Part 1: AntagonistChapter 1: Antagonist
Before we begin this epic tale, we need some backstory to set the tone.
Image overload incoming, but I feel removing the wonderful pictures accompanying the text would lose some of the magic.
It is up to us to create one of the greatest ant colonies the world has ever seen. We've got a huge task ahead of us, so let's get started.
We're skipping the Tutorial, as I'll explain stuff as I go in the Full Game. Scenario Game is like the scenarios in other Sim games, you're given a situation and have to do them. Saved Game loads a saved game. Ant Information gives you encyclopedic knowledge of anything to do with ants. I may share some of this stuff as bonus updates. I think I actually read all of that at one point.
Let's start with the Full Game, which is the chewy, delicious ant meat of SimAnt.
We start in control of a breeder, in fact the future queen of our colony. Our first priority is to make ourselves a cozy little home underground so we don't die from the elements.
If we die here, it's Game Over. In fact, this is the most dangerous part of the game. For some reason, the game gets progressively easier the further in you get. This first update is by far the most difficult portion of the full game, and it's a breeze.
This is one of the few SNES games that uses the Mouse that came with Mario Paint. Of course, you can also use a regular controller with it. A/Left button tells the ant where to go and also does menu stuff, while B/Right button lets you do context stuff with your ant and interact with objects. X and Y simply center the cursor on the menu or ant, I forget which does what.
In this case, pressing B on your queen gives you the option to dig or lay eggs. Definitely dig first, as the elements can be rough.
After digging down into the soil deep enough, we've got a good place to start laying eggs.
The queen thus becomes large and ceases to be the yellow ant. Now a new yellow ant is born and shall lead the black ants to prosperity.
To do that, though, we need to get our queen as fat as hell to crap out more ants. Fortunately, I ended up close to all this delicious food, so it's a very short trek to bring this grub to our queen.
Press B on food to grab it.
Then press B again to release it. You can see that our queen is already spawning more ants.
The bars on the bottom represent the hunger meters of the black ants and our yellow ant. It's possible to die of starvation. We'll worry about the red ants later.
So the first few minutes are pretty repetitive. Grab food, bring it down, and so on.
Eventually, more ants will be born and will start helping out with food collection and various other duties.
You can refill your health by interacting with other ants. I'm not sure how it works exactly, but I'm sure our in-game Antipedia has the answer.
So now our sisters start helping out with the food, which means our colony can grow even larger. I also take the opportunity to dig tunnels, because we need room for all the food and eggs.
Eventually, we grab most of the food. Once you eat all the food in a given area, a new food point spawns in.
The first option of the menu lets us switch perspectives between overview and close-up (which we're in now), and between the black and red nests and the surface. Surface Overview will save us time in finding more food.
So far, we still have plenty of food right to our left. On the other side, you can see red dots. These are the red ants, and they're our enemies because better dead than red. There's also pillbugs and caterpillars who are harmless and can be killed for food.
Watch out for the spider, he's a real asshole and will eat ants just because he likes being a dickhole.
And here we get to the meat of the game. Pressing B on your ant gives you the chance to recruit or release a set number of ants. When you recruit...
...that number of ants will come to you. There's two main uses for doing this, the first being...
...releasing them all at a food pile so that they'll all grab and bring back food simultaneously. A quick way to bring ants to a new food pile and harvest the hell out of it.
Eventually, we clean out our food and more food spawns to our right. When the yellow ant is hungry, she makes a really weird face.
Fortunately, Yellow Ant will eat whatever food this is supposed to be when hungry, and pick up food when not. Just be careful not to starve to death.
You could probably mess with scents to lead ants here, or maybe it does it automatically. Either way, this option is much faster and more reliable. Plus it's awesome commanding a horde of ants.
Rain is not a big deal. It doesn't hurt your ants, it simply erases the parts of your ant trails the raindrops hit. I'll explain trails later, but I've never had to worry about them because there's no reason not to always recruit/release.
