Author Topic: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge  (Read 6926 times)

Offline hazelnut

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Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« on: January 01, 2016, 01:16:06 PM »
It’s been quite a while since I tried the Apocalypse Challenge.  Recently, I randomly came across the current ruleset and realised that it’s now

1) insanely complicated and
2) very different from when I tried playing it before.

Just my sort of thing, in fact :P.

My shiny new town, Lucky Palms, seemed like the ideal place to play the challenge – OK, it was rather too well supplied with palm trees and such but a desert world seemed suitably post-apocalyptic.  As it turns out, with Seasons and the current rules, it doesn’t really matter much what kind of landscape you have – it’s going to be permanently snow-covered to start with anyway.

Now for the founder.  Who better to play through the end of the world than Arthur Dent?  Admittedly, he didn’t have the most Arthurish traits: since I’d chosen the hard start, his traits were picked out before rolling for a career, so I went for ones that would be likely to be generally useful: neurotic, slob, genius, ambitious and charismatic.

The next step was to set up the neighbourhood.  Home sweet home was an 8x8 underground bunker…



…with an unappealing park just around the corner.



Arthur’s ‘network’ comprised the three nearest houses, the newly constructed Apocalypse Park, the town hall and the fire station (chosen in case its plentiful upgrading opportunities came in useful for someone).

Rolling the die for a career produced a 5.  Hmm…  Forensics was clearly a low priority but either of the other two would be a useful lift.  The obvious choice was Culinary – but I eventually decided to go for Symphonic instead.  Arthur’s genius trait should come in useful and, although the short-term rewards were less obvious, lifting the Symphonic restrictions would mean I could lock in wishes and start building up the LTHPs, even if I wouldn’t be able to spend them on anything for a while.

So Arthur moved into his bleak little lot on the one day of summer before a long, long winter…



…joined the music career and then bought a guitar and started learning to play it.



The next few weeks passed uneventfully and, for Arthur, hungrily and smellily.  When he wasn’t working, he kept in touch with the neighbours, particularly with the young female ones.  I’d had my eye on Piper Sparks as a possible wife, since she starts the game in her late teens and was living with her father just across the road from the bunker.  Arthur had been sent over to meet them on Day 1 but, unfortunately for my plans, the Sparkses moved out of the network in the first week and when Arthur ran into Piper again some time later, the conversational options included communication with her tummy :(.



Set-up

Lifespan: modified normal setting (standard for this challenge):
    Baby 2 days
    Toddler 4 days
    Child 10 days
    Teen 14 days
    Young Adult 23 days
    Adult 23 days
    Elder 14 days

Freewill: high

Expansion Packs: World Adventures, Ambitions, Late Night, Showtime, Supernatural, Seasons, University Life.
Stuff Packs: Town Life
Mods: NRaas Overwatch, Master Controller, Error Trap and Story Progression, plus a script mod to stop autonomous cooking (as suggested by the challenge website).

Town: Lucky Palms.
Additional lots: gypsy caravan, elixir consignment store, film studio (and the Town Life school, placed across the road from the science lab at a later stage, when Story Progression worked a little too well and there were too many kids in town to get through the doors of one school).

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2016, 12:32:57 AM »
Yay! Another hazelnut story! Can't wait to see how this goes!

Good luck!

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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2016, 03:02:22 AM »
Aww, thanks, Magpie :)



We left Arthur (and me) somewhat distressed by discovering that his intended bride, Piper Sparks, was already paired up and pregnant.  Fortunately, a few days later, on another trip to the ‘lovely’ Apocalypse Park, Arthur met a young woman who was unattached.  The age gap was a bit ew! (Tabbi Claremont starts the game as a toddler) but I was prepared to ignore that for the sake of continuing the Dent line.  The attraction was mutual and, only a couple of hours later, Arthur was getting his pyjama trousers all cold and damp.





On his next work shift, Arthur became a hit movie composer, which meant he had removed both the Symphonic and Hopelessness restrictions.  He could now start racking up happiness points, even though he only thing he could spend them on was social group influence (and even that had conditions attached – not that I was particularly bothered about it anyway at this stage in the game).  It also meant that perma-winter could be replaced by a half-winter/half-spring year.   In practice, it didn’t seem to make much difference – snow-free days remained a rarity.

More importantly, removing Hopelessness meant that Sims could be now moved in through marriage.



So Tabbi became Mrs Dent and joined the household.  She and Arthur turned out to have two traits in common – they were both neurotic and ambitious.  No wonder they’d been attracted so strongly.  Now they could freak out together :P.

Three days later, on the night of a full moon, their first child was born.



Thanks to Tabbi working out to kids’ music throughout her pregnancy, Random was quickly followed by a twin sister, Evvie.

After the shortest possible interval, Tabbi produced a second set of twin girls, Diffy and Prue.

The bunker had been expanding slowly downwards but money and space were still very tight, so I adopted the Floorboo Strategy (© KRae), which worked very well (and I love the way the toddlers stay in their everyday outfits instead of constantly being changed into sleepwear by passing adults).  The kids had a pretty neglected upbringing – their traits would be random whatever I did and both parents were busy, so none of them learned any toddler skills.

Tabbi had been in the business career at the time of her marriage but had had to quit as soon as she developed a bump.  After the second set of twins arrived, she looked in the paper for a new job.  The first one advertised was fortune-telling.  This wasn’t particularly great in itself but the mystic branch is one of the ways of clearing Paranormal.  The rules say that you can use an alternative means of lifting the same restriction, so Tabbi took herself off to the science lab and applied for a job as a ghost hunter.  This meant she could stay at home with the babies, reading logic books and playing chess to boost her job performance, while Arthur worked as many shifts as he could before old age caught up with him.

