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"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 play as three civilizations based on their various mythologies, and followed consistent, original storylines through characters and in-game cinematics.

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 a god 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, as well as a Turn-Based Strategy game for the Nintendo DS called Age of Empires: Mythologies developed by Griptonite Games and published by THQ.

The game also received an Updated Re-release on Steam in May 2014, known as Age of Mythology: Extended Edition. This, in turn, received a second expansion pack, Tale of the Dragon, which introduces the Chinese Mythology into the mix, which was released in January 28th, 2016.

During the Age of Empires 25th anniversary celebration, a second Updated Re-release, Age of Mythology: Retold was announced.

Tropes used include:

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  • A Commander Is You: See the different examples in the game's Character sheets.
  • 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 Attractiveness: Zigzagged. The game mostly goes for fanservice with its depictions of goddesses, most notably Isis and Theia, but some of the male deities like Dionysus and Ares who are traditionally depicted as handsome and youthful appear old and grizzled in their portraits.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Atalanta is shown dressed much more conservatively than in classical depictions (where she was usually dressed in skimpy hunting dresses and bikinis).
  • Adaptational Ugliness:
    • Many male gods who are traditionally described as youthful and handsome instead appear old and grey.
    • An odd case with Athena. Her 3D model appears to be a young beautiful woman, but her portrait depicts her as someone less attractive, as well as different from her model.
  • Age of Titles: Continues the trend from Age of Empires, obviously.
  • A Kind of One:
    • Many unique creatures from mythology became standard unit types that you can train any number of, such as Medusa.
    • Subverted with the Norse Fenris Brood and Jormund Elver, which are noted to be the offspring of Fenrir and the Jormongund, respectively. The same goes for the Battle Boar: It's a lesser replica of Gullinbursti, made by Brokk and Eitri. The original Gullinbursti's creation is the focus of the Golden Gift campaign.
  • All Myths Are True: Greek, Egyptian, Norse and Chinese mythology are true, including more modern elements of the Atlantis myth and some A Kind of One species based on mythological creatures and gods. Also, Leviathan (for the Egyptians) and Behemoth (for the Atlanteans) from Jewish mythology and some (more or less inspired by myths) creatures likely made up by the creators of the game show up.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • The Greeks, Egyptians and Norse civilizations as depicted in the game come from different time periods and are themselves a mash-up of various eras from Antiquity.
    • The Chinese in Tale of the Dragon also combine elements from different dynasties.
  • Anti-Air: Flying units (with the exception of the Chinese Vermilion Birds) are vulnerable to most ranged attacks, making them unsuitable to be fielded against groups of ranged units or in a heavily fortified city.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: There is a population limit set at 300 slots, with each unit class using X population slots: a villager uses one, a soldier uses two, and a Nemean Lion three. This limit is reflected on the amount of population-supporting buildings each civ can build: 10 houses for the Greek, Egyptian, Norse and Chinese civs, 5 manors for the Atlanteans (which in turn support twice the population each) and as many Town Centers as there are Settlements on a map.
  • Arrows on Fire: The Burning Pitch upgrade for archers. It allows them to inflict bonus damage against buildings by shooting fire-embued arrows.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Amanra's and the Anubites' Leap Attack can lead to them leaping over an enemy wall and into their base, without any support. Or get stuck midway through unwalkable terrain, with the only hope of getting unstuck being enemies getting close enough to leap at them.
    • If you build a Wonder, the AI is set to Attack! Attack! Attack! constantly on said Wonder from the moment it's built... even when Wonder victories aren't enabled in this specific game. This leads to them leaving their own towns unprotected.
    • The game's unit pathfinding is... messed up. For example, Caravans cannot distinguish walls from gates, leading to them crashing down on walls on a wall which has gates to begin with.
    • Like previous games, the AI will avoid walls as much as possible, allowing you to deliberately make a hole, which has dozens of watch towers defending it, shredding the invaders with little damage to themselves.
    • The AI has a major habit of targeting farms and villagers rather than military units, which can result in The Benny Hill Show-esque chases that result in the AI being defeated with a few villagers dead at most.
    • If you have a large number of military units attacking the AI's base, they may use a God Power like Tornado or Meteor on their own base in an attempt to kill them.
  • Artistic License – Ornithology: The Latin names for the avian myth units don't make much sense.
    • The pterosaur-like Phoenix is classified in the eagle genus Aquila.
    • The Roc, a flying transport, is classified in the extinct flightless genus Aepyornis. This is actually a Mythology Gag as some scholars believe that the roc legend derives from distorted accounts of Aepyornithids.
    • The Stymphalian Bird is classified in the genus Eudocimus which would make it an Ibis, despite using a repurposed falcon model.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The Behemoth is apparently a Glyptodon with long tusks and a ceratopsian style frill.
