I was talking with a co-worker and mentioned that I need to change things up. I'm always killing something. Monsters, animals, aliens, robots and other humans. I'm racking up more kills than a cat in a cheese factory. It's either a gun, knife, sword, or roasting it with wizard fire. All this killing can't be good, so I made adjustments to my current course.
After a steady diet of Andromeda, FF XV, Dragon Quest XXX, Doom 2016, and Divinity: Original Sin EH, I am practically pooping corpses and straight blood. Every night is the same. Visions of carnage and mayhem fill my minds eye as an army of tiny Daleks whispers in my ear a single word repeating over and over. "Ex-ter-min-ate".
As opposed to killing animals, I'm now putting them in cages and charging peeps to watch. That has to be more humane than my current activities, right? I find this new prospect rather tantalizing and can feel my outlook changing slowly. It can't be an instantaneous change and will obviously take time. Gradually, I'll drift off to sleep pranging ducks on the wing, and getting off spectacular non-lethal hip shots.
Without further delay, I'm proud to announce I'm playing Zoo Tycoon 2! No more death and destruction. It is really refreshing to undertake the role of creator instead of the destroyer. To build a bridge and not burn one. (Side note: I've burned more bridges than the French Resistance). I am very excited at the prospect of building an environment that fosters the creation of life for all (PAYING customers) to see. You can keep your gold. Seeing a child experience the magic of this place will allow me to retire a wealthy person with a true sense of accomplishment.
For those unfamiliar, Zoo Tycoon is described as an Ecomomic Simulator, but I can't help feel like it contains elements of an RTS. You don't really command units in the traditional sense, but you do give orders that may or may not be carried out with maxium efficenicy. The overall goal seems to be to keep your Visitors happy, so they continue to spend money. The best way to do that is to have happy animals in their respective biomes. Oh, and lots and lots of bathrooms. Throw in a few soda stands and trinket carts and I should be listed by Forbes by the end of the week.
Starting out you get a wide open area surrounded by a large concret barrier. We'll come back to that later. Give your inner Architech a workout by deciding what kind of layout to go with. Some simple grid patterns should work, giving the Visitors the ability to see the animals from all angles. According to the help notes, Visitors like to see multiple animals in the same biome. Not sure how thats gonna work out, but ok. I went to Panda Express before work and a girl named Savannah is always working the drivethru, so my first biome will be.....you guessed it, Savannah. Zebras, coming up!
Ok, the sidewalk is up and now for a sizable, but sensable area, with the potential for expansion to hold muh new Zebras. How do YOU pronounce it? ZEB-ra, or ZEE-bra? Either way, it's still $20 to see the show, kid. Changing the biome is as easy as MSPaint. Click and move, click and move. Surround all your new grass with some fence, drop in a pond, a few proper trees and grass to make it homey. 2 femals and 1 male. I like those odds. For lack of any imagination at the moment, I shall call the male....(wait for it)... Stripe!
Oh DARN! My Bison just died of old age. It was a silly notion, really. To think I could escape the hard, cold reality of mortality. It's a fact of life and no mod can change that inevitability. Oh well, at least I dodged the destruction.
HEY! Who put this fence here! (Grabs bulldozer) Whelp, soo much for dodging destruction. Now let's get to work on that Cheetah pen. Fence, Savanna grass, grass n' rock, shallow water and long flat plains for running. I kid you not, 10 seconds after placing the male Cheetah in the pen, the female was preggers and he was face deep in the food bowl. 10 seconds! I knew Chettahs were fast, but...wow. You an Me baby ain't nuthin but mammals...
Upon further reflection, I am feeling really bad for the female Cheetah. No romance, no suprise texts in the afternoon, no flowers or candy. The only thing on the planet that could even be considered less sexually satisfied, would be a pair of socks, owned by this guy.
Doh! I just realized I was supposed to put the animals with matching biomes together for the benefit of the Visitors. The more Visitors that see things they like, the more it boosts my stars. The game has a system that releases the "cooler" animals as you progress. Cooler is a relative term though as the game has already offered me a few extinct species without having completed all five stars. It's totally against my better judgment, and my inner Roman is asking why I haven't done it yet, but I'm about to put the Cheetas and the Zebras together. It's going to be a slaughter(shakes head).
Well folks, I'm speechless. Remember what you saw here. No slaughter, no mayhem, no territorial disputes. Not only are these two mortal enemies NOT ripping each other apart, they are glad to see eachother. Who would have thought that DrDoom held the formula for world peace in the palm of his hands. In my best Forrest Gump voice;They are just like peas and carrots again! I got uh Jeep.
A lot of time is invested into a big park. Planning, construction, maintaince. It really takes a while to get it all down. Rather than post 35 screenshots, I opted for a video tour of the park from the Skytram. Yea, we could have taken the Jeep, but the view is not as good. I hope you are not afraid of heights, ha ha!
