Community Spotlight – Fishhook Cook

See the Spotlight glinting off the gear of this barnacle-encrusted buccaneer!

We all love our cosmetics in Sea of Thieves. As we work towards earning gold to purchase that coveted piece of clothing, or Commendations so we can finally get our hands on the weapon we’ve been eyeing up for so long, it’s commonplace for each of us to find the style for our pirate, the one we are known by, that other pirates associate with us.

There are perhaps few on the seas so widely known for their recognisable fashion choices as the subject of our latest Spotlight. It’s time to talk to the Barnacled Buccaneer himself, Fishhook Cook!

[Q]: Can you tell us a little about what got you into gaming?

[A]: I would have to blame it all on my Dad! He wasn’t a huge gamer (beyond Atari Pong) but one year for Christmas he got the family a Gateway computer, along with a Gravis Blackhawk Joystick and X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter for me. It wasn’t something I had asked for, but I loved Star Wars and it quickly became one of my all-time favorite Christmas gifts. In retrospect, I’d say that gift was the first step into becoming a lifelong gamer as well as my eventual career in software development. Thanks Dad!

[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves? Do you have any favourite Rare games?

[A]: When I was a kid, Donkey Kong Country was huge! We were usually a console or two behind as a family, so that game was the motivation behind many a fun-filled night spent at friends’ houses, playing co-op and trying to recover those stolen bananas.

Another Rare gem I played back in the day was GoldenEye 007. It ended up ranking among my list of favorites for N64, joining other classics like The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and BattleTanx. And no, I didn’t always choose Oddjob! Not at all…

[Q]: What other games are you currently playing? Any favourites?

[A]: The backlog is real! So many great games I need to finish, but in my current rotation I have been playing Baldur’s Gate 3, Helldivers 2, Halo and Skull and Bones. I like anything that I can play with a good group of friends! I have a bad habit of nearing the end of a game and wanting to savor the ending for a rainy day, but that perfect rainy day never seems to come. So far, the most notable casualties of this practice have been Red Dead Redemption 2, Jedi: Fallen Order and Elden Ring. Hopefully it rains soon or Baldur’s Gate 3 might join that list too…

Through sharing pics of his adventures, Fishhook met many pirates he still sails with today.

[Q]: What brought you over to Sea of Thieves and its community?

[A]: I remember getting a phone call from a buddy on his drive home from Best Buy where he’d just bought an Xbox One S and Sea of Thieves bundle. He talked me into getting the game, assuring me he would be playing often. I think we played a handful of times before he moved on to other games, but by that time, I was hooked (pun intended).

As far as the online community goes, this game is just so photogenic! I felt compelled to start sharing my pirate adventures on Instagram back in 2018. Through interacting with other pirates on the platform I met so many great people I still sail with to this day! Eventually I joined Twitter as well to keep up on all the latest Sea of Thieves news. One of my favorite things was how open the developers were with communication on new features and changes coming to the seas. The Weekly Dev Update with Joe Neate and the Dev Streams were always something I looked forward to back in the day.

[Q]: Your pirate has an iconic look, what’s the backstory behind that?

[A]: At his core, Fishhook is a fun-loving rogue cursed (or blessed?) by the sea. A former merchant captain consumed by his quest to save his beloved from the mermaid’s curse, Fishhook has raided every sunken Shrine and followed countless whispered rumors across the Sea of Thieves. With each relic found and secret uncovered, the ocean’s power increased its hold on him, adorning him in elements of the deep. Some say the sea gives him an advantage, hushed tales of his ship rising from the depths without warning and merfolk coming to his aid. Still others speak of sharks and Krakens overwhelming his enemies, all while leaving his crew unscathed. Is there any truth in these tall tales? He’d never confirm or deny the ever-growing yarns being spun up over a grog or two!

[Q]: Do you have a regular crew to spread the good word of the Barnacled Buccaneer, and are barnacles mandatory for them too?

[A]: Yes! My wife and I often sail together with a good handful of pirate friends. She and I have Xboxes set up next to each other in the living room, the ultimate couch co-op! Many a crewmate has come and gone throughout the years but the truly great ones, like barnacles, stick with you!

As for donning barnacles, they aren’t mandatory for our Guild, the Barnacled Buccaneers, but when we compete in community events such as the Race of Legends, we make sure to bedeck ourselves in our barnacled best. Our dedication to the sunken sailor aesthetic has paid off, as it won us the first full-crew Style of Thieves fashion competition together!

The Barnacled Buccaneers strut their stuff in Style of Thieves and take home the coveted gloves.

[Q]: Which are your favourite community events that you’ve taken part in during your years on the seas?

