Pirates of the Undead Sea: Rise of the Ribcage


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Rating: 4.3/5 (218 votes)
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TrickyPirates of the Undead SeaWhile zombies are perhaps too common in games nowadays, and pirates are certainly getting there, we haven't seen nearly enough zombie-pirates. At least that's the argument given by Pirates of the Undead Sea: Rise of the Ribcage, the new point-and-click adventure game from Pahu Pahu. Given its quality, its a strong argument indeed. Captain Black Sam has spent years sailing the seven seas plundering and pillaging. After a night of too much rum, Sam wakes up to find he and his ship are at the bottom of the ocean, both not looking too much better for the experience. Fifteen years of decay later, a chance mermaid-sighting convinces him the time is nigh to set out on another grand adventure. And so, you're off to seek glory, gold and grog! Mostly grog!

Pirates of the Undead Sea is controlled entirely with the mouse. Click anywhere on the ground to walk. Click characters to converse with them by selecting dialogue options. Click items to look at, use, or collect by selecting the appropriate icon. Open the inventory by clicking the treasure chest in the lower-left corner. Click items to use them with others on the screen. Click the exits to move around the undersea landscape. Oh... and try to find some clothes for Blackbeard's sake.

Analysis: Pirates of the Dead Sea probably wouldn't exist if the Monkey Island games didn't, and its protagonist is an undead ringer for Jack Sparrow. Not judging, just stating. A game about piracy that happens to borrow from other sources? Who would have thought? Well, if you're going to pillage, pillage from the best and pillage well. Pirates of the Undead Sea does both. It acts as a fitting tribute to its inspirations while effectively showcasing the developers' own creativity and appreciable talents. Oh... and try to find some clothes while you're at it.

Pirates of the Undead SeaPirates of the Undead Sea does nearly everything right. It has a wonderful cartoonish aquatic aesthetic, that utilizes some neat parallax effects. It's plot is of the loose "walk around doing piratey things" variety, but that allows the characters to take center stage. And what characters they are! The cast's designs and dialogue sparkle with personality and there's not a single one who doesn't get a laugh-out-loud bit of conversation. Fluffy the Salt-Water Pirahna! Finny, the sarcastic mermaid with the prerequisite convenient hair placement! McGonnagal, the ship's poet who didn't really think through the whole "hanging oneself while one is already dead" thing! So few browser games take the time to develop an ensemble cast, but this is definitely one that does.

Not that the puzzles are too shabby either. They have a logical progression, and incorrect attempts will at least cause you to crack a smile. Of particular note is an early sequence when you must find a replacement hat: there are about a half-dozen red-herrings that you can try on, and each of them garners a snarky comment from the protagonist. When developers enjoy making a game, it shows in the details, and one might suspect this team enjoyed it a lot.

The negatives of Pirates of the Undead Sea are standard for the genre: a few obtuse solutions (especially the last puzzle of the game), navigation that's a little confusing, and a protagonist that deserves a faster walking speed, even if he is a zombie. The background music is high quality, but a mixed bag tone-wise: some of it would be suited better in an elevator than for a terror of the seas. However, these minor drawbacks mean little when compared with the positives. Any fan of classic Lucas Arts adventures will love Pirates of the Undead Sea, and it's sure to be a strong performer in our annual Best of 2011 awards. In conclusion... ARRRRRR.

Play Pirates of the Undead Sea: Rise of the Ribcage

Walkthrough Guide


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Pirates of the Undead Sea Walkthrough

Dressing the Part

  • Well, you need your boots to start.

  • Talk to Fluffy The Undead Salt-Water Pirahna.

  • Select the conversation option "So Your Boot is My Chewing Gum?" You now have your left boot.

  • Pick up the conch on the ground.

  • Open your inventory and use the conch on the hermit crab. You now have your right boot.

  • Go right to "The Great Deep" and watch the cutscene. At the end you'll show up at the "A New Pespective" locale.

The Right Hat

  • Go up to the "Ship Ahoy" locale.

  • Talk to Fry Boater. It seems you'll need a hat if you want to lead your crew...or something that looks like one.

  • While you're here, pick up the cannonball, the treasure map, and the old bell.

  • Go left to "A New Pespective."

  • There's a number of possibilities for your hat, and they're quite funny to try out. To solve the puzzle, though, head right to the "Shell Sweet Shell" locale.

  • Once there, pick up the Beefribs of the carcass Fluffy has eaten.

  • Return to "Ship Ahoy," and Fry Boyter will be reasonably convinced and give you your real hat.

Talking to Finny

  • Head left to "A New Perspective," then left again to "Tentacle Gorge."

  • Well, now we know where that squid ended up. There's nothing we can do about that, though, so head left again to "Imprisioned Beauty."

  • Note the jail window. Talking to it won't do you much good, so move on to the left to "Dead Whale."

  • Talk to the whale about Finny the Mermaid.

  • Now that you know her name, maybe she'll talk to you. Go back to "Imprisoned Beauty" and talk to the jail window.

