Understanding Relic Teleportation Behaviour in Age of Empires II

Relics can be a key element in Age of Empires II gameplay. Scattered all over the map, they can be collected by players using monks, therefore usually only in Castle and Imperial Age. Once in your monastery, they generate 0.5 Gold per in-game second, 0.67 even if you’re playing as the Aztecs. If you happen to collect all the relics on the map, you win after holding onto them for 200 in-game years.

The most frequently asked question regarding relics probably is:

What happens if I pick up a relic with a monk, put that monk in a transport ship, then delete the transport ship?

When a transport ship is destroyed, all units aboard are destroyed as well. Through divine intervention however, the relic carried by the monk is not destroyed, but magically reappears on land. But how and where? After intensive testing, we are today able to present all the answers to the questions you never dared ask yourself.

Where exactly does the relic reappear?

When the transport is sunk, the relic reappears at the spot where the monk entered the transport ship. This may actually be quite far away. The relic does not reappear at the closest shore.

What happens if the relic has not been loaded, but has been inside the transport ship the whole time?

This probably falls into the category “useless knowledge”, but then again, so does this whole article. In the scenario editor, we can directly put a monk carrying a relic inside a transport ship. When that ship is destroyed, the relic reappears at the ship’s starting position – floating on the water.

Understanding Relic Teleportation Behaviour in Age of Empires II

It’s magic! But so is religion in AoE, I guess.

What happens on shallows or the mangrove shallows?

Shallows are unique in that both ships and land units can travel over them. Mangrove shallows, introduced in Rise of the Rajas, are unique in that both ships and land units can travel over them and buildings can be built on them. So one might assume that the relic is unloaded and placed right where the ship dies. Nope, it reappears again at the spot where it had been loaded into the transport ship. From a programmer’s point of view, this is the correct behaviour, as it removes the need to program additional logic into the game.

What happens if the reappearance spot is blocked by a building?

When the transport ship dies, the spot where the relic is supposed to reappear might already have been put to different use and a building might occupy the place. Turns out that the relic ignores the building entirely. Relic sees ya, relic don’t care.

Understanding Relic Teleportation Behaviour in Age of Empires II

Anyway, here’s (a relic on your) wonderwall.

Capture the relic pro tips

There is a map for the capture the relic gamemode (CtR) which has an island with the relic in the middle, islands with the players on them in a circle along the edges of the map, and shallows in between. On this map, players like to use ships to attack the monks transporting the relic, and transport ships to move the relic, as a transport ship is much quicker than a walking monk.

If your transport ship is being attacked on the way back to your base and going to die, you should probably unload the monk. This may at first be counter-intuitive, as the monk can then directly be attacked by enemy ships and will probably die quickly. In this case however, it drops the relic on the spot, which is probably a lot closer to your base than the island in the center of the map, where the relic would teleport to if it sunk inside your transport ship. This effectively brings the relic closer to you and makes it easier to come back later and snag it.