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Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings

aka: AOK, Age of Empires 2, AoE2

Description official descriptions

In Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, the player takes control of one of thirteen civilizations, including the Chinese, Goths, Britons, and Vikings, among others. The player starts with a handful of villagers, through expansion and careful handling of the economy, the player can advance up to the point where powerful war machines and well trained masses of troops will be the player's to make and control.

There are three distinct ways to play, one of which the object is to hunt and kill the other player(s) king, however there are a lot of options for each, anywhere from what type of map to start on (including coastal, gold rush, arabia, and rivers) to what the maximum amount of units are allowed.

The player can also play online at the Zone vs. up to seven other players, or via a TCP/IP connection.


  • 世紀帝國 II:帝王世紀 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 帝国时代II:帝王时代 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

488 People (171 developers, 317 thanks) · View all

Lead Programming
Lead Art
[ full credits ]



Subject User Date
Partial credits? Mtik333 (17575) 2022-01-06 20:29:10


1001 Video Games

The PC version of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cut Content

Age of Kings, during its development, was subject to many changes. Some things that were cut out of the final game are...

  • A fifth resource: ore. Was removed because it made the game too complex.

  • Outlaw units. These were intended to function like wolves, guys that belong to no player and attack you if you get near. Were removed because they were too annoying.

  • Sea walls. These were supposed to be built by ships and could withstand a good amount of damage. I'm not sure why they weren't included.

  • Dolphins: you were supposed to be able to fish these like any other sort of fish. Microsoft forced Ensemble to remove them!

The interesting thing is, all of those things and more are still hidden in the game, buried inside the .dat file. If you reverse-engineer the game, you are able to access them, and add them to custom scenarios. Templates have been released that contain all of them.

Dry Dock Technology

Dry dock technology decreases the amount of gold a trade cog brings back home. The reduction can be at least 33% in some cases.

It seems to be balanced with the ship speed increase so that the productivity of trade cogs remains about the same as before dry dock research. In some cases I had slightly better gold income (gold/second) before the research of dry docks than after. I did not make a thorough testing with many different distances, but what I did was test it in a deathmatch game too, to be sure it does happen in real games.

Source - From a post by SimMayor [email protected] on the AoE2.com forum



The EULA of this game includes a clause which prohibits the use of Age of Empires II in a nuclear plant.


The MSN Gaming Zone is notoriously easy to hack, and cheaters are rife in Age of Kings games. A programmer named Tormentium released an unofficial patch for AoK (1.0E), which is supposed to make the game harder to hack. Too bad it doesn't work.


Before release, multiple pre-release versions were released on internet Warez sites. According to Matt Pritchard, they usually were only one or two weeks older than the latest in-house versions. It seems they came from various sources, including press previews, Microsoft test versions and even from Ensemble employees. They were also multiple attempts of hacking Ensemble's server and network.

On a lighter note, the German magazine GameStar bribed one of the official webmasters with "German beer" for some exclusive screenshots.


This occurs during the Saladin Single Player campaign, during the mission in which you secure Jerusalem. If you strike down the Knights Templar leader (a hero unit), he declares, "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine!" This is obviously a reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi dueling Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope.


Between 1999 and 2000, Age of Empires II (PC) won a single Gold- and three Platinum-Awards from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 units (Gold) and more then three times 200,000 units (Platinum) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. As the Gold-Award is not counted into the Platinum-Award, all four awards total in between 700,000 and 1,700,000 units sold.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 2000 (Issue #188) – Best Weapon of the Year (for the Trebuchet)
    • March 2000 (Issue #188) – Best Interface Design of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #16 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • 1999 - Best Game (Editors' Vote)
    • 1999 - Best Game (Readers' Vote)
  • PC Gamer
    • 1999 - Real-Time Strategy Game of the Year
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2000 - Best Real-Time Strategy Game in 1999
  • Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (Entertainment Software Association Germany)
    • 1999/2000 - Gold Award for selling more then 100,000 units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
    • 1999/2000 - Three Platinum Awards for selling more then 200,000 units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Every award is counted individually

Information also contributed by Heikki Sairanen, Ingold, jeremy strope, Maw and Xoleras

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Related Sites +

  • Age of Kings A t r i u m   Your only source for Age of Kings
    A fan site with all the game info. Info on all the different tribes. Great forum & a page with a lot of links to other fan sites .a must site of visited.
  • Age of Empires II: Age of Kings
    Game page on publisher's website (English)
  • Age of Kings Heaven -
    A fan site with all the game info. Info on all the different tribes. a must site of visited.
  • AoK Battlefield
    The webmasters show a lot of dedication of their site, they even took a visit to the ES office. Updated regularly and has contests for war stories and other things. Nice looking ubb forums in which to post.
  • Berserker Clan
    A group of keen AoK gamers that compete regularly online. The site has a large number of recorded games, and active forum, and some other game-related downloads.
  • IGCD Internet Game Cars Database
    Game page on IGCD, a database that tries to archive vehicles found in video games.
  • King Arthur's Castle - Camelot
    Updated regularly and a nice stylish design. The team of webmasters seem to be very dedicated and it has shown so far.
  • MrFixitOnline.com
    Probably the best site to improve your game skills. Many tactics, a strategy forum, recorded games and much more.
  • Planet Age Of Empires
    A very good website with tons of info and files, including recorded games, maps, scenarios, and AI editing tools. Also has a large forum.
  • Wikipedia - Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
    article about the game in the open encyclopedia

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 368


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Rynok.

PlayStation 2 added by Xoleras. Macintosh added by Jeanne.

Additional contributors: MajorDad, P Boughton, Robert Teichmann, Dr. Elementary, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Dapy, Maw, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, FatherJack, Flapco.

Game added November 2nd, 1999. Last modified March 15th, 2023.