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Railroad Tycoon II (videogame)

Last modified: 2016-03-19 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
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Railroad Tycoon II is a business / railroad simulation computer game (see on Wikipedia) released in 1998 by PopTop Software as the third installment of a popular series (Railroad Tycoon, 1990; Railroad Tycoon Deluxe, 1993; Railroad Tycoon 3, 2003; and Sid Meier's Railroads!, 2006).

Railroad Tycoon II: Second Century is an science-fiction expansion of Railroad Tycoon II, sold also bundled in Railroad Tycoon II: Gold Edition and Railroad Tycoon II: Millennium Edition. (The latter is the product I'm reporting about, although most or all of this applies to all flavours of the game.)

Properties of each player (trains, stations and non-railroad assets) are marked with a company logo (chosen by human players from a fixed list of a couple dozen), as also stationnery-like reports and interface, but flags of any kind are absent (though some of the available logos are quite flaggish and/or do include flagoids). However, the game's lavish screen scenary and interface includes some flag use
António Martins-Tuválkin, 3 July 2008

Flags used in scenery and props

Airport flags

One of the units that may appear in the landscape to be served with a railroad made by the players is an airport, whose passenger terminal is festooned with five national flags (see here ):

These flags are a fixed part of the airport layout and will look the same regardless of the scenario/map they are being used in.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 July 2008

Unknown/fictional military flag

[horizontally divided black-yellow-black]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 July 2008

One of the units that may appear in the landscape to be served with a railroad made by the players is a non-descript military facility with four Quonsett huts and one flag pole. (See this image here.) The hoisted flag is black with a thin yellow horizontal stripe. Since this facility appears identically in all geographic scenarios (including the near-future fictional ones in the Second Century expansion), it should be seen as a generic military flag, rather than a specific one, fictional or otherwise.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 July 2008

Flag use in the gaming interface

In the train consist and route screen of the game interface, signal flags (and arrangements thereof) indicate how each train is to procede concerning its cargo after arriving at each station. Solid color ~2:3 rectangular flags with short black staffs are shown; bright regular shades for yellow and red, light shade for green. See here.

  • Green flag: «Sell all cargos.»
  • Yellow flag: «Sell only demanded cargos, leave undemanded cargos on the train to be sold later.»
  • Red flag: «Sell only demanded cargos, store undemanded cargos at this station for pick up by a later train.»
  • Two flags, green and yellow (crossed): «Sell demanded cargos. If undemanded cargos are in demand at a station later in this train's route, leave them on the train, otherwise sell them too.»

Does this use has any connection with real world railroad signal flags and flag signals? (Instructions and conditions for each station concerning leaving each station — wait or not for full- or mid-load of cargo — are given by a simple arrangement of green, red or yellow traffic lights.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 5 July 2008