Cut content refers to material planned and produced during the development of games in the Age of Empires series, but not appearing in final retail releases.
It is not uncommon for previously unused content to be reused for future updates, or to be reworked into different things.
Age of Empires
- Leather Armor was available in the Stone Age.
- Metal Working was available in the Tool Age.
- There was a technology in the Bronze Age called "Trade Workshops".
- There was a technology called "Mining".
- Metallurgy was available in the Bronze Age.
- The Bowman was planned to get upgraded into Composite Bowman.
- There was a technology called "Longbow" which became "Composite Bow"
- Scouts could get upgraded into Cavalry.
- Afterlife was known as "Baptism".
- There was a technology called "Scouting" which improved unit LOS by 1.
- There was a technology called Advanced Metallurgy.
- There was a technology called "Targets".
- There was a technology called "Mathematics".
- The player had to manually research technologies to train the:
- War Elephant
- Light Transport
- Elephant Archer
- Chariot Archer
- Horse Archer
- Writing used to be called Cartography.
- There was a technology that improved Villager fishing.
- There was a technology called "Pottery".
- A building called the "Pasture" was cut, it allowed you to train Goats and Horses (like the Sheep and herdables of Age of Mythology) as a faster way of gathering food than Farms.
- A building called the "Mine" was cut, it was built over Gold/Stone Mines in order to gather them effectively.
- Stone Fence
- Wood Fence
- Trade Workshop
- Spaceship (cut cheat unit)
- Pile of Stone
- Pile of Wood
- Numerous Flags and Banners
- Originally, Composite Bowmen were called Longbowman, this is also the reason why their bow is longer than a traditional composite bow.
- There were two more ages called The Prehistoric Age and the Republic Age.
- Initially the game was called "Dawn Of Man".
- There was a fifth resource called "Trade Goods" which could be "made" at the Trade Workshop.
- Land Trading was available.
- Two types of acacia trees were cut, an autumn one and a standard green one. The green one is still present in the original Age of Empires demo.
- There was another tree that was cut, it can be seen in the demo.
- A beta tree from the 1995 development was left over.
- Roads had to be built to allow further construction.
- Leaves and the stump would be left over if the player (or AI) used attack ground with a Catapult against trees.
- Numerous buildings were changed.
- Berry Bushes were called "Forage Sites"
- A lot of beta buildings were smaller, and more historically accurate.
- Axemen wore only a loin cloth rather than a cloak (they looked like a Villager with an axe)
- The Catapult Trireme was an upgrade to the Trireme.
- The Ballista was built at the Archery Range.
- Mines could be built on 4×4 or 6×6 ore deposits.
- Iron was a planned resource
- Barracks were called "Military Training Centers"
- Buildings called Outposts were planned, these functioned most likely as a Town Center that could research Ages.
- Farms were unique from Age and buildset like Houses
- Archery Ranges had a Shared Tool Age variant, like Stables.
- Barracks had a separate buildset unique Tool Age variant.
- Siege Workshops were known as "Engineering Shops"
Age of Empires II
- Janissaries were originally archers in the Castle Age, and could be upgraded into unique Hand Cannoneers, this was later changed due to an archer unique unit already existing.
- Elite Janissaries wore a distinctive tall white hat which was removed before release as they were deemed to look similar to Ku Klux Klan members. However, The Forgotten reintroduced the original Janissary sprite-sheet for the untrainable Royal Janissary unit.
- Spies were a trainable unit, and while they appeared to the player as a spy (a unit wearing black armor), they appeared to the enemy as Villagers. They also had the ability to see how many enemy units were garrisoned in buildings, and had a large line of sight. Spies could only be attacked by other spies.
- Off the map Trade Boats could be trained, they functioned as Trade Cogs that were large and would go to the edge of the map, and "despawn" for a short time, and return with a large flurry of resources. This system however was extremely buggy, and was cut due to time constraints. It is still usable, however.
- Originally, the Spearman line was made of four units: Spearman, Pikeman, Iron Shank Pikeman, and Halberdier, implying that Ensemble originally intended the Spear-line to have been trainable in the Dark Age. The Iron Shank Pikeman was merged with the Pikeman, and the Halberdier was eventually brought back for The Conquerors.
- The Halberdier cost gold and was known as "Halberdman", as shown in the alpha version of The Age of Kings.
- There was a fifth ship line, called Boarding Ships, they functioned as boats that would come up and convert ships, similar to the Monk, it had no range, but an extremely high success rate. The system as expected, still functions.
- There was a unit called "Builder Ship", which could build Sea Walls, Sea Towers, Sea Gates, Docks, and even repair ships. These buildings are still found in the campaign and scenario editor.
- Camel Riders had the ability to capture enemy Villagers, and drop them off at the player's Town Center.
- Archers and Crossbowmen were originally two separate lines, similar to the first Age of Empires, Archers were to cost food and wood, and Crossbowmen cost gold and wood. Both had advantages and disadvantages to use.
- Gaia units called "Outlaws" (in the form of Archers) would spawn randomly near trade routes, and rob Villagers and Trade Carts. Those units would later appear in the The Sack of Rome campaign scenario in the The Forgotten DLC.
- Various units had different designs and functions, they were eventually changed most likely for design quality due to the pushed date.
- The Saracens had a ranged infantry called the Dervish instead of the Mameluke.
- According to the Age of Empires II design document, Dervishes were initially conceived as "Mounted Berserkers"
- The Mongols had a unique siege unit called the "Mobile Siege Unit" instead of the Mangudai.
- The Chu Ko Nu was originally called "Semi-Automatic Crossbow".
- The Persians had a "multipurpose cavalry unit" instead of the War Elephant.
- Ensemble originally considered a "super villager" mounted on a horse, that would be faster, carry faster, and carry more, but be more expensive.
