Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Round 1: Schurzenjager




Hilda Schurzenjager: Elder Knowledge, LTW: Become a Mad Scientist - Scorpio
Hans Schurzenjager: Teen Knowledge, LTW: Become a Mad Scientist - Libra
Heidi Schurzenjager: Female Toddler - Taurus

I'm on a roll now, another chapter already!

The silence is almost deafening when Hilda Schurzenjager, holding her granddaughter Heidi, and Hans stand on the pavement looking at their new house. If that half finished shack can even be called a house, Hans thinks to himself. He is still feeling down and, above all, bitter. He doesn't know if he will ever be able to forgive his father Henio for leaving him and her little sister Heidi alone. Fortunately for him, Hilda was willing to take them under her roof, but bad luck struck again, and their house burnt down in a freak fire. And this is what they got from the lousy insurance company - a shack in the middle of nowhere.

The house is barely livable with no wallpaper or flooring and only with the bare necessities for living. The only source of entertainment is the old and dusty bookshelf with mainly books for skilling.

So, Hans does the only thing he can think of, and heads to the bookshelf. He grabs a book about tinkering in hopes of learning some useful skills in mechanics.

Fortunately, little Heidi doesn't really care about the condition of the house. She just wants to learn everything there is to learn for a toddler!

Hilda wants to be the best grandmother she can for the little girl and immediately starts teaching her how to talk. It also helps Hilda to take care of her better when she can verbally express herself instead of just crying when she needs something.

Their nice teaching session is rudely interrupted when Ramsey runs past them, holding the Schurzenjagerzes' (invisible) newspaper in his hand. Hilda takes her time to yell and curse at him for being a childish idiot but it doesn't help her get the newspaper back.

What Ramsay didn't take, is the brand new computer dropped off on their front door in pink wrapping paper. Hans was shocked when he found it lying there, to put it mildly. Nevertheless, he recovers from his shock quickly and puts the computer to good use instantly, applying for a job in the Gamer career track as a Noob. It doesn't sound too fancy and he would've preferred a job in Science, but Hans really needs the money, because he wants to buy a hi-tech telescope that doesn't come cheap.
Although, I highly doubt Hilda's going to let him spend all his money on a telescope.

Meanwhile, Hilda proves to be a great teacher and gets Heidi speaking, and just in time, too, as the welcome wagon arrives at their house. This time, it consists of Mama J Yessam, Gregory Brandt and Henri Koponen. Note that they are all, once again, elders.

Hilda greets them all with French kisses, happy to meet people other than Ramsey Brooks.

She chooses to start the conversation with Henri Koponen by bragging about her intelligent granddaughter and how she learnt to speak in an instant. The granddaughter in question would appreciate some attention from Hilda a lot more than listening to the bragging.

Luckily Heidi has a great big brother who picks her up from the grass and even helps her to learn how to use the potty. Heidi is thrilled and doesn't even notice the lack of actual floor under her violet potty.

In the meantime, the conversation between Hilda and Henri isn't going anywhere and leaves Hilda highly unamused. The lack of interest from Henri's part could be explained by the fact that he's much more interested in striking up a conversation with Mama J who is busy getting intimate with Gregory Brandt.

Because it's a very beautiful day of spring and the inside of the house depresses him, Hans comes out with Heidi and begins to teach her how to walk since he doesn't have anything better to do, anyway. In the background, Hilda has got Henri's attention back to her by proposing a game of tossing a ball. While at it, she also discovers that she truly enjoys engaging in sporty activities, which does fit her active nature. Mama J, on the other hand, can't understand how a woman of that age can find such activities pleasant.

Nevertheless, Hilda had to find someone else to toss the ball with because Henri got quickly tired of spending time with Hilda when there were more important things to do.
So now she's hitting Saara Marttala in the face with the ball. Hopefully she doesn't break the poor woman's nose.

And what is this thing Henri finds more important? Well, it's staring at Mama J on the computer, of course! I mean, he can't be wrong if Gregory, too, finds it extremely interesting.

