Saturday, 21 March 2020

The Bande Dessinée Bachelorette

For several years now, I have had a strong interest in European / Franco-Belgian comics, or bande dessinée. These beautifully drawn comic strip series often depict everyday heroes doing extraordinary things - be it solving mysteries or stopping crimes - in both local and exotic locations, usually without the aid of special or magical powers. 

For my own silly amusement, I decided to take a handful of these heroes, and use them to play a relaxed version of the Bachelorette Challenge. These Sims were made on the Gallery by people more talented by myself, and I have given credit where credit is due. 

DISCLAIMER: The characters and artwork remain the property of their respective authors, creators, publishing houses, etc. at all times. This fan challenge was created for fun and not for profit. Please don't sue me.

I'll begin by introducing our contestants - and by blatantly disregarding any relationships they may or may not have in their respective canons:

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CONTESTANT ONE: GASTON LAGAFFE




Series: Gaston Lagaffe
Created and drawn by: Andre Franquin
Sim created by: CecileLola

Gaston is a lazy goofball who will do anything to get out of work - such as inventing a workshop's worth of crazy inventions. But is he willing to work hard to woo our bachelorette?


CONTESTANTS TWO AND THREE: SPIROU AND FANTASIO




Series: Spirou & Fantasio
Created by: Rob-Vel (Spirou), Jijé (Fantasio)
Art by: Various artists over the years - above by Yoann & Vehlmann
Sims created by: TheDoctorMad

Spirou is a former bellboy turned adventurer, often still depicted in his classic red uniform. His best friend and constant companion, Fantasio, is an ambitious journalist who records their various quests. Their friendship is undeniably strong - will our bachelorette come between them?


CONTESTANTS FOUR AND FIVE: ASTERIX AND OBELIX




Series: Asterix
Created and drawn by: Goscinny and Uderzo
Sims created by: Queen_Hamburglar

Another famous double act, these two Gauls are best known for fighting Romans with the aid of magic potion. Now in the modern day, they have a very different battle ahead of them.


CONTESTANT SIX: TINTIN




Series: Tintin
Created and drawn by: Hergé
Sim created by: MICELLA

Probably the best-known bande dessinée character of all, the good and daring young reporter is ready to face off against his bellboy rival, and everyone else besides. He's already won the hearts of millions of readers and cartoon watchers - will he leave the competition with one more?


CONTESTANT SEVEN: GIL JOURDAN



Series: Gil Jourdan
Created and drawn by: Maurice Tillieux
Sim created by: a hybrid of the Tintin and Spirou Sims above

A young lawyer turned private detective, Gil usually solves problems for paying clients, and is used to dealing with some really unsavoury, gritty characters. Can he use his deduction skills to figure out the mysteries of love?


And now, most importantly of all, the lady herself...


BACHELORETTE: NATACHA



Series: Natacha
Created and drawn by: François Walthéry and Gos
Sims created by: Modified from a Sim by philiumbus

This brave and beautiful flight attendant doesn't need a man to save her from the various scrapes she gets into, but perhaps one of these seven gentlemen might be a good candidate to form a dynamic duo?


The mansion I used for this challenge is by devsim123.
I am playing with the relaxed challenge rules written by itsjulie.

Let's get this competition underway!

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For the first four days, I basically leave everyone to their own devices. Luckily, despite the many distractions on offer - including a pool and home gym - they do actually socialise with one another.

During the first dinner, Tintin sits next to Natacha, and catches her eye. Will this give him an early lead?





















It seems so, as they swiftly move from one table to another: the foosball table.














Obelix alone is the only other contestant who poses a threat to Tintin's strong start.

















The others are too busy focusing on a very different game.

















(Hey, guys - you see that tower? That's your chances of winning this thing if you don't get your acts together, and quick!)













(Ah, yes - much better!)

A group hot tub session on Day 2 pretty much evens the playing field - with the notable exception of Gil, who keeps to himself so much, you'd swear he has the Loner trait. If the detective has some kind of plan, he can't stall it for much longer.

As for Spirou, it seems his time at the "Don't Wake the Llama" table has held him in good stead, after all.


On Day 3, everyone gets their groove on - shaking their shimmies on the dance floor. Now Fantasio makes his play, making small talk with Natacha over the pounding pop rhythms.


















It is the morning of Day 4 before Gil finally acts - chatting with Natacha one-on-one in an effort to get to know her better. Although, why he chose to do this in the bathroom is anyone's guess.















He keeps up this newfound sociable attitude over another group dinner...














... and it is enough to save him from elimination. The first contestant to go is Asterix.

























Goodbye, old friend! I'll sure you'll see Obelix again sometime soon - even if he has a rather different blonde by his side!

On Day 5, the social activities begin. The group decide to take a one-day trip to Granite Falls, renting a log cabin.



















They spend the day playing horseshoes...















... and the evening sharing stories of their adventures around the campfire.















Gil tries his best to get Natacha's attention, but his earlier stalling proves fatal. He simply cannot close the gap between himself and the others, and he becomes the second contestant eliminated.















































Back home on Day 6, there's hardly time to unpack before the next activity: a trip to The Narwhal Arms nightclub. Here, Natacha turns up the heat by attempting a flirty interaction with each contestant.

Tintin, Spirou and Gaston all happily accept her advances, essentially equalising them once again.












































Fantasio and Obelix, on the other hand, both turn her down - and find themselves plummeting into the bottom two.

A second chance comes with a visit to the Old Quarter Inn for a nightcap. 














This chance is squandered by both men, however, when they choose to keep their distance.















The relationship bar is too close to call...
























... so I turn to a mod to view the numbers.






Fantasio friendship score: 53.2
Obelix friendship score: 56.7

The journalist's dance floor advances weren't enough to negate the Gaul's early efforts, and he is the next to go.



















Day 7 dawns, and marks the start of a little experiment. As the group rests at home, I decide to set up a club to encourage everyone to socialise... and maybe even flirt a little.
























After canoodling over a card game...

















... Natacha offers each gentleman a rose. Everyone accepts this time, including Obelix.




















However, the gesture isn't enough to get his Romance meter up and running. By nightfall, he is off to rejoin Asterix.

























The experiment continues the next day, with an even stronger focus on flirtation.
























This has the effect of making the day's results so close to call, I have to look at the stats and combine everyone's friendship and romance scores together.

Despite beginning this competition as the front runner, Tintin has just fallen short of the mark.






Gaston total: 97.7
Tintin total: 92.7
Spirou total: 102
























He put up a great fight, but now, the young reporter is heading back to Marlinspike Hall. Hopefully Snowy (Milou) will be there waiting for him, to offer comfort and commiserations.

For the final showdown, I go all out. With the club gathering boosts at their peak, I fill up Spirou, Gaston and Natacha's needs bars and lock them in a distraction-free room, leaving them with only each other for entertainment.

















Each gentleman also has the honour of getting one hour alone with our bachelorette: to flirt away to their heart's content, away from the eyes of their rival.

Spirou was the victor yesterday with a 4.3 point lead. Will he be walking back to Fantasio with our fabulous flight attendant on his arm?


The answer is no!

Gaston final total: 113.4
Spirou final total: 107.3

The goofball has done it! He's shirked off his lazy nature to fight off the competition, and has won Natacha's heart! 

I must admit, I was a little shocked at the result. And as Gaston shares his first kiss with Natacha that night, I think he's rather shocked himself, too!


And as we end on this... ahem... "beautiful" image, thank you all for reading!

Please check out the incredible comics that inspired this challenge, and please support the Simmers whose amazing creations made this possible!

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