Gajah Mada (c. 1290 AD – 1364 AD), translated as Elephant General, was a powerful military leader and mahapatih or prime minister of the Majapahit Empire, credited with bringing the empire to its peak of glory. He delivered an oath called Sumpah Palapa, in which he vowed not to enjoy the pleasures of the world until he had conquered all of the Southeast Asian archipelago of Nusantara for Majapahit. He leads the Indonesians in Civilization V: Brave New World.
Gajah Mada speaks Old Javanese, although there may be some words derived from the Modern Javanese language in his lines. On his diplomacy screen, he is standing in what appears to be a rice paddy, with kris sword in hand, with dense jungle on low lying hills cloaked in fog with a candi in the background. Gajah Mada's design is clearly based on the statue in front of the Telecommunication Museum in Jakarta, Indonesia, with only a slight difference on the belt.
Unique Ability: Spice Islanders
Voice Actor: Icha Setiawan
|Wonder Competitiveness||4 (6-2)|
|City-State Influence Competitiveness||5 (7-3)|
|Hate Warmongers||5 (7-3)|
|Willingness to Denounce||6 (8-4)|
|Willingness to Declare Friendship||5 (7-3)|
|Offensive Unit Production||5 (7-3)|
|Defensive Unit Production||6 (8-4)|
|Defensive Building Production||6 (8-4)|
|Military Training Buildings Production||5 (7-3)|
|Recon Unit Production||5 (7-3)|
|Ranged Unit Production||5 (7-3)|
|Mobile Unit Production||4 (6-2)|
|Naval Unit Production||7 (9-5)|
|Naval Recon Unit Production||6 (8-4)|
|Air Unit Production||4 (6-2)|
|Naval Growth||7 (9-5)|
|Naval Tile Improvements||7 (9-5)|
|Water Connections||7 (9-5)|
|Tile Improvements||5 (7-3)|
|Infrastructure (Roads)||3 (5-1)|
|Production Emphasis||5 (7-3)|
|Gold Emphasis||6 (8-4)|
|Science Emphasis||4 (6-2)|
|Culture Emphasis||6 (8-4)|
|Happiness Emphasis||6 (8-4)|
|Great People Emphasis||5 (7-3)|
|Wonder Emphasis||6 (8-4)|
|Religion Emphasis||7 (9-5)|
|Diplomacy Victory||5 (7-3)|
|Spaceship Victory||5 (7-3)|
|Nuke Production||5 (7-3)|
|Use of Nukes||5 (7-3)|
|Use of Espionage||5 (7-3)|
|Anti-Air Production||5 (7-3)|
|Air Carrier Production||5 (7-3)|
|Land Trade Route Emphasis||5 (7-3)|
|Sea Trade Route Emphasis||5 (7-3)|
|Archaeology Emphasis||5 (7-3)|
|Trade Origin Emphasis||5 (7-3)|
|Trade Destination Emphasis||5 (7-3)|
|Airlift Emphasis||5 (7-3)|
|Likeliness to Declare War||5 (7-3)|
|Likeliness to be Hostile||6 (8-4)|
|Likeliness to be Deceptive||6 (8-4)|
|Likeliness to be Guarded||5 (7-3)|
|Likeliness to be Afraid||3 (5-1)|
|Likeliness to be Friendly||5 (7-3)|
|Likeliness to be Neutral||4 (6-2)|
|Ignore City-States||4 (6-2)|
|Friendliness to City-States||5 (7-3)|
|Protection of City-States||6 (8-4)|
|Conquest of City-States||3 (5-1)|
|Bullying of City-States||6 (8-4)|
Personality and Behavior
Gajah Mada likes to expand his empire, and is very keen on building a strong naval fleet. As such, the Indonesians will have some of the better water connections.
Gajah Mada is one of the bolder leaders, as well as one of the less loyal ones. While he can, at times, be hostile, he is not quite a warmonger. He may also backstab his allies, so befriend him with caution.
