Whenever I describe the most vital elements of Harvest Moon to any one, I try to stress the importance of patience, determination and the need to pay attention to ALL aspects of life in any Harvest Moon game.
I discovered a little trick recently in Rune Factory that allowed me to win the Egg Festival in the first Spring, but performing this trick successfully apparently is not simply a matter of purchasing an egg from a local shop. It is possible that, if the player does not have any friendship points with the monsters he/she has tamed, his character will not win the Egg Contest with the spurious egg. All my Monsters had at least 3 FP at the time of the Egg Festival.
Knowing the value of high Friendship ratings both with other individuals and with all tame Monsters (the Rune Factory equivalent of farm animals), I used the Brush daily on the Monsters. Friendship ALWAYS is as important as wealth and experience in Harvest Moon.
In all honesty, however, the value of the egg that is entered by your 'rival' may be set at midnight... I need to confirm this in another game. It is possible that, if the player who lost the Egg Festival had been able to reload his game BEFORE midnight, he would have won the Festival as I did...
In Rune Factory as in other Harvest Moon games, there is a use for each and every one of your tools and if you neglect them, gaining no experience, you will not be able to perform necessary tasks later in the game.
I was fuming over the particularly long delay in having my hammer upgraded to Level 3 when I realised once again how clever Natsume is in designing their games. By taking my hammer for a week (a festival and Holiday intervened to extend the required 4 day wait to a week), I was forced to concentrate more on my other tools, and to spend more time fishing and chopping wood, tasks I had neglected a little when new mines containing valuable gems and items were unlocked.
Although I stress the need to perform all activities on a regular basis in my guides for Harvest Moon games, I myself often am guilty of becoming too obsessed with a single goal. One cannot afford 'tunnel vision' in Harvest Moon. It always is a mistake to focus too much on a single goal or quest. If one is diligent with respect to every activity and interacts with every individual on a regular basis, the plot will unfold naturally and new options will be unlocked. It is only when one becomes frustrated that mistakes are made and new options overlooked.
That having been said, I was very glad when I finally was able to fetch my Level 3 Hammer from Leo's Smithery...