Video Game / Hidden Agenda (1988)

In the confusing days following the dictator's fall, a Junta of the Insurrection has been formed by representatives of the three major political parties. Someone must lead the country in its hour of need. By popular mandate, that someone is you.

A Government Procedural set in the Banana Republic of Chimerica, which is struggling to get back on its feet after 40 years of dictatorial rule. As Presidente, you must balance the demands coming at you from all sectors of society with Chimerica's vulnerable position as a Third World country in the middle of the Cold War.

Tropes found in Hidden Agenda:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Farsante. Practically everyone turned against him regardless of their position on the political spectrum. However, the trope is also subverted in that a few of the major characters only turned against Farsante to save their own skins...
  • All There in the Manual: A detailed history of Chimerica.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Each ministry has a Spanish motto.
    Defense: Fuerza y seguridad (Strength and security)
    Internal Affairs: De muchos al uno (From many to one)
    External Affairs: Jamas dice 'tio' (Never say 'uncle')
    Agriculture: En granos confiamos (In grains we trust)
  • Black and Gray Morality: Popular Stability supports torturers and death squads. National Liberation is better, but they don't really care about such things as "democracy" or "free elections" any more than the PS people do. Christian Reform's members are an ineffective joke who consistently support doing nothing about Popular Stability and America's illegal actions because the alternative is rocking the boat. And you can't have a free or fair election or have a military that will actually obey orders.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The in-game newspapers are rife with propaganda, particularly USA Yesterdaynote , El Independientenote , and Chimerica Ahoranote .
    • If ministers or influentials dislike you, they might say they'll obey your orders, but implement their own favored policy instead.
  • But Thou Must!: Your only choice in a crisis situation is between the demand on the table and the relevant minister's advice. If the minister agrees with the demand, or no minister is assigned, you have no choice but to implement the proposed policy. (This can lead to a chain reaction where other groups outraged by your "decisions" immediately demand that you reverse them, and without a minister, you'll be forced to cave in every time.)
  • Capital City: Poyais, home of the National Palace.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Insurgents can seize Radio Chimerica and proclaim your downfall.
  • End Game Results Screen: Encyclopedia PaxAmericana (US Tricentennial Edition) delivers the verdict of history on your rule.
  • Fascists' Bed Time: You can enact a curfew.
  • Fictional Political Party: National Liberation is left-wing, Christian Reform is centrist, and Popular Stability is right-wing. Each offers three nominees for your cabinet, which has four positions to fill—so you'll need to hire from at least two parties.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: Narrowly dodged. The game was released in 1988, and takes place over three years of the Cold War. However, no dates are given, so it reads today as an Eighties period piece. (The manual implies a mid-Nineties setting, but it also gets several characters' names wrong.)
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You're asked for a first, last, and mother's maiden name (which is customarily appended in Latin America). If you skip this step, you become Juan Incognito Anonymous.
  • Meaningful Name:
    Chimerica is a chimera of a country. Body of El Salvador, neck of Nicaragua, claws of Cuba, head of Haiti, it is a composite of different parts that together form a beast representative of all.
  • Mixed Ancestry: According to the manual, Chimerica has a largely mestizo population.
  • Off the Chart: Glitches can cause this. 108% of your population is starving!
  • Press X to Die: Surrendering to a coup has a 100% chance to end your game. There's also a certain decision that will trigger a Game-Breaking Bug and leave you with no option but to exit the game.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: Político Ex Machina.
  • The Purge: Elements of the military will do this, if you empower them to. Or if they decide to empower themselves to do it. The only way to prevent this is with a Purge of your own.
  • Realpolitik: The tug-of-war between US and Soviet influence is a major theme. Even within Chimerica, it's impossible to make everyone happy..
  • The Starscream: Be prepared to defend against coups from ministers who dislike your policies.
  • Torture Technician: Padilla, Farsante's chief interrogator, was nicknamed "Blowtorch Bob" for his favorite implement.
  • Vote Early, Vote Often: How Farsante is alleged to have stayed in power.