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No Empire Lasts Forever is the fifth and final scenario of Act II: China in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties


The scenario starts out with the cinematic "A New Empire" and revolves around the fleet finding Admiral Jinhai setting himself up as a ruler for the natives. The crew find out the bitter truth of Jinhai not being as naive as once though and actually plotting against them earlier in India with the Zamorin. Captain Huang, Lao Chen, and the fleet soon get ambushed shortly after by native warriors and are forced to flee to the coast through a series of caves, where they will set up base and counterattack. After the scenario is complete, it will be followed by the cinematic "Sea Change" where the fleet decides to pack up and begin their journey back home to China.

Unlike the previous scenario A Rescue in the Wilderness, this scenario requires patience, especially at the start. The player will have to move from cave to cave unnoticed. Technically they can fight the enemies, but it's better to avoid them whenever possible. When they are forced to fight, they should always use Lao Chen and Huang's special ability to take them out quickly before they cause substantial damage.


Primary objectives[]

  • Move to the northern beaches and recover your crew (500 XP)
  • Destroy the Mutineer Town Centers (40,000 XP)

Secondary objectives[]

  • Dig through the cave wall to reach the Mines (500 XP)


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  • Treasure Fleet (Chinese): The Player start out on the western edge of the map and are immediately faced with their first primary objective of moving to the northern beaches to recover their crew. They are provided with Lao Chen, Captain Huang, 2 Steppe Riders, 3 Chu Ko Nu, and 2 Qiang Pikemen.


  • Chinese Mutineers (Chinese): Consists of an array of Chinese troops, situated in the three bases directly pointed at the player's base. Once the player reaches the base, they will be instructed to construct an army to destroy the three surrounding Town Centers of the Mutineers. The Mutineers will fiercely attack the player's base with cavalry and infantry units. Jinhai himself will appear as the player takes down his last base with his vanguard.


Players start out on the western edge of the map and are immediately faced with their first primary objective of moving to the northern beaches to recover their crew. They are provided with Lao Chen, Captain Huang, 2 Steppe Riders, 3 Chu Ko Nu, and 2 Qiang Pikemen. Immediately, they should fight and claim the treasure of a hummingbird worth 40 XP guarded by a Cougar as the Treasure guardian will give minimal damage to the player's units. After the treasure is claimed, the player should cautiously look out for enemy Steppe Riders and other military units patrolling the area and avoid them at all costs, otherwise they will be forced to attack.

Once the coast is clear, there's a second treasure of a Medicine Man guarded by 4 Cougars. The Medicine Man will be beneficial in healing the units later throughout the game. When the treasure is claimed, a small brigade of Changdao Swordsmen and Qiang Pikemen will charge at the player, using Lao Chen's special ability will easily take care of them and defeat them all at once. Once the small brigade is defeated, the player can proceed to further scout further southwest where another cave will lie to their left. Another brigade of enemy soldiers similar to the last one will charge at the fleet.

As the player heads east for the second cave, there's another treasure guarded by a Cougar, the player can take out the guardian to claim the treasure and will also be rewarded with a Qiang Pikeman as reinforcement. After that the player should allow an enemy army patrolling the caves to pass by unaware to prevent further causalities. Once they have left the area the player can proceed to head further Southeast to continue their journey up north to the beaches. As they continue east, they will arrive at a peaceful Aztec native village and a treasure of a Quechua Huaminca guarded by 2 Outlaw Blowgunners. If any of the troops are damaged, the Medicine Man should be used to heal them. Once the treasure is claimed the player they can proceed to head east to a long and narrow tunnel. Immediately the tunnel will have 3-4 treasures guarded by Grizzly Bears and a trio of Grizzlies will charge at the player from the caves. Using Huang's special ability will help damage the bears before they are taken down with the fleet troops.

At this point the player will keep exploring further north down the cave where they will face the last treasure guarded by a Grizzly Bear. Once the treasure is claimed, the player would have exited the tunnel and arrive onto land by the Treasure Ship where they will reach a friendly settlement, the player will immediately have to configure the Villagers on food by tasking them to hunt Capybaras and Tapirs as well as gathering Berries for food. At this point, the player should start to spawn numbers of Villagers as well as heading west in the map to take out the enemy Castles and enemy units.

The Castles will be heavily guarded, and it is recommended to put exploration and attacking to halt for a few minutes and moving all military troops back into the friendly settlement, while the army is put on halt, banner armies should be trained from the War Academies provided from the settlement and the Territorial Army should be trained to help balance out the player's military. When advancing to the Fortress Age, the Porcelain Tower would be recommended due to the economic benefits for resources the Wonder poses. The player will be ready for a full on assault for the remaining enemy encampments.

The players should send all their troops to attack the Hill Castles in the west. Once they are destroyed the player will take a sharp turn south to reach the enemy Chinese village in the center of the map, over there Admiral Jinhai will be defending the village and should be taken out first. Once Jinhai is defeated, the player can take out and raze the village Town Center. Any remaining enemy Villagers will quickly garrison inside the Town Center, the Hand Mortars and Flamethrowers will come in handy in quickly razing the Town Center.

