Sid Meier's Pirates! Wiki

Special Items are acquirable items featured in Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004) that provide the player with several types of beneficial effects. There are 17 different effects, and two items of each for these: a lesser and more potent effect, making 34 Special Items in total. The effects are not cumulative, so if the Player Character already has the better version of the item, there is no need to obtain the lesser variant of the same type of item.

Obtaining Special Items[]

Special Items are acquired in three possible means:

  • From mysterious travelers in Taverns, for a price.
  • From Wanted Criminals after beating them in Fencing, in exchange of their freedom.
  • From Governor's Daughter, as a gift after a very successful dancing performance.

The first two methods are the most effective, since shady travelers often have Special Items for sale, and criminals sometimes offer a Special Item for their freedom. The player has no choice over what item is offered though, and can only opt whether or not to take.

Rather plain governor's daughters offer a selection of three randomly chosen special items if you sweep them off their feet. Attractive governor's daughters will do the same if you kiss their hand, but you should sweep attractive daughters off their feet to get Raymondo's location. Certain items will not be offered by governor's daughters (noted below with *) and must be obtained in the tavern or from criminals. Over the course of the game, you are only allowed to get so many special items from governor's daughters. After you have danced that many good dances (and received items and clues about evil Spaniards and lost cities), daughters will start offering you a criminal's location instead. The daughters in towns that have changed national hands may not offer their full prizes.

Special Item Descriptions[]

Balanced Swords[]

2004 Item BalancedSwords.png The set of Balanced Swords will increase your attack speed by a small amount, regardless of which sword you choose for any Fencing match.
2004 Item PerfectlyBalancedSwords.png The set of Perfectly Balanced Swords amplifies this effect, increasing attack speed by a significant amount.
These items are also useful to offset the effects of Age (see below).


2004 Item OneShotPistol.png Once a One-Shot Pistol is acquired, a short cinematic will play just prior to the start of each Fencing mini-game, where you and your opponent will exchange fire from your pistols. The opponent misses, but your character then wings him in the shoulder with a shot from this pistol. As a result, your opponent begins the battle a step backwards from where he would normally begin. This is equivalent to a free, automatically-successful Middle Thrust.
2004 Item BraceOfPistols.png When a Brace Of Pistols is acquired, your character will fire twice at the enemy in this pre-battle cinematic. The result is that the enemy begins the fight two steps back from where he would normally begin. This is equivalent to a free, automatically-successful High or Low Slash attack.


2004 Item LeatherVest.png The Leather Vest has an interesting effect: When the enemy attacks with a Middle Thrust (the fastest possible attack), and is not blocked, the Leather Vest gives some chance (around 50%) that the attack will be completely nullified regardless of your failure to block it.
2004 Item MetalCuirass.png The Metal Cuirass amplifies this effect, increasing the chance for your armor to automatically block a successful Middle Thrust to around 80-90%! This makes you almost impervious to these annoying, stinging attacks.

Fencing Shirt[]

2004 Item PuffyFencingShirt.png The Puffy Fencing Shirt increases your defense speed by a small amount, regardless of which sword you choose for any Fencing match.
2004 Item SilkFencingShirt.png The Silk Fencing Shirt amplifies this effect, increasing defense speed by a significant amount.
These items are also useful to offset the effects of Age (see below).


The Quality Spyglass increases field of view, allowing to see ships farther away. The Fine Telescope has increased range.


The Dutch Rutter reveals the location of many hidden settlements (Indian villages, missions, and pirate havens). The Spanish Rutter contains more locations.

Weather Instruments[]

A Barometer/Weather Glass decreases the amount of damage taken when sailing through storms (white) and hurricanes (black). The Precision Barometer has a stronger effect.

Musical Instruments[]

The Fiddle improves morale during long voyages. The Concertina has a stronger effect.


The False Mustache helps you to trade with merchants in cities that are upset with you or Spanish cities with strict trade laws forbidding merchants to trade with anyone who doesn't have a Spanish rank. The Theatrical Disguise has a stronger effect. (You would still have to get into town by sneaking in or plundering it.)




Herbs extend your life expectancy, allowing you to sail longer before needing to retire.  The Incan Mystic Salve has a more powerful effect.

Minor Faction Items[]

A Shrunken Head will increase your reputation with Indians. The Carved Shaman Stick has a stronger effect.

A Golden Cross will increase your reputation with the Jesuit Missionaries. The Sacred Relic has a stronger effect.

Note: These items have no actual effect on the game in its present state. The developers intended for the non-monarchial factions to function differently, but never removed these items in the end.


A Ruby Ring or Diamond Necklace can be given to a governor's daughter, after the ball and to trigger the jealous fiancee.

Dancing Shoes*[]

Dancing Shoes and Slippers make it easier to hit a perfectly timed dance move, and make it less likely for you to misstep.


A French Chapeau will get you an invitation to the ball from Plain and Attractive daughters. The Ostrich Feather Cap will guarantee an invitation from Beautiful daughters without being a Baron.

Lockpicking Items*[]

A Lockpick Set will allow you to escape from prison without relying on greedy guards to bribe or waiting several months.  The Skeleton Key allows earlier opportunity to escape.

Signaling Devices*[]

The Mirror and Signal Flare increase the chance of passing ships noticing and picking you up and thus shorten the time marooned on an island.  The Signal Flare is more powerful.

* - denotes special items not offered by governor's daughters