Sugar invited me to come visit her at Cradle Rock before the big celebration party. She said she had a million things she wanted to ask me about! Here’s the transcript of our conversation.
Sugar: Thanks for stopping by, Cath! I wanted to talk with you about your experience of writing the legacy. What’s it like to have completed it?
CT: It feels pretty amazing, Sugar. It feels a lot different than I imagined. I expected that I’d be giddy with excitement. And maybe a little bit sad, too, for you know how I get at endings. But instead, I actually feel very settled and very peaceful.
Sugar: I’m not at all surprised! I mean, think about the way you wrote this. It was a pretty introspective process for you, I would imagine.
CT: I guess it was! I mean, I know I was telling the story of you and your family–
Sugar: –but you were also telling the story of your own experience and views of life!
CT: You’re right! So I guess it’s natural that I’d feel peaceful and grateful at having finished. It’s a settled flavor of feeling.
Sugar: Were you surprised that you finished?
CT: Not exactly. I felt pretty resolute when I started this. Through time, I gained trust that the game wouldn’t crash on me. Game crashes and corrupt saves are why my two TS3 legacies never got completed. Once I got to gen 5–to your mom’s generation–I felt pretty confident. And then once you came along, all of your strength just pulled us along! I knew we’d make it then!
Sugar: Yeah! I was bound and determined to see our family lift all those legacy restrictions!
CT: That helped so much, feeling your determination and your passion for freedom! I do love a rebel spirit!
Sugar: Hey, Pepper Doodle! Glad you could join us!
CT: Oh! Cypress! I’ve got to say, my heart just melted the moment you rolled goofball! And then loves-the-outdoors and childish! I hope you don’t mind me saying, but I really feel that you and your trait rolls are one of the greatest blessings the game gods bestowed on this family–and me!
Cypress: Now I feel bashful.
Sugar: Give her break, Pepper Doodle! You’ve got to understand she’s been waiting since September 2014 to roll goofball, and she’d pretty well given up all hope! Plus, your other two traits pretty well describe CT’s total personality to a T!
Cypress: Well, in that case, I’m happy that I could be the means through which the game gods could share their blessings!
Sugar: And everybody knows that goofballs are worth waiting for!
CT: I guess that’s one of the lessons I learned from the game!
Cypress: I’ve got to admit: much as I love being a goofball, I was almost sorry to have rolled it! I mean, it was such a great joke among the legacy-players’ circle that if you have an exemplar legacy, you might never roll the exemplar trait, like CathyTea!
CT: Especially when you name your legacy after the elusive trait! Oh, boy!
Sugar: So, obviously, you consider Cypress’s traits as one of the big blessings of this game. What are some of the other really great surprises that happened for you?
CT: Well, one of the most delightful ones was that the game moved Mesquite’s ghost into Manzanita’s mansion across the street. I really have no idea how that happened! We just discovered him there when we went to move Manzy and her family in! And he’s been there ever since!
Sugar: So he was preserved from culling!
CT: Exactly! He’s the only ghost left from before gen 8, now!
Sugar: Another amazing spare, right?
Sugar: Hey, let’s head over and grab a bowl of chili!
CT: Oh, yes! I’m hungry.
Sugar: So what other surprises did you encounter?
CT: The other really big surprise–and I mean huge–was you!
CT: Don’t act so surprised! You’re amazing! You really rocked my world that first time you drank the youth potion on your own on your birthday. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.
Sugar: It’s no big deal! It’s just that we gluttons like a smooth drink at a social event!
CT: Yeah. But tell me this: How come you only drink it when you’re within two or three days of your birthday? And why not the other potions in your inventory? And why not just get a nice cold glass of milk or juice, like the other Sims do?
Sugar: Well, you’re right. I do know what I’m doing when I drink it. But what can you expect? Somebody needed to stick around to see this legacy through to the end.
CT: Another thing that blew me away was how you taught the other gluttons to drink it as their birthdays neared by always drinking yours in front of them.
