Sim Copter Player Advice
Rapidly Advance Through the Career Levels and Complete the Final Metropolis Level, WITHOUT Easter Eggs/Cheats: (These aren't ALL the possibilities, by any means, and some things may work differently for you.)
Whenever you save a ".scc" career file for your current game, an equivalent ".sc2" SimCity 2000 file is also saved. At the beginning of each new level, you may want to check out the new city by examining it in SimCity 2000 or SCURK (the SimCity Urban Renewal Kit--if you have it); you can also print it in SCURK. Or, you can always fly around the new city while ignoring the dispatcher, then leave without saving and go back to your previously saved copy.
Consider saving frequently, especially for when you may get into a bad situation (like crashing because you ran out of fuel or got too close to a fire), so you can always go back to your most recently saved copy. Plus, you can save under different names and try different techniques, then go back a step or two if things don't work out. At the higher levels I'm in the habit of saving every time I complete a mission and get the points and money, as long as everything is moving along well.
As you earn enough money, invest it in ADDITIONAL helicopters (pay for fuel and repairs first), with the goal of having all 8/9 at the end. This protects you from losing funds if certain missions fail and gives you a choice of choppers for different jobs. EXCEPTION: Early on you should buy the Bell 206 JetRanger as soon as you can, even if you have to sell the Schweizer 300; the JetRanger holds 4, is fast & maneuverable, and has worked extremely well for me. I've ended up using it almost exclusively.
To conserve fuel and reduce the number of trips back to the hanger, land some place (field, rooftop) and wait for your next dispatch. (OR: Chase speeders (see below).) Consider picking up half a tank of water, a medic, and/or a policewoman (especially after you move up to the JetRanger) to prepare for missions.
Experiment. Get the feel of different helicopters, and practice solving the more difficult missions (see train rescue below) without saving the results.
- Determine priorities based on points lost if unsuccessful
- Tackle higher priorities first
Examples Failing the train rescue costs you bigtime Failing to apprehend criminals accumulates lost points in a hurry at 10 points a crack
- Rely on other resources when necessary
- Fires: Fly to them and summon 2 firetrucks (F2), then leave for next mission
- Medivac: Fly to them and summon 1 or 2 ambulances (F3)
While this does not get as many points as you putting out the fire or rescuing the injured yourself, you do not LOSE points and can be doing other things!
Train Rescue. One of the most difficult missions. Try to follow the train and pick off the people; if you can get close enough the people will climb aboard your helicopter. (Using the harness is a lot harder.) Sometimes you can pick a spot above the tracks and wait for the train to pass; if you judge it well enough you can catch one or both of the people. This works very well if there is a long straightaway to let you see the train coming from a distance. KEY POINT: Even if you fail to rescue the people before the train crashes, you may still get points (instead of losing them) if you put out the fire or summon fire trucks to do it right after the crash! To practice this rescue, you could save your game right when you are dispatched to the rescue and keep going back to that saved game until you complete the rescue successfully.
Burglars frequently become almost the same as speeders, escaping with the squeal
of tires and a cloud of dust. Fly close and start chasing the vehicle through the Streets. Summon 2 police cars "to follow" (hit F5 twice) and keep hitting the F7 criminal warning. Eventually, as the police close in, the vehicle will pull over and the police will apprehend the culprit (usually on foot).
neglect the speeders. Especially in the lower levels
where there's a lot of time between missions, you can get
a lot of your points by stopping speeders. Find them by
the tire squeal and cloud of dust. They'll stop as soon
as you broadcast the F7 message while they're in your
spotlight. Summon police with F4 and wait for their
arrival. Once the speeder is caught a new one starts
almost immediately. (It's even possible to have 2
speeders stopped at the same time,
waiting for the police to arrive!)
Arsonists and muggers are usually on foot. Get to them as soon as possible and summon the police with F4. Stay near and keep broadcasting the F7 warning; this frequently slows them down. If you have time to pick up a policewoman from the roof of the station and drop her off next to the criminal, that usually works. Also, if you can get close enough to run into the criminal with your helicopter, that will end the mission successfully. Watch out, though, because criminals can shoot at and damage your chopper. If they escape to the hills around the outside of your city, you must either drop off the policewoman to apprehend them or ram them. Get the arsonist quickly because he sets fires that you will also have to deal with.
