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FAQ/Strategy Guide by PyroFalkon
Version: 1.9 | Updated: 08/26/04
The Sims: Superstar (PC) Full Strategy Guide Document written by PyroFalkon (email@example.com) Current Version: 1.9 Last Update: 26 August 2004 +---------------+ |+-------------+| ||LATEST UPDATE|| |+-------------+| +---------------+ v1.9 (26 August 2004) The Sims 2 (and my 22nd birthday) is around the corner, less than a month away. I'm already in training for that marathon, getting my body used to less than an hour of sleep per night, all for your eventual benefit! That said, there's still a little unfinished business I have with this FAQ. I've had a lot of readers ask me about getting up in star ranking, especially around the 2.0 range. Apparently no one bothers to look at the details of the job screen, so it's my job to set everyone straight. That's not a bad thing, though, because I need the writing practice. So, I've rewritten almost the entire superstar section, and its new format (especially the brand-spanking new Synopsis subsection) should answer all your questions, and should start deferring all the duplicate e-mails. As always, write to me if you have any further questions or comments. +-------------------+ |+-----------------+| ||TABLE OF CONTENTS|| |+-----------------+| +-------------------+ PART 1: THE BASICS ================== 1. Intro 2. Creating a family a. Attributes 3. Buying a lot and building a house a. Build Mode, and tips for building b. Buy Mode, and tips for buying c. the Option gump 4. Taking care of yourself a. Hunger b. Comfort c. Hygiene d. Bladder e. Energy f. Fun g. Social h. Room 5. Taking care of others 6. Money a. Jobs b. Arts and Crafts c. Farming d. Hired Help e. Other Money Tips 7. Skills a. Skill Gain Rates 8. Sim Love a. Having and Greeting Visitors b. Interests 9. Astrological Signs a. Aquarius b. Pisces c. Aries d. Taurus e. Gemini f. Cancer g. Leo h. Virgo i. Libra j. Scorpio k. Sagittarius l. Capricorn PART 2: OTHER AREAS OF SIMCITY ============================== 10. Downtown a. Having a date or friend with you downtown b. Constructing buildings 11. Vacation Island a. Having a date with you on vacation 12. Old Town 13. Studio Town: The New Area of SimCity a. Who Said Being a Superstar Was Easy? b. Exclusive or Variable? c. Starting Out d. Your First Steps in Studio Town e. Time To Be Social f. Mid-Level Madness g. The End Game h. Synopsis i. Rubbing Elbows with the Mighty j. Butlers and Stalkers PART 3: THOSE LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE LIFE FUN ============================================== 14. Pets a. Which Pet is Which? b. Preparations c. Getting a Bundle of Fluff d. Low-Maintenance Pets e. High-Maintenance Pets a. Pet Mood Meters b. Pet Personalities c. Pet Skills d. Breeding e. Other Pet Things 15. Throwing Parties 16. Kids a. Babies 17. Disasters a. Death 18. Other Events and Rumor Killers 19. Strategies a. PyroFalkon's Alpha Strategy b. Relationship Strategies c. Other strategies and short tips d. Strategies Submitted by Readers 20. Customizing your sims 21. Cheat Codes 22. Unconfirmed Information 23. Backing Up Your Sims a. Method 1 b. Method 2 PART 4: FAQ STUFF ================= 24. Contributor List 25. Version History 26. Copyright Info 27. Contact Info ====================================================== | PART 1: THE BASICS | ====================================================== +----------+ |+--------+| ||1. INTRO|| |+--------+| +----------+ I'm PyroFalkon, and these four things I know are true: -Death and taxes are the only assured things in life. -Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. -"Around the Horn" has gone downhill since they changed the format. -There's as many games of The Sims as there are days of the week. One more expansion pack, one more FAQ from yours truly. Yay! +----------------------+ |+--------------------+| ||2. CREATING A FAMILY|| |+--------------------+| +----------------------+ Once you get past the title screen and all that, you'll come to a view of the huge neighborhood. There may be a bunch of houses scattered around, one of which has a big flashing arrow. That's the tutorial house, and I recommend you play it before leaping into The Sims. Of course, you don't have to, and I cover in this FAQ pretty much everything it says in the tutorial. Across the top are a few buttons. The one you're interested in is the left-most of the center group, the one with a few people on it. Click that and you'll be taken to a screen that lists all the families that are not currently in houses (I call this the barracks; what can I say, I'm a fan of Worms: World Party). Click an empty line (or the button with a few people and a plus sign) to create a new family. You'll be prompted to enter a last name. For my examples, I'll refer to my primary family that I've got going here... so, type in the last name that suits you. In my case, "Falkon." After that, click the button that lit up: the top one of the group of three. Here, you'll get to personalize your first character. The simplest thing listed is at the top, the first name. Obviously, "Pyro" goes here for me. Next, you need to enter your character's attributes. +--------------+ |2a. Attributes| +--------------+ The attributes are divided into five catagories: Neat, Outgoing, Active, Playful, and Nice. You can assign up to 10 points to any attribute, but you have a total limit of 25 points. NEAT indicates how environmentally-conscious your sim is, and what the chance is of it doing cleaning actions automatically. If it's set to max, then your sim will always clear the table and flush the toilet when finished eating and doing their business, respectively (at least, I HOPE it's respectively). A minimum rating of zero will make your sim a complete slob who doesn't mind being in its own filth. This rating has an indirect effect on the Room bar; see Mood Bars their own section for details. OUTGOING indicates how well your sim gets to know others. If set to 10, it makes friends easily; if set to 0, it makes friends as easily as a corpse. This rating has an indirect effect on the Social bar. ACTIVE indicates how much your sim likes to move around. A high rating means that it would rather play basketball, for example, than watch TV. A low rating means just the opposite. Also, the rating directly affects how long it takes for that sim to get up after it wakes up. A sim with an ACTIVE rating of 10 will literally leap out of bed. A sim with a zero rating will take one full game hour to get out of bed once it wakes up. PLAYFUL indicates how much your sim prefers games over serious things. This, combined with ACTIVE, gives you an idea of what your sim wants to do with itself to get its Fun mood up. Again, check out the Mood Meter section for details. NICE indicates just how well your sim gets along with others. This, combined with OUTGOING, affects the way your sim makes friends. Once you have your attributes set, check out the series of seven buttons to the right. The top two affect whether the sim is a child or an adult. Families should have at least one adult, since children can't get jobs to earn money. Below that are three buttons that change your sim's skin tone from light to medium to dark. The bottom two set its gender; the one on the left is for males, the one to the right is for females. Once you have your sim's age, skin tone, and gender set, take a look at the arrows that flank your sim's head and body. Using those, you can scroll through the available choices of heads and clothes (called skins). Don't worry so much about the clothes since those can be changed in-game, but once you choose a head, it's locked in for eternity. The attributes are almost permanent once you set them, so make sure you think carefully before you confirm your choice. At the bottom of this screen is a section where you can write a bio. It's totally optional, but I think it's fun to give my sims backstories. To confirm your choices, click the Done button. You'll be taken back to the family screen where you entered the last name. You can add up to seven more family members for a total of eight, but you have to be careful. The more people you have, the faster you earn money, but the more maintenance you pay. If this is your first family, I'd stick with no more than two. For my strategy (outlined in a later section), I use three adults: Pyro, Stephanie, and Pud. In the bios, I declare Pyro and Stephanie to be married, and Pud is Pyro's brother. Now, there is no "official" way to set any relationship; I could consider the Falkons to all be siblings if I wanted, or all be married to each other, or both. Of course, since I'm normal, I'm just sticking with a simple marriage with a tag-along brother. If you make a mistake on a family member, you can click that sim, then the bottom button of the Create Family screen to edit him or her. If things go horribly wrong, you can click the sim, then the middle button to end its life before it even begins. Once you're satisfied with your family, click the done button on the Create Family screen, but remember that you can never come back to the Create Family screen again to edit anyone. +--------------------------------------+ |+------------------------------------+| ||3. BUYING A LOT AND BUILDING A HOUSE|| |+------------------------------------+| +--------------------------------------+ On the family select screen, click the family you just made, then the button in the bottom-right (a family with an arrow pointing to a house). You'll be kicked back to the neighborhood screen where you can select which lot you want to buy. You have to buy a lot that does not have a family already there, but you CAN buy one if it already contains a house. However, I like building houses (and it's cheaper that way than buying a huge house off the bat). The more people that are in your sim family, the less expensive the lot you should buy. It's up to you, of course, but there's no reason to make this too hard if it's your first time. If the lot you want is taken by a family and/or a house, you can evict the family and/or bulldoze the house to clear the lot. To do so, click the button at the top of the screen with a bulldozer. Your cursor will change; click the lot you wish to clear after that. If there's a family there, you'll be asked if you want to evict them. Doing so sells all of their house objects (everything but walls, carpets, and wallpaper), then throws them and their money into the barracks. Either way, you'll then be asked to bulldoze the house. If you agree, the lot is slaughtered. Trees and hills stay as they were, but the walls, carpets, and roofs will be no more. Make sure your family is selected, then click the lot you wish to move into. All families start with $20,000 (simoleans), and once you buy the lot, the cost is automatically deducted from your account. +--------------+ |3a. Build Mode| +--------------+ After the game loads, your family will be standing near its mailbox beside the empty lot. There's a whole mess of buttons here, but this section of my FAQ covers building the house, so let's worry about only the bare essentials for now. Off the bat, click the small button that's fifth from the left; it has three dots horizontally through the middle of it. That's the option gump, and what you need to click is the disk icon in the top-left corner of the group of six. That's how you save the game, and I seriously suggest you save it immediately. If something goes horribly wrong during the construction of the building, you can always load and not have too many problems. Once it's saved, click the third button from the left of the main five; it looks like a house. That takes you to Build Mode, the place you go to construct your house. The two buttons on the far left of the gump that just appeared are Undo and Redo. Let's ignore those for now, since you haven't done anything yet. The first tool for house construction is the wall tool, which is located in the top row, third from the left. Click that, and you'll get a long list of choices for everything relating to walls. The wall itself is the very first item, and it costs $70 per section, which can add up to a crapload of money. To create a wall, simply click-and-drag across the landscape wherever you want the wall. To quickly make a room, you can hold SHIFT as you drag, and it will make a rectangle for you. To undo a mistake, either click the undo button (which also returns all your money), or hold CONTROL and click-drag (which only returns half the wall cost). You can't blow your remaining money on your house alone since you'll need to end up buying things like toilets and refrigerators, so try to cut corners whenever you can. The bathroom is really the only room you need to keep isolated; you can combine the living and bed rooms for now. Your rooms should not be more than 5 tiles by 5 tiles, but that doesn't mean you can't have an "invisible" wall. Check out this crappy ASCII art to see what I mean... +-----+-----+ | | | | | | | KIT | LVR | | | | | | | +-----+-----+ Now, this is two rooms that are 5x5 each (count the dashes, not the actual distance). The one marked KIT is the kitchen, and the one marked LVR is the living room. This is a good starting setup, but it can be improved by one little change... +-----------+ | | | | | KIT LVR | | | | | +-----------+ Now the wall that separated the two rooms is gone, saving you $350, which is enough to buy a burglar alarm and a phone with enough left over for a meal. If you absolutely must have that center wall, you can always add it later. This early in the game though, every single simolean counts. I recommend that you make the bathroom no more than 3x4, and the bedroom no larger than the standard 5x5. Again, this is ALL temporary; you can extend and expand to your heart's content once you have the money. To help you with the view, check out the buttons that are just above the clock on the left side. Those are the various wall views you can use. From left to right: first story / second story, roof view, walls up, walls cutaway, and walls down. Don't worry about the story selection since you haven't even built the ground floor yet. While building walls, I just leave the walls down. It lets you see your design clearly without having to rotate the view or anything like that. If you do want to rotate or zoom the view, you can use the buttons in the bottom left: the two curved arrows, and the plus and minus arrows. Play around with the views as much as you want; time is frozen in Build Mode. You now need doors for house. The tool for this looks amazingly like a door; just click it and you'll get a list of door styles. The doorless frame for $150 is perhaps the most functional of them all, since your sims don't have to waste time opening doors all day. Of course, I always put closed doors around the bathroom; even though it makes no difference in practice, I don't think my sims would appreciate being spied on during their moment of privacy. Anyway, set up your doors however you see fit. Make sure you don't forget to get a door on every room, but remember that you don't have to connect *every* room to *every other* room. Also make sure you put a door on an exterior wall; that will be your front door. Any room will do, but the bathroom is not recommended unless you want all your visitors to get peeks of sims in showers. (Note to self: make an all female sim family and test out this method of door placement.) You can now add windows, wallpaper (which covers both interior and external walls), and flooring, but I recommend against all of it for now. However, I'll tell you how to mess with it, whether you're doing it now or later. Windows are added like doors and can even go on interior walls, although I fail to see why you would want to do that. The smaller the room is, the less windows it needs to be fully lit. A 5x5 room only needs two windows max. By the way, some doors have windows in them and do add to the light in a room. They tend to be more expensive, but it's your choice. Carpet can be chosen by clicking the icon that's second to the left of the bottom row, below the water drop. After selecting the flooring patern you want, you can click-drag an area that you want to cover, or hold SHIFT then click, which fills the whole room. Wallpaper works the same way; just click the icon of a paintbrush to get started. You can remove any flooring or wallpaper by CTRL-clicking, or even SHIFT-CTRL-clicking, which will remove everything from that whole room. Finally, you need customize the roof on your house. Simply click the icon that looks like a roof, and you can choose the pitch and style of the roof. You don't have too many choices, but you should have plenty to work with. I'll describe the other tools in Build Mode to you here... The far left icon of the top row is the landscaping tool. With this, you can raise, lower, or level the land; you can also grow or shrink grass, making your lawn a lush green or a dusty brown. Beside that is the water tool. You can add a pool with a diving board and ladder with three of the tools. The fourth tool, big water drop, lets you manually change tiles to little pools of water. In theory, you could make a river, pond, or even a moat. I haven't used it much myself, but experiment to heck and back. Next to the water tool is the wall selection. What I didn't mention above is that you can select fences and pillars here as well as the basic wall. Take a look at the selection, but you probably don't want to buy any of it this early. On the other side of the paintbrush is the staircase button. You can eventually add a second story to your house, but that's insanely unimportant at the moment. Keep it in mind in case you want to expand eventually. The last icon of the top row is the fireplace tool. Again, those are so stupid-expensive that you don't need to deal with it yet. Now, the bottom row. The left-most icon is the plant tool. You can buy flowers, trees, and shrubs to spruce up your lawn. This is another luxury you can deal with once you're rich. You know what the flooring, door, window, and roof tools do. The last one in that row is the hand tool. You can use that to move objects, flowers, shrubs, trees, fences, and a whole bunch of other stuff around. It's rather pointless since your house is empty at the moment, but it's there whenever you need it. +------------+ |3b. Buy Mode| +------------+ The button to the left of the Build Mode button, the one with a chair and lamp on it, takes you to Buy Mode. Here, you're greeted with a list of catagories of Stuff To Buy. Watch your money, but don't neglect the basics. You can use the eight buttons in the Buy Mode gump to select what precisely you want to buy. You have chairs and beds, tables and other surfaces, decorations, and electronics in the top row. In the bottom row are appliances, everything relating to plumbing, lamps of all flavors, and miscellaneous items. There's a secondary way you can sort the list. If you click the Buy Mode button again, those eight catagories will switch to a room sort. Then, you can click the appropriate button for the room you want to furnish, and go from there. They are: living room, dining room, bedroom, and study on the top row. Kitchen, bathroom, outside, and miscellaneous are across the bottom row. Once you click any sort, be it a room or catagory, you get a subsort to further your search. If you just want to browse a catagory, click the infinity symbol in any subsort to view all the items of that catagory or room (this is the only way to find some items). If you click-and-hold on any item, a short description and larger picture will come up. The price is shown along with any mood or skills it will raise. I'll get more into the moods in the next section, and skills after that. If a description of an item includes the line "Group Activity," it means that at least two sims can use the item simultaneously, generally increasing the Social meter as well as whatever else it normally increases. Some descriptions may include "Can only be used by an adult" or "Can only be used by a child," both of which are self-explanatory. I won't go into details of why until the next section, but for now you're going to need the essentials of living. Those are: a fridge, a toilet, a shower, a bed, some form of entertainment, a chair, a phone, a burglar alarm, and a bookcase. Most of these are obvious where to find them. The entertainment form I recommend is a TV, although if none of your sims are playful, you may want to just use the bookcase as your entertainment source (it can double as such). The bookcase is listed under miscellaneous objects or the study, depending whether you're looking at the catagory or room sort. Make sure you put the burglar alarm outside near your front door, and place a phone in any room but the bedroom. The phone rings in the middle of the night often, and your sims hate waking up before they're supposed to. You should still have the money to afford two of the cheapest counters, the cheapest oven, and the only food processor. They will be worth their weight in gold, or at least simoleons. If you didn't go nuts in Build Mode, you probably have plenty of money of left over to get a few more items that will seriously help your first few game days. First and easiest is a nice couch. It can double as a bed if need be, so take a look. You could also get a cheap table, put a few chairs around it, and shove it all in the kitchen as a temporary dining room. The last general tip I have for Build Mode is that just because you CAN buy something doesn't mean you SHOULD buy something. Just because you have the money to buy the $7000 DJ spintable doesn't mean that it'll help your sims' fun ratings any more than that plasma TV, which is half the price. Finally, if you ever want to sell an item, simply click on it while in Buy Mode (or use the hand tool in Build Mode) to pick it up, then hit your DELETE key. You'll get some of the money back; all of it if less than one day passed since you bought it. To see one way you can use that to your advantage, head to the Money Strategy section. Though you can arrange anything in any order, there's one specific piece of advice I must give. Check the Mood section for details. +--------------------+ |3c. The Options Gump| +--------------------+ Before we get into the game, you may want to save (or not, if you think all hell is going to break loose and you regret your construction decisions). I'll take a few lines here to explain all the other options. Across the top row are Save, Neighborhood Screen, and Quit. The first saves your game instantly without a prompt. The second sends you back to the neighborhood screen after prompting you to save if you hadn't recently. The last will send you back to Windows, also after a save prompt. The bottom three allow you to tinker with the video, audio, and game settings. The left icon of the bottom row gives you the display settings. You can change the level of detail of the terrain and/or characters, or toggle graphic options. All four graphic options, if checked, make the game prettier, but take a bit more processor power (not an issue if you're using a GHz processor with over 128 MB RAM). All of these are explained simply by click the words of what you want described, so I'm not going to waste your time by writing them here. The button in center of the bottom row adjusts the volumes for sound, music, and voices. The sound FX is all the sounds made from objects, including the TV. The music setting affects songs from the audio objects like radios, and it affects the volume of the fanfare that's played whenever your sims do something special. VOX is the measure of the sims' voices when they interact with each other. The last button is the game options. There are eight there, and I'll explain them. AUTO-CENTERING automatically brings the view to an event. If this is your first time, you may want to keep it on so you don't miss when something unusual happens. FREE WILL gives your sims the ability to act on their own, though their actions will be heavily weighed by their personality (for example, a sim with a Neat rating of zero will never take a shower). If you enact this, you can give your sims commands as usual, and your commands will always take precedence over anything they come up with on their own. EDGE SCROLLING allows you to move the view simply by laying the cursor against the edge of the screen. With this unchecked, you can only move the view by right-click dragging. SIM IN BACKGROUND allows the game to run if you task switch (ALT-TAB) out of the game. With it unchecked, the game will pause if you task switch. QUICK TIPS affect whether little hints will appear in the upper-right corner of the screen. If this is enabled, occasionally a box with a question mark will appear, and you can click that to get a bit more information. This is always enabled in the downtown area. AUTO SNAPSHOT lets the game take a picture for you whenever an event occurs. To take a picture manually, click the button that looks like a camera, then choose the size and quality of your shot. A box will appear in the game view, and another click will capture the scene for all of time. LIVE PIP makes the picture-in-picture (shown during some events) show what's happening in real-time. This SERIOUSLY drains processor power, and I recommend you leave it unchecked. The PIP will appear anyway, but it will be a still picture, not a moving camera. EXPORT HTML forces the game to create webpages of your families when you save. This has serious negative impacts on save times, so I leave it unchecked. There's a global command on the neighborhood screen that makes webpages for all the families, and I use that whenever I decide to make webpages. +----------------------------+ |+--------------------------+| ||4. TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF|| |+--------------------------+| +----------------------------+ When your house is built and the objects inside it are bought, click the button on the far left, the one that shows two people standing beside each other. This activates Live Mode, the meat and potatoes of the game. If your sims are on Free Will, they'll probably poke around and check out what you bought, either applauding or booing your taste. On the bottom of the screen are portraits of each sim in your family, along with seven buttons to the right of them. I'll describe each one in a moment, but right now, let me teach you how to care for your sims. Firstly, you can only have one sim active at once. Its portrait will have a blue border around it, and a big colored crystal will appear over its head. To change the active sim, you can either click on the portrait of the one you want to control, right-click the sim itself, or hit the space bar. The change happens instantly. Once you have a sim under your control, you can order it to interact with anything you have. Simply click an object, and a list of actions will pop up. Some objects only have a few actions, some have many. Explore; I'm not going to ruin the game by going over every little item. Once you give a command, a picture representing the command will appear in the upper-left corner of the screen. You can cancel the action before it's completed by clicking that icon. Only nine actions can be queued at once. The only thing that needs a special explaination is the fridge. If a sim clicks a fridge, it can either have a snack, make a quick meal, make a normal meal, or serve a meal. If you select the snack, the sim will just grab a bag of chips out of the fridge for $5. If you ask it to make a meal or quick meal, it will go through the cooking process I talk about in 4a, with one minor note. If you picked the quick meal, it will skip the process or chop step. This is less filling, but takes less time. Either way, $10 will be taken from your account. If you choose to serve a meal, the sim will make a plate of food that has six servings, all for a measly $20. Get real intimate with that command, you'll be using a lot. It's time to start covering those buttons to the right of your sims' portraits. The one that's probably already open is the mood button. If it's not, click it; it's the one with the happy and sad masks. Above and below that button is a graph. The graph shows the overall mood of your sim, based on the weighted average of its eight individual moods. The overall mood is graded positively and negatively by 5 levels, plus the neutral mood. The color of the crystal above the active sim's head tells what mood it's in; a green crystal is a happy mood, and the deeper the green, the happier the mood. If the crystal is red, the sim is ticked off or depressed, and a blood red crystal is just a more intense version. I'll deal with the eight individual moods in a second, since they require their own section. Let's take a look at the other buttons first. The top button on the left, the one that looks like a word balloon, leads to your sim's interests. This button is new to the series starting with Hot Date. These are randomly generated, I believe. Poke around there for a moment if you want. It shows what a sim likes and dislikes talking about, and it can have serious impacts on friends. I talk more about interests later. Below that is the personality button. Here, you can see what astrological sign your sim is, along with its attributes that you set in the Create Sim screen. The bottom-left button is the inventory screen, also new starting with Hot Date. If your sim is carrying any items, they will appear here. The top-right button opens the relationship meters, which shows how well your sim is getting along with others that it has met. Until Hot Date, there was only one meter, but now there are two. The upper meter indicates the daily relationship, while the lower one represents the lifetime relationship. I deal with those in more detail in the love section, too. The button in the right-center is the job button. There you can see what, if any, job you sim has, what its salary is, and what its skills are. Take a look at cooking. The higher that is, the more filling their meals are. Sims shouldn't cook unless they have at least one point in cooking, or they may end up setting the kitchen on fire. To raise any of those skills, your sim needs to perform a specific action. For cooking, just have one read a book. Click your bookcase, then click "study cooking." Your sim will grab the book and take the nearest seat, studying its heart out. The blue progress bar above its head will fill, and when it fills completely, you'll get a message that your sim gained a point in that skill. I'll get into skills in more detail in a later section. The last button, the one that looks like a house, gives you a rating on your happy home. It's probably kinda low for now, but remember that you didn't have too much money to deal with. That will change soon, I promise. Okay, now it's time for the mood meters. Remember I told you that you'll need certain objects as essential for living? This is why. I'll describe each meter here, what it means, and how it's weighed in the overall mood. This is the heart and soul of the game. Click back over to the mood meters to follow along as you check out my next section. If a sim has one particular mood extremely low, it may look at the camera (i.e., you the player) and scream bloody murder with an accompying picture to tell you what mood is suffering. You need to fix that quickly. All eight moods are weighted, then averaged, and that becomes your sim's overall mood. Its mood, among other things, severely affects what options pass or fail when they do an action to another sim. I cover that in the Sim Love section. +----------+ |4a. Hunger| +----------+ This is arguably the most important meter of all eight. This obviously is how badly your sim needs food. No sim likes being hungry. Make sure you feed them often, or they could die of starvation. When the bar is low, let them eat. To make a sim eat, make the sim that's hungry the active sim, then click a fridge. For now, choose "Have Meal" or "Serve Meal," so you can see the whole cooking process. Sims start their cooking at a fridge by getting the ingredients. It will then proceed to chop up the veggies if there's an empty counter, or use a food processor if there's one present. Then it will move to the microwave or oven, depending on which deals with hunger better, if one is available. Once the food is done cooking, if it's a family meal, the sim will put it on an available surface, preferring counters. If it's just a meal for one, the sim will take it to a table if one is available, sit down, and eat. Since you know this ahead of time, you can save your sims' time and effort by building your kitchen and dining room in a logical order. Look at this flowchart... FRIDGE ----- COUNTER - OVEN ----- COUNTER --- SERVED FOOD \ X / -- PROCESSOR - MICROWAVE- So, the logical order to arrange your kitchen is thus... +--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+ | | | COUNTER | | | | EMPTY | | FRIDGE | | WITH | | OVEN | | COUNTER | | | | PROCESSOR | | | | | +--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+ Then you can position a table and chair strategically on the other side of the empty counter. Efficency is the idea. By the way, starting with the Unleashed expansion, you can actually grow your own food! More on that in the Farming subsection of the Money section. +-----------+ |4b. Comfort| +-----------+ This is how much sims are happy with their comfort, obviously. A sim that is standing will constantly lose comfort, although not as severely as a sim that's working out or swimming. Generally, this is weighed pretty heavily, although not as much as hunger. Comfort is rather easy to raise, espeically when you consider that sims do a lot of things sitting down. Watching TV, for example, will help comfort as well as raising the Fun meter. You have to be wary though; sometimes, if their path is blocked, they may watch TV or eat while standing, which is perfectly capable to be done, but it kills the Comfort meter. Some actions, such as playing chess or playing on a computer, cannot be done at all while standing. So basically, while a low Comfort meter is bad, it's hardly anything to panic about. If push comes to shove, just click a chair or couch and select "Sit." If another sim sitting at the same time, the two will talk idly, which can bring up the Social meter in the process as well. +-----------+ |4c. Hygiene| +-----------+ This is how clean the sim feels, and it's also the first one that is weighed by the individual sim. Sims that are neat are more interested in hygiene than slob sims are. No sim likes to be around a stinky sim, though, and if your hygiene is too low, it could affect whether others become friends or more. Would YOU like to kiss someone who hadn't washed their face in over a week? Hygiene gets directly healed via bathtubs and showers. Hot tubs do the job too, but not as well. Sims typically don't have a problem stripping down and taking a shower if someone's in the bathroom, oddly enough. I guess the door is so well blurred that you can't see anything once you're inside. Anyway, if you don't have a maid, be sure to clean your shower or tub often. If you don't, Hygiene won't go up as fast as it could; and besides, that dirt ring looks nasty. +-----------+ |4d. Bladder| +-----------+ This is how much sims feel the need to visit their old friend John. Take care of this one fast if it gets low, because if it drops to zero, the sim will wet itself. That will cut hygiene to zero and make the sim terribly embarrassed, possibly forcing bad relationships. No sim likes needing to do its business, but this mood is not weighed very heavily. If the meter drops rather low, and then you tell your sim to get to the bathroom, he'll RUN for it. Although it's certainly not something you exactly want to intentionally set up, it is pretty cool to see sims tearing through the house. Sims will often times stop whatever they're doing if they need to go. They can wake up in the middle of the night or stop eating before their plate is clean if they get the urge. There are two solutions here. You can take care of the problem when it happens, then send them back to bed or their meal. The other, more logical solution is to send them to the bathroom BEFORE they take the action. That prevents any and all bladder problems, so you'll be fine. Oh, one more thing. If a sim is rather close to having an exploding bladder, there's an action another sim can do to intentionally make it wet itself. If two sims are close in relationships, have the one who does not have the empty Bladder meter the active sim. Then, click the sim who does need to go the bathroom and select the "Tickle > Extreme" action. Your active sim will do some serious tickling, enough to make the target wet itself. Ah, gotta love social interactions. +----------+ |4e. Energy| +----------+ This tells how long the sim can go before it collapses (literally). Every waking moment expends energy (unless the sim is drinking coffee), and you need to send it to bed before it gets too late. Early to bed, early to rise makes a sim healthy, wealthy, and wise... and at least still employed in the morning. I believe that sims with a high active rating can go longer than sims with a low active rating, but I'm not entirely sure. I do know that it takes far shorter time for an active sim to actually get moving in the morning. If a sim has 10 Active, then they'll literally hop out of bed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (whatever THAT means). A sim with zero Active will take a full 30 minutes to get the cobwebs out of their head. Adult sims are rather light sleepers. The slightest sound will keep them awake, so make sure all radios, TVs, and computers are shut off if they're in the same room. Lights don't bother them, but certain sounds that other sims make might. For example, if there is a weight set in a bedroom, and one sim is sleeping, it'll be woken by the sound of another sim working out. Also, they'll wake up to the phone, and since most nighttime calls are prank callers, keep phones out of the bedroom. Remember, as long as the object is in another room, it won't matter in the slightest. Kid sims are far different. They can be woken from the alarm clock, but other sounds won't bother them. That means you can shove a kid in the living room with your speakers blaring and phones ringing, but they won't stir a bit. This more or less ensures that they'll have max energy when the time comes for school. Once a sim goes to sleep, assuming there's no offending noise in the room, it can only be woken a few ways. First of all, a sim will wake up if its bladder meter gets extremely empty. You'll have about 10 game minutes to get a sim to the bathroom before it wets itself. The second way it will wake up is to alarm clocks. If an alarm is set, it will ring two hours before the carpool arrives. Third, sims will (or should) wake up automatically when the sun rises at 6 AM. It's not guaranteed, and sometimes you make have to wake a sim up manually. As long as the Energy meter is not full, a sim will be sleeping. If it is woken up before its Energy tops out, it will throw a fit for about 30 minutes for sleep deprivation. If the sun is out (anytime from 6 AM to 6 PM), the sim will stop sleeping if its energy tops out. However, if it's nighttime, it will keep on sleeping anyway until the sun does rise, or until you give it another command. If time isn't a factor, then you can simply order a sim to go to sleep, and issue another order directly afterwards. The sim will sleep, and the moment its Energy tops off, it will wake up and take the next action you gave it. There is only one bed that has any special commands. That's the heart-shaped love bed, which gives three additional options besides Sleep: those are "Vibrate," "Relax," and "Play in Bed." If a sim elects to Vibrate, he or she will pay about $20, then get nekkid and go under the sheets. This raises Comfort through the roof, though Energy won't go up. Relaxing is a free, but weaker, version of Vibrate in practice. If a sim is either Vibrating or Relaxing, another sim can elect to Play in Bed with the one already there. The second sim will approach, get naked, and start a healty match of sheet-wrestling. This brings Comfort and Social way up, and Energy and Hygiene way down. Once they finish, they'll hop out of bed and react to each other depending on how good the whole thing was. Stephanie has slapped Pyro before, evidentally because he used his hands a little too roughly. Pyro has laughed in Stephanie's face before, also. Most of the time, Pyro will whisper something to Stephanie, who starts giggling. You may see other reactions as well. Oh, and kids can come about from Playing. It's not guaranteed, but there's certainly a chance. By the way, the Sleep option for beds will not appear unless the active sim has about 85% of its Energy meter. Any higher, and the option simply won't be there at all. +-------+ |4f. Fun| +-------+ No sim likes being bored, but sims have different things they like doing. Sims with low playful ratings prefer reading books, and sims with high playful ratings like watching TV. The playful and active ratings combine for this one, too; if a sim has high active and playful ratings, it prefers basketball or vitrual gaming. If it has low active but high playful ratings, watching the latest episode of Malcom in the Middle or playing The Sims on its computer is what it likes more. There are many actions that can boost Fun. Sims can even boost each other's Fun by tickling or telling jokes. Playing in Bed or Playing in hot tubs will boost fun also (everyone likes playing like that, right?). If you decide to tell your sim to watch to TV or play on the computer to get the Fun meter up, you'll need to take precautions. See, for some reason, if you give them more than one command, they'll drop the TV or computer to do whatever you ordered after it. So, make sure that playing on the computer or watching TV is the LAST command on the action list. Sims prefer to watch TV while sitting down. Should a chair or couch be provided, they'll sit it in automatically. They'll try to pick the most comfortable one, but they'll even settle on standing if there's nothing available (although that kills Comfort). Once a sim tops off its Fun meter, it will stop whatever it's doing. However, if a sim is having Fun but doing something else in the process, it may continue the action anyway. For example, if it's playing chess, it won't stop even after the Fun meter tops off because it is still studying Logic at the same time. +----------+ |4g. Social| +----------+ The sim's need to talk. This is HEAVILY weighed for all sims; a sim that has zero Social but 100 everything else will probably have a mood of +1 or +2 max. The balance of the weight comes in with the speed of the bar's decline. A sim with a high outgoing rating will feel the need to be social FAR more than a sim with no outgoing ratings, but will fill the meter a bit quicker than a shy sim. The Social meter is not entirely in scale to the relationship meters. So, just because you raise the relationship by 50 points doesn't mean that the Social meter increases by 50%. Talking, for example, only mildly helps the Social meter, even if two sims talk for hours. However, a few kisses, especially the passionate kind, will kick the Social meter into overdrive. If you can't find any other sims to talk with (whether it's too late or the neighborhood is too empty), you can play with a pet you own to bring the meter up. Because the Social meter is independent of the relationship meters, it