For a time the people were happy, but it could not last. You watched as their civilization was overwhelmed with violence, disease, famine, and Dire Chinchillas. Reflecting on these events led you to an epiphany: people are dumb. If you could just reach out, give a gentle push in the right direction...
The Sims Medieval (2011) is a standalone Total Conversion of The Sims series which takes place in a medieval fantasy setting. The player takes on the role of "The Watcher", a benevolent deity that guides the populace by controlling "heroes" in order to inspire the kingdom along the path to glory. Throughout the game you can control up to ten Hero Sims, using them to complete quests and various tasks that further the kingdom towards the "Ambition" you have chosen for it. These ambitions can range from developing culture, to amassing wealth, to dominating nearby countries, with several more options in between.While the gameplay of The Sims Medieval is similar to that of its parent series in that the player controls of the actions of various Sims whose name, appearance, and personality traits are fully customizable, it streamlines many aspects of the previous games to allow more time for the completion of quest-related tasks and daily responsibilities of the Hero Sims' various jobs. For example, the only two "Needs" retained from the previous games are energy and hunger, with other activities such as urinating and relaxing instead giving positive buffs that make it easier to win sword-fights, craft armor at the smithy, write epic poetry, and a myriad of other medieval-themed duties. This game has a notably more mature tone, with themes such as murder, religion, and alcoholism that were not present in previous entries in The Sims series.The ten classes of the game are:
The Monarch - able to fight, give royal orders, set politics of the entire kingdom and make deals with foreign politicians.
The Knight - able to fight, train other fighters, hunt and go on quests.
The Spy - able to fight, craft poisons, pick locks, eavesdrop on people.
Peteran Priest - preaches to the people, blesses them and marries the characters. Peterans are more Low Church, directed at the people - visually, they're monks.
Jacoban Priest - scares the people with his speeches, blesses them, can marry the characters. Jacobans are more of High Church, believing that you need to control the populace with fire and brimstone. Their temple is a large cathedral.
The Wizard - casts spells, gathers herbs and prepares alchemical elixirs.
The Physician - prepares the medicine and tends to plague-ridden Sims.
The Bard - entertains the kingdom by playing music and acting in taverns.
The Merchant - buys and sells various wares, and trades with foreign lands.
Acting Unnatural: A Spy who's doing something like eavesdropping or stealing from a messenger post will do a "stealth walk" that's so over-the-top it should logically be more noticeable than a natural walk.
Always Gets His Man: If you do something illegal (brawling in public, for instance), or if the Monarch orders you to the stocks or the Pit, the constable will find and arrest you. It doesn't matter if he's currently busy elsewhere, or if all the stocks are currently occupied. As soon as the constable can arrest you, he'll do so, for he has a long memory regarding such things.
I Fought the Law and the Law Won: It doesn't even matter if your crime has no human victims and no witnesses. Rob the Messenger Post in the dead of night and fail? You're going to the stocks anyway!
Anachronism Stew: The game is called The Sims Medieval but parts of it seem more at home in the Renaissance or even 18th century (especially with the Pirates & Nobles expansion).
And That's Terrible: In one of the new quests from Pirates and Nobles, you can have one of your heroes become a guildsmen. Along the way, you come across various volumes of "guild exploits", the first of which details how guilds take away children to become servants and ends with the statement "It is so sad."
And Your Reward Is Clothes: Achieving achievements usually gives you either new outfits or new items for Buy mode. (Even if you're using a cheat to get all clothes available for everyone, unlockables still need to be unlocked.)
In the Death of a Proxy quest, there is a scene where the Monarch, frustrated while searching for a new Proxy for the Jacoban religion, must look at a statue of some kind to move on. Orville, the person who will become Proxy, will also comment on the statue, even if he is not at the same location as you.
Knights and Spies when you aren't controlling them will sometimes repeatedly sharpen their swords.
Badass Bookworm: Wizards, and anyone who's Scholarly. Particularly if they're both Scholarly and Adventurous.
Badass Normal: Every (non-wizard) hero has their moments of this. Of special note is the physician, who defeats a witch through the power of medicine.
Bawdy Song: One of the songs the Bard can sing is called "Ne'er to Woohoo Again".
Big Badass Bird of Prey: In Pirates and Nobles, your hero can have a Peregrine Falcon. A Gyrfalcon is occasionally available, and a Red-Tailed Hawk is given to your Monarch in the war quest "The Incident."
The Blacksmith: One of the ten available Hero Sims is The Blacksmith, whose duties are to craft weapons, armor, magic staves, and help the kingdom fend off occasional dance-crazed Golems.
Booze-Based Buff: Drinking an Ale or Wine gives Sims a positive moodlet; however, drinking too much cancels out the positives and can even make a Sim pass out. (And never drink Mystic Grog; it leaves you groggy.)
The Cameo: Patrick Stewart narrates the voice-over for the base game's opening cinematic. Donald Faison, best known for playing Turk on Scrubs, appeared in TV adverts for the game.
