[Civ2] Using WineVDM to play classic versions of Civilization II or old Civ2 fan programs


CFC Archivist & Social Media Helper
Sep 24, 2016
Been meaning to post about this one for a while & I think I've seen others mention it here in comments but it's time to post something more obvious and official about this!

Even if you're not a regular Linux user many of us have probably heard of Wine before which allows Linux users to play Windows applications. Thankfully some rather smart and wonder people decided to port Wine over to Windows. Why would you port a program that runs windows apps back to Windows you ask? Because it finally solves the frustrating issue of not being able to run 16bit 90s Windows apps on modern 64bit Windows operating systems.

The final Multiplayer Gold Edition of Civ2 and Test of Time were thankfully 32bit applications so they still run on modern 64bit operating systems (albeit with problems that require fan patches) however the original Civilization 2 release and its two addons Conflicts in Civ and Fantastic Worlds were 16 bit applications that will not run at all unless you used a virtual machine (eg I was using Virtual Box with WinXP). WineVDM changes all that and you can run them on modern operating systems quite well.

Popular fan tools for Civ2 like CivTweak and CivCity (to name a few as there's plenty more out there) were 16bit apps that had to be run from a VM these days too however once again I can run them in my main windows OS just fine via WineVDM.

Granted I'm still using a Windows 7 64bit machine for my testing but I've seen others reporting classic 16bit apps running on Win 10 and 11 thanks to WineVDM so hopefully all our Civ2 stuff does too.

For those like me into retro gaming then this program is a godsend for plenty of other great old games too eg I've been able to run Civilization 1 for Windows, Colonization for Windows, Outpost, Heroes of Might & Magic 1 & 2 for Windows, Sierra adventure game windows releases, and other classic 16bit windows games I'm forgetting! Hopefully one day GoG make a deal with these guys like they did with the DosBox guys to sell prepackaged games with this built in as there's so many great old games not currently for sale because of this annoying issue.

Interested people can get the latest WineVDM releases from here:

Side note:
I'm not sure if it affects 32bit applications too so I haven't tested if it stops the crashes in vanilla MGE & ToT installs (not running the fan patches) but that would be kind of interesting to know too.

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May 10, 2004
London, UK
Nice post @Blake00, I can answer the side note. WineVDM is specifically a reimplementation of NTVDM which is Windows XPs 16 bit emulation layer. It won't run32 bit applications at all. Plays Civ I lightning fast though, it's worth it just for that alone!

edit - typos
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