SimCity 4 (PC)
Full Strategy Guide

Document written by PyroFalkon (pyrofalkon@hotmail.com)
Latest Update: 1 November 2003
Current version: 1.2a



+---------------+
|+-------------+|
||LATEST UPDATE||
|+-------------+|
+---------------+

v1.2a (1 November 2003)
It's been nearly a year, but unfortunately my site is down for the count. 
Luckily, IGN has decided to host my FAQs too, so it's all good. A new copyright 
notice is the only change.



+-------------------+
|+-----------------+|
||TABLE OF CONTENTS||
|+-----------------+|
+-------------------+

PART 1: INTRO
=============
 1. Intro
 2. Changes from SimCity 3000
 3. Claiming Your Land

PART 2: MAYOR MODE BASICS
=========================
 4. What Do These Buttons Do?
    a. Landscaping
    b. Zones
    c. Transportation
    d. Utilities
    e. Civic Buildings
    f. Bulldozer
    g. Dispatch
    h. Everything Else
 5. Getting Started
    a. Infrastructure
    b. Recon
    c. Expanding
 6. Small Towns
 7. Medium Cities
 8. Metropolises and Beyond
 9. The Peanut Butter Point
    a. What To Do About It
    b. An Alternate Method
10. My Sim Mode

PART 3: REFERENCE
================
11. Power Plants
12. Ordinances

PART 4: STRATEGY
================
13. Zones
    a. Residential Zones
    b. Commercial Zones
    c. Industrial Zones
    d. General Zoning Advice
14. Education
15. Transportation
    a. Streets and Roads
    b. Highways
    c. Mass Transit
    d. Bridges and Tunnels
    e. Seaports and Airports
16. You Are Not Alone
17. Reader Strategies

PART 5: GOD MODE
================
18. God Mode Tools
    a. Landscaping
    b. Winds and Global Changes
    c. Reconcile Edges
    d. Disasters
    e. Day/Night Cycle
19. God Mode Strategies and Effects

PART 6: FAQ STUFF
=================
20. Contributors
21. Version History
22. Copyright Info
23. Contact Info



======================================================
|                    PART 1: INTRO                   |
======================================================

This part of the FAQ introduces itself, along with a few of the changes to the
SimCity universe.



+----------+
|+--------+|
||1. INTRO||
|+--------+|
+----------+

Welcome one and all to my FAQ on Maxis's latest and greatest city building sim,
SimCity 4!

You've come to this FAQ because you want info and/or strategies. Maybe you want
to submit your own, which I hastily accept! For those of you familiar to my
FAQs, you'll know that that's exactly what I provide. I won't go into history
lessons on the franchise or company. I won't repeat the manual. I won't tell
you how to click the mouse.

What I will do is provide thorough, tested, reliable information. I will
provide humor here and there so this isn't a boring read. I will do my hardest
to please not only you on an informational standpoint, but an entertainment
standpoint. As my motto says, games are supposed to be fun, so why should the
FAQ be as well?

This first part, the intro, will be short. Although I do like providing humor,
I agree that too much fluff makes people irritated at the author. I strive to
strike the balance; feel free to write me and report on how well I did.

Finally, if you have ANYTHING to contribute or correct, please e-mail me. Even
if I misspelled the word "the" as "teh" in my 158th paragraph, feel free to
write me. I won't be offended, as long as you're civil.

All right, let's get this sim party started!



+------------------------------+
|+----------------------------+|
||2. CHANGES FROM SIMCITY 3000||
|+----------------------------+|
+------------------------------+

SimCity vets need to take a look at this. I stress NEED. There's a lot of stuff
that's been changed, and the more info you have going into situations, the
better. SimCity rookies can just ignore this section entirely.

By the way, I'm ignoring the simple stuff like graphics and audio and other
ambient effects that always go with sequels.

+-------------------+
|Change 1: Neighbors|
+-------------------+

I believe that the biggest change of all is the difference in the way
neighboring cities are handled. No longer do you start your city with four
surrounding cities. This time, YOU HAVE TO BUILD THEM ALL. This has major
impact in strategy. No longer can you rely on a quick influx of cash by
building a huge landfill and getting garbage from neighbors. You'd have to
start one city, save it, exit to the main screen, start a new city on one of
the original's borders, and go from there.

+----------------+
|Change 2: Budget|
+----------------+

Your budget is now calculated MONTHLY, not yearly. That seriously changes a
bunch of strategies. I used to splurge and wipe my bank clean in the first
year, letting the sudden influx of people and such get me a large income for
the next year. That's no longer possible.

This also helps speed the game up. You won't be waiting for 10 or more minutes
for a year change just so you get enough scratch to build a darned bus stop.

+------------------------+
|Change 3: Neighbor Deals|
+------------------------+

You can now initiate a neighbor deal. It's less ceremonial than it used to be;
it's now a simple option from the budget screen. More on that later.

+--------------------+
|Change 4: Tile Radii|
+--------------------+

In SimCity 3000, zones would grow if they were within three tiles of a road.
Now, residential and commercial sections have to be directly next to roads.
Industrial zones, on the other hand, can be up to EIGHT tiles away from a road
and still develop, provided that SOME part of the industrial zone is directly
touching a road. That is, you can build one section of road, then make a 1x8
section of industrial zone, and have it all grow.

+-------------------------+
|Change 5: Resident Wealth|
+-------------------------+

It used to be that the denser the building for any zone, the more you got out
of that building in terms of population and taxes. Not so anymore. A large
building could house several hundred people, but they all work dead-end low
jobs.

People and businesses are now classified into four categories: poor,
middle-class, and wealthy. Generally speaking, the most wealthy buildings will
house the most people or jobs, but that's not a set-in-stone rule.

+---------------+
|Change 6: Taxes|
+---------------+

You now have much greater control of taxes, especially since the new class
system has been implemented. You can now independently set taxes for poor
residents, middle-class residents, and wealthy residents; poor businesses,
middle-class businesses, and wealthy businesses; and poor industries,
middle-class industries, and wealthy industries. In addition, taxes can now be
set to the tenth of a percent. This lets you fine-tune taxes and give much
subtler changes in the economy.

+-----------------------+
|Change 7: Shared Demand|
+-----------------------+

Another big change is the fact that adjacent cities share the RCI meter demand.
If a city is a bustling metropolis, there may be high farm demand. You can make
a neighboring city nothing but a farm town, then connect the two via a highway
or road. The big city's people will be happy with the number of farms, and the
little town will be happy with the bigger city attractions.

+-------------------------------+
|Change 8: Additional Structures|
+-------------------------------+

New power plants and other city structures became available only after so much
time had passed. That's been done away with in favor of a prerequisite system.
For example, a new town is not going to be able to build a nuclear power plant.
Almost all of the new structures have their requirements shown, but I'll list
them in the FAQ anyway so you have the info at your fingertips.

+--------------------+
|Change 9: Hyperlinks|
+--------------------+

Your advising staff is still around, but now they're way more helpful. They'll
report on individual buildings that are causing problems, and in their report
will be Internet-esque hyperlinks. For example, I commonly build too many bus
stations, and often my transportation advisor will say, "This bus stop is just
not making a profit," with the word "This" linked. Clicking "This" centers the
screen directly on the offending building, where I can take action to do
something with it.

+------------------------+
|Change 10: Local Funding|
+------------------------+

You are no longer forced to change the funding of all the buildings of one
type. If one school is in a remote part of town, you can individually adjust
its funding to accommodate its reduced enrollment.

+---------------------+
|Change 11: Game Start|
+---------------------+

All cities start with $100,000 on the year 2000. You do not select your city
size the same way either, but more on that later as well.

There are many more changes to SimCity 4, but none are as important, in my
opinion. I'll get to the specifics as needed.



+-----------------------+
|+---------------------+|
||3. CLAIMING YOUR LAND||
|+---------------------+|
+-----------------------+

Hail, O young mayor! I see that you have that look in your eyes... you want to
construct a fantastic city, one that is the envy of all the world! Of course,
whether you want to build in order to mother it or destroy it is up to you. But
either way, all cities start the same way: grabbing a hunk of earth.

The game has no formal title screen. Instead, you're thrown to the region
screen. This is SimNation, a big huge plot of land that represents not one
city, but a county, or state, or country, whatever you want it to be. See all
those gray borders? Every single box is one place where a city can go. Yeah,
regions are that big.

You could spend your entire SimCity career without touching the land, and
that's fine. I was itching to get in the driver's seat and start building
skyscrapers, so I ignored God Mode and such entirely for awhile. Assuming you
think like that, I'm touching on Mayor Mode first. That's where you'll be
spending most of your time anyway.

In the very top-left corner is a compass. Notice that north is to your
upper-right, but it's not at a perfect 45-degree angle. This gives you a rather
unique view, one you may curse at until you get used to it.

There are four buttons at the top. The one on the left is the Region View
options. Here you can turn the grid lines on and off, as well as show or not
show the city names. You can also create a new region from here, load an
existing one, or nuke your present one off your hard drive.

The second button is only useful if you're on the Net at the same time. It's a
shortcut to connect you to the official SimCity website, or to a site where you
can exchange regions and cities.

The third button is your quit button. You're not ready to finish already, are
you?

The fourth button is your options button, where you set the more mundane things
like graphics details and audio volume, along with a few game assists.

In the bottom-left corner is the name of the region that's loaded, along with
its mass population.

All right, now that you've got all that down, it's time to get your grass. I
personally recommend that you make a new region (set it to grass), so you have
a clean slate to work with. Your first town (and any other experimental towns
or testing towns) you make should be on paper-flat land with no water. That
gives you the most room to work and gives your sims far fewer problems from the
outset. Also, by making a region and giving it your own name, it customizes and
personalizes your playing experience. I'm big on stuff like that.

Once you have a new region or choose to stick with what's loaded, take a look
at the borders. Notice all the different sizes you can choose. Like a lot of
spam e-mail makes you believe, size does matter. However, unlike that same spam
e-mail states, bigger is not always better. A huge plot of land can get eaten
up pretty quickly, and it's quite easy to get carried away in this game. The
smallest plots don't provide much room, especially to learn the game, so go
with the second-smallest plot for now.

