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Horse v prev aoe2de
The Horse is an animal that appears as a campaign unit in Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III. In Age of Empires and Age of Mythology, it is a beta unit cut from the retail releases of both titles.

Age of Empires Edit

In Age of Empires, the Horse does not appear in-game. However, it can be seen on the pre-game map for the Holy Man scenario. If accessed via special game editors, the Horse can be placed in a scenario as a Gaia unit. It is a large black Horse with spots near its tail, and much bigger than other cavalry in the game. It produces the same sounds as other horses in the game. It has 20 HP and no other stats. If other units approach it, it will run away much like a Gazelle, but is startled more easily and will disappear while running (due to missing assets), reappearing every time it comes to a stop. If the mouse is hovered over it, the words "Right-click to hunt this animal" will appear, but this is impossible to do so; right-clicking will just send the player's Villagers to the spot where it is/was standing. Likewise it cannot be attacked, either. CPU Villagers will approach it to hunt it, but they will simply follow it around without ever turning into Hunters.

If "gaia" is typed in as a cheat, the Horse can be controlled just like any other animal in the game, although it cannot attack and still cannot be attacked itself. It does not disappear if the player is moving it around, but it will still disappear when other units come near. Although it cannot be attacked, it can be killed if the player presses "Delete". The only other way to kill it is by activating "Attack Ground" at the spot where it is standing, with a Catapult or other similar unit. The Horse has the dying animation of a Gazelle and the carcass of a Lion.

During development, it was planned that Horses (and also Goats) would be created as food sources in a building called "Pasture" that was similar to the Livestock Pen in Age of Empires III.

Age of Empires II Edit

In Age of Empires II, the Horse is a special unit that cannot be created and is found mostly in campaign scenarios. The exception is the random map Steppe, where each player begins with a horse instead of a Scout Cavalry. Their scouting ability is mediocre, however, as they have no armor and only 2 line of sight, and they should be replaced by other scouting units as soon as they are available. Although Horses can be commanded, they cannot attack or be killed for food.

Horses appear in the Units tab of the Scenario Editor. If assigned to Gaia, they will switch allegiance to human players as soon as they are seen by one of their units (like most buildings and non-Gaia only units), and will never switch again unlike Herdable animals. Enemy units in aggressive stance attack Horses.

While the Horse plays a mostly decorative role in the campaigns, some scenarios have objectives revolving around capturing, keeping, or moving around a number of Horses:

  • In the third scenario of the Montezuma campaign, the player may opt to defeat Cortéz by capturing 20 Horses from him and bringing them to a walled area controlled by the player. The Horses are controlled by Cortéz and will not turn over to the player's control until the walls around them are breached and Aztec units enter their enclosures. As a result, it is possible for archers in aggressive stance to kill the Horses from outside, complicating the challenge. The player's ally Tabasco may also breach an enclosure and kill Horses but will usually surrender before this happens. After switching to the player's control, Cortéz and his ally Tlaxcala will attack the Horses.
  • In the fifth scenario of the same campaign, the player can capture Horses and bring them to a citadel, where they will turn into Elite Tarkans (Xolotl Warriors in the Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition). In this case, the Horses are initially controlled by Gaia despite being in walled areas controlled by Cortéz, and will switch over to the player even if the walls are not breached. This can potentially result in Cortéz killing the Horses while still walled in, if the player cannot break the walls in time.
  • In the first scenario of the Attila the Hun campaign, the Scythians, in gratitude for Attila's rescue of their prince from the Romans, will ally themselves with the Huns if the Huns bring them ten Horses. The player starts with three Horses but the scenario can be won without giving them up, as there are more than ten Gaia Horses scattered through the map.
  • In both the first and third scenario of the El Cid campaign, the player is required to move the titular character near one particular Horse (Babieca) so he will turn into his mounted version, El Cid Campeador. In this case, Babieca is controlled initially by the player's allies, King Sancho and King Alfonso respectively.

All Horses in The Conquerors and HD expansions are bay dun with dark manes. However in the Definitive Edition, Horses appear in five variants: Horse A, Horse B, Horse C, Horse D, and Horse E. They are listed as different units in the Editor, not different sprites of the same unit like in Age of Empires III, but are identical in everything except coat. A is the original Horse, B is heavier and with woolly ankles like a draft horse, C is white with dark mane, D is white with blond mane, and E is bicolor brown and white. All variants have the same icon.

There is also a Gaia Horse that looks identical but cannot be captured and behaves like a Deer: the Wild Horse.

Gallery Edit

Age of Mythology Edit

Horses were huntable nature units that were cut from Age of Mythology.

Gallery Edit

Age of Empires III Edit

"Wild Mustangs."
In-game description
Aoe 3 horse

The different models of Horses found in Age of Empires III

In the Respect scenario of the Act II: Ice campaign, the player earns respect from the Lakota tribesmen if they bring them five horses. Like in previous Age of Empires games, these cannot be killed, nor can they attack. However, with decent speed, they are useful for scouting. The horses coats come in a range of colors from white, brown, or a mix of both.

Non-selectable horses also appear in certain native villages like the Cheyenne, Lakota, and Comanche in Skirmish maps.

History Edit

"Scientific Name: Equus caballus
Approx. Size: 5 ft. at the shoulder, 1,000 lb.
Diet: Grasses, feed

Horses are long-legged, single-toed mammals that rely on speed and awareness to flee predators. They are social animals, living in herds led by matriarchs. Horses use elaborate body language to communicate with one another, which humans can learn and use to better communicate with horses. Though domesticated, horses are prey animals and their cooperation with man must be learned. There are many characteristics that define various breeds: color, gait, temperament, and size are just a few. Almost all modern horse breeds trace their ancestry back to Arabian horses.

When the Europeans arrived in the New World, they brought horses. Many Native American nations saw and embraced the power and utility of horses. Equus is thought to have evolved in North America millions of years ago, spreading to other parts of the world. Around 10,000 years ago they mysteriously vanished from North America and were unknown on the continent until Europeans reintroduced them.
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