Tutorial And Quick Start

"Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry."

Sir Winston Churchill

Welcome to your Office, My Ruler. I hope you enjoy the view. Remember that as you look down on your people, they also look up to you. So dress nice and don't forget that story your dear madre always told you about the wicked El Presidents who forgot to change his underwear on the day the people revolted - revolting is the word for it. You never know when the angry mob may be at your door.

As you can see, you have several menu choices available at this point:


We recommend you begin with the Tutorial, prepared especially for you. It will teach you the basics of life on Tropico and allow you to begin your regime very quickly. Besides, you can't wait to exercise power, can you? Then the Tutorial it is!

Then, after you finish the Tutorial, we wonder if you might not like to try a quick start guide?


Psst! Wake up, Presidents! You want riches? I have a map to a lost Spanish treasure that I can - what? You're not interested? You're calling for your guards? Wait! Perhaps I was too bold to sneak into your palace bedroom at one in the morning. I was just excited, thinking about your new regime, and it's so hard to get an appointment these days.

Tell you what. Fast Frederico has seen Presidentes come and go, and I can give you some tips for surviving in exchange for allowing me to leave the way I came in - through the window, down the drainpipe, and out over the wall. I'm not like those flatterers you call advisers. They're always saying "You look so powerful, Generalissimo" or "You are so wise, Our Leader" or even "We are not worthy of your rule, oh Presidents." Bah. What good are their honeyed words when the bullets are flying and even your own army has turned against you?

That's why you need the advice of Fast Frederico. I've learned the essentials to getting off to a good start with your new rule. So, for just a few yanqui dollars I can - yes, of course, the guards. Very well, then, Presidents, here is my advice free of charge. You are most gracious, Presidents.

  • Start a game with a random map and accept all the defaults. This will give you a modest sized island with a Communist government and four farms.
  • As the game starts, pause the action. Now look around your island and note where things are. Pull back to the most distant view.
  • Now, with the view pulled back, go into "Info Mode" by clicking on the eye stamp. You want to check your starting farms to see what crops might grow. You have started with 40 Tropicans, yet a farm typically feeds 30. This means you want to convert two of your four farms to cash crops. If you can find a crop that can also double as food as well as cash, like bananas, so much the better. Just so you know, It takes about a a year to plant, grow, and harvest a crop (longer for certain cash crops), plus about another year for the crops to be hauled to a port, loaded on a freighter, and sold. Convert two of your farms to cash crops.
  • Now you should raise wages to make your people happy and attract immigrants. If Tropico enjoys higher wages than neighboring islands, people will flock to your country. This is important because it will be 13 years before any new Tropicans born will be able to work, so you need immigrants to grow your workforce. At the start all of your workers except the one palace guard are uneducated. Raise the pay level of your uneducated workers from $5 to $7 or $8. Then click on the palace to select the guard and raise his pay. El Presidents, you're a genius! Your people are instantly happier!
  • Now limit the number of teamsters your island can have. Fast Frederico takes no side in the eternal struggles between labor and management, but in your early years you simply have nothing for them to haul, so find the Teamster's office building, select it, and click on the empty worker slots to force the building to leave the slots empty. Oh, and it may not be a good idea to fire any Teamsters. An out-of-work Teamster is an angry Teamster.
  • Now go back to "Info Mode" and check the mineral deposits on your island. They are randomly distributed each game, but if your luck holds, you might have a goldmine near your palace. If you do, build a mine. If you don't, it's best to wait until later in the game to start mining, but find some other building to bring in extra cash, such as a logging camp built in a nearby forest.
  • Besides raising wages, the other important aspect of your Tropican's lives that you can influence that will make them happy is to get them out of the shacks and into better housing. Build a tenement. Don't build it just anywhere, though. You want to build near your palace and on flat land, if possible. Building on flat land means less grading needs to be done and you'll get your fine new tenement building faster. Press G on your keyboard to see a mesh overlay of the land to help you select a good, flat location. Press G again to turn off the mesh.
  • The game begins to get more open-ended at this point, but I always like to build a second Construction Building about now. You'll need plenty of construction workers to build new buildings as the years pass, and this helps ensure that you'll have them. You'll want to locate this building along the direction where you want to expand and develop.
  • Next I suggest you again upgrade the housing for your people. Build an apartment building.
  • Now's a good time to check the happiness levels of your people to gain some insight into the building paths you might pursue. Click on the island's population display in the lower right corner to bring up the Almanac with the People's List displayed. Next select "All Residents - Happiness". This will display your Tropicans, showing you which ones are happy and which are unhappy. You can select individual Tropicans from this display and see what categories in particular they are unhappy in.

Now your course of action can diverge widely. At some point you will have to move from an agricultural-based economy to something better - mining, logging, tourism, etc. To supply educated workers for the new industries you create you will need a high school. Uneducated workers cannot work in many of those industries, and it is expensive to import them. Whatever you do Presidents, remember that one of your chief goals will always be to build in a way that most increases the happiness of your people for the least amount of cost.

Now, if you don't mind El Presidents, I'll be running along. No thank you, I really don't need your guards to escort me. I'm flattered, but this is really too much. Wait, I said I'd leave by the window, but I didn't mean I wanted to be thrown from the window. El Presidents! You haven't even implemented a health plan yet.. .noooo!



TITLE: Prime Minister of Italy REIGN: 1922-1943 RISE to POWER: Obtained a mandate from Italy's king in 1922 to form a coalition government, giving him dictatorial powers set to last for one year. Established himself permanent dictator two years later. LOFTY GOALS: Attempted to create an Italian empire by centralizing all power to himself as the leader (il duce) of the Fascist party and Italy's ruler.


Opposition was stifled by an efficient secret police and the Fascist party militia, and the press was regimented.

FALL from GRACE: Executed by firing squad, his body hung in a public square in Milan.

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