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 The Sims - Makin' Magic

 
   
 
 
The Sims - Makin' Magic

Full Strategy Guide

Document written by PyroFalkon (pyrofalkon@hotmail.com)
Current Version: 1.8
Last Update: 24 April 2004

+---------------+
|+-------------+|
||LATEST UPDATE||
|+-------------+|
+---------------+

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.



+-------------------+
|+-----------------+|
||TABLE OF CONTENTS||
|+-----------------+|
+-------------------+


PART 1: THE BASICS
==================
 1. Intro
 2. Creating a family
    a. Attributes
 3. Buying a lot and building a house
    a. Build Mode, and tips for building
    b. Buy Mode, and tips for buying
    c. the Option gump
 4. Taking care of yourself
    a. Hunger
    b. Comfort
    c. Hygiene
    d. Bladder
    e. Energy
    f. Fun
    g. Social
    h. Room
 5. Taking care of others
 6. Money
    a. Jobs
    b. Arts and Crafts
    c. Farming
    d. Hired Help
    e. Other Money Tips
 7. Skills
    a. Skill Gain Rates
 8. Sim Love
    a. Having and Greeting Visitors
    b. Interests
 9. Astrological Signs
    a. Aquarius
    b. Pisces
    c. Aries
    d. Taurus
    e. Gemini
    f. Cancer
    g. Leo
    h. Virgo
    i. Libra
    j. Scorpio
    k. Sagittarius
    l. Capricorn

PART 2: OTHER AREAS OF SIMCITY
==============================
10. Downtown
    a. Having a date or friend with you downtown
    b. Constructing buildings
11. Vacation Island
    a. Having a date with you on vacation
12. Old Town
13. Studio Town
    a. Who Said Being a Superstar Was Easy?
    b. Let's Get It On!
    c. Music: The Next Will Smith!
    d. Acting: The Next Patrick Stewart!
    e. Modeling: The Next Heidi Klum!
    f. Rubbing Elbows with the Mighty
    g. Butlers and Stalkers
14. Magic Town: The New Area of SimCity

PART 3: THOSE LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE LIFE FUN
==============================================
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

PART 4: FAQ STUFF
=================
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?)



+----------------------+
|+--------------------+|
||2. CREATING A FAMILY||
|+--------------------+|
+----------------------+

Once you get past the title screen and all that, you'll come to a view of the
huge neighborhood. There may be a bunch of houses scattered around, one of
which has a big flashing arrow. That's the tutorial house, and I recommend you
play it before leaping into The Sims. Of course, you don't have to, and I cover
in this FAQ pretty much everything it says in the tutorial.

Across the top are a few buttons. The one you're interested in is the left-most
of the center group, the one with a few people on it. Click that and you'll be
taken to a screen that lists all the families that are not currently in houses
(I call this the barracks; what can I say, I'm a fan of Worms: World Party).
Click an empty line (or the button with a few people and a plus sign) to create
a new family.

You'll be prompted to enter a last name. For my examples, I'll refer to my
primary family that I've got going here... so, type in the last name that suits
you. In my case, "Falkon."

After that, click the button that lit up: the top one of the group of three.
Here, you'll get to personalize your first character. The simplest thing listed
is at the top, the first name. Obviously, "Pyro" goes here for me.

Next, you need to enter your character's attributes.

+--------------+
|2a. Attributes|
+--------------+

The attributes are divided into five catagories: Neat, Outgoing, Active,
Playful, and Nice. You can assign up to 10 points to any attribute, but you
have a total limit of 25 points.

NEAT indicates how environmentally-conscious your sim is, and what the chance
is of it doing cleaning actions automatically. If it's set to max, then your
sim will always clear the table and flush the toilet when finished eating and
doing their business, respectively (at least, I HOPE it's respectively). A
minimum rating of zero will make your sim a complete slob who doesn't mind
being in its own filth. This rating has an indirect effect on the Room bar; see
Mood Bars their own section for details.

OUTGOING indicates how well your sim gets to know others. If set to 10, it
makes friends easily; if set to 0, it makes friends as easily as a corpse. This
rating has an indirect effect on the Social bar.

ACTIVE indicates how much your sim likes to move around. A high rating means
that it would rather play basketball, for example, than watch TV. A low rating
means just the opposite. Also, the rating directly affects how long it takes
for that sim to get up after it wakes up. A sim with an ACTIVE rating of 10
will literally leap out of bed. A sim with a zero rating will take one full
game hour to get out of bed once it wakes up.

PLAYFUL indicates how much your sim prefers games over serious things. This,
combined with ACTIVE, gives you an idea of what your sim wants to do with
itself to get its Fun mood up. Again, check out the Mood Meter section for
details.

NICE indicates just how well your sim gets along with others. This, combined
with OUTGOING, affects the way your sim makes friends.

Once you have your attributes set, check out the series of seven buttons to the
right. The top two affect whether the sim is a child or an adult. Families
should have at least one adult, since children can't get jobs to earn money.
Below that are three buttons that change your sim's skin tone from light to
medium to dark. The bottom two set its gender; the one on the left is for
males, the one to the right is for females.

Once you have your sim's age, skin tone, and gender set, take a look at the
arrows that flank your sim's head and body. Using those, you can scroll through
the available choices of heads and clothes (called skins). Don't worry so much
about the clothes since those can be changed in-game, but once you choose a
head, it's locked in for eternity.

The attributes are almost permanent once you set them, so make sure you think
carefully before you confirm your choice.

At the bottom of this screen is a section where you can write a bio. It's
totally optional, but I think it's fun to give my sims backstories.

To confirm your choices, click the Done button. You'll be taken back to the
family screen where you entered the last name. You can add up to seven more
family members for a total of eight, but you have to be careful. The more
people you have, the faster you earn money, but the more maintenance you pay.
If this is your first family, I'd stick with no more than two.

For my strategy (outlined in a later section), I use three adults: Pyro,
Stephanie, and Pud.

In the bios, I declare Pyro and Stephanie to be married, and Pud is Pyro's
brother. Now, there is no "official" way to set any relationship; I could
consider the Falkons to all be siblings if I wanted, or all be married to each
other, or both. Of course, since I'm normal, I'm just sticking with a simple
marriage with a tag-along brother.

If you make a mistake on a family member, you can click that sim, then the
bottom button of the Create Family screen to edit him or her. If things go
horribly wrong, you can click the sim, then the middle button to end its life
before it even begins. Once you're satisfied with your family, click the done
button on the Create Family screen, but remember that you can never come back
to the Create Family screen again to edit anyone.



+--------------------------------------+
|+------------------------------------+|
||3. BUYING A LOT AND BUILDING A HOUSE||
|+------------------------------------+|
+--------------------------------------+

On the family select screen, click the family you just made, then the button in
the bottom-right (a family with an arrow pointing to a house). You'll be kicked
back to the neighborhood screen where you can select which lot you want to buy.
You have to buy a lot that does not have a family already there, but you CAN
buy one if it already contains a house. However, I like building houses (and
it's cheaper that way than buying a huge house off the bat). The more people
that are in your sim family, the less expensive the lot you should buy. It's up
to you, of course, but there's no reason to make this too hard if it's your
first time.

If the lot you want is taken by a family and/or a house, you can evict the
family and/or bulldoze the house to clear the lot. To do so, click the button
at the top of the screen with a bulldozer. Your cursor will change; click the
lot you wish to clear after that. If there's a family there, you'll be asked if
you want to evict them. Doing so sells all of their house objects (everything
but walls, carpets, and wallpaper), then throws them and their money into the
barracks. Either way, you'll then be asked to bulldoze the house. If you agree,
the lot is slaughtered. Trees and hills stay as they were, but the walls,
carpets, and roofs will be no more.

Make sure your family is selected, then click the lot you wish to move into.
All families start with $20,000 (simoleans), and once you buy the lot, the cost
is automatically deducted from your account.

+--------------+
|3a. Build Mode|
+--------------+

After the game loads, your family will be standing near its mailbox beside the
empty lot. There's a whole mess of buttons here, but this section of my FAQ
covers building the house, so let's worry about only the bare essentials for
now. Off the bat, click the small button that's fifth from the left; it has
three dots horizontally through the middle of it. That's the option gump, and
what you need to click is the disk icon in the top-left corner of the group of
six. That's how you save the game, and I seriously suggest you save it
immediately. If something goes horribly wrong during the construction of the
building, you can always load and not have too many problems.

Once it's saved, click the third button from the left of the main five; it
looks like a house. That takes you to Build Mode, the place you go to construct
your house.

The two buttons on the far left of the gump that just appeared are Undo and
Redo. Let's ignore those for now, since you haven't done anything yet. The
first tool for house construction is the wall tool, which is located in the top
row, third from the left. Click that, and you'll get a long list of choices for
everything relating to walls. The wall itself is the very first item, and it
costs $70 per section, which can add up to a crapload of money.

To create a wall, simply click-and-drag across the landscape wherever you want
the wall. To quickly make a room, you can hold SHIFT as you drag, and it will
make a rectangle for you. To undo a mistake, either click the undo button
(which also returns all your money), or hold CONTROL and click-drag (which only
returns half the wall cost).

You can't blow your remaining money on your house alone since you'll need to
end up buying things like toilets and refrigerators, so try to cut corners
whenever you can. The bathroom is really the only room you need to keep
isolated; you can combine the living and bed rooms for now.

Your rooms should not be more than 5 tiles by 5 tiles, but that doesn't mean
you can't have an "invisible" wall. Check out this crappy ASCII art to see what
I mean...

+-----+-----+
|     |     |
|     |     |
| KIT | LVR |
|     |     |
|     |     |
+-----+-----+

Now, this is two rooms that are 5x5 each (count the dashes, not the actual
distance). The one marked KIT is the kitchen, and the one marked LVR is the
living room. This is a good starting setup, but it can be improved by one
little change...

+-----------+
|           |
|           |
| KIT   LVR |
|           |
|           |
+-----------+

Now the wall that separated the two rooms is gone, saving you $350, which is
enough to buy a burglar alarm and a phone with enough left over for a meal. If
you absolutely must have that center wall, you can always add it later. This
early in the game though, every single simolean counts.

I recommend that you make the bathroom no more than 3x4, and the bedroom no
larger than the standard 5x5. Again, this is ALL temporary; you can extend and
expand to your heart's content once you have the money.

To help you with the view, check out the buttons that are just above the clock
on the left side. Those are the various wall views you can use. From left to
right: first story / second story, roof view, walls up, walls cutaway, and
walls down. Don't worry about the story selection since you haven't even built
the ground floor yet. While building walls, I just leave the walls down. It
lets you see your design clearly without having to rotate the view or anything
like that.

If you do want to rotate or zoom the view, you can use the buttons in the
bottom left: the two curved arrows, and the plus and minus arrows. Play around
with the views as much as you want; time is frozen in Build Mode.

You now need doors for house. The tool for this looks amazingly like a door;
just click it and you'll get a list of door styles. The doorless frame for $150
is perhaps the most functional of them all, since your sims don't have to waste
time opening doors all day. Of course, I always put closed doors around the
bathroom; even though it makes no difference in practice, I don't think my sims
would appreciate being spied on during their moment of privacy.

Anyway, set up your doors however you see fit. Make sure you don't forget to
get a door on every room, but remember that you don't have to connect *every*
room to *every other* room. Also make sure you put a door on an exterior wall;
that will be your front door. Any room will do, but the bathroom is not
recommended unless you want all your visitors to get peeks of sims in showers.
(Note to self: make an all female sim family and test out this method of door
placement.)

You can now add windows, wallpaper (which covers both interior and external
walls), and flooring, but I recommend against all of it for now. However, I'll
tell you how to mess with it, whether you're doing it now or later.

Windows are added like doors and can even go on interior walls, although I fail
to see why you would want to do that. The smaller the room is, the less windows
it needs to be fully lit. A 5x5 room only needs two windows max.

By the way, some doors have windows in them and do add to the light in a room.
They tend to be more expensive, but it's your choice.

Carpet can be chosen by clicking the icon that's second to the left of the
bottom row, below the water drop. After selecting the flooring patern you want,
you can click-drag an area that you want to cover, or hold SHIFT then click,
which fills the whole room. Wallpaper works the same way; just click the icon
of a paintbrush to get started. You can remove any flooring or wallpaper by
CTRL-clicking, or even SHIFT-CTRL-clicking, which will remove everything from
that whole room.

Finally, you need customize the roof on your house. Simply click the icon that
looks like a roof, and you can choose the pitch and style of the roof. You
don't have too many choices, but you should have plenty to work with.

I'll describe the other tools in Build Mode to you here...

The far left icon of the top row is the landscaping tool. With this, you can
raise, lower, or level the land; you can also grow or shrink grass, making your
lawn a lush green or a dusty brown.

Beside that is the water tool. You can add a pool with a diving board and
ladder with three of the tools. The fourth tool, big water drop, lets you
manually change tiles to little pools of water. In theory, you could make a
river, pond, or even a moat. I haven't used it much myself, but experiment to
heck and back.

Next to the water tool is the wall selection. What I didn't mention above is
that you can select fences and pillars here as well as the basic wall. Take a
look at the selection, but you probably don't want to buy any of it this early.

On the other side of the paintbrush is the staircase button. You can eventually
add a second story to your house, but that's insanely unimportant at the
moment. Keep it in mind in case you want to expand eventually.

The last icon of the top row is the fireplace tool. Again, those are so
stupid-expensive that you don't need to deal with it yet.

Now, the bottom row. The left-most icon is the plant tool. You can buy flowers,
trees, and shrubs to spruce up your lawn. This is another luxury you can deal
with once you're rich.

You know what the flooring, door, window, and roof tools do. The last one in
that row is the hand tool. You can use that to move objects, flowers, shrubs,
trees, fences, and a whole bunch of other stuff around. It's rather pointless
since your house is empty at the moment, but it's there whenever you need it.

+------------+
|3b. Buy Mode|
+------------+

The button to the left of the Build Mode button, the one with a chair and lamp
on it, takes you to Buy Mode. Here, you're greeted with a list of catagories of
Stuff To Buy. Watch your money, but don't neglect the basics.

You can use the eight buttons in the Buy Mode gump to select what precisely you
want to buy. You have chairs and beds, tables and other surfaces, decorations,
and electronics in the top row. In the bottom row are appliances, everything
relating to plumbing, lamps of all flavors, and miscellaneous items.

There's a secondary way you can sort the list. If you click the Buy Mode button
again, those eight catagories will switch to a room sort. Then, you can click
the appropriate button for the room you want to furnish, and go from there.
They are: living room, dining room, bedroom, and study on the top row. Kitchen,
bathroom, outside, and miscellaneous are across the bottom row.

Once you click any sort, be it a room or catagory, you get a subsort to further
your search. If you just want to browse a catagory, click the infinity symbol
in any subsort to view all the items of that catagory or room (this is the only
way to find some items).

If you click-and-hold on any item, a short description and larger picture will
come up. The price is shown along with any mood or skills it will raise. I'll
get more into the moods in the next section, and skills after that. If a
description of an item includes the line "Group Activity," it means that at
least two sims can use the item simultaneously, generally increasing the Social
meter as well as whatever else it normally increases. Some descriptions may
include "Can only be used by an adult" or "Can only be used by a child," both
of which are self-explanatory.

I won't go into details of why until the next section, but for now you're going
to need the essentials of living. Those are: a fridge, a toilet, a shower, a
bed, some form of entertainment, a chair, a phone, a burglar alarm, and a
bookcase. Most of these are obvious where to find them.

The entertainment form I recommend is a TV, although if none of your sims are
playful, you may want to just use the bookcase as your entertainment source (it
can double as such). The bookcase is listed under miscellaneous objects or the
study, depending whether you're looking at the catagory or room sort.

Make sure you put the burglar alarm outside near your front door, and place a
phone in any room but the bedroom. The phone rings in the middle of the night
often, and your sims hate waking up before they're supposed to.

You should still have the money to afford two of the cheapest counters, the
cheapest oven, and the only food processor. They will be worth their weight in
gold, or at least simoleons.

If you didn't go nuts in Build Mode, you probably have plenty of money of left
over to get a few more items that will seriously help your first few game days.
First and easiest is a nice couch. It can double as a bed if need be, so take a
look. You could also get a cheap table, put a few chairs around it, and shove
it all in the kitchen as a temporary dining room.

The last general tip I have for Build Mode is that just because you CAN buy
something doesn't mean you SHOULD buy something. Just because you have the
money to buy the $7000 DJ spintable doesn't mean that it'll help your sims' fun
ratings any more than that plasma TV, which is half the price.

Finally, if you ever want to sell an item, simply click on it while in Buy Mode
(or use the hand tool in Build Mode) to pick it up, then hit your DELETE key.
You'll get some of the money back; all of it if less than one day passed since
you bought it. To see one way you can use that to your advantage, head to the
Money Strategy section.

Though you can arrange anything in any order, there's one specific piece of
advice I must give. Check the Mood section for details.

+--------------------+
|3c. The Options Gump|
+--------------------+

Before we get into the game, you may want to save (or not, if you think all
hell is going to break loose and you regret your construction decisions). I'll
take a few lines here to explain all the other options.

Across the top row are Save, Neighborhood Screen, and Quit. The first saves
your game instantly without a prompt. The second sends you back to the
neighborhood screen after prompting you to save if you hadn't recently. The
last will send you back to Windows, also after a save prompt.

The bottom three allow you to tinker with the video, audio, and game settings.
The left icon of the bottom row gives you the display settings. You can change
the level of detail of the terrain and/or characters, or toggle graphic
options. All four graphic options, if checked, make the game prettier, but take
a bit more processor power (not an issue if you're using a GHz processor with
over 128 MB RAM). All of these are explained simply by click the words of what
you want described, so I'm not going to waste your time by writing them here.

The button in center of the bottom row adjusts the volumes for sound, music,
and voices. The sound FX is all the sounds made from objects, including the TV.
The music setting affects songs from the audio objects like radios, and it
affects the volume of the fanfare that's played whenever your sims do something
special. VOX is the measure of the sims' voices when they interact with each
other.

The last button is the game options. There are eight there, and I'll explain
them.

AUTO-CENTERING automatically brings the view to an event. If this is your first
time, you may want to keep it on so you don't miss when something unusual
happens.

FREE WILL gives your sims the ability to act on their own, though their actions
will be heavily weighed by their personality (for example, a sim with a Neat
rating of zero will never take a shower). If you enact this, you can give your
sims commands as usual, and your commands will always take precedence over
anything they come up with on their own.

EDGE SCROLLING allows you to move the view simply by laying the cursor against
the edge of the screen. With this unchecked, you can only move the view by
right-click dragging.

SIM IN BACKGROUND allows the game to run if you task switch (ALT-TAB) out of
the game. With it unchecked, the game will pause if you task switch.

QUICK TIPS affect whether little hints will appear in the upper-right corner of
the screen. If this is enabled, occasionally a box with a question mark will
appear, and you can click that to get a bit more information. This is always
enabled in the downtown area.

AUTO SNAPSHOT lets the game take a picture for you whenever an event occurs. To
take a picture manually, click the button that looks like a camera, then choose
the size and quality of your shot. A box will appear in the game view, and
another click will capture the scene for all of time.

LIVE PIP makes the picture-in-picture (shown during some events) show what's
happening in real-time. This SERIOUSLY drains processor power, and I recommend
you leave it unchecked. The PIP will appear anyway, but it will be a still
picture, not a moving camera.

EXPORT HTML forces the game to create webpages of your families when you save.
This has serious negative impacts on save times, so I leave it unchecked.
There's a global command on the neighborhood screen that makes webpages for all
the families, and I use that whenever I decide to make webpages.



+----------------------------+
|+--------------------------+|
||4. TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF||
|+--------------------------+|
+----------------------------+

When your house is built and the objects inside it are bought, click the button
on the far left, the one that shows two people standing beside each other. This
activates Live Mode, the meat and potatoes of the game. If your sims are on
Free Will, they'll probably poke around and check out what you bought, either
applauding or booing your taste.

On the bottom of the screen are portraits of each sim in your family, along
with seven buttons to the right of them. I'll describe each one in a moment,
but right now, let me teach you how to care for your sims.

Firstly, you can only have one sim active at once. Its portrait will have a
blue border around it, and a big colored crystal will appear over its head. To
change the active sim, you can either click on the portrait of the one you want
to control, right-click the sim itself, or hit the space bar. The change
happens instantly.

Once you have a sim under your control, you can order it to interact with
anything you have. Simply click an object, and a list of actions will pop up.
Some objects only have a few actions, some have many. Explore; I'm not going to
ruin the game by going over every little item. Once you give a command, a
picture representing the command will appear in the upper-left corner of the
screen. You can cancel the action before it's completed by clicking that icon.
Only nine actions can be queued at once.

The only thing that needs a special explaination is the fridge. If a sim clicks
a fridge, it can either have a snack, make a quick meal, make a normal meal, or
serve a meal. If you select the snack, the sim will just grab a bag of chips
out of the fridge for $5. If you ask it to make a meal or quick meal, it will
go through the cooking process I talk about in 4a, with one minor note. If you
picked the quick meal, it will skip the process or chop step. This is less
filling, but takes less time. Either way, $10 will be taken from your account.
If you choose to serve a meal, the sim will make a plate of food that has six
servings, all for a measly $20. Get real intimate with that command, you'll be
using a lot.

It's time to start covering those buttons to the right of your sims' portraits.
The one that's probably already open is the mood button. If it's not, click it;
it's the one with the happy and sad masks.

Above and below that button is a graph. The graph shows the overall mood of
your sim, based on the weighted average of its eight individual moods. The
overall mood is graded positively and negatively by 5 levels, plus the neutral
mood. The color of the crystal above the active sim's head tells what mood it's
in; a green crystal is a happy mood, and the deeper the green, the happier the
mood. If the crystal is red, the sim is ticked off or depressed, and a blood
red crystal is just a more intense version.

I'll deal with the eight individual moods in a second, since they require their
own section. Let's take a look at the other buttons first.

The top button on the left, the one that looks like a word balloon, leads to
your sim's interests. This button is new to the series starting with Hot Date.
These are randomly generated, I believe. Poke around there for a moment if you
want. It shows what a sim likes and dislikes talking about, and it can have
serious impacts on friends. I talk more about interests later.

Below that is the personality button. Here, you can see what astrological sign
your sim is, along with its attributes that you set in the Create Sim screen.

The bottom-left button is the inventory screen, also new starting with Hot
Date. If your sim is carrying any items, they will appear here.

The top-right button opens the relationship meters, which shows how well your
sim is getting along with others that it has met. Until Hot Date, there was
only one meter, but now there are two. The upper meter indicates the daily
relationship, while the lower one represents the lifetime relationship. I deal
with those in more detail in the love section, too.

The button in the right-center is the job button. There you can see what, if
any, job you sim has, what its salary is, and what its skills are. Take a look
at cooking. The higher that is, the more filling their meals are. Sims
shouldn't cook unless they have at least one point in cooking, or they may end
up setting the kitchen on fire. To raise any of those skills, your sim needs to
perform a specific action. For cooking, just have one read a book. Click your
bookcase, then click "study cooking." Your sim will grab the book and take the
nearest seat, studying its heart out. The blue progress bar above its head will
fill, and when it fills completely, you'll get a message that your sim gained a
point in that skill. I'll get into skills in more detail in a later section.

The last button, the one that looks like a house, gives you a rating on your
happy home. It's probably kinda low for now, but remember that you didn't have
too much money to deal with. That will change soon, I promise.

Okay, now it's time for the mood meters. Remember I told you that you'll need
certain objects as essential for living? This is why. I'll describe each meter
here, what it means, and how it's weighed in the overall mood. This is the
heart and soul of the game. Click back over to the mood meters to follow along
as you check out my next section.

If a sim has one particular mood extremely low, it may look at the camera
(i.e., you the player) and scream bloody murder with an accompying picture to
tell you what mood is suffering. You need to fix that quickly.

All eight moods are weighted, then averaged, and that becomes your sim's
overall mood. Its mood, among other things, severely affects what options pass
or fail when they do an action to another sim.  I cover that in the Sim Love
section.

+----------+
|4a. Hunger|
+----------+

This is arguably the most important meter of all eight. This obviously is how
badly your sim needs food. No sim likes being hungry. Make sure you feed them
often, or they could die of starvation. When the bar is low, let them eat.

To make a sim eat, make the sim that's hungry the active sim, then click a
fridge. For now, choose "Have Meal" or "Serve Meal," so you can see the whole
cooking process. Sims start their cooking at a fridge by getting the
ingredients. It will then proceed to chop up the veggies if there's an empty
counter, or use a food processor if there's one present. Then it will move to
the microwave or oven, depending on which deals with hunger better, if one is
available. Once the food is done cooking, if it's a family meal, the sim will
put it on an available surface, preferring counters. If it's just a meal for
one, the sim will take it to a table if one is available, sit down, and eat.

