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Fixed Maxis Strangetown

by Dorsal Axe Posted 7th May 2020 at 9:59 PM - Updated 16th Aug 2021 at 12:08 AM by Dorsal Axe : Documentation update
65 Comments / replies (Who?) - 13 Feedback Posts, 2 Thanks Posts
Fixed Maxis Strangetown
It's no secret that Strangetown is the buggiest of the three neighborhoods that ship with The Sims 2. I'm not quite sure what happened during development, but a substantial amount of data is corrupt or missing, which leads to the neighborhood effectively blowing up after playing it for a period of time.

So I set out to create a "fixed" version of Strangetown, where various issues have been addressed, logical inconsistencies have been rectified, and missing data has been replaced or restored. No other attempts at this that I could find on the web suited what I was personally looking for as they either alter or lack content that originally comes with the hood, or still contain issues were never addressed. This is my attempt to take the vanilla Maxis Strangetown in its entirety and simply fix everything wrong with it under the hood. I've aimed to keep it as much possible like the original version that comes with the game.

You're probably wandering what makes this Strangetown different from some similar projects out there (there's been a few different ones over the years). This one has all of the following::
  • All Sims are intact. That means all townies and all ancestors are here. The ancestors have been fixed so that they can be safely resurrected and played.
  • Factory-fresh. This hood has never been loaded in a retail game, and all editing has been done with external tools. It's still effectively in the uninitialized state that Maxis released it in, and you can experience the scripted household scenarios like you can with the original hood when you first play it.
  • Extensive fixes. I've gone through and removed sources of corruption and fixed identifiable issues. I've also run it through HoodChecker, and other than the initial clearing of junk no issues have come up. It's been tested amongst players for about two years. This Strangetown is safe to play.
  • Maxis-match. Broken faces have been corrected using face data hidden away in the character files. Updated portraits have the same poses as the originals. As a purist, I went to a lot of trouble to keep things as close to how Maxis shipped it as possible, or at least, how they intended things to be.

You can check out the complete list of changes below.

Complete Changelog:

As I have added an EP1 memory ("Very First WooHoo") an expansion or stuff pack is required to be installed to use this hood. Although I've put University in the requirements, this can actually be any pack (excluding Happy Holiday Stuff, which isn't actually a proper pack) as this memory is included with all expansions and stuff packs for the game.

It is highly recommended to replace the original N002 template in your The Sims 2 installation directory (make sure to back up the original template first!) and then allow the game to generate a new save game folder by temporarily moving or renaming your existing one. Once the new save folder is generated you can move N002 to your existing save game folder and then restore the original save folder to its original location/name.

The reason I recommend doing it this way is because copying the new N002 folder directly to your existing save game folder can result in neighborhood stories for all of your neighborhoods being wiped out. The base game had a single storytelling folder for every neighborhood, but with EPs installed the game will separate this into individual folders for each hood. Although cumbersome, following this method allows the game to carry out this process as intended. The _Extras folder does contain the N002 Storytelling folder should you wish to try directly importing it into your existing save folder, but do so at your own risk.

Installing the template:
1. By default, the installation directory is: C:\Program Files (x86)\EA Games\The Sims 2. This will be different if you specified a different path when installing the game. The neighborhood templates are located in the following subfolder: \TSData\Res\UserData\Neighborhoods. Open this folder.

2. Rename or move the original N002 folder to somewhere safe (i.e. don't delete it). I would recommend renaming the folder to avoid confusion with my version of the hood. Once you've done this, place the downloaded N002 folder into this subfolder.

3. Close this folder. You won't need to come back to this one.

Generating a new save folder:
1. By default your save game directory will be in the following location (replace **user** with your Windows username): C:\Users\**user**\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2. Rename this directory or move it to a different location temporarily.

2. Load up the game to the main menu. Then immediately quit the game, and you'll find a new save directory has generated in the original location. Find and copy the N002 folder from the Neighborhoods subfolder to the same-named subfolder in your original save directory.

3. Remove the new save directory, and restore your original save directory to this same location.

Important notes:
  • This is a standard neighborhood. I will not be making subhood, merged, etc. versions of this. If you wish to undertake making this yourself, please read the usage section below before you proceed.
  • It should go without saying, but this game just loooves to corrupt itself in just about every way imaginable. Just because this hood is healthy doesn't mean you should get complacent. Keep a backup of your neighborhoods, always.
  • Knut Futa is the one Sim who is still isn't quite right, which isn't surprising given that he is the most utterly broken Sim that Maxis has ever created in any of their games. Although I've set interests and a personality for him, they will always be randomised on initialization for unknown reasons. To be safe, I recommend leaving him as a ghost and to not resurrect him, as he's likely beyond true fixing.
  • I highly recommend running the late Mootilda's excellent HoodChecker on a regular basis to monitor the health of all your neighborhoods and clear out any problematic data that it detects. It's a tried-and-tested utility and will definitely keep your neighborhood going for the long-haul.

Although I've removed all sources of corruption that I can possibly find with the tools available, I cannot guarantee that this neighborhood is *100%* free of it. There's the possibility of something remaining that no tool can detect. I *can* guarantee however that this version of Strangetown is a hell of a lot safer and healthier than the hood Maxis shipped with the game.

Usage in other projects:
Feel free to make variations of this version of Strangetown (e.g. merged or subhood versions), but if you do so you must make it very clear that you are using my version of Strangetown rather than the original one. That way if people have issues, it can be identified which version is being used.

Special thanks:
  • Maxis, for always giving us something broken to fix
  • Elddie and Nopke, for providing translations for the Singles surnames
  • frogz2007, for assisting with the Specter lot fixes
  • Everyone in the Creator Feedback Forum who has tested this neighborhood for the past two years to ensure it doesn't blow up. I appreciate all of the help and feedback, and I hope having a healthy Strangetown has brought much enjoyment.

Additional Credits: SimPE HoodChecker
The Sims 2 Body Shop

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Sims 2 University
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
Fixed N002 - v1.1.7z | (2021/08/15) Updated documentation

Size: 22.31 MB · Downloads: 1,094 · 16th Aug 2021
22.31 MB 1,094 16th Aug 2021
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file.

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Origin (Ultimate Collection): Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows Vista/7/8/10: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads
  • Mac x64: /Library/Containers/com.aspyr.sims2.appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Aspyr/The Sims 2/Downloads
Need more information?
65 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 43 Feedback Posts, 20 Thanks Posts
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Test Subject
#51 Old 17th Nov 2020 at 6:48 PM
Originally Posted by lefterisxo
what are you struggling with? installing the neighbourhood to you game?

Yeah I'm really struggling as well, just want screenshots of the process or a video?
Test Subject
#52 Old 28th Nov 2020 at 11:29 PM
@Dorsal Axe how did you fix the corrupted faces and broken face templates?
And do you replace portrait thumbnails or do you add them and then delete the original?
I'm working on my clean Veronaville but can't seem to find any tutorial on how to do that.
Test Subject
#53 Old 27th Dec 2020 at 9:21 AM
I've recently reinstalled my Sims 2 game (the Origin ultimate version, I think?) after many years of not playing this game. I'm amazed by all the fixing you have done, but I cannot figure out what I have to do to install your clean version.
I'll backup my game and try to figure it out, cause I really liked your work here, the only thing it's lacking is accessible instructions.
Lab Assistant
#54 Old 8th Jan 2021 at 1:24 PM Last edited by kaligi : 8th Jan 2021 at 11:22 PM.
Originally Posted by bia123nca
I've recently reinstalled my Sims 2 game (the Origin ultimate version, I think?) after many years of not playing this game. I'm amazed by all the fixing you have done, but I cannot figure out what I have to do to install your clean version.
I'll backup my game and try to figure it out, cause I really liked your work here, the only thing it's lacking is accessible instructions.