won't matter who is doing what as far as the Social meter goes. So, if Pyro is talking to Stephanie, the Social meter will go up the same as if he's talking to Pud, no matter what the relationship numbers say. The Social meter can also be brought down by choosing negative interactions, such as Fight and Insult. Still, some sims get a kick out of being insulted for some reason; it has to do with their level of Nice that you assigned in the Create Sim screen. The nicer a person is, the more of a chance they'll do positive actions, and the less of a chance they'll be Socially better by doing negative ones. Still, every neighborhood has a bitch that you just want to beat the crap out of, and variety in sims is the key to doing very well in the game. +--------+ |4h. Room| +--------+ This is the sim's opinion of the room it's currently in, or how much it likes the yard if it's outside. All sims like large rooms and lit rooms, but neat sims dislike dirty dishes and pee puddles. Slobby sims are less picky, but even they get tired of the flies once in awhile. Decorations boost this meter considerably, but try to buy better windows or more lamps before you blow thousands on a statue or painting. Lights are optional, and they don't seem to improve room ratings too much. I had a room that was 5x30, and any sim in it had a full Room meter, even though it was unlighted. You see, sims like light, but they like space more. They would rather be in a dark room the size of a small country than a small bathroom with a billion lights. Sims are weird like that. They also prefer diagonal walls over normal ones, so making an octognal room will significantly help. Don't do this... +------------------------------+ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +------------------------------+ Do this... -------------------------- / \ / \ / \ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | \ / \ / \ / -------------------------- Not only does this save money, but room scores will get better. You can also get super-fancy, though it's more expensive... --------------------------- / \ / \ / | | | | / | / | /------- | | | | | | | \------- | \ | \ | | \ | \ / \ / --------------------------- Eventually, you'll want lights, but if for no other reason than to make the room a bit more realistic. (In real life, I wouldn't want to live in a dark house, and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't either.) When you buy lights, think about the room you're buying the lamp for. That should help lead to your decision about just what lamp to buy at all. If you're buying a lamp for the bathroom, and it's a tiny bathroom, you don't need any huge expensive lamp. Since floor lamps would get too much in the way, you would want to go with a wall lamp or hanging lamp. Hanging lamps even have life-long light bulbs, so you wouldn't endanger your sim's life when it's time to change bulbs and there's water on the floor. The cheapest hanging lamp, the red one that looks like it belongs in a bar, would serve better than anything else. Just one could easily light a 3x3 bathroom, and two could cover a 3x4 or 4x4 bathroom. Also, make sure you know how much light is being generated. Most lamps send light one or two tile(s) in every direction. If you space your lamps accordingly, you can cover a whole room while not spending too much on extra lamps. You could also take the completely opposite route I just described and coat the walls with wall lights. I noticed that if there are enough lamps in one room, every tile will be lit no matter how far away the lamps are. You could, say, put one wall lamp on every wall section, and whatever room you do that to will be bright all night. Of course, doing so prevents windows, but lights light up during the day as well as the night. Once you have a bunch of money, you should start buying decorative things for the rooms. Certain things, like the more expensive chess set, have practical uses as well as boosting Room scores. Upgrading furniture and fireplaces will help too. Statues and paintings actually appreciate in value, so you can buy one and sell it a few days later for a profit. Coat the walls liberally with paintings either way: your sims' Room meters will go through the roof. Outside, coat the yard with plants. Pink flamingos, while pretty damn ugly, still boost the yard score significantly. The only thing you need to avoid is the Topiaries. For some reason, sims run into them, and can't figure out how to go AROUND them, so they just give up whatever their current task is. Must be a fault in the object code, but whatever the cause is, don't build any. There are plenty of other flowers you can plop down that won't have the same problem. +--------------------------+ |+------------------------+| ||5. TAKING CARE OF OTHERS|| |+------------------------+| +--------------------------+ Let's face it: just like real life, one person alone cannot do everything. Maybe a particular sim stayed up too late and doesn't have time to cook the next morning. This is where a second sim in the family is very helpful. A second sim can pick up the slack for another. Some methods could be obvious; one sim could excell in the cooking skill and be the only one who prepares meals, for example. Sims work best as a team. If any one sim is doing nothing, probably the rest of its family is suffering or could at least better off. More on this in my strategy section. Your sim can interact with other sims whenever you wish it to. With a sim active, simply click any other sim and you'll get a list of actions you can perform. I talk more about that in the Sim Love section. +----------+ |+--------+| ||6. MONEY|| |+--------+| +----------+ It's all about the Benja-sims. Now that your family is settled in its house, you need to turn to earning money, since bills arrive at your house every 3 days. There's a million ways to make money. +--------+ |6a. Jobs| +--------+ The easiest way to earn money is to have your adult sims get jobs, because the jobs pay daily. Polish up those resumes, it's time to start working! At 9 AM every morning, the paper is delivered to your front lawn, near your mailbox. You can check that to see what jobs are being offered, along with their salary. For the first day, take whatever job is offered; "Beggars can't be choosers," as the saying goes. You can also get a job by using a computer, but you may not be able to afford it unless you "cheat the system" a bit. Check the short-strategy subsection. Once you take a job, your mission is to get promoted to the next level. There are 20 career paths, each with 10 levels. You begin every path on the lowest rung, with one situational exception, which I'll explain in a moment. Promotions will happen automatically, and you will be informed of them once the sim who got promoted comes home. You'll get the next level's pay, along with a one-time bonus that is twice as much. For example, if a sim in the X-treme Career is at level 2 and gets promoted, he'll bring home the new salary of level 3 ($325), plus twice as much for a bonus ($650), for a total of $975. Generally, you would want to use the extra cash to buy anything you may need to hone new required skills. Demotions can happen too, if the sim keeps showing to work in a bad mood. Carpools set to take you to work will arrive at a certain time. If two sims go to work at the same time, they use the same carpool. Your sim has one hour to start walking toward the car before it will drive away. Sims can miss work without repercussion so long as they don't miss two days in a row. Two skip days will result in being fired, but skipping one day, going the next day, and skipping the third day is fine. No matter what job you have, there's a chance a random event will happen (I call them Chance Cards; what can I say? I love Monopoly.). Most are in the form of skill bonuses, but many give you extra money. Chance Cards can be bad, however; you may lose money or skill. The chance of a Chance Card appearing is slim, but I don't know the exact percentage. The most lucrative one I've found is in the Hacker career track. If you're lucky, you'll end up getting a boost of a whopping $30000. Yes, thirty THOUSAND simoleans. That's more than enough to remodel your house, including buying carpet, wallpaper, windows (in any style), doors (in any style), and lamps (in any style) for every room. And after that, you'll still have a great deal left over. Personally, that's one of the main reasons I tend to favor the Hacker career with Pyro. If you stay at the top level of any job for awhile, you'll get a chance card that will boot you to another career at about the 5th level. There's no real positive of this, it's just a way for your games to be more random. That's the only time you won't start at the bottom however. If you quit or get fired, then take another job, you WILL start at the lowest level. +-------------------+ |6b. Arts and Crafts| +-------------------+ There are many things you can make to earn a living. If you decide to go into business for yourself, you'll first need the creation tools. One way is to be the Bill Gates of gnomes. Once you're in a lot, grab a wood working table through Buy Mode. You may want to zone off a large room (about 8x8) as a garage or whatever for this. Put only the table in it; if you insist on lights, use hanging lamps or wall lamps to keep them out of the way. Once your sim wakes up in the morning, take care of your moods, then immediately get to work on making lawn gnomes! Keep working through the day and night, only stop when your sim stops on his own. Remember, you'll be gaining your Mechanical skill along the way, so every moment that you're working on the gnomes, you're getting better at it. Eventually, when the Bill Gates type get 10 Mechanical, he can make over 20 to 25 gnomes in one day if he starts with a +4 mood. Each sells for $100, so you'll have a DAILY income of at least $2000! Considering that you don't need friends or work hours for this, it's a great, lazy way to earn money. The only real problem with this is the Social meter. If your sim lives alone, he can head downtown to meet someone, or just go adopt a pet. If he lives with someone, his friend / brother / lover / whatever can compliment the Social meter. Even if only your Bill Gates works, you'll earn PLENTY of money to make a living. Instead of gnomes, you could try to dabble in paint. Now, I don't think you can earn a living JUST by painting, but Joseph Bull (JoeBull@HotPOP.com) says the following... #################################################### This is incorrect - it is possible. At 10 creativity points, paintings sell for $166. A Sim can easily paint 2 pictures in a day, and just about manage 3. That means a daily income of $332 - $498 - more than enough to survive. For example, my sim, with 10 creativity, paints two pictures a day. This means a 3-day income of $996. She gets bills of $498, spends $60 on food, and $20 on a gardener. That leaves $418 to spend/save. #################################################### If table working is more your thing, but you don't want to deal with gnomes, you can make homemade preserves with the preserves table. They sell for even less than paintings, but you may be able to make enough preserves per day to get a good living going. Finally, you can try being an art dealer. Paintings and statues that you buy through Buy Mode actually APPRECIATE value before depreciating. So, if you buy a statue, you can leave it in your house for a few days, then sell it again to make a profit. Of course, you'll need large capital to start in the first place, so you may not want to try it at the beginning. +-----------+ |6c. Farming| +-----------+ If making stuff isn't to your liking, perhaps you'd prefer to actually grow food to sell to other sims! Seeds are cheap, and if you have a huge farm going, you could make tons of simoleans alone from the produce racket. The first thing you need to do is buy the seeds. Go call a cab and head to Old Town. There are a pair of lots that sell seeds, but for all your farming needs, head to the left-most one (lot 61, called Custer's Market). You can even talk to a resident farmer about things, but my FAQ is still just as valuable of information as he is. ^_^ There are several carts where you can buy some veggies, but that's not the main draw. Click the racks of seeds to check out the selection, and buy some once you've decided on a product to peddle. Be warned: buying one pack gives you a whopping five units of seeds, so unless you're a full-time farmer with huge plots of land (which of course is a viable option), you should only need a few packs or less, especially to start with. While you're here, you can also talk to the farmer and buy some of his Plant Tonic for a small price. Although it can boost your crops' sizes through the roof, it can also do... well, not so cool things. Now, gardens do not have electric fences around them, and they certainly don't have fences under the ground. You and I may know that veggies are profitable and healthy, but the problem is, the little bunnies running around SimCity know it too, and you'll be competing with them for your edible money. So, while you're running around Old Town, you'll want to invest in a guard. Head over to a pet shop and grab a cat; although dogs make a little more sense about guarding your stuff, it's the cats who are the pest hunters. Just pray that you get an active cat; lazy bundles of fluff won't help you much. Once you're done, head home with your purchases, then access Build Mode. Under the plant tool is a little brown patch of dirt that's one tile wide and long. Put that somewhere outside: that is your plot of soft, supple dirt, ready for growing stuff. Once it's in place, grab the sim who's carrying the seeds, then click the plot of ground and select what you want to plant. After that's done, water the hell out of the thing. Every seed in your packet requires its own little tile of land, so make sure you have a bunch of room if you're planning on doing this all the time. After a few days, the plants will be ready for harvesting, but you can keep watering them anyway to try to make them a bit bigger. Once you've decided to harvest them, they will be added to your inventory, and your plots of land will be emptied, enabling you to replant some seeds. After that, you have two options. You can elect to keep the crops by buying a pantry from Buy Mode. It works a little like a fridge, but you can keep your harvested food here for eating whenever you need to. You could also sell the crops by Exploring Old Town and heading to a market. Just click a cart, then choose Sell Veggies, and the farmer will buy your whole harvest. The first time I tried this, I grew only four plots of crops and harvested them as soon as possible (three days later), and I made $144. Now, that's not much, I admit, but if you have a FULL-TIME farmer going, with HUGE plots of land for farming, you'll be raking in the cash in no time. Just remember that the beginning is a little shaky. But as all vets of Harvest Moon know, you can't begin your farming career by growing enough tomatoes to supply all the pizza restaurants in the world. Patience, my friend, patience. By the way, a bunch of pests will try to eat your garden. If you have a cat, it can do a good chunk of the work once you get its hunting skill up there. Also, you can buy a scarecrow in the Decorative sort to help even more. A reader provided a strategy for farming. Check it out in the Reader Strategy subsection. +--------------+ |6d. Hired Help| +--------------+ Forgive me, but most the information here is written in other parts of the FAQ. There's enough options now, however, to warrant giving it a subsection of its own. With the constant demand of your sims' time, there's rarely a chance to get EVERY dish clean and EVERY plant watered. Luckily, help is only a phone call or Buy Mode click away. Here I'll list every helper in the game, their price, their pros, and their cons. +----+ |Maid| +----+ The maid is from the original game. She's the cheapest and pretty darn effective even to this day. Call Maid Service by using a phone, and accept the question. The maid will appear around 9 AM and will clean any dish, mop any puddle, make any bed, spray any cockroach, and wipe every surface to make you happy. She charges $10 per hour, and she leaves when there's nothing more to do, or after she's worked about 10 hours. +--------+ |Gardener| +--------+ One thing the maid doesn't do is water plants, but that's what the gardener is for. Accessed the same way as the maid, the gardener pops up every three days. She also charges $10 per hour, but she'll stick around until her job is done. Of course, if you have a huge garden, it may take her awhile. Not only will she water outdoor and indoor plants, she'll replant anything dead. Of course, unless you bought the plant long before you hired her, the garderner will usually be able to prevent anything from dying. +---------+ |Repairman| +---------+ The maid and gardener are not very mechanically minded, so you can call the overall-covered repairman if something goes wrong. He charges $50 per hour, but he'll come over anytime and will be quick about fixing things. +-----+ |Servo| +-----+ Servo the robot was added with Livin' Large. He sits in his pod and waits for you turn him on. When you do, he'll act as maid, gardener, AND repairman to get everything on the lot running smooth. (Check out the hat changes!) His big problem is his cost: it takes a whopping $15000 to get him in the house, and his value contributes to the bills, making him by far the most expensive of the group out of the box. Of course, considering the time and room scores he'll save you, it may not be a bad idea to get him. +-------+ |Caterer| +-------+ The caterer, added with the House Party pack, relieves your woes for parties. If you have buffet tables or punch bowls, he'll fill them for free. He'll take away dirty dishes too. He may converse with guests, but he doesn't unless he has nothing else to do. Besides, you can always order him to get back to work if he gets on your nerves. He costs $350 per day, but he pays for himself if he fills the buffet table four times. +--------------+ |Animal Control| +--------------+ If a skunk pops up on your property, you can call Animal Control. They'll remove Pepe for only $20, but to be honest, as long as you leave the damn thing alone, it'll go away after awhile on its own. +------+ |Butler| +------+ Added with the Superstar expansion pack, the butler can be hired via the phone. He arrives at about 9 AM like the standard maid. He only cleans, but if he knows there's flowers to water or appliances to fix, he'll call the appropriate service for you. He'll even call the maids if the house is a real pig sty. You'll still have to shell out the money for the others, but you won't have to worry about the call. He'll also bring in the mail and paper, and he'll fill pet dishes if you have them. Finally, he'll cook at meal times. He's not very good at it, so the meals aren't that filling, but that's an hour he saves your sims. He's got a few additional perks in addition to his duties. He'll stay until late night, whether he has anything to do or not. If he gets bored, he may get into your liquor cabinet, but it doesn't cost you anything and it doesn't hurt his performance. He'll also smack stalker if that afro freak gets onto your property. Now the catch: the butler costs a nasty $500 PER DAY. The amount doesn't add to the bills, though. I think he's worth it. Thanks to Matt Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org), I now know the butler also takes care of babies too! Of course, remember that he leaves at night, and babies will always wake up in the middle of the night too. Raf (email@example.com) mentions that if you have a Butler AND a Servo, then the butler will just turn on Servo when something needs cleaned up. He'll still call the repairman if something needs to be repaired, however. Personally, I think that the butler is the best all-around out of these choices, but you may want to step up to a Servo once you get ridiculous sums of money. +--------------------+ |6e. Other Money Tips| +--------------------+ +----------------------------------+ |Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta| +----------------------------------+ You could take a very underhanded and mean way to get large sums of money in relatively short times. You'll be damaging the life of a poor, innocent sim, but hey, you're mean like that. Let's take two sims here for the example. We'll make Tony the gangster, and Trixie the sim he steps on. Okay, Tony moves into whatever lot he wants to, builds his house into whatever he wants to, and generally starts his life like normal. Meanwhile, Trixie moves into a lot, but she only buys a table and a phone to put on it. Tony then goes through life, and soon enough, Trixie will come up to his house. He flirts with her, making her fall in love with him. Eventually, they'll be married, and all $20,000 of Trixie's money will transfer to Tony's account. Then, Trixie will be in a, um, "horrible accident" and die. Trixie may be dead, but Tony still has all her money. He's 20 grand richer simply by marrying and killing an innocent sim. Weep not for Trixie; she'll get even by having her ghost scare him. Then again, he could just sell the urn for a quick fiver, and that will be the end of that. The cops will never touch him! Ha ha ha ha! +-------------+ |Renting Items| +-------------+ I don't know what shop sims buy from, but it has the greatest return policy I've ever heard of. Whatever you buy, if you return it the same day, you get all your money back no matter how much you used it. Now, notice I said that you need to return the SAME DAY, not "within 24 hours." If you buy the item at 11:59 PM, then you have one minute before it loses its full value. If you plan on "renting" an item like this, be sure to do so no later than the early evening. One basic way to take advantage of this is to buy a computer, desk, and chair so your sims have more options for employment. Then, when they have a job, you can return all of it to get your cash back. +----------------+ |Pre-Built Houses| +----------------+ Houses are expensive to build from scratch, and with only $20,000 to work with (well, less since you have to buy the lot), you may end up starting in a house small enough and ugly enough to be appropiate for under a bum's shoe. However, there is a way to save a bunch of money on homes from the start. For some reason, if you buy a lot with a house already on it, then you get a HUGE break on the price. So, the idea is to build a house before entering the lot. It's easy to do this in Unleashed. Without a family picked, click any residential lot, and you can build a house, INCLUDING items. Don't go crazy, because even medium houses will cost upwards of $20,000, and remember that that's all you have to start with. +-------------------------+ |The Homeless Bum Strategy| +-------------------------+ Vacation Island is a special place... there's warm sun, cool mountains, hot chicks in bikinis, and the fact that you can't die! That's right, you cannot die when on the island, and can therefore be a homeless bum! Simply make a sim and immediately move him over to the Island. In theory, you can just stay there for your entire life, stinking up pools and digging up the grass to find treasure! And, even if you run out of money, you don't NEED to eat, and the ground makes a perfect bed! +-----------+ |+---------+| ||7. SKILLS|| |+---------+| +-----------+ The six skills you need are Cooking, Mechanical, Charisma, Body, Logic, and Creativity. All but one of them can help you directly; the other simply serves for the job. All skills start at zero and can be raised to 10. They won't decay unless you're unlucky enough to get a chance card during the course of a job. When you start working on any skill, a little blue progress bar will appear over that sim's head. When it tops off, you'll get a message informing you that the sim gained in that skill. COOKING and MECHANICAL can be learned by studying them from a bookcase or buying and using the appropiate work table. The Cooking table is a homemade preserves cooking set, which you can buy under miscellaneous items. The Mechanical table, also under miscellaneous, is a wood working table. Both enable you to work on your skills while making money, although you'll have to work a little bit to see any profits. To use either table, simply interact with it, and choose the sole option that appears. If you're wood working, your sim will continue until it gets in a bad mood or you give it a different order. The same applies to the preserves table, but your sim will stop if it makes a set of six jars. By far, the better item is the wood working table. While it chops at your comfort level (since you're standing while you're working), you can make mass profits from being fully knowledgable in Mechanical. If your Mechanical rating is 10, then each gnome you craft with the table nets you $100 (you can sell the gnomes in Buy Mode). A family could EASILY make a living on just that table alone, but I'll deal with that specific strategy in the strategy section. The homemade preserves table will advance your cooking, but you can only sell the preserves for $60 a set when your Cooking is at 10 (these are sold as an interaction, not in Buy Mode). However, you can use the preserves as gifts, also with an interaction to the table itself, if you so desire. I cover gifts in the next section. Cooking contributes to how filling the sim's meal is. The higher the Cooking skill, the better a meal (whether it be a family meal or a single meal) will improve the Hunger mood bar. Mechanical affects how fast a sim can repair a broken appliance or clogged toilet. With a low rating, it may be worth the $50 or so it takes to call a repairman. CHARISMA is the next skill, and it's gained in only three ways. You can talk to a few select pets, you can Practice Speech when you interact with any mirror, or you can buy the item called Bezique's Folly Card Game, found in the miscellaneous items and PRACTICE it. While the card game is a group activity, you don't gain Charisma from playing with others. It doesn't make sense to me, but hey, I didn't program the game. Anyway, there's no purpose for Charisma other than job advances. BODY is gained from either swimming or working on the exercise equipment, found in the miscellaneous items. By the way, while your sim swims, there won't be a blue progress bar, but trust me, Body IS going up. Doyle Brigman (firstname.lastname@example.org) reminded me that there is a third way: you can ride the mechanical bull. Erik Swinson (CronoFiend@msn.com) and Samuel Loucks (email@example.com) e-mailed me and told me that Body actually has a purpose. It enables you to more easily win fights against others. So if you want someone with low Body to move, just get someone with high Body to whoop on them enough times. LOGIC is gained by either playing chess, looking in the telescope, or working with the chemistry set. I prefer the chess set, since it boosts your fun as well as logic; plus, since you're sitting, your comfort will be going up as well. If you can find another sim to play with you, you'll have the social meter getting a boost too. Logic determines the chance that making a potion in the chemistry set will be a positive potion. I have always made good potions when my logic was at 10. CREATIVITY can be raised by playing a musical instrument or painting. Creativity affects the quality of what you're painting too, but even a painting that was painted by someone with 10 Creativity points won't sell for much. Other than that, Creativity won't affect anything else in-game. Try to raise your sims' skills as much as possible without compromising your moods. Of course, you can kill several birds with one grenade if you can. As I said up there by Logic, playing chess is a great way to raise Fun, Comfort, Social, and Logic all at once. Besides, if two people play chess, they both learn Logic simultaneously. Not a bad deal! Just be careful with raising Body. It absolutely drains energy and comfort levels, so don't try it if your sim is already uncomfortable or tired. +--------------------+ |7a. Skill Gain Rates| +--------------------+ To gain a skill, you have to use an item for awhile, as I said. But the question is, how long must you study? The first few points don't take long at all, but soon the process seems excrusiatingly slow. I ran a few tests and discovered that it takes whatever-point-you're-studying-for hours. For example, to gain the first point, you need to study for an hour. To gain the second point, you need to study for two hours. The third point takes three hours, and so on. This applies to all six skills. If you know ahead of time how long it will take, you can plan your day around it (or plan it around your day). Or, you could devote a set time to studying. Anyway, this means that one skill will take a total of 55 hours to max out. All skills will be maxxed at 330 hours. Since your working sims can only study a maximum of about 8 hours a day (the other 16 devoted to sleeping or working), it will take at LEAST 42 days to max everything. And that's of course assuming you spend no time eating, socializing, or taking showers, which is impossible of course. That's why I recommend the following: the first thing you should do is study whatever skill is necessary to get promoted. Once you have all the skill requirements, study whatever skill is the MOST developed. The reason is because whatever skill is needed in the first few levels of the career will probably end up having to be maxxed at the end of the track. For example, the first Body requirement of the Military career track is 2, but the final requirement is 9. Instead of working on Body only when it's required, you should work on it any time you have free. That will make the final promotion a bit easier on your nerves. +-------------+ |+-----------+| ||8. SIM LOVE|| |+-----------+| +-------------+ "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore!" ...Well, something like that anyway. First of all, let me start by saying that your sims start off their lives by not having any sort of sexual preference... either that, or everyone is a bisexual. In other words, any sim can fall in love with any other sim. I suppose if you really want to, you could have incest stories going, but that's a little weird. The point is that you cannot "set" whether sims are homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual. However, you can point your sim in one direction or another. If you want a heterosexual sim, just don't do any of the "love" actions (explained below) to the same gender of sim. There are plenty of actions that aren't considered love, although there are a few of each that I don't agree with. More on that in a second though. Remember the button that lets you view relationships? It's in Live Mode, and the top-right button of the group of seven (the one that has the two people on it). That shows all the sims whom the active sim knows. You may have to scroll the list if you know a lot of others. I'm going to use my own sims as examples here so I don't have to say "your sim" and "the other sim" every few seconds... The background color of the portrait indicates the general feeling of your active sim to the other one. For example, if Stephanie's picture is gray when Pyro is the active character, it means that Pyro barely knows Stephanie at all. If it's a faded green, it means Pyro is starting to know Stephanie, just not all that well. When it turns bright green, Pyro knows Stephanie inside and out (though that may not indicate love). It works negatively, too. A dull red means Pyro sort of resents Stephanie, but he can suck it up for awhile. A bright red indicates that Pyro openly wants to whoop Stephanie's candy ass whenever she appears. Directly below the portrait is a number, and below that is a thin bar. These show the same thing, in different ways; they show the daily (i.e., short-term) feelings specifically. The number can range anywhere from -100 to 100. At 0, Pyro just met Stephaine. At 100, they're very good friends. At -100, they're enemies. Below that is another, thicker bar, and another number. These show the lifetime (i.e., long-term) feelings. At 100, Pyro and Stephanie have been lifelong friends since childhood. At -100, they've been enemies before they were even born. Both the daily and lifetime meters combine to determine the overall feelings. I assume they're weighted, but I'm not sure. The purpose of having both meters is to allow Pyro and Stephanie to be in love but be fighting, in theory. It doesn't work that easily, though. If two sims do not interact with each other, the bars will slowly go toward 0. I've experimented and found out that the lifetime bar affects the general speed of decay. For example, if Pyro has 100 daily and 100 lifetime to Stephanie, there may be no decay at all before the day is done. If Pyro has 100 daily and only 20 lifetime to Stephaine, the 100 may trickle down to 90 or so that day. I got a contribution from Clay (firstname.lastname@example.org) detailing this a bit more... #################################################### The top bar (current relationship) is similar to the old style bar. So, you can directly affect it (higher or lower) through interactions, but it also degrades by several points by itself. It also degrades a bit faster now, about every 2-3 hours instead of overnight. The lower bar (long-term relationship) is the life time relationship and isn't directly affected through social interactions. What it does is, every few hours or so it moves a few points in the direction of the top bar. So if the lower bar is at 20 and the upper bar is at 70, after a few hours the lower bar will jump a few points up to 22 or so. All this bar ever does is try to match the top bar. So, if you can keep the top bar high, the lower bar will eventually match it. #################################################### And Sheepgood, who asked me to keep his e-mail address private, gave exact numbers... #################################################### Every 90 Sim-minutes the lifetime bar moves towards the daily bar by 3 points. #################################################### Beware that just because Pyro likes Stephanie doesn't mean she likes him back. In fact, most if not all of sims' relationships will be very slightly different if you compare both sets of numbers. Generally, the numbers won't be TOO far off; Pyro could be 95 daily/90 lifetime, while Stephanie is 92 daily/87 lifetime. Differences that small are more or less negligable. Below the bars and numbers, two symbols may or may not be there. A blue smiley face indicates that Pyro considers Stephanie a friend. A pink heart would indicate that he's starting to feel some butterflies whenever she's around. That heart could change into a red heart, which means he's head over heels in love. Until the Hot Date expansion, there was only one level of love. The numbers, overall mood, and love or friendship status affect what actions are available when two sims interact, and whether those actions will fail. Because I don't want to ruin the game for you, I'm going to just touch on the actions sims can do with each other. I divide all the positive actions into two classes: those that initate love, and those that don't. This is VERY important to remember. You see, if two sims love each other, they get jealous or angry whenever other sims hit on their lovers. If Pyro loves Stephanie, and Pud tries to kiss her, Pyro will be ticked. No matter how Stephanie reacts, be it positively or negatively, Pyro will take a cut in his Social meter, and he'll normally stop whatever he's doing to slap Pud. He'll also lose several points of friendship against Pud too. Now, the only actions that can do this are those that initate love. Pyro won't get mad if Pud talks to Stephanie or gives her a friendly hug, but my namesake will get very angry if Pud tries to sweep Stephanie off her feet. Pyro can only detect this if he's in the same room, however. If Pud coaxes Stephanie into his bedroom and tries to move in on her, Pyro won't know and will ignorantly continue whatever he's doing. Wow, this is turning into the latest episode of Days of Our Lives. Anyway, the moral is that you'll want to stay innocent with other sims if someone who loves them is in the same room. If you're in different rooms, well, do what you wish. In any event, all actions will boost the Social meter and add positive points to the relationship bars if the move is not rejected. Just because the option to kiss a sim appears doesn't mean your target will accept your advances. The only option that is never outright rejected is Talk, although there's a slim chance one sim will get a bit agitated at the conversation. I'm going to sound like a complete moron with my next statement, but I can't think of a better way to put it: all actions that can induce love have a chance of inducing love. That is, all kisses and a few hugs may make one sim fall in love with other, or they may fall for each other at the same time. Typically, the sims will go to a pink heart before a red heart, but I've seen a few instances when they skip the pink heart step. The only exception, the one that makes me scratch my head in wonder, is the Compliment > Admire action. This causes other sims to get jealous, but it never induces love. I can understand why Compliment > Worship would get some tempers rising, but admiration? Ah well, just be aware of it. If love is not your cup of tea and you just want to be friends with another sim, your actions become slightly limited, but not significantly. No group activity can induce love, so you can have two sims improve their friendship by playing chess or watching TV for example. Once the daily relationship meter is high enough, that sim becomes a friend and the blue smiley face will appear. This generally happens around 50, but that number could be significantly higher. If two sims have conflicting zodiac signs, or one is particularly shy, or one is particularly mean, the number could reach as high 90. It's one way the game more or less forces you to have variety among your families. Forelli_Boy (email@example.com) points out that for two sims to be friends, their meters have to be around +50 daily BOTH WAYS. That means even if one sim is totally head-over-heels with another, they may not be a friend yet if the other doesn't like him the same. When a sim becomes a friend, it's counted as a FAMILY friend. The number of friends a family has is indicated in the bottom-left corner by the green smiley face. The reason I stress FAMILY friend is because that's the number that is considered when a sim gets promoted. In fact, my main strategy takes full advantage of that. You can check that out in the strategy section. As far as I know, there is no real border to indicate whether a sim will fall in love, but I do know that a sim will not fall in love with someone that's not a friend first. Summary: "All lovers will be friends, but not all friends will be lovers." So by now you're probably asking how you get your sims to fall in love. It sounds simple on paper, and may be simple in the game, but it could end up getting rather complex. Let's go back in time before Pyro and Stephanie were married, when they were both still in SimCollege. The first thing that had to happen was a meeting. After that, they talked casually about their interests, occasionally entertaining each other with jokes or puppets. As their relationship grew, they became friends, and started getting slightly more forward with one another. One day, their hug was an intimate one, lasting longer than normal. That's when both started feeling a little flustered. Pyro and Stephanie did a lot of flirting, whispering sweet little nothings in each other's ears and sharing back rubs. Pyro eventually found the courage to give Stephanie a little peck on her cheek. That kiss carried bucketloads of fireworks. Stephanie returned the kiss with a passionate one on Pyro's lips, and he got all red and giggly. Pyro's a dork, what can I say? They were married soon after that, and Pyro started giving Stephanie back rubs from the front. The point is, all you have to do is slowly get more forward with your target, and it will happen automatically. There's just a few general rules: 1. WATCH YOUR MOOD -- If you're in a bad mood, you may hug a little too hard or miss your aim with that kiss. It's best to keep it simple if you're ticked off. 2. WATCH YOUR TARGET'S MOOD -- Your target may be a little angry and doesn't feel like being hugged or flirted with. Again, keep it simple. 3. DON'T BE STINKY -- No one wants to be kissed by a pair of lips that have the remains of yesterday's pizza. If you're not clean, you may want to avoid trying anything until a shower. 