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Proto:Age of Empires/

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Age of Empires.

To do:
Finish, possibly with the help of [1]
Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.

This prototype version of Age of Empires is in a very early state. While the engine is more or less finished, not much else is.

General Differences

  • The game runs in windowed mode at a 640x480 resolution by default. It is possible to change the resolution with command line prompts. See Command Lines for more information.
  • Quick Start Game replaces the Random Map option, the game throws you directly into a 1v1 game without being able to set civilizations, players, teams, or other gameplay settings.
  • Right-clicking to do any action doesn't provide a visual cue, like the building outline flashing when attacking it or the red animated arrow when moving somewhere.
  • Saving the game doesn't appear to work. The player name and campaign progress are not saved either.
  • The Town Center only provides a population of 1, so you will have to build a house immediately if you want to create additional units.
  • When placing buildings, strange graphical artifacts appear at the top of the screen.
  • The pathfinding is really iffy, and units often get stuck or just stop.
  • Line of sight lags behind the unit, unlike the final game where line of sight moves instantly with the unit.
  • Military units can't attack animals.
  • Attack Ground is not yet implemented.
  • Waypoints are not yet implemented.
  • Grouping units with Ctrl + 1-9/0 is not yet implemented. Double clicking to select all visible units of the same type doesn't work either.
  • A hard cap on the population limit doesn't exist.
  • In the Diplomacy window, the only tribute option is to send 100 units of gold. Attempting to give tribute to another player crashes the game.
  • Everything that appears through the fog of war can be clicked on and its info, like amount left, is updated live, there is no "Doppleganger" unit to mask the appearance of a given object when it's no longer visible through the Fog of War. The Minimap also updates things that are meant to be invisible, provided the area has been explored.
  • Line of sight from allied players is not shared.
  • From the Tool Age on, there is a mechanic to cover insufficient resources with a payment of Gold equal to the amount of resources you're missing. This was removed from the final game.
  • The encyclopedia is not implemented yet. There is a help file (tribecx.hlp) that contains exactly one entry, for the Town Center.


  • The Stone and Tool Age Barracks use different graphics.
  • The Mesopotamian's Temple is a smaller rendition of their Wonder
  • The Asian civilization's buildings are still a work in progress, with some not aligned properly with their outlines.
  • The Wonder is completely absent.
  • The Trade Workshop can be built by researching it at the Market in Bronze Age, though it's unknown what its purpose was. The building still exists in data for the final game, but is hidden and has no function gameplay wise.
  • Alongside these, buildings are much cheaper to build than they are in the final game.


  • Lions and Alligators cause Villagers to retreat when attacked.
  • The Clubman is called Maceman in this prototype.
  • The Axemen were topless; this was probably changed to avoid confusion with the Villagers.
  • The Scout is called "Cavalry Scout," and uses the final's Calvary unit icon.
  • The Cavalry is an upgrade to the Cavalry Scout. The icon for this is still in the final game, but unused. The Cavalry itself uses a unique icon which cannot be found in the final game at all.
  • The Balista (sic) was built at the Archery Range, rather than the Siege Workshop.
  • Fishing Boats only carry 10 Food, while Fishing ships carry 15. Fishing Ships also have a massive line of sight.
  • The Scout Ship is called the "Small War Ship".
  • The War Galley is called the "Medium War Ship" in the upgrade name, but just "War Ship" for the unit name.
  • The Trading Boat/Merchant Ship has broken/missing descriptions for the trading buttons.
  • The Catapult Trireme is an upgrade to the Trireme. It is called the "Trireme with Catapult," as an upgrade and "Hvy Trireme," as a unit. It has a vastly different appearance and an insane range and attack speed.
  • All warships turn slowly, unlike the final version where they just turn immediately.
  • The Swordsmen are an upgrade to the Axemen.
  • The Elephant Archer and the War Elephant only have dummy icons. Their graphics also seem to be glitched; the War Elephant has no one riding on it and the Elephant Archer has what seems to be the wheels from an Artifact floating on its back.
  • Priests have no cooldown after a conversion, they can convert another enemy unit immediately.
  • There are no elite units yet.

File:Aoe1_0005010204_MiddleEastIronTC.png|Different Town center, Balista has much more HP and range than its final counterpart. It also benefits from the archer's armor upgrades.

