Age of Empires II: The Forgotten (informally abbreviated to AoF) is the second official expansion pack for Age of Empires II. It features five new civilizations, (the Incas, Indians, Italians, Magyars, and Slavs), new units and technologies, new maps, enhanced AI, a higher population limit, greater on-screen rendering, bug fixes and several tweaks to old units, technologies, and bonuses for improved gameplay balance.
Originating as a fan-made modification (before they became Forgotten Empires Studios) entitled Age of Empires II: The Forgotten Empires, the expansion was developed with SkyBox Labs and released in 2013 exclusively on Steam. It requires the Age of Empires II HD Edition for installation.
The Forgotten includes seven new campaigns. Those are:
- Alaric (Goths): The trauma of the Hun invasion in the 4th century has shaped Alaric, the fearsome warrior king of the Goths. But can the beloved king secure a new homeland for his people in the territory of the collapsing Roman Empire?
- Sforza (Italians): Always hungry for glory and wealth, Sforza wanders around 15th century Italy, offering his services to the highest bidder. Will he pick the right battles or make the wrong enemy? Take the fate of the young mercenary captain in your hands.
- Bari (Byzantines): 400 years after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Italy is still up for grabs. Relive the tale of the port city Bari from the point of view of a Byzantine family, rising from the common soldiery to the nobility. Beware, for not only Bari is at stake, but also control of Southern Italy.
- Dracula (Magyars, Slavs, Turks): History forged an incredible legend around the man who ruled Wallachia in the mid-15th century. Holding his ground against the vast armies of the expanding Ottoman Empire, his cruel tactics made him the most feared man in all of Eastern Europe. Shall his thirst for blood and the loyalty of his soldiers hold the Turks back for good?
- El Dorado (Incas, Spanish): Join Francisco Orellana and Gonzalo Pizarro on their quest to find El Dorado, the legendary Lost City of Gold, thought to be hidden somewhere in the vast Amazon rainforest. Will their quest along the Amazon River lead to lifelong prosperity?
This campaign was added in the patch released in March 4, 2014, featuring the Spanish conquistadors in their search for El Dorado in South America.
- Prithviraj (Indians): As the 12th century comes to a close, India is divided between the ruling Rajput clans. One of them, the Chauhans, have just been blessed with a new king. His name is Prithviraj and his determination to unite the rival states is unprecedented.
But what happens when he falls in love with the daughter of his enemy? And does he have the strength to stop a full-scale Muslim invasion from the west?
It was added in the 3.5 patch, featuring the Indians in medieval times. Prithiviraj is the king of one Rajput clan and your mission is to unify the Rajputs.
- Battles of the Forgotten (various): Time has faded the names of many of the greatest leaders ever known. During their age they were famed for their fierceness on the battlefield, their just rule and their quest for power. Witness the path to glory of Richard the Lionheart, Minamoto no Yoritomo, Sultan Osman Ghazi, Khosrau and many more.
Added in patch 3.6.
Like The Conquerors, this expansion features five additional playable civilizations:
- Magyars: The people who created the nation of Hungary, the Magyars, were initially nomads from the Eastern steppes. A cavalry civilization, their unique unit is the Magyar Huszar.
- Indians: Many Indian kingdoms were active in the medieval period. In AoFE, they are a camel and gunpowder civilization, and their unique units are the Elephant Archer and Imperial Camel.
- Incas: The first civilization from South America and the most expanded in the Middle Age, the Incas established a vast empire and conquered many other tribes before eventually succumbing to the Spanish. They are an infantry civilization and have two unique units; the Kamayuk and the Slinger.
- Italians: The various cities of Italy were the sites of much technological, artistic, and military achievement during the Middle Ages. They are an archer and naval civilization, with the Genoese Crossbowman as their unique unit. They and their allies can also train Condottieri at their Barracks.
- Slavs: They represent Eastern Slavic nations like Novgorod or Kievan Rus. The Slavs are an infantry/siege civilization and their unique unit is the Boyar.
- Boyar Castle unique unit of the Slavs, heavy cavalry unit with high attack.