- The Knight line originally used lances as their main weapons, before they were replaced with swords.
- Interestingly enough, Knights were originally meant to be armed with swords, before they were changed into Lancers, and later back into sword-wielding units.
- According to the Age of Empires II design document, Lancers were considered as a separate unit, as a European (and perhaps Asian) answer to the Middle Eastern Camel, however, lacking the ability to capture enemy Villagers, but being a stronger unit against other cavalry. Their art assets were mostly reused for the Knights (hence why they used swords originally) when the Lancer concept was dropped.
- However, Lancers appeared as Steppe Lancers for a few civilizations in the Definitive Edition.
- The Throwing Axeman did not exist, instead the Franks had a unique cavalry called Frankish Paladin. However, the Frankish Paladin was later changed to be a hero unit and replaced by the Throwing Axeman.
- The Samurai was originally meant to have both melee and ranged attacks, before developers ultimately removed their ranged attack due to being too unfriendly and cumbersome to use. The risk of quickly ordering a Samurai to attack a Ram in a melee attack, attend to other things and check back to see the Samurai accidentally having been ordered to attack with a bow instead of his sword was deemed too much. This concept was brought back in Dynasties of India as the special ability of the Bengali unique unit, the Ratha.
- Mangonels and Onagers had to be packed and unpacked in order to be used. This was most likely changed due to how ineffective and tedious this system was.
- The Scorpion was known as "Scorpion Ballista", as shown in the alpha version of The Age of Kings.
- Villagers had a drop-off resource button, which would drop their resources off at the nearest building.
- In the scenario The Scourge of God, the Scythian prince was meant to appear as a Light Cavalry hero but was changed to a Scout Cavalry with 1000 hit points for unknown reason.
- The Genitour was meant to be the Spanish unique unit as a mounted Skirmisher, but it was scrapped and replaced by the Conquistador. The Genitour remains available in The Conquerors as an untrainable unit in the Scenario Editor that uses the Militia sprite set, despite their Skirmisher-based nature. In The African Kingdoms, the Genitour appears as mounted Skirmisher as the secondary unique unit and team bonus of the Berbers. The original Genitour unit (after [[Patch 5.1 (Age of Empires II)|patch 5.1) is now hidden in the files, and cannot be placed in the Scenario Editor.
- Originally, Ensemble intended the Monk to be unique based on the religion they chose, such as Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, and Pagan.
- Originally, Camel-line units had the ability to steal enemy Villagers. By bringing them back to one's Town Center, the villagers would be converted.
- There was going to be a mobile tower that could roll up to the walls and the player could run a villager over a wall.
- More gunpowder units were considered.
- Some obscure Chinese weapons were considered.
- Stirrup was a technology that would enable Lancer units.
- Wheel was a technology that would increase Villager speed.
- In order to build a Wonder, the player would have to research a technology called Wonder Plans.
- Bombard Cannons and Hand Cannoneers originally just required Gunpowder to be researched, before this was changed to separate technologies for both (then later just being enabled with Chemistry in The Conquerors)
- All Stone and Gold mining technologies were merged, before being divided.
- In order to improve the pierce armor of infantry, the player had to research the Shields-line of technologies (much like Age of Mythology) before the technologies were merged into the Mail Armor line.
- Greek Fire was originally a shared technology, before being brought back as a Byzantine unique technology in The Forgotten
- Much like Age of Mythology, gather rate technologies improved carry capacity, before the effects were divided into their own technologies.
- The technology Tracking is removed in the Definitive Edition of the game, and its effects are gained when reaching the Feudal Age. There is an unused icon for the technology found in the game files for the Definitive Edition.
- Houses generated small amounts of gold (aka Taxation).
- Docks originally were much bigger.
- The Trade Workshop was removed, it functioned not only as a Trade Cart drop-off, but also as garrison post for up to 10 Villagers, which could convert gold to trade goods. This is evident by the fact that the Trade Workshop has a garrison count in the stats when selected. The Trade Workshop is still found in the scenario editor and campaign.
- Blacksmiths were used as drop-offs for gold, ore, and stone. They could also be built in the Dark Age. It would function similar to the Storage Pit in Age of Empires.
- Similar to Age of Mythology, Town Centers could be fortified, it is unknown how this would work, although it is likely that they were able to fire upon enemies without garrisoning units.
- Mongols, Celts, and Vikings originally used packable and unpackable Town Centers to reflect on their nomadic culture.
- Monasteries were buildable in the Dark Age, as such Monks could not convert units until the Castle Age, and functioned entirely as healers until then.
- Ports were a building that was cut from the game, and is hidden within its files, it functioned to train only military naval units, and research naval warfare technologies and upgrades, whilst the Dock could only train and research economic naval content. It was spirtually succeeded by the Harbor in Rise of the Rajas.
- The City Wall was the original Fortified Wall for the Central European architectural style. The wall can still be found in the campaign and scenario editor, where its style is more similar to the Western European style.
- Buildings in the beta version used to place "sand terrain" underneath, instead of grassy-dirt.
- The July 1998 Design Document for Age of Empires II shows that even after the thirteen civilizations in the game were decided upon, several changes were made before the game's release.
- There was at one point planned for there to be a fifth "Raider" Architecture set featuring the Mongols, Celts, and Vikings. These civilizations would be incapable of building Wonders.
- The Britons were meant to have diplomacy-themed bonuses, something that had to be changed when many diplomacy features were cut during development. Their Wonder was meant to be Westminister Abbey, rather than the German Aachen Cathedral.
- Celts were planned to have cheaper military units, a bonus that would eventually be assigned to the Goths.
- During the development of The Conquerors, Swiss, Habsburgs, Magyars or Slavs (instead of Huns) and Khmer or Tibetans (instead of Koreans) were considered as civilizations.