Sadly, that day came all too soon.  Since he still hadn’t maxed athletic, Arthur had to quit his job before the sparkles hit.  Of the three skills needed for his Renaissance Sim lifetime wish, he’d maxed one – guitar – and his happiness point total was about as low as you’d expect, given that he’d only recently started earning them.

I freely admit to a sentimental attachment to Arthur and kept an eye on his wishes for the rest of his life.  His wife and daughters were pressed into service to help him achieve them, even though I couldn’t control Arthur himself.  In the early hours of his ninetieth day, he achieved his lifetime wish and, surprisingly, qualified for a large tombstone.  But three days later…



RIP, Arthur Dent.  Hopefully, you’ll find showers and nice meals in the afterlife.

Tabbi, meanwhile, was working steadily through her career.  At this stage in the game, with the household funds being reset to zero every Monday night, there was no chance of achieving her lifetime wish of Living in the Lap of Luxury but she did pretty well otherwise and succeeded in lifting the Paranormal restriction soon after Arthur’s death.



Generation 1

Arthur Dent



Traits: neurotic, slob, genius, ambitious, charismatic (+ friendly – a surprisingly good random trait from becoming a level 8 jock in old age)
Career: Music (Symphonic)
Unlocks: Symphonic & Hopelessness
Maxed skills: guitar, logic, athletic
Skill challenge: Celebrity
LTW: Renaissance Sim

Tabbi Dent (née Claremont)



Traits: neurotic, loves the outdoors, ambitious, diva, light sleeper
Career: Ghost Hunter
Unlock: Paranormal
Maxed skills: logic, athletic
New skill challenges: Personable, Plumber

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2016, 03:57:27 AM »
Aaw RIP Arthur T_T

Tabbi sure is pretty! The kids are gonna be hot!

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because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*

Offline experience

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2016, 10:41:45 AM »
Can't wait to read more!

Offline PeregrineTook

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2016, 02:22:35 PM »
Enjoying this so far, but I think I need to look over the rules to fully appreciate it (which I intend to do after praising you here).
Loving the Arthur Den choice.  It's sad that he's gone so soon.  As Slartibartfast would say, "Dent Arthurdent is late."
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2016, 02:02:29 PM »
Aaw RIP Arthur T_T

It did feel as though he wasn't around for long, even though the micro-management that's required at times in this challenge does slow things down.  Getting to 93's not bad on normal speed (which this almost is - there are slight tweaks to the lengths of some stages but it still comes out to a life expectancy of 90 days overall).  But still,  :'(.

Tabbi sure is pretty! The kids are gonna be hot!

They didn't turn out badly at all, as you'll see when I get the next installment up.

Can't wait to read more!

Thanks :).  Coming up very soon...

Enjoying this so far, but I think I need to look over the rules to fully appreciate it (which I intend to do after praising you here).
Loving the Arthur Den choice.  It's sad that he's gone so soon.  As Slartibartfast would say, "Dent Arthurdent is late."

Thanks, Pippin :).

The rules really are mindboggling.  It took several read-throughs to get my head around them.  I ended up making a spreadsheet with a condensed version (the different ways of lifting each restriction, benefits of each lift, a list of LTRs unlocked each time etc.), which was very useful – although I still ended up referring to the full ruleset rather a lot.

Founders’ lives always seem to go past so quickly :(.



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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2016, 02:35:14 PM »
Generation 2

The four girls all did well as children but were forbidden to attend high school.  I’d never kept teens out of school before and was morbidly interested to see what would happen – but very grateful to be playing without Generations  ;).  The kids all seemed more concerned about each other than themselves – they kept rolling wishes to see their sisters do better in school, which was rather sweet (if useless, in the circumstances).





Random, the eldest, was evil and mean-spirited (but also shy, which made her rather an odd character).  Appropriately enough, the first job advert in the paper when she aged up to young adult was for the criminal career.  She’d have made an excellent Empress of Evil but Master Thief is a far more useful restriction to lift, so I made her choose the thief branch when she reached that point.

She wanted to be a Chess Legend but was astonishingly unsuccessful.  The challenge restrictions meant that she could only play on Mondays and Thursdays, which severely limited her options to start with, but far worse was her failure to win even a single game, possibly because of her shyness.  (The lack of washing facilities and limited food supply can’t have helped, either.)





Random’s twin, Evvie, was definitely the problem child of the generation.  Her lifetime wish of Perfect Mind, Perfect Body was straightforward enough, but her career history was a minor disaster.  Like her mother, she got fortune teller as the first job offer.  She was doing very well, about to get promoted to level 5 and with plans to go into the scam artist branch, when she narrowly missed the car pool and so had to quit.

The next available job was in professional sports, which was a good match for her lifetime wish and skills.  Unfortunately, she only made it to level 2 before I got distracted by the rest of the family at a crucial moment and, once again, she missed her lift to work – and had to give up on another career.

Her third job was in Education.  This time, she got obsessive attention from her watcher, even if it meant the others had to go to work tired or hungry, and was made to get in that car every day whether she wanted to or not.  >:( Finally, she made it to level 10 of a career – and to probably the most useful unlock in the challenge.  Among other things, it meant that her sisters could change their lifetime wishes to match their careers (and Random could give up on her futile attempts to win a chess match).





Diffy was much easier to manage.  I was slightly worried when she rolled mooch as her child trait (and then Evvie rolled it as a teen), since successfully mooching a quick meal would mean that nobody else could eat that day, but, fortunately, they limited themselves to asking for the odd simoleon here and there.

