Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Imperivm

Go To

Imperivm is a series of historical (and vaguely Historical Fantasy) Real-Time Strategy games by Bulgarian developer Haemimont Games and distributed by Spanish company FX Interactive.

The franchise consists of the following games/series:

  • Imperivm: The Wars of Gaul, released in English-speaking countries as Celtic Kings: Rage of War – 2002
  • Imperivm: The Conquest of Hispania, released as Nemesis of the Roman Empire – 2004
  • Imperivm: Great Battles of Rome, the first released under its original title – 2004
  • Imperivm Civitas, released as Glory of the Roman Empire – 2006
  • Imperivm Civitas II, released as Imperium Romanum – 2008
  • Imperivm Civitas III, released as Grand Ages: Rome – 2009
  • Imperivm Online – 2009

The franchise took a major Genre Shift with Civitas in 2006, becoming a Rome-centered Construction and Management Games instead of their previous and more known focus on warring. However, a sequel based again on strategy and potentially named Imperivm: Julius Caesar is allegedly in Development Hell.

Mainly distributed in Europe, the series was insanely popular in Spain and Italy and was acclaimed for its historic contents and educative value.

General tropes

  • Action Girl: Gaul has warrior women and German female guerrilla fighters. Also the female Gaul chieftain from the first game and Boudicca from the third.
  • Artistic License – History: Now with its own article.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: War elephants. They look impressive, but also consume a ridiculous amount of resources and deal little damage in comparison, and are relatively easy to overwhelm with a reduced number of heavy warriors.
  • The Beastmaster: Druids and priestess can control eagles and wolves.
  • Historical Fantasy: The first games follow closely the historical events, but at the same time there are very real magic and gods in their universe. Later games are less fantastical, with only the occasional Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Iberian horse riders have the ability to increase wildly their attack after passing a time without engaging battle, which makes hit and run repeatedly an excellent tactic for them. This is Truth in Television, as this technique was favored by Iberians and used to disrupt the enemy's discipline.
  • Horny Vikings: Normand chiefs wear horned helms, although a lot of Gaul, German and Iberian characters wear them as well.
  • The Juggernaut: Norman chiefs.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me
  • Shock and Awe: Roman priests’s skill is making lighting fall over a nearby enemy.
  • Scary Black Man: Exploited in-universe. Mauritanian fighters have the ability to intimidate their opponents and deal extra damage. Moreover, what would you call huge, bald, enormpusly muscled black dudes who wield two swords and speak as a Soft-Spoken Sadist?
  • Vocal Dissonance: Germanic priestesses seem to be relatively young women in their character box, but their voices (at least in the Spanish dub) are horribly old and wizened.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Gaul footsoldiers fight bare-chested, just like real life Celts used to do.
  • We Have Reserves: Invoked and exploited. Carthage's army is basically designed to send waves of men to die to the front: it is mostly formed by mercenaries, so your city population remains untouched even in the worst of the military massacres, and some of their unit types are very clearly meant to be disposable and/or to be used as mindless berserks (one of them, the Numidian footsoldier, has the explicit skill to damage their opponents upon dying). It is also defied in the third game, where several missions reward you for completing them with as few of your squads as possible or for keeping your existing squads alive.

