Civilization Tech tree Strategy
Prambanan Complex
The Prambanan Temple.
Rise of the Rajas
Architectural StyleSouth-East Asian
ContinentAsia and Oceania
ClassificationMass Infantry & Naval
Unique UnitsKarambitwarrioricon Karambit Warrior
Exclusive BuildingsDockicon Harbor
Preferred StrategiesInfantry Rush, Galley Rush, Booming, Fast Castle, Battle Elephant Rush, Forward Castle Drop, Trash Spamming, Island Turtling, Springboard (on water maps)
TechnologiesCastleAgeUnique Thalassocracy
Unique-tech Forced Levy
MapsLand & Water
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The Malay are Southeast Asian civilization based on various kingdoms on the Malay Archipelago before European conquest, mainly Srivijaya and Majapahit during the reign of Hayam Wuruk. They are featured in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas as an infantry and naval civilization.

Kingdoms on Malay Archipelago were able to field large number of troops because of the archipelago's large population. To reflect this, Malay have a cheap unique unit named Karambit Warrior and a unique technology named Forced Levy which enables the Malay to train Militia-line units without spending gold. Because Malay Archipelago is strategically located between India and China trade route, the archipelago was often visited by people from both regions who introduced new cultures and technologies to the locals. This is reflected by one of their bonuses: the Malay advance to the next Ages twice as fast as the other civilizations.

Coastal defense is essential for kingdoms located in the region. To reflect this, Malay Docks and their allies have much longer line of sight. Malay also possess Thalassocracy technology to give their Docks new ability to defend themselves. The vast sea with huge amount of fish is reflected by their Fishing Ship and Fish Trap bonuses. The Sumatran forest had large number of wild elephants and they were often tamed by local people to do various tasks. This is reflected by Malay's cheaper Battle Elephant bonus.

The Malay also incorporated elements from Sultanate of Malacca that controlled Malay Peninsula and part of Sumatra Island at its peak. When Portuguese captured Malaccan capital in early 16th century, it was reported that Malaccan army possessed thousand land cannons. This is reflected in the game with Malay access to Bombard Tower and Bombard Cannon.

Overview Edit

The Malay in retrospect are a naval civilization that puts a lot of emphasis on strong Fish Trap economic bonuses, since Fish Traps and Fishing Ships are not only cheaper, but provide unlimited food. This in turn allows the Malay to completely ignore building any Farms in water maps and put all of their Food economy on fish and Fish Traps, since Fish Traps will allow the Malay to save wood in the long run. The naval line is very strong, only lacking the Heavy Demolition Ship, and thanks to the wood saved from unlimited Fish Traps, the Malay can easily produce more Naval ships in water maps. To add extra defensive measures for Fish Traps and Fishing Ships, researching Thalassocracy upgrades their Docks to Harbors, allowing them to shoot down any ships that attempt to raid the Fishing Ships and Fish Traps. Their ability to advance to the next Age faster means the Malay can save a lot of Town Center time, allowing the Malay to have an early game lead over their opponents in both water and land maps.


The Malay Wonder, Kalasan Temple.

In terms of their tech tree, their tech tree is very similar to the Vikings in retrospects (since both civilizations are strong early game civilizations in land maps that fall off lategame due to a limited army composition). Both civilizations have fully upgradable Arbalests and Elite Skirmishers at their Archery Range, but lack Hand Cannoneers, Parthian Tactics, and Heavy Cavalry Archer upgrades. Both have a solid infantry line, a unique tech that boosts their infantry, and unique infantry unit where they lack a key important unit upgrade for their infantry (in Malay's case, it'll be the Champion upgrade to offset their strong Forced Levy Imperial Age tech where Two-Handed Swordsmen doesn't cost gold). In the case of the Malay, Karambit Warrior are infantry units that spawn nearly instantly akin to a Shotel Warrior, but far more frail (although Karambit Warriors only take up half a population space to offset their frailness). Both Vikings and the Malays also have solid siege weapon lines (in the Malay's case, they put more emphasis on long range sieging thanks to them having access to Bombard Cannons in exchange of not having Siege Rams). Both the Vikings and Malays have the worst cavalry in the game and the Malay takes the step further of not only lacking Bloodlines, but also lacking the Chain Barding Armor and Plate Barding Armor at the same time. That being said, much like the Viking Knight rush, the Malay have a viable cavalry rush in which despite having one of the worst cavalry lines in the game, is compensated with their strong economic bonuses. In the case of the Malays, the Malay Battle Elephant rush is suboptimal, but viable thanks to their age advancement bonus and a civilization bonus where their Battle Elephants are cheaper than Knights in terms of gold efficiency (as Malay Battle Elephants will cost 84 food and 49 gold as opposed to Knights that cost 60 food and 75 gold).

In terms of civilization matchups, much like the Mayans and the Ethiopians, facing the Goths will be a nightmarish matchup for the Malays. This is because the Malays have no cost effective answer to the Huskarl unit (across from their Forced Levy Two-Handed Swordsman, but even so, a Malay Two-Handed Swordsman will not always win a melee trade with the Huskarl), the Goth's faster spawning and cheaper Champions will outshine the Malay Two-Handed Swordsmen with Forced Levy and Karambit Warrior, and the Goth's cheaper Halberdiers will make quick work on the Malay's already fragile Battle Elephants. Conversely, the Malays are a top-tier civilizations against civilizations with incredibly poor trash unit lines such the Turks and the Malians, since even without the Champion upgrade, the Two-Handed Swordsman with Forced Levy is enough to make them trash units that counters trash unts.