Diffy went into the science career, learning gardening from books and handiness from a mixture of reading, repairs and upgrades.  Despite not being allowed to fish, she reached the top of the career by mid-adulthood.





Prue, the youngest child, became the heir and took to wearing her father’s old dressing gown just to make the point.



She was the obvious choice for heir, since she was the only one to make a (male) best friend from outside the family at primary school.  Despite their enforced separation as teens, she and Jermaine maintained their friendship, and on the day after her young adult birthday she easily persuaded him to dump his story-progression girlfriend and marry her instead.









Jermaine Gilbert was the son of two original townies, Joshua Gilbert and Addison Ross, who both start the game as toddlers.  He had a decent set of traits and was already at level 3 of journalism when he married into the family – with a lifetime wish to match, fortunately enough.

Like her mother, Prue had twins shortly after her wedding – a mixed set, this time.



(I have no idea why she thought that next to Arthur's grave was the perfect location for giving birth.)

Then she looked in the paper for a job, leaving Tabbi to look after the babies.  Medicine was the first available career this time.  Prue was lucky with the opportunities and rose quickly through the ranks, becoming a world-renowned surgeon shortly after Random unlocked the ability to take time off work without losing their jobs.  Prue and Jermaine took advantage of this to have three more children, who were largely brought up by their teenaged siblings.

Lifting the medical restrictions meant that the family could finally buy a shower.  Diffy, who’d been terrifying me by being singed for two whole weeks following an explosion at the science lab, was the first to use it.



At last I could stop worrying about a mishap when she was repairing electrical appliances.  (At least until she managed to blow herself up again at work the following day  ::).  Maybe she liked being half-naked and sooty.)



Generation 2

Random Dent

Traits: easily impressed, evil, mean-spirited, shy, computer whiz
Career: Criminal (thief)
Unlock: Master Thief
Maxed skills: logic, athletic
LTW: Master Thief

Evvie Dent

Traits: disciplined, neurotic, kleptomaniac, mooch, perfectionist
Career and unlock: Education
Maxed skills: logic, athletic
New skill challenge: Body Builder
LTW: Perfect Mind, Perfect Body

Diffy Dent

Traits: easily impressed, neurotic, mooch, handy, eccentric
Career and unlock: Science
Maxed skills: gardening, handiness, athletic
LTW: Creature-Robot Cross-Breeder

Prue Dent

Traits: disciplined, good, snob, proper, loves the heat
Career and unlock: Medicine
Maxed skills: cooking, logic, athletic
LTW: World-Renowned Surgeon

Jermaine Dent (né Gilbert)

Traits: good, neurotic, workaholic, excitable, never nude
Career and unlock: Journalism
Maxed skill: athletic
New skill challenge: Specialist Writer
LTW: Star News Anchor

Offline PeregrineTook

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 3/1/15)
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2016, 05:42:31 PM »
Lovely update.  I found it sweet that Prue brought in the next generation next to Dent Arthurdent's tombstone.  She was paying homage to her father and the continuation of his mission.  Yep.  It's surely that and not a random coincidence.
I tried looking through all the rues and definitely don't have my mind wrapped around it, but still enjoying having it delivered in story mode  :=)
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Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 3/1/15)
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2016, 01:30:41 PM »
This challenge is insane! I got halfway through the rules and my brain exploded! That being said: it makes for a fascinating story!

I'm sorry Random didn't become heir, she seems like the prettiest and most interesting personality (plus I just love her name lol) but Prue would have been my second choice so its all good ;-D and I agree with Pippin, it is totally apt that she gave birth next to her father's grave, he had to be present for the next generation!

I am really loving this! Kudos!

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because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 3/1/15)
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2016, 11:58:43 AM »
Thanks, everyone :)

Lovely update.  I found it sweet that Prue brought in the next generation next to Dent Arthurdent's tombstone.  She was paying homage to her father and the continuation of his mission.  Yep.  It's surely that and not a random coincidence.

Yeah. That’ll be it ;).

I tried looking through all the rues and definitely don't have my mind wrapped around it, but still enjoying having it delivered in story mode  :=)

I like complicated challenges, but this goes way beyond that. Good luck.

This challenge is insane! I got halfway through the rules and my brain exploded! That being said: it makes for a fascinating story!

It was certainly daunting to start with, although I'm now beginning to see how some people get addicted to it.  I wasn’t at all sure I was going to stick with it, which is why I’ve only started posting now (and why there aren’t many screenshots).  I actually started playing it at the end of October but various real-life distractions and a long and infuriating series of computer problems meant that progress was slow until after Christmas.

I'm sorry Random didn't become heir, she seems like the prettiest and most interesting personality (plus I just love her name lol) but Prue would have been my second choice so its all good ;-D and I agree with Pippin, it is totally apt that she gave birth next to her father's grave, he had to be present for the next generation!

I don’t know whether you know The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but Arthur did eventually have a daughter called Random Frequent Flyer Dent, in circumstances that made her name a more sensible choice than you’d initially think.

It does seem to suit my Random’s rather chaotic personality very well, too :).

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 3/1/15)
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2016, 02:30:46 PM »
Generation 3

Prue and Jermaine’s first pair of twins were both born insane, which made them an entertaining pair to watch.



Evvie lifted the Education restriction in time for them to get a day or two of schooling as teens – but not soon enough to stop all of their traits from being random.



Ro was an odd Sim: an insane, excitable perfectionist who was also proper and frugal.  I’m not sure what the ideal career would be for such a character; as it was, the family was still limited to whatever appeared in the paper, although they could now turn down jobs that didn’t appeal.  Ro went into business.  She did pretty well, especially after she picked up enough lifetime happiness points to change her traits, something that nobody before her had been allowed to do.



