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This article is about the character in Age of Empires III. For the character in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, see Cuauhtemoc (Age of Empires II).

In Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, Cuauhtemoc is a crafty opponent whose mood can change at a moment's notice. Expect the unexpected when facing this aggressive Aztec ruler.

Cuauhtemoc (1497 - 1525) is the AI personality of the Aztecs in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. He is voiced by Juan Monsalvez.

AI behavior[]


Cuauhtemoc is mischievous and intense as well as somewhat deranged. He frequently desires sacrifices and enjoys bloodshed. Cuauhtemoc does not seem to value the lives of anyone, including his allies and even his own people. He will sometimes make jokes and refers to himself in the third person.


Cuauhtemoc has a tendency to task more of his Villagers to Farms to gather food in comparison with the European and Asian AI personalities.


When at its peak, it is common for Cuauhtemoc's army to be the largest in the game among AIs.

Cuauhtemoc is fond of attacking early, after advancing to the Commerce Age. His initial army is usually comprised of a mixture of Coyote Runners, Puma Spearmen and Otontin Slingers. He tends to specialise in one of these types of units, supported by smaller numbers of the other two. As the game progresses, he adds Jaguar Prowl Knights, which will become the backbone of his forces if conditions allow. Cuauhtemoc greatly prefers to ransack enemy cities using hordes of massed infantry, however he will sometimes send groups of Arrow Knights as well (particularly on higher difficulties). Eagle Runner Knights only appear in small numbers if at all. Since Cuauhtemoc favours being aggressive early in the game, it can take longer for him to advance to the Industrial Age. From this point, he still prefers to attack with same amount of troops, albeit less frequently. If left alone for some time, he may eventually advance to the Imperial Age and attack with Legendary troops, typically Jaguar Prowl Knights. As with the other Native American personalities, Cuauhtemoc has a weak navy and is at a disadvantage at sea. Despite this, he will attempt to remain competitive through the use of War Canoes.

Base layout and defence[]

Cuauhtemoc's base tends to be smaller than that of other AI personalities. He will usually clump his houses together in a single spot near his Town Center. He tends to build one War Hut and 1-5 Nobles' Huts which serve as his defence. However, Cuauhtemoc relies on his army to do most of his defending as his defensive buildings often don't cover his entire base. Overall his town's structure is inferior to that of the European and Asian civilizations.

Changes in the Definitive Edition[]

Cuauhtemoc is much weaker in the Definitive Edition. He tends to focus more on inferior units such as Otontin Slingers and less on Jaguar Prowl Knights. His economy is also poor and vulnerable to raiding.

In a 1v1 situation against various other AIs on standard settings, Cuauhtemoc will lose around 70% of the time.


As an ally[]

