Thursday, January 31, 2008

The First Hot Spring in HM DS and HM Cute DS

In earlier Harvest Moon games, your village often had a Hot Spring when you first arrived at your farm. It was thus even in Mineral Town, but in Forget-Me-Not Valley in HM DS, you must discover the Hot Spring. Your first opportunity to do this is by experiencing Flora's 3rd Heart Event, otherwise known as her Blue Heart Event. Sometimes players fail to understand that experiencing Heart Events does not force you to marry the girl or bachelor involved in the event. It is best to experience as many events as possible, whatever you ultimately decide to do with your life.

In 'Cute', the discovery of the first Hot Spring remains tied to Flora's old Blue Heart Event. In fact, it is virtually identical to her Blue Heart Event in the 'boy' version of the game. The only difference is that you cannot raise her AP in 'Cute' but you must raise her FP to 255 in order to experience the event.

It is rather a curious event actually as it involves the discovery of an extraordinary lithograph. This purportedly is the entire reason Carter and Flora are working in the Valley but when Flora brings the lithograph to him, he tells her he cannot join her to search for the 'treasure' because he has 'other plans'. What plans possibly could be more important than his life's work???

It does give you the chance to take his place in the treasure hunt, joining Flora to dig for the hidden 'treasure'. That treasure is the Hot Spring. Unlike some events that transpire at night, this one takes no real time and you will find yourself outside your house at the end of it at the same time you entered the screen to trigger the scene.

Incidentally, what is odd about this is that I was able to experience it on a Tuesday night, ostensibly Flora's day off. It is rather annoying that I was able to trigger this event on a Tuesday, against all logic, but that the game continued to operate like clockwork on Sunday night when I tried to experience Part II of Skye's Event, denying me any opportunity to do so after allowing me cruelly to trigger Part I. (And Skye is disappointed with me!!! He reverted to purple heart level when I failed to appear.)

Tips on Cooking in HM DS and HM Cute DS

This information will be included in my new General Guide for Cute as well as my Cooking Guide but meanwhile, I have created a little tip section for players of either game.

If you are the sort of player who, like me, tries to unlock or acquire every item as soon as possible in the game, you will find that the earliest date when you can have a Kitchen is Monday, 14 Summer. When your kitchen is delivered, you will be fairly limited in the dishes you will be able to prepare, not having any implements yet.

Here is a list of the Recipes you CAN make without any implements with notes about the characters who like them. It is valid both for the original Harvest Moon DS and for the upcoming Harvest Moon Cute.

Your First Recipes:

Your First Recipes in Harvest Moon Cute will be 'No Tool' Recipes. Those that you will be able to make in the first half of Summer are as follows:

Egg (S), Oil

Cucumber and/or
Tomato and/or
N.B. In HM Cute, using more than one of these is simply a waste of ingredients. It will not change the SR or the FR. You could use a Carrot as well, but you won't have that until Autumn and by then, you should have all Cooking Implements and a wealth of recipes. Lumina, Karen, Rock, Cody and Vesta like Salad but the real advantage of making it is as a gift for Wally. It is the first gift you can obtain that will raise his FP by +9.

Tomato and/or
N.B. In HM Cute, using more than one of these 'fillings' is simply a waste of ingredients and will not affect SR or FR. You can use a Boiled Egg as well, but you won't have a Pot at this point. Cliff loves sandwich and it is one of the first items that will raise his AP by +500 and FP by +9.

Fruit Sandwich:
Strawberry and/or
N.B. In HM Cute, using more than one 'filling' will not improve SR or FR. Later in Summer, you can make a Fruit Sandwich with a Pineapple and next year, with any Fruit, but at the moment, only Strawberries and Peach will be available.

Pickled Turnip
N.B. This is one of the easiest recipes in any Harvest Moon game and is a dish that pleases most senior citizens. Of the bachelors, Gustafa alone loves it but it is one of the first items that will raise his AP by +500 and his FP by +9. Of other young people, Nami and Karen alone like Pickled Turnips. It is one of the first items that will raise Takakura's FP by +9.

Pickled Cucumber
N.B. Another easy recipe. The same individuals who love Pickled Turnip on the whole will love Pickled Cucumber. It is one of the first items that will raise Gustafa's AP by 500 and FP by 9 and one of the first to raise Takakura's FP by 9.

Bamboo Rice
Bamboo Shoot
N.B. An easy dish but a few people actively dislike it, so be careful.

N.B. This is a great recipe and one that many people will like. Sashimi is a 'No Tool' recipe as well. Among bachelors, both Griffin and Cliff LOVE Sushi. Most of the older characters love it as well, including Galen, Hardy and Sebastian.

Raisin Bread
Wild Grape
N.B. Marlin loves Raisin Bread, and it is slightly less expensive than the Wine you have had to give him each day to boost his affection. Other characters who love Raisin Bread are Mary and Ruby.

Fish (M) or Fish (L)
N.B. Please note that you cannot use a Small Fish to make Sashimi. Sashimi' is one of the first items, apart from the Lithograph, that really excites Carter. Before you have a Kitchen, you will be limited to gifts of riceball or wine that only raise his AP and FP by +300AP +3 FP but with Sashimi, you can raise it by +500 +9 daily. Griffin loves Sashimi but he will be just as excited by a raw small fish, so Sashimi will not represent anything better in terms of courting him. He is one of the easiest bachelors to please. All the elders love sashimi as well.

