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Monday, March 11, 2013

SimCity and Middle Earth

Given all the hate being flung SimCity 5's way, I thought I'd reminisce about SimCity 4 and present some of the mods I made way back when.

Yes, that's Middle Earth.  I made the biggest possible map, broke it up into appropriate "city" borders and then manually sculpted the topography to match, as close as possible, Middle Earth as presented in Tolkien's works.

(For a stupid-huge version of the top map, click HERE.)

As you can see, I made buildings, too.  Left, the Argonath on either side of the Anduin; center, the Black Gate of Mordor; right, the Golden Hall of Meduseld (difficult to see, but it is laden with horse motifs).  I just dropped them on the map so I could make screencaps for this post.  That's why the ground around them doesn't match up.

Those are the least interesting buildings I made.  I actually built Isengard, complete with the dark tower Orthanc.  It was huge ... gaping pits rent the ground and smoke spewed into the air, surrounded by orcish machinery.  Taller than that, Barad-dûr, complete with an eye atop the tower that bathed the obsidian structure in a hellish orange glow.  The crowning achievement, however, was my Minas Tirith.  Humongous.  Trebuchets, statues, the fountain, the White Tree, the Tower of Ecthelion, all manner of buildings and gates, the Hallows in the rear abutting the White Mountains ... it was all there.

Unfortunately, the PC that housed those greater creations died a few years ago.  If I get some spare cash and time, I might extract the hard drive to see what can be recovered.  Oh well.

As for the big map, here are what the numbers represent:
  1. Grey Havens
  2. The Shire
  3. Bree/Midgewater/Old Forest
  4. Rivendell
  5. Mirkwood
  6. The Lonely Mountain
  7. The Misty Mountains (including the three major peaks)
  8. Lothlórien
  9. Fangorn
  10. Isengard
  11. Rohan, complete with Helm's Deep and Edoras geography
  12. Emyn Muil/Falls of Rauros
  13. Dead Marshes
  14. Gondor, with Pelennor, Pelargir, Ithilien, Osgiliath
  15. Mordor, with Udun, Cirith Ungol, etc.
There are many other details loaded in there, too, like a pool of water by the western gate of Moria where the Watcher lies in wait.

I also loaded in mp3s of the movie soundtracks so that's what I listened to as I played.

My big plan was to mod just about everything.  I'd make low-end houses, mid-range and high-end houses to conform to Hobbit and Middle Earthy appearances, markets, Green Dragon Inns, ditto police stations, schools and so on.  I did make a water wheel that acted as a water pump and a lit-up party tree that served as a power station.  I made a Beacon of Gondor, too (with flames), but I didn't have a purpose for it.

Anyway, time got away from me and I just stopped working on it.

Hmmm.  Ten years ago.  What happened.  Oh, yeah.  My son.

Thanks, kid.

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