Sunday, November 9, 2008
Fishing Contest in Rune Factory 2
This post is devoted to the Fishing Contest in Rune Factory 2 in the first year of the 1st Generation of the game. I'd like to make a point here as well, based on a comment by a reader. The reader wondered if any detailed exploration of characters in the 1st Generation game would be a waste of time and energy, based on the fact that most of the real plot of the game occurs in the 2nd Generation.
Even I, who revel in exploriation of characters in any Harvest Moon game, had decided to move more quickly than usual through the 1st Generation only because Rune Factory 2 is scheduled for release in about a week and I wanted to have some preliminary facts about the 2nd Generation game in my Guides by then.
Well, I cannot do it. The dialogues are too good to pass by. As I have declared on many occasions, the genius of Harvest Moon is found in the details. 20 hours is far too little time to spend on the 1st Generation of Rune Factory 2.
I believe that every sort of player should be fulfilled by the upcoming Rune Factory 2, Fantasy Harvest Moon game. Those who enjoy a classical RPG may be more excited by the 2nd Generation 2 game than by the 1st, but there is action in the 1st Generation. Information gained in the first half of the game, moreover, will be useful later.
On never should be too impatient in Harvest Moon. So much can be missed or lost through impatience. In any Harvest Moonb game, marrying too quickly will preclude you from experiencing events with other eligible partners. It is best to enjoy each day and to be satisfied with life, even if the future promises more excitement.
It was in order to demonstrate the rich variety of the 1st Generation game that I made the following video of the Fishing Contest. You will find romance and humour in the interactions of the characters. Often, you need to speak to an individual twice in order to trigger all possible responses. In Rune Factory 2, dialogues that include more than two characters often occur when you prompt the second interaction.
There are many of these 'mini-events' at every point in the 1st Generation game.
Those who love Dorothy and Barrett will find that they are major participants in the Fishing Contest. Those who share my own fondness for Max will be delighted by his dialogues on the day of the Festival.
I have to admit that, not knowing what to expect at the Festival, I had saved the rarest, largest and highest level fish in anticipation of the event. It was a wasted effort: the 1st Year Contest featured the Sardine, a variety of fish I had shipped always as one that was fairly common and easy to catch.
When I entered a Sardine of 14 cm., I expected to lose and did. When I entered a 16 cm. Sardine, I was a bit surprised to achieve only the same 'honourable mention' as I would have had for the smallest fish. At 18cm., however, the Sardine I entered actually WON 1st Place! Given my previous test entries, I had expected only 2nd place at best.
My strategy of saving my best fish in advance of the Festival day would have been sound if only I had saved a Sardine. I now will replay the day one more time to see if I win again with an 18cm. Sardine (provided I catch another) or if the result can change randomly.
In the Eating Contest, for example, I had the same stats twice but obtained different results each time from that.
In fact, as is the case with most Festivals in Rune Factory 2, residents will talk about the Event when you speak to them on the previous day. It is on the day before the Festival that Yue will tell you that winning the Contest 'probably comes mostly down to luck, anyway. You should give it a try.'
That leads me to suspect that the results are partially random, although I'd be very much surprised if a small fish would beat Dorothy or Barrett's entires in any situation.
I had gone through the Fishing Festival a couple of times to test different results and to make the little video about it. It was only when I played through the game properly though that I obtained a choice bit of dialogue from Natalie.
On the day before the Festival, she told me: 'Tomorrow is the Fishing Contest. I still remember the year when Douglas got a hook in his backside. Gordon swore it was an accident…'
Is it vital? No. Will it change anything in the game? No. Despite all that, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It is this sort of detail that keeps me enchanted with Harvest Moon.