  • Beginning: "Cuauhtemoc does not want to hear your cries when the enemies attack with fury in their hearts." or "I am Cuauhtemoc. Cuauhtemoc is the Aztec Empire."
  • Allied to player after defeated in last game - "How have you been since last we met? Since you've crushed Cuauhtemoc's people beneath your heel?"
  • Beginning of game after being defeated previously - "Hmmm... Cuauhtemoc wonders if you will be better now than when we last met."
  • Explorer is incapacitated - "What incompetence! Cuauhtemoc's warchief has fallen."
  • When fighting Ottomans - "The Ottomans are strong... It must be their coffee."
  • When fighting Russians - "Cuauhtemoc has learned that the only thing worse than Russians are... MORE Russians..."
  • Player builds a Trading Post - "Bah! Why bother with trade posts?"
  • Ally advances in age before Cuauhtemoc - "Cuauhtemoc must spill blood to catch up. Blood!" or "You advance quickly, Cuauhtemoc should not have lingered so long with his rituals."
  • Player Ages slower than Cuauhtemoc - "You are slower than a sloth in Cuauhtemoc's menagerie."
  • Agree to a strategy: - "Of course". or "Cuauhtemoc shall". or "Yes." or "Cuauhtemoc agrees"
  • When asked to train cavalry - "You joke with Cuauhtemoc, yes? The Aztecs ride no beasts."
  • When asked to build artillery - "Ar-til-ler-y? What is this 'Artillery' you speak of?"
  • Asks player to train cavalry - "Train more cavalry. Cuauhtemoc's warriors like the strange, hornless deer."
  • Requesting food - "Food! Cuauhtemoc hungers!"
  • Requesting wood - "Cuauhtemoc needs wood to burn sacrifices-- er to build buildings and weapons."
  • Requesting coin - "Send Cuauhtemoc whatever coin you feel he is worthy of. He will not be angry if it is too little... not angry at all..."
  • Receives food - "This food shall nourish Cuauhtemoc's people. Cuauhtemoc thanks you."
  • Receives wood - "Ahh... Good. This wood will burn in the hearths of the Aztecs. The fire god will be pleased."
  • Receives coin - "Cuauhtemoc shall not waste this gift of coin."
  • Player claims the first Treasure - "Your first treasure, take it as a gift from Cuauhtemoc."
  • Player claims a Treasure - "Cuauhtemoc thinks you're out to get all the treasures. Yes! All the...treasures!"
  • Player collects multiple Treasures - "Fine! Take all the treasures! Leave none for Cuauhtemoc!"
  • Cuauhtemoc discovers enemy territory - "Cuauhtemoc can already hear the screaming."
  • Initiating attack: "Aztec thews will reduces the enemy's town to rubble. And its people to corpses – or captives!" or "The Aztec armies group here. Get out of the way!" or "Cuauhtemoc will crush our enemies in the coming battle."
  • Constructing a Town Center - "The walls of Tenochtitlan are bursting... Cuauhtemoc is founding a new city."
  • Declines resource request: "Cuauhtemoc people come first." or "Cuauhtemoc gives up nothing."
  • Declines to send military aid - "Cuauhtemoc cannot send aid. Cuauhtemoc has... religious matters to tend to." or "Ask again later, Cuauhtemoc may have soldiers for you then." or "There is unrest in the Aztec empire. Cuauhtemoc can spare no one."
  • Offer player coin - "Take this gold. Do not waste it."
  • Offer player food - "Grain, fruit, and cocoa for Cuauhtemoc's friend."
  • Offers player wood - "What needs does Cuauhtemoc have of mere Wood? Take it." or "Here is some wood. Cuauhtemoc builds in stone." or "Here is some wood. Carve Cuauhtemoc a mask with it! What? You use wood for buildings instead? What... a waste..."
  • Builds Trading Post (Trade Route) - "Mighty Aztecs share their goods with the world."
  • Trade monopoly started (Enemy) - "Cowards! They fear to face Cuauhtemoc's armies at the time of his choosing."
  • About to win with Trade Monopoly - "The gods are pleased with the blood Cuauhtemoc has spilled for them. Victory will soon be ours."
  • Near defeat - "Cuauhtemoc wishes to end it. The obsidian knife is ready." or "look - a glowing corn in the sky - it sheds sparks like drops of blood... this is a sign. It is over." or "The water is bitter. Our food is bitter. Nothing can save Cuauhtemoc."

As an enemy[]

