This nightmarish RollerCoaster Tycoon track takes 12 real years to complete

If Hell actually exists, then surely it is this RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 track that takes 12 real-time years to complete before you can get off. Designed by mad-scientist YouTuber Marcel Vos, this roller coaster is an impressive feat of engineering that pushes the 17-year-old game to its absolute limits.

The previous record, also held by Vos, was a roller coaster that took a mere 232 real days to complete. But using some clever tricks and a lot of track, Vos was able to smash that record by a factor of 18. It's worth watching the video in full to get a complete breakdown of how this roller coaster works, but the gist of it is that Vos combines several different features to artificially prolong the time it takes for a car to make a single circuit. The big coaster you see in the video isn't actually the one that sets the record. Instead, it's the tiny coaster tucked into the corner that takes 12 years of real time (or 30 million in-game days) to make a single lap.

Vos achieves this by two ingenious methods. First, he stuffs the smaller roller coaster with 31 cars that are each divided by 'block breaks' which are special segments of a track that won't allow a new car to enter that section of a track until the preceding one has first cleared that same section. The original intention of these block breaks was to prevent two cars from being on the same section of a roller coaster at the same time as a way to mitigate the risk of a collision, but Vos uses these so that cars are stopped on the track for months at a time waiting for the second part of his invention.

The second trick involves the massive coaster you see in the video, which takes up the maximum amount of space RollerCoaster Tycoon can handle. This track has a single car that travels at one kilometer an hour, slowly winding its way up and down the track until eventually looping back. This track is also set so that it has to complete 20 laps before the ride is officially over and passengers can depart—which takes 50,007 in-game days.

Here's the kicker: The carts on both roller coasters are synchronized, so that people can't depart until both have completed the ride and arrived at their destination. So, when you get on the smaller roller coaster, you have to wait for the massive roller coaster to complete its 20 weeks-long laps. Then your cart moves a few meters forward to the next break block and the process repeats. By the time you've finally reached the end, 12 years have passed and the large coaster has completed 600 excruciating laps.

That's brilliant. And evil.

Thanks, PCGamesN.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.