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    FAQ/Walkthrough by PyroFalkon

    Version: 2.0 | Updated: 08/26/04 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    The Sims: Makin' Magic (PC)
    Full Strategy Guide
    Document written by PyroFalkon (pyrofalkon@hotmail.com)
    Current Version: 2.0
    Last Update: 26 August 2004
    v2.0 (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.
     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
    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
        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
    14. Magic Town: The New Area of SimCity
    15. It's MAAAAAGIC!!!
        a. Magic 101
           a. Where to Get the Friggin' Black Roses
        b. Your First Spell
        c. Expanding Your Spellbook
        d. Dueling
        e. The Complete Adults' Spellbook
        f. Magical Kids
        g. The Complete Kids' Spellbook
        h. Dragons
        i. Magical Growths
           a. The Friggin' Beanstalk
        j. Cooking
        k. The Complete Recipe Book
    16. 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
    17. Throwing Parties
    18. Kids
        a. Babies
    19. Disasters
        a. Death
    20. Other Events and Rumor Killers
    21. Strategies
        a. PyroFalkon's Alpha Strategy
        b. Relationship Strategies
        c. Other strategies and short tips
        d. Strategies Submitted by Readers
    22. Customizing your sims
    23. Cheat Codes
    24. Unconfirmed Information
    25. Backing Up Your Sims
        a. Method 1
        b. Method 2
    26. Contributor List
    27. Version History
    28. Copyright Info
    29. Contact Info
    |                PART 1: THE BASICS                  |
    ||1. INTRO||
    No really, this is the last expansion pack for The Sims; Maxis says so. Of 
    course, that's only until The Sims 2 comes out next year. Guess I should write 
    an FAQ for that when it comes out, huh?
    In the meantime, enjoy this, the final FAQ for the The Sims series. I'll update 
    as I need to, of course.
    Also, I'd like to sincerely thank the people at the official Sims Message 
    Board/BBS. Their kind words inspired me to write this version of the FAQ. To be 
    honest, I considered not doing this final one, but I changed my mind and 
    decided to finish what I started. As it is, I've got my love back for the 
    series, so it's hardly a problem to do this.
    All right, let's start getting the magic party started! (How many times have I 
    used THAT phrase over the last few years?)
    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
    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.
    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
    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
    The last button is the game options. There are eight there, and I'll explain
    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
    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.
    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
    |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
           \             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
    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
    |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
    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...
    |                              |
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    Do this...
      /                          \
     /                            \
    /                              \
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    |                              |
    \                              /
     \                            /
      \                          /
    Not only does this save money, but room scores will get better. You can also
    get super-fancy, though it's more expensive...
      /                           \
     /                             \
    /                              |
    |                              |
    |                              /
    |                             /
    |                     /-------
    |                     |
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    |                     |
    |                     \-------
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    \                              |
     \                             /
      \                           /
    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
    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.
    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 or gargoyles. Once you're in a lot, 
    grab a wood working table or stone 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 or gargoyles! 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, you're getting better at it. Eventually, when the 
    Bill Gates type get 10 Mechanical, he can make over 20 to 25 statues 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
    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 or 
    gargoyles, 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 
    |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 
    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.
    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.
    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 gardener will 
    usually be able to prevent anything from dying. 
    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 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.
    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.
    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 
    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 
    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 (flamingblue8z@hotmail.com), 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 (bighairycellar@mac.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.
    With Makin' Magic installed, you can buy the Skeleton Closet item in the magic 
    subsort of the miscellaneous sort in Buy Mode. It costs you $3999, but you get 
    a great maid that strikes the balance between power and price. Bonehilda will 
    clean, and will bring in the mail. She won't cook or water anything, nor will 
    she piledrive the stalker. However, she is on call whenever you want; just 
    knock on the door. She's a great mid-step between the maid and Servo.
    Not only all that, but Matt Campbell (flamingblue8z@hotmail.com) showed me that 
    Bonehilda takes care of babies too, AND repairs things! But, unlike the butler, 
    she never really LEAVES, so you can use her if there's an emergency in the 
    night or if a baby needs attention.
    Personally, I think that Bonehilda is the best all-around. You may want to step 
    up to a Servo once you get ridiculous sums of money, though, if babies are not 
    going to be a part of that family. Alternately, you can have Bonehilda AND a 
    Butler, or the Butler and Servo. Any of those combinations will leave your sims 
    with plenty of free time.
    |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
    (d_brigman@hotmail.com) reminded me that there is a third way: you can ride the
    mechanical bull. Erik Swinson (CronoFiend@msn.com) and Samuel Loucks
    (gragnoth@yahoo.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
    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
    ||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
    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
    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
    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 (nafai@texas.net) 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
    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 (nyfrank55@hotmail.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
    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
    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
    (cassidy@wilyums.com) 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 (karmo04@hotmail.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
    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
    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 (alanisman1@hotmail.com) says that gifts can be
    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
    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 (kroesen@home.nl) 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
    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
    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
    There are 5 magazines, and each one provides three interests that can be
    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,
    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.
    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
    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
    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
    |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
    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
    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
    |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
    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
    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
    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
    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                  |
    |         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
    |                                  |
    |                                  |
    |                                  |
    |                                  |
    |            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).
    (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
    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.
    |13a. 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
    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
    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
    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
    ||13. STUDIO TOWN||
    (Note: You need Superstar installed for this to work.)
    Studio Town, the lovely area that recently 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 
    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
    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
    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
    |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 
    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 
    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 
    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 
    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 
    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 
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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
    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 (joenobody@attbi.com) 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.
    Magic Town is like your cousin Freddy: he's the guy no one talks about because 
    he's creepy, but you can't forget about him because he's family. Or something.
    Magic Town is a neat addition because it's the first and only external area to 
    feature houses. There's a catch, though: anyone desiring to live in those 
    houses must also pay for them with MagiCoins (explained in the magic section). 
    Now, I'm an idiot, and I want my sims to always remain in the same house. If 
    you're an idiot too, then you'll never get your sims there because they MUST 
    have MagiCoins with them to buy it, which you can't get from the outset. (It's 
    not like you can trade MagiCoins for simoleons or vice versa.) Ah well, I might 
    as well take the plunge.
    Matt Campbell (flamingblue8z@hotmail.com) sends this addition...
    The Magic Town [residential] lots have a couple special features to them. You 
    only have to cast 10 spells/charms to be eligible for a magic growth, and the 
    crystals on regular lots only have 3 uses, in MT they have 5. Also, magic 
    growth objects grow faster in Magic Town.
    I'll talk about magic crystals and magic growth items later.
    Houses can unfortunately not be pre-built or previewed here. You'll have to 
    take the plunge yourself and move a family into it if you want to check out the 
    houses for yourself. You also cannot rezone the lots like you can in Old Town.
    Anyway, Magic Town is the greatest collection of freaks this side of rock 
    music. It's full of... "interesting" "people" and wares. It's pretty fun 
    though; there are carnivals and magic shows, miniature golf and rides, cotton 
    candy and elderberries!
    It's also THE place to go if you have any desire at all to learn magic. Magic 
    starts with a magic wand, which you buy from the Mystery Man that's running 
    around on every lot. You can pick up magical ingredients here too, along with 
    food ingredients to bake and make nectar drinks (also explained in the magic 
    There's not much I want to get into here because most of what there is to say 
    of Magic Town is explained in the whole magic section. Of course, the best way 
    to explore an area is to check it out for yourself, and there are two ways to 
    get there.
    The first is to call the cab... well, it's a giant blimp, but no one's getting 
    too technical here. Like the Old Town trolley and Vacation Island jeep, this 
    vehicle will park outside, the whole family piles in, the game saves, and 
    you're taken to the lot screen of Magic Town. You can transfer between lots or 
    go home using the phones at each lot too.
    The second way is to use a Hole in the Ground. You get one free in the care 
    package (see Magic 101), or you can buy them in the Magic subsort of the 
    Miscellaneous sort. A single sim can use it to head over to Magic Town; the 
    game saves during the single sim's transfer too. This is a lot quicker, 
    especially if you have only one mage in the family.
    You cannot save in or take dates to Magic Town.
    ||15. IT'S MAAAAAGIC!!!||
    Here's the obligatory opening paragraph for this section. It should be familiar 
    to anyone who's read my last couple FAQs. Don't worry, I shouldn't have to 
    repeat it again... this IS the last expansion for The Sims.
