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Gods are important entities in Age of Mythology, and act as overarching figures in the game's world. Every civilization has three gods per Age (except the Titan Age) to choose from. The Archaic Age gods are called major gods, while the others are called minor gods.

The choice of major gods is presented before the game starts (like civilizations of other games of the series), while the choice of minor gods is presented in a big window when advancing to the next Age. However, only two out of three minor gods are available to be chosen, which itself depends on the choice of the major god. The choices of gods, both major and minor, cannot be changed.

The set of all the major and minor gods that a civilization can worship is called a Pantheon.

Each god provides one god power.

Generating favor, a resource exclusive to Age of Mythology, is said to be possible only when "pleasing the gods", which grants benefits.

Major gods[]

Generally speaking, the choice of the major god has a huge impact on the gameplay, as it determines:

Minor gods[]

Generally speaking, the choice of the minor god determines:

Mythology[]

In the age when mythology reigned, the history of gods mirrored the history of humankind: some were cruel, greedy, and mischievous—truly gods to be feared. Others were protective, generous, and trustworthy, showering their subjects with bounty. And some gods were less predictable, a volatile combination of opposing forces.

The gods of this age were not infallible—they had strengths and weaknesses just like the mortals who worshipped them. And like all men and all civilizations, they were born and they died.

But their legends endure. Though in the ages of their evolution many contradictions and inconsistencies emerged, the legends still open a window to the past that is worth peering into.
Age of Mythology manual

Egyptian gods[]

EgyptianPortrait


Before there was air, earth, or even sky, there was only water—turbulent, bubbling water from which the first god, Ra, arose. Ra transformed into a new element in the cosmos, the sun. But the paucity of other life soon weighed heavily upon him, and so through communion with his own shadow, he sired a daughter, Tefnut. She also was a new element—moisture. And Ra's other child, Shu, became the air. They in turn had offspring of their own, Geb and Nut (the earth and sky). Soon an entire cosmological order had been established. But with it came unforeseen challenges.

Soon Ra found himself forced into daily battle with the serpent Apep for control of the atmosphere. Enlisting the help of wife and daughter Bast (goddess of cats and fertility), Ra was successful on most days. But on days when Apep prevailed, storms and foul weather were the rule.

This was the mere beginning of what Ra would contend with. The frustrations of lording over a human population that was prone to complaint and rebellion once led Ra, in a fit of anger, to cast one of his eyes out and hurl it toward the earth. The eye transformed into the goddess of vengeance Sekhmet, a force so destructive toward humanity that a remorseful Ra had to recall her via trickery. Ra ordered his servants to create thousands of vessels of beer. The beer would be mixed with pomegranate juice to appear like the blood of her human victims and used to flood the field surrounding her earthly abode.

The plan worked. When Sekhmet next emerged to finish slaughtering humankind, she caught her reflection in the gruesome red lake, fell in love with it, and drank the mixture, falling asleep harmlessly. It worked so well that she was eventually made wife of Ptah (the very god of creation). And later, ironically, she transformed into Hathor, goddess of love and celebration.

Still, taking responsibility for the entire cosmos was beginning to tax Ra's vitality. As he grew older, Ra looked for a replacement for his duties overseeing the earth. It would be his great-grandson, Osiris. Osiris (along with Isis, Set, and Nephthys) had been brought into the world through the union of Geb and Nut. But when Ra left dominion of the world to Osiris, the first sibling rivalry in cosmos history took place—and what a rivalry!

Osiris had been a benevolent dictator—under his rule the men of Egypt became civilized. But brother Set (the god of chaos and storms) was jealous of the favor shown Osiris, and murdered him. He constructed an elaborate chest and held a party, telling all his siblings that whoever fit into it could keep it for their own. But he had built the beautiful casket with but one of them in mind: Osiris. And when Osiris climbed in, Set had it sealed and his conspirators sent it down the Nile, hoping it would never be seen again.

Thus Osiris was the first god in history to die, and became the first god of the underworld. When Nephthys told her sister, Isis, of the murder, Isis became grief-stricken, for Osiris was her husband as well as her brother. She found the body and was even successful in reviving Osiris, and together they had a son, Horus. But Set soon discovered this and, enraged, ripped Osiris into 14 pieces, scattering the parts over Egypt so that even Isis could not piece them together. Anubis, inventor of embalming and son of Osiris, performed the funeral in the great pyramid.

