Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hot Springs, Your Sweetheart, Monkeys and You


Distant rumours of this event in older Harvest Moon games had reached me over the years, but not to the point where the event no longer was a surprise to me. In fact, it would be rather hilarious I think, even to a player familiar with it.

In many Harvest Moon games, the Harvest Goddess acts as a guardian and intercessor even in the realm of romance and courtship. In Harvest Moon DS and Harvest Moon Cute DS, after a certain number of offerings, the Harvest Goddess will offer to boost the heart level of the eligible grl or bachelor of your choice. The original 'boy' version offers far more options in this respect, which is VERY unfair! In the boy version of Harvest Moon DS, you can choose a name from three different lists comprised of the ordinary Valley girls, the Magical Valley girls and the Mineral Town girls. In Harvest Moon Cute DS, you only can choose from two lists, one containing the ordinary bachelors of the Valley and the other comprised of the Mineral Town boys... Skye is not included ANYWHERE!

It is not of HM DS or Cute that I wish to speak here, however, but of Harvest Moon PSP Boy & Girl. I had expected the event to be similar to the comparable event in Friends of Mineral Town and More Friends of Mineral Town. In fact, it is far more creative and diverting.

In terms of EFFECTS, there is a very big difference in the games. In Harvest Moon DS and Cute DS, you can CHOOSE the individual whose heart level you would like the Harvest Goddess to boost. This allows you to follow any strategy you like. If, in fact, you are trying to raise the heart levels of every eligible girl or bachelor, you can name the one with the LOWEST Heart level and the Goddess will raise it.

The event occurs, in Harvest Moon Boy & Girl, when you have given the Harvest Goddess a total of ten offerings of crops harvested from your own field. A total of 5 crop offerings will trigger an event in which she will give you a Red Power Berry. 10 crop offerings give you the opportunity to experience the Hot Spring event with the girl who likes you best...

In Harvest Moon Boy & Girl, you are not given ANY options, apart from telling the Harvest Goddess that you are not interested in romance at all. If you tell her that you do have a 'sweetheart', she will assume that it is the girl or bachelor with the HIGHEST current heart level and will raise it. I found this rather annoying, to be honest. I didn't need help with THAT target, but with the one with the lowest heart level. In fact, I did not save the event at all and will trigger it later in the game when I decide which girl I would like to join in the Hot Spring...

For that is the central action of the Event. After you leave the Harvest Goddess and descend the steps from the Hot Spring, you will meet the girl with the highest heart level at the bottom. She will express her intention of taking a dip in the Spa. You then may attempt to join her in the Spa if you wish.

When you leap into the Hot Spring, however, you will see only a monkey in the water!
Even if you stay half an hour or ALL DAY, you never will see the girl who announced her intention of using the Spa. It is only when you leave the Hot Spring that the girl will appear from behind the Spa building. She will ask you if you saw monkeys and then will confess that she in fact was there as well, beneath the water!

It is a rather bizarre little event. I wonder if it refers to a tale from Japanese folklore. I cannot imagine that the introduction of the monkey motif is entirely random. I will do some research on this...

The photographs show the event as experienced with Elli. In due course, I will try to experience it with all the eligible girls.

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