First of all, I want to say that the ending of the Thoros campaign is generally not bad, though predictable and clichéd. “The lord renounced power and went to live out his life amidst nature, having found peace and harmony.” I think I’ve seen this a lot already.
But the problem is that this ending is completely unrealistic. Thoros could not transfer power to his son Ruben II just like that, because he was only 5 years old. In 1169, Thoros did not go to the monastery, but died and was buried near monastery, and his son became a nominal ruler under the regent, grandfather Thomas. And a year later they were overthrown by Mleh.
You can say that:
The story is told by Chatillon and he himself may not have known the correct ending.
But inventing other people’s mistakes (attributing your own to them) is vile for an author.
This is a work of fiction and the truth may be distorted for artistic effect.
But in this case, you can add, for example, Gandalf to AoE.
I understand that when it comes to poorly documented events, you just have to make them up on your own in order to get something out of it. But in the case of Thoros, the real picture is more or less known. Chatillon could have said at the end something like “But Thoros did not live to see the end of his struggle, and now his unworthy brother Mleh continues it.” I see no reason to believe that such an ending would be worse in the context of this game, because there are many tragic endings in it, and this is normal. I don’t understand. WHY are they lying to us?
Come on this isnt even comparable. There has to be a level of coherentness and magic characters like Gandalf wouldnt fit the game
And yeah AoE2 is historical fiction, its been ever since Age of Kings with the ending of the William Wallace campaign and the most ridiculous example is Moctezuma´s ending in which the Aztecs defeat the Spanish in the siege of Tenochtitlan (even if the campaign makes sure to imply that Spanish would conquer the Aztecs later). Attila is also quite unhistorical with the whole Flavius Aetius storyline
Either way havent played the campaign but that seems like quite a minor detail
They really did it on the first encounter. And later the Spaniards returned and destroyed their civilization. That campaign doesn’t lie, it just shows events up to a certain point. And the narrator himself ends the story pessimistically, foreseeing that his people will soon end. So everything there is quite reliable.
I agree about Aetius - the turnaround with his departure from service is absolutely unjustified and senseless. I myself wrote that this needs to be changed. I am against lies. And you cite one lie as an excuse for the normality of another one.
“minor detail” - alive in peace / dead and his legacy destroyed. Minor detail!
I thought the first encounter in which the Spanish were driven off was the fourth scenario
Come on, why is it so important to have everything correct about a guy that lived almost a thousand years ago? And I mean minor detail in the sense that its just the ending, what happens after the campaign
For this campaign in particular, the “Thoros abdicated and became a monk” ending is copied straight from his Wikipedia page, which currently says (untruthfully):
Thoros, weary after nearly quarter of a century of rule and warfare, abdicated in favor of his young son Roupen II, who was placed under the guardianship of Thoros’s father-in-law, the Regent Thomas. After his abdication, Thoros became a monk.
Some Wikipedia editor had dutifully noted that the abdication claim has no source, but hadn’t verified that it’s a hoax.
The inspiration for this forgery comes from a later king of Armenian Cilicia Hetum II, who did abdicate twice, but in a way similar to Heian-era Japanese emperors, nominally fulfilling a devotional oath while exerting influence from inside a monastery.
The writer of this campaign story was either duped by Wikipedia forgery (like they had in the India DLC), or noticed the red flags, but willfully followed it through because they liked the thematic contrast of the spiritual Thoros to the mercenary Reynald.
this is definitely not too far from the liberties they took with many, many other campaigns. Even William Wallace has a completely ahistorical ending. (Which was then kinda amended by the Lords of the West mission where you sorta just kill him.)
Yeah, and the AoE revival era campaigns are generally more accurate than Ensemble ones, but still all deviate from history in intentional and unintentional ways.
Personally I can appreciate taking cool “dramtic licenses” for the sake of thematic coherence — it’s in the right of history fiction to do that — as long as the story is able to convey the core themes, the major thoroughlines of the time period it’s covering.
Funny that if you choose Mleh’s base in the final mission, the soldier mentioned he fled and converted to Islam, which seems true, maybe at a different time but he did that at some point (based on what I see in Wikipedia), and then he has never been mentioned again. And if you choose Stepham’s base, Mleh will stay and fight alongside you.
I guess they couldn’t mention it in the outro as the player’s choice is different, but this could also be fixed by an extra sentence mentioning that Mleh does return at some point.
I’m fine with historical fiction, but having 2 important side characters and not giving them a proper ending is something that can be improved.
The campaign wasn’t historically inaccurate here. The funny thing about the Aztec campaign was that it seemed like complete bullshit so I looked up the historical accounts of Cortez’s conquest of the Aztecs and I ended up being surprised at just how historically accurate the campaign was. During the siege of Tenochtitlan the Conquistadors and their allies were repulsed a few times. The campaign ends after you force Cortez and his allies to fall back but before they return and conquer the city for good.
There’s also La Noche Triste where Cortes was nearly killed and all of his forces were driven out of Tenochtitlan, but I believe that was before the siege that brought down the city. I remember the campaign mentioning La Noche Triste.
The only part of the campaign I recall being fantasy was the Aztecs taking over Cannon Galleons and using them against the Conquistadors and their allies. That’s a really small deviation on an otherwise fairly historically accurate campaign.
AOE2 campaigns have been works of fiction vaguely based on history since the base game. It’s one of the reason I’m not a big fan of campaigns except for the civs which I’m really fond of.
It’s not like it only recently started with The Mountain Royals. Dawn of the Dukes which in the opinion of some people (not me) feature the best campaigns of the game are half made up too. Jadwiga should be way younger when she marries her husband which had triple her age. The Hussite revolt completely destroyed a once rich province of the HRE. William Wallace didn’t win the Battle of Falkirk. Montezuma’s campaign, even though it’s among my favourites, has a series of battle depicting the Aztecs winning even though they hadn’t…
That’s why I despise the idea of campaign packs (not to mention the fact that it would not add much needed African/American/Oceanian civs the game is still sorely missing).