[To read this in BM, click here!]
Some of us here at the Cilisos office loooooove video games. Like, Hans is way crazy about Overwatch, Uihua is still looking for people to play Counter Strike with him while this writer is still lost somewhere in Skyrim. Heck, even Jolyn runs a virtual bakery on her phone.
Which is why you could probably imagine the excitement when this writer found out that the classic videogame Age of Empires II is getting a new expansion entitled Rise of the Rajas. Then imagine when we found that part of the expansion includes the Malay Empire as one of the playable civilizations!
If you’re not familiar with Age of Empires, the videogame franchise are real-time strategy games that have you controlling your ‘civilization’. You build castles, form armies, control your economy and take on other civilizations through different time periods in history to become the greatest empire of them all! *insert evil laugh here*
But yeah, let’s head to the main question…
Why are there Malay people in it?
There’s been 3 Age of Empires games so far, which might make ugaiz think, “Wait, if there’s 3 AoE games why are the Malays being added only to the second one? You cabarkan hak-” Wait, let us explain. To make a long story short, the 3rd Age of Empires game was a disaster, with the developers calling it a ‘huge mistake‘. With the 3rd game received so badly, the second game (made in 1999!) ended up getting a reincarnation with a HD remastered version as well as some expansions.
And the latest expansion, it seems as tho the developers have decided to turn their attention towards Southeast Asia. The expansion pack, titled Rise of the Rajas, offers the following civilizations to play with: the Burmese the Khmer the Malay and the Vietnamese.
For the purposes of this article we’ll be looking at just the Malay civilization available in this expansion. The units unique for the Malay civilization is the Karambit Warrior, an extremely cheap infantry unit that can quickly overwhelm its foes. And these guys are led by Gajah Mada. You must then lead them to conquer the Malay archipelago in Southeast Asia.
As in turns out, Gajah Mada’s a real historical figure!
No, not Gajah Muda, Gajah Mada. Gajah Mada was one of history’s greatest leaders, who led the Majapahit Empire to its golden age. He famously took an oath called ‘Sumpah Pelapa‘, where he barred himself from eating any food that had spices in it until he brought together the whole of the Malay archipelago together under the Majapahit empire, altho typically it is understood that Gajah Mada meant that he would bar himself from any pleasures until he unified the Malay archipelago.
This isn’t even the only game where Gajah Mada can be found, as he’s also the leader of the Indonesian civilization in Sid Meier’s Civilization V.
Meanwhile, the karambit warrior is the Malay civilization’s generic infantry unit in the game. We were intrigued with the weapon that these warriors were using and so we did a quick google and found that the karambit is actually a small curved knife of Southeast Asian origins. They are not only used as a fighting knife, but also doubles as a utility weapon. Normally used by the working and peasant classes, the karambit is also used in silat.
And why karambit instead of the more iconic keris, according to reviews of people who have played the game, the primary advantage of the karambit warrior is that they are cheap to make in the game. As mentioned earlier, the blade is more common with the poorer class, with a knife enthusiast telling us that a keris requires a blacksmith to make, while a karambit can be made by almost anyone. This fits in with the idea that the karambit warriors would be a cheap unit to produce, which kinda shows that the developers really have done their homework laa.
Are ugaiz excited to try it yet?!!!
The Rise of the Rajas expansion pack has just been released on the 19th of December, and it’ll set you back RM23.00. Do note however that the game doesn’t run by itself – you’ll still need the original Age of Empires 2 HD version on Steam. As someone who plays games on Steam quite often (Mum if you’re reading this no I don’t play games often), here’s a little bit of advice: wait for a Steam Sale as prices for games will be discounted quite a lot. In fact, the biggest discount ever for Age of Empires 2 HD was a whopping 88%!
Aside from being one of the best games ever made, even being nominated for the Test of Time Award (basically being popular for a long time laa) by Steam, the lone fact that we’ll now be able to play as our quote-unquote “local” empire makes us even more excited to get our hands on it! Oh, and FYI, this isn’t a sponsored post tho CILISOS is more than open to the idea (Ohai Microsoft!).
If you’ve already bought the game, let us know if you’re enjoying it or not in the comments. *Checks Steam for sale*