4. DON'T BE TIRED -- If you lean in for a kiss and end up falling asleep on your target's shoulder, it kinda ruins the night for both of you. 5. DON'T BE TOO FORWARD -- If you met your target ten seconds ago, he/she is not going to want a deep passionate kiss. Save those advanced moves until you're both ready, Romeo. Don't make me get the hose! Since friends care less about each other's moods and hygiene, you can pretty much pull the meter up to 50 without any sort of issue of cleanliness and energy. Still though, you want to be in the best mood you can be at all times anyway. Some say that you can get from a relationship rating of 0 to 100 in one day, while others say you can't. I can tell you from the bottom of my soul that not only is it possible, it's very likely if you play your cards right. In my strategy section, I deal with that very issue. Even if you're a veteran of The Sims, do not try old strategies. Maxis has slightly changed the way sims get their relationship meters up; it's nothing weird, but it's slightly harder. More details in the strategy section. (By the way, I'm talking about getting the DAILY meter up to 100. There's no way you can get the lifetime meter up to triple digits in one day.) At least, I don't think there's a way. However, SweetE8907 (firstname.lastname@example.org) insists that it's possible... #################################################### You stated in it that it is impossible to raise your lifetime meter 100 in a single day but it is not because I did it. I just had the two get to know each other, hugg and kiss alot, and it happened in a few hours. #################################################### Once your sim has a strong daily and lifetime relationship with one person, you can ask the target to move in with you if they aren't already. If this is accepted, they do so immediately, and if they're the last one of their family, their money and friends are added to yours! It can be a quick boost to your bank account as well as a ticket to eternal happiness. If a sim is up to 100, in love, and of the opposite gender, the option of marriage can come up on the list. If accepted, a very short ceremony commences, with a chunk of your cash being subtracted to cover the expenses. After that, they move in as they would with the move-in command I just described. For tips on how to accomplish either, head to my strategy section. The last thing I want to touch on is the art of giving gifts. Before the Hot Date expansion, "Give Gift" was a basic action that subtracted $20 from your account in order to give a green package to your target. The target would generally gain 5 points, and this action could never be rejected. In a very real sense, you could buy your target's love. Now, it's not so simple. In order to give a gift, you have to possess it first. Not everything can be gifts, and most of them must be bought when you're downtown (next section). Only the homemade preserves can be added to your inventory, which can be accessed by clicking the button with a little gift-wrapped package. Once you have a gift, there's no cost to give it, but it will disappear afterwards. Therefore, Pyro can't give Stephanie a necklace and have her give it back, for example. I think the boost is now around 3 points for gift giving, making it terribly unprofitable. Although, Karmo04 (email@example.com) told me a different story about just how much the relationship meter raises for a gift... #################################################### u mention that giving a gift boosts relationsships by 3 points. this isn't true. it depends on what gift u give. a strategy that i use it if i have alot of money i buy lots of diamond rings (1000 simolians a piece). even if the sims don't like diamond rings, they will except them and benifit from them. each diamond ring can produce around a 20 point increase, or more! #################################################### And, Darkflash5 (Darkflash5@aol.com) has not only confirmed what Karmo04 said, but he gave me some exact numbers, too... #################################################### Homemade preserves = 1 relationship point for every cooking skill point the giver had when making the preserves. Lawn Gnome = 1 relationship point for every mechanical skill point when the giver had when making the Gnome. (don't understand why ANYONE would want a lawn gnome...) The Sims = 5 relationship points (10 for kids) Teddy Bear = 10 relationship points (15 for kids) Sucker (lollipop, but I hate saying it) = 5 relationship points (15 for kids) Chocolates = 10 relationship points (11 for kids: get the sucker!) Yellow Rose = 15 relationship points (cannot induce love, but CAN induce friendship) Red Roses = 15 relationship points (Can induce love, but not friendship) Necklace = 20 relationship points (Can induce love and friendship) Diamond Ring = 20 relationship points (Can induce love, friendship, and is gauranteed to be accepted or your money back....I wish.) #################################################### By the way, Rob Sevening (firstname.lastname@example.org) says that gifts can be rejected... #################################################### You said in your FAQ that giving a gift could never be rejected. That is SO not true. I once gave a gift to a particularly stone-cold sim (the dark-haired 'Mom' in the default family who lived in the cemetary house) and she took the gift, threw it to the ground, and stomped on it. #################################################### +--------------------------------+ |8a. Having and Greeting Visitors| +--------------------------------+ Sims in the same neighborhood will show up on your family's doorstep on the day you move in, but they only do that until you've met them. After that, you have to invite them over. To do so, click a phone, then click "Call Neighbor." All of the last names of the sims you know appear on the left side of the pane; click a last name, and the first names of all the sims you know of the family appear in the right pane. After that, click the first name of the person you want to invite, and then hit OK. A little pop-up box will appear; click Invite. This can be declined, but they're far more willing to come over if the relationship meter is high. Calling while your target is at work won't do anything, and calling in the middle of the night will tick him or her off. The sim may ask if another sim can come over too. This is up to you, and if you accept, you may have up to four others come over. All visitors expect you to feed them, so you may not want to do this until you've got a meal ready. If you decline, you're not penalized in any way. If the sim is an exceptionally good friend, he or she may bring a box of chocolates or a vase of flowers. The flowers are worthless, and the chocolates aren't that great at helping the Hunger meter, but the gesture is nice I suppose. By the way, speaking of things that are worthless... you may have noticed a "Talk" option in the pop-up box after you call a sim. Never choose it; it wastes time and doesn't boost the relationship meter by more than a few points. However, Roel Kroesen (email@example.com) tells me that the Talk option isn't so bad after all... #################################################### If have noticed that talking on the phone to a friend is a good way to boost the social meter. From 100% red to about 60-65% green takes just 3 phonecalls. Ofcourse if the friend that you call hangs up, the effect is less. #################################################### I tested that, and indeed the Social meter gets a nice kick when two sims just talk. The Relationship meter doesn't move more than 5 points, but the Social boost can save a sim that's depressed. But anyway, let's get back on topic. If the sim does not bring a gift, it's up to you to decide how you will greet them. Shaking hands is generally the considerable thing to do, but you could be more forward if you think you can get away with it. Just be careful; being too forward can lead to any number of things going wrong. When you want a sim to vacate your house, you should do so politely. Click the target, choose "Say Goodbye...," then something appropiate to the situation. Only enemies will want to leave with a wave. Most prefer handshaking, although you can try a kiss if you're daring. The "Hug" option means a friendly hug, so no one is going to get jealous as a result of it. Remember, you can never control a visitor. Just make sure you have a healthy balance of stuff so the sim won't go away angry, and you'll be okay. +-------------+ |8b. Interests| +-------------+ Ladies and gentlemen, my name is PyroFalkon, and I am a gamer. [insert applause here] All my real-life friends are hardcore gamers, too. Two of them and I combine to be the greatest force on the face of the earth when it comes to Age of Empires II: The Conquerors for the PC. (No, that wasn't a challenge.) I guarentee you that it was pretty much our similar interests in all things gaming that brought us together and sealed our friendship. Starting with Hot Date, The Sims works the same way. In the previous versions of The Sims, you could see what your sims discussed via the little picture balloons that appeared over their heads. It wasn't a very DETAILED way of seeing it, but at least you had some semblence of an idea of what they were talking about. Enter Hot Date's expansion of relationships. Now, sims have a variety of interests that they can... well, be interested in. There are 15, and you can view them in the Interests window of Live Mode (the top-left button of the group, the one with the word balloon). When two sims talk, they will only talk about things that interest them. If a sim has 0 in Sports, for example, he'll never bring up that the Chicago Cubs have gone nearly a century without winning the bloody World Series. If his Technology interest is up to 10, on the other hand, he'll be constantly reciting the specs of his new favorite computer. The sim that is talking will gain around 3 relationship points if his or her words are well received, or lose 3 points if not. Pyro typically has high technology and sports interests, and Stephanie has high exercise and sports interests. If Pyro talks about computers with her, he'll lose 3 points. Of course, if he talks about the Pittsburgh Steelers, he'll start gaining. Compatable interests don't just help relationship meters, by the way. Having similar interests, especially if the topic is a 10 for both sims, will give a MASSIVE boost to the Social meters as well, which can easily put them in fantastic moods (remember, the Social meter is the most-heavily weighted of all eight). When two sims are conversing, you can click the active sim and change the topic, but again only to something that he's interested in. Also, the sims will change topics on their own, so you may need to carefully monitor conversations to make sure things aren't bad. I once had a dinner where Pyro kept talking for a half-hour about DVD burners, and he lost 30 points of care for Stephanie, but she talked about the Penguins, and she gained 30 to him. It was the greatest difference I had ever seen between those two. Typically, you'll want families to have similiar, if not the same, interests. That way, dinner conversations don't end up turning into brawls. If you are downtown, you can ask a date "What are you into?" The target will respond by telling you the three highest interests on his list, and your sim will think to himself whether he likes them or not. If your sim thinks of a picture, and there's a big red X through it, that topic won't be well received. Of course, you can change their level on interest in a topic, but first, let me describe what those topics are... TRAVEL - "I'm telling you, the Great Wall of China looks better than those ugly Pyramids of Egypt!" When sims talk about travel, you see a sailboat, plane, or car in their word bubble. MONEY - "Yeah, these young people nowadays don't know the value of a simolean. And they don't respect their elders, neither!" You'll see dollar bills, the simolean symbol, or the face of a burglar when money comes up in a conversation. POLITICS - "I accidentally voted for the wrong guy! Really!" You'll see the Memorial Building, a judge behind a desk flanked with two furled flags, or a set of scales here. THE 60s - "Dude! Flower power all the way! Burn those bras, baby!" Here, you'll see a peace sign, the symbol of an atom, or a flower. WEATHER - "That dork on channel 7 is always wrong. He said it'll be sunny today, so you better bring your umbrella." You'll see a sun, a sun behind a cloud, or a cloud pouring rain. SPORTS - "The Steelers will go all the way this year. And the Texans freakin' suck." You'll get a picture of a soccer ball, a tennis racket, or a skier going down a hill. MUSIC - "Just how many of the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync are actually straight?" You'll see a guitar, a musical staff with notes, or a drum. OUTDOORS - "Ah, the feel of the warm sun, the soft whisper of wind, the pain of the rabid wolf knawing at my leg... I love nature!" You'll see a mountain, a jumping fish, or a windy road. EXERCISE - "Listen up tubby! I'm gonna get you in shape! My abs are so flat that you can calibrate a leveler on them!" Sims talking about this will have a swimmer, a hiker, or a dumbell in their word bubble. FOOD - "*belch* Oh... pass me a Tums... and cover it in bacon." You'll see a spoon and fork, a turkey leg, or a cup of coffee here. PARTIES - "Woo hoo! Shake that funky booty! Where the hell are my drinks?" You'll see balloons, a party hat, or a cake. STYLE - "Looks like someone forgot their Rayban Sunglasses! Oh wait, they're in my back pocket, never mind." You'll see a high heel shoe, a pair of sunglasses, or a long tie. HOLLYWOOD - "Mmm... Sandra Bullock... *drool*" You'll see a movie camera, a director's plate, or a film reel here. TECHNOLOGY - "Get that piece of crap out of here! What do you think I can do with only a 5GHz processor?" You can see a computer disk (aren't those, um, obsolete by now?), a plug, or a computer mouse. ROMANCE - "My darling, I love you beyond anything you can possibly imagine. Will you... move already? You're blocking the TV!" You'll see the male and female symbols, a pair of lips, or a heart with Cupid's arrow through it. All 15 interests can be incresed by buying magazines downtown. Once you make your purchase (each is less than $10) and get home, your sim will put the mag on the closest available surface. Any sim can then read it and increase an interest. There are 5 magazines, and each one provides three interests that can be gained... WhooNoo!!! increases Style, Hollywood, or Romance. Livin' Large boosts The 60s, Music, and Parties. The Avarix brings up Money, Politics, and Technology. Victors' Digest juices Weather, Sports, and Food. MAXSIMUM spews Travel, Outdoors, and Exercise. The magazines only last a few days, then get outdated. At that point, you can only throw it away, although you can always go buy the next issue. Each interest can be brought up to 10, just like job skills. However, there is a cap, so no sim can be interested in everything. As a sim starts reading a magazine, a pink progress bar will appear over their head, like when they gain skills. When it tops off, you may or may not be alerted, but your sim will gain a point of that interest. The cap is 76 total points. Once you hit that, you can still gain interests, but points will be taken away from something else at random. However, no magazine will take away points from another of its interests. For example, let's say you've hit the cap, but you're still reading about Travel. The mag for Travel is MAXSIMUM, so when you do score another point for Travel, it will not be taken away from Outdoors or Exercise. The other 12 are fair game, however. Interests gain FAST. The first point only takes around 10 minutes, and you can gain all 10 in only 6-1/2 hours of reading. +-----------------------+ |+---------------------+| ||9. ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS|| |+---------------------+| +-----------------------+ The astrological signs of your sims, which are based on the sim's personality, can seriously affect relationships. With conflicting zodiac signs, it will take longer to get two sims befriended and in love. Also, with conflicting signs, all social interactions (Hug, Kiss, whatever) have a much higher chance of failing. On the other hand, compatible signs will help relationships. All social interactions have a better chance of being accepted, and some will be available much earlier. It takes a shorter amount of time to induce love, but no two sims can be friends until the daily meter hits +50 no matter what the sign. The following sub-sections will list the signs in chronological order. First, I'll list the in-game description (IGD) of the sign. You can access this by clicking the Personality button, then clicking the name of the zodiac sign. After that, I'll say what precisely that description means in game terms (DEF), such as what roles a sim of a particular sign excells at. Then, I'll list the compatiable signs (Good Signs, GS for short) and the incompatible signs (Bad Signs, BS for short). Finally, just for laughs, I'll list the lyrics of the sign from Weird Al Yankovic's song "Your Horoscope for Today" (WAL). +------------+ |9a. Aquarius| +------------+ IGD: Friendly and amusing, Aquarians are excellent companions. Being well balanced in other areas helps to make them one of the most agreeable signs. DEF: A sim with the Aquarius sign has high Outgoing and Nice stats, plus decent Playful ratings. The other two are balanced. This makes the sim very susceptible to the benefits of parties; throw a bunch if this one is in the family. GS: Capricorn, Sagittarius BS: Scorpio, Virgo WAL: There's travel in your future when your tongue freezes to the back of a speeding bus. Fill that void in your pathetic life by playing Whack-a-Mole 17 hours a day. +----------+ |9b. Pisces| +----------+ IGD: Selfless and kind, Pisces are one of the nicest signs. They're active too. However, this combination can make them emotionally restless and indecisive. DEF: Nice and Active are high, with decent Outgoing and a balance between the other two. A sim with this sign is the best way to make Pud (check my alpha strategy). This sim is almost too effective being a cook who only makes friends to help the other sims in the family. GS: Scorpio, Gemini BS: Leo, Aries WAL: Try to avoid any Virgos or Leos with the Ebola Virus. You are the true lord of the dance, no matter what those idiots at work say. +---------+ |9c. Aries| +---------+ IGD: Dynamic and confidant, most Aries never shy away from the opportunity to strike up a conversation with anyone. However, they can be somewhat impulsive and quick-tempered. DEF: Low Nice and Playful, but high Outgoing. This sim is a moderate challenge; with low nice, you have to be careful what actions you choose. If you try to insult a sim that doesn't like to be insulted, the high Outgoing is going to hurt. Plus, with high Outgoing, the sim needs to be social more often, thus increasing the chance of having bad relationships. GS: Gemini, Taurus BS: Cancer, Libra WAL: The look on your face will be priceless when you find that 40-pound watermelon in your colon. Trade toothbrushes with an albino dwarf, and give a hickey to Meryl Streep. +----------+ |9d. Taurus| +----------+ IGD: The typical Taurus is strong-willed and determined. That can often mean determined to have a good time. DEF: High Playful, and the rest is balanced. These sims have fun and don't mind company. These sims, like Aquarians, really benefit from parties. GS: Aries, Libra BS: Virgo, Cancer WAL: You will never find true happiness; whatchya gonna do, cry about it? The stars predict tomorrow you'll wake up to a bunch of stuff and then go back to sleep. +----------+ |9e. Gemini| +----------+ IGD: Youthful and lively, many think Gemini have enough energy for two. Also energized by conversation, it isn't surprising to find them bouncing from one topic to the next at parties. DEF: High Outgoing and Active, with higher Neat than the last two. This is another good one for Pud in my alpha strategy. A Gemini can make friends pretty fast, and while he's not, he can clean and cook. GS: Pisces, Virgo BS: Capricorn, Aries WAL: Your birthday party will be ruined once again by your explosive flatulence. Your love life will run into trouble when your fiancee hurls a javelin through your chest. +----------+ |9f. Cancer| +----------+ IGD: There is nothing extreme about Cancers--they are very balanced. They can also be very changeable which can be good or bad depending on the situation. DEF: Balance, balance, balance. In theory, this sim has no weakness. However, because he has no weakness, that in and of itself may be a weakness. After all, because no one stat is low, you'll need to attend to all his needs regularly. This could be mean more work for you if you're new; then again, it may also be a good way to train yourself. Try him out; having one sim with 5s all the way across the board is good for the neighborhood. GS: Taurus, Scorpio BS: Gemini, Aries WAL: The position of Jupiter says that you should spend the rest of the week face-down in the mud. Try not to shove a roll of duct tape up your nose while taking your driver's test. +-------+ |9g. Leo| +-------+ IGD: The ultimate 'people' people, Leos are complete extroverts. Unfortunately, this makes them deficient in other areas. DEF: The in-game description says it all. Leos have high, if not max, Outgoing. Nice is up there as well, which means Neat, Playful, and Active are all relatively low. Leos get kicks out of parties, but because they're not active nor playful, they don't get too much pleasure out of life aside from reading books. Of course, that also means that the sim won't get as distracted as most will by bright and shiny things. GS: Sagittarius, Cancer BS: Capricorn, Gemini WAL: Now is not a good time to photocopy your butt and staple it to your boss's face. Eat a bucket of tuna-flavored pudding and wash it down with a gallon of Strawberry Qwik. +---------+ |9h. Virgo| +---------+ IGD: Modest and shy, introverted Virgos take pride in their meticulous and practical approach to life. Unfortunately, these same traits can also result in a very fussy individual. DEF: Low Neat and Outgoing are complimented by high Active and decent Nice and Playful. These guys are almost custom-made to work, because their low Outgoing will slow the Social meter enough to make it not be any kind of distraction to get up the career ladders. The more time spent away from home, the better; just make sure that you don't neglect their skill gains. By the way, I am a Virgo. GS: Aquarius, Sagittarius BS: Leo, Taurus WAL: All Virgos are extremely friendly and intelligent EXCEPT FOR YOU. Expect a big surprise today when you wind up with your head impaled upon a stick. +---------+ |9i. Libra| +---------+ IGD: Romantic and charming and incredibly sociable, it's hard not to like a Libra. However, their social pursuits leave them leave them little time for more practical endeavors. DEF: High Outgoing and Nice, decent Playful, low Active and Neat. Another good choice for Pud, Libras love parties and dates. With an obscenely high Outgoing rating, you need to make sure these sims have plenty of people to talk to all the time. GS: Virgo, Cancer BS: Pisces, Scorpio WAL: A big promotion is just around the corner for someone much more talented than you. Laughter is the very best medicine; remember that when your appendix bursts next week. +-----------+ |9j. Scorpio| +-----------+ IGD: While somewhat withdrawn from social activities, Scorpios are forceful and determined in more practical pursuits. DEF: The complete opposite of Libras, Scorpios boast decent to high Active and Neat, though their Outgoing and Nice suffer. This makes them custom made to get out of the house and work. GS: Pisces, Leo BS: Libra, Aquarius WAL: Get ready for an unexpected trip when you fall screaming from an open window. Work a little bit harder on your low self-esteem, you stupid freak. +---------------+ |9k. Sagittarius| +---------------+ IGD: Jovial and carefree Sagittarians are also blessed with boundless energy. Unfortunately, this combination can also make them restless and careless. DEF: Extremely high Active is the star of the show here. High Outgoing and decent Playful are present also, though that makes Nice low and Neat non-existant. That means they'll be in dirty houses, but they'll be able to entertain guests despite cockroaches. However, make sure they're always in a good mood, because they are pretty quick to get some negative interactions going. GS: Pisces, Capricorn BS: Libra, Scorpio WAL: All your friends are laughing behind your back... KILL THEM. Take down all those naked pictures of Ernest Borge that you've got hanging in your den. +-------------+ |9l. Capricorn| +-------------+ IGD: Armed with a dry wit, Capricorns can often be found telling a good joke. Also being very practical, they strive for order and discipline. DEF: Capricorns have high Outgoing. The other four stats are balanced, though Active normally is a point more than the others. They have no glaring weaknesses as long as there are other sims to talk to, and they're not so social that jobs are dangerous. This sign is excellent for a worker as long as he doesn't live alone. GS: Aquarius, Taurus BS: Leo, Gemini WAL: The stars say that you're an exciting and wonderful person, but you know they're lying. If I were you, I'd lock my doors and windows and never never never never never leave my house again. ====================================================== | PART 2: OTHER AREAS OF SIMCITY | ====================================================== +--------------+ |+------------+| ||10. DOWNTOWN|| |+------------+| +--------------+ (note: this only works if you have Hot Date installed) Before the Hot Date expansion, your sims could not leave the lot. Now, they have the option to call a cab to head to the big city. To initiate it, click a phone in your house, then Call Cab. For $50, one adult sim can get a ride downtown. Be aware that the game will save when you do so, so make sure you WANT it saved first. You're taken to a screen like the Neighborhood Screen, but it shows the downtown lots. If you hover the taxi cursor over a building, you can get a short description of it. To pick one, simply click it. Once downtown, you cannot enter Buy Mode or Build Mode, but more on that later. You can only use that one sim, and you can't save. I know the technical reason, but let's not deal with it. If you want to know, toss me an e-mail. Anyway, as soon as you're downtown, you can do whatever you wish. There are shops, places to eat, recreational places, and other things. The moment you arrive to any place, a hoard of other sims show up, including any others that you moved into houses already, although they won't cross neighborhoods. That is, if you're visiting downtown with a sim from neighborhood 1, you won't find one from neighborhood 2 running around. There are several actions that were added specifically for the downtown area. The initial two, "Let's Hang Out?" and "Let's Date?," are explained in a moment. Like all other actions, they can be accepted or declined based on any number of factors. Again, because I don't want to ruin the game for anyone, I won't go into details about every little thing in Downtown. It's all pretty self-explanatory anyway. What I will do, however, is have a word about saving and leaving downtown. In every downtown lot, there will be a big yellow phone. You can use that to call a cab to go home for free, or to go somewhere else for another $50. In order to save the game, you'll need to get back home. If your game crashes or you quit while you're downtown, the game will load you back at your house. The budget you had while you were downtown WILL save, but your relationships WILL NOT. +----------------------------------------------+ |10a. Having a Date or Friend With You Downtown| +----------------------------------------------+ You can have up to one other adult sim accompany your sim downtown. This is a standard interaction, and can also be initated over the phone with no extra clicks. I've never known it to be rejected, but you never know. To get someone to go downtown with you, you have three options, depending on where both sims are. Let's say Pyro wants to invite Steph downtown for my examples. Scenario 1: Steph is at Pyro's house (whether she's living there or just visiting). Click Pyro to make him the active sim, then click Steph, and "Invite Downtown" should be an interaction. Click it, and Steph will hopefully accept (it's almost guaranteed to be accepted, but there's a slim chance it won't be, depending on moods). Pyro will then call a cab automatically, and both will go downtown together. Scenario 2: Pyro is already downtown and sees Stephanie. Again, make Pyro the active sim, and click Steph. This time, click the interaction "Ask..." You'll be presented with two options: "Let's Hang Out?" and "Let's Date?." If you select "Let's Hang Out?," that's non-love inducing, made for friends. "Let's Date?" is for a romantic thing, so your target will expect different things. She'll immediately start following you around in either case if she accepts. Scenario 3: Pyro is at home and Steph is in her own house. With Pyro as the active sim, click a phone, and select Steph from the list. You'll be given three options: "Talk," "Invite Over," and "Invite Somewhere." Click the third one, and you'll be presented with two more choices: "Invite Downtown" and "Invite On Vacation." Select the first, and Steph will hopefully accept. Pyro will then hang up, and automatically call a cab. Choose whichever lot you want to, and Steph will show up there at the same time you do. Once you're downtown, your date or friend will have a tiny blue crystal over their head. This indicates their mood (just like your green crystal): the bluer it is, the happier the sim is. If the crystal turns purple to red, you have a problem. The crystal is the ONLY way you'll know their mood. Why's that, you ask? Simple, and make sure you memorize this: YOU CAN'T CONTROL DATES WHILE DOWNTOWN, EVEN IF THEY LIVE WITH YOU. Yeah, it sucks, but I didn't program the game. A command that you need to get real intimate with is "Ask..." then "How are you?." The target will tell you what mood meter is the lowest. Fix that as soon as possible. The date will follow you around like a sheep and will do whatever you're doing if it's a social activity. If you order food, you'll order for the both of you (and pay for both). If you dance on a dance floor, your date will join you. I don't need to go on with examples, I hope. I should point out here that the date is a little too willing when you do things Downtown. I don't mean social interactions; see, if you elect to go to the bathroom, your date probably follow you into it. If you decide to dance on a dance floor, your date will follow you and do that too. This is all very nice, but there's a minor problem: your date has a hideously short memory. See, she can only remember the LAST COMMAND you entered. Therefore, you can't queue up eight different actions and assume that she'll do every one. You must enter them one at a time... for example, if you know you'll need to go to the bathroom after you eat, then enter the eating command first, wait for it to be finished, THEN enter the bathroom command. If you don't, your date may follow you into the bathroom without eating. So, take the date one step and action at a time. Once your sim gets real friendly with the other, and the other's mood is high (its crystal is deep blue), you can attempt to invite the sim back to your house. Well, you can make the ATTEMPT anytime, but it's likely to fail if you don't time it right. The mood and relationship meters of the target must be relatively high before it will be accepted. Be careful with that command. The two quickest ways to end a date are to run out of money and get too personal. If you ask someone you just met to come home with you, you'll probably not only be rejected and lose a LARGE chunk off the relationship meter, but that sim will walk away, leaving you the only one downtown. Of course, if the sim already lives with you, there's no option and you can't be walked away from. While downtown, you can click another sim and try the Let's Date? or Let's Hang Out? options. If accepted, the other sim gets the blue crystal and follows you. You don't have to have a friend or date to talk to strangers, but you can't dance or order food for strangers. By the way, make sure you say goodbye to the sim when you're ready to call it a night. If you just leave without saying goodbye, your date may take offense and send the relationship back a few steps. Just as if you wanted them to vacate your house, try to pick something that's appropiate to the situation; in other words, don't kiss a stranger. +---------------------------+ |10b. Constructing Buildings| +---------------------------+ Like everything else in The Sims, you can completely overhaul the downtown area and make your own lots. On the neighborhood screen, there's a button that looks like a small group of buildings, just to the right of the bulldozer. That will switch you over to the downtown screen, and you can click any lot to edit. Of course, you can also click the bulldozer and flatten a lot first. Veterans of The Sims used to set aside one lot or two as party houses before this expansion pack. They'd use the money code to get millions of simoleons and build a customized party place. Now, you can do the same thing without wasting a lot. When you click a lot from the downtown screen, you can edit and build WITHOUT REGARDS TO MONEY. You have infinite cash to buy or build whatever you want. Play around! The Build and Buy modes work exactly the same as they do when you're messing with families. The only exception is that certain items available to families won't be available downtown, and vice versa. Once you decide to save your lot, you'll be asked to enter a name and a short description. In order to build shops, there are three essential ingredients: a cash register, a desk for the cash register, and something to sell. When in Buy Mode, click the Shop sort to get all these items. The cash register will make a shopkeeper appear once you visit the lot with a sim, so don't worry about that. The game knows what people will be needed to staff your shops, so you can concentrate on building. The fancy, antique cash register makes a person in a suit appear, while the modern register spawns someone who looks like they came from K-Mart (in other words, unemployed). This is meaningless in practice, but it helps give your store a certain look. After all, do you want that moron from your high school gym class handling that diamond necklace for your spouse? The desks that the registers go on don't matter in the slightest, except again to enhance the look of the store. Under the miscellaneous items subsort of the shops sort are the items your sims will buy from. They include candy racks, magazine racks, jewelry displays, and clothing closets. Simply place one, and your sims can interact with it. I suggest that you make a throwaway family for testing. I keep a one-person family in my barracks named "Ester the Tester." I move her in whenever I make a new lot, then send her to that lot to test that everything works right. It's very easy to forget a door or cash register if you're making a bunch of shops on the same lot. Of course, with 10 lots, you may not have to pack everything in the same area, but I have one lot set for a mall. Anyway, you can also make parks and restaurants. Simply click the dining or outside subsorts, and you'll get items for those. While I don't have much experience making parks, I know quite a bit about restaurants. The essential thing you'll need is the podium. That is where your sim will order food. You'll also need a few tables and chairs. Since no more than two sims will sit at any one table, you can arrange the place accordingly. When you make the dining area, make sure that it's technically in the same room as the podium, or the maite d' will tell you that their tables are full. This is annoying, but not too bad. If you want a door, you can make an artificial one. Check out this ASCII art... D=Door P=Podium +----------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | D | | DINING AREA | LOBBY P D | D | | | | | +------------------+ | | +----------------------------------+ Let's say this is how you want your restaurant. Since the lobby is in a separate room, the person behind the podium will insist that their tables are full, regardless whether there's a door. You can do two things about this. The easiest is to knock out the divider wall: +----------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | DINING AREA LOBBY P D | | | | | +------------------+ | | +----------------------------------+ I do this, then color the walls and floors differently in both sections (although if you do so, you can't use the SHIFT-click shortcut since the lobby becomes the same room as the dining area). The other solution is to make a "fake door"... +----------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | | DINING AREA | LOBBY P D | | | | | | +------------------+ | | +----------------------------------+ In this one, there is no door, but there's no wall either. Technically, they're the same room, but it has the same effect as if you used the open frame door. This way, like the way above, removes the SHIFT-click shortcut, but if you wanted everything to be the same, it wouldn't matter anyway. Of course, you can combine everything in the first place to save yourself the trouble... +----------------------------------+ | | | | | | | | | LOBBY | | & P D | DINING AREA | | | | | | | | | +----------------------------------+ Your design, as always, is up to you. Be sure to get bathrooms and decorations somewhere, too. Remember, no sim likes wetting itself (although seeing a dozen sims parcipate in Syncronized Peeing would make a nifty snapshot). +---------------------+ |+-------------------+| ||11. VACATION ISLAND|| |+-------------------+| +---------------------+ (note: you need The Sims: Vacation installed for this to work) Poor sims... they never get weekends, and they can only take one day off at a time. They're worked like dogs during the week and deserve some time off. Downtown is a nice little distraction, but you certainly can't spend all day down there. Besides, those overworked kids can't head Downtown at all. What's a sim family to do? That's where Vacation Island comes in. For a rather large fee, you can take one entire sim family to the island, where you can socialize and improve all meters without regards to time, jobs, or skill gains. Or, if your family is composed of only a couple, they can head to the island for a romantic getaway. Vacations can cost a rather large sum of money. You'll probably need around $2000 in your hand to have any sort of vacation longer than a few days. I'd recommend that you have at least about $3500 if you have a large family that is going to stay for a week or longer. Don't worry about staying too long; jobs and schools don't care, and your relationships won't decay at all while you're on Vacation Island. Before you leave, go into Buy Mode, and head to the Surfaces sort. Look around for Curio shelves; these are little wall-mounted shelves on which your sims will put their souvineers from their trip. Part of the fun of the island is the booty you bring back from it, so make sure you have the room to put it somewhere first! To go on vacation, first make sure that the WHOLE FAMILY is in the house. You'll be denied entrance if anyone is at work or school. Make any adult sim the active sim, then click a phone. Click the "Call Cab" option, then "Go on Vacation." You'll have to pay an upfront fee of $500. The family will pile into the jeep that pulls up, and the game will save. You'll then be taken to another lot selection screen. This is Vacation Island, full of games and other stuff! There are nine lots, divided into three climates. The northern part of the map has three lots in the snowy mountains. The bottom three are on the warm beach. Between them are three lots in the woods. The climate of your chosen lot is very important. Starting with Vacation (and only on Vacation Island), the weather will have an impact on your sims' moods. If your sim is wearing clothes that conflicts with the temperature, his or her comfort will shoot down rather quickly. Practically each lot has a changing station, so you can easily switch to a swimsuit for the beach, winterwear for the mountains, or normal clothes for the forest. Since you just got there, you'll need to find a place to sleep. There are several hotels on the island, but you can also rough it and sleep in an igloo or tent. Igloos and tents can only hold a maximum of two people however, so if your family is larger, you'll either need a hotel room or more money for more tents. Look around for a hotel for now. I personally give props to the hotel on the west-central lot, #43. It's called Bear Essentials (get the pun? HA HA HA HA HA!), and it's a great starting place to get your feet wet. Because it's location is in the forest, you also won't have to worry about other clothes. Click it, then look around once the game loads. Once you get your bearings, grab an adult sim, and click the front desk. You can then check in, which will cost you $120. Accept, and every sim (both child and adult) will get a hotel key. Now, oddly enough, the keys work for EVERY HOTEL on the island (not the igloos or tents). So if you get bored with the forest hotel, you can switch over to the winter or beach hotel anytime without extra cost. Okay, here's how the hotels work, and it's really weird. The key more or less gives you access to the bed, and that's it. You can use the toilet and shower in any room anytime you want. With the key in hand, you can use any bed. The reason all your family members get keys is so you can theoretically have each one sleep in a separate room. I doubt you have eight people, all of whom hate each other, but whatever. Check out time is noon every day. In order to check out, simply click the desk again and choose the option. If you keep the key past noon, you're charged for another night, costing you another $120. Of course, if you WANT to stay another night, by all means keep it. You never have to check out if you don't want to. All the hotels have banquet tables for food, and most lots have grills that let you cook six hamburgers for $20. Every lot has its own house keeping staff, so don't worry about cleaning up anything. This is a place of play, not work. Okay, now that you've got a hotel key and you're fed, it's time to have some fun! All the lots have things to do, though some lots have more to do than others. There are arcades in the north-central and southwest lots. Each arcade has several games you can play to win Gold Tokens. These can be redeemed at souvineer booths, all conviently located near the games. You can buy several spiffy things; my favorite is the stuffed penguin, since I'm a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The games all cost money to play. The costs are cheap, but several hundred plays could add up. Play them to your heart's content. One particular game seems to have much better odds than the others, and I'll be darned if I tell you here what it is. Play all the games, and you'll see which one it is for yourself. Also, KoRnRulz1987 (KoRnRulz1987@aol.com) told me that a sim's Body skill relates to its success in the games too. The games only boost your Fun meter a few points, so if it's rather low or you already have a lot of tokens, you may want to try other things. Fishing is a good way to boost the Fun meter, and if there are other fishers, you'll get hit with a boost to your Social meter too. There's a slim chance you may find some treasure, too. Or, you may want to rent a metal dectector from the rental shacks. Your sim will wander around the lot, looking for buried treasure. While you'll probably wind up with a few simoleans and maybe an old boot or two, there are other, niftier prizes you can win with a bit of luck. If you don't want to even bother with treasures and souvineers, you can play a game of volleyball with other sims. The game goes on eternally, and sims can join or leave whenever they wish. When a point is made, all the sims on the scoring team get a boost to their relationships with each other. This is a great way of getting to know more people, since everyone who appears on Vacation Island is new and independent of Downtown, you'll get to know quite a group of people. Other options for fun are snowboarding, archery, and a number of other things. Explore; unlike Downtown, it doesn't cost any money to change lots. Your sims' energy will eventually start fading. If you want to do things the easy way, just head to any hotel and grab a bed. If you want to do things the fun way though, get an igloo or tent. Only one person or one couple can be in a tent or igloo at once; it works like a double bed in that sense. Once a sim is inside an igloo or tent, a sim that is in love with him or her can choose the command "Play with [name]." They then proceed to play Extreme Doctor, after which they'll both fall asleep. One of the sims will unfortunately wake up with zero comfort, but both sims' social and fun meters will be maxxed out. If you want your sims to play Find the Soap, you can get them into a hot tub and choose Play as well. There's a hot tub convinetly located in Lot #43, the one with the hotel I pointed you to earlier. Playing in that sense gives a rather superb boost to relationship and Social meters, and playing in the hot tub will also boost Hygiene, Comfort, and Fun levels at the same time. The vacation directors are constantly monitoring your family's moods. If you manage to keep all your sims' moods high during a long vacation, you may get a special award. I got a Golden Pinecone, although I'm sure there are others. This can also be placed on your shelves for trips down memory lane. Whenever you're ready to go home, simply click a phone, and choose "Go Home." All relationship and money changes will save, and you'll be