Sims 3: Adventure Time! (Part 3)

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Indie approached the tomb cautiously, he felt strangely nervous and didn’t know what to expect. He wished he had his dog, Trouble, at his side. The tomb was situated right by the camp, separated by a small chain-link fence. Indie was surprised, he had assumed it was a generator or storage building. The rusted fence groaned as he swung it back, but it moved easily and there was no lock. As he entered the building, he jumped! There was someone in there. Thankfully, it was just another explorer and she seemed friendly enough.

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‘I’m happy to be getting out of here, to be honest,’ she said, thrusting loose notes into his hands, ‘this is one of the most boring tombs I’ve been assigned to, there doesn’t seem to be much to discover here.’

‘I’m only here to collect some papers for Shadia Rashid, are these the ones?’ Indie gestured to the crumpled notes.

The woman shook her head, ‘No, those are just some health and safety guidelines telling you to watch out for falling bits of rock, that sort of thing. I haven’t seen her papers, I don’t even think she left them here. There are only a couple of rooms downstairs so it won’t take you long to look around.’

Indie was disappointed, he didn’t know what he’d been expecting, but it felt like he’d been fobbed off.

‘Look on the bright side,’ she laughed as she turned to leave, ‘you get to spend time with Frank. He’s downstairs.’

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‘Frank’ turned out to be an old skeleton. Nice. Indie wondered why they hadn’t bothered to bag him and tag him. Maybe Shadia had been messing with him when she’d said he could keep whatever he found. He didn’t want Frank, but he felt bad that the guy had been left down there. The main chamber wasn’t much more impressive. There were some empty barrels against one wall, it appeared the tomb had been used as storage after all. However, there were some old coins on the ground that were too common for anyone else to have bothered with, and Indie pocketed these as he thought they’d be interesting for his students to handle back home.

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There was also a chest, but all it contained was the keystone to the next room. Indie felt a tingling sensation as he lifted the stone into place, what would he find on the other side of the door…?

An empty room.

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Indie sighed and sat down to rest against the cool stone. So Shadia really had given him a dud tomb. He had the impression that she didn’t quite trust him. Frustrated, he was about to leave when he noticed an oddly shaped slab on the ground. On closer inspection he could make out the imprint of two foot-shaped marks in the stone. Curiously, he positioned his own feet in the grooves. The stone moved. Indie stumbled back as the ground before him rumbled and fell back, revealing a staircase leading down into a gaping black hole.

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Had nobody discovered this before? Indie thought to himself as he carefully descended and lit the torches in the room below. It was some kind of entrance hall, with black stone heads guarding another door.

And there was another Frank.

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‘Well you managed to find your way down here,’ he said to Frank Two, ‘but I guess you couldn’t get back out.’

Indie looked worriedly back at the staircase, he was scared it would close behind him. Looking around he spotted another weird symbol etched into the stone floor and curiosity overruled his better judgement.

I’ll be fine, he told himself, Kara knows I’m here, and she’ll hear me shout if the steps close behind me.

Amazingly, his phone still had a weak signal too. He thought about calling Kara, or even Shadia, but he wanted to explore a bit more first. He was irked by how Shadia seemed to not trust him, and he felt like he had something to prove. He’d wait till he had a little more information first. Indie stood on the etched stone like he did before but nothing happened. Maybe it needed something heavier? There was a statue placed conspicuously in the centre of the room, maybe he could push it? He could!

Indie grunted as he dragged and pushed the statue over to the stone panel. If he was going to be doing this regularly he’d need to start working out again! Finally, he got the heavy statue into place and the stone depressed with a clunk.

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Indie groaned, the next room contained… more statues!

After much sweating and panting, he’d dragged the statues into the right positions and he discovered a large room that must have once been a burial chamber. There was another chest! Inside there was… a folder. It was Shadia’s papers!

So, Shadia had known about the hidden rooms all along, but she hadn’t told the other explorer about them.

Was this some sort of test? Indie wondered, scratching the back of his head thoughtfully.

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Indie was about to make his way back to the surface when he noticed some odd markings on the wall. He banged on the stone bricks, a hollow sound echoed back to him. There was a hidden room! He explored the wall with the tips of his fingers and traced a cracked outline that must be some sort of door. Exhausted from heaving the statues about, he threw what little strength he had left against the wall. Little by little it began to move. He pushed harder. Rock dust made him cough, and gravel fell against his head and arms as the wall groaned on it’s axis, eventually he’d pushed it back enough to reveal a tiny treasure room beyond.

