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The Indonesian people represent a civilization in Civilization V: Brave New World.


Indonesia is one of the most versatile civilizations, with some trading and religious bonuses which don't point to a particular victory path.

Indonesia has some truly unique features. One of them is their unique ability, Spice Islanders, which allows them to get two free copies of one of their three possible unique luxury resources upon the founding of a city on a continent that does not contain the Indonesian Capital Capital or another city with a unique luxury resource. (In other words, they must settle a city on a third new landmass to get their second unique resource and a fourth new landmass to get their third and final unique resource. Note that even one-tile islands count as continents, despite not being large enough to qualify as such.) These luxury resources are Nutmeg Nutmeg, Cloves Cloves, and Pepper Pepper. These luxuries come "extra"; that is, they are immediately available for use and trade, and potentially increase the total number of luxuries in the game by three. This means that all games which have Indonesia in play will have a bigger total number of luxuries available - an interesting situation.

To make practical use of this unique ability, you will have to expand your empire overseas, which might not be that easy on any map setting other than Archipelago. It means researching Sailing early on, then Optics, then scrambling around the sea with your Settler to find a new continent (or island) that has yet to have an Indonesian city founded. The problem is, if you happen to be on a large continent, it could become practically impossible to find a suitable piece of land - when Astronomy finally allows you to traverse ocean, suitable lands might be taken already, or be very far away!

Another advantage of the Indonesian unique ability is the fact that the three special cities can never be razed, meaning you will always have a chance to reclaim them should someone capture them. Note that the unique ability is limited to the first three cities founded in three different continents or islands that do not contain your Capital Capital.

Indonesia's other great unique feature is their unique unit, the Kris Swordsman, which replaces the Swordsman. It receives a free promotion after its first combat, chosen randomly from a set of eight completely unique promotions. You never know exactly what the promotion will be until your unit gets engaged in a combat for the first time. Most of the possible promotions are quite powerful, but be aware that some promotions are actually detrimental to the unit.

The Indonesians, unlike other civilizations, are friendly to all religions, not only their own. The unique feature which mirrors this is the Candi. Besides the regular bonus of the Garden it replaces, the Candi doesn't need to border fresh water and also generates Faith Faith for each religion with at least one follower in that city, so don't bother using your Inquisitors!

Finally, there is something to remember about the unique ability: because the game places the luxury resource on the tile where the city is built, it overwrites any resource that previously existed there. So don't build these cities on top of strategic or luxury resources! Also, the unique resources have their own tile potential bonus, +2 Gold Gold, which is always in effect (since it appears right on the city tile).

Civilopedia entry[]


The history of the 18,307 islands that comprise the Indonesian archipelago is actually that of hundreds of city-states, small kingdoms, and occasional empires. The first of which is thought to be the kingdom of Dvipantara mentioned in the Indian epic Ramayama, composed c. 200 BC. The last significant Hindu kingdom, the Majapahit Empire, unified most of the archipelago in the 13th Century AD. There followed a succession of Islamic sultanates which dominated the major islands until the arrival of European explorers and traders. Known as the "Spice Islands" to the Europeans, lying astride trade routes between the Far East and the West, the Portuguese, Spanish, British and Dutch vied for control of the island chain until the Dutch East India Company came to rule Indonesia. Despite a four-year armed struggle for independence against the Dutch following the Second World War, and periods of unrest since, the country is now more stable, progressive and harmonious than ever, despite occasional outbreaks of sectarian and political violence. Reflecting the ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic pluralism that resulted from this contentious past is Indonesia's national motto: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika ("Unity in Diversity").

