SimCity 2000 part XVI: The End



Strange search terms pt. 3 (robot girl x male human edition)

Life is empty and meaningless, and the world is an isolated rock flying through cold dark space.  This is the 100th post on this site!  Let’s celebrate by looking at a sample of strange search terms from the past year.

1) if mario ate toad

Toad is famously a sentient mushroom and an attendant to Princess Peach, Mario’s perpetually kidnapped girlfriend (?).  Toad is often one of Mario’s allies in his quest to rescue Peach.  But what if Mario ate Toad? this reader wonders.  I know you expect me to say something like “he would get high!!!  lol”.  But I’m not a hack Buzzfeed writer and I don’t take the easy way out.  The effect of eating Toad upon Mario would depend upon Toad’s species.  If Toad has psychoactive properties, Mario would get high.  But Toad might be poisonious, in which case Mario would get ill or even die.  And the effect of eating Toad upon Toad would be that he would definitely die.  Anyway, why should Mario eat Toad?  That wouldn’t be in character for him.

2) numbers to rivens domes

Riven is a difficult game.  Its puzzles are pretty god damn demanding, requiring the player to learn a base-25 number system.  So it’s understandable that folks would want an easy solution to the game’s notorious golden dome puzzle.  Unfortunately, the number code to open the golden domes (which is necessary to beat the game) is randomly generated each game.  Have fun learning that fucked up number system!

3) smt iv u didnt want the lawful ending


U sure didn’t want the Shin Megami Tensei IV Law ending.  It sucked.  The Law ending in an SMT game always sucks.  For the uninitiated the standard SMT Law route involves cooperating with the Abrahamic God to wipe out humanity or at best to turn humanity into mindless worshippers of the LORD.  Said God in SMT is typically in the form of YHVH, aka Yod Hey Vav Hey, aka Tetragrammaton, the God of the Old Testament.  You may feel that OT God was a bit of a jerk and a tyrant, and Atlus agrees with you if you do.  So Law route generally sucks, even more than Chaos, which at least allows for some fun shaking up of things with Lucifer’s angelic blessing.  All my Neutral bros know the best route though.

4) lewd 3ds games

So many people find this site searching for lewd 3ds games.  What they don’t realize is the Vita has a much better lewd game collection.  Out of those games, Monster Monpiece and Akiba’s Trip are at least halfway good, though the latter requires a high tolerance for and understanding of otaku-style perverted weirdness to really enjoy.  Casuals shouldn’t bother, in other words.

5) why didn’t the people put a girl in persona 3 ps2

Maybe because they knew

p3p girls getting fucked videos

would be a thing people would start searching for if they did.  I don’t actually much like what the female protagonist of Portable does to the story of P3 – anyway, I don’t think you can even consider her story or character canon as far as Persona canon goes (and there is such a thing, since all the Persona games inarguably take place in the same universe, one that FeMC doesn’t fit into.)  She does have a cute design, though.

6) va-11 yuri

Tons of people are also out hunting for porn, especially yuri (or lesbian) porn, featuring chatacters from cyberpunk bartending visual novel VA-11 HALL-A.  Not a huge surprise considering how much the sexual theme is tied into the story.  Protagonist Jill is herself bisexual, and various other characters swing one or the other way (and then there’s sexbot Dorothy, who swings every way.)

7) robot girl x male human rule 34

God damn it why are all my readers perverts.

Where are my hot android girls, scientists? What good are you even

I guess I have to blame myself.  I do think Aigis is best girl in Persona 3.  I’m sure there’s plenty of such material out there for those who want to seek it out, despite Aigis’ robotic build and lack of relevant anatomy.  2B from NieR: Automata is a somewhat more humanoid android and is featured in about 100,000 metric tons of porn, but she also weighs 148.8 kg (328 lb) according to the game’s creators despite being exceedingly fit-looking, so a hypothetical human contemplating a situation with such an android might take that into consideration.  (Crushed pelvises are not covered by all insurance plans.)

