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Let’s Play SimCity 4! (Part 3: Power and Pipes)

December 21, 2011

And now, the long-awaited part three of the SimCity 4 Let’s Play!

The front door slammed, and that was just enough to jolt me out of my best coma imitation ever. I pushed myself
up from the couch, wondering whose house I was in and when I’d got there when the past year of my life came flooding back to
me. Moving to Germany, setting up a city and becoming de facto mayor, working with seven complete strangers,
all of them completely insane in their own ways. The last eighteen hours, on the other hand, were a complete blur.

: Oh, stone me bloody crows…what happened last night?
: Mornin’, boss.

It took a few moments for my eyes to focus and tell me that was Jamil, offering me a glass of water and two anti-
inflamitories for my throbbing head. I took them with a weak smile, appreciating the gesture, and started surveying the
room. Besides Jamil and myself, there were at least eight other citizens; Some completely passed out, others groaning, and
one was actively vomiting.

: What time is it?
: About half past seven.

Can’t I get just one New Years Day where I can sleep in?

: Can’t I get just one New Years Day where I can sleep in? What happened last night?
: Well, after the festival, you invited everyone there to watch the ball drop and celebrate with champagne.
: And then what?
: Well, when we ran out of champagne, you decided to break out the vodka and whiskey. And when those ran out, you broke out the tequila.
: That would explain a lot of this, yes. Where’s Bettina? I need to get her phone book.
: She and Sam went upstairs about three this morning.

I let out a heavy sigh. If there was one thing I didn’t need it was this hangover, but if there was a second thing I didn’t
need, it was an intra-office romance.

: Well, where’d she leave her purse?
: I think it’s in the kitchen.

I went to check, and I’ll be damned, there it was. I pulled out her phone book, and most of the rest of the purse came with
it. I now had gum, car keys, and a huge stack of pay stubs scattered all over my floor. And the noise sure didn’t help
matters.

: Ah, here we go. Dr. Mediziner…Yes, doctor? We’ve got a situation at the mansion. We need you to set up triage for a
bunch of drunks…I understand. When can you be here?…That’s fine. See you then.

I hung up and then bent down to pick up the purse swag, and I felt the throbbing in my head getting worse. Or that’s what I
thought at the time. It was a few hours later when I found out that a few of the locals had decided to start the party back
up. Say what you want about the Germans, they sure can handle their liquor.

: Doctor will be here in fifteen. So what’s the rest of the story? What happened last night? To everyone?
: Well, let me think. I already told you about Sam and Bettina…Jonas had two glasses of champaign, three shots of whiskey
and a shot of vodka before running off with his tool box…Camile didn’t partake, and just left for her morning walk…Neil
had two shots of whiskey, shouted “Woo” and passed out on the lawn, and Monique got drunk and decided to go in the back to
devise a new accounting method. Last thing I heard out of it was a thump and snoring. And you drank just as much as Neil,
but with more spinning around on office chairs and falling on the couch.
: Huh. Sounds like a hell of a party. How is it you remember all this?
: I’m Muslim. Don’t drink.
: Oh. Good thing you’ve got a good memory, too. I take it we’re on standstill until the doc gets here?
: Well, if you really want something to do, I do have some plans drawn up for a bus system.
: As exciting as that sounds, I think I’m going to get some more sleep before the doctor shows.

: Hey Kevin. Wake up, the doctor’s here.
: Ughh. How long have I been out?
: About fifteen minutes.
: Geez. Feels like three months.
: He’s started working on people already.
: Good. Get everyone else taken care of first.

The party had been over for about a month, but people were still talking about it like it’d just happened. It seemed like
every day I’d have people coming up to me on the street, telling me it was the biggest blowout they’d ever seen. Neil called
me in to his office to go over some plans for a new commercial district over by the church.

: Some party, huh?
: Yeah, it sure was. What have you got for me?
: Some of the churchgoers were telling me that they didn’t have anywhere to go to eat after services.
: I think we can do that.

There was a brief pause in the conversation. There was something I wanted to bring up to Neil, but I wasn’t sure the time
was right. Ultimately, I decided the hell with it, and went ahead.

: Neil, I’ve been thinking…
: Uh-oh. I’m not going to like this, am I?
: You might. I’d like to zone for some medium density housing on the west side of the river. Maybe get some apartments put up.
: That’s…actually not half bad. Maybe up by the residential and commercial towards the bridge.
: See, that’s why I wanted to bring it up. You always know exactly where to put things. Get some plans drawn up, and I’ll
sign them.

We spent something like two hours setting the whole thing up. It wound up being five blocks by three, surrounding the fire
station and near the elementary school and clinic. We ended up calling it the Greenbriar Estates. I’m still not enturely
sure why.

: Was that the only thing you had in mind?
: Well, no. If we’re being completely honest, I was thinking of starting the city on a more…industrial path.
: Are you telling me you want to pave over the farms and put up factories?!
: No! What? God no! I’m just saying that maybe it would be a good idea to zone some area for more heavy industry. I mean, it’s not like we can have everyone work on farms forever.
: I suppose you’re right. Where were you planning on putting it?
: I was considering near the power plant.
: Yeah, that could work.