  • Finny will mention a diary page, but she doesn't trust pirates. First of all, you sound too drunk.

  • Of course, since your a pirate, you only sound drunk when you're sober. Open the inventory and use the bottle of rum.

  • Talk to Finny again.

  • Now Finny won't want to talk to you because you smell of rum. Clearly she doesn't mind the scent of fish, though.

  • Go back to "Shell Sweet Shell" and talk to Fluffy. Choose "Oh, No! It's not like that!" and you guys will hug it out.

  • Now smelling fishy, return to "Imprisoned Beauty" and talk to Finny again.

How I Sank the Ribcage

  • Huh...now she wants you to honestly tell her about what happened to you and your crew. Well, you don't rightly know, so walk back to "Ship Ahoy" then to the right to "Fellowship of the Rum."

  • Talk to McGonagall, the hanging ship's poet. Ask him for a poem, one about you and your ship.

  • Listen to it, and you'll have a pretty good idea as to what happened.

  • Also, while you're here, pick up that wanted poster on the wall.

  • Return to "Imprisoned Beauty" and talk to Finny.

  • Tell her "It was an accident", "We were celebrating on board", and "I drank a bit too much and tried to parallel park my ship. I failed."

  • Satisfied with the explanation, she'll hand over the diary page.

  • Open your inventory and look at it. Hmm...maybe the wizard isn't so evil after all.

Talking to Gunner

  • Go to "Dead Whale."

  • Talk to the whale and ask "Do you speak the language of Whales?" He'll teach you a little whelish.

  • Return to your crew at "Fellowship of the Rum."

  • Talk to Gunner, the cigar smoking dude on the left. If you talk to him in whelish (BOOOIIIIIAAAAUUUU), he'll give you his cigar.

  • Now go to "Tentacle Gorge." Use the cigar on the tentacles.

  • Try to ring the doorbell. Oops! Well, at least you've got a nice rope out of it.

  • Enter "The Kraken's Cave."

The Other Diary Pages

  • Use the diary page on the Evil Kraken.

  • Hmm...it seems he needs a little more convincing.

  • Exit the cave and go to "Dead Whale."

  • Use the rope on the harpoon.

  • Success! Pick up your coat to look a little swankier, and go to "Imprisoned Beauty."

  • Once there, pick up the paper. Another diary page!

  • Head over to "Fellowship of the Rum" and talk to the Quartermaster. It seems that he won't let you get at your treasure until he's convinced there's another horde somewhere else.

  • Go to "A New Perspective." Use the cannon ball on the clam to get that large pearl.

  • Return to "Fellowship of the Rum" and use the pearl on the Quartermaster.

  • Search the treasure chest to find a piece of paper.

  • Search it again to pick up a piece of jewelry.

  • Go to the "Kraken's Cave."

Freeing Finny

  • Use one of the diary pages on the Kraken, then use the other one. See? It seems the Kraken ain't so bad after all.

  • If you talk to him, you'll find he'd be more than happy to release Finny, but he's lost the key.

  • Pick up the electric eel.

  • Open your inventory and use the electric eel on the pufferfish to get the key.

  • Use the key on the dark jail and Finny is free!

Recruiting Finny

  • You find yourself at "Dead Whale."

  • Talking to Finny reveals she wasn't too thrilled about being captured and rescued. She needs to be reminded why she hunted the Kracken in the first place.

  • Use the treasure map on her, and she'll join your crew.

  • Head to "Ship Ahoy."

Rise of the Ribcage

  • You're all set to sail, but your ship's a wreck.

  • Talk to Finny. Looks like you'll need to help her whale out in order to set out.

  • Time for the weirdest puzzle in the game. Head to the "Kraken's Cave."

  • Use the electric eel on the flesh-eating bacteria.

  • Now you have flesh-spewing bacteria?! Just roll with it.

  • Pick it up and head over to "Dead Whale."

  • Use the strange bacteria on the whale and he's all better!

  • Go to "Ship Ahoy", Talk to Finny and enjoy the ending!

20 Comments

SonicLover Author Profile Page October 11, 2011 6:41 PM

Finished it. Needed the video walkthrough only in one place, which I assume is the "final puzzle" Tricky was referring to. Here's a hint so others don't have to stumble where I did:

In undead waters, certain species of bacteria are forced to invert their behavioral tendencies when exposed to electric shock.

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BeagleBag October 11, 2011 6:58 PM

My game is stuck after loading only 32%.

[Try emptying your browser cache and reload the game page. -Jay]

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done! needed the help of the walkthrough in some places.. loved it! =)

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Littleghost Author Profile Page October 11, 2011 7:41 PM

Hmm... stuck after giving the wizard squid

two pages and don't know how to get the third from the whale.

Not sure if I'm missing anything else.

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I'd love to have a text walkthrough written up for this game for our community here at JIG.

Anyone interested in helping us out?