Fires. Summon fire trucks (F2) promptly. You may need to help put out the fire yourself, especially if people on the roof need rescuing but you can't get to them, or the fire is in the hills where the trucks can't go. Don't fly too close to the flames; they can damage your chopper in a hurry!
Rooftop Rescue. Hover just above a flat roof and the victims will climb aboard. When they're not on a flat roof, try to fly close without crashing and/or use the rescue harness. Land at the nearest spot to complete the rescue, even the roof of a nearby building. If they're on a burning building, be sure to summon the fire trucks (F2) to fight the fire, and rescue the victims promptly. If the building is destroyed by the fire and explodes before the people are rescued, you'll see them fall to their death, with loud screams! If you are hovering over the building, your chopper will be destroyed as well! At the higher career levels you may need to use a larger helicopter with more passenger space to rescue more victims at once. If your chopper is full, but more victims are waiting, use the harness to get one more and just do not raise it. Descend to the ground slowly and that last victim will leave the harness before you land with the others.
Boat Rescue. Wind, water currents, and the drifting boat present a problem. You just have to try both the rescue harness and flying low enough for the victim to climb directly aboard your chopper. The latter gives a little more control, but it's still tricky.
Riots. A riot requires a lot of your attention. Fly there and summon a fire truck, if there's a fire, and 3 police cars (F4). Fly low and continue to broadcast the disperse (F9) message; this starts them leaving and the police finish the job. But don't leave the area too soon, or you won't get your points and cash. I've never had to use tear gas, but you might want to experiment with it. One problem it causes is injuries requiring medivac, so be ready to provide it or summon an ambulance (F3).
Traffic Jam. The lower/closer you fly to the jam and broadcast the warning (F6), the better success you'll have, just like with the rioters. When you are close and your spotlight jumps to higher brightness, your warning is more effective. Cars start leaving as soon as you repeatedly hit F6, even before the voice warning is heard.
Transport. While this is not an emergency, you can still lose a lot of points. Once you've picked up the passengers, press the "N" key until that specific transport icon disappears and "Transport" appears below the map. The new line on the map takes you to their destination.
All missions have time limits and you lose points if they are not completed before time runs out. Burning buildings will destroy their area, medivac victims will die, transportees will give up. Even if you try to carry the injured or transportees with you while you perform other missions on the way, the time limits still apply. In most cases, when you run out of time you only lose points and not money. So at the higher levels where many missions are thrown at you at the same time and you
lose points because you can't complete them all, you are generally still earning money that you can use for new/additional choppers. Stick with it!
Keystrokes (in place of mouse clicks)
Use the mouse for menu selections and not much else (except positioning the spotlight). For actual game play, learn the keystrokes in the manual in place of clicking the mouse on your control
panel. Once you get on to it, it works so much better, and it becomes pretty automatic with
Joystick vs Arrow Keys
If you have a joystick, it gives you much better control than the arrow keys. Just be sure to Calibrate it in the Windows 95 Control Panel. If it has "trim" adjustments, use these to center the joystick so that with your hand off the stick your chopper hovers in one place. (You may need to
switch to the arrow keys occasionally for some small movements.)
The appearance of the UFO means the Apache is available. Consider finding and using it. It is automatically available in the cities of the top 3 levels: 10, 11, and Metropolis. If you use the Apache right away, you can shoot down the UFO with missiles (M key). (It usually takes 7 to 10 hits). This prevents the added emergencies caused by the UFO's laser rays. But be careful because your missiles also cause damage on the ground if they miss the UFO. The hits are cumulative; if the UFO disappears for a while, when it returns your previous hits still count. While
the Apache can be useful in most of the emergency missions, you're better off overall to use the JetRanger or other helicopter once you eliminate the UFO. Keep the Apache in reserve for when you just can't capture those criminals who have fled to the hills. The Apache can shoot them with
its cannon (spacebar).
- Bart Cable
Copyright © 1999, 2019 Brian Kloppenborg. All Right Reserved.