    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 sent your sim to Studio 
    Town and got him to become the biggest superstar SimNation has ever seen. 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 several hundred bucks into one computer game and its four... er, 
    six... er, seven... um, numerous expansion packs.
    The great thing about magic is that the game helpfully gives you a kick in the 
    right direction from the outset. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell 
    you about the basics first.
    |15a. Magic 101|
    There are two basic magical thingys in SimCity: spells and charms. Spells are 
    executed via your magic wand, and are one-time uses. Charms are physical items 
    that sit in your house and can be used several times once it's made. Of course, 
    you can also sell the charm if you really want to.
    Whether you use a spell or charm, you need the proper ingredients for it first. 
    Most of them can be bought, although some must be earned. All but one of the 
    ingredients will be found in Magic Town, and not the other extra areas. There 
    are three main ways to get ingredients: you can buy some, you quest for others, 
    and barter for still others.
    When you choose to buy ingredients, you'll probably need to spend MagiCoins. 
    It's sort of like the tokens you get from Vacation Island: they're items in 
    your inventory. Only the sim who currently has coins can spend them. That is, 
    MagiCoins are not shared among family members like the standard simoleons are. 
    Some ingredients are food products that can be bought for standard simoleons. 
    They also tie into cooking... but that's another matter I'll cover soon. To buy 
    ingredients, you must go to the appropriate vendor and choose "Redeem 
    MagiCoins..." There's a catch though: if you can't afford an item, it won't 
    appear on the list!
    Some items are quest items. You go to a vendor as before, but you select "Talk 
    To." They'll send you on a little mission that takes no brains to perform. 
    Should you finish it, select "Talk To" again and you'll get a reward.
    Finally, you can barter for a few. Go to the vendors and select the "Barter" 
    interaction. They'll ask for an item, and if you have it in your inventory, 
    you'll get a different item in return.
    Here's a list of all the ingredients and how to get them...
    Baking Mix ... $10
    Butter ....... $20
    Elderberries . $15
    Grapes ....... $30
    Honey ........ $20
    Pet Treats ... $40 (only available in Old Town)
    Sugar ........ $8
    Diamond Dust .. MC199
    Golden Thread . MC14
    Pixie Dust .... MC31
    Sands of Time . MC25
    Dragon Chew Toy . MC8
    Dragon Nest ..... MC49
    Dragon Scales ... MC21
    Dragon Tears .... MC24
    Dragon Treats ... MC5
    Beeswax ..... MC17
    Llama Spit .. MC25
    Magic Beans . MC27
    Toadstools .. MC9
    Toad Sweat .. MC21
    Four-leaf Clover = Honey to Mara
    Garlic = Beeswax to Vicki
    Rubber Chicken = Elderberry Nectar to Todd
    Snake Venom = Golden Thread to the snake charmer
    Clown Confetti*
    Glacial Glass
    Pegasus Feather
    Wizard's Eye Lashes
    *You only get Clown Confetti if you quest on a lot that has clowns on it also.
    Black Roses (Only available in Superstar)
    Most of the spells have targets other than the caster, so the whole magic thing 
    becomes much less fun if you're only using one sim. If you have nothing but 
    bachelor sims, then take the plunge and make a family with at least two adults. 
    One can be the mage, and the other can just be the guinea pig!
    Spells greatly range from the silly to the helpful. Just be careful how much 
    you use: just like in the Harry Potter books, there's an organization that 
    checks your use of magic. If you get too spell crazy, or a Smuggle (non-magical 
    Sim) observes a spell being used, you'll get fined. And children who use magic 
    are not immune to fines either.
    If you're thrifty (i.e., greedy), you can make several ingredients at home. 
    Just like farming in Unleashed, you can buy seeds (in this case called 
    "parsnips") to plant in dirt plots that you buy in Build Mode. With some TLC, 
    you'll be able to grow your own elderberries and grapes! You can also buy the 
    cheap spinning wheel to make Golden Thread, or buy the butter churn to make 
    butter, among other examples.
    What's really nice is that there's a new download on the official Sims website. 
    You can get a new object called a Magical Cabinet. Not only is it a bookcase, 
    but you can store ingredients there. That way you can share them with the whole 
    family, including the kids! Be sure to download and install it as soon as you 
    |15aa. Where to Get the Friggin' Black Roses|
    I've had way too many people ask me about Black Roses... I thought it was 
    obvious, but hey, I guess no FAQ can ever contain enough info, right? Here's 
    the EXACT way to get Black Roses...
    Okay, first, as I mentioned before, you need Superstar installed to get them at 
    all. When you have a famous sim in the family, the stalker will appear when the 
    sim celebrity hits about 2.5 to 3 stars in star power. When the stalker 
    appears, he'll follow your sim around like a sheep, including coming to the 
    sim's home lot.
    When the stalker trespasses, he'll do one of several things, like rooting 
    around in the trash or breaking and entering to jack a Simmy. One of the things 
    he also does is that he leaves a black rose on your yard. If you have a maid or 
    butler or Servo or Bonehilda or whatever, the cleaner will IMMEDIATELY try to 
    clean it up. Try to stop the cleaner from doing so. Just walk up to the black 
    rose, interact with it, and select "Add to Inventory..."
    The stalker will NOT leave black roses on Studio Town lots, so don't bother 
    looking there. He will only leave them at your sim's house, and it's NOT 
    guaranteed that he will. It's only a chance; sometimes, the stalker walked onto 
    my lot only to walk off again without doing anything. You'll have to just have 
    patience and hope that he finally gets around to it. Of course, if you have a 
    butler, the butler will immediately eject the stalker, so he will never have a 
    chance to leave one for you.
    Now, if I get any more e-mails about this, I'm going to shoot my computer.
    |15b. Your First Spell|
    When the family first moves into the house (or when you first play an 
    established family after installing Makin' Magic), a guy called the Mystery Man 
    will appear. He'll ring your doorbell and drop off a box, then walk away. You 
    cannot interact with him; that's all he does.
    Have one sim open the box. Inside is an introductory letter, along with a few 
    basic ingredients, and some starter's equipment. You get a Hole in the Ground, 
    an electronic spellbook (very 21st century), and a wand charger. You can move 
    those items around in Buy Mode, but remember that the Hole in the Ground has to 
    go outside. You also get a free wand, 35 MagiCoins, and three ingredients. 
    After you empty the box, it'll disappear.
    Now, go ahead and redecorate as you want, then have a sim check out the 
    spellbook. Make sure that the sim carrying the wand is the one who does; when a 
    sim without a wand touches it, he's in for a rude surprise. (Actually, do it 
    once just for kicks. ^_^ ) Go ahead and explore the "Ask About..." options 
    Once you're satisfied, click Look Up Spells. You're presented with a recipe 
    book of sorts, divided into six pages. There are 21 spells and charms for you 
    to see, although what the specifics of each are are not shown yet. You have to 
    make the spell once before it's listed in whole. However, once ANY person in 
    the family throws down a spell, any family member (who carries a wand) can 
    access the spellbook and check it too.
    All right, click the first spell in the list to highlight it, then hover the 
    mouse over the three ingredients. The list calls for butter, toadstools, and 
    toad sweat; not coincidentally, the same three items you got in the care 
    package. Head over to the Wand Charger, and add the three items to it. After 
    that, select the charger one more time and select Charge Wand. With that, your 
    wand can now cast a single shot of your new spell! Check out the spellbook 
    again, and it'll say that the spell is called "Toadification," which 
    temporarily changes the target to a toad!
    Try it out on the other family member in your house. Click the other as if 
    you're doing a social interaction. Select "Cast..." (you may have to hit Tab to 
    make it show), then select the spell. No matter where the caster and target 
    are, the spell will fire, and you'll have an uncontrollable frog hopping around 
    for a few seconds. Congratulations!
    Now that the first spell is unlocked, you can do a quick charge of it. You'll 
    still need the ingredients in your inventory, but you won't need to actually 
    mix them to make the Toadification spell; just head to the Wand Charger with 
    the items in your pocket, select "Charge...," and select the spell.
    |15c. Expanding Your Spellbook|
    Once you get some money, you should focus on expanding your spellbook. To do 
    that, you need ingredients, and for that, you need MagiCoins.
    You earn MagiCoins simply by performing magic acts in Magic Town. The more 
    complicated the act, the more you earn. Even if you fail, you'll earn some, so 
    there's no excuse not to try. There are three places to perform: a little 
    table, a fairly generic stage, and a mystical stage. The success of the 
    standard stage acts are based on the sim's mechanical skills, and the success 
    of the other two are based on the sim's logical skill, so you may want to get 
    those skills high before going for it. I will say that it's EXTREMELY funny to 
    see failures, so check them out before actually giving it a true shot.