Just like at the Jenkinses, it is the teenager's job to prepare a meal for all the elder guests. Hans is no wizard in the kitchen, so he sticks to making meat sandwiches.

All the same, the guests enjoy the simple lunch. Gregory is still trying to impress Mama J and tells all about his prowess as a skier. However, Mama J doesn't seem to pay too much attention to what he's saying whereas Hilda looks mighty impressed by Gregory.

Finally Hilda has the time to sit at the computer and look for a job. She's luckier than Hans was and finds a vacancy in Science, although only as a Test Subject. It doesn't sound too good, but Hilda figures she has to start somewhere.

As a Test Subject, you are expected to know a little cooking and cleaning. Hilda doesn't want to waste any time and gets to studying them immediately. Nevertheless, her studying is being disturbed by Gregory serenading Mama J right next to her, which annoys Hilda immensely.

After the serenade, Mama J is clearly consulting Saara on whether they are ready for the next step, kissing. Gregory is waiting for the answer impatiently.

Hans has other things to worry about than relationships, like her little sister who's feeling hungry after waking up from her nap.

Apparently Saara told Mama J to go for it, and Gregory doesn't have to be asked twice. Actually not even once. Little by little, Hilda is getting really fed up with the two of them.

While admiring a beautiful landscape, Hans discovers that his OTH is Arts and Crafts. In the background, the two men are glaring at each other: Henri seems to think that he still has a chance with Mama J.

The only way how Heidi notices their poor financial situation, is that she doesn't have that many toys to play with, which is frustrating for the extremely playful toddler. Therefore, she needs to rely more on Hans and Hilda to keep her fun up, but luckily they, especially Hans, are more than happy to play with her.

After finishing a chapter on how to remove tough stains, Hilda suddenly wishes to see the ghost of Ramsey. I don't like what she's implying..

Hilda has had enough with her guests and says goodbye to them all, and just in time, too, because Henri suddenly decides to start jumping rope indoors.

It's getting quite late and Hans really should be in bed by now, but he chooses to spend time with Heidi instead. First, he does some potty training with her and then proceeds to teach her how to walk with the last bits of his energy.

But Hans is no superman and after a while he collapses to bed. Fortunately Heidi has one toy to keep her occupied, although it isn't as much fun playing with it all alone.

Hans gets to sleep only for a couple of hours before Heidi wakes him up with some loud cries. She's really tired, and after Hans puts her to her crib, he can continue his sleep for a few more hours.

Hilda is already up, but her day starts rather badly: she has to deal with a kicked-over trash can and witness the culprit run away with their newspaper once again.

Then she suddenly realises that Heidi will be left alone during the day, so Hilda calls to the cheapest nanny agency in town and hires someone to be there every day during her work hours. The lady on the phone sounds nice enough, but Hilda has a bad feeling about it since it was the cheapest agency she could find.

Hilda wants to let Hans sleep as long as he can before the school bus arrives, so she goes to pick Heidi up from her crib to give her food and play with her.

Hans sleeps so late that he almost misses the bus! He barely makes it, although he would much rather stay at home and get some more sleep. The pouring rain doesn't help to improve his mood nor the sight of a trash can kicked over, once again. You can see Ramsey just casually walking away from the crime scene..

Hilda has just enough time to see the nanny taking a bottle to Heidi before her carpool comes honking on their driveway. She has no choice than to trust the old lady to take care of her granddaughter because Hilda can't afford to skip work.

However, the nanny is overfeeding Heidi, bringing yet another bottle to her. At least she gets fed, which is, after all, the main thing.

Being tired doesn't really pay off at school, which Hans gets to experience, much to his dismay. He doesn't even have time to relax or see his little sister before he has to get going again, to work this time.

Inside, the nanny is being a real twat, indulging in a bag of chips instead of spending time with Heidi, who has to keep herself occupied with her toy, all alone in her room.

Heidi isn't alone for long though, because soon both Hilda and Hans return home from work with a paycheck in their pockets, respectively. They even have enough money to invest in an easel, and when Hans tests it out, he's over the moon - he hasn't had this much fun since forever! It'll also help him with his creativity that is required in his job.