8) dynasty warriors cross stitch

Not even sure what to do with this one, or how such a search brought this reader here.  Perhaps he was searching for this charming Lu Bu themed Valentine’s Day card.

Best and worst Shin Megami Tensei covers

It is no secret that I like the Megaten series.  I’ve reviewed several titles in the series in these pages, and I have played more still.  One aspect of the series I haven’t said much about, though, is the visual design.  Kazuma Kaneko is responsible for most of the look of the mainline SMT games and many of its spinoffs.  Most of the demon designs he came up with 25 years ago are still used in the series to this day, and they all look great.  A lot of the covers look great too.  But some of them aren’t so great!  Some of them are kind of shitty.  Usually the western covers.  Yeah yeah, I’m a weeb, I know.  Fuck off.

Shin Megami Tensei III is one of my favorite games.  The Japanese cover is nice too: silent player character Demi-fiend’s face superimposed in blue.  Very cool and stylish.

The North American cover moves the title to the top, blows up the Nocturne subtitle, and removes the III (we didn’t get SMT I or II, so this choice makes sense.)  It also changes the primary color from blue to red and stamps a pentgram on the front.  Because this game is hardcore and about demons, and it has to be red and have devil symbols.

The European cover beats all the others though.  Totally different, with a picture of Demi-fiend about to fire a Freikugel out of his forehead.  But forget him – check out Dante in the background!!!  Yes, Dante from the Devil May Cry series is here, with his cool dual wielded pistols and cool dialogue.  Dante is in the game for about 0.06 percent of the story and really has nothing to do with the story even, having been shoehorned into the Maniacs edition of the game that was released as Nocturne/Lucifer’s Call in the West.  In case you were wondering, this European SMT III cover is the source of that “featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series” meme.

Let’s not mention the fact that the subtitle Lucifer’s Call is a massive honking spoiler in itself.

If you live in the US, chances are good your first SMT was a Persona game.  However, it was probably not Persona, released on the PSX in Japan and later NA (and EU?)  SMT was almost unknown in the West at the time.  So the nice subtle JP cover above, featuring the faces of the silent protagonist and his shadow self, would not work for Western audiences, right?

In a wonderful example of the angry Kirby effect, the NA cover of Persona features a huge scary evil-looking demon.  With a cross on the front for seemingly no reason.  We have to make this weird anime high school demon-summoning game appeal to the kids after all.  And the kids like Marilyn Manson and that kind of shit.  Too bad it didn’t quite work, because Megaten didn’t really start to break out in the West until Persona 3 in 2006.

The NA cover of Persona is a good hint to how the localizers treated the game as a whole: they mangled the fuck out of it.  They did their best to westernize the game down to badly recoloring the characters and changing their names.  They even removed an entire sidequest out of fear that it would be too hard for American babby gamers.  Thankfully, the unmangled original was later ported to the West on the PSP.

My favorite Megaten covers are the PSX ports of the old Super Famicom games that we never got in America.  Shin Megami Tensei I throws several demons (incubuses?  Incubi?) on its cover surrounding the old SMT logo, a magic circle with Loki in the middle (a reference to the original 1980s Megami Tensei novels the series is based on.)  The demons look like the kinds of statues of angels and saints you might see if you visit an old cathedral.  Only it would have to be a satanic cathedral in this case.  Do those exist outside of SMT games?

Of course, I’m a much bigger fan of the Shin Megami Tensei II cover.  Kaneko’s Angel design scandalized some folks when the Persona series broke out in the West with 3 and 4 and even more with 5.  Yes, the angel in SMT is meant to look like that.  That is bondage gear and she is blindfolded and handcuffed through a padlock attached to her tiny leather shorts.  Why?  The games’ compendium descriptions for Angel try to explain that they were punished by Heaven for some reason and that they are bound because of it or something.  I don’t buy this explanation.  I think Kaneko just wanted to draw a sexy bondage angel.  I suppose I can’t blame him.  Anyway, Angel is nothing compared to the controversy ginned up by Mermaid’s design in SMT IV Apocalypse.