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Indie could have scooped up the treasure for himself, but he was no thief! He was an academic first and foremost. Excitedly, he called his wife and gave her directions to the tomb.

‘Watch out for Frank One and Frank Two,’ he teased.

Kara rushed down to the tomb and jumped into his arms, ‘I was so worried about you!’

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Indie explained that he wanted her to photograph and sketch the hidden treasure room before he touched anything, and Kara excitedly obliged. While he waited, Indie continued to explore the tomb and found an alternate entrance, an easier way to get back to the surface. There were some copper ingots in a chest, not worth much, but Indie collected them anyway.

‘Ok,’ Kara called, ‘I’m done. It’s all yours!’

Indie raced back to the room and eagerly gathered up the ancient coins that littered the floor. Inside the chest he found an impressive-looking stone sculpture which he would be pleased to claim as a prize for all his hard work! He hoped Shadia meant what she’d said about him keeping whatever he found.

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As they walked back to the surface, Kara glanced at one of the skeletons and felt a wave of panic. Suddenly she felt trapped, like she couldn’t breathe, and she raced back out into the cool night air. Indie ran after her, he’d never seen her look so frightened. He caught up with her behind the notice board at the campsite.

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‘What happened?’

Kara spun around and grasped him tightly. ‘I’m sorry’ she cried, ‘I just saw that skeleton and thought how scared he must have felt when he got trapped. How lonely he must have been when he died, wondering if anyone would ever find him. And he was just left down there. Did he have a family? They must never have known what had happened to him. He just… disappeared. I don’t want that to happen to you!’

Indie felt terrible. He’d been so caught up in his urge for adventure that he hadn’t thought of the impact it would have on his wife. The strain she must have felt every time he would enter a tomb. Those skeletons served as a warning for what could so easily happen to him.

‘Look,’ he said pragmatically, ‘if you tell me to stop, I’ll stop. You mean more to me than anything else in the world. But my work here is important. People need to know where they came from, what their ancestor’s thought and how they lived. Things are different now than they were when the Franks went down into that tomb. We have cell phones now. And… better excavation equipment if I ever do get stuck! Plus, I will always, always, always tell you before I enter a tomb so you know where to find me. I know you will always have my back.’

‘You silly man,’ Kara whispered as she drew him closer for a kiss. ‘I don’t want to ever change you, or stop you doing what you love. And yes… I will always have your back.’

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Sims 3: Adventure Time! (Part 2)

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At the market, Kara sat down to sketch some of the locals. Indie decided to pick up some supplies: some dried food; a shower in a can; a tent; and… a gift for Kara. It was a bit expensive, and it probably wasn’t the best idea to buy it from a small general store, but he got her a pro camera. He knew how much she wanted to photograph the sights, and a cheap disposable one just wasn’t good enough for his sharp-eyed wife. Plus, it was a way of saying sorry for ditching her back at the camp, even if it did blow a third of their budget.

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Kara tried to protest but she was secretly pleased, she began taking photos of the market straight away. When he knew his wife was happily distracted he started to chat to the locals, sounding them out to see if there were any dig-sites or excavation work going on. The people he spoke to seemed a bit cagey, he got the feeling there was work, but they didn’t want him to know about it.

He must have been chatting for a while because Kara called him over. She’d finished taking photos and had bought them both some falafel. Indie told Kara about his past adventures as they ate with a gleam in his eye. She knew he loved his academic career, but she could see how much he missed working on-site. Reading journals and looking at images on the internet just wasn’t the same as feeling the sand running through your fingers as you make that great discovery. She just had to help him get some work.

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Indie reached the camp first, he scanned the notices on the board, hoping to find someone advertising work. There was a small, shiny business card sitting conspicuously among the dusty, sun-faded flyers. ‘MorcuCorp’ it read, ‘Working alongside the Al Simhara government.’

Well, that sounded promising! He was wary of the con-artists and smugglers who tricked students into excavating sites illegally. Indie wanted to find legitimate work. And if this MorcuCorp was really working with the local authorities, then it could be what he was looking for. He showed the card to Kara, she hadn’t heard of MorcuCorp, but the name of the contact sounded familiar.

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They left to meet their contact Shadia Rashid, at her home Papyrus House. He introduced himself confidently, showing some of his previous work on his phone. His charm had never failed him before, but Shadia seemed almost hostile towards him. She knocked the phone from his hand and it cracked on the ground, Indie wasn’t sure if she’d done this on purpose or not, but he felt his stomach tighten with disappointment.

