Thursday, January 31, 2008

Creatures of the Nightclub

Greetings, one and all? How the heck are you doing? Uh huh…yeah. Good to hear. I'm doing okay myself, thanks for asking. A little hungry today because I basically forgot to eat yesterday (that's what happens when you have a busy productive life…or so I'm told). Actually, I was just too lazy to cook anything, and you know how sometimes it's just annoying to have to stop what you're doing to put something together to stuff in your mouth? Well, yeah…it was like that. Luckily, I have my feed sack size bag of sunflower seeds here with me at work, and if I eat enough of those, I just might survive till the end of the day (if not, well, it's been a pleasure knowing everyone).

I used to hear from certain readers of this page fairly regularly during it's Sims 1 era, not so much anymore, but I know most of the old readers had a pretty good memory for details when it came to the stories posted here. Now, I'm not sure how much of the Sims 1 section anyone who reads it now is familiar with, but if you are, you might have picked out some of the characters who have "occurred" in both the Sims 1 and Sims 2 parts. Well, we've got more coming up today, so hold on to your hats. I try not to do that just for the sake of doing it, because new sims deserve a chance in the spotlight too, but some sims I just miss a little from time to time and don't feel their stories were entirely over yet. However, before we get to that, let's focus on a previously unseen lot in the neighborhood...

Your average, everyday mausoleum…or is it?

Yes, we've seen the Silent Grove Cemetery, established by the late Captain Jack Daniels, but this ain't it. No, this is actually a cleverly disguised residential lot that LOOKS like a community lot. Remember the deserted swimming pool home of Shaggy Rogers? Yeah, it's sort of like that. And yes, I know, there is a ridiculous number of tombstones in the Monkeesim neighborhood, but I can't help it if it's a dangerous place to live (I also can't help it if I didn't realize it was possible to die from hail, since that's not mentioned in anything I've read).

The ghosts definitely add to the overall charm of the place...

Yes, this is no ordinary mausoleum…it's the home of the Everdark family. See, a while back, after Castle Witte was completed, I started to feel there was just too much unused space in the castle. There were several tower rooms with no real use, and while there were plenty of ways to keep busy in the castle, they just weren't being put to very good use by Alfred or Zondra, the castle's owners. Thus, four fun loving sims from the Everdark family moved into the castle with Alfred to help liven things up. Eventually, they all wound up getting bitten by either Alfred or Zondra, and their late night rowdy behavior started to annoy Alfred a little, so the Everdarks eventually had to find their own place, and here they are…

These aren't any ordinary bats…they're special DOOR OPENING bats...

The whole vampire thing started with the actual "head vampire", Count Derek Wren, who bit Amy Andrews, one of my first TS2 sims. Well, she didn't want the whole vampirism thing, so she passed it on to Alfred Witte, who's been a vampire ever since. Alfred eventually holed himself up in his creepy castle with his wife, Zondra, and they don't get out much. Three vampires was enough for me for a long time, but eventually, I realized Alfred and Zondra were wasting their "gift". Staying up all night in a creepy castle is all good and fine, but you're wasting the whole "no decay of needs" thing if you don't get out on the town and party all night long. That's where the Everdarks come in. Meet Melyssa, Nicholas, Kali, and Kyle.

Not exactly suits and gowns, but they've got the black thing going on...

I confess I have a thing for sim vampires. I'm not a real fan of vampire movies or TV shows, but I AM a fan of making the sim type stalk around and turn into bats and "bleh" every passing sim. Heck, why have special powers if you're not going to use them? That was my thinking, anyway. I've never really tried to orchestrate a romance between a normal sim and a sim vampire before, but it doesn't seem like it would work out all that well. Thus, one might find it terribly convenient that Nicholas and Melyssa are romantically involved, and Kyle and Kali are a couple as well. Heck, if any of the four were involved with non-vampires, they'd probably just bite them by accident while necking anyway. At any rate, the foursome's favorite hangout was the Freetime Lounge, and the fish tanks seemed to be a real point of interest for some reason.

Nicholas: "No, I'm fairly certain you're not supposed to eat them…"

The bad news for the Everdarks (and the Wittes too, for that matter) is that when I first designed the Monkeesim neighborhood, there was no such thing as vampires, so I used "vampirism" as a turn-off for most of my sims so there wouldn't be any relationships affected by turn-offs. In other words, there are a lot of "haters" around town with a dim view of vampires. The Everdarks are just like the rest of the sims around town, though, aside from the whole ageless and immortal thing…and their tendency to sleep in coffins. And rather than drinking blood like those creepy TV vampires, the Everdarks drink the same thing every other sim in town does - booze (or "juice" if you believe what the game tries to tell you).

Melyssa: "What's a gal got to do to get a Bloody Mary around here?"

My wife actually dislikes the sim vampires, unlike me. She'd gone for a while without playing the game, and there weren't any around when she first started…then, when she came back, there they were. Like the werewolves, she didn't know anything about their behavior, and assumed they would somehow harm her sim without provocation. I tried to set her straight, but…well, she still doesn't like them. Despite the strong anti-vampire sentiment, there were some sims like Kitty Wilson who took the time to discover the Everdarks were more than just a pain in the neck. I have sims who hate red heads too, and they managed to overcome that, it just takes a little doing. Of course, most people aren't afraid of being bitten on the neck by someone just because they have red hair (despite the rumors about their natural bad tempers).

