Civilization II

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Civilization II
North American cover art of the PC version
Developer(s) MicroProse
Publisher(s) MicroProse
Producer(s) Jeff Briggs
Designer(s) Brian Reynolds
Douglas Kaufman
Jeff Briggs
Programmer(s) Brian Reynolds
Jason S. Coleman
Chris Taormino
Artist(s) Michael O. Haire
Writer(s) Dave Ellis
Composer(s) Jeff Briggs
Roland J. Rizzo
Series Civilization
Platform(s) Mac OS
Release date(s) PC
NA February 29, 1996
EU 1996
JP December 23, 1998
NA December 31, 1998
EU 1999
Genre(s) Turn-based strategy
Mode(s) Single player (multiplayer with Multiplayer Gold Edition)
Media CD ROM
Sid Meier's Civilization II, a.k.a. Civ2 or Civ II, is a turn-based strategy game designed by Brian Reynolds, Douglas Caspian-Kaufman, and Jeff Briggs. Although it is a sequel to Sid Meier's Civilization, neither Sid Meier nor Bruce Shelley was involved in its development. Civilization II was first released in 1996 for the PC and later ported to the Sony PlayStation.

In 2002 Atari re-released the game for newer operating systems, such as Windows Me and Windows XP.

The Multiplayer Gold Edition was included in the Civilization Chronicles box set released in 2006.


See also: Help with playing Civ2

Civilization II is similar to the first Civilization, with some changes to the units and civilizations and additional wonders, units, tile "specials", and technologies included. The graphics (greatly improved with clickable links and movable windows) have been changed from top-down view to isometric representation. The Artificial Intelligence, or AI, was improved upon as well, including the elimination of most random events (such as the situation where Wonders of the World were built spontaneously in the original Civilization) by now making the computer player go through the same production requirements as the human player.

Rivers no longer occupy the whole of each tile along its length. The river is just part of each topography square it flows through, adding productive value and movement ability. Rivers (as in Colonization) now act much like roads - moving one square along a river will cost only 1/3 of a movement point.

The game features entirely new concepts, such as firepower and hitpoints (meaning phalanxes cannot so easily beat battleships), and changes some units' abilities and strengths. For instance, settlers (and the engineers who supersede them) can be automated to improve surrounding areas, but no longer ignore enemy zones of control. Legions cost more and have greater attack and defense values; some new units are added such as Stealth Bomber and Stealth Fighter.

One memorable element in the game is the ability to consult the "High Council" for advice (as long as the player still has the CD in the drive). (The original "Civ" has relatively primitive static versions of similar advisers.) The council consists of film clips of young actors portraying advisers in the areas of the military (a brawny man, often drunk, angry, or both; he becomes a stereotypical American general when you reach Modern Age), economics (a snooty and suave businessman), diplomacy (a saucy Femme Fatale with a vaguely Eastern European accent), technological progress (a stereotypically nerdy scientist), and the people's happiness (an Elvis Presley lookalike). They often argue with and insult one another, as each adviser's department demands a different set of priorities. The counsellors' costumes change with each new era. In many ways, the "High Council" constitutes a bit of comic relief. Amusingly, when the player is experiencing anarchy, the characters begin talking at the same time, interrupting each other, and finally beginning to fight, with all counsellor windows shutting down and turning into the "A" symbol of Anarchism.


As in "Civ", there are two paths to victory in this game: to conquer every other civilization, or to build a spaceship and be the first to reach Alpha Centauri. The latter can be much more difficult because there are a limited number of turns in the game, ending in the year 2020. If the spaceship does not reach Alpha Centauri by then, the game will simply end. The player can continue playing after all civilizations have been conquered, the spaceship has reached its destination, or the year 2020, but there will no longer be any scoring. The sooner a player conquers every other civilization, or the space ship arrives, the better as far as scoring is concerned. However, there are many things that can be done to gain points, so it occasionally is better to hold off victory to gain more points by, say, researching extra technologies or building another Wonder or growing the population.