Since you know this ahead of time, you can save your sims' time and effort by
building your kitchen and dining room in a logical order. Look at this
flowchart...

FRIDGE ----- COUNTER - OVEN ----- COUNTER --- SERVED FOOD
       \             X           /
        -- PROCESSOR - MICROWAVE-

So, the logical order to arrange your kitchen is thus...

+--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+
|        | |  COUNTER  | |      | |  EMPTY  |
| FRIDGE | |   WITH    | | OVEN | | COUNTER |
|        | | PROCESSOR | |      | |         |
+--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+

Then you can position a table and chair strategically on the other side of the
empty counter. Efficency is the idea.

By the way, starting with the Unleashed expansion, you can actually grow your
own food! More on that in the Farming subsection of the Money section.

+-----------+
|4b. Comfort|
+-----------+

This is how much sims are happy with their comfort, obviously. A sim that is
standing will constantly lose comfort, although not as severely as a sim that's
working out or swimming. Generally, this is weighed pretty heavily, although
not as much as hunger.

Comfort is rather easy to raise, espeically when you consider that sims do a
lot of things sitting down. Watching TV, for example, will help comfort as well
as raising the Fun meter. You have to be wary though; sometimes, if their path
is blocked, they may watch TV or eat while standing, which is perfectly capable
to be done, but it kills the Comfort meter. Some actions, such as playing chess
or playing on a computer, cannot be done at all while standing.

So basically, while a low Comfort meter is bad, it's hardly anything to panic
about. If push comes to shove, just click a chair or couch and select "Sit." If
another sim sitting at the same time, the two will talk idly, which can bring
up the Social meter in the process as well.

+-----------+
|4c. Hygiene|
+-----------+

This is how clean the sim feels, and it's also the first one that is weighed by
the individual sim. Sims that are neat are more interested in hygiene than slob
sims are. No sim likes to be around a stinky sim, though, and if your hygiene
is too low, it could affect whether others become friends or more. Would YOU
like to kiss someone who hadn't washed their face in over a week?

Hygiene gets directly healed via bathtubs and showers. Hot tubs do the job too,
but not as well. Sims typically don't have a problem stripping down and taking
a shower if someone's in the bathroom, oddly enough. I guess the door is so
well blurred that you can't see anything once you're inside.

Anyway, if you don't have a maid, be sure to clean your shower or tub often. If
you don't, Hygiene won't go up as fast as it could; and besides, that dirt ring
looks nasty.

+-----------+
|4d. Bladder|
+-----------+

This is how much sims feel the need to visit their old friend John. Take care
of this one fast if it gets low, because if it drops to zero, the sim will wet
itself. That will cut hygiene to zero and make the sim terribly embarrassed,
possibly forcing bad relationships. No sim likes needing to do its business,
but this mood is not weighed very heavily.

If the meter drops rather low, and then you tell your sim to get to the
bathroom, he'll RUN for it. Although it's certainly not something you exactly
want to intentionally set up, it is pretty cool to see sims tearing through the
house.

Sims will often times stop whatever they're doing if they need to go. They can
wake up in the middle of the night or stop eating before their plate is clean
if they get the urge. There are two solutions here. You can take care of the
problem when it happens, then send them back to bed or their meal. The other,
more logical solution is to send them to the bathroom BEFORE they take the
action. That prevents any and all bladder problems, so you'll be fine.

Oh, one more thing. If a sim is rather close to having an exploding bladder,
there's an action another sim can do to intentionally make it wet itself. If
two sims are close in relationships, have the one who does not have the empty
Bladder meter the active sim. Then, click the sim who does need to go the
bathroom and select the "Tickle > Extreme" action. Your active sim will do some
serious tickling, enough to make the target wet itself. Ah, gotta love social
interactions.

+----------+
|4e. Energy|
+----------+

This tells how long the sim can go before it collapses (literally). Every
waking moment expends energy (unless the sim is drinking coffee), and you need
to send it to bed before it gets too late. Early to bed, early to rise makes a
sim healthy, wealthy, and wise... and at least still employed in the morning.

I believe that sims with a high active rating can go longer than sims with a
low active rating, but I'm not entirely sure. I do know that it takes far
shorter time for an active sim to actually get moving in the morning. If a sim
has 10 Active, then they'll literally hop out of bed, bright-eyed and
bushy-tailed (whatever THAT means). A sim with zero Active will take a full 30
minutes to get the cobwebs out of their head.

Adult sims are rather light sleepers. The slightest sound will keep them awake,
so make sure all radios, TVs, and computers are shut off if they're in the same
room. Lights don't bother them, but certain sounds that other sims make might.
For example, if there is a weight set in a bedroom, and one sim is sleeping,
it'll be woken by the sound of another sim working out. Also, they'll wake up
to the phone, and since most nighttime calls are prank callers, keep phones out
of the bedroom. Remember, as long as the object is in another room, it won't
matter in the slightest.

Kid sims are far different. They can be woken from the alarm clock, but other
sounds won't bother them. That means you can shove a kid in the living room
with your speakers blaring and phones ringing, but they won't stir a bit. This
more or less ensures that they'll have max energy when the time comes for
school.

Once a sim goes to sleep, assuming there's no offending noise in the room, it
can only be woken a few ways. First of all, a sim will wake up if its bladder
meter gets extremely empty. You'll have about 10 game minutes to get a sim to
the bathroom before it wets itself. The second way it will wake up is to alarm
clocks. If an alarm is set, it will ring two hours before the carpool arrives.
Third, sims will (or should) wake up automatically when the sun rises at 6 AM.
It's not guaranteed, and sometimes you make have to wake a sim up manually.

As long as the Energy meter is not full, a sim will be sleeping. If it is woken
up before its Energy tops out, it will throw a fit for about 30 minutes for
sleep deprivation.

If the sun is out (anytime from 6 AM to 6 PM), the sim will stop sleeping if
its energy tops out. However, if it's nighttime, it will keep on sleeping
anyway until the sun does rise, or until you give it another command. If time
isn't a factor, then you can simply order a sim to go to sleep, and issue
another order directly afterwards. The sim will sleep, and the moment its
Energy tops off, it will wake up and take the next action you gave it.

There is only one bed that has any special commands. That's the heart-shaped
love bed, which gives three additional options besides Sleep: those are
"Vibrate," "Relax," and "Play in Bed." If a sim elects to Vibrate, he or she
will pay about $20, then get nekkid and go under the sheets. This raises
Comfort through the roof, though Energy won't go up. Relaxing is a free, but
weaker, version of Vibrate in practice.

If a sim is either Vibrating or Relaxing, another sim can elect to Play in Bed
with the one already there. The second sim will approach, get naked, and start
a healty match of sheet-wrestling. This brings Comfort and Social way up, and
Energy and Hygiene way down. Once they finish, they'll hop out of bed and react
to each other depending on how good the whole thing was. Stephanie has slapped
Pyro before, evidentally because he used his hands a little too roughly. Pyro
has laughed in Stephanie's face before, also. Most of the time, Pyro will
whisper something to Stephanie, who starts giggling. You may see other
reactions as well.

Oh, and kids can come about from Playing. It's not guaranteed, but there's
certainly a chance.

By the way, the Sleep option for beds will not appear unless the active sim has
about 85% of its Energy meter. Any higher, and the option simply won't be there
at all.

+-------+
|4f. Fun|
+-------+

No sim likes being bored, but sims have different things they like doing. Sims
with low playful ratings prefer reading books, and sims with high playful
ratings like watching TV. The playful and active ratings combine for this one,
too; if a sim has high active and playful ratings, it prefers basketball or
vitrual gaming. If it has low active but high playful ratings, watching the
latest episode of Malcom in the Middle or playing The Sims on its computer is
what it likes more.

There are many actions that can boost Fun. Sims can even boost each other's Fun
by tickling or telling jokes. Playing in Bed or Playing in hot tubs will boost
fun also (everyone likes playing like that, right?).

If you decide to tell your sim to watch to TV or play on the computer to get
the Fun meter up, you'll need to take precautions. See, for some reason, if you
give them more than one command, they'll drop the TV or computer to do whatever
you ordered after it. So, make sure that playing on the computer or watching TV
is the LAST command on the action list.

Sims prefer to watch TV while sitting down. Should a chair or couch be
provided, they'll sit it in automatically. They'll try to pick the most
comfortable one, but they'll even settle on standing if there's nothing
available (although that kills Comfort). Once a sim tops off its Fun meter, it
will stop whatever it's doing.

However, if a sim is having Fun but doing something else in the process, it may
continue the action anyway. For example, if it's playing chess, it won't stop
even after the Fun meter tops off because it is still studying Logic at the
same time.

+----------+
|4g. Social|
+----------+

The sim's need to talk. This is HEAVILY weighed for all sims; a sim that has
zero Social but 100 everything else will probably have a mood of +1 or +2 max.
The balance of the weight comes in with the speed of the bar's decline. A sim
with a high outgoing rating will feel the need to be social FAR more than a sim
with no outgoing ratings, but will fill the meter a bit quicker than a shy sim.

The Social meter is not entirely in scale to the relationship meters. So, just
because you raise the relationship by 50 points doesn't mean that the Social
meter increases by 50%. Talking, for example, only mildly helps the Social
meter, even if two sims talk for hours. However, a few kisses, especially the
passionate kind, will kick the Social meter into overdrive. If you can't find
any other sims to talk with (whether it's too late or the neighborhood is too
empty), you can play with a pet you own to bring the meter up.

Because the Social meter is independent of the relationship meters, it won't
matter who is doing what as far as the Social meter goes. So, if Pyro is
talking to Stephanie, the Social meter will go up the same as if he's talking
to Pud, no matter what the relationship numbers say.

The Social meter can also be brought down by choosing negative interactions,
such as Fight and Insult. Still, some sims get a kick out of being insulted for
some reason; it has to do with their level of Nice that you assigned in the
Create Sim screen. The nicer a person is, the more of a chance they'll do
positive actions, and the less of a chance they'll be Socially better by doing
negative ones. Still, every neighborhood has a bitch that you just want to beat
the crap out of, and variety in sims is the key to doing very well in the game.

+--------+
|4h. Room|
+--------+

This is the sim's opinion of the room it's currently in, or how much it likes
the yard if it's outside. All sims like large rooms and lit rooms, but neat
sims dislike dirty dishes and pee puddles. Slobby sims are less picky, but even
they get tired of the flies once in awhile. Decorations boost this meter
considerably, but try to buy better windows or more lamps before you blow
thousands on a statue or painting.

Lights are optional, and they don't seem to improve room ratings too much. I
had a room that was 5x30, and any sim in it had a full Room meter, even though
it was unlighted.

You see, sims like light, but they like space more. They would rather be in a
dark room the size of a small country than a small bathroom with a billion
lights. Sims are weird like that. They also prefer diagonal walls over normal
ones, so making an octognal room will significantly help.

Don't do this...

+------------------------------+
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
+------------------------------+

Do this...

   --------------------------
  /                          \
 /                            \
/                              \
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
|                              |
\                              /
 \                            /
  \                          /
   --------------------------

Not only does this save money, but room scores will get better. You can also
get super-fancy, though it's more expensive...

   ---------------------------
  /                           \
 /                             \
/                              |
|                              |
|                              /
|                             /
|                     /-------
|                     |
|                     |
|                     |
|                     \-------
|                             \
|                              \
|                              |
\                              |
 \                             /
  \                           /
   ---------------------------


Eventually, you'll want lights, but if for no other reason than to make the
room a bit more realistic. (In real life, I wouldn't want to live in a dark
house, and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't either.)

When you buy lights, think about the room you're buying the lamp for. That
should help lead to your decision about just what lamp to buy at all.

If you're buying a lamp for the bathroom, and it's a tiny bathroom, you don't
need any huge expensive lamp. Since floor lamps would get too much in the way,
you would want to go with a wall lamp or hanging lamp. Hanging lamps even have
life-long light bulbs, so you wouldn't endanger your sim's life when it's time
to change bulbs and there's water on the floor.

The cheapest hanging lamp, the red one that looks like it belongs in a bar,
would serve better than anything else. Just one could easily light a 3x3
bathroom, and two could cover a 3x4 or 4x4 bathroom.

Also, make sure you know how much light is being generated. Most lamps send
light one or two tile(s) in every direction. If you space your lamps
accordingly, you can cover a whole room while not spending too much on extra
lamps.

You could also take the completely opposite route I just described and coat the
walls with wall lights. I noticed that if there are enough lamps in one room,
every tile will be lit no matter how far away the lamps are. You could, say,
put one wall lamp on every wall section, and whatever room you do that to will
be bright all night. Of course, doing so prevents windows, but lights light up
during the day as well as the night.

Once you have a bunch of money, you should start buying decorative things for
the rooms. Certain things, like the more expensive chess set, have practical
uses as well as boosting Room scores. Upgrading furniture and fireplaces will
help too. Statues and paintings actually appreciate in value, so you can buy
one and sell it a few days later for a profit. Coat the walls liberally with
paintings either way: your sims' Room meters will go through the roof.

Outside, coat the yard with plants. Pink flamingos, while pretty damn ugly,
still boost the yard score significantly. The only thing you need to avoid is
the Topiaries. For some reason, sims run into them, and can't figure out how to
go AROUND them, so they just give up whatever their current task is. Must be a
fault in the object code, but whatever the cause is, don't build any. There are
plenty of other flowers you can plop down that won't have the same problem.



+--------------------------+
|+------------------------+|
||5. TAKING CARE OF OTHERS||
|+------------------------+|
+--------------------------+

Let's face it: just like real life, one person alone cannot do everything.
Maybe a particular sim stayed up too late and doesn't have time to cook the
next morning.

This is where a second sim in the family is very helpful. A second sim can pick
up the slack for another. Some methods could be obvious; one sim could excell
in the cooking skill and be the only one who prepares meals, for example.

Sims work best as a team. If any one sim is doing nothing, probably the rest of
its family is suffering or could at least better off. More on this in my
strategy section.

Your sim can interact with other sims whenever you wish it to. With a sim
active, simply click any other sim and you'll get a list of actions you can
perform. I talk more about that in the Sim Love section.



+----------+
|+--------+|
||6. MONEY||
|+--------+|
+----------+

It's all about the Benja-sims. Now that your family is settled in its house,
you need to turn to earning money, since bills arrive at your house every 3
days. There's a million ways to make money.

+--------+
|6a. Jobs|
+--------+

The easiest way to earn money is to have your adult sims get jobs, because the
jobs pay daily. Polish up those resumes, it's time to start working!

At 9 AM every morning, the paper is delivered to your front lawn, near your
mailbox. You can check that to see what jobs are being offered, along with
their salary. For the first day, take whatever job is offered; "Beggars can't
be choosers," as the saying goes.

You can also get a job by using a computer, but you may not be able to afford
it unless you "cheat the system" a bit. Check the short-strategy subsection.

Once you take a job, your mission is to get promoted to the next level. There
are 20 career paths, each with 10 levels. You begin every path on the lowest
rung, with one situational exception, which I'll explain in a moment.
Promotions will happen automatically, and you will be informed of them once the
sim who got promoted comes home. You'll get the next level's pay, along with a
one-time bonus that is twice as much.

For example, if a sim in the X-treme Career is at level 2 and gets promoted,
he'll bring home the new salary of level 3 ($325), plus twice as much for a
bonus ($650), for a total of $975. Generally, you would want to use the extra
cash to buy anything you may need to hone new required skills. Demotions can
happen too, if the sim keeps showing to work in a bad mood.

Carpools set to take you to work will arrive at a certain time. If two sims go
to work at the same time, they use the same carpool. Your sim has one hour to
start walking toward the car before it will drive away. Sims can miss work
without repercussion so long as they don't miss two days in a row. Two skip
days will result in being fired, but skipping one day, going the next day, and
skipping the third day is fine.

No matter what job you have, there's a chance a random event will happen (I
call them Chance Cards; what can I say? I love Monopoly.). Most are in the form
of skill bonuses, but many give you extra money. Chance Cards can be bad,
however; you may lose money or skill. The chance of a Chance Card appearing is
slim, but I don't know the exact percentage.

The most lucrative one I've found is in the Hacker career track. If you're
lucky, you'll end up getting a boost of a whopping $30000. Yes, thirty THOUSAND
simoleans. That's more than enough to remodel your house, including buying
carpet, wallpaper, windows (in any style), doors (in any style), and lamps (in
any style) for every room. And after that, you'll still have a great deal left
over. Personally, that's one of the main reasons I tend to favor the Hacker
career with Pyro.

If you stay at the top level of any job for awhile, you'll get a chance card
that will boot you to another career at about the 5th level. There's no real
positive of this, it's just a way for your games to be more random.

That's the only time you won't start at the bottom however. If you quit or get
fired, then take another job, you WILL start at the lowest level.

+-------------------+
|6b. Arts and Crafts|
+-------------------+

There are many things you can make to earn a living. If you decide to go into
business for yourself, you'll first need the creation tools.

One way is to be the Bill Gates of gnomes 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
following...

####################################################

This is incorrect - it is possible. At 10 creativity points, paintings sell for
$166. A Sim can easily paint 2 pictures in a day, and just about manage 3. That
means a daily income of $332 - $498 - more than enough to survive. For example,
my sim, with 10 creativity, paints two pictures a day. This means a 3-day
income of $996. She gets bills of $498, spends $60 on food, and $20 on a
gardener. That leaves $418 to spend/save.

####################################################

If table working is more your thing, but you don't want to deal with gnomes 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 
subsection.

+--------------+
|6d. Hired Help|
+--------------+

Forgive me, but most the information here is written in other parts of the FAQ. 
There's enough options now, however, to warrant giving it a subsection of its 
own.

With the constant demand of your sims' time, there's rarely a chance to get 
EVERY dish clean and EVERY plant watered. Luckily, help is only a phone call or 
Buy Mode click away. Here I'll list every helper in the game, their price, 
their pros, and their cons.

+----+
|Maid|
+----+

The maid is from the original game. She's the cheapest and pretty darn 
effective even to this day. Call Maid Service by using a phone, and accept the 
question. The maid will appear around 9 AM and will clean any dish, mop any 
puddle, make any bed, spray any cockroach, and wipe every surface to make you 
happy. She charges $10 per hour, and she leaves when there's nothing more to 
do, or after she's worked about 10 hours.

+--------+
|Gardener|
+--------+

One thing the maid doesn't do is water plants, but that's what the gardener is 
for. Accessed the same way as the maid, the gardener pops up every three days. 
She also charges $10 per hour, but she'll stick around until her job is done. 
Of course, if you have a huge garden, it may take her awhile. Not only will she 
water outdoor and indoor plants, she'll replant anything dead. Of course, 
unless you bought the plant long before you hired her, the gardener will 
usually be able to prevent anything from dying. 


+---------+
|Repairman|
+---------+

The maid and gardener are not very mechanically minded, so you can call the 
overall-covered repairman if something goes wrong. He charges $50 per hour, but 
he'll come over anytime and will be quick about fixing things.

+-----+
|Servo|
+-----+

Servo the robot was added with Livin' Large. He sits in his pod and waits for 
you turn him on. When you do, he'll act as maid, gardener, AND repairman to get 
everything on the lot running smooth. (Check out the hat changes!) His big 
problem is his cost: it takes a whopping $15000 to get him in the house, and 
his value contributes to the bills, making him by far the most expensive of the 
group out of the box. Of course, considering the time and room scores he'll 
save you, it may not be a bad idea to get him.

+-------+
|Caterer|
+-------+

The caterer, added with the House Party pack, relieves your woes for parties. 
If you have buffet tables or punch bowls, he'll fill them for free. He'll take 
away dirty dishes too. He may converse with guests, but he doesn't unless he 
has nothing else to do. Besides, you can always order him to get back to work 
if he gets on your nerves. He costs $350 per day, but he pays for himself if he 
fills the buffet table four times.

+--------------+
|Animal Control|
+--------------+

If a skunk pops up on your property, you can call Animal Control. They'll 
remove Pepe for only $20, but to be honest, as long as you leave the damn thing 
alone, it'll go away after awhile on its own.

+------+
|Butler|
+------+

Added with the Superstar expansion pack, the butler can be hired via the phone. 
He arrives at about 9 AM like the standard maid. He only cleans, but if he 
knows there's flowers to water or appliances to fix, he'll call the appropriate 
service for you. He'll even call the maids if the house is a real pig sty. 
You'll still have to shell out the money for the others, but you won't have to 
worry about the call. He'll also bring in the mail and paper, and he'll fill 
pet dishes if you have them. Finally, he'll cook at meal times. He's not very 
good at it, so the meals aren't that filling, but that's an hour he saves your 
sims.

He's got a few additional perks in addition to his duties. He'll stay until 
late night, whether he has anything to do or not. If he gets bored, he may get 
into your liquor cabinet, but it doesn't cost you anything and it doesn't hurt 
his performance. He'll also smack stalker if that afro freak gets onto your 
property.

Now the catch: the butler costs a nasty $500 PER DAY. The amount doesn't add to 
the bills, though. I think he's worth it.

Thanks to Matt Campbell (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.

+---------+
|Bonehilda|
+---------+

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
times.

LOGIC is gained by either playing chess, looking in the telescope, or working
with the chemistry set. I prefer the chess set, since it boosts your fun as
well as logic; plus, since you're sitting, your comfort will be going up as
well. If you can find another sim to play with you, you'll have the social
meter getting a boost too. Logic determines the chance that making a potion in
the chemistry set will be a positive potion. I have always made good potions
when my logic was at 10.

CREATIVITY can be raised by playing a musical instrument or painting.
Creativity affects the quality of what you're painting too, but even a painting
that was painted by someone with 10 Creativity points won't sell for much.
Other than that, Creativity won't affect anything else in-game.

Try to raise your sims' skills as much as possible without compromising your
moods. Of course, you can kill several birds with one grenade if you can. As I
said up there by Logic, playing chess is a great way to raise Fun, Comfort,
Social, and Logic all at once. Besides, if two people play chess, they both
learn Logic simultaneously. Not a bad deal!

Just be careful with raising Body. It absolutely drains energy and comfort
levels, so don't try it if your sim is already uncomfortable or tired.

+--------------------+
|7a. Skill Gain Rates|
+--------------------+

To gain a skill, you have to use an item for awhile, as I said. But the
question is, how long must you study? The first few points don't take long at
all, but soon the process seems excrusiatingly slow.

I ran a few tests and discovered that it takes
whatever-point-you're-studying-for hours. For example, to gain the first point,
you need to study for an hour. To gain the second point, you need to study for
two hours. The third point takes three hours, and so on. This applies to all
six skills.

If you know ahead of time how long it will take, you can plan your day around
it (or plan it around your day). Or, you could devote a set time to studying.

Anyway, this means that one skill will take a total of 55 hours to max out. All
skills will be maxxed at 330 hours. Since your working sims can only study a
maximum of about 8 hours a day (the other 16 devoted to sleeping or working),
it will take at LEAST 42 days to max everything. And that's of course assuming
you spend no time eating, socializing, or taking showers, which is impossible
of course.

That's why I recommend the following: the first thing you should do is study
whatever skill is necessary to get promoted. Once you have all the skill
requirements, study whatever skill is the MOST developed. The reason is because
whatever skill is needed in the first few levels of the career will probably
end up having to be maxxed at the end of the track. For example, the first Body
requirement of the Military career track is 2, but the final requirement is 9.
Instead of working on Body only when it's required, you should work on it any
time you have free. That will make the final promotion a bit easier on your
nerves.



+-------------+
|+-----------+|
||8. SIM LOVE||
|+-----------+|
+-------------+

"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore!"

...Well, something like that anyway.

First of all, let me start by saying that your sims start off their lives by
not having any sort of sexual preference... either that, or everyone is a
bisexual. In other words, any sim can fall in love with any other sim. I
suppose if you really want to, you could have incest stories going, but that's
a little weird.

The point is that you cannot "set" whether sims are homosexual, heterosexual,
or bisexual. However, you can point your sim in one direction or another. If
you want a heterosexual sim, just don't do any of the "love" actions (explained
below) to the same gender of sim. There are plenty of actions that aren't
considered love, although there are a few of each that I don't agree with. More
on that in a second though.

Remember the button that lets you view relationships? It's in Live Mode, and
the top-right button of the group of seven (the one that has the two people on
it). That shows all the sims whom the active sim knows. You may have to scroll
the list if you know a lot of others.

