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Video Game / Empires: Dawn of the Modern World

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Empires: Dawn of the Modern World is a 4X Real-Time Strategy Game developed by Stainless Steel Studios and published by Activision, released in 2003. Unlike Stainless Steel's other production, Empire Earth (discounting the Art of Conquest expansion), it focuses on a much shorter period of time and a much smaller number of nations, a mere nine nations over five time periods compared to the 500,000 years of human history of Empire Earth.

The end result was a game that was simultaneously a distillation and an expansion on what Empire Earth 1 was.

The campaigns are:

  • Coeur de Lion
    • Chapter 1: Heart of the Empire
    • Chapter 2: Two Sides of the Coin
    • Chapter 3: When Lions Gather
    • Chapter 4: The Scourge of Rebellion
    • Chapter 5: Reversal of Fortune
    • Chapter 6: Heart of the Lion
    • Chapter 7: The French King's Gambit
    • Chapter 8: Bargain & Betrayal
  • Dragon from the Sea
    • Chapter 1: Omens
    • Chapter 2: City of Danger
    • Chapter 3: A Dangerous Homecoming
    • Chapter 4: The Coming of the Samurai
    • Chapter 5: The Dragon Strikes Back
    • Chapter 6: Allies and Traitors
    • Chapter 7: Korea Divided
  • Blood and Guts
    • Chapter 1: Lighting the Torch
    • Chapter 2: Hunting the Desert Fox
    • Chapter 3: Operation Husky
    • Chapter 4: The Messina Gauntlet
    • Chapter 5: The Longest Day
    • Chapter 6: Murder in a Time of War
    • Chapter 7: Final Verdict

Tropes shared with Empire Earth

  • Area of Effect: The nuclear weapon. In this case, the V-2 rocket and the B-29's bombs. Additionally, all artillery-style weapons have a splash radius, but none as powerful or as large as a nuke.
  • Army of The Ages: If the player isn't on the ball with updating their units, at any rate. Though this can happen naturally if the player has a significant portion of units that don't get a replacement in a later age, instead dropping from the production cue entirely. A lot of things produced from the Stables come to mind when you go from the Imperial age to World War INote , which also mandates a change of nationality as well.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer
  • Everything Fades
  • Fog of War
  • Hard-Coded Hostility: Even more so than Empire Earth.
  • It's Raining Men: During World War II, the United States has the ability to drop troops and even tanks from aircraft. Their national Wonder, the Lincoln Memorial, allows then to call in a mass paradrop of G Is. For a less directly combat related ability, French aircraft that are shot down have a chance for the pilot (and bombardier, if it's a bomber) to bail out.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Oh dear God, the Korean, French, and German accents in this game is fucking horrible.
  • Religion is Magic: The Frank and Chinese Priest units.
  • Tank Goodness
  • Units Not to Scale
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Stone, Wood, Food, and Gold are all your resources.

