Marissa Harriet Hood was born as the daughter of Bombay resident Sadasheeva Cherupara and his wife Alexis Hood from the United States. Sadasheeva was murdered by bandits in India who were trying to revive the Thuggee traditions that the British had gone to great lengths to extinguish. In fear for her life, Alexis moved to Boonville, IN and gave birth to Marissa in 1912.
Sadasheeva was a target as much because he was Christian as because he was easy to overtake. Alexis, fearing that she wouldn't be accepted by other black women in town because she'd married someone from India, reverted to her maiden name of Hood, which her slave ancestors were named after they were freed. This was done to Alexis' family as an insult by those in the South who resented freedom being granted to Alexis and her family.
While Alexis never desired to marry again, her daughter Marissa looked forward to it. Marissa was one of the first to infiltrate the influence of Hebbleskins in Boonville, and call for an end to that influence. This led to some angry operatives murdering Marissa's mother Alexis.
The horror sent Marissa into a panic, where she fled to the forests outside Boonville and hid. Marissa became very skilled in the field of ministry and carpentry while she built for herself a cabin in the forests. She maintained a low profile to avoid drawing attention to herself from the Meethlites, and lived alone.
When interest began to form from Boonville proper concerning building on territory in what would become known as Gerosha, Marissa served as a Sunday School teacher for a local black congregation. She used some of the money she earned doing random chores for others to purchase for herself a small car, a 1929 model.
Encounter with Dwayne Lloyd
In February of 1957, Marissa's house was invaded by a fugitive named Dwayne Lloyd. He tried to hide from law enforcement after committing a murder in town. He believed that he could hide from them inside Marissa's cabin. While Marissa was bathing, Dwayne violently broke down the front door and fled into Marissa's bedroom. Once he heard screams from the bathroom, he broke into it and grabbed hold of Marissa, dragging her to the bed.
Dwayne seized the moment and raped Marissa, leaving her utterly distraught and cold as the air from outside blew into the house freely. Law enforcement arrived, helping Marissa back on her feet and hauling Dwayne off to prison. A few weeks later, Dwayne would be murdered in prison by an inmate with a shank. Marissa was sent to live with a friend while that friend's brother rebuilt damage done to the cabin by Dwayne and also installed improved electrical work and plumbing to the house.
Marissa never gave up her determination to bring the few forest dwellers ever closer to God. However, her main congregation moved closer to Boonville's city limits. The church soon discovered that, in spite her being 43 at the time of her encounter with Dwayne, she had become pregnant. Officials of the board at the congregation decided that Marissa was no longer a good influence as a Sunday School teacher, even though it was not her decision to be with child. The board members, a few of whom were secretly befriending Hebbleskins, began to confuse the congregation about the nature of Marissa's pregnancy, claiming that Marissa had been sleeping around. A few were exposed as Meethlite sympathizers after being kicked out of the church for going so far as to pressure Marissa to have an abortion.
Outraged and defiant, Marissa joined another congregation, and vowed to make sure that her child was born healthy. She gave birth to Shalia Hood on October 3rd of 1957. Marissa lived with Shalia in the Hood Cottage for several more years, raising Shalia to become a very staunch believer of the family faith and to be devoted to making Boonville a role model town.
The Treasure of Henry Lohtz
As Marissa and Shalia grew up in their forest cottage, they began to discover clues to the legendary Henry Lohtz, a pirate of untold wealth. Rumor had it that Henry's most prized possession was a seashell dubbed the "Gerosha Stone," whom Lohtz had used as his pirate symbol. Whoever could find the Gerosha Stone could find the treasure, and turn it in to become a multi-billionaire! Marissa never strayed too far from town, but Shalia made it one of her personal goals to discover the treasure of Henry Lohtz.
In Shalia's mind, the key to making Boonville great included incorporating it as a city proper, to help it contrast with the decadence of Hebbleskin influence moving in. A small amount of the money Shalia was to inherit if she found Lohtz' treasure would be used to found Gerosha as a city, and building could commence.
Marissa eventually became ill when she neared her sixties. Aging rapidly, she supervised her daughter's courtship of fellow treasure hunter Stan Flippo. Marissa used her knowledge of carpentry to assist Stan in building his own cabin across the street from hers. Stan had come to Marissa's door after his adoptive father, Tobey Flippo, had died of old age and left Stan an orphan. Marissa initially considered adopting Stan, but decided against it when she noticed that Shalia took a peculiar liking to Stan. Marissa then made it her goal to help the couple find the treasure of Lohtz, but was too weak and sick.
Finally, a month before Stan and Shalia eloped in the forests of Gerosha, Marissa drew her last breath. Stan helped Shalia construct a makeshift grave for her, and the couple set out to find Lohtz's treasure. After doing so, the couple had a formal ceremony with a few friends invited. Stan and Shalia Flippo began making their dreams come true of founding Gerosha as a city and taking on their career ambitions. Shalia went into local politics, while Stan became ambitious about minor league baseball. Their common value, learned from Marissa, was to in all things live beneath their means. They made it their goal not to squander their wealth, but to use their wealth sparingly and to earn a living in addition to it.
Using some of the money from founding Lohtz's treasure, Stan and Shalia established the Gerosha Cemetery. Here, the tombs of Dwayne Lloyd, Alison Flippo, Tobey Flippo, and Steve McNolan were laid. Marissa's body was moved from behind her cabin to an appropriate spot in the center of the Gerosha Cemetery.
Development of character
Marissa was first depicted as being Shalia's mother in The Sims Deluxe Edition back in 2004. She was part of the Hood family that lived in the city park. She lived there with Shalia and three brothers. Over time, the brothers were dropped from the story and Marissa went from the grouchy and immoral curmudgeon depicted in The Sims to the kind, sweet, beautiful girl that she is depicted as in The Battle for Gerosha.
Shalia also acquired these and other conservative values, though she was initially depicted as a rebel in the original TS1. Her marriage to Stan and acquisition of Reily as a son with Stan were first established in TS1, as being her way to escape living with her mother. This was changed to Shalia marrying Stan after Marissa's death so that she could be supported, and then giving birth afterward to Reily.
- Marissa's middle name, Harriet, is a reference to Harriet Tubman.