  • Starting a new game after previous defeat - "Last time, Cuauhtemoc was distracted. This time, he will cut you and your pathetic little colony to ribbons!"
  • Starting a new game - "I'm Cuauhtemoc, lord of all Aztecs...and you are not Quetzalcoatl!" or "Kneel before Emperor Cuauhtemoc and he will let you choose the manner of your own death." or "I am Cuauhtemoc, Emperor of the Aztecs. Cuauhtemoc will enjoy placing your skull in the tzompantli."
  • Start a new game on the same map as previous game - "You must enjoy spilling your blood on this land. So does Cuauhtemoc."
  • Spots player's Explorer - "You will not gather many treasures with him [chuckles]."
  • Spots a wall - "Cuauhtemoc sees a wall. You are properly frightened."
  • Player builds a Trading Post - "A trade post! now Cuauhtemoc knows where you are!"
  • Player builds a Trading Post (natives) - "In Cuauhtemoc's experience, such alliances can be deadly. Enjoy!"
  • Destroy player Trading Post (Trade route) - "None may trade without Cuauhtemoc's say."
  • Destroy player Trading Post (natives) -"Cuauhtemoc cannot suffer these alliances to exist."
  • Player advances in Age - "What? Already you advance in age? This displeases Cuauhtemoc very much!" or "Rush headlong into death! For Cuauhtemoc awaits."
  • Small force enters enemy territory - "Such few warriors will only make enough sacrifices to last a week or two. Send more!"
  • Large force attacks enemy territory - "Your army attacks Cuauhtemoc like a swarm of insects. Ow! Stinging insects!" or "You may flee...Cuauhtemoc is not without mercy. Who is Cuauhtemoc kidding?"
  • Major battle - "Blood! More blood!" or "You may flee... Cuauhtemoc is not without mercy. (laugh) Who is Cuauhtemoc kidding?"
  • Loses battle - "Bah! Sacrifice at the temple is one thing - but on the battlefield?"
  • Destroys enemy Town Center - "Your town is destroyed! Cuauhtemoc brings death to his enemies!...And his friends."
  • His Town Center destroyed - "This town is destroyed, but Cuauhtemoc will find another lake and another cactus and another snake-eating eagle."
  • Defeat - "Cuauhtemoc concedes. The treasure of the Aztecs is at the bottom of the lake." or "Give Cuauhtemoc an honorable death so that his blood may nourish the gods and his flesh feed your menagerie." or "Before you cut down Cuauhtemoc's people, would you care to share a cup of chocolate?" or "No! Cuauhtemoc will never surrender! Unless you let him..." or "Cuauhtemoc did not shed enough blood to ensure victory. It is the end of all things." or "Burn the bridges! Pour the treasure into the lake! The Aztecs are finished!" or "Come! End it!" or "The Aztecs are defeated. Will the sun ever rise again?"


Cuauhtemoc was Moctezuma's nephew and son-in-law, and is known as the final emperor of the Aztec. His name can be translated as "descending eagle." Born in about 1500, Cuauhtemoc became emperor around the age of twenty-five after the deaths of Moctezuma and his successor, Cuitlahuac. At the time of his ascension to power, Cuauhtemoc was already well known as a great warrior and leader.

His reign lasted but a few months. After being driven from the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, the Spanish under Cortez regrouped in the city of Tlaxcala, bolstering their forces with indigenous warriors who had long awaited their chance to strike back at the Aztec. The final siege of Tenochtitlan - where Aztec resolve struggled against Spanish gunpowder and steel - lasted barely three months. Cuauhtemoc was forced to surrender to Cortez and the Aztec empire was finished.

But the story of Cuauhtemoc doesn't end with disgrace. Cortez's royal treasurer, Aldrete, had Cuauhtemoc tortured with fire in an effort to get him to reveal the Aztec secret storerooms of gold. But even with his feet in the flames, Cuauhtemoc steadfastly maintained none existed. Realizing the fruitlessness of this, Cortez took Cuauhtemoc into his own custody afterwards, but had him executed during an expedition into modern-day Honduras in 1525. Today Cuauhtemoc is revered throughout modern Mexico as a brave and honorable warrior who maintained his integrity to the very end.

In Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, Cuauhtemoc is a fierce warrior willing to take practically any measure to ensure victory. He's confident, proud, and able to make good on any threat.
—In-game history section before the Definitive Edition


  • Cuauhtemoc previously appeared as the narrator - and arguably, true protagonist - of the Montezuma campaign in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. He is also one of the AI player names of the Aztecs in this game.
  • Though referred to as Montezuma's nephew, Cuauhtemoc was actually his cousin. The mistake is probably owed to Cuauhtemoc being around three decades younger than Montezuma.
  • Cuauhtemoc referring to cavalry as "strange, hornless deer" refers to an actual misconception that the Aztecs had upon encountering horses for the first time.[1] The native Nahuatal word mazatl originally meant "deer", but in some later contexts it could also mean "horse". The word cahuayo is a loanword from Spanish that strictly means "horse".



AI personalities in Age of Empires III
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3WCIcon48px The WarChiefsCuauhtemoc DE Cuauhtemoc · Hiawatha DE Hiawatha · Chief Gall DE Chief Gall
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Age3DE Icon The African RoyalsQueen Amina avatar DE Queen Amina · Emperor Tewodros avatar DE Emperor Tewodros
Age3DE Icon Knights of the MediterraneanGiuseppe Garibaldi avatar DE Giuseppe Garibaldi · Jean Parisot avatar DE Jean Parisot