  • Artistic License – Religion: They did do the research. However, they decided to ignore the results of it wherever 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. Ajax as well, compared to his source material where he's a minor side character. Here, he's The Lancer on a quest across three continents to stop The End of the World as We Know It.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Titan Units. While it's fun to watch your opponent squirm, the time and resources spent summoning one could easily go into fighting the enemy with normal units. Speaking of which, the pathing of this massive unit can be obstructed by common troops, leaving them vulnerable to Death by a Thousand Cuts. Additionally, their inability to load onto transport units effectively renders them useless on Island maps.
    • 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.
    • The Norse Ragnarok power that's available late-game turns all your laborers into potent "Heroes of Ragnarok." But this comes at the cost of putting your economy on a complete standstill.
    • Promoting Atlantean units into Hero units. Being able to beat Myth Units and having Citizens and Oracles able to defend themselves are nice and all, but each upgrade is costly and they add up to the population limit, even with the Prometheus-exclusive Heart of the Titans tech. The God Power Valor doesn't help with how randomized who gets affected and who doesn't.
  • 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 a Canadian flag as a cape, can fly, and has several sidekick monkeys. It's very tough, and the only way to kill the Canadian Ultimate Bear is to spam it to death using cheap military units, or by using the Traitor god power. Titans will be obliterated slowly without some form of regeneration or repair, while the Lazer Bear regenerates at hyperspeed.
  • Been There, Shaped History: In-universe. The original game and The Titans more often than not had the protagonists being involved in, if not directly shaping, various mythological events, such as the Trojan War.
  • Berserk Button: Three Norse clans are in the middle of fighting each other until they see Skult's Banner waving on top of a hill... which prompts them to stop fighting each other and immediately attack Skult instead.
  • 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 Argus creatures from the first expansion are clearly described as floating amoebas with tentacles and many eyes that can cry a stream of acidic tears as their special attack.
  • Book Ends: Arkantos has reccuring dreams in which he fights old foes whom he has vanquished. In the initial opening cinematic, Arkantos declares, "Any who threaten my home or my family will soon have a place in my dreams." The title of the game's final mission? "A Place in My Dreams."
    • In a similar way, the opening cinematic ends with Athena calling, "Arkantos... awaken." The final line of the game has Athena repeating her call, but this time to raise Arkantos to godhood.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Any sort of healing, either Apollo's research that allow Greek temples to heal units, Egyptian Priests, Norse Valkyries, Atlantean Caladrias, etc. In the game where units have no health regeneration (except heroes), that's very much needed.
    • Hephaestus' power, Plenty. It creates a vault that generates 15 food, wood and gold every 5 seconds, and while it can be captured by enemy units, it's still a good advantage: free resources are always useful.
  • Captain Obvious: During the cutscene at the end of the first level, Theocrat Krios says, "Another message from Poseidon, Arkantos. His creatures help the pirates!" This is after you fought at least four Krakens.
  • Catchphrase: Ajax's comments about pulling off his enemy's head border on this. Some people consider Amanra's "Be quiet back there!" line reappearing (read: the exact same voice file) in the expansion pack to be this as well.
  • Classical Cyclops:
    • Cyclopes appear as Myth Units if you progress to Classical Age with Ares.
    • Another cyclops, Gargarensis, is the main antagonist.
  • Color-Coded Armies: 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.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: Bronze -> Silver -> Gold for distinguishing the human soldiers' Medium, Heavy, and Champion upgrades. The Ulfsark switches Bronze and Silver to distinguish Medium Ulfsark from their base form (their brown fur could be easily mistaken for the Bronze upgrade).
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Mostly averted in the original versions, however the AI will gain a handicap on Titan Difficulty, and have a rough idea where your base is.
    • Played Straight in the Extended Edition as of the 2.0 Tale of the Dragon update, rather than the AI being smart enough to learn from its mistakes of poor build order, and learn from fighting with you, it now has the miraculous ability to automatically detect what units you are training, and trains the counters to your units even if it hasn't scouted you out.
      • Funnily enough this can result in a case of Artificial Stupidity if your army is too mixed, the AI may end up refusing to invade you anymore.
  • 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.
  • Classical Chimera: Artemis' myth unit is a Chimera, which has low defense but a powerful fire-breath ability. It can be upgraded to Tyrant Chimeras who have increased attack and hit points.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Most units only have one ability, though some have a special ability.
    • The Egyptian Lighthouse provides massive line of sight, but can't defend itself or do anything else for that matter.
    • Counter units have heavy attack and defense bonuses against the unit type they target, meaning they will often win against those even if they're outnumbered or behind in upgrades. Which is just as well, since without those bonuses they are usually weak for their cost compared to more basic troops of their type.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Everything, though buildings will appear to be burning as they are more and more damaged. It's purely cosmetic.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Atlantis uses a restrained version of this aesthetic, combined with the below mentioned influences. The history section for their units reveals their society to be a pretty good example of the trope.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Atlantis. In addition to its Ancient Grome aesthetics, which include units that resemble Roman gladiators and centurions, there are also Mesoamerican touches like their use of llamas, and Incan polygonal masonry in their Mythic Age architecture. This may be a nod to the various legends and long-disproven theories of Atlantis being located in the Americas and an inspiration for civilizations like Rome.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The opening cinematic seesaws between this for the humans and then for the mythological creatures. During the campaign, usually what happens when the gods themselves get involved. As with the case of Osiris and Gaia.
