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About this City Journal

This City Journal features a full history of the nation this region exists in, with economic, social, and political context also given. l will follow the development of the eastern...

Entries in this City Journal

Retep Molinari

You're going to help me pick tram skins!

With a nation-wide light rail expansion, new rolling stock was needed, perticulliary for those cities without existing systems. The government put out a bid for light rail vehicles that matched the following criteria:

  • Low-floor design
  • Can operate as a subway, surface light rail, or elevated rail.
  • Can operate smoothly at speeds up to 60 MPH
These specifications were all about making a unified system, long-term cost savings in manufacturing costs, and efficient service.

Six companies have developed 15 new light rail trains that fit these specifications, and are all found below:


The Question: What tram styles do you want to see in what city?

Here is a guide of the cities on Syldav Island, so you can get a sense for the look and feel and for what tram would look good. (links take you to a page on the relevant City Journal)


Balboa City

East Port


Mario City

Shozhod (also see this update for the City's new landmark!)




Retep Molinari

As you may have been reading, Balboa led the reunification of all of Syldav Island in 2000. This has resulted in a major construction effort, as outlined here.

Sounds great and all, but, uh, how is all of that getting paid for?

Here is the immediate plan:

Consolidate Military

Armies are expensive. Four of them are really expensive. The first move was to consolidate the militaries of Balboa and Syldav and largely disband the militaries of Peotav and Bordav. Many of the no longer needed military men and women were moved directly into local police forces in Pieta and Brava, where police presence was thin.

Excess hardware (i.e. planes, ships, etc.) were also sold to foreign nations or traded for raw materials needed in the reconstruction (the later proved more efficent).

(Tanks being transported by train for shipping)


Equalize Taxes

Like in the United States, many small localities had varying tax levels. A wealthy suburb may have really low taxes at the cost of an urban core. In Brava, and North Shozhod in particular, this was a major problem. Taxes were equalized by geography and raised on the wealthiest individuals.

Drop Oil

With domestic reserves depleted, Syldav Island was forced to import all of its oil supplies. By moving quickly away from oil usage, Syldav Island can make immediate savings to the national and private treasuries: not only does the government save money, but individual citizens will have more money in their pockets as well.

Domestic Manufacturing

To the degree possible, the work of rebuilding Syldav must take place domestically. This provides new opportunities to once shuttered factories. This includes the rolling stock for the massive light rail expansion taking place nation-wide.

Check out the next post for some interactive fun! 


Retep Molinari

A few readers have requested a tour through East Port, and I have not forgotten. Please enjoy!

East Port is located to the north-east of Balboa City, and due east from Taraville. It has about 410,000 residents.

For full resolution on all pics: Right click image + "View image." Very worth it!!

See how many of the landmarks in this post your can spot in this city-wide view!


City Hall was built in the 1950s, before downtown was very large at all.


The heart of downtown East Port. The city has a strong automobile culture, though the city's first elevated rail line--built in the 1950s--passes through in this photo. The sports arena is also shown.


A second elevated rail line--as well as  a few subway lines--were built between 1978-1985. This particular station was built in 1981 and renovated in 1998.


A good school, though the trams can get a bit noisy. These trains cross the river underground and travel to either Mario City or Hilltop.


The tram plaza helped congestion in this intersection. The original line was built in 1923.


An automobile culture meets professional football and soccer. East Port's largest venue is also Balboa's largest football/soccer stadium and hosts the Syldav Island-wide championships each year. Nevertheless, the expansive parking lots are the constant talk of redesign, due to the amount of land they consume. Check back to the first picture to see how much space it really takes up!


The East Port College for the Industrial Trades is a respected business and industrial university.


Right across the lake from the University are the fair grounds.


Mario City, located across the river, leased this former waste dump and turned it into a world-class sports facility.


Hope you all enjoyed the update!

Retep Molinari

Two new redevelopment projects have gone a long way in helping Balboa City rebuild over the past decade. Here are some more of the changes the city experienced.

For full resolution on all pics: Right click image + "View image." Very worth it!!

The central hospital, built in 1910, was in sore need of expansion. But with local transit routes maxed out, a new option was needed.


Room was found within the Western neighborhood Plan to build a brand new hospital.Easily accessible by mss transit, the new hospital could serve 30,000 residents.


The completed hospital, looking north. The Grove Street rail line passes nearby.


A close up at dusk, looking south.


Balboa Terrace park was nearly unchanged since it was built in 1923.


An upgrade in 2006 changed little, other than paving the paths. A new rugby field was added, however.


Just for fun, lets compare Balboa City in 1930....


To today...



Retep Molinari

Between 2001-2010, Balboa City underwent two massive redevelopment projects: the Eastern and Western Neighborhood Plans. Each of these areas were massive, if underused, industrial areas.

For full resolution on all pics: Right click image + "View image." Very worth it!!

In this photo of Balboa City, you can see the finished Western Neighborhood Plan, which Includes most of the land located to the left near the seaport.


