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"I hope you know what you're doing..."
Shadow President is a "Geopolitical Simulation" game, released in 1994, designed by Robert Antonick and Brad Stock. The game's scenario is based loosely around the early 1990's and the Cold War. Also, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait is another scenario included in the game that runs parallel to the main Cold War scenario. The game is somewhat like a grapical text adventure.
In the game, you play as the President of the United States of America and start off with your popularity at 50%, and part of the game is maintaining your popularity so that you can be reelected and therefore "win" the game. The game has a variety of statistics for each region, such as the "quality of life", the average income per person, the populations' primary concerns, and much more. (Not being reelected is basically "game over".)
To make a long story short, some of your options/objectives are to maintain the budget of the United States, deal with diplomatic crises, send foreign aid optimally, and fight wars as necessary. Of course, you don't have to be benevolent if you don't feel like it and can try your hand at expansionism, such as attempting a take-over of the Americas, or drop some nukes on a few countries, but beware of your approval rating dropping too far or you likely will be Impeached or even assassinated.
This Game Provides Examples of:
- A God Am I: For better or worse, you could attempt to play the game in this manner, but maintaining your popularity is part of the trick to this, if you intend to not get assassinated/impeached.
- Alliance Meter: Your advisers are one way to get a reading of how "for or against" your nation, a country is.
- Artificial Stupidity: The Soviet Union seems to have a "hair trigger" in certain game instances, nuking a country for seemingly implausible reasons. For example, allowing Iraq to conquer Saudi Arabia has a chance of causing this reaction from the USSR; the USSR executes a nuclear strike against Saudi Arabia, likely starting a continental thermonuclear war between itself and Europe and/or China.
- Awesome but Impractical: Nuclear strikes are probably not the best way to end wars or solve problems, and there is a good chance that you will get nuked too.
- Berserk Button: Recklessly launching nuclear strikes is a good way to cause nations to hate you. The radiation certainly does not not help either. Doing this against random countries for the hell of it may just cause you to lose all of your popularity.
- Cold War: The primary scenario in the game starts near the close of the titular war. Russia is still referred to as the Soviet Union, however, and are just as armed to the teeth with nukes as you are. Even if you fired every missile at your disposal at them, they would still be able to send back a crippling retaliatory strike. In fact, in any armed conflict you engage in throughout the world, the Soviet Union will almost certainly be assisting your enemy.
- Curb Stomp Battle: There are at least two ways to pull this off:
- Nuke the sweet bejezus out of a small country who possesses no nuclear strike capability.
- Invade such a country with your armed forces with or without nuking them first.
- Invisible President: You are the President - though you are treated to an audio excerpt of George H.W. Bush when you exit the game. Political parties and affiliations are not mentioned within the game, though there are elections which you are required to win in order to have extended terms.
- Nuke'Em: One of your options available to you.
- Take Over the World: You can certainly attempt to perform this.
- Villain with Good Publicity: You can have a high popularity, while having a low "ethic" (Your moral rating).
- What the Hell, Player?: Behaving ruthlessly may cause an adviser to call you out or even resign for your cruel behavior. For example, they may say that they hope you had a "damn good reason" for nuking a country, after taking the fallout into account.
- Attacking a nation who lacks nuclear strike capability using your own nuclear strike(s) will cause pretty much the highest amount of condemnation from world nations. Even worse, you set a possible precedent for the liberal (read: reckless) use of nuclear weapons by anyone who possesses them.