Plague - the Cure
25, 2003 - by Bimbo N. Loveless
Is there a cure
for the Upside-down Face Plague? Read about what independent scientists
have discovered, and learn how your neighbourhood can protect itself!
plague goes on, Sims all over SimNation still live in fear of the disease
which this far has ruined an endless amount of neighbourhoods. It's time
we get a cure, or at least that someone share their experience and understanding
helping us to understand this phenomena.
ago I promised to check around, to bring more information on the plague.
And you all are lucky, because out there in the neighbourhoods there are
scientists independently and tireless doing their research. I invited them
to share their observations!
the Principality of Simkeep the Minister of Education, Mr Mortimer Goth,
has been investigating the disease for a long time. He has a long career
as a scientist, and together with his wife, Bella, 2 years ago he established
a school where young Sims come to study. With help from his advisors, Mr
Goth might have found a cure or at least one strategy that will help many
neighbourhoods. The advisors were Gilda MacRinn, Solran MacLeod who is
serving as regent for their Principality, Sinagod McTavish, and Bella Goth,
who is the historian for Simkeep.
also contacted by Cari Soong from Dramaville, who is known to be a very
knowledgeable Sim on this epidemic. Her family is the only one left after
the plague struck Dramaville. She now hopes that her insight will help
frustrated communities all over SimNation prevent or live through
in Simmerville members of the team known as Sims Science has been doing
research ever since Simmerville got the plague 1 month ago, ruining everyone's
Christmas celebrations. Simbille Ballong is ready to add to the facts with
Sims Science's observations during this past month.
is the upside-down face plague?
us Mr Goth, what exactly is this dangerous plague. How will the victims
know if they have been infected?
Goth: The upside-down face plague is when
a Simmish person who has gone through his whole life with a normal appearance
suddenly has his face take on the appearance of what to me seems like an
upside down clown face. They have a very hideous appearance as if they
were wearing a scary mask and going to a costume ball. I have heard some
folks say that it should be ignored and it will go away. Maybe in some
instances it has. But we have noticed that left untreated the disease will
progress either slowly or rapidly until neighbours are no longer able to
enter their home. The afflicted simmish are isolated and it only gets worse.
scary, I think, Mr Goth. And I also heard that the upside-down face will
change to express the victim's mood. Hah, as if a very sick Sim would ever
be in a good mood? If I meet a Sim who has got the plague, is there any
chance that I can get infected, too? Is it contagious?
Goth: It seems like it spreads through
some communities with a virulence that might suggest it is contagious,
but I don't believe you catch it by being with someone who is afflicted.
I think that it is actually a genetic abnormality that is now striking
Simmish communities that have engaged in the great westward expansion since
last fall. I know that some may disagree with me, but it seems to me that
the new lands brought some horrible disease which strikes at random changing
our genetic structure. Some communities are hardly affected at all,
while many have faced total devastation and loss from this plague.
Soong: This disease starts small,
but causes a cascade motion that will eventually make it impossible for
the community to function properly. To my knowledge the most common way
of getting this plague is if some of the houses in your neighbourhood have
"interesting" architecture. Like a floating house, that will corrupt files
cursing the upside down faces. Sometimes the upside down face disease isn't
threatening to a neighbourhood. It is just a minor inconvenience for some.
Ballong: First we had a couple victims who lived on like normal,
but after one family got isolated and we no longer was able to enter their
home, we became aware this was something serious. Thanks to our contact
with Mr Goth of Simkeep, we were able to start treating those infected.
plague threatening the neighbourhood
Mr Mortimer Goth, Cari Soong and Simbille Ballong, you all have experienced
how this plague almost destroyed your respective communities. Please share
with us how this occurred and proceeded.
Goth: Simkeep was affected almost immediately
after our expansion to the new territories in the west. We had just begun
to enjoy new neighbours and the joy adopting pets into our families when
some of the residents were stricken with the plague. Even the Prince and
Princess of Simkeep were not immune. They had just built a new home in
the new lands when they came down with the disease after visiting a pet
adoption center. They returned home and the whole royal family was
afflicted. There was a great scare that went through our community because
we felt if they could be afflicted, everyone could. From his isolation
at home, Selrax appointed me with my best pupils to find a remedy that
would work for us. We were lucky that we had instituted a program of saving
our residents genetic material on a regular basis in case of a great catastrophe.
