University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Is Bella Goth the New Barbie?

Francesca Sylph

ByFrancesca Sylph

Apr 24, 2024
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It’s happening. The Sims is finally getting a big-screen adaptation, with even bigger names attached, including Margot Robbie of Barbie fame to produce. The Sims was released in February 2000 and has since become one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time, with four main games, a fifth on the way, countless expansion packs, and even an original language: Simlish. The concept is simple: a sandbox world where players create virtual characters (Sims) and control how their lives transpire. We currently have no plot details for the movie, but the possibilities are endless. It may take a meta, self-aware approach – perhaps a Truman Show spin much like Barbie, exploring creation, control, and choosing your own destiny. However, there is one Sim’s story in particular that I want to see on the big screen more than anything…

Bella Goth is, by far, the most beautiful, beloved and mysterious townie in The Sims Extended Universe. She is so famous that even non-Simmers are likely to recognise her name or her face. Bella appears in every main Sims game. She may be different in some way, but she is always recognisable because of her dark hair and iconic red dress. In The Sims, she is a pre-made, playable adult living with her husband Mortimer and daughter Cassandra. In The Sims 3, she is a child going by her maiden name Bachelor (and also a ghost… but we will get to that later). In The Sims 4, she is a young adult, reunited with her husband and (two, this time) children. In The Sims 2, she is… missing?! Therein, dear Simmers, lies the mystery.

On the night of Bella’s disappearance, she was spotted at the home of one Don Lothario. As the name may suggest, Don is a well-known womaniser; a true rake if I ever saw one. The pair were reportedly looking through a telescope when Don decided to make a move. Bella rejected his advances and then was… abducted by aliens? While Don may have been the last Sim to see Bella alive, there are other suspects at large. Gold-digging twin sisters Nina and Dina Caliente are entangled with all the major players on the board. At least one of them was involved with Don Lothario (but then again, who wasn’t?) and Dina pursued Mortimer once Bella disappeared. Speaking of Mortimer Goth, he is next on the list of suspects. It’s always the husband… or is it? Perhaps he wanted Bella gone so he could hook up with Dina. Or perhaps he was just another pawn in the Caliente’s game of chess…

Bella hasn’t disappeared from The Sims 2 entirely though. She can be found wandering around the spooky neighbourhood of Strangetown with no memories of her loved ones or past life. Are we to assume the alien experiments left her mind wiped? The lore doesn’t end there, however. The PSP version of The Sims 2 takes place exclusively in Strangetown. This Bella differs from her PC counterpart; she was still abducted by aliens, but managed to escape and is currently hiding from her captors. She is described as “a slightly crazed woman you met on her way out of town”. PSP Strangetown Bella also managed to retain her memories somehow, revealing that she never loved Mortimer and only married for money.

In The Sims 3, Bella’s grave can be found in Lunar Lakes cemetery while she is floating around as a ghost. It is worth mentioning that The Sims 3 takes place before the first two games (hence why Bella also exists as a child). Anything is possible in The Sims! Including time travel and aliens, apparently. Bella reappears in The Sims 4 although everything is back to normal since this takes place in an alternate timeline (with no alien abductions). Needless to say, The Sims lore is extensive. I doubt the movie will explore Bella Goth’s disappearance in all its complexity (I barely scratched the surface) but I am hoping for at least a cameo. Honestly, I’d be happy to see any easter eggs, from a disappearing pool ladder to death by grilled cheese.

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