Between the neighborhood's decline in the 1980s and 2002, a few smaller attempts at redevelopment were made. These efforts centered around replacing unused industrial lots with high-density housing and parkland. Residents, however, were unimpressed and never moved in.


In late 2002, a comprehensive redevelopment plan was approved. Centered along the existing elevated rail lines, the new western neighborhood would include parks, high-density housing, shops, and high-tech industry.

This photo shows the lower and central parts of the neighborhood.


The northern portion of the neighborhood.


With 10,000 residents within 200 yards, this rail station sees plenty of action.



Until next time!

Retep Molinari

Between 2001-2010, Balboa City underwent two massive redevelopment projects: the Eastern and Western Neighborhood Plans. Each of these areas were massive, if underused, industrial areas.

Redevelopment on the eastern side of the city had been discussed for years. With with many well used buildings mixed with the underused ones, it was difficult to create a comprehensive plan.

In the fall of 2001, riots stemming from the Balboa-led unification of Syldav (read your history) resulted in the razing of much of the eastern side. Coupled with a clear need to expand the airport, complete redevelopment was ordered.

For full resolution on all pics: Right click image + "View image." Very worth it!!

In this photo of Balboa City, you can see the finished Eastern Neighborhood Plan, which makes up the lower portion of the strip of land to the right.


This is an early image from the redevelopment process. Businesses and residents based in the eastern neighborhood were relocated with a guarantee too return if they wished.


The Eastern Neighborhood Plan placed a premium on pedestrians and public transit. However, the area also included McColley Bridge, connecting the two halfs of the City. here you can see the terracing and the major roads stemming from the bridge.


Part of the neighborhood after redevelopment. Note the rail/road overpass. The new tramline runs underground as to avoid the messey traffic. This intersection of road, light rail, and heavy rail was one of the most expensive projects of the entire plan. However, the planners were rewarded when it was proven to cut congestion and streetcar dwell times.


The redevelopment provided greater access to local commuter lines.


A new trades college was built in the Eastern Neighborhood, adjacent an elementary school. After school and during weekends, the general public may use the greens and basketball courts.


Pedestrian malls are one way commuters get to the trains, while providing car-free open space throughout the day.


To the north, another light rail/heavy rail connection was built. The underground parking lot is a bit expensive, but the walk to the trains isn't very long at all.


Hope you like it! I'll get the Western Neighborhood Plan posted very soon, though comments always seem to speed me up!


Retep Molinari

A few quick pics from the northern part of Balboa City.

For full resolution on all pics: Right click image + "View image." Very worth it!!

First, this is the train station at the tip of the National College for the Humanities, which among other things has the most prestigious history department in Balboa.


This is a large park that keeps the neighborhood's 70,000 residents happy and healthy!


Retep Molinari

Eastern Balboa's One Year Anniversary


One year ago to the day, after playing Sim City since 1992, I finally took my work public in a Simtropolis City Journal. It has been an absolute joy showcasing my work.

Today is the anniversary of beginning my flagship City Journal, Easter Balboa. (right-click, view image for beautiful 1920x1080 resolution)


Journal Highlights

Over the past year, Eastern Balboa has been very successful, sustaining high readership and ratings:

  • Placement in Simtroplis' Top 12 Journalers
  • 38 entires

Favorite Entries

With 38 entries, tons of work has gone into Eastern Balboa. Maybe you're new to Easter Balboa; maybe you are looking for fresh look around.

Below are my favorite entires from my flagship city journal.

Balboa City Comes of Age (May 9, 2009)

An early entry about developments in Balboa City. This entry includes the best pic in the whole CJ of the Catedral de Cádiz.


The Redevelopment of Balboa City's Industrial Flats (July 7, 2009)

The story of how an industrial area was reshaped into a public university, shopping district, and research center.


Political Background: Part 1 and Part 2 (November 2-3, 2009)

The best entries nobody read! Seriously, I had more fun writing these two entries than working on any others. These entries tell the political history of Balboa and greater Syldav Island though the 1900s. Read up on your history: these entries will only become increasingly relevant!

mcguiness_adams_1380797c.jpg balboacitydec1181124468u.png le-pen-cp-155250.jpgrahul-gandhi1.jpg

Views of the finished capital (December 25, 2009)

An overview of the new capital built for all of Syldav in Balboa's Taraville. A beautiful bit of work!


Revisiting Mario City (February 16, 2010)

Some shots from my favorite of all cities--Mario City!


What's Next for Molinari?

All three of my City Journals will continue to grow and be regularly updated. "Bordav & Peotav" has the most work ahead of it, as I am striving to bring each CJ up to date (well, up to the year 2000, at least). At that point, I will do something special.

I will create a new City Journal titled Syldav Union in the old-school City Journal section.

This new CJ will include the backstories from all 3 of my existing City Journals. However, they will place a greater emphasis on the relationships between each of the 4 counties. Once the year 2000 is reached, the CJ will follow the changes taking place in the different regions having been united by Balboa. (See, I told you that you needed to read your history!)

Even with the new CJ, each of the existing story lines will be kept up to date here in the new CJ section.

Thank you all again for the support, views, advice, and ratings!!


