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 Yoot Tower

 
   
 
 
Yoot Tower

  A Misacrope's Guide and Commentary for Yoot Tower
--=================================================--

Author: Mimu Bunnylin
Authoritative site: Pomestye Bunnylinov - http://mooncore.eu/mimu/
Version 1.1 "Mursu" 13-Jun-2009

Yoot Tower is a light business simulation by the zany Yutaka Saito and his
friends at OPeNBook9003. In it, you construct a tower populated with offices,
residences, shops, hotels, and various supporting services. And elevators.
Lots of elevators.
  Yoot Tower is a sequel to The Tower, better known in the West as SimTower,
published by Maxis. Yoot Tower improves on SimTower in every way, but still
retains a good score of annoyances. I can not stress enough how miserable the
economy simulation, AI programming and user feedback are. Mysteriously, the
game itself still manages to be fun.
  There is a third game in the series, for the Gameboy Advance: The Tower SP.
The screenshots look awfully cramped, though, compared to the relatively
clean if not very friendly interface in Sim and Yoot Towers.
  There is at least one open source remake in the makes. Look for OpenTower.
Like so many community projects, it may result in something playable over the
next 4-6 years. Good luck to them!

What I write here is based on my experience on the Engrish-language Windows
version of Yoot Tower. The Mac and Japanese versions may be subtly different.
For example, the Japanese version evidently had a fourth scenario as an
add-on plugin. Wikipedia knows more, for the curious.
  Due to the lacking quality of the localization, some of the shoppers' and
residents' thoughts are terminated halfway with a strange symbol. I like to
think that everyone in the game is pretending to be a Stormtrooper and ending
everything they say with a static noise.
  "Let's watch the movie with a cup of --KCHHH."
  "Style in the fashion too. --KCHHH."
  "This is the best stuff I've ever tas--KCHHH."

Changed from version 1.0:
- General polish
- Added a diagram to illuminate the compartmentalized block concept
- New authoritative site

On things to build (in Tokyo; see notes later on on the other two scenarios):
===================

Offices - the major money maker. Each comes with 6 battery-operated employees
  programmed to gripe and moan when anything noisier than a mouse goes past
  their office. This means that even the lowest level of visible traffic will
  probably drop the office's happiness rating to yellow, even if rent is cut
  to the minimum.
    Ignore their whining and charge them $4000, or $3000 once cash is flowing
  in smoothly. Keep the majority happy with a good transportation system, and
  if some still complain, let them find a better business center. Chances
  are, your next renters won't be so sociopathic, and meanwhile you have
  a few less jerks clogging up your transport system.
    The rent is accumulated monthly but paid quarterly, so a rent of $3000
  means that at each turn of quarter the office pays you $9000.
    Office workers want communal restrooms, preferably one per floor.
    They sometimes go out for lunch or dinner in one of your restaurants,
  alone or in small packs. Occasionally office workers also drop in at your
  shops, at least at ice cream, coffee and book stores.

Rental apartments - a minor money maker. Each comes with a single lonely
  businessperson whose life consists of waking up at 7:00 every working day
  and going to work, coming back at 17:00 sharp, and spending the rest of the
  evening playing hentai games. About once a year they go out and splurge on
  a manga or a coffee at your tower's shops, but never both on the same day.
    Rental apartments also complain about the tiniest bit of traffic, which
  should be ignored. They are well placed around office blocks. This
  optimizes space usage and elevator transit, since the rental residents and
  office workers generally don't need the elevators at the same time.
    The rent is, again, accumulated monthly and paid quarterly. Charging $700
  nets you $2100 a quarter.

Condominiums - heinous waste. First you pay $100000 to build the apartment,
  then "sell" it for anything up to $200000. You continue paying for elevator
  maintenance and get nothing more from the condo. Worse yet, if the condo is
  destroyed for any reason, or if the tenants ever get annoyed enough to be
  at red happiness when the quarter changes, they move out and automatically
  take the condo's entire price from your account. Condos are like a twisted
  loan that you always pay back with interest, though that may be useful if
  you need cash for fast investment.
    Just remember: if, say, a fire or an explosion destroys a dozen condos,
  you may find yourself suddenly 2 million bucks drier, AND have to rebuild
  the section.
    The man of the house has a standard 8-16 job. The child (who will never
  grow up) has school 9-15. Everyone leaving the tower starts heading out at
  7:00 to allow for the slow commute. The housewife is locked in the
  apartment, vacuums the entire place several times every day, and may only
  go out with her husband's leave once a year to visit one of your tower's
  many shops. A typical Japanese family?
    Condo owners will eventually start bugging you to set up a school close
  by for their kids. Ignoring this request invokes no sanction.