- Condottiero Second unique unit of the Italians, quick anti-gunpowder infantry unit, it can be trained at the Barracks upon reaching the Imperial Age.
- Elephant Archer Castle unique unit of the Indians, heavy cavalry archer with low speed but very high hit points.
- Eagle Scout Native American infantry unit, it can be trained at the Barracks once the Feudal Age is reached.
- Genoese Crossbowman Castle unique unit of the Italians, foot archer with an attack bonus against cavalry.
- Imperial Camel Rider Second unique unit of the Indians, an anti-cavalry unit.
- Kamayuk Castle unique unit of the Incas, an anti-cavalry infantry unit that carries a very long spear.
- Magyar Huszar Castle unique unit of the Magyars, a light and quick cavalry unit with an attack bonus against siege weapons.
- Slinger Second unique unit of the Incas, an anti-infantry ranged unit.
Scenario Editor units
- Heavy Swordsman
- Eastern Swordsman
- Heavy Pikeman
- Nordic Swordsman
- Royal Janissary
- Siege Tower
- Dragon Ship
- Tiger (Removed due to copyright issues)
- Dragon (Removed due to copyright issues)
- In The Forgotten, every civilization (except the Goths, as they have access to their two unique technologies in The Conquerors) has two unique technologies: one in the Castle Age, and one in the Imperial Age. Both must be researched at the Castle.
- Eagle Warrior (300 food, 200 gold): Upgrades Eagle Scouts to Eagle Warriors (+1 pierce armor, +3 second training time, +5 HP) (Castle Age)
- Gillnets (200 food, 300 wood): +25% gather rate for Fishing Ships (Castle Age)
- Andean Sling: Skirmisher-line & Slingers no minimum range (Incas, Castle Age)
- Atlatl: Skirmisher-line +1 Attack, +1 Range (Aztecs, Castle Age)
- Boiling Oil: Main Castle projectile deals +9 extra damage vs. rams (Persians, Castle Age)
- Chieftains: Berserks get +4 attack bonus vs. Cavalry (Vikings, Castle Age)
- Chivalry: Stables work 40% faster (Franks, Castle Age)
- Couriers: Kamayuks, Slingers & Eagle Warrior line move +10% faster (Incas, Imperial Age)
- Druzhina: Infantry damage adjacent units (5 damage in 0.5 tiles per attack) (Slavs, Imperial Age)
- Great Wall: Walls and towers +30% HP (Chinese, Castle Age)
- Greek Fire: Fire Ship line +1 Range (Byzantines, Castle Age)
- Inquisition: Monks convert faster (Spanish, Castle Age)
- Ironclad: Siege weapons get +4 extra melee armor (Teutons, Castle Age)
- Madrasah: Killed owned Monks return 33% of their cost (Saracens, Castle Age)
- Marauders: Create Tarkans at Stables (Huns, Castle Age)
- Mercenaries: Magyar Huszars cost no gold (Magyars, Castle Age)
- Nomads: Destroyed Houses don't lose their population room (Mongols, Castle Age)
- Orthodoxy: Monks +3/+3 armor (Slavs, Castle Age)
- Panokseon: Turtle Ships move 15% faster (Koreans, Castle Age)
- Pavise: Genoese Crossbowman +1/+1 armor (Italians, Castle Age)
- Recurve Bow: Cavalry archers +1 range (Magyars, Imperial Age)
- Shatagni: Hand Cannoneers +1 range (Indians, Imperial Age)
- Silk Road: Trade units cost -50% (Italians, Imperial Age)
- Sipahi: Cavalry archers +20 HP (Turks, Castle Age)
- Stronghold: Castles & towers fire 25% faster (Celts, Castle Age)
- Sultans: All gold production +10% faster (Indians, Castle Age)
- Obsidian Arrows: Archer-line has +3 attack vs. buildings (Mayans, Castle Age)
- Warwolf: Trebuchets do blast damage, 100% accuracy (Britons, Imperial Age)
- Yasama: Towers shoot extra arrows (Japanese, Castle Age)
New random maps
- Cenotes: Open rushing map (Arabia style) with a standard set of resources. Small lakes are scattered around all over the map and provide little fish.
