Redditor Lycerius has been playing the same saved game of Civilization II for ten years, resulting in an awesomely dystopic swampy nuclear-irradiated wasteland in which war has raged relentlessly for a staggering 1,700 years. And now, inspired by this bizarre simulated world, a number of other Redditors have taken it upon themselves to write their own literary interpretation of the unfolding events.
As Kotaku's Kate Cox reported last week, the first 2,000 years of Lycerius's reign went more or less like a Civ game does, filled with evolving technology, bigger and better armies, expansion, exploration, resource-gathering, and all the rest.
But now, as the game makes its way through the 40th century A.D., the world has regressed into what the user has described as a "hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation." He describes the situation:
- 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.
- Only 3 super massive nations are left. The Celts (me), The Vikings, And the Americans. Between the three of us, we have conquered all the other nations that have ever existed and assimilated them into our respective empires.
- You've heard of the 100 year war? Try the 1700 year war. The three remaining nations have been locked in an eternal death struggle for almost 2000 years. Peace seems to be impossible. 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.
If that wasn't cool enough, a number of Redditors have given this scenario the literary treatment it deserves – and they're proving to be just as inventive and mind-altering as the game itself.
Take an excerpt from animusvoxx's contribution:
My lords, I fear the future brings nothing but more horror and misery. The Neo-Vikings have taken to pillaging throughout our southern borders. Rebellion seethes like a fly-blown wound within the Capital. Our glorious leader lies ill, and his successors plot against each other like scheming housewives. News of more desertion at the battlefront arrives daily, and our coffers are depleted. I beg you, end this war: over-write the save-game, and begin anew.
EliteKill's vision is downright cinematic:
It seemed like just another day in this never-ending war. The last few historians left (who needs history now, really) agree that it has been going on for at least 1500 years, but their estimates vary. Why does it matter, anyway. The leaders of the remaining superpowers are locked in this pointless struggle, with no breakthrough. I have no idea how the Vikings keep being so consistent over such a long time, but the Communists have had the same family (and principles) in power ever since the war began and over here in America we've hooked up our president to a computer so he could rule forever. What a brilliant plan that was... Each nation is powerful just enough so neither can fall. Every time a city is captured, it is taken the next day. When roads are build in order to help dry up the swamps, they are immediately destroyed. The only way to rebuild our Earth is for someone to win, but that won't happen. At least, that's what I thought until now.
Our forces took another city by dawn. Nothing was special about it, apart from the fact that it was the first time it has been under American control since the war began. It's not that it was heavily guarded, only it was never deemed important enough for capture. As a part of our new military "strategy", we had to capture it for the slight chance that an inhabitant over there could have any sort of solution to the famines. We didn't find a man, but we got the solution alright.
And then there's my favorite from lordmalifico:
The following was found in the ruins of an ancient Celtic city, in dated to the year 2987. The text was cleaned and preserved by the National Center for the Preservation of the Revolution, based in Cardiff. Controversial expert Áedan Byrne was hired on to investigate the nature of the text, and his rough translation is as follows.
THE GREAT STRUGGLE CONTINUES!
Our brothers and sisters fight on the front lines, our heroic civil corps construct roads larger than anything that existed before! Strong weapons of steel and flame churn victory for our revolution, crushing the petulant Vikings and the sour-souled Americans! Watch as they struggle to rebuild their ruins and farmlands!
Our war is as ancestral as it is eternal! Our father's grandfathers marched in American lands, uniting the common worker and man under a Celtic flag! Our workers are the envy of all craftsman in the diseased Viking swamps!
They challenge us with fanaticism and theocracy! We defeat them with weapons of destruction and burn their armies into the Earth! We have outgrown the simple belief systems of Gods and cherished the plight of the common man in our age of strife and dismay!
Be sure to hit the full Reddit thread, as there's lots more.