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Sims 1: Known Problems, Issues, Bugs, Solutions...
Here's a list complied from Maxis' site and usenet (in particular the alt.games.the-sims newsgroup) of bugs, features and interesting stuff found about the original game only. Sims 1 is a complicated beast - you may not have experienced any of this or you may have seen something that isn't documented anywhere else. Just go with the flow :)

In the original game, there are tight limits of what you can have object wise. They are: Limit of 100 objects per build mode category. 99 wallpapers and/or floors. Removed with Livin Large - upped across board to 65k! Build mode limitation upped to 2000 objecst with Unleashed. Across Sims generally, too many build objects "morph" into something else altogether. Solution: Remove some downloads to come below the limit.

Stuck sims with no mailbox/trash/portals: Please see here. Deleting mailbox or trash will cause the biggest upsets ever in your game. Portals as well. Later EPs, in particular Makin' Magic, include extra "intelligence" to try and recover from this but it's not always successful. Portals have been known to just disappear for no good reason in the original game.

The icon to get in the carpool disappears when the sim is in the swimming pool. This is a persistant little "problem" that has never been sorted. Also, if you fence off all access to the road (so the only way there is back through the house), Sims lack the intelligence to go through the house to get out with free will but don't seem to have a problem when you direct them to the carpool.

  • A Sim ends up outside their house after reading a mag from Downtown and his new interests get reset back to zero. - Hot Date
  • The chipbag bug - original game, supposedly fixed in the patch to v1.1 and later EPs, otherwise the Slot Machine download contains the fix.
  • Flies - get stuck in walls. Third party patch fixed it but caused issues with the House Party buffet tables. Use move_objects to get shot of the flies.
  • "Alert" for no reason - tone heard when El Bandito or burglar turns up but tone also sounds for no apparent reason. Started with Unleashed, never fixed in subsequent EPs.
  • According to a usenet posting, the Butler (from Superstar) will slow the game to a crawl. The gardener will also do this if he's hung around too late in the day past finishing time. Get rid of him with move_objects cheat.
  • Biographies are not saved in Unleashed. Bought clothes don't 'stick'. Supposed to be fixed in the patch.
  • Unleashed: The boxed flowers aren't functioning properly. They still block sims' movement, but the Sims apparently don't realize that, so they attempt to walk through them, get stopped, turn around, try to walk through them again, and eventually just get stuck there. A couple of downtown lots and new houses with Unleashed are particularly dangerous with this bug.
  • Making Cakes charm in Makin' Magic doesn't work properly - will always backfire and make toads.
  • Waylo the bartender (from Hot Date) is upgraded for whatever reason to a superstar status when Superstar is installed. When he arrives in Studio Town he won't do anything. You're stuffed if he holds up the traffic. With Makin Magic, the game's new logic will sort this situation out but won't stop Wayne coming to Studio Town. This is a "bug cum feature" because Maxis can't reproduce it.
  • In Vacation with one certain table, Sims will not sit to eat at it, preferring instead to wander all round it first, and then they will sit at one chair with their food at the next chair round. The table in question is on the default top right lot from the Vacation screen, by the fireplace.
  • Unleashed: Sims will no longer sit down on the couch in order to watch TV. Fixed in the patch.
  • Hot Date: The patch fixes the following: Sims get stuck when cuddling or dining in the booth and on the couches. Dates get stuck and no more dining available. Problematic clothing rack.
  • If you have more than about 1000 song shortcuts in the Sims music directory, some of the songs/radio stations don't actually play anything.
  • If you build to the virtual edge of a lot (outside the squared zone) with the move_objects cheat the house will be cropped on the neighbourhood screen.
  • Original game: A night-job worker needs only miss one night before being fired instead of two. Sorted in the v1.1 patch and EPs.
  • Maid gets stuck in the basic shower from probably Hot Date onwards.
  • If you evict a family while a baby is present, the baby does not leave with them. It just disappears, never to be seen again.
These are not "bugs" per se but are more "features" of the game that can be used to your advantage (or not as the case may be).
  • The skunk (Unleashed) is tied to your sims hygiene levels.
  • "The Hokey Pokey" - an Unleashed "feature" on male sims (not kids), supposedly fixed with the Unleashed patch or Superstar/Makin' Magic.
  • Water leaks under objects in Unleashed so nobody can clean it up. Not a bug, a feature ("more realism" was Maxis' argument). Scrapped with a patch and from Superstar upwards.
  • Sims start "floating" instead of walking to the carpool. Also, sims start rocking and screeching to a halt.
  • If you make a child Sim in Create-A-Family, save him, go back and edit it and make him an adult and move him into a lot, he has random skill levels.
  • The female "gorilla walk". Third party patch available for this.
  • Sims occasionally sliding to a halt at the end of a "walk here" command.
  • Sims occasionally running from place to place (using the animation from the "toilet dash"). Commonly seen when coming home from Vacation.
  • Ceiling lights scupper carpet: If you was to hang a few ceiling lights and then decide to rip the carpet up, it's not fully removed - squares under the ceiling lights don't get removed. The only way to remove them is to get rid of the lights first and then the carpet squares. A side-effect of the patch to stop water flooding under them in the first place.
Wierd and Wonderful...
Finally, some things picked up from Usenet that are just wierd in the original game and you may be able to reproduce.
  • Get a Sim kid over in any way you can. Keep them there, ignore the parent when they come to collect after 8pm. The parent will go away eventually. Basic idea is to keep the kid occupied and energised and what not and idea is he'll get on the school bus with your kids the next morning and come home with them. This works even better if you have an object that replenishes energy for visitors as well, such as the kids hot-tub from C&C Enterprises.
  • Do something to get the cop over when you have a swimming pool. Use move_objects to drop her in the pool. The post I got this from claimed she then swam down the pavement and was able to stand on water.
  • NPCs disappear in Oldtown! Paraphrased: I'd just finished putting a brand new tony nightclub in one of my old town lots, and I took my 6 person family down to test it out. It had a DJ, a bunch of video games and pool tables, an outdoor bar, and some vendor carts should my sims ever get hungry. I heard the ding for the old town shuttle and thought that it was bringing some more neighbors down. Instead, I watched to my horror as the NPCs all headed to the shuttle and got on! The DJ, the janitor, the bartender, the cart vendors, all of them got on the shuttle and left.
  • Messages for the dead! Paraphrased: I'd gotten bored with one family and killed them off. To the end, however, the adults kept their jobs. They went to work the last day, came home, and died. I buried them in the backyard and created a new family to move in. Shortly afterward they got a phone call, one intended for the old family.

    The message read: Urn/Tombstone has missed work today. It is okay for Urn/Tombstone to miss one day, but if Urn/Tombstone makes a habit of it they will be fired.

Written at 02:42 2004n Tuesday 21 September 2004 by Neil.
Last updated at 02:46 2004n Tuesday 21 September 2004.

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