First game

  • Aerith and Bob: Rod, Dumnorix's second-in-command. Next to guys like Ravgalod and Lekevyt, he has a rather mundane name.
  • The Beastmaster: The Summoner.
  • Big Bad: The Teuton Milred, who's later replaced by Julius Caesar himself.
  • Bittersweet Ending: At the end of the game, Larax has freed Gaul from the Teutonic raiders and Vercingetorix has defeated Caesar in Gergovia, but Kathobodua claims she will have her desired destruction of the Gauls nonetheless (and, for what we know about how their next battle in Alesia turned out, she's right).
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Teutonic riders seem delighted at killing Larax’s wife.
  • The Chosen One: Larax is called it by several characters.
  • Church Militant: The druids are said to kill those who enter their sanctuaries, and for what we see through Larax’s eyes, it's true. However, this later proves to be helpful, as they ally with Larax and summon vampire spirits to clear the druid cemetery.
  • Damsel in Distress: Adatel, the leader of the warrior women, starts this way (as well as Badass in Distress, that is) when she gets magically captured in a sacred terrain and it takes Larax to rescue her. He even scolds her and her second-in-command Silvera for disturbing such forces.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Larax has some gold moments.
    Druid 1: Intruder! You have violated the sacred druid sanctuary!
    Druid 2: You deserve death!
    Larax: Have a nice day you too.
  • Deal with the Devil: Or, in this case, with a war goddess.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Ogox allies with Larax after the latter bests him in the lands of Kebatha.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Larax is initially cold and aloof, and much more interested in avenging his wife than saving the remnant villagers from the Teutonic riders, but he mellows after travelling with Maios and Daranix and becomes more of a conventional hero. Ironically, he ends becoming a Knight Templar as a consequence of this.
  • Deus ex Machina: Almost literally. Thoric comes to reinforce Larax’s forces by Kathobodua’s orders.
    You must never forget the gods, Larax. Never.
  • Discard and Draw: At the end of the game, Larax discard his magical stone in order to undo his deal with Kathobodua and escape her cave.
  • The Dreaded: Milred, the Teutonic leader that attacked Bibracte (as well as Kormaris, where he killed Larax’s wife), has its chief Kushmer and his warriors scared as hell.
  • Freudian Trio: Out of the three heroes chosen by Kathobodua, Larax is The McCoy, being the most violent and rambunctious; Thoric is The Spock, as he's stoic and taciturn, as well as the most devout to the goddess; and Lleldoryn is The Kirk, balancing them both.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Crossed by Larax after he summons Kathobodua, the goddess of war, in order to offer her his life in exchange for power to avenge the death of his wife. The first ally he stumbles upon after their pact, the wise druid Maios, literally freaks out after learning of it, knowing nothing good can come from it.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Larax and Dahram, the druid of Decatia, form unintentionally this when they interrogate a captured enemy after the battle of Silonion. The former claims Kathobodua is whispering very nasty things to his ear to do with him, while Dahram wants to have a more civilized talk.
  • Heroic Build: Larax, the protagonist, features a character design with ridiculously ripped arms.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Both Larax and Lleldoryn trust pretty fast on the Romans to help them defeat the Teutonic raiders. They apparently forgot that they previously discovered Roman priests helping the Teutons.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Thoric and Lleldoryn choose to stay in Kathobodua's cave while Larax goes to help Vercingetorix in the final battle.
  • Ironic Name: A Roman priest has the name of Vigorius, which turns unintentionally funny once you hear his voice actor speaking like a terminal throat cancer patient.
  • Lady Land: Leprian, the hidden island of women warriors.
  • The Load: Lleldoryn has zero abilities until he gets his druid powers from Degedyc.
  • Magical Incantation: In order to free Adatel from the spell that has her trapped, Larax has to get near a sitting god statue and say the rather kitschy magical words "Baharum, Baharym, Bahazum, Bahadum!"
  • One-Man Army: After gaining the magic stone, Larax is so powerful that he single-handedly wipes out the Teutonic rider squad which had turned the nearby village, Kormaris, into a pile of ash and corpses.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted: both the Gaul chief and the main druid of Kebatha are named Dumnorix.
  • Power Crystal: After making his pact with Kathobodua, Larax is granted a magic stone that gives him Super-Strength in times of need. (Times of need, of course, being when the game allows it.)
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dumnorix notes to Larax that they are struggling to defend Kebatha and tries to get his help instead of having him chasing pointlessly the Teutonic invaders.
  • Religious Bruiser: Thoric, who claims to walk only following the way marked by Kathobodua.
  • Retired Badass: Borii.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Larax for his wife and Gorix for his father.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Cathubodua was a Gaul goddess in real life just like portrayed in the first game (where she is given the less Romanized name of Kathobodua). The oddity comes in the third game, where a Britannian druid worships it. Then again, considering how little we actually know about Celtic gods and Cathubodua in particular, it is not impossible that she was worshipped in certain places of Britannia as well.
  • Saved by Canon: Obviously, Julius Caesar didn’t die poisoned by a traitor in Gaul.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Maios is killed mere minutes after being rescued by Larax and Daranix.
  • The Spymaster: Verhilla seems to be this, as she is in charge of recruiting rebel warriors from the nearby villagers.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The first two druids Larax finds in his way to the Kebatha sanctuary disappear suddenly (not without apologizing politely) to escape some bandits which Larax is left to fight. This is later exploited by Larax, who discovers they are using secret passes and decides to follow two more druids to find the place.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Justified. The druid Maios seems not overtly excited when Larax saves his life from Teutonic riders, as he notices Larax has made a pact with the goddess Kathobodua and knows well that it can cause a disaster.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Lleldoryn' and Thoric's fate after staying in Kathobodua's cave at the end of the game is left unknown, although it was probably not nice.
  • You Are What You Hate: Invoked by Vercingetorix, who tells Larax that, by becoming Caesar’s general and following his orders to subjugate Gaul villages, he has become just like Milred.

Imperivm II

  • Title Drop: Hamilcar Barca drops the game's subtitle in his first deployment in Gades.
    Hamilcar: We are finally here. Get yourselves ready for the conquest of Hispania!


  • A Father to His Men: Caesar is portrayed as this in Imperivm Civitas III, and one mission involves settling the Rhine with veterans of his army.
  • Easily Forgiven: In Imperivm Civitas III, if you side with Pompey in the civil war, Caesar will not only forgive you but apologize for forcing you to choose a side. Justified because in real life he did pardon a lot of his defeated enemies.
  • The Ghost: In Imperivm Civitas III, Sulla, Mithridates the Great, and Spartacus are all villains in the story. You only receive one letter from the third one, you never meet the first two directly, and the first one is dead before the game begins.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In Imperivm Civitas III, the event popup that tells you that an earthquake destroyed a building attributes this to the anger of the Gods.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Cicero's missions involve protecting the republic from corruption and dependency on Egyptian grain.
    • Lucius Lincinius wages war against Mithradates after the former tried invading Roman Asia Minor.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: While you're in Gaeta helping Crassus exploit the third servile war for his gain, Spartacus sends you a letter threatening to burn every house in Gaeta if you try to stop him. This is a rare depiction of the famous rebel as being willing to kill civilians, which is historically accurate too.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Several missions in Imperivm Civitas III features ancient Greek and Phonecian ruins, and even Gallic megaliths, with no explanation for any of these.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: In Imperivm Civitas III, the slave camps show men and women wailing and crying in cages. If you have them then occasionally you'll be able to see burly men leading rows of despondent slaves to and from the building. Caesar also complains about slave labor being so prolific because it leaves little work for free Romans. However from your perspective slavery is just an easy way to harvest resources and to entertain the masses with Blood Sport.
  • Stealing the Credit: Pompey Magnus does this to Lucius Licinius and to Crassus after the latter two defeat enemies of Rome with your help.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: The classic campaign for Imperivm Civitas III begins by stating that your family lost its influence and fortune after attempting to defy the dictator Sulla, and that his death finally allows you to come out of exile.
  • Undying Loyalty: Platonius to Caesar.