Civilization bonuses Edit

  • Advancing to Ages takes only 60% of the usual time
  • Fishtrapicon Fish Traps cost -33%
  • Fishtrapicon Fish Traps provide unlimited food
  • Battleelephanticon Battle Elephants 30% cheaper
  • Team Bonus: Docks +100% line of sight

In-game Dialogue LanguageEdit

Their in-game language is the combination of Old Malay and Sanskrit language.


  • Siap. (Ready.)
  • Iya. (Yes.)
  • Swasti. (Prosper.)
  • Aku pangarti. (I understand.)
  • Aku mengumpulkan. (I'm gathering)
  • Aku menggali tambang. (I'm digging mine.)
  • Aku pemangun gedung. (I'm the builder.)
  • Aku panumbang kayu. (I'm the lumberjack.)
  • Aku memanen. (I'm harvesting.)
  • Aku pamarbaik. (I'm the repairer.)


  • Iya. (Yes.)
  • Titah baginda? (Order, your majesty?)
  • Om maheshwaraya.
  • Benar. (Right.)

Military UnitEdit

  • Iya? (Yes?)
  • Iya, baginda. (Yes, your majesty.)
  • Aku pangarti. (I understand.)
  • Angkat sanjata! (Raise the weapon!)
  • Maju! (Onward!)
  • Tabik! (Salute!)

AI Player Names Edit

  • Balaputra - A maharaja of Srivijaya in the 9th century CE as well as the former head of the Sailendra dynasty. Before rising as maharaja of Srivijaya though, he was the heir to the Ancient Mataram Kingdom, a Hindu-Buddha kingdom in Java back then, but was eventually forced to leave Java by the forces of Rakai Pikatan, a member of the rival Sanjaya Dynasty, who later founded the Medang Kingdom.
  • Dharmasetu - an 8th-century maharaja of Srivijaya. Under his reign, he successfully incorporated Pan Pan, a kingdom located in the north of the Malay Peninsula into Srivijayan sphere of influence before 775 AD.
  • Gajah Madacommander of Majapahit elite guard, the Bhayangkara. Then the Prime Minister of Majapahit, replacing Arya Tadah. He was well known for his Palapa Oath and expanding Majapahit teritories across the Malay Archipelago. He was dismissed after the Bubat Tragedy.
  • Hayam Wuruk (1334-1389) - a Javanese King from the Rajasa Dynasty and the fourth monarch of the Majapahit Empire. Together with his prime minister Gajah Mada, he reigned the empire at the time of its greatest power.
  • Jayanegara - Prince of Kediri in 1295 reigned from 1309 to 1328, was a Javanese King and the second monarch of Majapahit empire.
  • Paramewswara - the last king of Singapura. According to the Malay Annals, he ruled Singapura from 1389 to 1398. The king fled the island kingdom after a Majapahit naval invasion in 1398 and founded his new stronghold on the mouth of Bertam river in 1402.
  • Raden Wijaya - a Javanese King, the founder and the first monarch of Majapahit empire and the son-in-law of the last Singhasari monarch, Kertanegara.
  • Samaratungga - the head of the Sailendra dynasty who ruled Central Java and Srivijaya in the 8th and the 9th century.
  • Sang Nila Utama - a Srivijayan prince from Palembang said to have founded the Kingdom of Singapura in 1299.
  • Sultan Mansur Shah - the sixth Sultan of Malacca. He ruled Malacca from 1459 to 1477. He ascended the throne after the death of his father, Muzaffar Shah.
  • Sultan Muzaffar Shah - the fifth Sultan of Malacca. He ruled from 1445 to 1459.

Trivia Edit

  • If a player picks the Malay civilization, the bottom left and center of the navigation bar will show a ship image and a spherical symbol respectively. The ship image is based on a carving at the Borobudur Temple wall, while the spherical symbol is based on Surya Majapahit (Sun of Majapahit), a symbol commonly found in the ruins of Majapahit era.
  • The Malay are the only non-American civilization who don't have access to Chain Barding Armor at the Blacksmith.
  • Despite the Malay being loosely based on the inhabitants of Malay Archipelago, some of the civilization's traits are primarily borrowed from the Javanese that would later become part of modern Indonesia. Their campaign focuses on Gajah Mada, the chief minister of the Majapahit Empire based on the island of Java, who is considered a significant figure in Indonesian history. Their wonder is the Kalasan Temple, which is located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
    • The Karambit however, while a popular weapon with the peasants of Java, is actually said to originate from Sumatra (from where the Srivijaya Empire originated), and more specifically from the Minangkabau people, based in West Sumatra (Sumatera Barat) and known today as the largest matrilineal society in the world.
  • The Malay are also the second civilization in the game to receive a unique building, after the Portuguese.
  • According to Majapahit-era literature, Majapahit Empire controlled parts of the island of New Guinea, which geographically belongs to Australasia. This technically means that with the inclusion of the Malay, Age of Empires II (with Rise of the Rajas installed) represents parts from all continents, except Antarctica.
  • If a Malay player starts fishing from a fish trap that is initially built by another civilization, it will still provide unlimited food. If a non-Malay player fishes from a fish trap that is built by the Malay, the fish trap will only provide 715 food.
  • The Malay are the only civilization in the game that has access to Bombard Towers, but not Fortified Walls
  • One of the in-game-dialogue that the monk said, (Om Maheshwaraya) is one of the praising forms associated to the Hindu God, Shiva.
  • Majapahit was a thalassocracy only during the reign of King Hayam Wuruk. However the quality of the navy, as well as all of it's military, decline after his death, due to continuos civil wars and purposed neglection by the monarchs. Thus, when the empire was dissoluted and tooken over by Demak, the empire only ruled the eastern part of Java.

Gallery Edit