We all have seen games that show their own dystophic and post-apocalyptic lands. The Last of Us features the uncaring reclamation of plant life upon the wild environment devoid of human occupation. Metro 2033 shows future Russia after a massive nuclear war which has spawned the Dark Ones to wreak havoc on those that remain buried in the train systems. And, most iconically, the Fallout series features an extensive alternate reality of Earth where several key events are changed, resulting in a world where the Cold War never escalated, the US, USSR, and China became the central superpowers, and then all unleashed a nuclear holocaust upon each other, dooming society. In Fallout, the games take place centuries after the initial date of the Great War, and the world is left a barren landscape of its former self, with entire new civilizations dotting the landscape and eking out a survival.
Ironically, none of these come close to the tremendously unique alternate history dystopia that is portrayed by Reddit user Lycerius’ events in a game of Civilization II which he has been playing for over 10 years. Yes, they have been playing one match of Civilization II for over a decade. Of coure Lycerius plays other games and has a life, but off and on, they’ve made the effort to return to the game and try to play it out to see how things advance.
The scene that he treats to us in his match of Civilization II is a hellish nightmare of a post-nuclear wartime world. Playing as the Celtic nation, three superpowers dominated the world: his own, The Americans, and the Norse Vikings. Each superpower inevitably defeated and assimilated every other nation on Earth, with the exception of the Sioux Nation, which remains an international holdout on an island. The Sioux Nation is the only standing Democracy with a working Congress; The Celts are now a communist dictatorship, which Lycerius advanced from a democracy after his government kept rejecting his proposals for war, which left him vulnerable to assault by the Norse. Both the Norse and Americans have evolved into fundamentalist regimes. All three superpowers have been locked in a constant thermonuclear war for approximately 1700 years.
It only gets more ridiculously terrifying. Here is Lycerius in his own words.
-The ice caps have melted over 20 times (somehow) due primarily to the many nuclear wars. As a result, every inch of land in the world that isn’t a mountain is inundated swamp land, useless to farming. Most of which is irradiated anyway.
-As a result, big cities are a thing of the distant past. Roughly 90% of the worlds population (at it’s peak 2000 years ago) has died either from nuclear annihilation or famine caused by the global warming that has left absolutely zero arable land to farm. Engineers (late game worker units) are always busy continuously building roads so that new armies can reach the front lines. Roads that are destroyed the very next turn when the enemy goes. So there isn’t any time to clear swamps or clean up the nuclear fallout.
Every time a cease fire is signed, the Vikings will surprise attack me or the Americans the very next turn, often with nuclear weapons. Even when the U.N forces a peace treaty. So I can only assume that peace will come only when they’re wiped out. It is this that perpetuates the war ad infinitum.
This person’s Civilization II experience is actually a relic of Reddit from over 2 years ago. Since the original post, a new subreddit was founded to track the progress and discuss the idea, even evolving into a community run wiki detailing many of the events and the world. Either way, the idea of playing a single match of Civilization II and watching the harsh, brutal world that developed out of it is endlessly fascinating, and potentially an omen we should all be mindful of as our real-world superpowers butt heads with one-another.