Grand Star Hotel - profitable fun for towers of two stars and upwards! You'll
  need a front desk with access to hotel rooms, and a housekeeping area with
  service access to the rooms. Guests will get easily annoyed if they have to
  stand in queues or hear the slightest noise.
    One front desk should not handle more than 60-70 rooms, or check-in may
  get swamped. Check-out will always get bogged, but that doesn't matter
  since customer annoyance doesn't count against you once they leave their
  hotel rooms.
    There are three room types in Tokyo, with analogues available at Kegon
  Falls and Hawaii. The most cost-effective seems to be the double room, so
  go heavy on those, with maybe one single room and suite per floor. It may
  be a good idea to adjust the room prices to the green level; you might get
  a few more guests, and they're more likely to stay happy. And you want the
  happiness evaluation to remain an excellent blue for all hotel rooms,
  because guests are disgusted by rooms rated anything less than blue. There
  is a notable bug in the hotel room functioning; more on that later.
    The hotel business works on an "if you build it, they will come" basis.
  As far as I can tell, every clean room at blue happiness has a flat random
  chance of receiving a guest each night, modified by the room type's price,
  the season, and whether it is a working day or a holiday. Therefore, the
  more rooms you construct and can keep clean, the more guests you get -
  supply defines demand! Obviously the developers considered real-world
  economic theory worthless capitalist dog propaganda.
    The housekeeping maids are inefficient domestic drones who are probably
  paid a salary without regard to performance. They are supposed to stay
  until 16:00, dynamically moving to clean rooms the moment guests vacate
  them. Instead, they often stop work at 14:00 and chill out the rest of the
  time, even if there are still rooms to be cleaned. Rarely one maid will
  stay overtime to take care of an extra room, and would deserve a bonus if I
  had any say in the matter.
    As for the dynamism... the housekeepers probably toss dice to decide who
  gets which room to clean. Unfortunately this results in the housekeepers
  hopping from floor to floor and taking frequent breaks, a quarter of their
  working time being wasted in stressful transit. It would be more efficient
  to assign one floor per one maid and share the rest of the work in
  a supportive work environment.
    A single maid can handle about 8 rooms of any size in one day before
  breaking in nervous jitters. Each housekeeping room holds six housekeepers
  in Tokyo, six in Hawaii, and four in Kegon Falls.

Parking spaces - somewhat pointless. Cheap to build and maintain, but you'll
  rarely see them get used. On a good day in a 3-star tower maybe 30% of the
  spaces get used by various shoppers. On a normal day not a single one gets
  used. Once you hit a 4-star tower, exceptional weekends may see a nice 80%
  of parking space get used, though most of the time a few wind-blown rolling
  bushes are still the only visitors. The game's algorithm for deciding
  how many car users stop by is very likely completely broken.
    There's no real profit contribution, but you may want to have parking
  space anyway for diversity and prestige.
    The game description says parking space is used by office visitors and
  hotel guests. I've never seen either come by car, only shoppers do. In
  addition, to retain exclusivity for marketing advantage and to minimize
  temptation caused by excessive profit, the parking hall entrance is only
  open between 13:00 and 16:00; cars are never let in at other times.

Subway - the mark of a commercial nexus. Ghastly expensive, very few visitors
  seem to actually use this until your tower has a third star. Then you start
  getting dozens of shoppers on every train that you pay to stop at your
  station; one out of a hundred office workers will use the subway for
  transit (far from credible in a Tokyo scenario), though it seems no one
  ever arrives on the two or three first trains in the morning. Trying to
  take the subway to get home, they may miss the last train, and then get
  stressed and blame you instead of their own lack of time management skill.
    Considering the huge investment needed for a completely upgraded metro
  station, and the $100000 quarterly maintenance, you're going to be losing
  money hand over fist. The added shop traffic might cover $10000 on a really
  good day. But every self-respecting tower manager must have a personal
  subway station, right?

Restrooms - cheap, and essential to stop shoppers and office workers from
  complaining. Drop in one restroom for every two shops or restaurants, and
  one per office floor. If restrooms are sparse, people start complaining
  about them being crowded, not that it seems to affect anything.

Security rooms - these watchdogs always have a bad feeling about something.
  They find and defuse terrorist bombs, and put out fires. The guards can run
  to emergency locations pretty quickly, but for best performance, security
  rooms should be spread around the complex, and have at least one in each
  separate tower. I never bother to build any underground, since terrorists
  seem to suffer from fear of low places and never go down there.
    The security people would really like to have a restroom somewhere close
  by, presumably in case of loose bowels during a bomb threat. Just ignore
  their pleas, that's what I do.

