Although I have been immersed in Island of Happiness, I continue to receive emails regularly about other games I have covered in the past. In fact, 'Sims2 Castaway' and 'Animal Crossing Wild World' generate emails frequently. 'Chronicles of Narnia' when it finally was released in the U.K. generated a flurry of emails that only now is beginning to slow down a little. As games are released in different parts of the world, emails arrive from those quarters, forcing me to try to remember details about games that I have not had time to play myself for quite some time.
In any event, I am writing about Animal Crossing Wild World today because the question asked by the player inspires reflection of a philosophical nature. In fact, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing have much in common philosophically. Although each creates a fantasy world, that world has very real rules of conduct and gameplay is designed to force players to recognise the value and power of Nature.
The player wrote to me as follows: 'I found your email on a page on the internet, and it said to contact you if we had any questions, and I can't find any acorns during the Acorn Festival week. Other residents in my town said you find them all over town but I haven't found 1, I just got mailed 1 by my mom! Please email back!! Thank you (Y)'
It had been a very long time since I visited my own Animal Crossing village. I knew that time travel could disrupt the appearance of acorns or any other item produced by Nature. In fact, time travel in Animal Crossing can cause great proliferation of weeds in your village...
In fact, after I queried her about time travel, the player referred to my General Guide and found the answer to her problem there.
Here it is:
'I found out why it didn't work: in my town I cut all the trees down and have 6 fruit trees around Tom Nooks shop, and on your page it says that you can only find them under the fruitless trees...'
I am writing about this issue here because it is not uncommon for players to be a little greedy where fruit trees are concerned. They cut down all the trees that display no fruit and plant fruit trees in their place.
When the Acorn Festival arrives, there are NO acorns in their village because the trees that did not produce fruits in fact are oak trees!
Every plant and every item found in Nature has a purpose. Harvest Moon reminds players of this by using the common weed in special Recipes. In fact, even errors in cooking have some use. 'Elli's Leaves' are made from Failed Dishes. The common Stone is used in a Recipe for Sweet Potatoes in many Harvest Moon games as well.
Do not be too quick to chop down a tree in order to substitute one that produces exotic fruit... Do not be too quick to dispose of all Weeds. There usually is a purpose for every item under the Sun.