Uncharted Waters
Developer(s): Koei
Publisher(s): Koei
Release Date:
PC Version
Flag of Japan: May 1990
July 26, 1990
September 11, 1990
(MSX2; ROM version)
September 27, 1990
(MSX2; FD version)
December 1990
(FM Towns, X68)
December 20, 2012
(myGAMECITY PC browser)
April 18, 2017 (Steam)
Flag of the United States.svg: 1990

NES Version

Flag of Japan: March 15, 1991
Flag of the United States.svg: November 1991

Sega Genesis Version

Flag of Japan: April 24, 1992
Flag of the United States.svg: April 28, 1992

SNES Version

Flag of Japan: August 5, 1992
Flag of the United States.svg: January 1993
Genre: Simulation role-playing,
Turn-based strategy
Game Modes: Single-player
Ratings: CERO: CERO A Rating
Platform(s): NEC PC-8801mkII SR, NEC PC-9801, MSX2, FM Towns, X68000, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, Macintosh, Windows (98~XP), Steam

Uncharted Waters (大航海時代, Daikoukai Jidai) is the first game of the Uncharted Waters series and the second Rekoeition IP.

Kou Shibusawa's goal for this game was to let players re-enact the romance and adventure of the Age of Exploration. Noriyoshi Ourai illustrated the game's cover. Music was composed by Yoko Kanno.


See also Uncharted Waters/Legend

The game starts on February 21, 1502, and the protagonist is a Portuguese navigator. The player can name him, re-roll his starting stats, and name their flagship. Default names will be used if the player declines to input their own.

His goal is to restore his family's lost prestige. The player is free to accomplish this by exploring new lands, trading goods, and/or fighting other fleets to gain Fame.

Fame increases by investing in ally ports, fulfilling requests at the Guild, sinking ships from Spain or the Ottoman Empire, or carrying out royal commands from the King of Portugal; it drops if the player fails missions, loses battles or refuses a royal command. Fame affects the protagonist's rank which broadens his political and trading influences. The max cap for Fame is 50,000.

A higher ranked protagonist can gradually befriend the Portuguese royalty. Marrying Princess Christiana will then become the main goal for winning the game.


Before the player can set sail, they are expected to prepare at least one ship and a seaworthy crew.

Gold is required for funding the protagonist's adventures. It can be earned by selling goods that are in demand, scavenging it randomly while sailing, or winning Blackjack in the port's Inn. Up to 60,000 Gold can be held at a time.

The four essential consumables for sailing are: Food, Water, Crew, and Lumber. Crew can be recruited in Inns with a gold fee and can affect the effectiveness of a ship's performance. Food and Water maintain the crew while sailing. Lumber is used for emergency repairs for damaged ships at sea. These supplies can be restored at most ports.

Ships can be named, purchased, sold, and repaired at the port's Harbor. Cargo and crew can also be transferred between docked ships. As the player gains more Gold and Fame, they can assign their personal fleet.

If the player wishes to play like a merchant, they will need to visit the Marketplace for goods. Haggling can potentially slice purchasing costs, but the discount is reliant on the protagonist's current rank. Current market trends can be checked at the Lodge.

Investing in a port's trade economy or ship industry raises the protagonist's affinity with Portugal and lowers his ties with Spain and the Ottoman Empire. If the protagonist is considered an enemy to a particular nation, he may be barred from entering that nation's port unless he bribes the guard with Gold. Hostility gradually decreases over time.

Most ports have other facilities that provide the player with services for maintaining the protagonist's fleet, though a supply port only has the Harbor.

Lisbon is the protagonist's home and his starting point. This port has a bank which is open to Gold withdrawals or deposits; it's advised to store excess Gold here before facing enemy waters. Higher ranked protagonists will be given royal commands from the King of Portugal such as importing certain goods, delivering letters, finding randomly generated treasures, or eliminating specific fleets.


Port departures transition to the open seas. The player is free to navigate their ship/fleet anywhere they desire; prior knowledge of history and geography can be helpful for remembering the locations of ports. Navigation takes up time and resources; even an idle ship will drain away supplies. It's advised to prepare a surplus of supplies for long journeys.

When sailing, the player must constantly be aware of their surroundings. Water currents vary between regions and may entrap unwary fleets. Wind direction changes yearly, and may speed up or slow down ships. The model of a ship affects its durability, cargo space, and sailing speed.

