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2012 03 GotM - Zookeepers (SMAX)

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This month's GotM mixes a light-hearted premise with a serious mini-mod, featuring two custom factions, an altered terrain graphic, a custom tech tree and custom SE choices - it's also very difficult.

By BUncle, I Have No Name and Rymdolov

The Zookeepers: Not really a children's story
by Rymdolov

"Daddy, I want to hear a story before I go to sleep! Can I? I want to hear a story from auntie!"

"Well, I'm sure that your aunt has othe-"

"Oh, it's no trouble at all! There should always be time for the little children."


"Ok, I'll tuck you in, little fella. There. And after the story it's time for you to close those bright eyes of yours, you hear that?"

"Yes, daddy! Good night!"

"Good night!"

"well, which story do you want to hear?"

"The one about the zoo keeper and all the animals!"

"Again? Well, that's a commendable story...

A long time ago, on another world, there was a big, big zoo, a place where people could go to look at all sorts of wild animals..."

"Wasn't it dangerous?"

"No, because all the animals were in cages, except the sharks, which were kept in large tanks..."

"What's a shark?"

"It's a _huge_ fish, with enormous teeth, a fish which is always hungry, swims very fast and can smell human blood from miles away. So they had to be kept in tanks.

"Most people working at the zoo were honest, hard working people, but one of them was Satarov, an evil scientist who wanted to be like God. So he invented a pill which would make him more intelligent than God intended him to be. Because he thought that there are no limits to what human beings can do if they set their minds to it. But God Almighty would prove him wrong."

"So the pill didn't work?"

"Yes, it did! But God had another little surprise for Satarov. You see, he was a very unethical man..."

"What's 'un-ethical', auntie?"

"Why, I think I have told you this already."

"I don't remember..."

"Very well, ethics is about understanding what is Right and what is Wrong. If you are ethical you stop to think about if it's right before doing something important."

"So, if I'm going to do something I stop and ask myself if it's right or wrong before doing it?"

"Aren't you forgetting something?"


"How do _you_ know what's right and wrong?"

"By thinking about the... consequences of my actions?"

"That can be a good thing, but _who_ knows right from wrong better than anybody?"


"That's right! If you only think of how your actions would affect yourself and others, then you are not very ethical, because you have listened to your conscience instead of God. If your thoughts and your conscience tells you that something is right and just and God, through the Holy Scripture, tells you otherwise, then your conscience is wrong."

"But that's not what Satarov did."

"No, Satarov was an evil man who put his own ethics before God. That's why he tested his pill on Clarence instead of strapping down an animal, forcing it to swallow the pill and keeping it locked up and tied down while performing tests on it, which would be truly ethical, since God has given us the animals to do as we please. It's in Genesis 1:26.

"Clarence was a janitor at the zoo who wasn't very bright. Satarov thought that an unintelligent man like Clarence would be a good test subject. After all, even if Clarence was to be twice as intelligent he wouldn't be smarter than Satarov, and Satarov was an evil man, with a heart full of jealousy.

"There was also a laboratory assistant called Jessica, who Clarence wanted to impress. But Jessica was a very bright girl and laughed at Clarence's clumsy attempts at talking about interesting things. Satarov saw this and told Clarence that all he needed to impress jessica was to think a little clearer and that Satarov had made a pill which could help him.

"'It's not some kind of drug, is it?' Clarence asked. 'Oh, no', answered Satarov. 'It's just, well, vitamins and some minerals. You need those to keep your head clear.' So clarence took the pill and soon he was the brightest janitor at the zoo, who kept up with the latest zoological news and amused every one of his workmates with his clever remarks. Even Jessica noticed the change and agreed to have dinner with Clarence.

"'I think your pill really worked, sir', Clarence said to Satarov the night after the dinner. 'Do you have more of those?' 'As a matter of fact, I do' Satarov said, rubbing his hands maliciously. 'I have a whole box here in the cupboard by the ape cage. Help yourself, Clarence, but do not take more than one pill a week. Those are strong vitamins.'

"And so it went. Clarence took his pills and was happy with his new won intelligence and Satarov made plans to try the pills on himself. But less than a week later, our Good Lord arranged for most of the staff at the zoo to become ill at the same time. Jessica was one of them. so she called the ape house to make sure someone took care of her job while she was gone. Clarence was the only one around at the time, so Jessica instructed him on how to feed the apes. 'Remember this, Sweetie, and it will turn out just fine...' she began.

"Clarence was distracted by Jessica calling him sweetie and didn't listen very well. The only thing he could remember clearly after breaking the connection was Jessica's final words: 'Make sure they get their vitamins!'