Climate and Terrain[]

Indonesia is the largest country in Southeast Asia, consisting of over 18000 islands scattered along the equator between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Of these, according to 2002 Indonesian government sources, 8844 islands have been named, with 922 of those having some permanent settlement thereon. The chain is approximately 3200 miles in length, the equivalent of one-eighth of the Earth's circumference. The major islands are characterized by densely forested mountains in the interior sloping down to alluvial swamps and jungles along the coastlines. The smaller ones range from jungle-covered volcanic peaks to barren sand islets. The chain lies atop the juncture of three major crustal plates, and Indonesia's history has been marred by volcanic eruptions and severe earthquakes. Given its location, Indonesia has a tropical climate, marked by two monsoon seasons. Average rainfall in the lower elevations ranges from 70 to 125 inches annually, while the mountain slopes receive up to 240 inches. Temperature varies little; the daily range in the capital is 79-86 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. Although extremely fertile and surrounded by rich coastal shallows, the islands are subject to frequent typhoons and gales.

Early History[]

Fossilized bones of Homo erectus, a possible ancestor of humans popularly known as "Java Man," were discovered by Dutch scientists in 1891 AD and have been dated to be at least 700 thousand years old. The archipelago was formed by the thaw following the last great ice age, and Homo sapiens crossed to the islands some 45,000 years ago. An ideal climate and the development of wet-field rice cultivation led to the first human settlements c. 8th Century BC, and the initial "kingdoms" - little more than collections of villages with common ethnic and linguistic backgrounds - arose during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.

The first record of an indigenous kingdom is that referring to Dvipantara in India's earliest epic, the Ramayana (c. 200 BC); in it the general Sugriva dispatches troops in search of the god Rama's consort Sita there. From descriptions in the epic, Dvipantara lay on either Java or Sumatra. The earliest archeological evidence of any cohesive kingdom is located in west Java, where a statue of the Hindu deity Ganesha dates to the 1st Century AD. Around the same time, the Roman historian Pliny the Elder writes that Indonesian boats were engaged in trade along the east coast of Africa. The next century, the geographer Ptolemy incorporated information from Indian sources about the islands in his Geographike Hyphegesis.

Hindu-Buddhist Kingdoms[]

In the following centuries, a number of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished and then collapsed. By 850 AD the Medang kingdom had attained dominance on Java, and even challenged the hegemony of the powerful Srivijaya Empire. Little is known of Medang save for scattered Sanskrit inscriptions related to Sri Sanjaya, who founded the dynasty c. 730 AD, and the king Dharmawangsa, who launched a naval invasion of Srivijaya lands in Sumatra in 990 AD. Dharmawangsa was killed in 1006 when the Srivijaya retaliated, sacking his palace and destroying the Medang kingdom.

Srivijaya was an ethnic Malay kingdom centered on Palembang in Sumatra, a thalassocracy founded on maritime trade and naval power. Without a central government in the modern sense, it was a loose confederation centered on a royal heartland, with various colonies and vassal states. Focused on the spice trade, by the 7th Century AD Srivijaya controlled most of the coastal areas of Sumatra, Java and the Malay Peninsula and dominated the Sunda and Malacca straits. Although its hegemony had waned by the 11th Century, it remained a formidable sea power until the 1300s. But gradually, various portions gained independence as regional kingdoms. Srivijaya ceased to exist when its last king converted to Islam, fled a Majapahit invasion in 1398 AD, and founded the Moslem sultanate of Malacca based on his new stronghold at the mouth of the Betram River in 1402.

On the ruins of Srivijaya arose the kingdoms of Singhasari and Majapahit on Java. The history of the kingdom of Singhasari commences with the probably mythic account of Ken Arok, who founded his dynasty c. 1182 AD. By 1280 the Singhsari had erased the last vestiges of Srivijaya, but had drawn the attention of emperor Kublai Khan. The great Khan sent envoys to the court of king Kertanegara to demand Singharari's submission and tribute; rebuffed, Kublai sent delegations with the same demands again in 1281 and 1289 - with worse results, as his ambassador was mutilated on the king's orders. Enraged, Kublai Khan dispatched a fleet of 1000 warships carrying an invasion force. Taking advantage of the situation, a number of Singhararin vassals rebelled. In the ensuing chaos, Singharari collapsed, Kertanegara was killed, the Mongols driven out - making the Indonesians one of the few peoples to resist a Mongol onslaught - and the king's son-in-law, Raden Wijaya, established the Majapahit kingdom in 1293 AD.