Set was now lord of the world, and given his proclivity for chaos and violence, it seemed as if all of Osiris's good works would soon be reversed. Set was even said to be plotting an overthrow of his father Ra.

In response, Ra and Horus amassed a great army to overthrow Set's rule. They enlisted Thoth, god of wisdom and truth, who transformed Horus into a sun-disk with a heat so intense it confounded Set's armies, and they destroyed one another.

But Set himself was nowhere to be found. He had gone into hiding a great distance away, where he was free to form yet another force with which to defeat Ra and Horus.

But it was not to be. And with eventual defeat, Horus dismembered Set much the way his father had been. Thus Horus came to rule the world and set the precedent for the pharaohs who followed.
Age of Mythology manual

Greek gods[]

GreekPortrait


Gaea, or the earth, was the first deity of the Greek cosmological order, born of the chaos that reigned before life. She gave birth to Uranus (the heavens), and together they conceived giants, cyclopes, and titans. Uranus was not pleased with his monstrous offspring, so he locked all his children away deep within the earth.

And Gaea was not pleased with Uranus for this. So she enlisted the titan Kronos to attack his ungrateful father and seize power. But Kronos was an even less tolerant father than Uranus, and was soon dealt the same blow by his own son Zeus. And with Zeus's ascension to power, so begins the Greek era of the Olympians.

Now controlling the entire cosmos, Zeus decided to divide the spoils between his brothers Poseidon and Hades. The drawing of lots decided that Zeus would retain his title as ruler of the gods, while Poseidon would take possession of the seas. Hades was left with control of the underworld, and felt slighted, but there he ruled nonetheless, an angry and jealous deity.

Meanwhile, Zeus's marriage to Hera (the goddess of marriage and community) was not going well. His many affairs left her as angry and jealous as Hades, but she never openly challenged Zeus, and took her frustrations out upon other enemies instead.

Still, the pair had many children. Zeus showed open favoritism toward Athena, who became the goddess of wisdom and warfare. Unlike her brother Ares (the god of warfare), Athena was judicious and benevolent, choosing her battles to promote civilization and advancement. To Ares it was irrelevant which side prevailed in a battle; he only wanted ample bloodshed to assuage a violent nature. Ares even took his children—Phobos (fear), Deimos (terror), and Enyo (horror)—into battle with him.

But Ares was cowardly and quick to flee when things turned against him, and was even publicly mocked by his own brother Hephaestus.

Hephaestus (god of the forge and blacksmiths) had caught Ares having an affair with his wife. While said to be the ugliest of all deities, somehow Hephaestus married Aphrodite, the very goddess of love and beauty. But she rarely reciprocated his love, preferring instead the war god Ares.

Meanwhile, Zeus continued to have extramarital trysts of his own, many of which bore offspring—most famously Artemis (goddess of archery) and Apollo. God of wisdom, truth, music, the sun, and —among other things—healing, Apollo proved to be one of the most revered Olympians. A childhood act of goodwill set the precedent for Apollo: a giant serpent called Python greedily guarded the Oracle at Delphi (a well from which sprang prophecies of the future). The serpent ravaged the nearby countryside, poisoning rivers and wells, destroying crops, and razing entire villages. The young Apollo defeated Python and liberated the Oracle.

Despite his good nature, Apollo was not always treated with respect, especially by his half-brother Hermes. Fleet of foot with winged sandals, Hermes was the messenger to all Olympian gods. But he was mischievous as well—and even while still wrapped in swaddling, he stole cattle from Apollo. Apollo demanded their return, but ended up giving in to Hermes as a result of his skill on the lyre. Hermes thus became the god of music.

In any case, Zeus did not limit his trysts to goddesses—mortal women also appealed to him. One such mortal was Semele, whom Zeus "visited" in the night as a divine presence. Semele did not know who the father was, but was pleased to have coupled with deity, and bore the child Dionysus, god of wine and celebration.

This naturally disturbed Hera, whose jealousies over Zeus's affairs never abated. She convinced Semele to uncover who the father was, even while knowing that no mortal woman could survive an encounter seeing Zeus in the flesh. Semele was killed.