I'm going to use my own sims as examples here so I don't have to say "your sim"
and "the other sim" every few seconds...

The background color of the portrait indicates the general feeling of your
active sim to the other one. For example, if Stephanie's picture is gray when
Pyro is the active character, it means that Pyro barely knows Stephanie at all.
If it's a faded green, it means Pyro is starting to know Stephanie, just not
all that well. When it turns bright green, Pyro knows Stephanie inside and out
(though that may not indicate love). It works negatively, too. A dull red means
Pyro sort of resents Stephanie, but he can suck it up for awhile. A bright red
indicates that Pyro openly wants to whoop Stephanie's candy ass whenever she
appears.

Directly below the portrait is a number, and below that is a thin bar. These
show the same thing, in different ways; they show the daily (i.e., short-term)
feelings specifically. The number can range anywhere from -100 to 100. At 0,
Pyro just met Stephaine. At 100, they're very good friends. At -100, they're
enemies.

Below that is another, thicker bar, and another number. These show the lifetime
(i.e., long-term) feelings. At 100, Pyro and Stephanie have been lifelong
friends since childhood. At -100, they've been enemies before they were even
born.

Both the daily and lifetime meters combine to determine the overall feelings. I
assume they're weighted, but I'm not sure. The purpose of having both meters is
to allow Pyro and Stephanie to be in love but be fighting, in theory. It
doesn't work that easily, though.

If two sims do not interact with each other, the bars will slowly go toward 0.
I've experimented and found out that the lifetime bar affects the general speed
of decay. For example, if Pyro has 100 daily and 100 lifetime to Stephanie, 
there may be no decay at all before the day is done. If Pyro has 100 daily and
only 20 lifetime to Stephaine, the 100 may trickle down to 90 or so that day.

I got a contribution from Clay (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
numbers...

####################################################

Every 90 Sim-minutes the lifetime bar moves towards the daily bar by 3 points.

####################################################

Beware that just because Pyro likes Stephanie doesn't mean she likes him back.
In fact, most if not all of sims' relationships will be very slightly different
if you compare both sets of numbers. Generally, the numbers won't be TOO far
off; Pyro could be 95 daily/90 lifetime, while Stephanie is 92 daily/87
lifetime. Differences that small are more or less negligable.

Below the bars and numbers, two symbols may or may not be there. A blue smiley
face indicates that Pyro considers Stephanie a friend. A pink heart would
indicate that he's starting to feel some butterflies whenever she's around.
That heart could change into a red heart, which means he's head over heels in
love. Until the Hot Date expansion, there was only one level of love.

The numbers, overall mood, and love or friendship status affect what actions
are available when two sims interact, and whether those actions will fail.

Because I don't want to ruin the game for you, I'm going to just touch on the
actions sims can do with each other. I divide all the positive actions into two
classes: those that initate love, and those that don't. This is VERY important
to remember.

You see, if two sims love each other, they get jealous or angry whenever other
sims hit on their lovers. If Pyro loves Stephanie, and Pud tries to kiss her,
Pyro will be ticked. No matter how Stephanie reacts, be it positively or
negatively, Pyro will take a cut in his Social meter, and he'll normally stop
whatever he's doing to slap Pud. He'll also lose several points of friendship
against Pud too.

Now, the only actions that can do this are those that initate love. Pyro won't
get mad if Pud talks to Stephanie or gives her a friendly hug, but my namesake
will get very angry if Pud tries to sweep Stephanie off her feet.

Pyro can only detect this if he's in the same room, however. If Pud coaxes
Stephanie into his bedroom and tries to move in on her, Pyro won't know and
will ignorantly continue whatever he's doing. Wow, this is turning into the
latest episode of Days of Our Lives.

Anyway, the moral is that you'll want to stay innocent with other sims if
someone who loves them is in the same room. If you're in different rooms, well,
do what you wish.

In any event, all actions will boost the Social meter and add positive points
to the relationship bars if the move is not rejected. Just because the option
to kiss a sim appears doesn't mean your target will accept your advances. The
only option that is never outright rejected is Talk, although there's a slim
chance one sim will get a bit agitated at the conversation.

I'm going to sound like a complete moron with my next statement, but I can't
think of a better way to put it: all actions that can induce love have a chance
of inducing love. That is, all kisses and a few hugs may make one sim fall in
love with other, or they may fall for each other at the same time. Typically,
the sims will go to a pink heart before a red heart, but I've seen a few
instances when they skip the pink heart step.

The only exception, the one that makes me scratch my head in wonder, is the
Compliment > Admire action. This causes other sims to get jealous, but it never
induces love. I can understand why Compliment > Worship would get some tempers
rising, but admiration? Ah well, just be aware of it.

If love is not your cup of tea and you just want to be friends with another
sim, your actions become slightly limited, but not significantly. No group
activity can induce love, so you can have two sims improve their friendship by
playing chess or watching TV for example.

Once the daily relationship meter is high enough, that sim becomes a friend and
the blue smiley face will appear. This generally happens around 50, but that
number could be significantly higher. If two sims have conflicting zodiac
signs, or one is particularly shy, or one is particularly mean, the number
could reach as high 90. It's one way the game more or less forces you to have
variety among your families.

Forelli_Boy (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
face.

The reason I stress FAMILY friend is because that's the number that is
considered when a sim gets promoted. In fact, my main strategy takes full
advantage of that. You can check that out in the strategy section.

As far as I know, there is no real border to indicate whether a sim will fall
in love, but I do know that a sim will not fall in love with someone that's not
a friend first. Summary: "All lovers will be friends, but not all friends will
be lovers."

So by now you're probably asking how you get your sims to fall in love. It
sounds simple on paper, and may be simple in the game, but it could end up
getting rather complex.

Let's go back in time before Pyro and Stephanie were married, when they were
both still in SimCollege. The first thing that had to happen was a meeting.
After that, they talked casually about their interests, occasionally
entertaining each other with jokes or puppets. As their relationship grew, they
became friends, and started getting slightly more forward with one another. One
day, their hug was an intimate one, lasting longer than normal. That's when
both started feeling a little flustered.

Pyro and Stephanie did a lot of flirting, whispering sweet little nothings in
each other's ears and sharing back rubs. Pyro eventually found the courage to
give Stephanie a little peck on her cheek. That kiss carried bucketloads of
fireworks. Stephanie returned the kiss with a passionate one on Pyro's lips,
and he got all red and giggly. Pyro's a dork, what can I say? They were married
soon after that, and Pyro started giving Stephanie back rubs from the front.

The point is, all you have to do is slowly get more forward with your target,
and it will happen automatically. There's just a few general rules:

1. WATCH YOUR MOOD -- If you're in a bad mood, you may hug a little too hard or
miss your aim with that kiss. It's best to keep it simple if you're ticked off.

2. WATCH YOUR TARGET'S MOOD -- Your target may be a little angry and doesn't
feel like being hugged or flirted with. Again, keep it simple.

3. DON'T BE STINKY -- No one wants to be kissed by a pair of lips that have the
remains of yesterday's pizza. If you're not clean, you may want to avoid trying
anything until a shower.

4. DON'T BE TIRED -- If you lean in for a kiss and end up falling asleep on
your target's shoulder, it kinda ruins the night for both of you.

5. DON'T BE TOO FORWARD -- If you met your target ten seconds ago, he/she is
not going to want a deep passionate kiss. Save those advanced moves until
you're both ready, Romeo. Don't make me get the hose!

Since friends care less about each other's moods and hygiene, you can pretty
much pull the meter up to 50 without any sort of issue of cleanliness and
energy. Still though, you want to be in the best mood you can be at all times
anyway.

Some say that you can get from a relationship rating of 0 to 100 in one day,
while others say you can't. I can tell you from the bottom of my soul that not
only is it possible, it's very likely if you play your cards right. In my
strategy section, I deal with that very issue. Even if you're a veteran of The
Sims, do not try old strategies. Maxis has slightly changed the way sims get
their relationship meters up; it's nothing weird, but it's slightly harder.
More details in the strategy section. (By the way, I'm talking about getting
the DAILY meter up to 100. There's no way you can get the lifetime meter up to
triple digits in one day.)

At least, I don't think there's a way. However, SweetE8907
(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
gnome...)

The Sims = 5 relationship points (10 for kids)

Teddy Bear = 10 relationship points (15 for kids)

Sucker (lollipop, but I hate saying it) = 5 relationship points (15 for kids)

Chocolates = 10 relationship points (11 for kids: get the sucker!)

Yellow Rose = 15 relationship points (cannot induce love, but CAN induce
friendship)

Red Roses = 15 relationship points (Can induce love, but not friendship)

Necklace = 20 relationship points (Can induce love and friendship)

Diamond Ring = 20 relationship points (Can induce love, friendship, and is
gauranteed to be accepted or your money back....I wish.)

####################################################

By the way, Rob Sevening (alanisman1@hotmail.com) says that gifts can be
rejected...

####################################################

You said in your FAQ that giving a gift could never be rejected. That is SO not
true. I once gave a gift to a particularly stone-cold sim (the dark-haired
'Mom' in the default family who lived in the cemetary house) and she took the
gift, threw it to the ground, and stomped on it.

####################################################

+--------------------------------+
|8a. Having and Greeting Visitors|
+--------------------------------+

Sims in the same neighborhood will show up on your family's doorstep on the day
you move in, but they only do that until you've met them. After that, you have
to invite them over.

To do so, click a phone, then click "Call Neighbor." All of the last names of
the sims you know appear on the left side of the pane; click a last name, and
the first names of all the sims you know of the family appear in the right
pane. After that, click the first name of the person you want to invite, and
then hit OK. A little pop-up box will appear; click Invite. This can be
declined, but they're far more willing to come over if the relationship meter
is high. Calling while your target is at work won't do anything, and calling in
the middle of the night will tick him or her off.

The sim may ask if another sim can come over too. This is up to you, and if you
accept, you may have up to four others come over. All visitors expect you to
feed them, so you may not want to do this until you've got a meal ready. If you
decline, you're not penalized in any way.

If the sim is an exceptionally good friend, he or she may bring a box of
chocolates or a vase of flowers. The flowers are worthless, and the chocolates
aren't that great at helping the Hunger meter, but the gesture is nice I
suppose.

By the way, speaking of things that are worthless... you may have noticed a
"Talk" option in the pop-up box after you call a sim. Never choose it; it
wastes time and doesn't boost the relationship meter by more than a few points.

However, Roel Kroesen (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
eight).

When two sims are conversing, you can click the active sim and change the
topic, but again only to something that he's interested in. Also, the sims will
change topics on their own, so you may need to carefully monitor conversations
to make sure things aren't bad. I once had a dinner where Pyro kept talking for
a half-hour about DVD burners, and he lost 30 points of care for Stephanie, but
she talked about the Penguins, and she gained 30 to him. It was the greatest
difference I had ever seen between those two.

Typically, you'll want families to have similiar, if not the same, interests.
That way, dinner conversations don't end up turning into brawls.

If you are downtown, you can ask a date "What are you into?" The target will
respond by telling you the three highest interests on his list, and your sim
will think to himself whether he likes them or not. If your sim thinks of a
picture, and there's a big red X through it, that topic won't be well received.

Of course, you can change their level on interest in a topic, but first, let me
describe what those topics are...

TRAVEL - "I'm telling you, the Great Wall of China looks better than those ugly
Pyramids of Egypt!" When sims talk about travel, you see a sailboat, plane, or
car in their word bubble.

MONEY - "Yeah, these young people nowadays don't know the value of a simolean.
And they don't respect their elders, neither!" You'll see dollar bills, the
simolean symbol, or the face of a burglar when money comes up in a
conversation.

POLITICS - "I accidentally voted for the wrong guy! Really!" You'll see the
Memorial Building, a judge behind a desk flanked with two furled flags, or a
set of scales here.

THE 60s - "Dude! Flower power all the way! Burn those bras, baby!" Here, you'll
see a peace sign, the symbol of an atom, or a flower.

WEATHER - "That dork on channel 7 is always wrong. He said it'll be sunny
today, so you better bring your umbrella." You'll see a sun, a sun behind a
cloud, or a cloud pouring rain.

SPORTS - "The Steelers will go all the way this year. And the Texans freakin'
suck." You'll get a picture of a soccer ball, a tennis racket, or a skier going
down a hill.

MUSIC - "Just how many of the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync are actually
straight?" You'll see a guitar, a musical staff with notes, or a drum.

OUTDOORS - "Ah, the feel of the warm sun, the soft whisper of wind, the pain of
the rabid wolf knawing at my leg... I love nature!" You'll see a mountain, a
jumping fish, or a windy road.

EXERCISE - "Listen up tubby! I'm gonna get you in shape! My abs are so flat
that you can calibrate a leveler on them!" Sims talking about this will have a
swimmer, a hiker, or a dumbell in their word bubble.

FOOD - "*belch* Oh... pass me a Tums... and cover it in bacon." You'll see a
spoon and fork, a turkey leg, or a cup of coffee here.

PARTIES - "Woo hoo! Shake that funky booty! Where the hell are my drinks?"
You'll see balloons, a party hat, or a cake.

STYLE - "Looks like someone forgot their Rayban Sunglasses! Oh wait, they're in
my back pocket, never mind." You'll see a high heel shoe, a pair of sunglasses,
or a long tie.

HOLLYWOOD - "Mmm... Sandra Bullock... *drool*" You'll see a movie camera, a
director's plate, or a film reel here.

TECHNOLOGY - "Get that piece of crap out of here! What do you think I can do
with only a 5GHz processor?" You can see a computer disk (aren't those, um,
obsolete by now?), a plug, or a computer mouse.

ROMANCE - "My darling, I love you beyond anything you can possibly imagine.
Will you... move already? You're blocking the TV!" You'll see the male and
female symbols, a pair of lips, or a heart with Cupid's arrow through it.

All 15 interests can be incresed by buying magazines downtown. Once you make
your purchase (each is less than $10) and get home, your sim will put the mag
on the closest available surface. Any sim can then read it and increase an
interest.

There are 5 magazines, and each one provides three interests that can be
gained...

WhooNoo!!! increases Style, Hollywood, or Romance.

Livin' Large boosts The 60s, Music, and Parties.

The Avarix brings up Money, Politics, and Technology.

Victors' Digest juices Weather, Sports, and Food.

MAXSIMUM spews Travel, Outdoors, and Exercise.

The magazines only last a few days, then get outdated. At that point, you can
only throw it away, although you can always go buy the next issue.

Each interest can be brought up to 10, just like job skills. However, there is
a cap, so no sim can be interested in everything. As a sim starts reading a
magazine, a pink progress bar will appear over their head, like when they gain
skills. When it tops off, you may or may not be alerted, but your sim will gain
a point of that interest.

The cap is 76 total points. Once you hit that, you can still gain interests,
but points will be taken away from something else at random. However, no
magazine will take away points from another of its interests. For example,
let's say you've hit the cap, but you're still reading about Travel. The mag
for Travel is MAXSIMUM, so when you do score another point for Travel, it will
not be taken away from Outdoors or Exercise. The other 12 are fair game,
however.

Interests gain FAST. The first point only takes around 10 minutes, and you can
gain all 10 in only 6-1/2 hours of reading.



+-----------------------+
|+---------------------+|
||9. ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS||
|+---------------------+|
+-----------------------+

The astrological signs of your sims, which are based on the sim's personality,
can seriously affect relationships. With conflicting zodiac signs, it will take
longer to get two sims befriended and in love. Also, with conflicting signs,
all social interactions (Hug, Kiss, whatever) have a much higher chance of
failing.

On the other hand, compatible signs will help relationships. All social
interactions have a better chance of being accepted, and some will be available
much earlier. It takes a shorter amount of time to induce love, but no two sims
can be friends until the daily meter hits +50 no matter what the sign.

The following sub-sections will list the signs in chronological order. First,
I'll list the in-game description (IGD) of the sign. You can access this by
clicking the Personality button, then clicking the name of the zodiac sign.
After that, I'll say what precisely that description means in game terms (DEF),
such as what roles a sim of a particular sign excells at. Then, I'll list the
compatiable signs (Good Signs, GS for short) and the incompatible signs (Bad
Signs, BS for short). Finally, just for laughs, I'll list the lyrics of the
sign from Weird Al Yankovic's song "Your Horoscope for Today" (WAL).

+------------+
|9a. Aquarius|
+------------+

IGD: Friendly and amusing, Aquarians are excellent companions. Being well
balanced in other areas helps to make them one of the most agreeable signs.

DEF: A sim with the Aquarius sign has high Outgoing and Nice stats, plus decent
Playful ratings. The other two are balanced. This makes the sim very
susceptible to the benefits of parties; throw a bunch if this one is in the
family.

GS: Capricorn, Sagittarius

BS: Scorpio, Virgo

WAL: There's travel in your future when your tongue freezes to the back of a
speeding bus. Fill that void in your pathetic life by playing Whack-a-Mole 17
hours a day.

+----------+
|9b. Pisces|
+----------+

IGD: Selfless and kind, Pisces are one of the nicest signs. They're active too.
However, this combination can make them emotionally restless and indecisive.

DEF: Nice and Active are high, with decent Outgoing and a balance between the
other two. A sim with this sign is the best way to make Pud (check my alpha
strategy). This sim is almost too effective being a cook who only makes friends
to help the other sims in the family.

GS: Scorpio, Gemini

BS: Leo, Aries

WAL: Try to avoid any Virgos or Leos with the Ebola Virus. You are the true
lord of the dance, no matter what those idiots at work say.

+---------+
|9c. Aries|
+---------+

IGD: Dynamic and confidant, most Aries never shy away from the opportunity to
strike up a conversation with anyone. However, they can be somewhat impulsive
and quick-tempered.

DEF: Low Nice and Playful, but high Outgoing. This sim is a moderate challenge;
with low nice, you have to be careful what actions you choose. If you try to
insult a sim that doesn't like to be insulted, the high Outgoing is going to
hurt. Plus, with high Outgoing, the sim needs to be social more often, thus
increasing the chance of having bad relationships.

GS: Gemini, Taurus

BS: Cancer, Libra

WAL: The look on your face will be priceless when you find that 40-pound
watermelon in your colon. Trade toothbrushes with an albino dwarf, and give a
hickey to Meryl Streep.

+----------+
|9d. Taurus|
+----------+

IGD: The typical Taurus is strong-willed and determined. That can often mean
determined to have a good time.

DEF: High Playful, and the rest is balanced. These sims have fun and don't mind
company. These sims, like Aquarians, really benefit from parties.

GS: Aries, Libra

BS: Virgo, Cancer

WAL: You will never find true happiness; whatchya gonna do, cry about it? The
stars predict tomorrow you'll wake up to a bunch of stuff and then go back to
sleep.

+----------+
|9e. Gemini|
+----------+

IGD: Youthful and lively, many think Gemini have enough energy for two. Also
energized by conversation, it isn't surprising to find them bouncing from one
topic to the next at parties.

DEF: High Outgoing and Active, with higher Neat than the last two. This is
another good one for Pud in my alpha strategy. A Gemini can make friends pretty
fast, and while he's not, he can clean and cook.

GS: Pisces, Virgo

BS: Capricorn, Aries

WAL: Your birthday party will be ruined once again by your explosive
flatulence. Your love life will run into trouble when your fiancee hurls a
javelin through your chest.

+----------+
|9f. Cancer|
+----------+

IGD: There is nothing extreme about Cancers--they are very balanced. They can
also be very changeable which can be good or bad depending on the situation.

DEF: Balance, balance, balance. In theory, this sim has no weakness. However,
because he has no weakness, that in and of itself may be a weakness. After all,
because no one stat is low, you'll need to attend to all his needs regularly.
This could be mean more work for you if you're new; then again, it may also be
a good way to train yourself. Try him out; having one sim with 5s all the way
across the board is good for the neighborhood.

GS: Taurus, Scorpio

BS: Gemini, Aries

WAL: The position of Jupiter says that you should spend the rest of the week
face-down in the mud. Try not to shove a roll of duct tape up your nose while
taking your driver's test.

+-------+
|9g. Leo|
+-------+

IGD: The ultimate 'people' people, Leos are complete extroverts. Unfortunately,
this makes them deficient in other areas.

DEF: The in-game description says it all. Leos have high, if not max, Outgoing.
Nice is up there as well, which means Neat, Playful, and Active are all
relatively low. Leos get kicks out of parties, but because they're not active
nor playful, they don't get too much pleasure out of life aside from reading
books. Of course, that also means that the sim won't get as distracted as most
will by bright and shiny things.

GS: Sagittarius, Cancer

BS: Capricorn, Gemini

WAL: Now is not a good time to photocopy your butt and staple it to your boss's
face. Eat a bucket of tuna-flavored pudding and wash it down with a gallon of
Strawberry Qwik.

+---------+
|9h. Virgo|
+---------+

IGD: Modest and shy, introverted Virgos take pride in their meticulous and
practical approach to life. Unfortunately, these same traits can also result in
a very fussy individual.

DEF: Low Neat and Outgoing are complimented by high Active and decent Nice and
Playful. These guys are almost custom-made to work, because their low Outgoing
will slow the Social meter enough to make it not be any kind of distraction to
get up the career ladders. The more time spent away from home, the better; just
make sure that you don't neglect their skill gains. By the way, I am a Virgo.

GS: Aquarius, Sagittarius

BS: Leo, Taurus

WAL: All Virgos are extremely friendly and intelligent EXCEPT FOR YOU. Expect a
big surprise today when you wind up with your head impaled upon a stick.

+---------+
|9i. Libra|
+---------+

IGD: Romantic and charming and incredibly sociable, it's hard not to like a
Libra. However, their social pursuits leave them leave them little time for
more practical endeavors.

DEF: High Outgoing and Nice, decent Playful, low Active and Neat. Another good
choice for Pud, Libras love parties and dates. With an obscenely high Outgoing
rating, you need to make sure these sims have plenty of people to talk to all
the time.

GS: Virgo, Cancer

BS: Pisces, Scorpio

WAL: A big promotion is just around the corner for someone much more talented
than you. Laughter is the very best medicine; remember that when your appendix
bursts next week.

+-----------+
|9j. Scorpio|
+-----------+

IGD: While somewhat withdrawn from social activities, Scorpios are forceful and
determined in more practical pursuits.

DEF: The complete opposite of Libras, Scorpios boast decent to high Active and
Neat, though their Outgoing and Nice suffer. This makes them custom made to get
out of the house and work.

GS: Pisces, Leo

BS: Libra, Aquarius

WAL: Get ready for an unexpected trip when you fall screaming from an open
window. Work a little bit harder on your low self-esteem, you stupid freak.

+---------------+
|9k. Sagittarius|
+---------------+

IGD: Jovial and carefree Sagittarians are also blessed with boundless energy.
Unfortunately, this combination can also make them restless and careless.

DEF: Extremely high Active is the star of the show here. High Outgoing and
decent Playful are present also, though that makes Nice low and Neat
non-existant. That means they'll be in dirty houses, but they'll be able to
entertain guests despite cockroaches. However, make sure they're always in a
good mood, because they are pretty quick to get some negative interactions
going.

GS: Pisces, Capricorn

BS: Libra, Scorpio

WAL: All your friends are laughing behind your back... KILL THEM. Take down all
those naked pictures of Ernest Borge that you've got hanging in your den.

+-------------+
|9l. Capricorn|
+-------------+

IGD: Armed with a dry wit, Capricorns can often be found telling a good joke.
Also being very practical, they strive for order and discipline.

DEF: Capricorns have high Outgoing. The other four stats are balanced, though
Active normally is a point more than the others. They have no glaring
weaknesses as long as there are other sims to talk to, and they're not so
social that jobs are dangerous. This sign is excellent for a worker as long as
he doesn't live alone.

GS: Aquarius, Taurus

BS: Leo, Gemini

WAL: The stars say that you're an exciting and wonderful person, but you know
they're lying. If I were you, I'd lock my doors and windows and never never
never never never leave my house again.



======================================================
|           PART 2: OTHER AREAS OF SIMCITY           |
======================================================

+--------------+
|+------------+|
||10. DOWNTOWN||
|+------------+|
+--------------+

(note: this only works if you have Hot Date installed)

Before the Hot Date expansion, your sims could not leave the lot. Now, they
have the option to call a cab to head to the big city. To initiate it, click a
phone in your house, then Call Cab. For $50, one adult sim can get a ride
downtown. Be aware that the game will save when you do so, so make sure you
WANT it saved first.

You're taken to a screen like the Neighborhood Screen, but it shows the
downtown lots. If you hover the taxi cursor over a building, you can get a
short description of it. To pick one, simply click it.

