A Pirate's Life Smackdown

By Becky Waxman

The past two years have been prime time for pirate adventure games, with the release of the episodic additions to the Monkey Island series, Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, and other comedic piratical romps. Even serious pirates made the scene in the classical Treasure Island. All these games take place in a Caribbean-themed setting, and all have memorable scurvy characters. Now, imagine what might happen if they all got together at the Scumm Bar on Melée Island and signed up their champions for a smackdown tournament.

So belly up to the bar for your mug of grog, then take a seat to watch what happens in the ring.


Tale of the Tape
Tales of Monkey Island Game Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island
Pirate, ghost, zombie, etc. Occupation Vooju practitioner
Strategic thinker, impossible to kill Strengths Ruthless, adaptable
Wants to take over the Caribbean  Weakness Wants to take over the Azurbbean
"Within my decaying flesh courses more voodoo power than your pitiful mind can possibly imagine!" Quote "Are we out of chicken blood again?"


The Bout:  Zimbi blocks LeChuck's sword thrust using a magical force field. The sword flies out of the ring. LeChuck is enraged. He batters at the force field with his fists. Zimbi lets her protection gradually weaken, then wrestles her opponent, letting him pin her to the ground. LeChuck gives her a hand up and offers to buy her a drink. His admiration is only increased when, an hour later as they sit at the bar, he catches her slipping narcotic Vooju dust into his grog. "I think this just might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship," remarks LeChuck.

 Match time: 40 minutes.


Tale of the Tape
Jolly Rover  Game Simon the Sorcerer 5: Who'd Even Want Contact?!
Pirate, circus clown Occupation Pirate, serious drinker
Trained in acrobatics, thinks out of the box Strengths Sharp-toothed, menacing
Short, polite  Weakness Clinically depressed
"I could drink to escape, but that never solves anything. Besides, I prefer tea." Quote "What do you do with a drunken sailor early in the morning?"


The Bout:  Gaius stands still at first, taking the Wolf's measure. Then he begins cart wheeling around the ring. The wolf turns round and round, keeping him in view. Gaius leaps over the Wolf, who ducks. He charges and the Wolf dodges. Gaius cartwheels several more times around the ring. The Wolf collapses in a dizzy heap, tears streaming down his face. Wild applause.

Match time: 15 minutes.


Tale of the Tape
Tales of Monkey Island Game Simon the Sorcerer 5: Who'd Even Want Contact?!
Mighty Pirate (TM) Occupation Slacker
Springs back after humiliations, good at puzzles, can hold his breath under water for ten minutes Strengths Quick-witted, self-serving, nice hat
Does everything the hard way Weakness Can't be bothered
"Like you're a man or like I'm a man?" Quote "Me? A loser? Who spent puberty in jail -- me or you?"


The Bout: The two fighters circle the ring for an hour, making faces and gesturing rudely. At first the audience laughs and hoots. When it looks as though the fight will never get physical, the crowd begins booing. Guybrush makes the first move. He head butts Simon.

Simon's hat falls to the floor and inventory items scatter throughout the ring. Guybrush trips on the lava-filled heating mushrooms and crashes into his opponent. Simon picks up a bowl of swamp soup and dumps it over Guybrush's head. Guybrush takes out his sword and shouts: "You fight like a short order cook!"

Simon retrieves his sniper harpoon with rope and counters: "Oh yeah? Well, you fight like a cream puff!" He looses the harpoon at Guybrush and it nicks the sword, sending it to the ground where it slides under a heap of inventory items.

Guybrush frantically searches for his sword, hurling aside the objects on the floor, pausing only to examine the she-wolf outfit. "Let me guess," he snickers, "You wear this to entertain at birthday parties."

Simon nabs an item that his opponent just discarded. "Wolf down THIS!" he cries, aiming the flask of black sludge at Guybrush's face. The impact is spectacular.

Guybrush wipes the ooze off his forehead. He identifies a pin cushion among the debris. Grinning fiendishly, he holds up the Simon voodoo doll. "Don't they say the pin is mightier than the sword?" He plunges the pin deep into the doll's heart.

Simon screams and clutches at his chest. Then he half closes his eyes and stretches out his hand where he has palmed an extendable finger. "My name is Simon the Sorcerer," he says quietly. "Prepare to die."

"Are you still trying to win?" sneers Guybrush. "Is this some pitiful attempt at magic?"

