There’s a wild surprise waiting for people in Sea of Thieves’ latest Easter egg and it really made me feel two things. One, that I am very old, and two, that I can feel hope. It also shows that developer Rare is really good at keeping secrets. Like really good.
Sea of Thieves’ latest expansion update, A Pirate’s Life launched on June 22, bringing characters and elements from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones and even Joshamee Gibbs sailed right into the world of Sea of Thieves, establishing that this world of plunder and peril is some kind of high seas nexus and the layer between it and other worlds is oh so thin.
It’s wild and it’s been received pretty well by Sea of Thieves fans and enthusiasts of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie trilogy. That’s right, there are only three Pirates movies, only three. But what may have sailed beneath notice amidst the expansion’s hype is the Easter egg that came with it. It’s one that’s so good that even the slightest wink about it would give it away.
Warning: this post contains material that would be considered spoilers for A Pirate’s Life and presumably future content updates for Sea of Thieves.
At the end of A Pirate’s Life, the player is taken to a shipwreck, one which seems like just another among the many they’ve seen. As you approach it, a jaunty and possibly familiar tune plays. Whether you’re above the age of thirty, a connoisseur of classic adventure games or simply someone with a working familiarity of videogame classics, then you’ll recognize it as the theme from Monkey Island.
And if there was any doubt about it, Sea of Thieves stamps this segment of the experience as “Deep in the Caribbean,” the title card that opens all three Monkey Island games. That’s right, there are only three Monkey Island games, only three. And this ain’t no ordinary blink and you’ll miss it kind of wink, it’s a series of teases suggesting a future where Sea of Thieves’ collides with Monkey Island.
Through a series of journals scattered across the wreck, Sea of Thieves goes for a deep cut by exploring the fate of Captain Kate Capsize, one of the supporting characters from Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge.
In MI2, Capsize was a tour captain, offering views of the ocean from her glass bottom boat. Finishing Monkey Island 2 requires the player, as series protagonist Guybrush Threepwood, to put her face on wanted posters. That lands Capsize in jail, though the player can make the inconsequential decision to let her out.
Sea of Thieves maintains that never happened, and when she got out, went in pursuit of Threepwood for revenge. There’s quite a bit of detail that Sea of Thieves touches on. A cabin contains a map of the tri-island area of Phatt, Booty and Scabb Island that makes up the first half of Monkey Island 2 and Kate’s logs state that she salvaged the Mad Monkey that Guybrush hired her to search for.
Capsize renames the ship The Headless Monkey – the figure head was removed by Threepwood – and heads out to the Sea of Thieves as part of her pursuit. Whatever happened during the voyage that led to the wreck of the Headless Monkey, it seems that Kate perished.
“Did Guybrush Threepwood make it to the Sea of Thieves? I may never know for sure. I, on the other hand, never arrived. Also, I think I might be slightly dead,” writes an apparently doomed Capsize. “I miss the sunlight! I’m going to set sail, find a way back to life and then […] I’ve realised revenge isn’t worth living, and certainly not dying for.”
Mind blown. And while I wouldn’t get too carried away with excitement over this Sea of Thieves Easter egg, Disney owns the rights to the characters and elements of Monkey Island after having acquired LucasArts and its parent company LucasFilm back in 2012. It’s well within reason for Rare and Disney to have come to a conversation about the second biggest pirate franchise we’ve ever seen.
Sea of Thieves is playable on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Windows PC and is also on Steam. The game has also been a part of Game Pass since launch, which means subscribers can access the new A Pirate’s Life content right now.