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Title Screen


Developer: Maxis
Publisher: Maxis
Platform: Windows
Released internationally: November 20, 1996

DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

SimCopter is a helicopter simulation game that is largely remembered today for two things: interoperability with SimCity 2000 city files, and an infamous Easter egg.

A Nintendo 64 version was planned but eventually scrapped.

To do:
..And the N64 version has been found, make a page for this.

Unused Graphics

Helicopter Passengers

The file BMP\PEOPLE1.BMP shows a series of icons for every "person" that could be picked up and carried by the player's helicopter. The top row is normal mood, middle is happy, and bottom is "frightened" (e.g. when the player is holding their portrait over the sky in advance of throwing them out!).

Most of these are used, but some characters do not appear. The player (pilot, 1st icon) can never ride in a passenger seat and so does not appear in-game. While it is possible to pick up an EMT (medic) or police officer to drop at emergency sites, a firefighter (3rd column) will not get into the chopper either, so their portrait is also never shown.

SimCopter (1996) - BMP-PEOPLE1.BMP.png

City Sprites

The composite SIM3D.BMP file contains sprites for several city "features" - a mailbox, fire hydrant, street light, and phone booth - which do not appear anywhere in the game. These are the same format and general size of the in-game tree sprites, and would likely have been used in a similar way, to add detail to the city lots by placing reusable common features near the buildings. In the released game, 3D models are used for these objects instead.

Object Name Unused Sprite Used 3D Model
SimCopter (1996) - BMP-SIM3D.BMP.14.png
Fire hydrant
SimCopter (1996) - BMP-SIM3D.BMP.21.png
Street light
SimCopter (1996) - BMP-SIM3D.BMP.22.png
Phone booth
SimCopter (1996) - BMP-SIM3D.BMP.23.png

Hidden Developer Credit

The "render options" screen allows the player to change display settings (texture quality, resolution) to improve gameplay performance. Normally, the top-right shows a "preview" of changes to the user: a small house changes appearance to visually indicate new settings. Hidden behind the house preview is the text "Paul was here" drawn in spray-paint tool on the UI elements. It is visible by looking at BMP\RENDER.BMP in the game's installation folder.

"Paul" probably refers to Paul Pedriana, one of the game's programmers.

SimCopter (1996) - BMP-RENDER.BMP.png

Unused Audio Files

There are a handful of unused files in the SOUNDS folder that hint at cut content.

  • Dispatch woman saying "Rabid Dog reported." This would have been a new emergency type for the player to resolve, but it is never used in-game and no event like it exists.
  • Dispatch woman saying compass directions plus "wilderness". The area around the city is filled with randomly-generated terrain to create a border around the city. These areas, the "wilderness", would have held occasional events or forest fires just as the main city does. However, this was scrapped, and only the direction indicators remain.

"North-east wilderness"

"South-east wilderness"

"South-west wilderness"

"North-west wilderness"

"Himbo" Easter Egg

During development, programmer and activist Jacques Servin inserted an Easter egg that generated shirtless men in Speedo trunks ("himbos") who hug and kiss each other and appear in great numbers on certain dates, such as September 30 (Servin's birthday) and Friday the 13th. The shirtless men's nipples are rendered using the "fullbright" color palette (normally used for fog-piercing lights, such as on runways or building tops) and are visible from great distances or in the dark. The egg was caught shortly after release and removed from future copies of the game, with Servin fired for adding unauthorized content. He cited his actions as a response to the intolerable working conditions he allegedly suffered at Maxis.

To trigger the egg, set the system time to one of the special dates and then complete the level somehow.

Revisional Differences


The initial release.


The result of applying the SIMCP101.ZIP patch.

  • Fixes a lot of crashes.
  • Allows you to see inside (and walk through, but not fly through) tunnels.
  • Removes Jacques Servin's "bonus content".
v1.0.1.0A v1.0.1.2 Onward
Simcopter-pilot-first-version.png Simcopter-pilot-second-version.png
  • Your pilot's outfit is altered.


The result of applying the SCopt102.zip patch.

  • Updates fire and smoke graphics with new bitmap images.
  • Adds "realistic flight model" to the game as an alternative to the original physics.
  • Adds the "tweak utility", allowing external changes to modify event frequency, helicopter features, and career settings.
  • Adds a 3dfx-enabled Glide renderer. This version is mostly unplayable, but serves as a tech preview for the engine used by Streets of SimCity which does use a hardware-accelerated 3D rendering mode instead of SimCopter's software-only renderer.


The "Maxis CD Classics" version.

  • Adds support for A3D 4-channel positional surround sound.
  • Introduces a bug with Riot emergencies where they are not indicated on the mini-map and can never be completed.