Archived News From October 1999

Due to the old age of most of these news items, all hyperlinks have been disabled. It is also not possible to comment on any of news. They are presented in their current form purely for your reading pleasure - it's the closest thing to a time machine we can offer you!

We Won the Gone Gold Award!
Posted by Washizu on October 31st, 1999 @ 5:47 p.m.
Ahhh... it feels good to be recognized by such a great site. If you've never been to GoneGold, then you're missing out on the best new releases site, and it's done by a fantastic team of webmasters. The Gone Gold Guide Award has been given to some great sites and we're the 2nd Heaven site to earn it, the first being Caesar 3 Heaven. Thanks again to Rich and his crew!
AOK in Portugal?
Posted by Washizu on October 31st, 1999 @ 5:36 p.m.
I have yet to hear about it released there, but if you yourself are Portugese, send am e-mail to Bernie. Other than that, AOK has pretty much been spotted everywhere in the world except for South America.
here in Portugal, nobody knows of AOK's coming. I went everywhere after the European release date but the store owners didn't have a clue of what i was talking about. Could you say when AOK arrives here at Portugal please?

Storm Brewing on the Horizon...
Posted by Washizu on October 31st, 1999 @ 2:00 a.m.
I hear clouds shaking far off in Heaven... What could this be? Some may fall, and some may rise, but your best bet to find out what is going on around here would be to check out HGS Main and look for special clues from the mysterious Dark Angel. Angel Alexander speaks with this mysterious flyer often...
AOK Review and Bruce Shelley Interview
Posted by Washizu on October 31st, 1999 @ 2:52 a.m.
Another good review of AOK is up at ICON and they give AOK a 5/5 rating. There are some interesting quotes in the short interview they have with ES Designer Bruce Shelley.

Icon: Bruce, you've been locked in the historical world for a while now. What keeps you motivated and excited about a project like Age of Empires II?

Bruce: I have always been fascinated by ancient history as you can probably guess by the games which I've worked on previously, and developing Age II has been a learning experience for all of us as we've needed to study a lot during the course of our work. Some of the other guys aren't so fascinated, I should tell you, and they're getting sick of working with spear throwers and men on horseback.

Icon: So we won't be seeing an Age III then?

BS: If we do decide to do another Age Of Empires game it will probably leap ahead to the technological age so the artists can try their hand at space suits and energy weapons!

The guy who sent me this, Cmdr_Splatt, was not please about this at all. He wrote:
personally, i'm not sure how good the AOE series would be if it went all Sci-Fi, as the realism and historical content were one of the main draw-cards for me which set the series above and beyond all other RTSs. The series has already covered 2 of the most interesting periods in human history, and to give in to the sci-fi/fantasy theme would only take away from the atmosphere. This is only my oppinion, and i'm sure that the game would play beautifully.

I have to agree with him on this one. One of the main things I like about AOK/AOE is that I can identify with what I'm playing. I know before I ever face an elephant that it would be dumb to send a single foot soldier against it. Some people like the Starcraft and C&C2 futuristic fantasy warfare, but I am not really into it that much for the reason that I have no idea what can kill what except for obvious cases unless I play the game for a fairly long time. This was one of the reasons I didn't like TA:Kingdoms. How the heck do I know if a Zombie can kill an archer or not? I know a guy on a horse is better than a guy on foot (ok, forget pikers for a sec hehe) right away.

That said, if ES came out with a game, I'd definitely buy it because of their track record. Besides, they are not making games for me or even the Age community, they're making games for everyone and that means a wide variety of preferences and tastes. I didn't like Starcraft too much, but who knows, maybe Age of Little Green Men would be a lot of fun :)
News Script is Alive and Kicking
Posted by Washizu on October 31st, 1999 @ 2:15 a.m.
With only a few changes in the format, I have AOKH now powered by the awesome NewsPro scripting software. If you need a news script, you won't be disappointed with this one. It installed easily and was easy to customize. You can get more info on it here, but the best info about it is that it's also free.
Sandy Confirm AOK Expansion
Posted by Washizu on October 30th, 1999 @ 11:59 p.m.
Posted right here on the AOKH forum, AOK designer Sandy Petersen said the theme for the AOK expansion pack has been decided, although gave no hints to what that theme would be. ES employees have hinted before at a possible expansion, but usually gave "no comment" type answers.

