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Videogame: The Sims Medieval

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.
  • The Blacksmith - smiths weapons, tools, and armors, also a bit of an inventor and Gadgeteer Genius

The Sims Medieval was released in March 2011 by Electronic Arts. The first expansion, Pirates & Nobles was released in August 2011.

The Sims Medieval features the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: Maximum hero's level is 10.
  • 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.
  • All Beer Is Ale: Though several different varieties are possible if you have the right ingredients.
  • 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.)
  • Animal Nemesis: A Sim with the "Whale Ate My Parents" trait holds a personal grudge against all whales for reasons that should be obvious.
  • Armor Is Useless: For a Spy. They can buy armor, but they resist damage even when fighting without it, and the resistance increases as they level up.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: Though not as much as the other The Sims series, it has its moments.
    • 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.
    • A lot of characters are seen wittling when they aren't doing anything (it is also an iddle animation for a controlled Sim, and you also can do it on purpose). It plays randomly, son, when two NPCs are already standing very close in front of each others, and then both begin to wittle, through the right camera angle their animation looks like they are mutually touching the other's private parts.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Monarch is one of the only 3 classes capable of combat (outside of fistfights). Also, the knight is the leader of the guards, not just a random Sim with martial skills.
  • 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: Executions, the plague, alcoholism, political intrigue, dire chinchillas...
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of the hero Sims can get their moments, depending on the decisions the player makes.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In the Dangerous Minds quest, when the Merchant gets the quest goal to give the teacher his bag of mice, he says "I'll be happy to get rid of this creepy, squirmy, mouse-filled bag of mice."
    • Also, some of the text for buffs just repeats the buff's name, like "Looking for a Fight: (Sim Name) is looking for a fight!"
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Doomsword, Doomplate, and Doomstaff, all of which are top-tier gear.
  • Dramatic Reading: One of the quests requires the Monarch to dictate his autobiography to the adviser. When the redaction is finished, the Monarch reads it aloud in this kind of voice.
  • 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.
  • Easy Amnesia, Tap on the Head: The process by which the wizard forgets a spell is to whack him/herself in the head with his/her staff.
  • The Emperor: Monarchs get this title when they annex a large number of the surrounding regions.
  • 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.
    • Clerics aren't forced to vow of chastity and aren't supposed to stay bachelors. A Peteran priest can French kiss his girlfriend (without being married) inside the church in front of his flock right before giving a sermon, and nobody will react.
  • 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.
  • Fake King: In the Royal Assassination quest.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Tredony has quite a few similarities to a Renaissance Italian city. (Someone apparently forgot it wasn't The Sims Renaissance.)
    • The Jacobans and Peterans are essentially expies of the Jesuit and the Franciscan orders.
  • Fed to the Beast: Sims that have been sentenced to death are fed to the Pit Beast, a giant, tentacled beast that lives in the Pit of Judgement.
  • 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.
  • God Is Good: What the Peteran religion believes in.
  • A God Is You: "You are The Watcher." See opening cinematic (link at top of page) for the rest.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: A Monarch with the Evil trait and/or the Bloodthirsty or Cruel Fatal Flaw.
    • 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.
  • Healing Herb: The Physician uses herbs to create healing items. Not a case of That Old Time Prescription, as most of the plant names are made up and the two that aren't, Belladonna and Nightshade, are poisonous in the real world. And the same thing.
  • 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.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Patrick Stewart narrates the opening cinematic and lets us know that people are dumb.
    • One of the male voice options is clearly Gideon Emery.
  • 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.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Because of the importance of focus in success or failure of a lot of tasks. Managing to get enough focus ensure to be more successful in your tasks, which grants higher focus or reduce constant focus decrease which comes from short-term buffs (eating, having a bath, picking herbs, reading, etc). Having low focus increases the risk of failure in your daily tasks, which itself usually causes to lose more focus, either because you fail to complete daily tasks in time (for example, fishing leeches, hunting, brewing potions, converting another Sim to your religion, etc have success chance linkes to your focus), or directly from the mere failure (being badly wounded by a bear or losing a fight have the immediate effect of granting a buff with negative focus).
    • If you are unlucky enough, it is possible to start a campaign while suffering from this trope. If your Monarch starts the first quest while being randomly affected by a disease, you immediatly have a negative focus buff. After a couple of tasks, your Monarch has to take part in a duel; your decrease focus risks you to be wounded during the fight, or even to lose, and each of those two possibilities grant a negative focus buff which can stack the other one...
  • 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!"
  • Killer Rabbit: Or rather, Dire Chinchillas.
