Sunday, October 19, 2008

Unlocking Sheep in your 1st Year in Island of Happiness

It is possible to unlock Sheep at Mirabelle's Shop in the 1st Year. Like most achievements in Island of Happiness, it appears to depend upon a combination of factors. I experienced two events: Taro's Expansion Event and the next morning, Noe announced 'A Growing Island' in the 3rd Event of its kind.

The text of both events is:

Taro’s Remodeled House

Taro: Hello, Freya.
So, what do you think? We had a little remodeling done. Gannon did the work. Fine craftsmanship, as always.
I nod.
Taro (with music): Of course, we couldn’t have afforded this if you hadn’t shipped so much and made the island so prosperous. Thanks for all your hard work, Freya!
After: Now this place really feels like home.

A Growing Island

Good morning, Freya!
Great news!

Noe enters.

Noe: The island is getting more and more lively.
Well done, Freya!
We have so many residents, it’s like a renaissance!
I nod.
Noe: Keep up the good work. We’ll watch out for you.
See you later.

Immediately afterwards, I went outside to find Gannon, who had completed my Animal Barn expansion.

In my original game, Sheep were unlocked as soon as my Animal Barn expansion was complete, but apparently this is not a requirement. Players have written to the effect that they were able to obtain Sheep without ever expanding their barns. What is necessary, however, is a certain rate of accomplishment generally. I am not certain if Taro's House Expansion invariably is followed by the 3rd 'Growing Island' Event because obviously players could achieve their completion percentages in different ways. I had 56% completion and 66 individuals on the Island.

The second rancher had arrived two days previously.

In another player's game, he unlocked Sheep as soon as the 2nd rancher arrived. It is possible, therefore, that a certain completion percentage as well as the arrival of two ranchers is required.

I am not certain how many factors are relevant with respect to many of the new options that are unlocked in this game but I have been diligent in ALL areas:
Farming, Ranching, Mining, Fishing, Cooking. Is it necessary to have a certain number of Recipes in your Cookbook? Does it matter how many different kinds of fish you have caught or different ores and gems collected? Shipping in general IS relevant as are the total number of residents. Taro says: 'We couldn't have afforded this if you hadn't shipped so much and made the island so prosperous.' Noe speaks of a 'renaissance' for the island in terms of all the people who have arrived.

It cannot be a coincidence that both events were followed by the appearance of Sheep on Mirabelle's Menu.

Another player has been kind enough to share all of his achievements prior to the moment when Sheep were unlocked in his game. Like me, he had experienced both Taro's Expansion Event and the 3rd Growing Island Event. As soon as the 2nd Rancher arrived, Sheep appeared on the menu.

So I now postulate the following requirements for Sheep:

1. Experiencing Taro's Expansion and the 3rd 'Growing Island' Event with Noe;
2. Bringing 2 Ranchers to the Island.

I sincerely hope that NO ONE will be able to shoot THIS down. Island of Happiness is driving me insane in terms of being able to make categorical declarations.

Incidentally, the rules for winning Contests at Festivals are a little more complex than first appeared. (Everything in this game is!) You actually CAN win an Animal Festival with an Animal with only 2 hearts, although it is not very likely. Having an Animal at 9 to 10 hearts should guarantee that you win. At two hearts, a Cow who had been bred three times won the Contest. I believe that the use of the Cow in breeding was the key.

What I have not been able to ascertain is why Mirabelle will bestow a new title upon one Animal with 2 hearts and nothing on another of the same level. When it is an Animal that can be bred, it would make sense that experience in breeding might increase its title. If it is a dog or horse, however, what are the variables? I doubt title is random, although the levels of the competing animals probably ARE random. Thus, if the game loads three animals with low heart levels to compete in a Contest one year, your Animal is more likely to win at a lower heart Level. If all three opposing entries are at 8 hearts, however, your Animal will be obliged to have 9-10 hearts to win.

I had a thought in the middle of the night about the Dog and his ability to earn a new title at a low heart level in one game and no title in another. Perhaps it depends on the number of times that he has 'defended' his farm against the Wild Dog! Who knows? As I wrote a month or so ago extensively about the appearance of the Wild Dog and how my own Dog actually SLEPT through one visitation, I am not certain if he really 'earned' his title, but the fact remains that the Dog in THAT game changed title at the first Dog Festival and the Dog in my current game, whom I did not set out in the field yet, earned nothing in the first year.

