Age of Mythology

     In my post about educational video games I think I forgot to mention the best one I’ve ever played. In fact this game is so entertaining that it is probably my favorite game including non-educational games. This game is entitled Age of Mythology.  As you can probably guess its educational subject is mythology.  Unfortunately this game is not free.
     In the beginning of this game it shows a video of soldiers versus mythological creatures.  After that it takes you to the main menu.  At the main menu it gives you a few options: learn to play, campaign, single player, multi-player, options, more, and exit.
    Learn to play obviously teaches you how to play, campaign sets you up on your story mode (the main educational part), and single player sets you up on campaign mode or something called random map.  In random map mode you first choose if you are Greek, Norse, Egyptian, or if you have the expansion pack, the Titans.  I do not know what multi-player is.  Options give you a list of options.  And more gives you more modes to try out and credits.
     Age of Mythology is a story of Atlantis's greatest hero and general and how he became the greatest hero of all.  It starts out with a short cut scene (a movie inside of a game).  It talks a little bit about him and how the Greek gods want him to go help the other generals (Ajax, Agamemnon, and Odysseus).  It leaves out a few of the generals in the story but is still educational.

     So while he is having an argument about it with the islands priest, a kraken (in this game there are more than one) attacks.  It gives you a tutorial and you kill the kraken.  Then pirates attack led by Kamos (the Minotaur).  Your hero and his army attacks them and drives them back. He then makes them pay but Kamos escapes.

     Other adventures in Greece involve: the siege of Troy, recapturing the city of Ioklos, going into the underworld three or four times, and killing Circe (much later on).
     After escaping the underworld (the first time) you end up lost in Egypt with Chiron (the centaur) and Ajax.  There you find a bunch of laborers digging something up.  The leader is named Amanra.  She tells your group that if you help her and her soldiers defend the dig site from soldiers working for Gargarensis (the main villain) she and her forces will help you find your way.  Pretty quickly after this level your squad of heroes becomes friends with Amanra making Amanra part of your squad of heroes.

      After the level Amanra explains that she and her army are trying to bring back Osiris (a main Egyptian god) and that Kemsyt (a guy working for Seth and Gargarensis) is trying to prevent that from happening.  The others decide to help.  In order to bring back Osiris, the heroes (you) go throughout many different levels.  Some of these levels involve: awakening Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead (in this game called the guardian) to destroy Kemsyt's army, breaking Arkantos out of jail, collecting all the Osiris pieces, uniting all the Osiris pieces by a pyramid and by doing so bringing back Osiris, and much more!!!

     When you bring back Osiris he destroys the enemy but Gargarensis and Kemsyt escape.

    While our heroes are chasing Gargarensis, two of them (Arkantos and Ajax) see that Odysseus’s ship has been wrecked near an island.   They go to help Odysseus.  Then Circe turns them into pigs.  You must then escape the villagers and make it to the temple to turn back into humans, destroy Circe's three main fortresses, and destroy Circe.

     After this all of our heroes catch up with Gargarensis but find that the villains are already settled in and heavily fortified. Gargarensis does a magic spell and makes an avalanche divide or destroy their forces. You must then reunite your forces and build a town center.  After that you have to destroy Gargarensis's three main temples to escape to Midgard.

     In the Norse part of the campaign you meet the following heroes and villains: Reginleif (the most annoying hero in the game), Brook, Etri, and Skult.  To stop Gargarensis from releasing Kronos in Nifelheim (the Norse name for the underworld) our heroes go through lots of difficulties involving:  destroying the giants' civilization, convincing the Norse armies to join together, bringing back Thor’s hammer to close the gate of Tarturus, escaping the underworld (again) and losing Chiron, killing Gargarensis (really Kemsyt with an illusion put on him by Skult making him look like Gargarensis), and many more.
       After killing Gargarensis Arkantos sails home. When he is almost there he opens the chest containing what he believes to be Gargarensis's head.  He finds that it is really Kemsyt's head.  Then ravens (the symbol of Loki) fly out sending the message that Arkantos has been tricked by a servant of Loki!

     Then he finds that Gargarensis has conquered Atlantis and fortified it.  He also finds that Poseidon has enchanted a giant statue of himself strong enough to destroy any army!

      When you start the level you have to save all the citizens and get most of them off the island. Also like a lot of levels you need to build a town center. After you beat the level all the heroes except Arkantos sail away with most of the people of Atlantis. 

      In the next level you have to somehow defeat the huge empire Gargarensis has built. To do this you reconstruct the Statue of Zeus at Olympia (it is just called the wonder in the game) in the island of Atlantis to gain Zeus’ full favor.  While you are doing this, other civilizations you have helped such as the Norse and Egyptians send many reinforcements to help you!

     When you are done building the wonder you will get a god power (powers given to you by the Gods throughout the game) that gives Arkantos the power of Zeus. Obviously you use this power.  After that you send all of your people (except for the weak villagers) to attack the empire.

      When you are pretty far inside the empire you separate the ultimately powerful Arkantos to attack the giant living statue.  When the statue is killed you beat the last level in the game. The giant statue's trident then falls on Gargarensis. Arkantos faints but with the authority of the other Gods, Athena makes Arkantos a God!
     This is my favorite game ever. And although it is rated T by the enthusiastic society of restricted butt-heads (E.S.R.B) you should definitely get it.   

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