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Video Game: Age of Mythology
"Arkantos... awaken."

Age of Mythology is a spin-off from the Age of Empires series. It had similar town-building structure and similar units, but veered away from the traditional realism of the Age of Empires series. Rather, it was based in ancient Earth, where there were real Gods, and followed consistent, original storylines through characters and in-game cinematics. Also, while it shared some Tropes with Age of Empires, it contained many which weren't applicable to the mother series.

The plot of the original game follows Arkantos, an Atlantean Admiral who battled monsters in his time but is getting old, and since no one's really attacking Atlantis, he doesn't have much to do. That is, until Atlantis is attacked by strange monsters and men in black ships, prompting Arkantos to go off to Troy and help Agamemnon finish the Trojan War to curry favor with Poseidon. After taking Troy and sailing to Greece for repairs, they stumble on a plot by Gargarensis, a cyclops demigod who is trying to help Poseidon release Kronos from Tartarus. Naturally, Arkantos needs to stop him, and to do that, he journeys from Atlantis, to Greece, through the Underworld, to Egypt, up to Scandinavia, then back to Atlantis.

The Titans expansion, set 10 years after the original, adds one more civilization and only a third as many missions as the original game. It revolves around Arkantos' son Kastor being tricked into weakening the gods by destroying their monuments so Kronos can escape Tartarus.

There's also a much lesser-known tabletop game made by Eagle Games.

The game also received an Updated Re-release on Steam in May 2014, known as Age of Mythology: Extended Edition.

Tropes used include:

  • Action Figure Speech: The models do this, though their gestures are actually rather sensible. Arkantos in particular spends a lot of time facepalming at Ajax's stupidity.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Heracles. One of the strongest heroes in the Greek mythology, has a mediocre stats for a Heroic Age hero unit in this game.
  • Age of Titles: Continues the trend from Age of Empires, obviously.
  • A God Am I:
  • A Kind of One: Many unique creatures from mythology became standard unit types that you can train any number of. A certain snake-headed woman with a petrifying gaze may offer the most egregious example: these Greek myth units are named Medusae, a pluralization of Medusa... even though Medusa herself was actually one of three sisters called "Gorgons". The developers already had a perfectly good generic species name at their disposal, but they chose to enforce A Kind of One instead!
    • Oddly, the game Subverts this too, notably with the Norse Fenris Brood and Jormund Elver, which are noted to be the offspring of Fenrir and the Jormongund, respectively.
  • Altum Videtur: It's impressive how they make scientific names for myth units without resorting to Canis Latinicus.
  • Anachronism Stew: Needless to say, the Greeks, Egyptians and Norse come from different time periods and are themselves a mash-up of various eras from Antiquity.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: There is a Population Limit, and Mythology added "each unit uses X people" - i.e. a villager counts as one, a soldier counts as two, but a Nemean Lion as 3. One of the few where villagers cost different from soldiers.
    • Though the Limit is enforced a little differently than in previous 'Age of' games. Instead of setting a population limit, the game instead limits how many 'Population Buildings' you can build (10 houses and only as many Town Centers as there are Settlements on the map).
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Statue of Poseidon in the Fall of the Trident campaign. And all Titan units in the expansion, if used properly, can easily destroy entire enemy bases.
  • Army of the Dead: The "Ancestors" god power, which temporarily raises either a small army of undead soldiers if used on land or a small fleet of ghost ships if used on water. Also, the mechanic whereby the Hades-worshiping Greeks randomly recieve free "shade" units (exempt from the Arbitrary Head Count Limit) whenever they lose a normal soldier.
  • Arrows on Fire: Burning Pitch upgrade for archers. Does bonus damage against buildings, but does nothing against units. Still looks awesome.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Amanra's "leaping" attack can often lead to her leaping over an enemy wall and into their base, alone.
  • Artistic License Religion: They did do the research. However, they decided to ignore the results of it where necessary.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Arkantos drowns after the sinking of Atlantis, but is raised to immortality by Athena as a reward for saving the world.
  • Ascended Extra: Kastor was merely a minor character in Fall of the Trident, in the Titans he becomes The Hero.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The preferred strategy of the Nords, who gain favor by actually fighting. Their buildings are also built by infantry, which makes it easy for them to build forward bases. In addition, their laborers can be converted into Heroes using a God power, or into infantry when using dwarves.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Titan Units. The time and resources spent summoning one could easily go into fighting the enemy with normal units- but then again, its fun to watch your opponent squirm.
