Foreword: Legacy Hall of Fail 2.0
Let us begin with one pathetic fact: In all the eight years I’ve been Simming, I have never completed a Legacy.
That’s right. Not even the basic, can’t-go-wrong, ten-gen variety that was so history when Alphabets and Apocalypses came around. Not even the kind without an accompanying story, where you can just three-time through the whole thing without taking pictures or noting anything down. Yes, I’m that pathetic.
It’s not like I haven’t tried. I have. In fact, I have tried eight times in about as many years. But only a few of those attempts were mildly promising, and all of them ultimately failed. Let’s take a look at them one by one, shall we?
First were the Lowens. They lived in that archaic place we call The Sims 2. Their founder, Kylie, was created on the day I learned about the legacy challenge. She married a hideous pizza guy named Edward (in other words, she was cursed from the start) and popped out three ugly children—Walter, Daniel and Delilah. Then she went on with her life while her children had ugly children of their own. Good start, right?
No. The trouble was, I was twelve or something at this point, and a wee bit clueless. I’d only skimmed the rules, so I failed to grasp some of the finer points. And by that I mean the whole pick an heir, trim the branches of the family tree business. So two kids, Delilah and Walter, remained in the legacy house while Kylie (that’s right, the founder) moved out with her husband and most hideous son. I know: I was an idiot. The whole thing fell into a heap around Generation Four, at which point I realized I didn’t like the family much anyway and left them for the vultures.
(A scary thought: They still exist somewhere on my hard drive.)
The Harveys were the most promising of the lot, and the first who had a story worth uploading. Sort of. Melissa was a loopy, stubborn Sim who ate cookies by the bucketful and failed in her professional pursuits—and her romantic ones, too. It’s not that she had trouble getting a date, it’s just that she didn’t have the best taste. Enter Cleve, a whacked downtownie whose nose entered the gene pool and NEVER LEFT. Four generations later, there were still traces of it. The heir from Generation Two (yes, I understood the concept of heirs this time!) Fred, married a pretty townie from college and decided on a whim to have ten children. You know the deal from there—lots of chaos, red plumbobs, near deaths, urges to boolprop and instantly fix everything… You got it. Once nine of the Torturous Ten were out of the house, Hallie, our new heiress, married a Pokemon trainer wannabe named Ash, and the tale continued. Hallie’s daughter Adelaide gave birth to the first Generation Five child who would ever grace my game, plus two more, but I’m afraid that was the end of it. My computer got so slow that a single day on three-speed took at least ten years to play. And that was the end of the Harveys.
In November of 2006, EA announced The Sims 3. For me, and for many of you, I’m sure, it was a bittersweet moment of indecision. Would I buy it when it came out? Would I like it? And, most importantly, if I liked it better than The Sims 2, would I ever go back? (Cue hair-tearing panic sequence.) Eventually, I decided with firm resolve that yes, of course I would buy TS3. After all, they were making the neighbourhoods seamless and what was more annoying about TS2 than those stupid blue loading screens? However, I also decided that—supposing I would abandon the old game—I couldn’t possibly leave TS2 behind without completing a legacy. So I made a very one-sided pact with a fellow Sims enthusiast to finish a ten-generation Legacy before the release of The Sims 3. I was pumped. I was going to finish this legacy if it was the last thing I ever did! Only by the time we made the pact, we had a month before TS3 hit the shelves. We also had a ton of schoolwork and impending exams (but y’know, who cares about those). Thus Carlanna Parlour‘s Epic Journey of Fulfilment was cut short after her daughter, Blair, gave birth to her first child. At this point exams rolled around, coinciding exactly with the TS3 release date. All resolve was abandoned (and all textbooks) as I rushed out to buy the first copy I could find, leaving my TS2 days in the dust.
As excited as I was, I waited until exams were over to install The Sims 3. Because I’m a good kid, right? NO. Because my computer was a complete derp and couldn’t run the damn game. I was outraged at the time, but I’m not surprised, looking back. I was running a homemade rig with some Intel Celeron piece of crap and five-thousand-year-old Radeon graphics, so yeah, I might have been due for an upgrade).
So I waited. I taped the controls manual up beside my monitor as incentive while I memorized types of government and the quadratic formula. When exams were finally done, my dad let me borrow his computer to test the game. Lo and behold, it worked! It wasn’t a permanent solution and it certainly wasn’t perfect, but beggars can’t be choosers and all that. I just wanted to play. Specifically, I wanted to start a legacy because I mean, what else do you do with The Sims these days? Pinstar hadn’t released the new rules yet, but I’d been reading some of the first Sims 3 legacy stories online, so I knew it was doable. The first thing I did on my brand new game was to create Toastie Mackerel: an insane angler who would be not only my TS3 guinea pig but the founder of my first TS3 legacy. What an honour for such a pitifully named Sim! The Mackerels were more successful than I’d expected; Toastie married Cyc10n3 Sw0rd of the creepy-ass name and had five children: Samara, Michael, Scott, and twins Harper and Ellen. Samara was hands-down the prettiest, and that’s how you pick heirs (duh) so she won. She had a set of female triplets who fell prey to my brief but cringe-worthy plant name phase. Sadly, my dad needed his computer back—but I was all “it’s k,” because I had my eye on some dual-core laptops and was rubbing my hands together with anticipation. Being me, I never retrieved my files from his hard drive, and they were eventually deleted. These are practically the only pictures I have left of the Mackerels. So long, Toastie and co.
