When I was younger, I loved video games. I would play for hours on end and refuse to socialize with others or go outside. Out of all of my games, The Sims was my favorite. I used to play it to death. I remember getting the original game when it came out in 2000. When I turned thirteen, I found out that my mother gave away my copy of the game and being too young to get a job, I couldn’t afford to buy another copy and she refused to give me money to buy any more video games. It pissed me off but I couldn’t do much about it.
About a year ago, I felt like seeing if I could find another copy of it to play just for the nostalgia. I combed through a few flea markets and found nothing. I was about to give up at the last one and just go home but wanted to check at one last place. I found a copy of The Sims Double Deluxe for sale and asked the person how much he wanted for it. I was made an offer of $12.00. I examined the disk and other than some tiny scratches on the bottom of it, the disk seemed to be in fair condition. As I looked over the game and read the advertisement on the jewel case the game came in, the seller lowered his price to $10.00, insisting that I looked like I really wanted it. Without hesitation, I reached into my pocket and handed the man $10.00 and left.
After I got home from the flea market, I immediately went to my computer to install it. I had not played The Sims since I had my Windows 98 back when I was considerably younger. I went through the vaguely familiar installation process, which required me to input the serial code. After a few minutes, the game was up and ready to be played. I recalled that Double Deluxe was basically The Sims and the first two expansion packs combined. I fired up the game and after watching the familiar intro, I was ready to play.
Upon loading up the neighborhood, I saw an arrow pointing to a house. As it turned out, it was a tutorial on how to play the game. Because it was years since playing, I did the tutorial. I had to guide a sim named Bob Newbie by getting him a chair, having him interact with his surroundings, and get him a job. Once I completed the tutorial, I looked to see if there were any other families. As it turned out, there was the Goth family living next door to the Newbies. I decided that I would try to make a family.
When I looked at the family creation screen, I saw some families that were pre-made. One of them stuck out though. This family was called the Johnson family. It had 8 different Sims in it, consisting of 5 adults and 3 kids. What seemed a bit strange was the fact that the family had $100k where every other family listed only had $20k. I also did not remember a Johnson family being in the original game, unless it was something unique to Double Deluxe. Regardless, I picked this family and moved into 2 Sim Lane, which set me back about $50k. I began to furnish the house, spending a lot on various items, ultimately using a $300 cot for a bed instead of the more expensive double beds for the extra man.
My first order of business was to check the names of each family member and their bios. Their bios were very unusual to say the least. They talked about various weird obsessions that they supposedly had. Nothing morbid or anything, but just not something I think a normal person would be into. I then checked to see if any of them were employed. As it turned out, the three men of the family had jobs as a Judge, a President, and an Astronaut. All three had a job performance of excellent. As for the two women of the household, they were unemployed, and all three children had an A+ in school. It seemed that the men made plenty of money while the two women could care for the two girls and one boy. I played the Johnson family for about five minutes before I quit. I saved my game and quit for the day.
The next day, I saw something very strange with the Johnson family. Their bios seemed to have changed from talking about their bizarre obsessions to being just downright creepy. One of the bios read that a member of the family would take pictures of people and edit them to be pale and without eyes. Another writes children’s stories but hides disturbing images in his books. The bios were just flat out weird now. Suddenly, I took notice that the young boy’s Hunger need was very low. But before I could get him food, he curled up and died. Then, the Grim Reaper came to claim the child. I had one of the Sims plead with him, only to get ignored. The young boy was taken away, leaving an urn at the spot he died.
This was strange because I could have sworn I kept him fed before I quit. I was tempted to quit without saving and try again, but reluctantly decided to accept the boy’s death. When I moved the camera back upstairs, I noticed a change. The boy’s bed just disappeared for no reason. Also, the dining room set had eight chairs around it. However, one of the chairs disappeared as well. Then, a few moments later, the phone rang in the house. I had one of my Sims answer it, only to get the following message:
“Your psychic advisor's head has just exploded. Be forewarned.”
I felt a bit unnerved by the phone call with the disturbing message. Regardless, I ignored it and continued playing. Then something very strange happened. Out of nowhere, a bassinet appeared with a baby. It cried immediately, but I had one of the girls take care of it. Only a few Sim hours later, the baby turned into a boy named “help me”. This boy looked the exact same as the one that died a short time earlier. I checked his bio out of curiosity. It read:
“HELP ME. SO MUCH PAIN...”
Why so short, and why so creepy? Was this some bootleg Sims game that some sadistic morbid person modified? Little by little, I began to realize that I was not playing The Sims at all. I was playing out some weird horror movie.
Now I knew something was happening. First having the boy die from hunger and now a boy named “help me”? Clearly something was going on very strange. I realized that one of my Sims had a near empty Bladder motive, so I tried to wake him up, but he refused to. I sat completely puzzled as to why the Sim would not get out of bed. Then I noticed something happening to him as well. His Hunger bar dropped rather quickly. Once it fully depleted, he too died from hunger. I now had two dead Sims in my house. I then looked around and noticed that the bed that he died in was gone all of the sudden. Again, another chair was removed from the dining room table.
