The Let's Play Archive

SimCity 3000

by The Deadly Hume

Part 37: Fit The Thirty-Third : Bad Star

Fit The Thirty-Third : Bad Star

1985 saw lots of money in the bank, and yet not quite enough. I was going to spend sparingly over the year.

I'd have to say that Pompeii Flats looked very samey. And I wasn't sure what I could do about it. Never liked strict grid layouts, frankly, that funny little crescent was the most interesting thing about the district.

So apparently Sophia was into rich geeks now. Good for her.

And so, well, something must've happened in the previous year, but I wasn't really paying attention, the city practically ran itself now and I just made idle suggestions here and there and we usually had the funds to carry it out.

I mean, one day I looked out my office window to find some monstruous phallic symbol blotting out the view.

"Super Spur". Yes, very subtle.

For my next project, I had to find some open ground somewhere. The area between Bunkleyville and Greenfield seemed to fit.

FUN PARK, way-hey! We've had this on the books for decades but it was so ludicrously expensive that it was put on the backburner. But now we were flush with cash, I saw no reason to stall any further.

Yes, it was about time the town was given some fun and excitement. I wasn't sure about the crap about people dressing up in animal costumes - anthromorphism had always disturbed me - but at least it had some awesome rides. Maybe in my next career I could become a rollercoaster tycoon. Just an idea.

Connie's Ridge had slowly merged into the next hillside suburb around the bend, Riverview Terrace, which was becoming quite a popular locale for the well-heeled - close to the city and factories, but with great views and a certain "fuck you plebs I've lots of CA$$$H and you don't ha ha ha" factor.

Then the people in the mansions in Ashy Bend across the river would just go "how gauche, the nouveau riche are getting uppity, call us plebs, will they?"

At least that's how I imagined it. All those trees, though, they were kind of a fire hazard.

So I was just sitting in my office playing with Newton's Balls when Maria barged in without even bothering to knock on the door or check with Beryl. And she looked fried. I mean, not in the way that suggested that she was a habitual user of heavy narcotics, but rather in the way that one would look when one has just been told that DEATH ITSELF IS GOING TO RAIN FROM THE SKY!

Wal, we got a really serious problem! We have to prepare for an attack from outer space!!!

But Halley's Comet isn't going to come anywhere near earth!

It's not the comet we have to worry about. I've just recieved word from SNASA that a satellite is breaking up and its debris is going to crash into us.

Holy what the fuck?! Whoa whoa whoa you have gotta be kidding? Call out the army! Call out the national guard! Call out the urban breakdance squad!

Wal, sit down and settle and shut the fuck up for a second, it's an advance warning. We have some time up our sleeve, just enough to improve the city's safety infrastructure to prepare for the worst. We have to quick about this, though. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

Dude you're sending mixed messages. One minute you're telling me we're all going to die, the next you say relax and take a chill pill. WHICH IS IT?

... OK, I've noticed you've let the fire protection coverage matrix fall into neglect again, I'd do something about that for a start.

Oh yes. Right. I'll get onto that. ... The WHAT matrix?

OK, I had let things slide from that point of view. I quickly plonked a few extra fire stations around just to make sure, and then sat back and waited for the disaster.

Well, the advance warning was certainly well in advance. The odometer of the ages had just clicked over to 1987 as the waiting continued. Strangely enough, though we kept the public fully informed about the situation, not too many people were panicking and packing up and leaving, the years of weird shit happening to them for no apparent reason had made Funkytonians a hardy bunch. Seriously, a giant squid could materialise in the middle of Funkytown and no-one would bat an eyelid.

Then it began.

But perhaps they had to think again. On the 28th of January, things started falling down from the sky. And hitting things all over the place like a drunken miner greeting his wife on a Friday night.

There must've been something like six or seven impacts around town, but thanks to the improved fire coverage, only one fire had gotten out of control, down in the industrial zones near Firetop.

Thankfully, whilst there were impacts in Pismo Beach and Balzac, some of the debris had fallen into the ocean for minimal impact.