- During the development of The Forgotten (when it was a mod), Lombards (instead of Italians), Tibetans (instead of Hindustanis) and Scythians (instead of Slavs) were considered as civilizations.
There are four unused team colors in the game files that are not accessible nor ever seen in normal gameplay: brown, sky blue, gold and pink. It is unknown if these colors were meant to be used in normal gameplay at some point in development, or were simply used for testing.
- There were up to 6 resources (7 if population is counted) which included: Ore, used for military units and military upgrades (whilst gold was used for economic units, trading, and economic technologies) and Trade Goods, which were used for unit-based trading.
- Gaia units would have the ability to "repopulate" the map, if the number of animals fell below a certain threshold.
- Various terrains were changed and fixed before release.
- The "letter trees" are used in beta. Also, the jungle trees in The Conquerors would be used instead of palm tree graphics.
- There are many unused icons, most of which were touched up before release:
- A "94" number icon.
- A poor quality of the upgrade to the Pikeman.
- Another poor quality of a Viking navy icon.
- A Trebuchet icon, possibly an upgrade.
- Unused version of the Siege Scorpion's upgrade icon.
- A Palisade Wall icon (Interesting enough, this icon was brought back for the Walls and Fences in Age of Mythology).
- A possibly earlier version of Cartography's icon.
- A vessel icon.
- A earlier version of Siege Engineers' icon.
- A signal icon.
- Among those unused icons seem to be unused unit formations; some of these may have been just placeholders:
- Although released as exclusive content of the Definitive Edition, it is possible that the The Last Khans expansion was planned and partially coded for the HD Edition, as the file "key-value-strings-utf8" contains the description of the Last Khans campaigns, and the Tamerlane campaign has a slightly different description.
- The DLC4 description: IDS_LC_MAIN_MENU_BUTTON_ROLLOVER "Play the new campaigns from the Last Khans expansion. Ride across the vast steppes of Eurasia and lead fearsome hordes to victory as Tamerlane, Ivaylo and Kotyan."
- Tamerlane campaign original description: "Bred on the rugged steppes of Transoxiana, Tamerlane is no stranger to the harsh realities of a life in the saddle. Chaos reigns as the Mongol Empire, bereft of true leadership, has fragmented into a slew of bickering factions scattered throughout Eurasia. Crippled by wounds sustained during his youth, Tamerlane has nevertheless made a name for himself through his tactical brilliance and charisma. His resolve is unbending - he will reunite and restore the Mongol Empire to its former glory, even if he is forced to slaughter half of its inhabitants in the process."
- At some point in one of the earliest beta versions of the Definitive Edition, it was possible to see the icons of the unique units of the new civilizations introduced on its older models, most likely for the HD Edition, as well as the unfinished campaign cutscenes.
- The "key-value-strings-utf8" file reveals additional cut features such as
- the ability to switch between "Definitive Edition" and "The Forgotten" mode (see strings 9510 to 9513). Its descriptions suggest that you were originally able to switch between old and new graphics ("Click to switch to Age of Empires: Definitive Edition mode. This will reload assets and you will only be able to create and see games that match this mode.")
- An additional option for custom games to disable trade (String 9731)
- Toggable destruction animations
- The option to set up the level of pathfinding (probably a leftover from Age of Empires)
Many features that were cut from the final game can be found in the Portuguese Civ Mod II for The Conquerors.
Age of Mythology
Age of Mythology is the first fully 3D game by Ensemble Studios, and was showcased often by ES between June 2001 and October 2002. A multiplayer alpha build was released to selected testers in 2001, containing many files relating to cut content. As such, this game has the most known and documented cut content out of all Ensemble Studios games.
- Units had the ability to run, though it is unknown how exactly this would have functioned.
- Animals also had the ability to run. When prey animals were approached by human units they would run away (instead of walking away) and predators would run after villagers.
- Ranged units could move and fire upon enemies at the same time, likely at the cost of accuracy.
- An additional cheat unit called the "Attack Chicken" may have been considered. It took the appearance of a giant hand with the forehead of a chicken appearing on its palm.
- An additional cheat unit called the Giant-billed Platypus was considered. It still remains in the proto file, but uses the same art assets of the Lazer Bear.
- Villagers could originally fish along shorelines, and the animations still exist in the game files.
- All Villagers could pray at Temples, and Shrines, before the feature was ultimately given to just the Greeks.
- The Egyptian Swordsman was replaced by the Axeman. The original model was ultimately repurposed for the Khopesh Swordsman in the Extended Edition.
- Norse Hirdman was a cut counter-infantry unit.
- Norse Bondi were cut Norse counter-cavalry infantry, its anti-cavalry purpose was ultimately given to the Ulfsark. Was ultimately made available in the Scenario Editor in the Extended Edition.
- The Norse and Egyptians had generic Archer units, like the Greek Toxotes.
- Bogsveigir were upgraded Norse Archers. The unit was ultimately included with Extended Edition.
- Egyptian Chariots were cut, they functioned as anti-cavalry units, its function was merged with the Camelry.
- The Cataphract was originally unique Hades' unit. It was deemed unsuitable for an archery-based civilization and replaced with the Gastraphetes at the very end of the game's development. Available in Scenario Editor, its models were also reused for Achilles.
- Norse Light Cavalry were cut, they were effectively a Norse version of the Prodromos.
- Norse Heavy Cavalry were cut, they were effectively a Norse version of the Hippikon, it was replaced by the Jarl.
- Egyptian and Norse Scout Cavalry were cut. They were replaced with the Priest and Ulfsark respectively to make the cultures more unique.
- The Atlanteans originally had War Chariots, whether they were cavalry archers, or melee cavalry is unknown.
- Light Cavalry units (Norse, Chariots, and Prodromoi) were originally ranged and would throw Javelins.