- City of Lakes: Semi-closed water map. Galley rushing can prove fatal on the wrong lake, and fishing on the right one can mean a great boost for your economy. Rather easy to wall, but transports are possible from all sides.
- Hideout: Players start in their little hideout camp in the forest. You'll have to break free to conquer your foes.
- Budapest: A spiced up version of your everyday map, starting with two Town Centers.
- Steppe: Nomadic map; players start out with a few yurts and 3 extra villagers. There is an abundance of hunt wanders on the plains in the center of the map.
- Valley: Semi-open map. A dried up river runs through the middle, with herds of deer trying to drink from the last puddles that run along the sandy shore. If you want to hunt, you'll have to go there. But you won't be alone…
- Hill Fort: Fortress type map; players start on a hill together with their teammates. Can you take over your opponents hill, or will they make it impenetrable?
- Lombardia: Open map; players start clumped together with their teammates. Good coordination between teammates seems more vital than ever to rule these Northern Italian lands. Divide et Impera!
- Acropolis: Extremely open map; players start on a hill that is impossible to wall. They must come off their hill to gather resources in the carnage below. They say of the Acropolis where the Parthenon is…
- Golden Pit: Variation of Gold Rush. A pit in the center of the map contains large mining reserves. However, protecting the pit means you have to fight uphill. Hill advantage or gold to spend, the choice is yours to make (Incredible map for FFA – Free For All games).
- MegaRandom: It can be anything!
- Two new game modes: "Capture the Relic" and "Treaty".
- New size of map "LudiKRIS".
- Population limit of 500 (The Forgotten Empires mod had up to 1000).
- Improved AI, the player can choose between Promiskuitiv's enhanced AI (new default 'Computer') or manually select the old 'Conquerors AI' (Petersen AI).
The introduction of The Forgotten came with a host of changes to the game, with the game version being incremented from 2.8 to 3.0. Some of the changes included in this new game version affect only those in possession of the expansion (content additions and balance changes) while others (bugfixes and UI improvements) affect all players equally; the former are included in the official patch notes of version 3.0 linked in the infobox.
Content additions (shown above)
- Houses cost -5 wood (25 wood).
- Palisade Walls take +1 second to build (5 → 6 seconds).
- Stone Walls/Fortified Walls take +2/+3 seconds to build (8 → 10/11 seconds).
- Stone Walls -50% HP (1800 → 900 HP) in the Feudal Age.
- Building HP reduced in the Dark and Feudal Age.
- Onagers can kill trees.
- Trebuchets can attack trees much more effectively.
- Villagers can be garrisoned inside rams.
- Castles +1 LOS (range bug).
- Guard Towers and Keeps get +1 attack.
- Transport Ships available in the Dark Age.
- Palisade Gates are now available for 20 wood since Dark Age.
- Fish Trap construction time decreased by 13 second (53 → 40 sec, Farm seeding time is unmodified at 15 seconds).
- Cartography is researched free-of-charge in 1 second upon building the Market.
- Town Patrol costs -100 gold (300 food, 100 gold).
- Outposts cost -5 stone (10 → 5 stone).
- Fire Ships and Fast Fire Ships have +20 HP.
- Demolition Ships and Heavy Demolition Ships have +10 HP.
- Trade Cogs generate +10% gold.
- Cavalry Archer unit line costs -5 gold.
- Capped Ram garrison 5 units increased from 4.
- Long Swordsmen +5 HP.
- Long Swordsmen, Two-Handed Swordsmen, and Champions have +2 attack vs. Eagle Warrior line.
- Petards cost -15 food (65 food, 20 gold).
- Spearmen/Pikemen/Halberdiers +1 attack against camels and ships.
- Heavy Camel upgrade -20 secs research time.
- Tracking cost reduced to 50 food.
- Squires cost reduced to 100 food.
- Two-Handed Swordsmen have 12 attack (instead of 11).
