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Piracy 1621 and Piracy 1821 - 8bit and 5200 games by Anschuetz/Weisgerber/Anschuetz


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Introducing two new games for the Atari 8-bit computers and the Atari 5200 - Piracy 1621 and Piracy 1981.   These are the 6th and 7th of the 14 games that the team of Anschuetz/Weisgerber/Anschuetz will be releasing this year.   Like the other games, these are all new refreshed assembly language updates to BASIC games that we wrote as teenagers in the 1980s.  These games are being released as a pair because they were original written as a sequel of games.  You can search and download the original BASIC versions of these games on Atarimania.com.


Piracy 1981 was originally called Piracy and was one of the first games we ever wrote just months after we got our Atari 400 in 1981.  The graphics were pretty crude, but the rules and gameplay were very complex!  The assembly language version has kept pretty much the same as the BASIC version.  Any significant updates to this game would have essentially turned it into Piracy 1621, so we just kept the old school graphics.  Read the instructions on the opening screen to get started.  I will post additional information and the full rules for Piracy 1981 in a separate comment to this thread.


Piracy 1621 was originally called Piracy II.  This was one of the last games we ever wrote in 1986 and used all of the technical tricks we knew how to pull out of BASIC, including both horizontal and vertical smooth scrolling (with machine language USR calls) and multiple screens which was just being explored in Arcade games at the time.   Read the instructions on the opening screen to get started.  I will post additional information and the full rules for Piracy 1621 in a separate comment to this thread.


We hope you enjoy these two games!

Robert Anschuetz

Eric Anschuetz

John Weisgerber




Piracy 1621 - Atari 8-Bit Version

Piracy 1621.XEX

Piracy 1621 - Atari 5200 Version

Piracy 1621.ROM




Piracy 1981 - Atari 8-Bit Version

Piracy 1981.XEX

Piracy 1981 - Atari 5200 Version

Piracy 1981.ROM

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Four islands are randomly placed around the 50 x 50 screen.  There is an additional Base Island placed in the center of the ocean (25 lat, 25 long).   There are 4 randomly placed pirate ships.  They move 1 position each frame.  If they ram into you, you are dead.  You start out at the Base Island (25,25).  If you are on any of the 4 islands or the base island, you are safe from ramming from a pirate ship, but you also cannot shoot.


Every move you make depletes your fuel by 1.  You can replenish fuel by going to the center Base island.  But when you do so, your Treasure gets depleted by the amount of fuel you have used since your last stop at the base island.  In the BASIC game, if you start moving around at the start of the game and return to the island, it will show your Treasure as something like negative $22.  In this version, you are prevented from going below $0.


When you see a ship on the screen, you can fire your torpedo.  You start with 10 torpedoes and when the torpedoes run out, you cannot shoot anymore.  When you shoot, it randomly determines whether you "capture" the treasure from the enemy based on how close you are.  Then it also inflicts damage on your ship based on how close you are.  This damage is called "immediate damage" in the original game, but we changed it to "battle damage".  You don't incur any damage until you fire a shot, and then it inflicts damage on both you and the enemy ship.  If you get 20 battle damage, you die.  If you are getting a lot of battle damage, return to the base island to reset the battle damage to 0, but any battle damage that you had gets transferred to your "overall damage" displayed at the top of the screen.  During the game, if you accumulate 100 overall battle damage, you die.

In summary, returning to the 25,25 Base Island at any time replenishes your torpedoes to 10, resets your fuel to 250, and transfers any battle damage to the Total Damage.  You never really kill the enemies, they keep moving around the screen - you just capture the treasure.


Once you have "captured" the treasure from a battle, the screen will tell you that you won the battle and you need to return to an island.  The original BASIC version didn't tell you that.   Return the captured bounty to any island and cash in the bounty for $1000 treasure.  The bounty then gets buried (the total increases at the top of the screen).  If you are at the base island, you replenish your fuel and torpedoes and add your most immediate battle damage into your total damage, and head out for another battle.  If you deposit the captured bounty on any other island, you will start your next battle with depleted torpedoes and high battle damage.


You win the game when you capture 16 treasures and deposit them on any of the islands.  You die when you ram a ship, run out of fuel, sustain 20 individual battle damage, or sustain a total of 100 damage in the game.


The music is "15 Men on a Dead Man's Chest", also known as "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum."

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There are five islands that you need to collect treasure from.  For each island, you must first engage and defeat the pirate ship guarding it, then you must navigate through a maze of obstacles to collect the treasure.  There is no scoring in the game - you either get all 5 treasures to win the game or you lose 5 ships and lose.  When you obtain treasures from all 5 islands, you win the game.   If you lose 5 ships in the game, you die. 


You start in the sailing scene where you can navigate through the ocean and approach the 5 islands with treasure guarded by pirate ships.   When a barrier is up around the island, you cannot land on the island.   In fact, if you touch the barrier, you will lose a ship.


The first thing you must do is touch your ship against the black pirate ship guarding the right side of each island.   Once you do that, you will start the ship battle scene.  Dodge the large ship's cannonballs, while shooting at the pirate moving across the top of the ship.  If you get hit by a cannonball, you will lose one ship.  Once you shoot the pirate at the top of the ship, you will return to the sailing scene, but the barrier around the island will be gone.


When the barrier to the island is gone, you can land your ship on the island.   Once you land on the island, you will start the treasure scene.  The object in the treasure scene is to avoid the skulls and work your way to the top of the screen and touch the pirate chest.   If you run into a skull on the way to getting the treasure, you will lose a ship.  If you make it to the top of the screen and touch the pirate chest, you will get the treasure and complete the island, and you will return to the sailing scene.  Once you get the treasure for an island, you can no longer land on that island and a barrier will be put back in place.


The music for the three different screens are all pirate songs.  "Sailing, Sailing", "Yo Ho Yo Ho a Pirate’s Life for Me", and "What Shall I do with a Drunken Sailor?"

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I was just playing the 5200 version and noticed on novice and experienced that when you lose a ship by touching something, it doesn't take away a ship. You still can only lose 5 ships and the game ends, it just doesn't remove one of the little ships telling you how many you have left.

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@allenI fixed the Piracy 1621 5200 version bug where the number of ships didn't change when you lost a life.  Thanks for bringing it to my attention!  I was writing to a 5200 ROM address instead of RAM.  I moved the score display into RAM and it fixed the problem.  The 8-bit version didn't have the bug since the score was in RAM already, but the updated code affected both versions so I also attached the update to the 8-bit version.



Piracy 1621.ROM (bug fixed Atari 5200 version)

Piracy 1621.XEX (updated 8-bit version)





Piracy 1621.ROM Piracy 1621.XEX

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