    Once you get into charms, you'll need the item called the EverAfter Crafter. It 
    works the same way as the Wand Charger, needing three items to unlock a charm 
    in the book.
    |15d. Dueling|
    Think you got what it takes to compete? Grab a magical sim, head to Magic Town, 
    and find a dueling platform. Win or lose, you'll get MagiCoins. But you don't 
    duel to lose, do you?
    Start off by clicking the platform. You're given a list of all the magical sims 
    on the lot that you can challenge. Pick anyone you want; dueling is wholly 
    based on personal skill, not the sims' skills. It's not much more than a giant 
    game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with fireworks.
    Here's the overview: the game lasts four rounds. There are five spells to 
    choose from, but when the game begins, one spell from each participant will be 
    taken away. Each spell beats two others spells, and is defeated by two other 
    spells. If both sims choose the same spell, the round draws. Whoever wins the 
    most rounds out of the four wins the match.
    You get to see what spell your opponent is casting, so you can plan around it. 
    Be quick though, because if you delay, your sim will pick one for itself.
    Here's a table that says what beats what...
    | WHITE |   RED   |  BLACK   |
    |       |  BLUE   |  YELLOW  |
    |  RED  |  BLUE   |  WHITE   |
    |       |  BLACK  |  YELLOW  |
    | BLUE  |  BLACK  |  WHITE   |
    |       |  YELLOW |   RED    |
    | BLACK |  WHITE  |   RED    |
    |       |  YELLOW |   BLUE   |
    |YELLOW |  WHITE  |   BLUE   |
    |       |   RED   |  BLACK   |
    You'll be racking up wins in no time!
    |15e. The Complete Adults' Spellbook|
    I'll list every spell in a list format. If there's any I missed, feel free to 
    e-mail me.
    Every spell has a backfire, but I'm not going to say what they are. Experiment 
    on your own; trust me, some of them are worth the effort to see.
    SPELL 1:
    Toad Sweat
    Turns one sim into a frog temporarily. While the target is a frog, it can be 
    Kissed, which has a chance of giving the kisser a free bottle of toad sweat.
    SPELL 2:
    Beeswax 3x
    Temporarily changes the user's appearance. Wears off when user does something 
    to trigger a clothes switch, like going to bed or taking a shower. Some of the 
    alternate appearances are EXTREMELY sexy; sexy enough that I wish I was a sim. 
    Some of them are... well, not so sexy. ^_^
    SPELL 3:
    Honey 2x
    Pixie Dust
    Permanently increases the daily relationship between the target and caster BOTH 
    WAYS. Note that the relationship is still subject to the standard decay, but 
    this isn't just a five-minute spell. Fantastic way to get that last friend, 
    especially if your sim is a superstar!
    SPELL 4:
    HORN OF PLENTY (Charm)
    Golden Thread
    Magic Beans 2x
    Every time the Horn of Plenty is used, a bunch of food appears. It tries to 
    appear on available surfaces, but it'll start appearing on the floor of the 
    room the charm is in if everything gets taken up.
    SPELL 5:
    ENCHANT (Spell)
    Pixie Dust
    Animates a garden gnome. Once done, the garden gnome acts like a free gardener, 
    roaming through your lot and watering every plant. The caster can choose to 
    solidify it anytime, although it will eventually solidify on its own. Once it 
    solidifies, it's worth $100 to sell, no matter what its initial value was. You 
    can also enchant a pink flamingo, which will create a hottie to improve the 
    Social meters of your sims.
    SPELL 6:
    DISH WISH (Charm)
    Golden Thread 2x
    Llama Spit
    Immediately makes every dirty dish in the lot disappear, boosting room scores.
    SPELL 7:
    GET HAPPY (Spell)
    Pixie Dust
    Adds a lot of green to all the target's mood bars (except room).
    SPELL 8:
    RAIN OF RICHES (Charm)
    Rubber Chicken
    Diamond Dust
    Diamond Dust is pretty damn expensive, but you'll WAY WAY WAY more than make up 
    for it with this. You'll have a ridiculous sum of cash--we're talking 3K or 
    more per cast. If you're poor, make getting this charm your first priority. The 
    only problem is that this charm only lasts once... but what a spell to cast!
    SPELL 9:
    SHED YOUR SKIN (Charm)
    Beeswax x2
    Sands of Time
    Temporarily changes the caster into a simulated ghost. Caster does not actually 
    BECOME a ghost (he/she still has to walk through doors and such), but merely 
    becomes transparent, which is kinda cool. FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE, ONLY CAST THIS 
    DURING THE NIGHT. Trust me, you WON'T like the backfire to this one.
    SPELL 10:
    SMILEY FACE (Spell)
    Toad Sweat
    Permanently gets the target up to +50 daily (or so, depending on personality 
    and zodiac sign) both ways to enable both sims to be friends. The altered 
    relationship bar is subject to the standard decay, however.
    SPELL 11:
    Dragon Scales
    Llama Spit
    I'm not entirely sure what this does, but here's my best guess. when activated, 
    every sim in the same lot feels the same way toward the caster as the caster 
    does toward them. For example, let's say Pyro feels +75 to Steph, but Steph 
    only feels +50 to Pyro. If Pyro casts the spell, Pyro won't change, but Steph 
    will start feeling +75 to him.
    If anyone has anymore information on this spell, or you can simply confirm my 
    guess, let me know.
    treekisser (treekisser@hotmail.com) sends this theory:
    ...(mostly from the description - I can't actually detect much of a difference 
    during gameplay), the Polar Attraction charm makes other Sims interested in 
    what the caster is interested in. I would guess that means jokes won't fall 
    flat, all subjects the caster talks about will be accepted, etc. Also from the 
    description, I'd say the backfire meant other Sims would hate EVERYTHING the 
    caster does.
    Arian (Vertualcow@aol.com) sent this theory:
    ...what the spell does is make everyone on your lot think that your Sim is 
    "witty and attractive". Kinda useful when no one likes talking to you. ^_^
    SPELL 12:
    BANISH (Spell)
    Snake Venom
    Ejects the target from the lot. If the target is a family member, he/she will 
    reappear sometime afterwards outside.
    SPELL 13:
    CLONE DRONE (Charm)
    Sands of Time
    Pegasus Feather
    Creates an uncontrollable clone of the caster. Not sure what the point is, 
    because no one can interact with it like they can with a clone created via the 
    chemistry set. Although, when this clone leaves, it leaves with a bang.
    Matt Campbell (flamingblue8z@hotmail.com) told me a good use for the clone 
    after all. The CLONE will go to work while the real sim stays at home! That's a 
    perfect way to relax or work on skills while still earning a paycheck and not 
    risking being fired!
    SPELL 14:
    Golden Thread
    Magic Beans
    Four-Leaf Clover
    You probably have already guessed what this one does. Every plant on the lot 
    immediately gets watered. This, as the description says, makes gardeners 
    obsolete. Still, I'm lazy, and I'd rather not have to actually CAST it. I'll 
    keep my gardener, thank you. ^_^
    IcedTeaLatte (IcedTeaLatte@aol.com) mentions that not only do plants get 
    watered, they also mature. This is a quick way to get crops for any farming 
    plots you've got going!
    SPELL 15:
    MAGIC MOOD (Charm)
    Magic Beans
    Glacial Glass
    A *FAR* more powerful version of Get Happy, Magic Mood will ALMOST COMPLETELY 
    FILL six of the mood bars (Energy gets a moderate boost, and Room doesn't 
    change at all) of either 1) everyone on the lot, or 2) the caster only. The 
    target is the caster's choice, so the caster could be greedy if he/she wanted. 
    Wow... get this one as quick as you can.
    SPELL 16:
    LOVE STRUCK (Spell)
    Dragon Tears
    Pixie Dust
    Permanently raises the daily AND lifetime relationship bars of the target to 
    extremely high numbers, and creates a pink heart. The change goes both ways. 
    The relationship is, as always, subject to the decay. If you need that last 
    friend requirement, fire off this spell. When used in tandem with the Magic 
    Mood charm, a mage can pretty much marry anyone on the spot.