Right. So: August 2010. I had the Sims 3. I had my own computer that worked (and was purple, too). Goddammit, it was time to crack down and do this legacy thing.
So did I make myself a nice, normal founder and get started on my ten generations? Of course not—I’m an idiot, remember? No, I made Harry Freaking Potter and decided to go for twenty-six instead. It wasn’t a terrible idea, granted. I mean, I would honestly be nowhere in life without Mr. Potter, and alphabet games are fun. It’s just that tackling an alphabet legacy when you haven’t even completed a regular one before is sort of like trying to cook creme brulee when you can’t even make a decent piece of toast.
I have no idea what I was thinking, but I went for it. Harry apparated to Riverview and married a chubby ginger named Ruby Broke (’cause we all know the Brokes are just the Weasleys in disguise). The “A” generation was a success; we had Andromeda, Albus, Antonin, Algie, and Alice. But I couldn’t pick an heir, so I figured I’d post a poll in a forum somewhere. And then I got stuck on the story part, which is really just pathetic considering I call myself a writer. Basically I kept taking screenshots and putting off captioning them, so the work kept building up… and up… and up… and I got lazy. Thus, the Potters died, too. Temporarily. (Really, they only went to a limbo-type place that looked suspiciously like King’s Cross Station, had a chat with good ol’ Dumbles, and came back unscathed to finish their mission. Funny story, that—could probably fill up a book or seven.)
The Potters’ nosedive sparked a profound “play it simple” epiphany. I was convinced, therefore, that my new founder Goldilox Horton (named for the one and only Tim Horton’s, of course) would be the beginning of my legacy success. In fact, this whole intro spiel was originally supposed to be for her story, before it was Seth Mellencamp’s and long before it was adapted for this very purpose.
That didn’t happen. Goldilox’s four children didn’t even get a chance to grow up before they fell victim to my deadly procrastination.
Next came Valeria Little—yet another founder who was going to be “the one.” She wasn’t. Surprise, surprise. She did, however, manage to get a kid or two out of Jared Frio—and that’s an accomplishment in itself.
And finally, ladies and gentlemen, we come to the Mellencamps. Oh, those poor Mellencamps. I started their story almost a year ago when I experienced a gigantic wave of resolve and finally got the hang of this whole blogging business. I fleshed out this whole intro piece just for them; I even got caught up on my expansion packs! The Mellencamps were going to be the Chosen Ones, for realz this time—I could feel it. I uploaded a whole generation’s worth of chapters on www.mellencamplegacy.wordpress.com. There was a brief hiatus, and then I tackled the first chapter of gen two. It was all smooth sailing for a while… but it wasn’t meant to be.
I’ll bet some of you are here because you’re wondering what happened to Seth and his clan—why I simply stopped writing their story, why I’m totally recycling their foreword here on this site. Well, the short answer is that I suck at commitment. The long answer involves a lot to do with starting university, developing a sudden and surprising life outside of stories and games, and finally getting fed up with my computer’s terrible graphics—but you don’t want to hear my excuses. All you really need to know is that the Mellencamps won’t be coming back. Sorry Seth, buddy—we had a good run, but it’s time for bigger and better things… you know, like Sims with actual body fat.
And that right there is a condensed history of my miserable attempts thus far; if you will, my Legacy Hall of Fail.
Take a moment to digest that.
Nine families, nine failures. Nothing has been going my way for the past eight years. Computer issues, glitches, distractions, you name it—everything that could possibly have hindered me has weaselled its way into the path of progress. But not this time. Because I have a plan.
You see, in each of these legacies I’ve been striving for not only completion, but perfection. (Maybe not with the Lowens, but should we really pay attention to the brainchildren of our preteen selves?) Eventually the pressure is just too much and my lazy brain cracks, unable to bear the weight of something as OMG-SO-SRS as a Sims challenge. Truly. So I’ve decided that, in order to make things work, I need to first make them not work.
I’m not talking about causing technical problems for myself. In fact, I’ve just built a brand new gaming rig with graphics that blow everything I’ve previously had out of the water, and I couldn’t be happier. We’re all set in the hardware department. I’m talking about the Sims themselves.
From here on out, there’ll be no more record-breaking attempts, no more picture-perfect families with their boring, overachieving offspring. We’re going to spice things up a bit and create a more fallible family. A more dysfunctional family.
But, being as proper spelling is just too dull for all this, I hereby introduce to you:
THE DYSFUNKSHINUL LEGACY.
And who better to kick off ten dysfunkshinul generations than someone who is completely incapable of doing anything right?
Ladies and gentlemen…
Meet Tewl Langurd. This is his tewlish face.
And this is his legacy.