Gajah Mada likes to befriend and protect city-states. He will almost never try to conquer them, but he will often bully them.
On some occasions, Gajah Mada will try to build new cities right next to other players' Capitals, which will allow him to take advantage of his unique ability on certain maps. If your Capital is on an island, be sure to expand your borders so that he cannot get a water connection by your side.
Gajah Mada (loosely translated as the "Elephant General"), hero to the people of Indonesia and symbol of national pride and patriotism, served as Prime Minister of the Majapahit Empire of Indonesia for the better part of the 14th century AD. Although little information exists as to his early life and upbringing, it is known that he was born a commoner, rising to power based solely on his intellect and cunning - along with a renowned ferocity in battle. Serving as a royal bodyguard, Gajah Mada was instrumental in quashing a rebellion against his king, and was rewarded with a path to joining the ruling elite. Eventually rising to the position of Prime Minister, Gajah Mada led the Majapahit Empire to great success in conquering many of the neighboring island kingdoms, becoming the first to unite much of the territory that encompasses modern Indonesia.
Rise to Power
The earliest records of Gajah Mada's life begin in adulthood, when he is said to have served as commander of an elite guard unit entrusted with protecting the royal family of the Majapahit Emperor, Jayanagara (1309-1328 AD). During this period, a rogue Majapahit political officer known as Rakrian Kuti lead a rebellion against King Jayanagara. Learning of the plot, Gajah Mada safely escorted the king out of the capital city, which fell to Kuti's forces, and into hiding in the nearby city of Badander. Once the king was secure, legend has it that Gajah Mada spread rumors of the king's death to disrupt the rebellion, while organizing a group to retake the capital and reinstate the rightful king. Gajah Mada found that many of the military caste were dismayed by the king's supposed death and that Kuti was unpopular among the people. In the ensuing counter-insurrection, the upstart Kuti was killed, and Gajah Mada was rewarded for his efforts with his first leadership position within the ruling party.
Prime Minister of Majapahit
Some years later, according to legend, Gajah Mada's loyalty waned when the king took Mada's wife as a concubine. In the tale, Gajah Mada convinced the court physician, a one-time supporter of Kuti, to kill the king when he fell ill; upon the king's death, Gajah Mada promptly had the physician arrested and executed. Whatever the truth in the tale, following the death of Jayanagara, his step-sister Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi ascended the throne with ambitions to expand the reach of her empire. Fortunately for Gajah Mada, his role in this expansion was considered integral by the new queen, and he was named mahapatih, or Prime Minister, in 1329 AD. With sweeping powers and new authority, Gajah Mada set his sights on the far-flung reaches of the archipelago, vowing great things for the empire that entrusted him with its future. His famous oath, known as the Sumpah Palapa - often the subject of varying interpretations - declared in the most basic terms "I will not indulge in the fruits or spice, the earthly pleasures, until all of the known islands are conquered for the Majapahit."
Following Gajah Mada's return in 1331 AD from suppressing a rebellion in Sadeng (eastern Java), it wasn't long before he launched his campaigns to conquer the neighboring islands of the Indonesian archipelago, beginning with Bali and Lombok in 1343. One by one he captured kingdoms and cities, states and provinces, all for the glory of his people. These included the Buddhist kingdom of Sriwijaya in Palembang and small kingdoms in West Sumatra, where Gajah Mada installed a Majapahit prince as a vassal ruler. The Elephant General then conquered Samudra Pasai in Sumatra, the first Muslim sultanate in Indonesia. Following this victory, in the span of two years Majapahit forces overran another half-dozen independent cities and kingdoms, including Temesek (now known as Singapore) across the straits.
