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Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

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Title Screen

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

Developers: Firaxis Games, Westlake Interactive (Mac)
Publishers: Electronic Arts, Aspyr Media (Mac)
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS Classic
Released in JP: 2000
Released in US: January 31, 1999
Released in EU: February 12, 1999

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
Sgf2-unusedicon1.png This game has unused abilities.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is one of the best 4X games ever made. Built on a modified Civilization II engine, it takes Civilization and turns the coolness dial up to about a million (give or take a couple thousand).

If there was ever a game that should have a sequel but doesn't, this is it.

Unused Landmarks

Nessus Canyon gives +1 mineral per square, but is not present on the Map of Planet or on randomly-generated maps. It can be placed using the map editor, though.

Unused Techs

Techs #24 and #70 are dummied out of both Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and its expansion, Alien Crossfire. These apparently were removed early in development, as their icons (tech024.pcx and tech070.pcx) duplicate those for Singularity Mechanics and Sentient Econometrics respectively. They also are omitted from most script files that list techs. But blurbs.txt reveal these techs were to be called Inertial Damping and Global Energy Theory, and voice files for their discoveries are still in the game's assets. It is possible to re-enable them through editing alpha.txt or alphax.txt, and fans have generated custom icons to replace the duplicates.

Inertial Damping

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Tech24 Icon.png

"Until now the battle had been proceeding smoothly: the enemy was outflanked and had been driven from the reactor housing. But against the reactor itself the matter cannon were strangely ineffective. Rounds simply…stopped. In mid-air." — Colonel Corazon Santiago, "A Tactical History of Sparta"

Global Energy Theory

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Tech70 Icon.png

“Energy is the currency of the future.” — CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"

Unused Facilities

Facility #38 is commented out of both Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and its expansion, Alien Crossfire. The tech was to be called Mass to Energy. The voice file for its discovery was re-purposed for the first use of the Stockpile Energy action.

"I hold a scrap of paper in the darkness and
light it. I watch it burn bright and curl, disappearing
into nothingness, and the heat burns my fingers.
Where has it gone? What has it become? I cannot shake
the feeling that I have witnessed a form of transcendence."
-- Commissioner Pravin Lal,
“The Convergence”

Unused Unit Abilities

Like the unused techs, the unit ability Heavy Transport is available and fully programmed, but dummied out of both the basic and expanded game. The ability increases a unit's build cost by 25% and increases its unit carrying capacity by +50% (naval) or +1 (land or aerial). This enables naval transports to carry 2 to 8 more units than normal, for a maximum of 6 to 24, depending on reactor size. It also can be re-enabled through editing of alpha.txt or alphax.txt.

Unused Parameters

There are a few of these in the data files.

To do:
Enumerate, check, and classify.

Revisional Differences


Per the released game's system.txt faction parameter titles, earlier in development several factions had different names: the factions that in the final version of the game are "The Lord's Believers", "The University of Planet", and "The Human Hive", have the parameter titles of "CONCLAVIST" (also referenced to by the intro quote which refers to "The Conclave Bible") , "ARCHON", and "LABYRINTH" respectively, as compared to alpha.txt where the parameters are "BELIEVE", "UNIV", and "HIVE". Additionally, the parameter for the Hive/Labyrinth has a developer comment by "jsc" indicating that the faction originally used a different color scheme.

Unused Files

Voices Folder

The file openingm.mp3 is of a male reading the introductory Bible passage; openingf.mp3 is used in the in-game introduction.

In the Alien Crossfire expansion, some of the quotations that play when a new facility is built for the first time - fac380.wav (Thermocline Transducer), fac390.wav (Flechette Defense System), and fac400.wav (Subspace Generator) - are duplicated (as fac39.wav, fac40.wav and fac41.wav respectively), with minor differences.

fx folder

The "fx" folder contains fac##.wav files for facility discovery quotations. These are unused; their .mp3 equivalents in the "voices" folder are utilized in-game instead. While most .wav and .mp3 pairs share the same numbers, five do not:

  • fac33.wav = fac31.mp3 (Centauri Preserve).
  • fac34.wav = fac32.mp3 (Temple of Planet).
  • fac38.wav = fac35.mp3 (Nessus Mining Station).
  • fac40.wav = fac37.mp3 (Orbital Defense Pod).
  • fac41.wav = fac38.mp3 (Mass to Energy).

Further, eleven .mp3 files (fac3, 7, 8, 11, 17, 20, 21, 22, 33, 34, and 36) do not have .wav equivalents, indicating they may have been later additions to the game's audio. (Similarly, none of the Alien Crossfire expansion facilities - fac39, 40, 41, 340, 350, 360, 370, 380, 390, 400, or 410 - have .wav equivalents.) Of the .wav files, fac11.wav, fac31.wav and fac37.wav have no .mp3 equivalents, rendering their quotations completely unused in-game:

Fac11.wav (Hologram Theatre):

"Those who don't believe we can create the perfect man or woman out of pixels and light, overestimate the capacity of their senses." - J. Croft, Morgan Starworks, Ltd.

Fac31.wav (Centauri Preserve):

"I once walked these shores at night, listening to the waves wash across sand and rock. Now I hear the thunder of batteries, which, inasmuch as it will guarantee the eventual harmony of Planet, I find almost as soothing." - Lady Deidre Skye, "Planet Dreams"

Fac37.wav (Orbital Defense Pod):

"I wake, I work, I sleep, I die.
The dark of space my only sky.
My life has passed and all I've been
will never touch the earth again."
"The Ballad of Sky Farm Three"
- Anonymous, Datalinks

Patch Updates

The final official patches - v4.0 for Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and v2.0 for the expansion, Alien Crossfire - introduce a bug which effectively silences all stereo-encoded sound effects, rendering them unused in-game. Three of the impacted effects - wpn missile launcher.wav, wpn singularity laser.wav, and wpn spore launcher.wav - are utilized by the game, while the remaining two - alien non military.wav and strine c4.wav - are not. Reencoding these files as mono sound effects will restore their usage.
Missile Launcher:

Singularity Laser:

Spore Launcher:

Easter Eggs/Secrets


Although most of the parameters defined in Scripts.txt use utilitarian titles, some of them use more playful ones, including:

  1. #FREEWILLY, #WILLYFREE, and #NOFREEWILLY for the dialogue and potential results of using a probe team to rescue a faction leader.
  2. #SLOWPOKE for when just one player in a simultaneous-turn multiplayer game is still taking their turn.
  3. #BUSTMYPLANET and #BUSTYOURPLANET for the results of probe team actions targeting planetbusters.
  4. #EATTHIS and #BIGFATVOLCANO for a major asteroid strike and a major volcanic eruption respectively.
  5. #NERVESTAPLEHELLNO for when attempting to nerve staple without a sufficient Police rating.


Interlude.txt contains EPILOGUE2/INTERLUDE18, which occurs if a player loses to a Transcendence victory (which for practical purposes almost never occurs). The epilogue features the player leader being reconstituted by the Planetmind to colonize Earth. For the expansion however, if an alien faction instead achieves Transcendence, the epilogue is contained in interludex.txt as INTERLUDE27, where the player leader's personality in order to escape a nightmarish eternal existence subordinate to the alien Planetmind stowaways in a synthetic body on a colony ship bound for Earth.