My gameplay and my story largely consist of 3 main components: What I know my sims want (i.e. actions based on their aspiration and whims), what I think my sims want (based on the way the react to situations and other sims, their traits and the things I’ve learnt about their personality) and the things my mind comes up with when I get carried away and let me imagination run wild. That’s how the Lollipop Lair sub-plot was born.
It all started with Rorygilmore34’s Meatballs. They seemed like very interesting characters (and very easy on the eye), so when she offered them for download for side-stories, I grabbed them of the gallery immediately. And then they sat in my library for ages, because I didn’t really have a place for them.
Until evil cousin Cassiel became too intriguing (and too beautiful) to not have a story of her own and my twins both aged up dastardly and mean. This was also around the time when my favourite slave got banished from tribe Arayeo, and it just clicked in my mind. I asked Julyvee94 if she’d let me borrow Baato and she was very enthusiastic about the idea, though she didn’t know what I had planned for him exactly.
The idea of Baato becoming Cassiel’s slave and a woohoo toy was something I intended to happen from the start of the side story. However, when the two actually sims actually met in game, I was shocked at their amazing chemistry. Yes, I initiated the first romantic interaction, but everything else that followed hit like a storm. The two were constantly being autonomously romantic and it was just great to watch. This was also at the time when Peter and Lilah’s relationship was very hot and cold and awkward, and the contrast just screamed to me.
Then came the whole shebang with the Lollipop Lair bust. Since the purpose of the Build Newcrest challenge is settling in the new city of Newcrest due to the other worlds being too crime-ridden, I couldn’t have really let the Lollipop Lair gang get away with their plan. Especially not since Isaac became the chief, and I highly doubt he would have missed such a huge conspiracy just a few houses down the street from him.
The twins having to leave Newcrest as a result was the only logical scenario stemming from the whole situation. Luckily the timing worked out in their favour and they were able to find a lovely new home in iheartdinosx3’s Belle Legacy. They seem to be flourishing in that story and get way more attention than I ever gave them, so I’d say things worked out well for them. Fun fact – I originally intended for Isaac and Ruby’s third child to be the heir. The twins made that one rather problematic!
Some of you have been curious about the logistics of Cassiel’s arrest and prison break. If you don’t want to break the magic and immersion, please skip the next two paragraphs in italics and carry on where the font becomes normal again:
Of course it would have been ideal if Cassiel was just marked as the suspect by the game, but that was not the case. I had to stage the entire arrest, and what I mean by that is that the sim arrested and interrogated was actually not Cassiel at all. I used the cas.fulleditmode cheat to modify the suspect the game generated for me to look as much as Cassiel as possible, and placed the Lollipop Lair house on the lot where Isaac was intended to issue the APB. Funnily enough the suspect did go to Cassiel’s office on her own, so all I had to do was follow.
Cassiel’s prison escape was manufactured in a similar fashion, where I edited one of the prisoners to resemble her as much as possible. I also got to get Baato into the detective career for a couple of days to stage this, which he thoroughly seemed to enjoy. Last but not least, to get a couple of the remaining shots, I also moved an extra pair of Cassiel and Baato into the police station build, which is how the final bits of the escape were staged. I probably had approximately 5 Cassiels and 2 Baatos running around my game by the end of it (and yes the two Baatos have met!).
Cassiel and Baato’s love story after the escape… that was such a tough one for me to get through. They were my favourite sims at the time and an amazing couple, and breaking their hearts broke mine a little too. The reason for their story ending the way it did was two-fold:
- It did not feel right to keep Baato in my game. Since he has been such a central character in the story of tribe Arayeo, something seemed wrong about keeping him in my save with Cassiel until they both die of old age. He always belonged back with tribe Arayeo, and his role in my story had to end at some point. I stretched it out as long as I possibly could have, but in the end it was time for him to return home.
- I admit that a major reason of the development was purely selfish. Because Cassiel hated children and Baato had commitment issues, I knew that their story could only be a happy one if they didn’t have any children. I’m a generational player and I didn’t want their story to die with them, so I selfishly chose to have them try for a baby. I now have a little piece of both of them, right in the Bloomer household. I do feel very guilty about it, so rest assured their daughter will be spoiled rotten.
I know a lot of you probably feel bad for Baato, and a part of me does too, but another part of me knows that he’ll be just fine back with tribe Arayeo. While it is sad he will not get to see his child grow up, in his culture no slave would even dream of getting to see their child, let alone holding it. He was actually quite lucky to get to meet his daughter, albeit briefly.
In the grand scheme of things, what Cassiel did was probably kinder to the child. She is an evil loner that hates children, afterall. I can’t even imagine how she would have treated the girl – best case scenario she would have ignored her in the big mansion of theirs. Also, it is worth pointing out that while Cassiel could have sent the baby anywhere, she chose to send it to a family that she knew was loving. I think that says something.
Last but not least, I’d like to take a moment to talk about Lilah. Both Peter and I fell in love with Lilah’s bright personality the moment he met her in Granite Falls. Seeing her sense of wonder and the fact that she worked as a yoga instructor made me think that she’s a bit of a free spirit, and I think I got that right.
The relationship between her and Peter was exactly as portrayed in the story – at first they were just friends with teenage Peter in awe at everything she did, then they became romantic as she first came to Newcrest and it was all very sweet at first… but then it turned rather hot and cold, with her suddenly becoming distant and awkward with him.
I think this may partially be due to the fact that I left the Bloomer household for a few sim days to play Erica and Daniel, and Peter and Lilah’s relationship was only in the initial stages at the time, so my absence may have deteriorated it a bit. But perhaps Lilah’s nature really had something to do with it.
Lilah’s struggle with settling down and working out a way she could remain happy in Newcrest is something I can personally relate to a lot (unlike her obsession with wellness, fitness and healthy living), so writing her side of the story came very easily to me, and made me like her so much more.