There is a scoring system which will measure how well one did. Each happy citizen contributes two points, each content citizen contributes one point, and each unhappy citizen contributes zero points. This means that the higher the population of your civilization, the higher you can expect your score to be. Corrupt players may increase the luxury rate to the maximum (depending upon their government type) right before the very end of the game in order to inflate their scores. Each wonder of the world will also add 20 points to the end score. Each square with pollution deducts ten points. The final score will also give a civilization percentage. The higher this percentage is, the better. Finally, a title will be given to the player. Particularly good ones include "Lion-Hearted," "the Great" with the greatest obtainable title being "The Magnificent."



Main article: Scenario (Civ2)

Expansion packsEdit

There were three expansion packs that slowly added more features to the game. The first was Civilization II: Conflicts in Civilization, which included 20 new scenarios, 12 created by the makers of the game and 8 produced by fans. It also added an enhanced macro language for scenario scripting.

The twelve scenarios created by MPS:

  • After the Apocalypse
  • Age of Discovery
  • The Age of Napoleon
  • Alexander the Great
  • Alien Invasion
  • American Civil War
  • The Crusades
  • The Great War
  • Jihad: The Rise of Islam
  • The Mongol Horde
  • The War for Independence
  • World War: 1979

The "Best of the Net," pack 1:

  • Atolon
  • The Cholera of Zeus
  • The Conquest of Britain
  • Cross and Crescent
  • The Fall of the Great Kesh
  • East Wind, Rain
  • Persian Gulf War
  • Native Rebellion

It was followed by Fantastic Worlds, which added 19 new scenarios as well as a variety of editors for the game.

The eleven scenarios created by MPS:

  • The Age of Reptiles
  • Atlantis
  • Ice Planet
  • Mars Now!
  • Master of Magic, Jr.
  • Master of Orion, Jr.
  • The Mythic History of Midgard
  • The New World
  • Samurai
  • The World of Jules Verne
  • X-COM: Assault

The "Best of the Net," pack 2:

  • Battle of the Sexes
  • Bears at Play
  • Civ-Life!
  • Hidden
  • Mammoth
  • Paradise
  • Santa is Coming
  • USA 2010

Other scenariosEdit

On some editions, there were only two scenarios:

Fans have made and published others. Notable could be those produced by Carl Fritz (whose email address was See link below. You need either the Fantastic Worlds (FW) add-on for Civilization II or the Multiplayer Gold Edition (MGE).

Other scenariosEdit

At least one published pack included just two scenarios: Rome and World war 2 Europe

See Civilization II scenarios.

Multiplayer GoldEdit

Later, the original game was re-released as Civilization II: Multiplayer Gold Edition, which bundled both prior expansion packs and added options for networked and hotseat play, and features tweaked AI. However, all of the music tracks that were in the original release of Civilization II have been removed - only some of the "new" ones remain. The tweaked AI is also perpetually unfriendly, rendering most diplomatic functions useless.

Test of TimeEdit

Civilization II: Test of Time was released in 1999. It was a stand-alone game with new features, such as redrawn, animated units, support for multiple maps in one game, and some new campaign modes.


Civ II was placed on the Top 100 Games list [1], coming in at #4. This list also included console games, and Civ II was the highest-ranked PC game.


Civilization II is a game with longevity. While most PC games come and go in a matter of months, this game was still going strong after several years and inspired many titles including Activision's Call to Power series and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. This longevity, at least in part, is due to an unending stream of mods and scenarios produced by its enormous fan base. The game was followed by Firaxis' Civilization III.


Main article: List of Civilizations in Civ2

As in "Civ", no more than seven may exist at one time, and any destroyed early are reincarnated by another of the same color if available.

Civilization Team Color chart
Only one civilization per color, per game
WHITERomans Russians Celts
GREENBabylonians Zulus Japanese
BLUEGermans French Vikings
YELLOWEgyptians Aztecs Spanish
TEALAmericans Chinese Persians
ORANGEGreeks English Carthaginians
PURPLEIndians Mongols Sioux
REDBarbarians (NPC)*

While Barbarians do not act like regular NPCs in this game (they just attack and pillage), they can take over a city and produce units (but will not produce settlers to expand).