Power room - a nuclear power generator in the tower's basement. As soon as
  you go up to three stars, the tenants start bugging you ceaselessly to set
  them up a power room. There is no immediate benefit whatsoever, and you
  should wait until the demands change in tone once you have enough power
  gobblers to nearly exceed the 5000 MWatts available for free.
    If you continue constructing past the 5000 MW limit, you'll experience
  a Power Down event. The entire tower goes dark. In fact, if you look at the
  tower from the Outside view, in broad daylight, even the tower's outside
  walls are dark.
    The power cut does not stop the elevators and escalators from running
  normally, but the entire urban subway network grinds to a halt. No one will
  come to your tower until power is restored.
    Next your butler lies to you that the residents have fled through the
  fire exits. In reality, everyone in the tower gets bumped up to maximum
  stress and the steaming shoppers gradually trickle out. The actual
  residents, tower employees, and hotel guests continue sitting sullenly in
  their gloomy rooms and no one's going anywhere, probably thanks to the
  electrically operated blast doors installed at every room. The tower
  effectively remains in stasis, incurring only quarterly expenses, and no
  revenue whatsoever.
    Eventually, if you destroy enough tenants, or finally build that power
  room, lights return and the unhappy residents are unleashed from their
  apartments. Alternatively, take the money intended for building the power
  room and move to another country.

Trash facility - the minute this becomes available, every restaurant starts
  suddenly generating waste and will shut down in two months if they can't
  get access to a trash facility. Build a trash facility and connect it to
  every restaurant level with a service elevator or normal stairs, and watch
  the garbage pile up! In the mornings, a magic truck will appear to take all
  the trash to an unknown wonderland.

Doctor's office - the minute this becomes available, residents and office
  workers suddenly start "getting sick," complete with a clearly faked
  "Cough, Cough, Where is the Docter's --KCHHH."
    There's not much point in building this expensive office, since all that
  happens is that the ill people clog up your transit system heading to the
  doctor's office, being miraculously cured, and then going home to rest. Why
  they can't just go home and take some vitamins without a 15-minute checkup
  at a $500000 facility is a well-guarded secret. Wait until you feel rich
  and generous before building this.
    Want to know the secret of the medical facilities? Do you see any doctors
  or nurses ever going to or from the place? No. Yet if you peek into the
  office, you'll see both hard at work. Clearly these are not human - they
  are state-of-the-art Holo-Doctors! This explains both the rapid cure rate
  and the high price tag. If they're employing the Dr. Bashir model, that
  might even explain why the female workers suddenly start getting sick all
  the time...

Movie theaters, event center - to make your tower the entertainment center of
  the town, you need these! The idea of having a movie complex in your tower
  is awesome, but why do you have to personally change the movie every few
  months? If you don't, the movie will get old, and soon gets cancelled, and
  the theater stops operating until you go and yell at them to go download
  a new 10-second clip to show.
    In the event center you get to set an event schedule, which at least has
  the decency to loop around the year so you don't have to keep changing
  events manually if you don't want to.
    If you build these, a lot of shoppers will flock in to watch the glorious
  256-color video clips that change depending on which movie or event you're
  running. The clips get old really fast.

School - weird. If you for whatever reason have condominiums, you'll note
  that each one is populated by a perfectly average family with one child.
  (Unless that blob every mother drags along is a toddler?) Once you earn
  a four star rating, every condo family will erupt in a simultaneous wail at
  5:00 at the beginning of every quarter. It goes a little something like
  this: "ShwoZ'ss'EhEicent --KCHHH."
    That means they want a school for their kids. Build one, and 55 lucky
  boys and girls get to study in your tower! If you don't have enough kids in
  your condominiums, the quota is filled from external sources. You never see
  a yen of tuition fees or government subsidies, in any case. You do see
  quarterly maintenance costs. Also, note that the school has a pretty short
  access range; condominiums ten floors away may refuse to travel such a long
  distance, and in protest will rather send their kid right past your school
  to a competing tower's school on the edge of town.
    The schools in your tower somehow keep the kids entertained from 9:00
  until well past the end of the school day at 15:00; yet they never have
  class trips, ever. This must be because the Holo-Teachers cannot leave the
  premises.