Now that Hilda has some time, she takes upon herself to finally teach Heidi to walk properly. Hans has attempted it many times, but for some reason Heidi just hasn't got the hang of it yet.
Nevertheless, soon enough Heidi is already walking around the house without any difficulties. Hilda really is a marvellous teacher.

And it doesn't even end there - now that Hilda is ready with Heidi, he decides it's time for Hans to learn some useful studying techniques, which he learns rather quickly. Doing his homework has never felt so easy before!

At night, Heidi attempts to wake Hans up once again, but he is too tired to hear her scream. It's nice how a fence that small can block noises so well.

When Heidi realises that she is screaming in vain, she tries something else. And soon enough she's out of her crib and happily playing with her toy. It does pay off to know how to use your legs properly!

It's Wednesday morning, and Hans has already woken up to have time to paint on his easel. He's feeling a lot better and happier than the day before - a good night's sleep really does wonders to you.

Hilda is also already up as per usual, squeezing some studying time before her work day starts. She really needs that promotion because being a Test Subject just doesn't fit her at all.

Hans' cheerier mood is also noticed by others, and today he comes home with a friend, an exchange student called Seppo Penger. What's up with these exchange students, though? Why won't the teens bring other playables home from school? Or just some other teens. Ugh.

Hans only has an hour before his carpool arrives, though, and that hour is spent by discussing school with Seppo. They particularly like talking about mathematics and sharing their opinions and remarks on some of the exercises they did at school.

It certainly is a good day for Hans today, because he manages to earn a promotion to a Button Masher after he won a game against one of the best players on the server.

Due to his promotion, Hans is home early and sends the nanny away. He can't help but notice that Heidi is smelling quite bad and seems to also be in a terrible mood, which is very untypical of her.

She's so grouchy that she even refuses to do her potty training.

Luckily there's nothing a warm bath couldn't fix, and Heidi is soon back to her joyful self. The bath tub didn't come cheap, though, because they had to sell some furniture to be able to afford it, namely their shower and sink.

The day is turning out to be a great day for all when Hilda arrives home with a promotion, too. She's very happy to be a Lab Assistant instead of a human guinea pig, even though she doesn't exactly express those feelings of joy.

With the bonuses she and Hans got that day, they are able to replace the shower, pay the bills and buy a big cake for Heidi's birthday this evening! What they didn't get, and what Hilda would really have wanted, is a chess board. She needs some more logic skills if she ever wants to get promoted again.

For some reason, the nanny is back again, even though everyone is at home. Hans quickly sends her off before she has time to start demanding money for her services.

Hans' friend, Seppo, is also still at their house, and has taken quite a liking to Heidi. He's always tickling her and attempting to make her smile.

Heidi finally learns how to use the potty, and just in time for her birthday too.

The celebrations are kept small, and the only one attending Heidi's birthday outside the family is Seppo.

Nonetheless, it doesn't matter to Heidi, the three people cheering at her when she enters the world of children are just enough to make her feel special and have a good time.

Heidi can't get enough of looking at her suddenly grown hands with a huge smile on her face. She is super excited to be so big and old! Hans and Hilda can't get the smile out of their faces, either - they did it, they succeeded in giving her a happy early childhood against all the odds and couldn't be any prouder of Heidi and themselves.

For her birthday gift, Heidi gets some nice new clothes and quite an expensive toy oven - it cost 100 simoleons and took half of the money they had in their bank account. Anything for the precious princess.

The next morning, on Thursday, Hans leaves for school without having done his homework at all. He got too caught up in the birthday celebrations and forgot all about it.

Heidi is already outside and running toward the school bus before it even had time to honk. She can't wait to meet all the children at school and befriend them!

Hilda has the whole house to herself during the day since her work doesn't start until at 4.00 pm. To keep herself occupied, she fills in the crosswords to improve her logics, cleans after the kids - which she doesn't aprreciate, she thought she was done cleaning after children when her only son moved out - and even greets a passer-by, still in her pyjamas. The man, Janne Eskola, is more than happy to oblige when Hilda proposes a game of tossing the ball. And that is what she does until Hans comes home from school.

