Ahistorical mistakes in campaigns

1. Joan of Arc and the arrow injury

She was indeed wounded by a crossbow, but this happened during the first campaign against Paris, and not near Orleans, as is said in her campaign. In the game, there was only one campaign against Paris, although in reality there were two, so the arrow wound was moved to another episode altogether. I understand that making two unsuccessful trips to one location does not make sense in the game, but just one line in the text would be enough to say that there was such a trip and it was there that she was wounded.

But in the campaign of Philip the Good there is a correct mention that there was such an unsuccessful episode.

2. Malik Ayaz the Russian defector?

There were two people with that name. The first one lived in the 11th century and it is about him that there is most information on the Internet. At the beginning, I generally assumed that there was mistake with anachronism. But then it turned out that there was a second one, who was really a contemporary of Frasisco di Almeida. There is little information about him, but from what I was able to find, he was certainly neither Russian (the name has nothing to do with Ru) nor a defector, but most likely a Mamluk. And he outlived Almeida and died of age. Therefore, I would suggest removing his name from Almeida’s final mission and replace him with just some generic ambassador.

3. Vytautas vs Kazikermen

It was in “Vytautas’ Crusade” where we must defeat this city.
But Vytautas died in 1430, and a fortress in Beryslav called Kazi-kermen was built in 1484 by the Crimeans and Ottomans. Tokhtamysh’s residence did exist in Vytautas time, but there was no city and fortress, which were called that.

4. Jan Zizka and the loss of his eye

Zizka is shown as having one eye in his first mission. Although, most likely, he lost his eye in this battle, i.e. in the beginning he should have had both eyes.
At the end of the campaign, he no longer has both eyes, but his model does not change and still shows him as one-eyed.

I listed those not just for fun, I seriously suggest correcting at least some of them.
What other historical mistakes do you know?

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Legionaries showing in Alaric slides are anachronistic, by 400 AD they look more like in game legionaries and not the ones from Trajan times. Alaric in general is a total mess historically, it doesn’t make mistakes but it’s super vague and omit nearly everything.

In Attila it is said Aetius decided to not fight anymore as a Roman general (why should he lol) while in reality he was killed by emperor Valentinian.

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Yes, I was also amazed with Aetius twist that he had quit. What the hell? He continued to be an opponent of Attila and remained an influential man until he was killed as a result of a conspiracy. And the authors simply wrote it off from the plot. For what…

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Genghis Khan’s campaign is also quite ahistotical, it makes it seem like the conquest of Europe was the Mongols’ main goal and China was an afterthought that didn’t really interest them while in reality it was the opposite. It also pretends the conquest of China was a swift one that happened during Genghis’ reign, but in reality it took several generations, and the last scenario ends on the implication that the Mongols just reached the Atlantic Ocean after a raid on Hungary, which… isn’t really accurate…

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Hungary is pretty far from Atlantic )))
In general, it seemed quite strange to me that they talk about capture of Hungary as if it was capture of entire Europe. Although I would say that Hungary is more like its outskirts.

Saying that the Mongols captured Hungary is already an overstatement considering they withdrew after only one year after mostly ransacking the countryside.

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No strong feelings about the newer campaign, but I don’t think any AoK and AoC campaigns should be changed as they’re classic from 1999 and 2000. It should stay as origin as it can. any major change defeats the purpose of DE being a ‘remaster’ game.

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Of the 4 bugs I mentioned, 2 are inside fairly new DLC. In addition, objectively, DE does not serve as a “reskin” remaster, but is a full-fledged continuation of life of AoE 2, while the old versions sink to the bottom of history. This way you could also say there was no need to improve behavior of the AI and voice the campaigns.

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the old AIs are available and there are plenty of complaints about the voice of the campaigns, so these are really bad examples for your point

Historical accuracy is absolutely a legitimate topic on this forum, but we must notice:

1.) The factor of budget reality.

Campaign dialog is all dubbed into a dozen languages, which is nontrivial to replace. The game’s management seldom wants to re-record any dialog.

The games’ non-English localizations are often poorly translated, and as a result, the localized voices already contain hundreds of mistranslations. We are unlikely to see any of them replaced.

Similarly, the devs also need to commission new art from contractors if any campaign “slides” are to be replaced. They contain inaccuracies and misinterpretations of original AoK slides, and they are probably going to stay.

2.) This is more a matter of common sense.

Managers of AoE series have always handled it as historical fiction with massive “artistic” or “dramatic license” (the social convention that art is allowed to deviate from fact). Inaccuracies, whether due to lack of research, or storytelling intention, are not considered bugs unless they attract severe opposition from a majority of the audience, or people holding bigger sticks than the managers - the likes of government authorities.

