SimCity Super NES Guide: Section 8

Section 8: Tackling the Scenario Cities

SimCity SNES has six Scenario cities, based on real-world cities.  But there’s no time for victory speeches.  Each Scenario city has a major problem, and there’s a time limit.  You’ve gotta hit the ground running and rescue each city before time runs out.

If you’re successful, you’ll have the option of keeping that city permanently — and if you beat all six Scenarios, you’ll unlock two Bonus Scenarios.  But if you don’t get the job done, you’ll have to start the scenario over and try again.

You can play the scenarios in any order you choose (like a Mega Man game), so you can follow the order I have below, or you can choose your own.


This is the easiest scenario. You’re left to clean up the mess after a nuclear meltdown.  You can’t make the contaminated areas go away, so just bulldoze around them.  Next, rebuild power lines and transportation (preferably rails instead of roads) so your zones will be connected to power and people.  Build new zones where space allows, to make up for those lost in the meltdown.  Use any leftover time to eliminate other problems listed on the opinion survey. offers this tip: “avoid the nuclear meltdown by pushing and holding the L button and then destroy the three nuclear power plants.”  You need to do this immediately as you begin the scenario, as there isn’t much time before they meltdown.


Since this is Nintendo, we don’t have Godzilla… we have Bowser of Super Mario Bros. fame attacking the city. Don’t wait until he’s done with his rampage — immediately begin bulldozing around the fires he creates.  Sacrificing a few buildings to contain a fire is better than losing dozens if the flames spread.

As soon as Bowser has disappeared, build new fire stations as needed.  (Don’t build them while he’s still around – he could always double back and wind up destroying them, and that would be a waste of money.)  Next, reconnect any power lines that were taken out… the city will fall fast if large sections are left powerless. Once that’s done, check the opinion survey and see what else you can improve.

San Francisco

“Based on a true story,” you’re the mayor when San Fran’s legendary 1906 earthquake strikes.  Thankfully, the fires you’ll be dealing with in SimCity are nowhere near as horrible as the real-life disaster, so your battle plan will be similar to Tokyo.  However, there are only 3 fire stations covering all of San Francisco!

To your advantage, the earthquake doesn’t happen until about 2 “game months” into the scenario.  That means you can pause time immediately, and build several new Fire Stations to beef up coverage before the quake hits.  Don’t go hogwild though — just place “enough” and try to save a good chunk of money.  When you’re done, unpause the game and wait for the big event.

As soon as the quake hits, follow the same strategy as Tokyo — bulldoze around the fires so they can’t spread.  Once the fires are out, rebuild power lines, zones and railroad tracks.  This is why I said to save some money before — powerlines need to be replaced immediately.  You really can’t let large areas of the city remain powerless while you wait for the end of the year to roll around for the Million Dollar Code.

Once you’ve got the initial recovery complete, check the Opinion screen and work on tackling other problems.  (As usual, replace roads with rails, maybe do some rezoning to break up clusters of polluting Industrial zones, etc.)

Rio de Janeiro

Looks like the folks at Nintendo and Maxis had a hunch about global warming way before “internet inventor” Al Gore did. 😉

A few “game months” after this scenario begins, you’re dealing with severe coastal flooding.  Just like in San Francisco, use that “calm before the storm” to minimize the impact of the disaster.  Build parks, zones and other things along the coastline so there’s no open space along the shore.  This will help keep the water from getting in “too” far.  If the water still penetrates the land, you’ll be left with fires… so make sure you have enough fire stations to cover the coast.  Follow the same methods as before to minimize fires, undo the damage, and make the city a better place than when you started.


Detroit had a reputation for very high crime in the 70s and 80s, and it’s reflected here. High crime and (for some strange reason) frequent shipwrecks are your big problems in this scenario.

First, eliminate the shipwreck problem by building powerlines across the water at the edges of the map. Somehow, that prevents ships from coming into the city, but the simulation only cares whether or not a seaport simply exists… so the lack of ships won’t hurt anything.

Next, tackle crime. This should be simple… check the crime map and build new police stations where needed.  You can also reduce crime rates (and pollution at the same time) by breaking up the clumps of industrial zones and placing more parkland in those areas. Once you’ve got crime eliminated (or at least reduced to the scenario’s satisfaction), have fun tackling traffic and pollution.

Bern (Switzerland)

Bern’s problem is that it has too many roads and no mass transit.  Building even more roads is a big no-no… traffic and pollution will only get worse.  Obviously, the solution is to replace those roads with rails.  But don’t just pick a random place.

Check your maps to find the roads with the worst traffic levels.  Go after the most troublesome streets first, replacing roads with rails.  As mentioned in Section 7, straight roads are better than winding roads, so feel free to build straight railroad lines, even if it means you have to rearrange some of the zones.  It’s a healthy city — new zones will redevelop quickly — and even stronger than ever, since you’ve eliminated the traffic problems.

Once you tackle the most problematic areas, you can continue to replace the rest of the roads with rails.  (Or, just eliminate the roads and don’t replace them with anything, if they appear to be roads to nowhere.)  With the Million Dollar Code, you can get all those roads replaced with rails within about 2 “game years”  (assuming you let the game run while you do this).  Use the remaining time to address other problems.

Questions?  E-mail me!