Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Rune Factory and the Rich World of the Imagination
Every one loves Woolies. How can one not love those gentle, delightful little Monsters? In Rune Factory 2, they are paid tribute in the form of the Wooly OUtfit that your character will receive in the 2nd Generation if he is a boy. I have to say that, although Rune Factory 2 may be my favourite game of all time, Rune Factory Frontier has wonderful Wooly Monsters and their behaviour is both charming and endearing.
They can cause damage when untamed, but even so, their combat behaviour is amusing to watch (from a distance). They roll about on the ground and cry out, 'Wee wee! Wee wee!' Their attack can cause confusion, however, so it is best not to allow them to damage you or your Monster Ally, although it is a temporary effect.
It is when you have tamed a Wooly (or one of his cousins) and have sufficient Friendship with one to obtain Wool that his behaviour is most endearing. The little Wooly will look up at you, paws clasped almost as if in prayer and when you shear him with the Harvester, he will sneeze!
Incidentally, another wonderful addition to Monster behaviour in the Rune Factory universe in Rune Factory Frontier is the ability to 'harvest' Seeds and Ores/Gems from specific Monster types. The 'plant' Monsters of prior Rune Factory games now, when tamed, give Seeds as a Product. The 'Mimics' and their cousins give Ores and Gems. The 'Grim Reapers' such as Necros and Ghosts actually can use their sickles to mow your Grass and create Fodder.
Thinking of all of this, I once more realised how real these 'virtual' worlds become to those who explore them regularly. Those who never play these games are missing so much! I am infinitely grateful to Marvelous Interactive, Natsume and XSeed for creating Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games and making them available to an English-speaking audience.
One more point should be made about Rune Factory: all three Rune Factory games are worth playing. It would be a mistake to choose one over another. Those players who choose Rune Factory Frontier without ever playing the original Rune Factory will miss an important chapter in the story. Vital events in the history of Norad are experienced in the original Rune Factory. Characters from Kardia actually reappear in Trampoli in Rune Factory Frontier. In the same way that Harvest Moon DS and Cute DS combine threads and characters from A/Another Wonderful Life and Friends/More Friends of Mineral Town, all Rune Factory games are connected.
Rune Factory 2 has its roots in the original Rune Factory. Some of the characters from Kardia are included in the game as well. Although you may find the same or similar Monsters in all three Rune Factory games, each offers its own unique experiences and challenges.