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    FAQ/Strategy Guide by VinnyVideo

    Version: 1.31 | Updated: 11/13/15 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    SimCity 3000 (PC): VinnyVideo's FAQ/Strategy Guide
    Table of Contents
    [INTR] Introduction
    [STRT] Getting Started
    [TOWN] Starter Towns and Scenario Cities
    [NOTE] Notes, Strategies, and Tips
    [REWB] Reward Buildings List
    [CCAG] Cheats, Codes, and Glitches
    [VERS] Version History
    [COPY] Copyright
    [CONT] Contact Information
    Navigation tip: Use the Find feature (Ctrl-F) to find what you're looking for.
    For example, search for [COPY] to jump to the Copyright/Contact Information
    Introduction                                                   [INTR]
    Greetings and good cheer! This is my third FAQ/Walkthrough. I submitted my F1
    ROC 2 walkthrough just yesterday, and now there's already another VinnyVideo
    walkthrough! However, I've been working on this for about eight months, so that
    explains why these are appearing in such close succession. More guides will be
    coming in the months to come, including The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess,
    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Master Quest), and Donkey Kong 64.
    SimCity 3000 is my favorite PC game. Although it does have its share of
    glitches and irritations, playing it is fun and downright addictive. The game
    offers amazing replay value. There's no true "end" to the game, so you get to
    decide the yardstick you use to measure your success - building on every
    buildable space, increasing the population, achieving high property values,
    reducing pollution as much as possible, experimenting with different
    transportation systems, maxing out education and life expectancy, or even
    nuking your city with an induced natural disaster! While the game was released
    back in 1999, the graphics still look respectable - as good as you really need
    for a SimCity game. Also, anything much more advanced would probably be too
    slow for most older computers. There are some great jazz tunes on the
    soundtrack, too. Anyway, enough rambling. Off to the guide!
    Getting Started                                                [STRT]
    Or: Building a City That's Bigger Than Buffalo: VinnyVideo's Guide to SimCity
    Constructing a city in SimCity 3000 is plenty of fun, but it can also be pretty
    tough. Even on the easiest difficulty level, you'll quickly run out funds, and
    once you've spent your startup cash, it's not easy to build back up your
    reserves. Here's a step-by-step guide to beginning a city. I should note that
    in SimCity 3000, dollars are called simoleons and are denoted by a special
    symbol. However, I just use the good old $ sign in this guide.
    Step 1: Consult useful literature
    Before you do anything, skim through the manual that's included on a .PDF file
    on the SimCity 3000 CD. The official manual won't tell you all the tricks of
    the trade, but it will help give you a grasp of the basics. Plus, it's actually
    fun to read.
    Step 2: A Starter Town, or start from scratch?
    Pick one of the Starter Towns if you want a head start on your SimCitying. Most
    of the city infrastructure will already be in place, so you can just sit back
    and watch your city grow (at least at first). More information about Starter
    Towns appears in a later section. If you begin a city from scratch, however,
    you have a lot more control over the map's landform. This is important, since
    terrain has a major effect on the kind of cities you can build later on. If you
    want to have a lot of space to develop sprawling suburbia or a massive
    metropolis, keep the "water" and "hill" sliders low. If you want to have higher
    initial land values, move the sliders to the right. You can also determine
    which sides of your city are bordered by ocean. Also, don't forget the middle;
    you can have a river, lake, or mountain if you'd like.
    Note that if you're playing the SimCity 3000 Unlimited version, you'll have a
    few additional options that allow you to manipulate the landscape here.
    Step 3: Give your town a name!
    Every city needs a name. That's obvious. You'll also want to give your mayor a
    name (probably your own name). Lastly, decide on the difficulty level. On the
    Easy setting, you have $50,000 to work with, which will still disappear
    surprisingly quickly. The Medium setting supplies $20,000 to your treasury.
    You'll find this total uncomfortably low if you're building from scratch. The
    Hard level starts you off with a $10,000 loan - nearly impossible to succeed
    with if you're not an experienced player, or at least using a Starter Town or
    cheat codes.
    Step 4: Plan ahead
    Most mayors now want to start building - and spending. But before you start
    slapping buildings and roads all over the map, formulate a plan for everything,
    especially your transportation system. At some point during your mayoral
    career, you'll want to build at least one road connection AND at least one rail
    connection to each neighboring city. Think about where you'll put these
    connections, even though you don't need to build them yet. Especially
    important: Decide how you're going to get cars and trains across any rivers.
    Think about where you want to build any seaports and airports in the future. If
    highways and railways will be a major part of your transportation system,
    figure out where those will go.
    Planning your city carefully helps you put zones in the locations where they're
    most likely to prosper. Dense commercial areas are best near your central
    district - that's where land values are the highest. Dense residential areas
    are also good in the middle of town - maybe along a river and near the dense
    commercial zones. Position industrial zones near the city limits to help
    contain the pollution that they generate. Besides the issue of pollution,
    industrial zones develop best where land values are low. Since land values are
    low at first, it's probably best to focus most of your development near the
    edge of the map for now. As a rule of thumb, the number of residential zones in
    your city should equal the combined number of commercial and industrial zones.
    While it's a lot more fun to build sparkling skyscrapers than pollution-spewing
    factories, industrial demand greatly exceeds commercial demand at the beginning
    of the game. As your city grows, demand for commercial space increases more
    than for industrial, while he need for homes remains fairly steady throughout
    the game.
    Step 5: Start building!
    If you use a Starter Town, much of the necessary infrastructure will already be
    in place. However, even if you used a Starter Town, review this list to make
    sure you have everything you need. I will assume you are on the "Easy"
    difficulty level. If you're playing on a harder setting, you'll have to be even
    more cautious in your spending.
    For now, the focus is on establishing core infrastructure: roads, electricity,
    water, and garbage collection. Your Sims won't be rushing to move to a town
    where there's no electricity and no water service! Once that's done, you can
    begin building zones and basic services.
    Set the game speed to "stopped" for now.
    Review Ordinances
    First, enact the Tire Recycling and Farmers' Market ordinances if they're
    available in your year. These are good ordinances with no negative side
    Second, build a "Main Street" that connects your city to a neighbor. Near that
    connection point, construct a power plant - probably either coal or oil. If you
    start in a later year, you'll have a greater variety of power plant options to
    choose from.