Technologies and Upgrades

  • Many technologies are different, and some don't describe what they do.
  • Technologies are extremely cheap compared to the final version. Almost nothing costs Gold.
  • Upgrading to Tool Age only requires 200 Food, as opposed to 500.
  • Upgrading to Bronze Age only requires 150 Food, a real bargain!
  • Upgrading to Iron Age only requires 400 Gold, the only tech to use this resource.
  • There are two upgrades in this prototype that aren't in the final, Scouting and Mathematics, both researched at the Government Center. The Scouting upgrade gives your units a much larger line of sight. Mathematics increases the range of both archery range units and siege workshop units by 50%.
  • All the upgrades in the Temple only have dummy icons. Also, the upgrade buttons are wrong; clicking on one upgrade will research a different upgrade.
  • The Bronze Shield upgrade has a dummy icon and no text whatsoever.
  • The Infantry, Archer and Cavalry lines can be upgraded all the way up to the Iron Age. The final version splits the Tool age unit lines, which only cost Food or Food and Wood, from the Bronze ones, which cost Food and Gold.


  • The berry bushes are called "Forage Sites," and provide 200 units of Food.
  • Animals, Forage Sites and Palm Trees can be built ontop of, causing them to disappear. This is in contrast to the final, which only lets you build ontop of chopped down trees.
  • Lions and Alligators only have 15 hitpoints, and alligators only provide up to 50 units of Food. Food still present on prey doesn't decay as fast as in the final version.
  • Farming works completely differently. It charges up to 15 Food which it loses some when harvested. This looks extremely ridiculous if you build one right next to a Granary. It's also easily abusable since they don't decay.
  • Farming is completely different,. Farms start with zero Food, growing until it reaches 15 Food, and that's when the Villager will harvest it.
  • Trees can't be selected.
  • Fish resources seem to decay as soon as the game starts, similar to dead animals. This was fixed in the final version.
  • Shore fish don't exist yet, and Villagers are not able to fish from the larger sites.
  • Gold and Stone mines only provide 300 units of their respective resource, their status icon graphics are also different.
  • Mining is bugged: when a Stone deposit is depleted, villagers will continue gathering stone from a nearby Gold mine. The same applies to the other way around, Gold Mines and Stone Mines.
  • Nonupgraded Miners carry 15 Stone and 5 Gold, the latter being much slower to gather. Researching Mining makes Villagers gather Gold much faster and carry 20 units of Gold, and 25 of Stone.
  • Trading works more or less in a similar way to Age of Kings: the Trade boat can be sent to a foreign Dock and bring back 50 "trade goods", when it reaches the player Dock they get converted to the same amount of Gold. None of the four basic resources are consumed in the process. The distance between the Docks does not affect the net value of the trade. Also when a Dock doesn't have enough trade goods stocked, the trade boat will take whatever is leftover and return, instead of waiting.

Random Play

  • The AI is a work-in-progress. It just builds buildings, completely ignoring the tech tree, and then spawns a few units. It doesn't seem to ever build up an actual economy.
  • The random map generator produces glitchy maps, that is with corners just floating in the water and cliffs ending abruptly.
  • The generator spawns much higher numbers of hostile mobs compared to the final version, and the forage sites, mines, and gazelle are more evenly spaced apart. Map select only allows you to select generic land and water proportions. Terrain elevation is always constant; every map is as flat as a sheet of paper.