- Men-at-Arms, Long Swordsmen, Two-Handed Swordsmen and Champions get +1 attack against buildings.
- Eagle Warriors have +5 hit points.
- Elite Eagle Warrior research time increased by 10 second (40 → 50 seconds).
- Camels have +1 melee attack (5 → 6), but -1 attack bonus against cavalry (+10 → +9).
- Fervor fixed (applied only to Monks carrying Relics in The Conquerors).
- Monks carrying Relics suffer from anti-monk damage.
- Murder Holes cost -100 stone.
- Chemistry affects Castles and Town Centers.
- Free Loom removed.
- Start with +50 gold.
- Jaguar Warriors +1 pierce armor.
- Elite Jaguar Warriors +1 attack vs. infantry.
- Castle Age unique tech: Atlatl (Skirmisher-line +1 Attack, +1 Range).
- Able to create Cannon Galleons.
- Longbowman creation time reduced to 18 seconds (19 → 18 seconds).
- Receive Heavy Scorpions.
- Imperial Age unique tech: Warwolf (Trebuchets do blast damage, 100% accuracy), Yeomen moved to Castle Age.
- Castle Age Tech: Greek Fire (Fire Ship line +1 Range).
- Furor Celtica gives siege units +40% HP instead of +50% HP in The Conquerors expansion.
- Castle Age unique tech: Stronghold (Castles & towers fire 25% faster).
- Town Center LOS +5 (moved from Teutons).
- Chu Ko Nu (non-elite) creation time reduced to 16 seconds (19 → 16 seconds).
- Castle Age Tech: Great Wall (walls and towers +30% HP).
- Foragers work +25% faster.
- Able to research Squires.
- Throwing Axeman (non-elite) attack delay -0.2 second (from 1.2 to 1 sec, elite stays at 0.8 seconds).
- Elite Throwing Axeman research cost -100 gold.
- Castle Age unique tech: Chivalry (Stables work 40% faster).
- Tech tree corrected to show that infantry are 35% cheaper instead of 25%.
- Treadmill Crane removed.
- Perfusion description corrected to show +100% working speed to Barracks instead of +50%.
- Cannon Galleons removed.
- Huns Cavalry Archers cost reduction reduced to -15%/-25% (Castle/Imperial ages) from -25%/-30% in The Conquerors (i.e., 40w, 65g → 34w, 49g in Castle Age)
- Treadmill Crane removed.
- Tarkan (non-elite) +10 HP.
- Tarkan (non-elite) gets +1 melee attack.
- Castle Age Tech: Marauders (create Tarkans at Stables).
- Able to research Bloodlines.
- Able to research Gold Shaft Mining.
- Castle Age Tech: Yasama (towers shoot extra arrows).
- Turtle Ship cost -10% (180w, 180g).
- War Wagon creation time decreased from 25 to 21 seconds.
- War Wagon cost -10 wood, (120w, 60g -> 110w, 60g).
- Fortifications (walls, towers, Castles) and Outposts are build 33% faster.
- Team Bonus changed: Mangonel, Onagers and Siege Onagers minimum range reduced to 1 tile.
- Castle Age Tech: Panokseon (Turtle Ships move 15% faster).
- Base cost for Plumed Archers increased from 46w, 46g to 50w, 50g.
- Elite Plumed Archer upgrade costs 700 food, 1000 wood instead of 500 food, 1000 wood.
- Castle Age Tech: Obsidian Arrows (Archer-line has +3 attack vs. buildings, +3 vs. stone defenses).
- Elite Cannon Galleons removed.
- Mangudai anti-Siege bonus limited to Rams.
- Mangudai (non-elite) fire delay -50% (1.0 → 0.5 seconds).
- Castle Age Tech: Nomads (destroyed Houses don't lose their population room).
- Market costs -75 wood.
- Non-elite Mamelukes get +1 melee attack.
- Castle Age Tech: Madrasah (killed own Monks return 33% of their cost).
- Missionaries affected by Bloodlines.
- Castle Age Tech: Inquisition (Monks minimum/maximum conversion time -1.25 second vs. units, -6.25 second vs. buildings).