- Chinese War Chariots were a Classical Age unit originally, most likely the War Chariot was intended as an Anti-Archer cavalry similar to the Hippikon.
- The Oxybeles, essentially Greek Ballistae, were removed around March 2002.
- The Helepolis was originally just a Greek version of the Siege Tower.
- Norse Siege Towers and Catapults were cut.
- According to a press statement, and its proto definition, Atlantean Onagers were originally meant to be a Heroic Age unit.
- Ships were divided into Utility ships (boats for fishing, trade, and transport) and Warships. Warships would function as transports, and dynamically change depending on the units garrisoned inside e.g. a ship with archers became an arrow ship. The warships were much larger than the ships that ultimately made it into the game, and units could be seen standing on their decks.
- The Gaiassa was the Egyptian Utility Ship. Only a text string can be found in the Multiplayer Alpha.
- The Knarr was the Norse Utility Ship. Only a text string can be found in the Multiplayer Alpha.
- The Pirate Ship was originally based on the Norse Longboat. Its assets ended up unused in vanilla Age of Mythology. But was ultimately made available in the Scenario Editor in the Extended Edition.
- Each culture had a generic hero who was very strong and would be used to cast god powers (using flags), instead of accessing them directly from the core interface.
- Misenus — Original protagonist for the main campaign.
- Mnevis was cut, he was Amanra's commander, who would likely appear during the Abydos scenarios. He was a man of great girth who would ride a hippo into combat. All that remains of him is concept art and comments from the developers, who had hoped to bring him back with The Titans.
- The concept of Mnevis may have been reworked into Stuart Black in Age of Empires III.
- Achilles was originally an infantry hero using a modified set of the original generic Greek hero unit art. His assets were repurposed for the Regent in Tale of the Dragon.
- Skult originally use to use the assets of the original generic Norse Hero, however, whether or not it was only using this as a placeholder is unknown.
- Priests could originally convert enemy units, just like in Age of Empires II. The ability was removed as it was deemed too powerful and discouraged other players from using Myth units.
protox.xmbindicates a counter system amongst Myth units.
- Classified as
MythUnitSiegeare the Scarab, Behemoth, Colossus and all three Norse Giants.
- Classified as
MythUnitArcherArgus, Medusa, Manticore, Centaur, Troll, Lampades, Satyr, Jormund Elver, Petsuchos, and Wadjet.
- Classified as
MythUnitInfantryScorpion Man, Mummy, Minotaur, Einherjar, Anubite, Cyclops, Avenger.
- Classified as
MythUnitCavalryare Valkyries, Scarabs, Behemoth, Nemean Lions, Fenris Wolves, Hydra, Sphinx, and the Chimera.
- Classified as
- Sirens were planned but ultimately cut before art could be made.
- Apep was cut, according to one of the designers, it was cut due to being unable to refine the animations properly. Otherwise it is believed to have functioned like a melee Petosuchos. Was ultimately made available in the Scenario Editor in the Extended Edition.
- Griffon was cut due to the complexity of creating a flying/land hybrid unit. It was ultimately made available in the Scenario Editor in the Extended Edition as a purely land-based unit.
- Satyr is seen in screenshots from 2000 but ultimately cut. Was brought back as an Atlantean myth unit in The Titans.
- Trollkarien was a Norse myth unit, and was replaced by the Troll. Was partially made available in the Scenario Editor in the Extended Edition.
- Golem — essentially a stone Colossus without the ability to eat. It was cut due to the developers disliking its design, and replaced by the Colossus which they found more interesting in concept.
- Greek Giants were cut, possibly meant as a sort of Mountain Giant/Cyclops hybrid, but were likely cut due to being too similar to the two.
- Sand Giant was a cut Egyptian myth unit that was never finished.
- Titan was a buffed up Mountain Giant. Titans would go on to appear as a completely different and unique type of unit in The Titans expansion pack.
- The Frost Giant was originally a support unit and could not directly attack, it originally resembled an Ice Golem.
- Mummies were originally meant to have both a ranged, special and hand attack according to the Atef Crown and its
- War Turtles were both Green, and originally a Greek unit, though it is unknown what Mythic Age Greek minor god they were intended to be available to.
- Medusae were originally a support unit and its gaze special attack was originally its primary attack.
- Sphinxes could originally teleport to buildings. The sounds and assets for this ability still exist in the game files.
- Caladria could originally attack as well as heal. Its odd staff is even still in the shape of a bow.
- Medusae and Anubites were intended to be visually changed when technology upgrades were researched, but the textures are unused.
- The Anubites however were meant to visually change, but due to how .GRN files work, the texturereplace command in their animation file is ignored.
- Hydras were originally blueish-grey naval units but were reworked into a land unit and Scylla.
- Unicorn was cut, a blank animation file from the 2000-alpha era is all that remains.
- Wild Camels were cut. Its icon still exists and is repurposed for an Extended Edition Steam Achievement.
- Wild Horses were cut.
- Herring, Shore Fish and Anchovies, three fish types were cut from the original game, the latter was brought back in Tale of the Dragon.
- Fish were originally organized under "Shoal of X" instead of "Fish - x" used in the final game.
- Ram all art assets remain in the original game's files. Was ultimately used in Tale of the Dragon.
- The Musk Ox was planned for The Titans as a huntable for Tundra. Texture and history text is all that remains in the game files.
- The Dog was cut twice, first's basic animation file can be found in the files of the original game. Whilst the Dog in Tale of the Dragon was planned as a trainable Chinese unit for Tale of the Dragon but was also cut. However this version of the Dog is available in the Scenario Editor.
- Originally predator animals would attack prey animals, similar to the original Age of Empires game.
- Cows had the ability to use a fart attack, and its special attack would fire a stream of dung at its enemies, these were intended as pre-release jokes, and never meant to be included in the final product.