Help me began to tease and scare the two girls. Then he eventually attacked one. The two children jumped into a cartoon smoke cloud. However, something happened that freaked me out. The little girl had lost the fight, but she simply disappeared with help me clapping his hands. After the relationship minus signs appeared, another urn spawned in where I would have expected the young girl to be at. He then proceeded to eliminate the other girl in the same manner. Now things were getting serious; I had a demonic boy with a creepy name and only four adult Sims to work with. As with the other Sim deaths, each of the girls’ beds disappeared as they died, as well as one dining room chair. Additionally, one of the bathrooms became unfurnished.
At this point, I decided to play another family since I couldn’t take what was happening any more. I placed Michael Bachelor in a house on 6 Sim Lane and for a while, everything was normal. I had one of the Johnsons come over after getting situated. I had Michael talk to him for a while and ultimately become friends with him. Suddenly, he said he had to go because I forgot to prepare food. Oh well. I picked the Slacker job for him because he needed some money. I worked on getting Michael a couple Cooking skill points so I could upgrade to a stove. During this time, the phone rang. I answered it and received the following message:
“You have been chosen. They will come soon.”
Michael was chosen for what? Suddenly, a bunch of neighbors came over all at once, including the sole child in the neighbor, help me. I did not prepare for a house party, so I quickly tried to prepare food for my neighbors. However, all that happened was a few of my neighbors talked to each other while help me scared another. The neighbor then ran off of my lot, which was strange because I never remember Sims doing that. At any rate, the meal was served, and two Sims were lucky enough to sit down. The others had to stand to eat.
Then I began to notice something really wrong. Help me took the dishes over to the sink and broke it. He then threw a tantrum at the toilet, clogging it up. When he tried to watch TV, it broke. My neighbors started to leave one by one, until it was just Michael and help me left. I got help me’s face up in my queue bar. I moved my cursor over it and it said “Be Terrified”. I never remembered seeing that as a possible command. I tried to click it off, but it was no use. Help me got behind Michael and scared him. Instead of either laughing or throwing a fit, Michael screamed. Then I noticed something horrible. Michael’s skin was pale and white now!
At this point, help me left the house and now Michael was white as snow. His entire Fun and Social motives were pure red, and his mood bar showed 4 red bars. Even worse, I had work shortly, so I bought a coffee maker and had him drink a few cups to keep him awake. Michael then unclogged the toilet and went to work. I came back home with the traditional “Welcome home! You brought home $90 today.” message. But now, something was really getting weird. On Michael’s face, his eyes were missing from their sockets and he had blood under his eyes.
I was officially freaked out and decided to see what was going on at the Johnson’s mansion. I continued to play, going to and from work. Then suddenly, Michael came over. When I asked my Sim to greet him, she screamed in horror at him. Then I saw another thing that disturbed me. Michael’s face appeared and the tooltip said “Be killed”. Suddenly, the screen went black and I heard screaming from the woman and demonic laughter from Michael. I then heard the music of a Sim dying. Both men were working at this time, and the other woman was asleep in bed. Another chair from the dining room vanished.
What happened next is that I saw Michael and help me hug. Then help me invited Michael inside. Michael went upstairs to use the bathroom while help me began to destroy my objects. My one Sim was asleep when Michael came in and got in bed with her. I don’t know what was going on, because I was pretty sure you had to be friends to share beds. He then moved close and again, the screen cut to black with the same sadistic laugh and the woman screaming. I had another Sim die. When I looked downstairs, only two chairs were at the dining room table. Only one double bed remained, and a lot of objects vanished.
Next, something weird happened. Michael talked to help me and a message box reading “Come my child, we have a lot of work ahead of us.” At this point, Michael left the lot, presumably to torment the Newbie and Goth families, leaving help me behind with the two men. They got home from work, only to find more urns in the house. I moved them outside so they turned into gravestones. For the next few days, everything was normal. A few ghosts appeared, and they scared my Sims a few times. One of them actually made my Sim wet himself. Then I saw behavior I never recalled seeing before. My Sims began to laugh as if they had gone insane.
I tried to keep the two Sims’ moods up, but it was no use. I ended up getting a demotion from President to Vice President and Astronaut to Commando the next day that they worked. That night, the ghosts haunted my Sims again. This time however, they attempted to drive one of the Sims insane. Another ghost slapped the other one. I had both Sims go to sleep that night and I could have sworn I heard them getting scared from some kind of nightmare. One of the Sims woke up and went downstairs to get a snack, which seemed perfectly harmless. However, as he ate the chips, he threw up and dropped to the ground. The Grim Reaper claimed yet another Sim. Now only one chair remained.
At this point, the only Sim left besides help me, went off to work, receiving his daily salary as normal. But then the phone rang again. I was reluctant, but I had my Sim answer it. It said the following:
“You shouldn't have bought this game at a flea market...”
