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December 25

Merry Christmas
I have not been able to update the page for a while, due to server outages, military service, and work keeping me from doing that. I intend to keep the page up to date about AoE - not AoK - issues. If possible, I will test and include new scenarios in the scenario page; if someone wants to test scenarios for me, please contact me. Keep sending in AoE scenarios - but please do not send me AoK ones.
I wish everybody merry Christmas, and hopefully a few won campaigns during these days ;-) Time permitting, I will also post a program that lets you extract Baldur's Gate battle music; it will not be posted on this page of course. So far, it has only been possible to extract some of the music because some tunes were scattered into 30+ small waves; but my small program fills that gap. I have also written another program that actively tracks DHL shipments for you and notifies you when the parcel arrived at some new checkpoint - or even your home :-) However, due to the heavy load it puts on the DHL database, I cannot publish this one :-(
In case I cannot update this page anymore before the year 2000, let's hope that the power supply will still work afterwards ;-)

October 28

AoK demo version
A demo version has now appeared on GameSpot UK or GameSpot USA. Strangely, they have an exclusive deal, so that you can only get the demo there. I don't know any other mirror sites.
I recommend that you download the game if you have not tried it, then you can find out whether you will like it (pretty sure you will) and whether it runs on your computer (which is an entirely different question). All in all, you do need faster hardware than for AoE, but for today's measures, the demands of the game are rather modest (at least for smaller matches with not too many units).
The demo includes the learning campaign (which is really great and shows you everything you have to know to play your first game without any further help) and one map for multiplayer games, a sort of "teaser" :-)

October 7

Chat with and play against AoK developers
I was too busy with work to update the page, but here are two important stories:

The MSN Gaming Zone ( will be hosting a chat with Ensemble Studios, developers of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, on Thursday, October 7, at 6:00pm PDT in the Age of Kings lobby on the Zone. Following the hour-long chat, players can join the developers in the new Age of Kings Zone lobby for massively multiplayer gaming action.
The Zone chat celebrates the early release of the highly anticipated sequel to the award-winning, best-selling real-time strategy game Age of Empires. Participating in the chat will be Age of Kings' producer, Harter Ryan, and game designers Sandy Petersen, Mark Terrano, and Ian Fisher. Directly following this event, at 7:00PM PDT, all gamers are invited to play against the developers in the newly launched Age of Kings lobby. Although the game is currently only available in select retail outlets, play on the MSN Gaming Zone is already going strong, with upwards of 900 gamers playing at peak times this past weekend.
For the gaming zone, see the link above. "Early release" sounds a bit sarcastic considering that the original schedule included a release in 1998! However, such delays are not uncommon for computer games.

AoK in the stores

It's finally here! Many of you have already grabbed one of the elusive copies of Age of Empires II from your local software store, and are currently trading trebuchet rocks with others on the Zone. In case you haven't heard yet, Age of Empires II: Age of Kings is now available on store shelves through most of North America.
The new Age II lobbies are becoming increasingly more active, and sport a host of new features to make playing Age II on the Zone a blast. Most Age players out there prefer game scenarios and settings. You may enjoy playing Continental, 2.0 speed, fast civilizations, free-for-all, etc. But sometimes getting everyone to agree on game settings can be a little challenging. So we've customized a few game rooms by creating pre-defined room parameters, and by adding a few new features on the Zone game launchpad, which allow you to choose game settings in advance. We've also activated Restore game rooms where you can save an Age II game in progress, and restore it for play at a later date.
Because this page is not an AoK page, I will not write about further enhancements of AoK (such as patches, expansions etc.). After finishing up some parts of this page, I will focus on my studies, work and the web page where my open source programs are available for download.

September 15

AoK "goes gold"

"Microsoft announced that Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings has gone gold today at 3:00pm PST. This means that the product is completed and is expected to start showing up on store shelves in the U.S. in early October; and internationally shortly thereafter. It will be fully localized in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is the sequel to the award-winning, best-selling real-time strategy game Age of Empires. Since the release of the original Age of Empires in November 1997, the Age of Empires franchise (including the original Age of Empires, Age of Empires Expansion: The Rise of Rome, and Age of Empires Gold Edition) has sold over three million units worldwide.
In anticipation of the long-awaited release, Microsoft has partnered with two key retailers, Electronic's Boutique and Babbages, to offer consumers the chance to pre-order the game. For a limited time, Electronic's Boutique is giving away a Limited Edition Player's Guide with every pre-order and Babbages is offering a set of Limited Edition Collector's Cards that detail each of the game's unique civilizations and offer game play hints and tips. Gamers can also pre-order the game at Microsoft's online store."
It will take a while to get the CDs done; I guess it will take two weeks or more until the games will be on the shelves. As usual, Steve wrote a clever press release, giving plenty of URLs where you can buy the game...

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This page is © Cyrille Artho ( You are not allowed to use its content or parts of it without my written consent. You can always link to my page if you want to refer to something in it, or ask me first.

You will always find the latest news about Age of Empires on this page!

Age of Empires is a new real time strategy game produced by Ensemble Studios.

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