HowTo:Become a Zoo Tycoon
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So you want to become a Zoo Tycoon? Wanna' own animals from every habitat and continent imaginable? Wanna' expand your empire to every corner of the world? Well, you've come to the right place. So put on your fancy suit and break out your shiny new tie, Mister Business-Man, cause fame and fortune is right around the corner!
edit Getting Started
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Woah, buddy, you can't start building your zoo just yet! I mean, look at you, what business sense do you — a little fourteen year-old punk who's probably flunking at science but knows just kill a bird with some Mentos and a can of cola and probably spend all your time looking at gay porn — possibly have? This ain't your granny's lemonade stand, you need to do some research.
First, open up Zoo Tycoon on your computer. What, you don't have Zoo Tycoon? What the fuck are you doing here then? Go buy it and install it on your computer, retard; or better yet, get one of your punk friends to sell you a bootleg version of it, lest you should do anything "legal", cause that would make you "uncool", right? Damn teenagers...
Alright, now that you've re-established yourself on the adolescent hierarchy, you can start building your zoo, so proceed to the next step.
edit Strong Foundation
Now it's time to get serious. If you want to have a real kick-ass zoo, forget the animals, forget the guests, forget the exhibits. All you need to do, the one thing that will guarantee success, is lots and lots of freaking kiosks. Virtual guests, much like real-life tourists, will throw away their money on anything so long as they pretend they're having fun. What better way to say "Oh my God, San Diego Zoo was so much fun!" than to bring back a 72-inch polyurethane mongoose?
So, case in point: keep your kiosk-to-animal ratio at roughly 126:1, bump up the prices anywhere from nine to twenty fold, and make your guests feel good (you can dunk them in the crocodile tanks when you start getting more money).
edit The Beaten Path
Okay, you've made your kiosks, you've got the polar bear exhibit looking like a overcrowded Japanese shopping mall, but let's face it: your money, er, guests can't get to the shops without paths, so let's get to it. You'll want a good, effective, but simple design, so you might as well just spell your name out in the grass. I mean, there's nothing better than looking on your overhead map to see "Jonny waz ere" etched out in concrete walkways. It's completely pointless, but it's a nice way to mark your territory and advertise your severe need for attention.
Next, make sure to place lots of trash cans at intersections, or else your stupider guests will try to eat all the crap off the floor. Also, don't bother with recycling bins, this ain't Al Gore's Save the Whales Zoo or whatever the hell he's doing now.
edit Bring on the Beasts
Now comes the fun part — animals! Remember those sunny afternoons with ma and pa out at the local zoo eating spamwiches and carrot sticks and looking at all the pretty elephants and lions in their cages? Well, screw that; now you have to make sure everything is in its "proper biome" — one cage in your whole damn zoo and PETA will get on your ass in no-time, so better keep it safe — and no leopards in the chimpanzee enclosure (yes, I know it's fun, but don't do it).
Alright, in case you're too stupid to read the instruction manual (in fact, you probably can't read at all), biomes are intricate and unique ecosystems that function as a whole and provide guests with an authentic insight into an animal's natural habitat. What that basically means is penguins + desert = bad. Therefore, you'll want to cash in on these "biome" things by designing exhibits specifically tailored to your animals special needs, and building an assortment of — what else? — kiosks to exploit the living hell out of nature, just as man was intended to do.
edit Picking the Right Animals
Alright, with so many biomes and even more animals, not to mention over a dozen international wildlife funds and one of your loser friends breathing down your neck, you must be stressing: which animals go where?
Well, though I can't help you much in the way of an actual social life (you lost that about the time you bought that World of Warcraft trial), I can give you the next best thing: security. Oh wait, no that's All-State!
edit Adopting Animals
So you've got everything planned, do ya? Now it's time to obtain some actual animals. The most common way to do this is obtain a boring government grant, fill out some boring paperwork, and transport the animal to your zoo in a boring helicopter, blar blar blar. But it's way more fun to illegally purchase animals from the black market and smuggle them aboard a Hong Kong ferry, not to mention loads cheaper. Critically endangered Galapagos giant tortoises fetch a hefty price, but they're worth it: the crowd will still think they're alive long after they've died of malnutrition!
edit Building Enclosures
As fun as it is to let your animals go on a berserk rampage across your zoo, your animals need enclosures first to create a false sense of security for your guests. You can go with the classic chain link fence, which allows animals to safely scale their exhibit walls to begin the bloodhunt as soon as possible, or you can go with the clear plexi-glass design, allowing you to choose your own release time, as well as letting guests get right up-close to their imminent deaths in stunning clarity.
edit Caring for your animals
Perhaps it has dawned on you, specially after five of your lemurs died from neglect, that animals don't exactly live forever. That's why you have to make sure they get enough food, water, and attention (and by attention, I of course mean thousands upon thousands of snot-nosed toddlers goggling at them, further fueling the primeval predator instinct within). But that's advanced care, for now, let's focus on the food & water aspects. Now, some animals, like camels, need less water than others, because as everybody knows, camels generate their own H2O through a process of atomic fusion in their humps. So with these animals, you can simply place one or two buckets of water at random spots (up a tree, or in a deep, inescapable ditch, to name a few).
For other animals, it might be a good idea to create a couple of lakes or watering holes nearby, this way you'll assure they have a good source of clean, natural water for drowning their offspring in. Also remember to brush their coats and rake their poo every once in a while, guests don't want to smell rancid shit while they're clogging their arteries with saturated fat in your kiosks.
edit Keeping your guests happy
Guests like to see happy, healthy animals, but they generally don't want to get mauled by them, so as always, make sure your residents always have access to clean food and water, and your keepers to some good bear tranquillizer (you never know when some stupid tourist is gonna try to climb over the big cat enclosure to "pet the pwetty kitty!")
Furthermore, guests like clean, attractive zoos, so hire some scantily-clad maintenance workers, most preferably the kind with large breasts and shapely bums. Though you want everyone to love your zoo and love your animals, zoophilia is generally frowned upon, so make sure you know who you're hiring.