    • It can prove to be quite hard to handle this very large unit, due to pathing issues: for instance, before it can reach the enemy base and crush their buildings, he will often be crowded by an army of smaller units hacking at his feet, obstructing his path. Wait too long and watch your Titan's health bar slowly drop before he can even deal significant damage. Especially if the enemy units in question are heroes.
    • Myth units are quite an aversion; the game's manual itself proclaims that they are more powerful than human units on a cost basis. They are very devastating if not handled intelligently with heroes.
  • Baleful Polymorph: During a Campaign mission in which you visit the isle of Circe, Arkantos and Ajax get turned into pigs. Thankfully, whilst ordinary soldiers turn into ordinary piggies, heroes become boars, for some reason.
  • Badass Normal: If upgraded to heroes, the Atlantean Citizens are perfectly capable of holding off myth units that would kill ordinary infantry.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Besides the ones you hunt for food (use many villagers, at least one will get killed!), a cheat gives you a "Lazer Bear", which has monkeys and the Lazer Bear is described as making demands from world governments, and the only way to kill the Canadian Ultimate Bear is to spam it to death using cheap military units or use the Traitor god power. Titans will be obliterated slowly without the slow regeneration of Hecate versus the hyperspeed regeneration of Lazer Bear, Prometheus, Gaea and anything healing or repair post-hyperspeed building cheat.
  • Big Bad: Gargarensis in the original, Kronos' shape-shifting servant Krony in the expansion.
    • Kronos is the ultimate evil in both campaigns, and Poseidon is eventually revealed to have been aligned with Gargarensis' plans in the first.
  • Big Fancy House: The Atlanteans can build Manors as a substitute for the standard House. They are basically larger houses that support twice as much population and can garrison a handful of units.
  • The Big Guy: Ajax in the original campaign. He was even bigger in the original myths.
  • Big "NO!": Gargarensis does this pretty often. Some examples:
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Greeks, Egyptians and Norse speak their respective languages.
  • Bigger Is Better: The really big myth units such as Cyclops, Colossi, Mountain Giants, Scarabs, etc. destroy buildings in a jiffy. And of course, the really really huge Titan can raze entire cities to the ground (unless, perhaps, you make him face the endless waves of armies the enemy might send against him in the process).
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Human units upgraded to champion level are clad in golden armor. This includes the ulfsarks.
  • Blob Monster: The Argo creatures from the sequel are clearly described as floating amoebas with tentacles and many eyes.That can cry a stream of acidic tears as his special attack.
  • Catch Phrase: Ajax's comments about pulling off his enemy's head border on this. Some people consider Amanra's "Be quiet back there!" line reappearing in the expansion pack to be this as well.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Blue for the good guys, and red for the bad. This is a plot point in a scenario that takes place in Arkantos's dreams where he unwittingly destroys Atlantis. His first clue that something is off is that he is dressed in red, the enemy colors.
  • Construct Additional Pylons: Building a base is essential.
    "You need to build more houses!"
  • Convection Schmonvection: In Erebus, the game's Fire and Brimstone Hell, the environment does no damage. Unless you knock over a Boulder Rolling Pile.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Most units only have one ability, though some have a special ability.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Everything, though buildings will appear to be burning as they are more and more damaged. It's purely cosmetic.
  • Crossover Cosmology: The Game.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The opening cinematic seesaws between this for the humans and then for the mythological creatures.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: The two Age of Empires have one and two-button interfaces... Mythology had only the two-button option.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most people get their moments, especially Ajax.
    Arkantos: A giant fortress in the middle of the countryside, protecting a huge pits which'...and a cyclops that rains fire on us from the skies... I'm starting to think this might not be a 'bandit' we're dealing with, Chiron.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Surprisngly averted; the Tornado god power will damage buildings and suck up units (which is a One-Hit Kill, of course) on either side of the path it takes, so don't think you can just "dodge" the twister when it comes. It's actually not the Game Breaker it sounds like, as the path is completely random; it's just as likely to devastate the enemy base as it is to turn left and miss the base entirely, only taking out a few cheap sentry towers.