The first boy born into the family was always going to be called George.  As with Arthur, George’s traits didn’t really fit his name – which was probably a good thing in his case.  The greying hair he’d inherited from Prue, and ultimately from Tabbi’s father, was a good match, though :).

Of course, he should really have been a journalist.  As it was, Jermaine was already doing that one and George couldn’t choose anyway.  The next job in the paper, after Ro had claimed the coffee courier position, was in the armed forces and he accepted it. At least he wasn’t as badly suited as the original George would have been.  As a daredevil, he probably relished the risk of being sent into battle, not to mention learning to fly and eventually going into space.



(This is George celebrating a promotion.  Unfortunately, his ejector seat malfunctioned after the collision with the mailbox and he stayed there bouncing up and down until I reset him :D.)

George becoming an astronaut really opened things up for the family.  Now they could choose whatever jobs they wanted and could move out of the active household before they became old and uncontrollable.  Ro left some time before she needed to and, as I had hoped, married her long-term romantic interest and colleague, Jarod Shaw.  They remained childless, though :(.  I’d been hoping for another branch on the family tree.

George moved out about an hour before he was due to age up to elder, but, with bad luck befitting his namesake, reappeared on the lot a day or two later – as a zombie.  In fact, he stayed like that for several days after the full moon and a number of family members ran into zombified George around town.



Because there was such a large gap, the three youngest children almost felt like another generation.  Prue and Jermaine were well into adulthood when they had their second set of twins, and their fifth child was conceived after Jermaine had become an elder and only a short time before Prue was also due to age up.



Arrrr! was chosen as the next heir simply because I liked him best.  He was originally intended to be a pirate, and to pursue a romantic LTW if I could choose traits by that point.  Neither of those quite worked out – he wore a pirate outfit as a child, recoloured to something suitably drab and post-apocalyptic, but then I realised that most of the adults’ pirate clothes were just too smart for their situation and his eventual wardrobe was, um, eclectic, I suppose.

When he was given athletic as a random birth trait, I realised that firefighting would also suit his name and picked the rest of his traits to go with that instead.

With the benefits of an appropriate personality, a complete education and the useful rewards that had been unlocked by Evvie and Ro, Arrrr! got through his career in a matter of days and celebrated by proposing to his second cousin and best friend, Martina Bellamore.





By this time, almost everyone in town was related to almost everyone else.  Martina’s maternal grandparents were Tabbi’s younger brother, German Claremont, and his wife Aimee Loera (the eldest daughter of Marisol Loera and Donnovan Steel).  On her father’s side, she was descended from Yolanda Shaw, Ezekiel Reid and Clark Bellamore (and his wife Constance, one of the few Sims to move into the town under Story Progression).

Arrrr! and Martina were married the following day.





(Sorry for the engagement/wedding spam – I love these two.)

Firefighting had been a quick way to get Arrrr! through the requirements to lift Athletic but keeping him in the career long-term would take micromanagement and I was doing enough of that already, thank you very much.  So he transferred into Professional Sports, which would use at least some of his skills and need far less supervision.

He started his new job on the first sunny day for quite a while.  I think he may have overreacted to the prospect of better weather :P.



Arrrr! turned out to be something of an overachiever, supermaxing both the athletic and handiness skills – although getting the last couple of upgrades for the Tinkerer challenge proved rather more exciting than anticipated.  On reflection, sending him off to bed right after finishing the auto-light upgrade wasn’t the best idea – although I’m still mystified by all those people appearing on the lot in the middle of the night.



It was just as well that Arrrr! was also a fully-trained fireman.  Once I’d managed to wake him up, he rushed upstairs and made short work of extinguishing the flames.  Miraculously, the only damage was to the fireplace itself.



Before she joined the family, Martina had been working in the music career and wanted to be a rock star, which seemed quite appropriate for an excitable virtuoso.  However, getting through the later stages of the career would be tough at this stage, since she’d only be able to perform during her normal work shifts.  (In fact, it’s arguable that the ‘perform’ work tone isn’t allowed at all, since playing for other Sims is forbidden until Entertainment is unlocked.)  Anyway, I wanted Arrrr! and Martina to have several children, which meant that a profession or self-employment would work better for her.  She handed in her notice and looked in the paper.  As it happened, the first job advertised was with the police and she traded this off for private investigation.  By the time she discovered that she was pregnant, she was already making progress in her new career by learning logic.



Arrrr!’s twin was allocated the good trait at birth, which decided her future career as the family politician and, as a result, her name, Prezzie.

Her career progress wasn’t quite as meteoric as Arrrr!’s but still impressive compared with earlier members of the family.  She also managed to supermax a skill: charisma.

Having both Business and Politics unlocked meant that the family could start to make money.  They’d still lose all of their cash every Monday night but could sink as much as possible into property earlier in the day.  Because Martina hadn’t yet lifted the Espionage restriction, I had to send a pair of Sims off together to each venue and keep one occupied outside it while the other went in and made the investment.  It was a nuisance but worth it to do the criminals out of most of their protection money – I managed to get it down to §2 one week :).

Martina quickly built up enough points to change her lifetime wish and I gambled that she’d be able to Swim in Cash before she died of old age.  In fact, she achieved it well before then, even though they were down to zero money again a few hours later.



Decker might well have been the heir if he’d been born sooner – I’ve always had a thing for redheaded Sims.  As the tenth member of Arthur’s line, he was going to be a girl called Deca – but, since eating fruit still lay in the future, the baby’s sex was random and Decker was as near as I could get.

