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Murder Holes is a technology in Age of Empires II available at the University. Once researched, it removes the minimum range from defensive structures. It is the only non-unique technology to cost stone.

Murder Holes is a somewhat situational technology, because it does nothing against enemy Trebuchets or Bombard Cannons, both of which are the biggest threats to Castles and towers. The fact that Murder Holes costs 100 stone also means that researching the technology is a significant investment. In cases where a tower or Castle is focused down by a large number of melee units, such as Paladins or Champions with Arson, Murder Holes can save the building from a slow but inevitable destruction. Often, however, players prefer to simply defend a Castle with units to take out rams and to save valuable stone. For the Malay, Murder Holes can also help defend their Harbors against the Fire Galley line.

Civilizations bonuses[]

  • Chinese AoE2 Chinese: Murder Holes is 10%/15% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Italians AoE2 Italians: Murder Holes is 33% cheaper.
  • Spanish AoE2 Spanish: Researching Murder Holes provides +20 gold.
  • Teutons AoE2 Teutons: Murder Holes is free.

Team bonuses[]

  • Malians AoE2 Malians: Researching Murder Holes is 80% faster.
  • Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese: Researching Murder Holes is 25% faster.


AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings[]

  • Murder Holes costs 200 food, 200 stone and takes 60 seconds to research.

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

  • With update 81058, Murder Holes takes 35 seconds to research.


  • Murder Holes was originally planned to be in Age of Mythology, but was replaced with Boiling Oil for historical reasons.
  • The name of this technology is misused: murder holes in reality are provisions on a gatehouse for pouring oil onto attackers trapped inside, not battlement extensions that allow archers to fire directly down. The correct name for this technology would be Machicolations, which are extensions on the battlements with holes in the floor that allow for archers to fire directly down at attackers.
  • As of patch 1.0b, Murder Holes is the only non-unique technology that has a stone cost. It is unknown why Murder Holes was excluded from the patch's otherwise complete removal of technological stone costs.


Hoardings were fortifications built at the top of castle walls and towers from which defenders could fight. They needed to be beyond the vertical plane of the wall so they could attack enemies at the base of the wall. At the bottom of the hoardings were trap doors called murder holes. These could be opened and defenders could shoot arrows and drop stones, boiling water, or burning sand directly down. Without murder holes, enemies up against the bottom of a wall were relatively safe.
Technologies in Age of Empires II
Economic technologies
MaleVillDEFEMALEVILLDE VillagerWheelbarrowDE Wheelbarrow · HandcartDE Hand Cart
Aoe2de food FoodHorseCollarDE Horse Collar · HeavyPlowDE Heavy Plow · CropRotationDE Crop Rotation
GillnetsDE Gillnets
Aoe2de wood WoodDoubleBitAxe aoe2DE Double-Bit Axe · BowSawDE Bow Saw · TwoManSawDE Two-Man Saw
Aoe2de gold GoldGoldMiningDE Gold Mining · GoldShaftMiningDE Gold Shaft Mining
CaravanDE Caravan
Aoe2de stone StoneStoneMiningDE Stone Mining · StoneShaftMiningDE Stone Shaft Mining
Civilian shipsDryDockDE Dry Dock · ShipwrightDE Shipwright
Market aoe2DE MarketCoinageDE Coinage · BankingDE Banking
GuildsDE Guilds
Military technologies
GeneralConscriptionDE Conscription
HeresyDE Heresy · Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion · FaithDE Faith
Melee unitsForging aoe2de Forging · IronCastingDE Iron Casting · BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace
CavalryBloodlinesDE Bloodlines · HusbandryDE Husbandry
ScaleBardingArmorDE Scale Barding Armor · ChainBardingDE Chain Barding Armor · PlateBardingArmorDE Plate Barding Armor
InfantrySuplliesicon Supplies · AoE2 Gambesons Gambesons · SquiresDE Squires · ArsonDE Arson
ScaleMailArmorDE Scale Mail Armor · ChainMailArmorDE Chain Mail Armor · PlateMailArmorDE Plate Mail Armor
Ranged unitsBallisticsDE Ballistics · ChemistryDE Chemistry
FletchingDE Fletching · BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow · BracerDE Bracer
ArchersPaddedArcherArmorDE Padded Archer Armor · LeatherArcherArmorDE Leather Archer Armor · RingArcherArmorDE Ring Archer Armor
ThumbRingDE Thumb Ring · ParthianTacticsDE Parthian Tactics
SiegeSiegeEngineersDE Siege Engineers
ShipCareeningDE Careening · DryDockDE Dry Dock
ShipwrightDE Shipwright
WarGalleyDE War Galley
BuildingTownWatchDE Town Watch · TownPatrolDE Town Patrol
Masonry aoe2de Masonry · ArchitectureDE Architecture
HeatedShotDE Heated Shot · ArrowSlitsDE Arrowslits · MurderHolesDE Murder Holes · TreadmillCraneDE Treadmill Crane · HoardingsDE Hoardings · BombardTower aoe2DE Bombard Tower
HerbalDE Herbal Medicine
MonkRedemptionDE Redemption · AtonementDE Atonement · SanctityDE Sanctity · FervorDE Fervor · IlluminationDE Illumination · BlockPrintingDE Block Printing · TheocracyDE Theocracy
MaleVillDEFEMALEVILLDE VillagerLoomDE Loom · SapperDE Sappers
Miscellaneous technologies
SpiesDE Spies · SpiesDE Treason · UniqueTechCastle-DEUniqueTechImperialDE Unique technologies
Removed/cut generic technologies
Bombardcannonresearch Bombard Cannon · CannongalleonresearchDE Cannon Galleon · Cartography aoe2de Cartography · Handcannon Hand Cannon · Huntingdogs Hunting Dogs · Revetments · TrackingDE Tracking