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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pirate101's Top 10 Maps


Wizard101 traditionally creates maps for its major locations, but while Pirate101 lacks world maps, it does one for almost every tiny little area, including a lot of dungeons. Sometimes these maps get overlooked, and others are in the spotlight but worth viewing again anyway. Here's a list of my ten favorite maps in Pirate101.

Honorable Mentions: Main Battery, Governor's Compound

Sometimes there is beauty in simplicity, and that's partially why I love these two maps. There's nothing all too fancy about the Governor's Compound deep within MooShu, but it's sure a good-looking map in my mind. The Main Battery was the other candidate. What they did with the Valencia portions of Marleybone is pretty spectacular - all of the structures have additional paneling and gears that really add to them. One more reason to be excited for Book 15.


10. Chamber of the Paw

This map may be fairly simple, but is represents a very complex system of caves and little islands in the mist. In addition, it's such a short piece of a very long dungeon that the map is often overlooked. After all, there's only one path to take. Nonetheless, the Chamber of the Paw is one of my favorite parts of the Monquistan story, and the maps fits right in.


9. Barkeley Square

Marleybone, for all its beautiful buildings and royalty, really doesn't get to show off much more than its industrial side in our brief encounter. Barkeley Square is the one exception. It is this sort of center point of Marleybone in which the Transportalator sits and which connects to the Glass House, the Isle of Dogs, and the Admiralty Foyer, including access to the War Room and a portion of Special Branch.

The map itself, despite needing to convey so little with access to only three locations, is very detailed and captures the beauty of what Marleybone can be. I'd love to venture into some of these other buildings in the future.


8. Bestia

One of the things that sometimes doesn't register with players is that Besta isn't just another island floating in the sky. It's held up by a giant eagle. This might be more apparent if it were accessed via skyway, but while it's visible, the only way to get there is via Skull Island - more specifically, Avery's Court. This in mind, the winds and hands are often missed. The only curiosity is why the colors don't seem to match the model.


7. Central Core

Picking up from the Main Battery, this map really takes advantage of an otherwise simple layout of platforms. Depending on exactly where you fall in this location, it may be the Central Core or the Main Battery Hold. It shares its structure with the area where you first enter Beachhead, except the elevator in the center is replaced with the mechanism you are seeking to sabotage to destroy or dismantle the whole thing. This is also where our pirates encounter Bishop!


6. The Labyrinth

Most maps looks nice and might give you a general direction, but few prove as necessary as the Labyrinth map. If you look closely at the design of these maps, you'll notice that the area in which you can walks is outlined in a thick brown outlines whereas all other detailing work has a thinner outline. This is particularly important to understand with the Labyrinth because for all its twists and turns, there's a lot you can't even acess.

Every area that isn't a tiny corridor contains potential battles, some of which are required and others of which are only accidents waiting to happen. Keeping track of which way to turn and where you're supposed to be can save a lot of time in the Labyrinth, so this map comes in handy.


5. Bruno Chapel

Bruno Chapel is one of my all-around favorite locations, including the map. It's extremely simple. There aren't a lot of places to go - only one entrance and exit. This is the Valencia Part 1 finale where our pirates encounter Phule and battle some Armada officers. The Chapel also has a beautiful spiral design on the floor which appears faintly in the map. This, too, is such a short piece of the story that the map is often overlooked.


4. Catbeard's Lair

Our favorite feline's hideout is probably one of the coolest locations in the game. The maximum ship speed is decreased to half, forcing you to enjoy the rays of light and ancient temples scattered about, all so you can locate one cat on a ship inside. 

The map mimics the beauty. It details the temples and cave walls well, in addition to adding a ship shadow to show the height at which it rests. If not for that shadow, one might think this were a normal pirate hideout, void of flying ships and talking cats.


3. Haunted Shrine

This is yet another map often overlooked. Our pirates journey to the Haunted Shrine in search of the fifth and final turtle ball needed to summon the great Maruzame Castle. The island has no NPCs and only one dungeon, which is why not much attention is paid to the map. However, upon closer inspection, it reveals some ghastly creatures in the form of giant statues that surround the shrine.


2. Palace of Hyssarik

This is a major point of interest within Illios, and the culmination of the location and the snake portions of Aquila's storyline. Access is gained to this location through Troy and the giant mouse, and can be re-accessed later on through the main gate. It contains a variety of characters doing battle inside after the giant mouse opens with its eagle soldiers, as well as a life fountain and access to the final dungeon of Illios.

The map is rally very detailed and beautiful. The palace is so large that it bleeds off the page on the right. Not only is it heavily focused on the architecture, but it also employs the use of perspective.


1. Maruzame Castle

My favorite map in Pirate101 is Maruzame Castle. Despite being a rather large location, this is not always a map you look at. Being on the back of a giant turtle does wonders for the map, but the location itself is also full of twists and turns and hills and docks, and that's all captured within the image.


What's your favorite Pirate101 map?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!


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