Eventually the wrath of the heavens abated and most of the citizens had made it out alive - right, as if the impact of some Pakistani weather satellite was going to do anything dramatic like cause an electromagnetic pulse disabling all electronic appliances in the world.

Maria always cranky about something, though. Never mind that the fire crews did all that was expected of them, she decided to have a go at me, and for what? Not pressing a button which effect was sending everyone into a blind panic.

I mean, Wal, most of the time you don't need any encouragement to push buttons and make some noise. What gives?

Err, I was too busy taking pictures.


Sorry I didn't get any decent shots.

When the immediate danger had passed, there was still a lot of cleaning up to do, though at least it hadn't cut a swathe across town as the earthquakes had tended to do.

We had impact craters in Bunkleyville...


Pismo Beach...

and North Westshore.

The end result was kind of nasty but it wasn't anything we weren't equipped to fix. I mean it wasn't like it took out anything important...

Hang on, where did the Hammer Factory go? You know, one would think with all the kickbacks they were getting from the Star Wars project they should have had something that'd be able to defend their own property from falling space junk, but noooooo...

At least we got to replace it. Even though we had to pay for it a second time. Federal Black Budget bedamned.

The old one did cause a fair amount of pollution, so the new facility was placed on the far side of the army base, just a little further away from the city proper.

On another issue, the growth of the city meant that the existing two jails were becoming overcrowded, so another one was needed.

I kind of thought it'd be fun to run with the status quo so we could have a riot now and again, just to give the police some heads to smash on occasion, but I thought better of it. The new jail was placed amongst all the other NIMBY buildings in North Firetop.

One day I was having a chat to Moe out on a worksite in Ashy Bend where Moe was overseeing some workers digging up a road and then patching it again for no appreciable benefit.

Hey look, Wal, another whirlpool.

Another whirlpool. Huh. We get those all the time. No big deal.

Wow, it just took out a bridge!

What... the...

... and another! Golly.

I don't believe it. I do not fucking believe it. First we get space crap crashing out of the sky, and now the river's eating our bridge. SOMEONE HASN'T BEEN KEEPING UP THE SACRIFICES TO THE VOLCANO!

Eh, not that I mind. It'll be a nice change for the boys. Hey guys! Looks like we're got some bridges need replacing!

And the work crew all cheered.

Except for the fat guy holding the STOP-SLOW lollipop by the side of the rode, who just nodded sagely, taking care not to let his cigarette drop from his bottom lip.

Fine, here's a budget, I want the bridges built as soon as possible. Make sure they're a little more secure this time so they don't get

Gotcha. No-one will be able to tell the difference when we're done!

I got back to the office in the afternoon and Maria was insistent on giving me her report on the morning's events.

That is appalling.

Sorry. But, you know, it's hard to make these things sound exciting.

I dunno, It took out two bridges, that's different. Usually the damned things don't do shit. They just sit in the water and go "hey, guys, look at me! I'm a whirlpool! Woosh! Woosh! Look at me go swirling around and sucking down boats! HEY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME? Fine I'll go away then."

Yeah, I suppose.

Thanks for the report, anyway, you can take the rest of the day off.

Maria left the office, but I could hear her singing "You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby right round round round" as she walked down the corridor.

Out of key, in a wavering voice.

And for the first time in my long reign, I wanted to die.

But Moe was as good as his word, the bridges were barely gone before they were back in full effect.

Time for some more urban renewal. With space starting to run out, I decided to up the density of the some of the blocks in West Funkytown, so they were levelled and built up again.

Only halfway through 1987, and I was already sick of it. Next thing you know there'd be a stock market crash or something, it was that kind of year.

Crime seemed to be on the rise, maybe it was because of the prison overcrowding, that was the only explanation I could come up with, since police coverage was still pretty good across town.

It was kind of strange how some petitioners only ever had one thing on their mind - you mightn't hear from them for years, but as soon as you felt like you were on top of everything...


... yeah, the freaks would be all up in your grill detailing their obsessions and what you could do about it. OK, Feargal, we'll build some more parks. When I bloody feel like it.