Three types of oceans are in the game: temperate, arctic, and tropical. Temperate oceans are commonplace in Europe and have little to no currents. Arctic oceans reside at the very ends of the world map, have dangerous currents, and offer few ports to sustain ship(s). Tropical oceans have the strongest currents and are rife with natural disasters.

Natural disasters are randomized and may play a hand in hampering ships.

  • Typhoons - Ships lose control and drift in random directions until the storm ends. Results in ship damage and loss of crewmen. Often occurs in tropical waters.
  • Seaweed - Ships will get stuck to seaweed and receive damage. In the worst case scenario, the player may be forced to scuttle the entangled ship in order to move out. Common in East Asia or the Arctic.
  • Mysterious Disappearance - Ships sailing near the Bermuda Triangle will suddenly disappear, taking their entire crew and cargo with them. The effects of this disaster are irreversible.

Sailing and discovering new ports increases the protagonist's levels. A single day of sailing is worth 10 experience points. Higher levels grants a bonus increase to the ship's overall endurance and performance. Other navigators can be hired at the Inn to perform similar feats.

Treasure can be acquired by finding them on the map or defeating their current owners. Information on their whereabouts can be gathered at the Inn, though some backtracking may occur especially if the treasure is in the hands of roving pirates.


Battles occur if aggression is declared between the protagonist's fleet and an enemy fleet; either side may proclaim conflict. Ambushing enemy fleets will always have the preemptive strike whereas an ambushing protagonist's fleet has a 50-50 chance to do the same.

The battle screen is set on a grid-shaped map. Each side can deploy up to five vessels including the flagship. Protagonist and his allies are green while the enemy are red. Ships are sunk if crewmen count or hull durability hits zero. Conflict can only occur during the day, giving combatants a limited number of turns and commands to declare a victor before sundown.

Terrain varies and impacts the flow of battle.

  • Deep Sea - Default. No obstructions.
  • Sand Bar - A shallow bank of water. Obstructs movement for large ships.
  • Coral Reef and/or Island - Obstructs movement for all ships.

Victory is obtained by sinking the enemy flagship or forcing the enemy retreat. Defeat occurs if the protagonist's fleet is forced to retreat; the game prematurely ends if the protagonist's flagship is sunk.

Characters can gain battle levels for winning battles. The supplies and booty of defeated enemy fleets goes to the protagonist's fleet, as long as the ship(s) have enough cargo space. There are two types of enemy fleets: merchant fleets and warships. Merchant fleets are smaller and easier to dispatch, but offer slim rewards. Warships are harder to sink yet have a higher chance of carrying precious cargo that can be sold at Guilds.

A disgruntled ally navigator may defect and take their vessel with them. The most effective methods of preventing this is by winning battles and treating the crew to a round of drinks at Inns. Resting at ports at regular intervals keeps crew loyalty high.

If the player keeps attacking vessels owned by the three major powers, the protagonist will eventually be deemed a pirate and become a target for constant retaliation.


  • Leon Franco
  • Rocco Alemkel
  • King of Portugal (王マヌエル, King Manuel) - Ruler of Lisbon. He becomes Leon's patron once he earns a high rank.
  • Princess Christiana (クリス, Chris) - Leon's love interest who is 14 years old. Originally betrothed to a prince from Spain who canonically marries Leon. Near the game's finale, she is kidnapped by Turkish pirates and must be rescued for the story to end.

Differences between portsEdit

  • The PC version has a detailed interface for navigation.
  • Event stills for port facilities are in the PC and Genesis versions.
  • Voice acting is in the X68000 port.
  • The mobile port keeps the protagonist's stats fixed and gives scenarios for two recruitable mates, Fernando and Marco.
  • The Classic Game version reuses the graphics from Mobile Daikoukai Jidai.
  • The Super Famicon port is called SUPER Daikoukai Jidai.


Related MediaEdit

One guidebook for the game was published by KOEI on February 1991. A soundtrack CD includes game music and an original image song. This vocal song was reprinted onto Koei Soundware Vocal Collections Vol. 1.

A comic based on this game was serialized in DaGama magazine. It was illustrated by Hitoshi Natsume. Another comic adaptation by Masahito Tanaka was released on August 1, 1991.

A 200-page novel written by Masaaki Nitta had also been published.

Five tracks from this game were performed for the GAME SYMPHONY JAPAN 24th CONCERT KOEI TECMO Special ~Shibusawa Kou 35th Anniversary~ orchestra concert.

Image SongEdit

Performed by Keiko
  • Nanatsu no Umi he (SEVEN SEAS)
Performed by Kumi Sano


External LinksEdit