Since the first The Sims game, ghosts have been an intriguing topic in the Sims community. They’ve changed dramatically as the game has developed, going from non-interactable pale green/blue floating beings to colourful, wholly-interactable transparent Sims - fully playable, yet dead. In The Sims 3 base game, ghosts are the only alternative life state to normal Sims, and with the arrival of Late Night vampires and Supernatural’s various species, let’s go back to our roots in The Sims 3 and take a look at the first supernatural being EA gave us to play with. So for those of you who haven’t paid much attention to them, or who are new to The Sims 3, here’s the low-down on what’s up with these floaty fiends and friends.
With the arrival of The Sims 2, the concept of different coloured ghosts was introduced. Ghosts vary in colour depending on how the Sim died (more on this later). Ghosts also had special abilities, such as being able to walk through walls, float objects, and scare living Sims – sometimes even to death! The Sims 3 further developed these ideas, enhancing the colours of ghosts, providing more detail to their appearance, allowing them to be treated like normal Sims - in that our live Sims can interact with them - and even enabling them to be turned into playable characters. Unlike in The Sims 2, however, The Sims 3 ghosts don’t perform certain behaviours depending on how they died. Instead, ghosts function like normal NPCs – they have need bars, so if they’re hungry they’ll go into your fridge, if they’re sleepy they’ll have a nap, and so on. Pre-made ghosts are present in town graveyards, and if you visit between 11pm and 6am, you’re likely to find some wandering around there, although in my experience you’ll never see more than 2 ghosts in one night at one graveyard. We can tell how a ghost died by examining their tombstone for a picture or symbol.
So what deaths do the different colours represent, and how can our Sims become these coloured ghosts? Here is the list:
White/grey – Old Age
Ghosts of this colour will have died a natural Sim death, so to attain this ghost, just have your Sim reach the end of their lifespan. These ghosts usually have cloudy skin and sparkles to their appearance. They sometimes complain of being tired or bored (hence Bruce having a play on the computer below), and on occasion tend to nap in empty beds. For those of you that don’t enjoy killing your Sims in a variety of ways (like me), this is probably the most common colour of ghost you’re likely to get in the game.
Blue – Drowning
These ghosts will appear with rippling skin and dripping water, although unlike in The Sims 2, they won’t produce puddles of water around where they move (thank goodness – that was a very frustrating aspect of The Sims 2 which led to a lot of deleted gravestones). These ghosts often complain of exhaustion and will (not surprisingly) avoid water. As I recently discovered, drowning has been made more difficult in The Sims 3, with Sims able to just hop out of the pool – so if we get to play Skip Broke again, that "pool ladder incident" won’t be quite as fatal! You now have to build walls around the pool to prevent your Sims from getting out of the pool, which, for me, was too much effort… (and by that I mean I just hate to see my Sims suffering, but don’t tell anyone!).
Yellow - Electrocution
Even the Repairman is not immune from this kind of death! Yellow ghosts will appear with sparking skin and sometimes blue electric sparks will be emitted from them. Sims can be electrocuted by tinkering or repairing an object if they have little mechanical skill, especially after using an object involving water. The best thing to do is to have your Sim attempt to repair something while standing in a puddle of water – you wouldn’t do it at home, so get your Sims to! Once they’ve been electrocuted once, their hair and clothing goes black and they attain the "singed" moodlet - they’ll look like this:
If they are then electrocuted a second time whilst this moodlet is still present, the Sim will then die, producing a yellow ghost.
Orange – Fire
There are many ways for a Sim to die by fire, such as through using a fireplace, or - if you have The Sims 3: World Adventures - you can also set off a firework inside to start a fire. One of the easiest ways to achieve death by fire, though, is through using a similar method to electrocution, i.e. having a Sim with a low skill (cooking) use an object (cooker). The cheaper the cooker and the lower the skill, the more likely there is to be a fire. Once there is a fire, get your Sim to hang around panicking (automatic Sim response unless you’re "brave", in which case you’ll try and put it out, or there are toddlers, in which case your Sim will carry them outside), and don’t call the fire brigade. Sooner or later your Sim will die from the fire. Just remember not to buy a smoke alarm! The orange ghost produced will have fiery skin and smoke, and will sometimes take a bath or shower.
