Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Beauty of the Fish Pond

It is only in Harvest Moon Boy & Girl that I truly have begun to appreciate the beauty of the Fish Pond. Although you have a Fish Pond in Friends of Mineral Town and More Friends of Mineral Town, it really is not particularly significant in terms of gameplay. There is an error in fact in one of those two games that causes the Pond to hand you small fish instead of large fish and vice versa... There is no option to buy Fish Food at the Supermarket, however, and there are better ways to make money (such as fishing during festivals and exploiting the Horse Races to fill your basket with brooches).

You have a Pond in Harvest Moon DS and Harvest Moon Cute DS but it is an upgrade and the reason why you need to order it is not for fish but, as in 'A Wonderful Life' and 'Another Wonderful Life', so as to entice ducks to the farm. In HM DS and Cute DS, you actually must purchase the ducks from Popuri but she will not offer them until the Pond is built. Another reason for the Pond in HM DS is to persuade Leia to marry you... if you do not have a Pond, she will not have an appropriate place to live on your farm. Apparently, as a potential spouse, she sets her sights higher than the bathtub in which she is content to spend her days in Daryl's Basement... YOUR bathroom simply won't do!

Of course, if you had been able to persuade Leia to live in your Bathroom, you never would SEE her again, as all activities that occur in that mysterious chamber (and the Toilet) are hidden from players. Personally, I am glad that we do not have to view our characters on the toilet. In the Sims, for example, far too much time is spent in the latrine, with options to read a paper, play video games and many more. Mercifully, Harvest Moon does not subject its players to this sort of invasion of privacy...

The subject of this article is NOT the Bathroom but the Fish Pond. If you place two Large Fish in the Fish Pond and ply them with Fish Food daily, they may spawn others. Small and Medium Fish placed in the Pond will grow into Large Fish.

Now THIS is a Fish Pond that actually has some uses... Oddly enough, the first two fish I caught in Harvest Moon Boy & Girl were Large Fish. Despite my abject poverty at the beginning of Spring, I tossed them into the Fish Pond and began to feed them.
Sad to say, I ultimately sold them in order to be able to afford a larger rucksack and then was cross with myself for doing so... Meanwhile, I had caught a few small fish and one or two medium fish. The total number of fish in my Fish Pond at the end of Spring was 9, none of whom were Large Fish, sadly.

Two days ago, the total remained 9... Today, I saw that the total had jumped to 16. Going to the Pond, I removed a Fish and saw that it was Large. As I had no large fish in the pond after selling my 2 initial large Fish, some of the others must have grown to full size!

This sort of small detail delights me, even if it is not worth much in financial terms. Again, it makes all the hard work and effort worthwhile...


Mountain Gnome said...

Hi Freyashawk

That fishpond is amazing. Fishfood is relatively inexpensive, and making a visit to the pond to feed my fishes was part of my daily chores. Remember that the pond freezes over in Winter and the fish in there will remain dormant and not breed or grow further during this season. As it is frozen you will not be able to add any fish either. The fish you catch in winter will be able to survive if you keep them in your fridge over winter and throw them all in the pond in spring. I found that the rate of growth was quite good. Initially I always threw the small and medium fishes into the pond and then sold the bigger ones (or used them to make Sashami for Karen). Every day when I fed them I would then take the big fish out. The biggest ones come out first so I used to remove the big ones and sell them and leave the remaining small and medium fishes to grow big. Later I discovered that Jake the fisherman will reward you if you have more than 50 fish in your pond, so I then left them to multiply and added all caught fish to the pond. Jake will give you a better fishing pole which improves you fishing ability and allows you to catch the King Fishes. King Fishes can be caught after triggering various targets for example after having shipped 200 fishes etc. I wrote a blog post on fishing in HMBG on my blog.

The fish pond is a most useful addition to the farm, I never realised that it was not the same as in other HM games.

Kind Regards

Freyashawk said...

Dear Shaggy,

I was familiar with most of this, except for one detail. Who is Jake? I wonder if the U.K./European version of the game features different names for the characters...

You know, if you like fishing in Harvest Moon, you really do NEED to buy a DS and play FoMT or HM DS. There are countless varieties of fish in each of those games, most of them season-specific and location-specific. The King Fish are featured in almost every Harvest Moon game. In Magical Melody, you actually can keep and cook them... But really, I think the best fishing is to be found in FoMT and HM DS. Did I ever mention the Fish Fossils and Pirate Treasure that can be caught as well in those games?

Mountain Gnome said...

Hi Freyashawk

My apologies, I was going by memory only and sometimes that fails. The correct name is not Jake, but Greg.

The Fisherman never looked like a Greg to me, but rather reminded me of someone I know called Jake....

I see that Natsume is bringing out a Fishing game called River Kings. Have you played this?


Freyashawk said...

Yes, Greg is the one to give the Fishing Pole in the U.S. version of the game as well. In fact, I had to rush about trying to catch enough fish for a total of 50 before the Pond froze. Greg arrived on 1 Winter when my 50 fish were immobilised in ice to give me the Fishing Pole... necessary I believe to catch the Power Berry and King Fish. I promptly caught the Power Berry and one of the King Fish at the Beach before I went to bed that night.

As for River King, I think you would love it. I played the old GBA version of the game. You could link it to the old HM2 to unlock more items, which I did as well. Despite the fact that the graphics were primitive, I loved the game, but not as much as Harvest Moon. The characters are not as profound, but the fishing is great. You have to choose different bait for different fish... and there is a separate fishing screen where you actually have to use your rod to pull the fish along at the right time not to lose the fish and to reel it in.

Alexa said...


Can you breed the fish in the Cute version? If so, where do you get the fish food?