    Next, zone a 5x5 space near the power plant for your landfill.
    Don't forget to build a water system - zones will never thrive unless you
    supply them with water. You could try a desalinization plant (in 1950 or 2000)
    if you have access to salt water, but I recommend that you design a system of
    water pumps similar to the system seen in the "Metropolis" scenario. Construct
    one space of surface water, and surround the space with water pumps. Build only
    three water pumps now, but remember to keep adding them as your city grows. To
    reduce water pollution (and mitigate the need for expensive water treatment
    plants later on), situate your pumps far from landfills, seaports, industrial
    areas, and other areas that produce water pollution, and plant some trees
    around the pumps. Make sure that your pumps have power. Finally, place pipes
    under your city. Connect the pipes to your pumps or desalinization facility,
    and space your pipes about 13 spaces apart - this is the most economical way of
    watering your town. For financial reasons, only build pipes near the areas you
    plan on zoning immediately.
    Review Budget
    Cash is in short supply in the early years of your town, so make sure that
    taxes aren't too low and that you're not overspending. Click on "Budget" and
    raise residential and industrial taxes to 8%. (Keep commercial taxes a notch or
    two lower, at 6-7%). Also reduce funding by a notch or two to every sector
    (education, police, etc.) except for roads.
    Now that the infrastructure is in place, you can start zoning! If you have an
    island city (like that seen in the Sim Isle and Island City scenarios),
    consider building an airport and/or a seaport so you'll have some way to trade
    with the outside world. Otherwise, worry about those later. Zone a few
    industrial zones near your power plant - those do well in high-pollution areas.
    Build a few power lines down "Main Street" - maybe 30 spaces. It's best to keep
    some distance between the power plant and the less pollution-tolerant parts of
    town. You can save money by placing a power line every second space. At this
    point build a small commercial zone - probably just 6-12 spaces. Lastly, build
    a generous light residential area. Zone a 6x15 residential area, and surround
    it with a road.
    Ready, Set, Grow!
    Now turn on the simulator on the fastest speed and let it go for one month.
    Nothing will happen this first month. Use the "Query" feature to make sure the
    new zones have power and water. Now simulate to March 1. You should see a lot
    of development. Check the RCI (residential-commercial-industrial) bar graph at
    the bottom of the screen. For example, if the residential graph is high, you
    need more of that zone. If it's flat or low, you don't need to zone any more of
    that for now. Be sure to keep an eye on unemployment rates. If the unemployment
    rate is high, you need to add more industrial and commercial zones.
    Simulate until April 1. If you're lucky, you might have as many as 500 people
    or so. Build a school. I like to use schools to separate commercial and
    residential zones. Add more zones - especially residential zones.
    Simulate until May 1. Crime could be a problem now. Build a police station and
    a fire station, and more zones. Check the crime and fire maps occasionally to
    see if you need to build more police and fire stations to cover an uncovered
    area. Keep in mind that you can increase the range of police and fire stations
    by increasing their budgets.
    Keep adding zones. Add a large park - parks increase land values and attract
    new residents. At the end of the year, check the budget. You'll probably end up
    losing a bit of money, but make sure that your city becomes profitable at the
    end of the second or third year. Your original funds will help cushion you from
    these early losses.
    As your city gets bigger, you'll need to add colleges, libraries, museums, more
    schools, various parks, and other buildings. Keep an eye on the budget, the
    graphs and charts, and what the advisors and petitioners are saying. Make sure
    your schools and hospitals don't become overcrowded, and make sure police and
    fire coverage keep pace with your city's growth. You'll also need to expand
    your electrical capacity, and since building a new power plant is a costly
    endeavor, you'll need to save up enough cash to build a new power plant before
    you experience rotating blackouts (or worse). From here on, simply keep adding
    zones, keep expanding your infrastructure, add cool new buildings when they
    become available, and watch your city become awesome!
    Starter Towns and Scenario Cities                              [TOWN]
    Want a head start on your SimCity journey? Try a Starter Town or Scenario City,
    where some of the infrastructure is already in place.
    Starter Towns
    Check my SimCity 3000 Text Dump if you want to see more detailed information
    regarding the historical inspirations for each of the Starter Towns.
    Capitol City
    Based on the original design for Annapolis, Maryland, Capitol City boasts a
    good dense residential zone, an oil power plant, and an attractive river, but
    little else.
    The Indian circular design here looks quite neat, but it's very difficult to
    work with, especially if you want the city to grow.
    Checkerboard City
    This has a lot of helpful infrastructure: parks, residential/commercial/
    industrial zones, schools, a nice seaport, and two coal-powered electrical
    plants. It's based on the layout of Savannah, Georgia.
    Clocktown Center
    Not the Clocktown of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, this city is a very
    scaled-down version of the basic design of Moscow. Using this Starter Town is
    better than not having anything, but its layout may constrict future growth.
    Railroad Town
    This is possibly the best Starter Town. The extensive railroad system is great
    for industry, and the seaport and dense residential area are also helpful. The
    two oil power plants let you develop without having to worry about building
    power plants for a while. Keep in mind that you'll need to add a lot of light
    residential space early on, and the widely spread-out design can lead to
    traffic problems along the main road.
    The best thing about this modern yet quirky town, based on Frank Lloyd Wright's
    "Broadacre City" design, is the clean electrical system. The dense residential
    areas aren't bad, either.
    This small valley town has a decent railroad and a sizable industrial area, but
    the mountains limit growth. It's based N. A. Miliutin's model for the ideal
    Soviet city.
    This town looks like one of the hundreds of towns in America that have sprung
    up along interstates. The various residential areas are laid out in the most
    fashionable designs of their respective decades of origin. The biggest
    advantage here is the long section of highway, which you'll want to extend to
    at least one of your neighbors. The two oil power plants help keep the juice
    flowing during the initial surge of development. You might want to build some
    denser commercial around the museum and college. Challenges include the
    difficulty in providing police and fire coverage to the residential zones,
    maintaining growth after the existing zones become built up, and dealing with
    traffic on the large highway and major arterials.
    Tower Town
    Tower Town features weird vertical (as opposed to diagonal) roads, which look
    neat but hinder development of larger buildings. Unless you really like this
    design, I recommend using a Starter Town that has more zones and a power plant.
