Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cheating the Grim Reaper

In many Harvest Moon games, one becomes very attached to the Animals on your Ranch, whether poultry, livestock, transport animals or pets. It always is a wrench to be confronted with a death event.

I try to be philosophically at peace with the idea of life in death and death in life but when it comes to Harvest Moon and my animals, I really can't bear to see them die. I therefore sell them instead.

Like FoMT/MFoMT and HM DS/Cute DS, in Island of Happiness, every ranch animal has a set life expectancy. A Chicken's life expectancy traditionally is the shortest and IoH is no exception. Your Chickens will reach the natural limit of their lives on their 4th Birthday. From that point onward, death is loaded randomly into the game when you awaken.

As with other Harvest Moon games, I suspect that the likelihood of the occurrence of the Death announcement will become more probable the longer the animal avoids the Grim Reaper. In previous HM games, I stubbornly held onto to Animals a year after they reached their life expectancy. Sometimes I would be required to reload the game five or six times before I was able to obtain a morning without a graveyard scene embedded in it.

When I experienced the death of my oldest Chicken at age 4 in Island of Happiness, I reloaded and greeted the dawn again. The event did not re-occur. Rather ironically, I rather wished to experience it again in order to write down the precise text and capture a screenshot of the solemn announcement... The first time it occurred, I was so horrified that I moved through it as quickly as possible and then reloaded at once.

I decided to sell my first chicken instead of allowing the event to occur. With Denny and Lanna finally married, I need to begin a new game in any case, surrendering the test game. I've held onto it far too long. In fact, I need to overwrite the game myself probably to avoid any temptation to keep playing it... I've had to do that in the past with other games.

To be honest, the second game always is more enjoyable for me than the first when playing Harvest Moon. I know what mistakes to avoid and am a little more relaxed, knowing what I can expect to achieve and what is unreasonable at any point in time.
Furthermore, it is the second game that actually creates a good guide, as events are replayed with more concentration.

To return to the topic of Death, though, it is Taro who will make the announcement whenever an animal dies, whether of sickness, neglect or simple old age. If you neglected the animal, he will scold you. If the animal died of old age, he will tell you not to be discouraged, that death is natural and cannot be avoided. Little does he know. I avoided THAT death by selling the bird to Mirabelle the day before she celebrated her 4th birthday (the day on which she had met her demise in the first place!).

Life expectancy for Chickens is 4 years. It usually is one more year for Sheep and another for Cows. That would make it 5 years for Sheep and 6 years for Cows. I haven't proven that yet, but I have confirmed that the Chicken can expect only to reach her fourth birthday in peace.


Mars Frog said...

Ah, that's one of things I dread in some HM games, knowing the fact that one day my animals, which I work so hard on and take pride in will meet death.

In fact, that's the only thing that's really bothering me with ToT. I've read that Chickens and Ducks only last around 2 and a half years ... Silkworms a whole year less ... that's going to be hard for me to accept. Because I really like my ducks ... Maybe I can cheat though, like you have. Sometimes it works ... sometimes ...

My hardest loss though was my chicken, Red, who died RIGHT AFTER becoming the Chicken Sumo champion in FoMT (also my first time winning it) ... I didn't know FoMT had a life expectancy at the time, I had only played HM: AWL and HM: 64 (both of which have animals live on forever, save dying from sickness). That really devastated me ... I didn't play the game for a week after that.

Anonymous said...

Very useful. Since I started reading this blog a few days ago, do you know any glitches?

The IoH game freezed on me twice.

KalypsoCry said...

So does that mean the life expectancy for a livestock is longer in HMDS Cute?

There's also something I would like to share: I've built around two stone bird barns and three wooden ones to keep my chickens/ducks in. However, one morning, I accidentally forgot to check the weather, so imagine my shock when I woke up in game to a snowstorm! When I slept and woke up again, my barns were quite thankfully intact. I think I was quite lucky, but are wooden barns supposed to collapse during snowstorms/typhoons?

Freyashawk said...

Mars, I can't bear to let my Animals die. The Japanese strategy guide gave IoH animals a year longer than was the case, sade to say. I therefore was caught unawares when my first Chicken died on her 4th birthday, at 10 hearts in perfect health and Taro told me she had reached her life expectancy. Needless to say, I reloaded and SOLD her instead... One hopes Mirabelle has some magic to keep her alive forever.

Yes, life expectancy in ToT is short, especially for the little silkworms. Again, I sold them off as they reached life expectancy.
I believe my ToT Guide does give precise life expectancy, all tested by me...

Kalpyso, I have not had a single shed or structure collapse in a typhoon or snowstorm in IoH, despite the fact that I have been forced to weather at least 30 of them if not more in 4 years. I don't think any buildings collapse in this game, unlike HM DS/Cute DS.
I could be proven wrong, of course.