Retep Molinari

The north-east end of East Port was once the filthy oil power plant that fueled the city located next to a city dump. Once a nuclear power plant was built across the river, the polluting plants were torn down and the garbage was moved elsewhere or burned.

Over the years, the land sat empty.

oilpowernight.png     nuketwilight.png

The challenge was significant. The area's proximity to the bridge link between Mario City and East Port made any sort of residential or commercial development impractical because of the traffic difficulties. However, there was too much land to simply give up on.

(Isn't this an ugly pic? it's like 3rd grade-level SC4!)


Then in 1998, the Syldav Baseball League dramatically changed its draft rules to promote the locally-grown talent. The new rules:

  • Each year, each team is granted one local pick from within their market area.
  • Teams can use their local pick each season, or accumulate them for later.
  • Local picks are rights that can be traded. For example, a team may trade a player(s) or cash for an additional local pick to use at their choosing.
The idea was to make regions more invested in their local teams.

Slated to obtain an expansion team in 2000, Mario City took action. it sought to build a large baseball facility for its young people to use. East Port--in the same market as Mario City--stood to benefit from a strong local team. With this in mind, East Port offered the old north-east corner to Mario City for a discounted lease term. By 1999, the facility was completed.

For full resolution: Right click image + "View image"


A small performance venue was created just to the south of the ballparks (just cut off in the pic below). This was to leverage both the transportation improvements built for the baseball complex and the region's reputation as an entertainment hub. 

The venue could hold smaller concerts and music festivals as well as award ceremonies and picnics for the teams and families of the baseball players.


And old industrial whearehouse was kept and renovated into indoor batting cages. A new stone seawall was built in place of the old wooden boardwalk from before. Stores were added along the walkway where players could grab sport drinks and a bit to eat.


With plenty of parking and a new bus service, the area became a popular destination.


As always, thanks for reading!

Retep Molinari

Mario City is my favorite! Plus, I have a a new 23 inch (!) monitor, so I can see my cities as never before. I can't share the full experience with you, but I'll show some new pics of the smallest big city in Balboa!

Edit: I just realized that you can see these images in all it's glory:

For full-size view: Right-Click+"View image"

First, we can see the downtown core, with the rail depot in the center. To the left is the main library, with the entertainment center to the right.


The city's main library--shaped like a book--is one of the most popular buildings in all of Balboa. Since it's near the entertainment center, the kids actually go there, too.


City Hall, along the lake's shoreline and adjacent to the ballpark.


The stadium has witnessed many spectacular events. Mario city won the Syldav Union Baseball Championship 3 years in a row, from 2005-2007 and has made the playoffs in 7 straight seasons.


While the city has greatly increased its density over the past decade, many neighborhoods still have a suburban feel.


The trams run all night... but not that frequently. Between 3-5am, they come every 30 minutes.


A progressive, working-class city, Mario City still has its share of wealthy residents.


Hope everyone enjoyed my latest pics! As always, drop me a line!

Retep Molinari

When building the new capital complex in Taraville, great attention was paid to protecting the island's security. As the following picture shows, the narrow water ways could prove difficult to defend.


It was decided to build a cost guard facility on the eastern edge of island, near the train terminal.


Construction soon began...


As the facility was built, crews worked 24/6 on the access roads. There could be no disruption of rail or road service.



The completed facility.


To make room for the boats, the southern shoreline had to be pulled back. No property was taken down in this process, but the City had to build a holding wall to ensure erosion wouldn't eat a way at resident's foundations.


Until next time!

Retep Molinari

I haven't done many true urban projects lately. What's up with that?

Not tons of custom content in this update: just playing with trains.


Since the initial tram system was laid in 1907, Taraville has grown into a major city. Since 2000, it has been the capital of the newly united Syldav Union. (Did you miss that saga? You can catch up here.)

The corridor shown below has been a source of problems for years. The trams are greatly slowed from climbing the hill and the three curves(two of 90 degrees). Furthermore, the stop located at the top of the hill was used by less than 100 passages a day. Since becoming the capital of the Syldav Union, the large avenue to the left led to a bridge to the government complex. Something had to change.


Planners came up with a bold--and expensive--proposal: tunnel past the hill! portals would be built in the middle of the roads, with a subway connecting the two surface rail sections. The subway would run from the bottom left of the above picture to the upper right.

Planners estimated that the project would save 10 minutes from the trip. With just 5 minutes of headway between trams, this equaled the savings of pulling two trains out of service which could then be used elsewhere.

First, the south portal was built into the hillside.


Here you can better see the two curves the trams had to navigate. The portal would be placed over the short section of avenue on the right. The avenue in turn would be changed into a two-lane street with better pedestrian access. Finally, the large parking lot to the right would be demolished.


The northern portal and surrounding areas, after construction.


A closer view of the developments.


Of course, the roads over the hill had to be rebuilt as well.


And finally, the finished product!


Until next time!

Retep Molinari

It's Christmas morning in Balboa...

A mostly secular nation, Christmas is still celebrated as a winter gathering of family and friends.