taken home with your trophies. Once your sims are dropped off on their lot, they'll automatically look for places to put their things. The big ones, like the Stuffed Penguin, need an endtable or desk. The small ones, like the Coconut Monkey and Old Boots, can be placed on the shelves. You can move them around manually in Buy Mode if you need to do some rearranging. If you run out of room or just get bored with something, you can sell any of your souvineers. The amounts are scaled to how rare the item is (the boots are only worth $17, for example), but even the most rare ones aren't worth too much. Once your sims place their prizes, any sim can interact with it at anytime. The sim will pick up the prize and remember his or her trip, and if any other family member is in the room, they'll remember with them. Friends who are there can share the memory as well, making it a perfect party topic. The sim's moods when they found the item stays attached TO the item. So, if they found an old boot in a bad mood, they'll have bad memories of it. But, if they found a treasure chest while they were in a good mood, they'll have fantastic memories of it. If a good or bad memory is attached to a souvineer, that will rub off on them when they remember; that is, if they remember a bad vacation, their mood will plummet. Vacations are, in short, excellent places to enhance family relationships and extend a sim's network of friends. They're very good breaks from the routine days of work, sleep, and skill gains. Take one sometime if you have extra money; your sims will thank you. +---------------------------------------+ |11a. Having a date with you on vacation| +---------------------------------------+ You can take one date with you to Vacation Island in a similar way that you take someone on a date to Downtown. This only works with people who aren't living with you, because you need to actually call them, it's not an interaction. Okay, first, grab a phone and call your target. Click the "Invite Somewhere" button, then select "On Vacation." If the target accepts (I've never seen it be declined), then your active sim will immediately call for the jeep and go on vacation. Now, there are some fantastic advantages here. First of all, you can EASILY exploit the time freeze to get that person to +100/+100 without having any other relationship decay. The person who you are with won't need to go to work (neither will you, for that matter). The family won't come with you, which means you can spend more money on yourself and your date. Also, any tokens and prizes that your date wins in games converts to YOUR inventory. Nice way to get some tokens for a Penguin! The only problem, if it is one, is that your date is out of your control, just like Downtown. He or she will have a blue crystal over their head, and the bluer it is, the better. Make sure he's or she's well fed and entertained, and you should have nothing to worry about. Here's an example of how you can seriously use this to your advantage. I created a one-person family, the person being a hot chick named Kelly National. Now, I decided to run the Bill Gates of Gnomes strategy with her (her house will eventually be the party house of SimNation). But, because it's only a one-person house, I needed her to constantly call people over to keep her Social meter alive. The problem was, she worked on gnomes at night, and was asleep during the day, so she never met anyone to call over. Enter Pud Falkon! Using the Falkons as the active family (and because they're the richest), I had Pud and Kelly meet. Then, he invited her on vacation, and the two stayed there for a good two weeks or so until they were +100/+100 to each other. Then I saved it and made Kelly the active family. She could call up Pud anytime and he'd bounce right over, they'd make out for a few hours, and then she'd send him home. That gave her Social meter the kick it needed, and the rest of her needs were taken care of in-house. She's already hosting hot parties (not the hotest, though... I'm still working on that). I've found a minor issue with having a date on vacation, and one you need to be wary of. This is also a problem Downtown, but it's WAY more prominent on Vacation Island. Your date has a bad memory. As such, you cannot queue up more than one action at a time. For example, let's say your sim just woke up. You order him to go to the bathroom, take a shower, then head to the buffet table. Your date will not have the memory to remember all that; what she'll probably do is attempt the toilet, ignore the shower, and starve by forgetting all about the food downstairs. So, you have to run your date one step and one action at a time. Here's the deal: first, issue the toilet command. If your date doesn't need to go, that's fine, let her watch you, or whatever. Then, once your sim is done, order him to take a shower. Hopefully, his date will then do the same. But, here's the important part: do NOT give an additional command until the shower is finished! After that, head downstairs BESIDE the buffet table (use a Go Here command). Once your date is next to you, THEN grab the plate. If you're halfway across the building and directly choose "Grab a Plate," your date won't see it, and she may not eat anything. Again, you basically need to work on your date slowly. Take every action one step at a time, and use Go Here commands liberally to make sure your date always sees what precisely you're doing. +--------------+ |+------------+| ||12. OLD TOWN|| |+------------+| +--------------+ Prior to Unleashed, your neighborhood consisted of only 10 lots that could only contain houses. Going to Downtown and Vacation Island were possible in Hot Date and Vacation respectively, but they were in other places of the city, not in your direct neighborhood. Now, your neighborhood has expanded four-fold. You now have a whopping 41 lots in your direct neighborhood. Each of them can be zoned as residental or commercial. That means you could have, in theory, 41 families going on at once (that's A LOT of people). However, a far better idea is to plan ahead. I, for example, can easily keep up 10 families. So, I simply keep the 10 original plots of land zoned as residental, and the others commercial. If you have more families, zone more residential if you desire. To rezone any plot, including those from the original neighborhood in the top-right corner, click the icon that has a shovel on it, then click the plot you want to change. If there's no building on the plot, then it changes with no other decision to be made. If a family is on a residental lot you want to change, or a business is on a commercial lot you want to change, then you'll be prompted to evict the family or trash the building to be able to change it over. Old Town has its own NPCs you can talk to. There are pet judges, sax players, and the voodoo chick. This woman, named Miss Lucielle (and we all know who she's mocking), has three features. The first, and least helpful, is that you can pay her a few bucks to your palm and give you a random, meaningless fortune (but they are pretty funny). Second, she can read pet minds to know exactly what they want, which can seriously help you set things up. The most helpful thing is that she can actually raise the dead! If the Grim Reaper has made one of your sims a zombie, Miss Lucielle can revive them completely for a price. In short, Old Town is a cross between Downtown and Vacation Island. The commercial zones can have businesses like restaurants and parks, where sims can be social and go on dates. However, you usually have to take the WHOLE FAMILY whenever you go to another lot, which not exactly the time when you want to get smoochy with your lover or whatever. In order to get some private time with your bedmate -- er, soul mate -- you can arrange a date like you would if you wanted to take them on vacation. Just invite them to Old Town, and your family won't follow you. If the family does escort you, your pets come with you too. More on pets in a sec. +------------------------------------------+ |+----------------------------------------+| ||13. STUDIO TOWN: THE NEW AREA OF SIMCITY|| |+----------------------------------------+| +------------------------------------------+ You moved into SimCity. You built a small house that has expanded into art rivaling architectural masterpieces such as the Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower. You're livin' large with items like your Servo robot and chemistry set. You've thrown the best house parties on the planet, and Drew Carey is over every night. Your bachelor sim has gone on hot dates and met their spouse Downtown. Your growing family went on vacation to Vacation Island. You got a pet in Old Town and Unleashed him onto the public. You are the SimCity god. And you're still not satisfied? What the hell is wrong with you? Well, don't worry about it. I'm not satisfied, either. If I was, I wouldn't have invested a couple hundred bucks into one computer game and its six expansion packs. Studio Town, the lovely new area that just opened up in SimCity, is full of bright lights and brighter people (that's brighter as in shiny, not intelligence). If your sim dreams of fame and simoleans, this is the place to be! Studio Town is just a bus ride away, but you have to make the connection to get there. It's as simple as any other external part of the city. Grab an adult sim, click a phone, hit "Call Cab," and choose "Studio Town." Kids can't go, and no one else may accompany you. No dates or anything, either; this trip is JUST for the active sim. There are two basic ways of going to Studio Town: as a star, or as a rabid fan. If you are a mere fan, then you have to pay a ticket price of $50 for each lot you visit, exactly like the charge for Hot Date's Downtown. If you are a star, you pay nothing to move around, because you're that damn important. If you do visit as a fan, you can haunt stars and beg for autographs, hugs, and things like that. You can participate in a few of the star activities (like spas or karaoke), but it won't add anything to your fame rating. Going as a fan is basically just a minor vacation. You should try it a couple times, but there's nothing really of value to keep you coming back. However, if you're coming as a star, there's plenty of things for you to do. The whole nine-lot region is yours to command, and command you shall! Of course, you have to start from the bottom like everyone else. Fear not, for I am here to help... of course, if I wasn't, why would I be writing an FAQ? By the way, there will be nothing more said about being just a fan because there is simply nothing to address. Going to Studio Town as a fan is a distraction, nothing more. +-----------------------------------------+ |13a. Who Said Being a Superstar Was Easy?| +-----------------------------------------+ To be a star, the first thing you need to do is understand what all is involved. Being a star is not easy; a lot of time is required between balancing friends, the job, skill gains, and your personal mood bars. Because of that, you need to time your start so you don't shoot yourself in the foot from the beginning. One sim is difficult by itself to deal with as a star, so I recommend that for at least your first attempt you go in it alone. Get a bachelor sim and try it, don't mess with a family. Also, the monetary cost is pretty high in the beginning. When you start out, you won't be making too much (if any) money. As such, it's not a good idea to start the superstar career if you are low on cash. Stars pay taxes too, and there's no way you'll have the time to avoid hiring a maid or butler. I recommend either: a) you use an established family with a large amount of capital (perhaps about $2500 or more), or b) you use a family that's just starting out because the bills won't be that high. The third thing you need to consider is friends. With the large amount of time the job takes, there's no way you can balance many friendships. The friends requirement for this career is based on the INDIVIDUAL sim's friends, not FAMILY friends (which means there's no way my alpha strategy would work). The game takes the time into account, though; you may only need three to five friends to end up pulling it off. I'll explain that in a sec. So in summary, you shouldn't use a family or sim with an extensive network of friends, because that network is going to be shot full of holes fairly early on. Fourth, the Social meter is extremely hard to keep up for this. If you're not an expert on working house guests yet, you'll need to practice that before undertaking a superstar career. If you're lucky enough to have Unleashed installed as well, you can get a pet to solve that problem. If not, another family member would be better than trying to deal with house guests, but that raises issue #1 here on my list. I seriously recommend getting a dog (NOT a cat), because a dog would play another role as well (again, I'll explain that later). Fifth, you'll need to visit Studio Town EVERY DAY. Just like any other job, if you fail to go, you'll get punished. In conventional jobs, you get fired if you miss two consecutive days. In the superstar career, you'll lose star power if you miss two consecutive days. You won't be fired, but you'll be in a worse position to earn money. You can skip a day or two now and then to build up skills or friendships, but you can't skip it much more than that without problems in the long run. Finally, you, as the player, need patience. For the other regular careers, they are very reactionary: if a sim needs something, you give it to them. It takes little brainpower or attention to promote a sim up the ladder. As a superstar, however, you'll have to babysit your sim like an overprotective mother hen. Good things and bad things can and will influence what your next move is. If you are very new to The Sims, I seriously recommend you forget about the superstar career until you've had plenty of practice dealing with a normal family. +---------------------------+ |13b. Exclusive or Variable?| +---------------------------+ Before getting started at all, you need to think about your approach to become a five-star celebrity. The whole superstar career track is unusual in that there are basically an infinite number of different ways to get it. The way it works, at the most fundamental level, is that you need to build star power using devices scattered around Studio Town. Each device requires a minimum star power to use, so you can't start your career by shooting music videos, for example. For game purposes, there is nothing stopping you from being variable. You can use any device as soon as your star power hits the required level. That's the only restriction. However, if you're like me and want to role-play your sims to an extent, you'll want to go the "exclusive" route. For example, most of the singers out there didn't do much ASIDE from singing to be come who they are. If you want to follow that example, then you'll never have your singing sim do any acting. Models may have to step into other fields due to unevenly spaced activities, but you can go from 0 to 5 by only concentrating on singing, or only concentrating on acting. Keep in your mind though that by being exclusive to one set of devices, it will take a little longer and use more precise training than if you tried to make a star-of-all-trades. And again, the game doesn't care one way or another if you're exclusive or not. You won't get any additional rewards by being exclusive, but you won't have an easier time if you go variable (aside from the fact that certain devices open up sooner than others). So, which way is "better"? If you want to get to 5 stars as quick as possible, then go variable. If you want to role-play, then stay exclusive. +-----------------+ |13c. Starting Out| +-----------------+ Okay, so you've read and understood all the hazards involved in this, and you want to push on. I wish you luck, because even if you have all the strategy guides in the world, you'll need some (explained soon). This section will follow the virtual lives of Frank and Pepper Suave, two sims ready to break into the star business. This is a solid strategy for exclusive stars, and even if you deviate from it, you'll understand the basics and all involved. So I made Frank and Pepper, declared them married, and gave them a house. I built it on lot 6, one of the super-cheap ones. Their house is small, and they wound up with over $3500 to play with. Trust me, you NEED that money. Try to have at least 3K or more in reserve before starting. When the game began, I had them start by flirting with each other and all that. Remember, these two are married, so I'm trying to get their relationship meters up. Once the kisses and hugs have come and gone, they decided to start focusing on their careers. No matter what they choose though, they should start training for it now. So, Frank called up the pizza guy to get a pie, and the maid to... well, you know what the maid is for. After the pizza arrived, Frank and Pepper ate it, then moved on to training. Frank, aiming to be the next Garth Brooks, fired up the electric guitar to start practicing his music. (I know that Garth Brooks wouldn't really train on an electric guitar, but the game doesn't have an acoustic one, so cut me some slack. ^_^ ) Pepper meanwhile wants to follow the footsteps of Jennifer Garner, except with some actual talent, so she starts off rehearsing random lines in front of a mirror. Now, they keep this up for a LONG time. Because they're at the bottom of the pile in star rating, not going to Studio Town is not going to hurt. When they're hungry, they order pizza. Again, time is too precious here, and that reserve cash isn't going to last forever. While cooking their own meals would be cheaper, it takes six hours to train to level 3 in cooking, and another hour for each meal made. At one meal a day, you'll have 10 wasted hours after four days that could have gone to training Creativity or Charisma. See what I mean about saving time? +------------------------------------+ |13d. Your First Steps in Studio Town| +------------------------------------+ Frank managed to train up to level 6 in Creativity and 1 in Charisma, and Pepper got to level 6 in Charisma, before either of them picked up the phone once for a ride to Studio Town. If you're less patient, still don't go until you're a level 4 in your chosen job. That said, I fully recommend you getting to level 6 before starting out. Frank got there a little ahead of Pepper, which is fine... That way, I'm only worrying about one at a time. At 9 AM every day, when the papergirl makes her rounds, she drops off a tabloid in addition to the daily paper. You can read it to get a small kick to your Fun meter, you can see who the top sims are as far as fame is concerned, or you can hire the agent. Doing so is free, and it will remove the toll it takes to move to and between lots in Studio Town. So, with Frank ready, he hires an agent. Now, taking on an agent does not lock you into one career or another; far from it. Though Frank's dream is to sing and Pepper's dream is to act, they both start the same way. All hiring an agent does is that it gives you, the player, access to your sim's Star Rating, plus it removes that toll to go to Studio Town. It's hard work being a star, no matter what the specific career is, so I made sure Frank was in tip-top shape before going. His hunger was a little low due to not having a good meal aside from pizza, but everything else was at least 90%. He called the cab, and was heading to Studio Town before he knew it. The first destination is the Midlock Multiplex, on the far left of the screen. It features everything needed for recording artists that aren't at the top of the pyramid, so it will serve as the only place Frank needs to go for now. Once he's there, he needs that first jolt to show the world who he is, so he hunts down the Paparazzo guy, who is always hanging around the drop-off point. After posing for a photo (which may take a few tries), he's ready to sing. The karaoke stage is a black thing in a building that sits before a bunch of seats. Frank jumps up there and picks his song (in this case, country), and goes to town. Even if no one is in the building from the beginning, sims will probably come in to listen during it, and all that matters is whether they sit and hear ANY of it for it to count. Frank will earn $5 per pair of ears that heard him. The more people who hear him, the more his star power will rise, so it may take him anywhere from one to five songs before he gets another half star. Now that he's home, he needs to buy an exercise machine and start working out to get that point in Body. Pepper, meanwhile, has hit her requirement of 6 Charisma and 1 Creativity (the polar opposite of Frank), and will be sent to Studio Town also. Pepper is going to be moving around more than her husband, but being an actress is no harder than a singer. Her destination is Cameron's Lounge, at the bottom of the map. As with Frank, Pepper gets her first half-star by making a fool of herself in front of the Paparazzo. That done, she focuses on the wooden entertainment stage that's just outside the side entrance. You use it like you use the karaoke stage, but you don't have to pick a specific way to entertain the crowd. Just select "Entertain" from the pie menu, and you're off! Pepper will earn twice what Frank did, bringing in $10 per body who watches her act. By the time Pepper hits 1.0, Frank is ready to go to 1.5 stars. So while Pepper gets her body a little more attractive and firm, Frank goes back to the Midlock Multiplex. Two sound booths are open to the stars, so Frank jumps in one and starts cutting jingles, for commercials. Now, up until now, your income and star gains were based on having bodies in the seats to listen to the songs. Now Frank will be working in a booth, away from a live crowd. Recording jingles takes no user interaction, in theory. You go in, and it'll be either hit-or-miss: you'll either successfully record the jingle, get paid about $65, and gain in star power; or you'll fail, collect nothing, and be a loser. LOSER! ...But if you do miss, you can just jump right back in and try again. You can record as many jingles as you have time for. As long as your sim has at least a +1 mood, he probably won't refuse to attempt a jingle. However, the higher his mood, the higher his chance of success. What I do is I try to get Frank to Studio Town with at least +3 or +4 in mood, then just fire out as many jingles as possible, going until he outright refuses to do more. It won't take too many before he gets up another level. All right, meanwhile, Frank's wife is training for the next level. Once she's ready to go to 1.5, Pepper needs to work on the entertainment stage again. The public at large isn't quite ready to hear her voice yet, I guess. Next, Frank needs to nail 2.0 stars. All he needs to do is head back to his favorite sound booth, cut some more jingles, and he'll nail it. Next, Pepper needs to get her second full star. Luckily, she's got a new toy to play with: the hospital prop. On some acting lots is a camera with a director pointed at a bed. The bed contains a sim fully enveloped in a body cast (probably one too many indoor bottle rockets). Anyway, like Frank's jingles, Pepper's commercials fall under the hit-or-miss category. Her mood needs to be high so she can bang out several good takes in a single day or session. With at least a +3 mood, she'll just stand beside the prop, plug a product called "Fleerin Ploz" or something, and will hit 2 stars quickly. +----------------------+ |13e. Time To Be Social| +----------------------+ Now, Frank needs to get to 2.5 stars. He does so partly by building his job skills up as usual, but this time, he needs a little more. In many industries nowadays, entertainment especially, it's not what you know, it's who you know. The world of The Sims is no different, because for a sim to advance from 2.0 to 2.5 stars, the sim needs powerful friends. Okay, stay with me on this, because it's a little tough to explain, but it's really simple once you grasp it. If you click the Job button on Frank now, you'll see a smiley face at the bottom, with 0.0 next to it, and "Needs 2.0" in parentheses. This means that the combined star power of his friends must equal or exceed 2 to pass it. The number relates to personal friends, not family friends; a very important distinction. So while Pepper could be friends with all of Hollywood, it doesn't help Frank's career at all. All friends must be made by him, and that requires so much time that Frank may have to start going to Studio Town every other day from here on out. Also, let me repeat for emphasis what the number represents: the COMBINED STAR POWER of all his personal friends. So because he needs 2.0 in friends' star power, he can actually pass the requirement by having four friends that are each 0.5 stars. But, that's not very economical, neither in time nor money. Frank instead chooses to pass the same requirement by having just one friend who has 2.0 stars in power. That's all it takes, although you may want to shoot for a slightly higher standard. After all, if you manage to get a 5.0 celeb as your friend, that will cover you for quite awhile. So, how do you find famous friends? Well, the celebs around town are too important to come to your house and talk to you, so you have to be the hunter. All stars have to hang out in Studio Town, so that's the best place to start. Now, if you've already got superstar sims you created, you'll probably be able to spot them pretty quick. If you've only got the computer-generated ones to work with, then you'll have a slightly harder task. See, computer-generated sims in Studio Town have one of two names: Anybody, or Somebody. All the Somebody's are stars, but there's no way to know what their star power is ahead of time. You can look in your daily tabloid to see who the top ten stars are, but even that doesn't give an exact number. Always try to get the most star power from sims in order to maximize time and minimize costs. Sims with the last name of Anybody are important too, but not necessary. See, once your star hits 2.0 in power, he gains what the game calls an obsessed fan... I call him a stalker, but whatever. He's a fan boy with a brown 'fro and blue clothes. He only appears, though, if your sim star has a poor relationship with the Anybody's. If you've got plenty of Anybody's on your friends list, the stalker will never make an appearance. More about the stalker and his role in your sims' lives in a later section. For that matter, you can read how exactly to woo stars in a later section as well. All right, back to Frank. He's made a friend who was worth 2.0 stars and gained enough job skills to advance. Now it's just a matter of him using the sound booth to record more jingles, and before long, BAM, he's officially halfway to the top! Yet again, Pepper needs to catch up. Now, she needs to get her own friends for a total of two stars, because, again, family friends aren't counted. However, because she and Frank live together, it's extremely efficient for the two of them to just befriend the SAME PERSON. Besides, that gives an added benefit TO that other star. Here's a little list explaining why: Frank Suave (2.0) is friends with Bella Gaxiola Baldini (2.0) Pepper Suave (2.0) is friends with Bella Gaxiola Baldini (2.0) Bella Gaxiola Baldini is friends with Frank Suave (2.0) AND Pepper Suave (2.0) for a total of 4.0 ...So as you can see, this arrangement benefits Bella well too, and it kills two birds with one stone. What's even BETTER is that when Frank and Pepper upgrade, they'll both be at 2.5, so Bella's total hits 5.0. Then Bella can upgrade, and Frank's and Pepper's totals will be at 2.5 each, getting them a little higher on the friend power too. Fame begets fame. Okay, so Pepper hits her 2.0 and gains the skill she needs. She shoots more commercials, and before you know it, she's up to 2.5 stars also! +----------------------+ |13f. Mid-Level Madness| +----------------------+ From here on out, there aren't too many more wrenches thrown into the routine. Still, it's worth going into detail so you know precisely how to get to the top fast... assuming that's your goal, of course. Okay, so here's the recap. Both Frank (music exclusive) and Pepper (acting exclusive) are both at 2.5 stars, exactly halfway to the top of the food chain. They now need friends with star power to get promoted up their respective careers, which demands more personal time, though their paychecks are getting better and better. To get from 2.5 stars to 3.0, Frank needs to stick to his guns. He needs to just keep cutting those jingles while maintaining his celeb relationships, and he'll be hit the next mark in fairly short order. Now, Pepper on the other hand has a new toy. Her agent apparently decided that commercials were beneath her, so she's upgraded to getting guest appearances on Strong Medicine. (What straight male on this planet doesn't think Rosa Blasi is the hottest thing this side of Elisha Cuthbert?) Sorry for the quick view into my personal psyche there. Anyway, using the same hospital prop as the commercials, Pepper now dons a costume to act out an inheritance scene or emergency scene, whichever you choose. Now, this job introduces a new concept into the world of The Sims. That is, your sim's success is no longer based on her mood or luck. Your DIRECT participation is required. How so? Here's what happens. When you choose to act a scene (the specific one doesn't matter), the director will ask you how you want to perform the three parts of it. You'll have to choose from Comedic, Dramatic, or Suspenseful, and the choice comes three times. Then your sim will act the parts of the scene in that order, and the director will make comments via the standard picture balloons. If you acted a part of the scene correctly, then your sim's face will appear in the balloon. If not, a big red X will appear over your face in that balloon. If you failed any of the three, you're given a second chance. Any parts you had correct will remain correct provided you choose them again, and any parts that are wrong are guaranteed to be one of the other choices. You get three chances total, but you have to get ALL THREE PARTS correct. Luckily, because you get three chances, you'll never ever miss if you follow this strategy: 1. For the first chance, choose Comedic for all three parts. 2. For the second chance, choose Dramatic for any part you got wrong. 3. For the third chance, choose Suspenseful for any part you got wrong a second time. That's all there is to it. You'll have a 100% acting rate as long as you pay attention. Keep it up long enough, and Pepper will hit 3.0 stars. Okay, Frank's turn is up again. This time, he gets to advance in his career. No more singing jingles, it's time to try his hand at the singles scene... relating to music, anyway. At the same sound booth he's been going to, he can select to sing a rock song, pop ballad, or dance anthem. Whichever you want is up to you, and like the Pepper's job as a soap opera star, he has to play a similar game. No matter which song type he picked, the engineer will ask him to perform three parts to it. He can sing the parts Normal, Mellow, or Over The Top. Again, you'll get three chances, but you must get all three right. You can have a 100% hit rate by selecting Normal for all three parts first, Mellow for any you got wrong, and Over The Top for any you got wrong twice. Keep it up, and Frank will hit 3.5 stars. Pepper's up. She just needs to keep acting out those scenes, and the paychecks and star power will keep rolling in. She'll hit 3.5 soon enough. When Frank's ready to go, he keeps blaring out his music until he hits 4.0, and Pepper keeps on acting there until she gets 4.0 also. See what I mean about a routine? By now you probably have down how to handle their moods and everything while keeping the money rolling in and the time cost to a minimum. But now, things change, and luck rears its ugly head. +-----------------+ |13g. The End Game| +-----------------+ The final star is challenging. To get from 4.0 to 4.5, Frank needs to have at least 14 in his friends' combined star rating. That means he's got a minimum of three friends, probably more. Balancing all those relationships while trying to train up to the next level is difficult, but very possible. It just takes hard work and a focus of every single one of his activities. Luckily, Frank has a new device at his disposal. Unfortunately, there's a snag, which I'll explain in a moment. So he gets to Studio Town to find out that he's outgrown radio. Video killed the radio star, as they say, so to avoid being outrun by competitors, he's decided to get jiggy with it onscreen. Find the lot called Music for the Eyes in Studio Town for this excursion. There, there will be two stages for music videos. They're ground level and have a video wall behind them, with a camera and an accompanying director in front. Clicking anywhere on the stage or camera will bring up the pie menu, and you can shoo a rock video, dance video, or pop video. As always, the choice is up to you, and makes no real difference from one to another. Frank is again given the choice between three ways (which change depending on the music genre) to perform the three parts of the set. Fortunately, you only need to get two of the three right. Unfortunately, you only get two shots at it. There is no way to guarantee you'll get the right choice. The only way you can really do your best is thus: 1. Choose the first option for all three parts. 2. Choose a different option for any part that was incorrect. Let's say you pick 1-1-1, and then a two for any you get wrong. If any two of the solution is 3, you're screwed. But seriously, that's all you can do. If you're wrong, you lose star power, which may be enough to cause a demotion. If that happens, cut another single, and get back to 4.0-star status. Oh, there is NO truth to the rumor that by watching the shape of the director's balloon on a miss can you know what's next. I've extensively tested it, and trust me, whether the director has a smooth balloon or a jagged balloon surrounding the red X, there's no way to figure out what needs to be picked. (Don't e-mail me telling me I'm wrong. I *extensively* tested this, because a few people have told me it works. It doesn't. Get over it.) So as I've said before, a little luck plays into it. You could use my strategy and go 1-1-1, then 2 for anything wrong, but again, if any two choice are 3, it's a loss. Just keep being stubborn though, and you'll get it. If all else fails, just randomly choose. Okay, so Frank keeps that up and achieves 4.5. Pepper needs to continue acting her emergency and inheritance scenes, and she too will get to 4.5. One more half-star to go. The Suaves need 18 star power each from friends, which means a minimum of 4 friends, but they'll probably have to settle for 5 to 7. Not to mention that they need 10 Charisma, 8 Body, and 9 Creativity. With all that training and relationship pressure, you seriously need to think about getting a butler to help. Butlers are explained in more detail below. Frank can use his music videos to propel himself to 5.0-star status and the top of the Who's Hot list in the daily tabloid. When Pepper gets 4.5, however, she gets her final device. At a few movie lots are devices with a camera, a spiral set of stairs, and a table. This is the set for the next sequel to The Lord of the Rings or something, and Pepper gets to take part! She goes there and can select to do a death scene, or just a standard fight scene. Like the music video, she gets three parts, must get two right, and has two chances. Several successful scenes later, the Suaves are sitting pretty at the top of the SimCity entertainment industry! Once a sim achieves 5-star status, they will MAINTAIN IT so long as they visit Studio Town once every two days at least. That includes simply having Frank or Pepper jump in a cab, go to Studio Town, then immediately come home. They'll have to perform their chosen art now and then in order to get money, but they no longer have to worry about maintaining relationships or training if they choose not to. Although I didn't touch on the exclusive model, a model's route is not that much different than the other two. The model has to get from 0.0 to 0.5 by getting a Paparazzo picture, and then can model Print Ads (which are hit-or- miss activities) at a model's stage. At 2.0, the model can model bikinis or ski clothes at the same location, where you choose three parts of the performance and have to get all three right in three tries. At 3.5, the model gets to walk the runway, trying to get two parts of a three-part performance right on two tries. Then models run into a snag, because it's REALLY hard to get 1.5 stars more JUST doing the runway. That's why it's tough to be an exclusive model, and you may have to pull a J'Lo and perform in music and/or acting to supplement the modeling. That said, it is possible to stay exclusive to modeling; it will just take longer and will prove more difficult than staying exclusive to music or movies. Modeling does have an upside though, as IcedTeaLatte (IcedTeaLatte@aol.com) points out... #################################################### The Fashion Career turns out to be the highest paying of all 3 if you're a superstar. I find out that the max I can get from acting and music is around 1,400, but fashion lets you get up to 1,800 (and that's even if you get all 3 right on your 2nd attempt). #################################################### +-------------+ |13h. Synopsis| +-------------+ So, you want to skip all my narrative and just get down to straight answers and numbers, huh? Well, this is the section for you! No BSing here. Just follow the numbers, and you'll be a celebrity in less time than it took Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra to divorce. EXCLUSIVE MUSIC CAREER Preparation: Charisma = 1, Creativity = 6 0.0 to 0.5 Requirements: none Method: Get the Paparazzo guy to take a picture of you. 0.5 to 1.0 Requirements: none Method: Use the karaoke stage with plenty of people listening. 1.0 to 1.5 Requirements: Charisma = 2, Body = 1 Method: Use the sound booth to record jingles. 1.5 to 2.0 Requirements: Charisma = 3, Body = 2 Method: Use the sound booth to record jingles. 2.0 to 2.5 Requirements: Charisma = 4, Body = 3, friends' star power = 2 Method: Use the sound booth to record jingles. 2.5 to 3.0 Requirements: Charisma = 6, Body = 4, friends' star power = 4 Method: Use the sound booth to record jingles. 3.0 to 3.5 Requirements: Body = 5, friends' star power = 7 Method: Use a sound booth to record a rock, pop, or dance song. 3.5 to 4.0 Requirements: Charisma = 7, Body = 6, Creativity = 7, friends' star power = 11 Method: Use a sound booth to record a rock, pop, or dance song. 4.0 to 4.5 Requirements: Charisma = 8, Body = 7, Creativity = 8, friends' star power = 14 Method: Create music videos via a music video stage. 4.5 to 5.0 Requirements: Charisma = 10, Body = 8, Creativity = 9, friends' star power = 18 Method: Create music videos via a music video stage. EXCLUSIVE ACTING CAREER Preparation: Charisma = 6, Creativity = 1 0.0 to 0.5 Requirements: none Method: Get the Paparazzo guy to take a picture of you. 0.5 to 1.0 Requirements: none Method: Use the entertainment stage with a lot of people listening. 1.0 to 1.5 Requirements: Body = 1, Creativity = 2 Method: Use the entertainment stage with a lot of people listening. 1.5 to 2.0 Requirements: Body = 2, Creativity = 3 Method: Use the hospital prop to shoot commercials. 2.0 to 2.5 Requirements: Body = 3, Creativity = 4, friends' star power = 2 Method: Use the hospital prop to shoot commercials. 2.5 to 3.0 Requirements: Body = 4, friends' star power = 4 Method: Use the hospital prop to shoot emergency and/or inheritance scenes. 3.0 to 3.5 Requirements: Body = 5, Creativity = 6, friends' star power = 7 Method: Use the hospital prop to shoot emergency and/or inheritance scenes. 3.5 to 4.0 Requirements: Charisma = 7, Body = 6, Creativity = 7, friends' star power = 11 Method: Use the hospital prop to shoot emergency and/or inheritance scenes. 4.0 to 4.5 Requirements: Charisma = 8, Body = 7, Creativity = 8, friends' star power = 14 Method: Use the hospital prop to shoot emergency and/or inheritance scenes. 4.5 to 5.0 Requirements: Charisma = 10, Body = 8, Creativity = 9, friends' star power = 18 Method: Use the table and stairs prop to shoot fight and/or death scenes. EXCLUSIVE MODELING CAREER Preparation: Charisma = 6, Creativity = 1 0.0 to 0.5 Requirements: none Method: Get the Paparazzo guy to take a picture of you. 0.5 to 1.0 Requirements: none Method: Model for print ads at a modeling stage. 1.0 to 1.5 Requirements: Body = 1, Creativity = 2 Method: Model for print ads at a modeling stage. 1.5 to 2.0 Requirements: Body = 2, Creativity = 3 Method: Model for print ads at a modeling stage. 2.0 to 2.5 Requirements: Body = 3, Creativity = 4, friends' star power = 2 Method: Model swimwear and/or winterwear at the model stage. 2.5 to 3.0 Requirements: Body = 4, friends' star power = 4 Method: Model swimwear and/or winterwear at the model stage. 3.0 to 3.5 Requirements: Body = 5, Creativity = 6, friends' star power = 7 Method: Model swimwear and/or winterwear at the model stage. 3.5 to 4.0 Requirements: Charisma = 7, Body = 6, Creativity = 7, friends' star power = 11 Method: Model clothes on the models' runway. 4.0 to 4.5 Requirements: Charisma = 8, Body = 7, Creativity = 8, friends' star power = 14 Method: Model clothes on the models' runway. 4.5 to 5.0 Requirements: Charisma = 10, Body = 8, Creativity = 9, friends' star power = 18 Method: Model clothes on the models' runway. NON-EXCLUSIVE CAREER Preparation: none 0.0 to 0.5 Requirements: none Method: Get the Paparazzo guy to take a picture of you. 0.5 to 1.0 Requirements: Charisma = 1, Creativity = 1 Method: Model for print ads at a modeling stage. 1.0 to 1.5 Requirements: Charisma = 2, Body = 1, Creativity = 2 Method: Use the sound booth to record jingles. 1.5 to 2.0 Requirements: Charisma = 3, Body = 2, Creativity = 3 Method: Use the hospital prop to shoot commercials. 2.0 to 2.5 Requirements: Charisma = 4, Body = 3, Creativity = 4, friends' star power = 2 Method: Model swimwear and/or winterwear at the model stage. 2.5 to 3.0 Requirements: Charisma = 6, Body = 4, friends' star power = 4 Method: Use the hospital prop to shoot emergency and/or inheritance scenes. 3.0 to 3.5 Requirements: Body = 5, Creativity = 6, friends' star power = 7 Method: Use a sound booth to record a rock, pop, or dance song. 3.5 to 4.0 Requirements: Charisma = 7, Body = 6, Creativity = 7, friends' star power = 11 Method: Model clothes on the models' runway. 4.0 to 4.5 Requirements: Charisma = 8, Body = 7, Creativity = 8, friends' star power = 14 Method: Create music videos via a music video stage. 4.5 to 5.0 Requirements: Charisma = 10, Body = 8, Creativity = 9, friends' star power = 18 Method: Shoot death or fight scenes at the curved stair and table prop. REQUIREMENTS BY LEVEL - Job skills and friends' star power to advance in level. 0.0 to 0.5: none 0.5 to 1.0: Charisma = 1, Creativity = 1 1.0 to 1.5: Charisma = 2, Body = 1, Creativity = 2 1.5 to 2.0: Charisma = 3, Body = 2, Creativity = 3 2.0 to 2.5: Charisma = 4, Body = 3, Creativity = 4, friends' star power = 2 2.5 to 3.0: Charisma = 6, Body = 4, friends' star power = 4 3.0 to 3.5: Body = 5, Creativity = 6, friends' star power = 7 3.5 to 4.0: Charisma = 7, Body = 6, Creativity = 7, friends' star power = 11 4.0 to 4.5: Charisma = 8, Body = 7, Creativity = 8, friends' star power = 14 4.5 to 5.0: Charisma = 10, Body = 8, Creativity = 9, friends' star power = 18 DEVICES BY LEVEL - Star level when sims can start using the listed device. 