Gathering area - decorative. People drop in here to kick back and take five.
  Their total stress levels do not go down, however; indeed, the trip to the
  gathering area probably increases stress a little. Also, people do not go
  to the gathering area to rest in the middle of a long shopping day. No,
  they come to your tower to check out the gathering area, then leave the way
  they came without leaving a yen behind. Only about one out of a hundred
  visitor groups will decide to go to a shop or restaurant afterward.
    This is, therefore, a really cool idea left completely unexploited. You
  pay 50 grand per quarter, and only get yet another small population boost
  in return, just like every other similar structure. Not worth building
  unless you're desperate for a bigger tower population.

Final item - a sort of decorative bonus that proves you're a real Tower
  Tycoon. (Is that term trademarked yet?) Always goes on the highest possible
  floor, and brings a few extra people in, but no significant revenue.

Advertisement billboards - lame. By switching to the "Outside" view of your
  tower, you can set up billboards that cost $100000 each and have no
  maintenance costs. You can then rent advertisement space to various product
  placements and get essentially free money. Too easy for my elitist taste,
  and those advertisements cheapen the tower's facade.

Shops and restaurants - interesting. Most of these are merely population
  boosters, and bring negligible return on investment.
    For example, the popular Video & DVD store occupies 40 space units and
  costs $600000 plus infrastructure investment, and rakes in about
  $2000-$5000 per month, for an annual ROI of 4-10% and $600-$1500 revenue
  per space unit. Compare this with a competitively priced office which
  occupies 9 space units and costs $100000 plus infrastructure, and brings in
  a steady $2000 in monthly rent, for an annual ROI of 24% and $2667 revenue
  per space unit. Then realize that a more aggressive pricing policy nets you
  double that per office.
    But, you need the high population numbers shops and restaurants bring.
  They also make for diversity, and round out your tower nicely. Just be sure
  to start with the profitable ones and leave the others for later.
    A good place for non-exclusive restaurants is wherever they can be
  surrounded by lots of offices and some residences and maybe a few hotel
  rooms, too. A sky cafe is cool to have; link the floor to all nearby
  business blocks and add an express connection to the ground floor to
  maximize visitors and profit. This may be the only way to get anyone to
  ever come to the deeply untrendy noodle shops.
    Every shop and restaurant has a random amount of visitors independent of
  the existence of other shops and restaurants. Every shop is an island unto
  itself. If you build one burger joint, you get about 100 shoppers a month.
  If you build three, you get 300 shoppers a month. Again, somehow demand for
  goods is directly related to supply of said goods, instead of the
  real-world inverse relation. I'll poke the game's economic model more
  further down.

Shops:
(1 star tower)
- Ice cream: small but steady profit, popular.
- Book store: small but steady profit, popular.
- 1-800-Flowers: small but steady profit.
- Barber shop: usually turns a small profit.
- Cigarette and juice vending machines: no maintenance costs, but also only
  minimal profits. Set these up later in a small space somewhere.
- Orange Julius: eventually turns a small profit on average.
- Record store: lucky to break even once a year, but must have for 2 stars.

(2 star tower)
- Drug store: lucky to break even once a year, high maintenance costs.
- Pet shop: on average a small profit, but varies.
- Convenience store: varies, on average may turn a small profit, popular.
- Video & DVD: moderate and steady profit, very popular.
- Electronics store: lucky to ever break even, high maintenance, but must
  have for 3 stars in Tokyo.

(3 star tower)
- Ladies' boutique: usually turns a nice profit.
- Men's clothing shop: lucky to break even once a year.
- Sporting goods: on average just about breaks even.
- Toy World: varies quite a lot, maybe slightly profitable, mildly popular.
- Supermarket: highly profitable, very popular.

(4 star tower)
- Gameworks arcade: huge 3-story thing, highly profitable and popular.

It is possible to adjust the ratio of goods categories offered in each shop.
Every shop has 4 kinds of goods available. It seems like each category should
appeal to a specific market segment, such as young people, businesspeople,
or housewives. In theory, you should figure out which goods are most in
demand and focus sales on those; or, you should tweak all shops to cater to
a specific market segment to attract your preferred kind of people in great
numbers.
  Unfortunately, the game does not offer sufficient market research or sales
analysis tools to allow any sort of educated decision. Interviewing the
little people marching around nets you a random response depending on the
place they're heading to. Sometimes they may adamantly repeat a specific item
they're hoping to buy; other times the same person changes their mind every
time you ask.
  I ran a test to see if any goods were more popular than others; on every
game weekend without rain I wrote down the sales of each store set to sell
only one type of goods. Repeat a dozen times for each type of goods, drop the
highest and lowest values, and calculate an average. The end result was that
there was a small, statistically significant difference in favor of certain
goods, but nowhere near enough to be worth the effort.
  If there is an actual economic system running in the game, it is
exceedingly poorly communicated to the player. Ignore the goods type ratios,
except for their flavor value.

