Editable Codex
Ship and pirate, from Ultima IV manual
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Ultima IX

Pirates, the scum and bane of the oceans. These robbers of the high seas travel in frigates loaded with powerful cannons, capable of crippling other ships before they are boarded and plundered. Pirate crews are also just as capable fighters on land as at sea, however. Many of them are wanted criminals with nothing to lose, and all to win, so expect no mercy from them. Fine treasure—or the ship itself—awaits the victors over any pirate crew.

Pirates are found on their ships at sea, or near the coast. Buccaneer's Den is also known a notorious pirate haven.


The pirates that infest the coastal waters of Sosaria are the scourge of the honest mariner. They ply the waterways seeking unarmed merchant ships to plunder, and often press the younger crew members into service as marauders. Once engaged, a pirate vessel and its crew will battle to the end, seeking no quarter and offering none.

- from The First Age of Darkness (Ultima I)


Be extremely cautious when one of these ships is sighted if thou art on land. A Pirate Ship can fire its cannons at thee three squares away. If the shot hits, all members of thy Party take damage. Most beginning Parties cannot sustain more than a few shots before the Party is wiped out. If the Pirate Ship stays offshore, shelling thee, nothing can be done to get him. If, however, he touches the coast, thou couldst attack him.

- from The Book of Play (Ultima III)

Truly the dregs of Britannia, most of these crews have death warrants hanging over their heads. Remember that the evil Pirates take no prisoners! Their ships are equipped with heavy cannons, and the crews are well-trained to quickly move their large galleons into battle position. It is a rare skipper indeed that can survive a broadside duel with a Pirate vessel. Thy best hope is to "dot the T", or to close with thy enemy. If thou art able to defeat the crew, the ship itself becomes thy prize. For castaways on remote islands, this is the only hope for salvation.

- from The History of Britannia (Ultima IV)

These marauders of the sea steal, and if the spirits move them, kill without compunction. Often condemned to execution, pirates escape to forgotten ports to live their remaining days in decadent liberty. Beware of the Buccaneer's Den where a community of lawlessness has thrived. A warrior equipped for war is a target for a band of pirates. If you dispatch a pirate, fear not a retribution. Pirates forget their own, lawful citizens find them a nuisance, and the King is loath to pursue these dangerous roustabouts who have nothing to lose but life itself.

- from Journal (Ultima IX)

Notable examples[]


Pirate Map

  • The most notorious pirate ever encountered in the series is, without doubt, Hook in Ultima VII. As the Fellowship's executioner, a number of horrible murders (at least 14, according to the High Court), such as the one seen in the game's opening, are attributed to him. He finds his end in the battle at The Black Gate.