For the past five years, the Portland Retro Gaming Expo has gathered old-school gaming geeks around town to celebrate all things Sega, Nintendo and Atari. Meanwhile, also for the past five years, the Portland Pirate Festival has taken over Cathedral Park to celebrate all things swordfighting, peg-legged and scurvy-mouthed (claiming the Guinness World Record for largest gathering of pirates with 1,670 yarrr-heads in 2009). In honor of Portland’s most fervent, fun-loving obsessives, who both happen to be holding their celebrations this very weekend, we salute their only area of overlap: retro pirate video games. In fact, it turns out the two groups share a bond already. Organizers for the PRGE are offering half-price tickets if you come to the video-game show dressed like a pirate.
More about dodging pirates and opening treasure chests than walking the plank. A fine early example of a piracy platformer.
The Secret Of Monkey Island (1990)
Just about the funniest PC adventure game ever, featuring not only the would-be pirate Guybrush Threepwood but also the villainous ghost pirate LeChuck and a three-headed monkey.
Uncharted Waters (1991)
Popular in Japan, this strategy/RPG-style series, which kicked off on the NES, would eventually spin off into SNES and PC versions, including the much-delayed Uncharted Waters Online, scheduled for release on PC this year.
Sid Meier’s Pirates! (1987, 2004)
Legendary game creator Sid Meier aced the genre with Pirates!, the pirating game perhaps best known to Western audiences. His 2004 remake allows players to partake in, among other activities, ballroom dancing.
Donkey Kong 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (1995)
The well-loved, donkey-themed platformer begins on a pirate ship. Because donkeys and pirates just work.
Skies Of Arcadia (2000)
A lot of games (Space 1889, Space Pirates) have taken piracy into space, but the truly epic Dreamcast title Skies of Arcadia stayed closer to Earth, following a gnarly crew of air pirates as they do air battle against an evil empire.
GO: The Portland Retro Gaming Expo takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1441 NE 2nd Ave., 233-2401. 10 am-9 pm Saturday, 10 am-5 pm Sunday, Sept. 18-19. $15 weekend pass, $10 daily pass. Family passes $30-$45. Kids 10 and under free. Schedule and info at retrogamingexpo.com. The Portland Pirate Festival takes over Cathedral Park, North Edison Street and Pittsburg Avenue under the St. Johns Bridge. 10 am-10 pm Saturday, 10 am-6 pm Sunday, Sept. 18-19. $12 advance, $15 door, $6 advance, $8 gate for kids 3-12, kids 2 and under free. Info and schedule at portlandpiratefestival.com.
THURSDAY SEPT. 16
[BREWS] MOUNT ANGEL OKTOBERFEST
Mount Angel hosts the oldest and largest Oktoberfest in Oregon. The town, settled by German pioneers in the 1800s, has a glockenspiel clock tower—’nuff said. 5 N Garfield St., Mount Angel. 11 am-midnight Thursday-Saturday, 11 am-9 pm Sunday, Sept. 16-19. Free, various cover charges for gartens. Festival passes $4-$25.
Trippy visuals, live guitar heroics and opener Bobby Birdman: This is one dance party you really can’t miss. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 9 pm. $25 advance, $28 day of show. All ages.
FRIDAY SEPT. 17
[TBA FEST] JOHN JASPERSE
New York-based choreographer Jasperse takes honesty out for a spin in a ensemble piece incorporating liquidity, violence, silence and seduction, plus the occasional funny bits called Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies. Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave., 242-1419. 8:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 16-18. $20-$25.
[SCREEN] A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLE SHOP
The director of House of Flying Daggers remakes the Coen brothers’ Blood Simple. Didn’t see that coming, did you? Living Room Theaters, 341 SW 10th Ave., 222-2010. Multiple showtimes. $6-$9.
[MUSIC] LES McCANN
Legendary jazz pianist Les McCann is in town for a rare live show with Jazz Messengers sax man Javon Jackson assisting. Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th Ave., 295-6542. 8 pm. $22 advance, $25 day of show. 21+.
SUNDAY SEPT. 19
[COMEDY] ARABS GONE WILD
Arab-American comedians Dean Obeidallah, Aron Kader and Maysoon Zayid do their part to defuse the nation’s Islamophobic fervor. And they’re funny, too! Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 7:30 pm. $34.
MONDAY SEPT. 20
[EATS] YAKUZA, DOC, FATS AND AUTENTICA BLOCK PARTY
Chef Micah Camden’s Killingsworth Street empire joins forces with Autentica for a party packed with mini burgers, meatballs, Scotch eggs and Welsh rarebit. And it’s all free. Northeast Killingsworth Street and 30th Avenue. 6-9 pm. Free.
[MUSIC] PANTHA DU PRINCE
Germany’s best minimal electronic ace comes to Portland for the first time. Expect lots of shimmering synths and awkward dancing. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8:30 pm. $10. 21+.