This is my favorite SMT cover. And I don’t even know what it means. Shin Megami Tensei if… was a spinoff made for the Super Famicom and remade for the Playstation. It never saw a release outside of Japan, and unlike SMT I and II, it doesn’t even have an English fan translation.  I do know that it’s the first SMT game to take place in a high school setting, and thus it’s the direct inspiration for the Persona series.  Its title is also a reference to the weird 60s British film if…. starring Malcolm McDowell as a rebellious boarding school student (for you Clockwork Orange fans, it’s worth checking out.)  In any case, the cover is cool – a massive demon (looks like Principality, with his spiky crown) looking down on a prostrated student, as though sitting in judgment of him.  The spotlight shining on the student adds to the effect.  Really interesting cover.

Top games of 2017

Every podunk Youtube channel and blog is making its own best games of the year list, so I figured I should as well. So as not to fall behind.

1) NieR: Automata

Come for the hot android girl, stay for the existential crisis-inducing feels

I didn’t review this game because there was no point. Everyone has already declared NieR: Automata the best game of the year, and rightly so. I can’t disagree with that judgment. NieR has everything: android booty, robot-killing action, and a thought-provoking story. It’s also great having an irreverent, doesn’t-give-a-shit guy like Yoko Taro around in the increasingly self-important land of game developers. Or maybe that attitude is only prevalent here in America.

NieR: Automata also wins my “best soundtrack of the year” award. Yoko Taro and co. can throw that award on the pile with the others.

2) Persona 5

hnnngh so cute

I did review Persona 5, though once again I have to say that my review was completely unnecessary. People who don’t even like JRPGs loved this tale of high school students with magical powers who fight demons in a shadow world. I loved it too, but only 99% as much as NieR, so it gets second place. It also wins my “second best soundtrack of the year” prize. It’s really too bad Persona 5 didn’t come out in 2016. (Actually, it did come out in 2016 – but the NA release came six months later, so as far as I’m concerned it’s a 2017 game and it still loses to NieR.)

3) VA-11 HALL-A

Make way for best girl

I have sort of a love-hate relationship with “indie games”. Some of them take a brilliant idea and fuck it over with bad gameplay mechanics, while others have a decent sense of how to construct a game but can’t help pretentiousnessing all over the place until you’re fucking sick. VA-11 HALL-A is a game with a good concept executed well, one that’s fun and has great, memorable characters. You might not like it because it’s more or less a visual novel with a bartending minigame attached (if you’re the “games must have ACTUAL ACTION” type) or because it features a very young-looking sexbot character (if you’re the overly sensitive SJW type – never mind that this character is really one of the most interesting in the game and explores some of the possible morality issues surrounding her very existence.  I did know a few people who dropped the game for this reason.) But if you don’t like this game, you’re wrong. Yeah, I know, opinions and all. But you’re still wrong. VA-11 HALL-A is a great game, and you’re wrong if you don’t like it.

Wait, this game – this actually was released in 2016, wasn’t it?

Well, shit. Never mind. It still deserves to be on this list.

4) Gravity Rush 2

The gravity-bending heroine of the first Gravity Rush returns to the PS4 for more adventures.  Gravity Rush 2 is a good game.  Once again, if anyone tells you differently, they’re wrong.  Also, Kat is a really cute character.

There’s an important plot reason why Kat’s wearing that maid outfit, okay? Leave me alone.

5) ???

Okay, it’s time to admit that I haven’t played many of this year’s newest and hottest games.  I’ve been playing a lot of Stella Glow lately, but it came out in 2015.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about Horizon Zero Dawn but for some reason I don’t feel a great desire to play it.  It would probably be on this list if I’d bothered with it.

Anyway, have a happy new year.  Or not.  Whatever.  Does it even matter anymore?