"'Vitamins, vitamins', Clarence thought, growing ever more desperate. 'Where did she say they were?' Then he remembered: There's a whole box of vitamin pills in the cupboard! Clarence took the entire box and emptied it in the feeding slot above the ape cage and watched the apes grab handfuls of the cherry flavoured smart pills and shoving them into their mouths, feeling very pleased with having found a solution to his dilemma.

"When the apes had finished eating Clarence started the video display in their cage, let the alpha ape pick a movie through the touch display and left the ape building, confident that a movie would keep the apes sufficiently entertained and thereby calm for a while.

"But, you see, the alpha had not chosen randomly. Instead it had picked a terrible old movie called 'Planet of the Apes', which is a godless story about apes taking over the world. Inspired by this movie the apes decided to take over the zoo and as they had become very, very smart by all the pills they had swallowed they easily overrode the security systems and started to go berzerk all over the zoo!

"They opened the cages to all the other animals, let the sharks out of the tanks and the poor, undermanned staff had to fight for their lives! You see, that's what happens when you watch movies that are not good for you. So you should always ask your parents or another Christian adult before watching or reading anything.

"But God is good and humankind was made in His image, so eventually order was restored."

"What happened to the evil Satarov, auntie?"

"Why, he was thrown into the shark tank to be eaten."

"Wow. That sounds kinda nasty. Wasn't that a little mean?"

"Oh no, why would you think so?"

"Well, the bible says 'Thou shalt not kill', doesn't it?"

"Yes, but it also tells us that those who accept Jesus Christ as their saviour shall not truly die, but live forever. And those who do not do so, the evil atheists, will live in eternal agony in hell, where they will scream and gnash their teeth. And that's the closest we humans ever come to being truly dead. So to truly kill is to make someone who believes lose their faith. That's why you can always 'kill' atheists, un-believers, who try to spread their lies."

"Is that why we're always at war?"

"Yes, it is. Be cause that's the Christian way. But you don't need to worry about all that. We will win, since God is on our side. And now it's time for you to sleep. Goodnight, Sweetness."

"Goodnight, aunt Miriam."


Your mission:
Jack Hannah III, as Head of Security, you will have to restore order to the zoo. This means taking control of the exibit places scattered over the map. There are, of course, disgruntled animals all over the place, ready to transform your mission in a living hell.

1) Download the zip file and place it into your main game directory. Usually this is: C:Program FilesFiraxis GamesSid Meier's Alpha Centauri
2) Unzip it there.
3) Start up SMAX, then select "Scenario", "Play Scenario", and then go to the subdirectory "1203ZookeeperGotM" and choose the scenario.
4) The game will automatically load with the Zookeepers faction.

Lots of things have been moded including factions, units, tech tree, native life and fungus appearance. You can discover everything using the in-game datalinks.

Important note: The ability named : ) [like the smilie] acts as the artillery ability for units that have non psi weapons and armor. This ability is also used to design units that have both psi armor and psi weapons. It will not function as artillery on psi units, but using psi units is very inexpensive in this scenario and also highly recommended for survival.

- no additional "bases" can be built (you're starting with 3 such "bases": The Zoo Security HQ, The Tour Boat Start Point and The Outpost);
- no raising/lowering terrain is allowed;
- no tech trading;

The standings will be calculated using the following criteria (in this exact order):
- the difficulty level of the scenario;
- number of objectives reached (each 'base' is an objective); you start with 3, minimum required for submission is 4, maximum is 14);
- number of turns needed to reach the objectives;
- the "Zookeeper Alpha Centauri score".

On the same difficulty level, the player with most objectives will hold a superior position.
On the same number of objectives, the scenario completed in less turns will outweigh the others.
If there will be more than one submission still tied, the Zookeeper Alpha Centauri score will decide the winner.

You can check at any time the number of objectives reached using the '=' key.
The scenario ends when you get the 'Mission completed' popup. Please save before taking the last base!
Don't forget to inform us on the moves needed to complete the mission (if any).

Download link for Transcend difficulty level:;sa=downfile&id=77

anyone playing this scenario?

I can't really follow what is going on in this scenario.  Units seem to be coming out of nowhere to attack my rear bases.  I can't really identify the source of these attackers.



--- Quote from: sisko on April 09, 2012, 01:43:27 PM ---anyone playing this scenario?

--- End quote ---

Hang on Man, I'm new here, and I'm about to give this GOTM a whirl -- after I d/l it of course.....

welcome to the site, Davyboy. we are looking forward to your feedback :)


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