Kate, Murrey love sashimi but the real plus here is that Takakura loves it. He is a difficult character in terms of gifts at the start of the game. Until you catch Big Fish, you will not have ANY gift that he will welcome. The advantage of Sashimi over Big Fish is that it can be made using a medium fish.

Ice Cream:
Optional: any fruit
N.B. Hugh, Chris and Van love Ice Cream and Lumina likes it.

This is not a comprehensive 'No Tool' Cooking Guide but it is comprehensive in terms of the dishes you can make if you order the Kitchen at the earliest possible day in the Summer of your First Year.

Some of the first 'cooked dishes' you can make have higher energy values than any other items you have been able to obtain, apart from the Medicines you can buy from Van.

Here are the Energy Values for the Recipes given above:

Salad: +20 SR -5 FR
Sandwich: +40 SR -5 FR (bread and tomato)
Fruit Sandwich: +40 SR -5 FR (bread and peach, same for bread and strawberry)
Pickled Turnip: +20 SR -4 FR
Pickled Cucumber: +20 SR -7 FR
Raisin Bread: +30 SR -4 FR
Sushi: +40 SR -1 FR
Sashimi: +30 SR -3 FR
Bamboo Rice: +30 SR -1 FR
Ice Cream: +30 SR -20 FR

Ice Cream actually is the best of these Cooked Recipes, if you suffer both from lack of Stamina and high Fatigue. If you add fruit to the basic Ice Cream recipe of 1 Milk and 1 Egg, you will raise the SR value even higher.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday... all Carter's FAULT!!!

Well, as every one knows, there is such a thing as being too clever. Miss Clever Clogs here always saves in both slots when she is in the mines, as if by some chance there is neither stairs nor hole on a specific floor, she then can reload in the other slot on the previous floor and descend to a new configuration. Otherwise, if not in the mines, I try to keep my other slot on the previous day to prevent irrevocable errors...

I was in the mines, so I saved in both slots after experiencing Part I of Skye's Blue Heart Event on a rainy Sunday. I thought I was terribly clever to have triggered the event on Sunday as I needed to experience Marlin's Blue Heart Event the next day and one can't experience a Skye Event and Marlin's 3rd Heart Event on the same night... I had been putting Marlin off for ages because of this and intervening Festivals. He was almost at green heart level in fact, but I still needed to experience the Event.

So... I returned in the rain at 10.00 p.m. to the Tent, only to remember that Carter visits the Blue Bar on Sundays. I waited patiently for him to return, little realising the horrible destiny I had set in motion for myself.

Bloody Carter!!! He staggered back onto the screen at 11.50 p.m. and did not even enter the tent until midnight! When I went to the door, it was locked, of course. All doors are locked at midnight.

I reloaded and tried again, attempting to slip into the tent WITH him. No luck. I could keep HIM outside the tent if I barred his path, but I couldn't trigger the event without him.

No matter how many times I tried, I was unable to trigger the event. If I entered BEFORE Carter, I would be inside the tent alone with Flora, which will not set Part II of the Event in motion...

So, it appears as though I will not be able to marry Skye in this game as I probably will not be able to trigger the 4th Heart Event, having missed the main portion of the Blue Heart Event.

I seldom contact Natsume for help with my own game, as I prefer to solve all puzzles myself, but this time I was on the telephone instantly to my contact there. He told me that I needed to experience both parts of the Heart Event and that, yes, not being able to do so would ruin my chances of marrying Skye.

He then told me that, as I would not be able to keep this game in any case, it may 'be for the best' if my heart is fixed upon Skye as I would find it more difficult to send back the cartridge if I were living in wedded bliss with the thief who stole my heart. Perhaps...

Nonetheless, stubborn and determined, I immediately began a NEW game in Slot 2 so that I could consummate my romance with Skye in one game at least...

As you can imagine, this has slowed down my progress enormously. I have had to go through the long, arduous process of setting up a new farm and making enough money by the second day of gameplay to order a Bird Barn and so on...

After I slept fitfully last night (in real life), I awakened with a better prospective. I am glad at least that I did not overwrite the old game, but left it in Slot 1. There is hope of Life after Skye.

This morning, returning to Slot 1, my Kitchen and Can Maker were delivered, making it possible for me to COOK. I will soldier on, forgetting about Skye for the moment.

After all, 5 other Valley bachelors, 5 Mineral Town bachelors and the four Magical Girls still are available...

As for the new game in Slot 2, I will continue to play it when time permits, but will not ignore my primary game in Slot 1.

Finally, it is only through innocent errors such as these that guides can be written properly. If I had not experienced Part I of Skye's 3rd Heart Event on Sunday, I would not be able to warn other players of the consequences. Who would have known?
When programmers create these games, they do not pause to consider all ramifications. It would require an extraordinary memory of all permutations to realise that a two-part event may have two different sets of requirements. Perhaps in a later version of 'Cute', they will re-programme the game to prevent Part I from being triggered on a day when Part II cannot be completed. On the other hand, life is cruel and circumstances often prevent us from obtaining our heart's desire.

As many characters in Forget-Me-Not Valley remark, the life of a rancher is hard...