He had a somewhat neglected toddlerhood – his older relatives (and their watcher) were mostly too busy to do more than teach him the basics.



He amused himself with his teddy and the toddler books, and later with the rocking horse, the one toy they were allowed at this stage.  As George neared the top of his career and was working fewer days each week, the two brothers became close friends – and George tutored Decker on to the honour roll in both elementary and high school.

Decker was destined from birth to be the chef of the family but didn’t start learning to cook until young adulthood: the toy oven is banned until the Culinary restrictions are lifted and I wasn’t clear whether starting to cook as a teen was against the spirit of the rules.  Eventually, I decided it probably was - some of the others had picked up useful skills as teens but that was mostly because working out and playing chess were good ways to keep stay-at-home teenagers occupied.  Instead, Decker picked up a few points in various other skills and made a good start on athletic, which I was trying to max with everyone.

Once he was grown up, though, he made rapid progress in both his job and the cooking skill – learned mostly from books, since preparing a single group serving of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or veggi rolls per day doesn’t make for fast skill gain :(.  After reaching the top of his career, he bought a load of new recipe books and settled down to filling his fancy new fridge with food - and yet another Dent sibling supermaxed a skill.



Generation 3

Ro Dent

Traits: excitable, insane, proper, perfectionist, frugal
Career and unlock: Business
Maxed skill: athletic
LTW: CEO of a Mega-Corporation

George Dent

Traits: genius, insane, daredevil, frugal, snob (+ natural-born performer – jock social group trait)
Career and unlock: Military
Maxed skills: athletic, handiness
New skill challenge: Teacher Extraordinaire
LTW: Become an Astronaut

Arrrr! Dent

Traits: athletic, brave, ambitious, genius, handy
Careers: Firefighter, Professional Sports
Unlock: Athletic
Maxed skills: handiness, athletic, logic
New skill challenges: Marathon Runner, Fitness Nut, Tinkerer, Electrician
LTW: The Tinkerer

Martina Dent (née Bellamore)

Traits: excitable, absent-minded, slob, virtuoso, born saleswoman
Career: Investigator
Unlock: Espionage
Maxed skills: logic, athletic
LTW: Swimming in Cash

Prezzie Dent

Traits: good, friendly, ambitious, charismatic, workaholic
Career and unlock: Politics
Maxed skills: charisma, athletic
New skill challenges: Super Friendly, Everybody’s Best Friend, Metal Collector, Comedian
LTW: Leader of the Free World

Decker Dent

Traits: friendly, excitable, ambitious, natural cook, workaholic
Career and unlock: Culinary
Maxed skills: cooking, athletic
New skill challenges: Menu Maven, Star Chef, World-Class Chef
LTW: Celebrated Five-Star Chef

Offline PeregrineTook

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 5/1/15)
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2016, 05:38:11 PM »
Loving the name puns!  Ro is perhaps my favorite of the puns and she is an absolutely beautiful Sim and I loved how you styled her.  I know you preferred Arrrr!, and he's cool, but Ro had the soft spot in my heart.
Loving learning more about this challenge through reading your updates.  Somehow it just makes better sense as I'm seeing it play out in story form than when I tried to read through all the rules.
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Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 5/1/15)
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2016, 02:44:31 AM »
I like this! Good luck!
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 5/1/15)
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2016, 01:46:49 PM »
Loving the name puns!  Ro is perhaps my favorite of the puns and she is an absolutely beautiful Sim and I loved how you styled her.  I know you preferred Arrrr!, and he's cool, but Ro had the soft spot in my heart.
Loving learning more about this challenge through reading your updates.  Somehow it just makes better sense as I'm seeing it play out in story form than when I tried to read through all the rules.

Thanks ;D.  Ro was probably my favorite name pun as well.  There are a few I regret not using, so there may be a spin-off Dent story at some point.

I like this! Good luck!

Hello again, Rosa.  How's family life?

And thanks :).

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2016, 02:04:16 PM »
Matters of Life and Death

Up to this point, I’ve kind of skated over one of the less pleasant aspects of playing an Apocalypse Challenge.  Readers of a nervous disposition may wish to skip the rest of this update.

Elders are a bit of a liability in this challenge.  Early on, they can’t even go to work unless they have maxed the athletic skill.  Since they’re not controllable, most of them aren’t much use.  (Some will autonomously carry on looking after the house/kids/garden/whatever but you can never rely on it.)  On the other hand, they will eat any food that’s around, occupy beds and, pretty reliably, hog any fun items that the household is permitted.  And until Military is cleared, no-one can be moved out of the house.

To put it bluntly, Sim murder is almost inevitable in an Apocalypse Challenge.

Arthur wasn’t actually too bad as an elder (or maybe that’s just my favouritism talking).  Because he was a slob, he didn’t insist on eating fresh food.  I took to stockpiling dirty plates for him to lick, along with food that was too rotten to appeal to anyone else, in an inaccessible basement.  (Given that storing leftovers in the fridge is forbidden until you have a five-star chef, there was no shortage of revolting plates surrounded by green fumes and flies.  All I had to do was get there before the neater members of the family threw them away.)  When I noticed Arthur getting peckish, I’d leave a plate within easy reach.  It worked well.

The others were more of a problem.  I kept Tabbi around until mid-elderhood but then decided I’d had enough.  She was lured into the lowest basement by a daughter who made her escape up a ladder that mysteriously disappeared as soon as she’d climbed it.  Since Tabbi was already hungry, she didn’t suffer for long.



I’d never tried death by ranting before.  Random got to test that out on the day she was due to age up to elder.



