|Company||Visions Software Factory|
|Publisher||Visions Software Factory|
|Genre||Strategy, Business Simulation, Adventure|
|Gamemode||Single player |
|Information||Unofficial sequel to the 1983 game Dictator; there was a Turkish bootleg named Diktatör.|
|Voting of the C64-Wiki-User (10=the best vote):|
|6.00 points at 1 vote.|
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|Lemon64||6.4||26th June 2018 - 5 votes|
In the game Banana Drama the player fills the shoes of a tropical dictator, busy managing the unstable republic of Ananaba. The economy is weak, and dependent on foreign aid. The social classes are rebellious and a full time guerrilla is waiting its time to take over the country. The army is more concerned on asking for funding than keeping order, and when it does, is through unpleasant methods. The neighboring Totalitaria won't hesitate to invade if provoked, especially if Russians or Americans give it the green light. The secret services are all important, but even them will turn their back to the government if not properly funded and appeased.
The country will never become sustainable, and one way or the other the dictator will leave the place to another dictator. There are therefore two approaches: trying to last in power as long as possible, or else steal all the funds early on and preparing an escape plan for when the inevitable revolution will come.
Every turn represents a month, during which the player has to take many decisions. Every turn is divided in several phases:
1 - This screen indicates a new turn has begun.
2 - This screen offers the player the possibility to see the country's status. The secret services are going to show, for a fee, how the different social classes and foreign powers fare. It's very important to keep an eye on their fortunes and to address problems in time. It's always worth to pay the price for the S.S.O. services. Without the monthly analysis or without knowing the consequences of policies' effects the game is unplayable.
3 - This is the starting situation. In the country there are factory workers and peasants, oppressed by industrialists and plantation owners. The army protects the government against the rebels and the neighboring Totalitaria. The secret services provide the necessary information to manage the country, the United States and the Soviet Union can provide funds if happy or support Totalitaria if not. The power of the president can delay revolutions, rebellions and coups, but can nothing against the underlying problems, that will only grow unless precious and limited funds are diverted to appease this or that social class. The different actors react in a logical and intuitive way, the effects of different policies however are by no means obvious, and the player has to check the actual consequences of every choice.
4 - This screen shows the current funds available. The country is in permanent deficit and there's no way to solve this. Some choices allow to lower the deficit but never to create a surplus or even to break even. The only way to balance the budget is to never increase expenditures and to always accept every possible cut, including defunding the S.S.O., but then the game will become unplayable.
5 - A screen like this will appear approximately every 2,25 turns. It's a news coverage that explains how one of 8 social actors (specifically, industrialists, trade unions, plantations owners, plantation workers, armed forces, subversives, Totalitaria or the presidency) suddenly gained or lost power. In this case the army lost power, which means a military coup is less likely, but a revolution, a rebel take over or a foreign invasion are more likely.
6 - At first, every month people will petition something, and the ruler will have to decide what to do. These random events offer possibilities for increasing funding, decreasing expenses or appeasing social sectors. After three years, however, they will end, and keeping social peace will be more difficult.
7 - After every petition, the secret services will offer to explain the consequences of every choice. Unless the player cheats and checks in this wiki page the effects of the different decisions, it's very important to accept and see the report.
8 - A report shows what happens if the ruler backs a petition. Once a player is familiar with the game, he will learn that many policies are traps, that's it, bad ideas in every scenario. Others are always beneficial, and only a selected few should be given a thought. This one for example is a bad idea, because it increases the expenses.
9 - The previous screen only displayed information, now is the time to chose yes or no.
10 - After the initial part of the turn, the player can take action on his own initiative. He will be presented with the menu on the right, which lead to several sub-menus.
11 - Here the player can assist one of society's sectors. It's not always a good idea, though.
12 - Just like with petitions, the effects of the different choices are absolutely not intuitive, but the S.S.O. will offer to prepare a report. Unless the player cheats and checks in this wiki page the effects of the different decisions, it's very important to accept and see the report.
13 - This is another example of a dumb idea. This policy doesn't increase the president's approval, it increases society's power, and on top of that it costs money.
14 - The previous screen only displayed information, now is the time to chose yes or no.
15 - After implementing a policy or passing the turn a new month will begun... unless somebody is really unhappy and is after the dictator's head.
Here is a list of the different random events in the game. They are self explanatory, and anyway their effects can be seen by watching the next month's report. However, if the situation was already borderline, it's possible that the sudden change will lead to trouble before the player has a chance of watching the next month's report. Revolutions, coups, rebellions and invasions will happen, if conditions apply, at the end of the turn, so a player still have the possibility of addressing problems during the decision making part of the turn.
Here is an alphabetical list of the effects of accepting the 36 available petitions in the game. Watching this list during gameplay is somewhat a little bit cheating because it allows to save some money on the S.S.O. reports, but the difference is minimal. Anyway it's a good idea to be familiar with them, especially to have an idea of what is a good deal and what is not.
Here is a list of the different policies available in the game.
And here is a list of the effects these different policies have.
The dictator's rule and life are threaten by 4 sides.
