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Uncharted Waters, normally released as Daikoukai Jidai , is a popular Japanese video game series produced by Koei under its "Rekoeition" brand.
It is a simulation and role-playing video game series dealing with sailing and trading, themed around the Age of Discovery. In the games, the player takes up the role of a captain (or commodore in some translations) and manages a seagoing fleet to participate in trades, privateering, treasure hunting, exploration, and plain piracy. Even though the series is largely open-ended, there is still a loose plot which requires the player to follow certain paths, and deviating from these paths may stall the progress of the story.
In East Asia, the series has a large cult following, but it has not received much recognition outside the region. However, it has been compared to the earlier Sid Meier's Pirates! in gameplay and theme.
In Japan, the term "daikoukai jidai" refers to the Age of Discovery, the period between the 15th century and the 17th century when European explorers sailed the seas to open new alternative ways to Asia when the Ottoman Empire blocked the land routes.
This period was characterized by the rivalry between Spain and Portugal, the advent of colonization, and general exploration. In later games, other countries are also involved. Some historical events during the Age of Discovery, like the Treaty of Tordesillas, were mentioned.
The game series makes many references to the historical background, although much like Pirates!, the more treacherous details of the era are idealized to create an adventurous and exciting mood.
In the first game of the series, the player assumes the role of Leon Franco, the young, ambitious son of a noble family fallen on hard times in Portugal. The goal of the game is to restore the family's former glory and achieve Leon's dreams. Only three nations are represented, Portugal, Spain and the Ottoman Empire, although there are many neutral ports around the world that the player can "invest" in and thus make part of Portugal's sphere of influence. This, as well as discovering ports and defeating other merchants and pirates in sea battles, increases Leon's fame. With increased fame, Leon can complete tasks for the King of Portugal and gain higher titles of nobility.
The story is set in the early 16th century. It was released on MSX and NES in 1991, and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES in 1992; the SNES version was originally titled Super Daikoukai Jidai in Japan, as with many SNES ports of Koei games. The English versions were also released in the same years respectively. The game was ported to PC and Macintosh, as well.
Daikoukai Jidai Gaiden ( this upload ) , Released in 1997 on PlayStation and Sega Saturn, the game uses the same engine, and focuses on the story of two characters instead, further expounding upon the loose plot that ties the series together. The two protagonists are as follows:
Miranda Verte: Genoese adventurer who mistakenly thought the treasure hunter, Pietro Conti, had asked for her hand in marriage, and sets off to find him. Her quest eventually leads to a plot relating to an ancient civilisation in South America, which were touched on by Pietro's previous adventure.
Salvador Reis: Pirate and adopted son of Hayreddin Reis (aka Khayr ad-Din). His adventure involves rising to fame as one of the Algerian pirates, compete for domination with enemy pirate clans and also struggle for power within his own clan.
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