  • Curse Cut Short: The credits has Gargarensis start with "There once was a girl from Nantucket...with a-". note 
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: In one cutscene, the Promethean Titan catches a Roc mid-flight and stomps on it. In-game, Titans have no method of damaging air units.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The two Age of Empires games have one and two-button interfaces... Mythology has only the two-button option.
  • David Versus Goliath: In the tabletop version, the Norse Dwarf is classified as a "Giant-killer" type, giving it an attack bonus against all "Giant" type units like cyclopes and hydras.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most people get their moments, especially Ajax.
    Arkantos: A giant fortress in the middle of the countryside, protecting a huge pit which leads... here... 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.
  • Defenseless Transports:
    • Transport Ships are armed with no weapons to defend themselves. Same goes with the Egyptian Roc, which can carry units through air but has no means of attacking.
    • Very much subverted with the Egyptian Leviathan; it's a very powerful naval unit that can carry units through water (though to compensate, they have less capacity than Transport Ships).
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The alternate way to beat the final mission of the Fall of the Trident campaign, which doesn't require you to build a wonder (advance to the mythic age with Hephaestus, build a temple near the Living Poseidon statue, and then spam Gold Colossi). It's very resource-demanding (300 gold and 50 favor for each Colossus, 300 Gold and 20 favor for the Hand of Talos tech to upgrade them to Silver Colossi, and 300 gold and 20 favor for the Shoulder of Talos tech that upgrades them to Gold Colossi), and it's generally easier to just complete the objective, but it is one incredible Bragging Rights Reward if you manage to pull it off.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Surprisingly 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 it takes 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/Krony 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 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 rebuild Thor's hammer Mjölnir and use it to close the gate to Tartarus that Gargarensis almost managed to open.
    • The Norse Hersir wields a war hammer to battle.
  • 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 easily cause them to get horribly outnumbered.
    • Kastor (in the Expansion) wields two swords as well, though it is never stated he is of the Fanatic cult.
    • Two Egyptian myth units, Anubis' Anubites and Horus' Avengers, also dual-wield their weapons.
    • There's also the Nord Einherjar, who dual-wield axes.

  • 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 and Chinese monks can convert units.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Blessing of Zeus, which transforms Arkantos into a demigod capable of fighting all the enemy bases and the Poseidon statue 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 through.
  • 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 and 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.
  • 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 Greater-Scope Villain, 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. Of note is that she's visibly shorter than Kronos, or pretty much any other Titan for that matter.
  • Facepalm: Arkantos indulges occasionally, usually during Ajax's more spectacular Comically Missing the Point moments.
  • Faction Calculus:
    • Taking into account the Titans and Tale of the Dragon expansions:
      Greeks (Balanced)
      Egyptians, (Subversive)
      Norse (Cannon)
      Atlanteans (Powerhouse)
      Chinese (Horde)
    • Alternatively, each faction has an area of specialty:
      Greeks — Balanced
      Egyptians — Human Soldiers
      Norse — Myth Units
      Atlanteans — Heroes
      Chinese — Economy
  • 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. As well as a few hints of Mesoamerican touches, like their use of llamas.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Map: Atlantis as depicted in this game is based on the shape of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, though it is located off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
  • 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. note 
  • Finish Him!: When Arkantos' army defeat "Gargarensis"' in the Norselands, the heroes manage to capture "Gargarensis" (take note of the quotation marks; he's actually Kemsyt, 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.
  • Forced Transformation: 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.
  • 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. When you first encounter Gargarensis in the campaign, his Major God is Poseidon.
  • 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.
  • Game Mod: More than a few.
    • Expanded Mod adds in numerous new units, buildings and technologies, and overhauling or tweaking existing ones, adds in new minor gods for "weaker" major gods (Persephone for Hades, Sobek for Set and Frigg for Odin) focusing on historical accuracy, and bringing Age of Mythology to a generally larger scale and more in line with main Age of Empires games, including various nods to them.
    • Legends of Middle Earth, also known as LOME, replaces the existing civilizations with ones from the The Lord of the Rings series, these civilizations are lumped into general civ groups, such as Elves, Men, Orcs, Southern Folk and originally the Easterlings replacing the Chinese, with the major gods representing a specific race or group, included are a few campaigns, including a WIP voiced custom campaign called The New Shadow, however it should be noted that the future of the project is at risk due to the lead developer wishing to move forward with personal projects.
    • Several other mods replace one of the existing factions with another pantheon, such as the Aztecs, Slavs, and Celts.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: The campaign heroes. Justified for Chiron and Regenlief, who are both actually immortal. Although it doesn't save the former from being burned alive by fire giants.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • The Major God your civilization is currently under is always important to the story. For example, when the group is being deceived 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.
    • While the vast majority of units and structures have detailed encyclopedic descriptions (complete with scientific names even for myth units), Titans are simply described as deities that defy classification.
