Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How do you beat Skullduggery Island

Enter the island from the Island Map (members had Early Access May 20, 2010) and climb down to Fort Ridley, one of a few small islands scattered about in the sea. For the first part of the island, you will collect items that lead to other items and clues.
  1. Travel down Main Street to the right and cross the covered bridge. On the far side, climb down into the stream and go left to get the Doubloon from the sand.
  2. Return left to Stinky Tim's store, and use the doubloon to buy a bag of chicken feed. Also go to the upper right shelf to get the Broken Mirror.
  3. Give the feed to the boy with the chickens. He will give you a chicken.
  4. Head right again, across the bridge to the corn farm. Use the chicken to eat some of the bugs, and the farmer gives you a Blue Candle.
  5. Go far right. past the Governor's house, to the sea edge and talk to the woman there whose husband is lost at sea.
  6. Enter the Governor's house and use the Blue Candle to reveal the missing writing on the Parchment. The Governor will tell you about the Treasure Map and the need to defeat Captain Crawfish the pirate.
  7. Go back to the Fort and use the telescope at the top, where you will see a small raft. Signal the raft using the Broken Mirror, and it will dock.
  8. The beach woman's husband is aboard the raft, and is grateful to be home. He gives you his ship, which is now crewed by a cabin boy and the old sailor from the fort.

THE LONG SAILING AND TRADING PART OF THE GAME now begins, in the seas between the 5 outlying islands : Dragon Cove at the upper left, Bouffant Bay, Parrot Port, Golden Harbor, and Pirate Outpost. These are all indicated on the sailing map. Sail by lifting anchor (spacebar) and using the cursor to indicate direction and speed. Dock by dropping anchor and clicking the island dock. Each movement to an island is counted as a "day" in the quest, but there is no set speed of play. As the game progresses, you buy larger ships to hold more cargo, but the hazards increase somewhat as well.

Find the Map Pieces : there is one on each of the five trading islands.
(*see the related question below)
Earning doubloons and cargo items : initially you "salvage" these from the water, and later you buy and sell them for a profit at any of the five ports. The prices for the cargo items vary from port to port, often allowing you to "buy low and sell high".
Hazards that can cost you cargo or damage the ship : Giant pink sea creatures such as a crab, octopus, or puffer fish. Whirlpools, thunderstorms, and rock shoals can cause damage. Pirate ships can attack, and you can duel them by firing any cannon you have. If you are damaged or sunk you lose some doubloons or cargo items.
New Ships and Skilled Crewmen can improve your durability, speed, cargo capacity, and armament use. Buy new ships at Dragon Cove, and hire crew (relatively expensive) at each of the four ports except Parrot Port. Ships are expensive but have a small resale value.
You can borrow more cash, equal to your current wealth, at the bank in Golden Harbor, and this must be repaid. The interest is only 5% per day, but compounded, so large balances should be paid off as quickly as possible without losing your working capital. If you have an overdue loan, you cannot buy a new ship.
Sailing Hint -- When sailing around rocks and salvage, drop anchor to pivot the ship.

  1. Dragon Cove -- go to the water's edge with the old fisherman. Sink the floating statue to uncover a Mallet. Slide the fisherman right, past the giant Bell Gong to the first barrel. When you use the Mallet on the Gong, fish will jump from the water, allowing the old man to catch one, and he will give you the map piece.
  2. Bouffant Bay -- You can help the worker at the dock and get a clue from his wife at the residence (far right). A pirate also tells you the map piece is at "312 Hanging Fern Way", a reference to three hanging plants. At the plants, jump into the 3rd, then the 1st, then the 2nd plant to get the map piece.
  3. Parrot Port -- There is a parrot flying around who leads you on a chase. First go to Petey's Pirate Pub and get the Cracker from the upper left. Now the parrot will have you dive into the sea (he moves to another window) then block the smoking chimney* (he's in a palm tree at the far right). He tells you to contact his owner, a pirate atop the tower at far left. Once you have, you can use the Cracker to lure the parrot back to the tower, where you receive the map piece. (You may have to dunk yourself and block the chimney again to find the parrot.)
  4. Golden Harbor -- There are 5 hanging street lights, and after lighting any of them , lighting another will turn others off. Counting from the left, you need the 1st, 2nd, and 4th lights on. The way to accomplish this is to light them from right to left : the 4th, then the 2nd, then the 1st in that order. Leaving the dock and returning will reset the lights. The piece appears in a draped archway.
  5. Pirate Outpost -- Climb the giant skull cliff, jumping over the pirates to avoid being knocked back. At the top of the tall mast is a Cannon Starter kit to use on any of the 4 cannons, but only the one at lower left is important. On the way back down. push the small barrel of explosives from the mast into the water below. Position the barrel under the giant Golden Tooth of the stone skull. If you fire the cannon and hit the barrel, the blast shakes loose the Golden Tooth and reveals the map piece. Assembling all 5 pieces reveals a hidden island, called Skullduggery, at the lower center of the map. Near the game's end, you will go there to find the Buried Treasure.