Final Note on this: I am not admitting defeat, even in my original Slot 1 game. Although Natsume categorically states that you must experience all four heart events, and I would agree, as this is a requirement in all Harvest Moon games with traditional 'heart events', is it even remotely possible that experiencing Part I of an Event with Skye will qualify? It could be akin to a situation where a player does experience the Heart Event but gives the wrong response, thereby lowering the bachelor's or girl's heart level. I probably have lost my chance with Skye, but I am going to pray there is a glimmer of hope... If he continues to appear in the Valley at night, I will raise his heart level, however slowly and see if I can trigger the Fourth Event with him... I doubt it will be possible, but time will tell. In any case, it is vital to find out for the sake of the guide and all the other players out there who will be fascinated by Skye.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Boys from Mineral Town: Kai and Grey

Kai is very easy to please in Harvest Moon, so much so that even though you only can meet and court him in the Summer season, it is easier to raise his heart level to purple before the end of a fortnight than to raise the heart levels of Cliff, the Doctor or Rick. Grey is fairly easy, especially if you spend any time in the mines and can give him ores. I therefore found myself experiencing both Grey's and Kai's purple heart events almost simultaneously.

Although I have a fondness for Grey from my old More Friends of Mineral Town days, I have to admit that his 2nd heart event is fairly dull. Kai, on the other hand, offers you the surf and sun and more poetry than Gustafa ever did, oddly enough.

Events in HM DS Cute are a little more complex than they are in most other Harvest Moon games. Often there are three possible responses or even, in Kai's 2nd Heart Event, four. Giving the BEST response will raise the individual's heart level by 3000 AP. Giving the worst response will lower the individual's AP by 3000 points. Giving the 'middle of the road' response, neither right nor wrong, will maintain the existing AP, neither increasing nor decreasing it.

In Grey's 2nd Heart Event, your choices are simple. Either you let him look at your tools or you don't. Rather sad really that he wasn't given anything more romantic than a tool inspection for his heart event. If you allow him to look at your tools, his AP will increase by 3000 points. If you tell him it isn't necessary, he will interpret it as a serious blow to his self-esteem and confidence and his heart level will drop.

In Kai's 2nd Heart Event, on the other hand, you are called upon to declare your favourite season. If you choose Spring or Autumn, Kai will understand the attractions of each and wax rather poetic about them, even though his AP neither will increase nor decrease in those circumstances. If you choose Winter, however, he will be extremely disturbed and his heart level will drop. Choose Summer if you want him to be 'stoked'. (Every one knows Kai loves Summer, so it is not a tricky question at all.)

As you can see from the photographs of Grey's event, the best he is able to offer romantically is his charming manner of blushing and his eagerness to help you in any way he can.

'Keep your tools happy and they'll serve you well', is Grey's best line... He cannot compete with Kai on that level as Kai describes the cherry blossoms of Spring and the red leaves of Autumn in lyrical terms...

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Worst Day Ever by Popuri

Two events experienced in Harvest Moon Cute DS prompted the following short story by Popuri of Mineral Town. In Popuri's own words:

My Most Worst Day Ever
by Popuri

I always wanted to be taken seriously, you know. In the old days, in Mineral Town, my brother Rick wouldn't let me do anything important. My Mum and brother and I run the local Poultry Farm in Mineral Town. I grew up loving chickens and everything to do with chickens. Rick loves them too. I think my Mum wouldn't have been involved with the business at all except that she had to take charge when my father left.

My Mum isn't well, you know. She is very pretty and fragile and very romantic. She still hopes my father will return someday. Zack is madly in love with her but he hasn't a chance really because of that.

Anyway, Rick is in charge of the Poultry Farm really in Mineral Town but he has given me the chance to run the business we have in Forget-Me-Not Valley. So now I am in charge! I get to take all the orders for chickens and ducks and I am in charge of the Festivals too! I decided I should visit the Valley on my day off every week so that the people there would get to know me and because Takakura promised to teach me how to run the business.

So you can find me in the Valley every Sunday now. Of course, when I decided to visit the Valley every Sunday, Rick decided he had to tag along to spy on me! I hate that about my brother. He's really a sweet guy at heart but he is so interfering and he doesn't like Kai at all. I am mad about Kai and I definitely am going to marry him one day, no matter what my brother says or does to try to stop me.

There's another reason to go to the Valley in the Summer. Kai has opened a new stall on the beach there. He stays at the Inner Inn all Summer now. When Rick and I go to the Valley on Sunday, we stay at the Inner Inn too. Well, there isn't much choice. It's the only place that takes guests but even if there were others, I don't think any one would choose to stay anywhere else. The food at the Inner Inn is fantastic. Ruby is the best cook ever. In fact, Ann from Mineral Town is studying cooking with Ruby. Ann goes to the Valley on HER day off to visit Ruby and learn how to cook. If you visit the Valley, you will see that almost every one from Mineral Town will be there on one day or another! If it weren't for the fact that people visit on different days of the week, Mineral Town would be almost like a ghost town now.

So anyway, I go to the Valley on Sundays and Rick follows me there. Can you believe that he and Kai have to sleep in the same room??? It has to be awful for Kai. All Rick does is tell every one how much he hates Kai! Kai has got to be the sweetest, most easy-going guy in the world. In fact, sometimes I think he's almost too sweet and easy-going because he's friendly to every one and that means all the girls too.

Last Sunday, it was raining in the Valley and that gave me a chance to corner Nami in the kitchen of the Inner Inn. I think Nami is the coolest girl ever. I wanted her to teach me how to be cool. After all, Takakura teaches me how to run a business on Sunday mornings. I thought maybe I could take a class from Nami on how to be cool like her.

I almost thought Nami was trying to avoid me though. It was impossible to find her until it rained that day... but you know what she told me? I couldn't believe it. She told me that she used to be just like me 'back in the day' and that all I had to do to become just like her was to BE MYSELF!
Can you believe it? That's so easy!!! So watch out world because Popuri is going to be the coolest girl ever one day!