Rise of Egypt

  • In Hunting, you start with 50 Food, 50 Wood and nothing else, as opposed to the final where you start out with 200 Food, Wood and Stone.
  • In Foraging, you start with only a single villager as opposed to three. Also, the objective is to build 7 villagers (as in the previous mission) and to build a Granary, instead of the final where you have to build a Granary, Storage Pit and a Dock.
  • The Discoveries mission seems to be absent altogether.
  • In Dawn of a New Age, not only are you suddenly the Greek civilization (despite playing the Egyptian campaign), you start off with only a single villager again.
  • The Skirmish mission is called "Small Combat" and you start it with two villagers, a town center, four houses and seven axemen. Due to this, you can actually advance all the way to Iron Age if you wish.
    Also, since the diplomacy is set to "Neutral" by default, you won't be able to finish off the mission since the axemen will refuse to attack the enemy villagers and town center until you make the other civilization (also Egypt) your enemy in the diplomacy menu.
  • There's a scrapped mission "Lands Unknown" with the sole objective of uncovering 95% of the map. While you do have to use a transport ship for it, it's just a really boring mission where you send a troop across the map to uncover the fog of war, which is likely why it didn't make it into the final version.
  • The Farming mission is slightly different. First off, you start out with three villagers, three houses, a town center, nothing else, and only 100 wood. Second, your objectives are to capture the discovery (changed to a Ruin in the final game), stockpile 800 food (as in the final) and destroy the enemy (this was left out in the final).
    On the other hand, the enemy does nothing at all and is just a sitting duck. So you can just take a single troop and he will be able to finish off the enemy by himself, making for an easy victory.
  • In Trading (renamed to "Trade" in the final version), you only have to collect 1000 gold, not 1000 stone, and appropriately there are no resources of stone on the map. As well, the Minoans were originally Libyans.
  • The Crusade mission starts you off in Stone Age (despite the presence of a Temple and Priest that are only available in Bronze Age), as well as no resources at all.
  • The River Outpost mission has only a dummy name "Establish Second Colony". All you need to do is to build a Town Center on the central island. This is extremely easy because there is no enemy at all. Also, one of your starting houses seems to be from the wrong civilization.
  • The Naval Battle mission starts you off in Stone Age as always.
  • The Siege in Canaan mission is just called "Siege Battle". Again, it's easy because the enemy AI is nonfunctional.

Voices of Babylon

  • The first mission is I Shall Return, which is the fourth mission in the final version. The mission instructions are missing and there's only dummy text: "I'll Be Back: Conquest!!" The enemy (who is Greek here) appears to have no villagers, so he can't build anything and you only need to pick off his troops to win. Irritatingly, the map features trees which grow on water.
  • The next mission is called Temple on the Hill, which appears to have no equivalent in the final version. You start off with a small army of various troops, boats and two Heavy Transports and need to destroy the enemy's Temple as well as retrieve the Artifact on the other island. This is actually pretty difficult because you only have one single catapult to work with, while the enemy has several catapults on its own as well as a whole bunch of Guard Towers, so if you lose your catapult, you more or less have no chances of winning.
    The easiest way to win this mission is to land on the other side at a safe spot (use the Scout Ships for that) and then make your way along the coast to the right, carefully picking off the Guard Towers and Archers with your catapult. Once on the edge of the map, go uphill and you'll find only a few Archers and some catapults on your way to the Artifact, which you can then rescue back the same way.
  • The next mission is called The Caravan, which is the sixth mission in the final version. The map layout is somewhat different and your units are actually some ungodly overpowered hero units called "Pereus" with an insane range and power. Also, the target temple is set to belong to the enemy which makes it hard to return the Artifact without your units accidentally destroying it before that happens.

These are all the missions there seem to be, implying the campaign is still very early in development.


The scenario menu ships with several pre-defined scenarios. Among them are all the missions from the Rise of Egypt campaign, probably as a way to quickly test the maps without going through the whole campaign.

Scenario Name Description
3 PLAYER BATTLE Control four ruins.
3 PLAYER CONQUEST Control 3 Artifacts, and 1 Discovery
4 PLAYER BALANCED Destroy each other.
A straightforward, four player sea battle map. Exploration is required, in addition to ruling the sea with an iron fist. Come about and prepare to be boarded...
4 PLAYER TESTING Conquer the 3 Enemy Tribes.
BATTLE AGAINST THE ALLIANCE The Greeks and the Babylonians have just signed an allied truce and are building up to come and destroy your civilization. Fortunately, resources are plentiful. Build your army quickly and destroy them before they destroy you!

Unused and Early sounds

These are sounds that are unused in the prototype build, used in the prototype but removed from the final release, or simply sounds that exist in the final release, but were changed.

Sound File Notes
African chant, probably from the sample source origin of the priest
Heartbeat, never heard somewhere, not even in this version
Jungle sounds
Jungle-Forest sounds
Never heard somewhere
African dance probably, unused
Probably originally planned to be used as ship creation or when you click on a dock
Early version Final version Notes
Removed background voice
Pitched-down and added a sea sound
Exactly as the early version but shorter


Keys with empty entries either do unnoticeable things or nothing at all.

