Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The Delights of General Conversation in Harvest Moon
Players who are unfamiliar with Harvest Moon may not be aware of the incredibly detailed landscape in which they find themselves. Dialogue is part of gameplay and indeed speaking to individuals is vital in terms of unlocking events. Giving items that the individual likes is very important as well, but beyond that, there is a wealth of information, both important and completely frivolous, that can be gained from general conversation. Often you will gain information about history or individuals from other towns... you may gain important information about the man or woman you love. Sometimes, it is nothing more than highly entertaining.
Whenever I purchase or acquire a Blue Feather, I show it to every one possible in order to experience their responses to it. I am not speaking of eligible bachelors or girls here but of individuals in general, from the elders of the village to the resident Harvest Sprites.
Here are some of the Forget-Me-Not Valley individual responses in Cute:
Ruby: Oh, a Blue Feather! How romantic. Good luck!
Lumina: Oh, are you getting married? Invite me to the wedding!
Hugh: Whoah, what a pretty feather! Will you give it to me? Oh, you won't?
Muffy: A Blue Feather? You're proposing, are you? Who are you proposing to?
Nami: Hm... You're proposing? Good luck.
Nina: Long ago, my husband proposed to me with a Blue Feather. Good luck.
Galen: I used to spend a lot of money on Nina, too. Do your best.
Celia: You'll be fine, Freya! Good luck!
Flora: How romantic. Please do your best.
Cody: You're going to propose? i don't know who it is, but be strong.
Patrick: Congratulations. Who is he?
Kassey: You want to marry me? If you insist! What? That's not what you meant?! You're going to dump me and marry some other guy?! Who is he?!
Sebastian: congratulations! To who...? Oh, pardon my rudeness.
Romana: Ho ho ho! Don't mock me.
Van: Will you be selling that? Hm? Keeping it, are you?
Takakura: So you've finally decided to marry, eh? Then the ranch's future is safe. Good luck!
Mukumuku: Mofaaa! Mofa mofa. Mofa!
Hardy: What is this? Are you proposing to me? Ha! You must be joking.
Daryl: What's this? A Blue Feather? Not interested...
Murrey: Where do birds that colour live? I wants to see how they taste!
Visitors from Mineral Town:
Ann: What?! You're getting married? Congratulations!
Paige: This is a Blue Feather. You should give it to some one you love.
Sammy: Oh! A Blue Feather! Who are you going to give it to,Freya?
Gigi: Oh! Freya, that item you've got is so cool!
Yacht: I hope some one special will give one to me one day, too!
Fry: I've never seen that before! How pretty!
Riviera: It's a Blue Feather! This Feather is full of wonders!
Fisher: Freya, you're supposed to give this to some one really special to you!
Rod: You're giving it to me? Freya, you know I can't marry you. I can't take it. Freya, I understand what you're trying to say. Thank you!
The interchange with Kassey is almost a little event in itself. The same is true with respect to the dialogue with Rod of the Fishing Team. Marvelous Interactive, the company that creates Harvest Moon, never ceases to amaze me with its attention to detail. Natsume, in patiently translating the game into English for us without sacrificing any of the thousands of wonderful details, is equally amazing.
So many games cut corners. When Peter Jackson made 'King Kong', EA games produced a game but in their haste to bring the game out at a time that would capitalise on the interest in the film, they produced a shoddy game that only served to disappoint fans. (I am not obsessed with King Kong myself, but it is a good example of a game that sacrificed quality in order to have the earliest possible release. Many game producers force the release of new games at the Christmas holiday season in order to maximise sales, to the detriment of the intrinsic value of the game. Fans of Harvest Moon sometimes are impatient with Natsume when delays are announced with respect to the release of a new game, but I would rather wait and have the best possible game in every instance. You can't have it both ways, and every Harvest Moon game is a gem.)