I never showed many photos from the finished capital built in Taraville. So, as an Xmas gift to all, here is a look:

The entire complex (save the President's Mansion to the upper left)


The President's Mansion & Grounds.



Called the "Great North-Eastern Railway" for a reason: The station was built to connect the capital to new territories in the north and along the east coast of Syldav Island. Travelers can transfer to light rail, subway, or bus to move around the city and the complex.


The Treasury Department.


Security Administration for the complex.


The Department of Education and a light rail stop.


Retep Molinari

It's time for a nice, holiday weekened activity!

Scavenger Hunt!

Aright, lets see if the community here can find everything! (The answers are all in the CJ!)


  1. What city/town uses desalinization plants for its water needs?
  2. What city has the region's only 10-platform rail station?
  3. What is the name of the primary government facility? (hint: it's in Taraville)
  4. Where is this picture from?


  5. What city built the first cable-stayed bridge on Syldav Island? (hint: it's in the Eastern Balboa region)
  6. What is "I-Flats" and where is it located?
  7. What was the name of Balboa's second President?
  8. How did Mario City's team get it's nickname "The Shots?"
  9. What major city did not support the 1975 Revolution?
  10. Who is Adalbert Jankowski?

Good luck everyone!

I hope you all do well, and I hope that enough people respond to this entry!

Retep Molinari


After posting the poll question about East Port's nuke plants, I realized that I haven't shown much from the big city to the east in a while. It's suburb, Mario City, has taken much of the lime light. So I thought I'd share some more photos.

By the way, November has been my busiest month, with this being the 7th update so far (making 1 every 3 days!). I've just been excited; what can I say?

Anyway, on to the photos!

The football statidum is still here, though with much more development around it. And more tram service!


Downtown has developed a lot in the past years. Shildav Arena was built in 1990 to house the City's basketball and hokey teams.


Shildav Arena in the dawn hours i n 2001. In front, the historic Regal Theater.


You may have remembered East Port's City Hall from the 1950s--it's grandeur was hardly matched by the modest downtown.


Well, today a large & modern downtown has grown up around City Hall:


Old (1960s) tram stop, new (1993) tower.


The East Port "Playgrounds," a modest yet loved attraction.


New transit layouts had to be built around this historic church on 51st Street.


And then, there is this. Formerly the site of oil power plants, this corner of East Port has remained barren since the 1960s. A port was was built in 1968 but failed to make this hole an attractive place for anyone to go.

In the ongoing deliberations on the nuclear power plants, the local government stressed that those funds would be better spent to revitalize this wasteland. How? Give me some ideas. Remember, it's not near much anything at all.


That's all for now!

Oh, you can still place your vote on the East Port Nuke issue. Time isn't out yet!

Retep Molinari

Interactive vote!

Since the reunification in 2000, the island has embarked on a major civic building campaign. The most famous example of this was the building of a new government complex in Taraville that could handle the new load of work.

So, the vote is down below, but first here is some background!


The next challenge was to build a transit infrastructure that would physically tie the four sperate regions together

How could all of these projects be affordable? It turned out that the reunification had high economic benefits.

Previous to 2000, the four separate nations each had their own bureaucracies. The overhead costs of individual Departments of Transportation, Education, Labor, State, Interior, Health, and so on were very expensive. These departments, however, made up less than half of the savings.

Each nation's Defense Departments and spy organizations could be done away with. For 100 years, the four nations feared both each other and foreign governments' interference. But now, none of this is needed: all of the funds spend on splitting apart the nation would be used to tie it together.

Now, for the issue!

A proposal to tear down the nuclear power plants that have powered East Port for 50+ years--proposed by a congressman from Bordav--has become one of the first real political battles in the new Syldav Island Union. You get


  • The new government--based in former Balboa--is making a lot of changes in Bordav, Syldav, and Peotav, but less at home
  • These other regions have tougher environmental standards for new development
  • It's dangerous! It's across the river from downtown, for goodness sake!


  • There are polluting and dangerously old power plants all over the island. We should use funds to replace those.
  • The nuclear powerplants have worked great for years and have the highest safety rating
  • Politics makes bad public policy. Plus, these things look great!

So what's your vote?

Retep Molinari

Last time, you saw that Taraville was selected as the new seat of government for Balboa and Syldav Island. Let's see how the construction is going.

(Some photos of the finished product can be found here)

I hope you like it

The House of Government, which holds the offices of the President and the unicameral congress. Beside it are the departments of Housing, Health, Education, and Social Services. To the south is the Department of Defense and Internal Security. You can see below the transit layouts and that the buildings are not all finished yet.


The train station (as well as the departments of Communication and Commerce) is complete. The light rail connects commuters and visitors from all over the island around the government complex.


The government wanted new light rail vehicles for the island. First, the famous blue trams were too closely identified with most light rail systems in Balboa; a new Federal government needed to be more neutral-feeling.


VC-202 Trams for Bordav were perfect. First, the longer cars had three doors rather than one-- a major security upgrade. Second, they looked clearly different and wouldn't be confused with general mass transit in Taraville. Third, this was one of many steps to include the new territories (i.e. Bordav) in the new government.