Five Flaming Hotties (2D edition)

I don’t normally do these kinds of things, but after being tagged by fellow writer and friend of the site The Otaku Judge to take part in this “Five Flaming Hotties” blog post chain I felt motivated to do so. The rules of the game are as follows (quoted verbatim from its creators):

1. You must add the name of the blog who tagged you AND those of the 2 Reel Quirky Cats, Thoughts All Sorts and Realweegiemidget Reviews with links to these sites as given here.. and use the natty picture promoting this post (found later in this post).

2 Reel Quirky Cats

Realweegiemidget Reviews

and Thoughts All Sorts

2. List 5 of your all time greatest hotties from TV or Film. ie crushes / objects of your affection.

3. Say how you were introduced to them, and why you like them (keep it clean)

4. Link to 7 other bloggers.

5. Add lovely pictures of those you selected.

6. Oh…and post the rules..

However, I have to add a couple of tweaks to the game. First, I won’t be tagging anyone, because as any reader of this site knows, it is a dead end as far as blogs go. The only guy I would have thought to tag has tagged me already, and the few other blogs I follow wouldn’t take an interest in this game.

And second, just like TOJ did, I’ll be picking characters from games and anime. Fantasy is better than reality, and anyway, I always honestly thought celebrity crushes were far weirder than fictional character crushes. Make fun of the whole waifu thing all you want, but none of the suicidally depressed forever-alones pining after their non-existent girlfriends will ever be arrested for stalking a flesh and blood human being because of it. Unless one of them goes after a voice actor or a female mangaka or someone like that. Stalking is serious business, people. Don’t do it.

Okay, I’m getting off track. Here’s my list:

5) Aika

Chances are decent you don’t know who the hell this is, because she’s a character from a Dreamcast JRPG released in 2000 that never saw a sequel. Today a copy of either the Dreamcast original or the Gamecube remaster of Skies of Arcadia is almost worth its weight in gold, they’re so hard to find.

If you do come across it, Skies of Arcadia is a great game about three friends who scour the skies in airships as pirates, but as the good kind of pirates who only attack and plunder bad guys. Aika is main character Vyse’s childhood friend, a fierce, tomboyish sky sailor. The game hints at a possible future love triangle where Vyse has to choose between Aika and the demure magical moon princess healer girl Fina, but the choice is obvious to me, even if the game suggests Fina has the upper hand. Well screw you game. Why are you so damn rare and expensive now anyway?

4) Tifa Lockhart

Are all the characters on this list going to be from old JPRGs? No, not all of them. But Tifa has to be included here. The third in the love triangle (this time a way more real and immediate one) with hero Cloud and fated-to-die Aeris was my pick. Hell, Tifa owns a bar. Did Aeris own a bar? No. She sold flowers on a street corner. Tifa is better. Case closed. That’s not even mentioning Tifa’s other assets, which are considerable.*

Now I’m imagining a path in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud gives back control of AVALANCHE to Barrett, marries Tifa, and hangs out in 7th Heaven all day every day. If the upcoming PS4 remake of FF7 doesn’t include this as an alternate ending I’ll be disappointed. (Of course it won’t – just another reason why I’m probably right that it will be lousy.)

3) Holo

Holo (or Horo, depending on how you read her name – “Holo” is official but either one seems legit enough) is a sort of minor harvest goddess who can take the form of a cute girl with wolf ears and tail or of a huge, menacing she-wolf who can tear people apart. As you might imagine, Holo is pretty popular and is probably one of the big reasons the medieval economics/romance adventure series Spice and Wolf has found success. A self-proclaimed genius with a vain streak, Holo can be annoying sometimes, but her charms definitely outweigh her irritating qualities, and she gets serious when the situation demands it. And she’s cute as hell. I don’t mind admitting that I’m kind of shallow.

