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Sid Meier's Colonization (DOS)

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Title Screen

Sid Meier's Colonization

Developer: MicroProse
Publisher: MicroProse
Platform: DOS
Released in US: September 1994
Released in EU: 1994

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

A follow-up/spin-off to the original Sid Meier's Civilization, Sid Meier's Colonization is the thrilling prequel to Thanksgiving.

Cheats Menu

Colonization-Cheat Menu.png

Microprose re-enabled their debug cheats menu in the Version 3.0 patch in response to customer requests, with a stern warning included in the readme that "These cheat functions are brute-force development tools which have not been polished for public consumption. Use these tools at your own risk."

While holding down the Alt key, type in "WIN" on the keyboard. This will put a very useful cheat menu on the top menu bar.

The following commands are also enabled when on the Colony screen:

Keys Effect
T Add a colonist to colony.
S Change currently selected colonist's

specialty to his current profession.

$ Add 1000 gold to treasury.
% Add 100 of currently selected

commodity to stockpile.

^ Take away 100 of currently selected

commodity from stockpile.

! Give colony all possible buildings.

As well as these keys on the Europe screen:

Keys Effect
$ Add 1000 gold to treasury.
[ Lower tax rate by 1%.
] Raise tax rate by 1%.

Command Line Arguments

Running opening.exe with the following arguments will print debugging material.

  • The -f command line argument gives a printout on the bottom-left for what frame the opening is on while it's running.
  • The -m command line argument gives the following memory stats:
Before loading = %ld
Before sprites = %ld
After sprites  = %ld

Unused Text


DEBUG.TXT primarily handles the text for the Cheat Menu, but there's a couple of unused lines in here:

Message of the Day

Two text boxes intended for testers. The first details some outdated patch info:

^Facts for this version:
^1. Some founding father powers changed:
^____Fugger: Silver+10 Muskets-5 Tools-5
^____Minuit: Don't have to purchase land from indians at all.
^____Coronado: No more indian ambushes.
^____De Soto: Goody boxes always yield something.
^____Hudson: Fur Trappers +100%
^2. Colonies now hold up to 32 colonists.
^3. Mercenaries appear in larger, more infrequent, chunks.
^4. Game continues even after foreign powers gain independence.
^5. The earlier you gain independence, the higher your score.
^6. Ambush rules during revolution modified.
^7. Forest/Nonforest resource squares different.

...while the other scolds testers for locking files on the network!

If you are playing {Colonization} from the {network}, please
be sure to exit from the game before you go off and leave
your computer.  Leaving the game running sometimes leaves
a file open and {prevents} a {new version} from being copied onto
the network.  Now that we have so many people outside of the
group playing the game, it is not always possible to track down
the person who is keeping a file open.  Thanks for your help!

Revision Differences

To do:
Were there any earlier patches? Find and describe.

Version 3.0

This was a free patch released by Microprose post-release.

Bug Fixes

To do:
These are the raw notes from the official patch readme. They should probably be researched and made clearer.
  • The "U"nload key working during a boycott.
  • The Cathedral now requires a population of 8 (as stated in the manual) instead of 16.
  • Problem with capturing a city and the outside territory being owned by another power.
  • Indian villages now accept the goods that scouts report.
  • Autosave fixed so computer players don't get an extra turn.
  • Break treaty with self message when fortifying a unit is now fixed.
  • Trade menu no longer crashes after a certain number of uses.
  • Escaping from the Founding Father's screen will no longer bring up different choices.
  • King's Last Man-O-War was sunk and the game won't end, this is fixed.
  • World map is now being created properly.
  • Damaged ships will now go to the closest dry-dock every time they are damaged.
  • You should no longer receive messages stating that the King controls 90% of your colonies when he does not.
  • You may now "Join" a colony when the maximum # of colonies (48) are in use. You still cannot build a new colony though.
  • Your tax rate will no longer reset itself during the game.
  • The AI has been adjusted so that attacking units will not go on "Suicide runs" or attack you from a poor location.
  • You shouldn't have any problems using the "Colonizopedia".

New Features

  • The Map Editor was added as a separate executable (MAPEDIT.EXE).
    • The "Start Game in AMERICA" option will now ask if you want to use the original pre-made Americas map or a user-made map.
  • The Cheats Menu was added, as detailed above.

Unlisted Changes

  • Attempting to declare independence will now warn you that this will turn the game into a Single Player game.

The Revolution does not function in multi-player mode.  If
you declare independence, the game will become a single player
game.  Are you sure you want to do this?

[Declare independence]
[Never Mind]