A player reminded me of this little trick in an email but unfortunately, I cannot find the email now, as I wished to mention the player by name. I have added a little section about it in my General Guide in a new Initial Walkthrough section.
Veteran Harvest Moon players will be aware of this trick but it may be helpful to new players. It is not limited to Rune Factory 2, but can be used in many other Harvest Moon games. I wrote about it in my General Guide for IoH as well some time ago.
In the beginning of Rune FActory 2, when Mana and Douglas ask you to follow them to your new farm, the game clock has not begun to run yet. It is only after you speak either to Mana or to Douglas at your farm that the clock will start to run. You therefore have an opportunity to clear your field BEFORE any time is calculated. It is 8.30 a.m. on 2 Spring and it remains 8.30 a.m. until you speak to Mana or Douglas.
Here is the section from the General Guide:
Initial Walkthrough: Obtaining a Headstart
When you begin the game, you will arrive in the village of Alvarna with amnesia. Mana will find you in front of the cherry tree, admiring it. The Cherry Trees of Alvarna are a focal point of Spring and indeed, cherry blossoms will fall like rain throughout summer when you walk through the village.
Mana, in asking your name, will remind you that you have no knowledge of your own past. Choose a name for yourself. When Mana’s father Douglas arrives on the scene, one of the ongoing dramas of the game will begin in the form of Douglas’ almost pathological fear that his daughter will elope with some one.
Once she has calmed her father’s fears, Mana will suggest that you live on a farm that they own, learning to farm the land as you wait for your memory to return. You then must follow Mana and Douglas to the farm.
This is your chance to cheat a little. At the point when Mana and Douglas lead you to the farmland, it will be 8.30 a.m. on 2 Spring. When you speak to Mana or Douglas upon your arrival on your new farm, time will begin to run. Instead of speaking to either of them immediately, use the ‘grace period’ when time stands still to clear your field completely.
This is a situation that occurs in many Harvest Moon games and veterans will be aware of it immediately, but newcomers to the series may find this hint helpful. One aspect of Rune Factory 2 that differs from most traditional Harvest Moon games is the fact that a ‘branch’ can be collected and placed in the Woodshed without first being obliged to chop it into ‘wood’. Once it is placed in the woodshed, it automatically is transformed into ‘wood’ but you need not have or use an Axe to collect lumber in Rune Factory 2. This gives you an opportunity to fill your Woodshed even before you acquire an Axe!
Once you have an Axe, you really should use it, as well as all of your other tools, as often as possible to increase your skill levels but it is good to know that you needn’t chop the branches into ‘wood’ in order to place them in the Woodshed.
Your Woodshed is located north of the farmhouse in the far northwest corner of your field. Your field consists of 35 plots, each of which contains 9 squares. On the first day of the game, on 2 Spring, you will find the field filled with wild herbs, branches, rocks, stumps and boulders. Apart from the Stumps and Boulders, which cannot be cleared without tools, you should be able to collect every item from the field before you ever speak to Douglas or Mana.
In one game, I collected the following before the clock began to tick:
25 Wood (placed in the Woodshed)
49G in Bamboo Sprouts (7G each)
150G in Medicinal Herbs (5G each)
42G in Antidotal Herbs (3G each)
50G in Black Grass (5G each)
60G in Orange Grass (5G each)
55G in Red Grass (5G each)
100G in Yellow Grass (5G each)
18G in Weeds (2G each)
10G in Rocks (2G each)
All the above were placed immediately in the Shipping Container located to the left of the Field in front of the Farmhouse.
I kept 9 Medicinal Herbs and 9 Antidotal Herbs in my Rucksack for my own use later.
I then spoke to Mana and time began to run.
When you speak to Mana, you have an opportunity to purchase a Hoe and a Watering Can for 150G. You should agree to the proposal, then ask her all the questions about farming. Ask her:
‘How do you plant seeds?’
She then will give you a bag of PINK TURNIP SEEDS.
When you use your Hoe to till the soil, hold down the button in order to charge it. When you see the outline of a complete 3 x 3 plot highlighted on the ground in front of your character, release the button to till all 9 squares in a single stroke.
Stand in the centre of the 3 x 3 plot in order to plant the seeds, equipping them in your Tool Slot first. You should see a single square directly in front of you highlighted. The three squares in front of you as well as the three behind you and the row of three on which you stand will be the plot where the seeds are thrown. This is usually the case in Harvest Moon games, although there are exceptions.
When you have planted the seeds, fill your Watering Can at the fountain, then stand behind the plot, holding down the button again once until the entire 3 x 3 plot is highlighted before you release the Button. This will water the entire plot with a single use of the Watering Can.
This process is known as ‘charging’ your Tool. Rune Factory 2 differs from most Harvest Moon games in allowing you to charge your basic Tools from the start of the game. These Basic Tools will serve you throughout the first generation of the game. You will not be able to upgrade them but as they will take a double charge, they are more than adequate for the tasks you need to perform.