2) Rin Tohsaka

TOJ included Rin on his list, and I have no reason to disagree with him. It’s probably my masochist streak, but Rin is my favorite out of all the Type-Moon characters. The only child and heiress of a great family of mages, Rin is required to take part in a battle for the Holy Grail against other mages, including the regular-guy-with-hidden-magical-powers player character Shirou. Rin is one of the first characters people think of when they think of the “tsundere” character type, which more or less means she pretends to hate you but secretly likes you. Or something. It’s a popular trope, and Rin is popular too. And why not? She’s a good character with an interesting backstory (see the excellent anime series Fate/Zero for some of that, and see the film Unlimited Blade Works for the rest of Rin’s story, or read the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel if you have 50 hours to spare.)

1) Aigis

Strictly speaking, Aigis from Persona 3 isn’t a woman, or even a human. She’s an android. But she would probably be my first choice for a partner. Before you definitely decide that I’m insane, consider the following:

– Aigis doesn’t have to eat or drink, meaning lower household expenses.

– Aigis passes for a human girl when she’s wearing clothes, so you can trick the judge into issuing your marriage license.

– Aigis is a super-weapon created by a secret military commission, and she comes equipped with fingers that retract into guns and and sets of various gun attachments for her arms. No need to plan for home defense when your wife is an entire army in herself.

– Best girl in Persona 3.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Hell, if you don’t want to marry a mega-weapon android girl after reading the above, I have to wonder what’s wrong with you. Sure, you’d never be able to have a kid with her, but you could adopt. There are plenty of abandoned children and orphans out there who need good families, even ones where Mom is a robot.

* If you thought this was a reference to boobs, that really says more about you than it does about me.

SimCity 2000, Part XIV: Priscilla

In his new residence, the mayor of Hell lay in his double-king-sized bed dreaming.  Dreaming of a woman, a beautiful red-haired woman wearing only a red cloak, the red all the more vibrant against the black void that surrounded them both.  The mayor, seated and frozen in place, could only watch as the woman slowly approached him and leaned over to speak into his ear.

“I am Priscilla,” she whispered.  “I will give you everything you’ve dreamed of and more.  And then I will take everything from you.”

The mayor tried to speak, to ask her what she meant.  But before he could make a sound, she was gone, and the mayor had awoken.

Priscilla.  What was that about?  The mayor wondered.  Did that woman resemble one of his several ex-wives?  They had certainly taken quite a bit from him during divorce proceedings.  But it was still dark outside, and the mayor was still tired, and it was only a dream, after all.  A few minutes later, he fell asleep again.

His city, however, never truly slept.

Exactly 200 years after the founding of Hell, the city has officially achieved “sprawling mess” status.  It is overcrowded and nearly impossible to traverse without sitting in traffic for a few hours.  Pollution is still a problem, and educational and health care services are still severely lacking.  The nuclear plant is still running in the center of town, despite several near-meltdowns that would have devastated the entire city and the county and the several counties surrounding it.  Despite all this, the city is now home to almost 100,000 souls and is bringing in a steady stream of tax revenue every year.

The mayor, by contrast, has significantly upgraded his own situation.  Leaving behind his old mansion, he had the Braun Llama Dome built in the middle of a man-made lake with independent wind and solar power sources and made it into his new residence.  From his perch, the mayor could look over the city that he ruled.  Eventually, the mayor decided to officially change the original name of the Dome, which he hated, to THE TOWER OF POWER.  Written in all caps, no matter what.

The city government began publishing visitor statistics to the TOWER in 2090 when it was built, but they’re all lies.  Nobody is allowed to visit the TOWER except for the mayor and his friends/cronies/lackeys.

The mayor’s approval rating, however, is not a lie.  He has finally achieved a rating of ZERO percent, somehow.  One would think that at least his inner circle would approve of him, but they number far fewer than one percent of the city’s population, after all, so this poll is obviously rounding down.  The rest of the city doesn’t have much reason to love the mayor, conditions being what they are.  Ever since mayoral elections were outlawed, however, the citizens have had no real recourse.

