Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit

When last we left my quest to play Civilization II on my Windows 7 64-bit system, I seemed to be pretty much out of luck.

The original version of the game was a 16-bit executable and simply would not run on Windows 7 64-bit.  No way, no how.

So I started to look around for a newer version of the game.  Eventually, over at Amazon.com, I came across a vendor in the Amazon Marketplace that was selling a copy of the later Civilization II Muliplayer Gold Edition for just $15.  It seemed like a deal to me, and when it showed up a couple of days later, it appeared to be the full package.

Box, manual, disc, and chart

That box is actually considerably bigger than what games ship in today.  And I haven’t seen a game manual that comprehensive in a decade at least.

Anway, that was the version I needed, as I had read over at Civilization Fanatics that somebody had created a patch for that version that would allow the game to run on 64-bit.  There is actually a thread in their forum with the patch.

At first I was not even sure I would need the patch.

The game installed, launched, and ran for a bit.  It wasn’t until I started my first city that the game terminated.  So I went and grabbed the patch, applied it, and gave it another go.

And, hey presto, I had a running game!

Exploring the World

Now to play a few games to decide where Civ II really belongs on my top Civilization games list.  The poll taken in the last post on the subject seemed to indicate that Civ II was pretty well regarded.  With 136 votes in, this was the list:


My own first impressions, having been away from the game for a couple of years, is how light and easy and uncluttered it is.  Relative to the later versions of the game, there is a simplicity to it.  That and how much I like that it was designed to run in a window, a popular design choice back in the mid 90s, so that it sized correctly to my monitor, which has about 4x the area that my monitor did back when the game first shipped.

Barbarian Uprising!

I pretty much fell right back into playing the game.  I started at the Warlord level for my warm up, which meant that I pretty much dominated from the start, even with the barbarians set to “raging hordes.”

Who's happy? I'm happy!

So now I have another retro gaming option on my system.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in a little Civilization retrospective about the original game, Tim and Jon at Van Console Time Murdering Hemlocks have a show up about the original Civilization.  Step back 20 years and hear how Civilization grabbed so many of us.

16 thoughts on “Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    I believe there was a version of Civ II for the Playstation.

    Oh, and I forgot the one pisser of having to go to MGE; you have to have the CD in the drive to play the game. The original did not require that. Ah well.

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  2. Ben

    Please help. I have my old Civ II CD and when I put into the drive, it won’t let me install the game as the autorun will not work and launch. Do I need to put the patch in first? Do I do a manual install and then something. I have no idea what to do to get this fantastic game on my Win 7 x64 bit computer.

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  3. Thomas

    If you have the Classic Civ 2 disk and want to upgrade it to MGE to play directly on Windows 7, this post (found on page 5 of the Civfanatics patch thread) describes how it can be done

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=10194318&postcount=87

    The MGE AI is much more hostile than the classic AI. If you want to play classic, but don`t have Windows 7 Professional (if you have that, you can download their virtual pc and get XP mode to run classic), you can follow the instructions in this video to get a bare bones civ 2 game (no sound, and text only civlopedia)

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  4. Charles

    Hey this may sound rediculiously stupid… however, I got the old civ2 game, followed your advice on this thread which worked amazingly by the way, but now I find that I cant save games. Is there something I can do or something preventing me from actually saving my games?

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  5. Laura

    Thanks for the info. I somehow missed this game when I was younger, and was thinking about playing it. I almost bought a used copy, but decided to check to see if it would run on Windows 7 64-bit first. Whew! I’ll wait. I’ve had to patch and jury-rig so many of my older programs when I switched to the new Windows, not to mention upgrading, that I’ve considering asking Microsoft to subsidize the transition. And, I’m burned out, especially from trying to remember DOS for the oldest stuff. lol

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  6. Mike T

    Thanks for the info – my son likes playing it on his Grandad’s WinXP machine and I was wondering if we could get it to work on Win7 x64…

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  7. Chaosrook

    I am rather late on this thread, not sure if you have achieved your goal as I am skimming through, I have a version of Civ 2 called Test of Time…although I have not tried it on windows 7…ill give it a shot and let you know. It was the last version of Civ 2 with upgraded graphics and animation for my understanding…bye the way.

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  8. ross

    @Chaosrook: IIRC, I’ve played Test of Time on Win 7 x64. It might have been Vista, but I’m thinking it was Win 7 x64. It does seem like we might have had some issues where it would randomly crash every now and then, but it was just often enough to be a little annoying, not enough to make it unplayable.

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