Once downtown, you cannot enter Buy Mode or Build Mode, but more on that later.
You can only use that one sim, and you can't save. I know the technical reason,
but let's not deal with it. If you want to know, toss me an e-mail.

Anyway, as soon as you're downtown, you can do whatever you wish. There are
shops, places to eat, recreational places, and other things. The moment you
arrive to any place, a hoard of other sims show up, including any others that
you moved into houses already, although they won't cross neighborhoods. That
is, if you're visiting downtown with a sim from neighborhood 1, you won't find
one from neighborhood 2 running around.

There are several actions that were added specifically for the downtown area.
The initial two, "Let's Hang Out?" and "Let's Date?," are explained in a
moment. Like all other actions, they can be accepted or declined based on any
number of factors.

Again, because I don't want to ruin the game for anyone, I won't go into
details about every little thing in Downtown. It's all pretty self-explanatory
anyway.

What I will do, however, is have a word about saving and leaving downtown. In
every downtown lot, there will be a big yellow phone. You can use that to call
a cab to go home for free, or to go somewhere else for another $50.

In order to save the game, you'll need to get back home. If your game crashes
or you quit while you're downtown, the game will load you back at your house.
The budget you had while you were downtown WILL save, but your relationships
WILL NOT.

+----------------------------------------------+
|10a. Having a Date or Friend With You Downtown|
+----------------------------------------------+

You can have up to one other adult sim accompany your sim downtown. This is a
standard interaction, and can also be initated over the phone with no extra
clicks. I've never known it to be rejected, but you never know.

To get someone to go downtown with you, you have three options, depending on
where both sims are. Let's say Pyro wants to invite Steph downtown for my
examples.

Scenario 1: Steph is at Pyro's house (whether she's living there or just
visiting). Click Pyro to make him the active sim, then click Steph, and "Invite
Downtown" should be an interaction. Click it, and Steph will hopefully accept
(it's almost guaranteed to be accepted, but there's a slim chance it won't be,
depending on moods). Pyro will then call a cab automatically, and both will go
downtown together.

Scenario 2: Pyro is already downtown and sees Stephanie. Again, make Pyro the
active sim, and click Steph. This time, click the interaction "Ask..." You'll
be presented with two options: "Let's Hang Out?" and "Let's Date?." If you
select "Let's Hang Out?," that's non-love inducing, made for friends. "Let's
Date?" is for a romantic thing, so your target will expect different things.
She'll immediately start following you around in either case if she accepts.

Scenario 3: Pyro is at home and Steph is in her own house. With Pyro as the
active sim, click a phone, and select Steph from the list. You'll be given
three options: "Talk," "Invite Over," and "Invite Somewhere." Click the third
one, and you'll be presented with two more choices: "Invite Downtown" and
"Invite On Vacation." Select the first, and Steph will hopefully accept. Pyro
will then hang up, and automatically call a cab. Choose whichever lot you want
to, and Steph will show up there at the same time you do.

Once you're downtown, your date or friend will have a tiny blue crystal over
their head. This indicates their mood (just like your green crystal): the bluer
it is, the happier the sim is. If the crystal turns purple to red, you have a
problem. The crystal is the ONLY way you'll know their mood. Why's that, you
ask? Simple, and make sure you memorize this: YOU CAN'T CONTROL DATES WHILE
DOWNTOWN, EVEN IF THEY LIVE WITH YOU.

Yeah, it sucks, but I didn't program the game. A command that you need to get
real intimate with is "Ask..." then "How are you?." The target will tell you
what mood meter is the lowest. Fix that as soon as possible.

The date will follow you around like a sheep and will do whatever you're doing
if it's a social activity. If you order food, you'll order for the both of you
(and pay for both). If you dance on a dance floor, your date will join you. I
don't need to go on with examples, I hope.

I should point out here that the date is a little too willing when you do
things Downtown. I don't mean social interactions; see, if you elect to go to
the bathroom, your date probably follow you into it. If you decide to dance on
a dance floor, your date will follow you and do that too.

This is all very nice, but there's a minor problem: your date has a hideously
short memory. See, she can only remember the LAST COMMAND you entered.
Therefore, you can't queue up eight different actions and assume that she'll do
every one. You must enter them one at a time... for example, if you know you'll
need to go to the bathroom after you eat, then enter the eating command first,
wait for it to be finished, THEN enter the bathroom command. If you don't, your
date may follow you into the bathroom without eating. So, take the date one
step and action at a time.

Once your sim gets real friendly with the other, and the other's mood is high
(its crystal is deep blue), you can attempt to invite the sim back to your
house. Well, you can make the ATTEMPT anytime, but it's likely to fail if you
don't time it right. The mood and relationship meters of the target must be
relatively high before it will be accepted.

Be careful with that command. The two quickest ways to end a date are to run
out of money and get too personal. If you ask someone you just met to come home
with you, you'll probably not only be rejected and lose a LARGE chunk off the
relationship meter, but that sim will walk away, leaving you the only one
downtown.

Of course, if the sim already lives with you, there's no option and you can't
be walked away from.

While downtown, you can click another sim and try the Let's Date? or Let's Hang
Out? options. If accepted, the other sim gets the blue crystal and follows you.
You don't have to have a friend or date to talk to strangers, but you can't
dance or order food for strangers.

By the way, make sure you say goodbye to the sim when you're ready to call it a
night. If you just leave without saying goodbye, your date may take offense and
send the relationship back a few steps. Just as if you wanted them to vacate
your house, try to pick something that's appropiate to the situation; in other
words, don't kiss a stranger.

+---------------------------+
|10b. Constructing Buildings|
+---------------------------+

Like everything else in The Sims, you can completely overhaul the downtown area
and make your own lots. On the neighborhood screen, there's a button that looks
like a small group of buildings, just to the right of the bulldozer. That will
switch you over to the downtown screen, and you can click any lot to edit. Of
course, you can also click the bulldozer and flatten a lot first.

Veterans of The Sims used to set aside one lot or two as party houses before
this expansion pack. They'd use the money code to get millions of simoleons and
build a customized party place.

Now, you can do the same thing without wasting a lot. When you click a lot from
the downtown screen, you can edit and build WITHOUT REGARDS TO MONEY. You have
infinite cash to buy or build whatever you want. Play around!

The Build and Buy modes work exactly the same as they do when you're messing
with families. The only exception is that certain items available to families
won't be available downtown, and vice versa.

Once you decide to save your lot, you'll be asked to enter a name and a short
description.

In order to build shops, there are three essential ingredients: a cash
register, a desk for the cash register, and something to sell. When in Buy
Mode, click the Shop sort to get all these items.

The cash register will make a shopkeeper appear once you visit the lot with a
sim, so don't worry about that. The game knows what people will be needed to
staff your shops, so you can concentrate on building.

The fancy, antique cash register makes a person in a suit appear, while the
modern register spawns someone who looks like they came from K-Mart (in other
words, unemployed). This is meaningless in practice, but it helps give your
store a certain look. After all, do you want that moron from your high school
gym class handling that diamond necklace for your spouse?

The desks that the registers go on don't matter in the slightest, except again
to enhance the look of the store.

Under the miscellaneous items subsort of the shops sort are the items your sims
will buy from. They include candy racks, magazine racks, jewelry displays, and
clothing closets. Simply place one, and your sims can interact with it.

I suggest that you make a throwaway family for testing. I keep a one-person
family in my barracks named "Ester the Tester." I move her in whenever I make a
new lot, then send her to that lot to test that everything works right. It's
very easy to forget a door or cash register if you're making a bunch of shops
on the same lot. Of course, with 10 lots, you may not have to pack everything
in the same area, but I have one lot set for a mall.

Anyway, you can also make parks and restaurants. Simply click the dining or
outside subsorts, and you'll get items for those.

While I don't have much experience making parks, I know quite a bit about
restaurants. The essential thing you'll need is the podium. That is where your
sim will order food. You'll also need a few tables and chairs. Since no more
than two sims will sit at any one table, you can arrange the place accordingly.

When you make the dining area, make sure that it's technically in the same room
as the podium, or the maite d' will tell you that their tables are full. This
is annoying, but not too bad. If you want a door, you can make an artificial
one. Check out this ASCII art...

D=Door
P=Podium

+----------------------------------+
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  +------------------+
|                                  |                  |
|                                  D                  |
|         DINING AREA              |      LOBBY    P  D
|                                  D                  |
|                                  |                  |
|                                  +------------------+
|                                  |
+----------------------------------+

Let's say this is how you want your restaurant. Since the lobby is in a
separate room, the person behind the podium will insist that their tables are
full, regardless whether there's a door. You can do two things about this. The
easiest is to knock out the divider wall:

+----------------------------------+
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  +------------------+
|                                                     |
|                                                     |
|         DINING AREA                     LOBBY    P  D
|                                                     |
|                                                     |
|                                  +------------------+
|                                  |
+----------------------------------+

I do this, then color the walls and floors differently in both sections
(although if you do so, you can't use the SHIFT-click shortcut since the lobby
becomes the same room as the dining area). The other solution is to make a
"fake door"...

+----------------------------------+
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  +------------------+
|                                  |                  |
|                                                     |
|         DINING AREA              |      LOBBY    P  D
|                                                     |
|                                  |                  |
|                                  +------------------+
|                                  |
+----------------------------------+

In this one, there is no door, but there's no wall either. Technically, they're
the same room, but it has the same effect as if you used the open frame door.
This way, like the way above, removes the SHIFT-click shortcut, but if you
wanted everything to be the same, it wouldn't matter anyway.

Of course, you can combine everything in the first place to save yourself the
trouble...

+----------------------------------+
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  |
|            LOBBY                 |
|              &                P  D
|         DINING AREA              |
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  |
|                                  |
+----------------------------------+

Your design, as always, is up to you.

Be sure to get bathrooms and decorations somewhere, too. Remember, no sim likes
wetting itself (although seeing a dozen sims parcipate in Syncronized Peeing
would make a nifty snapshot).



+---------------------+
|+-------------------+|
||11. VACATION ISLAND||
|+-------------------+|
+---------------------+

(note: you need The Sims: Vacation installed for this to work)

Poor sims... they never get weekends, and they can only take one day off at a
time. They're worked like dogs during the week and deserve some time off.
Downtown is a nice little distraction, but you certainly can't spend all day
down there. Besides, those overworked kids can't head Downtown at all. What's a
sim family to do?

That's where Vacation Island comes in. For a rather large fee, you can take one
entire sim family to the island, where you can socialize and improve all meters
without regards to time, jobs, or skill gains. Or, if your family is composed
of only a couple, they can head to the island for a romantic getaway.

Vacations can cost a rather large sum of money. You'll probably need around
$2000 in your hand to have any sort of vacation longer than a few days. I'd
recommend that you have at least about $3500 if you have a large family that is
going to stay for a week or longer. Don't worry about staying too long; jobs
and schools don't care, and your relationships won't decay at all while you're
on Vacation Island.

Before you leave, go into Buy Mode, and head to the Surfaces sort. Look around
for Curio shelves; these are little wall-mounted shelves on which your sims
will put their souvineers from their trip. Part of the fun of the island is the
booty you bring back from it, so make sure you have the room to put it
somewhere first!

To go on vacation, first make sure that the WHOLE FAMILY is in the house.
You'll be denied entrance if anyone is at work or school. Make any adult sim
the active sim, then click a phone. Click the "Call Cab" option, then "Go on
Vacation." You'll have to pay an upfront fee of $500. The family will pile into
the jeep that pulls up, and the game will save.

You'll then be taken to another lot selection screen. This is Vacation Island,
full of games and other stuff!

There are nine lots, divided into three climates. The northern part of the map
has three lots in the snowy mountains. The bottom three are on the warm beach.
Between them are three lots in the woods.

The climate of your chosen lot is very important. Starting with Vacation (and
only on Vacation Island), the weather will have an impact on your sims' moods.
If your sim is wearing clothes that conflicts with the temperature, his or her
comfort will shoot down rather quickly. Practically each lot has a changing
station, so you can easily switch to a swimsuit for the beach, winterwear for
the mountains, or normal clothes for the forest.

Since you just got there, you'll need to find a place to sleep. There are
several hotels on the island, but you can also rough it and sleep in an igloo
or tent. Igloos and tents can only hold a maximum of two people however, so if
your family is larger, you'll either need a hotel room or more money for more
tents.

Look around for a hotel for now. I personally give props to the hotel on the
west-central lot, #43. It's called Bear Essentials (get the pun? HA HA HA HA
HA!), and it's a great starting place to get your feet wet. Because it's
location is in the forest, you also won't have to worry about other clothes.

Click it, then look around once the game loads. Once you get your bearings,
grab an adult sim, and click the front desk. You can then check in, which will
cost you $120. Accept, and every sim (both child and adult) will get a hotel
key. Now, oddly enough, the keys work for EVERY HOTEL on the island (not the
igloos or tents). So if you get bored with the forest hotel, you can switch
over to the winter or beach hotel anytime without extra cost.

Okay, here's how the hotels work, and it's really weird. The key more or less
gives you access to the bed, and that's it. You can use the toilet and shower
in any room anytime you want. With the key in hand, you can use any bed. The
reason all your family members get keys is so you can theoretically have each
one sleep in a separate room. I doubt you have eight people, all of whom hate
each other, but whatever.

Check out time is noon every day. In order to check out, simply click the desk
again and choose the option. If you keep the key past noon, you're charged for
another night, costing you another $120. Of course, if you WANT to stay another
night, by all means keep it. You never have to check out if you don't want to.

All the hotels have banquet tables for food, and most lots have grills that let
you cook six hamburgers for $20. Every lot has its own house keeping staff, so
don't worry about cleaning up anything. This is a place of play, not work.

Okay, now that you've got a hotel key and you're fed, it's time to have some
fun! All the lots have things to do, though some lots have more to do than
others. There are arcades in the north-central and southwest lots. Each arcade
has several games you can play to win Gold Tokens. These can be redeemed at
souvineer booths, all conviently located near the games. You can buy several
spiffy things; my favorite is the stuffed penguin, since I'm a fan of the
Pittsburgh Penguins.

The games all cost money to play. The costs are cheap, but several hundred
plays could add up. Play them to your heart's content. One particular game
seems to have much better odds than the others, and I'll be darned if I tell
you here what it is. Play all the games, and you'll see which one it is for
yourself. Also, KoRnRulz1987 (KoRnRulz1987@aol.com) told me that a sim's Body
skill relates to its success in the games too.

The games only boost your Fun meter a few points, so if it's rather low or you
already have a lot of tokens, you may want to try other things. Fishing is a
good way to boost the Fun meter, and if there are other fishers, you'll get hit
with a boost to your Social meter too. There's a slim chance you may find some
treasure, too.

Or, you may want to rent a metal dectector from the rental shacks. Your sim
will wander around the lot, looking for buried treasure. While you'll probably
wind up with a few simoleans and maybe an old boot or two, there are other,
niftier prizes you can win with a bit of luck.

If you don't want to even bother with treasures and souvineers, you can play a
game of volleyball with other sims. The game goes on eternally, and sims can
join or leave whenever they wish. When a point is made, all the sims on the
scoring team get a boost to their relationships with each other. This is a
great way of getting to know more people, since everyone who appears on
Vacation Island is new and independent of Downtown, you'll get to know quite a
group of people.

Other options for fun are snowboarding, archery, and a number of other things.
Explore; unlike Downtown, it doesn't cost any money to change lots.

Your sims' energy will eventually start fading. If you want to do things the
easy way, just head to any hotel and grab a bed.

If you want to do things the fun way though, get an igloo or tent. Only one
person or one couple can be in a tent or igloo at once; it works like a double
bed in that sense. Once a sim is inside an igloo or tent, a sim that is in love
with him or her can choose the command "Play with [name]." They then proceed to
play Extreme Doctor, after which they'll both fall asleep. One of the sims will
unfortunately wake up with zero comfort, but both sims' social and fun meters
will be maxxed out.

If you want your sims to play Find the Soap, you can get them into a hot tub
and choose Play as well. There's a hot tub convinetly located in Lot #43, the
one with the hotel I pointed you to earlier. Playing in that sense gives a
rather superb boost to relationship and Social meters, and playing in the hot
tub will also boost Hygiene, Comfort, and Fun levels at the same time.

The vacation directors are constantly monitoring your family's moods. If you
manage to keep all your sims' moods high during a long vacation, you may get a
special award. I got a Golden Pinecone, although I'm sure there are others.
This can also be placed on your shelves for trips down memory lane.

Whenever you're ready to go home, simply click a phone, and choose "Go Home."
All relationship and money changes will save, and you'll be taken home with
your trophies. Once your sims are dropped off on their lot, they'll
automatically look for places to put their things. The big ones, like the
Stuffed Penguin, need an endtable or desk. The small ones, like the Coconut
Monkey and Old Boots, can be placed on the shelves. You can move them around
manually in Buy Mode if you need to do some rearranging. If you run out of room
or just get bored with something, you can sell any of your souvineers. The
amounts are scaled to how rare the item is (the boots are only worth $17, for
example), but even the most rare ones aren't worth too much.

Once your sims place their prizes, any sim can interact with it at anytime. The
sim will pick up the prize and remember his or her trip, and if any other
family member is in the room, they'll remember with them. Friends who are there
can share the memory as well, making it a perfect party topic.

The sim's moods when they found the item stays attached TO the item. So, if
they found an old boot in a bad mood, they'll have bad memories of it. But, if
they found a treasure chest while they were in a good mood, they'll have
fantastic memories of it. If a good or bad memory is attached to a souvineer,
that will rub off on them when they remember; that is, if they remember a bad
vacation, their mood will plummet.

Vacations are, in short, excellent places to enhance family relationships and
extend a sim's network of friends. They're very good breaks from the routine
days of work, sleep, and skill gains. Take one sometime if you have extra
money; your sims will thank you.

+---------------------------------------+
|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
interaction.

Okay, first, grab a phone and call your target. Click the "Invite Somewhere"
button, then select "On Vacation." If the target accepts (I've never seen it be
declined), then your active sim will immediately call for the jeep and go on
vacation.

Now, there are some fantastic advantages here. First of all, you can EASILY
exploit the time freeze to get that person to +100/+100 without having any
other relationship decay. The person who you are with won't need to go to work
(neither will you, for that matter).

The family won't come with you, which means you can spend more money on
yourself and your date. Also, any tokens and prizes that your date wins in
games converts to YOUR inventory. Nice way to get some tokens for a Penguin!

The only problem, if it is one, is that your date is out of your control, just
like Downtown. He or she will have a blue crystal over their head, and the
bluer it is, the better. Make sure he's or she's well fed and entertained, and
you should have nothing to worry about.

Here's an example of how you can seriously use this to your advantage. I
created a one-person family, the person being a hot chick named Kelly National.
Now, I decided to run the Bill Gates of Gnomes strategy with her (her house
will eventually be the party house of SimNation). But, because it's only a
one-person house, I needed her to constantly call people over to keep her
Social meter alive. The problem was, she worked on gnomes at night, and was
asleep during the day, so she never met anyone to call over.

Enter Pud Falkon! Using the Falkons as the active family (and because they're
the richest), I had Pud and Kelly meet. Then, he invited her on vacation, and
the two stayed there for a good two weeks or so until they were +100/+100 to
each other.

Then I saved it and made Kelly the active family. She could call up Pud anytime
and he'd bounce right over, they'd make out for a few hours, and then she'd
send him home. That gave her Social meter the kick it needed, and the rest of
her needs were taken care of in-house. She's already hosting hot parties (not
the hotest, though... I'm still working on that).

I've found a minor issue with having a date on vacation, and one you need to be
wary of. This is also a problem Downtown, but it's WAY more prominent on
Vacation Island.

Your date has a bad memory. As such, you cannot queue up more than one action
at a time. For example, let's say your sim just woke up. You order him to go to
the bathroom, take a shower, then head to the buffet table. Your date will not
have the memory to remember all that; what she'll probably do is attempt the
toilet, ignore the shower, and starve by forgetting all about the food
downstairs.

So, you have to run your date one step and one action at a time. Here's the
deal: first, issue the toilet command. If your date doesn't need to go, that's
fine, let her watch you, or whatever. Then, once your sim is done, order him to
take a shower. Hopefully, his date will then do the same. But, here's the
important part: do NOT give an additional command until the shower is finished!
After that, head downstairs BESIDE the buffet table (use a Go Here command).
Once your date is next to you, THEN grab the plate. If you're halfway across
the building and directly choose "Grab a Plate," your date won't see it, and
she may not eat anything.

Again, you basically need to work on your date slowly. Take every action one
step at a time, and use Go Here commands liberally to make sure your date
always sees what precisely you're doing.



+--------------+
|+------------+|
||12. OLD TOWN||
|+------------+|
+--------------+

Prior to Unleashed, your neighborhood consisted of only 10 lots that could only
contain houses. Going to Downtown and Vacation Island were possible in Hot Date
and Vacation respectively, but they were in other places of the city, not in
your direct neighborhood.

Now, your neighborhood has expanded four-fold. You now have a whopping 41 lots
in your direct neighborhood. Each of them can be zoned as residental or
commercial. That means you could have, in theory, 41 families going on at once
(that's A LOT of people).

However, a far better idea is to plan ahead. I, for example, can easily keep up
10 families. So, I simply keep the 10 original plots of land zoned as
residental, and the others commercial. If you have more families, zone more
residential if you desire. To rezone any plot, including those from the
original neighborhood in the top-right corner, click the icon that has a shovel
on it, then click the plot you want to change. If there's no building on the
plot, then it changes with no other decision to be made. If a family is on a
residental lot you want to change, or a business is on a commercial lot you
want to change, then you'll be prompted to evict the family or trash the
building to be able to change it over.

Old Town has its own NPCs you can talk to. There are pet judges, sax players,
and the voodoo chick. This woman, named Miss Lucielle (and we all know who
she's mocking), has three features. The first, and least helpful, is that you
can pay her a few bucks to your palm and give you a random, meaningless fortune
(but they are pretty funny). Second, she can read pet minds to know exactly
what they want, which can seriously help you set things up. The most helpful
thing is that she can actually raise the dead! If the Grim Reaper has made one
of your sims a zombie, Miss Lucielle can revive them completely for a price.

In short, Old Town is a cross between Downtown and Vacation Island. The
commercial zones can have businesses like restaurants and parks, where sims can
be social and go on dates. However, you usually have to take the WHOLE FAMILY
whenever you go to another lot, which not exactly the time when you want to get
smoochy with your lover or whatever.

In order to get some private time with your bedmate -- er, soul mate -- you can
arrange a date like you would if you wanted to take them on vacation. Just
invite them to Old Town, and your family won't follow you.

If the family does escort you, your pets come with you too. More on pets in a
sec.



+-----------------+
|+---------------+|
||13. STUDIO TOWN||
|+---------------+|
+-----------------+

(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 
be!

Studio Town is just a bus ride away, but you have to make the connection to get
there. It's as simple as any other external part of the city. Grab an adult
sim, click a phone, hit "Call Cab," and choose "Studio Town." Kids can't go,
and no one else may accompany you. No dates or anything, either; this trip is
JUST for the active sim.

There are two basic ways of going to Studio Town: as a star, or as a rabid fan.
If you are a mere fan, then you have to pay a ticket price of $50 for each lot
you visit, exactly like the charge for Hot Date's Downtown. If you are a star,
you pay nothing to move around, because you're that damn important.

If you do visit as a fan, you can haunt stars and beg for autographs, hugs, and
things like that. You can participate in a few of the star activities (like
spas or karaoke), but it won't add anything to your fame rating. Going as a fan
is basically just a minor vacation. You should try it a couple times, but
there's nothing really of value to keep you coming back.

However, if you're coming as a star, there's plenty of things for you to do.
The whole nine-lot region is yours to command, and command you shall! Of
course, you have to start from the bottom like everyone else. Fear not, for I
am here to help... of course, if I wasn't, why would I be writing an FAQ?

By the way, there will be nothing more said about being just a fan because
there is simply nothing to address. Going to Studio Town as a fan is a
distration, nothing more.

+-----------------------------------------+
|13a. Who Said Being a Superstar Was Easy?|
+-----------------------------------------+

To be a star, the first thing you need to do is understand what all is
involved.

Being a star is not easy; a lot of time is required between balancing friends,
the job, skill gains, and your personal mood bars. Because of that, you need to
time your start so you don't shoot yourself in the foot from the beginning. One
sim is difficult by itself to deal with as a star, so I recommend that for at
least your first attempt you go in it alone. Get a bachelor sim and try it,
don't mess with a family.