Evvie suffered the same fate as her mother but Diffy turned out to be the helpful sort of elder and so stayed in the household until she eventually moved out with Ro.

There are several bonus scoring categories in the challenge and I’d already decided to have a go at most of them.  One is for large tombstones – but they all have to be from different causes of death.  Arthur had already provided the old age tombstone; if I wanted to get the maximum score of five points, I was going to have to be nasty to Sims – mostly while they were still under my control.

Prue and Jermaine both earned more than 150K points :-[.





Ro, probably to her intense relief, was never on for anything more than a medium tombstone and so, as related above, moved out as an adult.  I thought the same was true of George and was rather surprised when I checked the mausoleum much later and found that he and Diffy both had large tombstones.

Arrrr! and Prezzie were a different matter – both had more than 200K points by the end of adulthood.  I seem to have forgotten to take any screenshots, but Arrrr! took an ill-fated swim in an indoor pool that briefly appeared in one of the basements, while Prezzie became my second Sim to rant herself to death.





…And that was the tombstone collection completed.  At the start of the game, I’d intended to get as many as possible, even though the score’s capped at five – it’s been a long time since I had a Sim house full of colourful ghosts.  I found, though, that I didn’t like the normal sort of ghost nearly as much as playable ones.

The rules say that the bonus tombstones have to be kept on the lot.  On the plus side, it was nice that some of my favourite family members stayed around for the rest of the challenge.  On the minus side, they were far more of a pain than uncontrollable elders – at least living Sims don’t drift through their sleeping housemates and wake them up several times a night.  Full moons were particularly chaotic.







So Martina and Decker, despite their large happiness point totals, were allowed to move out just before their elder birthdays and live out the rest of their lives in peace  – well, apart from the times when they, like George, were turned into zombies by the game.





Prezzie had unlocked building outside the original 8x8 square, and Decker becoming a five-star chef made the old fridge obsolete.  I built the ghosts their own bunker in the far corner of the lot, with a couple of beds, a shower, a table, some chairs and the old fridge.  Shortly afterwards, I realised that I could now use the tea set and bought one for the ghosts.  Arthur was particularly fond of drinking tea, appropriately enough.



As better appliances and furniture were unlocked, the ghosts benefitted at least as much as the active Dents from the improvements to their lifestyle deathstyle.  Even so, they were still inclined to prefer the main bunker.



If I ever play this again, I’ll either forget about bonus points altogether or leave the ghosts until nearer the end.

Offline PeregrineTook

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 8/1/15)
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2016, 03:09:54 PM »
Oh my goodness!  This was delightful.  I always crack up when ghosts frighten each other.  "Ah it's a ghost!" and I'm watching them thinking, "You're all ghosts!  How is this shocking?!?!"
Another delightful update and I learned even more about this challenge just from your narration.  There's an apparently self-torturing part of my brain that is trying to talk me into to reading through these rules many more times and trying this challenge.  The rest of my brain is quite content to just experience the challenge through your bravery  ;=)
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Offline KRae

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 8/1/15)
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2016, 05:37:39 PM »
Ghosts are a pain drifting through bedrooms and waking everyone up. Can you buy them rocking chairs yet? *off to read those blasted rules once again*

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 8/1/15)
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2016, 06:41:45 AM »
Oh my goodness!  This was delightful.  I always crack up when ghosts frighten each other.  "Ah it's a ghost!" and I'm watching them thinking, "You're all ghosts!  How is this shocking?!?!"

Somehow, non-playable ghosts never seem to get over it.  At least the Gooles only reacted like that when they met a new ghost, which meant there was an irritating (but also hilarious) round of everyone being terrified of each new baby  ::).

Another delightful update and I learned even more about this challenge just from your narration.  There's an apparently self-torturing part of my brain that is trying to talk me into to reading through these rules many more times and trying this challenge.  The rest of my brain is quite content to just experience the challenge through your bravery  ;=)

Thank you :D.  You might also want to read through the Instructional Apocalypse, which I found helped a lot with understanding how the challenge works, even though it was played under an earlier version of the rule-set.  *Feels a bit like a drug-pusher.*

Ghosts are a pain drifting through bedrooms and waking everyone up. Can you buy them rocking chairs yet? *off to read those blasted rules once again*

Re-checking the rules, they could have had the cheaper rocking chairs at this stage.  I thought any item with an environment score was banned but it appears that +1 is OK.  I did buy a couple later on but it made less difference than I'd hoped.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2016, 04:28:44 PM »
Generation 4 (part 1)

By the time generation 3 had finished their tasks, life in the bunker had become almost comfortable.  Thanks to Ro and Prezzie, the top floor had been considerably expanded and was, despite appearances, Beautifully Decorated.  Career rewards are wonderful.



(The heir’s bedroom and the dormitory for everyone else, seen in the previous update, were Nicely Decorated.)

Arrrr! unlocking Athletic meant that the furniture could now be moved around freely and that they could train with proper gym equipment, rather than just working out to the stereo or playing ball games.  More importantly, they were now allowed to carry more than three items in their backpacks.

They could watch TV, within limits: only educational channels and only at weekends or after 5pm on weekdays.  In practice, this meant that the telly was mostly turned around to face the wall, to stop illicit viewing.  The computer was still essentially a typewriter – one of the dining chairs was moved over to the desk if someone wanted to write.  They were still limited to objects costing less than §1000 and to the cheapest appliances (with the notable exception of the chef’s fridge).