From the first post:

  • Jeanne d’Arc’s wound - this is dramatic license of normal storytelling. The original 1999 campaign designers made choices to simplify the story.

  • Jan Zizka’s eyes - small details that players can understand as results of a limited budget.

  • Vytautas vs Kazikermen - I haven’t looked into it, but this sounds like the kind of anachronism an attentive scenario maker may try to avoid. Nonetheless, it is still well inside AoE’s ballpark of historical accuracy…

3.) …because we can trivially find any number of more egregious inaccuracies in the campaigns. Compared to them, the first post’s feel like random minutiae.

  • Joan of Arc commands Frankish axe throwers who were obsolete by the time of Charlemagne, and their axes are double-edged, as big as human chests.

  • El Cid commands “Conquistadors” wielding guns on horseback, which won’t appear until half a millennium later.

  • About the only things accurate in the Genghis Khan campaign are the names of the factions involved. Nearly every single line is either historically ludicrous, laden with major unintended factual errors, or outright alt-history. For example, the campaign’s Genghis Khan outlived the historical version by two decades.

  • The above are classical AoE2 examples. But even in DE’s more sophisticated campaigns, scenario geographies are sometimes based on modern maps that differ from history.

And so on.

4.) Nationality of Malik Ayyaz from the Almeida campaign.

There are conflicting claims about this figure’s origin.

malik

Writing the Mughal World: Studies on Culture and Politics page 39:

Malik Ayaz, a former royal slave (ghulam-i khas) whose origins are variously stated as Dalmatian, Russian, Turkish and Persian (Gilani), and rather less probably as Malay or Javanese.

The campaign’s author had simply chosen what they found at the time. Namely, what was on his Wikipedia page in 2014 or 2015, based on Portuguese and the Sultanate of Gujarat, 1500-1573, which has a dedicated chapter titled “Malik Ayaz and the Portuguese Trade with India”.

malik2

Barros… consulted a number of existing Tarikhs around 1539 related to the history of Gujarat and had given special attention to Malik Ayaz… a Russian

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Or players could pay for someone who draws them again

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In this case, if we listen to you, then no DE is needed at all and you could stay with the original. But I don’t think so. For me, DE is the ONLY version of the game, all the others are dead for me in 2023. And I don’t want to listen to any arguments about “no need to improve,” because they are delusional in their very content.

Let’s also add the William Wallace campaign because the seventh scenario doesn’t make sense.

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This is a fairly convincing and detailed answer, and I can agree that somewhere the story can be processed into a work of fiction. But this should be done where it is appropriate. For example, in the story of Sforza there was SO much intrigue and change of sides that this story becomes untellable, pieces need to be cut out of it in order for it to somehow fit into the game.
But I SEE NO reason to simply randomly change one event to another when it did not change either the complexity or the cost of development. One could immediately say about Joan of Arc: “We had an unsuccessful campaign in Paris, she was wounded there, but we will return.” And I don’t think that then in Wikipedia or in the paper encyclopedia it was written any differently. Same with Aetius - they said nonsense for nothing. These lines can be simply cut off.
I agree about Zizka’s eyes - it’s too late to redo it now, but excuse me for a minute, at the very beginning it was possible to move the model’s blindfold and make 2-3 renders from it instead of 1. Is it a big task? Ofc not. Especially considering that this was done not somewhere in 2000, but just a couple of years ago.
As for Malik, there is no need to rewrite the phrase about his origin in several languages. It is necessary to remove his mention entirely, because absolutely everything there is wrong. He wasn’t killed there. Cutting out a phrase is not expensive.
As for the art, this is not a serious argument at all. Even a random guy from Chile can order a new picture for a modest fee, and you say that the game developers, who have a franchise in their hands, cannot afford this.

He was still active by the time of that battle, at least according to the wiki.

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I kinda disagree. I think Genghis Khan deserves a rework as do some of the historical battles. Joan of Arc and Grand Dukes also fail to mention that the Burgundians switched to the French side before the events of the last Joan scenario (but Grand Dukes ended before Joan even died so I guess that’s fine on its case).

Crucible didn’t deserve to be a scenario (neither Genghis Khan nor Subotai were interested in that rebellion as far as I can tell) and Pax Mongolica is way too easy compared to the previous scenarios.

I’d move Crucible to historical battles personally.

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Yes but after repelling Attila in the catalaunian fields, Aetius’ Germanic army probably disbanded and he couldn’t fight back in Italy if not by making ambushes probably, since the western Roman army itself was basically gone by 451.

The entire Aztec campaign is ahistorical, from events, from chronology, from outcomes, from motivations, most of it is fabricated, except some names and a few key events.

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