  • 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. This also applies to the descriptions of mythological creatures, for example:
    • The in-game encyclopedia describes Medusa and other gorgons accurately to the mythology as a Winged Humanoid but the model for the Medusa unit is a wingless Snake Person in the tradition of modern depictions inspired by Clash of the Titans.
    • The same encyclopedia makes mention of the ring of barking dogs around Scylla's waist that show up in most traditional descriptions and depictions. The Scylla model, however, merely resembles a sort of two-flippered plesiosaur. Understandable as the dogs do look rather silly.
    • Although dwarves are mythical creatures in Norse mythology, the dwarves in-game are not classified as myth units.
    • A few examples in the campaign:
      • In the first mission, Krakens' presence in a pirate fleet is taken as a sign that said pirates have Poseidon's favor (which is true). In gameplay, however, Krakens are a Nordic myth unit.
      • During a mission in the Egyptian campaign, Amanra mentions that Set has summoned many Giant Turtles to protect Khemsyt's island base. Giant Turtles are a myth unit of Thoth, not Set.
      • In the last mission, Zeus will reward you with a charge Meteor for every temple of Poseidon you destroy. Again, the Meteor is Thoth's god power, not Zeus'.
  • Gender Bender: The "Mount Olympus" in the Titans campaign has Kastor and several of his followers fight their way through Mount Olympus to escape back to Earth. In this mission there are temples with statues in front of them which turn your non-hero human soldiers into the corresponding myth units. One such statue turns your (male) human soldiers into (female) Valkyries. If you wish you can spawn a whole army of Gender-Bent Valkyries. Of course if you wish to you can move these Valkyries to other statues and turn them into (male) cyclops or centaurs. And only the human units can follow Kastor when he takes the portal back to Earth.
  • Gender-Blender Name: One of the randomly-generated names a Pharaoh can have is Cleopatra.
  • Ghost Town: New Atlantis at the end of the expansion campaign. It's a large fully developed city... with only a handful of citizens left, having been completely taken over by Kronny's Automatons.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The Greek myth unit Carcinos is a giant swimming crab, based on the one that helped the Hydra agains Hercules in the original myth. You get it by praying to Hera.
  • Giant Flyer: Giant flying myth units include the Egyptian Rocs and Phoenixes, which are on fire, the Atlantean Stymphalian Birds, and the Chinese Vermillion Birds.
  • 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.
  • Giant Woman: Gaia, an Atlantean Goddess, in her titan form.
  • 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. Though the fact they can revive themselves if their eggs are protected can help overcome this.
    • Fire Giants' can devastate pretty much anything with their fireballs, but they can barely stand up to regular units let alone heroes.
    • The Chinese's Fire Lances are a deadly mix of human and siege weapon, they have the compactness and speed of the former and the incredible building-destroying power of the latter. This is kept in balance by a stiff breeze being able to kill them.
  • Godhood Seeker: The Big Bad's motivation for releasing the Sealed Evil in a Can in the first game.
  • 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 and Chinese gods are worshiped by constructing monuments and gardens respectively, Norse gods are worshipped by fighting, and 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, who actively helps the heroes, and Oranos, who is never directly against them..
    • In the first game, Poseidon becomes this due to siding with Kronos.
    • The gods of choice of your Egyptian and Norse enemies; Set and Loki.
    • Averted with Hades, however, who even lends a hand in helping the protagonists.
    • Also averted with the Chinese, as all three of their major gods are benevolent.
  • God of Good: Each pantheon has a main benevolent leader god, especially in the campaigns. The Greeks have Zeus, the Egyptians have both Ra and Isis, the Norse have Thor, the Atlanteans have Gaia, and the Chinese have... All three of their gods actually.
  • Gratuitous Latin: It's impressive how they make scientific names for myth units without resorting to Canis Latinicus.
  • 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 and that most enemy Egyptian forces worship as well.
  • 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. Alternatively, he could just be trapped there, fighting off giants forever. In the very next mission the bad guys manage to destroy the barrier he created, and there is no sign of him whatsoever.
  • 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.
  • Horns of Barbarism: Norse heroes, raiding cavalry and upgraded frost giants all wear horned helmets. The rest of their units stick to more compact designs.
  • Idiot Ball: The entire Titans campaign is the result of this:
    • First, the Atlanteans believe the questionable advice of the now-possessed Krios with, well, no question, and just go along with everything he says. Even though his tone is oddly assertive and clearly evil, and he conveniently dreams of where to go next and finds Sky Passages. Almost like he has an agenda. Hmm...
    • Second, after the Atlanteans are strangely attacked by two Greek scouts when they first set up camp in Greece, Castor responds by defeating the Greeks in the area in retaliation, which escalates to Egypt and Scandinavia and inadvertently allows some of the Titans to escape. At no point do the Atlanteans consider that the Greeks may have attacked them because they were repairing temples to the Titans; which one Atlantean soldier even remarked was forbidden barely ten seconds before the Greeks attacked.
      • The initial Greeks themselves get this: when told Castor is coming with a small force, they immediately attack rather than allow Castor to discuss matters with them, turning Castor against them completely.