- Short Bushes nature objects were cut, although they can be seen in the Atlantis Tile and Egyptian Temple objects. They ultimately returned in Tale of the Dragon.
- Icebergs, Ice Sheets, Tall Grass, and other nature objects were hidden in the data files. Using modified anim files, will make Tall Grass appear in Watch That First Step, and Icebergs to appear in The New Atlantis campaign intro-cinematic and Main Menu screen for The Titans.
- Most of the building styles used for each civilization changed, resulting in buildings looking vastly different from their final released versions.
- Some of these are still leftover in the files, including the Greek Temple, and Egyptian Guard Tower.
- Atlantean Buildings originally had a different appearance, as mudbrick buildings, and later as more elaborate.
- The Shrine was originally used to train (Alpha) Classical Age Myth Units and research related technologies, with the Temple becoming available in the then second, Heroic Age. The building is available in the Scenario Editor, though due to human error the Egyptian Shrine model is a renamed copy of the Archaic Age Egyptian Temple (and thus will be bigger than its obstruction radius)
- Major Temples were cut, only an animation file remains. It may have been yet another variant of the temple that became available in the third age (Olympic Age) of the pre-release builds, training the myth units, and researching technologies then.
- Greek Major Temples were most likely reused for the Temple of the Gods building, whilst the Norse Major Temple was based upon (erroneously) Stonehenge.
- The Armory was originally called the Forge.
- Egyptian tents were originally based upon lean-tos. A similar object would reappear in Age of Empires III.
- The Academy was cut. All that remains are shadow definition files. The Academy was most likely either a utility building similar to the University from Age of Empires II. All that remains is an unused Egyptian Academy shadow, and images showing a scroll icon in the Villager's economic building panel.
- The University was planned to be brought back in The Titans for the Atlanteans but was ultimately cut. All that remains is an unused icon.
- The Naval Shipyard originally trained warships (after the unified warships concept was dropped) but ultimately the building's function was merged with the Dock again for simplicity. The building is available in the Scenario Editor.
- Charioteria were effectively an Egyptian Stable that would have trained Chariots, Chariot Archers and Camelry.
- Greek and Norse Siege Works.
- Egyptian and Norse Archery Ranges.
- Egyptian (replaced by Charioterias) and Norse Stables.
- The Outpost was planned, its model reused for the Sentry Towers, and its function effectively replaced by the Obelisk.
- Palisade Walls were cut. They are mentioned in an unused quote from Just Enough Rope, and likely functioned as a cheap wood-cost wall. Its models were ultimately reused for the Wooden Walls.
- Signal Towers were Atlantean buildings that may have functioned similarly to an Obelisk. The building is not defined in code, but all assets including visual effects and models are in the game files.
- The Atlanteans originally had Ballista Towers. Ultimately the upgrade was cut without assets being made (as the building x tower ballista is just a renamed copy of the Guard Tower)
- An Atlantean building called the Siege Shop for training and upgrading siege units. Functions were moved to the Palace.
- Farms originally had to be built on Fertile Field sockets and were used for increasing the population. The concept was ultimately transferred to Settlements and Town Centers instead, the former of which did not originally exist.
- Buildings had higher quality destruction animations and would appear as ruins after they collapsed.
- Town Centers were originally intended to be upgraded twice separately (likely inspired by Warcraft III) increasing their attack, and population limit (10 to 15 to 20)
Many technologies from Age of Empires II or based on technologies in that game were slated to appear in Age of Mythology.
- Wheelbarrow, and Hand Cart were meant to reappear from Age of Empires II before being merged into gather rate technologies.
- Writing, likely similar to Loom from Age of Empires II, or allowed the player to gain the line of sight of their allies, much like its name sake Writing from Age of Empires.
- Map Making and Military Foresight, two unknown technologies were either cut or replaced, their function unknown.
- Steering Rudder, increased the speed of Ships.
- Horn Bow, and Composite Bow increased the range of Archers, Fortresses, and Towers in the Heroic and Mythic Ages respectively.
- Myrmidon was a cut Greek technology that upgraded Hoplites to Myrmidons
- Shield Wall was cut, it was another Njord unique technology that gave additional pierce armor, and anti-archer bonuses to the Huskarls.
- Originally the Levy and Conscription technologies were one unified technology, rather than separated over units/unittypes or training buildings.
- Sacred Cats was originally called Feral Cats.
- Tower Garrison, which increased the capacity of garrison buildings.
- Ptah had another technology called Master Builder that increased the hitpoints of buildings.
- Blessing, unrelated to Blessing of Zeus.
- Red Tide, either a Sekhmet unique technology or cut god power.
- Venom was cut. It was the Scorpion Man upgrade technology. The upgrade texture for the Scorpion Man is still located within the files.
- Butcher was cut. It was most likely a minor god unique technology for the Norse, likely for the Ulfsark.
- Berserkergang was originally called Regenerate and would allow infantry to regenerate health.
- Murder Holes was replaced with Boiling Oil, likely for aesthetic and historical accuracy reasons.
- Atef Crown was supposed to increase the attack of Mummies by 10% but due to human error, the effect is non-existent.
- Valley of the Kings was supposed to decrease the training time for Migdol units by 66% but however due to a Mathematical error, it decreases it by 200%.
- Watch Tower was supposed to increase Sentry Tower line of sight range by 6, but due to human error, this effect does not work.
- Bravery had a different icon repurposed from Age of Empires II cut content.
- Bifrost Bridge was cut, not much information is known, as only a single text string exists in the Multiplayer Alpha. Presumably this would have spawned the mythical Bifröst, a burning rainbow bridge. According to an unknown Ensemble employee (likely Bruce Shelley) Bifrost simply acted as a bridge that would allow units to cross over it, and ignore terrain. It was most likely removed for being too situational, as well as too hard to program in.