Restaurants:
(1 star tower)
- coffee.com: lucky to break even once a year, but very popular and cheap.
- Burger Land: small but steady profit, very popular.
- Ramen noodle house: the description in the game says it has many regular
  customers... but there are barely ten per day even when located in the
  middle of office blocks.
- Soba noodle house: likewise very unpopular, will hardly turn a profit at
  $5 a bowl, but office people go there sometimes.
- J-Pub: office people sometimes go there after work, once you have lots of
  offices this usually renders a nice profit.
- Mrs. Weinstein's Toffee: once you have a two-star tower, on average about
  breaks even, quite popular. In a one-star, not so.

(2 star tower)
- Big Country: on average yields a small profit.
- Loco Taco: usually produces a steady, small profit, mildly popular.
- Jenny's: people magnet, and usually gives a nice profit.

(3 star tower)
- Sushi-Man: not very popular, only mildly profitable, if at all.
- Mama Pizano's: popular, steady profit.
- Maharaja: small but steady profit. Better if lots of offices are around,
  since workers seem to enjoy having lunch or dinner there sometimes.
- Korean barbeque: small but steady profit.
- Uncle Chow's: very popular and profitable! Almost always goes in the blue
  happiness level even outside weekends.
- Eiffel Tower: exclusive, ie. few customers, but on average a tidy profit.


On happiness, elevators and transport:
======================================

In order to function usefully, every room must be accessible. There are two
kinds of access: one for people, and one for service drones. Standard
elevators, express elevators and escalators are only usable by normal people
and security guards. Service elevators are only usable by housekeepers on
duty and by the poor sods who drew the short straw and take out the garbage
bags from restaurants at the end of the day. Plain vanilla stairs, the great
equalizer, are usable by everyone and liked by no one.
  Unlike in SimTower, the number of transportation methods is not limited in
Yoot Tower. You can have as many elevator shafts and escalators as you can
afford and fit in the tower.

Shoppers and residents of your tower are happy to take several modes of
transportation to reach their target, but each use makes them a little more
stressed. Simple stairs are terribly stressful to climb, escalators not so,
although there seems to be a maximum amount of people that can fit on an
escalator at one time, so there may be queues at busy areas. Queues also form
in front of elevator landings. Standing in queue is very stressful.
  The key to a happy tower is making sure that people don't have to climb
stairs or stand in queues. They should also not be subjected to much noise.
This is easier said than done, since the elevators are amazingly stupid.
Whoever programmed the elevator operations should be punished in the name of
the moon. It is common to see elevator cars sitting still and empty on the
same floor with people queueing, because another car is planning to head
toward that floor sometime in the future from eighty floors away.
  This means that in larger towers it is impossible to have a smooth
transportation system and the tenants will barbeque you for it. Furthermore,
the tenants have a current Stress level, and an Avg. Stress level. The latter
is in fact a total sum of stress which falls slowly over time. In any large
tower, you'll find that even a smooth pair of express/normal elevator rides
up, and another pair of rides back down creates stress faster than the stress
wears out. Thus your tenants will, over a few years, accumulate enough stress
to see red, and will move out and tell their friends to hate your tower, too.
I guess work exhaustion is a serious problem in Japan but this is ridiculous.
  As a side effect, one-time visitors, such as hotel guests, are much easier
to keep happy, since there is no stress carry-over.

You'll want to minimize the number of floors actively served by each elevator
shaft to give the AI as little chance as possible of screwing up your touchy
tenants' lives. The goal is to get everyone where they need to go by taking
one normal elevator and maybe one express. To do this, you'll need to use
nexus levels - people use an express elevator to get up there, then switch to
a normal elevator to reach one of several office/hotel/residence blocks
immediately around the nexus level.
  Each block should be of a size that doesn't overburden the normal elevator,
while still generating enough revenue to cover the operating costs. On each
floor you should have not many more than 30-35 people, or they'll start
making enough noise to annoy each other.
  A normal elevator can comfortably serve about 40 offices, if they are not
spread out across a full fifteen floors. Add to that another 40 rental
apartments, placed further from the nexus than the offices as less demanding
tenants. A good business block, then, might consist of 7 floors of 2 or 3
offices on both sides of the elevator and a restroom in the middle; then
3 floors of 10-15 rental apartments on both sides of the elevator.
  A hotel block should have maybe 6-8 rooms per floor. More than that and you
risk noise pollution that will turn the rooms yellow and hence completely
unacceptable for guests. An elevator with 4-5 cars can easily handle any
amount of people in a compact hotel block. Considering what slackers the
housekeepers are, if you place one housekeeping squad per block, you are
limited to about 50 hotel rooms before they start leaving work undone every
day. This makes a nice hotel block about 9 floors of 6 rooms.
  The nexus level is a prime spot for bonus rooms, such as a security room,
a doctor's office, a school, or an exclusive noodle restaurant.

