|This article is about the Relic in Age of Empires II. For the Relic in Age of Mythology, see Relic (Age of Mythology).|
Relics are depicted in-game as medium-sized, white, trophy-looking constructs. At the beginning of a random map game, Relics usually are scattered around the map. Relics can only be carried by Monks. When one is placed in a Monastery, the Relic slowly generates gold at a rate of 1 every 2 seconds. This is equal to one unupgraded Dark Age Gold Miner that does not have to travel more than one tile. If more Relics are collected, more gold is generated. Relics are much more important in 1v1 games since trade is not a viable option of getting gold.
If the player trains a Monk for the sole purpose of collecting a Relic, the cost will pay for itself very soon, 200 seconds (3 minutes and 20 seconds) after the Relic has been garrisoned in a Monastery.
Collecting all of the available Relics on a map in a standard game will additionally initiate a 200-year timer that counts down to the victory of the player holding them, or their team if "Allied Victory" was checked before the game started. Relics captured by the player's allies will contribute to the team's victory so long as every single Relic on the map is in possession of a team member. Note that if victory method 'Conquest' is chosen, Relics will not win the game and all enemies have to be conquered.
In a standard game, 5 Relics are generated in random locations on the map. Relics cannot be targeted by attacks and are impervious to damage/destruction, but custom scenarios can make them disappear using a Remove Object trigger effect.
Without expansion pack data, a standard game always has five Relics scattered randomly across the map, while with The Forgotten or The African Kingdoms loaded the amount of Relics scales according to the chosen map size, with LudiKRIS-sized maps containing as many as ten and tiny maps having three.
The following civilizations can research technologies or have bonuses related to Relics:
- Huns: Atheism adds 100 years to a Relic victory, for all players, and reduces enemy gold income from Relics by .
- Indians: Sultans increases Relic gold production by 10%.
- Aztecs: Relics produce 33% more gold.
- Burgundians: Relics trickle both Gold and Food.
- Burmese: Relics are visible on the map from the beginning of the game.
Relics are very important to any long-duration games, particularly on maps with scarce gold. Thus, it is very important to attempt to gather many as soon as the Castle Age is reached. During the Dark and Feudal Ages, using scouts to pinpoint Relic locations and building a few archers and infantry to deter enemy Monks from snatching free Relics can be useful. Monks are completely vulnerable while collecting Relics, so it is important attach a patrol with them to make sure they don't get killed. Researching Fervor and Sanctity is useful in order to make Monks retrieve Relics successfully by improving their speed and health, respectively.
In the late game, Relics can be an pivotal point in deciding where battles are fought. The successful theft of a Relic is generally a very large victory considering both the usefulness and versatility of extra gold. Relics should be closely guarded and contained within Monasteries that are difficult to reach and easy to defend. Optimally, they should also be scattered across several Monasteries to avoid losing all of them should the Monastery that contained them fall.
Introduced in Age of Empires II: The Forgotten, this game mode has similarities to King of the Hill. At the start of the game, there is only one Relic in the center of the map. All the players start with an indestructible Monastery and cannot build any Monasteries. The player that manages to place the Relic inside their Monastery instantly wins the game. Capture the Relic games are usually very short.
- If a Transport Ship loaded with a Monk carrying a Relic is sunk, the Relic will automatically teleport back to the Monk's position before it garrisoned into the Transport Ship. Should the Relic fail to be reset because of obstruction, it will perform a branching search for landable terrain, alternating between eastern and northern diagonals. If it again fails to find landable terrain, it will force itself as close to the position it was in before it was garrisoned as 'Monk with Relic'. This means a lost Relic will always be teleported to the north-east of its original location.
- "Relic" is capitalized in all The Conquerors-only text, but never in any The Age of Kings text.
- A unique Relic named "Piece of the True Cross" is available in the Scenario Editor (accessed in the "Others" tab after setting the Player to Gaia), but if a Monk tries to pick up it vanishes.
|“||The influence of religion in daily life during the Middle Ages, especially in Europe, was exemplified by the attraction and trafficking of religious relics. The burial sites of saints became the focus of pilgrimages. A church or monastery that owned even a few bones from a saint or a small piece of the true cross drew pilgrims. In time a market for saintly bones developed and rich men competed to acquire such relics and endow them to local religious institutions. Attracting pilgrims and believers was good for the local economy. The most famous relic of the period is the Shroud of Turin, purported to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. This shroud was acquired in the Middle East and brought to Italy in the late Middle Ages.||”|