Once you click a plot, you're given a few options. If you had clicked an
existing town, it would give a population, service, and job count, along with
the town name and city funds. You can also remove it permanently from memory.
For a new town, you have the option of importing a town you downloaded, or just
starting from scratch. Obviously, we're starting from scratch here, so hit that
play button.



======================================================
|            PART 2: MAYOR MODE BASICS               |
======================================================

I debated with myself about whether to start out talking about God Mode or
Mayor Mode first. I decided that if you're here, you MIGHT want help with God
Mode, but you WILL want help on Mayor Mode. Considering that you could ignore
God Mode entirely and be all right, it made my decision easier.

I write the rest of this document with the SimCity rookie in mind. If you're a
SimCity 3000 vet, you could skip a bunch of this, but it really would be best
to read it, or at least skim it. I'm a SimCity 3000 vet myself, and I sure
could have used this info back when I started.



+------------------------------+
|+----------------------------+|
||4. WHAT DO THESE BUTTONS DO?||
|+----------------------------+|
+------------------------------+

As I said before, I debated with myself and decided to pretend that God Mode
doesn't exist for now. Initially, once you claim land, you can alter it to any
way you see fit. For now, though, just click the second button in the big
three, the one with the top hat and rolled-up paper. It will prompt you for a
city name and mayor name, along with a warning that you can't alter the land
anymore beyond small (and expensive) changes. That's fine for now. Fill out the
required info, then hit OK. Just to note, your Mayor Name will stick. Any city
you make in the same region hereafter will have the same Mayor name as a
default. It's still changeable, of course.

Okay, you're in the game now. Fireworks light the sky, marking the debut of
your term in office! Where to start, where to start?

On the left side of the screen are the mayor's tools. These five huge and two
tiny buttons together mark everything you can build and zone. I'll go over them
in detail, but I will not give details to the individual buildings... that
comes in a later section.

I won't go over the finer points of things... this is just button and tool
explanations. We'll get into the strategies soon.

+---------------+
|4a. Landscaping|
+---------------+

The first big button of the group of five is the landscaping tool. Though you
have left God Mode, you can still raise and lower the land as you see fit.
However, it's pretty expensive, and completely unnecessary for your first town.
Something that does have value though is the tree planter. Throw down a few
trees here and there to suck up pollution and generally make your city a
prettier place to live. Of course, that too costs money, so don't go nuts.

+---------+
|4b. Zones|
+---------+

The bread and butter of the city, zones are areas that you designate to contain
certain buildings. The zones are divided into three major categories:
residential, commercial, and industrial. Residential zones are where homes are,
where your happy little sims eat, sleep, and poop on a daily basis. Commercial
zones are places of business or office space. Industrial zones are where things
are made or manufactured.

Zones are further divided by densities. Generally speaking, the higher the
density, the wealthier the citizens or businesses that move in, which attract
more taxes. However, that's not a hard and fast rule, and you'll kill yourself
if you try building high-density things from the outset. Besides, you can
always re-zone later without destroying existing buildings.

Light residential zones are places for tiny homes, such as trailer parks or
shabby apartment buildings. The taxes you generate from here are smaller than
other places, but the sims will be pretty undemanding, so you can stick them in
high-crime areas without losing too much business. Medium residential zones are
where most of you probably live, in middle-class homes. These typically have
nice gardens and other accommodations, although you pay for it by having to
provide schools and other essential services. The high-density residential
zones hold buildings that kiss the sky, whether that means they're skyscraping
hotels, or mansions that people like Bill Gates live in.

Light commercial zones are for local businesses. These include things like
local donut shops, auto stores, ice cream parlors, fast food joints, and the
like. Medium commercial zones contain small corporate shops, such as Wal-Mart,
K-Mart, Radio Shack, or Best Buy. They also house small office buildings. Dense
commercial zones hold malls and offices that touch the clouds.

Industrial zones are a little different. The first zone type is agricultural
zones. Unlike the other industrial zones, this can be as big as you want it to
be. Agricultural zones are nothing but farms that employ few people. They give
off no pollution, but they also pay NO TAXES. Do not build farms if you're
looking for money.

Medium-density industrial zones are mostly dirty industries. There are horribly
polluting industries like resource gatherers, toxic waste dumps, and other
nasty places. They pay a bit in taxes, but you'll be spending a lot of that
money on ways to combat the crime and pollution that come with it.
Manufacturing industries, like car shops, exist in some medium-density zones as
well. These pollute, but not nearly as bad, and they pay more. The most dense
zones accommodate high-tech industries. These don't pollute but do produce vast
amounts of money for your coffers. Maxis, EA, Microsoft, and such would be in
high-tech zones.

+------------------+
|4c. Transportation|
+------------------+

People hate walking, and so do sims. We're in the year 2001 and beyond for
SimCity 4, so gone are the days of dirt roads and horses. Instead, we've got
cars and subways!

The top button of the transportation tier is asphalt options. You can build
roads, bus stops, and--new to the SimCity series--streets.

Roads are your basic to-and-from route. These are two-lane roads and can handle
a fair amount of traffic. Streets are a much weaker version of roads, but
that's not necessarily a bad thing. The pavement just outside your house is
probably a street, one that cars don't travel on too much. There may not even
be a line painted down the center of it. Streets are good to get isolated
neighborhoods to the main streets. However, the speed limit is less here, along
with its capacity, so don't use streets to link major places. Don't be afraid
to make streets, however; you can always upgrade them to roads later by
painting over them with the road tool.

Bus stops are where your sims BOARD busses to go to other parts of towns.
Notice I said BOARD... your sims can get off busses anywhere they darn well
please. You do NOT need to put a bus stop at a destination. Buses cut down
traffic, so unless you put them along busy roads and intersections, they won't
do too much.

The second button of the transportation tier allows the construction of
highways. These beefy boys are six-lane elevated roads designed to get sims
from point A to point B with optimal speed and minimal stops. You need to
connect highways to roads, and to do that requires one of the two available
on-ramps. Highways can also be linked to each other via a cloverleaf. Highways
need their own section, and it's much later in the document.

The third button lets you ride the rails. You can place down double-wide
tracks, but trains won't run without train stations. Stations, it goes without
saying, must be directly next to tracks to work. Unlike bus stops, you have to
build train stations everywhere you want the train to stop, so you'll have to
do some planning to get it to work. You can also build freight train stations,
which carry goods to and from the city, but that's an advanced strategy that we
don't need to deal with at the moment.

The fourth button allows you to build subways. These as you may know are
passenger-only trains. They're underground, so they won't take up valuable
land. They are quite expensive however, especially considering that you need a
stop at every place you want the sims to go. Small cities don't even need to
consider them.

The fifth button allows you to build an airport. Airports bring massive demand
to your city because of the tourists and/or businessmen aboard. Again, it's not
necessary to worry about it for a small city. Airports are a fixed size, unlike
they were in SimCity 3000.

The sixth and last button lets you build a seaport. Again, seaports help
commercial and industrial demands. They need water to work, so if you took my
advice and started a new region without water, you won't be using them for now.
Like airports, they're a fixed size, and they're pretty darn expensive.

+-------------+
|4d. Utilities|
+-------------+

This ain't the stone age. People want TVs and computers, and they need some
place to power those computers.

The first button lets you build a large variety of power plants, along with
power lines to link the plant to your zones. Most of the power plants are
grayed out for now because they have prerequisites that go with them, and
obviously as a young city you don't have much going for you. Explanations of
the plants come later.

The second button lets you build water structures. There's not much there, and
we'll go into more details when water becomes important. Until then, your sims
can suck water out of the ground after it rains.

The third button is for garbage disposal. The quick and dirty (literally) way
to deal with trash is to zone for landfills the same way you zone for other
things. You can also build incinerators to burn trash, though that gets
expensive and stinky. You could also get a waste-to-energy converter to make
trash into electricity. Finally, you can plop down a couple recycling centers
around the city and hope your sims save a tree.

+-------------------+
|4e. Civic Buildings|
+-------------------+

Civic buildings are generally administrative. They have specific sizes and
uses, and require some planning to be used effectively.

The first button lets you slap down a few police stations and jails (sorry, no
donut shops). You can go with small stations at first, but soon the crime will
be a little too large and will need a bigger place to deal with things. All
stations have small internal jails, but those will quickly fill up, so you need
to build jails eventually to keep criminals behind bars and off the streets.

The second button is your fire department. Again, you can make a little station
that serves a neighborhood or two, but large cities need large stations.

The third button is your educational department. Schools come in three major
varieties: elementary schools for the kids, high schools for the adolescents,
and city colleges for the young adults. Education is pretty expensive, so make
sure your other needs are suited to first. You can also build libraries and
museums here, which assist adults and senior citizens from getting stupider
than rocks.

The fourth button of the civic buildings tier is for the city's health. You can
build tiny clinics, or decent hospitals. You'll also eventually be able to
build a disease research center, which assists your other health buildings in
extending your sims' lives.

The fifth button is real-world landmarks that help attract tourists and
businesses to the town. Unlike in SimCity 3000, these cost, and some are
astronomical in price. You can only have one of each per town.

The sixth button gives you access to rewards... once you meet the requirements,
anyway. You can also build business-deal buildings such as casinos and malls,
although those aren't listed initially.

The seventh and final button is where you can build recreational buildings and
sites. Green cities make the environmentalists happy, especially because they
cut down the pollution poisoning the city.

+-------------+
|4f. Bulldozer|
+-------------+

The first of the smaller buttons is the bulldozer. This is your destruction
tool, used for taking out trees, buildings, pipes, power lines, and everything
else in your way. This does NOT remove zones. To do that, go into any tool that
lets you BUILD zones, and you'll get a tool called De-Zone.

+------------+
|4g. Dispatch|
+------------+

In games, "dispatch" normally means "to kill." Here though, it means to send
your police and firemen out to combat crimes and fires. Whenever there's an
emergency, used the options in that to send your boys in blue and yellow to
their targets. In SimCity 3000, there was an emergency siren here as well, used
to warn the city when a tornado or alien attack threatened their lives. It's
been removed, so you don't have to stress about hitting a warning button the
instant disaster looms.