- Town Center LOS restored to normal (moved to Chinese).
- Town Center garrison +10 units, maximum arrows +5.
- Town Center +2 attack removed.
- Teutonic Knight (non-elite) +10 HP.
- Monk healing range bonus fixed (did not work automatically in The Conquerors).
- Castle Age Tech: Ironclad (Siege weapons get +4 melee armor).
- Elite Janissaries are now affected by the Turkish team bonus (faster gunpowder unit creation time).
- Castle Age Tech: Sipahi (Cavalry Archers +20 HP).
- Team Bonus: Docks are only -15% cheaper (reduced from -25%; Docks cost 128 wood instead of 113 wood).
- Viking ship cost now staggered per age: 10% cheaper in Feudal (81w, 27g), 15% in Castle (76w, 25g), 20% in Imperial (72w, 24g).
- Able to research Treadmill Crane.
- Longboats wood cost same as Galley line.
- Berserkergang cost 850 food, 400 gold (from 500 food, 850 gold).
- Regular/Elite Berserks base HP increased to 54/62 (48/60 → 54/62 HP). Training time of Berserk line reduced to 14 second (from 16 seconds).
- Castle Age Tech: Chieftains (Berserks get +4 attack bonus vs. cavalry)
- Deer variance removed, each player has 4 deer at more or less the same distance from Town Center.
- Fish density improved: fish appear at more regular intervals thus reducing chances of unlucky Dock placement.
- Bonus islands appear in the center.
- Gold distance variance reduced.
- Relics can no longer appear stuck in walls.
- Wall distance variance removed, distance set to 20.
- Larger base size, preventing players to be too close to water.
- Wolves removed.
- Forests remade to prevent the occurrence of bubbles in which resources and relics often got stuck.
- Larger base size.
- Gold and stone distribution balanced.
- Relic distribution balanced.
- Larger base size for players.
- Larger base size.
- Gold moved slightly further.
- Central island's position improved.
- Fish removed.
- Inland sea rounded.
- Bonus sheep scattered around more evenly.
- Central gold mines' position improved.
- Variance on distance of extra boar and sheep reduced.
- Bonus islands appear in the center.
- Larger base size to prevent noodle-shaped islands.
- Central sea rounded.
- Larger base size, prevents players from being too close to water.
- Wolves removed.
- Sheep and deer distance variance improved, 2 sheep appear very close to Town Center.
- Wood distribution improved.
- Distance of gold mines improved.
- Gold and stone no longer appear on the shores of mainland.
- Forest enlarged, same distance from Town Center for everyone.
- Water edges remade: 50% water covers all edges of the map, 50% none.
- Bonus islands appear in the center.
- Map remade from scratch, a ring of water with shallows appears in the middle.
- Ice patches are broken into smaller pieces and scattered around more evenly.
- Boar variance removed.
Bug Fixes, Performance and UI Improvements
- Attack-move: There is a new button and hotkey for this. Units will automatically engage enemy units while advancing to their destination.
- Balanced Build Queue: When you select multiple buildings, all units created are load balanced for quickest completion time.
- Scrolling has several improvements. Diagonal speeds match horizontal/vertical speeds. Also the diagonal angle of scrolling matches the tiles (perfectly parallel to the map edge).
- The AI has remembered that trebuchets are useful in battle! Be prepared to counter siege units again
- Game Speed - You may now choose to go up to 8X speed via the hotkeys in single player (Number pad + and number pad - )
- Registry settings are now centralized for game options. In the original code base, they were controlled and maintained in an adhoc manner and some didn’t update until you exited the game without crashing.
- Game Settings are remembered instantly. The cancel button has been removed. All game settings are enabled by default (and some have been renamed to allow the most common settings to be enabled).
- Sound volume has been renamed to Master volume, to better reflect its functionality, as music volume is relative to master volume.
- Music comes back after losing focus.
- Scroll speed has been rebalanced again (so you will want to readjust).