0.0: karaoke stage, entertainment stage 0.5: modeling stage (print ad) 1.0: sound booth (jingle) 1.5: hospital prop (commercial) 2.0: modeling stage (swimwear, winterwear) 2.5: hospital prop (emergency scene, inheritance scene) 3.0: sound booth (rock song, pop ballad, dance anthem) 3.5: modeling runway 4.0: music video stage (rock video, pop video, dance video) 4.5: curved stairs prop (fight scene, death scene) 5.0: no new devices +-----------------------------------+ |13i. Rubbing Elbows with the Mighty| +-----------------------------------+ Getting friends in high places is far different than getting friends who still have all their own anatomy. Although some of my Sim Love strategy holds, there's enough differences to warrant a separate subsection to elaborate. First of all, notice that your friend requirement is personal. It's not FAMILY friends that the career looks for. You can't use a Pud-like extension (stop laughing!) of your family to do your dirty work. Luckily, the second thing you need to notice is that your friend requirement is based on STAR POWER, not quantity. It's not about how many you know, it's about what position those you know are in. That's a double-edged sword. It means that relationships with non-stars is pointless as far as your career is concerned; and trust me, you'll be too busy dealing with the career to have more than a handful of relationships at all. However, it also means that if you know the right people, you can hit the top of the food chain with only four to seven friends at most. The game looks adds up the star value the moment you become friend, so all relationships need only be maintained at around +50 daily (give or take a few based on zodiac signs). Stars are too important to go to Old Town and knock on your door, so you have to make the first move. When in any lot of Studio Town, several stars and fans will litter the area. Any sim with a star above its head is EXTREMELY high up there, but it may not be able to be approached (you can't become friends with Marilyn Monroe, you can only ask for her autograph). Any sim that is a star and is also friend-capable will have a last name of Somebody. Stars are reasonably nice if there's an icebreaker. That doesn't mean you should run up and pant like a dog to get a model's autograph and then follow that up by inviting her to your place. You have to approach slowly, and in the right area. The chick with the clipboard hints that if you talk to a star in the spa, they'll probably accept because they'll talk to anyone there. That's right, but it's a little vague of what's really going on. Stars are only on their high horse if they're actually DOING something important. If a star is playing basketball or getting a cool drink or listening to the latest loser attempt to sing at a karaoke stage, they have no problem talking to the little people. Find a star, stalk them until they're doing something unimportant like what I just mentioned, THEN approach. Another nice icebreaker is one you'll have to be really quick to take advantage of. If you're performing your chosen art, and a star sees you, make sure to talk to them as soon as you can, whether they loved or hated your performance. It only takes the initial interaction to get them permanently added to your friends' list. Once you've got a star's name and number, they become as easily accessible as any other sim; just pick up a phone, reach out, and touch someone. However, even if they accept to come over to your place, it's not the same experience. Stars are far more picky about everything, so you'll need to watch their moods just a bit more carefully. Stars don't always like being touched. In my Sim Love section, I mentioned that you should never greet or say goodbye with a wave. That's true for normal people, but stars aren't normal. Until you hit the friendship line you HAVE to use the wave, or they'll get ticked off at you. Don't even bother with hugs or kisses until the meter is at least +75/+30, and that's assuming their zodiac signs are compatible. And yes, you can marry the stars. Good luck doing so, though; you'll have to take EXTREME measures to get things going the right way. Once you're friends with another star, you can ask for some unusual favors. If you're in Studio Town, you can request to stage a publicity stunt or photo-op. Should your target accept, the camera dude will appear and capture the event on film. That greatly boosts not only your star rating, but your target's as well. Stars that are friendly to each other do NOT exchange autographs unless the star rating is vastly different. Stars treat other stars as equals, so an autograph by a star of a similar or lower ranking is worth no more to you than your own. Also, though you can (and should) compliment a star's star rating, do NOT say that you are a star's biggest fan if the two of you are relatively equal in fame. It will just hack the relationship and social meters, and for stars, you need every point you can get. +-------------------------+ |13j. Butlers and Stalkers| +-------------------------+ I know it's a weird pairing, but I don't have enough to say on either of them to warrant two separate subsections, so one combined subsection it will be. Butlers are new to the series. They are a cross between the typical maid and Servo, with a few added perks. First of all, don't even bother with a butler until you start getting ridiculous sums of money. It costs $500 PER DAY to have a butler on staff, and you have to pay bills as well. Butlers are worth their wait in simoleons, however, if you can afford them. One of his immediate upsides is his work hours. He is on your property from dawn to twilight, constantly working if there is something to be done. If there is a job he can't handle (such as a broken appliance), he will call the appropriate service to get it done. It still costs YOU the money, but at least you don't have to waste your time dealing with it. Butlers also do things that Servos and maids do not, such as filling food dishes should you have a pet. Half the time I forget to fill the damn dish, let alone do I have the time for it if I've got a star, so the butler is perfect. The two major downsides of butlers are their cost and work hours. I know, I just got done praising the long working hours of butlers, but the fact remains that Servos can be turned on at night. If your sim is a star, he makes his own hours and can work around a butler's schedule, so there's no problem. However, if a regular sim has a butler AND a night job, the purpose may be defeated. The cost is a slightly double-edged sword as well. Butlers' fees are crazy-high, and only rich sims should bother with them. However, a butler has no hidden cost, unlike Servo (whose value contributes to the bill tally). Although your butler will occasionally nip a brandy from the liquor cabinet if you have one, that will not cost you a dime, and his work performance will not go down (he only does it when he's bored and has no work to do). Butlers have a command where you can ask them to prepare a meal. They're not very good at cooking, but that saves one whole hour for sims. Their second special command, to eject visitors, is slightly more useful. If you have anyone who's annoying you or blocking a doorway, or if you just want to clear the house, ask him to remove all visitors. He'll go to everyone not in your family and politely tell them to buzz off. He takes a more direct approach with stalkers though (nice segue, huh?). Once your star sim hits a certain star rating level, an Obsessive Fan will take it upon himself to live and breathe your star sim. That includes hanging outside your star's home at night, and following the star like a sheep during trips to Studio Town. The stalker is kinda cool at the beginning, but much like real life, gets real irritating real fast. He frequently digs through your star's trash (looking for what, I don't know), and makes a mess. His following gives your star no privacy, practically preventing your sim from enjoying anything outside his own home. Although you can order your star to yell at or eject the stalker, all it will do is piss the stalker off and make him more determined to shadow you. If you have a butler, he will IMMEDIATELY eject a stalker should one come on your property. The butler will calmly walk up to the stalker and bitch-slap him across the teeth, which makes the stalker take his damn camera and run away. Your butler's service is invaluable during the day, but he doesn't follow you to Studio Town to protect you there, and of course can't help you at night since he goes home. That poses a serious problem for you. The stalker wants everything of yours, including your trophies. I don't know how the hell he got a key, but if everyone in the house is asleep, he'll let himself in and jack one of your awards WITHOUT SETTING OFF THE BURGLAR ALARM. I've found a way to prevent it, though. If you took my suggestion and got a dog, its mere presence will deter the stalker from breaking and entering. The stalker will still hang outside, and unfortunately you can't order your pup to kill him, but at least he won't be taking away your hard-earned rewards. There is another way to absolutely prevent your crap from being stolen. There is a new door in Build Mode with a star on it, I believe called the Celebrity Door. As you probably know, the bathroom doors with pictures of men and women prevent the opposite sex from even opening the door. Well, this Celebrity Door works in a similar way. It will not open for sims who are not at least 3 stars or so of fame. You can use this as crowd control for buildings you build, or as security for your home. Plop one down in your trophy room, and there's no way at all the stalker can jack your stuff. He'll enter the house and look at the door, but then he'll realize he can't get in. You can put this door anywhere, of course, but if you make it your external door, then ordinary sims like your normal friends won't be able to get in. Of course, if you're trying to make a stuck-up star, go for it. Joe Nobody (firstname.lastname@example.org) sends this... #################################################### I had a tip for getting rid of the obsessed fan, at least when you are at home if you can't afford a butler. Buy a voodoo doll (From living large, or deluxe I think) and use it on the obsessed fan whenever he comes around. He will leave immediately. Of course eventually he will come back, but oh well. #################################################### ====================================================== | PART 3: THOSE LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE LIFE FUN | ====================================================== +----------+ |+--------+| ||14. PETS|| |+--------+| +----------+ (note: this only works if you have Unleashed installed) I want to say that no sim animals were harmed during the making of this FAQ, but I can't lie to my readers. Well over a dozen pets have been starved, mistreated, scolded, and downright ignored all for the benefit of this section. Be thankful, you meanies. Ah, Tester The Cat, we hardly knew ye... this is for you, buddy! +------------------------+ |14a. Which Pet is Which?| +------------------------+ All right, so you've got some parents and a few kids running around, but your family just doesn't feel complete. Not to worry, you can now get little bundles of fluff for your families. Pets have a million uses, not the least of which is being able to compliment the Social meter, which is arguably the hardest one to raise. Of course, to start taking advantage of a pet, you'll need to get one first. Before you go running off to the pet adoption center, you should take some time to think about what pet you want. After all, you don't want to waste too much time or money on a pet that you're only going to deal with once or twice. I classify pets into two catagories: low-maintenance (LM) and high-maintenance (HM). LM pets stay in a bowl or cage and only need to be fed now and then. You can play with LM pets, and they improve room scores, but that's about it. HM pets are cats and dogs who need food, homes, entertainment, and other things that translate into huge costs of time and money. However, HM pets have far more uses, but we'll get into that in a second. Just remember that no matter what kind of pet you have, whether it's LM or HM, you need to take care of it. Without the love and food it deserves, it may wander off your lot and become a stray, or it may go to that big litter box in the sky. +-----------------+ |14b. Preparations| +-----------------+ When you decide to have a baby, you need to zone off a separate room for the bassinet. For the first few days, a parent must stay with the kid throughout its infanthood. Once the baby turns into a child, you better have a room with a bed all ready to go. Pets are no different. They need certain things ready before they enter their new home. LM pets are easy to prepare for: all you need is to buy the appropiate house. Birds need a cage, fish need the fishbowl, iguanas need the aquarium, etc. To find the appropiate home, go into Buy Mode, click the Miscellaneous sort, then click the Pets subsort. Look through the selections to find what you need. All LM pets have only one choice; that is, there's only one birdcage, and there's only one fishbowl. HM pets have several beds for you to buy. Even the best are rather cheap, so grab them unless you're extrmely short on cash. keeba (Keeba@hedstorm.net) reminded me that there are actually two birdcages, by the way. A big one (the aviary) and a smaller one. The choice you make is very important, and I'll say why in a second. +------------------------------+ |14c. Getting a Bundle of Fluff| +------------------------------+ So, your home is ready to accomodate a little beast, huh? There are several ways to get a pet. If you're a cheap bastard (or a kind soul, whichever way you want to look at it), you can feed strays and eventually win them over to your own family. It's a free way to get a pet that could be already well developed in skills. Don't want a stray? You've got the money to burn, and you're ready to go grab a new one? Excellent! Just make sure all your family members are home, then grab any adult sim. Click a phone, choose Call Cab, then hit Explore Old Town. Once the trolley arrives, all family members will board it, the game will save, and you'll be kicked to the neighborhood screen. You'll be able to visit any lot that is zoned as Commercial (sorry, no visiting other people's houses). You can use the filters at the top to see where the different types of buildings are, but there's only one major place to get pets, and it's in the dead-center of the whole neighborhood. (With the left-most filter active, the flashing blue arrow with the white paw will show you exactly which building I'm talking about.) Click the pet adoption center to continue. Once the game loads and you're in the lot, take a look around. Your sims can't die or fall asleep while you're here, so don't worry if their moods get shot to hell while they're standing around. There's a million things to buy and check out while you're here. Browse through the selection of cat and dog collars if you're going down that road, or view the iguanas and birds that are everywhere. Once you're done checking out the selection, click on the cage or whatever of the pet you want, then issue the Buy command. If you're getting an LM pet, it's as simple as buying a magazine. You take the selection to the store clerk, swap the money, and the pet is added to your inventory. After that, you can head home if you want to, or you can continue to browse. Should you decide to get an HM pet, then things get another step. Don't worry about the animal that's on display, because you won't be forced to take it. Just click the dog or cat (whichever species you want), and click Adopt A [whatever]. The clerk will ask you which gender of pet you want, then you'll get to choose the skin of the thing. Finally, you'll be asked to confirm. When you do, you'll fork over 400 bucks, then you get to name your bundle of fluff. Here's something important: dogs and cats get counted as family members! That means you won't be able to have more than eight sims, dogs, and cats all together. You could make a crazy cat lady if you wanted, but she won't get more than seven cats, for example. All right, once you've got your chosen pet, grab any sim and click a phone (they look like old phone booths, they're not the bright ones from Downtown or Vacation Island), then pick Call Cab and Go Home. +-------------------------+ |14d. Low-Maintenance Pets| +-------------------------+ If you bought an LM pet, the first thing you need to do now that you're home is put it in its cage. First, make the sim that is carrying the beast the active sim. Once you click the appropiate cage, you'll get the "Add [animal]" command. Choose that, and your sim will walk over and shove the thing in the appropiate pen. After that, there are only two basic commands: Feed and Play With. Choose the former every day or so, or the pet will get a visit from the Grim Reaper. Use Play With to give your Fun meter a little boost. All pets also automatically boost the Room meter simply by being alive. They'll live long happy lives as long as you remember to feed them and clean their cages now and then. There is one other LM pet I haven't mentioned yet. Through Buy Mode > Miscellaneous > Pets, you can buy one of two birds. They come with their own stand and everything, and they have one additional feature: you can talk to it. This not only boosts the Social meter (thereby making bachelor hermits a great possibility), but it can also bring up the Charisma skill! No more practicing your speeches at a mirror, you can try it to a real, live audience! +--------------------------+ |14e. High-Maintenance Pets| +--------------------------+ If you bought an HM pet, you're going to have a lot to do in the first couple days. The first thing is that you need to understand the mechanics of the pet. Even though it is a member of the family, you cannot directly control it aside from giving it a Go Here command. It will eat, poop, and be social on its own. Other sims can interact with it by petting it and what not, but they can't directly feed it. HM pets are a lot like standard sims. They have their own eight mood meters, five personality traits, and three (not six) job skills. I'll cover all of it here, starting with the mood meters and how to fill them (I assume you know the basics, but hey, more info can never hurt). +---------------------+ |14ea. Pet Mood Meters| +---------------------+ HUNGER - To fill this, your pet needs a food dish. Again, it will eat by itself, but it can't buy the dish or fill it with food; that's your job. There are two dishes in Buy Mode (again under the Pets subsort). Either of them will do, and I'd put it somewhere in the kitchen. Any sim can fill the dish for a cost of only $15. That's enough food for two or three days if you have only one pet, but still keep an eye on it every day. Oh, and cats can get decent Hunger boosts when they whack a mouse. Matthew Wheway (email@example.com) reminds me that they'll eat prepared people food if it's within their reach; just go to Buy Mode and put the plate on the floor. COMFORT - This can really only be filled when the pet is asleep, but by doing tricks or being active, Comfort will drop quicker. HYGIENE - Now, this one is way more dependent on which species you have than anything else. Cats are naturally clean, and they bathe and groom themselves all the time, so you may never have to worry about them. Dogs, however, are far more messy, especially the ones who run around and dig holes all the time. All pets will lick themselves, which very slightly brings up Hygiene, but if you want your dog to be sparkly, you'll have to bathe it. You can find the pet bathing station in the usual place. Sometimes, your dog may not be too thrilled with it, but that's where obedience and loyalty comes into play (check that out in the later subsections). BLADDER - This one is simple, sorta. Cats have no real problem with going in litter boxes, as long as you have one and it's clean. Just make sure it's cleaned all the time, too. Otherwise, cats will have no other choice than to start pooping on the carpet. Dogs are more irritating, because you actually have to housebreak them. Eventually, they will learn to do their thing outside, and they won't need to be babysat all the time. More on that in a moment. ENERGY - Kitty Koffee Machines? It ain't happening, Chester. The only way to gain this is for the pet to sleep. They gain more energy if they are in a pet bed as opposed to a floor, but unlike your sims, they don't NEED beds. They also don't suffer sleep deprivation should you feel the need to wake them. And no, no animal can curl up with you at night. By the way, cats and dogs will go to sleep any darn time they want to, so their hours may not be exactly what you want... but, too bad. FUN - Cats and dogs have strange ideas of fun. I mean, I personally see no enjoyment of digging holes or scratching a post, but whatever. Cats also get absolutely thrilled when they chase mice and things. You can also force the Fun meter up by playing with your pet or doing tricks. SOCIAL - Pets need love and attention as much as sims do. They are SLIGHTLY unconcerned about whether they get attention from sims or other animals, but it seems to me that their social meter gains more when they converse with other pets. Either way, gaining the Social meter will also boost Relationship meters, just like human sims. And no, they can't fall in love with anyone. No beastality here, you perv. ROOM - Pets' room scores are basically the same as humans'. Keep rooms large, well-lit, and poop-free for high scores. +-----------------------+ |14eb. Pet Personalities| +-----------------------+ When you adopt a pet, its personality is randomly determined. Like sims, their personality is divided into five catagories, but it's a different five. And here we go... QUIET - An obvious one. Pets can't actually wake up your sims, but a loud dog will be a constant nuisance if you have your sound on. FRIENDLY - Similar to a sim's Nice personality, an unfriendly pet will be more likely to hiss and be anti-bath. If you happen to have a mean pet, try especially hard to keep its moods high. PLAYFUL - This is the Active trait for pets. Lazy pets will be more inclined to sleep and just chill, whereas playful pets will constantly be running around. If you have a Friendly AND Playful pet, it will make huge amounts of friends and will constantly be trying to find new little varmits to talk to. SMART - This determines how quickly (or not so quickly) your pets get to learn stuff. A low Smart stat can make housebreaking and trick training a b*tch and a half. LOYALTY - A loyal pet will constantly follow around its owners, and it will be more inclined to follow commands that are given to it. Obedience (the job skill, explained in a moment) is still a modifier, so a disobedient loyal animal may still follow commands less frequently than an obedient unloyal animal. +----------------+ |14ec. Pet Skills| +----------------+ Cats and dogs have two common job skills and one that is species dependent. As with sims, your pets can have up to 10 points to each job skill. HUNTING (Cats Only) - The higher this is, the higher the chance your cat will automatically hunt down and whack a mouse or other pest. A cat with 10 Hunting becomes a little Mini-Maid as far keeping the house rodent-free. If you don't want to wait for your cat's instincts to kick in, you can click your cat and choose "Hunt..." When a cat is successful in a hunt, it gets a skill point, not to mention a free snack. HOUSEBREAKING (Dogs Only) - Cats know to do their thing in litter boxes, but dogs have no such instinct. They will go wherever and whenever they darn well feel like it. You'll need to give your puppy a crash course in where to pee. The moment you see a pee puddle or a pile o' poop, click it and select "Scold [Name]." Just doing that will give your pet a point in Housebreaking. After a few points, your pet will get the idea to start going outside. As he's doing so, click him and select "Praise." Your sim will wait until the pet is done, then go outside and administer the praise. This will gain another point of Housebreaking for the dog. Keep this up, and your dog will be peeing on trees and fertilizing gardens in no time. TRICKS - Your pet, be it a dog or cat, can learn a few happy tricks that can be party topics for years to come. If you and your pet are in good moods, you can ask him to do a trick. Of course, he probably isn't too good at it yet. All tricks are based on this stat, so your pet will be no better at worse in jumping than it is in backflips. Still, you need to get some points to the Trick skill, and to do so, click your pet, then "Tricks...," then "Train [trick]." A blue progress bar will appear over your pet's head, and when it tops off, your pet gains a point of Tricks. If you don't want to take the time, you can also pay the pet trainer (at the pet adoption agency) a small amount of money to bring up the Tricks skill by one point. Just be aware that when you train it in a trick, it shoots the pet's comfort and energy meters to hell. OBEDIENCE - No matter how loyal or unloyal your pet is, this is the main reading of whether your pet will obey you. The higher the Obedience skill is, the more inclined they are to follow commands, and the quicker they tend to learn new tricks. To bring it up, issue the "Sit & Stay" command to your pet. As it does so, a blue progress bar will fill. Like all the other progress bars, when it fills, the pet will gain a point. +--------------+ |14ed. Breeding| +--------------+ You're happy with your pets, but you want some more bundles of fluff running around? Well, we can make that happen... sorta. Obviously, in order to breed two pets, they need to be the same species and opposite sexes. That's easy enough, right? The problem is that you can't just MAKE them breed, although there are steps to help move the process along. Remember, just like humans (well, just like MOST humans), dogs and cats won't just do it with some random fellow canine or feline. You have to have patience and let your two pets get to know each other. They'll get around to being friendly eventually, although you may want to keep an eye on them and scold one or the other if they start playing too rough. It helps to have the animals close together, and one thing that cats and dogs don't mind is snuggling up to each other during cold nights. If there is only one pet bed in the house, that will almost force the two to snuggle, which will send their relationship meters through the roof. After awhile, you'll get a popup asking whether you want your animals to go through with it. (Would THAT be nice if it was real? At least it would put a stop to all those frivolous lawsuits. Anyway, just like sim babies, you'll get a new item, a pet tent. The puppy or kitty stays in there, and you don't need to take care of it. However, the mother will be taking care of it, and you NEED to take care of the mother. The mother's mood will reflect on the baby, so if she's neglected, the baby will be born retarded. The baby will take three days to mature. Once it does, its personaliy will be determined the same way as sim babies, and it will look like one of its parents. However, you're given an option before all that commences. If you so desire, you can SELL the baby, and in the process potentially get some MASSIVE amounts of money. Breeding does not happen enough to make it a worthwhile career, but it's still a fantastic supplement to your income. Of course, you don't HAVE to sell it. You can elect to keep it and add it to your family, making it another mouth to feed and butt to poop. +----------------------+ |14ee. Other Pet Things| +----------------------+ You can take pets to lots in Old Town to be judged. The judges look at the level of all the pet's "job" skills, plus the overall mood of the pet. If your pet is very well behaved and very happy, you'll get a really nice award for it, which you can sell or keep on display like a Vacation Island souvineer. By the way, if you have a cat AND birds... well, you're asking for trouble. If you elected to use the smaller cage, then the little puddy tat may do the Sylvester thing and get a Tweety snack. Your cat can't reach birds that are in the larger cage, but any in the small cage are fair game. Oh, and as Kris Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org) reminded me, cats also hunger for little goldfish if you have any. Just keep the cat fed, and you shouldn't have to worry about things too much. +----------------------+ |+--------------------+| ||15. THROWING PARTIES|| |+--------------------+| +----------------------+ (note: this only works if you have House Party installed) Once you have a bunch of families in your neighborhood, plenty of room, and tons of money, you can initate All Hell And Chaos Mode, also called a "party." Parties are, in practice, like going to a downtown lot. However, parties are far more variable, and far more fun. A bunch of sims will show up to your door, eat your food, clog your toilets, and play with your toys, all while doing little to help you. Basically, all the visitors become like Fat Uncle Charlie, that one relative you just don't want to see. Your guests will need food, entertainment, and bathrooms. You could make food, you could have a TV, you could have your one or two bathrooms, but don't expect anyone to enjoy themselves. There are two major, MAJOR buys I recommend; without either, don't even bother trying to hold a party. The first is the buffet table, somewhere under the appliance sort. It's a refillable table that instantly fills with food with a simple command. Filling the table costs you $100, but if you're expecting a large crowd, that just may not be enough. In that case, it would be best to hire caterer. To do so, click a phone, then sevices, then caterer. He'll charge $350, but he'll be there all day and everytime he fills the table, it's free. That means he pays for himself in four fills, not to mention the fact that you'll actually have time to socialize. He's automated too, so you won't have to do a thing as long as he's provided a table. The caterer also fills punch bowls, but the buffet table is far more important. The second major item you need is the bathroom stall. Generally, if a sim is going to the bathroom, he or she doesn't want anyone to come into the same room (although once they love each other, that limitation is removed). However, if you're sporting stalls, then as many sims as there are stalls can be in the same room and they won't care. This also applies to port-a-potties, but who wants to go in one of those? I suggest you make a special party room that's a little bit away from the rest of your house. Make a large bathroom adjacent to it, and fill the bathroom with stalls and sinks (no mirrors or showers). Obviously you want to throw your buffet tables and punch bowls in the party room, too. You'll need at least two or three tables and plenty of chairs too. Entertainment is a little easier. While no one just wants to watch TV, having one is certainly a good idea. The best things to have are those that allow a bunch of people to join in. The campside fireplace, which can only be placed outside, holds a whopping EIGHT sims. Indoors, stick with pinball machines, dance floors, stereos, pool tables, and the big train set. All of those ensure that every single sim will have something to do whenever it gets bored. Another fun item is the cake. Once you buy the big cake (under the miscellaneous items sort), you can click it to hire a male or female dancer. Everyone loves those kinds of dancers, don't they? (By the way, don't worry about those innocent kiddies... if there are any children in the party, the dancer will be something weird like a purple gorilla or the tragic clown in his boxer shorts. This information comes from Cameron (GldnGirl89@aol.com).) Also don't neglect the item called Bezique's Folly Card Game, which is a fancy name for charades. This, like the cake, entertain unlimited numbers of sims. Once you're ready, click a phone, then click "Throw Party." In effect, you're calling one person, who then calls everyone else that you know. Soon enough, everyone in the world will show up on your doorstep. You won't have to greet them, luckily. They'll ring the doorbell, but then let themselves in. There are several ways you can tell how successful your party is. None of these work until a few game hours pass, so don't expect instant ratings. BAD PARTIES get the mime. You'll know that he's going to appear via a pop-up box that, well, pops up. If he appears, it's a sign that something's wrong. You may want to double check your food, entertainment, and bathroom locations and fix it for the next party. NEUTRAL PARTIES don't get any visual indication. If a party goes smoothly and people leave with smiles, then you did well. While there is room for improvement, you can pat yourself on the back with pride. GOOD PARTIES get party crashers, although that's not entirely a good thing. These are just random people who look like they lost a fight with a can of paint, and they come into your house just like Fat Uncle Charlie does... at least your guests talk to you. The only interaction you have with a party crasher is to ask them to leave. If you do so, a box will pop up with their protest, but they'll exit the house. Beware though... once they exit the house, they'll hang outside for a few minutes, then come right back in. As long as you're not cooking, you shouldn't worry about it. The caterer doesn't care one iota, so neither should you. GREAT PARTIES will be interrupted by a special guest in addition to the party crasher. None other than the famous Drew Carey, star of the self-titled sitcom and guest competitor of the 2001 WWF Royal Rumble, will appear. You can't do anything to him, but he'll go around and talk to everyone. He'll leave eventually, but if he appears at all, you can celebrate hosting a fantastic party. Parties are a great way to expand or enhance your network of friends. There's just one major problems in general, but it's actually the main reason I hold parties in the first place. See, all visitors will be out of your control, as normal. However, they don't understand who they love and who they don't. Due to my strategy, I typically have every male in love with every girl, and vice versa (yes, it's weird). This becomes REAL entertaining when one sim decides to make a move. It causes a domino effect that makes about a half-dozen sims get angry and jealous. Indirectly, this situation once caused a casualty at one of my parties. I'll go into details of that little incident in my Disasters section. You cannot throw parties until you have enough people. I think the limit is 10 people or 5 families, whichever is lesser, but I haven't tested it. Before you hit that point, the Throw Party option won't appear on the phone. +----------+ |+--------+| ||16. KIDS|| |+--------+| +----------+ Kids. They're so cute and innocent at that age. AWWWWWWWWWWW!!! Kids are an optional part of The Sims. You can create kids when you create families, but I tend not to due to cost. You see, in my humble opinion, sim kids are wastes of money, time, and air. They do make the game more challenging, but kids are pretty much worthless otherwise. They can't get jobs and any money they earn is from Grandpa for good grades, which happens too infrequently since you only get 100 bucks. However, if you wish to have a kid, there's plenty of ways to get one. Occasionally, you may be asked via a phone call if you want to adopt one. If you accept, then there's no muss, no fuss. If you want two sims to procreate (and yes, they have to be opposite genders), then just keep doing extremely romantic actions back and forth, and you may get a dialouge box that says "Should we have a baby?" However you get one, the gender will be given to you and you can name it. Again, I won't list what I call my kids, since CJayC would probably ban me for life from GameFAQs. We'll go with Pyro Jr. if I need him in an example. Now, kids are retarded versions of adults. They can do most of what adults can do, but not everything. They can't cook (although they can grab snacks), and they can't go into hot tubs for obvious reasons. If an object can only be manipulated by a child or adult, it will say so in the item description of Buy Mode. If there is no line like that, either age can use it. Kids' eight meters and personalities work the same way as adults. Kids can have relationships with either age, but can't fall in love with anyone. Their interests are slightly different than adults, but nothing too weird. Kids do have a "job" of sorts. They have to go to school every day at 7 AM, and their grade will appear if you click their job button. They can study for school using a computer or bookcase, but their grade will automatically rise as long as they're going to school. Kids cannot be taken downtown. Despite my feelings on how worthless kids are, RHunterLand (RHunterLand@netscape.net) found a rather convincing use for them... #################################################### The Children of a Sim household, besides being very entertaining, are EXTREMELY beneficial, have often kept a household a float while mom and dad were struggling with lack of sleep/depression, another lost job, starting at the bottom again. A. The household has a discount in daily cost for each child. In other words with the same items, size etc...your household bills are less AFTER the child than before...ie income tax deduction. B. A child who loves to paint sells their masterpieces for $111 (they'll paint a minimum of one a day, and consider it great fun.) The money starts after they have completed a few paintings, but MUCH, MUCH, MUCH sooner than the adults larger payments. Granted NOT ALL of them are artistically inclined, but for those that are...) C. An A+ student can study on the computer and be rewarded $100 from the Sim Excellence in Education Foundation. This occurs on a regular basis, is much more often than grandma/grandpa. D. A child's friend is the household's friend, be it another child, or an adult. E. when you are having a party, they will SOCIALIZE/minglewith BEFRIEND the guests. E. A musically inclined child will entertain your guests, something that all of the guests seem to LOVE. F. A child will CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. #################################################### Since I have a very distinct way I play the sims (i.e., "greedy bastard"), I decided to test out the bill worth. I ran two families with identical, extremely large houses for six days apiece. The first family had one adult. The second family had one adult and four children. Here's the whopping difference: FAMILY A FAMILY B DAY 3 (1st Bill) $1753 $1047 DAY 6 (2nd Bill) $1687 $1015 TOTAL 6 DAYS $3440 $2062 DIFFERENCE: $1378 Now, $1378 will buy a frickin' load of stuff, and considering that that's the total for only SIX days, you can only guess what your savings will be if you have a kid from the beginning. The difference is around 40%, so I'm guessing that each kid you have shaves 10% off your bill. In the early days, that won't be much, but if you think ahead, that will add up to stupid-large amounts. Maybe having kids isn't so bad after all. Not only that, but jagdtiger (email@example.com) mentions this: ############################################################################### Children are basically a fire-and-forget weapon for making friends with other children. They're great socializers vs most adults too, but vs children it just happens with a minimum of effort. Just make sure all the kids in the neighborhood are reasonably playful, outgoing and nice. (E.g., a 0/6/6/6/7 set of stats seems to work well, but then you can move points around and still end up just fine.) Then they'll even start playing tag on their own, if "free will" is on. And keep at it. It saps your kids' energy, but it works great for making friends with a minimum of babysitting. The neighbours' children also have a tendency to just show at your door around dinner time uninvited, if you have a child too. If enough kids are in the neighbourhood, you can have a visitor every night, without even wasting your time on the phone. ############################################################################### I need to start getting more kids going in my neighborhood... +-----------+ |16a. BABIES| +-----------+ Of course, kids have to come from somewhere. Babies are the first step to raising a child if you didn't create one in the Create Sim screen. Babies take three sim days to become a kid. Babies are also a pain. First of all, it takes two working people or one unemployed person to care for a baby, and it's a full-time job. Randomly, the baby will cry, and then it must be interacted with. Your options are Feed, Play, and Sing. When you sing to a baby, if it's satisfied with its mood, it will go to sleep for several hours. If it's not satisfied with its mood, it will keep crying. Once asleep, babies cannot be woken up for any reason. They will wake up and scream when they darn well feel like it. A baby takes three sim days to turn into a kid. Its face and clothes are random, as are its personality and interests (its personality points can actually exceed the usual limit of 25). Its skin tone will match one of its parent's, although you never know what you get when you adopt. Florist Lillia (firstname.lastname@example.org) poses a theory about personality... #################################################### This probably has a simple explanation, but.. My two Sims, Jim and Diane, had perfect personalities.. They got together and had little Cathy. When Cathy turned into a child, I noticed that she, too, had a perfect personality.. Same for all the other children that they had. I haven't really experimented with this, but perhaps the personality isn't so random after all? #################################################### ...and Green Devil (email@example.com) confirmed it with numbers... #################################################### Let's say Fred and Linda have a baby. Linda's neat points are 10 and Fred's neat points are 0. The baby will either have a 10, a 0, or a 5 for neat points. In other words, the baby will either take the mom's neat points, the dad's neat points, or the average of the two combined. This works for every personality trait, except for Playful, which I think is automatically higher, but I'm not quite sure about that part. #################################################### So in other words, if both parents are slobs, then the kid WILL be a slob. However, if one is a slob and the other is neat, you don't know what you'll get. At least you won't have to worry about your kids being radically different than their parents. Anyway, taking care of babies is easy, but tedious and will shoot your sims' moods to hell. I'll tell you what I do, but let's remove Pud from the equation for a moment. Whenever a baby comes into play, I offset a temporary special room (usually the living room, if it has a couch) and put the baby bascinet in there (moveable through Buy Mode, although you can't sell it). While Stephanie goes to work, Pyro stays home to care for the baby. Once she's home, they trade places; Pyro goes to work, and Stephanie stays home to care for the kid. Then, Pyro will get home and care for the kid again, while Stephanie goes to work. That's the three days, and then they can both relax. This way, no one gets fired. With Pud in the mix, though, I have another method, shown in the strategy section. I also detail how precisely to take care of a baby there. +---------------+ |+-------------+| ||17. DISASTERS|| |+-------------+| +---------------+ One of the best parts of the SimCity series was the fact you could activate fires, earthquakes, tornados, and alien invasions on a whim. While there's no insta-disaster in The Sims, you can still wreck havoc the same way with a bit of ingenuity. I'll list all the disasters, how to intentionally do it, and how to prevent it. +----+ |Fire| +----+ HISTORIAN: Man discovered fire in prehistoric times. It has always been a tool, but a double-edged one at that. It can cook food well, but it can also cook-- PYROFALKON: *sets the historian on fire* HISTORIAN: It can also cook humans, as my friend here just demonstrated. Wait, that's not a fake fire. Wait, come back! It burns! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *dies* PYROFALKON: *laughs* If there is any one disaster you can do off the bat, it's fires. Ovens of all flavors, including microwaves, toaster ovens, and even grills, can catch flames and pass them off to your sims or other pieces of furniture. Fires can come from more than the oven, though. It can result from a flying spark in the fireplace, or a mishap with the toy rocket. Fires spread rather quickly, so if one starts, you need to take steps. Unfortunately, though, sims are stupid. If they're in a room with a fire, they'll immediately drop whatever they're doing and panic. You have to manually cancel the panic action (by clicking its icon in the queue), then do something else. Sims can extinguish the flames themselves, but it's not always guarenteed to work. You can call the SimCity Fire Department, but it takes a bit of time for him to appear. What you can do is have one sim try to extinguish the flame while another calls for help. Your sim should be able to keep the flame relatively contained until The Man In Yellow arrives. If there is a smoke alarm in the room, the SCFD will be summoned automatically. If a fire is taken care of fast enough, whatever burned will not take damage. If the fire is allowed to continue, not only can it spread, it could turn whatever item burned into a pile of ashes. You won't be reimbursed for the lost item, and you're stuck with a mess that has to be cleaned up. Death Trav (firstname.lastname@example.org) shares some information on reducing fire damage... #################################################### I have found out a way to minimize fire damage when you have low cooking skill and you start an oven fire. You should put the oven at least one square away from the other kitchen equiptment. This seems to help stop the damage made by cooking fires. #################################################### If a sim is caught in a fire, its hygiene, comfort, and energy will be sliced. If the flame around him or her continues, the sim could die. I cover death in a moment. To prevent a fire from starting, always make sure that whoever cooks food has at least 1 in the cooking skill. I've made fires happen even then, though; the safe zone is 3. If you have a fireplace, make sure to put NO object within two tiles in all directions. As far as the rocket goes, well, there's not too much you can do about that. If the rocket is far away from other objects, the chance of something wrong is reduced. If you want to start a fire, there is one sure way to do so: launch a rocket inside the house. SOMETHING will catch flames. To ensure that your sim will burn, simply order them to stand right beside the fire. They will catch shortly after, and you'll have one sim, extra crispy. Kain15840 (Kain15840@aol.com) gave a short, and rather insane, addition about rockets... #################################################### There's something i noticed when dealing with rockets. It is entirely possible for something to catch fire even if there are no objects nearby. Yes, the rocket can hit the sim playing with the rockets and catch him/her on fire. Rather funny, actually. blitz: WHEEE! ROCKETS! ROCKETS! ROCKE-GAH! IT BURNS! HOT! HOT! HOT! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*dies* #################################################### That's happened to me too. Gotta love fire! +-------------+ |Electrocution| +-------------+ I have never actually seen this one, but from what I know, it's relatively simple. Just have your sim change a light bulb while standing in a puddle of water. Its Mechanical skill is weighed, I think, and a sim with 10 will never be killed. This will cause death to the sim, but nothing else gets damaged. To prevent it, simply don't change light bulbs while there's water on the floor. Mop up puddles before changing light bulbs, and you'll be fine. I think you more or less HAVE to set this up before you see it. Robert Lanciani (email@example.com) sent me a way to see it... #################################################### I have another way to electroute a Sim. First get a sim with a bunch of big screen TV's (must be a new sim with crappy sills). Next, make a monster potion (purple) (may take a while). He should smash a few of them. When you are normal again, try to fix one of them (this is where the crappy skills come in). He shold die instantly. #################################################### +--------+ |Drowning| +--------+ This one is popular. Simply get a sim in the pool, then leave them there. When their energy hits 0, they die. Prevention and intentionally causing should be obvious. Remember in my Party section, I talked about a party that had a casualty? This was it. I had a pool party, and a few sims jumped in for a swim. After that, Pud tried to get fresh with Stephanie. Pyro and Sixam, both of whom were in love with her, ran up and slapped him. Arguments started, and Stephanie went away to get a piece of cake. (She chose cake over three men? That's sound thinking, but if it was three chicks fighting in front of one guy, something tells me that cake would not be as interesting.) Anyway, this fighting just happened to be occuring in front of the ladder to the pool. The victim (I can't remember his name now) was the last one in the water. He swam during the whole fight, then decided he had seen enough. However, with the three fighters all blocking the ladder for the pool, he had no means of escape. He panicked and yelled, but the fight was still going on. Eventually, the victim drowned, and three men made up, probably all the while laughing at the dead guy. Ah, memories... +----------+ |Starvation| +----------+ I think this is self-explanatory. If I need to go into detail about how to make sims eat or not eat, you have larger problems than this FAQ can fix. +-----------------------+ |Spontaneous Combustions| +-----------------------+ I don't know what sims are made of exactly, but they have a VERY VERY low of chance of simply exploding. You can't cause it, you can't prevent it; it just happens. Your sim will look like he's having a seizure, and then he'll just burst into flames and die. I've only seen it ever happen once (it happened to Pyro of all sims), and I've already played more hours of The Sims than most people ever will in their entire lives. Don't be paranoid; if it does happen, either roll with it, or load your latest save. +------------+ |The Repo Man| +------------+ If for some reason you can't pay your bills, the repo man will come and take away an item that has a value around the cost of your bills. To cause it, don't pay your bills. To prevent it, pay your bills. Yawn. +--------+ |Burglary| +--------+ It doesn't matter how safe you think the neighborhood is, there's always a moron who steals things from innocent people. The burglar will randomly appear, and he'll walk into your house, taking whatever he desires. Once he's on your lot, you're locked out of Buy Mode and Build Mode (to prevent you from cheating by removing doors or selling items before he gets to them). You can get one of your sims to call the police department, but since he only appears at night, your sim will probably be cranky about waking up, and he'll waste a half hour complaining while the burglar is shopping. Also, once it knows that a sim is awake, it'll haul ass after getting a few items. If the burglar is caught, you'll get a $1000 reward, plus the insurance company will pay you some money to replace your stolen items if in fact he did manage to steal anything. Sometimes, the insurance company seems to give me money anyway... I wonder if that's a bug? You can't intentionally cause this, and I don't really see why you would want to. To prevent it, put a burglar alarm by your doors. When the burglar steps close enough, it'll make the most annoying sound in the history of gaming, and the police will automatically be summoned. Just make sure you put alarms around EVERY exterior door. I thought that they only used the front door like house guests, so that's the only one I protected. When the thief appeared, he apparently SAW the alarm, so he walked out of its range to the back door. It sucked, he took all my nifty electronics. Grr... Anyway, there's a way you can guarentee that the thief cannot even reach your front door, and it's not a cheat. It's in the general strategy section, so take a peek. I have a correction here. Both Decesare (firstname.lastname@example.org) and David Singleton (email@example.com) correctly told me that the burglar can appear in the day as well as the night. He'll only appear if all your sims are asleep or at work, but that can be day or night. That makes home security all the more important. +----------------+ |The Tragic Clown| +----------------+ Props to Trans (firstname.lastname@example.org) for reminding me about this one. Some people in the world mean well, but they never manage to do things right. So is the same as the Tragic Clown, an NPC that just can't do his goals in life. To start this disaster, the first thing you need is the Tragic Clown Painting, found in Buy Mode under the Dectorative sort. Place it anywhere in the house, and have a sim look at it. Then, if that sim gets depressed (a mood of no better than +/-0), a pop-up box will appear and inform you of the Tragic Clown's arrival. Now, the Tragic Clown is out of your control. He'll wander around the house and try to cheer up your sims, but all he'll end up doing is cutting the Social meter even more than it already is. Your sims can interact with him, including by slapping him in the face, but he won't run away. There are only two ways to kick the clown to the street. The first and free way to do so is to become happy despite him. All you have to do is go about your life and recover your mood to at least +2 or so, then ask him to leave. He'll see that his job is done, and he'll go quietly. The other way to get rid of him is quick, but it will cost you $500. Once the clown is in the house, grab a sim and click a phone. Under Services will be a new option called Clown Catchers. Choose that, and you'll be asked if you want to pay the fee to rid yourself of the clown. Should you agree, a man in a black suit doing the Tommy Lee Jones thing will enter your house and find the clown. Then he'll whip out his Clown Gun and start blasting away. It may take a few shots, but the Tragic Clown will get captured, and you'll be charged the $500. Then the MiB will shoot and capture the Tragic Clown Painting, and then depart. There's one more way to get rid of the Tragic Clown, should he appear. I wish to thank the four billion people who wrote to me about it, too. If the Tragic Clown appears, you can destroy the clown by destroying the painting. Just set it on fire somehow, and the clown will catch fire too and die. To cause this to happen, just make sure your sims get depressed. Don't let them talk to anyone, starve them, prevent them from going to the bathroom, then keep them from taking a shower after they pee themselves. You should have no problem setting this one up. To prevent it, simply don't buy a Tragic Clown Painting. +-------+ |Illness| +-------+ Props to LightningStryke (LightningStryke@aol.com) for reminding me about this one, and even further props to giving me details about it. Your sims have human--well, simulated human--bodies. As advanced as flesh and bone are, they just cannot cope with disease. If your sims' meters are too low for an extended period of time, the sim may catch a disease. When he does, he'll start hacking and coughing and flipping out. This can lead to death if it's not treated. To heal him, you need to make sure he's got plenty of bed rest, keep those hunger and hygiene meters up, and keep him away from work. There's also a one-shot cure-all that can only be made from a certain item in Livin' Large. Here's a hint: it deals with chemicals. I've been told that the name of the disease is Guinea Pig Plague, and it's started by being bitten by an unhappy guinea pig. So, to trigger it, get a guinea pig, don't feed it, and keep playing with it. Eventually it'll get pissed and bite your sim, causing the plague to start. Now, it can SPREAD to other sims from sick sims, but without the guinea pig, it won't start. So, to prevent the disease, just don't buy a guinea pig. Ali Ateya Neama (email@example.com) adds that it helps to have your sick sims drink plenty of hot liquids like coffee, and to keep the guinea pig's cage as clean as possible to avoid further illness. Chili (firstname.lastname@example.org) says that there is another cure. If you buy the painting called "The Forgotten Guinea Pig" and hang it up somewhere in the house, IT PREVENTS THE DISEASE ENTIRELY. So, if you're paranoid about the disease but still want the stupid thing, then buy the painting with it. Just try not to throw up when you read the cheesy poem. ^_^ +---------------+ |Military School| +---------------+ If a kid constantly skips school, he'll be sent to a military school. In practice, this removes him from the family PERMANENTLY. There is absolutely no way to get him back, unless you want to reload your game. You can easily prevent this by sending the kid to school daily. You can easily cause it by keeping the kid home. +---------------+ |Social Services| +---------------+ If a baby is cared for correctly, you'll never have any problems. If the baby is neglected however, a worker from social services may appear and take the baby away. This could be good or bad, depending on your feelings of kids. +---------+ |Move Outs| +---------+ If two sims who are under the same roof absolutely hate each other, the "Fight" interaction may appear. After enough fights, the loser will say that he or she won't stand for anymore. He or she will then pack his or her bags and leave the house. In practice, this is the adult version of military school. The sim who leaves is gone permanently with no possible way to get it back. You can cause it by simply doing as many negative actions as possible, and you can prevent by doing as many positive actions as possible. +-----------+ |Cockroaches| +-----------+ Maybe I'm just tired, but that word doesn't look like it's spelled right. So the ultimate sign of a slob is having several dozen of these little buggers (get it? HA HA HA HA!) scurrying around the house eating all the pizza crumbs you dropped and were too lazy to pick up. No, I take that back: the ultimate sign is not doing anything about it. Should you have a dirty house, you'll probably see cockroaches and flies running around the house. If your sims are on free will, they may freak out about the roaches. They won't interact with flies, be they in free will or not. To get rid of the roaches, you can spray them. A maid and Servo will do it too as their normal routine. However, doing so will only cure the symptoms, not the disease. To fix your house, make sure it's clean. Wash those dishes, clean up those pee puddles, throw away that ash of your burned down Christmas tree, whatever. Of course, you could do nothing. Flies cannot be sprayed, but they will just poof away when the house gets clean. Roaches and flies will seriously chop the Room ratings, which of course puts sims in a bad mood. Picture this: PYRO: "Oh Stephanie, I love you, I love you!" *kiss kiss* STEPH: "Oh Pyro, I love you too, and your FAQs rock!" *kiss kiss* PYRO: "Oh Stephanie..." STEPH: "Ooo, Pyro, you're sliding your hand up my leg! You know I like that!" PYRO: "Uh... I'm not doing that." STEPH: "Then... then what's crawling up my leg?" ...Not a pretty sight. And stop laughing, it's never happened to me in real life. Really. It hasn't. Honest. To prevent the damn things, just try to keep a clean house. Washing dishes the moment your sims are done eating is definitely the big step. To cause it, just be a slob, then don't kill them off once they appear. Oh, and props to Rodrigo Argenta (email@example.com) for talking me into putting this one in my FAQ. +----------+ |17a. DEATH| +----------+ Whenever a sim dies, its corpse will be on the ground for all to see (except in the case of drowning). Also, the grim reaper will appear on your front lawn and head to the deceased. If another family member wants to, it can plead with Death to spare the dead's life. Several things can happen here... If Death is in a bad mood, it'll just blow you off and take the corpse. If Death is in a good mood, your sim plays a game of rock, paper, scissors with Death. On a win, the dead sim is rezzed for a second chance at life. If the sim loses the game, Death will either take the corpse, or he'll be nice and rez the body, but turn it into a zombie. The zombie thing is a mixed blessing. The sim may be alive, but it has a nasty green skin tone and loses ALL personality points. It's normal otherwise, though, so maybe it's not so bad. There's no way to save someone who drowned. He should've gotten out of the pool before Pyro started the fight! Once the corpse is taken, the body changes to an urn or a tombstone (depending on whether it's inside or outside the house). You can move this around in Buy Mode, and can put it in the house or make a little graveyard. Either way, sims can interact with the object, though the only option, "Mourn," only cuts down the Social meter. Ah well, it's realistic. If there is an urn or gravestone on the property, the ghost of the dead may wander around the house scaring everybody at night. This really sucks since ghosts can wake up sims that are asleep, and there's no way to get rid of the ghosts. Well, there IS a way, but it's awfully cruel. You can actually sell the urn or tombstone through Buy Mode for $5. I guess you really can put a price tag on life. If you really feel the need to kill something, I have a sure-fire strategy to do it. Go out into your yard in Build Mode and fence off an area that's two tiles by two tiles, but leave one section of fence open. Order the victim with a Go Here command to get them in the middle of the fence, then close it off. The person will starve, pee itself, and generally have a bad last couple days as it dies. Doing this will keep it out of your way while the rest of your people go about their business. If you try to set the victim on fire, it may damage another potentially valuable object. Also, by keeping the victim fenced off, there's no danger for your sims on Free Will to actually talk to it, which would of course increase the social meter. This way, the victim dies slowly, painfully, and lonely. Isn't The Sims fun? +------------------------------------+ |+----------------------------------+| ||18. OTHER EVENTS AND RUMOR KILLERS|| |+----------------------------------+| +------------------------------------+ All right, this section is where I describe miscellaneous events in the world of SimCity. I hesitated to do this because I don't want to ruin the game for anyone, but I've had a lot of questions on the little things of sim life, so I decided to put really common ones here. This will also serve to kill rumors about things such as cars and... and other stuff like that. +----+ |Cars| +----+ One of the most frequently asked questions is, how do you get your sims to actually own cars? You're sick of that carpool, right? The limo is cool, but you need a ride of your own. Hate to tell you this, but there is no possible way (read that: NO POSSIBLE WAY) to actually own a car that you can drive. There are a few websites out there that allow you to download cars as objects, but they're only decoration. You can view them, and some you can clean, but you can't drive them. +----------+ |Sim Teens?| +----------+ Another really frequent question is how long it takes sim kids to grow up into teens, and then adults. I'm going to break your heart again. Out of the box, it doesn't happen. Sim kids are eternally sim kids. Will Wright was once asked why, and he replied that if he showed kids growing up, it would mean that you could put some sort of scale of real time to the game, and The Sims is supposed to be eternal. You don't want to shatter the illusion of the game by adding a time limit, and if kids and grow, then adult sims should in theory age and die too. That just isn't good entertainment. There is a site out there that has created an add-on that actually fudges the game's rules, and it allows your sim kids to become sim teens. I haven't used it myself, but I've heard that this is a bad thing. I've heard that the add-on is highly unstable and very well may corrupt your game permanently. Also, I'm told the skins of the sim teens look horrible, so you'll have to put up with f'ugly, erratic sim teens. It's not worth it. Once again... Cars you can drive and sim teens DO NOT exist with the Maxis- authorized game. +-------------+ |The Old Prude| +-------------+ When you're on a date Downtown, all the standard interactions are still there, including the romantic ones. Now, here's where the game can get funny. There is typically a sim running around downtown. She wears gray and is an old crotchity woman. She can do whatever standard sims do, but you cannot interact with her. Her name is Miss Crumplebottom, although that could vary. On many sites and message boards, she's referred to as the Old Prude. Now, there's been bickering about whether she was in the game. Some said that she was there all the time. Some said that she was there only 1/40 times (2.5%). Some said that she was never there. Some said she'd only be there if you downloaded a particular patch from a particular site. Here's my take: I don't recall ever seeing her when I initially installed Hot Date, but after I downloaded the v2.0 patch from http://thesims.ea.com/us/ in February 2002, I saw her all the time. Will she appear when you play? I have no idea. Try it and see. Anyway, what Miss Crumplebottom does is yell at your sims if they do a PDA (Public Display of Affection). Please note that this has absolutely no bearing on anything; a message box will pop up with her repremanding you, but that's it. For such a small (albeit funny) thing, people made a big deal about it. GamePErson (Superjmike@aol.com) sends this... #################################################### If you look at one of the hanging chandeliers, it mentions the name Crumplebottom in the description and title. Further reading of the description tells how Mr. Crumplebottom was a puppeteer who was killed by a falling chandelier(the one in buy mode is a replica of Mr. Crumplebottom's killer). This may have something to do with why she yells at you for PDA's. Now if only that chandelier would fall on her too... #################################################### +----------------+ |Alien Abductions| +----------------+ Dawn (NIDDY7@aol.com) convinced me to write this entire section, and in doing so she gave me details on the alien abduction. Now, even though I know about it, I don't want her e-mail going to waste, so here's what she says about it... #################################################### Your Sim is looking through the telescope at night (only happens at night) and he suddenly shudders, crouches and tries to shield himself from something above with his hands and suddenly he goes limp and is lifted into the air in a heavenly spinning motion. He remains gone for 2-3 Sim days and then returns with his personality changed. #################################################### Superkyle1991 (Superkyle1991@cs.com) adds that upon an alien abduction, a sim's interest points will massively increase to Aliens afterwards (kids only). +---------------+ |Claire the Bear| +---------------+ Claire (she might be called other names in other countries) is a giant grizzly bear. She means no harm (really), but she has this really unhealthy habit: she likes eating trash. Or maybe she's just treasure hunting for old copies of Streets of SimCity (wasn't that the WORST Maxis game ever?), but whatever her reason, she randomly appears at night and roots through your sims' trash cans. This normally wouldn't be an issue, but your sims WAKE UP because of it. Well, at least the adults do; sim kids can sleep through anything. I don't know why she appears or if she can be prevented, but she doesn't pop up too often. Just try to send your sims back to sleep if you can. Tawnee (firstname.lastname@example.org) sends this [confirmed by Lunar34 (email@example.com)]: #################################################### When you see Claire the Bear coming to your house, put the wooden bear statue outside of your house and she'll wave at it. Put the bear skin rug out (I only know that the grizzly bear one workd, haven't tried the polar bear rug) and she'll start crying. #################################################### +----------+ |El Bandito| +----------+ Like Claire the Bear, this racoon likes waking all your sims up in the middle of the night by digging around in the trash. You can't prevent it, but if you have a loyal and obedient dog, it may beat the tar out of El Bandito before your sims wake. +---------+ |The Skunk| +---------+ Props to Chili (firstname.lastname@example.org) for reminding me about this. With Unleashed not only comes El Bandito as a pain in your side, but a skunk occasionally drops in for a visit as well. You can pet it, but it WILL spray your sims (and occasionally your pets). That will cut Hygiene to 0, which of course isn't good. If you're in a hurry, you can call Animal Control (under the Services option of the phone, but ONLY when the skunk appears). It will cost you a measly $30, and a SCAC worker will come and humanely take the skunk away. If you're not in a hurry, or your sims are asleep or gone most of the day, then don't worry about it. The skunk will peacefully leave after a few days on its own. +-----------------+ |The Chemistry Set| +-----------------+ If you have Livin' Large, you can buy a chemistry set. In addition to improving the Logic skill, you can create all sorts of liquids for your sims. The Logic skill is completely related to the potion's worth. If you have low logic, then the chance of creating a bad potion is much higher. Once you make any potion, you HAVE to have someone drink it to free up the chem set again. If you don't want to drink it, the only way to get rid of it is to sell the whole chem set. By the way, if you work on the chem set too much, a cop may pop over sometime and fine you $500 for sending nasty chemicals into the air. Bah. ORANGE - Orange potions turn the drinker invisible to other sims, and transparent to you. The sim can still engage in solo activities, and it can give social interactions, but it cannot receive interactions. Also, while the sim is invisible, it can spy on other sims going to the bathroom or taking a shower without repercussion. This wears off after several game hours. YELLOW - Yellow potions will reverse the personality of the drinker. This can be good or bad, depending on your needs. In fact, it's a common tactic to start a sim with no personality, then make and drink a yellow potion to get a perfect personality. Of course, if your sim is already the way you want it, then this potion is terrible. This one is permanent as well. LIGHT GREEN - This nasty stuff will cut ALL SEVEN MOOD METERS (not the Room meter) to very low levels of the drinker. Bad, very bad. If you happen to drink it, start by immediately going to the bathroom and going to sleep. When you wake, eat, then go to the bathroom again, and take a shower. That will fix five. Watch TV to fix fun, bringing the number to six. Just try to get social ASAP to fix that last one. DARK GREEN - The drinker will spawn an evil clone. The clone is outside of your control and may do things you don't want it to do, but any relationship change that the clone may have caused will affect the original. PURPLE - Drink this, and your sim will turn into a monster faster than you can say "Jekyl and Hyde." The problem here is two-fold. First, the sim goes out of your control. That's bad enough, but it also breaks anything it touches. TVs will explode, toilets will clog, showers will shatter, ovens will catch fire, et cetera. It wears off after a few game hours, but until then, you'll have to deal with it. RED - Red potions will make one random sim in the neighborhood fall in love with the drinker. That means 100/100 and a red heart in the relationship meter. This can be extremely good, as it's a quick and free friend. Of course, if your sim's lover is in the same room, you'll have a problem. See, the moment you drink it, the sim that becomes your soul mate will pop up in the same room and kiss the drinker. Just make sure you drink it in the room alone, and you'll be fine. Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net) corrects me here, and her words are confirmed by treekisser (email@example.com): ############################################################################### The love potion does not always make the relationship score go to 100/100. My sim, who had recently caught some dude kissing his wife, despised the guy. But, when he drank the love potion, the daily score (the top one) went to 100. However, the long term relationship score (the bottom one) stayed in the negatives. ############################################################################### WHITE - This potion will cure the Guinea Pig Plague. Otherwise, I don't think it does anything. BLUE - The only really good potion of the group. When this is drunk, the sim will max out in three or four random moods. If you logic is a perfect 10, you'll always make blue potions. Superkyle1991 (Superkyle1991@cs.com) adds: #################################################### another way to get rid of the potions are to invite a freind over he'll drink the poiton if he can't find any food. (He will leave if it is light green) #################################################### Jason Algarme (firstname.lastname@example.org) talks about the monster potion: #################################################### I've figured out that the monster has a behavior pattern. First, he'll find and paint on every accessible art easel in the lot. Then, he'll go use a certain number of things (breaking them in the process too). And afterwards, he changes back. If he finds himself trapped after painting every reachable art easel, he'll automatically change back. No doubt, this means that the duration of a Sim's being a monster is not time-based but action-based. And as further proof: At one time, I had the monster paint on only a few easels (in a trapped "room" of easels, of course). After 3 or 4 hours, all the paintings are done and the monster changes back, unable to reach any breakable things. On another time, I had him paint on a large easel "room" with many easels to paint on. It took about 24 hours for all the paintings to finish; and afterwards, he changed back. Not time-based at all, I think. #################################################### Jason Algarme also adds this... #################################################### It turns out that a monster has a minimum time duration of around 2 hours (starting from the time the potion is drunk) before he's able to change back. I trapped the monster by completely surrounding him with easels. After he finished painting and magically broke the TV again (which didn't took long), he complained for a while before changing back. So when a monster has nothing to do (probably because he's trapped or something) and his minimum time isn't up yet, he'll just complain. Apart from the art easel, the monster also has another item at the top of his list: garden gnomes. If there are any available, the first thing he'll do is kick one. Strangely enough, this causes all the gnomes to explode (and the TV to magically break). I can still lure him into an easel "room" though, so perhaps the gnome and easel share the monster's top priority spot. I don't know why the TV keeps breaking even though the monster's nowhere near it. Is it just me? Is it my game? A bug? An evil joke by the game creator, maybe? #################################################### +---------+ |The Genie| +---------+ Another nifty item you get with Livin' Large is the lamp and genie. By cleaning the lamp once per day, you can summon the genie to grant you a wish. Well, sort of. He'll offer you a choice between two things, and you pick one. After that, the game flips a coin to decide whether the spell went right or wrong. If it goes right, you'll have some nice stuff. If it goes wrong, well, you're the one who took the risk. MONEY - If the spell goes right, a pot of gold will be created. Have your sim touch it to increase your bank account, or just sell it in Buy Mode. If the spell goes wrong, a ton of bills will be created, and they're ALL red. Pay them now, or get your stuff repoed. LOVE - The genie will ask if you want the spell cast on a man or woman. Then, if it goes right, a random sim from within the circle of friends you already know will get 100/100 and a red heart, like the love potion from the chem set. However, if the spell goes wrong, that random sim will get -100/-100 and absolutely despise you. FRIENDS - This is, in effect, a weaker version of the love choice. A random sim from the target's known list will either become an automatic friend (but will not fall in love), or it will be really ticked off. FAMILY - This will either increase or decrease your relationship with one sim from among the family. Yawn. FUN - If this goes well, the genie will give you a random object with a high fun rating, like the plasma TV. Although you'll start having to pay for it with the bills, it came to you for free, which is nice. If this spell goes wrong, the most expensive fun object in your house catches fire. WORK - The sim will either gain one skill point in three random skills each, or it will lose one skill point in ALL six skills. EARTH - All plants that are dead will live again if this goes right, but all living plants will die if it goes wrong. WATER - You'll either get a free fountain or a huge flood. FIRE - All family members will max out their comfort and social moods if this works, but if it doesn't, you better go call the SimCity Fire Department pronto... AIR - You'll be rewarded with a half-dozen pink flamingos if this goes well. If it doesn't, your house will be overrun with cockroaches. By the way, if you have multiple lamps in the house, you can rub EACH ONE once per day. +----------------+ |The Crystal Ball| +----------------+ This is the only item aside from the yellow potion that can permanently change a sim's personality. Once per day, any sim can gaze into it, and it will reply with a little poem that's not-so-subtle. If you do what it tells you, you'll gain a point in a similar trait. NEAT - Keep a clean house and wash dishes the moment you use them. Wipe up puddles on the floor, and kill off any bugs that may be in the house. If those room scores are high, you'll gain a point of your Neat trait. OUTGOING - Just be nice to people. If the sim who is doing the test has a lover, just get romantic to take care of it. ACTIVE - Do things that tax the body, like swimming, working out, or playing basketball. PLAYFUL - Take the day off work and relax all day. Don't do any studying. Try to do things like play chess that don't end once the meter maxxes out. Keep the fun meter high to gain a point here. NICE - Like outgoing, just be nice to people to gain here. +------+ |Nessie| +------+ Karin (Karin1067@aol.com) writes: #################################################### Am I seeing things, or did the Loch Ness Monster just swim in one of the waterways on my neighborhood screen? Am I the only person who's seen this? If this is a new thing, can you list something about it on your strategy guide? I wasn't doing anything special, just had it on the neighborhood screen for about 5-10 minutes while I took a phone call. #################################################### Well, Karin is definitely not going insane (well, at least not about this particular thing), because both Da Moose Nuechtern (email@example.com) and Tawnee (firstname.lastname@example.org) have confirmed the existence of Nessie. Simply put, if you leave the neighborhood screen on for awhile, you'll hear a sound and see Nessie appear in the corner of the screen. You can also force Nessie to pop up by typing in Nessie as a cheat code. +--------------------------+ |Getting a Visit from Santa| +--------------------------+ Firstly, I'd like to thank Glynnys Chua (email@example.com) for putting me in the direction to do this. All right, think back to all the things you know about Santa. He comes in the through the fireplace, snarfs down a plate of cookies, drops off some loot, then tails it out of there. Of course, he only works on Christmas. Knowing all that, we can get items related to everything through Buy Mode and Build Mode, but it's going to take a lot of initial capital. For starters, you need a fireplace, which can cost you over $3000, although even the cheapest will work. Place your fireplace in a large room, away from bedrooms. Next, buy an endtable of any flavor and put it near the fireplace. Because you don't need to light the fireplace at all, you don't have to worry about setting fire to anything. Finally, buy a Christmas tree (found under the Decorative sort) and place it near the fireplace as well. Make sure all your sims are ready to sleep by about 11PM (or anytime before). Once you've issued the command to tell your last sim to go to bed, buy a plate of Granny's Holiday Cookies (found under the Miscellaneous sort) and place it on the endtable near the fireplace. Finally, get all your sims asleep. At midnight, if the cookies are in place near the tree and fireplace, Santa will appear. He'll eat up the cookies, then drop off one empty box per sim in your family. The boxes have an interaction called "Open Gift," and it will boost the Fun meter, although that's all the boxes do. However, Santa will also drop off one random object as a family gift. Finally, Santa will leave. Getting Santa to appear takes more than buying the items, however, and unfortunately, it's COMPLETELY random. Once you buy all the stuff, you'll have to cross your fingers and hope to Rudolph that Jolly Old Saint Nick will appear. Robert "pyramus" Matthews (firstname.lastname@example.org) sends an addition... #################################################### One more thing that I discovered: Servo hates Christmas! He really hates it. You can set up the Christmas tree and the fireplace and the end table with the cookies and expect Santa to come, but Servo will try to thwart his arrival, for some reason. The first time I tried to get Santa to come, I sent everyone to bed early and set out the cookies. Servo threw them away as if they were a dirty plate. I set out another plateful, and Servo got that one, too. I put out a third plateful, and by this time it was midnight, and Santa arrived just as Servo grabbed the third batch of cookies for disposal. Santa looked at the end table, shrugged, thought about cookies, and then, generous soul, left presents for everyone anyway. #################################################### +---------------------+ |The Evil Clone Glitch| +---------------------+ Bianca "Kaori" Armbrister (email@example.com) submitted this, and it was confirmed by Superkyle1991 (Superkyle1991@cs.com): #################################################### I don't know if this sort of glitch happens a lot or to anybody else but the second time my Sim used the chemistry lab it got the green "Evil Clone" potion; that's when things got really weird. Directly after drinking the potion, the clone appeared and then immediately left the house, assumedly never to be heard from again. Oh how wrong I was... One Sim day later, I had my Sim call a friend (Dustin) over, and who should he bring along but the evil clone!! The game crashed after the origional and the clone met each other but that has to be the oddest thing that I've ever seen. #################################################### Jason Algarme (firstname.lastname@example.org) also confirmed it and added this: #################################################### Every time I drink a dark-green potion, the resulting clone would leave because, according to his thought bubble, his Social is extremely low. Well then, why doesn't he just stick around and talk to somebody? Argh, I don't want him to leave! If he does, I won't be able to invite anyone over because the clone might come along and make the game crash. It's just a guess, but maybe an evil clone starts out with a low Social which would make him interact with anyone immediately. But it seems it's too low and he just leaves instead. Funny, it's never happened before. A bug that an expansion has caused, perhaps? #################################################### +-------------+ |Miss Lucielle| +-------------+ Running around in some lots in Old Town is Miss Lucielle, a psychic or voo doo woman or something like that. For a price, she'll read the fortunes of your sims or your pets. The fortunes aren't just novelty tricks, as Chris Moir (email@example.com) says (and Jason Algarme [firstname.lastname@example.org] confirms): #################################################### I've found an investment in fortunes can be worth its relative weight in gold, especially if you just never seem to have the time to get your Sims' needs met. There are certain fortunes (the one about finding love in particular) that will jack up all your needs to full green, and (the one about finding love, possibly another) also those of your entire family *pets included*! If you don't get the right fortune, just keep trying. The payoff is a family with all their needs met. Then just go home and do whatever you wanted. Repeat as often as you like and have money to do so. #################################################### +-----------+ |Nekkid Sims| +-----------+ All of us perverts in the world have wanted to see sims in the buff for whatever reason. There are skins out there now, as is (or at least WAS) the infamous adult censor patch. However, some are still curious as to how the sims are drawn when that darned COPS blur appears. Here's a way to work around it, brought to you by Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net), and confirmed by Zachslingo (Zachslingo@aol.com)... #################################################### As sick and perverted this might seem, my friend found out away to make all the sims in the house walk around, nude. While your sims are getting out of the hot tub, shower, bath, or vibromatic heart