Railroad Tycoon II
|Railroad Tycoon II|
|Publisher(s)||Gathering of Developers, Take-Two Interactive|
|Genre(s)||Business simulation game|
Railroad Tycoon II is a game for the PC, Macintosh, PlayStation and Dreamcast in the Railroad Tycoon series. The Dreamcast version is a Gold Edition with improved graphics and gameplay. Railroad Tycoon II: Gold Edition was ported to Linux by Loki Software.
Railroad Tycoon II is a railroad simulation that covers the entire history of railroads from inception to the present day (and beyond). The player chooses a map (scenario) and assumes the role of chairman of a railroad company. The player tries to make profits for investors (usually including the player) and completes various other objectives while being hindered by rivals, random events (train breakdowns, train robbers, economic swings) and scripted events particular to the scenario.
Most of the gameplay consists of building tracks, stations and trains, which are used for hauling passengers and freight from one station to another. Delivery revenue can vary by time, distance, demand, cargo type, economic state, station improvements and difficulty level. Companies can connect to and use each other's track and stations, so revenue can be split. Expenses include the fuel, track and engine maintenance and management fee. The fuel cost depends on the cargo weight and the distance each engine runs. Engine maintenance depends on engine age and the engine's type (some locomotives cost more to maintain than others). The elder engines cost more to keep them on the line. The track maintenance is solely calculated from track mileage.
The player will determine what kind of cargo(es) to put on/off at each station that the player adds to its routing. Way-points may also be inserted to override default track selection where multiple paths are possible.
There are many industries in the game, and each can produce and/or convert specific cargoes. For example, coal mines produce coal, iron mines produce iron, and, in the advanced game, a steel mill can convert 1 load of iron plus 1 load of coal into 2 loads of steel. The players are encouraged to find a chain of production to make new cargo by hauling the right type of cargo to each step of the industries. By doing this right, the player can haul raw materials one way, "create" manufactured return cargo, and make even more money hauling finished products back the other way.
Also important is financial manipulation of companies, including issue bonds, share repurchases, stock issues, manipulating dividends, merge other company and declare bankruptcy. These features can be very useful in some scenarios and could destroy the opponent or make great deal of money for the player himself under the master's hands.
The player can buy or sell any companies' stocks when he figures the stock prices are too low or too high. The broker may allow the player to buy on margin or short sell stocks if he has enough value of stocks or cash to rely on. The computer players, as the player's opponents, can also do these. They may bankrupt the player when he is heavily in debt.
The game also simulate a real world economy environment. The economy may fluctuate during the game play. There are 5 levels of economy: Booming, Prosperity, Normal, Recession and Depression. When the economy is good, the revenue of the hauled goods and the stock prices will be higher. However, along with the goods and the stock prices surging, the railroad companies will have to pay more to build tracks when the economy is booming. The interest rate will also be adjusted with the economy level, including the interest received from cash and the interest paid for the bonds. The better the economy is, the lower the interest rate is.
The original game features eighteen missions, divided between North America, Europe and the rest of the world. The missions can be played on three difficulty levels, and each also includes three listed objectives. Completing only the first objective awards the player a bronze medal, the first two a silver medal, and all three a gold medal. The player may play any mission in each set as many times as they wish; they may also continue even though a mission has been failed. The final score for the whole 18 mission campaign is calculated by the difficulty level and the number of each type of medal achieved.
In addition to the campaign, Railroad Tycoon II features many single scenarios. As with the campaign, each scenario is based on a geographical location, which may be fictional. Most scenarios also have a medal system similar to that of the campaign, although any scenario may be played in sandbox mode as well. Many scenarios constrain the player to some specific point on the timeline and feature scripted events: for example, the Korean map presents an alternative history as the player is informed about the averted Korean civil war.
Additional single scenarios may be created using the map editor included. Maps may be imported, drawn from scratch, or edited from existing maps and saved under new names. Many fan creations have been shared on various fan sites. Most have only a dozen or so events, but there doesn't appear to be an upper limit. The educational US History Scenario, with over 400 events spanning 200 years, is like a campaign all on its own.
The soundtrack of Railroad Tycoon II consist mostly of classical "railroad" blues and bluegrass genre from the era the game revolves around. These pieces were not, unlike most contemporary games, midi files, but rather high quality studio recordings; some even with vocals. This fact has contributed to the solid ratings this game has received. The soundtrack consists of the following tracks:
|2||Another Blues Song||2:01||28||Mountain Valley Roll||2:49|
|3||Burnin' Boogies||2:54||29||No Time To Lose||2:43|
|4||Chi-Town Blues||2:24||30||Old Flame||2:40|
|5||Clickity-Clack||1:01||31||Pickin' in D||2:51|
|6||Coal Mountain Fog||2:52||32||Production||1:41|
|7||Cross Roads||3:16||33||Riches Steel||2:13|
|8||Dark Day||2:35||34||Rockin' Blues||2:21|
|9||Deep Blue||3:06||35||Skippin' Harp||1:11|
|10||Down Home||2:14||36||Slow Slidin'||2:40|
|11||Foot Stomp||3:21||37||St. Louis Slide||2:17|
|13||Goin' Places||2:13||39||Sunset and Lonely||2:46|
|15||Happy Go Lucky||2:40||41||The Third Blues||2:34|
|16||Harp Attack||2:10||42||Tired Ole Blues w/ Harp||2:39|
|17||Harp How-Down||0:41||43||Tired Ole Blues w/o Harp||2:25|
|18||How Now||2:33||44||Torchered Blues in G||2:40|
|19||Humpn' Cars||2:31||45||Train Derail||4:17|
|20||I am the Pourch||2:49||46||Train-O-Monica||0:51|
|21||I Missid my Train||2:40||47||Tricky||2:36|
|22||It's So Easy||2:40||48||Wicked Blues||2:52|
|23||Kentucky Pluck||2:49||49||When Am I Goin' Home||2:02|
|24||Lazy Slide Pickin||2:41||50||Wiskey||2:43|
|25||Lonely Cowboy||0:56||51||When Am I Goin' Home (bonus jam track)||2:02|
Railroad Tycoon 2: Gold
This is a collection of Railroad Tycoon 2 and Railroad Tycoon 2: The Second Century, in one package.
Railroad Tycoon 2: Platinum
This is equivalent to the Gold Edition plus over 50 community-made maps added and enhanced mouse-wheel support. Maps (scenarios) developed specifically for the platinum edition may not function in some earlier versions. The last official patch to Railroad Tycoon 2 was platinum v1.56 on 19-Feb-2003. After that, further development proceeded to Railroad Tycoon 3.