|This article is about the building in Age of Empires II. For the building in other games of the series, see Wonder.|
|“||Building a Wonder of the World demonstrates the superiority of your civilization. Constructing a Wonder that stands for a certain period of time is one way to win the game.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Wonder is a special building in Age of Empires II that becomes available upon reaching the Imperial Age. In specific game modes, the Wonder grants victory if built and defended for 200 years. Wonders cannot be converted.
Each civilization builds a Wonder of historical relevance and unique appearance.
- 1 Tactics and placement
- 2 List of Wonders
- 2.1 The Age of Kings
- 2.2 The Conquerors
- 2.3 The Forgotten
- 2.4 The African Kingdoms
- 2.5 Rise of the Rajas
- 2.6 Definitive Edition
- 2.7 Lords of the West
- 2.8 Dawn of the Dukes
- 3 Further statistics
- 4 Civilization bonuses
- 5 Team bonuses
- 6 Changelog
- 7 Trivia
- 8 History
- 9 Video
Tactics and placement
Wonders only serve as a victory condition, and as such they are only useful in game modes that allow that kind of victory. When a player starts to build a Wonder, every other player receives a notification with the location of the Wonder so they know where to steer their aggression. AI allies, if they have enough resources and technologies, will madly start building towers, Castles and walls of maximum quality to defend their civilization, even if the Allied Victory is not activated.
Wonders should be placed in a well-defended area, so it is better to first build up a strong fortification composed of Castles, walls, and towers, essentially a late-game turtling strategy. In any case, the player must be prepared to be the main focus of all enemy attacks and prepare to defend the Wonder. It is advised to have a huge army to defend against attacking armies, particularly siege units. Since the Wonder takes incredibly long to be built, it is advised to build it with as many Villagers as possible, and once it is finished, a few should be left nearby in case the Wonder needs repairs. In team games, the support of allies while defending is highly valuable.
It is possible (but costly) to build more than one Wonder so that if one falls, other Wonders can stand for the time required to win the game. In The Conquerors, if the player has multiple Wonders and one is destroyed, the timer will reset but still be displayed. Although highly unlikely, if multiple players finished their Wonder at the same time, the player in the highest slot regardless of the color wins once the countdown ends.
A Monument can be found in the Scenario Editor and some campaigns. Its appearance varies being different for each civilization, much like the Wonder, and it has the same icon, although it merely functions as decorative. It has 9999 hit points, making it the bulkiest building in the game.
List of Wonders
Wonder: Aachen Cathedral (before the Definitive Edition)
Wonder: Chichester Cathedral (in the Definitive Edition)
Wonder: Hagia Sophia
Wonder: Rock of Cashel
Wonder: Temple of Heaven
Wonder: St. Vitus Cathedral
Wonder: Mausoleum of Theoderic I
Wonder: Great Tent of Genghis Khan
Wonder: Taq-i Kisra Palace
Wonder: Great Mosque of Samarra
Wonder: Maria Laach Abbey
- Pax Mongolica (original version)
- The Lombard League
- The Fall of Rome
- Wonder of the World
- Warrior of God
Wonder: Selimiye Mosque
Wonder: Borgund Stave Church
Wonder: Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan
Wonder: Arch of Constantine
Wonder: Hwangnyong Temple
Wonder: Temple of the Great Jaguar
Wonder: Torre del Oro
Wonder: Temple of the Sun at Macchu Picchu
Wonder: Cathedral of St. Lawrence
Wonder: Hunyad Castle
- Pax Mongolica (Definitive Edition)
- The Return of the Dragon (named Bran Castle)
- Saving the Huts
- A Worthy Opponent
Wonder: Kizhi Church
Wonder: Hassan Tower
Wonder: Biete Amanuel
Wonder: Great Mosque of Djenné
Wonder: Belém Tower
Wonder: Shwezigon Pagoda
Wonder: Angkor Wat
Wonder: Kalasan Temple
Wonder: Bút Tháp Temple
Wonder: Preslav Round Church
Wonder: Sarkel Fortress
Wonder: Ducal Palace of Trakai Island Castle
- Where the One-Eyed Man is King (before Dawn of the Dukes)
- Family Affairs
- Duel of the Dukes
- The Siege of Vilnius
Wonder: Ulugh Beg Observatory
Wonder: Hôtel de Ville, Brussels
Wonder: Duomo di Monreale
Wonder: Powder Gate Tower, Prague
Wonder: Wawel Cathedral
|Building strengths and weaknesses|
|Weak vs.||Everything except Monks.|
|Hit points|| Masonry (+10%)|
|Armor|| Masonry (+1/+1, +3 building armor)|
Architecture (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
|Line of Sight|| Town Watch (+4)|
Town Patrol (+4)
|Construction speed||Treadmill Crane (+20%)|
|Other||Atheism (adds 100 years to Wonder victories for all players, Huns only)|
- Byzantines: Wonders have +40% HP. Town Watch and Town Patrol are free.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Wonders are 20% cheaper.
- Incas: Wonders cost 15% less stone.
- Italians: Researching Masonry, Architecture, and Treadmill Crane is 33% cheaper.
- Malians: Wonders cost 15% less wood.
- Persians: Researching Town Watch and Town Patrol is 20% faster.
- Portuguese: Technologies that benefit Wonders are researched 30% faster.
- Spanish: Wonders are built 20% faster.
The Age of Kings
- Wonders are always revealed on the map, regardless of victory condition.
- Britons: The Wonder is the Aachen Cathedral.
- Wonders are only revealed on the map on Standard Victory conditions.
- Wonders are indicated on the minimap as a white spot.
- Incas and Italians: The Wonder is partially edited from other buildings in the game.
