Perhaps I am too impulsive in postulating theories with respect to Harvest Moon. Sometimes I wish I could play any new game for a year or two BEFORE I ever published a guide for it, but I do feel it is better to make guides available as soon as possible, even if they will need to be updated as new information comes to light.
Your Farming Degree is one of the fundamental points that affects almost every aspect of Island of Happiness. Unfortunately, you cannot SEE the number of points you have earned at any time, although you can see your current title on the front page of your Farm Menu.
One of the first variables that players discovered was affected by the Farming Degree total was the colour of any Wonderful that you receive as a prize at a Festival (or as a gift on your Anniversary).
There are specific requirements for the arrival of any new character and there are specific requirements for any Heart Event or Rival Heart Event. Even when these requirements are met, however, there are players who are unable to bring the new arrival to the Island or trigger a specific Event.
I am beginning to believe that the reason for this is the total number of points earned currently towards the player's Farming Degree. I expect there is a minimum point total that is required for almost EVERY new option in Island of Happiness.
It is the only consistent possible reason why one player can unlock a new arrival or experience an Event effortlessly when another fails to do so.
Farming Degree Points are earned in a number of different ways.
Here is the information as provided in my General Guide:
Players of other Harvest Moon games will be familiar with the Farming Degree. In many Harvest Moon games, including Island of Happiness, the player cannot view the actual point total although he/she can see the current Title earning on the front page of the Farm Menu.
Activities and achievements each are worth a specific number of points. Tool use as well as shipping will earn you points. Experiencing Events, attending Festivals and winning Contests all contribute points. The simple act of speaking to any character will earn points for you as well. Here is a list of all actions that will earn you points towards your Degree.
Incidentally, each for each year that you have played the game, 1 point is added each night to your Farming Degree total.
Activities that can Earn Points repeatedly:
Each Item Shipped: 1 Point
Each Fish Caught: 100 Points
Each Ore collected: 5 Points
Each item purchased: 5 Points
Each Tool Use: 1 Point
Each successful Dish Cooked: 10 Points
Each Animal provided Care: 1 Point per day
Each Individual you Greet: 1 Point per day
Activities that earn Points once:
Each New Dish Created: 50 Points
Each New Ore Mined: 20 Points
Festivals, Contests and Events:
Attend Festival: 100 Points
Win Contest at Festival: 1000 Points
Win 2nd Place at Festival: 700 Points
Win 3rd Place at Festival: 500 Points
Experience any Heart Event: 500 Points
Experience any Rival Heart Event: 500 Points
Experience any other Event: 100 Points
Marry: 500 Points
Have a Child: 2000 Points
As you can see, each Heart Event and Rival Heart Event that you experience earns you points towards your Farming Degree. It therefore is a good idea to experience ALL Heart Events for every eligible Bachelor/Girl before you propose to any one and then to experience all Rival Heart Events if possible.
It was thought that the Lithograph and Bottle, if carried in your Rucksack overnight would earn points towards your Farming Degree, but I do not believe that to be the case now after careful and tedious counting of each point I earned throughout the day in Winter when your total can cause a Wonderful to appear in Chen's Market.
The Lithograph can be found in the Mine on specific floors including Floor 150 and 255 by using your Hoe. The Bottle can be caught when fishing in the ocean only in the Spring season.
It was thought, based on other HM games that you went to bed at night, you would earn additional points based on the number of years you have played. Again, careful counting of total points earned each day did not confirm this in my own game.
Although you cannot see the total of points you have earned, you can see your current Title on the front page of the Farms Menu, displayed on the top screen of the DS.
The titles in ascending order are:
Novice Rancher, Levels 1-3
Level 1: 0 Points
Level 2: 500 Points
Level 3: 1000 Points
Amateur Rancher, Levels 1-6
Level 1: 2000 Points
Level 2: 3000 Points
Level 3: 4000 Points
Level 4: 5000 Points
Level 5: 6000 Points
Level 6: 7000 Points
Medium Rancher, Levels 1-6
Level 1: 10000 Points
Level 2: 11500 Points
Level 3: 13000 Points
Level 4: 14500 Points
Level 5: 16000 Points
Level 6: 17500 Points
Advanced Rancher, Levels 1-6
Level 1: 20000 Points
Level 2: 22000 Points
Level 3: 24000 Points
Level 4: 26000 Points
Level 5: 28000 Points
Level 6: 30000 Points
Expert Rancher, Levels 1-6
Level 1: 40000 Points
Level 2: 42000 Points
Level 3: 44000 Points
Level 4: 46000 Points
Level 5: 48000 Points
Level 6: 50000 Points
Super Rancher: 60,000 Points
Ranch Virtuoso 100,000 Points
Ranch Maestro: 110,000 Points
Ranch Knight: 120,000 Points
Ranch Baron: 130,000 Points
Ranch Viscount: 140,000 Points
Ranch Count: 150,000 Points
Ranch Marquis: 170,000 Points
Ranch Duke: 200,000 Points
Ranch Juggernaut: 300,000 Points
Ranch Prince: 500,000 Points
Ranch Chief: 700,000 Points
Ranch Master: 900,000 Points
Ranch King: 1,200,000 Points
Ranch Emperor: 1,500,000 Points
Ranch Angel: 2,300,000 Points
Ranch Archangel: 2,300,000 Points
Ranch Shaman: 2, 800,000 Points
Ranch Magus: 3,000,000 Points
Ranch Legend: 4,000,000 Points
Earth Rancher: 10,000,000 Points
Sky Rancher: 30,000,000 Points
Galaxy Rancher: 50,000,000 Points
Universe Rancher 100,000,000 Points
END OF SECTION OF THE GUIDE
In future, when players contact me with a problem in unlocking a new arrival or experiencing any event, I shall ask them for their current Farming Degree Title.
