“Now, bring me that horizon.” ~Capt. Jack Sparrow, Sea of Thieves
Rare and Xbox certainly brought that horizon to the Sea of Thieves. Talks of partnership between Rare and Disney were on since E3 2019. Finally, in Season 3, Sea of Thieves sees a DLC with the Pirates of the Caribbean.
E3 trailer showed us the very prominent and distinguishable voice of Tia Dalma/Calypso. Calypso warns us about a grave danger about to hit the Sea of Thieves. Now then, do the math yourself. Calypso and danger? Sounds a lot like Davy Jones and The Flying Dutchman? You’re absolutely correct, so it is!
TIMELINE OF THE SEA OF THIEVES
To start off, let’s get a timeline of the events that occur in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies:
- The curse of the Black Pearl: Where it all starts, Will Turner saves Sparrow to save Elizabeth Swann. Basic pilot stuff.
- Dead Man’s Chest: Davy Jones and the Dutchmen play the primary villain; Jack Sparrow dies at the end of the movie.
- At World’s End: The Brethren court has bound Calypso, the Goddess, to a mortal vessel. Jack’s crew travel to Jone’s locker with Calypso’s help to free Sparrow. Davy Jones dies at the end, Will Turner becomes the new Captain of the Flying Dutchman.
- On Stranger Tides: Blackbeard locks the Pearl in a bottle. He captures Jack Sparrow and makes him find the Fountain of Youth.
- Dead Men tell no Tales: Jack betrays his compass, which releases the Spanish Captain. Hector Barbossa finds his daughter abord the Pearl. The crew find and destroy the Trident of Poseidon, breaking all curses of the sea.
The timeline of “A Pirate’s Life” is definitely after the entire movie series. The events turned out to be a bit different, that’s all. Davy Jones has not died in this story, and he is still the Captain of the Flying Dutchman. So, somewhere around movie 3, the events change. Jack was at one point in Davy Jones’ locker, he mentions that in the story here. The most probable way to explain this would be, that Jones was not killed, like in the movie. This would also mean that Jack somehow escaped from the clutches of Jones and the Dutchman.
Somehow, Jack’s soul ends up being locked in the Ferryman’s brig in Sea of Thieves. The Ferryman is something like Davy Jones’ counterpart in the Sea of Thieves, but he is definitely not evil. (When players die in Sea of Thieves, they end up in the Ferryman’s ship. They spend around 30 seconds before they can spawn back at their own ships.) Now, some might see this as a contradiction because Davy Jones, too, is a Ferryman in the truest sense. One world cannot have two Ferrymen at the same time.
GAMEPLAY IN SEA OF THIEVES
The tale starts with a new NPC, a ‘castaway’ (pssst, Tia Dalma), warning the players that the gates to the Sea of the Damned have been opened. The players must now travel there and unravel the secrets to save the Sea of Thieves.
The first tale is a simple pilot tale to this DLC content. The players need to discover the secrets of the Ferry of the Damned, where they release Jack Sparrow. After travelling to the Sea of the Damned, you come to a lone island with a lighthouse and broken ships. Players help a dead Captain’s soul stranded on the fort there. Following which, the Captain gives you a way to board the ferry of the damned. Here, you find and free Jack, who seems to have a treasure he stole from Davy Jones. (The treasure is something that allows Jack to travel to different worlds). After releasing Jack’s soul, the Dutchmen track Jack (or the treasure) and appear in the Sea of the Damned. They manage to take the treasure from Jack. Jack escapes the Ferry of the Damned.
And at this point, the PoTC storyline begins to merge with the story of the Sea of Thieves. Davy Jones seems to have made allies with the Siren Queen and her armada of Sirens. The Black Pearl is lying at the bottom in the Sea of Thieves, with the Siren Queen guarding it. You need to enter this ship find Jack’s compass. As many would know, Jack’s compass points to what the heart desires. You need this compass for the subsequent quests, before finally handing it in later on. For the first tme, players get to look at the Kraken’s face and fight her. Following the defeat of the Kraken, you now need to defeat the Siren Queen, to finally complete this quest. Bonus for PoTC fans here, you get to free Master Gibbs, Scrum, and Anamaria as well.