+-------------------+
|4h. Everything Else|
+-------------------+

The buttons under the tools won't be messed with too much, but I'll explain
anyway.

The button on the left re-enters God Mode. However, it's a VERY limited
version. You can start disasters, reconcile the city edges (talked about in the
God Mode section), or nuke the city. If you decide to nuke your city, it's a
PERMANENT decision, so be really careful with that command. You can also enable
or disable the day/night cycle the graphics go through. If you have a dark
monitor, you may want to force the world to stay in the day the whole time so
you can see what you're doing. Doing so will not change the internal clock that
your sims live by.

The middle button takes you to Mayor Mode, with the tools. The third button
takes you to My Sim Mode, which I'll get into later.

Below that is a question mark. That's your query tool. Click that, then click a
building to get some REALLY valuable information about it.

In the very bottom-left corner is a mini-map. There are arrows where you can
rotate it, or zoom in and out. There are also speed settings near there, in
case you want time to fly.

Finally, you have your options button. You can save the city, exit to the
region, exit to Windows, or alter your options.



+--------------------+
|+------------------+|
||5. GETTING STARTED||
|+------------------+|
+--------------------+

Okay, now you know how to at least throw down buildings, so let's start zoning
stuff!

+------------------+
|5a. Infrastructure|
+------------------+

The first thing you need is a power plant, so click the Utilities tool, then
the Electricity button.

As a new city, you have access to only the most basic plants: wind, coal,
natural gas, and oil. This is your first big decision: what are you most
interested in? If you want a clean city, stick with wind or natural gas. If you
just want to get a high population quickly, go for coal.

Whatever you choose, find a nice corner of the map and plop it down. City edges
are absolute, and pollution that spills off your map does NOT enter adjacent
cities. This way you can remove almost half of the building's pollution from
the start. If you chose windmill plants, you'll need several, but if you chose
anything else, one will do.

Now that you've got some power, you'll need to zone land so your sims know what
to build where. Sims, like real humans, have the NIMBY opinion when it comes to
power plants: Not In My BackYard. Do you want to live next to a stinky coal
plant? Neither do sims.

Go a fair distance away from the plant and build your first industrial zone. I
always start with dirty industrial zones to get a solid foundation of the city,
then expand outward. Your industrial zone or zones should be large enough to
support a decent influx of people, but they shouldn't be so large that your
town is flooded with smoke. I normally go with two 8x8 zones that are fully
enclosed with roads (not streets).

Those will go up, but they have no place to give their finished goods. You need
to build some commercial zones, but right now you'll have nothing but tiny
local businesses. Go some more away from the industrial zone in the direction
opposite the power plant, and build a few commercial zones of light density.
Let the computer build streets as it needs to; you can take finer control of
that aspect later, once you get more accustomed to the way things work.

Once that's ready, both the industrial zones and commercial zones need workers.
Build a large number of medium residential zones as close to the commercial
zones as possible on the side opposite the industries. That way, your people
won't be smelling like smoke TOO badly, if at all. Again, let the computer
build streets as it needs to. However, make sure you build roads that connect
all the zones to each other. You'll also need one road that links the power
plant with the rest of the city.

Within a month or three, you should be getting your first people and
businesses! Woo hoo! Let your city run awhile, because you'll have to wait for
things to happen before you can take additional steps. If you're impatient,
speed the game until you have a few hundred or few thousand people.

+---------+
|5b. Recon|
+---------+

A mayor is only as good as his or her information. You need to be provided with
detailed maps and such of situations, and luckily, it's all there for you!

With Mayor Mode active, check out the stuff to the right of the buttons (on the
bottom edge of the screen). You're presented with several things: your mayor
rating, the city's cash, the city's population, the RCI meter, six status bars,
and five tabs that provide information.

Your mayor rating is based on a scale from -100 to +100 that rates your overall
general performance. The six status bars to the right are heavily weighed for
your mayor rating, but it's not that simple of a calculation.

The money and population counts are self explanatory, but the RCI meter is not.
The RCI meter provides you with a GENERAL opinion of the situation of the city.
The taller the bar, the more that zone is in demand. The lower the bar, the
less it's demanded. Bear in mind that no other situation is taken into account:
even if you fill up every square inch of your city's boundaries with something,
the RCI meter will still be active. You can click the RCI meter to get even
more detail about what's hot and what's not, but don't get too dependent on the
details. For example, if nothing but farms are being asked for in the industry
zones, but you don't want farms, just ignore the demands. The sims will have to
deal.

If you did click the RCI meter, then you'll notice that the fifth tab became
active. I'll talk more about it in a sec. For now, click the second tab, the
one with a person. This is your advisor screen. They give frequent reports
about everything in their departments. If their picture is on a green
background, they're happy about things. If the background is red, they're none
too pleased. If it's blue, they don't care one iota either way.

Click on any one of their pictures to get a list of their reports. As a new
mayor, their first reports are just introductory resumes, where they tell you
what they do and what they watch for. As time goes on, they'll make real
reports about different things as they need to.

The third tab of that section takes you to your budget. You're given a simple
chart of your current money, your monthly expenses, your monthly income, and
your projected total after the month ends. Obviously, you want your income to
be higher than your expenses, but young cities will struggle in doing so.

You can get a more detailed look at your budget by clicking the small report.
The screen will expand and show your expenses and incomes, and you can further
go into detail. I'll worry about that later as well. For now, just click the
fourth tab in that group.

This is your data view, or map. You can see various aspects of your city
through this to hunt down problems or see successes. As an example, click the
traffic option. You'll see which roads and streets are more traveled than
others. Red routes mean the path should be upgraded, whether that means
changing a street to a road, or adding bus stops, or something else.

The last tab takes you to a bunch of charts and grafts. This is where you can
get a general breakdown of people or services. Wanna know how your crime rate
compared to five years ago? You can do that here.

Use this information as much as you need to. There's plenty of trouble that can
happen, and the sooner and more you know about it, the better. Don't use it
just to figure out what's wrong, though. See what's right, and make sure you
don't ticker with what's working.

+-------------+
|5c. Expanding|
+-------------+

With the city doing its thing, it's time to start planning for improvements.
Services such as police protection are still not needed, but the time is coming
short. For now, just look to see what can be expanded. Plan out new
neighborhoods, new industrial zones, and new business sectors. Zone them once
you can see them in your head. Don't bother zoning for new places if the ones
you already haven't aren't full. My experience tells me that residential zones
will fill up fastest, so you'll have to be zoning for more houses first.

The only thing aside from zones you'll want to build at this second is a
landfill. Garbage becomes a problem fairly early, so you'll need to take of
that one as quickly as possible. Build a sizeable landfill (one worth about
$1000) near the power plant. Make sure to give it road access as well.



+----------------+
|+--------------+|
||6. SMALL TOWNS||
|+--------------+|
+----------------+

Once your population hits around 500 people, your people will give you a
mayor's house, and will start grumbling about cops and firemen. Not one to be
heartless (especially after the neat gift they gave to you), you need to take
your sims' lives out of your hands and put them in someone else's. Education
isn't much of an issue at the moment, but your sims' safety is. After all, if
they get murdered, who's going to be around to pay taxes?

The first thing you need to build is a police station. Click the appropriate
buttons, then select a small police station. Take a look at it as you drag it
around the landscape. See the big circle around it? That's the range the police
station has access to. It's scalable, so a crime committed two doors away will
have a better chance of being stopped than a crime on the fringe of the radius.
Place the police station in such a way where you can cover the whole town
(aside from the power plant) if you can. The worst crime is probably in the
industrial zone.

I'm sure you have a large amount of money left, so build a fire department now.
Get a small one and place it so it too covers the whole city if possible. Favor
the residential zones if you have to; losing a business won't cut much into
your economy, but losing people will. You may also want to put a second small
fire department next to your power plant. That prevents your plant from
catching flames and exploding, which would result in the loss of power, which
is absolutely devastating this early.

That second fire department does not need to cover its full radius if it's
right next to the plant, so I'll teach you how to make it a little more
efficient. Click the query tool (the question mark near the mini-map), then
click the station. There's a bar that lists its local funding, which is
currently $125 per month. That's way too expensive for a station that has only
one objective, so let's fix that. Click and drag the little box to the left to
lower the building's funding. Notice that the radius shrinks as you do so.
Don't lower it too much, or else the people will go on strike.

By now, your people should be going along smoothly, and your people are ready
for new challenges. You don't have much for kids to do, so build a few parks or
plazas around the town. Unlike previous SimCity games, each rec area costs
monthly, so don't go nuts. About five small parks will do for now.

Kids can't just play, of course. It's time to address the education issue, and
this is where most new cities go down. Build an elementary school, and make
sure you place it so it only covers residential areas. Commercial and
industrial zones don't breed little sim kids, so it would be a waste to put a
school too close to those places.

Once the school is placed, grab your query tool and examine the building. The
radius is determined by the bus fund, and lowering it any will catch up with
you in the end unless you monitor it VERY carefully. The main funding affects
how many students it can hold. For now, lower the funding so the school
accommodates only 10% of your population. That's still probably high, but you
can lower it later.

Speaking of which, there's nothing more to do for now. Let your city run itself
for awhile. Hope for a profit, but know that your large treasury will hold out
for awhile as long as you didn't go crazy with building things earlier. After
about two months, query the school again. You'll get a count of its current
students. Adjust the funding so you can accommodate all the students and about
50 more. If you put in more funding than that, you're just wasting it, and at
this stage, every simoleon counts... especially with schools, where the costs
are so bloody high that you wonder why you bother with it in the first place.
Trust me, though, that education will pay off... you just won't see it in the
short-term.

Sim the game for awhile until you get roughly 1000-1500 people. (If your
population deadlocks before that, you probably have too few residential zones).
Once you hit that milestone, your sims' throats will feel a little too parched.
Fix that by giving up some cash to build a water tower. Water pumps offer more
water, but cost way too much for tiny cities. Choose a site far away from
pollution, or else black liquid will come out of faucets, and I'm not talking
oil.

Once the tower is placed, use water pipes to connect your tower to the rest of
the city. Water pipes have a six-tile radius, so you don't have to cover every
square inch of your land. An old strategy that I used to subscribe to is to
line your roads with water pipes; that way, you can guarantee that every
building is watered. However, since you have a monthly fee for every section of
pipe that is laid in the city, you can't do that anymore, at least not starting
out.

Sometime during this part, you'll probably be offered to build a church and/or
graveyard. They take up valuable land and don't pay taxes, but they improve
your people's morale. As everything, it's up to you; personally, I always build
them.

All right, your sims now have police protection, fire protection, health care,
educational facilities, garbage disposal, and water. Everything is in place to
make your city run... but there's probably one major problem you've got, and it
plagues all young towns no matter how well experienced the mayor is: money.



+------------------+
|+----------------+|
||7. MEDIUM CITIES||
|+----------------+|
+------------------+

With the services in place, you need to start being able to fund those
services. Money is probably a serious issue at the moment, so you need to start
looking for a way to fix it.

For the first step, I'll teach you about a really, really nice tool. Click the
Data View tab (the fourth one in the batch of five), then click the
Desirability category. Here you can see which class of people want which plots
of land. Generally, the low class will be happy anywhere, and the rich class
will only be happy with places provided with services.

If you built your police station, fire department, school, and clinic
relatively close to each other, the land value for the radii is astronomical.
High land values attract richer people, but you can't soak their cash from
their rich little fingers if they have nowhere to live. Spend any remaining
money you have on upgrading your zones. Get any medium-density residential zone
to its high-density cousin by selecting the high-density zone tool and painting
over the residential zones that already exist. You do NOT have to destroy the
current buildings to do this.

Once you've upgraded the residential zones, upgrade your commercial zones as
well. Be aware that you'll need more commercial zones also; your city gets more
and more commercial as the years go by, especially in the early days. Reasons
are explained later. With all that expansion, you cannot neglect your
industrial zones. Expand, expand, expand.

Your city is gaining physical size pretty quickly, so consider upgrading your
fire department and police station to their larger cousins. One large police
station or fire department covers almost an entire city built in the smallest
city size. If you took my advice and are playing on the second-smallest plot, a
large station effectively covers a quarter of the map. Feel free to upgrade
your police station and primary fire department, but you may want to leave your
small fire station that is guarding your power plant. Of course, if you CAN
eliminate it through intelligent fire coverage, feel free. Unlike zones, you'll
have to destroy the original building to replace it with a bigger version.

Avoid upgrading your hospital and school for now. It will just eat up your
money. However, you SHOULD increase their funding if they're running at or over
capacity.



+----------------------------+
|+--------------------------+|
||8. METROPOLISES AND BEYOND||
|+--------------------------+|
+----------------------------+

For better or for worse, the rest of the game is reactionary. I've found that
generally the more you try to make things happen (the Peanut Butter Point
excepted), the worse they get. Don't force the issue; if you're impatient, just
speed up the sim time for awhile.

The goal of the game is whatever you want it to be. Assuming you want a
friggin' large city, then you'll have go slow and steady. From your medium city
that you've got running, expand outward. Try to fully envelop the radii of your
services before seeking out new places to conquer. Keep those land values up,
the rate of expansion down, and you'll have success!

After you get done upgrading your services, you may still find yourself in the
red. Rest assured that it's normal and easy to recover from if you're smart.
Take out a loan, then prioritize zoning or building money-making ventures. The
easiest way to gain cash is through taxes, so keep those zones filled at all
times. Only stop zoning if you're short on cash or there are still empty zones
for you.

Keep tabs on the population by listening to your advisors. They really do know
what they're talking about, although catering to everyone's wishes will leave
you broke. Pick and choose what you believe will be the most effective
strategy, whether that means blitzing for cash, or blitzing for people, or
whatever.

One thing that I've noticed make people more happy than anything is education.
I detail education and its entire role in your city in a later section.



+----------------------------+
|+--------------------------+|
||9. THE PEANUT BUTTER POINT||
|+--------------------------+|
+----------------------------+

In all four SimCity games, there's always been one problem that stumps most
rookies and many vets alike (myself included). Unless you've got a tiny city or
are ridiculously lucky, you will come to a point where the city will simply
stop growing. Your education levels will level out, your hospitials will be
exactly where you want them, all zones will be filled but no more will be asked
for, and you'll be getting a steady income with average-or-less complaints
about tax rates. The city becomes stagnant as far as growth goes; it becomes a
sticky trap, where everyone comes in, no one leaves, but everyone reproduces to
keep everything running like a machine. The stickiness is what I call the
"Peanut Butter Point." Get the pun? Ha ha ha!

A-hem. Anyway, the Peanut Butter Point is deadly, because you may think your
game is over. It seems that if you try to make any additional zones or other
things, no one wants them. If you take stuff away, then you're defeating the
purpose. What's the point of continuing? Of course, you can always start a new
city, but I don't like doing that until every single tile within city limits
has a purpose.

Okay, let's say you've got a good-sized city going. Even if it seems no one is
moving in, you may not have hit your Peanut Butter Point yet. Here's a
checklist...

-Are ALL your schools funded enough to avoid overcrowding?

-Are ALL your hospitals funded enough to avoid over crowding?

-Are ALL your libraries and museums funded enough to give the people what they
want?

-Do you have enough police stations and fire stations to cover your whole city?

-Do you have enough jails so they have room to accomodate more prisoners?

-Is your trash amount under your capacity?

-Are you getting few (if any) complaints on the tax rate?

-Are all zones and buildings powered and watered?

...Those problems are easy to fix. Of course, if you answered yes to those
questions, here's the second (shorter) list...

-Are ALL your zones set to maximum density? (assuming you want maximum density;
farms can't be in areas that dense, of course)

-Do you have an airport complimenting your commercial sector?

-Do you have a seaport complimenting your industrial sector? (assuming you've
got water access)

...If the answer to those questions are "yes" also, then you've hit your Peanut
Butter Point.

+-----------------------+
|9a. What To Do About It|
+-----------------------+

The Peanut Butter Point is not the end of your game; in fact, it's the start of
a whole new set of challenges.

The first thing you need to do when hitting that point is not to panic. In my
rookie days, I used to think that the reason people weren't coming in was
because there was something wrong with my policies. So, I lowered tax rates,
issued more ordinances, built tons of parks, and generally threw in a whole
bunch of stuff to make everyone happy... or so I thought. Between the lowered
tax and new ordinances, though, my money well quickly ran dry.

The question you're asking by now is, how can you make your city overcome that
Peanut Butter Point. A common phrase in comedy and the entertainment industry
in general is "Leave your audience wanting more."

Concentrate on what is RIGHT in your town. There is very, VERY seldom the
perfect city. If you've hit the Peanut Butter Point, it's not because the city
is too  bad, nor is it that your city is too good; it's because there's too
much of a balance between what you have right and what you have wrong. I hate
saying this, but for the sims' own good, the best way to make your city get out
of its sticky trap is to piss everyone off.

Before starting, make sure you have plenty of cash. This method can get a bit
expensive.

Find the best part of town. Just check the map and look for whatever place has
the highest land value and highest city aura. If you have multiple spots, pick
an area that is pretty big, but not the biggest. Call this place "Ground Zero."
Find out why the land value is so high; it's usually high education and low
crime. Grab the keys to your trusty bulldozer, start that MF'er up, and give
the kiddies a permanent vacation from school--break open the jails too, while
you're at it.

I know it sounds crazy, but trust me. Let the city be confused for awhile.
They'll complain and yell about how crappy the town is, but believe it or not,
that's what you want temporarily. Take some money (in your coffers, if you can,
NOT a loan), and go to a new section of town. Start a "new city" over in that
corner. Pretend you're starting a new game, just with an inflated bank account.
Build a new, cheap power plant. Build some zones of all three flavors, use
streets instead of roads, avoid any police or fire coverage, and refuse to give
them any education. Meanwhile, head back to Ground Zero and take out a few
dozen parks or so... Do NOT re-zone or destroy any existing RCI buildings.

After a few months, the city aura and value in Ground Zero will just absolutely
plummet. However, your sims try to move across town before across the nation.
They'll see that new little area you've got developing in the corner of the
map, and they'll take interest. While they're thinking of the good ol' days,
cut off their water.

Back at the new colony, start giving the BASIC services: one elementary school,
one clinic, one small police station, and no fire stations... well, maybe a
small one, if you feel sorry for 'em. You MIGHT already have a few people
coming in, but still not enough to make you get out of your trap.

After that little colony is established, expand it out. Again, pretend it's a
new city; just ignore that big mess of people on the other side of the river.
Build some parks and other recreational areas, and raise the zones' densities
now and then. Once it looks pretty solid, build a road that connects this
little colony to the main city. Get a subway connecting the two also if you can
to make any commuter stupid enough to make THAT trip happy.

People will start to come into the new colony SLOWLY. This is not an instant
method here, it takes some time. But, while you're biding that time, you can
help out other sectors. For example, one thing that's commonly overlooked in
SimCity 4 is your industrial zones' distances to freight access. They like
being close to extra-city connections, especially railroads. If that's not an
option, they want a freight station (linked to a railroad going out of town, of
course) that's very close by. Try to improve that too.

Eventually, the demand will be met for the colony, but because it was smaller
than Ground Zero, there will still be demand for the city as a whole. You may
want to start upgrading stuff around the colony (like bigger police stations
and such), but don't. If you feel the need to give them SOMETHING, let 'em have
water. Otherwise, that's the ghetto of your city; let it suffer for now.

So, to fill the rest of that demand, you need to restore Ground Zero. Work
backwards: give them back water, then parks, then their services. Do it slowly
enough that the area doesn't get flooded, but work fast enough that everyone
forgets the place exists. I find that restoring one part of Ground Zero ever
three to four months works the best. In time, people who moved to the colony
will move back, or the newcomers who started in the colony will move into
Ground Zero. That will free up room in the colony, and it's STILL cheap land
for the poorer classes to afford.

