Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Much Ado about Nothing: the Rival Couples Return!

In an odd twist in Island of Happiness, after both husband and wife adjourn to Mineral Town for the birth of their child, the husband of any Rival Couple can be persuaded to return immediately afterwards by much the same actions that would encourage his return if he had left due to your neglect.

Pierre announced his return on the day after he left with Natalie. Denny returned a fortnight after he and Lanna went to Mineral Town for the delivery of their child. When Spring arrived, I began to grow crops in preparation for shipping to bring Elliot back...

I needn't have bothered. One full season after the departure of any Rival Couple to have the child in Mineral Town, husband, wife and child will appear on the Island.
The event will be announced by the husband at 6.00 a.m.

Here is the text of the return event for two of the Rival Couples:

15 Spring:

As soon as I awakened:

Pierre & Natalie, Back Again!

Long time no see, Freya!

Me: (!)

Pierre enters.

Pierre: Our child was born safely, so we’re back on the island.
Natalie and the baby are both here, so feel free to pay them a visit.
I’m cooking for three now!
See ya around.

When I visited Pierre's house, I did not experience an Event. In fact, neither Pierre nor Natalie referred to the child at all, but repeated the same statements as they had given before the blessed event.

I had to hunt for the child. The child is grown to the same age as Daria and others.

Jean: Are you Freya? I’m Jean. My dad and mom always talk about you.

Then: My dad is a great cooki! My mom is…

One day later, on 16 Spring:

Elliot & Julia, Back Again!

Long time no see, Freya.

Me: (!)

Elliot enters.

Elliot: Our baby was born, and we’ve just returned back from town.
Julia and the child are doing and doing well. Please come by and visit sometime.
All three of us are counting on you! See ya!

I promptly rushed to Mirabelle's House. Their child is dressed in blue.

Kelly: Who are you…?
You are a friend of Mommy and Daddy?
My name is… Kelly.

Then: My mommy and daddy are always mad at me.

Meanwhile, my own child, who now is a year old, born BEFORE any of the Rival Couples married, remains in his crib, a little peapod of an infant, while the children of the Rival Couples are walking and talking... My child only will be allowed to leave his crib (and share in his own birthday celebration) only when he reaches the age of 2.

Incidentally, perhaps I should caution players against giving Kelly any chocolate. When I gave her a piece as a sort of introductory gift, she turned on me, crying:
'You're mean! I'm gonna tell my daddy!'

Apparently, Elliot appears as a much stronger character now that he has fathered a child. I would have expected Julia's wrath to have been far more of a threat...
I was trying to be nice, of course, but as with any character in Harvest Moon, you cannot expect an item to be received well by every one.

Well, the mystery of the Harvest Goddess Festival this year is solved: the Rivals were NOT pregnant. They obviously had given birth to their children and were staying in Mineral Town awhile longer to allow their children to become toddlers at a prodigious rate.

In fact, the return of each Couple coincided with the anniversary of their Wedding a year ago. I can expect Denny and Lanna to return in about 10 more days.


Second2Heaven said...

OOh... oh my... you can even unlock so many events...
T.T i cant even experience my own deloved chelsea's heart even as i can't seem to win in any of the contest -.-"

Freyashawk said...

Don't be too impatient. You have unlimited time to win the Festivals and Chelsea's love in Island of Happiness. There is no Rival for her heart in this game (although there will be one in Shining Sun!) so you need not be anxious. Island of Happiness actually requires time to succeed properly. If you are patient and move forward steadily, you will find one day that you have more Wonderfuls than you really need, more money than you ever could spend and will look forward to the opportunity to live happily with your beloved wife and child for many, many more years...

(All Harvest Moon games reward patience and there is a point where life no longer is fraught with anxiety or the need to make money as quickly as possible to purchase an important upgrade.)

bludragnflame said...

Thanks! This is very helpful. I just recently went through the marriage events for Elliot+Julia and Pierre+Natalie. I married Denny so I won't see Lanna's, but I'm still waiting for all the heart events for Vaughn+Sabrina.(I would have seen them all already if it weren't for Vaughn only being at the island Wed. and Thurs. plus the weather requirements XP) Anyway, I've been waiting for my character's child to show up and I've seen some pics of what it might look like, but I haven't seen any pics of the rival children =/ Do they really not have faces? They seem like somewhat important characters to not have images. Does the game just go on forever? I never finished the gamecube game, but I've heard that eventually you die (I have noticed the ageing (greying hair), I can't remember what year I'm in). Does your child get any older in the IOH game or am I expecting too much? ^^;

Freyashawk said...

If you want a game where the children of Rivals have distinct personalities and grow to different ages, you need to play Tree of Tranquility. In that game, your child's appearance depends on the identity of your spouse as well.

I think IoH is incredibly complex and detailed, but you can't expect too much. The children aren't faceless and each has his/her own responses to gifts and his/her own dialogue.

I think A Wonderful Life/Another Wonderful Life was unique in the experience of death. Most of the Harvest Moon games last 255 years if there is no definitive ending such as that in Save the Homeland.

Freyashawk said...

P.S. Your own child does grow beyond the infant/crib stage in IoH and will attend festivals with you.

Freyashawk said...

P.P.S. Ah, I realise you were asking about 'portraits' of the rival children. No, they do not have portraits, but they are all toddlers... can't expect TOO much here as I wrote previously. After all, there are almost 100 characters in this game!

bludragnflame said...

Yeah. I suspected as much. I am a little disappointed though that they didn't make portraits for the rival toddlers. I guess they didn't bother since it's not garunteed that all the toddlers would appear in the game depending on how you decide to play. But I would like to have gotten a better idea of what they looked like. This is the only Harvest Moon game I've played where I've been able to see the rivals, not only marry, but have children. Does this happen in Tree of Tranquility?

Freyashawk said...

Bludragnflame, in ToT, the children of the Rival Couples all are distinct characters with their own personalities and appearance. You would enjoy the game tremendously.

Freyashawk said...

Incidentally, the children of Rival Couples are major characters in the 2nd Generation of Rune Factory 2. It appears to me that Harvest Moon games have reached another stage of development in extending the range of characters to the children of Rivals.

bludragnflame said...

That's pretty cool. I guess what I really want is to see my little bundle of joy get married too XD I guess that happens with A Wonderful Life, but I haven't gotten that far. I've been so busy with my DS game that my son is still in the rebellious teenager stage.
In any case, it sounds like ToT is a pretty good game to get my hands on. All I need now is a Wii ^^;
I've also been wanting to get Rune Factory. Is it more or less complicated than IoH?