Mission One

I had good memories of this game, and I wanted to do a map. However, since everything is three dimensional and you get into dogfights a lot, I could only wrap my mind around the first mission or five without it turning into a mess.

This mission is quite nice as a beginning tutorial, since it doesn’t make you do a lot of crazy turns for the first 10 minutes.

I can’t really believe it’s been 8 years since this game was released.

example tower

This isn’t a “map” per se, thumb because you can build your tower any way you like, but I just loved this game so much that I couldn’t help myself. I played it to death as a kid and it’s definitely my favourite of the SIM series. I’d say that I wish there was a modern remake, but I don’t think it would have the same charm. For the record, I’m pretty sure you can’t build movie theatres that far from a lobby, but I did it anyways. Deal with it.

IT IS DEALT WITH.

San Francisco Bay Area

F-18 Interceptor was the first game I remembering “getting good” at. It was not easy, straight forward, or explicable. I was also 5 years old when it came out. Top Gun had also come out. So to 5-10 year old me this: was the coolest game that had been or would ever be made.

It had 3D Graphics, It had Sweet Music, It had Physics, variable systems load outs based on real world weapons! The whole modern FPS was sitting there right in front of me. But the part of the game that caught me deep in my heart was when you loaded a mission: You stared at an aerial view of the SF Bay and then the game would slowly ZOOM IN until you were in the cockpit of your plane!

My tiny mind has not recovered from how hard it was blown by that.

To this day it is not a bad looking bit of graphics. 

This awesome bit of watercolor mapstalgia courtesy my brother.  We spent just stupid ages taking turns on this game, on our Amiga 500. Some of the time we’d actually dogfight AI planes, but most of the time we were just dorking around the Bay Area flying like jerks.

This was 1988, so the Amiga’s graphics were fairly revelatory for a home gaming machine but the 3D geometry was pretty spartan to keep the polygon count down; the Transamerica pyramid, right at the center of this map, was one of the few interesting tall things in SF and so got a lot of missiles chucked into it.  There was a little smoke plume and everything.

But the main stunt was, as Alex notes, flying under the Golden Gate Bridge upside down, ideally at mach 1+ speeds with the afterburners blowing.  We had a terrible non-analog joystick and the game ran at probably about 6 fps most of the time, so this was a pretty significant logistical challenge.  And then we’d try to jump to the exterior side view to watch the fly-under and that’d just make it that much more likely that we’d crash.

Also!  We only got a sidecar harddrive-and-memory memory upgrade years after we’d had the Amiga and played stuff to death already, so it was a hell of a surprise to install that, boot up Interceptor, and suddenly, for the first time ever, hear this awesome freakin’ theme that we finally had enough RAM to enable playback of.

custom

Theme Hospital layout (not technically a map), late in the game with most rooms available. Not drawn to scale.  Contains many factual errors. Rendered very sketchily in pencil by Glinn. Holy cow I played this game a lot.  As recently as last year, as I have a copy floating around.  But mostly played in the late 90s (I think).

Bullfrog’s Theme Park came before (and was more fun. Hmm, may have to do a Theme Park layout). It was my first introduction to teeny orange splotches of computer game vomit.  The Bouncy Castle in particular caused massive amounts of vomiting. Often, I felt bad for cutting down trees to make room for rollercoaster tracks.  Rollercoaster Tycoon stole most of the best bits of Theme Park, but I don’t know that Theme Park was justly credited.  Which is a real shame, if it’s true, but hardly a surprise.

This sort of annotation of memory of an approach to a free-form sim map is great.  Makes me realize I could draw up some Desktop Tower Defense maps.

7 Sim Lane

The first home you probably play before you develop a lifelong addiction. Does it count if the map is actually accurate? 99% at least; The first tile of the front walk should actually be 1 tile away from the sidewalk! This is one of the most iconic houses in the series, viagra that every sim fan remembers. Bob and Betty Newbie, similarly iconic sims, teach you how to play the game here. :) It’s commonly remade in the sequels by fans.

level 1

The first level of “Creatures 2 Torture Trouble”, patient one of the first video games I ever played back on the Commodore 64 and one of my favourites on the C64. Unfortunately my memory isn’t quite that good – it was just over a year ago when I last played this!

The big green blobs were horrible to deal with as they shoot at you both low and high leaving no choice but to coordinate jumping through gaps in moving projectiles and fighting back!