    • Third, when arriving in a new land the Atlanteans automatically make the worst decision imaginable. Just arrived in Egypt? Let's take all their relics! Visiting the Norselands? We'll topple their tower to Odin! Accidentally wound up on the slopes of Mount Olympus? Let's attack it to prove our superiority!
  • 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!"
    • The example from the Trojan War is depicted as well, with a twist. Arkantos suggests faking out the Trojans by conceding defeat in the Atlantean tradition (turning over the defeated general's personal horse to the enemy) and retreating, only to then come back and attack when they have the element of surprise again. Odysseus is then inspired to take that plan to the next level: constructing the Trojan Horse, smuggling themselves into the city in it, and throwing open the gates for the surprise attack.
  • Instant Militia: Norse Gatherers and Dwarves have the option to turn into Ulfsarks for a cost. The Ragnarok God Power turns all of them into Heroes of Ragnarok.
  • 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.
  • Kaiju: The Titans. Be they dug up or summoned from the heavens, these towering beings can demolish an unprepared civilization. They also have a lot of health, so don't expect them to go down easily.
  • Kick the Dog: The Mountain Giants of Scandinavia have a notorious reputation for destroying Norsemen and Dwarven settlements just for fun. Even going so far as to use the survivors for their own entertainment such as "playing soccer".
    Mountain Giant: Awww... you broke him! Now we need to find another one.
    • It is of note that Mountain Giants have a special attack that only works against Dwarves, in which they kick the small beings far away from them.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The former is a giant octopus and the Mythical unit of Njord. The latter looks like a giant golden 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!
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Loki just loves this trope. In fact, you soon find out during your venture through Scandinavia that he's the one who's been causing most, if not all, of the infighting between the Norsemen and Dwarves.
  • Lighthouse Point: The Lighthouse that can be constructed by the Egyptian, granting them an immense amount of line-of-sight that ensures that the Egyptian aren't caught off guard by an invading army. The Lighthouse is based on the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • Living Statue:
    • The Statue of Poseidon during the final mission of the original campaign.
    • Hades's Sentinels god power creates four statues around the town center to defend them from enemies.
    • Leto's Automatons from the expansion.
    • The Colossus unit is not living, like the Automatons, but follows this anyway.
    • Tale of the Dragon adds Huang Di's Terracota Warriors.
  • 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're good or not. For example, Egill Refreshingbeveragepuncher (For Icelandic people this is most certainly belongs).
  • 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.
  • Mayincatec: Atlantis architecture has shades of this, along with their use of llamas.
  • 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.
  • Meteor-Summoning Attack: Meteor, the God Power of Thoth, summons a rain of meteors to damage any and all enemies in their wake.
  • Mighty Glacier: A few of the units fall into this; most notably the behemoths who only do good damage to buildings, but are not only incredibly tanky but regenerate their own health overtime.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The heroes only become aware of the main story after they land in a port and find the place pillaged by a rabble of bandits. Arkantos quickly gets exasperated that the issue he was told was just petty thieves and murderers was actually a continent-spanning plot to subvert the gods and bring about The End of the World as We Know It.
    Arkantos: A giant fortress in the middle of the countryside, protecting a huge pit which leads... here... 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.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Many examples.
    • The Norse pack animal is a Musk Ox which went extinct in Europe 9,000 years ago, long before the Norse people existed. Originally Ensemble originally intended to use a Draft Horse (based on the North Swedish Horse) but changed it to a Musk Ox for reasons unknown.
    • A common huntable on Norse maps is the elk. As in the animal called elk in North America. It's stated to be the same species as the red deer (as was thought at the time of the game's release) but it's clearly modeled after the American elk. They do appear in the one American map "Vinland" (before The Titans introduced "Tundra") but are still misplaced as elk are not found in the vicinity of Newfoundland! Ironic since the more accurate caribou who appear in other Norse maps are nowhere to be seen.
    • Said Vinland map also features brown bears and wild boar, neither of which are native to Canada's east coast (boars aren't native to anywhere in America, making them a particularly egregious case).
    • The aforementioned Tundra map features herds of aurochs roaming the arctic. The map was most likely going to include Musk Oxen but they were cut for unknown reasons.
    • The Titans reintroduced the popular "Highland" map from Age of Kings to the game. Huntables include water Buffalo (despite Aurochs being a better choice) and Crowned cranes (probably used as a stand-in for the Common crane) alongside brown bears, boar and elk despite it's European aesthetic and terrain.
    • The gazelles found in Egyptian maps are Thompson's gazelles, a species found excusively in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Similarly, the baboons found on the same maps resemble mandrills, a species endemic to West African forest habitats far from Egypt. Their encyclopedia entry confirms that the developers were aware of what baboon species did live in ancient Egypt (mentioning Olive and Hamadryas baboons) but likely went with mandrills anyway for their iconic facial colouration.
  • Most Common Superpower: Atalanta's bosom seems surprisingly prominent, given her athletic inclinations.
  • Mutual Disadvantage: Counter units are still classified the same as any other basic soldier and thus vulnerable to counter units themselves. Depending on which types they are and which types they're designed to counter, both combatants may get huge bonuses against each other (e.g. Hypaspists versus Axemen, both Infantry that counter other Infantry).
  • Mythology Gag: Literally.
    • In the original tale, the Greeks built the Trojan Horse because the symbol of Troy was a horse. In the game, they do it because surrendering your horse is how Atlantean generals admit defeat.
    • The resurrection of Osiris, in the original Ancient Egyptian texts, was done to save both gods and men from Set's tyrannical grasp. In the game, much the same is true, only this time it's also to foil Set's deal with Gargarensis to open Tartarus in Egypt.

  • 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).
  • Nerf:
    • In Age of Empires II, heavy cavalry completely outclassed the basic infantry, are strong against many things and their counters can be easily dispatched by a group of archers. Mythology not only makes them cost 1 more pop than infantry and archers (3 instead of 2) but the "Crenellations" tech makes building arrows more effective against them.
    • The first two Age of Empires titles have siege units that are excellent in wiping out both units and buildings. Not the case here, as they now deal Scratch Damage on units. Another one in The Titans expansion where villagers deal extra damage to siege units.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Plot of the first half of the Titans expansion. Kastor makes big mess of things and the rest of the campaign is fixing what his mistakes incite.
  • Night of the Living Mooks:
    • 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.
    • The Egyptians can create Mummies, who themselves can turn enemies into skeletal minions. Plus the Vikings' Einherjar myth units are dead warriors returned from Valhalla.
  • 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 Campaign for the Wicked: Narrowly averted, as while the Fall of the Trident campaign has you playing as Arkantos all the way through, you do get to use the Major Gods favored by your enemies (Poseidon, Set and Loki) at least once, and let's you play as Gargarensis' forces during a Nightmare Sequence.
  • No Cure for Evil: The Big Bad for the original and The Titans 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.) Poseidon would eventually gain access to the hero Hippocrates in the Extended Edition, downplaying this. Kronus, however, has no healing options at all.
  • 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 more cartoony art style.
    • The minor Chinese goddess Chang’e is drawn in a much more stylized and simplified style than any other god in the game.
  • Not So Weak: Villagers, while the weakest human unit in the game, can still put up a fight if you need them to. There are even some technologies (such as Ra's Skin of the Rhino) and a relic (Pygmalion's statue) that make them better in a fight, though it's usually best to keep them safe regardless. Special mention goes to the Norse gatherers, which can be upgraded into Ulfsarks in an emergency.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: In the mission "Light Sleeper", Rocs are banned to prevent players from just flying the sword bearers over the walls, and a conveniently placed Isis monument prevents the player from using Shifting Sands to teleport them there, even though Kemsyt is loyal to Set.
  • Ominous Crack: Lampshaded by Gargarensis when the Hades Gate reaches 40% damage in the Revelation mission.
  • 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.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Latin words are used for some Atlantean units and every myth unit had a "Latin name" before Tale of the Dragon, despite there being no indication that Romans exist in the game's setting. The latter is especially odd as it implies the existance of Linnean taxonomy.
  • Our Hippocamps Are Different: Hippocampus is an aquatic scouting unit which will spawn for free from the Dock once both the Dock and the Temple is built. They are exclusive to the Greek with Poseidon as their major god.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different: Dryads and Nereids are mid-tier Myth units available to the Atlanteans. Nereids are aquatic shark-riding anti-naval units, while Dryads are slow tree-like attackers that can only be summoned with a specific God power.
  • 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. In the expansion, the Atlanteans have access to the Hekagigantes. And all civilizations can, of course, summon a titan.
  • Our Sphinxes Are Different: Sphinxes, in the form of human-headed lions wearing pharaonic headdresses, are a myth unit available to worshippers of Bast. They can be upgraded with the Criosphinx and Hieracosphinx technologies, respectively boosting their health and speed.
  • Pandaing to the Audience: One of the new faunas in the Tales of the Dragon expansion is, of course, pandas. And no, Kung Fu Panda is NOT the Titan for the Chinese civilization.
  • Party Scattering: The team of heroes is scattered by an avalanche caused by Kronos and must regroup before they can build a settlement.
  • Physical God:
    • 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)
  • Private Military Contractor: The Egyptians may hire Mercenaries at Town Centers. Mercenaries train very quickly and cost only gold, but only last for a short time before their contract expires.
  • 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.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn:
    • It is common to disrupt the enemy's economy by killing their villagers and burning their houses. Of course, the Norse is encouraged to aggressively raid the enemy as they generate favor through fighting, and their Raiding Cavalry has strong pierce armor and speed that allows them to pick off villagers while shrugging off arrows of towers and town centers.
    • The early part of the campaign features the sacking of Troy.
  • 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.
  • Religion of Evil: During the campaign the enemy factions are usually followers of Hades, Set, or Loki.