  • The Dragon: Kamos and Kemsyt. The statue of Poseidon on the final mission.
    • In the expansion campaign, Krios is this to Kronos.
  • Deus ex Machina: The gameplay of the game actually requires the player to invoke this trope, as you gain the powers of the gods you worship. Thereby, a completely standard battle between spearmen and hoplites, as a historical battle would be, could end with a rain of meteors bumping down on one of the sides. Or a thunderstorm. Or a horde of locusts. Or a plague of serpents. or a tornado. The possibilities are endless.
  • Discontinuity Nod: One of the taunts you can send to other players is a guy asking "What happened to all the stone?" in bewilderment, a reference to how one of the resources from the previous game, Stone, was replaced by Favor.
  • Drop the Hammer: The campaign requires you to build Thor's hammer Mjolnir.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • The Atlantean civilization in the expansion can get Fanatics, which dual-wield swords. They will beat any human soldiers they get in melee range with, and when upgraded as heroes to do bonus damage against myth units, can pretty much beat anything on the ground. One-on-one though, since upgrading them as heroes will get them easily get horribly outnumbered.
    • Kastor wields two swords as well, though it is never stated he is of the Fanatic cults.
    • Two Egyptian myth units, Anubis' Anubites and Horus' Avengers, also dual-wield their weapons.
    • There's also the Nord Einherjar, who dual-wield axes.
  • Easy Logistics
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What will happen if the heroes can't stop Kronos getting loose.
  • Enemy Exchange Program: The 'Traitor' god power can convert units.
  • Egyptian Mythology
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Blessing of Zeus, which transforms Arkantos into a demigod capable of fighting the Poseidon statue.
    • Not to mention him being able to destroy all the enemy bases on his own. At that point, you can basically let him attack-move through the entire map and focus on defending your base and fortifying areas Arkantos just passed.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: In the first campaign, most bad guys either were aligned with Hades, Set and Loki (the last two being less assholish in earlier versions of their mythologies). Subverted that the real bad guys are working for Poseidon and Kronos, while Hades himself is not evil (in fact, he never shows up).
    • Hades actually helps the heroes a bit in the campaign.
    • Also pretty much in line with the actual mythology, as Hades, while not exactly good, was generally a far nicer and more fair guy than most of his fellow gods, while Poseidon was, even among total douchebags, among the absolute worst.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The Kraken. Therefore, the sound anything with a large amount of crushing damage over piercing or slash damage on anything that isn't explicitly non-fleshy with a high crush resistance. You hear the squishing.
  • Facepalm: Arkantos indulges occasionally, usually during Ajax's more spectacular Comically Missing the Point moments.
  • Evil Is Bigger: A lot of the badguys are basically very large creatures; Kamos is a massive pirate minotaur; Gargarensis, an especially large, powerful, and crafty Cyclops, who brings to life a gargantuan Statue of Poseidon; and the Bigger Bad, Kronos himself, appears in the last mission of the expansion's campaign as a walking nightmare of truly epic proportions.
    • Most of the myth units, which are often large monsters, are ruthless, brutish, and generally antagonistic. In the Norse campaign, the player must defend human tribes from attacks by giants.
    • Nearly all Titan units are bad in the Titans campaign, except for Gaia, who the player must summon in the last mission to defeat Kronos.
  • Faction Calculus:
    • Taking into account the Titans expansion:
      Greeks (Balanced)
      Egyptians, (Subversive)
      Norse (Powerhouse)
      Atlanteans (Cannon)
    • Alternatively, each faction has an area of specialty:
      Greeks - Balanced
      Egyptians - Human Soldiers
      Norse - Myth Units
      Atlanteans - Heroes
  • Fanservice: Is it necessary for the drawing of most of females within the game to have large breasts? Or the goddesses to be Stripperiffic? And it's not just the girls - Apollo's image pictures him pretty much naked until a few centimeters above his crotch, and Anubis has a quite well defined chest...
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Atlanteans, while retaining some Greek elements also have a general aesthetic reminiscent of Ancient Rome and even the Byzantine Empire.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Erebus. Tartarus - the part where the Titans are imprisoned - is never shown, but presumably it's much the same. Interestingly, the Norse refer to it as Niflheim, which in actual myth was more like a Frost And Icicles Hell.