Trams in front of the recently finished grounds.


The National Center for the Arts was built as the new nations center piece for the arts. Like the Ballpark, it was also a way to bring people to the government complex. President Swift strongly felt that brining people close to democracy in different ways was a key to success. The building is the "greenest" building on Syldav Island (living roof! what what!).


Grounds in front of the House of Government. Each solider and civilian who died during the struggle for reunification is buried here. Though few died overall, it is a dramatic monument to the long effort.


A view of the complex.


Dome detail


Retep Molinari

If you followed all of the events from 1998-2000 (part 1, part 2), you know that Balboa has taken control of all of Syldav Island. This massive accomplishment posed a new questions. Primarily, how would Balboa's government adjust to the new responsibilities?

The first order of business was to establish a new capital for the whole island. But many--especially in Syldav--rejected the idea of centralized authority based in Balboa. This proved problematic, as each of the first three options posted real problems.

1) Balboa City

Why not just use the existing capital? First, the city was associated with the past 100 years; President Swift felt that starting anew was important to the success of the union. Second, Balboa City was on the extreme south-east end of the island; a more centralized capital was needed. Third, and most importantly, there was no room in Balboa City to expand the institutions of government given the nation's 421% increase in population.

Balboa City; no room to build:


2) Klov

Klov--the historic capital of Syldav--was seen as the legitimate seat of power on the island. However, Klov had problems with available space and historical baggage, as did Balboa City. Lastly, President Swift, wanted the capital closer to Balboa and Klov was just a bit too deep into the heart of the island.

3) Build from scratch

There was the option to hand pick a prime location and build a new capital from scratch, as many others have been. There was ample land to do this with, and it was already assumed that major construction would be needed either way. However, President Swift thought that in order to be successful the united nation needed a quick start. Therefore, waiting for a new capital to be build with the businesses of government happening other places was too chaotic.

So, where will they build? Well, I hope you remember all of this land ready for use. 2.gif


That's right--all that space in Taraville proved to be the perfect place to build a new capital. Here were the deciding factors.

  • Placed to the north of Balboa City, and thus closer to Syldav, it was well placed geographically
  • It was within the confines of historic Balboa
  • Taraville had a reputation as a great city for education and the arts with strongly progressive politics
  • It had the standing as an important and respectable city

Most of the bridges in the above photo were taken down or widened for security reasons; the less points of entry, the less you must defend.

While the government complex was being built, many of the instittutions of government found homes in Downtown Taraville (the post-war recession left much open office space to be leased).


Taraville began the business of building for the business of government.

First, Taraville's transportation infrastructure had to be improved. In 2000, Taraville's transit hub had train lines running directly to East Port, Balboa City, and elsewhere in Balboa. But to get to Syldav or Bordav, it took a very long and in direct trip.

Taraville's main depot, 1990


The new station was built to be much grander; President Swift was personally overviewing the planning of the entire construction project to make sure the buildings looked and felt like how great government buildings should.

Improving the infrastructure


The finished station


While the island was an industrial sector, light rail and subways brought workers to the job. With the building of the government complex, almost all of the existing infrastructure was torn out. A new system with strong security provisions was built in its place. On the "new" island, subway would bring workers on to the island, while a light rail system would move riders from the train station and around the island.

Included in the project was a new stadium for Taraville's baseball team. Formerly called the "Otters" after the rivers most loved residents, the baseball team was renamed the "Taraville United" to represent the city's new Federal role. Building the stadium alongside the government complex was part of a strategy to make the government accessible--keep it from being seen as something separate from the rest of the community.

The new home of the Taraville United, as well as early transit construction. The parking lots would be remodeled shortly.


Hum... do I show the House of Government yet? Naw!

tarravilesep19218125651c.pngBut here is the Presidential Mansion. Unlike many other governments, the official residence is not an office. All of the work of government happens at the House of Government, which is the combined offices of the congress and the leadership of the executive branch (i.e., President). Having the President live on the island, however, was seen a less of a security risk than having him commute in each day.


A botanical garden was built on the island as well.


Next entry!

We'll get into more of the government buildings on the island. So much to show, but I've been working on this for weeks. So let me enjoy this!

See you soon!

Retep Molinari

Eastern Neighborhood Plan-- Balboa City

Even in political turmoil, cities keep going.

The eastern side of Balboa City had few developments over the years. Besides an ugly industrial sector built in the 1950s and freeways that crossed the river to near by towns, there was lots of open space. In 1996, the Eastern Neighborhood Plan was finalized. The area was to be a mix of homes and jobs with a "transit first" network built in.

"Transit first" was the motto of the Eastern Neighborhood Plan. With the western shoreline already developed, building a bridge wasn't an option anyway, so ferry terminals were built on both sides of the river. A light rail station will be there to take ferry riders around the new developments soon to come.


Years later, with the developments around the ferry and light rail terminals


Two stops up from the ferry terminal is a major transit center, connecting commuter & long distance rail alongside light rail and bus stations. An underground parking lot completes the set.


