This & That

These are things I often wondered about and had to do a bit of research in game to find out. Since I sometimes need to refer to these various things, I keep them close at hand. I thought you might be able to do the same.

On Death and Dying

There are a number of ways for a Sim's life to end rather than dying peacefully of Old Age. Anyone who's been a longtime fan of The Sims games is aware that Maxis has a liking for "bizarre accidents" and The Sims 2 is no exception.

Though Sims can die unnaturally - and unpleasantly - from Fire, Disease, Drowning, Electrocution and Starving, there are also more uncommon ways to end up dead. A Sim can be Scared to Death by an already dead Sim that is haunting them or they can be smashed to smithereens by a rare, falling Satellite while gazing at the clouds. Perhaps the most bizarre, and rare, death for any Sim is Death by Flies - a horrific end for an untidy Sim with too many flies hanging around his home. For those that have the appropriate download, a Sim can also be killed by haphazardly Running with Scissors.

The University Expansion pack has added on another method of dying - being Eaten Alive by the Cow Plant. With the Nightlife Expansion we learned that Vampire Sims can die by Exposure to Sunlight. Open For Business taught us that over-zealous business Sims can Rally themselves to death; Sims can also be killed by a Plummeting Elevator or a badly designed, metal kite (i.e. electrocution). A Sim can also be killed by a malfunctioning robot that Runs Amok and damages anything in its vicinity.

Sims that die outside will recieve a tombstone as their final marker and Sims that perish inside will recieve an urn. However, moving an urn out of doors will turn it into a tombstone, and moving a tombstone indoors will automatically make it an urn.

Sims That Go Bump In The Night

When a Sim dies he rests peacefully until around 8pm, Sim-time. At this time, as darkness falls, restless Sims will rise from their graves to wreck havoc on those living nearby. Most Sim Ghosts are not happy campers, though some things tend to make them angrier than others (a surviving mate marrying again or a new family moving into their old home, for example).

A lot with a high number of gravestones will not be overly haunted as it appears that only three ghosts are all that will ever be roaming at any given time, no matter the number of graves present (though one could argue that three ghosts are three-too-many!)

The color of a ghost's visage will tell you how that Sim died; some Sims even do certain things depending on their manner of death.

Manner of Death Ghost Color Ghostly Actions
Death by Flies Purple None
Disease Green None
Drowning Blue Leaves puddles
Eaten by Cow Plant Light Green Taunts cow plant
Electrocution Yellow Relives death replete with sparks
Fire Red Smokes
Old Age White None
Running with Scissors Bright Pink None
Scared to Death Pink None
Satelitte Orange None
Starvation Clear/No Color Raids refrigerator

Ghost Sims do not haunt every night, and when they will appear is random. They tend to pull harmless pranks such as possessing furniture or even their own tombstones and making them "dance". They like to turn on and off lights and electronics as well. More creepily, they cause the toddler's xylophone to mysteriously "play itself" and, much more creepily, the teddy bear's head to spin around.

However, Sim Ghosts are not all silly antics - a live Sim that sees one and is low on his Needs could die from fright. This happened to a pregnant Sim of mine. It's already difficult to keep a busy Sim mother-to-be in the green; her Hunger, Comfort, Bladder and Energy bars deplete at amazing rates. My Sim was fixing herself dinner before going to bed (she was exhausted and grumpy to boot) and was surprised by a visit from her first husband - who'd been dead for quite some time. She was, in fact, so surprised that she dropped dead right there. Thankfully her new husband was able to plead for her life, and the Grim Reaper let her live.

It is also said that dead Sims do not like to be moved from the spot where they took their last breath. Moving their urn or tombstone angers the now-dead Sims, apparently, and they will return to the spot where they perished and mourn - moreso if they were moved very quickly.

Sims that die outside will recieve a tombstone as their final marker and Sims that perish inside will recieve an urn. However, moving an urn out of doors will turn it into a tombstone, and moving a tombstone indoors will automatically make it an urn.

Two Is Better Than One

Ah, the joy of seeing "There are TWO new family members on the way!" come up on the baby announcement screen. Twins are uncommon but not rare, and always a joy (unless your family is poor and you're not cheating).

There are many theories on how to make twins without hacks, though none have been confirmed. Having your pregnant Sim eat Cookies appears to be the main food theory - some say it has to be the first day they find they are pregnant. I have all of my pregnant Sims snack on cookies, and, obviously, not all give birth to twins. Many claim spaghetti is the magic-twin food, while pork chops seem to have the same effect for me. Many people say that keeping your pregnant Sim with Platinum Aspiration for the duration of the pregnancy gets you twins as well. While certain things may up the chances, I don't think anything is set to make certain you have twins. More than likely it's a random draw. However, the Open For Business expansion pack added a higher probability of giving birth to twins if a pregnant Sim (female or male) eats Cheese Cake.

Then there's the debate on triplets. Is it possible without hacks? In an interview with General Manager Luc Barthelet (aka MaxisLuc) the question was asked. He said that it was possible but "extremely rare". However, the interview took place before the game came out and this could've been changed (or not added) before release. Another pre-release interview with Tim LeTourneau (aka MaxisTim) was less helpful; when asked if he could divulge anything about twins or triplets he answered, "Well, twins are when someone has two babies at the same time, but I think you should probably talk to your parents about this". Hehe - thanks MaxisTim.

User aviuku on the IGN Boards claims to have had a set of triplets after a set of twins (photos included). Hoever, there are those that say triplets are simply not possible unless your game has a glitch.

If you must have triplets (or even quads!) in your game and can't wait for Fate, there are hacks to help you with this. I, however, prefer to let it just happen.

My own twin joys can be viewed here.

