What in the hell was Succession about? Was it a sitcom? Shakespearean tragedy? Treatise on abuse — or on America? Probably all of it, but Succession was also about dumb people making dumb choices over and over again. It was about Logan making everyone beg and cry and piss themselves for his amusement, which brings to mind my favorite beg-and-cry-and-piss-yourself game: The Sims. Why wait ten long episodes to figure out who “won” the Succession game when I could just place the eight key players into a last-Sim-standing challenge in The Sims 4?
As explained by @sams.sims on TikTok, a last-Sim-standing challenge is simple, if a little frustrating for the player. You lock the maximum number of Sims in an uncovered but fenced-in lot with everything necessary to live and everything necessary to not live. Sims can die from all sorts of things: appliances, vending machines, telescopes, evil chickens. I downloaded @sams.sims’s own last-Sim-standing lot and made a few modifications. I added the decorative pond from the Get Famous game pack that could be filled with sharks. I gave the Roys chickens in case Logan picked a losing fight with a rooster. I added vending machines, because let’s face it — these Richie Riches don’t cook. And I threw in the hamster from My First Pet Stuff’s pack that can infect Sims with “rabid-rodent fever” if its cage is left dirty.
In went Kendall, Roman, Shiv, Tom, Connor, Logan, Gerri, and Cousin Greg. (Apologies to Willa and Kerry — and Kerry’s bangs — who, if capacity allowed, would have made the cut.) Overall, the Sims community provided good facsimiles of the cast save for Tom. I had to get a custom content-adept friend to make a Wambsgans to my exacting standards. But once the crew and pad were set, I simply started the game and watched what unfolded. In more the style of another series finale, here’s how everyone in Sims-session died.
Connor Roy: Murphy-Bed Mishap
Connor is the first to bite it. It’s almost like the game knew he wasn’t a significant enough character to waste CPU on. Connor passed trying to take a nap, of all things. The Sims 4 has a set of Murphy beds, which can open on a Sim and squish them to death. Con foolheartedly tried to open all four on-lot Murphy beds at once. He successfully got two down, but the third took him down instead. We have first blood.
At this point, Logan’s mood is characterized by the game as “Very Happy.” He picked a fight with Gerri, then punched the shit out of a giant stuffed animal that came pre-named as Bun Bun.
Meanwhile, Roman is regulating his emotions by getting addicted to his phone. He gets the “Phone Fanatic” quirk, which makes him check his phone at least ten times a day. It’s a good thing you can’t send dick pics in The Sims (unless you have the WickedWhims mod).
The day after Con dies, it rains. And because there’s no cover, every appliance breaks simultaneously. In theory, a Sim could take the initiative to repair even one broken item, but the rich are different from you and me. The Succession crew let every single electronic and plumbing fixture break on its lot. For the rest of the experiment, everyone will take turns pissing themselves and starving until they buy food from the vending machines.
Cousin Greg: Touched Lava, Got Burned
Sim lots can have a mixture of good and bad traits. Good traits include “Natural Light,” which increases your Sims’ photography skills. But did I give the Roy-Family Death-Cult Compound good traits? Of course not! I gave it the “Creepy Crawlies” trait that causes random spider/bee/bat attacks. I also gave it the “Volcanic Activity” trait, which occasionally causes giant balls of magma to rain from the sky. If you touch these great balls of fire before they’ve cooled into rock, you’ll catch fire. This is something Greg Hirsch finds out the hard way. Other Sims can use a fire extinguisher to save a Sim from being engulfed in flames, but no Roy attempted to rescue Greg here.
Logan Roy: Death by Standing Still
Fire spreads. Did you know that? Logan didn’t. Logan Roy becomes a victim of his own indifference to the suffering of others. If he’d saved Greg, he would have been saving himself. And Tom. Whoops.
Tom Wambsgans: A Follower to the End
On the show, Tom’s obsequiousness to power (his need or willingness to “suck the biggest dick,” in Shiv’s words) allowed for him to “win.” In The Sims, his literal proximity to Logan is what kills him. Death didn’t even have to leave the lot between Greg, Logan, and Tom’s demises. The whole gang goes down in about an in-game hour. In fact, Death stays on the lot long enough to become pals with Kendall and thanks the living Sims for inviting him over for such a chill time.