  • 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.
  • Mushroom Samba: One of the Bard's quests requires to get high (by eating an old moldy loaf of bread) in prder to get inspiration to write a theater play.
  • 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.
  • Pirate Parrot: The Amazon Parrot in Pirates and Nobles.
  • 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.)
  • Premiseville: Every pre-made foreign territory is this. There's Tredony, Aarbyville, Effenmont, Advorton, Gastrobury, Snordwich, Ticktop, and Crafthole.
  • 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.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In half of the quests where he/she is an NPC, the Monarch is this; The other half, not so much.
  • 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.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Dire Chinchillas.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: If you are a monarch, you still get quests and day-to-day responsibilities. Though there is a quest for monarchs to relax.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: If your Hero is eloquent, a social option is "Pontificate Poignantly."
  • Shout-Out: A unique NPC is named "Roger the Shrubber", and one debuff has the description "'Tis but a flesh wound," both shout-outs to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
    • When your blacksmith is hammering metal, he/she will get the Hammer Tyme buff, which has the description "Ye shall not touch this!"
    • In one quest, your wizard will have to make a Make-Believe Serum, which has the description "Drink with me, and you'll be in a world of pure imagination!"
    • In another, you get the line "When someone asks you if you're the Watcher, you say YES!" You also get the debuff 'Slimed.'
      • Similarly, you may find a ghost ship. One of the options is to board it, with the description starting, "I ain't afraid of no ghosts!"
    • In yet another, when you play the fiddle well, you get a buff that says "Sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot, now that's some fiddlin' on the spot!"
    • One of the petitions that your Monarch might hear is one about raising the taxes on goats. One of the options is Read my lips..., which is the option for no new taxes on goats.
    • The song used in one of the teasers was "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".
    • 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.
    • You can mine for Adamantium.
    • When you tell your Peteran Priests to pray, they perform the 'wax on, wax off' motion
    • While exploring the forest an opportunity may come up saying you've found a group of tall blue skinned elves dancing around a glowing tree. You are given the option of attacking them and cutting down the tree, or continue watching them silently.
    • 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.
    • If you stroll through the forest, you may run into a couple of time travelers.
    • On the Quest 'King for a Day,' if you choose the Physician to become the temporary Monarch, the message "I'm a Doctor, not a Monarch!" will appear.
    • You research the play Much Ado About Peasants by Shaxbure.
    • There are a lot of assistant pigkeepers running around...
    • One of the achievements, accomplished when the merchant trades via boat 100 times, is called "I'm on a Boat!".
    • If your kingdom's culture is very high, your Sims can get an option called "Chosen by the Watcher." If it goes wrong, you get the debuff called "Blinded by the Watcher," with the description "Revved up by a Deus, another Watcher in the night," which sounds like a song that was made popular by Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
    • The music in the wizard's tower sounds very similiar to the music from the Harry Potter movies.
    • The Doomsword is a demonic sword that was broken into pieces and has an eye in its hilt.
    • 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.
    • Also, many a readable book, like "George George George of the Judgement Pit".
    • One of the thrones added by the expansion pack is by the brand Games With Thrones.
    • The achievement for going on 30 Quests with the Monarch is called "King's Quest".
    • In the Fountain of Legend quest, a sim must perform a certain action three times (the action is related to their Fatal Flaw). For a Fool sim, it's "hunt for snipes in the cave".
  • The Sleepless: Wizards regain energy through meditation, so they don't need a bed for practical reasons.
  • Stock Punishment: Standard non-lethal punishment in the kingdom.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: All of the possible annexation quests for Burdley have this, though not in ways 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 chinchillas into Burdley's forests so they'll eat the squirrelsnote , 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.
  • Vain Sorceress: A Sorceress (or Wizard) with the Vain trait.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: It is a Sims game, after all.
    • The monarch can send anyone to their almost certain death in the Pit of Judgement, for no reason at all. As long as they aren't vital to the quest, the monarch can execute them.
    • Spies can pickpocket other Sims (with an obvious Look Behind You animation) and steal funds from messenger posts. If their focus is too low, however, they may be caught and sent to the stocks.
    • Cruel Player Character God: What the Jacoban religion believes in.
    • 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.
  • We Buy Anything: The Village Shoppe buys anything apart from quest items. Including pond scum.
  • 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.)
  • Ye Goode Olde Days: Definitely tends towards the more idealised view of Medieval life, though touches of Dung Ages are also apparent.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Numerous in the descriptions and interactions. "The Village Shoppe" comes to mind.
  • 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.


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alternative title(s): The Sims Medieval
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