Still, it’s not enough for the mayor.  He wants to see the population of the city increase even more to bring in more revenue.  But unless the city is allowed to spill into the upper-class southwestern district, this isn’t happening – the rest of the city’s grant is pretty much occupied.  The mayor is not willing to do this for obvious reasons.

So what can we do for the mayor?  Is it possible to help him?  The city of Hell seems to have hit a plateau. Perhaps it’s time to break out the cheats – to unlock the godlike Debug menu.

This mysterious drop-down menu only appears after you click and hold the city toolbar while typing P-R-I-S-C-I-L-L-A (but not in caps.)  I’m not sure about the origin of this cheat code.  Maybe Priscilla was the wife or daughter or sister of one of the developers at Maxis.  Or maybe the Maxis guys were big fans of the Australian drag queen road trip film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.  Whatever the case, this cheat code is by far the most powerful in the game and is really the one that you need to know about if you want to cheese the game and make it completely trivial.

The first option that jumps out at us is “More Money”.  Selecting that seemingly does nothing until the next month rolls around…

… when half a million dollars suddenly appear in the city’s coffers out of nowhere.  This cheat makes new outlandish building and infrastructural projects possible without worrying about tax revenue or maintenance costs.

The next best option in the Debug menu is “Add All Gifts”.  This allows the player to build the gift structures like the Mayor’s Mansion and City Hall without reaching the required population milestones and to rebuild gift structures if he’s already built them once.

In order to increase the glory of the mayor, let’s select this option and build another statue in his likeness on the mountains above the old city.

Saddam Hussein would be proud.  You can build as many statues as you like with this cheat, though you have to re-select it each time you place one.

How to dramatically increase our city’s population, though?  There’s only one answer: build arcologies.  I briefly brought up arcologies way back in Part VIII – massive cities within cities that house tens of thousands of residents.  At that time, though, Hell was not even close to the population requirement to unlock the arcology option.  Our population still isn’t that close, in fact.  It’s currently hovering around 95,000, well below the population requirement of 120,000 to allow the building of arcologies.  But with the Debug menu, we don’t have to give a damn about population requirements.

Here are our four options.  Each arco type becomes available in a different year – the Launch Arco can only be built around 2150, under normal circumstances.  But we can build it now if we feel like it.

But we don’t.  The Launch Arco and Forest Arco both look nice, sort of like pleasant places to live, and as usual that’s really not what we’re going for.  How about the other two options?

We’re not overly concerned with pollution, so the Plymouth Arco sounds great!  Its sturdiness may come in handy as well if another earthquake occurs.  Hopefully that claim about surviving earthquakes in Neo-Mexico and Neo-Taiwan isn’t just hot air.

The Darco, by contrast, just sounds strange.  An invasion of mutant men from the air ducts into the city could be amusing, as long as they don’t break into the mayoral mansion.

After some downtown demolition, these two monstrosities rise above the city skyline.  The Plymouth Arco looks like a giant upturned garbage can, and the Darco looks like something that came from the mind of H. R. Giger.  Together, they hold a maximum capacity of 100,000 residents, so let’s hope people are willing to move in.

In the meantime, let’s cover the rest of the exciting options in the Debug menu.  “Show Version Info” shows you the game’s version info, as you would expect.  “Add All Inventions” lets you build structures and services before they are invented.  And the rest of the options lets the player cause special disasters that can’t be accessed from the normal Disasters menu.  This list contains the dreaded Melt Down and other natural and man-made disasters that would undoubtedly wreak havoc on our city if they were to occur.  In fact, one of them, Toxic Spill, has already occurred several times in Hell – but it’s the least serious of the bunch.

Despite vigorous marketing campaigns, the Plymouth Arco only contains 17 residents out of a possible 55,000 one year after its construction.  Perhaps this is because this arco is a big piece of shit that has received a grade of D from the official arcology grading board.  Maybe it has mold problems.