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Thrilling Author Profile Page October 11, 2011 8:20 PM

@littleghost

you need rope to get the harpoon out of the whale. you find rope at the entrance of the kraken lair, after you shooed the tentacles away, to shoo them away you need fire, to get fire, you need the cigar from one of your sailors, to get the cigar from him you need to have learned whalespeak, to learn whalespeak ask the whale

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fingerburst October 11, 2011 8:42 PM

Bare bones walkthrough

Please note this walkthrough does not take you through the humorous dialog. You lose out on so much when you don't explore on your own.

Trouble picking up items in inventory

Move mouse to the top or sides of item in order to pick it up



Boot bumbling

First boot

Talk to the fish

Click the boot option.

Click the chewing gum option

Boot is now on your foot

Second boot

Pick up the conch shell

Click inventory

Pick up conch shell (hand icon)

Use on hermit crab in your boot

Hapless head wear

Click the great deep arrow (right)

Head towards ship (upper right arrow)

Pick up cannon ball

Pick up lone treasure map on the ground

Talk to Pirate on the ship

Click left arrow

Use cannon ball on big clam

Click lower right arrow

Click beef ribs (by the fish)

Head back to ship

Treasure trouble

Talk to quarter master

Select gold option

Click never mind

Click pearl

Use on quartermaster

Click on treasure chest twice

Click on the wanted poster

Terrible tentacles

Head left three times (to tentacle gorge)

Ignore tentacles for now. There is nothing you can do

Move left twice

Talk to whale

Pick option language

Head back to ship

Go right

Talk to Gunner

Pick option BOIAU

Leave to tentacle gorge

Use cigar on tentacles

Click on door bell

pilfering papers

Head left

Talk to person in the bars of jail

Pick kraken option

End conversation

Use bottle of rum on yourself

Talk to Finny again

Leave right to shell sweet shell

Talk to fish

Select Oh no option

Go back to Finny

Talk to her

Select accident option

Choose celebration

Pick I drank too much option

Move left

Use rope on harpoon

Pick up coat from under the whale

Head right

Pick up paper

Read all of the papers

Freeing Finny

Head right

Go into Kraken's cave (left in tentacle gorge)

Give all of the papers to Kraken

Pick up electric eel

Use eel on puffer fish

Use key on cell

Super ship

Talk to Finny

Select kraken hunt option

End the conversation

Use the necklace, wanted poster, and treasure map on Finny in that order

Head over to Kraken's lair

Use eel on bacteria ( on the table, microscope)

Pick up bacteria

Go over to whale

Use bacteria on whale

Move to ship

Talk to finny

Congratulations. You have won

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Jim_in_Oz Author Profile Page October 11, 2011 9:26 PM

I'm stumped. I've

healed the whale and he swam away.

And then, after that I

freed the mermaid. But she keeps telling me her whale is injured when he's not even there any more.

I've

shown the mermaid the necklace and the wanted poster and don't have anything else she wants to see.

Have I done things in the wrong order? Is there any way I can finish this?

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Hi guys, thanks for the great review and the positive feedback! We're really happy that our game got featured here. :)

@Jim_in_Oz:

Finny's main problem is that she can't remember why she went to hunt the kraken, so it's up to you to find a way to remind her why she did it. Besides the necklace and the wanted poster there is something else that could remind her. That's what you need to find. :)

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Littleghost Author Profile Page October 12, 2011 4:22 PM

The harpoon really does need to be selectable before it gets used. I had discounted it as an option a long time ago.

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Jim_in_Oz Author Profile Page October 12, 2011 7:23 PM

Thanks, PahuPahu. I'd tried

the maps before but never the right one!

How foolish of me. Thanks for the great game. The dialogue was hilarious and the artwork very impressive.

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piratemonkey06 Author Profile Page October 12, 2011 9:01 PM

Wow, he DOES look a lot like Captain Jack!

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I love the art.

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I dislike having to double-click on everything, once to select it, once to select what action I want. The action selection window should just pop up when you mouse over a clickable item.

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I didn't like all the clicking either. I would have liked the descriptions to pop up just from hovering the mouse, and then for clicking to cause the talking or picking up. For some conversations, it proceeded from one possible question to the next without having to start again. Please do them all that way.

But even so, it was fun, and I laughed out loud at the end. So even given some of the annoyances, I still gave it 5 mushrooms!

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Great game! Only needed to get two hints, which is fab for me. Lovely artwork and very funny dialogue - I'm looking forward to the next one.

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Morgan Foster November 3, 2011 3:22 PM

The game was a bit confusing at first, but the walkthrough really helped me understand it. The game was really cool and interesting, and I liked the undersea theme. I liked how you could click on other characters in the game to help make sense of everything as well. Fun game!

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Anonymous November 3, 2011 4:13 PM

Can't help but notice that the bell and wanted poster appear to be red herrings.

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Very slow movement.
Some of the dialogue is mildly amusing, nothing hilarious. (One comment by the protagonist, about the mermaid being in jail & the kraken having tentacles, was just creepy, immature and unfunny.)

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