1 - If a social class has a lot of power and doesn't approve of the president, it may start a revolution. A strong and loyal army as well as a high presidential power can prevent it, but only so much. When a revolution starts, the president can only escape. If he didn't buy a submarine he can escape only by swimming, and chances of survival are slim. If he has purchased a submarine, chances of escape are higher, unless the submarine is out of order, of course.
2 - If the army has a lot of power and doesn't approve of the president, it may attempt a coup. When a revolution starts, the president can still hope that loyal elements will defeat the putchists, and if so, he may resume his duties. If the army wins, he has a chance of escape, otherwise he will be overthrown and executed.
3 - If the rebels have a lot of power, they may attempt a rebellion. A strong and loyal army as well as a high presidential power can prevent it, but only so much. The rebels never approve of the president, no matter what. When a rebellion starts, the president can still hope that the army will defeat the rebels, and if so, he may resume his duties. If the subversives win, he has a chance of escape, otherwise he will be overthrown and executed.
In case of coup or rebellion not everything is lost, though:
4 - If Totalitaria has a lot of power and one of the great powers is unhappy with Ananaba, it may start an invasion. A strong and loyal army can prevent it, but only so much. When a foreign invasion starts, resistance is futile and the president can only escape. If he didn't buy a submarine he can escape only by swimming, and chances of survival are slim. If he has purchased a submarine, chances of escape are higher, unless the submarine is out of order, of course.
- The game is entirely text based.
- The sounds effects and the so-called music are very annoying. It's better to play without audio.
- The game is text based, the player can only chose options with the keyboard and there is no time limit. A Commodore 64 CPU, however, will take its sweet time to generate random numbers and retrieve from memory the appropriate screen, so the game is better played with an emulator set on warp mode.
Ananaba people are somewhat original, and some of the options sound a bit exotic... morality, however, is not an option for a dictator.
In the end the player can only lose. He can either try to last as long as possible or try to steal all the treasure and escape with it. Either way there is an optimal strategy common to both approaches.
Ideal starting strategy
Start by implementing the following policies:
5-6 Start a commercial radio +50.000; -25.000/month 5-1 Grant US firms oil exploitation rights +150.000 5-3 Ask Washington for cash ≈+160.000 5-2 Grant USSR diamond exploitation rights +125.000 5-4 Ask the Kremlin for cash ≈+120.000 4-5 Raise plantation workers wages +50.000 2-1 Oust foreign military advisors increase president's approval
Approve the following petitions if available:
Introduce 90 hour week -10.000/month Sack industrialists chairman -10.000/month Lower minimum wage -10.000/month Reduce S.S.O. powers -5.000/month Reduce holidays to 3 days a year -5.000/month Abolish worker co-operatives +50.000 Sack all military chiefs +50.000 Promote export sales +25.000 Make union activities illegal weakens subversives Arrest all subversives weakens subversives Give workers voting rights weakens subversives
And if conditions apply, approve the following petition:
Abolish the S.S.O. +100.000; -10.000/month
Immediately followed by:
1-6 Make S.S.O. omnipotent reestablishes the S.S.O.
Long play strategy
After the first common part of the strategy, the player should deny every other petition and avoid any initiative during the policy phase. He should however check every month the status report for problems. This should work fine for the first 3 years, because the different petitions on the previous list will increase the president's approval and decrease society's power. After 3 years problems will start to arise and the different classes will start to antagonise the dictator. At this point it will be necessary to bribe them one by one and, by consequence, spend money until none is left. Nevertheless the player should avoid choices that, on top of costing money, only move discontent from one social class to the other, and focus only on policies with a net increase in approval.
- Choices in the first sub-menu are very different from each other. Policies 1-1 and 1-5 are useless, because they drain funds in order to increase the presidential power. Spending money without increasing the president's approval is counterproductive in a long run, while increasing the presidential power is counterproductive in a short run, since the player aims to a revolution as soon as possible. Policy 1-2 is a more expensive variant of the options in the second sub-menu, and no player will ever have the funds to approve all the second sub-menu and then this option too. Policies 1-3 and 1-4 make sense in a short run but not in a long play, while policy 1-6 is explained above.
- Choices in the second sub-menu are good but very expensive (apart for 2-1, which is for free).
- Choices in the third sub-menu are bad during normal gameplay, but can be taken once funds are exhausted (apart for 3-6, which is a bad idea regardless).
- Choices in the fourth sub-menu are bad in any case (except 3-4, which can be worth in order to prevent an imminent coup or rebellion).
- Choices in the fifth sub-menu are good, and precisely because of this they are explained above.
- Choices in the sixth sub-menu are bad in any case. Also, these options try to address problems with foreign powers, but the game is balanced in a way that makes foreign invasions quite unlikely.
Short play strategy
After the first common part of the strategy, the player should implement the following policies:
1-3 Buy private submarine 3-4 Make military chief cabinet minister 1-4 Attend to private fund (several times, until the treasure is all in a Swiss account, but beware because if the budget is dry, then the Swiss account is withdrawn for the benefit of Ananaba's treasure).
Then he should try some of the many policies that will cause cause unrest and provoke revolution. If he manages to escape, he will be a rich man.
If the player doesn't neglect social problems, then his downfall should come from lack of funds.
Four ends are possible, depending on which enemy caught the dictator.
No know cheats.
Lynx: "Nice game".
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