Elf Treetop City

Quickstart Guide

(This was written for version 1.05... it should still be mostly right.)

Elf Treetop City is a cool game by Sean Barrett, the same guy who did Lost in the Static. I'm just getting started with it myself, but I put together this guide to help other people get going. As I learn more advanced strategy I'll update the guide!

When you first arrive at your destination, the elves will be tired and cranky from the long trip. Their morale will be low; most of the elves won't do any work, and those that are are limited in what they will do. (This serves as a sort of tutorial to how to control the game, since your options are so limited.)

The purpose of this quickstart guide is to walk you through this initial phase of the game as explicitly as possible.

Starting location

You'll start out with a bunch of elves in the forest. You can scroll around the world, but as long as you have a big tree (two brown triangles next to each other) on screen, it doesn't matter much where you pick.

There may be animals of various kinds around (indicated with lowercase letters). Later you'll be able to develop a rapport with the animals and make some use of them, but for now just ignore them. Even bears and oliphaunts won't attack elves unprovoked. If you're extremely unlucky, there may be monsters present or nearby (indicated with uppercase letters); in that case you're probably best off starting the game over, unless you really want to face a challenge (and since this is your first game, you probably don't).

Improving morale

Since they're cranky because they're tired, you need to get your elves to go to sleep. However, elves won't sleep out in the open; apparently they only feel safe sleeping in the trees (it appears that monsters can't climb trees). So you'll have to build somewhere for them to sleep.

You'll probably just want to build temporary sleeping platforms. Elves don't generally sleep very often, so you'll probably want to take them back down (or turn them into something more useful) after a day or two.

To build a sleeping platform, you'll need materials. At this stage of the game, your only option is to build it out of wood. You can either use broken branches (don't require an extra step to create, but only okay quality and limited quantity), or you can harvest some lumber (moderate quality).

Harvesting lumber

You have to do two things: specify what to harvest, and specify who will do it.

Specify what

Choose "Harvest" from the main menu. Choose "Trees" from the sub-menu. Move the cursor to a small tree or shrub (clubs and percentages), and press enter. Repeat as desired. You can't chop down large climbable trees (whose trunks show as two brown triangles pointing left-right) at this point.

Specify who

You specify who should do the harvesting using the job control system. At the start of the game, since the elves have low morale, most of them won't do any work. But you should have two or three who are willing to do a little work, enough to get the process started.

Choose "Elves" from the main menu. Press a letter corresponding to each elf and check their stats. If their "morale" stat is above 0, they'll be willing to do some work. (You can assign jobs to elves at morale 0, but they won't do anything until their morale goes up.)

Once you've selected an elf with a morale above 0, go back to the main menu (hit ESCAPE repeatedly), and then choose "Jobs". Now choose "Material". Then choose "Forester". Now your elf will go create lumber.

It seems like not all the elves will do forestry. If you have trouble just skip this step and build the sleeping platform with branches.

Building sleeping platforms

You have to do two things: specify what to build, and specify who will do it.

Specify what

Choose "Construction" from the main menu. Choose "Sleeping platform". Now specify the material to build from: "Lumber" if you're gathering lumber, or "Branches" if you're just using broken branches (which don't need to be harvested).

Now use TAB to set the view level to 100'. Move the cursor to a branch within two squares of a tree trunk (each trunk is a brown diamond with a vertical slash which takes up two spaces). Press enter, and a sleeping platform will be scheduled to be built there. Do this in a few more places to build multiple platforms so more than one elf can sleep at a time.

Specify who

Again you need to assign one or more elves the job of building the things you've just specified. Select an elf with a morale above 0 who isn't already busy harvesting trees, and assign him to building by choosing "Jobs" then "Structural" then "Woodworker".

Glorious sleep

Allow time to pass for your workers to do their tasks. When sleeping platforms become available, the tired elves will automatically choose an unoccupied sleeping platform and go to sleep.

When they wake up, they'll be fully rested and their morale will usually be close to 100, so you'll be able to assign them many more tasks. At this point you probably want to start working on a garden and developing a rapport with animals, but that is beyond the scope of this guide.