SimCity 2000, Part XII: Build That Wall

About 150 years after its founding, Hell is just about bursting at the seams.  The city has some land left to build upon in the corners and edges of its limits, but that land is hilly and difficult to effectively develop.  The traffic has gotten so bad in the city as a result that the mayor finally approved the construction of a limited-service subway system connected to the main rail line.

Subways are pretty goddamn expensive to build in SimCity 2000, so the hope is that citizens will ride it to alleviate traffic problems.  Nobody’s riding the new subway system yet, but it may take them some time to get used to the concept of underground travel by train.  Considering the fact that the mayor is using secondhand East German tram cars that move at 15 miles per hour in order to cut costs, the citizens of Hell may be right to avoid the subway for now.

Still, something has to be done to allow for more growth.  The mayor and his friends need a larger tax base to make more money to build unnecessary projects and to hold elaborate parties featuring ice statues that urinate fountains of expensive vodka.* The real problem at this point isn’t traffic, but space.  Most of the good land has been used.  Most of the southern part of the city’s grant is still empty, but the mayor and the city’s elite don’t want the common rabble anywhere near their retreat in the southwest.  What to do?

After a few brainstorming sessions in his Scarface-esque mansion, the mayor decides on a new plan for growth that cedes the southeastern corner of the city’s grant, currently empty, for further development.

This is a nice, promising patch of land, but for one problem: the big fucking hole in the middle of it.  Holes in cities aren’t very convenient as far as building goes – placing zones and roads through them is possible, but it’s so awkward that they basically have to be built around.  However, there is a solution to this problem: the terrain-editing tools.  We’ve already used the lower terrain tool to make room for a stadium in our city.  Now let’s use the level terrain tool to get rid of this annoying hole.

Drag straight over the damn thing, and it’s gone.  Now the site of Hell’s newest neighborhood is ready for development.

Before building, however, a barrier has to be built, both to define the boundaries of this new development and to keep it out of view and away from the upper-class southwestern district.  We can’t have the grubby hoi polloi stinking up the nice part of town, can we?  In fact, this was one of the conditions the mayor placed upon the development of this area.  So what’s the best way to create this boundary?

The raise terrain tool!  We can’t build an actual barrier with wood or bricks or anything, but we can build an earthen wall with this tool.

The wall is up.  Now Hell can safely expand into this new territory.  Though the mayor thinks the wall might have to get a bit higher eventually.  Trees have been planted on top of these new hills for some reason, perhaps for aesthetic purposes.

A few years later, building really begins.  And hey, this doesn’t look too bad, really.  This new part of Hell might be halfway bearable to live in.

In fact, as a result of some changing policies from the mayor’s mansion, life has gotten measurably better in Hell.  The advisors aren’t complaining quite as much as they used to.  And with the new development in the southeast, the population of Hell has risen to almost 75,000.

Comparable to the national average!!!  Yeah!

In case you were wondering, the mayor has not approved any more ordinances.  All the money-making ones (top left corner) are naturally in effect, but only the probably ineffective pollution controls and the neighborhood watch/citizen-arming neighborhood watch programs are running otherwise.  A lot of these other programs are beneficial for a city’s population and would probably be advisable to pass, but the mayor doesn’t take advice well. Not advisable advice, anyway.

The only free ordinance on the list, in fact, is the “Nuclear Free Zone” provision.  It doesn’t cost a thing to pass and boosts residential demand, but restricts the building of nuclear plants.  But since the mayor already built a nuclear power plant in the city, checking this box probably wouldn’t do much of anything.

And right around this time, the paper reports on the discovery of what will turn out to be the last and best source of power in the game.  Nuclear fusion power, unlike nuclear fission, is safe and can’t result in a meltdown.  While it’s expensive at $40,000, it’s also the most cost-efficient source of energy in SimCity 2000.  We won’t be using it, though.  Not for a while anyway.  The mayor just had that nuclear plant built – he wants to get some use out of it.  Near-plane-related accidents aside.

With its stadium and its filthy subway system and its bumper-to-bumper crowded highway, Hell has become a legitimate big city (at least by SimCity standards.)  However, it can reach even great heights.  Will growth in Hell continue without anything bad happening?  Sure!  I can’t see why not.

* You might think I made this up, but it was done at least once in real life.  In 2003, the former CEO of the defunct corporation Tyco went on trial after an Enron-style scandal involving the company broke.  One of the accusations against said CEO was that he spent the company’s funds on insanely expensive and non-company-related events like his wife’s 40th birthday party, which took place on Sardinia and “featured an ice sculpture of Michelangelo’s David spewing vodka from his penis.”  More amusingly, to me anyway, the party also included “a birthday cake in the shape of a woman’s breasts with sparklers mounted on top.”  If your wife is cool with having a titty-themed birthday cake at her party, you know you married the right woman.

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