Anyway, THAT rainy Sunday wasn't the worst day ever. It was TODAY that was the worst day ever for me.

It started out beautiful. Freya came to see me at the guest room of the Inner Inn at 6.00 a.m. as she does every Sunday to give me a chocolate bar. I absolutely LOVE chocs. We're becoming great friends because she never forgets to give me a chocolate on Sunday. That, and the beautiful weather, made me think it was going to be one of the best days ever.

I went to Takakura's house at after 8.00 a.m. as usual to learn about business. He tells every one now that I am a great student and that Chicken Li'l's is bound to be successful because of me. You can imagine how that makes me feel! Takakura isn't the sort of man who goes easy on any one just to be nice. He tells the truth... so there, Rick! You're going to have to start admitting that you were wrong about me, because I'm doing a good job with the business.

In fact, I have to be honest and say that Rick has said one or two good things about me recently. At the Duck Festival this year, he praised my work. He thought I did a good job of running THAT Festival. The Chicken Festival is coming up tomorrow. You'd think I had enough to worry about without having to go through the worst day of my life the day before the Festival!

It was such a lovely day that Takakura told me to take a break, get some fresh air outside. I thought I'd go up to the Waterfall and Goddess Pond. It is such a beautiful place, as pretty as our Goddess Spring in Mineral Town. All the girls from Mineral Town like to visit the waterfall when they come to the Valley. I usually don't get to spend much time there because of my classes with Takakura but today I was free to enjoy it.

I got up there and who should I find there but the two kids, Kate and Hugh. 'Goody!' I thought. I love to play with kids. In Mineral Town, I often make mud pies with May and Stu and we have wonderful games where I'm the Mum and I pretend that they're my kids. They love to play with me. They say I'm so good at make-believe that they almost forget I'm not a kid like them.

So I thought I'd have a great time with the Valley kids too. I was so excited. As soon as they saw me, though, they called me 'Old Lady!'. I told them I wasn't an old lady but they didn't listen. Both of them got into it, calling me 'Old Lady' over and over. The little boy even said, 'An old lady is an old lady after all.' I couldn't help it, I started to cry... and then I thought, why should I put up with this??? I told them I was going to leave and guess what? They didn't even try to stop me. They didn't even say they were sorry and they didn't try to stop me from crying OR leaving. So that was the first bad thing that happened in the worst day ever. It was 10.00 a.m. when that happened.

You'd think I'd need the rest of the day to pull myself together and recover from that horrid experience. I thought to myself that going to the beach would be the answer, that I'd find Kai there and he could console me and give me something sweet to eat. I love his shaved ices, especially on a hot day and it was growing warmer...

So I walked down to the beach to see Kai. I knew he'd be surprised to see me, because usually I don't have time to go to the beach on Sunday. Oh, he was surprised, all right! And so was I!
Guess what I found when I got to the beach? I found that little flirt Muffy with MY Kai, standing all cozy together by the water. He wasn't even behind his counter where he was supposed to be!

I couldn't believe it. I said, 'Ahh! Kai, what are you doing?!'

He replied: 'What? I'm just talking to Muffy.'

All innocence, Kai... but I knew better!

I cried: 'Liar! You two are acting way too friendly!'

Muffy muttered something about it being a terrible misunderstanding but I know what that little flirt is like! She's always batting her eyelashes at every boy in sight. She's had more boyfriends than we have chickens on our farm!

Well, she left in a hurry. She knew I wouldn't have let her off easy if she had stayed. I knew she had come to the beach just to see MY Kai and not because she wanted to order food from him either. Muffy's always on a 'diet' of one kind or another. She talks about it all the time, that and her make-up. People sometimes think I'm empty-headed but I'm not. I'm a serious businesswoman, I am! Not like Muffy who can't even mix a drink properly without Griffin's help. She 'works' at the Blue Bar, but I don't think she does much work. She certainly can't be trusted to mix the drinks. Griffin does all that. She just stands there looking helpless and pretty. Yes, she is pretty in her own way although she wears as much make-up as a clown. I can't see how Kai could be attracted to a girl like that.

So Muffy ran off as quickly as she could and what did Kai do then? Did he try to comfort ME?

No, he was totally thinking about Muffy.

He cried: 'Hey, wait...'

I was furious with the both of them.

'I'm not done talking!' I exclaimed and finally got his attention!

Kai, of course, acted as though he hadn't done anything wrong.

He protested: 'What? We were just having a friendly chat.'

Right! I'll believe that the day that Van drops a hundred pounds or Murrey turns up in a tuxedo.

All I could say was: 'W-Waah...'

For the second time, I was in tears. So much for finding comfort at the beach.

I couldn't bear another moment. It has been the most worst day of my life and I still have to get ready for the Chicken Festival tomorrow.

Back at the beach, I could hear Kai, still protesting: 'What? Jeeze!'

'My Most Worst Day Ever by Popuri' by Freyashawk
based on Popuri's Event at the Waterfall with Hugh and Kate on Sunday, 6 Summer at 10.00 a.m.
and Popuri's Event with Muffy and Kai at the Beach on Sunday, 6 Summer at 11.20 a.m.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Carter's 3rd Heart Event: Trouble Ahead for THAT Couple!


In terms of matchmaking for other couples, it is not difficult to see the attraction between Marlin and Celia, Rock and Lumina, Griffin and Muffy or Gustafa and Nami. If you do not intervene to court the bachelor or girl yourself, the romance between your rival and his/her intended spouse follows a fairly smooth path on the whole.

