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Any Issues Playing on CD-ROM?


Jul 4, 2024
Just reinstalled Civ3 complete. Are there any issues to look out for when playing on CD-ROM in the Year of Our Lord, 24 and 2000?
Currently I've been unable to create manual saves, and when I go to the governor's screen to get my cities to stop auto-producing, the changes always revert.
Please check this thread, over in Civ3 Tech Support https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...s-for-making-civ-iii-run-well-in-2023.684983/

The short answer: The copy protection mechanism used on the Civ3 CDROM from the mid 2000s is broken in newer versions of Windows.
For my part, I noticed the errors when I was using Windows 7, back before the pandemic. I re-bought Civ3 from Steam, since I already had a Steam account to play Civ5, BE, and Civ6. The Steam version of Civ3 removes the broken older copy protection.
If he(?) can run the game at all, that would suggest that @RedRockRun's CD is not one of the copy-protected versions. The production-resets are odd, though. Suggests to me that the city Governor(s) might have been set to "Manage Production" in "All Cities" -- but those settings aren't the default, so would have had to have been manually selected at some point.

Not sure why manual saves apparently aren't being created, either. But if the game's been installed in the default "ProgramFiles" location(?), this could be a VirtualStore issue -- where the saves are actually being made, but are getting stored not in the installation-location (where the game is expecting to find them), but rather in the game's mirror-directory (where they'd be invisible to the game).
Also there's this. I was watching a video and noticed that the guy (bottom) had more unit options. When I select a worker, I don't see any of those top-row options. Is that a mod?


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Those are the "Advanced Unit-action Buttons". You can make them available to use via the Game Preferences menu (Ctrl-P).


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Always good to hear about another exception! Soon there'll be enough of those that I'll have to change up the text of that section a bit.
Was watching a youtube video and saw these extra bits: the map coords and happy/frowny faces. Are these mods, and if so, can I install them with my copy?


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Yes, these are modded graphic (.pcx) files.

It's been awhile since I installed them myself, but I believe I'm using @Puppeteer's smallheads.pcx, which has the smileys attached to show mood. You can get them here:

I have a minimap with coordinates as well, but unfortunately I can't remember whose it is. I definitely got both files from the Civ3 downloads section on CFC though, so I'd suggest going in there and doing a keyword search.
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Can I access these while in-game?
Can I infer from this that you've found your errant save files?

If so, then you might be able to access them by opening a Windows Explorer window for that location before you start playing, then switch between Civ3 and WinExpl by Alt-Tabbing. But you might then also have to copy the savefile you want over to the ../Conquests/Saves/ folder in the actual install-location, in order for the game to read it.

It's also possible to add the line "WindowsFilebox=True" to your conquests.ini file, which will cause the game to open a WinExpl window when you hit "Load Game", rather than the default Civ3 Saves box, allowing you to navigate to the mirror-location directly from the game. But again, you'd need to make sure that you alter the 'original' .ini file in the actual install-location, rather than the copy in the mirror-location.

To be honest though, to avoid all the VirtualStore faffing, you'd likely be better off just uninstalling the game from its default location in the protected ProgramFiles directory, and then reinstalling it in a custom-named directory somewhere less sensitive, e.g. "c:/games/civ3".
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Mine certainly does though. I have the below version.
RRR, the real important question is still open: What version of windows are you using so you are able to run your version of Civ 3 Complete ? The term "modern" leaves a lot of space for interpretion. Per example with my very old WinXP laptop I even still can run the old original Civ 3, PTW and C3C CDs. The problem starts with the late updates of Win7.
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