- Player profiles have been rewritten and should no longer be corruptible. For most players, it will port your campaign progress to the new profile system, but other settings for recent singleplayer and multiplayer settings will be started fresh.
- Player profiles now immediately remember settings for all modes:
- Single player settings in Age of Empires: HD Edition (referred to as AoK for simplicity for the items in this list)
- Multiplayer settings in AoK
- Single player settings in Age of Empires: The Forgotten (AoF)
- Multiplayer settings in AoF
- Lobby filter settings
- There are a few setting exceptions that aren’t remembered where it makes sense. For example, in MP, locked teams will always be enabled by default.
- All languages now use text files instead of dll files. Enterprising individuals should easily be able to take the English strings and translate them to any language of their choosing and share them in the workshop…like ewok!
- Cursors are now a consistent size (some cursors were showing up too small).
- The games extension system has been rewritten to allow for separation between features only available in Age of Empires: HD Edition (AoK) and Age of Empires: The Forgotten (AoF):
- .ai, * .ai2: These files are generally blank, exist in the AI folder and declare AI personalities of a matching name. AoF can load both types. AoK can only load * .ai files.
- .per, * .per2: The counterpart to * .ai and * .ai2 files. These files also live in the AI folder and contain all the scripting support for a personality. AoF can load both types. AoK can only load * .per files.
- .rms, * .rms2: Random Map Script files that live in the Random folder. AoF can load both types. AoK can only load * .rms files.
- .gax, * .gax2: These are single player save game files and are mutually exclusive. In AoK you can only save and load * .gax files. In AoF, you can only save and load * .gax2 files.
- .msx, * .msx2: These are multiplayer saves and are mutually exclusive. In AoK you can only save and load * .msx files. In AoF, you can only save and load * .msx2 files. (ditto with * .tmsx, * .tmsx2 – which are temp saves).
- .mgx, * .mgx2: These are replay files and are mutually exclusive. In AoK you can only save and load * .mgx files. In AoF, you can only save and load * .mgx2 files.
- .scx, * scx2: These are scenario files. AoF can load both types. AoK can only load * .scx files.
- .cpx, * .cpx2: These are campaign files. AoF can load both types. AoK can only load * .cpx files.
- The AI has been optimized to reduce how often it searches for targets when it doesn’t have one. This was responsible for approximately 10% or more of the frame rate cost and should improve late-game performance.
- Left+click dragging (selection boxes) no longer negatively affect the frame rate while the mouse is moving.
- Moving the mouse while placing a building no longer negatively affects frame rate.
- Many of the sprites (buildings and units) have been optimized to use less draw calls.
- Frame rate now follows new constraints that eliminate most types of “command-lag”. For more details you can view the Public Performance Beta notes[http//Public+Performance+Beta+notes].
- The player can now generate maps in the Scenario Editor with RMS files inside your Random directory as well as any of the embedded random map types.
- The player can now paint any terrain type.
- The player can now use any terrain type when setting the base terrain.
- Mirror Random has been added to civ dropdowns in multiplayer. When you choose this option, you civ will be chosen from the civs on the opposing team. The rules are a little more complicated in how selection works to account for all cases of course
There was a small hotfix addressing some minor bugs associated with the release of this patch:
- Loc displaying issues in languages other than English. (No Chinese did not start with an Eagle Scout).
- Capture the Relic - ensuring Monastery was invulnerable for a few specific edge cases
- Game speed options in UI functions properly when selecting. Players can still use num+ / - to go up to 8x in single player.
Although there are no official reviews, Age of Empires II HD was well-received by the Steam community, where it has a rating of 9/10.
Most reviews praised the 5 new civilizations, new technologies, fixes, random maps and the design of the campaigns (eyecandy) and some of its content.
However, the new AI and campaigns content were considered "bad", with the AI being called "dumbed down" and not as good as the Conquerors' AI. The campaigns were attacked for leaving the build and destroy style, for a "Fixed Force" or "Regicide with a Hero" (used in many fanmade scenarios) along with units being stuck in eyecandy, being too hard, and "not allowing you to play/unskippable cutscenes".