This information is given in ALL my Courtship and Marriage Guides for every Harvest Moon games, but in the past month while I have been away from home, I received 1000 emails with game questions and many of them ask the same questions about Heart Events, so although this subject is covered both in my guides and in earlier posts on this site, I will deal with it once more.
There are two kinds of Heart Events in Harvest Moon games: Heart Events and Rival Heart Events.
Heart Events occur between your character and eligible girls or bachelors and when your character responds correctly, advance YOUR courtship. Rival Heart Events are events that occur between the eligible girl/bachelor and your rival. Your character is not involved in those events actively but simply witnesses them. When triggered, rival heart events advance the courtship of your RIVAL.
The usual number of Heart Events in a game is 4. The usual number of Rival Heart Events is 4 as well. In most cases, all four Heart Events can be experienced in the first year of gameplay, provided you have reached the minimum heart level required for each.
Heart Events usually occur at the following heart levels: Black, Purple, Blue and Yellow. The eligible girl or bachelor must be at least at the required heart level in order to trigger the Heart Event. If he/she is at a higher heart level, you still can trigger the Heart Events. In other words, you can have the eligible girl/bachelor at deepest red heart level (60,000 AP) and STILL experience all four of the heart events, including the Black Heart Event.
YOU MUST EXPERIENCE ALL FOUR HEART EVENTS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO MARRY A GIRL/BACHELOR. You can propose to any girl/bachelor if you have the Blue Feather, but YOUR PROPOSAL WILL BE REJECTED EVEN AT RED HEART LEVEL IF YOU DID NOT EXPERIENCE ALL HEART EVENTS WITH THAT GIRL/BACHELOR.
All heart events must occur in the proper order. It is impossible to 'miss' any heart event! You can experience them in ANY year of the game. My guides tend to give the earliest possible date at which any Heart Event can be triggered but you can experience ALL of them later... No time limit for heart events.
All Rival Heart Events, on the other hand, cannot be experienced in the first year. Harvest Moon games tend to load the deck in favour of your character, giving you at least four years to win the hand of the girl/bachelor before there is any threat from a rival. The first Rival Heart Event can occur in the first year, even in the first week of the game, but the second Rival Heart Event cannot occur before the beginning of the second year. The third Rival Heart Event cannot occur before the beginning of the third year and the fourth and final Rival Heart Event cannot occur before the beginning of the fourth year.
It is only the Fourth Rival Heart Event that will kill your chance of marrying an eligible girl or bachelor. If you experience the Fourth Rival Heart Event of any eligible girl or bachelor, their marriage will occur a week later.
That is written in stone. Experiencing the first three Rival Heart Events, however, will not prevent you from marrying the eligible girl/bachelor. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO, TO PREVENT THE FOURTH RIVAL HEART EVENT FROM OCCURRING IS TO RAISE THE HEART LEVEL OF THE GIRL OR BACHELOR TO RED. ONCE ANY ELIGIBLE GIRL/BACHELOR IS AT RED HEART LEVEL, THE FOURTH RIVAL HEART EVENT WILL NOT TRIGGER.
Why should any player wish to experience rival heart events? Well, one reason is that every event gives the player points towards his/her Farming Degree level. Another reason is that you only can marry one eligible girl/bachelor in any Harvest Moon game. If you wish to allow the other couples to marry, you need to experience all four of the Rival Heart Events in order to trigger their wedding.
Remember: all four of the Heart Events can be triggered even if the eligible girl/bachelor has reached red heart level. The colour designation of any Heart Event simply represents the minimum level at which that event can be experienced. The colour designation of the Rival Heart Events, on the other hand, represents the MAXIMUM heart level at which that event can be triggered.
Heart Levels in Harvest Moon DS and Cute DS are:
Black Heart: 0 to 10,000 AP
Purple Heart: 10,000 to 20,000 AP
Blue Heart: 20,000 to 30,000 AP
Green Heart: 30,000 to 40,000 AP
Yellow Heart: 40,000 to 50,000 AP
Orange Heart: 50,000 to 60,000 AP
Red Heart: 60,000 AP and above
In most cases, the Four Heart Events correspond to the following levels: Black Heart or 1st Heart Event; Purple Heart or 2nd Heart Event; Blue Heart or 3rd Heart Event; and finally, Yellow Heart or 4th Heart Event.
There is one exception to this in Harvest Moon Cute DS: Skye, a maverick where any rules are concerned, is the only bachelor with five heart events. He therefore has a Green Heart Event that occurs at 30,000 AP. His Yellow Heart Event is his 5th and Final Heart Event.
The rules concerning the requirements for heart and rival heart events actually follow logic if you think about it. A Rival Heart Event shows that the eligible girl/bachelor is interested in the rival. If you have brought the girl or bachelor to deepest red heart level, he/she no longer will have ANY interest in your rival. You can sit back and relax, concentrating only fulfilling all the other marriage requirements and making certain that you experience all the Heart Events for the girl or bachelor you wish to marry. Red heart level simply means that the heart of the eligible girl/bachelor is yours exclusively. It does not mean that your proposal will be accepted.
For example, in most Harvest Moon games, you must have expanded your house twice, have the bachelor/girl at deepest red heart level, experienced all the Heart Events and have purchased the Big Bed as well as the Blue Feather in order to be able to propose successfully to the man/woman of your dreams. In Harvest Moon DS and Cute DS, there is an added requirement: you must have rescued 60 Harvest Sprites, thereby automatically rescuing the Harvest Goddess. Without the blessing of the Harvest Goddess, NO marriage can occur.
My Heart Event and Rival Heart Event Guides, otherwise known as the Courtship and Marriage Guides, include individual sections for each of the eligible girls/bachelors in any Harvest Moon game. In these sections, you will find a list of the likes and dislikes of that bachelor/girl, the Most Favourite Item (gift with the highest value in terms of boosting heart level) as well as a complete schedule of all Heart and Rival Heart Events for that girl/bachelor. A section at the end of each of these guides includes the text of every Heart and Rival Heart Event. The reason I do this is to allow a player to make certain that all the events have been experienced. Some players become confused between Heart Events and Rival Heart Events. If any doubt exists, all the player has to do is consult the text section of the guide.
One final point should be mentioned concerning the Blue Feather. In many Harvest Moon games, the Blue Feather usually becomes available when at least one eligible girl or bachelor reaches Orange Heart Level or 50,000 AP. This is not a high enough heart level for marriage, however. You still have to increase his/her level to red before your proposal will be accepted. If you have not experienced ALL Heart Events, your proposal will be rejected even at red heart level until you HAVE experienced all Heart Events for that girl or bachelor.
Skye is the only bachelor who has a Green Heart Event. For most eligible girls or bachelors, no event will be triggered upon attaining Green Heart level or 30,000 AP. This often is forgotten by players, as all other Heart Events simply require an increase of 10,000 AP. Going from Black to Purple is an increase of 10,000 AP. Going from Purple to Blue is another increase of 10,000 AP. Going from Blue to Yellow, however, represents an increase of 20,000 AP. Going afterwards to Red Heart level is another increase of 20,000 AP although, once again, there is no Orange Heart Event. What is triggered at Orange Heart Level is the ability to acquire a Blue Feather, a necessary accompaniment to any marriage proposal.
There are Harvest Moon games that do not follow this system strictly but most of them do. If you have any further questions, feel free to send me an email or post a comment here.
Good luck with your courtship of the girl or man of your dreams!