  • Finish Him!: When Arkantos's army defeat "Gargarensis"'s in the Norselands, the heroes manage to capture "Gargarensis" (take note of the quotation marks; he's actually Kemesyt, but transfigured into the form of Gargarensis via Loki's trickery magic. In the end, Ajax even resorts to asking Arkantos whether or not to put him in a cage somewhere in Atlantis, rather than cutting off his head. Arkantos refuses, saying he has done too much against the Atlanteans, and orders to kill him. Ajax chops off his head with a large axe, with no remorse.
    This is for Chiron.
  • Flavor Text: Every unit has large amounts of historical (or not so historical) explanation, and myth units usually have their original myths explained.
    • With a healthy helping of tongue-in-cheek taxonomic data on the part of the myth units, no less.
  • Foreshadowing: During the opening cutscene, when the temple begins collapsing, it is Poseidon's trident that breaks from his statue and almost crushes the protagonist.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Gaia helps the heroes fight the Big Bad throughout the campaign by granting them the use of her powers to weaken the power of the Titans. She also appears in person to fight Kronos, and helps to imprison him once again.
  • Giant Flyer: The Rok acts as a transport. There are also the Egyptian Phoenixes, which are on fire and the Atlantenean Stymphalian birds.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: The campaign heroes. Justified for Chiron and Regenlief, who are both actually immortal.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The Major God you're civilisation is currently under is always important to the story. For example, when the group is beign decived by Skult the God is Loki and Arkantos, despite worshiping Poseidon personally, is under Zeus for most of the Greek missions. This is because Poseidon is planning to unleash the Titans himself and Zeus is using Arkantos as his champion to stop him.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The information attached to everything shows that the developers know how everything really worked in the relevant civilizations and time periods, but the gameplay doesn't reflect it.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The Cyclops is a one-eyed giant humanoid who can instantly kill human units by hurling them at others. The Norse are very fond of this trope; the Mythic Age minor god Hel can train all three giant types; Mountain Giants, Frost Giants, and Fire Giants.
  • Giant Spider: Leto's Divine Power summons some spider's eggs which hatch in full grown ground spiders. They'll catch and drag a single enemy soldier underground, and then disappear.
  • Glass Cannon: Phoenixes can make a short work of anything without ranged attacks with their area-damaging fire breath, but once they're confronted by some archers they won't last long.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Justified by Athena when she tells Arkantos that the gates that imprison Kronos can only be opened by the hands of a mortal, and that direct intervention by Zeus could spark off a war among the gods.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly:
    • Favor is a resource you acquire through worship. Greek gods are worshiped in temples, Egyptian gods are worshiped by constructing monuments, Norse gods are worshipped by fighting, Atlantean gods by controlling town centers.
    • If you play with the Major Greek God Zeus you start out with half of your max favor already waiting, which is the max you can get for the other gods.
    • There are also upgrades you can purchase to gain Favor faster.
    • This shows up in the story of the expansion, as well. At one point, our plucky hero causes Mount Olympus to collapse without even trying (too hard) because there's not enough belief floating around. It's also why the seal on the Titans' prisons is weakening.
  • God of Evil:
    • Kronos, and the rest of the Titans apart from Gaia.
    • In the first game, Poseidon for siding with Kronos.
  • Gravity Sucks: Atlas' divine power, Implode. It summons a black hole that indiscriminately sucks in units and distorts nearby buildings and trees. Once it has had its fill (or if there is nothing to left to suck in), it explodes, releasing the units that were hardy enough to survive and damages the nearby buildings as they rebound back into their original shape.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: In the mission "Tug of War" in Fall of the Trident, the heroes and Kemsyt's army fight over the control of a piece of Osiris. If Kemsyt's army manages to transport the piece back to their base, then the player loses. If the player brings the piece back to their town then the player wins the mission, but then it is revealed that the player's town was also loyal to Kemsyt, and promptly betrays the heroes. This is subtly foreshadowed, as an observant player would notice that their major god for that mission is Set, the same god Kemsyt's faction worships.