Hans didn't have that good a day at school: not having done his homework, he failed at a test, and on top of that his art teacher didn't appreciate his painting of an abstract elephant. He decides to call his almost-friend Seppo and complain about the stupid teacher to him in order to blow off some steam before work.
Hilda is busy studying some cleaning techniques for work, although she really should be studying logic - it just isn't possible at the moment.

Heidi finds school to be not so awesome after all, so when she arrives home, her smile has turned upside down. She didn't get any new friends and she didn't do too good in an English test, either.

She could really use some help with her homework, but there's no one at home who Heidi would dare to ask help from. She suspects that the nanny wouldn't help her even if she paid the old lady, and the elderly man she doesn't recognise at all!

Plus, the nanny is somewhat creepy, too..

The upside of the nanny not being interested in Heidi is that she gets to play computer games on hours end, when the nanny isn't hogging the computer, that is. Come to think of it, Heidi doesn't just like computer games, but in fact enjoys playing all kinds of games - her OTH is Games without a doubt.

Hans returns home from work in the evening, without a promotion even though he has all the skills he needs to climb up the career ladder. His boss admits that he has great skills when it comes to single player strategies, but adds that he is lacking in the multiplayer aspect of games. That is the reason why he won't get promoted yet.

Hans is quite disappointed to hear that and goes to his easel to calm himself down. He even finishes the painting, which is a scene from one his favourite games, and hangs it in his room to brighten its depressingly gray walls a bit.

There is still that pile of homework for him to finish, though.. Hans gives an angry glare at her little sister on the computer - it's really distracting when someone is playing loud computer games when you're trying to concentrate on your homework!

Heidi gets the hint and goes outside to play on her own, until she notices a beautiful cat walking past their house. She has had the wish to get a pet ever since her birthday, but a pet was the one thing Hilda and Hans couldn't give her, because keeping a pet would cost too much for them. She's eager to meet and play with the stray, nevertheless, even though she knows she can't keep it.

It's two hours from midnight when Hilda gets home, and she isn't pleased to see Heidi outside and playing with a stray at that.

To get her inside and away from the cat, Hilda promises to help Heidi with her homework and teach her the same studying techniques she has already taught to Hans. Heidi really appreciates her grandmother's help and forgets about the cat immediately, and the two of them become best friends in the process. To Hilda's great dismay, the cat doesn't leave but has the nerve to come inside the house.

Meanwhile, Hans is trying to have a conversation with Janne, but it's going nowhere because the old man is so tired that he sleeps his face buried in the mac and cheese Hans prepared a few minutes ago. Even the cat looks at the sight clearly puzzled.

Maybe the cat senses that Hilda doesn't particularly like her, because it takes upon itself to destroy Hilda's bed out of all the furniture in the house. Luckily the cat never succeeded in its quest.

It doesn't take long for Hilda to teach her granddaughter how to do her homework properly. When she gets it done, she can finally do what she has been itching to do ever since she got back from work - to test out the brand new chess board. Now there's nothing standing between Hilda and her promotion!

Janne is still sleeping at the table when everybody else has gone to sleep, and stays there until 6.00am. I wonder how he managed to breathe.

On Friday, the last day of spring, Heidi is feeling happy again about going to school, even though it's raining in the morning. You really can't tell that this girl is actually a little bit grouchy and has only 4 points in niceness.

Hilda's day is spent more or less like the other days - studying for work. She really isn't letting that promotion get away from her.

Hans' hard work with his pile of homework clearly didn't go to waste: he comes home with a ten in his report card! And just before the weekend, too.

He couldn't feel any prouder when he runs inside to show it to Hilda, who is sitting at the table her nose in a book as per usual. She has time to congratulate Hans on his 10, though.

Hans seizes every opportunity there is to tell about his achievement, and even calls Seppo to inform him about his grade. They also end up talking about different games and Hans gets some great advice from him regarding the strategies in multiplayer mode.

Once again, only the nanny is at their house when Heidi comes home from school, but this time she has no trouble getting her homework done all by herself.

