The Vikings were best known for being advent sailors and for establishing settlements and colonies in the North Atlantic in Greenland and Newfoundland, hundreds of years before the arrivals of Southern and Western European explorers. They were also known for bringing fear among several European communities since they would raid small villages unexpectedly. As a result, their navy and infantry are among the finest in the game and are one of the few civilizations to have more than one unique unit.
Contrary to popular belief, spread through 19th and 20th century popular culture, the Vikings did not actually wear spiked or horned helmets, but they refrained from trimming their head and facial hair to give the look of a big, scary, and hairy beast. This is reflected by their unique unit, the Berserker, and their unique technology that would benefit them. The Berserk is a warrior equipped with an axe, produced at a Castle that regenerates its health over time. They are a fast infantry unit strong against other infantry and light cavalry, and to an extent against buildings. Their health regeneration rate can be boosted with the technology Berserkergang. In addition, their infantry units receive a 10% hit point bonus in the Feudal Age, which increases to 15% in the Castle Age, and then to 20% in the Imperial Age.
The Vikings also excel at naval warfare and tactics, and even mastered the art of various types of sailing. To reflect this achievement, their Dock-based unique unit is the Longboat which is a type of swift warship that shoots volleys of arrows similar to the Chu Ko Nu. The Viking Longboat was a well-constructed slim boat that gracefully shot through the water. To reflect their ability as fine shipbuilders, all Viking ships cost 20% fewer resources, and their team bonus allows docks to be built for 25% less wood. The Vikings can produce all ships except for the Fire Ship and Fast Fire Ship. They lack most gunpowder units, and cannot produce any camel units. Overall, their cavalry units are weak, but they can produce strong archery units such as the Arbalest. They have weak tower defenses and can only upgrade Watch Towers to Guard Towers, faring better than their neighbors, the Goths and Huns. They are missing a number of upgrades at the Monastery making their Monks weaker than those of most other civilizations.
The Vikings also have a strong economy. The Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart are free once advancing to the Feudal and Castle Ages respectively. They can research all economic technologies except for Stone Shaft Mining and Guilds.
The language spoken by Viking units is Old Norse, the north Germanic/Scandinavian Language spoken by the Vikings. Old Norse is the ancestor of all the North Germanic/Scandinavian languages; Icelandic, Faroese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Norn which was spoken in Orkney and Shetland. Icelandic is by far the closest language to Old Norse.
Canute IV (c. 1042-1086): King of Denmark (1080-1086), ambitious ruler who aimed to increase the power of the Danish monarchy. Canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1101.
Chief Thorgest (died 845): Viking chief in Ireland. Launched conquests throughout Ireland as well as into Wales. Defeated and vanquished by Irish King Niall.
Erik Bloodax (c. 885-954): Eric Haraldsson, ruled first over Norway, later over Northumbria as well. Grandson of Halfdan the Black.
Halfdan the Black (c. 810-c. 860): King of Vestfold, known for subjugating many petty kingdoms in Norway throughout the ninth century. Father of Harald Fairhair (the first King of Norway). Grandfather of Erik Bloodax.
Harald Bluetooth (died c. 985): Danish king of Denmark and Norway, first introduced Christianity to Denmark. Father of Sweyn Forkbeard; mounted a revolt against him and drove him into exile.
Harald Hardraade (c. 1015-1066): Norwegian King, spent time in exile in Kievan Rus' and the Byzantine Empire before his ascent to the throne in 1046. Invaded England in 1066, but was defeated (and killed) in the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
King Godfred (died c. 985): Semi-legendary King of Denmark. Son of Siegfried. Supposedly killed by one of his own Huskarls.
Jarl Osbiorn: Danish Jarl (Earl). Brother of the Danish King Sweyn II, commanded Sweyn II's fleet.
Magnus Olafsson (died 1265): King of Mann and the Isles (1254–1265). The last king of the Crovan dynasty. Though a monarch in his own right, he paid tribute to Norwegian King Haakon IV.
Magnus the Strong (c. 1106-1134): Magnus I, King of Sweden. A tall, strong man, described as well-endowed by nature. Defeated and killed at the Battle of Fotevik.
Olaf Haraldson (995-1030): King of Norway from 1015-1028. Famous for temporarily freeing Norway of Danish domination; now a symbol of Norwegian nationalism. Canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
Olaf Tryggvasson (died 1000): King of Norway from 995-1000. Famous for spreading Christianity in Norway. Killed at the battle of Svolder, which led to period of foreign domination over Norway.
Siegfried (died c. 804): Semi-legendary King of Denmark from about 770 until his death. Father of King Godfred.
Sigurd (c. 770-c. 804): Legendary Swedish King, supposedly defeated King Harald Wartooth of Denmark and conquered his land. Notably similar to Siegfried, the Danish King.
Sweyn Forkbeard (960-1014): King of Denmark from 986-1014. Son of Harald Bluetooth, came to power by deposing his father. Successfully invaded England, becoming its first Danish King in 1013.