Tribhuwana abdicated the Majapahit throne in 1350 AD in favor of her son Hayam Wuruk, considered the greatest of the kings of the Majapahit. During his reign the empire reached its greatest extent, encompassing the whole of the Indonesian archipelago. Trade and the arts flourished under the king. The new king was content to leave the affairs of the nation to his prime minister, while he himself patronized the arts and sciences. With the tacit support of the king, Gajah Mada proceeded to add two dozen kingdoms to the empire, some as far away as modern-day Malaysia and the southern Philippines.
Having conquered more than a dozen islands within the archipelago by 1357, Gajah Mada found himself in a difficult position, with one of the last remaining independent kingdoms being the Sunda in West Java. Although plans had been laid for the princess of the Sunda to marry the Hayam Wuruk, forming an alliance, Gajah Mada sought to press the Sunda further. By denying that the Sunda princess would become Queen Consort of Majapahit and instead be only a concubine, Gajah Mada enraged Sunda sensibilities. In meeting the wedding party at the town of Bubat, the negotiations degenerated into open hostility, and a skirmish ensued. Gajah Mada and his forces massacred the entire Sunda royal family and its bodyguard.
The incident marred the legacy of Gajah Mada as his actions were seen as reckless and heavy-handed. Majapahit ministers and courtiers condemned him as bloodthirsty and brutal. The king stripped Gajah Mada of his titles, authority, and honors. The once most-powerful man in the empire would spend the rest of his days in relative solitude at his remaining estate in East Java. Gajah Mada would die in relative obscurity in 1363 AD.
Judgement of History
In modern Indonesia, Gajah Mada is viewed as a hero - a symbol of Indonesian patriotism and national pride. Gajah Mada is seen as an inspirational figure, one who exemplifies the potential greatness of all Indonesians. He would serve as a mythic propaganda symbol during the resistance to Japanese occupation and the ensuing revolt for independence from Dutch rule in the late 1940s. His legacy as the first to unite the many islands of the Indonesian archipelago into one nation will stand throughout history - as will his renowned dedication and unwavering loyalty to his king and the Majapahit people.
- Gajah Mada's rise to prime minister and his famous oath are described in the Nagarakretagama, a lengthy epic eulogy to King Hayam Wuruk which dates to the late 1300s.
- Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi or Gitarja, the queen regent that appointed Gajah Mada as the prime minister of Majapahit, is the Indonesian leader in Civilization VI, available as DLC.
- Gajah Mada depiction in the game is based on M. Yamin's illustration from 1945, which was then used in numerous depictions of Gajah Mada in the form of statues, paintings, and popular media. The in-game unit sprite shows a bare-chested, muscular/fat man, wielding a kris and wearing a fabric (sarong) at the waist. Historical sources, however, do not support this. Kidung Sundayana stated that in the war, Gajah Mada wore a golden embossed karambalangan (breastplate), armed with a gold-layered spear, and with a shield full of diamond decoration.
- It may be possible that M. Yamin drew the facial illustration of Gajah Mada based on his own face.
- There is another illustration about the figure of Gajah Mada, different from the M. Yamin's, which is the result of research at the University of Indonesia by archaeologist Agus Aris Munandar. He illustrated Gajah Mada as similar to Bima in wayang shadow puppet show, which has a transverse mustache. This illustration is also supported by oral tradition of Trowulan (Majapahit capital) people.
- The illustration of Gajah Mada being fat/chubby is proven wrong, as it is based on assumption of the meaning of the name “Gajah” (elephant). The modern interpretation of Gajah is that it refers to a fat person, but historically, it is used to refer to a strong person.
Javanese pronunciation often replaces a sounds with o sounds (represented by the å character).
|Codename||Quote (English translation)||Quote (Old Javanese)||Notes|
|Attacked||How dare you! Really insignificant as well!||ꦤꦶꦂ ꦠꦸꦲꦸ ꦠꦸꦲꦸ ꦮꦫꦶ ꦠ ꦏꦶꦠ! ꦤꦶꦂ ꦢꦲꦠ꧀ ꦄꦥꦁ ꦒꦸꦁꦏꦸꦤꦁ! / Nir tuhu-tuhu wari tå kitå! Nir dahat apaŋguŋ Kunaŋ!||Kunaŋ means "even there" or "as well" in Old Javanese; its synonymous phrase in Bahasa Indonesian is adapun. Kitå means "you" in Old Javanese, but in Modern Javanese it means "us."|
|Declares War||Don't mean to stand in your way, but I have to protect them!