bed, you can delete the object [with the "move_objects on" code]. This will cause your sim to become a temporary nudist. #################################################### +--------------+ |Trick or Treat| +--------------+ This event was shown to me by TNT (email@example.com). If you have at least six jack-o-laterns outside your house, you'll occasionally get a visit from Death. He appears with his usual theme songs, looks around a bit, then goes to your door. He'll ring your doorbell, then run away and disappear. I suppose Death's inner child takes up the majority of his personality. This event does nothing tangible, but it's pretty funny to watch. +------------------+ |Breaking the Limit| +------------------+ submitted by Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net), confirmed by Richard Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org): It's possible to have more than 8 people in a house. If there are 8 people living in a house, one of the couples in the house can have another baby. But, this can only happen under one condition. First, using "move_objects on", you have to delete some of your sims so that there is 7 or a lower number of sims left un-deleted. Then your sim couple can have a baby. Its okay to have all people present once the baby has become a kid, though. If this baby successfully grows up, a new face will not appear on the live mode menu, but if you use the hot keys, you can select the kid that was just born. To do this, go to the last face on the screen. Then press the space bar. The kid's face will still not appear, but you can control him and see his mood and relationships. +----------------+ |+--------------+| ||19. STRATEGIES|| |+--------------+| +----------------+ Woo hoo! The fun stuff! Off the bat, a disclaimer: I make absolutely no guarantees that any of these strategies will work. They're simply built by the experiences and opinions of the strategies' authors. If you just plainly suck at The Sims, strategies may not help you at all. You are perfectly free to alter the strategies in any way you need to compliment your playing style, and you can even resubmit them here. Just remember that all the strategies worked for SOMEONE, so don't slam an author simply because it didn't work exactly the way you wanted it to. Okay, enough of that... +--------------------------------+ |19a. PyroFalkon's Alpha Strategy| +--------------------------------+ This is PyroFalkon's Official Super-Duper Happy Fantastic Strategy For The Sims (note: that's copyrighted). This is the exact way I play my primary family, the Falkons. I'll make notes here and there about variables, but other than that this is a very solid strategy. This is by no means the only way to play, and it's by no means perfect, but it's very solid. If you're new to the series, you may want to try it out (it's compatible with all The Sims games, not just Superstar). Pieces of it will be in other sections here, so you don't have to read every word of my alpha strategy. Firstly, I did not choose to create exactly three sims by rolling dice or throwing darts. I carefully studied strategies, did a bit of trial and error, and came up with the number. Remember that every sim has a maintenance cost, in simoleons, time, and other sims' time. For example, if you have two bathrooms and three people, SOMEONE is out of luck if their bladder gets full. On the other hand, more sims equal more money... but can they make enough in the early days to compensate their cost? That's the big factor that you must decide. I calculated using my play style and found that three sims (MAYBE four if I buy lot 6 or 9, the cheap lots) strikes the perfect balance. Read the rest of the strategy, then decide for yourself whether three is a good choice. I also did not choose their personality randomly, nor who they're "related" to. Basically, I need one couple and one extra. The couple is required so they can share a bed. However, getting a third bed is not too hard, so it's easily possible to have three unrelated sims. When I make sims, the number one rule is "No kids." At the game's start, you need money, and kids simply don't make it. I make three adults, with the names Pyro, Stephanie (sometimes if I'm lazy I'll call her Steph), and Pud. Pyro and Stephanie are the couple (married), and Pud is the extra (Pyro's brother). Again, you can call them whatever you want since relationships are not "set" in the game. Anyway, one sim must have 10 Active and at least 6 Outgoing. I chose Pud for that one. The other two sims are variable, but for them I balanced the 25 points between Active, Playful, and Nice. Once I finish creating the sims, I exit the Create Sim screen and go the neighborhood. I choose which lot I want and click it so I can pre-build my house. I usually have an idea about the style of the house before I start building. You know: log cabin, stone castle, row house, brick ranch, etc. I keep the style in mind as I build the walls; usually I only put diagonal walls for things like castles. I start off making the living room near the mailbox, about six tiles away from the sidewalk to allow for visitors to wander around a bit. The living room is usually 7x7 or 8x8. Off that, I build the kitchen/dining room combo, also a big room probably no smaller than 6x8. Then comes two bedrooms (sometimes one bigger than the other) that are attached to the living room opposite the dining room. The bedrooms are usually 4x6. Attached to each bedroom is a 4x4 bathroom. My next step is doors. I use the open frame for all the rooms except the bathrooms, where I usually use the basic walnut door. The exterior door or doors are always a bit nicer and will go along with whatever style I chose for the house. Third, I go into the floor tool. I carpet how I see fit, always changing the style for each room. I also create a sidewalk leading from the main one to the front door. Next comes wallpaper. Since I'm anal, I typically make sure every wall is coordinated with the floor in the same room. I usually go with a light/light or dark/dark combination (both the wall and floor are dark, or both are light). The outside wallpaper will go with whatever style of house I had planned. The next step is windows. Again, I choose windows that fit the theme and style of the house. I used to only use privacy windows for the bathroom, but now I use whatever I'm using for everything else. Finally, I check the roof and make sure it goes with the external wallpaper. I save the lot, then head into Buy Mode. I buy the cheapest computer, desk, and chair I can and leave them outside on the lawn. This is only temporary; I'll sell the items before the first day is up and get all my money back. I furnish the master bedroom (the one Pyro and Steph sleep in) with the cheapest double bed, cheapest end table, and an alarm clock. I furnish the other bedroom the exact same way, except I use the cheapest single bed. Then I buy the cheapest couch and the $500 TV for the living room. Then I buy the cheapest fridge, two of the cheapest counters, the food processor, and the cheapest oven for the kitchen. I arrange them like this (this was up in the FAQ earlier, but I'm repeating it for emphasis)... +--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+ | | | COUNTER | | | | EMPTY | | FRIDGE | | WITH | | OVEN | | COUNTER | | | | PROCESSOR | | | | | +--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+ Then I buy the cheapest table that takes up one tile, and three of the cheapest dining chairs. I put the table on the side of empty counter opposite the oven, and put the three chairs around it. I then buy the wall phone and put it in the living room somewhere, and the cheapest bookcase right next to the couch. Then I buy a burglar alarm on an exterior wall beside the front door. The bathrooms both get one of the cheapest toilet and the cheapest shower. I put sinks in the bathrooms only if I can also afford a dishwasher (which I normally can). I finish by getting the cheapest trash compactor and putting it in a central location. Now I save and go back to the neighborhood screen, looking at the price of the lot. If it exceeds 20K, then I've spent too much and need to start getting rid of a couple things. Usually it's far less, and that gives room for upgrades. For example, let's say I only spend about 16K. I can go back in and sell all the beds and get better beds, and I'll still probably be under the limit. Anyway, I upgrade however I want to, then check the price again. I'm aiming for a house that costs no more than 19,500, so I have at least 500 on hand by the time I'm done. Once I'm satisfied by the house, I go into the select family screen, grab the Falkons, and shove them in their new home. They immediately check the computer and newspaper, and they all accept whichever job has the highest salary of the four choices. (I'm aiming for the military, since it has the highest starting pay and no friend requirements until level 6.) After that, I go back into Buy Mode and sell the computer, desk, and chair, getting all my money back because less than a day passed since I bought them. I can afford to upgrade another object or two after that, but I still make sure I have at least 500 on me before really getting started. While Pyro and Stephanie bond (I need them to sleep together as soon as possible), Pud studies cooking. Make absolute sure that the sim you set to be outgoing is the one doing the studying. This will have major impact soon. Once Pud gets two points of cooking, I tell him to serve a meal while the other two go to the bathroom and take showers. With two points of cooking, there's no chance a fire is going to start. Once the meal is served, all three eat. Pyro and Steph bond as much as I let them dare before I consider them staying up too late (8 hours before the alarm clock rings, or 10 hours before the carpool arrives), then I send them to bed. Pud calls and hires a maid and gardener (the latter only if needed), then goes to the bathroom, takes a shower, and goes to bed. Every day, I check the paper if my sims aren't in the military career track. If they are, I don't worry about it. When a sim gets promoted, all money goes into getting an object that improves the skills needed to get promoted again. The beauty of all the sims having the same job is that I don't have to buy multiple items to pull it off. I want all three to work on their skills, but Pyro's relationship to Stephanie is the priority. Once Pyro and Steph are sleeping together and I have a decent amount of money coming in, I switch Pyro's and Stephanie's jobs to what they were intended to be. I always send Pyro to the Hacker career track and usually Stephanie to the Pro Athlete track, but that doesn't matter. What DOES matter is Pud remains in the military career track. This move will cut your income, but that little problem won't last long. If I have the money to spend, I put a second toilet and second shower (both the cheapest variety) in the bathroom attached to the master bedroom. Everyone works in their jobs until Pyro OR Stephanie require friends to be promoted. At that moment, I make Pud quit his job by keeping him home. This is where the plot thickens. If the Falkons are the first family in the neighborhood, here I save and stop playing with them. I make a few more families, move them in, give them phones, then switch back to the Falkons. Pud stays home all day and studies cooking. He may refuse to study if his Social meter is shot to hell (which it probably is), and if that's the case, he just watches TV and relaxes. Once Pyro and Steph get home, I start the main strategy... Pyro and Steph get to sleep on time, but bond first. While they do so, Pud goes to the bathroom, takes a shower, and then goes to bed. He MUST do that every night for the rest of his life. Let me interject here with a quick lesson on how sims sleep. Once they're asleep, they will sleep until their energy tops out. Now, if it's nighttime and you haven't given them any commands, they will STAY ASLEEP, and they'll wake up at 6 AM (when the sun rises). If you give them a command, then they'll wake the moment their energy hits 100. Of course, you can always manually wake them up. Okay, here I let Pud sleep until 6 AM, when his body wakes him up. That's PROBABLY when the other two wake up also, but depending on their job, maybe not. However, as long as they wake up AFTER Pud, the strategy holds. Pud immediately serves a meal while Pyro and Stephanie BOTH go to the same bathroom to relieve themselves and take showers. They should finish JUST AS Pud gets done cooking (maybe not if one is very active or very inactive). All three eat, and I monitor their table talk so no one starts hating the topic. After breakfast, Pud goes to the bathroom and takes a shower (which shouldn't take long since he's already pretty clean), then watches TV. If the others do not take the same carpool, whoever goes last spends a bit of time improving their lowest meter, which is usually the Fun meter. If the others DO take the same carpool, then they go to work together. By the time Pud's done watching TV, his Energy, Hunger, Bladder, Hygiene, Fun, Comfort, and Room meters are all quite high. The only bad one is the Social meter, but that will be fixed. If Pud is in a good enough mood to study, he studies cooking until another sim knocks on the door. He greets the stranger with a handshake, then I order him to grab another plate of food no matter what his hunger rating is. I'm going to interject again to give some advice. House guests always perform the same actions in the same order: eat, bathroom, TV. They may delay a bit before any of those, but they will get there. Remember that. The house guest (we'll call him Sixam, another one that I make a lot) goes for the food since flies haven't been attracted to it yet. At the same time, Pud is doing the same. As they eat, they talk, boosting Pud's Social meter as well as improving their relationship. Sixam will head to a bathroom, and I delay long enough to figure out which one he's going to. I send Pud into the other one. Then, both will go watch TV, further boosting the meters. Now, Pud may get bored and get up from the couch. If that happens, I tell him to study cooking until Sixam gets up from TV too. Once they're both done with the idiot box, I tell Pud to talk and give friendly hugs to Sixam. With any luck, this boosts the Relationship meter over 50, making Sixam a family friend. I keep talking and hugging; eventually, Sixam will get bored or hungry and leave since I don't allow him to watch TV or eat. Pyro and Stephanie return home with their pay checks. I buy items that boost their skills if I need to, or I start upgrading furniture if they don't. I prioritize the fridge, oven, chairs, couch, and showers in that order when I upgrade. Pyro and Stephanie work on their skills if they need to or bond if they don't. When the time limit hits, I send them to bed. Meanwhile, Pud studies cooking if he's in the mood and it's early. Otherwise, he goes to the bathroom, takes a shower, and goes to bed. This cycle repeats itself eternally. Pud is the chef who prepares Pyro's and Steph's meals as they get ready for work, and he makes friends to assist the two in getting promoted. Pyro and Stephanie are low maintenance since they're out of the house for a good part of the day, and they just work their hardest to get their paychecks. Once Pud becomes friends with someone, I put them "in the rotation"... in other words, I don't talk to them anymore for now. Eventually, Sixam will no longer be a friend since he's been neglected so long. The game gives a pop-up warning, so I don't miss it. I then begin with Sixam again, boosting the relationships with everyone in the same order as I met them (this is the "rotation" I just mentioned). This way, Pud himself can single-handedly maintain up to about 15 relationships, enough for the others to get promoted to the top level in all the career tracks except politics and paranormal. As I get money, I upgrade the beds, the showers, and everything else. Lamps are the last priority. Then I extend the house however I see fit, perhaps making a party room, and build my little empire from there. When Pyro and Steph are forced out of their job, I roll with the punches and try to promote them up THAT ladder. Once I'm finished, my bills can exceed $1500, but I make more than that in one day with the combined incomes of Pyro and Steph. Even if I'm a bit short on cash, I can take Pud away from making friends for a day to make gnomes. The only change I make in this pattern is that I eventually fire the maid and replace her with a Servo, although that's not a very high priority. The Falkons' house becomes THE party house on the block, and in fact they do hold frequent parties. Drew Carey practically lives there. Once I decide to have a kid, things change a bit. When the baby comes, it becomes Pud's job (and only job) to care for it. He no longer cooks or makes friends, he focuses all his attention on the baby. Once the baby becomes a child, Pud resumes what he normally does. Anyway, after I'm satisfied, I simply switch to another family and start anew. ^_^ rcoffelt sends a few comments on my alpha strategy... #################################################### I see our playing style is similar in some respects, so I must be doing something right, LOL. Although I have to say I disagree on a few things that you wrote. For example, when I put my Sims in their first house, if at all possible I do buy them a few very comfy items instead of the cheapest available. When I was first playing I tried starting out with the cheapest stuff and found the comfort value on those items weren't enough to get my Sims into a decent enough mood to even get a promotion. So now, instead of trying to put in two bathrooms right off the bat, I stick in one bath with one of the comfy self-flushing toilets (no headaches about plugged toilets, etc., etc. and it brings up comfort levels at the same time) and the cheapest shower I can find. I also add a chess table right off the bat, with two comfy chairs (no lower than 5). In order to do this, generally speaking my Sims start out with two rooms--no bedroom, just an all-in-one kitchen/living room/bedroom, and it usually has a cheap custom-made floor, and sometimes cheap custom-made wallpaper (but not always). #################################################### +----------------------------+ |19b. Relationship Strategies| +----------------------------+ +-----------------------------+ |A Prison Just Down the Street| +-----------------------------+ There are probably quite a few gamers out there who don't want to deal with 10 families. It really is a hassle sometimes to keep everyone happy while not being confused about who loves and hates who. Those gamers play with one or two families max. The problem is that friends are a very important part of The Sims, and for some jobs, the required number is quite steep. It's impossible to get friends if you don't make additional families (although the Townies in the downtown area of Hot Date relieve that a little), and some don't want to take the trouble. If you play like that, there's an easy way to get a bunch of friends with little muss or fuss. Simply create a family with 8 sims and set each to 10 Outgoing and 10 Nice. After that, move them into any open lot that you don't really care about. Give them a wall or desk and a phone. You never have to play that family again, since your primary family will do all the work of getting friends. If you want to be a bit evil, you could give this throw-away family a house, but make it extremely simplistic. Whenever I use this technique, I make a huge house with 8 little cells and have barred doors and windows, making the place look like a prison. Of course, the only thing that's required is a phone, but this makes it look a bit more neat in the neighborhood screen. +-------------------------+ |Getting to 100 in One Day| +-------------------------+ Before Hot Date, your sims could go from zero to 100 in the relationship meter in one day easily. If you wanted to bribe someone for their love, all you had to do was use the Give Gift action repeatedly. Another strategy was to alternate Hug and Kiss until you hit that triple digit. However, I found out through a bit of testing that this no longer works at all. If you repeat any command more than once, it may be rejected for no other reason than repetition. This changed my strategy somewhat since I depended on "Kiss, Hug, repeat 4 times" to get by. Now, you need to throw in variety, but it's still not too bad. House guests always do things in the same order: they look for a meal, and then go to the bathroom after they eat, then they seek to do something fun (usually they watch TV). Since you know that, you can prepare when you expect a guest. If you know someone's coming over (or you know you're going to invite someone), make a meal first. When they come over, they'll immediately be able to eat, and you can eat with them to pull the meter up. Your guest will go to the bathroom (obviously they should be left alone for that), then head to your couch to watch TV. Watch TV with them, and you'll pull that relationship meter up higher. After that, you need to Hug, Flirt, and Compliment. Maybe you can get away with repeating the three in the same order, but you definitely can't repeat twice. Kiss should be available by then, so you can throw a few kisses your target's way. Giving a gift, while no longer a very reliable way to boost the relationship meter, still throws variety into the mix and helps avoid repetition. Don't neglect Talk. Seldom will it fail, and it will generally boost both sims' relationship meters by 9 to 15 points. By the way, it's MUCH harder to maintain 100 as it was in earlier games. Thanks to the faster decay, you may not be able to get more than 60 (sometimes less) in one day no matter how hard you try. Just remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are close friendships. +--------------------+ |Everyone Has Enemies| +--------------------+ It's doubtful that one sim can be friends with every other sim in the neighborhood. Maybe it's bad luck, maybe it's a conflict of the astrological signs, but either way, some sims won't be considered a friend until they hit 90. That's a large time-waster for your sims, since your 10-point cushion will decay extremely fast. If one particular sim is having issues with your version of Pud in my alpha strategy, it may be best to give up and just move onto someone else. Unless every single other sim has been friended to Pud, he'll still have other options. Just make sure to make a note somewhere not to bother trying to bond with that sim. +--------+ |Marriage| +--------+ Many people have e-mailed me, telling me that they are having trouble getting another sim to accept their proposal. I've got a few tips compiled here, and if you can think of anything else, fire them my way. 1. Before hand, go Downtown and buy a Diamond Ring (it costs $1000). 2. Go home, and start the next steps as close to 6AM (but not before) as you can the next morning. 3. Cook a group meal. 4. Invite the person over. 5. Let the person eat, and eat with them. a. Monitor the conversation to make sure bad topics don't come up. 6. Let them go to the bathroom. If you have two, use the other one. 7. They'll want to watch TV if it's on. Make sure your couch is comfy. Watch TV with them, and monitor the conversation. 8. Depending on your cooking skill and oven, they may want another meal. That's a bad thing, but not leathal. Just repeat steps 5 and 6. 9. Once they're done eating, watching TV, and relieving themselves, get them into your best room and try a Passionate kiss. If that fails, you have no chance of having the proposal accepted. 10. If the kiss is accepted, give the gift of the Diamond Ring. 11. Pop the question. Now, it SHOULD work. If it fails, try again the next day. The basic rules you need to know are to keep your moods and the moods of your target as high as possible before asking the question. +--------------+ |Polar Bear Rug| +--------------+ submitted by Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net): #################################################### Using the polar bear rug, you can actually get the relationship score over 100 on both ends. I have my sims (Jim and Kelly) sit down on the rug. Both of them have 100/100 relationship points. Jim kisses Kelly, and the relationship score goes to 101/100. Then I repeat, and it goes to 102/100. I never do it more than twice, though, because Kelly will always refuse because of repetition. If I get them to toast, the points go to 100/101. But, when my sims got up, they indulged in a little passionate kissing. This brought the score back to 100/100. Also, while the score was at 101/100 or 102/100, the bars and the faces had a strange color. #################################################### Ali Ateya Neama (email@example.com) confirms it, but adds this warning: #################################################### But this act-cuddling may cause your Sims to stuck on the "polar bear rug", so press control+shift+c to open the cheat code command line and type "move_objects on" and press enter,then click on the stuck Sim, and press delete.Then click on the Sim's portrait and they will reappear. Or just move your Sims away from the rug. #################################################### +------------------------------------+ |19c. Other Strategies and Short Tips| +------------------------------------+ +-------------------------+ |Be a Slob and Hire a Maid| +-------------------------+ In The Sims, just like in life, there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the world. I hate wasting time, and I hate my sims wasting time too. That dish may not wash itself, but getting that last point of Logic to be promoted one more time is far more important. However, if the sim in question has a high Neat rating, it will try to wash the dish anyway. Though I can easily cancel the command manually, there's no reason to have had the command in the first place. I recommend that all your sims have zero points given to Neat. Room scores will fall a bit since they won't clean up after themselves, but they won't mind a mess as much anyway, so it will balance out. A maid can take care of the majority of the filth, and a Servo robot can take care of it all. Maids charge $10 per hour. That's ridiculously cheap since she'll single-handedly raise room scores and make the house presentable while your sims do something constructive. The only major issue is that she shows up in the mornings and leaves whenever she's out of stuff to do, and your sims may make messes at night. The (expensive) solution to that is to get a Servo. They cost $15000, but they take the place of repairmen, maids, and gardeners all in one. Plus, they can work whenever you want them to. I usually order my last sim that's going to bed to turn it on, and it'll clean the entire house as the sims sleep. Of course, you have to ask yourself if the $15000 is really WORTH it. Does the initial cost outweigh the fact that you get more time? That's up to you. I personally think so. However, maids are definitely cheaper, so if you do decide you want a Servo, make sure you have plenty of money and no major expenses before investing in one. +-------------------+ |Preventing Burglars| +-------------------+ If you want to ensure that burglars can't rob your house, try the following. Remember that the burglar alarm goes off the moment a burglar comes near it. However, a cop won't show up instantly, and the thief may have the time to snatch one expensive item or two. There is a way you can completely prevent thieves from getting anything, but it makes the house look a bit weird from the neighborhood screen. I used to do this, but because I've suddenly been obsessed with the appearance of my neighborhood, I've stopped. It's up to you. Anyway, here's the lot... A=Burglar alarm D=Door E=Entrance point +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | HOUSE | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +---------DA-------+ | | | | | | | E=>| |<=E +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | = = = = = = = = = = = = = = | | | | | +------------------------------------------+ If you notice, all sims enter your house from only one of two points: the piece of sidewalk on the edges of the lot. Because of that, you can try this... +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | HOUSE | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +---------D--------+ | | | | | | A A | E=>| |<=E +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | = = = = = = = = = = = = = = | | | | | +------------------------------------------+ You make one section of wall as close to those entrance points as you can, then slap a burglar alarm on them. The INSTANT the crook steps on your property, the alarm will go off. The cop will even catch him before he gets to the front door! Having two single sections of wall looks a bit ugly, but the tradeoff is that you ensure your items' survival. You could take a middle-of-the-road approach, balancing beauty with safety... +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | HOUSE | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | A---------D--------A | | | | | | | E=>| |<=E +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | = = = = = = = = = = = = = = | | | | | +------------------------------------------+ Placing burglar alarms on the corners of your house gives you an unfair advantage against the criminal, but he still may have time to get inside and swipe something, especially if your front wall is narrow. Of course, it's up to you. +--------------------------+ |How to Take Care of Babies| +--------------------------+ Babies must be taken care of, or they may get taken away by social services. They take three days to grow into children, and although that's a relatively short time, it can wreck havoc on your sims' moods and relationships. The first thing you need to do is offset a special room as a nursery. It doesn't have to be a new room, just a room without a phone and with something to sleep on. A TV would help, too. I prefer using the expensive recliner with the $500 TV. Whenever, and I mean EVERY MOMENT, the baby is sleeping, put an adult in that room and tell him or her to nap. When the baby wakes up screaming, it will wake up the adult too. Since the adult was only NAPPING, it won't be ticked off for a half hour as normal. Anyway, tell the sleep-deprived adult to do the following to the baby: Feed, Sing, Play, Sing, Feed, Sing, Play, Sing. Remember, the baby goes to sleep if its mood is satisfied and it's sung to. Now, if it wakes up, obviously it's in a bad mood, so singing immediately won't do anything. Babies are simpler than other sims in that they only have two "moods": Hunger and Fun would be the equivalent. There's no way to overfeed or overplay with your baby, so alternating Feed and Play are options. However, the adult sim needs to take care of itself too (especially if it works), and it needs to eat and shower. This is why you enter all eight commands at once. When whichever Sing works and puts the baby to sleep, the other commands will cancel themselves automatically. The sim can then do what it needs to, then go back and nap in the special room until the baby wakes up again. Only VERY VERY VERY rarely will that 4th Sing not work. If it doesn't, just enter all eight commands again. It's never taken me eight Sing commands to get the baby to sleep. Note: Don't worry about the Social, Hygiene, or Room meters while the sim is babysitting. The sim can recover once the baby is a child. Interactions may not be forced, as Ali Ateya Neama (firstname.lastname@example.org) says [confirmed by Chili (email@example.com)]: #################################################### Do you know that at the Sims Vacation, when a family having vacation whith their kids at at "42 Old Volcano Way", that when a parent is about to "Slide" and his kid next to him, the kid will tell his or her parent that he wants to slide too, then the parent will put his kid on the slide game...., it would be easyer if you turn off the " free will" option, so the parent or the kid will stay where they are. And I've seen at The Sims Vacation that some times, if a kid is asleep, his mother go to him and kiss him. #################################################### Samantha (firstname.lastname@example.org) sends an addition... #################################################### I was reading through your strategy guide about taking care of babies and noticed that you use 8 commands to quiet a crying baby. I don't know if it is necessarily true, but with every sim baby I have had, I've only had to use 3. I just use Feed, Sing, Sing. Sometimes a baby will fall asleep on the first sing, but most often it takes the second. I remember reading somewhere (back when the guide came out with the original game), that playing will only keep it awake. I don't know if it's true for all games, but that's how it's always worked on mine. #################################################### Robert "pyramus" Matthews (email@example.com) sends another addition... #################################################### The method I've always used is Feed, Play, Feed, Sing. (I don't know if the Play is completely necessary, but the Sim seems to like it and for all I know it tires out the baby, helping it sleep better.) Ninety-five percent of the time this puts the baby to sleep. If it doesn't, one more Sing always does the trick. #################################################### Chili (firstname.lastname@example.org) sends yet another addition... #################################################### ...I need for baby care the two commands, namely Feed, Sing, Feed Sing. My very first Sim family with Angela and Winfried ... has six children, Nicholas, Jonathan, Louis, Jerome, Samantha and Mark-Anthony and it worked perfectly with everyone of 'em. And: I figured out that they cry in a certain pattern. It's a while since they were babies (ah, they grow up so fast...) and I can't remember precisely the time but I am quite sure that they cried always around when it was going-to-work time (7 am) and somewhere between [midnight]. What I am deadly sure is, that with ALL six children, boys and girl, it was the SAME time pattern so I could keep an eye on the clock and always could slow down the sped-up time before I knew the child would wake up. Thus, what I want to say is: If you have a baby and know you want a second one, note down the crying times and you won't have nasty surprises with the social worker. #################################################### One of these days, I'll get another baby going to write down those cry times. Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net) sends another addition... #################################################### Before reading your FAQs, I always had my mother sims feed, play, sing, feed, play, sing. She would be finished before the last sing. After looking at other gamer's methods, I tried omitting the "play". It worked, but the baby seemed to start crying again sooner than it had when before. After that, when I was flipping through my friend's official Sims guide for Vacation, it claimed that a baby had 3 motives. That would mean that the play option was nescisary. The social workers come when the baby starves, though, so if you don't play with it, it will still grow up. To keep it from crying more often, though, you have to play with it. After many opinions, Ive come to the conclusions that Feed, Feed, Play, Sing, Sing, works best. The baby usually falls asleep on the first "sing", and will stay asleep for as long as possible. #################################################### +------------------------------------+ |19d. Strategies Submitted by Readers| +------------------------------------+ If you want to submit something, send it to email@example.com. It will be posted here with all due credit. +-------------------+ |Perfect Personality| +-------------------+ submitted by Robert Lanciani (firstname.lastname@example.org) Start a guy with zero personality and make a yellow potion. this will give you a perfect personality(absolutely guaranteed). +-------------+ |Boosted Start| +-------------+ submitted by Santarelli Andrew (email@example.com) For The Sims Hot Date, I made up a trick on how to start off really good and doesn't involve using the "rosebud"cheat. Ok first you make a family with only 1 person and make his active stat 10 and his neat 5 and the rest is your pick. Then, put him a cheap lot that isn't too expensive. Then just leave this family alone for a while....! Next make another family with the same idea (1 person) and make the gender of this family the oppisite of the other family. This family's stats don't matter. Put this new family in another lot that isn't, again, not too expensive. This time give this Sim a house to live in and then save and exit to the neighborhood once this house has all the stuff needed to live. (Food,sleep,bathroom.) Go back to the first family and dont give him a house just give him stuff that will keep him alive and stuff that will raise his stats (Cooking,Mechcanical,Logic,Creativitiy,Body,and Charisma). Now here comes the good part. The first family will train his stats up really high without a job with the Lawn gonme builder and the paint set and study up on all his skills so they are awesome! If you didnt give him a house and just build stuff on the lawn you won't have to worry about a job because the gnomes and paintings will help get you money. Once this guy's skills are shot up pretty high, call the second family you made and invite her/him over and get them to LOVE each other. Then when the time is right, POP THE QUESTION! If the person accepts, YAY! Next evict them from the house and build a new one. When the house just built a poor person with no stats will have another person with GRAND STATS and could get high on the ladder fast now thanks to that trick! Not to mension a big portion of extra money on hand! +------------------+ |Instant 40 Friends| +------------------+ submitted by Erik Ilacad (firstname.lastname@example.org) make sure your sim is alone in the neighborhood. then buy the potion set (i forgot what it's called) then make a red potion.. well, patience is a virtue! or try buying a lot of antique lamps and wait till the genie asks about Love etc etc.. if your successful with the genie or in making the red potion, a TOWNIE would fall in love with your sim.. then flirt a little, then propose. If they get married, all the friends of the Townie would be included in your Family Friend Count. I tried it once, and I had 40+ friends! But, as you know, the friendship meters eventually fall down. it's worth a try though! [Note from PyroFalkon: Here's an addition from Rita Bartish (email@example.com)...] #################################################### Once, one of my sims fell in love with a townie. [...] He was really ugly, with thick glasses, suspenders, bow tie and all. But my sim needed money so I let her marry him (I was planning to kill him later :) I was really surprised when I notised how much friends he had. 40 to be exact. And quite a lot of cash. [...] But on the other hand, sometimes when one of my sims marries a really attractive townie he/she ends up with hardly any friends/money at all. It's is not officially confirmed, but expirience tells me that maybe it's Maxis way of saying that looks ain't everything. #################################################### +-----------+ |The Newbies| +-----------+ submitted by John Godwin (nWomkensethwhatdude@msn.com) In the tutorial, Bob Newbie is the character, also his mood never ever is bad until he moves from the tutorial, give him perfect job skills, and then make him a Army Man because they don't need friends for a long time and just reel in the simoleans! When you have enough money, either save and evict or follow till Betty Newbie comes and then save and evict. +----------------------------------+ |Another Way of Preventing Burglars| +----------------------------------+ submitted by Sketchy Details (firstname.lastname@example.org) I like to place alarms at all lot entrances, but it mout them on a small guard station of sorts... I just make an octangular room as small as possible, and place an alarm on it. I place one at each lot entrance. It makes an amazing effect to use a castle wallpaper on the outside, with a door on the rear, and two basic rectangular windows on each side. It looks fine on the neighborhood view, infact, great. +--------------------------------------+ |Yet Another Way of Preventing Burglars| +--------------------------------------+ submitted by Rick Saunders (email@example.com) The burglar entered my house, and stole some of my stuff, but as he began to run away, the build and buy options came back on, and I was able to set a alarm right next to where he was, and build walls around the doors so he couldn't escape. I'm not sure if this always works, since I haven't had very many burglars since then, and they were all caught right away. +----------------------+ |Burglars Aren't So Bad| +----------------------+ submitted by gamerdude I feel that you have the wrong idea about burglars coming to your house. I love them coming. What you have to do is know what the burglar will go for. Computers and big-screen TV's are usually what they go for. Put these far away from the door with the alarm. You'll get your $1000 and nothing gets stolen. +------------+ |Super Skills| +------------+ submitted by Leah [Before I quote the e-mail, I would first like to publicly apologize to Leah. When I first saw this, I was 100% sure it was a BS technique because it certainly SOUNDS like one. However, I've tested it, and it works fantastically. Kudos, Leah!] This trick can save a tremendous amount of time. When creating any family, first make all the people children. Give them their real names but don't worry about personality, looks, etc. Then, go back and edit each person. Make them adults and choose their looks and personality. Move the family in, and look at their skills. Wow! Your Sim will have a ton of skills. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but always some. This is because children always have a good job rating, a B or something. When you turn the kids into adults, the good job rating stays and they get lots of skills. Your sim will have a "job" but you should quit because the "job" doesn't make any money or anything. Use this on any sim, choose a career track that matches their skills, and you will get promoted very quickly! +-------------+ |Monsterpieces| +-------------+ submitted by Svein Kvamme (firstname.lastname@example.org) Currently I have around 60 art-easels placed in my garden forming a square faced inwards. waste of money? Well, when my sim makes a purple potion, I move the chem-set into the square and order my sim to drink it inside. Close the entrance with a final art easel after your sim has entered the square. Once refreshed he turns into a monster and starts painting. Even if I wanted to, I can't make him stop painting until he have finished all sixty, and if you have locked him in properly, he won't go mess up you house. The mood bars is unchanged as long as your sim is a monster. When you know that a "monsterpiece" can make you anything between 40 to 300 simoleans a-piece, it is quite fun to sell them afterwards, even if it takes your sim all afternoon. 