- Hades originally had Bramble as a god power which spawned roots from below the ground to surround the caster's Town Center, giving it more hitpoints and armor. The bramble models were repurposed for the Uproot god power in Tale of the Dragon.
- Enrage was a god power that boosts all units attack, attack speed, and speed. Ultimately, it was replaced by Flaming Weapons.
- Inferno was an Egyptian god power that would set units aflame. Was ultimately used for the Chinese in Tale of the Dragon.
- Rebellion was cut, Ares god power that would cause all villagers to stop building and gathering for a time.
- Shepherd was cut. It had the same effect as the cheat god power Goatunheim and as of Tale of the Dragon, Fu Xi's Year of the Goat god power.
- Sight was cut, it used to show all untamed animals on the map.
- Snowstorm was cut, it was a Norse god power that would blanket the map in snow, lowering the LOS of all units, and stopping the training of new units.
- Wilds was cut, its effect was combined with Snowstorm to create Fimbulwinter. It simply spawned wolves around buildings.
- Volcano was cut. It was a Greek god power, several eruption effects crash to the ground instantly (similar to Meteor) and distort the terrain. Available in the Scenario Editor.
- The files include several unused volcano models, including a birth animation.
- Dwarven Mine was originally named Secret Gold.
- Ragnarok was originally named Divine Defenders.
- Eclipse originally affected the line of sight of every player's non-mythological unit, and siege weapon, as well as decreasing the range of all non-myth ranged unit.
- Golden Fleece was cut.
- Forgotten City was cut, it was meant to use a unique Mountain Giant called a "Titan" (unrelated other than to the Titans appearing in The Titans)
- Savannah and Watering Hole originally used palm trees and the grass terrain set instead of acacia trees and savannah grass.
- Old Atlantis was supposed to have Overgrown Temples that would grant players bonus resources when discovering them.
- Regicide was supposed to spawn a Fortress for each player.
- Anatolia originally had numerous plateaus in the center of the map, and much less forests before being changed to its current form.
- Black Forest and Arabia were considered to return from Age of Empires II, but were quickly dropped due to their infamy and overuse in the pre-HD Age of Empires II community.
- The original campaign was originally longer. Ensemble produced a 140+ page script, before trimming it down and reworking it over time until eventually, it evolved into Fall of the Trident.
- The Fall of the Trident campaign was planned to have 40 scenarios, before being reduced to 36 and ultimately 32 scenarios and 3 tutorial scenarios.
- Theseus, Charon, Achilles, Mnevis, Shaba Ka (replaced with Kemsyt), and several other characters were cut from the campaign.
- Originally cutscenes could be accessed from their respective campaign menu. They still all have names and descriptions in the
- An Arena mode was planned and is still referenced in the files, but was ultimately cut.
- Poseidon was originally intended to appear directly instead of granting Gargarensis a Living Poseidon Statue.
- Custom Campaigns and Scenarios were at one point intended to be deleted from the in-game file viewer rather than the operating system's file directory.
- Snow-covered maps would experience gentle snowfall precipitation.
- Farms originally had 3D models that would alternate between different appearances, apparently even depending on civilization: Olive Groves, Cabbage Farms, Wheat Farms, Corn Farms, and Potato Farms.
- Unit idle animations were originally dynamic based on terrain, such as wiping their brows in the desert and shivering in the snow. However, there are no leftovers in the code for this ability.
- Meteor would originally deform the terrain, but this was cut for performance reasons.
- Day/Night cycles were planned but likely cut for performance reasons. They were ultimately included in the Extended Edition.
- According to Bruce Shelley in Zone chat, the feature was not available in multiplayer games, apparently due to changing day/night cycles being confusing. Another reason for it not being included was due to "not making the game any more fun".
- Extended Edition originally had darker lighting, with better ambiance, and more visible shadows. This was later replaced with attempts to replicate the original game's lighting.
- In-game lighting was originally more saturated.
- Many terrains were cut, including a Greek city tile, several cliffs, another Marsh texture (which still appears but is blank in-game) and several forest textures among others.
- Originally the minimap would change lighting based on the scenario's current lighting. This feature has a cut config string related to disabling it; however, it is neither on by default or changeable.
- The game originally ran at 60 FPS instead of 30 FPS.
- According to concept art, Atum was considered as one of the major Egyptian gods.
- Originally there were three ages, Classical, Heroic, and Olympic. The Classical Age in the pre-release versions was divided unto Archaic, and Classical Ages in the later builds of the game, whilst the Olympic Age was renamed to the Mythic Age.
- Major Gods were selected upon starting the game (by building a Shrine, and then selecting which God) instead of before the game.
- Depending on Major God selection the player would get 4 unique Myth Units, with a set automatic bonus, as Minor Gods were absent.
- Depending on the Civilization, Cypress trees, Palms or Pines would automatically fill in between Heroic and Olympic Age buildings close to each other.
- Stone Mines were originally in the game, as well as Stone as a resource. It was removed in order to simplify resource gathering. All that remains are some references and animation files.
- The Building/Training UI was changed three times, from an Age of Empires II-like UI, to a 4x3 under 3 subsections UI, to the final, and current UI.
- Unused strings in the Multiplayer Alpha's language.dll imply that Ensemble originally intended to allow players to swap between two UIs (final and 4x3) at one point. A similar feature would return in Age of Empires III as Minimalist UI.
- Whilst code makes reference to this function, multi-page pages were disabled in the source code of Age of Mythology for the final game.
- The Multiplayer Alpha has two additional names that Pharaohs could be generated with: Setna and Steve. These names were removed from the retail release.
- Originally, Gather Points were placeable with a interface button, and even able to be retractable with another button. This feature was still usable until ultimately being disabled in Patch 2.8.
