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The Final Stages
We interrupt this progressive look at the ages as part of our review of TS2 to regretfully inform our viewers of the death of Elizabeth Jones. Viewers may know Elizabeth as the proud mother and grandmother of the Jones household. She was 70 days old.
A Eulogy

Elizabeth Jones came to Regras Gorge already in her old age. As she had no previous known employment and therefore no retirement check, she took a part-time job in the political field to help with the bills. She originally went from door-to-door polling members of the public on different political views. Following this, she was a campaign worker. She did aspire to be an intern at City Hall but time was not on her side.
Her main love was not her job but her family. She enjoyed playing with her grandchildren and in her later days, she was a major part of looking after Giselle and especially cherished seeing Giselle grow into a healthy and happy child.
In her latter days, she took up yoga to see if that would give her an extra few days. This did not seem to be effective. It is believed she took her own life ironically from a fatal dose of the elixir of life. She knew her time was running out and that the Grim Reaper could call for her at any time. The elixir was her only hope. In this case, all hope was lost.

She leaves a son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, who all miss her and cherish her memory very much.
The Final Stages
As in life, death comes as the end. A sim can die in various ways. Other ways include old age, starvation, electrocution, illness, exhaustion and drowning, even a rare occurance of a satelite falling on your sim's head. Perhaps another sim in the family can make a deal with the Grim Reaper and save your dying sim's life. Perhaps not.
From my experience, old age is the most common form of a sim's life expiring and while we are on the subject of the death of Elizabeth, we are going to look at the life of elders. What they can do and what they can't.
Retirement & Employment
When an adult becomes an elder, they are given the option to retire. This gives them a daily retirement cheque of a third of their final wages to enjoy their twilight years. As an example of an elder who has a retirement cheque, go to Pleasantview and check out Mortimer Goth, seen here with Darren Dreamer..
An elder can choose to take a part-time job in one of the ten career tracks. These are the same three-level jobs as a teenager can take. Sometimes is essential for an elder who does not have any employment history to help pay the bills. Thomas Tasker works in the culinary career track in order to help with the bills. From his expression, he does not appear to be keen on the uniform.
The Viagra Generation
Just because you are an elder does not mean life has to change to just looking after their grandchildren or moaning on about how things used to be when you were younger. There is nothing stopping you enjoying a happy lovelife as an elder. Tony & Jean Bowen, who own a trailer park at the other end of Regras Gorge, are a classic example.

Female elders can no longer becoming pregnant but there is nothing stopping your male elder trying for a baby with a female adult.
An elder couple can adopt. For instance, Tony & Jean both have part-time jobs and a stable relationship. They called the Adoption Service and were approved. They had the option of adopting a baby, a toddler or a child. They chose to adopt a child and now have an adopted daughter called Jennifer. Their aim now is to prolong their lives to see Jennifer become a teen and therefore inherit their estate ... or trailer park in this case.
Delaying The Inevitable

Without cheating or hacking, there is only one way ingame to prolong life and that is by using the Elixir of Life. This is a reward object and comes from the accumulation of over 30,580 aspiration points. Each dose can prolong your life by three days. It is guaranteed to work if your aspiration level is gold or platinum. If your aspiration level is green, the chance is 50-50. If your aspiration level is red, don't even think of using it. If it fails, your life is reduced by three days. In Elizabeth's case, her aspiration level was green and there was no wants she could fulfill to make it go gold or platinum.

An elder can live from 7 to 31 days. Apart from taking the elixir, cheating or hacking, I am still trying to find out how to give my elders longer lives.
The Big Moment
The scythe-wielding Grim Reaper appears and goes straight up to the one whose time has run out, points to his hourglass and they both ethereally disappear. From experience, you cannot appeal against your dying elder being taken. The recently deceased is replaced by an urn or tombstone, depending upon whether they died inside or outside.
Where there is a will, there is a way
To lighten the grief of the moment of departure, you soon get a pop-up from the Sim City Insurance Company informing you of how the recently departed wished his or her estate to be divided up. Relationship types and levels are a major indicator of who is rewarded and how much.

If you want to be devious, make an effort for your younger sims to befriend elders so when they do pass on, you will inherit somethnig.

In this case, Doug, Ryan and Giselle did very well. Anne was only considered a friend and got little more than Elizabeth's other friend Orlando.
The Life Hereafter
As long as there is an urn or tombstone on the lot where a sim has died, your sim can still be seen as a ghost. Remaining sims in the family who have the knowledge aspiration may even want to see their deceased relative's ghost. However, that only seems to be fulfilled if the ghost had a bad relationship with that relative and is going to haunt them. For example, Filly Thewlis wanted to see her late grandmother Gwen and even walking through the ghost did not fulfil this want. Their relationship had been a good one.
Ghosts have different colours and behaviour, depending upon their means of death. Snooty Sims actually has a complete list of causes of death and colours of ghost for those who would like to know everything.
To be continued ...
This is another of the features of TS2 that I like. I do get very attached to my sims of all ages and it does upset me a little when a sim of mine dies. That was why I interrupted the flow of things to inform you of the death and life of one of my elders.

In the next part of this review, we continue with Giselle's life as a child and her evolution into a teen and a decision that will affect the rest of her life.
Written at 02:43 on Wednesday 29 September 2004 by Andy.

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