Chekhov's Gunman: In one quest, you are heckled by a peasant in the town square. Later, he gives you a long-lost Jacoban artifact.
Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Most quest dialogue that tells the active Sim to do something "right away" doesn't really mean it. That said, there are some exceptions where your Sim will in fact be punished for not doing the thing as fast as they can.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the Imposter King quest, the Monarch is given an offscreen death without any explanation for how he/she was killed, and the investigator for the quest, if they attempt to publicly accuse the usurper, are are thrown into The Pit and eaten in less than a minute.
Drunken Master: Having a few drinks gives a Sim the "Buzzed" and then "Tipsy" buffs, which increase focus and hence the likelihood of success for various activities, on top of the possible bonus from the brewing recipe used. Having more drinks can either lead to an even larger buff or backfire if the Sim gets weepy or passes out.
Duel to the Death: Monarchs, Spies and Knights are able to do this with other fighters.
Eternal Sexual Freedom: Medieval Sims never seem to object to public displays of affection, premarital relations or same-sex relationships any more than their contemporary counterparts...
You can have the queen get pregnant by the royal advisor (or anyone else, really; the advisor is just one of the most convenient people for the monarch) out of wedlock and their child is still heir to the throne. Figure that one out.
If we are working off Divine Right to Rule and the player is basically God... well think about the average Sims player. If you don't like a Sim, they will wind up dead. No Exceptions. So the locals probably assume that if a illegitimate child has the right to rule, they will continue living. If they don't, then they will do something stupid and die.
Everything's Better with Princesses: Surprisingly averted. A female monarch is called Lady, Queen, or Empress. "Princess" is used for Monarchs' female children and for female leaders of Tredony, but they aren't particularly special.
Evil Weapon: Comes up in the "Animuslaver!" quest in the form of a cursed sword. The Doomsword and Balmung also qualify, and the former even curses its wielder.
Gender Is No Object: Obviously, both male and female Sims are available for every Hero profession. Some quest NPCs are always male or always female (specifically because they're always the same person), but non-quest NPCs, foreign territory leaders, and Royal Advisors can be either.
Monarchs in general, whether they have those traits, can very easily become this, because they're given some of the cruelest interaction options in the game.
The Good Chancellor: One NPC is a Royal Advisor, who's always loyal and helpful to your Monarch. Though one could possibly have the "Evil" trait, they would be an Evil Advisor in name only, since they would be no more likely to plot against the kingdom. (Although they're not always nice; most of their quest dialogue is very snarky, even for a World of Snark.)
Good Flaws, Bad Flaws: Some Fatal Flaws are better or worse than others in terms of how they affect gameplay and how other Sims react. "Weak Constitution" has so little effect on a Sim (unless the kingdom has low Well-Being, in which case s/he will get sick more often) that it's effectively a Good Flaw, while some flaws are massively disadvantageous or alienate the Sim from others.
Heroic Sacrifice: One letter that Sims with the Hopeful Orphan trait can find is from their father, saying he's glad he saved them even though he wasn't so lucky.
Hidden in Plain Sight: Played for laughs during one of the story quests of Pirates & Nobles. The titular factions are meeting in the player's kingdom for a peace conference, and the player can optionally tell his/her guards to disguise themselves while guarding the conference; If they do, the guards agree to get "subtle disguises." When the conference starts, you'll see that the guards are wearing jester's costumes.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The quest "The Dragon of [Kingdom Name]." You don't actually see your hero interact with the dragon, but the pop-up illustration of the dragon is pretty awesome.
Instant Messenger Pigeon: The pigeon mailbox that acts pretty much the same as a normal mailbox/telephone in The Sims. For example, if your monarch sends a pigeon-delivered invite to foreign dignitaries, they will be on the castle doorstep within the hour.
Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Some of the pathfinding issues of earlier Sim games still apply; fences are knee height at best but Sims will never climb over them. They also have trouble walking around other Sims a lot.
It's Personal: The leaders for the Pirates and Guildsmen each have a personal vendetta against each other for one allegedly killing the other's family.
It Tastes Like Feet: Eating the Flat Bread or the Field Rations gives the buff "Tasteless Treat: That tasted like sheep hooves, but worse!"
Lampshade Hanging: In the "Contents: Genie" quest, you get to ask townspeople what they would wish for, and the wishes lampshade things that are missing from The Sims Medieval that were in other Sim games, such as transportation ("I wish I could ride a horse just once in my life"), the ability to add onto your house, and children growing up.
Lovable Rogue: Pirates, if you're leaning towards their side in the war. The Spy also qualifies, at least in some quests.
Money for Nothing: If your kingdom isn't well-off enough for really good gear to be available in Live mode, about all you can do with money is buy things in Buy mode. Which you don't even need because everything a Sim uses in his profession is already in his house and the versions in Buy mode are mostly aesthetic upgrades. It's fun to buy them, but you can still end up wondering what to do with a few thousand Simoles.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Some Pirates in Pirates and Nobles, as well as the evil sorcerer. The witch's name is randomly generated though so her name isn't usually frightening.