It's In The Genes

I've read pages and pages of debates on Sim genetics in forums and message boards throughout the Web. While I won't claim to know half as much as some (and some people know way too much about this subject), I'll share with you what I've found in my own game concerning genes.

I love to breed Sims. I love blending different Sims together (especially those with alien genes) and seeing what the final results will be like. It's rare that I can have a family with only one (or even two) children because I'm always curious to see what kind of Sim children the parents are going to produce.

From what I've been able to determine the dominant genes tend to be the dark ones, while the lighter genes tend to be more rare. Dark skin tends to win out over light skin if the two are combined. The same holds true for eye and hair color.

I have a family that consists of a CAS black-haired father and a CAS red-haired mother. They have eleven children (born in the game) and not a one has red hair. If there is a brown-eyed/blue or green-eyed combination of parents, the children almost always have the brown eyes.

All in all, my own research has proven this law of Sim gene-ry: the ugliest features on each parent will, more often than not, carry on to the child.

It Isn't Easy Being Green

As for trying to breed aliens, you're out of luck if you attempt it with Johnny Smith. He doesn't seem to be a real half-alien; he appears to be a Sim that Maxis simply gave green skin to. I could be wrong, but I haven't had any green-skinned or alien-looking children from he and Ophelia. Johnny Smith married Ophelia Nigmos and they have two children - both medium skinned with blonde hair. Jill Smith married Ripp Grunt and neither of their two children appear alien-ish. And with all of the birth-by-abuction aliens I've seen in my game, none look as human as Johnny Smith - whose only alien feature is green skin.

P.T. #9 does have some alienish genes, though. He and Jenny gave birth to four more children in my game and all of them are dark skinned with red hair (I'm assuming this is a latent gene from Jenny's father), and all of them have alien features (the eyes/nose). In my game, though, I wanted a more "mixed" alien/human look for the four other Smith children (and the darkest skin tone just didn't fit) so I used SimPE to random them up with light skin (like Jenny's) and green skin (like P.T. #9's); that is why they aren't dark-skinned on this site.

Children born of an abduction usually look very alien-like, though I've had a few (though uncommon) exceptions. However, they were all green-skinned (though I've read this isn't always the case) and even the more human-like ones had a prominent alien feature besides the skin (black eyes or alien-shaped eyes, or no nose).

The only alien children I've had born in the game through conventional methods was by mating two half aliens (those born of actual abductions). They had to be moved to sever their relationship ties (apparently the same Pollination Technician impregnates all abducted men in a given neighborhood), but mating the two does produce green-skinned/alienish children by natural birth.

That's What I Like

The Sims 2 is an amazing game in every sense of the word. It's a huge, electronic, and visual dollhouse where you can play god. It's fun and funny, sad and heartbreaking, enjoyable and exciting. I've no complaints about the game whatsoever. However, there are some things I'd love to see come out in an expansion pack some day in the future. (Are you listening Maxis?)

Things I'd Like to See in The Sims 2:

  • Teen pregnancy
    Mods and cheats to make this happen came out not long after the game. People obviously don't have a problem with teens being able to woohoo and/or get pregnant, so I'd like to see this added. Maybe teens shouldn't have the "Try for Baby" option but have a certain percentage chance to get pregnant if they choose to woohoo (like in the original Sims).

  • A rare, rare chance to have triplets (if you can't already) all the way up to quints
    Though they're a hellish handful to take care of, it is exciting to have twins. Why not triplets, quads and/or quints? It'd be super rare, which would make it even more exciting if it happened.

  • More meals (especially breakfast ones)
    I love the variety of meals you can make and would love to see more. There are lots more breakfast meals that could be added, especially; scrambled eggs, ham & croissant sandwich, blueberry waffles, french toast, oatmeal, or biscuits to give a few ideas. I find the breakfast food category lacking a bit.

  • A Technical job field
    There are tons of technical jobs that could be chosen for each job level, and it's an area I'd like to involve a few of my Sims in (especially since it's my real life field!) A technical job could include jobs such as Computer Support, I.T. Tech., Video Game Developer, Software Engineer, Network Manager, Programmer, Hardware Analyst, Project Engineer, etc. The top of the career field could be a Hacker.

  • More accessories!
    More colors and variety in hats would be nice, but I'd really like to see some jewelry in the game - especially earrings. Jewelry can really pull an outfit together, or, if outlandish enough, make quite a statement as some Sims like to do. A lot of people have created custom outfits and "face paint" that includes or shows earrings; it's something I think everyone would like to see. Extraneous piercings (nose, eyebrow, mouth, etc) would be a nice touch as well.

  • A "Ringer Off" option for phones
    There are times I do not want to hear the phones ringing, and if it's ringing constantly enough the only solution is to get rid of the phone completely. This is espeically a problem with cell phones; an exhausted Sim whose phone keeps ringing will get no repose. I think it'd be a nice feature to be able to turn the ringer on and off. A choice of different ring tones would be nice as well.

  • Caller ID
    I'm sure my Sims would like to know who's on the other end of the line before answering as much as I do. An accessory you could buy, a little box that is sold in the Electronics section, that is a Caller ID. The Sim could look at it when the phone rings and it would tell them who is calling. You could also buy a more expensive phone with Caller ID installed on it.

  • Online Bill Pay
    My Sims are notorious for getting the mail when I'm not looking and "hiding" the bills. I don't know anything is amiss until I get a message saying we're behind on bills or the Repo Man shows up! If I can't find the bills, my Sims constantly stay "behind" and the Repo Man becomes more a permanent fixture in their lives than I or they like. Because of this, it would be oh-so nice to see a "Pay Bills Online" option added to the computer. That way, forgetful or untidy Sims could still pay bills even if the "paper bill" is missing.
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