  • Hellgate: Five kinds: one the Atlanteans can build one as a passage although it looks more heavenly (it is a sky passage), the Tartarus Gates, Apollo's Underworld Passage, the decorative or plot passage that can't be used, and the Titan Gate.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Chiron pulls one, by causing a rockslide that traps him with a bunch of giants but allows the other Heroes to escape This may be a form of Gameplay and Story Segregation, as it is mentioned that Chiron is immortal.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The cinematic for the original game and the expansion shows the spearmen charging, despite how dense formations were the method of using them of the time period. Since the spearmen were just rejuvenated and ready to attack from being previously getting beaten before (plus, their formations probably would've been useless against the ridiculous brute strength of the mythological creatures they were facing), their lack of discipline in the situation may be a Justified Trope. Also, since the unit information on them notes the use of formations, it was at least the Rule of Cool.
  • Hook Hand: Kamos. To be specific, a simple hook isn't badass enough for a minotaur pirate, so he uses a whole khopesh blade.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first battle against the Titan Prometheus during the campaign.
  • Idiot Ball: The entire Titans campaign is the result of this; after the Atlanteans are strangely attacked by two Greek scouts when they first set up camp on New Atlantis, Castor responds by invading Greece, Egypt and Scandinavia; which inadvertently allows some of the Titans to escape their prison. At no point do the Atlanteans consider that the Greeks may have attacked them because they were in the middle of repairing temples to the Titans; which one Atlantean soldier even remarked was forbidden barely ten seconds before the Greeks attacked.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Loki and Gargarensis order to Arkantos' forces to surrender in exchange for a quick death. Cue Ajax impaling the herald with a ballista dart and shouting "We surrender! Come a little closer!"
  • Interservice Rivalry: While it isn't really mentioned through the game, the information on the Murmillo and Destroyer Atlantean units state the two units are rivals.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The former is a giant octopus and the Mythical unit of Njord. The latter looks like a giant red whale with tiny arms and can carry troops around like a transport, and can be hired by the Egyptians.
  • Large Ham: Several campaign characters exhibit this trait, but Ajax' rants about pulling peoples heads off, and also Gargarensis once something goes bad for him, stands out. Especially if Gargarensis follows up with an Evil Laugh.
  • Legions of Hell:
    • You fight them on several occasions. They usually consist of dozens of different types of Myth units.
    • There's even a god power available to the followers of Hekate, in the expansion, that creates opens a hole in the ground to let them out!
  • Living Statue:
    • The Statue of Poseidon during the final mission of the original campaign.
    • Leto's Automatons from the expansion.
    • The Colossus unit is not living, like the Automatons, but follows this anyway.
  • Luke Nounverber:
    • The Norse Hersir units are shown by names, which are randomly generated from a pool of first names and last name parts. It is possible, through editing some text files, to add some more variety in Hersir names. Some examples include "Hamal Refreshingbeveragemaker", "Hrolf Eggpuncher", and "Egill Griffonminer".
    • There is also the possibility for the more badass "Surtr Firesword", which is something of a literal Mythology Gag, being a fire giant in Norse mythology which... has a Flaming Sword.
    • The surname "Womanlicker" shows up occasionally as well.
    • In the noun part of Nounverber, one of the available words for the name generator actually is "Noun."
    • Sometimes, the names are so bizarre that you don't know whether they belong in Awesome Mc Cool Name or not. For example, Egill Refreshingbeveragepuncher.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Several levels. Gargarensis is the man behind Kamos, Poseidon is the man behind Gargarensis, and Kronos is the man behind him.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Oceanus' power summons a giant carnivorous plant on both land and sea. Said plant possess a special attack, allowing them to eat a enemy soldier alive.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Arkantos...awaken.", said by Athena to Arkantos in a dream in the prologue of "Fall of the Trident" and again in the epilogue when Arkantos is resurrected as a god.
  • Near Victory Fanfare: When you finally get your army and your myth units and your siege engines together for one last huge battle against the enemy base (i.e. against an enemy town center or fortress), the music changes to a truly epic orchestral piece. This also plays briefly when you unleash a particularly devastating God Power (like Horus' Tornado or Artemis' Earthquake)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Plot of the Titans expansion.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Titan difficulty on Random Maps, with the AI set to Attacker. The AI opponents are brutally efficient, and will have easily both outclassed and outnumbered players who were used to the (comparatively) leisurely pace of Campaign maps. If you haven't got a working, fully stocked army by the 15 minute mark, you may as well throw in the towel, as the odds are high that your foe's legions are already en route.