Confused? Perhaps this rough blueprint will clarify things. From the lobby,
you take an express elevator to the nexus level. Then you take a normal
elevator to get to any apartment or any office, or you walk over to the hotel
area. In the hotel area, you can move from the front desk to the rooms with
normal elevators. I did not draw the service elevator to avoid cluttering the
diagram, but that would cover both hotel blocks from the nexus level.

 ------------------------------
 |              #             |
 | apartments   #  apartments |         --------------------------
 |              #             |         |   .      #       .     |
 |--------------#-------------|         | s .  d   #  d    .     |
 |              #             |         | i .  o   #  o    .  s  |
 |              #             |         | n .  u   #  u    .  u  |
 |              #             |         | g .  b   #  b    .  i  |
 |  offices     #   offices   |         | l .  l   #  l    .  t  |
 |     x3       #     x2      |         | e .  e   #  e    .  e  |
 |              #             |         |   .      #       .     |
 |              #             |         |   .      #       .     |
 |--------------#-------------|=========|----------#-------------|
 |     ##     # # NEXUS LEVEL             maids x2 # frontdesk x2|
 |-----##-----#---------------|=========|------------#-----------|
 |     ##     #               |         |     .      #       .   |
 |     ##     #               |         |  s  .  d   #    d  . s |
 |     ##     #               |         |  u  .  o   #    o  . i |
 |  offices   #    offices    |         |  i  .  u   #    u  . n |
 |    x2      #      x3       |         |  t  .  b   #    b  . g |
 |     ##     #               |         |  e  .  l   #    l  . l |
 |     ##     #               |         |     .  e   #    e  . e |
 |-----##-----#---------------|         |     .      #       .   |
 |     ##     #               |         |     .      #       .   |
 | apartments #  apartments   |         |------------------------|
 |     ##     #               |         |                        |
 |-----##--------------------------------------------------------|
 |     ##                                                        |
 |     ##      LOBBY                                             |
 |     ##                                                        |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

For the obsessive-compulsives out there, we can take optimization further.
  One problem with nexus levels is that you have to be careful with symmetry
of your block design. Every transport mode needs four steps of empty space on
both sides. In order to fit one block with an express elevator and two normal
elevators, one up, one down, and maybe a service elevator for garbage
disposal if you have a sky cafe operation, you will have to squeeze the
elevators right next to each other or make uncomfortably wide towers. Too
wide towers means a tradeoff between wasted space and noise pollution. The
tower visitors seem to get no stress from plain lateral walking, thankfully.
Your basic plan should probably be 3-4 towers connected by sky bridges at
1-3 nexus levels.
  Now, you cannot place the regular elevator landing too close to either
edge of a block, since then people are noisily stomping all the way across
the story. Thus the normal elevators must be close to the center, but not
exactly at the center because of the 4-step space requirement - that would
block the opposing block's elevator access.
  To make things more interesting, the game tracks traffic on a 4-step grid.
Look at the Traffic view, and you'll see that all the red traffic blocks are
aligned in a square grid. Wherever you place an elevator, the grid blocks
occupied by the elevator, and one block on both sides, will get traffic and
noise. If you place the elevator overlapping two grid blocks, it will spread
noise over 4 blocks. If you place the shaft exactly on a grid block, it will
only spread noise over 3 blocks. Take this into account and the tenants
closest to the elevator will be slightly happier. Also, don't put offices or
apartments right in the grid blocks beside the elevator, since you know
there is going to be noise in that area. Lay the restrooms there instead.
  Still confused? Go build a tower or two, then come read this again, maybe
it will make more sense then.


