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Fond Farewell to Granite Falls

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Fond Farewell to Granite Falls

Take Me to the Moon 5.22

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Alexander and Delaney wanted to take one last camping trip, with their children and grandchildren.  Alexander was intent on making sure that his children understood how important their family legacy was, and how much he loved each of them.  Delaney, who had always loved Granite Falls, wanted everyone to enjoy the outdoors and each other.

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Almost as soon as they arrived, Alexander hugged Elise and  began to explain to her why he had brought back all the culled ancestors from the Gallery.  “When your mother and I first became Game Aware, we realized we just wanted to be able to live our lives, and not worry about the world outside our game.  But when we read in the blog that my mother, and all of the Tesla family ancestors, had been culled from the game, and we had no memory or knowledge, within the game, that they had ever existed, I felt strongly that I should use my hacking skills to bring those sims back from the Gallery so that you all would have a sense of family history, at least.  I hoped that you would also get to know some of your grandparents, and great-grandparents.

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Elise was impressed with his hacking skills, but she didn’t intend to use any of her days getting sidetracked trying to work around the game engine.  She told her father that she intended to do everything within her power, in the game, to keep the ones she loved with her as long as possible.    Then, let the what happens, happen, she said.  Grim’s speech had made quite an impression on her, and she wasn’t convinced there was anything they could do to ultimately change the parameters of their world.  But that didn’t mean they were powerless.

“Did you know, Dad, that there is a flower, called a Death Flower, that I can grow and give to Grim, and he has to release whoever he has come to Reap?” Elise asked.   “Now that is true power.  And it is within my grasp.”
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Alexander felt sad after talking to Elise; he was hoping for her to understand how important it  was to be knowledgeable about the programming of the game that contained their existence, and use any skills they could to influence it.   As he realized she didn’t understand, he began to grieve the loss of Maddi again, and worry about Brad and Beatrice, and he gave Brad a call.

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Brad told him that Beatrice had passed away in the night.

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Felicity, who was still trying to get an answer about why sims have to die, took the matter up with the giant Granite Falls statue in the middle of the campground.

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“Why couldn’t Grim just let Grandma Maddi stay,” she asked.  “We all wanted Grandma Maddi to stay with us.”

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The Granite Falls statue stared resolutely into the distance. It gave no reply.

At the campsite, Fiona organized a game of horseshoes.

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In between her turns, Fiona was joking with the other family members who were sitting around the fire.

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No one was very good at horseshoes.

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And it was hard to concentrate with Fiona doubled over in laughter half the time.

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But everyone seemed more interested in chatting than taking their turn, anyway.

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Sitting around the campfire, Delaney and Ranen finally became friends; Delaney had been one of the first family members to welcome Ranen after he and Elise eloped, but since joining the family he had been busy working on his skills to be able to have scientific breakthroughs, and, for the most part, had either been gardening, working with the microscope, or observing the stars.

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Elise decided, all on her own, to make  a batch of liniment to help keep the pesky insects away.  Her garden, which she’d taken over from Delaney many years ago as a teen, contained all the needed ingredients, which Delaney had brought back from Granite Falls.  But I didn’t even realize she had any herbalism skill, so this was a surprise.

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Meanwhile, Felicity had gone to the restroom, without the protection of liniment, and did not appreciate the bugs there at all.

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She complained bitterly to another camper about the lack of sanitary standards.

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The lady told her that was just part of camping.

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And Felicity thought, if so, that was not acceptable.

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Over lunch, while everyone else ate around the campfire, Elise and Ewan had a heart-to-heart discussion about their aging parents, and what their responsibility needed to be.  “We need to talk about Dad’s access to the computers” Elise told Ewan, matter-of-factly.

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“I mean, Dad could mess up the whole game with his hacking.”

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“You don’t seem to understand what’s happening here, Ewan!  We need to keep an eye on him!”

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Ewan put his hand up.  “Elise, calm down.”

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“Dad knows what he’s doing. He’s got gray hair; he’s not senile.  I think we need to trust him and mom.”