(lit. "Actually I didn't want to block your way, protecting is my purpose on them!")
|ꦲꦁ ꦲꦭꦁ ꦆ ꦠ ꦏꦶꦠ꧈ ꦥꦴꦭ ꦤꦶ ꦔ꧀ꦲꦸꦭꦸꦤ꧀ ꦥꦿꦪꦕ ꦤꦶꦫ! / Haŋ halaŋi tå kitå, pāla ni ŋhulun prayåcå nirå!||Nirå is a third-person pronoun which could mean "he," "she," "it," "his," "him," "her," "them," "their," or "they."|
|Defeated||You may win, but you cannot win upon my spirit.||ꦤ꧀ꦢꦠꦤ꧀ ꦩꦼꦤꦁ ꦇ ꦏꦶꦠ ꦏꦸꦩꦭꦃꦄꦏꦼꦤ꧀ ꦄꦴꦠ꧀ꦩ ꦤꦶ ꦔ꧀ꦲꦸꦭꦸꦤ꧀꧉ / Ndatan mĕnaŋ i kitå kumalahakĕn ātmå ni ŋhulun.|
|Hate Hello||Are you a (male concubine), stranger?||ꦄꦥ ꦠ ꦏꦪꦸ꧈ ꦠ? / Åpå tå kayu, tå?||Kayu can mean either "wood" or "male concubine." He is also using to to address you (an honorific term for a stranger). There seems to be some irony in this sentence, which has a negative and positive in one.|
|Hate Let's Hear It 01||Speak up!||ꦥꦸꦕꦫ! / Pucara!||It's an old form of the word wicara, which means "speak."|
|Hate Let's Hear It 02||What is it, fool?||ꦄꦥ ꦧꦺꦴꦧ? / Åpå, boba?||Åpå means "What?"; boba might be an old form of the word bodho, which means "idiot."|
|Hate Let's Hear It 03||You again!||ꦏꦶꦠ ꦩꦸꦮꦃ! / Kitå muwah!|
|Hate No 01||?||?|
|Hate No 02||What?!||ꦄꦥ?! / Åpå?!|
|Hate No 03||How dare you!||ꦠꦸꦲꦸ ꦠꦸꦲꦸ ꦠꦁ! / Tuhu-tuhu taŋ!||The meaning of taŋ is unclear; maybe it refers to "moron."|
|Hate Yes 01||Welcome.||ꦫꦲꦪꦸ꧉ / Rahayu.||"Welcome" is a literal translation; he might be trying to say something like "very well."|
|Hate Yes 02||?||?|
|Hate Yes 03||?||?|
|Intro||You came before the great warrior, Gajah from Nusantara!||ꦲꦁꦔꦢꦼꦒ꧀ ꦠ ꦏꦶꦠ꧈ ꦲꦶꦤꦂ ꦥꦏꦼꦤ꧀ ꦩꦲꦮꦶꦂꦪ ꦒꦗꦃ ꦩꦢ꧈ ꦫꦶꦁ ꦤꦸꦱ꧀ꦮꦤ꧀ꦠꦫ! / Haŋadĕg tå kitå, hinar pakĕn mahawiryå Gajah Mådå, rìŋ Nuswantårå!||The word "Indonesia" did not exist in the past, so instead he uses the word "Nuswantårå," which means "Outer Island" (from the Majapahitan perspective) in Old Javanese. In modern Bahasa Indonesian, it means "Unified Archipelago."|
|Neutral Hello||Greetings!||ꦧꦲꦒꦾ! / Bahagyå!||Possibly an old form of bahagia, which means "happiness."|
|Neutral Let's Hear It 01||Explain!||ꦧꦧꦂꦤ / Babarnå!||Possibly an old form of papar, which means "expose" or "describe."|
|Neutral Let's Hear It 02||Proceed.