Above and Beyond…
The 3rd tall tale is where a lot of Pirate significance comes in. Personally, it is my favorite. The quest goes way deeper into the PoTC lore than any other movie or tall tale. You trace Sparrow’s steps according to the lore. First, visiting the Spanish fort where an intensely bone-chilling version of the “Hoist the Colors” is played. You battle here against Barbossa’s crew who are sent to destroy the fort and retrieve Sparrow.
Next, you go to the fabled “Isla Tesoro” where the Magistrate is harboring Jack. For those of you who don’t know, Isla Tesoro was where Jack met Angelica, Blackbeard’s daughter. It is here that Angelica lost her tavern to Jack in a bet. The siege of Isla Tesoro is captured stunningly, where the people of Tesoro seem to be willing to withstand torture, but refuse to give Jack’s position away. The entire chaos and dismay of Tesoro depicts the unpredictable and notorious life pirates led, at least in the Caribbean. Isla Tesoro harbors the greatest treasure, “The King’s Ransom”. After a chase which takes you across the whole isle, you finally find Jack laying atop this treasure, claiming it all to be his own.
Finally, you are led to a tavern in the Sea of the Damned where Jack is seen reveling. He doesn’t care about getting his body back, and is enjoying his newfound freedom from the brig of the Ferryman. It is at this point that all the prominent heroes of Sea of Thieves’s original story appear at this tavern. Sir Arthur Pendragon, Eli Slate, George and Rose appear and a dramatic scene unfolds. The captains convince Sparrow that Sea of Thieves’ freedom is at jeopardy if Jones is allowed to sail free in these waters.
In the next tale, Sparrow aides you into the lair where the Dutchman is anchored. Once again, puzzles and battles with sirens, and Jones’ ocean crawlers. It is revealed here that Jones has allied with the Gold Hoarder (one of the main villains of SoT). Jones and the Gold Hoarders are conducting some ritual. This will grant Jones the power to have control of Sea of Damned, and command the ghost ships. Sparrow assists you in a rather difficult battle here against the Gold Hoarder, who defends Jones while he is completing the ritual. This fight is very similar to the fight with the Gold Hoarder in Shores of Gold. Although this is nowhere near as time consuming. Despite all this effort, Jones still manages to succeed in his ritual, and escapes.
The final tall tale is an epic battle with Jones’s newfound power where he commands the ghost ships from the Sea of the Damned. Jack Sparrow is aboard this ship firing the canons at the enemy. Rather accurately too, as none of his shots miss. After sinking a few ghost ships, Jones will spawn mermaid statues which also need to be destroyed. Brace yourselves, you will form the greatest alliance that the Sea of Thieves has ever seen.
The ghost of the Pearl, yes the Black Pearl joins the battle. Sparrow jumps on to command his Pearl. Along comes the ships of Captain Pendragon – the Blackwyche, George, and Rose with their ship. Finally, Eli Slate joins with his ship, the Morningstar. The 4 ghost ships, along with their crew, face off in a fierce battle against the Dutchman. A tiresome battle ensues, following which the Dutchman finally sinks. The Ferryman locks Davy Jones as a prisoner in his vessel.
For the final reward, the Ferryman thanks everyone for their endeavor to save the Sea of Thieves. He offers all the dead captains a chance to come back to the land of the living. The Pearl is no more a ghost ship. The Black Pearl emerges from the water, and she is right there in front you, captained by Jack Sparrow in flesh and bones! Rose and George take up the Ferryman’s offer and become crew of the Pearl. Pendragon and Slate refuse the offer, as they want to protect the Sea of Thieves from dangers, like Jones the Dutchmen. The Pearl sets off into the horizon to another realm, where Sparrow has some promise to fulfill. Sparrow’s last words make it pretty clear that he won’t be returning to the Sea of Thieves anytime soon. It is up to the players to interpret, however.
SCORES (DLC only)
- Story: 8.5/10
- Music: 7/10
- Background and setting: 8/10
- Gameplay: 7.5/10 (significantly better puzzles and obstacle courses)
- Difficulty: 6/10
Thus ends the epic tale of “A Pirate’s Life”, in grandeur, leaving the players wanting for more. I must warn you though, these missions do have a fair share of bugs. Rare has done an excellent job of rolling out a hotfix within hours and to fix a lot of the stuff. Other less game breaking bugs still exist, and Rare has acknowledged them. So strike your colours, ya bloomin’ cockroaches, a Pirate’s Life awaits you in the Sea of Thieves.