Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Power of Curry in Harvest Moon

Any one who is familiar with Harvest Moon games will know that Curry is a potent dish and one of the most controversial. In HM DS and HM Cute DS in particular, various types of Curries can make or break a relationship as well as winning the Cooking Contest and unlocking the heart of Keira the Sleeping Beauty.

There are individuals who adore Curry and individuals who detest it. Most events that involve both Carter and Flora revolve round the topic of Curry. Flora loves it and cooks it at every opportunity. The Professor hates and dreads it. He will plead in vain with Flora NOT to cook it. He even will invent a date with YOU in Cute to avoid a Curry lunch...

Skye's entire career as a thief is based on a desire to make the best Curries in the world. It should be no surprise then to discover that his Most Favourite Gift is Ultimate Curry. He loves all other special Curry and likes ordinary Curry Rice...
Be careful, however, NOT to assume that any dish made with Curry Powder will please Skye. He loathes Curry Bread, Curry Bun, Dry Curry (-800 AP -9 FP) and his Secret Weapon of Hate is Curry Noodles (-5000 AP -20 FP).

Here is a list of the ordinary bachelors of the Valley and their responses to Curry:

Griffin: Likes Curry +300 AP +3 FP
Gustafa: Loves Curry (+500 AP +9 FP)
Marlin: Likes Curry (+300 AP +3 FP)
Rock: Loves special Curry (+500 AP +9 FP) and Likes ordinary Curry (+300 AP +3 FP)
Skye: Adores Finest Curry (+800 AP +9 FP), loves other special Curry (+500 AP +9 FP) and Likes Curry Rice (+300 AP +3 FP)

Secret Weapon of Hate:
Carter: Ultimate Curry (-5000 AP -20 FP)

The 'Secret Weapon of Hate', by the way, is the item in the game that will cause the bachelor's AP to plunge 5000 points and his FP to drop by 20. There is only one item that will have this effect on any bachelor. It is useful to know because if you are the sort of player who, like me, first raises every bachelor's heart level at least to Yellow to experience all Heart Events, you ultimately need to LOWER that heart level to experience the Rival Heart Events that will allow the bachelors you do not marry to marry your Rival instead. Part of the fun of Harvest Moon is experiencing all possible Heart Events, but each event is worth points towards your Farming Degree as well. That is the reason the Secret Weapon of Hate is extremely useful. Using it only twice (on two different days), you can decrease any bachelor's heart level in Cute a full level. The same holds true for any eligible girl in the original 'boy' version of Harvest Moon for DS.

What does the creation of Curry entail? In fact, some Curries are a lot of work and are made at considerable expense! A simple Curry Rice requires only one Riceball and one Curry Powder made in a Pot, but each 'Coloured' Curry requires a Wild Grass as well. Rainbow Curry, as you might imagine, is a dish made using 8 different Curries.

The recipe for Rainbow Curry is:

Curry Rice
Orange Curry
Yellow Curry
Red Curry
Purple Curry
Indigo Curry
Blue Curry
Green Curry

Wild Grasses are collected from the wilds in different seasons. You will not be able to make Rainbow Curry unless you have collected and stored all the grasses required to complete the dish. When you realise that each Coloured Curry is made with 1 Riceball, 1 Curry Powder and 1 Wild Grass, you will see that the creation of Rainbow Curry requires an outlay in gold of 1600G, 100G for each Riceball and 100G for each packet of Curry Powder.

Rainbow Curry, however, is not the ultimate Curry. The ultimate Curry is named 'Ultimate Curry' and it, with the 'Finest Curry' are the most valuable Curries in the game in terms of pleasing some individuals.

If you do not know the recipe for the Ultimate Curry, you mistakenly might assume that its ingredients are more valuable even than those used to create the Rainbow Curry. In fact, with typical Harvest Moon humour, most of the ingredients required to create the Ultimate Curry are 'Failed Dishes', often known as 'Burnt Food' in other Harvest Moon games.

