The Koreans are an East Asian civilization situated on the Korean peninsula featured in Age of Empires II. The Korean civilization is based on Korea during the Joseon Dynasty, which was a dynastic kingdom that lasted for five centuries. Like their predecessors, they are descendants of the Choson civilization, which inhabited the same peninsula. They are a defensive civilization using Towers. Also, they utilize a variety of ranged units such as War Wagons, Onagers and Turtle Ships at sea, hence somewhat an archer-based civilization.
The Koreans are one of the five civilizations and the sole East Asian civilization featured in the Conquerors expansion. Historically, they were not as powerful compared to their nearby East Asian counterparts, China and Japan. However, their tacticians, most notably Admiral Yi Sun-Shin, made important naval contributions in innovating cutting edge weaponry when conditions were especially dire during the Japanese invasions and frequent raids from Wokou pirates. One of their most recognized innovation was the Hwacha which fires a series of small bolt like rockets. This is represented by a Mangonel with higher range granted by the team bonus and the unique technology. Being able to successfully defend itself despite the numerical disadvantages, they are a defensive civilization similar to the Byzantines, but focuses more toward ranged units. As a result of their innovation and knowledge of gunpowder (which originated from China, though the Koreans had to develop it separately since the Chinese kept their technologies a closely guarded secret) the Koreans are one of the few civilizations that have two unique units. The Castle-based unique unit is the War Wagon, a horse-drawn carriage that is essentially a heavily armored cavalry archer. The War Wagon fires a bolt similar to the Galleon. While stronger and better armored than the cavalry archers, they are slower and more expensive. The Dock-based unique unit is the Turtle Ship, an armored and spiked ship which is a heavily armored, short-range artillery ship that is effective against Fire Ships and Demolition Ships. The Turtle Ship is slower than many other ships, but makes up for speed in raw power and durability. A single Turtle Ship can take down a small fleet of ships, while a fleet of them can annihilate a large part of an opponent's navy. The Koreans were also fine stone workers, especially in crafting sculptures and pottery whose highly prized ceramic coated celadon glaze was the finest in the world. To reflect their stone artisanship and defensive capabilities, their villagers mine stone faster. Finally, to keep in touch with their defensive theme, their Watch Towers are automatically upgraded to Guard Towers in the Castle Age and Keeps in the Imperial Age.
Admiral Chang Bo-ko (장보고/궁복) – A famous admiral from the Later Silla period known as a maritime figure who effectively controlled the Yellow Sea and dominated the trade with Heian Japan, and Tang China for decades
Ch'oe Mu-son (최무선) – A Korean scientist/inventor and military commander during the late Goryeo Dynasty and early Joseon Dynasty, best known for allowing Korea to produce gunpowder of their own; lived 1325-1395
General Kang Kam-chan (강감찬) – A Korean general from the Goryeo dynasty known for his victories during the Third Goryeo-Khitan War; lived 948-1031
General Kwon Yul (권률/권율) – A Korean general and commander-in-chief who led the Korean forces during the Japanese invasion, best known for his victory at the Battle of Haengju; lived 1537-1599
General Kyebaek (계백) – A Korean general from the kingdom of Baekje known for his last stand on the Battle of Hwangsaebol; died 660
General Taejoyoung (대조영) – A Korean general from the kingdom of Goguryeo who later established the state of Balhae as King Go (고왕); died 719
General Ulji Mun-tok (을지문덕) – A Korean military leader from the kingdom of Goguryeo best known for defending Korea from Sui Chinese invasion, and remembered as one of Korea's greatest military heroes
Kwanggaeto the Great (광개토태왕) – The nineteenth monarch of the kingdom of Goguryeo best known for bringing the kingdom into a golden age as one of the great powers on East Asia; lived 374-413
Yi Song-kye (이성계) – Personal name of Taejo of Joseon, the founder and the first king of the Joseon dynasty; lived 1335-1408
Wang Kon (왕건) – Personal name of Taejo of Goryeo, the founder and the first king of the Goryeo dynasty; lived 877-943
The Tower's range bonus (+2 in total) is a callback to the Koreans' predecessor, the Choson.
During the development of The Conquerors expansion, Khmer - along with Tibetans and Koreans - were considered as one of the new factions to represent Asia. Eventually, the developers picked Koreans because they were impressed with Turtle Ships and attracted by potential sales in South Korea.