Section 6: The Infamous Startup Bug

The biggest problem with the SuperNES version of SimCity happens when you try to load a saved game. For the first few “game months” after loading up, the simulation thinks your power plants are off.  The stupid lightning symbol will flash over EVERY building in your city for awhile.

This obviously has a detrimental effect on many other aspects of your city. Even if you pause the game, you can’t stop this from happening. That’s why, on the SuperNES, I’d only sit down to play if I knew I had a good long time to get lots of stuff done.  This bug makes it impossible to play for only 15 or 30 minutes at a time.  Your city needs time to “recover” from this bug.  If you start and stop often, the impacts of having several individual month-long power outages will only build upon each other and really screw up your city.

However, if you’re playing on an emulator on your computer, you can finally avoid this defect. Just use your emulator’s “save state” feature.  Saving and loading states are the equivalent of leaving your SNES on and paused the entire time you were away.  It’s like freezing time!  You can come back a day, a month or even years later, and the game will pick right back up, without missing a beat.

If you’re playing on the Wii Virtual Console, this bug is still in the game, but Nintendo offered a workaround.  When you exit the Virtual Console, it will save a “resume point” — very similar to saving a state on a PC-based emulator.  When you come back, the Virtual Console will let you pick up from that resume point.

However, there’s a catch.  You can only save one resume point.  If you’re using both of SimCity’s “save” files (to work on 2 different cities) you’ll still need to “save” one city, then “load” the other — which will trigger this awful bug.  But as long as you’re the only person using SimCity, and you’re only working on one city… you can just use the resume point every time you come back.  It’ll be just like you left your SNES on constantly and there won’t be any startup bug.

Questions?  E-mail me!