Despite the lack of documentary evidence, it is known that Majapahit was the most powerful of the pre-Islamic kingdoms. Two generations after the founding of Majapahit, its ambitious Prime Minister Gajah Mada extended its rule over most of the archipelago before his disgrace and downfall. Successive Majapahit emperors would complete the task Gajah Mada had begun, eventually unifying what is now Indonesia. Although the Majapahit rulers toppled neighboring dynasties and conquered vast areas, their focus seems to have been on controlling the rich and growing commercial trade of the region. In the process, Muslim traders and missionaries entered. After its peak in the 14th Century, Majapahit influence declined precipitously. Unable to thwart the rising power of the Malacca sultanate, the Majapahit Empire ended around 1520 AD.

The Islamic States[]

Although the spread of Islam across Indonesia commences in the 1200s in Sumatra, it became a tidal wave under tolerant Majapahit emperors. Its spread was driven by increasing trade; in general, traders and the nobility of Majapahit holdings were the first to adopt the new religion. By the 16th Century, it was the dominant faith in Sumatra and Java, mixing with existing cultural and religious beliefs, creating a Muslim faith particular to Indonesia. Only Bali and a few smaller islands would retain a Hindu majority.

Along with the powerful Sultanate of Malacca, two other long-lived Islamic kingdoms dominated the islands until the arrival of the Europeans: the Sultanate of Mataram on Java, and the Sultanate of Banten, which controlled the Sunda Strait. Throughout most of their existence, the Islamic sultanates were immensely rich from the spice and silk trades, ruled by patrons of the arts and sciences, guarded by well-captained navies. But the arrival of the Portuguese, soon followed by other colonial powers, saw the submission of the various Islamic states to ruthless exploiters with better technology.

First to fall was Malacca, captured by Portuguese forces led by Alfonso de Albuquerque in August 1511. In 1603, the Dutch East India Company established its first permanent trading post in Indonesia in Banten; after two centuries of conflict and interference, the governor-general of the Dutch announced from his headquarters in Serang that the Sultanate of Banten had been absorbed into the company's holdings. In the meantime, taking advantage of dynastic struggles in the Sultanate of Mataran, the Dutch had forced the aged and ill Sultan Pakubuwana signed an agreement in 1749 AD through which sovereignty of the kingdom was ceded to the company. After the Portuguese handed Malacca over to the Dutch, the Dutch East India Company "owned" the Spice Islands.

The Dutch Period[]

After the Dutch East India Company dissolved in bankruptcy in 1800 AD, the Dutch government took over administration of its holdings in Indonesia. For most of the following 150 years, Dutch rule was relatively benign but tenuous. However, a policy of forced cultivation of cash crops and the introduction of indentured labor which forced peasants to work government-owned plantations 60 days each year led to widespread unrest. Furthermore, the Dutch colonists formed a privileged upper class, codified by laws establishing two legal categories of citizens, European and indigenous, with differing rights. The unrest in Indonesia brought the Dutch to modest political reforms in 1901, embodied in the "Ethical Policy" which included increased investment in native education and changes in property laws. Significant Dutch investment in the infrastructure of the country - notably in ports and roads - with the goal of modernizing the economy also quieted nationalistic movements ... but only for a time.


Dutch rule collapsed in the face of Japanese invasion and occupation in 1942 AD. The events of World War II fanned the flames of nationalism that had arisen in the country in the previous four decades. The first nationalist movement, the Budi Utomo, had coalesced as early as 1908; the first Indonesian political party, Sarekat Islam, was founded in 1912. The latter was followed by the Indies Social Democratic Association, which would evolve into the Communist Party of Indonesia in 1924. Finally, in July 1927, the pro-independence Partai Nasional Indonesia was formed by Sukarno (who would become Indonesia's first president) and other liberals. Following an abortive revolt led by the Communists, Sukarno and most other nationalist leaders were arrested.