In this fashion, I shall be able to determine whether or not the difficulty resides in this factor.
In fact, in my next game, I will add this information to my game journal and make certain that I pay attention to the title my character has at the point of unlocking any new option.
There is a 'hidden' requirement for the arrival of Mark or Chelsea to the Island apart from the general requirements of unlocking all areas by having the bridges built and having brought all other Main Characters to the Island. The 'hidden' requirement is a specific number of Farming Degree points, rather than being connected to any other specific aspect of the game such as Festival attendance or acquisition of a specific number of animals. Every aspect of the game contributes to the Farming Degree title, which is why players were able to bring Mark or Chelsea to the island after performing specific actions in their own games, but these specific actions differ from game to game, making the only common consideration the points earned towards the Farming Degree.
Mark arrived on the Island in my first game as soon as I reached 50% completion and completed the last bridge to unlock all areas. Other players have had the same experience both with respect to Mark and with respect to Chelsea. The reason for this: we obviously had attained the requisite number of points in terms of our Farming Degrees BEFORE we achieved 50% completion or built the last bridge...
I never had any trouble in my first game in unlocking any new arrival but I did have trouble triggering Elliot's Purple Heart Event and Denny's 4th Rival Heart Event. Perhaps there is a shipping requirement for Elliot's Purple Heart Event and a fishing requirement for Denny's 4th Rival Heart Event... BUT it is possible that the requirement in each case is NOT a specific number of items shipped or caught but rather a minimum total of points earned towards your character's Farming Degree.
(Players have commented on this by declaring that there IS a shipping requirement both for Elliot's Purple Heart Event and for Natalie's Purple Heart Event, but the point I was trying to make was that it could be a 'Farming Degree' requirement instead. I have heard from players who swore up and down that they had NOT shipped 200 items but nonetheless had been able to trigger Elliot's Purple Heart Event. This led me to my 'perhaps' statement about the hidden requirement for the Event.)
It is a great pity that no Accessory such as the Love Bangle or Truth Bangle exists in Island of Happiness to display total points earned at any given moment. That would make it far easier in terms of obtaining a specific colour of Wonderful or indeed, in determining minimum total point requirements for any new arrival or Event...
I need to verify the values of the sub-titles that are attained at each level as well. For example, within the general Title of Ranch Marquis, there are a number of sub-titles: Bird Ranch Marquis, Pig Ranch Marquis Kind Ranch Marquis, Blond Ranch Marquis or... I believe that each probably represents a 'step' on the ladder to the next main title but I would love to know why 'Blond' was chosen as a sub-title!
I was rather insulted when one day, I looked at my Farming Degree title to discover that I had been dubbed a 'Pig Ranch Viscount'! I wondered if my tidiness or lack thereof had become an issue but when I became a 'Blond Ranch Marquis', I was perplexed even more. They are simply steps on a ladder. I am going to keep a more comprehensive game journal, noting every change in title, so that I can add the 'sub-titles' in proper order to my guide. I believe that 'Keen' directly follows 'Blond'.
In the absence of any Accessory, one should be able to use the current Title as a standard of measurement.
The 'hidden' requirement for unlocking Sheep simply is Farming Degree point total.
Although players initially thought that increasing their Animal population unlocked Sheep and would bring Chelsea or Mark to the Island once other requirements were met, this is not the case after all. Apparently, there is no such requirement in terms of unlocking Mark or Chelsea as a player with nothing more than a Horse was able to bring either Chelsea or Mark to the Island. Being able to unlock Mark or Chelsea is not simply a matter of 50% completion, having all Main Characters on the Island and unlocking all areas, as I had thought initially. There is another requirement... one that many players, including myself, fulfilled without ever knowing it to be a requirement.
I would like to thank players who wrote about their Festival attendance with reference to bringing Mark or Chelsea to the Island. It is not any specific action or achievement, however, but the total number of Farming Degree points that brings the character to the Island. Every player does it a different way. The ONLY common ingredient is an increase in Farming Degree points.
Another point should be made. When unlocking Ranch characters where the requirement is a need to have shipped 100 of any Ranch product, the product must have been made in the Maker to count. Making Cheese, Butter or Milk in your kitchen will NOT unlock any Ranch characters! It never occurred to me that any one would try to make the item in the kitchen in that sort of quantity... but I should have added that detail to the guide.