Sunday, March 23, 2008

Harvest Moon Gender Discrimination

There are those who claim Harvest Moon discriminates against women by not allowing the woman to continue her game after marriage in Harvest Moon Boy & Girl. I do not think it was a deliberate form of discrimination but probably based on a smaller allotment of time to the creation of the Girl version.

The Girl version is rather strange in many respects. Many of the Heart Events of the eligible girls in the Boy version have been retained in the Girl version for no apparent reason. It is almost as though the individuals who were responsible for making the decisions in the Girl version were not familiar with courtship rules in Harvest Moon. Furthermore, some of the events are backwards. One experiences Elli's Third Heart Event BEFORE one experiences her Second Heart Event when playing as a girl in HM B & G. It is as though they simply decided to include X number of events from the Boy version irrespective of the significance of those events...

I find it maddening that romance in HM Boy and Girl, both when playing as a Boy and when playing as a Girl is based on the individual with the current highest heart level. Perhaps it makes sense but I don't like it. I always tend to use Romantic festivals as a means by which to raise the heart level of the girl or bachelor who has the LOWEST affection for me at that point in time. In Boy & Girl, the game decides the individual with whom you will be allowed to spend the festival.

There is a point where gender discrimination does occur, however, and that is the Fireworks Festival. If you play as a boy and have all eligible girls at a decent level, you can invite any of them to join you to watch the show. It is YOUR choice for once. If you play as a girl, however, the game intervenes and controls your life. Only the bachelor with the highest heart level will give you the option of watching the event with him. I had both Grey and Cliff almost at orange heart level, but Cliff's heart level was slightly higher and thus, he was the one who asked. The first time I played the event, I thought it would be the same as the Boy version and refused Cliff, thinking I then would be asked by Grey, but refusing Cliff forced me to watch the event alone at the end of the pier...

It is curious that Cliff's heart level has mounted steadily, even though I stopped giving him items some time ago, realising that I could not experience any more Heart Events until he had the Winery job. I have given Grey gifts each day and yet, his heart level is slightly lower than that of Cliff.

It will be interesting to see if Cliff is at red heart level even before I have any opportunity to offer him the Winery job. I almost would be willing to wager that it will be, even if I never give him another gift.

N.B. In contrast to Harvest Moon Boy & Girl, the Fireworks Festival in Cute is an opportunity to raise the heart levels of EVERY bachelor, even those who do not give you the option to watch the display with them. Only bachelors with green heart or higher will give you an option to invite them to watch the display but all Valley and all Mineral Town bachelors will be at the beach with the sad exception of Skye. Even where a bachelor is at blue heart level and does not allow you to invite him to watch the fireworks with him, if you speak to him, it will boost his AP by 2000 points. What this means is that, for the day of the Fireworks Festival, you can boost the AP of EVERY bachelor apart from Skye by 4000 points, 2000 points of that for speaking to him at the Fireworks Festival and 2000 points for changing your outfit. What is interesting here is that you will not raise any bachelor's AP higher by choosing to view the show with him. ALL bachelors to whom you speak will have an increase of 2000 AP the next day for your action in speaking to them.


HarvestMoonGoddess said...

Hi Freyashawk.

The second thing that ticks me off about Harvest Moon(besides not enough files)is that they are not fair to girls.

Girl games are always the ones that are released last and always have advances that make them funner.

Also, some games like Boy and Girl do not let the girl continue the game.It is not fair as girls are really the ones that have interest in Harvest Moon.Few boys are interested and girls always are left behind!

We should start a protest.It will be called 'Girls right for Harvest Moon, let's fight!'*Giggle*
Pretty neat huh?


Freyashawk said...

Natalie, you are correct in some respects but... on the other hand, one can look at it differently. The Girl version of any Harvest Moon game, if it is released later, often has been an improvement on the original. I consider MFoMT to be superior to FoMT. I love the option to sell to Won and play his games. We have more potential spouses in MFoMT as well, even if many of them, like the Kappa and Gourmet, make one shudder a little.
Cute may be a better game than the original English version of HM DS, especially if there is no danger of the dreaded freeze file glitch. AND... you actually can MARRY the Mineral Town bachelors in Cute and continue your life, where in HM DS as a boy, your game would end automatically if you married a Mineral Town girl.