Age of Empires Speech (SAPI 5.3)

Speech API 5.3
Microsoft Speech API 5.3

Age of Empires Speech


Age of Empires Speech is an application adding a speech interface to Microsoft's Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (AOE II). You do not need a special version of AOE II; it is run normally. The speech interface passes keyboard commands to the game. That is, you can replace most keyboard tasks with speech commands. Some commands, such as scrolling and changing game speeds, are not currently supported by the speech interface. Also, you cannot implement certain mouse operations such as selecting and moving units, or placing buildings with speech commands.

Start Age of Empires Speech to enable speech operations. In the main Age of Empires Speech dialog window, select Listening to enable recognition, and then open AOE II. After selecting the options and a scenario, the game will begin. At that point, you may speak commands for game play. No action will take place if commands not recognized. You will not need additional speech and command training to play; however, speak the commands clearly, slowly, and deliberately. Your familiarity at playing the game using speech commands will increase over time and your proficiency will improve.

You will find that a complete list of commands and their syntax is available in Commands. Use speech in the same manner as the keyboard for issuing commands. Some commands are global and you may issue them at any time. These include chat commands and pause game, or menu items such as diplomacy, objectives, or display game time. Other commands are specific to units or buildings. With the target selected, issue a command. If the command is appropriate, it will be carried out. For example, select a barrack; you may then set a gather point, train specific units, or delete the barrack altogether. However, if you attempt to train a cavalry unit there, this command is inappropriate and no action will be taken.


Several options are presented in the dialog window. By default, all options are initially on except for Listening. Selecting various options will enable or disable entire categories of commands. Check each option for complete access to all commands.

Activate game commands

Activates a series of administrative commands and menus. These include diplomacy, chat and objective windows as well as game pause. It also displays the technology tree. You can initiate, forward, and send chat by speech commands, but you must still type the actual content.

Activate unit commands

Activates commands for villager units. You must activate the unit with the mouse, but once selected, you can issue speech commands. If a command is not applicable for the unit or the group of units, no action will be taken. Examples include setting gather points; attempting to select economic or military buildings; or the villager unit attempting to pack.

Military unit commands

Activates commands for military units. You must activate the unit with the mouse, but once selected, you can issue speech commands. If a command is not applicable for the unit or the group of units, no action will be taken. Examples include the military unit to take an aggressive, defensive, or stand ground posture, form a line, patrol an area, or guard a building.

Activate training commands

Activates the build, create and train commands. This command allows the creation of many items including types of buildings, villagers, and different military units such as swordsmen, knights, and archers. You can also use this command to activate weapons including fire ships, trebuchets, and battering rams.

Activate view commands

Activates the Go to and View commands. The commands may be simple such as "go to barracks," or "go to last notification." They may also be more complex such as "go to next idle villager unit" although you may omit the final "unit."

Activate idle commands

Activates the idle command for villagers or military units.

Activate villager build commands

Activates a series of villager/ship build commands. You must activate the unit with the mouse, but once selected, you can issue speech commands. You can issue the build order directly without selecting it from the build list. For example, a selected villager may be told to "build house." An image of the dimmed house will appear on the screen, then use the mouse to place it. Other examples of villager build commands include building the market, blacksmith, farm, fish trap, and military objects such as archery range, barracks and stone wall.

Automatically view before training

Displays the building prior to issuing the build or train command. This allows you to view the building centered on the screen. Unlike the other categories, there are no subsequent commands available.


Enables speech recognition. Once activated, Age of Empires Speech attempts to issue keystrokes if a command is recognized. AOE II is intended to be the recipient of the commands. However, if another active application capable of accepting keyboard input is in the Windows foreground, it is possible that the keystrokes will be passed along to that window instead. Take care to avoid unintended input to the foreground application. As mentioned above, open AOE II immediately after Age of Empires Speech.