Now the player can head west to destroy the second and last Town Center, the Town Center will be defended by Jinhai's last forces, small numbers of Iron Flails and Chu Ko Nu will scramble forward to defend their colony before being defeated, once the second Town Center is destroyed the scenario is completed and the player has officially completed the Act II: China campaign.

Alternate strategy[]

One of the best strategies to win on Hard mode is to use the heroes solo. This is because the enemy will not proactively attack, and enemy troops from different regions will not defend each other until the player gains control of their Town Center.

Using the two heroes, the player can move across up near the water, avoiding the Town Center the objectives tell them to get to. Go around to reach one of the Town Centers of the enemy. Using the cooldown abilities and regeneration when idle of the heroes, the player can kill all enemy troops and villagers in the area, then slowly destroy the Town Center.

Afterwards, the player can move the two heroes down to the other enemy Town Center and do the same. This time, before sieging the Town Center, to deal with Admiral Jinhai getting up and needing to be occasionally get made to fall unconscious again, the player should first idle the heroes until they regenerate to full health or close to it.

Captain Huang's Heavenly Fire ability can be used to speed up this process greatly, as it does a lot of damage with a x3 multiplier versus buildings. Once the Town Centers are down, the player should be able to just claim the Town Center of the objectives, as it will win the game, due to the subsequent objectives it unlocks. Since the enemy does not have villagers or Town Centers, the game is basically won already, with this speeding up the process.

The map[]

NELF map

The map of the scenario features a slightly different variant of terrain from the previous two, the soil being siltier and brown with trees that will provide a well supply of wood. Networks of cave tunnels will snake throughout the map; twisting and winding in different directions. Silver Mines will be found scattered throughout the map although an occasional Gold Mine may be found exclusively in the cave tunnels, both providing coin. Herds of Tapir and Capybara will found foraging the lush greenery of the map. To the north will lie the coast, although there will be no Fish or Whales to gather resources for. Large swathes of land in the south of the map cannot be explored due the cave tunnels


The story confirms that the natives the fleet meet are the Aztecs, calling them that in native buildings the player can find on the map. The map confirms the fleet reached the Americas by the Eastern shore.

The story is based on the Treasure Ship of Zheng He. However, it is very ahistorical. Additionally, if the dates are presumed to be similar to real life, the fleet would have only been able to see the Aztec empire near its beginning (the Aztec empire was founded in 1428 and the treasure ship was operational 1405-1433).

The story never explains how Admiral Jinhai was able to rule over/ally with the Aztecs or what the point of his betrayal was.


Campaigns in Age of Empires III
3Icon48px Age of Empires III
TutorialMaster the Basics · Try a Game
Act I: BloodBreakout · Into the Caves · Pirates! · The Ottoman Fort · Temples of the Aztec · A Pirate's Help · Spanish Treasure Fleet · The Fountain of Youth?
Act II: IceDefend the Colony · Strange Alliances · The Rescue · The Seven Years' War · The Great Lakes · Respect · Warwick's Stronghold · Bring Down the Mountain
Act III: SteelRace for the Rails · Hold the Fort · The Boneguard's Lair · The Lost Spanish Gold · Bolivar's Revolt · Journey Through the Andes · Last City of the Inca · Last Stand of the Boneguard
3WCIcon48px The WarChiefs
Act I: FireWar Dance (War Ceremony· The Rescue · Breed's Hill · Crossing the Delaware · Saratoga · Valley Forge · The Battle of Morristown · The Battle of Yorktown
Act II: ShadowThe Bozeman Trail · Red Cloud's War (A Reckoning· Claims · Ambushed! (Urgent News· Turning Point (To Stop a War· Trust · Battle of the Little Bighorn (Battle of the Greasy Grass)
3ADIcon48px The Asian Dynasties
Act I: JapanThe Siege of Osaka · Uprising! · Clearing the Road · Last Stand at Fushimi · The Battle of Sekigahara
Act II: ChinaTo Finish a Fleet · Storming the Beaches · Lost Ships · A Rescue in the Wilderness · No Empire Lasts Forever
Act III: IndiaInto the Punjab · Fires of Calcutta · Resist! · Raid in Delhi · Company Confrontation
Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition
Historical BattlesAlgiers · Christopher da Gama's Expedition · Chuvash Cape · Raid on the Caribbean · Fort Duquesne · Battle of New Orleans · The Burning of USS Philadelphia · Grito de Dolores · Battle of Queenston Heights
The Art of WarEarly Economy · Treasures · Home City Shipments · Booming · Build Orders · Early Defense · Early Offense · Land Battle · Naval Battle · Artillery
Event scenariosBombard Brawl
Age3DE Icon The African Royals
Historical BattlesThe Battle of the Three Kings · Fall of the Hausa · The Era of the Princes
Names in brackets are the scenario's name in the Definitive Edition.