Balthasar's Underground - Overground Terrain


Searching for the Holy Grail
Jan 21, 2003
I wasn't sure whether to post this but after seeing the news about Parker's passing I wanted to share some of his work to add to the legacy of magnificent stuff he has left us for Civ3.

I'm sure he never ranked it as his best work and as far as I know he never uploaded it anywhere (correct me if I'm wrong) but it meant a lot to me at the time (more so now) that he went out of his way to create it.

Back in Jan 2011 I sent Parker (Balthasar) an email asking for advice on a Civ mod I was planning to make with my then 9 year old son whom I was trying to entice away from Mario Kart into more creative pursuits - needless to say that didn't quite work out :)

Here is the original email I sent to Parker outlaying the concept.

Spoiler :

I hope that this email finds you in fine fettle. The subject title [ed: underground overground wombling free] might pass you by as I think Wombles are restricted to 1970's British culture only - rest assured I have no plans for Womble units.

I am looking for some advice actually, in creating (cobbling together) some terrain.

I want an underground terrain with some overground.

Overground would simply be sky (water) with some grassland. Underground would be a mixture of two types of rock (sedimentary & igneous) with a magma layer (water again) below that.

On top of the rock terrain would be an overlay of forest terrain modified to look like rock (I'm thinking that this would have a grainy appearance with the underlying terrain being more uniform or even resembling a rocky or finished (i.e. paved) floor.

The reason for the forest overlay is to simulate mining and to close off other areas of the map. The overlay would be left off some parts of the map to give the appearance of caverns. Mountains and Hills could be things to put in the caverns like Tsuga's Mushrooms and Pillars that he created for Rhye's underground terrain.

So that's my idea and you can see it beautifully ;) realised in the attached graphic (yes I did this by my own fair hand in MS Paint :D) [ed: I am not attaching my graphic out of embarrassment :)]. Oh the ash island at the bottom is probably just igneous rock covered in your volcanic ash pollution. Oh and the trees (if you can discern them) are Vuldacon's tree resource. Oh and the clouds could be a mixture of the cloud units just for some nice animation effects perhaps even casting down lighting bolts (nukes) for fun!

The advice I need then is what terrain types to use for the various components. My assumptions are below. Will it work?

Sky = LM Coast
Grass = LM grassland
Sedimentary Rock Floor = Normal Plains
Igneous Rock Floor = Normal Grassland
Rocky Overlay = Forests
Magma = Normal Coast/Sea/Ocean
Cavern scenery = Mountains and Hills

I didn't expect him to create the entire terrain graphics and package it into a 'working' biq but it is testament to his generosity and his creative spirit that he did so. Here is the email he sent me back with the files linked below.

Spoiler :

Here is the map/terrain that you requested for you and your nine year old, that I've named Digg. I piggybacked it onto the Chess biq so that there would be only two players, one starting at the top and the other at the bottom of the map. Settlers aren't available for either Civ until Democracy is discovered, which, if I've timed it right, will be about the time that the "topsiders" reach the lava lake at the bottom and have to build a new city so that they can build a boat. I had plans to make this all even more interesting, allowing balloons to be built by the topsiders and barbarian birds and clouds, and also a remake of the irrigation so that it looks like little mushrooms, but my hard drive crash cut all of that short. Nevertheless, I hope you like it, and I took some pains to ensure that it's playable as soon as you install it. Of course, it's yours now, and I expect that you'll have some major changes to make to it, which I'll be very interested to see.

Rar File contents:

2 City Styles (Topsider and Underworlder)

Resources file

Terrain Files

Download link -

R.I.P. Parker
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