But Hera was not yet satiated, and even had Dionysus murdered. Rhea brought him back to life and Zeus was forced to enrage Hera further by extending Dionysus divine protection.
Age of Mythology manual

Norse gods[]

NorsePortrait


In the beginning, Norse legend has it that there was nothing but fire and ice. Slowly these two forces forged two beings: Ymir the giant and Audhumla the cow. Audhumla subsisted by licking the salty ice, while Ymir survived off Audhumla's milk. Eventually the cow's incessant licking freed up a creature from the ice, the god Bor. Bor would father many other deities, but none would be more important than Odin.

Odin was to become the ruler of all Norse gods—as well as the embodiment of all knowledge. This he accomplished by trading his right eye with a giant called Mime in exchange for access to the fountains of wisdom. Later, when Mime was decapitated in battle, Odin anointed the skull with herbs and revived it, keeping Mime's severed head at his side for his invaluable counsel.

While Odin sired many children, it was the consummation of his marriage to the goddess Frigg that produced the greatest diversity of gods, from the stately and eloquent Bragi (god of poetry) to the most powerful of all Norse deities—Thor, god of thunder.

Thor was fearless in battle, owing largely to his choice of weaponry—an astonishingly powerful hammer he called Mjolnir. When thrown, Mjolnir would always return to Thor, but not before casting great swaths of lightning across the northern skies.

When Thyrm
[sic], king of all giants in the faraway land of Jotunheim, heard of the hammer he had to possess it. But the vengeance for stealing Thor's hammer would be quick and merciless. Thrym had demanded ransom for the hammer's return—and the ransom was the goddess Freyja, Thor's mother.

Thor was enraged, but Heimdall, guardian of the Rainbow Bridge and keeper of the keenest senses of all gods, had a plan: Thor would wear a woman's dress to Jotunheim, land of the giants, and convince Thyrm that he was Freyja. Thor at first refused but eventually put on one of Freyja's gowns and went to Jotunheim. When a very pleased Thrym presented the hammer in trade to whom he thought was Freyja, Thor swung it so mightily that the great giant was slain in a single blow. No one would again attempt such a ploy on the powerful Thor.

Although ruthless in battle, Thor was a protective warrior, having inherited his war-god status from Tyr (the most heroic and benevolent of all Norse war deities). Thor's rage might be terrible and absolute, but it was generally directed at those who would threaten humankind or the gods.

Baldr, on the other hand, couldn't have been a more different son for Odin than Thor. Temperate and gentle, Baldr was considered the god of beauty and wisdom. But he was plagued with nightmares and fears of death to the extent that his mother, the goddess Frigg, demanded that everyone and every living thing on earth swear to never do him harm. But Frigg forgot to tell the tiny, seemingly insignificant plant mistletoe, and this was to be Baldr's undoing.

As the story goes, the god Loki constructed an arrow of mistletoe, and then tricked Baldr's own brother (the blind war god Hod) into slaying Baldr. For this Loki was imprisoned beneath a giant serpent, which dripped acidic poison down onto his face. (The pain was so intense that Loki's writhing shook the earth, thus creating earthquakes.) Meanwhile, Frigg petitioned Hel, daughter of Loki and goddess of the underworld, to restore Baldr's life. Hel declared that first every thing on earth must shed tears for his death, in the same manner Frigg had demanded they protect him.

It certainly was possible. After all, Baldr was a popular god—the winter goddess Skadi was duped into an unhappy union with another god while trying to win Baldr's hand.

Yet despite his popularity, Hel's declaration never came to pass. Yet Baldr had a son, Forseti, the god of justice. From the elaborately decorated halls of his gold and silver palace, Forseti settled all disputes and continued to uphold the legend of his beloved father, Baldr.

The Norse gods were destined to be destroyed on the day of Ragnarok in battle against their enemies, the giants.
Age of Mythology manual

References[]

Age of Mythology manual, p. 45—47.