    SPELL 17:
    HYPNOTIZE (Spell)
    Toad Sweat
    Clown Confetti
    Once cast, a pop up box asks you to choose one of three things you want the 
    target to do to the caster. This will raise the relationship meters both ways a 
    bit (the choices are all romantic in nature). Not very helpful, but neat to do.
    SPELL 18:
    Golden Thread
    Glacial Glass
    Pegasus Feather
    Creates Wally O'Wisp, who is basically a mystical Servo. He'll go through the 
    house and act as repairman, maid, and gardener all in one. He sticks around for 
    quite some time too.
    SPELL 19:
    Clown Confetti
    Wizard Eyelashes
    Makes the target and caster +100/+75 to each other, and the caster immediately 
    asks for marriage or a move in to the target. Don't use this if you don't want 
    a new rooomie.
    SPELL 20:
    PRICE OF FAME (Charm)
    Diamond Dust
    Black Roses
    Permanently puts the caster WAY up on the celebrity chart, and automatically 
    forces them to change into their High Fashion outfit. This is a great way to 
    quickly catapult a sim to the Walk of Fame.
    SPELL 21:
    Pet Treats
    Clown Confetti
    This will PERMANENTLY change a pet into a human. The game will save immediately 
    too, so make sure you absolutely want this before you do it. Obviously, you 
    need to have Unleashed installed for this to work.
    Kathleen Brown (firedragoness@swbell.net) submits the following report. She 
    decided to experiment to see if there was a correlation between pets' 
    statistics and the resulting humans' stats...
    Here's a brief summary of the three pets I tested:
    Pet Type: Gray female dog (became white female Sim)
    Spell caster skin color: white
    Pet Personality: 2 6 0 9 6
    Sim Personality: 2 6 0 9 6
    Housebroken: 6     Cooking: 6
    Smart: 9           Logic: 9
    Pet Type: Black male cat (became black male Sim)
    Spell caster skin color: black
    Pet Personality: 2 7 9 7 1
    Sim Personality: 2 7 9 7 1
    Obedience: 1       Charisma: 1
    Smart: 7           Logic: 7
    Pet Type: White female dog (became white female Sim)
    Spell caster skin color: medium-skinned
    Pet Personality: 6 8 6 8 2
    Sim Personality: 6 8 6 8 2
    Housebroken: 1     Cooking: 1
    Tricks: 1          Mechanical: 1
    Smart: 8           Logic: 8
    Analysis and Conclusions
    To be sure the spell was thoroughly tested, I created three different pets, 
    each with a different family.  The results apparently are not dependent on 
    which species the pet is.  The first pet was a female dog called Molly, the 
    second a male cat named Tigger, and the third a female dog named Persephone.  
    Genders stay the same.  The personalities of all three kept exactly the same 
    values as when they were pets.  The easiest way to summarize this is as 
    Pet Personality = Sim Personality
              Quiet = Neat
           Friendly = Outgoing
            Playful = Active
              Smart = Playful
              Loyal = Nice
    However, there's more.  Both species have three different skill sets.  These 
    correspond to the first three skill sets for Sims.  In other words: a house-
    trained dog (or a good hunter, for cats) will be a good cook, a dog or cat with 
    a high trick level will be a good mechanic, and an obedient pet will have high 
    charisma.  The values correspond exactly.
    The last change is the most appropriate, in my opinion.  The pet's Smart rating 
    will translate into the Sim's logic skill level!  For example, Molly the dog 
    had an intelligence of nine; Molly the human had a logic skill of nine.  
    I thought I had found one more variable, but it turned out to be coincidence.  
    The first family I used was a white family: Molly ended up being white.  The 
    second Sim I used was black: Tigger ended up being black.  I thought I had 
    found a pattern, so the third Sim I used was medium-skinned.  The dog, however, 
    ended up being white.  A note of interest is that,. as pets, Molly was gray and 
    white, Tigger was black, and Persephone was a Dalmatian (mostly white).  This 
    is also a coincidence, however, as a fourth test showed.  Basically, the pet's 
    skin tone will be chosen at random.
    In summary:
    |        Sims         |        Pets         |
    |     Personality     |     Personality     |
    |       Gender        |       Gender        |
    | Housebroken/Hunting |       Cooking       |
    |       Tricks        |     Mechanical      |
    |      Obedience      |      Charisma       |
    |     Logic Skill     |    Smart rating     |
    |      Skin Tone      |  [randomly chosen]  |
    |15f. Magical Kids|
    Who says adults get all the fun? Once you've got a kid in the family, feel free 
    to give him a wand too!
    Now, kids and adults are different, obviously. First of all, they have entirely 
    different spellbooks (although their spells are accessed through the same 
    spellbook as the adults'). Think about it: kids can't fall in love, so it 
    wouldn't make sense to give them Hypnotize, The Big Question, or Love Struck. 
    Also, sim kids can't buy ingredients, although they can buy a magic wand from 
    the Mystery Man in Magic Town. Oh, and they can use the Hole in the Ground to 
    go there by themselves, too.
    I know, I just lost you a couple sentences ago. "Pyro," you're saying (yes, I 
    can hear you), "if sim kids can't buy ingredients, how in the world can they 
    cast magic? And your FAQs rock!"
    Well thanks for the compliment! Always nice to hear. But anyway, don't worry 
    about sim kids. They just need to use alternate methods to get their 
    ingredients. Luckily, they only need four ingredients: toadstools, pixie dust, 
    dragon scales, and dragon tears.
    Toadstools: Buy two toadstool chairs in Buy Mode. Tell the caster to sit on the 
    first, then the second, then the first, then the second, etc. The more times 
    you sit, the more toadstools start popping up all over your lawn. Simply 
    interact with them and select the only action, Harvest.
    Faerie Dust: Buy the Visions of Sugarplums, a toy chest under the miscellaneous 
    sort of Buy Mode. Have a kid play with it, and just let him/her keep playing 
    until he/she is naturally finished. A bag of Faerie Dust will be dumped near 
    the kid's feet. Simply order him/her to add it to his/her inventory.
    Dragon Scales: Groom your dragon repeatedly, and a jar of Dragon Scales will 
    appear on the ground near it.
    Dragon Tears: Tickle your dragon to death, and it will produce a vial of Dragon 
    Tears on the ground for you.
    For kids to use the items, they need their own spell maker. You need to buy a 
    MagiCo NeoMagical Newt (that's a mouthful) in the magic subsort of the 
    miscellaneous sort of Buy Mode. Only kids can use it, but it's a cheap hundred 
    bucks and covers both charms and spells.
    By the way, if you've downloaded the Magical Cabinet from the official Sims 
    site, you can let the adults buy or collect most of the items so the kids won't 
    need to (and so you won't have to deal with owning a dragon). The only thing 
    adults cannot possible get is Faerie Dust.
    |15g. The Complete Kids' Spellbook|
    Like for the adults, I'll list every spell in a list format. If there's any I 
    missed, feel free to e-mail me.
    SPELL 1:
    Toadstools x3
    Like the adults' version, this will temporarily change the appearance of the 
    caster. The effect will end after a certain amount of time passes or the caster 
    has to change clothes (for bed, or a shower, etc.) The charm, by the way, is 
    WAY too cute!!!
    SPELL 2:
    GET HAPPY JR. (Spell)
    Dragon Scales
    Faerie Dust
    Moderately boosts seven of the target's mood meters (Room excepted).
    SPELL 3:
    ENCHANT (Spell)
    Faerie Dust x2
    Dragon Tears
    Pardon me for copying and pasting. Animates a garden gnome. Once done, the 
    garden gnome acts like a free gardener, roaming through your lot and watering 
    every plant. The caster can choose to solidify it anytime, although it will 
    eventually solidify on its own. Once it solidifies, it's worth $100 to sell, no 
    matter what its initial value was. You can also enchant a pink flamingo, which 
    will create a hottie to improve the Social meters of your sims.
    SPELL 4:
    NO MORE PUDDLES? (Charm)
    Toadstools x2
    Dragon Tears
    Maxxes out the Hygiene meter of the caster.
    SPELL 5:
    MAKE CAKES (Charm)
    Toadstools x2
    Faerie Dust
    [unknown, I haven't been able to cast it successfully yet]
    SPELL 6:
    SMILEY FACE JR. (Spell)
    Dragon Tears x2
    Faerie Dust
    Permanently gives enough of a relationship boost to the target, making him or 
    her an instant family friend. As always, the relationship boost is subject to 
    SPELL 7:
    Faerie Dust x2
    Temporarily creates a new kid who will shadow the caster. Only the caster can 
    interact with it. Excellent to get a kid's Social meter up.