Where Carter and Flora are concerned, however, it is a very different matter. Even in the original HM DS, it was apparent that domestic contentment was far from assured. Carter's 3rd Heart Event demonstrates the problems they will face if they ultimately marry. Flora definitely is the strongest. most aggressive girl in the Valley...

In this event, Flora announces her plan to make 'Curry Rice' for lunch. Carter never has been silent with respect to his responses to Flora's cooking and he detests Curry Rice. Flora, of course, loves it. She is determined to force it down his throat at any cost, to train him to like it, if need be, it seems. She states quite categorically that Curry Rice is the what she intends to prepare and repeats her declaration with obvious relish.

Carter, in desperation, creates an imaginary 'date' with you for lunch and asks you to confirm his fabrication. If you do, he will be extremely grateful and you will lunch with him at the Inner Inn. Afterwards, Carter will confess that Flora makes food that he 'simply cannot stomach' although he will add that he is thankful she is willing to cook for him. He ruins his brief display of gratitude, however, by offering YOU Flora's job! Fortunately, you are not required to respond here. Your character automatically will shake her head regretfully...

One imagines now that any future marriage between Flora and Carter will be fraught with domestic conflict as she continues to try to assert herself and he attempts to avoid her iron will.

If, however, you fail to back up his story, Flora will not hesitate to castigate her Professor in no uncertain terms. Beyond that, she will tell you that you too are his victim and command you to display equal rage!

Food, food, Glorious Food in Harvest Moon DS


Cooking and food in general are the subject of great interest in Harvest Moon games and Harvest Moon for the DS is no exception. There are a number of events, some quite hilarious, that deal with food either primarily or peripherally.

More than one Heart Event deals with food and/or cooking. Marlin's 3rd Heart Event occurs at the Blue Bar and results in your character drinking too much and having to be carried home, either by Marlin or by Griffin, depending on the response you give.
Skye's 2nd Heart Event involves a diversion created by the delicious odour of Curry... Curry Rice is the centre of Carter's 3rd Heart Event as he seeks to escape it. In Leia's 3rd Heart Event, you are asked to be her 'taster' for a new fish dish. Ruby's 150 FP Event involves a mistake in seasoning on her part. This is an event that occurs on Thursday in both the 'boy' and 'girl' versions of the game, by the way.

A number of Heart Events involve Ruby's kitchen. You will share a meal with Griffin in his 3rd Heart Event and with Carter in his, unless you fail to confirm his small deception.

Murrey, however, probably has the greatest number of events associated with food. There are events with the Gourmet, one of which is included in a previous post. In one event, Van will offer you a rare delicacy but Murrey will take your place at the counter and instead of giving it to you, Van mistakenly will hand it to Murrey. (That event is included both in the 'boy' and 'girl' versions of the game.

Too much food is the subject of an event between Van and Vesta. They will become quite rude to one another as they bicker over the subject of weight. The event will end with a challenge: they decide to participate in a contest to see who can lose the most weight before their next meeting.

Knowing how to cook greatly, whether your character is male or female, always increases your chances of winning the hearts of every one, but especially of any one you would like to marry. In many cases, an individual's 'Most Favourite' gift is a cooked dish. Completing your Recipe Book always is one of the subsidiary goals in any Harvest Moon game.

Knowing the dishes that each individual loves or detests is extremely important. Giving a character a cooked dish that he/she hates is as bad as giving an ordinary item that is disliked.

Knowing the value of food items in terms of Stamina and Fatigue is vital as well. Your character needs to know which items will restore the most energy... Every item, whether raw or cooked, has different effects in terms of Stamina and Fatigue. Some items actually will increase your Fatigue.

Kai is a character whose appearance is based on food. In the summers, he will open a stand on the beach.

Many of the Festivals in Harvest Moon games are centred on food. Special items such as Rice Cakes and Buckwheat Flour are obtained most easily at Festivals. In some Harvest Moon games, the only method by which to acquire these items is by attending the appropriate Festival. In Harvest Moon DS, the New Year Festival, the Cooking Festival, the Beach Festival, the Harvst Festival and the Year-End Festival all are devoted to Cooking and Eating.

Food and Cooking play an important part even in games like Rune Factory and 'An Innocent Life'. Part of the challenge and enjoyment of any Harvest Moon game is learning how to cook, finding rare ingredients and completing your Cookbook.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Easygoing Kai... It's just my way of saying 'Hi'

With all the excitement over Skye, I almost forgot that Kai had his own special brand of nonchalant charm. In his first Heart Event, he will tell you that he tends to pat you often on the back but, not to worry, he isn't flirting! It is nothing more than his way of sayiing 'Hi'.

When he first greets you and you confess that you have come for his food, he will exclaimed that he is 'so stoked!'

Perhaps the time period in which this game is set is so far in the future that very old expressions such as 'stoked' once more have become the very last word in slang. Kai, for all his youthful appearance, seems to be steeped in the culture of the decade of the 1960s. One would expect these expressions to trip from the tongue of Gustafa, but although Gustafa LOOKS the part, his conversation is less colloquial.

As Kai only frequents the Valley in the summer, if you wish to court him, you must work feverishly to increase his levels as much as possible in the course of that season. To make matters more difficult, his Most Favourite Item is the Pineapple, a fruit that takes 21 days to mature. That means that your most powerful weapon in the gift arsenal will not be available before 21 Summer. Fortunately, he is very easygoing for the most part where gifts are concerned, and you can find a multitude of fairly inexpensive items that will boost his AP by 300 points and his FP by 9 until you reach the fourth week of Summer.

