SimCopter

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SimCopter
SimCopter cover
Developers
Maxis
Publishers
Electronic Arts
Release dates
Windows October 31, 1996
SimCopter guide on StrategyWiki
SimCopter on Wikipedia
SimCity
Subseries of Sim
SimCity (1989) 1989
SimCity 2000 1994
SimCity 2000 Network Edition 1996
SimCopter 1996
Streets of SimCity 1997
SimCity 3000 1999
SimCity 4 2003
SimCity Societies 2007
SimCity (2013) 2013

Key points

Game works on modern systems (see Installing on 64-bit versions of Windows).

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Windows
Demo

Essential improvements[edit]

Official Patches[edit]

Patch 1.02 adds a better flight model and experimental 3Dfx acceleration.
The patch comes in a 16-bit installer executable and so cannot be installed natively on 64-bit Windows. Additionally it removes the "easter egg event".

Unofficial Patches[edit]

SimCopterX patches the game to prevent crashing on modern CPUs, along with bypassing the CD DRM checks. It also provides optional settings such as higher-resolutions modes.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\[Note 1]
Config files require a hex editor to read and are not easy to interpret.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\My Saved Cities\*.sc2[Note 1]

Video settings[edit]

Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
SimCopter is locked at a display mode of 640x480 256 colours. This can be unlocked with SimCopterX which supports additional resolution modes.
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Windowed
Create a shortcut with the command line option -w and enable reduced color mode (8-bit 256 color) in the compatibility settings. Using Alt+ Enter to change from fullscreen to windowed causes major graphical issues, but it works fine the other way round.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Frame-rate is uncapped, however running the game above 120 FPS may cause it to speed up and/or crash. See Game crashes

Input settings[edit]

Audio settings[edit]

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Sliders for Game and Radio volume. Ability to turn off radio commercials and DJ.
Surround sound
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
A3D 1.0[1]

Issues fixed[edit]

Installing on 64-bit versions of Windows[edit]

The original disc release uses a 16-bit installer.
Install with a modified 32-bit installer[citation needed]
  1. Insert the CD.
  2. Copy the contents of disc somewhere temporarily.
  3. Download the InstallShield 3 32-bit Generic Installer.
  4. Extract the new installer into the setup folder.
  5. Run setup32.exe and follow the steps.

Game crashes[edit]

The game often runs too fast on modern CPUs and must be slowed down.
Slow down the game internally[2]

Use SimCopterX which slows the game down internally through a patch. The patcher also comes with optional settings such as higher-resolution modes.

Slow down the game externally[3]
  1. Slow down your entire computer using a CPU-Killer. Your CPU usage will spike to 99%-100% - this type of fix is not recommended.
  2. Use an external framerate limiter such as NVidia Driver, FRAPS, or RivaTuner. Note that SimCopter still may not be compatible with these programs.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Glide 2.1.1 Only available after installing the 1.02 patch and activated via the command line option -v. This mode is experimental and so the HUD and some other features are missing, with a number of graphical glitches also present. Supported by nGlide.
Software renderer
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium/75 MHz
System memory (RAM) 16 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 15 MB
Video card (GPU) SVGA video card
512 KB of VRAM

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without Administrator elevation, activity in %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%, and %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\ (more details).

References