The European NationsEdit
The four european nations are the key factions of both the original and new version of the game. The player will initially choose one of them as their nationality, and will receive the Letter of Marque from that nation in the beginning of the game.
During the course of the game, the player can perform services for any of the nations, or attack their ships and ports. The Player can receive promotions and land grants for his services from all these powers, or alternatively a ransom on his head.
The relations between the European nations will fluctuate during the course of the game. Wars will break out and peaces will be made. When an European nation is at war with another, attacks toward the other nation are considered favorable acts by the first, and will result in a positive reputation for the Player among the first nation. Regardless of the State of War or lack of it, attacks toward a nation will always result in negative reputation.
All European Nations have several Ports on the Caribbean, and several ships sailing on the Caribbean.
All nations in all of the games have had a theme color associated with them, although with all variations of the game on different platforms, the color has not always been constant. In the original Commodore 64 version, the color was mostly present in the flag of the Country, present in a ship's mast or fort's flagpole. In the 2004 version of the game is mostly seen as the color a Port's or settlement's name is presented. In the intermediate versions, the correlation between the flag and theme color has varied greatly.
All versions of the game feature these four European Nations:
Kingdom of EnglandEdit
England is a mid-sized power on the Caribbean. The theme color for England in all of the games is red.
France is a mid-sized power on the Caribbean. The theme color for France in all of the games is blue.
Republic of the NetherlandsEdit
The nationality of Netherlands is always called as Dutch, whether it be ships, people, or ports, and therefore it is more prevalent in-game than Netherlands or Holland is.
Smallest faction on the Caribbean, the dutch have only a handful of Ports.
In the original Commodore 64 version of the game, the theme color for Netherlands is Green. In the 2004 version of the game, the theme color for Netherlands is Orange.
Spain is the strongest nation on the Caribbean, having more Ports than any other Nation. Even the whole Caribbean is called Spanish Main. Although ships and towns are called Spanish, Spanish people are referred as Spaniards.
In the original Commodore 64 version of the game, the theme color for Spain is Cyan (a shade of Teal). In the 2004 version of the game, the theme color for Spain is Yellow.
Independent factions are only present in Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004). Pirates may be considered as an exception to this since they were present in the original game as well, although they controlled only ships, not any settlements.
Independent factions are smaller powers on the Caribbean. They all have their own type of settlement and a theme color. The Player cannot receive promotions or land grants from any of these factions although he can still gain a negative or positive reputation from these factions.
Indians are the native americans. Their theme color is Green. Their settlements are called Indian Villages. They cannot be attacked.
As a faction, they behave much as pirates, occasionally raiding nearby towns.
Gaining positive reputation among the Indians is difficult, since the player cannot do favors for them. Two Special Items supposedly raise Player's Reputation among the Indians: Shrunken Head and Carved Shaman Stick.
Attacks on Indian ships are considered favorable actions by all four European Nations, resulting in positive reputation. As Indians exlusively use the War Canoe which is classifed as a warship, attacking it is considered favorable also by the Pirates.
Jesuits are missionaries originating from Europe, but they are not aligned to any of the European nations. Their theme color is White.
Their settlements are called Jesuit Missions. They cannot be attacked.
Jesuits only use the Pinnace ship type and are used only in Amnesty Missions.
Pirates are sailors not affiliated with any European Nation, instead attacking ships and ports of any nation to seize their valuables. Their theme color is Black. Their settlements are called Pirate Havens which cannot be attacked.
They are always hostile towards all European Nations, and vice versa.
Attacking any kind of warship of any European Nation or the Indian War Canoe will result in a positive Reputation among the Pirates. In turn, attacking Pirate ships will result in a positive Reputation among all four European Nations.