Once Ground Zero is restored, start upgrading the colony to make it a
full-fledged suburb, or maybe a large city of its own. Even before it maxxes
out its borders though, expand as much as you can. The big thing is to keep low
land value areas that are ripe for the poor to live in. This way, you're always
"leaving your sims wanting more." They want better education or whatever in the
new colonies; don't give it to them unless 1) it's all that's left for your
city borders, or 2) you have plenty of low-value area as well.

+-----------------------+
|9b. An Alternate Method|
+-----------------------+

The thing about the above method is that it's risky. If your Ground Zero is the
heart of the city, then everything will end up collapsing, and you may never
recover. It's ridiculously expensive too, because you'll be going on
abbreviated taxes until everything gets restored.

There are a couple more tips I can offer if you don't want to risk the above
technique, or you don't have the cash. This is a little less sure and slower,
but if the sims don't bite, you won't lose nearly as much. The basic thing is
that you still have to force the sims' polygonal hands. There's no Utopia; all
cities can be improved. You have to isolate one part of the city and make it so
damned attractive that anyone who's anyone will want to live there.

Find an area like Ground Zero above, the best of the best districts in your
city. Double-check all its civic buildings and services. Check the roads and
intersections. Check freight times for industrial zones and commute times for
residential zones. Improve the obvious first.

Next, look for ANY spot of yellow on the crime map. It doesn't matter how big
or small. Take out whatever building is on top of the area no matter what it is
and plop down a large police station with $250/month funding. If there's a
region of parks, take them out and try to get in zoos or stadiums or something
instead. Find the corner of the area that's just the SLIGHTEST below maximum
value, take out all buildings directly at the area, and purchase a landmark to
put there. If you put a landmark near that high-value area, especially near the
fringe, then you'll really make people want it.

You can also look to steal people away from other cities. Enact a few tourist
ordinances, give them a year to kick in, then zone and build a colony like I
stated above. The tourists will stop by and see your city, drool over it, and
want to be a part of it. Give them a place to go, and you'll have growth faster
than you can say "Choosy moms choose Jif."

Oh, one more thing. Get rid of any business deal buildings if you can. Large
cities shouldn't need them, and you'll make the general aura of the ENTIRE city
better by tossing them. That alone can do wonders for growth.



+-----------------+
|+---------------+|
||10. MY SIM MODE||
|+---------------+|
+-----------------+

By  clicking the third button in the main group of three (it's to the right of
Mayor Mode--it has a picture of a pair of sims), you can insert a sim into your
city and get one-on-one advice. In theory, this provides you with exacting
detail about one part of town, and you can hear about problems a little sooner
from your little sim than your advisors. Also in theory, if you're lucky enough
to also own a copy of The Sims and any of its five-going-on-six expansions, you
can get even more personalized info.

In practice, the My Sim Mode falls partially short of its goals. Although you
can indeed import your sims from The Sims, any sim is like any other sim. The
ones that ship with SimCity 4 are no better or worse than your own creations.
Also, once you inject a sim into a house, you lose complete control over it,
and can't really dictate what job class or whatnot it chooses.

That's not to say it's totally worthless, though. You still do get sound advice
from your sims quicker than your advisors, and they are a pretty good
representation of their neighborhood. I normally keep about two or three in my
cities to stay on track, though I normally know about their problems before
they tell me.

Anyway, to start off, click the My Sim Mode button. You'll get five empty
portraits; click one to bring up the list of available sims. Your sims from The
Sims aren't on the list at the start. To get them there, click the Import Sims
button, the one that looks like a computer. SimCity 4 quickly scans your The
Sims directory and adds any and all non-Townie sims to your roster. You'll only
have to do this once, unless you make more sims in The Sims and want to move
them in. Select any sim, but be advised that they're only faces and names. A
kid sim will be no different in your town than an adult.

Once you select a sim, you'll get an arrow. Point it to the house you want the
sim to move into. Doing that will immediately make them take on the personality
of the house... if you move them to a rich house, they will have mucho dinero
and high education. They'll take a job based on their class, and you can see
them drive to and from work every day.

You'll get reports on their lives through the main news screen, or you can
click their portrait in My Sim Mode. You can choose to just ignore them and let
them deal with your decisions, or you can actively try to kill their problems
and improve their assets. They'll keep you guessing, sometimes changing
careers, sometimes moving across town... check out their reaction if you
bulldoze their house while they're at work. ^_^

Your sims have lifespans, and once they reach a certain age, they'll kick it.
Luckily, they'll be replaced with a new sim with the same name, just with a
number. (Pyro Falkon's replacement is Pyro Falkon the 2nd, whose replacement is
Pyro Falkon the 3rd, etc.)



======================================================
|                 PART 3: REFERENCE                  |
======================================================

This part of the FAQ deals with a database of power plants, their costs, and
value, along with personal comments. Also is a description of the various
ordinances in the game. However, this section is NOT strategy... that comes
later.



+------------------+
|+----------------+|
||11. POWER PLANTS||
|+----------------+|
+------------------+

Here I list all the power plants alphabetically, their requirements (if any),
their costs, their values, and my opinion on their operation and efficiency.

+----------------+
|Coal Power Plant|
+----------------+

Requirements:
None

Initial Cost:
$10,000

Monthly Cost:
$250

Power Generated:
6,000 MWh

Value:
24 MWh/$1

Comments:
The power plant with the best value is also the dirtiest. Its low monthly cost,
however, and high value make it perfect for young cities. At the beginning,
avoid this one only if you're bound and determined to keep your grass green
from start to finish.

+--------------------+
|Hydrogen Power Plant|
+--------------------+

Requirements:
4,000+ high-tech jobs
30,000+ MWh/month demanded

Initial Cost:
$100,000

Monthly Cost:
$10,000

Power Generated:
50,000 MWh

Value:
5 MWh/$1

Comments:
By the time you CAN build it, you can probably afford it. It's extremely clean
and totally reliable. There are other alternatives, but for its capacity and
cleanliness, you can't get a better deal.

+-----------------------+
|Natural Gas Power Plant|
+-----------------------+

Requirements:
None

Initial Cost:
$9,000

Monthly Cost:
$400

Power Generated:
3,000 MWh

Value:
7.5 MWh/$1

Comments:
Although cheaper than a coal power plant, it makes far less power. Then again,
it's MUCH cleaner, and you can get your people to live just a BIT closer to it.
A nice alternative to coal if you're starting out.

+-------------------+
|Nuclear Power Plant|
+-------------------+

Requirements:
85,000+ overall population
25,000+ MWh/month demanded

Initial Cost:
$40,000

Monthly Cost:
$3,000

Power Generated:
16,000 MWh

Value:
5.3 MWh/$1

Comments:
Nuclear power doesn't pollute much, but there's a chance that the plant will
meltdown, especially if it catches fire. If it does that, it will make a rather
large radius of land radioactive, and you can't do anything with radioactive
land for the rest of the game. Although that's a high risk, if your power plant
is well covered with fire stations, you'll be fine.

+---------------+
|Oil Power Plant|
+---------------+

Requirements:
None

Initial Cost:
$17,000

Monthly Cost:
$600

Power Generated:
7,000 MWh

Value:
11.7 MWh/$1

Comments:
The second-best deal on the market has a high initial price tag. It's cleaner
than coal, so you may want to trash your coal plant in favor of oil once you're
making a large profit.

+-----------------+
|Solar Power Plant|
+-----------------+

Requirements:
3,000+ high-class residents
+55 or better Mayor Rating

Initial Cost:
$30,000

Monthly Cost:
$1,000

Power Generated:
5,000 MWh

Value:
5 MWh/$1

Comments:
Cleaner than your grandma's kitchen, this plant is a reward for having rich
people inhabiting your town. People have little problem living next to it. The
problem is that it's darn expensive for clean power, and one little solar plant
doesn't produce nearly enough power to keep a large town satisfied. Only build
these if you're simply expanding your power, not replacing it.

+---------------------+
|Waste-to-Energy Plant|
+---------------------+

Requirements:
None

Initial Cost:
$25,000

Monthly Cost:
$1,000

Power Generated:
5,000 MWh

Value:
5 MWh/$1

Comments:
A cheaper version of the solar power plant, this type is available from the
start. However, its initial cost is a little high for young cities, and the
pollution it generates is ridiculous. It reduces garbage, but don't look here
for a permanent waste OR permanent energy solution.

+--------+
|Windmill|
+--------+

Requirements:
None

Initial Cost:
$500

Monthly Cost:
$50

Power Generated:
200 MWh

Value:
4 MWh/$1

Comments:
The cleanest form of power is the worst deal. However, windmill plants are
excellent to use if you need temporary bursts of power when you don't have the
money or desire to get a full-sized plant. Unless you want to lose a bunch on
money, don't rely fully on these.



+----------------+
|+--------------+|
||12. ORDINANCES||
|+--------------+|
+----------------+

This is a list of all the ordinances in the game. To access them, click your
budget tab, then expand it, and click the eye beside the City Ordinances line.
They are listed here in the same order as they are on the budget screen.

+------------------+
|Legalized Gambling|
+------------------+

The only ordinance that will actually make money instead of costing it, this
will put a guaranteed $100 in your bank every month. The problem is that it's
not scalable, and once you hit several thousand people, $100 per month isn't
going to be worth much. Still, young cities seriously benefit from it, and it
leads to getting a casino business deal.

+------------------------------+
|Community CPR Training Program|
+------------------------------+

A small amount of money is taken from the treasury to teach people how to
perform CPR. This increases the lifespan of all sims, and it improves their
overall attitude. I recommend it once your city gets going smoothly to assist
your health clinics and hospitals, but not from the outset of the game.

+--------------------------+
|Water Conservation Program|
+--------------------------+

Money is spent to reduce the amount of water all buildings use. Residents don't
have a problem with it, but industries don't like it one bit. This reduces the
industry demand, but seriously increases your water capacity. It comes with a
hefty price tag, though.

+-----------------------------+
|Paper Waste Reduction Program|
+-----------------------------+

Similar to the water conservation program, the paper waste reduction program
cuts down garbage and ticks off industries in the process. Again, don't enact
it if there are industrial zones empty. Use it to support your sanitation
department.

+-------------------+
|Free Clinic Program|
+-------------------+

Places are set up throughout the city to give free medical treatment to your
poorer sims. City-wide health greatly increases at a monetary expense. I don't
like this one, because I prefer to have rich people in my cities who can afford
to go to hospitals. If you have a tiny town, though, you may want to consider
it.

+----------------------+
|Smoke Detector Program|
+----------------------+

This program installs smoke detectors on all buildings. This cuts down on
city-wide flammability, assisting your fire departments. The only downfall is
the cost, which isn't much at all. I recommend you enact this one as soon as
you can.

+--------------------------+
|Neighborhood Watch Program|
+--------------------------+

Your vigil sims will assist the cops in cutting crime in residential zones. Not
too bad of an option, considering its relatively low cost, but I don't normally
use it.

+-------------------------+
|Tourism Promotion Program|
+-------------------------+

This one advertises your city to other cities. More people will come to check
out your town, which adds to your commercial sectors' coffers. This increases
your commercial demand, but can congest your roads when people come to visit.
Also, you should have some good attractions (landmarks or rewards) in your town
before enacting this, or it won't work as well.

+---------------------+
|Junior Sports Program|
+---------------------+

The city funds schools for uniforms and other sports equipment. This cuts crime
because the kids have something to do in the afternoons aside from holding up
7-Elevens, and it increases schools' effectiveness because the kids want to
work hard and maintain good grades to keep their athletic eligibility. This
comes at a mediocre cost to your budget.

+----------------------+
|Power Conservation Act|
+----------------------+

Reduces city-wide power usage, so you get more out of your power plants.
However, this ticks everyone off--especially industries--and comes with a nasty
price tag.

+-------------------------+
|Carpool Incentive Program|
+-------------------------+

This funds little things like carpool lanes and other benefits for sims who
decide to carpool to and from work. This cuts down on road congestion, which
also cuts down on air pollution, especially around main streets. This isn't too
bad of an alternative to busses, though both can be used in tandem for best
effectiveness.

+------------------------+
|Commuter Shuttle Service|
+------------------------+

The city creates and maintains mini-busses to help people get to mass transit
stations like bus stops and train stations. This gives people more of an
incentive to ride mass transit, which reduces traffic and air pollution along
the busiest streets. However, you'll need SOME mass transit in place for this
to work; don't bother enacting the ordinance if you have no bus stops or train
stations.

+-------------+
|Clean Air Act|
+-------------+

This money is used to set standards for air pollution. This will cut down air
pollution from industries pretty well, but it will tick off all dirty and
manufacturing industries. Of course, if your aim is to have a clean, high-tech
city, go for it. The cost is rather steep, but the payoff is worth it once you
can afford it.

+----------------+
|Youth Curfew Act|
+----------------+

All young sims have to be in their homes in the late evening. This highly cuts
crime, but it ticks off every kid in the city. Be careful; it's a good assist
for the police, but you'll have issues with city morale.

+---------------------------------+
|Automobile Emission Reduction Act|
+---------------------------------+

That's a mouthful, isn't it? Enacting this will set standards for cars so their
pollution is reduced. This cuts air pollution to a pretty large degree,
especially around busy streets. There are no negatives aside from the cost,
although this won't cut down on traffic like other ordinances will. Still, I
enact it once I can afford to.

+----------------------+
|Tire Recycling Program|
+----------------------+

This reduces pollution and generally improves city aura and beauty. In SimCity
3000, this also reduced road costs by $1 per section, which REALLY added up.
Sadly, that discount is no longer a part of it.

+-----------------+
|Nuclear Free Zone|
+-----------------+

For a fee, you can declare your city as being nuclear free. This eliminates the
option to build nuclear power plants and toxic waste dumps, but the
environmentalist will be happy, and aura will improve city-wide. This ticks off
the dirty industries, but not to a very large degree.

+--------------------+
|Pro-Reading Campaign|
+--------------------+

This gives assist money to libraries and schools, which improves education. It
does not impact museums.



======================================================
|                  PART 4: STRATEGY                  |
======================================================

Come on, admit it: this is the reason you clicked this FAQ in the first place,
isn't it?



+-----------+
|+---------+|
||13. ZONES||
|+---------+|
+-----------+

Here I'll talk about the different zones and their densities in detail. I'll
also talk about what each type looks for when choosing land.

+----------------------+
|13a. Residential Zones|
+----------------------+

Residential zones come in three flavors: light, medium, and dense. Generally
speaking, as you get more dense, you get a richer populace, but that is not a
rule set in stone.

The light residential zones look for nothing in particular. They just want some
plot of grass to plant their trailers and be happy. The people living in these
houses typically look for jobs in light commercial zones like fast food joints.
You won't get much money from them, but they are your lifeblood at the
beginning of your city's life.

Medium residential zones have small apartments or typical, middle-class houses
like the one you probably live in. Rarely, you'll get a small mansion here too.
Either way, you get a moderate amount of money from them. They hate pollution
and usually require at least one or two of the Big 4 services. Their typical
jobs are middle-paying affairs like secretaries and shift managers.

Dense residential zones house celebrities like Gary Golf in huge mansions or
skyscraping apartment towers. Jobs get as high as CEO of the power plant or
manager of the town. The rich need a lot of their needs attended to, so make
sure you've got ALL of the Big 4 services, plus some recreational areas.
Landmarks and rewards don't hurt either. Any pollution at all will kill the
desire to move in.

+---------------------+
|13b. Commercial Zones|
+---------------------+

Commercial zones come in the same three flavors of residential zones.

Light commercial zones provide local shops. These offer cheap services for
cheap prices, employ cheap people, and pay cheap taxes. You see things like ice
cream parlors and car dealerships here. They will set up practically anywhere,
so long as they're relatively close to customers.

Medium commercial zones hold two types of buildings: offices and business.
Offices employ white-collar workers who are paid a decent amount. Businesses
employ no-collar workers who are paid less than the white-collar, but more than
anyone in light-density zones. They need to be closer to customers to be
inhabited, and farther away from pollution.

Dense commercial zones hold both offices and businesses, too. Your tallest
buildings will probably come from dense commercial zones. Businesses include
malls, which accommodate customers from all classes, and which make absurd
amounts of money that you can tax to death. They've got to be practically on
top of customers, and very far away from pollution. Offices are more picky than
businesses, but you can't control whether businesses or offices inhabit zones.

+---------------------+
|13c. Industrial Zones|
+---------------------+

Industrial zones come in the same three flavors as well, but there's a slightly
different spin on the way the buildings are made and the way taxes are
collected.

Light industrial zones, also called agricultural zones, are areas that you zone
for farms only. Farms, unlike all other zones, can be as big as you want them
to be. They don't employ too many people, but they're pretty and are required
for larger cities (although cities can share that demand, but more on that
later). You get ABSOLUTELY NO TAXES from farms, so if you're short of cash,
don't even consider it. Farms appear once given road access, provided there's
little to no pollution. After they're created, only pollution will shut them
down.

Medium industrial zones can house dirty industries or manufacturing industries.
Both pollute (the former worse than the latter), and neither make a tremendous
amount of money. However, they do employ the largest number of people, no
education required. They produce large amounts of crime, so keep them away from
homes and make sure they are provided police protection.

Dense industrial zones eliminate dirty industries, but manufacturing industries
are still around. However, so are high-tech industries, which are clean and
rich. You'll need very well-educated sims in the city for high-tech industries
to hire, so don't bother with dense industrial zones until your education
program is in full swing. Also, high-tech industries hate pollution, so if you
re-zoned, don't expect any HT industries to move in while black smoke still
hangs over that part of town.

Industrial zones (farms excluded) need two additional things to grow. There has
to be some way for the goods to get from your industrial zones to your
commercial zones and other cities. To do that, you'll need trains. Place a rail
DIRECTLY NEXT TO industrial zones to eliminate the problem entirely. If you
cannot do that, place a rail line anyway, then place a freight train station.
The industries will ship their goods by truck to the freight train station,
which will then in turn carry it away. Be aware that the longer the freight
time, the more ticked off industries will be.

Freight stations, by the way, are arrival-only stops. You do not need to place
them at destinations, so don't, or you'll be losing cash with the monthly cost
for no reason.

+--------------------------+
|13d. General Zoning Advice|
+--------------------------+

Zones need to be directly touching roads to function. Every individual plot of
residential or commercial land has to have road access at its FRONT DOOR
(putting a road at the side of the house only isn't going to help). Industrial
zones can be up to eight tiles away as long as the zone is unbroken and one
part of it touches the road.

Zones expand and grow (in terms of density) when provided with the right
services. If a dense zone doesn't seem to be developing, query it to see the
problem, and try to fix it.

Zones can be re-zoned to something more dense without the buildings having to
be destroyed. Just "paint" over the existing zone with the new one.

One strategy is to use the densest zone type right from the beginning. That
prevents you having to spend additional money on re-zoning later. I believe,
however, that the initial cost of the expensive zone is too great; young cities
won't see the potential of dense zones, so there's no point in building them.
However, that IS just my opinion... if you can get it to work with dense zones
from the outset, no problem.

Young cities favor industrial zones because industries are looking for the
cheap land. As cities grow, they become more self-sufficient, so they favor
more commercial zones. Adjust your zones and zoning techniques as you need to
based on your population.



+---------------+
|+-------------+|
||14. EDUCATION||
|+-------------+|
+---------------+

While we're on the subject of highly educated sims, we should discuss how to go
about getting those little sim brains filled with big sim thoughts. Educational
buildings are divided into four classes: young kids, old kids, young adults,
and adults to old people.

Elementary schools educate the young kids. Each one holds a maximum of 500
students, and they have a radius that represents the bus range (no more
stacking all your schools in one corner of the map like in SimCity 3000). Place
them in the hearts of your residential areas, because no one from businesses or
industries will be heading to school (no child labor in this city, Kathy).

High schools educate old kids. Each holds a maximum of 750 students and
increases young people's EQ as they go through the ranks of school. They also
have a radius, so use the same strategy as in elementary schools.

City colleges and universities help out the young adults. Getting a degree is
one of the greatest feelings in life for a lot of people, and it opens the
doors to higher-paying jobs (which in turn leads to more money you can bleed
from your populace). Colleges hold a maximum of 7,000 students, more than
enough room to hold quite a few generations. Also, the college does not have a
radius since most people will live on campus. Universities hold no students,
but instead act to assist and improve colleges to make their education better.

Local branch libraries and the Main Library let sims of all ages (excluding the
seniors) maintain their education. Libraries are essential to keeping adults
from forgetting everything they learned in college, which could lead to a loss
of job or status in the city. Local branch libraries hold a number of books,
which represent its radius. Main libraries assist the local branches.

City museums and Major Art Museums offer relics of old for the people who
routinely tell kids to get off their lawns. The presence of museums assists the
schools and prevents seniors' brains from turning as mushy as the rest of their
bodies. Don't bother with them until you have a fair number of years behind
you.



+--------------------+
|+------------------+|
||15. TRANSPORTATION||
|+------------------+|
+--------------------+

Here I'll talk about the nuances of bridges and tunnels, along with all other
stuff relating to moving sims from point A to point B.

+----------------------+
|15a. Streets and Roads|
+----------------------+

You know what the best way is to punish a 16-year-old? Take away his keys.

Sims love driving as much as humans do. There are twice as many cars on the
road as there are people if not more, but no one is going to be moving their
gas guzzlers without roads.

Streets are minor, low-capacity and low-speed routes. You probably live on a
street as opposed to a road; the best indication is the presence or lack of a
line painted down the pavement. Streets have no line, because the drivers
should be going slow enough that no one is in danger of hitting anything. Use
streets to connect out-of-the-way neighborhoods to main roads. Streets cost
less, both initially and monthly, so use them when you can.

Roads are the basic route to get sims around. These are medium-capacity and
medium-speed paths, designed as major linking paths between zones. All vehicles
will spend the majority of time on roads, so make sure they're well kept. Any
street you have can be easily replaced with a road by "painting" over it, and
the original street will not have to be destroyed. If you can afford it, I
personally recommend getting rid of streets entirely. It makes transit quicker,
and it's just a little more orderly.

+-------------+
|15b. Highways|
+-------------+

Highways are high-speed, high-capacity monsters that can accommodate huge
quantities of cars and shoot them across the landscape in a matter of moments.
Seldom are highways clogged, unless it's the only route to get between zones.
If given the choice, sims will always take the faster route, so running a
highway parallel to a busy road (or just replacing the road entirely) will
guarantee its usage. Highways are expensive though, so don't bother with them
until you can foot the bill.

To get onto a highway, you need an on-ramp. On-ramps, in short, connect roads
to highways. There's massive strategy to on-ramps because they come in two
flavors and have to be placed on both sides of the road at the arrival AND
destination. That's four on-ramps at least for any given stretch of highway...
although the payoff in low traffic density is worth it.

The two on-ramp types are overpass and side. Side on-ramps let drivers hop from
the road to the highway without slowing, allowing smooth transfers and minimal
congestion. Overpass on-ramps usually force drivers to bottleneck at that
point, but the drivers can get to the other side of the highway by cutting
under it. Your on-ramp choice depends heavily on your zones. If you have the
highway simply as a link between zones, you can get away with a side on-ramp.
However, if there are zones actually AROUND the highway, then an overpass
on-ramp is the best way to go to avoid forcing commuters to taking longer trips
than necessary.

If you have multiple highways, you can link them provided they cross at
90-degree angles. One has to be going north-south, and the other east-west.
Once an intersection is created, use the cloverleaf to combine both into one
super highway. Commuters can hop from one highway to the other with little to
no delay.

+-----------------+
|15c. Mass Transit|
+-----------------+

Cars produce insane pollution. Even with the Automobile Emission Reduction Act
active, a large city will produce many drivers who are all polluting. To combat
that, bring in mass transit, which by definition has many sims using the same
bus or train or whatever to get places.

Busses are the cheapest way to cut traffic. They need to be placed near busy
roads and intersections to be of any use. Sims will board at a bus stop, but
they can get off anywhere, so you don't have to litter your landscape with
stations. Sims don't like walking to bus stops, though, so make sure there are
enough to give sims plenty of places to board. Unfortunately, there's no radius
to help you.

Trains take more passengers than busses, and are faster. They can travel much
farther too, but they cost more. First, you'll need to build rails where you
want the trains to go. Also, unlike busses, you'll need to put a train station
for every place you want the train to stop. Like bus stops, sims don't like
walking, so you'll need plenty of stations to make sure enough people are using
it to make it worth it. Good stop points are in the hearts of residential zones
to the hearts of industrial zones.

Subways are underground trains. They operate like trains in practice, but
they're more expensive. They take more people, though, and are even faster than
trains. They're small, so they won't take as much room as train stations. Best
of all, because the tracks are underground, you can make direct lines to each
station, and you won't be wasting valuable real estate upstairs where it
counts.

If any station of any of the three mass transit types fails for whatever
reason, your transportation advisor will inform you with a hyperlink to the
offending station. He alerts you to the stations that make no profit, which
means, as the game puts it, are black holes of money. Take them out with your
trusty bulldozer to stop losing the cash.

+------------------------+
|15d. Bridges and Tunnels|
+------------------------+

If there's a body of water or a mountain in your way, you have three options.
The first is to go over it, the second is to go around it, and the third is to
go through it.

Mountains can have roads and rails over it, but this will make for a horrible
driving experience, and some trains won't be able to make some climbs. Going
around the mountain is an option, but that can be a long and expensive trip.
The best solution is to just drill through the mountain to make a tunnel,
giving your cars and trains a flat path to zip along.

Bodies of water are similar. Again, you could go around it, but some rivers may
take the length of the map. Build a bridge to get your cars past the
obstruction and get them on their way.

To build either a bridge or a tunnel, first plan on where you want it. They can
get expensive, and you don't want to continually be destroying and re-building
them. Make a strip of road where you want the tunnel or bridge by dragging OVER
the mountain or river. Go a little farther along the land until your highlight
turns green.

After you let go of the left mouse button, you'll be given the cost of the
bridge or tunnel, and you'll be asked to confirm its construction. If you
decline to build a tunnel, the game will make the road you selected, but it
will be going OVER the mountain. Declining bridge construction makes your
engineers build the road you drew minus the bridge itself.

Bridges cannot cross each other, but tunnels KIND OF can. If you build a tunnel
through a mountain, you can still build a road ON the mountain as well. You
can't make two tunnels on the same level cross, but you can make two or more
tunnels run parallel if you need to.

Highways, roads, and rails can all tunnel or bridge.

By the way, you can also bridge over a canyon. One of my prides and joys is
Canyon City, which features a huge canyon splitting two huge mesas. The
northern mesa has the industrial sector and other pollutants, and the southern
mesa has everything else. Highways bridge the two mesas, giving people easy
access to their jobs.

+--------------------------+
|15e. Seaports and Airports|
+--------------------------+

Seaports and airports do help send sims this way and that, but they are mostly
assists.

Seaports assist your industries by hauling their goods across the oceans and
rivers of your region. Although passenger boats aren't rare, you'll get far
more people with neighbor connections (more on that in a second). By building a
seaport or two, the demand for your industry of all types increases. They
pollute heavily and are expensive, so take care.

Airports provide more people than seaports, but they help commercial zones
instead of industrial zones. Airports bring in planes with tourists, who will
add to the coffers of your city's businesses. You'll get more tourists with
more landmarks and rewards, so don't be too stingy.



+-----------------------+
|+---------------------+|
||16. YOU ARE NOT ALONE||
|+---------------------+|
+-----------------------+

SimCity is not the isolated lonely existence it once was. It's not even as
lonely as it was with SimCity 3000 (although until you make more than one city,
you will feel a little isolated). After getting your one city running well,
save it and exit to the region. Start a new city within the confines of a plot
of land adjacent to your first city.

Once you have two cities, you can link them in a number of ways. Two cities can
very easily support each other, so just imagine when you link up a city to four
other cities or more! The basic way to link cities is by road or highway.
You'll have to have room on both sides of the border to accommodate the road
connection, but it only takes one or two tiles. With a simple road connection,
all sorts of things happen.

First and most importantly is the shared demand. Two cities that are linked
share their RCI meters. If City A has a bunch of farms, and City B desires
farms, linking them will benefit both. Residents from one city DO cross the
border to work at other cities as well, although there's no number to get an
actual fix on how many people are doing so.

Second, the cities can import or export each other's trash. If one city has the
landfill to spare, it can take garbage at a cost of the exporting city. It's a
pretty lucrative way to get a profit in the early days.

Third, the cities will share tourists. If one city has enough tourist traps
like landmarks and rewards, its commercial sector will get a boost when the
second city's people come to visit.

You can also link cities via water pipes to share water, power lines to share
electricity, and rails to share people and industrial goods. A lot of the
sharing happens without your knowledge in the background, so if you make two
identical cities, one linked and the other not, the linked city will probably
prosper better.

There are also business deals you can make internally with your own city only.
If you ever find yourself in debt, you are usually given the opportunity to
build a building at no cost that will net you a decent monthly income. Young
cities will have to practically depend on these buildings to survive, and
there's no shame in using them. However, they all bring their own problems, so
if you can sustain yourself without them, do so.



+-----------------------+
|+---------------------+|
||17. READER STRATEGIES||
|+---------------------+|
+-----------------------+

Back by popular demand from my FAQs on the The Sims series, I'm providing this
section of the FAQ for any strategy you may have. Send it to
pyrofalkon@hotmail.com, and I'll post it here with all due credit. Unlike I've
done in the past, I reserve the right to edit your submission for grammar,
spelling, and profanity, but I will NOT edit the game content.