Oh My Gods!: Sims often say "By the Watcher!" In a specific message in the Power Grab quest, you also see "Oh my Watcher," though that version is less frequent.
Pirate: The Pirates and Nobles expansion pack adds pirates, but there were already some in the base game.
Politically Correct History: Very much so, as the gender equality and lack of negative reactions to same-sex relationships which characterise the original three games strain plausibility a bit in a "Medieval" setting.
Pregnant Badass: Averted in that it's not for example possible for a pregnant female Knight to do quests.
She can still go hunting in the forests. The descriptions of her adventure aren't changed at all.
While a pregnant knight can fulfil practically none of her duties, most other Heroes can carry on as normal when pregnant unless they are actually in labour.
Practice Kiss: In the quest "The Mirthful Love Doctor", the Physician Sim can agree to help a romantically inexperienced Sim learn how to kiss (among other things.)
Public Execution: The primary method of execution available is for a Sim to be tossed into "The Pit of Judgement" and forced to do battle with The Pit Beast, a carnivorous tentacled monstrosity. Gathered witnesses will either gasp in horror or cheer on the combatants.
Punny Name: "Buzz Killington" is a quest NPC, and the last name Landgraab makes another appearance.
Red Light District: Aarbyville, a foreign territory that's in general a hive of scum and villainy, is famous for its "meat trade," which becomes a more transparent Unusual Euphemism for prostitution with every time it's referenced. The Fighter's Guild quest strongly implies that the Knight's student is an escaped Sex Slave.
Reforged Blade: Both the cursed Doomsword and the holy Angel's Talon can be reforged by a fully-levelled Blacksmith Sim with the right manual and fragments.
One of the over-arching quests/challenges is called "Legen- wait for it -dary.
For bonus points, it features a Shout Out to a Shout Out. Partway through the first quest, you'll encounter Builder Vicks and Builder Wedge in the graveyard. "Vicks" is what Woolsey-era translations called recurring Square Enix character "Biggs", and of course the characters are named for ones from Star Wars.
In one of the War Quests you receive a Dead Parrot from your hunting hawk. Sadly, its description is not "This is an ex-parrot" or "It has expired and gone to meet its maker!" You can also acquire a dead parrot from one of the shops in the village on a random encounter. And of course, the shopkeeper insists that it's "just resting".
The quest "Animuslaver!" involves the tale of a well-intentioned king who winds up destroying his family and kingdom by wielding a demonic blade. The king's name? Eric of Melni.
Peasant Buttercup is among the name pool for randomly generated female NPCs. She seems to have a higher chance of turning up during the "Heir to the Throne" quest, too, which requires the monarch to choose a bride (or, more accurately, opposite-sex spouse) from the village. So, if deliberate, it's quite possibly a Whole Plot Reference.
The songs the bard hero (and really anyone with a fiddle) can play, like "Chatreusesleeves", which is clearly inspired by the famous Renaissance song Greensleeves.
Stupidity Is the Only Option: All of the possible annexation quests for Burdley have this, though not ones that would be bad for the hero; Instead, they all require actions that would be bad for Burdley in some way. In all of them, Burdley has a nasty squirrel infestation and will join the kingdom if the squirrels are dealt with. The first quest has the hero unleash some dire chinchillasnote For those who've forgotten, dire chinchillas are extremely nasty and much worse than any squirrel., while the other just has the hero burn down all the forests in Burdley.
Take Your Time: The mechanics of the game strongly encourage the player to do this. During a quest, the Quest Progress bar will rise steadily as long as your active hero's Focus is high enough, regardless of what s/he is or isn't doing. Therefore, rushing through the assigned tasks as quickly as possible would result in a mediocre Silver rating, while stretching things out a bit would result in a Gold or even Platinum final rating, where the rewards are significantly greater. This having been said, there's also such a thing as taking too much time to do a quest.
Averted in some quests with a specific time limit—if you do not fulfill a quest task within a certain amount of time, your sim will be sent to the Pit of Judgment.
Unexplained Recovery One of the War Quests culminates with you blowing up a ship with your adviser and servant on it, killing them both. They're back for no apparent reason in the very next quest.
Cruelty Is the Only Option: Depending on how you choose to play out a quest, your hero is sometimes required to be needlessly cruel to get the story to progress.
Wandering Minstrel: The Bard Hero Sim, whose duty is to gather inspiration from around the kingdom in order to write plays, perform poetry, and play the lute to entertain the populace.
Wicked Witch: The villain of the "The Witch Is Back" quest. (A female Wizard with the Evil trait is... a female Wizard with the Evil trait. Witches and Wizards are different things for more reasons than gender here.)
You All Look Familiar: Borderline case; many villagers are randomly generated so no two kingdoms will have identical populations, but there's a small set of unique villagers (including Handmaiden Margery and Druidess Amelia) that every kingdom gets at least one of, and you can have one of the same model in all the kingdoms you're playing.
Your Build Master will always look the same, however he acquires a new name (and new traits) if you play a new kingdom.
Your Mom: A "Mean" social interaction option is to imply someone's mother is a llama.