The biggest change was to their diet – they could now have more than one meal a day and the number of foods they were allowed had vastly increased.  Fish, fruit and veg were still banned, although some dishes that used them as ingredients were permitted – pancakes, spaghetti, ratatouille and cobbler were all OK.  The veggie versions of dim sum and fish and chips were allowed; veggie salmon and lobster thermidor weren’t. I gave up trying to work out the reasoning behind the rules and simply kept a list of what they could eat.  Ingredients still had to be bought from the fridge but the combination of Decker’s maxed cooking and Born to Cook reward, plus the bonuses from the fridge and the ‘improve meal quality’ upgrade on the cooker meant that all of their meals were high quality and most were perfect.  On the other hand, being limited to the cheapest cooker meant that food often gave the ‘unevenly cooked’ moodlet despite being amazing.  A few meals also tasted of fridge, presumably as a result of the ghosts having the old one.

The Dents could now move freely around Lucky Palms and even go abroad.  Prezzie was the first to take advantage of Martina lifting the final restriction on travel, spending three days in China in pursuit of a political opportunity. While she was there, she bought a cheap tent, a much-needed storage chest and some martial arts equipment – and then spent the rest of the time looking for Telescopic Metals.





Stu, the eldest child of generation four, had probably the hardest task of the challenge – lifting Naturalist.  This meant reaching the top of the mausoleum and science careers, in addition to completing both Perfect Garden and Perfect Aquarium from scratch.  (The Naturalist rules were changed while I was playing and there is now an alternative method involving animal training, but since I had Pets disabled I stuck with the base-game method.)

Because his mother had lifted espionage, Stu was able to complete the part-time mausoleum clerk career as a teenager.  Now he had to wait until he started work as a scientist to begin gardening and fishing.  He filled in the time by maxing the athletic skill, thanks to coaching from various older family members, and by becoming the first Dent to be abducted by an alien.



Early on, I’d been seriously worried about abduction.  If Arthur had gone off with the Vogons aliens and become pregnant, there would have been a difficult choice to make: should I send the baby back to its home planet or make Arthur give up his career to care for the nooboo?  Alien Tech is a powerful (if optional) lift and the baby would have been eligible to become heir and lift another restriction.  On the other hand, Arthur might well have run out of time to max a career and complete a lift.

On the whole, I was glad that there was no sign of aliens during Arthur’s lifetime.

Now, though, I was beginning to wonder whether they’d ever show up.  Did living in a bunker make Sims alien-proof?



Stu proved me wrong.  He was too young to become pregnant – but at least I had proof that aliens were around in this universe.  Maybe I would get a chance to lift Alien Tech before the game was over.

Stu was originally going to be the heir.  No, correct that.  Stu was the heir.  He’d almost completed Naturalist and had a daughter who was about to age up to child, with a second kid on the way.  Then my computer, which had been increasingly dodgy for a few weeks, crashed in a very big way.  I ended up losing everything in My Documents.

When I set up a new account and retrieved the game from the latest save on the external hard drive, Stu was back at the beginning of young adulthood.  To minimise the repetition (which was going to be considerable whatever happened), I chose a different heir.

Disconcertingly, Stu’s boss at work this time around was Ashlee Tanner from next door, who’d been his wife in the previous reality.  At least he knew what conversational topics to choose when getting to know her.  (Don’t enthuse about art, whatever you do!)  They were best friends very quickly.



Gardening when the ground is mostly frozen is a little challenging.  The top floor of the bunker was extended again to include a plant room.



The seeds that refused to be planted in pots were sown instead in the slightly expanded car-parking compound at ground level.



Other family members were roped in to help with the watering but the main responsibility for caring for the plants was Stu’s.

I’m normally pretty relaxing about gardening (in Sims, anyway).  With the requirement to reach perfection so quickly, this game had to be different – as soon as a plant had been harvested once, it was deleted and replaced by one of a higher quality.  Sooner than I’d expected, Stu had ten plants that were excellent or better.  Indoor plants, that is – it was going to be a while before any of the trees improved their quality.

It was time to change focus and concentrate on fishing.  On the other hand, it was winter again: almost all of the water was frozen.  He turned to his younger brother for help.





Indy Penn didn’t have it much easier than Stu.  The obvious way to lift Gamer if you’re playing with UL is via the Video Game Developer career.  With Late Night, film directing is the way to go.  Despite having both of these expansions enabled, I decided to use the base-game method.  I must have been mad.

As it was, I’d let myself (or rather, Indy) in for maxing two part-time jobs – at the bookstore and supermarket – and reaching level 4 in the business, politics, police, criminal and science careers.  In addition, he had to get to level 5 in logic, athletics, cooking, writing and handiness.  And hack a minimum of §5000.  Easy, really  :P.

Indy did amazingly well.  Thanks to the toddler books and a series of snow days, he reached level 5 of writing and level 8 of logic as a child.  The other skill requirements and both part-time jobs were in the bag by his mid-teens.  He couldn’t start on the other careers until after his next birthday.  What now?

Well, if you’re called Indy, the answer’s obvious.  He took a couple of trips to Egypt, did some serious tomb-raiding and earned a level 3 visa (which meant that the family could buy a plot of land for a future holiday home, giving everyone more skilling time).  Oh, and between trips, he came close to maxing street art and picked up another trait.

Stu accompanied him on his second trip, leading to possibly the maddest micromanagement so far.  It was worth it, though.  By the end of the holiday, Stu had fifteen different perfect fish.



I really regretted picking Perfect Garden as his lifetime wish  ???.