    SPELL 8:
    CLONE DRONE JR. (Charm)
    Dragon Scales
    Dragon Tears
    Creates a clone of the caster. The clone will go to school in place of the 
    original to let the original study or work on magic or something.
    SPELL 9:
    AGE OF INSTANT (Charm)
    Dragon Scales x2
    PERMANENTLY changes the caster from a kid to an adult. The game will 
    immediately save, so there is no chance of reversing this spell. The new adult 
    gets a random head and random clothes out of your whole closet (which makes for 
    some very interesting combinations), although gender and skin tone remain the 
    same. Yes, the new adult can immediately start doing romantic interactions with 
    its parents. Who says I don't have a sick mind?
    |15h. Dragons|
    I'd like to thank Aimee (candyraver69@msn.com) and Matt Campbell 
    (flamingblue8z@hotmail.com) for most of this information.
    Who hasn't wanted to own a dragon of their very own? In Makin' Magic, you get a 
    Head to Magic Town and visit any lot with Vicki. Buy a Dragon Nest, and while 
    you're at it, go ahead and grab some Dragon Treats and a Dragon Chew Toy. The 
    moment you get home, your sim will put down the "nest," a little bed with a 
    dragon egg. Move it in Buy Mode to get it out of the way, then interact with 
    the egg. You can cuddle the egg, rotate it, or play music for it. (The play 
    music option is SUPER cute.)
    After only a day, it will hatch and make a little tiny dragon. Now, there are 
    three versions of the dragon.
    Purple dragons, called Torches, were spoiled as eggs (as in, they were cradled 
    too much), and are lazy. Whenever they try to breathe fire, they don't put much 
    effort into it and usually fail. They're pretty well behaved, making them my 
    favorite. To get them, cradle the egg at least six times.
    Red ones, called Burnies, were not given much attention at all. They're pissed 
    off and they don't care who knows it. Your punishment for this will be a bunch 
    of things being set on fire (until you set it free). They're kinda well-behaved 
    if they're happy, but they're quick to tick off. When they spit fire, whatever 
    their target is will almost always be set aflame. To get one, cradle it five 
    times or less (to make it easy, just don't cradle it at all).
    Gold ones, called Pyrities, are a balance: they're more active than Torches, 
    but less ticked off than Burnies. You can easily achieve gold status by 
    cradling the egg five times, then playing music for it and leaving the 
    headphones on until it hatches. Keep these guys; they'll pay for themselves in 
    no time. Their fire accuracy is pretty high though, so be careful.
    Actually, SilverBlaze (SilverBlaze1313@cs.com) led me to an interesting theory. 
    We had a conversation, and now I'm convinced that the number of times you 
    interact with the dragon egg is not the only variable to determine its type. 
    See, SilverBlaze said that his magical sim had to interact with the dragon 14 
    times to get the purple one. I think it has to do with personality, because my 
    magical sim had a very high Nice stat... experiment and see what you come up 
    Dragons are fairly easy to take care of. Their cribs double as their beds, so 
    you don't have to worry about their energy; they'll sleep when they want to. 
    Room doesn't matter, and they don't go to the bathroom, need baths, or sit 
    (unless maybe sleeping takes care of their Comfort). You can play with them, 
    but if you give them a Dragon Chew Toy, they'll entertain themselves. Socially, 
    they're pretty well off on their own and with each other. The only thing they 
    really need from you is food, which is in the form of flowers. Just make sure 
    you have at least six or so sets of wildflowers, which cost a whopping $5 a 
    piece, on your property at all times. Of course, this prevents having a pretty 
    garden, but any tree or shrub you have will be safe.
    Having dragons is a little risky. If you end up putting it in a bad mood no 
    matter what type it is, it'll try to burn everything up in your house. Still, 
    as long as you have those wildflowers like I said, you'll be okay.
    Dragons don't appear on your family list, but you can interact with it sorta 
    like a standard pet. You can get free Dragon Tears and Dragon Scales from him. 
    He also provides another big bonus for Unleashed owners: your dragon will play 
    tag with El Bandito until El Bandito leaves, which might prevent that damn 
    raccoon from waking everyone up.
    If you ever get bored/sick of him, simply interact with him and choose "set 
    free." One dialog box later, he'll walk off your property. If neglected, your 
    dragon may just leave on his own... after torching everything in sight, that 
    |15i. Magical Growths|
    This information was sent to me by Aimee (candyraver69@msn.com), Matt Campbell 
    (flamingblue8z@hotmail.com), treekisser (treekisser@hotmail.com), and Aobh 
    When you have mages in the family, don't stop the magic flying! For every 15 
    spells or so that you cast, there's a chance a crystal will appear somewhere on 
    your property. This is a magic crystal, and when it matures (roughly 2 to 3 
    days after it appears), a magical sim can touch it and gain an ability. The 
    abilities are mainly social interactions that are extremely funny to watch.
    The color of the crystal that grows tells you ahead of time what ability it 
    gives. Here's the run-down...
    RED - Hot Foot: If you've seen any of the old Tom and Jerry cartoons, you know 
    what this one is all about.
    YELLOW - Magic Trick: Impress your friends! Scare your enemies! Prove that the 
    hand is quicker than the eye! Act like you know what you're doing!
    GREEN - Spook: Boo.
    BLUE - Hand Buzzer: You know what hand buzzers are, but this one has a 1000-
    watt charge!
    PURPLE - Teleport: Move quickly from place to place. Very helpful when doing 
    the Toadstool Race quests.
    BLACK - Extinguish: Fire Department too slow? Here's your answer.
    WHITE - Levitate: No strings attached! (Yeah, that's corny... I'm running out 
    of jokes.)
    Children can gain the Hot Foot, Magic Trick, and Teleport abilities, but not 
    the others.
    In addition to Magical Crystals, several items will also grow. There are solar-
    powered flowers, so you can have a pretty garden without needing to water 
    things every few days. There's also a beanstalk that takes some time to grow, 
    but once it does, your magical sims can climb it to find a very unusual 
    If your family lives on a Magic Town lot, it takes less spells to make growths 
    Chuck (jayskers@hotmail.com) has given me the following info on one particular 
    magical growth, the Root of the Problem...
    When you have a root of the problem on your lot, it make your appliances break 
    down and be left in need of repair.  That is only if you use them though.  I 
    found this out by having three in the yard and my Chemistry table breaking 6 
    times in one day before i could get one potion made. I also had full logic. And 
    when i deleted the roots, everything was fine.
    |15ia. The Friggin' Beanstalk|
    I've had a little too much mail about the beanstalk. My policy has been that 
    whenever I get three e-mails about the same subject, I put it in the FAQ. Well, 
    it's been about 400 e-mails this time, so I decided to take some action. This 
    is in a literal FAQ, not in a paragraph form like the rest of the document.
    Q: I e-mailed you about it! That means I helped you make this section!
    A: Um, yeah... That's not really a question, but you're right.
    Q: Oh... eh, should I ask you about the beanstalk now?
    A: Yeah, that might be wise. Right now I'm ticking off everyone who doesn't 
    have a sense of humor, so we should get to it.
    Q: Okay, PF! Tell me, just what the devil IS the beanstalk?
    A: It's one of the many magical growths.
    Q: Cool! How do I get one?
    A: What, if you're a dirty cheater?
    Q: So what if I am?
    A: Well, if you are a cheater, you can download it. There are now sites out 
    there where you can download the magical growths and just BUY them instead of 
    trying to earn them. Cheaters! I hate you all!
    Q: You... You don't REALLY mean that, do you?
    A: Nah, I'm not that hostile. It's your game and your sim world, do what you 
    wish. I personally don't download stuff like that, but that doesn't mean I'll 
    condemn you if you do. Just don't ask me where you can download the objects, 
    because I don't know.
    Q: So where do I go to download the objects?
    A: *sigh*
    Q: What?
    A: Never mind. What's your next question?
    Q: Well, say I'm not a dirty cheater.
    A: You're not a dirty cheater.
    Q: That wasn't funny.
    A: Sure it was.
    Q: Anyway, let's say I actually want to EARN a beanstalk. How do I do that?
    A: Hmm... That's difficult to answer. You have to cast spells like I mention 
    above. Specifically, you need to cast 15 spells on a house lot in Old Town, or 
    10 spells on a house lot in Magic Town. However, just because you cast all 
    those spells doesn't mean you'll get a beanstalk. You may get something else, 
    like an ability crystal or a Root of the Problem.
