Total Annihilation Wiki
Total Annihilation Kingdoms

box cover

title Total Annihilation Kingdoms
developer Cavedog Entertainment
publisher Cavedog Entertainment
engine =
version 4.1BB
released June 25, 1999
genre Real-time strategy (RTS)
modes Single player, multiplayer
  • ESRB: Teen
platforms Microsoft Windows x86
media CD-ROM
requirements Pentium 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Windows 95/98, VGA graphics card, Sound Blaster-compatible sound card, 4x CD-ROM drive, and 80 MB hard-disk space
input Keyboard, Mouse

Total Annihilation Kingdoms or TA:K is a medieval fantasy real time strategy game created and released by Cavedog Entertainment on June 25, 1999. On release, Total Annihilation Kingdoms reached the top of the weekly game sales chart. While it was the last major title from Cavedog Entertainment, an expansion pack, "The Iron Plague", was released in 2000.


The story involves four sibling monarchs in their struggle to dominate the land of Darien: Elsin of Aramon, Lokken of Taros Kirenna of Veruna, and Thirsha of Zhon, following the disappearance of their father, Garacaius.

A more detailed story and world was presented in Total Annihilation Kingdoms than was in Total Annihilation. The missions coincided with the storyline that was presented. In one example, a cutscene describes that the side of Aramon obtains the use of gunpowder. In that mission, the player plays the side of Aramon where using a gunpowder-based unit is critical towards the success of that mission. The game booklet and a detailed HTML atlas of Darien also added further background information to the storyline.

Single-Player Campaign[]

Main article: Chart of TA:K Missions

Total Annihilation: Kingdoms featured a linear single-player campaign of 48 missions. These missions followed a linear path from one mission to the next, each needing to be played before the next could be accessed. If you failed at a mission after trying it, you could skip it and go to the next chapter if you so desired. You did not choose a faction, but instead played the four factions at various times, it switching back and forth between them as the story progressed. Sometimes a faction would not have certain units until a mission in which they gained that technology or ally(Aramon's Cannons, ancient dragons, etc).

In order to accommodate the storyline, some of these missions featured unique units that can not be reproduced during multi-player competitions without outside manipulation of the game. These unique units are likely not intended for multi-player competitions as many of them are unbalanced for that type of gaming experience.


Total Annihilation Kingdoms reduced the number of resource types from the two found in Total Annihilation (Metal and Energy) to one: Mana or magical energy.

Total Annihilation Kingdoms also opted for fewer units per faction than its predecessor. This was due, in part, to the added complexity of the models, animation and textures required for living creatures (versus the robots and machines of Total Annihilation). Cavedog released nine additional units for TAK over time.

Units and sides[]

Main article: List of units for Total Annihilation Kingdoms

Where Total Annihilation had largely parallel technology trees between two similar sides, Total Annihilation Kingdoms tried a more diversified approach.

There are different categories which highlight just how different the various factions were.


Total Annihilation Kingdoms did feature a number of refinements and improvements with its interface design. The design ethic and innovations started with Total Annihilation were expanded, including infinite production queues, non-linear/interruptible queues and a fully playable mini-map mode. Squad designations for groups of units were easier and more intuitive than they were in TA. As in TA, TA:Kingdoms also allowed players to see translucent images of all unbuilt structures in a build queue.

Campaign trails[]

The idea of a campaign sequence for each side was eliminated in favor of a single linear path that alternates between the four sides: Aramon, Taros, Veruna and Zhon. This allowed the developers to put all of their effort into a single narrative and its associated artwork.


Due to Cavedog's closing, players cannot play online through the game's multiplayer option. In order to play online, a separate client must be used.

The Iron Plague expansion set[]

Shortly before Cavedog's collapse, an expansion pack was released titled The Iron Plague. The premise of the sequel continued the storyline of the lost father of magic, Garacaius. Finding boredom in his immortal life, Garacaius gave up his immortality and his empire and founded a new empire based on science and engineering, as opposed to magic. This new empire, Creon, quickly dominated the neighboring provinces and absorbed the knowledge of their conquests. Garacaius himself died, but the elected ruler of Creon (in a steam-powered robotic suit) eventually led the kingdom on a crusade against magic and the magical sibling rulers of Darien.

The expansion pack added an entirely new faction to the game (the science and engineering Republic of Creon), as well as hundreds of new maps and entirely new graphics for map tile sets. It also included the latest patch for the game.

External links[]