Age of Empires II: The Conquerors
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|Age of Empires II: The Conquerors|
|Series||Age of Empires|
|Release date(s)||August 24, 2000|
Age of Empires II: The Conquerors is the first expansion pack to the 1999 real-time strategy game Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. The Conquerors is the fourth installment in the Age of Empires series by Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios. It features five new civilizations (the Aztecs, Mayans, Spanish, Koreans, and Huns), four new campaigns, eleven new units, twenty-six new technologies, new gameplay modes, new maps and different minor tweaks to the gameplay. A second expansion, The Forgotten, was released exclusively on Steam in November 2013, over a decade since the release of The Conquerors. In November 2015, another expansion was released, also exclusive to Steam, entitled The African Kingdoms.
The Conquerors also introduced various new gameplay features and tweaks, including the new game modes Defend the Wonder, King of the Hill and Wonder Race. Additional maps, some based on real life geographic locations, and new winter and tropical terrain textures were included. In-game, infantry are able to garrison in battering rams, protecting the infantry while increasing the ram's speed and attack, while ships are able to form formations for more effective fighting. The graphics are left unchanged, but new civilizations have been added such as the Spanish, Huns, Koreans, Mayans and Aztecs. In addition to new units, the in-game upgrade lines have been extended to provide more unit choices.
Micromanagement is made easier, by an improved scripted Artificial Intelligence of villagers and siege weapons. Villagers will now automatically commence gathering resources if they build resource gathering sites. Wall construction has also been improved: when assigning two or more villagers, they evenly spread out instead of working on the same patch, and when multiple farmers are sent on one farm, the surplus will start cultivating adjacent farms instead of idling. Mangonels and onagers will not automatically fire if their attack is likely to harm friendly units. Additionally, a button was added to the mill, which would allow farms to be paid for in advance, so that when an existing one was exhausted, it would automatically be replanted. Chat commands are introduced, in order to communicate more effectively with allied computer players.
The Conquerors adds four additional single player campaigns. These are based on Attila the Hun's rise to power, Montezuma's defense against Hernán Cortés, and the adventures of El Cid. The fourth campaign, "Battles of the Conquerors", is actually a group of unrelated single scenarios, each based on a significant historical battle. These include the Battle of Tours, the saga of Erik the Red, the Battle of Hastings, the Battle of Manzikert, the Battle of Agincourt, the Battle of Lepanto, the Battle of Yamazaki, and the Battle of Noryang.
As of June 2006, the MSN Gaming Zone CD-ROM section was shut down for Age of Empires players, as well as many other CD-ROM games. In the online realm, there exist not only built-in random maps, but also user-generated scenarios.
The Aztecs and Mayans lack the ability to train cavalry units. This is partially balanced by the fact that they start with Eagle Warrior infantry units, who have many of the advantages that cavalry have. Both civilizations also lack access to gunpowder units. The Huns are also unique in that they do not build houses to support their population, from the start being only limited by the fixed population limit of the game.
The game disc itself is a mixed mode CD (contains both Data & Audio tracks). Track 1 appears as the data track, and track 2 is the soundtrack as a Red Book audio track. According to Gracenote, it is called "Subotai Defeats The Knights Templar". As in the PC version, the file is very long and uses small transitions to separate tracks. It lasts 30 minutes and 48 seconds. The Age of Empires Collector Edition Soundtrack CD's tracklist gives a lot of the individual tracks own names. The tracks were composed by Stephen Rippy and Kevin McMullan.
These are the tracks that appear on the audio part of the game CD, in order of playback. The tracks are not separated, but instead are one long track with floating transitions. Some of the tracks are featured on the "More Music From The Ages" CD, though these are usually only available as prizes from Ensemble Studios.
- Music4Games (1/2/2006): Interview with Age of Empires III lead composer Stephen Rippy. Retrieved on 4/21/2007.
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