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This article is about the unit in the PC game. For the unit in the handheld video game, see Shade (Age of Empires: Mythologies).

The Shade is an undead unit in Age of Mythology. There are four types of Shade, but only the Hades Shades are normally available to the player. Whenever one of Hades' human soldiers dies, there is a 20% chance that it will rise again as a Hades Shade at the first Temple the player built. A player may have a maximum of 25 Hades Shades.

Like heroes, Hades Shades gain hit points and attack through the Ages and are immune to the special attacks of myth units. However, they do not gain a bonus against myth units and cannot pick up Relics, so they are not heroes. They are not myth units either and heroes do not gain an attack bonus against them. They are not human units either; it seems they lurk in a shady half-existence outside the game's unit categories.



Hades Shades are not specialists and have neither the strengths nor the weaknesses of other units. They do not have any attack bonuses. On the other hand, their immunity to myth units' special attacks and the fact that no unit has a bonus against them counts in their favor.

Hades Shades may be weak, but, like Militia, they only cost one population slot and are strong in numbers. Of course, to amass such numbers, the player will have to have done a lot of fighting and lost a lot of units: on average a player will gain 20 Hades Shades for every 100 human soldiers they lose. This may happen naturally in a defensive situation, but it is generally unwise to deliberately seek out such a strategy.


Age of Mythology[]

  • Shades have 90 hit points.

The Titans[]

Tale of the Dragon[]

  • Shades are now affected by Armory upgrades.

Shade (SPC)[]

Shades offering their help.

A Shade instantly killing an enemy.

In the Fall of the Trident campaign, friendly Shades are an important feature of the Strangers scenario and also appear in the Underworld section of the Good Advice scenario. These Shades have a different appearance; they don't have a sickle weapon, lack a lower body and are surrounded by a green fog. They have far more hit points than Hades Shades and are invisible to enemies. They can kill myth units and most human soldiers in a single attack, though they disappear after doing so.

Shade of Olympus[]

Shades of Olympus gathered around a Shrine.

Shades of Olympus appear in the Mount Olympus scenario from The New Atlantis campaign. These hostile shades are identical to ones from Fall of the Trident, except they only instantly kill myth units and are visible to the enemy.

Shade (RM)[]

Hades Shades found on the map Erebus next to Wild Boars, ruins and a relic.

On the Erebus random map, another type of Shade (confusingly also called a Hades Shade) appears as a neutral unit. These shades are the same as the standard Hades Shade except they do not gain Age Advance bonuses and have only 90 HP.


The dead of Greek mythology became shades, empty ghost-like shadows of their former selves. Hades' land of the dead was not necessarily a horrible place to be, but it was without honor or glory. If anything, shades were pitied more than they were feared.