The Darco is faring a little better, but the outcome is still disappointing.  Even so, there’s no point tearing these arcos down – they cost a lot of money to build, and they add some nice character to the downtown district.  I’m not sure why their descriptions claim that they were built in 1900.  Maybe my cheating confused the game.

A few years later, Hell’s revenue falls dramatically.  Just what could have caused that?  Let’s talk to the ordinance advisor.

As usual, she’s no help – she just nags us about the drunken brawls and organized crime activity that has developed as a result of Hell’s booming gambling sector.  Lady, if our citizens can’t go to casinos to throw back cheap drinks and lose all their wages at slot machines and blackjack, how are they supposed to spend their down time?  With their families?  Nonsense.

Now comes the real shock – the city assemblymen have been passing new ordinances without the mayor’s consent.  Ordinances that cost money.  This is something that can happen in SimCity 2000.  Often, the computer will go ahead and apply beneficial ordinances without your knowledge.

Fortunately, the mayor has veto power.  And he vetoes every ordinance that takes money out of the budget, leaving only those that bring money in.

Much better.  The mayor needs that money for other purposes.

Following the unexpected influx of cash into the city’s coffers, the mayor decided to have a few new mansions and palaces built, independently powered and accessible by a series of man-made canals.  You know, nothing fancy.  The man is a dedicated public servant; he deserves at least this much in compensation.

SimCity 2000, Part XIII: The Tower of Power

Despite its many, many problems, Hell continues to grow in population.  The city’s money problems are now a distant memory, and most of the land within the city limits has been developed.  But there’s still room to expand the city’s tax base.  Demand for growth in all three sectors is strong.  It’s only a matter of time before Hell begins to rival major cities in SimNation.  This unfortunately means that the mayor may have to sponsor a few more expensive ordinances that help improve life in the city – but then again, life doesn’t have to be improved too much to attract new residents.

However, the universe will not allow Hell to succeed so easily.  A series of plagues rains down from the heavens.  The first is a drop in Hell’s industrial demand.  The city’s manufacturing sector collapses and businesses move out of the city, leaving the old industrial core of Hell an abandoned wasteland.

Natural disasters follow this collapse.  Just a year or two later, a massive tornado tears through the center of the city.  Remember those tornadoes back in the 20th century that blew around in the desert and maybe knocked over a factory and a warehouse on the outskirts of town?  Now that Hell is fully developed, there’s no escaping its devastation.

The twister heads north, ripping apart houses, roads and a section of the highway before moving on to annoy Sinistrel.

Naturally, the tornado cut a part of the city off from the electrical grid, so everything needs to be reconnected.  Road and highway connections also have to be reestablished.  The mayor is just happy that the tornado didn’t take out the stadium, because that thing was expensive to build.

Hell is forced to recover from a devastating tornado and its industrial sector is still depressed.  However, the party isn’t over yet.  For some reason – perhaps the loss of jobs in the industrial sector – the city’s demand for residential and commercial growth also falter.  Despite the city’s already low tax rates to encourage growth, the population falls by 5,000 in a few years.

As if that weren’t enough, another earthquake strikes one year later, destroying the city’s remaining coal plant and setting off fires throughout the city.  The nuclear plant is thankfully not damaged, but the destruction isn’t trivial.  Thanks to Hell’s robust firefighting service, the fires are quickly put out with minimal damage resulting.

The fires are out, but we’ve got the same problem as we had after the first earthquake – what to replace that coal plant with?

Now we have all nine power options available.  The fusion plant at the bottom right is the most powerful and cost-effective, but it’s also the most expensive and therefore the most difficult to replace if it’s destroyed in an accident.*  That’s no good.  And we don’t really need that much energy anyway.  Let’s just rebuild that coal plant.

Yeah, of course the fuckin’ citizens don’t like it.  But they’ll have to go home eventually.  As long as you’re persistent, you can place that filthy, polluting coal plant wherever you want.  In fact, the edge of the map is a good place for a coal plant because a lot of that pollution it’s generating is going to sort of just blow off of the map, in this case into the neighboring town of Sinistrel.  And they can’t do anything about it.