Finally, Gerri puts out the flames, refusing to go down with this bullshit family. Kendall, meanwhile, has stayed in the pool this whole time. He’s vibing. The man loves water.
Shortly after the triple lavacide, Harvestfest comes! Harvestfest is an in-universe holiday in The Sims 4 during which garden gnomes appear on your lot. You have to appease them with gifts or else they’ll break your appliances. Well, joke’s on you, gnomes — all the appliances on this lot are already broken! Checkmate, you freaky lawn ornaments. A Grim Reaper gnome appears in the sleeping area, perhaps as a callback to the game’s first death. As a snobby Sim, Roman takes it upon himself to critique the gnome as a work of art.
The game passes the Bechdel Test when Shiv and Gerri speak to each other, presumably about why they’re wearing swimsuits when it’s snowing out. Alas, this is the last time the game could ever pass the Bechdel Test because Gerri is the next to go.
Gerri Kellman: The Poison Drips Through
Remember those random insect attacks? Apparently they can be deadly. Gerri got swarmed by poisonous bees. They cause Gerri to break out in green splotches, and they poison her blood. She gets a fever and eventually collapses and dies. At the exact moment she dies, a vampire named Count Vladislaus Straud IV poofs into the compound. He begins weeping for the loss of our dear Gerri because she is that lovable.
Because the living are too uncomfortable to meet most of their basic needs, the ghost of Connor Roy takes it upon himself to clean up around the compound. He still leaves tons of empty green-tea cans, but it’s better than the living Roy siblings can do.
Even the ghosts are moved by Gerri’s death. The ghost of Tom Wambsgans texts Shiv, asking if she wants to go get consoled over breakfast at a restaurant I made in Oasis Springs called Molto Bene Italia Si Si. That’s not going to happen, Tom. First of all, Molto Bene Italia Si Si doesn’t do breakfast. Also, your wife is about to die from rabies.
Shiv Roy: Lost a Game of Bitey
One of the weirder deaths in The Sims 4 is via rabid-rodent fever, which can occur as a result of a hamster bite. The Roys adopt a hamster named Hammy and never, ever, ever, ever clean out its cage. One day, Shiv plays with Hammy and bam! Shiv loses the most important game of Bitey of her life.
The disease takes days to progress through Shiv’s body. She gets a headache, then a fever, then dizzy spells. Eventually she becomes contagious and spreads the disease to Roman. In the last stage, she is puking her guts out into a broken toilet for 24 hours. While waiting for Shiv to die, Roman pisses himself, then passes out in a pool of his own piss. And you thought the Meal Fit for a King was gross.
Meanwhile, Kendall has gotten the “Emotion Bomb” quirk, meaning he can no longer control his emotions. He also develops a strong fear of water. This, combined with his strong love of water and complete lack of hygiene, means Kendall spends the last 24 hours of Shiv’s life trapped in an activity loop: He jumps in the pool, gets scared and climbs out, smells how stinky he is, then pleads with an indifferent God (me) to please fix even one shower. He also plays with the shark pool in the corner of the yard, falling in at least three times — which is presumably how he got the water phobia.
Eventually, Shiv succumbs to her rabies. She foams at the mouth and keels over.
After Kendall’s good friend Death leaves, Kendall tells a secret to the hamster. Undoubtedly, they’re bonding over both having killed someone.
With Roman in the early stages of rabid-rodent fever, it seems as though Kendall is locked in for last man standing. But I shouldn’t underestimate Kendall Roy’s penchant for self-sabotage — because that boy cannot stay out of water, even if it’s definitely going to kill him.
Kendall Roy: Drowning, Duh!
Could it have gone down any other way? Dramaturgically, no. With no Colin to save him, Kendall falls into the drink one last time. He loved teasing sharks, an activity the sharks were only so-so on. Then he slipped on the pond’s decorative rocks and became shark food.
All this takes place on Prank Day, when Sims play practical jokes on one another. This joke isn’t so funny to Roman, who is suddenly an only child but probably not an orphan. Lady Caroline is most likely living it up in the fancy-shmancy Italian-wedding pack (yes, this is a real thing).
It was never going to be Roman, and yet somehow it’s Roman. If the game had martinis, I’d make him one.