  • The Remnant/Vestigial Empire: The Atlanteans are introduced as this in the expansion. Having lost their homeland, the campaign's start has them reduced to scattered colonies and outposts desperately trying to survive. Thanks to Kastor's leadership and Kronos' manipulations, it doesn't take long before they start rebuilding their lost empire.
  • Rock Monster: The titan Perses is seemingly made of magma and crystals.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: In spite of what they get right, they do get a few things wrong.
    • The Flavor Text for the Dragonscale Shields upgrade, which identifies Grendel as a dragon.
    • A few of the myth units are in mythologies where they don't belong. The scorpion men do seem fittingly Egyptian, but are in fact from Babylonian myth. Both Leviathan and Behemoth are from the Bible, but here the former is Egyptian and the latter is Atlantean.
    • Though they are indeed from Greek myths, Helios and Hecate were just regular gods and not titans.
    • When Tale of the Dragon was first released, Huang Di (the Yellow Emperor) was conflated with Yu Di (the Jade Emperor), who is a different mythological figure entirely, in his description in the in-game encyclopedia. This was corrected in a later patch.
    • Bellerophon is one of Zeus' heroes when he was Poseidon's son and Zeus punished him.
    • Poseidon is portrayed as having a fish tail, a trait that actually belongs to his son Triton.
  • Sea Monster: A lot of these; virtually all its subtropes are present in the game.
    • The Greeks can summon Carcinos, a huge crab that can fling units with its claws and causes huge damage when it dies.
    • Scylla is a giant long-necked sea reptile which can grow up to five heads if it keeps eating ships.
    • The Kraken and Leviathan are usable by the Norse and the Egyptians, respectively; the former is a giant octopus-like creature that can toss human units and sink ships with its tentacles, while the latter is a durable whale-like unit that can transport troops across water.
    • The Jormund Elver and Sea Snakes, though snake-like creatures, may also count as "Leviathans" due their large size. The former is a Norse venom-spitting offspring of the mythical Jormugandr and the latter can be summoned by an Egyptian player if Anubis is worshipped.
    • The Atlanteans have the Nereid, a trident-wielding sea maiden riding a huge shark that can defeat any other water myth unit in single combat.
    • The Walrus can be hunted for food, but you'll need a lot of villagers to take it down as it's highly aggressive and dangerous.
    • Egyptians can also summon the War Turtle, which can, like the Carcinos, fling ships across the water.
    • The Chinese get the War Salamander, the Azure Dragon and the Turtle Dragon. Of note is that the Dragon Turtle is the only purely aquatic unit for the chinese; the other two are amphibious.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Kronos, and every Titan barring Gaia.
  • Scorpion People: The Scorpion Man myth unit, available to the Egyptians when worshipping Nephthys. They can sting any enemy to inflict poison on them.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When you play as the Egyptians, you might get a pharaoh named Bubbahotep.
    • If you check the text files of the units you'll find out that the Carnivora's file is listed as Audrey.
    • The poem verses Gargarensis utters are from Lepanto of G. K. Chesterton.
  • 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, for instance, is shown as built on a hill, divided into tiers with fountains between them, accurate to the original myth but often overlooked.
  • 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 major goddess in the original version of the game. Subverted with the release of first the Titans and then the Tale of the Dragon expansion packs, both of which add female major gods: Gaia for the Atlanteans, and Nu Wa for the Chinese.
  • Somewhere, an Entomologist Is Crying: Even leaving aside the obvious fact that they are scaled up to giant size, the Egyptian "scarabs" look nothing like real scarabs and are, in fact, nearly identical to stag beetles.
  • 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.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Crossover: Greek Mythology gets the lion's share of story attention.
    • The Greeks are playable in the largest number of campaign missions in the first game (in the expansion's campaign, they are the only ones not to have a mission played as their town, but instead the rather 'extra-Greek' Atlanteans have the overwhelming majority of missions).
    • The Atlantean faction is based off of unused Greek Gods from the first game.
    • Four of the recurring story heroes are Greek / Atlantean while Amanra is the only Egyptian Hero to be playable in more than one level.
    • The main focus of the story is preventing Kronos from escaping Tartarus.
    • The norse heroes (Reginlief, Brokk and Eitri) are not playable outside their campaign (though Brokk and Eitri did get a prequel mini-campaign of their own). Amanra is the only non-greek hero to be playable outside her campaign.
  • Starting Units: All Greek players start the game with one Kataskopos, but no more can be trained. The first Ulfsark you start with as the Norse is also a unique unit, with the only difference being it's immune Zeus's One-Hit Kill Bolt.
  • 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 Branch Favoritism: The Fall of the Trident campaign expects players to worship Athena, Dionysus, and sometimes Hera any time Zeus is the major god of the mission. Their respective God Powers (Bolt, Restoration, Bronze, and Lightning Storm) were given even in certain missions where you don't play as Zeus.
  • 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. 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: until Tale of the Dragon 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.
    • 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 A.I.s into your gigantic trap fortification.
    • On the water it's Arrow Ships > Ramming Ships > Siege Ships > Arrow Ships and buildings. Naval myth units are only countered by the two naval Hero units, the Argo for Poseidon-worshippers, and Nereids for Atlanteans who worship Oceanus.