Kali: "I don't care much for blood, but I do love a good milk shake whenever I can get one..."

Whatever you may think about vampires, they've really got it made the way I see it. Plant sims and servos may have fewer needs to fulfill, but like it or not, those needs still decay as long as they're up and about. With vampires, sure they have a limited number of hours during the night they can actually be up and active, but when you think about the fact that they don't have to fulfill needs at all during that time, you just can't beat that. Especially when it comes to skill building. It's just too bad that since vampires can't really work a daytime job, there's no good use for all of those skills. Not unless you call being the best at singing karaoke a skill (I for one do)…

Nicholas and Melyssa belt out their rendition of "Love Bites"...

Okay, so it's not entirely true that you can't make money without a job in TS2. There's always the robot and toy tables, but this all takes place before I had OFB, so quit jumping the gun. :-P There are still poker tables and the ability to man the D.J. booth for a few quick bucks, though. None of the Everdarks had the patience to sit and play poker for any length of time, though. Kyle was all for kicking Heath King, the regular D.J., out of the booth, so he could reap the rewards. Heath was left with nothing to do but wander around and try to socialize, but when you're as ugly as he is, finding someone to chat with can be a real chore. He did manage to corner Melyssa long enough to make her listen to him for a minute or two.

Melyssa: "Sorry, but I can't just stand here talking and pretending nothing is wrong with your hair!"

Man, I hate that hairstyle. I think the game knows it too, because Heath is the D.J. who shows up the most, when I know there are at least three others that have a random chance of appearing. Melyssa wasn't a big fan either, and as soon as she'd developed enough of a relationship with Heath, she exploited it by biting him on the neck. He was promptly banned from being a D.J. forever more, but the good news is his hair magically changed to a bushy normal style when he turned into a vampire. The game got revenge on me later when my wife built a new neighborhood - there are THREE PC sims with the old Heath hair, and they ALWAYS show up. Grrrr. After the gang decided they'd had enough fun at the Freetime Lounge, they headed out to the Silent Grove Cemetery. Just because. They didn't see any ghosts while they were there, but Melyssa did spend a fair amount of time talking to Antonio Wilson.

Melyssa: "It's not great hair, but it's not worth biting him over either..."

Yes, I love my vampires. But I won't bore you any further at the moment with their antics (I'll save that for a future post…heheh). For now, it's time for a radical shift in theme and family now. Think, if you will, way, way back to the beginning of the Monkeesims blog, back to the days of TS1 before there were any expansions installed, back when sims were forced to stay home all day long except for occasional trips to work. Yes, those days blew. One good thing that did happen back in those olden days though was the marriage of two of my favorite sims at the time...

Remember when...

Look familiar? Yeah, that picture was featured in the first actual post, and in case your memory isn't serving you all that well, that couple is Julie and J.D. Wilson. J.D. was the owner of the house that Marty and Kitty Wilson used to live in, along with Kevin and Kammy. Well, Marty and Kitty hadn't seen or heard from them since moving to their trailer in the new Monkeesim neighborhood, but that was all about to change. As we hook up with Marty and Kitty today, we find that much has changed. J.D. and Julie have come to town, and it seems they missed the company of the others. It wasn't long before Kitty and Marty ditched the trailer and were sharing a much nicer living space with Julie and J.D. - just like the good old days.

Kitty: "Remember when J.D. got drunk and kissed that clown at Marty's birthday?"

Yeah, there was a lot of catching up to do. After all, it's been some time since Marty and Kitty had a chance to hang out with J.D. and Julie, and even when they did live together back in the old days, everyone was usually caught up in what they were doing and not much else (especially Kitty, back when she was still famous). Now, with no more kids to worry about (Mia Kay or Katrina, specifically), the gang was free to do just like they'd done back in the good old days, back before they'd had to pretend to be responsible. Of course, they just wound up sitting around the table chatting a lot and not much else. No doubt it's about the old days again…

J.D: "Remember when Marty and that clown got in the hot tub naked?"

Don't worry - the multiple references to Chucko the Clown do NOT mean I plan to bring him back any time soon. As much as everyone loves a clown there is such a thing as too much, and we already have Homie D. Klown. That, and it's hard to make a clown given what the Sims 2 sim creator has to offer (not that I think there needs to be an upgrade to the editor or anything - they've given us ninjas, and that's all that really matters). Anyhow, the layout of the new house (which I failed to get a good picture of) was very similar to that of the original Wilson house, with a few minor adjustments. However, things weren't quite like they were in the old days yet. Back in the day, J.D. was a master chef who cooked for everyone. Now, nobody has any cooking points, and burned toaster pastries seemed to be the only thing getting cooked. Clearly, a study session was in order…

Julie: "This sucks…I thought we already knew how to cook!"

