Sid Meier's Pirates! Interview (PC)

Si: Hello there. Tell us please, why after so many years from original Pirates did you decide to do a sequel? Why now?
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Firaxis: Well, from the feedback we’ve gotten from fans over the years, all of us at Firaxis knew this was a game that people really enjoy…in fact, 17 years later many folks are still playing the original game. We finally decided that the time was right and that technology had advanced to the point where we could really bring the world of pirates to life for the 21st century.
Si: My personal experience with Pirates was far away. Still I recall its excellent pirate atmosphere and catchy gameplay. What have you changed in the sequel? Apart from graphics, of course. :)
Firaxis: Our goal has been to stay true to what people most love about the original Pirates! while upgrading, enhancing, and in some cases, re-inventing the game to make it a great experience for today’s gamers. With the 3D engine we’ve created a gorgeous world full of interesting places to visit and characters to meet. We’ve added new story elements and quests, upgraded dueling, land battles and ship battles to give the player more options and control, and added new action sequences like dancing and sneaking in and out of towns. Our hope is to deliver an incredibly fun and compelling game that will give the fans more than what they’ve been waiting for, and show a whole new generation of gamers how much fun it is to live the life of a pirate!
Si: For people that haven't played the original Pirates a bunch of years back, can you please give a brief description of what they could expect in the game? The name itself is pretty self explanatory but still how would you describe it? What will we be doing?
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Firaxis: In Pirates! you take the leading role of a Pirate Captain in the 17th century Caribbean amassing fortune and fame in an attempt to seize your rightful place as one of the most revered (and feared!) pirates in history. Easily the greatest feature of Pirates! is that the player is always in control and able to make lots of interesting decisions throughout the game. The game is centered on the life of a pirate or, rather, the swashbuckling life of a movie pirate, blending action, adventure, strategy and role playing into one game. Our intent is to use action sequences as they are used in movies, to tie together story segments in a fun and interesting way. As in the original game, you will be able to choose your allegiance and switch it at any time to better suit your situation. Now, however, you will also be able to influence economic and political conditions both locally and for the entire region.

Some highlights in your career as a pirate might be defeating one of the top pirates like Blackbeard or the Evil Mendoza, courting the Governor’s beautiful daughter with charm, wit, and heroism and eventually marrying her, capturing a town after a land battle and installing a new governor, finding a lost city of gold, and capturing the treasure fleet or the silver train.
Si: Will we be able to assault, conquer and rule cities or will we only be able to pillage them?
Firaxis: Sid completely reinvented land battles for this game with a turn-based system that is incredibly fun. Pirates now come is several varieties (Buccaneers carry guns for ranged combat instead of the cutlasses favored by regular Pirates) and defenses now include cavalry and mobile cannon, along with the usual infantry. Things like height advantages, tree cover and morale will impact the battles. If successful in a land battle you’ll be able to conquer and install a new governor.
Si: If we can rule the conquered cities how will that work? Will we construct buildings, upgrade ports in them or anything close to that?
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Firaxis: You can decide who rules the towns… so they will support your dastardly deeds. :)
Si: How many different types / models of ships will the game feature?
Firaxis: We have 27 different ships in the game ranging in size from miniscule. Tartanes to huge 32-gun Frigates. Each can be customized with various enhancements like different kinds of shot or special cannons. The player can have up to eight ships in his personal fleet at any time.
Si: It’s scheduled for 16th of November 2004?
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Firaxis: It will hit the streets November 22, 2004.
Si: Which system is recommended for playing the game?
Firaxis: System Requirements:
Operating System: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
Processor: Pentium 1.0 GHz or higher
Memory: 256 MB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 1.5 GB Free
Video: 64 MB video card with Hardware T&L support
Sounds: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP-compatible sound card
DirectX: DirectX version 9.0b (included) or higher
Si: Thank you for spending your time with!
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Firaxis: Thanks for the interview!