Friday, July 18, 2008
New Harvest Moon Festivals and Wonderfuls
Although 'Island of Happiness', due now to be released in mid-August, includes most of the traditional Harvest Moon festivals from other games, it has some new festivals as well. In fact, the game differs from most other Harvest Moon games in that few of the Festivals will be celebrated or even displayed on the Calendar until your character 'unlocks' them through his/her accomplishments or the attainment of specific goals.
Areas of the map are 'unlocked' when your character pays for the construction of bridges and roads when those projects are made available at Gannon's shop. Once those areas are unlocked, your character will be able to expand his/her activities. In fact, the area where Festivals are held must be unlocked before any Festivals can be celebrated!
Island of Happiness therefore contains more 'surprises' for the player than most Harvest Moon games. Even an experienced Harvest Moon fan will not know what to expect in many cases.
For example, I was not surprised to discover a Cooking Contest in Spring but when I 'unlocked' the rice paddies and began to grow rice, a 'Rice Festival' appeared on the Calendar in Autumn. A 'Mining Festival' appeared in the second year in the Summer season.
Many of these Festivals include Contests and some are more difficult to win than others. The Mining Festival is an example of a Festival that requires a very high quality of gem or ore if you wish to win 1st Prize.
In Spring, Summer and Autumn, there are Crop Festivals with a different 'theme' each year. The theme is announced at the previous Crop Festival and will appear on the Calendar as well. Often, the theme will be a crop that you must unlock. If you have not unlocked the Crop by the time the Festival occurs, obviously you will have no chance whatsoever of winning the Contest.
Often the prize for winning 1st Place in any Festival Contest is a Wonderful. Players of HM DS and HM Cute DS will be familiar with 'Wonderfuls' but they are acquired differently and have quite different applications in Island of Happiness. In HM DS/Cute DS, one could mine for 'Wonderfuls' in the 4th Mine. They had no significant value as single stones. If you could collect a complete set, however, the Harvest Goddess would grant you a wish from a list of choices.
In Island of Happiness, 'Wonderfuls' can be set in slots in tools to augment their power in various ways. Each colour of Wonderful has a specific attribute. Some Wonderfuls allow a tool to operate on a wider area. Others enhance the quality of the item that is obtained through use of the tool. Another Wonderful creates additional slots when equipped to a Tool.
When you purchase a tool from Gannon or Mirabelle at the start of the game, it will have 1-4 slots for Wonderfuls. Gannon sells farm tools and Mirabelle sells ranch tools. A basic tool has only a single slot. Each additional slot raises the price of a tool by 1000G. A tool with four slots therefore will cost 4000G.
If you are a fanatical miner, you can obtain Wonderfuls from the Harvest Goddess when you reach the 255th floor of the Mine. She alternates Wonderfuls with Recipes for various coloured Curries, though, so it is only every other visit to the bottom of the Mine that will gain you another Wonderful as long as there are Recipes to dole out. (Have you noticed how valuable an item a Curry is in Harvest Moon games? Curries of various kinds are the key to Skye's heart and the heart of Keira, not to mention the delight of Flora...)
If you are not a dedicated Miner, you can obtain Wonderfuls in IoH by winning Contests at various Festivals.
The Wonderful that you obtain when you win a Contest is based on total Farming Degree points.
Finally, there is a possibility of finding a Wonderful for sale at Chen's Market in Winter as well.
Some Wonderfuls are more useful than others in the early years of the game. In the early stages of the game, a Wonderful that decreases the amount of Stamina that is lost with each use of the tool is far more useful than a Wonderful that expands the number of slots on a tool. Wonderfuls are not that plentiful, especially if you are not able or willing to descend to the 255th floor of the Mine. Unfortunately, in my own game, the first two Wonderfuls I obtained were Indigo, with the attribute of increasing the number of slots on any tool. I later discovered that the colour of Wonderful obtained at any Festival is based on the total of your Farming Degree Points so you can change the result by fishing or farming or performing any other action that will change your total. (Festivals end at a specific time, irrespective of the time of arrival. If you arrive at a Festival that ends at 6.00 p.m. at 5.50 p.m., you lose only 10 minutes of your day.)
In fact, you must obtain a Yellow Wonderful if you wish to unlock the area on the map where rice can be grown. A Yellow Wonderful augments the power of any Tool and you will not be able to smash the boulder that blocks the path north from your ranch unless you ask Charlie to set a Yellow Wonderful in your Hammer. Once you have unlocked the rice paddies, you must ask him to set a Yellow Wonderful in your Hoe if you wish to be able to plant rice. Finally, a Yellow Wonderful is required in your Sickle in order to harvest the ripened rice.
One Yellow Wonderful can serve the purpose if you go back and forth to Chen's Market to ask Charlie to remove the Wonderful from one tool and set it in another when required. It is inconvenient but better than not being able to grow rice at all!
The appearance of a Wonderful at Chen's Shop in Winter based on the last digit in your Farming Degree total.
Note on 18 August 2009: A player found this ancient post which had not been revised according to later information that IS included in my Guides... and he posted a comment here. Please always be aware that my posts on this site are not intended to be substitutes for my actual strategy guides. I seldom update posts on this site, sadly... I only discovered this one contained early erroneous findings because of a comment a player posted recently.
'Wonderfuls' cannot be set in any tool slot by your character. You must see Charlie, Chen's son, when he is at the counter, in order to equip any Wonderfuls that you own to a tool. There is no charge for this service.
Charlie actually is a very important character in Island of Happiness. He makes Accessories that are very similar to the Accessories in HM DS/Cute DS. Among others, you will find the Harvest Goddess Pendant, Harvest Goddess Earrings, Kappa Pendant, Kappa Earrings, Friendship Brooch and Turbo Shoes as well as a Pedometre.
As in HM DS/Cute DS, many of the Accessories are available in three different sizes. The larger sizes are unlocked usually when you order the smaller sizes. It appears that new accessories sometimes are unlocked when you have ordered a certain number of Accessories from Charlie after a set number of days pass. I wrote about Accessories in Island of Happiness in another post. Large amounts of orichalc are required to create Accessories, but there is no cost otherwise. A Large Harvest Goddess or Kappa Pendant, for example, requires 60 Orichalc. Orichalc can be found on the 50th floor of the Mine as well as on various lower floors. (You can find it on all floors between Floor 50 and Floor 74 randomly for example.) You can find almost EVERYTHING between Floors 250 and 254. More about the Mine later...
These posts are not intended to serve as a proper guide for Island of Happiness. My guides will be published when the game is released in August.