    Q: So it's random?
    A: In a sense. You have to cast a buttload of spells to get it, so non-magical 
    sims will never get one. But yes, even after you cast a bunch of spells and get 
    a magical growth, you may or may not get the elusive beanstalk.
    Q: That seems like a waste of money.
    A: That wasn't a question.
    Q: Doesn't that seem like a waste of money to you?
    A: That's better. I don't think it is, for two reasons. One, even if you don't 
    get a beanstalk, you may get something else, as I said. If you do, especially 
    an ability crystal, it's worth however much you put into it. Two, even if you 
    get something bad like a Root of the Problem, you haven't really lost that 
    much. I mean, if you have the ability to cast 15 spells just for the sake of 
    casting them, then you're probably rich anyway and can afford to sink some 
    money into a gamble.
    Q: All right, that sounds good. What does the beanstalk do?
    A: When it fully grows, your sims can climb it.
    Q: Awesome! Where the beanstalk lead to?
    A: Ah! I'm not going to tell you that!
    Q: But I *really* want to know!
    A: If you're willing to spoil the surprise, ask around on the GameFAQs message 
    boards, or even the official Maxis message boards. Trust me, everyone there 
    will tell you.
    Q: Okay, don't ruin it for me, but can you give me a hint?
    A: There's a special giant at the top of the beanstalk, and the giant gives you 
    something. I mean, gives your sims something tangible. You know, for their 
    Q: How long does it take to grow?
    A: Roughly 30-40 sim days, but let it go 45 sim days just to be safe.
    Q: Sweet! I'm off to get a beanstalk now!
    A: Good.
    Q: Uh, PF?
    A: What?
    Q: I have a problem.
    A: Alrighty. Tell me.
    Q: Can I have the serial number for the game?
    A: You son of a...
    Q: Just kidding!
    A: Right. Is this a real problem or are you just trying to tick me off?
    Q: No, I have a real problem. I got a beanstalk, and it grew, but...
    A: But you can't climb it.
    Q: How'd you know?
    A: FAQ Authors' intuition. It's a common problem with the beanstalk.
    Q: Okay, so, wtf? Is it a bug?
    A: No. There's actually TWO types of beanstalks. They are identical in 
    appearance, and you won't know which one you got until it fully grows. The 
    first beanstalk only grows to 16 segments. That one is completely unclimbable. 
    The second one grows to 17 segments. THAT is the one that's climbable. If the 
    thing fully grew and you can't climb it, it's probably a 16-segment one. All 
    you can do with those is delete them.
    Q: So I wasted my time and money?
    A: If you have a 16-segement beanstalk, yes.
    Q: Damn. How do I prevent it from happening again?
    A: You can't. Rumors said that the beanstalk only grew in Magic Town. However, 
    Joshua Gallie (jackharvest89@hotmail.com) proved that the 17-segment beanstalk 
    CAN grow in Old Town. So really, just keep on casting spells, because you may 
    or may not get a 16- or 17-segement beanstalk.
    Q: Is there any other way I can guarantee getting the climbable one?
    A: As far as I know, no.
    Q: That stinks.
    A: Yeah, but trust me, the reward is worth it.
    Q: Thanks for your help, PF!
    A: My pleasure.
    Q: Say, while I've got you here...
    A: Make it quick.
    Q: Are you going to make an FAQ for The Sims 2?
    A: Damn straight. Unless I'm physically unable to type, I *will* write an FAQ 
    for The Sims 2 when it comes out. My FAQ won't come out as quick as these, 
    because I'll be writing one for a new game, which will take longer than just 
    throwing together what is essentially expansion pack information. But the short 
    answer is yes. I will write an FAQ for The Sims 2, and probably all of the 
    expansion packs that will undoubtedly follow.
    Q: All right! You made my day! Time to head out!
    A: Later, dude.
    |15j. Cooking|
    Cooking has now been expanded (although it's only for adults)! With enough 
    people doing it, you may be able to make a living just cooking all day.
    The first two things you need are a special oven and the Nectar Press. The 
    special oven can be found in the appliance sort and is a tall beige thing, like 
    what they used to cook pizzas in. Please note that this oven cannot be used for 
    standard meals, so you'll need a different oven too. The Nectar Press is in the 
    miscellaneous sort and looks like a giant barrel tub.
    You can't cook without knowing how, so now you need a recipe book. Get an 
    end table or desk, then buy the recipe book, which is also in the miscellaneous 
    sort. If you're rich and don't want to keep buying ingredients, also buy the 
    honey maker and butter churn. You can also head to Magic Town and buy grape 
    vine sprigs and elderberry sprigs, which can be planted like the seeds from Old 
    Then check out the recipe book. Its interface is identical to the spell book, 
    but you don't have to unlock a recipe to read about it. Then, it's just a 
    matter of selecting the ingredients, throwing them in the oven or press, and 
    baking or stomping to your heart's content.
    Anything baked is immediately served, but nectar can be sold. If you choose to 
    keep the nectar, you can buy a Nectar Bar from the miscellaneous sort. The 
    combination of the oven and Nectar Bar is PHENOMENAL for parties (except for 
    the fact that the chefs don't get to socialize). If you role-play your sims 
    like I do, the Nectar Bar is a perfect addition to high-class parties, the kind 
    that have pianos instead of jukeboxes and charades instead of strippers... I 
    mean, dancers.
    Oh, and if the chef has high cooking, the baked goods are EXTREMELY filling.
    |15k. The Complete Recipe Book|
    Here's a copy of the recipe book. If a recipe is marked as "Secret," then it's 
    not initially listed in the book, but after you make it once it will appear. 
    Trust me, I thoroughly test every "secret" recipe to make sure it works.
    RECIPE 1:
    Grapes 2x
    RECIPE 2:
    Elderberry 2x
    RECIPE 3:
    RECIPE 4 (secret):
    Grapes x2
    Toad Sweat
    This recipe was submitted by Tarkonason (Tarkonason@aol.com).
    RECIPE 5:
    Baking Mix 3x
    RECIPE 6:
    Baking Mix
    RECIPE 7:
    Baking Mix
    *Carrots can only be bought in Old Town, so you must have Unleashed installed 
    to get this recipe.
    RECIPE 8:
    Baking Mix
    RECIPE 9 (secret):
    Pixie Dust
    Baking Mix
    *NOTE: Despite what many people have told me, THIS is the only way to make it.*
    *NOTE: Once made, the chef will eat it immediately. It will either boost 
    his/her moods, or temporarily turn his/head into a donkey's.*
    ||16. 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!
    |16a. 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
    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.
    |16b. 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.
    |16c. 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.
    |16d. 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
    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!
    |16e. High-Maintenance Pets|
    If you bought an HM pet, you're going to have a lot to do in the first couple
    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).
    |16ea. 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 (axemdrake@yahoo.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.
    |16eb. 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
    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
    |16ec. 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.
    |16ed. 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.
    |16ee. 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 (kriswalker@earthlink.net) 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.
    (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
    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.
    ||18. 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
    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 (jagdtiger@softhome.net) 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...
    |18a. 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 (floristlillia@yahoo.com) 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 (shrimp1shady1@yahoo.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.
    ||19. 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.
    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
    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 (deathtrav2000@yahoo.com) shares some information on reducing fire
    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
    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
    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.
    That's happened to me too. Gotta love fire!
    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
    (duffmary@gis.net) 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.
    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
    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...
    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.
    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 (decesare@verizon.net) and David
    Singleton (mr_psychic@hotmail.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 (baz@ifriendly.com) 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
    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.
    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 (alixpac@yahoo.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 (chili_das_schaf@yahoo.de) 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
    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.
    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 (argenta@alternet.com.br) for talking me into
    putting this one in my FAQ.
    |Dragon Food|
    My thanks go out to Kevin Cox on the GameFAQs.com message boards, who posted 
    Dragons not only eat flowers, but they'll munch on frogs too. That's a very, 
    very bad thing if the frog happens to be a victim of a Toadification spell... 
    Basically, don't cast that spell on an important sim if you've also got a 
    dragon hopping around.
    |19a. 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
    There is a way to reverse a zombie's status though, as Cuervoe 
    (cuervoe@cox.net) explains...