  • No Cure for Evil: The Big Bad for both campaigns are affiliated with Poseidon and Kronos respectively, who get no access to healing in any method altogether in their tech tree. (All Egyptians get Priests and Loki still has access to Healing Spring if Forseti is chosen, not to mention their Hersirs can randomly summon Valkyries in battle.)
  • Non-Standard Character Design:
    • All of the Titans in the expansion pack look like humans (Barring Oceanus who is a Fishman, but look at the name) except Kronus who looks like a giant rock demon.
    • The minor Norse gods are drawn using a different artstyle.
  • Norse Mythology
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The menu themes. This is also the sound of the "Age of Mythology theme song", played intensly, epic, mild Grecian piece, and others.
  • One-Hit Kill: Some powers and special abilities works like this, like the Medusas' petrifying gaze, Argo's acidic tears, Leto's spiders or the Mummy's sorcery. Zeus' Lightning power is also an instant one hit kill for anything you target, aside from Titans, which it will heavily damage.
  • One-Man Army: Titans can dispatch average armies of human soldiers with ease. But Death of a Thousand Cuts will be in effect if the enemy still has resources to keep making more units, so target their buildings.
  • Party Scattering: The team of heroes is scattered by an avalanche caused by Kronos and must regroup before they can build a settlement.
  • Physical Gods:
    • Athena, Osiris, Zeus, Gaia, Thor and the other Olympian/Egyptian/Norse gods. Arkantos becomes one after his ascent to godhood.
    • Manifesting physically, only Osiris in the campaign, Gaia and Kronos in the Xpack, and Arkantos.
  • Physical Heaven: The Greek version, of course. And Arkantos's son wastes no time in wrecking it either.
  • Power Creep: The Atlanteans have a few examples of this, the most obvious being that their god powers can be used multiple times (though, granted, a lot of them aren't as powerful as the one-use god powers the other guys get)
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Norse faction.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Relics system is taken from Age of Empires, but in this case each relic is a unique object that gives you a different benefit. They range from "the Nose of the Sphinx" and "Trojan Gate Hinge" to the more whimsical "Boots of Kick Everything".
  • Pun: Many within the soundtrack. Names like "Meatier Shower" and "Of Norse Not !" come to mind. If you couldn't guess, they are the theme that play when you use the Meteor Shower power (and a few cheats that involve an explosive chicken meteor shower at times) and the Norse theme, respectively. Also, a few of the titles like "Eat Your Potatoes"
  • Purple Is The New Black: In the cinematics, the "evil smokes" are usually purple and black; Kronos has purple-black smoke oozing from his body, his shapeshifting servant arrives with a purple-black smoke, and transforms from Krios to his demonic self in a puff of purple and black energies.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: The Big Bad does this, in order to free Kronos. It's up to the heroes to stop him. Also, when Kastor goes to Mount Olympus and proceeds to destroy it with Atlantean armies and Myth Units from all cultures.
  • Reinventing the Wheel: You have to keep redeveloping technologies. Who cares if you've already "researched" the Ax 20 times before, do it again in this level!
  • Regional Riff: When you start a game you hear something vaguely appropriate to the nation you chose to play.
  • Rock Monster: The titan Perses is seemingly made of magma and crystals.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Kronos, and every Titan barring Gaia.
  • Shout-Out: When you play as the Egyptians, you might get a pharaoh named Bubbahotep.
  • Shown Their Work: Everything, from the trees, to the cows, to the rocks, to the Cyclops have optional descriptions for you to read. You can even access the in-game encyclopedia from the main menu just for some information.
    • The city of Atlantis is shown as built on a hill, divided into tiers with fountains between them, accurate to the original myth but often overlooked.
    • Sadly Mythtaken: In spite of what they get right, they do get a few things wrong. One example is the Flavor Text for the Dragonscale Shields upgrade, which identifies Grendel as a dragon.
  • Silliness Switch: The cheat codes, which provide things like the 'Chicken Meteor' God Power and a Canadian super-bear that can insta-kill just about every other unit.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Isis is the only playable goddess in the original version of the game (the Titans expansion adds Gaia).
