Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Popuri Dilemma for a farmer in Mineral Town

Whether you are playing Harvest Moon Boy & Girl or Friends of Mineral Town, you will have a dilemma in your first year where Popuri is concerned. My own strategy always is to raise the heart levels of ALL eligible girls and bachelors as quickly as possible. There certainly are tangible rewards for doing this in Harvest Moon Boy & Girl, as the Blue Heart Events for a couple of the girls can increase your income rather substantially in your first Summer.

On the other hand, I like to experience as many of the Rival Heart Events as possible as well, especially for the girls I do not intend to marry. Where the other girls are concerned, this is not a problem. Both Heart and Rival Heart Events have a natural progression. Where Popuri is concerned, however, a player can run into difficulties in the first year.

If you raise Popuri's heart level daily with the gift of a Toyflower in the Spring, you should experience her Blue Heart Event at the beginning of your first Summer. In the course of this event, she will give you an Egg and ask you to hatch it.

Actually, I stopped giving her gifts in the middle of Spring, suspecting that her heart level would become far too high to experience the rival heart events in Summer if I continued to raise her heart level... even so, the damage was done, as you will see.

In HMBG, you can experience the 3rd Heart Event when the girl still is at purple heart level. She needs only to be close to the Blue Heart Level to trigger the event. Unfortunately, the 2nd Rival Heart Event no longer can be experienced if you have reached THAT level...

On 2 Summer, Popuri came to my house at 6.00 a.m. to deliver her egg to me, asking that I hatch it. She almost was at Blue heart level at that point. This is Part I of her 3rd or Blue Heart Event in HMBG.

3 Summer is Popuri's Birthday. In my first game, I gave her Toyflower on her Birthday for a boost in her heart level. When the chick hatched, I named it Popuri. When she returned to my farm at 6.00 a.m. on 6 Summer, her heart advanced to full Blue Heart level when she realised I had named the chick after her.

This was all well and good for my romance with Popuri but as the days progressed, I found myself unable to experience Popuri's 2nd Rival heart Event with Kai. I had experienced the 1st Rival heart event outside the Poultry Farm at the start of Summer, but although I suspected the 2nd Rival Heart Event would occur at the Beach, I could not trigger it at any time of the day or any day of the week, including Sunday!

I then concluded that HMBG was like FOMT in this respect: if the girl's heart level is TOO HIGH, you no longer will be able to trigger a rival heart event.

I backtracked to 3 Summer with a heavy heart and gave Popuri a Stone instead of a Pinkcat flower on her birthday. 'Yuck!' she exclaimed, 'I don't want this.' Well, obviously not, but I wanted to force it upon her for the sake of her romance with Kai. (The horrid acts we are forced to perform for the sake of a happy ending!!!)
Even when I named my chick Glitz instead of Popuri, avoiding the extra boost to her heart level in Part II of her Blue Heart Event, I had to force Stones upon her daily until finally, on 10 Summer, I was able to trigger her 2nd Rival Heart Event at the Beach at 11.10 a.m.

This was NOT an ideal progression. What I should have done was to have NOT raised her heart level so high in the Spring. (If only one had a Love Bangle in this game!)
Unfortunately, you cannot trigger the 2nd Rival Heart Event on 2 Spring, as you have to experience them in order and the 1st Rival Heart Event cannot be triggered early enough in the day to allow it... (The 2nd Heart Event cannot be triggered after 1.00 p.m.)

Even so, I could have saved many Toyflowers, and simply raised her heart to the minimum Purple level before her birthday on 3 Summer. It would have been better to have experienced the 2nd Rival heart event BEFORE I triggered the Blue Heart Event.

In monetary terms, however, it is better to obtain Popuri's egg as early as possible, so perhaps my strategy is the best, for all the heartache of having to give her items she hated repeatedly. On 10 Summer, I have experienced three of Popuri's Heart Events and two of her Rival Heart Events... and the egg she gave me should be an adult chicken tomorrow, I believe.

On 10 Summer, I have experienced three of the Heart Events and the first two Rival Heart Event for all the other eligible girls as well, with the exception of Karen's Blue Heart Event. Karen's 3rd Heart Event can be experienced only in Spring, I believe, and it is impossible to raise her heart level high enough in the first Spring. I will experience it at the start of my second year, I expect.

Ann's 3rd or Blue Heart Event is another profitable one for the player. Provided that you have her at high Purple level, as soon as you have three adult chickens who lay eggs, she will come to your farm to request that you bring her 3 eggs daily before 5.00 p.m., beginning on the next day.

Holidays do not deprive you of the opportunity to experience Part II of the event. In my game, the following day was the day of the Chicken Festival, when the Inn is locked. I therefore made my first delivery on 8 Summer and was rewarded accordingly. In fact, on 10 Summer, I have been paid for my third delivery of eggs to the Inn. Ann pays a far higher price than the shipping value of the eggs, which would be only 150G. Ann is willing to pay 450G for the same three eggs.

Ordinarily, I pop the eggs into the Hot Spring to transform them into Spa Eggs before I ship them as that increases their value by 30G. (A Spa Egg ships for 80G.)
It is more fun to deliver them to Ann, as one experiences a little event each time one makes the delivery.

I personally believe that the friendship and courtship aspects of the game should be advanced as quickly as the farming aspects. You have three years to make the farm successful in HMBG. How you choose to spend your time, money and resources is your choice, of course. Instead of giving Ann spa eggs each day in Spring, I could have shipped them and have made more money for myself. Instead of spending time visiting girls each day, I could have concentrated on crops, mining and chopping more wood.

To me, however, Harvest Moon really is more about people than financial success. I could have made more money faster perhaps if I had ignored the people for the most part, but I would not have experienced as many events as quickly. It is the events that motivate me in Harvest Moon, especially during the difficult first season.

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