Offline PeregrineTook

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 9/1/15)
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2016, 05:50:48 PM »
While I feel bad for you having lost so many hours of gameplay with the crash, I really enjoyed getting more Stu time and having Indy Penn getting spotlight time.  And if he hadn't gone tomb raiding, I would have been disappointed  ;=)
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2016, 10:39:18 AM »
While I feel bad for you having lost so many hours of gameplay with the crash, I really enjoyed getting more Stu time and having Indy Penn getting spotlight time.  And if he hadn't gone tomb raiding, I would have been disappointed  ;=)

It did mean losing some funny screenshots, though.  Indy had a great line in work outfits the first time around - a whole succession of mismatched and/or skimpy outfits, topped off with wildly inappropriate headgear.  The funniest thing he did on the re-run was losing his hair for two days.



Generation 4 (part 2)

Arrrr! and Martina were great parents and would have had a load of kids if I’d let them.  I did briefly consider trying to finish the challenge in this generation but decided that Stu and Indy were going to need so much attention that keeping the family small and well-spaced was probably a good idea.  So Stu was almost a teenager when Indy was born and the final member of the family didn’t arrive until Indy was a child.



Hugh (nicknamed ‘Imp’ from toddlerhood because of his evil but lovable nature) was one of those Sims who are incredibly easy to look after, which was probably just as well.  He decided two days into childhood that he wanted to be Emperor of Evil and was remarkably single-minded about pursuing his wish.  He’d maxed both athletics and logic long before starting in the criminal career and must also have had a high hidden skill in chess – he was completely obsessed by the game.

Of the three family members who worked in the criminal career, he was the only one to avoid being arrested – clearly, such a mastermind found it easy to outwit the police.  Just before his adult birthday, he achieved his lifetime wish and moved out.



His older brothers found their tasks much harder.  Just as Stu’s indoor plants reached perfection, they started going dormant.  I ended up deleting all of the lower-quality plants and cramming as many pots as possible into the room, with several plants of each species.  When spring arrived, some of them responded and finally his lifetime wish panel said 8/8 perfect plants.  Even so, it took another week or so for the wish to register as fulfilled.

Indy was struggling with his career requirements.  He kept narrowly missing promotions and finding that his bosses weren’t amenable to persuasion.  While he was waiting outside his business boss’s house, waiting to be refused his final promotion, a young woman came out and picked up something from the snow by his feet.



Indy was instantly smitten but it looked as though she was already in a relationship – the object under the snow was a baby.  He started talking to her anyway and found that she was, in fact, single.  (It turned out that she was the younger sister of Indy’s current boss and the baby was her nephew.)  By the end of the evening she was Indy’s girlfriend and, a couple of days later, Renée Lancaster became the new Mrs Dent.





Renée was descended from a lot of original townies: the Lancasters (obviously), Jaycen Hendrix, the Diwans, Arthur’s lost love Piper Sparks, the Kings, the Tanners, Lennon Sosa and Darleen Matlapin (but sadly not Darren Dreamer.  He and Darleen did marry in this universe but not until she was too old to have children.) Like Indy, Renée was a great-great-grandchild of Ezekiel Reid and Yolanda Shaw and also a member of the prolific Claremont/Steel/Loera clan, making her Indy’s third cousin by two different lines of descent.



Renée wanted to be a Vocal Legend but juggling a performance career as well as Indy’s many jobs and Stu’s garden seemed like too much work.  Instead, she became an architect.  Thanks to constant sketching at her drawing board, she was nearing the top of the career, without carrying out a single renovation, by the time Stu unlocked Naturalist.  It seemed like a good time for a belated honeymoon.



Indy and Renée went (of course) to the family’s plot of land in Egypt, where a small house suddenly materialised.  It was plain and basic, to say the least, but at least it was above ground.



Renée had recently changed her lifetime wish to Descendant of da Vinci and was keen to learn to sculpt.  Indy worked out, broke numerous boards and spray-painted the walls and floor.



They still found plenty of time for each other – and Renée was pregnant by the time they returned home.



Suddenly, the game started lagging.  Badly.  It didn’t take long to realise that something had gone wrong with Renée – whenever she was the active Sim, the game stuttered.  Decision time again: should I kick her out after she’d had the baby and maxed her career or stick to the plan and try to get her through her lifetime wish and a number of skill challenges?

With minimal attention from me, Renée reached the top of the architect career.  A few hours later, the first child of generation 5 was born.



At this point, I went back to EA story (non-)progression and started a series of increasingly drastic resets.  Nothing helped with the lagging.

In the end, I bought Prepared Traveller for Renée and sent her back to Egypt on her own twice.  She was just as glitchy as at home but at least, with no other family members to worry about, I could read a book while waiting for her to work through her action queue.  On her second visit, she supermaxed sculpting and made a good start on inventing, mostly by reading books.

With little Stride growing up, Indy and Renée tried, successfully, for a second child.  Then, a few hours later, this happened:



Soon after his return to Earth, it became obvious that Stu was putting on weight.



There was going to be an unexpected addition to the final generation of Dents.

Offline PeregrineTook

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 10/1/15)
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2016, 12:30:17 PM »
Alien Dent!!  How very fitting. 
Sorry to hear that Renee gave you so much trouble, but I will say she is lovely (and seeing the image before reading the full text, I thought she might have been a tourist as she has a somewhat "exotic" look (as if Egytian or some such), which made her an ideal choice for Indy  :=)
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Repairing Dents – An Apocalypse Challenge (updated 10/1/15)
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2016, 02:45:20 PM »
I really liked Renée, which was why I persisted so long with her, despite the glitches.  She was a sweet-natured Sim and well suited to Indy, as well as being pretty (and you're right, she does look rather exotic.  Left to themselves, townie genes can produce some interesting results.)

 

anything