  • Something Completely Different: The mission midway through the original campaign that takes place in Arkantos' dreams, which exists mainly as a framework for Athena to provide exposition on Gargarensis' plot. Also, the mission on Circe's island, which also serves as a humorous Breather Episode between the Egyptian and Norse segments of the campaign.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Ajax, as anyone who's read the myths can attest. Also, going by the cutscene showing the burning of Troy, Achilles apparently survived too.
  • Speaking Simlish: The Atlanteans.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Crossover: Greek Mythology gets the lion's share of story attention.
    • The Greeks are playble in the largest number of campaign missions in the first game.
    • The Atlantean faction is based off of unused Greek Gods from the first game.
    • Four of the recuring story heroes are Greek / Atlantean whle Amanra is the only Egyptian Hero to be playble in more than one level.
    • The main focus of the story is preventing Kronos from escaping Tatarus.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: More like Stealth-Based Objective, really. A mission in the first chapter of the main campaign has Arkantos, Ajax, and Odysseus sneaking through Troy after infiltrating it in The Horse. Since there's only three of you, you are encouraged to avoid fights. This only lasts until you reach the gates, which aren't all that far.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: In the second mission of the 'Golden Gift' campaign, Skult pulls this off with Eitri. When the dwarf begins his rant, the man turns and walks behind the Town Center...and promptly disappears. Even better, this happens during the camera swing that happens at the beginning of every campaign, so he quite literally teleports from behind the buildings. It is impossible for him to do anything else. Granted, 'Skult' is, in fact, Loki, so he has an excuse.
  • Story Overwrite: If you somehow manage to defeat the final boss without using demigod Arkantos, the final cutscene will show Arkantos finishing off the boss anyway.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: This is how the Titans' threat is stopped in the expansion: the Anubis Guardian is used againts Cerberus in Egypt, Nidhogg is released against the Nordic Titan (though it's possible to defeat it without summoning the dragon) and Prometheus and Kronos are defeated by the power of Gaia.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors:
    • Infantry > Cavalry > Archers > Infantry as well as Heroes > Beasts > Normals > Heroes. The explicitness of this various, with many baseline units beating their opponents due to statistical superiority against them (most cavalry will be heavily outnumbered by melee infantry, while the melee infantry will tend to take a lot of damage from archers' piercing attacks while running up to them, archers' range advantage is neutralized by cavalry's high speed and superior stats for a head-on fight), while dedicated counter units tend to have low stats and only beat their desired targets due to doing bonus damage against them.
      • Many units exist defy this system, the Norse in particular screw things up royally: they have no archers at all, instead they have a ranged unit that is considered infantry, on top of that their anti-archer unit is also infantry. Basically, whatever you build the Norse can always counter with some form of infantry.
    • On a grander scheme: Myth Units > Normal Units > Hero Units > Myth Units. Though hero units are typically stronger than normal units, they're not worth the cost if they cannot fight myth units.
      • Again the Norse mix things up. They have a normal cavalry unit with a bonus against myth units.
    • Titan > Everything. Technically, Titans count as normal myth units and do have a negative damage multiplier against heroes and siege weapons. It just does so much damage that multipliers matter little. Spamming heroes is the suggested way to defeat a Titan in a random map. When cheating, spam other titans or a single Lazer Bear (because Bears Are Bad News) and send in other units at you leisure. Flying units will cause an insane amount of damage over time due to the fact that other than a plot cutscene with Prometheus and a Roc, it is impossible for the majority of stronger units to attack them due to the fact they are flying, and can redirect the dumber of AIs into your gigantic trap fortification.
    • It's a bit more explicit in the board game; certain units get extra hit dice against other types of units according to their classification.
  • Theme Park Version: Norse warriors are portrayed as Horny Vikings, and the Valkyries are unmistakably Wagnerian, right down to their white horses (as opposed to the wolves they ride in the original myths). The Greeks buildings have the iconic (but inaccurate) pure white columns, and many of the Greek myth units are quite obviously based on the Ray Harryhausen films:
    • Cyclopse have furry legs, hooves, and a single horn as in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
    • Medusa fights with a bow and arrow, and has a snake body below the waist as in Clash of the Titans.
    • The Colossus looks similar to Talos from Jason and the Argonauts.