Speaking of Gustafa, his 3rd Heart Event alas is rather dull even if slightly poetic. Your character isn't allowed to get a word in edgewise as he takes her on his own personal tour of the Valley at night. He does not even include you in his experience: 'Aren't the stars reflecting off the water beautiful? It's like a small universe is right there in front of me.' Me, me, me... although he does thank you for listening to him at the end of the evening when he leaves you at his door.

I admire players who choose to marry Gustafa because obviously they are not as superficial as I am. When you see him with this expression on his face, it has to be for his heart and not his looks that a woman chooses to marry him. Or perhaps it is the yurt... I confess I find the idea of living in a yurt intensely appealing and I do love his collection of exotic instruments. He's a decent chap but even with yurt and instruments included, he never will be my first choice.

When two Eccentrics Meet: Murrey and the Gourmet

Two classical eccentrics meet and exchange more than pleasantries in Harvest Moon Cute. An event between Murrey and the Gourmet will occur when you exit the Sprite Company Tree, provided Murrey is at 200 FP. It is highly entertaining, albeit brief.

At 10.00 a.m. I exited the Sprite Company Tree to experience an event between Murrey and the Gourmet.

Murrey and the Gourmet were standing in front of the Goddess Pond facing one another.

Gourmet: What the heck is that food?
Murrey: (!) Murrey's meal.
Gourmet: (...) No, I'm asking what the name of that food is.
Murrey (with cross hurt): Like I said, Murrey's meal!
Gourmet: (...) What a ridiculous sounding name...
Then: But, what is this tempting smell...? Please. Will you let me eat some?
Murrey (with cross hurt): Never. It's Murrey's meal.
Gourmet: Please. I'm begging you.
Murrey: (...) Just a bite.
Gourmet: T-Thank you very much.
He grabs it and devours it.
Gourmet: G O O D
Gourmet: This food was definitely tasty. I'll try making it at home.
He saunters off.
Murrey:(?) What a strange person.

When two food fanatics collide... It was very sweet of Murrey to allow the Gourmet to take a bite of his food and now apparent, given the Gourmet's great girth, that he has a psychological problem where food is concerned. To deprive a homeless man of his food, after all, is almost outrageous. When one looks at the size of the Gourmet's mouth, moreover, one has to suspect that a single bite would encompass an entire meal!

I believe that Murrey's succulent meal had to be made from all the gifts I had given him recently to boost his FP quickly to 200 points!

This event existed in the original Japanese boy version of Harvest Moon DS.

Marlin's Blue Heart Event: Echoes of 'Cheers'

Marlin's Blue Heart Event occurs at the Blue Bar on Monday evening, the night when you always can find him there. Although he does not work outdoors in the rain, he WILL walk to the Blue Bar when it is pouring, so you can experience the event either on a sunny or rainy day.

The event is rather interesting in its exploration of Marlin's personality. When you enter, Marlin, usually tongue-tied, will offer to buy a drink for 'this lovely lady'. Griffin asks Marlin if he would like another at that point and Marlin states that he thinks he has had enough. When you have glugged your free drink down in your usual graceless Harvest Moon fashion, you will be given the following choice:

I want more.
Marlin should have one.

Now, in the real world, I would have thought that the second option would be more polite than the first. You would be reluctant simply to ask for more drinks on Marlin's 'tab', would you not? In Harvest Moon, however, it is a trick question in a way. What would you imagine would occur if you choose: 'Marlin should have one?'

Well, in fact, Marlin's heart level will drop instantly to purple. He will be upset that you even MENTIONED the possibility of offering him a drink! He will march out of the pub and Griffin will be left to explain to you: 'Now, Freya. Weren't you listening to the man? Marlin said he didn't want to drink any more. No use trying to force him.'

If, however, you simply choose to demand MORE like Oliver Twist, Marlin will tell Griffin to give you as many as you wish. You will glug down THREE drinks in quick succession. Now you will experience (vicariously, as your character will be snoring at the bar counter) one of the more amusing scenes involving Marlin.

Marlin, ordinarily the least loquacious of individuals, will proceed to make statement after statement about the Blue Bar, heaping praise on his favourite 'local'. He will compare the Blue Bar to the bars he frequented when he lived in the city. Is Marlin the health nut actually an alcoholic??? Japan evidently has not succumbed to the negative political climate in the U.S. against regular consumption of alcoholic beverages. Many Harvest Moon games extol the social virtues of the 'local' and there usually is more than one character who drinks to excess. Karen, for example, is a renowned lush and can drink almost any man under the table. If you could have done the same, you would have earned the respect and admiration of the Valley, but in this event, you show every one that you can't hold your drink!

As you snore on, Marlin actually comes out with the old marketing phrase from 'Cheers': 'It's a place where everybody knows your name.'

Griffin thanks Marlin for his kindness but remarks that Marlin's long-windedness has put you to sleep! It couldn't have been the booze obviously!!! In fact, Griffin rather naively states: 'She must have been worn out', then asks if Marlin can carry you home.

Marlin accepts the task without any hesitation. In fact, he remarks to himself that his burden is not the least bit heavy although the journey is rather long...

Another interesting point about this event is the alternate ending if you upset Marlin with your attempt to persuade him to join you in another drink. After he leaves, Griffin will be forced to carry you home instead. He will moan: 'Oof. My back. I'm gettin' too old for this.' It is rather ironic that Marlin, who is supposedly fragile in health, has more strength than Griffin. As both bachelors are at Blue Heart level in my game, I would have thought their enthusiasm for carrying an unconscious Freya would have been equal...