When she gets her homework done, there is nothing to do for Heidi, because the nanny decided to spend the day on the computer. Luckily there's a boy passing by their house just as Heidi comes outside and she rushes to greet him, and she does it the coolest way she can think of. The boy, who introduces himself as Ilpo Kateenkorva, finds Heidi really funny.

The kids are still talking with each other when Hans arrives home with a promotion to a Trash Talker. The promotion was all thanks to the great advice he got from his friend.

Hans feels like he's on top of the world, having reached the highest level for teens in his career track and thinks he has deserved a mobile phone. There is just that little thing of asking for permission from Hilda..

First things first, Hans sends away the incapable nanny who has only now started to prepare a meal for Heidi. Hans isn't impressed by her, and doesn't want to hear her excuses about murdered tomatoes. They really need to get rid of the old woman who clearly has a screw loose somewhere.

Hans doesnt want to throw good food away, so he attempts to prepare the meal himself. How hard can pork chops be, anyway?

Uhm, yes well, that is a way to do it too, I guess. The pork chops come out looking like they should all the same, so it doesn't really matter how you cook them, apparently.

Hilda arrives home conveniently in time for the meal and with a promotion under her belt! Now that she works as a Field Researcher, she believes it would be better if she learned more about physiology, to keep up with the younger scientists.

Hilda was so glad about his promotion and the delicious meal he had prepared that she gave Hans the permission to buy a mobile phone permitting that he buys it himself. Hans almost runs all the way to Inter@ctive where they sell mobile phones and which is still open at almost midnight. Actually, all the shops are open 24h in Prosperity Fellowship.

Hans gets distracted from buying the phone when he spots the huge aquarium in the middle of the room. He has to admire it for a while - it's something he has never seen before in his life!

Eventually he gets his eyes off from the mesmerising fish tank and buys the phone. Hans doesn't go home just yet, however, but stays at Inter@ctive to meet some new people. At first there's only Gregory Brandt, whom he already met at their house at the beginning of the week, but he greets him anyway. Nevertheless, Gregory is soon forgotten when Elna Lehvänen arrives. Hans is much more interested in getting to know the beautiful woman than the old man.

They get on terrifically, talking about games and Hans' job that involves some more games. Meanwhile, Gregory has seen enough and leaves.

Hans finds it appropriate to bad mouth the nanny, and when he's done with that, he proceeds to tell Elna all about his future career as a Mad Scientist, which he explains is kind of like being a doctor, but also so much more.

Elna can't stay at Inter@ctive the whole night, and when she leaves, Hans sees no reason to stick around. He does pay a quick visit to the clothing store next door before heading home.

At home, things have changed for sure - there is an actual floor and some wallpaper now! Unfortunately, they didn't have enough money to make the same changes in the other rooms, too, but at least it's a start.

What Hans bought from the clothing store, is a new shirt for Heidi. He had heard Heidi complaining that the old shirt she got on her birthday was too short and small, so he decided she deserved a new one. Heidi is beyond grateful for his big brother and hugs him tightly to thank him. It's no wonder that they become best friends after it.

Hilda is in her usual spot, doing what she usually does - studies. She is determined to one day get to the top of Science, before it's too late for her.

She reads a couple of chapters about cleaning and cooking and doesn't go to bed until she can't make sense of the words on the pages.

As Hilda falls asleep, also spring draws to an end.

No points for the Schurzenjagers.

I really struggled with how I wanted their house to look like, but I guess it turned out okay. It was really difficult to decide on the colour theme, too, but the green is really fitting for Hilda, I think. But enough with the house!

I really like Heidi for some reason, she has the cutest little face and exotic, dark blue eyes. All in all, I enjoyed playing this family (too), even Hilda, who I feared was going to be a boring and grumpy old woman. But she has a soft side too, it seems. Though her face upon opening the lot was somewhat intimidating:
Not amused.

I was a bit tired when writing this chapter, so I hope that there aren't too many mistakes in the text. But if you spot any, you're more than welcome to point them out so that I can fix them.

Hopefully you enjoyed the Schurzenjagers, too. and please, feel free to comment (: