CaptainKoloth's Updated Guide to Getting Civ II MGE to Run in Windows 10


Mar 13, 2013
Hello everyone,

There's lots of great guides here about how to get Civ II running under various modern operating systems but this information is spread over numerous different threads; after struggling greatly with this myself I thought it might be helpful to consolidate all the information regarding how to get Civilization II MGE running properly under Windows 10 in one place. This method works for me as of 9/11/2017 under the following conditions:

Windows 10 Home, Version 1703, Build 15063.540
GTX 1080

You will need an original Civilization II disc (MGE or Chronicles) for this method to work. You can't use vanilla Civ II discs for the installation, although you will see such a disc may come in handy later on.

First, follow the instructions in this thread , leaving out the no-CD patch which doesn't work on 64-bit systems. When done with that thread, come back, you're not finished yet.

Next, press [Windows key] + X, click apps and features. In the search box, type "turn windows features on or off". Select that. In the box that appears, expand "Legacy Components"; enable that and "DirectPlay" which is under Legacy Components.

Click OK.

Next, rename the installation directory something with a very short filename; I recommend "CivII MGE". This sounds dumb but is actually necessary for the game to work properly. Basically what happens is that if the directory name is too long, the scenarios won't open; for example, if you name the installation folder "Civilization II Multiplayer Gold Edition" you won't be able to play any scenarios other Rome or WW2. I assume somewhere in the code is some bug that's truncating the number of characters the game can read in the file structure. I named my folder "CivII MGE" which works.

Now, within that folder, right click on the executable and set it to run in compatibility mode for Windows XP SP2.

If you're content to run the game with the disc in your drive, you're done! This should work properly with all the advisor movies, wonder movies, heralds, music, etc.

Running with no CD (not a crack)

Now, if you want to be able to run it with no CD in the drive, do the following based on whether you have the Civ II MGE disc or the Civ Chronicles disc (note: this is not a crack). Note that for the Civ Chronicles disc, you will still need to get an original Civ II MGE or Civ II disc in order to get the music to play with no disc in the drive.

For both of these methods, you will need the free open source program IsoCreator (or any other program which makes iso disc images from folders on your hard drive).

Civ II MGE disc

Copy the contents of the disc to a folder on your hard drive. Open IsoCreator. Within IsoCreator, under "ISO File Path" select the folder you just created. Under folder path, select your Civ II installation directory. Convert. When finished, go to your Civ II installation directory. You'll see the iso file you just created. Right click on this file and click "Mount". Mounting creates a "virtual" disk drive so that it is as if that file is now a real disc on your computer. When the drive is mounted, it is the same as if you had the actual disc installed. When mounted, you can now run the Civ 2 executable and it will run as if the disc were inserted. When finished playing Civ 2, you can right click on the mounted drive and click "eject" to unmount. When you want to play again, mount the iso image once more.

Two notes: Once you are finished creating the iso, you can delete the folder where you copied the contents of the disc itself. Also, if you don't regularly mount and unmount drives, there's no downside to keeping the Civ II disc mounted all the time; you don't have to eject it, and in fact you can restart the computer and the disc remains mounted until you tell it to eject. So this can be a one-time mount operation if you choose it to be.

Civ Chronicles disc
If you have the Civ Chronicles disc, this is unfortunately a bit more complicated. This is because Civilization Chronicles somewhat inexplicably put the game on one disc and the soundtrack on another, and I cannot figure out how to get the music to play with no disc in the drive the way Civ Chronicles is set up. You will need an original Civ II MGE or Civ II disc to get this method to work. What I did for this (I have Civ Chronicles) is as follows:

Follow the instructions above but now create one iso for Civ Chronicles disc 1 (I refer of course to the discs for Civ I/II, not the Civ III/IV/video DVDs). Mount Civ Chronicles disc 1. This will let you play the game itself, but won't let you play the soundtrack. For that, you will need to go to Windows Media Player. Insert the original Civ II MGE or Civ II disc. Fortunately, Windows recognizes the original Civ II disc as an audio CD, so you can rip the tracks following a tutorial like that found here. Follow those instructions so that the audio tracks are now all in a folder in your music directory. Next, create a playlist of those songs. Shuffle the playlist so that the songs won't play in the same order over and over.

Whew! We're almost there!

1. Start the playlist
2. Civ Chronicles disc 1 still mounted? If so, proceed to step 3. If not, mount the disc.
3. Run the Civ 2 executable and play!

So this is really a workaround; you're using Windows Media Player to play the audio in a playlist rather than having the actual game itself play it; this is the best I've been able to figure out with no disc in the drive and the Civ Chronicles disc.

If you really want to get fancy, what I've done is add in some silent tracks to the playlist (just google silent mp3s). I do this because the Windows Media Player option plays the songs continuously from one to the next with no breaks. Obviously the original game had some pauses between tracks, so this is a way to essentially simulate those breaks between tracks within Windows Media Player.

And that's it! I hope this helps and that you'll be able to avoid some of the headaches I've had spending months trying to get Civ II to run properly under Windows 10, but now that I have hopefully someone else can benefit from this experience. Please let me know if you encounter any problems (or success!) using these methods.
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