    Tower Town is based on an old design for numerous Illinois towns.
    Transitville, based loosely on Boston's general plan, comes equipped with a
    subway system, a big plus as your city grows. The oil-powered power plant is
    another valuable asset. I feel this is the second-best Starter Town, behind
    Railroad Town and ahead of Suburbia and Riverfront.
    Scenario Cities
    Big Mountain City
    An attractive town nestled in the heart of the mountains. The best things about
    it are the dense residential zones, windmills, and the airport. You may want to
    imitate this city's industrial district located at the edge of town.
    A small town with many farms. Don't extend pipes to the farm area, or they'll
    all disappear and transform into yucky light industrial zones.
    Island City
    Island City has a massive seaport and airport, along with good dense
    residential areas. Unfortunately, the mountain and the limited land area (it is
    an island, after all) prevent significant long-term growth. Increasing fire
    coverage is imperative, and you might want to build some more police stations
    as well.
    A very tricky situation - low revenue and low funds.
    Now here's a big city. You'll have a very hard time getting bigger than
    Metropolis - or getting a fatter treasury. However, there are too many empty
    schools and prisons, too few parks, and no airport.
    Mount Rodentia
    A physically small town, although there's room to grow. There's not much to say
    about this one.
    A nice town with very low pollution. The huge financial reserves help, too.
    Santa Andrea
    A nice town that's in desperate need of educational expansion. This well-
    organized town needs more residential space.
    Sim Isle
    Similar to Island Town. This town is totally full; you'll have to level the
    mountain or tear something down if you want to build anything new. The large
    ports are a plus.
    A sample city for experimentation. You could really use any city for practice.
    Notes, Strategies, and Tips                                    [NOTE]
    Here are some tips and strategies for different aspects of the game:
    When your city is new, you won't have enough revenue to spend much on services,
    so you'll have to set funding for police, fire, and possibly education below
    the recommended figures. Increase these gradually as your city gets bigger.
    Remember that the more money a service gets, the more effective it will be. For
    example, a well-funded fire department will have a much wider range than one
    that is underfunded. In a large city, you'll want your expenditures to exceed
    the suggested numbers - except maybe for police, where allocating too much to
    the cops increases the risk of police oppression. Building more stations with
    lower budgets will increase coverage without resulting in accusations of police
    oppression. Lastly, NEVER touch the "Roads" slider. Increasing funds will not
    improve service; decreasing funds will cause many potholes and other defects to
    form, forcing you to spend even more money to fix them.
    Taxation and Revenue
    Most people don't enjoy losing a portion of their hard-earned cash to Uncle
    Sim, but it's also true that people will complain if you take away the services
    that are funded by tax revenues. The best strategy is to keep taxes low enough
    to stimulate economic growth, but high enough to provide the governmental
    services necessary to support this growth.
    When your city is just getting started, it's best to keep tax rates at
    approximately 8%. I like to keep commercial tax rates a couple of notches
    lower, since the commercial sector needs more stimulation during the early life
    of your town and doesn't contribute much tax revenue yet anyway. These tax
    rates will give you enough tax revenue to defray the initial costs of providing
    basic government services and turn enough profit to fuel future growth. You can
    supplement tax revenue with money-making ordinances such as Legalized Gambling
    and Parking Fines; selling water, electricity, or garbage services to
    neighboring cities; or with business deals like the Maximum-Security Prison.
    All of these alternative means of generating revenue come with downsides, so
    it's best to earn most of your revenue from taxation.
    The early years of your city are the most difficult. Because the population is
    small, tax revenues are also low, and the impact of the natural fluctuations in
    the economy will be more noticeable. You have to watch every nickel and dime in
    order to earn enough tax revenue to expand your city and reach the point where
    you're earning a comfortable profit every year.
    As time goes on, certain petitioners, such as the Chamber of Commerce, will
    complain about tax rates being too high. It's best to listen to your advisors'
    advice in this regard - their advice tends to be more impartial than the
    interest groups that will randomly complain even when tax rates are low.
    Later in your city's life, it makes sense to reduce tax rates. With a larger
    population, tax receipts will be far higher than they were than when your city
    was small. In addition, when you begin to run out of land, you'll begin to
    focus less on growth and more on optimizing Sims' quality of life. The best way
    to do that is to keep taxes low and enact ordinances that make your city a more
    pleasant place to live.
    Traffic is a difficult problem to deal with. Just as in real life, Sims love
    their cars, and roads are the primary means of getting people from place to
    place. Building additional roads to connect different parts of town is the
    simplest way to ease traffic. In later years, you can use highways to move
    large numbers of cars at high speed. Highways are comparable to the roads of
    the American interstate system or the German autobahns, and they're pretty
    cool - albeit expensive. Highways are more expensive to build than regular
    roads, and they also cost more money to maintain. Consider at the beginning of
    the game whether you want to use highways, as they're extremely hard to add to
    an established city.
    Traffic tends to be a chronic problem in successful cities, and reducing
    traffic requires you to look beyond adding more roads and highways. First,
    build bus stops in strategic locations. Usually you want to place bus stops in
    residential zones and near popular destinations, like your stadium or library.
    Trains should also factor into your transit plan. Build a few train station
    along your railroads, especially near residential and industrial areas. Once
    your city has approximately 300,000 people, you should begin constructing the
    expensive but valuable subway system. Try to use it to connect residential
    zones with places people want to go.
    If you're not sure whether a bus stop, train station, or subway station will
    have much demand, try this: Save your game. Place the stop where you want it.
    Set game speed to fast. Use the Query feature in two or three months and check
    the "Passengers" number. If it's a moderate number, perhaps in the neighborhood
    of 120, re-load the game and build it. If the number is 600, re-load and build
    both that stop and another stop not too far away. If only 7 people are using
    the station, re-load the game and place a station somewhere else. You can use
    this trick for a few other things, too. One more thing: If traffic is
    "Congested" along the road that connects your city to another town, build
    another road connection or a rail connection to that town.
    Education: Making Kids Brainy
    One of the most important long-term goals in building an awesome place to live
    is to maintain a high level of education. Since you probably won't want
    everyone in your city to have to work in a mine or a factory, you'll need to
    raise education levels in order to attract high-paying jobs in clean
    industries. When you first launch your city, the education index will be low
    because no one has had the opportunity to go to school yet. How sad! It will
    take a couple of generations to turn things around, since it's easier to
    educate the younger generations.
