There’s one name in Sea of Thieves guaranteed to raise a scowl on even the jolliest of pirates’ faces: the Shrouded Ghost. Introduced in the Shrouded Spoils expansion, the ghostly pale megalodon has evaded the majority of players, boasting a staggeringly low spawn rate compared to its other coloured siblings. Because of this, rumours have begun to propagate among pirates, with some falsely asserting that you can summon the beast through bizarre rituals, like changing the colour of your ship’s lanterns or seeking out strange weather anomalies.
The rare creature has left a noticeable void on many players’ progression pages, being a necessity to completing the Shrouded Spoils campaign and unlocking the “Hunter of the Shrouded Ghost” title. This elusiveness has contributed to it having an almost mythical reputation among the Sea of Thieves’ community, which finds itself compulsively scanning the horizon in the hopes of spotting its distinctive pink fin and pale white hide.
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Hunter of the Shrouded Ghost
Magnus Hansson knows all too well how difficult it is to find the Shrouded Ghost. He’s tried countless methods of summoning the beast — creating different-sized alliances, playing various instruments in a group, and getting every member of his crew above a certain doubloon count. So far, nothing has worked. He’s even gone to the incredible effort of mapping out the different areas where the megalodon has been known to spawn.
“I’ve put in about 600-800 hours just mapping the meg,” Hansson tells me. “I’m still looking in the same spots with friends, taking over the server, and sailing the ships together to get the megs to attack. We have done this for weeks but still no spawn and that is roughly 12-20 hour game sessions every weekend.”
In spite of his troubles, Hansson says he wouldn’t have it any other way. He enjoys the thrill of the hunt and even says he would stop playing if Rare were to increase the Ghost’s appearance rate. Essentially, he wants the creature to remain a mystery.
The One That Got Away
Hansson isn’t the only pirate on the lookout for the beast. Captain Krazy Kelly is another who has been searching for the creature ever since he failed at what could have been his one chance of killing it.
“I saw the ghastly meg once in my life,” says Kelly. “I was leaving Plunder Outpost after an Order of Souls run and as usual a meg was going to say hi for the 20th time. I didn’t pay much attention until it cruised up beside my ship and I caught a glance of her, pale in the sunlight. I started trying to fight it, but being alone and a bit new at the time I forgot to raise the sails or lower the anchor. I drove my ship straight into a nearby island and scared the meg off. I missed a huge chance I may never get again.”
Captain Krazy Kelly’s story is every Sea of Thieves’ player’s worst nightmare. But he isn’t alone. Chris White, a communications consultant in the games industry, has a similar tale of misfortune. At the time he encountered the Shrouded Ghost, his ship was filled to the brim with treasure — so he chose not to engage the megalodon that had spawned behind him. It was only in hindsight, after doing some research into the game, that he realized he had spotted the Shrouded Ghost in the flesh and let the golden opportunity slip between his fingers.
Clare, another Sea of Thieves player, saw the rare meg off the side of her ship in the Devil’s Roar. Like any sensible pirate, she immediately dropped her anchor ready to fight, only to be greeted with the server merge screen, which appears when players are migrated to another server. In a cruel twist of fate, the creature had popped out of existence before she’d even had a chance to engage it.
It’s hard to verify any of these stories, considering none of these players have any evidence to show of their encounters. But that’s the beauty of what Rare have accomplished with this random event. These sound exactly like the type of near misses and unusual encounters that barnacled sailors would share with disbelieving audiences upon arriving in port. If the Shrouded Ghost spawned more frequently, these stories wouldn’t be nearly as remarkable.
The Real Deal
That’s not to say that the beast is undefeated. In fact, a few people have encountered her and emerged victorious. These accounts, in particular, have been useful for disproving many of the rumours that surround her. For instance, the sightings took place across the entire map, all the way from The Devil’s Roar on the south east side of the map to the Shores of Plenty in the north west. No special weather conditions were necessary either, with none of these players being in or around the fog or storm at the time. Instead, the deciding factor seemed to be luck and being online at exactly the right time.
“I was on chapter three of the voyage,” recalls Roger Roecken, who captured a video of his kill. “It was sending me from Plunder Valley to Discovery Ridge. I was running real low on wood and had maybe four pieces total onboard. Next thing I know, I hear the sound of a megalodon. The roar startled me. I just had a weird feeling I should check to see what type of megalodon it was. I looked out and up she smashed out of the ocean! The white beast!”
Roecken continues, “I sprung into action… and fought her for about ten minutes until I completely ran out of wood. I didn’t know what to do. I actually thought she might get away from me. But I decided to keep going and if I sank then at least I could say, I tried. So I would bail a bucket of water, take a shot with my gun, rinse and repeat. I did this for another ten minutes. By this time my boat had three or four holes and it was getting harder to keep up with the water pouring into the ship. I aimed my sniper at her from the back of the ship and killed her with a bullet. I was so relieved. I didn’t care about the loot. I just wanted the achievement.”
Most of the other encounters I’ve heard about are just as frantic as Roecken’s. For instance, Seanaci, whom I’ve spoken to on the subject of Sea of Thieves before, ran into the meg between Cannon Cove and Wanderer’s Refuge. When it finally appeared, she was panicking with excitement, trying her best to capture video evidence of the creature, while also inviting a friend into her game and fighting the beast. When her first mate Danzo_VIII finally loaded into the game, he arrived just in time to see her deliver the final blow, sending it back to the briny depths.
SethKaiju, meanwhile, encountered the meg in the first week of the Shrouded Spoils campaign. At the time, his crew were heading towards an enemy wreck to pilfer its contents.
“Right as we got near to salvage the wreck I was in the crow’s nest,” says SethKaiju. “I looked down and there she was, like lightning, raging from the depths. She made no sound, no nothing, all I saw were the pink fins. We anchored the ship and took her down.”
While it may give completionists a bit of a headache, it’s easy to see why Rare opted to make the encounter so, well, rare. Sea of Thieves, even more so than many other online games, is about the social interaction between players and the stories they tell together. Throw in a great big shark that barely anybody sees and the community is bound to start talking.
Just don’t believe that everything you hear. After all, pirates are known to tell a few tall tales.