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Video Game: Age of Empires
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Age of Empires is a series of historical Real-Time Strategy games by the Microsoft-owned developer Ensemble Studios.

The franchise so far consists of the following games/series:
  • Age of Empires - 1997
    • Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome - 1998
  • Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings - 1999
    • Age of Empires II: The Conquerors - 2000
    • Age of Empires II: HD Edition - 2013
      • Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten - 2013
  • Age of Mythology - 2002 - A spin-off focusing on mythological figures and creatures.
    • Age Of Mythology: The Titans - 2003
    • Age of Mythology: Extended Edition - 2014
  • Age of Empires III - 2005
    • Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs - 2006
    • Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties - 2008
  • Age of Empires: The Age of Kings - 2006 - A Turn Based Strategy spin-off for Nintendo DS.
  • Age of Empires: Mythologies - 2008 - Same as above.
  • Age of Empires Online - 2011 - A free-to-play free-roaming RTS with RPG Elements.

In addition, the Star Wars RTS Galactic Battlegrounds is Age of Empires IN SPACE (LucasArts used the AOE II engine) and Ensemble developed an RTS based on the Halo series, Halo Wars, which was Ensemble Studios' swan song, as Microsoft closed them down on 1/29/09, making Age of Empires 4 or 5 unlikely. There was also a spiritual successor in the form of Empire Earth, which was developed by the very same creator of Age of Empires and released on November 23, 2001.

Age of Empires Online, however, turned out to be very much in production. The announcement broke the base almost immediately. The game, made by Gas Powered Games, is intended to enable players "to create a living, growing online world, shared with friends and friendly rivals around the globe, [while] players can develop their own persistent online civilization, which grows even when the player is offline and watch as it progresses from a village to an empire. They can embark on quests along the way, alone or with friends, and to "immerse themselves in epic tales, quirky characters, adventure, history and strategy." The game also includes Live Achievements. Initially released with just the Greek civilisation, the Egyptians, Persians, Celts, Babylonians and Norse have since been added. The free-to-play model has also been revamped, allowing persistent players to earn in-game currency to purchase paid content without paying a dime.

On January 3, 2013, it was announced on the official blog that Online would have no further content added, though support will be continued for the game. Online was shut down on July 1, 2014. Before that date, it was widely believed that Microsoft would shut down the Games for Windows — Live service (which Online relied upon) that same day, but the company later announced in June 2014 that only AoEO is shutting down that day, not the entire GFWL service. In between the closure and the announcement, no new players could join nor could the premium currency be purchased with real money, though it could still be earned in-game by players already present.


The series in general give examples of:

  • Age of Titles: The whole series.
  • Anachronism Stew/Alternate History: Will occur if there are vast technology differences between the players. Also, a few of the campaign scenarios contain events several years apart from each other, even within the same scenario.
    • Some changes to the History are a bit boggling, deciding to be purely historical one campaign scenario and then changing history in the next, i.e. Scots winning Battle of Falkirk, Mongols overrunning Europe etc.
  • Annoying Arrows: All the archery.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: There's a Population Limit.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: Most ranged siege weapons in the series, and towers before "siege holes" is researched.
  • Artifact Mook: In most strategy games, upgrading a unit will cause all units of that type to instantly improve. In Age of Empires, outposts not visited in thousands of in-game years can suddenly replace their clubs with swords and their loincloths for suits of plate armour.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Heavy Cavalry in nearly every game are fast, tough and hard hitting, but they're expensive to produce, making them detrimental to your economy in the long run. An absolute law that can make or break a multiplayer game.
  • Boring, but Practical: Sometimes the basic and inexpensive units are the best. Spearmen and Skirmishers are the prime examples of this.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Optional in most of the games; if you want, you can configure the game as to have your enemies being red, your allies yellow and yourself blue.
  • Construct Additional Pylons:
    "You need to build more houses!"
  • Classic Cheat Code: "How do you turn this on"
  • Critical Existence Failure: Any unit/building can be saved as long as it has one HP and you have a priest/builder to heal/repair it. But as soon as a flimsy arrow or a villager's punch hits it, it's gone for good.
  • Damage Is Fire: Buildings will start burning up to indicate heavy structural damage even when the building in question is mostly made of stone. Walls avert this somewhat by looking like they're gradually disintegrating.
  • Digitized Sprites: The first two games used CGI Rendering before 3D technology became practical in performance and cost.
  • Expansion Pack:
    • The games have one or two official expansion packs, which usually rebalance units and come with new civilizations to play.
    • Online has Booster Packs, which must be purchased with the premium currency. They add new features and content, much like a regular expansion pack.
  • Flavor Text: Each of the games (except Online) has a description of their unit, their origin and their use in war (for real ones).
  • Game Mod: The games come with a built in world builder which can be used to create entirely original campaigns for download, which are often more in depth and complex then the original single player. Quality is usually measured in the effort put into aesthetics and the number of 'triggers' in place. The best ones are regarded to be +1000 triggers.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Diplomacy in II. For example, you can ask allies for resources. So you can just extort your resources from them, right? WRONG. Eventually, they'll start refusing. Ask for a large enough tribute, and they declare war on you.
  • Easy Logistics: Played straight most of the time, the units don't need to restock on ammunition and in some games villagers can repair any boats, siege weapons or buildings that you might have, whether they're near a (wood) storage or not.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The information the game can provide shows the developers did their research, but only a few of those aspects and tactics show up in the actual gameplay.
  • I Shall Taunt You: The first two quotes are among the pre-recorded taunts from the series.
  • Lethal Joke Character: "Useless Villager" may be pretty useless, but he is fast and does reveal large chunks of the map.
  • MacGuffin: The War Wagons, Ruins, Relics, etc items to collect/control.
  • No Fair Cheating: If you cheat, some of the benefits are given to the computer as well.
  • Promoted Fanboy: The Forgotten Empires unofficial expansion for Age of Empires II was released in December 2012. In late summer 2013, a new official expansion was announced for Age of Empires II HD Edition called 'The Forgotten'...
  • Public Domain Artifact: Lots of them, everywhere. Given that the entire series has a strong emphasis on the history side.
  • Real Time with Pause
  • Reinventing the Wheel: You have redevelop every known technology in most of the games.
  • Regional Riff: When you start a game, you hear something vaguely appropriate to the nation you chose to play.
  • Running Gag: Wololo (the priest conversion sound from the first game) and Roggan (the villagers' sound when selected in the same game) have appeared as taunts in the second and third Empires games.
  • Savage Setpiece: Normal Elephants.
  • Separate, But Identical: Although in the first two games you can choose to have all the civilizations the same techs and units, save for the unique units in II, it's averted most of the time, with different civilizations having access to different upgrades and not having access to some units - even having a unique unit or two for themselves. They also possess unique bonuses depending on the civilization.
  • Silliness Switch: Some cheat codes unlock everything from cars to laser-shooting bears to gun toting infants on tricycles.
  • Speaking Simlish: Present in the first game, averted in every other installment.
  • Spiritual Successor: Empire Earth, which was made by the same man who created Age of Empires.
  • Tech Tree: All civilizations in the first two games shared the same tech tree with some research options locked out depending on the chosen civilization, though an option to unlock the whole tree is available (see Separate, But Identical above). The other games in the series had separate tech trees for every civilization.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Masterfully averted by the second game, where the AI is not reliant on any perks the players don't have unless you play on the highest difficulty.
    • Also inverted: if you play on any difficulty below "Hard", the AI is handicapped. On "Standard" and "Easiest" difficulties, the AI won't attack villagers, making it practically impossible for the player to lose.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential
  • War Elephants
  • War for Fun and Profit
  • Worker Unit: Villagers and all their variants.
  • You Have Researched Breathing
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: The first two games and Online feature four resource types to manage, Food, Wood, Gold and Stone. Age of Mythology adds Favor, while III: Asian Dynasties' adds Export for the Asian civilizations.

Aegis WingCreator/Microsoft StudiosAge of Mythology
Twilight Imperium 4 XAge of Wonders
Star Wars: Episode I - Jedi Power BattlesCreator/Lucas ArtsKnights of the Old Republic
Afraid Of MonstersIBM Personal ComputerAge of Wonders
    Creator/Ensemble StudiosAge of Empires II
Advanced Strategic CommandTurn-Based StrategyAge of Wonders
AirMechReal-Time StrategyAge Of Empires I
AfterlifeApple MacintoshAlien vs. Predator
ActRaiserMobile Phone GameAge Of War

alternative title(s): Age Of Empires
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