'If you can catch me... I'll tell you anything you want.'


The 2nd Heart Event with Skye is as provocative as the first. Skye's events are a little more complex than most other Heart Events in Harvest Moon as most of them are in two separate parts. You basically are given a notice of his impending visit early in the day and then are required to return between 10.00 p.m. and midnight to experience the second and main part of the event.

The 2nd Heart Event occurs at the Blue Bar. Muffy and Griffin are induced to leave by the tempting odour of curry, oddly enough... Skye then enters and immediately works his charms on you.

'We meet again, my darling Freya,' he exclaims. 'Do you believe that fate has drawn us together?'

Respond in the affirmative and he will be pleased. Respond instead that 'I'm here to catch you,' and his heart will plummet to black level again.

Whatever response you give, he then will shoot you with his powerful 'CHICK-BEAM', a burst of white light that will paralyse you temporarily.

Interestingly enough, you then will have a couple of opportunities to restore his heart level to purple if you made the mistake of declaring that you were there only to catch him...

You will be able to choose between asking him questions about himself or remaining silent. Choose to ask questions and he will be delighted.

Finally, however, he will declare that it is best for him not to tell you too much as: 'if I simply tell you, it will take the mystique out of our relationship.' He then offers the ultimate challenge: 'If you can catch me, I'll tell you anytying you want.'

When he hears the voices of Muffy and Griffin in the distance, he excuses himself. Muffy and Griffin will return and Muffy definitely will be a little put out that she missed the thief! When she tells you that she is sorry that she 'just left you all alone', one has the feeling that much of her disappointment is due to the fact that she missed the thrill of being a target of Skye's CHICK-BEAM.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Nina's Mischief in Harvest Moon Cute


There is a truly hilarious event in Harvest Moon Cute that apparently was in the original Japanese Harvest Moon DS boy game but which never could be triggered in the English version. It is an event between Galen and Nina, experienced on Saturday afternoon by crossing the bridge to the east and walking down the path that skirts the river.

In this event, Nina and Galen agree that they have been fortunate to have lived in the Valley for many years but Nina suddenly confesses that she is bored. She therefore has decided to enter a street-fighting tournament. Galen is as startled as I was when I heard her declaration.

Of course, she is teasing him and has no intention of starting the training... but having known Nina in A Wonderful Life, witnessing her 'race' with the Turtle, one never can be quite certain when she is serious about a plan!

The Real Scatterbrain: To Muffy's Rescue!


Many of the 'girl' versions of Harvest Moon include an event where ALL the girls in the game get together for one reason or another. In More Friends of Mineral Town, all your 'rivals' will descend on you one morning, asking that you cook their favourite dishes for them one by one.

In Harvest Moon Cute for the DS, the event where all the girls come together is Muffy's 200 FP Event. When you enter, she will be in a state of panic and ask you to beg every girl in the Valley to come to her rescue. You obligingly will do so, only to discover that her 'emergency' is one involving her make-up!

Nonetheless, despite the very different personalities of each girl and her private opinions regarding make-up and personal vanity, each will do what she can to give Muffy the advice she seeks. It is interesting to discover the depth of caring and friendship that can be achieved with your 'rivals' and their friendship with one another, even if you are courting the same man. There are a couple of moments in specific Harvest Moon games where a flash of conflict can assert itself. For example, in one of Ann's Heart Events in the boy version of Harvest Moon DS, Muffy and Ann almost come to blows over you! On the whole, though, there is a great deal of tolerance and affection in Harvest Moon for others, even when they are eccentrics like Murrey.

Your character will be given three options when Muffy asks YOU for help. Your choices are:

You can't hide the years.
Massage your face.
Put on lots of makeup...

One of these responses will raise Muffy's FP by 20 points. Another will drop her FP by 20 points and the third will have no effect whatsoever. I will leave it to you to work out which response is the best one in the circumstances.

The Legendary Harvest Sprites in HM DS and Cute


Your first Giant Crop either in Havest Moon DS or Harvest Moon Cute DS will give you a chance to see the original Harvest Moon Sprites from Mineral Town, now known as the 'Legendary Harvest Sprites'.

Much to my disgust, I obtained my first Giant Crop in Cute in a file I had no intention of saving as I had jumped ahead by a day or two simply to discover if a specific event would trigger... I therefore had no benefit from it in my game.

Nonetheless, it was a pleasure to meet my favourite Harvest Sprites again. Here you will see the Giant Crop, a Turnip before it is harvested. Another photograph is of Hoggy, one of the Legendary Sprites, as he demands payment for his labours in the form of flour.

Each of the 'Legendary Harvest Sprites' in Mineral Town has a very distinct personality, as there are few of them, unlike the 101 Sprites in Forget-Me-Not Valley. The Valley Sprites each have their own individual responses to gifts and have little remarks that they will make in different seasons at different levels of friendship but they are not as clearly defined in personality as the Sprites of Mineral Town. 'Chef' always placed everything in the context of cooking. 'Timid' was as hesitant as his name would suggest and 'Bold' always was fearsome. Hoggy as one might imagine was greedy in every situation and 'Staid' was the most proper...

There are a number of new events in Cute involving your 'rivals' that did not exist in the original Harvest Moon DS. These events will trigger when you reach 200 FP with the girl. Lumina's 200 FP event makes a reference to the Legendary Harvest Sprites as she will serve you 'historical' tea that was given to your character long ago in FoMT or MFoMT!