And finally, 1988 was here. The Australian ex-pats in town were celebrating how they were settled by criminals. They had some big do in one of the parks around town where they ate roast lamb and pavlova and barbequed prawns (some poor unsuspecting citizen nearly started a brawl by calling it "shrimp"), and afterwards they set about playing some weird game where they punted the ball around an oval while elbowing anyone who got in their way. It turned out that was supposed to be a re-enactment of the settlement of the First Fleet.

I got to say a few words about how Funkytown was settled in much the same way, over the sea from what seemed like a different world, except for two important differences - we weren't criminals, and we didn't pretend there wasn't anyone already living here when there actually was. The speech didn't go down too well, as I discovered when I received a complementary hip-and-shoulder from the host.

Apparently I made up for it when I successfully managed to drink the contents of what was known as "A Green One" through a funnel and hose. It was vile, but I must've impressed them because they all cheered and clapped when they realised I'd drunk the whole lot without drowning. Strange people, those Australians.

When I recovered from the hangover, I approved the year's big project; an extension of the subway network to the airport.

This included an intermediate station on the southern edge of the old industrial area. There was also starting to be a small business district next to the airport, obviously it wouldn't be allowed to interfere with the flight patterns.

Time to pass some ordinances, too. Firstly, a car smogging program. Enough people were using their cars that this would make an appreciable difference to air quality.

Also, incentives for the biotech industries. The world needed its frankensteinian hypercows, and I wanted Funkytown to be responsible for bringing them into being.

And a little something for the citizens to do on bin night. Trash sorting! Because if they didn't, National Enquirer surely would! (Or maybe that was just me.)

Some years it was hard to work out where the money actually went, but I guess if we piled it up I'd find something to spend it on eventually.

I mean, urban development wasn't too expensive, or at least not the block-by-block expansion. We'd finally reached the top of Boot Hill, and some facilities were built that would service the surrounding area, like a hospital and a college - our fourth, named, imaginatively, Boot Hill College.

The hill was supposedly named so because of its shape, but there was a local legend that it used to be the hideout of some liquor smugglers. Some alluvial gold was also found there in the past, apparently, but not enough to encourage extensive mining. Instead, prospectors would dig little more than a metre into the dirt and, usually, when any decent amount of gold was found, the miner had to hide it very carefully on their person and get it out to a trader, or risk being found redhanded with their findings, and then buried in the hole that they had just dug.

I was sure that was mostly bullshit, though. We never found any gold when we were surveying the area.

Just a lot of bodies.

Same old petitioners. Same old complaints. "Zone more residential!" "Lower taxes!" "We wanna take your trash!" Bugger off!

And if it wasn't petitioners it was more fucking whirlpools. At least this one didn't take out any bridges.

At least something was kind of new in town.

Sort of brutalist, certainly International in style. Looked like a brick shithouse in my eyes, but perhaps we'd grow to love it. Perhaps.

And Granny was back going on about brownouts, I got Gus in and quipped that there must've been some kind of problem with the water supply if people were getting bowel problems, but he gently informed me that it was to do with the electricity.

You keep making that brownout joke but it was never funny.

It amuses me.

Yes, but that's because you're a moron.


Anyway, meltdowns. We don't want them. We'll need another plant very soon.


You're a disgrace, young man! Bowel problems are no laughing matter at my age.

Why are you still here?

I- I need to go to the loo-loo.

Jesus. Who the hell calls it a loo-loo? Look, Gus, can you show her to the nearest... convenience, it's just down the hallway.

Of course. Come this way, Mrs Smith...

And finally, we'd reached the nineties. Money wasn't a problem.

Boot Hill, Connie's Ridge and Riverview Terrace were looking sharp...

Pompeii looked as stoic as ever...

But the fun park amidst Bunkleyville and Greenfield could put a smile to their faces along with everyone elses'...

And Downtown - it was big business. The jewel at the mouth of the Ashy Bend River.

By gosh the place looked purdy.

That's if you could abide the whirlpools.