the former pirate island of Quebradas Costillas. Nation-specific texture work has added greatly to making each town unique and many of the models have been further modified or completely replaced.

Look forward to several articles being posted soon which will offer some more elaborate previews of the features described in short above.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: New Horizons" is still heavily in development, the latest release being Alpha 8. Although many new features have been included, it proved fairly unstable. The release of Alpha 9 is planned soon and it promises to be a lot more stable and playable.

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