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Fortunately, Kara showed up just in time. She rushed forwards and began supplicating Shadia in rapid, earnest Al Simharan that Indie could barely follow. Soon a smile broke out on Shadia’s face and the two women were giggling like old friends (maybe they were, Indie wasn’t sure).

Indie gestured wildly to his wife, ‘Ask her about work!’ he mouthed. Kara continued chatting for at least ten minutes before finally securing him some work.

‘There is a minor tomb next to the camp,’ Shadia conceded, still eying Indie reluctantly, ‘We are no longer interested in it, but I left some papers in there that I’d like to have back. If you collect them for me, you can keep whatever else you find.’

Indie thanked her profusely, and set back to camp to prepare. He left his wife chatting ceaselessly with Shadia, she seemed to be enjoying gossiping about her old home. As he made his way back down the winding path, a man ran past him. He smiled, but the man scowled distrustfully and continued jogging up the path.

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Indie was confused. The locals had been so welcoming when he had visited several years before as a student. What had changed?

Sims 3: Adventure Time! (Part 1)

World Adventures is my favourite Sims 3 expansion! I just love that we got three interesting places to visit, full of interesting skills, foods to try, and things to do! I had a lot of fun exploring the tombs and hunting for new collectables. So when CSimsie decided to start a Let’s Play series about it, I knew it was only a matter of time till I’d be tempted to play it again myself. You can check out his adventure series here:

So, I made a couple of brand new sims! My idea was that I’d have a typical Indiana Jones style adventurer who could do the exploring, but I also wanted a female companion who would take advantage of the beautiful scenery by painting and photographing the landscapes. So, I created Indie Jones [creative name] and his wife Kara Maat [slightly more creative, her name is a play on Maatkare, an alternative name for the female pharaoh Hatsepsut, whose tomb can be found in the game. ‘Maat’ means balance and order, when ancient Egypt had a good ruler they would bring Maat to the land]. The couple live in the vibrant city of Bridgeport where Indie has accepted a job as a professor of antiquities [naturally]. Kara is hoping to open a small art gallery to sell her paintings and photographs, but their apartment is tiny and unfurnished and they need to raise some funds. They have a little bit of money, and they plan to use this for their visas and their first trip to Al Simhara. Kara has family there, and she knows the place well. She is hoping her connections will help Indie get some work out there during the summer months, before he starts his new job next term.

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Oh yeah, and they have a dog… Trouble. I guess you can figure out why he has that name.

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Sadly, Trouble couldn’t travel with them this time as the visa only lasted 3 days and there wasn’t enough time to get him through the quarantine period, but maybe he’ll get to go one day if they get an extended visa. Indie and Kara packed a minimal amount of supplies, grabbed their papers, and said goodbye to Trouble before hopping in the cab to the airport.

‘Don’t worry,’ Kara whispered to Indie, ‘Trouble will be fine with the neighbour.’

‘I know,’ sighed Indie, glancing back over his shoulder at the excited mutt, ‘but will Mrs Spann be alright with Trouble?’

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After a long flight they arrived in glorious Al Simhara. The base camp seemed clean enough, and the other tourists appeared to be pretty friendly.

‘It’s beautiful,’ Indie gasped as his eyes scanned the lush trees, a healthy green against the backdrop of golden sand.

Kara smirked affectionately, ‘It’s like you’ve never been here before. Didn’t you come here as a student?’

‘I did,’ Indie admitted sheepishly, ‘but you weren’t here then. It’s more beautiful with you in it.’

‘Such a charmer!’ Kara chided playfully, giving him a big hug.

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‘Come on!’ Indie cried suddenly, ‘I’ll race you to the market!’

Kara laughed, ‘Do you even know which way it is?’

But Indie was already on his scooter, racing along the hard sand road. He grinned confidently as he roared away. When he reached the path to the marketplace, he glanced over his shoulder. Kara was far behind him, there was no way she would catch up now.

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But Kara had a plan! She knew the sandy streets well: she’d played in the twisting paths between the houses with her friends as a child. Twisting off the main path she took a short-cut between some houses and ran straight into the centre of the market [she really did this by herself, I didn’t direct her]! She laughed as she saw Indie racing past at the top of the alley, he was so intent on winning the race that he didn’t even spot her waving.

As Indie panted into the courtyard, Kara strolled over laughing. ‘What took you so long?’

Indie groaned but was too busy catching his breath to answer.

‘That’ll teach you not to leave your wife in the middle of the desert!’ Kara scolded him playfully, pretending to look angry.

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