Gods in Age of Mythology
Civilization
ArchaicAge Archaic Age
ClassicalAge Classical Age
HeroicAge Heroic Age
MythicAge Mythic Age
GreekPortrait Greeks ZeusPortrait Zeus
HadesPortrait Hades
PoseidonPortrait Poseidon
AthenaIcon Athena

HermesIcon Hermes

AresIcon Ares
ApolloIcon Apollo

DionysusIcon Dionysus

AphroditeIcon Aphrodite
HeraIcon Hera

HephaestusIcon Hephaestus

ArtemisIcon Artemis
EgyptianPortrait Egyptians RaPortrait Ra
IsisPortrait Isis
SetPortrait Set
BastIcon Bast

PtahIcon Ptah

AnubisIcon Anubis
HathorIcon Hathor

SekhmetIcon Sekhmet

NephthysIcon Nephthys
OsirisIcon Osiris

HorusIcon Horus

ThothIcon Thoth
NorsePortrait Norse ThorPortrait Thor
OdinPortrait Odin
LokiPortrait Loki
FreyjaIcon Freyja

HeimdallIcon Heimdall

ForsetiIcon Forseti
SkadiIcon Skadi

BragiIcon Bragi

NjordIcon Njord
BaldrIcon Baldr

TyrIcon Tyr

HelIcon Hel
AtlanteanPortrait Atlanteans KronosPortrait Kronos
OranosPortrait Oranos
GaiaPortrait Gaia
PrometheusIcon Prometheus

LetoIcon Leto

OceanusIcon Oceanus
HyperionIcon Hyperion

RheiaIcon Rheia

TheiaIcon Theia
HeliosIcon Helios

AtlasIcon Atlas

HekateIcon Hekate
ChinesePortrait Chinese FuXiPortrait Fu Xi
NuWaPortrait Nü Wa
ShennongPortrait Shennong
HuangDiIcon Huang Di

SunWukongIcon Sun Wukong

ChangEIcon Chang'e
DaboGongIcon Dabo Gong

ZhongKuiIcon Zhong Kui

HeBoIcon He Bo
ChongliIcon Chongli

AoKuangIcon Ao Kuang

XiWangmuIcon Xi Wangmu
Major gods have circular icons
Gameplay elements in the Age of Empires series
Age · Ability (II · M · III · IV) · Architecture set (II · III) · Area of Effect (Trample damage) · Armor/Resists (hack/melee · pierce/ranged · crush/siege)  · Armor class/Tag (I - original · I - Return of Rome · II · IV) · Artificial intelligence · Attack (Attack bonus/Multiplier) · Attack delay · Attack ground · Aura (IV) · Auto Scout · Building (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization bonus · Cheat code (I · II · M · III · IV) · Conversion · Counter · Diplomacy · Gaia/Mother Nature · Game modes · Garrison · Gather Point · Healing · Hit points · Hotkey · Line of Sight · Mini map · Player · Population · Range · Rate of Fire · Regeneration · Relic (II · M · IV) · Repairing · Resource (Renewable resources) · Scenario Editor (I · II · M · III · IV) · Score · Signal Allies/Flare · Soundtrack (I · II · M · III · IV) · Speed · Stealth mode · Taunt · Technology (I · II · M · III · IV) · Technology tree (I · II · IV) · Town Bell · Trade (IV) · Tribute · Unit (I · II · M · III · IV) · Unit formation · Unit stance (III) · Upgrade (I · II · III · IV) · User interface · Victory · Villager Priority
Genie Engine
Frame delay · Full Tech Tree · Team bonus
ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of EmpiresRuins · Discovery
AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires IIPass-through damage · Projectile duplication
Bang Engine
Autoqueue · Snare
Aom original icon Age of MythologyGod (Major · Minor) · God power · Settlement
3Icon48px Age of Empires IIIAge-up methods (Politician/Tribal Council/Wonder/Federal State/Alliance· Banner army · Consulate · Damage Cap · Home City · Home City Card · Inspiring Flag · Minor civilization · Nuggets · Promotion · Revolution · Target Lock · Trade Monopoly · Trade Route · Treasure
Essence Engine
GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IVBounty · Dynasty · Fire armor · Imperial Council (Vizier Point) · Influence · Landmark · Religion · Sacred Site · Variant civilization
If a gameplay element has different pages across games, like civilization, the individual pages are linked in brackets.
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