That there is part of the reason I hesitate to bring sims from the old neighborhood over to the new - while I can keep their personalities the same, it kind of sucks to have to boost their skills back up to what they once were in the original game, and I know I could cheat and all, but I just don't wanna'. Usually, I don't even care much if they have the same skills or not as long as they don't start fires every time they cook, but it seems a little strange when sims like Kitty, who had maxed creativity skills back in the day, make people cover their ears when she starts playing the piano. As with the whole cooking thing, Kitty was promptly put to work restoring her creativity skills.

Kitty: "I wouldn't have to do this if that @#$% Marty had put a piano in the trailer like I asked him to!"

Well, eventually, everyone got their skills close enough to what they once were to keep me happy. I'm not that much of a freak. We can just assume that if J.D. isn't the master chef he once was, it's because he's been sitting on his bum not utilizing that talent…same goes for Kitty and her creativity (we all know she hasn't done anything creative since moving into the trailer). While Kitty and Marty were adjusting to once again living in a home that was more than ten feet wide, the younger Wilson gang decided it might be a nice time to pay a visit. Katrina, Kitty and Marty's daughter, Mia Kay, J.D. and Julie's daughter, and then Antonio, Kitty's brother (who I really think needs a warmer outfit given the piles of snow, but what do I know?).

Antonio: "Uh, hey, guys, your front door is standing wide open!"

Yes, this house just happens to be the same one the Kent family first moved into, with the same front door that never closes, and despite the modifications the Wilsons had made to the place, the door remains screwed up (talk about a literal "open door policy"). It's okay, though - if this living arrangement turns out to be anything like the Wilson house of old, there will be a constant unstoppable stream of weirdoes coming by anyhow. Granted, there used to be an upstairs bar with a karaoke machine and some other goodies to attract the masses before, but you've got to take these things in small steps. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was the old Wilson house.

Kitty: "I can never remember all of the Lucky Charms shapes!"

Aside from the lack of Kammy and Kevin, and the addition of Antonio, things were starting to feel like the good old days again for the Wilsons. Sure, things weren't exactly the same, but they weren't shooting for a reenactment or anything (and Mia Kay and Katrina rarely played chess together back then, it was usually video games). One nice thing about the whole arrangement is that this time, nobody had a real job, and Julie and Kitty weren't forced to run out every couple days to work on their fame careers. No, they had plenty of money saved up for the time being, and Marty was still making a few bucks here and there from his club. Another benefit to no fame career was not having the obsessed fan hanging around the joint - instead, there was the angry Spruce, Kitty's old nemesis…

Spruce: "I'll get you, my pretty…yee hee hee!"

If you remember anything about the original Wilson house, you'll recall that they had a couple of hot tubs out front that were the most frequently used form of entertainment (there was no regular bar at the time, so sims hadn't discovered binge drinking yet). Hot tubs are great because they trap sims in a confined space where they're forced to socialize while getting several needs fulfilled at the same time. I don't remember why exactly, but the Wilsons insisted on using the little models that only held two sims instead of four, which was very inefficient (okay, so maybe they bought that kind so they could "play" in them, which the four person models didn't allow).

Marty: "Are you still on that Lucky Charms thing?"

The new Wilson house has two of the four person models, for a total of eight slots instead of four (you didn't really need me to do that math for you, did you?) Kitty and Marty's side of the Wilson family (themselves, Katrina, and Antonio) piled into the first tub, so they could catch up on what had happened since the last time they chatted. Without looking back, I think I can safely say there wasn't too much ground to cover. Katrina and Antonio had moved into a different house, killed a neighbor, and Antonio seemed no closer to ever getting married to Aimee Andrews (not that there was any huge rush, mind you). Otherwise, there wasn't really much to cover. Meanwhile, Mia Kay chatted with her folks in the other hot tub. She didn't have much to discuss besides the new house and dead neighbor either…oh, and politics, of course.

Mia Kay: "You know, I really thought Jack Daniels had a chance in that race for mayor!"

Hot tubs are fun, but they're not perfect. The best of times always wind up getting ruined by the same stupid thing - spontaneous combustion. It's understandable that, being new to things, J.D. and Julie weren't familiar with the little "personal thermometer", but ignorance didn't protect J.D. from bursting into flames after being in the tub a little too long. Luckily, Marty is no stranger to extinguishing burning sims, and had his extinguisher handy. Better yet, there was already a smoke alarm outside for barbecue mishaps, so the fire department showed up too. It wasn't necessary…Marty was already on top of things…

Fireman: "Hey! Watch where you aim that thing!"

Well, that didn't exactly end things for the evening, but that's a good place to cut this post off for now (unless you want to go for the Monkeesim "most pictures" record). Coming up, we've spent a fair amount of time watching sims kill time from day to day, but sooner or later, the whole money issue pops up again. How to solve it? Get a job? Hah…that's funny. But no. Jobs are okay for some sims, but there are others who'd prefer to do everything they can to avoid the life of carpools and 9 to 5 shifts. And then, of course, there are those more adventurous sorts who are willing to get their hands dirty, but ONLY if they're running the show! Join us over our next few posts as we see who brings home the bucks, and who's just out of luck!


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