Friday, March 20, 2009

Initial Walkthrough for 1st Week in Rune Factory Frontier

I have begun a preliminary Guide which I hope will be uploaded before the end of the day, but it may be useful to write a brief post here for players who are embarking upon a life in Rune Factory Frontier. Please note that the Guide is very much a 'work in progress' but it does provide essential information as to the method by which you obtain each of your Tools as well as Shop Menus with prices. I always feel that knowing where to find an item and how much it will cost you is extremely useful information in any Harvest Moon/Rune Factory game.

As always in any Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game, your character will have very little money in the first week and many potential expenses.

You should have obtained two free bags of Turnip Seeds, one from Mist and the other from Erik. The Turnip Seeds from Erik will be given only if you listen to his farming tutorial. Turnip Seeds are marvelously inexpensive at 10G per bag, however, so even if you pay for them, you will find them affordable.

Be aware that any Crops produced in your own Field will not generate Rune Points in this game. They produce Runeys instead. Runeys are vital to the success and ultimate survival of your community but they will not restore your character’s Energy.

Only Crops grown in Caves/Dungeons will produce Rune Points when ready for harvest. You therefore need to create the Beanstalk to the Sky as quickly as possible in order to plant some Turnips in the Cave at Whale Island.

The 'weird plant' that will grow into a giant beanstalk reaching to the Sky is next to the Clock Tower in the Church District.

The simple act of watering the plant next to the Clock Tower gives you access to Whale Island. Do this during your first day on the farm, even if you must wait until the next morning to access the shops in Tromboli. You can experience the Event with the Whale Spirit at least and pave the way for a visit to the Cave/Dungeon the next day.

Make certain that you begin to clear and till your field instantly. Weeds ship for 10G each so even if you cannot make a fortune by shipping the items you remove from your field on the first day, you can make enough money to purchase a few necessities. Furthermore, every use of a Tool raises experience. With low HP totals and few resources, you will have to till the field in easy stages. Tilling at least 40 squares, however, is the key to obtaining a couple of vital Farm Tools.

Although you have three save slots, there is no option to save one game in more than one slot. You therefore cannot save a game at different points in different slots.
There are no time limits here, in terms of the goals that I set for the first week, but the sooner you can accomplish them, the sooner you will have a comfortable life and be able to afford the upgrades that will allow you to cook and forge items.

In order to be able to access the first available shops, you need to meet the owners. A Request Event from Stella, asking that you deliver a 'Bamboo Shoot' to Turner will set a chain of introductions in motion. By performing all requested actions as you receive the requests, you will be able to meet the owners of the Inn and Tavern, the Blacksmith, Danny at the General Store and Erik, purveyor of Seeds.

You can race through any hostile territory, avoiding Monsters rather than confronting them, but it is best if you enter the Cave at Whale Island with a Weapon and at least one Defensive Accessory. I would recommend the following:

Cheap Band

I always prefer one-handed weapons myself but even if you are a player who prefers a heavy powerful two-handed weapon, the cost for each use in terms of RP is too expensive at this early stage.

The Broadsword can be purchased from Ganesha for 500G. The Cheap Band is one of four items available at Danny’s Grocery Store.

Having obtained some basic equipment for combat, the Hammer and Axe should be next on your list of acquisitions. All you need to do in order to obtain an Axe from Stella is to till at least 40 squares in your Field. You need not plant Crops in every square. Simply speak to her afterwards and you will be given an opportunity to inform her of your lack of an Axe. She then will give you her old Axe.

With respect to the Hammer, you must descend to the 2nd level of the Cave/Mine at Whale Island in order to experience the Event that will end in your acquisition of the tool. Melody will be there, searching for the source of a new Hot Spring. She will give you the Hammer, asking that you smash a large boulder for her.

Experiencing this Event has two immediate positive results. You will have a Hammer and Melody will open her Bathhouse in Trampoli the next day.

At the Bathhouse, you will be able to restore all HP and RP once each day for the very modest sum of 10G.

On your first visit to the Cave, you should plant one or two plots of Turnips as a future source of RP. Turnips grow quickly and the seeds are 'dirt cheap'. If you have energy for the job, you should defeat a few Monsters to obtain War Trophies to ship. The first War Trophies that are available have fairly low shipping values between 40G and 60G but every piece of Gold counts at this stage.

You can obtain the 'Pet Glove' almost instantly from Kross but you will not be able to tame any Monsters until you have a Monster Barn. A basic Monster Barn requires only 10 pieces of Lumber and 1000G. You can opt to order it instead of purchasing a Weapon and Accessory but I would buy the Broadsword and Cheap Band first. After all, Monsters must be fed. although you can purchase Monster Feed, it is better to cut grass for fodder. In Rune Factory 2, one could have a Monster Barn on the 2nd day of gameplay, but the price of Feed was prohibitive. Owning Monsters before Grass became fully ripened definitely was a luxury. Plant Grass therefore as soon as possible in anticipation of the needs of tame Monsters.

Rune Factory Frontier, like Magical Melody, Island of Happiness and Tree of Tranquility is one of those games where Characters appear gradually either according to a set schedule or based on your character's actions. You will ruin any enjoyment of the game if you are too anxious about the appearance of any single character. If you follow the traditional rules of any Harvest Moon game, you WILL meet all characters at their appointed hour and indeed will meet conditional characters at the very earliest opportunity.

The fundamental rules of any Harvest Moon game are:
1. Do not neglect your farm. Tilling the soil and growing Crops is one of the primary duties of your character;
2. Do not ignore any opportunity for social interaction. Visit all characters daily if possible and speak to them more than once to discover any new dialogue or options that exist;
3. Perform any and all favours that any individual requires of your character. Even the smallest favour can produce important rewards;
4. Use your Tools regularly to increase experience Levels. Total energy levels increase ordinarily with Experience.
5. Never become a victim of 'tunnel vision'. If you become obsessed with one aspect of the game or one character, you will run a great risk of loss in other areas of the game. All things are connected in Harvest Moon and Rune Factory.
6. Exercise patience. Although I write my guides on the basis of unlocking new options and events at the earliest possible opportunity, it is NOT necessary to conduct your life in this fashion. In Harvest Moon and/or Rune Factory, there are players who achieve all goals in a single year or two and others who achieve the same goals in half a decade or more. This is not a race. It is intended to be LIFE as it would be lived in a farming community.
7. Finally, always remember that people are more important than money. Friendship is the most important prize to be won.

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