Anyway, we've wiped the latest food cache, so more food has spawned to the south. Alas, the asshole red faction has ate all its food, so it's coming after this source.
Of course, I don't plan to let these jerkwads have any of my fucking food, so we go to the second function of recruiting ants, and by far the more awesome one: ANT ARMY.
And then we just carry off the whole fucking pile while we laugh at our enemies' slow descent into starvation.
The next food spot is closer to our camp. The red ants are getting desperate, walking into our territory to grab the food.
GO FUCK HER UP
Anyway, we've got tons of food, and we've got a nice army of over 50 ants.
I think now's a good time for some genocide.
The fuckers have more food, so we march over there to both stop them from grabbing food and to fucking annihilate the bastards.
Now that we've horribly mutilated the front line, it's time to advance to their base.
Behold! The red ant nest is here, ready for the taking.
I must admit, even for a game this easy, moving into the red ant nest can be pretty scary stuff. Compared to our lovable black ant babies, red ant babies look hideous and fearsome. Worse, they've got breeders ready to spread their filthy genes to other areas. We can't let that happen.
I try to recruit my ants to attack, but none of them really want to come in, and the few that do just end up stealing their food instead.
You can actually transport their kids, and I believe if your ants grab them they get converted into food. Yes, you can eat the unborn fetuses of your opponents in this game. And it's educational!
Fed up with the cowardice of my army, I decide to fight the queen head on.
It ends in failure. I have no idea how combat works in this game, as it just seems random as to which ant wins. That's why you always have your army fight for you, as you never want to get in fights yourself if at all possible.
Fortunately, you just respawn as a new ant, even getting to pick your class this time. I honestly don't think there's any real difference between which ant you pick here. Soldier and Breeder can do work as well, and Soldier doesn't really make you more likely to win fights.
The Soldier ant is bigger, though, but it seems the choice is mostly cosmetic. Anyway, we've been reincarnated as another ant, so let's take on the queen again.
Fortunately, despite being alive for all of two minutes, we're given yet another chance. It seems the spirits of reincarnation know that our destiny is to bring salvation to the black ant race, so they're going to keep doing so until we finish our mission.
So let's go murder that queen!
Success! We've finally committed regicide. Without a queen to birth new red ants, the race will slowly die out as we feast on their young.
We don't have to worry about the red ants so much now, so let's focus on getting food. Unfortunately, our next food source is next to asshole spider. There's some to the far north, but it's too far away and too small to really work that well.
This red ant is really bitter that I just murdered her entire race and stalks me all the way to the food pile.
Then she murders me. How cruel.
I decide to be a breeder this time because why not?
This spider is dangerous as hell. It has no problem chasing and eating solitary ants, and if you run into this thing, there's a very strong chance it will catch and eat you in the most painful manner possible.
But that's why I have a fucking ant army to rip its fucking legs out.
I love how every victory ends with us dining on our vanquished foes.
It even converts to food when it dies. Handy!
That's enough wanton murder for one day. Let's retire and then strategize our strategies for expansion.
Holy fucking shit, this is the longest fucking saving screen I've seen in a game. It will literally, not fucking joking, take at least two minutes to save. If the full game weren't so short, this would be a huge pain for those who played short sessions.
Definitely use save states if you play this game.
Before we go, let's take a look at our goal in this game.
Our goals are twofold. First, exterminate the red menace. We're in the bottom-right corner, and though it shows a red presence, it'll soon be completely black. But there's another red colony in the top-right, and they too will be spreading soon, so while we've won the battle, the war is far from over.
Our second goal is to drive out the man who lives here. You see, this man is the very persona of sloth, never leaving the house and spending every waking day of his life doing absolutely nothing of significance. So he's essentially my brother-in-law. Our job is to motivate/inspire/murder him so he'll get out of the house and learn to embrace life, or so we can feast on his delicious human flesh. You know, whichever's more convenient.
Next time, we'll get a closer look at the rest of the game's mechanics as we start our plans of expanding into other colonies.