On random events:
=================

There are a few goofy events you will get to deal with. Some of them are
good, others not so. You may get a visit from crazy Uncle Reggae, or the
tower's mascot stray dog, Maru, who can somehow reach the top floor buttons
in an elevator by itself. Don't worry about those two.
  Worry about the terrorists instead.
  The most common event early on is the Terrorist Bomb Threat. Either pay the
terrorists lots of terror money and finance their terrorific activities, or
wake your security guys and have them eliminate the danger while the rest of
the building is evacuated. Once you reach four-star status, the terrorists
lose interest and don't want your filthy capitalist money anymore.
  Another destructive event is a fire breaking out. It will destroy several
rooms, but can't spread over empty floor space. Your security goons will put
the fire out quickly, but by then you will have lost a few hundred thousand
Japanese dollars' worth of property, and the tower has been evacuated. For
whatever reason, it seems only guards from the first security room you have
built come with fire extinguishers; I had a fire break out on the 33rd floor,
and while the security guys on the 27th kept drinking coffee, my security
ninjas from the 4th floor had to scale the sheer tower walls to reach the
fire site. They got there just in time to roast marshmallows over the cooling
rubble of 6 offices and 28 rental apartments. ($1160000 damages incurred.)
  If you have lots of money, you can summon a firefighting helicopter
instead; this results in a swift minigame where a helicopter slowly navigates
toward your cursor and you get to spew water all over the place. And here I
thought firefighting choppers used a foam of some kind. If your mouse-fu is
not up to scratch your whole tower may burn to cinder before you can put the
flames out. It is worth at least trying out, if you can afford the fee, which
is outrageous considering they can't even provide a trained firefighting crew
able to act without your hand-holding.
  Due to lazy programmers, bad things only seem to happen at 9:00 in the
mornings, or at 12:00 sharp.
  When your tower is evacuated, all residents and visitors make a beeline for
the exits, along the fire escape stairways on the sides of your building.
This generates some noisy traffic along the edges, and in larger towers may
be enough to annoy residents along the edges to leave your tower in a huff,
traumatized by the noisy environment. This is especially bad if you built
expensive condos along the tower edges since you get to refund every yen the
inhabitants paid for the condos.
  Meanwhile, you will note that hotel guests also escape your tower WITHOUT
PAYING for their stay. Your housekeepers and front desk angels rush after the
guests and will only return the next morning with every guest's name, address
and billing information. Once midday rolls around, you'll get what the guests
should've paid you, but you've already lost one day's hotel profits. From an
economic point of view it may make sense to pay off the terrorists, if your
daily intake from the hotel business is more than what they ask from you.
  Of course, if you pay them, what makes you think they won't come back the
next week to ask for more? Once I did pay them, and what happened moments
later on that same game day? A fire broke out and caused several hundred
thousand worth of losses in addition to the terrorists' fee I paid. Probably
faulty wiring in their home-made suitcase bomb.

There are also happy events: when digging in the ground, you may uncover
a valuable treasure. At Kegon Falls, you will eventually find a hot spring in
the rock, enabling you to set up a spa. In December you may spot a figure in
red zooming through the sky, ejaculating a demonic "Ho Ho Ho!"
  VIP visits feel random enough to count as happy events - particularly as
you generally don't even need to do anything, just let them experience your
majestic tower. If you can't get a VIP to drop by, don't despair. Even when
all their demands have been met, it can take years before one remembers your
existence. VIPs are very busy people.


On the scenarios:
=================

KEGON FALLS:
The easiest scenario - a hotel and spa dug into rock beside waterfalls.
Beautiful scenery all around. The only way to make money is to quickly build
lots of hotel rooms. After that, you can't really go wrong. Dig around until
you find a hot spring. Eventually, you'll get a VIP guest and a rating
upgrade.
  Set up more hotel rooms and round out the complex with interesting shops.
The shops unique to Kegon Falls are pretty worthless, profit-wise, but the
population boost comes in handy. Soon you'll have another VIP and get to
build a neat pagoda at the top. Keep going and the pagoda will improve as the
number of visitors gets high enough.

HAWAII:
Fairly straightforward - build a hotel/resort complex in Hawaii. Leave space
on the left side of floors B1 and B2 for the boat deck, the local equivalent
of the subway station.
  Hotel rooms are the only way to make money. Build lots. Avoid the
condominiums, obviously. Once the hotel business is bringing lots of revenue,
set up an array of interesting shops, though most of the shops unique to the
Hawaii scenario generally generate little to no profit. You'll soon get a VIP
at your hotel suites, and a rating upgrade. Use the express elevators to
build two tall hotel towers, or whatever you fancy. After a second VIP visit,
you'll go up to the full rating, and can build a cute chapel at the top of
the tower. Keep going and an animated wedding will take place.