Civilization AdvancesEdit

The programming shows Plumbing can be activated as an early researchable advance; however, it adds nothing to the gameplay. In addition, there is a listing for 'Future Technology'. It is possible to research all of the advances by the later stages of a highly advanced game, and at that point additional 'Future Technologies' are learned in succession (Future Tech 1, Future Tech 2, Future Tech 3, etc.). Researching these additional 'Future Technologies' can increase the final score at the end of the game.

Lastly, the file includes at the end of the list an extra 10 Technology 'slots' that are not tied to anything (activated). This allows some level of customization (see Game Modification section), because you can insert them at various points and then use them as prerequisites for units or buildings.


Main article: List of units in Civ2

There are over 45 units in Civilization II. Most of them existed in the original 'Civilization', but there are a few new ones (Paratrooper and Marines, for example), and a few have been renamed. (For example, Militia are now called Warriors, and Cavalry are now called Horsemen.) In addition, some previous units have had their properties changed. The clearest examples of this are: the Legion has its attack and defense strengths increased, the Chariot's attack was reduced from 4 to 3, and sea units can no longer conquer an enemy city.

These units, along with their respective characteristics (prerequisite techs, ADM values, etc.) are listed in the controlling file 'rules.txt', and can be altered to enhance gameplay (see Game Modification section). The 'rules.txt' file also contains support for 3 additional units (11 with the expansion), with 3 icons already included.

As in Civ1, the Barbarians have a special version of the diplomat that acts as a 'leader' to various spawned units; 'capturing' (defeating) it (when it is alone) will net the player a certain amount of gold, that amount depending on the difficulty level. A popup box will report this is a 'ransom payment'.

City improvementsEdit

There are 34 City Improvements (buildings) that can be constructed to improve some aspect of that city's production, happiness, growth, defense, or economical or scientific output. Many of them add cumulative benefits with their earlier versions (such as a Bank requiring but also working in addition to the Marketplace, and the same for the University building upon the benefits of a Library). Some improvements can be affected by a Civilization Advance or Wonder of the World (e.g., the effects of a Temple are doubled with the Oracle), whereas others are automatically granted (e.g., a Granary exists in every city of the player that controls the Pyramids).

A special case exists for the Barracks improvement (similar to that in Civ1). With the development of Gunpowder, all existing Barracks become obsolete (and are sold, which is an improvement on Civ1) and have to be rebuilt (and cost 2 gold per turn instead of the original 1 gold per turn). Then, with the development of Mobile Warfare (not Combustion as in Civ1), Barracks become obsolete and are sold again and have to be rebuilt once more (with the cost of 3 gold per turn). If a captured city has a barracks of any type, it becomes the sort the captor is operating with.

In additional to the 34 traditional buildings (above), there are 4 other non-Wonders that can be constructed in a city.

First, after the discovery of Corporation, a player can 'build' the Capitalization improvement, which greatly enhances economic output (for a time).

Secondly, as in Civ1, there are 3 types of spaceship improvements: Spaceship Component (prerequisite: plastics), Spaceship Module (superconductor), and Spaceship Structural (spaceflight). These are built to complete the spaceship, which is said to be launched from the civilization's capital city. Construction (or flight) ceases if the capital is captured. There is a minimum number of each type required to launch; and there is a maximum number of each that can be used in the overall construction of the spaceship. Note: using the maximum configuration greatly improves the score obtained with a successful landing; but if trying to beat another power a player may build the minimum number of modules but with maximum propulsion and fuel, to get there faster.

Wonders of the WorldEdit

Main article: List of wonders in Civ2

Game modificationEdit

While expansions are sold separately, the PC version is programmed so that computer-savvy players can modify the game themselves. Amongst the files installed on the user's computer when the game is installed is a file called "rules.txt" which controls the game. The text file itself practically encourages the user to modify the game, giving instructions on how to change unit capabilities, add up to three custom units, and change other basic characteristics of the game such as when wonders expire.

Some commercial versions (as noted above) also include premade scenarios (with files ending in ".scn"). Examples are "Rome" and "World War II". See Civilization II scenarios.

Advanced computer users can also modify the game by changing the visual files (such as units.gif). While there is a risk of damaging the gameplay, it is possible to change the appearance of units, terrain, people, etc.

