The Pharaoh is the leader of the Egyptians in Age of Mythology, and their most powerful regular hero. Egyptian players start with a Pharaoh; they do not take up any population slots but cannot be trained. If killed, Pharaoh will return from the dead 90 seconds later at the player's starting Town Center, free of charge. Normally a player can only control one Pharaoh at a time, though worshipers of Osiris can research the New Kingdom technology to control two. Osiris worshipers can also use his God Power to turn Pharaoh into a superhero unit, the Son of Osiris.
"A new Pharaoh has arisen to lead your people!"—In-game notification whenever a Pharaoh spawns from the Town Center
As with Hersirs, each Pharaoh is given a unique name on creation. This is the dynastic name, and all the Pharaoh's descendants will share it. For example, if the starting Pharaoh is called Akhenaten I, his successor will be Akhentaten II, and so on. If the New Kingdom technology is researched, the second Pharaoh will have a different dynastic name.
The Pharaoh has the core abilities of all heroes – he has a large bonus when attacking myth units and can collect Relics. He can also heal other units at 10 HP per second, one of the fastest healing rates in the game. The Pharaoh's most interesting and important ability, however, is that of empowering buildings. Empowering, which works on almost all buildings, including Wonders but excluding Farms, Obelisks and Titan Gates, improves all of a building's functions, as follows:
- Buildings are built 74% faster.
- Units are trained 30% faster (Excluding Laborer training).
- Technologies are researched 30% faster. (Excluding Age Advance).
- Buildings fire arrows twice as fast.
- Drop sites create 20% 'extra' resources. (If a Laborer gathers 10 wood and deposits it at an empowered Lumber Camp, 12 wood is added to the player's stockpile.)
- Monuments accumulate favor 20% faster.
Strategically, empowering is very important to the Egyptian player. In the Archaic Age, it is best to empower a food drop-off site. This offsets the laborers' relatively slow gathering rate and gives the player bonus food in preparation for Age advance.
Later on in the game, empowering can be used to boost other resources as needed, such as gold. Players can also use the Pharaoh to empower buildings to research techs faster and train units faster. However, the most dramatic improvement is with empowering the construction of buildings. This is particularly useful with structures with long building times, such as Town Centers and Migdol Strongholds.
Heroes' Age Advance bonus: +20% attack and +10% HP in Classical, Heroic and Mythic Ages. Additional Age Advance bonuses:
- Classical Age: +8 range
- Heroic Age: +6 range, +6 LOS
- Mythic Age: +2 range, +2 LOS
Two major gods grant further bonuses to the Pharaoh.
When empowering, Ra's Pharaoh creates 25% extra resources, and increases a monument's favor generation rate by 25%.
Set's Pharaoh can quickly summon Animals of Set at a small cost of favor.
- Spirit of Ma'at (Nephthys) makes the Pharaoh heal units twice as fast.
- Funeral Rites (Nephthys) increases Pharaoh multiplier against myth units by 4 (from 5 to 9).
- City of the Dead (Nephthys) grants Pharaoh +30% HP and +20% attack and enables him to return from the dead in 40 seconds (instead of 90).
- New Kingdom (Osiris) grants a second Pharaoh.
- Copper Weapons, Bronze Weapons, and Iron Weapons increase attack by 10%.
- Copper Mail, Bronze Mail, and Iron Mail decrease hack vulnerability by 15%.
- Copper Shields, Bronze Shields, and Iron Shields decrease pierce vulnerability by 15%.
"The material wealth and relative isolation of the Nile Valley allowed a monarchial government to arise in Egypt at a very early date. There was little need for a strong man to hold sway by might for the defense of the realm and the control of food production. Instead, the pharaoh came to be accepted as the living god of the world who was responsible for the daily passage of the sun and annual flooding of the river, the two events upon which food production depended. The greatest of the pharaohs were also the battle leaders of their armies and the builders of Egypt’s greatest monuments."—In-game help section
Pharaoh Names Edit
Amenemnisu, Amenemope, Amenemhet, Amhose, Amhotep, Bubba Joe, Cambyses, Cleopatra, Djedkare, Djer, Djoser, Hakor, Harnedjheriotef, Hatshepsut, Horemheb, Hotepsekhemwy, Imhotep, Intef, Khasekhemwy, Khendjer, Khufu, Larry, Menes, Menkauhor, Menkaure, Mentuhotep, Namer, Nebkaure, Nefaarud, Neferhotep, Neferirkare, Nimlot, Niuserre, Nynetjer, Osorkon, Pedibastet, Peftjauabstet, Ptolomy, Psusennes, Ramses, Raneb, Raneferef, Sahure, Semerkhet, Sethnakhte, Seti, Shebitku, Sheshonq, Siamun, Siptah, Smendes, Smenkhkare, Sobekemsaf, Sobekhotep, Sobeknerfu, Steve, Sunusret, Shepseskare, Shepseskaf, Snofru, Taharka, Tanutamun, Thutmose, Tutankhamen, Twosret, Userkaf, Wadjkheperre, Wahibre.
- The highest possible roman numeral that a successor Pharaoh can have is XX (20). Afterwards, future Pharaohs will all have XX in their name.
- The Pharaoh's appearance is based on Yul Brynner's King Rameses, from the movie The Ten Commandments (1956).