With reference to a player's comment about the items offered by Mirabelle, I found it odd as well that Sheep Miracle Potion was offered LONG before Sheep themselves were unlocked. In fact, both Cow and Sheep Miracle Potions were available in Spring of the first year in my game, although I did not unlock Sheep until the Autumn.

At the Fish Festival, it is possible that ANY size of Fish of 'S' Rank will win. Any Large Fish of 'A' Rank and at least 9-10 Quality will win. I will continue to revise my Guides as data increases, although I should be able to begin on Rune Factory II tomorrow.


KalypsoCry said...

So does that mean that we need to hae at least two ranchers before we can have a sheep to harvest wool from? This will probably be a little bit of a bother, because I really, really wanted to get a sheep and play that shearing game - it looked fun! (I finally got my Island of Happiness after a long search :))

Good luck with Rune Factory II - I'm sure it will be a fun game!

Mars Frog said...

Ah, sheep ... I love em. Players who only raise cows for maximum profits fail to appreciate just how versatile they are! My sheep not only supply me with wool, they're also like portable pillows that I can lay on when I grow tired in the fields. They're also pros at dealing with insomnia and help me sleep! I also taught them how to knit their own scarfs and sweaters for winter. (boys are good at this kind of thing too!)

Ahem, anyway ... It seems finding the "exact" anything in IoH is quite challenging ... it's as if Marvelous wanted to test you.

How unorthodox though ... to have a chance at winning a festival with such pitiful heart levels ... I doubt I could even drag my chickens to a festival until they were at least familiar with me... I wonder if Marvelous / Natsume were just trying to give newer players a shot at winning earlier in something... Or perhaps they simply wanted to randomize everything...

If there's any festival I know I could win though, it's the fish festival, hands down.

Freyashawk said...

Mar, what a wonderful writer you are! Please, please either continue your existing Harvest Moon story or write a short one for my HM story site. You made my morning with your comment.

Kalypsocry, players beg me for certainties and I only can give speculation where IoH is concerned, even now. I do believe, however, that almost everything unlocked in IoH is due to a combination of factors. As I tell players again and again, be diligent in ALL areas of the game and you will have no trouble with events, new options or new arrivals. In fact, Natsume will stress the fact that Harvest Moon games are not linear, which means that they are not supposed to be that predictable. The fact that we play them exhaustively to find triggers that may be obscure to a casual player is due to our obsession with the games. Unlike games in other genres, one actually could play most Harvest Moon games without ever unlocking half of the options and remain ignorant meanwhile that any of the options existed. There are players who never consult their Farm Menus, who never try to fill the blanks in their lists... players who simply want to marry one girl or guy and are able to move towards that oblivious to all other goals. IoH is a little more demanding in this respect that many of the other games because many of the eligible girls/bachelors are linked to an activity. Thus, if you wish to court Denny or Lanna, you must fish...

Anyway, I think I should write a blanket statement at the top of my IoH Guides declaring that 'requirements' to unlock new options in many cases have not been fully confirmed. In fact, I do believe that following my Initial Walkthrough is the best guarantee of unlocking ALL new options. I had intended to stop at the beginning of Autumn, but I suppose I should complete one full year... especially in view of the fact that I was able to unlock Sheep and many players will find that helpful in the first year.

Finally, I never lost the Fishing Contest either, Mar. Even in my first year in my first game, I won it. I suppose now I need to begin to breed a newly purchased cow as soon as she reaches adulthood and see if I can win the next Cow Festival with her at a low heart level. It does require careful timing, though, because their heart levels increase as the seasons pass. It is difficult frankly to understand how a Cow could have remained at 2 hearts after three bouts of calving. Perhaps I misunderstood, but the player did tell me that he bred all of his other livestock from this first cow, being a farmer himself in real life. He then told me he won the Cow Festival with her at 2 hearts.

Freyashawk said...

P.S. Kalypso, the 2nd rancher isn't that difficult to obtain. It's just a matter of acquiring livestock. I don't think that is the only requirement, however. I would imagine that a certain amount of progress in other areas is included in the requirement. It may not be 56% but I would imagine there is SOME minimum percentage.

