TIPS & TRICKS
I have decided not to include any strategy here, as it's best covered elsewhere (the FAQ posted here, GameFAQs, ClubOPolis, wikis, manuals, books, etc.), the only thing I can say is be prepared to lose your first few cities if you're not cheating because there is a certain difficulty curve. If you're not making enough money to buy a new power plant in fifty years with no plan or way to increase city revenue--you've essentially lost, as issuing a bond will destroy your finances and bury you with interest payments to the point where you should be making at least $400 a year in profit before you even think about it.
As far as tax rates go, figure something out between 1% and 8 or 9%. At some point, your city won't grow or even stay at high tax rates (a 20% rate will cause everyone to pack up and leave in short order, ruining both a population and its finances). 0% is great for growth but unsustainable (pure loss). That being said I'm going to put a few exclusive things here that I haven't seen in tip books or the Internet before.
One cool thing that you can exploit that I've *never* read about in any existing SimCity 2000 sites or books is that you CAN put tunnels below water or non-mountains.
First, add a tunnel.
Then, you can lower or raise the terrain as you please, just providing you don't mess up the tunnel entrances.
Develop the area as you like.
The tunnel is still completely functional even as it changes elevation.
DOES RADIATION REALLY GO AWAY?
After you get a nuclear meltdown (which is pretty rare to find in the wild, I had to wait a few hundred years and plop down 12 nuclear plants to get a good chance) radiation will scatter around the affected plant, causing pollution-creating tiles that flash the radiation symbol and can't be built on or destroyed. Do they go away after a while?
The half-life of uranium isotopes is hundreds of thousands of years, but most of the radioactive elements that get released in such disasters (which, by the way, are vanishingly rare and only happen under some very specific circumstances) have a much shorter half and the Chernobyl area will remain an exclusion zone for our lifetime, but what's SimCity 2000's take on it?
Some of the materials in guidebooks suggest hundreds of in-game years. So, on my game (I was using the completed Flint scenario, not one of my own games) I let the simulation run to see if this was actually true...but it did not go away. Not after 100 years, not after 300 years, not after 500 years, not after 1000 years. Any documentation or guides that say it should go away after a time is completely wrong.
This makes sense on the game level. The simulation itself doesn't have a method of keeping track of time and mostly relies on number crunching on various statistics (pollution, crime, land value) with calculations, set numbers, and random variables. The microsim buildings have their own statistics that keep track of years and other numbers (the power plants have a 50-year countdown and most of your rewards keep track of when they were built) but radiation tiles are just...there...and will be there indefinitely.
I believe the Version 1.0 DOS version will have them disappear if you drop the terrain into water, but later versions won't fall for that, and they'll still float on the water if it's there. So if you have a city with radiation tiles, do NOT think you can wait it out, because you cannot. Your three options are to restore the city before the meltdown (you did save before the meltdown, right?), remove them in SCURK later, or just deal with them.
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