In July 1942, Sukarno accepted Japan's offer to rally public support for the Japanese war effort. Japan's occupation was often brutal, with torture and forced labor in some instances; but many of the nationalists continued to cooperate in hopes of attaining their goal of independence promised by the Japanese administrators. In March 1945, in the face of a military defeat, Japan announced the formation of a committee to institute Indonesian independence. But events overtook the committee. Two days after the Japanese surrender to Allied forces, Sukarno unilaterally declared Indonesia free of colonial rule. The Netherlands, initially backed by Great Britain, attempted to re-establish their domination and a bitter armed and diplomatic struggle ensured. The fight did not end until the Dutch, in the face of growing international pressure, formally recognized Indonesian independence.

Modern Indonesia[]

Sukarno and his supporters tried to institute a Western-styled democratic government for the new state in the 1945 and 1950 constitutions, which mandated a parliamentary style of government with the executive branch responsible to the elected parliament. But, with Indonesia suffering from extreme poverty, authoritarian traditions, regional differences and fears of Javanese political domination, Sukarno proclaimed that the country would instead adopt what he termed a "Guided Democracy." In July 1959, Sukarno abrogated the 1950 Constitution, dissolved parliament, and replaced it with one appointed by and subject to the will of the President.

In 1967, following a coup engineered by the military, Sukarno was forced to resign in favor the general Suharto, Indonesia's second president. In power as a virtual dictator for the next 31 years, Suharto struggled to suppress dissent, stabilize the economy and foreign policy, and navigate the Cold War. Marked by growing corruption and civil rights abuses, his administration finally collapsed in the face of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. In exchange for a $43 billion bailout by the United States, Suharto agreed to wide-sweeping reforms. But again events would overtake the movement for freedom; a student-led uprising forced Suharto to resign in May 1998. In 1999, the reconstituted national parliament elected Abdurrahman Wahid president, the first in a line of democracy-minded reformers to lead Indonesia into the future.


In 1883 AD Krakatoa, a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait, erupted and exploded, causing massive tidal waves that killed between 36 and 120 thousand people. The final explosion was heard over 3000 miles away, making it the loudest sound heard in recorded history.

Once known as the Spice Islands, today Indonesia produces 75% of the world's supply of nutmeg and mace, and is a major producer of black pepper, cinnamon (from Indonesian cassia vera), cloves, coriander, and vanilla. Spurred by Dutch rule and modern demand, the country has also come to be among the world's leading exporters of coffee, cocoa, tea and sugar.



  • Indonesia's unique ability comes from a name given to the Maluku Islands due to its abundant spice resources that sparked colonial interest from Europe in the 16th century.


Related achievements[]

The Java Script
The Java Script
Beat the game on any difficulty as Gajah Mada.
Java is the one of the main islands of Indonesia and the world's most populous island. JavaScript is a programming language, and the Javanese language of Indonesia also has its own alphabet.
Enemy Blade No More
Enemy Blade No More
As Indonesia, capture an enemy capital with a Kris Swordsman with the Enemy Blade promotion.

See also[]

Civilization V Civilizations [edit]
AmericanArabianAssyrian BNW-onlyAustrian GodsKings5 clearAztecBabylonian1Brazilian BNW-onlyByzantine GodsKings5 clearCarthaginian GodsKings5 clearCeltic GodsKings5 clearChineseDanish1Dutch GodsKings5 clearEgyptianEnglishEthiopian GodsKings5 clearFrenchGermanGreekHunnic GodsKings5 clearIncan1IndianIndonesian BNW-onlyIroquoisJapaneseKorean1Mayan GodsKings5 clearMongolian1Moroccan BNW-onlyOttomanPersianPolish BNW-onlyPolynesian1Portuguese BNW-onlyPueblo2 BNW-onlyRomanRussianShoshone BNW-onlySiameseSonghaiSpanish1Swedish GodsKings5 clearVenetian BNW-onlyZulu BNW-only
1 Requires a DLC2 Сut from the game

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.