Like other King units, the Shah such has no attack, but has a fast movement speed and decent Line of Sight. As a hero, he cannot be converted and can regenerate health (since The Conquerors). After Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, the Shah has the sprite of a Middle Eastern King.
- Although the stat board displays his attack power as 0, he can actually attack, inflicting minimal damage on the target; however, his AI causes him to immediately flee when being attacked. While the attacking motion in the HD Edition is hard to even make out, in the original version of Age of Empires II he had a special attacking sprite which was taken from Photon Man, a cheat unit from Age of Empires.
- The Shah's role in The Horde Rides West is a combination of three different historical characters:
- Shah Muhammad II of Khwarazm (1169-1220), who incurred the wrath of Genghis Khan by turning down an offer of alliance and killing the Mongol ambassadors and traders. Genghis sent an army to kill him, but Muhammad II escaped to an island in the Caspian Sea where he died of pleurisy.
- His uncle Inalchuq (d. 1219), the governor of Otrar, who caused the diplomatic riff by seizing the aforementioned Mongol traders under accusations of spionage, and was captured and executed by the Mongols (reportedly, by pouring molten silver on his eyes and ears).
- His son Manguberdi (1199-1231), who advocated an offensive policy against the Mongols and led the Khwarazmian resistance after the fall of the main cities (hence the Khwarazmians becoming stronger if you don't kill the Shah in the scenario).