Sister Dew said...

Hi Freya,

After reading your post about unlocking sheep in your first year, I checked Mirabelle's shop to find something a little weird... Apparently I am able to buy Sheep Miracle Potion but not sheep themselves! I'd been there a few (game) days previously and didn't have this option. It's curious. For info, it's currently the 21st Fall in Year 1, I've seen Taro's house expansion event and the 2nd or 3rd Growing Island event (I forget how many I've seen now!) and the island is currently at 43% completion with 47 inhabitants. I haven't unlocked ANY ranchers however - raising animals is one of my least favourite HM activities so I currently only have 2 chickens and 2 cows, purely for collecting eggs and milk in preparation for a mammoth mine trip in Winter. Neither the animal barn or the chicken shed have been upgraded beyond the original building, but I've completed the second house expansion, and the bridges to the Meadow and the Forest have also been built.

Just to go off-topic (if I may), I was completely addicted to both Friends of Mineral Town and HM DS, putting in easily over 100 hours of gameplay in each, but I have to say (as much as I hate to) that I'm really struggling with this iteration. I haven't even opened the Jungle area yet, but even so, I'm finding it exhausting trying to get round each area every day - I'm afraid the Witch Princess and Harvest Goddess have been neglected since I first originally met them. Even with the horse, and without the Turbo Shoes or Teleport Stone in sight, I'm finding that I barely have enough time to tend to my animals and crops, and do the rounds of people and foraging in East and West Town, never mind getting lost in the Forest! And speaking of crops, I've had 5 full bags of Eggplant sown in my field since 1st Fall, yet it's now the 21st and they still haven't matured. Sigh. At the moment, I'm seriously considering putting IoH on hold and getting DS Cute instead for my HM fix...

Please tell me it gets easier!

Freyashawk said...

Sister Dew, it definitely DOES become easier and as challenging as it may be, IoH is very rewarding. If you look at some of my posts, you will find that I have struggled with IoH myself, but it's a wonderful game. With some accessories to boost your total Stamina and a couple of Orange Wonderfuls, you will be able to maintain energy and make money... as for the Eggplants, yes, it can take over three weeks for an Eggplant to mature in the field. A Greenhouse is highly recommended at the earliest possible opportunity!

On the other hand, Cute is one of my all-time favourites. Skye is such a sweetheart...

Freyashawk said...

P.S. I am going to make a definitive statement now and say that 2 Ranchers most definitely IS one of the main requirements for unlocking Sheep in IoH. They can be ANY two Ranchers...

Mars Frog said...

First off - I replied to your e-mail. I'm sorry for not dong it sooner ... I really need to get into the habit of checking it more often. I typically just chat with people on instant messaging and the like...

Well that's very kind, thank you Freya - that really feels like something coming from a great writer like you. I enjoy writing, even though I'm still quite new at it and have a lot to learn, like with proper punctuation and sentence flow. I do have a very active imagination though, which goes a long way.

I'm going to continue the story (and some older works) as soon as I shake off this horribly persistent virus... It's been difficult to focus on anything with the constant coughing and fever...

Oh, and to keep this on topic - I checked out Ushi no Tane's livestock page and they said the same thing - you need two boy farmers / ranchers (any of them) to unlock Sheep. ... I wonder why though ... kind of seems like an odd requirement to me ... but I don't even own the game so ...

Freyashawk said...

Mar, I am sorry to hear that you have a nasty virus. They appear to be out in full force at the moment. I am sickening for something as well. You flatter me too much by referring to me as a 'great writer'. I still have aspirations in that direction, though. You definitely are a very talented wordsmith. Try not to neglect that talent if you can.

Mars Frog said...

Here you go.

It's not the next chapter but something that I was inspired from recently in ToT... You can put this up if you wish.

Freyashawk said...

Thanks, Mars. You can find the piece on my 'We Love Harvest Moon' site, the page devoted to fiction inspired by events in Harvest Moon.

It's quite funny, and any one who has played ToT will understand instantly what inspired it. Mind you, I really liked having the telephone directory in ToT. All shop information and hours of business at your fingertips, even if the occasional 'crossed line' resulted in strange and inexplicable recipients!