One man's 10 year quest to bring peace to a Civilisation II game world appears to have been achieved after his story was made famous around the globe.
He said he had played the game, in which players attempt to conquer the world through war, diplomacy and technological advancement, until the year 3,997 AD.
What was left was a "hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation" - a world largely uninhabitable, flooded and beset by in-fighting and periodic annihilation, dominated by three remaining super powers "each competing for the scant resources left on the planet after dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swaths of the world uninhabitable wastelands".
In Lycerius's world, the polar ice caps have melted 20 times due to nuclear wars and all of the big cities have crumbled.
"Roughly 90% of the worlds population (at it's 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," he said.
For two hours the story gained votes and comments on Reddit, before dozens of news websites (including the Huffington Post) picked it up and the post went viral.
Within hours a subReddit had been set up by the site's users to collect tales of the efforts to complete Lycerius's quest and bring peace to what was dubbed The Eternal War.
Now one user claims to have done it.
Reddit user "stumpster" said that after 58 years (in game) he'd finally managed to pull off a victory using Lycerius' original save game.
While writing with a more straightforward mindset than the original post, Stumpster described how he went about the task.
"Hopefully your alliance with the Americans holds, mine lasted about ~30 years which was enough to get production and build my army up reasonably. Fighting a two front war would be much more difficult without a doubt," he said.
"I opted for a page out of MacArthur's book and performed my own Incheon landing."
Essentially he invaded the Vikings' lands in a developed areas and used their railroads against them, taking their cities one by on, before turning his attention to the American empire and blitzing their massive armies with his Howtizers. In the end - and after much toil - he achieved victory.
Some were sad to see the game completed.
"Part of me is sad that you took the fight to the Americans. While it was a tentative peace to be sure, you yourself became a Viking, and, for what? A few more swamps to reign over?" said one.
"Makes for a nice phyrric victory to go with the depressing history. "We won the war, but we sold off our future to do it." said another.
Meanwhile one considered the cost of the 1700 year-long war
"How will my people live without Future Technology 37? We've stopped the war, but at what cost? WHAT COST?"
While some tried to fight the war, others responded in a more artistic way to the richly evocative scenario.
Finally another came up with his own creative way to celebrate the war of the Celts, the Vikings and the Americans:
"If I were to perform an interpretive dance routine of my feelings about The Eternal War in my backyard, would anyone attend?" he asked.
"I feel like this CivII game expresses everything I feel about myself, my life, the world, and humanity."
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