    The most important way to improve educational achievement is to keep building
    schools and colleges. Be sure to check their capacity regularly, and don't
    allow them to become overcrowded. Build a university when the opportunity
    comes. You can help ensure that older minds stay sharp by building libraries
    and museums. The Pro-Reading ordinance helps accelerate educational gains, too.
    Education isn't cheap, but so is ignorance. An investment in education pays
    dividends in the long run.
    Health and Happiness
    One of the best ways to increase your population over the long run is to make
    sure that your existing Sims live a long, prosperous life. As with education,
    increasing the health index takes a long time and costs a lot of money, but
    it's worth it in the long run. The first step is to construct a hospital
    relatively early in your city's life. Keep building new hospitals as the need
    arises. Other steps for improving health include limiting pollution and passing
    health-conscious ordinances. Since most of these ordinances aren't available
    until the tail end of the 20th century, maxing out your city's health index
    will take considerably longer than it will to achieve a well-educated
    In real life, being without a job is no fun. Sims don't like being unemployed,
    either. High unemployment rates can increase crime rates and even cause rioting
    in the streets. Generally speaking, unemployment is caused by the R-C-I meter
    being out of balance. Some unemployment is a normal part of life; the
    SimEconomy naturally fluctuates as different businesses open and close, and as
    the population rises and falls. If unemployment is above 5%, however, you
    probably need to add more industrial and commercial zones. For a young city,
    industry is a much bigger employer than commercial zones, so you probably need
    to add more industrial zones. Since some unemployment is healthy and normal,
    you may need to add more residential zones if unemployment hits 0%.
    If unemployment remains high for an extended period and adding new industrial
    and commercial zones doesn't seem to help, you need to make sure that your city
    has the infrastructure to support a healthy economy. Adding rail and road
    connections to neighboring cities and adding an airport and a seaport may help
    stimulate the economy. Make sure that people can get to work without getting
    bogged down in traffic. Make sure that there are plenty of dense or medium
    industrial zones available, instead of just light industrial zones.
    As your city grows, some unsavory souls will eventually decide to call your
    city home. The good news is that SimCrime is much easier to stop than real-life
    crime - by taking the proper steps, you can cut crime rates to near zero. The
    best way to fight crime is to maintain adequate police coverage. You'll
    probably need to build a police station by the time your population hits 1,000
    or so, and you'll need to keep adding stations as your city grows. Check the
    crime map regularly to make sure that every zone is within range of a police
    station. Make sure there are no gaps in police coverage - it's better to have
    some overlap than it is to have large unprotected areas. It's especially
    important to have a police station close to densely-populated, high-pollution
    areas, especially the military base, university, and industrial areas. The
    Neighborhood Watch ordinance is the most effective crime-fighting ordinance you
    can pass. Keep in mind that legalized gambling tends to increase crime rates
    throughout your city.
    Once your population hits approximately 35,000, petitioners will probably start
    nagging you about building a jail. Adding a jail is one possible step for
    reducing crime. If you maintain good police coverage and don't legalize
    gambling, however, you can keep crime rates low without building a jail for
    quite a bit longer. Eventually, however, building a jail will help put a dent
    in the crime rate. When you build a jail, position it far from residential and
    commercial areas. I like to build jails near the unpopular trio of the
    landfill, power plant, and incinerator, keeping all the aura-killing buildings
    in the same quadrant. Check the status of your jail every few months. If a
    jail's population ever exceeds 300, you probably need to build a new jail. But
    before doing so, check the crime map. If there are zones that lack police
    protection, either build new police stations or increase police funding to
    expand your stations' range. Also enact the Neighborhood Watch ordinance, if
    it's available in your year. If all areas of town are covered by police, crime
    will drop, and prison populations will shrink accordingly. In fact, unless you
    legalize gambling, you'll never need to build more than two or maybe three
    prisons if you maintain good police coverage. Since each prison costs $78 per
    month to fund, you definitely don't want to have more jails than necessary.
    Feel free to tear down unused jails if you find you have unused jail capacity.
    Lastly, keep in mind that your jail system is independent of the Maximum-
    Security Prison, which you have the option of building in your city.
    Lastly, you can lower crime by maintaining high levels of education and
    controlling negative forces such as unemployment and pollution. SimCriminals
    tend to avoid nice places, and by making your city a nice place, you can make
    the bad guys productive citizens - or at least send them packing to not-nice
    Power to the People
    Electricity is the most important piece of infrastructure in SimCity 3000. Most
    zones won't develop unless they're connected to the power grid. Even water
    pumps need to be plugged in to deliver water. Unfortunately, power plants are
    among the most expensive and highest-polluting buildings in the game. Worse,
    you need to keep building them - unlike real life, one coal-fired power plant
    won't serve a huge number of people. If you overload your power plants, your
    citizens might experience rotating blackouts - or worse.
    Assuming you started your city in 1900, the only power plants available run on
    coal and oil. Both generate hazardous levels of emissions, so you don't want to
    put anything except industrial zones near them. You can contain this pollution
    to some extent by building them on the edges (or, better yet, corners) of the
    map so that much of the pollution drifts onto your neighbor's side of the map!
    Don't worry - your neighbors seem to be very tolerant of your free gift of air
    In later years, you'll have new options for powering your city, including
    natural gas, wind, nuclear, solar, microwave, and fusion. These options are
    more expensive, but they're much cleaner than the older options. Power plants
    in this game have a finite lifespan, and when your old power plants begin to
    approach retirement, you'll have cleaner sources of electricity with which to
    replace them. You might want to tear down old power plants a few years before
    the end of their life (check this with the Query option), as their power output
    will decline while still emitting lots of pollution.
    One of the first things you'll want to do when you start a town is to zone
    space for a landfill. Without a place to take their garbage, your Sims will
    dump their garbage in the street. It's not a pretty picture. When you begin
    your town, a 5x4 space of landfill should be sufficient for a while. As your
    city grows, though, you'll probably need to expand the size of your landfill.