Also, the monetary cost is pretty high in the beginning. When you start out,
you won't be making too much (if any) money. As such, it's not a good idea to
start the superstar career if you are low on cash. Stars pay taxes too, and
there's no way you'll have the time to avoid hiring a maid or butler. I
recommend either: a) you use an established family with a large amount of
capital (perhaps about $2500 or more), or b) you use a family that's just
starting out because the bills won't be that high.

The third thing you need to consider is friends. With the large amount of time
the job takes, there's no way you can balance many friendships. The friends
requirement for this career is based on the INDIVIDUAL sim's friends, not
FAMILY friends (which means there's no way my alpha strategy would work). The
game takes the time into account, though; you may only need three to five
friends to end up pulling it off. I'll explain that in a sec. So in summary,
you shouldn't use a family or sim with an extensive network of friends, because
that network is going to be shot full of holes fairly early on.

Fourth, the Social meter is extremely hard to keep up for this. If you're not
an expert on working house guests yet, you'll need to practice that before
undertaking a superstar career. If you're lucky enough to have Unleashed
installed as well, you can get a pet to solve that problem. If not, another
family member would be better than trying to deal with house guests, but that
raises issue #1 here on my list. I seriously recommend getting a dog (NOT a
cat), because a dog would play another role as well (again, I'll explain that
later).

Fifth, you'll need to visit Studio Town EVERY DAY. Just like any other job, if
you fail to go, you'll get punished. In conventional jobs, you get fired if you
miss two consecutive days. In the superstar career, you'll lose star power if
you miss two consecutive days. You won't be fired, but you'll be in a worse
position to earn money. You can skip a day or two now and then to build up
skills or friendships, but you can't skip it much more than that without
problems in the long run.

Finally, you, as the player, need patience. For the other regular careers, they
are very reactionary: if a sim needs something, you give it to them. It takes
little brainpower or attention to promote a sim up the ladder. As a superstar,
however, you'll have to babysit your sim like an overprotective mother hen.
Good things and bad things can and will influence what your next move is. If
you are very new to The Sims, I seriously recommend you forget about the
superstar career until you've had plenty of practice dealing with a normal
family.

+---------------------+
|13b. Let's Get It On!|
+---------------------+

Okay, so you've read and understood all the hazards involved in this. I wish
you luck, because even if you have all the strategy guides in the world, you'll
need some (explained soon).

The first thing you need to do is hire an agent. This is the equivalent of
taking a job from a newspaper or computer. At the same time the paper is
delivered, the paper girl will deliver a daily tabloid. 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.

Now, taking on an agent does not lock you into one career or another; far from
it. All it does is gives you access to your Star Rating and Studio Town. The
exact career of the three is up to you, and you choose it by interacting with
specific items. But, more on that in their own sections.

Once you have an agent, go ahead and click your phone, and summon a cab to haul
you to Studio Town. Once you're there, notice that there's a woman with a
clipboard. She's like the vacation director on Vacation Island; she'll give you
some bland information about what to do. Trust me, I'm more informative than
she is. Another NPC that is on every Studio Town lot is the Paparazzo, a dude
with camera. Believe it or not, he is your initial ticket to stardom.

The first time you arrive to Studio Town, you're a nobody. To see that in
detail, click your job screen. Your star rating, based on zero to five stars in
half-star increments, gives you an overall impression on your progress. There
is a hidden number to your star rating (it's not JUST half-star increments),
but unlike relationship meters, there's no way to tell exact numbers. There's
also a friend count on the bottom, but it works differently than conventional
careers. Of course, you've also got your six meters listing your job skills.

Since no one knows you, you'll have to draw some attention. No matter what
career you want, you'll be denied access to its devices at first. The first
thing you have to do, then, is get your name out there. The easiest and
quickest way for a little jolt is to talk to the Papparazo and either pose for
a pic or do a publicity stunt (neither way is better than the other). That act
alone should kick your star rating to 0.5, and you'll be on your way.

+--------------------------------+
|13c. Music: The Next Will Smith!|
+--------------------------------+

In my opinion, the easiest career to start with and be successful in is music.
Once you've given your star rating its rookie kick as I just explained, you
need to find a place to show off your lungs. There's no way a record label will
hire a rookie to cut an album, and there's even less hope of having a nobody
make a music video. You have to start by demonstrating your skills to the
people who come and go.

The device capable of doing that is a karaoke machine. For no cost, you can hop
up on stage and perform one of five songs. If people stop by, listen, and like
it, you'll get a star rating boost. If sims come by and boo the snot out of
you, your star rating will take a cut.

The karaoke machine is not based on prior fame or anything like that, unlike
the other devices. You need skills and just a TINY bit of luck to get a boost.
The Creativity job skill is raised by playing musical instruments, so logically
it would affect your singing ability. With a zero Creativity rating, your sim
will hit notes that haven't been invented yet, and will hear more boos than job
offers if he gets on stage. Get creativity to at least 4 (I recommend 6) before
even getting on stage.

If you succeed in wooing the audience with your words, you'll see some monetary
gains. It's nothing but tips presumably, so you'll never see more than about
$20 for each song. Don't worry, it's just a starting step.

Once you have a two-star rating, it's time to get your voice to the public. Go
to a lot that features a recording booth (by default, there is only one). Click
the booth and choose "Jingle." You'll record a tiny commercial bit for the
latest The Sims expansion pack (Heaven knows there will be another one out
before I finish this FAQ, which is not a complaint). This is a hit-or-miss
transaction: either you'll succeed, get a boost to your star rating, and earn
$75; or you'll screw it up, lose some star rating, and go home without pay.

Keep recording jingles while getting your skills up. Once you hit a three-star
rating, things start getting challenging and weird, but not in a bad way. It's
time to cut your first single, and you can use the same recording booth you've
been using to market those The Sims games. To record a song, click the booth,
and then pick your desired genre: rock, ballad, or dance. The specific genre
doesn't seem to matter, but you may want to try them all out just to hear them.

The producer will then ask you how you want to perform the song. That's a
little, weird for the world of The Sims, isn't it? Normally, things are
determined by random numbers with your sims' bars as mere modifiers. However,
now you're actually going to personally help your sim succeed, or help him
smell the gutter when he's thrown out of town.

There are three parts of the song, and for each you're asked if you want to
perform it normally, mellowly, or over the top. The producer is looking for one
specific combination, and doesn't tell you ahead of time what's needed.
However, if you pay attention to his or her reactions to your sim's singing,
then you'll know what to do. As long as you pay attention and have a reasonably
good short-term memory, you'll do fine.

Let's say your order is Normal, Mellow, Over the Top. Your sim will start
singing. Let's say the producer reacts like this...

Part 1 -- Normal -- Normal word bubble
Part 2 -- Mellow -- Word bubble with red X
Part 3 -- OverTT -- Word bubble with red X

...That means the producer was happy with the way you started, but not the way
the other two parts went. You'll be given the chance to go again. "If it ain't
broke, don't fix it" as they say. Change the second and third options, leaving
the first intact. This may be what you get...

Part 1 -- Normal -- Normal word bubble
Part 2 -- OverTT -- Word bubble with red X
Part 3 -- Normal -- Normal word bubble

...That means the producer liked the intro and outro, but not the body. You're
given a THIRD chance to fix it, and by process of elimination, we see that the
correct order for this example is Normal/Normal/Normal.

It's not usually that easy, of course. However, I have a sure-fire way of
getting through it every time. Follow these steps and you'll have 100%
accuracy...

1. Choose "Normal" for all three parts.

2. If any part is wrong, change it to "Mellow."

3. If any part is wrong again, change it to "Over the Top."

...That's all there is to it!

The sooner you pull off the song, the more of a star boost you get. You get
paid based on your star rating as well: a 4-star singer will get paid $400 or
so per song, but a 3-star singer might only get $250. You're not going to see
much more than $500 per song no matter what your level is or how lucky you are,
but it's a nice income for the middle of your career.

Once you hit the 4-star level, the audience is clamoring for your face. Since
television killed the radio star, you should roll with the times and head to a
lot with a studio for music videos!

The challenge of music videos is similar to cutting singles, but there's a
couple of catches. First, you only need two out of three right to succeed.
Second, you only have TWO chances to guess the right combination.

I use the same strategy as above, but it causes problems. My method is thus...

1. Choose the first option for all three parts.

2. If any part is wrong, change it to the second option.

...The problem is that if any part of the song is the third option, I won't get
a perfect song. If at least two parts of the song are the third option, I'll
fail. The problem is, there's no better way to pull it off. You can randomly
guess, of course, but I hate relying on only luck. Of course, if your Lady Luck
is an attractive brunette with lovely teeth and a great rack, by all means give
it a shot.

Here's some math for all you happy math types out there. There are 27
combinations total for music videos and CD singles. The chance of you hitting
it right on your first try is 1/27, or 3.7%. Try not to let that bother you.

Music videos are, naturally, higher risk than CD singles. However, the benefits
are much better as long as you realize that you won't have 100% accuracy. Star
rating gains are higher upon successes, and are extremely high should you be
lucky enough to hit that 3.7%. You can get well over $1000 PER SONG on a
success, too. Of course, like the singles, your star rating affects your pay.

If you're lucky and good, you'll randomly get a trophy for your lyrics. These
go on special cabinets you can buy in Buy Mode, like the curio shelves for crap
from Vacation Island. Also, if you're at home with a high star rating, Marilyn
Monroe may pop up and present you with a Simmy, the highest award you can get.
It's your prize for being so darn charasmatic and vocal!

+--------------------------------------+
|13d. Acting: The Next Patrick Stewart!|
+--------------------------------------+

If you're more interested in writers doing the creative thing, you can be an
actor. This is the second-easiest career to get into, and it's very similar to
the music career, especially starting out. Before getting an agent, take some
time to Practice Speech in front of your mirror to gain charisma. Wait until
you have at least 4 points in charisma before taking your first trip to Studio
Town.

The first thing you need to do once you have an agent is, again, get noticed.
Making a fool of yourself in front of the Paparazzo dude is the quickest,
surest way. After that, look for a stage similar to the karaoke stage, but with
a book instead. This is where you can entertain other sims with comedy, drama,
and that kind of stuff. You don't get to choose your genre for this, it's
automatic. Remember to make sure you have an audience, or your performance
won't mean a thing.

Keep up this amateur act until your star rating hits 1.5. After that, look
around Studio Town for a lot that has a camera and a nearby prop of a sim in a
body cast on a hospital bed. You can get some low-paying gigs as a spokesman
for a medical product (from the way the sims pronounce it, it's "Fleerin
Ploz"). Like when musicians record jingles, acting out a commercial is
hit-or-miss, and will net you $80 or $90.

Commercials will be your life until you get 2.5 stars. Then, use the same prop,
but choose to act in an emergency or inheritance scene for the daytime soaps.
You'll get three choices on how you want to perform it: comedic, dramatic, or
suspenseful. You need to get all three combinations right, but you have three
chances to do it. (See the above music section for details on how to pull it
off.) You'll net about $300 per scene.

Once you hit 4 stars, you might encounter a massive slow down. I wasn't able to
advance until I performed a music video, but if I was more patient, perhaps I
could have managed to get to 4.5 by just acting. Either way, once your star
rating hits 4.5, it's time to go to the big screen. Find a lot with a camera, a
spiral set of stairs, and a picnic table. This is where you can choose to act
in a fight scene or death scene.

It requires a bit of luck to get involved in this. In music videos, your backup
dancers are provided. In acting though, you have to wait until another star
comes to act with you. Sometimes you'll request to act, but no one else will
show up, so your sim will get out of costume and cut the action before it even
starts. Keep at it, though; be patient, and someone will show up eventually.

Once you do get a co-star, you're given three ways to act out the scene. You
need to get two out of the three right, and you only have two chances to do so.
The first couple of times you act, you get about $700. After that, you'll start
pulling in $1,000 checks per scene. Nice way to get some green!

Like music, you always have a chance of getting a trophy for your work. Just be
sure to have a dog or something so your stalker doesn't jack your reward.

+-----------------------------------+
|13e. Modeling: The Next Heidi Klum!|
+-----------------------------------+

Modeling is the hardest of the three to deal with, and the hardest to stay
exclusive to. It doesn't pay as highly as the other two, although it doesn't
take as much out of you, so you can do more modeling jobs per day than other
things.

If you want your sim to be exclusively a model, I would HIGHLY recommend you
use a two-person family to pull it off. You'll need a steady income that
modeling by its lonesome won't provide, and your star's social meter gets
heavily damaged without too much time to be repaired.

As always, you need to get to a 0.5 star rating early by making a fool of
yourself. Once that's accomplished, find a lot with a model's backdrop on it.
An interaction with it is to model print ads... if you look at the picture's
details, you'll see that your sim is modeling the latest Sims expansion pack.
(Isn't that scary? Even in the WORLD of The Sims, you can't get away from The
Sims commercials.)

Modeling print ads, like singing jingles or acting commercials, is hit-or-miss.
You'll net about $70 per ad that you succeed in, along with a few star points.

Keep up the print ads until you hit a rating of 2 stars. Once there, you can
use the same backdrop to model swimwear or winterwear. Yet again you'll have
three choices, you'll need to get all three parts right, and you'll have three
chances. You can model the clothes energetically to see things bounce,
seductively to see things in fun positions, or artistic to see things like
you've never seen 'em before. You'll get $100 or so for being pretty.

Earn your green there till you hit 3.5 stars. Then you'll get access to the
runway, which is where the good money is... well, for models at least. Click
the runway and choose "Model Clothing," the only option there. Your star will
stand there and wait for another sim to come along, although I think your sim
will wait there forever unlike in acting scenes. When both sims are ready,
you'll have three choices about what styles of clothing to show off: couture
(weird-looking crap), formal (wedding dresses and the like), or lingerie (the
fun nekkid stuff). You need to get two out of three combos right, and you've
got two chances to do it. You'll get around $350 per walk.

As always, you can earn a trophy for doing exceptionally well.

Oh, IcedTeaLatte (IcedTeaLatte@aol.com) sends this...

####################################################

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).  Just wanted to point this out since 350 simoleons
doesn't sound like much of an incentive for people to go into Fashion.

####################################################

+-----------------------------------+
|13f. 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 three to five 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.

+-------------------------+
|13g. Butlers and Stalkers|
+-------------------------+

I know it's a weird pairing, but I don't have enough to say on either of them
to warrant two separate subsections, so one combined subsection it will be.

Butlers are new to the series. They are a cross between the typical maid and
Servo, with a few added perks.

First of all, don't even bother with a butler until you start getting
ridiculous sums of money. It costs $500 PER DAY to have a butler on staff, and
you have to pay bills as well. Butlers are worth their wait in simoleons,
however, if you can afford them.

One of his immediate upsides is his work hours. He is on your property from
dawn to twilight, constantly working if there is something to be done. If
there is a job he can't handle (such as a broken appliance), he will call the
appropriate service to get it done. It still costs YOU the money, but at least
you don't have to waste your time dealing with it. Butlers also do things that
Servos and maids do not, such as filling food dishes should you have a pet.
Half the time I forget to fill the damn dish, let alone do I have the time for
it if I've got a star, so the butler is perfect.

The two major downsides of butlers are their cost and work hours. I know, I
just got done praising the long working hours of butlers, but the fact remains
that Servos can be turned on at night. If your sim is a star, he makes his own
hours and can work around a butler's schedule, so there's no problem. However,
if a regular sim has a butler AND a night job, the purpose may be defeated.

The cost is a slightly double-edged sword as well. Butlers' fees are
crazy-high, and only rich sims should bother with them. However, a butler has
no hidden cost, unlike Servo (whose value contributes to the bill tally).
Although your butler will occasionally nip a brandy from the liquor cabinet if
you have one, that will not cost you a dime, and his work performance will not
go down (he only does it when he's bored and has no work to do).

Butlers have a command where you can ask them to prepare a meal. They're not
very good at cooking, but that saves one whole hour for sims. Their second
special command, to eject visitors, is slightly more useful. If you have anyone
who's annoying you or blocking a doorway, or if you just want to clear the
house, ask him to remove all visitors. He'll go to everyone not in your family
and politely tell them to buzz off.

He takes a more direct approach with stalkers though (nice segue, huh?). Once
your star sim hits a certain star rating level, an Obsessive Fan will take it
upon himself to live and breathe your star sim. That includes hanging outside
your star's home at night, and following the star like a sheep during trips to
Studio Town.

The stalker is kinda cool at the beginning, but much like real life, gets real
irritating real fast. He frequently digs through your star's trash (looking for
what, I don't know), and makes a mess. His following gives your star no
privacy, practically preventing your sim from enjoying anything outside his own
home. Although you can order your star to yell at or eject the stalker, all it
will do is piss the stalker off and make him more determined to shadow you.

If you have a butler, he will IMMEDIATELY eject a stalker should one come on
your property. The butler will calmly walk up to the stalker and bitch-slap him
across the teeth, which makes the stalker take his damn camera and run away.
Your butler's service is invaluable during the day, but he doesn't follow you
to Studio Town to protect you there, and of course can't help you at night
since he goes home.

That poses a serious problem for you. The stalker wants everything of yours,
including your trophies. I don't know how the hell he got a key, but if
everyone in the house is asleep, he'll let himself in and jack one of your
awards WITHOUT SETTING OFF THE BURGLAR ALARM.

I've found a way to prevent it, though. If you took my suggestion and got a
dog, its mere presence will deter the stalker from breaking and entering. The
stalker will still hang outside, and unfortunately you can't order your pup to
kill him, but at least he won't be taking away your hard-earned rewards.

There is another way to absolutely prevent your crap from being stolen. There
is a new door in Build Mode with a star on it, I believe called the Celebrity
Door. As you probably know, the bathroom doors with pictures of men and women
prevent the opposite sex from even opening the door. Well, this Celebrity Door
works in a similar way. It will not open for sims who are not at least 3 stars
or so of fame. You can use this as crowd control for buildings you build, or as
security for your home. Plop one down in your trophy room, and there's no way
at all the stalker can jack your stuff. He'll enter the house and look at the
door, but then he'll realize he can't get in.

You can put this door anywhere, of course, but if you make it your external
door, then ordinary sims like your normal friends won't be able to get in. Of
course, if you're trying to make a stuck-up star, go for it.

Joe Nobody (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.

####################################################



+-----------------------------------------+
|+---------------------------------------+|
||14. MAGIC TOWN: THE NEW AREA OF SIMCITY||
|+---------------------------------------+|
+-----------------------------------------+

Boo.

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 
section).

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.



======================================================
|   PART 3: THOSE LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE LIFE FUN   |
======================================================

+-----------------------+
|+---------------------+|
||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...

ITEMS YOU BUY FOR SIMOLEONS...
Baking Mix ... $10
Butter ....... $20
Elderberries . $15
Grapes ....... $30
Honey ........ $20
Pet Treats ... $40 (only available in Old Town)
Sugar ........ $8

ITEMS YOU BUY FROM MARA THE FAERIE QUEEN...
Diamond Dust .. MC199
Golden Thread . MC14
Pixie Dust .... MC31
Sands of Time . MC25

ITEMS YOU BUY FROM VICKI VAMPIRESS...
Dragon Chew Toy . MC8
Dragon Nest ..... MC49
Dragon Scales ... MC21
Dragon Tears .... MC24
Dragon Treats ... MC5

ITEMS YOU BUY FROM APOTHECARY TODD...
Beeswax ..... MC17
Llama Spit .. MC25
Magic Beans . MC27
Toadstools .. MC9
Toad Sweat .. MC21

ITEMS YOU BARTER FOR...
Four-leaf Clover = Honey to Mara
Garlic = Beeswax to Vicki
Rubber Chicken = Elderberry Nectar to Todd
Snake Venom = Golden Thread to the snake charmer

ITEMS YOU QUEST FOR...
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.

OTHER ITEMS...
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 
can.

+-------------------------------------------+
|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 
first.

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...

+-------+---------+----------+
| COLOR | WINS TO | LOSES TO |
+=======+=========+==========+
| 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:
TOADIFICATION (Spell)

INGREDIENTS:
Butter
Toadstools
Toad Sweat

EFFECTS:
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:
BEAUTY OR BEAST (Charm)

INGREDIENTS:
Beeswax 3x

EFFECTS:
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:
RELATIONSHIP BOOST (Spell)

INGREDIENTS:
Honey 2x
Pixie Dust

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Golden Thread
Magic Beans 2x

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Butter
Toadstools
Pixie Dust

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Golden Thread 2x
Llama Spit

EFFECTS:
Immediately makes every dirty dish in the lot disappear, boosting room scores.

<<<<<>>>>>

SPELL 7:
GET HAPPY (Spell)

INGREDIENTS:
Honey
Grapes
Pixie Dust

EFFECTS:
Adds a lot of green to all the target's mood bars (except room).

<<<<<>>>>>

SPELL 8:
RAIN OF RICHES (Charm)

INGREDIENTS:
Beeswax
Rubber Chicken
Diamond Dust

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Beeswax x2
Sands of Time

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Honey
Garlic
Toad Sweat

EFFECTS:
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:
POLAR ATTRACTION (Charm)

INGREDIENTS:
Beeswax
Dragon Scales
Llama Spit

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Butter
Snake Venom
Garlic

EFFECT:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Beeswax
Sands of Time
Pegasus Feather

EFFECTS:
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:
PERFECT GARDEN (Charm)

INGREDIENTS:
Golden Thread
Magic Beans
Four-Leaf Clover

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Beeswax
Magic Beans
Glacial Glass

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Honey
Dragon Tears
Pixie Dust

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Butter
Toad Sweat
Clown Confetti

EFFECTS:
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:
OF HOUSE AND HOME (Charm)

INGREDIENTS:
Golden Thread
Glacial Glass
Pegasus Feather

EFFECTS:
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:
THE BIG QUESTION (Spell)

INGREDIENTS:
Honey
Clown Confetti
Wizard Eyelashes

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Beeswax
Diamond Dust
Black Roses

EFFECTS:
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:
A FRIEND INDEED (Spell)

INGREDIENTS:
Butter
Pet Treats
Clown Confetti

EFFECTS:
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.

<<<<<>>>>>

+-----------------+
|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:
BEAUTY OR BEAST JR. (Charm)

INGREDIENTS:
Toadstools x3

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Toadstools
Dragon Scales
Faerie Dust

EFFECTS:
Moderately boosts seven of the target's mood meters (Room excepted).

<<<<<>>>>>

SPELL 3:
ENCHANT (Spell)

INGREDIENTS:
Faerie Dust x2
Dragon Tears

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Toadstools x2
Dragon Tears

EFFECTS:
Maxxes out the Hygiene meter of the caster.

<<<<<>>>>>

SPELL 5:
MAKE CAKES (Charm)

INGREDIENTS:
Toadstools x2
Faerie Dust

EFFECTS:
[unknown, I haven't been able to cast it successfully yet]

<<<<<>>>>>

SPELL 6:
SMILEY FACE JR. (Spell)

INGREDIENTS:
Dragon Tears x2
Faerie Dust

EFFECTS:
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 
decay.

<<<<<>>>>>

SPELL 7:
INVISIBLE FRIEND (Charm)

INGREDIENTS:
Toadstools
Faerie Dust x2

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Toadstools
Dragon Scales
Dragon Tears

EFFECTS:
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)

INGREDIENTS:
Toadstools
Dragon Scales x2

EFFECTS:
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 
chance!

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 
with.

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 
is.

+--------------------+
|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 
(sablearcana@hotmail.com).

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 
giant...

If your family lives on a Magic Town lot, it takes less spells to make growths 
happen.

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 
inventory.

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.

***ONE MINUTE LATER***

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: Okay, this is based on rumors. I've heard (but not confirmed) that the 17-
segment beanstalk will NOT grow in Old Town. That is, you HAVE to be on a lot 
in Magic Town to get the climbable one. Now, if someone can prove to me that 
you can get a 17-segment beanstalk in Old Town, I'll edit this and say it's 
possible.

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 
Town.

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:
GRAPE NECTAR

INGREDIENTS:
Grapes 2x
Sugar

<<<<<>>>>>

RECIPE 2:
ELDERBERRY NECTAR

INGREDIENTS:
Sugar
Elderberry 2x

<<<<<>>>>>

RECIPE 3:
HONEY NECTAR

INGREDIENTS:
Honey
Grapes
Sugar

<<<<<>>>>>

RECIPE 4 (secret):
MAGIC NECTAR

INGREDIENTS:
Grapes x2
Toad Sweat

This recipe was submitted by Tarkonason (Tarkonason@aol.com).

<<<<<>>>>>

RECIPE 5:
FRESHLY BAKED BREAD

INGREDIENTS:
Baking Mix 3x

<<<<<>>>>>

RECIPE 6:
HOMEMADE CAKE

INGREDIENTS:
Butter
Sugar
Baking Mix

<<<<<>>>>>

RECIPE 7:
CARROT CAKE

INGREDIENTS:
Butter
Baking Mix
Carrots*

*Carrots can only be bought in Old Town, so you must have Unleashed installed 
to get this recipe.