Elise just looked at him.  He was always off in some place that wasn’t the real world.

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“Well,” Elise said, “why don’t you just keep doing whatever it is you’re doing, and I’ll install nanny programs on all the computers.”

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“Here’s an idea, Elise,” Ewan said.  “Why don’t you keep your mouth shut for once and let mom and dad enjoy the days they have?!”  And you know what else?!  I don’t see how we have much choice but to trust dad,” he added.  “Dad’s programming skill is far beyond what either of us can comprehend, much less compete against.”

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“And, it’s not your place to tell everyone what they are doing wrong all the time.”

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Elise was impressed.  She hadn’t seen that much spunk in Ewan before.

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Delaney had noticed the conversation escalating into an argument, and she came over and looked at her children.

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Elise looked defiantly at Ewan for a moment,

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And then gave a smooth apology.

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“I didn’t realize you felt so strongly about this, Ewan,” she said. “But I still think we need to do something about it.”

Zoe and Felicity were finished eating, and were keeping talkative Fiona company while she finished her baked potato.

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When Fiona finished, Felicity decided to go read Wilderness Digest in the tent.

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“Don’t let the tent bugs bite,” Fiona said with a laugh.

Fiona ventured over to join her parents at the picnic table

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found them being mushy,

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And promptly decided to do something else instead.

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That evening, Delaney and Alexander started a fire for everyone to gather around.  Being back in Granite Falls, where they had spend their engagement, and so many other romantic weekends, was bringing back fond, flirty memories.

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After a while, Delaney called everyone to come hear a story about a ghost pirate who had taken a wrong turn at Twikki and become lost at Granite Falls.    Elise got out of her cosy sleeping bag to come hear the story.  Felicity was unsure if this story was going to be age appropriate.

“And then the lost pirate ghost took the girl’s toasted marshmallow.  With his hook hand, he stirred the ashes, and embers crackled up in a pillar of smoke.”

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Fiona looked at Zoe.  She had heard about Grandma Delaney’s stories, that they were legendary.

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“He waved his hook hand, now glowing like a coal, and the teens around the campfire moved back in terror.”

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“The pirate ghost lunged towards one young woman.  Was he going to grab her with the glowing hook, or go right through her, or what other horrors, she couldn’t imagine …. as she backed away in terror, her life passed before her eyes.”

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“And ever since, she’s been joining campfires here at Granite Falls, looking for her group of friends, and playing pranks on campers.   The End.”

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Ewan played campfire songs for everyone as they soaked up the warmth from the fire, and the joy of being together.  Elise and Ranen, went to their tent early.

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Fiona could imagine the girl from the story, sitting with them, and wondered what kind of prank she might play.  Maybe she’d say, “What’s that?” and point, and reach out with her ghostly hand and grab Fiona’s marshmallow?

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After a while, Ranen rejoined the group, feeling so happy he was glowing.  It was so peaceful around the fire, just hearing the snap of the wood bursting, and an owl, occasionally hooting.  Seeing everyone’s faces, soft in the firelight.

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Delaney and Alexander happily retired to their tent together.

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Back home the next day, eating leftovers from the campfire, Delaney lifted her milk in a toast.  “To our family,” she said.  “may they have as much love and happiness as we have had.”

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Gameplay Notes:

  • The MC Command Center mod gives a notification when someone dies… something that seems to me like it should be part of the game, if the game lets sims die when they aren’t being played.

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17 Comments so far:

  1. Lexivita says:

    I’ve never seen ghosts outside of my played households lot before. And such a good timing. Did it just pop up by itself or did you have anything to do with it?
    And you’re right about the notification about death should be in the game. It’s always so frustrating discovering new ghosts in the contact list.

  2. cathytea says:

    I love that Elise made the ointment on her own! Now that, in my view, is a sign of game-awareness! A Sim understands the parameters of the game–the consequences–and consciously takes an action to bring about a desired result.

    With that definition, all Sims have some degree of awareness. When it comes to something as smart as concocting bug repellent, well that’s really something!