Simon shakes his head. "I'm using the mouse pointer to select the doll."

Guybrush is startled to see that the Simon voodoo doll's mouth is beginning to move. "Simon says take ten giant steps backward," says the doll in a squeaky voice. Guybrush finds that he can't stop himself from backing out of the ring.

Match time: 1 hour, 20 minutes.



Tale of the Tape
Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island Game Simon the Sorcerer 5: Who'd Even Want Contact?!
Pirate, cook Occupation Pirate, feminist
Practical thinker, sense of humor Strengths Tough, single-minded
Out of shape Weakness Chip on her shoulder
"I can't tell what's in my heart. I'm a GUY." Quote "Neither you nor anybody  else aboard this ship will be able to wallow in a comfortable patriarchy for much longer."


The Bout:  Blue Belly smiles winningly at Red Riding Hood and suggests that they settle the match with a friendly game of charades. Red thinks that he is patronizing her because she is a girl. She puts her hands on her hips and glares at him.

"Person!" shouts Blue Belly. Red tosses a hand in the air and turns away in frustration.

"One word!" says Blue Belly. Red stomps her foot, whips around and threatens him with her fist. Steam issues from her ears.

"Cartoon character?" Blue Belly guesses. Red crosses the ring and knees him in the gut. Blue Belly falls flat on his back with a loud "Ooof!" He lies there, staring at the ceiling, deep in thought. "Oooof. Goooof. Goofy?"

"Goofy?!" shouts Red as she points at the hapless Blue Belly and thumbs her nose at him. "You and all men like you are goofy!"

"I guessed right! I win, I win!" exults Blue Belly.

Red stalks out of the ring. Oompa-Loompas roll Blue Belly up to the bar and stand him on his feet so he can enjoy a victory draft.

Match time: 3 minutes, 36 seconds.


Tale of the Tape
Treasure Island Game Jolly Rover
Pirate, cook Occupation Owner of the Stumble Inn
Experienced, devious Strengths Cute, hospitable
A peg-leg Weakness Overconfidence
"A little, how shall I put it, 'convincing' is in order." Quote "This be a dog's establishment. We serve rum."


The Bout:  Puggy dons boxing gloves and insists on fighting from his perch atop a barrel of rum. Long John limps over to the barrel. He looks down at Puggy, who is lunging in and out, attempting to land a punch. Long John sweeps off his hat and bows. Then he traps the pup beneath the hat. Puggy struggles, but can't get out. A brief timeout ensues while pirate officials surround the barrel and convince the indignant Puggy that the fight is over.

Match time: 2 minutes.


Tale of the Tape
Tales of Monkey Island Game Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island
Pirate hunter Occupation Pirate, spy
Expert swordsman, good at improvising Strengths  Fearless, athletic
Hero worship Weakness A broken heart
"Now quit with the yappin' and fight me!" Quote "My swashbuckle is tingling."


The Bout: Day One -- they fight with swords. Day Two -- they fight with battle axes. Day Three -- they fight with flame throwers. Jane looks up and notices that the bar is burning and the only witnesses to the smackdown are members of the volunteer fire department, who are attempting to douse the flames. In this moment of distraction, Morgan seizes a hose from one of the fire fighters and blasts Jane out of the ring with a mighty spray.

Match time: Two days, four hours, 8 minutes.


Better Than a Smackdown

Want to figure out who's the toughest pirate on your own? Try meeting (or assuming the roles of) these characters in the games where they walk, talk, puzzle, pick stuff up and sometimes fight. These games can be purchased in English at the following locations:

Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island -- disk version -- at Best Buy or via Interact, Amazon.com or Play.com. Downloads can be purchased via The Adventure Shop or Gamers Gate.

Jolly Rover downloads can be purchased via The Adventure Shop or Steam. A disk version is in the works.

Simon the Sorcerer 5: Who'd Even Want Contact?! downloads can be purchased via The Adventure Shop, Gamers Gate or Amazon.com.

Tales of Monkey Island can be purchased through the Telltale Games Store in either download or disk form. The downloads can also be purchased via Amazon.com and Steam.

Treasure Island -- disk version -- can be purchased at Target or via Interact or Amazon.com. Downloads can be purchased via Gamers Gate.

GameBoomers reviews of all these games can be found here.

Links to online stores are below:

Adventure Shop


Gamers Gate




Telltale Games Store


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