NOTE: It is advised that, before modifying any of these files, the user copy these files to a safe location in case any file is changed in a way that affects the game irreparably.


Civilization II's music is in the Red Book CD-audio format, the same as that found on normal music CDs. It is not in MIDI or another computer-specific format. The songs are quite varied; some are from the 19th century classical era, such as the Blue Danube Waltz, while others have a tribal, tropical sound to them. The music can be played back through any CD-ROM drive. Over 200 MB of space on the Civilization II CD is taken up by the music, 280 MB is occupied by the videos (many of them are historical footages), whereas the actual program data takes up less than 30 MB.

The five different releases of Civilization II have added and subtracted tracks from the mix, with Fantastic Worlds containing the largest number of tracks of all releases.

Tracks Civilization II Conflicts in Civilization Fantastic Worlds Multiplayer Gold Edition Test of Time
Funeral March
Ode to Joy
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tenochtitlan Revealed
Harvest of the Nile
Aristotle's Pupil
Augustus Rises
Gautama Ponders
Hammurabi's Code
The Shining Path
Yes Yes Yes No No
The Crusades
Alien Invasion
Mongol Horde
No Yes Yes Yes Yes
The Civil War
The Great War
American Revolution
No Yes Yes No No
New World
Mars Expedition
World of Jules Verne
No No Yes Yes Yes
Fantasy No No Yes Yes Yes, renamed Tolkien
Primeval World No No Yes Yes Yes, renamed Jurasic (sic) Jungle
X-Com No No Yes No Yes, renamed They're Here
The Dome No No No No Yes
Wonders of the World Music

Whenever a player builds a Wonder of the World, a short video with music is played. The music is often taken from other sources:

Most videos, however, feature original compositions with often discernible inspiration,[1] either from Peter Gabriel's soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ:

  • Pyramids - "The Feeling Begins"
  • Great Wall of China - "Gethsemane"
  • Sun Tzu's War Academy - "Gethsemane"

Trevor Jones' and Randy Edelman's soundtrack to The Last of the Mohicans:

  • Colossus - Main Title
  • Great Lighthouse - "Elk Hunt"
  • Marco Polo's Embassy - "The Kiss"
  • Magellan's Expedition - "Promontory"

Joe Hisaishi's soundtrack to Laputa: Castle in the Sky:

  • Great Library - "Sheeta's Decision"
  • Copernicus' Observatory - Track 12
  • United Nations - Main Title

Or various other sources:

Players wishing to sample the music without a computer can do so by simply placing the game CD (provided it is the original 1996 edition) into an ordinary domestic CD-player.

See alsoEdit


  1. Wonder Music Revealed - Civilization Fanatics' Forums

External linksEdit

Sid Meier's Civilization

Official series:
Civilization (MicroProse, 1991)
Civilization II (MicroProse, 1996) + Conflicts in Civilization (1996)
+ Fantastic Worlds (1997) + Test of Time (1999)

Civilization III (Firaxis, 2001) + Play the World (2002) + Conquests (2003)
Civilization IV (Firaxis, 2005) + Warlords (2006) + Beyond the Sword (2007)
Civilization V (Firaxis, 2010) + Gods & Kings (2012) + Brave New World (2013)
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth (Firaxis, 2014)

Official related games:
Sid Meier's Colonization (MicroProse, 1994)
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (Firaxis, 1999) + Alien Crossfire (1999)
Civilization Revolution (2008) (not for PCs)
CivWorld (2011) (on Facebook; discontinued as of May 29, 2013)
Civilization Revolution 2 (2014) (mobile)

Other games:
Freeciv (The Freeciv developers, 1996-2015)
Imperialism (Frog City Software, 1997)
Civilization: Call To Power (Activision, licensed from Hasbro, 1999)
Call to Power II (Activision, 2000)
FreeCol (The FreeCol developers, 2003-2015)
CivCity: Rome (Firefly Studios, 2006)
C-evo (Steffen Gerlach, 2006-2014)
NewCol (Frederic Vernier and associates, 2007-2011)

Globalization (Civ5)This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

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