    • The Egyptians meanwhile seem to have walked straight out of every Mummy film and biblical piece ever made.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Build a Titan Gate, and get a beast that can destroy an entire civilization. But not necessarily the army attached to it.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Green poison and acid.
  • Technology Levels: Classical Age, Mythic Age, etc.
  • Tech Tree: A twist on the tech trees from Age of Empires and Age of Kings by making a different one for all civilizations in the style of Starcraft. Mythology adds a further twist by making you choose one of two gods for each age (3 for the first, which determine the available minor gods). Each of them offers an unique god power, myth units and upgrades. The base tech tree on the other hand is practically identical among all races and main gods - the names and images are different, but what they do is mostly interchangeable.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The soundtrack gets action-based when you use some devastating god power like Meteor, or when you order your troops are in close proximity to a fortress or town center they're attacking. The latter starts with hearing men yell out a War Cry to help pump you up.
  • The Time of Myths
  • Units Not to Scale: Especially when you compare units to Transport Ships and 5-person monsters to 10-person houses.
  • Voice of the Legion: Some Myth Units have this (if they aren't hissing, growling, or what-have-you), as well as empowered-demigod-Arkantos. It's subtle for some, like the Einherjar (they sound just like Norse warrior units, just with a bit of reverb), and blatant for others (Sphinxes have really deep, vaguely demonic voices).
  • War Elephants: The Egyptians' strongest unit.
  • We Have Reserves: To compensate Poseidon's lack of healing options, Militia units appear from buildings razed by enemies. This is tough to handle in the campaign since the Big Bad in the first game is affiliated with Poseidon and campaign scenarios against them give them many buildings at start and therefore many Militias at their disposal.
  • When Trees Attack: The Walking Woods power. On a technicality, the Dryads too.
  • Word Salad Title: The titles of the pieces in the soundtrack are silly at best, but a few are nonsensical and irrelevant at most.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas:
    • Food, wood, gold and Favor.
    • Subverted somewhat by the Egyptians, who can build the basic buildings at no resource cost, and can build almost any building without wood (although most require gold or food) Presumably they are using mud bricks and paid labour.
  • You Shall Not Pass: When Arkantos and Co. are being chased by Fire Giants, Chiron kicks down a nearby large boulder, sealing off the path between the Giants (and, unfortunately, himself) and the heroes, allowing escape. So, he's presumably killed by the Fire Giants. Which makes no sense because he is immortal.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • The Norse seem based around this strategy. They can make their basic soldier unit from town centers, this tactic can cripple an opponent early in the game by wiping out his villagers. Their buildings are weak so they rely on rush tactics to gain and keep an early advantage in the game. And their infantry are the ones that actually build buildings. So you can rush your troops in, throw down some training centers outside the enemy's base, and have a steady stream of soldiers rushing them. You also gain Favor from Norse fighting, so attacking with a steady stream of sacrificial lambs is a surefire way to get a massive army of fire-giants relatively quick behind. Oh, and if that wasn't great enough, Loki's decently cheap heroes can randomly summon myth units in battle, which can lead to an early victory just due to luck.
    • Egyptians to an extent, as they have the cheapest and weakest base units. The main god Set even provides you with free animal allies to bolster your forces. Quite a few of the minor gods support that kind of tactic as well.
      • Additionally, Egyptians can pay gold at any Town Center to pump out Mercenaries (up to their population cap), meaning that not only can they Zerg Rush, they can *counter* a Zerg Rush!
    • Leto's Automatons in the expansion campaign being the most memorable. The Tartarian Spawns near the end of said map qualify as an extremely deadly version of this.
    • Averted with the tabletop game. There's (usually) a set number of units that each side can bring to a battle.

Age of Empires IIICreator/Ensemble StudiosHalo Wars
Age of EmpiresCreator/Microsoft StudiosAlan Wake
AtlantisSword And SandalGod of War
Age of ConanFantasy Video GamesAlabaster
Age of Empires IIITeen RatingAlone in the Dark
Age of Empires IIReal-Time StrategyAge of Empires III
NightfireUsefulNotes/Apple MacintoshAltitude
Age of Empires IIIUsefulNotes/SteamAirMech
Age of Empires IIVideoGame/Age of EmpiresAge of Empires III
Damage Is FireImageSource/Video GamesPhysical God

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