(lit. "Forward./Go on.")
|ꦩꦱꦼꦴ꧉ / Masö.|
|Neutral Let's Hear It 03||?||?|
|Neutral No 01||No!||ꦠꦲꦩ꧀! / Taham!|
|Neutral No 02||?||?|
|Neutral No 03||?||?|
|Neutral Yes 01||Welcome, stranger!||ꦫꦲꦪꦸ꧈ ꦠ! / Rahayu, tå!||"Welcome" is a literal translation; he might be trying to say something like "very well."|
|Neutral Yes 02||It's good for me.||ꦲꦭꦸꦭ ꦠꦸ ꦔ꧀ꦲꦸꦭꦸꦤ꧀꧉ / Halula tu ŋhulun.|
|Neutral Yes 03||Yes.
(lit. "We have term.")
|ꦱꦺꦴꦗꦂ꧉ / Sojar.||The word sojar is a combination of the words sa and ujar.|
|Peaceful||Let's stop fighting with me.||ꦫꦶꦁ ꦲꦪꦸꦤ꧀ ꦠ ꦄꦪꦺꦴ ꦮꦠꦸ ꦄꦥꦼꦫꦁ ꦭꦮꦤ꧀ ꦈꦭꦸꦤ꧀꧉ / Riŋ hayun tå ayo watu apĕraŋ lawan ulun.||Pĕraŋ or praŋ means "fighting" or "tension" in Old Javanese. With the a- prefix as negation this could refer to ceasing fighting, or peace.|
|Request||What if we make a deal (stream), you and me?||ꦄꦥꦫꦤ꧀ ꦠ ꦪꦤ꧀ ꦄꦭꦶꦭꦶꦫ꧀ꦮꦤ꧀꧈ ꦏꦶꦠ ꦭꦮꦤ꧀ ꦈꦭꦸꦤ꧀? / Aparan tå yan alilirwan, kitå lawan ulun?||Aparan translates to "what" (with the a- prefix), yan translates to "if," and kitå lawan ulun translates to "you with me."|
Honor be with you, oh great hero Gajah Mada, prime minister of Majapahit and uniter of the Indonesian archipelago. The stories of your heroism on the battlefield are bested only by the legends of your sworn oath to unite the far-flung islands of Indonesia under one banner. Serving your queen and empire with loyalty, you not only strive to fulfill your oath and conquered any who stood in your path, but you succeeded in capturing what was then the entirety of the known archipelago, the first to unite what is today modern Indonesia.
Mighty warrior Gajah Mada, your people yearn for a strong leader who can return them to prosperity! Will you set out to conquer the neighboring kingdoms, further expanding your glory of your empire? Will you build a civilization that can stand the test of time?
|Civilization V Leaders |
|Ahmad al-Mansur • Alexander • Ashurbanipal • Askia • Attila • Augustus Caesar • Bismarck • Boudicca • Casimir III • Catherine • Darius I • Dido • Elizabeth • Enrico Dandolo • Gajah Mada • Gandhi • Genghis Khan1 • Gustavus Adolphus • Haile Selassie • Harald Bluetooth1 • Harun al-Rashid • Hiawatha • Isabella1 • Kamehameha1 • Maria I • Maria Theresa • Montezuma • Napoleon • Nebuchadnezzar II1 • Oda Nobunaga • Pacal • Pachacuti1 • Pedro II • Pocatello • Ramesses II • Ramkhamhaeng • Sejong1 • Shaka • Suleiman • Theodora • Washington • William • Wu Zetian|
|1 Requires a DLC|