  3. cathytea says:

    Oh, and I’m so excited to have Felicity and Fiona come to camp! I think I’ll have them in the next session, so we can sort of keep the timing in sync with your blog. CT is a goofball, so she will have so much fun with Fiona!

    • Yippee, Camp!! How soon do I need to upload Felicity and Fiona? I agree with you about Elise, that she showed game awareness by making the ointment on her own. And evidently she had studied herbalism on her own, too.

      • cathytea says:

        Yup. I’m starting to think all Sims are game-aware, and Elise has that hyper-awareness, that ability to make wise and conscious decisions. I also loved how Delaney stepped up when her two kids started to argue!

        If you upload the kids by Saturday or Sunday, that should be plenty of time!

  4. Carla says:

    TS4 campfire looks cool! The TS2 one was very dumbed down compared to the TS1 campfire. They can warm themselves and roast marshmallows – no stories or songs, which is lame. The sims seem to agree, as I can rarely get them sitting around it for very long!

    I can see Elise’s concern for Alexander’s hacking but Ewan is right. Alexander is kind of a mastermind – there’s not much either of them could do to truly stop him. Their best bet is probably a proper sit-down chat, where they can all air their worries and come to some kind of consensus.

    • I kind of think Elise is over-reacting a bit, because it’s not like Alexander has ever fiddled with the game programming before or is saying he wants to continue interfering with it! Last time they hacked my blog. But that’s a good idea about a sit-down chat; it’s definitely something to consider, depending on how the gameplay goes. The camping animations, including the campfire ones, are all really great. I totally forgot about the “play in tent” interaction which is so cute for the kids, especially at night when you can see their silhouettes. I remember the Sims 1 Vacation pack very fondly. I built some custom lots I really loved in the mountains, and at the beach.

  5. Echo Weaver says:

    I just loved all the character development here. It seems like everyone in the family got to show us something about themselves. I think those are my favorite posts.

    Delaney’s Elder face really is delightful. I want to adopt her as a grandmother.

    I was braced for losing either Alexander or Delaney in this post. We know they don’t have much longer, and Alexander really struggled with his health.

    • Thanks, Susan, sometimes I forget to convey aspects of their character that I see start to develop as I play; I’m glad it came through some in this post. I love Delaney’s elder face too. I think the most difficult thing is going to be if Alexander and Delaney die very many days apart because the grief of the one that’s left is going to be heart-breaking to watch. Alexander’s health has improved a lot in the last little bit; he swims frequently and he hasn’t been dangerously tired. But he does get sick more often than Delaney. She could definitely outlive him by a lot, since she’s always been in tip-top shape. They both have youth potion in their inventories that either of them could take autonomously if they want. Right now, they are within a few days of each other, with Alexander being slightly past the middle of the elder age bar. But it doesn’t tell you how many days are left, at that life stage. If the game works like it used to, I’ll get one or two messages letting me know each of their times are near.

  6. Felicity talking to the Granite Falls statue touched my heart so much. And the silent response (lack thereof) was so moving. As I read the chapter further, I find myself drawn to her expressions. She’s so expressive! 🙂

    Seeing Fiona with her family playing horseshoes was so sweet! And her giggle fits as they failed was adorable. 🙂 I really adore her so much.:)

  7. maisie says:

    Ooh I love that campfire! This was such a lovely memory for the entire family, complete with bugs and a bit of family drama. I’m glad that Elise apologized, and I do wish that she would heed Ewan. I really hated to see Alexander upset that she was not comprehending what he was saying and has been trying to accomplish. He doesn’t have unlimited days ahead, and I’m sure that if the family legacy was something she could understand, that he would feel more at peace when his time family comes.

    Poor Felicity, trying to understand death. That’s a hard subject for sure.

    • Thanks, Maisie, for commenting! Me too, Alexander was wanting so bad for Elise to understand, but she didn’t really seem to empathize. She hears what he says, but she has her own perspective and doesn’t really seem to jump into his.

  8. I’m glad to see you here, Hardy! Good luck with your courses!

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