- Indians: The Wonder is the Gol Gumbaz.
- Magyars: The Wonder is a modified, smaller version of the Hunyad Castle.
Rise of the Rajas
- Indians: The Wonder is the Brihadeeswarar Temple. The Gol Gumbaz remains available in the Scenario Editor.
- Britons: The Wonder is the Chichester Cathedral. The Aachen Cathedral remains available in the Scenario Editor.
- Incas and Italians: The Wonder has a unique model made from scratch, but it is still based on the same real-life buildings.
- Magyars: The Wonder is a full version of the Hunyad Castle.
- The Wonder is the only constructable building that does not have the standard building armor class, along with the Fish Trap.
- The Wonder is the only item in the game to cost three different resources.
- A few Wonders are repurposed as other buildings in the Scenario Editor: The Arch of Constantine in Rome, edited from the Hunnic Wonder; the Gol Gumbaz, previously used as the Indian Wonder, the Mosque, identical in appearance to the Turkish Wonder, the Cathedral, which is a larger version of the former British Wonder (and actually was created first during development), the Temple of Heaven, which is a larger and more decorated version of the Chinese Wonder; and the Palace, which is identical to the Wonder except in the case of the Malians, Ethiopians, and Portuguese, where it resembles previous Wonder models that were later discarded or reworked.
- The icon depicts the Turkish Wonder.
The Age of Kings
- The original British Wonder is located in Aachen, in modern Germany.
- The Frankish Wonder's appearance is anachronistic. St. Vitus Cathedral's Western portal featured in game was finished in the late 1920's. This building is located in Prague - Czech Republic. It is also worth noting that St. Vitus's Cathedral is actually a Bohemian cathedral, ordered by Wenceslaus the 1st after he had acquired a holy relic, Saint Vitus' arm, from Emperor Henry I, emperor of Francia.
- The Turkish Wonder was influenced by the Byzantine Wonder.
- The Hun Wonder was actually built by the Romans, though it might be a testament of the Huns being one of the barbarian tribes who pushed the Western Roman Empire into decline, as shown by the Huns' loot filling it.
- The Spanish Wonder is usually credited to the Berber Almohad Caliphate, though its ingame appearance includes elements built after its Castilian takeover.
- The base of the Celt Wonder was slightly altered and reused as a base for the Mediterranean style Castles.
- The top of the Spanish Wonder is also reused for the Italian Wonder.
- The Slav Wonder is anachronistic, as the Kizhi Pogost was not built until the 17th century (outside Age of Empires II's timeframe). A more accurate choice would've been the Moscow Kremlin when it was a limestone citadel, the Dormition Cathedral, or the Ferapontov Monastery.
- Notably, the Russian Mod that preceded The Forgotten and served as basis for the Slavic civilization used a model of St. Basil's Cathedral (near the Kremlin, and often mistaken for it by Westerners), which had been taken from the game Cossacks, and would be a more appropriate choice since St. Basil's was built in 1555-1561 (barely within Age of Empires II's timeframe) to commemorate the Russian conquest of the Tatar khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan.
- It is possible that Kizhi Pogost was chosen as the new Wonder because it resembles St. Basil's but also looks different enough to avoid accusations of plagiarism.
- The presence of the Editor-only Dormition Cathedral in the Definitive Edition may be a result of it being considered as a replacement.
- Similarly, the first Indian mod actually used the Gol Gumbaz's contemporary but much more famous Taj Mahal (1632) as the Indian Wonder.
The African Kingdoms
- The Berber Wonder is actually an incomplete building, being the minaret of an unfinished mosque and has only half of its intended height.
- The design of the Malian Wonder is anachronistic by necessity. It is based on the current appearance of the Great Mosque of Djenne, but the mosque was rebuilt in the early 20th century. The original mosque would likely have looked different, but no records exist that describe its appearance, so it remains unknown. The architect of the original mosque was from Egypt, so it is possible that it would have been similar to medieval Egyptian mosques in appearance.
- The Ethiopian Wonder in the real world is a monolithic underground rock-cut church, so ideally it should be built by digging the soil, cutting and sculpting an underground rock and digging a passage from above to the church's front door.
- The Cuman Wonder was actually built by the Khazars, an unrelated Turkic people, with assistance from the Byzantines, but taken by the Kipchaks from the Kievan Rus' in the 12th century. Although the Wonder having a ruined appearance in-game is likely a reference to this, the list of Cuman AI players also includes some Khazar khans.
- The presence of the Tower of London in the Editor could be due to being considered for new Briton Wonder before the Chichester Cathedral was chosen.
|“||One distinguishing cultural characteristic of the great Middle Age civilizations was architecture. Buildings in Japan, Scandinavia, Britain, Constantinople, and Arabia looked quite different and employed different construction techniques. In many cases, particularly noteworthy buildings stand as icons for the building civilization, marking it for all time as a culture that achieved greatness, if only temporarily. Examples of such Middle Age cultural icons are the Cathedral at Chartres, Charlemagne’s Palace, and the Hagia Sophia at Constantinople.||”|
|—Age of Empires II manual|
|Buildings in Age of Empires II|
|House · Monastery · Wonder|
|Economic||Town Center · Dock · Fish Trap · Mill · Farm · Market · Lumber Camp · Mining Camp · Feitoria · Folwark|
|Research||Blacksmith · University|
|Barracks · Archery Range · Stable · Siege Workshop · Castle · Harbor · Krepost · Donjon|
|Tower||Outpost · Watch Tower · Guard Tower · Keep · Bombard Tower|
|Wall||Palisade Wall · Stone Wall · Fortified Wall · Palisade Gate · Gate|