Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Delights of General Conversation in Harvest Moon





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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:

Valley residents:

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!

Harvest Sprites:

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.)

3 comments:

KalypsoCry said...

I personally never tested out the Blue Feather on other people... and I don't intend to. The other villagers' reponses were really sweet though. Kassey, on the other hand... *snickers* It's not I don't dislike him, but I don't fancy a firework maker as a husband... imagine all the explosives lying around the house! :) Typcial Murrey, thinking about food...

Some game reviewers complain that each Harvest Moon game is just a recycled plot with a few extra add ons. I disagree. Each game has their own angle and their own charm. I think the only reason why it takes Natsume so long to produce on is because they need time for the details. Though I myself am somewhat impatient for the newest release...

Freyashawk said...

A long time ago, one of my characters in FoMT took a part-time job with a marketing firm doing 'taste tests'. In that guise, he interviewed all the residents of Mineral Town and kept a record of their likes and dislikes as well as the 'Most Favourite Item' for each. That was my first attempt at what later became my 'Characters Guides' for Harvest Moon games. In any case, one day, Aloysius suddenly decided to show every one his Blue Feather, to see how they would respond...

It is one of those things that occurs to me when I am looking for hidden nuggets of information in Harvest Moon games.

I absolutely HATE the game reviewers who complain that new Harvest Moon games or 're-releases' of old Harvest Moon games are without merit. Each one DOES have its own unique charm. I suspect that the game reviewers with that point of view don't really play Harvest Moon games in any depth... for some one like that, they would seem to be all very similar. It is only if you play the games properly that you see the infinite variations and exquisite details in each.

And yes, the reason why there are delays is that Natsume really cares about the details but they don't have the funding that EA games has... so it takes time. It is extremely difficult to wait sometimes but one always can go back to an old Harvest Moon game. Did you ever play 'Rune Factory'? I still need to go back to that one...

KalypsoCry said...

Well, I do play some EA games, but I didn't like the quality of their graphics much either, but you'll have to credit them - they're more used to the TV, the PC and the PS systems.

Some players (particularly those who work for big gaming magazine companies) want something fast and full of action, not to mention they have to finish a game within a month or so for their company to write a review. Besides, they'll need to appeal to the rougher side of gamers, so you can't really blame them, although most of the time the games they label as boring are the ones I like most...

Yes, I sneaked out to buy Rune Factory buy taking out some of my yearly savings while I went shopping with my friends. I'm almost done with all the caves now, and I've married Sharron. Haven't touched the game in ages, but I'd like to see Natsume make a female version of this. The grapchis in Rune Factory are very pretty... *squee* I wonder what would happen if they did a Harvest Moon game Rune Factory style?