Saturday, January 26, 2008

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...

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