Tropes exclusive for this game

  • AKA47: A few instances, mostly due to using generic designations for certain units, but some units are completely wrong - the KV-8 flamethrower tank is actually a T-26, for instance.
  • Artistic License – History
    • Richard's campaign opens in October 1182, where the news is that Prince Phillip of France has ascended the throne after the sudden death of his father. In reality, King Louis VII had been dead for just over two years by that point. It is also implied that Phillip was responsible for his father's death, which has no grounds in recorded history.
    • Employed by King Phillip II, a single French assassin is responsible for the deaths of, in order, Richard's elder brother, father, and younger brother, Prince Henry, King Henry IInote  before being cut down by Richard in an attempt to kill. This unnamed assassin is a complete fabrication. In reality, Prince Henry died of dysentry, Geoffreynote  from either being trampled while jousting or sudden acute chest pain, while King Henry, who outlived Geoffrey by three years, died from a bleeding ulcer.
    • Though the Patton campaign would have you believe that Agent Frank DeMarco and Ranger Captain Tim O'Riley were key figures in World War II, both are infact fictional characters invented for the game. Ironically, all named characters in the Yi campaign are taken from history, though none of them are widely known outside of Korea.
  • The Bad Guy Wins
    • Prince John, Richard's little brother who conspires with Phillip of France against him, ultimately ascends to the English throne after Richard's death. Phillip himself outlived both Richard and John.
    • The epilogue to the Yi campaign acknowledges that the Korea was eventually annexed by the Japanese and, though ultimately liberated, remains divided.
  • Baseless Mission: A few missions in all three campaigns.
  • Bash Brothers: Richard the Lionheart and Geoffrey.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Wild bears appear as a threat (mostly to civilians) on the map.
  • Big Bad: King Phillip of France is this for the Coeur de Lion campaign, to the point that the final objective in the last chapter is to capture him.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bordering on Downer Ending for all three campaigns from the view of the protagonists.
    • Richard defeats Phillip of France, secures England's future and frees his mother from imprisonment, but is left to rule alone following the murder of his elder brother, his father and his younger brother.
    • Admiral Yi succeeds in finally defeating the Japanese invasion of Korea, but is killed in the process. Though it takes over three hundred years, the Japanese eventually succeed in annexing Korea. Ultimately, Korea is freed from Japanese rule but remains divided to this day.
    • Though he sees the defeat of Nazi Germany and confirms that his son in-law survived the battle, General Patton anticipates America's next conflict with Russia and is unable to fulfill his wish to join the fight against the Japanese. Finally, he ends up dying in a car accident before the end of 1945.
  • Bowdlerize: Patton doesn't even use the F-word once in the campaign. But then again, it's a T-rated game.
  • Faction Calculus: Compared to Empire Earth's generic units with minor stat changes, this game instead has four distinct factions in the first three ages and five in the last two. And none of them are Cosmetically Different, either, with various, and sometimes radical, differences between nations.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon/Kill It with Fire: Some ships in the game can fire incendiary rounds. Likewise, the French flamethrower and the Soviet flame tank.
  • Gaiden Game: To the original Empire Earth.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, is only mentioned in the Blood and Guts campaign. Thanks to faulty intel provided by Agent DeMarco, Allied forces end up killing a group of assassins who were planning to kill him.
  • Level Editor: The Campaign/Scenario Editor allows players to create their own campaign missions, with access to all of the game's assets. Unrestricted by eras, one could even make a Time Travel crossover between the Lionheart, Yi and Patton campaigns.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Russian nation can pull this off with the Katyusha rocket launcher, available in World War II.
  • The Mole: Agent Frank DeMarco in the Patton campaign. He's secretly working for both the OSS and the NKVD.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Murder in a Time of War": Allied forces, having been fed faulty intel by Agent DeMarco, accidentally kill a group of men who were intending to assassinate Hitler.
  • No Swastikas: And how! All of the Swastikas are replaced with Iron Crosses. Also subverted because the word "Nazi" is used throughout the Patton campaign.
  • Ranger: Army Rangers are available as stealth units for the Americans in World War II. Tim O'Reilly is essentially a hero version.
  • Schizo Tech: Averted with the progression from one Age to the next, as the only time you aren't offered the option of upgrading your units to a newer version is when that type of unit falls obsolete (for instance, the transition from Stables to Factories from the Imperial to World War I eras).
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Standard units in the Medieval Age follow a basic triangle: Swords beat Bows, Bows beat Spears, Spears beats Swords regardless of whether they are mounted or not. WW I and II have their own triangle: Tanks beat Infantry, AT guns beat Tanks, and Infantry beat AT Guns. Imperial age has a loose: Gun Infantry beat Spears, Spears beat Gun Cavalry, and Gun Cavalry beat Gun Infantry. Gunpowder age gets a bit messy since there are many unit types all competing over each other and certain types of "heavy infantry" interfere with the basic triangle, like English Highlanders and Frankish Berserks being good against "all melee units" and weak to all ranged units or WWII French Rifled Grenadiers being good against tanks and weak to other infantry.
  • The Tunguska Event: The Russian civilization has a late game classified project called Tunguska Meteor that allows them to call down a meteor to devastate enemy units.
  • Video Game Historical Revisionism: During the Patton campaign, Patton chooses to invade Sicily to capture valuable scientists who are assisting Hitler in building a nuclear bomb. His real life, questionable choices in ignoring Montgomery's Sicily strategy apparently had nothing to do with ego at all.
    • Richard's campaign is full of this as well. Scottish Highlanders that can be recruited by the English, for instance.
  • We Have Reserves: Unsurprisingly, deliberately invoked by Russia. You are encouraged to build LOTS of Conscripts, a national ability is the Russian Steamroller which means all Conscripts are produced nearly instantly, and their national wonder, the Kremlin, replaces every third loss you take for no charge.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: One of the unit types specific to Germany is the Zeppelin, which is their bomber during World War I and is retained afterwards in World War II, and it doubles as an infantry transport.