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Video Game / Locomotion

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Made by Chris Sawyer of RollerCoaster Tycoon fame and released in 2004, Chris Sawyer's Locomotion is the Spiritual Successor to Transport Tycoon. The player is cast as a transportation manager in various locations. Via road, rail, sea, and/or air, the player is given the objective to build a transportation empire that spans the map. Provide the supply, meet the demand, make money, and prove yourself a transportation tycoon.

As this is the Spiritual Successor toTransport Tycoon, many of the tropes that apply to that game also apply to this one.


Locomotion contains examples of:

  • Acceptable Break from Reality: Events such as The Great Depression, World War II or the 1970s oil crisis are not simulated by the game.
  • Alliterative Name: Scenario names that aren't of the "Region name - Starting Year" variety make use of this. At least one prominent feature of the map is usually covered.
    • "Oil Oasis" is a desert map filled with oil wells and an objective involving oil transportation.
    • "Race to Read" has the transportation of paper as its objective.
    • "Vapid Volcano" is a volcano-shaped map.
    • "Vache and Vineyards" features lots of livestock farms ("Vache" is French for "cows") and vineyards.
    • "Boulder Breakers" is a small island map with only three cities and four industries.
    • "Bottleneck Blues" features a large mountain range with a small passage going through it.
    • "Clifftop Climb" is split by in two by way of a very large, abrupt elevation difference.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: You buy vehicles to make a profit by transporting goods, passengers and a lot of other things as well. This game takes it a bit further, however, in that supply and demand allows you to speed up city growth, and you can create roadways and raise and lower land to affect where new houses and buildings are placed as the city grows. Though you only control the transit companies, a player that does a good job of it can also serve as an urban planner in this way.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • AI rivals and town councils, have the propensity for adding senseless elevations and choosing bad bridge types for curved tracks on more or less uneven terrain. Both hurt advanced vehicles by capping their speed while not saving much money during construction. At least the AI's pathfinding has somewhat improved since the Transport Tyccon days.
    • Ships tend to have trouble finding a route between ports, even if it's a straight line. Thankfully this can be averted by using waypoints.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The earliest planes available can only carry a very small amount of cargo. Go ahead and transport those 8 people across the map in an instant. You won't make any money, but it's cool to do!
  • Boring, but Practical: Trucks won't make you a fortune; in fact they'll usually barely make back their operating costs. But when the oil field is just six squares away from the refinery, they're a reliable way to transport that oil so a train or ship can pick up the produced goods.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • The AI tends to be favored for cargo distribution between competing lines, even if your service is better than theirs or they don't even pick up the cargo.
    • Most of the exploits you could use to fight back against the AI in Transport Tycoon were patched up. You can't block a rival line while it's being constructed since the tiles where the line will be are all "reserved" in advance and blocked off to other players. You can't crash a train into the AI's trains since they can't cross into other companies' rails. Trains will clip right through road vehicles on level crossings, making it impossible to destroy a rival's trucks or buses with your trains.
  • Guide Dang It!: If an industry is served by only one station, it will never supply more than 75% of its production to it. The only way to transport 100% of an industry's production is to service it with more than one station. Achieving 100% transportation is the only non-random way of increasing production of primary industries.
  • Hollywood History: The range of eras the game allows you to play through includes The Edwardian Era, Genteel Interbellum Setting, The '50s, The '60s, The '70s, The '80s, The '90s and Turn of the Millennium. Period-appropriate music is included for each era, with Scott Joplin ragtime in 1900-20, jazz in 1920-50 and various forms of rock and pop from 1950 onwards.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: It's not just Locomotion, it's Chris Saywer's Locomotion! Just to drive the point home, the box also advertises that it's from "the creator of RollerCoaster Tycoon".
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • You can expand a station's service radius by building adjacent stops. You can do this repeatedly, allowing a single stop to service an entire town. However you can only do this to a certain extent, after that you will not be able to expand the station any further, due to it being too spread out.
    • You can sabotage the cheating AI's road networks by building a tram or train track across the road their cars are using, dump an engine or tram on the crossroads, and let it sit there blocking their trucks. You can also build a road for their trucks to use, then demolish that road and watch their trucks crash. Sadly, those are about the only underhanded tactics you can use in Locomotion, a far cry from what you could do in Transport Tycoon.
  • Made of Explodium:
    • When two vehicles or convoys collide (except in a road/train collision — in that case, unlike in Transport Tycoon, the road vehicle will escape unscathed), the vehicles will explode into a fireball. This occurs even if the vehicles aren't carrying flammables of any type, such as an electric passenger train.
    • The same happens if a truck, bus or anything else goes off road or if you sell the track or road under a train or road vehicle, unless it's broken down.
  • Music Is Eighth Notes: The jukebox tab within the options menu is represented by four eighth notes on a score.
  • Mythology Gag: The track "Techno Torture" was originally in RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 as the "Modern" track, but with a drum beat.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The songs that play during the 1900-20 era are public-domain Scott Joplin rags. Since most popular songs after 1923 are still in copyright, the rest of the soundtrack averts it by using original compositions.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Once you beat any scenario, the level opens up for you to do whatever you want. Also with the included Level Editor, you can make your own.