    • 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.
  • Tactical Superweapon Unit:Age of Mythology introduces the Titan unit in The Titans Expansion Pack. The Titan is a massive mythological monster with enormous health, damage resistance, and damage output against buildings, at the expense of low speed and an expensive, time-consuming Summoning Ritual. When backed up by a proper army, a Titan can level virtually anything in its path. The only foolproof defense against a Titan is water, as Titans can't swim and are too big to fit in transport ships.
  • Taken for Granite: The Medusa and Perseus' special ability allows them to petrify the enemy, instantly killing them and leaving a stone statue instead of normal corpse.
  • 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.
  • Tempting Fate: After Gargarensis leaves the heroes for dead in the Underworld, he assures Kamos that it won't matter if they escape because they have no way of knowing about their operations all the way in Egypt. As they speak, the heroes have just been led across the Underworld by the Shades, and Zeus grants them a passage depositing them right next to their enemy's enemies in Egypt. You'd think Gargarensis would know not to jinx it, considering he's meddling in the matters of gods...
  • 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.
  • 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 Egyptians seem to have walked straight out of every Mummy film and biblical piece ever made. The Greeks, meanwhile, have buildings with the iconic (but inaccurate) pure white columns, while many of their myth units are quite obviously based on the Ray Harryhausen films:
  • 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.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Throwing Axeman, the Norse ranged unit, throws hand axes at their enemy. Unlike other ranged units, Throwing Axeman's attack target hack armor, not pierce armor. And unlike the Throwing Axemen in Age of Empires 2, their axes are reasonably small to throw instead of massive two-headed axes.
  • The Time of Myths: It's in the title of the game, mythological creatures make up many of the units, a mythological civilization is one of the main settings, and the story is driven by the actions of mythological deities.
  • Titanomachy, Round Two: The plot of both original game's and its first expansion's campaigns revolve around someone trying to free Cronus so he can wage war against the Olympians.
  • Tough Beetles: Scarabs are available as myth units for Egyptians who choose to worship Sekhmet in the Heroic Age. Besides being massive and tough, they also serve as living siege engines, doing bonus damage to buildings, and, if killed, they squirt poisonous blood which damages everyone around itself at the moment of its death.
  • Units Not to Scale: Especially when you compare units to Transport Ships and 5-person monsters to 10-person houses.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Near the end of the Greek portion of the campaign, the heroes come across Gargarensis's forces trying break down an enormous door in the underworld. They have no idea what's behind the door or why the cyclops wants it, but reason that they should stop him all the same.
    Arkantos: If our cyclops friends wants it opened, I think we want it to stay closed.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The credits has a blooper of Kamos speaking in his gruff voice before his actor goes to a higher-pitched voice explaining that he's got a bit of a cold and would therefore like the ring to be taken out of his nose.
  • The Voice: In the last scenario of the Fall of the Trident campaign, a voice tells Arkantos to take the blessing to stop Gargarensis from freeing Kronos. Considering that he is heard after building the Wonder, it's obviously Zeus giving Arkantos godly powers to defeat Poseidon's living statue.
  • 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.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Bloopers in the credits has Athena's voice actress react like this to adamantine doors.
    "There are several places where one can enter Tartarus, but Zeus sealed them all wi-what the f*** is he talking about, adamantine doors, I mean who wrote this, is he twelve? No, I've had it.
  • Word Salad Title: The titles of the pieces in the soundtrack are silly at best, but a few are nonsensical and irrelevant at most.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Most likely Averted. While you can go through the trouble of never killing enemy civilians or destroying enemy houses, you will receive no reward for doing so and the villagers and citizens will just rebuild their civilization as soon as they can.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Food, wood, gold and Favor.
  • 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. Although "immortality" may just be interpreted as "doesn't die of old age"; not the same as "invincibility."
  • 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 short-duration Mercenary units (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. They are relatively cheap and fairly resistant to pierce damage, but their biggest asset is the ability to repair each other when out of battle, including raising dead Automatons as long as their body hasn't disappeared yet.
    • The Tartarian Spawns created by the Tartarian Gate God Power are a really deadly version of this; they will spawn a certain number of them and if one is killed, the gate will spawn another. The only way to stop them is to destroy the gate, which can be difficult with the spawn constantly attacking. The only disadvantage is that they are neutral mooks, meaning not only that the player doesn't control them, but that they may actually attack the player's own units; however, the gate itself counts as the summoning player's building, which means they can destroy it instantly anytime they wish.
    • Averted with the tabletop game. There's (usually) a set number of units that each side can bring to a battle.
    • The Chinese, especially under Nu Wa, can crank out heaps of individually weak but swift Scout Cavalry before the other players' economies are off the ground. They can do the same with crossbow units or Terracotta Warriors. Even better, Terracotta Warriors spit out a cloud of damaging dust upon death, as well as refunding a bit of the resources used to build them!


Video Example(s):



The Cyclops is introduced reciting poetry while overlooking his minions as they toil away.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / WickedCultured

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