Utopia: The Creation of a Nation

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Utopia: The Creation of a Nation
Utopia: The Creation of a Nation
Screenshot of Utopia (SNES version)
Developer(s) Celestial Software
Publisher(s) Gremlin Interactive (MS-DOS, Amiga)
Jaleco (SNES)

Epic/Sony Records (SNES Japan)

Platform(s) DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, SNES
Release date(s) 1991 (MS-DOS, Amiga)
1993-? (SNES)
1993-10-29 (SNES Japan)
Genre(s) Real-time strategy,
City-building game
Mode(s) Single-player
Screenshot from the Amiga version.

Utopia: The Creation of a Nation is a strategy video game. It was developed by Celestial Software and published by Gremlin Graphics (later known as Gremlin Interactive), in 1991 for Amiga, Atari ST and MS-DOS. It was later released for the Super NES in 1993, by Jaleco in the USA. This release made use of Nintendo's SNES mouse.

The game, taking place in the future, on a new planet, is open-ended.

It is the player's task to colonize the new planet, manage the colony and raise the quality of life for the citizen in order to reach utopia.

Initially the player has a few colonists with a lot to do. The player needs to build everything from scratch. Building takes time and free colonists, in addition to money. Buildings under construction are depicted by scaffold.

However certain buildings require personnel (hospitals, labs, mines, factories, shipyards ...) and therefore the player has to engage in population management. The player also has to micromanage features such as tax rate, birth rate and trade.

In addition, each world also has a competing alien race which is trying to colonize the same planet. There is no option to form alliances, which means that the player's population must come into conflict with the aliens. The player never actually gets to see the alien city, as it is located outside the playable map, but must instead rely on espionage to find out what the aliens and their city look like.

Scenarios[edit]

Utopia includes ten scenarios, all with a different planet and a different alien race. The scenarios are named according to the alien races:

Eldorians, Vroarscans, Soomanii, Kal-Kriken, Catalytes, Squiz-Quijy, Pascalenes, Tilikanthua, Vanacancia and Lucratians.

A data disk called Utopia: The new worlds was later released by Gremlin. This disk required the original Utopia and could not be played as a stand-alone game. It included the following scenarios:

Foralbo, Parillatians, Chevanno, Old-Worlders, Sarturians, Sal-Kadeem, Rako-Gorda, Key-Guardians, Darjakr'Ul and Temarkians.

The "Old-Worlders" were said to be humans, coming from Earth's earlier attempt to colonize the same planet. In practice, they were handled just as another hostile alien race. The terrain of the Sal-Kadeem planet was unique in that it was mostly covered with silver-colored oil that was impossible to build on. Buildings were restricted to tiny patches of habitable land.

Game objects[edit]

Buildings[edit]

  • Chemical plant: Build these on fuel deposits to extract fuel.
  • Command Centre: Needed for several vital colony functions, such as research, trade, and vehicle construction.
  • Compressed fuel tank (invention): Stores more fuel than the normal fuel tank.
  • Flux pod: Stores and distributes power. Must be built next to another building. All buildings must be within twelve squares from a flux pod.
  • Fuel tank: Stores fuel.
  • HDX missile (invention): A more powerful version of the missile.
  • Hospital: New colonists are born here.
  • Hydroponics: Grows food.
  • Laboratory: Your researchers work here.
  • Land mine (invention): Destroys most land-based enemy vehicles passing over it.
  • Landing pad: Allows ships landing on it to refuel, provided there's a fuel tank nearby.
  • Laser turret: Fires on enemy invaders on sight.
  • Life support: Converts the planet's unbreathable atmosphere to human-breathable air.
  • Living quarters: Your colonists live here.
  • Long-distance radar (invention): Detects enemy vehicles within a wider radius than the normal radar.
  • Matter transporter (invention): Allows ships to refuel in flight.
  • Mine: Build these on ore deposits to mine ore.
  • Missile: When fired, locks on to the nearest enemy vehicle and destroys it on contact.
  • MORGRO hydroponics (invention): Grows more food than the normal hydroponics.
  • Plasma gun (invention): A more powerful version of the laser gun.
  • Power plant: Provides a constant source of power.
  • Radar: Detects enemy vehicles.
  • Security HQ: Cuts down crime and helps to keep the morale up.
  • Ship yard: Builds spaceships.
  • Solar converter (invention): Provides more electricity than the normal solar panel.
  • Solar panel: Provides electricity from the sun.
  • Space moss converter (invention): Build these on space moss, a pinkish moss that grows on all planets. It extracts chemicals from the moss and converts them to breathable air.
  • Sports complex: Can be used to briefly boost the morale.
  • Store: Stores food and ore.
  • Tank teleport (invention): Teleports tanks standing on top of it directly to their destinations.
  • Tank yard: Builds tanks.
  • Weapons plant: Builds weapons. Needed for vehicle construction.
  • Workshop: Produces tech goods, which are useless in the colony, but valuable trading objects.

Vehicles[edit]

  • Tank: Land-based vehicle. Will only move on habitable surface. Does not use fuel.
  • Hover tank (invention): A variation of the tank that can pass over flat obstructions, but will still stop at mountains or chasms.
  • Explorer: Non-armed civilian spaceship. Can construct new landing pads far away from the colony.
  • Fighter: A small, lightly armed military spaceship.
  • Assault craft: A slightly heavier-armed spaceship.
  • Cruiser: A large, heavily armed military spaceship.
  • Fusion cruiser (invention): A variation of the cruiser that never needs any fuel.
  • Warship: The largest and most powerful military spaceship.

Reception[edit]

In a 1992 survey of science fiction games, Computer Gaming World gave the title three-plus stars of five.[1]

Notes[edit]

One of the four available background musics in Utopia is Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D, a classical melody.

Utopia can handle a maximum of 256 buildings, 100 tanks and 40 spaceships at one time. Trying to build any more results in a message that simply says more cannot be built "yet". However, there is no apparent limit to the number of buildings in the SNES version.

Bugs[edit]

  • It is possible to build Fusion Cruisers before they have been invented. In addition, this way they are free of cost, and only take one month to build. This can be done simply by clicking the empty space (where the Fusion Cruiser will appear when it's been invented) in the ship selection menu.
  • If you access a ship's control panel while the ship is launching, the ship will keep launching perpetually. This happens even if you exit the panel immediately without giving the ship any orders. The ship will fly off the top of the screen and reappear at the bottom, corrupting the graphics and perhaps eventually crashing the game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brooks, M. Evan (1992-11). "Strategy & Wargames: The Future (2000-....)". Computer Gaming World. p. 99. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 

Successors[edit]

Utopia was succeeded by K240, which carried the colonization idea over to an asteroid belt. The most prominent improvement was that in K240, the alien race was no longer off the map, but its cities could be viewed the same way as the player's. K240 was in turn succeeded by Fragile Allegiance, further refining the idea of colonizing an asteroid belt.

External links[edit]