- Tags were originally supposed to appear on the side of a unit's stats, showing what class type of unit they were (infantry, myth, hero, etc), what they were primarily used for (i.e broken Arrow for Counter Archers) and for Myth Units, what Minor God they were trained by.
- Originally, there were two more attack types at one point, Fire and Slash. Ultimately, these were merged into Pierce/Crush and Hack respectively.
- AI Players were named based on personalities and figures, not on cities and settlements, much like other Age of Empires games.
- The In-game encyclopaedia was originally more in-depth. Technologies were shown separate from units in Buildings, as well as showing requirements for units, buildings and technologies, and finally showing where technologies were researched at.
- Player colour was changeable before starting a skirmish game.
Age of Empires III
- Many terrains seen in pre-release screenshots were changed or removed.
- At one point random maps based in Europe were planned, but scrapped due to the development refocus on the Americas.
- The Trireme and Fortress from Age of Mythology were to appear as Easter eggs.
- Like previous games, the corpses of dead units would appear.
- The Musketeer originally has four visual upgrades in total. The first upgrade is unused in the final game, and is based off of Tudor-era Musketeers.
- The Germans and Dutch could train Musketeers normally in the Barracks in the beta; German Musketeers' unused voice files still exist in the Scenario Editor and game files. The Dutch can still send Musketeers through the Stadhouders upgrade at the Church.
- The Dutch originally had the Crossbowman. There are unused voice files for Dutch Crossbowmen in the game files and in the Scenario Editor.
- The Musketeer was not available to the Russians. Interesting enough, this would have been more historically accurate, as Strelets fulfilled the same role historically.
- The Russians originally had the Pikeman, as there are voice files for the Russian Pikeman in the game files and in the Scenario Editor which are used by the Russian Petard. Similarly, the Russians also had the Skirmisher. The Russian Skirmisher's voice files are reused for the Russian Grenadier.
- The Portuguese originally had access to the Missionary as well.
- Originally, the Priest carried a staff, like the Priest of Age of Empires and the Monk of Age of Empires II. It is possible to see a Priest carrying a staff in the model and art shown in the history portrait.
- Spahis were originally planned for the Ottomans as a replacement for the Hussar. Ultimately, both units became available to the Ottomans, with the Spahi becoming exclusive to Home City shipments.
- Gatling Guns were originally planned to be trainable at the Factory, but were removed. They would later be added in The WarChiefs as a unit available at the Artillery Foundry for revolting European nations.
- The Heavy Cannon was originally trained at the Artillery Foundry.
- The Veteran unit upgrade was planned for artillery units. The icon for this upgrade exists in the game files and is used for the Veteran upgrade of the Abus Gun, although that unit is not classified as an artillery unit.
- The concept of light cavalry was different from that shown in the final game: it was a melee cavalry unit that was good against Skirmisher-type, foot archer-type and artillery units. The Hussar was the generic unit of this light cavalry, while the Cossack and Uhlan were intended to be unique versions of this unit and the Stradiot would be the mercenary version. However, in the final game, the nomenclature of light cavalry was given to ranged cavalry units good against cavalry, such as the Dragoon-type and Cavalry Archer-type units, remaining only in in-game descriptions incorrectly describing the Hussar, Cossack, Uhlan and Stradiot as light cavalry. This has been fixed in the Definitive Edition of the game.
- The sound files also refer to the Hussar as light cavalry, for example
- The sound files also refer to the Hussar as light cavalry, for example
- The Heavy Cavalry was a generic Cavalry unit, most likely trained in the Fortress Age. They were hand cavalry functionally similar to the Hussar and likely an earlier shared version of Cuirassiers, and likely had a bonus versus Infantry. The Italian Elmeti and Spanish Lancer were intended to be unique versions of this unit. There are voice files for British Heavy Cavalry and French Heavy Cavalry in the game files. It is likely for balance and simplicity they were merged with Hussars, with Light and Heavy Cavalry being separated for ranged and hand cavalry respectively.
- The Germans, and Dutch originally had a unique shared Dragoon called the Reiter. The Dutch ultimately received the Ruyter as a Dragoon replacement, while the Schwarze Reiter became a mercenary.
- A second unit was planned for the Comanche, the Comanche Lancer. A placeholder unit portrait exists in the game files.
- A Steam Ship (possibly an early Ironclad) was planned, most likely as a Transport Ship.
- A Colony Ship was planned, but its intended function is unknown.
- Originally, European ships did not have a cross on their sails, as can be seen in some pre-release screenshots. The Fire Ship still uses the Caravel model of these early stages of development.
- Chilche would have a greater participation in Act I: Blood, since he is seen together with Morgan Black in a screenshot of the campaign scenario screen of Act I: Blood in the early stages of game development, as opposed to the final version of the game that shows Morgan Black along with Elisabet Ramsey.
- Another fact that confirms that Chilche would have a greater participation in Act I: Blood is that there are unused voice files for his in-game unit in the game files.
- A campaign hero called "Neamathla" was cut. Historically, Neamathla was the leader of the Hitchiti tribe, and was most likely involved in the Steel campaign in the The Lost Spanish Gold scenario.
- There was another Infantry-type unit called the Swordsman, which was available to the Italians, Russians, and Ottomans. The Spanish Rodelero and German Zweihander would have been unique variants.
- A Zweihander unit was planned, most likely intended to be unique German Swordsmen. The concept was ultimately implemented in the form of the Doppelsoldner, and Zweihander assets were reused for the Doppelsoldner, Boneguard Swordsman, and Landsknecht. The Zweihander itself became a technology used to improve the Doppelsoldner.
- Ensemble planned for the Discovery Age to include Knights and the aforementioned Swordsmen (along with Crossbowmen and Pikemen being in this age instead of the Colonial Age). For this reason, there is a Barracks appearance for the Discovery Age, shared by all European civilizations.