So we began our research and found a way to "cure" the disease so Simkeepers
could lead normal lives while hopefully a permanent solution is being worked
out by the scientists at Maxis.
Ballong: In Simmerville the damages were
larger than in Simkeep. After receiving Mr Goth's helping information,
we tested all our residents, and about half our population were infected!
Only a few of them had developed the upside-down face though, but we believed
it was only a matter of time. So we made a very though decision, as we
deported absolutely all Sims living here. Even houses were torn down, and
all the lots were disinfected. Technically you might say the old Simmerville
was deleted, and a new neighbourhood was created and ready to be rebuilt,
lot by lot, install by install. It's only a week ago that the first families
were allowed to move back. We created exact copies of their homes which
were pasted into the cleaned neighbourhood, then the household members
were imported. This treatment was much safer and easier than we expected,
as everyone kept their jobs, skills and personality, their new homes were
exactly as they used to be, and after a while we even got our old photo
albums back as well. There was a catch though, everyone had forgot their
relations outside the household, it was just like if we had been hypnotized
to forget all our friends. It was scary in the start, but as we got time
to read our albums and diaries, we soon figured what contacts to rebuild.
Today only 3 households are still isolated, and we feel sorry for them,
although they might soon be allowed to move back into their homes.
Soong: Forr Dramaville it turned
out real bad, and the entire neighbourhood is now lost because of this
plague. And it started with one Sim, and eventually everything went down.
Sims are terrified that the plague might come to their region. I think
they would be very grateful if someone found a cure, or at least provided
information on how the neighbourhoods can test themselves for the virus
and what precautions can be taken. What can be done to secure a neighbourhood
and it's residents?
Goth: Save the genetic information for
all of their residents. Then they can use this to replace the diseased
genetic material if their residents are afflicted. If your community is
healthy now, then save your residents genetic code. Each resident has an
assigned number that corresponds with his genetic code. Each Sim has his/her
own genetic file code kept in: Maxis/The Sims/Userdata/Characters. This
entire file should be saved in a safe place, regularly.
Ballong: Yes, store those records in a
safe place. You could actually store the entire "UserData" folder which
will even secure the houses and personal photo albums. It doesn't take
much extra time or work, but it might make the difference between a family
dying or surviving. We did this in Simmerville, and it's the reason that
most families have survived.
Soong: I have learned that one way of securing genetic information
is to store the unaffected sim families onto the Sims Exchange provided
on web by Maxis, and if one or more persons will contract the disease their
info can be recalled from the Sims Exchange. If the infected household
is to badly damaged, this might not work though, instead you might not
be able to enter your neighbourhood at all.
Ballong: Just remember to store each back-up in a differently
named folder, or you will overwrite previous version. And of course, each
time you do the back up, check the amount of all residents' files. If the
amount of data increases it might be a very bad sign!
Finding the genetic code
let's hear more about how to find a Sim's genetic data?
Goth: Your scientists will need a method
of viewing what numbers nature has assigned to each of your neighbours
so you will have access to the diseased neighbours genetic data. This can
be done in "search remedy" which is part of a technical examination named
"Windows" or through many other technical programs which show what numbers
have been assigned to individuals in the community.
Ballong: Note that if your neighbourhood
gets expanded in any way, all genetic data files numbers will be reassigned,
meaning you can't use the old records. Therefore, always make a new back
up right after the install of the new expansion.
Goth: For example, my number in my community
is 00083. If I should become afflicted with this terrible syndrome
which the first sign is an upside-down head, the medical technicians in
Simkeep would immediately go to my saved genetic material in the characters
numbered 00083 and use it to replace my diseased genetic material.
to tell if a genetic code has been infected
this is starting to make sense. Neighbourhoods need to back up genetic
information, and if someone gets the disease, their stored and healthy
genetic information needs to replace the infected data. But how can one
see if such a genetic code is infected with this virus?
Goth: The amount of material in my normal
code is about 55kb. When a Sim becomes so afflicted that neighbours can
no longer enter their residence the code has increased to say 100kb or
so. We don't know what causes it but when this happens the genetic material
is corrupted and it eventually leads to all worse case scenarios. But when
the diseased genetic material is replaced with the normal healthy one we
can again visit the home and find our neighbour in normal good health in
every way. Knowing this information can prevent many homes from being destroyed
because as soon as the diseased genes are gone, the resident is cured and
their house can once again be entered. And you will find them completely
Ballong: In Simmerville the amount of
data was 55kb for many residents. Then there were a few having 57-58kb,
and we are not sure if they were infected, but they probably were. Then
there were many 104kb files, they definitely were infected, but we were
still able to visit them and for most of them there was no visual sign
of the plague. But we were very surprised to find that 3 of our residents
had more than 400kb data, one actually had 552kb! Compared to 55kb that
is a very large amount of genetic information, and this Sim had only been
living in Simmerville for 3 days, had not met many neighbours, and had
no pet. We have no idea why he had 10 times as much data in his genetic
data as the healthy Sims. After a few days he got the plague and was deported
as we had no back-up of his data.