    I started a new family w/ Willow, Tara, and "Sunny" Dale. (I named her Sunny, 
    not Buffy, because I was pissed over Buffy killing Spike.  Ah, geekdom.) Okay, 
    so Tara casts a spell while in a less than perfect mood, catches the gnome on 
    fire. She and Sunny try to put it out and both die in the process. Willow, of 
    course, begs the grim dude for Tara's life.  Gets Zombie Tara back. Begs for 
    Sunny/Buffy, gets nothing but a headstone, evil hee hee hee.
    So Zombie Tara goes on her merry way.  (Dies once more, by the way, to be saved 
    again by the ever vigilant Willow.  Zombie x 2.)  Well, I got an idea.  Had 
    Tara cast Shed Your Skin.  When it wore off she became ungreen.  Then I bought 
    a potion thingy, made the [yellow] potion, reversed her non-personality, and 
    now she's perfect Tara.
    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
    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
    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?
    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.
    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 (fudgsiclebanana@juno.com) sends this [confirmed by Lunar34
    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.
    With the addition of the honeymaker in Makin' Magic, Claire sometimes pops up 
    to eat any honey you may have left unharvested in the jars. She'll steal it, 
    but she'll soon be ejected from the house in a true Kodak moment.
    |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 (chili_das_schaf@yahoo.de) 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
    |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
    Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net) corrects me here, and her words are confirmed by 
    treekisser (treekisser@hotmail.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
    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 (bbhood21@yahoo.com) 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,
    |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
    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
    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.
    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 (nofear7689@hotmail.com) and
    Tawnee (fudgsiclebanana@juno.com) 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 (synnylg@yahoo.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
    Robert "pyramus" Matthews (pyramus@ns.sympatico.ca) 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 (onnadeathscythe@hotmail.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 (bbhood21@yahoo.com) 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
    (cjm@redpanda.com) says (and Jason Algarme [bbhood21@yahoo.com] 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
    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 (darth_tnt@hotmail.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
    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 
    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.
    ||21. 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...
    |21a. 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 Makin' Magic). Pieces of it will 
    be in other sections here, so you don't have to read every word of my alpha
    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 
    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
    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
    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 
    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).
    |21b. 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
    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
    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
    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.
    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 (alixpac@yahoo.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.
    |21c. 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
    |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
    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
    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 (alixpac@yahoo.com) says
    [confirmed by Chili (chili_das_schaf@yahoo.de)]:
    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 (samantha_hall@yahoo.com) 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
    Robert "pyramus" Matthews (pyramus@ns.sympatico.ca) 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
    Chili (chili_das_schaf@yahoo.de) 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.
    |21d. Strategies Submitted by Readers|
    If you want to submit something, send it to pyrofalkon@hotmail.com. It will be
    posted here with all due credit.
    |Perfect Personality|
    submitted by Robert Lanciani (duffmary@gis.net)
    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 (nintendoguy99@yahoo.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.
    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 (dominant9th@hotmail.com)
    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
    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 (sketchydetails@hotmail.com)
    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 (rsaunders6@cox.net)
    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!
    submitted by Svein Kvamme (svein.kvamme@tibe.no)
    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
    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 (pyramus@ns.sympatico.ca)
    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
    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
    |Monsterpieces II|
    submitted by Jason Algarme (bbhood21@yahoo.com)
    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
    |General Strategy|
    submitted by Robin (shadowv@hulla.info)
    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 (sablearcana@hotmail.com)
    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....
    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
    All the tools I mention (aside from MS Paint and Photoshop of course) can be
    found at http://thesims.ea.com/
    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.
    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
    Mike "Monsoon" Gibby (mgibby@mail.sisna.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.
    ||23. 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
    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
    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 selected person's motive contribution curve to a file  (dump_mc)
    Enable debug flag to show outcome choice dialogs for social interactions 
    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 
    Rematch dependent textures and regenerate bitmaps for all user characters 
    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 
    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)
    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 (chili_das_schaf@yahoo.de):
    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 (synnylg@yahoo.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):
    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.
    misty (misty@ntws.net):
    One of my frogs turned into a prince!  My child cast Make Cakes.   My adults 
    went and started kissing the frogs (to collect free toad sweat) and one of the 
    frogs turned into a prince.  He is now a family member.
    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. ;)
    |25a. Method 1|
    =>Quicker of the two methods
    =>Only a few files are needed, reducing the backup file size
    =>Restoration is in-game
    =>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 
    |25b. Method 2|
    =>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
    =>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 
    |                 PART 4: FAQ STUFF                  |
    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 (nafai@texas.net) contributed some information on relationship meters
    RHunterLand (RHunterLand@netscape.net) contributed several uses for kids
    Robert Lanciani (duffmary@gis.net) 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 (cassidy@wilyums.com) testified that the lifetime relationship meter 
    can be brought to 100 in one day
    Santarelli Andrew (nintendoguy99@yahoo.com) sent me a strategy to get a good 
    starting boost
    Erik Ilacad (dominant9th@hotmail.com) gave me a strategy on relationships
    John Godwin (nWomkensethwhatdude@msn.com) sent a strategy on the tutorial 
    Death Trav (deathtrav2000@yahoo.com) showed me a way to decrease fire damage
    Sheepgood detailed the lifetime relationship meter a bit
    Roel Kroesen (kroesen@home.nl) sent me information on the "Talk" phone option
    Both Decesare (decesare@verizon.net) and David Singleton 
    (mr_psychic@hotmail.com)  corrected me by saying that the burglar can appear in 
    the day as well as night
    Erik Swinson (CronoFiend@msn.com) and Samuel Loucks (gragnoth@yahoo.com) found 
    a use for the Body skill
    Sketchy Details (sketchydetails@hotmail.com) gave a nifty way to prevent 
    burglars from getting inside the house
    Glynnys Chua (synnylg@yahoo.com) corrected the time that children go to school
    Florist Lillia (floristlillia@yahoo.com) posed a theory about children's 
    Samantha (samantha_hall@yahoo.com) sent an addition to my strategy on taking 
    care of babies
    Glynnys Chua (synnylg@yahoo.com) showed me how to get Santa Claus to appear
    Karmo04 (karmo04@hotmail.com) argued about the value of giving gifts
    Green Devil (shrimp1shady1@yahoo.com) specified exactly how sim kids' 
    personalities are determined
    Mike 'Monsoon' Gibby (mgibby@mail.sisna.com) submitted a great way to save disk 
    space if you want MP3s on your radio stations
    Rick Saunders (rsaunders6@cox.net) 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 (alanisman1@hotmail.com) told me that gift-giving is actually a 
    rejectable interaction
    Trans (baz@ifriendly.com) pointed out that I missed the Tragic Clown disaster
    LightningStryke (LightningStryke@aol.com) reminded me about the Illness 
    LightningStryke (LightningStryke@aol.com) gave me more details about the 
    Illness disaster
    Rodrigo Argenta (argenta@alternet.com.br) talked me into putting the 
    cockroaches in the disaster section
    Doyle Brigman (d_brigman@hotmail.com) 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 (kriswalker@earthlink.net) reminded me about the cat/goldfish 
