The entire direction of this Legacy changed when Antares' alien-abduction spawn were born.
Warning! Spoiler alert regarding the alien!
I'd just been sort of going along with the Tellermans; they exist in the same universe as CoH Sims, just a different "town", and apart from Gail's rather wild times as a Hollywood B-lister, there wasn't much to say "hey, look at this family!". As opposed to say, the only-slightly-inbred Durrances or the aiming-for-ugly Ishkabibbles.
But Antares got abducted, and when the kids came out blond, I figured I'd gotten the blond replacement PT. In theory it could've been the redhead too, now that I think about it, since blond & red are both recessive in Sims genetics. I never thought to look at the kids' family trees to see who's there. But I suppose it doesn't matter anyway at this point in the story - according to the story, it's a blond alien.
Readers of previous installments & production notes may recall that Brittney, although a Family sim, has no real Family wants. This continued throughout the playing of the household for this installment. Her LTW was Captain Hero (which she achieved) but it wasn't until close to the end of the playing time that she got her first want to flirt - not kiss! - Antares. So I built that into the story that they're in a loveless marriage.
Brittany, lecturing the maid. I think she's kind of creepy-scary, actually. I made her default everyday clothing the "SWAT team" uniform so she'd always appear to be ready to bust some heads.
Antares, Ratna, and Grumpiness
On the other hand, Antares isn't exactly trying to bed Britt either. As a Knowledge sim (and a grumpy one at that), he's got the usual zero interest in romance. If it hadn't been for the alien abduction, he wouldn't have gotten any action at all, and he doesn't even remember most of what happened.
Antares' dad Ratna, another Knowledge sim, is portrayed as a company man. This is OK except that the company both of them work for is Crey Industries (from CoH), a company that somehow seems involved in an awful lot of shady stuff, but none of it ever legally touches them. Crey's big on technology and genetics, so company-man Ratna keeps trying to get the kids into the office as experimental subjects. Even though they're his grandkids, yes. There's a knowledge sim for you...
Antares is a grumpy sim, which meant as soon as the kids were born, his need to Lecture the bajeebers out of everyone kicked into overdrive. He wanted to lecture the babies, the kids, his wife, his parents, his grandparents, the NPCs. I think he only avoided lecturing random people because I don't normally notice walkbys. He kept me busy canceling Lecture desires.
Antares' pregnancy took a lot out of him. It also had an odd time set - he didn't actually "pop" the first time until well into daylight hours. Normally, of course, abductions only happen at night, and there's about a 25-hour span between abduction, "pops" and birth, so something odd happened is all I can guess, for him to start showing pregnancy around 10 am. It didn't affect the game, at least.
For months of real time, no twins. Then all of a sudden it's Twin Season - Ramon's in CoH Sims; a couple sets of twins in the Ishkabibbles; and now twins in the Tellermans. None of which were cheesecake twins, I might add. I debated giving Antares some cheesecake but thought "Man, he's already big as a house, eh, I'm not gonna worry about it." And then he had twins anyway.
In contrast to the usual "the male labor/childbirth was really gross and painful and took forever" thing most people do (including me), I decided to give Antares a break and say he had one of the shortest labors on record. ^_^ I was a bit disappointed that the kids looked to be traditional aliens, but at least they were blond. I'd been hoping for blonds or redheads, just 'cause I haven't gotten one of those aliens yet. Also, Antares makes reference to how his body was altered by the aliens, but he doesn't go into details. In essence, the aliens made it feasible for him to safely bear the kids without surgery. Antares isn't about to post details of discovering his freaky new physiology in a public blog. ;) (Actually, that's probably contributing to his overall stress, though it might explain why he doesn't want to consummate his marriage in later years...)
Completely random picture: Britt's relationship bar. She has three bolts for Antares (her husband), two for Ratna (her father-in-law), and one for Swithin (her grandfather-in-law). Yet no Family wants for sim-years. No Flirt, no interaction, nothing. Britt probably should've been something besides Family.
This game also had a few other little glitches, none of which affected gameplay significantly, but they did make me worry when I realized how many there were. Like this one, the amazing levitating baby trick:
The next part has spoilers regarding The Alien
I came up with the idea that maybe the alien that impregnated Antares could come back and see how things were going. To that end, I pulled up the blond replacement PT in CAS and gave him a wardrobe makeover. Here he is, looking quite fey.
His name is Philemon Baucis (give yourself a pat on the back if you get the reference without Googling). "Philemon" has a vague phonic relationship to "Astrophel", the name of Antares' son by the alien. Astrophel roughly translates as "star lover", meaning "one who loves the stars," but I know all of you who just read that probably also thought "Oh, the lover from the stars!" ;)
Philemon (whose name I am constantly mispronouncing; it's fih-LAY-mun, and I keep thinking PHIL-eh-mun) is kind of a cranky sim himself, which is a bit awkward. I tried playing him for a while - he's another Knowledge sim - just to have him meet someone in the Tellerman household, and man, he wasn't much fun. He met Ratna, and I got their relationship up via lots of phone calls, and from there Ratna could invite Philemon over long enough for Antares to meet him. Yeah, I could've done all this in SimPE but this felt more natural. ^_^
Philemon really does have a house down by "Indian Bay" (the loop of road shown in the installment) but I edited it out of the shot after I changed the storyline around some. Here's what his tiny little lot looked like while I was getting his mood and relationship scores up:
When I did the "dream sequence" screencaps, I put everything in Philemon's inventory and used moveobjectson to get the stupid trashcan/mailbox out of the way. For some reason Philemon parked himself right by them to talk to Antares.
Completely gratuitous shot for them lovers of alien boys out there in the audience: Philemon in his pajamas/underwear.
I decided to avoid showing Philemon's face during the entire dream sequence, and I like how the little bits you can see are more of a tease. I like the effect better than if I'd shown his face from day one.
Originally, I'd planned for Philemon and Antares to realize their love together and blah blah. But then they started bickering. They actually got along quite well - probably from both being grumpy Knowledge sims, to be honest - but they don't see eye to eye on some subjects, and I realized I could use Antares' angry faces somehow. Finally it hit me: Antares starts going mad from Philemon's continued mental stalking/harassment, and it's driving him to drink. Does Philemon even realize what he's doing? That'll be revealed in the future. ;)
Back to The Kids. I already know who's going to be the heir: Vega, with her very beaky Tellerman nose. I'd hoped an alien wouldn't wipe out that schnoz, and thanks to the twins, it's still there. :) I already know who's going to college to become her future spouse.
Astrophel looks a lot like his dad the replacement PT. (Needless to say, Philemon doesn't show up anywhere on the twins' family tree, since the PT, not Philemon is the actual in-game parent.) His eyes are larger and his nose smaller. I have plans for him in future, plans that call for something apart from Going To Europe. ^_^
I also wanted them in private school because I got the hack that allegedly starts charging money for private school. The Tellermans are filthy rich, like most Legacies that don't suffer bad chance cards on a regular basis, so I wanted to test this out and legitimately drain some family funds in the process.
She'll have that grumpy streak, but at least I finally got rid of the Lazy trait from the family. I can live with the grumpy; the rest of her stats are really very good in my book.
Actually, I could live with Astrophel's personality spread too. The twins have almost identical personalities, when you get down to it.
There are some hints to the "future" of the Outskirts (the neighborhood of CoH Sims) in this one. The Tellermans have moved faster than the CoH Sims installments; technically, CoH Sims is still at the same point as founder Sebastian Tellerman with his two sons Swithin and Hale getting ready for college. So by this installment, I figured it was time to mention some of the things planned for the Outskirts.
There will also be some big changes in store for the world of CoH Sims/Tellermans. I don't want to spoil anything here, but let's just say the alien in the story isn't lying about what's going on in outer space. I've already got the next installment plotted out in my head, with possible changes based on what the kids' aspirations and LTWs turn out to be.
I can't believe how many days Swithin and Linda will be around for their great-grandkids. I don't think the kids'll hit teen before Swithin and Linda pass on, but wow. This is pretty far along (it shows the Tellermans get pregnant within 1-2 days after graduation, that's for sure). Ratna and Gail transitioned into hideous outfits on their own. I blamed Ratna's on color blindness and Gail... well, here's proof that Gail got that outfit on her own, I had nothing to do with it:
Proof that the Tellerman nose has hypersense:
*Sniff sniff* "Whoa, smells like the Petersons down the hill and across the lake had homemade apple pie tonight. With cinnamon, maybe a hint of cloves."
Completely gratuitious "agh, my eyes!" shot: Linda getting out of bed. Linda's a Romance sim who's pretty content with monogamy as long as Swithin plays a good game of between-the-sheets. But maybe it's time to think about the appalling problem of friction burns. Or chapping.