The Settlers III (German: Die Siedler III) is a real-time strategy computer game developed by Blue Byte Software, being the second sequel to The Settlers, making it the third game in The Settlers series. This isometric city-building game was released on November 30, 1998.
The most notable difference between this game and its two predecessors is that there are no more roads—all units, including carriers with goods, can walk around freely. This simplifies the building of a settlement, since only the distances between buildings are relevant, and not how roads can be constructed between them. Military units are now directly controlled, making fighting more similar to games like Command & Conquer or Age of Empires, than to the previous Settlers games.
Settlers III was also famous for its peculiar copy protection: in pirated versions of the game, iron smelters would only produce pigs instead of iron, which made weapon production impossible.
The game begins with a cartoonish cutscene depicting three gods: Jupiter (leader of the Roman Pantheon), Horus (the falcon-headed Egyptian sun god) and Ch'ih-Yu (the legendary Chinese dragon). A messenger arrives with a message from the god's god telling them they must find a worthy leader or the universe and everything in it will be destroyed. The player assumes the role of a leader trying to prove they are talented enough to impress their god by conquering other civilizations and capturing as many territories.