Ever sat there day-dreaming what planet Earth might look like in 2000 years time? Well, according to a 10-year-long game of Sid Meier's classic 1996 strategy sim Civilisation 2 it won't be a pretty place.
A dedicated, time-rich Civ fan going by the name of Lycerius took to Reddit earlier today to share details of what happens if you play the game for a decade.
Incredibly, his save has now reached the year 3991 and the world has devolved into "a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation".
Three super powers - the Celts, the Vikings and the Americans - have been locked in a seemingly un-endable war for 1700 years. Nuclear strikes have melted the planet's ice caps 20 times, reducing it to a giant irradiated swamp, in which agriculture is nearly impossible.
All attempts to break the stalemate have failed. "Every time a ceasefire is signed, the Vikings will surprise attack me or the Americans the very next turn, often with nuclear weapons. Even when the UN forces a peace treaty," wrote Lycerius.
"Big cities are a thing of the distant past," he added.
"Roughly 90 per cent of the world's population (at its peak 2000 years ago) has died either from nuclear annihilation or famine caused by the global warming that has left absolutely zero arable land to farm.
"Engineers (late game worker units) are always busy continuously building roads so that new armies can reach the front lines. Roads that are destroyed the very next turn when the enemy goes. So there isn't any time to clear swamps or clean up the nuclear fallout."
The three remaining governments are either theocracies or, in Lycerius's case, a communist state.
"I wanted to stay a democracy, but the Senate would always over-rule me when I wanted to declare war before the Vikings did," Lycerius explained.
"This would delay my attack and render my turn and often my plans useless. And of course the Vikings would then break the ceasefire like clockwork the very next turn.
"I was forced to do away with democracy roughly a thousand years ago because it was endangering my empire. But of course the people hate me now and, every few years since then, there are massive guerrilla (late game barbarians) uprisings in the heart of my empire that I have to deal with which saps resources from the war effort."
It's not possible to develop any of the world's surviving towns as all funds must be funnelled straight into building new combat units to perpetuate the ongoing war.
Lycerius explained that his goal for the next few years is to somehow end the conflict and clear the swamps so that farming may resume.
"I want to rebuild the world. But I'm not sure how. If any of you old Civ 2 players have any advice, I'm listening."
Any ideas? Lycerius is currently fielding suggestions on the enormous ensuing Reddit thread.
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