The Sims Medieval

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The Sims Medieval 5282.jpg
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 opening cinematic

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 (duh), gathers herbs and prepares alchemical elixirs.
  • The Healer - 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.
  • 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.

Tropes used in The Sims Medieval include:
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Animal Nemesis: A Sim with the "Whale Ate My Parents" trait holds a personal grudge against all whales for reasons that should be obvious.
  • Anti-Hero: Depending on the choice of actions you take, or the nature of the quest, your hero can be Type III or IV at best, and Type V at worse.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Sims Medieval. 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."
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Doomsword, Doomplate, and Doomstaff, all of which are top-tier gear.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Tredony has quite a few similarities to a Renaissance Italian city. (Someone apparently forgot it wasn't The Sims Renaissance.)
  • Gender Is No Object: Obviously, both male and female Sims are available for every Hero profession. Some quest NPC's are always male or always female (specifically because they're always the same person), but non-quest NPC's, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Instant Plunder, Just Add Pirates: The Pirates and Nobles expansion pack adds pirates, but there were already some in the base game.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Naughty Tentacles: Implied with The Pit Beast. While sounds of fierce battle with the a few brief sightings of tentacles flailing about are common when a Sim is thrown into the pit to be executed, occasionally the pit remains eerily quiet with a few small hearts floating upwards, punctuated by a giant heart shape floating up into the air when the (possibly injured) Sim eventually climbs out.
  • 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 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 characterize the original three games strain plausibility a bit in a "Medieval" setting. Justified to some extent by the incorporation of fantasy elements placing the game outside of a truly historical 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 fulfill practically none of her duties, most other Heroes can carry on as normal when pregnant unless they are actually in labor.
  • 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.
  • Reforged Blade: Both the cursed Doomsword and the holy Angel's Talon can be reforged by a fully-leveled Blacksmith Sim with the right manual and fragments.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Dire Chinchillas.
  • 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".
    • One of the quests 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 go sailing, one scenario you may find yourself in is an Ultimate Throwdown, with a Dire Whale, a Man O'War, a spirit army, the Kracken, Unicorns, Golems, Goblins, a Crab Bandit, and other creatures. The winner? A dire chinchilla.
    • 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 Bruce Springsteen song that was made popular by Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Vain Sorceress: A Sorceress (or Wizard) with the Vain trait.
  • Video Game 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.
  • 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.)
  • X Meets Y: The Sims meets Stronghold.
  • Ye Goode Olde Days: Definitely tends towards the more idealized view of Medieval life, though touches of Dung Ages are also apparent.
  • 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 if you play a new kingdom.