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 should have still gained a negative or positive reputation from these factions.
Gaining and losing Reputation among the Indians was supposed to be programmed in the game, but unfortunately was not (at least for the PC version), nullifying the usefulness of the Shrunken Head and Carved Shaman Stick.
Since the Indians are always friendly to you, they will always present a Raid Mission. Indian War Parties will also spawn naturally.
Jesuits are missionaries originating from Europe, but not aligned with any European faction. Their theme color is White. Their settlements are called Jesuit Missions. The only ship type they use is the Pinnace.
Gaining and losing Reputation among the Jesuits was supposed to be programmed in the game, but unfortunately was not (at least for the PC version), nullifying the usefulness of the Golden Cross and Sacred Relic.
The Jesuits, upon visiting a Mission, will either provide information about an Evil Spaniard (notably, Baron Raymondo), present you with an Immigration Mission, or if the conditions are right, present an Amnesty Mission.
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. Their ship types vary.
Gaining and losing Reputation among the Pirates was supposed to be programmed in the game, but unfortunately was not (at least for the PC version).