Incidentally, when you give the 'correct' response to a situation in these events, you often can gain 20 FP with the girl involved. Giving the 'incorrect' response may or may not affect FP depending on the event.

Choosing your Events Wisely in HM DS or HM Cute DS

What to do? What to do? If you are playing the original Harvest Moon DS game, you can use my First Year Events Guide to plot out your game... with respect to the new Harvest Moon Cute, I am working on a First Year Events guide now.

When creating a new Events Guide and when plotting my own game, I often move ahead a day, without saving the results, to see which events can be triggered on any given day in specific weather conditions. I have reached a point now where weather is critical to define the game. It is Saturday night. Weather is determined when you awaken the next morning. I have a rainy day prediction saved in Slot 2 and a sunny day prediction saved in Slot 1.

As players of Harvest Moon DS know, it can be very confusing to save more than one game in separate slots as it is very easy to overwrite a game by saving in the wrong slot just once! Many new games for the DS do not allow the player to save in more than one slot for this reason. In any case, I need to decide which path to take.

If I allow a sunny Monday to occur, I can experience the following:
6.00 a.m. exiting the Excavation Site, Mary's 100 FP Event
6.30 p.m. at the Blue Bar, Marlin's 3rd or Blue Heart Event

If I allow a rainy Monday to occur, I can experience the following:
6.00 a.m. at the Blue Bar, Part I of Skye's 2nd or Purple Heart Event
10.00 p.m. at the Blue Bar, Part II of Skye's 2nd or Purple Heart Event

Marlin's 3rd Heart Event actually can be experienced in either situation, rain or shine, but there is a problem with this particular event, in that it will send your character straight to bed. That means that, should you experience Part I of Skye's Purple Heart Event at 6.00 a.m. but then enter the Blue Bar between 6.30 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., you will experience Marlin's Blue Heart Event and be sent to bed, unable to experience Part II of Skye's Event!

I do need to discover if, having triggered Part I of Skye's Event, if I miss Part II by experiencing Marlin's Event, will Part II trigger a fortnight later if I organise another rainy Monday? (My first chance would be fourteen days later as the blasted Chicken Festival is due to occur next Monday.) Or will it be lost to me forever? That will require a lot of organisation and time-wasting though... I am not certain I really wish to go through with that long-shot now.

In the meantime, which do I choose? Rain or shine? Players who are intent upon a single bachelor and do not care about 'non-essential' events never will experience my dilemma, but I know there are other players like me who are determined to experience EVERY possible event in any Harvest Moon game. My instinct is to experience Skye's event first as after all, he is only at purple heart level and Marlin is at blue heart level. I like to keep all the bachelors as equal as possible in terms of their heart levels until I finally choose one for my husband.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The World According to Rock


According to Rock, 'work is overrated'. At 150 FP, you can experience an event with him if you enter his bedroom after 7.00 a.m. If you visit between 6.00 a.m. and 7.00a.m., the event will not occur.

In this event, Ruby chastises Rock for his laziness and Rock in timeless adolescent fashion, tells his mother: 'Jeez, Mom, quit bugging me!' He adds: 'I do lots of important stuff with my time. So what if I don't work? Working is totally overrated, anyway.' If you speak to him at the end of the event, he will declare that: 'Parents don't know anything about their own children.'

In the event, Ruby will refer to you as a model of hard work and determination. At least Rock does not appear to hold THAT against YOU.

Rock will declare that his morning has been ruined by the scene, and that he no longer will be able to relax properly.

I confess that I have a weakness for Rock. He is so unashamed of his indolence and his lifestyle and so easy-going towards life and other people. There are no hidden shadows in Rock's psyche. In his own words, he is as 'big and beautiful as the sea'. (He lost first place in my list of favourites to Skye and to Grey, however!)

Rock is one of the eligible bachelors in Another Wonderful Life but even in that game, you need not fear that marriage to him will produce a child in its father's image. There are some rather dramatic scenes involving Rock as a husband in AnWL. Rather than following his father's example, your son would become increasingly disgusted with Rock's laziness and ultimately would castigate him for his irresponsible attitudes. Unlike AnWL, your child in Harvest Moon Cute never will help you on the farm, no matter who the father may be.

Sympathy for Griffin


I now am crushed by the weight of my guilt for having made ANY comment about Griffin's advanced age in an earlier post about the eligible bachelors in Harvest Moon Cute for the DS.

I am experiencing all the 3rd or Blue Heart Events now and in fact, Griffin's Blue Heart Event deals with his age and his perception of himself as a 'worn-out old bachelor'. When I experienced the event, my heart went out to him, even though he is not my first nor even second choice for a spouse, despite his sterling character.

I do try to raise every bachelor's heart level to yellow at least to experience all four heart events for each, even if I have no intention of marrying them. At the same time, before I save the event, I experience both the 'positive' and 'negative' endings for my guide.

In Griffin's 3rd Heart Event, you are pressed by Ruby into stating whether or not you think Griffin is too old for you. She places herself in the position of a matchmaker. To Griffin's credit, he suffers at the thought of YOUR embarrassment at being put on the spot. If you declare that he is too old, obviously his heart level will drop. If you declare: 'Why wouldn't I like you?', Griffin will deflect the conversation as quickly as he can. Although he evidently likes you, he is a very self-effacing man.

I shan't mind proposing to him in a future game as much as I had thought I would. He is such a decent, sensitive guy...

I have included a photograph here of the most extraordinary expletive I have encountered so far in Harvest Moon. It is used by Ruby at the start of the event: 'Oh dagnabbit!'