TOKYO:
The epic challenge - build a business/residential/hotel complex! Here offices
are the chief source of income, although your operating costs will also be
pretty high. Try to keep the office and apartment rental fees high enough to
cover your maintenance costs and a bit extra, and use profits from the hotel
business to expand your tower.
  You have plenty of space in all directions, so go crazy with 3-5 towers
looming over 90 stories high! Use the list of restaurants and shops presented
earlier to set up useful stores and restaurants early on and leave the rest
for later. Shops are not very profitable at all, but they do bring a good
amount of population to your tower, which is necessary to get those VIPs and
rating upgrades.
  The first VIP will want a record store and 1000 people to applaud his exit
from the building. The second wants an electronics store and 2000 people.
The third wants a hotel suite room and some ladies, plus 5000 people. All
that done, you're running a four-star tower and can build a sky stadium.
  The stadium is a massive dome, and houses what appear to be baseball games.
The stadium is open 12:00 to 23:00, and games are on daily from 18:00 to
21:00, April through October. Tickets per head per match are $100, no season
tickets or student discounts exist. There are a total of 400 seats available.
Bring your own hot dogs (conveniently available from nearby tower stores).
  I imagine it's a bit hard to strike a home run in that dome.
  Every stadium must have a home team, and yours is no exception. You'll even
get to name them! After that, you'll never see a match without your team.
  Keep building popular shops and other space wasters, and once your
population hits 12000 and your stadium has proven to be popular enough,
you're eligible for an instant upgrade to the greatest grade of them all:
The Tower II - Five Stars.
  Draw an award diploma for yourself, get it printed and framed, and hang it
on your wall. I hope you enjoyed working your way to it, because that's the
only reward you get!

On bugs:
========

- The game crashes, rarely and seemingly randomly. Save often.
- Hotel rooms sometimes get "stuck" after evacuation due to terrorist threat
  or fire... wait for all rooms to be free and the cleaning finished for the
  day, but no guests arriving yet - around 16:30. Now switch to the Pricing
  view and open a front desk. Try changing room prices. You may see that some
  rooms' prices do not change even though they should. This condition is
  cured when a new guest stays in that hotel room.
    However, in case of evacuation, if the room is left at below "excellent"
  happiness, chances are it will never recover on its own; normally the
  happiness level goes up slowly over time, but this does not seem to happen
  when a hotel room is evacuated. The trouble is, that a hotel room with less
  than an excellent rating will rarely if ever get guests. So, you may get
  stuck with a yellow hotel room that sits there looking stupid and useless.
    Two solutions: set the price for rooms to the minimum at the front desk,
  then release and reassign the room. The price changes, though the room
  remains stuck. If the lower price was enough to push the happiness level
  back up to excellent, the room has been saved, as a guest may now stay
  there and unstick the room. Otherwise, all you can do is leave it be, or
  demolish and rebuild the room.
- If there are too many hotel rooms available for connecting to a single
  front desk, there may be some odd behavior. Avoid this by designing the
  hotel area in compartmentalized blocks. It's also more efficient that way.
- After a power down event, demolishing enough stuff to get the lights back
  on, and building the power room, I found the game stopped responding in any
  way to all construction commands. Saving, closing the game and reloading
  solved this.
- Even if you turn game sounds off, the little video clips playing in an
  endless loop for two hours at the movie theaters, and for all day at the
  event center, will have audio enabled.
- Demolishing a shop may leave behind a few salespeople, still sheepishly
  holding gift boxes, unable to leave the building. Possibly, since they want
  to get from the shop to the lobby, and the shop has been wiped from
  existence, they can't decide where to start pathfinding from. That, or they
  insist on using a service elevator because they're on duty, and you haven't
  seen fit to connect that particular floor with one. Eventually, disgusted
  with your tower, they snap their fingers and teleport with a puff of smoke
  to the exit. (Or maybe they jump out a window? Fastest way out.)
- Allowing and disallowing elevators to service floors gets slower the bigger
  the tower is. Fine, this is not a bug, just a slow algorithm, but it is
  still annoying. I assume there is a pathfinding node network that gets
  partially updated every time transportation routes change. With a big
  building, the network probably grows exponentially, explaining the
  slowdown. A smart programmer could update the network as a background task,
  maybe even in a separate thread.
- Sometimes clicking on a person with the magnifying glass gives you
  a default "null" person, a young man on his way to the first tenant you
  ever built. This seems to happen when a person has just settled into queue
  for an elevator or other ride. If you click again, the person has morphed
  back into their everyday self and deny any knowledge of what just happened.
  Is the Tower Matrix unstable, or do you have Agents sneaking around?

========---
This strategy guide of sorts should be considered freely distributable
anywhere, as long as the author is duly credited.
 

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