One year later, industrial demand is back up because the mayor ordered more rail connections to Hell’s neighbors built.  But residential and commercial demand are still anemic.  And the pigeons still aren’t perching on the mayor’s statue downtown.

Several years pass and Hell continues to stagnate.  The mayor finally decides to do something about the recession so tax revenue can keep increasing.  What to do, though?

In SimCity 2000, the player has the ability not only to modify the overall property tax rate but also the individual rates on residential, commercial, and industrial property.  Basically, if you want to drive up demand in one area, lower the tax rate on property in that area.  Since the mayor wants to bring more residents to Hell, he lowers the residential tax rate to 3%, and to make up for the lower revenue he cranks up the industrial rate to 6%.  Will this have the desired effect?  We’ll have to wait a year or two to find out.

In the meantime, the Courier reminds us that the nuclear plant is almost dead and is going to explode.  Don’t worry about this.  The nuclear plant in SimCity falls apart after 50 years just like every other plant does – without causing any other damage, meaning it’s not going to melt down.  The only real concern here, again, is what we should replace it with.

Two years later, the plant implodes.  The mayor immediately demands the building of a new nuclear plant to replace the old one.  His advisors remind him that a plane nearly crashed into the plant not too long ago and that a meltdown could have resulted from that, and that an earthquake a mere 11 years ago almost destroyed the plant, also with potentially catastrophic consequences.  But the mayor brushes off their concerns.  Hell, the nuclear plant didn’t melt down, so what’s the problem?

Plonk.  That nuclear plant is rebuilt.  Not even a protest this time, either.  Maybe the people of Hell have gotten used to the constant threat of a horrible death by radiation.**

I also missed a piece of road destroyed in the earthquake that needed repairing.  This is why the zones-only view is nice – it catches things that can easily be missed because they’re obscured by the city’s buildings.

Despite the problems faced by Hell these rough two decades, the mayor’s plan worked – demand in all sectors is back up.  The recession has been weathered, the city is back up and running, and after setbacks and disasters it has finally reached the 90,000 citizen mark.  And with this milestone came a new reward: the bizarrely named Braun Llama Dome.  The city’s grant of funds to build this prefabricated giant tower was given to the mayor in the hopes that he would find a suitable place in the city itself and build it there, for all the citizens to admire, and also to take the elevator up to the revolving restaurant at the top.  But the mayor had very different plans.

Instead of placing the Llama Dome in the city, the mayor instead ordered an artificial peninsula created near his mansion and the Dome built upon it, so that he could relocate his residence to the revolving restaurant, now converted into a massive swanky apartment.  Clean energy in this part of town is a must, so the Dome is powered by four wind turbines.  These windmills produce 4 MHz of power each and of course produce no pollution.  As a result, just like the Mayor’s former abode, the Dome is fully self-sufficient and can sustain a small population (the mayor and his closest advisors and staff) for a long period of time without the need for restocking supplies.  The old mansion is left standing to act as the mayor’s second home.

A new age has dawned in Hell, though as usual, it remains to be seen whether this new age is going to alleviate the overcrowding and crime and health problems that the city faces.  Let’s be honest; it probably won’t.

* In real life, a fusion plant would be really nice to have, but that technology doesn’t exist yet on the scale necessary to generate power in a cost-effective way.  The Sun has been generating power through nuclear fusion for billions of years, but we’re not quite at that level yet.  SimCity 2000 makes a rough prediction for the first fusion plant in 2050, and scientists and engineers are already trying to construct efficient fusion reactors at this very moment, so hopefully this technology will become a reality soon.

** I live in the general vicinity of two nuclear fission reactors according to US Department of Energy.  Thankfully, we’ve only ever had one major accident involving a nuclear plant in my country, and it didn’t result in any deaths as far as we know.  Let’s hope that record is maintained.