Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Romance in Island of Happiness: Thanksgiving Festivals

Most Harvest Moon games include at least one Thanksgiving Festival in the course of the year, and Island of Happiness, like many other HM games, both has a Spring Thanksgiving Festival and a Winter Thanksgiving Festival. Playing as a girl, my character was able to give Chocolate to all the Eligible Bachelors in the first Winter and received Cookies or Chocolate Cookies in return on 14 Spring.

I was a little apprehensive as the Winter Thanksgiving Festival approached, actually, as Flour is not available at Chen's Market at the start of the game, unlike many other Harvest Moon games and there was no possibility, therefore, that I could make Cake or Chocolate Cake, the usual traditional Winter Thanksgiving Gift.
Fortunately, they all accepted a Chocolate bar, one of the few items that IS available from Chen ab initio.

From 6.00 a.m. through 4.00 p.m., therefore, I received visitors on 14 Spring... Even Shea, who ordinarily restricts his activities to age-old hunting and spear fishing, somehow managed to bake or buy a plate of Cookies for me! I have been able to experience most of the Heart Events now, but some of the Bachelors arrive later than others as their arrivals are linked to your character's accomplishments.

I have included screenshots of Denny, Pierre and Shea here. As Denny was one of the first eligible Bachelors to arrive on the island and loves fish, I was able to bring him to red heart level rather quickly. Pierre is an interesting character as he is related to The Gourmet in other Harvest Moon games, a descendant of that noble family with all the accompanying greed for fine cuisine, yet somehow able to keep a decent figure! Shea is kind of an intriguing 'wild child' who lives in the Jungle in the northeast area of the Island.

There is an interesting twist to this game. You can court your alter ego in the person of the character you would play if you had chosen the opposite gender! Mark, therefore, is the 'boy character' in this game and he will come to the Island only when you achieve 50% in terms of the 'Growth' of the Island. Furthermore, he is impressed more by your accomplishments than by any gifts.

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