<<<<<>>>>>

RECIPE 8:
ELDERBERRY PIE

INGREDIENTS:
Sugar
Elderberry
Baking Mix

<<<<<>>>>>

RECIPE 9 (secret):
MAGIC TART

INGREDIENTS:
Pixie Dust
Butter
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
first.

Before you go running off to the pet adoption center, you should take some time
to think about what pet you want. After all, you don't want to waste too much
time or money on a pet that you're only going to deal with once or twice.

I classify pets into two catagories: low-maintenance (LM) and high-maintenance
(HM). LM pets stay in a bowl or cage and only need to be fed now and then. You
can play with LM pets, and they improve room scores, but that's about it. HM
pets are cats and dogs who need food, homes, entertainment, and other things
that translate into huge costs of time and money. However, HM pets have far
more uses, but we'll get into that in a second.

Just remember that no matter what kind of pet you have, whether it's LM or HM,
you need to take care of it. Without the love and food it deserves, it may
wander off your lot and become a stray, or it may go to that big litter box in
the sky.

+-----------------+
|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
pen.

After that, there are only two basic commands: Feed and Play With. Choose the
former every day or so, or the pet will get a visit from the Grim Reaper. Use
Play With to give your Fun meter a little boost. All pets also automatically
boost the Room meter simply by being alive. They'll live long happy lives as
long as you remember to feed them and clean their cages now and then.

There is one other LM pet I haven't mentioned yet. Through Buy Mode >
Miscellaneous > Pets, you can buy one of two birds. They come with their own
stand and everything, and they have one additional feature: you can talk to it.
This not only boosts the Social meter (thereby making bachelor hermits a great
possibility), but it can also bring up the Charisma skill! No more practicing
your speeches at a mirror, you can try it to a real, live audience!

+--------------------------+
|16e. High-Maintenance Pets|
+--------------------------+

If you bought an HM pet, you're going to have a lot to do in the first couple
days.

The first thing is that you need to understand the mechanics of the pet. Even
though it is a member of the family, you cannot directly control it aside from
giving it a Go Here command. It will eat, poop, and be social on its own. Other
sims can interact with it by petting it and what not, but they can't directly
feed it.

HM pets are a lot like standard sims. They have their own eight mood meters,
five personality traits, and three (not six) job skills. I'll cover all of it
here, starting with the mood meters and how to fill them (I assume you know the
basics, but hey, more info can never hurt).

+---------------------+
|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
half.

LOYALTY - A loyal pet will constantly follow around its owners, and it will be
more inclined to follow commands that are given to it. Obedience (the job
skill, explained in a moment) is still a modifier, so a disobedient loyal
animal may still follow commands less frequently than an obedient unloyal
animal.

+----------------+
|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.



+----------------------+
|+--------------------+|
||17. THROWING PARTIES||
|+--------------------+|
+----------------------+

(note: this only works if you have House Party installed)

Once you have a bunch of families in your neighborhood, plenty of room, and
tons of money, you can initate All Hell And Chaos Mode, also called a "party."

Parties are, in practice, like going to a downtown lot. However, parties are
far more variable, and far more fun. A bunch of sims will show up to your door,
eat your food, clog your toilets, and play with your toys, all while doing
little to help you. Basically, all the visitors become like Fat Uncle Charlie,
that one relative you just don't want to see.

Your guests will need food, entertainment, and bathrooms. You could make food,
you could have a TV, you could have your one or two bathrooms, but don't expect
anyone to enjoy themselves.

There are two major, MAJOR buys I recommend; without either, don't even bother
trying to hold a party. The first is the buffet table, somewhere under the
appliance sort. It's a refillable table that instantly fills with food with a
simple command. Filling the table costs you $100, but if you're expecting a
large crowd, that just may not be enough. In that case, it would be best to
hire caterer. To do so, click a phone, then sevices, then caterer. He'll charge
$350, but he'll be there all day and everytime he fills the table, it's free.
That means he pays for himself in four fills, not to mention the fact that
you'll actually have time to socialize. He's automated too, so you won't have
to do a thing as long as he's provided a table. The caterer also fills punch
bowls, but the buffet table is far more important.

The second major item you need is the bathroom stall. Generally, if a sim is
going to the bathroom, he or she doesn't want anyone to come into the same room
(although once they love each other, that limitation is removed). However, if
you're sporting stalls, then as many sims as there are stalls can be in the
same room and they won't care. This also applies to port-a-potties, but who
wants to go in one of those?

I suggest you make a special party room that's a little bit away from the rest
of your house. Make a large bathroom adjacent to it, and fill the bathroom with
stalls and sinks (no mirrors or showers). Obviously you want to throw your
buffet tables and punch bowls in the party room, too. You'll need at least two
or three tables and plenty of chairs too.

Entertainment is a little easier. While no one just wants to watch TV, having
one is certainly a good idea. The best things to have are those that allow a
bunch of people to join in. The campside fireplace, which can only be placed
outside, holds a whopping EIGHT sims. Indoors, stick with pinball machines,
dance floors, stereos, pool tables, and the big train set. All of those ensure
that every single sim will have something to do whenever it gets bored.

Another fun item is the cake. Once you buy the big cake (under the
miscellaneous items sort), you can click it to hire a male or female dancer.
Everyone loves those kinds of dancers, don't they? (By the way, don't worry
about those innocent kiddies... if there are any children in the party, the
dancer will be something weird like a purple gorilla or the tragic clown in his
boxer shorts. This information comes from Cameron (GldnGirl89@aol.com).) Also
don't neglect the item called Bezique's Folly Card Game, which is a fancy name
for charades. This, like the cake, entertain unlimited numbers of sims.

Once you're ready, click a phone, then click "Throw Party." In effect, you're
calling one person, who then calls everyone else that you know. Soon enough,
everyone in the world will show up on your doorstep. You won't have to greet
them, luckily. They'll ring the doorbell, but then let themselves in.

There are several ways you can tell how successful your party is. None of these
work until a few game hours pass, so don't expect instant ratings.

BAD PARTIES get the mime. You'll know that he's going to appear via a pop-up
box that, well, pops up. If he appears, it's a sign that something's wrong. You
may want to double check your food, entertainment, and bathroom locations and
fix it for the next party.

NEUTRAL PARTIES don't get any visual indication. If a party goes smoothly and
people leave with smiles, then you did well. While there is room for
improvement, you can pat yourself on the back with pride.

GOOD PARTIES get party crashers, although that's not entirely a good thing.
These are just random people who look like they lost a fight with a can of
paint, and they come into your house just like Fat Uncle Charlie does... at
least your guests talk to you. The only interaction you have with a party
crasher is to ask them to leave. If you do so, a box will pop up with their
protest, but they'll exit the house. Beware though... once they exit the house,
they'll hang outside for a few minutes, then come right back in. As long as
you're not cooking, you shouldn't worry about it. The caterer doesn't care one
iota, so neither should you.

GREAT PARTIES will be interrupted by a special guest in addition to the party
crasher. None other than the famous Drew Carey, star of the self-titled sitcom
and guest competitor of the 2001 WWF Royal Rumble, will appear. You can't do
anything to him, but he'll go around and talk to everyone. He'll leave
eventually, but if he appears at all, you can celebrate hosting a fantastic
party.

Parties are a great way to expand or enhance your network of friends. There's
just one major problems in general, but it's actually the main reason I hold
parties in the first place.

See, all visitors will be out of your control, as normal. However, they don't
understand who they love and who they don't.

Due to my strategy, I typically have every male in love with every girl, and
vice versa (yes, it's weird). This becomes REAL entertaining when one sim
decides to make a move. It causes a domino effect that makes about a half-dozen
sims get angry and jealous. Indirectly, this situation once caused a casualty
at one of my parties. I'll go into details of that little incident in my
Disasters section.

You cannot throw parties until you have enough people. I think the limit is 10
people or 5 families, whichever is lesser, but I haven't tested it. Before you
hit that point, the Throw Party option won't appear on the phone.



+----------+
|+--------+|
||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
adult.

E.   when you are having a party, they will SOCIALIZE/minglewith BEFRIEND the
guests. E. A musically inclined child will entertain your guests, something
that all of the guests seem to LOVE.

F.   A child will CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN.

####################################################

Since I have a very distinct way I play the sims (i.e., "greedy bastard"), I
decided to test out the bill worth. I ran two families with identical,
extremely large houses for six days apiece. The first family had one adult. The
second family had one adult and four children. Here's the whopping difference:

                  FAMILY A    FAMILY B
DAY 3 (1st Bill)   $1753       $1047
DAY 6 (2nd Bill)   $1687       $1015
TOTAL 6 DAYS       $3440       $2062

DIFFERENCE: $1378

Now, $1378 will buy a frickin' load of stuff, and considering that that's the
total for only SIX days, you can only guess what your savings will be if you
have a kid from the beginning. The difference is around 40%, so I'm guessing
that each kid you have shaves 10% off your bill. In the early days, that won't
be much, but if you think ahead, that will add up to stupid-large amounts.
Maybe having kids isn't so bad after all.

Not only that, but jagdtiger (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.

+----+
|Fire|
+----+

HISTORIAN: Man discovered fire in prehistoric times. It has always been a tool,
but a double-edged one at that. It can cook food well, but it can also cook--

PYROFALKON: *sets the historian on fire*

HISTORIAN: It can also cook humans, as my friend here just demonstrated. Wait,
that's not a fake fire. Wait, come back! It burns!
HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *dies*

PYROFALKON: *laughs*

If there is any one disaster you can do off the bat, it's fires. Ovens of all
flavors, including microwaves, toaster ovens, and even grills, can catch flames
and pass them off to your sims or other pieces of furniture. Fires can come
from more than the oven, though. It can result from a flying spark in the
fireplace, or a mishap with the toy rocket.

Fires spread rather quickly, so if one starts, you need to take steps.
Unfortunately, though, sims are stupid. If they're in a room with a fire,
they'll immediately drop whatever they're doing and panic. You have to manually
cancel the panic action (by clicking its icon in the queue), then do something
else.

Sims can extinguish the flames themselves, but it's not always guarenteed to
work. You can call the SimCity Fire Department, but it takes a bit of time for
him to appear. What you can do is have one sim try to extinguish the flame
while another calls for help. Your sim should be able to keep the flame
relatively contained until The Man In Yellow arrives. If there is a smoke alarm
in the room, the SCFD will be summoned automatically.

If a fire is taken care of fast enough, whatever burned will not take damage.
If the fire is allowed to continue, not only can it spread, it could turn
whatever item burned into a pile of ashes. You won't be reimbursed for the lost
item, and you're stuck with a mess that has to be cleaned up.

Death Trav (deathtrav2000@yahoo.com) shares some information on reducing fire
damage...

####################################################

I have found out a way to minimize fire damage when you have low cooking skill
and you start an oven fire.   You should put the oven at least one square away
from the other kitchen equiptment.  This seems to help stop the damage made by
cooking fires.

####################################################

If a sim is caught in a fire, its hygiene, comfort, and energy will be sliced.
If the flame around him or her continues, the sim could die. I cover death in a
moment.

To prevent a fire from starting, always make sure that whoever cooks food has
at least 1 in the cooking skill. I've made fires happen even then, though; the
safe zone is 3. If you have a fireplace, make sure to put NO object within two
tiles in all directions. As far as the rocket goes, well, there's not too much
you can do about that. If the rocket is far away from other objects, the chance
of something wrong is reduced.

If you want to start a fire, there is one sure way to do so: launch a rocket
inside the house. SOMETHING will catch flames. To ensure that your sim will
burn, simply order them to stand right beside the fire. They will catch shortly
after, and you'll have one sim, extra crispy.

Kain15840 (Kain15840@aol.com) gave a short, and rather insane, addition about
rockets...

####################################################

There's something i noticed when dealing with rockets. It is entirely possible
for something to catch fire even if there are no objects nearby. Yes, the
rocket can hit the sim playing with the rockets and catch him/her on fire.
Rather funny, actually.

blitz: WHEEE! ROCKETS! ROCKETS! ROCKE-GAH! IT BURNS! HOT! HOT! HOT!
AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*dies*

####################################################

That's happened to me too. Gotta love fire!

+-------------+
|Electrocution|
+-------------+

I have never actually seen this one, but from what I know, it's relatively
simple. Just have your sim change a light bulb while standing in a puddle of
water. Its Mechanical skill is weighed, I think, and a sim with 10 will never
be killed.

This will cause death to the sim, but nothing else gets damaged.

To prevent it, simply don't change light bulbs while there's water on the
floor. Mop up puddles before changing light bulbs, and you'll be fine.

I think you more or less HAVE to set this up before you see it. Robert Lanciani
(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.

####################################################

+--------+
|Drowning|
+--------+

This one is popular. Simply get a sim in the pool, then leave them there. When
their energy hits 0, they die. Prevention and intentionally causing should be
obvious.

Remember in my Party section, I talked about a party that had a casualty? This
was it. I had a pool party, and a few sims jumped in for a swim. After that,
Pud tried to get fresh with Stephanie. Pyro and Sixam, both of whom were in
love with her, ran up and slapped him. Arguments started, and Stephanie went
away to get a piece of cake. (She chose cake over three men? That's sound
thinking, but if it was three chicks fighting in front of one guy, something
tells me that cake would not be as interesting.)

Anyway, this fighting just happened to be occuring in front of the ladder to
the pool. The victim (I can't remember his name now) was the last one in the
water. He swam during the whole fight, then decided he had seen enough.
However, with the three fighters all blocking the ladder for the pool, he had
no means of escape. He panicked and yelled, but the fight was still going on.
Eventually, the victim drowned, and three men made up, probably all the while
laughing at the dead guy.

Ah, memories...

+----------+
|Starvation|
+----------+

I think this is self-explanatory. If I need to go into detail about how to make
sims eat or not eat, you have larger problems than this FAQ can fix.

+-----------------------+
|Spontaneous Combustions|
+-----------------------+

I don't know what sims are made of exactly, but they have a VERY VERY low of
chance of simply exploding. You can't cause it, you can't prevent it; it just
happens. Your sim will look like he's having a seizure, and then he'll just
burst into flames and die.

I've only seen it ever happen once (it happened to Pyro of all sims), and I've
already played more hours of The Sims than most people ever will in their
entire lives. Don't be paranoid; if it does happen, either roll with it, or
load your latest save.

+------------+
|The Repo Man|
+------------+

If for some reason you can't pay your bills, the repo man will come and take
away an item that has a value around the cost of your bills.

To cause it, don't pay your bills. To prevent it, pay your bills. Yawn.

+--------+
|Burglary|
+--------+

It doesn't matter how safe you think the neighborhood is, there's always a
moron who steals things from innocent people. The burglar will randomly appear,
and he'll walk into your house, taking whatever he desires.

Once he's on your lot, you're locked out of Buy Mode and Build Mode (to prevent
you from cheating by removing doors or selling items before he gets to them).
You can get one of your sims to call the police department, but since he only
appears at night, your sim will probably be cranky about waking up, and he'll
waste a half hour complaining while the burglar is shopping. Also, once it
knows that a sim is awake, it'll haul ass after getting a few items.

If the burglar is caught, you'll get a $1000 reward, plus the insurance company
will pay you some money to replace your stolen items if in fact he did manage
to steal anything. Sometimes, the insurance company seems to give me money
anyway... I wonder if that's a bug?

You can't intentionally cause this, and I don't really see why you would want
to. To prevent it, put a burglar alarm by your doors. When the burglar steps
close enough, it'll make the most annoying sound in the history of gaming, and
the police will automatically be summoned.

Just make sure you put alarms around EVERY exterior door. I thought that they
only used the front door like house guests, so that's the only one I protected.
When the thief appeared, he apparently SAW the alarm, so he walked out of its
range to the back door. It sucked, he took all my nifty electronics. Grr...

Anyway, there's a way you can guarentee that the thief cannot even reach your
front door, and it's not a cheat. It's in the general strategy section, so take
a peek.

I have a correction here. Both Decesare (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
life.

To start this disaster, the first thing you need is the Tragic Clown Painting,
found in Buy Mode under the Dectorative sort. Place it anywhere in the house,
and have a sim look at it. Then, if that sim gets depressed (a mood of no
better than +/-0), a pop-up box will appear and inform you of the Tragic
Clown's arrival.

Now, the Tragic Clown is out of your control. He'll wander around the house and
try to cheer up your sims, but all he'll end up doing is cutting the Social
meter even more than it already is. Your sims can interact with him, including
by slapping him in the face, but he won't run away.

There are only two ways to kick the clown to the street. The first and free way
to do so is to become happy despite him. All you have to do is go about your
life and recover your mood to at least +2 or so, then ask him to leave. He'll
see that his job is done, and he'll go quietly.

The other way to get rid of him is quick, but it will cost you $500. Once the
clown is in the house, grab a sim and click a phone. Under Services will be a
new option called Clown Catchers. Choose that, and you'll be asked if you want
to pay the fee to rid yourself of the clown. Should you agree, a man in a black
suit doing the Tommy Lee Jones thing will enter your house and find the clown.
Then he'll whip out his Clown Gun and start blasting away. It may take a few
shots, but the Tragic Clown will get captured, and you'll be charged the $500.
Then the MiB will shoot and capture the Tragic Clown Painting, and then depart.

There's one more way to get rid of the Tragic Clown, should he appear. I wish 
to thank the four billion people who wrote to me about it, too. If the Tragic 
Clown appears, you can destroy the clown by destroying the painting. Just set 
it on fire somehow, and the clown will catch fire too and die.

To cause this to happen, just make sure your sims get depressed. Don't let them
talk to anyone, starve them, prevent them from going to the bathroom, then keep
them from taking a shower after they pee themselves. You should have no problem
setting this one up. To prevent it, simply don't buy a Tragic Clown Painting.

+-------+
|Illness|
+-------+

Props to LightningStryke (LightningStryke@aol.com) for reminding me about this
one, and even further props to giving me details about it.

Your sims have human--well, simulated human--bodies. As advanced as flesh and
bone are, they just cannot cope with disease.

If your sims' meters are too low for an extended period of time, the sim may
catch a disease. When he does, he'll start hacking and coughing and flipping
out. This can lead to death if it's not treated. To heal him, you need to make
sure he's got plenty of bed rest, keep those hunger and hygiene meters up, and
keep him away from work. There's also a one-shot cure-all that can only be made
from a certain item in Livin' Large. Here's a hint: it deals with chemicals.

I've been told that the name of the disease is Guinea Pig Plague, and it's
started by being bitten by an unhappy guinea pig. So, to trigger it, get a
guinea pig, don't feed it, and keep playing with it. Eventually it'll get
pissed and bite your sim, causing the plague to start. Now, it can SPREAD to
other sims from sick sims, but without the guinea pig, it won't start. So, to
prevent the disease, just don't buy a guinea pig.

Ali Ateya Neama (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
house.

In practice, this is the adult version of military school. The sim who leaves
is gone permanently with no possible way to get it back. You can cause it by
simply doing as many negative actions as possible, and you can prevent by doing
as many positive actions as possible.

+-----------+
|Cockroaches|
+-----------+

Maybe I'm just tired, but that word doesn't look like it's spelled right.

So the ultimate sign of a slob is having several dozen of these little buggers
(get it? HA HA HA HA!) scurrying around the house eating all the pizza crumbs
you dropped and were too lazy to pick up. No, I take that back: the ultimate
sign is not doing anything about it.

Should you have a dirty house, you'll probably see cockroaches and flies
running around the house. If your sims are on free will, they may freak out
about the roaches. They won't interact with flies, be they in free will or not.

To get rid of the roaches, you can spray them. A maid and Servo will do it too
as their normal routine. However, doing so will only cure the symptoms, not the
disease. To fix your house, make sure it's clean. Wash those dishes, clean up
those pee puddles, throw away that ash of your burned down Christmas tree,
whatever. Of course, you could do nothing. Flies cannot be sprayed, but they
will just poof away when the house gets clean.

Roaches and flies will seriously chop the Room ratings, which of course puts
sims in a bad mood. Picture this:

PYRO: "Oh Stephanie, I love you, I love you!" *kiss kiss*
STEPH: "Oh Pyro, I love you too, and your FAQs rock!" *kiss kiss*
PYRO: "Oh Stephanie..."
STEPH: "Ooo, Pyro, you're sliding your hand up my leg! You know I like that!"
PYRO: "Uh... I'm not doing that."
STEPH: "Then... then what's crawling up my leg?"

...Not a pretty sight. And stop laughing, it's never happened to me in real
life. Really. It hasn't. Honest.

To prevent the damn things, just try to keep a clean house. Washing dishes the
moment your sims are done eating is definitely the big step. To cause it, just
be a slob, then don't kill them off once they appear.

Oh, and props to Rodrigo Argenta (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 
this.

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
bad.

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
ghosts.

Well, there IS a way, but it's awfully cruel. You can actually sell the urn or
tombstone through Buy Mode for $5. I guess you really can put a price tag on
life.

If you really feel the need to kill something, I have a sure-fire strategy to
do it. Go out into your yard in Build Mode and fence off an area that's two
tiles by two tiles, but leave one section of fence open. Order the victim with
a Go Here command to get them in the middle of the fence, then close it off.
The person will starve, pee itself, and generally have a bad last couple days
as it dies.

Doing this will keep it out of your way while the rest of your people go about
their business. If you try to set the victim on fire, it may damage another
potentially valuable object. Also, by keeping the victim fenced off, there's no
danger for your sims on Free Will to actually talk to it, which would of course
increase the social meter. This way, the victim dies slowly, painfully, and
lonely. Isn't The Sims fun?



+------------------------------------+
|+----------------------------------+|
||20. OTHER EVENTS AND RUMOR KILLERS||
|+----------------------------------+|
+------------------------------------+

All right, this section is where I describe miscellaneous events in the world
of SimCity. I hesitated to do this because I don't want to ruin the game for
anyone, but I've had a lot of questions on the little things of sim life, so I
decided to put really common ones here. This will also serve to kill rumors
about things such as cars and... and other stuff like that.

+----+
|Cars|
+----+

One of the most frequently asked questions is, how do you get your sims to
actually own cars? You're sick of that carpool, right? The limo is cool, but
you need a ride of your own.

Hate to tell you this, but there is no possible way (read that: NO POSSIBLE
WAY) to actually own a car that you can drive. There are a few websites out
there that allow you to download cars as objects, but they're only decoration.
You can view them, and some you can clean, but you can't drive them.

+----------+
|Sim Teens?|
+----------+

Another really frequent question is how long it takes sim kids to grow up into
teens, and then adults.

I'm going to break your heart again. Out of the box, it doesn't happen. Sim 
kids are eternally sim kids. Will Wright was once asked why, and he replied 
that if he showed kids growing up, it would mean that you could put some sort 
of scale of real time to the game, and The Sims is supposed to be eternal. You 
don't want to shatter the illusion of the game by adding a time limit, and if 
kids and grow, then adult sims should in theory age and die too. That just 
isn't good entertainment.

There is a site out there that has created an add-on that actually fudges the
game's rules, and it allows your sim kids to become sim teens. I haven't used 
it myself, but I've heard that this is a bad thing. I've heard that the add-on 
is highly unstable and very well may corrupt your game permanently. Also, I'm 
told the skins of the sim teens look horrible, so you'll have to put up with 
f'ugly, erratic sim teens. It's not worth it.

Once again... Cars you can drive and sim teens DO NOT exist with the Maxis-
authorized game.

+-------------+
|The Old Prude|
+-------------+

When you're on a date Downtown, all the standard interactions are still there,
including the romantic ones. Now, here's where the game can get funny. There is
typically a sim running around downtown. She wears gray and is an old crotchity
woman. She can do whatever standard sims do, but you cannot interact with her.
Her name is Miss Crumplebottom, although that could vary. On many sites and
message boards, she's referred to as the Old Prude.

Now, there's been bickering about whether she was in the game. Some said that
she was there all the time. Some said that she was there only 1/40 times
(2.5%). Some said that she was never there. Some said she'd only be there if
you downloaded a particular patch from a particular site.

Here's my take: I don't recall ever seeing her when I initially installed Hot
Date, but after I downloaded the v2.0 patch from http://thesims.ea.com/us/ in
February 2002, I saw her all the time. Will she appear when you play? I have no
idea. Try it and see.

Anyway, what Miss Crumplebottom does is yell at your sims if they do a PDA
(Public Display of Affection). Please note that this has absolutely no bearing
on anything; a message box will pop up with her repremanding you, but that's
it. For such a small (albeit funny) thing, people made a big deal about it.