60 art easels made me about 7000 simoleans in my last session. And I would recon it took about 2 days to paint and sell them, so check your mailbox before you get started. Also it's not at all a social career path, but then again we are talking mad science-artists here... :) I haven't tried this from scratch, that is, I started with building gnomes, and when I had made a little money to have me going, bought 2-3 chemistry set and a 5-6 art easels. I don't think it is a ideal starting career, since these items are quite expensive and once in a while you get fined 500 simoleans for pestering the entire neighborhood. +------------------------------+ |Making Money Through Magazines| +------------------------------+ submitted by Robert "pyramus" Matthews (email@example.com) First off, I don't consider using the "move_objects on" cheat to be cheating; it's a necessity for just getting through the game sometimes, like when the maid get stuck cleaning the shower over and over again (you'd think they'd have fixed that bug by now), moving guests who are blocking others and just won't move, or deleting the flies before their incessant buzzing drives you insane. This new career requires you to interfere using "move_objects on", or else the maid or Servo will throw away your rare-magazine collection in their misguided cleaning zeal. When you buy magazines downtown, they're not initially worth anything once you get them home; they can be read or recycled, but they're just magazines. However, when the clock edges past midnight, they suddenly become collectibles, and they're valuable, too--collectors will pay $460 each if you delete them in Buy or Build mode. You can see that this can add up to a very profitable career. To get started, you need to put some tables outside the house. I use a row of end tables, which is the most efficient, but any tables will do. It's also a good idea to have a desk, a computer and a comfortable chair inside the house right beside the door. You'll need to start work early in the morning after a good night's sleep, a good meal, and a visit to the bathroom. All your mood bars should be as high as possible, because this is a taxing occupation. Call a cab. While you're waiting, have a seat and play at the computer to boost your comfort and fun scores slightly. When you get downtown, go to the Solana Towne Center or any other place that has a bookstore. Now, just buy magazines. Ignore everything and everyone. You can buy 40 magazines before your overall mood goes into the red and your poor miserable Sim starts complaining about lack of fun. At about 20 minutes per transaction, this will take 13 hours or so. Then it's time to head home, at which point your Sim will lay out his day's bounty on the outdoor tables you've provided. Keep on top of this: when the tables are nearly full, switch to Buy or Build mode and move all the accumulated magazines to floors or lawns--otherwise your Sim will go hunting for other surfaces to place the magazines on, wasting valuable time. Once the Sim has unpacked the goodies, you have very little time to get his mood bars up. First stop is probably the bathroom so he doesn't have an accident; then a quick meal (since time doesn't elapse in the house, the meal you prepared before you left is still fresh). If the energy meter isn't too low, do something fun (the virtual-reality goggles are good), and then head off to bed. The fun and social meters will still be very low, but that can be fixed after a good sleep. After midnight, you can switch to Buy mode and sell all the magazines for $460 each. A full set of five magazines costs 27 simoleons, so eight of each will cost $216; if you really want to scrimp you can buy nothing but Victor's Digest, at $3 each, for a total material outlay of $120. Add that to the cost of the cab downtown, $50, and you can see that for an investment of between $170 and $266, you've earned $18,400 for one day's work. Even a less single-minded Sim can make a killing; a trip downtown with a bathroom break, a stand-up meal, a game of pinball, and some socializing (enough to keep all your meters in the midrange) can still leave enough time to buy 15 or 20 magazines, which means that one leisurely buying trip a week can finance your entire simulated life, including renovations, parties, and vacations. +----------------+ |Monsterpieces II| +----------------+ submitted by Jason Algarme (firstname.lastname@example.org) When I make a purple potion, I make a "room" of art easels outside the house. Then my Sim drinks, turns into a monster, and heads into the "room" where I seal it off. The monster paints and paints and paints until every reachable art easel is painted. Then, he changes back without breaking anything (except the TV; I'll explain later), I sell the paintings and the art easels. Voila, tons of cash :D There is a rather odd bit about this, though. After finishing all the paintings in the enclosed "room", he'll magically break the TV (which is nowhere near him at the time) upon changing back. And only the TV gets broken, nothing else. It happens to me every time, I must add. Very odd; does this mean that the TV (or maybe TV's, but I haven't tried out multiple TV's yet) must be broken during a monster spree, and trapping him won't prevent the TV's destruction? +----------------+ |General Strategy| +----------------+ submitted by Robin (email@example.com) There's a technique I almost always use when starting a Sim family. When you move a family onto a new lot, all their scores are at max or almost-max. Pause the game, buy skill-building items, and make them start working on their skills immediately; set the game speed to Fastest. Don't bother buying a toilet or fridge or anything else, just buy the items you need for their skills. They will work until usually 5pm or so (they end earlier if they're working on the body skill). If it's something they can do sitting down, be sure to give them the most comfortable chair possible, because they'll work longer that way. Once they stop working, save the game and exit (don't bother selling the items). Evict the family (the items will be sold automatically when you evict them). Move them onto the lot again and repeat the process until the skills are at the level you want. You don't lose any money because all items are returned before the end of the day, and they gain skills quite quickly this way. I find it more realistic to have adult Sims who have some skills to begin with; presumably if you're an adult, you've learned some basic things during your life! I rarely create Sims who've got maxed skills, but I find things like "Cooking 3" or "Creativity 4" to be reasonable. I recently created an adult Sim with Cooking 6, Mechanical 0, Body 1, Logic 0, Charisma 1, Creativity 6; her backstory was that she was a rather flighty, shy, somewhat scatterbrained artist who had been sheltered her whole life (hence the lack of mechanical and logic skills). Also, with regards to finding a job using the computer, just download a downtown-enabled computer from a Sims site and create an Internet cafe downtown. Send your Sim downtown, have them use the computer at the cafe, and then return home. It'll cost you $50 for the taxi ride but I think $50 is a fair price for a job-hunting service. :) I suppose if you're really cheap you could put an Internet cafe on a community lot. +-------------------+ |House of the Damned| +-------------------+ submitted by Kenny Brubaker (kenny_brubaker@THE-I.NET) First, make a family of 4 adults and 4 kids. Their personalities? One really mean,one really nice, the rest whatever. THen move them in to any lot. Make a simple house that looks evil with NOTHING inside. Then have them go in and get rid of the door...! Now set the time speed to 2 or 3. Watch as they slowly decay. The kids will try to leave but they can't! The adults will fight, but THEY can't leave! Soon Death will arrive, and you get it. When they're all dead, leave the urns, and make a similar family and repeat. There will ghosts huanting this time! Beleive me, it's funnier than it sounds! BWAHAHAHAHA! +-----------------+ |Monsterpieces III| +-----------------+ submitted by Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net) I tried to create a room full of art easels to make my monster paint. I also added a few more rows for him to paint. During this I discovered something. When your sim drinks the purple potion, the monster makes a plan of which easels he can reach and paint, and the order he will paint them in. While I was making my monster paint, I realized that some of the easels were blocked off. I moved some others so that he could reach them. Instead, he skipped those paintings. He also painted the easels I had moved in the order that would have seemed logical if I hadn't moved them. +-----------+ |Farming 101| +-----------+ submitted by Aobh (firstname.lastname@example.org) For a single sim who only needs one "Serve" meal a day: Day 1: Basically buy ONE plot and plant tomatoes -as these regenerate and you don't need to keep buying more seeds/planting when you harvest them. Water and leave to grow. Day 2: Buy another plot, plant tomatoes, tend to yesterdays tomatoes. Day 3: do same as above. Now you should have three plots of tomatoes and by day 4 the first crop of tomatoes will have come in so "harvest" and "store" in a pantry. You can now click and get "serve meal". If your sim only has one "Serve" meal a day, then three plots of tomatoes (if cared for properly) is all you need to live on. Just think of the money you save! Tomato seeds are what, 12 simoleans to buy? How much is a fridge? Between $600 -$2500! Sweet. Also, here's some information about particular crops: Carrots: DO NOT GROW THESE! Not only do you have to keep planting more each time you harvest (planting takes FOREVER), but carrots also attract gophers / bunny rabbits that only a cat can deal with. And if you have a lazy cat then you're screwed. Tomatoes: Dream crop, regenerates indefinitely. Lettuce: Regenerates, but also attracts pests like the carrots. Beans: Can't remember, kinda like tomatoes, not as bad as carrots.... +---------------------------+ |+-------------------------+| ||20. CUSTOMIZING YOUR SIMS|| |+-------------------------+| +---------------------------+ One of the absolutely best things about this game is that a very large majority of it can be tweaked any way that you, the player, wish. Most things need a very decent picture editor that can change bitmaps (*.BMP). MS Paint is an option; a VERY crappy option, but still an option. Most people use Adobe Photoshop. All the tools I mention (aside from MS Paint and Photoshop of course) can be found at http://thesims.ea.com/ +-------+ |Clothes| +-------+ What your sims wear is determined by bitmaps called SKINS. Heads are also Skins, but they're independent of clothes. In order to see what a Skin looks like, open a file in the following directory: c:\[wherever you installed The Sims]\GameData\Skins Any one in that folder will do. If you notice, the skin tone is there if the skin shows any... um, skin. Make a note of that! A sim who has dark skin can't wear something that a light-skinned sim can, or else it would look really odd. The file name of the skin tells the game what exactly the skin is for (body tone, body type, gender, and age). Other sites have better information on skin-making, so head to http://thesims.ea.com/ and click Make Cool Stuff first to get some information. +---------------------------+ |Wallpaper, Floors, and Roof| +---------------------------+ You need a special tool in order to import wallpaper and floors, but it's not needed for roofs. The tool is called Sim HomeCrafter. The first thing you have to do is create your design. Walls need to be around 128x240 pixels. Floors and roofs should be 64x64. Once you're happy with your design, save it wherever you want with any name you want. Using HomeCrafter, you then set a price and description for your wall or floor, then you can import it with one simple click. (The exact details on how to operate HomeCrafter can be found in the program itself.) Roofs only need to be saved AS BMPs in the \GameData\Roofs directory. +-----+ |Music| +-----+ The radio stations can play your own MP3s. Find the directory \Music\Stations in your main The Sims directory. Then, move or copy any MP3 you want played into the directory with the same name as the station you want it to play in. You can't change the name of the radio stations, so you just need to try the best-fitting genre for your song. A quick note: the directory called "Country Dance" is empty and can be deleted. All songs that play on the country dance station are in the directory called "CountryD." Mike "Monsoon" Gibby (email@example.com) submitted a great way to keep your MP3s in other folders, as well as saving a ton of disk space... #################################################### I discovered an intersting tidbit in The Sims. You can also make the radios play whatever music you want by creating shortcuts to your MP3's. That way you can keep your MP3 collection organized in another directory and not have duplicate MP3's wasting space in your Sims directory. #################################################### +-----------------+ |+---------------+| ||21. CHEAT CODES|| |+---------------+| +-----------------+ I won't get too preachy here, I promise. Let me just say that I don't like cheat codes because they can seriously corrupt games. So, I don't recommend using any of them. Ever. That said, I know that some have their uses, and some players don't like playing honestly. Also, some of these codes allow you to see the guts of the program, which can be nifty to those interested in programming and such. So, I present the codes list to you. These have been taken from http://www.gamewinners.com/ To start any of these cheats, hit CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + C, and a little window will pop up in the top-left corner. Now you can type one of these cheats, and finish by hitting enter. You can type multiple codes at once as long as you put a semicolon between each. Result (Code) ============== 1000 Simoleons (rosebud) Add new family history stat to the current family (hist_add) Appends the route destination list to AllRoutes.txt every time a route is found (write_destlist) Architecture tools automatically set the level as needed (auto_level) Automatically import and load indicated FAM file (import <FAM file>) Automatically load indicated house, no questions asked (house <house number>) Check and fix required lot objects (prepare_lot) Completely flush app to VM file when running Windows NT (flush) Crash game (crash) Create moat or streams (water_tool) Create shrunk_text_#.bmp files (shrink_text <font_size> <text>) Create-a-character mode (edit_char) Display personality and interests (interests) Draw all animation frames disabled (draw_all_frames off) Draw all animation frames enabled (draw_all_frames on) Draw colored dots at each person's origin (draw_origins) Dump entire memory to core_dump_[date:time].txt (core_dump) Dump selected person's most recent list of scored interactions to a file (dump_happy) Dump selected person's motive contribution curve to a file (dump_mc) Enable debug flag to show outcome choice dialogs for social interactions (debug_social) End sim logging (sim_log end) Execute "file.cht" file as a list of cheats (cht <filename>) Floorable grid disabled (draw_floorable off) Floorable grid enabled (draw_floorable on) Force an assert for testing (assert) Log animations in the event log window (log_animations) Map editor disabled (map_edit off) Map editor enabled (map_edit on) Move any object (move_objects on) No tutorial object generation when tutorial house is loaded (tutorial off) Prevent web browser crashes (browser_failsafe) Preview animations disabled (preview_anims off) Preview animations enabled (preview_anims on) Programmer stats (tile_info) Quit game (quit) Read in behavior tuning constants from Tuning.txt (#import) Rebuilds entire control panel/UCP from scratch (rebuild_cp) Refresh the BMP_ resources for all people whose IFF files are writable (refresh_faces) Rematch dependent textures and regenerate bitmaps for all user characters (refresh_textures) Restore tutorial (restore_tut) Rotate camera (rotation <0-3>) Routing debug balloons disabled (route_balloons off) Routing debug balloons enabled (route_balloons on) Invisible objects (genable_objects off) Run series of random operations on unhoused families (fam_test <opcount>) Save currently loaded house (save) Save family history file (history) Say "plugh" (plugh) Say "porntipsguzzardo" (porntipsguzzardo) Say "xyzzy" (xyzzy) Selected person's path displayed (draw_routes on) Selected person's path hidden (draw_routes off) Set event logging mask (log_mask) Set free thinking level (autonomy <1-100>) Set game speed (sim_speed <-1000-1000>) Set grass change value (edit_grass <number>) Set grass growth (grow_grass <0-150>) Set lot size (lot_size <number>) Set maximum milliseconds to allow simulator (sim_limit <milliseconds>) Set time of day for unpatched game version (set_hour <1-24>) Set z offset for thought bubbles (bubble_tweak <z offset value>) Sets the neighborhood directory to the path (<directory path>) Sets up the borders of the lot with non-editable flag. Requires rotation (lot_border) Sets whether menu items appear for in use objects (allow_inuse) Show memory view window in debug builds of the game (memview) Start sim logging (sim_log begin) Swap the two house files and updates families (swap_houses <house number> <house number>) Ticks disabled (sweep off) Ticks enabled (sweep on) Tile information displayed (tile_info on) Tile information hidden (tile_info off) Toggle allowing visitors to be controlled using the keyboard (visitor_control) Toggle assets report (report_assets) Toggle automatic object reset feature (auto_reset) Toggle calls to PeekMessage within sim loop (sim_peek) Toggle camera mode (cam_mode) Toggle display of unavailable interactions in person control menus (all_menus) Toggle music (music) Toggle object compression in save file (obj_comp) Toggle quaternion transformations (quats) Toggle sound log window (sound_log) Toggle sounds (sound) Toggle web page creation (html) Total reload of people skeletons, animations, suits and skins (reload_people) Trigger sound event (soundevent) Write out an RTE file every time a route is found (write_routes) Write out behavior tuning constants to Tuning.txt (#export) +-----------------------------+ |+---------------------------+| ||22. UNCONFIRMED INFORMATION|| |+---------------------------+| +-----------------------------+ This section contains information I have recieved by e-mail that I haven't tested it yet. If you have experienced anything that is written here, please write me, and you'll get credit for confirming it. All e-mail here is copied and pasted, so there are a few grammar and spelling errors here and there. #################################################### Adyroo2002 (Adyroo2002@aol.com): I was in the newbies home on the tutorial and i was up to the part when you have to get a job for one member of the family.This is when it happened. There was only one job available, That was the thief career (dont know wot its called) I took that job because i had no other choice. After The tutorial Betty the thief was just going out for work (about 11pm) ,and Bob was in bed.Then About 2 seconds later it came up saying theres a burgler and it was FEMALE! now this was the first ever time iv seen or heard about a FEMALE burgler. #################################################### DiscoDuckJamie (DiscoDuckJamie@aol.com): The burglar is always male on the game. So if when you make the house all the doors leading to the outside are the girls restroom doors(don't know what they are called) then he can not go into the house. #################################################### Chili (firstname.lastname@example.org): I also read somewhere that the enviroment has a certain influence on the child's character, i.e. their likes and dislikes and their talents go after objects they had around them as babies, music, television, paintings. I don't know if that is true but some of my kids are very creative, maybe because there had been a piano next to their crib. #################################################### Boe Neiswenter (Loboe@citynet.net): I was using the Newbies trick with the needs to get their skills up. Bob just got a job in the law enforcement and Bettie didn't have a job. The newspaper was still able to be used to get a job when the message for the carpool came up for Bob. I wanted Bettie to have the same job as him. She got the job about 30 minutes sim time before the carpool arrived. Bob was almost complete with a skill and I thought he might be able to complete it before the car left. Bettie got in the car but Bob didn't in time. I was waiting for the phone call saying he missed work, but it never came. He missed work the next day and still no phone call. Then Bettie got a promotion. Bob missed one more day of work, this time receiving the warning on the phone. #################################################### Glynnys Chua (email@example.com): [Pet] ENERGY: i've tested this: i bought the same kind of bed for my cat and dog. and i've waited for a long time just to see them sleep at the same time with the same length of energy left (coincidence maybe). after some hours of sleep, i've suspected that cats gain energy faster than dogs, because when my cat was already awake, the dog's energy meter is just half way full... #################################################### Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net): As sick and perverted this might seem, my friend found out away to make all the sims in the house walk around, nude. While your sims are getting out of the hot tub, shower, bath, or vibromatic heart bed, you can delete the object. This will cause your sim to become a temporary nudist. #################################################### Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net): According to my friend's Sims guide, the rate of relationship change is not set by time. Something like a romantic hug, for instance, will change the long term relationship by a set amount. Also, I think that there might be a "hidden" relationship score beyond the 100. When a sim talks to another sim over and over, and the score is 100, after awhile, the top score will be lowered to 98 and the bottom score will go up by one point. I am not completely sure if this is true, but once sims get a little more comfy with each other and start to indulge in "romantic" behavior, their long term relationship score seems to increase more rapidly. #################################################### +--------------------------+ |+------------------------+| ||23. BACKING UP YOUR SIMS|| |+------------------------+| +--------------------------+ Let's face it: backing up your little guys now and then is very important. You never know when you may have to reinstall the game due to various things... a little brother trashing your files, a power surge frying your computer, or, in my case, being an idiot and accidentally wiping the hard drive. (Don't ask.) There are two methods for backing up your sims, and I'll list them both here. They both involve dealing with the computer's files, so if you're a technological newbie, you may want someone else to do this for you. But trust me, if you do either method, your sims will be safe. By the way, this is assuming of course you have the PC version of the game. Please don't ask me how to backup Mac files, because I have no idea. If you have only a few families to backup, I recommend that you use method 1. If you have a lot of families (more than seven), or you've got a bunch of downloaded or created skins, I recommend you use method 2. If you're paranoid like me, you could do both. ;) +-------------+ |23a. Method 1| +-------------+ PROS: =>Quicker of the two methods =>Only a few files are needed, reducing the backup file size =>Restoration is in-game CONS: =>Does not backup other areas (Downtown, Vacation Island, etc.) =>Does not backup installed objects downloaded from the net =>Does not backup created or downloaded skins =>Does not backup sims' relationships =>Minor glitches might occur if the family uses downloaded objects or skins =>Sims' relationships will be reset upon file restoration Whenever you save The Sims, a backup of the current family is IMMEDIATELY and ALWAYS created. The purpose is so that file, and only that file, will get uploaded to the official site if you choose to share your families online. However, that little file will serve another, more important purpose. Okay, the default directory to install the game is thus: C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims\ I put mine here: C:\Games\The Sims\ It doesn't really matter where it's installed, but you need to head to that directory. Inside C:\[whatever]\The Sims\ are a number of other directories with the name UserData##. The number at ## is the neighborhood number. So, if the family you want to backup is in neighborhood 32, you'll want to open the UserData32 folder. (The exception to that is neighborhood 1. The first neighborhood is in the folder simply called UserData. That's because the folders' names were set up forever ago, long before you could put together multiple neighborhoods.) Okay, so now you're in C:\[whatever]\The Sims\UserData##\. Inside that folder is a number of others. The one we want is Export. Head there. Inside C:\[whatever]\The Sims\UserData##\Export\ are probably a large number of files, especially if you have a lot of families. Sort the list by file type, and look for any file with a .FAM extension. Those are the very important files you'll need. They're named with the family's last name, an underscore, and their lot number. So, my primary family's file is Falkon_1.FAM. Copy any .FAM file you want to backup. If you've sorted the list by type, you can copy all .FAM files with only a couple clicks. Anyway, when you've got them copied, paste them in an entirely different directory for safekeeping. If you really want to be careful, you can burn the files on a CD or put a few on a floppy disk. If you have multiple computers, transferring the files to the other hard drive is probably good enough. When you want to restore the families, copy your .FAM files to C:\[whatever]\The Sims\UserData##\Import\. Note that the UserData folder does NOT have to be the same one. So, you can do this method if you simply want to move or copy a family from one neighborhood to another. Anyway, once all the .FAM files you want restored are in that Import directory, start up the game. Once you get to the neighborhood screen, make sure you select the proper neighborhood via the arrow keys in the top-left corner of the screen. After that, click the round button at the top that looks like a house with a plus sign. The game will look in the Import folder and will scan for .FAM files, then present them one at a time to you, asking you if you want to import them into the neighborhood. Doing so will overwrite any family or house already in the lot; of course, if the target lot is empty, then who cares. Note that a family MUST be imported back into the lot it was backed up from. So if a family was backed up from Lot 3, it must be imported to Lot 3, and none other. +-------------+ |23b. Method 2| +-------------+ PROS: =>Backs up everything at once =>Backs up other areas (Downtown, Vacation Island, etc.) =>No corruption will occur even if the family uses downloaded skins or objects =>Sims' relationships will be maintained even through restoration CONS: =>Takes a large amount of file space, even if you have just a few families =>Slower of the two methods =>Restoration takes place out of the game Open the C:\[whatever]\The Sims\ folder. Find the UserData## folder in question, and copy the ENTIRE folder to a new location. Again, you could burn it on a CD, but it's far too large to put on a disk. You could again also put it on a different computer for safekeeping. Do this for each neighborhood you want saved. It will take awhile to copy it and paste it somewhere. If you're crazy and have 20 families in 40 neighborhoods, you'll be sitting there for a LONG time... however, EVERYTHING will be saved, including sim relationships. Once that's done, copy the ENTIRE GameData folder. That too is in C:\[whatever]\The Sims\, but there's only one of them, no matter how many families and neighborhoods you may have. The GameData folder contains all your DOWNLOADED skins, objects, wallpaper, and all that stuff. I stress "downloaded" because anything installed due to an expansion won't be there, but then, you won't have to backup anything that's already on a CD. Anyway, keep the UserData## and GameData backup folders in the same place. When you want to restore it, copy and paste all folders from the backup location to the C:\[whatever]\The Sims\ folder. You'll get a warning about overwriting the folders, but go ahead and do it... that's the whole point of backing them up, after all. ;) Once the paste is complete, run the game. It'll be like it was never reinstalled. ====================================================== | PART 4: FAQ STUFF | ====================================================== +----------------------+ |+--------------------+| ||24. CONTRIBUTOR LIST|| |+--------------------+| +----------------------+ I would like to sincerely thank everyone on this list. Even if you did not recieve a personal reply from me, consider yourself deeply thanked anyway. +------------+ |Pre-FAQ v1.0| +------------+ Clay (firstname.lastname@example.org) contributed some information on relationship meters RHunterLand (RHunterLand@netscape.net) contributed several uses for kids Robert Lanciani (email@example.com) contributed another way to electrocute sims and a strategy to get a perfect personality Kain15840 (Kain15840@aol.com) contributed a detail on the toy rocket launcher SweetE8907 (firstname.lastname@example.org) testified that the lifetime relationship meter can be brought to 100 in one day Santarelli Andrew (email@example.com) sent me a strategy to get a good starting boost Erik Ilacad (firstname.lastname@example.org) gave me a strategy on relationships John Godwin (nWomkensethwhatdude@msn.com) sent a strategy on the tutorial family Death Trav (email@example.com) showed me a way to decrease fire damage Sheepgood detailed the lifetime relationship meter a bit Roel Kroesen (firstname.lastname@example.org) sent me information on the "Talk" phone option Both Decesare (email@example.com) and David Singleton (firstname.lastname@example.org) corrected me by saying that the burglar can appear in the day as well as night Erik Swinson (CronoFiend@msn.com) and Samuel Loucks (email@example.com) found a use for the Body skill Sketchy Details (firstname.lastname@example.org) gave a nifty way to prevent burglars from getting inside the house Glynnys Chua (email@example.com) corrected the time that children go to school Florist Lillia (firstname.lastname@example.org) posed a theory about children's personalities Samantha (email@example.com) sent an addition to my strategy on taking care of babies Glynnys Chua (firstname.lastname@example.org) showed me how to get Santa Claus to appear Karmo04 (email@example.com) argued about the value of giving gifts Green Devil (firstname.lastname@example.org) specified exactly how sim kids' personalities are determined Mike 'Monsoon' Gibby (email@example.com) submitted a great way to save disk space if you want MP3s on your radio stations Rick Saunders (firstname.lastname@example.org) submitted another way to catch burglars Darkflash5 (Darkflash5@aol.com) gave me some exact numbers on the gain of relationship points when you give a gift Joseph Bull (JoeBull@HotPOP.com) testifies that it is indeed possible to live off of painting pictures only gamerdude sent a reason why burglars may not be so bad after all Leah submitted one hell of a fast and free way to gain skills Rob Sevening (email@example.com) told me that gift-giving is actually a rejectable interaction Trans (firstname.lastname@example.org) pointed out that I missed the Tragic Clown disaster LightningStryke (LightningStryke@aol.com) reminded me about the Illness disaster LightningStryke (LightningStryke@aol.com) gave me more details about the Illness disaster Rodrigo Argenta (email@example.com) talked me into putting the cockroaches in the disaster section Doyle Brigman (firstname.lastname@example.org) reminded me about the third method to raise the Body skill Dawn (NIDDY7@aol.com) sent me details on alien abductions keeba (Keeba@hedstorm.net) reminded me about the second birdcage Kris Walker (email@example.com) reminded me about the cat/goldfish conflict KoRnRulz1987 (KoRnRulz1987@aol.com) gave me info on winning Vacation Island games Cameron (GldnGirl89@aol.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information Adyroo2002 (Adyroo2002@aol.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information Bianca "Kaori" Armbrister (firstname.lastname@example.org) added something to Unconfirmed Information Ali Ateya Neama (email@example.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information Karin (Karin1067@aol.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information rcoffelt sent me a few comments on my alpha strategy Svein Kvamme (firstname.lastname@example.org) submitted a strategy Ali Ateya Neama (email@example.com) also had one minor addition to the Guinea Pig Plague disaster Iua Yha (firstname.lastname@example.org), Justin Miller (email@example.com), and Tawnee (firstname.lastname@example.org) all confirmed that there are substitutes to the dancers in the cake, and Justin told me the exact reason why Da Moose Nuechtern (email@example.com) and Tawnee (firstname.lastname@example.org) confirmed the information about the Loch Ness Monster Tawnee (email@example.com) also added something to Unconfirmed Information Sunlightbeauty (Sunlightbeauty@aol.com) told me about the voodoo chick in Old Town Robert "pyramus" Matthews (firstname.lastname@example.org) sent a strategy, a method for taking care of babies, and an addition to the Santa Claus event DiscoDuckJamie (DiscoDuckJamie@aol.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information Superkyle1991 (Superkyle1991@cs.com) confirmed something in Unconfirmed Information, added a small note to the chemistry set, and added a small note to the alien abduction event GamePErson (Superjmike@aol.com) added a tidbit to the notes on the Old Prude Lunar34 (email@example.com) confirmed that there Claire reacts to bear-related things outside your house Chili (firstname.lastname@example.org) sent a prevention to the Guinea Pig Plague, another tip to taking care of babies, added something to Unconfirmed Information, and confirmed that parents on Free Will will interact with their babies (such as tucking them in) Matthew Wheway (email@example.com) reminded me that animals will eat people food Jason Algarme (firstname.lastname@example.org) gave me additional information on monster potions, a modification to a reader strategy, and confirmed the Evil Clone glitch Chris Moir (email@example.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information Boe Neiswenter (Loboe@citynet.net) added a piece of unconfirmed information Jason Algarme (firstname.lastname@example.org) expanded his information on the monster potion and confirmed one piece of unconfirmed information Robin (email@example.com) sent a me a general strategy Kenny Brubaker (kenny_brubaker@THE-I.NET) sent me a rather demonic (but fun) strategy Glynnys Chua (firstname.lastname@example.org) added a piece of unconfirmed information Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net) sent me an insane amount of information, most of which are pieces of unconfirmed information Zachslingo (Zachslingo@aol.com) confirmed a piece of unconfirmed information At least five or six people told me that sims can't die from happiness; they spontaneously combust +------------+ |For FAQ v1.1| +------------+ Joe Nobody (email@example.com) sent me a tip on the stalker Brad Harris (MasterKamSolusar@msn.com) told me that stalkers cannot ascend stairs +------------+ |For FAQ v1.2| +------------+ Ali Ateya Neama (firstname.lastname@example.org) confirmed one piece of unconfirmed information TNT (email@example.com) added something to Other Events and Rumor Killers +------------+ |For FAQ v1.3| +------------+ IcedTeaLatte (IcedTeaLatte@aol.com) told me a bit about the modeling career Rita Bartish (firstname.lastname@example.org) refined Erik Ilacad's strategy Several people told me that the stalker could ascend stairs +------------+ |For FAQ v1.4| +------------+ Matt Campbell (email@example.com) showed me that the butler takes cares care of babies! treekisser (firstname.lastname@example.org) confirmed a piece of unconfirmed information +------------+ |For FAQ v1.5| +------------+ Raf (email@example.com) added a tip for the butler Aobh (firstname.lastname@example.org) gave me a strategy for farming +------------+ |For FAQ v1.6| +------------+ jagdtiger (email@example.com) added a tip on children Forelli_Boy (firstname.lastname@example.org) pointed out something about friends +------------+ |For FAQ v1.7| +------------+ Richard Nelson (email@example.com) confirmed a piece of unconfirmed information +------------+ |For FAQ v1.8| +------------+ An uncountable number of people have told me the second way to get rid of the Tragic Clown +---------------------+ |+-------------------+| ||25. VERSION HISTORY|| |+-------------------+| +---------------------+ v1.9 (26 August 2004) The Sims 2 (and my 22nd birthday) is around the corner, less than a month away. I'm already in training for that marathon, getting my body used to less than an hour of sleep per night, all for your eventual benefit! That said, there's still a little unfinished business I have with this FAQ. I've had a lot of readers ask me about getting up in star ranking, especially around the 2.0 range. Apparently no one bothers to look at the details of the job screen, so it's my job to set everyone straight. That's not a bad thing, though, because I need the writing practice. So, I've rewritten almost the entire superstar section, and its new format (especially the brand-spanking new Synopsis subsection) should answer all your questions, and should start deferring all the duplicate e-mails. As always, write to me if you have any further questions or comments. v1.8 (24 April 2004) I guess I've got one more update ready. (No wonder CJayC recommends that we never say an FAQ's version as "Final.") Again, this update SHOULD BE it for this FAQ. That said, I'm always available by e-mail for questions you may have, as long as I didn't already answer it in the FAQ. Okay, three tiny updates. First, I made a mistake in how to back up your sims, so that's been fixed. Second, I read over my Alpha strategy again just to proofread it and all that. Third, I've added the second way to get rid of the Tragic Clown, so that's in the Disasters section. v1.7 (2 January 2004) Happy new year, everyone! I hope your holidays were as good as mine, and you got plenty of loot! (With any luck, you got a game I covered in an FAQ.) Okay, this time up, we've got only a couple things to add. First, one piece of unconfirmed information has been confirmed, and it's been moved to the end of Other Events and Rumor Killers. Second, a new section has been added toward the end called Backing Up Your Sims. This will list the two methods to back up your files in case you have to reinstall your game, or if you're just making sure everything is safe. v1.6 (22 November 2003) Added a small advantage to having children at the end of the children section. Added one note on getting friends in the friend section. Changed the wording of the Sim Teens rumor killer because of a minor online altercation. Also rewrote some of my Alpha strategy. v1.5 (17 November 2003) One piece of unconfirmed information (about the modeling career) has been confirmed, so it's been moved to the main FAQ. Additionally, the confirmer gave some info on the music career, too. Added one tip on the butler. A reader strategy for farming has been added. v1.4 (10 November 2003) Matt Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) gave me a tip on the butler. Instead of just adding that to the FAQ, I've copied the entire "Hired Help" subsection which, up until now, was only a part of my Makin' Magic FAQ. The Hired Help subsection can be found under the Magic Section. Also, a piece of unconfirmed information on the Red potion has been confirmed. v1.3a (1 November 2003) It's been nearly a year, but unfortunately my site is down for the count. Luckily, IGN has decided to host my FAQs too, so it's all good. A new copyright notice is the only change. v1.3 (24 June 2003) Many people have told me that the stalker can go upstairs, so I've deleted Brad Harris's contribution. A reader told me that the modeling career is not as cheap as I thought it was, so that's under the Heidi Klum section. Finally, a reader refined a reader strategy. v1.2 (11 June 2003) One piece of unconfirmed information has been confirmed, so it's been moved to relationship strategies. Also, one reader has contributed something to Other Events and Rumor Killers. v1.1a (31 May 2003) No new info, but this FAQ is now on my website. Head to the URL provided at the bottom of the FAQ to check it out. v1.1 (26 May 2003) Added two small reader contributions about the stalker. v1.0 (17 May 2003) First release, sorta... +--------------------+ |+------------------+| ||26. COPYRIGHT INFO|| |+------------------+| +--------------------+ This document is copyright 2003 for J. "PyroFalkon" Habib. If you plan to use any of it as part of another FAQ, you need my permission first. However, if you plan to post it on a website or e-mail it to someone or whatnot, you may do so without my permission AS LONG AS IT IS NOT ALTERED IN ANY WAY. I'd like you to drop me an e-mail so I know where you're going to take it, but I will not require you to do so. You may download it or print it at your leisure. The most updated version will always be found at these sites: http://www.gamefaqs.com/ http://faqs.ign.com/ Other sites may have up-to-date versions, but check GameFAQs or IGN first. +------------------+ |+----------------+| ||27. CONTACT INFO|| |+----------------+| +------------------+ If any information is incorrect, or you wish to submit something, please e-mail me. My address is found on the bottom of the FAQ. Credit will be given where it's due. If you submit something to me, I will credit you by the name you signed in the message body or by the name attached to your e-mail. I will also post your e-mail address unless you specifically tell me not to. If you wish to be e-mailed when this FAQ is updated, send your request to me. If you have a junk mail protector on your e-mail program, make sure you put my e-mail address on the safe list, or my messages may not get through. The number one question I get asked is generally: "Do you have a download of The Sims?" The number two question is: "Can I have a CD code for The Sims?" Let me answer those two right now: no and no. If you write me with either of those questions, you're a moron. First of all, I don't know of any sites with a warez copy the game, and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you. As far as the CD codes go, I don't want to deal with thinking I gave you a code to a game that you DID download from a site. There are ways to recover your CD code if you lose the case aside from asking random people online for their number. Okay, that ends that rant. email@example.com Good luck in The Sims: Superstar, and may all your sims have the fame of Brittney Spears and the sex appeal of J'Lo!