Your Manta Ray has died. WHAT THE FUCKIN FUXX! When animals attack. I put my mantas in a tank that was not properly adjusted to their natural habait. Water, just isn't enough. You really have to go the extra mile and paint their surroundings with the reccomended landscapes. I got a floater in my tank, and it ain't a Baby Ruth. Now, I didn't actually see the female kill the male, but something is definitely fishy here. Apparently being unhappy with your biome is justification for killing your mate in the animal kingdom. That shit might fly in Detroit, but not here! Trust me on this, the last thing, and I do mean last thing that you want on your hands is a Domestic Animalcide. You think the IRS is bad? You want no part of what I have coming. Now I got Ace Ventura up my ass. Like a glove!!
What's with all the unhappy people? I realize it's not Disney World here, but come on. I just don't think these people realize all the things I have to deal with. This joint ain't cheap to run and my entire business model is brilliantly based on the whimsical charitous notions of others. I'm busting my butt trying to expand the park, keep animals alive, scrape together money for new species, perform maintaince, DO the actual maintaince when the people I pay just sit on a freggin bench. All that and more I subject myself to for the privilage of groveling at the feet of every Visitor who has a laundry list of nonstop complaints. Oh, you can't find a seat? The pretzels are too expensive? The line for the bathroom is too long? What, you are not amused enough? Little Suzie's soda is too cold? Ahh, THAT I can fix...with the BFG 9000!!! VUUUUUU(squish). NEXT!
That does it. I'm officially paying BIG money for a mod that locks the main gate and simultaneously opens all the cage doors. Calvin paused to admire the entrance gate to the zoo, a decision he would soon regret. Iron bars spanning nearly twelve x twelve feet with thick bars spaced just far enough apart to see but not fit anything through. The walls were of equal quality. Smoothe stone walls twelve foot high and 3 feet thick. He was just musing to himself "Good luck getting out of here". It was really a reference to any animals that might happen to get loose. He had always had an appreciation for architecture but his true calling was Engineering. The particular way his mind worked, his deep seated need to understand every aspect, every reason for a process was well suited for the field. With an odd curiosity he watched the heavy iron gates quietly but quickly close together. A small crowd was quickly accumulating just in front as visitors could no longer pass through the only gate to the zoo. As murmurs of confusion and displeasure began to rise from the already disgruntled visitors, a loud clang reverberated throughout the grounds as the cage doors to all of the animal pens opened in unison much like the entire floor of a prison cell block opening for yard time. The opening of the cage doors seemed to grow the crowd even larger as visitors attempted to flee the zoo.
The group of nearly forty persons now grew instantly silent as movement was detected by everyone, coming from the area of the gate of the nearest animal cage. It’s difficult to not notice a 400 pound gorilla, especially when there is nothing standing between that gorilla and you except air. The gorilla came to a screeching halt after seeing the crowd. It stood motionless for a few moments before uttering some light grunts. It began to pace back and forth in a line running parallel to the crowd. After a few trips up and down the line the gorilla stopped and began to beat his chest, alternating between himself and the ground while grunting loudly and aggressively at the crowd which was only standing a mere fifty feet from this now raging behemoth of an animal. With amazing speed the gorilla took off at a dead sprint charging directly into the terrified crowd, trampling and knocking visitors over easily as a bowling ball would a set of bowling pins. With a swing of one giant arm a man was sent soaring over the top of visitors only to smash against the iron bars of the gate, coming to a rest in a silent heap at the bottom as he slowly slid down the now bloodstained bars.
Calvin stood motionless as the carnage ensued. The first movement his body would make during the span of several minutes was the flexing of his body inhaling a sharp breath as the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight up. With a barely noticeable breeze, a long soft furry arm appeared, draped over his shoulder like he and his friends would do as they walked home from the campus bars on those rare, but memorable late night endeavors. The large orange paw at the end of the arm pulled him in close. The tiger that was now towering next to him spoke in a calm yet commanding voice. He would go on to explain the human mind is a wonderful but very fragile thing. What you are experiencing right now, this conversation, are likely auditory and visual hallucinations induced by and directly related to traumatic events. The mind is unable to cope with a given situation and seeks to eliminate the existence of memory by overwriting the brains perception of reality with an image that can be processed. The tiger stops talking and looks to his left as a small band of visitors is being chased and trampled by three stampeding elephants. He looks to his right and sees two gorillas holding a visitor suspended in the air by an arm and a leg each, having a frantic tug-of-war that didn’t end soon enough. He looks back to Calvin and says “Well Calvin, it’s been fun but this free buffet won’t last long. They never do. Shall we?”. Without waiting for an answer the tiger swings his body around as the two casually walk off together back into the tiger cage.