An example of mixed-use development. Modern glass houses, shops, and high-tech industries all in close (and clean) proximity with rail service to the whole city right there.


A suburb north of Balboa City is already developed, so connecting that city to the light rail in the big town means a subway connection.


Here the light rail goes into the hillside, makes one subway stop, and exits the other side.


Finally, I am trying to make a transit map for Balboa City, as I have for other cities. However, Balboa City's network is, to say the least, difficult. So this is a work in progress. Why am i sharing it now? I don't know!


Retep Molinari

I hope that you are up on your reading! This gets long, but I am having a blast writing this up!

In this section, we will go all the way to the reunification of Syldav Island (Woah, hotness! Where are we going? Wooo!) I dare any other CJer to get into this level of detail! 2.gif

1995-1997... In 1995, President Samuel McColley appointed his cousin Ted McColley to serve as Balboa's interim President. A competent leader, Ted was never much of a political "leader." Samuel McColley hoped that within a couple of years, a general election would be held to elect a new leader. For now, Ted was a caretaker President.

Having never run a national election, the general public took the government's repeated pushing back of the election date in stride.

Ted McColley, touring the networks after his appointment


By 1997, the election still had not occurred. Former President Samuel McColley began voicing displeasure with the situation, though held back from directly attacking his appointment.

Meanwhile, Ted McColley was finding his role of "caretaker" different than most had anticipated. He allowed old laws to fall off the books when they expired; social safety nets and commercial regulations began falling to the wayside. Samuel McColley had enough, and announced that he would give a speech on June 28, 1997. It was an open secret that he was going to call on Ted to call an election or resign.

Then, on June 21, 1997, Samuel McColley was assassinated. A radical right wing organization with ties to Bordav claimed responsibility.

News of the assassination of Samuel McColley spreads throughout Balboa


1997... On June 22, 1997, Ted McColley ceased being a caretaker president and addressed the nation. In this speech, the President blamed the assassination on the bitterness between the nations on Syldav Island. "Together, we can prosper and live in joy," he stated. "But to insist on these divisions is to ask for an end to our way of life."

Ted McColley Presidential Address on June 22, 1997


The call for unity was soon seen as an open door for a full scale rolling back of social and economic policies that had created the greatest income parity in the Americas. Free trade was established between all four nations on Syldav Island. But with Peotav, and Bordav weak from years of fighting and military expenses, those nations became pools of cheap labor. Tax cuts on the wealthiest 10% of the population and lesser restrictions on corporate profits created wider divisions amongst Balboans as well.

A new leader emerges... Alexander Swift rose to fame as an eighteen-year-old football standout. He was a star player for Taraville Public University, the flagship football program in the nation. An orphan whose parents were killed in a Bordavian air raid in 1982, he was also class  valedictorian with degrees in History and Political Science.

Taraville Public University, 1992


In 1992, Swift was given his own thrice-weekly radio program where he played music and talked with callers about everything from sports, pop culture, history, food, politics, and so forth. He quickly became Balboa's most popular personality and trend setter.

Banking on Swift's celebrity and intellect,  he was recruited by Samuel McColley in 1994 to serve in the new position of Secretary of Youth & Cultural Affairs. At 24 years old, he was the youngest cabinet secretary in history--by 12 years! Swift was allowed to keep his radio show and, by his account, was never asked to  censor himself. Indeed, he often criticized the government and once called a political speech of McColley's "mundane... why reasonable people take to smoking over politics."

Behind the scenes, however, Swift was the president's protege. A full cabinet member, he was expected to voice his opinion on all matters of state. When other secretive actively dismissed is presence, the President would offer private meeting time with Swift to discuss his ideas further. In his unfinished and recently published memoirs, Samuel McColley wrote "At some point, her will have no choice but to use his intellect and personal skill to lead this nation, one way or another."

Alexander Swift, 1998


Swift chose not to stay in government after his mentor was replaced by Ted McColley, and moved his program to 6 days a week. Hugely popular (and rapidly becoming wealthy), Swift became more and more political. In one memorable moment in Spring 1997, Swift stated "I listen to more people every day than anyone here. I am heard by more people everyday. And I like to be told I'm wrong and to see things new ways. These are three truths I'd rather grant the President than a disk jockey like myself.

Following the assassination of Samuel McColley, Swift dedicated much of his programming to remembering the changes that took place in Balboa during Samuel's 20-year rule. During this period, Swift gained listeners in older demographics; despite his youth, Swifts accurate and fair understanding of issues that took place before his birth impressed more people then ever. Throughout this period, Swift only seemed to criticize the government by giving examples of the past.



This changed in 1999. Swift, like others in the nation and around the Island, felt that Ted McColley's policies were too reminiscent of the failed experiment in capitalism from the 1960s and 1970s. In a dramatic speech at the Balboan Press Club on February 16, 1999, Swift called for elections the following year. "No one asked for a lifetime of Ted," Swift said to laughter. "But no one," Swift added somberly, "did anyone grant him any atrocity to tear down the politics that built this nation.