Soong: The upside-down face thing, it starts with a single corrupted
person file. It all depends of how much the file has been corrupted. This
can happen in many ways, some of which is shutting down the neighbourhood
incorrectly, or if a lot of computer programs are running at the same time.
If you have access to Downtown (HD) importing new townies can cause this
to happen if someone in the neighbourhood knows the townie who is being
Ballong: I'd like to add that the strays and the townies also
have genetic codes. We have experienced that the townies normally have
a little more data than the local residents, somewhere round 60kb. The
stray cats have 316kb, and the stray dogs have 357kb. In Simmerville even
a stray once got the upside-down face! So check on them as well. There
is a possibility the normal data amount will be affected by the neighbourhood's
expansions and facilities. You will see for yourself how much genetic data
the majority of your residents do have.
3 of you hold valuable information. Let's learn how to treat a household
that was already infected! I know most Sims will find this too technical
and medical, but on behalf of neighbourhoods having scientists that are
familiar with medical terms and knowing the aspects of backing up the residents
genetic information, technically: Could you provide a "what to do list"
in detail for these scientists to adopt?
Goth: Our method of treatment involves
replacing the diseased genetic material with saved healthy genetic material.
If you have the disease, maybe a scientist in your community has saved
genetic material previously that can be used. Then if a resident becomes
diseased, replace the diseased code with the healthy one. You do this by
going to the saved genetic file which is healthy and replacing the diseased
Ballong: We followed the example from
Simkeep, and even if we started too late, we have used their method to
keep an eye on the development, and it really makes sense. I think this
methode is a very essential part of the plague, and a good way to
control the developments. These days we do check the size of the genetic
code files almost daily, and this far we saw no abnormality.
Goth: We treated several residents many
times with the method I described above. Each time the upside-down head
disease appeared this method was used. It worked every time even when the
home was closed. Everything was restored when the treatment was done. We
have not had a recurrence for almost two months, I think we have been lucky
because while we have a treatment that works, it does not mean it will
not return. But we live our lives normally and know each instance of the
plague will be remedied as it may arise.
hope for the future?
you have read this far, you will know there IS a hope for your neighbourhood
even if you already got the plague. And if you don't already have the disease,
start backing up your genetic codes right away! Scientists, what are your
hopes for the future?
Goth: It is my sincerest wish that the
great scientific team at Maxis will work on this problem that is ruining
so many lives and find a cure. I know that they have the expertise to help
Ballong: I am rather convinced that the
plague problem is caused by the Old Town expansion. Mrs Swims told me that
children has been born with the upside-down face for ages, but as a rare
thing to happen, and it normally corrected itself. I think that the problem
is bigger for neighbourhoods that are expanded, than for brand new neighbourhoods
founded after the Old Town access was established. It remains to see if
Simmerville is cured, and if it will last. My hope is that Maxis will provide
information on what they know about this dangerous upside-down face. If
we knew the exact reason for the disease and how it spreads, it would help
Soong: I suggest all neighbourhoods to
check my list of 5 ways to avoid the plague technically, and I really hope
my knowledge can help others.
Soong's list is written in the grey box on left side column of this page.
The text is the same colour as the background in order to protect sensible
Sims who should not read it - as it should appeal to Humans as well as
Sims. To read it, just drag your cursor over the hidden text.
hope the terrible plague will withdraw, that the methodes shared by Mr
Goth, Mr Ballong and Mrs Soong will help, and that he scientists at Maxis
will soon see how serious this diseas is, and that they will provide information
and medicine. Thank you!
1: Mr Mortimer and Bella Goth of Simkeep studying in their library.
2: Mr. Mortimer Goth's scientific team taken in my home when we discussed
this problem. Pictured are Solran MacLeod, Gilda MacRinn, myself, Bella,
and our spokesperson, Sinagod McTavish.