SimCity Super NES Guide: Section 1

Section 1: Version Differences

Super NES vs. Wii Virtual Console – There really aren’t many changes.  For the most part, the Virtual Console version is a direct replica of the original.  However, there are three very important differences you need to know about — the last two are actually very cool.

  • Controls.  You can’t hook up SNES controllers to the Wii.  You’ll need an alternate controller.  You’ll find a list of your options, as well as pros and cons for each, in Section 2.
  • Built-In Instructions.  Press the “Home” button on your Wii controller or remote to access the game’s built-in Operations Guide.  It’s not as detailed as the original 86-page instruction manual, but it’s enough to get you started.  (If you want the original manual anyway, I have it here.)
  • Resume Points.  The Wii version allows you to bypass “The Infamous Startup Bug.”  More details on that coming up in Section 6.

Super NES vs. Computer – Generally, SimCity is SimCity, no matter what platform you use.  The rules are the same, the object is the same, and the general procedure to get things done is the same.  So if you’re playing a computer version, you can still get a lot out of this guide.  But there are a few differences between the SNES version and the computer versions:

  • Graphics.  Compare the Commodore 64 or Macintosh (Apple System 6) versions and you’ll see the Super NES version is actually pretty good.
  • Controls.  The Super NES controller has only 8 buttons and a control pad, compared to computer versions having a full keyboard and mouse.  Still, your control pad moves a pointer on the screen, very much like having a mouse.  (It’s too bad the SNES Mouse was still another year into the future.)  The SNES control pad is still quite functional, but the Million Dollar Code (and some other tactics in this guide) obviously won’t work for computer users.
  • Scenarios.  The scenarios are mostly the same, but there are a few exceptions.  The computer versions have “Dullsville, USA” (a fictitious city plagued by boredom) and Hamburg, Germany (in 1944, rebuilding after a World War II bombing).  The Super NES version does not have these cities.  Instead, it has Las Vegas and Freeland, which are not available until you solve the first six scenarios.
  • Characters.  Dr. Wright (the guy with the green hair, modeled after SimCity creator Will Wright) only appears in the Super NES version.  Same goes for the Mario Statue, and for the appearance of Mario’s archnemesis Bowser, who replaces the generic “Monster” in the Tokyo scenario.

SimCity vs. SimCity Classic – SimCity is the original title of the computer game. It was re-released as SimCity Classic (for the PC) after SimCity 2000 was released, but there were no other major changes.  SimCity was never re-released as “SimCity Classic” for the Super Nintendo.  The only change was to the box art, when SimCity became a “Player’s Choice Million Seller” after selling a million copies.

SimCity vs. SimCity 2000/3000/4 – If you’re used to the newer versions of SimCity, the key thing to remember is that the original is much simpler. It’s still a complex and involved game, but there are certain things you don’t have to worry about. For example, SimCity 4 has you making deals with neighboring cities for things like power supply and trash management. You’re responsible for building water pumps and the underground pipes to get that water to your zones. In SimCity, NONE of that is your job. Your neighbors simply don’t exist, trash isn’t a concern, and neither is water supply. Highways aren’t even an option… it’s just streets or rails. And you don’t need train stations — people can get on and off the train anywhere along the route.  If you think newer versions of SimCity are just too overwhelming, you may find the original to be more fun to play… or at least a good “foundation” to learn the basic ideas of SimCity before you try the newer versions.

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