The Basic Story
Greetings to all our Backers (and hopefully future backers),
I want to give you all a bit more information about the story and character of Duke Grabowski, Mighty Swashbuckler! The story is really about peer pressure, the dangers of following the herd, and about watching a character change and mature.
Duke is not stupid, really. He is just a bit slow, and it takes Duke a lot of time to come to the right decision. For most of his life he has followed his mentor, Captain Amerigo, and trusted him to give Duke guidance and wisdom. But Captain Amerigo is gone, drowned at sea during a squall that nearly swamped the ship. And now, for the first time in a long while, Duke is on his own, with no one to set him straight. Having been made fun of all his life for his dim wits, Duke desperately wants the approval of his peers, in this case his peers being the crew of the Brazen Blade. The problem is they are a motley gang of boors, rogues and ne’er-do-wells. But Duke does not notice this, because frankly, they are scared to death of him and treat him with kid gloves, all the while behind his back they make fun of him constantly. This ignorance is why Duke thinks he has a shot at being elected the new captain. The crew, shocked that Duke would even think about nominating himself, temporarily forget that he can kill them all, and start to deride and openly make fun of him, laughing uncontrollably. Now, Duke is a sensitive guy and also suffers from IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder) and thus predictably freaks out - goes crazy! He systematically starts beating up the entire crew, doing so with ease.
Duke has the crew "treed" up in the rigging, bleeding and bruised, when the only pirate smart enough not to have made fun of Duke attempts to calm him down, Old Slewface. Slewface cautiously approaches the sweaty, beet-red and enraged Duke and makes the point that Duke can’t really maim, kill or break the entire crew because if he is chosen as captain, Duke will need the crew to run the ship. Duke sees the logic of this and starts to listen.
Old Slewface goes on to try and propose a compromise. He makes a point to Duke that the crew loved and respected Captain Amerigo, because he was a true swashbuckler. Duke asks for clarification on the qualifications to be a "true swashbuckler," and Slewface tells Duke that for one you have to be a "lady’s man." The crew would really respect a leader who was popular with the "wenches."
Duke thinks about it for a moment, and does seem to recall that women did seem to swoon a lot around Captain Amerigo, especially that one native princess he was always seen with. Being a bit slow, he doesn't see any problem with what Slewface is saying and nods in agreement. Slewface, seeing Duke coming around, continues by suggesting that Duke should pass a test - prove he is a true swashbuckler by rowing ashore and seducing three ladies. Meanwhile, the crew will wait for him and make repairs to the ship, which suffered badly in the storm. When Duke comes back, no doubt triumphant, he will win the respect of his crew and be elected the captain of the Brazen Blade.
Duke thinks this sounds like a great plan and enthusiastically rows to the Port of Bodacious Bay. Now safely out of punching range, the crew slowly climb down from the rigging and thank Slewface for his quick thinking. If Duke ever figures out this is a trick just to get him off the ship, Slewface reminds them, they are all pretty much doomed, so they better be quick with the repairs and sail away before that happens.
Now some people have asked if the gameplay is going to be like Leisure Suit Larry and I want to clear that up and say no, not at all. Although Duke is going to try and pass this test, he is terrible at it. Duke doesn't really even know what "sea-duecing" is. I don’t want to spoil the plot too much, but ultimately Duke is such a naturally good guy he will eventually end up earning the respect of three women by helping them out with various tasks and quests. Grateful for his much-needed help, these three women will in turn help Duke convince his slovenly crew that Duke is indeed a "true swashbuckler."
Hopefully I didn't give away too much but I did feel the need to clarify what type of game Duke Grabowski, Mighty Swashbuckler! is: a game pretty much about the maturation and development of a much challenged, but also blessed, character.