Swift's speech at the Balboan Press Club


President Ted McColley didn't back down--in fact, he trenched in deeper than ever before. While his policies became more and more right-wing, the President openly stated  reunification Through all this, the President pulled closer and closer within his inner circle, while Swift's audience and popularity only grew and grew. Then in November 2, 1999, Swift drew a line in the sand.

In what became the most widely watched political speech in Balboan history, Alexander Swift announced that he was forming the first political party in Balboa's history: the Social Democratic Party. (Political parties hadn't existed before because there was little democracy to fight around. Most interaction was through interest groups--not a dirty word in Balboa--where representatives organized for attention in law making and governance.)

"We are forming a party because there will be an election come November 2000, and there will be an opposition to the status quo that ignores both its people and its duty to the Island!"

Swift announcing the creation of the Social Democratic Party


For a year, Swift campaigned across the country against no opposition for an election that was not planned. In August 2000, President McColley backed off the latest suggestion of an election--he was polled to have an approval rating of 23%. Then the bombshell came that the President was trading for Bordav's spy's information Swift's operations.

On October 1, 2000, Swift gave a speech: "We promised an election next month; this promise will be kept if we have to take over the government to do so." The speech landed Swift in jail, on trial for treason, and the public into a general panic. Riots broke out across the nation and the government split in two and stopped functioning.

President McColley speaks on Swift


On October 20, 2000, Chief of Security Max Stance--a veteran of Samuel McColley's Presidency and friend of Swift's--ordered his personal security staff to free Alexander Swift and to apprehend President Ted McColley. The President learned of the betrayal and felt, but security forces caught up with his helicopter and forced it to land.

Chief of Security Max Stance--think Secretary of Defense and Homeland Security--in official dress


Only 30 years old, Swift was sworn in as Interim president on October 23 and ordered a nation-wide election for President and local offices for November 30. Swift and his party won the elections in a total landslide.

"Today, we take pride in our social policies; to protect all those in need and to secure our future! And we take pride that this island was born to be one rather than four.

Reunification! Even before election day, Swift was planning to move on Bordav. Both Bordav and Peotav and wouldn't be able to put up much of a fight. In fact, polls showed most citizens of Bordav and Peotav were in favor of reunification. It was decided that Bordav would be attacked first. War was declared by Congress on December 17.

Swift in a November Cabinet meeting


Within 4 days, Balboa' forces moved all the way through Bordav to the capital. With little resistance, the government fell. At once, Balboa declared war on Peotav who surrender only hours later--choosing to not bother with a fight after the loss of its stronger allies. Within less than a week, Balboa tripled its land holdings on the island.

On December 28 2000, as Balboa's troops were beginning spread out to control its new holdings, Syldav's King Muskav gave a short speech:

"This year has seen many transformations in Syldav. After over 100 years, our province of Balboa has satisfied it's founding charge to reunify the island. Having accomplished its lawful purpose, the Kingdom of Syldav will retake the souther region. let us begin new millennium as a united island--together. Our forces are already reroute to Balboa City to begin this peaceful transition. Thank you, and may the Kingdom continue to live in peace."

Swift and his government were caught by surprise. This was not their--or anyone's-understanding of the law and not at all what they had in mind. Besides, they did not want to see the entire island fall away from democracy after the years of struggle. A poll taken the following day showed that virtually no one in Balboa, Bordav, or Peotav was interested in abandoning democracy before it was truly born.

It was decided that Balboa would attack Syldav.

Chief of Security Max Stance developed the plan. First, since Balboa was under attack, no Congressional action was needed. Second, Balboa's forces in Bordav would fake a move south back to Balboa City. Once Syldav bought the bluff and mobilized more of its forces, Balboa moved sharpy north-west to Klov--Syldav's capital. With stronger air forces and mobility, Syldav was caught flat footed. On January 11, 2001, Klov fell to Balboa.

While many decried Balboa's move against Syldav as incompatible with Swift's stated politics, most supported the action as a defensive and likely beneficial matter.

Building a new nation... This was more than Swift had bargained on: in less than four months, he had staged a coup, won national election, overtook 3 nations, and increased the country's population by 421 percent. Now, building a nation which had been divided for over 150 years was the task at hand.

Head trip!

Retep Molinari

I know everyone still wants to know what's going down in Teraville, and I promise we're getting there. But first, her's a breakdown of how we got where we are today.

Around 1900..

If you've read your history, and you should, you know that in 1898, the region of Balboa, now including most of the southern portion of the Island of Syldav, split to form the Democratic Republic of Balboa. Balboa was designed as the first capitalist democracy on Syldav Island, though democracy was at first limited. The President, actually a Monarch, served as the Chief Executive and was accountable to the democratically elected parliament.

Syldav allowed Balboa to split because in needed more support to fight off Bordav and Peotav--both economically and militarily. Unwilling to change much with the times, Syldav granted Balboa an "independent charter." This allowed Balboa to operate as a separate nation, but tied by law to protect Syldav and reunify the island under Syldav's leadership.

The move for Balboan Independence was Ehab McColley. Just 31 years old and lead negotiator, McColley became President in 1899. He would rule until he retired in 1950.