    At some point in the game (probably once tax revenues hit $10,000 per year),
    you should add an incinerator. Incinerators generate a lot of air pollution,
    but you don't want landfills to be your only way to dispose of garbage -
    without an incinerator, your dump would keep expanding in size indefinitely,
    since garbage volume increases as your city grows and garbage decomposes quite
    Starting in 1970, you should start adding Recycling Centers. Recycling is the
    "greenest" way to dispose of garbage, so please recycle as much as you can.
    It's a considerable investment, as recycling centers are expensive, and you'll
    need quite a few if your city is big. It's worth it, though. Check the Garbage
    pie graph annually to see if you're recycling as much as possible. If you're
    recycling less than 45% of your garbage, you need to add more Recycling
    Later on, Waste-to-Energy incinerators also appear. These convert garbage to
    usable electricity, preventing landfills from filling up but generating air
    pollution. You can't bulldoze an active landfill, but the garbage will
    decompose over a period of many years if you reduce the amount of garbage
    coming in or if you start disposing of it in other ways.
    You should construct an airport once your population grows to about 100,000 -
    maybe sooner if you don't build many road or rail connections to neighbors.
    Airports won't develop unless they have power, water, and nearby
    transportation. They also need to be big - at least 4x6. If the City Planner
    Advisor says "Airport Expansion Needed," be ready to build more airport space.
    If the "On-Time Flights" statistic drops below 98%, you definitely need to
    expand your existing airport or build another one. You can reduce the need for
    airport expansion by building sufficient road and rail connections to other
    cities. Airports generate a lot of air pollution in the form of noise, so keep
    them far away from residential zones. You may want to build a buffer of Large
    Parks to reduce the air pollution around the airport.
    Urban Planning
    When your city is just getting off the ground, you'll need to decide whether
    you want to build in a tight cluster or in a more spread-out manner. If you
    choose the first option, make sure to at least position your power plant (if it
    pollutes a lot), industrial zones, and garbage facilities a reasonable distance
    from residential (and commercial) areas. Traffic can be a bigger problem in
    tightly-packed cities. If you choose the latter approach, keep in mind that
    you'll initially be spending more on roads, water pipes, electrical lines, and
    police and fire coverage.
    Regardless of the plan you use, remember that all zones need to be within four
    spaces of a road. If you make a 10x10 zone and surround it with a road, the
    inner zones will never develop, as they're too far away from the road. There's
    no clear consensus about the optimal grid size to use, although 8x8 and 12x6
    are two common sizes that use land fairly efficiently.
    Residential, commercial, and industrial zones all come in three levels of
    density: light, medium, and heavy. Higher densities are more expensive to zone,
    but in the long run, they can support larger buildings that generate higher tax
    revenues. Low-density buildings sometimes appear in high-density zones if
    demand is low, but skyscrapers and massive factories never sprout in low-
    density zones. It's also wise to consider your strategic plan when deciding on
    what kind of zones to place - a city full of light residential zones will have
    a much different vibe compared to a city with lots of dense residential zones.
    As for industrial zones, I prefer dense industrial zones over light industrial
    zones. I'd rather have a small number of big factories instead of covering a
    big chunk of my city in ooky light industrial zones.
    The Population Cap
    Are you having a hard time making your city bigger? Is R-C-I demand high? Are
    there plenty of undeveloped zones? Are there no glaring problems with your city
    (like high pollution or crime)? If you answered yes to most or all of these
    questions, you've probably reached your Population Cap. Try adding a few parks
    and reward buildings to increase your Population Cap. You'll probably get a
    surge of new residents. Expanding your airport or seaport will also boost the
    Population Cap.
    There's not much you can do to prevent disasters. Maintaining adequate fire
    coverage helps reduce fire damage, and enacting the Earthquake Resistance
    ordinance can reduce the damage of earthquakes. Reducing unemployment and
    prison overcrowding will help prevent riots from occurring. Otherwise, you're
    at the mercy of the game's random number generator that controls when disasters
    occur... unless, of course, you decide to unleash the disaster of your choosing
    upon your city!
    If a disaster occurs, make sure to put out any fires that start, and remember
    to bulldoze anything that has been damaged during the disaster (unless you want
    your charred empty buildings to remain charred empty buildings forever). The
    ticker on the bottom will often give you a hint when a disaster is about to
    occur. In SimCity 3000, nobody actually dies during disasters, although the
    population will drop if residential buildings are destroyed. Keep in mind that
    the Police and Fire Manual Dispatch options are only useful in riots and large
    fires, respectively.
    Ordinances: Good, Bad, and Expensive
    Those are the three kinds of ordinances. A small number of ordinances are
    unquestionably helpful - notably Tire Recycling, which reduces landfill waste
    and lowers the cost of building roads, and Farmer's Market, which is totally
    free. Other good ordinances include Mandatory Water Meters, Neighborhood Watch,
    and Landfill Gas Recovery. If revenues are favorable, consider Pro-Reading,
    Youth Sports, and Crossing Guards. The Earthquake Resistance ordinance doesn't
    just please bureaucracy; it makes larger buildings appear in your city. A lot
    of the ordinances that become available after 1950 are intended to attract
    clean industry, such as Conservation Corps and Public Access Cable. These
    ordinances may contribute to your city's quality of life, but they are
    invariably very expensive. Many others are of doubtful value, like the
    Paperwork Reduction Act and Youth Curfew. While most ordinances cost money,
    Legalized Gambling and Parking Tickets earn big money but create their own
    problems (crime and discontent).
    The lay of the land has a significant impact on property values and where you
    can build. Proximity to water boosts property values, so other than your
    seaport area, I would put only residential and dense commercial zones near
    bodies of water. The downside of having a lot of water in your town is it gives
    you less land on which to build. Trees don't have as big an impact on your
    city, although they're purported to have a slight positive effect on property
    values and pollution levels. Zoning over trees requires you to chop them down,
    which increases the cost of zoning.
    Large hills and mountains can also boost property values, but building around
    slopes can be tricky. You can't build roads or zones on the sides of hills. For
    that reason, if you want to maximize the amount of buildable space, you'd make
    sure that the entire map is level. Doing so is expensive and is of dubious
    value, though. You could always plant trees on the sides of hills to give this
    area a purpose.
    Here's a problem you might not know about. Raising or lowering a tile of
    terrain destroys the underground subways and water pipes. This happens quite
    frequently, whether you're using the Terrain tools or building something. So
    whenever you change the landscape, check the underground view to make sure that
    you didn't destroy any pipes or subway lines. It doesn't hurt to build some
    redundancy into your pipe system so that there isn't a single point of failure.
    Aura and Property Values
    Every part of town has an "aura" rating, which can be checked on the Aura Map.
    "Vibe" and "image" might be good synonyms for those who don't know what this
    word actually means. Several factors help and hurt aura. Landmarks and parks
    are good for aura; crime and pollution aren't. A high aura (blue on the map)
    boosts land values and helps attract clean industry. Interesting, the casino
    helps aura if you keep crime in check.
    Aura isn't the same as land value, but the two metrics are strongly correlated.
    Basically, aura measures how "nice" your city is, while property value
    determines the size and quality of the buildings that appear in each zone.
    Large, beautiful buildings sprout in zones where property values are high,
    while shabbier structures appear in less valuable areas. Residential and
    commercial properties are strongly affected by property values, while industry
    actually prefers land to be cheap. Property values tend to increase over time,
    but it takes many decades before you'll see a lot of "High" or "Astronomical"
    property values in your city. It's totally OK to have some more affordable
    housing in your city, but if you see nothing but low-value properties even
    after your city has been around for a while, you need to take some steps to
    improve aura and property values - for example, by adding more parks and
    reducing crime and pollution.
    Developing Farms
    It's tough to get farms to appear in your town. In real life, agriculture is a
    nice complement to the economy, especially in small towns, but SimFarmers are
    particularly hard to please. Here are some conditions that stimulate farm
    development: Low pollution, large (8x8 tiles or bigger) pieces of light
    industrial area, electricity, NO water access, low land values, and road access
    on one or two sides. Farms are most likely to develop when they're near the
    edge of the map, where land values are low. I haven't had much luck getting
    farmers to come to my town and stay for any period of time, and since they
    don't generate much tax revenue, I wouldn't go out of my way to attract
    agriculture unless it was for aesthetic reasons (or if you're looking for a new
    Cleaning Up with Clean Industries
    Every mayor covets non-polluting industries, like the Industrial Lab. However,
    it's tough to get clean industries to develop. When your city is young, clean
    industries will be few and far between, but they'll slowly start developing
    after a few decades. Having a high education quotient helps a lot, and you can
    also enact ordinances that stimulate the growth of clean industry. Of course,
    if you're OK with cheating, entering the "NERDZ ROOL" cheat code makes all your
    future industrial development much cleaner.
    Neighbor Deals: Neighborly or Foolish?
    If you connect water pipes or power lines to one or more neighboring cities,
    you may eventually be offered a chance to sell water or power to them (or buy
    water or electricity from them). Additionally, you'll get offers to buy or sell
    garbage if you build a road connection to one of your neighbors. Garbage deals
    come flowing in from all neighboring cities if you construct a seaport.
    If you build the Fusion Power Plant, it might be sensible to sell some of your
    excess electricity. Buying electricity makes sense if you temporarily don't
    have the cash to build a new power plant when brownouts are occurring. Water
    deals tend to be flaky; the other mayors will often accuse you of terminating
    the deal without their consent and demand a penalty, for no apparent reason.
    I'm not a big fan of garbage deals - I don't like the idea of increasing my
    city's pollution, even if I'm getting paid for it. Still, garbage deals might
    be worth a try if you have unused incinerator capacity.
    Another reason why I'm not a big fan of selling garbage capacity, electricity,
    or water is that the financial benefits of the deals are rarely worth the
    additional pollution and the costs of building pipes and electrical lines to
    your neighbors. However, letting other cities use your resources is a good way
    to earn quick cash when your city is young. Consider ending the deal whenever
    the other city wants to increase the terms of the deal (something that happens
    Whatever you do, never, ever get a loan to build a water or electric connection
    to a neighboring city, even if an advisor suggests doing so.
    Building the Easy Way
    If you want to have an easy time with your city, begin a new game and enter the
    first seven codes (see the Cheats section). First build a north/south highway
    and an east/west highway. You might want to level some of the ground to make a
    smoother road (and to help facilitate easier development alongside it).
    Construct four ramps (interchanges) at their intersection. Put a road under the
    highway and connect it to the interstate using some ramps. Along this road
    build your fusion power plant, three recycling centers, and a waste-to-energy
    incinerator. Then use the "Create Surface Water" option to create one square
    tile of water. Then surround it with water pumps, and surround the outside of
    that with trees (to reduce pollution). Build a water treatment plant. Now build
    a "downtown" area. This should be near your river and/or highway interchange.
    Zone a large dense commercial area and build a City Courthouse and City Hall.
    Additionally, add a Stadium. Add the Stock Exchange and University once you
    have some residents. Normally, all that would have cost more than $300,000!
    Isn't that "I AM WEAK" code great?
    Will this game run on my PC? If your computer is running any version of Windows
    newer than XP, the answer is probably no. Older games tend to have trouble
    running on newer operating systems. When I tried to install the game on my
    Windows 10 machine, I couldn't get far into the installation process.
    So if you want to play this game, it's easiest just to buy an old computer that
    runs an older version of Windows, preferably XP. However, if you don't want to
    do that, this game runs properly in a virtual environment. Virtualization is a
    complex topic that has a variety of uses, but basically, it allows you to run
    multiple "virtual" operating systems on the same physical machine. Oracle
    VirtualBox and VMPlayer are two of the more well-known tools for running
    virtualization. Setting up a virtual machine takes a bit of technical know-how,
    but it's not rocket science either. Better yet, it's totally free - if you have
    a valid license for Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can download a Windows XP
    virtual machine directly from Microsoft's Web site.
    Keep in mind that you may need to tinker with the game settings to get the best
    experience in a virtual environment. The opening scene might not play
    correctly because of DirectX issues, and you may need to disable certain
    in-game animations under the Preferences menu.
    Miscellaneous Stuff
    * Save often! Frequent saving helps protect you from natural disasters, random
    sharp dips in population, and your own mis-clicks. Save your game at the start
    of every year and before making a significant expenditure of money.
    * Remember that a certain degree of randomness applies in SimCity 3000. You can
    save your game, run the simulator for a month, and the population may go down
    by 1,000 people. Then, if you reload your game from where you saved, you can
    run the game for another month and the population might go up. Other indexes,
    like health and education, might go down a point or two simply because of
    demographic shifts. Small fluctuations are completely normal in this game, and
    they're not a sign that you're doing anything wrong. Pay attention to the short
    term, but focus on the long term.
    * Borrow money only as a last resort. Loans are best in small but growing towns
    where demand is high but cash flow is low, especially when you need a new power
    * Having water available to a location reduces flammability.
    * The advisors often provide useful advice, but remember that people like this
    (as in real life) tend to be self-serving; the advisors usually want more money
    for their department than they really need. It's totally OK to go against the
    advice of an advisor or petitioner - after all, it's impossible to please
    * Residential and commercial zones near power lines will have slightly reduced
    property values. However, remember that you can build zones over power lines
    and thus do away with them, since zones carry power the same as electrical
    * SimCity 3000 is a complex, processor-intensive game. If your game runs
    slowly, there are three things you can do:
      1. Stick with smaller city sizes, although this will reduce the amount of
      ground you have to work with.
      2. Get a newer, faster computer or upgrade your existing one.
      3. Defragment your computer's hard drive. The third option is often
      surprisingly effective.
    * Maybe if more people played this game, there wouldn't be such a federal
    budget deficit, and maybe people wouldn't owe tens of thousands on their credit
    * Water Tower Advertising and Bridge Tolls are the two ordinances cut from
    prototypes of the game.
    * There are no "real-time events" in this game - the Great Depression, World
    War II, Vietnam, and so forth.
    * There are several patches available for this game. The main patch upgrades
    the game to Version 1.1 and enables you to use the Building Architect Tool with
    it. It might fix a few glitches as well, but I'm not positive. Other mods
    include additional landmark buildings, and there are other cities and landforms
    you can download. All of these are fairly easy to find with a quick Google
    search - I won't post the URLs here since some of the old sites are dead.
    Rewards Buildings List                                         [REWB]
    Here's a list of Rewards buildings, along with the conditions necessary to
    obtain them:
    Mayor's House                 (pop. 5,000)
    Lighthouse                    (pop. 15,000)
    City Hall                     (pop. 20,000)
    County Courthouse             (pop. 25,000)
    Historic Statue               (pop. 35,000)
    Military Base                 (pop. 80,000)
    Theme Park                    (pop. 80,000)
    Medical Institute             (pop. 80,000, Year 2000 or later)
    Defense Contractor            (Military Base in city)
    Performing Arts Center        (pop. 100,000)
    Country Club                  (pop. 125,000)
    Stock Exchange                (pop. 200,000)
    Geyser Park                   (35 or more park tiles)
    University                    (Education quotient higher than 105)
    Science Center                (EQ higher than 135, Year 2000 or later)
    Spaceport                     (At least 50 airport Tiles, Year 2050 or later)
    These gift buildings offer an array of benefits, including increased property
    values, improved aura, and economic growth. Keep in mind that some of them cost
    money to build, such as the Lighthouse and Geyser Park. The Military Base can
    attract crime and pollution, but it's generally a worthwhile addition to your
    There are a few other buildings that are more questionable. The Maximum-
    Security Prison brings money to your town, but it hurts aura, and there are
    other ways small towns can generate income. Malcolm Landgraab Industries
    pitches a variety of dodgy business deals. The Defense Contractor is a decent
    complement to the Military Base. However, the Gigamall hurts commercial demand
    elsewhere in the city, and the Casino is a magnet for protesters and prevents
    you from repealing the Legalized Gambling ordinance while it's in your city.
    The SimCity 3000 Unlimited version of the game includes a few additional
    goodies like the Christmas Park and Haunted House. They're not available in the
    original release of the game, however, and they're not mentioned anywhere in
    the game's internal operating files (the ones I used to create the text dump).
    Cheats, Codes, and Glitches                                    [CCAG]
    As you've probably discovered, getting a city started isn't very easy. However,
    you can make it a lot easier by entering a few secret codes. Playing with these
    codes is a lot of fun, but I recommend playing your first couple of cities
    without using them, especially the I AM WEAK code.
    To use these codes, hold down Shift, Ctrl, and Alt, and then press C, assuming
    you're using a Windows keyboard. A bar will appear at the top of the screen,
    and that's where you can enter the codes. Remember that you'll have to re-enter
    each code every time you load a city. These codes are case-insensitive; it
    doesn't matter whether or not they're capitalized.
    Cheat Codes
    I AM WEAK: Lets you do almost anything for free! You can build almost anything
    and change the landscape without paying a simoleon. Just remember that you
    still have to pay annually for the maintenance of things like roads, schools,
    and police stations. For some reason, bulldozing will still cost money.
    GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT: Enables you to use garbage disposal facilities that
    haven't been invented yet! If you're starting a city in 1900 or 1950, make sure
    to use this code to construct a Waste-To-Energy incinerator and some recycling
    centers. Better yet, if you use the "I AM WEAK" code, you won't have to pay
    anything to build them.
    POWER TO THE MASSES: Gives you the ability to build any kind of power plant you
    want, no matter the year. Use this code to get one of those awesome fusion
    plants. With "I AM WEAK," you won't even have to pay up! Once you have a fusion
    plant, build power line connections to all your neighbors so you can charge
    them to use your electricity. You'll have more than enough to go around.
    WATER IN THE DESERT: Lets you build water-related facilities that don't exist
    in your year. This code isn't quite as useful, but it's a wise idea to
    construct a water treatment plant or two early on.
    NERDZ ROOL: Here's a nice code. When you enter this, all your industrial zones
    will develop into clean industries. When used in conjunction with "POWER TO THE
    MASSES" code's fusion plant, you can cut pollution down to 1 or 2 on the graph.
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS: Reduces traffic.
    PAY TRIBUTE TO YOUR KING: This lets you access all of the Rewards and
    Opportunities buildings, even though most of them only appear after you meet
    certain population landmarks. Some of them, like the Medical Research
    Institute, are very useful.
    LET'S MAKE A DEAL: This gives you the opportunity to select from a number of
    business deals.  Just remember that while these deals usually give you money,
    they often hurt aura and cause pollution problems.
    CALL COUSIN VINNIE: When you enter this, a shady-looking petitioner named
    Vinnie (not related to the author) shows up, asking if you want him to give
    you a lot of money. If you accept, your treasury will receive an extra
    $100,000! Otherwise...
    ZYXWVU: You'll have a chance to enter this code if you say no to Vinnie's
    solicitation to engage in money laundering. You'll then be able to build a
    special castle.
    I LOVE RED TAPE: Weird. This sets the game date back to January 1, 1900. I
    don't know why you would want to do that.
    SALT OFF: Turns all your ocean water into fresh water.
    SALT ON: The reverse of "salt off."
    TERRAIN ONE UP: Raises your map by one meter. It destroys all buildings and
    everything else.
    pretty much does the same thing as the last code.
    UFO SWARM: Makes the UFO disaster appear, but this time there will be more
    flying saucers than normal.
    THE BIRDS: Makes a lot of birds appear.
    LOAD TERRAIN <filename>: Lets you use a grayscale bitmap image as your city. It
    overwrites any existing things in your city.
    FORCE <advisor> TO SAY <text>: This code causes the specified advisor to say
    the given text. Replace <advisor> with the advisor's first name. For example,
    use Moe for the Transportation Advisor or Mortimer for the Financial Advisor.
    Valid names are Mortimer, Moe, Constance, Karen, Maria, Randall, Gus, and
    Bottom Line Shenanigans
    There are a number of other codes that make the bottom line say silly (sillier
    than usual) messages. Again you have to use the Shift-Ctrl-Alt-C cheat box.
    ADVISERS: Mayor Under Investigation For Possible Embezzlement
    BAT: Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da BAT-Man!
    BROCCOLI: Sorry. Money Doesn't Grow On Broccoli
    EASTER EGG: Duo Ragazzi's Easter Egg Palace: Old World Charm In A Post Modern
    ELECTRONIC ARTS: Not Just Sports Games Anymore
    ERTS: Investment Tip: Buy Low, Sell High
    FUND: FUND Not A Cheat Code, Do Not Type MOREMONEY, It Is Not A Cheat Code
    HELLO: Greetings, Mayor, Your Sims Salute You
    HELP: Dozens Of Hidden News Tickers, Study Reveals; Sims Encouraged To Collect
    Them All And Amaze Friends
    LLAMA: The Llama Is A Quadruped
    MAXIS: Did You Know That MAXIS Spelled Backwards Is SIX AM?
    MAYOR: Mayor <your name> Brings <your city's name> To News Ticker Highlights
    MOREMONEY:MOREMONEY Not Cheat Code, Research Concludes
    MONEY: Money Does NOT Grow On Trees, Study Concludes
    PORNTIPSGUZZARDO: Aha! We Have A Real Pro Here. Try BROCCOLI
    SC3K: Mayor Suspected Of Attempting Embezzlement; Ends In Failure
    SCURK: If You Build It, They Will Come
    SIM: If You Lived Here, You'd Be A Sim
    SIMCITY: Keep Trying, And Maybe You'll Figure It Out
    TICKET: <your city's name> PICAYUNE: The Finest In Scrolling Entertainment
    WILL WRIGHT: What Will He Think Of Next?
    1234: Secret Number Combination Causes Announcement In News Ticker
    SIMON SAYS <text>: <text>
    Choose Your Own Buildings
    Open the Power Plants dialog box and close it using the "X" button. Open
    Rewards and close it. Open Garbage and close it. The Landmarks Dialog will now
    contain every building that can appear in the game. This also removes the 10-
    landmark limit that normally applies in SimCity 3000.
    The Free Water Glitch
    Start a new game and build only one building. Run a pipe from that building to
    a neighbor. Make a connection and wait for them to offer you a water deal.
    Accept the deal, regardless of what the price is. Wait until the end of the
    month. Bring up the cheat box and enter "TERRAIN ONE UP." All buildings will
    disappear, and your deal will seem to be terminated. Build a new water
    connection at the same spot you originally made the connection. When you
    rebuild the connection at that same exact tile, you'll still get water, but
    since the deal has been terminated, you won't be charged for the water supply!
    Version History                                                [VERS]
    I've worked on this guide quite sporadically.
    0.1    Got started. (4/16/07)
    0.4    Did a lot of work through late April and May.
    0.6    Stopped working for a while. (6/3/07)
    0.7    Added cheats. (6/22/07)
    0.8    Revived work on my guide. (12/3/07)
    0.9    Cleaned things up. (12/4/07)
    0.95   Added contact information and organized the guide in a suitable ASCII/
           plain text format. (12/5/07)
    1.0    Added more information on aura and traffic. (12/10/07) (35 KB)
           Submitted guide to GameFAQs and Neoseeker.com. (12/11/07)
    1.1    Fixed a few errors and improved formatting. (7/10/08, 3/3/09) (41 KB)
    1.2    Made some improvements to formatting and worded a few things a bit
           better. I also added a note about density. (11/7/15) (45 KB)
    1.21   I forgot to talk about education and health. (11/8/15) (49 KB)
    1.3    Added more things, including information about game compatibility,
           patches, taxation, unemployment, electricity, and terrain. I also added
           new tips and improved the flow and organization. (11/13/15) (67 KB)
    1.31   Fixed a silly mistake that no one will notice. (11/18/15) (67 KB)
    Copyright                                                      [COPY]
    (c) 2007-2015 VinnyVideo. All rights reserved.
    All trademarks mentioned in this guide are property of their respective
    You can post this guide on your Web site as long as you give proper credit to
    VinnyVideo and you don't change anything I wrote. The latest version of this
    guide will always be available at GameFAQs and Neoseeker, but don't count on
    there being frequent (if any) updates.
    Contact Information                                            [CONT]
    If you have any questions or comments about this guide, send an e-mail to
    VHamilton002@gmail.com. A few things to keep in mind:
    * Do include "SimCity 3000" in the subject line.
    * Do send polite suggestions for ways to make this walkthrough better.
    * Do send information about any glitches, tricks, or codes you find.
    * Do ask any questions you have about SimCity 3000 gameplay. I will answer them
      eventually if you follow all of these guidelines.
    * Do make a reasonable effort to use decent spelling and grammar, usage, so
      that I can understand what you're trying to say.
    * Do use patience. I check my messages quite sporadically.
    * Do not send spam, pornography, "flaming," or profanity. Don't be a jerk.
    Check out the full list of VinnyVideo FAQs at my GameFAQs contributions page:
    Also, you can connect with me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VinnyVideo

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