(c) Soulcalibur 6 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Ghost pirates in video games:
The history of piracy dates back to about 14th century B.C.E., as boat-borne attacks were taking place in the time of Rib-Hadda (King of Byblos), and author of at least sixty letters to other nations of the era.
In the modern world, it's easy to associate the term "piracy" with illegal distribution of copyright material through the internet. For example, playing illegal copies of popular video games such as Star Fox. However, acts of physical and ocean-based piracy continue to take place in the twenty-first century.
With respect to notable pirates, of course there are names such as Blackbeard, and Captain William Kidd. Aside from those two, there's also the legend of the phantom ship the Flying Dutchman. Although that's not necessarily what I want to discuss today, that particular article will come in time.
Credit: Heritage Images/ Getty Images. William Kidd (c. 1654–May 23, 1701) was a Scottish ship’s captain, privateer, and pirate. He started out on a voyage in 1696 as a pirate hunter and privateer, but he soon switched sides and had a brief but moderately successful career as a pirate. After he turned pirate, his wealthy backers back in England abandoned him. He was later convicted and hanged in England after a sensational trial. (https://www.thoughtco.com/captain-william-kidd-2136225)
In today's blog post, I'm going to discuss the issue of ghost pirates featured in video games. I must confess, I have promoted an article based on real-world legends of ghost pirates in recent weeks- but it's just not ready. In the mean time, I have a large amount of content planned going forward.
Here's what inspired me to follow this path:
Growing up I loved reading books (I still do), and found myself fascinated by television shows with aspects of reality. For instance, when I was in grade six (2007-2008), my friends and I watched the Discovery and History channels almost everyday. There's nothing more rewarding than educational programs, or reading a book. Much like this television advertisement states, the world is just awesome.
(c) Discovery Canada
Once a week our class would have a session at our school library. Admittedly, this was the best thing about elementary school. We learned so much, whether it was about dinosaurs, tragedy, or even reading the Bone comic book series from Jeff Smith- nothing could compare to this learning process. Interestingly, I was captivated by folklore before I even knew what folklore was.
So, why have I been obsessed with ghosts since 2008? Well, I was a big fan of the Canadian television series Ghost Trackers, which aired from 2005 to 2008. This show was hosted by Cape Breton native Joe Macleod, and featured reality competition aspects while the host shared vernacular legends with the audience.
(c) Discovery Canada
Ghosts in video games:
There's a reason I'm not the only person producing content for #themodernistson, as I could talk all day. So, let's get to the point of today's blog post. Stories of ghost pirates and privateers (those under contract with government; often the British) have existed for centuries.
Considering the stories of pirates have always been popular (think of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1883), it's not surprising that piracy and the supernatural have made appearances in popular video games. In order for legends to stay relevant in a modern society, they need this type of exposure through popular mediums such as video games.
All aboard, let's head to Bloodstone:
(c) Fable 2 (2008)
You just escaped the Shattered Spire after being a pawn in Lord Lucian's plan for domination, of course.
Yes, I'm referring to the always beautiful, vacation resort of Bloodstone (Fable 2). This Albion town is permanently covered by darkness, and here-anything goes. Prostitution has the highest rate in all of Albion, and you might have the pleasure of being murdered in the street.
(c) Fable 2
Fable 2 players are immediately informed of a "pirate ghost" as they reach Bloodstone, as this becomes an important factor for progressing in the game. Here's what players learn about Captain Dread, and he sounds like a fun guy:
"Captain Dread was the most feared and most vicious pirate in Albion around one hundred or two hundred years prior to Fable 2. He operated from his feared flag vessel the Marianne."(Fable Fandom).
On a side note, it's quite possible the name "Marianne" is a reference to Blackbeard's ship, Queen Anne's Revenge. However, Lionshead have not confirmed this to be true.