Ehab McColley and the Executive Palace he built c. 1966

George_Wyndham_MP.JPG  balboacityaug1811112414.png

Leaders through the years...

Ehab McColley was followed by his son, Lawrence McColley in 1950. Lawrence kept most of his father's social policies in order, though he allowed for some moderate policies that pushed towards capitalism and globalization. Tragically, Lawrence died in a car accident on his way to peace & trade talks with Peotav in 1959. Perhaps more tragic was the fight between his two sons for control of Balboa.

Lawrence McColley in 1955


The older son, Samuel McColley, was the nation's rough and outspoken socialist leader. His official position was Admiral of the Navy and had service in combat for years. Greatly respected throughout the nation, he happened to be personally overseeing a naval mission (as he often did) in the South Pacific at the time of his father's death.

The youngest son, Charles McColley, was known to be more moderate politically and worked in the private sector in commerce (the middle brother, Eugene, was not active politically). Charles took the reins of power as a temporary measure immediately after his father's death, then took moves to isolate Samuel to maintain control.

Charles McColley, 1959


Charles McColley moved more and more to the right over his reign. In the 1960s, Balboa saw massive industrial growth, though much of it came at the cost of labor laws, worker's rights, and a widening gap between the rich and poor.

In 1973, Samuel McColley joined a growing movement to recall Charles McColley from power and return to more progressive policies. When the movement turned to revolt in 1975, Samuel returned from the sea and took control of the government.

Samuel McColley in 1975, and the riots of that year


The 1990s...

Samuel ruled effectively from 1975-1995, but mid-decade though that it was time to step down. At a large ceremony held in the capital of Balboa City, Samuel urged his successors to reunify Syldav Island and end the perpetual tension on the island. As a naval officer, Admiral, and President, Samuel McColley had participate in 16 separate military conflicts (and all out wars) with Bourdav, Peotav, or both. "It's time," he bellowed, "to honor the foundational charter of Balboa--our nation. Unify the island, and the bring its people together!"

Polls showed wide support for the speech across the island's four nations.

The brothers at Samuel McColley's retirement in 1995


Samuel appointed his cousin Ted McColley to serve as interim President until elections were held. Samuel appointed his cousin for two reasons. First, Samuel wanted to move towards and elected President and appointing his cousin (rather than son) was a baby step. Second, and more importantly, Ted McColley was as dry as they came. Though a competent leader, Samuel gambled that the general public would not take to his cousin and would not seek election to his own term.

Ted McColley in 1996


But the best laid plans so often fail, and a 1997 assassination and a young protege would change everything!

Now wait for part two!

Retep Molinari


I remeber being thrilled when I got over 100 for my first post--I had no idea I'd get so much airtime here. Thank you all!

I pride myself that all of my posts have new pics and context, rather than posting empty pages with light updates to bump up my CJ. Everyone's intrest makes me keep clickin on the maps!

I had 10 unanswered posts, so I thought I'd take care of them here. Then, since the Mario City Transit was so popular, thought I'd grab a couple new photos for you all!

To the comments!

From "Six-Month Anniversary!"

panthersimcity4: Thanks for the comment, Panther. That's like the third time I've used a pic of that one, as I really love it too!

SteveMSim: Well, thank you Steve. Light rail is a little pet of mine, so I am glad that you and others are expressing that you think I'm doing well with it. As far as the pics, I do apologoze. Between work and communting, I don't have much time for posting, so I do it as quick as possible. But I know it's a burden!

3dpuzzlemaster: So you concur with Panther! Excellent! What are those yellow things though, in that third pic? Fire? Who knows!

From "Mario City Transit"

Chptrk: I'm glad that you liked the pre-development pic! I wasn't sure about including it, but it was well received!

EmergencyManager: I'm glad you like it more and more! Far better than the alternative. Though I have been playing for years, making this CJ and getting everyone's feedback has really pushed me, and I feel like I am improving!

TekindusT: Thanks! Wanna go for a ride? Or doe that cab take up all your time?

3dpuzzlemaster: Excellent! Once again, glad to hear that intrest is growing in my work! That tram station you mentioned was something i had though of for a while, and then nearly flipped when I saw that elevated station on someone's post in the forum and had to find it (it was on some Japanese site!). But thanks for you comment and for always checking into my posts.

Flamerunner14: One of your favorites!? WOW! That made my day when I read that. Thank you.

dimipol006: I'm glad you liked the map. I am stuck with just MS Paint, which is not good for this sort of thing (or not much, really). But thank you!

Again, thank you all!

Now for some pics!

North eat corner of the green loop line


On the blue line, south of downtown


"OMG! They already thre out the first pitch! I hate it when the tram is late! I can't believed I just plamed the tram for my peticure! I can't believe I just said 'OMG'!"


Not too many people taking the tram trip from Hilltop at midnight, but the trams do run 24 hours.


Sick of trams? Here is Hilltop's geothermal plants, whose power fuels Hilltop as well as parts of Mario City and East Port.


Thank you all!

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