Additional Text comands for Civ2


Feb 15, 2001
Found this gem by Allard while visiting S-League



By Allard H.S. Höfelt

May be used freely without my permission.


Not all of these function everywhere, eg. they do not work in events, menus, etc. Also, some functions are prefixed, eg. the field to fill in your name is an editbox, though the @options tag is used as with any other value. Also the "^" command works very differently in CREDITS.TXT than normally.

It is also unfortunately not possible to add icons/units to places where they are not originally, nor is it possible to make "links" to other dialog boxes or to call up movies, etc.

I am not certain about the commands in Test of Time. There might be more commands (though I seem to remember John Possidente said there were none), and there might be new tricks.

The commands given here are all the commands that work. It has been checked while hex-editing the civ2.exe file (near the end of the file) and there are no more of them. In Colonization and Antietam and probably more similar MicroProse games, various other commands are usable, but they do unfortunately not work in civ2.

Combining several values, however, can lead to surprising results, and I am certain that not all of it has yet been found. Be original, therefore, with your tries, and remember that a command might not work the same in one place and another(especially true for the @options command).

Not all commands have to be added at the top of the file. This again is especially true for @options.

-----------main commands-----------


box with list of choices. You can add @options later.
.... is the no. of rows


radio buttons that can be selected. You can type text before you add @options to make that text appear on top of the options, so you do not necessarily have to add @options at the top of the file.

@default=... number of radio button selected by default

@checkbox uses checkboxes instead of radioboxes

option1 option2

text that shows up in available options (every new line is new option)

Note: leaving one line empty usually also automatically adds the @options command to the next lines.


forces all the next text to be displayed as normal text instead of listboxes, options, etc.


columns, appears to be only used with listboxes and options


adds new button left of OK with .... as text on button

@title=...... title of box

-----------location commands-----------

@width=..... width of dialog box
@height=..... height of dialog box
@length=..... length of dialog box
@y=..... y location (- is lower)
@x=..... x location (- is more to right)

-----------obsolete commands-----------

@smallfont and@system
These are both older (used in Colonization) commands with no effect.

-----------some more useful strings/commands-----------

%STRING0, %STRING1, ... = pieces of text used in memory.
%NUMBER0, %NUMBER1, ... = numbers used in memory.

^ - New paragraph.
^^ - Center this line.
@@ - Skips this line.
; - Used to time comments after it. Does not always work.
_ - A space. Used by some scenario authors (JB) to add empty lines.
& - Adds a line under the next letter. May be used only once per line.
% - Indicates a string or number. Works inpredictably in other cases.
| - Seems only usable in menu.txt and mapmenu.txt. Aligns further text to the right.

-----------interesting tricks-----------

- You can let the player choose its tribe from the scenario introduction screen instead of the next screen, which does not appear then. Simply open myscenarioname.txt, add "@listbox" on top, and add "@options" later on where you want to have the choices. Like this, you can also devide the available civs in 2 or even 3 columns and have more fun. The normal (next) screen where you choose your civ itself is not editable in the game.txt (!) so this is the only way of modifying it.

- You can make a much longer scenario introduction text than normally (you can almost add half a book ) by adding "@listbox=.." with .. meaning the number of lines you want the text box to be high, and later add "@options". All text after options will be in a scrolling box. Note that this is basically the same as the trick above only you type your text AFTER @options. The nice thing of this is that it also allows you to type the more important text above the box, and you can use the box itself for text giving flavour. You can add "."'s in a further empty line to make it empty, and allowing a new paragraph, which would normally not be possible, because no empty lines are allowed.

- If you wish to disable certain options (which only works for menus, and therefore only to humans and then only to options which do not have keyboard shortcuts) in menus, game.txt or wherever, simply add @@ at the beginning of the line. Unfortunately, this does not change the assigned command for that location (i.e. if you remove "begin scenario" in the first screen when you start up the game, selecting "view credits" will show you the hall of fame, and selecting "load game" will still bring you to the load scenario screen). Adding a ~ before the first or the second character in various of the lines might do the trick, but it is very unstable, illogical, and only works at some places (i've only seen it working in the same very screen I just talked of).

- A great deal of fun can be achieved by adding more options (simply more lines below) to certain values, such as adding more levels of difficulty and more barbarians. This is known already for a while. However, another fun thing to add is this. In the field in GAME.TXT where the scenario player has to fill in its name, you can simply add more lines:

@title=Please Enter Your Name
Political Preference:
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:

In the next screen, the gender screen, let's remove the gender question, assuming that Stalin is only supposed to be male, and let's add this instead:

^^New %STRING2 Ruler has been announced.
^^%STRING0 will soon start his new function.
^^%STRING0 was born on the %STRING3 in %STRING4. As
^^soon as he finished his University carreer, he
^^joined the %STRING1 party.

Remember that the %strings values will soon be overwritten with new values that the game uses (it's funny to find these out by adding a %string0 or 1 to a frequently occuring pop-up screen). Therefore, you might want to ask the more important questions later, to allow them to return later. Remember however, that when quitting the game, the values are lost and are also not saved when you save the game. Keep this in mind to avoid strange messages in the game, and use the strings only in the very first few pop-ups and the first turns.

- Remember that any text can be changed in GAME.TXT. If you wish to make clear that the human player should only choose Deity level, write that before the @options start. You can add whole little stories, for example like this, another, more fun, way of asking your name.

^"Friends, - for common to all is our return hereafter, and common to all is our path - now therefore with ungrudging heart choose the bravest to be our leader, who shall be careful for everything, to take upon him our quarrels and covenants with strangers."

You can also change the text that you see when you save or load a game, such as remove the title of the leader, or you can change the text if a saved game is in obsolete or later format ("Sorry, this scenario is only playable using Fantastic Worlds").

- I imagine many more things are possible without me yet knowing of it. Explore these commands and use them in your scenarios.


And another example from Allard

^^Length: %STRING1 to %STRING2
^The year is 1200 B.C. The place is the Ancient Middle East. It's a time when four large
^empires are contending for dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean. Several of these
^cultures have existed for thousands of years, their power alternately rising and falling
^depending on the fortunes of their ruling dynasties. But now, something has changed.
^A combination of peoples in motion and an innovative new military technology have
^dramatically altered the old balance of power. It's the end of the Bronze Age and mighty
^empires are about to crumble! Will yours be one of them? The top contenders:
^The Gods of War are thirsting for blood. Don't disappoint them!
@end -- this line must be here!


This is awesome stuff!

I have a query,
Remember Alex and Capt Nemo's 2194 day of war scenario?
They somehow disabled the casualty stats viewable by pressing

It just displayed the armie stats, but casualty button was not active....

Any ideas on how they done this?
Top Bottom