Whenever I find the right place, I have a poster for Age of Empires II framed and ready to hang. It was a marketing poster for the Nintendo DS version of the game that released in February, and when we were done with it at the store I brought it home, bought a frame at Target. It looks quite nice.
Why do I bring this up, seemingly at random?
Because I reinstalled Age of Empires III today and downloaded the patches. Then I reloaded my home city files to the appropriate directory.
The only hitch was when I mistakenly placed the third disc in the drive instead of the second during the installation process–eventually I was able to continue the installation, but the installer went a little haywire, unable to decide if it wanted the first or second disc.
Once installed I fired up the game, loaded the “Winter Wonderland” map (it’s a snowy wasteland with Christmas presents, red-nosed reindeer, and decorated trees littered across the landscape). After fending off three attempts to invade my town I took the battle to the enemy with simultaneous attacks on the Spanish and French colonies. The Spanish caved quickly, the French offered more resistance. Eventually, though, the French were annihilated–their second town center, their fort, all burned to the ground–and then it became a mop-up operation as my armies scoured the countryside looking for those last villagers to kill.
Not a great battle, by any means, but it was pleasantly enjoyable. Thirty minutes work.
Digging around on the hard drive I found the directory where all the taunts are stored. For some reason I opened up all the Napoleon taunts in Windows Media Player as a playlist, and listened to a very bipolar Napoleon as the taunts run the gamut from supreme overconfidence to mourning the loss of his explorer to military strategy to bemoaning his loss of empire. Obviously the taunts were never meant to be heard this way. The bipolar effect, comical at first, eventually became wearisome.
Reinstalling the game meant pulling the Collector’s Edition box. While waiting for the game to load I looked again at the art book that came with the game. Again, I felt a kind of geek nirvana as I lovingly turned the pages. This history buff was a happy camper.