- A third unit was planned for the Nootka, the Nootka Knife Fighter. A unit portrait exists in the game files.
- A Nootka technology called "Nootka Harpoon" was planned. A technology portrait exists in the game files.
- A ranged infantry Mongolian mercenary was planned.
- There is an unused unit icon and in-game textures for Gatling Camel in the game files.
- The Church originally had a third Imperial Age variant, resembling a Cathedral. Only Western, Spanish, Russian, Swedish variants exist in full, with only the roof remaining for the Italian variant.
- The Veteran and Guard unit upgrades were planned for ships. Icons exist in the game files for these upgrades.
- Watch Towers were set to appear as an equivalent to the Outpost from Age of Empires II.
- According to a unused texture in the game files (
trade_buy_fame.ddt), it would be possible to exchange coin for experience in the Market (since the experience resource was originally called fame).
- Originally there were special Resources that would (depending on their type) appear, including Cotton, Tobacco, Sugar Cane and Spice. Some of these special Resources appeared in the board game Glenn Drover's Empires: The Age of Discovery.
- A portrait file named
sx_light_cannon_portrait.ddtin the game files suggests that the Sioux would also have access to the Light Cannon.
- There is an unused portrait and textures for the Sioux Holy Dance button for the Sioux Medicine Man in The WarChiefs. This was corrected in the Definitive Edition, where the Lakota Healer uses its own portrait and specific textures for the Healers Ceremony button.
- An alternative portrait for the Aztec Villager exists in the The WarChiefs files. In the Definitive Edition, the Aztec Villager uses its own portrait.
- The WarChiefs and The Asian Dynasies have unused portraits for the Native American and Japanese Docks, respectively.
- The Samurai have unused has attack voice lines in the game files.
- The Indian Rice Paddy was to have its own portrait, which still exists in the game files. Curiously, the Definitive Edition updated it, but still did not use it either.
- The Chinese and the Japanese were designed to be playable civilizations in the vanilla game, since there are references to the flags of these civilizations in the texture files of the vanilla game (
flag_japan.ddt). However, they were cut off at a very early stage of development and reappeared later in The Asian Dynasties.
- A game mode was planned for The Asian Dynasties, the Relic Victory, which worked in the same way as in Age of Empires II (if one team manages to capture all Relics, a Victory timer begins, similar to Trade monopoly). These Relics were found on Treasure sites.
- There are unused voice files for the Chinese Disciple for Claim, Disabled and Revived. Probably the Disciple would be a Hero-type unit, as are the second Monks of other Asian civilizations.
- The Tiger Claw was originally topless, as shown in his unit portrait, his art and model in history portrait.
- Urumis were originally planned for the Indians as trainable units in the Barracks and Gurkhas as units that are exclusive to Home City shipments. Their roles were switched.
- This is the reason for the regeneration ability of Gurkhas when they are idle. This is also the reason why there is a hotkey to train Urumis from Barracks in the game settings, which would train Gurkhas instead when used. These errors were fixed in the Definitive Edition.
- There is an unused warship in the Definitive Edition called "Battleship", added in update 23511. It can be accessed in the Scenario Editor as "SHP Battleship" and is visually similar to the Swedish ship Vasa.
- A Swedish Immigrants card was planned for the United States. There is an unused Swedish Immigrants card icon added in update 23511, which can be found in the game files of the Definitive Edition. Judging by its icon, it would probably be related to the shipment of Torp Wagons.
- An Italian civilization was planned, with Florence as its Home City.
- It featured subclasses based on city-states such as Genoa, Venezia, and Milano with their own unique bonuses and units.
- Italian units were mostly "medieval" compared to other civilizations, much like the Ottomans and Spanish.
- The Italians would have been the supremacy equivalent (along with the Spanish) of the Knights of St. John, much like how the John Black Mercenaries are based on the Germans, and the United States is based on the British.
- Planned units:
- Architect unit, a type of a unique Settler.
- Merchant unit, a second type of a unique Settler.
- Elmeti as their Heavy Cavalry unit, replacing the generic unnamed Heavy Cavalry.
- General "Bombard Cannon" artillery units would have appeared, likely instead of Falconets and Mortars. These would later become the Li'l Bombard in The WarChiefs.
- Likely have used Hoop Throwers instead of Grenadiers.
- Considering that Genoa was intended to appear as a subclass, it is likely a unique Crossbowman called the Genoese Crossbowman would have been featured. A similar unit would later appear as an Italian unit in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten.
- On May 10, 2022, an Italian civilization was announced for Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition in the Knights of the Mediterranean expansion.
- The Swedes were cut, with not much remaining in the game files. However, developer Sandy Petersen shed light on them. They are one of two new civilizations added in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition.
- Fusiliers were planned as a unique Swedish Musketeer.
- It is likely Horse Artillery would have been their unique Falconet as historically, Horse Artillery was the invention of Lennart Torstenson during the Thirty Years War.
- Hackapells may have been their unique Dragoon, due to Finland's involvement as mercenaries to the Swedish during the Thirty Years War, and their icon showing them with a flintlock instead of a saber. A similar unit, the Hakkapelit, is the Swedish unique Dragoon.
- Numerous technologies were removed or replaced by Home City Cards.
- Many Home City technologies were planned to be available in the retail version of the game, such as choosing the politician for the Home City, but were cut.
There are five unused team colors in the game files that are not accessible nor ever seen in normal gameplay: black, pale green, dark grey, magenta and white for the original game; and black, grey, light grey, gold and white in the Definitive Edition.
Note that the white color appears many times as the last few choices in the Scenario Editor, as if that color is a placeholder. It is unknown if these team colors were meant to be part of normal gameplay at some point in development, if they are simply used for testing. The black team color is used by the Cornwallis units in the The Battle of Yorktown scenario.