The easiest way to explain how to do this, altough its explained, if you first install his version, 1. don't put it to the Neighborhoods Folder in the This PC/Documents/EA Games/The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection/Neighborhoods. In this case first, you search the Partition where you originally installed the whole game, for example.. if on the Local Disc (named C) than there. If it's another Partition, there ... and you search 2. Program Filesx86/Origin Games/The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection/Double Deluxe/Base/TSData/Res/UserData/Neighborhoods ... there you find the Folders from the N001/N002/N003 ..these are the original Base Neighborhoods. 3. You copy the N002 Folder somewhere where you can find it again and after this delete the original one. 4. Than, you put in this Folder, the Neighborhoods Folder the Version from Dorsal Axe. 5. Before you start a new Game, please delete from This PC/Documents/EA Games/The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection/Neighborhoods the N002 Folder and now can you start a new Game. 6. After the game fully load, you can stop playing. 7. Program Filesx86/Origin Games/The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection/Double Deluxe/Base/TSData/Res/UserData/Neighborhoods and you look for the N002 Folder, what you this time copy in This PC/Documents/EA Games/The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection/Neighborhoods Folder. Done. P.S: the Storytelling map comes in This PC/Documents/EA Games/The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection/Neighborhoods/N002 Folder after the whole process.
Test Subject
#55 Old 27th Mar 2021 at 8:29 PM
Hello, first of all I want to apologize for any mistakes I am French I use google translate. I really like your idea of ​​remaking Zarbville with the files problem fixed. And I would like to know if you could do the same for Pleasantview? There is the Skip Broke issue and its duplicated and broken file, and I am sure to imagine other bugs like Bella Goth. Could you therefore remake the city with all the repaired files?
Test Subject
#56 Old 12th Apr 2021 at 2:08 AM
Originally Posted by kfield19
Yeah I'm really struggling as well, just want screenshots of the process or a video?

sorry for the late reply, do you still need help? i can provide screenshots for you if you need
Test Subject
#57 Old 5th May 2021 at 5:17 AM
Originally Posted by lefterisxo
sorry for the late reply, do you still need help? i can provide screenshots for you if you need

I don't know about @kfield19... But if you provide screenshots of the process, I will thank you for all eternity
Top Secret Researcher
#58 Old 3rd Jun 2021 at 6:21 PM
I notice some .bak files in the characters folder -- are those safe to delete? I assume the game can't read them.
Test Subject
10th Jul 2021 at 4:12 PM
This message has been deleted by Abk.Mattsson.
Test Subject
#59 Old 13th Jul 2021 at 7:13 PM
Thanks so much! All of the clean templates I've found don't include the townies, and as I've never played the original Strangetown due to all of its preexisting corruption, I'd prefer the option to play with the original townies included. Very excited to try this version of a clean Strangetown template out!! <3
Test Subject
#60 Old 14th Aug 2021 at 12:05 PM
Thank you so much for this great template! Just a heads-up, it seems like the download was deleted when you updated the documentation yesterday!
Test Subject
#61 Old 19th Aug 2021 at 5:57 PM
Default Can't seem to find the save folder you're talking about
My Strangetown is removed from my game, I can't seem to get the new, clean, one in! I can't seem to find the save directory that you're talking about, if you could help that would be great thanks!
Test Subject
#62 Old 23rd Aug 2021 at 5:33 AM
The instructions for properly installing the files are very confusing, does anyone know if the clean template will still run alright if I just directly replace the old neighbourhood files with the new ones? I'm not too phased about losing the neighbourhood stories I just want to know if it will work if I install it in this simpler way lol
Test Subject
#63 Old 9th Oct 2021 at 5:45 PM
Thank you for your hard work! Clean Maxis hoods are always a must.
I have a question: if I use this as a subhood (or as a main hood with an attached Plesantview as a subhood), would Bella appear in the Goth family tree? I know she has very few memories (which makes sense because alien abduction would do that XD) but would her family know who she is, or is she a "stranger" that looks like Bella Goth?
Test Subject
#64 Old 17th Oct 2021 at 12:37 PM
i don't know if its issue only on my side (maybe something borked during startup or something) but bella goth is placed in 'default' family bin with all the dead sims instead of townie bin, would you mind checking that so no other people have issues? otherwise, great hood! i've always wanted to play the cleaned up version but with the rest of stuff (ancestors, townies) as intact as possible. your version of the hood gives me that, thanks :D
Test Subject
#65 Old 23rd Nov 2021 at 2:36 PM
awesome purist work
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