======================================================
|                  PART 5: GOD MODE                  |
======================================================

So... much... power...!

After clicking a plot of land without a city, you are given the power to change
the land to your liking WITHOUT COST. Beware, because once you engage Mayor
Mode, God Mode becomes extremely limited and nearly worthless. Plan your city
now before you make some mistake that you'll regret once in-game.



+--------------------+
|+------------------+|
||18. GOD MODE TOOLS||
|+------------------+|
+--------------------+

There are plenty of fun buttons to play with here! I'll go over everything for
your reference.

+----------------+
|18a. Landscaping|
+----------------+

The first button on the God Mode list is the Landscaping tool. It features
Raise Land, Lower Land, Level Land, Add Trees, and Add Animals.

If you choose to raise your land, there's a variety of ways you can do so.
Create cliffs to mark sheer raises and drops in altitude; make several to
create a stair-step effect. Mesas raise a circle of land and top them off,
giving a nice area to plop down a landmark, but denying direct access from the
bottom. Mountains are just that, and you can make them as tall as you want; to
get a mountain range, just slowly drag the mouse across the landscape. Steep
hills and gentle hills are self-explanatory.

Lowering your land is pretty fun too, and lowering it enough makes bodies of
water. Shallow valleys, valleys, and steep valleys give downward slopes to your
land. Craters lower the land at the center of the tool but also steeply raise
the land at the tool's edges. This creates a nifty little in-mountain lake or
something. You can also add shallow or regular canyons, which lower land in a
very small area.

Leveling your land is not a one-option affair, either. Using the plateau tool
lets you make an area all the same altitude with extreme edges. Plains level
the terrain too, but the edges will be gently sloped. The quick level brush
allows you to easily get your land all the same altitude with extreme edges;
useful if you made a mistake. Erosion gives your beaches and cliffs a rocky
appearance, whereas the soften tool makes those beaches and cliffs smoother.

Adding trees gives your city some personality from the start. The more trees
there, the bigger the danger of fire, but the less pollution there is. Adding
animals is pointless, because as soon as you go into Mayor Mode, the animals
disappear... I suppose it can be neat to see animals roaming your land before
your sims take over.

+-----------------------------+
|18b. Winds and Global Changes|
+-----------------------------+

The second button gives you access to the wind tools, and gives you the ability
to make extreme changes. You can issue the erosion command to make your cliffs
and beaches rocky, or you can use the soften tool to give everything a much
cleaner appearance. Finally, you can raise or lower the entire city's terrain
but one whole level. This is useful if you made a couple mistakes but still
want the basic shape of your created land.

+--------------------+
|18c. Reconcile Edges|
+--------------------+

To make the game more realistic and give your region a cleaner look, you're
given this tool. It compares the borders of your city with all the ones around
it, and it changes your current city's land to match its adjacent borders. This
way you don't have, say, half a mountain on one side of the border and nothing
on the other side.

This is optional; you never HAVE to reconcile edges. If you do want to but
don't want to bother hitting the button, there's an option in the options
screen called Auto Reconcile Edges, which does what it says it does.

The reconcile edges option is one that is still available in Mayor Mode.

+--------------+
|18d. Disasters|
+--------------+

What would be the fun in making cities if you couldn't whack them now and then?
This tool stays in its entirety even after the city has been established.

VOLCANO:
A miniature mountain springs up and erupts lava. The lava will flow down the
hill and burn up everything in its path, including buildings. You get to choose
where you want the volcano to appear: just point and click. If you ever get
ticked off, make a volcano appear in the center of downtown.

FIRE:
The basics are back. Point and click, and whatever unlucky object you choose
catches flames. Fire leaps from one flammable object to another, so trees and
buildings are all subject to heat.

COMET:
Summon a flaming comet from space. On impact, it will set fire to a bunch of
stuff and make a small crater in the ground. If you throw a couple down before
the city gets established, you'll have a pretty nifty land shape.

ROBOT ATTACK:
Servo is fed up from doing all the chores for all the sim families. He's
managed to make himself 10 stories tall (that's like 70 to 100 feet, you math
whizzes), and now he's launching grenades randomly. You can control him
yourself and direct him to specific parts of the city you want to level.

TORNADO:
I live in Xenia, Ohio. We got hit by a couple of rather devastating tornados in
the past 25 years, but luckily nothing was ever this bad! You can change the
tornado's direction to send it to different buildings to take it out. Although
it sets some things on fire, its primary purpose is to cause destruction.

LIGHTNING STRIKE:
This is a quickie. Summon a bolt of lightning to any object you choose, and
that object will catch fire and/or be destroyed. It's like the fire disaster,
but it's a little more precise.

EARTHQUAKE:
Point and click to make a tiny tremor. Or, for more fun, click and hold the
mouse button for a few seconds, THEN release. That will rip the map apart,
sending buildings flying and sims screaming. Woo hoo!

+--------------------+
|18e. Day/Night Cycle|
+--------------------+

The game has a clock so you can see your sims going to and from work. (You can
see what sim time it is by hovering your mouse over the date display.) The sun
rises and sets, and it changes the color of the land with it as it does so.
Also, buildings will get lit up at night. Call me a sucker, but seeing from a
distance a huge skyline all lit up is one of the greatest sights in
existence... SimCity 4 does a darn good job emulating it, but I digress.

You can keep the passage of time, or you can elect to force the city to spend
all its time in daylight or nightlight. The night brings beautiful graphics,
but the day lets you see what you're doing better. If you're working on a lot
of zoning, you may want to leave the sun turned on until you're done.

No matter what you choose here, the time will still proceed. It just affects
what you see.



+-------------------------------------+
|+-----------------------------------+|
||19. GOD MODE STRATEGIES AND EFFECTS||
|+-----------------------------------+|
+-------------------------------------+

Unless you're just learning about the tools, avoid just screwing around with
God Mode. If you mess around too much, then the city you establish will have
its own set of problems... which is why I recommended that you start your first
city on a totally flat piece of land.

Sims both like and dislike hills. Houses build on hills or mesas are
automatically valued more due to their view. Windmill power plants also produce
just a LITTLE more energy the higher they are. However, sims hate driving up
and down steep slopes, and if you make your cliff too steep, it can't be
traversed at all.

Water is a slightly different issue. Sims love water as much as they love
hills. Property values around water are higher, which leads to higher taxes,
and lakes can easily be driven over or around. Oceans give you access to
seaports, which help industries, which add money. The problem is that for every
tile that is occupied with water, that's one less tile for something else, like
a house or road.

Unless you have some specific strategy in mind, you need to find a balance
between aesthetics and efficiency. A couple of lakes, a few gentle hills, and
one or two steep hills in an otherwise flat area is fantastic. Having a little
of everything lets a lot of different sims be happy, and as they say, variety
is the spice of life.

That's not to say that specific strategies are bad. If you want to make an
island, you'll have to give up a lot of land to do it... but maybe that's your
idea. Your city is your city... just make sure that whatever you do in God Mode
won't bite you in the butt later. As long as you know what you're doing and
what you're limiting yourself from, you'll be fine.

The only thing I always recommend is trees. Trees won't catch fire by
themselves, and they'll cut down pollution from the start. It doesn't cost that
much more to build things over trees (there is an added cost to compensate
tearing the trees down), and it costs absolutely nothing to zone over trees
(because the land owners will cut their own trees down). Besides, trees add
land value too. If there's any space on your map that has no trees, you don't
have enough.



======================================================
|                 PART 6: FAQ STUFF                  |
======================================================

This part of the FAQ is about the document itself.



+------------------+
|+----------------+|
||20. CONTRIBUTORS||
|+----------------+|
+------------------+

This is where I'll list everyone who has contributed anything to me. I'll list
your name, e-mail address (unless you tell me not to), and what you
contributed, along with what version of the FAQ you did so. Send all
contributions to pyrofalkon@hotmail.com.



+---------------------+
|+-------------------+|
||21. VERSION HISTORY||
|+-------------------+|
+---------------------+

v1.2a (1 November 2003)
It's been nearly a year, but unfortunately my site is down for the count. 
Luckily, IGN has decided to host my FAQs too, so it's all good. A new copyright 
notice is the only change.

v1.2 (17 May 2003)
Added more info about getting your city to become a metropolis.

v1.1a (10 May 2003)
No new info, but I've got the guide on my site now. Oh, and I got rid of that
redundant Table of Contents heading. Man, I hope I'm not getting lazy, but my
FAQs are lacking the polish I used to give them.

v1.1 (03 May 2003)
In my haste to get the guide finished, I sent it but forgot to add the table of
contents. So, that's in place, and the guide is truly done... for now.

v1 (02 May 2003)
First release.



+--------------------+
|+------------------+|
||22. COPYRIGHT INFO||
|+------------------+|
+--------------------+

This document is copyright 2003 for J. "PyroFalkon" Habib. If you plan to use
any of it as part of another FAQ, you need my permission first. However, if you
plan to post it on a website or e-mail it to someone or whatnot, you may do so
without my permission AS LONG AS IT IS NOT ALTERED IN ANY WAY. I'd like you to
drop me an e-mail so I know where you're going to take it, but I will not
require you to do so. You may download it or print it at your leisure.

The most updated version will always be found at these sites:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/
http://faqs.ign.com/

Other sites may have up-to-date versions, but check GameFAQs or IGN first.



+------------------+
|+----------------+|
||23. CONTACT INFO||
|+----------------+|
+------------------+

If any information is incorrect, or you wish to submit something, please e-mail
me. My address is found on the bottom of the FAQ. Credit will be given where
it's due.

Do not ask me for the serial number to SimCity 4. I will delete your e-mail and
insult you.

If you submit something to me, I will credit you by the name you signed in the
message body or by the name attached to your e-mail. I will also post your
e-mail address unless you specifically tell me not to.

If you wish to be e-mailed when this FAQ is updated, send your request to me.
If you have a junk mail protector on your e-mail program, make sure you put my
e-mail address on the safe list, or my messages may not get through.

pyrofalkon@hotmail.com

Good luck in SimCity 4, and may all your cities be sparkly and successful!