You can create a 'Failed Dish' with any ingredient that cannot be combined successfully but the least expensive ingredient that can be used to create a 'Failed Dish' is a common weed. It is important to collect weeds throughout the year to store in your Shelf for use in Winter as you will find NO weeds in the wilds in the Winter Season. The 'Ultimate Curry', the 'Finest Curry' and the famed 'Elli Leaves' are made with Failed Dishes.

The Recipe for Ultimate Curry is:

Rainbow Curry
Black Curry
Failed No Tool Dish
Failed Mixer Dish
Failed Steamer
Failed Frying Pan Dish
Failed Oven Dish
Failed Pot Dish

The only difference between this Recipe and that for Finest Curry is the substitution of White Curry for Black Curry.

Recorded recipes can be used as a shortcut to prepare a dish that you previously have made successfully in your kitchen. If you use a recorded recipe to create a dish, the game automatically will collect the necessary ingredients from your rucksack and/or refrigerator. There are no recorded recipes for Failed Dishes, however. A Failed Dish made using a Frying Pan is quite different from one made using an Oven. I have included photographs of each here. In making a dish that uses all six Failed Dishes, you must make each one separately. Furthermore, you will be unable to access your Shelf from your kitchen, so you must make certain to have Weeds in your rucksack if you wish to use them to create your Failed Dishes.

The time required to create six different Failed Dishes is quite significant. Any bachelor or eligible girl who loves Ultimate or Finest Curry must be impressed by the time and energy you have taken to create these incredible dishes for him/her!

As my Pot was delivered by Thomas to my farmhouse this morning, I now will be able to create the Ultimate Curry for Skye and give it to him each night while he wanders the paths of the Valley... Unfortunately, I will not be able to make the 'Finest Curry' that would raise his heart a full level in three nights. Even so, my 'Ultimate Curry' will raise his AP by 500 rather than 300 points each night. Before I had a Pot, even the most valuable jewelry would raise his Affection only by 300 points! When Winter arrives, I will be able to give Skye his Most Favourite item in the world, the 'Finest Curry'.

N.B. The photographs show different 'pages' in my Refrigerator Menu. There are 9 different 'pages' each in your Refrigerator and Shelf. Each 'page' contains 18 slots. Each slot can accommodate up to 99 of a single item. The largest rucksack consists of three 'pages', each with 18 slots. Again, you can store up to 99 of the same item in each slot. Edible items are stored in the Refrigerator. Non-edible items are stored in the Shelf. Some items, like a weed, are not considered 'edible' unless used in a recipe. There are a few recipes in HM DS and HM Cute DS that require a weed as an ingredient. In FoMT and MFoMT, gems and other non-edible items could be 'cooked' in order to create 'Suns' but in HM DS and Cute, the Suns are found in the Third Mine. You had to create all four Suns in FoMT/MFoMT but there was no use for them in those games. In HM DS and Cute, they are used to generate sunlight in your Basements, allowing you to grow crops. One of the more intriguing aspects of Harvest Moon is the way that items evolve from game to game. Players long puzzled over the mystery of the 'Suns' and how they could be used. It only is now, with the release of HM DS and Cute, that we have a definitive answer!

I tend to be very organised in the way I store my items and, as an inveterate pack rat, I begin to store items from the first day of gameplay, purchasing larger rucksacks and storage units (Refrigerator and Shelf) at the earliest possible opportunity. I ship very little until I have ample stores of every item to see me through the Winter... I therefore even store the early Spring vegetables like Turnips and Cucumbers in my rucksack in the first Spring... It can be awkward but it is worth it to me, as I then can cook most dishes as soon as I have a Kitchen, without having to wait for a Basement to be built. Furthermore, I hold off on the second expansion of my House until I have ALL Cooking implements, as I feel that a Basement really is not needed until the Winter Season. By the third week of Autumn in the first year, I have all Cooking Implements and am free to order the second House expansion. All bachelors are almost at red heart level by then and I have the Blue Feather... Purchasing the Big Bed before this occurs is a waste of time more than money, as the offer of the Big Bed will be made by the Shopping Network as soon as your 2nd house expansion is completed. I am a very organised player! There are other players like me, but just as many who would rather NOT think about all this stuff and simply enjoy their Harvest Moon lives, taking things as they come.

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