GamePErson (Superjmike@aol.com) sends this...

####################################################

If you look at one of the hanging chandeliers, it mentions the name
Crumplebottom in the description and title. Further reading of the description
tells how Mr. Crumplebottom was a puppeteer who was killed by a falling
chandelier(the one in buy mode is a replica of Mr. Crumplebottom's killer).

This may have something to do with why she yells at you for PDA's. Now if only
that chandelier would fall on her too...

####################################################

+----------------+
|Alien Abductions|
+----------------+

Dawn (NIDDY7@aol.com) convinced me to write this entire section, and in doing
so she gave me details on the alien abduction. Now, even though I know about
it, I don't want her e-mail going to waste, so here's what she says about it...

####################################################

Your Sim is looking through the telescope at night (only happens at night) and
he suddenly shudders, crouches and tries to shield himself from something above
with his hands and suddenly he goes limp and is lifted into the air in a
heavenly spinning motion. He remains gone for 2-3 Sim days and then returns
with his personality changed.

####################################################

Superkyle1991 (Superkyle1991@cs.com) adds that upon an alien abduction, a sim's
interest points will massively increase to Aliens afterwards (kids only).

+---------------+
|Claire the Bear|
+---------------+

Claire (she might be called other names in other countries) is a giant grizzly
bear. She means no harm (really), but she has this really unhealthy habit: she
likes eating trash.

Or maybe she's just treasure hunting for old copies of Streets of SimCity
(wasn't that the WORST Maxis game ever?), but whatever her reason, she randomly
appears at night and roots through your sims' trash cans. This normally
wouldn't be an issue, but your sims WAKE UP because of it. Well, at least the
adults do; sim kids can sleep through anything.

I don't know why she appears or if she can be prevented, but she doesn't pop up
too often. Just try to send your sims back to sleep if you can.

Tawnee (fudgsiclebanana@juno.com) sends this [confirmed by Lunar34
(dgruber2@rochester.rr.com)]:

####################################################

When you see Claire the Bear coming to your house, put the wooden bear statue
outside of your house and she'll wave at it. Put the bear skin rug out (I only
know that the grizzly bear one workd, haven't tried the polar bear rug) and
she'll start crying.

####################################################

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
own.

+-----------------+
|The Chemistry Set|
+-----------------+

If you have Livin' Large, you can buy a chemistry set. In addition to improving
the Logic skill, you can create all sorts of liquids for your sims.

The Logic skill is completely related to the potion's worth. If you have low
logic, then the chance of creating a bad potion is much higher. Once you make
any potion, you HAVE to have someone drink it to free up the chem set again. If
you don't want to drink it, the only way to get rid of it is to sell the whole
chem set.

By the way, if you work on the chem set too much, a cop may pop over sometime
and fine you $500 for sending nasty chemicals into the air. Bah.

ORANGE - Orange potions turn the drinker invisible to other sims, and
transparent to you. The sim can still engage in solo activities, and it can
give social interactions, but it cannot receive interactions. Also, while the
sim is invisible, it can spy on other sims going to the bathroom or taking a
shower without repercussion. This wears off after several game hours.

YELLOW - Yellow potions will reverse the personality of the drinker. This can
be good or bad, depending on your needs. In fact, it's a common tactic to start
a sim with no personality, then make and drink a yellow potion to get a perfect
personality. Of course, if your sim is already the way you want it, then this
potion is terrible. This one is permanent as well.

LIGHT GREEN - This nasty stuff will cut ALL SEVEN MOOD METERS (not the Room
meter) to very low levels of the drinker. Bad, very bad. If you happen to drink
it, start by immediately going to the bathroom and going to sleep. When you
wake, eat, then go to the bathroom again, and take a shower. That will fix
five. Watch TV to fix fun, bringing the number to six. Just try to get social
ASAP to fix that last one.

DARK GREEN - The drinker will spawn an evil clone. The clone is outside of your
control and may do things you don't want it to do, but any relationship change
that the clone may have caused will affect the original.

PURPLE - Drink this, and your sim will turn into a monster faster than you can
say "Jekyl and Hyde." The problem here is two-fold. First, the sim goes out of
your control. That's bad enough, but it also breaks anything it touches. TVs
will explode, toilets will clog, showers will shatter, ovens will catch fire,
et cetera. It wears off after a few game hours, but until then, you'll have to
deal with it.

RED - Red potions will make one random sim in the neighborhood fall in love
with the drinker. That means 100/100 and a red heart in the relationship meter.
This can be extremely good, as it's a quick and free friend. Of course, if your
sim's lover is in the same room, you'll have a problem. See, the moment you
drink it, the sim that becomes your soul mate will pop up in the same room and
kiss the drinker. Just make sure you drink it in the room alone, and you'll be
fine.

Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net) corrects me here, and her words are confirmed by 
treekisser (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
negatives.

###############################################################################

WHITE - This potion will cure the Guinea Pig Plague. Otherwise, I don't think
it does anything.

BLUE - The only really good potion of the group. When this is drunk, the sim
will max out in three or four random moods. If you logic is a perfect 10,
you'll always make blue potions.

Superkyle1991 (Superkyle1991@cs.com) adds:

####################################################

another way to get rid of the potions are to invite a freind over he'll drink
the poiton if he can't find any food. (He will leave if it is light green)

####################################################

Jason Algarme (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,
maybe?

####################################################

+---------+
|The Genie|
+---------+

Another nifty item you get with Livin' Large is the lamp and genie. By cleaning
the lamp once per day, you can summon the genie to grant you a wish.

Well, sort of. He'll offer you a choice between two things, and you pick one.
After that, the game flips a coin to decide whether the spell went right or
wrong. If it goes right, you'll have some nice stuff. If it goes wrong, well,
you're the one who took the risk.

MONEY - If the spell goes right, a pot of gold will be created. Have your sim
touch it to increase your bank account, or just sell it in Buy Mode. If the
spell goes wrong, a ton of bills will be created, and they're ALL red. Pay them
now, or get your stuff repoed.

LOVE - The genie will ask if you want the spell cast on a man or woman. Then,
if it goes right, a random sim from within the circle of friends you already
know will get 100/100 and a red heart, like the love potion from the chem set.
However, if the spell goes wrong, that random sim will get -100/-100 and
absolutely despise you.

FRIENDS - This is, in effect, a weaker version of the love choice. A random sim
from the target's known list will either become an automatic friend (but will
not fall in love), or it will be really ticked off.

FAMILY - This will either increase or decrease your relationship with one sim
from among the family. Yawn.

FUN - If this goes well, the genie will give you a random object with a high
fun rating, like the plasma TV. Although you'll start having to pay for it with
the bills, it came to you for free, which is nice. If this spell goes wrong,
the most expensive fun object in your house catches fire.

WORK - The sim will either gain one skill point in three random skills each, or
it will lose one skill point in ALL six skills.

EARTH - All plants that are dead will live again if this goes right, but all
living plants will die if it goes wrong.

WATER - You'll either get a free fountain or a huge flood.

FIRE - All family members will max out their comfort and social moods if this
works, but if it doesn't, you better go call the SimCity Fire Department
pronto...

AIR - You'll be rewarded with a half-dozen pink flamingos if this goes well. If
it doesn't, your house will be overrun with cockroaches.

By the way, if you have multiple lamps in the house, you can rub EACH ONE once
per day.

+----------------+
|The Crystal Ball|
+----------------+

This is the only item aside from the yellow potion that can permanently change
a sim's personality. Once per day, any sim can gaze into it, and it will reply
with a little poem that's not-so-subtle. If you do what it tells you, you'll
gain a point in a similar trait.

NEAT - Keep a clean house and wash dishes the moment you use them. Wipe up
puddles on the floor, and kill off any bugs that may be in the house. If those
room scores are high, you'll gain a point of your Neat trait.

OUTGOING - Just be nice to people. If the sim who is doing the test has a
lover, just get romantic to take care of it.

ACTIVE - Do things that tax the body, like swimming, working out, or playing
basketball.

PLAYFUL - Take the day off work and relax all day. Don't do any studying. Try
to do things like play chess that don't end once the meter maxxes out. Keep the
fun meter high to gain a point here.

NICE - Like outgoing, just be nice to people to gain here.

+------+
|Nessie|
+------+

Karin (Karin1067@aol.com) writes:

####################################################

Am I seeing things, or did the Loch Ness Monster just swim in one of the
waterways on my neighborhood screen?  Am I the only person who's seen this?  If
this is a new thing, can you list something about it on your strategy guide?  I
wasn't doing anything special, just had it on the neighborhood screen for about
5-10 minutes while I took a phone call.

####################################################

Well, Karin is definitely not going insane (well, at least not about this
particular thing), because both Da Moose Nuechtern (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
appear.

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
(Zachslingo@aol.com)...

####################################################

As sick and perverted this might seem, my friend found out away to make all the
sims in the house walk around, nude. While your sims are getting out of the hot
tub, shower, bath, or vibromatic heart bed, you can delete the object [with the
"move_objects on" code]. This will cause your sim to become a temporary nudist.

####################################################

+--------------+
|Trick or Treat|
+--------------+

This event was shown to me by TNT (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
personality.

This event does nothing tangible, but it's pretty funny to watch.

+------------------+
|Breaking the Limit|
+------------------+

submitted by Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net), confirmed by Richard Nelson 
(rlnelson@ticnet.com):

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
strategy.

Firstly, I did not choose to create exactly three sims by rolling dice or
throwing darts. I carefully studied strategies, did a bit of trial and error,
and came up with the number.

Remember that every sim has a maintenance cost, in simoleons, time, and other
sims' time. For example, if you have two bathrooms and three people, SOMEONE is
out of luck if their bladder gets full. On the other hand, more sims equal more
money... but can they make enough in the early days to compensate their cost?
That's the big factor that you must decide.

I calculated using my play style and found that three sims (MAYBE four if I buy
lot 6 or 9, the cheap lots) strikes the perfect balance. Read the rest of the
strategy, then decide for yourself whether three is a good choice.

I also did not choose their personality randomly, nor who they're "related" to.
Basically, I need one couple and one extra. The couple is required so they can
share a bed. However, getting a third bed is not too hard, so it's easily
possible to have three unrelated sims.

When I make sims, the number one rule is "No kids." At the game's start, you
need money, and kids simply don't make it. I make three adults, with the names
Pyro, Stephanie (sometimes if I'm lazy I'll call her Steph), and Pud. Pyro and
Stephanie are the couple (married), and Pud is the extra (Pyro's brother).
Again, you can call them whatever you want since relationships are not "set" in
the game.

Anyway, one sim must have 10 Active and at least 6 Outgoing. I chose Pud for
that one. The other two sims are variable, but for them I balanced the 25
points between Active, Playful, and Nice.

Once I finish creating the sims, I exit the Create Sim screen and go the 
neighborhood. I choose which lot I want and click it so I can pre-build my 
house.

I usually have an idea about the style of the house before I start building. 
You know: log cabin, stone castle, row house, brick ranch, etc. I keep the 
style in mind as I build the walls; usually I only put diagonal walls for 
things like castles.

I start off making the living room near the mailbox, about six tiles away from 
the sidewalk to allow for visitors to wander around a bit. The living room is 
usually 7x7 or 8x8. Off that, I build the kitchen/dining room combo, also a big 
room probably no smaller than 6x8. Then comes two bedrooms (sometimes one 
bigger than the other) that are attached to the living room opposite the dining 
room. The bedrooms are usually 4x6. Attached to each bedroom is a 4x4 bathroom.

My next step is doors. I use the open frame for all the rooms except the 
bathrooms, where I usually use the basic walnut door. The exterior door or 
doors are always a bit nicer and will go along with whatever style I chose for 
the house.

Third, I go into the floor tool. I carpet how I see fit, always changing the 
style for each room. I also create a sidewalk leading from the main one to the 
front door.

Next comes wallpaper. Since I'm anal, I typically make sure every wall is 
coordinated with the floor in the same room. I usually go with a light/light or 
dark/dark combination (both the wall and floor are dark, or both are light). 
The outside wallpaper will go with whatever style of house I had planned.

The next step is windows. Again, I choose windows that fit the theme and style 
of the house. I used to only use privacy windows for the bathroom, but now I 
use whatever I'm using for everything else. Finally, I check the roof and make 
sure it goes with the external wallpaper.

I save the lot, then head into Buy Mode. I buy the cheapest computer, desk, and 
chair I can and leave them outside on the lawn. This is only temporary; I'll 
sell the items before the first day is up and get all my money back.

I furnish the master bedroom (the one Pyro and Steph sleep in) with the 
cheapest double bed, cheapest end table, and an alarm clock. I furnish the 
other bedroom the exact same way, except I use the cheapest single bed.

Then I buy the cheapest couch and the $500 TV for the living room. Then I buy
the cheapest fridge, two of the cheapest counters, the food processor, and the
cheapest oven for the kitchen. I arrange them like this (this was up in the FAQ 
earlier, but I'm repeating it for emphasis)...

+--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+
|        | |  COUNTER  | |      | |  EMPTY  |
| FRIDGE | |   WITH    | | OVEN | | COUNTER |
|        | | PROCESSOR | |      | |         |
+--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+

Then I buy the cheapest table that takes up one tile, and three of the cheapest
dining chairs. I put the table on the side of empty counter opposite the oven,
and put the three chairs around it.

I then buy the wall phone and put it in the living room somewhere, and the
cheapest bookcase right next to the couch. Then I buy a burglar alarm on an
exterior wall beside the front door. The bathrooms both get one of the cheapest 
toilet and the cheapest shower. I put sinks in the bathrooms only if I can also 
afford a dishwasher (which I normally can). I finish by getting the cheapest 
trash compactor and putting it in a central location.

Now I save and go back to the neighborhood screen, looking at the price of the 
lot. If it exceeds 20K, then I've spent too much and need to start getting rid 
of a couple things. Usually it's far less, and that gives room for upgrades.

For example, let's say I only spend about 16K. I can go back in and sell all 
the beds and get better beds, and I'll still probably be under the limit. 
Anyway, I upgrade however I want to, then check the price again. I'm aiming for 
a house that costs no more than 19,500, so I have at least 500 on hand by the 
time I'm done.

Once I'm satisfied by the house, I go into the select family screen, grab the 
Falkons, and shove them in their new home. They immediately check the computer 
and newspaper, and they all accept whichever job has the highest salary of the 
four choices. (I'm aiming for the military, since it has the highest starting 
pay and no friend requirements until level 6.) After that, I go back into Buy 
Mode and sell the computer, desk, and chair, getting all my money back because 
less than a day passed since I bought them. I can afford to upgrade another 
object or two after that, but I still make sure I have at least 500 on me 
before really getting started.

While Pyro and Stephanie bond (I need them to sleep together as soon as 
possible), Pud studies cooking. Make absolute sure that the sim you set to be
outgoing is the one doing the studying. This will have major impact soon.

Once Pud gets two points of cooking, I tell him to serve a meal while the other 
two go to the bathroom and take showers. With two points of cooking, there's no 
chance a fire is going to start.

Once the meal is served, all three eat. Pyro and Steph bond as much as I let
them dare before I consider them staying up too late (8 hours before the alarm
clock rings, or 10 hours before the carpool arrives), then I send them to bed.
Pud calls and hires a maid and gardener (the latter only if needed), then goes 
to the bathroom, takes a shower, and goes to bed.

Every day, I check the paper if my sims aren't in the military career track. If
they are, I don't worry about it.

When a sim gets promoted, all money goes into getting an object that improves
the skills needed to get promoted again. The beauty of all the sims having the
same job is that I don't have to buy multiple items to pull it off. I want all
three to work on their skills, but Pyro's relationship to Stephanie is the
priority.

Once Pyro and Steph are sleeping together and I have a decent amount of money 
coming in, I switch Pyro's and Stephanie's jobs to what they were intended to 
be. I always send Pyro to the Hacker career track and usually Stephanie to the 
Pro Athlete track, but that doesn't matter. What DOES matter is Pud remains in 
the military career track. This move will cut your income, but that little 
problem won't last long.

If I have the money to spend, I put a second toilet and second shower (both the
cheapest variety) in the bathroom attached to the master bedroom. Everyone 
works in their jobs until Pyro OR Stephanie require friends to be promoted. At 
that moment, I make Pud quit his job by keeping him home. This is where the 
plot thickens.

If the Falkons are the first family in the neighborhood, here I save and stop
playing with them. I make a few more families, move them in, give them phones,
then switch back to the Falkons.

Pud stays home all day and studies cooking. He may refuse to study if his
Social meter is shot to hell (which it probably is), and if that's the case, he
just watches TV and relaxes. Once Pyro and Steph get home, I start the main
strategy...

Pyro and Steph get to sleep on time, but bond first. While they do so, Pud goes
to the bathroom, takes a shower, and then goes to bed. He MUST do that every 
night for the rest of his life.

Let me interject here with a quick lesson on how sims sleep. Once they're
asleep, they will sleep until their energy tops out. Now, if it's nighttime and
you haven't given them any commands, they will STAY ASLEEP, and they'll wake up
at 6 AM (when the sun rises). If you give them a command, then they'll wake the
moment their energy hits 100. Of course, you can always manually wake them up.

Okay, here I let Pud sleep until 6 AM, when his body wakes him up. That's
PROBABLY when the other two wake up also, but depending on their job, maybe
not. However, as long as they wake up AFTER Pud, the strategy holds.

Pud immediately serves a meal while Pyro and Stephanie BOTH go to the same
bathroom to relieve themselves and take showers. They should finish JUST AS Pud
gets done cooking (maybe not if one is very active or very inactive). All three
eat, and I monitor their table talk so no one starts hating the topic.

After breakfast, Pud goes to the bathroom and takes a shower (which shouldn't 
take long since he's already pretty clean), then watches TV. If the others do 
not take the same carpool, whoever goes last spends a bit of time improving 
their lowest meter, which is usually the Fun meter. If the others DO take the 
same carpool, then they go to work together.

By the time Pud's done watching TV, his Energy, Hunger, Bladder, Hygiene, Fun,
Comfort, and Room meters are all quite high. The only bad one is the Social
meter, but that will be fixed.

If Pud is in a good enough mood to study, he studies cooking until another sim
knocks on the door. He greets the stranger with a handshake, then I order him
to grab another plate of food no matter what his hunger rating is.

I'm going to interject again to give some advice. House guests always perform
the same actions in the same order: eat, bathroom, TV. They may delay a bit
before any of those, but they will get there. Remember that.

The house guest (we'll call him Sixam, another one that I make a lot) goes for
the food since flies haven't been attracted to it yet. At the same time, Pud is
doing the same. As they eat, they talk, boosting Pud's Social meter as well as
improving their relationship. Sixam will head to a bathroom, and I delay long
enough to figure out which one he's going to. I send Pud into the other one.
Then, both will go watch TV, further boosting the meters.

Now, Pud may get bored and get up from the couch. If that happens, I tell him
to study cooking until Sixam gets up from TV too. Once they're both done with
the idiot box, I tell Pud to talk and give friendly hugs to Sixam. With any
luck, this boosts the Relationship meter over 50, making Sixam a family friend.
I keep talking and hugging; eventually, Sixam will get bored or hungry and
leave since I don't allow him to watch TV or eat.

Pyro and Stephanie return home with their pay checks. I buy items that boost
their skills if I need to, or I start upgrading furniture if they don't. I
prioritize the fridge, oven, chairs, couch, and showers in that order when I
upgrade. Pyro and Stephanie work on their skills if they need to or bond if
they don't. When the time limit hits, I send them to bed. Meanwhile, Pud
studies cooking if he's in the mood and it's early. Otherwise, he goes to the
bathroom, takes a shower, and goes to bed.

This cycle repeats itself eternally. Pud is the chef who prepares Pyro's and
Steph's meals as they get ready for work, and he makes friends to assist the
two in getting promoted. Pyro and Stephanie are low maintenance since they're
out of the house for a good part of the day, and they just work their hardest
to get their paychecks. Once Pud becomes friends with someone, I put them "in 
the rotation"... in other words, I don't talk to them anymore for now.

Eventually, Sixam will no longer be a friend since he's been neglected so long.
The game gives a pop-up warning, so I don't miss it. I then begin with Sixam
again, boosting the relationships with everyone in the same order as I met
them (this is the "rotation" I just mentioned). This way, Pud himself can 
single-handedly maintain up to about 15 relationships, enough for the others to 
get promoted to the top level in all the career tracks except politics and 
paranormal.

As I get money, I upgrade the beds, the showers, and everything else. Lamps are
the last priority.

Then I extend the house however I see fit, perhaps making a party room, and
build my little empire from there. When Pyro and Steph are forced out of their
job, I roll with the punches and try to promote them up THAT ladder.

Once I'm finished, my bills can exceed $1500, but I make more than that in one
day with the combined incomes of Pyro and Steph. Even if I'm a bit short on
cash, I can take Pud away from making friends for a day to make gnomes.

The only change I make in this pattern is that I eventually fire the maid and
replace her with a Servo, although that's not a very high priority.

The Falkons' house becomes THE party house on the block, and in fact they do
hold frequent parties. Drew Carey practically lives there.

Once I decide to have a kid, things change a bit. When the baby comes, it
becomes Pud's job (and only job) to care for it. He no longer cooks or makes
friends, he focuses all his attention on the baby. Once the baby becomes a
child, Pud resumes what he normally does.

Anyway, after I'm satisfied, I simply switch to another family and start anew.
^_^

rcoffelt sends a few comments on my alpha strategy...

####################################################

I see our playing style is similar in some respects, so I must be doing
something right, LOL.  Although I have to say I disagree on a few things that
you wrote.  For example, when I put my Sims in their first house, if at all
possible I do buy them a few very comfy items instead of the cheapest
available.  When I was first playing I tried starting out with the cheapest
stuff and found the comfort value on those items weren't enough to get my Sims
into a decent enough mood to even get a promotion.  So now, instead of trying
to put in two bathrooms right off the bat, I stick in one bath with one of the
comfy self-flushing toilets (no headaches about plugged toilets, etc., etc. and
it brings up comfort levels at the same time) and the cheapest shower I can
find.  I also add a chess table right off the bat, with two comfy chairs (no
lower than 5).  In order to do this, generally speaking my Sims start out with
two rooms--no bedroom, just an all-in-one kitchen/living room/bedroom, and it
usually has a cheap custom-made floor, and sometimes cheap custom-made
wallpaper (but not always).

####################################################

+----------------------------+
|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
friends.

If you want to be a bit evil, you could give this throw-away family a house,
but make it extremely simplistic. Whenever I use this technique, I make a huge
house with 8 little cells and have barred doors and windows, making the place
look like a prison. Of course, the only thing that's required is a phone, but
this makes it look a bit more neat in the neighborhood screen.

+-------------------------+
|Getting to 100 in One Day|
+-------------------------+

Before Hot Date, your sims could go from zero to 100 in the relationship meter
in one day easily. If you wanted to bribe someone for their love, all you had
to do was use the Give Gift action repeatedly. Another strategy was to
alternate Hug and Kiss until you hit that triple digit.

However, I found out through a bit of testing that this no longer works at all.
If you repeat any command more than once, it may be rejected for no other
reason than repetition.

This changed my strategy somewhat since I depended on "Kiss, Hug, repeat 4
times" to get by. Now, you need to throw in variety, but it's still not too
bad.

House guests always do things in the same order: they look for a meal, and then
go to the bathroom after they eat, then they seek to do something fun (usually
they watch TV).

Since you know that, you can prepare when you expect a guest. If you know
someone's coming over (or you know you're going to invite someone), make a meal
first. When they come over, they'll immediately be able to eat, and you can eat
with them to pull the meter up. Your guest will go to the bathroom (obviously
they should be left alone for that), then head to your couch to watch TV. Watch
TV with them, and you'll pull that relationship meter up higher.

After that, you need to Hug, Flirt, and Compliment. Maybe you can get away with
repeating the three in the same order, but you definitely can't repeat twice.
Kiss should be available by then, so you can throw a few kisses your target's
way. Giving a gift, while no longer a very reliable way to boost the
relationship meter, still throws variety into the mix and helps avoid
repetition.

Don't neglect Talk. Seldom will it fail, and it will generally boost both sims'
relationship meters by 9 to 15 points.

By the way, it's MUCH harder to maintain 100 as it was in earlier games. Thanks
to the faster decay, you may not be able to get more than 60 (sometimes less)
in one day no matter how hard you try. Just remember that Rome wasn't built in
a day, and neither are close friendships.