I stared at the message, now very scared. The game was self-aware. This was not The Sims I remembered from my childhood at all. The game was trying to communicate with me. Then, without warning, my Sim’s head appeared in the queue bar with the tooltip “Hang Self.” I clicked it to cancel the command. Despite having a red X through it, it was no use. I watched in horror as my Sim slowly made his way to the balcony of the house. He tied a rope around his neck and then onto the railing. He then jumped over and hung himself. My last Sim had committed suicide.
Shortly after getting a message telling me that my Sim died, the phone rang yet again. This time help me answered the phone and despite my efforts to control him, everything that I clicked on gave the tooltip "There are no available interactions" message. This was what was said to help me:
“Your work here is done. Now you know what must be done...”
Help me hung up, then suddenly, his head exploded and his body went up in a pillar of fire. To my horror, the house caught on fire. I never remembered walls being flammable, only objects. The house gradually became engulfed in the blazes as without any notification help me disappeared from my family. I watched the fire engulf the entire lot, even drying up the pool, leaving nothing but a barren black wasteland of land in its wake. I exited the lot and without being asked if I wanted to save the game or not, it automatically saved.
Back on the neighborhood screen, I noticed the lot had been replaced with a blood red inverted pentagram on a now black plot of land. I tried to move another family into the lot to get a better look at it, but when I attempted to buy the lot, a message box popped up:
“You can’t buy this lot.”
When I clicked OK, my computer froze with a loud noise and shortly after crashed. I wasn’t really sure what to do any more. My hands were shaking and I was sweating. I stared wide-eyed at the screen in horror for a few minutes. I shook my head and snapped out of it. I pressed the button on the tower to start the computer again. The computer turned on, the screen was black. The only thing on the screen looked like this, the underscore blinking:
“Operating System not found_”
I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared, confused and sad at the same time. To think that I would get to play The Sims again only to experience my computer being completely destroyed. I could not even remove the CD without taking apart the tower. I unplugged the computer, removed my optical drive, and removed the game. I stared at the label, completely horrified at what the disk contained. All I wanted was to relive my childhood. Instead, I ended up buying a game that disturbed me greatly and trashed my computer. I knew what I had to do. I took the CD outside along with a lighter and started burning the CD. Afterwards, I threw the remains in the trash and went back inside.
A few days later, I heard the doorbell ring. When I answered it, there was a little boy. When I looked down, I realized who it was. It was none other than help me from The Sims that I had destroyed. This time however, his eyes were blood red and he looked very unhappy with me. I asked him if I could help him. He simply said things in Simlish, very angry in his tone. He also threw a fit just like a Sim would have. In his conversation bubble, it had a picture of the CD I burnt. Then the pictures in the bubble changed to show a fire, followed by the CD with a red X through it, then a dollar sign, then another person, then a dollar sign with a red X through it, and finally my computer with a red X through it. I could only vaguely translate the boy’s tirade into the following:
“I am not pleased with you. You destroyed The Sims Double Deluxe in a fire. You could have sold it for a few bucks to another person, but no. Now you have a broken computer.”
I was frightened greatly now. I thought destroying the CD would have ended this entire mess. Sadly, all it did was make the horrors that I saw turn into a twisted reality. I then heard my cell phone ring. I left it in my bedroom, so I ran to my room to answer it. Meanwhile, help me invited himself inside my house. I heard the sink running, the toilet flushing, and the TV turn on. When I answered my phone, I heard a sinister voice:
“Make your final prayers. Your time is up.”
Before I could respond, the caller hung up. I went back into the living room and found a horrifying sight. My TV looked just someone threw a huge rock at it, my kitchen was flooded from the pipes in the sink being broken, and my toilet overflowed and was clogged. My refrigerator was broken as well. Even scarier, I noticed all of the chairs in the dining room were missing but one. It felt as if I was in the very game I destroyed.
When I ran away from my house, I looked down the street at the large house of my landlord. I heard screaming from inside and raced in. Sure enough, help me made it over to my landlord’s house. I saw my landlord eating a bag of chips. Suddenly, he threw up and died on the spot. I gasped and saw all of his furniture vanish. Then my landlord’s phone rang. I answered it and heard the following message:
“Hurry or you’ll be well done!”
By the time the caller hung up, the house burst into flames. I struggled to escape the burning house, but managed to escape severely burned. I then heard help me say what a child Sim says when he goes off to school before leaving in a pillar of fire. Now completely traumatized, I dialed 911 and explained what happened to me. I looked over at the large plot of land that my landlord resided on. I gasped, seeing an inverted pentagram in the burnt yard. Shortly after, I passed out and was taken to the hospital to recover from my burns.
After all of the events that took place between buying The Sims Double Deluxe off that vendor at the flea market to laying in a hospital, I came to a stark realization. The seemingly innocent game that I purchased had a message for me. It did not want me to embrace my childhood by having me experience something that made watching even some of the scariest horror movies seem like nothing. I will never look at a Sims game the same way anymore...
Written by RedmageAdam and edited by GiygasForPresident.