    KoRnRulz1987 (KoRnRulz1987@aol.com) gave me info on winning Vacation Island 
    Cameron (GldnGirl89@aol.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information
    Adyroo2002 (Adyroo2002@aol.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information
    Bianca "Kaori" Armbrister (onnadeathscythe@hotmail.com) added something to 
    Unconfirmed Information
    Ali Ateya Neama (alixpac@yahoo.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 (svein.kvamme@tibe.no) submitted a strategy
    Ali Ateya Neama (alixpac@yahoo.com) also had one minor addition to the Guinea 
    Pig Plague disaster
    Iua Yha (nata287_7@hotmail.com), Justin Miller (justin@michigan-sucks.com), and 
    Tawnee (fudgsiclebanana@juno.com) all confirmed that there are substitutes to 
    the dancers in the cake, and Justin told me the exact reason why
    Da Moose Nuechtern (nofear7689@hotmail.com) and Tawnee 
    (fudgsiclebanana@juno.com) confirmed the information about the Loch Ness 
    Tawnee (fudgsiclebanana@juno.com) also added something to Unconfirmed 
    Sunlightbeauty (Sunlightbeauty@aol.com) told me about the voodoo chick in Old 
    Robert "pyramus" Matthews (pyramus@ns.sympatico.ca) 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 
    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 (dgruber2@rochester.rr.com) confirmed that there Claire reacts to bear-
    related things outside your house
    Chili (chili_das_schaf@yahoo.de) 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 (axemdrake@yahoo.com) reminded me that animals will eat people 
    Jason Algarme (bbhood21@yahoo.com) gave me additional information on monster 
    potions, a modification to a reader strategy, and confirmed the Evil Clone 
    Chris Moir (cjm@redpanda.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information
    Boe Neiswenter (Loboe@citynet.net) added a piece of unconfirmed information
    Jason Algarme (bbhood21@yahoo.com) expanded his information on the monster 
    potion and confirmed one piece of unconfirmed information
    Robin (shadowv@hulla.info) sent a me a general strategy
    Kenny Brubaker (kenny_brubaker@THE-I.NET) sent me a rather demonic (but fun) 
    Glynnys Chua (synnylg@yahoo.com) 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
    Joe Nobody (joenobody@attbi.com) sent me a tip on the stalker
    Brad Harris (MasterKamSolusar@msn.com) told me that stalkers cannot ascend 
    Ali Ateya Neama (alixpac@yahoo.com) confirmed one piece of unconfirmed 
    TNT (darth_tnt@hotmail.com) added something to Other Events and Rumor Killers
    IcedTeaLatte (IcedTeaLatte@aol.com) told me a bit about the modeling career
    Rita Bartish (mbi535@hotmail.com) refined Erik Ilacad's strategy
    Several people told me that the stalker could ascend stairs
    |For FAQ v1.3|
    Tarkonason (Tarkonason@aol.com) submitted the secret recipe Magic Nectar
    Aimee (candyraver69@msn.com) gave me some info on Magic Crystals, dragons, and 
    Matt Campbell (flamingblue8z@hotmail.com) gave me enough information to make 
    him worthy of being hired by the CIA
    treekisser (treekisser@hotmail.com) confirmed a piece of unconfirmed 
    information, gave a theory to the Polar Attraction spell, and assisted with 
    Magic Crystals
    |For FAQ v1.4|
    Raf (bighairycellar@mac.com) added a tip for the butler
    Cuervoe (cuervoe@cox.net) discovered how to reverse zombie status
    SilverBlaze (SilverBlaze1313@cs.com) led me to a theory about dragon types
    A bunch of people gave me information on how to make Magic Tarts, although most 
    of them were wrong
    IcedTeaLatte (IcedTeaLatte@aol.com) added some info on the Perfect Garden spell
    Aobh (sablearcana@hotmail.com) gave me a strategy for farming
    Kevin Cox posted a magical-related disaster on the GameFAQs message board
    Scott Krumpe (justincasedcp@bellsouth.net), Kal (tim@chaosphere.org.uk), and 
    CJayC (the webmaster of GameFAQs.com) found and stopped someone who plagiarized 
    my work
    |For FAQ v1.5|
    jagdtiger (jagdtiger@softhome.net) added a tip on children
    Forelli_Boy (nyfrank55@hotmail.com) pointed out something about friends
    |For FAQ v1.6|
    Richard Nelson (rlnelson@ticnet.com) confirmed a piece of unconfirmed 
    Arian (Vertualcow@aol.com) gave a theory about the Polar Attraction spell
    misty (misty@ntws.net) added a piece of unconfirmed information
    |For FAQ v1.7|
    Chuck (jayskers@hotmail.com) added information about Magical Growths
    |For FAQ v1.8|
    An uncountable number of people have told me the second way to get rid of the 
    Tragic Clown
    |For FAQ v1.9|
    Kathleen Brown (firedragoness@swbell.net) submitted a report on the "A Friend 
    Indeed" spell
    |For FAQ v1.9a|
    Joshua Gallie (jackharvest89@hotmail.com) confirmed and proved that the 17-
    segment beanstalk can grow in Old Town
    v2.0 (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.
    v1.9a (28 July 2004)
    Tiny little update here. The Beanstalk has been confirmed to grow in Old Town, 
    so I've updated the Beanstalk mini-FAQ to reflect it.
    v1.9 (10 June 2004)
    It's a little bizarre that this FAQ, which succeeds my Superstar version, now 
    has a higher version number. Either I covered the Superstar stuff more 
    thoroughly than in Makin' Magic, or I had more help with this one than the 
    other one. Or, more probably, a combination of the two.
    Anyway, there's only one addition this time around, but it's a dandy. One 
    reader did an experiment with the "A Friend Indeed" spell, so her findings are 
    in the description of that spell.
    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 (28 February 2004)
    Okay, this will PROBABLY be the final update for this FAQ. Not because I'm 
    giving up on it or anything, but because I honestly don't think there's 
    anything else that I left out unintentionally. (For the love of humanity, stop 
    writing to me about magical backfires! I'm not going to put them in the FAQ!) 
    What we have today is two small additions. The first is from a reader about the 
    Magical Growths, specifically the Root of the Problem. The second is from me, a 
    small internal FAQ on the beanstalk. You can find both additions at the end of 
    the Magical Growths subsection of the It's MAAAAAGIC!!! section.
    v1.6 (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 few 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. Third, I've added a detailed subsection on how to get Black 
    Roses. Fourth, someone has given another theory about the Polar Attraction 
    spell. Fifth, someone has contributed a piece of unconfirmed information. Sixth 
    and finally, I've moved the Magical Crystals part of Other Events and Rumor 
    Killers to a new subsection of the Magic section. I think it's more fitting 
    I also went through the whole magic section and made a few grammatical and 
    spelling changes, along with minor additions and deletions to spell 
    descriptions and such.
    v1.5 (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.
    v1.4 (17 November 2003)
    I've got a bunch of reader contributions this time around.
    Okay, here's what we've got. Added one tip on the butler. Got a way to reverse 
    being a zombie, so that's in the Death subsection. A reader led me to a theory 
    about how to get the different types of dragons. Added a new (secret) recipe. A 
    little bit more info on the Perfect Garden spell is here. Added a bit of info 
    on the new Magical Cabinet, a download on the official Sims site; the info is 
    in the Magic 101 subsection. Added to the info on Magic Crystals. Added a new 
    reader strategy for farming. Finally, I added one more disaster, this one being 
    Makin' Magic-only compatible.
    Additionally, Scott Krumpe (justincasedcp@bellsouth.net) and Kal 
    (tim@chaosphere.org.uk) alerted me that someone plagiarized me. I have to thank 
    CJayC, the webmaster of GameFAQs, also; within 24 hours of me getting the first 
    word that I had been plagiarized, CJayC removed the offending FAQ. Thanks so 
    much to all three of you for helping me.
    v1.3 (10 November 2003)
    THIS, my friends, is the very definition of an update. Matt Campbell 
    (flamingblue8z@hotmail.com) takes center stage since 99% of this would not have 
    made it here if he hadn't written me such a fantastic e-mail. (He was POLITE, 
    too!!!) Most of this update is thanks to his information, so I hope you don't 
    mind that I don't put his name on every little thing he helped out with.
    What do we have... I added "Dueling" to the table of contents (I have it in the 
    Magic section, so I have no idea why I forgot to put it there). We've got 
    updated info on the butler and Bonehilda in the Hired Help subsection. There's 
    a new subsection called Magical Kids in the Magic section; there's also the 
    Complete Kids' Spellbook because kids' spells are different from adults'. There 
    is no kids' recipe book because only adults can cook. I've expanded (more or 
    less rewritten) the Dragon subsection, and moved it from Other Events and Rumor 
    Killers to Magic. There's a new Magic Crystals subsection in Other Events and 
    Rumor Killers.
    I've also got one secret recipe, and a piece of unconfirmed information about 
    the red love potion has been confirmed.
    v1.2 (8 November 2003)
    Another update! I got the last spell... I guess there really wasn't a glitch 
    with my game; the stalker was just being an idiot. Ah well, my spellbook is 
    complete now.
    v1.1 (1 November 2003)
    Wow, not one day passes and I've got an update. I've added a dragon subsection 
    to the Other Events and Rumor Killers section. Also, my guide is now being 
    hosted by IGN, so you can check it out there. I forgot to put a closing line on 
    my FAQ too, so one's down there now. Finally, the subsection on Claire the Bear 
    was edited.
    v1.0 (31 October 2003)
    Just in time for Halloween! Technically the first version of this guide, this 
    is just yet another expansion to the guide I've already had going for some 
    time. Oh, there IS a new subsection in the money section called "Hired Help."
    ||28. 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:
    Other sites may have up-to-date versions, but check GameFAQs or IGN first.
    ||29. 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.
    Good luck in The Sims: Makin' Magic! May all your spells go without a backfire, 
    and may all your dragons be cute and cuddly!

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