Pink – Starvation
These ghosts are always thin (even if they were fat when alive), have cloudy skin, and won’t make ghostly noises unless they move. To have your Sim die of starvation, the best thing to do is just delete / don’t buy your Sims’ fridge, or any other means for your Sim to get food, or put them in an empty room and delete the door. Eventually their hunger bar will deplete completely and you’ll get a visit from the Grim Reaper.
These next ghosts are additional ones added to the game through their respective expansion packs.
Gold – Mummy’s Curse
Image from The Sims Wiki.
This ghost is exclusive to The Sims 3: World Adventures. Prior to Late Night and its patch, the ghost was dark grey/black, and after the patch it appears gold with cloudy skin. It emits a black haze and only makes ghostly noises when it moves. To have your Sim die by a mummy’s curse, have your Sim look inside a sarcophagus or steal treasure from the mummy’s chamber. The mummy will pick a fight with the treasure hunting Sim. If your Sim loses, the mummy may breathe a dark fog onto the Sim which is the "curse". After two weeks of being cursed by the mummy, your Sim will die.
Dark Orange – Meteor
This is perhaps the rarest ghost in the whole of The Sims 3. With The Sims 3: Ambitions came the extremely improbable likelihood of your Sim, whenever they are standing in an open area, dying by being crushed by a meteor. It appears to be a successor of the "death by satellite" we had in The Sims 2. The ghosts produced by this death will be a darker orange than fire ghosts, and will have smudges of black with smoke rising from them. Their tombstone will also depict a meteor. The only pre-made Sim known to have died from being hit by a meteor is Steward Curious. Inventing increases the chance of being hit.
Crimson – Thirst
Our much-loved The Sims 3: Late Night vampires don’t starve in the same way as normal Sims; rather, they can die of thirst. This death can be achieved in the same way as hunger for a normal Sim, but by starving your vampire Sim of plasma fruit / human blood – remember to include the plasma fruit from their inventory, though! These ghosts appear extremely skinny like normal starvation ghosts, but with rippling skin, and their heart will sometimes emit a red pulsing light.
Invisible – Buried Alive
With The Sims 3: Showtime came some intriguing magic tricks, one of which was the buried alive trick with the "Box of Danger". Sims who die from this trick will appear invisible (we can just about see them) and smoky with hints of black.
Green – Spell
Image from the trailer for The Sims 3 Supernatural.
In the soon to be released (September 2012) The Sims 3: Supernatural, when a Sim dies from a witches spell they will become a green ghost, with crescent moons, skulls and stars drifting around them.
Electric Blue with Purple - Jelly Bean Bush
Image from The Sims Wiki.
Another The Sims 3: Supernatural ghost, all we know about this one so far is that it’ll be bright blue with purple. Your Sim must die from a Jelly Bean Bush to be a ghost of this colour.
Regretting killing your Sim? No problem, just regain control of your ghost and then have them eat ambrosia, and your Sim will be back to normal!
Not long after your Sim dies, you may get the "Oh My Ghost!" opportunity telling you to bring their remains to a science lab. After completing this opportunity for the first time, your Sim will have the "restore ghost”" option at the science lab (bear in mind it costs $5,000). Once you have control of your ghost, have them eat ambrosia to return to human form. To make ambrosia, your Sim must have a level 10 cooking skill. It’s made with the ingredients "deathfish" and "lifefruit" and can be made for brunch or dinner.
If you fancy a non-permanent play of your Sim in ghost form, you can also make a "ghost potion" which will temporarily turn them into a ghost.
So, now you know how to achieve it, which colour ghosts will you have in your burial ground? And more importantly, which Sims will you kill for it? You know I’ve never liked that Vita Aldo…