DEALING AND TRADING -- The best profits are made by sailing a clockwise course around the islands. Sell any salvage, and you may want to leave room for more you might pick up.
  1. Silk is bought cheaply at Dragon Cove (upper left), and sold at nearly double your cost at Bouffant Bay to the right.
  2. Medicine is bought cheaply at Bouffant Bay (upper middle) and sold at Parrot Port to the south. There is nothing cheap at Parrot Port.
  3. Grain is bought cheaply at Golden Harbor (lower right) and sold at Pirate Outpost to the left.
  4. Spices are bought cheaply at Pirate Outpost (lower left) and sold at Dragon Cove to the far north.

NEW SHIPS AND CREW -- Ships are bought from the dealer at Dragon Cove, each more expensive than the previous, requiring two or more trading runs to afford the next larger model. Take out a loan at Golden Harbor to help buy more cargo. Do NOT spend so much on a ship that you haven't enough doubloons for a FULL cargo or two for your new ship size. That would make your trades much less profitable.
  1. Your raft -- free but holds only 20 total cargo items, speed 6
  2. Jimmy Rigger -- 3000 doubloons, holds 60 cargo, speed 7, has 1 cannon
  3. Carabelle -- 9000 doubloons, holds 200 cargo, speed 8, 1 cannon
  4. Sea Sultan -- 30,000 doubloons, holds 600 cargo, speed 9, 2 cannon
  5. The Koi -- 90,000 doubloons, holds 1800 cargo, speed 12, 3 cannon
  6. Steaming Fury -- 300,000 doubloons, holds 5000 cargo, speed 12, 4 cannon
  7. Phoenix Warbird -- 1,000,000 doubloons, holds 6000 cargo, speed 13, 5 cannon

Crew positions :
  1. Shipwright (Dragon Cove) : 20,000 doubloons to hire, slowly fixes damage without docking
  2. Cargo Master (Bouffant Bay) : 15,000 doubloons, increases cargo space of any ship by 50%
  3. Navigator (Parrot Port) : 12,000 doubloons, increases ship speed
  4. Cannoneer (Pirate Outpost) : 20,000 doubloons, increases firing rate of your cannon

BATTLING PIRATES (and eventually Captain Crawfish)

Anytime you face damage from a hazard or attack, the green "health bar" appears on the travel view. One will also appear for enemy ships or creatures. Aiming and hitting enemy ships, especially those with more cannon, can be fun but a losing proposition. They are hard to hit because shots take awhile to arrive at the target. Oddly enough, this also lets you "outrun" or swerve to avoid cannon balls. Only when you have a larger ship than your opponent can you regularly succeed. Smaller ships will tend to "gang up" on you, as well. You can salvage items from any destroyed ships or sea creatures. If you are sunk, you lose part of your doubloons (10%) and cargo (10% to 13%) and start sailing again from your previous dock.

WIN THE GAME -- After from 25 to 100 days of trading, you will have acquired the most expensive ship, the Phoenix Warbird. This ship is a match for the dread Captain Crawfish. Sail to the Skullduggery sea to confront him. When he is apparently sunk, return to the Governor at Fort Ridley. You will receive a special card with the location of the Buried Treasure on Skullduggery Island, and a Bone Shovel to dig it up. When you finish, you are surprised by Captain Crawfish and his crew, who apparently survived the battle and are going to take the treasure from you. Fortunately, your valiant crew sails to your rescue, sinking the pirate ship and marooning Captain Crawfish. (He will never be seen again. Or will he??) Return the treasure to Fort Ridley and receive the Island Medallion!

* Save Your Game Often! *
Some users have lost a character and ship temporarily until rebooting the browser. Users have reported losing up to 45 days of playing time even with the browser open!

Notes :
1) Having an overdue loan will prevent you from buying a new ship.
2) After initial release, a moving ash cover was added to the chimney of Petey's Parrot Pub, so that you only need stand on it to block the smoke. This was likely a child safety concern.