Neil’s phone started ringing, so while he took care of whatever crisis was on the other end, I started sketching out the new
industrial park. I’d leave it to Neil to work out the fine details. By the time he was done, I’d finished and began doodling
pictures of solar flares and dinosaurs.

: We’ve got a problem.
: What is it, Neil?
: The dead.

I paused for a moment, unsure if I’d heard him right.

: I think the sun was in my ears, could you repeat that?
: There are too many dead people.
: All right; Soylent Green it is!
: Would you please take this seriously? The church courtyard is full and so are the mortuaries.
: Alright, alright. I’m sorry, the joke was too easy. What do we do?
: The best thing would probably be a municipal graveyard.

Before I had a chance to answer Neil, Jonas walked in with a serious look on his face.

: We got a problem.
: Take a number, Jonas.
: It’s important.
: Alright Jonas, what is it?
: I’ve been on the horn with the utilities man down in Konradshohe. Their mayor has offered to take some trash off our
hands.
: How much?

Suddenly, Monique popped around the corner.

: What are you spending money on now?

By this time, I’d had enough of the random interruptions.

: You know what, let’s just make this our monthly staff meeting.

I mashed the button on the intercom with my entire hand in sheer frustration.

: Everybody get in here!

Slowly but surely, Jamil, Bettina, Sam, and Camile filtered into the room.

: What’s going on here?
: We’re having the monthly staff meeting because half the staff was in here anyway. Jonas, I believe you were telling us how much Konradshohe is charging for garbage removal.
: A little less than one simoleon per ton per month.
: Monique, how’s the budget?
: Not too bad. At our current rate, we are bringing in slightly more than two hundred simoleons per month than we spend.

: Jonas, anything else you want to bring up?
: Well, there are reports of areas without water connections. Normally this wouldn’t be too much of an issue, but apartments and cleaner industry can’t survive on wells alone.

: And we are generating far more power than we need. Besides being wasteful, what with all the natural gas we’re using
without benefit, it makes for a dangerous situation. The current could build up in the generators and if someone gets too
close right then, the shock could kill them.

It was the first time in a long time I’d been shocked into silence. Someone could die? Shit. I’d have to deal with the
situation, and soon.

: Shit. Jonas, what do you suggest?
: Well, we could either cut back on production and lay off a bunch of workers, or we could run power line out to the city
limits and shop out power.

: Okay, we’ll run line down to the border with Konradshohe. Talk to their utilities man down there, tell them we’ll send
them thirty nine tons a month. While you’re at it, ask if they could use some extra power.

: Neil, we’ll put the cemetary on the east side of the river, over by where the commercial area meets the farm land.

: There’s also a fair bit of demand for low-density residential, so I thought over on the other side of the farms.
: Sounds like a plan.

: Alright, that’s the major crises taken care of. Anyone with new business? Jamil?
: No, everything’s cherry on my end.
: Bettina?
: No problems in medicine or education.
: Sam?
: Everything seems quiet for the time being.
: Jonas, Neil, I believe we’ve covered your sections. Monique?
: No budgetary problems.
: Good. Meeting adjourned. Geez, it’s eight already?
: Mr. Mayor, I have some issues to take up.
: Oh, Camile. I’m sorry, I forgot all about you. What’s on your mind.
: Firstly, I’ve been contacted by local green activist Flora Fauna.

: Oh, no way is that a real name.
: Not by birth, no, but that is her legal name. She suggests that it would be in our best interests to take on a campaign of
city beautification by way of planting efforts and setting aside parklands. I would advise against ignoring her.
: Alright, once the issues with power and water have been take care of, I’ll get right on that. What else?

: Results have come back from the water test I ordered last week. All contaminant levels are well within federal and state
mandated guidelines.
: Good.
: Finally, I’m concerned by the increasing ratio of paved area to green space. Not only is it detrimental from the
standpoint of attractiveness to businesses and tourists, it’s also the cause of a recent spike in air pollution levels.

: Again, I’ll get on that after the critical issues are fixed. Meeting adjourned.

Diary Entry #4 – Restaurant Syrtaki, Hennigsdorf, December 13, 2001, 10:18 pm.

What a year.

We eventually got the troubles with the power plant generating too much. After we ran power lines to the edge of the city,
Jonas had the idea to hook the lines directly to the transmission tower and then ground it until Konradshohe gets back to us
about our offer. We just yesterday got the last of the PVC water pipes hooked up, and everything seems to be running
smoothly so far. Pressure is good and people are happy to be hooked up to the city water mains instead of relying on wells
and septic tanks. Jonas even gave me a before-and-after of the plans for me to hang up in my office.

Also, note to self: No tequila at this years New Years Eve party.

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One comment

  1. That was weirdly fun to read. Maybe it’s because I loved Sim City like… 1, but yeah. Cool idea, nice execution. Way to go.



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