Wednesday, July 2, 2008
My first Rice Paddy!
As a child, I lived in Nepal, in a valley below Mt. Everest where Rice Paddies dominated the landscape. I never imagined that I would be able to grow rice in a proper rice paddy in Harvest Moon. Island of Happiness gives a player the opportunity to grow rice in a rice paddy. You cannot use an ordinary basic hoe, however. Its power must be augmented if you wish to prepare the paddy for the rice.
The rice paddies will not be visible at the start of the game. A boulder has to be crushed, allowing access to a new screen in the northwestern corner of your field.
Island of Happiness is an amazingly complex Harvest Moon game. There is an incredible attention to details.
For example, at the New Year's Day Festival, where rice cakes traditionally are served and eaten, all the old warnings about choking on a rice cake in previous Harvest Moon games as well as Island of Happiness itself can be seen in action.
Remember how the Twins in HM DS and HM Cute DS talk about a childhood incident of choking on a rice cake? Well, your character in Island of Happiness, after being able to pound the rice cakes in an action sequence, actually may choke on one!
It is a random event that may or may not occur. I experienced it one time out of four. It was hilarious. This is the kind of detail that makes Harvest Moon unique. Half of the players of this game may not know even that this event could occur unless they continue to attend the New Year's Festival year after year... It is similar in this respect to the New Year's Eve Nightmares one can experience in other Harvest Moon games on a random basis.
N.B. Note that there are four equipment slots that can be used for Tools, Items or Accessories. In the screenshot displayed here, my character has equipped three Accessories. Accessories are similar in nature to those in HM DS and HM Cute DS, but one can equip more than one at any given moment.