Q I would just like to propose an Asian theme for the X-Pack.
ES_Sandyman A) We have already chosen the theme for the X-pack.-ES_Sandyman Questions
AOK Releases
Posted by Washizu on October 30th, 1999 @ 11:58 p.m.
The word on the net is that AOK has been hitting all parts of the globe.

Ulyao: AoK has been released in Israel! It still has the english manual in it.
ykpark: hey there's AOK located in South Korea.
BergerKing: AoK is out in Norway as from the 28th. Got my copy from Spaceworld.
Sir_Lancelot: Age of Kings hit the shelves in Germany today (99-10-28).
Hillzy: I don't know if this is of any interest to you, but AoK is being released in New Zealand tomorrow (Friday). BTW, thanks for all the effort you put into the site getting news up every day and stuff.
Tony: Your probably tired of all these e-mails, but a quick note to say that in Adelaide, South Australia, Berlin Wall Software will be selling AOK on Saturday 30th October, the price for non-members is A$78.40.
Dogfood2: My name is Luca "Dogfood2" and I should be grateful if you would kindly publish on your web site ( www.ageofkings.com ) the news that the italian version of Age of Empires 2 : The Age of Kings is available in Italy from Oct.25th. See you in the Zone!

Here's a letter I got yesterday from a poor European ager who had to wait for his AOK:

Ian: Woohoo - check out today's date...yep thats right...AOK's European Release Date. Jeez this is better than Xmas day! First thing this morning off I went to the nearest shops, and spied throught the window 20 glorious cardboxes each bearing that long awaited title "The Age of Kings". Great, I pick up the nearest one and manage to stop myself sprinting to the cash register..."Alright there mate" says the dude behind the till. "Yes thanks" I replied holding the game out. "Can't buy that till tomorrow I'm afraid" said he. "P-p-p-pardon" I stammered, my jaw dropping. "You heard me" he said smiling. "I'd get sued for selling it today" he said. Like I care. So I sighed and reluctantly replaced that lovely box containing all it's untold wonders and walked out of the shop emotionally broken. My alarm is already set for dawn tomorrow. Idaven P.S. I know I'm probably not the first person to mail mail you this info, but I have been emotionally scarred and need to tell someone who cares (I think) If I have time tomorrow after getting acquainted with my fellow countrymen (Britons) I'll send in a mail to confirm release. Wish me luck : )


AOK a Top Seller
Posted by Washizu on October 30th, 1999 @ 11:57 p.m.
Got this from Markus. AOK was the top seller for the last two weeks according to http://www.pcdata.com. It is good to be the king:

AOK Demo Info
Posted by Washizu on October 30th, 1999 @ 11:57 p.m.
Hey folks, long time no see. I downloaded the AOK demo and it should bring a bunch of people into the AOK community. Functionality wise, it's pretty close to what the AOE demo was. Here's the official word on it:


AGE OF EMPIRES II TRIAL VERSION NOW AVAILABLE Microsoft announced today that the downloadable trial version of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is now available on the game's official Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/games/age2/. Age of Empires II, developed by Ensemble Studios, is the sequel to the award-winning, best-selling real-time strategy game Age of Empires.

For those new to Age of Empires, the trial version provides the William Wallace Learning Campaign, which teaches players the fundamentals of the game. In this campaign, the warriors of Scotland attempt to hold off an invasion of the better-equipped English armies. Players will take command of the highlanders and learn the basic concepts of the game, such as how to build an economy, how to train their soldiers, and how to fight and defeat their enemy. The Age of Empires II trial version also features a sample Random Map game, where gamers start in the Dark Ages with only a Town Center, three villagers and a scout. Players must then build their mighty empire and eliminate the two computer-player opponents. A

dditionally, using another sample Random Map, players can join their friends and do battle with their enemies on the MSN Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com/). For more information on Age of Empires II, visit http://www.microsoft.com/games/age2/, or the Ensemble Studios site at http://www.ensemblestudios.com/.

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is available at retail for US$49.95. * * *