[A]: Among my favorite SoT events, I would have to include going to in-person conventions and being able to meet Joe, Mike and the Rare crew. Playing Arena at E3 2019 with Jon McFarlane commentating was a surreal experience! I brought a banana along for autographs, as a good pirate does. The SoT Panel at Comic-Con 2018 hosted by Freddie Prinze Jr. was very cool as well!

Another IRL SoT event I really enjoyed was the Sea of Thieves Day at Disneyland and riding Pirates of the Caribbean with some real SoT Community Legends!

[Q]: Thinking back, are there any standout moments for you in Sea of Thieves since you started playing?

[A]: There are so many moments but if I had to choose a standout in-game event, I’d say it would have to be Cursed Sails. I really loved the level of difficulty and how it forced people into an uneasy alliance to take down the fleet together, often followed by absolute treachery! So much chaos, so much fun. It wasn’t all backstabbing and betrayal though, we had a group where the timing worked out and we did all the time slots together with random adventures in between, that was a good time as well! I ended up crewing with a few of them for years after that.

I don’t limit myself to one way of enjoying the game and I often refer to myself as a ‘SoT Omnivore’. PvP, PvE, Tall Tales, fishing, social media contests, I love it all! The Battle for Golden Sands was also a lot of fun. I liked having the choice to support your side and the good-natured rivalry it created in-game and on social media. Port Merrick is awesome, I hope to see more player-driven world changes in the future!

We all did our part! Fishhook repels Reapers at the battle of Golden Sands.

[Q]: What are your favourite recent additions to Sea of Thieves?

[A]: In the last year, as far as feature additions go, I really enjoyed The Legend of Monkey Island, but I’d have to say my #1 favorite has been Guilds! Being able to formalize the Barnacled Buccaneers in-game and work towards a common goal together has been great. It’s been fun seeing other familiar Guilds out on the seas.

I know it seems like a small thing, but the Wailing Barnacle pet clothing was another pleasant surprise this year. I’ve been bringing out pets almost every sail since they came out, including Hourglass (much to my crew’s chagrin when they grab a cat instead of a falling mast).

[Q]: What are your greatest achievements in a game, Sea of Thieves or otherwise?

[A]: I remember being especially proud of getting 100% on Red Dead Redemption, such a great game! For Sea of Thieves, I’d have to say winning #SoTShots, achieving the Visionary Artist Title, winning Style of Thieves as a crew and earning the Affiliate Alliance Sails via the Race of Legends have all been top-rate experiences. Grinding out the Ghostly and Skeleton Curses was quite the accomplishment as well! As of writing this, I’m getting fairly close on my Athena’s gold Ghostly Curse and I’ll be super stoked once I finally cross that glittering gilded finish line!

The Barnacled Buccaneers with sails newly acquired from the Race of Legends.

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate and ship name, what would they be?

[A]: For ships, my Sloop is named the Crusty Codfish, a nod to Pan’s favorite nickname for the infamous Captain James Hook. My Brigantine is the Deadman’s Tale in honor of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, and my Galleon is the Cursebreaker, calling back to ‘The Sunken Curse’ Bilge Rat Adventure, where Fishhook’s overall vibe got its start with the introduction of the Wailing Barnacle set.

As for a pirate name, I can’t really get better than Captain Fishhook Cook, it’s a nickname one of my good friends gave me before I left on a nine-month sailing adventure in the Mediterranean over a decade ago.

[Q]: What kind of other hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?

[A]: Star Wars costuming and collecting. My wife and I have been part of the Rebel and 501st Legion charity costuming clubs for many years and we love making and collecting movie replicas. We made our own Gonk Droid! Of my costumes, my favorite is my Rebel X-Wing Pilot, my wife has a TIE Pilot and it’s a lot of fun to wear those to events together. I can’t wait to get back out to some sci-fi conventions soon.

We also enjoy traveling, getting outdoors, home improvement, gardening and we just started raising six baby chicks as our latest little backyard farming adventure!

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!

[A]: As a cool little bit of family maritime history, we recently found out that I am related to ‘The Reluctant Pirate’ Captain John Fillmore! Captured by the notorious pirate Captain John Phillips, Fillmore was spared his life and promised his release after two months of service as a helmsman. When Phillips refused to honor his promise multiple times over, Fillmore resolved to escape. Leading four fellow captive sailors armed with carpenters’ tools, they made their move the morning after a wild party. They compelled the crew to surrender and sailed the ship to Boston, where Fillmore was celebrated as a hero. He went on to have 14 children and was the great-grandfather of Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States.

Many thanks to Fishhook for talking to us for this latest Spotlight! We’re excited to see where his pirate’s adventures take him next and what lies in wait for him and his barnacled crew, so we’ll be sure to keep an eye out.

If you can’t wait to hear more from our community, you can check out our previous Community, Creator and Legend Spotlights. Or to see what else our players have been up to and some of the wonderful creations they’ve been making recently, head over to our Community Hub. Until next time!