+--------------------+
|Everyone Has Enemies|
+--------------------+

It's doubtful that one sim can be friends with every other sim in the
neighborhood. Maybe it's bad luck, maybe it's a conflict of the astrological
signs, but either way, some sims won't be considered a friend until they hit
90. That's a large time-waster for your sims, since your 10-point cushion will
decay extremely fast.

If one particular sim is having issues with your version of Pud in my alpha
strategy, it may be best to give up and just move onto someone else. Unless
every single other sim has been friended to Pud, he'll still have other
options. Just make sure to make a note somewhere not to bother trying to bond
with that sim.

+--------+
|Marriage|
+--------+

Many people have e-mailed me, telling me that they are having trouble getting
another sim to accept their proposal. I've got a few tips compiled here, and if
you can think of anything else, fire them my way.

1. Before hand, go Downtown and buy a Diamond Ring (it costs $1000).

2. Go home, and start the next steps as close to 6AM (but not before) as you
can the next morning.

3. Cook a group meal.

4. Invite the person over.

5. Let the person eat, and eat with them.
   a. Monitor the conversation to make sure bad topics don't come up.

6. Let them go to the bathroom. If you have two, use the other one.

7. They'll want to watch TV if it's on. Make sure your couch is comfy. Watch TV
with them, and monitor the conversation.

8. Depending on your cooking skill and oven, they may want another meal. That's
a bad thing, but not leathal. Just repeat steps 5 and 6.

9. Once they're done eating, watching TV, and relieving themselves, get them
into your best room and try a Passionate kiss. If that fails, you have no
chance of having the proposal accepted.

10. If the kiss is accepted, give the gift of the Diamond Ring.

11. Pop the question.

Now, it SHOULD work. If it fails, try again the next day.

The basic rules you need to know are to keep your moods and the moods of your
target as high as possible before asking the question.

+--------------+
|Polar Bear Rug|
+--------------+

submitted by Steph (Sialia9@netscape.net):

####################################################

Using the polar bear rug, you can actually get the relationship score over 100
on both ends. I have my sims (Jim and Kelly) sit down on the rug. Both of them
have 100/100 relationship points. Jim kisses Kelly, and the relationship score
goes to 101/100. Then I repeat, and it goes to 102/100. I never do it more than
twice, though, because Kelly will always refuse because of repetition. If I get
them to toast, the points go to 100/101. But, when my sims got up, they
indulged in a little passionate kissing. This brought the score back to
100/100. Also, while the score was at 101/100 or 102/100, the bars and the
faces had a strange color.

####################################################

Ali Ateya Neama (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
one.

+-------------------+
|Preventing Burglars|
+-------------------+

If you want to ensure that burglars can't rob your house, try the following.

Remember that the burglar alarm goes off the moment a burglar comes near it.
However, a cop won't show up instantly, and the thief may have the time to
snatch one expensive item or two.

There is a way you can completely prevent thieves from getting anything, but it
makes the house look a bit weird from the neighborhood screen. I used to do
this, but because I've suddenly been obsessed with the appearance of my
neighborhood, I've stopped. It's up to you.

Anyway, here's the lot...

A=Burglar alarm
D=Door
E=Entrance point

   +------------------------------------------+
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   |          +------------------+            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |       HOUSE      |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          +---------DA-------+            |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
E=>|                                          |<=E
   +------------------------------------------+
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   | =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  = |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   +------------------------------------------+

If you notice, all sims enter your house from only one of two points: the piece
of sidewalk on the edges of the lot. Because of that, you can try this...

   +------------------------------------------+
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   |          +------------------+            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |       HOUSE      |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          +---------D--------+            |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   | A                                     A  |
E=>|                                          |<=E
   +------------------------------------------+
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   | =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  = |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   +------------------------------------------+

You make one section of wall as close to those entrance points as you can, then
slap a burglar alarm on them. The INSTANT the crook steps on your property, the
alarm will go off. The cop will even catch him before he gets to the front
door!

Having two single sections of wall looks a bit ugly, but the tradeoff is that
you ensure your items' survival.

You could take a middle-of-the-road approach, balancing beauty with safety...

   +------------------------------------------+
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   |          +------------------+            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |       HOUSE      |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          |                  |            |
   |          A---------D--------A            |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
E=>|                                          |<=E
   +------------------------------------------+
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   | =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  = |
   |                                          |
   |                                          |
   +------------------------------------------+

Placing burglar alarms on the corners of your house gives you an unfair
advantage against the criminal, but he still may have time to get inside and
swipe something, especially if your front wall is narrow.

Of course, it's up to you.

+--------------------------+
|How to Take Care of Babies|
+--------------------------+

Babies must be taken care of, or they may get taken away by social services.
They take three days to grow into children, and although that's a relatively
short time, it can wreck havoc on your sims' moods and relationships.

The first thing you need to do is offset a special room as a nursery. It
doesn't have to be a new room, just a room without a phone and with something
to sleep on. A TV would help, too. I prefer using the expensive recliner with
the $500 TV.

Whenever, and I mean EVERY MOMENT, the baby is sleeping, put an adult in that
room and tell him or her to nap. When the baby wakes up screaming, it will wake
up the adult too. Since the adult was only NAPPING, it won't be ticked off for
a half hour as normal.

Anyway, tell the sleep-deprived adult to do the following to the baby: Feed,
Sing, Play, Sing, Feed, Sing, Play, Sing. Remember, the baby goes to sleep if
its mood is satisfied and it's sung to. Now, if it wakes up, obviously it's in
a bad mood, so singing immediately won't do anything.

Babies are simpler than other sims in that they only have two "moods": Hunger
and Fun would be the equivalent. There's no way to overfeed or overplay with
your baby, so alternating Feed and Play are options. However, the adult sim
needs to take care of itself too (especially if it works), and it needs to eat
and shower.

This is why you enter all eight commands at once. When whichever Sing works and
puts the baby to sleep, the other commands will cancel themselves
automatically. The sim can then do what it needs to, then go back and nap in
the special room until the baby wakes up again. Only VERY VERY VERY rarely will
that 4th Sing not work. If it doesn't, just enter all eight commands again.
It's never taken me eight Sing commands to get the baby to sleep.

Note: Don't worry about the Social, Hygiene, or Room meters while the sim is
babysitting. The sim can recover once the baby is a child.

Interactions may not be forced, as Ali Ateya Neama (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
mine.

####################################################

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
trick.

####################################################

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.
(Food,sleep,bathroom.)

Go back to the first family and dont give him a house just give him stuff that
will keep him alive and stuff that will raise his stats
(Cooking,Mechcanical,Logic,Creativitiy,Body,and Charisma). Now here comes the
good part. The first family will train his stats up really high without a job
with the Lawn gonme builder and the paint set and study up on all his skills so
they are awesome! If you didnt give him a house and just build stuff on the
lawn you won't have to worry about a job because the gnomes and paintings will
help get you money. Once this guy's skills are shot up pretty high, call the
second family you made and invite her/him over and get them to LOVE each other.
Then when the time is right, POP THE QUESTION! If the person accepts, YAY!

Next evict them from the house and build a new one. When the house just built a
poor person with no stats will have another person with GRAND STATS and could
get high on the ladder fast now thanks to that trick! Not to mension a big
portion of extra money on hand!

+------------------+
|Instant 40 Friends|
+------------------+

submitted by Erik Ilacad (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
(mbi535@hotmail.com)...]

####################################################

Once, one of my sims fell in love with a townie. [...] He was really ugly, with
thick glasses, suspenders, bow tie and all. But my sim needed money so I let
her marry him (I was planning to kill him later :) I was really surprised when
I notised how much friends he had.  40 to be exact. And quite a lot of cash.

[...]

But on the other hand, sometimes when one of my sims marries a really
attractive townie he/she ends up with hardly any friends/money at all. It's is
not officially confirmed, but expirience tells me that maybe it's Maxis way of
saying that looks ain't everything.

####################################################

+-----------+
|The Newbies|
+-----------+

submitted by John Godwin (nWomkensethwhatdude@msn.com)

In the tutorial, Bob Newbie is the character, also his mood never ever is bad
until he moves from the tutorial, give him perfect job skills, and then make
him a Army Man because they don't need friends for a long time and just reel in
the simoleans! When you have enough money, either save and evict or follow till
Betty Newbie comes and then save and evict.

+----------------------------------+
|Another Way of Preventing Burglars|
+----------------------------------+

submitted by Sketchy Details (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!

+-------------+
|Monsterpieces|
+-------------+

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
session.

And I would recon it took about 2 days to paint and sell them, so check your
mailbox before you get started. Also it's not at all a social career path, but
then again we are talking mad science-artists here... :)

I haven't tried this from scratch, that is, I started with building gnomes, and
when I had made a little money to have me going, bought 2-3 chemistry set and a
5-6 art easels.  I don't think it is a ideal starting career, since these items
are quite expensive and once in a while you get fined 500 simoleans for
pestering the entire neighborhood.

+------------------------------+
|Making Money Through Magazines|
+------------------------------+

submitted by Robert "pyramus" Matthews (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
career.

To get started, you need to put some tables outside the house. I use a row of
end tables, which is the most efficient, but any tables will do. It's also a
good idea to have a desk, a computer and a comfortable chair inside the house
right beside the door. You'll need to start work early in the morning after a
good night's sleep, a good meal, and a visit to the bathroom. All your mood
bars should be as high as possible, because this is a taxing occupation.

Call a cab. While you're waiting, have a seat and play at the computer to boost
your comfort and fun scores slightly. When you get downtown, go to the Solana
Towne Center or any other place that has a bookstore. Now, just buy magazines.
Ignore everything and everyone. You can buy 40 magazines before your overall
mood goes into the red and your poor miserable Sim starts complaining about
lack of fun. At about 20 minutes per transaction, this will take 13 hours or
so. Then it's time to head home, at which point your Sim will lay out his day's
bounty on the outdoor tables you've provided. Keep on top of this: when the
tables are nearly full, switch to Buy or Build mode and move all the
accumulated magazines to floors or lawns--otherwise your Sim will go hunting
for other surfaces to place the magazines on, wasting valuable time.

Once the Sim has unpacked the goodies, you have very little time to get his
mood bars up. First stop is probably the bathroom so he doesn't have an
accident; then a quick meal (since time doesn't elapse in the house, the meal
you prepared before you left is still fresh). If the energy meter isn't too
low, do something fun (the virtual-reality goggles are good), and then head off
to bed. The fun and social meters will still be very low, but that can be fixed
after a good sleep.

After midnight, you can switch to Buy mode and sell all the magazines for $460
each. A full set of five magazines costs 27 simoleons, so eight of each will
cost $216; if you really want to scrimp you can buy nothing but Victor's
Digest, at $3 each, for a total material outlay of $120. Add that to the cost
of the cab downtown, $50, and you can see that for an investment of between
$170 and $266, you've earned $18,400 for one day's work.

Even a less single-minded Sim can make a killing; a trip downtown with a
bathroom break, a stand-up meal, a game of pinball, and some socializing
(enough to keep all your meters in the midrange) can still leave enough time to
buy 15 or 20 magazines, which means that one leisurely buying trip a week can
finance your entire simulated life, including renovations, parties, and
vacations.

+----------------+
|Monsterpieces II|
+----------------+

submitted by Jason Algarme (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
destruction?

+----------------+
|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....



+---------------------------+
|+-------------------------+|
||22. CUSTOMIZING YOUR SIMS||
|+-------------------------+|
+---------------------------+

One of the absolutely best things about this game is that a very large majority
of it can be tweaked any way that you, the player, wish. Most things need a
very decent picture editor that can change bitmaps (*.BMP). MS Paint is an
option; a VERY crappy option, but still an option. Most people use Adobe
Photoshop.

All the tools I mention (aside from MS Paint and Photoshop of course) can be
found at http://thesims.ea.com/

+-------+
|Clothes|
+-------+

What your sims wear is determined by bitmaps called SKINS. Heads are also
Skins, but they're independent of clothes.

In order to see what a Skin looks like, open a file in the following directory:

c:\[wherever you installed The Sims]\GameData\Skins

Any one in that folder will do.

If you notice, the skin tone is there if the skin shows any... um, skin. Make a
note of that! A sim who has dark skin can't wear something that a light-skinned
sim can, or else it would look really odd.

The file name of the skin tells the game what exactly the skin is for (body
tone, body type, gender, and age). Other sites have better information on
skin-making, so head to http://thesims.ea.com/ and click Make Cool Stuff first
to get some information.

+---------------------------+
|Wallpaper, Floors, and Roof|
+---------------------------+

You need a special tool in order to import wallpaper and floors, but it's not
needed for roofs. The tool is called Sim HomeCrafter.

The first thing you have to do is create your design. Walls need to be around
128x240 pixels. Floors and roofs should be 64x64.

Once you're happy with your design, save it wherever you want with any name you
want. Using HomeCrafter, you then set a price and description for your wall or
floor, then you can import it with one simple click. (The exact details on how
to operate HomeCrafter can be found in the program itself.) Roofs only need to
be saved AS BMPs in the \GameData\Roofs directory.

+-----+
|Music|
+-----+

The radio stations can play your own MP3s. Find the directory \Music\Stations
in your main The Sims directory. Then, move or copy any MP3 you want played
into the directory with the same name as the station you want it to play in.
You can't change the name of the radio stations, so you just need to try the
best-fitting genre for your song.

A quick note: the directory called "Country Dance" is empty and can be deleted.
All songs that play on the country dance station are in the directory called
"CountryD."

Mike "Monsoon" Gibby (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
http://www.gamewinners.com/

To start any of these cheats, hit CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + C, and a little window
will pop up in the top-left corner. Now you can type one of these cheats, and
finish by hitting enter. You can type multiple codes at once as long as you put
a semicolon between each.

Result  (Code)
==============
1000 Simoleons  (rosebud)
Add new family history stat to the current family  (hist_add)
Appends the route destination list to AllRoutes.txt every time a route is found
 (write_destlist)
Architecture tools automatically set the level as needed  (auto_level)
Automatically import and load indicated FAM file  (import )
Automatically load indicated house, no questions asked  (house )
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  )
Create-a-character mode  (edit_char)
Display personality and interests  (interests)
Draw all animation frames disabled  (draw_all_frames off)
Draw all animation frames enabled  (draw_all_frames on)
Draw colored dots at each person's origin  (draw_origins)
Dump entire memory to core_dump_[date:time].txt  (core_dump)
Dump selected person's most recent list of scored interactions to a file 
(dump_happy)
Dump selected person's motive contribution curve to a file  (dump_mc)
Enable debug flag to show outcome choice dialogs for social interactions 
(debug_social)
End sim logging  (sim_log end)
Execute "file.cht" file as a list of cheats  (cht )
Floorable grid disabled  (draw_floorable off)
Floorable grid enabled  (draw_floorable on)
Force an assert for testing  (assert)
Log animations in the event log window  (log_animations)
Map editor disabled  (map_edit off)
Map editor enabled  (map_edit on)
Move any object  (move_objects on)
No tutorial object generation when tutorial house is loaded  (tutorial off)
Prevent web browser crashes  (browser_failsafe)
Preview animations disabled  (preview_anims off)
Preview animations enabled  (preview_anims on)
Programmer stats  (tile_info)
Quit game  (quit)
Read in behavior tuning constants from Tuning.txt  (#import)
Rebuilds entire control panel/UCP from scratch  (rebuild_cp)
Refresh the BMP_ resources for all people whose IFF files are writable 
(refresh_faces)
Rematch dependent textures and regenerate bitmaps for all user characters 
(refresh_textures)
Restore tutorial  (restore_tut)
Rotate camera  (rotation <0-3>)
Routing debug balloons disabled  (route_balloons off)
Routing debug balloons enabled  (route_balloons on)
Invisible objects  (genable_objects off)
Run series of random operations on unhoused families  (fam_test )
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 )
Set grass growth  (grow_grass <0-150>)
Set lot size  (lot_size )
Set maximum milliseconds to allow simulator  (sim_limit )
Set time of day for unpatched game version  (set_hour <1-24>)
Set z offset for thought bubbles (bubble_tweak )
Sets the neighborhood directory to the path  ()
Sets up the borders of the lot with non-editable flag. Requires rotation 
(lot_border)
Sets whether menu items appear for in use objects  (allow_inuse)
Show memory view window in debug builds of the game  (memview)
Start sim logging  (sim_log begin)
Swap the two house files and updates families  (swap_houses 
)
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)



+-----------------------------+
|+---------------------------+|
||24. UNCONFIRMED INFORMATION||
|+---------------------------+|
+-----------------------------+

This section contains information I have recieved by e-mail that I haven't
tested it yet. If you have experienced anything that is written here, please
write me, and you'll get credit for confirming it.

All e-mail here is copied and pasted, so there are a few grammar and spelling
errors here and there.

####################################################

Adyroo2002 (Adyroo2002@aol.com):

I was in the newbies home on the tutorial and i was up to the part when you
have to get a job for one member of the family.This is when it happened. There
was only one job available, That was the thief career (dont know wot its
called) I took that job because i had no other choice. After The tutorial Betty
the thief was just going out for work (about 11pm) ,and Bob was in bed.Then
About 2 seconds later it came up saying theres a burgler and it was FEMALE! 
now this was the first ever time iv seen or heard about a FEMALE burgler.

####################################################

DiscoDuckJamie (DiscoDuckJamie@aol.com):

The burglar is always male on the game.  So if when you make the house all the
doors leading to the outside are the girls restroom doors(don't know what they
are called) then he can not go into the house.

####################################################

Chili (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.

####################################################



+--------------------------+
|+------------------------+|
||25. BACKING UP YOUR SIMS||
|+------------------------+|
+--------------------------+

Let's face it: backing up your little guys now and then is very important. You 
never know when you may have to reinstall the game due to various things... a 
little brother trashing your files, a power surge frying your computer, or, in 
my case, being an idiot and accidentally wiping the hard drive. (Don't ask.)

There are two methods for backing up your sims, and I'll list them both here. 
They both involve dealing with the computer's files, so if you're a 
technological newbie, you may want someone else to do this for you. But trust 
me, if you do either method, your sims will be safe.

By the way, this is assuming of course you have the PC version of the game. 
Please don't ask me how to backup Mac files, because I have no idea.

If you have only a few families to backup, I recommend that you use method 1. 
If you have a lot of families (more than seven), or you've got a bunch of 
downloaded or created skins, I recommend you use method 2. If you're paranoid 
like me, you could do both. ;)

+-------------+
|25a. Method 1|
+-------------+

PROS:
=>Quicker of the two methods
=>Only a few files are needed, reducing the backup file size
=>Restoration is in-game

CONS:
=>Does not backup other areas (Downtown, Vacation Island, etc.)
=>Does not backup installed objects downloaded from the net
=>Does not backup created or downloaded skins
=>Does not backup sims' relationships
=>Minor glitches might occur if the family uses downloaded objects or skins
=>Sims' relationships will be reset upon file restoration

Whenever you save The Sims, a backup of the current family is IMMEDIATELY and 
ALWAYS created. The purpose is so that file, and only that file, will get 
uploaded to the official site if you choose to share your families online. 
However, that little file will serve another, more important purpose.

Okay, the default directory to install the game is thus:

C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims\

I put mine here:

C:\Games\The Sims\

It doesn't really matter where it's installed, but you need to head to that 
directory. Inside C:\[whatever]\The Sims\ are a number of other directories 
with the name UserData##. The number at ## is the neighborhood number. So, if 
the family you want to backup is in neighborhood 32, you'll want to open the 
UserData32 folder.

(The exception to that is neighborhood 1. The first neighborhood is in the 
folder simply called UserData. That's because the folders' names were set up 
forever ago, long before you could put together multiple neighborhoods.)

Okay, so now you're in C:\[whatever]\The Sims\UserData##\. Inside that folder 
is a number of others. The one we want is Export. Head there.

Inside C:\[whatever]\The Sims\UserData##\Export\ are probably a large number of 
files, especially if you have a lot of families. Sort the list by file type, 
and look for any file with a .FAM extension. Those are the very important files 
you'll need. They're named with the family's last name, an underscore, and 
their lot number. So, my primary family's file is Falkon_1.FAM.

Copy any .FAM file you want to backup. If you've sorted the list by type, you 
can copy all .FAM files with only a couple clicks. Anyway, when you've got them 
copied, paste them in an entirely different directory for safekeeping. If you 
really want to be careful, you can burn the files on a CD or put a few on a 
floppy disk. If you have multiple computers, transferring the files to the 
other hard drive is probably good enough.

When you want to restore the families, copy your .FAM files to 
C:\[whatever]\The Sims\UserData##\Import\. Note that the UserData folder does 
NOT have to be the same one. So, you can do this method if you simply want to 
move or copy a family from one neighborhood to another.

Anyway, once all the .FAM files you want restored are in that Import directory, 
start up the game. Once you get to the neighborhood screen, make sure you 
select the proper neighborhood via the arrow keys in the top-left corner of the 
screen. After that, click the round button at the top that looks like a house 
with a plus sign.

The game will look in the Import folder and will scan for .FAM files, then 
present them one at a time to you, asking you if you want to import them into 
the neighborhood. Doing so will overwrite any family or house already in the 
lot; of course, if the target lot is empty, then who cares.

Note that a family MUST be imported back into the lot it was backed up from. So 
if a family was backed up from Lot 3, it must be imported to Lot 3, and none 
other.

+-------------+
|25b. Method 2|
+-------------+

PROS:
=>Backs up everything at once
=>Backs up other areas (Downtown, Vacation Island, etc.)
=>No corruption will occur even if the family uses downloaded skins or objects
=>Sims' relationships will be maintained even through restoration

CONS:
=>Takes a large amount of file space, even if you have just a few families
=>Slower of the two methods
=>Restoration takes place out of the game

Open the C:\[whatever]\The Sims\ folder. Find the UserData## folder in 
question, and copy the ENTIRE folder to a new location. Again, you could burn 
it on a CD, but it's far too large to put on a disk. You could again also put 
it on a different computer for safekeeping. Do this for each neighborhood you 
want saved.

It will take awhile to copy it and paste it somewhere. If you're crazy and have 
20 families in 40 neighborhoods, you'll be sitting there for a LONG time... 
however, EVERYTHING will be saved, including sim relationships.

Once that's done, copy the ENTIRE GameData folder. That too is in 
C:\[whatever]\The Sims\, but there's only one of them, no matter how many 
families and neighborhoods you may have. The GameData folder contains all your 
DOWNLOADED skins, objects, wallpaper, and all that stuff. I stress "downloaded" 
because anything installed due to an expansion won't be there, but then, you 
won't have to backup anything that's already on a CD.

Anyway, keep the UserData## and GameData backup folders in the same place. When 
you want to restore it, copy and paste all folders from the backup location to 
the C:\[whatever]\The Sims\ folder. You'll get a warning about overwriting the 
folders, but go ahead and do it... that's the whole point of backing them up, 
after all. ;)

Once the paste is complete, run the game. It'll be like it was never 
reinstalled.



======================================================
|                 PART 4: FAQ STUFF                  |
======================================================

+----------------------+
|+--------------------+|
||26. CONTRIBUTOR LIST||
|+--------------------+|
+----------------------+

I would like to sincerely thank everyone on this list. Even if you did not 
recieve a personal reply from me, consider yourself deeply thanked anyway.

+------------+
|Pre-FAQ v1.0|
+------------+

Clay (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 
family

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 
personalities

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 
disaster

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 
conflict

KoRnRulz1987 (KoRnRulz1987@aol.com) gave me info on winning Vacation Island 
games

Cameron (GldnGirl89@aol.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information

Adyroo2002 (Adyroo2002@aol.com) added something to Unconfirmed Information

Bianca "Kaori" Armbrister (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 
Monster

Tawnee (fudgsiclebanana@juno.com) also added something to Unconfirmed 
Information

Sunlightbeauty (Sunlightbeauty@aol.com) told me about the voodoo chick in Old 
Town

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 
Information

Superkyle1991 (Superkyle1991@cs.com) confirmed something in Unconfirmed 
Information, added a small note to the chemistry set, and added a small note to 
the alien abduction event

GamePErson (Superjmike@aol.com) added a tidbit to the notes on the Old Prude

Lunar34 (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 
food

Jason Algarme (bbhood21@yahoo.com) gave me additional information on monster 
potions, a modification to a reader strategy, and confirmed the Evil Clone 
glitch

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) 
strategy

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 
stairs

Ali Ateya Neama (alixpac@yahoo.com) confirmed one piece of unconfirmed 
information

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 
toadstools

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 
information

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



+---------------------+
|+-------------------+|
||27. VERSION HISTORY||
|+-------------------+|
+---------------------+

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 
there.

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:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/
http://faqs.ign.com/

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.

pyrofalkon@hotmail.com

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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