Sugar: What do you expect? They’re my family! If I figure out something that could potentially help us, of course I’m going to share it! Plus. This is an adaptive game–the artificial intelligence develops through game-play! Of course I’m going to do everything I can to help it to develop in a beneficial way! That’s just common sense!
CT: It’s intelligent awareness! See? That’s what I’m talking about!
Sugar: Well, then. I’m glad I could blow your mind.
CT: It has been really incredible–a true and unexpected gift–to get to spend time with you and onezero and Red and all the others. Do you know, I often felt that you and onez, especially, were here to teach me things and to model an approach to life that I practice?
Sugar: It’s only natural, Cath. That’s what “adaptive artificial intelligence” means. It means that it adapts to the way it’s played: the patterns, the reinforcement, even the feelings, I would venture.
CT: It is funny–I do often seem to see my own feelings represented in all of you. That was a big surprise in playing the legacy, too.
Sugar: You made it through a lot of challenges to finish this. What were some of the biggest ones you faced?
CT: Without a doubt, it was all those visits from Grim. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I really like the guy! It’s just that having to say goodbye to so many Sims was really hard. It got to where I began to dread that echoing roar and I’d see that black smoke rising, and I’d be like “Quick! Let’s just shut down the game!”
Sugar: But you didn’t.
CT: Nope. I didn’t.
Sugar: And look at what good things came out of that!
CT: Yeah. I know that one of the big reasons that I feel so much peace and gratitude upon completing this is through the gift of experiencing so many visits from Grim. It helped me to not shy away from the mortality of those I love and myself.
Sugar: You and I both spent a lot of time examining what lasts beyond the form and in learning to accept complete transformations.
CT: Thanks, Sugar. You provided such strength in that regard. When you wrote “Purple is My Favorite Color,” you helped my friend Caitlin come up with the idea for Purple Day that we and many of our Simming friends will be observing on December 1. And for me, watching how strong you’ve been in witnessing so many reapings, it’s helped me feel what that strength is like.
Sugar: Everyone thinks that choosing to drink from the white cup is easy, for it forestalls our own appointment with Grim. But you know, I’ve been friends with a few Grims, and they all tell me that they can’t believe the courage that it takes to choose the white cup. I guess that’s why I’ve been so insistent on it being a choice that the individual Sim makes.
CT: Yes, that was the biggest transformation I made in my game-play, being sure that all Sims have a cup of youth potion in their inventories, and then giving them the option to drink or not, rather than me deciding.
Sugar: So, what are you most pleased about, now that you’re done?
CT: I suppose what gives me the greatest sense of both pleasure and accomplishment is that this was a true-love legacy. Not only that, we were able to complete it with a high degree of Sim self-determination, which is something I know that you value. Every romantic pairing in this legacy was either autonomous or the result of whims. I helped set the mood, and now and then I might give a gentle nudge through “Compliment outfit,” but I left the initiating of the romance up to either autonomy or whim-fulfillment. That took a lot of faith, patience, and restraint, especially with your mom and sister, who took their time choosing.
Sugar: Well, I’m glad of that approach, for I’ve been able to stay single! I don’t think I could’ve accomplished what I needed to if I’d been pushed into a relationship.
CT: Yeah, I know! It became really important to me, way back with Cedar, to let you guys choose your own careers, choose your clothes, choose your partners, choose if and when to have babies, and all of that. And then you just helped me take that even further, once you started drinking youth potion.
Sugar: I’m really glad I was able to be part of this experiment. And I’m glad that all the heirs cooperated, because I know you would’ve just let the legacy stall out if none of them had wanted to hook up and have babies.
Sugar: So, you’ve done it! We’ve done it! We’ve completed our first legacy! What’s next?
CT: Next is freedom–even more freedom than you’ve already claimed. Are you up for that?
Sugar: Of course! That’s what this has all been for. Here’s to the new adventure!
CT: To the new adventure!