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STREETS OF SIMCITY

A GUIDE

GAMEPLAY

RADIO

Part of what makes Streets fun is the in-game radio. The game comes with about an hour and forty-five minute’s worth of original music in four genres: rock, jazz, bluegrass, and techno. Most of the songs are instrumentals, but a couple have lyrics.

In addition to the music, there are DJ callsigns, and a half-hour of commercials recorded just for the game. These commercials are one of my favorite parts of the game, they range from the darkly satricical to the just-plain silly. Unfortunately, the commercials are switched off by default while driving, you have to manualy turn them on in the sound section of menu.

STREETS OF SIMCITY

This channel of the game is a hodge-podge of different events. There are courier missions, defense missions, and deathmatches.

The default radio station for these events is SimMix, which will play all the genres of music included in the game.

APOCALYPSE

This is a courier mission set in a post-apocalyptic city. The goal is to earn $3500. In the first few seconds of the episode, there is a huge explosion, and many of the map’s buildings are replaced by rubble.

When the menu says everyone is out to get you, they are not kidding. All other couriers on the map are more interested in hunting you down than delivering their own packages. I find this episode to be very challenging.

Your car for Apocalypse is the VW Bug.

STRATEGY

In the garage, buy the fastest engine for the VW Bug. Do not waste time trying to fight other couriers, and focus on picking up and delivering packages as fast as possible.

NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY

This is a rather dark courier mission: as mayor of the city, things have gone awry, and you've decided to launch a coup. If you can deliver bombs to enough buildings in the city, the government will surrender to you.

Your vehicle for this mission is the VW Bug.

STRATEGY

The bombs will always be at the same spot, the mayor’s house, which is also your spawn point. Each time you return to pick up a bomb, there will be an additional package containing a new weapon.

To save time, it may be worth using F10, your self-destruct key, to automatically return to the spawn point after delivering each bomb. This will save time.


ZIPPY COURIER SERVICE

In Zippy Courier Service, you play as Marvin Dufus, who has inherited a courier business from a distant relative. You start off with low-stakes shifts, and move up to bigger cities, and more valuable packages to deliver.

The default radio station for Zippy Courier Service is Bluegrass Airwaves. Your vehicle is a Bread Truck, big, boxy, and heavy.

Each episode will include what I will call prestige packages. These packages are specific to a particular episode’s map, they are valuable, and they have no time limit. For example, in the first episode, the city has a nuclear power plant, where you may pick up a package of nuclear waste. At the other end of the map is a dump site where you can deliver the waste. I think the most entertaining of these packages is the Mayor’s pregnant wife, who you have to deliver to the hospital.

BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIGGER CITY

This episode is relentless. The map is made up of many small towns full of narrow streets and tight alleyways, connected by a sprawling beltway. There are Hunters galore, and at least two cops.

STRATEGY

The key to beating this episode is to buy the fastest engine for your truck, and then stick to the beltway. If you try to deliver a package in one of the small towns, you will find yourself surrounded by Hunters, unable to turn around in the narrow streets, getting ticketed by the cops. This scenario is even worse than it seems, because I think too many vehicles onscreen at once can cause the game to crash.

Keep driving along the beltway, which makes a complete loop through the map. There are endless packages to pick up here. Pick up enough packages, and statistically some of them will be along the beltway to take delivery. With a fast engine in your truck, you may stay ahead of the dozen or so Hunters chasing you, and you may avoid a ticket from the cops.

If you need extra time, do a handbrake-180 and lay some gunfire on the Hunters chasing you. Each Hunter you blow up gives you a small time bonus, but remember not to blow up any cops or competing couriers.

One problem you may run into is a courier stuck on the bridge in the northwest corner of the map. Slow down when you get the bridge so it won’t knock you into the water.

There are a few prestige packages throughout the map: an injured baseball player, an art exhibit, and industrial supplies. These may be ignored if your goal is just to win.

GOOD THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES

In the final episode, you have to deliver seven packages across a big map. There are no cops in this episode, but there are platoons of Hunters gunning for you. Some of the packages in this episode are references to other characters in the game, such as Granny’s Diary or a medal for Galahad.

STRATEGY

By this point in the story, you should have some money saved up. If you have bought a lot of weapons, sell them all and buy an airfoil. This will let you travel along the fastest possible route, and leave the Hunters behind you. Keep an eye out for gas stations (shown as pink squares on the map), since the airfoil is a drain on your gasoline. With the airfoil, it should be easy to beat this final episode.


GALAHAD’S WATCH

In this story, you play as Galahad, an agent of The Force who has been targeted by organized crime. Most episodes will involve searching for clues, and fighting against Hunter vehicles. The final episodes are defense missions where you have to defend various targets from trucks carrying high-powered bombs.

The default radio station for Galahad’s Watch is Sim Jazz.

NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER

For the final episode, the gang has sent high-power truck bombs to blow up targets around the city, hoping to force a surrender from elected officals. Galahad must destroy at least nine of the trucks, and if six of the trucks reach their targets, you lose.

STRATEGY

You are assigned a model of car at random when loading this episode. Unless you are given the muscle car, I recommend reloading and trying again. The muscle car will allow you to buy four machine guns. You should also buy the fastest engine, Level II armor, and offroad tires. As with all defense missions, buy a military radar to track the Rogues. Armed with four guns and a fast engine, the strategy is to intercept the trucks as fast as possible, and destroy them as fast as possible. The trucks will be coming from opposite corners of the map, so drive fast and use the Shift key for hard turns. You don't really have time to fight the Hunters and Bosses, focus on destroying the trucks.


GRANNY’S WILD RIDE

This is the easiest channel in story mode, and also has the best storyline, with a fun main character, suspense, and good use of the environments in each episode. It is also the story mode least-likely to crash, which made it my favorite as a child.

In these episodes, you play as Granny O’Hare, whose retirement is interrupted by strange visitors. Granny’s Wild Ride plays like a cross between Golden Girls and The X-Files, a winning combination in my book.

The default radio station for Granny’s Wild Ride is Techno Sim.


RACE FOR YOUR LIFE

In Race For Your Life, you play as racecar driver Lance Camshaft as he works his way up to the big time.

Unlike the other story-based channels, there's no voiceovers from Lance in the game.

You win these races by outracing your competitors. This being a vehicle- combat game, you also have the option of destroying your fellow racers with the in-game weapons. While this is fun, I recommend getting ahead of the competition early and maintaining first place.

The early episodes of Race For Your Life have Lance driving the European race car, while later races have him driving the J57, modeled after the Ford GT40. The challenge in later races will simply be to stay on the road: the J57 with the fastest engine has a maximum speed of 230 MPH, the fastest in the game. At that speed, you will go flying off the top of a steep hill. Taking sharp turns at maximum speed will require practice with Shift turning.

The default radio station for Race For Your Life is Sim Rock.

OVERALL RACING STRATEGY

Remember that this game has merciless collision detection. You will start each race in last place, behind another car. If you bump into the car ahead of you, your car will be violently pushed backward, and you will lose precious time.

When a race begins, tap on the accelerator, not too hard. Let a little room open up between you and the car ahead of you. When you have enough space, pass the other racers on the right. The AI for the other cars seems to like fighting each other; while they are occupied, snag first place and maintain it for the rest of the race.

There are cops in these races, but at the speeds you’ll be going, they shouldn't be a problem.

There are packages throughout these races. Most packages in Race For Your Life are weapons, but some are cash bonuses. You can skip these packages, none are required to win, and many require going way-off course to get. Some players might enjoy the challenge of getting an out-of-the-way package and then hurrying back to the track before the other racers catch up.