Key Function
Esc Unselect
F3 Pauses the game
F5 Displays FPS and other engine information
F6 Reveals map
F7 Disables fog of war
F8 Displays netplay/network info
F9 Displays AI state
F11 Display game time / real time
Enter Send chat message
+ Increases game speed (2 settings)
- Decreases game speed (2 settings)
T Trade
S Stop action in progress
B Build
V Centers view on town center
Ctrl + Q Toggles instantaneous gather/build/research
Ctrl + W Adds 1000 Wood to the stockpile
Ctrl + E Pauses game
Ctrl + R
Ctrl + T Toggles edit mode (draw terrain, move/place entities, schedule tasks)
Ctrl + Y
Ctrl + U
Ctrl + I Displays unit sequential number in the status box
Ctrl + O Changes outline mode: normal/volumetric/bounding box
Ctrl + P Draws pathing when moving units
Ctrl + A Toggles drawing outlines on all entities
Ctrl + S Adds 1000 Stone to the stockpile
Ctrl + D Toggles off/on drawing
Ctrl + F Adds 1000 Food to the stockpile
Ctrl + G Adds 1000 Gold to the stockpile
Ctrl + H
Ctrl + J
Ctrl + K
Ctrl + L
Ctrl + Z
Ctrl + X
Ctrl + C
Ctrl + V Saves current game as a scenario
Ctrl + B Similar to/same as Ctrl+D, disables drawing
Ctrl + N Forces start a new game
Ctrl + M
[1-9] Take control of player #N
0 Take control of the gaia "player"

Command Lines

There are command lines that the program can accept. Note that they do not include the minus sign "-", unlike how it is typically done with other programs. Command lines with empty entries either do unnoticeable things or nothing at all. The ones ending with "=" seem to be used with a file (example: data=file), it's unknown what exactly are for.

Command line Function
stratos Changes the window title to "Stratos" and disables the HUD
directdraw Uses DirectX instead of WinG, color quality must be 256 colors in order to work
640 Sets the resolution to 640x480, a bit pointless since it's the default resolution
800 Sets the resolution to 800x600
1024 Sets the resolution to 1024x768
wing Uses WinG, which is pointless anyway since it uses WinG by default
makeres Creates a .drs file from contents inside the resource folder (More in-depth explanation in Creating Resources)
fullscreen Changes to full screen. Seems to also change graphics library to DirectX
window Window mode
videomemory Uses GPU memory (?)
systemmemory Uses CPU memory (?)
nosound Disables sound
nomusic Disables music, which there's none anyway, probably intended for later
slowdraw It only breaks the graphics
onebutton Every action is done by one button, the left mouse button
twobutton Actions are done by left mouse button and right mouse button, useless since this is the default mouse option
logcomm Creates a log file in the C drive about networking
squareoutline Shows hitboxes under a 2D square
cubeoutline Shows hitboxes under a 3D cube
edgeoutline Shows the health and ground outline of every single entity
allgrass Random generated maps just become flat grass
useinfpathing Moving the units will only just crash the game

Creating Resources

You can create two .drs files with the command makeres, one for the sounds, and another one for the graphics. It's only limited to sounds.drs and graphics.drs, you can make a .drs file with another name, but the game only loads sounds.drs and graphics.drs. In order to do this, you have to create a folder called "Resource" and you have to create two .rm files: sounds.rm and graphics.rm. It's not necessary to make both at the same time, only make the files for the files you want to add (if you want to only add sounds, only make the sounds.rm, and vice versa).

This is an example on how a functional .rm file looks like inside, it only adds one sound to sounds.drs (sounds.rm):

sounds.drs tribe

In the first line, we have the name of the .drs file, and the name of the game (which is tribe in this case, which is the old name of AoE). Then at the second line, we have the file that it's going to be added to sounds.drs, and the last line is the ID of the file. Here's another example for more than one file:

sounds.drs tribe

For graphics, it would go like this:

graphics.drs tribe

Once these files get inside the .drs file, their file names get lost, and there's no way to get them back, the only way to identify them is with the ID assigned.